If Jay Price does for Billy Tubbs on Saturday what he did thrice for Roy Williams, then the Kansas basketball coach might be tempted to reach for his wallet.
Price spent the last three seasons as a student manager under Williams. In those three years, KU won a whole bunch of basketball games, but the Jayhawks failed to win in Oklahoma's Noble Arena.
Now Price, owner of a KU diploma, is a volunteer assistant coach at Oklahoma and, as Williams quipped Thursday, "If we win I may send him a bonus just for being on their bench."
Tipoff is 3:10 p.m. Saturday in Norman. It's part of the Big Eight television package and will be available on channels 9 and 13.
IF KANSAS does win Saturday Noble is the only Big Eight arena where Williams is winless and Williams feels like he wants to be Price's benefactor, Price surely wouldn't complain.
An unpaid assistant, he can afford the job only because he's living with his parents in nearby Oklahoma City.
"Jay asked me about working for Billy," Williams said, "and I told him I think it's good for him to get some experience."
Meanwhile, Williams would love to experience a victory in Norman.
"I know we're really concerned," Williams said. "You should be concerned playing them anywhere, and we haven't found the formula for beating them there."
Williams came tantalizingly close last season, but Oklahoma outscored KU, 16-8, in the last three minutes to post an 88-82 triumph. That was an OU team that went downhill in a hurry and wound up tied for sixth place in the Big Eight regular season standings.
This is more of a vintage Oklahoma team.
DAMON PATTERSON, a 6-8 senior forward who ranks among the league leaders in scoring and rebounding is back after a year on the shelf because of academics.
Guard Brent Price no relation to Jay Price, incidentally is shooting better and center Bryan Sallier is more consistent. Jeff Webster, Terry Evans and Angelo Hamilton can score, too.
"The strength of their club is they've got five guys who can get 20 on you," Williams said.
Then Williams looked at the updated OU statistics and amended that remark after Hamilton scored a career-high 21 on Wednesday night against Texas Southern.
"Actually, they've got six guys," he said, "so you have to worry about all of 'em."
Guard Sean Tunstall, who was ineligible to enroll for the second semester, is still exploring options. "There's still a chance he could surface somewhere and play one year of basketball," Williams said. "I don't see that as the University of Kansas, though, because that would take some big-time maneuvers for it to happen."
Williams on KU's 15-1 record: "I think I'd have to say I'm surprised. I'd have to say I didn't expect that."
Williams on Oklahoma's barn: "I'd have to say it's the loudest arena I've played in in the four years I've been here."
KU and Oklahoma State shared the league title with identical 10-4 records last season. Can 10-4 win it again? "I don't see four games Oklahoma State can lose," Williams said, "so I wouldn't feel as good about 10-4 this year."
Kansas will entertain Kansas State on Monday night. That's the weekly Big Eight ESPN game and will start at 8:38 p.m.