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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hang ’em high

Banner ceremony precedes blowout

The recently unveiled 2008 national championship banner hangs in the rafters as the Kansas student section sings the alma mater prior to tipoff against Florida Gulf Coast Tuesday at Allen Fieldhouse.

The recently unveiled 2008 national championship banner hangs in the rafters as the Kansas student section sings the alma mater prior to tipoff against Florida Gulf Coast Tuesday at Allen Fieldhouse.

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2008 KU-FGCU basketball

Jayhawks reveal banner, defeat FGCU

On Dr. Phog Allen's birthday, and the night the KU men's basketball team's official championship banner was revealed, the Jayhawks manhandled Florida Gulf Coast, 85-45.

Kansas University’s basketball players stood in a row on the Allen Fieldhouse court, arms draped around each other as their eyes focused on a spotlight high in the north rafters.

A cover dropped from the 2008 national title banner at 7:51 p.m. Tuesday, flashbulbs popping — not from the still photographers on the court, but fans taking pictures from their seats in the stands.

“I almost dropped a tear,” KU junior guard Sherron Collins said after his career-high 25-point scoring effort led the Jayhawks to an 85-45 rout of Florida Gulf Coast in a game that took a back seat to the revealing of the 2008 NCAA championship banner.

It was uncovered on Phog Allen’s 123rd birthday, joining title banners from 1922, ’23, ’52 and ’88.

“It was kind of like a concert with all the cell-phone pictures,” KU coach Bill Self said after KU turned in a near-historic performance on defense. Gulf Coast connected on just 13 field goals in 55 tries. The record for fewest number of opponent field goals in the building is 12 by Syracuse in 1968.

“I don’t know how our guys felt, but I got close to tearing up,” Self said of the pregame festivities. “It was moving. We’re pretty proud of those guys and what they accomplished. Knowing it’ll be up there forever is pretty cool.”

Of course, the two Jayhawks who played significant minutes in last year’s title run — Collins and Cole Aldrich — were the most emotional during the brief ceremony, which followed a video showing highlights of the 2008 overtime title victory over Memphis.

“It looks beautiful up there. I’m going to send Darnell a text later on,” Aldrich said of Cleveland Cavaliers rookie Darnell Jackson, a key big man on last year’s squad.

The gist of the text?

“We wish you were here, man,” Aldrich said.

Aldrich for the second straight game found himself on the bench with two quick fouls. He took a seat just 3:15 in, with KU up, 6-0.

The 6-foot-11 sophomore returned with 9:04 remaining and KU holding a slim 18-9 lead. With Aldrich, the Jayhawks immediately went on a 14-0 run. KU outscored the Eagles, 20-0, with Aldrich on the court, just 25-13 with him on the bench as the Jayhawks led, 45-13, at halftime.

“That shouldn’t happen. I shouldn’t get two quick fouls. I’ve got to play more smart. Coach emphasizes me staying in the game,” said Aldrich who finished with 12 points off 6-of-7 shooting with six rebounds in 19 minutes.

“They were tough fouls. One I was a second late on the trap. The other I tried to crash the boards hard and gave a little elbow, and it got called. I can’t pick up those kind of fouls early in the game.”

Self is not ready to deem this a pattern with Aldrich, who had two quick fouls and sat out the rest of the first half Sunday versus UMKC.

“I’m not worried about that yet,” Self said. “He picked up one foul (where) he stepped on a guy’s foot and pushed back so he wouldn’t lose his balance. He got one on a blockout. They weren’t from (him using) his hands.”

Collins and Aldrich were KU’s only double-digits scorers. Collins hit nine of 14 shots, including four of six threes. He had three assists and three turnovers in 29 minutes.

“I don’t know how he does things sometimes,” Aldrich said. “He’ll cross the ball over three times before you can even blink. He’s so smooth. He is looking good. I love playing with him. He is a great leader, so unselfish.”

Collins and Aldrich said they loved all the celebrations involving last year’s team. But the final banner revealing puts it all in the past — until the 2008 team’s five- and 10-year reunions, anyway.

“This was the icing on the cake,” Aldrich said. “It’s surreal. We’re part of history.”

Self added: “I hope that it happens every year, but odds are that it is not going to. Tonight was a special night. We are reminded of last year all the time, maybe now that was the finality of it. So hopefully we can now focus on this year.”

The 2008-09 season continues with a 9 p.m. battle against Washington on Monday at Sprint Center in Kansas City.

Comments

JayCeph 14 years ago

I love the banner!The placement, I'm not so keen on. Why isn't it at the end of the chronological order? It looks oddly out of place. Perhaps it is in the center for just this season as the 'center' of attention and then it will be placed where it belongs for the remainder...

Kevin Sontag 14 years ago

Aldrich will be fine. Guys who go from bench players to starters almost always need time to get used to having 35 minutes, rather than 15, to mete out 5 fouls. I think by the time conference play rolls around, he'll be quite comfortable.

Karen Mansfield-Stewart 14 years ago

I agree. It seems weird not to be in chronological order. Hopefully it was just for "presentations" sake.

mikemcfann 14 years ago

Can't wait untill Saturday's game against a quality opponant. Where did the TV information move to on this site??? I live In California, so hopefully ESPN not a major who will regionalize coverage.

Paul Meyer 14 years ago

When did O'Reilly become part of the floor?

misfire 14 years ago

I hope you are going to have "printer friendly" on the stories. I have a 95 year oldfriend and Jayhawk fan that I print out the stories for.

klineisanazi 14 years ago

kugrampy.....or is it kugrumpy. . . you are kidding, right? Why would any opponent stay out there? I am sure they were pretty overwhelmed with playing in AFH anyway, and any coach in his right mind would have taken them to the locker room. Why would any KU fan, much less the coaches and players take offense to that? Good grief.

LakeShawnee 14 years ago

I'm of the belief that the O'Reilley decals are on the floor because of the CBE tournament we are in now.I dont know of any game Saturday that you could be talking of mickmcfann. Washington is Monday, and Mizzou in football isn't until next Saturday (29th).

Random 14 years ago

The 2008 Championship banner only hangs in the middle during the year of the championship win. Next season it will be moved so the banners will hang in chronological order.

Steve Gantz 14 years ago

KUgrampy doesn't calling someone on this a "snot nosed brat" make you one too?That's what I dislike about these forums. People use run on sentences with poor grammar to insult someone who they disagree with.

mikemcfann 14 years ago

Thanks Tagger.Shawnee, my bad that I looked at January 24th that my calender was opened to. Thanks, I might have been very dissapointed if I didn't catch that.

KGphoto 14 years ago

OMG! I'm sure there is a grammar and punctuation blog out there somewhere.Find it!

JayJayPG 14 years ago

I liked Bill Self's joking remark about possibly doing a 3rd banner halfway through the season :o)

tis4tim 14 years ago

I think FGCU taking their players off the court was more of a "it's their moment, so let's get out of the way and let them enjoy it" kind of thing on the part of the head coach.Besides, they did get to enjoy the atmosphere earlier with photo ops on the big Jayhawk at center court and all of that not to mention experiencing AFH in a game situation. The decision was out of respect, not ignorance or malice, IMO.

soapboxstew 14 years ago

If what X says is true, then I blame the Yankee's for X not coming here. If they had not have drafted C.J., then he would have ended up playing bball here. He would have had a long career under Self, and he would have been a Jayhawk for life. But, the damn Yankee's took him in round 1, he went and played for their farm squad, and 4 or 5 years later he walks-on @ Memphis because he would never see the court for KU. THAT IS A LOT THAT HAD TO GO EXACTLY AGAINST KU FOR US NOT TO LAND X.X would have been perfect with next year's team. When you watch these guys this year, you can see that we need a 3 that can put the rock in the hole from deep as well as inside. We need a pure scorer. Bill said it himself, "we need a difference maker". X was the difference between very good and great (next year). His services will be sorely missed.I was quite upset about this yesterday, but a realization came to me last night, and I fell into a peaceful sleep (ala Good Will Hunting). You see, I watched the UMass @ Memphis game the night before X's decision (doing my own little scouting of UMass). I saw something that had never occurred to me while watching a Memphis home game: They (Memphis) plays in an NBA arena that is 3/4ths full (for good games), with a WEAK student section. I mean they have no cheers, no ambiance, no scene that would indicate a college crowd. That crowd (@ FedEx Forum) is an NBA crowd. I mean, the sound guys play hip-hop while the game is going on (ala NBA); the crowd never gets too loud, they don't cheer for hustle plays, they don't know (or care) about the rules or small details of the game, basically, they don't care like we do. They don't LOVE like we do.So (back to how I fell asleep), if X doesn't want the college atmosphere in the college town- if he prefers the city life and the NBA crowd- then his heart is not where KU wants it. And that is why we don't want him: because he didn't want us and what we are compared to Memphis.I mean, Memphis hasn't graduated a scholarship player (with a real degree) in decades. We graduated 6 players off last year's NC squad. And for all of you that read DJax's letter- that is what KU basketball is about, not just getting kids into the NBA, but making them into better men while they are here.Memphis is now 1andDone U. They are rapidly becoming a haven for kids that don't care about college. This is a fickle approach in the long run, and let me tell you why: if the NBA goes back to the old age limit Memphis is done, if the Jennings situation works out in Europe, if Cal leaves for the NBA, etc. Memphis is one rule change away from mediocrity and a coaching change from obscurity. Kansas is forever.

soapboxstew 14 years ago

Back to this Year:I've seen enough, I want one of these 2 line-ups:PG-CollinsSG-TTaylorSF-RelefordPF-MkMorrisC-Cole-or-PG-CollinsSG-TTaylor/RelefordSF-McMorrisPF-MkMorrisC-ColeWith plenty of off-the-bench tic for Little (when he's back), Reed, Appleton, and Q. Not so much for Brady M, and especially Cool Hand Tehan.LASTLY, last night one of the ESPNU announcers referred to Cole Aldrich as "The Sheriff". I don't know where he got it, but I love it. I dub thee...

jayhawkcsg 14 years ago

I really don't have anything to say. I just wanted to see my name and avatar in the cool new format!

actorman 14 years ago

"I've seen enough."Sadly, I haven't. For those of us who live out of the area and are forced to go with Comcast (no satellite available for my building), we have NO option when it comes to ESPNU. Then I look at the schedule and see that there are three MORE ESPNU games! At the rate it's going, pretty soon I'll be missing half the games.Man, I wish Comcast and ESPN would come to a damn agreement, already!

actorman 14 years ago

And BTW, as someone who is an unbiased observer and doesn't care either way, I have to tell you, kugrampy, that you come across like an immature jerk. Someone pokes a little fun at you and calls you "grumpy" and you call him a "snot nosed brat" (which should be hyphenated, by the way, since you're calling people out on their English skills)?!?!?Can you say "overly sensitive?" I knew you could.

Hal Urbanek 14 years ago

It was an amazing night at Allen Fieldhouse! The only thing that really really bothered me was the O'Reilly advertising on the scared floor. Naismith would be rolling over in his grave...I was embarsed and can only say to Coach Self....GET THAT @#**** off our floor!!!!!!!!

actorman 14 years ago

Urbane, I'm pretty sure that LakeShawnee is right and it has to do with the CBE Tournament. So after the next game I'm guessing we won't have to see it any more. It is a shame, though, that they have to have that cr*p on James Naismith Court at any time. But sadly, such is life in the modern age.

Tommy Kueser 14 years ago

I am so excited to see whan this team begins to gel. Then look out! Will it truely happen this year?

EvanstonReader 14 years ago

KUgrumpy--" I have given more to KU in the past 20 years than you will in a lifetime, call me grumpy if you like but I have earned my place in KU history" If you are so prominent and self-important that all the money you gave to earn your place in KU history, why didn't you use your real name? That way we all could see how great you are and how we each measure up to you, oh great Williams Fund Donor/Season Ticket Holder.I may be going out on a limb here, but you seem to be a very negative person who thinks everyone is out to get you. My you should learn to give people the benefit of the doubt or stop trying to buy your friends/place in history.

EvanstonReader 14 years ago

Plus I think KUgrumpy is more fun and humorous then KUgrampy. Or you could even be KUrmudgeon.

kusarge 14 years ago

KUgrampy & coldplay should get a room together. 'Nuff said.Oh....by the way, it's "comma," not "coma," you fool!

Jim Pendleton 14 years ago

Yes the corporate decals on the floor are annoying, but this isn't the first time this has happened. Can think of years when we played the Pre-Season NIT and had early round games here that had sponsor logos on the court (Dodge comes to mind). These companies fork out big bucks to be sponsors of these things, and if they didn't get their name on the court somewhere, they probably wouldn't do it.Not sure what we are going to see next Monday versus Washington. Sounds like they have some players and are a pretty fast team. But they also lost to Portland, and this is not the Trailblazers. We need to play hard and smart, and we should come away with a W. Jayhawk Nation needs to show up in force at the Sprint Center.

rockchalkin54 14 years ago

soapboxstew (anonymous) says...PG-CollinsSG-TTaylor/RelefordSF-McMorrisPF-MkMorrisC-Cole----------------------------------Would Self really start the twins together because of his rotation? I thought he liked to have a 4-big rotation and that would be the twins, Cole, and Quintrell. Or am I just completely confused?

Kyle Cornish 14 years ago

There is no disrespect there at all. Why would anyone stay on the court to honor Kansas' National Championship? They don't get care what we did last season... Why should they? We don't demand that kind of respect... Don't be dumb. That is a Kansas only thing that they could care less about. I would have less respect for them if they stayed and watched like some "fan".

kuwillkillit 14 years ago

"The sheriff" - long arm of the law. Quite fitting.

Machawk 14 years ago

I agree with Soapboxstew's assessment of the difference between the culture at KU and the culture at Memphis. It's a stark contrast that defines the Jayhawk Nation and makes us proud of the traditions we have. It would have been nice to have a player like X, but if his motivation is more "me" than "we", then in the overall scheme of things I can live with his decision. For the sake of unity, team chemistry, and continuity, we will be fine with the kind of players HCBS recruits- those who appreciate KU's tradition and sense of family.

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