Monday, September 19, 2011

Beyond the Phog’ excerpt: Stephen Vinson on Moulaye Niang and the Oregon Duck

"Beyond the Phog" book.

"Beyond the Phog" book.



Courtesy photo

"Beyond the Phog" book.

The following is an excerpt from "Beyond the Phog - Untold Stories from Kansas Basketball's Most Dominant Decade." Compiled by Jason King of Yahoo! Sports and Lawrence Journal-World sportswriter Jesse Newell, the 400-page book includes interviews with 40 players and coaches from the most successful era in Jayhawks history. "Beyond the Phog" will be available in stores Sept. 30. will run excerpts from the book throughout the next few weeks.

In Stephen Vinson's words ...


One of my favorite Coach Williams stories involves Moulaye Niang.

We were playing Oregon and we were ranked No. 2 and they were No. 3 with guys like Luke Ridnour and Luke Jackson. They were very good. We were playing them in Portland so we could have a home game for Aaron and Mike. At one point, Moulaye was finally going to get his chance to play. Oregon had just gone on a little bit of a run and we were getting beat. Coach Williams called timeout. He was going to put Moulaye in the game for his first real action against a good team.

During the timeout, their mascot, the Oregon Duck, came out in one of those crazy spandex suits and was doing a dunking show. The fans were going crazy. We knew something was going on in the background because of the reaction. This guy was doing, like, three flips and dunking the ball with a big mat underneath him. All the while, Coach Williams was drawing up a play.

As the Oregon mascot was jumping off the trampoline, you could see Moulaye’s eyes following the Duck. And he was watching the mascot right as Coach Williams was telling him what play to run. So he’s telling Moulaye what he’s supposed to do on the play, and he looks up at Moulaye, and Moulaye’s eyes are following this Oregon Duck through the air.

Coach Williams literally grabbed him by the chest, pulled him out of his chair and put Michael Lee in at the power-forward position. That was the birth of Michael Lee getting to play. Mike never got to play before then.

I don’t know if you remember the game or not – we lost – but Mike had a really good game. That was his Cal game, in other words, if you wanted to equate it for something to me. That was the game that he gained more trust from Coach Williams for him to play the rest of the year and the rest of his career.

But it started with Moulaye not paying attention because he wanted to see the Oregon Duck. We would give Mike Lee a difficult time about it. He probably would have found another way to play eventually, but it was funny. You don’t put a 6-3 guy in at power forward unless you’re desperate.


CaramelMacchMan 10 years, 11 months ago

I want this book like right now. I'll pay $20 bucks more if I have to.

Andy Tweedy 10 years, 11 months ago

So easy but so funny! With the conference realignment stuff going on, I needed that!

TwinCitiesJHawk 10 years, 11 months ago

Any ideas if this book will be available on Amazon and or e-readers?

Scott Oswalt 10 years, 11 months ago

Ya, I want to get this for my iPad. Sounds like an entertaining read!

Jesse Newell 10 years, 11 months ago

You can start pre-ordering at on Wednesday. Also will be available on lots of stores (Wal-Mart, Jock's Nitch, Barnes and Noble, Kansas Sampler, etc.) around Lawrence/KC starting Sept. 30. Not sure about Amazon/e-readers yet, but I know Jason was checking on it.

Pam McCormick 10 years, 10 months ago

I preordered mine from barnes and noble the day the last excerpt was posted. I can't wait to start reading!!!

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 11 months ago

these are the books you want hard copy resting on your coffee table.

63Jayhawk 10 years, 11 months ago

I attended that game in Portland. I sat next to an Oregon fan and just in front of a group form Jefferson (Aaron and Mike's high school). The Jefferson guys were all cheering for the Jayhawks. The Jefferson guys were great. I remember Kirk Hinrich going out with an injury. When Kirk lined up to come back in the game, the Oregon fan next to me said, "I really don't want that guy in the game!" When the game was over I told the Oregon fan to enjoy it while he could because "you guys will NOT get past the Jayhawks in the tournament." Of course, they did lose to us in the tournament that year.

kuhoopsfan 10 years, 11 months ago

Amazing ... Coach Williams called a timeout!!

Uwe_Blab 10 years, 11 months ago

Killer. Absolutely killer. I swear Coach Williams thought he could hand in all of his unused timeouts at the end of the year to add to his bonus.

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