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Archive for Tuesday, February 19, 2002

KU Basketball Notebook: Zerbe atones for K-State blunder, scores 100th point

February 19, 2002

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It was, perhaps, poetic justice that Kansas senior Chris Zerbe hit the free throw that gave Kansas 100 points in Monday's 102-66 victory over Iowa State at Allen Fieldhouse.

"I figure it's payback to the fans for letting the ball slip out of my hands in Manhattan. I blew it and tell everybody I blew it over there," Zerbe said.

Remember, he fumbled a pass out of bounds in the closing seconds of KU's 98-71 win over KSU on Feb. 4 at Bramlage Coliseum.

Zerbe carried a strand of net along with an ice pack out of the fieldhouse Monday. He suffered a hard fall late in the game.

"I landed right on my hip. It's a little sore," he said. "I'll go home and lay on my good hip, relax and enjoy this. This is awesome, a thrill, a blast," he said of winning a share of the Big 12 title.

KU topped the 100-point mark for a school record ninth time.

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Locker Door Woes: Iowa State outscored the Jayhawks, 6-0, to begin the second half. The Jayhawks may have lost a bit of momentum after getting stuck in their own locker room for an extra minute or two.

"We got locked in. The door handle came off," junior Nick Collison said with a laugh. "Somebody pounded on the door and they let us out of there."

"I think we lost a little momentum coming out. The door handle broke and we couldn't get out of there," frosh Wayne Simien explained. "It's a faulty door handle or something. Looking back it's kind of funny, really funny."

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Gooden chant: The fans chanted "One more year" to KU senior Drew Gooden who scored 26 points. Most everybody is expecting the 6-foot-11 junior to turn pro after this season with scouts saying he's a lottery pick.

"I heard them (chants)," Gooden said, "but I'm just focusing on this season right now."

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No Dizzy Spell: KU coach Roy Williams looked like he had one of his dizzy spells in the second half. He didn't.

"I didn't really fall. It wasn't one of those blackout things. Instead of saying something emotional (to his players after an error) I decided to stay there with my head down. It was a pretty comfortable spot on the floor."

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Famous Guests: Golfing great Tom Watson attended the game as did former KU chancellor Gene Budig.

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Practice Makes Perfect: An intense KU practice on Sunday helped KU on Monday night.

"I got on them really hard yesterday about, 'Let's try to get better or let's not be out here.' I think it has to be our challenge every day," said Williams, not impressed with Saturday's win over Baylor.

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No. 1 Again: The Jayhawks are ranked No. 1 in the country in the AP poll for the second time this season. KU ascended to the No. 1 ranking after Duke's loss to Florida State on Jan. 6, but the Jayhawks immediately lost to UCLA the following weekend.

KU has won 11 straight games since the loss in Los Angeles.

"If you sit and think about it, being No. 1 later is much better than earlier because it means you're having a heck of a year. I think it should mean a little more because you have already accomplished something," Williams said.

"If you are No. 1 the first week, it's what people expect you to do. If you are No. 1 after a couple of weeks, you've still just been in your nonconference play. There's no doubt I think it's more impressive the longer into the season you go."

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Championship Hats, Shirts: Former KU player Greg Gurley, a sales representative for Prairie Graphics, brought several Big 12 championship T-shirts and hats to the game. The players wore the gear after the contest.

So far, 4,000 shirts and 1,500 hats are ready for sale at kustore.com and the KU bookstores.

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Opposite Ends: KU's men, of course, are undefeated in Big 12 play, while the Jayhawk women are winless.

"It's something I feel very sad for what Marian (Washington) is going through and strongly in support of our women's program," Williams said. "I came to the (KU-K-State) game yesterday for a little while before we had to go get ready for our own practice.

"I surely know she doesn't need to hear about my situation (having no losses). She's got all the problems in the world she needs to worry about. I think that would be inappropriate for me to talk to her about the differences of the two programs. She knows that I support her. The kids know that I support them. I do get the chance to see several of the girls quite a bit. Those kids are trying very, very hard. It's just an unfortunate situation they are going through. Hopefully, we'll get lucky and get a couple as we start down the stretch."

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Referee Injured: Referees Steve Welmer and Ted Hillary worked as a two-man crew for the last 12 minutes after Steve Olson, the third official, was unable to continue because of a leg injury.

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