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Kansas defeats California, 84-69

  • 8 p.m., Dec. 22, 2009
  • Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, KS

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Making merry

Kansas pulls away, ensures jolly break

Kansas guard Sherron Collins roars after knocking down a bucket late in the second half to increase the Jayhawks' lead against California, Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Sherron Collins roars after knocking down a bucket late in the second half to increase the Jayhawks' lead against California, Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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2009 KU-California

Reader poll

Who was KU's MVP against Cal?

  • Xavier Henry 1% 27 votes
  • Sherron Collins 35% 799 votes
  • Tyshawn Taylor 27% 615 votes
  • Marcus Morris 9% 206 votes
  • Brady Morningstar 23% 532 votes
  • Cole Aldrich 1% 41 votes
  • Other 0% 10 votes

2230 total votes.

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KU vs. California

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KU takes on California

Reader poll

What will KU's toughest home game be this season?

  • Tonight vs. California 9% 8 votes
  • March 3 vs. Kansas State 64% 53 votes
  • Jan. 25 vs. Missouri 8% 7 votes
  • Jan. 16 vs. Texas Tech 12% 10 votes
  • Other 4% 4 votes

82 total votes.

Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self had a message for the 200 or so fans who lined the northwest tunnel of Allen Fieldhouse seeking autographs a half hour after Tuesday night’s 84-69 victory over California.

“Merry Christmas, everybody,” Self bellowed.

“Merry Christmas, coach,” came the reply from the throng, guaranteed a happy holiday thanks to a strong second half in which No. 1-ranked KU outscored Cal, 44-30, in busting open a tense one-point game.

The Golden Bears (6-4), who entered as preseason favorites to win the Pac-10 Conference, looked like Grinches in disguise in opening leads of 7-2, 14-8 and 26-21.

“I think it is the first time,” senior guard Sherron Collins said, asked if the Jayhawks (11-0) felt pressure as the country’s top-ranked team for the first time all year.

“Especially getting down early in the game. It was one of those thoughts, ‘Somebody’s got to get going, or it’ll be a long night playing these guys.’”

The combination of Brady Morningstar and Markieff Morris was responsible for six straight points in turning a 49-48 lead into a seven-point advantage with 13:43 to play.

Morningstar lobbed a pass to Morris over the Cal defense, which the power forward caught, then went up and flushed for a dunk. He then fired a bullet pass, which Morris corralled and dropped in the hoop Morningstar then hit a jumper, forcing Cal coach Mike Montgomery to call a timeout.

“That’s Brady being Brady,” Collins said of Morningstar, who had seven points and seven assists against two turnovers and also helped hold Cal’s Patrick Christopher (21 points) to 1-of-4 three-point shooting the second half. “Coach told us to get it to the big men, and Brady did that.”

Cal, which trailed, 57-49, after Xavier Henry hit a shot off a pass from Morningstar, lagged just 60-56 and 68-63 with 7:29 to play.

That’s when another combo, Tyshawn Taylor and Marcus Morris, came through.

Taylor found Morris for back-to-back layups, and Collins hit a huge three to open a 75-63 advantage at 4:51. Those two hoops keyed a 16-4 run that gave KU an 84-67 lead in the final minute.

“We never doubt. We weren’t going to lose,” Morningstar said.

It seems the Jayhawks, who had all five starters hit for double digits in points, were fired up after No. 2-ranked Texas closed the gap a bit on No. 1 KU in the AP poll last week.

“We just want to win, point-blank,” said Collins, who led KU with 17 points. “A lot of people were saying we’re not worthy of being No. 1. We’re supposed to lose or they’ve got us losing. We took it in. We took it personal. We wanted to show everybody we’re No. 1.”

Taylor, who had 13 points, seven assists and one turnover, also felt snubbed by the pollsters.

“I guess there could be a couple different No. 1 teams,” he said, “but they gave it to us, and I don’t think they should take it away from us until we lose. I felt this was a game we had to come out and make a statement, ‘Listen, we’re No. 1 for a reason,’ so that’s what we did.”

The Jayhawks played well enough to go home for the holidays feeling great about themselves.

“That was great basketball in the second half,” Self said. “This was by far the best we’ve executed offensively when it mattered, and it doesn’t hurt when you shoot the heck out of the ball (55 percent, 73.1 the second half).”

Self said a key was the play of Morningstar.

“Not good, great,” he said of Morningstar’s performance. “He showed up, and his stats were great. He plays 21 minutes and has seven points on four shots. He has seven assists, two steals and did the best job on Christopher hands down.”

Self said the win will prove valuable down the line.

“They could win the Pac-10,” Self said of the Bears. “I thought Cal played great.”

The Jayhawks are now free to hit the road for Christmas. Next practice is Saturday night. Next game is Tuesday versus Belmont in an 8 p.m. tipoff in Allen.

“It’ll make for a great trip tomorrow,” Chicago native Collins stated.

Comments

jayhawk1866 4 years, 8 months ago

Sherron better take it easy on the holiday eating!!!!!!

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minnhawk84 4 years, 8 months ago

For all of you who think this is a special Jayhawk team, rest assured that it is. They could go far in the tourney, they could win it all. However, remember 1997. Arizona broke our collective hearts. That's when I learned not to get too emotionally involved in sports -- nothing is a done deal, and they still have to play all of the games. This team will not go undefeated and may not even get a #1 seed in the tourney. Then, they have to get by several teams whose name probably starts with "B". Prepare to enjoy a great season, but there will be some bumps in the road to the Final Four. Anything can happen. I really want and expect them to "win it all" but it is much harder to do than we can imagine. So, don't go all "suicidal" if they drop one to Iowa State or don't beat Texas in Austin. Remember Danny and the Miracles -- lost to OU twice before beating them in the National Championship game. RCJHKU - enjoy the ride.

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Dyrk Dugan 4 years, 8 months ago

minnhawk....just take a chill pill. this is Dec. 23....plenty of basketball still to play. nobody on this team gives a flip about any school starting with "B," or what happened in 1997.

now on to the game last night. we played a lot better in this one than Michigan. Cal is good....and have several good players. against a good team this year, that was our best 2nd half. 73% shooting? we were getting any shot we wanted. and we defended them as well.

this is what it still comes down to: we can defend better...and we can handle the ball better. if we improve on those two things, and keep rebounding steady and/or improve, we'll be awfully hard to beat vs. anybody.

Let's just keep everyone safe for the Christmas break, and be ready for Belmont and Temple next week.

Rock Chalk Merry Christmas!

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NH_JHawk 4 years, 8 months ago

minnhawk84 -

"This team.....may not even get a #1 seed in the tourney."

Considering we have a "special team" (your own description) I'm curious which top 4 teams you think will be ahead of KU come tourney time?

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AsadZ 4 years, 8 months ago

Being ranked #1 we will get every team's best shot. This was evident in yesterday's game. Cal was fired up to play #1 ranked team. They played heck of a game and they have great shooters. We won the game due to our depth down the stretch as they could not keep with us in the last 10 minutes.

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keith horinek 4 years, 8 months ago

This team plays better when they play fast on offense. When they have to play the slow half court offense they tend to have more turnovers. I believe Morningstar will bring on more of that fast half court offense as he jells into this team. We saw some of that last night. Also Tyshawn has finally come out of his funk. When Brady and Tyshawn team up they are almost unstoppable. And the Morris twins, awsome! Cole, go home, get some rest, see your grandmother and come back ready to bring it. I'm seeing shades of Darnell Jackson here. He went through some of the same hardships, he endured and it paid off. Cole, we are behind you all the way!

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rockchalk80 4 years, 8 months ago

rankings are for the fans...nothing matters until selection sunday. it might help motivate the 'hawks if they were to lose their #1 ranking without losing a game...

regardless...we are a top 4 team (win or lose in austin).

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floridajayhawks 4 years, 8 months ago

I watched the game last night and have to say I wasn't all that impressed. I live in FL so don't get to see them that much, but it seemed to me that they really were not that into the game in the first half. Texas is the better team right now and will be a number one seed come March and will probably be Big 12 Champs, regular season and tourney. I'm going with Texas because the North seems more deep than the South. Anyway they have alot to improve on.

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KU1992 4 years, 8 months ago

April (i want to say seventh) 2008, That is when i learned to get emotionally involved with sports...

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jayhawkinATL 4 years, 8 months ago

I hate to say it, but I have to agree with Keegan...after beating UNC and the Spartans, Texas definitely looks like the No. 1 team.

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cowboy 4 years, 8 months ago

Texas is quick , I wasn't overwhelmed as they beat state last night , state had no inside game , no passing skills , and hung with texas for a good part of the game , against Big 12 competition they will have other issues .

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okiedave 4 years, 8 months ago

Not until Kansas and Texas start playing some big road games against the same teams are we really going to be able to determine who has the best team. If Kansas beats Tex. at their house, issue solved.

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Fruity22 4 years, 8 months ago

The North has 2 of the 3 best teams but the South is deeper. Giving the Big 12 to Texas already, you must have forgot who has the better coach. If and when Cole gets it together we are the better team.

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ChicagoJHawk 4 years, 8 months ago

Thanks soobawls, once again, for somehow finding something negative to say after a solid KU win. I'm pretty sure Sherron knows what he's doing. He's got Bill Self to turn to if he ever needs any advice, but hey, what's the point in doing that? You seem to know it all & have everything figured out so maybe he could just turn to you. Moron!

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100 4 years, 8 months ago

Do you think Alabama's football team gives a smelly donkey's a$s what they're ranked right now?

Of course they don't.

They have two things on their mind right now -- practicing & getting better.

Even though its Christmas break, its a good time to realize this simple fact as KU's team goes off to their homes for a couple days to celebrate whats important -- family...

Speaking of family, we have a great cohesive basketball family this year -- and one thing & one thing only truly matters -- practice -- work on the fundamentals, & when the games come, wear the other teams down (we are truly the deepest team in basketball we haven't even seen EJ, CJ or Withey the last two games!) & let the chips fall where they may.

In short: If we run our sets as we're coached & wear the other team down each & every game with a stellar passing/ attacking/ defensive/ rebounding game, the chips I guarantee you will fall exactly where we want, each & every time we play...

We are "that" good & "that" deep boys...

Run Coaches stuff with passion = other team gets worn down = KU victory

Keep up the hard work guys -- it's all about getting better.

Don't sweat games -- sweat practice & love it. That's where Coach Knight's team went undefeated -- in some gym where no one saw the Hoosiers sweating, working on 12 foot jump shots & backdoor cuts....

And Defense...

"Defense Wins Championships"

40-0.

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Robert Lofthouse 4 years, 8 months ago

The only Kansas-Texas game that will really matter this season, are the ones they play for the Big12 & National Championships. Everything else becomes a tuneup, and adjustments will be continually made throughout the campaign. IF KU goes wire-to-wire as #1, so much the better, but put into proper perspective - it's the BIG games that really matter.

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Ben Kane 4 years, 8 months ago

I thought it was a good game for us. Specially being down early and then having to deal with a good team that wouldn't go away until under 10 to go in the second. Overall a good experience.

I also have to admit that I was wrong about brady. Though I complained about his previous game and his first half last night, I must admit that he was terrific in the second and it sure does seem that our offense flows better with him out there.

Amazingly, I got slammed by stupid Kentucky fans before I even got in the door at work this morning telling me how terrible we looked. I just shrug, tell 'em I thought we played pretty well and then I ask them why it matters so much to them to see us go down. their fans remind me of someone who can only feel better by tearing down others.

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Steve Corder 4 years, 8 months ago

Without expecting perfection, I thought they played the best ball in the 2nd half last night in this young season. It seemed they display their sizeable talent when they play under control...kinda absent a break-neck speed mentality where their speed gets ahead of their ability to react...quickness showed last night and with it better decisions with the ball and shot selection. Taylor made several lightning quick moves, but he was under control and I thought his decisions and floor leadership was excellent. You don't dominate a game with speed in basketball...it's not a sprint...when you out-quick your opponent the game looks easy.

Self is one fine coach. Notice his change (or someone on the bench) w/Cole in high post and X in low when the ball was rotated around, thru Cole, to the wing for entry into X? With Cole drawing out his man from the basket leaving X to use his strength & size advantage it made for an easy basket. Nice Christmas present!

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KU 4 years, 8 months ago

I'm not gonna get too excited about this win. Cal really only played 6 guys significant minutes. Of course there was no way they would have the stamina to play the whole 40 minutes.

Poor perimeter defense could hurt this team in a game that really counts if they don't tighten it up. X did a good job offensively (as usual) and really did a nice job on the boards, but I think he took a step back defensively last night after playing pretty well against Manny Harris from Michigan. Christopher looked like a lottery pick for the first 35 minutes of that game last night. Tyshawn nor X could guard him. Good thing he wasn't hot from 3 or he would have scored 30. Tyshawn seems quick enough laterally to keep his man in front of him, but I'm afraid he doesn't have the "want to" (read with a North Carolina drawl) that's necessary to lock down. Add to that, he gets lazy and has poor footwork on the defensive end--standing up too straight, getting his feet crossed over. Whatever happened to good 'ol fundamental defensive slides?

I think Sherron needs to be the example on the defensive end if he wants his senior year to end with a win on an April night in Indy. Until he leads by example with intensity on defense, his younger teammates aren't going to understand that it's the most important phase of the game. There will be games where KU can't throw it in the ocean and they will score 59 points. But you can ALWAYS play great defense and hold your opponent to 58 on those nights.

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John Boyle 4 years, 8 months ago

100, Of course Alabama's football team cares where they are ranked. It is much more important in football because of no playoff system. Their game wouldn't mean near as much to them if they were ranked 3rd with no chance of winning the national championship because #1 was playing #2 for the championship. Use a different and viable example to indicate why KU shouldn't be concerned with rankings.

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Jim Pendleton 4 years, 8 months ago

minnhawk - the 'b' teams start early this year, as in next Tuesday - Belmont Bruins. Although I think it will be a little easier to take care of business against them at AFH.

The next three after that will certainly be tougher. Two on the road and a home game against a Cornell team that was in the tourney last year, and won a road game against a good opponent this past week.

Great atmosphere last night, let's keep it going. Happy Holidays to all of Jayhawk Nation, and Rock Chalk!

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KUFan90 4 years, 8 months ago

chuckberry - man that sucks. I'd hate to have to deal with UK fans at work.

They thought we looked terrible? We shot 73% in the second half! But I'm sure they believe John Wall could have beaten Cal by himself so there is probably no point in even discussing it with them.

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Mike Kendall 4 years, 8 months ago

mvjayhawk,

I agree with ya. Jayhawks need to be safe over the Holiday and get ready for Belmont and Temple. Temple will be a challenge at their place.

floridajayhawks,

Your Gators look good at home--a one-point loss to South Alabama! Billy ball is alive and well in your State--not!

Happy Holidays, Jayhawk fans!

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beebe1 4 years, 8 months ago

It REALLY bothered me that they left their three point shooter wide open in the left front of the court, mostly in the first half! Maybe a couple of times to catch on, but not more. That was one of our major failures, We didn't have to stop them every time, but two or three times would have been a major game changer!

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Martin Rosenblum 4 years, 8 months ago

Cole showed signs of improvement from his illness last night. He was much more active on both ends of the court. I'm glad he's getting better and back in his game. There are times when you know he wants to put up a shot beyond 12 feet when the ball swings to him. My bet is that he could make at least 50% of them. But, coach has no doubt stressed more ball movement. When he is in the next level, he'll have to have some success with those outside shots, Maybe when we're up by 20+ he'll go rogue on us with one!

TRob seemed a little frustrated and out of sync last night. I think the Morrises are proving that his time will come next year after he benefits from practices with them and Cole.

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thmdmph 4 years, 8 months ago

Cal is a lot better than the rankings. Before long, they're going to push the top ten rankings.

I can't wait to see how KU plays the away games. The "T's" are going to be tough away games this year with Temple, Tenn, Texas, and Texas A&M.

This was a good game for KU because considering how hot Cal was during the first half, we showed some toughness and duked it out with them. KU needs to have that killer instinct to put teams away. So many times last night, we had chances to distant ourselves, but sh*t happens. Fortunately, Cal ran out of juice during the 2nd half, but by March, we shouldn't rely on teams losing their legs like this.

Hope Cole has a good Christmas break and comes back fresh. We need him.

Talking about Cole, I was very happy to finally see KU making an emphasis in getting the ball inside last night, especially considering I've been wining and moaning all season about that. Actually, last night, we were pushing the point too much and had several attempts to get the ball inside that were quite ill advised. The ball was stagnant, the defense was totally set with several defenders around Cole crowding him waiting for the feed, and yet the ball still came in for turnovers. However, I'd rather see us working at getting it in than not.

Overall, good hard fought win.

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KU 4 years, 8 months ago

If Cal doesn't develop at least 7 players that can get significant minutes, they will be a very distant 2nd to Washington in the Pac 10. They will lose a number of games to teams with less athletic starters where they run out of gas like last night. It was shocking how thin their bench was. It's no wonder they lost 3 games prior to last night--I think Robertson was out for most of those games with an injury.

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KU 4 years, 8 months ago

Here's an interesting graph of the race to 2,000 victories in college basketball.

http://www.bigbluehistory.net/bb/ncaaalltimewinstrends.html

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meremy 4 years, 8 months ago

I just wanted to say how proud I was of our team last night. There was a point in that game when we're down by 5 (I think that's the number) and everything is going against us. I'm sure I'm not the only one who saw something happen with our team at that moment in time. Suddenly, we had an intensity and EMOTION on the court. Personally, I think that's what has been missing with this team. Here's to this team making a New Year's resolution to play every minute of every game with that type of intensity from here on out.

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thmdmph 4 years, 8 months ago

KU, very cool graphics. Interesting to see how fast Kentucky and NC came on so fast - they can thanks KU for that over the next century.

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Dan Pawlowski 4 years, 8 months ago

soobawls, Do you understand the words coming out of your brain " this is Kansas and we are supposed to beat unranked teams at home. Rankings are meaningless." You just contradicted yourself. I agree with okiedave. Deciding which team is better based on who they played and how they look is fallacious. Lets wait until February when they can decide on the hard-court.

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Kevin Long 4 years, 8 months ago

Everyone relax! Since when do Bill Self's teams look unbeatable in Dec.? Unlike a former coach around here, he has his teams peaking around March. I think people are forgetting that this is still a pretty young team. They will lose a few games here and there, so what? They will have that Bill Self toughness by Feb,or March and be just fine.

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100 4 years, 8 months ago

JayhawkJohn,

While your point is valid about playing for the national championship in football, why in the world would Alabama's players even give it a second thought what they're ranked "right now"....

Their mind set (if they're winners) should be "who cares".

Wasting time thinking about rankings sets "worry" into an athletes mind... Again, why does Alabama care?

Answer: they don't (or shouldn't). They've already done what they need to do to play for the big trophy.

The only thing that should be on their minds is getting better...

Practice, practice, practice....

Rankings are for suckers, put your kids' egos to good use for crying out loud -- practice!!! -- every game is winnable for KU this year!!!

"Practice Wins Championships"

40-0.

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RockChalkGuy 4 years, 8 months ago

I hate to bring up the subject, but does anyone care to explain how one official continually called fouls against KU....fouls that didn't seem to exist? I know you shouldn't dwell on the officiating of a game, but you can't ignore the impact it has on a game, therefore it's worth discussing. I sit in the nosebleed seats, so it's difficult to tell sometimes if it's a legit call or not. I could definitely tell that Self disagreed with the same official on numerous calls.

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Redlandsjhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

Hey Chuckberry-- ask your co-workers if they know what is 84 feet long and has 12 teeth? Answer: Front row at a Kentucky basketball game. If you need any more let me know, my sister lives in Lexington and we've been kidding each other for a long time.

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Fruity22 4 years, 8 months ago

I'd say the officiating last night was pretty good. Cal got a couple of calls and so did KU. I will say the Morrises have a target on their back. Part of that is their own fault because of overaggressive play and getting a few technicals last year, bumping a ref on one occassion. I also think refs look at them as one guy who has 10 fouls to give and think it is okay to have a quick whistle with them. They have had a lot of questionable calls go against them this season.

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Jack Wilson 4 years, 8 months ago

I've been bagging on Taylor all year .. but perhaps Self has gotten through to him. If Taylor looks to pass first, score second, and protect the ball, we may actually have something with him. We can judge Taylor's true progress on the road at Temple and Tennessee. If we get the 3 points on 1 of 7 shooting, 4 turnovers and 1 assist. We're back to square one. But is we see the what we've seen in that last few games, this team will move to the next level.

Perhaps the two games out of the starting lineup let Taylor know he is not entitled to that spot.

I think we were ranked 4th in 2008 behind all of the other number one seeds, or at least we were the 4th #1 seed. Give Texas the number 1 spot now. They deserve it. The schedule simply has prevented us from beating NC and MSU.

No one cares where we were ranked in Dec., Jan., and Feb. of 2008.

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Jack Wilson 4 years, 8 months ago

Oh, and what does a pasture of Kentucky bluegrass and a Kentucky cheerleader have in common? A: They both could use a good mowing.

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Kit Duncan 4 years, 8 months ago

The biggest reason this team is not blowing away every other team it plays is not because it lacks talent. KU has the deepest bench we have ever seen and Coach Self is still working on finding the right combination of players to put on the floor. He is blessed with at least two different 5 man lineups that could start for any D-I school.

"Cohesiveness" is the reason KU is looking a little less spectacular than Texas or Kentucky. Bill is experimenting with different lineups in order to find the best group to put on the floor given different opposing matchups. Different teams present different challenges and right now Coach Self is prepping for Tournament time while trying to win games. It's not just about winning big now, it's about winning in April!

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KANSTUCKY 4 years, 8 months ago

Actually, the only licensed dentist in Kentucky is that snake oil salesman in Lexington. He also has committed to 10 starters and ran off most of the previous scholarship players. You better get in to see him soon because I hear he has a lot of vacations planned. (UMASS, Memphis, and a long one planned for UK) They should hit the Wall here pretty soon.

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Kye Clark 4 years, 8 months ago

I like the point klong brings up. Bill Self's teams are notorious for making great strides during the period after finals and before the second semester of classes begins. Now that Brady's back we should begin seeing the team gel. The ball is being moved into the post with greater frequency & effectiveness. X has been rebounding & playing better defense. Taylor is playing his best basketball of the year. Given time to focus solely on practice & getting better, the team defense should improve, turnovers should go down, the offense will run more smoothly without the ball sticking. We should be very formidable come the start of conference play.

What is still to be seen is if Withey is going to make any difference this year or not. I love Thomas Robinson, but he looked awful for much of the game last night (IMO). You'd have thought that given the fact that Cole is dealing with bronchitis, and that both him and Mk Morris were accumulating some fouls, and with TRob struggling, that if Withey was anywhere close to be able to help us we would have saw him for at least a couple of minutes. I think that given the fact that we've seen Marcus Morris play his best two games of his career while logging 30+ minutes in both games, his minutes should not suffer. Cole will almost certainly get more minutes once his bronchitis clears up. Markieff should be getting more minutes if not for his recent foul trouble. Maybe TRob's minutes suffer, but he only played 8 last night given the circumstances where there for him to play more. Hard to figure where Withey's minutes are gonna come from when he's finally ready. Just kinda funny considering everyone was so stoked for him to become eligible. Articles on the website, fans were posting youtube links of his high school footage. Much ado about nothing so far.

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Ron Franklin 4 years, 8 months ago

rockchalkguy- i was up 20 feet from the court, and then went straight home and watched the replay; i agree with you that it was less than stellar officiating.

that being said, i thought fouls were being called inconsistently on both sides of the ball....it especially drives me nuts when the refs control the tempo of the game when calling so many petty fouls.

a lot of times we use the refs as scapegoats...simple fact is they DO have better vantage points than us, but it's up to them to make the right call.

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ginger2015 4 years, 8 months ago

HighElite: It sounds like you're still bagging on him. How about focusing on the positives (last nights game) and stopping with the "'what ifs".

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Joe Baker 4 years, 8 months ago

icthawkfan316 Hard to figure where Withey's minutes are gonna come from when he's finally ready. Just kinda funny considering everyone was so stoked for him to become eligible. Articles on the website, fans were posting youtube links of his high school footage.

I was one that posted some footage of Withey and I still am stoked about him. I think Self has reasons for keeping him on the bench. I think a real smart move is to make the scouting report difficult for your schedule. Maybe HCBS doesn't want to tip his hat too soon about Withey. A little secret for the B12.

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Kye Clark 4 years, 8 months ago

truehawk - it's possible, but with last night's game tight much of the way I don't think HCBS would have just kept him on the bench and risked sacrificing a win just to keep him his secret weapon. I mean, losing at home to an unranked team would have been pretty bad. I think the more likely scenario is he's not ready to help us. Whether that means that he's not better than any of our bigs or he isn't in game shape or he doesn't know the playbook (something that was pointed out in a previous article, which is concerning considering he's been with the team for a full year now). I hope he helps us, but this situation is even more crowded than when Brady came back & started cutting into everyone's minutes on the perimeter, because I think he'll only be our 4th best big man. Obviously he's not better than Cole, nor do I think he's better than the Twins. Hard to say without seeing him, but seeing the improved play of the Twins it's hard to imagine Withey as better.

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KUPAUL 4 years, 8 months ago

Congrats kU....you beat a crappy Cal team at home!!!!!

When does the parade start?!

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thmdmph 4 years, 8 months ago

Withey is probably going to be like Cole during his freshman year (1-4 minutes), shows up in the tourney and shut down the star player like Dexter Pittman. Then reappear the following year as NBA ready. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

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Jack Wilson 4 years, 8 months ago

ginger2015: Obviously you provide no analysis or insight. Simply focusing on the positives is for cheerleaders. Taylor's inconsistent and selfish play held this team back last season and so far this year, and did so up through Elijah's first start. I noted that if his remake is reality, we're going to a different level. "Bagging" on him recognizes his poor, selfish play

Perhaps you can put on your crimson and blue skirt, grab your pom-poms and start with the "We've got spirt yes we do ..." cheer, or something else you come up with. When you have so real insight, I'd be interested ..

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Jack Wilson 4 years, 8 months ago

Anyone who thinks Texas doesn't deserve the #1 ranking is out at Clinton lake smokin' loco weed. They deserve it more than we do, and I, for one, am glad they are showing the Big 12 has a couple of the top teams in the country. Kudos to them.

We should worry about things that really matter, like getting better, winning the Big 12, peaking in March, and finding the right rotation. Self's got it under control.

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hawkstl 4 years, 8 months ago

I hope the Holiday spirit lands on some of you posters, I for one am Merry about our squad. Texas has a great team but they are not deeper than us and history is largely in our favor. On paper they should have had several Big 12 championships but for those keeping score at home..... I am betting on our guys.

Enjoy the ride!

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Scott Smetana 4 years, 8 months ago

Chicago... stop being so hard on soobawls (aka Downer Debbie)... I thought his comments were borderline positive.

FLJhawk... Maybe you should watch a few games before criticizing the team. All games are available for free on the internet. Until then, zip it.

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justinryman 4 years, 8 months ago

Every team needs a "spark plug" off the bench, and last night that was Brady, his crsip passing, and timely shooting. Hopefully during film the younger players take a few pointers from those key plays, heck even ESPN.com pointed them out.

Overall the second half the team looked good, but as stated many times above we got Cal's best shot(weren't they PAC10 preseanon picked #1?), and we swatted them away, the bench outlasted them, wore them out and I'm pretty sure KU can do that to much of the country on any given night.

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kennethst 4 years, 8 months ago

I would say they played pretty well the first 30 minutes......and absolutely great the last 10.

All in all.....a very good performance.

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FairgroveJayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

I'm not concerned about who is ranked higher, KU or Texas. As long as we are numbers 1 and 2 when we meet up Feb 8th, all is good. Actually, it would be nice to be ranked number two so the team has a little more motivation before the game, a little motivation to help off set the road game.

All fantasizing aside, Cole looked much better last night. Very active in the lane looking to score. When he shakes that cold, it is going to be a beautiful day. Before Morningstar returned (and prior to Self's manipulation), the consistency in guard play was of great concern. Now it appears the inside game could use some improvement. But, it is just a matter of time, with an outcome that is well understood and anticipated.

This team keeps improving and rebalancing, and will find it's motor racing very well come February.

Go Hawks!

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Mike Kendall 4 years, 8 months ago

Looking forward to seeing the Tigers of Missery play in St. Louie, against Illinois. I haven't seen the Tigers yet this season. KU plays them Jan. 25th, in Lawrence.

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Steve Brown 4 years, 8 months ago

hate to root for MU, yet....

the 'other' big 12 teams doing well, helps us tremendously in seeding, recruiting, TV $$, quality wins, so keep it up Big 12 pound the other conferences.

the 5 star recruits from OKCity and Iowa need to stay in league and not scoot off to a weak ACC or SEC.

the draft spots for Kevin Durrant, Mikey Beasely, Blake Griffen, helps sell the league for recruits. Top recruits coming to the league, helps all of us. And we get those by the league being strong and beating the non-cons....it's a self fullfilling cycle.

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