Friday, March 20, 2009

KU overcomes ‘best guard we’ve played’ in advancing to second round


— For every blue shirt in the Metrodome there were about 10 gold ones in what felt like a road game Friday for No. 3 seed Kansas University and a home one for No. 14 seed North Dakota State University.

The Kansas men’s basketball team survived that atmosphere and a 37-point effort from standout Bison guard Ben Woodside, 84-74, and advanced to Sunday’s second-round game against Dayton, the upset winner over West Virginia.

To successfully defend the national title they won last April in San Antonio, the Jayhawks will have to defeat better teams than North Dakota State in the NCAA Tournament, but they might not have to face another player as good as Woodside, a 5-foot-11 senior from Albert Lea, Minn.

After the game, Kansas coach Bill Self put his arm around Woodside and let him know what he thought of his game.

“All I did was tell him he was the best guard we’ve played,” Self said. “... We haven’t played anybody harder to guard than him. And that’s basically what I told him. I think he is a terrific talent.”

Kansas (26-7) received big production from its two most talented players. Junior guard Sherron Collins took 26 shots from the field and produced 32 points and eight assists. Sophomore center Cole Aldrich needed just 12 shots from the field to finish with 23 points. He also had 13 rebounds, eight dunks and two blocked shots.

Kansas committed just five turnovers, a season low.

Next up, Dayton's high-flying forward Chris Wright presents another difficult defensive challenge for KU. Wright, a 6-foot-8, 225-pound forward, led Dayton (27-7) to its 68-60 victory with 27 points and nine rebounds.


cklarock 10 years, 10 months ago

Kid was unstoppable. It's funny in retrospect (although it was agonizing at the time) thinking back to Coach throwing player after player at this kid to no avail. What a game for Woodside. NDSU can go home with their heads held high.

KUrtme 10 years, 10 months ago

Woodside is awesome. I kept wondering how big schools missed recruiting him a few years ago. Happy for him he had a big game (which I can say in relief after KU won). The media can shine a light on other talented guards while Tar Heel nation broods over Lawson's toe....

jayhawkinATL 10 years, 10 months ago

I think his size will limit his ability to play at the next level. Great college talent though.

Max Ledom 10 years, 10 months ago


If Nash and Paul and Bibby and Robinson can do it with their size, why can't Woodside? NBA Player for sure.

FlaHawk 10 years, 10 months ago

I could be wrong but Woodside is not that quick. KU does not have a quick defensive player. Last year Chalmers or Robinson could be put on him or even Rush for short periods of time.

This year KU has no defensive stopper. Morningside iss the best, but he is not quick and is a twenner toto defend a small guard and too small to cover a big forward.

KU played pretty good offense and almost lost the game because they did not have a stopper or play team defense.

eastTXjayhawk 10 years, 10 months ago

who is this mysterious morningside you speak he a hybrid Woodside/Morningstar combination??because that would be awesome...

InfiniteJ 10 years, 10 months ago

Woodside doesn't have the speed to play in the NBA, he might tear some fools up overseas, though.

Greg Lux 10 years, 10 months ago

The young man is fantastic .. and again it showed that Sherron is not NBA ready defensively. Our Jayhawks were great and will need to be more balanced scoring wise if they are going to continue to advance .. Sherron and Cole can't be the bulk of the scorers or the first off night we are finished. With that said I thought the M&M boys were very good on the boards and the 5 turnovers was super. Well done team .. Bring on Dayton

Rock Chalk

Marcia Parsons 10 years, 10 months ago

I'm surprised to hear you criticize the defense when both the radio announcers (Bob and Chris) and the TV announcers were praising our perimeter defense in the second half. Woodside is one of those players that is going to get his no matter what, so I'm not surprised they couldn't shut him down.

DCJayhawk0208 10 years, 10 months ago

Woodside just went right by our guys today, but my bigger concern is that no one crashed the offensive boards. We need offensive rebounds to complement our shooting.

Dub_D 10 years, 10 months ago

Kid has the meanest first step. There's always one guy that gets the holy ghost against KU, but usually end up with that L :) Rock Chalk

BCRavenJHawkfan 10 years, 10 months ago

Good things happen when you protect the ball. Better things can happen protecting the ball and playing shut down defense.

jayhawkinATL 10 years, 10 months ago

I guess what I meant to say is that if he were a bit taller, he could be someone's SG. I don't think he has the quickness to hang with NBA PGs.

Brian Skelly 10 years, 10 months ago

Our perimeter defense doesn't compare to last years. Of course in fairness, how many KU teams historically were as good as last years? It cant be many. A someone pointed out on here... Woodside had a quick first step, but he shouldnt have gone off like that against us. Last year that kid has half that many points having to go through Collins, Robinson, Chalmers, Rush. That kid was good, but... lets not turn him into Steve Nash though.

tdub 10 years, 10 months ago

Don't know which game you all were watching, but Collins was the ONLY one who couldn't consistently keep Woodside in front of him. The platoon of Taylor, Reed, heck even Appleton did a respectable job containing him. Self waited far too long to take Collins off him. With the other trio shutting down that lightning first step for the whole game, Woody only makes it into the 20's.

That said, I agree with Self's assessment that Woody is the best guard we've faced all year. While Collins was settling for crossovers and 18 foot J's, Woody was lowering his head and either drawing a foul or getting layups. Too much razzmatazz for SC.

theajayhawk 10 years, 10 months ago

First, Sherron in a terrific player and we won't be in this position without his contributions. Having said that, the 4-8 forced shots by Sherron (some in the first 10 seconds of shot clock) is the difference between a good KU team and a great KU team. It is fair to state that KU's next loss will be by less than 10 points. I think that is the equivalent of Sheroon's forced shots. Any time Shroon gets beaten on defense, I sit up on my couch because I know Sherron is going to try to provde himself with a forced shot. I also think the Coaching staff see this, but knows that Sherron doesn't know how to play controlled. They probbaly know that his reckless abandon at times, cannot be curtailed without impacting his aggresive play rest of the game.
So my friends, let us accept that the best Sherron Collins we can have (for better or worse) is the one that plays phenomenal for 80% of his shot and pray that the remaining 20% dont cost us the game. Enjoy the ride.

kranny 10 years, 10 months ago

I think the philosophy was to play tight and make him drive into the bigs in the middle in the second half especially. Any decent guard with a quick first step can beat a tight playing defender. The problem was that the help defense didn't rotate over to help and he had free lanes to the basket because they played a 4 high on offense which pulled our defenders away from the basket. Having Sherron on him kept him from shooting 3's and made him put the ball on the floor. Remember, Sherron was on the floor the whole game, handling the ball and defending their best man at times so playing tight defense was risking getting in foul trouble hence the blow-bys by Woodside. Reed did a respectable job on him, Morningstar had his lunch eaten, and I hope Taylor finds his Oklahoma game. One thing I wish we'd do is have one of the Morris twins come and set the high pick for Sherron so when he drives Aldrich is posting or setting himself up for the dish. Sherron gets into trouble on the pick and drive when he has nobody to dish to.

jaybate 10 years, 10 months ago

More Sherron:

32 points and 8 assists; that means he was instrumental in 48 of KU's 84 points. Nope. This guy can't play a lick, can he, Theutus? :-)

Mario Little Shrinking:

I want to hear some comment on Mario Little.

Why was this the kind of game where he only got 8 minutes and one rebound and no shots?

I would have thought NDSU would have been an ideal team for Little to do some damage against.

But nada.

What appears to be happening to Little is that Marcus has now developed enough at the 4 that he can't beat him out of any minutes there and Morningstar is so solid at the 3 that Little can't get any minutes there either.

Would the folks who said he was going to be the man once he came back fill me in on what has become of him?

Tyrel "Yes I Can" Reed:

Think about this: Tyrel Reed, the second of our guys who are supposed only to be capable of playing for a Mid Major, got 21 minutes in an NCAA tournament win.

Would the folks who said if Reed were playing significant minutes for KU that it could never be any good care to comment on how exactly KU can be 26-7, B12 champs, and advancing to the second round with the pitiful Mr. Reed playing 21 minutes?

jaybate 10 years, 10 months ago

Brady "Only 29 Minutes" Morningstar:

Here again we have a player who many folks say is no good some how playing big minutes in a big win. How does this happen? How has it happened 26 times over the course of a season? What exactly does Coach Self do to hide Brady on the floor?

Marcus "The Inches Are Finally Starting to Add Up" Morris:

There was never a slower build than this guy and yet he has slowly emerged into a solid garbage man, after having to break a seemingly endless string of bad habits as a superstar in high school. Learning to be a garbage man is as hard as learning to do what Brady Morningstar does. I wish people would sing the praises of Marcus Morris. Cleaning up sloppy seconds from Cole and Sherron is a thankless but vital job on a team. My father always said you could tell how good a team was based on how good its garbage man was. The garbage man cleans up not only the offensive misses, but he cleans up the defensive misses. By covering Cole's back side he enables Cole to be a force. Ever wonder why other teams are not making pay for his aggressive defense by back dooring, by alley ooping over him, but not dishing off past him? Two words: Marcus Morris. He has learned to play help defense and he's learned to do it without fouling the way Little does. Next year Marcus will probably blossom into a star by becoming a legitimate triceratopper. To become a consummate garbage man in his first season; this is really impressive. Kudos to Marcus. We thought you were going to be a super man this year and did not realize that instead Coach Self had assigned you the garbage man role from the very beginning. No doubt you will ring the bell for 15-25 per game for us next year or the year after and make us all amazed at your versatility. But becoming a solid D1 garbage man is a huge accomplishment in its own right.

jaybate 10 years, 10 months ago

Cole "The Boot" Aldrich:

I really wish he had not had to play so many minutes. He performed like a man after a too quiet first half. But how bad will it hurt vs. Dayton?

actorman 10 years, 10 months ago

"32 points and 8 assists; that means he was instrumental in 48 of KU's 84 points."

Jaybate, you're selling Sherron short. I would bet that at least three of his assists were on three-pointers, so he was actually instrumental in over 50 of KU's points.

Good point about Cole playing so many minutes. Was anyone else concerned that Cole was lagging behind so often on fast breaks, given that he usually keeps pace? It made me wonder how serious his injury is.

jaybate 10 years, 10 months ago

Thanks for the correction. You're absolutely right.

ObiWan 10 years, 10 months ago

I agree with you about Marcus, Jaybate. I admit I have been very critical of the twins this season, but they seem to be learning their role. I think that with a little seasoning, both the twins will be remembered as great garbage men. Jeff Graves, Richard Scott and, of course, the great Darnell Jackson are just a few names that come to mind. All of these guys found ways to contribute and help KU win big games. The Morris twins will play an integral part in our success over the next few years.

Marcia Parsons 10 years, 10 months ago

I wondered about Cole also. One of the announcers said something about the team waiting for him to get to the other end, and I realized that they usually don't have to wait for him. I'm hoping he was just tired. He was fighting double teams all game.

tdub 10 years, 10 months ago

Even if Cole is injured worse than we all thought, I'll take 23 and 13 the rest of the tourney on that one good leg. Let the other four run the break and Cole can continue to tear down the rim.

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