KU fans should be happy for Williams

By Steve Sell
April 04, 2017

Random thoughts while having empathy for all athletic directors trying to figure out how to reschedule so many postponed events...

• GOOD FOR ROY — There are some small-minded Kansas basketball fans who have never forgiven Roy Williams for leaving Lawrence.

I say to them, “get a life.”

Williams won his third national championship at North Carolina on Monday as the Tar Heels outlasted Gonzaga 71-65 in a game hardly pleasing to the eye.

While competitive, I wouldn’t say the level of play was high. North Carolina prevailed despite making just 4 of 27 shots from 3-point and star player Justin Jackson was only 6 of 19 from the field. 

Fortunately Joel Berry II and Isaiah Hicks, both of whom couldn’t throw it in the ocean on Saturday, found their strokes to combine for 35 points.

I wonder how many teams have won a national championship making just 26 of 73 shots and only 15 of 26 free throws.

Gonzaga was hoping to strike a blow for the mid-majors. The Bulldogs had the lead at the  half, but suffered through a horrendous shooting night as well. They were just 20 of 59 from the field and 17 of 26 from the line.

This will hardly go down as one of the most memorable title games, but I’m happy for Williams, who is in the twilight of his career at Chapel Hill. KU fans should be thankful for the time he spent at KU and be happy for him at North Carolina.

• STINKER OPENER — The Kansas City Royals’ 7-1 loss to Minnesota in Monday’s season opener was a clunker.

For six innings, though, KC starting pitcher Danny Duffy was electric. He allowed only three hits and whiffed eight, leaving with the game tied at 1-all.

But the Royals’ biggest concern going into the season — the remade bullpen — reared its ugly head right out of the chute.

Matt Strahm and Travis Wood combined to give up six runs, due greatly to four walks and the inability of Strahm to react quickly enough to a sac bunt that wound up being a hit.

The Royals, outside of Mike Moustakas’ early homer, barely got the ball out of the infield and produced just two other singles.

The Royals have today off before hooking up with the Twins again Wednesday. Kansas City was 15-4 against Minnesota last year and can’t afford to struggle against teams of its ilk.

• KW SIGNING LOCAL TALENT — Anthony Monson, who will be in his second year as Kansas Wesleyan men’s basketball coach, is recruiting locally to improve the Coyotes’ fortunes.

Monson has announced two big signings in the last week, securing former Salina Central stars Jordan McNelly and Rashun Allen.

McNelly is a big get. He should be an instant KCAC standout and I can remember when he had a huge game against McPherson High in which he scored 24 points and pulled down 14 rebounds. McNelly had been on McPherson College’s wish list, but the allure of playing at home appealed to him.

Allen played with McNelly at Central and also last year at Cloud County. He should be a solid player for the Coyotes, who I have a feeling are going to make a big jump in the KCAC standings given Monson now has a full year of recruiting. He used to do much of the recruiting when he was an assistant at Tabor, greatly responsible for some of its national tournament teams.