Scouting, not speech, occupies Manning

Danny Manning

Danny Manning has spent multiple hours working on the scouting report for next week’s O’Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic.

As of Friday afternoon, he’d not expended one second scripting the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame acceptance speech he’ll deliver Sunday night at the College Basketball Experience in downtown Kansas City, Mo.

“I’m just very fortunate and blessed. A lot of people have helped shape me and mold me as a young man into my adulthood. I definitely have to give them thanks and go from there,” said Kansas University assistant basketball coach Manning, one of seven hoops greats to be enshrined Sunday.

Manning led KU to the 1988 NCAA championship and 20 years later helped coach the Jayhawks to another national crown.

He likely will speak from the heart after being presented by KU head coach Bill Self.

“I don’t know how emotional I’ll be, just because it’s a time to give thanks,” Manning said before practice Friday in Allen Fieldhouse. “I think it should be a joyous occasion. Hopefully, I’ll try to keep it that way.

“This is a special award. It’s something that I don’t view it as an individual award. I played for a great coach, wonderful staff, more importantly some very unselfish teammates,” Manning added. “Hopefully when the honor does happen I’ll walk into the Hall of Fame with Kansas across my chest because that’s the jersey I played in, and those are the teammates that put me there.”

Self feels honored that he has been asked to introduce Manning.

“Only a handful of guys impacted the game more than he did during his time in college,” Self said. “He is one of the best players to ever play the game collegiately. We think of (Larry) Bird and (Michael) Jordan and Magic (Johnson) as the greatest players because of what they accomplished in the pros. You break down what they did in college … Danny’s career is right up there with those guys,” Self added.

Other members of the Hall’s Class of 2008: players Charles Barkley and Arnie Ferrin, coaches Jim Phelan and Nolan Richardson and broadcasters Billy Packer and Dick Vitale as members of the Class of 2008.

lHigh powered Raiders: The college basketball world took notice of Texas Tech’s 167-115 victory over East Center on Thursday in Lubbock, Texas.

“What was coach Knight thinking? That was my main thought,” KU coach Bill Self joked of Hall of Famer Bob Knight, the father of Red Raiders’ coach Pat Knight.

“I like Pat a lot. He told me he was going to play fast. I think coach (Bob) Knight was thinking, ‘Fine, go ahead and play fast, but the other team scored how many?’ It goes to show you our league pace of play is moving in a faster mode. There will be points put on the board in our league, which is good for our league.”

Self was asked which offense was better: that of the Red Raider football team or basketball team?

“I would say basketball will score a lot of points. If they are hanging 167 on teams in January and February we know they have the best offense of all time,” Self said. “But (Mike) Leach’s offense is hanging 50 and 60 on everybody every week. I’ll give the nod to coach Leach. Who knows? Pat may have them averaging 90 a game. If he does that, that would be pretty strong.”

lJayhawks rotation: KU coach Self reiterated Friday he’s not planning on planning on using eight or nine players in Monday’s 9 p.m. battle against (2-1) Washington at Sprint Center.

“The whole thing is, we can’t go in there saying we’ve got to get everybody in the game,” Self said. “That’s what I’m talking about. Our rotation will vary week to week, at least early on. I can’t go in thinking I’ve got to look at different combinations. We need to find something we’re comfortable with and go with that. We may end up playing 10 or whatever. I don’t think we can try to get everybody in to see what’s working. The competition is way too stiff to be doing that.”

KU will also play either Florida or Syracuse at either 6:45 p.m. or 9:15 p.m., Tuesday in Sprint Center.

For more on Manning’s induction, see Sunday’s Journal-World. For coverage of Manning’s induction, see Monday’s Journal-World.