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Notebook: Les Miles Mauls Early Signing Period; Hires New TE Coach

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NCAA Basketball: South Dakota at Kansas Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas News

Dedric Lawson's Game Shouldn't Work, But It Does
The Kansas Jayhawks under Bill Self have been so consistently good that their dominance of the Big 12 may be getting a bit boring. But if there’s ever been an especially dull Kansas squad, at least at first glance, it’s the one that’s been on the court so far this year. The Jayhawks look incredible, no doubt—they’re 10-0 with four really impressive wins, minimum. But the aesthetic of this great team, unless you’re an old-school purist, is much more of an acquired taste compared to the recent days when guys like Frank Mason, Svi Mykhailiuk, and Devonte’ Graham destroyed teams by bombing threes.

Les Miles and KU football open early signing period by adding to 2019 recruiting class | KUsports.com
New head coach Les Miles and his staff had eight verbal commitments in place entering the day, but added one target they had recruited hard the past several weeks right off the bat. Plus, the Jayhawks signed a quarterback prospect who first committed to former head coach David Beaty and his staff before 2018’s National Signing Day.

Hiring of TEs coach Jeff Hecklinski completes Les Miles' KU football staff | KUsports.com
"I am excited to add a coach of the caliber of Jeff Hecklinski to our staff,” Miles stated in a release. "He has experienced great success in recruiting, teaching and developing student-athletes and consistently gets the best out of them, both on and off the field."

Matt Tait: Les Miles' juco signing strategy has different feel than recent experiments | KUsports.com
Hasn’t Kansas tried this whole juco thing way too many times before? Yes, and no. More on that in a minute.

Now, take a deep breath and let your mind accept the fact that the news that Wednesday’s early signing period haul included six juco prospects and four high school standouts is actually OK.

KU’s Self lauds Lightfoot: ‘When you are energetic you get offensive rebounds’
Kansas reserve forward Mitch Lightfoot led the No. 1-ranked Jayhawks in scoring and rebounding at halftime of an 89-53 victory over mid-major South Dakota on Tuesday night at Allen Fieldhouse.

UPDATED: Meet KU football's signees for the class of 2019
The Jayhawks, under new head coach Les Miles, have already added a number of commitments in his short tenure as head coach, 10 of which signed on the opening day of the early signing period. The first commitment Miles received came from in-state tight end Mason Fairchild on Dec. 9, and things only picked up from there.

Les Miles completes coaching staff, hires new tight ends coach
"I am excited to add a coach of the caliber of Jeff Hecklinski to our staff," said Miles in a KU athletics release. "He has experienced great success in recruiting, teaching and developing student-athletes and consistently gets the best out of them, both on and off the field."

Here is what Les Miles said about Kansas' early signing class
"We came into the recruiting season and had to hire a staff," said Miles in a KU athletics release. "As the staff came on board, we came up with goals of people we must have. We assembled needs and I am really proud of how they have done and all of the hard work they have put in. They have done a great job of assembling a small class, but one that is talented and addresses some very specific needs."

Other Sports News

Justin Fields of Georgia interested in transferring to Ohio State
Georgia coach Kirby Smart said freshman quarterback Justin Fields will accompany the No. 5 Bulldogs to the Allstate Sugar Bowl in New Orleans on New Year's Day.

Ketchup-loving Patrick Mahomes lands endorsement deal from Hunt's
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who recently declared his love for ketchup on such foods as steak and macaroni and cheese, has an endorsement deal for the product.

Stephen Curry says Golden State Warriors need edge back
"A lot of it's just getting our edge and a chip on our shoulder," Curry said after Wednesday night's 108-103 loss to the Utah Jazz. "Having that vibe when you walk on the floor like we know what we're about to do. Right now, we're still thinking a little bit and trying to figure it out, but we're close.

Anthony Davis, though flattered by LeBron James' comments, says focus is on New Orleans Pelicans
"I don't really care," Davis told ESPN of James' comments Wednesday night after the Pelicans' 123-115 loss to the Bucks. "Obviously, it's cool to hear any high-caliber player say they want to play with me. But my job is to turn this team around. If we're 15-17, that means I'm not doing my job."

Houston Rockets make NBA record 26 three-point field goals
As the Toyota Center crowd chanted, "Threeeeeeee!" Rockets reserve guard Michael Carter-Williams swished Houston's record-breaking 26th 3-pointer of the night from near the top of the arc with 31.1 seconds remaining in the game. The Rockets had missed their previous four 3-point attempts as Houston hunted a record in garbage time of its season-best fifth consecutive win. (Ed note - remember when they were 27 straight missed 3 pointers away from the NBA finals?)

College football early signing period winners and others with work to do
Alabama, Georgia and Texas A&M finished in the top three spots, with Alabama atop the class rankings. This is the sixth time Alabama has landed the No. 1-ranked class, which is remarkable considering no other school has finished with the top class more than twice since ESPN began its rankings in 2006.

Other News

Puzzling Montana Shooting Blamed on Sasquatch Mistake: 'I Thought You Were Bigfoot'
Authorities say a man in Montana was almost shot by a still-unidentified gunman who claimed he mistook the victim for the elusive, mythical beast known as Bigfoot.

North Korea says it will not denuclearize until the US eliminates 'nuclear threat' - CNN
North Korea will not relinquish its nuclear weapons until the US eliminates its own "nuclear threat," according to a commentary published by state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

Steve Carell just confirmed he’s never returning to ‘The Office’ as Michael Scott – BGR
Carell’s answer: “I’ll tell you, no. I feel like I’m a broken record, talking about this because I get asked about it. The show is way more popular now than when it was on the air. I just can’t see it being the same thing, and I think most folks would want it to be the same thing, but it wouldn’t be. Ultimately, I think it’s maybe best to leave well enough alone and just let it exist as what it was. You’d literally have to have all of the same writers, the same producers, the same directors, and the same actors, and even with all of those components, it just wouldn’t be the same. So, no. But, I love the show. It was the most exciting time, and all of those people are my friends. We all love it. It was a special thing. It was a special thing before people thought it was a special thing. It was special to us, before other people started feeling that way. But, no.”

Federal judge rules BuzzFeed’s publication of explosive Steele Dossier is protected by First Amendment.
A federal judge threw out a defamation suit Wednesday that was filed against BuzzFeed in connection to the site’s publication of the controversial Steele Dossier, the collection of explosive claims about Donald Trump and his campaign’s connections to Russia. The suit was filed by Russian businessman Aleksej Gubarev, whose name appears in the dossier compiled by a former British intelligence official ahead of the 2016 election. Gubarev, a resident of Cyprus, who heads the Luxembourg-based company XBT, as well as the Florida tech company Webzilla, filed suit in Florida in February 2017 claiming that BuzzFeed was reckless in its publication of the unverified dossier that implicated Gubarev and his company in the DNC hack.

GoFundMe for Trump's border wall raises over $1M in just 3 days
A supporter of President Trump’s border wall proposal has started a GoFundMe to help pay for the project — and the fund skyrocketed to more than $2 million Wednesday night after being live for just three days.

‘The Office’: Oral History of The ‘Dinner Party’ Episode – Rolling Stone
“The episode is a crucible for the various relationships on the show,” says Ed Helms, who played Andy Bernard. “It’s a tight, contained space where so many relationship issues are bubbling around between Jim and Pam, Andy and Angela, Michael and Jan. It’s that pressure-cooker aspect that heightens everything, plus the decorum of the dinner party, the sort of need to rise to a different sort of social construct, as opposed to just being co-workers in an office space. It’s just a boiling-hot crucible of comedy.”

Christmas Movie Trailer of the Day