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Originally published December 19, 2009 at 10:09a.m., updated December 19, 2009 at 02:05p.m.

FINAL: Despite a sloppy second half, KU holds off Michigan, 75-64

Kansas forward Xavier Henry soars in for a dunk over the Michigan defense during the second half, Saturday, Dec. 18, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Xavier Henry soars in for a dunk over the Michigan defense during the second half, Saturday, Dec. 18, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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KU vs. Michigan

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2009 KU-Michigan

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Reader poll

Which were you most disappointed in after KU's 75-64 win over Michigan?

  • KU's rebounding 18% 272 votes
  • KU's turnovers 77% 1138 votes
  • Undecided 4% 64 votes

1474 total votes.

Reader poll

Who was KU's first-half MVP against Michigan?

  • Sherron Collins 37% 3 votes
  • Marcus Morris 25% 2 votes
  • Cole Aldrich 12% 1 vote
  • Thomas Robinson 12% 1 vote
  • Tyrel Reed 12% 1 vote
  • Other 0% 0 votes

8 total votes.

GameDay Cram Session: Michigan

KUSports.com 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 Michigan

Reader poll

Do you think Jeff Withey will play in today's game?

  • Yes 53% 35 votes
  • No 40% 26 votes
  • Undecided 6% 4 votes

65 total votes.

KU scoring — Marcus Morris 23 (career high), Collins 19, X. Henry 15, Reed 6, Aldrich 5, Taylor 2, Morningstar 2, Robinson 2, Markieff Morris 1.

KU was 25-for-48 from the floor (52.1 percent), 6-for-19 from three (31.6 percent) and 19-for-26 from the free-throw line (73.1 percent).

UM was 24-for-67 from the floor (35.8 percent), 5-for-28 from three (17.9 percent) and 11-for-13 from the free-throw line (84.6 percent).

KU out-rebounded UM, 37-34. KU had 14 turnovers to Michigan’s 10.

FINAL: KU defeats UM, 75-64

Well, it wasn’t pretty, but despite a lackluster second half, KU closes out a 75-64 victory.

KU 71/UM 58 — 1:24 left in 2nd half

Collins swishes a tough, stepback jumper, and it should be a free-throw contest for KU the rest of the way.

Markieff Morris picks up his fifth foul in only nine minutes. Just one point, one rebound, one assist and one turnover for him today.

KU once again can’t seem to find an opening in the 1-3-1 zone, but Marcus Morris bails the Jayhawks out with a no-elevation three that swishes through from the deep corner.

After a missed three from Xavier Henry, Sims adds a layup in transition, and Michigan uses its final timeout.

KU 66/UM 55 — 3:09 left in 2nd half

Aldrich’s cross-court pass is stolen. The big man still doesn’t have a field goal (0-for-3) today.

Morningstar helps KU with its first successful lob that I can remember today, as his pass to Marcus Morris is dunked home.

Taylor is called for a questionable charge, and that’s his first turnover in a long, long time. Remember, he had six assists and no turnovers last game, and before that play, he had five assists and no turnovers today.

Aldrich can’t rip away a defensive rebound, and after a jump ball is called, Self shakes his head in frustration. I can’t tell for sure, but that looked to me like a “We need to be tougher” head shake.

Collins splits two defenders to get into the lane before hitting a short jumper. That’s only KU’s eighth field goal this half.

Morningstar somehow gets the ball away after getting double-teamed up high, and two passes later, Xavier Henry has an easy layup.

KU 60/UM 47 — 7:49 left in 2nd half

KU tries a lob pass against the 1-3-1, but Morningstar’s pass clangs off the front rim. The Jayhawks have been stymied by the defensive set.

Xavier Henry gets KU a much-needed bucket, hitting a three over a defender. I should point out that because KU had an inbounds pass under the basket, UM had to switch back to its man defense.

KU leaves Zack Gibson alone on an inbounds pass, and he puts in an uncontested layup under the basket. Self probably doesn’t have as many timeouts in this game as he’d like to have.

Robinson misses the front end of a one-and-one, but Marcus Morris tips in the putback. That, or he knocked a Michigan defender into the ball, which gave KU the two points.

Xavier Henry is fouled on a drive to the basket, and KU finally musters some offense against the 1-3-1 zone. Xavier makes just one of his two free-throw tries, though.

KU 52/UM 41 — 11:30 left in 2nd half

Collins stays in, but the turnovers continue to follow him. A bounce pass to Xavier Henry is stolen away (though it looked like Xavier Henry might have been fouled inside). That’s five turnovers for KU’s All-America candidate.

Manny Harris is left alone in the corner, and he swishes his third three. Self calls another timeout after the blown defensive assignment.

True to form, Michigan has hitched up a ton of threes (21) but hasn’t made a ton of them (five, 23.8 percent). The Wolverines came in making under 30 percent of their threes, but that didn’t stop them from attempting 25.4 per game.

Reed airballs a three, and after two Michigan offensive rebounds, the Fieldhouse is in its first “scared cheering mode” of the year. The fans are getting increasingly tense about this one, even with KU still up by 11.

KU 51/UM 36 — 15:10 left in 2nd half

Marcus Morris leaves a high-low lob well short of Aldrich, and the pass is stolen. KU’s assistants — along with Self — aren’t happy on the bench.

The ball sticks in Collins’ hands when Taylor would have had an open three attempt, and Collins instead drives the lane and picks up a charge for his fourth turnover. From the way Self jumped off the bench, it appears Collins might be coming out of the game again.

KU 49/UM 36 — 17:01 left in 2nd half

Michigan goes back to its man defense in transition, and Collins slices between two defenders for a short jumper.

After a made jumper by Michigan, though, the Wolverines set back up in their 1-3-1 trapping zone. Marcus Morris has a pass stolen, and KU can’t stop turning it over against the trap.

Aldrich does a good job of seeing players through a double-team, finding a cutting Xavier Henry for a slam.

KU’s best two ways of countering UM’s zone right now are to 1) don’t allow a Michigan made basket; or 2) sprint the ball up the court after a made basket to beat the Wolverines zone down the court. The Jayhawks certainly haven’t executed against it well so far.

• New KU football coach Turner Gill’s comments were brief but strong.

“You know that the basketball team has a great dynasty,” Gill said. “Our football staff is here to build another great dynasty.”

KU scoring — Collins 11, Marcus Morris 9, Reed 6, X. Henry 5, Aldrich 5, Taylor 2, Robinson 2, Morningstar 2.

KU was 13-for-27 from the floor (48.1 percent), 4-for-9 from three (44.4 percent) and 12-for-15 from the free-throw line (80 percent).

UM was 11-for-33 from the floor (33.3 percent), 3-for-13 from three (23.1 percent) and 6-for-6 from the free-throw line (100 percent).

Both KU and UM had five turnovers in the first half. KU out-rebounded UM, 21-16, in the first half.

KU 42/UM 31 — Halftime

Michigan finally gives its customary 1-3-1 zone a look, and Collins turns it over against a trap, as his bounce pass is knocked away and stolen.

Morningstar is guarding Harris now, and the UM guard is having trouble even getting the ball.

Another turnover by Collins against the 1-3-1 zone, as his pass is intercepted on the perimeter by Zack Novak. Aldrich goaltends a shot by DeShawn Sims, and Self catches the blocked ball in the air. Before letting go of the basketball, a perturbed Self asks for a timeout.

Collins can’t figure out this 1-3-1 zone. Again he lobs a horrible pass, and again it’s stolen. Darius Morris follows with an uncontested layup.

Collins hitches up a quick three that hits back iron, and on the other end, Morris swishes a three from the corner. Self calls his second timeout in 45 seconds to get Collins out of there.

Xavier Henry misses a three, and the late surge by Michigan has the Wolverines down only 11 at the half.

KU 41/UM 20 — 3:18 left in 1st half

Michigan comes out of the break with its first zone of the day, as the Wolverines set up in a 2-3 zone. Collins is fouled on a reach-in, and his two free throws push KU’s lead to 15.

Collins with a steal, and he puts in a quick layup in transition. Both Collins and Robinson wave their arms in the air, and many of the alums rise to their feet.

KU breaks the zone by getting the defense to collapse on Aldrich in the middle. Two quick passes later, Reed has an open three, and he swishes it through.

What a play by Taylor, who looked like a running back giving a shoulder fake left before dribbling around Laval Lucas-Perry to the right. Taylor finished with a scoop layup on his way back down from a jump, and the ball falls off the glass and through, drawing many “oohs” from the crowd. UM needs another timeout, this time down 20.

Reed with another zone-busting three. Give the assist to Taylor.

KU 27/UM 16 — 7:20 left in 1st half

Robinson with another great pass off the high-low, lobbing over the top to Marcus Morris for an easy lay-in.

Robinson has brought some energy to the defensive end as well, knocking the ball away for a steal up top before finishing with an uncontested, one-handed slam. Robinson screams out in delight, and KU has an 8-0 run.

Xavier Henry finally gets a left-handed layup in traffic to go down. He had started the game by missing his first four shots.

Marcus Morris with a quick baseline move, creating contact before putting in a shot high off the glass with a whistle. His free throw finishes off the three-point play, and Marcus is KU’s leading scorer with nine points.

After an Aldrich defensive rebound, KU runs in transition, with Taylor finding Xavier Henry on the wing. Though Collins was calling out for a skip pass, the senior can’t argue with the final result, as Xavier rises above a defender to rattle in a three. UM coach John Beilein calls timeout with his team down double digits for the first time today.

KU 14/UM 11 — 11:57 left in 1st half

Brady Morningstar checks in to a nice ovation at the 15:09 mark for his first action of the year. Self still elects to keep Xavier Henry on Michigan’s most dangerous offensive player Manny Harris.

KU has gotten to the free-throw line six times already against Michigan, and that’s a rare feat against the Wolverines. Opponents average just 11.8 free throws against Michigan this season. KU has started just 2-for-10 from the floor, though.

Xavier Henry hesitates a few times before finally getting the ball in the post to Thomas Robinson. The big man turns the touch into two points, driving before dumping the ball over the defense to Marcus Morris for a slam.

Morningstar follows with a long, pull-up jumper off the dribble, and after falling behind, 11-10, KU has regained a three-point edge.

KU 7/UM 7 — 15:31 left in 1st half

Two good plays by Tyshawn Taylor on KU’s second possession. In transition, he thought about taking it one-on-two toward the basket, but instead wisely backed it out. After Marcus Morris drew a double-team inside, Taylor quickly passed on the perimeter to Sherron Collins, who drained the three.

Collins penetrates into the lane and hits a short jumper. He starts today 2-for-2, and his 1-for-12 effort against La Salle seems like a distant memory.

Already, Cole Aldrich has three rebounds and one block. Michigan — with its tallest starter at 6-foot-8 — has no one to match up with him.

11:05 a.m.

KU coach Bill Self with a green tie for the green game. Nice.

The crowd is juiced for this one. It's loud in here already.

11:02 a.m.

New KU football coach Turner Gill is on the front row of the south student section with about eight recruits and their families.

Gill will be officially introduced as KU's new football coach at halftime.

10:56 a.m.

Here's a quick note about Michigan's 6-foot-5 guard Manny Harris, who comes in leading the Wolverines with 22.2 points and 8.4 rebounds per game.

Though Harris has struggled for the most part from three this season (13-for-45, 28.9 percent), he's made nine of 16 three-pointers in his last three games (56.2 percent).

10:50 a.m.

KU has installed a "WaveCam" that hangs from the west side of the Allen Fieldhouse rafters.

I'm not sure exactly what kind of shots the camera will be used for yet, but the release on it says this: The WaveCam is a 25-pound camera that is suspended beneath a trolley that travels the length of the west side of the Fieldhouse.

The WaveCam at KU is only the second at a basketball facility; there also is one at Villanova's home court.

It's going to take some getting used to, for sure. It's just kind of weird to see a trolley run along the top of the Fieldhouse and also a floating camera supported by some wires. I would expect some fans on the west side — whose views might be obstructed by the camera — might not like it as well.

10:10 a.m.

Welcome back to the Newell Post Live, coming to you from Allen Fieldhouse where the No. 1-ranked Kansas Jayhawks are getting set to take on the Michigan Wolverines.

Today marks the return of KU guard Brady Morningstar to the Jayhawks' lineup after a first-semester suspension. I think most KU fans believe this might lead to a significant decrease in playing time for Tyrel Reed.

But the people saying that I don't believe have taken a good look at Reed's numbers so far this year.

Sure, Reed might not be KU's best defender. He also isn't the team's most prolific scorer.

Still, so far this season, he's been an excellent role player on a team that doesn't really need to have five superstar scorers on the court at the same time.

To get a feel for Reed's improvement, let's compare his 2009 stats to last year's stats. (Remember with these stats, Reed played 20.7 minutes per game last year and has played 16.1 minutes per game this year).

Tyrel Reed

2008 turnover percentage — 19.8 percent

2009 turnover percentage — 9.6 percent

2008 steals percentage — 1.8 percent (40th in Big 12)

2009 steals percentage — 3.0 percent (17th in Big 12)

2008 assist percentage — 8.7 percent

2009 assist percentage — 13.8 percent

2008 assist-to-turnover ratio — 1.0 (35th in Big 12)

2009 assist-to-turnover ratio — 4.7 (1st in Big 12; 5th in nation)

2008 three-point percentage — 38.9 percent

2009 three-point percentage — 35.7 percent

So, it you look at the stats, Reed has seen a significant increase in his assists and steals while also combining that with a significant decrease in his turnovers. Though he hasn't made as high of a percentage of threes so far this year, the percentage is close to what he shot a year ago.

As long as KU has scorers like Sherron Collins, Cole Aldrich and Xavier Henry on the floor, you can bet that KU coach Bill Self also is going to make room for a guy that leads the conference in assist-to-turnover ratio, grabs some steals and hits the occasional three-pointer.

Make sure to vote in the poll at the left, and also use the hashtag #kubball to have your tweets appear in our grid on the left.

Oh, and www.justin.tv/sremlahc10, password: phog.

Comments

David Leathers 4 years, 10 months ago

I like the comparisons to this year and last. I'm hoping this will help calm the nay-sayers. Good Luck Hawks go get the Wolverines!

KU- 88 UM- 54

Dirk Medema 4 years, 10 months ago

The people who were raging last Nov/Dec about KU not doing anything if Brady played significant minutes are probably the same ones that would be talking about Tyrel. He's the same type of player that Coach Self was, and I think he appreciates him.

Coach is talking about playing 10 guys and everyones minutes decreasing a little in the process. It is fun to have this much quality depth. Look for the D pressure to just continue to be amped up.

ottspace 4 years, 10 months ago

anyone got a link for watching online, cant find it on justin.tv

Joe Joseph 4 years, 10 months ago

The spread for this game is 20 points...

That seems high to me.

melrank 4 years, 10 months ago

Double team on Marcus doesn't seem wise

nobody1793 4 years, 10 months ago

White uniforms versus Yellow is AWFUL!!

Ben Kane 4 years, 10 months ago

this is great that we have so many recruits there. Show 'em loud fans!!!

RedRed 4 years, 10 months ago

stupidmichael says...

The spread for this game is 20 points... That seems high to me.

What is your thoughts now ... already 15 points !!

melrank 4 years, 10 months ago

I love that - Turner Gil saying we are going to build a "dynasty" at KU in football.

Very nice.

Ben Kane 4 years, 10 months ago

WOW that's two awesome plays by TT. too bad he missed the first one

RedRed 4 years, 10 months ago

Cole says ... "Get That Ball OUT of Here !!! "

Theutus 4 years, 10 months ago

What is that, 3 turnovers in a row by Collins? Put in CJ and sit Collins for the final minute.

Let him get his head straight.

kusayzone 4 years, 10 months ago

Coach BS just called out SC 4 turnovers to Holly Rowe....saying SC will play better! Hmmm love to be in the lockerroom for lunch!

kusayzone 4 years, 10 months ago

Did anyone notice how this game matches up better with our second 5 than our starters?

melrank 4 years, 10 months ago

Red, Stupid:

20 points is a lot against a legitimate team. We're a lot better but I'm not sure if we will have the necessary intensity for the next 20 minutes to win by 20.

I gave my Michigan buddy 19, though - let's go 'Hawks!

Joe Joseph 4 years, 10 months ago

Kansas has looked mighty average over the last 12 minutes of game time.

Ben Kane 4 years, 10 months ago

what happened to TRob? Like to see him get back in there.

Jacobpaul81 4 years, 10 months ago

We look like a bunch of skilled guys playing pickup basketball against a less skilled opponent. You'd think we'd never seen a 1-3-1 defense before. We're throwing horrid looking skip passes cross court. No one's making creases in the lane for the bigs to score. And my number 1 pet peeve: over and over, we're taking three pointers without a rebounder in sight.

Joe Joseph 4 years, 10 months ago

Kansas is fortunate Michigan can't throw it in the ocean right now.

melrank 4 years, 10 months ago

Is it my view from the "Wave Cam" or are the refs jobbing us consistently?

Joe Baker 4 years, 10 months ago

good gosh...can you say second and third chances for michigan...horrible horrible horrible...rebounding sucks!!!

Joe Baker 4 years, 10 months ago

KU better get their heads out of their arse and play ball!!!

Crimony!!!

This is the worst second half they've ever played. Michigan is NOT this good!

They suck!

KU is keeping them in the game!!

Ben Kane 4 years, 10 months ago

the refs have an agenda against the twins today

Joe Baker 4 years, 10 months ago

BM is not ready and he better get his game together fast!

He looks lost.

He may know the plays and the system but he acts like he doesn't know what to.

I'm disappointed in his first game as a Junior.

Joe Baker 4 years, 10 months ago

petty fouls...the refs could let some of those petty fouls go...

Joe Baker 4 years, 10 months ago

getting lazy!

Not happy is an understatement!

If you're happy with this win, you're playing a dangerous game.

Why are they playing so stupid today: poor rebounding, shooting and passing is all horrible!

They've made Michigan look like a ranked team today.

RedRed 4 years, 10 months ago

This looks like a Great Game ... one to learn from by reviewing film and getting the 1-3-1 figured out !! This experience will be one to draw on in the future against the better teams.

Rock Chalk

Joe Baker 4 years, 10 months ago

very sloppy win and i wouldn't be chanting at this point...

RedRed 4 years, 10 months ago

truehawk93 says... finally

You are Right !! It is "Finally" Over !!

Joe Baker 4 years, 10 months ago

No- They did not play their best game and they're lucky Michigan wasn't any better!

Sloppy win

They hung and got the win.

I just can't say good game and you can see on HCBS's face too!! Yikes

Ben Kane 4 years, 10 months ago

good game to build off of. not the best return for Brady.

NH_JHawk 4 years, 10 months ago

I like Jay Bilas. He was with us in '08 when everyone else was having a love fest with Memphis and he's for us this year too. Liked his post game comment: "Kansas doesn't even play their best game and still wins by double digits. This is truly the #1 team in the country."

melrank 4 years, 10 months ago

Zero minutes for Elijah - seems odd. Did I miss something or did he just not earn any minutes today?

thmdmph 4 years, 10 months ago

Zero minutes for Dickie V also - thank GOD.

Billy Derringer 4 years, 10 months ago

im watching the texas vs. unc game and texas looks like they are really big in the post-they look quick and very strong and active. i think they may have better talent 1 through 7 as hard as it is for me to say that-but i think are advantage is coaching and basketball i.q. wow im not a texas fan by any means but i think that game in austin will be for the title and its going to be hard to predect a w in that one......i thought other than that five min. span in the first half to day we played very flat and didnt attact aswell a i would hope considering big game and national t.v......

melrank 4 years, 10 months ago

They do look good.

However, whenever they look unbeatable and their talent appears to be too much, just remember . . . Rick Barnes is the coach :)

tical523 4 years, 10 months ago

I am so angry with the playing time of EJ. . . . I was scared this was going to happen to his minutes when Brady comes back. I really do not get it, he has so much better handles to make things happen off the dribble, Brady was getting pressured so much out there 30 feet from the basket. I know he is young but atleast give him a few minutes to see what he does, he is a top notch athlete and a top freshman recruit, give him a chance in a big time game. Let him learn but give him a chance, "lock down defender" Brady should not take all those minutes. . . I was scared of this. But like Jay Bilas said, pretty good team to win by that much while having no offensive flow for about 25 minutes. Rock Chalk

thmdmph 4 years, 10 months ago

Sherron Collins is supposed to be providing the maturity and composure for the team this year, but repeatedly, he's playing more like TT. What up with dat?

jayhawkboogeyman 4 years, 10 months ago

Brady needs to learn to dribble the ball out of a press or resume his spot on the bench. I would hope CJ or Elijah could catch the ball and dribble out of a double team instead of catching the pass, dribbling, then floundering around 40 feet from the basket before throwing a prayer of a pass. The whole team was bad against the 1 3 1 traps, but Brady's complete lack of ball handling skills make him the worst.

bballdiehard 4 years, 10 months ago

Regarding EJ not getting any playing time, Self said after the last game that EJ had twisted his ankle or something like that. Maybe it's still bothering him. Having another great perimeter defender is clearly going to take some minutes away from EJ, but coach had no problem starting EJ over TT, so I highly doubt he's just going to sit on the bench the rest of the season simply because BM is able to play again now.

bballdiehard 4 years, 10 months ago

Oh, and Jessie, glad to see you putting some of the final game stats at the end of the blog again. I've missed that in the last several blogs.

Jack Wilson 4 years, 10 months ago

I will say that I am extremely disappointed that EJ didn't play as well. This team does not have the look of a #1 team at all. We lack explosiveness and ball handling skills. EJ can give us both, and he's a pretty good 3 point shooter. Night in, night out, he will be better than either Reed or Taylor. Even more, play him now, and you'll see the rewards in late Feb. and March. When Michigan popped on the pressure, just like last year, Morningstar is inadequate (we know Reed can't handle it either, and that Taylor is a walking turnover when the game speeds up)

How does EJ go from starter to 0 minutes. I'm sorry, Morningstar just isn't that good. 22 minutes, 2 points, 3 assists. I know it's his first game back, but this will be what you get .. maybe a 3 here and there. I said it last year, and I'll say it this year, I am baffled by the infatuation with Morningstar.

We played poorly against our only three real opponents .. Michigan, UCLA, and Memphis. Give me EJ and the 2 for 28 minutes a game.

Ron Franklin 4 years, 10 months ago

Lazy. Undisciplined. EJ didn't play because self couldn't afford anymore silly mistakes...even his go-to's were blowin it. Sherron...come on, you know better than to play like that by now?? Compose yourself. Ridiculous passes.

They need to develop a relentless, killer-attack attitude. Instead, they show signs of weakness and being soft. Play 100% at all time, regardless of your oponent.

Remember this business 101 strategy....Always Be Closing.

Grab them by their whatsies and never let up....

Get Hard. Play Smarter..

irish2255 4 years, 10 months ago

After watching the Hawks struggle again then watching Texas roll NO WAY should we be ranked ahead of those guys. We should be crushing the michigan's of the world and for whatever reason we can't figure out how. This is going to equal some suprise losses in the Big 12 if the boys don't hurry up and figure it out.

AsadZ 4 years, 10 months ago

We got lucky today. KU had no answer for their 1-3-1 defense. Bad passing, poor re-bounding, lack of attack ...

What's up with Cole Aldrich. His stock keeps going down. He is not the same player we got accustomed to watching last year. He seems to be slow and guys are scoring easily on him.

Ron Franklin 4 years, 10 months ago

anybody know which recruits were at the game?

ku plays to the level of their opponents. that's why it blows when they should whip a team like michigan..but don't.

they'll do the same when they play power-house teams.

the jayhawks should be ranked # 1 until they lose. you can't say what their status should be based on how other teams match up against each other...ie...kentucky/unc & texas & unc. in college bball, matchups make all the difference.

David Leathers 4 years, 10 months ago

"Night in, night out, he will be better than either Reed or Taylor." Talking about Elijah Johnson...

Im sorry HighEliteMajor, but I would have to disagree with this statement. TT, in his last three games, has only 1 turnover and 17 assists... I don't care if he scores a single point. If he can keep even a 8.5-1 Assist/Turnover ratio(half of his 17-1 over the last three games) coach Self would be stupid to sit him. As far as Reed goes, I do believe EJ has the potential to be better than Reed BUT, he doesn't have the experience yet. He will get there.

Joe Baker 4 years, 10 months ago

CaliHawk- I think what HighElite may be referring to is inconsistency. This has always been a problem. They'll find some consistency and fail to maintain. They looked flat, failed to pass the ball well, shooting was really off and the D was really soft. The refs were calling some petty fouls against the twins (don't know why), but they should've pressured the ball more.

They looked tired and took Michigan for granted.

I only hope this was their really bad game and as was pointed out, at least they know what a 1-3-1 does and how they need to respond. I was really surprised SC failed to pick the 1-3-1 apart and dish. They had the one play from BM to Mc for a lob. They almost missed the pass to Cole under the rim all alone...I saw and started yelling well before SC passed to him.

Jangaroo 4 years, 10 months ago

Don't ever look at Brady's line because thats not what he provides. The only stat I'll pay attention to with morningstar is turnovers. He gets the ball inside to our bigs better than anyone else. Being his first game back against a quality team I think he did well.

Gene Ramp 4 years, 10 months ago

I just hope our players watched the Texas game, and realize just how good the competition is. Texas will be ranked #1 next week, and for good reason! I just hope KU stays in the top 5, and that our guys can figure out how to play w/ the Texases of the NCAA. Otherwise this will be a very sad season...

oldalum 4 years, 10 months ago

After seeing Brady sliced and diced on here, I went back to the front page and listened to Self's press conference. He was pleased with what he got from Brady, so I'm inclined to go with his opinion.

melrank 4 years, 10 months ago

We didn't cover so I'm bitter. But, I think the criticism is a little harsh.

In the first half, we were playing awesome on-the-ball defense, owning the rim, getting it inside at will, knocking down some threes, and playing like the best team in the nation. Bring on Texas, bring on John Wall, whoever and I would of taken my chances.

The move to the 1-3-1 wasn't what changed the game. We stopped playing because we were ahead by 21 and crossed the fine line from National Championship Favorite to Just Another Good Team. The guys went on cruise control and played only good enough to keep them at a comfortable distance. Now, HCBS didn't like it but he wasn't able to push the right buttons to create the decisive put-them-away run to win by 25 or 30.

IF we played that way ALL the time, there would be cause for concern, but I'm not subscribing to all the doomsday scenarios quite yet. We beat a tourney caliber team comfortably on a day where we lolly-gagged for 23 minutes.

We are really good, folks!

melrank 4 years, 10 months ago

I wonder if I can get my money back betting that we will still be in the Top 5 next week? :)

jaybate 4 years, 10 months ago

Saturday Oyster Shooters:

} Marcus Morris was a thing of beauty out there, but for 3 TOs. He was a human LED lighting a team darkness.

} Kieff slipped into that state where he seems to be being held by an alien tractor beam that renders him helpless. It is hard to explain what neuronal transformation occurs to change him from a good performance to a nothing performance, but perhaps Hudy can add brain scanning to Dance Dance Revolution in her technological bag of tricks and helping him next off season.

} X swings right tail (80% vs. LaSalle) to left tail (25% vs. UM). This must seem shockingly random to icthawk316. Not!

} OMG! Brady got 22 minutes!! And KU actually fed bigs, even though Cole didn't get his share of feeds! Don't take it personal, Cole. Coach probably told Brady to get the youngsters--Marcus and Kieff and TRob--some extra reps, and thereby give Beillin a break (more about that later). Your time will come, Condor. You are presently being used as a decoy big guy, kind of like Eisenhower used George Pattton before it was time to break through, pivot and roar across France.

} And KU actually moved the ball quickly around the perimeter...for about 22 minutes!!! What a coincidence! Brady actually made some high risk passes!!! Can you imagine that!!

} Self didn't give Brady the green light to shoot, but he sure as heck gave him the green light (and did I say 22 minutes?) to show the others what it actually looks like to whip a ball around a little. To drive his point home, Self left Brady in even when the passes didn't work (a not infrequent occurrence). Talk about adding insult to injured pride to Tyshawn and Xavier. And pouring even a little more salt in the wound, Self only cut Tyrel's minutes to 11. Even Tyrel seemed to pass faster. If you want to play, Coach Self must have texted the team, stop holding the ball for 2 seconds before passing. See the court with broad focus. And if you don't have quick feet, pass faster so Self's not watching you very long.

jaybate 4 years, 10 months ago

} And Brady's presense even seemed to cause Xavier to try playing some defense, where he beats a man to a spot instead of trailing him to it. Of course he did not have this break through moment till down the stretch!!! It took Xavier quite awhile to see what was not doing. He is a freshman, afterall. Ball movement and defense equaled minutes in Coach Self's formula today. Surprise, surprise, as Gomer Pyle used to say. Tyshawn was making tentative with passes and only anticipating well on defense about every third trip. Duh, oooookaaaaay, X says, sounding like Brain in the old Top Cat cartoon show, that's got nothin' tuh do with me, right T.C. (T.C. being Top Cat for you younger readers, and Bill Self for this analogy). Tyshawn sits. Duuuh, oooooookaaaaay, X says, still got nothin' tuh do with me, right T.C.? Then Xavier sits. Duuuuuuh, oooooooookaaaaay, X says, T.C. must be restin' me. Soon Xavier gets back in. Duuuuuuh, oooooooookaaaaay, X says, I musta been right. T.C. musta been restin' me. Still no change in X's passing or defense. Bill "Top Cat" Self puts Brady and X in together, so that the difference in ball movement and defense becomes glaringly apparent in real time even to the freshman. Duuuuuuh, hey, T.C., I get it. I uuuuuuuuuh better take it up a notch, like pop has always been badgerin' me tuuuuuh do, right T.C.? Xavier is revealed to be standing around like a bullfrog shot full of phenobarb--a step slow and a stop short. Duuuuuuuuh, ooohhhhh, I get it now, T.C., X says. What an amazing coincidence Xavier comprehended that his defense and passing sucked, er, needed improvement, when he was finally confronted with someone who actually does these things on the floor without running the VCR at half speed! And you know what? Voila! Suddenly, Xavier could actually play defense and pass, well, play defense. The passing will take a week of practice now, but he gets it at last. He actually amped up for about 5 minutes there down the stretch. X could (and will) be a great player, not just a scorer.

jaybate 4 years, 10 months ago

} Even Carl Henry had to be laughing his youknowwhat off at his youngest son today. One of the greatest potential players to ever come to KU--Xavier Henry--looks like a slow learner for the first time in his life. Carl! If I recall correctly, you came from the school of hard knocks, pal. You have been breathed on by Larry Brown, when he is not pleased. I remember how you played. Don't rag the boy after this game. You trying to tell Xavier about reality is kind of like Sherron trying to explain gunshots next door to Conner Teahan. He's not gonna get it. Carl, you only had 3/4 the talent X has (and literally he has exactly half your DNA helix), but you picked up the coaches subtle cues a little faster. Carl! X does not have an IQ problem. The kid is a walking testament to the perfectability of human genes. He just has a lack of experience at not being superb at things from the beginning in the suburbs. He will be a great defender and passer within 3-6 games. All prodigies learn six times faster than everyone else. But they do have to learn, when people have not been stealing their lunches and threatening them with tire irons from a young age. Carl!!!! You have to admit that a part of you, the Horatio Algier part of you, the auto boot strapping part of you, was laughing your butt off at your own kid today. There was a little part of you up there in the stands to day sayin', "See, yer Daddy told you so. You took my j alright, but you didn't listen to your Daddy about havin' a clue when the bullets start flyin'." I know you can't say it in public, Carl, because you are his pop and you love him, and because Mother Henry would cut you off for a year, if you mentioned it in public, but, Carl, the kid was a little suburban out there, wouldn't you say? :-)

} To the group that thinks eye blinders are in style every year, Brady getting 22 minutes can mean only one thing: KU won't be any good this year, if Brady keeps getting 22 minutes. LOL!

} But there's no room for Brady to get smug, or for Roger to start building a special investment trust for Brady's NBA earnings yet. Brady did not look like the greatest thing since sliced bread either. If Tyshawn and Xavier did not have leather magnets imbedded in their palms and a conception of defense and physical contact comparable to that of the castrati in the Vienna Boys Choir, Brady would have looked exactly like what he is: a modestly serviceable 2 who hasn't played in a game all season.

jaybate 4 years, 10 months ago

} One can be fairly confident that very soon there are going to be office pools established focusing on when Self is going to start telling Tyshawn and Xavier they have to man-up on the perimeter.

} Seriously, now, BMorn probably would not have gotten 22 minutes against a major that was stocked with talent...on a day when Xavier could actually launch some that at least landed within the same time zone as the little white box behind the rim behind it...and on a day when Tyshawn brought his game for more than one soft, run away from the rim highlight play.

} Tyshawn, my new goal today is to eat right so that I can live long enough to see you actually make a move "to" the rim, when things are crowded and the blue meanies on the blocks are near. Please, until you do, no mugging for the cameras.

} The Chigan game suggests many things. One is this: freshman Xavier is good for 15 inefficient points and one reeb, when he takes 15 FGAs and his trinity is not divinity...and when he is not playing a cupcake. Man, I cannot believe this at all! No way! This has to be a random occurence! Xavier is always efficient against cupcakes. It only makes sense that he would be efficient against legitimate Division 1 programs, especially those in lean years. Total coincidence. Eh, not. X is a great young player who simply hasn't gotten a chance to develop much, because he's played diddly for competition. Everyone must remember how differently things went for Cole when he played cupcakes and then ran into Arizona's post man and then Michigan State last year. Xavier faces a similar near vertical learning curve in the early going. Frankly, Xavier hasn't even had anything broken, or badly injured yet. The season so far has been like Marines training in North San Diego county before going down into real freaking tunnels in Afghanistan. X is not a veteran of anything but pre-combat training.

jaybate 4 years, 10 months ago

} For a minute there, I was going to cut Cole some slack. I gave him an excuse and a pretty good one above--the Patton decoy gig. Not!!!! Little DeShawn Sims hung 19 points and 7 reebs on big Mr. Ewe. You made him miss a lot, but since when does a big strapping Minnesotan let some sawed off post man from S.E. Michigan shut him down offensively? Unless you are violently ill, big guy, you should be running steps tonight.

} The team is going to get (and deserve) an enormous butt chewing from Self, but of course Self orchestrated this ragged effort himself, so he would get the chance to chew the overconfidence out of them (and gets some more guys some work). Self apparently knew Beillin had diddly. Self, frankly, was trying to save Beillin's meal ticket today by not beating him too bad. One coach looked after another today. Self played TRob 12 minutes more than he deserved (TRob wins the deer caught in the headlight award today. Man, is being a freshman big man a brutal right of passage or what?) and Brady a bunch of minutes that he probably did not yet deserve. Self tried every combination but Chase Buford as head coach and Jordan Juenemann as a point guard. John Beillin, don't ever say Bill Self didn't do you a favor.

} John Beillin would build a good team at Michigan, as surely as Billie Gillispie would have at UK, were the Maize and Stupid alumni smart enough to let him. But they probably will never let him, just as still-billies at Contucky wouldn't let Gillispie either. The last 2 decades, both schools are probably justifiably known in basketball for preferring to cheat to win rings quick and suspiciously, rather than by building sustainable programs. Poor John Beillin. He seems a good man, who coaches a respectable brand of ball in a butcher ball conference at a school in the middle of a region of the country where rabbit is increasingly a part of the diet. He'll probably get fired and replaced by Bob Huggins, who replaced him at WVU!!! Bob Huggins was meant for the Big Ten and Chigan U. They like to think of themselves as solid crooks though, and not as pirate crooks the way Huggo-Muggo portrays himself. No, on second thought, the Maize and Stupid will look for another guy like Bill Frieder, or Steve Fisher, guys known for no bottom in how far down they will go in ethics, but who smile nicely, and wear UM sweaters, and reputedly spread the bakshish south of 8 Mile. John Beillin, if you survive this year, you owe Coach Self some pay back some day, when Coach Self is not so stacked in talent. I hope you remember.

} My advice for KU players is not to blow 20 point leads to teams that are not that good. Coaches take this as a personal insult to their abilities. Get ready to run, boys.

duanep5ku 4 years, 10 months ago

It really does not matter Ramp about the ratings this early but why do you think KU will drop when most of the voters think KU is the best team in the nation. I do think KU fans need to remember for what its worth another player lead this team today Marcus Morris with 23 pts would any of us last year even thought that was possible? I do understand this team is playing ugly but their still winning the games. I do think today's game will get HCBS to get some valuable coaching from this win. Then if the team continued to win by 30 today."Yes" the game was not pretty but it still goes down as a win. Lets all keep in mind that their are other ranked teams getting upset. Tenn- today to USC "Oh does anyone know who the recruits were at the game today. I know we were getting a visit from 6"10 center Who I think we need badly because he's like 280 lbs or more a banger type center

Joe Baker 4 years, 10 months ago

Overall, we obviously played ok. My point is we did some things well to win. I think against a better team, our D would have been picked apart.

Our passing was lacking and a team like Texas, Temple or Tennessee will convert those steals to points, unlike Michigan.

Lastly, the shooting was fair. We scored some key treys that gave us just enough for the win. Texas and Tennessee will shoot the lights out if we give them wide open looks.

It's not this game, we did ok, but it's the next game that could expose us. I respect HCBS obviously, but BM looked really odd today. I hope he was just a little nervous and the next game will be different.

Beat California!!

melrank 4 years, 10 months ago

Regarding one of Jaybate's points, we did use some unusual combinations today. Geez, at one time I think we had Tyrel, Brady, TRob, and both Twins out there. Hope I don't see that one again.

I give Self credit for doing things that might not make a lot of sense to us fans but ultimately are part of his evaluation and growing of the team.

Jack Wilson 4 years, 10 months ago

Taylor is inconsistent, will have huge ups and downs, is not smart with the ball, is selfish, and does not have the upside that EJ has. My main point is that we will be a better team in March if EJ plays more minutes now, to get the experience.

Blownjay, I don't know what games you've been watching this season. Taylor has had only a couple of decent games this season, and even those, he isn't smooth, stutter-steps up the court, takes stupid shots, is passes on open threes because he knows he's a poor shooter (or shoots ill-advised 3s early in the possession), rarely has a drive to the bucket that he finishes, and his passes, most of the time, are off the mark. But I go back the game he got 18 or 19 .. his main comments after the game were basically "Other guys had big games and I finally got mine." (paraphrasing).

My point is that I see more progress in EJ so far than in Taylor, who is now a sophomore.

But most importantly, EJ can HANDLE THE BALL .. we'll need that against top teams. Remember how poor Taylor and Reed were against Memphis? Morningstar, Reed, and Taylor are subpar ball-handlers. We'll need EJ.

Jack Wilson 4 years, 10 months ago

I will also note that the Morrises have matured, and are clearly listening. Even with a couple bad calls, they didn't overreact, and just took it. Last year the refs were clearly quick with the whistle on them. Their better demeanor will pay off.

And man, talk upside, Robinson will be an animal. Self stole one there.

duanep5ku 4 years, 10 months ago

I have to agree with HighEliteMajor I do think were much better if we can give the minutes to EJ he will learn if he makes mistakes right now but TT is a sophomore who is still playing like a freshman at times. TT game is quick but to fast he can not shoot the 3 off the dribble and he's only effective driving for lay ups or dunks but that also has the ability to be a disaster in the making when he does that.

melrank 4 years, 10 months ago

I wonder if EJ isn't showing the kind of promise in practice to convince HCBS he should be a regular part of the rotation. Yes, he started a couple of games, but was that more to send a message to Tyshawn? Remember last year when Q started a game of 2 just about this time of year and then disappeared for the rest of the year?

TT had a reasonable stat line today - yes, only 2 points on 1 of 3 shooting - but 5 assists, 5 rebounds, and only 1 turnover in 23 minutes. I thought his defense in the first half was pretty good.

I think Tyshawn is emerging into a role that is more like what he had in High School -more of a (I can't believe I'm going to write this) glue guy. He didn't play so well earlier in the year, but I think Self believes he will give us the best chance to win on a regular basis.

Ron Franklin 4 years, 10 months ago

I watch every game. I don't disagree that EJ's future is brighter. It certainly is. I also agree that he NEEDS minutes now to prepare for later in the season. My point was that when your in a battle like they were today, you have to have your best guys on the court. Not the guys that will be better in March. When your team is dropping a lead like they did today, and turning the ball over like they were today.......I want the guy in who's turned it over 1 time in 2 games...compared to 17 assists. TT's scoring is atrocious. But so is Brady's. They play because they are role players, and nobody, including EJ is playing the 2 better than TT. Or he wouldn't be in the games. Self knows he's the guy for the job now. I expect this to change by March, but winning today is most important.

Jack Wilson 4 years, 10 months ago

melrank - I would agree with the practice deal, except the EJ started the two games prior to the Michigan game, then doesn't play at all. Just a tough thing to reconcile there. I keep going back to this ball-handling deal .. when Sherron is out, does anyone really think that Reed, Brady, and Taylor can handle pressure? Even with Sherron in, I'm not sure.

Blownjay - I think you take the chance on losing a game or two now, and going with the one with the "brighter future" vs. going with the adequate guy to do the job now. EJ was better at the 2 until the last couple of games, I believe, and only today was Taylor better because EJ didn't play. And Taylor may just be better off the bench; some guys are. The question to ask yourself is, do you believe our best starting 5 in March would include EJ (over Brady and Taylor), assuming EJ gets more game experience? I think you agree that it would by your response above.

But probably the best thing about this discussion is that we have Self as our head coach and while we may all think we know, we know that he DOES know and that we've got the best coach in the country. He'll have this engine running smooth come March ....

Tony Bandle 4 years, 10 months ago

Based on what I've seen so far this season, right now, all things being equal and they played them Monday, Kansas would lose to Texas, Syracuse, Kentucky, Memphis there, North Carolina there and a host of other schools.

The good news is that KU has the talent, depth and coaching to be real, real, real nasty by March when it counts.

Also, I think depth is over-rated. With all the breaks, timeouts, substitutions and foul shots, fatigue can be minimal. It may be better to have seven really good guys than eleven or twelves decent guys.

I think that besides Little and Releford, PT is going to be drastically reduced for Tyrell, Elijah, CK with Withey never really getting big time minutes. That will reduce the potential rotation of 14, to a more manageable 8 or 9.

Thoughts, please??

Joe Baker 4 years, 10 months ago

The neat thing about these guys is they are a Team.

They are not selfish and they really understand HCBS's system of team ball.

They know to do their job regardless of playing time or what fans may say.

They know CS will make the decisions and there is a reason. They really seem to support him no matter if they "start" or sit the bench. It doesn't matter because they know that CS knows how to win.

EJ will get his chances. He will have a great opp next year. He knows his role is to be ready at any time starting or not. Him and TRob both will be huge in the next 1-2 years.

Beat California!

Joe Baker 4 years, 10 months ago

Oakville- I don't know exactly what coulda, woulda, shoulda been done to open the gap and slam the door on this average Michigan team. CS said something in the post game press conf that was slightly disturbing about Cole. He'll work out the rotation and mins. Here is something that is related to your "thoughts" question:

I love Cole and he's a great big man. He plays hard and the "grunting" and "hollering" he does on the court seems to be some what effective. He's a little soft around the rim. CS said two things: Cole was under the weather and Sims put the ball on the floor only to beat Cole!

OK- What in the world is wrong with Cole's general health? How long has he been "sick"? Let's get the big fella a horse pill and get him some rest. Now, if he is healthy or gets healthy, and more athletic big men beat him on the dribble, Withey needs some time against the more athletic big men. We can't afford to have Cole sick and unable to defend against extremely athletic big men.

So like wise, our guard play is similar, only at the guard spots. If our guards can't get out on these shooters like a freakin' Manny Harris, we need someone who can limit those shots. If you look at the box score, their scoring was atrocious, but showed some huge potential. I was waiting for Novak's shots to fall, but they never did. It's not going to be that away against others on our schedule. We need to work on the 1-3-1 offensively and work on the guards jumping in the face of those shooters.

Joe Baker 4 years, 10 months ago

We keep thinking CS is going to set his rotation to those 8-9 guys. Unfortuantely, he doesn't quite have the consistent players to have a steady 8-9 man rotation. Therefore, he will never just limit the Reeds or EJs due to the rotation.

You never know when a Reed and EJ can come in and provide a much needed spark. Reed actually sunk some threes in this game. He also threw up a stinky air ball too! LOL- But all shooters have bad games. SC had another "questionable" game! CS said he would change in the second half...he didn't!!

Thoughts?

Ron Franklin 4 years, 10 months ago

it's crazy to complain about having too much depth. but, could there be a problem/slowdown with the development of team chemistry with so many different possible lineups??

Ben Kane 4 years, 10 months ago

i think you are worrying about too much here. Many good points but not many that encompass the big picture.

my only question: if we are so deep why aren't we pressing full court most of the game?

I have only two answers... 1. Self believes that pressing is easier to beat than our normal defense 2. Self is keeping that one in his pocket for now.

what do you think?

Jeff Kilgore 4 years, 10 months ago

Has anybody wondered why Cole Aldrich doesn't have a five to ten foot jump shot? A turn around shot? Self likes his bigs to face up, to go to the basket, and then pass back out, all good strategies, of course, but this is a phase of the game that seems missing, and that seems very strange to me.

Am I wrong? Is a jump shot over a tall player a 1970s play? Do centers not do this anymore? I'm not being sarcastic. I just don't remember seeing Cole catching the ball, facing up, and shooting it unless it's the one-handed hook or the power move straight to the rim. I would think that if he had a short range jumper of even a turn around jumper, he would be unstoppable. Please advise.

Steve Gantz 4 years, 10 months ago

I just really want to thank ESPN for teaching me how to live green today. I'm already feeling better about myself.

jaybate 4 years, 10 months ago

Saturday Night Game Hangover: Hair of the Dog

} Once again, Coach Self treated another contest like the practice game it was. A less confident coach would have felt the need to prove the team's power to himself by now and would have amped them up for a blow out in order to quell speculation about how the team is doing. Not Self. Everyone with the XMas KU blues (me included) has been overlooking that KU is 10-0 without Self ever having treated any of the games but Memphis as anything but practice games, and Self certainly did not amp the team up for Memphis in the least.

} While everyone has been jawing about problems (me included), cagey Coach Bill Self has rather like a slight of hand magician reduced a 40 game season to 10 practice games and a 30 game season. Talk about an advantage over the opposition come tourney time. Self is systematically eliminating all possibility of peaking too early, or of fatiguing come tourney time. Self knows he has an experienced team and two guys left who know the exact length of the journey to the title.

} We'll know if river boat gambler Bill Self tries to slip by Cal without amping the team up that he thinks he's holding four aces and a 2 in a deuces wild game.

} The Steals to TO ratio of 6/14 once again indicates a defense applying little pressure. The good news is that at least Xavier and Brady went >1. The question is: is the defensive pressure low, because the players can't play defense, or is the defensive pressure low, because Self is keeping it low to unleash against a Tennessee? Since this team played pretty tough defense last season as a bunch of green wood, I can only infer Self is working on other things and saving a defensive fire storm for Tennessee.

} It would be great to be a fly on the wall at practice right now and see if KU were playing high pressure defense among themselves, but showing low pressure in games, to sucker punch a Tennessee?

} Whatever the speculation about Self's manipulations, or lack there of, imagine how differently this game might have gone had UM been able to shoot 40 percent rather than 17 percent from Three Point Junction.

}The Plot thickens.

jaybate 4 years, 10 months ago

Questions Regarding ESPN's Green Game:

} Did ESPN's announcing team wear bamboo fiber underwear today?

} Were KU's uniforms bamboo fiber?

} Did ESPN opt for the new low energy television cameras?

} Did ESPN gift its TV revenues from this game to wind energy research?

} Were the green ties, green t-shirts, green hats, etc., colored with environmentally friendly dyes?

} Did ESPN do a public service announcement to explain that the main purpose of green promotions these days (regardless of the considerable financial and environmental merits of living efficiently) is to condition the public to accept its Federal government consenting to a global energy tax levied by an international governmental body that will supercede the sovereignty of states and existing and future regional unions?

} Did ESPN do a environmental cost-benefit analysis to determine if their promotion was causing a greater increase in environmental consumption than it was reducing?

} Did ESPN get a big write off for doing this?

oldalum 4 years, 10 months ago

Self has said many times that the period when the team improves the most is during the time between Christmas and when classes begin again (1/14). They have two-a-days, and really have a chance to work on some stuff because the players have nothing else to do. Tennessee comes up near the end of that period, and I suspect we will all notice a big difference.

melrank 4 years, 10 months ago

jkilgore, truehawk - to me, even thinking critical thoughts of Cole seems taboo. I love that kid and am thankful he's a Jayhawk.

However, I, too, have been surprised at an apparent lack of offensive growth this year. I anticipated he would have unveiled some sort of "go to" move this year beyond his drop step. He does have a short baby hook, but that is far from being consistently accurate and it's usually a line drive that hits the front of the rim. Facing the basket at any distance, he's only marginal shooting the ball as evidenced by the consistently wide open jumpers he's offered from the free throw line to the top of the key.

Given his play of late, 1) He might not be the best big in the conference, certainly not an All American and 2) Can he really be considered a lottery pick?

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