OTC: K-State, KU and MU Hoops Jump Into Deep End Of Pool This Saturday

“I don’t think [Kansas State] is very talented. I’ve seen them practice and I’ve watched them play. Everybody talks about them having a lot of talent; I don’t think they’re a very talented team at all. I think with that said, Bruce Weber’s done a very good job. … I don’t think they’re that talented. I think Bruce has done an exceptional job. You say he’s got a lot of talent, I disagree with that. When I went and watched them practice, I was shocked! People were saying they’ve got a lot of talent. I was like, ‘No they don’t! They don’t!’ They do not have a lot of talent.”
Matt Doherty, former KU assistant and former UNC head coach, in an interview with Steven St. John, 810 AM
GH: A couple of things jumped out at me during Doherty’s analysis of Kansas State’s basketball team. 1) He doesn’t think K-State is very talented. (It might have been the fact he mentioned it over and over and over…). 2) Coaches will defend each other to their last breath. It’s never the coach, it’s always the players, administration, fans, etc. Coaches are kind of like teachers in this regard – if you dare criticize one, they’ll attack everything but the actual problem.

“All those starters – none of those starters would start at Kansas. McGruder was a preseason All-League. I don’t think he’s that talented. He doesn’t have three-ball range, He’s an average athlete. … McGruder? He wouldn’t start at Kansas.”
Matt Doherty, 810 AM
GH: I like a no-holds-barred name analyst like Doherty who is willing to make bold statements in the backyard of those who he is critiquing. But his take on McGruder is far different from mine. I think McGruder is a slam-dunk All-Big 12 selection and deservedly so. How many “not very talented” athletes fit that designation?

“K-State’s RPI is in the 140s. So if the [postseason] field was selected today, I don’t know if they’d be in the NIT.”
Blair Kerkhoff, college sports columnist for The KC Star, 810 AM
GH: I agree with Kerkhoff – so is that a talent problem or a Bruce Weber problem? Frank Martin sure knew how to get this team into the NCAA each year. Almost any coach can get a team full of talented studs into postseason [see Baylor). It takes a coach to adapt his scheme and style to fit his talent. I think Weber can do that – he just hasn’t yet. January and February will be interesting months inside the Octagon of Doom.

“I hope our fans show up and cheer us on.”

Bruce Weber, on the Cats/Florida game at Sprint this Saturday
GH: Weber made this comment in his on-court postgame chat after KSU unimpressive 78-69 home win over Texas Southern. It might have been a simple throwaway line but I read it as more than that. Weber is running into the same problem at KSU that he had when he replaced Bill Self at Illinois – fan fatigue. Wildcat Nation is pining for their cowboy boot-wearing, Cuban-swearing Frank Martin. Maybe Weber needs to hold another mock funeral.

“It will be as tough of an environment [at Ohio State] that [Kansas] will be in all year long – including the Big 12. If they can survive this environment, they are one of the elites.”
Blair Kerkhoff, on KU’s Saturday 3:00 PM (CT) tip at Ohio State, 810 AM
GH: If you are a college hoops junky living in the great Midwest, Saturday offers some choice alternatives to holiday shopping with KU/Ohio State at 3:00 (CBS), MU/Illini at 5:00 PM (CT) (ESPN2) and K-State/Florida at 7:00 PM (CT) (ESPN2).

“When he goes to talk he sounds like a kindergartener.”
Danny Clinkscale, on the high-pitched, scratchy-throat sound of Bruce Weber’s voice, 810 AM
GH: What a change from the booming bass of Frank Martin’s pipes to the little-girl whimper that comes from Weber’s lips. You have to hand it to Weber to have overcome that pipsqueak voice and become a millionaire college coach.

“Who would’ve guessed that Missouri left for the better basketball conference?”
Carrington Harrison, @cdotharrison, Twitter
GH: Texas knocked off Roy’s Boys in North Carolina, so maybe there is some hope for the Big 12. But it is far more likely that UNC is a shadow of their former selves. Will the SEC place more teams in the NCAA tourney than the Big 12? Right now I’m having trouble finding four worthy Big 12 teams.

“I’m not sure there are that many great [college basketball] teams out there. I think everybody’s really good. … The best players [in the country] are young. I think it’s hard to be a dominate team [with young players].”
Bill Self, Hawk Talk
GH: Self named Indiana as the best team in the country, along with Duke and Florida. He stated there are no dominate teams like Kentucky from last season – which possessed both youth and dominance. This past weekend’s upsets would support his theory.

“I don’t know what our upside is but I think our upside is comparable to most teams in the country. Why can’t our upside be as high this year as it was last year?”
Bill Self, Hawk Talk
GH: Self made this comment in response to a KU fan who called in to say he didn’t see this Kansas team as a Final Four contender. It appeared to tick Self off a bit. Coaches like to downplay their team’s talent and chance for success right up until someone questions their team’s worth.

“They know how to win. I’ll say that about our kids. Knock on wood, they know how to win. … I think there’s some potential there without question.”
Bill Self, Hawk Talk
GH: Anybody paying attention to this season’s Jayhawks knows that Self likes this team a lot. He thinks he’s got some defensive warriors who battle. He’s also got some of the most athletic high flyers that have worn the crimson and blue in some time. Kansas is good. Damn good.

“Nothing Kansas basketball does is surprising except lose. When they lose, it’s surprising. Is the expectation for Kansas a Final Four? Absolutely! I don’t care what they lost last year!”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM

“Look, this [Big 12] conference is so bad but Kansas will still lose more than two games.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM

“He played great. He was 1-for-7 from three, that doesn’t concern me because I know he is going to make threes. What Jabari brings is basketball I.Q. He moves well without the ball, plays unselfish, he passes the ball and is patient. I think that is something needed on this team.”
Frank Haith, on the debut performance of MU’s Jabari Brown against outmanned Tennessee State, MU press notes
GH: Mizzou is still a question mark to me. Are they great? Are they just good? Are they in the early stages of becoming a national power in the SEC? MU’s TV schedule has been iffy unless you are a Time Warner subscriber and have access to Metro Sports. I need to see the Tigers more to make an assessment of how good Frank Haith’s club is going to be. I’m hoping they have the opposite experience of what the Tigers had in SEC football.

“Jabari is a great overall player – most people see him as a shooter, but he’s a great passer, a great rebounder and great for his size (in the paint). He’s a great player; he’s not always looking for his shot, he’s looking to get other people involved. On this team we have a lot of guys that can score the ball, so with him being a passer, it makes the team a lot more comfortable and shows how unselfish we are.”
Earnest Ross, MU guard, on Jabari Brown, MU press notes
GH: I keep hearing that Jabari Brown is not a replacement for Michael Dixon – despite the fact that he looks like exactly that player to make MU forget about Dixon. He might be the most important person on MU’s campus this winter outside of Phabulous Phil Pressey.

[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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21 Responses to OTC: K-State, KU and MU Hoops Jump Into Deep End Of Pool This Saturday

  1. Kyle Rohde says:

    Greg, it’s Matt “Doherty.”

  2. john doe says:

    KU is on the road? That has to be a misprint.

  3. The Smartman says:

    Idiots like Frank Martin belong running numbers in Miami. Entertaining to watch? Hell yes, especially if you like train wrecks. Elite coach? No way. He and Weber are cut from the same cloth. Nobody with serious NCAA basketball coaching aspirations goes to the “other” USC. Frank is just padding his bank account. He’ll be gone in less than five years. He was tired of being Bill Self’s bitch.

    Big comparison this year will be whether Martin or Weber can get their teams to the dance and not get bounced in the first round.

    With good health and a little luck KU is absolutely a Final Four candidate. Not a stretch making that statement this year.

    MU will NEVER win an NCAA championship in basketball or football. Paige Arena will NEVER be
    Allen Field House. At least they can continue to fall back on Brad Pitt, John Hamm and Cheryl Crow going there.

    • Barles James says:

      I think Bruce W. is gonna have a short leash with Cat fans. I know it’s early, but that team looks lost. Forgive us if Matt Dohety’s opinion doesn’t hold too much water. He’s been known to misjudge quite a lot concerning roundball.

  4. Kyle says:

    JD strikes again with more mu brilliance. When is mu’s 1st road game?

    • Gavin says:

      I think he’s suggesting that playing at The Plaige Arena is kind of like playing a road game because there are no Mizzou fans there to watch them.

      • john doe says:

        There are plenty of fans at the games If the commute was only 35-40 minutes like it is to KU, there would be more fans during the week.

  5. Esteban O'Riley says:

    What does Weber’s old Illinois team look like this year without him? What did it look like last year with him? I think that says it all.

  6. M says:

    Hey Greg,

    Not sure if you’ve seen this, but I stumbled on it today:


    If even half of it is true (and I think the most of it is), that is some damning stuff on the Chiefs GM, and it explains a lot.

    It also could explain an unnamed Chiefs’ staffer (or Pioli) grasping at straws by alleging ‘improprieties’ by the Carl regime when they came aboard in ’09.

    The sooner they run Pioli and his suit-wearing, secret-service-wannabe goon squad out of town, the better, and then Clark can go find someone who’s not a paranoid, insecure goober that blows it on draft day.

  7. Joe Blow says:

    I don’t know why it’s news — every year, Bill Self talks about how challenging it will be to get his team of 4 & 5 star recruits to even be competitive, and how they’re not very good now, but hopefully will be later in the season, and how good of a coaching job it will take to round these players into a good college basketball team. He *loves* to lower expectations so he can pat himself on the back about what a good job he did with his top recruits..

    • Gavin says:

      Yeah, I’m pretty sure he loves to lower expectations because that’s what coaches do. See, e.g., Hotlz, Louis; William, Roy; Stewart, Norman, et. al. And I’m pretty sure you won’t be able to find me a single article, not so much as a single quote where Bill Self takes credit for his coaching. Unless you mean something else by “pat himself on the back.” Like all coaches, he gives credit to his players for “getting it” or “doing it as they’ve been coached,” but I have never heard Bill Self say “Yeah, this team wasn’t very good at the beginning of the season. I was really worried, but fortunately I was able to coach’em up and that’s the reason for our success.”

      Does he have an ego? Find me a successful coach that doesn’t. Does he pat himself on the back? No.

      • The Smartman says:

        Self is close to being a perfect coach. Wthin reason, he takes responsibility when things go bad and passes out credit when things go good. Kids love playing for coaches like that.

        • Will says:

          Jeez Gavin & Smartman…I can’t tell where you guys stop and Bill Self starts; you are so far up his ass. Too bad he’s not smart enough to realize that rug on top of his head makes him look ridiculousness.

    • john doe says:

      Exactly, and the media feeds into it.

  8. Barles James says:

    as far as coaches watching out for other coaches and teachers doing the same – the worst field for covering each others rear-ends has to be medicine. If half of U.S. medical patients knew the FUBARs occurring during basic hospital visits we’d have a national outrage.

  9. bs says:

    John Doe and Joe Blow — stop it. you look ridiculous.

    • john doe says:

      Every year, we hear about how this is a young team and Self is going to have to mold it and it could be a down year by their standards. Then they win a weak conference and everybody talks about how great of a job he did. This year will be more of the same. They are called young, with a 20 year old freshmen in the starting lineup, and Releford, who has to be pushing 25. Big 12 might get 3 teams in the tournament.

  10. Kyle says:

    And KU will end up in another Final Four. Your point? Jealousy sucks man. Especially when it’s so obvious. And how bout that nice little road win JD?? Oh, but OSU really isn’t that good, right?

    • john doe says:

      nice win.

      Good to see Craft crap his pants like he does in every big game.

      Me jealous? I’m jealous of George Mason too.

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