KU coach Bill Self on Wednesday was named Sporting News Coach of the Year.
Self, who also won the Sporting News’ Coach of the Year award in 2000, led the Jayhawks to an outright Big 12 championship with a 14-2 conference record.
“It’s been as much fun as I’ve ever had coaching, the last two months,” Self said. “The fact that every day I’ve seen maturation with these guys that I didn’t see coming."
So far, KU’s Self has been named national coach of the year by Sporting News, Yahoo Sports, Athlon Magazine, CBSsportsline.com and Foxsports.com.
Rogers hits glass
Baylor’s Kevin Rogers, a 6-foot-9, 250-pound senior out of Dallas’ South Oak Cliff High, grabbed a career-high 20 rebounds in Wednesday’s 65-49 first-round Big 12 tournament victory over Nebraska.
Rogers grabbed six rebounds and scored 15 points in BU’s 75-65 loss to KU on Feb. 2 in Waco, Texas.
“Not at all,” Rogers said with a grin Wednesday, asked if he’d ever outrebounded an opponent all by himself.
“Anything that I can do to help this team win and keep us playing and trying to get into the NCAA Tournament, I’m willing to do.
“Rebounding has always been the emphasis, especially for a team like us,” Rogers said after the victory, which sets up today’s 11:30 a.m. quarterfinal clash against the Jayhawks. “We are not the biggest team and that’s been a focal point of ours the entire year. I’m glad that we were able to finally kind of put it together in the tournament, definitely when we need it.”
Team meeting helps BU?
Baylor (18-13) had lost 10 of 12 games entering Wednesday’s game against Nebraska. The Bears went a disappointing 5-11 and placed ninth in the Big 12 regular season league race.
“We had a team meeting and discussed it,” BU senior guard Curtis Jerrells said of entering the postseason with a “clean slate.”
“From this point on, everybody is 0-0. You lose, you go home. We understand that. We just want to come in and our goal is to win, win, win.”
The Bears are intent on making a serious run in this tournament.
“I think when you are struggling in conference, it is kind of like a weight vest and I think anyone that has ever used a weight vest, you put on 10 pounds, you lose a couple games, you put on 20 pounds, lose a couple games. It gets up to 40 pounds, you just can't wait to get the vest off,” BU coach Scott Drew said. “I think the conference tournament, you’re able to take the vest off and you feel better.”
BU coach Drew called today’s matchup, “a great opportunity for us. Every team you play in the Big 12 we know will be tough. Kansas, obviously, they can hurt you inside and outside. Whenever you have two players like Sherron (Collins) on the outside and Cole Aldrich on the inside, it makes it very difficult. But the shooters they have on the outside also makes it tough when you try to focus or concentrate on Cole Aldrich.”
KU in Big 12 tourney
KU has won six Big 12 tournament titles, three more than Oklahoma. The Jayhawks won in 1997-98-99 and again in 2006-07-08. ... KU is 6-1 in tourney title games — the only loss to Oklahoma in 2002. ... KU is the only team to have won at least 20 games in the tourney. The Jayhawks are 25-6; OU next best at 19-9. ... KU has been the No. 1 seed six times (1997, ‘98, ‘02, ‘03, ’07, ‘09), No. 2 seed four times (2001, ‘05, ‘06, '08), No. 3 seed twice (1999, ‘04), and No. 5 seed in 2000. ... KU has reached the semifinals 11 of 12 tourneys. The Jayhawks did not reach the 2000 semis. ... KU has won three of its six Big 12 tourney titles as the No. 1 seed — 1997, 1998 and 2007. KU was the No. 3 seed in its 1999 title run and the No. 2 seed in 2006 and 2008. The lowest seed to win the event was No. 3 — Kansas in 1999, Oklahoma in 2003 and Oklahoma State in 2005.
KU in Okie City
KU is 6-2 in Oklahoma City, including a 5-1 mark at Ford Center. KU’s run to the 2003 NCAA title game started with wins over Utah State, 64-61, and Arizona State, 108-76, in the first and second rounds. ... KU fell to Bucknell, 64-63, in a 2005 NCAA first-round game at Ford Center. ... Kansas played at the Cox Convention Center in the 1998 NCAA first/second rounds. KU defeated Prairie View A&M;, 110-52, before falling to Rhode Island, 80-75...
KU has outshot 25 of 31 opponents and has shot 50 percent or better in 15 games, including nine Big 12 contests. Kansas is 23-2 when outshooting its opponent and 2-4 when outshot. ... KU has outrebounded four of its last six foes and 23 of 31. KU finished with a plus-8.2 rebound margin in Big 12 play, plus 7.3 in all games. ... Sherron Collins has scored 20 or more points in 11 games, including five of the last six. Cole Aldrich has six 20-point games. ...
KU-BU at a glance
KU leads the series 14-1, including a 75-65 win on Feb. 2, in Waco. KU has won seven straight in the series that dates to 1951. The lone Baylor victory was Feb. 12, 2001, an 85-77 win in Waco. ... This marks the first time in Big 12 tourney history the two teams have met.