It was a big week for both Kansas basketball teams, and a couple of school records fell in the world of track and field.
All of that, and more, will be recognized in this week’s edition of your Monday Morning Wheaties here at R1S1 Sports.
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
• Senior center Taiyanna Jackson – KU now has a new blocks queen, thanks to Jackson’s monster night in a home win over Houston last Thursday. Jackson entered the game eight blocks shy of tying Lisa Tate for the school’s career record and left the game in front of Tate by one, with 270 blocks. That it has come in a little more than three and a half years makes the mark all that more impressive. And Jackson, who moved into the top spot with a swat of a jumper near the free throw line, still has a handful of games remaining this season to add to that total and push the 300-blocks mark.
A full bowl
• Senior point guard Dajuan Harris Jr. – He had a pretty solid all-around game against the visiting Baylor Bears on Saturday, but it was what he did in the final couple of minutes that earned Harris his Wheaties. After leaving the game with a significant ankle injury, Harris returned to the floor for the final couple of minutes of a tight game — much to the delight of the roaring crowd — and hit arguably the game’s biggest shot on a bad ankle, a floater from 6 feet that put the Jayhawks up 64-59 and helped secure the win. Harris finished Saturday’s win over No. 13 Baylor with 14 points, 5 assists and just 1 turnover in more than 36 minutes of action. But it was that bucket that was by far his biggest moment.
• Freshman guard Johnny Furphy – Furphy didn’t shoot the ball great for the second game in a row — 2-of-8 overall and 0-for-6 from 3-point range — but he played with great energy again and was a force in transition and at the free throw line on a night when the Jayhawks absolutely had to have him show up. The freshman from Australia finished with 11 points and 5 rebounds in 36+ minutes, including a 7-for-7 shooting clip at the free throw line. In a game where every point and possession matter, Furphy’s contributions were huge, none bigger than the 6 steals he recorded in the win. All of this just a few days after battling illness.
• The Kansas Track and Field team put up strong performances in both Arkansas and Boston over the weekend. But none were bigger than Emmaculate Jemutai breaking the women’s indoor mile record previously held by Lauren Bonds (4:41.61, 2010) with a personal-best time of 4:39.55, and Chandler Gibbens taking down the school record in the men’s 5,000 meters a day later in 13:50.85 to break Craig Watcke’s record of 13:51.82 from 1989.
• Senior pitcher Kasey Hamilton – Fresh off of winning the Marlene Mawson Award earlier in the week, Hamilton threw a gem in defeat during the Jayhawks’ 2-1 loss to Indiana in the softball team’s opening aciont of the season. In her second start of the season, Hamilton allowed just five hits and two runs in seven innings while striking out four batters and walking two. In her first start, during a 5-3 loss to No. 15 Oregon, Hamilton watched KU catcher Lyric Moore rip a three-run home run to left field for her first homer of the season.
• KU tennis takes down ODU & swimming outlasts Iowa State – The Jayhawks won their home-opening tennis event of the spring with a 4-3 vicgtory over Old Dominion. Todd Chapman’s team got singles wins from Maria Titova, Heike Janse Van Vuuren and Kyoka Kubo and two doubles victories from Janse Van Vuuren and Gracie Mulville and Kubo and Jocelyn Massey. In the pool, the Jayhawks took down the Cyclones in Ames, Iowa, 186.5-126.5. Keyla Brown (52.79) placed second in the 100 freestyle and Claudia Dougan (53.28) finished third while Bradie Ward recorded a second-place finish in the 200 backstroke with a time of 2:04.89. KU swept the top three spots in the 200 breaststroke, led by a first-place finish from Ryan Johnston (2:20.17). Aidan Howze followed closely in second (2:20.23) and Molly Robinson (2:21.99) took third. KU delivered another podium sweep in the 100-yard butterfly, led by a first-place finish from Mia Waldron (56.37), a second-place finish by Lydia Lafferty (56.48) and a third-place finish for Amelie Lessing (56.51). On the diving board, KU freshman Shiyun Lai took first in the 1-meter diving event with a score of 346.35 points. KU’s Gabriela San Juan Carmona picked up a second-place finish with 341.18 points and Jayhawk Lize van Leeuwen closed out the event in fourth place with 313.95 points.
Drink the milk
• Former KU wide receiver Connor Embree – A tip of the cap here a former KU wideout who didn’t play a ton and didn’t record many stats during his days as a Jayhawk (5 catches for 44 yards in 10 games during the 2013 season) but someone who has gone on to achieve pretty notable things in football after college. Embree is the wide receivers coach for the Kansas City Chiefs, who, of course, won their second consecutive Super Bowl on Sunday night with a thrilling 25-22, overtime win over San Francisco in Las Vegas. Not bad for a guy who was getting trashed midway through the season for the struggles the Chiefs’ wideouts had catching the ball. Congrats to Embree and the entire Chiefs Kingdom.
— For tickets to all KU athletic events, visit kutickets.com