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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Keegan

Late Night musings

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Late Night impressions from courtside while escaping for a few hours from the state of the other sport:

Thomas Robinson still is built like a statue.

“He’s strong,” teammate Marcus Morris noted. “That jersey’s way too tight.”

Tyshawn Taylor, the best player on the floor Friday night, still can get to the rack in a blink and looks as if he’s ready to play with more poise and less emotion.

Marcus Morris still knows how to give an interesting take on a number on the box score that raises his eyebrows.

“I had three turnovers?” he said, incredulous. “That might have been my brother.”

Elite athletes play a much more enjoyable style of basketball when they have been coached daily by the guys with whistles than when they’re running up and down the court improvising.

One of the ushers who spends timeouts looking into the stands to make sure nobody has designs on stepping onto the court smiled after it was all over and said, “I hope the players enjoyed themselves because that’s the last time they’re going to be allowed to play like that.”

Amen.

The plays that produced the chills played on the video board and the video department drew high praise from coach Bill Self. He was talking about the dunks and three-pointers, postgame celebrations and words from KU legends.

He wasn’t talking about the video of his pre-game speech for the national-title game against Memphis, but it’s time somebody says what needs to be said about that: It was brilliant for its simplicity. He told the players they didn’t have to do anything different from what they had done all year. He told them they already had the most victories of any Kansas team and therefore had nothing to lose. He expressed his gratitude to them, and he did it so calmly, so confidently, that it surely put the players in the perfect state for a game packed with so much pressure played on such a big stage.

Was that Self’s goal going into that speech, to leave his players confident and relaxed?

“I don’t know if I had a goal going in, back then,” Self said after Late Night ended. “The thing about it is, when you do something like that — and that’s the only time I’ve ever done anything like that, except Carolina (in the semis) — the reason you do it isn’t really to help your team, it’s to use it recruiting, going forward.”

When he talks about that team, the love and respect he has for it swells.

“I really believe this in my heart, even though that was I guess a scripted speech, it was 100 percent on target, the nuts and bolts, that we didn’t have to change one bit of what we had done all year,” he said.

Self said when he was told CBS wanted to tape his pre-game Final Four speeches, he balked.

“I said, ‘No way.’ Then when your coaches say, ‘Oh, yes, you will do that. We’ll be able to use that,’ you do it,” he said.

The tone of it captured Self. He’s not a self-promoter, doesn’t have a corny bone in his body and promotes himself simply by being Self. His what-you-see-is-what-you-get approach appeals to generations, which is to say recruits, recruits’ parents and successful grandfathers who happily donate to his program.

Comments

duanep5ku 4 years ago

Hi, Mr Keegan I actually enjoyed reading this article,nice job.

JayhawkLaw12 4 years ago

Good article. Thought Elijah looked good, too. Mario Little was promising. Selby looked lackluster on defense, but pretty good with the ball in his hands. Highlight of the night had to be Self coming out as Vanilla Ice.

jhox 4 years ago

How did Woolridge look? I've seen videos of some of his high school games, and have been pretty impressed with those.

AverageCitizen 4 years ago

I don't know if Royce was nervous or not but he looked very confident and relaxed. He is smooth and played well. He's going to be a good one.

ccarp 4 years ago

That speech was awesome! I'm sure the players do think of that championship every day of their lives. I loved it when Coach Self added, "just ask Danny." that speech still gives me chills and a huge smile. Coach Self, you've got me excited for another championship run!

jchief40 4 years ago

I think my favorite part is when he tells the players he thanks them in advance for all they've done. It was a moving speech no doubt.

richter3 4 years ago

Half the article is about Self's speech. From the title, I expected it to focus on Late Night. I guess that's my mistake.

yovoy 4 years ago

AAAAaaaarrgh!!!! G.D. people! It's an article about your university AND it's free.

'Musing' = while this is inspired by things obeserved at Late Night, or thought about since it was over, this might drift a little bit. You were expecting a minute-by-minute account of the entire thing?

So yeah...

Chris Bruning 4 years ago

i was impressed by JUSTIN WESTLEY, the dude can get up and slam, WOW!! as far as playing i thought he did pretty good too......selby looked pretty good when he setttled down, m. morris was an animal inside. tyshawn taylor made it look easy, brady slapped lots of balls away on D. we look pretty solid again....

shawk13 4 years ago

I don't think I have ever heard Coach Self say out outright that "we are going to be really good" like he did last night. Self is a humble man but you can't ignore the amount of athleticism this team has, Self sees it too.

phillyh3 4 years ago

Royce was a lot more athletic than I thought he would be. He was dunking just as good as if not better than selby during warm ups. I also thought robinson was pretty impressive crashing the boards and playing tough.

steamboat 4 years ago

Kick MU twice, send K-suck packing 3 times,,, again and win the Big 12 and I'm a happy man. Everything else is icing on the cake!!!!!! RCJH

Chris Bruning 4 years ago

philly, don't know what dunking you were watching but Royce was not nowhere near as good as selby dunking....although selby wasn't quite finishing them they were close and much more impressive

jhwk215 4 years ago

question: what happened to withey's foot/leg?

Chris Bruning 4 years ago

question: anyone have rivals membership, jayhawkslant? shiver? please update on recruits thoughts if so, thanx!

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