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Snub from Kansas freshmen helped inspire Stanford's stunning upset

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

The immaturity of Kansas' freshmen wasn't only apparent during Sunday's stunning round of 32 loss to 10th-seeded Stanford.

It also was glaring during a press conference the previous day. 

Asked about the challenges of defending Stanford's leading scorer Chasson Randle, Kansas freshmen Andrew Wiggins and Wayne Selden both looked at each-other and giggled because neither yet knew much about the junior guard. The Jayhawks had not yet watched film on the Cardinal.

Said Wiggins, "I am not sure right now. How about you, Wayne?"

Said Selden, "I am along with you."

Neither Wiggins nor Selden were laughing by Sunday evening after Randle had 13 points and six steals in Stanford's 60-57 upset. The Cardinal played with more emotion, more toughness and more determination than it had much of the season, a change that Randle said was partially inspired by watching the video of Wiggins and Selden laughing at his expense the previous day.

"We definitely saw that video," Randle said. "[Coach Johnny Dawkins] told me not to talk about it, but, you know, I definitely took it as a challenge.  So did my teammates. It wasn't just a stab at me, it was a stab at our team.  And we took it as a challenge.  And it was a little bit extra motivation for today's game."

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Kansas coach Bill Self defended his freshmen, reiterating that he hadn't discussed Stanford's personnel yet with his team.

“That’s not fair to our guys to ask something that we haven’t passed out scout reports and things like that on yet," Self told the Lawrence Journal-World. "We know he’s good. Of course, he is averaging 18.9 (points) a game. If you want to know anything about him, you can probably ask me, because he is 18.9 overall and 18.7 in league, and the kid can do a lot of things."

Dawkins was understanding of the lack of recognition from Wiggins and Selden on Sunday, but also admitted it inspired his team.

"I am sure it was early before they had a chance to really study us," Dawkins said. " So a lot of time with younger players you don't really have a chance to know who you're facing, your opponent.  You may know the team but not the individual players until you see the scouting report or watch film on them.  So I kind of understand that that can happen. For us, it was motivation, of course, because our kids had a chance to see that and I thought they responded in kind."

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Jeff Eisenberg is the editor of The Dagger on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at daggerblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

 

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