Archive for Thursday, January 2, 1992

MEDIA, KU COACH SOMETIMES DIFFER OVER SELECTIONS

January 2, 1992

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It's a free country, meaning there will always be differences of opinion. Which brings us to recent differences between Kansas basketball coach Roy Williams and the media.

Difference No. 1: Media covering last weekend's BMA Classic named Southern Miss's Clarence Weatherspoon to the all-tournament team. Odd man out was KU's Alonzo Jamison, who had 22 points, 13 rebounds, three assists and three steals total in two Jayhawk blowouts. Williams believes Jamison deserved all-tourney mention. So do I.

Difference No. 2: This involves Iowa State. Williams believes the Cyclones should have been ranked in the AP Top 25 prior to last week's 20-point loss to Massachusetts. I disagree.

More on that later. First the jilting of Jamison:

While filling out his all-tourney and MVP ballots during Saturday's KU-Temple game (can you believe these ballots are collected before games are concluded?), scribe Harold Bechard of the Salina Journal glanced one seat over. He noticed I'd filled in the MVP blank first, with Alonzo Jamison's name penciled in.

BECHARD AGREED Jamison was great, but went with K-State's Askia Jones who scored 53 points in two games as his MVP. Bechard did quickly include Jamison on his all-tourney ballot, however.

We both agreed Weatherspoon deserved nothing but a free plane ride home after scoring 39 points and missing a lot of shots in two losses. We were outvoted by a majority of media members who ignored Jamison on their ballots, raising Williams' ire.

"I don't think I've ever said anything to butter you up," Williams said during his media conference Tuesday, "but I said my first year here I was impressed with the knowledge of people about basketball.

"If anybody can convince me that (Temple's Mik) Kilgore or Weatherspoon played better than Alonzo, I'll give up golf. I guarantee you the chances of you convincing me of that is not gonna happen. There's more to basketball than scoring points."

To Williams I say: You are correct, sir.

ON TO IOWA STATE. The Cyclones looked like a possible AP Top 25 team a couple weeks ago when they beat Iowa and improved to 6-1.

"If Iowa State doesn't move into the Top 25, that's not very fair, number one, ridiculous, number two," Williams said at the time.

Well, ISU didn't move into the Top 25, partly thanks to me, who ignored the Cyclones when filling out my ballot that week.

True the 98-84 win over No. 16 Iowa was impressive, but the game was aginst an arch-rival and played in Ames.

ISU's one loss at that point had come to TCU and the Cyclones' wins were against Maryland-Eastern Shore, Creighton, American, Northern Iowa and Texas Arlington. To me, ISU needed one more quality win to dent the Top 25.

Top 25 voters at that point had other teams to consider, like then undefeated Louisville, plus Florida State, a 6-2 team still not in the Top 25, despite beating North Carolina the same week ISU topped Iowa.

THE FINAL FIVE slots of the Top 25 aren't easy to fill. Here, for example, are some teams worthy of consideration: Washington State (12-1), Houston (9-1), Nebraska (9-1), Cincinnati (8-1), Utah (10-2), Pitt (7-3), Arizona State (8-3), UAB (12-1), Massachusetts (10-2), LSU (5-3) and UNLV (8-2). Not to mention Marquette, Stanford, Virginia, DePaul, Clemson, Boston College and Georgia, all good clubs.

So to Williams about ISU I say: You are incorrect, sir.

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