CHARLIE, NOW THAT OUR KANSAS SCHOOLS ARE OUT OF THE NCAA TOURNAMENT, DO YOU THINK KU AND K-STATE UNDERPERFORMED? WAS THIS ANOTHER FAILURE BY BRUCE WEBER?...............In a word, NO. First, know this, ANY team that is in the NCAA tournament can beat you. It is not like it used to be where the lower-seeded teams were just happy to be included. Most of them are good enough to beat you! Bill Self and Bruce Weber both did an outstanding job of coaching this year, given the problems they were dealt with injuries. To quote Jimmy Dean: “I can’t change the direction of the wind but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” Weber and Self are good sailors!
CHARLIE, HOW COME WHEN I TUNE IN A WOMEN’S BASKETBALL GAME THERE’S NOT A MALE TO BE FOUND? THE ANNOUNCERS, REFEREES AND, YES, EVEN THE SIDELINE REPORTERS ARE ALL WOMEN. NOT SO IN THE MEN’S GAMES. HOW COME? ………………………Ah, my friend. You have just uncovered one of the most agenda-driven items in the sports world. It MUST be Trump’s fault! Maybe Russian collusion! No, it is simply more of an agenda-driven thing of certain “remakers” of our society. Should it be obligatory that a sideline reporter always be a woman? Do they always have to be “cute”? Do they ask better questions than a man? No, it is all silliness but, given the intelligence makeup of today’s media, not surprising!
CHARLIE, NOW THAT MY FAVORITE TEAMS ARE OUT OF THE “BIG DANCE”, I AM SHIFTING MY SUPORT TO TEXAS TECH OF THE BIG 12. JUST WHO IS THIS COACH, CHRIS BEARD?.................Good question. Few know that Beard once was the head coach at Fort Scott Community College in Kansas. He was only there one year (1999-2000) but he led them to a 19-12 record and the Greyhounds first winning season in 8 years. Following that season he was hired as an assistant to work under the legendary Bob Knight where he spent 10 years under Knight and his son Pat. Now you understand where his passion for defense comes from. He is just as intense as Bob Knight, he just doesn’t throw chairs!
CHARLIE, DO YOU THINK LES MILES CAN CHANGE THINGS WITH THE KU FOOTBALL PROGRAM?.....................Change things? Yes. Win more games, that’s a bigger question but, in short, Yes. Already Miles has corrected a big problem at KU. He has focused on recruiting Kansas and Kansas City area athletes, something that previous coaches had not done. He made that a priority when he took the job and is having a lot of success with some of the early signees. When Mark Mangino took Kansas to the Orange Bowl their roster was dominated with Kansas area players. Miles wants to do the same so, yes, I think Miles will have success at Kansas.
CHARLIE, WILL KANSAS BASKETBALL REBOUND NEXT YEAR?.........................Rebound? You make it sound like they had a bad year. 26-10 and a win in the NCAA Tournament and you want them to rebound? Of the Final Four teams, KU played 3 of the 4 and compiled a 2-2 record. They played, and beat, 10 of the teams that were in the tournament field. KenPom says they had the toughest schedule in all of college basketball. Thus, 26-10 is not exactly a bad year, unless you are Kansas, Duke or Kentucky. I assume you mean win the Big 12 AGAIN, and be in the hunt for a Final Four berth. As the Jayhawks started four freshmen and they will probably all be back, yes, I think they will “rebound”.
CHARLIE, WHO DO YOU PICK TO WIN THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP?.............................Well, now that my original pick of North Carolina is home watching on television, I will rank my favorites as to who I WANT to win it all. 1. Texas Tech. 2. Auburn. 3. Virginia. 4. Michigan State. Do I think it will happen that way? No, just the opposite. Tom Izzo’s gritty Spartans of Michigan State will probably win it all. Too bad they meet in the semifinal round as they and Texas Tech are the two best teams. The winner of that matchup wins it all!
Buddy Tabler is a guest columnist for the Great Bend Tribune and his views don’t necessarily reflect those of the paper. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.