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Friday, March 22, 2013

Notebook: Kevin Young a cubist; Roy Williams gets warm welcome

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— Kansas University senior forward Kevin Young fiddled with a Rubik’s Cube in a corner of the Jayhawks’ locker room on Thursday in Sprint Center.

“It’s something I do in my spare time. The fastest I’ve done it was two minutes,” Young said.

He was working on the cube he bought during his days at Barstow (Calif.) College.

“I still remember that. I’ve come a long way from the middle of nowhere in California and desert everywhere to snowy Kansas,” Young said with a smile. “It’s pretty awesome being able to come back here and get this opportunity to play in this tournament.”

Young grinned when told Olympic shot put phenom Reese Hoffa two years ago at the Kansas Relays said he has completed the cube in under a minute.

“No way,” Young exclaimed. “I missed that. That’s pretty awesome. I’ll try to test it, try to beat that time.”

Nice digs

The Jayhawks on Thursday were awarded the same roomy locker room they used at last weekend’s Big 12 Tournament. KU went 3-0 and won the postseason tourney title.

“It’s kind of weird,” freshman guard Ben McLemore said of the coincidence. “We worked hard to come back here. I think we are ready.”

“We feel really comfortable here,” center Jeff Withey said. “I have a great feeling about this weekend. It’s great we are so close to home just because we have the fans who can support us. It’s going to be a great weekend.”

Long day ahead

Senior guard Elijah Johnson doesn’t mind waiting for today’s 8:50 p.m. start.

“I think it’s kind of an eye-opener,” he said. “You start to realize other teams are playing. I was watching the Oregon-Oklahoma State game. It looked weird. I’m used to conference games. It’s when it pumps you up. You embrace it and can’t wait. I don’t mind watching the other teams play first. It gets you mentally ready.”

WKU a 16 seed?

Coach Bill Self’s scouting report on 20-15 Western Kentucky: “Scrappy, undersized, tough,” he said. “They get after you. They’ve got guys who can stretch it everywhere. They’ve got a nice team.”

Roy gets cheered

Former KU coach Roy Williams’ North Carolina Tar Heels play Villanova at 6:20 tonight in Sprint Center, with the winner set to play KU or WKU on Sunday.

Williams heard loud cheers — no boos were evident — when he walked onto the Sprint Center court for a 50-minute practice session Thursday before about 5,000 fans. The majority of fans in the crowd were KU fans.

“College basketball ... we’ve got enough to worry about without worrying about whether they’re going to clap or boo when I come out,” Williams said. “Nineteen thousand … I’m all right then. First time we went and played at Kentucky, I was booed by 24,000. Regardless of how bad it is, it’s not going to outnumber that.”

Williams joked: “You know you’ve been coaching too long when one of your former players is in the media and looks older than you do.”

He was referring to former KU guard Greg Gurley, color commentator next to play-by-play announcer Bob Davis on the Jayhawk radio broadcasts of games.

“For me, the University of Kansas and Lawrence was a great 15 years of my life,” Williams said. “I’ve said it this way before: I gave my heart, body, and soul for 15 years, and I loved it. When I went back to North Carolina, it was a very emotional thing. It’s a very emotional thing when I didn’t go the first time, and it was when I did go the second time

“I’ll use this analogy. A guy stopped me in the airport, said, ‘Coach, I just wanted to say hello, but I wanted to tell you I’m a big-time Jayhawk fan.’ I said, ‘I am, too.’

“He (fan) walked off. Went down a couple gates, came back a few moments later and said, ‘You surprised me.’

“I said, ‘I was there 15 years, had wonderful players that I loved. It was family and always will be. It’s not immoral to love two institutions. When I was a coach at Kansas, it was my favorite school. North Carolina was my second-favorite school. I happen to be coaching at North Carolina now, and it’s my favorite school, and Kansas is my second-favorite school.”

Cheer the man

Williams is going for career victory No. 700 today.

“He’s had quite a few of those at Kansas, 400-some at Kansas,” said former KU guard C.B. McGrath, an assistant coach on Williams’ staff at UNC. Williams was 418-101 in 15 seasons at KU. He’s in his 10th year at UNC.

“He did a lot of good things for Kansas, worked his tail off for 15 years, worked harder than any of us ever did,” McGrath said. “Us players ... we just sort of lived the dream there. We had good teams, obviously. Thankfully for him, he’s gotten two championships since he’s been at North Carolina. That’s sort of taken the pressure off him personally. It’s been good. I think it’s time fans give him a little ovation as opposed to (talking about) when he left, why he left, all those things. Hopefully the fans are over it by now. They’ve got a pretty darn good coach (Self) who won a national championship, another Final Four, nine straight conference championships. I’d think they’d show coach Williams a little bit of respect and give him a little ovation for all he did at Kansas. I’d think by now it (his leaving) is water under the bridge.”

Top-notch mentors

Self was asked about the “depth of coaching talent” in the South Regional.

“Who has won the most national championships? It’s not coach Williams or Jay (Wright, Villanova) or me. It’s the guy we’re coaching against tomorrow. Ray Harper has won the most. He’s terrific (two titles in NAIA; two in Div. II),” Self said.

Colorful Rebel

Ole Miss junior guard Marshall Henderson, who screams at opposing fans during games, entertained the media Thursday. He’ll be playing against Wisconsin today.

“I’m trying to get paid here soon, because I’m tired of doing all this stuff for free,” Henderson said. “This is where you make your money: The NCAA Tournament is where you make a name for yourself. You can go down in history.

“You’ve got to do it for the team. You’ve got to win. All you do is win,” Henderson said. “Every team that makes the Final Four, every single player on their team is making money somewhere in the world.”

— The Journal-World’s Jesse Newell contributed to this report.

Comments

Joe Ross 1 year, 1 month ago

Cheer for Roy when they play against 'Nova. Cheer for Self when we play against UNC.

3

Kyle Sybesma 1 year, 1 month ago

I hope we get to play UNC. The last two times we beat them we went to the national championship game.

2

Andrew Phillips 1 year, 1 month ago

Yeah we should cheer modestly for Roy when we aren't playing against him. And yeah if we see him at the airport we should probably say thanks for being a great coach. Its not like he left to go coach in the NBA or coach for UK, he left to coach at his alma mater for goodness sakes! If he hadn't eventually taken a turn at his alma mater I would consider that being a traitor. Rock Chalk and yes I 2nd the notion that Mizzou sucks. All hail The Hawk.

0

Phoggy_Notion 1 year, 1 month ago

Take care of business tonight AND THEN we can start discussing Roy

3

machinegun 1 year, 1 month ago

Yes-that's the rub with Ol' Roy. He was already in the process of bailing out on KU while we were trying to win the National Championship. And we lost that National Championship game because everyone, including our players, knew it was Roy's last game at KU. That is exactly what happened.

We had been through Roy's passion play before when Dean Smith retired (I'm stayin') only this time we knew it was finally over. We put up with Roy's napoleon complex during his time at KU and nobody appreciated his comments about the "wine and cheese" crowd. But this time it was different. His 15 years of service at KU was not the issue. The issue was that he allowed Dean Smith and ESPN and CBS and every sports outlet in the world to distract his team while they were trying to win the National Championship. And KU lost and he immediately jumped on that plane.

When Roy retires, honor him just like other former coaches such as Ted Owens, Larry Brown, etc. No need to boo him on Sunday. Just treat him like any other coach. Treat North Carolina just like any other opponent we want to beat.

0

jayhawkinATL 1 year, 1 month ago

Marshall Henderson is such a joke. Anyone can score 20 points if you let them jack up 40 shots. He reminds me of Allen Iverson...except not as good.

1

DrPepper 1 year, 1 month ago

Now that the cheers have been confirmed, can we quit discussing Roy and fans and cheers. So old. So nothing. If anything, McGrath's comments come off as really annoying.

1

jayhawkab 1 year, 1 month ago

I am glad Roy Williams has his National Championships for all the hard work he has put into basketball he deserves it and I wish him all the success in the world except when he plays the best program on earth THE KANSAS JAYHAWKS!!. I agree most Kansas fans are over Roy except my 19 yr old son he gets mad when I cheer for Roy he thinks I am a closet North Carolina fan. LOL!!

2

Sam Constance 1 year, 1 month ago

Note to KUsports.com staff:

I could go without seeing another word written about the dbag who plays for Ole Miss. He is not interesting, he is not compelling. He is just a jack*** who thinks more highly of himself than he deserves to, and acts like a complete piece of trash on the basketball court.

It annoys me that he doesn't get T'd up for his antics, and I'm waiting for the day some college kid rushes down out of the stands and clocks him in the face for taunting.

2

Ben Kane 1 year, 1 month ago

I'm done with this roy stuff, we've been through it twice already.

we will treat them like any other foe we meet in kansas city and send them home to prepare for next season.

3

Sam Constance 1 year, 1 month ago

Glad to hear the fans at the Sprint Center reacted EXACTLY HOW I EXPECTED THE VAST MAJORITY OF KANSAS FANS TO REACT to Roy Williams' return.

In spite of the "journalists" over in Bristol insisting at every turn that KU fans were going to go off on Williams after 10 years of the two parties going separate ways and having success in their own rights, I knew that the fans who still hold a grudge against Roy are in the minority. If this story is to be believed, they are in the EXTREME minority.

Unfortunately, I doubt we'll see a story on ESPN.com about how gracious and appreciative KU fans are of everything Roy did for the Kansas Basketball program for 15 years. And that (along with many other reasons) is why ESPN is a f*** joke. It seems like they are even starting to get to Jay Bilas. I've always considered him to be a pretty reasonable and astute analyst, but the quality of his work seems to have been slipping this year. Usually, he would be the guy to speak out against the obsession everyone else at ESPN had over that single call in the Iowa State game, but I don't remember him doing anything at all to try and inject reason into the discussion. I fully expected him to point out that giving more weight to calls at the end of the game is a perceptional fallacy, but nope. Nothing.

Anyways, I'm rambling at this point. I'm glad KU fans did the right thing.

0

Tony Bandle 1 year, 1 month ago

It took almost ten years, but after Roy's glowing endorsement of Kansas on ESPN's show about "The Rules", I turned my Roy Williams bobblehead doll I that had put in a KU glass upside down the day after he left, right-side up again.

Regarding Missouri, I have a Mizzou trash can with pictures of Norm Stewart and Jason Sutherland taped on the bottom. I will NEVER change that!! I dump trash on Misery every single day!!!!

3

chriz 1 year, 1 month ago

What are we to make of Roy not coaching against Dean but, once he's gone, recruiting against Kansas? I'm personally fine with it. If I get a job at a firm because of help from a colleague from another firm, there's too much business out there to try to steal clients from someone who helped you get the job in the first place.

Now once that guy leaves the business, then it's free market again, regardless of where I work. So even though Roy didn't recruit against Dean but will recruit against “us”, I'm fine with it. I get it.

0

Ozfan67 1 year, 1 month ago

Roy took KU on a wild ( and mostly enjoyable ride) and I have no doubt he put his heart and soul into the program. But so did the fans who spent their time, money, and hearts into supporting KU basketball ( most of us, no matter how successful, don't have the same means 'ol Roy' did either).

I don't resent Roy just for leaving. I resent him being involved in the process to fly the coupe when he FINALLY was in a position to deliver the National Championship to us. Nobody will ever be able to convince me that did not impact the team or game one way or another. The National Championship payoff was a long time coming, and Roy was busy looking out for Roy IMO. You were torn ? Your heart was broken ? Think about those of us whose heart is equally into the program who waited 2 decades between Championships. Seriously, thank the Good Lord for Bill Self.

Roy - we admired and supported you and you left. This idea that you can bail and still be welcome home doesn't fly in my book of ethics and it never will. I was was a Jayhawk fan a decade before you came to Lawrence and will be one decades after you left. And I'm not talking about a 'second favorite team' either. Sorry, but you are not still family. Don't wish ill on you other than a major smack down on Sunday (if you make it that far) and many more to come.

No cheers from this fan.

0

KEITHMILES05 1 year, 1 month ago

I enjoyed Roy's comment buts CB needs to STFU and let it be. It's none of his business to be preaching to KU fans. Just play ball.

5

Martin Rosenblum 1 year, 1 month ago

I heard that Kevin Young found his Rubik's Cube while picking out his 'fro. Anybody else hear that?

2

Eybea Opiner 1 year, 1 month ago

Kevin, take that cube apart and put Vaseline at all the joints, then that thing will virtually fly in your hands.

0

nuleafjhawk 1 year, 1 month ago

Stupid Roy.

I've wanted to hate him ever since he left - but I just can't. He's a class act.

1

KULA 1 year, 1 month ago

And Missouri is...out again. Thanks for playing.

4

s6u6r6f 1 year, 1 month ago

Roy was family for 15 years. He's family still. He kept us elite. The world is not zero sum.

And Missouri. Bwah hah hah hah hah. Rock chalk.

0

RJ King 1 year, 1 month ago

Please fans in the stands, if you really buy into the F.O.E. thing, then you can appreciate why Roy left. Loyalty, integrity, it's all there. Roy meant what he said, when he said it. What more do we want??? Let's appreciate him now - we're being handed the opportunity.

On another note, wow - 2 years in a row - such likeable teams! Representing everything special about college ball.

1

hawkfan4life 1 year, 1 month ago

Had a lot of resentment when Roy left because it hurt a lot. But, time and coach Self whooping on him a couple of times has eliminated all of that.

I will forever be grateful to Roy for one thing that he accomplished this year though. He got that clown Hubert Davis off of NCAA broadcasts by putting him on his coaching staff. It has been a really nice blessing not to hear that blabbering fool calling games this year!!

At the end of the day, I have a lot of respect for Roy. He's a good guy.

0

Dr. Robert s. Mosser 1 year, 1 month ago

Roy Williams was one of a very few(and all successful KU coaches.) KU made his career happen but at the same time he continued KU's role as the St. Andrews of college basketball. Some of the peanut heads that can't spell might boo but given the KU crowds reputation as knowledgeable basketball fans let's hope we greet Roy the way we should, with loud cheers.

I have watched KU basketball since the fall of 1939-first as a Boy Scout Usher, later as a student and then for many years as an intensive alum. I could tell you stories of KU basketball that go back to then. Not uncommonly when someone tries to pull my chain about UK or NC basketball I have to remind them that both teams play in arenas named for KU BB players.

Roy Williams and Bill Self are class guys, great coaches who did many good things around Lawrence that were not basketball and deserve our admiration and thanks

3

jaybate 1 year, 1 month ago

• Roy worked his tail off for KU...west of the Mississippi.

• News to make Ole Miss junior guard Marshall Henderson really scream! KC's H&R Block on who makes the money in college basketball and what players are worth. http://blocktalk.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/FinalFour_960_v2.jpg

• Headline for Chita State upset of Zags: GONE-ZAGA GETS SHOCKED!

• Okie State got a raw deal playing Oregon first round, but then blew up inexplicably. Smart sucked and Cobbins was not Cobbins. Oregon's Okie Baller coach Dana Altman maybe got an unofficial scout from Okie Ballers that have played Ford's Cowboys? How much longer can Ford-not-a-Lincoln last in Stillwater? If he can't take care of business with Smart...

•C.B. McGrath ten years later still apologizing for Roy does not become C.B.

• Don't boo Roy unless you see him out recruiting in KC.

• KU's Roy Hobbs aka Kevin Young is due for at least one miracle moment in this tournament. Should come in the National Finals I reckon.

• Remember, the four seniors have all played in a national final just last season. This is worth 5 points a game all by itself.

1

nostradavid 1 year, 1 month ago

Greg works on radio, so nobody knows how old he looks. I think he still looks like a kid when I see him. He just doesn't have Roy's golf tan.

Hooray for the Shockers. They looked great against Pitt today. Dick Vitale picking them to beat Gonzo will let them dream big tonight. Also, thanks to Colorado State for beating up on Mizzery. Well done.

See you Sunday, Roy. Rock Chalk Jayhawk !

that's two thumbs up !

that's two thumbs up ! by nostradavid

4

bradynsdad 1 year, 1 month ago

If I were there I would personally clap and yell as loud as I could for Roy and UNC. He is a great coach that still loves KU. Idiotic to still be mad at him. He is a good guy and we should respect him. I would love a Home and Home series with them even though it won't ever happen.

12

Randy Maxwell 1 year, 1 month ago

Roy should get a standing ovation from KU fans, he remade KU basketball to the level we are now. Without Roy we would still be what we were in the 70's an 80's. Nobody is gonna say Self hasnt ran with it and improved it but without Roy there would be no Self

0

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