Friday night’s Rumble at the Sprint Center — or Iowa State vs. Kansas, if you want to call it that — is a rematch the Cyclones have wanted badly.
And if you don’t believe it, listen to Will Clyburn.
“They beat us twice — games that we shouldn’t have lost, games that we had in our favor,” the Iowa State forward said. "I’m glad to get some payback. We owe them big-time.”
“Sometimes (referees) don’t see everything, sometimes they do,” Kansas’ Kevin Young said Thursday.
To make Iowa State matters worse, Kansas’ 7-foot Jeff Withey kept that ball alive – after Young duped the referees into thinking he committed a foul with 23 seconds to play, not Withey.
Young quickly raised his hand after the whistle blew, obviously knowing that Withey was one foul from leaving the game for good.
“I knew what the foul situation was,” Young said Thursday after the Jayhawks’ victory against Texas Tech. “I tried to get in there and foul him, too. I think I got a piece of him. That’s why I raised my hand.”
Not to trick the referee?
“No,” Young said.
The first Iowa State-Kansas game included a buzzer-beating 3-point bank shot by Ben McLemore at the end of regulation. Controversy – and Johnson’s 39 points – highlighted the second game.
What happens if Niang is in a similar situation Friday, holding firm in the lane in the face of a rushing Kansas player?
“I’m going to do the same thing,” the freshman said. “And hopefully, there’s a call made and I don’t get called for a little scrap on the ground.”
Des Moines Register
OU didn’t score a field goal for the final 7:32 against a defense that statistically ranks among the poorest of any major-conference NCAA Tournament contender. Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg went with a small lineup, playing the 6-7 Clyburn and 6-6 Melvin Ejim along with three guards, and the Sooners failed to exploit their edge in power.
“Those last nine minutes defensively were as good as we have been all season,” Hoiberg said. “That’s a great win.”
The neutral-court victory over Oklahoma probably will be the result that will be the defining piece of the Cyclones’ case. A lot of what the Cyclones got done came at home—16 victories. The Cyclones had lost every top-50 RPI game they’d played away from Ames and all but one of their top-100 games. Oklahoma entered the day at No. 33. So this one counted big.
After 90 minutes or so spent mostly chucking (and missing) 3-pointers, Iowa State hit upon the idea of just giving the ball to Clyburn and getting the heck out of his way.
“The biggest thing you can learn is there’s no more safety nets,” Self said. “Just like the seniors playing. There’s no safety net. You’re on a tightrope and there’s no net.”
When Kansas takes the floor against Iowa State, it may certainly feel like they’re in some circus act. The Cyclones play fast, shooting threes with reckless abandon, and they can be a poor matchup for Kansas.
Iowa State can pull Withey away from the basket, and Self says his team must find a way to slow down the Cyclones’ high-octane offense.
“I think it will bode (well for us), if the game isn’t as well-played,” Self said. “We have to do something to not let them have rhythm. And that, to me, is usually when we give ourselves the best chance of winning.”
KUAD Box Score, Recap, Quotes, Notes, Video
LJW Video and Audio pressers and post-game interviews
ESPN Recap, Video
KC Star Photos
As teams play deeper into March, bench rotations usually contract rather than expand. But Kansas’ 91-63 victory against Texas Tech on Thursday in the Big 12 quarterfinals allowed KU coach Bill Self the opportunity to give freshmen guards Andrew White III and Rio Adams some rare playing time. They responded with stellar production.
White knocked down two three-pointers and finished with six points, while Adams went on a late-game scoring spree, pouring in 11 points in just five minutes. Add in the production of forwards Perry Ellis (eight points) and Jamari Traylor (seven points), and KU’s bench finished with 39 points for the afternoon.
The bench production eased the scoring burden of freshman guard Ben McLemore and KU’s four senior starters.
“We were playing as a team,” McLemore said, “moving the ball around, making extra passes to each other and just (creating) for each other.”
The blowout victory was a suitable way for the Jayhawks to purge the bad taste of their previous game, a 23-point beatdown at Baylor. It also allowed KU to rest its regulars in the second half, possibly preserving energy for a three-day tournament run.
With the starters on the bench, freshman Rio Adams played five minutes and poured in 11 points, nine more than his previous career high, to join McLemore in double figures.
“I just went out there and played,” Adams said. “There’s nothing else to it. The older guys took care of business early, and I just went out there and had fun.”
The mood won’t be quite as relaxed when the Jayhawks return to Sprint Center for Friday’s semifinal against Iowa State. The Cyclones, who advanced by virtue of a 73-66 victory against Oklahoma, will be looking for payback after losing two heartbreakers against KU in the regular season, and Self expects another war.
“We’ve had two classic games with them this year, the two games that may be the two best games, most exciting games played in our league this year,” Self said. “We know we’re going to have to play very well. We look forward to the challenge.”
Chris Babb had to bite back a smile, which was the only answer he needed to give.
Was Iowa State gunning for another matchup against Kansas? Well, what do you think?
“That’s all we’ve been thinking about,” said Babb, whose late 3-pointer helped the Cyclones complete a 73-66 comeback victory Thursday against Oklahoma in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Tournament.
…“I’m pretty sure they’re going to be pretty jacked,” said KU freshman Ben McLemore, who banked in a 3-pointer to force overtime when the Jayhawks beat Iowa State at Allen Fieldhouse earlier this season. “We’re just going to go out there and give it our A-game and play ball. It’s going to be an intense game. It’s going to be a great game.”
…The Cyclones made it clear they wanted another shot at KU, and it didn’t take long for word to filter down the hall to the Jayhawks’ locker room. KU’s Jeff Withey doesn’t consider this a rivalry game, necessarily, but it’s one the Jayhawks will welcome as well.
“We’re looking forward to this game,” he said. “They can keep on talking, and it will be a fun game to play in.”
3/14/13, 4:59 PM
#Big12MBB: @KU_Hoops shattered the Big 12 Championship record for FG percentage, shooting a blistering 66 percent in today's win.
“They feel like swimming trunks,” KU senior Elijah Johnson said.
This was the moment when pragmatism met superstition. Self, ever protective of his program’s tradition, had agreed to let Adidas outfit his players with these specialized “camo” jerseys for at least one Big 12 Tournament game at the Sprint Center. The Jayhawks have a licensing contract with Adidas, and other schools, including UCLA and Notre Dame, were in on the gambit as well. Self called it being a team player.
But, no, Self did not like the jerseys. And now he was wondering if KU should wear them again against Iowa State on Friday. Hey, his team had shot 66 percent.
“I don’t like them at all, but we shot good in them,” Self said. “I’ll ask our guys what they think, but I have no ideas.”
In an otherwise quiet blowout, the Jayhawks made history of another sort of Thursday. This had nothing to do with Naismith or Chamberlain, Manning or Pierce. Instead, the Jayhawks joined the annals of suspect uniforms, and there wasn’t much debating that. Uniform style, of course, is open to interpretation. But Kansas’ “camo” jerseys could certainly hold their own against an infamous list that includes the 1970s Houston Astros, the U.S. men’s soccer team in the 1994 World Cup, and really anything from the ill-fated XFL.
…Late in the afternoon, Self was asked again if he’d want to wear the jerseys again. It was a not-so-serious question, and probably called for a not-so-serious answer. But Self has a few of Brown’s traits, one of those being minor hints of superstition.
So for a moment, Self hedged. No, he did not like the jerseys. But he did not have to make up his mind right then.
“They’re gonna do laundry no matter what,” Self said. “… so I gotta couple hours.”
“I kind of liked them,” said freshman forward Perry Ellis, who scored eight points off 3-of-5 shooting and grabbed seven rebounds in 14 minutes. “They are pretty cool-looking. They are light. They are all right.”
Noted freshman guard Rio Adams, who scored a career-high 11 points in five minutes: “They’re nice. They’re current. They are fine. I have no problem with ‘em.”
Or as Elijah Johnson (four points, four assists, 27 minutes) said: “I like the shorts. They are light like swimming trunks. It feels good to win regardless ... even if you’ve got on a Speedo.”
…“We played well today. I think at Waco we learned from that game,” McLemore said of last Saturday’s 81-58 loss at Baylor. “We had really tough practices, which we needed. We came out today and played our game and came out with a win.”
Of his early play, McLemore said: “I tried to be aggressive from the gate. I tried to keep that going and get my teammates involved, too. They got me the ball. I appreciate that.”
KU had a batch of players perform well offensively. Jamari Traylor had a career-high seven points in 11 minutes, while Andrew White III hit a pair of threes and scored six points in six minutes.
“Ben got us off to a good start,” Self assessed, “then we puttered around but played a pretty good second half (57 points off 18-26 shooting). Our defense was pretty good except we fouled so much.”
Tech hit 21 of 24 free throws to KU’s 20 of 23.
The Jayhawks think they were able to put the Baylor game behind them and at the same time learn from that blowout loss.
“We came out flat against Baylor and had a couple of tough days of practice after that," Withey said. "We know we can’t come out flat because we become really average and not a very good team. We’re going to learn from our losses. During this time of the season we can’t have any more of those.”
Kansas University freshman guard Rio Adams made the most of his five minutes of playing time on Thursday in Sprint Center.
The 6-foot-3 Seattle native, who scored just 16 points total during the regular season, erupted for a career-high 11 points off 4-of-5 shooting (2-of-2 from three) in the Jayhawks’ 91-63 rout of Texas Tech.
“It was something I’ve been working on in practice and it showed up in the game,” Adams said after Thursday’s late-game scoring spree.
“A lot of shooting, working on my technique and getting right for next year,” Adams added when asked for more details on what’s been going on at practice.
“I’m starting to become a lot more comfortable on the floor,” he said. “I’ve learned from watching the older guys and taking the experiences we have in practice and putting them in the game.”
Adams agreed with a reporter’s assertion that he was “in a a zone.”
“It feels good,” he said, “to let my coach know I can give something when he needs it to keep us going, just a little bit of energy. We don’t have a weak link on our team. That’s what makes us a great team. I went out and had fun.”
Adams said he’s happy to be a Jayhawk despite the fact he entered having played just 77 minutes in 21 games.
“Definitely,” he said. “This program is all about waiting your turn. Right now I’m waiting my turn. It’s all about adjusting. I’ve got to adjust. That’s what I’m doing right now. I’m trying to find my way and making sure I’m comfortable when I do what I do.
“It’s been a decent year, a great learning experience. I’m happy with it. I’m definitely happy here.”
…“I just play basketball. I don’t worry about calls,” Withey bristled, asked about that situation by a reporter from Iowa.
Told Iowa State’s players have a chip on their shoulder, Withey said: “We have a chip on our shoulder, too. We want to win this thing, too. Every team is a dangerous team. We’ve got to come ready every day.
“We’ve always been a target. Everybody wants to play against us. It’s nothing new. It was the same last year, the year before that, the year before that. We’re ready. If we come to play, we should win.”
Withey was asked if KU-ISU was a “rivalry.”
“I wouldn’t say we have a rivalry going. We are used to it. They can keep on talking. It’ll be a fun game to play.”
KU coach Bill Self was asked about ISU still complaining about the officiating in Ames, Iowa.
“I can see how they could feel that way because certainly there was a call or no-call that got a lot of attention, really both late that we benefited from,” Self said. “The thing about it is ... as a coach, I learned this from coach (Eddie) Sutton who has done this a long time. Over the course of a season, over a course of a career, those calls balance out over time.
“We’ve lost some tough games that came down to one call late, maybe not a bang-bang play like that one was. I understand their players and how they would feel. The bottom line is that’s not on us. They can use whatever as motivation which they should do. Our guys just play. They don’t have anything to do with how the game is called. I don’t have anything to do with how the game is called. They’ll just go out and play. The officials in our league are pros. We’ve got the best our league has calling the games. It should be a fun game. It’ll be hotly contested. I’m sure both teams will get after it.”
Clyburn, winner by landslide of the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year Award for which freshmen are not eligible, used his skill to help Iowa State earn a third shot at Kansas and then used his words to add spice to Friday night’s already compelling rematch.
“They beat us twice during the year, probably games we shouldn’t have lost, but, hey, I’m ready for payback,” Clyburn said after scoring 15 of his 17 points in the second half of the Cyclones’ 73-66 comeback victory against Oklahoma.
When that quote was run past a few Kansas players their answers could be summed up in one word: Yawn.
“I don’t think there’s a lot of emotion going into it,” Travis Releford said while tearing the tape off his ankle. “They’re a good team. We know what to expect from them because we played them twice. I think it’s going to be an overall fun game.”
Even if the title-game matchup should happen to pit both teams from the state Kansas against each other, such a matchup might not match Friday’s 6:30 p.m. semifinal tipoff.
“They came down close both games and they both happened to go our way,” Releford said. “For us to be able to match up in the Big 12 tournament to see who is the better team, I think that’s good for both teams.”
Both teams have the firepower to stage big comebacks.
“We have a team full of shooters,” Clyburn said, explaining Thursday’s comeback. “And one thing about shooters, you have to have confidence. Forget about making or missing. If you miss a shot, gotta shoot the next one. That’s what we have on this team, shooters with confidence.”
Shooters with a third shot at Kansas.
Travis Releford, 6-6 senior guard, Kansas
Releford made the All-Glue team for the second straight year, which is surprising considering how much he has improved as an outside shooter. He raised his overall field goal percentage to 57.9 (up from 49.8 last year), his three-point percentage to 44 percent (from 32.5) and his free throw percentage to 79.2 percent (from 65.4). The fact that his scoring average has only gone from 8.5 points to 11.9 reveals his mindset. Releford likes being a Glue Guy as opposed to a go-to guy, much to the consternation of his coach. "Travis defers too much," Bill Self says. "He'll pass up a great look so someone else can get what he thinks is a better look. We don't need him to hunt his shot, but he has really improved his stroke, and he's great at driving to the basket. So I'd still like him to be more aggressive."
Releford might not have the Q rating of teammates Ben McLemore and Jeff Withey, but the coaches around the Big 12 understand his value. That's why they voted him onto the Big 12's second team all-conference. Releford is a good rebounder (3.7 per game) and passer (2.5 assists per game), but the best thing he does is defend. During the Jayhawks' run to the NCAA championship game last season, Releford guarded players as varied as Purdue forward Robbie Hummel (who is 6-8) as well as all three of Ohio State's primary scorers in the Final Four (6-2 Aaron Craft, 6-7 Deshaun Thomas and 6-8 William Buford). This year, he again harassed Thomas into a 4-for-11 performance during a win over the Buckeyes, and Releford's defense on Kansas State forward Rodney McGruder enabled the Jayhawks to win yet another season sweep over their cross-state rivals.
"Travis is the ultimate Glue Guy," Self says. "He can play the two and he can play the four. He can guard one through four. He's the best at 50-50 balls. He's the best at keeping balls alive on the glass. He's our primary defender, and on offense he's a great ball mover and facilitator."
This was not what many people envisioned for Releford as a highly-touted recruit out of Kansas City's Bishop Miege High. After Releford averaged just seven minutes per game as a freshman, Self suggested that he redshirt a season because of a glut at the guard positions. Self was concerned that Releford might want to transfer, but Releford figured if he was going to to sit out for a year, he might as well do it at the place where wanted to be.
Releford will likely end his career without quite reaching the magical 1,000-point mark, but his legacy in Lawrence will extend well beyond a single statistical category. "Travis is the toughest kid on our team, and he's the coolest guy on our team," Self says. "He's also the best teammate. He is what college is supposed to be about. He sacrificed for the greater good. He's 'we' instead of 'me.' And he's the ultimate winner."
SI Seth Davis
3/14/13, 9:49 PM
Two victories today for the Brothers McLemore. Little brother Kevin, a senior, helped Normandy (St. Louis) to Missouri Class 4 title game.
Bill James has spent his life asking questions. He’s most famous for his baseball questions, of course – How do teams score runs? What is the best way to measure defense? What was baseball really like in the 19th century? – but, in truth, he questions everything. Was Lizzie Borden guilty? Would politicians connect more with people if they were more honest? Is “The Wizard of Oz” the most referenced movie in American history? Why were there so many great playwrights in England during the Elizabethan Era?
He asks the questions, and then in his own ways chips away at them. He might invent a formula. He might devise a chart. He will consider various possibilities. Then, finally, he will come to some sort of answer. He readily admits it might not be the right answer. But it’s an answer that speaks to him.
There’s one question, though, that Bill James finds impenetrable. He’s thought about it for years now, thought about it, worked on it, attacked it. He admits to spending much more time on it than he should. But he can’t let go of it. He can’t let go because he can’t find an answer that makes sense to him.
“I watch every Kansas basketball game,” he says. “And every year, it’s the same thing. They will be on the road, losing by three or four late in the game, this happens often. You would expect them to lose those games sometimes. But they almost never do. They almost always make a few big plays down the stretch and win the toughest games, even when they’re playing poorly.”
Bill James looks down and shakes his head, as if he’s trying once again to figure out the puzzle. “How does Bill Self do it?’” he asks. “I cannot for the life of me come up with the answer.”
…How do you make sense of this? College basketball is a game of volatility, now more than ever. Kentucky won the national championship last year and is on the bubble just to make the tournament this year. North Carolina has its ups and downs. Indiana … UCLA … Syracuse … even Duke has the occasional bump. But not Kansas. Not Bill Self.
“So,” I say to Bill Self, “Bill James has this question. How do you do it?”
Self laughs a little and ponders the question. Here’s something that is true of Bill Self. He will always try to answer the question.
“Well, I, I, uh, you know,” he says. “I guess it comes down to three things.”
…And, while Self is as plainspoken as anyone you will meet in sports, there is a spiritual side to his coaching. He will talk often to his players about making plays – and he is often no more specific than that. In the final minutes of Kansas’ stunning comeback against Memphis in the 2008 national championship game, Self yelled again and again “You’ve got to believe.” At practices, he is known to shout, “Are you ready for the moment?”
The moment. That’s what Bill James was talking about. Down four in Stillwater with five minutes to go. Tie game in the Sweet 16, and they’ve got the ball. Down nine in the national championship game. These are the moments. “We don’t always win those games, you know,” Self is quick to say. But they do win them most of the time.
See, in the end, Self believes that it won’t always be the better team that wins those games. Sometimes it will be the tougher team. Sometimes it will be the luckier team. Sometimes it will the healthier team. And sometimes, yes, it will be the team that was just a little bit more ready for the moment.
“If you play well, and you have good players, you should win,” Self says. “That’s true for every single team in the country. Heck, if you have good players and you play pretty good, you should still win.
“But how are you going to win when you don’t play well? That’s the key to having great seasons.”
Joe Posnanski: The Genius of Bill Self
Big 12/College News
Big 12 Sports: Tourney Central (Stats, video, photos, etc)
Did you hear the one about why Kansas will beat Iowa State today? Only stands to reason, the thinking goes, because you can’t expect the Cyclones to beat KU for a third time this season.
The joke has flaws of both fact and logic, of course. KU won both games, but what followed was enough controversy and conspiracy theories to light up all the bars in the Power & Light District. K-State coach Bruce Weber only added to the narrative last week, when he said that he wanted to celebrate a conference championship earlier but the officiating in Ames wouldn’t allow it.
You’ll hear some of this during the Big 12 basketball tournament tonight, too, because between Kansas State and Iowa State, two big and loud fan bases will going berserk each and every time a call goes KU’s way. Kansas fans, no doubt, will mock them back. Maybe wave Kleenex or something.
It’s going to be awesome, in other words.
Missouri’s break for the SEC is mostly viewed along party lines in Kansas City, but the Big 12 Tournament figured to be a loser no matter what. A large, vocal and local fan base had left the party. The best weekend in Kansas City sports would take a hit.
Maybe that will happen someday. But not today. And not this weekend.
The first basketball season of the new Big 12 will climax in a weekend worthy of the league’s fierce and high-level history. Fans of the best four teams — KU plays Iowa State at 6:30, K-State plays Oklahoma State at 9 — will fill the Sprint Center with cheers and chants and taunts and cries.
…Two years after nobody could be sure whether the Big 12 would exist, and a year after nobody could be sure how strong it would be, the league tonight will stage a nationally televised doubleheader of intensity and passion. There was talk of ticket sales being sluggish, but both sessions on Thursday were close to full. Today’s semifinals are sold out. In the first year without Mizzou, the party is too loud for anyone to notice much difference.
KC Star Mellinger
Mizzou fans, meanwhile, are in Nashville for their first SEC tournament. A Missouri team spokesman said the Tigers received an allotment of 900 tickets and sold roughly 700.
Bill Riggins, a Mizzou grad who made the nearly 500-mile trip from Marshall, Mo., said he’s seen about a fifth as many MU fans as he has at past Big 12 tournaments.
“We don’t have the rivalries we had there and the atmosphere isn’t quite as exciting,” Riggins said. “But everyone here seems to be great and has welcomed us to the SEC.”
The SEC announced an attendance of 10,065 for the afternoon games Thursday. That marked the third-lowest attendance for a Session II of the SEC Tournament. The record lows are 10,001 in Birmingham in 1980 and 10,004 in Orlando in 1990.
The crowd for Session II represented progress. The announced crowd of 7,879 Wednesday night marked a record low for a Session I.
The previous record low was 8,047 in 1996 in New Orleans.
Norm Stewart recognized as "SEC legend" at half.
Jerry West is a Big 12 legend.
The product today is not only often difficult to watch, it's increasingly producing fewer NCAA Tournament teams.
"I can't remember it this down," said former Auburn coach Sonny Smith. "It's more down than I've seen it in a long, long time."
He's not alone. Memphis Commercial-Appeal columnist Ron Higgins, who has watched SEC basketball for 33 years as a journalist, said he can't remember the SEC this bad. Yahoo! Sports columnist Pat Forde said it's the worst he's seen since he began watching the SEC in 1990.
This isn't a perception issue. This is a basketball issue.
The fact is, most SEC fans simply don't care. There are football pro days and spring practices to fawn over. The announced Session 2 attendance on Thursday (10,065) for Georgia-LSU and Tennessee-Mississppi State was the smallest for any non-tornado SEC Tournament session since 2003.
…The SEC went 8-28 against RPI top-50 teams out of conference this season. Florida was the only SEC team with a winning record (3-2) vs. top-50 nonconference teams. The SEC went 15-23 combined vs. the ACC, Big 12, Big East, Pac-12 and Big Ten and had a losing record against all of those leagues.
Commissioner Mike Slive was on the Bridgestone Arena court Thursday afternoon, honoring a pair of former Southeastern Conference players.
On his left was LSU center Geert Hammink. On his right was Georgia forward Tim Bassett.
All around them was towering disinterest.
The applause for Hammink and Bassett was almost non-existent. There were about 50 LSU fans in attendance for the SEC basketball tournament second-round opener, and maybe half that number for Georgia. Mostly there were empty blue chairs.
Kentucky wasn't scheduled to play for another 30 hours, but the Wildcats still had the most fans in the building.
This is the state of the SEC. America's greatest football conference is an apathetic mess in basketball.
"I'm bullish on our basketball," Slive said. "But we appreciate the fact that the rest of the country may not see it the way we do here."
The rest of the country does not see it that way, nor do I. I've covered SEC basketball since 1990, and this is the worst I can remember the league.
…Slive told Yahoo! Sports on Thursday that the league will formally announce its new SEC Network about a month from now. That will be a huge new revenue stream for a conference that already prints money in its sleep.
Hopefully some of that can be spent with the same facility-upgrade and coaching-salary zeal as it is in football. But until the fans show they care, don't expect much to change.
He had no head-coaching experience when he accepted the gig. Just ideas.
But the Cyclones community trusted Hoiberg. Few coaches would have been given the green light to build a team around players such as Chris Allen and Royce White, two athletes with checkered pasts who were standouts last season. "He said, 'Listen, I want to beat KU and in order to beat KU, I gotta have KU talent. And I can't get that talent initially out of high school because we don't have a track record,'" Pollard recalled from his initial conversation with Hoiberg after he'd accepted his job offer.
…The good news for Pollard and the Cyclones is that Hoiberg is not thinking about the next level right now. He's focused on the coming weeks and the Cyclones' goals.
That wasn't the case last month, when his team had just lost to the Jayhawks in overtime. Again.
Then, he was preoccupied with everything that had gone wrong for the Cyclones in that game. Missed shots, blown calls, poor decisions, Elijah Johnson.
When he exited his office, he just shook his head as he continued to think about last night's mishaps.
And then, a construction worker completing a project in the basketball offices greeted him. "Hey, Fred," he said. Hoiberg nodded and waved.
"The Mayor" was a hero. The coach who's orchestrating one of the best stories in college basketball right now? In these parts, he's really just Fred now.
New NCAA vice president for enforcement Jon Duncan, a Kansas Citian, has a tough task, convincing the membership that his department isn’t broken.
Asked what message he has for the people who matter most in the process, those on campus, Duncan told The Star on Thursday that his staff consists of “strong, talented, experienced professionals. We are working to make sure they have the training, the ongoing development opportunities they need to do their job.
“And I’d like for the membership to know that we’re providing a service to the institutions. And while they may not agree sometimes with the charges or the results of the investigation, I hope they feel they’ve been treated fairly and that the communication lines are open and that we are trying to work together to enforce the bylaws in the manual that we’ve been charged with enforcing.”
Duncan replaces Julie Roe Lach, who was fired after amid criticism of the botched handling of the Miami, Fla., investigation involving booster Nevin Shapiro.
Missouri basketball coach Frank Haith is implicated in the Miami scandal -- he was the basketball coach at the time -- and was charged with failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance. Haith has said he plans to fight the charge.
Duncan said he cannot comment on Haith’s status.
Duncan, who grew up in Springfield, Mo., attended William Jewell and University of Kansas Law School, practiced at Kansas City law firm Spencer Fane Britt & Browne since 2003, and spent the previous five years at Husch Blackwell.
He first represented the NCAA in litigation in 1998.
Duncan started an 18-month trial period at the NCAA on Tuesday.
RPI and SOS Team Comparison Calculator