Bahe is Transferring

Phog Blog reader Clock writes in expressing disappointment that we haven't mentioned Bahe's transfer. On the news last night, Fox's sports reporter called him "Nick Bay - Hee" over and over. I wish only the best for Nick - I think he'll get more minutes at Creighton and he still gets to have the word "Jay" in his mascot name.

You can read more on the story here.

Had DeAndre Thomas not opted to go to the Dark Side, that scholarship could have been made available to him. My guess is that now we'll hold onto it for next year, where the class is a little better. Or maybe CJ Henry will join the team. He will surprise people if so.

Fieldhouse getting Facelift

I have been blessed in this life to have traveled to Europe and to have toured some of its most beautiful churches and cathedrals, both when empty and full. When I am describing Allen Fieldhouse to the uninitiated, I draw upon these experiences as they represent the closest thing to Allen that I know. Allen Fieldhouse is a wonder to behold when full - teeming with energy, its skies filled with falling newsprint and the sounds of the greatest sport - but it is also venerable when empty. Indeed, walking around an empty Allen Fieldhouse, you will hear the echo of your own footsteps, you will bask in the mid day light that feels nearly identical to the light of Saint Peter's, and you will respect the achievements of those who came before you.

I suppose it's not surprising that the statement below, that comes to us via the Lawrence Journal World, comes from a kid who grew up in Missouri.

But Jeff Butcher, a sophomore from Springfield, Mo., said he liked mixing modern architecture with old-time designs.

"I think it's cool," he said. "It's not like a church or anything. A lot of people get carried away. They need to remember that it's only basketball. It's not like the fieldhouse is sacred or holy or anything. Everything changes."

Let's put aside for the moment that everything does indeed change, and that it is only basketball. Even granting Young Butcher (another startling coincidence, I think) the ephemeral nature of all things, and even granting him the somewhat myopic statement 'it's only basketball', he hasn't in any way established that the Fieldhouse is neither sacred nor holy.

I, a religious man myself, with keen sensitivities about using the Lord's name in vain and not being profane, would argue that the Fieldhouse is both sacred and holy, much like a church. Before I get all Ontological on you, I had better just get to the point - the Fieldhouse is sacred. It deserves a special place in history because it has earned it. It has survived several iterations of arena trends. It watched the Hearnes Center rise, and it watched it fall; it watched the Paige Sports Arena arrive like a blinged out starlet, and it watched her hurry to the corner in embarrassment before hiding behind the most generic of all names. Allen will watch the Mizzou Arena be converted to a nameless multipurpose facility in years distant. Allen will watch the implosions of stadia built 10 years from now and it will be standing long after I can no longer go to games.

Personally, I believe that certain renovations, if done respectfully, can be made to Allen Fieldhouse. Better bathrooms - there's certainly nothing wrong with them. Indeed, I am in favor of the current project as well. I am somewhat ambivalent about the possibility of constructing an outer facade on the West side of the Fieldhouse, thus allowing the West windows to be converted to suites. On the one hand, there's something unsettling about it. On the other hand, they did a good job doing something very similar (facade construction) on the North side of the building, and suites would take a lot of the stodgy, ignorant corporate types ( I can say this freely because if you are reading this, you aren't one of them), place them in the climate controlled paradise to which they aspire, and put more real fans into the screaming section.

But if anything is to be done, today, tomorrow or a hundred years from now, it must be done in the true spirit of that great and blessed hall, my favorite building in all the world, Allen Fieldhouse.

Simien to be fitted with a soft cast today

From the LJW:

Today, he will have his hard cast removed and replaced with a soft cast. "It will allow him to get more involved with the guys without having contact," Self said.

Simien, who shot during warmups Saturday and has been shooting on the side daily at practice, already has been fitted for splints to wear during future practices or games.

Jayhawks get a B from Self

All apologies for the long absence - this will be a particularly busy month for me, as I am getting married in less than 30 days. Phog Blog will continue however, as I am able, but I would certainly enlist the assistance of surrogates. If this sounds like fun to you, let me know. Bill Self gives KU a "B" for the season so far, and I think he's about right, although I would probably say C- for freethrow shooting.

While those numbers may be "A" quality, others like free-throw shooting and rebounding may be closer to "C" status. The Jayhawks have made 62.8 percent of their free throws and are outrebounding foes 42.4 per game to 35.9.

"Rebounding has been a struggle the whole time," Self said. "We've been plus-8 in rebounding. We should be plus-12. I think we should be better. If we were able to steal four more possessions a game, you score on half those possessions, that's four more points, then you are looking at an ‘A' first half grade as opposed to a ‘B'.

Regarding some of this Micah Downs confusion that went down over the holidays, I'm inclined to think that Steve Downs spoke with something less than the wisdom of Solomon, then spent a week trying to dig himself out of a hole.

There was a nice article about Julian Wright in the Star the other day, here it is if you were tripping on tryptophan and slept most of the last few days away.

Jayhawk News Roundup 12.13.2004

It looks as if Rodrick Stewart has completed step one of three in order to become a Kansas Jayhawk:

Stewart's dad, Bull, said he believed his son had satisfied all academic requirements for a transfer but needed the paperwork to come through. Rodrick Stewart told Sunday that he did well in finals and still wanted to attend KU. It's believed Rodrick, who was academically ineligible first semester at USC, would be able to practice at KU immediately if his first-semester performance in the classroom deemed him eligible at USC. If not, he would not be able to practice here until the start of second semester Jan. 20.

In a game between two of the country's top players, Kansas signee Mario Chalmers and his Bartlett High team were barely bested by Brockman and the boys of Snohomish high. Chalmers played well enough to receive multiple mentions from the Seattle Times:

The Panthers took that message to heart, ripping off a 19-0 run and then holding off Kansas-bound Mario Chalmers long enough to beat Bartlett from Anchorage, Alaska, 56-50 [snip] The 6-foot-2 Chalmers, one of the top prep point guards in the country, led the Golden Bears (0-1) with 21 points. He also had eight of Bartlett's 13 steals. [snip]Chalmers scored 10 points in the quarter on a variety of equally impressive moves, including one when he drove left-handed toward the basket and quickly spun right for the layup.

Bartlett coach Ronnie Chalmers, Mario's father, said some players on his team had butterflies. It was the first game of the season and only two players returned from last year's 24-2 Alaska 4A runner-up squad. He also said four of his players stayed at home because of eligibility issues.

MSNBC is hopping on the Simien train. In a rather sweet, if fairly unimaginitive article (and I guarantee we'll see more like this as Wayne's numbers continue to merit POY discussions), an unknown AP staff writer extoll's Dub's praises:

A weary Wayne Simien had worked his way to the end of a long line of autograph seekers when one bold kid called him back.Already clutching Simien's signatures on two pieces of paper, the lad now wanted the 6-foot-9 power forward to sign his shirt.

So Simien did. Instead of simply waving goodbye and heading out the door at the end of a very long day, Kansas' preseason All-American bent down and wrote his name one more time, with a big flourish and a friendly smile for the worshipful little boy.

A rare unselfish act by a star athlete?

Not by Simien's standards.

"It wasn't long ago when I was a kid standing there outside that locker room hoping to get autographs," Simien said. "You can make someone's day just by signing your name, and it only takes a second."