The Champions Classic



  • It’s amazing how things change yet some things stay the same. As children we are taught traditions, and how to celebrate them. These can consist of anything like candles on a Birthday cake, having turkey on Thanksgiving, to opening your stockings first on Christmas Day. Whatever it is we remember and in some cases continue the tradition. Oh sure we’ve changed some of the traditions and in some cases make up our own traditions. Yet in the end we cherish our traditions and the things that remind us of those traditions… Who doesn’t watch a horror movie on Halloween, a Charlie Brown cartoon before thanksgiving, or Miracle on 34th st around Christmas?

    Well The Champions Classic is kind of becoming a tradition for KU faithful. I believe this will be KU’s 5th season playing in the classic. It’s almost weird but for me it’s like the beginning of the college basketball season. As I’m not able to watch the KU games on that ESPN (screw everybody over) 3 internet station. Ah but I digress as the world and it’s traditions are changing.

    I don’t know if they’ll continue the Champions series, or what it’s future holds. Yet for this year and next year it will be the sign, the tradition that KU basketball has returned to me again. You know I think I’ll take the day off from work that wonderful day. Stock my garage fridge full of beer. Of course I will stay up late Monday night preparing the meat for the buffet I will grill the day KU hits the hard wood again. I will drink, I will cook, I will feed my friends, I will feed my neighbors, I will feed the stranger passing by, I will feed my family, and yes I will even feed myself. When all the cheap beer is drank, and all the food is ate. Then the Charcoals will be cooled and the friends forced to leave. For you see it’s a tradition that I watch the KU game in my Bedroom, by myself with My legs crossed and drinking a nice dark craft beer.



  • @DoubleDD I can’t touch that, but the food sounds great, enjoy!



  • I’ll be at the game. Hopefully I’ll be able to stay somewhat sober through the first game. It is going to be hard to while being surrounded by UK and Duke fans. I wish somehow both of those teams could lose!



  • @joeloveshawks During the first game just wear a 39-1 shirt, then change into to your KU shirt!



  • It’s a great early season test. We know UK, Duke & Mich St are always going to be good as long as their coaches are there. It’s a great test to see where our guys are at. We are 1-3 in this event so we definitely can’t lose to Michigan St again. It would be nice to have 2 up on Izzo.

    It’s become more of a media draw, especially as ESPN tries to hype all the freshman playing in these games. The headliner’s for KU’s team are Bragg & Diallo who can’t even play over Ellis, Selden, Mason etc… So ESPN has definitely turned this Classic series into a glorified PR event for OAD’s…



  • @joeloveshawks did u get tickets from williams fund or on your own? Was wondering if all KU fans would be together? My son and gf r going to school up there and his ol dr in Lawrence got tickets for them. R u going to bars around there before game? I’m so jealous!



  • The KU Alumni Association and Chicago Alumni network have two pregame events set up. I believe they start at 3 at The WestEnd and The Crossroads Bar & Grill. Both are fairly close to the United Center.

    Rock Chalk!





  • @Crimsonorblue22 on my own. We have about 6 KU guys going and some will be in a box (hopefully me) and some will be in regular seats on the lower level. No matter what it will be great. I had the pleasure of sitting on the floor for our victory over Duke and it was one of the best nights of my life.



  • @joeloveshawks sounds really fun! Do u live in Chicago?



  • @Crimsonorblue22 I do. Makes it all pretty easy. All 4 teams travel well and have die hard fans so it is pretty even at the games.



  • @joeloveshawks I know they go to kinkaids sometimes for KU and royals games. Must be a lot of our people up there! They have to get in from downers grove.



  • @Crimsonorblue22 DG, My home from 76-91



  • @DoubleDD

    “I will drink, I will cook, I will feed my friends, I will feed my neighbors, I will feed the stranger passing by, I will feed my family, and yes I will even feed myself.”

    You have the right priorities.

    Rock Chalk!





  • We need to have better rebounding against MSU!



  • No. 13 Michigan State will be without junior Gavin Schilling when the Spartans face No. 4 Kansas in Tuesday’s Champions Classic, coach Tom Izzo told ESPN on Monday.

    Schilling continues to battle a case of turf toe, which he suffered last week during an exhibition game against Ferris State.

    Without Schilling, the Spartans will have to rely more heavily on freshman Deyonta Davis against the Jayhawks’ experienced frontcourt.

    Davis became just the third Spartans player in program history to start his career with a double double after getting 21 points and 11 rebounds against Florida Atlantic.



  • It actually might work in Michigan St’s favor that Davis is playing over Schilling. Remember Davis was an All-American and Schilling is the typical 4 year Izzo post player who gets better over time.

    A opening line of 13pts 11rbs & 5 blocks is scary to me, regardless of the competition.

    I think KU will struggle playing against him unless we can get him into foul trouble. Our bigs getting their bigs into foul trouble is the #1 advantage we have in this game. You get either Costello or Davis sitting with fouls and you have a walk-on coming in or Bess playing out of position. Ellis and folks will have to be aggressive going to the basket.



  • I thought I read that another player had a stress fracture? Just heard they can’t afford to get “bigs” in foul trouble. Seems like all that usually back fires so I don’t think it will help us.



  • I don’t know if this true, but somebody said diallo can’t travel w/team. If this is true, it sucks for him. What a great event this is for bb and he should be playing and having fun w/his team!



  • @Crimsonorblue22

    Clark their presumed starting PF when healthy has a stress fracture.

    You are correct about Diallo, I don’t believe non-eligible players are allowed to travel with the team. Which really doesn’t help the mental aspect of a player who wants nothing more than to be among his peers, probably the only people that can keep his spirits high while hes guilty until proven innocent. It’s probably not a fair rule, especially since regardless of the W or the L, its a team bonding/building experience that Diallo is not allowed to experience himself. He’s basically an outcast until further notice.



  • @BeddieKU23 when healthy has a stress fracture? Not getting that. Cliff did go to big 12 tourney, I do remember him not being in ok. I hate this!



  • Tom Izzo on whether he’d like to see Kansas big man Chieck Diallo in this game: “Hell no, I don’t want to see him!” 11:12 AM - 16 Nov 2015 · East Lansing, MI, United States 14 14 Retweets 19 19 likes



  • @BeddieKU23

    “Our bigs getting their bigs into foul trouble is the #1 advantage we have in this game.”

    Most likely… the way to accomplish that will not be through our bigs, but through our guards. When MSU bigs come out top to attempt ball screens, we need to anticipate it and run into them BEFORE they set. This is a dead simple way to get bigs in foul trouble (this year). This is, by far, the area that has changed most by officiating… calling the moving screen.

    This strategy not only helps get their bigs in foul trouble, it also helps break down a big chunk of their offense (if they plan high ball screens as a big part of their offense).

    Yesterday… I watched our game with Northern Colorado again and paid attention to our offense. It definitely didn’t look like the traditional Bill Self hi/lo. Guys in the post either catch the ball flatfooted or in motion. And if they are flatfooted, they typically go into motion immediately (like around the FT line). I am starting to see why JamTray is earning the starting spot. He represents a moving target and is extremely effective at driving and feeding. That ability creates a real weapon that will be hard to defend, even if teams scout us and plan for it.

    Add in to all of this Carlton Bragg… who is showing he might be the best interior-passing big man we’ve ever had!

    I think Carlton’s influence is going to impact our team beyond just him getting PT minutes. I think his interior passing will inspire our other bigs to focus on making those passes, too.



  • @drgnslayr Great suggestion on how to get the MSU bugs into foul trouble. That and offensive motion are how the game will be won.





  • @Crimsonorblue22

    I meant when healthy, he’s their starting PF. But the time away might make Davis the starter faster than anticipated



  • @drgnslayr

    I like the strategy of using our guards to create the contact against the bigs. More than likely though Self will run through the bigs hoping they can score against bigs their size and athletic ability…Generally hasn’t worked out for this bunch.

    We know we will see Valentine’s best performance tomm, most likely will have 20+ pts we have to deal with

    Denzel Valentine meets media before Champions Classic game against Kansas. Admits last year’s loss to Jayhawks was one of more frustrating of season. (@MDU_basketball).



  • @Crimsonorblue22 Thanks for sharing. The 12 point KU victory prediction seems a bit too optimistic. I expect this game to come down to a 4-6 point margin.



  • @Crimsonorblue22

    Technically Cliff was not found to be ineligible; KU simply chose not to play him just in case. I imagine that after he left the investigation was deemed inconsequential and closed.



  • image.jpg A lil after dinner music in chicago



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  • Where in the world is all of this negativity and skepticism coming from? 4-6 point win? Don’t get me wrong I’m not expecting a blowout, but I firmly expect KU to win this game. KU by no means dominated MSU last year, but we still handled them. And given KU’s ability to get to the line, KU’s depth, and MSU’s lack thereof, I’m expecting a good 10+ point win. The only reason we weren’t able to pull away from MSU last year was because we couldn’t throw it in the ocean. I expect a different outcome. And don’t think redemption after last year’s bloodbath in the CC isn’t going to provide some motivation…

    This team is better than last year’s. I firmly believe KU can win it all this year. It’s been a while since I’ve felt this way. We got this!



  • What I saw against N. Colorado bodes well for us, even when you figure in the step up in class. Even if the outside shots don’t fall as often, our inside depth should give us the edge. I see a back and forth game, with KU pulling away late.

    I’ll be enjoying the game from our usual alumni hangout right across the street from the Space Needle. (Decked out over the weekend with the French flag, in tribute.)



  • Deleted post … added to the “predictions” thread.



  • I avoided the rain and grilled my heart out. Everybody is happy, yet confused when I said it’s time to go home. They don’t get it. It’s game time and traditions must be practiced.

    Rock Chalk


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