Random musings from the Big 12 coaches’ post-season teleconference call Monday:
YOU have to appreciate Bill Self’s candor. He’s honest. He said, even though his Kansas Jayhawks are playing well right now, his team has a tendency to lay an egg. He was asked about Bradley, and he said he had a young team against a team with a fifth-year senior and a lottery pick. And finally, he was happy for Nebraska coach Doc Sadler, whose Cornhuskers pushed KU in the Big 12 Tournament quarterfinals. NU will play Charlotte in the NIT. “I think they can make a run,” Self said. “Can’t say enough about the job Doc and his staff have done… I think he’s one of the premier coaches out there.”
TEXAS A&M is playing better right now, and Mark Turgeon said the Aggies are playing with a sense of urgency. In fact, he used the expression at least three times. Then he was asked about the importance of guard play in March, specifically in reference to Baylor, and he said, “Not taking anything away from Purdue, and Matt Painter’s a great coach, but Baylor got a great draw… They should be happy about their opportunity this week.”
STAY classy, Sean Sutton. Seriously. Nice touch by the Oklahoma State in his intro when he congratulated all eight teams playing in the post-season; the Cowboys and Nebraska are in the NIT. He believes this NIT run – OSU opens tomorrow night against Southern Illinois – will benefit his club in the coming years.
MY bad – I missed a bunch of coaches. Jeff Capel is next, followed by Frank Martin.
CAPEL laughed as there were no questions for him immediately. But then someone asked the Oklahoma coach about St. Joseph’s, the Sooner’s first-round opponent. “We know they’re very good,” Capel said, adding that St. Joe’s beat Xavier two out of three times this season.
ON the topic of youth vs. youth in 6-11 match-up with Southern California, Martin said, “We’re led by freshmen, and they’re led by freshmen… We’ll see which group of freshmen is more prepared to take on this challenge.” The preparations lasted into the early morning. “For a chance to play in the NCAA Tournament, I go six days without sleeping.” He wasn’t sure if Kansas fans would root for K-State in Omaha, “but we need them… Nothing would make me happier than to have the KU faithful in my corner.” He also said it hurt the Wildcats immensely not having David Hoskins in uniform this year. He said the surgery on Hoskins’ knee was performed with the hopes that he could play again.
RICK Barnes was asked about his star, Texas’ D.J. Augustin: “D.J. is the kind of guy you’d like to have as the face (of your program). Everything that is good about college basketball is D.J. Augustin.” Barnes said his sophomore point guard wanted to be an Academic All-American this year, and he was. Barnes describes Augustin as an Eddie Haskell-type, a prankster.