Border War preview

Sure, the first KU-Mizzou meeting between the men is more than a week away. But the ladies square off against the Tigers sooner - and after that ugly scene in Columbia earlier in the season. From the gridiron to the soccer field, the bitterness runs deep. Jayhawk Illustrated highlights this historic rivalry in the February issue.

Here is a sneak peek of everything this month's issue has to offer.

Border War / by Bill Woodard and Julie Jamison

There is a nugget of wisdom originating in Italy essentially purporting that in life it's just as important to have someone to hate as it is to have someone to love. Now, "hate" is a strong word. But in the case of the Kansas Jayhawks and Missouri Tigers, dislike doesn't seem robust enough a description. There are many terrific college sports rivalries. There is Harvard-Yale, UCLA-USC, North Carolina-Duke, Oklahoma-Texas, Alabama-Auburn. None of them, perhaps, is rooted as deeply as Kansas-Missouri - a rabid feud that began far away from football fields and basketball courts.

A Star is Born / by Chris Wristen

Nobody officially said it about Lauren Ervin, but for intrinsic purposes people might as well call her "The Chosen One." Ever since the day her National Letter of Intent arrived in Kansas coach Marian Washington's mailbox -- and for months before that on Internet recruiting Web sites -- steady chatter circulated that Ervin would be the player who would resurrect the KU women's basketball program back into the national spotlight. It was said that Ervin could catapult the Jayhawks back into the Top 25 and have them competing for Big 12 Conference championships again.

Never Too Early / by Eric Bosi

In the rapidly changing landscape of basketball, things are happening at a much more rapid place. Players leaving school early - or skipping it altogether - for the NBA riches has had a trickle down effect on recruiting. With several juniors, sophomores and even freshman (!) committing very early the emphasis is on early recruitment. With that in mind the Kansas staff has already become involved with several members of the class of 2005 that fans may want to become familiar with. It is a little too soon for many official official offers, but the games have begun. While this comprehensive list is certainly subject to refinement or even a complete makeover, here are some early names to watch.

Batter Up / by Brian Ramsey

With "fall ball" intersquad games but memory and the regular season fast unfolding, the Jayhawks are prepped to continue to build on the successes of last year. The Kansas Jayhawks (35-28, 9-18) are coming off a surprising 2003 season in which they finished with 35 wins – third most in KU history – and a trip to the Big XII Tournament. Second year Head Coach Ritch Price is counting on several key returning players and transfers to lead the team deeper into the post season.

Serving Notice / by Chris Wristen

Cold winter winds continue to blow across the Robinson Center tennis courts, but the Kansas tennis team hopes those bitter breezes will whisk away the stale memories of a 2003 season gone awry. Last year began with high hopes after the Jayhawks tied for second in the Big 12 Conference in 2002, but 2003 was nasty to the Kansas netters.

Thanks for the Memories / by Brian Hanni

Bill Whittemore deserves to be remembered as the one player -- more than any other -- that helped get Mangino's Kansas program off the ground. The Brentwood, Tenn. product should go down as a Jayhawk who made the most of every snap he had and got the most out of every play even if things didn't go as planned.

Every month of Jayhawk Illustrated includes Inside the Phog with columnist Bill Woodard. Look for Jayhawk Trivia and This Month in History as well.

This issue ships to subscribers and newstatnds this week. Order today - you won't want to miss the March issue! From tournament play to football signing day coverage, this 80 page mega-issue is a must have.

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