Jayhawks say Aggies have their full attention

By By Blair Kerkhoff

Associated Press

Published: Monday, Feb. 20 2012 7:52 p.m. MST

LAWRENCE, Kan. _ Thomas Robinson and Tyshawn Taylor made a pact Monday about defense as they headed toward a knot of reporters.

They would deflect questions about the opponent that's not immediately in front of them.

"We thought there would be all Missouri questions," Taylor said. "It's understandable. It's a big game. Everybody is excited about it. But we have to still take care of business Wednesday.

"Texas A&M is a team that can definitely beat us."

The Aggies, who play host to fourth-ranked Kansas on Wednesday, didn't beat the Jayhawks earlier this month in Lawrence, but they threw enough of a scare into them that talk about getting their full attention isn't just lip service from coach Bill Self.

"We'll show the players tape and remind them that we weren't very good against A&M the first time," Self said, "and the reason was they made us not be very good."

Kansas won 64-54 on Jan. 23. The Jayhawks trailed at halftime, and it was a two-point lead with 7 minutes remaining. The Aggies were without swingman Khris Middleton, last year's leading scorer. He's back. Also, point guard Dash Harris, who has missed the previous seven games because of an injury, could return.

The Jayhawks had their worst three-point shooting game of the season (four of 20) that night. Kansas had 20 baskets, matching the Kentucky game for a season low.

First-year Aggies coach Billy Kennedy is continuing where predecessors Mark Turgeon and Billy Gillispie left off when it comes to A&M's calling card. The Aggies play hard defense and run a patient offense.

"We have to understand that it will be a low-possession game and try to grind it out," Taylor said.

All the while not thinking about Missouri, which was difficult to do Monday.

As players conducted interviews, Kansas students lined the corridor walls inside Allen Fieldhouse, taking their positions to be the first ones in the seats Saturday for a Border War that will be the final regular-season game between the rivals as members of the same conference.

But there will be time to talk about that later, said Self, who is confident heads will be in the right place.

"We will not mention Missouri except to tell them we're not mentioning Missouri," Self said, " until after the game, and then we can talk about it all we want to.

"Out of fairness to them and all their hard work and effort they put in, it would be such a disservice to allow them to look past what is just as meaningful a s Saturday."

FORMER CAPTAIN DIES

Al Correll , a captain of the 1964 Kansas team, died Saturday in Tacoma, Wash.

Correll's decision to come to Kansas was influenced by fellow Philadelphian Wilt Chamberlain. Correll lettered in three seasons and averaged 9.9 points as a senior in 1964. That season, he set the school record for free-throw accuracy when he made 90 percent.

Correll was a retired human-relations director for the city of Tacoma and worked in similar positions in Des Moines, Iowa, and Topeka.

After his playing career, Correll joined Max Falkenstien in broadcasting Kansas games, making him one of the first black announcers calling college basketball.

Correll also was a featured speaker for Kansas team reunions.

(c)2012 The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.)

Visit The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.) at www.kansascity.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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