• INTERESTING FACT — Track and field historian Carol Swenson passed along this interesting fact.
When McPherson High’s girls finished in the Top 5 of the Kansas State Track and Field Championships last week at Wichita State’s Cessna Stadium, it marked their 20th Top 5 state placing in school history.
That pushes MHS to the head of the class in Kansas. Junction City and Leavenworth are next with 19 apiece, Andale has 18 and Bishop Miege has 17.
A lot of those Top 5s came in the 1990s, including back-to-back Class 5A state championships in 1991 and 1992.
• WARRIORS IN FOUR? — I may have been wrong.
I posted on Thursday that I thought the NBA Finals would be over in five games, with Golden State regaining its title that it gave up last year to Cleveland.
But maybe I should have said four.
Last year’s debacle of giving up a 3-1 lead and losing Game 7 on their home court didn’t sit well with the Warriors. If they play the way they did in Thursday’s opener, the Cavaliers have no chance.
Kevin Durant, the new Golden State addition, is bent on winning the championship. He played like a man on a mission and I don’t think he’ll be denied.
For all of LeBron James’ greatness, he doesn’t have enough help. Kyrie Irving played well, but the rest of the Cavs were no-shows. J.R. Smith didn’t score after opening the game with a 3 and Tristan Thompson didn’t even mark a tally. Kevin Love was well off the form he showed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
For all the hype of this being potentially one of the greatest Finals of all time, it could end with a fizzle.
• KU AGAIN LOADS UP — Give Bill Self credit, he doesn’t load up his schedule with french pastry.
Self announced Kansas’ non-conference basketball schedule on Thursday and again his team shows no signs of backing away from tough competition.
KU has games scheduled with Kentucky, Syracuse, Washington, Arizona State, Nebraska, Stanford and Texas A & M among others. There’s still a few gimmes, such as Tennessee State, South Dakota State and Omaha, to allow the walk-ons some time in the sun.
So Self again has a nice balance to prepare the Jayhawks for the rigors of Big 12 play. From all signs, West Virginia appears to be the Jayhawks’ top challenger and Baylor could challenge as well.
• KSU SCHEDULE TOUGHER — Bruce Weber’s goal last year for his Kansas State basketball team was to get off to a good start.
The Wildcats scheduled that way and they lost only one non-conference game as it was a litany of pushovers.
But they were mediocre once they hit the Big 12, though they slipped into NCAA Tournament as a play-in team and did defeat Wake Forest.
This year’s schedule appears to be slightly upgraded as Weber announced it on Thursday. They are playing in the Las Vegas tournament with Arizona State, Xavier and George Washington. There’s also games with Vanderbilt, Tulsa, Washington State and Georgia. Those aren’t Top 10 teams, but certainly stronger than some of the teams on last year’s schedule. That should help KSU’s RPI if it’s on the NCAA Tournament bubble.
• CHIEFS STARS MISSING — They’re called voluntary workouts for a reason.
So why all the fuss?
The Kansas City Chiefs’ offseason camp has been marked more by those who are not there than those who are.
Justin Houston, Marcus Peters and Eric Berry have not been at any of the sessions. Dee Ford missed Thursday’s session. Tamba Hali has been present, but only observing.
My question is: With the grind of the preseason, 16-game season and hopefully the playoffs, why are OTAs even necessary?
The players who are missing are veterans. They know what to do to keep in shape. They know how to play the game.
So Chiefs fans getting in a dither need to chill. They’ll be ready when the season starts, you can count on that.