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Monday, February 9, 2009

MU confidence level high for border clash

Missouri’s Leo Lyons, left, throws a pass around Texas Tech’s Mike Singletary, center, in this Jan. 24 file photo in Columbia, Mo. Lyons and the Tigers have won 15 straight home games, 		dating back to last season.

Missouri’s Leo Lyons, left, throws a pass around Texas Tech’s Mike Singletary, center, in this Jan. 24 file photo in Columbia, Mo. Lyons and the Tigers have won 15 straight home games, dating back to last season.

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6Sports Preview: Kansas at Missouri

6Sports' D.J. Whetter gives a preview of what to expect when Kansas travels to Missouri for Big Monday.

GameDay Cram Session: Missouri

KUSports.com online editor Jesse Newell & Journal-World sports editor Tom Keegan take a look at what to expect from the Kansas men's basketball team's game against Missouri in Columbia.

— Mizzou Arena will be rocking tonight.

“Oh my gosh,” University of Missouri senior forward Leo Lyons told the Columbia Tribune, when asked how loud it’ll be in the 15,061-seat facility for an 8 p.m. Border War battle between Kansas University (19-4, 8-0) and MU (20-4, 7-2).

“People thought they’d seen something when Baylor was there (for MU’s 89-72 victory on Jan. 31). I just know this means more to them (fans) than a national championship does. I know it’s going to be packed.”

The Tigers — who have won 15 consecutive home games and outscored the opposition 90.5 ppg to 62.0 in that span — have lost two straight games to KU in Mizzou Arena.

Overall, KU has won five consecutive games, nine of 11 and 14 of 17 versus the Tigers, who believe they are on equal footing with the Jayhawks entering this game.

“Just knowing the confidence I’ve had, I’ve always thought we were better (team) going into the game,” said Lyons. He enters with a 14.6 scoring, 5.7 rebound average. “That’s the type of confidence you have to have. But this year on paper it says it (is even). We’re going to go in with that mentality and try to get a win.”

Senior forward DeMarre Carroll, who scored 31 points in Saturday’s 82-68 victory at Iowa State and averages a team-leading 17.3 points per game, said there’s “no danger” of MU being overconfident tonight.

“We’re going to prepare just like we prepare for Iowa State, Baylor, Texas. I’m going to try my best to keep these guys level-headed and see if my leadership skills can work out. It’s going to be sold out, and it’s going to be real loud,” he said.

KU coach Bill Self, who is 12-2 overall against Missouri — 9-2 at KU — hopes his squad can continue its success on the road, where the Jayhawks are 4-0 in Big 12 games.

“We’ve had good games there,” Self said of Mizzou Arena, where KU is 2-2. “It’s a great atmosphere. I bet they (MU fans) are as excited about their team as they have been in a long time. I bet the place will be jumping.”

Self has been impressed with Carroll.

“To me, Carroll is first-team all-league no matter how you slice it,” Self said. “Everything runs through him. He makes plays for other people. He keeps balls alive.

“Mike (Anderson, MU coach) really has them guarding and playing well,” Self added. “It seems to me it’s a fun team to coach. They are sharing it. They have interchangeable parts.”

Anderson is equally complimentary of KU.

“They continue to play unselfish basketball. They’re an attack team,” Anderson said. “They’re the national champs until someone else dethrones them. So they’re playing with a swagger, I think, and he (Sherron Collins) has done a tremendous job of taking the leadership role on that basketball team and knowing that he’s going to be the focal point of their team. He and (Cole) Aldrich, and the young guys are following their lead.”

Notes:

Used to winning: MU’s last victory over KU was an 89-86 overtime decision on Jan. 16, 2006 in Columbia.

“Not too many guys on the team have lost to Missouri,” Aldrich said. He is 2-0, Collins 4-0 versus MU.

“It’s a whole new team, a bunch of new guys. It doesn’t matter if we don’t have anybody ... if they don’t have anybody. It’s always a good game.”

KU freshman Tyshawn Taylor on whether KU can handle MU’s fullcourt pressure defense: “Tennessee pressed us the whole game, and we handled that well. I think we can handle the press well.”

On the KU-MU series: “I only know what people have told me. It goes back a long time, way before any of us were around. We don’t like each other, I know that. I don’t like them. They don’t like me I guess.”

On whether there’s anything like KU-MU back in his home state of New Jersey: “Probably Rutgers-Seton Hall, the only two in-state colleges, but that’s nowhere as big as this is.”

MU guard J.T. Tiller on KU: “Just like us, they have very good depth, and their young guys are stepping up just like our young guys. It should make for a very good matchup.”

Pump N Run represented: KU’s Travis Releford and MU’s Marcus Denmon are graduates of the summer KC Pump N Run program.

“Denmon can shoot it real well. I played with him in the summer. He’s a good all-around player,” Releford said. “We played summer ball, never really hung out. He’s a good guy and good player.”

K.C. native Releford was asked if he “hated” Missouri growing up.

“No, not until I got here. It’s a must. You have to hate Missouri,” Releford said.

Stats, facts: KU is shooting for its 20th consecutive 20-victory season. ... KU leads the series with Missouri, 166-93, including a 63-52 record in Columbia. KU has won five straight, nine of the last 11 and 14 of the past 17 matchups with MU. .... MU is 2-0 vs. ranked teams. MU beat USC in Puerto Rico and Texas in Austin. ... MU averages 90.5 points a game at home and has a 28.5 ppg average margin of victory.

Goering services set: A funeral service for former Topeka Capital-Journal sports writer and editor Pete Goering will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Christ the King Catholic Church in Topeka. Visitation will be from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Christ the King. Goering covered KU sports for many years. He died on Saturday at the age of 60 following a two-year battle with cancer.

Comments

Mike Blur 10 years, 7 months ago

Hope the "new guys" have a firm grasp on what this rivalry means. I believe coach Fambrough has spoken to the KUBB team before; a good little dose of coach Fam could only help tonight.Remember, all current and future KU players: Moo fans lay flowers at the grave of William Quantrill. Here's to the boys in blue standing up to the most hostile of environments. Here's to Sherron leading the team and playing within himself; here's to Cole wiping the boards clean and getting "fed" underneath with consistency; here's to the twins making positive contributions and staying on the floor as long as HCBS needs them, and here's to Brady, Tyshawn, Tyrell, and Mario ramping it up a notch in their perimeter play. We're gonna need all hands on deck for this game.It won't be as incredibly amazing as the national championship--hell, Moo fans don't even know what a Final Four appearance feels like--but it would be deeply satisfying at around 10:15 tonight when I look at the scoreboard and see "we's gots more points than them."

actorman 10 years, 7 months ago

This year I think that's pretty valid. Look at the records and who they've played. There's no reason to believe this won't be a very tough challenge for KU. It makes sense that Misuse is favored."I just know this means more to them (fans) than a national championship does."Sums it up perfectly, and points to how pathetic the Misuse fans are. I still love the fact that KU won the last game played at the Hearnes Center.

Cody Stumma 10 years, 7 months ago

@Actorman:Actually not all MU fans feel that way. My cousin (we get along) goes to MU and he said this,"I'd rather lose both times to KU and win the National Championship then beat KU both times and get knocked out of the first round of the NCAA Tournament."

KU 10 years, 7 months ago

"I just know this (the faint hope of a victory over KU) means more to them (fans) than a national championship does. I know it’s going to be packed.”--The old, familiar, pathetic mantra of Methzoo fans the world over.Rock Chalk. Nothing compares.

Seth Peattie 10 years, 7 months ago

MU can SUCK IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dirk Medema 10 years, 7 months ago

"I just know this means more to them (fans) than a national championship does."A big chunk of the fans don't even know what a conference championship feels like, much less a regional or national championship. Of course it means more, just like a bus ride means more than a limo if you're walking."Just knowing the confidence I’ve had, I’ve always thought we were better (team) going into the game,” said Lyons.But then there was that dam* feeling leaving the game.“We’re going to prepare just like we prepare for Iowa State, Baylor, Texas."Though we've scrapped the way we prepared for the Huskers and KState."It’s going to be sold out, and it’s going to be real loud,” At least it will be sold out if enough KU fans make the trip. As of this morning, word is that it is still not sold out - but then they are a football school?Rock Chalk

Hawkin8r 10 years, 7 months ago

I love that their players feel the pressure of a national championship type of climate for a home game...that is awesome! Let's give them some more "shining moments" and knock them back down the Big 12 ladder a notch. Misery Shining Moment reference: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2a_u0c...

tigerfann1 10 years, 7 months ago

I am honestly curious about some of KU's remarks about the MU v. KU rivalry. Is KU's biggest rival really K State? That doesn't really make sense to me, but ok. With the historical reference to William Quantrill, see above, I would think that KU, especially anyone who knows the history of Lawrence, KS, would hate Mizzou the most. Maybe KU fans forgave and have forgotten. Still seems strange that this would be the case. Missourians hate Kansas for many reasons, but the fact that the Univ. of Kansas sought fit to actually name itself after one of the most violent groups of people in the history of their state, the Jayhawkers, and, in doing so, actually honor the killing of many Missourians, angers many who know and understand the historical significance. Maybe that is why Mizzou fans take the rivalry more seriously. Who knows? Seems stupid to me that KU fans would downgrade the significance. It is a rivalry that gets national attention and is ultimately a good thing for both schools. I pay attention to Big 12 sports and have never really heard that KSU is KU's biggest rival. Just curious. Can someone fill me in?

lv_jhwk 10 years, 7 months ago

tigger:The K-Suck thing is more like a family feud...you always want to maintain bragging rights over your siblings because you have to see them more often. And with much of the western part of the state Mildcat fans, it makes sense that Hawks from that area would be a bit sensitive about it.Anyone who knows anything about the rivalry with your Mizzery side, though, knows better. After all, its one thing to pick on your friends, its completely another to annihilate and embarrass a despised archenemy!Here's to a good game worthy of the rivalry's past...ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK! GO KU!

tigerfann1 10 years, 7 months ago

Thanks for the information. If we played Missouri State or Saint Louis University, I guess we'd feel the same as you do with K St., although both of those programs are really second tier (barely D-I). I'm hopeful that Coach Anderson can pull us out of the Snyder era. Truly an embarrassment. Self and Anderson seem so much more low-key in personality than Stewart and Williams. Many times their antics on the sidelines contributed to the excitement of the game. Hopefully, as time goes by, they both become more at home and show more of their personalities on the court - I miss making fun of Williams and I'm sure you do of Norm Stewart as well. You know it was like shooting fish in a barrel with Quin Snyder. You know that wasn't as much fun.

pmohr13 10 years, 7 months ago

KU fans do not see K-State as their biggest rival. K-State sees it that way. Most KU fans will say that their biggest rival is Missouri. It is by far the most hated rivalry we have. But Texas has been our most consistent rival in basketball for the past few years.

Michael Bratisax 10 years, 7 months ago

I think there is a real element of 'hate' when it comes to MU. Sometimes I'll even cheer for KSU when they aren't playing us. That NEVER happens with MU.

Matt Bowers 10 years, 7 months ago

Tigerfan1, we are named after a violent group that has historical significance. How did (screw) Mizzou come up with the tigers? Like you I hope that this is a good game and played with sportsmanship. Rock Chalk

NewtonJHawk 10 years, 7 months ago

Rock Chalk tonight baby!!!!I'll say it once and for all No one can stop us!!!Except the moving screen miss call!!!!

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