Time to put Venue on the Menu: "touché" Wichita State!

  • I hate Wichita State, and I’ll tell you why. I hate Wichita State because they push my competitive button. I’m a competitor and I don’t back down from anyone. I’m tired of being pushed around by the Shockers. This has gone on for as long as I can remember. I never took it serious before, because, quite frankly, I never took the Shockers seriously. But that was then, and this is now.

    Over the past decade, Wichita State has learned to wear big boy pants. It is impossible to look at their program today and not respect what they have done. And if their recent seasons and March record doesn’t get your attention, then surely their game play will. I try to catch all of their games now. Their games are exciting. They never seem to lack enough energy to put on one heck of a performance. Sometimes, their play makes me envious. I compare their style of play to our own and I never see us scrap at their level. I never see our players diving for balls like I see the Shockers do. Never. We applaud our guys when they do dive for balls, because we don’t see it that often, whereas Shocker fans expect all five of their players to dive for any loose ball, even when it isn’t that loose. I’ve even noticed that their diving seems to make the ball go “looser” at times.

    It seems like Wichita State plays the kind of basketball Kansas teams have always had a hard time beating. We like to think that scheduling any mid-major team is the same as any other mid-major. I don’t believe that is true. Our record in March seems to support our weakness for playing a specific type of mid-major; those who fight scrappy battles to the end; those who bring energy and confidence to games, regardless of their opponent.


    It seems like the Missouri Valley is a league full of scrappy teams. Their conference has been neglected by college basketball since it’s beginning. No conference seems to have more of a chip on their shoulders than the Mo Valley. And as soon as members of the Mo Valley are offered deals in another league, they jump ship for better opportunities. Is it any wonder why two of our biggest upset losses in March have come at the hands of Mo Valley teams? And look at some of our other upsets… VCU? Bucknell? You might as well throw them atop the Mo Valley heap.

    I’d like to punch Gregg Marshall in the nose. I’d like to, but I can’t because I respect him too much. He’s doing everything in his power to propel his program to a higher level. One step in lifting his program is to earn a court with our Kansas Jayhawks on a yearly basis. Marshall has dropped a new offer on the table, an offer that has gone public for the world of college basketball to see:


    His offer is legit, and if we don’t take it we’ll not only continue hearing the “afraid to play WSU” jeers from Shocker fans, but we’ll also hear those same jeers from basketball fans across America. Let’s face it, only Jayhawk fans seem to have a plausible reason for not playing. This is at the bottom of why I disdain the Shockers and their coach; I have no valid excuse for not wanting to play them. When I put down my crimson/blue eyewear, I only see benefits for playing Wichita State.

    So let’s all remove our eyewear, and look at the facts, through the objections we have always held:

    A. Playing WSU will not help our recruiting and may even harm it.

    First off, how often are our recruiting efforts crossing paths? It seems to only be an issue when we are recruiting players in Wichita. So… how many Wichita-area players have we lost out to Wichita State since the Bill Self era? It seems that it could even help our position some day with a future Wichita-area recruit if we occasionally go to Wichita to play a game, at least, that is the theory for wanting to play other teams in their recruiting areas… to enhance our exposure. Why isn’t it also true in Wichita?

    Second, do we always design our away games around enhancing our visibility to local-area recruits? How many recruits have we pursued in the Boulder, Colorado area in the past 50 years?

    B. Playing WSU will hurt us economically.

    I can’t believe we will be hurt economically if we take the current deal Gregg Marshall is offering us. I believe, in the long run, if we can maintain this contract with WSU we will see a boost in revenue. Just look at the gate receipts. If you add the venue sizes of the 3 proposed venues and divide by 3, our average annual gate from this event will be collected from over 16,750 in attendance. And we will be able to bank on these numbers because a sell-out is guaranteed. And a sell-out typically helps lift local blackouts, further increasing revenue dollars. And a known sell-out adds excitement to the game, and helps attract media coverage.

    Imagine the merchandising potential if we open the doors for a new rivalry to develop with the Shockers. How much revenue have we lost from our Border War dissolution? Why can’t we build a new rivalry that will compete with the rivalry that we lost? Sports media outlets will love the opportunity to promote a new rivalry. How many additional Jayhawk logos will be sold on garments with designs specially-made for this annual event?

    C. Nothing to gain, everything to lose.

    I’ve heard this defense my entire life, and I’ve winced every time I heard it. It is an argument that has always told me we are afraid to play the Shockers. If we are considering what we may lose, then we obviously think we may lose. The argument gives credence to a risk level in playing. And saying we have nothing to gain has been challenged by all of these embarrassing losses in March. I’m sick and tired of losing to mid-majors in March. Playing the Shocks every year will give us vital experience for handling the type of mid-major that can threaten our dreams later on in March.

    Kansas basketball is one of the top tier elite programs in basketball today. As much as I hate Missouri, I acknowledge it was a blow to lose that “rivalry.” I don’t want to go back to playing Missouri again. They abandoned our conference and as I said in a previous post, that relationship was less about a rivalry and more about downright hatred. The Shockers and their fan base represent an excellent opportunity to develop a real rivalry.

    I don’t really hate Wichita State or their coach Gregg Marshall. I hate their challenge to us in the fact that we don’t react on it and face the challenge. I have no fear of playing Wichita State. They have no power now (or will they ever) to dethrone Kansas from the status we have developed since the beginning of the game. We only have to stroll through our historic background to renew our understanding of where Kansas fits in the basketball world, and it is beyond the college level.

    We’ve run out of excuses for not playing the Shockers, and to be honest, we should be happy to accept their challenge. And if we do, and if this relationship is allowed to develop into a permanent rivalry, there will come the day we will lose a game here or there to the Shockers. And our program will survive these losses. In fact, an occasional loss will be good for the rivalry, and what is good for the rivalry is good for both programs!

    So “touché” Gregg Marshall! Prepare for our “Attaque au Fer!”


    Rivalries bring emotion to the game! Rivalries add intensity to the game! Rivalries bring interest to the game! Rivalries bring fortune to the game!

    I was hoping (more like wishing) we could renew a rivalry with KSU after the loss of MU from our league… but lets face facts; pairing a football school with a basketball school is like dating your sister.

    We can always consider WSU our “little brother” and they can always consider us “elitists”… and the jaw smack will only help intensify our rivalry.

    KU vs WSU works because it is two in-state programs; one with elite status and one on the move upward. Basketball school versus basketball school. And we do have a mixed past with the Shocks.

    There is enough fuel to start this fire, all we need is a match!

  • We should play them in football. The football programs at the two schools are about on par.

    (just kidding, no malice)

  • @tundrahok - the current administration at WSU is looking into bringing back football. So maybe someday it could happen, and it would up our chances of winning another game in pre-conf!

  • Great thread @drgnslayr … think you summed up the case beautifully and opened up a good discussion.

    If we were afraid of losing, we wouldn’t have the hardest schedule in the country for one of the youngest teams in the country. Besides, now we have Perry, Conner and Wiggins, so it’s not like we’re competing for their services any more.

  • I was talking to the WSU assistant athletic director a couple years back when they were afraid Marshall was going to leave. He said that he had been watching tape of other coaches getting the search ready for a replacement. My uncle asked him if they were considering Danny Manning and he laughed and said absolutely not, we would never have hire a coach just because he was good player at KU once upon a time. He then continued to trash our program about everything and did so every time he was around me after.

    If it was in our best interest to play WSU then we would, stop acting like we know everything that goes on behind the scenes. There are massive amounts of politics involved and we are doing what is best for our university which is what Marshall is trying to do because they need to play us not the other way around.

    We will never have a rivalry with the shockers and they will never bring a football team back.

  • @didjayhawk -

    “My uncle asked him if they were considering Danny Manning and he laughed and said absolutely not, we would never have hire a coach just because he was good player at KU once upon a time.”

    Then why did they hire Turgeon?

    You may be right, and there may be politics and issues that exist behind closed doors. What Marshall did recently is not behind closed doors… he made a statement in public, and public perception of our team puts responsibilities on all of us to react in a noble way.

    The Shockers have more to gain than we do by playing. I agree with your statement. Isn’t it the same for 99.9% of the teams we play?

    I’ve certainly heard my share of insults from Shocker fans over the years… but I’d rather not back down from it… I’d rather go out and give them a good thumping! I’d like to see it all play out on a basketball court, not behind the closed doors you mention in your post. And, BTW, there most likely is nothing going on behind closed doors. I seriously doubt either of the current coaching staffs or ADs office have much of a history crossing paths. And looking above them to higher administrative offices, I doubt there is much of a conflict there either.

    I believe there hasn’t been an action on this because it hasn’t been at the top interest level of Jayhawk fans. That may change as the Shockers continue to climb and make noise about it.

    And someday we will meet again regardless of scheduling… in March. I’d rather have experience playing their style before facing it in March. If history has anything to say about it, our chances of winning are not what we want (or expect) them to be.

  • This was obviously way after Turgeon. The assistant athletic director wasn’t around when Turgeon was there or even close to being there and that’s who said it.

    I don’t think we are “backing” down from anything and there is a lot more that goes into scheduling then simply saying ok let’s play WSU at Intrust Bank Arena this year. I’m talking about politics in business not of the coaching staffs crossing paths.

    I was born and raised in Wichita, Kansas. I grew up around WSU all my life as my family is very close to the university which includes all the people we are talking about. I went to KU and would much rather see us go play Florida then give up that game to play WSU. I’m not scared, I’d love to kill them on the court but for whatever reason it’s not happening…yet

  • We have nothing to gain and everything to lose by playing WSU. If we win…we’re supposed to. If we lose…wow.(Remember…they put the score of the 1981 game on a billboard…or something like that). They, on the other hand, have everything to gain. Not to mention the economic benefit of playing us. I don’t like Marshall calling us out. It really is like someone knocking a block off of someone else’s shoulder or drawing a line and daring someone to cross it.

  • Bo Ryan has always made it a point to play the other Div. 1 teams in Wisconsin. Bill Self should do the same and schedule WSU each year.

    Sadly with Kansas’ smaller population, it may not be a high ratings game for the networks, and that may be why we’d shy away from it. Ever notice KU-KState doesn’t get national coverage on both of their games each year?

    I’m in the minority I know, but I wish we’d swallow our pride and renew a series with Missouri each year. That’s one game I really miss.

  • drgn, I really like the passion in your headline post. But you allowed it to cloud the analysis of your own program and its coach, which I postulate you perhaps did on purpose, simply to add dramatic flair to your excellent post and the point you were making.

    I personally would analyze a Bill Self team as one that is tough (he demands it, or he calls em ‘soft’), one that hustles (he demands it, or quick yank), one that defends (or he whines about it to reporters, and nondefender rides pine). You have every right to be sore about 24 turnovers or losing to any-type-of-D thrown at our frosh. But keep in mind the frosh started off clueless as hell. Remember the last time Self lost 3 in a row? Yep, it was 2006, with a bunch of highly-talented frosh (Rush, Chalmers, Arthur) that went on to win the NC.

    I might support WSU and root for them to win, but I do it as a Wichita-area resident, but one who is a KU alum. I know there are a subset of WSU fans that hate, yes, hate KU about as bad as Purple people hate KU.

    Yes Marshall has done a nice job at WSU. Show me a “few” MVC championships and a few Elite8 appearances. Marshal has got to get over the flash-in-pan, cinderalla-run that was last year’s WSU. Hey, whatever happened to Ben Anderson at UNI, wasnt he the next hotshot young coach? What happened to VCU and Shaka? Man, I didnt see them in the Elite8 or anywhere near lately. I did see them bounce WSU out of the Tourney the year before last…

    Bill Self is a hall-of-famer because of the absolutely complete system of ball that he demands with extreme rigor.

    I remember RussRob with a bloody face, Cole with a tooth knocked out, Marcus flying into a scorer table, Selby plowing into a scorer table. Think about that, for all the crap given by Jayhawks to Josh Selby, that hurt kid was diving into tables for Bill Self. How many times did we see Shady Arthur, TRob, Withey get in a scrum for a 50/50 ball. Remember stank-face, bloodied-up Withey? When we all thought Sophomore Withey was more of a project than Kaun? What did Bill Self turn Withey into? What did 175 lb KYo do to 225 lb Marcus Smart in Stillwater? Did you miss AW3 jumping over a table for a ball THIS season?

    Did you miss 7foot Joel Embiid going way out of bounds more than once, THIS season?

    Did you miss Perry Ellis diving for balls?

    I cannot believe for the life of me, that someone is confusing judging very green frosh with almost NO chemistry, trying to play veteran teams…with questioning the core of Bill Self’s whole system of recruiting and toughness and no-softness approach. Man, excuse me, but I thought after 10yrs of watching what Self demands and wants, and 10+ years of looking at his product, we should know that there isnt probably a “tougher” program out there, right?

    Did we forget, perchance, that Bill’s requirements take time to assimilate? Ask Mason. Ask Greene. Ask Tharpe. Ask Ellis about the first 3/4 of last season. And we wanna “judge” this Bill Self product when it isnt even half baked?

    My analysis is impatient KU fans, still stung by losing to Michigan, couldnt wait for basketball because Weis has a bigger project going than even Self does this year. Freshman Mistakes 101. Little team chemistry. Very few set-plays installed (08champs had 55+ half court set plays…). RussRob was turnover-city as a frosh. Chalmers FAILED as a frosh PG. There are lessons in Self’s own recent KU history, yet we choose to ignore them all, and fall in love with a cinderalla team. Can we even call WSU the ‘next Gonzaga’ yet? I’m not sure, but seems we can definitely think we need to blast our wonderful young team, even before they have mastered playing like a “team”. Why does our impatience drive us to do this?

  • KU is scared to schedule the Shocks, that’s why Kansas’ strength of schedule is soo weak.

  • Good post, Ralster.

  • @drgnslayr I’m in favor of playing WSU over Towson or Maryland Baltimore County.

  • To be clear, my post above is simply rhetorical consumption for those that think we may be soft. Kudos to drgnslayr for raising this excellent topic, bound to come up in people’s minds, seeing 24-turnovers-KU while “Wichita State” is ranked for the moment 7slots higher than KU.

    I just find it hard to judge a 5starters-new Self team 9 games into the season, when 4 of them are frosh. Poster child Wiggins scoring 6pts tells you all you need to know about uber-frosh. They are still frosh. Lots to learn…which means, after KU football, we STILL have to find several weeks, maybe 2 months of m-o-r-e patience…RCJH, a little bit later…

  • @drgnslayr Agreed that we need rivalry. And we have 3 more reasons to play Wichita, Ellis, Frankamp and Wiggins. We are family.

  • @ralster - dang it, I can’t get anything over on you. There isn’t a cloud in my sky concerning WSU. I’m a basketball fan and the Shocks play exciting basketball. I’m a fan. I’m a Kansan and I like all teams in Kansas, even the purple kitties… but I draw the line when we play. I’m a Jayhawk before anything else.

    I knew if I just posted my views, my post might be filed away as just one more posting on a story that has been going on for decades. I thought by adding in all the “hate text” it might gather more attention.

    I’d LOVE to see us play WSU every year because it would be exciting basketball. It could develop into a rivalry, and who gives a flip about playing Towson. I do think we have a lot to gain by playing the Shockers and we may have owned a couple more NCs if we figured this out years ago and started playing. It certainly would have helped us battle Bradley, UNI, VCU and Bucknell.

    The only thing I hate is our unwillingness to develop this rivalry. The only other things I hate in college basketball: Calipari’s smoke screen (not Calipari himself), and the new rules enforcement. Oh… and of course, I hate Missouri fans because they are beyond classless.

    It would be especially exciting to see us play this year, and witness the Wiggins brothers facing off. Nick is no Andrew, but he’s a good player and it would be fun to watch them go at it.

    Had a chance to meet Early and Van Vleet a couple months ago. Those guys are solid. I’d like to meet Baker someday soon. I’m a huge fan of that kid.

    I do like watching the Shockers hustle. They always do a solid job not only going for 50/50 balls, but also blocking out on the glass. They had an exciting win tonight in Alabama.

  • Every since the ANGRY Gregg Marshall called us chicken hawks at a pep rally, I want nothing to do w/WSU! I like watching the team play hard, but Marshall has no class!

  • @ drgnslayr, Great points, and if I didnt say it, I totally agree about how WSU plays hard. I watched them beat Tennessee, and was impressed by their not-freshmen poise. But last year’s cinderella-run, I saw them lose a winnable game against Louisville, much as we lost a winnable game vs. Michigan.

    I also did not say it, but I most definitely would want to play WSU just to shut up their fans. There are no guarantees anymore, as a midmajor can knock off a royalty program…, but the fact Bill Self continues his midmajor work-ethic, scrap hard approach (while stocking the roster with elite talent) only favors us even more. Again, no guarantees, though as even beloved players named Collins or Reed or Collison can cost you a game. Its kids. And for this year’s KU, it is very green kids about to play their 10th game. My biggest concern is how quickly will 4 frosh improve? It took a McDAA, very intelligent Perry Ellis 75% of last season to finally figure things out. So I’m hoping we can defend the conf. streak, but Im not counting on it. There will be alot more hair-pulling amongst KU faithful, Im afraid. God I hope we beat IowaState…I think the kids will be amped for OkieState.

  • My brother in law gave Marshall some grief, as during a business gathering he was being very candid about “that program in Kansas that I wont name”, it was clear he didnt like KU. Was saying KU “thought they were better than other programs”, to which my brother told him “…because we (KU) are.”

    I also think in the Wichita paper Marshall was quoted as saying, “well, you wont see me ride a motorcycle onto our floor”. That was within a week or two of Perry Ellis choosing KU over WSU (& Duke).

    Gregg Marshall, I love his competetiveness, but it is clear he doesnt like KU…and there are too many “sheep” shocker fans who will simply follow that lead. OK, go ahead. See what happens if the Shockers meet the Jayhawks in the Tourney.

  • @drgnslayr - I’ve had an " extreme dislike " for WSU for the past 32 years. My brother in law and I had the misfortune to attend the KU - WSU Midwest Regional game in New Orleans in 1981 and I’ve never really gotten over it. Now losing to them was bad enough, but their fans were obnoxious on a scale second only to the Antlers.

    I have mixed emotions on playing them on a regular basis. My gut reaction is - well, I can’t say,since we’re trying to stay civil on this site, but let’s just say they can be a phillips head screw and we’re the screwdriver. I DON"T want to play them, because it just ticks off their coach and fans so much and it’s fun to watch them squirm. You can’t blame them. What little brother doesn’t want to play with the Big Boys ??

    On the other hand, I DO want to play them. Maybe once a week. I’d just like to watch us beat them senseless about 97 times out of 100 and them tell them " Be careful what you wish for Shock Jocks - it might just come true".

    It’s 6:09 am and I"m already ticked off. Let’s play !

  • First off, here is where I’m glad we have anonymity on this website. I have regular business and social situations with shocker fans. I shouldn’t have to worry about it for posting my feelings on a website. That’s what keeps this site real! Bravo again to Approx!

    My own personal experience with shocker fans, coaches, admins and players is fairly positive. Back in my day, the shocks had a period of top notch ball… of course, that lead to yet another probation for NCAA violations.

    I had an opportunity for getting court time with many of their greats; Carr, Levingston, Smithson, the X-man. All of those guys I respect just like my relationships with Valentine and others for KU. Players usually are on the same level.

    I also knew the AD at WSU from that time, and his family. Ted Bredehoft. Everyone was friendly with me, but I could sense the NCAA infractions were legit. I had no special knowledge, just a feeling.

    WSU has always been connected to some shady characters… Hershberger, Rusty Eck. I always felt those connections would lead to their demise. Sort of like what went down at SMU.

    Today, they appear to have cleaned house, and whether or not we agree with the politics of Charles Koch, I seriously doubt Koch has a shady relationship with the university.

    This cleaning of their house opens the door in my mind to developing a rivalry.

    I’m enjoying reading everyone’s personal experiences with the shockers… and some animosity is just fuel for the fire. We have the elements to build this thing.

    Rivalries are intense. I have friends from Kentucky… and the lines drawn between Kentucky and Louisville are in blood. It’s an awesome rivalry and it helps both programs. Those programs help each other, just like fast food restaurants help each other by developing right beside each other. KFC anyone?

    I know many in here just don’t want to help out the shockers in the least, and I respect that feeling… but we will gain from it, too. And they will never challenge our status. They will never catch up to our history nor will they compete with our current status. If you go to Wichita, visit their campus. Some nice art and everything, but it isn’t KU. The college experience there feels more like trade school. They don’t even really have a student pulse. They’ll never compete as equals to KU.

    But they have built a solid basketball program, and they have a big following within Kansas. And while our following is worldwide, their following is enough on the local level to help keep the energy alive for this rivalry. It’s a much better situation than trying to have a rivalry with a purple football school.

    So we might lose 1 out of 10. We’d have the other 9 to rub in their faces… and the 1 in 10 loss would just help us keep the disdain to fuel another 9 victories after that. We’d own bragging rights 90% of the time and the game would help us every year to prepare for March.

  • How much in sales revenue would Lawrence give up by moving a “gimme” game they usually play at home, and going down the road to Wichita where their community is now infused with all of the sales revenue? Just a thought…not saying one way is right or wrong…just a thought.

  • The guy that wrote this for the KC Star is probably a misery (wannabe) grad. You guys remember, the troll type we labored to keep from this board.

    [http://www.kansascity.com/2013/12/17/4697874/why-wont-ku-chickenhawks-play.html ](link url)

    Also on the flip side, Jesse has a really good read from last night on CJonline.

    [http://cjonline.com/sports/2013-12-17/self-ku-making-progress-defensively](link url)

  • @Blown - With the new deal offer from Marshall, we’d pick up revenue over having just another home game at AFH. His deal is for 3 games, one in AFH, one in the Sprint Center and one in Intrust Arena in Wichita. Intrust is a larger venue than Koch Arena, somewhere over 15k. So when you add the 3 together and divide by 3, the average attendance would be about 500+ what a game for 3 years in AFH would bring.

    But this is more than a discussion about gate. If this turns into a rivalry, there will be a big gate brought in from merchandising and sports media.

    I’ll see if I can find some revenue numbers on what the UK-UL rivalry. I’m not saying we’d start off coming anywhere near their numbers, but it would indicate what kind of potential there is by developing a rivalry.

  • I have no problem with not scheduling the Shockers as it can only hurt us. No benefit for KU to play them.

    Something we might want to consider is the history of the UK Louisville rivalry. I don’t know it well but it seems it might be a similar situation. Seems Denny Crum built one helluva program before UK was willing to play them. So it begs the question of whether the Louisville program seriously benefitted from the UK series? Or did the UK series help build the Louisville program? Anybody want to chime in on this?

  • @globaljaybird - Thanks for the links. There were links attached to the “chickenhawk” piece. Here are those links:

    The “chickenhawk” piece - http://www2.kusports.com/news/2011/apr/19/will-ku-basketball-team-play-wichita-state-zengers/

    Why CS won’t schedule them - http://blogs.kansas.com/lutz/2013/01/29/self-answers-the-wsu-question/

    I went online and tried to find Marshall calling us chickenhawks. Couldn’t find it. Went on youtube and found his speech returning from the NIT, you could hear Shocker fans calling out KU… but nothing with Marshall saying “chickenhawks.”

    It’s media like the piece from Lutz that boils my blood. It’s part of the opening to the outside world why we won’t play the Shocks. Read that article… We’ve won our last 5 games with the Shocks by an average of 32 points.

    Tell me it wouldn’t be entertaining and worthwhile today to beat a team ranked above us by 32!

  • Allen fieldhouse is sold out no matter who is in town. So playing the Shocks in two neutral court sites away from Lawrence has a negative impact on the local Lawrence economy.

    My parents and sister went to WSU, I went to KU. I have always pulled for the Shockers (I don’t rember 1981 as I was 3), but recently WSU has become increasingly annoying. The coach calling out KU? One final four and Marshall thinks he owns the state. I’m trying to figure this one out. It’s kinda like a chihuahua barking at you as you walk by. Not much substance behind that bark.

  • @eastcoasthawk - The UK-UL rivalry goes way back to early college basketball, but rested in dormancy until 1983, when the teams met in the NCAA Tourney, and Denny Crum’s Louisville beat out Joe B. Hall’s Kentucky and went on to lose in the FF to Houston and the “Dream Team.” That sparked up the rivalry enough to create an ongoing game played every year (and is current). Pitino sparked up the rivalry considerably after he became coach at Louisville (previously at Kentucky).

    This rivalry is a big deal not only in the State of Kentucky, but all over America. It has been years since I missed this game. I guarantee you that both sides are glad they have this game every year.

    The revenue is monstrous… and for KU to use revenue loss as an excuse is ridiculous. We may never quite have the rivalry they have unless WSU can build up to the same level of prestige as Louisville has… but anywhere close would still make it colossal.

    Kentucky did not build Louisville basketball (or this rivalry). The rivalry was in complete dormancy when Louisville won it’s first NC in 1980. KU will not build WSU into an elite school. It takes decades of top notch basketball for teams to earn that status, and a single annual rivalry game would not build them into an elite.

    Here is a nice link on the Kentucky battle from Time magazine:


    Obviously, the publicity extends far beyond simple scheduling of opponents like Towson.

  • Bob Lutz is an idiot

  • @drgnslayr Id love to see KU and KState do an alternating home and home with Wichita St. It is very possible that the Shockers can step in to replace Mizzou in terms of rivalry. Well, ok not replace. Nothing could ever replace that rivalry, but certainly hold its own rivalry factor with KU and Kstate. Clearly Wich St is a good team and I agree that playing such a good mid major would be excellent practice for KU in terms of getting ready for the NCAA’s. We’ve lost too many times to good mid major teams and this would help us for sure. Not to mention the $$ side that you thought out Drgn. Very well said.

  • I don’t root against Wichita State. I sort of root for them. But mark me down for a vote* not* to electively play WSU. I certainly wouldn’t give them a home and home or even a 2 for 1 deal. Absolutely no benefit to playing them at their place. I agree with @dylans point re: lost revenue.

    But here’s the bigger picture. Many of you might feel this is reaching a bit - and perhaps it is - but I don’t think it’s that far-fetched. I don’t want KU to play WSU because I think it gives their program a chance for more credibility. I think it helps an in-state D1 program trying to take that next step towards becoming something more than a flash-in-the-pan mid-major. Mid-majors who have sustained some recent success would include programs like VCU or Butler. Then perhaps the next step would be a Gonzaga. The ultimate goal for these mid-majors? Emulate Duke.

    The common denominator for these programs are deep runs into the tournament. With WSU’s final four run last year, they can be mentioned in the same sentence as VCU, and maybe Butler. They are making that next step. If they can replicate a deep run and string together multiple years with NCAA bids, they will be able to be in the Gonzaga discussion. Will any of these schools ever be mentioned in the same breath as Duke? Extremely unlikely.

    Why does that matter to us at KU? Recruiting. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying it would significantly impact us. But guys like Perry Ellis and Connor Frankamp might more seriously consider staying at home if WSU became a more legitimate program. Why let a program 2 hours down the road try to become the next Gonzaga - a program who does have more than regional recruiting appeal.

    Again - perhaps a little far-fetched. But I’m a zealous and jealous KU fan. I don’t want to share any money, attention, prestige or recruits with anyone else in the state. So I say do anything we can to nip this in the bud - which to me means not playing Wichita St.

  • I guess we just have to put our feathery tail between our legs and continue to read press like this:

    “The Top Basketball Team in Kansas Is a Shocker”


    Every once in a while I take a verbal shot from a Shocker fan. Now I’m getting it from my own family on the Duke side. This story is spreading. I caught a new angle on this from the Duke side that Bill Self doesn’t want to be the next Joe B. Hall. I didn’t understand what he was talking about until further thought.

    I’m a basketball fan in general, and as one, I naturally was a fan of Joe B. Hall. He is the father of “Midnight Madness” and without him, I doubt we would have “Late Night in the Phog” because we copied Kentucky on this event. The brainchild came from Hall. He was a soft speaker, but Hall had the guts to call it like it was at Kentucky after proceeding one of his mentors, Adolph Rupp, after his forced retirement. Hall removed his big blue eyewear and let the world know that Rupp was slow to accepting black players at Kentucky. That took big time guts to challenge anything in the Big Blue Nation, and Hall may speak softly but the man carries a serious pair between his legs.

    I remember watching that game in '83, when the Kentucky basketball world was turned upside down by Denny Crum and his Cardinals. There was an immediate outcry for Hall’s head on a stick within the hardcore Big Blue fan base. That was a far cry comparison to how Hall was previously respected at UK. Hall was the guy who had resurrected a damaged UK program and brought it back to elite. He retired two years later.

    I don’t think Bill Self wants to step into any kind of risk of being the next Joe B. Hall, even though UK fans reflect back positively on Joe B. Hall, and in 2012 Kentucky honored Hall with a statue of him outside the Wildcat Coal Lodge.

  • Comparing a game between WSU and KU to the game played between Louisville and UK is apple and orange vs. orange and orange. (WSU isn’t in the same league as the other three)

    The Cardinals have won three NCAA championships (1980, 1986, 2013) and have been to 10 Final Fours (6th all time) in 39 NCAA tournament appearances (5th all time) while compiling 70 tournament wins (6th all time).

    Kentucky has both the most all-time wins (2119) and the highest all-time winning percentage in the history of college basketball (.761). Kentucky’s all-time record currently stands at 2119–664. Kentucky also leads all schools in total NCAA tournament appearances with 52, is first in NCAA tournament wins with 111, and ranks second to UCLA in NCAA championships with 8.

    Kansas has the longest current streak of consecutive NCAA tournament appearances (24), has the 2nd longest current streak of winning seasons (31 with Syracuse having 43), has the most winning seasons in Division I history (95), the most non-losing seasons (.500 or better) in NCAA history (98), the most conference championships in Division I history (56), the most First Team All Americans in Division I history (21), and the most First Team All American Selections in Division I history (29), is third in Division I all-time winning percentage (.721) and is second in Division I all-time wins (2,101).

    The Shockers have made ten appearances in the NCAA Tournament, ending in the Final Four twice, the Elite 8 twice, and the Sweet 16 once.

  • Nice topic Slry: '81 stung as Valentine was fouled on last second in bound play not called and it still hurts. I had business in the Wich City and the next few years were painful.

    I have mixed emotions on this: don’t want to feed or fuel the little brother on the occasional loss. Also don’t want to bring a full house to Sprint for them to split even a minority cut. That said cant’ see need for us to visit their gym even in a lopsided rotation.

    With all the logic to not play them, I have a instinct that says, jump ball and play them, we have nothing of value to lose. Give them a shot, make their day, so we lose a few unexpected games, big hoot.

  • @Kip_McSmithers love it, nothing to lose, they can’t take what we have away, so play them big deal. I defer to HCBS when he is ready and gets our terms, throw it up.

  • @Kip_McSmithers - Louisville only had one NC when their rivalry started again on an annual scheduled basis. The Missouri Tigers have never made the FF… didn’t stop us from having a rivalry and getting tons of national press covering our games.

    Saturday, December 28 (2013), at Rupp Arena, UK vs UL, live at 3pm CST on CBS. Give it a watch and maybe you’ll understand that it is time for us to leave our insulated bubble from the Shocks.

  • @globaljaybird It’s hard to believe that Yael Abouhalkah (sp?), the guy who wrote that screed, is the same guy who used to write for the UDK in the mid-70s. Yep, a KU guy wrote this. As I recall, he used to write intentionally inflammatory stuff even back then.

    I’ve still got mixed feelings about the whole WSU thing. I’d rather let it happen organically…i.e., in the NCAA tournament. That way it’d be at a neutral site.

    Then again, maybe if we do schedule the Shockers and clobber them a couple of times, that’d shut 'em up. I remember that UK wouldn’t play us for years after we hung 150 on them…

  • I recall Coach Self saying that KU gets $600K every time it plays at AFH. There is no way we get that anywhere else. KU has the highest resale value of any basketball team for its basketball tickets.

    Now, playing WSU is the equivalent of a big, fit man (KU) fighting an little guy (WSU). There are two possible outcomes and neither is favorable to the big man. If he beats the little guy he is told he is a bully and he was expected to win any way; the second case, when the little guy beats the big man, the outcome is worse and incredibly embarrassing. As I said before, there is little upside for KU and big upside for WSU, monetary or otherwise.

    Also, there are influential KSU alumni that do not want to see the KU-KSU game(s) take a second seat to a potential KU-WSU game.

  • I don’t like adding KSU into this picture… now it’s not a real rivalry, it’s a 3-way in-state tourney or something of the sort.

    How much money did we make in the Bahamas? I’d say about zero, when you consider the expenses involved and the gigantic 3600 seat “arena.” Our first game didn’t even get major TV coverage. It was bought out by AXS-TV… a body-deodorant outlet! (joke)

    If we did this right, the eventual revenue stream would probably fly by any other game we could book anywhere… even the Champions Classic.

    If you go to Kentucky, almost every resident in the state owns promo gear from their rivalry… they collect it and do their man caves up with gear from their rivalry. It’s that big.

    I’d like to add that excitement to our schedule every year! Plus… I’d like to hang an early loss on the Shocks every year. We’d do it probably 90% of the time…

    So are we bullying all these other teams, like Fort Hayes? 😉

  • I have always been firmly in the NO bandwagon for playing WSU. There is simply no positive to it.

    Look north to Nebraska. Nebraska and Creighton have long played an annual game. Creighton has controlled that series for the last decade or so. That really cuts into the Huskers recruiting, especially with in-state players. Granted, the KU program is miles ahead of NU, but WSU and Creighton were both members of the Valley for a long time. Creighton used their consistent dominance over NU to help build them up regionally, as they always had a win against a major conference team on their resume. That makes a difference.

    The other challenge is simply avoiding making WSU a national program. Right now, WSU is a regional program that had a good run. They can’t compete for top national recruits because it’s a waste of their resources. But play KU every year and you give them a marquee game. That game is on national TV (or at least broadcast to a large regional audience. They get highlights in the main portion of SportsCenter. That means a kid in California, or New York, or Philadelphia, Chicago, Houston, Atlanta, Seattle, etc. that has never heard of Wichita State can now be introduced to them. And if a kid is going to leave a place like Philly, NYC, LA, Atlanta, etc to come to Kansas, the difference between Lawrence and Wichita isn’t that distinct.

    If we see them in the tourney, go at them. If not, no reason to put them on the national stage.

  • Lots of good responses… I’m doing everything I can to play devil’s advocate against a big crowd in here… but I want to see this subject played out at every angle. It makes for a good overall read, regardless of your position on this.

    My emotions are in this because I want to see the game every year, it would make interesting basketball. I doubt anyone can deny that. And I don’t like being told we are “scared to play.” The recent needle keeps moving in their favor, and it helps them build momentum and rationale for it to happen.

    If anyone else has something new to offer, please post it.

    Consider this like getting your annual flu shot. 😉

  • I think we look bad nationally for not wanting to play Missouri and WSU. Just sayin!

  • Why?

    Like the above posters have mentioned, KU sells out all games regardless of opponent. Unless all games are played at Allen Fieldhouse, KU would lose money.

    Wichita St is off to an 11-0 start, playing the 86th ranked non-conference schedule in the country, and currently ranked 11th in the AP Poll. They are a good team this season for sure. Are they going to be good in the future? Can they stay consistent? I don’t know, but I suspect not. 1412-1145 (55%) record in their history, and have been to 2 final fours, once in 1965 and then again last season. Scheduling a game with Wichita St might help KU’s tournament resume this season, but most season’s it wouldn’t do much of anything.

    I don’t know, I just don’t really see the benefit for Kansas. I couldn’t care less what Wichita St fans are saying, college basketball rankings in December don’t mean anything.

  • Bill Self is not Marty McFly getting called a chicken. He will not concede to his anger/annoyance when scheduling next season. No one tells Bill who to play. Begging would’ve been a better place for Marshall to start.

  • @KirkIsMyHinrich I assume your why is towards my post. I like exciting games, and year in and year out there was rarely a more exciting game than the Missouri games. I miss that. Yeah, I’m ticked they left, but so what. I’d rather see us play them than Georgetown. It’d be a huge annual game.

    As for Wichita St. I’d rather see us play them than Iona or San Diego St. Why? Because it’s exciting. People will talk about it. I don’t care too much for the reasons you gave. We’d lose money? We’ve got plenty I’d guess. If they’re not ranked like you say they may be many years, so what? We play a lot of non-conference teams that aren’t ranked. Why play them instead of Wichita?

  • @wissoxfan83 Oh no, my why wasn’t directed at anyone specifically.

  • This year we played at CU at UF and UNM at Sprint. Last year at Ohio State and Oregon State at Sprint SLU at Sprint and wash state at Sprint, 11-12 at USC and Davidson at Sprint, 10-11 at Cal Berkeley at Mich and CSU at Sprint, 09-10 at Temple and LaSalle at Sprint, 08-09 at Zona at Mich State and Syracuse at Sprint and UMass at Sprint, 07-08 at USC at Ga Tech at BC and Ohio at Sprint, 06-07 at DePaul at S Carolina and Toledo at Kemper…

    It seems we always play at least one game in KC and a few non-con road games which aid in recruiting I presume. I seem to remember HCRW always tried to play a road game in the seniors home town or state.

    Anyhoo, we should play WSU!

  • @wissoxfan83

    Missouri has its best start in years and if you watch the games on TV, the arena is half empty. It is actually embarrassing watching free throws and the seats behind the basket are empty.

    If we play them, no question it would be a sellout. Why give them the additional income and exposure considering that when they left, the placed the conference, and by extension KU, in jeopardy?

  • @dylans - let’s consider an alternative action to appease WSU.

    Bill Self vs Gregg Marshall boxing match.

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