The Kansas men’s and women’s basketball teams both went 1-1 last week, with home wins and road losses for both of them.
It was more than just a basketball week for KU athletes, however, with swimming, track golf and tennis all in action, as well.
Some of that is reflected below and, as the year goes on, you’ll start to see athletes from those teams as well as the rest of the spring sports squads start to appear in this space each week, as well.
You’ve seen the tomahawks on the back of the Florida State helmets, the buckeye tree leaves on the Ohio State helmets and the paw prints on the back of the Clemson helmets.
Each Monday, we take one last look back at the week that was and hand out different amounts of the iconic breakfast cereal to the Jayhawks’ top performers.
So, be sure to come get your Monday morning Wheaties and feel free to hit up the comments section — subscribers only for now — with any players you feel we might’ve missed.
Picture on the box
• Freshman guard Johnny Furphy – The KU men were just 1-1 last week, but Johnny Furphy played well enough for them to win both games. He torched Cincinnati for career-highs of 23 points and 11 rebounds and followed that up with a clean and efficient 15-point, 6-rebound effort in a road loss at Iowa State. Remember, that was the kid’s first trip to Hilton Coliseum and he was the only one in the Jayhawks’ starting five to turn it over less than twice. He still needs to improve on the defensive end, but his offense is really rolling right now and he’s going to play a huge role in how the rest of this season goes for the Jayhawks.
A full bowl
• Tracksters shine – The Kansas men’s and women’s track and field team had an impressive showing at the Iowa Black and Gold Invitational last weekend, with KU picking up 18 first-place finishes and 10 meet records. Among the Jayhawks’ winners in Iowa were: pole vaulter Clayton Simms, triple jumpers Taylor Mayo and Jaden Patterson, 3000m runners Sawyer Schmidt and Makenna Anderson and 200m sprinters Michael Joseph and Deshana Skeete. AJ Green (600m), TJ Robinson (800m) and Kaycee McCoy (60m hurdles) also won and set meet records. While Kenadi Krueger (mile), Pearl Awanya (400m), Aaliyah Lindsay (long jump), Devin Loudermilk (high jump), Tori Thomas (shot put) and both men’s and women’s 4x400-meter relay teams also won their events.
• Junior forward KJ Adams – Adams earned his Wheaties for a strong second half in the loss at Iowa State, which almost willed the Jayhawks to an improbable comeback win. After sitting for more than half of the first half because of foul trouble, Adams hit the floor with fresh legs and a furious mindset. He attacked the rim over and over and got to the free throw line when he didn’t finish. While there, he hit 70% of his free throw attempts, which is significant news for the KU junior. You could dock him for being in foul trouble, but if you watched the game, I think it was clear that at least one of those fouls that forced him to the bench was probably the result of an unlucky whistle. Adams was more than a scorer, too. His presence in the middle of the floor created plays and chances for his teammates, which is something you’ll likely see more and more of as the season goes on.
• Senior guard Wyvette Mayberry – Mayberry followed up one of her best defensive games of the season in a home win over Iowa State with an offensive explosion in a road loss at Oklahoma over the weekend. Mayberry finished with 21 points on 8-of-16 shooting in the 5-point loss to the Sooners. She hit three 3-pointers, connected on a handful of floaters and runners in the lane and got to the free throw line. Mayberry is playing with a ton of confidence right now and it’s showing up on both ends of the floor.
• Swimmers take firsts – The Kansas swimming and diving team dropped a tough meet to Arkansas in the home finale last Friday, but three Jayhawks claimed the top spot in their respective meets. Gabriela San Juan Carmona took first in the 3-meter diving event, in which KU swept the top four spots; freshman Shiyun Lai won the 1-meter diving event and Amelie Lessing won the 200-yard butterfly in the pool. Here's a look back at some of the action from the Jayhawks' final home meet of the season.
• Freshman guard S’Mya Nichols – The KU freshman was rock solid once again in the Jayhawks’ road loss at Oklahoma, prompting Kansas coach Brandon Schneider to praise the Kansas City native for continuing to be the Jayhawks’ most consistent player. Nichols scored 15 points and dished 3 assists while playing 36 minutes in the loss. She also played an important role in both Kansas holding the Sooners well below their season average and in slowing down the pace and dictating that the game be played at KU’s favored tempo so that would be possible. A little past the halfway point of her freshman season, Nichols leads the Jayhawks in scoring (14.1 points per game), assists (56) and steals (26) while playing just the fourth most minutes per game on the team.
Drink the milk
• A couple of KU award winners – Senior tight end Mason Fairchild was named Second Team Academic All-America as selected by College Sports Communicators (CSC) early last week. The team recognizes the nation’s top student-athletes for their combined performances on the field and in the classroom. While Fairchild has played his last game for the Jayhawks, a future Jayhawk, basketball big man Flory Bidunga, became KU’s latest McDonald’s All-American. In addition, baseball standouts Kodey Shojinaga and Janson Reeder earned preseason all-Big 12 honors.