March 4: News Headlines Digest

  • Also see our Daily Threads, March 4, and the News Digest for Yesterday, March 3, as well as Daily Threads for Yesterday, March 3

    ##Newell: KU basketball center Joel Embiid will sit out final two regular season games with back injury##

    LAWRENCE — Kansas freshman center Joel Embiid will sit out the Jayhawks’ final two regular-season games after tweaking his back in Saturday’s 72-65 loss to Oklahoma State, KU coach Bill Self said Monday afternoon.

    “We’ve also spoken with experts with this particular injury and have been told the same thing we were told before: Rest is the best remedy,” Self said.

    ###Dodd: Self: KU never planned to cut down nets at OSU###

    LAWRENCE — Bill Self never planned to cut down the nets at Gallagher-Iba Arena had Kansas won at Oklahoma State on Saturday. He never said as much, either.

    But that didn’t stop Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart from implying, during a postgame interview on ESPN, that the Cowboys had seen such a quote from the KU coach.

    ###Hurricane celebrating 1993-94 Sweet 16 team, coach Tubby Smith###

    In a preseason poll of Missouri Valley Conference basketball coaches, the 1993-94 University of Tulsa team was picked to finish fifth.

    “We felt like we were better than fifth, with the pieces we had,” recalled Shea Seals, who was a freshman guard on that Golden Hurricane squad.

    ####KU Sports: 10 years of Big 12 supremacy: 2006####

    From the time of Big 12 divisions, through realignment and the subtraction/addition of teams and a new 10-team format, one thing has remained constant in the conference for the past decade: Kansas University’s men’s basketball team has always finished in first place.

    All week long, we’ll be looking back at KU’s 10 consecutive Big 12 championships by highlighting the top players and moments of each conference schedule, from 2005 to today.

    Also see our Daily Threads, March 4, and the News Digest for Yesterday, March 3, as well as Daily Threads for Yesterday, March 3

  • @approxinfinity

    I just liked this post so much, I decided to post it twice!!! To wit…

    Self is just insanely good at stealing wins and moving the pieces just far enough from game to game to get another W.

    As Self keeps reminding people, this bunch of defensively challenged green wood that cannot protect on offense if another team even looks crossly at them, has a three game lead with two games to go.

    It is an unbelievable accomplishment considering he had to play with Embiid and Black at half to three quarters speeds for over a month of the heart of the conference season, and without Embiid entirely for a week or so. I can bitch and moan all I want about how he shouldn’t have brought Embiid back until about now, but the point is, he bought his team time to get a three game lead with two to go and the conference title, and the best chance they could have had to get a 1, or 2, seed despite the adversity.

    He did this all by the way with the next Lebron playing rather like the next Xavier, not the next Lebron.

    He did this with a point guard, Naadir Tharpe, that might have difficulty guardiing some of us!

    And he did this with Naadir Tharpe, who’s main strength going into the season was though to be his ball handling, which just turned out to be one of his greatest weaknesses. Lost in all the talk about Tharpe’s defense and TOs is that he has turned out not to be a particularly exceptional ball handler unless the other team just leaves him entirely alone.

    Oh, and his 5-star 4 that was supposed to be able to become a dominant player this season and a scoring machine, has except against weak competition, turned increasingly into a glue 4 that gets 2-4 ppg and 2-4 rpg. I mean, THINK ABOUT THAT!!!

    And did I mention that his great trey shooting perimeter guys–Greene, Frankamp and White–turned out not to be able to shoot much.

    When you stop and think about it, Self only had three guys perform at, or above expectations this season.

    Wayne Selden, who some thought might be an OAD, turned out to be a guy that has some good games and some bad games, got injured for a stretch, but generally turned out to be a solid glue 2 most of the time.

    Frank Mason, they guy that almost went to Towson, and then gave everybody goose bumps with his after burners for two games early, then settled into a guy that came in an penetrated and couldn’t finish at the rim, couldn’t shoot the trey much, and really contributed the most when he tried to just glue.

    Self’s only really wonderful surprise was Joel Embiid. Embiid was thought to be a project that would be a back up most of the year and not come into his own until next season. Embiid learned faster than anyone dreamed and became Self’s savior, only Embiid got a knee and a back injury that then greatly reduced his effectiveness for the last month of the season!

    Hey, I almost forgot to mention Tarik Black, the guy Self and Coach K competed hard to sign. Tarik Black spent most of the season trying to stay on the court maybe four minutes.

    Now step back and look at the descriptions of what actually happened with each of the guys on the team versus what the expectations were for each of the guys on this team. Get that chasm between expectation and outcome clear in your head. Now, put yourself back at the start of the season and pretend I told you then what these player would actually do, instead of their expectations. What would you have predicted would be the record of a team where:

    the point guard couldn’t protect or defend.

    The 5 star 2 guard became a glue player.

    The next Lebron at 3 became the next Xavier.

    The 5-star 4 averaged 2 points and 2 rebounds in big time games in February and basically disappeared all season long against good competition.

    The big 260 pound center often played fewer than 5-10 mpg.

    The trey shooters couldn’t make treys.

    The Jam Tray played consistently in reserve, but never had a break out game.

    Would you have said this team was certain to clinched the tenth title with a three game lead with two games to go?

    Hell, I would have predicted the team to be in third or fourth place!!!

    Self is a genius.

  • @jaybate 1.0 What I witnessed this season was a team that replaced 5 starters, looked lost at times, had chemistry issues, lost a game they should have won (CU), won a game they could have lost (TT), and battled through injury while playing with target on their back being “everybody’s Super Bowl” in all of their road games, especially conference.

    So congratulation to this year’s Kansas Jayhawks and Coach Self for playing with zero returning starters, constantly improving, fighting to win every game they participated in, even when the calls did not go their way or the shots did not fall. This team team could have easily finished in 3rd or 4th place, but they didn’t. They deserve to be applauded for their effort and encouraged by their fan base. 10 Conference titles in a row, unbelievable.

    PS, Marcus Smart’s after game speech would have been more accurate if he had said that he came back to school for another chance at a conference title, and possibly more, but once again Coach Bill Self and the Kansas Jayhawks are cutting down the nets, and the entire conference could not stop them.

  • @KansasComet

    Very well said.

  • Bill Self coming up on Katz Corner on ESPNU. It looks like the same episode might re air at 1 and 2 today also.

  • @KansasComet

    I was applauding the players. I put their individual performances in the very best possible light I could. In fact, I probably was too nice about the spread between expectations and outcomes. Outcomes just did fall wildly below expectations. Who is to say whether the expectations were too high, or the outcomes too low. I for one expected the team to lose 8-10 games and said so very early on, and once last summer, if I recall correctly, so my expectations were not high at all for what many said was the most talented team at KU in a long time. There was zero chance this team was going to be a super team up front. Their only prayer was to be healthy and get on a role in March. The minute I looked at Wigs’ and Selden’s sub 40% trey shooting, it was a given that this team was never going to dominate from the perimeter, unless Greene, Frankamp, or AW3 turned into a big minute, lights out shooter, which none did, of course. The teams only hope to be dominant was in their bigs and that really came down to Embiid, because no one else could rim protect. Embiid progressed super fast, or this team would have very likely have ten losses already, maybe more, and the world would be talking about how Self finally had his bad rebuilding season that Roy and every other coach has undergone the last ten years after a run of 3-4 hot seasons.

    They are at 22-7 with two games to go and, if they play with fierce competitiveness, should hole out the regular season at 24-7, even without Embiid, which would be superb for how far short the individual players have fallen vis a vis expectations.

    So best case scenario, as I estimated back near the start of the season, for this supposedly most talented team of Self’s teams is eight losses, assuming they hole out two regular season games and get Embiid back for the B12 tourney and hole out the B12 tourney and go down in the Madness, or maybe run the table 6-0, avoiding a final loss.

    To bring this all into focus, best XTReme Best Case scenario, this most talented of Self’s teams has to win 11 straight games and a national championship to go out with 7 losses. Anything is possible, but that is a very tall order playing at least two games without Embiid, and maybe 3 more in the B12 conference tourney.

    Probable scenario: KU splits without Embiid the last two games, then loses one with Embiid played sparingly in the conference tourney, then wins until Embiid gets injured again, say in the Elite Eight. That would yield a 10 loss season. That would equal the high end of my expected range.

    Worst case scenario: Whew! This is where it gets scary. KU loses both games without Embiid, and doesn’t get him back for the B12 tourney, or the Madness, and goes out the first week end, second game. Then it is an 11 loss season with a losing stench at the end. I thought the only way that could happen was with an injury to a key player, which is what has occurred.

    But I never dreamed it would be to Embiid, because I never dreamed he would progress in his first season to the point of being our most crucial player. I figured Wigs would be that, but ifs and buts were candy and nuts, eh?

    Anyway, the point that remains set in stone is that Self managed to get these guys to buy into a winning scheme (being a big man oriented team) very early, once it became clear that none of them, except Embiid, was going to be nearly as good as they were expected to be.

    Imagine what would have become of this team had they not bought into Self’s concept for the team!

    It is positively scary to consider.

    Suppose they had tried to play up tempo every game, even run balls to the walls! How about 25-30 TOs every game!

    Suppose we had played through Wigs the way so many had expected. Suppose we had depended on Wigs, who is not yet strong enough to finish at the rim, to be THE GUY and often has appeared stunned at how rough the game was. Disaster!

    Imagine if we had crafted a controlled running team around Wiggins’ and Selden’s and Mason’s trey shooting! OMG!!! Help me, help me, help me, I think I’m going insane from that vision of free masonry bricking treys!!!

    Next, imagine if Self had stuck with Perry Ellis as his most consistent scorer!!! OMG, can you imagine what in god’s green earth would have happened in all of the games that Perry has done the disappear-o in? The W&L statement would have looked like an investment portfolio full of derivatives in 2008!!!

    Next, imagine if Self had crafted the kind of spread it out and let Tharpe, or Mason, operate in the center and create that yours truly suggested in a flight of madness one time. OMG!!! It would have been a season of Tharpe getting the ball stolen, or Mason going 1-12 on missed finishes at the iron. More losses than Viagara bottles at a retreat for impotent Casanovas.

    I’m not talking about this stuff to knock the players. They didn’t create the expectations. Self and staff didn’t create the expectations. The recruiting gurus drunk on listening to themselves and the media needing to sell us all shizz we don’t even need created this insidious situation. But too many of us bought into it.

    Self had a nice recruiting class that got blown up into something utterly NOT what it was. Oh it had all the trappings of a hyped recruiting class all right, but it didn’t have the stunning level and number of match up advantages that Cal’s random freak of OAD recruiting possessed one season only.

    And the guys Self had coming back? Tharpe? Give me a fricking break. He was going to be a barely acceptable D1 point guard if everything broke his way and if Self found a way to mask him, something few coaches can do with a point guard.

    And Ellis? Did anyone notice how tough it was for him to get into the rotation on a team with a 6-8 180 recycle from Loyola Marymount? What were people thinking? What kind of drugs were they taking? Did they seriously believe Perry Ellis, who lost his job to a 6-8 180 pound 4 his freshman season, was suddenly going to be able to come in and dominate the glass against blue meanies on top teams; that he was going to be able to hang 32 on a top tier conference team–on a top ten team nationally?

    What I’m saying here is that once you go through detox, i.e., one you get through the DTs of going cold turkey on Basketball Hype Addiction, you see that what these players have done was just about what they were capable of doing (and anytime you reach your potential, you are a winner as John Wooden said); that they had to work their asses off, and play as hard as they possibly could, just to perform as well as they in fact did.

    The players should be enormously proud of what they have accomplished, and so should the fans. The players have to play in the real world, where the laws of physics still hold in a way that they do not hold in Basketball Hype Space. In Basketball Hype Space, players like Perry Ellis can hang 32 against Syracuse on a good night. In Basketball Hype Space, freshman that declare a year early like talented Andrew Wiggins can play like 23 year old men and not only hop over 23 year old men, but out muscle them too. In Basketball Hype Space a substitute from Memphis can transfer and play like a starter without a season long transition required. In Basketball Hype Space freshman Wayne Selden can know how much faster D1 guys really are and never have to learn how to sit and put his faked out, scorched jock back on his hips. In Basketball Hype Space, lightening speed is all it takes for freshman Frank Mason to finish successfully at the rim 50% of the time against blue meanies that are not trying to keep up with him, but instead waiting to club him at the rim in D1. In Basketball Hype Space, freshman Brannen Greene can guard great players, play under control, and drill it from anywhere regardless of the match up he faces in D1.

    In short, in Basketball Hype Space, all of KU’s guys–newcomers and sophomores-- are seasoned D1 players from the moment they lace them up, or in the particularly drugged up state that many have been in this season, they are going to alchemically transform into such after 29 grueling game, while studying and traveling and trying to get used to not burning the candles at both ends with the young women they meet away from home for the first times in their lives.

    Its all preposterous and we KU fans should never take this drug of over expectation again.

    And while I am advocating turning down the Hype Pill, thank you very much, I am trying to call attention to the fact that Self has had balls the size of a Red Giant to tell these guys the truth, or did whatever he did to get them to see the truth, or simply loved them enough to recognize and let them be who they truly were, rather than force them to keep pretending they were things they weren’t.

    I’m trying to get people to wake up to the phenomenal job Self has done to craft something realistic out of all the ridiculous hype about these players.

    I’m trying to get people to appreciate that once again Bill Self found a way for 15 or so kids to become the best “team” they could have been, rather than the most hyped bunch of individuals they could have been.

    And I’m trying to say these players have been through a terrible crucible that no young men should ever have to go through again. Its hard enough and cruel enough just to try to survive the competition of learning to play D1 basketball without a bunch of false expectations swirling around you. No brave, hard working young man should ever again at KU have to put up with the obviously half baked baloney of expectations that has stalked this team so cruelly.

    And what I am saying is so, whether they run the table or not.

    If they win a ring or not.

    If they win a ring, it will still be because they faced who they really were and accepted a team framework that could get them to the promised land.

    The truly terrible and insidious thing is this: even if this team wins a ring, it will still not have lived up to its hype. They will just be a champion (still the greatest thing in sport to become), but then the hype machine will be using them to put another incoming recruiting class behind yet another eight ball of Basketball Hype Space.

    Love these boys for what they have done and for the false hype they had to overcome.

    Love these boys for proving inspite of it all that being the best you can be still matters more than being the most hyped you can be.

    The boys are for real.

    They hype never was.

    The boys are good and could get on a roll still.

    The hype never will.

    Rock Chalk!

    about what I expected best case.

  • @jaybate 1.0 Okay, jb, sit back, catch your breath, break out the cordials, and brace up for late Wed. night or early Thurs. morning postings. The Jayhawk roller coaster is 75% through its trek, maybe more. Win or lose, encapturing excitement and thrills yet to come.

  • @jaybate 1.0

    Love both of your reads today, my friend!

    Do you know HOW Self won #10?

    Of course, everyone contributed… but we had 2 main weapons…

    Weapon #1: Embiid on defense. He became a blocking machine and a shot changer. Embiid made up for a lot of bad perimeter defense. Embiid has pulled down a lot of boards, too.

    Weapon #2: Embiid on offense. Embiid has shot an amazing 62.6% from the field! Okay… he doesn’t score a ton of points… but HOW did Self get Embiid his points? The Self hi/lo, which also then feeds in all our bigs %s… Ellis 53.6%, Black 66.2%, Traylor 74.6%… add in all our post players and that is why we are one of the most efficient offenses in the country! Most teams we won because of our offense, not our defense.

    Embiid is our main weapon.

    But let’s not discount all the help from Wiggins, Selden and sometimes Tharpe. All of these guys played gigantic roles in several games.

    However… minus out Embiid from our season and we would be fighting to get a spot in March Madness.

    Go back 2 years ago and that Kentucky team didn’t have a shot at that NC without the unibrow!

  • I’ve decided to go down to Stillwater tonight with my hedge clippers and cut down their nets.

    Anyone want to go along?

  • @drgnslayr Absolutely! I would be happy to get on the bus, and I will bring embroidery scissors. It might take longer, but it will look superb in the end. Thanks for the laugh.

  • That is a great thought Dragon. I can’t make it this time but perhaps another trip will materialize in the future-as in I win the lotto and reserve a hotel floor or two at a March Madness weekend and with a block of tickets invite KU bucketeers on my dime. RCJH

  • @drgnslayr Correct. Kentucky’s main weapon was the Unibrow, but he also had Gilchrist, Jones, Teague, and Miller to help him out. This year, Embiid has Wiggins, Selden, Tharpe(when is actually focused on the game), Ellis, Black, Mason, and Traylor as his supporting cast.

    I agree with everyone on here: Self needs to sit Embiid until the tournament. They are already a guaranteed 2 or 3 seed, so no need to risk an further injury.

    What the rest of the team needs to do during this time that Embiid is out is to realize that the tournament is almost here and now is the time to really focus(Tharpe I’m talking to you!).

    A focused team plus a healthy Embiid = great shot at a final four.

  • Yep, Rest Embid, even use sparingly in the B12 tourney as needed.

  • @REHawk

    Will do, coach. And I’m expecting Perry Ellis to come up big, because Perry has been in one of those mother of all slumps that scorers, regardless of whether they play outside, or inside, get into. The great news for Perry is that he is getting his out of the way now, so that he can reset for The Madness. And I believe he will. He is too solid of a person not to. He is smart and I always bet on intelligence over the long haul. Perry is like all the guys that Self plays out of position. Though they are completely different kinds of players, he reminds me of Tyrel Reed. Both came to KU as scorers. And in the D1 game, at the different positions Self played them at, they had to learn that there just were going to be games when they could not do what they are best at, because of match-up disadvantage. Reed had a great, great 3pt shooting season his junior year (46%), but there were games that season when he got bottled up and then didn’t bring anything else to the table. He guarded hard, but he didn’t explode out of his position on defense and strip and disrupt, or create plays for other players on offense, or get in their and steal rebounds, or take charges, like he should have. It wasn’t until Reed’s senior season that despite the pre-operable foot injury that killed his 3pt% that he was big and strong enough to run around the floor and bump and grind with guys outside. It wasn’t until his last season that he mastered the reach in the paint and strip the mid range rebound out of the hands of a blue meanie.

    Perry can be so much more versatile than Reed, because he has the 6-7 height to go with his own hops on a par 6-4 Reed’s 40 inch vertical.

    I really do believe Perry could be special at the 3, even though no one else seems to. But whether or not he ever makes it there, he is eventually going to break through into that kind of intensity where he can make up for the bad matchup games with exploding out of his position for strips and blocks and disruption. There is no doubt in my mind that Perry will do it.

    He will get his scoring mojo back sometime over the next five games. It will come back not just because Jo Jo is out, but because Perry will come out of his slump.

    If he gets hot again during the Madness, we are going to be a very, very tough out, assuming Embiid comes back.

    Rock Chalk!

    Go, Perry, go!!!

  • @jaybate 1.0 Swish!

    Spot on Jaybate. Its all about finding your groove IN MARCH, not December or January. That’s why I’m glad KU has already suffered losses early in the season while other teams haven’t. Their weaknesses have already been determined and they know what to correct and improve on.

    As you said jb, once The Designer gets out his slump, look out! I was glad that against OSU on Saturday he decided to go to his mid range game since he has been getting his shot blocked in the post. He needs to go to it even more to stretch the defense out. Another thing that would really help him is to use the shot fake. I don’t remember a time this year when he’s used it.

  • I may be drinking the red and blue kool-aid, but I think we still have a decent shot at a #1 seed.

    First, we should take care of business at home against TT. It is senior night. Emotion should be high. But this is not a gimme.

    Second, go to WVU and take down a highly-competitive Huggins team with size. But we’ll have size in Black and Trailer who might be a better duo to match up against the mountaineers.

    At that point, I’m going to say we’re still a #2.

    When we get to conference tourney time, there could be some upsets that could help us. The ACC tourney will be a test for Virginia to pull off. I tend to trust Florida to handle the SEC competition, but Arizona could be upended in the PAC12. Wichita State may come through unscathed, but I’m going to say the odds are pretty good that one of these teams will lose in their conference tourney.

    With a loss from one of those teams, KU is in the conversation for a #1 unless they bow out in the first game of the tourney.

    If KU gets to the Big12 championship game, they are being considered for a #1 seed --with or without a loss from the top row. And if they win, they are almost certainly a #1 seed --even if the other teams win out – by virtue of their accomplishments against the Top 50 teams in the B12 tourney they will likely encounter.

    We actually have an advantage by playing in the Big12 – more upside if we win than any of the other teams other than maybe Virginia.

  • @JayhawkRock78 count me in!

  • @drgnslayr drove to Lawrence tonight for senior pm, or I’d go w/you.

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    Thanks for the thought… so you go to the game and give an extra shout out from me.

    I’ll be flanked behind the 3rd bush outside of the south exit of Gallagher-Iba, waiting to dart in with my clippers duct taped to my back.

    Everyone in here can PM me their mailing address later for a strand of history!

  • @bskeet

    “With a loss from one of those teams, KU is in the conversation for a #1 unless they bow out in the first game of the tourney.”

    Syracuse should definitely be out of the picture now with their home loss to VT.

    I basically gave up on our hopes of a 1-seed because of 7 losses…

    Maybe someone in here knows…

    Has there ever been a 1-seed with 7 or more losses?

  • @drgnslayr Yes I believe Michigan State was in 2000. They also won the championship that year.

  • @drgnslayr

    Parity in basketball has resulted in most every team, at least in the major conferences have multiple loses by the time the conference schedule is played out. The days when a half dozen teams dominated the landscape are gone. Look at how many different teams have been ion the top 5, 10, 25. Look at the pre-season top 25:

    Kentucky - Now 25

    Michigan State - Now 22

    Louisville - Now 11

    Duke - Now 4

    Kansas - Now 8

    And look at the current top 5:


    Wichita State




    Wichita State is an aberration and the result of a very weak schedule and playing in a very weak mid-major conference. No team in a major conference has gone unbeaten since the 1976 Indiana Team.

    KU has had the toughest schedule in college basketball and by many accounts, the toughest in 20 years. Also, many analyst have pointed out, KU has enough good wins and not really a bad loss, to be considered a #1 seed. Most of the so called “bracketologists” have KU as a #1 seed, even after the loss to OSU, and many feel that with Embiid out( provided he returns for the conference tournament) even if it loses one of the next two games, it would not affect the seeding; its strength of schedule is that good.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    I haven’t stayed on top of the bracketology as well as you have. That is clear to me now!

    Your logic is sound… I think I’ve been weighing the wins/losses too much on its general count, without putting enough focus on SOS.

    I do know that I am very happy we played such a tough schedule this year. It seems to benefit us by making us more prepared, and it seems to give us opportunities in the polls without too much risk of being brought down.

    Take the flip side of that coin… and Wichita State. They played perfect basketball and can’t advance beyond 2nd in the polls.

  • @drgnslayr

    I believe Bilas mentioned in one of his articles that Wichita is being judged based on its record (eye test) and KU on its Strength of Schedule (substance test), one is fleeting the other is not…which one would you rather have?

    The objective computer rankings do not like Wichita and their current ranking is artificially buoyed by the no losses; one loss in their tournament and they drop like a rock. It is the equivalent of going up like a 747 or a helium filled balloon; one pin prick will bring one down while the other will not even feel it.

  • If our team is worthy of a #1 seed then parity has made college hoops totally lacking in quality teams. We have too many ugly losses to be considered a #1 in my opinion. Florida, KSU, OSU, SDSU are all games where we resembled 5 or 6 seeds instead of #1 seeds. But…

    While there’s three sure #1’s, Florida, Arizona and Wichita, you could argue us receiving the 4th as easily as you could Virginia, Duke, Villanova, or Syracuse. Heck if 6 loss Duke is being mentioned, then I’ll mention my Badgers and their 5 loss team with the 2nd strongest schedule and a win at Virginia. And yet unless one of them distinguishes themselves in the last week and a half here, well one of these teams will get the #1. My guess is it will be Duke, they’ll get to play in Raleigh for the regional and we’ll all complain.

  • @wissoxfan83 I agree that we probably should not be a #1, even considering our SOS. And not to be a party pooper, but I really don’t want to be a #1 this year. Our team is so inconsistent and I sure as heck don’t want to be the first #1 to lose to a 16. It could happen.

    I firmly believe we can beat any team in the tournament, but I also believe that we can probably lose to any team in the tournament.

  • @wissoxfan83

    If our team is worthy of a #1 seed then parity has made college hoops totally lacking in quality teams.

    Actually I would argue that the opposite is correct; parity has created a lot more quality teams. Where before we had a few that dominated, now we have a number of them than on a given day can beat any other team. I would say that if the top 10 current teams played the top 10 ranked teams of 30 or 40 years ago, the current teams would wing at least 8 out of the 10 games; maybe even all of them. Basketball is now that much better.

    Other than perhaps the first Texas game, I would not call our losses ugly; BTW, Texas was ranked in the top 20 at the time.

    KU started 5 true freshmen against Florida and gave up a lot of points in the first half; however, the team recovered and beat Florida by 9 in the second half. Obviously not enough to win the game but a good indicator that KU can beat any team; keep in mind that Florida is currently the unanimous #1 ranked team.

  • @drgnslayr I would be happy to join you on the trip to Stillwater to accomplish that task!

  • @HawkInMizery better get a bus!

  • @Crimsonorblue22 Would a double decker do??

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    I would say that if the top 10 current teams played the top 10 ranked teams of 30 or 40 years ago, the current teams would wing at least 8 out of the 10 games; maybe even all of them. Basketball is now that much better.

    That is a bet I would take. All things being equal, the top 10 ranked teams of 30 or 40 years ago would win hands down. Houston, with Hall of Famers Olajuwan and Drexler could not win the national championship. Illinois with a roster full of NBA players in '89 couldn’t win the national championship. Michigan with the real fab 5 recruiting class couldn’t win the national championship.

    Indiana of 76 would be undefeated nowadays too I believe. UCLA, same thing. Georgetowns great teams from 80-85 would destroy teams these days.

    It’s a fun argument to be sure.

    As for your statement that parity has created a lot more quality teams I disagree too. The level of play in NCAA has diminished greatly. I dislike the NBA, but when I watch a few minutes I’m amazed at how good those guys are. Then I watch college and am amazed at how poor even good teams are. The shooting is generally horrible, guys taking fade away threes for goodness sakes! So again, it’s a fun argument to have but I just don’t see what you wrote!

  • @wissoxfan83 I would take that bet too. Noah and friends came back to Florida for another year, and that’s all it took to win back to back titles. How many times did Alcindor and Walton come back?

    Plus so many bad habits from the AAU circuit…

    Jordan was on a top ranked team 30 years ago. A decade later, he was saying of the new guys: “They don’t know how to play. They don’t even know how to practice!”

  • @wissoxfan83

    I think you are missing my point. You are naming specific teams and I am trying to compare the top 10 teams in any one year. 30 or 40 years ago, there were a few dominant and a bunch of also run teams every year. Look at the current top 25 and many of those have been as high as #1, such as Kentucky and Michigan State and now they are in the 20s. Yes, I grant you that the top 2 or even 3 teams from long ago would have and edge, but below that it would not be close. Realistically, any of the current top 25 teams, with a couple of breaks, could be a top 3 team. 30 or 40 years ago, there were a few teams that dominated and the rankings did not change much throughout the season like they do now.

  • @ParisHawk

    Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abadul Jabbar) like Walton came back THREE times (both played 4 years), and Jabbar won 3 titles and Walton 2, losing in his senior year in the finals in double overtime to North Carolina State.

  • @JayHawkFanToo Right, I forgot freshmen weren’t eligible then. Another reason why you can’t compare the teams.

  • @ParisHawk

    The freshman rule was lifted in 1973 after Jabbar was done and while Walton was still playing. The both played one year in the Freshman team and 3 years in the varsity team.

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