Archive for Tuesday, June 15, 1999


June 15, 1999


Too many strokes -- on the golf course -- have been Kansas basketball coach Roy Williams' only problems lately. His camp for youths is being held all week at Allen Fieldhouse and other venues around town.

One talk-show caller said Kansas basketball coach Roy Williams suffered a stroke last week.

"That's my problem. I had a lot of strokes. I didn't play as well as I wanted to (on the golf course)," Williams quipped.

The 48-year-old, 12th-year Jayhawk coach looked trim and tan and healthy on Monday afternoon as he addressed several hundred campers at Allen Fieldhouse.

Williams has spent much of the past month or so golfing, vacationing with family members and attending meetings prior to the start of his week-long camp for youths.

He has spent no time in any hospital.

"It's been fantastic. I've had some free time to spend time with my family," Williams said, adding, "I've been involved with too many meetings probably, whether the NABC or the (NCAA) rules committee or the Big 12."

Possible rules changes have been in the news lately.

A 27-person NCAA committee is expected recommend declaring freshmen ineligible, giving them a year of campus acclimation before they they can play.

"I have mixed emotions," WIlliams said. "In a perfect world I think probably it would be best for each individual youngster to have time to get acclimated on campus, to college life and academic settings.

"Push comes to shove, I would probably be in favor of it, but not as strongly maybe as some people. I do think it's a shame when you have certain youngsters like a Jacque Vaughn (former KU guard) who is extremely mature and an extremely strong student to not be able to participate his freshman year.

"Paul Pierce and Raef LaFrentz " they were very much ready to play, so you do have some kids like that."

Then why tinker with the rules?

"I think what we are all trying to do is search and see if we can find ways to make our game better, search for ways to improve graduation rates," Williams said.

He is concerned about basketball players receiving their college degrees.

"I am all for having an institution being rewarded for their youngsters graduating," Williams said. "If you tie some things, whether it's scholarships or whatever to graduation rates, I think that's good."

The NCAA panel, which includes KU grad Dean Smith, also wants the season pushed back, perhaps as late as Christmas.

"I think the season is too long," Williams said. "I think if we convince people to push the start a little later it would be good. I think we have entirely too much practice time before that first game."

Teams are allowed to practice on the Friday closest to Oct. 15. Most teams start playing games the first week of November and play through March.

Williams said the recent Big 12 meetings proved especially productive.

"There was probably more a congenial, cooperative attitude among the coaches than we've ever had," he said. "We realize we've got a great product in Big 12 basketball.

"We did not have as good a year as we wanted to last year. I think all the coaches would agree we didn't like being rated the fifth best conference in the country. We talked about upgrading our schedules. We talked a lot about trying to market Big 12 basketball more and better.

"I think (new commissioner) Kevin Weiberg will do the kind of things we are all interested in doing. I think it was as productive as can be, and now we have to follow through with the things we talked about."


  • Danny Manning, a former KU All-American now with the Phoenix Suns, says retirement is not in his immediate plans.

Manning, 33, averaged 9.1 points a game and 4.4 rebounds in 50 games this past season. He made a successful comeback from his third ACL surgery.

"I'm not ready to give it up yet," Manning said. "I still enjoy playing basketball too much. Personally, it was a good season for me. I was able to play 50 games coming off my third ACL. In a compact season where we played every other day, it was a nice accomplishment. Hopefully next year our team will play a lot better and we'll be playing at this time of year."

The Suns were eliminated by Portland in the first round of the playoffs. Manning will host his camp June 28 to July 2 at Sport2Sport.


KU's game against Michigan State at the Great Eight will tip off at 6:30 p.m. Central time on Dec. 7 at Chicago's United Center. UConn will meet Arizona at 8:30 p.m. Originally, it had been announced the KU game would start at 6. On Dec. 8, Temple will meet Gonzaga at 6:30 p.m. and Cincinnati will play North Carolina at 8:30.

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