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Saturday, December 30, 2006

Jayhawks relish busy slate

KU 1-1, URI 0-2 against common opponents

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Two games in three nights is not too many for Kansas University's basketball players.

"It's always good to play games. It gets you ready for league play when things get pretty busy," said KU junior guard Russell Robinson, eager to step on the court for today's nonconference clash against Rhode Island.

Tip for the matchup between the No. 9-rated Jayhawks (11-2) and unranked Rams (7-6) is 7 p.m. in Allen Fieldhouse with a live telecast on channels 27 and 38 and replay at 10:30 p.m. on Cable Channel Six.

"We need to get in the mindset we have to come to play hard every game. The goal is to come out with enthusiasm, to be focused, and if we get a team down play harder, be focused the entire game."

He and his teammates were not impressed with the Jayhawks' lack of killer instinct in a 63-43 victory over Detroit Mercy on Thursday night.

KU, which was up 16-3 early, led by just four with nine minutes to play.

"It was one of those days you come in here and want to get the game over quick. I don't know why. It's what I thought," KU sophomore Brandon Rush said after scoring nine points and playing tough defense against the Titans despite feeling the effects of the flu.

"I think it's important to be real consistent every time you step on the floor. Whoever we play, lower or bigger competition, you have to be ready to play," Rush added.

The Jayhawks have admitted to not being 100 percent focused in a home loss to Oral Roberts, road setback versus DePaul as well as not-so-impressive victories over Ball State, Toledo and Detroit.

"We will not play great all the time. It's been pretty evident this year," KU coach Bill Self said. "We did that last year, too, but if the other team doesn't score you will not lose too many games."

KU's defense, which held down Detroit, tonight faces a team that averages 78.7 points a game and allows 79.5.

The two teams have a pair of common opponents. DePaul defeated KU, 64-57, on Dec. 2 in Chicago and stopped the Rams, 89-81, 14 days later in Kingston, R.I. Boston College defeated the Rams, 86-68, on Nov. 25 in Boston but fell to the Jayhawks, 84-66, last Saturday in Allen Fieldhouse.

Rhode Island has defeated Stonehill, Alaska-Fairbanks, Centenary, Iona, Brown, Utah and Boston University and also lost to Houston, Troy, Providence and Ohio.

The Rams' last game was a 97-69 loss to Ohio on Wednesday in Athens, Ohio. It marked the fourth time in six games the Rams allowed an opponent to score more than 80 points.

"There's not much to say. Our defense was not good at all," guard Jimmy Baron, son of R.I. head coach Jim Baron, told the Providence Journal.

The Rams fell behind, 22-5, in playing their first road game in over three weeks.

"One of our biggest challenges has been on the road with some many young and inexperienced guys," said coach Baron, whose squad has won at Alaska-Fairbanks and lost at Ohio, BC and Providence.

Comments

Joe Ross 14 years, 11 months ago

http://www.onetruemedia.com/otm_site/view_shared?p=1cfc9145581b88a5529e0d&skin_id=0&utm_source=otm&utm_medium=text_url

Quotes of the season to this point are found in this article:

Russell Robinson: "We need to get in the mindset we have to come to play hard every game. The goal is to come out with enthusiasm, to be focused, and if we get a team down play harder, be focused the entire game."

(AMEN!)

Brandon Rush: "I think it's important to be real consistent every time you step on the floor. Whoever we play, lower or bigger competition, you have to be ready to play," Rush added.

(AMEN AGAIN)

Okay, the good news is at least they KNOW it! Let's hope for a good showing tonight. League play is just around the corner...

GIHAWK 14 years, 11 months ago

"It was one of those days you come in here and want to get the game over quick. I don't know why. It's what I thought," KU sophomore Brandon Rush said.

Wow Brandon. That says it all on why we struggle against inferior teams.

jaybate 14 years, 11 months ago

"We will not play great all the time. It's been pretty evident this year. We did that last year, too, but if the other team doesn't score you will not lose too many games."--Bill Self

Herein lies the reason for the early exits. In the tourney, the other team DOES score some nights no matter how much you get in their jocks on defense. For this reason, you better be able to score a bushel of points even on your off nights. Defense can't carry a team in the trey era. Offense can't carry a team in the trey era. You have to be pretty good at both EVERY night, rather than up and down on offense and constantly stingy on defense. The game changed. The teams that go far do a pretty good job on offense and defense every night.

Saad Saifeddine 14 years, 11 months ago

Jaybate: I couldn't agree more!! It's pathetic that a coach plays "not to lose" instead of playing to "WIN" Way to go Self!!

Saad Saifeddine 14 years, 11 months ago

Self's offense has always been and will always be inconsistent and UGLY, we unfortunately just need to get used to the FACT that KU's offense will look that way as long as Self is here. I don't care how many games we win, but "tradition-rich" KU deserves more that just ugly wins. We were used to watching fun-to-watch basketball, and we will never get that with Self. That being said, firing Self is NOT the solution, simply because there is not a better coach available right now!

Saad Saifeddine 14 years, 11 months ago

maybe Self just relies on defense too much, at the expense of our offense!

Sanity 14 years, 11 months ago

Imagine that! Readers seem to know it all.

Not one word from any reader about Rush's Lunch through and IV. What we saw on the court in fromt of the Detroit coach, was discussed hourly all night long by some players on their great white telephones.

Is it even remotely possible to imagine that half of our top 6 players had a little less lift in their shots, due to the same flu that prevented their opposing coach from even sitting alongside the court while they chased Cotton et al moving around screens like a pinball.

I guess the saad poster with the license to be blind, calls it the way he sees it. It takes a lot less knowledge to watch two players running a fast break than it does to learn what is actually happening in the Bill Self offense. The tougher the competition becomes late in March, the less the easy breaks are open. If he or she wishes to have fun watching this team's journey to success, why not take the time to rent Selfs videos. Of course he would have to stop wagging his jaw long enough to watch them , in order to find out how shallow his knowledge currently is.

Saadly, neither is likely to happen.

Saad Saifeddine 14 years, 11 months ago

Wow!!!! "sanity", that has to be the most worthless, "argument-less" comment I have seen on this board. Oh yeah... I forgot, you're the "know it all" BBall expert :) Pathetic!!

FlaHawk 14 years, 11 months ago

This years team is an very inconsistent enigma. Normally, a team plays well above their level about 10% of the time and well bellow their level about 10% of the time with the other 80% being their NORM.

So far this teams NORM is sort of insulting, but they have only played stiffs (my definiition of a team likely not to make NCAAs - Div I), other than Florida.

Maybe they will meature/peak during BigXII play or during BigXII tourney or better yet the NCAAs!

ralsterKUMed95 14 years, 11 months ago

Yet more wisdom quoting from above: "...you better be able to score a bushel of points even on your off nights..." What would be the writer's definition of 'off night'? I do appreciate the point he is trying to make--if someone is cold, then a teammate needs to step up and score (as we all would like to see....). I like the coached chalkboard plays coming out of timeouts--they seem to work 70-80% of the time, so coach is trying. The Boys just have to recognize the hot hand (and the cold one), because we seem to have enough ball handlers as well as proven scorers to keep our machine grinding even the tough games. As far as winning pretty or ugly, sure we all love the flawless performances for a solid 40min, but I will take a W anytime, anyhow.

ralsterKUMed95 14 years, 11 months ago

From the TV broadcast: "...these players LIKE to run, and Coach Self has told them he would like to see even more of that..." I think this team is laying a very broad foundation with good depth to boot. We pass well (too well?) in the half-court offense, everyone has seen the transition highlights, and who doesn't appreciate the defensive effort & steals & blocks done very consistently. I am looking forward to BigXII play to see how far we can take this...

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