Gregg Marshall's made some headlines a few times in the past few months over his willingness to play Kansas and Kansas State in a series -- only to have those schools pass on the invite. It's a strong, smart move on behalf of Marshall, who looks like the good guy trying to better his program and college hoops by scheduling better games.
Most recently, Marshall said on national radio that he didn't blame KU's Bill Self and K-State's Bruce Weber for not wanting a home-and-home arrangement between their schools and the Shockers. Well, not so fast. Even though Self doesn't seem close to considering a Wichita State-Kansas series, Weber is open-minded about the idea.
“I'm not against it,” Weber said of potentially setting up a game with Wichita State, which so far this season is undefeated and ranked No. 6. “But scheduling is one of the most difficult things about coaching. I don't think people have any idea how hard it is. It might be more difficult than even recruiting.”
According to Weber, it would not be wise to jump at a game with Wichita State unless the circumstances are just right. He said he and K-State administrators talked last spring about the possibility of trying to set up a game with the Shockers at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.
“I did all the scheduling at Purdue when I was an assistant there to Gene Keady and he told me then, when I was young, that scheduling was more important than recruiting. But I like things that are good for basketball.”
This absolutely would be. Good programs playing each other in November and December -- preferably with on-campus games -- is the best of early season college hoops. Marshall just wants decent options on the games. He won't do a two-for-one, meaning two games at K-State and only one at Wichita State. He's said playing a game at the Sprint Center is within reason.
Maybe next year's too tough -- K-State plays in Maui and will have a beefy non-con schedule -- but the 2015-16 campaign could be a good time to start.
The Shockers and Wildcats have played 31 times over the years, with KSU owning a 20-11 series lead. The most recent meeting came in 2003.