Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

KU Basketball Notebook: Chaminade Coach Predicts Final Four for Jayhawks

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

KU Basketball Notebook: Chaminade Coach Predicts Final Four for Jayhawks

Article excerpt

LAHAINA, Hawaii -- After completing an interview in the lobby of the Westin, Chaminade coach Eric Bovaird had one last message for Kansas reporters before heading to his room.

"Tell Bill Self I said to take it easy on us," he said with a chuckle.

The fifth-year coach fully understands the challenge ahead of his team in its opener Monday. The Division II school opened as a 29- point underdog against fourth-ranked KU.

"They've got 12, 13 guys that would all start for me. They're deep, and they're experienced," Bovaird said. "Losing one guy (suspended wing Brannen Greene) should not slow them down at all."

Bovaird's team will play a unique style.

Through two games, Chaminade has attempted more 3-pointers (64) than it has 2-pointers (58). The Silverswords have made 44 percent of their long-range tries, and Bovaird said each player on his roster has the ability to shoot 3s.

"Probably because that's what I did as a player. I shot a lot of 3s and always wanted to play up-tempo offensively," said Bovaird, who graduated from Division II West Liberty. "So we're basically playing the style I've always wanted to play."

Bovaird said his team needed to do more than hit shots to beat KU.

"I think they're definitely one of the top three best teams in the country," Bovaird said. "Even though they lost the other night, I still feel like at the end of the year, they're going to be ... I predict them to be in the Final Four for sure."

The Silverswords have pulled off a major upset recently. Three years ago, with Bovaird coaching, Chaminade defeated Texas 86-73 in the Maui Invitational the same week the Longhorns were ranked 25th in the USA Today coaches poll.

"It changes your life a little bit, because a lot of people will remember that for a long time," Bovaird said. …

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