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Monday, February 22, 2010

Kansas gunning for sixth straight Big 12 title tonight

Kansas won its fifth straight Big 12 title last season and celebrated with a trophy ceremony.

Kansas won its fifth straight Big 12 title last season and celebrated with a trophy ceremony.

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GameDay Cram Session: Oklahoma

KUSports.com online editor Jesse Newell and Journal-World sports editor Tom Keegan take a look at what to expect from the Kansas basketball team's matchup against Oklahoma.

Jayhawks host Buffalo beatdown

The Jayhawks looked good offensively in their second game against Colorado on Saturday. Kansas won the home game by 20 points.

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The 2008-09 Kansas men's basketball team checks out the Jumbotron in Allen Fieldhouse after clenching the Big 12 championship with a win over Texas on Saturday, March 7, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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The Kansas University's men's basketball team receives the Big 12 Conference championship trophy from league commissioner Dan Beebe, left. KU's 72-55 victory over Texas A&M on Saturday in College Station, Texas, gave the Jayhawks at least a share of their fourth league crown in four seasons.

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Kansas University basketball players hoist their newly-earned Big 12 regular season title trophy. The Jayhawks defeated Texas in March 2007 to take the regular season title outright and notch the program's 1,900th victory.

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The Jayhawks hoist the Big 12 Conference championship trophy.

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The Kansas Jayhawks celebrate with the Big 12 Championship trophy following their 80-68 defeat over the number one seeded Texas Longhorns Sunday afternoon in Dallas.

They are easy to take for granted at times, with all eyes focused on the big prize — the NCAA basketball championship.

But make no mistake about it: Conference titles, like the sixth-straight Big 12 crown Kansas University could clinch with a victory tonight over Oklahoma, are mighty significant, especially to the guys who put in the blood, sweat and tears over a grueling two-month period.

“We only won one when I was playing. We had a chance to win two more, but came in second,” said former KU All-American Dave Robisch, needing no time to recall how many he’d snared.

“Six in a row is an unbelievable achievement. We’ve won a lot of conference championships (nation’s best 52 titles). To put that many in a row is just unbelievable.”

Winning six, which would tie Phog Allen’s 1922 to ’27 teams for most in a stretch in KU history, also would classify as “incredible,” said former KU guard Ryan Robertson, who jokingly said, “I’m happy with my three.”

“This is pretty significant. I think it’s worthy of a banner up there,” Robertson added of the fieldhouse rafters. “You have to remember, the conference got bigger (moving from Big Eight to Big 12 in 1997), and the league is much deeper. Texas has been really good over that stretch. Six in a row ... it’s a huge pat on the back for (coach) Bill Self and the job he’s done. Big kudos to him.”

Of course, KU (26-1 overall, 12-0 Big 12) has to defeat OU (13-13, 4-8) in an 8 p.m. Big Monday contest today to assure at least a tie for the crown. The Jayhawks lead second-place Kansas State by three games with four to play.

“I think we take it (winning titles) for granted. I do,” said former KU small forward Carl Henry, who quickly smiled and said, “None,” asked how many league titles he won here. “They should all be real proud. What they are doing now, they should be really proud.”

Henry, who has coached Oklahoma City Athletes First AAU teams the past several years, easily can see why the Jayhawks are trying to become the first BCS school since UCLA (13 from 1967 to ’79) to win as many as six league titles in a row. Kentucky won six SEC Eastern Division crowns from 2000 to ’05. Gonzaga of the WCC currently is working on a streak of nine and counting.

“I mean, they’ve got the players,” Henry said. “When I come watch the games and see them play, it’s just, ‘Who is going to do it that night?’ because they’ve got the players.”

And the coaches, who on a daily basis try to get the guys to focus on the game at hand.

“We haven’t won it yet by any means,” Self said. “Certainly our schedule is very, very difficult down the stretch. We have to defend our home court. I’m pretty proud of these guys if we get to that point where we have a chance to clinch at least a part of it. We’d have sold out for that before the season started probably at Game 16, let alone Game 13.”

KU point guard Sherron Collins said that this title ultimately would rank as his favorite.

“It’d stack up at the top because it’s my senior year. We’ve got a chance to win it at home. It’d be great,” Collins said. “It’s just another one, though. I’ve got three, so it’s another one.

“It’s real hard for a school to do, especially in a tough conference like we’ve got,” he added of going for six straight. “It means a lot. To win three in a row and win a fourth would be special. We’ve never lost a conference championship since I’ve been here. It’d be great.”

“It’d be huge,” noted junior center Cole Aldrich.

It’d be huge to KU players past and present.

“To win six straight titles in a major conference ... it’s a great accomplishment,” Robisch said. “It just goes to show you how impressive the history and tradition is here. All the players and coaches that have come through here are dedicated to carrying on that tradition.”

Comments

Andrew Ralls 10 years, 1 month ago

Someone have the video camera ready at the end of the game, just in case. Here's last year's post-Texas victory video when we clinched:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Zd_IpfdapY

KUTPO 10 years, 1 month ago

If Cole stayed for his senior year, could he have a chance to beat Collins win/lose record?

ParisHawk 10 years, 1 month ago

KUTPO,

During Collins' freshman year, KU won 33 games. Cole would have to beat that his senior year.

Paul Meyer 10 years, 1 month ago

Before the days of volume meters and advertising, AFH used to have a very classy banner covering the official's table on the floor stating conference championships.

Not sure why a BCS stat relates to NCAA college basketball. The tourney solves this silly organization.

KUTPO 10 years, 1 month ago

Thanks, ParisHawk, and very do-able should Cole return for his senior year! Selfishly, wouldn't that be fun? If KU doesn't win the NC, what chance does anyone give for the Condor to return? Never mind, I just answered my own question. KU wins NC...Rock Chalk!

JayhawkRock 10 years, 1 month ago

There better be a trophy if we win tonight. I know it's only to clinch a share of the title but to clinch that with three left to play is pretty amazing with the teams in the conference. I would expect a trophy mostly because this is the sixth in a row for us but I guess we will just have to wait and see....

docileboy 10 years, 1 month ago

Nice article in the Tulsa paper this morning, talking about how knowledgeable the fans are, and how loud it can be in the "Phog". Let's not disapoint them. The OU players that played here two years ago said with all the noise the crowd made it was like starting out 10 points down. Rock Chalk!

Oh, and I hate counting Championships before they are won, there will be plenty of time for celebrating after the clinching game is over. I agree with Coach there is still a tough row to hoe.

swense 10 years, 1 month ago

I agree with docileboy, we don't count anything until the game that counts is over. That's why the games are played so 2 things the Jayhawks need to keep the home streak alive and thereby clinching a tie for the Big 12 championship. Rock Chalk

Mike Kendall 10 years, 1 month ago

Agreed, docileboy! Celebrate when it is over. Winning doesn't get old, though. Great accomplishment, KU!!!!!

JayCeph 10 years, 1 month ago

@ docileboy - Nice article. Great read. One rarely sees how others view their team (from the outside looking in). Awesome.

http://www.tulsaworld.com/sportsextra/OU/article.aspx?subjectid=92&articleid=20100222_92_B1_NORMAN240014

@ aralls - Phenomenal link! I realized I wasn't breathing 'till half way through the video.

Rock Chalk!

Steve Brown 10 years, 1 month ago

Recall OU CoachTubbs & Wayman Tisdale 'rip' winning the Big 8 in AFH and having a cutting down our nets ceremony. A notorious night in AFH history. Fans booed while they laughed & taunted us.

Coach Brown said in the news, 'the world is round' boy was it.....

Cody Stumma 10 years, 1 month ago

Nah... the OU players will all be too tired because they had to spend half the night waiting for Fire Crews to take care of the fire at the Oread.

JayhawkRock 10 years, 1 month ago

Just a side note...X was selected as player of the week in the Big 12.

BCRavenJHawkfan 10 years, 1 month ago

I am 99.9% sure that conference championships are the first and foremost goal for Self and Co. I know it is a big deal in my eyes. But then I am old school and place alot of value in conference play. It does help that the conference is the Big XII as opposed to something like Conference USA. I think the BCS reference was just to point out the significant conferences without naming all of them.

sevenyearhawk 10 years, 1 month ago

lighthawk and jhwkfan162515,

I agree ... I have more of a problem with Oklahoma and their fans than either K-State or Mizzou.

Of all the conference football stadiums I visited - that's the only one where I almost got in a fight ... and it was with some old guy.

Phoggin_Loud 10 years, 1 month ago

6 in a row is amazing, but I haven't heard much about this being the 10th overall Big XII Regular-Season Championship. Let's not forget the other 4!!

KU has won 10 of 14!! Amazing!!

BCRavenJHawkfan 10 years, 1 month ago

"Recall OU CoachTubbs & Wayman Tisdale 'rip' winning the Big 8 in AFH and having a cutting down our nets ceremony. A notorious night in AFH history. Fans booed while they laughed & taunted us."

Uh, that's okay, Tubbs and OU had to watch KU cut down the National Championship nets in Kansas City!

trueblue9 10 years, 1 month ago

Love the six titles, but the unbalanced scheduling helped to some extent. The north has been pretty terrible for the past six years. Check out the number of tourney wins during that time period. Worth a mention.

Mizzou - 3 (all last year) Kstate - 1 ISU - 1

A&M - 5 Ok. St. - 3 Texas - 8 Ok - 2 Tech - 2

Who would've thought that we'd be favored by more over OK than CO at this point in the season when it began? Obviously Warren not playing is a factor, but still.

MIZNIT 10 years, 1 month ago

I understand Oklahoma is terrible this year, and has massively underachieved... But how is the line 22 points! That's insane!

Ron Franklin 10 years, 1 month ago

Brady has one year of elgibility left. And it appears that he gets the wins even his redshirt year. So, won't he pretty much claim ownership to that title by the end of next year?

Ron Franklin 10 years, 1 month ago

Sorry about the poor grammar there:

It appears he will get to count the wins from his redshirt year.

TtownHawk 10 years, 1 month ago

Will they do a trophy presentation tonight if we win? Or will we have to wait until its an outright title?

jaybate 10 years, 1 month ago

"Billy Tubbs, Nolan Richardson and the Legacy of 40 Minutes of Hell"

dihrdhwk86, I didn't like William Tubbs either, but you can't beat the Federal Reserve Basketball System programs being a nice guy.

When you are trying to break into the College Basketball Federal Reserve System--KU, UNC, UConn, MSU, Cuse, Duke, and UCLA (note exclusion of UK, which apparently now matters only once every half decade when it reputedly cheats egregiously), you have to convince your players and your fans and the media that you are for real; that you are one tough bunch, and that you are going to kick the door down to get a seat at the central basketballing cartel's table as an equal.

Tulsa native Billy Tubbs won 641 games and lost 341 coaching at second rate basketball schools like Lamar, OU, TCU, and Lamar before hanging up the whistle. This is an incredible coaching accomplishment. Any coach, whether they love or hate Tubbs, will admit this. And Tubbs did something most people thought was impossible at OU at the time. He turned them into a contender for a ring for the first time since Alvan Adams and Garfield Heard's brief run. He made them not just a contender, but a feared team.

I believe Billy Tubbs was an original in his approach to the game, and if not an original, then certainly the maverick of this style of play in his time. He learned his game from Jack Martin at Lamar. Alas, I am unable to discover anything about Jack Martin of Lamar, so I cannot say if Tubbs developed Martin's game, or if Tubbs developed his run and press system on his own.

Tubb's run and press system drove a lot of purists nuts. It seemed undisciplined at times and yet there was method to its madness.And when he had a great player in Waymon Tisdale, it took an even greater player in Danny Manning, plus the coaching saavy of one of the game's greatest traditional geniuses, Larry Brown, to beat Tubb's run and press for a ring.

jaybate 10 years, 1 month ago

It is often overlooked, but Billy Tubbs was playing 40 minutes of hell before Nolan Richardson.

Billy started running and pressing in the mid 70s at Lamar, when Nolan was still at Bowie High in El Paso coaching Don Haskin's brilliant update of half court Iba Ball.

Billy brought run and press, something he failed to coin a memorable name for, and that would come to be called 40 minutes of hell later, to OU the year before Nolan took his first college job at Tulsa U.

Billy was 35-4 and an NCAA runner up to KU in '88, when Nolan was still two years away from his first Final Four at Arkansas.

I am not putting any knock on Nolan here, because I believe Nolan Richardson and Billy Tubbs are two of the greatest underrated coaches of all time. I have no idea if Nolan borrowed from Billy, but it would not surprise me.

Neither Billy, nor Nolan, were "a nice guy" in public image. Both fostered brash,slightly rogue-ish images. Billy really was was the Jack Nicholson persona than Jack Nicholson himself only pretended to be in movies.

Both Billy and Nolan felt you had to kick the door down to get in. And they both tried and they both came very close. And neither frowned on his players taunting another team, or coach, or crowd, if it seemed to increasing the odds of out bluffing another team. Billy and Nolan were every bit as much "us vs. them" and defiant, as John Thompson Version 1.0, was at Georgetown. Thompson, Billy, and Nolan constitute a triumvirate of defiance of tradition that flourished in the 70s and 80s.

jaybate 10 years, 1 month ago

I have gotten the impression that both Billy and Nolan, though increasingly forgotten, are hugely respected among truly knowledgeable coaches for what each accomplished in the face of long odds at non-basketball programs, whether or not they were "liked."

But the truly interesting comparison is Billy and Nolan for both were playing the same game and for a time in the same state and then in neighboring states.

Neither Billy, nor Nolan, were ever given enough credit for the philosophical saavy their run and press systems brought to basketball, even though the game has moved in another direction for the time being.

Billy and Nolan each took 40 minutes of hell to the national finals once a piece. To me, this has always proved the feasibility of the system. If it were ever coached at one of the Federal Reserve System schools, it would almost certainly win a ring in a very short time.

I believe Billy Tubbs and Nolan Richardson know in their hearts that they were both light years ahead of their time and of the game's development.

Mike Anderson of MU is their heir. And he won 30 games with their system just last season, at a time, when the extreme roughness of today's game sharply favors half court muscle ball. He is IMHO, also ahead of his time.

The system works. It is not perfect. It is not better.But it is feasible with a fine player. Anderson proved that again with DeMarre Carroll.

Someday the game may revert to being called significantly less roughly, and a Federal Reserve program may hire a 40 Minutes of Hell coach. I sincerely believe that system could be vindicated under those circumstances with a ring. In my opinion, it is still the only viable alternative to KNight/K ball, Eddie/Bill Ball and Dean/Roy ball. I am not saying it is better, but it is the only alternative system that could reasonably prevail part of the time given equal talent against Eddie/Bill Ball and Dean/Roy ball. Huggins Ball and Izzo Ball are other possible candidates, but only as long as referees are going to call college basketball games as if they were NHL contests. Were the fouls to be called again, Huggins Ball (derived from Huggins dad in east Ohio) and Izzo Ball (some strange agglomeration of what Izzo learned in the U.P of Michigan in college and what Heathcote coached at MSU), would likely melt away like bad memories, or so I wish. Maybe the Princeton will finally vindicate, also, but I doubt it.

Any way, three cheers for Billy Tubbs, for what he accomplished, and cat calls and hisses for what a jerk he could be, when he was doing it.

okiedave 10 years, 1 month ago

The only article in the Tulsa World today about the OU game tonight was how intimidating it is to play at AFH. They quoted a Missouri player who stated, 'We were 10 points behind immediately when we walked into Allen Field House'. They quoted Texas Tech coach who stated that he thought his players were 'scared' before the game started. Then quoted current OU player, Davis, who stated that the atmosphere two years ago was intimidating because of all the 'championship banners' plus the 'beware of the Phog banner' but mostly because the fans 'are right on you the entire game'. The article was entitled 'OU BRACES FOR KU."

The sports writers sound like they are surrendering before the whistle blows.

dynamitehawk 10 years, 1 month ago

dynamitehawk = thread hijacker extraordinaire

So, we haven't agreed on a nickname for Calipari. I like Johnny the Squid, or Vinny the Squid (John Vincent Calipari, Mafia-type nickname, with a calamari twist).

What do you think?

dynamitehawk 10 years, 1 month ago

oops wrong thread. super thread hijacker extraordinaire...

Rivethead 10 years, 1 month ago

No matter what, OU still holds the title for best names for a pair of guards:

Skeeter Henry Smokey McCovery

Don't think that will ever be beaten.....

jhokfan 10 years, 1 month ago

lighthawk:

I think we got the last laugh.

Dan Pawlowski 10 years, 1 month ago

lighthawk, I was attending KU at the time of the " Tubbs Net Incident". I don't care how good of a coach he was or is , he will always be a classless jerk to me. To many of the kids a coach has under his wing he is an important person in their life. The "leadership" he showed that night was reprehensible. Fortunately they had kids like Waymon Tisdale who went on to become really good guys. Rest in Peace Waymon. As for Tubbs, I rooted against him where ever he coached. I am kinda bummed now that he is not coaching anymore. He is the AD at Lamar I believe and it seems kind of petty to root against Lamar's entire sports program.

Dan Pawlowski 10 years, 1 month ago

Lighthawk, I should have started off by saying you brought back memories. The rest of my remarks were addressing other posters on how great of a coach Tubbs was.

jaybate 10 years, 1 month ago

Post Script on Billy and Nolan:

I'll correct myself and say Billy didn't press as much as Nolan. Nolan truly went buzzer to buzzer.

hammerhawk 10 years, 1 month ago

Ah life is good! The Hawks are number 1, again. Roy's boys keep losing. Spring Vacation is only three weeks away. Go Jayhawks!!!

Justin Carlson 10 years, 1 month ago

Completely off the subject! Why do we play Wichita State in Baseball and never play them any more in basketball?

RCJH BEAT OU by 30!!

jaybate 10 years, 1 month ago

I felt the same way about Allen, Ward Lambert, Claire Bee, Pete Newell, and others from the late 50s on back. I wanted to know what they did and how. Alas, the only resources I had in those days were the few books they wrote and my father and one or two friends of his. It was not practical in those days to go through microfische the way it is to google the net. And today you have literally hundreds, if not thousands of persons contributing word of mouth about this stuff on the net. This is why this kind of web site is so important. It is a way of passing the game on from generation to generation. It and other KU websites are recording the legacy of KU basketball in a way that a BHOF, or pre internet word of mouth never could. We have lost much of the early days of the game. We are lucky to be Jayhawks that know so much more of their early legacy than so many other schools. And even we are sketchy on what came before 1941, We really only know the high points, the season statistics and W-Ls. Fewer and fewer persons are alive to tell how it was done, what was tried, what was invented when, etc. Mostly I write for a work out in the logonasium. But I try whenever possible to add something to the digital legacy of what I can recall, or what I have learned. Hopefully, this site will survive and you will do the same for the next generation.

jaybate 10 years, 1 month ago

Regarding Crum, he was probably Wooden's most talented assistant.

His early teams were indistinguishable from Wooden's teams, though maybe even a bit more athletic. Crum believed in athleticism above all else. You had to be able to run and jump out of the gym to play for Crum. Wooden was more like Self in that Wooden saw roles than needed filling and who got to play was whomever could fill the role the most completely. Lynn Shackleford, played for Wooden on the great Jabbar teams, because Shackleford was deadly from the corner. Shackleford could never have played for Crum. Crum's requirement of athleticism as the ante to get on the floor, would have precluded him. It is, I believer, why Crum's teams were so tough when he found the right players, but it is also why he much less often found exactly the right players for the roles his team needed. Wooden was great. Crum was nearly as great...but not quite.

LAHawk11 10 years, 1 month ago

Wow....To win 6 in a row would bet great.And for Collins to have 4 in his time at KU is just another thing he can tell his kids about. I mean really for a team to win 6 in a row in a Conference like the Big 12 is remarkable. Im so glad that im a Hawk fan.There is no other school that i could see my self following.And i will pass on the tradition to my kids like my father did to me.I just hope we follow up with a Big 12 Tournament tittle and then of course a National Championship.Man its great to be a Hawk.RocChalkJayHawk....KU

KULA 10 years, 1 month ago

So I wonder how many minutes of the KU game we'll miss tonight cuz of the Big East game overrun? Anyone else notice that our game Sat. was easily finished in 2 hours? Just another thing Kansas does right.

trueblue9 10 years, 1 month ago

we won't see a minute before the first commerical break. its still halftime of the uconn game. i predict o/u 14:52 mark. take the under.

JaHawk4Life 10 years, 1 month ago

Another Big Monday and another Big East game finishing closer to 8:30 than 8:00. These Big East foul-fests are almost imposible to watch. All Big East Monday games should start at 5:45, as 45 minutes of Sportscenter is (more than) enough.

bnet0000 10 years, 1 month ago

Lets see, game starts in about 5 to 7. 6 and a half left on the WVU vs UCONN, and plenty of fouls to give. Going to miss the first half "i."

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