Saying Farewell

There will be plenty of roses, cheers, hugs, and even tears on Senior Night Wednesday as Mario Little, Brady Morningstar and Tyrel Reed play their farewell game in Allen Fieldhouse against Texas A&M at 8 p.m.

Like Morningstar, Reed dreamed of running out the tunnel at Allen Fieldhouse and playing in the Phog growing up in Eureka and Burlington. Reed, who actually teamed with Morningstar in high school on their AAU team Pump N Run, was named Mr. Kansas Basketball and selected as Kansas' Gatorade Player of the Year following hs senior season at Burlington High.

Reed, who was recruited by such colleges as Missouri, K-State, Oklahoma, Stanford and North Carolina, paid his dues his first three seasons off the KU bench, but always had a knack for making big shot after big shot while possessing arguably the greatest work ethic of any Jayhawk.

The 6-3 guard has surpassed fans' expectations in his senior swan song and enjoyed the best year of his career. Reed, the only KU player to start all 29 games, is averaging career highs in points (9.8 ppg), steals (43), blocks (7), assists (55), rebounds (2.9) and minutes (27.4). Reed, who leads KU in three-pointers made with 56 and also in free-throw percentage (82.6), has upped his production in conference play, averaging 10.4 points per game while scoring in double digits in three of his last four games.

The sweet shooter ranks No. 9 in school history with 160 three-point field goals and tied with Morningstar for No. 8 in career three-point field goal percentage (41.5). Reed, a three-time Academic All-Big 12 First-Team selection, was named a first-team Academic All-American last Tuesday. He graduated in 3.5 years with a degree in pre-physical therapy/exercise science and has been accepted to KU's School of Medicine physical therapy program.

Both Reed and Morningstar will forever be linked by their Kansas roots, their great three-point shooting, their strong work ethic, and as players who started together in the backcourt their senior years.

"Not only have those two been great for our program they've been to the point where if they don't perform well, we don't win," Self said. "There have been huge improvements in their developments since they first got here."

Self talked about what he'll remember most about the two seniors.

"Tyrel came in as a nervous kid. Really nervous around me and didn't get me at all for a while," Self said. "As he's matured and developed I think he's one of the most fun kids to be around, period. I'll miss Brady a ton because he's as much of the personality of our team as anybody is."

Self will also miss Little as the three seniors play their final home game tonight in the Phog. They'll each be introduced before the game with their family members, and give their senior speeches after the contest.

"Senior Night is a celebration of three guy's careers," Self said.

And I expect Jayhawk fans will bring their "A" game, shower them with cheers and love, thank them for the memories (and still more to come), and send these seniors out in winning style in a night the trio will never forget.

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