Kansas men’s basketball coach Bill Self certainly can understand why Kansas State might use the ending of last year’s Sunflower Showdown in Lawrence as motivation for Saturday’s 11 a.m. rivalry game at Allen Fieldhouse.
“I’m sure that will be something that will be talked about with K-State because obviously that game should have gone overtime, without question, because Svi did walk on that last play,” Self said Thursday morning on the Big 12 coaches’ teleconference.
KU shooting guard Svi Mykhailiuk took an extra step or two as confirmed by replay en route to his last-second layup that gave the Jayhawks a 90-88 victory on Jan. 3, 2017. Then a junior, Mykhailiuk hit a three with 2:32 left that broke a 63-63 tie in KU’s 74-71 victory on Feb. 6 in Manhattan.
“That certainly wouldn’t surprise me,” Self said of K-State using the Svi no-call as a possible rallying cry Saturday. “I know that coaches and players use every motivational tactic that they can that is natural. That is certainly a natural one. I can certainly understand why they were upset and disappointed last year leaving Lawrence.”
Self said the Jayhawks recently discussed Iowa State’s victory at Allen Fieldhouse last season as they prepared for Tuesday’s narrow 83-78 home victory over the Cyclones.
“I have no idea what is talked about in other teams’ locker rooms,” Self said. “I’m sure when we played Iowa State we talked about how the last time we played them in Allen Fieldhouse they made a shot to beat us.”
Kansas State junior guard Barry Brown — he exploded for 38 points in the Wildcats’ 86-82 victory over Oklahoma State on Wednesday at Bramlage Coliseum — told The Star at Big 12 media day that last year’s games against KU were “just tough losses. I’m not going to get into all that just because it’s so crazy. It was tough for us, especially losing at KU that time and how it ended. It was a hard-fought game. We played our hearts out (but) still ended up short. The same thing happened in Bramlage. Hopefully we can be ready when we see them again.”
Unranked Kansas State will enter Saturday’s game with a 12-4 overall record, 2-2 in the Big 12. No. 12 KU is 13-3, 3-1.
“They did have a nice win,” Self said, asked about K-State’s win Wednesday. “Of course any win in our league is a nice win. I thought they played well. They are playing a little shorthanded right now themselves like a lot of other teams in the league.”
K-State has lost point guard Kamau Stokes for an undetermined period of time because of a left foot injury.
“I have been very impressed with them. I know we labored to beat Iowa State in the last couple minutes. K-State … that is the game that impresses me the most. They go up there and win by 20 plus (91-75 on Dec. 29 in Ames). We know we’ll have our hands full and we know it will be a very intense game as most rivalry games are and certainly anticipate that,” Self said.
No NCAA decision on duo yet
Self said Thursday morning there was no change in the status of freshmen Billy Preston and Silvio De Sousa, who are waiting on word from the NCAA regarding their eligibility to play this season.
“As of last night there was no movement on either one,” Self said as he began the Thursday work day.
KU wishes Jones speedy recovery
Self sent best wishes to Texas guard Andrew Jones, who has been diagnosed with leukemia: “We certainly wish Andrew a very speedy recovery and hopefully he gets back on the court as soon as possible,” Self said on the teleconference.