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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Kansas basketball notebook

Oklahoma forward Taylor Griffin brings down Kansas forward Quintrell Thomas during the first half at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.

Oklahoma forward Taylor Griffin brings down Kansas forward Quintrell Thomas during the first half at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.

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Jayhawks hang on, take down Sooners

KU defeated Oklahoma, who was ranked third in the nation, 87-78 on Monday night in Norman, Okla.

Audio clips

2009 KU-OU Feb. 23

Collison witnesses Cole’s effort

Kansas University sophomore Cole Aldrich’s 20 rebounds passed his old career high of 18 set against Oklahoma State on Feb. 7.

It seems Aldrich was pumped up to hit the boards hard after seeing a former KU great and current Oklahoma City Thunder player sitting in the stands.

“I saw Nick Collison in the crowd behind the bench, and I thought I’d go for every rebound. I had to knock Quintrell (Thomas) out of the way for one of them,” Aldrich said with a laugh.

“I knew I had a lot of rebounds at halftime and said, ‘I’ll try for it and go after every rebound.’’’

“It” was Collison’s 23-rebound effort against Texas on Jan. 27, 2003.

“They’re playing great, especially Cole. He’s really doing a great job,” gushed Collison, who gave KU coach Bill Self a hug after the game.

Collins honored

Kansas University’s Sherron Collins and Oklahoma State’s James Anderson on Monday were named Big 12 co-players of the week. Oklahoma’s Willie Warren was named rookie of the week.

Collins, who has snared the honor twice this season, averaged 22 points in victories over Iowa State and Nebraska. He hit 17 of 29 shots (58.6 percent), including six of 10 threes. He also had 10 assists against no turnovers.

On Griffin:

OU coach Jeff Capel wanted it made clear that OU’s medical staff made the decision to sit Blake Griffin (concussion) on Monday night.

“Blake would play if it was left up to him,” Capel said. “He wanted to come back in the second half the other day (after suffering concussion in first half at Texas). He wanted to give it a try. You don’t want to mess around with anything like this.”

Capel said he didn’t think any teams in the future would try to pop Griffin in the head to gain a competitive advantage.

“I hope not. You are talking about someone’s career, someone’s future,” Capel said. “I think it’d be a pretty crappy person or coach or player that would do that. You have to continue to play hard and do what you do. I certainly don’t think anyone in our league especially would go out of their way to inflict more damage or something like that.”

As far as past teams’ treatment of Griffin in the paint, Capel said: “I don’t think anybody in our league has been particularly dirty. There have been hard fouls. That’s part of basketball. I don’t think anybody in our league has been with the exception of maybe one game been malicious or anything with any intent to cause damage or hurt him.”

What game was that, coach?

“No comment,” Capel said.

Stats, facts

KU is 12-1 in the Big 12. It’s KU’s best conference 13-game record since the 2001-02 team went 16-0 ... KU has won at least 12 conference games for nine straight seasons. ... KU has won five straight versus OU. ... OU had a 19-game homecourt win streak snapped. OU had won 10 straight league games at home. ... KU is 15-15 at Noble Center. ... Oklahoma, at No. 3 in the AP poll, was the highest ranked team KU has beaten this season and the highest-ranked since beating Memphis (No. 2) in last year’s National Championship game.

Comments

Mike Blur 11 years ago

Also, wasn't last night the first time a Bill Self-coached KU squad beat a ranked conference foe in a true road game? According to Bob and Pipe pregame, there have been only a couple true-road game ranked-team victories in HCBS' tenure--Kentucky in 05 and someone else non-con. Anyone got a media guide?

Ted Toulouse 11 years ago

Mike, go to kuathletics.com They have PDF media guides now - good stuff

Chris Shaw 11 years ago

Anyone else a little concerned with Mario Little's playing time? Mario was the one guy I was never worried about on the team and for some reason I'm starting to doubt my own confidence. Mario definitely hasn't been playing well! Maybe he's thinking too much when he's out there. Who knows, but hopefully Little will get out of this "Slump" sometime soon.

Chris Shaw 11 years ago

How high a seed can KU really reach? For, I don't think it's out of the realm to possibly think a #1 seed is possible. Think about this for a second. If KU wins out that would be 7 more consecutive wins. That would bring KU's record to 30-5 and thus showing the committee that KU had won 19 out of it's last 20 games. Talk about being "Hot". If Memphis keeps taking care of business then Memphis would be the only other team in the country with a better record over that same span. #1 seed a possibility? Yes! A lot of What-If's with that scenario, but not out of the question. I think KU has a legitimate shot at #2 seed. Lets see what happens with Missouri. We'll see, but kind of fun to think about.

Ben Kane 11 years ago

I don't think a 1 seed is possible. Even if KU wins out the commitee would most likely delegate us to a 2 seed before the end of the conf tourney. I do think a 2 seed attainable which should mean staying in KC for the first two rounds. Got some big games left to take care of though before we can think about that. Just keep taking care of business and the rest will fall into place.

Rick Arnoldy 11 years ago

"Capel said he didn’t think any teams in the future would try to pop Griffin in the head to gain a competitive advantage. Capel said. “I think it’d be a pretty crappy person or coach or player that would do that. "

Well, Missouri's still on the schedule.

FlaHawk 11 years ago

There is no way a team with 5+ lossess would be a #1 seed in Big Dance. KUcould easily lose two more games befoer NCAAs.

I liked thw way they played last night (10 TOs, 15 Assists, controlled the boards, and more steals and blocks than OU). Of course without Blake on the court KU was very lucky. The defense neutralized the OU guards and this was the difference in game.

Cole was outstanding, but would have liked to see him go mano-mano with Blake Griffin!

JayhawkLova7 11 years ago

Kansas played great. I tip my hat off to Sherron and Tyshawn they played great! They stepped it up when we needed them and really went for it. Cole played a fantastic game as well. I do wish that Little would step up his play. I don't know whats going on but if we get him going as a scorer, imagine the possibilities.

Now I am more worried about the Texas game than Missouri, now let me tell you why: Texas has Abrams. Abrams does quite a bit of stuff including hitting big shots in close games. We need to make sure that the game against Texas isn't close and that we really slam the door on 'em. I seriously believe we have this game against Missouri but hey anything can happen but coming off that awesome win, we are going to be fired up playing at home.

Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

Jonathan Andrews 11 years ago

mike_blur: If memory serves, Georgia Tech was ranked pretty high when we went to their house and beat them, sans Simien.

Joe Joseph 11 years ago

Georgia Tech came to Allen Field House--sans Simien.

FairgroveJayhawk 11 years ago

kushaw- I think Little is caught in between positions. He wants to play the 3 but is asked to play the 4. You can see it when he sets screens when playing the 4, his motion is not a true 4. He can definitely have a positive impact like was, but I think right now his instincts are outside of what Self wants him to do and it's causing him trouble. He'll come around and find his spot. I look forward to seeing what he can do.

JayhawkPurist 11 years ago

A bit early, I admit, but even if Collins never earns consensus All-American honors this year or next (if he stays), I move that his body of work has earned him a spot in Allen Fieldhouse's hallowed rafters. First Hinrich (on Sunday), then Chalmers (Final Four MVP), then Collins. Any seconds?

not_important 11 years ago

If we win out, it is possible that we end up a low #2 seed. The things that make this possible is that Louisville, Villanova, and Marquette are all probably in front of us but they will have to knock each other out in their conference. I think it's fair to say that UConn and Pitt will battle for the top of that conference so the best of the three listed above probably won't fall too far. Also, Clemson, Wake, and Duke will have to kcock each other off as I still believe UNC is the team to beat in the ACC. So if we're lucky, four teams fall below us. That pretty much only guarantees us a high #3 seed.

If we get the #2 seed, it will still be difficult for us to get the KC pod. We would still need to jump over Okalhoma or Memphis on the S-curve. You know Memphis isn't losing in that crappy conference, so we basically have to hope OU continues to slide so we can pass them. This is disappointing for two reasons: 1) because I think we would all like to see two Big 12 teams get good seeds and control the KC pod, and 2) in order for us to jump over OU, that is going to mean we'll have to root for MU to beat OU on the 4th.

It would be great to end up in KC, but I think our next best bet is to get ourselves to Minneapolis so some fans can get up there instead of getting shipped west to Boise or Portland. After last night, that is a very real possibility. That UMass game is really going to bite us as we chase the higher seed and it drags our RPI down. Hopefully, a strong final 10 game record will counteract that one loss from early in the season. It is so long ago, but as close as all of us are packed together, that may end up being the difference depending on whose profile we are going up against.

PAHAWK1 11 years ago

A couple of possesions (1 each against Syracuse and UMass) and FTs (against MU) separate us from #1 seed.

Kevin Sontag 11 years ago

JayhawkLova7 (anonymous) says... Now I am more worried about the Texas game than Missouri

You shouldn't be! At least not yet. Remember, if KU beats Misery, and then beats Tech, we wrap up the number one seed in the Big 12 tourney. We could lose to Texas 100-1, and it wouldn't change our conference standing. Now a loss could affect our NCAA seed, but I wouldn't worry about it. Difference between a 2, 3, or 4 seed isn't that great, and if KU's performance against 'Cuse and UMass is any indication, I might want the Hawks to stay away from Sprint Center! So forget Texas. We got MU next, and it's clobbering time!

Chris Shaw 11 years ago

Flahawk: You don't think a team with 5 losses can be a #1 seed? All you have to do is go back two years ago and look at UNC team that was 27-6 and they still got the #1 seed in the East. Talk about Amazing! While UNC struggled to a 27-6 record and received the #1 seed in the East, they shipped Kansas all the way out to the West Region with a 30-4 record. So yes, a team with 5 losses can most definitely be a #1 seed.

Brian Powell 11 years ago

/ / / Everyone in the media, and even us sometimes, seems to forget this. Most of the losses we have were CLOSE and/or against top-25 teams.

That said, I don't think we'll be a #1 seed, win out or not. But who cares.

Brian Powell 11 years ago

/ / / I meant to reference PAHAWK

distracted 11 years ago

I'm still shocked we're realistically having the #2-seed conversation. This has been an awesome, expectation-destroying season and it's really proved to me that HCBS deserves coach-of-the-year honors. With as much parity as there is within all the top conferences, I don't think there'll be that much difference between a 2-4 seed and the caliber of teams that will fall in front of us throughout the tournament. KC would be nice, but KU seems to have a great following wherever they go. It's all about improving up to the final 6 games (which I think they're doing) and a little luck along the way. I can't believe March is almost here. Happy pants, happy pants.

Michael Auchard 11 years ago

No way we're a #1. Besides the W-L record, we're not on one of the coasts. You need to have a REALLY good record or else your school's name is Duke to get one of the top seeds.

Steve Gantz 11 years ago

Losses against a poor UMass team, a slumping Syracuse team don't help our cause for a #1 or even a #2. The committee will remember beating OU without Griffin. Can't say for sure we win with him playing, not sure we lose with him playing, but it definitely made the game easier to win. After the UMass game in particular, even talking about a 3 or 4 seed would have been a little far fetched. And don't rule out easily defeating Texas. They're a formidable foe.

rcjh22 11 years ago

Sherron stepped up real big last night hitting those 3's in key moments but if he misses those do we win the game? He started to try to prove himself too much like he tends to do when someone takes him on like Warren did last night.

Also don't forget about Tyshawn if he didn't have that spurt when we were down 22 to 8 I don't know who else would have stepped up that big.

Scott Oswalt 11 years ago

KU will get a #2 seed in the tourney. We would've easily wrapped up the #1 seed if we didn't lose to UMass, Syracuse, MU. This team could easily be a 2 loss team. I'm thinking this team is a Final 4 team AGAIN! And this is why we play Self the big bucks.

mandomax 11 years ago

I agree rcjh22. This was the first game where I was actually glad Sherron got a little attitude and decided to take the game into his own hands. When he tried that against Flynn and the Orangemen, it backfired. Last night, fortunately, he was absolutely on fire and was able to knock down some HUGE shots, answering OU 3-for-3 to keep the crowd and the homecourt advantage at bay.

That being said, he was a great general on the floor, and I'm happy he decided to step up at the end. Hopefully he won't have to take over games like that in the future, but if we're down late or need a big bucket late, I know who I'm giving the ball to after last night.

angusmcpherr 11 years ago

We beat USC in LA last year when they were ranked 22/24.

JayhawkPhil64 11 years ago

The thing I enjoy most about Cole Aldrich is his ability to hold onto the ball after he grabs a rebound. Some of you old timers will remember back in the '70's we had a lot of tall guys who could grab a rebound but some shorter guy was always knocking it out of their hands before they could do anything with it. Aldrich almost never gets the ball knocked out his hands.

kerbyd 11 years ago

I agree with the poster who stated he hated to see Collins try to drive thru double and triple teams. He needs to learn to kick it to the open guy. Although, I guess he had zero turnovers the previous 2 games.

kufankam 11 years ago

i find it funny that sherron takes the same high risk shots he has taken all year but no one is ripping now. why? its simple... they went in. it baffles me that people are so hot/cold on these guys. three weeks ago, he shoots something like 4 for 14 and everyone is saying that self needs to reel him in (even though self continues to say he wants sherron getting shots up) and now not a peep. fact is, we will live and die by how he plays. is he gonna shoot us out of some games? maybe. however, he also is THE reason we won last night and a pivotal reason we are on top of the conference. he is leading the youngest team in america (the other nine younger than KU don't matter) and has them playing above thier years. if this team makes a decent run in the tourney (sweet 16/elite 8), and everyone returns... look out!!

just curious? does anyone worry that next year we may have too many players fighting for the same minutes? with johnson coming in and self saying that he would be the most athletic gaurd on this team, who would lose minutes? releford, reed, morningstar, taylor? i know that competition is a great thing and they will push eachother... but i wonder if that has and will deter recruits for next year?

Vic Janeway 11 years ago

I do think Sherron loses control, especially driving down the lane, wish the players would get set for a pass off and Sherron willing to do that. On a positive note, his shots have been super smooth lately, perfect in arch and touch, wow. Guys no way we get the respect of a number one, but yes, a number two is reasonable if KU finishes the season and tournament! Where they playing this year's tournament anyway?

kerbyd 11 years ago

Any guesses as to who Capel thought was playing dirty?

jaybate 11 years ago

Capel amused me with talk of dirty play.

Last year, when OU was not so talented, OU got incredibly dirty with KU and other teams the moment OU fell 10-15 down--classic Knight/Coach K butcher'em to get back in the game ball.

This year, when he's highly ranked and he's got some excellent players with bull's eyes on their foreheads marked by less talented teams, he's a purist about fouling.

Consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds, right Coach Capel?

If KU faces OU in the B12 tourney and Griffin is healthy, Cole Aldrich is going to take a physical assault like nothing he has ever seen if KU starts to pull away at any time...and his nose will be the number one target.

If I were Cole, and KU went up by 15 in the second half with 10 minutes to go, I would just put my mask back on for the rest of the game.

Regardless, Capel knew this game was not necessary and, though he did amp his team up to try to steal one his home floor, he did not unleash his dogs on KU players when he got behind. He will save unleashing the dogs, if necessary, for when OU is Blake-ful in the tourney. And he will call it clean, hard fouling, as when Russell Robinson was fouled clean and hard clear off the wood court last year.

jaybate 11 years ago

Timmay97,

Thanks for the link. I like their mother. I like the twins, despite their struggles. Thrown to the D1 dogs, and sharply outplayed at times because of weak hops and not enough muscle mass up top, Self has still only had to really hide them about four times this season; that's not that bad for freshman bigs, who are not obvious superstars. We'd be in a world of hurt without them this year, rather than 23-5, that's for sure. If they learn to love the weights, both players could really make us a dominant front court with Withey (and Cole?).

I've deliberated on the Twins vs. Withey. Will all three play equal minutes, or will Withey have to go through some growing pains like the Twins have been through?

I increasingly think it is hard to learn to play Bill Ball. Players have to do a lot of fundamental things right to get on the floor, stay there, and they have to be quite exceptional to have Self build around them. Even to get just get 20-25 minutes per game, you just have to cost Self very little and bring a lot of courses to the meal.

Withey is a talent, but whether he can displace the Twins, or share time with them, when they have a year's experience on him in Bill Ball, depends a lot on how Self tailors next year's team.

Self has proven with Cole that he is willing to build a strong down-the-middle team with a green post man, like Cole, but Cole is a very tough cookie psychologically with quite a few skills that compliment a great PG. But I am of the school that Collins will depart and that Tyshawn is not destined to be a great PG, but rather an exceptional two guard. So what kind of team will Self scheme next year?

I know what I would love to see. I would love to see Self craft a dominant front court team with two guards. He hasn't really tried this yet. I would like to see one like Wooden built with Sidney Wicks and Curtis Rowe flanking Steve Patterson. I would like to see Kieff fill the role of Patterson standing out at the top of the key popping treys and creating a vacuum inside for Marcus and Withey to work in. It would be awesome to watch them work. And Robinson and Little and Quintrell could back them up on the wings. Withey, who also has a good touch, could occassionally take over the high post.Then all that would be needed would be two good guards, say Tyshawn and Brady Morningstar, with Reed, Travis Releford, Elijah, and Tyrone Appleton, backing them up.

Or Lance Stephenson might show up and run the point.

codybear 11 years ago

This would make one think that Missouri will play dirty and try to take out any KU player that they can on Sunday..........Missouri's play by play announcer is about the worst at bad mouthing other teams as I have ever heard. Plus the fact that Missouri has gotten back in the ranks makes them about as big headed as any Big East team. I would have given up an NCAA invite just to have seen us beat Missouri twice and three times if necessary (Big 12 Play Off). Between Texas and Missouri it would be hard to pick the which has the most back alley punks; right now I would have to say Texas if it wasn't for my disdain of Missouri.
Anderson can take his hillbillies back to AR and stay there......40 minutes of Garbage and all. PLEASE PUT MISSOURI DOWN SUNDAY AND LEAVE THEM ON THE FLOOR STILL BLEEDING......ALSO WIN BY ABOUT 45 POINTS......THAT'S HAPPINESS!!

Jack Wilson 11 years ago

One thing interesting about the IQ of home crowds .. did you hear OU whining at every block Cole made, or at obvious calls that went against OU .. no. OU seemed like a high IQ crowd. Much different than the KSU and MU crowds. Seriously, KSU and MU crowds yelled at every call that went against them. It didn't matter how obvious it was. Embarrassing.

Dale Kroening 11 years ago

Collins does play out of control at times, but so does Tyshawn, and the twins. It's going to happen on a young team. Yes Collins should know better, but thats just the way it is. Remember this is Sherrons first season as a full time starter so he's still learning.This is the 10th youngest team in the nation and we're ranked 15th and 12-1 in our conference. As a KU fan I honestly didnt expect it. Ive been very critical of Sherron on his ballhandling and taking bad shots but he has stepped up the last 3 games and hopefully will continue to get better. This team is getting better every game and I think we hammer Fizzou Sunday. I do worry about Brady and Tyrell's troubles with pressure and traps bringing the ball up. Am I the only one that cringes when there is pressure or trap and one of those guys are bringing it up court. They both seem to stop, or go toward the sidelines. Sherron and Tyshawn usually handle it pretty well though. Anyways I think they need to improve that. Great Game monday and lets go Hawks on Sunday!

merg311 11 years ago

"One thing interesting about the IQ of home crowds .. did you hear OU whining at every block Cole made, or at obvious calls that went against OU .. no. OU seemed like a high IQ crowd. Much different than the KSU and MU crowds."

Were you watching and/or listening to the same game I was? OU seemed to boo just as much as the fans in Manhattan or Columbia..

Superheated 11 years ago

http://www.zagsblog.com/2009/02/24/exclusive-lance-stephenson-interview/#more-12405

Here is a comment on Lance Stephanson..he said he had fun and said he was looking forward to where he could fit in on this program. After watching Saint Johns get crushed, wew probably can eliminate them from the mix. He is set to travel to wake soon, he also is eliminating usc and ucla. There is supposed to be a full video on his recruiting decision tomorrow. I think he woud fit in nice on the team as a wing type SF or SG there is room for four of five guards to get PT at KU. We did it with Rush, Robinson, Chalmers and Collins.

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