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Originally published January 25, 2009 at 12:00a.m., updated January 25, 2009 at 04:49a.m.

Big numbers

Brackins gets 42; Collins goes over 1,000

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor soars in to the bucket against Iowa State defenders Craig Brackins, front, and Jamie Vanderbeken during the second half, Saturday, Jan. 24, 2009 at Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa.

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor soars in to the bucket against Iowa State defenders Craig Brackins, front, and Jamie Vanderbeken during the second half, Saturday, Jan. 24, 2009 at Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa.

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2009 KU-ISU Jan. 24

Reader poll

Which Big 12 North team has the best home-court advantage (other than KU)?

  • Iowa State 37% 762 votes
  • Nebraska 9% 204 votes
  • Kansas State 4% 101 votes
  • Colorado 1% 26 votes
  • Missouri 46% 960 votes

2053 total votes.

— Sherron Collins was having the half of his life and wanted his big brother to share in it.

“He hit a couple threes, looked at me and shouted, ‘Woo woo.’ He was in a zone,” said Chicago native Steve Collins, who watched Sherron explode for 18 points in the first 12 minutes of Kansas University’s 82-67 basketball victory over Iowa State on Saturday in Hilton Coliseum.

“It’s the best I’ve seen him ... at Kansas,” Steve added after KU’s junior point guard tied a career high with 26 points and became the 51st player in KU history to join the 1,000-point scoring club.

Sherron, who was outscored by ISU sophomore standout Craig Brackins, 22-18, the first half on a day Brackins torched the Jayhawks for 42 points, had no trouble making eye contact with 22-year-old Steve in the stands.

He was sitting a couple of rows behind the KU bench, wearing a Cubs hat on his head and a wide smile on his face.

“I knew where he was. I looked at him. I was letting him know it was our time,” Collins said.

The 5-foot-11 floor general scored 18 of KU’s first 27 points, lifting the Jayhawks to a 27-19 lead just 11 minutes, 50 seconds into the game.

Included was a game-opening three that pushed Collins — who entered with 999 career points — over the 1,000 mark.

“It would have been better to do it at home. I was glad to get it out of the way. I’m glad to get it over with so people stop talking about it,” Collins said. “People have been texting me that I only need one more point. Now that can stop.”

KU coach Bill Self spent most of his postgame interview session discussing a pair of standout performances — from Collins as well as Brackins.

“I told Sherron as soon as we went in the locker room, ‘Good news, bad news,’’’ Self said. ‘“The good news is you played great. The bad news is you’ve got no chance to be Big 12 player of the week.’’’

That award will go to Brackins, whose career-high 42 points were:

• two off the Big 12 single-game total of 44 set by Michael Beasley against Baylor last season;

• seventh-most scored against KU and most since Oklahoma State’s Randy Rutherford’s 45 on March 5, 1995.

• most by a Big 12 player versus KU, surpassing Michael Beasley’s 39 set last season.

• most by an Iowa State player versus KU, five more than Chuck Duncan’s 37 in 1955.

His 42 points ranked fourth in ISU history behind Lafester Rhodes (54 versus Iowa in 1987), Barry Stevens (47 versus Morgan State in 1985 and Herkle Ivy (43 versus Colorado in 1975). He became the first Cyclone to tally 40 since Fred Hoiberg’s 41 against Colorado in 1995.

“He was as good as any player in America today,” Self said after Brackins made 11 of 19 floor shots (three of five threes) and 17 of 21 free throws. He also had 14 rebounds.

“He put on a show. I wish I could tell you that our game plan was to stop everybody else and make him make all the plays. That was not the case.”

The Morris twins, Mario Little, Quintrell Thomas and Cole Aldrich each took turns guarding the 6-foot-10 Brackins.

“I thought we did the best job late when Cole switched on him,” Self said. “We could have put Cole on him, but we wanted to save him (from foul trouble).”

Self made a point of congratulating Brackins in the handshake line after the game.

“I said, ‘I’ve been doing this awhile. I don’t think anybody has ever had a game like that against us. I don’t think anybody’s busted us for 42.’ It was as good a performance we’ve had against us,” Self said.

Brackins scored seven points in a 13-2 run that helped whittle KU’s game-high lead of 17 points to 66-60 with 6:33 left.

KU kept its poise and immediately embarked on a 12-2 surge that put the game away at 78-62.

Aldrich (16 points, 12 rebounds) rammed home a rebound off a Collins miss, Tyrel Reed knocked in a three and Collins a 12-footer to open that Brackins-breaking run.

“Sherron played well down the stretch,” Self said of Collins, who knocked down 10 of 19 shots, including three of six threes and three of three free throws. He also five assists, four rebounds and three turnovers in 39 minutes. “I can’t think of too many guards in the country playing better than he is right now.”

Collins gave his props to Brackins, indicating it was a team game, not an individual battle.

“I try not to get into those one-on-one duels anymore,” Collins said. “He was great.”

Somebody asked if Brackins was as talented as former K-State player Beasley, who went No. 2 in the 2008 NBA Draft.

“I mean, he’s not as skilled as Beasley,” Collins said. “Beasley is able to do things ... he has a whole different type game. But he’s not far from it.”

Collins left the arena with something Brackins didn’t have: a victory. KU’s leader waved at an angry student section — that screamed insults at him the entire game — as the final seconds ticked off the clock.

“I like places like this. They were keying on me,” he said of the fans.

He saved hugs for one special fan, posing for a picture with his brother in an empty arena 30 minutes after the game.

“It’s always fun to see him play. He had a crazy first half,” Steve said.

KU (15-4, 4-0) will meet Nebraska at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, in Lincoln.

Comments

actorman 10 years, 12 months ago

"two off the Big 12 single-game total of 44 set by Michael Beasley against Baylor last season"Multiple times towards the end of the game, ESPN referred to three players holding the Big XII record of 43 points in a game. Wouldn't it be nice if we could count on ESPN to not make stupid mistakes like this time after time after time after ... Is it too much to ask for them to get their basic facts right??? (That's, of course, assuming that the reference to 44 is correct -- but I'd be much more likely to believe facts here than on ESPN, given ESPN's track record.)"... most by a Big 12 player versus KU, surpassing Michael Beasley’s 39 set last season."Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't ESPN show that Beasley was one of the ones who had scored 43 in a game, and that it had been against KU? If they did that, that's a whole new level of incompetence, even for them."... most by an Iowa State player versus KU, one more than Chuck Duncan’s 37 in 1955."42 is one more than 37??? Does this have something to do with new math?"KU kept its poise and immediate embarked ..."Editor? Editor? Hello, is there an editor in the house?"Tyrel Reed knocked in a three and Collins a 12-footer to open that Brackins-breaking run."On the other hand ... great line!"'“I try not to get into those one-on-one duels anymore,' Collins said."This one concerns me a little more than the other things I quoted. What the H does Collins mean by "anymore?" Is he saying there were times when he didn't care about the game, just about a one-on-one duel? Of course, given the way he's playing right now, I guess that shouldn't be much of a concern.As for the game itself, I am really starting to like this team. I'm trying to temper my excitement until I see them play well against a ranked team (especially on the road), but it's hard to believe they don't have a legitimate shot at taking the Big XII once again.

NH_JHawk 10 years, 12 months ago

actorman -ESPN did indeed say multiple times that the Big XII record was 43 points in a game held by three different players. This article says 44. Somebody has their facts crossed here and I'd say it's ESPN....and yes, ESPN mentioned that Beasley scored 43 vs. KU last year. Not the case, he scored 38 against us when the streak was broken in Manhattan and 31 in AFH. Beasley does hold the BXII record w 44 vs. Baylor. http://statsheet.com/mcb/players/player/kansas-state/michael-beasley/game_stats

KGphoto 10 years, 12 months ago

Little: 9 points in 12 minutes, off 4 of 4.This kid is as pure a scorer as I can remember. His midrange game is beautiful.They're easing him in. But he's big time.

John Mueller 10 years, 12 months ago

agreed. At this point he is a complimentary player but looks like he's got the ability to score. Amazing improvement from his first game but just show's he hasn't been at full strength.I love his smile too! He seems to be having a blast which is great to see on the court.I really like the fact that Reed is starting to have confidence with his shot as well.He made a big 3 yesterday when they were trying to make a run.If we can get 10-12 out of him every night it will help to give Sherron a little breathing room on the perimeter as well.We are going to need offense from both Reed and Little in some of these upcoming conference games to win.Big road win for these guys!

John Mueller 10 years, 12 months ago

btw, with all this discussions of recordsI am stunned that Kevin Durant didn't have one of those records.I guess maybe Beasley had already erased one of his records?

Matt Bowers 10 years, 12 months ago

I was impressed with Brackins and felt that he was a great competitor. He got hot on a night when the rest of his team could not hit the broad side of a barn. He deserves credit and he did play one hell of a game. The thing that I like most about the Jayhawks right now is that our scoring is coming from multiple people. Yes Collins lit it up, but we are getting 10+ games from Cole, Collins, Taylor, and Reed. Little is not even near a 100% and his game is deadly. We have a good team and they are coming together at the right time. I would like to see less fouling and more points from the charity stripe, but I won't complain. Very pleased with the way things have come together and am looking forward to the Nebraska game. Congratulations Collins on joining the 1,000+ point club. I like your game and the leadership you bring to the team. You have become one hell of a good floor general and you help keep our guys in line. Keep up the good work.Rock Chalk

Nutflush21 10 years, 12 months ago

KGPhoto- I dont think anyone would ever mistake Mario Little for being a "pure scorer." Lets leave the "pure scorer" label for guys that can really fill it up like a Kevin Durant, Adam Morrison, JJ Redick etc. But Little has shown a feathery soft touch and that turn around he drilled over the 6'10" Brackins was sweet.

Nutflush21 10 years, 12 months ago

jhawkfan16... I think missery, Texas Tech and CU fans would have something to say about the most classless fans. Also, Im surprised you say that about OU. I went to the football game down there this year and their fans were terrific.

Greg Lux 10 years, 12 months ago

We need the twins to step up and be the players they can be, I know they are young but if they would just play defense and block-out on the boards to get some rebounds we have enough scoring to handle the offensive end without them. Each one is capable of 5 to 10 rebounds a game .. that alone would go a long way to helping KU win on any court .. Rock Chalk ..

Chris Shaw 10 years, 12 months ago

We need a be a little easy on the twins. Yes, they are having some growing pains, but yesterday I do not fault them at all. Their intensity was right where it needed to be and for the first time this season I actually thought the refs took both Marcus and Markieff and even QT right out of the game with some bogus "Ticky Tack" fouls. Throughout the season I thought they have made many bonehead plays on defense, but yesterday I thought they did many things well despite falling victim to the "ticky tack itis syndrome". I think Self will give all three a pass on yesterday's game. Just my observation.

jaybate 10 years, 12 months ago

Is Cole Ready for the NBA? Watching 6'10" Craig Brackins light us up for 40 plus points, and knowing that Self did not have Cole guarding him most of the time to protect Cole from fouling, made me ask the following: is Cole ready for the NBA, regardless of whether they will draft him on the dread "potential"?Beasley lit us up and Arthur probably made the right call going pro after two, though its too soon to tell.Durant lit us up and I didn't hand wring about Brandon Rush barely being able to contain him when Julian couldn't. Of course Brandon stayed three years.But I did have grave doubts about Julian jumping, when he couldn't put the brakes on Kevin Durant even a little. And Julian has been, for the most part, an NBA bust. No touch and he just has not proven to be a lock down defender in the pros. If you can't shoot in the L, you darned well better lock down like the mother of all wardens.Brandon and Mario have done the best in the pros so far and they staid 3 years and could shoot and lock down.Based on past players, there is some ambiguity about when is the right time for bigs to go. But if we add Brandon and Mario to the mix, staying three and being able to score and lock down defend seem the best criteria for doing well in the L. The following are Point/Reeb totals for Cole vs. top bigs of legitimate D1 opponents so far. These are not always head-to-head battles. For instance, Cole was usually not on Brackins, or Morgan (more about that later).Cuse: Cole v. Orinze Onuaku 15/16 v. 19/12Zona: Cole v. Jordan Hill 10/4 v. 23/11Tenn: Cole v. Wayne Chism 22/10 v. 17/8MSU: Cole v. Raymar Morgan 14/11 v. 13/8aTM: Cole v. Elonu Chinemelu 16/8 v. 7/6ISU: Cole v. Craig Brackins 16/12 v. 42/14

jaybate 10 years, 12 months ago

What emerges from these numbers is that Cole's scoring and rebounding are notably ahead of his defense. When Self pits Cole head to head, Cole tends not to be a lock-down defender (see Onuaku, Hill, and the fact Self only let Cole guard Brackins briefly, even though Brackins was burning down the house). Cole's best defensive job appears to have come against Chinemelu of aTm, though memory fails me just how much of the time he guarded Chinemelu head to head. Cole's recurring edge is that, with the exceptions of Jordan Hill and Craig Brackins, he has tended to out score and/or outrebound opposing bigs, rather than shut them down defensively. This relative weakness at guarding the post is confirmed by the fact that Self often does not have Cole guard the other team's top scoring big, preferring instead to protect Cole from fouling in order to get the most out of his scoring and rebounding and shot blocking intimidation via greater minutes. My thought is: Cole ought to stay at KU a third season, so that his defense improves to the point that he can successfully guard the opponent's best big man every game. Self being clever enough to hide him from the vissisitudes of guarding top bigs is good enough for college ball, but not for the L. I don't see the NBA as the best place for him to work on this weakness either. And he needs more upper body strength and more footwork development to really lockdown posts working him on the blocks. If you are foul prone and outmatched defensively head to head vs. college bigs, you will be vastly more so in the L. If he were to master post defense at KU, then with his remarkable knacks for scoring and rebounding and shot blocking and help defense, he would not only be sure to be drafted, but be sure to have a loooooooooong, productive and lucrative NBA career.If he can't learn to defend the post without fouling, his NBA future is not bright despite his other virtues.Usually I advocate players jump as soon as possible to avoid losing the big check to an injury. I had thought Cole ought to jump, because I thought his post defense was farther along. But it isn't and so a reasonable case can be made that he ought to risk injury one more year before cashing in.

BigGuyDon 10 years, 12 months ago

Actorman- regarding Collins not making it a one on one duel: did you miss the Syracuse game? Collins clearly made it personal in that game against Flynn. And he immediately started forcing shots, dribbling into steals and not getting his teammates involved. And it's not the only time it's happened this season.To give credit where it's due, though, Sherron has grown in the last month or so. And it helps that almost every time Sherron kicks out to a wide open Reed or Morningstar they knock down the three.Sherron has absolutely picked on the guards facing him in the big 12 so far. On both ends of the floor he's made guys look like they don't belong. If he can clean up the 2-3 times a game he'll dribble into a stupid turnover he'd be close to perfect.

aherring 10 years, 12 months ago

Jaybate,That's an interesting analysis. Without getting into a statistical analysis myself, I'd like to offer that my impression is that while Cole is not a lock down post defender, he is reasonably good. It seems to me that he very rarely fouls the post man that he is guarding as he tends to put his arms straight up and let his length affect shots. Most of his fouls come on help D and hedges where he is a step late or a little too aggressive. And he does go after the blocks, again, usually on people that he's not guarding as he helps off of his man. Which makes me wonder how many of those opposing big man rebounds and points come off of easy stick backs after Cole goes to help and no one rotates over to block out the big that Cole left. That'd be the statistical analysis I'd find interesting, but I have no idea how to go about that except to rewatch every game.

addlime 10 years, 12 months ago

Jaybate,I was at the game and have to disagree. I'm not saying Cole is NBA ready right now, but he's a man against boys out there. To pin Brackins' 42 on Cole is way off base. Cole didn't defend him until the very end of the game. Those 42 came on the twins, Little, and Thomas. When Cole finally D'd him up, he (Cole) was actually very successful. I can remember an altered shot (miss) down low, and a missed outside shot as well. Cole was very effective against Brackins, but with the refs calling the game the way they were (10-2 team fouls in the second half in favor of ISU) Self had good reason to keep Cole off the smaller and faster Brackins. As for the classless fans of ISU, I think that is probably just the student section. The rest of the fans seemed fine to me. I've seen much worse (Misery, Illinois, Michigan State, to name a few...)

Chris Shaw 10 years, 12 months ago

Jaybate: I have to disagree with you about Julian being a "Bust" or relatively speaking. If you go back to late last year and during the Hornets playoff run, Julian was getting increased minutes and his production was becoming more inconsistent. He left last season with great "Hope", and was encouraged by what this season "Most likely his Breakout" would bring. THEN IT HAPPENED! The Hornets signed James Posey from the Boston Celtics. Posey playing the exact same postion and being virtually a "Killer Deep Bomp Threat" and "Crunch-Time" player basically eliminated Julian any chance of getting off the bench this year. IMHO I think this is a two-step forwards, one step backwards type of example. Yes, Julian is getting "Zero" time, but at least he's learning from a crafty veteran who has proven himself in the league (No matter if you like Posey or not). I think the timing of Posey signing coldn't have been worse for fundamental development of Julian Wright, but maybe his overall "Matureness" will have developed more rapidly by learning from Posey. I still think it's too early to tell if he is truly a "Bust", but Posey doesn't have much longer anyway, but maybe the Hornets picked up Posey to help Wright with his development. We'll see, but that's my take on Julian Wright. Everything else I agree with Jaybate.

kerbyd 10 years, 12 months ago

Was looking at a mock draft lottery for 2009 and interestingly, neither Cole nor Sherron were in the top 60. Leo Lyons was rated 51.

Chris Shaw 10 years, 12 months ago

I don't know what's wrong with me this morning. I should have said in the last post of the second sentence that Julian was getting increased minutes and becoming more "Consistent". Not Inconsistent!

jasonsgill 10 years, 12 months ago

Jay-I think a lot of it is caution on Self's part, moreso than a lack of faith in Cole. If we had the depth of last year I bet Cole would be on the main post guy every time. That being said, Brackins is more of a 4 and Cole handled him in the post last night, but would have struggled against Brackins' perimeter game.

KGphoto 10 years, 12 months ago

Seems like ColeTrain hasn't gone against other centers. Both Hill and Brackens are rangy and athletic, and Morgan is only 6'8" 225, not really a big at all. Brackens took 5 shots from beyond the arc. Chism took 6.He stopped Elonu. And Onuaku's 19/12 came in 39 minutes of play. That big mutha played 39 minutes. And Onuaku only nabbed 2 offensive in that game due to ColeTrain's 10 defensive.He definitely needs help with the speedier guys, but we saw what he's capable of doing in a 8 foot box under the hoop. Ask Tyler "wear out my welcome" Hansbrough if he thinks that part of Cole's game is on.

Chris Shaw 10 years, 12 months ago

http://www.mynbadraft.com/2009-NBA-Mock-DraftCole is shown at #15I also don't know why Ty lawson is on every draft board? He can't shoot! I would take Sherron in Lawson's slot any day of the week. I can't believe the hype surrounding Lawson and you think GM's and Execs would have learned their lessons from Raymond Felton. It completely disgusts me. The only thing I can think of why Sherron isn't even listed is that he has been injury prone. Who knows, but I wouldn't touch Ty Lawson to save my life. It will be funny to see another GM embarrassed by taking another under-sized North Carolina Point Guard.

bmkjayhawk 10 years, 12 months ago

Beasley scored 25 at Manhattan and 39 in Lawrence.

Tony Bandle 10 years, 12 months ago

kushaw......it's the ACC, Baby!!! Dickie V and his other East Coast Boasters make it so.100..your position on Aldrich and Withey on the floor together was fully illustrated as Cole struggled against 2 6'-11" Bigs and a 6'-8" guy.jhwkfan162515...I can back up nutflush21...try sitting in the middle of the Antlers at Misery. Loud, obnoxious, drunken bastards who have no regard for sportsmanship and where oscenity is the language of the realm....and that's just the GIRLS!!!!!Did I see somewhere that Brackins was 6'-11"!!???.....that's almost illegal.springtxhawk...Little does have a nice smile as he sticks those 10'-15' daggers into the opponent. Make no mistake, he is a Warrior!!Jaybate...I'm not sure if I agree to disagree or disagree to agree, but I agree not to be disagreeable to whatever is agreeable.

jaybate 10 years, 12 months ago

aherring,I totally agree that Cole has been playing D without much help and has been being asked to provide a lot of help. Therefore, we are not seeing the best defense he is capable of playing head to head with post men. Basically, Self's strategy has been put the ten fouls of the twins on the opponent's best big and let Cole's shot blocking and help defense back up the twins; this is saavy coaching. But, again, you have to ask yourself why? Why does Self have to play it this way? I think the answer is Cole is still foul prone when actually defending a mobile post head to head. What makes Cole The Condor and what made him so effective for a short stint against Tyler Hansbrough, and on everyone else that he plays help defense on--the wing span and shot swatting and long reach, is what makes him foul prone too. He's all arms and legs and, while it is quite intimidating to play against, referees just seem to call fouls on gangly guys for reaching in, whereas against prison bodies they basically swallow their whistle even when the prison body delivers a forearm shiver in the small of the back capable of rupturing the spleen of a rhinoceros. Cole could not have lasted 30 minutes against Tyler Hansbrough last year. He would have fouled out in 15-20 minutes. He is much better about this post defense fouling this year, making about the normal amount of progress in this regard for a big man, but he is still not to the point that he can really hound the opponents best big head-to-head from the beginning of the game without either doing considerable time in the foul purgatorio aka the bench, or pulling his punches and hanging back on defense.I think Cole is on track to become one of KU's great bigs. I think he is even ahead of schedule in rebounding, shot blocking and help defense and on schedule on scoring. I just think he needs more upper body strength and work on his post defense. Essentially, what Cole needs is to develop the upper body strength to defend the post in the increasingly traditional prison body method and save The Condor wing span for help defense. The refs just seem conditioned mentally to accept physical violence one on one in the post, and allow The Condor to be The Condor in help defense.

jaybate 10 years, 12 months ago

kushaw,Maybe I was too hard on Julian, but he's been eating splinters all year in his second year. And he still can't shoot. Posey was acquired, because Wright can't shoot and Posey can, not to teach Julian anything. Does anyone seriously think Posey can teach Julian to pop the triceratop? Julian's problem in the L is there is always going to be someone his size or bigger who can shoot the trey for Julian's team to acquire. Julian is never going to be an adequate trinitizer. This is why it was stupid of a GM to draft him early and high. You can't beast in the NBA at 6'8" tall without a trey to keep the big meanies honest, no matter how athletic you are. To me Julian proves my point. He is as athletic and fiercely competitive as they come. He has many great skills and sound fundamentals. He is a hard worker. And he is on the bench, because his team found a guy who shoot the rock.

Larry Smith 10 years, 12 months ago

Jaybate, I would disagree with you on at least one point. I think that coach Self realizes that Cole's defense is very good against traditional "5 spot" players. And so far, that has been the case. Cole did not match up with Brackins, because Brackins plays the 4, He plays away from the basket alot and is not a typical big. Self likes to play the big guy at the 5, where he is more disruptive in the middle and can block or alter shots. As coach said after the game, we new Brackins was going to get his, but we figured we could do a good job of limiting the rest of the team. I don't think he wanted to abandon his defensive philosophy to try and stop one guy.

jaybate 10 years, 12 months ago

KGphoto,Not down on The Condor. Very high on him, in fact.Just saying he's still too foul prone for the L for reasons noted above.Again, he played great for ten minutes vs. Psycho T, when he did not have to worry about fouling out. But how long do you think Cole would have lasted vs. Psycho T in that very big game had Bill Self awakened from a Shakespearian dream in which the ghost of Henry Iba spoke to him and said, "Billy, start Cole against Pscho T"? I just don't see how The Condor could have kept from fouling out in 20 or so minutes. Maybe you see it differently. But I'm stuck with this POV.

kvskubball 10 years, 12 months ago

Jaybate,The reason coach doesn't put Cole on the other big is quite simple. Without Cole on the floor our offense gets stagnant, because the defense doesn't have to help on him and they can play the perimeter straight up or even hedge a little extra out on the guards. We looked really terrible early in the year when Cole got in early foul trouble. Coach is avoiding that like the plague.I think his caution has been justified to this point, but with Little coming on I believe Coach can loosen the leash on Cole, because now we have another scorer.As to your question about whether Cole is ready for the league. Surely you know that that is no more than a rhetorical question. GM's drool over potential and cast a skeptical eye at experience. So whether he is "ready" or not isn't really a very important consideration, more important is how his "potential" is perceived by the GM's. My guess is that by year-end, if the team continues to improve, his "potential" will seem very good to GM's. Having talked about the potential routine above, I think spending another year in college benefits good players, except of course if they get injured, and that is the rub. Why shouldn't they go when their stock is high? I would love to see Cole play 4 years at KU, but alas that is about as likely as the polar ice-caps EXPANDING any time soon. If he would stay one more year, that would be great for KU and it would be good for him as long as he doesn't get injured. Because, BABY I gotta believe that next year's team, with him and more experience for everyone, is going to be WOW!

cxb19 10 years, 12 months ago

• most by a Big 12 player versus KU, surpassing Michael Beasley’s 39 set last season. Actually Thomas Gardner of Missouri (which I believe is in the Big XII) lit Kansas up 40 points in a Missouri victory a few years back. But just like usual, LWJ writers have their facts WRONG! Congrats to Sherron on his 1000 points at KU!

jaybate 10 years, 12 months ago

Jayhawk86,First, I misread things all the time and get corrected here frequently, so take no offense of the following.“He put on a show. I wish I could tell you that our game plan was to stop everybody else and make him make all the plays. That was not the case.”--Bill SelfTo all,“We could have put Cole on him [Brackins], but we wanted to save him (from foul trouble).”--Bill SelfThis quote makes clear that Cole has foul trouble with active bigs who go inside and outside.Cole's problems with Jordan Hill indicate that he has trouble guarding a really accomplished post man for extended periods. And Onuaku, a big but unpolished post man, put 19 and 12 on him.I don't think it is knocking Cole, or even being negative, to point out a weakness in his game that he needs to (and can) develop. This is no different than noting that Brandon lacked a midrange game, because of a weak left hand, or Julian couldn't shoot. These just seem facts to me. Even great players have flaws. No one is perfect. This is just talking about Cole accurately IMHO (though lord knows I could be horribly wrong about it). And the great news for Cole is: its easier to put on muscle mass and learn to play prison body defense in the post, than it was for Brandon to learn to dribble with his left, or for Julian to learn to shoot the trey. Brandon never did develop a midrange game and Julian, well, they wouldn't have acquired Posey if he could ice the trike. Heck, I'd lay odds that Cole will become an excellent post defender capable of guarding the best opponnents without fouling by the middle of his third year, if he sticks around.

Chris Shaw 10 years, 12 months ago

Jaybate: I see where you coming from, but the Hornets didn't want to wait another year for Julian to develop and Maybe or Maybe not find success at that position. They have Paul, Chandler, and West "Primed" for a good run and they wanted to see what they could do "Now". I don't blame them at all for picking up Posey, even if it is for one year. There are a ton of players like Julian Wright who didn't have an "NBA Jumper" coming out of college, but developed a nice shot during their tenure in the Pros. I guess we could call them "Tweeners" because they were considered "Posts" in college, but a "Small Forward" once they entered the league. Corliss Williamson, Antawn Jamison, James Posey himself, Danny Granger (He's been working hard on his shot now in his 5th season), Shawn Marion, Gerald Wallace, Bruce Bowen, Stephen Jackson, Matt Barnes, Jared Dudley, and probably a lot of others I have missed. There is always a "Niche" in the NBA game, and I thought Julian was beginning to find his last year. His "Outside Shot" will only improve and get better, but even if his shot doesn't develop like people are hoping then there is always room for the "Mid-Range" game in the NBA. It's kind of hard for a Mid-Range game when most Shooting guards and Strong Forwards like Lebron, Kobe, Paul Pierce are guarding you, but there is always a place if you can play "D" like you suggested earlier. Antawn Jamison was going to be virtually "Extinct" from the league if he didn't develop his shot and he's become, although very awkward and a little ugly, a pretty darn good shooter for his position. Posey and David West coming out of Xavier were not known for their outside shooting, but over the years they have developed it and that is what has kept Posey in the league, and turning David West into a star. With Wright's ball handling, play making skills, and overall athletic ability, I think "Timing and Situation" are the only things holding him back at the moment. He'll be okay!

Joseph Kuebel 10 years, 12 months ago

Jaybate- your take on Juju's game is absolutely correct. He was originally drafted on the potential of being described as a poor, short mans Magic Johnson... The difference is that Magic developed a J, and quite frankly Julian has never even showed flashes of being able to shoot the j consistently despite the amount of open looks he were available given the rest of the talent on the floor at that time. James Posey is not a mentor to julian, was not acquired to be a mentor for Juju. Furthermore, Posey's game is not even comparable to Julian's, as Ju's strength is opening up the floor because of his ability to get to the hole. The main issue with this is, without a J the NBA defense can guard against the dribble, or passing lanes using slack D. Given the help defense and size of the NBA's bigs, this virtually renders Julian useless without 2 other effective big men.Your take on Cole not being ready is completely correct. As well as your analysis of the Twins taking the blunt of the defense whenever we face an effective 4 such as Brackins. Without Cole in the game, we have nobody down low that was can draw anymore than a single defender at a time. However despite the emerging presence of Little, he still is only going to be able to guard at biggest the power forward, and despite Little's length...he is still only 6-5 so using the Twins as sacrificial lambs on defense to keep Cole in the game is a fine move. On the other hand, while growing up in Chicago and watching Dennis Rodman defend at only 6-8 he would guard against the other teams Centers. I can recall on several occasions Rodman guarding against the Shaq Attack (and not when the bulls big men were in foul trouble, this occurred at the beginning of the game). Granted this was a 4-5 inch height difference- Rodman knew how to position himself better defensively both guarding and rebounding than any other player I've ever seen. Brackins however is the new age big man and has the ability to play inside and outside, causing all types of mismatches. Cole I feel was only player that proved to be effective and due to our lack of depth this couldn't occur until the end of the game.

Joseph Kuebel 10 years, 12 months ago

BIG GUY DON- Your take on Collins and Flynn I feel is 100% accurate. being a Chicago baller and watching Jordan do this to so many of his opponents Sherron has taken these personal one-on-one battles to heart on a few occasions this year. Given that Self earlier this year had told Sherron he needed to shoot at least 20 times to have a chance to win the game- he was given the go ahead. He also had gone so hard at trying to save face and prove himself superior to Flynn that by the end of the game he was completely exhausted and that showed during the last 10 minutes of the game as we lost a 1 point heart breaker to the hated Orange.Oakville - In lieu of my rants on the post earlier this week... Your take on the ACC and Lawson is completely 100% correct. Dukie V and ESPN give Lawson too much love - and need to watch a non- ACC or big East game. During week 2 of NCAA basketball the question was raised - Will UNC go undefeated? Laughable the amount of times I hear ESPN and their "analysts"/ announcers repeat make mistakes such as giving UNC the championship before the season begins and stating all they start an NBA team. This is besides not even being able to cite the most points scored in big 12 play...Repeating about 10 times over the incorrect statistic shows where their attention goes. However, It appears Aldrich and Withey will be playing on the same floor together next year... Though Cole has stated a few different times that he will staying for all 4, the temptation of immediately becoming a millionaire can turn many people against their word and their plans. Withey is a little quicker than Cole, and those two will be dominant and unstoppable in the post together next year.ROCK CHALK BABY! LETS GET WALL AND BRING 2 in 3 YEARS TO BASKETBALL USA, LARRYVILLE KANSAS.

Chris Shaw 10 years, 12 months ago

Calihawk: How long did it take Magic to develop his "J" in the league as you so eleoquently stated? I rest my case! We seem to forget that "JuJu" is only in his second season. Those individuals that I stated above in my earlier post also took them a number of years to develop a "J". No different in Julian's case, but my point is that it's still too early to call him a "Bust". You're right, James Posey was not brought in to be a "Mentor", but in Posey's one or two years that he'll be with the Hornets, why wouldn't "JuJu" learn from Posey. Julian will find his "Niche" and I bet over-time he'll even find that outside-jumper that Magic seemed to find in the middle of his career. Most who stay in the league do. Those that don't fade and disappear and the appear on the TV Show "Where are they now?"

Chris Shaw 10 years, 12 months ago

I forgot to add that I also feel James Posey coming out of Xavier in 1999 has some similarities to that of "JuJu". Posey always had decent handles and was a great rebounder. He also lacked an outside shot, hence, him being the 6th man at Xavier, but over-time has developed a pretty clutch 3. Danny Granger is a freak of nature and might be considered in the same manner as Posey and "JuJu". Nobody expected Granger to be dropping bombs this early in his career. Obviously he has been working on his "Own Beast Mode" to develop his own "J". Granger had a good "Mid-Range" game in College and could handle the rock (Similar to Glenn Robinson), but I think him blossoming now in his 5th season has been a little unexpected. Kudos to him though!

jaybate 10 years, 12 months ago

kushaw,You clearly have more knowledge about trey development in the NBA than I do.So let me serve this one up and see where you hit it.There are many players who have good shooting touches in college, who for any number of reasons, are not tasked with outside shooting. Brady has an excellent three point shot, but hardly ever takes it because he is tasked to do other things. Raef Lafrentz comes to mind as a big who had a three point touch, but was never tasked to shoot it from three much by Roy Williams. When Raef got to the pros, the three point shot quickly became a part of his repertoire, because in the L, bigs stepping out really open up the middle for bigs and littles to work inside.Question: might it be that most of the big fellows you point to as developing three point shots, while in the pros, fit into the Raef Lafrentz category; i.e., they had this skill in college, but were not tasked with using it, because in college their presense inside was more important than having them step out and pop? If this were so, then it might explain why some fellows gradually become dependable triceratop poppers in the L, and others never do. My experience of shooting was that no matter how much one practiced, one could only make incremental improvements in proficiency. Bad shooters could become better. Good shooters could become better. Great shooters could become better. But I don't ever recall bad shooters becoming good shooters and good shooters becoming great shooters. Magic Johnson stands out to me as great anomaly in shooting. He seemed to have no outside shot in college. And when he became a pro, and desparately needed one, he did something rather remarkable. He made himself into a proficient outside shooter but with caveat. Magic never did develop a bona fide super reliable three point jump shot in all the years I lived in Los Angeles and watched him. What he developed was a super reliable three point set shot. He relied on being 6'9" tall to shoot what amounted to very long free throws. Why I think this is significant is that I have seen many persons who were not good jump shooters, but who could nevertheless hit free throws at impressive rates. And I have seen great jump shooters (either mid range or from three point ville) who were only passable free throw shooters. I believe Magic was able to learn to shoot treys, precisely because he did not have to shoot them as Js. But Julian does have to learn to shoot the J from trifectaville, because at his position at the three or the four in the NBA, he is not tall enough to take and make set shots. And bottom line, I just have not observed mid-, or short-range jump shooters steadily overtime becoming excellent three point jump shooters, as you have. But my experience hardly proves anything conclusively, for you say you have and you list quite a number of them. Your ball to inbound. :-)

Chris Shaw 10 years, 12 months ago

Jaybate: You bring up some great points and your analogy on Magic, which I already believed, was right on. I don't think we disagree there. I do think that there are some guys out there that were probably "Good" shooters, but never got that opportunity because of their position in college. So I also agree with you in that aspect. I'm pretty convinced that Matt Bonner was always a pretty "Good" shooter even though he wasn't exactly able to showcase that talent while he was at Florida. However, I'm also pretty convinced that Antawn Jamison from UNC and Brian Scalabrine (Sp?) from USC were never excellent at shooting, but somehow over time developed a "Set Shot" in Jamison's example and a "J" in Scalabrine's example to stay with their respective teams. I do, however, disagree with you that somebody who is a "Poor" or "Bad" shooter can develop an outside shot. Being a professional and earning a huge amount of money can do wonders to your preparation and mindset. If it means stayin in the league or getting "Dumped" some guys somehow can get to that next level to find that "Niche" in order for them to prevail. I agree some guys just won't ever get to that point where they can consistently hit the outside shot. I mean, Glen "Big Baby" Davis is now consistently hitting 18 feet and in for the Boston Celtics an he's had to do that in order to find "Rotation Time" with that stellar team. I'm pretty convinced he was a "Poor" shooter in college. I also think "Age" allows you to redfine your game. When you're young and can go through anything and anybody, settling for jump-shots isn't really in your mindset to be competitive. This is a terrible example and I hate using him, but Jordan is kind of the idea of all this. Could dunk on anyone, but it is a known fact he didn't have that outside shot coming out of college, especially for his position. When he was at the "Prime" of his career and winning Championships, shooting was a big ingredient to his game. The same could actually be said about Dwayne Wade. So, I do think there is a progression that can take place with shooting. I think a person's definition of "Bad", "Poor", "Good", and "Great" varies with the "Overall Identity" of each player. It's funny, Reddick, Dan Majerale, Paxson, and Kerr, are all considered "Great" shooters because that was, if we're all being honest, all they could do as players. Reggie Miller, Stephon Curry, Ray Allen are all considered "Great" shooters as well, but also have that Mid-range game and other components which also puts them in the class of being a "Good" player" (I would not say Great, because I reserve that for Magic, Larry, MJ, Kareem, and players like that). Lebron's "J" is developing and improving every season, but I don't think, as in the case of MJ, will ever be considered a "Great" shooter because of all the other components involved in their game.............

Chris Shaw 10 years, 12 months ago

It's a tough question, but I think as most people think you get "Wiser" with "Age", I think that also can be true about shooting (Definitely for those in the basketball world). I think a "Bad" shooter can get better to the point where they can be a consistent performer and produce for a team. For a player like Kurt Thomas, I would consider him a "Good" shooter for his position. Now 10 years ago I couldn't say that. I could say the same for PJ Brown. I think a "Great" shooter will always be a "Great" shooter. However, what is that to say about JJ Reddick. I consider JJ Reddick a "Great" shooter, but his 3 point efficiency isn't exactly stellar. Now the question I still have, and I still don't know the answer, can a "Good" shooter become a "Great" shooter? This is a tough one for me. I can't think of really any good examples. Maybe Derek Fisher (Everytime I see him he's draining his shot). Bruce Bowen come to mind in this category. I think that may be the toughest transition for shooters to make is from the "Good" to "Great" category. You bring up some good points Jaybate.

melrank 10 years, 12 months ago

And now I offer our readers a short break from "War & Peace vs. Holy Bible".Brackins was really amazing, but we won big and you can't help but smile ear-to-ear with how this team is improving.RCJH

Michael Auchard 10 years, 12 months ago

If Collins is 5'11", I'll eat my shoes. Nice imagination.

jaybate 10 years, 12 months ago

kushaw,Excellent analysis. You persuaded me. And I too can think of no examples of good to great, but then I could not think of the other examples you came of with on bad to good. So: maybe someone will weigh in with some examples of that too.Actually, you've raised another question in me. Thinking about Teahan losing his stroke this season, do you or anyone else have any cases of shooters who slide down the curve instead of ascending it. I know it was often said during the Ted Owens years that Ted and Miranda were responsible for wrecking the shots of several players. I recall both Tom Kivisto and Aubrey Nash as being two players people claimed had good jump shots and high shooting percentages as highschoolers, who got "coached" into more orthodox mechanics and declined into relatively poor shooters.I could never convince myself of this one way or the other. I know John Wooden taught a "UCLA way" of shooting that required shoulders fully squared to the basket and bank shooting much of the time. And while Wooden supposedly trained a lot of good shooters, I have heard tales of players who never made it off the bench that came to UCLA with great strokes and left barely able to shoot.The problem is: among these cases of loss of stroke are probably many who did not so much lose their stroke, as run up against their own physical limitations of getting their shots off against bigger, better defenders in D1.One of the things I like about the coaching job Self has done at KU is that many shooters--be they bigs or perimeters--have tended to improve over their years at KU. Mario Chalmers really improved from his second to third seasons. I suspect they get stronger and get better senses of shot selection. But maybe they work on the players mechanics, too. Whatever, they don't seem to screw players up much and that to me is a sign of coaches who understand when and when not to intervene.

Chris Shaw 10 years, 12 months ago

jaybate: Yes, I think it happens all the time when you have somewhere between "Good" and "Great" shooters that slide down the scale. I think a lot of things can come into question when that happens. When you don't truly have a "Team" or play on a "True Team" those attributes can certainly derail your cause as a good shooter. When you "Try too hard" things can go to hell in a hand basket pertty quickly. Look at JJ Reddick-He is the perfect example. Coming out of High School, he was already considered a "Great" shooter. Coach K already had a "Pre-Determined" role for this kid before he even stepped on the court. Most coaches who have these already "Panned out their mind" 8 times out of 10 that kid is going to succeed. If they don't seed succeed in the pre-determined role they had set, then the coach's find another role that works out for them and more times than not they succeed in that role (I'm reserving this example for the Cream of the Crop and Jon Schyer is another example as he is being used as 6th man). Now that JJ Reddick is in the NBA, he is "Pressing" to show people that he belongs. You can see it on the court. JJ hasn't clearly identified what his "Role" is on the Orlando Magic. I think he is trying to proove that he has more to his game then just being a "Shooter". If you're not in the proper environment, don't understand your role on the team, or lose your confidence, it can change very quickly for you. I think a "Great" shooter is similar to a "Golfer". Sometimes you get the "Shanks" and you just don't know what's going on with your swing. Elbow in, Follow-through, Foot-work, spin on the ball, UMPF (OOMPFFF), and Trajectory all have a say on what happens with shooters. Let's not forget the defender in the equation of all this. I don't know if I would consider Hinrich a "Great" Shooter, but you can tell he has lost complete confidence in not only his shooting, but his entire game. So Yes, Jaybate, I think it can happen the other way around where a "Great" shooter can go back down to being a "Good" shooter. I think the same could be as an "Overall Anaysis" for any individual player trying to succeed. Some players thrive in different environments than others. Steve Nash is a good example of this. Steve Nash was nowhere to be found his first 5 or 6 seasons in the league (Mostly a back-up) and then he got under Don Nelson and then played for D Antoni where he won two MVP awards. I think at the professional level of basketball there are so many variables involved that anything can happen.

Chris Shaw 10 years, 12 months ago

Jaybate: Here is a last minute equation to sum all this upYouth + Athleticsm is greater ">" than Age, but less than "<" or equal "=" to "Good" shooting.Age and Experience is less than "<" Athleticsm, but equal to "=" or greater ">" than "Good" Shooting. I just thought it was funny.

Chris Shaw 10 years, 12 months ago

This is what it should have said. It only copied part of it. Jaybate: Here is a last minute equation to sum all this upYouth + Athleticsm is greater ">" than Age, but less than "<" or equal "=" to "Good" shooting.Age and Experience is less than "<" Athleticsm, but equal to "=" or greater ">" than "Good" Shooting. I just thought it was funny.

Chris Shaw 10 years, 12 months ago

Jaybate: Disregard the last two posts. It's not posting the right thing at all.

KUbsee69 10 years, 12 months ago

Going back to the top ... no "fans" have ever been more classless than the antlers.

ralphus 10 years, 12 months ago

I think you're all missing the big picture here.We just read a story that referenced Herkle Ivy AND Lafester Rhodes in the same sentence. Oh those halcyon days o' the Big Eight.I smell Pulitzer.

not_important 10 years, 12 months ago

I do believe Rayford Young of Texas Tech had scored the most against KU in a Big 12 game with 41 until Saturday.

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