KEYS TO THE SEASON
by Bill Woodard
With due respect to seniors Graves and Nash, clearly Langford, Lee, Miles and Simien are the heart and soul of this team. They held it together when ol' Roy went home to Carolina, and they have embraced the new regime with gusto. No team in America has four guys with this much big-game experience. They've had their noses pressed at the promised-land window the past two years, and they're eager to shatter the glass this time around.
BIG 12 PREVIEW
by Frank Burlison
The former Fox Sports hoops analyst takes a look around the Big 12, the conference he calls the best in the country - for now. Burlison thinks Kansas and Missouri have the best chance of cutting down the nets in the Alamodome next April.
MAKING A SPLASH
by Chris Wristen
Simien has been diving for loose balls, dunking with the surgically-repaired shoulder, banging against the biggest bodies he can find to test his strength and refining the touch on his jump shot. His skills are coming back quickly and he's counting the days until the first game of the season when he can step back on the court, in front of a home crowd and finally feel at peace again.
"I might have the most fire of anybody (in the country) right now," Simien said, his voice echoing with conviction. "I missed 22 games (last year), and I had to sit out and watch the national-championship game from the sideline. I just have so much fire built up in me right now. I'm ready to go."
SELF MADE: A NEW ERA
by Joel Cox
First he was coming, and then he wasn't, and then he was. Now he's here and enjoying the last remaining moments of his six-month honeymoon. Yet at the same time Coach Self is anxious to take the court with his players, at his program, at his university. The reason we were so anxious six months ago is that we knew first-hand what loyalty can do to a man. It can make him stay. It can make him go. Six months later, we couldn't be happier.
A WHOLE NEW BALL GAME
People have rediscovered Memorial Stadium. Whether or not the ballyard continues to fill with blue each week remains to be seen. We remember what you said, Coach -- patience. There is still a lot of work to do, but KU fans have heard that many times before. Watching that work in progress has never been this much fun. Kansas Football has been taken off life support and is recovering nicely, thanks. This time, fans have plenty of reasons to believe that the patient will make a full recovery.
by Brian Hanni
You may have already heard of this blue chipper from the west coast. She raised a lot of eyebrows in Kansas and around the country last fall when she selected the Jayhawks over several other big basketball schools including Tennessee, LSU and Texas.
Ervin's decision to be a Jayhawk surprised many. A 0-16 Big 12 record usually doesn't help lure prospects rated as highly as No. 2 in the country. Ervin wasn't like most recruits though.
Look for our regular columns as well. Bill Woodard features Keith Langford in "Inside the Phog." Recruiting analyst Eric Bossi gives scouting reports on the incoming freshman, at home and around the conference. As always, you will find Jayhawks Trivia and selected moments from This Month in KU History.
This 64 page super issue includes also interviews with Marian Washington, Drew Gooden, J.R. Giddens and Omar Wilkes.
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