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Where were the KU fans?

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2 months 3 days ago #22016 by murphyslaw
I didn't see the first minute or so but could hear the sounds of the game on TV. I kept hearing the roar of the crowd so I naturally thought it was our fans since we were playing in KC. Wrong! It was ISU fans, who came a couple of hundred miles, who showed up for their team.

So sad that not only were we outplayed, we were out cheered. I wondered if there were too many fans this year such as myself, unfortunately, who are just not that invested in the team and who didn't attend. I truly miss sitting on the edge of my seat the whole game and being devastated for days by any loss. I miss wearing just the right KU gear for each game and making sure that my coffee table has no additions or subtractions. I miss waiting 'til halftime before daring to get a drink or a snack or even go to the bathroom. I miss telling any new acquaintances, and reminding old ones, that they must never, and I mean NEVER, call or text me during a KU game.
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2 months 3 days ago #22022 by replayloungehawk
Just posted about this myself and I have to agree completely. But honestly it's shame on me...KU deserves better from me for sure.
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2 months 3 days ago #22023 by LKF_HAWK
I was pulling from San Antonio due to a work trip, but I sure as heck made sure my tickets went to fellow JAYHAWKS!! Bad enough that KU gets pummeled , but to hear the crowing of ISU fans was even worst.
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2 months 3 days ago - 2 months 3 days ago #22024 by Wheatstate Gal
Hi Murph.

I heard a few things on the pre-game show:

Apparently Iowa States fan always show up in KC. WHO KNEW?
It was predicted that the crowd would be 50/50 at best—-Iowa is close enough that ISU fans could snap up THE LOSERS (KSU) tickets, call home and say LOAD UP I’ve got you seats to the finals!
I think I heard the best crowd estimate was 65/35 ISU, and perhaps 70/30.

For a number of personal reasons, I haven’t been invested this year. I’m ashamed to say, when they are jetting around on the court....I dont even know their numbers...I CAN recognize faces, but I don’t know them.

Also on the pre game show, a couple of kids (not convincingly in my opinion) said that yesterday’s game was really important because they’d let #15 “slip away”.....had I not been behind the wheel of a car, I’d have been apoplectic! Slip away? I think they frittered it away.

I too have not been a good fan this year.

Sorry, this is so disjointed.
Last Edit: 2 months 3 days ago by Wheatstate Gal.
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2 months 3 days ago - 2 months 3 days ago #22028 by porthawk
While we're on confessionals,

I have to say that I'm guilty of some of this, too. What led me to respond here is when I read this part of murph's post:

I miss waiting 'til halftime before daring to get a drink or a snack or even go to the bathroom. I miss telling any new acquaintances, and reminding old ones, that they must never, and I mean NEVER, call or text me during a KU game.


And it bothers me that that's the case. Granted I have some other things in my life that are taking extra time, so maybe that plays a role, but bottom line, it's been just a tad different this year.
Last Edit: 2 months 3 days ago by porthawk.
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2 months 3 days ago #22030 by murphyslaw
Not disjointed at all, Wheatie. I thought you expressed yourself very well. I so appreciate all the comments on this topic.

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2 months 3 days ago - 2 months 3 days ago #22034 by konza63
I'm with you, Porthawk, on your comment that "it's just been a tad different this year" (and the overall sentiments expressed by Murph and the others).

Something has been off almost from the jump with this team, and (just as importantly) the team-fandom bond that we always come to expect, enjoy, and relish every year. Speaking just for me, but I'm hearing it too from others, that bond just did not seal this year the way it normally does.

I think that, for me, it started with the FBI trial. As dribs and drabs were first coming out of that, I vociferously defended Bill Self and the program, telling my fellow family members (nephews, others - all KU fans) not to worry, that Bill Self ran a very clean program, that he was ethically a very solid person, and that we'd be alright. That reaction on my part could've been any of us, based on our 2-decade-plus following of (and admiring virtual relationship with) Coach Self. But then the transcripts of the phone conversations started coming out. Cringe-worthy conversations. Then all the reporting. The Preston angle. The DeSousa angle. Just all of it. There's something very deep, personal, and subconscious that happened for me when, after investing so emotionally in Self's integrity and that of our program, and putting my own rep on the line to defend him so stridently, all of that stuff started coming out. Like an "innocence lost" kind of thing. (Not that I'm naive, but what dripped out there was very problematic)

And then later, the NCAA aspect, and the fact that we're now under the microscope - which brought even more complicated emotions, because of that heinous organization's double standard toward the other blue bloods versus how it treats us. (Not to mention the reality, which we all know, that if KU is up to shady shenanigans - which hasn't been proven, but could be thus - it's a certainty that so are all the other top programs).

Anyway, all of that left an incredibly dark cloud hanging over the bulk of the season. And then, on top of that, we had lost our upperclassmen that we all grew so attached to. We were down to a very young team, but I was still onboard and hopeful. (Albeit with the off-court cloud hanging over it) And yet, by December, speaking just for me, I could tell intuitively that this team would require some incredible luck and good fortune to win the league, much less advance past the Sweet 16 come tourney time. All the reasons for that have been covered on this board, but one I don't hear much is very simple. Self speaks often about basketball being a very simple game: you put the ball in the hoop, and you stop the other team from doing so. Well, we simply, frankly, don't have the talent to do the former consistently (and with diversified options) this year. We lack great shooters, which we had grown so accustomed to the past few years. Our perimeter simply isn't up to snuff when it comes to the pivotal 3-point aspect of our attack. Then when you throw in the loss of Dok, that was pretty much it. McCormack came on late, but didn't get enough PT early to be fully rounded out and consistent down the stretch. (Great upside going forward, but he isn't Dok in terms of where he is now and what we lost when Dok went out) But even with Dok in there, I still don't think this team would've been a threat to go farther than the Sweet 16, simply due to the lack of outside bombers (consistent outside bombers).

Another factor I've noticed (and it's hard to put my finger on it, but it's there) is that the players* and even Coach Self have seemingly come to "accept" - and settle for - being semi-good versus being great. I've never seen or heard so many post-game pressers this year where, after we laid an egg in a critical game, Self basically didn't show any negative concern but instead seemed to settle for the outcome. It was just odd, given the fiery competitive side of him. Yesterday's post-game thoughts were a marked case in point. It was (and is) just very strange to hear from him. And it just further underscores the "something is a tad off this year" notion.

(* Exception: Dotson. That kid despises losing, and is a winner to his core. With him back at the helm and leading our team next year, we can build around that)

The last thing is just a personal one, and that is that it's just a super busy time for me personally. That's resulted in many DVR'd game viewings, less interaction with the wonderful souls on this great board, and so forth. That also contributed to the year being very different in just my own personal corner. Bottom line: for on-court, off-court and personal reasons, this year was really different - and one of my least-favorite KU seasons that I can ever recall.

I don't know if I'll ever be able to put my finger on precisely why that is, beyond the above, but I do hope that it's a one-season occurrence, and things return to a bit more "normal" next year. In the meantime, I'll root for the crimson and blue with every fiber of my being in the forthcoming tourney, though my expectations are exceedingly low. (And I'm not at all looking forward to the reality that one of our 3 most competitive blue-blood rivals are well-positioned to cut down yet another net, thus furthering the championships distance between them and our beloved alma mater) Go Tennessee! Go Virginia! Go Gonzaga! :-)

The above is a "downer" note, which I'm sorry for. But I'll end with a positive one: Our first coach invented the game, our second coach is the father of college basketball, we are and forever will be KANSAS (a monumentally historical and elite program), and we'll get through this phase. We might have to hit some more rock bottom before we do, but I remain hopeful that we'll get back to the exalted heights (and great team-fandom bond) we've all come to admire, respect, and cherish.

Warm Best to all of you and yours. Rock Chalk.

“With kindest regards to Dr. Forrest C. Allen, the father of basketball coaching, from the father of the game.”

1936 inscription on the portrait of Dr. Naismith, displayed above Phog Allen's office desk at KU.
Last Edit: 2 months 3 days ago by konza63.
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2 months 3 days ago #22037 by Riverhawk
Nice post, Konza. I would like to believe that Self is trying to be a psychologist with his post game comments. He knows he has a young and limited team and he doesn't want to crush their morale. But wow...he needs to recruit some shooters. This is really The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight!
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2 months 3 days ago #22039 by hoshi
I was at the game. Not a fun few hours. ISU fans were in the majority. I asked an Iowa native, my son-in-law, why so many ISU fans? His comment was, KC is a vacation for them and there is nothing to do in Iowa during winter, the snow was and still is heavy this year. No excuses for the KU fans although there were a lot of KU fans trying to buy tickets out from 30 minutes before the game. ISU was able to hit up the KSU fans after their win while there were few WVU fans selling tickets after their loss since there were so few of them anyhow.

As to the game, KU did not have legs from the get go, especially Dedric. ISU played well and with energy. I really like Wigginton. He is a baller.
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2 months 2 days ago #22048 by Wheatstate Gal
Hi Hoshi. Thanks. I do have a question for you on this year’s AFH experience, as I believe you hold season tickets and attend most games.

Was this an odd feeling year in the old barn? I attended the TX game, BUT although the place was pretty full, Spring classes were not yet in session...so I attributed the “Lack of frenzy” to a fewer than average number of students.

I’m not sure the crowd, as observed on TV, seemed as excited as in years past.

I’m hopeful my observations are off. Thanks, WSG
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2 months 2 days ago #22051 by hoshi
I thought the old barn rocked pretty well, all year. The AFH fans pretty well realized this team was flawed after Dok went down and Silvio was not going to play. I think they worked really hard and I believe won them at least one or possibly two close games. I thought the students never gave up on the team. No problems with the crowd.

Even last night, the KU crowd got going for stretches but our play was pretty bad except for a short stretch with about 8-10 minutes to go when we cut the lead to less than 10, but then ISU went on another run and it was over.

Next time you are in town, let the locals know and we can try to meet.
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2 months 2 days ago #22054 by Wheatstate Gal
Good. I’m glad I misjudged the crowd enthusiasm.

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2 months 2 days ago #22059 by NotOstertag
Good post, Konza. Agree with pretty much everything you said. To me, the only thing that was left out was the Vick aspect.

IMHO there were 3 phases to this season:
1.) Pre Dok injury. Pretty good times, winning a LOT and looking like a top 5 team. Yes there was the NCAA/DeSousa cloud, but it wasn't negatively impacting the product on the court, and Vick was on his best behavior (and/or any negatives were clouded by all the positives). The team was 12-1 (.923) when Dok went down (his last game was Jan 2).

2.) Mid-season, without Dok, with Vick. LIMBO. This was the lowest point in the season, IMHO. Self was trying to re-invent a new offense without Dok and too much faith was put in Vick becoming a leader. It all came crashing down when Self benched Vick and Vick announced his leave of absence a couple days later. During this time the team went 5-5 (.500), and Vick's last game was Feb 5th.

3.) Vick leaves, renewed faith. It seems to me that after Vick left, the remaining guys actually gelled around each other and we actually started playing better. Unfortunately this 3rd version of the team was put together too late in the season to reach their potential. Since Vick's departure the team went 8-3 (.727).

I include the winning percentage, because I think this team is a 72% winning percentage team. The team we started the year with was a 92% winning percentage team.

It's interesting that our overall winning percentage (73.5%) is so close to what the final group did. I still believe that had these guys been the rotation from day 1, we'd probably have wound up with a very similar overall record, BUT going 72% in the Big 12 would have translated to 13 wins instead of 12.

Water under the bridge now, but the toughest part of the season for me was January into February with Dok out and Vick trying to take over.

14 championships, 13 home losses since 2003
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2 months 2 days ago - 2 months 2 days ago #22063 by konza63
That's a great breakdown of the season phases, NotO. And you're right, the Vick situation was another key aspect of the season feeling "off." Not only him sliding into mediocrity after being so hot out of the gate, but then the sudden dismissal, and then after that the whole Senior Night issue, which felt a bit unfair to me. (No video tribute or anything, after 4 years of one's life being committed to the place? Imagine if that were the son of any of us - we'd likely feel that he wasted a pivotal part of his youth and might be scarred or tarnished from then on).

It was just a really odd year.

And yet the weird thing is if Dok doesn't get injured and Grimes or someone proved to be a consistent outside shooting and scoring threat, it might have been offset somewhat and we might've had much higher expectations (despite the off-court stuff) right now, at tourney time. Even if that had happened, though, the "cloud" of stuff hanging over permeated how I viewed the team and season in a way that no other season had. And on the court, I know that this team has serious flaws and limitations - most notably being our precipitous drop off the cliff from the past couple seasons when it comes to 3-point shooting (and diversified threats on that score). We almost certainly wouldn't have had a deep run given that, even with Dok. (Sad to say)

Onward and upward. And hoping for some "house money" surprises in the tourney. (But definitely not banking on them) :-)

“With kindest regards to Dr. Forrest C. Allen, the father of basketball coaching, from the father of the game.”

1936 inscription on the portrait of Dr. Naismith, displayed above Phog Allen's office desk at KU.
Last Edit: 2 months 2 days ago by konza63.

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2 months 1 day ago #22080 by JRhawk
Great post Konza. The pall over the season was bad enough, then with Dok going out and Vick leaving, it became a not good year. I have wondered how much better the team would be now if Vick hadn't came back at all. Immaterial now. I had very high hopes in the beginning, so much so that bought tix to Tulsa and KCMO. Of course the dear NCAA took care of part of that - I mailed my Tulsa tix to cousins there yesterday. Am mulling what to do about the KCMO tix. My enthusiasm has waned so much that am not sure I want to make the trip even if KU gets that far (which IMHO is a big if). The bright side is with ISU possibly there, and UK & UNC likely there, might be able to make a pretty penny on resale. A very sad and strange year.

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2 months 1 day ago #22081 by JRhawk
Well, the board said I was replying to Konza, otherwise would have included my kudos to your post, NotO. I like your season breakdown into 3 phases. Maybe there will be a phase 4 where they go crazy and win 6 games. I know, dream on.

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2 months 1 day ago - 2 months 1 day ago #22082 by NotOstertag
Thanks JR. Here's Phase 4:

Lawson decides double-doubles are boring and decides that triple doubles are more fun. So instead of missing some of the chippies he's missing, he just lobs them up to the rim where McCormack finishes. Agbaji and Grimes visit a witch doctor who gives them a magical elixir that suddenly elevates them to 50% shooting from beyond the arc. Grimes looks back at his HS highlight reels and remembers how much fun it is to break opponents' ankles and rediscovers the amazing mobility he demonstrated before he arrived in Lawrence. Garrett realizes that he's been playing with the wrong contact lens prescription for his whole life and suddenly becomes an perimeter scoring threat. Dotson just keeps on keepin' on and Mitch realizes that he has a whole different level of 'positive energy' he can tap into.

KU rolls through the first weekend and gets to come back to KC where they stomp Roy's boys so badly that the NCAA finally realizes that pitting UNC vs. KU is no longer interesting. As KU readies to play Kentucky, video is uncovered showing John Calipari picking up busloads of hookers for his players as he's accompanied by none other than Nike CEO Mark Parker who is handing out wads of cash to the ladies and a load of high school recruits in the back of the bus. Acting quickly, the NCAA banishes Calipari and 9 scholarship players from the tournament. KU beats Kentucky 150-4 playing 5 on 3 ball against 3 Kentucky walk-ons who request transfers to Kansas during a halftime meeting with Coach Self.

Duke, Virginia and Gonzaga get caught up in the Nike scandal and forfeit their positions in the Final Four. The NCAA goes through the remaining teams and selects Michigan State, Tennessee, Baylor and KU for its final four. KU beats Tennessee again in game one and Baylor blows a 90 point halftime lead against Michigan State to lose 115-93. Scot Drew rips out his remaining hair as he stalks the Baylor sideline, and needs to be chemically sedated as the final buzzer goes off. They opt to do this with a tranquilizer dart from an air gun "because how cool was that?!?" Mark Emmert, president of the NCAA is quoted as saying. KU plays Michigan State in what goes down as the most exciting game in NCAA history. I goes 6 overtimes and nobody fouls out. Neither team can miss despite great defense on both sides. Mitch Lightfoot blocks what appears to be a wide open MSU layup with 3 seconds left in OT #6, outlets to Dotson who finds McCormack with a lob dunk at the buzzer. They go to the replay and the ball is clearly through the rim as time expires.

With the Nike scandal ripping through college basketball, the NCAA realizes that $2500 that Silvio's guardian ALLEGEDLY got is a drop in the bucket compared to an international cocaine-for-hookers-for-cash conspiracy that's now spread to Duke, UNC, Syracuse, Baylor, KSU, Villanova, Michigam, Arizona, Oregon, Kentucky, and Tennessee. In a sad cry for attention, Missouri tries to act like they're involved, but it turns out that they're paying full retail price buying Nike gear at Foot Locker since nobody wants to sponsor Mizzou hoops. All investigations into KU are dropped and we head into next season as runaway favorites to win it all again.

14 championships, 13 home losses since 2003
Last Edit: 2 months 1 day ago by NotOstertag.
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2 months 22 hours ago #22087 by JRhawk
Well NotO, that is quite a Phase 4. Earlier today I was looking thru some old files and ran across a stack of obituaries that I had saved for years. Reading thru each of them left me very depressed. Then I read your entry above and my spirits were lifted. What an imagination you have. Would be great if even part of it came true - the Midwest Regional and all investigations into KU are dropped. RCJHKU.

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