Archive for Wednesday, February 6, 2002

Simien: Getting ‘physical’ only natural in Big 12

February 6, 2002


Big, beefy, hulk-like Kansas freshman Wayne Simien grinned when asked if Monday night's KU-Kansas State men's basketball game "got out of hand."

"No. This is the Big 12 Conference. It is to be expected night in and night out for it to get physical," Simien said after scoring 12 points and grabbing six rebounds in KU's 98-71 victory over the Wildcats at Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan.

"When their coach got ejected, it fired them up. Their players and fans really picked up the intensity," the 6-foot-9, 250-pounder added.

KSU coach Jim Wooldridge was ejected after picking up consecutive technical fouls with 11 minutes left KSU down by 31 points. The Wildcats cut the gap to 18 before the Jayhawks re-righted the ship.

Some fans threw objects on the floor to protest the Wooldridge ejection.

"Things started flying," Simien said. "It's a shame fans have to act like that, but it happens."

Wooldridge, who watched the final 11 minutes in the coach's office, shook hands with Jayhawk coach Roy Williams after the game.

"Coach Williams was hit by a coin. I went over and apologized," Wooldridge said. "That kind of thing is unacceptable and certainly not something at Kansas State we want to do. He was gracious in victory. He understood it was a tough situation and we wished each other good luck. Coach Williams has done a great job with his program. He has a great team. I don't think there's any problem with coach Williams and myself at all."

As far as the players, however ... KU's Drew Gooden and KSU's Pervis Pasco were whistled for a double technical near midcourt as they bumped into each other following a Gooden basket.

Williams said Monday on his Hawk Talk radio show he's sent tape of the play that preceded the technicals to the Big 12 office. While down on the floor, KSU's Matt Siebrandt's feet locked into Gooden's legs as Gooden put up an inside shot. Gooden scored, then bumped into Pasco, angering the Wildcat forward.

"They sort of had Drew's foot caught between Matt's legs. Drew bounced around, tried to jerk free, made the layup and did jerk free ... that's when it ended up he and Pervis Pasco bumped each other going downcourt and a double 'T' was called," Williams said.

"I sent that tape to the supervisor of officials just so they can use that kind of thing. I personally think if the first foul had been called there probably would not have been the need for the double technical later on.

"When it got to the stage it did, I even told the official I didn't think Drew had done anything to deserve a technical, but 'we've got enough of a mess going on, lets get the heck out of town' is what I thought.

"I think preventive officiating ... calling the foul when they were holding onto Drew's legs may have stopped anything past that. There was a little banging and some things later I wish had not happened."

Speaking of fan behavior...: Williams was upset to learn some KU fans left their seats to taunt Colorado's players as they ran to the visitor's locker room after last Saturday's 100-73 KU victory over the Buffs at Allen Fieldhouse.

Williams said he will apologize to CU coach Ricardo Patton, the entire CU coaching staff and frosh center David Harrison for the behavior KU fans who taunted CU Harrison after the game.

One KU fan continued to yell at Harrison outside the locker room area even after Harrison shook the fan's hand and said the Jayhawks "had a great team."

"It was a black eye on what should have been a fantastic afternoon," Williams said. "It boiled down to a couple people not acting like we as Kansas basketball people want them to act.

"All the reports I have, those Colorado kids were not in the wrong at the end of the game. It was some of our fans doing things they shouldn't be doing. We like to act like we are first class in everything we do.

"We won the game. There's no sense taunting somebody when we won the game. There's no sense yelling or abusing somebody verbally. It is an incident that is embarrassing to me, embarrassing to our athletics department. It should be embarrassing to our university and our fans," he added.

Strong KU team: KSU coach Wooldridge has watched a lot of basketball in a career that started in 1977.

"I have been doing this a long time. I have never played a team I thought was as good as the team we saw last night," Wooldridge said Tuesday on KC radio 810. "That's certainly a team that has the opportunity to win one this year. They have so many weapons, outstanding speed and skill level that is as high as any college basketball team I've been around."

Not a good day: Williams, who experienced back pain during Monday night's game, felt better physically Tuesday, but his mood soured when bad weather in the South forced him to cancel a recruiting trip for the second straight week.

"I was going South on a recriuting trip. The pilot said, 'Coach it looks iffy. If you want to try it we will.' He said there was freezing rain, sleet, snow. I said, 'Well, I believe I'll stay right here,''' Williams said, not about to mess with Mother Nature.

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