Tom Asbury caused quite a stir last April when he was named head basketball coach at Kansas State.
Asbury, who brought a pair of Pepperdine teams to Lawrence -- the Waves lost, 98-73 in 1989 and 79-73 in overtime in '92 -- said Allen Fieldhouse "was not the greatest place in the world."
He also said if KU coach Roy Williams had a choice, he'd take KSU's Bramlage Coliseum as his home building instead of KU's tradition-rich arena.
"I've already said all I'm going to say on that. I got the whole state of Kansas mad at me," Asbury said Monday.
K-State's coach, who has been quite quotable, unlike his predecessor, Dana Altman, was asked Monday if he regrets making the controversial statements about KU.
"Hell no," Asbury told the Manhattan Mercury, "but I'm not gonna say it again."
Asbury brings his first KSU team to Allen Fieldhouse Wednesday night for a 7:05 p.m. tip.
He'll receive a warm welcome from KU coach Williams, who says he likes Asbury, respects him as a coach and understands why he said some nasty things about KU.
"If he said two or three negative things about Kansas, that would be appropriate for him to say because he's getting the job at Kansas State," Williams said. "He doesn't want to come in and say, 'Boy, Roy Williams is a great guy.' He wants to let people know he's ready and willing to compete with us.
"I remember he said they were gonna 'come after us,' so I had some fun with that. I sent 'em directions."
Indeed, at last year's KU basketball banquet, Williams
reported those directions from Manhattan to Lawrence as: "South on 177, East on 70. West Lawrence exit."
Asbury, whose Pepperdine team also dropped an 88-62 decision to KU in 1991 in Malibu, Calif., realizes winning here this year could be extremely difficult.
The Wildcats, 10-5 overall and 1-2 in the Big Eight, are hitting just 41.3 percent of their shots while holding opponents to 41.6 percent marksmanship.
"We're not a very good shooting team. That's no major secret. KU does a great job defensively. That doesn't bode well for us,," Asbury said.
The Wildcats hit 31.9 percent of their shots in Saturday's 67-61 loss at Missouri and 27.3 percent in last Thursday's 78-56 loss at Nebraska. The 'Cats shot 17 percent in the first half in each of those games.
The team's best shooter in the starting lineup is 6-8 center Tyrone Davis, who averages 10.5 points on 48.6 percent shooting. Guard Elliot Hatcher averages a team-leading 14.6 points on 46 percent shooting.
"Kansas is playing even better than I thought they would," Asbury said. "They are well deserving of their national ranking (No. 7).
"It all starts with Jacque Vaughn. He puts such great pressure on the ball and directs the team. We have to defend Haase (Jerod) and control Vaughn and do a reasonable job on the other guys. It starts with Vaughn out front and finishes with Ostertag (Greg).
"Kansas State has had some success there in the past. If we play smart and shoot it, maybe we can give 'em a game."
K-State won here a year ago, beating then No. 1-ranked KU, 68-64. The Wildcats are 17-23 overall at Allen. The 17 wins mark the most by any visiting team.
- For a halftime update and the final score, call the J-W Sports Connection, 865-5000, category 6000.