Oh Ye Of Little Faith

  • Let me tell you a story of two universities, both with great traditions and history.

    Kansas was literally fighting to get NCAA bids. We had .500 seasons. Kansas St was better than us; same with Misery. We had a brief respite where we actually won a rare national championship with Larry Brown …but then he left. And they hired a rookie head basketball coach named Roy who did a phenomenal job as coach, and except for his chicken salad exit, saved our program. Him and Brown. And then Self comes along, and just starts winning every damn Big 12 conference title, wins a national championship…keeps us relevant on the national stage. So, three coaches …Brown, Williams, and Self have truly, honestly saved our program from a far worse fate. A fate like this:

    IU, on the other hand, lost Bobby Knight, and have been turning over coaches for years. Crean is currently 125-113, and they all hate his guts, and hope he gets fired. It will be a huge accomplishment if IU even makes the tournament, as they have looked plain awful on more than one occasion this year. They’re going to have to pull the plug on Crean at some point, and start all over again. I think it is relevant and important to understand what an amazing ride its been since Larry Brown first accepted the job. At the time, I couldn’t believe we could get a coach like Larry Brown. So, maybe I’m saying I remember when we sucked, and we don’t suck. I’m saying we’re ranked 2nd in the freaking country- it’s ok to crack a smile. Its ok to beat a bad team by 6-we still won. Enjoy this …it is historical…

  • @KUSTEVE Love your perspective. Right on.

    Good luck to Duke when Coach K retires. We’ll see if you can keep it going without skipping a beat.

    North Carolina had the dip after Dean. Kentucky has had it’s misfires after Rupp and will likely be challenged after Calipari leaves (probably in a smoldering pile of ashes from an NCAA nuclear blast).

    Our most recent 3 coaches have had a level of excellence that is not seen by other programs. It’s really remarkable and something to be treasured.

    We may or may not win #12 this year… but regardless of this year’s outcome, the team has been graced with amazing talent and good character for a long time. It’s a joy to be a fan!



    It is XTRemely sad and complicated what happened to Indiana. It is much, much, MUCH more complicated than Knight having a temper. Knight had a temper alright. He had it for years before they decided to sack him. Knight took on the powers that were (and probably still be). Knight tried to take on corruption and wound up in exile never to win another championship. Coach K would still be chasing his mentor, if Knight had gone along to get along. Not saying Knight was an angel. Not saying I would have wanted my kid to play for him. Saying whatever his faults and flaws, he was the last guy to try to take on corruption in the game before it apparently became institutionalized and normalized, and he was CRUSHED.

    For anyone that wants to understand what happened to college basketball, Bob Knight was the canary in the mine shaft that needs to be studied.

    He stood up alone.

    And the wrong way guys won.

    And the game has never been the same since.

  • @KUSTEVE Solid post. Well done!

  • KU Steve, I don’t think anybody will deny that this team is special and has potential to achieve greatness. Ranking at this time of the year do not mean much, they swing a lot from week to week so I am not pumping my chest on being #2 right now.

    There is nothing wrong in having discussions and debates throughout the season. I am enjoying the ride but I do worry that we may go back to the playing style that does not fit with the talent of this team which is based on PACE - transition, crisp passing creating open shots.

  • @AsadZ Enjoy the season. It will be special - I promise you.

  • @KUSTEVE KUSteve, I know, I am with you

  • This year we will tie UNC’s streak of 27 tournaments in a row and next year we will have the longest NCAA tournament streak of all time. I think that’s more impressive than 11 Big12’s in a row.

  • It is sad to see what has happened to Indiana.

    I know we are all passionate and can get emotional with our team, but sometimes try and step back and keep it all in perspective.

    We are pretty blessed to be Jayhawk fans, especially with our last 3 head coaches as KUSTEVE mentioned.

    On one broadcast they mentioned Kansas has only had 8 head coaches in 100+ years? That is some really good luck.

  • @Second-Prize KU Basketball is a gift that keeps giving every year. This year, I think we go from nearly elite the past two years to elite. I also think this could be a record setting year for the Big 12. Practically the whole league is back, and watching Texas take out number #3 UNC, and OU flat curb stomp Nova, portends big things, imo. Faylor, the WV hillbillies, OU, the Clones, and Texas should all be NCAA bound. The conference will be quite a challenge, imo.

  • @jaybate-1.0 Great post. This highlights some of what you said.


    Don’t let the “Christianthought” scare you off. It has little to do with doctrines and more about character.


    We are real deep in experience and talent.

    Guards alone, Mason, Graham, Selden, Svi, Greene and Vick, that is sick.

    I know we do not have a star big, but between the experience of Traylor, Lucas, and Hunter and their unique talents, and the athleticism of Diallo and Bragg, I believe we can mix and match and find an answer up front for a lot of specific matchups with different opponents.

    This should be a fun year. With how stacked the Big 12 is our regular season conference title may end this year but I think we are a Final Four team and a real title contender.

  • @JhawkAlum

    Whew! That fellow swung the hammer!!! Thanks for sharing the link.

    I started worshipping Wooden.

    Then met him briefly for a few days after he had retired and found him a brilliant and kind person exceeding his reputation.

    Learned of his Gilbert connection and felt great dis illusionment.

    Studied his career as closely as I could and assessed him relative to the standards of his time.

    Decided he spent 15 years playing entirely by the rules and by seeking an edge through integration, but losing out to inferiors like Pete Newell, Sam Berry and his successor, An OSU coach, a Washington coach, and others east like all the New York coaches, and Rupp, and Bubas, that had long relied on sugar daddies like Gilbert AND some that had looked the other way at gambling connections to win big. and even our Phog Allen once he turned a blind eye to the informal forerunner of the Outland Fund that later became the Williams Fund. Wooden was on the brink of losing his job and he had made a huge enemy list by pioneering integration. He finally apparently compromised, hired Jerry Norman, and started apparently recruiting exactly the same way everyone else apparently was during those years. He apparently used the same model. He apparently used an assistant to get the sugar daddy and allow him–the head coach–the same plausible deniability that most of the other top coaches maintained. Wooden to me made the same compromise that all his peers and predecessors had made after 15 years of resisting and being laughed at and mistrusted for not going along to get along. When he leveled the playing field, all his long reputation with African American integration came into play, and he suddenly found himself holding all the aces. His school that had started as a Podunk Normal school added to the UC system in 1947 had become the flagship university of the most desirable region of the country by 1962. The great coaches he had learned harsh lessons against began to retire. The gambling scandals had hollowed out NYC ball and UNC and Rupp refused to integrate. Allen was gone and replaced with Harp who, tried to buck the corruption of the system, as Knight later would, and of his own school, as Knight later would. Harp, the genius innovator of pressure defense, quickly went down shortly, to lack of recruits available to the right way–ruthlessly marginalized as one who would not go along to get along in the game generally or within his own fund raising compromised program itself. But nice mannered Harp went quietly, and unsuccessfully tried to build a fundamentalist flank in FCA. Knight would not later go quietly and flaunted his abusive tendencies.

    I have gone through my Protestant disillusion and reformation against the Wooden basketball catholicism. I met him. He was a good man. He compromised, but he did much more good than harm in my book. No one stood up for him all those years before he compromised. He was alone.

    Knight apparently thought he had some allies inside and out side his university, when he stood up, likely same as Wooden and Harp did. But when push came to shove, when Wooden compromised, and Harp allowed himself to be marginalized, Knight fought on alone. He enlisted persons to write books to defend him. He spoke out. But he became hung on the petard of his own flaws and then the absence of allies finally got him. The bad guys never forget, whether they are in the shadows or in positions of authority and dignity. Knight had called them out. He had exposed the system through his cooperation with the writing of College Sports, Inc. by Murray Sperber. Nothing in the book was ever cleaned up. The system has apparently morphed up to a new higher scale of normalized asymmetry.

    In the movie business, immigrant and America loving Elia Kazan learned the hard way about speaking truth to corrupt power. He, like Wooden compromised and flourished for a time. But then once both had played their parts after compromising, they were both hit by historical revisionism and their greatnesses at what they both did were later trivialized and smeared over in coming decades.

    There are different kinds of greatness.

    Wooden and Coach K have apparently both compromised. They are represented by the myth of Odysseus. Bend before being broken.

    There are others like Knight that refuse to bend and so get broken. They are represented by the myth of Achilles.

    The ancient poet Homer expressed the complementary and countervailing myths as he did for a reason. They have survived as they have because they reveal a truth older than recorded human history.

    Their is a tragic dimension at times to the great individual’s interaction with his culture.

    And heroism is largely defined there.

    But greatness?

    It happens where it happens, how it happens.

    Rock Chalk!

  • @jaybate-1.0 Love the Iliad and Odyssey references, but I think Odysseus today would bend and break, not be bent. He is history’s most famous hacker after all.

  • @ParisHawk

    Speculation to which we all are entitled and ought at least contemplate.

    As for me, Odysseus would have understood implicitly a republic with 24/7 torture prisons, a parallel national security government, problems with terrorist organizations getting off the leash in the Middle East, conflicts with the Turks and Russians, and sports being appropriated for a hegemond’s business, and especially the kinds of waters coaches swim in. The O-man was quite a guy. I would never bet against him, just as I would never bet on Achilles.

    For what it’s worth, even Knight finally went to work for ESPN; that was perhaps his contribution to the Odysseus legacy. 😄

  • @ParisHawk

    It’s funny. I never thought of Odysseus as a hacker. Odysseus and Achilles have always seemed quintessential myths of the ordinary, yet timeless complexities and ambiguities of military (and now national security) service. What about his myth makes him seem a hacker to you? But that could be an idiosyncratic assumption due to my having had a father in the military.

    I ask, because I am always interested in the dynamics of myth over the long haul. A myth to me is kind of a skeleton key to the world view at any particular time we choose to analyze it. These two myths had supposedly been told for perhaps a 1000 years or more before being instituted in composition by Homer. Obviously they have great staying power and a great capacity for being adapted to many presents. I was using them in rather traditional interpretions for characterizing the present, but myths often are reinterpreted in the present and also then used to characterize the present. I am interested in your apparent reinterpretation. When and how did you come to your reinterpretation? Is it something that has come into vogue recently as a kind of fallout from Snowden and his ilk, or is it something older that grew up with the net that I missed, or just a spur of the moment thought. I kind of see something to it. I have always thought the national security mind controllers might one day roll up their sleeves and update the reinterpretations of these two myths for The New World Order business. Maybe they already have? 😄 Seriously though I am interested in this way of viewing it, if you care to expound further.

  • This thread reminded me of my favorite one-liner question to casually throw out to people to show just how kickass our blueblood program is…

    “Do you know who the *only *losing coach was in KU’s 100+ years? James Naismith, the inventor of basketball.” Always makes me feel really smug when I get to say that. 🙂

    For the record:

    James Naismith .478

    “Phog” Allen .729

    William Hamilton .679

    Dick Harp .596

    Ted Owens .657

    Larry Brown .754

    Roy Williams .805

    Bill Self .820

  • @Jyhwk_InTigrtwn dang that’s quite a trend Line up from Harp!

  • @jaybate-1.0 said:

    What about his myth makes him seem a hacker to you?

    Nothing very profound, just the Trojan Horse.

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