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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Budding rivalry: Kansas, Texas to collide Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse

Kansas forward Marcus Morris holds up a number one as the Jayhawks leave the court following their 80-68 win over Texas on Feb. 8, 2010 at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin. The two teams renew their rivalry on Saturday in Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Marcus Morris holds up a number one as the Jayhawks leave the court following their 80-68 win over Texas on Feb. 8, 2010 at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin. The two teams renew their rivalry on Saturday in Allen Fieldhouse.

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Bill Self weekly press conference, Jan. 21, 2011

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Kansas head men's basketball coach Bill Self addressed the media at his weekly press conference Friday, Jan. 21, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas and Texas have played some hotly-contested, wildly-entertaining basketball games since the 1996-97 season — the season the Big Eight Conference became the Big 12.

Have there been enough instant classics to consider this a rivalry?

“Definitely. In my eyes it’s definitely a rivalry,” KU junior forward Marcus Morris said Friday — the eve of today’s showdown between the No. 2-ranked Jayhawks (18-0, 3-0) and No. 10-rated Longhorns (15-3, 3-0).

Tip between the only two remaining unbeatens in the Big 12 is 3 p.m., in Allen Fieldhouse with a live telecast on CBS.

“I can’t wait because I feel a lot of people think they are going to come in here and just beat us because they’ve beaten some top teams. But we’ve got a different outlook on things,” Morris said.

Morris is 2-0 against the Longhorns, who have won just five of 18 games vs. KU since the formation of the league. KU has won three consecutive games and six of seven versus Texas. The Longhorns are 0-7 in Allen Fieldhouse in Big 12 action.

Five of the last six KU-UT battles have been decided by 10 points or less.

“For sure,” KU senior guard Tyrel Reed said, asked if he considers KU-UT a budding rivalry. “I think since I’ve been here, every game we’ve played against Texas has been a good game. They’ve always had good teams, great players, a lot of NBA players. It’s a fun game to play in.”

KU coach Bill Self is 7-6 against Texas overall — 7-4 as leader of the Jayhawks.

“There are a lot of good teams in our league and a lot of good rivalries. This has kind of emerged as a special rivalry because we have played quite a bit more than one time a year lately. It makes for pretty good TV, usually,” Self said.

The two teams have met in three of the last five Big 12 tournament title games, with KU winning all three — 80-68 in 2006 in Dallas; 88-84 in overtime in 2007 in Oklahoma City and 84-74 in 2008 in Kansas City.

The tourney title in ‘07 followed KU’s 90-86 victory a week earlier in Allen Fieldhouse.

Those two games were two of the most memorable in the Self era.

In the first meeting, current NBA superstar Kevin Durant scored 25 points the first half off 10-of-14 shooting (4-5 from three) as the Longhorns led, 54-42, at the break.

“We couldn’t guard him,” Self said. “He was making NBA plays against some (KU) guys that are playing in the league. I turned to Danny (Manning, assistant) and said ‘What are we gonna do?’ He said, ‘Heck, I don’t know. That’s a bad boy and I mean maybe as bad as has played on the fieldhouse floor in many many years.’

“He was just incredible that day. That was one of the best games. The coolest thing to me,” Self added, “was we won the game, but what was really cool to me was that a kid could sprain his ankle, come back into the game and our fans cheered for him when he comes back to the court. It’s such an element of class because our fans knew they were witnessing something special that day and it was something they’d never see again, because there was no way that kid would be a two- or three-year (college) guy.”

Sore ankle and all, Durant finished with 32 points, then picked up where he left off against KU in Kansas City.

“When we played in the Big 12 tournament, they had us down, 32-10, with eight minutes left in the first half and Durant had 22. He had us down, 22-10 (by himself). To me that was even more impressive performance in that game than the fieldhouse. He was just unbelievable,” Self said.

Durant, who plays for the Oklahoma City Thunder, finished with 37 points for the Longhorns. Many came against KU’s Brandon Rush, now with the Indiana Pacers.

“I think I said, ‘Try guarding him or something,’’’ Self said of advice to Rush. “He said, ‘I’m trying as hard as I can,’’’ Self added, laughing at the memory.

As far as the present ... Texas enters on the heels of Wednesday’s 81-60 victory over Texas A&M; in Austin. Jordan Hamilton and Tristan Thompson scored 27 and 18 points, respectively. That victory snapped the No. 11-ranked Aggies’ 13-game winning streak.

Texas has won at North Carolina and Michigan State and also defeated Illinois and Arkansas. The three losses are to UConn, Pittsburgh and USC.

“We anticipate Texas coming in and playing well. We anticipate playing well,” Self said. “We think it’s going to be a great game just like they usually are when we hook up with them.”

Soph guard/forward Hamilton averages 19.7 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. Frosh forward Thompson is next in line in scoring (13.1) and leads the Longhorns in rebounding (7.7), blocks (37) and steals (21).

Senior forward Gary Johnson averages 12.1 points and 7.1 boards. Frosh guard Cory Joseph averages 11.2 points with 58 assists against 28 turnovers.

Soph guard J’Covan Brown, who averages 9.1 ppg, scored 28 in the Longhorns’ 80-68 loss to KU last year in Austin. That UT team went 24-10 overall, 9-7 in the league.

“They guard,” Self said. “To me, you’ve got to do something with Thompson and Johnson inside and still be able (to guard perimeter). They bring a guy off the bench who got 26 off us the second half last year. That means they are pretty good.

“I like their guards,” Self added. “From the outside looking in, there’s one guy that has allowed the other pieces to fit. I think Joseph is that guy. He allows Balbay (Dogus, 4.1 ppg) to be Balbay and Jordan be Jordan and J’Covan be J’Covan. He’s the one piece that is there because he can stretch it, play the point, guard a point or a two (guard) because he’s big enough, strong enough to do a lot of things. It’s always nice to have two guys out there that can always stretch it (defense). Texas always will have a minimum of two guys out there that can stretch it.”

The oddsmakers have listed KU as a seven-point favorite today. The combatants wouldn’t be surprised if it’s much closer than that.

“There’s certain games a year that you look at the schedule and say, ‘This one’s going to be fun. This one’s going to be exciting.’ I think this is one of them again,” KU senior Brady Morningstar said. “They are always good. We’ve always been pretty good. It’s a good game, two good schools, two good universities,” he added, describing the makeup of a good “rivalry.”

Comments

100 7 years, 10 months ago

This is not a Budding rivalry.....

UT has been a consistent rival ever since the Big 12's infancy....

As evidence of the feelings from one side, this is a quote from a UT manager overhearing the Longhorn's locker room talk:

"Kansas is clearly the worst undefeated team remaining. We will beat them by thirty & outrebounded them by twenty."

waywardJay 7 years, 10 months ago

This, and Gary Johnson's " we just beat a top 10 team by 20 " should be all we ever needed to be motivated.

If we come out flat there is absolutely NO excuse.

Texas has often come arrogant aginst us, and they usually lose when they do.

tulsahawkfan 7 years, 10 months ago

Was thinking the same thing... last 8-10 years this is our best rivalry. More of a respected rivalry than our other 2.

NJHAWK 7 years, 10 months ago

I don't know if it matters but most of the ESPN pundits (Bilas, Katz, Davis) are predicting Texas victory.

Trey Hohman 7 years, 10 months ago

In the words of Pennsylvania's 45th Governor, Ed Rendell: "If this game was taking place in China, people would be marching down to their Fieldhouse, and they would be doing calculus on the way down."

On the flip-side, if this game was taking place in Texas, people would be drunk-driving in their SUV's to the arena, and they would have already executed 5 innocent people before tip-off....

Ludwig Supraphonic 7 years, 10 months ago

Hope your morning BM got this out of your system. Hope both kids have terrific games. Great to be a Jayhawk!

JHawk74 7 years, 10 months ago

If Brady Morningstar plays 25 minutes or more we will win the game. He doesn't make very many mistakes while on the court and that is what we need today. I can't figure out why so many people on the message boards don't like Brady. Noboby thinks he is one of the greatest KU players but his ability to pass into the post and play defense makes him a great guy to have on the court. ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK! GO! KU!

SNOWWIS 7 years, 10 months ago

"Sore ankle and all, Durant finished with 32 points, then picked up where he left off against KU in Kansas City."

FYI- That Kansas/Texas Big 12 Championship game was in Oklahoma City. Not Kansas City. Best sporting event I ever witnessed in person(center court, 10th row). Chalmers hit a three to put it into overtime, and I got caught giving a big "Man Hug" to my buddy. Got to DVR that game when it comes onto the ESPN Classics this year.

tulsahawkfan 7 years, 10 months ago

I was there too (in OKC). Amazing game. I remember all the Jayhawk fans giving a standing O to durant as MOP

addlime 7 years, 10 months ago

That was Chalmer's preview of "The Shot." Same situation, same play.

KU79 7 years, 10 months ago

I've never seen a performance like Durant's that day in the fieldhouse. It's incredible that we came back and won the game. Then again a week later. That was some fun basketball but was tough on my heart!

kranny 7 years, 10 months ago

2 of the greatest games I've ever seen. I remember saying to my wife that I hope Durant comes back into the game at Allen because all my Texas friends would hold that over me if KU won. They still used the ankle excuse but I got the last word in the Big 12 championship. A lot of NBA players came from those 2 teams from that year. I got it burned on DVD and I think I'll watch it just to get psyched.

Greg Lux 7 years, 10 months ago

My prayers are with you on that one...

Rock Chalk

jayhawkintexas 7 years, 10 months ago

UT is playing very well rightnow but so are we. Bring your popcorn because this is going to be a show like we haven't seen all year. The crowd is going to be a factor in the game, no doubt about it. Go get 'em, 'Hawks!

dynamitehawk 7 years, 10 months ago

At some point this would seem to get old, but it still makes me giggle:

Kentucky is playing in a stiff match-up against the Cocks today.

Jack Morgan 7 years, 10 months ago

Texas is a great school with a great athletics program. They expect to win every time they play and in every sport that they compete in. If they are arrogant, it may be because they know how hated they are, especially by the other schools in Texas who want nothing more than to beat them in any sport. They are tired of losing to us. We will have our hands full today. Should be a good game ... Can't wait to watch it.

REHawk 7 years, 10 months ago

Those Durant games were superspecial. NBA fans can crow to the skies about Kobe and LeBron, but the Big 12 experienced the golden opportunity to watch a magical player hone his skills. Almost unbelievable that Kansas players, coaching staff and roaring, stomping fan following found a way to defeat Texas as his one and done season wound down. Bill Self recaptured a really fine moment at AFH, the enthusiastic cheering for Kevin when he returned to the court after his ankle sprain. A very classy moment in The Phog.

KUFool 7 years, 10 months ago

Anyone streaming the game today for us poor saps stuck in the ACC dead zone with a start time @ 3:30 instead of 3 CST?

Steve Gantz 7 years, 10 months ago

In Louisiana CBS is showing Georgia-Miss. St. Last year in a similar situation I caught KU on CBS sports web site, not sure if they're doing it today.

brooksmd 7 years, 10 months ago

WWL in New Orleans has the game scheduled. Hope they hold to it and don't decide to cover an SEC game.

Ron Franklin 7 years, 10 months ago

last minute tickets......CHECK!!!

this game & the field house are gonna be rockin....I can't wait!

Go HAWKS!!!!

REHawk 7 years, 10 months ago

Durant was quite human in that he could take over close games for thirty minutes, then sometimes run out of gas. Considering our current bench, the Longhorns are in for a real gasser this afternoon. Morningstar, Little, Robinson, Johnson, Releford, Withey. Bill Self possesses a wealth of deep talent to thread his way through 40 minutes of mid-season action. Players and fans must be patient in this contest. We should see multiple exciting surges from both teams.

Robert Brock 7 years, 10 months ago

Question for you Morningstar haters: who leads the team in steals? That's right.

As an added attraction, who is second on the club in assists? That's right.

AsadZ 7 years, 10 months ago

I have come from CT to watch a game in AFH after 21 years. Cant wait. Rock Chalk.

KGphoto 7 years, 10 months ago

You're in for a real shocker in AFH. I almost didn't recognize it when I went back in 2007. But it's still gonna rock! Your presence alone is gonna bring good karma. Have a blast!

NJHAWK 7 years, 10 months ago

Have a great time. I make it a point to watch at least one game in AFH every year (and whenever KU is playing on eastcoast).

SCHNBALL 7 years, 10 months ago

Texas double teams the post early, KU a few early turnovers, figures it out, Hawks "D" Horn Bevo and and UT-ESPN.

SCHNBALL 7 years, 10 months ago

What is the difference between:

UTEP UTESPN

Ron Franklin 7 years, 10 months ago

“I can’t wait because I feel a lot of people think they are going to come in here and just beat us because they’ve beaten some top teams. But we’ve got a different outlook on things,” Morris said.

I overlooked this earlier.....I'm happy Marcus saw this quote......

KU_FanSince75 7 years, 10 months ago

@ jhwkfan162515----Not surprising at all regarding your post.

A lot of major big match ups today in college basketball, including the UT/KU game. Love to see Syracuse, K-State and Ohio State lose today, along with a Jayhawk victory! Go Jayhawks----go 10-0 against the Longhorns in AFH!

KGphoto 7 years, 10 months ago

You want TAM to beat K-State? I can't go with Texas anything, to beat Kansas anything. They are still our little pain-in-the-ass brother, you know? We can beat them up, but when Texas tries? Please.

KU_FanSince75 7 years, 10 months ago

Oh, yea---love to see Kensucky lose today, too, at South Carolina---a very good possibility!

lance1jhawk 7 years, 10 months ago

Kansas wins by 11 today. The boys better make free-throws today, its gonna get ugly in the paint.

KGphoto 7 years, 10 months ago

Bill Self to Brandon Rush, re: Kevin Durant.

"Try guarding him or something"

That's the funniest thing I've ever heard from Coach.

Yakihawk 7 years, 10 months ago

Anybody know which CBS morons are calling the game today? If it's Clark Kellogg or Jim Nantz, I'm going to have to start drinking now.

Steve Gantz 7 years, 10 months ago

Too bad it's not Gus Johnson. I'm watching the OSU-ILL game right now and he is great!

KU_FanSince75 7 years, 10 months ago

My wife & I love Gus Johnson. When he does NCAA Tournament games, he is awesome. Can't get enough of him!

BCRavenJHawkfan 7 years, 10 months ago

That's interesting considering he has called two of the Kansas early exit games in recent history, Bradley & Bucknell.

BCRavenJHawkfan 7 years, 10 months ago

Nantz is in Pittsburgh with Phil Simms for the AFC championship game Sunday. My guess is it will be Kellogg and Vern ('86 Masters "Yes Sir") Lundquist.

lance1jhawk 7 years, 10 months ago

Ian Eagle and Bill Raferty are doing the Tenn. and UConn game sooooooooo beter start drinking.

KU_FanSince75 7 years, 10 months ago

Bob Davis and Chris Piper ---- they are soooooooooo good to me!

Pitthawk34 7 years, 10 months ago

Little off topic but for those who may not listen to 810 Radio this rant is worth listening. Good for a nice laugh. Click the Soren MU rant podcast. http://www.810whb.com/podcasts

lance1jhawk 7 years, 10 months ago

I listened to it earlier today. It gets really good around the 7:30 mark.

"Kansas is the PIMPS of the Big 12. They will slap you and take your money whenever they feel like it."

BCRavenJHawkfan 7 years, 10 months ago

This is going to seem strange. On Thursday evening I was thinking about this game while reading some of the blogs on this site. And kept having this thought that Thomas Robinson would have a big game against Texas today. Then I see the unfortunate news about his mother. If he plays I think he will have a huge game, and we are all going to be saying "Wow, Wow, Wow"

kbeetch 7 years, 10 months ago

Lookin for a link for friends in Tucson to watch the game. Any good ones.

BCRavenJHawkfan 7 years, 10 months ago

I don't know about any streaming video but maybe somebody else will help. If not you can at least listen to Bob Davis & Chris Piper on either the Lazer 105.9 or KFH Radio. Both of those stream the audio.

bigt 7 years, 10 months ago

Selby needs to grow a pair and step up. He has not done anything since he hit his one shot

Michael Bratisax 7 years, 10 months ago

Kansas is clearly the second best team in the third best conference. Texas has a legitimate chance to run the conference. I hate to agree with one poster in particular but his words sound true... When your best guards or Tyrol Reed and Morningstar chances are we'll not go far in the NCAA. Giving up a 15 point lead and losing in double figures obviously showed who was the better team. We were out coached, out played out hustled and completely dominated in the second half. The only players who I believe give their maximum effort every week on the Morris' twins and Tyrell. TRob gets a pass for the obvious reasons. Some notes: Barnes has his team playing better and using his freshmen players far better than we have.
Reports of his squandering players seem premature. Coach Self is an elite coach but not the best as some would believe. His best attribute his developing players Thad Matta is in my opinion the best recruiter. Coach K may be also but regardless, he is the best tactician. Old Roy has won two NCAA championships in the same time HCBS has won over the same time period. Granted that his first victory was built off of Doherty's players would it wasn't like he left Kansas with the cupboard bare. Please don't think that I wish Williams was still at the helm. 2008 would never have happened. Calipari may get the best recruits but they are OAD'S who leave before they have the time to develop into a championship team.

Those who stated that Williams was somehow out coached against Syracuse must not have watched the game. If we had just shot 50% from the free throw line, we would have defeated Syracuse. Free throws are still our achilles' heel... Not that we got to the line very often in this game. Selby is clearly not the best incoming point guard. EJ is starting to look like a bust. Withey is a bust. We need Travis to get healthy ASAP. Withey is a bust. Did I say that already? Granted we are still 18-1 but haven't beaten a top 25 team... And we clearly failed to win at home against the team I think will win the big 12. 12-4 or11-5 will be our conference record. We might make it to the title game of the big 12 tournament but Texas wins the rematch. If you hated seeing another team physically beat Kansas and celebrate on our court, wait until Missouri does the same unless we make significant changes in our game plan.
Obviously, playing the up-tempo game will not work against more athletic teams such as Texas.

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