Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Gary Bedore’s KU basketball notebook: ‘Turg’ returns

Kansas senior guard Brady Morningstar said he is excited for Wednesday's senior night and discussed his recruitment at KU.

KU Seniors to play last game in Allen Fieldhouse


‘Turg’ here tonight

Fourth-year Texas A&M; coach Mark Turgeon is 0-5 versus his alma mater, Kansas. His Aggies fell to KU, 73-53, on Jan. 19, 2009, in his only coaching appearance in Allen Fieldhouse.

Turgeon believes this year’s challenge may be the toughest, yet.

“They are scoring so well. They have so many guys who can score,” Turgeon said of the Jayhawks. “The Morris twins are off the charts now the way they are playing.

“You’ve got to do it on both ends. You have to try to slow them down. You have to have a great defensive game plan and hope it works. There really isn’t a game plan for them. They can do so many things offensively. You’ve got to take care of the ball and get good shots.”

Turgeon, who played at KU from 1984-87, knows the fieldhouse will be full of electricity tonight.

“It will be exciting in there for Senior Night, loud,” Turgeon said. “They are still playing for the conference championship now. We’ve got to be good on both ends and be efficient offensively, which we haven’t been. You can’t go in and try to play a 100-point game, that’s for sure.”

Of the fieldhouse, Turgeon said: “It’s a special place. There’s tremendous confidence in the building among the coaches, players and fans. It’s an intimidating place for opposing teams to play.”

About the Aggies

A&M; enters 22-6 overall and 9-5 in the Big 12. The Aggies, who average 69.4 points per game and allow 60.5, lead the league in defensive rebounds at 29.5 boards per game and have a +7.3 rebound margin.

Khris Middleton averages a team-leading 14.6 points per game. David Loubeau is next at 11.2 ppg.

“They're well coached. Turg and his staff have done a great job. They don’t beat themselves. They don’t give up easy baskets,” Self said. “They’ve had a couple players really mature and become terrific players. I think (David) Loubeau may have a chance to be an all-league player, and (Khris) Middleton may have a chance to be an all-league player this year, and that’s just as a sophomore. Those two are terrific.”

The series

KU leads the overall series 16-1 and has won the last five meetings. ... Prior to Texas ending KU’s school-record 69 home-game winning streak earlier this season, Texas A&M; handed Kansas its previous home loss on Feb. 3, 2007. ... Kansas is 6-1 against Texas A&M; in Allen Fieldhouse.

Senior Night

KU seniors Brady Morningstar, Tyrel Reed and Mario Little will be introduced with family members amid a shower of flowers before the game. The three will speak to the fans after the contest. Self has said speeches will be limited to four minutes apiece.

“There’s going to be a lot of emotions and it’s going to be fun to look back on some of the experiences and games I’ve played here,” Reed said. “I’m sure if I see somebody else tearing up, I will. I’m an emotional guy deep down at the core.”

Growing up in Burlington as a KU fan, he’s heard lots of Senior Night speeches. His favorite?

“I don’t think I could pick one. I’ve loved hearing from everybody,” Reed said. “The first one I remember is Ryan Robertson. I thought that was a pretty cool one.”

Chicagoan Little said “you never know,” when asked if he’d shed a tear. “Sherron (Collins) was saying last year he didn’t know what he was going to do and he did (cry a lot). He didn’t have a speech ready but when the time came he gave a great speech.”

Of his last home game, Little said: “Every good thing comes to an end. It’s all good. I’m going to try to make the best of it and cherish my last home moment.”

Title on the line

A victory tonight would assure KU at least a tie for its seventh straight Big 12 title. It is believed a Big 12 trophy will be in the house to be given to the Jayhawks in case of a victory. It is not known whether a presentation would be made. KU has one game remaining in the regular season, Saturday at Missouri.


hawkfan4life 8 years, 8 months ago

I wish they still did the flower shower like the old days when the fans actually got to come down and toss them onto the court. The new way where the cheerleaders do it is not nearly the same. I imagine that Sherron would have had a court full last year if that was the case, as would Tyrel, Brady, and Mario this year.

Nevertheless, the pre-game flower shower, seniors in the starting lineup, and post-game speeches are all traditions that make KU such a special place to play and watch a game. Some schools don't start their seniors, and would never let them address the crowd. I'll be glued to my seat in the fieldhouse until the very end.

Kudos to the seniors!!! I am proud of you guys, thanks for the memories! Rock Chalk!!!

jaybate 8 years, 8 months ago

KU playing for the crown and a high seed in post season.

TAM, with Turg, playing for a low seed in the Madness, or NIT.

College basketball is not just FANtastic. It is COACHtastic. It is PLAYERtastic.

DHilton32 8 years, 8 months ago

There is 0 chance that TAMU will be in the NIT

kcglowboy 8 years, 8 months ago

The Aggies falling all the way to the NIT, in this very mediocre year? Have you been "Sheening"?

Alohahawk 8 years, 8 months ago

It is Hawktastic !!! Or, Jayhawktastic !!!


ahpersecoachingexperience 8 years, 8 months ago

Trophy is in the building and video montage of 7 straight is in the DVD player!!!!

dukehester 8 years, 8 months ago

hawkfan4life - agree with you ref the flowers and tradition. 7 consecutive crowns is just so awesome!! this class has given us so many great moments. these three are really more of the 'quite hero' types. good people, good athletes, good team mates, good reps of KU. would be very special to have them win out from here. RCJ GKU

Brianna Zaleski 8 years, 8 months ago

I like Turgeon as a person and as a KU player/ alum, but I just don't think I could stomach him as a coach. Purely based on his coaching style. I am all for a strong defense and as some poster noted yesterday, rather poignantly, if you are playing great defense, then you will always be in the game up until the last few possessions. Even if you are having an off night offensively, great D allows you to stay w/in distance of the other team. Coach Self implores this philosophy as does Turg. Consequently, neither teams get blown out very often if you are on ur game Defensively. However, our teams at least have some offensive punch, and this year we have a ton of it. Turg's teams (WSU too, as I have seen him coach here in Wichita for a # of yrs) rarely have any. I mean his games are constantly in the 40's and 50's and that is just plain weak offensively. To his credit, his opponents are often right there in point totals, but you have to be able to score some points to win. Just don't think I could stomach that stale of a performance night after night

yates33333 8 years, 8 months ago

I don't care how he coaches he is an excellent coach. I like him not only as a KU grad, but also because he does what has to be done.

What I don't like is that more and more he is looking like Dean Smith at his age. Shave your head of something.

jaybate 8 years, 8 months ago

Oooh, that is so right on. The minute you said it I saw it.

Dean = Turg's father, maybe grand father. Did either of them have relatives from the same town?

Just imagine Turg with 25 more pounds and a cig!

zsn 8 years, 8 months ago

Isn't Dean also from Topeka (like Turg). From what I understand (I am no expert on the sociology of northern Kansas), isn't the gene-pool of that area only marginally more diverse than that below the Mason-Dixon line?

FWIW, my years at KU included Turg's, and he lived in the next apt complex from me and I have seen him many-a-night in Johnny's the year after he graduated, and was hanging around Larry as a grad-asst. He is a great person, and now, an excellent coach.

TopJayhawk 8 years, 8 months ago

They are both from Topeka, you know, that town you all love to hate. NItwit.

AsadZ 8 years, 8 months ago

Ralster, not to change the subjec butt I saw your below comment in another post:

I did not like the X-periment last year, and still bash him (he who undermined chemistry standoffishly).

I agree with all of your comments but I have to take an exception here. I'd like to ask you as to why you have such negative opinions about X. IMO X was a great ambassador of KU BB both on and off the court. He always followed and did what coaches asked him to do. He never got into off the court issues. He would stand in long lines and sign autographs for kids/fans, always smiling. He was a fresh all around kid. He is a natural scorer but adopted to HCBS system. He left school early but he was a lottery pick. How many kids would bypass it? As a matter of fact i see him helping the program by being in the NBA and doing well. And, I really respected him coming to KU game during his couple of days off showing support to his former teammates. He could have gone home but decided to come back to Lawrence and support the program. I sincerely hope that you will change your opinion towards him.

Kurt Eskilson 8 years, 8 months ago

ZIG: If "his games are constantly in the 40's and 50's and that is just plain weak offensively" … then how are they averaging nearly 70 points a game this season? When they're not scoring 40 or 50 are they scoring 90 or 100?

HawkBBall 8 years, 8 months ago

"When a task is once begun, never leave it 'til its done. Be the labor, great or small. Do it well, or not at all." - Unknown.

My mother made me memorize this poem when I was in the second grade. It has stuck with me through 57 years. I think here, on Senior Night, you need to finish what you started last Fall. Bring home the conference title tonight with a win over the Aggies, then go to Columbia and silence the antlers. Win this 7th championship outright!

JHWK 8 years, 8 months ago

Amen, Brother HawkBBall! Can I get a witness! How about 16,300 in person, and the rest of us on ESPN!!

Rock Chalk!

RockCaCO3 8 years, 8 months ago

Does anyone know, if this website, or the KU Athletics website lists the entire roster of previous KU teams? I remember Turg playing with Dreiling, Kellogg, and Thompson (I think), but I'd like to see who else Turg played with. Also thinking about the '98 team the other day, and who all was on that team.

HawkBBall 8 years, 8 months ago

The 1986-87 team (Turgeon's senior year) under Coach Larry Brown:

Sean Alvarado, Center Scooter Barry, Guard Jeff Gueldner, Guard Keith Harris, Forward Cedric Hunter, Guard Danny Manning, Forward Milt Newton, Forward Mark Pellock, Forward Chris Piper, Forward Kevin Pritchard, Guard Mark Randall, Center Mark Turgeon, Guard

David Robinett 8 years, 8 months ago

Archie Marshall. Wasn't he the guy that got injured in the '86 semi-final against Puke?

Steve Gantz 8 years, 8 months ago

You mean the game where KU got whistled like 30 times compared to Duke getting 14? Still bitter about that game.

KansasComet 8 years, 8 months ago

That's the one. Duke has been getting calls ever since.

Marcia Parsons 8 years, 8 months ago

This site has what you need. Goes way back. Earliest stuff is a bit sketchy, but gets more comprehensive in later years.

yates33333 8 years, 8 months ago

Really useful. Thanks. Use the index.sht to find what you want.

Funhawk 8 years, 8 months ago

LJW- April 9, 1987 - “Banquet honors KU team” by Chuck Woodling. "Danny Manning collected most of the hardware while departing seniors Cedric Hunter and Mark Turgeon caught a verbal bouquet from coach Larry Brown at Wednesday night’s Kansas basketball awards banquet. 'Of all the teams I’ve been associated with,” Brown said, “I think this team achieved the most with what we had. I think it’s a tribute to our two seniors that we accomplished what we did.' ……Brown also vented his exasperation about media speculation that he’s headed for a job with a National Basketball Assn. team.” Mark Turgeon got the “Most Inspirational” Award at the banquet. Another story went this way. A persistent Mark Turgeon talked Larry Brown into offering him a scholarship. Larry Brown finally caved in and did. Why? Coach Brown later said the cocky, aggressive little kid from Hayden High reminded him of himself. Mark Turgeon was a fan favorite when he wore a KU uniform.

HawkBBall 8 years, 8 months ago

1997-98 roster:

21 Nick Bradford Sophomore 6-7 205 44 Eric Chenowith Freshman 7-1 270 3 Lester Earl Sophomore 6-8 240 20 Kenny Gregory Freshman 6-5 208 23 Jelani Janisse Freshman 6-3 210 45 Raef LaFrentz Senior 6-11 235 30 Chris Martin Freshman 6-2 190 24 C.B. McGrath Senior 5-11 173 5 Terry Nooner Sophomore 6-1 191 34 Paul Pierce Junior 6-7 220 32 T.J. Pugh Junior 6-8 240 4 Ryan Robertson Junior 6-5 190 12 Billy Thomas Senior 6-4 208

zsn 8 years, 8 months ago

Knock yourself out here:

Those teammates would have been Turg's freshman through junior season. The trio of Dreiling, Kellogg and Thompson graduated in 1986.

In his freshman season he played with the likes of Carl Henry, Kelly Knight, Kerry Boagni and Tad Boyle. It is possible he faced off against a certain Bill Self in the backcourt in four games in 1984 and 1985 (we played Okie State home-and-home those days)

Justin Carlson 8 years, 8 months ago

I hate to point out the obvious but why would Self allow the trophy in the building for just a share! Tell the players the only way they are getting it is after an outright win in columbia at 1:15pm CST!

KU_FanSince75 8 years, 8 months ago

Yep, it will be emotional when the Seniors give their speeches after the game. I think I cried the most when Nick Collison and Kirk Heinrick gave their speech. I remember Ryan Robertson giving his and I cried a bunch. Tyrel will be right up there and I guess I better have a box of Puffs nearby, just in case. Thanks guys for memorable careers! Good luck after basketball.

jaybate 8 years, 8 months ago

"Creams Mostly Rise, Turds Mostly Sink:"

Look who is back on top (and who is down) in conferences.


B12/KU 1st/OU 10th (arrogant Capel out of his depth)

Atl10/Xavier 1,Temple 2/St.Louis 11 (Majerus a self-serving jerk)

ACC/UNC 1 tied/Duke 1 tied, Wake Forest12 (Bzdelik tanks, K CheapShts)

AtlSun/Belmont 1, no turds or all turds (Belmont just keeps doing it)

BEast/Pitt 1st/Hoyas 6, WVU 9, Nova 11 (Wrong, Thuggins JThom2.0 = turds)

Big Sky/NorCol 1/ SacState 9 (Suckramento State plays to its nickname)

Big South NA--who flipping cares?

B10/OSU 1/IU 11 (Crean finally got what he deserved)

BWest/none/ Long Beach St. 1, CSU Fullerton 8 (turds take turns in this L)

Colonial/G Mason 1/not enough information (Mason keeps hanging in)

CUSA/UAB 1/Memphisto 3 (3rd in CUSA equals 12th in B12)

Indies/ who flipping cares?

Gr8West/who flipping cares?

Horizon/Milwaukee 1/Butler 2 (illegal hand check D didn't work as well)

Ivy/Princeton 1/Cornell 6 (no wonder Donohue left)

MAC/ who flipping cares?

MidAm/who flipping cares?

MEAC/who flipping cares?

MizVal/Miz State 1, Chita State 2/Bradley 10 (Cuonzo 4 real, Bradley = turd)

MtnWst/ BYU 1/ TCU 9 (Tubbsville tumbles)

NrthEst/who flipping cares?

Ohio Val/who flipping cares?

Pac10/?/ Zona 1 tie, UCLA 1st tie, ASU 10 (turds top to bottom)

Patriot/Bucknell 1/? (Oh, no, not Bucknell again)

SEC/Florida 1/UK 2, UTenn 5 (Turds sinking big time)

Southern--who flipping cares?

Southland--who flipping cares?

SWAC--who flipping cares?

Summit--Oakland 1, ? (Oakland keeps getting it done)

Sun Belt--who flipping cares?

WstCst--St.Mary's & Zaga 1 tie, USF 3/USD 8 (Rex lifts Dons, USD sucks for firing Brad Holland too soon and letting a whore take credit for his work)

WAC--Utah State 1, ? (Utah State's Stew Morrill, a Mike Montgomery disciple (and Monty is a Judd Heathcote disciple) keeps winning with roughness.

yates33333 8 years, 8 months ago

How come you've gotten mean? You do such a great job analyzing games, etc., but calling team turds! Wow!

jaybate 8 years, 8 months ago

Yates, I trust you, so I will lighten.

I think what has hardened me are the convergence of cheap shotting and muscle balling and the resulting injuries in D1 this season.

But I will try to be more good natured and generous in spirit, while the game is being dragged into the mud and players are being injured all in an effort to keep the games in a broadcast window.

My heroes, Washington, Jefferson, Jackson, FDR and Gandhi all make clear that staying positive is crucial to righting any ship in harm's way.

MIZNIT 8 years, 8 months ago

What has Tom Crean ever done besides run a super clean program and be a nice guy off the court. Jaybate... WTF?

jaybate 8 years, 8 months ago

Tom Crean has never struck me the way you describe him.

What I saw was a guy who jumped ship on Marquette, stranding Tyshawn Taylor, among others, for a chance to join a Big Ten university, IU, with a culture that protected an abusive coach in Bob Knight so long as he could produce rings, then force him out when his flaws could not be suppressed any longer, then hired MIke Davis as a transitional guy to keep the dirty laundry in house, and dumped him without a fair shot in order to hire a proven rule violator in Kelvin Sampson at OU, because he was reputedly a terrific recruiter that could get them back on the map in a hurry.

Indiana University seems to me to be a very, very dysfunctional culture and Crean seems to have been drawn to it for the very simple, and not noble, reason that he thought it was a Maybach program and he could turn it around and capitalize on its dysfunction.

Persons that think they can change an apparently deeply rooted, and enduringly dysfunctional culture at a major university are either naive in the extreme, or grandiose, or possessed by the same kind of dysfunction.

Since Crean had a good job at Marquette, which has a rich basketball tradition itself, and since Crean was old enough to know better about what he was getting into at IU, I am inclined to say he got what he deserved when he abandoned his players at Marquette for the sizzle of an IU job that had no steak.

Compare Crean to Self.

Self left an Illinois program with a long history of corruption that had only been cleaned up recently by Lon Kruger, Self's predecessor.

jaybate 8 years, 8 months ago

Anyone with a thimble of brains could look at KU and Illinois and say, "Every school has its skeletons, but KU is a heck of a lot better place to try to avoid systemic corruption than Illinois, and KU was in very good shape having been run 15 years by a guy reputed to run a squeaky clean program. Self didn't come to KU because he could recruit better players. He was waist deep in great talent at Illinois. The three guys he left behind at Illinois were probably better than what he was coming to. Deron Williams is probably the best player he has ever recruited. Self came to be a part of a more stable basketball program, in a more functional university culture with a greater basketball tradition, that was at a high water mark in its legacy. He wasn't coming to save KU. Self's greatest virtue seems to be that he is a realist. He was coming to continue it; that is a mature, functional reason to enter a university bureaucracy. And even so, Self has found KU less of everything he expected in terms of functionality. But he did find a solid base of players, a jilted fan base he could satisfy, an alumni base that either doesn't cheat, or knows how to cheat without getting caught, an AD tasked with improving infrastructure, and a nice college town closer to his family in Oklahoma.

Crean has found little of that in Bloomington that I can see. And there was no reason to expect it after Knight, Davis and Sampson, and the kinds of persons that had to have been authority to hide Knight's flaws, not give Davis a fair shot. hire a guy like Sampson.

But maybe Tom got a nicer town for his kids to grow up in; that would be something worth having.

Otherwise, when a person leaves behind good people and a good situation, because he thinks he is a miracle worker at a better place, there is something suspect about his personality and values IMHO.

But if you say (and are absolutely sure) Tom Crean is a peach of a guy, who never breaks rules; that he just abandons friends, employers, and players to try to be even more of a peach of a guy for bigger pay at a historically dysfunctional university, well, okay, then, I will root for Tom to turn the corner.

bayareajhawk 8 years, 8 months ago

I grew up in Indiana and was actually a freshman at IU when Knight was fired (and Davis got the "interim" job). I always respect your opinions, and that is why I don't think you have a full understanding of what happened there. Bob Knight is still the most popular man in the state. What are the flaws you speak of? Anger problems and egomania? Far from being covered up, those aspects of his personality are celebrated in that state. I never liked him as a person and thought he was an arrogant jerk, but my family is from Kansas so I wasn't brainwashed like those I grew up with. I was brainwashed with stories of Allen Fieldhouse, Wilt Chamberlain, JoJo White, and Darnell Valentine. But I digress.

Knight would never have been fired by anybody from Indiana. He was finally fired by an Indiana outsider, Myles Brand, who was trying (successfully) to make a name for himself as a no-nonsense administrator. It worked for Myles and he then became the head of the NCAA. It was a massive blow to the IU program. Knight had a cult of personality there.

Davis got the job on an interim basis because the season was about to start and they wanted to wait and look for a big name coach at the end of the season. Jared Jeffries and company made an unlikely run to the National Championship game and the University felt like they had to give the job to Davis, even though none of the fans were ever onboard. That was an uneasy time in the history of Indiana Basketball. I'm surprised Davis lasted as long as he did. The fans hated him. He was the exact opposite of Knight. An offensive coach whose offense consisted of isolation and overdribbling. It was never going to work in a state where people pride themselves on screening and boxing out in pickup games.

With Sampson, they did want to get back to the big time and Sampson was tired of being at a football school. I thought it was a good match. His record wasn't spotless, but even Mike Montgomery got in trouble recently for making impermissible phone calls. Sampson was a fool to make the same mistake twice, though, and got what he deserved.

I don't see IU as being a fundamentally flawed place like you describe. They had a legendary coach who was recently forced out, resulting in a fractured fan base. They also have more talent in that state than just about any other and are frustrated at seeing the top kids leave. Look what Ohio State (and other teams) have done with Indiana kids recently. Crean is starting to get the top Indiana kids. He will have a dangerous team next year when Zeller arrives, and they will only get better. Crean had more work to do at IU than Self did here, but that is the only difference I see in the two situations.

Respectfully submitted, Douglas P. Niedermeyer, Jr.

jaybate 8 years, 8 months ago


Drop and give me 20. Lieutenant! Then bring me a carrot I can mouth feed to my horse. :-)

indyhawk 8 years, 8 months ago

The trophy will be there on matter what. That is a Big 12 decission. Ever since that one year when KU tied for the conference title and one school had a presentation and the KU didn't because there was no trophy in the house the Big 12 has been very careful to make sure the tropy is there if there is a clinch of a tie or an outright win.

jayrod58 8 years, 8 months ago

Cut the nets in Columbia, then toss them at the Antlers

Kurt Eskilson 8 years, 8 months ago

If we lose tonight we might have to beat mizzou to share the title. Texas still has to play at Baylor and could continue their late-season slide, ending with four losses. But let's avoid the drama and seal the deal at home!

Funhawk 8 years, 8 months ago

LJW-February 20, 1987- “KU punishes K-State, 84-67” by Chuck Woodling “Let the record show Mark Turgeon has wept twice in Allen Fieldhouse – once for joy and once for sorrow. The tears of joy came on Thursday night after Kansas demolished Kansas State, 84-67, in Turgeon’s last appearance in Allen Fieldhouse. ‘The last time I cried,’ the senior guard recalled, ‘was after the Oklahoma game my freshman year…and that was a long time ago.’ It was also the last time Kansas lost a basketball game in its beloved barn. Thursday’s win over the Wildcats made the Jayhawks 48-0 since that overtime loss to the Sooners in February of 1984. …..Turgeon is expected to join Brown’s staff as a graduate assistant next season and, said the KU head man, ‘He’s gonna be a great coach.’ When Brown removed Turgeon and Hunter in tandem with 1:11 showing, Manning hugged them both, as did several other teammates – including junior Chris Piper who was choked up for a unique reason. Piper was in the same recruiting class with Hunter and Turgeon, but was red-shirted his freshman year.”

JHWK 8 years, 8 months ago

Rock Chalk!

As drgn points out, above, there are plenty of traps written into our last two games, so this is no time to believe the name on the front of the jersey entitles a victory tonight!

We know for a fact this is the last game on the hallowed hardwood for our beloved Morningstar, Reed and Little. However, could it also be the last games in AFH for the Morris Twins and Selby? Yes, it could! So, no better time than tonight to have a game of perfection to leave the 16,300 faithful in attendance and the rest of us a game for the ages!

Then, to bring down the 'We Never Meant to Call This Paige Arena' Arena with the first loss of the year on their senior day!!! Holy Tiger Turd, Anderson!! That would be the absolute icing on the cake of a terrific Big 12 season!! What we must remember about our Jayhawks is their sleepy play during AM games, and let's all hope that after tonight's outstanding KU victory that the young men become lazer-focused on making the above a reality!

Rock Chalk Champions!

Steve Gantz 8 years, 8 months ago

I always love seeing Turgeon on the sidelines at AM. Really exemplified what KU basketball was about in the 80's, always kind of a coach on the floor.

That 86 team had such a confident swagger it remains my favorite KU team. They got jobbed by the refs for sure in that game, with double the fouls called on them than Duke, including Danny and someone else I think fouling out.

Would love to see Turg end up at KU some day replacing Self whenever he leaves.

Kurt Eskilson 8 years, 8 months ago

"Would love to see Turg end up at KU some day replacing Self whenever he leaves." I might agree, except that Self and Turg are about the same age. I hope Turgeon is old enough to be retired before the job comes open! I'd rather see Tyrell or Brady, if one of them proves to have the coaching chops 20 years from now.

Steve Gantz 8 years, 8 months ago

Wow, I guess you're right! I generally think of Self as older since he's been around a while! Memo to self: think before you type

jaybate 8 years, 8 months ago

"Okie Baller Update Plus Drive Blocking Emerges in the Big East:"

~A season that started out looking sweet for Okie Ballers (Ohio State's Thad Matta has basically junked Herb Sendek ball and flat out copied Bill Self's Signature Version of Eddie Ball) has turned sour. Outside of KU (and its clone Ohio State), the basketball philosophy and style of play that hinges on athleticism and skill and 70-point-take-what-they-give-you and on glue men and impact players, and fanatical commitment to stingy man to man defense, high low post and pick and roll schemes, with an occassional Iba weave, is struggling.

Janks--After two good seasons at Illinois State, Tim Jankovich is in deep doo-doo his third season, when he should finally have his players and have the program on solid ground. ISU fell to 9th in the MizVal just as former ISU and now KUAD Sean, who hired Janks, jumped to KU. Now Janks gets a new AD at the worst possible moment. This could be curtains for his head coaching career. He had to prove he could sustain recruiting and winning at ISU to make it to the next level. He has won, but he hasn't recruited well enough to sustain success. That spells doom in D1 today. He could very soon be coaching at Cal State Northridge, or Georgia State, or Centenary, god forbid. Janks is one of my favorite Okie Ballers from the Jack Hartman-Bill Self lineage. This man needs saving. Someone throw him a rope and some players.

Unibrow--UNLV's Lon Kruger had a really hot run in Suckersville, then fell to third this season in the Mtn West, while rebuilding. Not bad, but BYU and SDSU eclipsed him in raw talent. BYU is kind of a freak with Fredette, so Unibrow can probably stay ahead of BYU in talent most years. But as long as SDSU's Fish is not investigated for recruiting, Unibrow may not be able to get back on top. Fish has a history of staying stupid, both as Frieder's Xs and Os man, and as Michigate's HC, while the folks in the back ground bring the bodies. San Diego State has always been a D1 mecca waiting to happen. But only Fish has found the formula. If no smoke starts rising in Mission Valley, Fish will be very tough for Unibrow to unseat. Fish can coach.

Woody Cragg 8 years, 8 months ago

Fish said he wanted to recruit Pat Knight...but didn't want to make the home visit. Wonder why?

jaybate 8 years, 8 months ago

Great anecdote. I recall Knight refusing to come to B10 media days because he did not want to be associated with cheaters. Heathcote, the old Illinois coach, and Frieder were at the top of his no like list, if I recall correctly.

jaybate 8 years, 8 months ago

Buzz--Marquette's Buzz Williams was on a roll in the Big East that stopped this season, when Marquette fell to 8th. Buzz has a real problem. He is the only Okie Baller in an XTReme Muscle Conference. When he has lots of talent, the unfamiliarity of the style of play magnifies Marquette's advantage, but when he is short handed, his teams get beat up, rather like what happened to KU vs. KSU's XTreme Muscle game, when KU was depleted by injuries. .Self has proven he can beat XTReme Muscle in intermittent encounters when he has a lot of talent, but even Self struggles against Ratso Izzo at MSU. Coping with XTReme Muscle occasionally can be achieved by putting your guys on the weights, teaching them some XTReme Cheap Shots, while continuing to play Okie Ball. This is basically Duke's strategy, too. But there is more to XTReme Muscle than just bigness. A steady diet of XTReme Muscle necessitates the adoption of XTReme Muscle in order to survive it. Look at the injuries KU has sustained this season as the game has gotten rougher and more riddled with cheap shotting. Look at how banged up KU has gotten this season with less than half of its schedule playing XTReme Muscle, or some variation of it. In the Big East, Buzz sees it almost every conference game, and so he has to schedule some of it in pre conference to prepare his players for the conference. But Okie Ball just relies on way too much athleticism and skill to survive a steady dose of XTReme Muscle, even with the countervailing force of XTReme Cheap Shotting.

~The problem with XTReme Muscle Ball teams for any other offense is not so much the way they play defense, which is brutal, but the way they play offense. XTReme Muscle Ball offenses are esentially run like football offenses are run. XTReme Muscle Ball offenses are basically blocking schemes, not picks and rolls and motion and finesse passing.

~Consider first Huggo Muggo/Frank Martin XTreme Muscle offense. This is basically an East Ohio variation of a motion offense with a lot of pass and draw blocking (rather than picking), where the bigs run and form a curtain that running backs (the perimeter players) thread through to daylight. There is still a least a hint of traditional basketball motion in the HuggoMuggo/Frank Martin offense.

jaybate 8 years, 8 months ago

~But Pitt's Jamie Dixon has pretty much jettisoned motion offense, and has turned the high-low offense into straight ahead drive blocking and angular trap blocking. Where Huggo Muggo/Martin offense tries to use the immovable force screen/pass block, Dixon's Pitt offense is now largely drive blocking. The bigs are coming at the defenders and driving the defenders all over the floor. Pitt bigs actually try to sustain screens the way a guard, or tackle, try to sustain a drive block in football. Not as sure what Notre Dame's offense is doing, but I suspect it is doing pretty much the same thing. If Pitt's and ND's bigs don't work out on blocking sleds on the football field, then they ought to be doing so.

~UConn, Syracuse, Georgetown and Villanova are playing pretty much the traditional rough Big East style, as they always have and so are sliding into mid pack in the Big East behind Pitt and Notre Dame.

~Pitino at Louisville is combining muscle and court stretching speed, but he is having only marginally more success against the drive blocking of Pitt than others.

~St. Johns I have not seen play since so early I cannot clearly recall their play, but it is probably free riding the leagues's unfamilarity with Steve Lavin's more free lancing version of Gene Keady's Big Ten muscle ball game. Lavin's test will come next season, when more of the the Big East coaches have adopted Pitt's and Notre Dame's drive blocking schemes. I suspect Lavin will have to adapt, or fail.

~Last year after Duke cheap shotted its way to a ring against Butler's illegal hand checking defense, I could instantly foresee the rising tide of cheap shotting that has occurred this season (and an increase in illegal hand checking because Butler was not called for it either). But what I could not foresee was the emergence of drive blocking. Coaches are endlessly creative in the way they find to pervert the game, when the TV execs appear to force the refs to swallow their whistles to keep the games in the broadcast windows. This the definition of unforeseen consequences in a game space with emergent complexity driven by unwritten change of written rules.

jaybate 8 years, 8 months ago


I like the helmets. D1 should adopt them. Then when guys run under players, the player that is coming down on top of the other player gets a puncture that would play well on the telestrator. :-)

jaybate 8 years, 8 months ago


Your amendment is noted, seconded and passed unamimously.

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 8 months ago

or maybe this X-Treme Muscle strategy is designed to wear a team down in the second half, thereby almost spotting the "highly skilled" opponent an early lead and opting to come from behind late.

jaybate 8 years, 8 months ago

XTReme Muscle is definitely designed to do what you say.

kcglowboy 8 years, 8 months ago

How appropriate that Mark Turgeon will be in the house on the night when we pay tribute to two Kansas kids who have far exceeded most fans' expectations for, as Tully wrote in CJ, "white Kansas kids" playing for one of the most elite programs in the country. Turg was, after all, the epitome of Local Boy Makes Good in the modern era.

Tony Bandle 8 years, 8 months ago

Has Kansas ever lost on Senior Night????

Funhawk 8 years, 8 months ago

I believe the last loss on Senior Night was 1983 to Nebraska. Announced game attendence was only 6,433. 9,466 was the average attendence at AFH for the '82/'83 season. The 3/3/1983 box score in the LJW shows Carl Henry with 21 points and Kelly Knight with 17. Third in scoring with 6 points was Kelly Boagni. Tad Boyle had 2 points. Future greats Calvin Thompson and Ronnie Kellogg played in the game, but I believe they were freshmen that year. KU finished that year with a losing record. The truth about that year was this. Without Carl Henry, we would have really been sunk.

4jhawks4ku 8 years, 8 months ago

I'd also like to hear the One More Year" chant when the Morri shoot free throws tonight.

Martin Rosenblum 8 years, 8 months ago

Angel Morris needs to drop some sort of hint about next year. Maybe her body language during the speeches will reveal something.

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