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Archive for Tuesday, January 15, 2002

Jayhawks recall 2000 OSU debacle

January 15, 2002

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— So, Roy Williams, what do you remember most about Kansas' last trip to Oklahoma State's Gallagher-Iba Arena, site of tonight's KU-OSU Big 12 basketball showdown?

"That they just killed us," Williams said Monday.

Two seasons ago, Eddie Sutton's Cowboys clubbed the Jayhawks, 86-53. That annihilation ranks as the third-worst loss in KU's storied history and worst in Williams' coaching career.

It's a game that still gives KU junior Kirk Hinrich nightmares and makes Williams' blood boil heading into tonight's 8:05 p.m. tipoff.

"They drilled us by about 8,000 points it felt like," Williams said. "When we go there, we get their best shot. We've got Aaron (Miles), Wayne (Simien) and Keith (Langford, freshmen) that were not involved at that time so we'll try to educate them about what kind of fierce, competitive crowd they are going to have how loud they are going to be."

Potentially bad news for KU is that Gallagher-Iba, while loud before, may be deafening tonight. Renovation of the structure was completed for last season, increasing capacity from about 6,300 to 13,611.

"They fill it up to the max and are vocal every game. Those people have a tremendous appreciation for college basketball. It goes back to Mr. Iba (Henry) all the way to Eddie Sutton," Williams said.

No. 6-ranked Okie State enters tonight's game 15-1 overall and 2-1 in the Big 12; No. 4 Kansas is 13-2, 2-0. Four Cowboys are averaging double figures in scoring.

Senior guard Maurice Baker, who has been slowed by a groin pull, averages 16.9 points, 6.7 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game. Junior guard Victor Williams contributes 13.4 ppg, senior forward Fredrik Jonzen 11.9 ppg and 7.3 rebounds per game and sophomore forward Ivan McFarlin 10.6 ppg and 7.6 rpg. Junior guard Melvin Sanders hits for 8.5 points per contest.

"When you are playing an Eddie Sutton-coached team, you're going to be playing a good defensive ballclub," Williams said of the Pokes, who average 77.4 points a game while allowing 60.2. "Easy baskets that you can get against some people you will not get against them."

KU, which averages 91.6 points, hit 41 percent of its shots in Saturday's 87-77 loss at UCLA.

The Jayhawks pored over films of that game and Williams obviously is hoping for improvement tonight and Saturday at home against Oklahoma, another conference title contender.

"We just can't get off to such a start where we're taking such bad shots and turning the ball over," Williams said. "We've been pretty good at making the right selection of our shots but didn't Saturday. Drew (Gooden) takes the two early threes and Aaron turns it over two of the first three times he handles the ball.

"I think the mental part of it, being in the right frame of mind, didn't work. Whatever they (Jayhawks) did to get them in that frame of mind they should not be doing again. We had some significant breakdowns.

"Turning it over, taking bad shots, no pressure on the ball, not covering the post, I could go through a myriad of things and we were able to show the team a bunch of those watching tape yesterday."

Williams probably won't show the players the tape of the OSU demolition two years ago. In that game, Desmond Mason scored 31 points as OSU, ranked 14th at the time, snapped an eight-game losing streak to KU, which was ranked 20th.

Tonight's game is the second of a brutal three-game stretch. UCLA was ranked 11th last week; Oklahoma is ranked fifth.

"If they're (next two games) as tough as the first, it's going to prepare us for not playing in the postseason I guess," Williams quipped. "This is a tough stretch. I think it will be great for us. There were some things there (at UCLA) we have got to correct and if we get them corrected there will be some long-term positives to come out of tat game. There are not any short-term positives whatsoever.

"We've got No. 6 in the country at their place and No. 5 at our place. It's a great thing. Our league is really strong. It's what keeps people watching those games."

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