Saturday, March 18, 2006

Kansas Basketball Notebook


The Jayhawks planned to fly back to Topeka at 10 a.m. today. There was no scheduled time of arrival in Lawrence, but it figures to perhaps be in the vicinity of 1 p.m.

NW State beat Cowboys, too: Northwestern State, the No. 14-seed that shocked No. 3-seed Iowa, 64-63, on a Jermaine Wallace three from the corner with one second to play Friday in the day's first game at The Palace of Auburn Hills, is the same team that won at Oklahoma State, 68-64, Dec. 5 in Stillwater, Okla.

"I'm not ashamed to lose to those guys. That's a good team, an NCAA Tournament team," OSU coach Eddie Sutton said at the time.

Northwestern State also lost at Wichita State, 57-55 on Dec. 3; lost at Missouri, 81-72, on Nov. 20; lost at Texas A&M;, 73-61, on Dec. 31 in College Station and fell to Iowa State, 81-77, in overtime on Dec. 22 in Hawaii.

KU will play Northwestern State in football on Sept. 2 at Memorial Stadium.

"I've known about them. They have a good program, but we've not talked to them about scheduling a (basketball) game ," KU senior associate AD Larry Keating said. "Bill Raftery (CBS announcer) told me yesterday they were really athletic, and he was impressed with them."

Deja vu?: Prior to Friday, the last time a No. 3 seed beat a No. 14 was a year ago when Bucknell stunned Kansas by the exact same, 64-63, score. : Iowa coach Steve Alford also lost a No. 3-14 matchup as a player at Indiana. The Hoosiers fell to Cleveland State, 83-78, in the 1986 NCAAs in Syracuse, N.Y.

Job status of Alford: Alford, who is rumored to be Mike Davis' replacement at Indiana, was asked flat-out if he'd be Iowa's coach next season.

He did not give a direct answer.

"It's two minutes after the game. My focus and energy haven't changed," he said, indicating his only concern at this time is returning to Iowa City as soon as possible helping his five seniors get over such a crushing loss.

Wrapping up: Three seniors - Jeff Hawkins, Christian Moody and Stephen Vinson - played their final game Friday.

And, while most of KU's locker room was without much expression, Moody had puffy eyes near the end of interviews, speaking about the KU jersey he had grown to love each time he put it on.

"This is going to be hard," Moody said, "to take off."

Hawkins, in five seasons (including a 2001-02 redshirt) was a part of two Final Fours, an Elite Eight and two teams which bowed out in the first round.

Not much difference: Self was asked at the podium about another KU first - the first time KU has lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in consecutive seasons.

"I get sick and tired of the firsts," Self said. ":When you play good teams, anything can happen. When you're not a 1- or 2-seed, the difference in the teams is minimal."

Self said his young players might have felt the heat of expectations.

"No matter how much you talk about it," Self said, "the pressure does seem to rest on the higher-seeded teams."

This and that: Before these back-to-back, first-round losses in the tournament, Kansas had won 21 consecutive first-round games. KU is 29-6 in first-round games. ... The 10-point halftime deficit was the largest for KU this season and it was the ninth time it has trailed at halftime. ... Bradley shot 16 percent (9 for 56) from three-point territory in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament and 11-for-21 in the first-round victory over KU. Bradley senior Marcellus Sommerville made a career high five three-pointers in nine attempts. : Mario Chalmers fouled out for the first time in his career. Chalmers, with 15 points, all in the second half, gave him 379 for the year, sixth best in KU history for a freshman. : Brandon Rush played the second-most minutes by a freshman all-time for KU with 1,047. Danny Manning played 1,120 minutes as a freshman.


swjhawk 13 years, 9 months ago

I remember Roy Williams saying about the team to the effect that "Let's not forget they're kids." I'm very proud of how much they achieved this year. I only got to see them in person vs. Texas but rode up the elevator with them at the hotel before the game (seven of them) and was struck about how they had bonded together. I'll be just as enthusiastic about them next year and wish them the best. In my card club we say, "If you win you earn, if you lose you learn." Next year, I hope to see the results of the lesson.

wmranch51 13 years, 9 months ago

just look again at the free throws missed/ 5. we lost by 4. remember collison missing a bunch that cost us a national championship, we gotta make free throws boys, champions always do

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