Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Big 12 Orientation, Week 4: Kansas Basketball.

Not a Familiar Face for Most Kansas Fans, at least until tournament time.

KU Basketball At-A-Glance:
  • Founded 1898.
  • 2070-806 Overall Record.
  • Three Natty Titles: 1952, 1988, 2008. (Nine national title game appearances).
  • 14 Final Fours.
  • 41 NCAA Tourney Appearances.
  • 25 Conference Tourney Titles (Eight Big 12).
  • 55 Regular Season Conference titles (11 Big 12).
  • 1 Founder of Basketball in their coaching annals.
  • Arena:  Allen Fieldhouse, 16,000.
National Records:
  • #2 Overall wins, trailing only Kentucky
  • #3 Overall win percentage (.720).
  • #1 Concensus All-Americans  (28).
  • #1 Regular Season Conference Championships (55).
  • #1 Longest current streak of NCAA Tourney appearances (23).
  • #1 Most Winning Seasons in NCAA History (93).
History with TCU.  The Frogs and Jayhawks have played 4 times in their history, with TCU losing every matchup. Most of us all probably remember the 2003 and 2004 editions of the game.  As lyle grudgingly pointed out, the 2004 TCU/Kansas game was when Chudi Chinweze's knee esploded, the result of which likely took our season from the NCAAs to the NIT.  I also recall the TCU by way of Kansas faithful totally rejecting their alma mater to nerd out for Rock Chalk, which is pretty disgraceful no matter which way you paint it.  However, perhaps the most important matchup between the two schools came in the 1952 NCAA Tournament first round, a game won by Kansas by a score of 68-64.  The Jayhawks when go from there to defeat their three remaining opponents by double digits to secure their first National title back when the Tourney was only 16 teams.  Pretty interesting stuff to consider that, at one time, TCU Basketball put a scare into the eventual National Champs at tournament time.  It will never happen again.  

Of course, Kansas' biggest bit of history with TCU Basketball would have to be their bequeathing of one time top assistant Neil P Dougherty to Fort Worth.  Mama said not to speak ill of the dead, though, so I'll leave it to SnK in the comments.

Notable KU Basketball Types.
  • James Naismith (Coach).  He invented the game.  That's good for street cred.
  • Wilt Chamberlain.  He was a baller, and I don't just mean on the court.
  • Danny Manning.
  • Larry Brown (Coach).  He ruined his basketball legacy by coaching at SMU and being unable to pull the program out of its current death spiral, reads a headline from the future.
  • Paul Pierce.  He got stabbed once.
  • Drew Gooden, but not Drew Gooden's ducktail.
  • Mario Chalmers.  "Hey, remember that time you made a three pointer in the NBA Finals against Dallas because of Jason Terry FAIL and thought you had won the game for the Heat but then Dirk was like, 'jklol!' and scored the winning layup?"  /chooses to ignore 2008 NCAA title game 3-pointer.
Recent History.  So, you know how Kansas Football is pretty much the Baylor of the Big 12 North?  Their basketball team is the complete opposite.  You see all the records above.  You see the one title and another appearance since 2008.  The inventor of the game coached there, for goodness sakes! This should say a lot:  Kansas is coming off a national title game appearance in a season when they were apparently geared up to have a "down" year.  Yeah, they're pretty good.  I was looking at their records since joining the Big 12.  So far the biggest victim of the Jayhawks has been aggy, who held a 1-20 record against them before jumping ship.  At least, for Kansas fans, with TCU stepping in they'll have someone to fill that void, although I'd consider the one win in twenty years a small miracle.  In fact, Kansas holds a winning record over EVERY Big 12 foe, and none of them are even remotely close.  Since the inception of the Big 12 in 1996, which emcompasses 16 Basketball seasons, the Jayhawks have won the Conference outright 11 times, and the Conference Tourney eight.  So, in other words, don't expect a whole lot of success for TCU when the Jayhwaks pop up on the schedule.  

2012 Outlook.  This year's squad gave a little bit back after the title game, losing Thomas Robinson as an early entrant in the draft as well as Connor Teahan and Tyshawn Taylor to graduation. Big man Jeff Withey is returning, as is Travis Releford.  Elijah Johnson is back as well.  Coach Bill Self brought in a Top ten ranked recruiting class this year as well, headlined by Perry Ellis.  The Jayhawks likely won't make the title game two years in a row, but with Missouri gone, look for them to be the Conference favorite.  Again.  Sorry, Baylor.

Miscellania:  THIS

But seriously, we can't talk about Kansas Basketball without circling back to Wilt Chamberlain, namely Wilt Chamberlain's little Wilt, which was apparently nothing of the sort.  In Chamberlain's autobiography, written in 1991, the only man to ever score 100 points in an NBA game claims to have bedded 20,000 women to that point in his life.  A pretty astounding claim, especially considering at the time Wilt didn't have Magic Johnson Syndrome or anything of the sort.  It's even more astounding when you do the math - in order for Wilt to have driven to the hole that many times, he would've had to have slept with 1.37 from the age of 15 up until the publication of his autography, a span of 55 years.  That's over 9 satisfied female customers per week.  Think about that - that's pulling double duty on at least two days per week.  TWENTY THOUSAND!!  At some point the odds suggest he'd have run into a couple of crazies who would've made his life a living hell, not to mention completely blocked him plying his bedroom trade, no?  And think about how this would work in his schedule.  I'll be honest, I'm not sure how many basketball teams there were during Wilt's heyday, taking the merger into account, but let's say there were 25.  Wilt played basketball for 15 seasons.  If he's banging 1.37 women per day, that's 500.05 per year, roughly half of which need to take place during a typical NBA season.  Not counting his home base, that means Wilt would have to find 10 women per NBA city in order to fulfill his goal.  10 women to completely walk away from after the act without them going crazy and trying to stab him in the face. And just think of THAT juggling act - he probably only plays in each city once or twice a season. PLUS, think of off days and travel days and the arrangements that have to be made to stay on pace.  Methinks Wilt did a LOT of doublin' up, which should be given credit by itself.  That's some impressive work right there, Wilt.  His explanation?  "I was just doing what was natural—chasing good-looking ladies, whoever they were and wherever they were available"

That'll do, pig.  That'll do.  

Big one tonight in Norman

Derek Odell was the hero last time against OU...can he do it again?

TCU wraps up their regular season road schedule tonight in a place that has not been very welcoming to them in recent years when they take on Oklahoma up in Norman at 6:30pm.  While the Frogs were able to finally break through and end their long losing streak against the Sooners in a home win two weeks ago, they have not beaten Oklahoma in Norman since 2006.

Freshman Brandon Finnegan is set to take the mound tonight for the Frogs, although that was the case last time as well and Preston Morrison ended up starting that game.  Finnegan did toss two innings against the Sooners that night, though, striking out four and allowing just one base runner.  Opposing him will  be OU sophomore Dillon Overton, a lefty who carries a 5-2 record and a 3.74 ERA into tonight's game.  Overton started the last game against TCU, and threw six strong innings- striking out seven and only allowing five total base runners.  He certainly was not the reason for their loss.

While the Frogs will certainly have the motivation of continuing to improve their RPI ranking (now up to #32) and their postseason resume, the Sooners are squarely on the NCAA bubble and are playing for their lives.  This past weekend, they swept Baylor- who had come into the weekend undefeated in Big 12 play.  Tonight's game may mean more to Oklahoma than it does to TCU- which is the opposite dynamic than most of the Frogs' games against Big 12 foes.  That's something Schlossnagle will have to remind his players of, and they need to be ready to face a very determined squad tonight.

Daily Discussion: Kurt Thomas

I realize that a large chunk of Spit Blood readers are still fully engaged in this year's NBA Playoffs- whether they be Spurs fans, Supersonics fans or the special kind of human garbage that latch on to flashy superstars like Lebron or Kobe and pretend to be fans of a team that is based in a city that they've never actually spent two consecutive nights in.  But those of us that root for the (still world champion for now) Mavericks have already moved on to full-fledged offseason mode as Cubes and Donnie figure out a way to rebuild.

This is also the case up in Portlandia, where the formerly up & coming Trailblazers pretty much fell off the face of the earth this year.  The Portland newspaper is now asking their readers to play the part of Blazers GM and decide who should stay from this year's roster and who should hit the Oregon Trail.  They sent a cameraman out (presumably on bike) to gauge the interest in bringing back Kurt Thomas, the only remaining Horned Frog in the NBA:

Even though a good amount of those people seemed to be in favor of having Thomas suit up for Portland next year in what would be his 19th NBA season, over 68% of the voters on Oregonlive.com said "cacao" to the idea

So what do you think, Spit Blood readers & NBA fans?  Does Thomas have a place with the Blazers next year?  What about with any team?  Would you value his experience and leadership and save a spot on the end of the bench for your favorite team?

Morning Dump


Frogs appear headed for another postseason berth Star-Telegram

TCU heads north to face OU tonight gofrogs.com

Coats and Morrison take MWC weekly honors gofrogs.com

Diamond Club Luncheon set for Thursday gofrogs.com

Florida State:

FSU president outlines pros, cons of ACC affiliation ESPN