OTC: How Low Will MU Basketball Go Under Haith? / KU Ordinary W/O Embiid? / NU Hoops Happening

“The Missouri Tigers have been a mess for the past several weeks. It is time to get it over with. That performance Saturday at Tennessee was (awful). There was no heart. There was no fire. It was embarrassing to watch! The Tigers played in their biggest game of the season and did not show up! The players are selfish! At times it’s like one-on-one street ball. The coach is too soft! Obviously, the players are not responding to Frank Haith. … They haven’t done anything for the past month.”
Jack Harry, KSHB TV41
GH: It sounded like Mad Jack was calling for Haith’s job but he did just about everything but. Instead, he made the less damning statement of, “It is time to get it over with.” I think Haith was the wrong hire and his three-year downward spiral at MU is more than enough to see Mike Alden should swing the axe now rather than wait a season. The empty seats next season at Mizzou Arena will scream volumes. 

“I think (Mizzou) juts wants to be done with this season.”
Aaron Swarts, 810 AM
GH: It would be difficult to argue with Swarts’ assessment after MU looked like about as lively as the folks seated in the waiting area of Grandview’s Licensing Bureau where I visited last week. How can a 20-year-old scholarship athlete not try? Especially when pitted against other college athletes? Where is your pride, Mizzou?  

“We’ve got the SEC tournament. There’s still basketball left to play. We need to go get ourselves ready to play next week.”
Frank Haith, KSHB TV41
GH: What in the heel have you been doing since January, Frank?

“(Haith) has gotten worse every year he’s been there. If you’re Mike Alden, you better have a drawer full of resumes sitting there with somebody who’s coming in next. He’s going to make it to next year but if he has another bad year next year he’s done. This has been an absolute mess the whole time. It’s really percolating.”
Frank Boal, KSHB TV41
GH: I am starting to think Haith might not be as safe as most of us think. That Tennessee loss had to make some big donors ring up Alden. A loss to Texas A&M in the first round of the SEC and then a beat down in MU’s NIT opener could send Haith back to that Miami strip club.

“If Embiid is cleared to return, the opposition will go after him, hard. KU’s NCAA F4 hopes hanging in the balance. KU’s lost 2 of last 3.”
Frank Boal, @realfrankboal, after word that KU had sent their freshman center to LA for a second opinion on his back injury, Twitter
GH: An injured back to a guy who is seven-foot tall is not like turning an ankle. I think the big guy might be done for the season – and that is a damn shame. All the more reason for Wiggins to keep his Superman suit handy the next month. 

“(Juwan) Staten pushed off on (Frank) Mason but they called a foul on Mason.”
Bob Davis, as he called the final minutes of West Virginia’s win over Kansas, Jayhawk Radio Network
GH: I was trapped in a car Saturday afternoon and caught the KU/WVU game on the radio. I feel bad for Bob Davis. He was one of the great talents of play-by-play who just stayed too long in his craft. He now sees only crimson and blue on the floor and misses just about everything else.  

“This is the kind of effort that can propel you into next week’s conference tournament and into the NCAAs.”
Greg Gurley, KU’s radio analyst, on KU’s valiant but unsuccessful comeback attempt at West Virginia, Jayhawk Radio Network
GH: What? Kansas was down by 25 in the second half to a team that is not going to make the NCAA tourney. Yes, nice comeback by the Hawks but this is not the effort KU wants to see this late in the season. And this comeback was almost all Wiggins – who was spectacular. KU looks way, way too passive to take serious in the NCAA tourney.  

“(Kansas) has another huge problem – not just Embiid (back problems). Their perimeter defense is awful! Kansas doesn’t guard the perimeter and it’s going to kill them in the NCAA tournament if they don’t get that done.”
Frank Boal, KSHB TV41
GH: Guess who is back in the KU doghouse? Naadir Tharpe. He is looking more and more like the guy we thought he was, is and might forever be. 

“This (41-point) game by Andrew Wiggins should remove all doubt over who the Big 12 Most Valuable Player is.”
Greg Gurley, KU’s radio analyst, Jayhawk Radio Network
GH: Wiggins had a great season and probably deserved the league Player of the Year award as much as ISU’s Melvin Ejim and three or four other guys. But Gurley handing him the trophy as a no-doubter sounded very Bob Davisish.  

“Just like we all knew would happen, moving away from Big 12 has helped #Husker hoops and #Mizzou football. Saw that coming a mile away.”
Gabe DeArmond, @GabeDeArmond, after NU beat Wisconsin Sunday to finish fourth in the B1G and received a first-game bye in the conference tourney, Twitter

You save that baggage for you, OK? Don’t put that crap on me, alright?” Miles said. “This is my program, alright, and we don’t carry any baggage. I’ve been surrounded by great people and we win, and we’re going to keep doing it. So all that curse crap, all of the hexing and vexing and all that bullshit that goes with it is exactly that. And you can print it. … That’s not us.’ That doesn’t exist. That does not exist. So you can reinvent us and leave those at home.”
Tim Miles, Nebraska head basketball coach, when asked about the “baggage” that NU’s hoops program has carried over the sad history of the program, Huskeronline.com
GH: I did not understand Miles lashing out at the reporter for this question. If he doesn’t think the NU hoops program is carrying a Jacob Marley-length chain of past horrors, he doesn’t understand the People of the Corn. Why does Miles think his fans refused to sit the entire game Sunday in a game that would determine fourth or fifth place for his Huskers? Embrace the demons, Tim. Know your school’s history and then refuse to repeat it. 

“Best atmosphere at a Husker sporting event I’ve seen in at least 12 yrs. Reminds me of great volleyball crowds. Only 4 times as many people.”
Dirk Chatelain, @dirkchatelain, Twitter
GH: That kind of tells you where the Huskers’ football team has been the past decade.

“We were at Virginia when they had maybe 18 thousand, and we’ve played at Ohio State,” Ryan said. “These guys have all played in pretty big places. This is the Big Ten. Have you ever been to the other places? Or do they just keep you here? Do you get to travel? Some people do local TV and don’t go to the other Big Ten games… It’s not new to us. You’d have to live the lives these guys live, going into the places we go into.”
Bo Ryan, Wisconsin’s head basketball coach, when asked about the atmosphere at NU’s new arena, Huskeronline.com
GH: Nebraska is not going to impress any team in the B1G with their crowds, atmosphere or game-day experience. Yes, it was phenomenal in Lincoln yesterday. But that happens every game at places like Michigan State, Ohio State, Michigan, Indiana, Kansas, UNC, Duke, etc.  Were Nebraska football fans impressed with K-State’s crowds in Manhattan back in the early ‘90s? If they were, they sure as hell weren’t going to let KSU know about it. NU shouldn’t expect any different attitude from Ryan and the rest of the B1G.

“How can you not root for Nebraska? This is awesome. Those fans are starving for a winner in hoops.”
Seth Davis, @SethDavisHoops, Twitter
GH: Davis must not have spent a lot of time covering Big 8 football in the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s. There are a number of people who would find it difficult to root for the Huskers – in any sport. 

“When Baylor plays at their best, K-State can’t play at that level.”
Stan Weber, as KSU allowed Baylor to comeback from an eight-point halftime deficit and win comfortably, Wildcat Radio Network
GH: Bruce Weber is doing a masterful job of coaching a woefully inadequate team. He will need to prove he can recruit Big 12 athletes or he will quickly be following Deb Patterson out the door. 

“This was an incredibly difficult decision to make. I have great appreciation for Coach Patterson both as a person and a coach and want to offer our thanks for her service here.”
John Currie, after firing the women’s head basketball coach, AP
GH: Really? Incredibly difficult? Is that supposed to make Patterson feel better or Currie? I would have more respect for Currie if he was more honest about this firing. But colleges rarely tell us the truth about the people they whack. 

“I want to get back to you. I might have an answer. I’m going to go with (Wichita State center) Chadrack Lufile’s tweet about two weeks ago: ‘Wolves do not fret over the opinions of sheep.’”
Gregg Marshall, Wichita State’s head coach, when asked about those who questions the Shockers’ credentials as a number-one seed, AP
GH: The sheep have all been put in the barn, Gregg. Time to meet up and dance with some other wolves. Gonna be fun.

“A league source tells me WR Dexter McCluster will not be returning to KC. He has 4-5 suitors and will likely sign Tuesday night.”
Terez A. Paylor, @TerezPaylor, KC Star Chiefs beat writer, Twitter
GH: Dexter getting sliced? Poetic justice. 

“Juan Pablo is an idiot. The show started out okay because the guy is so handsome. It’s a good lesson for women. You’ve got to date ugly guys like me that work hard.”
Howard Stern, on The Bachelor, Sirius
GH: I have never watched an episode of The Bachelor. I’m thinking of tuning into tonight’s finale to watch the Kearney gal win it.  

[email protected] and Twitter @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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37 Responses to OTC: How Low Will MU Basketball Go Under Haith? / KU Ordinary W/O Embiid? / NU Hoops Happening

  1. donkeypunch says:

    GH, they built the new stadium at UNL long after I left school there. Do you still have to cross the train tracks to get there?

    • KSbugeater says:

      They built the new arena on the correct side of the tracks this time. This allows for a thriving, P&L type entertainment district on the front porch of Pinnacle Bank Arena, a.k.a. “The Vault”. Only this district is not way underwater to public subsidy like P&L, to my knowledge. KU fans would have had fun coming to Lincoln for hoops… that is, if they could get tickets in the new place.
      To answer your actual question, DP, they built a viaduct to get you over the tracks by Devaney, only about 30 years too late. When I was a student there in the previous millennium, if the tracks were blocked, those of us on foot would duck under the RR bridge over Antelope Creek to claim good seats in the student section (lower ends). That was also the last time there was any buzz about Husker hoops nationally.

  2. hammy says:

    Greg, your analysis of Mizzou basketball suffers from what many of the internet posters do. No perspective. You just see bad basketball and jump to fire coach. You have to look at reasons why, and figure out whether it will get better. Haith inherited a team with 7 seniors and 0, ZERO incoming recruits when he took over in April. He has had to resort to transfers to balance out his classes. Because of this he has had extreme roster turnover each year, thus little to no continuity in his teams.

    This year he finally has a good freshman class and has 2 more very good freshmen coming in next year. He is recruiting at a higher level than any Mizzou coach before him.

    I prefer to be sensible and give him 2 more years and see where we are when JW3, Jones and Clark are juniors, and the incoming freshmen next year are sophs and he has some continuity.

    • Bob Sacamano says:

      Sorry but Haith is on the hot seat and it’s getting hotter. This years team has gotten worse by the week. After 3 years the program should be getting better not worse. He keeps rewarding selfish players with playing time. Great message that sends to his players. Plus we have the Miami debacle. Next year he misses the tourney he’s done. Empty seats will force Alden’s hand. Hopefully Alden won’t be hiring the new coach because his track record with basketball coach hirings is worse than this years basketball team.

    • Harley says:

      greg:
      1. KC has some of the best sports orthopedic drs. in the nation…why send the kid to
      los angeles. St. Lukes/Dixon Dively and others are the best!
      2. Harley said two years ago Haith as a terrible coach. I’m sure Missouri hoped
      the Miami scandalwouldturn out worse so they could get another coach. There’s
      several going to be available and as I’ve said MU has so much cash right now
      they can overpay a great coach to come there and really get the program
      rolling. Take a truck load of cash down to Wichita and get Marshall right after
      the tournament. That’s what this team needs…an angry mean competitor.

  3. mike t. says:

    let’s not stick a dagger in KU’s chances for a Final Four run just yet. losing embiid for the rest of the season would hurt, yes. but they do have depth and hopefully the bench can step up – and fast.

    to me the bigger question is can, or will, wiggin’s put that ‘superman’ suit on for an entire game? he can about carry the team if he can.

  4. Jack Wagon says:

    GH: I was trapped in a car Saturday afternoon and caught the KU/WVU game on the radio. I feel bad for Bob Davis. He was one of the great talents of play-by-play who just stayed too long in his craft. He now sees only crimson and blue on the floor and misses just about everything else.

    Agreed Greg. Always enjoyed listening to Bob until the last few years. Not a KU fan but always appreciated his enthusiasm for the game. Enjoyed his play by play for the Royals as he was breath of fresh air for the ears compared to Denny “The Downer” Matthews, (that’s another response for another day..). He called a game on equal terms , (at least as much as you could expect). Over the last couple of years his play by play has turned into a “whine fest”, and it’s just getting worse, hard to listen to.

  5. Joe Blow says:

    It’s funny that when teams in conferences like the Big 12 that have been pre-ordained as “good” beat each other, it’s proof of how tough the conference is. But when teams in the SEC (or even Big 10) beat each other, it shows how weak those conferences are.

    I mean, admit it — KU pulls conference “championships” (most of which are ties) from the skin of their ass in a weak conference because they rape the NCAA system for recruits, so they always have 1 or 2 top guys that can carry them. That’s it — that’s why they win.

    • heeterjoe says:

      Don’t feed the troll please

      • Joe Blow says:

        It’s fun to continually win a mediocre conference, right?

        • BS says:

          i believe 8 of the past 10 years that mediocre conference has included a mizzou team that finished an average of 5th. my guess that winning a mediocre conference feels a lot better than finishing in the middle of the pack of mediocrity. i don’t know for sure on that because kansas has only finished 5th or worse once in the past 25 years.

    • Richard Cranium says:

      HAAAAA HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Green with envy……or Butthurt

  6. Phaedrus says:

    So it’s an NCAA violation to give a kid too much pasta, let alone fly a kid’s family to a game, but it’s perfectly fine to send a kid from Kansas for a second opinion from a doctor in LA?

    Yep, the NCAA makes perfect sense. When are we going to start calling these kids pros? I wonder if a UMKC kid has ever gone to an LA doc for a second opinion?

    • Gavin says:

      Well, now hold on a sec. I’m pretty sure it’s “perfectly fine” for any school to send any of its scholarship athletes to any specialist in the country for a second opinion. I realize that it’s fun to pick on this because Embiid plays for KU, but if Mizzou wants to send any of its players to a specialist on either of the coasts, its free to do so, just as would K-State or, yes, UMKC. People can complain all they want, but there’s nothing illegal or illicit going on with this. It would be an inherent and arguably unfair advantage for kids in schools in L.A. and New York to be able to see more/better doctors simply because they were in proximity and they could “legally” send their players while someone would try to ban a player from a Midwestern school from the same thing simply because he wasn’t there.

      Move along on this one. Nothing to see here. If UMKC wants to send a kid to a doc in Los Angeles, they are certainly free to do so.

      • Joe Blow says:

        As usual, you miss the point — it’s the dollars involved that lets a school send a top player to get professional treatment across the country like a professional team would. Most schools can’t (shouldn’t) afford it. But, a semi-pro team like KU basketball can..

        • Richard Cranium says:

          Again. The behind hurting must be extreme. You’re showing your lame colors. This isn’t even a school for school thing. It’s about all major schools as opposed to the ones that can’t afford it. I totally agree with Phaedrus comments, and don’t think it relates to KU’s handling of the situation, but rather the crooked NCAA. You on the other hand can’t help but throwing in shots. Enjoy your NIT and be content

          • Joe Blow says:

            I’m thinking Yankees over Red Sox in 2014..which one will you be rooting for this year?

        • Ron says:

          Are college athletes covered for health insurance under their parents’ plans? Are they covered under the general health insurance coverage available to all students at a particular college? If student athletes have their own premium insurance coverage not available to all students, why is that not a violation of NCAA rules? Do basketball and football players have the same coverage as those who row crew or play field hockey?

      • Phaedrus says:

        I didnt mean to imply it was a violation. I was trying to point out the absurdity of the NCAA rulebook. I figure it’s legal to send Embiid to a doctor in LA….otherwise we wouldn’t have heard about it.

        The question is why does the NCAA allow a player to be flown across the country to see a doctor, but not allow the kid to eat 2 helpings of pasta?

        I’m sure the NCAA allows it because having Embiid (or whoever) on the court will help their tv ratings. Flying the kids’ families to games has no impact on tv ratings or $s, so its no wonder the NCAA doesnt allow it.

        • Gavin says:

          Fair enough and my apologies for my misunderstanding. And I agree that the whole pasta debacle is absolutely stupid and picayune to a ridiculous degree. But I don’t really have a problem with a school paying for Rolls-Royce care for a kid who got injured playing for that school. I wouldn’t necessarily say that a school should be REQUIRED to provide top-of-the line care because that would open up a Pandora’s box and make healthcare another avenue for recruiting (and possible recruiting violations). But Embiid hurt his back playing for KU so if KU is willing to shell out this kind of money making sure he is as well as possible (whether it’s for KU’s stretch run or for Embiid’s peace of mind or both), I’ve got no problem with it.

  7. Java Man says:

    Grandview DMV? I know marathoners dig pain, but come on.

  8. Rico_suave says:

    thanks, GH, for admitting to watching “the Bachelor” for the 1st time tonite.. me too.

    I was starting to have a few doubts about my “orientation”, but., hey.. if other sports guys watching.. I don’t feel so bad.

    am DVR-ing .will FF to the last half hour to see if the local gal does good.

  9. Dp says:

    K-State is a woefully inadequate? What a joke. 7 top 50 wins, projected 8 seed in the dance, double digit Big 12 wins, beat KU…all while playing 1 guy taller than 6-7. Not to mention UT and Baylor needed miracle buzzer beaters win or force OT vs. the Cats at home. They were in every game this yr except G-Town, @KU and @ both Okie schools.

    Any K-State fan would have taken this season in a heartbeat after losing to Northern Colorado in November. Shows you don’t watch the games GH.

  10. Free Lance says:

    DP, chill. Greg is right and KSU is a mid major type of team with a shitty coach.

    • Juan Pablo says:

      And Weber is a bad coach and is bringing in a bunch of mid major recruits. Weber will destroy the KSU program like he did at Illinois.
      Haith was about to get fired at Miami then MU and Mike Alden hire him for some unknown reason. Haith and Weber have to be two of the worse hires in basketball.

      • Richard Cranium says:

        I disagree with both of your assessments about Weber, and I’m a UofI follower. He’s a very good coach, and an ABSOLUTELY HORRID recruiter. The program will fall off into the abyss because they won’t get any star athletes, which will force it to once again become the mid-major type basketball school it is.

  11. sporty says:

    You Weber bashers are really funny! Sound a little worried to me. K-State will be even better next year.

    • BlackJack says:

      If you are happy with what Weber has brought to the table at K-State, more power to ya. Right now, it appears that Weber has a problem getting out-coached at the end of close ballgames. Also, Weber has never won a big game (conference tourney final, NCAA tourney game past the first weekend) with his own recruits.

      KSU will be okay with Weber. Just okay.

  12. Ptolemy says:

    Two unspoken factors played large in Patterson being fired: $6million and 4664 – her 2014 salary and avg attendance at Bramlage for their games.

  13. Platte Woods Shawn says:

    I love some Howerd Stern coverage on here Greg! Baba Booey Baba Booey!!

  14. Free Lance says:

    Yeah, Sporty we are really worried about KSU! beat us 2 out of the past 50 games. We are terrified! Should can their sorry ass program!

  15. Worldwide says:

    What??…A woman’s college basketball coach makes $6 million a year? Come on….no way.

  16. Bend over KK says:

    Bob Davis is awful, truly awful. Blinded by his KU loyalties. No other announcer in the area is as big of a homer. Take a cue from Lenny Dawson Bob, tell the truth in your broadcasts.

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