KU #4, SOS #1 says Ken Pomeroy
CBS Top 25 and one: KU #9
I thought by tweet deck was down when I came in today. Those little birds are all in hiding I guess after that shocker in Ames.
This being their first clinic with the Special Olympians in two years, Coach Self and his staff wanted to make sure the participants received the full Allen Fieldhouse experience.This was the first year since 2010 that Coach Self and his players were able to host the event, as in 2011 the KU women stepped in to put it on because of weather delays that forced the Jayhawk men to remain out of town.
“We are going to have some different stations, including dunk, shooting and ball handling stations,” Self explained. “Usually they get a big kick-out of it, but I think the dunk station without question is the most popular.”
Another popular part of Sunday’s clinic was the free giveaways that each clinic participant would be taking home with them. Autographed team pictures as well as commemorative basketballs were just some of the items Special Olympians would be walking away with, in addition to their unforgettable memories of the event.
“Our guys have a pretty good platform here, being players at the University of Kansas,” Self thought. “And I think if you can sacrifice some of your time to benefit others who have been dealt a difficult hand; it is something you should do.”
The clinic was initially started by former KU head coach Larry Brown in the mid 1980s, but has since been renamed in honor of Chamberlain, who left money from his estate to help sustain the event. Sunday’s clinic is just one of many community service activities the Jayhawks take part in throughout the year.
“I did not watch the tape on the bus. I was not in the best of moods coming home,” Self, KU’s ninth-year coach, said of the four-hour bus ride back from Hilton Coliseum, where KU (17-4) suffered its first conference loss in eight games.
“I figured, ‘You know what? Instead of getting upset, I’m going to relax and watch TV and not watch the tape.’ I saw plenty of highlights on TV about our game. I’m just now going to watch the tape as soon as we leave here,” Self added Sunday on a much happier occasion — the Jayhawks’ 28th-annual Wilt Chamberlain Special Olympics Clinic.
KU players and coaches worked with 200 or so Special Olympians from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
“Losing in Ames ... this certainly changes everyone’s perspective and has everybody in a good mood today,” Self said. “I truly believe our players get as much or more out of it than the Olympians do.”
Senior Tyshawn Taylor said the clinic took the sting off the loss to ISU.
“There’s definitely a bigger picture outside of basketball,” Taylor said. “Life goes on after a loss. I’m just enjoying my time here with our fans today. We’re in the position of being role models, and it’s fun to put smiles on the faces of the Special Olympians today.”
…Hundreds of students stormed the court after the final horn and, in the process, injured ref Darron George.
“After coming off the court, our players were tending to the official, Darron George, who was down. He was in so much pain,” Self said. “From what we were told, he broke his arm trying to push people off in the melee. It was a very dangerous situation yesterday."
After the game, ISU officials said George hurt his wrist, but did not head to the hospital for treatment or X-rays. The Big 12 said Sunday George “suffered a hand injury” and is OK.
Self said he believed fans have stormed the court in about 60 percent of KU’s road losses during his nine years at KU.
“We’ve had some great ones. That court storming at Bramlage (Kansas State) was great. Missouri had a great court storming on us. That deal in Ames yesterday ranked right up there with the best of them as far as court storming,” Self said. “I am OK with it, but I think if you are going to allow your students to do that, administration should do a better job of somehow providing security to protect the players and everybody else.”
Perhaps the best thing about college basketball is that each team controls its destiny. Keep winning and you’ll keep playing. You can’t be left behind by computers or uninformed voters.
The harsh reality, though: college basketball’s regular season isn’t all that important in determining a national champion.
Losing a road game in conference, like the Jayhawks did in Ames, Iowa on Saturday, means little.
Kansas should still have its sights on the Final Four. How did last year’s Final Four teams fare in conference road games?
Virginia Commonwealth — best muttered under the breath followed by several curse words — lost road games at Georgia State, Northeastern and Drexel in conference. Not exactly elite programs.
Butler lost four times on the road in the Horizon: to UW-Milwaukee, Wright State, Valparaiso and Youngstown State, which finished 9-21 overall.
You say: those teams are mid-majors. Hard to fairly compare teams from the CAA and the Horizon to teams from BCS conferences.
I say: the bigger teams in last year’s Final Four also struggled in conference road games.
Connecticut dropped five games on the road in the Big East: to Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, St. John’s, Louisville and West Virginia. Tough teams, certainly, but the Huskies finished 5-5 on the road.
Kentucky lost six games on the road in the SEC and finished with a 10-6 conference record.
You say: that’s just one year. Last year was a fluke.
I say: let’s assume Kansas loses two more conference road games and keeps winning at Allen Fieldhouse to go 15-3 in conference. The Jayhawks lose two out of these three games: at Missouri, at Baylor and at Kansas State.
Is there another team that lost three road conference games — one to a fringe NCAA tournament team like Iowa State — and went undefeated at home?
Here’s one: the 2008 national champions, Kansas. That year, the Jayhawks lost road games to Texas, Kansas State and Oklahoma State. Texas and KSU made the tournament; OSU made the NIT.
So let’s not turn Saturday’s loss into some kind of tragic blow that proves Kansas can’t hang with the big boys. One lackluster effort on the road in a hyped environment, in the bigger scheme of things, means nothing.
Teams play NCAA tournament games on a neutral court for a reason.
The Twitter feeds of Jayhawk fans everywhere were especially active last week, as the “Border War” became the latest victim of the Internet rumor mill.
On Thursday, word spread that Missouri fans planned to wear t-shirts that displayed the letters “NMT,” meaning “No Mom Tom” during the Feb. 4 match-up with Kansas in Columbia. The phrase is reference to the passing of Thomas Robinson’s mother in January of last year.
However, like most rumors started on Twitter, there is little truth to these claims, even though it spread like wildfire.
The phrase originated on the popular Missouri message board called Tigerboard.com, but the widespread use of this reference to Robinson appears to be misconstrued amongst the Jayhawk faithful.
“There have been a total of eight posts using the phrase ‘No Mom Tom' or the abbreviation ‘NMT’ referring to Thomas Robinson directly on this board,” Tigerboard.com operator Nick Witthaus said.
The acronym for Robinson made its first appearance on the board in November of last year, and every subsequent post has been reported and deleted from the website. Despite the bitter nature of the rivalry between Kansas and Missouri, the use of the phrase “NMT” was met with entirely negative reactions from the Missouri posters on the board.
There was only one mention on Tigerboard to the production of “NMT” t-shirts, and it did not come from a user that frequents the message board.
“The t-shirt rumor was posted on the 26th from a first-time poster who registered about half an hour before the post was made. That poster was using an IP address reserved for an apparel company in California,” Witthaus said.
Just like the previous seven times, the “NMT” reference to Robinson was reported and deleted, but the word had already made its way around the Jayhawk fanbase.
The well-known faction of the Missouri student section, “The Antlers,” issued a tweet on Thursday in an attempt to bury the rumor.
“We aren’t making any signs, shirts, billboards or keychains with a 'NMT' slogan. That’s below us,” the tweet read.
There are more than 70 camping groups this Monday morn for the OU game Wednesday. Gotta love the students.
VOTE for the Kansas Jayhawks student section
VOTE for Coach Self's Assists Foundation
VOTE for Thomas Robinson for Zag's Blog's National Player of the Year (Anthony Davis 39%, TRob 36%)
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ESPN Big 12 Power Rankings - Kansas #1
Oklahoma's 63-60 win Saturday night at No. 22 Kansas State was the Sooners' first Big 12 road win over a nationally ranked team in three years, when OU defeated No. 25 Baylor in Waco, Texas.
Steven Pledger is averaging 20.8 points and shooting 57.8 percent in OU's wins, 12.7 points and shooting 33.3 percent in losses.
Grooms leads the conference in assists-to-turnover ratio (2.92) after dishing out 25 assists with only three turnovers the past four games.
The first half of Oklahoma's league schedule was a gauntlet.
After playing No. 5 Kansas twice, No. 22 Kansas State twice, No. 2 Missouri once and No. 6 Baylor once, the Sooners will have an opportunity to pad their resume. The second half of the league schedule is more manageable.
“We hope so, but we don't really look at it that way,” said forward Romero Osby. “We look at it that every Big 12 game is tough, home or road. We look at every game as an opportunity to get a win to gain some momentum going into post-season.”
The Sooners (13-7 overall, 3-5 in league play) will be huge underdogs Wednesday night at Kansas when the league schedule hits the halfway point.
It's how the Sooners respond the second half of conference play, starting with a home game Saturday night against Iowa State, that will determine how much progress was made in Kruger's inaugural season.
Video: "We Are Mizzou" (Not sure why you'd want to promote that, but whatever)
Saturday's 76-71 loss at Baylor dropped Texas to 0-6 in games decided by six points or less, a stat that could be a product of the Longhorns' inexperience showing through at the end of games.
They'll still have the Tigers' full attention. Coach Frank Haith will never be guilty of underestimating any team led by Barnes, whom he considers a mentor and his best friend. His team is also coming off a stinging road loss last Wednesday at Oklahoma State and survived some sloppy stretches in Saturday's home win against Big 12 bottom feeder Texas Tech.
"We're going to get their very best effort," Haith said. "They’re fighting as everybody else is in the league in terms of getting wins, protecting your homecourt. It’s going to take a yeoman’s effort out of us to go up there and get a W. We know that."
…If the Tigers make it through Monday's game in Austin, they'll have five days to rest their legs before Saturday's Border War game against Kansas.
…The Tigers offensive efficiency has fallen in Big 12 play, in large part because the Tigers aren't having the same level of success shooting from beyond the 3-point arc. They had made only 38 of 126 3-point attempts (30.2 percent) over the past six games before Saturday, and that they didn't help their success rate with a 6-for-21 performance from long range.
I'll admit my bias for Missouri comes through, and that triggers a great deal of vitriol and hatred from the other camp.
I'm a big boy, I can take it.
For the record, I did not go to Missouri.
I truly believe that a sizable number of KU fans cannot stomach the attention Missouri is getting right now in the media.
It must be like a punch to the gut every morning to wake up to the fact Missouri is ranked higher.
Mizzou has become the darling of the national media.
It’s been my experience in 42 years of covering sports in this town, KU fans, for the most part, feel they're a cut above Missouri people in about every walk of life.
Where they live, where they eat, where they play.
I've lived on both sides of the state line.
I've experienced it. I've felt it, first hand.
For those folks - and there are legion - who want to do nothing except rail against the power and gory of the NCAA, you will only be half-sated by what you read here.
And for those folks -and there are legion - who are looking to do nothing more than wail, "UConn! UCheat!" at everything that goes on in Storrs, you, too, will be disappointed.
Caught in the crossfire between NCAA findings that cost him nine games of his freshman season and threats of legal action by his mother's lawyer, Ryan Boatright sounded awfully happy Sunday that his long nightmare was over.
"I'm just happy to be back on the court," Boatright said after UConn had played lifelessly in a 50-48 loss to Notre Dame at the XL Center. "Whatever my mom and the lawyer got going on, that's with them."
I'm going to say this plain as day. Anybody who sees this Boatright saga in absolutes has an agenda beyond the facts of the case. And anybody who is rooting for Tanesha Boatright's attorney Scott Tompsett to go to court against the NCAA, take this to the bank: The louder he gets, the worse it could be for UConn.
Whether it's to take down the NCAA, to take out Chicagoland AAU boss Reggie Rose, to turn the Boatrights into a totally innocent party, to further muddy UConn's reputation, or - in the case of Tanesha's ex-boyfriend - to extract revenge ... there are so many people in this case trying to manipulate the facts to meet their needs - some noble, some not - that it has gotten silly.
…Stop right there, UConn fans, if you're cheering. UConn is awaiting word from the NCAA on whether they it will be given a waiver on its academic problems so it can participate in the 2013 NCAA Tournament. UConn and Jim Calhoun, essentially innocent bystanders in the Boatright case, have done a good job holding their tongues.
Silence will serve them well until we see how the APR shakes out. Tompsett poking the bear will accomplish little at this point.
Besides, didn't the ex-boyfriend turn over the information?
"The NCAA did not violate the student-athlete or family's privacy in any way, nor did it imply that the benefits were used to influence Ryan Boatright to attend UConn," the NCAA responded on its website. "The NCAA statement 1/8came3/8 in response to numerous public misstatements and the resulting inaccurate reporting by some media.
"In fact, both UConn and Mr. Boatright should be commended for their cooperation ... Had Ms. Boatright cooperated fully from the beginning, this matter could have been settled months ago."
Look, there's some self-serving stuff going on here. But you also could have knocked me over with a feather with all the information the NCAA released in its timeline. Bless 'em, the NCAA finally gave it up.
Mississippi State forward Renardo Sidney likely won’t be brought back to the team for his senior season, a source close to the program told SNY.tv Sunday.
Sidney, a 6-foot-10 junior who has battled weight and attitude issues for most of his career, will likely seek a professional paycheck although it’s possible he could transfer.
When asked if he would be chosen in the 2012 NBA Draft, one veteran NBA scout said flatly, “No.”
That would seem to leave options like playing overseas or in the NBA D-League.
Last fall, Villanova contracted with Varsity Monitor, a firm that uses computer software to screen the social-media accounts of university student-athletes, looking for all manner of potential trouble. The athletes must sign consent forms and list all their accounts, such as Facebook and Twitter.
Many schools are employing similar services, while others have beefed up the scrutiny of social media by their compliance departments, and others merely keep their fingers crossed that they don't have a Marvin Austin-type of problem in the making.
It raises some privacy questions, naturally, although Varsity Monitor has no access to direct or private messages on those sites, only the ones that are already viewable by the entire world. And the systematic monitoring could be said to have a chilling effect on freedom of speech. But when universities weigh that against the stern hand of potential NCAA sanctions, it's an easy call.
…Think before you tweet, and ponder before you post. Those are the best guidelines for anyone, not just athletes. Especially when taking that shopping trip with the agent.
Will Shields is 'Dad' to Willie Cauley
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