Wednesday, November 1, 2006


Keegan: KU needs Ds to bring A games


Statistics are like silly putty. You can do whatever you want with them.

For example, to demonstrate New York Knicks point guard Stephon Marbury is a good basketball player, cite his scoring and assist numbers and ignore the fact he dribbles away so much of the shot clock he's going to have a hand in nearly every basket his team scores.

To tell the truth about Marbury, cite the win-loss record of the teams he leaves and note that almost always his former team improves while his current team falls apart.

Liars figure and figures lie.

Nonetheless, stats can be entertaining. (So can silly putty, come to think of it.)

With Sasha Kaun (knee) and C.J. Giles (this, that, and the other) not available, Darnell Jackson will fill many of the minutes at the center spot for Kansas University. A study of last season's numbers reveals Giles (14.6 points, 11.4 rebounds per 40 minutes), Jackson (16.4, 12.8) and Kaun (16.9, 11) scored and rebounded at roughly the same rates.

Jackson (.769) was a far better free-throw shooter than either Giles (.588) or Kaun (.535) a year ago.

Moving from taking uncontested shots to contesting shots, Jackson falls to the bottom. In 351 minutes, Jackson blocked three shots. Another way to put that would be to say he blocked a shot every 117 minutes. Giles averaged 3.4 blocked shots per 40 minutes, Kaun 2.3 per 40.

"I'm going to have to drink some of C.J.'s water," Jackson said. "Hopefully, I can get longer arms from that and go block a couple of shots for him."

In the past decade or so, the word "long" has been used to describe players who used to be known as "tall with long arms." Jackson is tall, 6-foot-9 to be exact, and he's wide, but he never has been described as long. His range, for a center, is long. His coach, Bill Self, repeatedly has raved about his jumpshot.

Audio clips

2006-07 October 31 ku hoopsters

"I think he's come a long ways offensively," Self said of Jackson. "Defensively, I can't say that. He's a good shooter. Darnell can do a lot of good things, but my biggest concern is rebounding the ball and having a low-post presence and impacting the game on the defensive end by not giving up easy baskets and changing or altering shots, and that's an area he's got to get a lot better in."

Jackson will share minutes at center with freshman Darrell Arthur, a natural power forward with a small-forward designation in his NBA future. An explosive leaper, Arthur has shot-blocking potential.

"I'm enjoying the more minutes I'm going to get, but looking to the side and knowing Sasha's not going to come get you when you're out there on the court breathing for air, we're going to miss him," Jackson said.

If Julian Wright plays 30 minutes, that would leave Jackson and Arthur splitting the remaining 50 minutes in the post. Foul trouble could mean playing time for walk-on Matt Kleinmann.

Of guarding centers, the 6-9 Arthur said: "Pretty hard, but I'll just move my feet a lot. Coach says I have the skills of a 5 because I move my feet. So I'll just use my footwork to try to guard him and we'll do a lot of trapping also. I'll just try to beat 'em up and down the court, try to get 'em tired. I get tired a lot, but we have to step it up because we only have four posts instead of six."

There will be no impatient clamoring for this freshman to play more minutes.


William James 13 years, 2 months ago

Keegan. KU has 3 games left, they need 2 to go bowling. Who gives a hoot about the KU/Washburn basketball game. I saw your headline and thought it was going to be about the game in Ames this weekend.

actorman 13 years, 2 months ago

Fabio, I believe you're a little unclear on the concept. KU is a BASKETBALL school, hence when BASKETBALL season is about to start, the BASKETBALL game is of interest to a lot of people.

There are plenty of things being written about the football team, but that doesn't mean that EVERY article has to be about football, especially not when BASKETBALL season is starting.

Bob Zielinski 13 years, 2 months ago

KU wins this weekend at iowa state. KU has been close on the road and iowa state is so injured and inept on both sides of the ball KU is going to win by 14. great job though being a one sport jayhawk supporter. KU may just shake up mizzou yet again. football and mangino are making huge strides if you would look at the big picture.

tdub 13 years, 2 months ago

HUGE STRIDES? Is that what you call the A&M game.... or OSU game.... or the f'in Baylor game! If by huge strides you mean going to a trash bowl every year and running all your quarterbacks into the ground then I would have to agree. I love KU football, but it will never amount to anything under Mangino. Ready or not, basketball starts tomorrow and our boys are gonna make some noise this year, so you better deal with it.

Leprechaunking13 13 years, 2 months ago

You must have loved KU with Terry Allen then huh? Mangino has had more success in his short time here than most KU football coaches ever had. You are the KU fan I lump with the Bill Self haters, KU football is 8 plays from being 8 and 1. Ever think about the fact that the defensive co-ordinator is to blame for bad play on defense Mangino has a whole team to run, look at the big picture the foundation put down for next years team is rediculous they'll compete to win the north title next year and they should have this year. A bowl berth is a bowl berth there are many teams that don't get to go to a bowl at all, and there have been many many many years that KU has been that team that didn't get to go. A bowl game is another game on television which will help recruitment even more. Everyone knows that the basketball team is gonna make noise so why would we need to deal with it everyone is pumped and no one but misery fans and KSU fans need to deal with it and you sort of sound like a bushwhacker to me tdub.

GIHAWK 13 years, 2 months ago

"Football season has been over for weeks. Move on. It's hoops time and that's all I want to hear about. A lot of people must agree with me because that's why we're seeing basketball coverage.

Oh, and much like gravity exists, KU doesn't win conference road games. Loss this weekend and at Mizzou, guaranteed."

Its time for you to "move on" since you are only a bandwagon football fan. I bet you were one of the lamebrains that says "wait till basketball season". Sure, to lose in the first round of the NCAAs...

Leprechaunking13 13 years, 2 months ago

I like how everyone fails to remember that we have beat misery 3 years in a row this most likely will be the 4th even if we don't mizzou has been on all year and as long as we beat iowa st. and Kstate we're going bowling, I'd just rather win all 3 of these to better our record from last year(as long as we win the bowl game if we go)

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