Bill Self never planned to cut down the nets at Gallagher-Iba Arena had Kansas won at Oklahoma State on Saturday. He never said as much, either.
But that didn’t stop Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart from implying, during a postgame interview on ESPN, that the Cowboys had seen such a quote from the KU coach.
“Before the game, the coaches showed us a quote,“ Smart said in a televised interview on ESPN. “Bill Self said he was coming here, cutting down our nets, and he was going to win it outright in Stillwater. And we couldn’t let that happen in our house.”
In the hours after the game, Self had plenty of time to watch ESPN during KU’s bus ride back to Lawrence. He heard Smart’s quote and, well he’s not sure where it came from.
“We had a long bus ride on the way back because of weather, so I got a chance to watch ESPN maybe five or six times,” Self said. “That was disturbing seeing that. I don’t know where he got that information, and that’s not for me to answer.
“But certainly 100 percent false. There was never one thing ever uttered out of my mouth to talk about ever doing anything on anybody’s else’s floor.”
On the Big 12 teleconference, Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford said nobody on the Cowboys’ staff brought up the idea of KU cutting down the nets. In Ford’s view, Smart was probably equating the idea of KU celebrating an outright Big 12 championship in Stillwater with a ceremonial net-cutting.
“He probably just equated something along those lines,” Ford said.
In a bit of a twist, Kansas still won the Big 12 outright on Saturday after Iowa State fell at K-State and Texas lost to Oklahoma. But even if KU would have won on Saturday, Self says he wouldn’t have bothered cutting down the nets on the road.
“We’ve won (the Big 12) a few years in a row, and I don’t know if we’ve ever cut down nets at home,” Self said of KU’s streak of 10 straight Big 12 championships. “Maybe we did once.”