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Kansas defeats Kansas State, 82-65

  • 7 p.m., March 3, 2010
  • Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, KS

Originally published March 4, 2010 at 12:00a.m., updated March 4, 2010 at 09:14a.m.

Tough Love: Gritty KU sends Collins out winner

Kansas senior point guard Sherron Collins gets an emotional hug from head coach Bill Self as he is honored by the Allen Fieldhouse crowd before tipping off against Kansas State, Wednesday, March 3, 2010.

Kansas senior point guard Sherron Collins gets an emotional hug from head coach Bill Self as he is honored by the Allen Fieldhouse crowd before tipping off against Kansas State, Wednesday, March 3, 2010.

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KU vs. KSU

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Kansas takes on Kansas State Wednesday, March 3, 2010 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Reader poll

Where would Sherron Collins rank in your list of all-time favorite KU basketball players?

  • No. 1 9% 746 votes
  • Top 5 44% 3560 votes
  • Top 10 30% 2472 votes
  • Top 20 11% 888 votes
  • Top 30 2% 197 votes
  • Top 100 1% 102 votes
  • He wouldn't rank in my top 100 0% 75 votes
  • Undecided 0% 26 votes

8066 total votes.

Audio clips

Kansas-Kansas State

Bill Self, who preaches toughness as much as any college basketball coach in the country, wrapped his arms around Sherron Collins with 30.4 seconds remaining in Kansas University’s 82-65 victory over rival Kansas State on Wednesday night in Allen Fieldhouse.

“I love ya,” KU coach Self told the 5-foot-11 guard, who had just been bear-hugged by junior center Cole Aldrich at the top of the circle before exiting his final home game and running into his head coach’s embrace.

Self had encouraged Collins late Tuesday night on the phone when Collins was stressing over his Senior Night speech and again at halftime Wednesday after Collins had missed eight of his first nine shots. Self has been as soft as a marshmallow around his star playmaker before.

“He’s told me that a few times. It meant more tonight,” Collins said of the “I love you’s” between him and his mentor.

“It’s all good, ’cause he’s said some other things to me, too,” Collins added with a laugh, referring to harsh words pushing him to be the best he can be.

“I always know he cares. For him to say I’m the best guard he’s coached means a lot to me,” Collins said.

Collins’ Senior Night meant so much to him he couldn’t sleep well Tuesday.

“I called coach,” Collins said. “I said, ‘I don’t know where to start my speech.’ He said, ‘Calm down.’’’

Collins ultimately was able to catch some Z’s, but was all worked up during the daytime hours leading up to the 7 p.m. tipoff.

Collins sobbed during a pregame ceremony in which he was presented his No. 4 jersey, with his mom, Stacey, repeatedly rubbing his back at center court. Self jokingly gave Collins a little slap to the face before hugging him after the short ceremony.

Nothing worked as Collins, as well as junior Cole Aldrich (two points, one rebound first half), who also most certainly played his last game in the fieldhouse, were abysmal in the first 20 minutes.

KU, thanks to Xavier Henry’s 15 points, still led, 45-38, at the break.

“I was a little jittery, too anxious,” Collins said. “I wanted to do so well I got out of my character a bit. I was shooting quick shots. Coach told me to relax. I took a couple deep breaths, had a little pep talk with myself at halftime.”

Collins scored nine points with two assists and two rebounds the second half, while Aldrich had seven points, three boards and three blocks. Both were instrumental in a 19-4 run that turned a 59-55 lead into a 78-59 advantage.

“I should have told him (Collins) that after the first timeout,” Self joked of settling him down. “I told he and Cole both ... I told him (Collins), ‘Your bad shots led to baskets for them.’ He was just pressing. The second half, he played with poise. He controlled the game. He drove the ball as opposed to just settling.

“He’s one of those guys I don’t ever want to tell him, ‘Don’t shoot it or be aggressive,’ because he can make one, and that can become four or five in a row and be the difference in the game.”

Of Aldrich, who hasn’t yet said he’s officially headed to the pros, Self said: “It was also emotional for Cole. We didn’t talk about that because it’s Senior Night, not a Junior Night, but it was emotional for Cole. He came to life the last 10, 12 minutes.”

Collins, who had 26 family members and close friends in the stands, graciously thanked his relatives, coaches, teammates and KU support-staff members during a 10-minute postgame speech.

“I thought to myself, ‘This is it. This is it.’ I didn’t want to get off the court,” said Collins, who gave his speech with seven props — the four Big 12 regular season trophies he has won, two postseason conference trophies and national title trophy. “I wish the game could have gone on all night.

“I think it ranks in the top three (moments of his life),” added Collins, who has a 3-year-old son and baby daughter. “The last game here ... to go out with a win, it was perfect.”

For the record, he finished his final home game with 17 points off 5-of-15 shooting (one of seven threes) and 6-of-6 free throwing. He had four assists, three turnovers, a block and steal in 38 minutes.

His final fieldhouse bucket was a driving layup right before Self removed him from the game.

Perhaps fellow Chicago native Jacob Pullen let Collins drive past him to make the night even more special, since the game was out of reach?

“We’re good friends,” Collins said, “but I don’t think he gave me anything. That was a big win for us. They’ve got a great team, and it gets us back on track after Oklahoma State (loss Saturday). Hopefully we’ve got a lot more wins in us.”

The Jayhawks, who wrapped up the undisputed league title and No. 1 seed in the upcoming Big 12 tournament, improved to 28-2 overall and 14-1 in the league. Second-place KSU fell to 24-5, 11-4.

KU will conclude the regular season at Missouri on Saturday in a 1 p.m. tipoff.

Comments

phogthedog 4 years, 7 months ago

Sherron's speech was gracious and inclusive of all who have supported him during his tenure at KU. What a terrific senior night. We'll see Sherron in AFH next year. He loves us as much as we love him.

GabrielMichael 4 years, 7 months ago

Sherron, thank you for coming to KU and for giving so much while here! You make us proud!

Dyrk Dugan 4 years, 7 months ago

Sherron really brought it in the 2nd half....i think he did "relax" more....he took very good shots, and he hit 'em.

as i've said before....we're going to really miss him after this year. we haven't had a break you down guard before, that can score in a variety of ways. and score when basically there's no room to score.

his Sr. night speech was perfect....and he talked about how tough Coach Self was on him early. "i thought he was picking on me." and now he wouldn't have at any other way.....lol.

the game was great. we basically dominated them. if it wasn't for a stretch where we didn't take good shots and gave them transition baskets, and then the first three minutes of the 2nd half, it was all KU. i think we know how to beat them now...and if we see them again, we should be able to make it a threepeat. Rock Chalk!

JHWK 4 years, 7 months ago

Thanks, Sherron! I can't remember a time when I have ever been so moved as when Sherron and Cole came out of the game last night. Winning the Championship was amazing, but knowing Sherron and (99% sure) Cole will never compete again in Allen Fieldhouse really shook my core.

What a great 3+ years it has been for Sherron. Most wins in KU history. Many of us might have point guards or others we'd take over Sherron on our all-time KU team, but there is no arguing with 'winningest'.

How many hours have we, as superfans, spent reading, thinking, watching and typing about Sherron and his teams???!!! It is remarkable. I don't even know this kid, and I feel like part of my family is on the verge of moving out.

This is what sports is about - the love, the passion and seeing it come together. Emotion, competition, sportsmanship and success - the building blocks of character. Thanks for the lessons, Sherron! I'm looking forward to your leadership and seeing us beat K-State two more times this season: For the Big 12 title, and then again in the Final Four!!

Rock Chalk, Jayhawks!! Let's go bouce Tigger! And The Beak Goes On!!! www.WeGotTheBeak.com
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Jonathan Allison 4 years, 7 months ago

Sherron may have ultimately had an off night, but how fitting is it that he was so insatrumental in the run that finally buried KSU's hopes of sharing the conference title.

He has come through for us time and time again over his 4 year career, escpecially against our biggest rivals.

That's great, but I think what makes us all love him so much is the way that he's grown into a man while he's been here. I know that it's cliche to say it, but it's true. He's had plenty of speedbumps along the way, but coach has stood by him and he's always bounced back. He gratiously came in off the bench for two years. He could have been a starter by midway through his freshman season. He lost his son, he had stress fracture surgery early his sophomore year. He had knee surgery after his sophomore year. He came back overweight each season, he had to deal with the elevator incident, whether it was legitimate or fabricated. He always bounced back. He took resonsibility for his weight gain, he took responsibility for poor play, and for losses. He led with confidence, and always gave 100% on the floor. He came back for a senior season and is getting his degree. What more can you ask of him.

MitchumMan 4 years, 7 months ago

Great speech by Sherron! You will always be remembered. On a side note...

It's Miller Time!!!

We picked up a HUGE football commitment from Darrian Miller last night at the KU / KSU game! Freakin' Heck Yes!

Chad Hallack 4 years, 7 months ago

I haven't read this article yet, but I don't I don't love the title. Don't care for the inference it makes...

Rock_Chalk_25 4 years, 7 months ago

JHWK, well said.

And did anyone watching full-court hear when an announcer said Collins might not make an all-time Kansas team, but might have influenced the program in a positive way more than any other Jayhawk? Sounds a like like my post yesterday---"He may not make the all-time talent team at Kansas, but no real KU fan can exclude him on a top 5 list of Jayhawks who impacted the program in a positive way."

I also said Collins is known for putting together a magnificent half of basketball and next half he can make you pull your hair out. Exactly what he did yesterday, except in reverse. I also posted during halftime yesterday that he should keep shooting when it apparently became popular to bash Sherron on Senior Night. Yes, he played piss poor the first half...I'll accept that though because he has given us 4 years of tremendous effort and play. I've criticized him before too, but yesterday wasn't the right time. Anyways, just like HCBS said, the team NEEDS Sherron to go far in the tourney, and is there a better time to get your mojo back then in the 2nd half of a rivalry game on Senior Night???

I'm predicting that Sherron will be the most CONSISTENT player on our team from here on out. And if I'm wrong, please look at the pictures and watch the speech of last night's game before you come on here slandering a KU legend.

Sally Presson 4 years, 7 months ago

Saying good bye to Sherron on his Senior night was heart wrenching. I love that boy!!! I was able to be at Senior night when Russel Robinson gave his speech and I cried like a big baby, but Sherron had him beat. Great job Sherron!! You will ALWAYS have a spot in all Jayhawk's hearts!!! And Cole, I know deep down this is your last season with us, we wish you the very best!! I love watching you, you are a great player and the close ups with your tooth missing, you don't need to get that tooth replaced.

Boys, go out and finish this season with the National Championship--you're definately the team to beat!!! It's been a great season, finish it off with a bang!!

Sally Presson 4 years, 7 months ago

Saying good bye to Sherron on his Senior night was heart wrenching. I love that boy!!! I was able to be at Senior night when Russel Robinson gave his speech and I cried like a big baby, but Sherron had him beat. Great job Sherron!! You will ALWAYS have a spot in all Jayhawk's hearts!!! And Cole, I know deep down this is your last season with us, we wish you the very best!! I love watching you, you are a great player and the close ups with your tooth missing, you don't need to get that tooth replaced.

Boys, go out and finish this season with the National Championship--you're definately the team to beat!!! It's been a great season, finish it off with a bang!!

Jim Pendleton 4 years, 7 months ago

A great ending or Sherron's AFH career. Not only has he been an excellent player on the court, but he is someone who will be a great ambassador for our program for many years to come.

On another note, great job by all the fans last night, at least the people who are the supportive ones. Everyone really brought it strong last night. To those of you so called fans who sold or gave away your tickets to KSU fans, you have got to be @#% kidding me! How can you call yourselves fans, yet sell/give your tickets to the fans of one of our rivals in the biggest game of the year? Unbelievable!

This is an argument I know I probably can't win, but I wish there was some way this problem can be addressed by the athletic department with season ticket holders. There were quite a few KSU fans in the sections right around me. People will say I am buying the tickets, I can do with them what I want. However, we have many KU fans who want to come to the games but can't. They are made to suffer because we have people who would rather make a couple of bucks than go themselves, or at least make sure tickets wind up in the hands of a Jayhawk who really wants to be there.

We now have an opportunity to beat our other big rival on Saturday, and possibly knock them out of a chance at a first round bye in the tourney next week. In addition, we need to have Jayhawk Nation in force in KC next week. Win # 2000 will happen during the tourney and we all need to be there to see it. Would have been nice to see us get there before UNC, but it will be a great day nonetheless. Great job by everyone so far, and let's keep it going. Rock Chalk!!

Steve Brown 4 years, 7 months ago

Markeif 5 offensive rebounds : Taylor playing better every game. X - nice.

Can't wait for the big show, seeing non Big 12 teams try and decide who to stop....go ahead stop Sherron and Cole, we'll get you with other weapons.

The most dangerous teams are well balanced.

jayhawkinmullen 4 years, 7 months ago

Sherron, If you ever need a lung, or a kidney just let me know I am there for you.

Steve Brown 4 years, 7 months ago

Jim80 on occasion folks sell to wholesalers such as ticketsforless or stubhub and aren't aware where they end up. Also, some of the seats are owned by the wholesalers providing access to fans for single games.

I for one appreciate these tix wholesale websites as they allow me into Austin, Manhattan and a host of NCAA final four games.

Your point is valid, if we sell, make it to home fans.

robertson4ku 4 years, 7 months ago

MY TOP 10 JAYHAWKS:

  1. DANNY MANNING
  2. PAUL PIERCE
  3. NICK COLLISON
  4. MARIO CHALMERS
  5. JACQUE VAUGHN
  6. WAYNE SIMIEN
  7. KIRK HINRICH
  8. SHERRON COLLINS
  9. BRANDON RUSH
  10. RAEF LAFRENTZ

bradynsdad 4 years, 7 months ago

lets close out with a win over mizzou. we have to win the big twelve tourney to get the number one overall seed and thats hoping syracuse loses. lets not get to happy and look to far forward like we did against baylor last year. fitting though we took the outright championship from ksu last night.

okiedave 4 years, 7 months ago

robertson4ku - just curious - Are these just the top 10 contemporary players? Where is Chamberlin in your mix? After all AFH is known as the house that Wilt bilt.

jhawkfanintexas 4 years, 7 months ago

Sherron Collins is a class act and a true credit to KU. Thank you Sherron for a wonderful ride. ROCK,CHALK, JAYHAWK

nammyjignigh 4 years, 7 months ago

I've been to 4 Senior days; Jacque Vaughn, Raef LaFrentz, Wayne Simien, and now Sherron's. The previous 3 were so dominant and so special but they never reached the goal that all of the players probably had which was to win a National Championship. KU would NOT have the Championship banner if it weren't for Sherron's steal and made 3. It was very emotional last night because not only seeing the winningest PG in KU's storied history last game, but it was the last game for Cole and Xavier as well.

Last night is why college basketball at KU is so special and pure. Thank you so much for everything you've given us Sherron.

newyorkjayhawk 4 years, 7 months ago

My favorite Jayhawk of all time is Jaque Vaughn. I'm not saying he's the best to ever play at Kansas, but for sentimental reasons, he's my favorite. That last second three pointer to beat Indiana at home,... that incredible faked pass behind the back, then brought back around for an underhanded lay-in... wow. And that's no knock one other players. But...

Please forgive me when I say the following, as this is the epitome of a controversial subject... I personally believe Sherron Collins is the greatest thing to happen to Kansas basketball since Danny Manning. Chalmers' miracle shot was in fact miraculous, but without Collins' steal and subsequent 3, just seconds before that... without Collins driving the ball down the court to hand it off to Mario... I'm not saying Collins won us that game, but he was a huge part of it... and he's been a huge part of pretty much every win he's been on the roster for. I'm not saying he deserves to be on the same pedestal as Manning... he doesn't... but put this in perspective for a moment... the winningest player in Kansas history, he helped bring us home at least 1 national title, 4 conference titles, at least 2 conference tournament championships,... and overall, he's just an infectious competitor that is rare enough to accomplish all that has, with the short stature he possesses...

just my two cents.

Mike Kendall 4 years, 7 months ago

robertson4KU-- That's a good list of players--I loved Jo Jo White, too, but a little before my time. Good list, though.

Jim Pendleton 4 years, 7 months ago

lighthawk - I am well aware that tickets wind up in the hands of brokers. We have all used them at various places on occasion.

Don't get me wrong, the total # of KSU fans last night probably weren't more than several hundred to a thousand (most were in our end of the arena apparently). However, when you are known for games being sold out all the time, and waiting lists for season tickets, it looks bad when people from other schools are getting a significant number of their fans in the door.

Last night being the exception for tickets going for pretty high amounts, most of the time these places aren't going to give you fair prices for most of the games. Nor will the guy outside who really wants my extra and then offers you $10 for it. I will eat my ticket before selling it for $10.

That being said, it just isn't worth it to have season tickets if all you are in it for is to make an extra buck. What do you make, a couple hundred a year, over 22 games? When I can't go to a game, I do everything in my power to make sure the tickets wind up in the hands of a Jayhawk. This is what all of our fans should do, regardless of whether your best friend or sister is a fan of the other team or not.

Now that I have said all that - let's all go to Columbia Saturday and buy all the tickets for sale on the street. Rock Chalk!!

KGphoto 4 years, 7 months ago

If we beat Mizzou, we'll climb back over Syracuse for the overall #1 seed. That was a rank-changing win last night. Essentially a 20 pointer against a top fiver. With a win Sat. our RPI will be too far in front to ignore.

kureader 4 years, 7 months ago

jayhawkijim80 ... I agree with you about letting tickets to a senior night game go to K-State fans. I'm at the top of the key ... they were all around me, many with better seats than mine. I don't blame the K-State fans for wanting to see the game, just the KU alum who had a chance to sell or give his tickets to another KU fan ... and didn't. There are plenty of KU fans who's pay to watch KU play in AFH on Senior Night. An opportunity lost ... makes you want to have a chat with the KU alum.

TarzanKUfan 4 years, 7 months ago

Me like Sherron, me want to hug Sherron.

TarzanKUfan 4 years, 7 months ago

Me like Sherron, me want to hug Sherron.

TarzanKUfan 4 years, 7 months ago

Me like Sherron, me want to hug Sherron.

AsadZ 4 years, 7 months ago

This was sherron's night but I was very impressed by Taylor's play. He did an excellent job on both ends of the floor.

Steve Brown 4 years, 7 months ago

sweep the cats this year, including this saturday and in Indy later.

Steve Brown 4 years, 7 months ago

sweep the cats this year, including this saturday and in Indy later.

Chad Hallack 4 years, 7 months ago

NYJayhawk... I totally agree, I've said from the beginning that, for my money, Collins was the MVP of the Final 4 for us.

Steve Brown 4 years, 7 months ago

I thought coach was picking on me"

TT learn from the master, HCBS invests time and constructive guidance to those w. tons of upside....if you feel that you were in coach doghouse in the past, then be proud he cares for you. PS TT nice going lately, every game an improvement. and we appreciate your improved play... nice.

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