Friday, March 23, 2007

Kansas basketball notebook


No. 1 seed Kansas University has advanced to an Elite Eight meeting against No. 2-seeded UCLA, a 64-55 winner over Pitt on Thursday night.

Game time will be 6:05 p.m. Saturday.

UCLA is one of the toughest defensive teams in the country.

"This game will prepare us for that game," Russell Robinson said of KU's 61-58 victory over SIU.

"We're playing UCLA. Tough, tough team," Brandon Rush said of his brother JaRon's former school.

Coach Bill Self said: "This wasn't the toughest region to get up and down in," he said of a running game. "It's a grind-it-out region. UCLA under coach (Ben) Howland has a great defensive team and can score the ball as well. We definitely have our work cut out."

¢ Off night for Collins: Freshman point guard Sherron Collins had two points, one assist and three turnovers in 23 minutes.

"Tonight he wasn't himself. His knee was bothering him," Self said of Collins' swollen left knee, which has bothered him off and on the last several weeks. "He should excel in a game like that against pressure."

Collins said the Salukis had a tough defense to crack.

"They had great defense," Collins said, "but most of the trouble was caused by ourselves. We tried to move too fast."

"Our bench saved the day," Collins added, noting Rodrick Stewart had nine solid minutes, with Julian Wright, Mario Chalmers and Rush sitting out the last five minutes of the first half with two fouls.

"Our bench did a great job holding it down until the starters could come back."

¢ Sasha sits: Sasha Kaun scored two points with a rebound in 11 minutes. He played just three minutes the second half, with Darnell Jackson (eight points, five boards) and Darrell Arthur (nine points, two boards) having big games.

"We knew Sasha was going to have a hard time in this game because they were just so little and so fast," sophomore Chalmers said. "Shady and Darnell gave us great minutes."

"It's a a hard game for Sasha to play," Self confirmed. "Shady and Darnell were both great."

Kaun said he was fine with the coach's decision. "Our bench was great," Kaun said, noting he was fine health-wise. "I'm just an old man."

¢ Glad he returned: Rush, who scored 12 points off 6-of-6 shooting, was just happy to be in HP Pavilion.

He came awfully close to declaring for the NBA Draft after his freshman season, he indicated.

"I had a talk with my grandma and my mother and brother (Kareem), and they told me they wanted me to come back," he said. "If it was up to me, I would have gone. I'm happy I came back. We're in the Elite Eight."

¢ Nice throws: Jackson hit a pair of free throws with 1:44 left that gave KU a four-point lead.

"I always say I make them for my mother, my grandmother and my friend, Don Davis," he said of his father figure in Edmond, Okla.

Jackson said his other father figure, Self, fired up the team at halftime and the second half.

Audio clips

2006-07 March 22 KU-SIU Hoops

"Coach Self kept telling us, 'Be ready to hit. Don't cry about it. Just keep on moving,''' Jackson said.

¢ Tubby talk: Self on his buddy, Tubby Smith, leaving Kentucky for Minnesota.

"I don't know his situation inside-out," Self said. "I hope he made the decision based on what he wanted. He is a great coach, one of the best in the country. He's a good friend."

Self was asked by a reporter if he'd be the next Kentucky coach.

"That," Self said, "will not happen."

¢ Preparation: KU's recent practices helped prepare for the Salukis' pressure.

"We had two practices where the defense was grabbing, fouling, trapping," Rush said. "This game was just like that, except they weren't intentionally grabbing."


b_asinbeer 11 years, 1 month ago

"This game was just like that, except they weren't intentionally grabbing."

So you're saying that the refs did not call fouls as often as they should have? :-D

mcoan 11 years, 1 month ago

"Kansas had a distinct height advantage on the Salukis, but SIU won the battle of the boards, 31-26. The Salukis had an incredible 17 offensive rebounds."

The above is from, the newspaper in Carbondale, IL.

How on EARTH do you get outrebounded by a smaller team? Was it a lack of toughness by the Hawks? I think we got outplayed in pretty much every way. Whew.

I suggest that other J-W posters do the sportsman-like thing and visit to post some good comments about the Salukis. That is a heckuva team, and very well coached. I will fear them if we ever have to play them again.

We would have lost the game for sure had it occured at any time in 2006.

doctorWho 11 years, 1 month ago

I have to agree, the rebounding problem was disturbing.

Still, you have to ask where those rebounds come from.

SIU was shooting - and missing - a lot of threes, which usually results in long rebounds. SIU had 25 3-pt attempts of which they only made 6. (KU was 1 for 6 for 3 point attempts).

You can credit KU's defense for such a dismal three-point shooting percentage by the SIU.

KUDB99 11 years, 1 month ago

Hell with that mcoan. Those MO Valley goons need to slither back to whatever rock they crawled out from under. Whatever they were playing last night sure wasn't basketball. It's a total, cheap, degradation of what basketball is, and the Ref's and the rules comittee shouldn't let them get away with it. If I want to watch football, I go to a football game, if I want to watch basketball, I go to a basketball game.

Did they hussle, you bet. Did they scrap, you bet. Were they cheap shot artists and goons, you bet. I'm sick and tired of everyone saying that we should give the "Valley" their due. If the only way the valley can compete is to grab and clutch, goon and thug, street brawl and foul, then the only thing the Valley is due is my and every other basketball fan's derision.

hawkidoc 11 years, 1 month ago

Check out the official UCLA Bruins website.

It appears that they have overlooked the next game against the Hawks. It lists "last event...victory over Pitt" and "next event...Final Four in Atlanta".

Here's to hoping / expecting the Jayhawks to stick it to them and their arrogance.

JNgohawks 11 years, 1 month ago

I am so excited for Saturday. In my feable memory, I think we have beaten UCLA the last two times we played - just like Kentucky (now it is three). I hope to make it three in a row for UCLA!

hometownhawk 11 years, 1 month ago

Wow, that is pretty arrogant of the Bruins. KUDB99, I think you're going a little overboard with your criticism of S. Illinois. I personally love to see an in-your-face, physical style of defense (e.g. OURS), and I thought both teams played with class.

ralsterKUMed95 11 years, 1 month ago

Yeah, peculiar comment by Rush, and it is debatable if he is 'ready' even after this year (however you wish to define 'ready'). He better put up some Acie Law or Durant numbers, especially in these big Tourney games if he wants to push his stock up (and help us in a major way). VERY cool point by jaybate about Ju and Rod sharing the 3 spot if Rush leaves: and incoming 7ft Aldrich would plug into the bigman rotation for the 4 and 5 positions: immediate playing time...although, I personally wish Brandon back for 1 final season, as he brings a lot to the court, and we are discussing here how it would take 2 players to replace his overall skill set(!) although a bench surprise could be Roderick, who at different times has shown flashes of the entire repertoire: 3s, nasty defense, rebounding, and that small forward size of 6-4 or 6-5. I have seen him try to slash and shoot a jumper (vs SIU), and try to finish with monster jam (garbage minutes conf. game). A Langford sized Rush? Just food for thought...

hawkitup 11 years, 1 month ago

Was anybody else concerned with Rush's comment about wanting to declare for the NBA last year except his family advised him otherwise? To me, it sounds like their might be a good chance at him bolting after this year given the success we've had in the tourney. I really hope he doesn't because I really want to see everybody back next year.

JNgohawks 11 years, 1 month ago

I wrote a big comment on that but then decided to save it for after the tournament, I am sure that is what Rush is focusing on now.

muffaletta 11 years, 1 month ago

If we win the championship, let him go. He's not ready, but good luck to him.

If we don't, what the hell!

Joe Ross 11 years, 1 month ago

Roderick Stewart??? Roderick Stewart is a glorified Michael Lee. I really doubt seeing Rod with any consistency from trifectaville. Doubt very seriously!

jaybate 11 years, 1 month ago

Rush is gone. Hope Coach Self picks up a wing somewhere soon. If he doesn't, Julian and Rod Stewart may wind up sharing the the three, which wouldn't be all that bad.

ralsterKUMed95 11 years, 1 month ago

About SIU rebounding edge: That +17 offensive rebounds is all that kept them in the game. I bet SIU is asking themselves what they got for all that rebounding. Well they could NOT shoot over our defense very well at all. And we did something right as our shot selection led us to a 60% FG shooting night--one of our BEST FG% of the year. 6 less turnovers (to our avg of 13)would have given us about 7 more points and I would have liked us to have made 2 more FTs late--and voila!--70pts... Our FT shooting only was an issue since the game was so close. Still bothers me, even if many coaches will say that their team will "make 'em when it counts"--maybe so, but still makes me nervous. All in all a slightly subpar outing by the Boys, mainly because of the turnovers and the FT-issue. In the mix is some credit to SIUs well-honed defense. Not all bad, as we got the W, and showed some toughness yet again. Gonna need above average games from here on.

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