OUT OF THE PHOG.............                                   

BY TODD PANULA                                                                                        March 8, 2001


Well now I can return to my home just south of St. Louis and still be able to stick it to all of the Mizzou fans back home.  I was really hoping for the season sweep, but 2 out of 3 victories over the hated Tigers will do for me.  In case you wonder what else I'm talking about, I refer to the Hawks ruining MU's homecoming football games with one of our few victories of the season.  I apologize to any MU fans that might be reading this, but my hatred for the Tigers runs very deep and knows very no bounds.  Thus I truly delight in them losing to the Jayhawks.

The Jayhawks turned it up, at least in theory, right when they need it.  The team is clicking fairly well picking up some hard fought battles without Drew Gooden and hitting a good stride going into the Big 12 Tourney and the Big Dance.  After hitting a skid against Baylor and Iowa State, the Hawks turned it around defeating a tough Colorado and Nebraska teams, K-State, and the always-difficult Missouri. 

I attended the game against Mizzou, as most of the rest.  I have to say it was an awesome experience.  It wasn't the greatest game, but the electricity of the crowd was great.  It was definitely an experience.  I can't wait for next year's game.

The seniors really stepped it up against our archrivals.  By no means did either Chenowith or Gregory have career games, but they made sure that they went out on the highest note in their final game at the Fieldhouse.  Kenny put in 16 points with a couple monster dunks that got the crowd into a deafening frenzy.  Eric had 11 points and even though he only pulled down 6, was a force on the boards.  As earlier stated, neither had awe-inspiring stats, but both had big games that were much better than the score sheet would show.  Eric showed he can be both an offensive and defensive threat and Kenny proved that he can provide big time offense when it counts.

Gooden and Collison had big games as well.  Drew scored 19 points while Nick had 13 and was all over the glass with 13 rebounds.  After the game, the seniors gave their speeches.  All of them were very good and all had some humor as well.  I felt particularly sorry for Luke Axtell who wanted to do so much while he was here, but couldn't because of his injuries and health problems.  If he could have stayed healthy I do feel he could have really helped the team when they needed him the most.  On a side note, I have to believe that the Jayhawks will have one of if not the best senior class in the country as long as everyone stays.  You have Gooden, Collison, and Hinrich.  If you can name a better trio in a couple years then you have more knowledge than I do.

The Jayhawks will have another Sunflower showdown this weekend, as they will be playing the Wildcats in the Big 12 tourney.  Unfortunately the Hawks need to win the conference to assure themselves of at least a #2 spot in the Dance.  Somehow the people who do the polls have managed to screw us again and most are predicting that we will be a #3 seed despite having better records than some of the teams they predict will have #2 seeds.  Hopefully they will realize the error in their thinking and all the predictions will be wrong.  Or better yet, the Jayhawks could shove it down all of the writers, etc. throats and win the conference tourney. 

I still believe that the Hawks have a very good chance to win it all.  Now all of you can say but what about Duke or UNC or even Iowa State, and I still say that if we play our best game KU can win the National Title.  You can give me all the stats you want, but I am a true fan and will stick to my beliefs to the last.  I also apologize to you ISU fans, but I think that we can beat you and will beat you (if we play in the tourney) and would have beat you in Ames if we had Drew at the time.  So until next time, this has been Todd Panula...

coming OUT OF THE PHOG!!! 

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