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O'Brien earns MIAA weekly honor -9/16/2014, 10:24 AM

Tigers' Bradley named MIAA Specialist of the Week -9/16/2014, 10:24 AM

Hype continues to grow for K-State, Auburn -9/16/2014, 10:24 AM

HHS soccer plays to draw -9/16/2014, 10:24 AM

Parkey's FG lifts Philadelphia in Indianapolis -9/16/2014, 10:24 AM

Royals walk off with win -9/16/2014, 10:13 AM

Peterson to play Sunday -9/16/2014, 10:13 AM

Royals slammed by Red Sox -9/15/2014, 4:42 PM

Keselowski wins at Chicagoland -9/15/2014, 4:42 PM

KSU defense ready for test -9/15/2014, 4:42 PM

Broncos escape Chiefs -9/15/2014, 4:42 PM

Tigers roll at NSU -9/14/2014, 10:23 AM

FHSU volleyball goes 2-2 in S. Dakota -9/14/2014, 7:53 PM

TMP boys second, girls third at Wamego -9/14/2014, 7:53 PM

Hays High thrashes Great Bend -9/13/2014, 1:03 PM

Area prep scores, Sept. 12 -9/12/2014, 10:24 PM

Ellis holds on for first win, beats TMP -9/12/2014, 7:54 PM

TMP volleyball 0-3 in Larned -9/12/2014, 10:30 AM

TMP soccer beats HHS -9/12/2014, 10:29 AM

Royals fall to Red Sox -9/12/2014, 10:29 AM

HHS volleyball earns sweep at Dodge now 8-0 -9/12/2014, 10:29 AM

HHS second in Dodge, leads WAC -9/12/2014, 10:29 AM

Tigers look to bounce back on road -9/12/2014, 10:29 AM

HHS second in Dodge, leads WAC -9/12/2014, 10:29 AM

Goodell in hot seat amid Ray Rice video reports -9/11/2014, 10:22 AM

HHS advances to semis, will face TMP -9/11/2014, 10:22 AM

HHS, Great Bend meet in rivalry game -9/11/2014, 10:22 AM

Goodell in hot seat amid Ray Rice video reports -9/11/2014, 10:21 AM

TMP, Ellis look to bounce back -9/11/2014, 10:21 AM

Tigers back to work for Week 2 -9/10/2014, 10:30 AM

TMP soccer wins opener at Maize South -9/10/2014, 10:22 AM

TMP girls' golf second in Goodland -9/10/2014, 10:21 AM

Royals fall, now tied -9/10/2014, 10:19 AM

KU coach Weis: 'The players should just shut up' -9/10/2014, 10:18 AM

Not really a week off for KSU -9/10/2014, 10:17 AM

HHS 3-0, TMP 1-2 at Goodland -9/10/2014, 10:17 AM

HHS tennis third in Great Bend -9/10/2014, 10:16 AM

Brungardt leads Indians to second-place finish -9/10/2014, 10:15 AM

Sports Scores

Tuesday

Prep basketball

Boys

Atwood 76, St. Francis 65

Dighton 62, Oberlin 47

Hillsboro 50, Goodland 47

Lakeside 42, Lincoln 32

Minneapolis 68, Russell 35

Rock Hills 42, Natoma 37

Salina Central 62, Andover 58

Salina South 62, Sacred Heart 47

Sharon Springs 75, Leoti 38

St. John's Beloit-Tipton 57, Osborne 34

Sylvan-Lucas 61, Thunder Ridge 48

Girls

Dighton 44, Atwood 11

Dodge City 71, Hays High 28

Hesston 51, Goodland 18

Hoisington 60, Victoria 46

Hoxie 65, St. Francis 13

Lincoln 33, Lakeside 26

Minneapolis 47, Otis-Bison 24

Osborne 59, Wilson 34

Sharon Springs 63, Oberlin 42

Sylvan-Lucas 43, Natoma 41 (ot)

Tescott 41, Rock Hills 33

Trego 56, Leoti 27

Thunder Ridge 33, St. John's Beloit-Tipton 30

Click To View All


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SPOTLIGHT
Tharpe leaving Jayhawk basketball

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Tharpe leaving Jayhawk basketball

Published on -5/2/2014, 10:18 AM

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By Rustin Dodd

McClatchy-Tribune

Naadir Tharpe moved along Massachusetts Street on a cool night in early April, passing past a crowd of college students.

It was a Saturday night in a college town, and the streets overflowed with the usual signs of college: Kids blowing off steam after a week of classes.

Among the throng of people, Tharpe, KU's point guard, tried to keep a low profile. This, he said, was his first time out in public since Kansas' shocking NCAA Tournament loss to Stanford on March 23. Two weeks later, it had already been a rocky offseason.

A revealing photo showing Tharpe with an unidentified woman had surfaced online, going viral and drawing a public admonishment from his head coach.

Back home in Massachusetts, Tharpe would later admit, his 2-year-old daughter, Amara Grace, was battling some undisclosed medical issues.

Tharpe was the starting point guard at Kansas, and when the Jayhawks' season had floundered, plenty of fingers had been pointed in his direction.

"It comes with a lot of scrutiny," said forward Jamari Traylor, Tharpe's roommate and friend, during Kansas' NCAA Tournament run.

Nearly a month later, Tharpe was ready for a fresh start, announcing his decision to transfer in a joint statement with Kansas coach Bill Self on Thursday afternoon. In the statement, Tharpe cited his daughter's health issues as one of the main reasons for the move. He would like to play some place closer to his hometown of Worcester, Mass.

But whatever other factors aided in the decision, it's a clean break for player and program -- a Kansas team that is still searching for an answer at point guard after two years of inconsistency at the position.

"Naadir and I have talked numerous times since he's been here about his role and about his situation back home with his daughter," Self said in the statement. "He's told me many times how much he misses his little girl, and she's had some health issues that has certainly made it difficult for him to be away from her for this extended period of time."

Self and Tharpe emphasized that Amara is doing better now, but the change of scenery could end up being the healthiest decision for all involved.

"My daughter has current medical issues that require weekly visits to her physician, as well as with a specialist," Tharpe said. "At this juncture, I feel it is best to be closer to home where I can assist and support in any way necessary."

Tharpe, who played three seasons at Kansas, will have one year of eligibility remaining. Unless he can secure an NCAA hardship waiver, he will need to sit out one season before being eligible in 2015-16.

"I enjoyed my time here," Tharpe said. "I appreciate the players that were here before me that I got a chance to play with, and that are still friends with me right now. It's going to be tough leaving."

The question now, of course, goes to the Jayhawks' point guard position. Kansas will likely be a top-five team in the preseason polls, but Self will need someone to steer the ship.

Sometimes last season, that was Tharpe. Sometimes it wasn't.

Tharpe averaged 8.5 points and 5.0 assists during an up-and-down junior season. He was selected national player of the week during the Jayhawks' 7-0 start in the Big 12, and he played a crucial role in a 10th straight Big 12 title. But too often, Tharpe was a non-factor; he shot 25 percent during Kansas' last six games and often struggled on the defensive end.

Still, Tharpe was the most experienced guard on the roster -- by far -- and would have been the only scholarship senior on next year's team. For now, Self can turn to soon-to-be sophomores Frank Mason and Conner Frankamp, and the KU staff continues to recruit point guard Devonte Graham of Brewster Academy, the same school that produced Tharpe.

Mason averaged 5.5 points and 2.1 assists while playing 16 minutes per game in his freshman season, but he shot just 41.7 percent from the field. Frankamp came on strong in March, but could profile as more of a combo guard. That means that Graham, the No. 36 overall recruit in the country, could be positioned to command major minutes if he picks Kansas over his other finalist -- North Carolina State.

For the past two seasons, the point guard position has vexed Self and been partially responsible for some early losses in March. For parts of those years, Tharpe looked like an answer -- or at least part of it. During his sophomore season, he hit a game-winner at Oklahoma State that paved the way for KU's ninth straight title. This year, he cut down Iowa State with 23 points in a victory at Hilton Coliseum.

"Naadir has been a good player for us in his three years here," Self said. "But we also respect the fact that he wants to be closer to his daughter."

For now, the search for a point guard continues. Tharpe is moving on, ready for a new beginning.

"It's going to be tough leaving a situation like this because of the teammates I'm leaving behind," Tharpe said. "Everything happens for a reason and I have to continue my journey a different way."

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