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Saturday, January 24, 2009

KU seeking to eliminate Hilton Magic

Kansas forward Markieff Morris spins around for a shot during warmups before taking on Texas A&M Monday, Jan. 19, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Markieff Morris spins around for a shot during warmups before taking on Texas A&M Monday, Jan. 19, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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KU looks for road game triumph in Ames

The Kansas men's basketball team is getting ready to face Iowa State in Ames. The Jayhawks have won only one true road game this season.

GameDay Cram Session: Iowa State

Jesse and Tom dissect the Cyclones, and examine what KU needs to do to beat them.

— Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self has had better luck than his mentor in Hilton Coliseum, home of the Iowa State Cyclones.

So far, at least.

“Coach (Larry) Brown went there five years and never won in Ames with a guy named (Danny) Manning on the team,” said Self, who has led the Jayhawks to four victories in five tries in the 14,356-seat building entering today’s 1 p.m. tipoff.

“It’s called ‘Hilton Magic’ when they get on a roll. Hopefully we can eliminate that,” Self added.

KU has won 19 games and lost 18 in Hilton Coliseum throughout history.

Some recent Jayhawk standouts have had a mixed bag of success/failure in the building, which today will be full of fans wearing gold as part of a “Gold Rules Day” promotion.

Former KU power forward Raef LaFrentz, a native of Monona, Iowa, had a 3-1 record at Hilton.

Nick Collison (Iowa Falls) and Kirk Hinrich (Sioux City) went 2-2, while Wayne Simien was 3-1.

“The thing about it that amazes me,” Self said, “is of all the places we go in the Big 12, Ames is where the least amount of Jayhawks show up. It may be because all the tickets are sold. At Nebraska, we get good support, Colorado we get good support. Ames is one they’ve been able to keep opposing fans out of there.”

KU’s national title team won, 75-64, last Feb. 27 in Hilton. Self used just eight players in the game. Returnees Sherron Collins scored seven points in 18 minutes and Cole Aldrich none in four minutes.

ISU’s top player — sophomore Craig Brackins — had six points with no rebounds after scoring 13 points with eight boards in KU’s 83-59 win on Jan. 23 in Lawrence.

KU won, 68-64, in overtime in 2007; 95-85 in ’06 and 71-66 in ’05 after losing 68-61 in ’04 in Hilton.

“Every year it seems to come down to the last minute,” Self said.

KU sophomore Brady Morningstar made the trip to Ames as a red-shirt last year after also experiencing a victory his freshman season.

“It’s always filled and it gets really loud,” Morningstar said of the building in which ISU has a 10-2 record this season while averaging 12,101 fans.

“They always seem to play pretty well at home. We’ve got to go in there with the same mindset as we did at Colorado (73-56 win last Saturday) and get a win.”

ISU (12-6, 1-2) is 1-0 at home in Big 12 play, with a 65-53 victory over Nebraska on Jan. 14.

“Everywhere in the Big 12 is tough to play. Coach said Iowa State is one of the toughest places,” freshman forward Marcus Morris said. “We had half the crowd when we went to Colorado. I never played at a place away where every time we scored the crowd seemed happy for us. This will be a lot different.”

Noted junior Mario Little: “I heard it’s tough to get a win over there. We’ll have to be focused because it’ll be on the road, so it’ll be 15 versus 14,000 or 15,000. We have to be one unit. We have to be strong together.”

KU is 1-0 in the league on the road; 2-0 at home.

“I think we are confident now. We got a good road win at Colorado (after losing nonconference games at Michigan State and Arizona) even though we had a majority of the fans,” Little said. “We’ll see what happens at Iowa State. I know we won’t have many fans there.”

Notes:

Bus ride: The Jayhawks decided to ride a charter bus to Ames on Friday, rather than fly. Why? Self gave the answer on this week’s Hawk Talk radio show.

“I like taking the bus. I don’t if it’s more than four hours,” Self said. “By the time we get organized, go to Topeka (to board charter flight) and go through screening, get on the plane, off the plane, regroup, it’s probably an hour longer (than driving four hours). We practice, bus to Ames. We can’t practice in Ames because they have a wrestling tournament going on in Hilton. We bus back after the game is over, hopefully get back by early evening, 8 or so.”

Big game today: Iowa State's fans are fired up for today's game against the defending national champs.

“Some people in class the other day, they said, ‘So are you ready for the big one?’” ISU guard Bryan Petersen told the Ames Tribune (gocyclones.com). “Everyone’s getting a little more excited because there's a national powerhouse team coming in here.”

“They are the defending national champions, and they get to hold that crown until whatever that day is in April when the final game takes place,” McDermott told the paper. “They're a program that’s rich in basketball tradition, so that makes the game probably more fun for them, more exciting for them.”

Comments

Lance Hobson 11 years ago

We can win this game with a solid effort. I saw Hawaii beat Iowa State earlier this year and I was thoroughly unimpressed with them. They don't have a lot of muscle and athleticism, we should be able score at will and wear them down. Our rookies just can't get rattled by the atmosphere.

John Mueller 11 years ago

Yep, there is actually a good reason nobody goes to Ames. All you have to do is go once to find out.The place is a hole.I made a spontaneous / memorable road trip there in 90? It sprung from a late night dare at Kincaids in Wrigleyville. I wonder if that place is still a KU stronghold in downtown Chicago?Anyway, we left at 7 am, never went to bed, somebody probably DUI for the first few hours to get us into Western Illinois. It took forever.We roll up, no tickets, bought some in the parking lot and ended up top of the key about 12 rows off he floor in the bleachers. Nothing but old school ISU alums around us and we were totally obnoxious, Had our blue Kansas sweatshirts on, etc. The guy in front of me turns around and asks "Who in their right mind was willing to sell tickets to you two idiots?"I point to their starting center who was warming up by shooting from the free throw line, don't remember who it was and responded"That big dude on the free throw line. He scalped em for $250 each and that's illegal so if I were you I turn around and sit down sir before we report you to the NCAA."He turned around quickly. We won the game but it was tight all the way.If memory serves, we might have gone into that game ranked number 1.We spent the rest of the day finding ANYTHING remotely interesting to do and as I recall never found it. Capped the big win with some bad mexican food and a half hearted effort at some of the biggest women in the Big 8.You had to go ugly early in Ames. Right Coov?

Alan Braun 11 years ago

I live in Des Moines & have been to several games at Hilton. You're right, the town is a hole but Hilton is pretty nice. The people I've encountered there are not as obnoxious as the ones you met. They're passionate for their team but sportsmanlike (except if you're an Iowa Hawkeye!) and not NEARLY as obnoxious as the buffoons at Mizzery. Unfortunately seeing the Hawks there is usually the only opportunity I get to see them live. Will be there today with a group of 46 other KU alums from around Iowa; there will be another group of 34 from Minneapolis. All those Jayhawks sitting together - talk about annoying to the 'clones! Especially if (WHEN) we win.Rock Chalk

ChicagoJHawk 11 years ago

springtxhawk,LOL, and yes, Kincaid's is still around & is packed for every KU game! I'm at work, unfortunately, and will miss the game today. Otherwise, that's where I'd normally be. Lotties is technically the official KU bar in Chicago but I prefer Kincaids.Anyway, this should be a good game. We have some tough games coming up, like the misery tigers on the road, and I'm hoping todays game will be good preparation for that.Rock Chalk Jayhawk, let's get another W!

Lance Hobson 11 years ago

Oh yeah, I remember that game in '90. Didn't we win in the last minute with a long pass followed by a dunk by Rick Calloway? Good times. That team was awesome but just couldn't get past UCLA in the tourney. We may have gone to the Final 4 if we had won that game. I'm betting we were close to #1 because that wasn't long after the 150 point drubbing of Kentucky, and we shocked the world by winning the NIT as an unranked team.

JJHawq 11 years ago

From the sound of that trip in 90 - the isu fans weren't the classless ones.

Douglas Yetman 11 years ago

springtxhawk....cant imagine why a half drunk, rowdy, rude fan pulling an all-nighter would be met with some attitude in Ames. Most Jayhawk fans can balance acting enthusiasticly while also showing class (Colorado last week). springtxhawk...leave the being a jerkwad to the Mizzou fans.

speedy 11 years ago

heres another mute button for you. are really that proud of being a jerk.? six pac mentallity!

funkitect 11 years ago

i have to put up a little defense for springtxhawk... 1990? that was 19 years ago, give him some slack, how old could he have been? my guess, an early 20-something if that, young and dumb like most of us probably were at that age. i'm sure we've all acted pretty obnoxious at one point or another in our young lives... i certainly know i've done some pretty stupid things. i actually appreciated the story - looking back and having a little laugh, maybe a little grimace, at the ridiculousness of being young.dynomitehawk, as for cyclones traveling well to KC... it think that is more attributed to the fact that there are so many ISU alum living in KC. where else do you go after living in a place like ames for a few years?

Dirk Medema 11 years ago

we were totally obnoxious, Had our blue Kansas sweatshirts on, etc. The guy in front of me turns around and asks "Who in their right mind was willing to sell tickets to you two idiots?" - albraun just misread the story. It's unfortunate that isolated incidents like this sometimes get twisted into depictions of the entire fan base.This will be a nice step up in road competition for our young 'Hawks. ISU fans are obviously enthusiastic, but the players are just not on par with the Fizers, etc of the past. It will be a good step up from CU, and fortunately not nearly as difficult as say Paige.Rock Chalk

Chris Shaw 11 years ago

chicagojayhawk and springtxhawk: Yes, Kincades is still the heart and soul of KU in Lincoln Park. I spent nearly every KU game from 2000-2004 at Kincades. The worst was obviously the 2003 title game when 3 Syracuse Orangemen fans strolled in and caused a Stir! The WGN news was there and everything, but still couldn't get the win. Met a lot of great people at Kincades. As for Ames and Hilton: Yes, it may be a hole in the wall and just big block of concrete, but it is a great venue to watch a college basketball game. It is loud and there really isn't a bad view with any of the seats. It may be bland and not much appeal, but I still think it's a good venue to watch a game.

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