Thursday, May 17, 2012

Beyond The Phog by Jason King

Since the turn of the century, not many college basketball teams in the country have enjoyed success quite like Kansas. Winning the 2088 national championship was certainly the highlight, but the most dominant era in school history also includes a national-best 300 wins, three Finals Fours and nine Big 12 titles since 2001.
The consistency was unmatched.
As a sportswriter covering the Jayhawks, first for The Kansas City Star and then for Yahoo! Sports, Jason King was there to chronicle it all. From Roy Williams’ stunning departure to Mario’s Miracle against Memphis to Kansas’ 69-game winning streak at Allen Fieldhouse, King witnessed all the highlights – and lowlights – from 2000 and beyond. In short, he was the ultimate insider.
Now you will be, too.
With Beyond The Phog, King provides Kansas fans with an unprecedented glimpse into one of the most memorable eras in the program’s rich history. Extensive interviews with nearly 40 players from the last decade, as well as both head coaches, reveal fascinating details about the inner workings of a true college basketball dynasty.
You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll be riveted – and, at times, shocked. Whatever the case, even the most ardent Kansas supporters will be exposed to candid, behind-the-scenes stories and anecdotes that, until now, had been confined to the Jayhawks’ locker room.

I debated on whether or not I should post a review for this book, but ultimately I figured why not?! Now, one thing you should know about me is that I am a huge sports fan; I am also a die-hard KU fan. I read this book when it first came out about a year ago, but I figured there was no harm in posting my review. Yes, I am a biased KU fan. Yes, I cry when KU basketball loses a game. Yes, I have trained to hate Missouri since I was a little kid. BUT…I appreciate sports, and even if this book wasn’t about KU basketball I would be tempted to read it; unless it was about Mizzou. You couldn’t pay me enough to read anything about anything to do with Mizzou. I digress.

This is an insider view on the most dominant decade in Kansas basketball history with interviews from prominent players and both head coaches, Roy Williams and Bill Self. Now...I love to see the camaraderie between both former and current players, as well as the coach-player relationships. The individual chapters for each player give you an insight to what they thought of their fellow players, the coaches, and how they managed to pass the time when they weren’t in class or on the court. As a KU student, I know how the basketball players are treated off the court; they are celebrities in Lawrence, Kansas. They get free drinks, free cover at any club or bar, and have girls throwing themselves at them. In Beyond The Phog, they admit that being a basketball player does have its perks in regards to girls and social life.

I loved reading about Bill Self’s boot camp, the locker room vibe at halftime of big games, finding out who the jokesters were on each team…all of it. The one thing that just crushed me was reading the chapters of players involved in the heartbreaking NCAA tourney losses; Nick Collison and Kirk Hinrich talking about the loss to Syracuse (which still stings 8 years later by the way), both first round losses to Bucknell and Bradley, and Brady Morningstar and Tyrel Reed discuss the feeling in the locker room after their VCU loss.

If you are a college basketball fan and enjoy reading about the dynasties, I know you’ll enjoy this book. I am a KU fan, so I am completely biased but this book is just awesome. Rock Chalk Jayhawk.

Purchase on Amazon Kindle

No comments:

Post a Comment