Sunday, April 6, 2014

KU 8-21 vs. NCAA finalists

Kansas head coach Bill Self smiles at Kentucky head coach John Calipari as the two sit for makeup before their joint CBS interview on Sunday, April 1, 2012 at the Superdome.

Kansas head coach Bill Self smiles at Kentucky head coach John Calipari as the two sit for makeup before their joint CBS interview on Sunday, April 1, 2012 at the Superdome.


Kansas University has played NCAA Tournament finalist Kentucky 27 times and Connecticut twice.

The Jayhawks are 2-0 versus UConn. KU defeated the Huskies in 1995 in Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Mo., and in 1998 in Hartford.

Kentucky holds a 21-6 record versus KU. The Jayhawks, however, have won three of the past five meetings. Kentucky won the last matchup, 67-59, in the 2012 NCAA title game in New Orleans.

Ties to Larry: Former KU coach Larry Brown, who just completed his second season at SMU, has served as a mentor for the head coaches in tonight’s NCAA title game.

UConn’s Kevin Ollie played for Brown with the Philadelphia 76ers. Kentucky’s John Calipari worked for Brown at Kansas and with the Sixers.

“The only text I got (after NCAA semifinal win over Florida) was from coach Brown, just saying congratulations and have fun with it,” Ollie told Fox Sports Southwest. “I love him to death. I had an opportunity to talk to him this morning and he just gave me some sound advice: Have fun, don’t make it complicated.”

Ollie might not be in the Final Four if not for Brown, who told Ollie to accept Jim Calhoun’s offer to join Calhoun’s UConn staff in 2010. “If it wasn’t for Larry telling me to take this job, I don’t know if would have,” Ollie told the Dallas Morning News. “I wanted to get an unbiased opinion, and I went to Larry. And Larry said, ‘I’m going to hang up the phone on you if you don’t go back to UConn. I thought you were smarter than that.’ That’s his exact words.”

Calipari has long made known his admiration for Brown, who led KU to the 1988 national title.

“It was funny, because you end up dressing like him, walking like him. Now I’m having to have my hips replaced like him,” Calipari said.

On a serious note ... “I just learned so much from him,” Calipari said. “He’s been special to me. He’s a mentor, a friend, and obviously now we’re all seeing he hasn’t lost it as a coach.”

Brown led his second SMU team to a 27-10 record, one short of a school record for victories. The Mustangs reached the finals of the NIT, losing to Minnesota.

Brown praised Calipari for keeping his team together after the country’s preseason No. 1 team dropped out of the rankings.

“You know, everybody expected them to be 40-0,” Brown told the Dallas Morning News, “and here they are. … I think most people expected them to be there, but he’s done a terrific job of picking them up, and those kids have responded.”

Of Ollie, Brown said: “I’ve had a lot of great kids play for me. He’s somebody that’s special. Everybody loved him. He was respectful, made his teammates better, and it’s just carried over. Everything good in our sport is what Kevin Ollie is about, and I’m proud of him.”

Danny ball: New Wake Forest coach Danny Manning described his vision of Demon Deacon basketball to the Winston Salem-Journal.

“I want our teams to be physically and mentally tough. We pay strict attention to detail. We think next play and we are constantly in a state of becoming or learning. That is our mission statement,” former KU All-American Manning said. “That is who I want us to be. And that’s who we are going to be.”

Of the challenge that awaits, he said: “I understand that everyone’s not going to be happy, everyone’s not going to be pleased with any decision that anybody makes that affects so many people. But I’m looking forward to getting down there and putting my stamp on Wake Forest basketball and getting Wake Forest basketball back to where it belongs.”

Wake went 51-76 the last four years under coach Jeff Bzdelik, who resigned March 20. Manning will be formally introduced at a news conference this week in Winston-Salem, N.C.


Tony Bandle 6 years, 6 months ago

After thorough meditation and deep thinking, I think I will reluctantly root for the Wildcats tonight. On the surface, that decision appears to be treason but looking at the true Elite Pillars of College Basketball [Kansas, Kentucky and North Carolina] I would prefer that the NC stays within the "family" as opposed to going to the UConnvicts.

"Dr. N" invented the game, "Phog" created modern coaching, Adolf was a Kansas and a Jayhawk, even Coach Cal was on the bench in much as I dislike this bunch of Wildcats and, even more so their fans, I have to give them credit.

However, Olivia still kicks Ashley's ass all over the Jerry Dome!!

kellerman411 6 years, 6 months ago

Blasphemy. UConn does not pose nearly as serious of a threat on the recruiting trail as opposed to UK. I hope Kentucky loses by 30. They have gotten hot here in the tourney but my god, how lucky can you get.

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 6 months ago

I'm with you pulling for UK tonight, for all the same reasons. I'm not at all a fan of UK fans. They seem to resent the Kansas ties but that's the way it is.

During Rupp's last season coaching, '72 I think, Ted Owens played UK in AFH. The night was a tribute to Rupp. Rupp died of cancer of the spine at age 76 in Lexington, Kentucky, on December 10, 1977, on a night that Kentucky defeated his alma mater, Kansas, at Allen Fieldhouse. Ted Owens promoted the game that night as "Adolph Rupp Night".

Everyone around the KU program loved Cal when he was here, where he met his wife.

Titus Canby 6 years, 6 months ago

I've hated Kentucky ever since the infamous Ken Koenigs game in '77 or '78. I just can't cheer for them.

But we all need to give Calipari credit where credit is due. He's been able to make it work with OADs. We haven't. I don't like him, but he's a darn good coach. And it really hurts to admit that.

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 6 months ago

Are you talking about the time out he called with no time outs left? I seem to recall that was vs KSU.

Titus Canby 6 years, 6 months ago

Yes, it was the timeout game. I remember it being against UK, and we blew about a 7 point lead in less than a minute. Way before the 3-point shot came into being. Of course, it was 30+ years ago, so I could be wrong. Or, he didn't do that twice, did he?

Rodney Crain 6 years, 6 months ago

I would love to see KY catch UCLA at some point in NC and like their Kansas ties. I will be routing for KY. We sure are not going to catch UCLA. It will take us 192 more years to catch UCLA at the rate we win NC, lol. CT run really helps them too. I was kind of hoping once big Jim left that school would fade away on the men's side. Nope, they are going to be around for a while.

Sam Constance 6 years, 6 months ago

Keep in mind: they won the title mostly due to the play of Shabazz Napier, a Calhoun leftover.

Not saying that they won't remain good, but we have yet to see what kind of a recruiter Kevin Ollie will be. A couple things are for sure: 1) winning a title in his second year will certainly help, and 2) he's definitely a more likeable than Calhouligan ever was.

Tom Longhofer 6 years, 6 months ago

Kinda funny that The Squid mentioned dressing like Larry Brown. I remember reading that when Brown had his basketball camp at KU, a lot of the campers had their parents send them clothes so they could dress like Larry Brown, too. Madras shorts and penny loafers with no socks. He must be quite the Pied Piper.

Brian Mellor 6 years, 6 months ago

Sorry, the Calipari/Kentucky system currently in place is, to me, the archetype of Everything that is currently wrong with College Basketball, and while I expect that they will win, I can never root for them, and this final game is frankly going to leave a sour feel to this entire season. An absurd haul of ultra-talented OAD mercenaries who clearly couldn't be bothered to care until March about the game they were playing, waking up in time to win it all is a story that nobody outside of Lexington should enjoy, as far as I'm concerned.

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 6 months ago

Give them credit for waking up. All the elite programs are forced to play the OAD game. Until further notice, it is the way it is.

Brian Mellor 6 years, 6 months ago

I'm aware that it's the way that it is, and I accept it, but I'm not required to like it. It just means that in my complex algorithm of rooting, UK is always at the bottom with Mizzou, and I even get into complicated positions with KU on years like this year, when I'd prefer that if KU was ever to Not have the year, it was this year.

Andrew Horigan 6 years, 6 months ago

I think it's funny KU fans criticize the OAD model. Calipari is doing everything by the rule book and has won one championship and on the verge of another using it. It's not the NCAA's fault the OAD rule exists. It's the NBA's fault. I'd love for Self to recruit 5 OAD's and see us win the championship. Until the NBA changes the rule, you can't fault Calipari for using OAD players. Also you can't call it the "Kentucky system" when Self goes after a majority of the same recruits.

Brian Mellor 6 years, 6 months ago

I don't fault him for doing it. I call it the Calipari/Kentucky system because it's the system that a coach named John Calipari is using at a school called Kentucky. Calipari is simply the most successful at working the OAD model, making him in my mind the archetype of the rule and the system that I don't like at all.

If I wasn't from Kansas, hadn't graduated from KU, and hadn't lived in Lawrence for fourteen years, I'm reasonably sure that I wouldn't root for KU either. Since I did, I'd enjoy a victory with all OADs, but I would never enjoy it as much as a victory with a seasoned, junior and senior-laden team that I'd gotten to watch grow and develop, and I wouldn't expect anybody outside of Lawrence to consider it a good story.

I can honestly say, though, that I would not personally trade losing the chance to watch players develop over time, for almost yearly Final Fours with teams composed entirely of McMercenaries. Winning isn't everything to me.

Beate Williams 6 years, 6 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 6 months ago

To bad you feel that way. I'm pretty sure his grudge vs Texas Western was more rooted in his belief that Kansas got robbed with that JoJo White call. I recall it as if it were yesterday and I felt exactly the same. The movie "Glory Road" played the race card on him, which I thought was shameful.

Rupp was a hard nosed coach and fair. Off the court he was gracious, incredibly nice and loved Kansas.

Rodney Crain 6 years, 6 months ago

Rupp was not the angel you say he was. He had a few issues during his coaching tenure. KY received a ban for one season for numerous infractions, over and above the point shaving scandal in 47-48 that he did not know about. He was a great coach but he had issues and Bobby Knight type behavior at the end of his career.

Alex Berger 6 years, 6 months ago

The title is a little misleading. 2-0 vs UConn and 6-21 vs UK are two very different tales.

Michael Maris 6 years, 6 months ago

As coach Al Maguirre stated in his book in regards to how much so called respect coach Adolph Rupp for his coaching peers. Adolph Rupp would always refer to Al Maguirre as "son". Coach Maguirre finally got tired of the disrespect and informed Coach Rupp of the following. "Unless, you've put me in your will, don't you ever call me son again". I love that quote and I'll always admire Coach Maguirre a hell of a lot more than I'll ever admire Coach Rupp.

Vince Brown 6 years, 6 months ago

I had to alter my thinking about the Baron. Still not a big fan, but more understanding of the situation. Scroll down to "Introduction"...

Sam Constance 6 years, 6 months ago

Given that it's rather long-winded, the most telling part of the site, to me, is the "Evidence On" section:

It's telling because, on a site that is clearly written from the perspective of trying to exonerate Rupp from any notion that he was a racist, the pieces of evidence against him are impossible to gloss over.

It goes into great detail attacking the motivations of people who claimed Rupp was racist as well as their journalistic talent as a way to smokescreen the fact that there is very clear evidence that he didn't seem to think too highly of people of color. Sorry, but I don't care how your recruiting approach and philosophy might hint at a lack of racism. Using terms like he did to refer to people of color pretty much wipes all that out.

Ian Emerson 6 years, 6 months ago

1989? 150-95 i believe. They hold the all time against us but we have the most lopsided victory ;)

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