Saturday, February 16, 2008


Keegan: Tubbs tickled for KU


'Hawks look to regroup against Colorado... again

For the second time this season, the Colorado Buffaloes are lucky enough to get the Kansas Jayhawks immediately following a KU loss.

When a college basketball coach speaks into a microphone, it's not too difficult to guess the forthcoming words.

Winning coach: "First off, I'd just like to congratulate Whatsamatta U for a great effort tonight. That is one really well-coached basketball team. He does a terrific job with those kids."

Losing coach: "We got great shots; we just weren't knocking them down tonight."

And then there was the time a college basketball coach took microphone in hand and said what still ranks as about the most surprising and hilarious remarks by a college basketball coach.

In February of 1989, with his Oklahoma team losing to Missouri, 21-8, in Norman, fans became upset with a referee's call and threw debris on the floor.

Then-Oklahoma coach Billy Tubbs told the crowd: "The referees request that regardless of how terrible the officiating is, do not throw stuff on the floor."

Tubbs, now working as the athletic director at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, received a standing ovation and a technical foul. His team went on to win the game, 112-105.

"I was just doing their jobs for them and they gave me a technical," Tubbs said by phone. "Nothing else came on the floor after that and we were up by 15 points in about three minutes. You know, I got a lot of technicals, but I'm not sure I ever deserved one."

That game took place 10 months after Tubbs coached OU into the national title game against Kansas. Tubbs was happy to hear the 1988 national champions had gathered this weekend to celebrate the title they won at the expense of his team.

"Give my regards and my best wishes to them," Tubbs said. "It was truly an outstanding game for them. I went by their dressing room after the game to congratulate them. There was so much jumping around after the game I didn't get a chance to say anything to them then."

Tubbs said he thinks of the game, the first half of which ended in a 50-50 tie, only when asked about it.

"I was surprised they took some shots early in the game that we wanted them to take and unfortunately they went in," Tubbs said. "Danny (Manning) had a great game, but he pretty much had a great game every time we played them. There were some people who played well we didn't expect, and we couldn't live with some of the other guys having the games they had."

Oklahoma's pressure defense, keyed by ultra-quick point guard Mookie Blaylock, was a big part of what forced the tempo the Sooners desired in the first half. To counter that, Kansas coach Larry Brown had the 6-foot-10 Manning bring the ball up the court in the second half.

"We couldn't force the turnover on him to get the game going like we wanted it," Tubbs said.

He paused, chuckled a little and added: "I should have put Mookie on him because basically we got out of the press once Danny brought the ball up the court. I should have put Mookie on him."

Kansas won the game 83-79.

"Sometimes you'll look back on a loss and think, 'Boy, we just played a terrible game.' I've never thought that about that game," Tubbs said. "I thought we played well."

Kansas played four points better.


Kevin Millikan 10 years, 3 months ago

I miss coach Tubbs, those were some awesome games.

RckChalkJeff 10 years, 3 months ago

Tubbs embodied the gooner ways...dirty, scum bag. They have carried on his tradition with wonderful upstanding citizens like Kelvin "Cheater" Sampson, and Longar "Ill break your face if i dont get my way" Longar.

Gooners will always be scum.

Alan Braun 10 years, 3 months ago

He was a lot better coach and better person than Kelvin Sampscum, as Indiana is now finding out!

5DecadeHawk 10 years, 3 months ago

Before the love fest gets out of hand. Remember that this is the same coach that laughed when his players flipped the bird to KU's fans as OU celebrated a win in AFH.

I give Tubbs some credit. He was an amazing recruiter and an above average coach on the floor.

I don't think he was nearly as skilled in mentoring young men. He was a foul-mouthed jerk that barely had any control over his own team. That is exactly why KU beat them for the NC in 1988. Billy didn't know how to adjust to what Larry did to him tactically. KU was so very well schooled that they could make any adjustment Larry asked of them.

Trust me, if Billy had tried to put Mookie on Danny Manning, it would have been worse for OU. Danny would have simply passed right over the top of Mookie to whatever KU ball handler Mookie wasn't guarding. It was a stroke of genius by Larry to use all of Danny's skills to the greatest benefit.

Many coaches wouldn't have the courage to put their bigman in a position to act as primary ball handler vs pressure. It exploited OU's few weaknesses perfectly.

Joe Ross 10 years, 3 months ago

Witness here the wisdom of an older Hawk fan. True on all points 5Decade...

Especially this:

"Billy didn't know how to adjust to what Larry did to him tactically. KU was so very well schooled that they could make any adjustment Larry asked of them."

lance1jhawk 10 years, 3 months ago

Tubbs is a Jack-A$$ and always will be. I hated him when he was (I guess you could call it coaching) at OU. I was at AFH when his players flipped us off after beating KU and he still owes KU and apology! Maybe Stacy King will apologize on espn+ for that incident, but I won't hold my breath.

BCRavenJHawkfan 10 years, 3 months ago

Right on 5Decade, I also remember the idiot Billy Packer saying what a mistake it will be having Manning handle the ball. Amazingly at the end of the game he thought otherwise.

William James 10 years, 3 months ago

Well, I never would of admitted it back then, because he was the ultimate villian, he always showed class. It takes a big man to go into the locker room of the team that just beat you for the national title when you had just beat them twice earlier and say what he said. Anyone that calls him a mediocre basketball coach because he didnt go 3 for 3 against KU in 88 is about as intelligent as anyone that thinks Mangino is mediocre because he lost to Mizzou last fall. Tubbs took a football school to basketball titles with a style that no one had ever seen. As far as a player flippin off some students over 20 years ago. It shouldnt of happened, but that dosent make Tubbs evil. Richard Scott and Rex Walters had similiar encounters with the KSU students in the 92 win at the buzzer in Bramlage. Whenever I see Roy on TV now I dont go, "I remember how a couple of his players acted after they beat KSU in 1992, what a loser"

Jacobpaul81 10 years, 3 months ago

A Classic Billy Tubbs move.

I also remember the middle finger incident.

I always wonder why so many can diss on Bob Knight, with a guy like Billy Tubbs running around.

The true irony being he also coached at TCU. =)

JJHawq 10 years, 3 months ago

It takes a bigger man to bring it up in an interview...

FlaHawk 10 years, 3 months ago

Tubbs was a wild man. Terrific recruiter, players coach and half crazy! OU may never get another NCAA MBB title chance.

Crazy like a fox as his teams generally played above their levels.

NCAA regulations more or less drove Tubbs from coaching to bad he was not a football guy in the Texas area!.

William James 10 years, 3 months ago

FlaHawk-WHAT? It is so hard to understand what you are typing. I dont know why I still try.

skolvikes 10 years, 3 months ago

BCRavenJHawkfan: "I also remember the idiot Billy Packer saying what a mistake it will be having Manning handle the ball. Amazingly at the end of the game he thought otherwise."

Yeah--a little off topic here, but Billy Packer seems to always try to create a story line (prematurely) for the games he announces, often only just to stuff both feet in his mouth. Early in the game, it plays like favoritism, and then he repeats it enough when he thinks he's been validated so as to make you mute the volume.

CBS could do much better for the big games--like Gus Johnson & Bill Raftery!

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