Archive for Friday, November 28, 2008

Gary Bedore’s KU basketball notebook

November 28, 2008


Blast from the past: Kansas last met Coppin State in '94

Chances are, if you watched Jayhawk basketball in the 1990s, you remember the play: Greg Ostertag stealing the ball, lumbering up the court, dribbling behind his back to maneuver past a defender, and dunking the ball. But do you remember the opponent? It was Coppin State, who the Jayhawks play Friday for the first time since Ostertag's magical moment. Here's video of the play and a recap of the game from the 6News report from Dec. 7, 1994. Enlarge video

Coppin State returns one starter in McKee: Coppin State returns one starter off last year’s team, which won the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and advanced to the NCAA Tournament with a 16-20 record.

He’s senior guard Tywain McKee, who averaged 16.6 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists a year ago.

The MEAC preseason player of the year scored 20 points in a season-opening 94-73 win at UNC Wilmington and followed that with 17 points off 8-of-14 shooting in a 66-46 loss at Purdue.

“Coach (Danny) Manning was telling me about him. I’ve got to be ready. He led their league in scoring,” KU freshman Tyshawn Taylor said of the 6-foot-2 Philadelphia native.

Coppin State, which always plays a rugged nonconference schedule, won’t play at home until Jan. 10. The Eagles also play at Richmond, Dayton, Wisconsin, Syracuse, Oklahoma and Missouri and make a trip to the Rainbow Classic in Honolulu.

“Fang always plays good teams,” KU coach Bill Self said of coach Ron “Fang” Mitchell, who is 358-302 in 22 seasons at Coppin State, which is located in Baltimore.

“They will play zone. His teams usually play really good defense. Even Purdue, a great offensive team, only scored 66 off them. They play a monster schedule. We’ll look up at the end of the year and see them in the NCAA Tournament like we always do.”

Too many charges: KU’s players have committed 18 charging violations and drawn nine charges in four games.

“We’ve got to do a better job of being under control when we drive in there,” Self said.

KU freshman Taylor didn’t commit many offensive fouls at St. Anthony High School in Jersey City, N.J.

“I think our team was the only one that took charges in high school,” Taylor said. “I could get in the lane and get a block or dunk on somebody. It’s different here. Coach has been telling me to pull up more. I see the lane and as soon as I jump they are there.”

“We are running out of control sometimes,” junior Sherron Collins said. “We’ve got to start pulling up, stopping, taking that floater. We are too aggressive at times.”

Red-shirt not in works: Self has no plans of red-shirting junior forward Mario Little, who is out with a stress fracture in his lower left leg.

“As of now, no,” Self said. “If we get into January, I guess that’s a possibility. Hopefully that won’t occur.”

Little will have his leg X-rayed next Thursday.

“We’re hopeful the doctor will see enough improvement where it’s totally healed and he can get back on the court,” Self said. “If not, we’ll delay it another two weeks. We will not bring him back too fast. If he’s allowed on the court, he’s still two weeks away from actually participating in a game ... if there are no setbacks.”

This and that: Coppin State lost to St. Mary’s, 69-60, in last year’s NCAA Tournament play-in game. The Eagles won 12 of their last 13 games. “Don't watch us early, but watch us late,” coach Mitchell told Blue Ribbon Yearbook. “We’re going to have bumps in the road early, but by the end of the year we have a chance to be OK.” ... Sophomore guard Vince Goldsberry averages 15.0 ppg and frosh guard Jordan Lee 13.0 ppg. ... Coppin State has an enrollment of 4,104. Colors are Royal Blue and Gold. ... The schools met one other time. KU won, 91-69, on Dec. 5, 1994, in Allen Fieldhouse.


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