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Archive for Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Jayhawks: ‘There’s nothing to celebrate’

The Big 12 trophy sits in the players lounge on Monday, March 11, 2013, at Allen Fieldhouse. Kansas University earned a share of the title with Kansas State.

The Big 12 trophy sits in the players lounge on Monday, March 11, 2013, at Allen Fieldhouse. Kansas University earned a share of the title with Kansas State.

March 12, 2013

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The Big 12 trophy sits in the players lounge on Monday, March 11, 2013, at Allen Fieldhouse. Kansas University earned a share of the title with Kansas State.

The Big 12 trophy sits in the players lounge on Monday, March 11, 2013, at Allen Fieldhouse. Kansas University earned a share of the title with Kansas State.

Kansas State’s basketball players and coaches clipped the nets before about 3,000 fans Monday in Bramlage Coliseum in celebration of the school’s first men's conference hoops championship since 1977.

There was no such commotion at Kansas University — where the co-Big 12 champion Jayhawks, like the Wildcats, lost Saturday to see their final league record settle at 14-4.

“We didn’t pop any bubbly on the way back from Waco, trust me,” KU coach Bill Self said of the aftermath of the Jayhawks’ 81-58 loss to Baylor.

He did congratulate his players for winning a ninth-consecutive Big 12 crown on the bus ride from Topeka’s Forbes Field to Lawrence on Saturday night and, on Monday afternoon, handed each of his players league-title hats and T-shirts following a critical film session.

“I wouldn’t say we’ve celebrated at all,” KU senior center Jeff Withey said. “We lost when we won it. It’s not a very good way to win it.”

It’s safe to say there will be no pep rally in Lawrence this week in advance of KU’s Big 12 quarterfinal contest against either Texas Tech or West Virginia, set for a 2 p.m. tipoff Thursday at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

“Are they?” Withey said Monday when informed the Wildcats had scheduled a pep rally for Monday night. “We’re Kansas. We’re not going to do that. We’re just looking forward to the (Big 12) tournament coming up.”

Or as senior guard Elijah Johnson noted: “I mean, it’s nine straight, but we don’t celebrate until everything is said and done. There’s nothing to celebrate about right now, anyway.”

Though mighty disappointed in KU’s 23-point loss to Baylor — a game that took place after KSU’s loss at Oklahoma State — Self has made sure to tell his players “congratulations” more than a few times.

“One game can’t take away from what our guys have accomplished, what they’ve done through the course of the conference season,” Self said. “We are not real pleased the way we ended it. I’m proud we got a piece of it. I look forward to going to Kansas City and seeing what happens there.”

Self said he’s heard from several individuals who have said, ‘“Congratulations, great accomplishment, it sucks how you did it.’ That’s not true. It doesn’t stink. It’s a great feat for our guys.

“It’s never great losing the last game of a regular season. If you look at the body of work, since Jan. 10 it has been pretty impressive. Eliminate eight days (three consecutive losses), and it’s been really impressive. We’ll talk about it (title), but I don’t see any reason to be giddy about it or celebrate it in a big way because I want our guys to still sting, to still feel even though we’re happy with our accomplishment, why would we not put a foot on a throat (at BU)? Why would we take the foot off the gas? We’ve got to have that killer instinct so moving forward if we experience some success we don’t think that success automatically comes to you. You’ve got to work every day.”

Self said KSU was equally deserving.

“We’re not going to apologize for sharing it at all, and congratulations to K-State. I hate that they share it with us, but they deserve it because they had a great year,” Self said. “They won some big games away from home, too. It’s one of those things that I don’t know if people around here — and maybe rightfully so — really appreciate what it is, but from a guys’ locker-room standpoint, from a coaches’ locker-room standpoint, you want to be the best that you compete against. For us, that’s also (North) Carolina, Kentucky, Duke, Michigan State and some other people that we run against. The primary deal is, you spend 21⁄2 months of your season trying to win a league championship. Why would you discredit winning a league championship when you spend so much time trying to do it?

“To get nine in a row, or a piece of it, is pretty cool,” he added, noting everybody on the team has “maxed out.” “If they’ve been here five years, they’ve got five rings. If they’ve been here three years, they’ve got three rings.”

Withey said the BU game is now officially past tense.

“We’ve forgot about that game already,” he said. “We can learn from it for sure. At the end of the day, we are still champions. We won it with K-State. We did our job. We’re going to try winning the tournament. It’s all we focus on.”

Traditionally, winners of the Big 12 tournament also clip the nets.

“It’s for pride,” Withey said of the upcoming tourney. “Whoever wins it was best team in the league. We definitely want to win it. It’d help us get a No. 1 seed hopefully in the NCAA Tournament.”

Weber’s line sparks no comment: The Wichita Eagle’s account of Monday’s KSU pep rally reports that “coach Bruce Weber joked that he had hoped to celebrate a Big 12 championship a week earlier on Senior Day, but poor officiating — referring to KU’s overtime victory at Iowa State — got in the way.”

Reached by the Journal-World for a reaction to that news item, Self said: “No comment.”

Comments

Thomas Christie 1 year, 9 months ago

Guess when you haven't won since 1977, you'll celebrate anything.

mae 1 year, 9 months ago

Don't be bitter. This is great for our area. Considering travel time in the east and on the west coast also, it's hard to get guys to come to the middle of nowhere. The years that Mizery and Kstate are competitors helps us with recruits that want to be the best in a hard conference. Let them celebrate. Let us celebrate after the 12tourney.

rgh 1 year, 9 months ago

Thom's right though and when Bruce Weber says that KWho should have been celebrating a week ago but poor officiating took it away from them, it's sad for them joking or not. Once the Frank Martin recruits are gone, Weber will be also just like when the Bill Self recruits finished up at Illinois.

Kent Noble 1 year, 9 months ago

Congratulations to K-State, but Bruce Weber needs to learn how to voice his opinion more professionally. He dosen't like to give credit to other teams and his jealousy gets in the way. Bad calls at Iowa State yes maybe, but head to head he's out.

Thomas Christie 1 year, 9 months ago

He's pretty good at winning with other coach's teams!!

mae 1 year, 9 months ago

Agreed. State is just going to go downhill with him but it prolly was the best they could get. Depending on AD and where the money goes, we'll see where they go. With the powerhouse KU football facilities now they may be worried about losing their status there and concentrate on bball for awhile. Then again, with our recent record our money spent doesn't mean anything except a better coaching staff and buildings.

CHEEZIT 1 year, 9 months ago

Yea he's pretty much a jerk! Hope we do see them in the tournament!!!

jonas_opines 1 year, 9 months ago

It's pretty lame to even talk about the ISU game at this point, even in jest, if you're Weber. Far too many intangibles to believe that it made the difference in the season at this point.

But whatever, it was probably an off-the-cuff snark that they threw in just to stir the pot a little.

Julie Craig 1 year, 9 months ago

Saying there is nothing to celebrate sounds like something someone would say who is used to always winning. Wow.

Kudos to KSU for a share of both football and basketball titles this year! And good luck to all Big 12 teams in the Big Dance!!!

Thomas Christie 1 year, 9 months ago

Can you read Puzzler? Who said nothing to celebrate? I said they would celebrate anything. WOW

thefisherman 1 year, 9 months ago

Can YOU read, Thom?

"Or as senior guard Elijah Johnson noted: “I mean, it’s nine straight, but we don’t celebrate until everything is said and done. There’s nothing to celebrate about right now, anyway.”

WOW. How short KU fans' memories are. Just last year, reported right here at the LJWorld:

"Self made sure the Jayhawks did not take this eighth-straight title lightly following Monday’s 70-58 win at his alma mater, OSU.

He had the players place the league championship trophy on the floor of the locker room after accepting it from Big 12 associate commissioner John Underwood and had the Jayhawks do a bit of dancing around the hardware.

Self took part in the dancing.

“It was great. We were all dancing. I’ve done it four times now,” said red-shirt junior center Jeff Withey. “It’s always the same, a great feeling,” he added. “It’s really fun to be able to do that.”"

The fact is that KU are sore winners and sore losers. They can't handle having to share the title with K-State. I'm not anti-KU, but to minimize the title just because you had to share it is a bit...well, arrogant.

BigAl 1 year, 9 months ago

Huge difference. Last year, KU won the Big12 going out with a WIN. That is why they minimized it. After the entire season is over, I am sure KU will readdress winning their 9th straight Big 12 Regular Season Conference Title. Sharing it or not.

BigAl 1 year, 9 months ago

As far as sore losers goes, it is Weber that tends to bring it to a new dimension. He is still blaming refs for KU at ISU. Saying Marcus Smart is a "flopper" and in effect blaming refs for his OSU loss. Maybe some fans have been out of line but officially, KU has been nothing but gracious towards KSU.

riverdrifter 1 year, 9 months ago

By God, you're right: it DOES look like a glass bedpan!

Thomas Christie 1 year, 9 months ago

Lol. Oh, fisherman....How was the KSU cowboy music celebration last night in Aggiville? or we're you "out fishing"?

chargeit 1 year, 9 months ago

KU bball team and fans do have reason to celebrate, but backing into sharing the title with a loss (several) that stastically should not have happend makes it bitter sweet .(thats why games are played). KU would likely not hold a pep rally 3 days later but I am pretty sure they have cut the nets as part of an intimate after practice ceremony. The difference is Expectations. KU has won 20 Conf championships and 14 Conf Tourneys in the 36 year span ksate has won one each. Both have reason to celebrate but both better be ready to come off a loss into a part of the season that is not loss forgiving.

Hammertoe 1 year, 9 months ago

Congratulations to Big 12 Coach of the Year Bruce Weber for bringing Wildcat Nation a Big 12 Championship in Basketball to go along with the Big 12 Championship in Football.
K-State has a chance to finish in the Top 25 in Football and Basketball.
Athletics at K-State is definitely on the rise!
Go Cats!

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