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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Barking Spiders not intimidated by KU

Mario Little (23) scrambles for a loose ball during the first half against the Richmond Spiders Friday, March 25, 2011 at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

Mario Little (23) scrambles for a loose ball during the first half against the Richmond Spiders Friday, March 25, 2011 at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

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KU vs. Richmond

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Kansas defeated Richmond, 77-57, to advance the the Elite Eight on Friday, March 25, 2011 at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self

Kansas coach Bill Self talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 77-57 victory over Richmond on March 25, 2011.

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— In the moments following Richmond’s 77-57 loss to Kansas University in the Sweet 16 at the Alamodome on Friday night, a media-relations official informed Richmond senior Kevin Smith that he had to stick around the locker room until 8:52 p.m.

Smith wasn’t happy.

In addition to dealing with the emotional crash that came with the end of his college career, Smith was peppered with questions from reporters about the handful of confrontations between the Jayhawks and Spiders that started during pregame in the 12-foot-wide tunnel, carried over to introductions and finally subsided late in the second half.

For a game decided by 20 points, there were quite a few intense moments.

During pregame, as the Spiders huddled in the tunnel, the Jayhawks attempted to run past them, and pushing and shoving ensued. Security guards jumped in to separate the teams and restore order.

“It’s a man thing,” Smith said. “Would you let a man walk through you? I wouldn’t think you would. They thought they were playing some boys with that one. But that’s before the game, and that has nothing to do with the 40 minutes that were played.”

Added Richmond forward Josh Duinker, who was seen shoving KU’s Thomas Robinson in retaliation during the off-the-court encounter: “It’s a narrow tunnel, and (Kansas) was right behind us coming through. People were just excited for the game, so things got kind of tangled up a bit, but nothing serious. It didn’t get under our skin at all. That’s not the way we do things.”

The mini-fracas then spilled onto the court. First, Robinson and UR senior Dan Geriot brushed shoulders during warm-ups.

Then, during introduction of the starting lineups, KU junior Markieff Morris and Smith whiffed on the customary handshake at mid-court. Smith rolled his eyes and laughed it off. Morris did not react.

Later, Geriot and KU senior Mario Little also were tangled up and had to be separated. That one was more a product of NCAA-Tournament-style hustle than trash talk.

In the second half, KU’s Brady Morningstar carried the torch in the trash-talk department. At one point, after Morningstar’s terrific defense forced Smith out of bounds, the KU senior popped the ball out of Smith’s hands, and words were exchanged. One official called the two together for a warning.

Seconds later, Morningstar drilled a three-pointer over Smith that put Kansas ahead, 63-38. He instantly began barking in Smith’s direction. Morningstar was hit with an immediate technical foul. Smith was hit with more frustration.

“He made like a noise,” Smith said. “I don’t know. It was some kind of noise. He said it running away each time. You can put that in there if you want to.”

Knowing that no more yapping would be tolerated, Morningstar let his eyes do the work after another three-pointer a few minutes later. Instead of telling him about it, Morningstar simply glared at Smith as he ran back on defense. Smith did not react.

“We didn’t worry about that,” Smith said. “If they want to talk, that’s them. We came here to do the things we needed to do to win the game, and they came here to do the things they needed to do, plus some. Good luck to ’em. If they find someone in the tournament they think they can talk to like that … but we weren’t gonna back down.”

All week, the Spiders kept the focus on what they had done to get here and refused to let the star power of top-seeded Kansas get in their heads.

But Richmond looked rattled during the game’s opening minutes, and KU roared to a 35-11 lead befitting the top seed and second-ranked team in the country.

Smith insisted that the Spiders’ poor start had more to do with his team missing shots and was not a product of any of the mix-ups.

“We just couldn’t get out of the mud,” he said. “You’d have to look it up, but I can’t imagine when the last time we shot that poorly was. It’s tough.”

Although the game got out of hand in spots, Richmond coach Chris Mooney said the minor altercations should not be the lasting impression from KU’s latest victory.

“They’re a great team,” Mooney said. “I think it’s an iconic program, and (KU) coach (Bill) Self is one of the very best coaches in college basketball. It’s a first-class program. What gets in your head is the record and the statistics and just how good they are.”

As the Richmond locker room cleared and the reality of the dream season coming to a close settled in, Smith was heard asking one final question.

“Is it 8:52 yet?” he said.

Comments

jaybate 8 years, 4 months ago

Richmond did not shoot poorly from three.

They actually shot an extremely high percentage for the kinds of three looks they were getting--lousy.

KU never gave them a decent three opp the entire game.

KU crushed Richmond.

Richmond ought to be declared a snot free zone.

They got the snot beaten out of them.

Dan Harris 8 years, 4 months ago

Do you ever sleep or do you live in the middle of the Pacific Ocean? Agree that KU didn't give them any decent looks from trifecterville land hope they keep that intensity up for 3 more games!

ajhk 8 years, 4 months ago

Not intimidated by KU? It looked otherwise.
I'm sure that our team will take flak from upper-middle class white guys that want to blog about the thuggish behavior. For me it'll just highlight their culturally narrow minded, elitist, self centered view.

Would it be better if the twins didn't employ trash talking? Well, at least we wouldn't have to try to explain it. That's what most would prefer, clean and simple. No waves.

This team is lead by the Morrii It is important for the leader(s) to understand what motivates and energizes their team.

Where the twins come from, trash talk is part of the game. A game within the game. It works for the Morrii, it works for this team. It worked on Dan Geriot.

Last years team played the best when Sherron was disrespected. He took it personal, fired the team up and put a beating on the opposition.

This year, Marcus isn't waiting around for the motivation to come to them. Gotta respect that. He's creating a fire when they need it the most.

You never know how another team may react to trash talk, but if it fires this team up, so be it.

On another note: Tell a kid he has to stick around till 8:52?!! Uhh, last I checked he wasn't getting paid! How disgusting. Hey media relations dude- go f yourself!

waywardJay 8 years, 4 months ago

Look at how upset he was, This little douchebag got punked by Brady F* Morningstar. that's going to haunt him forever. He knows EXACTLY what Brady Said. He always Will. They had to corral him because he would not have been able to handle it. he'll take it back to Murphyboro tennessee, or whereever he ends up an know that some little privleged white kid owned in a dirty dirty way on national television.

He was absolutely hosed, as was his little league team.

Goodnight, Sweet Princes. You have an early flight out in the Morning.

redlegger 8 years, 4 months ago

..."For me it'll just highlight their culturally narrow minded, elitist, self centered view."...

+1

FOE

bad_dog 8 years, 4 months ago

How about that play when Harrelson bullet pass bounced the ball off Sullinger's chest? We checked it out on slo-mo on the DVR and it appears that a) the ball was on the baseline when it bounced and should have been out of bounds to OSU at that point and b) Harrelson's foot was also on the baseline when he picked up the ball-again it should have been OSU's ball. All this within 3 feet of the official. No big deal perhaps, but when you consider the final score...

KansasComet 8 years, 4 months ago

From the opening tip, Kansas stared Richmond straight in the eyes, and then punched them in the mouth! That's the way I saw it. Absolutely no fear! Had Markieff Morris not received the two early fouls, (weak calls in my opinion) this may have been a 30-40 point blowout! Loved the aggressiveness from Morningstar. The guards are not afraid to shoot, and combined with our inside came, we are going to be pretty hard to beat.

It has become increasingly obvious that Rick Pitino does not care for Kansas Basketball. I hope he keeps making negative comments about Kansas. This will only add more fuel to the fire.

addlime 8 years, 4 months ago

Pitino got what he deserved in '89. Let his ego get in the way when Coach Williams tried to do him a favor. Classless... Just ask that woman he hooked up with in a restaurant.

Joel Hood 8 years, 4 months ago

I dislike trash talk, but playing with this attitude is what we need to avoid the N Iowa trap. Stay pissed off boys - every opponent is wearing burnt orange.

Martin Rosenblum 8 years, 4 months ago

That's it! I just got it! Cal has a man-crush on Pitino. That's why he wanted the KY job. Or, maybe his dilusions have been to seek revenge on KU for that ass-whipping that Roy put on Pitino. He does see himself as a savior type and knew he could someday be in a position to play KU. This was his dream job, he insisted. This is his dream. He couldn't beat us in the NC with Memphis, so now he must not be able to sleep. He's scheduled to play KU next season and there is a possibility that he could face us still yet in the NC game in this tournament.

LSHawk 8 years, 4 months ago

Let them all talk, it appears to me that it makes the whole team play better. FOE!!

REHawk 8 years, 4 months ago

The PC guys, Pitino/Calipari. HA! I'm riding with the B guys, Bilas and Barkley. They know who's gonna win the NC.

tauck 8 years, 4 months ago

The University of Kansas used to change the player, it seems now, with our new thug like persona, The player has changed the University. We are not the street..... WE ARE KANSAS!!!! Act like it

addlime 8 years, 4 months ago

I agree. I like the attitude, but these are young men and sometimes I think they take it a little too far. They're good kids, though, and they learn so fast. I felt that the twins didn't come out sharp last night, and maybe that's because of the focus on off the court intimidation. Could be a great lesson for the team. They have to walk the line. Maintain the attitude, but stay focused and let your play do the talking!

ajhk 8 years, 4 months ago

I knew you were out there. Easy to see it coming but still had to call it.

So, please, explain, what makes this team "thug like?"

Please, enlighten us.

What do you see as "the street?" "We are not the street?" Who is turning the entire university into "the street?" Be a man and call them out. Tell us what you really think!

You've showed your colors before calling the players' screams "jungle yells"

You'd be so much happier if our players were church going, cub scout leading, seemingly upstanding suburbanites like BTK!

As Kansas fans we are not superficially judgmental bigoted fools. Act like it!!!!!!

chriz 8 years, 4 months ago

How can I watch a replay of the KU game online?

Alec White 8 years, 4 months ago

Some casual fans that watched that near dust-up in the hallways before the game probably came away with an unfortunate impression of our KU sqaud: thuggish. First of all, I can't stand that word---at least when applying it to a college athletes who have only made some minor mistakes. Other than Mario, all the other situations have been more like minor headaches (Tyshawn did approach migraine status but now is playing AWESOME). You can credit that to Coach Self and his unwillingness to deal with unecessary BS.

I'm not saying the Morri and the rest of our guys are completely faultless. We're definitely the instigators a majority of the time and have occasionally crossed the line. But this is a big boy sport and if Marcus is saying, "Be ready for us tomorrow" with a few expletives mixed in there it should fire up the opposition---not completely destroy their confidence. I just hope we don't over-amp ourselves when a team is ready to talk and hit back.

FOE

Vittorio1224 8 years, 4 months ago

Agreed re: Pitino ~ I remember that game like it was yesterday, since I was at KU then :) 150-95... Still get goose bumps thinking about that game!

ku_foaf 8 years, 4 months ago

Barking Spiders....he he! Blaming certain "noises" on barking spiders was like blaming the dog. I think Matt snuck a slam in there.

Fredmandu 8 years, 4 months ago

"Barking Spiders" made me spit coffee this morning when I read the paper. And it still cracks me up.

Kind of appropriate, Richmond really was just a fart in the wind.

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