Short Nerd Chief

Posts Tagged ‘KU’

Self to stay at KU – Hooray!

Posted by Fred on April 11, 2008

Good news – Bill Self has turned down Oklahoma State to sign a “lucrative” contract extension with the Jayhawks:

Three days after winning the NCAA championship, Kansas coach Bill Self said no thanks to Oklahoma State, his alma mater, and agreed to a lucrative contract extension that could keep him at Kansas for the rest of his career.

“Home called,” Self said. “And we love home. But this is home now.”

Apparently, OSU never put an actual offer on the table, so the only ones talking about money were the media.  Better news – he plans to stick around for a while:

Self said he now has no thoughts of ever leaving Kansas.

“The way I feel today and the way my family feels today, absolutely,” he said. “I don’t know how long my career’s going to last. I don’t see the finish line at all, but I see the finishing line being here.”

He said the fact that Kansas will probably lose many key players off this championship team to graduation and the NBA draft did not factor into his decision one way or another….

“I couldn’t see leaving this place,” Self said. “This is where we want to be.”

The best news is that Self seems determined to put his political capital to use in improving the basketball facilities, similar to the $31 million the university is putting into facilities for Mangino’s football squad:

Self’s new deal is likely to make him one of college basketball’s highest-paid coaches. Florida coach Billy Donovan is believed to be the highest among coaches at public universities, after he signed a six-year contract worth $3.5 million per year in 2007. Texas’ Rick Barnes is the highest-paid coach in the Big 12 at $2 million a year.

But Self had made it clear all along that he wanted to upgrade the facilities to keep up with what he called “the arms race” in big-time collegiate athletics. The Jayhawks are completing a $31 million project renovating and modernizing their football facilities.

“We need a practice facility, improved locker rooms, videos and cardio rooms,” Self said. “We need a place to eat meals. We need a place for [the media] to do your job, a work room. We need extra locker rooms. We need the Hall of Fame to extend. That’s just all part of it. We’re working on housing.”

If there is one area in which KU faces a sizable deficit, it is in facilities.  KU certainly has tradition, with James Naismith, Phog Allen, Dean Smith and Adolph Rupp.  It has success, with 1,943 wins over 110 seasons.  Only Kentucky (1,966) and North Carolina (1,950) have more wins.  Since 1990, KU has the best overall record at 541-121.  KU has “only” three championships, but only UCLA (11), Kentucky (7), North Carolina (5) and Indiana (5) have more.  In the last 20 years, KU has two titles – only Duke (3) has more.  So if you’re going to list the top five programs in all of college basketball, you probably end up with Kansas, North Carolina, Kentucky, UCLA and Duke.  What KU doesn’t have is first-class facilities, other than Allen Fieldhouse itself.  If Self can improve that situation, he’ll have done more for the legacy of KU basketball than a handful of new banners in the Fieldhouse would do.

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Oranges taste sweet after some nice Hokie Bird

Posted by Fred on January 4, 2008

orangebowl.jpg

Say these four words with me now: Rock. Chalk. Jayhawk. KU. You can’t say the Hawks haven’t played anyone now. You shouldn’t say Kansas didn’t belong in the BCS (although I’ll concede Mizzou belonged there too, while Illinois and Hawaii did not).  You shouldn’t say Todd Reesing is too small, or Mark Mangino can’t coach, or KU can’t play defense. Last night’s Orange Bowl victory over an outcoached Virginia Tech squad should take care of the doubters, naysayers and haters.  It won’t, of course, but it should.

This long time Jayhawk couldn’t be happier or, frankly, surprised by the little Jayhawks that could’s 12-1 finish.  that they topped it off with a victory over a top 5 perennial power playing in its 15th straight bowl game and did it by out-Beamerballing Beamer makes it all the sweeter.  Hopefully Bill Self’s group was watching Fox last night, and will overperform, rather than the opposite.

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Seeing Orange Today

Posted by Fred on January 3, 2008

reesing.png

Was your New Year good?  My present for the new year is the chance to see the Jayhawks in a post-January 1 bowl game for the first time ever (although a Division I playoff would have been a better present for everyone except CL Keedy).  KU hasn’t played in one of the big four bowls since the 1969 Orange Bowl, and hasn’t been to any kind of bowl game since Fort Worth in 2005.  It’s hard being a KU fan in Hokie country, a place where the Times-Dispatch features an article on Hokie Bird wine and prints Go Hokies editorials, but I’ve persevered.  Hopefully the lilliputian Todd Reesing and corpulent Mark Mangino can emulate the Mountaineers and pull off the upset.

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USA Today: BCS a three-way scrap

Posted by Fred on November 15, 2007

Sports media is starting to acknowledge that there is a very real chance that the Jayhawks could be this year’s “screw up the BCS system and prove yet again why college football needs a playoff system” team.  Yesterday, John Seibel and Orestes Destrade included both Oklahoma-Texas Tech and KU-Iowa State in their Five Reasons to Watch College Football This Weekend segment on SportsNation Radio.  Now, USA Today weighs in:

All that remains is for LSU and Oregon to win their final three games. Or not.There is the little matter of Kansas. The little Jayhawks that could. Unknown at the start of the season and still an outsider.

Kind of like the unwanted relative that you have to invite to your wedding. And they could spoil the party.

They’re certainly not going away. Not with an unbeaten mark and Missouri and probably Oklahoma left the schedule. That’s two top-10 opponents to pad their credentials with poll voters and the computers.

Missouri and Oklahoma are huge obstacles for this Jayhawks team to overcome. KU has played only one game against a team ranked in the Top 25 at the time, a 30-24 win over then-24 Kansas State.  Missouri and Oklahoma have played each other, with OU coming out on top 41-31.  Overall, Missouri’s played the toughest schedule (#35, according to CBS), with KU and OU roughly equivalent (73 and 68, respectively).  If KU can win out (and I still don’t think they will), they have to get the nod over Oregon – undefeated and with two wins over Top 5 teams in successive weeks is a no-brainer, even if they aren’t a traditional football school.

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KU, Title Contender?

Posted by Fred on November 13, 2007

ku_jayhawk_800x600.jpgIn 1988, the KU football team went 1-10 in Coach Glen Mason’s first year. That campaign featured losses of 56-7 to Auburn, 63-10 to Nebraska, 63-14 to Oklahoma State and 55-17 to Missouri. Overall, the team was outscored 496-189. That year, of course, the basketball team finished 27-11 in Larry Brown’s final season, defeating Oklahoma 83-79 at Kemper Arena to win the national championship. The 1988 Jayhawks held both Nebraska and Oklahoma State to fewer points in basketball than in football.

In the intervening 19 years, the basketball Jayhawks won 25 games or more 13 times, and five times won at least 30 games. The football team enjoyed a 10-2 record and Aloha Bowl appearance in 1992, but were otherwise mediocre to abysmal (4 winning seasons over that span). So how is it that the football team is off to its best start since 1899 and appears in far better position to challenge for a title than the basketball team (#3 in the latest BCS rankings, with a potential date with #4 Oklahoma in the Big XII title game looming)? And as fans, dare we get our hopes up, only to see them dashed in Bell Selfian fashion?

As always, the numbers tell a story. Here is the delta between points scored and points allowed since 2000 (Mark Mangino replaced Terry Allen in 2002):

Year    PF    PA    Delta2000    261    359    -98

2001    182    398    -2162002    248    507    -259

2003    384    396    -122004    262    235    +27

2005    269    264    +52006    348    306    +42

2007 	459    149    +310

Mangino has steadily improved both the offense and the defense.  The offense gets all the headlines, but without an improved defense, this team loses the Colorado and Texas A&M games in which the offense scored a total of 38 points.  I’m not sure I believe in this team yet, which still has to face one-loss Missouri at Arrowhead on November 24 just to qualify to play one-loss Oklahoma on December 1. but it’s a relief to think about something other than another basketball collapse in March.

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