Christian Moody says he's "definitely honored" to receive a full men's basketball scholarship for his senior year at Kansas University.
Yet the 6-foot-8 junior says he'd gladly continue to pay his own way if it meant Alex Galindo would remain his teammate.
"I don't want him to leave," Moody said of Galindo, a freshman who Monday announced plans to transfer to a school closer to his native Puerto Rico. "I feel bad we're losing Alex. It's definitely not a positive out of the situation."
KU coach Bill Self had told Moody a full scholarship was a possibility for the 2005-06 season.
"Coach had talked to me and told me if the chance came up to give me one, he would," Moody said. "I'm really thankful, because I wasn't recruited to be on scholarship. It will really help my parents out. They are really excited. They were overjoyed, I guess."
A native of Asheville, N.C., Moody was pleased that the coach who recruited him, North Carolina's Roy Williams, won a national title Monday night.
aMoody watched the UNC-Illinois game at a friend's apartment in Lawrence.
"I was cheering. I was going for them," Moody said of the Tar Heels. "I was really close to a lot of those coaches. Being an AAU teammate of (Rashad) McCants ... it was really exciting to see a teammate win a national championship.
"It was cool seeing coach Williams and the assistants out there celebrating, and definitely cool seeing Jonas (Sahratian), our strength coach, celebrating. It was exciting."
Moody said he didn't phone fellow Asheville Roberson High graduate Williams before the game.
"I didn't want to jinx anything," Moody said, "because I knew if anything happened I'd blame myself for calling in the middle of the tournament, because they were doing well. I'll call him now, after the game."
Moody has spoken to Galindo since Monday's announcement, but Moody doesn't know why the freshman decided to transfer.
"I'm not really sure," he said. "It's tough, because we've got such depth at the guard position. It's tough because he played small forward his whole career. This year he was put in position to play power forward. It's where he could get playing time. Now, we've got some small forwards coming in (in recruiting) and we have a lot of guards. Alex has been used to scoring a lot in his career. Hopefully wherever he goes he'll be able to do that."¢
Simien skips game: KU senior Wayne Simien didn't watch the NCAA title game Monday night.
"I was here," Simien said, referring to working out at Allen Fieldhouse. "I've got to find a job now, man," the NBA prospect added with a laugh.
He said he was happy for his former coach, Williams.
"I am. He's got the monkey off his back," Simien said. "Now they can say he's one of the greatest coaches to coach the game."¢
Pollard pleased: Former KU forward Scot Pollard of the Indiana Pacers watched the title game with teammates in New York.
"I was very, very happy for the man. Obviously, there's a little mixed feelings. I wanted him to win one at Kansas," Pollard said in a phone interview Tuesday from the Pacers' team bus. "I always said no one deserves one more than coach Williams. I believe that. I left him a message telling him how happy I was for him and still wish I was one of the guys that got him his first one at Kansas. I'm proud for him and happy and still love the man."¢
Gurley was in St. Louie: Ex-Jayhawk Greg Gurley attended a happy postgame celebration at the team hotel late Monday night in St. Louis.
There he joined former KU assistants Neil Dougherty and Ben Miller, who were on hand to congratulate the UNC staff.
"We had a hug and talked briefly," Gurley said of he and Williams. "All the members of the staff were so thrilled, relieved, excited. All the families were there. It was fun."
Gurley received a phone call from Williams last week offering him tickets.
"My dad's not in the greatest health, and coach was nice enough to call with tickets," Gurley said. "It was nice to be able to spend some time with my dad, for him to get out of the house and watch really good games. The only thing better would have been to see Kansas there.
"For coach Williams, it takes an unbelievable load off his shoulders. It will help him relax briefly. He's a perfectionist and will want to go after another one next year. It's huge for his family. Hopefully Kansas fans who rooted for him or didn't can finally come to the realization he is not coach at Kansas anymore. Bill Self is, and we should offer 100 percent support to Bill."