Kansas took down Illinois on Sunday, March 20, 2011 in Tulsa, Okla. to advance to the Sweet Sixteen.
Kansas coach Bill Self talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 73-59 victory over Illinois on March 20, 2011.
Tulsa, Okla. Big winner
Tyrel Reed has passed Sherron Collins as winningest four-year player in Kansas University history.
Reed has been part of 131 victories against 16 losses. Collins went 130-19 from 2007 to 2010.
“Being a Kansas kid ... words can’t describe how proud I am. Being the winningest player in Kansas history is a big honor,” Reed, a senior from Burlington, said after scoring six points off 1-of-7 shooting (1-for-5 from three) in Sunday’s 73-59 Round of 32 victory over Illinois.
KU coach Bill Self informed the team of the milestone in a happy locker room after the game.
“He said, ‘It’s a cool thing Tyrel had done,’’’ Reed said.
The NCAA record for most wins in a four year span is 133 by Duke’s Shane Battier from 1998-2001.
Self and Illinois coach Bruce Weber passed each other quickly in the handshake line, with Weber telling Self good luck the rest of the way.
Self seemed surprised when asked about the handshake in his postgame media session.
“We are not close by any means, but that didn’t have anything to do with anything,” Self said, adding that he respects Weber as a coach and the job he’s done at Illinois.
Not a shot!
Marcus Morris banged a pass off the backboard to his brother, Markieff, who couldn’t complete a highlight-reel dunk.
“I’m glad you guys noticed that wasn’t a shot. I would never take a bad shot like that,” Marcus said. “We kind of did it in practice when coach wasn’t looking, so we said we’d do it in the game because they both bit on our fade screen perfectly. It just slipped off Kieff’s hand when he missed it.
“But I had to take the blame for it. I shoulda never done it, but I’ll do it again,” he added, laughing.
Self’s take: “That was one of those deals they’ve laid around talking and figured out that would be a highlight play. Marcus said it was a good pass, and Kieff just missed it. I thought it was a crap pass, and nobody could have caught it. We’ll talk about that when moving forward. But those guys are pretty creative. They are great passers. But that wasn’t the time or place (with KU up 28-20 in first half) to try that one, I didn’t think.”
KU will be heavily favored to advance to the Final Four. The top-seeded Jayhawks will meet No. 12 Richmond at 6:27 p.m. Friday in San Antonio, then if victorious meet either No. 10-seed Florida State or No. 11 VCU on Sunday.
“Ten, 11 and 12 are left, but it’s not seeds, it’s matchups,” Self said.
“All the teams left in this tournament are good teams,” Brady Morningstar noted.
San Antonio is where KU won the 2008 national title.
“We’ll try to make new memories,” Self said.
Hinson loves Tulsa
Kansas University director of basketball operations Barry Hinson had a great time rekindling some old friendships over the weekend in Tulsa.
Hinson worked four years as an assistant coach and two as head coach at Oral Roberts (1993-99) after working six years as head coach at Tulsa Bishop Kelley High School.
“Somebody asked me today, did I have family that lives here. I said, ‘Yeah, about 6,000,’’’ Hinson said. “No relatives but a lot of friends. I came down a day early to do the pre-stuff before we travel and got to see a lot of friends.
“My wife and I considered this may be the place we retire,” Hinson added. “Tulsa has literally everything you’d want. We raised our kids here. We’d love the opportunity to come back.”
The best thing about Tulsa?
“No question, it’s the people. No matter where you go in Tulsa, somebody will say hi, help you out,” Hinson said. “It’s one of the friendliest places there is, a big city with a small town atmosphere.”
Hinson pinpointed the biggest wins he’d been involved with in Tulsa prior to last weekend’s NCAA games.
“That would have been with coach (Self). We beat Arkansas at ORU,” Hinson said. “The biggest win is what got me into college coaching. My team at Bishop Kelley beat Oklahoma City Star Spencer when they were No. 1 in the country. We were the underdog. We beat the big dog that day.”
Stan Simpson, a 6-foot-10, 235-pound forward from Logan Junior College in Chicago, tweeted that KU has offered him a scholarship for next season. Simpson spent two years at the University of Illinois, one year as a red-shirt before transferring to Logan. He averaged about 14 points and 10 rebounds per game for Logan. Kentucky is reportedly his leader, with Memphis, UConn, KU, DePaul, Cincinnati, Tennessee and others hot on his trail. Simpson attended Chicago’s Simeon High.