Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Gary Bedore’s KU basketball notebook


Long day for Siena

Siena College’s basketball team had a long travel day on Monday.

Pete Iorizzo’s blog in the Albany (N.Y.) Times Union details a trip that started with boarding a commercial flight at 5:45 a.m., Eastern time in Albany, and ended with touchdown at 4:30 p.m., at Kansas City International.

“Well, at least the Saints don’t have to play the defending national champions tomorrow. Oh wait, yes they do,” Iorizzo wrote in his blog.

The Saints sat on the plane in Albany during a two-hour de-icing.

Upon arriving for a connection in Detroit, they again sat for 30 minutes waiting for fuel. Twenty minutes after takeoff, the Saints’ flight returned to Detroit because of a problem with a gear on the plane.

“All that extra fuel made us too heavy to land. So we circled the city of Detroit for an hour to burn off some extra gas,” Iorizzo wrote.

Siena talk

Siena, 10-4, returns all five starters off last year’s 23-11 team. The Saints stunned Vanderbilt, 83-62, in a first-round NCAA Tournament game, before falling to Villanova, 84-72, in the second round.

“They will win their league,” KU coach Bill Self said of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference school located in Loudonville, N.Y., just outside of Albany.

“I think they should be put in position they don’t even have to win the (postseason) tournament to get an at large bid. They press as much as Tennessee presses once the ball is in bounds,” Self added. “They play fast. It will not be one of those walk it up type games.”

Some have called this a “trap game” for KU since it comes after Saturday’s win over Tennessee and before Saturday’s contest at Michigan State.

“It can’t be that from our position. I can’t imagine our guys looking past anybody, especially a team as talented as Siena,” Self said of the Saints, who have won five straight games and eight of nine.

Noted guard Sherron Collins: “It’s not a trap game because Siena is good. They beat Vanderbilt by 25 in a tournament game. They’ve got five starters back.”

Three of Siena’s losses came at the Old Spice Classic in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The Saints fell to Tennessee, 78-64, Wichita State, 72-70, and Oklahoma State, 77-68. Siena also has lost at Pittsburgh, 79-66.

Siena has wins over Boise State, Cornell, Loyola, Albany (71-64), Marist, Buffalo, Saint Joseph’s, Holy Cross, Fairfield and Saint Peter’s. KU beat Albany, 79-43.

Little’s leg sore

KU junior Mario Little, who played 10 minutes in his season debut versus Tennessee, was “sore like we thought he’d be,” at practice on Monday, coach Bill Self said on his Hawk Talk radio show.

Little is battling back from a stress fracture in his lower left leg as well as a broken bone in his left hand.

“He’s going to be sore. He’s not done anything in such a long time,” Self said. “What we have to decide is he on three off one (days of practice), on two off one. We have 10 days to figure it out then make a decision on what his status will be (in terms of possibly red-shirting).

“He sparked us (against Tennessee). He does not have the explosion he’ll have in a month or so. He was a factor in us winning.”

Flu updates

Siena’s Ryan Rossiter and Josh Duell, who missed the Saints’ last game because of the flu, made the trip to KU and were feeling better Monday according to the Albany paper. KU’s Brady Morningstar, who’d been weakned by the bug, says he’s fine.

Siena, Holy Cross clash

Siena coach Fran McCaffery called the play of Holy Cross’ players “dirty” following the Saints’ recent 12-point victory.

In the game, Siena guard Ronald Moore ended up with a few stitches below his lip, and Duell suffered a black eye. Also guard Alexander Franklin “got hit in the head on numerous occasions,” McCaffery told the Albany Times Union.

McCaffery waved his players off the court following the buzzer with no post-game handshake.

Holy Cross coach Ralph Willard defended himself and his team on his own blog. His entire statement is available at

Self on his T

Self, who was tooted for a technical foul versus Tennessee, discussed his ‘T’ on his weekly Hawk Talk radio show.

“First of all, I thought I had a debatable case. After I watched the tape I realized I was dead wrong,” said Self, who was miffed Quintrell Thomas was called for a foul while setting a screen.

“I think the call may have gone either way, but you don’t do that (scream at ref). I did a very poor job in handling that. In what was discussed between us, I didn’t agree with his explanation of why it was a foul. After seeing the tape I can see where he came from.

“It was an emotional game, a big game for us. I don’t feel I handled that well at all. You want to fight for your team and sometimes ‘Ts’ are OK. I was too emotional with it. It’s something I need to address and not put my team in that situation again.”

This, that

Today’s game is the 500th coached by Self. He has a record of 359-140. He’s 152-35 at KU. ... This is the first meeting between the teams. KU is 12-1 versus MAAC opponents. Last meeting was a 90-60 win over Loyola last January. ... Jeff Withey, KU’s 7-foot transfer from the University of Arizona, now is planning on arriving on campus on Jan. 12, his mom told Withey can practice but not play in games until next December.


yates33333 11 years ago

I didn't realize that Self had an overall losing record when he came to KU. I guess he had to build up his teams at each place he coached since he was certainly viewed as what he is at KU, a first rate winner.

slantrox 11 years ago

yates33333, unless the JW had a typo they updated since you read this column 5 minutes before I did....Self came to KU with a record of 207 wins and 105 loses. And yes, most of those loses came in rebuilding mode, especially his first year or so at Oral Roberts.

eastTXjayhawk 11 years ago

that's the way i see it too...must've been using some of that Cole Aldridge math ;-)

Dyrk Dugan 11 years ago

he left ORU at 55-54. so he's had a career winning record ever since. If you start looking at it, after his first two years there, then his career winning percentage is 77%...not too shabby at all.

Jeremy LeMaster 11 years ago

eastTXjayhawk... it is Cole Aldrich... A L D R I C H

jchief40 11 years ago

@ TaCityHawkFan: it's Aldridge a l d r i d g e

speckleddog 11 years ago

For the enjoyment of Jayhawk fans everywhere, I wanted to post this quote from Sundays edition of the Memphis Commercial Appeal."Allen Fieldhouse is already one the nation’s loudest arenas and the atmosphere was more like a Metallica concert than a college basketball game for the first meeting between these two powerhouses."“The building was juiced,” Self said. “That’s what Allen Fieldhouse is supposed to feel like.”- Memphis Commercial Appeal, Sunday, January 4, 2008Rock Chalk!

Dirk Medema 11 years ago

I was amazed at the number of "fans" that were repeatedly misspelling Cole's last name after Saturday's game.Gotta be proud of Coach Self for manning up to the T incident

Drew Bender 11 years ago

jchief40,FAILIt is A L D R I C H... This is a fact... Just check out the back of his jerseyYou might be thinking of LaMarcus A L D R I D G E from Texas a couple years ago

cklarock 11 years ago

Great comments by Self -- I appreciate a head coach that can man up and admit when he was wrong. Setting a good example for his kids and all that. Nice one, Coach!

jchief40 11 years ago

and by the way ESUjayhawk .. I think people who say "FAIL" are worthy of a good beating! That is the cool thing nowadays. Well that is sooooo 2008... man you people get on my nerves (YOU people?? - what a racist) - if there ever was a definition for FAIL it is most certainly you, ESUjayhawk.

justanotherfan 11 years ago

Bill Self was 74-27 at Tulsa (.733), 78-24 at Illinois (.765) and 152-35 (.813) here at KU.He has improved as his stage (and players) have improved.

eastTXjayhawk 11 years ago

thanks TaCityHawkFan, but yes, I know his name....if you had followed or read the posts Saturday during the game, he clearly has a new name, apparently he has been adopted by LaMarcus. I'm sorry my attempt at humor slipped by, rock chalk it up to being one of those "you had to be there" moments.

eastTXjayhawk 11 years ago

and really, would i ever insinuate that the real Cole couldn't do simple math? I think not...but Cole Aldridge? that boy can't add!

mbmerriman 11 years ago

the best thing about this article is the name MILFdestroyer lmao

Blake Brown 11 years ago

BTW, on the subject of Ts, who do you pick to shoot the T in the Tennessee game? Cole, Reed and Morningstar are on the floor when Collins was selected to shoot the T. They all have better free throw percentages and Reed is above 93%. Collins should have the benefit of experience to stay cool and make both, but....I know this is in retrospect; however, there will be future occassions. I go wiith Reed. Who is your choice?

Lance Hobson 11 years ago

I've got this game figured out. Siena destroyed Boise State, who crushed Hawaii, who beat Iowa State. What does it mean? Nothing. LIke most of the posts today.

jchief40 11 years ago

go MILFdestroyer! You can do it!

jaybate 11 years ago

One thing that I would bet everycent I have on is that Bill Self knew EXACTLY what he was doing every second of his tantrum after the T. That tantrum got KU at least four favorable calls that I counted in the next few minutes after the tant. It was beautiful. Frankly, I've never seen a coach work a set of referees that effectively. It was like the refs just rolled over and went guilt stricken. I refereed for years in little league and city leagues. Refs can be and are manipulated like this. I've talked to refs at the college level and they always talk a good game about the antics of coaches, but when you get one of these refs where no one can hear him they will admit they get worked and that getting worked works sometimes produces exactly the effect the coach wants. And refs realize when they do it and they cannot help it. The down side is that refs file it in their mental rolodex and they will overcompensate the next time they ref a game with that coach. This is why Coach Self is doing the public penance thing and saying, oh, gee, I was completely wrong. You see, Coach Self got what he wanted out of his tantrum during the game. Now, he is putting an ointment on the referees psyches by saying he was wrong, because he knows these referees and a lot of others saw the game and he really did earn a hard spot in the referees for what he did. They know what he was doing. And they know it worked. And they know that he's lying when they read the quote about being absolutely wrong, but they can't help liking that he's lying. They know he was desparate for that win and that he pulled out all the stops to get it. They know that he rarely pulls such obvious referee manipulation as he pulled against UTenn. They know he's one of the good guys, that he's not doing a Bob Knight and gloating about turning them into round heeled whores. He's being dignified and apologetic.

jaybate 11 years ago

Again, he's not treating them like whores and gloating about how he manipulated them into doing what he wanted. He's treating them with respect and he's even taking the blame and apologizing, so they don't look so round heeled. I mean Coach Self is an absolute Referee Bandit. He can just do with them what he wants. But again, there's a cost for it. Sooner or later what goes around comes around. Sooner or later there will be a referee that is going to throw on the stripes and lace up the black tennies and go out on the floor determined to show Self he can't be intimidated by Self. Most likely it will come against Sienna, since the event will be very fresh in the minds of the refs working the game. But if not Sienna, then sometime within the next few games. KU is just going to get reamed on the calls and there is going to be nothing Self can do about it. He can only hope that it is not as big of a game as the UTenn game was. Its a long season. Sooner or later the Zebras get even. That's the way it is. It is always okay to needle them and question their calls. It is even okay to have a little public display of fieryness and take a T to motivate your team. But when you really emotionally work over a set of referees like Self did; that is, when you beat them to an emotional pulp so that they give you about 3-6 calls in your favor shortly after, well, then you've revealed yourself to be a master manipulator that referees feel they have to protect themselves from in the future. Protection comes in the form of payback. Of course, Self knows this too. He just made the apology to try to minimize the payback. Fat chance, but he never misses a opportunity. That's how he wins 81 percent of his games.

Lance Hobson 11 years ago

Absolutely, coach Self knew what he was doing. Every once in a while he'll get fired up and go after the refs either to work them or more likely to get his team motivated. He didn't need to do it last year because those players have been around the block, but I've seen it twice so far with these young, impressionable guys we have this year.

Michael Auchard 11 years ago

Actually, saying FAIL is, like, so 2006. has been around foreeeeeeeever.

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