Thursday, May 28, 2015

K.C. to keep Big 12 tourney through 2020

This file photo shows a 2008 shot of the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

This file photo shows a 2008 shot of the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.


The Big 12 men’s basketball tournament will remain at Kansas City’s Sprint Center through the year 2020, league commissioner Bob Bowlsby announced Thursday.

Kansas City has hosted the tournament 14 of the 19 years the Big 12 has been in existence, including the past six years.

The league had already secured the bid for 2016, meaning the new four-year deal keeps the event in the Power and Light District a total of 11 straight years and counting.

Oklahoma City and Dallas also made bids, but didn’t appear to have much of a chance considering the event has been a complete sellout the last two years and has averaged crowds of 18,000 for all sessions every time it has been held in the facility.

“I don’t know how the tournament could have been better,” Bowlsby said of the past couple years.

KU coach Bill Self has long been an advocate of keeping the tourney in Sprint Center.

“I am happy. Selfishly I think it’s good for Kansas and our fans,” Self told the Journal-World on Thursday night. “The reality is Kansas City is the best place for it. With the attendance and the track record of what’s been done here in Kansas City ... not to take away from any other sites, but it’s overwhelming the success the tournament has had and the support it’s received. I think it’s good news for everybody. I don’t think one coach in the league will be against this,” he added.

The women’s basketball championship is slated for Oklahoma City in 2017, ’18 and ’19. The baseball championship will be in OKC from 2017-2020. Sprint Center will host the league wrestling championships March 5-6, 2016.

Canadians to set up shop here: KU will be well acquainted with Canada’s Developmental team by the time the teams travel to the World University Games July 3-14 in South Korea.

Canada’s squad will train in Lawrence a week or so prior to the teams’ two exhibition games June 23 and 26 in Sprint Center. KU is allowed unlimited practice time from June 8 through the end of the Games.

“We’ll get a chance to train with them some at night, even in a scrimmage-type session,” Self said Thursday on KC 610 radio.

“It should be a great learning experience for our kids. I’m not going to kill them. It’s not going to be a situation it’s the same intensity level as during the season. The season is long enough the way it is. It will be a time where our guys can enjoy each other, have some fun.”

Of the Games, Self added: “I want our guys to get better. I also want to experiment a lot with the short (24 second) clock, with the FIBA rules. I think that will help us down the road playing with the short clock, so all our practices will be with a 10-second clock, five-second clock. On an offensive rebound it resets to 14. There are a lot of differences than we’re used to. I’m excited about that.”

Players on Canada’s developmental team according to its Website include Baylor’s Brady Heslip and Iowa State’s Melvin Ejim, plus Gonzaga’s Kyle Wiltjer and Kevin Pangos, Stanford’s Dwight Powell, Harvard’s Laurent Rivard, New Mexico State’s Daniel Mullings, Colgate’s Murphy Burnatowski, Indiana State’s Mangisto Arop as well as 7-foot-2 Jordan Bachynski of Arizona State and some other Canadian college players.

For tickets to the KU-Canada exhibitions call 1-800-34-Hawks or go to

Bulls may target Hoiberg: The Ames Tribune reported Thursday that Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg in April “let it be known to five-star recruit Cheick Diallo that his immediate future at Iowa State was not a certainty.” Multiple Tribune sources told the paper that “while Hoiberg did not definitively say he planned to move on to the NBA, he also communicated that he couldn’t fully commit he would be returning to ISU to coach Diallo and what figures to be a preseason top-10 Cyclones team in 2015-16.” Hoiberg is believed to be a leading candidate for the Chicago Bulls coaching vacancy. Diallo, of course, wound up committing to KU.


Shannon Gustafson 6 years, 8 months ago

Interesting quote from Hoiberg...if he leaves he's going to break a LOT of hearts in Ames...

Tony Bandle 6 years, 8 months ago

Oh man, if Freddy leaves, my 'Clone sister-in-law will probably jump off the nearest bridge!!

There is some karma at work here....did he not play as a Bull? That would be his return to his NBA team and his college team as a coach. I wonder if his high school needs a coach. :)

Glen Miller 6 years, 8 months ago

I'm torn.... part of me wants him to leave, because he is a great coach and ISU will be a huge threat to us while he is there. A bigger part of me wants him to stay, because it just makes our league better and I think he's the type of coach we need in our conference. Best of luck to him, no matter where he is next season and beyond. He's a pretty classy guy and deserves the success he's having.

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 8 months ago

The Bulls hiring an ISU coach will bring back memories of Jerry "Crumbs" Krause hiring of Tim "Pink" Floyd in the late '90s. I really like Hoiberg and hate to see him leave ISU but welcome the addition to the Bulls.

Michael Maris 6 years, 8 months ago

I think that Coach Hoiberg is 100 times the coach that Tim Floyd ever thought about being. I'm not bashing on Coach Floyd (even though this message may seem that way), just that I think that much more highly of ''The Mayor''.

John Boyle 6 years, 8 months ago

Please don't disrespect Pink Floyd by calling Tim Floyd by their name. They were (are) a classic. He is a classic but in a completely different sense.

Michael Maris 6 years, 8 months ago

''The Mayor'' is a PURE Class Act. And, he truly has the right demeanor to coach at the NBA Level. Sure, it would be a true loss to the Big XII Conference if he decides to take his coaching skills to the NBA. But, one sure can't fault him for making such a decision. I know I'll start paying a lot more attention to the Bulls if ''The Mayor'' does leave for Chi-Town.

Best of luck in any decision ''The Mayor'' makes.

Jonathan Allison 6 years, 8 months ago

Andy Katz 3 point shot on ESPN predicted that ISU would consider hiring back Tim Floyd if Fred Hoiberg left to coach the Bulls. I highly doubt that they would go that route, but it's worth talking about I suppose. He hasn't exactly been a coaching star in his time back in the NCAAs, so I don't think that ISU would feel that they were hiring a quality replacement for Hoi.

Rodney Crain 6 years, 8 months ago

The Bulls job is Freddy's if he wants it. Considering his lack of commitment long term to ISU or recruits, it looks like he is leaving. The Bulls roster is solid and they have deep pockets. If he was going to go this opportunity is a pretty good one.

The NBA season is a grind. I wonder about Fred's health, maybe that will be the deciding factor on his decision.

Jonathan Allison 6 years, 8 months ago

I agree, it looks like he's leaving. The Bulls just is a dream job for a first time NBA head coach. They will be willing to overpay a coach, and they have a roster ready made to be a top contender in the eastern conference.

The NBA season is indeed long and arduous. And will certainly create more stress than college coaching. The fan and media attention certainly could create problems for Hoiberg's heart condition. But at least he won't have to worry about recruiting and team GPAs in the NBA.

Andrew Holmes 6 years, 8 months ago

Nick Friedell, the Bulls beat writer, posted on twitter a couple hours ago that he hasn't talked to anyone in the last 24 hours that doesn't believe Freddy will be the new Bull's coach. He also posted that the league has always viewed Freddy as the replacement for the Bulls.

If this is all true then it will be interesting to see who Iowa State decides to hire. No matter who is hired, I believe Iowa State will be tough this year with everyone they have returning. Similar to K-State having a good year the first year Weber was there and had Frank Martin's team. Hopefully for Iowa State and the Big XII, they won't hire a coach that can't recruit and can't coach up a team to save their lives.

Joseph Bullock 6 years, 8 months ago

I wonder what the ISU fanbase will say, if the Mayor stays, but they don't do well in the NCAA Tournament, and possibly lost out on Dialo, by telling him he might not be there to coach him. Did I just contradict myself. Wait, don't answer that-I know how some of you are! LOL I think we still would have gotten Dialo, but, hey, I'm just sayin!

Keith Gellar 6 years, 8 months ago

As much as i'm thrilled about BIG 12 tourney being in KC (i can walk there literally), wouldn't mind it being at a different location just so KU can get a few more road games under its belt. Nothing like playing a couple of games on a neutral court- great preparation for the NCAA tourney too.

Harlan Hobbs 6 years, 8 months ago

If indeed Mr. Hoiberg was up front with Diallo, then he further exemplifies why he is "the man" in Ames and one of the finest persons coaching basketball. He and Bill Self are cut from the same cloth, and I am positive that Bill Self will do the same thing if and when the San Antonio Spurs come calling after Gregg Popovich retires. With R.C. Buford as the GM of the Spurs and given his ties to KU, such a pairing is a distinct possibility.

Hopefully, Coach Self has his dream job at KU. The fact that the OKC Thunder either didn't pursue him or he let it be known that he wasn't interested in leaving KU gives a positive indication of Coach Self's plans to remain at KU for the rest of his career.

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