KJ’s Basketball Newsletter            December 22, 2000

Year Endings

Iowan Player of Week

Kansas' Nick Collison was named Big 12 Player of the Week on Tuesday after leading the Jayhawks in a pair of wins over DePaul and Tulsa. The 6-foot-9 native of Iowa Falls, Collison shot 74 percent from the floor to help lead the No. 9-ranked Jayhawks to a 9-1 record. The sophomore forward dropped in a career-high 23 points against the Blue Demons, followed by 19 points on 8-of-9 shooting against Tulsa.

What a BB Night!

I spent Thursday evening switching back and forth from the Duke-Stanford game to the Missouri-Illinois game, both of which were cliffhangers.  #3 Stanford made a dramatic comeback from 14 down to beat No. 1 Duke by one point.  The MU game went into overtime, but Brian Cook, the son of Norm Cook (KU ‘74-‘76), one of KU’s former All-Americans, took control and led the Illini to the win.  Both were great games to watch, but I couldn’t help but wish that KU had been able to land Cook.

Then, ESPN had some great coverage of the Celtics win over the Knicks, with Paul Pierce (KU ’96-’98) scoring 31 points.

Big Saturday Coming Up

After winning the first two games, the Cyclones finish their three-game stint at the Pearl Harbor Classic on Saturday.  KU plays Ohio State in Columbus, with the game aired on CBS at 3:15pm.  The Western Illinois Leathernecks travel to Des Moines to take on the Drake Bulldogs in the Knapp Center at 7:05pm.  At the same time, the Iowa Hawkeyes travel to Manhattan to take on the K-State Wildcats.  Can’t wait!!

Real Justice

The tables have turned on Kentucky, which is now 4-5 and who avoided their worst start since 1927 by beating Indiana Friday night.  I’ve always been dismayed that the Wildcats been allowed to continue to play basketball, given their historic record of cheating.   At least once each decade since the 40’s, Kentucky has been caught and punished (usually too lightly) for a wide range of transgressions.  (p.s. they did get the death penalty twice, missing two seasons as a result).  The program seems to now be falling apart, with three recent transfers and reports now that starting center Marvin Stone is also considering leaving.  Two other players have been dismissed because of DUI convictions.

Little Bits

Hawkeye fans had to be concerned about the first half of Iowa’s game against Centenary Tuesday evening.  Boy, nothing was working.  However, “Double-Double” Reggie Evans led the way to a convincing 72-52 win.  Reggie’s now leading the country in rebounding.

Cyclone backup guard Brandon Hawkins left the team after Coach Eustachy told him that he couldn’t start in place of All-American Jamaal Tinsley.  I guess it’s no big loss, as he’s obviously from another planet and freshman Jake Sullivan has come on strong.

Freshman guard Luke McDonald is leading the Bulldogs in scoring with 12.8 ppg, and he’s only started one game.

Three Jayhawks could be in the lineup Saturday after missing several games.  Senior forwards Kenny Gregory and Luke Axtell appear to have recovered from leg injuries and freshman guard Mario Kinsey has recovered from the flu.

Season Stats

Below are links to pages showing cumulative statistics for our favorite teams:

KU:                   http://www.rockchalk.com/seasons/stats.sht

Iowa:                 http://www.hawkeyesports.com/bball/2001/stats/stats.htm

                         Then click on ‘Cumulative”.

ISU:                   http://cyclones.fansonly.com/sports/m-baskbl/spec-rel/iast-m-baskbl-CumulativeStats.html

Drake:                http://www.drakebulldogs.org/

           Click on the above URL, then click on ‘Athletics’, click on ‘Men’s Basketball’, and                 finally click on ‘Statistics’.

Happy Christmas and Merry New Year