Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Knight: Red Raiders haven’t given up


KU vs. Texas Tech

— Texas Tech basketball coach Pat Knight, who dabbles in mixed martial arts, knows what to do when he gets knocked down.

Get back up.

Same goes for his Red Raider (12-17, 2-12) players, still standing after suffering six straight losses in Big 12 Conference games.

“These kids are giving me everything they have in practice. If the fans have a problem with what we’re doing, or the media, I don’t care because these kids are giving me everything they’ve got,” Knight told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.

“I don’t care what the record says. I mean, these kids in practice are just busting their butts. The record is not where we want it to be, but I wouldn’t trade these kids for anything.

“As long as I coach, I’ll always remember this group, that they didn’t lay down on me. We’re taking some bad punches, but it’s like they say, ‘It’s not how hard you can punch but how hard you can take a punch.’ These kids are going to keep on going and I love these guys and I’ll defend them until the end.”

The Red Raiders, who trailed by just one point midway through the second half of last Saturday’s 78-63 loss at Oklahoma, play their final home game of the season today against Kansas.

Tipoff is 8:30 p.m. at United Spirit Arena in a game senior starters Michael Prince and Alan Voskuil and senior reserves Rogdrick Craig, Esmir Rizvic and Damir Suljacik would love to win.

“I’d like to give these seniors something to remember,” Knight told the Avalanche-Journal. “There’s still a couple games left. I want to give them some kind of good taste in their mouth before they leave.”

Tech finishes on Saturday at Iowa State where the Raiders will try to snag their first road victory of the season.

“They’re giving me everything they can,” Knight said of a team led by sophomore guard John Roberson, who averages 14.3 points per game. He has a single-season school record 188 assists against 101 turnovers.

Senior guard Alan Voskuil averages 13.8 ppg; junior guard Nick Okorie 11.2 and soph forward Mike Singletary 10.7.

“I’m encouraged with Robert (Lewandowski, 7.2 ppg, 4.0 rpg), Nick, Roberson, Roberts (D’walyn, 5.4 ppg), Corbin Ray (1.8 ppg), but I don’t want to look ahead,” Knight said of next year.

“I’ve got a group of seniors and I want to play for them. There’s a phrase in boxing, ‘Play it to the bone,’ which means play it all the way. We’re going to play it to the bone. We’ve got games left, these guys aren’t going to give up and we’re going to play it all the way and see what happens.”

Tech’s close losses include an 87-81 decision at Texas, 79-73 at home to Texas A&M;, 79-70 at A&M;, 81-80 at Oklahoma State. The Raiders’ two league wins are against Baylor and Colorado.

“It’s tough, you don’t want to talk about moral victories. You’d rather have victories on your record, “ Knight said. “We’ve got two more games. We’ve got the Big 12 tournament. We’re enjoying being around each other. We’ll just play it out and see.”

KU realizes the Raiders are capable of pulling off a shocking victory tonight.

“Tech has good guards,” KU junior Sherron Collins said. “We know any team can beat us on a given night.”

“That will be a tough one. They gave OU all they can handle,” KU guard Tyrel Reed said. “A lot of us have never been to Texas Tech. I’m looking forward to going there. We know every game is tough in this league, especially on the road.”

Appleton ill: Kansas University junior guard Tyrone Appleton came down with flu-like symptoms on Tuesday and did not make the trip to Lubbock for today's game against Texas Tech.

KU coach Bill Self said Appleton became ill after boarding the team bus, thus remained in Lawrence.

Last year revisited: KU pounded Tech, 109-51, on Senior Day last season in Allen Fieldhouse.

“We had some good seniors. The crowd was ready and juiced,” KU coach Bill Self said. “What was unbelievable about that, I don’t think anybody played over 21 minutes.”

Indeed, Mario Chalmers led the way at 21 minutes.

“Everybody played equally well and they couldn’t do anything right. It was one of those deals it couldn’t go worse for them.

“That’s not a realistic score,” Self added of the 58-point victory. “That is something they were just trying to get out of town (at end of game). Our seniors were really good. It was the last game for eight players. I’m sure in the back of those guys’ minds (non seniors Brandon Rush, Chalmers and Darrell Arthur) they knew it was going to be their last game, too. They went and made it a special night.”

Of the game, Sherron Collins said: “Emotions were flying. Everybody played good. The seniors ... I think we had Case in double figures,” he added of non-regular rotation player Jeremy Case, who scored nine points.

“We wanted to send the seniors out with a good game. This is a different team, different place. My freshman year we went there (Lubbock) and lost. It’d be nice to go there and get a win.”

Small crowds: Texas Tech is averaging 9,471 fans in 17 home dates at 15,020-seat United Spirit Arena.

Fired up: It’s been a rough season for Pat Knight, the son of Hall of Famer Bob Knight.

First, Knight was reprimanded by the Big 12 for running on the court to argue a call in a loss to Nebraska.

Then he was suspended a game for criticizing the officiating in a loss to Texas A&M.; He was miffed after a game in which the Aggies went to the line 51 times. Four Red Raiders fouled out of a game in which Tech shot 22 free throws.


jaybate 10 years, 10 months ago

"These kids are going to keep on going and I love these guys and I’ll defend them until the end."--Pat Knight

Wouldn't it have been nice if Bob Knight had felt the same way about his TTech players?

I would like for something good to happen to Pat Knight, but not against KU.

Pat was abandoned by his father, Bob Knight, in a dead end program, after he stood by his father as Bob screwed up his career at Indiana.

Pat Knight probably coulda been uh contenduh had he put his own career ahead of his father's.

Pat, keep doing it the right way. It can still go right for you.

KANSTUCKY 10 years, 10 months ago

Yeah Pat, keep throwing "F" bombs and going after the refs and getting suspended. Set a great example for the rest of the league. Do they use chairs in MMA? Nice choice of hobbies to practice keeping your cool. I think you can do better.

Jonathan Allison 10 years, 10 months ago

Didn't Pat Knight say at one point last year, that the reason his team was not good was because he had no talent and no athletes on his roster?

I guess he isn't contradicting that now, but he IS singing a different tune.

d_prowess 10 years, 10 months ago

Since Bob Knight has come up on this board, I wanted to comment that I think he is just great doing the color for a few of the games I have seen him do. His comments have been some of the best I have heard in a long time, and not because they are funny or brutal, but really insightful. Which makes sense though since there is plenty to knock Bobby K. on, but his coaching knowledge will never be one of those things.

Hawkin8r 10 years, 10 months ago

d_prowess, I totally agree. I wish Bob Knight would do commentary on more KU games. I only remember him doing one KU game at the beginning of the year. He points out relevant coaching facts that are not obvious and gives a whole different perspective on the game.

I think Pat is a goner sooner or later (probably sooner). There is no way he stays a D1 coach for long given his circumstance. Unfortunately for him, he's no Bobby Knight.

NebraskaJayhawk 10 years, 10 months ago

The Red Raiders are going to play hard tonight. I hope Kansas has their game faces on.

KGphoto 10 years, 10 months ago

Haha. Pat Kwan Do.

"Take a look at what I'm wearing, people. You think anybody wants a roundhouse kick to the face while I'm wearing these bad boys? Forget about it."

Michael Auchard 10 years, 10 months ago

On the one hand, these Knight quotes make me think tonight's game might be tougher than advertised... on the other hand, my journalism brain thinks there was a heavy reliance on one source here and maybe a last-minute phone call to Sherron to beef the story up. Or, perhaps, the last few sourced quotes were already in the archives? One learns in most Freshman journalism classes to quote at least three sources in any article (excluding trade news, sometimes). While that technically is accomplished here, most readers don't continue past the first few paragraphs of any story, so one should include his or her sources early and often. Burying quotes at the end of an article like this is tantamount to not even doing the interviews at all. This is kind of an on-going, decade-long theme with this writer, though, so I won't belabor the point. Go Hawks.

Lin Rahardja 10 years, 10 months ago

This could be a trap game for KU, we talked about securing the league title in somebody's house, you know they will fight hard. Better have our A game tonight...

Lance Hobson 10 years, 10 months ago

I know they'll want some revenge for what we did to them last year, but I just don't see it happening. Knight has a good pedigree but he's in over his noggin' in this one.

It's too bad T. Appleton won't be there to celebrate the big win with the rest of the guys.

Lin Rahardja 10 years, 10 months ago

Boy, did we suc&... thought we would loose by 9, not 19

Commenting has been disabled for this item.