Monday, February 15, 2010

Aggies’ Turgeon among Big 12’s best

Kansas head coach Bill Self greets Texas A&M head coach Mark Turgeon, a former Jayhawk guard prior to the start of the game Saturday, March 8, 2008 at Reed Arena in College Station.

Kansas head coach Bill Self greets Texas A&M head coach Mark Turgeon, a former Jayhawk guard prior to the start of the game Saturday, March 8, 2008 at Reed Arena in College Station.


— A group of reporters from Big 12 country huddled a week ago in Texas’ Erwin Center to discuss possible candidates for conference men’s basketball coach of the year.

Those mentioned prominently included ...

• Kansas University’s Bill Self, whose preseason favorites are a perfect 10-0 heading into the stretch run.

• Kansas State’s Frank Martin, whose Wildcats have exploded on the national scene while being ranked in the top 15 a majority of the 2009-10 campaign.

• Missouri’s Mike Anderson, whose Tigers are in the upper echelon despite losing a lot from last year’s NCAA Elite Eight squad.

• And, last but not least, Texas A&M;’s Mark Turgeon, whose Aggies take an 18-6 overall record, 7-3 in league play into today’s Big Monday clash against KU (8 p.m., Reed Arena).

“What Turgeon has done since Derrick Roland broke his leg has been amazing,” one highly respected scribe gushed.

Turgeon’s Aggies, who lost the team’s second-leading scorer to a gruesome injury in a Dec. 23 loss at Washington, have won nine of 12 games since that fateful day.

“Absolutely,” Self said, asked if former KU point guard Turgeon could be tapped the league’s top coach in ’09-10. “So could some other guys, too.

“Mark has done a great job with his team. He and his staff absolutely have done a great job. They get out and guard you.”

The Aggies have taken on the personality of Turgeon, who was known as a guy who got the most out of his ability as a gritty, undersized point guard.

“You know me. I usually don’t get too high or too low. It’s too long of a season, with too many ups and downs,” said a modest Turgeon, not ready to anoint himself top dog in the league.

Still, he likes the way the Aggies have responded since the squad’s most significant injury.

“Derrick has had a lot to do with that,” Turgeon said of the 6-foot-4 Dallas senior, who has started working out in the pool and holds out hope of returning before season’s end. “He was so positive through the whole thing. Now he’s walking around without crutches. He’s happy, smiling, leading.

“If he’d have cried, moped and felt sorry for himself, I think we would have, too. He has a lot to do with how we’ve continued to play.”

The Aggies, who are led by double-digit scorers Donald Sloan (18.3 ppg) and Bryan Davis (10.5), have become a feel-good story locally while winning over a sometimes-skeptical fan base.

A&M;, which has averaged 9,182 fans in 13 dates in Reed Arena (official capacity is listed at 12,989), has drawn crowds of 13,021 for Baylor, 13,648 for Texas Tech, 10,316 for Colorado and 11,109 for Oklahoma.

“It’s been a lot of work,” third-year A&M; coach Turgeon said. “Probably the most disappointing thing has been our student support since I moved down here, actually our crowd support. I was expecting more coming off what Billy (Gillispie, predecessor) built up in the program and what we’ve done the last four or five years as a basketball program.

“I do think the student body feels connected now. I think the town feels connected to us,” Turgeon added. “We are very accessible people. We are not bigger than the game. We are not bigger than our fans. I think you see a group of fans that feel they are invested in a basketball team. The crowd has jumped on board. We are becoming a basketball crowd.”

And that is not easy in football country.

“We don’t really know how to cheer — to be quite honest with you — at a basketball game. I guess it’s called ‘yell’ (instead of cheer) down here, excuse me,” he added with a laugh.

“We are getting there. It’ll take time, but I’m proud of what we’ve built this season. We have three home games left, and I expect there to be record crowds.”

Turgeon has been brutally honest in media sessions since leaving Wichita State to replace the wildly popular Gillispie.

He had a miserable time his first season in College Station despite leading A&M; to a 25-11 record, which included one victory in the NCAAs. His second Aggie team went 24-10, also losing in the second round.

“It’s been a lot harder than I expected. Our first year ... we won 25 games, but it was not a lot of fun,” Turgeon said. “I like the kids I was coaching, but the expectations on me were a little unfair.

“I’m really pleased with the success we’ve had, because it’s not easy to keep it going, especially — don’t take this the wrong way — (at) Texas A&M.; We don’t have a lot of history. To keep it going over this long a period of time ... hopefully we can continue to finish this season strong. No one knows what lies ahead, but I’m pleased with our success and what we’ve accomplished.”

Turgeon — 25-29 in two seasons at Jacksonville State — went 128-90 in seven years at Wichita State. His 2006 Shockers reached the Sweet 16.

“We’ve won more games than when you take over a bad program,” Turgeon said. “(But) it’s much easier taking over a bad program than a good one.”

Why’s that?

“No expectations. You can get your guys in quicker,” Turgeon said. “You see guys take over bad programs, all of a sudden they have seven or eight new guys the next year. I don’t want this to sound negative, (but) it was harder than I anticipated when I took the job.

“I think if it would have been my first job, I wouldn’t have made it,” added the 45-year-old Turgeon. “I had two other jobs. I’d been through ups and downs. I’ve been part of good coaches, good staffs — Roy Williams and Larry Brown — so it helped me get through everything I needed to get through. I was mature enough most of the time to make the right decisions.”

He now sounds like a guy who’d like an extended stay in College Station.

A Big Monday victory over No. 1 KU tonight — Turgeon is 0-3 versus his alma mater — would classify as the biggest regular-season victory of his still-young career.

“It’ll be great for the nation just to see our support,” Turgeon said of the home Big Monday appearance on ESPN. “I don’t know what’s going to happen. Who knows? But I know our building is going to be full, and it’s going to be loud, and our fans are going to be behind us.

“That’s really neat for our program and for everybody to see around the country — to see how special college basketball is becoming in College Station and has been the last four or five years.”

And as far as that coach-of-the-year business?

“The older you get, you don’t care about publicity. You just care about the bottom line,” Turgeon said. “You don’t care how you do it, who does it for you, you don’t care who gets the credit. I just want the guys playing to their abilities. I’ve been doing this long enough. I think coaching in games sometimes is a little overrated. It’s preparing guys for the game. I think we do a pretty good job of that.”


tophawk1983 9 years, 11 months ago

Glad I'm not a Texas A&M fan. Something about Turgeon just rubs me the wrong way. If you're going to whine like Roy Williams, you better win like him. Listening to all the whiners (Turgeon, Roy, Coach K), jerks (Calhoun, Calipari) and sleazeballs (Calipari again, Pitino), it feels good to have HCBS!

James Miller 9 years, 11 months ago

Really????!!!!! I kind of enjoy his brutal honesty. I don't necessarily consider Roy a whiner, either. He is just an old school, emotional kind of guy. He is a throw back to the 50s. Aw shucks, I kind of respect that too. Having said that, I would not trade Bill Self for any coach who ever lived. RCJH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dirk Medema 9 years, 11 months ago

Brutally honest is indeed fine, and Coach Self is even so much better.

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

Texans are people, too.

They prefer being lead by their own.

Billie Gillispie was a perfect fit for any Texas school and especially for the Aggies.

BG learned from Don Haskins and then Bill Self.

Billie knew Okie Ball better than anyone but Self and he spoiled the Aggie folks with it and with talent as good as anyone in the country BG's last year there.

(Note: I still don't know how BG failed at UK, except that BG must have gotten in over his head politically there.)

Turg is a Kansan.

Being a Kansan in Texas is about like being an Eskimo in Belize.

BG probably understood and embraced the basketball-challenged nature of Texans better than a Kansan could.

Kansans, whether we like to admit it, or not, are a little appalled at the lack of civilization of places that aren't inured in hoops. Kansans understand football, and they don't enjoy getting beaten at it. But no real Kansan can help but why in heavens name anyone self respecting human being would ever prefer a coarse, rowdy, hooligan's game like football to the grace and relative civility of basketball.

Turg had played at KU, assisted Roy at KU, and started head coaching in Jacksonville, FL, where palm trees and retirees kind of diluted the potency of southern football culture. And Jacksonville played worse football than KU. He could relate. Half of everyone in Florida were immigrants just like Turg. He could relate. And head coaching was new and Turg, being an old PG, was so excited he screened out any dissonance with narrow focus, or denial.

So then Turg gets a modified homecoming and takes over Chita State and he is back in the land of the midwestern twang, and even though it isn't KU, it is all understandable again. People in Wichita may do strange things like put rectangular wood floors in round houses, but they aren't perverted. They don't prefer football to basketball transgenerationally. In the 'Ta, Turg, like any real Kansan, begins to forget that in the United States much of the culture is actually dominated by savages preferring.

There are really three cultures that determine America, that make an American what he/she is, beyond a simple creature seeking food, water and shelter. The cultural determinants are not Protestants, Catholics and Jews. They are not Democrats, Republicans and Independents. They are not men, women, and hermaphrodites. They are not urban, suburban and exurban. They are not smart, average and stupid. They are not good hair, bad hair, no hair. They are not ominvores, carnivores and herbivores. They are not rock, country and rap. They are not radio, television and internet. They are not coastal, continental and sub tropical. They are not industrial, agricultural, extractive. They are not employed, unemployed and no longer looking.

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

They are football, basketball and baseball.

These three sports determine which Americans can talk to which Americans.

They determine which Americans understand which Americans.

They determine which Americans want to talk to which Americans.

American politics is not just the art of compromise.

It is the art of compromise between persons who understand the world through the lense of either football, basketball, or baseball.

Americans don't understand the world through art and science. They use science to get what they want. They understand themselves through art and psychology and religion.

But it is sport that they use to understand the world, to think metaphorically about it, to make some kind of coherent sense about its awful savagery and competitiveness, its occasional beauty and elegance, its killing living things to eat, its killing its own in endless conquest, looting and pillaging, etc., etc., etc.

As an American, whether a wealthy oligarchy, a great intellectual, a soldier, a CEO, an office worker, a technician, a factory worker, a service worker, a bureaucrat, a carpenter, a craftsman, an artist, a miner, a laborer, a field hand, an organized criminal, an unorganized criminal, a retired person, a person who wishes he were aboriginal without roles in a complex society, or basest of all, a politician, we see the world through the lense of sports.


jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

Because sport is the ordinary person's version of game theory.

Players, rules, plays, incentives, outcomes and equilibrium tendencies.

The game you love most is the lense through which you understand and love the best parts of the world through.

The game you are indifferent to is the lense you don't look through.

The game you hate is the lense you fear the world through.

Mark Turgeon lives and works and raises his family in College Station, Texas.

He is a basketball man in a culture of football, a culture that is only now learning to cheer for basketball.

Culture could be more alienating for Mark Turgeon, if he moved to Paraguay and coached basketball in soccer culture, but not that much different.

Basketball has made small in roads in Texas. Haskins built a small basketball mission in El Paso. The Buford and the San Antonio Spurs have brought some civilization the Alamo. There is a nascent basketball cult growing in Waco, as cults sometimes do there. None less than the missionary Knights have tried in Lubbock, with tenuous results at best. Some would say Barnes and the Longhorns have flourished, but a valid argument can be made that UT basketball is just football in basketball uniforms. And Mark Turgeon thought Billy G had broken the ice of of introducing basketball civilization in College Station.

But Turg has learned that all civilization is but a thin veneer over a genetic legacy of enduring competition for food, water and shelter, and that savagery lurks in those genes as surely as kindness and laziness.

Texas paves over that genetic legacy with a thin layer of football, which is itself just an organized form of savagery.

Some day Texas will evolve up to basketball in a big way. It can't be all bad. Baseball flourishes there.

But until that day comes, Turg is going to feel serious alienation in College Station.

Dyrk Dugan 9 years, 11 months ago

Turg knows it's about winning....and the winning includes beating UT. that's all their fans truly care about.

I think he feels that if he had the talent of the current Longhorn team....he would be way ahead of them. i think that's his message. if he truly had the talent, he would win...and probably big.

but it is what it is rules here....and in College Station TX, you work with what you can get. and i think he's done a very good job.

a win tonight now, would do a lot. But i don't want to see it. i think we're a better basketball team than A&M...and we've had better wins.

Turg is 0-3 vs. KU....Bill Self has never started 11-0 in the league at KU....something has to give.

KU 72 A&M 70

Rock Chalk Jayhawks!

DocBean 9 years, 11 months ago

Turg is a good guy, but if we run the table in the Big XII it doesn't matter what any other team does, Self is the Coach of the Year.

Heck, he's going to be the coach of the decade before all is said and done. ...does the old decade end this year, or does the new decade start this year?

Mike Barnhart 9 years, 11 months ago

Turg reminds me a lot of his old college coach; he was also a sourpuss. A heck of a coach who won us a championship but one morose dude.

hawkva 9 years, 11 months ago


I disagree with your use of "inured" and believe there are better word choices.

"Brevity is the soul of wit." (Wm. Shakespeare, Hamlet)

Couldn't finish reading your screed.


Brak 9 years, 11 months ago

I don't know how you can accuse Turg of being a whiner, maybe its just that he was too spoiled when he was at WSU. Maybe he was so used to it being so loud he couldn't hear himself think, but when he gets down to A&M its so quiet you can hear a pin drop. At WSU he was able to take a group of kids that nobody else wanted and turned them into men who made a sweet 16 run in the NCAA tourney. I have no doubt he will do the same at A&M and will be continual rivals for the Big 12 championship. I wish Turg all the luck in the world because he is a class act and deserves it.....just not tonight.

slowplay 9 years, 11 months ago

jaybate (anonymous) says...

"Texans are people, too."...... That's debatable.

Winters has COTY wrapped up.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 11 months ago

Hypothetical question.....if Bill moved on, who would you like to be his successor:

1] Danny [former player and current assistant] 2] Turg [former player and assisitant] 3]Sexy Rexy[former player] 4]Calimari..only kidding[former assistant] 5]None of the above 6]All of the above 7]Jaybate 8]Uncle Roy [former head coach] 9] The hot little redhead from Texas 10] Tyrell Reed's sister 11] A significant political figure who may be available in a couple of years 12]Bobby Knight 13]Other

Steve Gantz 9 years, 11 months ago

Turgeon is still one of "ours". People calling him a whiner must not remember the fun of watching him during his playing career at KU.

KU 9 years, 11 months ago

I just can't see aTm scoring more than 60-65 points. They prefer to play a relatively slow pace, which means they will be playing right into KU's meat grinder preference. Once you get past Sloan and Davis, they don't really have a big offensive threat.

Davis is their only scary Big. He's very emotional and if we double him hard, we can take him out of the game by getting in his head. If he gets frustrated, it would not surprise me to see him get a T.

Sloan's probably gonna get his. As long as he doesn't go off for 30, we can withstand his scoring.

We can't let someone like Nathan Walkup beat us with effort and garbage points.

aTm is not a particularly good rebounding team, but then neither is KU. We have to emphasize pounding them into submission on the glass.

Our advantage in the paint is very big in this game. We have to emphasize pounding the ball inside. If we can get Davis in foul trouble early, it's a 10-12 point win.

Bottom line, you get the "good" side of KU's recent schizophrenic Saturday-Monday personality in this game. It's been Saturday-bad, Monday-good due to the level of competition on those respective days of the week. I'm expecting an energized team and a focused effort tonight.

Ben Kane 9 years, 11 months ago


i think you need to add a fourth type; racing. i'm not one of them, but they are in a world of their own.

jacqueshock 9 years, 11 months ago

Great post, Jaybate. Makes me think you're a sports columnist or a culture columnist, one of the two. It's a similar situation at Florida where Billy Donovan is still overshadowed by football, despite two national championships and a Final Four. Going toward the Tallahassee side, I talked to a couple of Florida State fans who didn't even know FSU had made the NCAA Tournament last year. People tend to prefer one sport over another. College basketball is #1 for me, but college football is #2. I always watch big-time games and a lot of those are often in the SEC and for good reason. I'd love to see KU competing for the Big 12 North year in and year out and actually be a threat to represent the Big 12 in the national championship.

I know this might expose my thinking about the whole competition over shelter, food and water, but a winning program at KU and having big-time games in Lawrence generates way more economic impact than basketball. (Nothing really profound.) Just five sold-out home games brings in more people than 14 home basketball games. And usually there are at least 6 home games every year. At a basketball game there might be a few hundred opposing fans at the most. At a football game, there are several thousand, especially if it's Texas, Nebraska, or Oklahoma. Those fans have to travel, stay in hotels, eat in the restaurants, you get the picture. And this does not included money generated by TV exposure.

There's no reason why football and basketball can't be equals as far as competing at the highest level every year. It is a rarity, but it happened in Gainesville.

personman 9 years, 11 months ago

Keep 'em coming Jaybate! Your posts are more enlightening than ANYTHING else on this sight (Jesse Newell is a close second, but in a different way). Actually that's IT!!!! There's the future commentary for KU basketball...Jaybate does color commentary, Newell does the play-by-play. What do you think?

UncleMiltyN 9 years, 11 months ago

Oakville -

I don't know if Mr. Daniel R. Manning wants to be a head man...yet. I get the impression he just likes being around basketball and working with the guys.

Dooley or somebody like Mark Few are who I'd put a buck on...

I think it all depends on if/when Self leaves. If he leaves after this year, I think it would be a long process and we'd end up hiring somebody like Few.

I'm sure some of the guys you mentioned would interview. Turg would certainly be a candidate. He can coach. The question is can he recruit better if he were here?

bradynsdad 9 years, 11 months ago

can anyone help me out? my wife surprised me with tickets to tge colorado game, however they are general admission. i have never used g.a. can someone suggest the best place to enter, where we should go, and if you pretty much have to stay there the whole game. i would greatly appreciate the help.

Steve Brown 9 years, 11 months ago

Brdy the ushers will help you and usually seats avail in upper 4 corners.

arrive early, see exhibits on ground floor on east side the NCAA Trophy, the orange bowl trophy stuff like that - also find corrider under seats on west side.

don't be in hot dog line right before the player introductions as you don't want to miss the video board pre game show...sets nice tone for the game.


Steve Brown 9 years, 11 months ago


if we hit FT. otherwise-


if we don't.

Jeff Coffman 9 years, 11 months ago

Self would have only leave for OSU and for an NBA gig. I don't see either one of those happening, and so let's not talk about him leaving.

Let's enjoy having him for the next 20-30 years.

dynamitehawk 9 years, 11 months ago

Oak - Turg.

Jaybate - I read your stuff and it's like a mental slideshow. Great post.


AKA "a person who wishes he were aboriginal without roles in a complex society".

jayhawkinnc 9 years, 11 months ago

Way to go Coach've passed up 'Ol Roy, now go and pass Coach K!

Winningest Coaches Since 1999-2000 (through games of Feb. 13) 1. Mike Krzyzewski 312-61 2. BILL SELF 303-70 2. Roy Williams 303-77 4. Mark Few 285-70 5. Billy Donovan 278-93

al_jayhawkfan 9 years, 11 months ago

jaybate is indeed on the way to being a successful sports columnist. He uses slick language but is often somewhat deficient on the facts.

"Turg had played at KU, assisted Roy at KU, and started head coaching in Jacksonville, FL, where palm trees and retirees kind of diluted the potency of southern football culture. And Jacksonville played worse football than KU. He could relate. Half of everyone in Florida were immigrants just like Turg."

Turg was head coach at Jacksonville State University, Alabama. Not many palm trees here, and even fewer retirees. It's pretty easy to check.

jayhwkr77 9 years, 11 months ago


I think our best option would be Jay Wright. he's built a consistent winner at Nova and if he was in a much easier Big 12 I think he could do even better. another name to watch the next few years is Pastner at Memphis because he is hauling in recruits for the 2010 class like it's nobodys business.

Dyrk Dugan 9 years, 11 months ago


c'mon! why let facts, like the actual place he coached, get in the way of jaybate's endless drifts into nothingness?.....

Ron Prichard 9 years, 11 months ago

I'm sorry, Jaybate, but that was one of the worst things I have ever read. Your opinion on what makes a Kansas or what makes a Texan is just that: an opinion. Nothing more and nothing less. To use a lot of big words and fancy phrases doesn't make it true.

I agree that football is king in Texas. Hell, everyone with any knowledge of sport knows that. My son is 10 and he knows that. Of course it's more difficult to start a basketball program in a football crazy town/state. But it has absolutely nothing to do with understanding the sport or the fact that as a Kansan I can't understand, "why in heavens name anyone self respecting human being would ever prefer a coarse, rowdy, hooligan's game like football to the grace and relative civility of basketball." In general, Kansans love basketball because they have grown up with Kansas being a winner. People in Texas love football because they are used to winning at it. Everyone wants to back a winner.

Indiana. Is it a basketball state or a football state? Indiana University would be basketball, but Notre Dame would be football. California? In the 70's, a basketball state. Now, football all the way.

My mom is a born and bred Texan. My dad is a lifelong Kansan. I have family in both states and have lived in both states. My dad coached high school and junior high football and basketball (and golf) in a small Kansas town for 40+ years and has a football stadium named after him. He was a great teacher. I asked him one time which sport was his favorite. He said he loved both, but football was his first passion.

Call him an anomaly, or an exception to your rule, but when you take off your myopic crimson and blue glasses, Kansans are no different than Texans, who are no different than Iowans, who are no different than Californians. Yes, we all have differences, all have preferences, but as a general rule, we all like to win. We want to back a winner. We want to be relevant. We want to read about our team and talk about them and see them go out and beat that other team that is from another place so we can say we are better than them. It gives us worth and purpose and pride.

I love basketball, but last year I found myself in January looking forward to football season, as I would imagine many lifelong KU fans, and lifelong Kansans did. This year during football, I found myself looking forward to basketball.

I am a Kansan. I have two degrees from KU. I love KU and Kansas and wouldn't want to ever consider myself anything else. But I love both football and basketball. And I find myself wanting KU to win in football so badly. Maybe even more than I want us to win in basketball.

Sports don't define a people, or a state, or even a town. Winning does.

AsadZ 9 years, 11 months ago

I do not understand as to why there is a talk of Self leaving KU?

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago


Glad you responded, but as to content, gotta quote you and say, yours "...was one of the worst things I have ever read."

So you are beginning to like football.

So you only love basketball because KU tends to win.

I would seek medical help as soon as possible. :-)

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

Yeah, I forgot and misplaced him in Florida's Jacksonville rather than Jackson State in 'Bama.

I really botched that one.

Turg should have known not to go south to Texas, after Jackson State. :-)

KGphoto 9 years, 11 months ago

jaybate: You're sounding a little like the late great Hunter Thompson with all the references to savagery. Great word. Bravo.

Haha to raprichard who doesn't like big words and fancy phrases.

Jim Williamson 9 years, 11 months ago

Turg is not a Roy guy; he is a Larry guy.

I don't know that I'd call Turg a whiner. He does kvetch on occasion, just like Larry did.

Roy is indeed a whiner. A self-absorbed, diagnosable whiner. Anyone who likens losing a basketball game to the mind-boggling devastation and loss of life that took place in Haiti is a raving loon and needs to be encouraged to find a nice, quiet, sunny room in which to sit and get some perspective on the world.

bobku 9 years, 11 months ago

After reading posts on this site for the past couple of years, I finally decided to join in.

Jaybate, I really enjoy reading your posts.

As to the three American sports, could you explain in more detail the mindset of each?

The more detail, the better.

I find baseball more boring the older I get. For me it is because it is NOT time driven as the games have no set deadline to end. Some might like it for that reason, but not me.

I enjoy football but basketball this certainly my favorite. The skillsets required of the players and the coaches seems to be more multifaced in basketball than in the two other sports.

Just my 2 cents.

Lance Hobson 9 years, 11 months ago

Kansas always brings the fans out, we must be the best show in town. If A&M makes a big splash tonight the enthusiasm will grow for their program and for Turgeon. They have the fans, they just need to wake up. When they can get 80,000 for an average football team, they can surely get 13,000 for an above average bball team.

Turgeon had more fan support at Wichita State. Still, he could be pretty arrogant with the media and probably tends to be that way in Texas. I always imagined him being KU's coach even back when he was a grad assistant. It could still happen, coach Self may leave for the NBA or elsewhere someday, nothing is guaranteed.

I like what he's done at A&M, it's great for the conference and for KU to have more talented teams. Certainly great KU to have another coaching legend developing from the Phog Allen coaching tree.

drewdun 9 years, 11 months ago

jaybate said: "But no real Kansan can help but why in heavens name anyone self respecting human being would ever prefer a coarse, rowdy, hooligan's game like football to the grace and relative civility of basketball"

I was born in Wichita and have lived in Kansas my entire life, hold a degree from KU, have a smidgen of self-respect, and I greatly prefer football to basketball. Don't get me wrong, I love KU hoops, but the feel of a fall Saturday, especially one spent tailgating on the Hill, is truly like nothing else. Waking up at 7, getting to Lawrence at 8, cracking open my first beer at about 8:02, munching on a breakfast burrito, getting hyped for the kickoff, I'm sorry you just don't get that with basketball. I should also add that I think that football schools/states ignoring basketball isn't right; I guess I'm just glad that my school has finally discovered that the inverse of this situation (no FB support) is also crap, as well as the glory that is a full house in the fall, rooting on a competitive team.

Also, as someone else said, baseball is as boring as watching paint dry. Summer for me as a sports fan is almost unbearable.

KU 9 years, 11 months ago

Turg is great. I wouldn't have any qualms about him taking over his alma mater someday. He DID inherit some of Larry Brown's "glass is half empty and it has a crack in it that's leaking profusely" outlook on things......but that doesn't prevent him from being a very good coach.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 11 months ago

Maybe I just don't fit the mold, but I enjoy all three sports and my personality reflects this:

BASEBALL - The sheer aesthetics of a game with no defined time limit, a field whose horizon is literally inifinity, rules where literally every player could touch the ball on any play, the slow pace and quiet pauses before extreme action, all of this makes baseball a game of mental enjoyment.

It's like being cerebral yet simple.

FOOTBALL - Legalized violence contained on a limited field with stark restrictions on time. Eleven gifted specialists working as one even though only three will actually touch the ball on most plays. Unless you've actually played it, you can't imagine the speed, the violence and the overwhelming sense of being in the eye of a hurricane.

Not war but very much like war..beautiful brutality.

BASKETBALL - The true sport whereby everyone has to be able to do everything if necessary. Tremendous impact with no pads yet balance, grace and agility are musts to be successful. Very few moments to rest, very few moments not to go full speed.

It's the ultimate ballet.

One of the great blessings in my life was I was able to play each of these sports on a competitive level.

KU 9 years, 11 months ago

drewdun.....I wholely agree that there's nothing like a football Saturday on the Hill. The spirit and the pageantry and the bands........electrifying.

ku_foaf 9 years, 11 months ago

College basketball isn't so nothing in Texas. Texas gets a lot of the good in-state players. I live in Houston, and we have NEVER signed any of the great players that came out of Houston. The Texas kids WANT to stay in Texas, and Houston kids often want to go to A&M. This is a good advantage for Turgeon. A&M has a lot of incentive to have a good program since the other 3 conference Texas schools are doing very well or at least decent.

The tough part for him is following Billy Clyde. Billy was already a basketball god in College Station. They'd have given him anything he wanted to stay! But who can turn down on of the top jobs in the country, Kentucky? Sadly, I knew he wasn't ready for it.

High school basketball in Texas is hardly noticed in most areas, and that is sad. The attention to HS football is incredible. Lots of kids from my NW neighborhood play in the Big 12.

slowplay 9 years, 11 months ago

I relate to and enjoy baseball mainly because I can still play the sport. Haven't picked up a football since college, played basketball into my early 50's, but at 60 I still play baseball/softball. It's the only pro sport I still watch (in person). The smell of the grass, the hot dogs, the taste of cold beer on a hot weekend day, the intricacies of the game itself and the relaxed pace always make for a great day at the ball park. That said, I must admit that since moving to Lawrence there is nothing like a KU basketball game.

ilovebill 9 years, 11 months ago

Sports are a year-round joy...why settle for a favorite?

In the true spirit of loving the one you're with:

KU basketball is such a thrill each year....following the players as they progress, cheering for them like they are a part of your family, loving the winning tradition that is Kansas basketball, feeling proud of Coach Self and what the team accomplishes each year.

Then, as the glow of basketball season is time for Cardinals baseball! Loving Albert and Skip and Carp and Yadi! Following stats and records and rookies and races. And when there isn't a Cardinals game that night, catching Vin Scully call a Dodgers game on MLB radio. Lovely!

And as the summer winds down and the night grow is time to spend your Saturdays watching the Ohio State Buckeyes:)

Life is good!

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago


Thanks, but I'm getting older and not every slide is perfectly preserved, i.e., Turg at Jackson State instead of Jacksonville. But...

I appreciate the corrections and go and read up to sharpen the recollector. :-)

Not sure why everyone gets so agitated about unintentional mistakes. Maybe because they are so tired of being intentionally lied to by their governments.


Thanks for the prop.

It must be a side effect of the curse of lono! :-)

Ten Yeahs 9 years, 11 months ago


i feel KU is extremely blessed to have Coach Self at the helm, and Coach Williams and Brown before him, but Hypothetically speaking alot of good choices to choose from your list, i'd go with #2.

Its fun to think about what it would be like having #12 as KU's coach though.

I'm sure alot of KU fans are tired of the KU/UNC ties but I like'em and wouldn't mind hiring another UNC assistant. I think it worked out great for KU last time and would work even better this time. I think Jerod Haase and CB McGrath are going to be excellent head coaches. What do you think? Between the two of them which would you choose?

Personally having gone to Topeka West and watched CB play high school ball I'm partial to him. The guy has the savy, smarts, everything. Secretly I see CB McGrath as the heir apparent to the Kansas legendary coaching bloodline. Topeka has a good KU coaching history. The similarites between Roy and CB are quite interesting as well. CB was probably a better athlete in his day than Roy when both were coming out of high school and starting college. Both walked on at big time basketball schools. Both mentored by legendary coaches. CB unlike Roy managed to play all 4 years, though sparingly. Though I never saw Roy play in high school, while reading the chapters in his book about his high school/college basketball playing days it reminded me alot of CB. Alot of folks were apprehensive when Bob Frederick decided to go with an assistant basketball coach with no prior head coaching experience as our new head coach back in 88.(and rightfully so) but it worked out - it didn't result in any national championships but it should have and would have with the ball bouncing differently on a few different occasions. Would a KU AD today have the guts to do what Dr. Frederick did? things to think about while waiting for the evenings jayhawk enjoyment texas style to begin.....i hope we got Bobby Kaniget as a commentator for big texas monday tonight

Mike Kendall 9 years, 11 months ago

jaybate-- love your posts, as always!

A lot of you have said this, but wouldn't mind Turgeon taking over for Bill, if it happens. I think HCBS will be in Lawrence for a while. I like Turg a lot except when he goes against the Hawks. His win at Mizzou to stop the Tigers home streak was a big win. Followed Turg at Wichita State, as I live in the area and he and his staff to a great job. I think it could be a close game tonight but the Hawks should prevail if we feed the bigs and hit FT's. Good luck, Jayhawks! Rock Chalk!

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago


Basketball..."its the one true sport." Your honors, now let me summarize. You are Kansan by education. The basketball injection took with you fully, partly because you are an exceptionally bright person to start with. You happen also to be something of renaissance man. And you can enjoy high and low culture. There is nothing wrong with enjoying football any more than enjoying stock car racing or kick boxing. But to reiterate my quote of you: basketball..."its the one true sport." Defense rests, your honors.


I will think on it a bit to clarify and address your question, when I have some more time. Thanks for breaking out and participating. You will be glad you did.

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago


Tough luck. We apparently failed you. There are always outliers in any distribution. :-)

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago


I agree that football is a necessary evil in the business of basketball. In the long run, Id do believe basketball could outstrip football in TV revenues, because b-ball plays 35 games a season. I don't want to add more games to college ball, because then it would become as ragged as pro basketball. Here's my idea: create pay per view/subscription televised viewing of practices. There must be hundreds of practices. Wouldn't that turn the tables on football. Basketball practices would be very telegenic, where as football practices would be utterly boring.

Until then, we have to encourage football for business reasons, but do we really have to pretend it is equal? :-)

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago


Ditto on the gear heads.

Eurekahwk 9 years, 11 months ago

Turgeon, a whiner! I don't think so. He lost early departures to the NBA draft, he lost his best scoring guard to a horrible fracture. And his team is tied for second in the league. And don't think ATM is going to lay down tonight. Read their newspaper, and you'll see that they are billing this as their biggest game EVER! They really want this win. Eventhough we have a stranglehold on the Big XII, I think we need this win. We need every tough win we can get since our non-conference was such crap.

My preference would be for Danny Manning as a replacement if Self left, but Turgeon would be right up there. He IS this year's Big XII COY.

And football is America's passion. Kansas' short sightedness towards building a powerhouse program in football is definitely a detriment. Texas isn't a blueblood in bball, but they can pretend to be with all that money that their football program brings in. But Bill Self does the next best thing. We play football on the hardwood.

Ten Yeahs 9 years, 11 months ago

my alltime favorite basketball player ever - Danny the man Manning! my first basketball game i remember watching - KU's 1988 National Championship How great is it that Coach Self can have Danny Manning on his staff? KU is blessed to have him on the bench and in their practices and a part of the program again. to word this.....without disrespecting one of my alltime favorites?

Would Coach Manning lead KU basketball in an honorable way? There's no doubt. I have no doubt in his moral integrity and it is the number 1 quality that i want in KU's coach.

There's a couple of things holding me back from wanting to see Coach Manning as KU's head coach. one of them being i guess just the fact that he is this "idol" and "hero" figure for me and of course he's not perfect but in my mind part of me would like to keep him that way and if he were put on that stage as the coach it would be mighty difficult to keep that image....then again part of me is curious to see him as the head coach of KU.

but when i try and picture him as a head coach of a major basketball program it doesnt feel right for another reason.

its hard to say exactly why.....i think it is his demeanor. Or maybe its what i perceive as his demeanor and his general facial expression. You know how actors get typecasted? or you have a buddy who always looks mean or angry but is not. Danny to me always has this sleepy laid back chill look on his face and its seems like the opposite demeanor of most head coaches i'm familiar with. so basically i would love to have danny manning as an assistant coach at KU forever but i'm realistic and know thats not going to happen, just as i know Coach Self isn't going to be here forever. i'm just hesitant to hand him the program but I have enough respect for him that if I was the AD I would. He deserves it. Its kinda similar to the dean smith/guthridge situation at UNC. I didnt see Coach Guthridge as a head coach but he clearly deserved to be. Lebron maybe King but Danny is The Man!

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago


I endured your post in its entirety, as a favor to you, and because some days suffering builds character. :-)

First, I agree. I could have done better than inured.

Thanks for the assist.

Second, you could have done better than screed.

Screed is an often abused word with at least three distinctly different primary meanings that breed confusion in comprehension among readers, especially when the first meaning of the primary definition was probably not what you intended, but could easily have described my post. As a general rule, don't resort to lesser definitions of words unless there is no other word that would be more rant. Capice? ;-)

Further, screed has secondary and tertiary meanings that are completely irrelevant to what you are saying, so you force readers into laboring over a primary definition with conflicting usages. Writing, especially word choice, is supposed to channel persons toward clarity of comprehension, not toward vagueness of same.

Finally, your reference to Shakespeare, whom you seem not to have read, though you may perhaps have looked at his words a time or two under the tutelage of a high school teacher, is unrelated to my post, as my post was not meant as an exercise in wit, amiable though I intended it to be.

Hence, you grade out at less than 50%; this remains a failing grade even given today's deteriorated standards.

It is both remarkable and ironic that in so few words criticizing my writing you could make such a mess of your own. It betrays weak thinking, but then I do not wish to kick when you are down.

Still, excuse me for my lack of awe at your proficiency.

To quote Bob Dylan, which is always fun, especially when he is not being ambiguous:

"I ain't sayin' you treated me unkind You could have done better but I don't mind You just kinda wasted my precious time But don't think twice, it's all right" :-)

But, again, thanks for the assist.

Yeeee hawwwww, Big Monday is always fun.

Rock chalk!

TRUEHEART 9 years, 11 months ago

I don't want to even want to think about losing Coach Self but I would go with Turg. I have known him since he was a player and an assistant. He is as good a guy as Self and obviously has become a very good and experienced coach.

jhox 9 years, 11 months ago

If Coach Self would every decide to leave, my top two choices to replace him, no no particular order, would be Turgeon or Jay Wright, If Turgeon had the prestige of the KU program and Allen Field house to help him in recruiting, he would be incredible. I believe he's the best X and O guy in the conference. That's not to take anything away from Coach Self. I love the toughness Self instills in his teams, but Turgeon knows how to pull the strings. If he had the talent we have at Kansas, he would be unstopable.

I have a friend who helped Turgeon coach a Freshman team at KU, made up of walk ons who played a schedule against Juco teams, and he said he has never been around anyone with the coaching ability of Turgeon, including Coach Willams. He said they routinely beat much more athletic and talented Juco teams with outstanding coaching from Turgeon. My friend went on to coach at a Big 12 school as an assistant, and knows more than a little about the game.

Another guy who I would like to see get a chance on the D1 level is Jared Haas. Unfortunatley, he's buried as a on again, off again number 3 assistant at UNC. Jared would be an unbelievable recruiter. He knows X's and O's and is a great communicator. .

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

I am too happy with Bill Self to speculate meaningfully about possible replacements at this time.

bnet0000 9 years, 11 months ago

I am sick and tired of missing the first 5 minutes of every KU game that is played on ESPN. If they can't show the entire game from start to finish, then quit showing at all!

Lance Hobson 9 years, 11 months ago

Hey, take it easy on baseball. Kansas is a great baseball state and it's a great sport. That too many people today don't have the attention span for it is sad. The strategy and anticipation in baseball make the great moments impressive and unforgettable. The sport doesn't need to apologize for not spoon-feeding action to the lazy and glutonous. But if you like, you still get the beer and junk food. There is nothing like watching minor league baseball, where the most dedicated and persavering are rewarded one small promotion at a time, culminating in the ultimate call-up. Almost all baseball players have Kurt Warner's story.

mojayhawk 9 years, 11 months ago


Loved Turgeon as a player. Good X and O coach. BIG time whiner! Wouldn't want him.

We have the best.

TRUEHEART 9 years, 11 months ago

Too many games like this - pullin it out in the last minute or so. Players must be thinkin they can do this every time. That won't work forever.

tophawk1983 9 years, 11 months ago

Ha I told you all he was a whiner haha loving it.

Ten Yeahs 9 years, 11 months ago

i love a close game more than anything nothing like a game that comes down to the last possession of the game!

but the best is when both teams play great games and Then it ends up being decided by that last shot.

Can anything in sports beat that moment? its the same in almost all sports .... besides the straight steal of home in baseball which compares a little i cant think of anything i enjoy more by far

kirk gibson hitting that homer.....the mets down to their last out in game 6 against the red sox.....the red sox down 3 games to nothing vs the yankees.......magic flutie's hail ave maria....kordell's long distance bomb against the wolverines.....mj over and over and over......tyus edney going the distance and laying it up and over and in against our lovely neighbors......jacque's long 3 against indiana and mister bob.... mario's miracle.....tyrel reed sending it into overtime with that defensive gem of a strip of whoever that wildcat was trying to make a layup to win it.....

KU fans have been spoiled by too many blow outs over the years. So this recent string of squeakers has been especially appreciated and enjoyed.

This one wasn't quite as thrilling of an ending like the kstate or a few other games but still a doosy for sure.

Ten Yeahs 9 years, 11 months ago

it was a doozy only in that we squeaked out a win there at the end but for 36 minutes our offense and most of our game was horrid...and Sherron Collins - jiminy cricket on crutches at christmas what the yoyo yosemitee samuel sam was going on for the first 35odd minutes of your game.

still i had faith in the boss and in our star and i wanted it in #4's hands at the end. no doubt. i knew you was just testing us.

but really, you have to tip your hat to that topeka boy......and KU grad - Mark Turgeon and his team. What a great team you've got Coach Turgeon! I liked your WSU teams. Would like to have you back coaching in Kansas again. But really there's nowhere here to go....certainly purple is not an enviable color for a fine Coach like Turgeon to be wearing. Could anyone image a KU grad coaching at KSU. wrong. just completely wrong.....The Big12 is where Turgeon belongs. A&M is a great fit.

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