Sunday, March 2, 2014

Bill Self denies Marcus Smart’s net talk

Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart celebrates before the Kansas bench as the Cowboys close out the game on Saturday, March 1, 2014 at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart celebrates before the Kansas bench as the Cowboys close out the game on Saturday, March 1, 2014 at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Oklahoma.



Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart celebrates before the Kansas bench as the Cowboys close out the game on Saturday, March 1, 2014 at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

Oklahoma State sophomore guard Marcus Smart caused quite a stir on Saturday night by saying one of the reasons he played so well against Kansas the second half was his desire to keep the Jayhawks from cutting down the nets in Gallagher-Iba Arena.

“Before the game, the coaches showed us a quote of Bill Self saying he was coming here cutting down our nets, and he was gonna win it outright in Stillwater,” Smart said of the Big 12 regular-season title.

“We couldn’t let that happen in our house, so I just knew I had to keep pushing until the end,” added Smart, who had 21 points (20 the second half) in OSU’s 72-65 victory.

KU coach Self provided the Journal-World a rebuttal to Smart’s accusation on Sunday night.

“I heard and saw the postgame interview (with ESPN’s Shannon Spake) after the game,” Self said. “I don’t know where Marcus got his information, but it was totally inaccurate. I’ve never said anything about cutting down nets or anything like that. I never said anything about cutting down nets in their building.

“Strange ... we’ve won the league 10 years in a row. I don’t know if we’ve even cut down nets at home. I’d never disrespect another program, especially my alma mater, by doing anything like that. It’s disappointing that was said. Certainly he obviously had some bad information however he received it.”

KU still clinched the undisputed league title courtesy of losses by Iowa State and Texas.

“Sure it would have been nice to have an ‘in-locker room celebration’ had we won the game. That’s something hopefully we’ll be able to do next time we play, hopefully, if we’re successful.”

Kansas will host Texas Tech at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Embiid might sit a bit: KU freshman center Joel Embiid, who tweaked his aching back with five minutes left in Saturday’s game, might miss some time. Previously, he was held out of the TCU game Feb. 15 because of the bad back and in the last four games has played 32, 21, 30 and 29 minutes.

“He was really sore today,” Self said Sunday.

KU, which now is playing for NCAA Tournament seeding, has two regular-season games left: Wednesday vs. Tech and Saturday at West Virginia.

“We haven’t made a decision (about sitting Embiid). We’ll probably make a decision (today) after visiting with doctors,” Self said.

Embiid was in obvious discomfort as he left Gallagher-Iba on Saturday night. He shed a few tears as he visited with a parent of a KU player before heading to the team bus.

Other bruises, illnesses: Junior guard Naadir Tharpe dislocated his left thumb in the loss.

“I know Naadir’s thumb was sore (Sunday),” Self said. “It shouldn’t be anything to keep him out of play, though.”

Senior Justin Wesley didn’t make the trip to OSU because of a stomach virus. His Senior Night game is Wednesday.


Jim MinorThreat 6 years, 12 months ago

Sounds like OSU coaching staff had to make up a story to motivate their team. Hope we meet OSU in the Big 12 championship.

If OSU makes it into the NCAA tourney, they'll be a dangerous 16th seed ;)

Bryce Landon 6 years, 12 months ago

If the Big 12 Tournament started today, we could meet them in the quarterfinals, as they would be an 8-seed and we would be a 1-seed.

Jim Sanders 6 years, 12 months ago

One name....Joe Derosa

Check out our losses this year and who was the ref. Coincidence or interesting? He's also the guy that called the technical at ISU, Texas, and 3 in the Villanova game. He used to ref NBA games but threw a ball at a fan and was suspended. He did the crazy ending in the NCAA tourney against Ohio St as well. I'll bet he does the game at WV. Yikes.

Kent Richardson 6 years, 12 months ago

Yikes is right. An interesting coincidence.

Billy Gibbons 6 years, 12 months ago

I know, right? Don't understand why the NCAA accepts refs that the NBA rejects. I didn't remember that he did the Villanova game, but I usually sync Bob and Greg's audio up with the TV for games, and I can't remember any game that those two were so shocked and amazed by some of the really weird calls and no calls as they were by Joe Derosa's calls in the TX and the OSU game. And as announcers go, I don't consider those two to be "homers". Seems like each coach should be able to veto one ref on the circuit.

Eric TheCapn 6 years, 12 months ago

The low seeds always go to auto-bids, as unfair as that may be. As a major conference team, they'd be at least a13 if they got in.

Steve Zimmerman 6 years, 12 months ago

Once a smart mouth will always be a smart mouth. Classy.

Craig Carr 6 years, 12 months ago

Smart is an ass clown, Jay Bilas said it using a different verb but same message. Runs and jumps on people's back and acts like he has been shot. No respect for his actions, sad as he has real talent. Obvious that the Kensucky and Mizzoushbag act has followed that midget Ford to hillbilly u.

Benz Junque 6 years, 12 months ago

Your argument for respectful behavior loses some zip when you make up stupid names for other programs...

RJ King 6 years, 12 months ago

Anyone who has followed Self's comments over the years would know that the "cutting down the nets" talk is a ridiculous, made up absurdity. BS would NEVER say that. His entire MO is one of caution and self-deprecation. Saying that Marcus got some "bad information" is a classy way of saying he is a lying idiot.

I thought Smart's back flip was nothing more than a downright joyful, inspired celebration. And I was sure that whatever was said to make him go ballistic at Lubbock was indefensible. I haven't changed my mind on those situations, but I'm no longer any fan of Smart's. His act has become at the very least, stale and offensive.

Who the heck is he trying to kid??? Very unimpressed with the braggadocio, the immature BS, and the lack of control of the team by Travis Ford.

Jonathan Allison 6 years, 12 months ago

I totally agree. There is a part of me that always wants to believe the good in people. I wanted to believe that Marcus Smart was all of the good things that people say about him on ESPN. I wasn't upset about the backflip (just about the loss). I believe that Jeff Orr crossed the line of good fan-manship. But as of now I am no longer a fan of Marcus Smart or of Travis Ford and the OSU program. I lost a lot of respect for them very quickly this year. I don't mind coaches giving kids some bulletin board material, and I know that sometimes they'll embellish things. Self wanted to win the conference outright in Stillwater, and Ford and his staff probably extrapolated that KU could cut down the nets in Stillwater... I don't have a problem with that. But Smart needs to lay down his act and just play the game. I about threw a brick at the TV by the third time they replayed Smart's celebration after the straight on three as he was backpedalling down the court "licking the three" or whatever you'd call that. It was in bad taste and I can't believe that ESPN showed it so many times.

I wouldn't mind if KU gets a tie-breaker game against OSU in the conference tourney. Might as well bring on KSU and UT again, too.

Benz Junque 6 years, 12 months ago

Smart LIED about what the Texas Tech fan said to him and he LIED abou this. Big shocker. Self did say that he wanted to wait to celebrate the Big 12 title until they won it outright. Smart just made the HUGE leap of logic to assume that Self was saying they were going to go out and cut down their nets.

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 12 months ago

Recall what Self said just before the Big 12 season commenced, which was something along the lines of ...our goals are to cut down nets and all of them remain in tact. I can see any coach putting a spin in a team presentation as motivation to the team.

I'm not much of a Travis Ford fan but we might have to cut Smart some slack here. I bet this story has legs, especially in OK if OSU dives NCAA tournaments. It’s obvious to KU fans and those that know Self what he meant by that. Sometimes Self does mixes his metaphors and leavs himself open to misinterpretation and provides hyperbolic opportunities for opponents, regardless of what his track record says.

Walter Bridges 6 years, 11 months ago

And worse, he publicly named the fan he went after in his 'apology' making him the target of over zealous (or moronic) OSU fans.ho

Adam Collins 6 years, 12 months ago

Should we be surprised that someone who deceives on the court (i.e., flopping) would deceive off the court by fabricating something like this? I would say no.

Clarence Haynes 6 years, 12 months ago

Smart is a hot dog with all of the accoutrements!

Adam Collins 6 years, 12 months ago

With Embiid's back getting hurt twice now and his knee problems, you would think he would be more likely to leave for the draft this year, right? By doing so he could avoid a situation where he returns next year and, if he continues to be nagged by injuries, get tagged as injury prone. Either way I think he goes top 3, but I think it's something he should definitely consider.

Eliott Reeder 6 years, 12 months ago

I think it could go either way. Perhaps his back seems like a red-flag right now and he needs to show he can come back and play a full season of college hoops before he hits the L and has to play 82 games in a season. Or come back and spend an off-season with Hudy getting stronger and developing his body to take that kind of punishment? Either way, he should definitely come back... ;)

Kent Richardson 6 years, 12 months ago

I think the over hype he receives helps make your case. Hakeem gifted? Big maybe right now. He's made some wow athletic plays but maybe they seem better because of his seven footedness. Wishful thinking that he would benefit from a few more years at KU? Wishful thinking, by GM's and owners, he could be a solid contributor and possible star for either themselves or worse someone else. Egos rule in big time college sports and dominate the NBA world. He's young age wise, physically and in basketball experience. No guarantee he will stay healthy, improve his 10 to 15' range or desire to compete in the business. Strike while the iron is hot, don't let opportunity slip away, you snooze you lose. Or, "looking back I am so glad I stayed in school until I matured regarding the culture, my education, my body and my spirit." No matter what choice is made there will be regrets. We can't predict what the future will hold and even look at the past with complete confidence for guidance. Take the money and try to keep it because the next game might be your last (smart and cautious) or play every game as it is your last (risky and joyful). Factor in how much his personal desire and family thinking influences weigh against each other. Avarice, hype and information manipulation rule this oblate spheroid. You gotta eat.

Kurt Eskilson 6 years, 12 months ago

Unlike many potential OAD families, the Embiid family has zero concerns about eating. This is one case where instant money is not the prime motivation.

Benz Junque 6 years, 12 months ago

Embiid is sore and beat up and has only played in 28 games since the season began in the beginning of November. I don't see a world where he thinks that means he needs to rush off to the NBA, where the Miami Heat have played FIFTY TWO games over that same period of time and have probably practiced twice as much as the Jayhawks. Oh, and he had maybe 25% of his games going up against the size of player that will be beating him up every night in the NBA.

There is no way Embiid is physically ready to compete at the NBA level. He needs to spend another summer with Coach Hudy getting his body ready to play in the NBA. He needs to spend another season with Coach Self getting his game ready to play in the NBA.

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 12 months ago

I could not agree with what you said more.

However, what would you do if you held the job as a NBA GM holding a top 3 pick? If it were me, I'm in Self's office to convince him to convince Embiid that the NBA is in his best interest. Self knows the NBA strenght and fitness programs are world class.

Benz Junque 6 years, 12 months ago

If I was an NBA team in need of a center that was likely to have a Top 3 pick then yes, I would be hounding Self to push Embiid out as well. The good news is that Self does not benefit AT ALL from listening to that hounding and pushing Embiid out the door.

It's getting to be pretty clear what is the best choice for Embiid from a purely developmental standpoint. Embiid has a lot of holes in his game and isn't physically ready to go yet. That isn't going to change in the next 5 weeks.

I understand the whole "grab the money ASAP in case something goes horribly wrong" perspective of many people. However, I don't see Embiid making this decision to avoid the worst case scenario. Instead he is shooting for the best case scenario, which would be to stay at Kansas and continue to prepare physically and mentally so that he can be the "instant impact" guy that he states that he wants to be. At this point, my gut tells me he's coming back.

Titus Canby 6 years, 12 months ago

Up until his suspension, I had the utmost respect for Marcus Smart. He's a great player, he came back for a second year, and he was always respectful of KU. Yeah, he did the backflip, but that's youthful exuberance.

But with his blatant lying, he's lost my respect. First he lies about the TTU fan's "racial slur." Now he lies about Self saying he'll cut down the nets.

I really want to like the guy, but I just can't anymore. Mr. Smart, get some integrity.

John Fitzgerald 6 years, 12 months ago

I love that you say you want to like him. KU fans like you are the reason we are classy. You don't have hate in your heart and you give people the benefit of the doubt. Classy comments and thanks for keeping my hope in the ku fan base.

Robert Moore 6 years, 12 months ago

Marcus Smart has a lot of talent. He also has a big mouth. Got a feeling that he's going to have a splinter butt in the NBA. I lay on Travis Ford. A coach should be teaching class, not crass.

Joe Baker 6 years, 12 months ago

KU still clinched the undisputed league title courtesy of losses by Iowa State and Texas.

Courtesy of loses? Well...we're considered an early exit according to espn? It took TWO other teams to lose before KU could claim the B12 title...hmm...why am I not encouraged.

These kids are really struggling to turn a conference corner. They don't realize it's time to take their play up a notch. They are going the wrong direction. This time of year is a different level. They just learned there is a whole lot more bball to play. The tanks and the mental edge seems gone for most of the team.

I lost ALL respect for Marcus the idiot Smart. OSU needs to tell him to keep his mouth shut and play basketball. Travis Ford will never censor Smart. Let's see if he holds a news conference and issues Self an apology. I was 50/50 after the TT game and fan incident. I didn't even have a problem with his backflip in Lawrence. I didn't like it, but he should've done another backflip in Iba arena after their come back and closing win in the last 5-6 mins. Instead, he chose to disrespect and misquote one of the most respected coaches in the country, likely a HOF coach. That's real classy. You've shown no respect at all. Bill Self has done nothing but respect you as a player and complimented your game. Hopefully, this will light a fire under Self. The players should get a Marcus Smart burr up their backends. IF this doesn't motivate them, they have zero competitive attitudes.

Oh well, we have another possible shot at them in the B12 tourney. It helps to know that next year OSU will be nothing. They lose their entire team by losing Smart and Brown. Nash is 50/50 right now and might leave simply because Smart and Brown are gone. They will be one of the worse teams in the B12.

Markel Brown had nothing but respect during his post game comments. He at least had the sense to compliment KU by stating they are "a very, very good basketball." He's far and away more mature than Smart, minus his little tantrum in Lawrence with Traylor. My guess is though, if KU won in Stillwater, OSU would've resorted to their thuggish behavior as in Lawrence. Marcus Smart can't win well and he definitely doesn't lose well either. He's a punk. I still say the foul with the knee by Nash had a much great purpose than a simple attempt to stop Embiid. I think it was designed to do exactly what it did to Embiid. They knew if something threw Embiid out of his game, they had a chance. It worked. Embiid is now hurt. Maybe I'm reading into the foul, but OSU is undisciplined and not very well coached. They are out of control and Ford is terrible for not being a better coach.

Kent Richardson 6 years, 12 months ago

Absolute diamonds, Joe Baker.

Have we reached our ceiling?

We are hoping for tournament type mentality and toughness. My heart says we will. My gut says we won't.

I thought the same thing about the Nash take down. A deliberate move to make JoJo fall. We will likely never find out the truth from the OSU camp and I am irked enough to say that.

Bryce Landon 6 years, 12 months ago

Crap like this would NEVER have been allowed or tolerated under Eddie Sutton. Travis Ford is a classless jerk, and it is reflected in the attitudes of his players, especially Marcus Smart.

Benz Junque 6 years, 12 months ago

You mean the same Eddie Sutton that got in a car crash under the influence of prescription painkillers an alcohol while he was the OSU head coach? The same Eddie Sutton that left Kentucky in ruins after a huge scandal? Yeah, he was the model of class.

Erich Hartmann 6 years, 12 months ago

Benz, I see your point, but I agree with Bryce: Sutton (prior to his alcohol issues) was a helluva coach. Self created SelfBall based on some key principles from Sutton (& Larry Brown).

Guess what Sutton would have done with OSU's talent this year??? Now look what Travis Ford did with the same talent. Not to mention the out-of-control Marcus notSmart.

Ethan Berger 6 years, 12 months ago

I hope we get OSU in the conf tourney. I hope we wax them and mail them the net after we win the conf tourney. Okay I don't really but it would be funny. Some coach either made something up or Smart was just exaggerating a quote. There is a reason Bill will never return to OSU and it starts with that game day crowd.

Tony Bandle 6 years, 12 months ago


1] Marc-ass Smart receiving a virtual tongue lashing by Jay Bilas on national televison was priceless.

2] KU's "Ole Matador Defense" was never more evident then those last six minutes Saturday.

3] Saturday's first half may have been the worst combined offensive performance by two preseason co-champs ever witnessed!!

4] HCBS would never disrespect another school by cutting down the nets in an opponent's arena, unlike Oklahoma did at Allen Fieldhouse many years ago.

5] Well, we had a number one seed for about..what...three hours????

6] It was not a good week to be in the Top 25..I think over half the teams lost this past week!!

7] I 'll take a Number 2 seed with rounds three and four in St.Louis. Potentially, we could still end up pre-NCAA tourney at 27 - 7.....not too shabby.

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 12 months ago

1) We went to the game but did not get the game recorded. I heard Bilas got all over Smart-ass a few times. Damm

2&3) The really good news was our D showed up big the first half. During half-time I remarked the desire for the game to continue the same. I wanted to see if we had the ability to win a tough game purely with our D. However, even the last 11 minutes had some extensive mitigation circumstances with the Embiid injury and fouls. In real time live action, it looked to me OSU got more than their share of friendly whistles. We still might have a chance to get that D win at WVA.

5-7) I’m not at all concerned about a 1 seed, although it would be nice to tie Duke and move closer to UNC for most 1 seeds. I’m most concerned about getting healthy, Wiggins continues to drive to the basket and finish, reaching a more consistent level of play, especially on D. Although somewhat indifferent regarding a 1 or 2 seed, I DO NOT want to drop to a 3 or 4 seed. That round of 32 is going to be a bear this year with those 3-6 and 4-5 matchups.

4) OU...that was the school! Last week when we had that "cutting down nets" debate, I was trying to think of the school that did that in AFH. With Self’s enlightenment regarding our net cutting tradition over the past 10 year, I’ve revised my position accordingly.

Nick Adams 6 years, 12 months ago

I'm no Marcus Smart fan, but if it was Ford that fabricated the quote then why is Smart taking the heat?

Titus Canby 6 years, 12 months ago

Good point Nick. It's even worse when the coach is a liar and makes his players look like jerks.

Dirk Medema 6 years, 12 months ago

I love the contrast with Coach Self's quote. We've won the league 10 times, and we don't even cut down the nets at home. (i.e.. Been there. Done that. No big deal. And our fans don't rush the court either.)

Eric TheCapn 6 years, 12 months ago

aren't we going off what Marcus Smart said? the only evidence that their coaches did anything was the word of aproven liar. classless organization and player either way.

Glen Miller 6 years, 12 months ago

I'm glad that this kid picked OSU over Kansas. I don't think I would want his antics here. Good player or not, he's not helping his future much by continuing to act like a spoiled little brat. He needs to get over his enormously large ego and be a little more humble. When have we EVER cut down nets during our 10 year run? Sounds to me like someone either lied to him or he just got caught up in the moment and quoted Self incorrectly. I have read every article int he past week or so with Bill Self's quotes in them and not once did he say anything liek what SMart is referring to. Pretty sad that you have to make up stories to make yourself look good.

Walter Bridges 6 years, 11 months ago

HCBS would have put a stop to Smart's antics a longtime ago. Self would have also made this kid see the benefits of leaving for the NBA last year. Staying another year has cost him a few million dollars but Ford cares more about himself then what's best for his players.

But lets not forget that Self never silenced Chalmers for jawing w/Villanova's Head Coach Jay Wright.

"Coach Self called Sherron and me into his office and said, "How do you feel about this Villanova game?" I said, "Coach, this is personal to me. I don't like Jay Wright." He was like, "I understand that, but keep it out of the media." So when the media asked if it was a personal game, we'd say, "No, it's not personal. It's just another game." But during the game we were talking all kinds of s--t to Jay Wright. We'd run by him and tell him, "Sit your ass down! We got this!" Another time we said to him, "This is what you get for cutting us. We're about to dog you!" Anytime we were throwing the ball in from the sideline, when he was standing up trying to call a play, we'd tell him to shut his mouth and sit down. There was one play where I threw a lob to Shady on an inbounds pass and he dunked over Scottie Reynolds. Right before I threw it I looked at Jay Wright and said, "Watch this!" That game was definitely personal for Sherron and me."

Dale Stringer 6 years, 12 months ago

Well for proof of some biased refs, just look at Nick's picture at the start of the article. Taunting the bench of the opposing team (as Smart is doing) is suppose to be a technical. The ref looks worried that he might have to call it and give the game to the wrong team.

Mike Hill 6 years, 12 months ago

If we play Okie State in the Big 12 tournament Coach Self should use his bench (Lucas Greene Wesley) and all the bodies he has to guard Smart. Get in his grill and make his very life on the court miserable. So what if we get fouls. If one guy fouls out put another one on him. Dog him without mercy. When they foul him make it count. He will get frustrated and loose his cool. I don't have any respect for him or his coach. Ford should be putting a shoe up his a@@. I know Coach Self would if he was playing for the Jayhawks. I also know Coach Self would have benched him much longer when he pushed the fan. Shows how little class Ford has.

Joseph Bullock 6 years, 12 months ago

 Travis Ford is the one who lied to the O.S.U. players.  That is obvious.  He is an insecure, jealous, little man (child).  He hates Bill Self (just as Bruce Weber does), because so many people in, and around, the O.S.U. program, wanted (and still want), Bill Self, to coach there, just as it was at Illinois, when Weber took over, after Self left there!  But even though Ford lied on coach Self, Smart showed once again, just how immature he really is, and that nothing has really change, after the TT incident.  
 As far as Embiid is concerned, there is no way he should go to the NBA after just one year in College.  Those who made comments that he is not physically ready for the NBA, are absolutely correct.  He would be a project there, and would get physically beat up, and would be out, but more than he is out, with K.U.!  He also has a lot to learn (including, controlling his emotions better, because if they can get under your skin in College, what do you think will happen when people are getting paid, to get under his skin).  The travel, the film sessions, and pressure-he would also be so mentally drained, and that would be a shame.  Also, when you go pro, you are not playing for your first contract, you are playing for future contracts.  It just makes sense for him to come back for one more year.  If he leaves, I think we get Myles Turner, but for Joels sake, I hope he stays.  I really like the young man, and although I would love to have Turner, I want the best for Joel, and that would be to stay one more year!

Erich Hartmann 6 years, 12 months ago

Marcus Smart thinks his statline will excuse his behavior. Look at this nonsense, lying about what Self never said. Smart has disrespected his OklaState uniform, and Bill Self, an OklaState alum & former asst. coach...KNOWS it!

Get outta here, Marcus Smart, go try to earn some money somewhere, while a few people still might respect your stats. Go flop in front of Lebron James and Kevin Durant! DWade with 2 bad knees is 3 times the player Smart is. Smart about to get a rude awakening in the NBA. Nobody says Smart will be a guaranteed success in the pros, you never know if someone will be a great ncaa player, but fizzle in the pros, as their game got exposed (Adam Morrison, Julian Wright, etc...).

Tired of this kid's schtick...

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