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2008 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Ex-Jayhawks firmly in Tar Heels’ corner Saturday



2008 NCAA Tournament

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Full video coverage of the Kansas Jayhawks in the 2008 NCAA Tournament

Podcast episode


Final Four tip-off special

Ryan Greene, D.J. Whetter and Kevin Romary hit the studio before heading down to San Antonio to talk about the Roy Williams connection, the Bill Self-OSU rumors that never seem to want to die, who to like in the weekend's other semifinal and the weekly trivia. Oh yeah, and analysis ...

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— Jerod Haase, who has worked at the University of North Carolina for five seasons, still has great affection for his alma mater, Kansas University.

"If anybody says I don't like Kansas, it would bother me, because my son is named 'Lawrence,'" UNC assistant basketball coach Haase said Wednesday before boarding a charter flight to Texas, site of Saturday's 7:47 p.m. NCAA Final Four semifinal game between his current school and former school.

Haase and his wife, Mindy, have one child - 18-month-old Gavin Lawrence Haase - whose middle name honors the city Jerod called home from 1994 to '97.

"I think you can be both," Haase said of having allegiances to both UNC and KU. "If you ask me where I call home it would be (South) Lake Tahoe (Calif., his hometown). But I also feel at home in Lawrence, Kan., and Chapel Hill, N.C.

"I played at Kansas. I think the world of the program, university and the state," added the 34-year-old Haase, who helped lead the Jayhawks to three consecutive conference titles and finished his career ranked in the Top 10 among school leaders in assists, three-point field goals and steals.

He started 99 of 101 games at off guard at Kansas and scored 1,264 points, an average of 12.5 per game. Haase scored in double figures 74 times, including 20 or more points 13 times.

"It doesn't make to be an easy situation (Saturday), yet I am close to the guys here, the ones we recruited. When it's tipped up, I'll do all I can to help Carolina," Haase said.

So will another UNC staff member with some mixed emotions - director of basketball operations C.B. McGrath, who played guard at KU from 1994 to '98.

"I think once the game gets here, it will be strange to hear the (KU) fight song and alma mater. I've not been at a Kansas game since I left," said former Topeka West standout McGrath, who yearly switches jobs with Haase.

This season the 32-year-old McGrath has an administrative role, while Haase sits on the bench as an assistant coach. Last year it was just the opposite.

"Hearing the Rock Chalk chant and stuff will bring back great memories. It's a different feel for me now, because I'm so focused (on North Carolina). This is my job," said McGrath, who at KU played in 112 career games, scoring 82 points with 113 assists and 35 steals. He had 61 assists against 24 turnovers his senior campaign when he was a captain with Raef LaFrentz and Billy Thomas.

McGrath - he and wife Kris have twin 19-month-old daughters Kate and Addison - still has a batch of relatives in Kansas, including his parents, who reside in Topeka.

"They (parents) watch Kansas games. They watch every North Carolina game they can or come out and watch in person," McGrath said. "They will be at the game. They'll want North Carolina to win. That is my livelihood."

Like Haase, who said "absolutely" when asked if he wants KU to win the national title every year if Carolina can't - McGrath wants it made known he remains a Jayhawk.

"I still root for Kansas," McGrath said. "I don't have time to follow them anymore. Ever since I've been in college I've been part of the basketball world. You take the fan aspect away. Right now I'm so entrenched in the job. But when I see the ticker and they win, I'm happy."

Both Haase and McGrath say they want to follow in Williams' footsteps as head coaches someday.

"I talked to coach Williams about this," Haase said. "I can be real anxious to be a head coach, which I want to be, or be patient. Right now I'm patient. I don't know if I'll get the opportunity, but I would like to be a head coach."

Noted McGrath: "Jerod and I have been rotating. If you are at the University of North Carolina, it's a great thing to do. If you were at a small Div. I school would you want to rotate every year? Probably not. I work for coach Williams, who is great to work for. I enjoy my job a lot."


yates33333 12 years, 7 months ago

Nothing wrong with their being for UNC. Ubi panis ibi patria. However, I hope they follow in Williams' steps ONLY as a coach. He was a good one, and I hope they are, too. Too bad they didn't get to play for Self. He is an honorable man and a great coach.

KUglow 12 years, 7 months ago

I am now a lot dumber for reading Puggy's comment. It's my own fault I guess.

Lindsey Buscher 12 years, 7 months ago

Haase & McGrath, you're dead to me just like you're dead to this program.

I know the phrase, "Once a Jayhawk, always a Jayhawk!" but is there any way these two turn-coats can be ex-communicated or stricken from our record books. Fck them both. Fck Roy. F*ck Carolina.


Michael Leiker 12 years, 7 months ago

KU - I like it when you leave the Right Now off better.

KU 12 years, 7 months ago

If you're not for us, you're against us."I don't give a shirt about North Carolina right now."-Roy

Chris Weaver 12 years, 7 months ago

jross - yes dean is a villain. so too is williams - and not because williams left in 2003 - but because he promised to stay in 2000. i'm certain that haase and mcgrath are learning a lot about x's and o's and recruiting and management from old roy - but let's hope they don't forget about what it means to be a jayhawk.

Alan Braun 12 years, 7 months ago

This is a silly article. Of course they're for UNC - they're associated with the team and they're getting paid by UNC. Duh.

Joe Ross 12 years, 7 months ago

Just a random thought...How great would it have been to have Julian Wright this year. Do you spell out a championship then?Great comment i heard DJ Whetter say on the podcast the other day. Dean Smith moved to NC to coach and it became "home" for him. Why did he not allow Roy Williams the same courtesy. Ladies and gentlemen, the real villain, if there is one, is not Roy Williams. Its Dean Smith.

Dee Shaw 12 years, 7 months ago

jross1972 good point about Julian Wright. I thought that too. Just think of Julian guarding Tyler H. Saturday night. What a match up. Things happen for a reason. Look at it this way. If Julian would have stayed another year, Darnell Jackson would not have had the season he had this year. Secondly Julian is on a team that has a good chance of winning an NBA title this year or in the next few years. I guess things happen for a reason. It is fun though thinking of the "What if's ". Good luck Saturday night Jayhawks. Rock Chalk Jayhawk. Go KU.

Carter Patterson 12 years, 7 months ago

Basketball is a business. Jerod and CB are doing a great job and they'll be very good coaches someday. Coach Roy gave KU 15 years. That's 11 more years than most graduates who only stayed for 4. I would have liked to have seen Roy and Dean handle the situation differently, but it was 5 years ago and we've got a great head coach who will be here for a long long time to the dismay of Mizzou and KSU fans who will always be jealous of how good we have it.

cklarock 12 years, 7 months ago

It's just a basketball game. Jerrod and CB are involved in their careers and their livlihoods, and if they want their company to be successful, it's called self-interest. I'm not going to slam them (or Coach Williams) for doing the best for themselves and their families. The more NC wins, the better their eventual head coaching jobs will be.Sure, it was low by Dean Smith to throw a wrench into our NC run, and hopefully the distraction of playing Kansas will be a wrench in theirs. It would be poetic justice.I think Roy was great for us, but I also think we have a better, younger coach now, so down Tobbacco Road Roy can wear Jayhawk underwear if he wants to, and if I saw him on the street, I'd shake his hand and tell him thanks for his service to Kansas tradition.

12 years, 7 months ago

Who do you folks think Mark Turgeon cheers for when Texas A&M plays us? Should he also be written off? Basically the same thing here.

Brad Watson 12 years, 7 months ago


FlaHawk 12 years, 7 months ago

Roy left 5 years ago. Get over it. LIfe goes on and the Hawks rule!

KUbsee69 12 years, 7 months ago

Somehow, when we win Saturday, I would'nt be surprised to see Jarod, CB, and maybe even Roy smile a little for KU. I know that Wilt will be smiling down.RCJH

hawk_bred20 12 years, 7 months ago

No doubt. Get over it. This is their job. Not everyone gets the opportunity to coach at their alma mater. In life, you have to take the connections you have and make what you can with them. These two have done that and I think that is great.I just pray we win because I love KU basketball, but also so all of these whiners can get over it and finally embrace our BETTER COACH and forget about our old coach. Let's go Hawks! Get it done Saturday!

cee 12 years, 7 months ago

Good luck to Jarod and CB, except for on Saturday night.

jayhawk101 12 years, 7 months ago

Dean Smith was and is the issue. Roy Williams was an excellent coach and individual. He treated us to 15 great years. Things change. The Jayhawk nation has survived and prospered.If you are angry, you should direct your anger at Dean Smith for recruiting Roy Williams back to UNC. As I have said before...I only wish Dean Smith loved his Alma Mater as much as Roy Williams loved his Alma Mater.

Mo Mosallaei 12 years, 7 months ago

Let's just hope these guys get to think about old memories while listening to the rock chalk chant with about one minute left to play.

okjhok 12 years, 7 months ago

I don't know the man, but as far as I can tell, Dean Smith never held an affinity for KU after his days as a scrub player. Why would anyone expect him to? Smith developed his craft and made his livelihood at UNC. He never contributed anything to KU and he never took anything, other than maybe an education, which I have no problem with. He caught a break when he was asked by UNC coach Frank McGuire to be an assistant. He made his home there. The rest is history. If Dick Harp had offered him an assistant job at KU history would be totally different. If Dean wasn't so good at what he did, nobody would care. It's only because he was successful somewhere other than KU that people have a problem with him. He never did anything wrong. He was a scrub at KU and then got on with his life. Do any of you care what T.J. Whatley is doing these days?

William Cormode 12 years, 7 months ago

To all of those complainign about Jerrod and CB: What if last year or the years before that Coach Jank had said he was rooting for KSU when they played Kansas or any other team for that matter. He did play at KSU. He would have been tried and convicted by every KU fan in the world.When you work for someone you have the responsibility to keep your dirty laundry inside the company and show that you care on the outside at least. If you are in the Army can you speak out against the President?Jerrod and CB work for UNC and they have to always wish for the best when it comes to UNC. Period.

William Cormode 12 years, 7 months ago

okjhok - the people bashing Dean are doing so because he constantly guilted Roy Boy into coming back to Carolina. Every year they talked and Dean was always taking to Roy about moving back to NC. Dean was allowed to opportunity to build his own program and put it on the map. Roy started that and then Dean asked him to come back and bring back Deans program. roy will never supercede Dean at UNC. He could have been the all-time great at KU and be synonnomous with KU like Dean is at UNC.

kansas22 12 years, 7 months ago

I hope we can win this game simply for coach Self. 5 years later we are still talking about roy williams. If we can win this one i think that would finally get all the haters off bill's back.

Steve Gantz 12 years, 7 months ago

Good comments last two. How anyone can criticise a man for choosing to leave one job for another, or for trying to get a great man to come coach at the place he had coached for 36 years just shows what blind homers they are. Why can't people enjoy what they've got this year instead of dwelling in the past?

Lance Hobson 12 years, 7 months ago

Ok, so NOW Haase and McGrath get to see what a Final 4 is like. First time for everything, I guess. Haase was great at KU but in the end neither did not come through, so their era was just a big disappointment and they know it. Floor Burns would have been pertinent if they made it to the Final 4, but now it just sits somewhere on my bookshelf as a lame gift never to be read.

KU 12 years, 7 months ago

The way I see it, we (KU fans) got the better end of the stick in the tradeoff between Roy and Bill.We got jilted by the short, funny-looking volleyball player who talks funny right before prom only to have the head cheerleader, who's taller and better looking and has a better personality, call us and ask us if we want to go parking.

okjhok 12 years, 7 months ago

wcormode,I understand why people criticize Smith. Smith was interested in preserving the future of UNC basketball, his home, and he tried to get the best man to help do that. Don't pretend like you were ever a part of any conversation between those two, because you weren't. You have no idea what they talked about. The reasons Roy left are clear, and it wasn't because he was "guilted" by Smith. BTW, we've already got someone synonymous with Dean Smith at KU and his name is Phog Allen. Beat UNC!

JHawker19 12 years, 7 months ago

Dad Gum, aren't we over this yet? You guys hold a grudge like an Elephant! It's not like he was the President of the U.S. and then resigned only to take over Al-Qaeda? Jeezus, get over it, I'm honestly sick and tired of hearing how promised this, promised that and then backed out of it. Who gives a rats a$$! I have a basketball autographed by Roy Williams and sure, I felt like drop kicking the basketball across the street when I first found out he was leaving but after a month or two I got over it. Now if KU wins on Saturday I plan on trying to get Self to sign the other side of the ball and have him put the final score of the game on Saturday on it as well. Then the ball might mean something to me again! LOL

kupa 12 years, 7 months ago

Hey strikewso- Haase and McGrath already have championship rings from 3 years ago you idiot.if you blame anyone blame Hemenway. He was the only one who could've stepped in when Bohl was doing a tremendous job of alienating the coach of the only successful program in the entire athletics department. When Roy is having to fight for practice time with Marian Washington, that's a problem. I would've left KU too.

WisconsinJayhawk 12 years, 7 months ago

I must agree that anyone who wants to slam CB or Jerod is an idiot. Bless 'em for their contributions to KU. Now they want to pursue their professional lives, and it happens to be at UNC. SO be it. They have families to support, and have NEVER dissed KU. Puggy is a fool.

Dale Koch 12 years, 7 months ago

The greatest thing to happen this weekend is for the Hawks to pound the shirt out of the Heels and then maybe, just maybe, we can all forget about Roy Williams

kevbo 12 years, 7 months ago

You people are ridiculous. They gave their hearts to KU and then got jobs with another team. Get the F over it. CB and Haase were great Jayhawks and always will be.

d_prowess 12 years, 7 months ago

I also am thankful of the time those two players gave to KU and wish them well in their careers as they progress (except when they cross KU's path).I will also though be a little ticked off at Haase since he tried to play in the tournament with a broken wrist that really hurt his shot. Being tough is one thing, possibly hurting your team by being less than 100% is another...

JayCeph 12 years, 7 months ago

I went to grade school with CB (he was two years younger than me... still is I guess) and when we were on the playground, while I was in fourth grade and he was in second, he would school me and the rest of the 'older' kids as we shot hoops and talked about KU. That kid was just so much better at ball control, speed and making his shots than the rest of us. I'll always remember those days at Randolph elementary.Plus, I almost sort of dated his sister when I was in 5th grade... Allison. What a great smile.I hope to Hell KU just waxes the hard woods with the Tar-holes on Saturday.Anything less would just pour salt in an old but never-fully-healed wound.

ralsterKUMed95 12 years, 7 months ago

I will try a 'balanced' comment: Im not a Roy-lover, or a Roy-hater. I didnt like the TIMING of his announcement to leave (caused a funeral-like Basketball Banquet few days later, and hurt alot of players feelings). About the 2000 promise and the 2003 about-face: I just do not care about that. Why bother? When we had Roy Williams, people liked him, but said he couldnt win the big one, and I for one always looked "up" to the talent level of UNC or KY, etc--no disrespect to the few 'atheletes' Roy was able to recruit. NOW, I like Bill Self. I like his Big12 ties. He met his wife, Cindy, after a KU-OSU game in Lawrence. I like the nasty defense this team plays. I like the atheletic 'parity' with anybody. I like KU's ability to play any type of game. How did Roy's teams do vs. zone defenses? And how does Bill Self do this recruiting thing? (signed Julian Wright to KU sight-unseen). Who is the best recruiter: Williams, Self, either Sutton, Gillespie? I have heard the negativity about Self regarding the 1st round losses, & lack of in-game adjustments, but most things are explainable or simply not true. I also will reserve my judgement on any coach while their team is performing at a "KU-level" (get my point?). Sean Sutton getting criticism and getting fired is no surprise for a .500 team. Do I wish KU knocks UNC's socks off and beat UCLA for the championship--you bet! Nice to get ALL the monkeys off our back in 3 days--but seriously, with these 4 teams in the FinalFour, ANYONE can win. Destiny is largely in the hands of the 18-22yr olds on each team, ISNT IT? And I hope all this old-crap-hype doesnt take away from the magic of having a Final4 team and these wonderful players we have spent an exciting, emotional few seasons watching. God knows what would have happenned to DJackson if he didnt come to KU or if he quit last season? Robinson, if he didnt come to KU, very likely would have been at GaTech...(an ACC athelete WE got!) I derive great joy supporting these (our) players; WHY would I want to waste these precious few days while our season is still "alive" on worrying about the fading past??????? So, in a sense, the KU-UNC game is one many KU fans have wanted to see, for many reasons, and it also is one that makes some of us the most nervous... As Coach Self would say: "Should be a great game..."

freak2304 12 years, 7 months ago

I think alot of KU fans don't think about the fact that most of these kids when they first come here were never Jayhawk fans. They come here to play for a good school and a great program and most of the time fall in love with it here. That being said, it's VERY unfair to "write them off" as a former Jayhawk simply because they got a job at another school. It's not like they're coaching at Missouri!! I was once upset with Roy when he first left, but now I simply wish him luck in his future endeavors, turn my head, and focus on Coach Self and the guys we have pouring their hearts out for name on the front of their jersey. I hope everybody else can eventually get over the Roy situation, as it's not worth wasting our feelings on anymore.

therahawk 12 years, 7 months ago

Maybe we should just focus on making sure Carolina fans GET to hear the Rock Chalk Chant...without being sure of a win within the last minute or so, I doubt the KU-crowd breaks it out.Time to crack some heads, Hawks!!! Send Roy and his Boys packin'!!!

actorman 12 years, 7 months ago

I can't believe how many of you are berating Puggy for making a completely sensible comment. I mean clearly Haase and McGrath should have not taken ANY job other than at KU. What they should have done was to take a job at McDonald's and spend all the rest of their time sitting by their phones dreaming of the day when the coaches at KU would reach out to them to join the staff. Now THAT would have been the mark of a true Jayhawk."Haase was great at KU but in the end neither did not come through, so their era was just a big disappointment and they know it. Floor Burns ... just sits somewhere on my bookshelf as a lame gift never to be read."Sadly, the same can't be said for your comment. Oh the "lame" part still applies but unfortunately I already read your post. (Or, excuse me, to put it in your lingo: I already didn't not read your post.) According to you, Haase's entire career is invalid because his TEAM (as in more than one person, get it?) didn't go to the Final Four--never mind that Haase spent an entire season playing with a broken wrist and was a tremendous contributor to that TEAM."I will also though be a little ticked off at Haase since he tried to play in the tournament with a broken wrist that really hurt his shot."I can understand your frustration, as I felt that way too. But he had played the entire season with that same broken wrist and had done pretty well. Perhaps it hurt more that night (which is what we've been told), but it's hard to blame someone for thinking he could continue to do what he'd done the entire season.

bayareajhawk 12 years, 7 months ago

Dean Smith is the only person I have a problem with, for many of the reasons stated above. And to answer okjhok's question I was actually just thinking about T.J. Whatley two days ago and wondering what he's up to! He had the greatest mustache of any KU player in my lifetime. As for CB and Jerod, I always liked them and have no problem with them pursuing their basketball coaching careers at a top level school with their old college coach. What do you want them to do?

Mr_Sandman 12 years, 7 months ago

Please get over the whole Roy situation. If someone told you that you could go back home to your dream job....why wouldn't you. I understand loyalty but come on people, we are KU, we are one of the best programs year in and year out. We will have a good coach every year and we have one now. Support Self and make him want to stay, rather than putting ol' Roy down, forget about him he is gone!

hollpat 12 years, 7 months ago

Remember Haase's games against Syracuse in the elite 8 in 96 ? Or Arizona in 97 ? I never was a Haase fan even after I read FLOOR BURNS. Wow, I forgot about FLOOR BURNS. Im going to my bookcase right now and burning it.

Mitch_4_KU 12 years, 6 months ago

Maybe this isn't the right place, but I been thinking. IF, and I don't for a second believeit will happen, Bill were to bolt for T Boones money, I would really like to see us hire Larry Brown back for a 3-5 year stint and let him mentor Manning to take over. This is assuming Danny has the ability to be head coach. Any thoughts ( other than shut up already ).Rock Chalk

mr_lawrence 12 years, 6 months ago

Very good comment from ralsterKUMed95. I feel pretty much the same. I must say I am really, really excited for this game. It should be fantastically beautiful basketball. No other teams in the country are as stylistically scintillating as KU and UNC. And sure, I'd like to beat Roy - but more than that I'd like Bill to win. I think we've got a great shot.Rock Chalk Jayhawk.

Chicago_JHawk 12 years, 6 months ago

Thanks for the link, hawk_bred. Nice article...

ralsterKUMed95 12 years, 6 months ago

That says it best: I would love to see these KU players and Bill Self just WIN it!

fansincewilt 12 years, 6 months ago

Our problem is that we don't consider Kansas as a stopping off place on your way to your destination. Kansas is where you go to stay. We are Kansans and we love our Jayhawks. I think everyone thought Roy felt the same. Obviously, he didn't. It's hard for me to imagine anyone wanting to be a Tar Heel rather than a Jayhawk. I'm sure Roy is realizing he made a huuuge mistake. Gotta feel sorry for the guy. Anyway, Bill Self is now our coach and we ARE moving on. We're in the Final Four! Wow! Go Jayhawks and are we glad that Bill Self is our coach.

jaybate 12 years, 6 months ago

I want to see Roy cry on Saturday.I want the players to walk off the floor like beating UNC was nothing.I want them to walk through the line after the game and act like they've never met Roy and don't know who the heck he is.At the post game interview I want them to all say Roy who?He was once a great coach at KU.Now he's just another just another armadillo on the road to the national championship in San Antone.I want them focused on the championship game.UNC is just a tune up game.Nothing more.And Roy is a just another cracker from a southern school.After the ring, I'll resume thinking Roy was one of KU's great coaches.Not before.

yates33333 12 years, 6 months ago

It's great people disagree regarding Williams. What isn't great is the desire of one group to tell the other group what to do. Roy did what he wanted to do, the critics do what they want to do. GET OVER IT. P. S. , I promise, I'll never tell you what to do, again!

JayCeph 12 years, 6 months ago

jaybate, good to see you post again. 'Been a while.I was surprised to see you write such a scathing post (generally very grounded and analytical) but I liked it, for the most part. Minus the 'cracker' remark, it was spot on.I feel the same.I'm a lot less irritated with Roi than I thought I'd be at this point. In fact, Roi barely factors into my thought processes now...What I really don't like is UNC and their overall lack of character, integrity and class. I was super disappointed in them and they comported themselves in 2003. It just made the wound deeper when they won a NatChmpshp two years later (rewarded for being sleezy!).I just want to see KU clock UNC and move on to another ring on Monday night. Anything other than that, and the associated pain/hurt would (unfortunately) overshadow a stupendous year by this current KU squad.RCJHGKU~

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