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Monday Morning Wheaties

5 min read

Both Kansas basketball teams won on the road last week, and the spring sports teams were busy from coast to coast.

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.

KU point guard Dajuan Harris Jr. watches the action in front of him. [Chance Parker photo]

Picture on the box

• Senior point guard Dajuan Harris Jr. – You might know the stat by now, but it’s significant even if you do. The Jayhawks are now 32-2 all-time when the KU point guard scores 10 points or more in a game. Harris did exactly that on Saturday at Oklahoma, where the Jayhawks finally got back on the winning track on the road with a 67-57 win over the Sooners. Harris finished with a classic Dajuan Harris line — 11 points, 7 turnovers, 0 assists. He didn’t shoot it great, finishing just 4-of-12 overall and 1-of-4 from 3-point range. But the one triple he made was a big one and, more importantly, he did what he’s known for doing most — led his team to victory.

A full bowl

• Super-senior guard Zakiyah Franklin – With dominant KU center Taiyanna Jackson on the bench with foul trouble — which was exactly BYU’s plan — the Jayhawks needed someone to step up and Franklin answered the call. The veteran guard poured in a season-high 24 points on 9-of-11 shooting in leading the Jayhawks to a huge Big 12 road win and their fifth consecutive victory.

Kansas guard Zakiyah Franklin drives to the rim vs. Iowa State. [Chance Parker photo]

• Freshman guard Johnny Furphy – On a day when Hunter Dickinson stole headlines with his 14th double-double of the season (20 points and 16 rebounds in the win over OU), it was the Australian freshman’s near-double-double that might’ve been even more important. Furphy returned to his red-hot ways of January with three 3-pointers and 15 points while also adding 9 rebounds, 3 steals and a pair of assists in 37 minutes of action. KU needed this win in a huge way and they may not have gotten it without Furphy playing much older than he is.

• Junior pitcher Patrick Steitz – The transfer from Central Arizona College recorded a quality start in his first career appearance as a Jayhawk. The 6-foot-8 righty threw 6 scoreless innings, allowing just 4 hits and striking out 5 while walking none to lead Kansas to its first win of the 2024 season, 8-2 over Illinois-Chicago on Sunday in Corpus Christi, Texas. Steitz only allowed one runner to reach second base all day.

• Kansas pole vaulters – In addition to women’s pole vaulter Mason Meinershagen winning the event at the K-State Steve Miller Invite last Friday, the KU men swept the top six spots in the event. Kansas was led by Ashton Barkdull at 5.28m, while Anthony Meacham came in second at the same height. Brady Koolen took third, Luke Knipe fourth, Andrew Saloga fifth and Jake Freidel sixth, all with best clearances of 5.13m on the day.

Nighttime snack

• Jake English & Ben Hartl hit dingers – English launched a grand slam and a solo shot during the Jayhawks’ 8-2 win over Illinois-Chicago and Hartl homered for the second consecutive day to help the Jayhawks find the win column.

• Sophomore infielder Kodey Shojinaga – The reigning Big 12 Co-Freshman of the Year went 4-for-6 with 2 home runs, a double, 5 RBIs and 2 runs scored in the season opener on Friday night, an 11-9 loss to Illinois-Chicago. Shojinaga was the lone Jayhawk with multiple hits on Friday, and helped make things interesting when KU scored 4 runs in the 8th to threaten to pull within striking distance.

• Devin Loudermilk – The KU track standout tied his career-best of 2.21 meters in the high jump at the recent Tyson Invitational. The junior finished in third-place behind the current NCAA leader and the two-time Big 12 high jump champion, who is now a professional. Loudermilk’s 7-foot and 3-inch clearance ranks first on the Big 12 performance list so far this season and is the NCAA’s fifth-best jump to date.

Drink the milk

• Former Kansas women’s basketball coach Marian Washington – For the second year in a row, the legendary KU coach has been named a finalist for induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame with the Class of 2024. In 31 seasons, Washington led Kansas to a record of 560-363 from 1973-2004 to become the winningest coach in program history. But it was her trailblazing spirit for women’s sports that had as much of an impact on KU as her win-loss record. Immediately after her first season as KU’s women’s hoops coach, Washington started the KU women’s track and field program and served as its first head coach. In addition, she was the school’s AD for Women’s Athletic from 1974-79. The finalists will now be put forward to the Honors Committee to be considered for election as members of the Class of 2024. The new class will be announced in Phoenix on April 6 at the NCAA Men’s Final Four, with Enshrinement Weekend to follow on August 16-17 in Springfield, Massachusetts.

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