Sunday, October 22, 2017

Bill Self on playing Mizzou: ‘I don’t think there’s been any change in our position’

Kansas head coach Bill Self, Missouri head coach Cuonzo Martin, left, Missouri athletic director Jim Sterk and Kansas athletic director Sheahon Zenger hold a ceremonial check for $1.75 million raised for hurricane relief from the Showdown for Relief exhibition, Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017 at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri.

Kansas head coach Bill Self, Missouri head coach Cuonzo Martin, left, Missouri athletic director Jim Sterk and Kansas athletic director Sheahon Zenger hold a ceremonial check for $1.75 million raised for hurricane relief from the Showdown for Relief exhibition, Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017 at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri.


Kansas City, Mo. — Now that the two old rivals have been seen on the same basketball court again, after a five-year hiatus from one of the best rivalries in college sports, the question on everyone’s mind after Sunday’s 93-87 exhibition victory by Kansas over Missouri at Sprint Center was when we’ll get to see it again.

First-year MU coach Cuonzo Martin was the first to answer the question on Sunday night, 12 minutes into Mizzou’s 14-minute postgame meeting with the media.

“I thought you were gonna let me out of here (without asking) that one,” Martin joked before adding: “Of course you want to play the game. (Kansas) is a great program, Bill (Self has) done a tremendous job. He’s won the league, what, 13, 14 straight years? That’s impressive. Of course we’d love to play. But I think both sides have to agree upon something like that. You saw the energy behind it. We’ll see.”

A little later, Self was asked the very same thing, but that question, perhaps indicative of the fact that many believe it’s Kansas that has the final say in whether this rival will continue, came just less than a minute into his postgame press conference.

“That’s what fans want to know, but we’re gonna do what’s best for us,” Self said. “We’re not interested in doing what’s best for Missouri or best for Missouri fans. But if it’s best for us to play ’em, we will. It’s not a complicated deal.

“I’m not gonna say never, but I don’t think there’s been any change in our position. I’m the spokesman, I guess, on this, but, trust me, I’m not the only one that feels that way. There was a very large contingent of KU people that wasn’t happy that we were doing this initially until they realized it was for a good cause. ... Kudos to both administrations and the fans for doing something that was pretty special.”

Gentlemen’s agreement

In addition to simply agreeing to play the game after more than five years without facing one another, Sunday’s KU-MU exhibition battle featured a couple of interesting quirks that were agreed to by Self and Martin when the talks began.

The first was to allow players on both teams seven fouls before being disqualified instead of the standard five. The reason? To keep as many big-name players as possible in the game for the enjoyment of the fans who paid big bucks to attend.

Missouri took advantage, with freshman forward Jeremiah Tilmon (10 points, four rebounds) fouling out with seven fouls in just 13 minutes on the floor. KU freshman Billy Preston (12 points, four rebounds, 15 minutes) recorded five fouls.

The other quirk was an agreement to play nothing but man-to-man defense the entire time.

While those wrinkles added to Sunday’s unusual set up, Self said it still felt pretty competitive.

“I thought it was pretty good,” he said. “I thought it was certainly more intense than a lot of games we’ll play prior to league, without question.”


Missouri forward Jeremiah Tilmon (23) gives Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) a hand off the floor after fouling him during the second half of the Showdown for Relief exhibition, Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017 at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri.

Dollars and cents

While the specifics of how much money came from which sources were not released, when it was all said and done, the Showdown for Relief raised nearly $2 million for hurricane relief, nearly double the amount of the original stated goal.

A big reason for that was the addition of the pay-per-view, online streaming option, which drew more than 18,000 purchases and added $724,480 to the amount the two schools were able to donate.

Add to that the proceeds from ticket sales, concessions and an off-the-court competition between the two fan bases via donations sent by text message and you’re quickly closing in on $2 million.

By game’s end, KU fans had the lead on Mizzou fans in the text war, roughly $23,000 to $16,000. When the game began, those amounts sat at $2,213 by KU fans and $820 by Tigers.

This and that...

KU’s pregame video that played on the Sprint Center video board featured four highlights from the last KU-MU game in February of 2012. Two belonged to Thomas Robinson’s block of MU guard Phil Pressey and the other two were of Robinson and Self celebrating the KU victory... Attendance at Sunday’s Showdown was listed at 18,951 and both schools said they sold out their allotment of tickets early last week... Five of the eight Jayhawks who played in this one reached double digits in scoring — Devonte’ Graham (25), Malik Newman (17), Udoka Azubuike (16), Lagerald Vick (13) and Billy Preston (12)... Next up for Kansas is an Oct. 31 exhibition game at Allen Fieldhouse against Pitt State. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.

• BORDER WAR QUIZ: Test your knowledge of Border Wars past and enter to win a $25 Visa gift card.

• KU-MIZZOU TRIVIA: How much do you know about the history of KU's biggest rivalry? Take this quiz to find out and enter to win a $25 Visa gift card.

— See what people were saying about the game during's live coverage.

More news and notes from Kansas vs. Missouri


Bryce Landon 5 years, 1 month ago

After today, I am now of the opinion that Kansas and Missouri should face each other in a regular-season game. It'd be a great non-conference rivalry game like Kentucky vs. Louisville.

Craig Carson 5 years, 1 month ago

as a fan, id love to see it..but I think the way MU left the Big 12 and the arrogance they had, rubbed KU the wrong way..Im not sure it will happen with Self as coach (hopefully thats beyond the 2021 season)

Tony Rains 5 years, 1 month ago

To all you KU fans who are against playing your century old rival: After the excitement caused by Sunday's exhibition game why wouldn't you want to play Mizzou in basketball and football every year? These two schools are meant to play each other. It's one of the greatest rivalries in all of college sports. It's has as rich a history as Michigan-Ohio State, Auburn-Alabama and others. We'll both get along fine without it but wouldn't playing Mizzou once a year in each sport be fun?

Pius Waldman 5 years, 1 month ago

Self made an excellent suggestion for an opponent for a charity game. I can not think of another team that would have helped earn nearly 2 million for the hurricane relief fund. Should another game be scheduled in the future left to the coaching staff and AD. There will be tournament games that are possible games. Yes there is too much hatred on both sides and this game had the charity factor to make it possible.

Thomas Green 5 years, 1 month ago

Obviously my opinion means nothing except to myself, but put me in the against column. Mostly because I believe this will always benefit MU considerably more than it could or will benefit KU. So if “what’s best for us” is the criterion, I can’t get me head around a situation that playing MU would meet such. It simply seems any benifit we would receive we could find elsewhere.

All of that said, I think it’s inevetable that regular season games will occur and I believe this was a trial/test for that end. Doesn’t make me angry, but it does seem a little sad to think about it.

Danny Hernandez 5 years, 1 month ago

I could care less if we ever play mu again. mu only would want to play Kansas when their team isn't in a down year as it has been for awhile. No advantage to playing them imho.

Waylon Cook 5 years, 1 month ago

We. Do. Not. Owe. Mizzou. Anything.

They cussed before and at the end of the game yesterday. They are TPT. Always have been, always will be.

A game like this gives them a glimpse at the spotlight. We are not in the helping Mizzou business folks. When they play Kentucky, they just get beatdown and no national exposure.


They didn't bring up football yesterday did they? Even with Beaty's win loss record, he still has more Big 12 wins than Mizwho has Final Fours.

Craig Carson 5 years, 1 month ago

honestly, I didnt mind them taunting the FB team..KU FB has been an embarrassment since Mangino got fired, Iowa state has won more games this year than KU has these last 5 years combined..for that, they deserve to get taunted. But MU fans better beware, they have gotten worse every year since Pinkel left..pretty soon, they might be as bad as KU or Vanderbilt

Titus Canby 5 years, 1 month ago

I was against yesterday's game, and I'm against playing them ever again. They left the conference, and in doing so, relinquished the right to play us in any sport. The only reason they want to play us is for exposure. Let them get it elsewhere.

As for saying that this game "renewed the rivalry," that's not true. The rivalry remains. I still hate that school, and they hate us.

But... there will be another worthy charity next year, and the year after that. I have a bad feeling that this "charity event" will become an annual thing. One that MU will take advantage of to continue to gain exposure for their own selfish purposes.

Humpy Helsel 5 years, 1 month ago

Man, am I opening myself up to trouble. I have come around and think the length of time would suggest we work with the Trash from Missouri. I think we should play Wichita State and Missouri on rotating years early season in KC. If they want home and home, the deal is off. At some point the continued smack talk needs to get called out with a be careful what you wish for so "let's play." Worse case, we lose one here or there. We hopefully get another shot in the tournament. We owe WSU for the loss in the NCAA. Right now, college basketball needs as much excitement and something to talk about besides FBI investigations. And KU fans need anything to talk about besides football.

Len Shaffer 5 years, 1 month ago

I'm fine with never playing Misuse again, but I wouldn't mind playing WSU if it would mostly be at AFH with an occasional trip to Right-Wing Reactionary Arena.

One correction though, Humpy: we owe WSU for TWO losses in the NCAA. Let's never forget the infamous Battle of New Orleans from '81 ...

Craig Carson 5 years, 1 month ago

gotta love Mizzou fans..they are so ill informed..the dude was wearing an "FBI" shirt even though KU isnt even implicated in any FBI investigations. MU fans just read a headline that has KU and FBI in the same sentence and assume KU is being investigated. Had they bothered to read the story they'd figured that out LOL..MU better cheer their heads off this season because once the Porters leave after this year they will suck AGAIN..Martin has an average coaching record, MU is also set to lose a few seniors and they have zero impact recruits signed for next season

Len Shaffer 5 years, 1 month ago

Don't worry, Craig, they'll be mediocre at best even THIS year. I saw enough of Martin's coaching at Cal to know that he won't get nearly the best out of his players.

Todd Seifert 5 years, 1 month ago

I have one question unrelated to the Mizzou rivalry question: To where will the money raised at this event go? I'm just curious which organization gets it. Seems like an important part of the initial story has been missed.

Mark Bowers 5 years, 1 month ago

I am in the group that says NEVER AGAIN! I live in Columbia (yes it sucks) and every fan here says the only reason we played was to get the FBI off the backs of the Men's Basketball program. The whole purpose of being a tiger is to hopefully annoy someone from Kansas. Being from Lawrence (doesn't suck!) I never hear about how Kansas misses playing mU or about mU at all. Not the case here. Here KU people got their feelings hurt, we're afraid, etc... I guess bottom line is, they're not worth it. Rock Chalk

Marcia Parsons 5 years, 1 month ago

I don't know how you missed it, Todd, unless you weren't able to watch the game. All along they said it would go to the charities represented by the living presidents--for Houston, Miami, Puerto Rico, (can't remember the others at the moment) that got slammed by recent hurricanes. They plastered it on the screen during every break. It was in all the KU stories leading up to the game, I believe.

Mick Dupas 5 years, 1 month ago

Missouri's presence is fading rapidly in the Kansas City area...only Kansas city star writers and local Mizzou fans want this game..I hope KU NEVER plays Mizzou in any sport. Let them fade away in the SEC...

Dirk Medema 5 years, 1 month ago

Great passage in the Topeka Capital Journal:

"Ahh, but this is Kansas basketball. Its next basketball exhibition will be a sellout, too — in Allen Fieldhouse on Oct. 31. The opponent is Pittsburg State, and the guarantee KU provides to Division II programs FROM KANSAS is a worthy exhibition cause, too. If this whole thing with Mizzou excites you that much, the Tigers’ former coach, Kim Anderson, will be coaching the Gorillas. Give him your best."

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