“Coach, I was so nervous.”
Andrew Wiggins, according to Bill Self after the highly-touted freshman scored 16 points in his college debut in KU’s 97-57 win over Pitt State, KansasCity.com
GH: What a surprise – Andrew Wiggins is human. He gets nervous just like most 18-year-old athletes – even in an exhibition game against Pitt State. I know it is impossible but I’d like everyone to back off about four feet and allow this kid room to be a freshman. Better yet, I’d like KU to make their hoops games available on TV carriers other than TWC and Comcast. Did Turner Gill cut that deal, too?
“He’s a thinker right now. All freshmen are thinkers right now. There’s very few freshmen that are reactors. So he’s gotta get comfortable. But he’s thinking too much, which takes away from his explosiveness. … To me, you look up, he’s got 16 points and he really didn’t play that much and really didn’t make any shots. And that’s pretty positive to me.”
Bill Self, KansasCity.com
GH: I did not get to watch Wiggins’ debut but I listened to most of the radio broadcast from Bob Davis and Greg Gurley. The Jayhawks sounded like a young team that is still trying to find some rhythm. But they still won by 40.
“I don’t know. Really, I mean, I was expecting a lot more out of him.”
Cody Gafford, Pitt State forward, when asked about the play of KU’s Andrew Wiggins, FOXSportsKansasCity.com
GH: Join the nation, Cody. I can’t imagine the expectations for a player who gets 16 in his first college game and it is considered disappointing. But that’s what big-time college hoops do.
“I think this is a very raw (Kansas) team. It’s going to take some time for them to mesh.”
Henry Blake, 610 AM
GH: KU plays Duke in less than two weeks. Time’s up.
“Best thing about tonight: I got to witness the (Rock Chalk) chant at the end of the game… Always thought it was crazy.”
Joel-Hans Embiid, @jojo_embiid, KU freshman center, Twitter
“Andrew Wiggins was only made available to Canadian media after the game. The Star may need to look into opening a Toronto bureau, I guess.”
Rustin Dodd, KU beat writer for KC Star, @rustindodd, Twitter
GH: This is just ridiculous. How can a university with a school of journalism practice this kind of unfair tactics in their own barn? Props to Dodd for calling out KU and sending out that tweet that I am sure KU officials will not be happy to read.
“If this going to be college basketball this season. ..no thanks. Free throw shooting contests arent my idea of a good time.”
Frank Boal, @realfrankboal, on the high number of fouls called during the Pitt St./KU game, Twitter
GH: I am hoping the refs have ramped up their strictness to try and prepare the athletes for some tighter officiating this season – and that they’ll back off when the games get real. At least I hope so. Few things less exciting than a three-hour free-throw contest.
“Xavier Henry final stats: 22 pts, 6 rebs, 3-4 from deep. IMPRESSIVE!!”
GH: X is now with the Lakers? Good to see the kid break out.
“It’s a sports renaissance in Kansas City! The Chiefs are good. The Royals are good. And now it’s time for UMKC (men’s basketball) to be good. And it’s going to happen.”
Aaron Swarts, 810 AM
GH: There is a lot of buzz (at least for UMKC buzz) about Kareem Richardson and what he is bringing to the Roos’ scuffling basketball program. He’s signed a lot of local high school talent and the few fans that UMKC has are encouraged. I am at least intrigued.
“When was the last time you were at Municipal Auditorium?”
Steve St. John, 810 AM
GH: Good question. I think the last time I was at the Muny for a basketball game was 2002 or 2003. I was writing for The Pitch and I stopped in to catch the second half of a UMKC conference game. UMKC’s SID at the time let me know he was not happy that I hadn’t informed him prior to the game that I would be one of the few hundred people attending the game. I typically don’t stick around where I am not wanted so I closed my laptop and left – and I have not been back. Maybe this year.
“Just don’t read it. Don’t look at it. Just shut it down and don’t look at it.”
Gary Pinkel, when asked by Bob Fescoe what he tells his players, especially his placekicker, Andrew Baggett, about how to handle the sometimes vicious criticism they receive via Twitter and Internet message boards, 610 AM
GH: Is this really the best way to deal with criticism? Even over-the-top visceral idiot criticism? I just have never thought isolationism is all that effective of a strategy against an attack. It seems to me part of the college experience is teaching students how to deal with adversity – and assholes.
“For a 20-year-old kid…I’d back off, man. He’s one of my players. He had five field goals the week before against Florida. … Back off of him because we need him. We’re trying to make a run here.”
Gary Pinkel, on people criticizing Baggett, 610 AM
“I haven’t read a newspaper article about me since 1992. I haven’t read one article about me since 1992.”
Gary Pinkel, on how he copes with criticism in the media, 610 AM
GH: And Pinkel is proud of this??? Grow a pair, Coach.
“I don’t need the criticism. Most of it’s been positive, thank God.”
Gary Pinkel, 610 AM
GH: So how does Pinkel know “most of it’s been positive” if he’s not been reading anything about him for the last 20 years?
“There’s no league like this in the country. Every single week we’re playing great teams. What a great opportunity for us. We wanted to be exactly where we are right now. We’re here, now we’ve got to go take care of business.”
Gary Pinkel, 610 AM
“Mizzou still controls its own destiny, it still feels weird to say that. #SEC.”
“At a wedding… But I got football on my phone. #gomizzou #WatchESPN”
Max Scherzer, former MU pitcher and probable Cy Young winner this season, @Max_Scherzer, following the USC/MU game on his phone, Twitter
The reason Missouri built such a fine journalism school is that it needed great writers to tell the story of heartbreak.”
Les Carpenter, @Lescarpenter, Twitter
“Blue Springs defense is the best I have ever seen…EVER. Cats, Jags, Indians have had great D teams in past, but speed makes Cats special.”
Bill Althaus, longtime sports writer for the Independence Examiner, @AlthausEJC, Twitter
GH: There have been some Missouri HS football teams that have entered the playoffs as the dominant favorite but this year’s Blue Springs’ squad is one of the more impressive in some time. It also helps that there doesn’t appear to be much opposition in their top class on this side of the state. They should get to St. Louis for the title game without much struggle.
“What’s happened today is high schools have become so specialized that a lot of high school coaches try to get a guy to do just one sport. My thinking is if you want to play three sports then play three sports. By the time you get to college you can specialize on one sport. There are benefits to focusing on one sport year round but I always felt in high school you should live a full experience.”
Charlie Weis, when asked about high school athletes focusing on just one sport, JayhawkSlant.com
GH: Love this message. I wish more parents, coaches and kids agreed.
“This (loss to Minnesota) will be hard to overcome. This was tantamount to the first Bill Callahan loss to Kansas in 2005. This had a turning-point feel to it. The fan base has certain expectations. Losing to Minnesota — getting outslugged and outcoached by Minnesota — is not among them. Today those fans are upset. They should be. There are five games left in a division that’s up for grabs. But I don’t see Pelini washing the stink off from this one, unless he beats Ohio State and goes to the Rose Bowl. Did I just write that? The sound you heard is the clock starting on Pelini’s time in Lincoln. There’s a new athletic director, and though Shawn Eichorst doesn’t show his cards, you can be sure this is not what he has in mind for Nebraska football.”
Tom Shatel, columnist, after Nebraska fell to 5-2 with a 34-23 loss at Minnesota, Omaha World Herald
GH: Interesting that I read a story this week of how Bo Pelini was praising “the great fans” of Nebraska. It might be too late for that, Bobo.
“These type of losses are the defining trait of the Bo Pelini era…5 straight seasons with a ranked Nebraska losing to an unranked team.”
Garrett Gordon, @GarrettGordon, Twitter
“This game was Pelini’s Huskers to the core. This is an inconsistent program, one that gets in its way too frequently. Not showing up? Not playing smart? Wasting timeouts to get organized so you avoid delay of game? Six years later? This staff has been outcoached before, but typically when it’s an underdog or overmatched, by the likes of Ohio State or UCLA. Now you can add Matt Limegrover to the list.”
Tom Shatel, columnist, Omaha World Herald
GH: Nebraska is in one of the most coach-friendly football conferences in the land. The Big Ten has one team in the top 20 this week. Compare what Gary Pinkel is facing each week to what Pelini is facing. If Pelini can’t make it here, he can’t make it anywhere.
and Twitter / @greghall24