OTC: How Big Is This Big Monday Game Against KSU For KU? The Biggest Home Game in A Decade? Even Bigger Than That.

“[Bill Self] took a little bit of heat for [publicly criticizing his team]. I thought he was great. I really did. When you play at Kansas, if you don’t want the attention – and 95% of the time it’s unbelievable attention if you’re a student athlete [at Kansas]. But the 5% of the time when things don’t go well you’ve got to be able to handle that too. If you don’t want the attention of playing at Kansas or Carolina or Duke, then go to a low major school.”
Fran Fraschilla, TV color analyst for KU/OU game in Norman, ESPN2
GH: Fraschilla is just another ex-coach in the media who makes it his job to have the back of a coach like Bill Self who is catching some heat for publicly verbally flogging his players after KU’s loss to OSU and TCU. Fraschilla said, “I thought it was great.” Obviously, it didn’t work. Kansas now finds itself mired in its first three-game losing skid after a sparkling 19-1 start and a number-one ranking only three games ago. Why is it hard for Fraschilla and his ilk to point the finger at Self? Instead, Fraschilla questions the courage of Self’s players. Very gutsy, Fran.  

“I’m not leaving out of [Norman] disgusted with my team at all. We actually played better today. We played a good team today. … Hey, it’s hard to win away from home. This wasn’t a major upset today. We did some good things. It’s not good but it’s definitely not broken. It’s not broken.”
Bill Self, in his postgame comments after losing in Norman, Jayhawk Radio Network
GH: Compare these comments to how Self ripped his guards after the OSU loss and then calling his team the worst Kansas has put on the floor since Naismith. Fraschilla might not think Self made a mistake in how he rode his players into the ground, but it appears to me that Bill Self thinks he screwed up.

“When we play well, we play as well as any of the talented teams we’ve had in the past.”
Bill Self, Jayhawk Radio Network

“I think this might be the least talented team that Bill Self has ever coached.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM
GH: A three-game losing streak has jolted even some of the most steady Jayhawk backers. I disagree that this is one of Self’s least talented teams. McLemore is a top-five draft pick even as a first-year player and Withey is the best defensive player in the nation. Add two seniors who played in the Final Four last year and it is difficult to call this Kansas team untalented. The problem is the team’s confidence. Self destroyed it with his public criticism. Can he build the team back up over the next eight weeks? That’s why they call him coach.

“We’re trying to soothe people’s anxiety a little bit that this world is going to come to an end. It is not. You can keep both feet on the bridge. It’s going to be okay. … I can’t believe anybody would be arrogant enough to think you could just go in there [to Norman] and roll over a good Oklahoma team.”
David Lawrence, as he opened the KU postgame radio show following the Jayhawks third straight defeat, Jayhawk Radio Network
GH: Lawrence sounded like Stan Weber whenever K-State football suffers a tough loss. Both Kansas and K-State hold tightly censored postgame shows hosted by their handpicked hosts. Missouri is far more lenient in allowing both the hosts and their callers to speak critically of their teams. For the most part, the journalists who cover all three schools follow suit to this same credo. Mizzou’s media is far tougher on the Tigers than the Jayhawks’ and Wildcats’ scribes. I prefer the truth rather than pabulum.

“I know people remember what happened late in the game but overall I thought Elijah played better.”
David Lawrence, on EJ’s play in Norman, Jayhawk Radio Network
GH: The term “relative” has rarely been more important to a point guard’s play. Was EJ better than his play at TCU? Well, yeah. But he remains the target of more venom in the state of Kansas than those water-stealing farmers up north in Nebraska.

“I love the fact that Elijah keeps on shooting!”
Bob Davis, punctuating his play-by-play call of a made three-pointer by the KU senior point guard, Jayhawk Radio Network

“I expect [Elijah] to play great and I believe he will. Certainly so much of everything is based on making shots. He doesn’t have to worry about making shots, just go play and have fun.”
Bill Self, KUSports.com

“They’ve got Elijah – he’s a two [guard] playing a one. College basketball is all about guards. It’s all about guards. I just think guard play is absolutely vital. You’ve got to have it. You cannot be an elite team unless at that point-guard position you’ve got a lead guy. The things that guy does at that level of basketball are enormous!”
Kevin Harlan, 810 AM
GH: Self has said Elijah is his guy and he’s riding him the rest of the season. This has the makings of a great, great comeback storybook ending for EJ and the Jayhawks. But somebody better start writing some feel-good pages real quick.

“This is uncharted waters. These guys are having trouble knowing how to react when they’re behind.”
Greg Gurley, radio color analyst for KU radio, in a Monday interview with Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: Gurley is one of the few straight shooters in the local media when it comes to fairly evaluating the team he works for and the school where he played.

“You try to shy away from a must-win scenario but this is kind of it.”
Greg Gurley, on Kansas needing a win tonight against K-State, 610 AM
GH: Look at the upcoming Big 12 schedules for both Kansas and K-State. Even if KU wins tonight, they will have a much more difficult road to the conference title than K-State. Kansas needs to win tonight more than they have in maybe any other regular season game in the Bill Self era. Four straight losses with two at home? And one at home to Bruce Weber? Yeah, this one tonight is big. 

“If I’m not mistaken if we win on Monday we’ll be tied for the league lead.”
Bill Self, Jayhawk Radio Network
GH: Isn’t that what Bruce Weber was saying last month when KU was headed to Manhattan? 

“KSt. practiced Sun at KU Coach Weber said they got out of town to concentrate, have some fun. They did. Great practice Wildcats did X and O work then had fun 3 point knockout contest. Rodney McGruder won. Guys had a blast.”
Holly Rowe, @sportsiren, Twitter
GH: K-State sounds loose and ready. But Vegas isn’t buying any of it. Kansas is favored by 8 tonight.

“Play with freedom offensively and let it go [fly] defensively.”
Bill Self, on what he would like to see from his team against K-State, KUSports.com
GH: After the loss to Oklahoma, Self begged his fans to come out and support his team Monday night for the K-State game. He mentioned begging twice. Yeah, this game is big. Here is the $16,300 question; If Kansas beats K-State tonight at Allen Fieldhouse to tie the Cats for the Big 12 lead, do the Jayhawk fans storm the court?  

[email protected] and Twitter / greghall24

About Greg Hall

Software guy who has been writing my Off The Couch column in KC newspapers, publications and websites since 1994. Has been bounced from some of the finest media establishments this side of State Line Road. Dad first and everything else second...and there are a lot of everything elses.
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46 Responses to OTC: How Big Is This Big Monday Game Against KSU For KU? The Biggest Home Game in A Decade? Even Bigger Than That.

  1. Kyle Rohde says:

    Did you mean $16,300 question?

    This team is talented, but it’s not as talented a team as they’ve had most other years Self has been there. However, what you’re speaking to, Greg, is experience, not talent. Young, Releford and Johnson are all experienced, but none of them would hardly see the court if they were on the ’08 nat’l champs team. Withey would probably start over Sasha Kaun, and Releford/Johnson maybe could have been 8th or 9th man, but that’s about it. There’s talent on this team but most of it is not ready for prime time and sitting on the bench.

    As to Self’s mixed reactions, I think he’s baffled by this team’s ability to turn it around and probably misread how they’d react, so now he’s trying to fix it.

    Everybody keeps talking about EJ, who’s been awful, but there’s been less chatter about Releford, who’s been pretty bad himself.

    Tonight is huge. And I hope the fans bring it and get these guys back on track.

    • Greg Hall says:

      Yes, $16,300. Sometimes the fingers do not type what the mind commands. I would love to be one of them tonight at AFH. It is going to be as wild a pregame as maybe ever inside that barn

      • harley says:

        greg…bet you ku wins big 12…we’ll put a dinner at oklahoma joes
        on it…i take ku …you take rest of conference…
        then we’ll back it up…26k marathon…winner takes all..
        i get 25k head start!!!!!!!
        love ya…keep the faith.
        Harley saves the day!!!!!

        • Greg Hall says:

          Harley, lunch with you is just too good a future column to pass up. You have KU and I’ll take the field. I’m thinking an OJ’s rib dinner for my winnings.

          • The Smartman says:

            Will this dinner be before or after the foot-race we’ve all been waiting ages for?

          • Harley says:

            i prefer the pulled pork…in honor of the ku
            cheerleaders!!!!!! (lol)
            you were a great lead in for that line greg!!!!

    • Dp says:

      Lamest argument in KC sports is ‘KU’s talent is down’….return 3 starters from National Runner-up, add a lottery pick and an all-everything McDonald’s AA kid from high school. Not to mention just about everybody on the bench was a highly recruited kid coming out of HS. If KU’s talent is so bad, who would KU trade rosters with in the Big 12? Maybe Okie State? Notice you didn’t hear much about the ‘lack of talent’ after the Ohio State game…Funny how KU fans have an excuse after every loss.

      • Kyle Rohde says:

        I’m not saying the talent is down so low I’d trade rosters with anybody in the conference, just that it’s not as high as it’s been most of the past 9 years under Self. Last year’s team is about equal in talent, and they turned out to be massive overachievers. We’ll see if this year’s team has that kind of guts.

  2. HARLEY says:


    this is a fact…
    BILL SELF IS A GENIUS. Don’t fret ku fans. He doesn’t have manning to help with the
    big guys this year but he will get the ship straight. His team has the makings of a big
    advancer in the tournament. Remember years past…when old timers like Jack “I got my
    job when the other guy keeled over and died” Harry proclaimed this team dead.
    Well now he’s been replaced with Greg “I run like a guy who robbed a 7-11” Hall.
    So have no fear…harley is right. Was right on the 2012 prez election 14 months before
    the results..picked the exact electoral college vote range (While other so called experts
    and pundits said I was wrong…including rove/hannity/limberg cheese/etc)…
    I picked Baltimore to win super bowl when the top experts like James “I feel good” Brown…
    Boomer “i got a hottie” Esiason….Dan “oh…wait..is that my kid..well..here’s another million
    bucks sweety” Marino…all picked the 49ers.
    So heres the facts…KU wins the big 12…they go deep into the tournament because
    no team can play with them especially withey…withey will be a major part of thebig
    run in feb/march…watch for it..If self lets him out of his cage and gets him the ball
    it will resemble Dannyand the MIracles….then watch for ben…he’s smelling the big
    money…needs to step up…
    Losing 3 straight for 99% of the teams in america is a small thing…for ku its huge..
    but don’t despair.
    MU fans will not invade Lawrence to commemorate the burning torch march.
    We will watch again as KU advances…becasue really…we need ku to go deep in
    march so we have something to watch!!!!
    As a fan of ku…and a fan of mu….don’t think you can defy Harley…I’m right…I’m
    on the spot…and look for big things in the future.
    For further details you can email me at [email protected] to get my
    media report for 2013…my financial paper for 2013…and my upcoming complete
    reports on the economy thru 2013 that will be preeminent information for business
    people and owners in the midwest. thanks.

    • tigerdan4 says:

      Hard to take anything in this post seriously because it is IMPOSSIBLE to be a fan of both MU and KU. Please. There is no fan of the black & gold who says “Geez I hope KU has all the success in the world because its good for KC and we’re not in their conference anymore”. And vice versa. No. That person does not exist. Hating KU and rooting against them and basking in their failures is a major component of a Tiger fan’s DNA. Anyone who says otherwise is wrong.

      • The Smartman says:

        Why is this post different than any Harley post? During the Civil War his ancestors gave blow jobs to both Union and Confederate soldiers.


        tiger dan…i live in lions den of ku basketball fandom…joco.
        I’ve fought with these people for 30 years about this rivalry although
        the rivalry reaally took effect with the first arrowhead football game
        and last year with both teams doing well in bball (and what a great
        year it was).
        for me…i grew up loving ku…but decided to go to mu because i
        loved the women of stephens college. With 2 feamle only schools
        with 4000 of he most gorgeous/richest/and many with horses worth
        more than the house i grew up in…i said GO MIZZOU.
        now that mu no longer really has a rivalry with ku (only in a few
        peoples minds does the rivalry exist…now that history has closed
        the chapter on quantril s raiders…and that mu football has established
        its superiority over ku football for ever and ever)…i ‘ve decided
        to add ku bbal l as a fan.
        I mean my neighbrohood has avoided me with my curbside
        numbers and tiger logo paintedvon in for several years.
        I like bill self…met him several years ago and had a conversation
        where i explained how he could win a championship. He did not
        take my advice and he won a championship.
        So yes…people can bleed black and gold and red andblue.
        Have some fun….ku bball is exciting…
        my dna by the way includes heavy oklahoma sooner dna…
        harvard dna and even ku dna.
        So why should i continue to haveto fight over the last turkey leg
        at thanksgiving…the final night gift at hanuka with my ku inbred
        family…we need peace now.
        So go ku…go mu…the best of both worlds for someone like me.

        • Will says:

          From a real MU fans perspective, you are sick and disgusting. Seek help immediately.

          And to Smartassman…your ancestors must have bent over and taken both up the ass.

          • harley says:

            sorry will…i used to see dr. john allen…great doctor..
            related to phog….we would discuss the rivalry then
            laugh. How stupid can we get we youcall someone
            disgusting over a sporting event. Get some
            class…you embarrass all mu fans.
            Have fun with class.
            I find doctors from KU to be very excellent doctors..when sick i like to go to them.
            Last mu dr. i went to tried to kill me…he’s out of
            practice now….
            I am a real mu fan…worked for norm…no one
            feels worse than during an mu loss than i.
            Know many of coaches…quinn came to our
            fundraiser…worked with joe in a.d. department…
            so don’t feed me any bull about not being a
            mu fan.
            its fun and entertainment. We’;; banter back and
            forth…throw a few insults …a few jokes…but
            nothing like the crap many fans on both sides
            mu fans have class and style. You don’t with words
            like that.
            I’ve seen many many time this last year when sec
            crowds coming to columbia weere welcomed and
            commented about the hospitality of mu fans…something
            they seldom see.
            we can compete…have some fun…throw a few
            barbs…then laugh it off with a big beer.
            I worked at harpos…deja vu…tiger radio…worked
            in athletic department….know andy hill and others..
            don’t doubt my mu roots dude.
            now go back to the sandbox.

          • The Smartman says:

            Hey Will, I’m done banging your mom. You wanna come pick her up or should I send her back to you in a cab.

          • Will says:

            Keep touting your resume Harley. You’ll find someone that’s impressed eventually. I don’t see where you exhibited any more “class” in your post than I did in mine. Maybe smartman is right about you?

          • Will says:

            What is this the KC Star comment section?

          • harley says:

            will…see what smarmyman has to go to…insulting
            your mom…classless yellow belllied coward…ran
            from his own shadow when glazer wanted to set
            him striaght. Not here to impress anyone..especially mu fans…i’ve paid my dues and spent my time in
            helping mu charities for many many years.
            NO doubt i’m a tiger…my resume is pretty complete..
            if it doesn’t satisfy you sorry will…
            but i’ve worked with the harpers for years in
            promoting columbia and mizzou…not to
            impress anyone but just because those were some
            great years in my life.
            Lets have some fun…but when the whistle sounds
            lets act like adults..
            i’ve been to some of the most disgusting campuses
            in the nation when i followed mizzou…including
            boulder…and iowa state..
            been to some of the friendliest campus too..
            nebraska and texas a and m.
            Watch the aggies…most fervent fans in america..
            yet they have style and grace toward opponents…
            so will…i would never attack your mom or
            family…smarmyman did..
            what does that tell you???????????????/

  3. The Smartman says:

    I’m flabbergasted that you STILL think Self’s brow beating has sucked all of the testosterone out of KU’s testes. Words can’t make you feel bad. Only YOU can make YOU feel bad. These kids are not in some middle school in Blue Valley.

    Was in Norman on Saturday on business, not at the game. Wound up at a restaurant with a bunch of KU fans and there were some at my hotel too. No one seemed suicidal or distraught. They were getting there balls busted from all directions and handled it with class and aplomb. One couple did admit they would go batshit if they lost to KSU at home.

    No doubt that EJ is a it of a head case right now but that’s what he signed up for. If you can’t stand the heat, transfer to Missouri.

    • Dr. Anna Allen says:

      was there a used hot tub flea market sale going on there in norman. Did they
      let you into the restaurant without delicing you smartman?
      Did you really go to norman or is this just another big story like the rest you tell.
      I hope the ku fans didn’t get near you. It might cause a major outbreak of
      disease on the ku campus that could cause the team to have to forfeit the game.
      I don’t think self knew you were there or he would have forced you into
      quarantine to prevent the spread of a very serious disease among the fans and players!

      • The Smartman says:

        Wow Harley! Nice to meet your first female alter ego. Is “she” your plan to woo back Glazer from Tony Botello?

        • harley says:

          SMARMY MAN….. we saw your colors…yellow bellied chicken..
          you shot your mouth off the mr. glazer than failed to show
          up and back up your words.
          You’re a yellow punk. Proved it last week. Have a great
          But please don’t get near the kids with those diseased
          hands of yours from the used hottubs.

          • The Smartman says:

            First of all Harley it wasn’t me that called Glazer out. It was someone pretending to be me. Like I wanna waste my time beating up a toupee wearing senior citizen roid head, sociopath who thinks NO ONE in the KC metro area 35 years and older is as buff and studly as he is. That probably ups the charges to include abusing the mentally incompetent. Glazer is just jealous that he doesn’t have the intellectual horsepower to hang in these forums. Knowledge is POWER. Not running the business daddy started and believing the press clippings that you write about yourself.

          • harley says:

            keep changing your story smarmyman. Glaze is on
            your trail.
            Just a matter of time til you get your just deserved
            If you didn’t say those things why do you repeat the
            same things onthis stie.
            I know glaze…he’s one tough hombre and he’s
            wating for you…
            you backed down…you chickened out…you
            actually lied again.
            why lie? because thats your way of life!!!!!!!

    • Greg Hall says:

      I agree that a college basketball player at Kansas, Duke or Carolina should be able to handle some public criticism from their head coach. But some cannot. The head coach needs to know who can handle the heat and how his team will react to his browbeating before he goes public. This is where Self erred in my opinion. Maybe his team pulls out of this tailspin and he proves to be the Zen Master. But he has now backed off for a reason and I don’t think it was all part of a grand plan.

  4. Kyle says:

    Yes, I’m sure KU fans will storm that court after beating a team for the 43rd time in 46 tries. Are you freaking kidding me????

    • Barles James says:

      Not gonna happen, because the purples will roll. Spradling will cap the game off with a tomahawk jam and will steal Self’s rug on the way to the locker room. Old, white JOCO will be in shock the rest of the week.

    • Greg Hall says:

      Kyle, Yes I was kidding. But the fans who typically storm the court are students — many first- and second-year students. They don’t always have a great understanding of what is acceptable at Kansas. But If EJ hits a running trey to win it at the buzzer, all I can say is somebody better cover up Max downb there under the bucket!

  5. hammy says:

    Biggest home game since…last March you mean.

  6. nick says:

    It’s kinda refreshing hearing Wildicat, ISU and Ok. State fans pumped up about possibly winning the Big 12. Winning conference Championships IS cool. Really cool.

    Of course, if KU rights the ship and wins its 9th straight, it will be because the league sucks and Kansas will again be judged by its NCAA success.

  7. HARLEY says:

    little nicky…hammy mammy… wild kyle…
    relax dudes. Harley is noW available 24/7 to give you the facts about ku and sports.
    Don[‘t let my mizzou friends get you down. don’t let the pokes or cats or clones
    get you down.
    Harley knows all. Have faith. Have confidence. I talked with nate silver recently
    and he gave me his ideas on the ncaa tournament. KU will do wel.. Will they win..
    yes…provided they get a #2 seeding in their region. Why…the answer is very
    simple and as the season unfolds nate will provide the answers and i will
    interpret it for you.
    Bill Self rules…with his personal problems hanging around he can still make
    a great run intothe final four.
    And remember…this is an MU fan saying this…
    and remember…harley knows!!!!!

  8. MightyMo says:

    KU should worry. Bill Self has been doing poorly at home this year. Just ask Mrs. Self.

  9. Orphan of the Road says:

    Pretty wild year for all the traditional bb powers. Doubt Self’s dress-down was the cause for this implosion.

    You coax and cajole players to try and get them to see your point about playing hard. They win while playing fundamentally weak and it just emboldens them to keep playing the same way.

    If Self speaking like a Dutch uncle broke the players spirit, they’ll lose the rest of their games. If they take to heart his objective, they’ll win out.

    I’d like to see Self bring in John Chaney to run practice for these “kids”. A week of practice at 6am might put their heads back on straight.

  10. JP says:

    I guess it’s THAT YEAR when all the knives come out, pointed at KU. For the record, I was more bummed this weekend that football season was over then KU losing at OU. They still have time to get it fixed in time for the big run in March. The Baltimore Ravens got throttled by the Denver Broncos in December and they now own the Lombardi Trophy for the next year, so take the regular season with a grain of salt. It won’t matter if they get upset in the early rounds. RIght mizzou fans!!! I thought so.

  11. Kyle says:

    Yeah, we don’t want Max to get trampled. It would be pretty entertaining seeing the older students running out to tackle a few young pups if they try to rush. Hopefully they have been trained better. Not sure it’s going to matter though. KU’s confidence is shot. I’ll be surprised with a win.

  12. Joe says:

    The player on KU that has escaped nearly all criticism is Jeff Withey. He should/could be the leader of this team. Other than blocking shots, he really doesn’t do much. He is (usually) the biggest guy on the floor, and should be reliable to score inside consistently. Quit shooting the 8ft sky hook, and throw down some dunks! Short career in the NBA is ahead, if he can’t play more aggressively. I like the kid, and I haven’t thrown in the towel for KU, but come on!

    • harley says:

      Harleys prediction…Jeff Withey replaces manning in the hearts of ku fans..the
      guys going to tear it up….bill give this guy the ball ….in and out passing…
      this guy can score 25-30 a game and take you to another trophy.
      Listen to me billy…you and i had that conversation at sullivans where we
      talked aboutthe dance team girl. You hopefully took my advice…now go
      out and win one for the girls at the outhouse!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

  13. kc says:

    Go Wildcats! Big12 champs in football and basketball would be awesome!

  14. Joe says:

    Just like the KK/Intern blowjob story, unless someone can provide proof of Self’s indiscretions, it is just URBAN LEGEND. I can’t believe I just “defended” Keitzman.

  15. BlackJack says:

    Withey doesn’t do much but block shots?? Um, you do know that Withey averages 13.2 PPG and 8.2 RPG don’t you?

  16. Greg, I have limited experience at AFH (one MU-KU game, and it wasn’t even on my bucket list), but I have to disagree with your assessment that AFH isn’t louder than other joints. I can only speak honestly: It was the loudest joint I’ve ever been in, and I’ve been in a few joints. There have been explanations proffered for that, such as (1) they cattle car 16K freaks into that little tiny space and (2) that joint was built during a time of war when rationing meant a lot of metal went into the construction of the dive, which only enhances the noise. I’m an MU grad over here, and I don’t much care for giving jayhawker redleggers credit for much of anything, but I’d be disingenuous if I didn’t give them credit for the noise and great advantage that is their home court.

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