Friday, May 26, 2006

Too Good to be True?

A series of events has transpired since the end of the season, all seemingly designed (perhaps intelligently designed?) to increase KU's profile going into next year. Most obviously, there were decisions by Brandon Rush and fellow sophomores-to-be not even to test the NBA waters. There was the miraculous deus-ex-machina decision by Darrell Arthur to become a Jayhawk after all.

Meanwhile, every other powerhouse team except UNC and Florida has seen major defections to the Association, leaving KU right at the top of the preseason standings with those two.

Almost every other team in the Big 12 has been decimated through coaching changes, transfers, and again, NBA defections, leaving us as the undisputed Big 12 pre-season favorite (don't sleep on A&M, however).

My favorite writer -- "to poop on," as Triumph the Dog would say -- the LJW's Keegan, argues that our schedule next season, which includes an early matchup against Florida (yes!) but not much else of substance, allows for the possibility of "running the table" for the first time since Indiana did it in '75.

This isn't as crazy as it might sound; as Keegan points out, we won't have to travel to Austin, Stillwater, or College Station next year, and those are the three teams most likely to challenge us in the conference.

But here's the rub: even if we win every game in the conference, a distinct possibility, will we be battle-tested enough for the Big Dance?

And as a postscript, it's time to give the people what they want:

The Atrocious Keegan Quote of the Week:

"Indiana ran the table in 1975-76 in part because no team was able to answer this question: What’s the best way to beat Indiana?"


  1. I leave you and Keegan be for now, but the Indiana mention warrants comment:

    Indiana is surely in no position to match 75-76 next season; indeed, probably not the next season either, as Sampson has been banned by the NCAA from off-campus recruiting.

    Sampson came close to jeopardizing his position at IU, as reports:
    When Sampson signed a seven-year deal April 20 to replace Mike Davis, Indiana officials inserted a provision that allowed the school to "take further action, up to and including termination" if the NCAA "imposes more significant penalties or sanctions than the University of Oklahoma's self-imposed sanctions."

    Now, Indiana has said they remain "excited" about Kelvin, but it's hard to see exactly why that would be the case.

    Nice to see justice done; and nice that not only the kids at OU will suffer for Sampson's blatant disregard of the rules (577 extra calls). Unlike OU, IU lost no scholarships, but at least the change of jobs did not allow Sampson to completely escape responsibility.

  2. More on the Indiana situation here. Why would a program that fired one of the greatest coaches in the history of the game over ethical issues a few years ago now hire a good but hardly legendary coach who comes ready-made with a batch of NCAA violations? And again, is Sampson really that much better than Mike Davis?

    Apropos of a discussion we had earlier, see Seth Davis here on why tournament expansion is a bad idea.

    If you're an ESPN "Insider," you can read Fran Fraschilla's breakdown of the Big 12 here.

    The LJW's Woodling explains why LaMarcus is the only departing Big 12 player with any shot at La NBA. Despite this, doesn't it seem as if every major player in the conference not wearing crimson and blue has fled the coop?

    One exception is K-State's Cartier Martin, but he has just been suspended for undisclosed violations. What crime could possibly be so heinous as to draw a suspension from Huggins? Genocide?