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Archive for Friday, October 19, 2007

Self enjoying KU football

Sadler dealing with upheaval at Nebraska

October 19, 2007

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Basketball wasn't the only topic on the table at this week's Big 12 Men's Hoops Media Day in Kansas City, Mo.

Football and baseball, for instance, were discussed in depth.

KU basketball coach Bill Self was quizzed about the Jayhawks' perfect 6-0 start, 2-0 in league games, entering Saturday's grid contest at Colorado.

"Hopefully everyone is still looking forward to basketball," Self said, asked about the buzz on The Hill. "I think it (football) is great. We said all along nothing adds to the enthusiasm, interest, excitement on campus early in the school year than a football team doing well, especially in our league. Everybody asks me - I know they ask Mark (Mangino) this all the time - you're competing with basketball there or this and that. I loved his response: 'I don't think the basketball team is on the schedule this year.' It's really good to have both programs performing well."

Nebraska hoops coach Doc Sadler was asked about the current turmoil in Lincoln. AD Steve Pederson was fired on Monday mostly because of the demise of Husker football under Bill Callahan.

"I wish them the very best," Sadler said of Pederson and his family. "But college athletics is about change. A decision was made to make a change, and we're going to move on. Everything's going to be good, and I look forward to working with coach (Tom Osborne, interim AD)."

Also at Media Day, Texas Tech's Bob Knight discussed perhaps his favorite sport - major-league baseball. He's buddies with St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, who is expected to leave for another team following the firing of GM Walt Jocketty.

"I think that what La Russa does will depend on what he thinks would be the best situation for him to have a team that can (win a championship), which might leave the Royals out," Knight said. "But who knows? Of all the sports and the things I've followed over the years, I have never seen two guys better than Walt Jocketty and Tony La Russa were. Not just in baseball, but the best administrator and best coach or manager I've ever seen. What they did over 12 years in St. Louis was remarkable. To split that up was kind of interesting."

¢ Thomas attends Rutgers game: Quintrell Thomas, a 6-foot-8 senior from St. Patrick High in Elizabeth, N.J., has eliminated Maryland from his list of schools, and is down to KU, Rutgers and UNLV.

Thomas, who had hoped to choose a school by the end of the week, now is expected to do so early next week.

"I think there is a very good chance he will choose Kansas, (but) I think he's a little confused right now," St. Patrick coach Kevin Boyle said.

"Those three schools do a good job of selling. With the program's tradition at Kansas, how do you say no if Kansas wants you? UNLV has an NBA coach (Lon Kruger) who can say, 'I know what it takes to get to the pros.' Rutgers is the school that is trying to do in basketball what Kansas is doing in football - building a program with many local guys. Rutgers can say, 'If we get you, you are a building block, and you'll be in the thick of things perhaps playing more minutes right away.' Everybody is using their pitch, and it may take him a little more time than he envisioned."

Thomas eliminated Maryland on Thursday in the wake of coach Gary Williams receiving commitments from a pair of players at Thomas' position.

¢ Twins down to two: Marcus and Markieff Morris, 6-8 and 6-9 forwards from Philadelphia, have eliminated St. John's and now have a final two of KU and Villanova.

The two will visit Villanova a week from today, according to a report from Adam Zagoria of the Herald News in West Paterson, N.J. No timetable has been set for the duo's decision.

"Both of the coaches are outstanding coaches. In terms of academics, both are prestigious schools," said Dan Brinkley, the twins' former coach at Philly's Prep Charter High.

They currently are at APEX Academies in New Jersey.

"Then it gets down to the athletic part. They like Kansas' tradition, and they like the possibility of playing for Jay Wright (at 'Nova). Coach Self has the third most wins in the last five years and has taken three different teams to the Final Eight. Both (coaches) are outstanding."

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