Big 12 Tournament briefs

By Mark Fagan

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Retro challenge: Roger Morningstar is ready to suit up again for the Jayhawks, 33 years after his club reached the NCAA title game against UCLA.

His desired opponent: This year’s Jayhawks, a roster that includes his son, Brady.

“We were a lot better,” Dad said with only a hint of a laugh, from his seat five rows behind the KU bench. “We’d love to have the opportunity to play them — even today. But that would be behind closed doors. We wouldn’t want to embarrass them.”

But seriously, folks …

“The players today are so much bigger and stronger,” Roger Morningstar said. “We didn’t have any real stars, but we blended together as a team. These guys, they have a lot of really great players who blend together as a team.”

That’s the makings for a Final Four club, he said. Opponents can’t concentrate on a single player to shut down.

Roger Morningstar, by the way, averaged 12.3 points per game as a junior, second on the team that played in the 1974 Final Four.

He’s hoping that his son, averaging 2.2 points as a freshman, can play in such a game to close out this season in Atlanta.