Saturday, January 22, 2011

Gary Bedore’s basketball notebook: KU’s Travis Releford could play against Texas

Kansas guard Travis Releford knocks the ball away for a steal from UMKC forward Max Rockmann during the first half on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Travis Releford knocks the ball away for a steal from UMKC forward Max Rockmann during the first half on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Kansas University sophomore guard Travis Releford, who has missed the last three games because of a left ankle sprain, practiced again Friday.

“He’s about 70 percent. He’ll be able to play, absolutely,” KU coach Bill Self said of today’s 3 p.m. meeting between No. 2 Kansas and No. 11 Texas at Allen Fieldhouse.

Streaking: KU takes a 69-game homecourt winning streak into today’s game.

“We don’t talk about it, so I don’t know,” Self said, asked if his players are highly protective of the streak. “In the back of their minds they know because you guys (media) ask them about it and it’s a sense of pride for them without question. We are not playing Texas hoping to win so we can maintain a winning streak. We just want to play the game. That’s all we talk about.”

Emotion: Self was asked if the Jayhawks could be too fired up for today’s game.

“With our guys I’m not worried about that too much. It’s been the polar opposite,” Self said, laughing. “They’ll be excited to play. I thought the Baylor game (Monday’s 85-65 win) was a perfect example of when a team is ready and at that magic level where focus and concentration and energy meet to give you the best chance. I hope it is the same way here.”

Texas, ESPN talk: Self on Texas’ new 20-year, $300 million dollar deal with ESPN to create its own television network:

“I don’t know all the details except if you divide 300 by 20, it comes out to 15, which is a huge deal,” Self said. “It forces other schools’ hands to be as aggressive as they can to lessen that gap.

“Instead of all our schools sitting around and complaining, ‘Well, that’s not fair. They’re getting 21 million plus 15 million. That’s 36 (million dollars), and we’re only getting 18 (million dollars).’ Hey, that’s not the way you look at it. The way you look at it is, ‘What can we do to get more money ourselves?’

“To me, there’s a window. I don’t know if there’s a nine-school network that can somehow be put together. I don’t know if it puts pressure on individual schools to do some things, but there’s money out there to be had. Instead of whining about them doing their job, we (each) should be very aggressive in helping our respective school do theirs.

“I think it’s a challenge to the presidents. I think it’s a challenge to the athletic directors, but it’s one that I think will raise the level for everybody else. It’s amazing to me when one school does really well, other schools have to work their butts off to narrow that gap. You see that happen across America all the time. I think it will happen with our league, too.”

Barnes on expectations: UT coach Rick Barnes asked if there’s any particular area in which his team, unranked to start the season, has exceeded expectations: “One thing we’ve done for the most part is that when we come back from games and we haven’t done something well, and we talk about those things, we’ve been able to do that (improve in that area),” Barnes said. “Our guys understand we have work to do, need to continue to work. They’ve been good coming in day in and day out trying to get better.”

Morris reflects: Marcus Morris on KU’s 80-68 win over UT last year in Austin: “They were going through a lot last year when we went down there. I mean not off the court stuff, but like losing,” Morris said. “We were getting them at a vulnerable time, so if we came out and gave them our best shot they were more likely going to lay down, which they did.

“It was definitely good to go down there and beat them at their place. I think they’ve got a much better team. They can get up and down the floor a little quicker than last year. We have to try to keep them off the boards. They crash and have big wings.

“They play the post straight, so I mean it’s going to be 1-on-1 down on the post. I think that’s to our advantage because we’ve got guys who can put good post moves on ‘em. They trap some, play a little bit of zone. It’s going to be good to see what they throw at us.”

Daniels update: The rumor mill was churning regarding DeAndre Daniels, a 6-8 senior forward from IMG Academies in Bradenton, Fla., on Friday, first day of spring semester on KU’s campus. Students on various message boards indicated Daniels’ name was showing up in KU’s e-mail system, ostensibly meaning he’s set to attend classes this semester. On Friday there was no word from Daniels’ camp on whether he’ll attend KU, Texas or Kentucky, or remain at IMG until the summer. Various recruiting analysts continue to believe Daniels will ultimately be a Jayhawk.


Alohahawk 11 years, 5 months ago

Though you were never really gone, we still missed you, Travis. Welcome back to active duty. Even at 70%, you're better than the Longhorns. Take care of that ankle. RCJHGKU

KU79 11 years, 5 months ago

Yeah, Travis, we need you bud. You've worked hard to contribute to this team and it will be good to have you back.

Regarding UT's deal with ESPN. One question I have is that the 'horns don't have a product if they don't have competition, so will there be revenue sharing with the teams they play on their network?

Marcia Parsons 11 years, 5 months ago

No, I don't think so. My understanding is they will be televising games that are already scheduled. It isn't like they have to go out and find teams to play on their network.

jhox 11 years, 5 months ago

I could be wrong, but I think they plan to have one football game a year on the network, otherwise it will be filled with games from other sports, but also a lot of pre-game shows, coaches shows, etc. They're also talking about showing a lot of Texas high school football games, and plan to use that as a recruiting tool.

jhox 11 years, 5 months ago

Speaking of the Texas network deal with ESPN, I read an interesting recent article someone forwarded me written by Dennis Dodd. The Texas AD, Deloss Dodds indicated that "he" had made an offer to Notre Dame that if the Big East fell apart, the Big 12 would welcome taking on their non football sports. I find it very interesting that the Texas AD and not the Big 12 Commissioner would be giving out such an invitation. But, then, this is Texas we're talking about, and there is little doubt that Beebe is nothing more than a figurehead put in place to represent the University of Texas conference.

The article also made me think about just how historic this Texas Network deal is, and how it will undoubtedly affect all of the major conferences. Think about it, will schools like Ohio State, Michigan, and Penn State sit idolly by and watch Texas get $36 million a year and be happy with their $22 million a year from the Big 10? Nebraska is going to the Big 10 thinking the playing field will be more level than it was in the Big 12, but I see no way the Texas deal won't shake up the way conferences allow their teams to negotiate individual network deals. Again, using the Big 10 as an example, suppose Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State give them an ultimatum and say either allow us to negotiate our own deal or we walk? Suppose the Big 12 were to welcome those schools with open arms and say, "Come play in our league, we'll allow you to negotiate individual deals."

Likewise, think about Notre Dame, thought to be seriously considering going to the Big 10 in a couple of years. Wouldn't they now see themselves a much better fit in the Big 12, since the Big 12 allows individual schools to have their own network deals?

More likely than schools like these joining the Big 12, is that conferences like the Big 10, SEC and Pac 10 will be forced to change their bylaws and allow individual schools to negotiate their own network deals. I believe it is very likely that Nebraska finds itself back in the same type of situation in the Big 10, that it had in the Big 12. They've given up long time rivalries for the level playing field the Big 10 offers, but my guess is that playing field won't be all that level too much longer.

There is little doubt in my mind that this Texas Network deal has forever changed how conferences will have to do business. The rich will get richer, and sooner or later that's going to mean even less TV money for the poorer schools, The major networks won't have as much cash to fund the big Conference deals, because they'll be funneling a lot more of that money to the power programs, for individual network deals.

This Texas Longhorn Network deal is going to have much more far reaching affects than any of us realize.

Ben Kane 11 years, 5 months ago

some interesting points about ND. I hadn't really considered that. I don't see the big east breaking up though. when VT and Miami left them for the ACC they made the decision to become a basketball powerhouse and they have done that. so what would cause them to break up?

jhox 11 years, 5 months ago

A couple of things could cause that. One, when the Big 10 does expand again, and most people seem to think that will happen in the next couple of years, several Big East schools are rumored to be prime targets.

The second thing is that Basketball doesn't generate the TV revenues that football does. If it did, KU would not have been on the outside looking in when the Big 12 nearly broke apart several months ago, when the Pac 10 was offering spots to a number of other Big 12 schools.

I'm not suggesting the Big 12 would be the favorite to add Notre Dame if they decided to join a conference and included their football team as a member. I'm just asking why wouldn't that make sense to them? Also, why wouldn't it make sense for the Big 12 to be proactive in marketing themselves as a conference that allows power programs, with a lot of TV sets in their regions, to negotiate their own TV network deals? It could be a pretty easy sell when you consider Texas stands to make $36k or so a year in TV revenues, versus $20 to $22 million for Ohio State (the program with the second highest overall revenues last year.) Those other large programs are not going to sit back silently and live with the deals they have in thier current conferences. They're going to be demanding changes in their own conferences rules, or they'll threaten to walk.

jhox 11 years, 5 months ago

One more comment...

Wouldn't Beebe be wise to be on the phone to schools like Notre Dame, Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, Florida, USC, etc. offering them a chance to become members of the Big 12, where they will be allowed to negotiate their own individual TV deals?

It's about time the Big 12 became proactive instead of reactive. What better way to quickly go from what is seen as the shakiest major conference to conference to be in?

ahpersecoachingexperience 11 years, 5 months ago

the only other school i could see this working this kind of deal is ND (smaller scale BYU deal could because crazy mormans love their cougars). there are a couple of reasons why texas and nd would be able to pull this off. one, they have huge alumni networks all across the country (the major markets in tx alone pay espn for this deal, and ND with chicago) and two, these two schools are good/decent in almost every sport so when football is over basketball, baseball, volleyball, softball, etc will draw some viewers to the tv. the other schools you mentioned don't have the same kind of national interest or the surrounding major markets these two have.

what i would love to see is the big 12 go away. few teams scamper off to pac12, some to big10, those who dare to the sec, and leftovers run to the big east. leaving texas standing on it's mountain of cash with nobody to play.

Ben Kane 11 years, 5 months ago

Long term, i'd really like to see ourselves in ACC. Assuming travel costs don't mean anything anymore, and it appears that they don't, I think that conference would be a great fit for us. we'd be able to compete in football, at least with the middle of the pack and we'd have basketball games against duke, nc, etc every year. now that would get some national media attention. our biggest game now (tv wise) is against texas every year and it's not as if texas is a basketball powerhouse.

ahpersecoachingexperience 11 years, 5 months ago

that would be the best fit for us. compete in football (which is all most of us ask for) and have a rival in basket ball (this gives us at least two).

good call on the duke/nc games. one of the biggest problems ku has had is a rival that draws some national attention to ku hoops in conference play

jhox 11 years, 5 months ago

Any power program in a high population state with a lot of TV's would be a candidate for a deal like the one Texas signed. Ohio State would definitely be a school that could benefit from this kind of deal. They are a close second to Texas in terms of overall revenues generated. Same goes for Penn State, Michigan, USC, Florida, they're all national programs in high population areas. Oklahoma is reportedly already trying to negotiate their own deal, and they aren't even in a high population state. Texas A&M is already investigating a deal as well.

Obviously they're not all going to get $15 million a year like Texas did but if they could get, say, $7 to $10 million, that's better than the nothing they get now. The Big 10 network does supply some income to the Big 10 schools, but not as much as the OSU, Michigan or Penn State could score with individual deals.

Stan Unruh 11 years, 5 months ago

Is the winner of today's game also the winner in the DeAndre Daniels recruiting battle? I was hoping he would begin classes this semester at KU and hit the practice floor with our guys.

Andy Hess 11 years, 5 months ago

That is not the case at all. I'd be surprised if Daniels ended up back in Texas.

ahpersecoachingexperience 11 years, 5 months ago

bottom line is things are far from finished and i hope you see the importance of why a "wheeler and dealer" type ad was needed instead of mr congeniality from normal.

KEITHMILES05 11 years, 5 months ago

If Daniels wanted to go to Texas he would be there. They have an open scholarship as does Oregon and Kentucky. Since he has chosen NOT to attend those universities common sense says he is either going to KU or back to IMG. Odds are he will attend IMG this semester because he'd already be at KU if he was coming.

Danny Hernandez 11 years, 5 months ago

I could enjoy watching Self and company on a Kansas network 24/7

Dan Pawlowski 11 years, 5 months ago

So if Beebe is just a figurehead for Texas then why did he work so hard to keep the conference together?

jhox 11 years, 5 months ago

Because if the Big 12 had shut down, he would have lost a high 6 figure job. He wasn't going to be the new Pac 10 commissioner, that much was certain.

Besides, I'm not convinced Texas was ever that serious about leaving anyway.I think they may have just been making a power play, and showing the rest of the conference that they hold all the cards. It sure worked in putting Missouri in their place. They're the ones that started a lot of this mess with their overatures to the Big 10, but they ended up affirming their committment to the new Big 12 when they realized they had no better option. It also worked in getting the remaining North schools go give up revenues to Texas, OU and A&M...the big 3.

Texas also realized they wouldn't have the leverage in the Pac 10 that they have in the Big 12. It's a pretty sweet deal when you get to dictate how the conference is managed, and that's exactly what they do. From day one they have called the shots. The Big 8 was the more viable conference when the SWC folded, yet it was immediately decided the Big 12 offices would be in Dallas, not KC or somewhere further North.

One big reason NU left is that they didn't get any support from the other North schools in blocking the Big 12 championship football game from being in Dallas every year. From what I heard from a buddy, who has a friend in the athletic dept at NU, that was probably the final straw. But most of the other Big 12 north schools were more interested in having the basketball tournament primarily in KC, so they were glad to give up sharing the football championship in exchange for most of the Big 12 basketball tournaments to be in the Sprint Center. Nebraska couldn't care less about where the basketball tournament was.

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