Sunday, December 13, 2009

La Salle awestruck

The Kansas Jayhawks trot across the Sprint Center court, warming up before taking on LaSalle, Saturday, Dec. 12, 2009.

The Kansas Jayhawks trot across the Sprint Center court, warming up before taking on LaSalle, Saturday, Dec. 12, 2009.


Audio clips

2009 KU-La Salle

Reader poll

Which Jayhawk's stat line were you most happy with against La Salle?

  • Xavier Henry's 31 points on 10-for-15 shooting 31% 713 votes
  • Tyshawn Taylor's 6 assists and 0 turnovers 28% 653 votes
  • Markieff Morris' 12 rebounds and four blocks 13% 305 votes
  • Cole Aldrich's 19 points on 8-for-10 shooting 26% 613 votes

2284 total votes.

GameDay Cram Session: La Salle online editor Jesse Newell and Journal-World sports writer Matt Tait take a look at what to expect from the Kansas basketball team's matchup against La Salle.

— La Salle coach John Giannini wasn’t afraid to play the comparison game with Kansas University after his team’s 90-65 loss Saturday at the Sprint Center.

“We played two Final Four teams last year. We’ve played Villanova already this year,” Giannini said. “I think (the Jayhawks) are the best team we’ve played in a long time.”

Giannini, in his sixth season at La Salle, said he had seen few teams as talented as this year’s KU squad.

“Watching them on tape, I don’t think they had any weaknesses,” Giannini said. “They have a point guard who can make plays. They have guys who can shoot it. They have guys who can shoot inside. They defend hard. I think they’re really good.”

La Salle lost by 25 even after holding KU preseason All-American Sherron Collins to one of his worst games.

Collins had just five points on 1-for-12 shooting — his worst total since scoring five against Davidson in 2008 — but teammate Xavier Henry responded with a career-high 31 points.

“That’s going to happen. Some day Henry’s going to shoot 1-for-10. That’s what having a really good team is about,” Giannini said. “It’s going to be flip-flopped sometime. That’s what makes them good.”

Giannini said his assessment of the Jayhawks would be different if he were on the other bench.

“If I’m coaching them, I don’t want them to think that they’re that good,” Giannini said. “I want to keep them driven. I want to point out their shortcomings. I want to make them feel like they’ve got to keep doing everything possible right to win the next game.

“But as an opposing coach, I’m just telling you, they’re really good.”

La Salle forward Jerrell Williams, who scored a career-high 21 points against KU, agreed with his coach’s assessment of the Jayhawks.

“They’re a great team. Coach told us when we came back that he’d never seen a team play better,” Williams said. “They have a lot of good players. We just came out here and gave our best shot.”

Giannini even talked aloud about the possibility of KU going undefeated.

“Can they lose? Absolutely. No one’s gone undefeated since 1976,” Giannini said. “They probably will lose at some point. But they’re really good.”


Chris Shaw 10 years, 9 months ago

Giannini is a heck of a coach and I wouldn't be surprised at all if La Salle was in the Big Dance. They will have their work cut out for them in A-10, but they were expected to be Top 4 so hopefully a game like this will prepare them for their journey.

thmdmph 10 years, 9 months ago

Coach Giannini, thanks for undoing what HCBS has been trying to do all season long in just one interview by letting the KU team know they're that good. Now, KU's going to lose against Michigan because they'll stop working hard. Thanks.

jayhawkkav 10 years, 9 months ago

Come on thmdmph... we both know that is not going to happen.

Martin Rosenblum 10 years, 9 months ago

For some reason, when I saw Nick's photo on this article, I heard the Chariots of Fire theme song in my head.

I like the perspective and the LaSalle players staring at our guys.

JJHAWK 10 years, 9 months ago

My KU BB dreams are not 'if' or 'how many' where losses are concerned - but 'when'. No season ending loss - I hope, I hope.
To paraphrase a well know sportscaster: "Last six in a row, baby!"

As a long time KU BB fan, I am really impressed by the team HCBS and his staff has put together.

Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

thmdmph 10 years, 9 months ago

jayhawkkav, I'm sure you knew, but I was just kidding there with Coach Giannini's statement and KU's not working hard.

Eurekahwk 10 years, 9 months ago

Giannini covered his bases. He said if he was coaching the team, he would tell them they are not very good.

Joe Baker 10 years, 9 months ago

Giannini even talked aloud about the possibility of KU going undefeated. for the vote of confidence coach and you're a heck of a coach.

TT is good and I would never argue anything different. The question isn't can he play? The question is can he achieve and maintain consistency? I can understand a bad game once in a while. I want to believe this will be the proverbial "corner" and he's finally turned. I hope he remembers this game and how well he played. He was efficient, balanced and extremely loose. He can do this every game by playing within himself. He had a few poor shot selections but looked really controlled. I thought the pass behind his back was a little risky, but it worked! HCBS would have come completely unglued if they botched it (I believe it was X or Mk that flushed the pass).

Right now X seems to be our constant. He hasn't varied much in his play after these last few games. Xtra consistency! The Twins are getting better. SC was an off game. Cole needs to remain aggressive. I can't wait to see Withey!

Good game Hawks!

Beat Michigan...RCJHKU

jayhawker_97 10 years, 9 months ago

Dr. 'G': you have yourself a heckuva team out there. the twins, Green were good, too. the fact that Collins couldn't penetrate or make shots was contributed to how good your team played as well. add to your team a center like Parakhouski, then your team is just like KU's. it'll be tough to beat. good luck for the rest of the season.

rock chalk!

100 10 years, 9 months ago

Always nice to hear compliments from other teams....

Great guys, the LaSalle group....

One thing I noticed is our Jayhawk guys are really starting to pass it crisply & with enthusiasm -- it is contagious & it's fun!!!!

That, plain & simple is what it's all about. Passing, passing, passing. Also in conjunction with this, our ANGLES were so much better, whether we're talking about where the posts were receiving the passes or where the wings were catching their passes. The guys were actually working for position on the passes!!!!

As boring of a fundamental as this may sound, this is absolutely huge -- some teams (especially the second year team Self coached at KU, the preseason #1) didn't even appear to work on this skill once during the season other than passing over the top to Wayne, which was often stolen by a double team... & it really hurt us down the road, not only because the guards didn't pass it around, but because we were so shallow that our guys lost interest later in the season & didn't move for the ball with much enthusiasm...

It's all about enthusiasm & working hard in practice for a cause.... that 2005 team didn't have it (enthusiasm for practice)...

This team does!!!! It shows everytime we watch them play....

Our team this year already zaps the ball around & fights for position on receiving passes... I cannot emphasize enough how important this will be later on when the big games come -- especially for the wings... it's the difference between squeaking out wins against Texas & winning by 25 against the # 2 team in the nation (on their own court)... Angles are everything....

And for games, say against, big & athletic teams like Kentucky that aren't very deep, this will be the backbreaker for them... because if we haven't work angles in practice, they simply beat us by a few buckets...

But if we "control" a team like UK's defense (which works really hard & is ironically their worst enemy because they go full force or have to sit down for a sub, there's no in between), their running around chasing passes, not quite able to cut off our angles, will become very bothersome to their not nearly as deep (though very athletic) team....

This is where it's at later on.... angles, pass, angles, pass, angles, pass.... work on the angles, be conscious of the athletic defenders trying to steal the ball, use your body, even if you're a guard just like a box out at 25 feet & if the athletic defender is cheating, use your back door cuts or even fake them if your point guard knows the drill...

[continued below]

100 10 years, 9 months ago


We can absolutely control teams like UK with these simple fundamentals we've already seen Coach Self putting in place -- the reason it ends up really working well for us later on too is because we're 9 deep as many of you claim (although I seriously still think 15 deep, 17 deep if you include Self & Manning).... and let's face it, unlike nearly all other teams we will play, all 5 we have on the court can score in big bunches....

So back to the example -- after working UK's defense into submission for 20 seconds a possession, it's usually a quick pass over the top for an open alley oop, or CJ or X in the corner wide open for a three, followed by a Coal Train put back dunk...

Then, exhausted UK defenders hang their heads for a second & dribble drive their way up the court.... slowly but surely realizing, they are now on offense!! Luckily for them, John Wall has the ball... and he might score 25 points in the game!!! (Wow!!!!) All... by... himself.....

So thankful our kids are getting it -- TT had "zero" turnovers!!!!

Fundamentals, fundamentals, fundamentals....

"Angles Win Championships"


JayCeph 10 years, 9 months ago

'...talked aloud...'

What does this mean? Is there any other way (barring sign language)?

I think he meant 'mused' or 'thinking aloud' or something like that... weird.

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