Archive for Sunday, December 28, 2003

Woodling: ESPN crew lacks facts about KU

December 28, 2003

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Notes and quotes while wondering when Kansas University's men's basketball team will start walking the walk instead of talking the talk. ...

So common are coaching bonuses for bowl appearances that even deposed Nebraska coach Frank Solich was gifted with $24,584 for the Cornhuskers' inclusion in Monday night's Alamo Bowl. That's $4,584 more than Kansas coach Mark Mangino received as a reward for the Jayhawks traveling to the Tangerine Bowl. ...

Speaking of the Tangerine Bowl, who told ESPN announcer Lee Corso that Kansas has poor football facilities? KU's spacious locker room, training room and coaches offices are light years shy of shabby and the new Anderson Family Strength and Conditioning Center is state-of-the art. ...

Also, the ESPN crew that worked the KU-North Carolina State game kept talking about wanting the Jayhawks to appear on an ESPN Thursday night game next year. Fat chance. The Big 12 Conference isn't affiliated with ESPN. In order for KU to play in a Thursday night game, the Jayhawks would have to agree to meet an ESPN-affiliated school on the road, and KU will meet the Packers in Green Bay before that happens. ...

Talk about a home-road differential, did you know KU's football team surrendered an average of 45.3 points in the six games played outside of Lawrence, but only an average of 17.7 points in the seven games the Jayhawks played in Memorial Stadium? ...

Egads, what's this? Kansas was ranked 31st in last week's Sagarin men's basketball ratings. Are the Jayhawks that bad? And, for that matter, is Nebraska that good? The Cornhuskers, off to a surprising 8-1 start against a bunch of toadies, were ranked 35th. ...

Bruce Hicks, a veteran West Coast college basketball official, has been a common denominator in the Jayhawks' two losses this season. Hicks was one of the three officials who worked the Stanford game in Anaheim and the Nevada game in Reno. Last year, Hicks worked three KU games. He carried a whistle in the loss to Arizona in Lawrence, but he was also tooting in KU's win over Cal in Oakland and in the NCAA tourney triumph over Arizona State in Oklahoma City. ...

Job One for any college basketball coach is to fill the arena. In that regard, Bob Knight is stumbling in his third year at Texas Tech where attendance has dipped to about 7,000 a game, down about 3,000 from 2002-2003. It's not the barn. For sheer esthetics and fan friendliness, Tech's United Spirit Arena is one of the best facilities in the Big 12 Conference. ...

Don't tell anybody, but Kansas State football coach Bill Snyder has a sense of humor. When the Wildcats arrived for the Fiesta Bowl, somebody asked Snyder during a media session if the 'Cats have had to use their indoor workout facility. Replied Snyder with a smile: "That's where we store the hay." ...

Binghamton, the next Kansas men's basketball foe Monday night in Allen Fieldhouse, has three Kansas high school products on its roster. One is Brett Watson, a guard from Andover who started his career as a walk-on at Connecticut. Why UConn? Watson's dad Kurt, a long-time KU booster, and Lew Perkins have been friends since Perkins was AD at Wichita State. Perkins, now at Kansas, was AD at UConn when the younger Watson enrolled there. Young Watson transferred to the New York school in hopes of earning more playing time. ...

For what it's worth, eight of the 10 teams on KU's 2004 football schedule are in bowl games. That includes non-league foes Tulsa (Humanitarian) and Northwestern (Motor City). The exceptions are Iowa State, the Big 12's reigning doormat, and Colorado which came within one victory of qualifying for the Fort Worth Bowl. Kansas still has one non-conference slot to fill on its '04 slate. ...

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