Sunday, March 2, 2014


Column: At KU, confetti cannon overkill


Rising above the ashes of a meltdown came a voice of reason from Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self, winner of at least a share of each of the past 10 Big 12 titles.

“To me, we missed our opportunity to celebrate,” Self said Saturday after his team blew a 10-point lead in a 72-65 loss to Oklahoma State in Stillwater, Okla. “We probably won’t celebrate. We may do a little something if we’re successful against (Texas) Tech (on Wednesday).”

That doesn’t alter how impressive it was to win the Big 12 outright, particularly when starting three freshmen among five first-year starters. The Jayhawks removed the “co” from their “champions” title early in the first half, then watched the Cowboys storm the court.

Rough timing, but that’s fine. It’s about winning titles, not celebrating them.

KU has maintained a blue-collar edge during its decade of dominance, no easy juggling act. Subtle updates to Allen Fieldhouse in recent years have been done in a way so as not to erode the old-time feel of the place.

If KU were to break out the confetti cannons and stage a full-bore celebration Wednesday, it would signal a step away from authentic and onto a slippery slope toward Hollywood.

Here’s hoping the “little something” is nothing more than showing the trophy to fans awaiting senior speeches. Fine. But confetti cannons, a corny song, caps and T-shirts? That works for a semi-spontaneous, mini-party when the title is fresh and sweat from the clincher hasn’t dried. Nine days after winning a game that extended the streak? Too scripted and nine days too late.

Like so many in a college basketball landscape flush with good teams and short on great ones, KU has its share of concerns. Among them: Naadir Tharpe’s consistency, the fitness of Joel Embiid’s back, finding the right defensive matchup for Perry Ellis and improving the rate at which Andrew Wiggins’ shots at the rim drop. Find solutions in those areas and confetti will fly soon enough.


Raymond Wright 6 years, 12 months ago

Guessing it's a reply to the Star article.

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 12 months ago

Keegan, you summarized the team’s challenges politely in the last paragraph. Of the four points you made, I’m confident the latter 3 can be resolved, hopefully before the NCAA Tournament commences.

Rodney Crain 6 years, 12 months ago

I like how you quietly made your point Suzi!!! As you know I agree with that point 100%.

Walter Bridges 6 years, 12 months ago

The only fix I see to Perry Ellis is Cliff Alexander.

Robert Brock 6 years, 12 months ago

"...finding the right defensive matchup for Perry Ellis..."

Wait - can Perry guard ANYBODY?

Mike Barnhart 6 years, 12 months ago

You've got to enjoy the process! Last home game, title wrapped up, senior night... let the guys celebrate after pounding dreadful TCU!

Tony Bandle 6 years, 12 months ago

Mike, no offense, but it will be not so dreadful Texas Tech and we better be ready to play hard.

Tony Bandle 6 years, 12 months ago


Can the four points made by Mr. Keegan be counted on for six straight NCAA games:

1] Not likely..

2] Hopefully. fingers crossed, votive candles lit.

3] NOPE..not this season..

4] Maybe.

I am afraid not a glowing evaluation of the potential solutions. May I propose an alternative response list.

1] Shoot the lights out of the ball.

2] Keep a wide base and don't fall anymore.

3] SIGH!! Choose one tactic on your man..cut off the drive or cut off the shot, just don't allow both...50% is better than nothing.

4] Screw the finger rolls...slam the damn ball!!!

Bud Stagg 6 years, 12 months ago

^#4. Drives me crazy that a kid who can get to the rim that easy, can't finish. Jump a hair later and stuff that ball through up to your elbow! I bet he leaves 10 pts a game out there.

DaNeille Dani Davis 6 years, 12 months ago

Too bad these guys don't get to feel the joy of winning the 10th straight conference championship. But that is totally their own fault. They didn't care enough or take care of business. There is no joy in celebrating now. This team drives me crazy! I don't know how come they don't take every game/team seriously and play the game they love with a free mind! The more pressure on them to win, the more they get scared and play like crap. It's happened too many times this year in big games. Time to grow up and grow some b*lls!!

Greg Lux 6 years, 11 months ago

The first way to stop some of the turnovers is to stop pushing the ball inside early. Make a few outside shots to loosen the defense. Every team we play packs it in early because they know we are going to start the game going inside. aka Turnover time. Second start playing the passing lanes. We are to content allowing the opposing player to catch the ball before we defend. Let's get a little closer to the passing lanes and get a few turnovers on the other team for a change. Stop helping on the wings and leaving the other teams player open for a set shot from the corner. One of the main reasons the ball sticks is we are always trying to get the ball inside. The rule is Pass, Dribble or Shot. Hold is not in the list. If we can't make our outside shots we are probably not going to win anyway. So go out with confidence and shot relaxed. Every player can make outside shots. So let's open up the defenses. You can do it. Start with Defense and end with a "W".

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