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Saturday, February 27, 2010

OSU just another game for Xavier Henry

Kansas forward Xavier Henry pulls up for a shot during warm-ups before taking on Oklahoma Monday, Feb. 22, 2010 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Xavier Henry pulls up for a shot during warm-ups before taking on Oklahoma Monday, Feb. 22, 2010 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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— Freshman Xavier Henry, who led Kansas University’s basketball team to a rousing victory over Oklahoma on Monday, today goes for a season sweep of Big 12 teams from his home state.

“It’ll be fun,” Oklahoma City native Henry said of a 3 p.m. clash against Oklahoma State at sold-out Gallagher-Iba Arena. “It’ll still be just another game, but this time it’ll be in Oklahoma. I sent a few tickets to some family and friends.

“I know the arena. I’ve been to a couple games there as a kid. It’s crazy in there,” added Henry, who scored 23 points off 9-of-13 shooting and grabbed five rebounds in KU’s 81-68 Big Monday victory over OU.

It marked the 6-foot-6 Henry’s fifth-straight double-digit scoring outing and followed a 24-point effort against Colorado on Feb. 20.

“I enjoyed it just like every other win,” Henry said. “I wasn’t overly ecstatic because I prepared for that team the same as I prepared for K-State or Texas or anybody else in the conference or any regular game. I didn’t bank more on that game than any other.”

In fact, he has said repeatedly that Monday’s result classified as just another win.

“People probably wanted me to be more happy for the win,” the former Putnam City High standout said, “but I was happy as I could be. Not just because it was Oklahoma, but because we won another game and at least sealed a tie for the Big 12 championship. Now we’ve got to win at least one of the next three games so we’ll have the Big 12 championship to ourselves.”

The Jayhawks (27-1 overall, 13-0 Big 12) lead Kansas State (23-4, 10-3) by three games with three to play. KSU, which travels to Allen Fieldhouse on Wednesday night, plays host to Missouri (21-7, 9-4) at 7 tonight in Bramlage Coliseum.

The above-mentioned teams are headed to the 2010 NCAA Tournament. A win today would take the Cowboys (19-8, 7-6) off the bubble and into the Big Dance.

“It would definitely assure them that,” KU coach Bill Self said. “From a sleepless-night standpoint, I think everybody (at OSU) would be able to rest comfortably knowing they had knocked us off and solidified their bid.”

The Cowboys’ hopes of winning likely rest on the shoulders of James Anderson. The 6-foot-6, 210-pound junior from Junction City, Ark., averages a Big 12-best 22.5 points (off 46.9 percent shooting) and 6.1 rebounds per game.

“He has a great chance to be a player in the league,” Self said of Anderson, who ranks fifth on OSU’s all-time scoring charts — 20 points behind fourth-place Desmond Mason.

“He’s a great talent, a great scorer. He can score in the post, off the bounce, off the catch. He has great range and a great in-between game,” Self added.

Anderson, who has cashed 35.3 percent of his threes (59 of 166), erupted for a season-high 31 points three times — against Missouri, Oklahoma and Baylor. He had 30 points against Kansas State.

“He does everything well,” said KU junior Brady Morningstar, who, along with Marcus Morris, figures to guard Anderson today. “He’s probably a lottery pick. He can do it all, both inside, outside.”

Anderson leads all active Big 12 scorers in career 30-point games (nine) and 20-point outings (38). He’s a free-throw-shooting machine, having hit 176 of 219 for 80.4 percent.

“He’s the most coachable player I’ve ever coached,” OSU coach Travis Ford told the Daily Oklahoman. “He’s got a great attitude every single day. His teammates love him. And he can back it up on the court. He can drive it, shoot threes, and he’s the best defender on our team.”

Pundits are calling Anderson one of the greats in OSU history. That’s high praise, considering the school has produced Byron Houston, Richard Dumas, Bryant Reeves, John Starks, Adrian Peterson, Randy Rutherford, Joey and Stephen Graham, Bob Mattick, Tony Allen and Bob Kurland, the game’s first 7-footer who played for the Cowboys’ (then known as the Aggies’) 1945 and ’46 NCAA title teams.

“Absolutely. He has to be considered one of the best,” Ford told the Oklahoman.

“It’d be a great honor if I could be in that conversation,” Anderson said. “I’m just playing. All I’m thinking about is this team and whatever I can do to help us get to the tournament. That’s my whole focus.”

Comments

HawkMuseum09 4 years, 7 months ago

I believe that the best thing the pokes have going for them is it's in Gallagher. Other than that, we can only lose it ourselves. Like I said on my previous post, I believe this team has found its identity. That identity is to just 'win' at all cost. And it seems like it's working.

Rock Chalk

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oldalum 4 years, 7 months ago

I don't think Xavier was saying this game didn't mean a lot, he was saying it didn't mean more just because it was in his home state of Oklahoma.

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kufan89 4 years, 7 months ago

looking forward to this game. ROCK CHALK!

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docileboy 4 years, 7 months ago

Nice article in the Tulsa paper this morning about how Coach Self has helped KU fans forget Roy Who.

Another note of interest; this is the first time since 1989 that a number 1 team has come to Stillwater. You can see why teams have no problem getting up to play number1.

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FreddyinLA 4 years, 7 months ago

OSU looks like a "trap" game to me. Jaybate called me out and said KState was the trap game. Hope we're both wrong.

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Paul Meyer 4 years, 7 months ago

Here's the link to the Tulsa World article: http://www.tulsaworld.com/sportsextra/article.aspx?subjectid=2&articleid=20100227_202_B1_Kansas251675

(Please notice the Tulsa World mast head uses the Trajan KU.)

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tstanlick1909 4 years, 7 months ago

Soobawls,

While a strong effort from Xavier (Along with our other staples, ie. Sherron, Cole) assures us a ticket to STL, then hopefully Indy. I do feel that our team is on a level that does not require Xavier to be in top form for us to be successful in the first 4 games. He does give us the X factor in Final Four games if/when it comes to that. But this is a team that should have beat MSU last year and had a great chance to compete with Louisville in the Elite Eight. All that without Xavier of course, and with less experience.

The great thing about this team is that we can match up with anyone, we play different styles in different games. We are very comfortable with running game plans that are "outside the bun."

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JhawkHoopsCrzy 4 years, 7 months ago

Take care of business in Stillwater!

Slight diversion here ... I'd like to go on record saying I'm so proud to support a Coach, team and program that places the proper value on Conference Championships ... John "is the NCAA investigating me yet" Calapari said UK winning the SEC means "NOTHING!" ... http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/news/story?id=4950179

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ilovebill 4 years, 7 months ago

I am continually amazed that some who post on this site feel the need to bark orders to or make demands of the players as if they were either their coach or their parent. Thanks to our outstanding KU coaching staff and the wonderful parents of our players who have supported and encouraged their sons...none of us need to offer anything more than support and appreciation.

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okiedave 4 years, 7 months ago

PaulDMeyer - Read the article when I went to pick up the paper on the front steps. OSU is very proud of Bill Self and Tulsans love the guy because he lived in Tulsa and was a very successful Oral Roberts Coach, his first head coach job after playing at OSU. Bill Self will get a very big ovation from the fans at Gallager-Iba today. They still think that someday Ford will get canned for their normal mediocre teams and Bill Self then will be willing to come to his alma mater to finish his career. OSU fans are delusional as Bill Self is much too smart to go from the pinnacle to mediocrity.

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Chad Hallack 4 years, 7 months ago

A rivalry game at home against the #6 ranked Violet Brigade is not, I repeat, not a "trap game" A game on the road against an unranked team fighting to secure a NCAA birth in a place like Iba the week we play the Violet Brigade at home and then at the Slavers is the definition of a trap game.

That being said, I do not believe we go down there and lose today. It is more likely that we lose one of our next two after this... I hope not but k-state is a good team and as much as I truly hate to say it, the slavers are probably underrated and have a very good coach.

O-State can't hang if we pound the rock inside... and look out! That defense I've been talking about all year is starting to come together. TT and X are coming around and McMorris has become a man! We're on our way to great things! God I hope we get to play the KY Kids...

I can't remember if it was Musberger Monday night or Mitch Holtus last Sat. but one of them nailed it on the head when they said, "Kansas is good enough defensively to beat anybody and when the offense is clicking they're special." I've been saying the same thing all year. We have a VERY good basketball team, but there is a ceiling we have yet to reach that would elevate us to historic status. I'm telling you... compared to the '08 team we are approaching them defensively, we have more weapons on offense and a deeper bench. Don't doubt me...

Rock Chalk!

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Ben Kane 4 years, 7 months ago

Away games are never easy and Anderson is a true scorer. I don't see us losing this one though.

anyone else hear Cali-Sleezy's comment about not even caring about winning the SEC? It just reminds me how much I enjoy having Bill Self as our coach. There literally is not another person I'd rather have at our helm and I'm glad to hear that the Tulsa people regard him as well as they do, very classy.

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Chad Hallack 4 years, 7 months ago

I had pilonidal surgery yesteday so I'm going no where, counting on a good discussion here to help pass the time...

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slowplay 4 years, 7 months ago

I wouldn't say KU should have beaten MSU last year. MSU had some nice depth, matched up well and is coached by the second best coach in the country. That said, I don't see any of the remaining games as "trap" games. OSU will be tough at home as will Missou. If KU builds an early lead (10+) in either game they should win. If KU loses to K-State at home, that would be an upset. The other 2....Not so much.

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Ben Kane 4 years, 7 months ago

sorry JhawkHoopsCrzy, didn't see your comment. I agree! :)

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Chad Hallack 4 years, 7 months ago

Just when you thought Calipari couldn't stoop any lower... I almost feel sorry for him.

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captku 4 years, 7 months ago

any tickets out there? just a final check ... Where is the alum pre-game rally? thx.

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tstanlick1909 4 years, 7 months ago

Sitting at the UPS Store passing time during my shift..looks like Kentucky is about to go down.

Things just got a lot more fulfilling

GO Tenn!

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tstanlick1909 4 years, 7 months ago

May have spoken too soon..

Finish!!

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KU08 4 years, 7 months ago

70-65 Tennessee up with 34 seconds left!

By the way, the game's on cbssports.com if you're looking.

http://www.cbssports.com/video/player/cbk-live

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KU08 4 years, 7 months ago

Wall with the charging foul! It's about time something goes against that guy.

29 seconds left.

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okiedave 4 years, 7 months ago

Calipari stated that the SEC championship meant "nothing" to him. The only thing he stated he was concerned with was placement in the NCAA. What a tool to degrade his own conference.

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Mike Kendall 4 years, 7 months ago

KENTUCKY LOST!!!!!!!!!! All KU has to do is take care of business. #1 overall in St. Louis, baby!!!!! Gotta take of the Pokes first. No hiccups.

Chuck -- agree 100% -- Coach Self is classy. Go Jayhawks. Kentucky lost, man that is great news! Rock Chalk!

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KU08 4 years, 7 months ago

Let's hope this good feeling doesn't end around 5pm CST today.

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Ben Kane 4 years, 7 months ago

i'd like to say i'm a better person than to be happy by UT beating KY.... yeah, i'm not. How fitting that they paste my office door with a dozen UT signs after we lost to them only to themselves lose in the same building. I thought they were morons because if Mizery beat KY you never see me posting Mizery signs.

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Mike Kendall 4 years, 7 months ago

Chuck--

Like Bill Shelf, you've got class!!!! Good for you, buddy!

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Matt Gauntt 4 years, 7 months ago

If we win today, and North Carolina loses (like they should), we will be tied for 2nd place all-time!!!! Go Hawks!!

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Mike Kendall 4 years, 7 months ago

North Carolina losing--Kentucky already lost today--KU winning at O-State--that would be an almost perfect day!!!

My question to Jayhawk Nation: Who do you want to win tonight--Missouri or K-State? The game is in Manhattan, btw.

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Ben Kane 4 years, 7 months ago

mike,

if we win tonight it doesn't matter one bit. I'm calling Kstink though.

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Ben Kane 4 years, 7 months ago

jwliddell,

that is priceless. sadly typical of them as well.

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jaybate 4 years, 7 months ago

Two great opportunities exist in this game. One is to clinch the title outright. The other is for the KU player that gets a chance to shut down James Anderson.

James Anderson is a marvelous basketball player. If he had gone to a Maybach program, he would very likely be considered the best basketball player in the country this year. I would take him over any of the over-hypes on the east coast in a New York minute.

James Anderson is a once in 20 years player. I love James Anderson and I wish him the very worst against KU.

Whether its Marcus, or X, guarding James, we are about to find out just how good they are defensively.

And whichever KU player James guards, we are about to find out just how good that KU player is offensively.

If Marcus and X can defend James Anderson, they are NBA ready. If Marcus and X can score on James, they are NBA ready. If not, Marcus and X need to come back for another season.

Self wanted James Anderson in the worst way, but did not get him apparently because of the spiking news story near the time of his and Kyle Singler's commitment decisions that KU would likely be punished for Roy's cash gifts to players that he could not quite recall the specifics about.

Really, shifting focus in this post, and looking back, IMHO, Roy's player gifts and Roy's unforgiveable failure to take full responsibility for failure to comply with NCAA rules (he couldn't quite recall the specifics), cost KU the bounty of James Anderson and Kyle Singler coming to KU.

Coulda, woulda, shoulda, never did anything, but it does not (and back then did not) take Nostradamus, or Ray Kurzweill, to see that Roy probably cost KU yet another national championship.

Think about it: KU would have easily won a National Championship last year with James Anderson and Kyle Singler on last season's already very good team. I mean last year's KU team with James Anderson and Kyle Singler would have kicked the snot out of Baja KU aka UNC.

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Chad Hallack 4 years, 7 months ago

UNC vs. Wake is U.G.L.Y. ugly! Unwatchable... Thank God 2nd half of Texas vs. A&M is about to start.

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jaybate 4 years, 7 months ago

Just look at the match up advantage at every position that KU would have had. Just look at the superior depth KU would have had. And just look at the superior coach KU would have had.

Increasingly, it appears Roy cost KU several rings over 15 years by not recruiting the whole country. Larry Brown, who not only recruited the whole country, but took the best player in North Carolina from Dean, won a ring in only four years at KU. Roy recruiting the whole country at UNC has won two rings. Bill Self recruiting the whole country at KU has won one ring in six years, and threatend to win one last year, and is on a path to win another this year. Roy got to the Final Four times at KU recruiting half the freaking country. Don't even think of telling me recruiting the whole country he would not have reached the Final Four one or two more times and had one or two more impact players on some of the teams that made the Final Four and so would have gotten at least one or two over the top in the era that he coached in at KU. Roy can coach to championships, when he has the horses.

And to add insult to injury, Roy's apparent unwillingness to take full responsibility for the gifting in question appears to have cost us several years of scholies and two fine players in Anderson and Singler that we needed last year to win it all and kick his UNC team into the oblivion it deserved.

Roy Williams. He gave us 15 nearly great years.

And he's a gift that keeps on giving.

A Jayhawk on a black turtleneck is not an equitable quid pro quo to costing KU a ring the following year.

Never let up on Roy until he retires and comes to be honored at KU in one of the crimson and blue ties I so used to love to see him wear.

Never. Its business. Its basketball. Its The Legacy first, last and always. Roy understands for he puts Baja KU first.

Regardless, Roy apparently contributing second hand to KU not landing the great James Anderson should never be held against James, or be a distraction from the wonderful chance to compete against him. I like everything about his game. And I like him as a person from what little a fan can learn of the kind of person a player is.

James Anderson presents the greatest opportunity yet this season for Marcus and/or X to rise to challenge and show what they are made of.

I believe Marcus and X will rise to the challenge. They are superb players in their own rights.

They came to Kansas and have become exemplary players.

And coulda, woulda, shoulda never did.

Rock Chalk!

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Chad Hallack 4 years, 7 months ago

jw-

It's brutal, just hope it's over by 3pm...

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Steve Brown 4 years, 7 months ago

My question to Jayhawk Nation: Who do you want to win tonight--Missouri or K-State? The game is in Manhattan, btw.

neither

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