Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Rock Chalk

Officially, KU basketball season started last Friday with a lopsided victory over a very out-matched Towson. But in reality, it starts tonight. In Madison Square Garden. As the headliner in ESPN's 24 hour college basketball kick-off marathon and as the top card in the inaugural Champions Classic. First up is Duke against Michigan State. And then comes the game everyone wants to see. Kansas and Kentucky. Two of the nation's most storied programs.

So it is time for a post reminding the world which program is THE most storied. Which program is the granddaddy of all other college basketball programs. It is Kansas. Without the history behind the University of Kansas basketball program, we would not have college basketball as we know it.

The inventor of the game called our town home. Even in death. His grave is within a mile of my house. We play on the court named for him. Which is in a building on a street named for him. And he was our first ever coach.

But that was only the start of Kansas basketball tradition. Because James Naismith was only the second most historically significant coach in our history. The main guy, the first real coach as we know them now, was Forrest Allen. Better known as Phog.

You may think UNC has a legendary program with a legendary coach. Heck, they even named their arena after their coach, Dean Smith. But remember, folks, Dean was a Jayhawk first. He learned his trade at the knee of Phog Allen.

And Kentucky's legendary coach? The guy they named their gym after? Yep. He was a Jayhawk first, too.

All college basketball roads lead back to Lawrence, Kansas. The cradle of college basketball.

Man, I love basketball season!

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