‘Simply attempting to make historical past’ – The Mercury Information
Gradey Dick set the Kansas freshman file for 3-point subject targets, recorded the primary double-double of his profession within the Jayhawks’ opener within the NCAA Event and is on observe to be an NBA lottery decide in June.
His mother, a participant of her personal accomplishment, is happy with him, in fact.
However Carmen Dick concedes nothing to him as a basketball participant. That’s not how their uber-competitive household operates.
Her son performed the starring position in a first-round win over Howard on Thursday and subsequent he’ll lead the top-seeded and defending champion Jayhawks (28-7) right into a Saturday recreation in opposition to No. 8 Arkansas (21-13).
No. 2 UCLA (30-5) performs No. 7 Northwestern (22-11) in Sacramento, Calif, within the different West recreation.
Kansas’ opening event video games are being performed at Wells Fargo Area, which is throughout the road from Veterans Auditorium. That’s the place Carmen Dick — then Carmen Jaspers — constructed her legacy as certainly one of Iowa’s biggest highschool gamers earlier than she turned a 1,000-point scorer at Iowa State.
For the reason that Jayhawks arrived in Des Moines, locals have regaled Gradey Dick with reminiscences of his mother dominating the competitors within the previous six-girl recreation Iowa excessive faculties performed till 30 years in the past.
“Yeah, he is aware of what I did. He’s effectively conscious,” Carmen Dick mentioned Friday. “We’ve got competitions, and he’s received me on a couple of and I’ve received him on a couple of.”
Gradey is the higher 3-point shooter, however Carmen notes there have been no 3s in her day. For her half, she performed in three straight state tournaments for Ackley-Geneva Excessive at Veterans Auditorium (1983-85), averaged 40 factors per recreation as a senior and nonetheless ranks tenth all-time together with her 77.6% capturing in 1984.
As a collegian, she was Iowa State’s feminine athlete of the 12 months in 1989 and nonetheless holds the college single-game free-throw file by going 15 for 15 in opposition to Kansas in 1988.
“I haven’t gotten close to to that, so she holds that over me,” mentioned Gradey, who had 19 factors, 11 rebounds, 5 assists and three steals in his first NCAA Event recreation.
Gradey mentioned he admires his mother’s accomplishments. As a result of she performed below the basket in highschool and faculty, she’s even taught him a couple of inside strikes.
“You by no means know when he may want to make use of these,” she mentioned.
Carmen Dick is a private coach in Wichita, Kansas, the place she and her husband, Bart, and raised Gradey because the youngest of 4 youngsters. She mentioned age has taken a number of the luster off her recreation, however she doesn’t again down from a problem on the court docket.
“All of us performed a number of video games within the yard,” she mentioned, laughing, “and there was no mercy. No mercy.”
Gradey mentioned she nonetheless has recreation.
“These days it’s extra H-O-R-S-E,” he mentioned. “Her mid-range recreation, she doesn’t miss. By no means.”
Kansas performing coach Norm Roberts mentioned, “Gradey, he is aware of his mother is the very best participant in the home. We all know all that. If you find yourself teaching Gradey and speaking to him about various things, his mother is aware of what’s happening.”
One other No. 1 for Arkansas
This marks the third straight 12 months Arkansas will play a No. 1 seed. The Razorbacks knocked off Gonzaga 74-68 in San Francisco within the Candy 16 final 12 months and misplaced to Baylor 81-72 within the Elite Eight in Indianapolis in 2021.
“We talked in regards to the mentality that that you must have going into this explicit recreation,” coach Eric Musselman mentioned. “Not good luck to play three quantity ones in three years. I don’t know if that’s ever occurred earlier than. But when it has occurred earlier than, it definitely hasn’t occurred with many applications.”
The Razorbacks have been seeded Nos. 4 and three the previous two years and are a No. 8 this time. Arkansas is a 3½-point underdog to Kansas, in response to FanDuel Sportsbook, after being a 2-point favourite in opposition to Illinois.
“I don’t suppose many individuals believed in us yesterday going into that recreation,” Musselman mentioned. “Yeah, I believe we have to play with a free thoughts. We have to not really feel strain. Our guys are good. They’re on Twitter. They’re on Instagram. They know. They know what we’re enjoying in opposition to.”
UCLA’s NCAA Event accolades are legendary with 11 nationwide titles and 19 appearances within the Ultimate 4.
The Bruins’ second-round opponent has only a bit much less historical past on this stage. Northwestern is making solely its second look. The Wildcats have by no means made it so far as the Candy 16, shedding within the second spherical in 2017 of their solely different event journey.
“As a program, it could be big,” Northwestern ahead Robbie Beran mentioned. “I knew we had one thing particular. Actually simply attempting to make historical past. … Will probably be an enormous step for this system. However we’re simply attempting to give attention to the sport. We’re not likely attempting to have a look at the way it impacts Northwestern basketball legacy.”
UCLA coach Mick Cronin is targeted much less on that discrepancy in expertise and extra on an opponent with a tricky protection that has endured a troublesome Massive Ten schedule.
“Expertise at all times helps,” he mentioned. “If you happen to can have expertise and expertise, you bought a greater probability. However I’ll take expertise.”
AP’s Josh Dubow contributed from Sacramento, Calif.
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