Manning has business in Orlando, Fla., and Brown in Dallas where their Tulsa and SMU teams will be playing games against Central Florida and East Carolina.
In fact, just two of the 10 players who played against Oklahoma in the title game 25 years ago — Jeff Gueldner and Mike Maddox — were able to get away to watch KU’s 2012-13 Jayhawks play TCU in ‘88 throwback jerseys. Also on hand for the 3 p.m., tip against TCU will be ‘88 assistant coach R.C. Buford, plus team members Mark Randall and Marvin Mattox and perhaps some late additions/surprises.
“We don’t talk every day, but whenever you talk to them it seems like you talked to them yesterday. That’s everybody (on ‘88 team),” Manning said in an interview with the Journal-World.
…In all, about 200 former Jayhawk players, coaches and managers will attend today’s game, which is a rematch of KU’s 62-55 road loss to the Horned Frogs on Feb. 6. They’ll attend a pre-game reception in Horejsi Center, watch the game, then attend a banquet.
“I’m sure other places in America do it, but I don’t know if anyone does it any cooler than what they have at KU for years, with the reunions (every five years),” KU coach Bill Self said. “Them coming back and being with each other, to me, is what’s really cool. Nobody ever forgets those (college) days.”
Self was on Oklahoma State’s staff back in ’88.
“I remember going to see Larry Brown Sunday night before Monday’s game against Oklahoma in Kansas City. I thought it was really cool. He wanted to know how we broke the press against Oklahoma. I’m thinking, ‘You’re going to ask me, but I know for a fact that you’re not going to listen,’” Self said, laughing. “He had a 6-11 guy he could throw it into and break it that way. I wasn’t a part of it, but it was nice to feel somewhat included because of my past history with coach.”
The calendar says it has only been 17 days since TCU shocked college basketball with its upset over then-fifth-ranked Kansas.
But the frenetic, I-don’t-believe-what-I-just-saw moment feels like a lifetime ago.
No matter what Kansas does the rest of the season — whether the Jayhawks go on to contend for a national title or fizzle early in the tournament —the win is surely to remain the Horned Frogs’ all-time greatest upset and remain in the conversation of biggest upsets by anyone in the past 20 years.
For TCU coach Trent Johnson, though, “that’s a long, long time ago.”
“It was just one of those games,” Johnson said before a practice this week. “The ball didn’t go in for them for whatever reason. A lot of stuff happened there that needed to happen for us to have a chance.”
The ninth-ranked Jayhawks (22-4, 10-3 in the Big 12) have regained their footing since losing three consecutive games, with the Frogs’ 62-55 upset sandwiched in the middle. KU has won three in a row, including a double-overtime nail-biter at Oklahoma State on Wednesday, entering its rematch with TCU at 3 p.m. Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kan.
…Johnson didn’t agree that in some ways TCU played a better game in the Texas loss than in the Kansas win. TCU shot better in the loss (45.7 percent) and outrebounded the Longhorns. He also disagreed that the upset made sure TCU had the full attention of its ensuing opponents, the next three of which beat the Frogs by an average of 24 points.
“There’s too good of coaches and too talented of teams in our league for anybody to have a lack of respect for competition,” he said. “Bottom line is, since we’re talking about Kansas under Bill Self’s tutelage, I don’t think those guys have ever taken anybody lightly.”
Especially at home. The Jayhawks had won 33 consecutive home games until OSU beat them on Feb. 2. It was only the eighth loss at Allen Fieldhouse in Self’s 10-year tenure. Johnson marvels at the steady success of the programs at Kansas and Texas. He’s hoping to build something similar at TCU.
“People don’t realize how hard it is to win games in college basketball, because of the turnover, because of how many talented, well-coached teams there are. It’s not easy,” he said. “You look at some of the teams that are really talented and really well-coached and some of the upsets and losses they’ve got. Energy and playing hard is so much a part of everything. Winning is hard. That’s why you have so much respect for what Kansas has done under Bill.”
BOTTOM LINE: With TCU sandwiched between road games at Oklahoma State and Iowa State, Kansas must avoid a letdown. After what happened at TCU, that shouldn’t be a problem.
KC Star game preview
If you live in the Midwest, there was an 83 percent chance your car probably got stuck in the snow during Thursday’s apocalyptic storm.
Of course, if you live in Lawrence, there's a smaller chance your car was rescued with the help of an NCAA champion basketball coach.
Bill Self, good Samaritan?
Here's the background:
On Thursday, Lawrence resident Brad Harrell, 27, was trying to push a car out of a precarious situation when Self, KU's head coach, drove by, saw Harrell's group struggling and offered to help.
“(He) walks up,” Harrell wrote, recalling the encounter, “and says ‘looks like you boys need a man with some muscle,’ and we made it happen.”
After Harrell posted about the story on his Facebook account, it soon went viral. Turns out, though, Harrell wasn’t the only car that Self had to help set free on Thursday.
Doc Sadler, Kansas director of basketball operations, also got stuck in the parking lot of a local store. So after helping Sadler, Self was on his way back toward campus when he spotted Harrell.
“Doc Sadler can’t drive worth a crap in the snow,” Self said on Thursday, “so I had to go help push him out. And fortunately there was some strong back that jumped out to help me push him.”
About that muscle part?
"I think I was being sarcastic," Self said, smiling.
The Untold Story of Dallas Dobbs (Check out the historical game footage)
If one NCAA Tournament team ends with a victory and the other 67 with a loss, does that mean only one team can cherish the memory?
Local business owner and former Lawrence High basketball star Joe B. Jones thinks not. He believes he can turn the fresh memory of a favorite team of his into big bucks for charity.
Jones and wife Nancy acquired 50 pieces of last April’s Superdome Final Four floor — each laser-engraved and measuring 18 inches by 12 inches — and he personally will solicit contributions for Douglas County charities in exchange for each of the pieces. The Joneses approached Kansas University coach Bill Self about signing and personalizing each item to enhance the value. The coach already has signed the pieces and agreed to personalize them.
Self’s attention is trained solely on winning a ninth consecutive Big 12 title, so don’t think he’s looking anywhere but straight ahead, but he agreed recently to discuss the 2011-12 team’s appeal because he knew doing so would help raise money for a good cause.
“What was so great about last year’s team was we lost two lottery picks, plus another NBA player, plus Brady Morningstar, plus Tyrel Reed and Mario Little,” Self said. “That was supposed to be the rebuilding year of all rebuilding years that we’ve had here. To see how that particular team led by Tyshawn (Taylor) and Thomas (Robinson) with a bunch of guys who hadn’t had the opportunity to play here yet and really took a magical ride to New Orleans and had a chance to play for it all in a game that featured the two winningest programs of all-time, that was really cool.”
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Big 12/College News
An additional block of tickets for the 2013 Phillips 66 Big 12 Men's Basketball Championship has been made available for sale to the general public. The purchasing opportunity begins at 10 am CT on Tuesday, Feb. 26 (while supplies last) and is available online only. Fans may visit sprintcenter.com for the opportunity to purchase up to four (4) all-session tickets for the 2013 Championship. Each ticket includes all sessions for the four-day event. Tickets are subject to availability and all sales are final. Acceptable forms of payment include Discover, MasterCard, Visa and American Express. Tickets will be available for pick up by presenting valid photo ID and credit card used for transaction at Sprint Center Box Office on March 11 starting at 10 a.m.
The 2013 Phillips 66 Big 12 Men's Basketball Championship, scheduled for March 13-16 at Sprint Center, marks the 12th time that Kansas City has hosted Big 12 postseason competition - more than any other city in the conference. For additional information, call 816.949.7100.
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Video: Jalen Rose explains how he gave World Wide Wes his nickname
Which is worse? Super Dome's worst Final Four seat? (yhoo.it/Hc24Zb) Or Carrier Dome's worst seat Saturday? (yhoo.it/WfkdOj)
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KU Bound #RockChalk prepared for the snow... I think!
KU bound this morning..!!
The Lions game against Houston St. Thomas was just his second game back since breaking his foot back in November.
Randle had 35 points in Prestonwood's 67-56 win. That coming on the heels of 19 points and 10 rebounds in the regular-season finale against Bishop Lynch.
Texas A&M Men's Head Basketball Coach Billy Kennedy was in the stands watching Randle in action.
Prestonwood Head Coach Chris Mayberry said Randle plans on announcing in mid-March where he will go to college.
Frank Mason knew he could dunk it at any time, but he saved his only one of the game for just the right time.
The Massanutten Millitary Academy post-graduate guard went soaring in the air for an alley-oop off an inbounds play and came down with a thunderous dunk which helped give MMA a final surge in its 101-86 victory over Rise Academy on Friday night.
The game was part of the First Bank Invitational held at Central. MMA will play in the championship game today at 4 p.m. against Believe Prep Academy. The consolation game between Mt. Zion Academy and Rise will be played at 2 p.m. Believe Prep beat Mt. Zion, 79-73, in the first semifinal.
With MMA clinging to an 11-point lead with a little over nine minutes left in the game, Mason, who has already signed to play at Kansas next year, made his dunk, which brought the crowd to life.
"I knew I was athletic enough to do it," Mason said. "It was nice. It got the crowd more energized. I like getting the crowd excited."
Going into their second round game against the Westlake Lions, the Tift County Blue Devils are not only ranked No. 1 in the state, but have the best player in the state to go along with it. Brannen Greene has been named Mr. Georgia Basketball by the Atlanta Tipoff Club and will be honored at the Naismith Awards Banquet on Tuesday, March 19 at the Georgia International Convention Center in Atlanta.
Greene’s coach, Dr. Eric Holland was pleased, but not entirely surprised.
“I felt like coming in this season, Brannen was the best player in Georgia,” he said. “It’s nice to have it confirmed.”
Greene is averaging over 25 points per game, with a high of 37 at Westover on Jan. 15. He has scored over 2,000 points in his prep career, his first three seasons spent at Mary Persons High in Forsyth before he transferred to Tift for his senior year. Recruited by several colleges, he signed with the Kansas University Jayhawks shortly before the season started.
Holland believes it goes back to Greene’s work ethic, established when he was a child.
“Brannen has been working at this thing for a long time,” he said. Holland also credits his star’s father, Jeffrey. “It goes back to the two of them working since he was eight.”
Eric Oberman of the Atlanta Tipoff Club said that the coaches on the committee met last weekend to discuss honors, Mr. Georgia Basketball and the Metro Atlanta Player of the Year. They suggested a list of 32 players and debated the merits of each. On his Twitter feed, former Milton coach David Boyd said, “Brannen Greene's choice as Georgia Player of the Year may have been [as] lopsided as ever in Georgia high school basketball.” Oberman said the voting results will not be made public.
A week ago North’s Conner Frankamp might not have given the ball up to his teammate on an easy fast-break opportunity.
But when he did in the second half on Friday in the team’s 69-51 win over West, allowing Tristyn Villa to score, it was a sign that any pressure of trying to set scoring records or win City League titles was out of mind.
“That’s a big relief off his back,” North coach Gary Squires said. “Now he can just go out and play, not worry about it. I thought he did a good job with that.”
Frankamp finished with 18 points in his final regular-season game, and helped avenge a Jan. 22 loss at West — North’s only City League loss — a game Frankamp didn’t play in.
“They beat us earlier this year … so we wanted to come out and beat them and have good momentum going into sub-state,” Frankamp said. “It was nice not having any pressure and kind of helping teammates. They played awesome tonight.”
Junior Tarius Williams matched Frankamp with 18 points, while junior Zach Beard added 12.
Williams’ play got North started, as he had 8 points after one quarter, with only two coming from Frankamp.
But Frankamp got going in the second quarter and had 9 points by the half.
North led 33-16 at halftime and pulled away in the third quarter to lead by as many as 29 points.
“It was crazy to think that this is my last regular-season game here,” Frankamp said. “It’s been a crazy four years but an awesome four years. It was good to come out with a win.”
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