OTC: Kentucky Embarrasses Kansas By 32 / Oakland Signs Billy Butler For $30 Million

“We didn’t make any shots and we took some very ill-advised shots. … We didn’t play well and we didn’t play as well as we’re capable of. Give them a lot of credit too.”
Norm Roberts, KU assistant basketball coach after the fifth-ranked Jayhawks were dumped 72-40 by top-ranked Kentucky,, 810 AM
GH: Give Kentucky most of the credit. Maybe Kansas is as awful as they looked Tuesday night but I do not believe that to be true. I also do not believe there was much KU could have done to reverse what happened to them in Indianapolis. Kentucky appears to be that much better than the ten-time-consecutive Big 12 champs. And very possibly every other team not in the NBA.

“(John Calipari’s) team defended all right. It blocked 11 shots and limited Kansas to 13 percent shooting in the second half, 19.6 percent overall. Kansas guards would drive into the lane and quickly were lost in the forest, no light in sight. One of UK’s trees would stand with his arms raised straight in the air, giving another tall teammate the chance to come from behind to swat any shot.”
Tom Keegan, columnist, KUsports.com

“I’m personally pretty embarrassed. I mean I don’t know if I understand what happened yet. You don’t come to Kansas to play like this. It’s embarrassing to ourselves and our fans.  We’ll take this and learn from it and be better for it.”
Landen Lucas, KU sophomore, KUsports.com
GH: Kentucky made Kansas look like Emporia State playing at Allen Fieldhouse – except that Kansas didn’t look at good as Emporia State at Allen Fieldhouse. It kind of reminded me of when the USA teams dominated the Olympics to the point of where the opposing teams were asking Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan for their autograph. It was that ugly.

“They may have 10 guys who play in the league in their platoon deal.”
Bill Self, KUsports.com

“They’re not as good as they’re going to be. Kentucky is legit.”
Jay Bilas, after Kentucky drubbed number-five Kansas by 32, ESPN
GH: Kentucky is going to improve??? Well, when do pitchers and catchers report?

“We kind of bum-rushed them a little bit and every time they looked, there were more tanks coming over the hill, more substitutes and reinforcements…here they come. It kind of gets to you a little bit. And I think that’s what happened.”
John Calipari, after his Kentucky Wildcats spanked KU 72-40 in Indianapolis, ESPN GH: Make no mistake, Calipari is LOVING his two-platoon “tank” system – and proving all of his critics wrong. This is not some coaching innovation that is going to change the college game. This is a coach who is the game’s best recruiter trying to keep ten future NBA players happy. And it appears to be working – for now.  

“I’m blessed to have a group of guys like this. They’re talented yet they’re selfless enough to do this. I’ve talked to guys who watch us who say, ‘I wouldn’t want to do this. I’d be out of rhythm. I want my 35 minutes.’ These guys have performed at a high level, cheering for each other, comfortable in their own skin. … We have ten starters on this team. That’s what we have.”
John Calipari, on his players’ willingness to play five-man platoon basketball, KUsports.com

“Can’t believe how long Self has gone w/o a big time point guard.”
Doug Gottlieb, @GottliebShow, Twitter GH: Has not having what Gottlieb considers “a big time point guard” really stifled Kansas’ success under Bill Self? They have rolled to ten straight Big 12 titles and enjoyed number-one or –two seeds in the NCAA tournament almost every season. I don’t think that was KU’s biggest issue against Kentucky – or even an issue. I think Frank Mason is going to surprise people at how well he runs the point for KU the next three years.

“This is the biggest regular season game of the year for Kansas. … This game is huge!”
Ben Heisler, evening sports talk host, prior to tipoff of the KU/UK game, 610 AM

“There is nothing even remotely big about this (Kansas/Kentucky) game.”
Kevin Kietzman, on Tuesday afternoon, prior to the KU/UK game, 810 AM
GH: If Kansas is on the national stage, KK is going to find a reason to deny its importance. Now that the Jayhawks were embarrassed last night, I expect Kietzman to possibly take the day off like he did when K-State lost to TCU.

“This was an epic loss on national TV. It was the worst loss in Bill Self’s history. This was an epic loss by the Kansas Jayhawks. Is this going to be a regressing year for the Kansas Jayhawks?”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: This was a big game for Kansas and Kentucky. Kietzman might not understand how these two schools view their status as the country’s best basketball programs but anytime they get to go head-to-head it is a big deal. No one is going to forget this score come March or even five years from now. These are the games that blueblood schools remember. Anybody recall the score of 150-95?

“Marcus Foster might need an attitude adjustment. He seemed more concerned lipping off and being a punk to the UMKC players. Marcus Foster having five turnovers is an embarrassment. Part of the word on the street is that he is starting to think he is all that.” Kevin Kietzman, on the Wildcats best basketball player, 810 AM
GH: Sounds to me like Marcus Foster and KK would be great golfing partners.

“To the end, Billy wanted to stay a Royal. I understand the team’s position, but it’s hard not to love the guy. And what a way to go out.”
Rany Jazayerli, @jazayerli, after reports that the Royals DH had signed a three-year deal with the Oakland A’s for $30 million, Twitter
GH: Gone. The BBQ sauce king of Kansas City baseball is now an Oakland A. We will miss his grin and his waddle but it was time for him to go.

“This looks like a complete head scratcher.”
Soren Petro, on Billy Beane’s decision to sign Butler to a three-year contract for $30 million, 810 AM

“Billy Butler is getting a raise! I am surprised Billy Butler is getting a raise!”
Henry Lake, 610 AM
GH: It was late September and Billy Butler sat on the Royals bench as the Royals battled Detroit for the ALC title. He had been replaced as the team’s DH by Josh Willingham, Nori Aoki and even Jarrod Dyson. In maybe the most important at-bat to date on September 20th, Ned Yost ignored Butler and instead turned to Raul Ibanez to pinch hit in the ninth. Butler’s future with the Royals was made clear to all who were paying attention that day.

“Did you read Dan Jenkins’ interview with me in the latest Golf Digest? I hope not. Because it wasn’t me. It was some jerk he created to pretend he was talking to me. That’s right, Jenkins faked an interview, which fails as parody, and is really more like a grudge-fueled piece of character assassination. Journalistically and ethically, can you sink any lower?”
Tiger Woods, responding to Jenkins’ attempt at satire in Golf Digest, MSN.com
GH: Jenkins’ fake interview can be read here. My question to the 84-year-old Jenkins is why? What is his motivation for skewering Woods? Humor? Okay, but this parody looked to bear more of a personal grudge because Woods never granted him a sit-down interview. Woods is an easy target nowadays and he is far from a well-adjusted grownup who can handle being poked with fake words. But Jenkins comes off here as a shallow cheap-shot artist wanting to stick it to Woods one more time before he fades into the gloaming.

“To question the journalistic integrity of Dan Jenkins, who at 84 years old has just ended his streak of covering 179 consecutive majors this summer is going to send major waves throughout golf.  Jenkins is universally regarded as one of the great sportswriters in the history of the industry.  His career writing about golf dates back to his days covering Ben Hogan at the Fort Worth Press.  He’s a World Golf Hall of Famer.”
Yardbarker.com
GH: If Tiger Woods should be big enough to handle a parody piece, Jenkins and his work are also not above being critiqued. Jenkins is one of the great writers of his day. Tiger is one of the great golfers of all time. Both need to grow up.

[email protected] and @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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45 Responses to OTC: Kentucky Embarrasses Kansas By 32 / Oakland Signs Billy Butler For $30 Million

  1. Gavin says:

    That was an ass-kicking administered to my Jayhawks and it was administered by a really freaking good team. I still don’t think KU should be given up for dead, but there is no question who is the clear choice for national champions right now. Lots of stuff can happen. Calipari can lose a guy to injury or eligibility and that could throw off his currently well-balanced platoon system, but it tells you what the rest of college basketball is reduced to when their most realistic hope is for UK to lose a guy. Just a complete mollywhopping last night.

    • Mike says:

      Pretty much.
      And I’m not as high as Greg on Frank Mason. Not yet.
      When you’re a Lilliputian among Redwoods, do you continue to try for the in-the-lane traffic layup, thinking the result will somehow end different? If Mason doesn’t get some sense at what it means to be the floor general, KU will be short handed at PG.

      • Kyle says:

        When it’s all said and done, Devonte Graham is going to be an excellent PG for KU. Have to agree with KK a little bit. This was a showcase early season game, but it was not a BIG game. I expected KU to lose by 15-20. It’s not so much the fact that they lost by 32 that surprised me, it’s the fact that they scored 40 points. Pretty brutal, but they will get better. Hey, at least the uniforms looked great!

    • mike t. says:

      yeah, no way can KU be given up on yet. way too early. and self has a way of getting his teams to improve game after game. they’ll get an awful lot out of this loss.

      I just wish it had been a bit closer!

      • TiberiusGracchus says:

        This is why college basketball is just mot as exciting as it once was…..the one and done guys all going to a handful of schools has ruined the game!

  2. Mike says:

    Tiger’s piece actually first ran in Jeter’s new website that allows normally guarded, tight-lipped formerly in-their-prime athletes the platform to bitch and whine about how awful the world is to them.

  3. Phaedrus says:

    Fire Bill Self.

    And Tiger Woods is a schmuck. All he did was bring even more attention to Dan Jenkins’ article. I can understand Jenkins’ animosity. If I was a HoF writer respected by the likes of Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan, etc., and some spoiled 20 year old kid refused to grant me an interview because “he had nothing to gain from it”, I’d skewer him too.

  4. Hipity Hop. says:

    Question for KU fans. No Flame War here, legit question.

    KU and some Big 12 fans bash the SEC for their basketball fair enough. But do you think KU would win ten straight confrence titles in the SEC with KY and Florida, Calipari and Donovan in the same confrence?

    • Kyle R says:

      That’s a fair question and the answer is no. KU wouldn’t have won ten straight in the ACC or Big East or Big Ten either. That’s not a conference thing as much as a “best programs” thing and the best ones are spread all over. Doesn’t lessen the achievement, I don’t think, because Kentucky has never won ten straight in an overall weaker conference than the Big XII, not did Carolina ever do it even before Duke became a powerhouse in the 80’s.

      • Hipity Hop says:

        How good is your confrence if one team won it ten straight times? I know KU is an elite team, but they won it the last decade.

        • Phaedrus says:

          KU’s achievement doesn’t say anything about the strength (or lack thereof) of the Big 12. All it says is that there is not another powerhouse team in the conference.

          Say KU is always #1 in the RPI and the other 9 teams are always ranked #20-#50. KU could win 10 titles in a row and the conference would still be good.

          On the other hand, say KU is #1, Texas is #3, and the other 8 teams are ranked #80-100. Given those rankings, I doubt KU would win 10 titles in a row and the conference would also suck.

          • Zard says:

            Of the last 40 Final Four teams, TWO, count’em TWO, were Big 12 teams. The Big 12 is crap, period.

            • Fred Flintstone says:

              And let’s all give a standing ovation to the University of Missourah, for their great contribution to that Big 12 Final Four total.

              Here’s to MU contributing as many Final Fours to the SEC, as they did to the Big 6/8/12.

              • Zard says:

                Feel better now little girl? Facts are facts Big Texas basketball BLOWS.

                • Fred Flintstone says:

                  If Big 12 basketball blows, then Missourah swallows, since you never contributed anything.

                  Those are facts, deal with it.

                  Simply joining the SEC doesn’t automatically make Missourah any better at anything, your basketball program still sucks.

    • Gavin says:

      That’s a fair question and my answer, in the non-flame spirit in which the question was asked, is probably not. Maybe. But probably not.

      Obviously, Florida and UK are the monsters in that conference and if we are talking about the same ten-year period, there have been NCAA champions coming from the SEC during that time so it stands to reason that we probably wouldn’t.

      I will say this in defense of the possibility that we might: Top to bottom, I truly believe the Big XII has been better year-in, year-out than the SEC. Again, UK and Florida are monsters, but after that who is the next toughest team? Vanderbilt? (I’m not considering Missouri because they would have been in the Big 12 for most of that time and since joining the SEC, they haven’t been as good. But when KU was playing Mizzou, KU was beating them, for the most part.) That top-to-bottom factor counts for something, at least in my mind. I honestly don’t know how SEC scheduling works, but KU was fortunate a few times for playing an unbalanced schedule and if t he SEC offers that, we could have benefited accordingly. And if they have balanced scheduling, well, we split home and away with Kentucky and they have a mistake like they recently had at South Carolina (that was one that tripped them up in the last couple of years, right?) and maybe we can win a given year.

      Yes, I realize that’s a lot of supposition and “what-ifs” to get there, which is why I don’t think it’s likely. I’m not going to give up completely on the possibility, but I think the overwhelming likelihood is that it doesn’t happen. But, then again, the overwhelming likelihood is that KU would not have won the ten in a row they already took.

      • Zard says:

        2005-2014, SEC 7 Final Four teams, Big 12, 2.

        KU would have 2-3 conf titles in the SEC. The same team does not win a good league every year in any sport.

      • Harley says:

        FOOLS…REALLY…OUTSIDE KENTUCKY …AND A FEW OTHER
        SCHOOLS…RIGHT NOW NOONE IN SEC CARES ABOUT
        BASKETBALL.
        NOT EVEN ON THE MAP WHEN COMPARED WITH FOOTBALL.
        I SAY EACH OF YOU GO TO AN SEC FOOTBALL GAME AND SEE
        HOW IT MAKES THE CHIEFS PRE GAME EVENTS LOOK LIKE
        A NIGHT AT CHUCKIECHEESE.
        THE BIG 12 HAS KANSAS…
        SEC HAS KENTUCKY AND FLORIDA…
        IN BASKETBALL.

        THERE ARE SO MANY GOOD SEC TEAMS THEY HAVE
        TO BEAT EACH OTHER TO LOSE A GAME!

    • Juan Pablo says:

      I don’t think KU would of won 10 straight in the SEC as UK and fla had some great teams.

      Bill Self at Tulsa won the WAC two of the three years there , At Illinois Self won the Big 10 2 of 3 years, a 2nd place and Self left a team that won it the next two years and went to the final four. Self just wins anywhere he goes.

  5. Kyle R says:

    That was not the worst loss of the Bill Self era – Bradley, Bucknell, Northern Iowa, VCU and probably Stanford in the tournament were worse, as was the TCU conference loss two years ago. This was an early-season game and KU got their asses handed to them. And they’ll benefit in the long run, I hope. Kentucky sure looks tough though. Geezus.

    As for Gottlieb’s comment, he’s referring to the traditional, floor general, not many points/lots of assists type of PG, like a Jacque Vaughn, I think. It is definitely interesting that Self seems to struggle to recruit PG’s. He had Aaron Miles his first two years, then Jeff Hawkins, then Russell Robinson/Mario Chalmers/Sherron Collins, then Tyshawn Taylor, then Elijah Johnson, and then Naadir Tharpe. Chalmers is obviously a great player but not a true PG. Collins is debatable, though definitely a great college player. But other than that, it’s been decent guys but nobody good enough to even be a first round pick in the NBA. No, it hasn’t been much of a hindrance over the 10 years, but it sure was last year…

  6. Merle Tagladucci says:

    Gottlieb is right. Kansas has no floor general. Selden looks either reluctant or afraid to take over. That kid Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk looks like the most aggressive player on the team. Bill’s got some work to do with this bunch.

  7. FJH says:

    Every year the experts (like Petro) say that KU is going to have a down year. 10 straight conference championships, and counting…

  8. nick says:

    Self’s teams always seem to be a work-in-progress in November and December and this year’s team seems to need a lot more work than any of them. I’m actually intrigued and looking foreword to seeing how and if this team can win another league crown and make another deep run.

    Sidenote: Loved how Svi, Oubre and Alexander played.

  9. Juan Pablo says:

    GH: Give Kentucky most of the credit. Maybe Kansas is as awful as they looked Tuesday night but I do not believe that to be true. I also do not believe there was much KU could have done to reverse what happened to them in Indianapolis. Kentucky appears to be that much better than the ten-time-consecutive Big 12 champs. And very possibly every other team not in the NBA.

    UK has already played about a dozen games. the started practicing in August for a tour against some international teams. they even lost a game , KU has played 3 games and it looked like it. UK has the better team and would win most games but look at KU after 10 games from now and see how they are doing. That game does not mean much may help KU RPI. . now losing to UMKC would be embarrassing.

  10. JFP says:

    What’s the over/under on the overall GPA of the Kentucky squad this year?

  11. Jim says:

    Hey, good for Big Boy Billy Butler. He was a good soldier, but no way the Royals pay $10MM/year for the player he was the last 2 years. All his numbers were down in 2013 and then down again in 2014. Probably not a trend the Royals were comfortable with.

    Good dude. I wish him luck. But like Seinfeld says, we really just root for laundry.

    Next up!

    • Fred Flintstone says:

      If Fat Bastard (Billy Butler) is smart, he’ll hire the best fitness trainer he can find, as well as a power and explosion coach, and work his ass off during the winter. Otherwise, he may find himself spending a LOT more time at home two years from now when that fat contract with Oakland is up.

      • Jim says:

        If he really wanted to stay in KC, he should have been doing that the last 3 or 4 years. I just think the guy is who he is. Of course, making your first $60MM by age 30 takes motivation away from a lot of guys. Oh to have those worries.

  12. skip says:

    UK has too many thoroughbreds….two waves of five not only physically but mentally drain you

  13. brett says:

    calipari has made a mockery of college basketball. dont hate the player, hate the game i guess.

    college basketball has fallen so far. not long ago, you watched player rivalries develop over several years. you watched laettner compete in four straight final fours and hit the greatest last second shot in the history of basketball.

    now the game is reduced to a spectacle. an exhibition of 18 yr old freak athletes who are gone in a matter of months. entertaining? yes. compelling? no.

    its like the kentucky derby. do we watch? yes. are the horses freaks of nature? yes. is it entertaining? absolutely.

    but do any of us know anything about the horses competing? no. do we ever see the horses ever again? no. and are any of us really riveted by the storylines manufactured by nbc and forced down our throat? no.

    if i was a ku or kentucky fan i know i would cling to the game b/c of the schools’ successful history and continued dominance in the sport. but for the other 98% of the country, college basketball is a hollow shell of its former self.

    • Kyle R says:

      Hard to argue with a lot of this and, even as a KU fan, I don’t enjoy the Henry/Selby/Wiggins/Embiid type guys nearly as much as I enjoyed Hinrich/Collison and then Miles/Langford/Lee/Simien. I fear that era is gone.

  14. MIZ-SEC says:

    The Gayhawks choked on a bag of Kentucky dicks! S E C! S E C! S E C!

  15. Juan Pablo says:

    UK beat KU pretty bad in 2012 they won by 10 pts but KU never got close in the second half. KU went on to play UK in the national Championship game that year.

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