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KU struggling, Mack leaving? KC offense

By Bruce Haertl, bhaertl@kwch.com
Published On: Dec 11 2013 12:29:16 PM CST
Bruce Haertl: For What It's Worth...
WICHITA, Kan. -

Growing pain---

Kansas has dropped three of four games now, including their only two road games back to back. I’d love to have twenty-four turnovers to decide between at Starbucks every morning, but they’re quite a bit less palatable on the basketball court and the3 ‘Hawks couldn’t overcome them last night at Florida. That KU was even in the game was testimony to Andrew Wiggins and some typically tough defense, although Florida’s lack of hoops IQ didn’t hurt.

Never mind that the Gators had problems closing the game at the line where they were woeful, but, with the lead in the last two minutes, they fouled three times to allow KU the opportunity to score with the clock stopped and once a Gator actually forgot (or maybe he just didn’t know) that you could move along the baseline after a made bucket. Florida managed to hang on in spite of itself. As for KU….well, they come home for tough games against New Mexico, Georgetown and San Diego State before the start of conference play. The Big 12 opens with a game at one Oklahoma, before a rivalry game with K-State—then it’s nationally ranked Iowa State on the road, followed by top ten Oklahoma State and one loss Baylor at home. The bext month and a half are fraught with peril.

As for the ‘Cats---

K State had to rally to beat a 3-6 South Dakota at home last night, but they did win their fourth straight including a good home win against Ole Miss. The ‘Cats are more of a work in progress than KU, which is bolstered by its talent. Not to say KSU doesn’t have talent, it’s just going to take longer to see it come to fruition. Still, the ‘Cats are 6-3—just like the ‘Hawks…ok, not exactly like them…but you get my point.

Mack attack---

The sharks are circling Mack Brown, who continues to deny that he’s made a decision to step down at Texas. That may be true, but one has to think that the decision has probably been made for him. Texas has been very average since going to the National Championship game in 2009 and one thing Texans can’t stomach…is being average. Actually, it’s worse than that---since that title game nearly five years ago---Texas only has the fifth highest winning percentage among division one programs in the Lone Star State. Ouch.

The big question is—who will new Athletic Director Steve Patterson hire? Or, rather, who will the power brokers in the Board of Regents direct him to hire? Remember, this is Texas—I would be surprised if they don’t make a serious overture to Nick Saban at Alabama. Sure, he’s 62 years old and his legacy is colored Crimson, but he has a transient nature (since 1999: Michigan State, LSU, Miami Dolphins and Alabama) and seems drawn to new challenges. If it’s not Saban, would they go after Art Briles, who just inked a long term extension at Baylor? I’ve hear some Texas complaints (really) that Briles isn’t the kind of ‘coat and tie’ guy they like to have in Austin. Heck, a guy wearing a leisure suit looks pretty good when he’s in the top 5 of the BCS.

Swing and miss---

Are the Royals done trying to improve the lineup after Carlos Beltron eschewed nostalgia for a career ending trip to the Bronx? With the acquisition of leadoff hitter Norachicka Aoki from Milwaukee they figure to drop Alex Gordon into the five hole, hitting behind Eric Hosmer and Billy Butler…not exactly Murderers Row—maybe they'll be Manslaugter Alley.

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