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Big 12 Notebook

January 22, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments

Big 12 Conference Notebook

by Mitch Schneider

Battin’ 400

The great Boston Red Sox slugger, Ted Williams, did it in 1941. Sixty-two year later, another Williams would reach the 400-mark . . . except this one did it with a clipboard instead of a bat, in a different sport, and on a different surface.

Kansas coach Roy Williams notched his 400th career victory last Wednesday, as his Jayhawks thumped Wyoming, 98-70.

Williams became the fourth-fastest coach to reach No. 400 (Adolph Rupp, Clair Bee and Jerry Tarkanian did it in fewer games), doing so in just his 15th season in Lawrence.

“I am proud of our teams,” Williams told the Sports Ticker. “I am very proud of the type of schedules we have played in these 15 years. This summer I am sure I will take some time and think back and say this was a pretty cool night.”

Kansas followed up its Wyoming win with an 81-64 victory over Kansas State on Saturday, meaning Roy Williams is now 401-96 as the Jayhawks’ head coach — a winning percentage of .807.

Aside from Williams’ impressive record, it should be noted his current KU team (13-3, 3-0) has won ten straight, the last nine by double-digit margins.

Kansas may be the hottest team in all the land, and the ‘Hawks are back in the top ten for the first time since late November.

While 400 sure sounds nice, not one of those wins has come in a national title game. Thus, it’s a safe bet, Roy would give back all 401 for the chance to cut down the nets late in March.

Poor aim in Ames

While the sailing has been smooth in Lawrence, the waters have been extremely rough in Ames, Iowa.

After starting the season 10-1, Iowa State has dropped three straight to open Big 12 play. The Cyclones (10-4, 0-3) have yet to win a game in 2003, and have lost each contest by an average of 19.7 points.

Granted, those defeats came against Kansas, Texas and Oklahoma. But still, a loss is a loss, and the Cyclones are in desperate need of a conference victory.

What’s to blame for ISU’s current three-game skid? In a word, scoring. Prior to the team’s current losing streak, the Cyclones were averaging almost 80 points a night. That number has dwindled down to 54.7 over their last three games.

ISU has connected on just 36% of its shots during this slide, and has yet to hang more than 60 points against Big 12 competition thus far.

I would love to tell all Iowa State fans that your team’s schedule gets softer in the next few weeks. Unfortunately, it doesn’t.

The Cyclones next travel to Missouri (10-3), before hosting wily Nebraska (9-7). Then, ISU hits the road again to play Oklahoma State (14-1, 3-0 in the Big 12) . . . yikes!

Sooners’ Price more than reasonable

Oklahoma guard Hollis Price has had quite a week as the Sooners’ main man.

After a six-point effort (2-14 shooting) in a 48-46 loss to Oklahoma State last Monday, the 6-1 senior regrouped in fine fashion to lead OU back into the limelight.

Price poured in 31 on Saturday as Oklahoma upended Iowa State, 70-60, in Ames. Price nailed nine three-point shots in the win, playing 39 of a possible 40 minutes.

Two days later, Price had a large hand in OU’s 69-64 overtime win against Texas Tech. Trailing by 2 with seconds to go in regulation, Price took an inbounds pass, dribbled the length of a court, zig-zagged through the entire Red Raider team, and hit an off-balance jumper to tie the game as the clock expired.

Price finished with 23 points and the Sooners improved to 12-3, 3-1.

The first-team All-Big 12 selection is well on his way to earning all-conference honors once again, as Price is third in the Big 12 in scoring (18.5 PPG), first in free throw percentage (92.2%) and tenth in steals (1.5 SPG).

No, Mr. Gilmore . . . the Price is definitely right, Bob.

Fearsome foursome

As of Monday, Jan. 20, four Big 12 teams are perched high in the rankings.

In the latest Hoopville poll, Texas (12-2) checks in a No. 4, Kansas (13-3) at No. 6, Oklahoma (11-3) at No. 7 and Oklahoma State (14-1) at No. 15.

The Cowboys made the biggest leap, jumping from No. 25 after upsetting the Sooners in Stillwater last week.

I’m guessing someone in the Big 12 offices, located in Dallas, TX, is smiling uncontrollably.

Intriguing match-ups of the week:

Wednesday, January 22 – Kansas at Colorado
Saturday, January 25 – Missouri at Texas
Sunday, January 26 – Oklahoma State at Texas Tech


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