There was a time Dick Vitale didn’t know if broadcasting was his future.
Yeah, that Dickie V. The color analyst we know better than any in basketball. A guy who spawned a whole list of nicknames that became common parlance among fans. An accomplished announcer who, next month, will be inducted into the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame.
Vitale got his start on ESPN when it was a fledging network. Not even close to national. No family of networks.
Working alongside Vitale, calling play-by-play from center court, was Fred White.
LAWRENCE — So, where were you at 11:15 a.m. Tuesday?
Actually by that time, Kansas basketball fans were rejoicing.
Andrew Wiggins declared himself a Jayhawk six minutes earlier than his scheduled announcement. Me? I was in the bathroom. Thought I timed the break perfectly. Turns out I didn’t, but I learned of the decision soon enough.
Used to be we were on pins and needles over this sort of thing. Now, we’re on Twitter.
In the case of Wiggins, the nation’s top recruit kept his announcement so secretive, even KU coach Bill Self learned the news monitoring tweets.
LAWRENCE — Javelin throwers do not usually do burnouts down the runway. They do not perform well if they’re overly amped.
Yet as warmups unfolded in the men’s division last Sunday at the Big 12 Outdoor, it was obvious Jesse Vaughn was juiced. Too much so.
In an instant, Kansas throws coach Andy Kokhanovsky recognized his senior needed to settle down.
“He noticed I was just trying to be the strong man of the day and just get one out there,’’ Vaughn said. “So we had to step back, start again and take it easy.
Musings at the mid-week:
■ Listening to Bill Self constantly reference “agents and runners’’ over the years led some of us in the media to imitate that line.
■ Once, it even prompted me to ask the Kansas basketball coach to define a “runner.’’
■ They are unknowns that agents use to get in the heads of players and potentially convince stars to settle on a particular representative.
■ Now, the problem with runners is front and center. A middleman, Rodney Blackstock, allegedly arranged $10,000 in cash payments to Ben McLemore’s AAU coach, Darius Cobb.
LAWRENCE — The Kansas golf team could not go into the Big 12 Golf Championships with much greater momentum.
The Jayhawks are coming off their first team title since 2010 after claiming the Hawkeye Invitational earlier this month in Iowa City, Iowa.
That breakthrough, however, was nothing first-year coach Jamie Bermel championed as an immediate goal.
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LAWRENCE — The concept for the Gridiron Club is dead.
Sheahon Zenger officially killed the proposed addition to the east side of Memorial Stadium shortly after taking over as Kansas athletic director.
Yet in a sense, Zenger facilitated his own, more sensible, stadium makeover with the development of Rock Chalk Park.
Nothing is official yet. The groundbreaking, however, was unofficially conducted this weekend at the 86th Kansas Relays.
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Musings at the mid-week:
■ The prospect that intrigues me about Bill Self is coaching longevity. At Kansas.
■ Through 10 seasons he is averaging 30 wins, sitting at 300 exactly. Phog Allen holds the KU coaching record with 590.
■ Rather than bandy about Self’s name for the NBA, how about he coaches at KU long enough to be its winningest coach?
■ He quickly dismisses any questions about win totals, and records, but at this pace …
■ I liked it when he expressed confidence about next season despite losing five starters.
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LAWRENCE — Senior night without the senior was conducted again Tuesday at Kansas.
When underclassmen declare for the NBA draft, they join Bill Self and speak at cameras and recorders.
The exercise is not as frightful as engaging 16,300 in Allen Fieldhouse. Then again, what’s at stake can be.
Is Ben McLemore ready? We all wonder. Which means he falls — loosely — into the same category as a couple of other recent one-and-dones for the Jayhawks, Josh Selby and Xavier Henry.
ARLINGTON, Texas — The call, as it turned out, perhaps did not favor Kansas.
The Jayhawks may have been better off had Elijah Johnson been whistled for a flagrant two and been ejected.
The senior point guard never collected himself completely Friday in Cowboys Stadium.
Yet for the longest time, it did not matter. Kansas was in control. The Jayhawks’ experience, fortitude and talent pushed the lead against Michigan into double figures.
ARLINGTON, Texas — Ben McLemore missed a dunk at the end of the shoot-around Kansas engaged in Thursday at Cowboys Stadium.
The basketball forcefully caromed off the rim to halfcourt.
McLemore then missed another slam to begin a dunking exhibition coach Bill Self staged for fans to end the Jayhawks’ public practice for teams in the South Regional of the NCAA Tournament.