Friday, March 26, 2010

Hey KSU: Embrace history


Kansas University basketball fans increasingly have embraced the school’s brilliant history. By now some are even conversant with the marvelous records and players of the 1930s before there was an NCAA Tournament to stir the pot and create bracket mania.

Kansas State needs to get the same thing going because it also can boast tremendous court achievements. The emergence of Frank Martin’s swashbuckling 2010 Wildcats at the Big 12 and national levels, with prospects good for a continued run of success, should stir more Purple Pride and send fans to the archives. For example, it’s surprising so many current KSU followers are unaware of the brilliance of the Wildcats just before and right after 1950.

Not too long ago the K-State alumni magazine featured the late Rick Harman from Hoisington as recipient of a major award and covered a lot of his career as a Republican politico and noted restaurateur. Not one word about the all-league and All-America basketball status during Rick’s 1947-50 court eminence.

The Cats labor in the shadow of KU’s 180-90 series advantage and those constant parades into NCAA activity. KU has won three NCAA titles, KSU none, but K-State had Final Four presences in 1948, 1958 and 1964, falling in the national semifinals three times and losing to Kentucky for the national crown in 1951.

KSU logged a 25-4 record in 1951 and beat Kansas’s junior-laden Clyde Lovellette crew twice in the days when only one conference team went to the Big Dance. Then in 1951-52, KU and KSU split in the regular season but Colorado helped KU grab the league title and NCAA (and Olympic) glory.

I’ve always contended that while KU was the national champ, that 1952 K-State team was the nation’s second best. KSU’s roster included Dick Knostman, Jack Carby, Hoot Gibson, Jim Iverson, Dick Peck, Jesse Prisock, Bob Rousey, Gene Stauffer and Don Upson. The year before against Kentucky, K-State blended Ed Head, Jack Stone, All-American Ernie Barrett, Lew Hitch and Dan Schuyler with that same group. In 1951 and 1952, Kansas and Kansas State could easily claim the best 1-2 punch in college ball.

Kentucky’s Bill Spivey had 22 points and 21 rebounds to derail K-State in ’51— before the fixing scandals tainted UK, again. Cliff Hagan and Frank Ramsey didn’t hurt the cause and Kentucky was clearly better. Otherwise, K-State was as good as anybody.

Tex Winter led KSU to the national semifinals in 1958 before Elgin Baylor (23 points, 22 boards) and Seattle whipped the Cats. Then in 1964 in Kansas City in the national semis, UCLA whipped KSU to start its incredible array of titles.

But it was in that 1951 and 1952 period when Kansas and Kansas State had sensational teams that easily could have dominated the tournament at least up to the title game. Yet only one could continue after the league season. What fun it would be to turn back the clock, install today’s format that let seven Big 12 teams see action and watch KU and K-State perform in a 64-team field.

Kansas State now has the momentum, the leadership and the recruiting allure to give Kansas all it can handle. It’s been a joy watching the Cats in the 2010 tourney. Yet KSU fans also need to recall, study and enjoy a long list of glories from the past. There are numerous victories and fantastic players enriching that history.


Hank Cross 12 years, 3 months ago

A resurgent KSU would actually help KU by raising the competitive level in the league. Mizery is not worthy to be deemed a basketball rival.

downriverdan 12 years, 3 months ago

we could see a huggins vs martin final this year

FairgroveJayhawk 12 years, 3 months ago

I always hoped the KU/MU rivalry would be better in the coming years do to the shear hatred between the schools, but I don't believe it has the potential to do what the KU/KSU rivalry can. KSU has a good team and an outstanding freshman in Wally Judge, decent coaching - this year, and a greater ability to challenge KU in the future than MU. KSU can actually make a rivalry based on ability, unlike mu.

prairie_rattler 12 years, 3 months ago

West of Lawrence, the rivalry has always been first and foremost with KSU... not MU. Mayer, you left out the great teams both schools had during the late 80s as well.

Paul Meyer 12 years, 3 months ago

Interesting fact: Every year KU has won an NCAA title, they've lost a regular season game to the Wildcats in Manhattan, KS. Maybe losing in the Octadoom, or whatever they call it, isn't such a bad thing?

Joshua Hann 12 years, 3 months ago

I will be sick if this KSU team wins the championship...if they match up against UK, I'll be forced to cheer for UK which I won't be able to handle....I can see it now....KSU all over these boards talking about there national title even though they were whooped 3 times by KU....Need all the top seeds to fall....I'm from Indy so I suppose I can cheer for Butler...but the fact that the best team won't get a chance to show it is rough....

WilburNether 12 years, 3 months ago

Let's face it: K-State's guard play has carried them to the Elite 8 (and who knows how far they will go), while our over-hyped guards failed miserably in the second round. Give credit where it's due.

Joshua Hann 12 years, 3 months ago

I can't take anything away from them....not trying to do that....just going to have a hard time dealing with it because come on, we all know KU is a better team....

oldrocker 12 years, 3 months ago

Back in the 70's, KU & KSU were always battling for the Big 8 crown. I always felt that Jack Hartman was one of the best coaches in college basketball. For the most part, KSU has been down since Jack retired. I'm glad to see that Huggins & Martin have gotten KSU competitive again...the rivalry is back!

kansas25 12 years, 3 months ago

I think it's great that KSU is getting better and, now, there might just be quite the rivalry for the next several years as the Wildcats have a decent recruiting class coming in and a lot coming back. It should be fun to be a "Kansas" basketball fan because both KU and K-State will have great teams and legit shots at going deep in the tourney for years to come. Anytime Big 12 teams make a run, i.e. Baylor, it makes the conference and each team in it look that much better. And you can't forget about the cash. Go Bears, Go Cats.

bkssstater 12 years, 3 months ago

We all know that KU is a better team? I would agree that they are a more talented team, however the NCAA National Championship Tournament requires more than just talent to be successful. It requires teams to demonstrate heart, character, leadership, discipline, and desire. Talent is what you recruit out of highshcool. Those other things are instilled into young talented men who are willing to do what it takes to take their talent to the next level. The NCAA tournament exposes weekness and highlights strength. In the end whomever comes out on top WILL be the best in the nation...PERIOD!

blatantdisregard 12 years, 3 months ago

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

Craig Lang 12 years, 3 months ago

Given that we beat them 3 times this season, I would love to see KSU win the national championship. Many people will talk about how those losses helped the Wildcats grow as a team, so it will keep KU in the spotlight!

manhattanhawkfan 12 years, 3 months ago


i refuse to do what ksu fans did in '08 - desperately attempt to save face (because this season was a failure) by attaching themselves to a bigger fish like some pathetic parasite. The regular season is nothing compared the tournament, and i refuse to be like a k-state fan and say "well, we did beat you guys!"

I'd rather lose to ksu all three times this year and have gone farther in the tournament.

Tony Bandle 12 years, 3 months ago

I must say that most of you posters, as much as this loss has hurt, have posted rational comments and discussions of KU's monumental failure this year. Today I choose to be irrational and put the blame squarely on one set of shoulders.

Tyshawn Taylor.

TT's failure to progress at the postion he was recruited for, point guard, forced HCBS to keep Sherron away from his natural #2 position. For Tyshawn to need to be told his role should have rang every alarm bell in KU Nation. Turnovers, poor shooting, bad court decisions, surprisingly mediocre defense shows that TT has a ways to go.

If TT had done his job, he could have used his quickness to penetrate the middle and dish out to Sherron who, when given an extra moment, is much more effective with the three.

Also, SC would be able to operate better without the ball, not feel obligated to take the game on his shoulders, stayed stronger and fresher and eventually open up the 4 and 5 positions for layups, dunks and bunnies. Good Sherron would have shown up a lot more than bad Sherron and we'd all be headed to the Dome right now for tonight.

With Michigan State depleted. Ohio State short-handed, KSU ready to fall to us for the fourth time, this tournament becomes more and more painful because of the "might have beens".

I wish this young man only the best...but maybe that best is somewhere else.

perryellisfuturehawk 12 years, 3 months ago

I agree manhattanhawk, I would much rather lose early and win late. It's their fans that irk me the most. They give the term "bangwagon" a whole new meaning. I have to admit though, last night's gave was one for the ages.

Joe Baker 12 years, 3 months ago

This whole tourney is sickening!

We are watching other teams march toward our destiny. It's the most helpless feeling.

I just hope the B12 can end on top and if they do, they can thank KU for preparing them for this time. Our season's end will not be in vain! We are the better team and the better conference. I don't care what happened during that fluke of an NIU game!!

The ksu game was the first game watched since the KU game. I'll not watch much more bball this season! I really don't care much, unless we have a ksu/baylor final four.

Rock Chalk

nobody1793 12 years, 3 months ago

Baylor and K-State getting to the Final Four would indeed be good for our league. That said, I would love to see Northern Iowa beat K-State in the Final Four!!!

Michael Leiker 12 years, 3 months ago

I've loved watching this KSU team play all year. So many athletes, so much speed and they playwith an intensity that is so ingrained in them that I just don't see a let down. If they fouled 15% less they would be unstoppable. Someone random is going to come out of the midwest this year and pave the way for the 'Cats.

KSU - National Champs, I'm all for it. Then Joe College can print t-shirts that say, "Kansas, Dominating the National Champions for 30 Years."

In regards to the arguement of who is better, if KSU does win it all, I don't think either team should be bragging about being better than the other. KS fans can say that they dominated KSU the year they won the NC, but we can't say our team is better. And KSU sure as hell can't say that they're better than a team they got bent over and spanked by 3 times in the same year, but they would be national champs.

100 12 years, 3 months ago

Why did we end up with UNI in our bracket as a nine seed again?

The seeding of the Midwest bracket still makes no sense in retrospect.

This thought only comes to mind because we would be a week from playing KSU for the fourth time!

Michael Bratisax 12 years, 3 months ago

If Kansas State was to win this tournament, my disgust that a team we beat three times wins the tournament would rival my disappointment in the Jayhawks performance.
If there is a God then, Go Butler!

okiedave 12 years, 3 months ago

If KSU wins the NCAA championship and having beat KSU three times and once quite soundly, perhaps we can claim that crown by the doctrine of "equitable estoppel".

Jayhawk444 12 years, 3 months ago

"Interesting fact: Every year KU has won an NCAA title, they've lost a regular season game to the Wildcats in Manhattan, KS. Maybe losing in the Octadoom, or whatever they call it, isn't such a bad thing?"

Careful now. In 1988, we lost to KSU in Lawrence, but not Manhattan. Remember "The Streak"? It includes 1988.

manhattanhawkfan 12 years, 3 months ago


sherron's (5'10'') natural position is sg?

i think we lost b/c this team never gelled, and it wasn't nearly as deep or as talented as the '08 team (no disrespect to any of the guys on this team, but they don't have 6 guys ready to get drafted).

They had less room for error than the '08 squad, and they couldn't control the pace of the game as well as the '08 team. it reminded me of ol' roy's teams who, if they couldn't turn a game into a track meet, they couldn't win when it counted most.

Simmons wrote an interesting bit about the dysfunctional dynamic on this team.

but you are right to an extent - TT was a bit underwhelming this year.

milwaukeeJAYHAWK 12 years, 3 months ago

I've got nothing against Pullen/Clemente/Martin. They've all done a great job this year.

That being said, I can never root for K-State. Growing up in Western KS, KU-KSU is the rivalry, not KU-MU. K-Staters hate KU with a passion that many KU people don't realize. They'd never root for us.

So yeah, I don't want them in the Final Four. I don't care how good it makes the Big 12 look. How can you root for your rival, Ever?

Tony Bandle 12 years, 3 months ago

Interesting poll question..who would you rather see lose in the NCAA title game if they played each other.....Kansas State or Kentucky [and, no, having a meteor hit center court and wipe out both is not an acceptable answer!!]

Other Friday afternoon questions of significant importance.

1] Could Superman beat Supergirl?

2] Who would have a better 40 yard sprint time, Godzilla or King Kong?

3} If John Calipari was on a train going 60 miles per hour heading North and Brandon Knight was on a train going 40 miles per hour heading south and the trains were 250 miles apart at noon, at what time of day would Coach Cal make his first NCAA infraction?

4] Marooned on an island, who would you rather have with you...the KU Porn Star or the Little Red-headed Girl from Texas?

5] Which will happen first..Conner Teahan throw a football in a scrimmage or CJ Henry go for a week without getting injured.

All choices and comments are respectfully and gratefully accepted.

hawkward1 12 years, 3 months ago

Top 10 Possible KSU/UK Championship-Oriented Headlines (From the home office in Olathe, KS) 10. Kentucky Falls to Second Best Team in Kansas 9. Wildcats vs. Wildcats - Game Cancelled by Coaches to Cross-Recruit Each Others Teams 8. Calisleazy Refuses to Play ANY KS Team, Still Whining About 150 Point Smackdown in Early '90s 7. KSU Wins: UK Distracted by Switch-Hitter Ryan Attending Championship Game for KSU 6. KSU/UK Fan Commentary - Brackets Are Interesting In That They Branch, Unlike Our Family Trees 5. KSU Falls to Kentucky, Maintains Conviction "Ain't Nothin' Better Than Cousins" 4. Ron Prince Beaten to Death by Frank Martin Over Dispute in University Pay Practices 3. Calisleazy Masters Degree in Infractions Set to Challenge Martin's HS Diploma On Same Subject 2. KSU Wins: Judge Wally Rules Against Kentucky Cousins 1. Bewildered UK Cats Fall, Calisleazy: "When the heck did KU start wearing purple and when the hell did Sherron Collins turn Puerto Rican?!!!"

Joe Baker 12 years, 3 months ago

Oh, now I'm heaving my guts over the thought of uk going. It will be somewhat unbearable to see ksu go much further but I can stomach the possibility.

Anyone but uk!! PLEASE no uk, no kensucky, no way, no how...It will be the year the tournament crowns the sleeziest program ever on the hardwood!!

Naismith will turn in his grave if uk wins!! What's more Wall may get his award...yuck, yuck, yuck!!

vmwskywalk 12 years, 3 months ago

Personally I can't stand Kentucky, Duke or Ohio State. I've said before that this year K-State earned my respect. Now they've got me as a fan because of their effort. I'd love to see a KSU vs. Baylor championship.

tis4tim 12 years, 3 months ago


I cannot stand the idea of Calipari winning a title, even though he would be all but assured of vacating it at some point in the future. Of course, by that logic, winning the title would make the abdication of wins that much more painful. I'd still prefer to see KSU win it, though I won't make too many friends here saying that.

As for your other questions:

1] Could Superman beat Supergirl?

Fustigation: yes. Domestication: no. (kidding, ladies)

2] Who would have a better 40 yard sprint time, Godzilla or King Kong?

Godzilla on turf. King Kong in full pads.

3} If John Calipari was on a train going 60 miles per hour heading North and Brandon Knight was on a train going 40 miles per hour heading south and the trains were 250 miles apart at noon, at what time of day would Coach Cal make his first NCAA infraction?

If John Wall, Lebron, and a Russian billionaire are all on that train going north, Calipari will get nailed the minute he sets foot in New Jersey.

4] Marooned on an island, who would you rather have with you...the KU Porn Star or the Little Red-headed Girl from Texas?

If I still have my wallet, the porn star.

5] Which will happen first..Conner Teahan throw a football in a scrimmage or CJ Henry go for a week without getting injured.

Conner throwing a football in a scrimmage.

Michael Leiker 12 years, 3 months ago

milwaukee - how long have you lived in Milwaukee?

BCRavenJHawkfan 12 years, 3 months ago

So here is how I have reconciled the thought of Kansas State pulling this off.

Kansas State is the Junior Varsity squad of KU. They are good enough, and as such warrant their own gym. But Allen Field House remains Meca, the Alpha and the Omega, of all basketball edifaces. It is the great unknown secret, afterall, that the Big 8 came about in about 1908 when the charter members secretly let Grinnell College in to make 7 (this would not be acknowledged publicly until 1919). This unbalanced league miffed Phog Allen who had just come back to his alma mater from Baker. So, Allen, following in his mentor/innovator's footsteps collected up a group of junior varsity men (some from the glee club) and told them "go west young men and establish a basketball program to even out this league" (Allen was big on even numbers which is why he favored field goal baskets counting as two points over any baskets counting as one. He would not like the trifecta of today's game). Thus was born KU West and the Big 8 Conference.

Having discovered these facts on I can now more easily cheer for my Kansas brethren.

milwaukeeJAYHAWK 12 years, 3 months ago

lived in Milwaukee for 5 years. a Kansan through and through, though!

100 12 years, 3 months ago

Could make for a tighter game. This from CBS:

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- West Virginia guard Da'Sean Butler says his injured right hand will not affect his play in the NCAA tournament's regional final.

Butler says he wrapped his hand and wrist in ice after Friday's practice as a precaution. Butler clutched his right hand in pain after a hard fall in West Virginia's 69-56 win over Washington on Thursday night.

Butler says he shot well at practice and hopes that will carry over into the game against top-seeded Kentucky.

He has hit six game-winning shots for the Mountaineers this season and leads them in scoring at 17.4 points.

100 12 years, 3 months ago

Here's more solid reporting if you're still trying to figure out who has the best talent this year with the remaining 12 teams. This Excerpt is from the Houston Chronicle, I conveniently left out the past Calipari information in this article regarding Camby taking $28,000 & hookers from an agent who was connected to Cal & were believed to pull Camby to the Ivy League school in '95:

Houston Chronicle:

"So fast-forward to this season, and as far as the NCAA record book is concerned, Calipari is still "seeking that elusive Final Four trip." I will say this -- forget the Final Four; if Calipari doesn't win an NCAA title this season, then it's just never going to happen.

Let's start with his roster -- according to, the remaining NBA prospects (with their overall ranking) in this year's NCAA Tournament look like this, in order of their 2010 Mock Draft:

  1. John Wall, Kentucky
  2. Evan Turner, Ohio State
  3. DeMarcus Cousins, Kentucky
  4. Patrick Patterson, Kentucky
  5. Eric Bledsoe, Kentucky

jaybate 12 years, 3 months ago

"Its Friday and The Mid Majors May Be Signaling How to Win the NCAA XTreme Basketball Tournament:"

Some board rats, including yours truly in a moment of sentimental weakness, have fantasized recently about Bill Self mixing it up more between full court and half court play next season.

It is the kind of fantasizing that board rats affiliated with a basketball program with a beloved legacy of intermittent running often call up hopefully after a season of half court muscle ball ends.

But then the blow to the eye socket from the doubled fist of the way basketball is now called and played in March's Madness shakes the cortex inside the brain case, and one realizes, as some stunned, XTreme kick boxer might realize after a vicious blow, that in the current fight club that is NCAA tournament basketball, there is but one cold, hard truth: Bill Self's migration to muscle ball has not only been consistent with where the game has headed, he has not moved far enough in the direction of this half court butchery.

I forecasted not long ago that this March Madness was likely to be the most physicially aggressive spectacle of tournament basketball ever and I am frankly grieved at being vindicated so far.

Most of the butcher ball trump cards of butcher ball bridge (i.e., shoving, tripping, shouldering, body checking, slapping, kidney punching, kneeing, moving screens, holding, yanking, blocking, scratching faces and arms, eye gouging, head bashing, nut kneeing, falling elbows first [or knees first] on downed players, and the highly effective pulling down of an elevated rebounder onto his tail bone) are being played early and often in each game that I have watched. Coaches are coaching this stuff. Players are executing it. And all because referees permit and tacitly encourage it.

jaybate 12 years, 3 months ago

How referees look at themselves in the mirrors without calling the police and reporting themselves as accessories to crimes?

Increasingly, I expect to begin to see the NCAA XTreme Basketball Tournament of 2010 broadcast in film noir greys, blacks and whites. I expect to see Sterling Hayden, or John Garfield, desperately trying to decide whether to take a dive and miss the basket to achieve the point spread, or not to do so, knowing that their fingers will broken and their careers will be ended, despite having done the right thing.

But I know I am old man donning the film noir lenses of the 1950s to try to find throwback metaphors to try to cope with the debasement of the game.

A more fitting, though also out of date, film metaphor is David Fincher's 1999 film starring Brad Pitt and Edward Norton titled "The Fight Club." I feel like we are watching whole teams full of impressionable young men with the gift of the game in them being asked to perform like a bunch of Tyler Durden's.

(Note: Don't check out The Fight Club. Like certain good films, its too horrible to be edifying to watch. You'll have to trust me on this. I don't believe in censorship, but I do believe in word of mouth. Stay away.)

Someone is going to get hurt in the NCAA Basketball Fight Club, er, Tournament.

And hurt badly.

And there will probably eventually be the spectacle of a group assault on a player, once coaches and players figure out refs will probably continue to use their whistles as suppositories in March, after the fight is broken up.

Barbarism has reared its head in basketball before--in the pros and in college ball.

We are experiencing a fall, a decent into barbarism, not something entirely new. Those who do not remember barbarism in the past are doomed to a redux. It has happened a few times to basketball. Even early on the game was played in cages for a time. But always the game has been saved by someone, or something.

After the great disgrace of the Michigan State-Wisconsin final ten years back, there was still enough integrity (and memory) left among NCAA administrators, university leaders, coaches, TV executives, and the gamblers to want to clean the game up, at least part way.

But back then butcher ball teams were a small minority that rose rapidly and threatened the Maybach programs' status quo.

Now, most everyone is playing butcher ball, even the Maybachs--even KU, though KU's style of play is not yet on the cutting edge of what we are seeing in the tournament.

jaybate 12 years, 3 months ago

The refs are doing their March thing that they have been doing ever more of each season the last 5 years or so. They are allowing more and more mayhem, while calling more and more ticky tacky fouls. They are making the rules themselves a fundamental absurdity of the game. Guys foul out not for the last four forearm shivers, but rather for falling backwards when the offensive player drives his shoulder into their solar plexus and ploughs through them like a D-8 Cat.

This is NCAA basketball in 2010--XTreme Basketball--The Fight Club on Steroids--Demolition Derby with Terminators in sneakers..

I get to write all of this now, because KU got bounced early. No way in heck was I going to write this during their run for the title, because I know Self has no choice but to play it this way, or retire from coaching. None of the coaches do now that the barbarians were not only allowed in, but allowed to steer the direction of the game.

But I would have written this later had KU marched on to a ring, or fallen a few games short.

I would have written this: the game has gotten too rough, too rough even for the "Let'em play" fools.

Perhaps it is merciful, afterall, that KU, the father of college basketball, should not go down in history as the champion of the most physically violent NCAA tournament ever staged.

This NCAA XTreme Basketball Tournament is like the NCAA tournament ten years or so ago when Ratso Izzo and his Michigan State Mateen Meat Cleavers met Wisconsin and its log rollers in the most disgraceful NCAA title game in history, only with three quarters, maybe even all of the teams now playing one brand of thug ball or another.

But amidst all the mayhem, perhaps because of it, a kind of reasoned approach to it is starting to emerge, and as is often the case, it is emerging out in the provinces of college basketball, the mid majors if you will.

The mid majors like UNI, Butler, St. Marys, Xavier and Cornell are pointing the way to maximize what ever talent you have in college basketball and it is not to run and show case shake in the full court, or even to run half court offenses that put great athletes in position to create.

The formula is: get lots of guys who can shoot, run 30 second offenses till they get wide open looks (or shoot a guarded trey), guard like heck, and shove every great athlete 6 feet from his desired position who even dares to shake and bake, or use athleticism as an advantage.

jaybate 12 years, 3 months ago

It may seem counter intuitive, but the 5 star recruit of the last 5 years, the great athlete, the OAD, has more and more trouble performing in college basketball.

Think about Xavier Henry, who the pros want right now. He was hamstrung about half the games this season. John Wall, supposedly the greatest thing since sliced bread, a guy the pros want now, actually can't really shake loose and beast in the tournament at all. Think about Elijah Johnson, supposedly the greatest impact recruit Self had seen since Sherron Collins. The Prophet cannot even stay on the floor in the prequel to The Fight Club, The PreFight Club, the regular season, when refs call some fouls. Look at Tyshawn Taylor. The game has just gotten too rough for one of the fastest guys I have ever seen in sneakers to make impact plays. But again, its not just at KU that these great young athletes get neutralized by The Fight Club that is now college basketball.

The guys who shine in the XTreme tournament are of two kinds:

a) guards who are great shooters and who can shoot off ball screens.from 24-27 feet; and

b) bigs who can bang, and bang, and bang, and then step out to 12 feet and sink a 2 point jump shot.

Oh, and you have to be able to shoot free throws, or you will just be fouled into the next century, not just into the next decade.

The rougher the game is called, the less you want to run and shake and bake; the less you care about great athleticism; the less you care about anything but size, strength, and shooting. These are the Three S's of Basketball.

Even great natural rebounders like Cole Aldrich are not really worth as much as they used to be. Even Cole was neutralized by the pushing and shoving. All it took was a guy big enough to push and shove him. Great anticipation accounts for squat when the pushing and shoving prevents you from acting on it.

The rougher the game is called, the more you want to foul and foul hard and foul often and the more your shots have to be taken only when completely uncontested. Take a shot with a guy any where near you and you are going to be fouled so hard you will not get the shot to drop.

The paint in college basketball today is the equivalent of no man's land in WWI. Its just a place people go to die from acute contact. And yet, like an offensive line of scrimmage, or trenches on both sides of no man's land, it has to be manned with the biggest, heaviest, strongest fodder you can find.

jaybate 12 years, 3 months ago

Teams mostly score one of three ways in NCAA XTreme Tournament Basketball:

a) bigs stepping out to 12-14 feet off a holding screen and popping two (note: finishing strong matters less and less, because dunking is less and less feasible);

b) lightening quick and strong guards coming off moving ball screens and draining treys.

c) FTs from fouls called on absurd ticky tack contact after several muggings.

Bill Self and his Jayhawks play an entirely different game than what the mid majors and more and more majors are playing. Self and KU play to create match-up situations, where impact players can make impact plays with some creating, or kick-outs to spot up shooters taking only open looks.

Self and KU also play whatever tempo you give them.

These features of Bill Ball, plus mixing in some muscle, make KU increasingly tough for teams to beat, because they increasingly rarely play teams like KU. A style of play that seemed to be spreading everywhere only a couple years ago is now in steep decline. Gillispie gone. Roberts gone. Sean Sutton gone. Russ Pennell (who barely got a chance) gone.

Who is left of the Okie Ballers? Self. Scott Sutton at ORU. Janks at Illinois State. Lon Kruger at UNLV. Buzz Williams at Marquette. Not an insignificant group, but not one at a Maybach program except Self. And none of them seem to be doing such stellar jobs that they are next in line for Maybach programs.

Watch the mid majors.

A mid major is not likely to win it all, because loads of talent still holds some trumping power, but more mid majors have gone farther than I ever recall happening before.

George Mason made it to the Final Four a few years back, but they were playing an imitation of what the majors and the Maybachs were playing.

jaybate 12 years, 3 months ago

The Mid Majors this season are all playing very similar brands of ball and they are playing it differently than most of the majors and the Maybachs.

And here's the decisive thing...

If you put any of the Maybach program's rosters in the schemes of ball that the surviving mid majors are playing, with all due respect to Bill Self, John Calipari, Coach K, and Boeheim, this year's mid majors would kick the living snot out of the same roster of talent playing for the Maybach coaches...during March Madness when no fouls are being called and what Tyler Durden, or the Narrator, in The Fight Club might call Project Mayhem.

The mid majors have had to learn to play a kind of game without the 5 star talent that involved substituting physicality for athleticism. They have done it. The refs have let them, too.

KU was a great team with all the pieces this season. It was good inside and good outside. It had muscle. And it had great shooters.

But it was still not rough enough.

Sooner or later the mid majors are going to land some of the great talents the Maybachs get, or the Maybachs are going to hire a coach from one of this years mid majors, and we are likely to find out that the future of college basketball in The Fight Club Era is not Okie Ball, or Princeton on Steroids, or Ben Howland hack'n'slap, or 40 minutes of hell. or the Pitino/Donovan school, or Coach K's ball, but a brand of ball developed in the mid majors the last 5-10 years. It is a brand that guards you and fouls you, pushes and shoves you, and alternates frequently between zone and M2M, and holds the ball for 30 seconds of moving ball screens on offense to get an uncontested shot, or a looooong trey, and determines tempo early and for as much of the game as you dare to let it. The sets will vary. Some will run Princeton systems, some will run the Huggins/Martin east Ohio high school offense, and some will invent their own new sets. But the purpose will be to achieve exactly what this year's mid majors are doing.

It means nothing that Contucky beat Cornell, since Kentucky had a dump truck load of talent and Cornell was playing mostly with stiffs.

What matters is that if you put Contucky's talent in the Cornell system, Cornell would have annihilated the same talent in Kentucky's system.

The golden era of athleticism seems officially over...unless the ref's decide to remover their whistles from where the sun don't shine, wash them up, sterilize them in boiling water, and resume using them in a fair and prudent way.

Rock Chalk!

wyansas 12 years, 3 months ago

I've never read anything Jaybate has posted.

And I want KSU to lose.

Chris Shaw 12 years, 3 months ago

icthawkfan316: First, I hate your name because every time I want to type "Itch" and I always have to a double-take when addressing you. I am just kidding by the way. Anyway, I understand what you're saying, but I don't agree with you. Mizzou I get, KSU not so much. If you google anything related to KU vs KSU rivalry or vice versa you get nothing.

Let's keep this in perspective. What do all those examples above that you mentioned have in common? Every single one one those schools or professional teams has won a Championship of some kind. Can K-State or Mizzou say that? No they can't, but KSU is closer to that feat than Mizzou with their two Final 4's in the 1950's.

I am glad you mentioned Duke and UNC because I live right in the middle of this feud and it's absolutely irritating. When do you think this rivalry actually took off for both of these schools? Well, this rivalry has only been alive and well and on a national scene for only about 25 years now since Duke's Final 4 in 1986.

What does 1986 have in common with K-State, KU, and Mizzou. Well, nothing really except 1986 was the year that Duke beat KU in the Final 4 and 1986 happens to be about in the middle of the last decade (1980's) where all three schools (KU, MU, and KSU) were all good in basketball at the same time.

Since 1986 Duke has risen to new levels and along with that has also risen the expectations and perception of the UNC Tar Heels along the way. Isn't that funny how that works? While Duke was trying to get the respect and eventually broke through in 1991, K-State and Mizzou were on the paths of reaching new lows and also trying to bring Kansas down with them.

All I am saying is that the Duke/UNC rivalry (130 and 99 in favor of UNC) has prospered in the last 25 years and has benefited both schools to levels that absolutely disgust me. You may not want to root for KSU or Mizzou and I'm not saying KSU and Mizzou both have to be good at the same time, but one of them at the very minimum has to sustain and keep building off this success the last couple of years in order to help Kansas and their basketball program in the future.

UNC fans may hate Duke, but deep down they are thanking Duke for keeping the expectations up and creating more success and publicity for their program. The same can be said about KSU and Mizzou. Even though I consider Mizzou the more "Hated" rival I don't care which it is, but one of them needs to get the overall level of Kansas. I want this and Kansas needs this at the moment. It's been great the last few years, but there is higher ceiling that has never been touched before in this State. I think it could happen over the next 5 to 10 years, but I won't be hating on KSU until it gets to that point or even that level of success where both schools or all three schools are competing for Championships. That's the way it should be and that is what defines a rival.

Ron Franklin 12 years, 3 months ago


How does this stuff go on? Seems like 'top down' management...but seriously in the world that we live in, with all the info at our fingertips, and whistle-blowers, how is this proceeding to all new lows.

Before you mentioned it above, I've felt like the NCAA tournament has been deteriorating for above mentioned reasons. It's getting out of hand. Maybe I'm just a conspiracy theorist by nature. I've just felt like the refs are calling different games, across different styles in different leagues, and reaches it's zenith in the tournament.

I do believe teams should take ownership, control their own destiny and results but geez...has it really become this much of a business that were witnessing an almost corporate, number-crunching, control every aspect of the game/tournament revolution.

Day Shepherd 12 years, 3 months ago

As my login indicates. I am a fan of Coach Self however he is the why we lost. I truly believe that Sherron and Cole are ready for the NBA. Perhaps an argument can be made for Xavier's readiness but no one else on the team is ready. Fi the game is on the line and you need someone to take a shot, Sherron is the only one who has shown he can do it. Coach should have know that and used every player on the team to exhaus N. Iowa. Full court press, more traps, running up and down etc. All the excitement at the beginning of the year and we played 9 players. No Withey, no Elijah, no C.J. We should have been able by sheer numbers to overwhelm most teams. Instead the same problems that lead us to losing some other games and making other games too close screwed us. Poor perimeter defense on the pick and roll and inconsistent outside shoot. For once I would lvoe to see a KU tema that can shoot lights 80% of the time form 3. Anyone remember a team that oculd do that. We always run inot teams that do it to us. Coach sticking to your preferences when they don't pay off isn't a sign of priciples it is a sign of stubborness. Watch the stinking tape and learn for the future. After all Coach, some of the worst losses have been to Bucknell, Bradley, and now N. Iowa on your watch.

Dan Harris 12 years, 3 months ago

How can you guys not root for KSU? I hate them as much as any of you when we are playing them but they are like a cousin or step-sister, you need to root for them when their not playing another Big12 team as it makes US look better . The only team I might root for against them would be NI or Baylor.

Dan Harris 12 years, 3 months ago

For the last week I have been reading posts on the various reasons why we lost. I don't know if you can single out one definitive reason but one conclusion that I have come to is that I am sick and tired of playing "playing" down to our competition! We have the better talent every time we take the court and we need to start imposing OUR will on the opposing team and play our game not theirs. Is this to simplistic of an idea!

Dan Harris 12 years, 3 months ago

Come on Purdue take down the PUKES and break Dickie V's heart! I still can't believe they were put in that easy bracket, what a joke! F#@#$#@#$#$#KIN east coast bias!

milwaukeeJAYHAWK 12 years, 3 months ago

kushaw--- You've got some great points about UNC-Duke propping each other up.

but don't our Jayhawks have plenty of hype and national attention already? having our rivals be good makes us a better team....but I'm just selfish-----I want KU to have all the glory!


Dan Harris 12 years, 3 months ago

Looks like NI shot their wad against us,go figure.

Dan Harris 12 years, 3 months ago

Why oh why couldn't they shoot free throws like that against us! Yes I'm BITTER!

Dan Harris 12 years, 3 months ago

Well it's all up to Baylor now to ruin Dickie V's boner!

jaybate 12 years, 3 months ago

"A Note on 1950s KSU Basketball Coaches, 1960s KU Basketball Coaches and More Digressions on My Father:"

Jack Gardner. Tex Winter. These are the names of the KSU coaches of the 1950s. Jack Gardner is the one Bill Mayer did not think worthy of mention.

Most non Maybach programs never have one exceptional coach.

KSU had two in a row in the 1950s.

A lot of people talk about KU running with the ball in the Allen era at different times.

Jack Gardner ran from the minute he got off the train in Manhattan in 1939 and he ran till he left Manhattan till 1953, or so my late father used to say to me; then he ran so much at Utah that they became known as the Utah Runnin' Redskins, before that nickname became politically incorrect and his legacy lives on their as the Runnin' Utes. At least that's how it was told to me by my father.

Someone correct my old man, if you dare. He's in a flip top box under a few feet of eastern Kansas dirt just as he wanted to be. And he would probably still argue with you about Kansas basketball, if you gave him a few minutes to get his temperature back up to boiling.

Jack Gardner was just a terrific coach based on the kitchen table talk I was raised on. Had Gardner waited for a Maybach job, he would no doubt have won a ring, my father said. But Gardner was a westerner born in Texico, New Mexico, and an outdoorsman and for him I heard there was no better place to be than Utah, next to the Wasatch Range and the trout in the alpine lakes up above Salt Lake City.

Jack Gardner was one of several exceptional players/coaches to be produced by a now little remembered USC coach named Sam Barry.

Sam Barry learned his game in the Dakotas, Wisconsin and Iowa before coming west from U of Iowa to head coach basketball and baseball at USC, and assist in football with his pal Howard Jones. I suspect Sam Barry was influenced by the great early coach at UW Madison who's name escapes me right now, though I can't prove it.

jaybate 12 years, 3 months ago

Barry had many good teams, and a few exceptional teams at USC including one upset on the way to a ring in 1940 by KU. Barry is credited along with Phog Allen for developing the late game stall. Barry and one of his many noteworthy assistants, Tex Winter, developed the rudiments of the triple post offense, which Winter perfected at KSU and renamed the Triangle after leaving KSU.

Sam Barry's great coaching spawn included: Bill Sharman, Alex Hannum, Tex Winter, Jack Gardner, Forrest Twogood (who succeeded Barry at USC) and Bob Boyd (who succeeded Twogood). It could certainly be argued (though hotly contested no doubt) that this list of coaches produced by Sam Barry is among the most influential spawn of coaches by any single coach in the history of college basketball, if one includes their impacts on both the pro and college games.

Bill Sharman eventually starred with Bob Cousy on several NBA champions, became a hall of fame pro, one of the greatest FT shooters of all time, then a coach. As Laker head coach, Sharman crafted the winningest single season record in the NBA with Wilt and Jerry West and coached ring teams in the NBA and ABA. Not bad.

Alex Hannum created arguably the greatest NBA team for a single season--Wilt's Philadelphia champion, and with Sharman comprises one of only two coaches to have won rings in the NBA and ABA.

jaybate 12 years, 3 months ago

Tex Winter arguably developed the most sophisticated offense in the history of the game--the Triple Post that he and Barry started the rudiments of at USC, then the Triple Post that Winter perfected at KSU, then the Triangle Offense as he renamed it during his years assisting Phil Jackson's MJ/Bulls teams, and the Shaq/Laker teams, and now the Kobe/Laker teams.

Twogood I know little of except that he helped keep John Wooden's UCLA teams out of the NCAA tourney during much of the 1950s, when Pete Newell wasn't wasn't doing the same.

Bob Boyd built the terrific USC teams of the 60s that endlessly just got barely beaten out for Pac Ten crowns by Wooden and UCLA, and so didn't get to play in the Madness, or we would all be holding Boyd in much higher esteem today than is now the case.

And then there was Jack Gardner. His record was 486-235. Good, but not great, until you remember Kansas State was no where's ville in college basketball before he got there in 1939, and Utah, despite one great season (a ring in war torn 1944), was not generally the place a coach went to try to win 2 games for every 1 he lost.

The most significant stat about Gardner is he got to the Final Four twice at KSU and twice a Utah. No other coach in either school's history has gotten there twice.

My father, who had grown up worshipping Phog Allen, and continued to do so to the end, said without hesitation that if he had to go somewhere in the sticks and win with less than optimal talent, Jack Gardner was the greatest coach he ever saw. Of Gardner, he said: the phrase "he can be beat your'n with his'n and his'n with your'n" should have been invented for Jack.

And I have seen my father, a man who's basketball IQ I have grown to respect more and more with the passage of time, since his death, defend Allen and Gardner against even those arguing for Wooden (me) and Knight (assorted other fools as he called them).

What was his thing for Jack Gardner? I never understood completely.

jaybate 12 years, 3 months ago

Like many of his generation (born 1918), my father viewed Allen as the greatest coach, because he had the most fertile mind and had thought of everything and tried most everything before everyone else had, plus he had built a great and enduring program, plus he had won championships and the most games to that time.

But my father never hesitated once in his admiration for Jack Gardner's abilities to drive players to play vastly beyond their abilities and to run the floor doing it. He said letting Gardner get away from KSU was the stupidest thing KSU ever did, even after Winter had great success.

Gardner never had as much talent as Allen had, my dad said, and so could never have been expected to win rings the way Allen did. But he argued Gardner could easily have won rings with KU's talent some times when Allen did not.

Who can prove such assertions?

Gardner, my father said, believed in attacking opponents and attacking opponents and attacking them until they cracked. He was not interested in waiting for their mistakes to beat them. He wanted to beat them immediately and keep beating them until they were broken. Did I mention my father had been a Marine? Start out trying to kick ass, then keep trying until you do. Never pay for the same real estate twice. Sempre fi.

To put my late father's opinion of coaches in perspective, my father's favorites for greatest college coaches, independent of player talent available, of all time were: Allen, Gardner, Ralph Miller, Tex Winter, Jack Hartman and Eddie Sutton. Not a bad group in my opinion despite the obvious Kansas bias. Wooden he always hedged on. He didn't say he wasn't a great coach. He was just too proud of a Kansan to accept that a non-Kansan had done the impossible of 10 rings in 11 years. He was suspicious of and unapologetically irritated by Wooden. He knew he wasn't the least bit rational about Wooden and never would be.

jaybate 12 years, 3 months ago

Dean Smith he was at least proud of, because Dean was a Kansan, but he said Dean, like Rupp never forgave Allen for not playing him, and he said Dean really couldn't win big without vastly more talent in his cupboard of the kind that being at UNC guarantied him. To quote him, "Dean could never have won at Wichita State the way Ralph Miller did."

Roy Williams, my father said, was potentially the equal of any of them in terms of motivation, but he was not sure about Xs and Os and wanted to wait and see Roy win a ring. At the end of his life, when Roy left, my very, very old and sick pop basically sniffed Self and said Self could become a great, great coach with any luck at all. And he hated Iba with a passion to the end and so he was overcoming considerable prejudice against Iba to like Bill Self. My father could be prejudiced about John Wooden, but if a coach could be good Kansas basketball, my father would have said so, even if he were the devil himself.

My father was not a flawless man. But he had a high basketball IQ and when he was wrong about persons, like Iba, or Wooden, or unwilling to concede anything to them, it was out of ferocious defiance and resentment, and a sense that KU, or Allen, had been snubbed by such persons, rather than due to any lack of knowledge of the game, or of their skills.

The two coaches KU should have hired and didn't, according to him, were: Ralph Miller and Eddie Sutton. But it was Ralph Miller, he said, that was KU's greatest mistake. Ralph Miller, he said, could have become for KU what John Wooden became for UCLA. The times he said were ripe for a great coach at a great school to do something like Wooden had done. Players were better. Conditioning was better. Coaching was better. Recruiting could really be carried on across the country by then. Television had brought enough money to the game to subsidize an order of magnitude increase in excellence. More kids of more colors were playing the game. More kids were choosing college basketball and its degrees instead of, as he said, "wasting their time in the minors riding some goddamed bus to nowhere."

jaybate 12 years, 3 months ago

Ralph Miller, he said, was the basketball equivalent of "The Natural." He was a great natural athlete and a coach of frankly amazing intuitive brilliance, and I never heard him refer to any other coach than Allen as brilliant, not even Jack Gardner. Miller, he groused through out the Wooden years, was misunderstood, because of his Marine Corp pugnacity and lack of tact. Miller, he said, would have been doing the same thing at KU with the running game, that Wooden did at UCLA, had KU not lost their minds after Harp's debacle and hired Owens. Miller, he said, really understood the running game better than anyone...even Wooden and Smith. Don't ask me how he knew this, or if proved it. He did not even try. What he knew about the game was to him self-evident and without question. He really didn't give a hoot whether any one agreed with him, or not. Basketball was a series of self-evident insights to him. Basketball was to him a game of basketball IQ, of basketball insight. Insight is some thing one had, or did not have. Only fools needed evidence, or logic, for what was obvious.

My father had many yelling matches with his youngest son (me) over his essentially metaphysical assertion about what Ralph Miller would have done at Kansas. Miller, he said, had to waste his career at Oregon State, where he could not get the great athletes that he needed to play the running game the way it could have been played at Kansas. Miller had to waste his time competing against Wooden and Boyd without the proper talent.

I used to leave rooms fuming, literally swearing at him (out of earshot of course), not because he refused to explain himself, but livid that he thought me silly for seeking logical explanations. The game, unlike life, and politics, and business, and war, was something one understood, or not. To not see what he saw was to not know the game. The game. The game. I knew the game. Who the hell did he think he was?

Once I left home, I spent a good ten years scoffing at his biased attitudes about Kansas basketball, particularly about the metaphysical debates about Ralph Miller, about so many things, but over time something increasingly nagged at me. He was right about so much about the game. I could call him long distance and ask him about this, or that, KU player I had heard would be playing this season. He would still throw off a short, declarative sentence that would sum it all up without any explanation. "He's gonna be good." Or "that one's gonna take two years, but then he'll be good." Or "he's another runt we're going to wish never came."

jaybate 12 years, 3 months ago

But the more I learned about the game, at a safe distance from him, and in the independence of my adulthood, the more I read about the game, the more I loved the game, the more I discovered how much of the game he was right about, often seemingly impossibly right.

How could he know? How did he know which players would do well and poorly, often more accurately than some the coaches KU had? Why did he see it so clearly? How could he not see so much else clearly? How could he see some parts of me so clearly, but others not at all?

Note: I'm not one of those persons, who idolizes their father about everything, the older I get. I love him, but see so many flaws in him now, though not so many as I expect my son to see in me. :-)

I never could explain his basketball insights. I can't now. Some persons are born with fantastic insight into certain things. Some persons seem as if they can see what will happen before it does. I don't know how he could have been right about so many players over the years, so many coaches. With time and distance, and looking back at his track record of correctly understanding the game and its players and its coaches, I finally have to say begrudgingly, who knows, maybe he was right about Ralph Miller?

No, wait, goddamit, he's liable to cut a deal with god to be able to argue with me more for eternity if I do that!

Insight is only partially linear. It is also nonlinear. There are things that can be seen by some persons that cannot be seen by others. And when they happen it seems fantastic to us, but to them it just seemed like the inevitable.

But I am not talking here about the handwringers predicting gloom and doom over the course of a season and then saying, "See, I told you they would lose." He never did that sort of thing.

He saw what could happen and would happen to KU in a season. He saw who could be good before they were good. He saw what teams could come together to become exceptional teams, or even just teams that could reach their potential, whether they won or lost. One glance and he could tell if a guy was a natural rebounder or not. I still can't do that reliably. It takes me several games to see that.

jaybate 12 years, 3 months ago

He was not omniscient. His was not a betting instinct on point spreads. It was a nuts and bolts instinct on how players played and how teams interacted and what they could become individually and together.

And regarding what ever he did not care about, or whatever he held actual prejudices against, like say Wooden's and UCLA's streaks, he lacked all insight and vision. He predicted every year that Wooden and UCLA would be upset and every year they were not.

But about KU, about what he cared about and loved on some deep level, he was never wrong that I can now recall. Maybe I am fooling myself out of love and sentiment, but I honestly cannot recall now him ever being wrong about a player, about a coach, about a team. If he said they were going to be good, they were. If he said they were never going to amount to anything, they wouldn't. It was uncanny.

My father was nothing, if not strongly opinionated about basketball and its roots in Kansas and about the superiority of the Kansas game that he felt was largely squandered during the 60s by hiring persons without commanding brilliance and connection to the legacy. Harp and Owens were good men. But Harp was the wrong man, at the wrong time. Owens was a good coach, but not the great coach KU needed. Larry Brown was a great coach but was undedicated to anything but himself, but necessary, my father reasoned, because KU had squandered so much of its legacy by then. Roy was green wood that would take 10 years to ripen and we'd lose him to UNC, shortly after he did. He nailed Bob Knight on the head. He said Bob Knight was a fine coach, but take him out of Indiana, and he would never win a conference title at any lesser school. But I digress. The older I get the more fascinating a character my father becomes to me and not just because he's my father.

The point of all this was that my father said Jack Gardner was a great, but under-respected coach, so much so that Bill Mayer did not even feel obliged to mention his freaking name. .

Or the rather rich University of Southern California connection to K-State basketball.

Somethings need saying.

Right, Dad?

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