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Archive for Tuesday, February 13, 1996

BUFFS PLAY MIND GAMES AGAIN

February 13, 1996

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Colorado's basketball players spent the night at the Coors Events Center prior to playing Kansas on Jan. 20 in Boulder.

The motivational ploy of interim coach Ricardo Patton worked as the Buffaloes played extremely hard in an 80-78 loss to the Jayhawks.

On Monday, Patton played some additional mind games with his players. In preparation for Kansas, he held a 6 a.m. practice at the Events Center.

"He's preached that whatever time it is, we have to be ready to play," said David Moe, a former graduate assistant at Kansas who is in his third season as a CU aide. "It is another part of his philosophy. We did a good job with it. Everybody was there at 5:30 or 5:45 ready to go. We've tried to get in the guys' minds they've got to be ready to practice."

The Buffs are 3-3 under Patton after starting 5-9 under Harrington, who resigned after five-plus seasons as CU coach.

Moe said the Buffs (8-12, 2-6) realize the Jayhawks (19-2, 7-1) will be ready for Wednesday's game, which will tip off at 7:05 p.m. at Allen Fieldhouse. That's because KU fell to Missouri, 77-73, on Saturday in Columbia, Mo.

"At 19-2 they are pretty good regardless of when you play them," said Moe, who assisted Larry Brown during KU's 1987-88 national championship season. "Maybe they are down and questioning themselves a bit. Maybe they are upset and will play as well as they can play. It's good for us.

"We have nothing to lose in that game. We are not expected to be in the game. We want to play Kansas at their best and see how far we have come or how far we have to go."

CU may be without sophomore guard Matt Daniel, who missed the past two games because of walking pneumonia.

The Buffs won both those games -- 64-63 in overtime at Kansas State and 84-55 at home against UMKC.

"He didn't do anything last week and has just started shooting now," Moe said of Daniel.

Bricks: Oklahoma State coach Eddie Sutton on his team's .582 free throw shooting percentage, worst in the Big Eight.

"I heard yesterday a guy in California hit 87 straight blindfolded. I'll fly him in and see if he can work with our squad," Sutton said. "I think it's lack of discipline, dedication of a lot of young people. In the summer they don't work on free throw shooting like they need to. They just want to play."

KU is seventh in the conference with a .627 free throw percentage.

Tell us something we don't know: MU coach Norm Stewart said the Tigers played their best game of the season Saturday.

"On both ends of the floor it was our best game," Stewart said. "I thought we got better shots and handled the ball better. I thought it was a heck of a game with two good teams."

Hard worker: Jerod Haase, who hit one if eight shots at Missouri Saturday afternoon, practiced on his own Saturday night.

"I went in my office and had a hunch Saturday night. At 9:15 the lights were on in Allen Fieldhouse. Jerod was in there with a basketball," Williams said in amazement Monday on his Hawk Talk radio show.

Of his .377 shooting percentage, Williams said: "He's struggling. His teammates know. The coaches know.

"We were sort of whispering about it before. We're talking plenty about it now. If I have to, we'll go on 'Geraldo' and talk about it, but it's in the open now," he said of Haase's slump. "If I ever have to lose I'd rather lose with a kid like that."

Not a candidate: Kansas assistant coach Matt Doherty has been mentioned as a possible candidate for the University of Missouri-Kansas City basketball job opening. Coach Lee Hunt will step down after this season after nine years.

"I have not interviewed and do not think that is something that will happen," Doherty said Monday.

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