Saturday, February 20, 2010

KU missed on Burks

Jayhawks didn’t pursue CU standout

Kansas takes on Colorado in the Fieldhouse Saturday in the teams' second meeting of the season. The Jayhawks are moving ever closer to an undefeated conference season.


Kansas University didn’t recruit Colorado freshman Alec Burks, a 6-foot-6, 185-pound freshman sensation from Grandview, Mo., who has emerged as one of the top first-year players in the country.

“I know a lot of people made recruiting mistakes on him,” KU coach Bill Self said. “He was a great get for Colorado because he’s really a nice player. He has a chance to be really good.”

Today, KU finally gets to see Burks up close and personal during the 3 p.m. KU-CU contest in Allen Fieldhouse.

He has missed just one game this season because of injury — KU’s narrow 72-66 overtime victory over CU on Feb. 3 in Boulder.

That’s the game in which Cory Higgins had a shot to win it at the regulation buzzer, his three-pointer fading off the mark.

For the year, Burks averages 16.8 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. He has hit 52.8 percent of his shots, including 31.8 percent of his threes (14 of 44). Burks has cashed 78.7 percent of his free throws and has 41 assists against 45 turnovers.

“I’d say no matter if he’s playing or not, it’d still be a tough game,” KU junior center Cole Aldrich said. “He didn’t play against us in Boulder. He’s really good. Obviously they are a heck of a team because they got us into overtime.”

Burks, by the way, is the fourth CU freshman to score 400 points in a debut season. He has 404, trailing Richard Roby (480), Chauncey Billups (465) and Donnie Boyce (417). Burks ranks fifth nationally of all freshmen in points per game and is fifth in field-goal percentage.

CU, which has dropped 14 straight games to KU, enters with a 12-13 overall record, 3-8 in the Big 12. The Buffs, 0-5 on the road in the Big 12 this year, have dropped 34 straight league road games. Their last win was an overtime decision over Oklahoma State on Jan. 21, 2006. CU has also lost 26 straight road games against Div. I opponents, the last victory over Colorado State on Dec. 22, 2007.

“We don’t overlook anybody we play just because we know how tough the Big 12 is,” Aldrich said. “Anything can happen in the Big 12.”

KU has had some problems stopping CU’s Princeton-style offense in the past.

“I would say we guarded their stuff average,” Self said of the first meeting, one in which Marcus Relphorde scored a game-high 18 points. “I’ve been watching a lot of that tape. We didn’t create any havoc. We didn’t create turnovers (13), didn’t create points off our defense like I hope we can. We’ve got to do something to allow them to not get comfortable because their stuff is hard to guard. Over time we’ve shown we can guard it pretty well if we are fresh and into it. To me that’s the big key.”


Hawkmonster 11 years, 11 months ago

Misleading title - how can you say ku "missed" him? Where would he even fit on this team? You'll notice self never says that he overlooked this kid, only that alot of people did....

3GJayhawk 11 years, 11 months ago

I'm not positive but I feel like this exact article was posted when we played Colorado last time. I may be wrong about the content but I would bet money that the headline is recycled. Anyway, Xavier is better than Burks... He's also on a much better team than Burks. X is a role player on his team. Burks is da man on his.

klineisanazi 11 years, 11 months ago

Coach Self has already had to redshirt players. There are a lot of good players that wouldn't find playing time. Strange article.

Marcia Parsons 11 years, 11 months ago

I see it as an obligatory article on gameday, but one that is trying to stay bland and not provide any locker room material. And I suppose it is significant that Burks will be playing this time. Maybe that's to our benefit. Teams seem to play harder against us when they are missing major players.

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