Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Gary Bedore’s KU basketball notebook



KU vs. North Dakota State

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Complete coverage of KU's first NCAA matchup of 2009.

Collins honored

Kansas University junior guard Sherron Collins on Monday was named second-team All-America by the United States Basketball Writers Association.

Oklahoma’s Blake Griffin was a first-teamer with DeJuan Blair (Pitt), Stephen Curry (Davidson), Tyler Hansbrough (North Carolina) and James Harden (Arizona State).

Collins was joined on the second team by Luke Harangody (Notre Dame), Jodie Meeks (Kentucky), Jeff Teague (Wake Forest) and Hasheem Thabeet (UConn).

He’s OK with seed, site

KU coach Bill Self refused to criticize the NCAA Tournament committee Monday for shipping the No. 3-seeded Jayhawks to Minneapolis to play No. 14 seed North Dakota State.

KU fans must make the seven-hour drive from Lawrence to Minneapolis if they wish to attend the game; N.D. State fans a 31⁄2-hour drive from Fargo, N.D.

An alternative could have been placing KU in Kansas City’s Sprint Center. Remember, Ohio State is playing in nearby Dayton, Ohio, as a No. 8 seed.

“It is unique we are a 3 going to Minnesota playing a 14 that is only three hours away,” Self said. “It’ll be a huge deal for them. They’ll get a lot of fans there. But everybody can look through a skewed perspective.

“I think the committee got it right. The committee did a good job. I was thinking we’d be a 3 with an outside chance at a 2. That’s probably what Mike (Anderson, MU coach, 3 seed off to Boise) was thinking, maybe what Jeff (Capel, OU coach, 2 seed in Kansas City) was thinking. I just think OU was the fortunate one. We had every opportunity to be a 2, all we had to do was play better against Baylor (in Thursday’s loss in Big 12 quarterfinals in Oklahoma City).”

Self thinks the committee looked at driving distance in some cases.

“They send us to Minneapolis; that’s a drive for most people. OU to Kansas City is still a drive. Is OU to Minneapolis still a drive?” Self said. “I don’t know. I thought the 2 seed would come down to us, OU and Missouri, and how the committee viewed what was most important. Obviously they viewed the whole body of work as most important. They viewed losing a couple games with Blake Griffin (out) as being important. I am not complaining. We had a chance to do it, and we didn’t get it done,” added Self, who believes a win or two in OKC would have assured KU a 2 seed in K.C.

He’s scouted the Bison

Self already has watched plenty of tape on North Dakota State thanks to director of basketball operations Brett Ballard, who taped many of the Bison games since February.

“They are good, very good,” Self said of the Summit League regular-season and postseason-tourney champs. “They had a guy go for 60 this year — 60,” Self exclaimed of senior guard Ben Woodside scoring 60 points in a 112-111 triple overtime loss to Stephen F. Austin in December in Des Moines, Iowa. The 5-11 Woodside hit 14 of 32 shots (two of six threes) and 30 of 35 free throws in the game.

NDSU coach’s view

North Dakota State coach Saul Phillips on playing KU in the first-round: “It is humbling, and it is an honor to be playing a program with so much tradition. Dr. James Naismith coached there for gosh sake,” he told the Fargo Forum newspaper.

“Collins is one of the premier point guards in the country, and (Cole) Aldrich is turning into one of the best big men in the country,” Phillips added. “It’s quite an inside-outside punch. But what truly concerns me is the other guys around them.”

A No. 14 seed has beaten a 3 seed 15 times since the tourney field was expanded to 64 teams back in 1985.

“Sherron Collins, Cole Aldrich … I could keep going down the list. They are an unbelievable team,” senior guard Woodside told the Forum.

“We’ll try to approach it like any other game,” senior forward Brett Winkelman said.

“But we fully realize we’ll have to play an unbelievably great game to have a shot of knocking them off.”


Timmay97 11 years, 10 months ago

I think North Dakota State has a better shot of getting a high profile coach with T Boone Pickens money than beating the Jayhawks.

These kids will be overmatched. Their perimeter shooting scares, but nothing else. They would have to have the game of their lives to beat us.

Make us proud KU. Jump on them early. Make the game overwith by halftime.

zissou 11 years, 10 months ago

"They would have to have the game of their lives to beat us."

And nobody's ever done THAT against the Jayhawks, have they? I'm just one of those fans who gets nervous about any first-round matchup. Hopefully you're right. Friday can't get here soon enough.

Marcia Parsons 11 years, 10 months ago

Someone on that committee must hate us. We keep getting sent to the home arena of lower seeded opponents.

nocaljayhawk 11 years, 10 months ago

Man, 35 FTA in one game by a guard shows how much Woodside has the ball in his possession..there are some guards who won't shoot 35 frees in an entire season. I'd advocate the "cut the head off the snake" approach...face guard Woodside everywhere, and pressure full court to force him to handle the ball against pressure as much as possible.

jayhawkintexas 11 years, 10 months ago

This is definitely a trap game. A team loaded with seniors, great three-point shooting, and they hafve nothing to lose by playing loose. If our guards aren't hitting threes early then it could be one and done. If we play smart, get offensive rebounds and take care of the ball, we should win.

FlaHawk 11 years, 10 months ago

The only problem shutting down Woodside is the KU has no shutdown guard. Neither COllins or Taylor are what you call defensive players. Collins has improved from lst year whenhe was a defensive liability and Taylor is still a frosh. MIght put MOrningside on him, but Brady is not quick enough.

NDSU has another player who is averaging ove 18+ ppg, so it is not all WOodside who average 22+ per game.

NDSU beat UMKC twice and beat them at home by almost 40. KU did not look good against UMKC at all, but was early in season.

This KU tam is capable of getting beat by anyone in Big XII on the road and NDSU is better than CU/TTech and similar to ISU/NU/Baylor. Don;t forget Bucknell and Bradley. and KU over confidence!

yates33333 11 years, 10 months ago

drgnslayr--- What ranked teams did this NDSU team beat? They only played two majors and lost. Supposedly ORU was their best win.

If KU can't beat a team like this on their home court, let alone in Minneapolis, what are they doing in the NCAA tournament? If NDSU is a challenge, what will happen to KU when they play WVU or Louisville?

I agree that the assignments by the wizards of the NCAA selection committee stink, but they stink every year. When was the last time that UNC started the tournament outside of North Carolina? The last time "ole Roy" got screwed he was coaching KU.

The All American teams are nutty. Meeks is one of the best players in America, and Collins could eat Curry's hash, er'a, curry. Although I hope KU plays UNC and beats them again, I would like to see Hansbrough go against Thabeet and especially Griffin.

KirkwoodHawk 11 years, 10 months ago

The wins were during the 1st 2 years of the 4 red-shirt seniors' careers. They did only lose to USC by 5 points on the road this year. Concerns are: 1) historically, both with Bill and Roy, team always has problems in early games; 2) we are youngest team we have taken to the dance, and more susceptible to pressure and inconsistency; and 3) notorious for having other teams go "en fuego" on us, particularly from the 3 point line, which is NDST's strength.

ku98 11 years, 10 months ago

I don't like this match-up at all. NDSU can shoot the 3-ball, and they can play a good zone defense. That's the recipe to beat KU if we go ice-cold, which we often do at 11:30AM. The refs will be influenced by the local crowd. We better blow right past them, because if it is close, it will be really hard for our young players.
I just had a flash of my man Wayne Simien missing that turnaround jumper against Bucknell...

jaybate 11 years, 10 months ago

yates33333 and drgnslyr,

You are both right. KU ought to nuke NDSU. And yet NDSU fits the exact profile of a team KU has had trouble with this year. It has more good trey shooters than we do. It probably forces opponents to defend for 25-30 seconds each time down the floor. And lacks the size to get our bigs geeked up about the challenge they face.

All I can say is that University of Chicago Economics Professor Robert Lucas once won a Nobel for articulating and proving rational expectations theory. It said players in markets tend to learn, at least from recent experience. They adjust their expectations of what can happen from stimulus based on their most recent recollection. The team, especially the bigs, have come out flat against TTech and Baylor, two teams that were less than imposing inside. They got clocked both times. They should come out ready to play this time, because of recent experience. If they do not, then we are dealing with an IQ problem here.

I believe they will come out ready to go...but I have grave doubts about Cole's wheel.

JayCeph 11 years, 10 months ago

Plus, don't forget that their (NDSU) colors are the same as Baylor's so, KU could either see 'em and fold or rage against the Bison/Bear.

Dyrk Dugan 11 years, 10 months ago

the last statement is appropriate by jaybate....Aldrich is wearing the big metal boot...(it looks like something you wear to snow ski)...basically all the time he's not on the basketball court. if there is one silver lining in getting beat by Baylor, is that it gives Cole a chance to heal up the foot more. Because with him very active, NDSU or WVU can't really match up with him.

zissou 11 years, 10 months ago

FlaHawk says that Sherron Collins "isn't what you call a defensive player." Where did this myth get started? Did you watch the National Championship game? Sherron shut down Derrick Rose for almost the entirety of the game and has repeatedly been asked to guard opponents' top scorer (usually at height difference) this season.

JayViking 11 years, 10 months ago

Collins is what you call a "selective defensive player" in that he seems to pick and choose when to play hard.

Lance Hobson 11 years, 10 months ago

NDSU is better than Bucknell was a few years ago, but we're better, too. Still, this may be a tough game, especially if we come out cold with that early start. The good news is that they'll see plenty of upsets on Thursday.

jchawkfan 11 years, 10 months ago

I can't stop reading about this game. Man it is only Tuesday. I am so glad I took Friday off I can't wait. I just hope we don't dig ourself a hole like the past few games. I would like to see us come out like we did against Mizzu. Hit them in the mouth early and see how they react.

indijayhawk 11 years, 10 months ago

One of the things which no one is talking about the jitters NDSU players will have playing at the biggest stage in their life.. Every one wants them to beat KU.. its lot of pressure.. I think 1st 10 minutes will be the key for the game.. in the end KU has much more experience, depth and athleticism to beat NDSU.. also Bucknell and Bradley has taught us not to overlook such teams.. I say KU by 15..

Jonathan Allison 11 years, 10 months ago

Sure these NDSU guys are playing in the biggest game of their lives, but they have nothing to lose. The reason the seniors redshirted is because they wanted an outside opportunity to play in the NCAA tournament. Well, they are here and you better believe these guys are gonna enjoy it, they will come out fired up. All of the pressure is on KU, just like against Texas Tech playing on their senior day, Alan Voskuil came out with one thing on his mind, to win his senior night, and he lit us up. These guys know that this is likely their last game.

I expect a close game for 37 minutes, and Kansas pulls away at the end.

brooksmd 11 years, 10 months ago

Well crap. Just saw where Okie St and Tenn play the same time as the hawks so doubt KU game will be on down here in SEC country.

Dan Harris 11 years, 10 months ago

We had better hope they miss their first couple of treys of the game or this has Bucknell written all over it!

indijayhawk 11 years, 10 months ago

plastic , good point. I agree they have nothing to loose but if they win .. imagine being a bison... if they win.. how great it will be for them.. that will bring the pressure to them .. I hope... they hoped for this moment when they redshirted the seniors , the moment is here and now the seniors have to deliver.. as far as pressure on KU when was the last time we thought some one is not going to play their best because we are KU?

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