March 3: News Headlines Digest

  • Also see our Daily Threads, March 3, and the News Digest for Yesterday, March 2, as well as Daily Threads for Yesterday, March 2

    ###Bill Self denies Marcus Smart’s net talk###

    “I heard and saw the postgame interview (with ESPN’s Shannon Spake) after the game,” Self said. “I don’t know where Marcus got his information, but it was totally inaccurate. I’ve never said anything about cutting down nets or anything like that. I never said anything about cutting down nets in their building.

    “Strange … we’ve won the league 10 years in a row. I don’t know if we’ve even cut down nets at home. I’d never disrespect another program, especially my alma mater, by doing anything like that. It’s disappointing that was said. Certainly he obviously had some bad information however he received it.”

    ###** KU basketball players not in the mood to celebrate outright Big 12 title, either**###

    Coach Bill Self wasn’t the only one not in a partying mood following Kansas’ 72-65 loss to Oklahoma State on Saturday night.

    Though the Jayhawks clinched the outright Big 12 conference championship because of earlier losses in the day from Texas and Iowa State, they also didn’t want to talk much about that accomplishment after surrendering a 10-point lead in the second half.

    ###KU’s Andrew Wiggins may be favorite in Big 12’s deep player of year race###

    Deal with hundreds of interviews a year, maybe more, and you too will become practiced in the art of talking while saying nothing at all.

    That, at the moment, is particularly en vogue when it comes to Big 12 coaches when asked to name their favorite in the conference’s player of the year race.

    ###Newell: KU basketball not yet a team that can overcome poor offense and win###

    The Jayhawks are now 1-5 this year in games where it has had an eFG% of 45 percent or worse. KU was 4-2 in those games last year and 4-4 in those contests two seasons ago … which included NCAA Tournament wins over Purdue (38.7 eFG%) and NC State (38.3 eFG%).

    If you’d rather go by PPP, the results are pretty much the same. KU is 1-5 in games below 1 PPP this season after going 7-4 last year and 5-5 two years ago.

    ###Hoops ‘junkie’: Senior Niko Roberts lives, breathes ball###

    Son of current KU assistant/former St. John’s head coach Norm Roberts, Niko Roberts has lived and breathed basketball at KU the last four seasons.

    ####Haskin: Wiggins family may need to practice polite applause####

    If the basketball road eventually leads to a college clash between the Wiggins brothers, so be it.

    The parents of Andrew and Nick can live with it.

    The anticipation of such a matchup, however, is handled a bit differently by Mom and Dad.

    ####Keegan: At KU, confetti cannon overkill####

    KU has maintained a blue-collar edge during its decade of dominance, no easy juggling act. Subtle updates to Allen Fieldhouse in recent years have been done in a way so as not to erode the old-time feel of the place.

    If KU were to break out the confetti cannons and stage a full-bore celebration Wednesday, it would signal a step away from authentic and onto a slippery slope toward Hollywood.

    #### Also see our Daily Threads, March 3, and the News Digest for Yesterday, March 2, as well as Daily Threads for Yesterday, March 2

  • Updated the news… Jesse is doing his usual great stuff… I’ll try to recap his Tweets here:


    Talk about bending stats: February stat comparison between Andrew Wiggins and Marcus Foster

    First off, why February? Why not Tuesdays? Or games that start at 7:05 p.m.?

    2nd, comparing the two on assists? Not exactly comparing apples to apples there. Just like it wouldn’t be fair to compare the 2 in rebounds.

    3rd, points/game doesn’t paint full picture. If my math is right, Foster is averaging 2.5 more FGs/game (in Feb.). Makes a difference.

    If you want to compare Big 12 offense: Wiggins 114.7 Offensive Rating, 26.4% Usage; Foster 105.5 O-Rtg, 28.9% Usage.

    Translation: Foster is asked to do a lot offensively, but he’s not close to Wiggins’ efficiency. Both good. Wiggins better.

    @Jesse Newell rocks.

  • Another take on Nick and Andrew from Campus Insiders:

    Wiggins brothers ready to put stamp on March

    By Dave Skretta Sunday, March 2, 2014, 2:37 PM EST

    WICHITA, Kan. (AP) Nick Wiggins stood on the court at Koch Arena with one arm around mom, the other around dad, his second-ranked Shockers having just finished a 31-0 regular season.

    For once, it was the older brother of Kansas star Andrew Wiggins getting all the attention.

    Now, with the NCAA tournament right around the corner, the two brothers - and their teams - are ready to become the story of March.

    Wichita State heads into the Missouri Valley Conference tournament this week riding the best start since UNLV in 1991, while the fifth-ranked Jayhawks have wrapped up the outright Big 12 title - the 10th straight championship for the storied program.

    If things transpire as most bracketologists believe, Wichita State will be a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament and Kansas a No. 2 seed, quite possibly in the same region.

    And if everything went according to script, they would meet for a spot in the Final Four.

    ”Believe me, they’d want to face each other,” said their father, former NBA first-round draft pick Mitchell Wiggins, ”but I think they’d rather play each other in the final. And Nick would probably be Andrew’s matchup, so I don’t know who would come out on top.”

    ”Don’t ask me,” chirped their mother, Marita Payne-Wiggins, wearing a broad smile.

    The brothers are about as close as could be, constantly texting each other about everything from video games to school to social life. Nick and several of his Wichita State teammates made the 2-hour trip north earlier this season to watch Andrew lead the Jayhawks against Baylor, and more than once, Andrew has made the trip back south to hang out with his biggest fan.

    It’s gotten harder as the spotlight has intensified.

    he Shockers are the biggest thing going in Wichita these days, which means Nick and his teammates are besieged by well-wishers hoping for a photo and a handshake. Andrew is a sure-fire lottery pick who hasn’t been able to step outside his dorm room since arriving at Kansas without autograph hounds tracking him down.

    They have relied on each other, along with their parents, to stay grounded during this memorable season. Not even the pressure of the NCAA tournament can tear apart those family bonds.

    ”We were always together,” Andrew Wiggins told The Associated Press earlier this season. ”We’d always watch TV together. We were always together at dinner times. That’s what made us so close.”

    In fact, one of the reasons Andrew chose Kansas over just about every other major program in the country was that Nick was just down the road at Wichita State.

    ”I feel like that was the best decision for him,” Nick said.

    It turned out to be good for their parents. Mitchell and Marita were able to watch Nick and the Shockers dispatch Missouri State on Saturday to finish off a perfect regular season, a victory capped by a senior day ceremony in which Nick received a framed version of his No. 15 jersey.

    The Shockers’ sixth man even gave them a memorable highlight, throwing down a dunk off an alley-oop pass in transition that left another sellout crowd roaring in approval.

    On Wednesday night, they will continue their trip by visiting senior day in Lawrence, where the Jayhawks will face Texas Tech. Even though Andrew is only a freshman, he’s already made clear his intention of heading to the NBA, so it will be his last chance to play in Allen Fieldhouse.

    ”Nick has done so much for Andrew. He’s Andrew’s hero,” Mitchell said. ”He really helped Andrew’s game when he was younger, just talking to him, talking about basketball, different things. They like each other almost too much, and they’re very proud of each other.”

    Their parents are proud of them, too, and intend to follow the brothers throughout the NCAA tournament. It would be easier if they were paired in the same region, but that’s no guarantee, so Mitchell and Marita are anxiously awaiting Selection Sunday.

    Of course, if that happens, there’s always the possibility they’d face each other, too.

    ”It would be tough,” Mitchell said with a shake of his head. ”If it happens, we’d have to do the parent cheer, no celebrating, just” - with that, he does a modest little clap, barely audible.

    Marita chimes in one more time, just to clarify her husband.

    ”They’re where they want to be,” she said, ”so it’s not tough. It’s just happiness.”

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  • @bskeet

    Wiggins vs Foster

    …and no mention of defense?

    Defense is half of the game. At least, it should be!

  • We’ve seen Nick Wiggins at KU games, does anyone know if Andrew has attended Wichita games this season?

    As for the video playing at the top of the page as I recall Perry got called for a foul on that play right? While we criticize (rightly so) Smart a lot here, if the refs call that a foul on Perry is that Smarts fault or would we be applauding a play like that if it were one of our players? In other words would we call it savvy, court awareness, etc.? I think we would. And he keeps doing it because the refs fall for it. It cost us the win as much as anything the other night and for that at least, we can give Smart some credit, although I hate it at the same time.

    Jesse’s article, while I didn’t read it, but certainly get the gist of, describes this team to a T. Our offense, at least to my untrained eye has seemed putrid at times this season.

  • @wissoxfan83 He probably has they just haven’t been on TV that much so nobody saw him nationally there.

    That or he didn’t sit behind the bench and just blended into the crowd somewhere.

    But then again Marshall probably wouldn’t allow him in the building unless KU agreed to play them every year.

  • @wissoxfan83

    I’m pretty sure Andrew has been to several Shocker games this year. He goes but he hides (as much as possible). I doubt he even wears KU gear. He wants to be low profile… especially because he can’t go anywhere without being swarmed.

    It wouldn’t be hard for him to hide from TV at Shocker games. The coverage is awful!

  • @wissoxfan83 I guess if you don’t care about being a flopper, liar, chair kicker, fan shover, etc, and your coach doesn’t mind either, then go ahead! If he makes it to the L, then what?

  • The comments that Marcus Smart made about Self saying they would be “cutting down nets” etc should be unbelievable but they are not. They are just another example of his lack of maturity.

    I honestly can’t believe I am even typing this but after all of Smart’s flopping, chair kicking, back flipping, finger licking and flat out lying I seriously wish the worst for Smart and OSU for the rest of their season. Once the brackets are out I ALWAYS cheer for the Big 12 teams. I will have to make an exception this year as everything that I have seen from Smart and his coach has been pathetic. IF they make the tournament (with their conference record they shouldn’t) I truly hope they have a similar run they had last year…one and done. College ball is better off without Smart and Travis Ford being on the floor.

  • Seth Davis Hoop Thoughts from SI:

    “I still really like Kansas, but my goodness, these guys have got to stop turning the ball over. Also, be prepared for daily – strike that, hourly updates on Joel Embiid’s back. Good times.”

    “Kansas’ streak of 10 straight Big 12 titles is a truly great achievement, but I do think there is something to the criticism that this is also an indictment on the rest of the league. At some point, one of these other schools has to step up and break this string, especially considering this is the third time Bill Self has won a title at Kansas after having to replace his entire starting five.”

    This Week’s AP Ballot (Seth’s)

    *(Last week’s rank on my ballot in parentheses)

    1. Florida (1)
    2. Wichita State (2)
    3. Arizona (4)
    4. Kansas (3)
    5. Creighton (8)
    6. Villanova (13)
    7. Virginia (16)
    8. Wisconsin (14)
    9. Syracuse (6)
    10. Louisville (7)
    11. San Diego State (10)
    12. Michigan (15)
    13. North Carolina (17)
    14. Cincinnati (9)
    15. SMU (20)
    16. UConn (21)
    17. Iowa State (22)
    18. Memphis (23)
    19. New Mexico (25)
    20. St. Louis (11)
    21. Kansas State (NR)
    22. Oklahoma (NR)
    23. Stephen F. Austin (NR)
    24. Harvard (NR)

    Dropped out: Kentucky (12), Michigan State (18), Iowa (19), Ohio State (24)

    We dropped to 8 in AP Poll but are a #1 seed on Lunardi’s bracketology. Texas out of AP.

  • @joeloveshawks I’d love to have a framed picture of Smart and the kid that mops the sweat off the floor at OSU.

    " Flopsy and Mopsy "

  • @nuleafjhawk hilarious! Did you see that I saw your commercial of Marshall and Carlos okellys ? On Kwch, Wichita station. I think it was hoops for hopes???

  • @Crimsonorblue22 Yes, I did and thanks for acknowledging that!! I really was starting to think it was just a bad dream…

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    Hold on Crimson. You’re making a leap from flopping, to which I say if the refs are letting him do it then it’s not his fault, to me condoning his other bad behavior.

    And I’m serious, if the refs are going to call the flopping in his advantage why wouldn’t he do it?

  • @wissoxfan83 sorry, he gets away w/flopping, you think it leads to other problems-he gets away w/? Will NCAA start penalizing flopping? They could call it a smart1, or smart 2? I’m kidding!

  • Somewhere amongst all these messages I saw where somebody was asking about OK st being penalized for seeding in the NCAA tournament for the loses without Smart, and if KU could do that about the games Embid missed.

    Last year Kentucky missed the tournament after Noel went down, should they have been looked at differently? Now I know he wasn’t going tone able to play in the tournament like Smart will be able too, but just saying.

    And I did laugh at one of the latest bracket projections, OKst went from a 12 seed to an 11 after beating KU. While KU went from a 2 seed to a one seed.

    It must reallysuck to be OKst and Marcus Smart.

  • @ParisHawk thanks! We just need to step up!

  • @JRyman osu should have zero breaks for that! Do we reward that behavior? Just my opinion!

  • @Crimsonorblue22 I agree, what is to say he won’t get all huffy puffy pouty against Lamar in the first round and get ejected for kicking a chair??

    Then were is OK st? At home watching the games like us fans, but I’m sure Marcus won’t be invited to any team viewing parties, as the rest of the team has to be tired of his shit.

  • Come on, guys… we know Marcus Smart. The big lights will be on and Marcus Smart is going to be Marcus Smart.

    I expect him, in the least, to pull some big time flops. Flops that will get lots of negative TV coverage.

    We know he will flop out… he also might flip out! This is his last shot at becoming a big time hero. He came back for this opportunity and gave up big bucks to do so. He’s not going down without a fight, and that could mean about anything.

    The Cowboys are a decent team… better than their record. But they have a small margin for error, and if they hope to go far, they need some good luck, starting with being placed in the right bracket against teams they can handle.

    But I do like the chances that several B12 teams could win a few games in the tourney. Obviously, OSU could make some noise… so could ISU. And then there is Texas.

    I can see a possibility of 3 B12 teams in the Sweet 16.

    Back to Smart… expect some noise from Marcus.

  • @joeloveshawks Given all the antics, I don’t care for Smart any more than anyone else does. However, I think we should look at the possibility that he was using “cutting down the net” as a metaphor for winning the title outright in Stillwater. It is very plausible.

  • @drgnslayr I agree. They could make some serious noise. They are not deep, but their front line players are very good. I think they will be on a mission and that is pretty powerful come tournament time.

  • @Hawk8086 “Before the game, the coaches showed us a quote of Bill Self saying he was coming here cutting down our nets, and he was gonna win it outright in Stillwater,” Smart said of the Big 12 regular-season title.

    Key words “COACHES SHOWED us a quote of Bill Self”

    Somebody is making a story up. There’s a difference than talking about what KU wants to do and showing a quote. Surely Smart can tell a difference???

  • @Crimsonorblue22 Hmmm. I guess I forgot the part about Smart saying the coaches showed them a quote.

  • @Hawk8086 makes us wonder??? Maybe Ford lied?

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    Could be Ford… could be Smart. We already know Smart’s willingness to be dishonest.

  • @drgnslayr

    Ford has and always will have burr up his nether region because he knows that he was and will always be Oklahoma State’s second choice. If I remember correctly, this is not the first time he has bad mouthed Coach Self; in this regard he is no different than Scott Drew.

    As I mentioned before. even if he personally did not do the “showing,” of Coach Self’s alleged words, there is no way that it would have been done without his permission.

  • Shouldn’t OKst be concerned about liars?

    Just ask Dez Bryant what happens when you lie?

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