Tuesday, March 6, 2012

‘Still Kansas City’: Self speaks out on Big 12 (minus MU) and K.C. tourney

In this photo shot with a slow shutter speed, players run a drill during practice at the last year’s Big 12 Conference men’s tournament, March 8, 2011, at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

In this photo shot with a slow shutter speed, players run a drill during practice at the last year’s Big 12 Conference men’s tournament, March 8, 2011, at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.


The Phillips 66 Big 12 men’s basketball championship will be held in Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., this week as well as in March of 2013 and ‘14.

But after that?

It remains to be seen if/when the popular tournament will return to the Missouri arena now that the University of Missouri has defected to the SEC, leaving no Big 12 member institutions from that state.

“To me the fact the arena is located across the river or whatever is irrelevant,” said KU coach Bill Self, who is all for the tourney staying in Sprint Center. “It’s in the state of Missouri, but it’s still Kansas City.

“Kansas City is split. I still think Kansas City is more of a K-State, KU town than it is a Missouri town, at least the way we see it. If you are going to poll the people that are living in the 30-mile radius, I’d think you would have far more K-State and Kansas people than you would Missouri people.

“It’s who puts on the best show,” Self added of the city to ultimately be awarded the Big 12 tourney. “Obviously Kansas City has done such a great job historically. I can’t see it taking a step backward at all from an interest standpoint and attendance standpoint, I don’t,” he added.

“I think it would give the appearance it (MU leaving) would hurt it, but I can’t see that happening. This will be a situation moving forward I think there will be as much interest in the conference tournament as there ever has been.”

The vote: Self revealed on Monday that he voted for Missouri’s Frank Haith for Big 12 Coach of the Year. Self and Iowa State’s Fred Hoiberg were named co-conference Coach of the Year Sunday in voting of their peers. On Monday, the media named Haith the Associated Press Big 12 Coach of the Year.

“That’s perfect,” Self said of Haith being recognized by the AP media panel. “In all honesty, I voted for him. He deserved it. Fred has done a remarkable job, and he definitely deserves it. Everybody gets a piece of it. That is a tribute to the coaches and the programs in the league. The only way you can ever win Coach of the Year is if your team does well. We had three teams in this league far surpass what their expectations were. You could make a case for a lot of different guys.”

Foot is fine: KU junior Travis Releford, who has not worn a protective boot on his left foot for several weeks now, said his foot is healed. He had the early stages of a stress reaction back in January.

“My foot is good. I have no problem with it at all,” Releford said. “It’s a lot better.”

Return the picture, please: KU sophomore forward Justin Wesley lost his wallet on Saturday night. In the wallet was a much-cherished picture of his dad, Isiah, who died when Wesley was 4-years-old.

Wesley’s mom, Charlene Taylor-Mask, says she and her son would like for the person who found the wallet to at least return the picture. Wesley has a mailbox in the KU men’s basketball office.

“It was an old picture, black and white of his dad in a basketball uniform when he played in high school,” Taylor-Mask said. “Justin’s dad’s brother came to the Texas game in Austin and gave Justin the picture. We can buy another wallet. We can cancel the credit cards, but the picture ... it would mean a lot to get that back,” she added.

Jeff Withey on winning the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year award: “Coach Self challenged me to be the top shot-blocker in the league. That was my goal, and I am definitely happy to be able to get that award,” he said.

Self noted: “Certainly he deserves that, I don’t know if anybody in our league blocks or alters as many shots as he does. For the most part, Jeff has been consistent for the whole year on the defensive end. He has been a presence the whole year. One reason Thomas (Robinson) has had such a great year is because Jeff guards the other team’s best post player. Jeff has been great for us, he has had a terrific year.”

Wangmene out for season: Texas senior forward Alexis Wangmene will miss the rest of the season after suffering a broken left wrist in Saturday’s loss at KU. The 6-7 Wangmene, who averaged 4.7 points and 4.8 rebounds, fell on his left hand when he braced himself for a fall after pursuing a defensive rebound. Wangmene is an adopted son of former KU assistant coach R.C. Buford, GM of the San Antonio Spurs.

Up next: KU will meet Oklahoma or Texas A&M at 2 p.m., Thursday, in a Big 12 tournament quarterfinal in Sprint Center. A victory would push KU into a semifinal meeting with Kansas State or Baylor at 6:30 p.m., Friday. The title game is 5 p.m., Saturday.

Self was asked Monday what it would be like to play Missouri in the final. The two split games in the regular season.

“It’d be great because that means we’ve won two games so that would be absolutely fantastic. It would be absolutely fantastic to play Texas or Iowa State or anybody else. It doesn’t make any difference because it would mean we won two games,” Self said.

Redbirds fall: Former KU assistant Tim Jankovich’s Illinois State team fell to Creighton in overtime in the finals of the Missouri Valley tournament on Sunday in St. Louis. “They played great. Tim should really be proud of his guys,” Self said.

Tournament seeding: Self was asked if the Jayhawks need to win a certain number of games at the Big 12 tournament to land a No. 1 seed in the NCAAs: “To me, obviously Kentucky and Syracuse are No. 1 seeds no matter what. Then you’d almost have to say, if nothing really strange happens, one from the ACC, and North Carolina was so good the other night (against Duke), but I don’t know if there’s two from the ACC. 

“The Big 10 has gotten a little bit sideways because of the three-way tie for first, so maybe the one that wins the league there — Ohio State or Michigan State are certainly still in the running — and then us and Missouri are still in the running. I still think one of us (KU, Mizzou) still has a great shot at being a No. 1 seed regardless of how the other leagues do, because I think our league is good enough that we warrant that.”


AZHawk72 2 years, 1 month ago

This thread has come apart more than my five-year-old underware in the back of the drawer--referred to as "weekenders."

Kansas City (thank you coach) makes sense for West Virginia, Iowa-State, Kansas-State, and us. Now, if the Big 12 would listen to the remainder of my pro-West Virginia rants, they would have also added Cincinnati, and Lousiville. And now that the conference has just plucked 24.8 mil from the rebs to the east and south, we can give each 10 mil to get the heck out of Dodge and restore this conference to six north and six south. Then, coach wouldn't have to defend KC because it would be (duh) self-evident. I feel better now.

And since the local staff doesn't have the time to read the Wichita Eagle, Seattle Times, or Portland Oregonian, here's the latest on four of our recruits (3-2012, 1-2113.) Anrio Adams just helped Ranier Beach win a state championship in 3A (4 classes.) He was in foul trouble during the last two games and didn't contribute much. Still, he's running a distant third for player of the year, and I don't think my vote helped much. Realizing most of you are Kansans, you already know that both Perry and Connor are in the quarterfinals tomorrow and, if they both win, they'll square off again. Landen Lucas had a great quarterfinal with 32 big ones, but he was surrounded in the semis (ala T-Rob before Jeff blossemed) and was held to 13 and they fell in the 6A semis. He, too, had a great year. As another poster noted, you should expect Adams, Lucas, and Peters to rise in the 2012 final rankings (where Adams and Lucas aren't currently ranked, anyway.) I feel less retired now.


BPSkelly 2 years, 1 month ago

I'll mention that on this side of the state (StL), its Mizzou, Mizzou, and more Mizzou. While there is a small Illinois and St. Louis University presence, its just that... small.

And the press here are likely almost all Mizzou grads, which tips the scales even further in the coverage department. Unless Illinois is doing GREAT in hoops or football (which isnt that often -- Final Four a few years ago and the Rose Bow as well) Illinois hardly gets covered at all.

The Alumni presence amongst the 3 is probably more evenly split than the coverage is, but make no mistake about it... if the SEC ever does have hoops tournament (or some other) tournament -- already talk about trying to have the SEC baseball tourney at Busch Stadium -- in Missouri, it'll be in St. Louis, not KC.

I've lived in KC right after school, and I always felt like KC was clearly "pro" KU, but it was also "pro" Big 8(12) schools. I remember lots of OSU and Neb guys as well as Iowa St (and Iowa for that matter) as well. Im a small sample of course, but whenever I was out and about or even hanging around there, it was almost always "mixed" company in regards to that stuff.

Regardless, count me in with the 86% of KU folks who have no interest in playing these guys. Living around them is bad enough as is. Putting up with them is enough to take it out of most mortals. Ugh.


Alohahawk 2 years, 1 month ago

p> on their NCAA BB page and POY blog is running a "Wooden Watch" public poll. This poll could be significant, since the regular season has ended and the writers are making their final decision from the 15 players nominated. Any small thing could sway them one way or the other.

TRob needs your vote - NOW!!! He is running second, way behind Davis.


Alohahawk 2 years, 1 month ago

All right. All right. Enough of this in house arguing about where to hold the tournament.

The perfect arena for the Big 12 Conference tourney is: TADA - Allen Field House. Talk about "Standing room only".

Too bad, it would never happen, because even KU would have to agree that it would give the Jayhawks toooo big of an advantage.

Of course, the hotel accommodations problem would have to be solved, as well.

Just adding my two cents into the conversation. :>)

All humor. Nothing serious.


milwaukeeJAYHAWK 2 years, 1 month ago

Missouri, as a state, is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.

How did this state produce such all-time greats such as Phog Allen and Mark Twain....

....and yet give us such scum-of-the-earth as Rush Limbaugh, James Earl Ray, William Quantrill and Sterling Price?

As much as they've done to alienate the Big XII and Kansas City, I only hope KC can make its case as a tourney town in the future. It's a KU-KSU town more than a MU town.....let's keep the tournament here! It's not a Misery town.


rxhawk82 2 years, 1 month ago

as far as the seedings go, it doesn't really matter to me. You still have to play your best. I just hope we stay in the Midwest region.If I remember correctly, we were the #1 seed out West in 2007 and UCLA was #2. We lost, so it didn't do us a whole lot of good then.


Mike Bratisax 2 years, 1 month ago

Saw this story: Self ignites debate over KC's college allegiances

I didn't see any other mention of it.

Read more here:

Try reading Wilber!


jackoman 2 years, 1 month ago

What happened to Nino Jackson out of Ardmore OK this recruiting year? Does anybody know?


mikehawk 2 years, 1 month ago

As a resident of Oklahoma (Tulsa), I have watched the attendance at OU and OSU basketball games continue to deteriorate with the NBA Thunder invasion. True, it would help if either or both had winning teams. The place to be and be seen in the OKC area is at a Thunder game. Therefore, I would question how well the tournament would now draw in Oklahoma City. I think sooner or later the Big 12 will have to politically re-visit Dallas and OKC. But regardless of the MU defection (am I the only one who thinks they are having private second thoughts?), I think KC will continue to draw better for the Big 12 tourney than the other two cities. The big caveat to that conclusion weighs on the Thunder continuing to have a contender, and either OU, OSU, and/or TCU becoming competitive in basketball. For now, I would keep it right in KC unless a dip in attendance begins to occur. KU, KSU, and Iowa State fans, with the smattering of the other schools, will continue to sell out the Sprint Center.


Tony Bandle 2 years, 1 month ago

HawkKlaw..not to worry. The last several times KU had a chance to head toward St.Louis for the Midwest regional, I had guaranteed tickets..and, of course.... they didn't make it.

This, of course, they'll be in Arch City, in a couple of weeks.

What I won't do for our Hawks!!!!!!


FOGBALL 2 years, 1 month ago

I can hardly wait to hear what Jack Harry has to say...then again...I really don't care.


Krohnutz 2 years, 1 month ago

I'm fine with the Big 12 tourney staying in KC if they annex Kansas City so that the Sprint Center is no longer in Missouri.

Otherwise; F$%K your state, F$%K your Governor, and F$%K Mizzou.

I would vote to take it to Intrust before I would return to the Sprint Center. They should have built it in Bonner Springs.


HawkKlaw 2 years, 1 month ago

Am I the only one here that thinks it might be better for KU to NOT get a No. 1 seed in the tourney? I know that, in theory, the 1 seed has an "easier" path to the championship game, but it seems like the 1 seed carries so many expectations and added pressure. I would almost prefer a 2 seed for this year's squad.

Then again, we are Kansas, so we'll get everyone's best shot regardless of what seed we end up. And it's not like this squad has had much trouble exceeding expectations.



Kurt Eskilson 2 years, 1 month ago

Sorry … that was meant to be a reply to robot's post about halfway up the thread.


Kurt Eskilson 2 years, 1 month ago

No, when the word ends in s, simply attaching the apostrophe makes it possessive. Kansas' City is correct – and since Confederate General Sterling Price got his butt kicked out of Westport by the Kansas militia and the "Army of the Border" – I'd say our state has every right to it.


Robert Brown 2 years, 1 month ago

For everyone interested in the distribution of KU alums, go to the 3rd page of the pdf link

It shows the size of the alumni in cities throughout the country. Greater KC has 56K degreed alums and 85K total alums. Apparently you can be an alum without a degree.

It is interesting to look at other cities with large concentrations of KU alums. What is impressive is the wide geographic distribution with large chapter on the East Coast, in Texas, in the midwest (Chicago is largest outside of KC and the state of Kansas), the Rocky Mountain area and the West Coast. No large chapters in the South like Atlanta, Charlotte or anywhere in Florida. We are obviously not a good fit in the SEC!!


Sally Presson 2 years, 1 month ago

The best thing that happened to KU was when Bill Self came to Kansas and brought his staff. We are so blessed


Redlandsjhawk 2 years, 1 month ago

On another note, if anyone is looking for a cool desktop picture check out Jaybate's paintography "Last Home Game" in the fan blog section. It's a classic. The sorrow in Tyshawns face, the setting sun, it's a keeper.

note: I am not a paid spokesman for Jaybate enterprises, just a fan:)


jaybate 2 years, 1 month ago

KU got the gold mine.

MU got the shaft!

Apologies Jerry.


jaybate 2 years, 1 month ago

KC is split only in the sense that KU has the bigger half! :-)


jaybate 2 years, 1 month ago

What's the idea of Buford not sending us Wangmene? He can play. Why did we get the son that could only heave? Just kidding.


bbeckum 2 years, 1 month ago

On an unrelated note:

Back around the start of conference play i realized this was one of my favorite jayhawk teams ever. One reason: they start all juniors and seniors.

I understand kids wanting to leave school early and make many dollars. However, from a fan's selfish perspective, seeing kids grow up and improve year by year, is gratifying beyond simply wanting them to stay so you can root for the best team possible.

By the way, if you haven't ever read the comments below a KC Star article about KU/MU, get your daily chuckle and check em out. It's like a sack of doorknobs debating phonebook,



jaybate 2 years, 1 month ago

If someone does not return Justin's pic, they may as well have their mail forwarded to hell, because that's where they will wind up. And if I wind up there, too, as some have suggested I may, then they will have not just to deal with the devil, but an angry jaybate, also. :-)


jaybate 2 years, 1 month ago

Regarding Sprint Center, why not just have it secede from Missouri and join Kansas. Nothing to do with basketball ought to be in Missouri. :-)


JayHok 2 years, 1 month ago

From a Missouri paper. Study reveals true mizery in Methouri, happiness in the land of Jayhawks.


jaybate 2 years, 1 month ago

Self gave Withey some pretty high praise, saying Jeff guarded the opposing team's best scoring big. God lord! What will Withey do offensively, next season, if Self can find someone else to guard the opponent's top scoring big? Also, what will happen if Jeff can add enough upper body strength to come away with a 5050 rebound?

The thing is, though, TRob and Jeff made each other better in the fullest sense of the cliche.

The opponent wasn't triple teaming Jeff. :-)


Eric Baker 2 years, 1 month ago

Jankovich's Redbirds were the recipients of some extremely favorable calls and non-calls, I'm not terribly proud of them, especially not after their center was ejected for receiving two technicals. I was ScottTrade Center watching the refs blow the MVC Tournament semifinal.


REHawk 2 years, 1 month ago

Bill Self offered very classy, very gracious comments regarding the sharing of Big 12 COY. His public demeanor is diametrical to a Jim Boeheim, who, for the second time this season, has stuffed a kingsize foot in his mouth when speaking to the press about scandals in his program.


jhawkrulz 2 years, 1 month ago

Historically, and I think it has been reiterated, the seeding is not effected by conference tournaments, except maybe a first round lost. There are scenarios where they would get teams in/out, but not affect the seeding. The committee has always said it does not want to devalue the regular season. In so doing, I think the 4 #1 seeds are set. The big question is whether Kentucky will take the South or the Midwest. If they get the South, we get the Midwest and UNC heads west. The more likely scenario is Kentucky takes the MidWest, UNC gets the South and we head West.

All I know and I've said it many times, MU will get a #4 seed. They have a horrible RPI (and that is what the committee has used for seeding). Also, OU is the representative for the Big XII (no rep from the SEC this year). OU may have a medlam with OSU, but don't think they don't remember that OSU was voted #4 by MU in the BCS, helping to aid the SEC, and not the Big XII. MU will probably have to travel as well. OU is not going to do any favors for MU.


jhawkrulz 2 years, 1 month ago

Well if we rename the conference to I-35 conference...we could use Intrust Bank in Wichita; it is in the middle of the conference. That would be in Kansas close to KU, KSU, OSU, and OU. Don't forget how far it is for ISU and in the future WVU.

Just a thought.


2 years, 1 month ago

Oklahoma City actually does a great job of hosting the Big 12 Tournament, and the games are well-attended. Dallas on the other hand, the venue is top-notch, however not many people care about college hoops down here. Maybe Omaha gets their turn next?


Cody Stumma 2 years, 1 month ago

As nice as Bill Self's words are, the tournament will inevitably be moved back to Oklahoma City. The Women's Big 12 Tournament will already move back there in 2014 I believe.


Mike Barnhart 2 years, 1 month ago

From now on, everyone needs to use the correct spelling...including the apostrophe: Kansas' City!

Get it? The apostrophe makes it possessive, I think.


HawkDigestCom 2 years, 1 month ago

I think the simple answer is for the state of Kansas to annex KC, MO. The state of Missouri hasn't shown much interest in KC, so it should be a simple transaction. Of course, we'd have to take on that school district, but on the upside, we'd get the Plaza and the Sprint Center.


milehighhawk 2 years, 1 month ago

Self is correct, according to the numbers.

Kietzman brought it up yesterday on 810, and KSU has 50% more grads in the 5-county KC metro area than Missouri. Kansas, of course, dwarfs both schools. Combined, KSU and KU grads outnumber Mizzou grads in KC by a 6-1 margin.


Benjamin Piehler 2 years, 1 month ago

Honestly, I see the greater KC area pretty split amongst KU, KSU & MU.

While I'm being honest; for some reason I don't find myself caring as much about the Big XII tourney this year. We've got the regular season title, and Id love a decent NCAA tourney run, not that you can't do well in both. It'll still be exciting with a potential KU/Mizzou rematch and plenty of other dangerous teams such as Iowa State or Baylor. Just saying, I wouldn't be devastated if we underperformed here and had a surge in the NCAA. This isn't considering bracketology, however (too late).


Ferd Magellan 2 years, 1 month ago

I'm very sorry to hear about Wangmene. I think we all knew it was a break or dislocation when hit hit the ground. But Chapman should feel entirely responsible since he flop caused the collision. I want them to start assessing technical fouls for the worst flops.


phogphan2000 2 years, 1 month ago

Personally I've always considered Kansas City as Kansas slowly taking over Missouri, it isn't called Missouri City on the other side of the river after all


Ralster Jayhawk 2 years, 1 month ago

To all those speculating about Travis Releford's foot: There, you heard both Self and Travis himself say there is no problem with the foot. Even as I read people's postings here in the last 2-3 weeks questioning the "bad wheel", I was watching Travis race ahead of defenses for fast break dunks, etc. Speed+hops=OK "wheel". He has no excuse, nor is trying to give one. Let him play. Watch him excel...


Hank Cross 2 years, 1 month ago

"I still think Kansas City is more of a K-State, KU town than it is a Missouri town" - great quote by Self which perfectly sums up why he's not going to schedule MU anytime soon. MU's forfeited the KC media and recruiting market, why let them back in? Basic business strategy. And yes, he was saying that about KSU to be nice.


gardenjay 2 years, 1 month ago

Bill Self, nice comment concerning #1 seed, very gracious & realistic.


Commenting has been disabled for this item.