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Originally published January 13, 2009 at 06:07p.m., updated January 13, 2009 at 10:30p.m.

FINAL: Taylor’s 20 points spark KU in 87-71 win over KSU

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor pushes the ball up court on a break against the Kansas State defense during the second half Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor pushes the ball up court on a break against the Kansas State defense during the second half Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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2009 KU-KSU basketball Jan. 13

Reader poll

Who was KU's MVP against Kansas State?

  • Sherron Collins 21% 63 votes
  • Cole Aldrich 10% 30 votes
  • Tyshawn Taylor 62% 180 votes
  • Mario Little 4% 12 votes
  • Other 0% 2 votes

287 total votes.

Videos

6Sports Preview: Kansas vs. K-State

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The Jayhawks take on in-state rival Kansas State Tuesday night at Allen Fieldhouse.

UPDATED: 2008-09 Kansas Men's Basketball: Past, Present and Future

This KUSports.com multimedia feature will keep you on pace with the Kansas men’s basketball team throughout the season. We trace the path from last year’s national championship game to the team's new faces for 2009, its 11-4 record heading into conference play and a 14-2 Big 12 finish, including a record fifth-straight conference title. Check back for a final update when the season concludes.

Recurring event

KU vs. Kansas State

  • Allen Fieldhouse, 1651 Naismith Drive, Lawrence
  • All ages

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Reader poll

Did Mario Little make the right decision by not red-shirting?

  • Yes 57% 929 votes
  • No 30% 490 votes
  • Undecided 12% 201 votes

1620 total votes.

Kansas scoring

Collins 24 (7-for-11 shooting), Taylor 20, Aldrich 15 (5-for-6 shooting), Little 8, Morningstar 6, Reed 6, Markieff Morris 5, Marcus Morris 3.

KU made 28 of 48 shots (58.3 percent), 5 of 12 threes (41.7 percent) and 26 of 37 free throws (70.3 percent).

KSU was 25-for-64 from the field (39.1 percent), 5-for-16 from three (31.3 percent) and 16-for-22 from the free-throw line (72.7 percent).

The Wildcats out-rebounded the Jayhawks, 37-34.

KU had just 11 turnovers. KSU had forced at least 15 turnovers against its last eight opponents.

FINAL: KU defeats KSU, 87-71

A “Start the tractors” chant begins from the student section with just over a minute left.

Taylor puts in a left-handed layup with 24 seconds left to cap his bounceback performance. That gives him an even 20 points to go with three assists, four rebounds and two steals.

KU comes away with an impressive 16-point victory.

KU 81/KSU 68 — 1:45 left in game

KU’s end-game free-throw shooting should seal this one. By my count, the Jayhawks have made their last eight foul shots.

KU 77/KSU 64 — 3:54 left in game

It’s a battle of tempos right now. KSU wants to speed things up, while KU wants to slow them down, especially with Aldrich and Collins both sitting with four fouls.

KU survives 3 1/2 minutes and keeps its lead at 13 before Self checks Collins back in.

Collins immediately makes his presence known, driving in for a two off the glass.

Self wanted his other players to help Collins and Aldrich out more. He saw that in the last four minutes, when a make-shift lineup was able to maintain the Jayhawks’ 13-point lead.

KU 69/KSU 56 — 7:58 left in game

Taylor certainly seems to have his groove back.

He put in a high layup off the glass, drawing a foul before yelling out in celebration toward the students. Right now, he has 14 points, three assists and just one turnover.

KU’s triangle-and-two defense seems to be confusing KSU a bit. Pullen forces up a tough shot, but Sutton elevates for the offensive rebound before getting two and a foul. The foul is on Aldrich, and that’s his fourth whistle. Both he and Collins have four personals.

KU 58/KSU 46 — 11:45 left in game

KU is playing at K-State’s tempo right now. Because of the KSU traps, the Jayhawks are hoisting up quick shots. That’s probably a good thing for the Wildcats.

Clemente’s three-point play cut the KU lead to 45-42, but again the Jayhawks responded. Morningstar hit his first three, and Reed followed with a fast-break layup.

Aldrich picked up Colon’s fourth foul on a three-point play, and a minute later, Colon picked up his fifth foul on a whistle inside. It’s a big loss for KSU, as Colon had 12 points and six rebounds after not scoring in his last three games.

Collins has started to take over. He hits a deep three, then goes into the lane for a one-handed floater. KU’s lead is back up to 12.

KU 45/KSU 37 — 15:20 left in game

Markieff Morris gets KU’s first basket of the second half at the 17:28 mark, knuckle-balling in a 7-foot jumper.

The pace has picked up quite a bit. Collins and Taylor both get layups, but KU will need to step up defensively (and on the defensive boards) to keep this lead.

KU 39/KSU 33 — 17:59 left in game

This one looks like it’s going to be a game. KSU opens the second half with a 9-2 run, capped by a three from Pullen. Timeout KU.

The Wildcats have also started to trap on defense, while KU is struggling with its half-court offense. The Jayhawks are still looking for their first field goal of the second half.

Kansas scoring

Cole Aldrich 10 (4-for-4 shooting), Tyshawn Taylor 9, Mario Little 6, Sherron Collins 5, Marcus Morris 3, Tyrel Reed 2, Markieff Morris 2.

KU made 14 of 26 shots (53.8 percent), 2 of 8 threes (25 percent) and 7 of 13 free throws (53.8 percent). KU out-rebounded KSU, 18-17, in the first half.

The Wildcats, meanwhile, were 9-for-28 (32.1 percent) from the floor, 3-for-9 (33 percent) from three and 3-for-4 (75 percent) from the free-throw line.

Some halftime thoughts:

KSU is going to have to force more turnovers if it wants to make a run at the Jayhawks. The Wildcats had just two steals in the first half, and KU had just six turnovers overall. I would expect we see both trapping and pressing from the ‘Cats in the second half.

Aldrich was 4-for-4 in the first half, so the Jayhawks can’t forget about him inside. KSU doesn’t look to be doubling him, so KU needs to make more of an effort to look his way.

Little showed what he could bring this team in the first half. Six points in eight minutes is the kind of production Self wants and needs from his small forward.

KU 37/KSU 24 — Halftime

Marcus Morris cleans up a Collins miss, grabbing the offensive board and putting it back in for two.

Frank Martin has been relatively calm all game, but he doesn’t hesitate to rip into Pullen after he picked up a reach-in foul on Morningstar 30 feet from the basket.

Self screams some, too, on a KSU free throw. He yelled at both Aldrich and Marcus Morris, telling them to look at him as he signaled the defensive call.

Great spot defense by Tyrone Appleton in the last 10 seconds of the half. He was subbed in for the Wildcats’ last possession, and he briefly knocked the ball away from Pullen before forcing the KSU guard to change his shot in mid-air. The three-pointer bounced off, and a pumped-up Collins gave Appleton congratulations as he left the court.

KU 30/KSU 20 — 3:34 left in 1st half

One side of Brady’s hair is sticking up, and the other side is laying flat. Wonder if he just got up.

Dominique Sutton hits a three for KSU. He was 3-for-14 from three (21.4 percent) coming in.

KU 28/KSU 16 — 5:14 left in 1st half

Collins gets his second whistle on an offensive foul. Self springs off the bench with his hands raised. I didn’t see the contact there. Taylor checks in.

For a second, we saw a flash of Travis Releford’s explosiveness. With his back to the rim, he spun quickly to the basket and was at the rim two steps later. Unfortunately for KU, he missed the easy finger-roll.

Little shows a bit of his repertoire inside, pivoting in the post before rattling in a tough mid-range shot.

KSU shows some of its defensive pressure out of a timeout, trapping Collins in the corner. Fred Brown gets a steal and puts in a layup at the other end. Colon gets a two on the next possession, and KSU has a 9-0 run.

KU answers, though. Collins dishes to Aldrich for a dunk, and Little drains a baseline jumper to get four points right back.

KU 20/KSU 5 — 11:54 left in 1st half

How long will this run go? Collins hits a floater in the lane then a three to make it 16-0.

Tyrel Reed, who is in mostly for his offense, gets a steal up top and finishes on the other end with a layup. Timeout KSU, as it’s 18-0 KU with 14:04 left in the half.

Darren Kent finally breaks the KSU drought with a three from the top. It comes at the 13:49 mark, meaning that the Wildcats went more than six minutes to start the game without scoring.

KU 11/KSU 0 — 15:50 left in 1st half

The decibel meter reaches 102.1 before tipoff. That’s by far the highest it’s been before a game this year.

KU seems to be feeding off the energy. Aldrich hits a shot, and Taylor steps confidently into a three to make it 5-0.

Aldrich has been a presence inside already. He was fouled going to the rim, and after hitting the two free throws, he elevated on the next possession to get an offensive rebound and stickback on a Morningstar miss.

No glove for Little in this game. Looks like the hand might be healing.

Speaking of Little, he gets his first field goal as a Jayhawk, putting in a layup off a nice no-look pass from Collins. Timeout KSU, as KU has started the game on an 11-0 run.

7:04 p.m.

A change in the starting lineup: Mario Little will start along with Cole Aldrich, Tyshawn Taylor, Sherron Collins and Brady Morningstar.

6:58 p.m.

Bad news for KU fans? John Higgins is officiating tonight. Remember the UMass game? And KU coach Bill Self's technical?

6:50 p.m.

Here are some quick things you need to know about Kansas State, which comes in with an 11-4 record.

• The Wildcats offense starts with its defense. KSU's ball-pressure defense has forced at least 15 turnovers in eight straight games. During that stretch, opponents have averaged 19.8 turnovers per outing. Sherron Collins and Tyshawn Taylor will need to take care of the basketball.

• When KSU has lost, it has often been because of turnover problems itself. The Wildcats had 20 turnovers in their 61-53 loss against Oklahoma on Saturday.

• KSU comes in with two of the quickest guards in the country. Jacob Pullen (fast) is averaging 14.3 points per game and Denis Clemente (faster) is posting 12.2 points per contest. Both of those guards are shooting above 35 percent from three this season. Sixth man Fred Brown is third on the team in scoring (10.2 points per game) has made 43.2 percent of his three-pointers this year.

• The Wildcats have depth inside, but their big men have been inconsistent. Perfect example: Six-foot-10 forward Luis Colon scored 18 against Southern Miss. In his last three games, he has been held scoreless.

• Despite not having a dominant big man, KSU has been spectacular on the glass this season. The Wildcats lead the Big 12 in rebounding margin (plus-8.1), rebounds (41.1) and offensive rebounds per game (16.8).

• Dominique Sutton, at 6-foot-5, is the Wildcats' defensive stopper. Though he's listed as a small forward, I've been told he will guard Sherron Collins at times tonight.

6:10 p.m.

Welcome back to the Newell Post Live, coming to you from Allen Fieldhouse where the Kansas Jayhawks are getting set to take on the Kansas State Wildcats.

I’m sure you’ve heard the news by now: Mario Little will play in tonight’s game and will not take a medical red-shirt.

So far, KU fans’ reaction to this has been mixed. Just look at this poll we put up today: the yeses and nos seem pretty close.

In my mind, Little absolutely did the right thing for this team.

Here’s why:

1. KU needs him this year*. KU lost nine players from last year’s team. The Jayhawks needed a quick fix. Little was supposed to be that quick fix.

* — More on this later.

Junior-college guys aren’t brought in unless you need help right now (just ask former Kansas State football coach Ron Prince). KU needed him now. Little provides that, whether he’s at 100 percent or not.

Which brings me to my next point.

2. Even in Little isn’t 100 percent now, that doesn’t mean he won’t be 100 percent by March.

Fans and media alike seem to only remember what happened last (Remember any details from the Temple game? It was less than a month ago). Though KU is about halfway through its schedule, all the important games are still remaining. No one will remember UMass if KU sweeps Missouri. Nobody will complain about the Arizona game if the Jayhawks make a run to the Sweet 16.

If Little can be healthy for the last month of the season, it’s worth bringing him back this year.

3. With two years to plan, KU coach Bill Self can recruit to find someone to take Little’s place when he graduates. However, Self can’t do that now. The Jayhawks don’t have many other options if they can’t get Little on the court.

4. KU needs scoring from the small-forward position. And this isn’t a criticism of Brady Morningstar.

Let’s look at some stats from www.kenpom.com.

• KU is 293rd out of 344 Division-I teams in percentage of scoring from the small-forward position. Only 16.7 percent of the Jayhawks’ points have come from their small forwards. That ranks 11th in the Big 12 (K-State is 12th with 14 percent of its scoring coming from the small-forward position). KU needs more scoring from that spot, especially because Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich aren’t getting much scoring help from anyone else right now.

• KU’s small-forward effective height is 243rd in the country. Essentially, this means KU is giving up size at that position to two-thirds of the teams it plays.

• Still, Morningstar has been a good offensive player by not trying to do too much. In fact, his offensive rating on kenpom.com, which is “the measure of personal offensive efficiency,” is 126.0, which is 41st out of all Division-I players. Generally, a 110 rating is considered good, and a 120 rating is considered excellent.

What can we take from this? Morningstar is helping the Jayhawks by not hurting them. He isn't taking too many shots, and he's making a lot of the few shots he's taking.

Little, though, can help this team by bringing offensive ability (and height) that Morningstar can’t. If he can do that this year with a team desperately needing offensive production from a small forward, he should do that.

Now, he's decided he will.

Comments

Joe Joseph 11 years ago

I might be wrong, but I am fairly confident that I remember saying that -as a freshman- Brady Morningstar was going to be a good player.I agree with your assessment of Mario Little. Bring him back and help this team qualify for the tournament :)...the BIG tournament.

Joe Joseph 11 years ago

Side note: I also remember saying that CJ Giles was going to be the next Wayne Simien.

Rick Arnoldy 11 years ago

Where is the game time and TV info?

Jesse Newell 11 years ago

ohioburg — It should be back up now.

jayhawkansas 11 years ago

GREAT insight Newell, wasn't so sure myself, but now I feel a LOT better!

jaybate 11 years ago

jnewell,Take a minute and give us your take on how not redshirting Mario Little helps Mario Little?

jaybate 11 years ago

jnewell,Let me put a little finer point on my request. The talking points you give above all relate to why KU needs Little so much. We don't need to be told that, because anyone who watches the team knows that already. What I am interested in is a list of talking points about the exact ways in which Mario Little is better off not red shirting. I've tried to think of some and I can't think of any. All I can think of are the reasons it is good for KU to have Little play with two broken bones. Thanks in advance.

Jesse Newell 11 years ago

jaybate — That's a good point. That's why I said:"In my mind, Little absolutely did the right thing for this team."As for him, I would say if he's going to have a pro career, he needs it to happen sooner rather than later. NBA folks draft on potential, and the older you are, the less high your ceiling tends to be.

Matt Bowers 11 years ago

Where is the game being streamed on the internet!!!

kupark 11 years ago

Any place streaming this game? Link please? Thanks

Joe Joseph 11 years ago

Little does not look very explosive off of that leg...

Theutus 11 years ago

We are looking good on defense, but our offense still looks terrible.. Not individually, but we look like we just don't know what to do. The ball makes the rounds around the arc, and nothing ever happens until someone decides it's been too long and takes it 1 on 1.

cwag 11 years ago

Damn, no shutout tonight.....

Theutus 11 years ago

Ok, every time I'm about to give Collins a compliment, he turns around and makes an ass of himself.What was that last shot? He gets one good look at a 3, and then comes right out of a timeout and throws up a terrible off-balance contested shot without a single pass.I don't think he'll ever learn.

Joe Joseph 11 years ago

Is it just me, or is Frank Martin an extremely disproportionate human being?

milwaukeeJAYHAWK 11 years ago

oh my god this justin.tv is a godsend! i didn't think i'd be able to see the game, up here in wisconsin.thanks kupark!

cwag 11 years ago

Theutus, I agree. Collins will never be savvy enough to be the team leader. Cole needs to take charge.

NH_JHawk 11 years ago

Little making an impact early with two FGs. Now that he's decided to play maybe he can relax a little and just play some basketball.

Joe Joseph 11 years ago

5 minutes of great basketball......followed by 35 minutes of suck.

Theutus 11 years ago

Atleast the announcers are picking up on the fact that our PG's are failing the team. As long as they are not feeding the ball to Cole, they are doing us a dis-service.

Brian Powell 11 years ago

Yeah Morriss'ssssss!!! Good game going on both ends..Little hitting a few shots too. Taylor still one of my fav's...Cole solid,Collins playing well but could play much better (where is our 1/2 court O?)Don't let up Hawks!

okjhok 11 years ago

If you have cable or satellite and live out of the Big XII area, ESPN full court is free this week and the game is on. Channel 720 on directv, not sure with cable.

frompekka2sasha 11 years ago

I am happy with Little so far. Sherron's 1 1/2 to 1 ratio is not going to cut it unless he scores about 30-35 pts a game. You shouldn't expect 4 to 1 from him but he's got to get it up to 2 1/2 to 1 or slightly better in order for this team to be effective.Someone mentioned playing Brady at the point which seems ludicrous until you think about how many careless TO's come from Sherron playing that position. Maybe Taylor can become the point guard later in the season?

rtjayhawk 11 years ago

what a game (so far) by Little, huh?

frompekka2sasha 11 years ago

okjhok- That channel 720 looks worse than MYTV network. I didn't think that was possible. Have you tried the YES network on 731? It looks much better but it's in 4:3 ratio.

Joe Joseph 11 years ago

I'm very close to turning the channel to Idol.

Brian Powell 11 years ago

cmon guys. Did we forget how to rebound??I love Taylor. Big man-crushTerrible call - that was a STEAL by collins...

frompekka2sasha 11 years ago

It seems like KSU is playing is playing at home. I know that KU benefits from calls a bit too often at AFH but that ain't even close to happening tonight.I don't know if we are tough enough to rebound yet. Little being healthy should help later down the road and that's an IF.

okjhok 11 years ago

thanks, pekka, much better...what the hell are we doing on YES?

frompekka2sasha 11 years ago

They always cover BIG 12 stuff. It surprised me the entire football season. Jayhawk-ography will be appearing soon between stories of Goose Gossage, Craig Nettles and Aaron "bleeping" Boone.

frompekka2sasha 11 years ago

Morris with the high...err.. low, low to Aldrich. Nice.

frompekka2sasha 11 years ago

Bad coaching by Martin with Colon. Pretty freaking stupid. Anyone else notice that Martin's assistants are just as angry as him? What kind of job interview angle do you display with Martin to get hired? I would come in yelling obscenities to increase my chances.

Brian Powell 11 years ago

I root for Collins to win the stupid Chi-town matchup. Pullen is a poser.

jaybate 11 years ago

jnewell,So, I guess we agree. He did the best thing for his team, but probably not himself.Also, saying Little helps himself by leaving KU sooner, rather than getting to play two full seasons in good health, assumes he is a such a strong NBA prospect that an NBA career should determine his choice.Do you believe that Mario Little is a strong prospect to be drafted by the NBA on his potential?If Keith Langford and Russell Robinson were not able to break into the NBA after sterling perimeter careers at KU, it seems over optimistic to assume that Little is a shoe in and needs to maximize his draft position based on youthful potential.If I were in his family, I would have highly recommended Mario redshirt a year and get an extra year to get a degree, because his chances of an NBA career are small. And playing two full seasons scoring in double figures for a very good D1 team makes him almost a sure thing for playing for good money in Europe, too. Thanks for your response.

frompekka2sasha 11 years ago

Collins nails a deep 3 and all I can think about is how people would criticize him had he missed it!

frompekka2sasha 11 years ago

jaybate- I think we need to see the "real" Mario Little before we assume he is a pro or not. I haven't seen enough of his game to comment either way.

Brian Powell 11 years ago

4 free throws in a row for Tyshawn that hit the front of the rim :( watch the tape. 1 for 4?More legs??Still love him...

frompekka2sasha 11 years ago

and NOT 1! I always hated that saying. Do you say "and 2" when someone jacks up a shot that may not go in? J/K

jaybate 11 years ago

I'm not watching the game on TV.Interesting that we are being outrebounded total and on offensive boards and shooting poorly from the FT line and are still up by 10 or so.

rtjayhawk 11 years ago

frompekka: LOL - good call on the NOT 1.

frompekka2sasha 11 years ago

KSU has really shot themselves in the foot and done it several times. I like to think that we are much better but I'm really not sure at this point.

jaybate 11 years ago

frompekka2sasha,Precisely. I agree about waiting to decide if he is a pro prospect or not. Unless he is sure he is a pro prospect, he should have red shirted.

rtjayhawk 11 years ago

Did anyone else think that Cole had just fouled out?

frompekka2sasha 11 years ago

Only Dave Armstrong from a few minutes ago. He said that Cole had an earlier foul that was switched to another guy.

Joe Joseph 11 years ago

What's best for Mario personally can only be determined by Mario and his immediately family. This nonsense needs to stop.

frompekka2sasha 11 years ago

stupidmichael- We should also assume that he may have made his decision on behalf of the team itself. That would be representative of what we have seen from Self's players in his stint at KU.

Mark Walters 11 years ago

Yeah, I thought that was it. I was wondering why he kept him in with 4.

frompekka2sasha 11 years ago

But... I believe Mario's uncle thought he should redshirt. Oh well. It's his call and it's no longer worth debating since the decision has been make.

cwag 11 years ago

I'm glad he's playing; we're gonna need him.

Brian Powell 11 years ago

Fun Fact: 2nd cousin of Roberto Clemente .... lolHis running one-handers DO look like they belong in baseball :P

frompekka2sasha 11 years ago

Holy cow. KSU's opening schedule is brutal.

RedRed 11 years ago

Turn Out the Lights !! The Party is Over !!

Brian Powell 11 years ago

Way to stick with it, hawks. See you Saturday,

frompekka2sasha 11 years ago

Nice win to open the B12 season. I don't think we played great but I never really felt threatened. I love conference play!!

NH_JHawk 11 years ago

nice win tonight! we have a favorable schedule (unlike KSU) to start B12 play. Hopefully we can string some wins together and that should give our guys some much needed confidence as the schedule toughens up in Feb/Mar.

osagefire209 11 years ago

Great game Tyshawn Taylor, way to step it up morris twins and Mario Little way to make a statement.

Lance Hobson 11 years ago

We knew Taylor would snap out of his funk. Let's just hope he can do that on the road once in a while. We still need to get tougher on the boards.That chant reminds me of KState fans chanting for Ed Manning to "Start the Bus" when they were beating us in '88.

jaybate 11 years ago

KSU hangs 71.KSU outrebounds us 35/32 and 15/7.Looks like it is time to start harping on defense and rebounding.Good three point shooting, which apparently occurred in the second half, tends to hide this sort of thing.Still, beating the Wildcats is good.Speaking of Wildcats, UK hung an L on UTenn in UTenns crib.Either Billy G has UK ascendant, or did we read too much into that KU win over UTenn.

Marcia Parsons 11 years ago

One of the Kentucky players made 54 points. When someone's in that much of a zone, it probably doesn't matter who the opponent is. I think he made at least 12 three pointers.

Tony Bandle 11 years ago

I don't think Taylor's 20 points is a coincidence. If you look to Collins and Aldrich as all teams will, you're suddenly confronted with the choice of a #3 scoring threat in Taylor or Little. If you take out Taylor by clogging the middle, you free up that twilight zone of basketball scoring these days, the 10'- 14' jumper. A shot which Little seems to have an uncanny ability to make. Straight on, turn around in either direction, fall away...it doesn't matter. This makes him a very dangerous man.OK, you going to take away Little..you float a man in this zone to either deny him the ball or front him tough. Boom, the middle opens up, you're already focused on Collins, swoosh, Taylor goes lane or baseline....in the net.It took me seeing Mario at about 2/3 speed to see the potential offensive havoc this lineup can produce if all are focused and healthy. A monster Condor on the inside {Aldrich}, two bullets flashing in from every direction[Collins and Taylor], a steady three point threat on the perimeter{ Morningstar] and even a steadier mid-range jumper ready to pop it.[ Little]. As George Bailey would say " boy oh boy oh boy oh boy!!!It looks like the rotation is set with Reed, the Twins and Releford off the bench. { I like the Twins coming in off the bench...fresh legs, spark of energy, less time to foul out!!!] I am afraid that Appleton, Thomas, Teahan and the walk-ons better find comfortable chairs, because I think they are in for some sitting.Let's see, 12-4 = 75%, 15 game non-conf. + 16 game conf.+ 1 game tourney = 32 game minimum schedule x .75% = 24 - 8 / Home 8-0 [ Yes we can beat both Texas teams] + Away 4-4 { Oklahoma, Baylor, KSU trap game, friggin' Misery] + win tourney game = 24-8. Yep, we're right on schedule!!!!!

kvskubball 11 years ago

Oakville,If we only win one Big XII tourney game, then we would have at least one more loss, 24-9 is just a little optimistic for a young team that will probably still be somewhat inconsistent. Nebraska is a tough place to win a game, and by the time we play Texas, they will be at their best, hope we are. My guess is that 23-10 is still a little optimistic, but let's hope for the best!Rock Chalk JayHawks!

jaybate 11 years ago

OakvilleJHawk,You pose an interesting conceit for the team. I like the idea of it, but I doubt KU can go this small against good teams and win. Can Little rebound well enough on the offensive boards to allow us to keep playing through Cole? KU could not control the boards, especially offensive boards, against KSU. This worries me. Little was supposed to produce rebounds. It appears that when Cole is putting up shots, Little cannot glassvac on offense.Little's start and big minutes may have been a bit circumstantial.Marcus Morris has a sore foot, and Little got the start (at least according to ESPN's box score), but once again, the Twins saw a lot of minutes, and so did Reed, and Brady was even a little above his usual allotment, so something else was elevating Little's PT.It appears to be Sherron getting in foul trouble and only playing 27 minutes.Mario brings defense and a midrange J.But can he bring offensive rebounding? On a night when KU shoots a great FG percentage and pretty well from the trinitron belt, getting beat on the offensive boards does not have much cost. But it could be deadly on a cooler night.Still, you may be onto something here, if Little can rebound adequately.

KGphoto 11 years ago

I'm obviously a little late here jaybate, but as far as the Little/Redshirt debate. I see this year as possibly his only real season to shine. Especially if we land one of those blue chippers next season. I don't see how he's going to get any decent minutes at all.Seven guys will get significant minutes. There's Taylor, Johnson, Morningstar, Robinson, Aldrich, Withey, Cuss and Kief, and possibly a blue chip. God forbid Collins stays or Releford breaks out.Mainly though, it's that blue chip possibility that makes playing this year a good thing for Little. If we land Wall, Little's KU career and NBA chances take a big hit in 2009/2010.

JayhawkPhil64 11 years ago

This is off the subject but were any of you at the game surprised to see so many empty seats? I looked up at about the 15 minute mark of the 2nd half and noticed quite a few. Granted there weren't a lot but I wouldn't have expected to see any in the conference opener against KSU.

jaybate 11 years ago

KGphoto,You trigger an angle that did not occur to me. By finishing strong this year, Little might discourage an OAD from coming to KU next year and thus ensure himself playing time. OADs increasingly evidence an unwillingness to encounter ANY competition for PT. From this angle, Little's smartest move for himself was to play this season. If he were to finish strong, and be as good as many here expect him to be, there just would be no way an OAD suited to the 3 would come here. And, further, by taking over the 3, and pushing Brady to the two it really makes the two potentially crowded, also. If Collins does not jump, then Taylor and Brady and Reed are stacked at the two. Again, no OAD is going to come to a school where three experienced guys, two of whom are already defensive standouts, and two of whom can shoot the trinity are already in place. Existing depth gives Self too much room to pull an OAD and not let him play full time, while the OAD is struggling to learn to play Selfdefense. So, Mario Little is nobody's fool here. Coach Self desparately needs Mario now. He plays his way back into shape and stokes it a little down the stretch, when the spotlight is on. The OADs see and stay away. Coach Self gets what he needs--a good 3 this year and a good 3 next year. Mario gets what he needs--plenty of PT next year.jaybate stands corrected.

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