Emporia's Moe knows KU well

Hornets coach fond of Jayhawks, Self

Sunday, November 7, 2004

David Moe didn't doze, fidget in his chair or stare at his wristwatch during the guest-of-honor's speech at the "Emporians for Drug Awareness" dinner Aug. 31 at Lyon County Fairgrounds.

Moe, Emporia State's fourth-year men's basketball coach, listened intently as Kansas University coach Bill Self charmed 500 or so banquet-goers.

"After listening to the message coach Self sent, he might be my all-time favorite speaker -- next to my dad. I don't know if you've heard my dad speak, but he's pretty good, too," David Moe said of his father, Doug, a former coach of the NBA's Denver Nuggets, San Antonio Spurs and Philadelphia 76ers who is known for his engaging personality and story-telling.

Like his dad, David Moe -- who worked for Larry Brown as a graduate assistant at KU during the 1987-88 national-title season and eight years as head assistant to Ricardo Patton at Colorado -- has been blessed with the gift of gab.

Of today's KU-Emporia State exhibition matchup at 7 p.m. at Allen Fieldhouse, Moe said: "People are there to watch KU destroy somebody. We'll be there, but we're not there to watch us get obliterated."

Moe -- his NCAA Division Two Hornets return six letterwinners from last year's 23-7 team -- isn't afraid to risk annihilation during the exhibition season.

The Hornets, stung by Gonzaga, 114-86, on Friday in Spokane, Wash., will meet the Jayhawks tonight, then will travel Tuesday to Wichita State.

"It's a great opportunity for our guys," Moe said. "At Gonzaga, we had the chance to play one of the most recognizable schools and play the first game in their new building. At KU, our guys get to play in Allen Fieldhouse.

"Just to sit in the stands there is a great environment. To play there or coach a team there is really exciting. And at Wichita State, I'm coaching against one of my good friends in 'Turg,''' Moe added of former Jayhawk guard Mark Turgeon.

"You don't want to embarrass yourself. Confidence-wise, if we can play with these teams 10, 15, 20 minutes a game, that would be great for us."

Moe, whose best player is sophomore forward Shawn Herrmann of Abilene, said he had great respect for Self and his Jayhawks.

"I've seen the tape of Canada," Moe said of KU's 82-51 victory over the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, British Columbia. "I know they're young, but the word I hear from everybody is the team could be terrific. We won't go inside. We won't grab a rebound, but hopefully we'll run around and get a shot or two off."