Originally published April 7, 2013 at 12:18a.m., updated April 7, 2013 at 10:48p.m.

KU basketball notebook: KU-Syracuse recalled; Scot Pollard kills it

Former Kansas University basketball big man Scot Pollard appears in the independent horror flick, "Axeman at Cutter's Creek."

Former Kansas University basketball big man Scot Pollard appears in the independent horror flick, "Axeman at Cutter's Creek."


Today marks the 10-year anniversary of Kansas University’s 81-78 loss to Syracuse in the finals of the 2003 NCAA Tournament.

The final game of the Roy Williams era at KU is probably best remembered for three things — four if you count Williams’ postgame “I don’t give a (bleep) about North Carolina” quote to Bonnie Bernstein.

They are:

• The Jayhawks’ 12-of-30 free-throw shooting.

• Freshman Gerry McNamara’s six three-pointers in the first half (he didn’t score the second half) that staked the Orange to a 53-42 lead in the Superdome in New Orleans.

• Hakim Warrick’s block of a possible game-tying three from the corner by Michael Lee with 1.5 seconds remaining.

“I didn’t know it was blocked. All I was doing was looking at the rim. Then I heard the crowd go, ‘Whoa!’ And I looked up and saw the ball was coming back in from the third row,” Lee, assistant coach at University of San Francisco, told last week.

“I have no idea how Warrick got a hand on that shot. He made a perfect play,” Lee added. “Every time I think about that game, I think about that shot. Because I think I lost the game for us by not getting that shot off and putting us into overtime.”

Lee, who played for both Williams and Bill Self at KU and worked on Self’s KU staff, added: “I can talk about it now, but at the time I was out of it. I was out of it for at least a couple of months. That was devastating. Everybody was saying, ‘It’s not your fault. We missed all those free throws. Blah, blah, blah.’ All I know is that at the end of the day I had the chance to be the hero, so to speak, and I didn’t do it. Outside of my family and my teammates, I tried to avoid people as much as I could.

“You know, we went into that game saying, ‘Let’s make history.’ Now I joke with people that I’m on the wrong side of history. I get my recognition for getting a shot blocked. I’m famous in Syracuse for all the wrong reasons.”

McNamara, now a Syracuse assistant, reflected on the title game to

“I got a couple of easy ones early,” McNamara said. “The first one was right on the line, it was straight downhill, made it. The second one was pretty similar, from there on out, once a shooter gets his touch going, it’s tough to slow him down. I took my chances, and they happened to go down. The reason they went down is I got the good looks early.”

For KU, Nick Collison had 19 points and 21 rebounds, Keith Langford 19 points, Jeff Graves 16 points and 16 boards and Kirk Hinrich 16 points and four assists.

Scot Pollard the actor: Colorful former KU forward Scot Pollard is one of the stars of the independent horror movie, “The Axeman at Cutter’s Creek.” Pollard plays the role of the lead character — a homicidal killing machine named “Axeman.”

The 6-foot-11, 270-pound Pollard, who played at KU from 1993 to ’97, tells that his Axeman is “a killing machine — big and scary-lurking in the shadows.”


Courtesy Photo

Former Kansas University basketball big man Scot Pollard appears in the independent horror flick, "Axeman at Cutter's Creek."

Pollard said the character has “no joy, no pain, nothing inside him driving him except that primitive need to kill.”

Blog writer Rickey Russell notes that “this is a role that is suited to Pollard, who considers himself to be big and scary and perfect for the part, a sentiment echoed by (director) Joston Theney, himself having come across Pollard when searching for the perfect person to play his methodical monster — a legend in terror that is sure to bring new life into the mythos of the slasher.”

Budding actor Pollard also played “El Monstruo” in the horror anthology “Barrio Tales (2012).”

“I have always had an acting bug,” Pollard told “I was in plays in elementary school, junior high and high school when I could be. During my career in basketball, I did many local shows where I would do things outside of the sphere of basketball, but for whichever team I played for. Most notable of these would be a series I did in Boston for the ‘Celtics now’ program called ‘Planet Pollard.’ All of the episodes are now on YouTube. In addition, through my website,, you can view additional footage of Scot Pollard being goofy in front of a camera. Not exactly DeNiro, but I do enjoy the camera.”

Asked what attracted him to playing a “brutal slasher killer,” Pollard said: “After being contacted by Joston Theney regarding this role, I got excited. His energy is truly catching. I caught it and he made me go from being a basketball player ham into someone that at least can attempt to pull of a role. I still do not consider myself an actor, but playing this character allowed me to touch on some darker sides of my personality, which actually turned out to be VERY therapeutic. I really enjoyed laughing and joking with my cast mates off camera, and then flipping the switch into cold blooded bastard while taking care of business.”

Pollard’s interview is available here.

Not going to Hofstra: KU assistant coach Joe Dooley and Iona head coach Tim Cluess have both turned down the Hofstra head-coaching job, Jeff Goodman of reports.


ku_foaf 1 year ago

I was at that game. Whenever I start rattling off NCAA champs for each year, I sometimes get stuck at 2003...obviously I suppressed the memory!

Seriously, after 10 years I can look back and see what a great game it really was. The ridiculous number of three pointers in a row was a complete nightmare for us. The fact that we were within three and had a chance to tie was amazing. I still think Mike Lee's shot would have gone in, he'd made so many from right there. Hakeem Warrick made a near superhuman effort in blocking that shot. He was NOWHERE near Lee! When Collison fouled out, I remember a non-KU fan jumping up and clapping and saying "Those Kansas fans don't realize that was his last moment in a KU uniform!" He was right. We still has hopes for an NC. That feeling when you realize the season and the year have come and gone is special.

In retrospect we lost to a very talented young team, and just barely.


Scott MacWilliams 1 year ago

Hey Jayhawks, I followed the Planet Pollard link to see some of his videos, and there is one that you should all look up. It's called Throwback Thursday, and includes a great interview of Pollard talking about what it means to be a Jayhawk, and playing in the Legends game a few years ago.

Absolutely GREAT stuff. Don't miss it, it will make your day.

Rock Chalk, Pollard "Marvin the Cadillac" Hawk!!!


741hawk 1 year ago

New photo. Much much better. Thank you.


BC5 1 year ago

Holy cow write a new story so this picture isn't the first thing I see every time I log on. And seriously, why not bring up 1997 while you are remind us of 2003. Anniversary of KU failures. Awesome. Terrible idea for a story


Nicholas Cederlind 1 year ago

Props to Gary for bringing up some of the most painful memories of all time. Hey Gary, are we still in this week's tournament? I haven't checked in a while...


coachdooley 1 year ago

Mr. G. Bedore, Keep This Picture Up!


packywacky88 1 year ago

Mr. G. Bedore, Tear Down This Picture!


BPSkelly 1 year ago

I wouldnt really have a problem with the pic -- assuming its seen on the article page -- NOT the front page. It's still a not so smart choice by whomever green lighted it however. There's no other one to show?


coachdooley 1 year ago

"Diario" is gonna be better than that there tyshoon tapir, seent it here first!


Yolanda Gay 1 year ago

Whosever decision was to put that photo on this website needs to be relieved of their duties regarding website content or at least cannot make the decision alone. That picture is in VERY poor taste and offensive for children and women.


coachdooley 1 year ago

The posts about EJ on here are such a joke, you guys hate him now? Pretty sad.


Adam Gerval 1 year ago

Wanna hear something funny? Apparently when Julius Randle was here, he went to a party, passed out way early and got dicks drawn all over his face. Baby boy can't hang.


mattiesdad 1 year ago

The pic is tasteless, rude, and offensive. Please take it down and replace it with another more family friendly photo that would still promote Scot's movie.


Steve Brown 1 year ago

Wasn't this the game where KCMO TV sportscaster, MU Tiger Jack Harry stuck a microphone in the face of our players right before tip off asking them what they thought about Roy leaving KU, screw him. Time and place for everything that was rude, even now when he is on TV or Radio I flip.

Mighty glad MU never made the Final 4, hope they don't until he is 6' under.


jaybate 1 year ago

Only one thing stands out in my memory about the 'excuse vs KU game: we had no answer for Carmelo. No one could make him even a little uncomfortable.


jaybate 1 year ago

Pollard's movie still needed a caption, or a paragraph lead in before the pic.

I thought some washout from Tulsa University's Camp Destabilization Cyber Spy program hacked to get even with Keegs for giving him a thumbs down on his LJW internship! :-)


Jack Jones 1 year ago

Agree ~ Pollard movie pic post was inappropriate wherever the context. While information regarding his acting career is interesting to read, we simply must understand and accept the fact that the depiction and description of violence against anyone, and particularly against women, not only serves no useful purpose, but in fact, does just the opposite.


trueblue68 1 year ago


5th anniversary of KUs win over Memphis.


trueblue68 1 year ago

Why not a positive article., i.e.

Today marks the 10-year anniversary of Kansas University’s 75-68 win over Memphis in the Finals of the 2008 NCAA Tournament.

April 7, 2008.


Nicholas Cederlind 1 year ago

WE were supposed to beat Syracuse yesterday, on the eve of our 2003 loss, to exercise that ghost. I hate this day.


kucapcity91 1 year ago

Glad to hear coach Dooley is staying..


Katy Shaflestad 1 year ago

Change the fvcking picture.


Martin Rosenblum 1 year ago

Actually, Scot looks better in that photo than at times during his playing days. However, in these days of scrutiny over violence in society, it may have been prudent to have the article titled a little differently to avoid the "shock value". After all, even TV networks decided to suspend replaying the broken leg incident of Kevin Ware. And, that was reality TV.


BainDread 1 year ago

I wish Michael Lee wouldn't feel like he was the reason the Jayhawks lost the '03 championship game. I haven't seen a replay of the last shot for years, but I don't recall that he took any extra wasted time between receiving the ball and shooting it. If he had rushed the shot, odds are even greater that it would have missed. It was a great play by Warwick and we will never know if it would have been good. Maybe next year when the Dons come to USD to play the Toreros, I'll hold up a big sign that says "Michael, It Wasn't Your Fault!"


tis4tim 1 year ago


Grief is not always a linear process. It's gonna take some time as these losses always do. Chin up, good sir and Rock Chalk!


741hawk 1 year ago

Add the three overtime loss in '57. I truly believe that had the State Legislators made an exception and allowed Coach Allen to continue coaching past retirement age (it was considered state employment in those days), that Coach Forrest C. Allen's team would have beaten UNC.


741hawk 1 year ago

Elisabeth Kubler published the Five Stages of Grief. 1) Denial 2) Anger 3) Bargaining 4) Depression 5) Acceptance

By Saturday morning, after watching Selden in the McDonalds All-America Game and Frankamp in the three-point shooting contest, I felt I had finally moved to #3. Now, with the Michigan win, I'm back AT #2.

Opportunities to get to the Final Four, and then the championhsip game, are so limited that you just can't waste them. Losing to Indiana in '53 by one point, having won it the year before. Roy stubbornly starting and playing Jerrod Haas in the '97 Ariz. game. (We later learned he had a broken wrist and played one-handed.) Stubborn. The Syracuse game in '02, when Roy should have had someone get physical with 'lil McNamara and our guys should have hit free throws. Interestingly, I don't harbor any feelings of anger or depression about last year's team because they over-achieved and played well in that final game. This year? I'm back to angry -- a rare and wasted opportunity and a collapse should have been prevented.


VaJay 1 year ago


The first five victims are Bennett Davison, A.J. Bramlett, Michael Dickerson, Miles Simon, and Mike Bibby.


Steve Gantz 1 year ago

I blame the loss on......Drew Gooden. Why couldn't that young man have had a little more foresight to see that KU might have gone undefeated that season with all of the talent they had if he stuck around? I know the NBA money is a big draw. As I recall he came from a pretty stable home environment, so that probably wasn't an issue.

Living in Wisconsin at the time I had to endure a bit of Marquette trash talk leading up to that semifinal game. I kept saying you just wait to see how good this KU team is. After KU went up 70-30 early in the second half, I think they knew. I don't ever recall a FF rout like that game.
And it was fairly close for the first 7 or 8 minutes so it had to have been like a 55-15 run or so to get to that point.

I like to watch old games on the NCAA vault. The final against 'cuse was one I'll never watch. Easily the most frustrating KU game I've ever watched (I was in the car in '97, so technically I didn't watch that game against Arizona).


jayhawkinATL 1 year ago

And Michigan rolls on.......


Since79 1 year ago

Wayne Simien playing would have a difference but Jeff Graves had 16 &16. Couldn't have asked for much more


justinryman 1 year ago

And let us not forget Wayne Simien was in street clothes with a bum shoulder.

If he plays in that game does it have a diiferent outcome?


Marc Frey 1 year ago

Free Throws...cost us in 03, won us a title in 08, and possibly lost us a game last weekend.


Hawk8086 1 year ago

I traveled to N.O. for that final four. Even though we lost, it was a great experience being with so many fellow Jayhawks at a great event. What people forget about the missed FTs is that on several of them we (I think mainly Graves) got offensive rebounds and turned them into 2 points. The missed FTs did not cost us as much as everyone thinks. I believe there was even a LJW article on this subject. This fact didn't make it any less frustrating, though. During the telecast last night, I saw a shot of McNamara on the Syracuse bench....shook my fist at him, even after all of these years. I respect what he did, though.


RJ King 1 year ago

I live with the memory of that game, since my spouse is a Syracuse grad - as well as seemingly half of my co-workers. I see Michael Lee at every USF game. And Mr. Gerry F. McNamara on the sidelines at the regional against Cal. The 2003 game is the reason a large orange fuzzy banner hangs in the office, not in our home.

But I can't avoid the 'Cuse shirts when I'm pulling my own stuff out of the dryer. I open the mailbox to find Syracuse alumni collateral. I go to "My Recordings" and find tivo'd Syracuse games. I pull 'Cuse coffee cups out of the dishwasher. I must sometimes drive a car with a Syracuse license plate frame. ESPN said it best. "If it wasn't for sports, this wouldn't be gross."

I'm frequently informed of the attendance figures (23,000!) for the Carrier Dome. My response is, "duh - it seats like half a million people!" When reminded of the size and strength of the Big "East," I say things like, "You guys have Chaminade and Taiwan in your conference, right???"

Alas, I look for the positive. My 15-yr.-old son knew of Carmello and Wade, and won the Madness pool going away that year. New York is now a free, fun place to visit. At least Syracuse is not a football school. And lastly - it could be a lot worse. . . it could be Kentucky.


Adam Tyler 1 year ago


I would like to add a fifth memory that haunts me...

Keith Langford being absolutely robbed. He scored his 19 points in 23 minutes. He was shooting 7-9 from the field. He was called for some bogus fouls while shining on the biggest stage. It was absolutely absurd. Those lost minutes due foul trouble, along with atrocious free throw shooting, cost us the National Championship.

It also cost Langford money and legitimacy. He is never listed among the greats that have played for the University of Kansas and I feel that is ridiculous. His stats due him far more justice than his accomplishments. I always felt he did not receive the medias attention like Hinrich, Miles, Collison, or Simien. Because of this, he was the odd man out when it came to receiving awards.

Look at his stats, he played meaningful minutes as a freshman, and killed in from then on. He averaged over 15 ppg his sophomore and junior seasons and scored 1,812 points in his career. In his sophomore season, the NCAA runner-up season, he was named to the All Final 4 Team. In my opinion, had we won that game, Keith Langford would have been holding the Final 4 MOP trophy. He had an outstanding game prior to the Championship game, scoring 23 against Marquette and Dwayne Wade.

That gets your jersey hung in Allen Fieldhouse forever.

It also gets NBA scouts attention.

I understand he is having an absolutely marvelous career overseas and am absolutely proud of what he has accomplished. I just wish it could be better recognized here in the United States. I know he does not care about the attention or fame and is strictly planning on playing for whoever the highest bidder may be and I completely respect that. Why should you take a pay cut just to satisfy an overhyped desire to play in the NBA? He is making a valiant and wise business decision by playing overseas and I applaud him for doing it. Again, I just selfishly wish he was tearing it up the NBA. He has the talent, there is zero doubt in my mind about that.

Keith "Freeze" Langford. You were amazing and I hope fans of the University of Kansas remember you for your greatness, even if your jersey never reaches the rafters.


jayhawkinnc 1 year ago

yep. I would have. I wouldn't have been a jerk to Bonnie Bernstein that night.


jayhawkinnc 1 year ago

Actually, Roy never said the exact words of "I don't give a (bleep) about North Carolina.". Rather, he said "I could give a (bleep) about North Carolina right now. I have 13 kids in that locker room that I love.".

Actually, correct grammar would have been: "I COULDN'T give a (bleep) about North Carolina right now."

Either way, way to stay classy and keep it together Roy.

The Grammar Police


LAJayhawk 1 year ago

My brother and I switched shoes at halftime of that game.

It didn't work.


KULA 1 year ago

12-30 free throws--another example of a team reflecting it's coach's tightness. Not unlike some to Bill's teams tournament performances.

Didn't think I could pull for Michigan, but I'm SO glad to see Syracuse denied another chance for a championship.

And congratulations to Wichita State! Almost pulled it off despite some flaky calls down the stretch. Can anyone explain to me how the refs can stop the game and go to the video to call a flagrant foul retroactively even though there was no call and no actual stoppage in play during the Kansas/Michigan game, and yet let another guy punch a kid in the face and play on in the Wichita/Louisville game? Apparent Ron Baker is TOO tough and didn't act it out enough.

Anyway, Congratulations to Wichita State! That is one TOUGH, DISCIPLINED, and WELL-COACHED TEAM!


YuCoJayHawk 1 year ago

Yeah, i was just about to say, one of many things I remember about that game was Carmelo Anthony playing a pivotal role as a freshman. It often crossed my mind in the last 5 years that KU might have a similar outcome when they got to a championship game (Henry-2010, Selby-2011, Mclemore-2013). But, as most of you know, our best result in the last 4 tournaments was the one year we didn't have a freshman playing important minutes (2012)


okiedave 1 year ago

I'm happy Scott Pollard is in the movies. However, I find this particular shot of him choking a woman with him taunting her with a sexual tongue thrust to be in poor taste for the LJW to post. Granted it may be one of his film shots, but that does not make it appropriate. I don't think Scott would not have chosen this particular photo to impress KU fans regarding non-basketball accomplishments.


TheBoHawk 1 year ago

I really can't stand Carmelo Anthony...


Lance Hobson 1 year ago

April 7, 2003. The day Boot Das and Salty Watkins were killed in Iraq, the day KU lost. Not one to relive. We did miss those free throws but the comback effort was of such effort I could sense the intensity through the TV. Syracuse missed a lot of free throws, too.


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