Archive for Thursday, September 15, 2011

Beyond the Phog” excerpt: Mario Chalmers on Villanova coach Jay Wright

"Beyond the Phog" book.

"Beyond the Phog" book.

September 15, 2011


"Beyond the Phog" book.

"Beyond the Phog" book.

The following is an excerpt from "Beyond the Phog - Untold Stories from Kansas Basketball's Most Dominant Decade." Compiled by Jason King of Yahoo! Sports and Lawrence Journal-World sportswriter Jesse Newell, the 400-page book includes interviews with 40 players and coaches from the most successful era in Jayhawks history. "Beyond the Phog" will be available in stores Sept. 30. will run excerpts from the book throughout the next few weeks.

In Mario Chalmers' words ...


People like to talk about the North Carolina and Memphis games, but one of the biggest wins for us during the NCAA Tournament was against Villanova.

That game was personal, because Jay Wright – the Villanova coach – had also been the head coach of the USA Basketball team that represented the country in the Pan Am games the previous summer. Jay Wright cut both Sherron and me from that team and kept his own player from Villanova, Scottie Reynolds, who had clearly been the worst player at the entire camp. He led the whole camp in turnovers. Sherron didn’t play all that well, either, because his knee hadn’t recovered from the previous season. But for me, I felt like I did everything right. I led them in steals, I had a lot of assists and I barely had any turnovers. But I wasn’t shooting the ball very much. They used one of those international balls, so they were different. I didn’t like the ball. I shot maybe six times.

When they cut me, they told me it was because I didn’t score and that they wanted a scoring point guard. I was like, “Why do y’all need all these scorers? What do you need a scoring point guard for when you’ve got all these other scorers?” They had Alonzo Gee from Alabama and guys that could already score. I was just trying to get other players involved. When they cut me, I was hurt. I was like, “Oh, you wanted me to score and you didn’t tell me that?” They had told Coach Self they just wanted a guy to distribute the ball, but Jay Wright cut me and kept his own player.

So when it came to the Villanova game, Coach Self called Sherron and me into his office and said, “How do you feel about this Villanova game?” I said, “Coach, this is personal to me. I don’t like Jay Wright.” He was like, “I understand that, but keep it out of the media.” So when the media asked if it was a personal game, we’d say, “No, it’s not personal. It’s just another game.” But during the game we were talking all kinds of s--t to Jay Wright. We’d run by him and tell him, “Sit your ass down! We got this!” Another time we said to him, “This is what you get for cutting us. We’re about to dog you!” Anytime we were throwing the ball in from the sideline, when he was standing up trying to call a play, we’d tell him to shut his mouth and sit down. There was one play where I threw a lob to Shady on an inbounds pass and he dunked over Scottie Reynolds. Right before I threw it I looked at Jay Wright and said, “Watch this!” That game was definitely personal for Sherron and me.


Larry 6 years, 8 months ago

What an embarrassment to Kansas BB! Could they not have shown some class and simply let their play do the talking. Hard to believe Coach Self allowed this. Hopefully Mario is embellishing the story quite a bit.

droppinplates 6 years, 8 months ago

Serious embarrassment! This kind of thing just doesn't happen in sports. It especially doesn't happen in games involving 18 year old young men. What a joke Kansas basketball is. I bet UNC and Kentucky don't exhibit this kind of behavior on their basketball teams. Self has no control and should be fired.

hawkfan123 6 years, 8 months ago

Hahahaha wow that's the most naive thing I've read in a long time. You really think UNC and Kentucky don't have any of the same issues? They are angels out there spouting nothing but words of kindness and encouragement to the other team? When a player is playing with emotion or fired up about something, the coach can't do a single thing to keep him from acting in the moment. Coach Self KNEW Mario would be fired up about the game and all he could do to keep it from becoming a scene was to tell him to keep it out of the media and not make a big deal of it. Mario comes out now and says what happened, so what? Did YOU know he said all this when it happened? Yeah, I doubt it. So would you KNOW if boys from UNC or Kentucky was doing it? Exactly. He's a big boy in the NBA. He can tell it as it happened in that moment. Tell me you have never acted out of anger before. It's called being human.

droppinplates 6 years, 8 months ago

Wow, glad I could give u a good laugh. I was being sarcastic.

Jim Williamson 6 years, 8 months ago

Wow, Larry, I bet you're a load of laughs at parties. Now put on your raccoon coat and drive the Studebaker down to the soda shop. Maybe you and your best girl can put a penny in the jukebox and jitterbug.

puddleglum 6 years, 8 months ago

excellent response phogfan86!

larry's just mad cuz his kittykats couldn't cut the cheese with beasley

Larry 6 years, 8 months ago

Really puddleglum! I have two degrees from KU and a third degree from a different university whose mascot is not the Wildcats. How many degrees do you have from KU? I'm out of line because I wish my team would play with class and integrity, rather than jerks. I'm guessing this is more of an age and generational issue. #1 - Young punks who think it's cool to devalue their opponent with verbal assaults versus #2 - sportsmanship and integrity. I'll choose option #2.

TopJayhawk 6 years, 8 months ago

Wow Larry you are a special one. You are so proud of yourself. Good for you. Someone has to be proud of you, it might as well be yourself.

Get over it and yourself dude.

TopJayhawk 6 years, 8 months ago

Three degrees Larry? Whats a matter? You can't find a job?

Larry 6 years, 8 months ago

Actually tj, I continued to work while earning degree two and three. The real point was that I've never stepped on the kittykats campus.

Larry 6 years, 8 months ago

Lastly, I have been a Jayhawk for many years. I simply don't wish to see KU BB become the Miami Hurricanes of the 1980's. If that makes me an old time, fuddy duddy, so be it.

Larry 6 years, 8 months ago

Phogfan - Wow! Your sarcasm is overwhelming funny! How do you come up with such great stuff. Incredible! Surely, you are making tons of money writing essays for local high school freshman literature courses.

JayhawkRock 6 years, 8 months ago

hahahaha now I have to go back and watch the Nova game again...That's too funny.

I think I remember Wright making a comment before the game stating that he thought Collins and Chalmers were "coming for him."

Dude got what he deserved and we would have never known if it wasn't for this book. I'm buying it.

drnater 6 years, 8 months ago

This is what I love about sports! Some may not like trash talking, and might say let your play do the talking. Well, they let their play and their mouth do the talking! It's the best of both worlds!!!!

jaywalker 6 years, 8 months ago

Sorry, gotta cast my vote in the 'not a fan' category. I was a player and have been a coach, and I've never been a big fan of trash talking, though I can understand and condone it to a point when it regards the players on the court. But layin' smack on the opposing coach is fairly classless, imo. Honestly disappointed in the story. When I started reading the preview I was thinking what a great idea, untold stories from our 'Hawk heroes. And I was interested to find out why 'Nova was such a big game for the guys. Then it just left a bad taste in my mouth. Hope they're not all this juvenile.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 8 months ago

Interesting take, given the amount of gratuitous trash-talkiing you do around here.

jaywalker 6 years, 8 months ago

With some people you just have to fight fire with fire, bozo.

hawkfan123 6 years, 8 months ago

Not bashing anyone, as I don't know the history between you two.. But the "fight fire with fire" comment from jaywalker seems ironic, considering above he stated Chalmers (a young, obviously not fully matured individual at the time) was "juvenile" for essentially fighting another persons "fire" with "fire." Being intentionally "screwed" out of a playing opportunity (for lack of a better term) by another coaches selfish act to get his own kid in the spotlight was pretty crappy. I'm not saying Chalmers was right in doing that stuff; I'm just pointing out that I don't see grounds for calling him juvenile for doing what you admit below must be done with some individuals...

jaywalker 6 years, 8 months ago

Sorry, hawkfan, but Chalmer's deal wasn't fire with fire. He got cut. Shocking that a player would feel he was more deserving than another and would harbor a grudge. But Wright didn't disrespect or belittle him in any way, or at least as is mentioned here. And smackin' on a head coach is classless in my book, but that's my opinion. As far as what i condone, it depends on the individual and history. But my interaction with challenged individuals like bozo is not the same as a competitor disrespecting an opposing coach, especially when they're representing KU, at least from my perspective.

puddleglum 6 years, 8 months ago

coaches mouth off to our players all the time...they get what they have coming.

hiphopsux 6 years, 8 months ago

Great story, for all of you who think this is an embarrasment- guess what it happens everywhere, all the time. If you don't get into his head, he will get into yours. The most impressive thing I find is how Coach Self was able to focus their anger and attention going into the game. Truly he is one of the best. Rock Chalk! And for those of you offended, just keep siting far enough off the floor so you don't have to hear the trash talk

Vince Brown 6 years, 8 months ago

A+ to Mario and Sherron! The payback is always a b****!

Joe Hyde 6 years, 8 months ago

Sounds like coach Wright wanted his guy off his Villanova team from the very beginning, but felt he needed to conceal that fact by not instructing Mario to look for his shot...then cutting him from the team for not shooting.

Sherron, you can sorta understand him not getting picked for the team due to his lingering knee injury. But Mario, wow, that guy can slash to the hole and hit outside shots anytime day or night; during tryouts all coach Wright had to do was say the word and the ball's on its way to the hole.

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