Archive for Saturday, March 6, 2004

Jayhawks ignoring Antlers

Mizzou shenanigans don’t bother KU players

March 6, 2004


Kansas University junior Wayne Simien hasn't butted heads with the Antlers yet this week.

"I've given 'em the 'Okeydokey' a bit with number swaps," Simien said of changing his phone number to avoid conversing with members of Missouri's men's basketball student cheering section.

The Tiger students, who always paint their faces and sometimes wear dresses to KU-MU games, yearly pester the Jayhawks with late-night/early morning calls the week of the KU-MU game in Columbia, Mo.

"It's been pretty quiet around my place. They've called my folks a couple of times. Wayne Sr. isn't too happy about that," Simien said, referring to his dad, who lives in Leavenworth.

The Antlers are fired up about Sunday's game, which will tip off at 1 p.m. at Hearnes Center.

"They call about 11 at night," sophomore guard Jeff Hawkins said. "They tell me I can't shoot. I joke back with them because that's what they don't like. They want you to get mad and curse at them and say things back. If you just agree with them, it takes all their jokes away."

Junior guard Michael Lee also takes the calls in stride.

"It's funny. It lets me know we are on their minds," Lee said. "I enjoy it now. I used to get upset. It's all in good fun."

He said the Antlers dial his number in the wee hours.

"The funny thing is if they call after 1:30 (a.m.) nobody's going to pick up anyway because we're all asleep," Lee said. "They might have called at 4 in the morning, but I wouldn't know. I keep my phone on low. I don't like answering the phone too much."

Junior Keith Langford also has heard from the Antlers.

"I've gotten a couple of anonymous words," Langford said.

What kind of words? "Oh, man ... just baloney."

Sophomore Christian Moody has figured a way to not have to deal with the incessant ringing the week of the KU-MU game.

He doesn't pick up at all.

"I haven't checked our message machine, but I think it's full," Moody said. "I haven't listened to any of them yet, so I don't know if they've called or not."

  • He's still staying: Simien said he's glad he told the media Wednesday he's decided to return to Kansas for his senior season.

"Yes, sir," Simien said, asked if he woke up Thursday feeling good about everything he told the press.

"A lot of people are coming up to me, supporting me and saying thank you," Simien added, referring to students and other fans.

Simien hopes his declaration will stop any more questions about heading to the pros early.

"I thought my comments after the game would end everything right there," Simien said, "but I'm still answering questions about it today."

  • Stopping Simien: MU coach Quin Snyder on Friday was asked about how to slow Simien, who has averaged 20 points off 55.9 percent shooting during the past 10 games. Simien is the Big 12's second-leading scorer (17.4) and second-leading rebounder (9.1).

"Stopping Wayne Simien starts with stopping them in transition," Snyder said. "He gets a lot of stuff in transition, too. He's one of the more dominant post players, not only in our league but in the nation. He's found a groove in his game. You don't find a lot of guys in college that can shoot over the top of you, but he can."

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