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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

thebcman 1 year, 1 month ago

Bruce Weber = putting the "ass" in "classy"

0

Hammertoe 1 year, 1 month 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!

1

lawrenceloser 1 year, 1 month ago

Weber is a tool and his inability to recruit will give him only a few years there.

2

1 year, 1 month ago

I will have to say that Weber's cheap shot about the ISU victory surprised me because I was hoping he'd grown up a bit from the mock funeral he held the last time he was 'trying' to be funny.... Appears that was wishful thinking... Please don't give up your day job because comedienne, you are not.

However, a decent coach... Let's hope. I did see KSU run a lot of motion offense and actually appear 'coached' for the first time since Huggins. Martin got some decent recruits, but he always appeared too angry for anyone to be enjoying anything. And Weber can recruit... Illinois is not that bad in a tough Big Ten this year. So, let's hope he can keep the comedy act to a minimum and focus on other areas. BTW, who shot more free throws in Ames? ISU and it wasn't even close so to get your panties in a wad about a call at the end? PUHLEEZ ISU also had OVERTIME to win it. Crying about the officiating is really the last vestige of a true loser...

But good Kansas teams (KU, WSU, KSU) are always more fun to watch out here in the middle of the pond so keep it up!!

And technically, we did win it but the 'share' is a feel good gesture for those that have been dominated for a decade.

1

chargeit 1 year, 1 month 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.

0

Thom 1 year, 1 month ago

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

0

Gotland 1 year, 1 month ago

Don't be so hard on yourselves hawks. You dropped one at the end but still one 9 staight. Good job.

0

justanotherface 1 year, 1 month ago

Do all the previous Big 12 championship trophies look like a glass bedpan, or is it because KSUck won it too?

2

Thom 1 year, 1 month ago

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

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Julie Craig 1 year, 1 month 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!!!

1

jonas_opines 1 year, 1 month 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.

0

Kent Noble 1 year, 1 month 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.

2

Paul R Getto 1 year, 1 month ago

Congrats to KU and KSU. This is good for the state when all the news from Topeka is dismal. Now the games that count begin. ROCK CHALK.

1

Thom 1 year, 1 month ago

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

6

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