Archive for Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Coaches agree: KU legit

January 11, 2005


Kansas University's success without Wayne Simien shocks nobody in the Big 12 Conference.

"They've done a great job of holding the fort until Wayne gets back," Nebraska coach Barry Collier said Monday during the weekly Big 12 teleconference. "Each time I watch them, I've been more impressed -- even when Wayne was in there. And that continues, even now."

The Jayhawks, who are 4-0 without Simien with wins over Georgia Tech and Kentucky included, likely will be without the power forward again Wednesday at Iowa State.

"It kind of starts with guys like Miles and Langford," Missouri coach Quin Snyder said. "Those guys see that as an opportunity to show that their team is a team.

"If it's (the loss of a star) for a month as opposed to three months, teams can raise their level," Snyder said. "I think that's what you've seen Kansas do."

That confidence, Oklahoma State coach Eddie Sutton said, would make the Jayhawks even tougher.

"When they get Simien back, they're going to be dynamite," Sutton said.

  • Sutton's milestone: If Oklahoma State tops Missouri on Wednesday in Stillwater, Okla., Sutton will match former Oklahoma State coach Henry Iba with his 767th victory -- seventh on the NCAA Division One career list.

"Mr. Iba" led the school -- then Oklahoma A&M; -- to NCAA titles in 1945 and 1946. Sutton played for Iba from 1955 to 1958 and was a graduate assistant under him in the 1958-59 season.

KU coach Bill Self, who also played at Oklahoma State and was an assistant there for seven seasons -- three under Sutton -- said the approaching milestone would be an occasion to celebrate both coaches.

"Absolutely," Self said, asked if he would love to be in the arena when his mentor reaches such a milestone. "To think of what Mr. Iba meant to Oklahoma State ... I don't know if there's been ever anybody who will mean as much to a university as he means to that one. Sure others are comparable or equals, but not more.

"To see what coach (Sutton) has done since he's come back, resurrecting the enthusiasm and excitement and success Mr. Iba had is remarkable to me. Coach Sutton from my vantage point has done about as much for an institution as any coach in America."

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