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Originally published January 19, 2009 at 06:49p.m., updated January 19, 2009 at 10:57p.m.

FINAL: Little scores 15 as Jayhawks rout Aggies, 73-53

Kansas forward Mario Little swings around Texas A&M guard Derrick Roland for a bucket during the first half Monday, Jan. 19, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Mario Little swings around Texas A&M guard Derrick Roland for a bucket during the first half Monday, Jan. 19, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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2009 KU-TAMU Jan. 19

Reader poll

Who was KU's first-half MVP against Texas A&M?

  • Sherron Collins 15% 12 votes
  • Mario Little 68% 53 votes
  • Cole Aldrich 5% 4 votes
  • Tyshawn Taylor 6% 5 votes
  • Other 3% 3 votes

77 total votes.

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6Sports Preview: Kansas vs. Texas A&M

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The Jayhawks take on Texas A&M on Monday night at Allen Fieldhouse.

Reader poll

Who do you think is KU's best defender?

  • Brady Morningstar 60% 1187 votes
  • Cole Aldrich 29% 579 votes
  • Tyshawn Taylor 5% 111 votes
  • Travis Releford 2% 40 votes
  • Other 2% 42 votes

1959 total votes.

KU scoring

Collins 16, Aldrich 16 (8-for-13 shooting), Little 15 (6-for-6 officially, 6-for-7 if you count his missed layup at the end of the first half), Marcus Morris 10, Taylor 8, Morningstar 3, Markieff Morris 2, Reed 2, Releford 1.

KU was 28-for-55 from the floor (50.9 percent), 5-for-13 from three (38.5 percent) and 12-for-18 from the free-throw line (66.7 percent).

TAMU made 16 of 49 field goals (32.7 percent), 4 of 18 threes (22.2 percent) and 17 of 22 free throws (77.3 percent).

Both teams had 32 rebounds. A&M; finished with 20 turnovers, compared to 12 for KU.

FINAL: KU wins 73-53

KU has looked a little sloppy for two straight possessions, but one-third of the alumni section is gone, so maybe it doesn’t count.

A block by Matt Kleinmann highlights the walk-on portion of the game. KU comes away with a 20-point victory.

KU 68/TAMU 43 — 3:50 left in game

Brady Morningstar won’t get the headlines tomorrow, but he’s having a heck of a game. He just penetrated then scooped a pass inside to Aldrich for an easy two.

Morningstar’s line: 31 minutes, three points, six rebounds, four assists, two steals, no turnovers and great defense on Josh Carter, who is just 2-for-6.

KU 62/TAMU 38 — 7:46 left in game

Sweet turnaround baseline jumper for Little. I think we’ve seen tonight exactly what he can give this team offensively.

Unfortunately for Little, he’s given up two consecutive threes to Derrick Roland on the defensive end.

Tyshawn Taylor takes a spill after slapping the ball away on an A&M; fast break. It doesn’t look to be serious, but Morningstar checks in for him.

Two more from Little on a layup inside, and Collins gives him a playful shove as he comes back down the court.

KU 56/TAMU 32 — 11:43 left in game

Collins turns down an open three, penetrating to get Aldrich an open two. The big man drains the short jumper.

KU 54/TAMU 30 — 14:34 left in game

Taylor throws a turnover into the crowd. Self almost throws Tyrel Reed to the scorer’s table. Taylor will have a few minutes to think about his high pass.

Marcus Morris rattles in a three. If he can hit those kinds of shots, things should open up inside for Aldrich.

Next possession, same spot, same result for Marcus Morris. He pumps his fist a couple times as he backpedals down the court. Timeout TAMU. Collins waves his arms in the air, asking for the crowd to get loud during the break.

KU 48/TAMU 27 — 15:59 left in game

Morningstar is doing an excellent job defensively chasing down Josh Carter through his maze of screens. Carter’s having trouble getting touches. It’s hard to get shots when you can’t even get open enough to receive the ball.

Aldrich gets a turnaround to roll in, and Collins gets two off a steal. It will be interesting to see if KU can maintain its intensity and keep this 20-plus point lead.

KU scoring

Mario Little 11 (4-for-5 shooting), Sherron Collins 10 (4-for-6 shooting), Tyshawn Taylor 8 (4-for-4 shooting), Cole Aldrich 6, Brady Morningstar 3, Marcus Morris 2.

KU was 16-for-27 from the floor (59.3 percent), 3-for-6 from three (50 percent) and 5-for-8 from the free-throw line (62.5 percent).

TAMU made 7 of 18 field goals (38.9 percent), 1 of 5 three-pointers (20 percent) and 8 of 10 free throws (80 percent).

The Aggies out-rebounded the Jayhawks, 15-12, in the first half. KU had just four turnovers compared to TAMU’s 14.

Some thoughts:

Good defensive half for the Jayhawks, though some of the turnovers were simply mistakes by the Aggies. KU has four steals from TAMU’s 14 turnovers, indicating some of those miscues were unforced errors.

Guess who’s leading the Jayhawks in rebounding? It’s Morningstar, who’s tied with Aldrich for the team lead with four boards.

Markieff Morris has two fouls in five minutes. That would be 16 fouls per 40 minutes. The average is heading up.

KU 40/TAMU 23 — Halftime

A drive by Morningstar gets KU two easy points, as he shovels off to Aldrich for a one-handed slam.

Texas A&M; ends the half, appropriately, with a turnover. That makes 14, and the Aggies are already above their season average at halftime.

KU 35/TAMU 15 — 3:52 left in 1st half

Little puts in his ninth straight point for the Jayhawks, going up-and-under a defender before swishing the tough, 8-foot leaner.

Already, the Aggies have nine turnovers. That’s uncharacteristic for them, as they average just 12.2 turnovers per game.

Another good stat for KU: TAMU is just 4-for-6 from the free-throw line. The Aggies average 17.6 made free throws per game.

Quick move to the basket for two by Taylor. The Jayhawks are getting free off ball screens up top. Collins and Taylor both have had success getting all the way to the rim.

KU 29/Texas A&M; 10 — 7:41 left in 1st half

Good effort by Mario Little, who out-hustles his man to a rebound before putting it in for two. A minute later, he confidently steps up to drain a high-arcing 14-footer. Collins smiles big on the sidelines, standing and cheering while waiting to check in at the scorer’s table.

Elonu picks up his second foul on a 12-whistle foul called by Hightower. Turgeon is forced to take him out.

Little’s showing the repertoire now, as he swishes his first three-pointer as a Jayhawk from the left wing. On the bench, Self can’t hide his smile. Timeout TAMU, as KU’s running away with this one, 29-10.

KU 20/Texas A&M; 6 — 11:41 left in 1st half

KU’s offense looks great early. Aldrich hits a jumper. Collins drives baseline for a quick layup. Taylor floats on the baseline for two. That’s an 8-0 run for the Jayhawks.

I know he’s excited, but Collins shows a bit too much flash on consecutive turnovers. The second one, he pulled out every dribble he’s ever learned before charging into his defender. Self pointed both index fingers to his temples, telling Collins to be smarter.

Taylor goes around a screen and takes one all the way to the basket before banking it in. He looks like he's over his mid-season slump for good.

KU 12/Texas A&M; 4 — 15:51 left in 1st half

Three Texas A&M; players fist-pump the Aggies’ radio announcers on press row before the game. So much for being unbiased media members, I guess.

Sherron Collins has been the hot hand early, as he drains three-pointers on KU’s first two possessions.

Bryan Davis shows a nifty post move inside, leaning to the basket for a two underneath Marcus Morris. He has A&M;’s first four points.

Brady Morningstar continues his recent stretch of hitting the boards hard, tipping in an Aldrich miss with a foul.

Turgeon to his players after fouling Marcus Morris: “Come on, black, we’ve got to play smarter.”

Royals Brian Bannister, Kyle Davies and George Brett are shown on the videoboard, with Brett (obviously) getting the most applause.

8:06 p.m.

You might see some students spelling out “Ain’t no seats” on the north end of the student section. I asked the guys the meaning of the phrase, and one of them told me a story.

Evidently, one of the guys had a class with Sherron Collins during his freshman year, and Collins arrived late to class, slipping into the last row. There were three seats empty in the first row, so the professor asked Sherron why he didn’t sit toward the front.

“Ain’t no seats” is what he said.

Evidently, it was one of the few things he said all year.

Great ovation for Texas A&M; coach Mark Turgeon. Some students even threw their newspapers up in the air after he was announced. Nice gesture by the KU fans to recognize one of their own.

7:42 p.m.

One word: Hightower.

Seriously, that's great news for Texas A&M;, which has scored a lot of its points via free throws. The high number of whistles that are sure to come should help the Aggies.

What should we put the over/under at for A&M; free throws? I'll set the line at 35.

And say over.

7:25 p.m.

Here are some quick notes about Texas A&M;, which comes in with a 15-3 record.

Senior Josh Carter leads the Aggies in scoring, averaging 13.4 points per game. More than anything, he’s known as a shooter. His sophomore year, he made exactly 50 percent of his threes, draining 86 of his 172 long-range attempts. This year, he’s making 38.3 percent of his threes (36-for-94). He’s also tops in the Big 12 in free-throw shooting, putting in 88.1 percent of his foul shots.

Six-foot-nine Bryan Davis is second on the team in scoring with a 10.6-point average. Tom Keegan correctly noted in today’s Cram Session that is seems like Davis has been at A&M; for at least 10 years. And he’s only a junior.

Look out for Chinemelu Elonu, who has come on strong late. He had a streak of six straight games scoring in double figures snapped in his last game against Oklahoma when he scored just seven points. In his first two Big 12 games against Oklahoma State and Baylor, he averaged 18.5 points and 14 rebounds. He’s third in the Big 12 in blocks (1.6 per game) and seventh in rebounds (7.6).

Texas A&M; has scored 24.5 percent of its points from the free-throw line (that’s 21st in the nation). The Aggies have made 317 free throws, while their opponents have only shot 289. Texas A&M; is shooting 70.9 percent from the charity stripe. KU, meanwhile, has had trouble with fouls lately, allowing an average of 26.7 free throws in its last three games.

The Aggies only have the ball stolen on 7.3 percent of their offensive possessions, which is good for fifth in the country. With that in mind, KU might not have many fast-break opportunities available tonight.

Texas A&M;’s opponents have made 36.2 percent of their threes. That’s the worst three-point percentage defense in the Big 12.

6:50 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 Texas A&M; Aggies.

Markieff Morris has fouled a lot during his freshman year. But how does he rank against the nation’s top foulers?

It’s a question I wondered after discovering a cool new stat on Kenpom.com: fouls committed per 40 minutes.

To get in the rankings, a player has to have played in 40 percent of his team’s minutes. Markieff Morris happens to qualify.

Out of 71 players eligible in the Big 12, Markieff Morris, at least statistically, is the most foul-prone.

The KU freshman averages 7.22 fouls per 40 minutes* (meaning that, on average, if KU coach Bill Self let him play continuously, he would foul out in 27.7 minutes). Baylor’s Quincy Acy is second-worst in the conference, averaging 7.00 fouls per 40 minutes.

* — Keep in mind also that Markieff only had one personal foul in 18 minutes against Colorado, meaning his foul average was even higher a few days ago.

I explored the statistic further: How does Markieff Morris stack up to players on all 344 Division-I teams?

Turns out pretty well.

After researching all the conferences, Markieff is fifth in the NCAA in fouls per 40 minutes. In fact, only six players average 7 or more fouls per 40 minutes:

NCAA's top foulers

Antwan Carter, Longwood, 8.21 fouls/40 minutes

Mobolaji Ajayi, South Florida, 8.00

Montarrio Haddock, Middle Tennessee State, 7.72

Otis Polk, Bowling Green, 7.25

Markieff Morris, KU, 7.22

Dario Hunt, Nevada, 7.20

Not surprisingly, three of the players on the previous list were freshmen, while another was a junior-college transfer.

What can we take from this? Most players learn with experience how the college game is played, and thus, foul less later in their careers.

Is it any wonder, then, that Self is trying to teach Mario Little some of the four? He needs another body there, and Little could steal some minutes if he is able to defend and get rebounds next to Cole Aldrich.

Before we get off the topic, props go to Brady Morningstar, who leads the Jayhawks by averaging only 2.28 fouls per 40 minutes (that’s 10th in the Big 12). Not only is Morningstar arguably KU’s best defender, he’s also locked down on opponents without sending them to the free-throw line.

Texas A&M; has two of the top three foul-avoiders in the conference: Donald Sloan (1st, 1.22) and Josh Carter (3rd, 1.68). I’m sure that’s one of the reasons the Aggies have shot 28 more free throws that their opponents have even attempted.

Comments

cffighter86 11 years, 4 months ago

ha, nice research jnewell. Nice to know that he isnt the most foul prone player in the nation!

sawman3333 11 years, 4 months ago

I wish I was there tonight to stand and cheer when Turg is introduced. Something's wrong if the place doesn't all stand for him. Then, after the intro, we kick his butt!

Joe Joseph 11 years, 4 months ago

This A&M team may be the best team Kansas has hosted at Phog Allen this year. Should be a good game.KU 107A&M 14

Jesse Newell 11 years, 4 months ago

I'm assuming you meant 104 stupidmichael?

Brian Powell 11 years, 4 months ago

Don't tell me I have to watch another Hightower joke-fest.... :(

cffighter86 11 years, 4 months ago

I'm also assuming that he really doesnt believe that TAMU is better than Tenn....

Joe Joseph 11 years, 4 months ago

cfffffighter86,I do believe TAMU may be better than Tenn... what has Tennessee done in the past month of the season aside from losing to Temple, Gonzaga, Kansas and Kentucky?

cffighter86 11 years, 4 months ago

yeah michael you are right they have been struggling lately, but that wont keep up. They will pick it up soon and show they are the best team in the SEC East. Also, I didnt realize that losing to zaga,kentucky and us were all considered "bad" losses....

Brian Powell 11 years, 4 months ago

Hey two calls our way so far :)wooooooohooooo LET'S DO THIS!

Joe Joseph 11 years, 4 months ago

If Tennessee has hopes of being SEC east champs, it should consider those "bad" losses.

Joe Joseph 11 years, 4 months ago

...especially given the way Tennessee played in those games.

nnelson 11 years, 4 months ago

Ain't No Seats was the name of a bball camping group a few years ago. Never knew what it meant though.

eastTXjayhawk 11 years, 4 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Ben Kane 11 years, 4 months ago

stupid hightower...what a crazy stupid foul call

Brian Powell 11 years, 4 months ago

cmon guys.... watch the fouls! did you read Jesse's post?? :P

jfish126 11 years, 4 months ago

To add to the Sherron Collins story, his actual response to the female professor was, "Ain't no seats, Coach."

Joe Joseph 11 years, 4 months ago

Jesse,I am also interested in who leads the nation in air balls. Collectively, there can't be a more air-ball prone duo than the Morris twins.

cffighter86 11 years, 4 months ago

With plays like that, i just dont understand why people constantly bash on Brady. He hustles and plays hard 110% of the time.

Jesse Newell 11 years, 4 months ago

Markieff's grazed rim earlier, just to let you know...

Joe Joseph 11 years, 4 months ago

Correction,There can't be a more air-ball prone or scantily-grazed-rim-ball prone duo in the NCAA.

Ben Kane 11 years, 4 months ago

hmm, Mark Turgeon old school looks like Gabe Jarret from Real Genius!

cwag 11 years, 4 months ago

Good effort on both ends so far ......

cffighter86 11 years, 4 months ago

Tyshawn Taylor is blossoming at the right time. Since his horrid game vs Michigan State he has been more than impressive. He could arguably be our third best player on the team.

Joe Joseph 11 years, 4 months ago

I have to say... I am very impressed with the way Kansas has played defensively in the first half. Easily the best defensive effort of the season. Reminds me of a good linebacker crew... flying around to the ball and what not!

eastTXjayhawk 11 years, 4 months ago

did that second airball also graze the rim? at least he's consistant from that baseline spot

eastTXjayhawk 11 years, 4 months ago

i have to admit these calls seem to be all over the place, you never know what to expect when the whistle blows

kraus42 11 years, 4 months ago

No cable. Is there a link to watch the game?

Brian Powell 11 years, 4 months ago

omg what a sick move and dish by Brady! nice!

Ben Kane 11 years, 4 months ago

why is it that Cole always starts the game with quick points and then gets quiet on the offensive end for awhile? Are we just not doing a good job of continuing to feed him the ball?At least he seems to have solved his early foul trouble woes.

Blake Brown 11 years, 4 months ago

Welcome Mario to the player we hoped you would be. Keep it up. Hey twins, make 2 in a row from the line for the first time this season. Great D. TT has a great first half.too. We get a chance to finish off another big early lead which we have not done yet.ROCK CHALK !

kvskubball 11 years, 4 months ago

Very good first half. Intensity has been great. Everyone is contributing. Keep it up in the second half. Wow, I actually saw Marcus Morris playing defense. Good job guys, keep it up!

kvskubball 11 years, 4 months ago

chuckberry, you have it. We can't seem to find Cole or the guards forget about him...He often has to do a lot of work on his own, like the two early outside shots he hit.

Ben Kane 11 years, 4 months ago

did he just say it's the "longest lead of the night"?

cffighter86 11 years, 4 months ago

Marcus!! Nice...now one thing, how can he drain the threes but can consistently air-ball the shots inside the arc?

Joe Joseph 11 years, 4 months ago

Season air-ball to three-point ratio has decreased greatly for the Morris twins this half.

Ben Kane 11 years, 4 months ago

i had to go back on the dvr...definitely "longest lead of the night"

eastTXjayhawk 11 years, 4 months ago

at least he didn't call him McMorris again

Ben Kane 11 years, 4 months ago

well in all fairness... that is what his uniform says lol

Joe Joseph 11 years, 4 months ago

Todd Reesing is a charming, pleasant young man.

NH_JHawk 11 years, 4 months ago

If this is the Mario Little we get for the rest of the year then he made the right decision not to redshirt. Sweet shot tonight for sure...

cffighter86 11 years, 4 months ago

So you have a man-crush on Todd do ya michael?

Joe Joseph 11 years, 4 months ago

I am just emphasizing that Todd Reesing is a very pleasant, never wry, gentlemanly, genuine, nice person.

eastTXjayhawk 11 years, 4 months ago

classy move for Mario to help Taylor back to the bench...i like this kid, that has nothing to do with the fact he hasn't missed a shot tonight...no really...i'm serious...i'm not kidding...is it possible to have two Teen Wolfs on the same team?

Jesse Newell 11 years, 4 months ago

Official stats say Little is 6-for-6, but didn't he miss a layup at the end of the first half?

Joe Joseph 11 years, 4 months ago

Way to definitely not explain the 'rock chalk' chant.

eastTXjayhawk 11 years, 4 months ago

how about we all agree that the layup was shot after the buzzer?

nnelson 11 years, 4 months ago

Yeah he did. And he wasn't happy about it. Maybe it came after the buzzer and didn't count, but I think it would have counted.

eastTXjayhawk 11 years, 4 months ago

i'm going to enjoy this at work tomorrow...lots of aggies in the building.

eastTXjayhawk 11 years, 4 months ago

we're probably not too long from the human torch coming in

KUfaninHouston 11 years, 4 months ago

Yeah, nice game, my A&M friends here in Houston are not happy.

rtjayhawk 11 years, 4 months ago

start bringing in the subs....this game is O-V-E-R

rtjayhawk 11 years, 4 months ago

l'm curious...now that we've seen Little play in a few games, what's everyone's feel on how he's doing out there? I realize he's probably no where near where he'll be next month, but was just wanting to get feedback on it.

KUfaninHouston 11 years, 4 months ago

Looks like Little is getting more comfortable in the offense. Should be good for the future to have some offense coming from someone other than Aldrich or Collins.Nice F-bomb from coach Self, wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of that.

Blake Brown 11 years, 4 months ago

Great to see Mario have a fine game. He even looked more confident. Shoot 1000 FTs after practice, twins. I didt think we would see Taylor foul a 3 point shooter 3 times this game. Travis is still lost. Amongst other mistakes, he gives the ball up as the middle man on a 3 on 2 almost at half court, resulting in no points. Maybe he will come out in a single game like Mario did tonight. OK, lets win at Iowa St. and Nebraska, not easy.GO HAWKS!

Sportshooligan713 11 years, 4 months ago

A couple thingsOne, that was better then anything I was expecting going into this game. For the most part Sherron played within himself, Tyshawn and Marcus played well, Brady was pure hustle and grit, Mario looked like the guy we have been hoping for and Cole was his usual consistant self. I honestly wasn't sure what to expect before tipoff, I thought that it would be a close game no matter what and would come down to the final five minutes. Then when we got out to an early lead I said to myself yeah yeah, we have done this before, now can we maintain it? Or are we gonna let up and let them get back into this game? There was never any point that I actually thought that they would beat this solid A&M team by 20. While it definitely helps that they played this game in Allen Fieldhouse, I think this game shows how far our baby jays have already come since the season started.Two, I read a couple different posts above mine but what did that sign mean in the student section that said Ain No Seats?Three, I played basketball with Dario Hunt in high school, I went to a suburbia white boy school. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would here one of my teamates mentioned in a KUsports.com article in any way shape or form. I find it quite hilarious that he is one of the best in the nation at something in NCAA Division 1 basketball, even if it is something like most fouls per forty minutes.

kvskubball 11 years, 4 months ago

rtjayhawk...One thing I noticed about Little tonight, he is READY to score when he gets the ball, he doesn't have to dribble or anything else. He looks at what the defense is and takes a shot. It's a really quick decision with him, and he made good choices.Again, great intensity from the team tonight. If you noticed before the game, they showed both coaches. Turg may have been stewing inside, but looked calm on the outside, while Coach Self looked intense. I think he understood that this was a really big game for us. It was a must get from a confidence standpoint. Job well done. Very impressive.On one defensive play, Taylor's man went high and Cole and his man were outside as well, Tyshawn slid around them and quickly got back into good defensive position. This is something that wasn't happening in early games. This is only one example of how the young players "are getting it" about how to play at this level. I will stand by what I said in a post to another article, even though we were impressive tonight (Yeah!) we still have to understand that at some point the youngsters will play like newbies. We have to enjoy the ride and not expect them to be perfect. They weren't perfect tonight, but I'll take Very Good, thank you very much!Boy were we Rockin the Chalk In The Fieldhouse tonight!

kvskubball 11 years, 4 months ago

Sports..l.In response to your #2...I noticed the sign "Ain't no seats" as well. My take on the sign is that the comment was a call to act like there weren't any seats and for the fans to be intense and stay in the game...that was my interpretation...

eastTXjayhawk 11 years, 4 months ago

did you fellas miss this?You might see some students spelling out “Ain’t no seats” on the north end of the student section. I asked the guys the meaning of the phrase, and one of them told me a story.Evidently, one of the guys had a class with Sherron Collins during his freshman year, and Collins arrived late to class, slipping into the last row. There were three seats empty in the first row, so the professor asked Sherron why he didn’t sit toward the front.“Ain’t no seats” is what he said.

eastTXjayhawk 11 years, 4 months ago

and....jfish126 (anonymous) says...To add to the Sherron Collins story, his actual response to the female professor was, "Ain't no seats, Coach."

Jesse Newell 11 years, 4 months ago

Guys — The Self postgame interview is on the left side of the page. The last question is about the John Wall recruiting incident. In my opinion, he diffused the situation completely. Take a listen for yourself.

rockchalkjayhawk4ku11 11 years, 4 months ago

Little has got a sweet shot. I saw some stupid plays by sherron, he has got to remember he can't do everything on his own. And was it just me or was A&M traveling a lot?

Tony Bandle 11 years, 4 months ago

rtjayhawk...Mario Little seems to be progressing faster than most of us dared to dream. I feel he will see continued increased playing time as his endurance deepens. Ironically, his PT could be cut somewhat IF the twins show marked progress. If MM/MM are playing at full potential, HCBS could go big with Cole and the Twins [you could call that lineup "The Lawrence Skyline"] to go with Sherron and TT when they hit the tall lineups. We are talking potentially, of course. I wouldn't exactly bet the farm on it!!!!

Blake Post 11 years, 4 months ago

Way to Beak Em Dead, Hawks. Keep on Truckin'

Scott Smetana 11 years, 4 months ago

Great game Hawks, I thought we came out intense. I was in Boulder on Saturday and it was a snoozefest compared to this.I thought everyone played great except the twins. They need to rebound tougher!! Without Cole in the game, we can't buy a rebound unless it goes long. I missed the KSU game, so this was the first time I saw Mario 'play'. SMOOTH on offense, but seems slow elsewhere. My hopes are rising! If we can get the twins and Mario to improve at the same pace as Brady, Reed, and Taylor..... we're going to be TOUGH tourney time!

Dirk Medema 11 years, 4 months ago

To go to the pre-game comment - do we need more than 15-20 minutes out of Markieff? Isn't he becoming Cole's backup/breather. With Marcus and the others learning to play D so that Cole isn't placed in a bad position, Cole should stay in games as long as he wants, and it would seem that Coach would want him out there the majority of the time.Oakville - Go to the recent articles and read that Coach want Markieff to be able to backup Cole so that we don't get real small when subbing.Gotta love Little's game rounding into form. Very mature. With Marcus learning the game at a steady rate, it makes for a nice combo, or Coach can go bigger by moving Mario to the 3. Brady is really starting to show how heady he is tho, so it's not like you want him out of the game very much. Nice to be able to rotate the guys around.

jaybate 11 years, 4 months ago

Ode to Eddie:Ah, some nights it is so good to be a Jayhawk. I fretted over this game the last week or so. I dreamed there was a huge aTm painted on the campanile. Then Yates33333 pointed out the similarities between Turg and Dean. I sweated the perspiration of imminent betrayal at the hands of one of our finest--Turg. I read we had whipped Turg both times we had met him. I feared fortune evening up. But then I saw Okie Ball once again prove why it is the game of the new millenium.aTm knew how it was going to play from the tip. aTm set about doing what it did. aTm would make KU play its game.The only problem was...it didn't work.Instead, KU played "70-point-take-what-they-give-us" to such perfection that even old Eddie had to sippin' his Lipton Only Long Island Ice Tea and sayin', "See, Sean, see? That's how ya do it. Next job you get, that's what ya do. And ya don't have to be a damn slick genius like ol' Bill there to do it either, though it sure doesn't hurt, because I figured this all out while Bob Knight was slapping kids around and pretending to have carried Coach Iba's game to the next level. Shoooot, Seanie, THIS is the next level. This is pure Oklahoma Hard Scrabble Artistry prismed through yer Daddy. This game, Seanie, this way of playin' was born between your Daddies oversized ears and behind his craggy old face. I worked this out on a lotta long bus rides from Twin Falls Idaho to an endless chain of one horse jucos. That's right, Seanie, when I went 33-4 at College of Southern Idaho nobody knew it but me. But right then and there I kneeeeeeeeeeeeeeew I had figured this game out.And so he had.And so KU is most fortunate to have the best of Bucklin-born Eddie's acolytes. And the best style of play for the current game.And the best legacy.And some of the best young players in the country, who just grew up one hell of a lot tonight.

jaybate 11 years, 4 months ago

Ode to Bill 1.0:Playing KU, under Self, when KU is on its game, is like playing an amoeba on steroids. The defense waits for you to cross half court, sometimes even three quarter court, and then just seems to meet you everywhere all at once. It seems to envelope you with defense. It seems to fill where ever you are and to flow into where ever you would go as you go there. It seems eventually just to ingest an opponent and then sting them, and then when the opponent is stunned, the amoeba leaves its prey behind and then flows down the court and again immediately begins flowing and swirling, and filling into gaps in the opponents defense and then finishing at the rim. But it all starts with the defense.KU defense under Self is a sight to behold. It is not defense in any conventional sense. It is not defense as defense has always been played. It is defense as offense. KU defense is the first phase of the KU offense. It looks like defense. Guys with their butts down and feet sliding. But it isn't defense. It is offense 90 feet from the basket. KU defense is pressure toward the offensive basket. KU defense, like fatigue, makes cowards of us all. Bill Self is a defensive savant. Bill Self probably came out of his mother with his knees bent and doing slides. Bill Self's defense is changing the game of basketball the way it stops opponents. It is sitting there waiting until the game draws near it and then it is flowing out and enveloping programs all over. Bill Self must know more about how to watch another person's belly button than anyone else in history. Bill Self's players just don't get faked out that much. They just do flow and fill and flow and fill.

jaybate 11 years, 4 months ago

Ode to Cole:And every once in awhile a great coach like Bill Self finds a player who is perfectly designed to play defense the way Bill Self coaches it.I never thought I would live to see a person who more personified Bill Self's defense than Brandon Rush. He was smooth. He was strong. He was fast. He was long. But the truth was, Brandon Rush was a classic defender. He would have been a great defender under any defensive scheme, and for any coach that would have asked him to be a great defender. The truth was Brandon did not flow and fill and flow and fill so much as he was just plain a one man prison-lock-down. He was the warden, the guard, the night stick and the watch dog all rolled into one beautiful Adonis in Addidas.Somewhat surprisingly, to me anyway, Cole Aldrich is becoming the human embodiment of Selfdefense. He is this somewhat gangly giant with arms and legs that just seem to go every where at once sometimes. And yet he flows and fills. The Condor, as OakvilleJHawk so aptly nicknamed him, is also The Amoeba. He flows into situations, into spaces, and then sometimes envelopes them and sometimes flows off in another direction to do the same.What we have here is scalar self-smilarity.One major component of this KU basketball organism, maybe even its nucleus, is its 6'11" post man, Cole "The Amoeba" Aldrich, and then there is this larger KU basketball organism that flows like an amoeba, too. Different scales, same morphology.

jaybate 11 years, 4 months ago

Ode to Bill 2.0:I have no freaking idea how Bill Self has developed this defense of his. It seems almost immaculate in its conception. Maybe even alien in its origins. Did it come through a worm hole from another planet in another part of the universe where gigantic one-celled organisms the size of the Pacific Ocean flow and fill and overwhelm each other?It seems to thrive on enveloping good teams even more than bad teams. Look what it did to University of No Challenge in Sancturary Bump in last year's semifinals. It takes a hall of fame coach with a terrifically talented and experienced team and reduces them to digested amoeba waste pushed out the vacuole.Look what it did to a very good aTm team with a very good coach in a very important game at a very important time of the season for this Jayhawk team. It is amazing really.Yes, aTm didn't shoot well from outside. Yes, they were a little slower of foot than I was expecting. But in no time at all, the KU amoeba had them stung and stunned and flowing to the other end of the floor to finish for two and three point finishes.It was magnificient, just sublime.Rock Chalk!

jaybate 11 years, 4 months ago

Ode to Mario Little:There was a movie once upon a time called "Runaway Train." It starred Jon Voight, before he became a right wing fascist. As the tag line goes: Two escaped convicts and a female railway worker find themselves trapped aboard a runaway train. There is this magnificient final scene where Voight, after helping Eric Roberts and Rebecca DeMornay get off the train, decides to stay on board and ride it into oblivion. The ultimately existential and courageous and slightly insane final image is of convict Voight, free at last, smiling into the driving snow as he stands on the front of the locomotive head for certain doom.When I saw Mario Little smiling about deciding to play this year, rather than red shirting, I thought of Jon Voight's smile in Runaway Train.And when I saw Mario's box score flat line against Boulder, I once again thought of Voight's smile in Runaway Train.But here is the great thing about the living myth of KU basketball. Nothing is written, as T.E. Lawrence said in Lawrence of Arabia. Nothing is written. We write it.I wouldn't have given a plugged nickel for Mario Little's chances of overcoming injury and adversity and going 6 for 6 and playing as many minutes as he played this soon after coming back. I did not even believe he could play much at all this year, even though I had every reason to believe he would be a very good player next year. But nothing is written.Mario Little smiled into the fates and jumped on the runaway train of KU basketball and found a way to keep it on the track and headed for its rightful destination.Mario Little is a man.

Lance Hobson 11 years, 4 months ago

Heck I wrote it yesterday when I said Mario Little's coming out party would be the A&M game. Nevermind that I said A&M would end our home winning streak, that was just reverse psychology.

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