Sunday, January 10, 2010

Gary Bedore’s KU Basketball Notebook


Strong start

Tennessee, which has outscored its opponents 81.9 points to 63.6, has lost to Purdue and Southern California and defeated Memphis, Wyoming, North Carolina A&T;, Middle Tennessee, East Tennessee State, College of Charleston, DePaul, East Carolina, UNC Asheville, Austin Peay and Charlotte.

“It is a game that could go either way,” Kansas University coach Bill Self said. “They have a lot of talent. We got them last year, and I’m sure this is a sellout, which is 24,000. It will be a good atmosphere and one where we really need to play well away from home to start developing an identity.”

UT vs. No. 1

Tennessee is 1-2 against No. 1-rated teams under fifth-year coach Bruce Pearl. The Volunteers beat Memphis in 2008 and lost to Ohio State and Florida in 2007.

The Vols are 3-10 all-time against No. 1-ranked teams. This is the first time UT has played host to a No. 1 in Thompson-Boling Arena.

This, that

Tennessee, 35-2 in nonconference home games under Pearl, has won seven such games in a row. ... UT leads the SEC in assists per game (17.3) and turnover margin (+6.6) while ranking second in the league in three-point percentage defense (28.9), steals (9.6) and assist/turnover ratio (1.28) ... Tennessee is seeking its first home crowd of at least 20,000 this season. Thompson-Boling Arena seats 21,678. .. Pearl is 18-11 vs. ranked teams at UT and 68-6 when the Vols score 80 or more points ... Senior J.P. Prince has drawn a team-high 13 charges. ... UT had a school-record 34 assists against Asheville on Nov. 17.

Last year revisited

Sherron Collins scored 26 points off 7-of-14 shooting and 10-of-14 free throwing and Cole Aldrich contributed 22 points off 10-of-14 shooting with 10 rebounds in KU’s victory over UT last year. Brady Morningstar and Tyshawn Taylor added 12 points apiece. Wayne Chism scored 17 points, Bobby Maze 14 and Scotty Hopson 11 for the Vols.

“It was a fun one, probably one of the most fun ones to play in the fieldhouse last year,” Aldrich said. “We had a great crowd and played well. Now the tables are turned. We’re at their place. They are starting to play real well. It’ll be another fun game.”

Collins, who was unable to sleep the night before last year’s game until he cell-phoned his brother, Steve, in Chicago for some soothing words, recalled: “It was very crucial. It was our first test of the season. They came in scrappy like they’ve always been.”

Collins believes UT will seek revenge today.

“It’s the largest crowd we’ll play before so far. It’ll be loud,” Collins said. “There will be a lot of orange. We’ve got to be ready.

Black jerseys?

Former Vols’ player Tyler Smith, who was booted off the team Friday, wanted UT to wear black uniforms today, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported.

Coach Pearl told the paper if Tennessee was going to wear alternate color black, he’d lean toward wearing the color at home.

“When we go on the road, I want people everywhere to see the Big Orange,” Pearl said.

UT has not ordered jerseys in any other colors than orange and white, a UT administrator told the paper.

Expanded role

Tennessee’s Renaldo Woolridge scored 10 points and had seven rebounds while playing 27 minutes against Charlotte on Wednesday. For the year Woolridge averages 9.8 minutes a game.

"We all told Renaldo, there’s no more time for a soft Renaldo,” Chism told the AP after the game.

“We had so much excitement going into the game just sticking together and knowing that this was our opportunity. We all fed off each other,” Woolridge said. "Coach put me in the spot Tyler was in, starting in the 4 position, and I definitely had to step my game up.”


Martin Rosenblum 10 years, 2 months ago

That win in 08 by the Vols vs. Memphis was the only game that year in the regular season that Memphis didn't have to vacate. They lost it fair and square.

Eliott Reeder 10 years, 2 months ago

So you don't think it's noteworthy to mention that this particular Woolridge (Renaldo) is the older half-brother of our own incoming recruit (Royce)? Thought it strange you would leave that out. Anyways... here's a link to a rap song by RENALDO Woolridge that I happened upon while confirming the above...

Bruce Brock 10 years, 2 months ago

I foresee a shellacking by the Jayhawks. KU, coming off a poor performance and braced for a hostile crowd, silences the Volunteer yahoos in the stands by dominating the lesser athletes on the court from the opening tip-off.

Final score: KU 89, UT 63

okjhok 10 years, 2 months ago

Did anyone else see Cousins get posterized by that UGA player yesterday? Funny.

jaybate 10 years, 2 months ago

Self saying it could go either way gives some idea how deep UTenn was before the suspensions of 2 starters and 2 subs. Self is trying flattery to dilute the bounce from UTenn players playing above their heads to compensate for their lost players.

Take what they give ya, Hawks. Pearl will probably give the running game for 8-10 minute stretches, in order to offensive rebound strong, then play zone for three to conserve fouls, now that Pearl's a little short handed.

At this point of the season, I'd like to see KU get out an run with 'em, but Self seems resigned to a half court team this year, because of lack of effective depth.

jaybate 10 years, 2 months ago

Post script: TRob gets a look against Chism. This game would be a great one for TRob to take it up a notch against a guy who is not too tall for him.

Tyler Fox 10 years, 2 months ago

Post Post script: Jaybate has an inflated sense of how important his posts are. You're not impressing anyone

Martin Rosenblum 10 years, 2 months ago

jaybate -

I'll bet that UT is at full speed for much more than 8-10 minute streches if he's done his homework on the Hawks.

I look for Cole to dominate on the defensive boards and will hopefully be able to put Chism in early foul trouble, thus shortening their lineup. This will put us at a real advantage and let the twins complement Cole. If we have Brady and Tyrel coming off of the bench to give Sherron and Tyshawn a blow every few minutes, our depth will surely wear them down by halftime.

It would be great to see your proposed matchup between TRob and Chism. However, TRob would probably not go two minutes without at least two fouls. Next year is when I expect to see him transcend . He's still in the cocoon at this point IMHO.

Mike Kendall 10 years, 2 months ago


Yea, I saw that jam on Cousins. That was, "Wham Bam, Thank you, I just slammed on you, Mamm!"

Martin Rosenblum 10 years, 2 months ago

fox -

You obviously have not garnered the spirit of these boards and it's posters. Impressing anyone is truly not the goal here. The notion that anyone is here to impress you, for example, is awfully self-centered. We can tolerate, agree, condone, respect, disagree, be amused, be disgusted, shocked, repulsed, delighted etc. by comments made here. But, if you're here to impress others, watch out! It's a bumpy road ahead for you.

And jaybate, he's the tallest speed bump and/or the deepest pothole you'll ever run over. Proceed with caution!

Lance Hobson 10 years, 2 months ago

After Taylor's thuggery I don't think UT should take any of his suggestions, especially to wear black uniforms.

Martin Rosenblum 10 years, 2 months ago

Black unis with all of the orange in that place would look like Halloween. Does he think they would be intimidating wearing black or as some sort of "mourning" statement? Maybe he needs to be considering his attire for his court date, instead. Note to Taylor: No Lil' Wayne or Snoop Dogg t-shirts in court. Also, don't drive up to the courthouse with your volume up on the " Hardknock Life" cd in your ride!

David Leathers 10 years, 2 months ago

Strikewso and memhawk: Our Tyshawn "Taylor" didn't suggest Tennesee wear black unis today, however, it was their "Tyler" Smith that made the suggestion to his coach.

I hate correcting people, but it's habit considering I met my wife in California, and she HAD no clue about anything sports until I came along... I have to correct her all the time.

"No babe, that's Sherron Collins on the White team with the Red and Blue stripes..."

jaybate 10 years, 2 months ago


Mostly agree with your thoughts.

I think UTenn has to run in spurts because numbers are not in their favor.

But Pearl faces an interesting choice.

With fewer players, he can forsake the run and go to grind it out and play a lot of match-up zone and use his size to guard the trey stripe, and thus rely on Chism and Russell to defend the paint and stay fresh and un-fouled-up. This would be the way Self would do it, but Pearl coaches the run and not much else. Further, a slow down game might well favor KU's vastly superior trey shooting, unless UTenn's height really could control the trey stripe.

Alternatively, Pearl could play run and rest.

UTenn liked to get out and run all game, when they had effective depth, and doing so covered up their lousy trey shooting.

But against KU, after the suspensions, numbers may, or may not, be in UTenn's favor; i.e., if Tyshawn and Twins rematerialize in the transporter for this game, then numbers will not be in UTenn's favor; but if Tyshawn and Twins stay in dematerialized state (lost in space), then the numbers favor UTenn clearly.

Pearl almost has to run to start the game, and he has to encourage KU to run by sending more of his players to the offensive back board and thus releasing fewer for getting back on defense. He has to gamble sending one tall guard and one short one back on defense can contain KU in transition long enough to get KU running.

But, to avoid fatigue and fouls, Pearl also has pull up and play zone periodically. If Pearl does not slow down, zone, rest and hold down the fouls on the first five, 10 minutes into the second half will see his first five fouled up, or out, and tired. KU will then grind them into the cracks in the floor, as is Self's wont to do.

But if Pearl can play fast 8 minutes, rest and protect fouls for 3 minute stretches, then he can have his first five rested and free to play the last eight to ten minutes.

Basically, Pearl has to do this year (after the suspensions), what Self had to do last year, and the first semester this year...unless the UTenn subs are long enough and good enough on defense to play KU even up, which appears unlikely.

I really think Self has to use TRob and Withey today, even though they are going to foul a lot, or he's going to lose the game down the stretch.

KU's formula for winning is simple.

War of attrition plus superior trey shooting produces a comfortable advantage, or produces a close game at the end and Sherron gets the ball.

jaybate 10 years, 2 months ago

Pearl has only two chances.

A) Tyshawn and the Twins do the disappear-o in which case UTenn wins.

B) Tyshawn and the Twins show up, UTenn's bigs are able to control our bigs, and Pearl can play run-and-rest until the 8 minute mark in the second half

If it turns into a trey game, unless KU goes 25%, or something similarly horrendous, this should be a KU victory.

I really think the Twins are likely to show up and play to stalemate, not over power UTenn bigs.

Tyshawn's offense and Xavier's defense are the problems today.

Xavier has to be able to contain his man and at least score even with him. And play 30 minutes. Why? Because we need Brady free to play another ten minutes at the two, not 20 at the 3. Why? Because Ty can't score much and we need to get some points out of the two, since Xavier, playing against a big 3 is not likely to be able to score at will.

Ty's got to have a bum wing, because of the elbow harness. We need his defense out of the 2 spot. But we also need some scoring and toughness. To get any scoring out of the 2, we desparately need Tyrel, C.J., and Brady to step up at the two. But Brady may be occupied filling for Xavier and Tyrel just doesn't seem to have the chops for guarding a 6'7" guard. A strong, fast C.J., though no taller than Tyrel, could play the out quick game, but C.J., has to get a defensive Mojo back. Elijah may also get a look, if its a game on the run, but he hurts KU bad with fouls and TOs, though he's leaper enough to guard a guy taller than him.

UTenn poses problems for KU.

Cole has to control their post.

Sherron has to be on.

The Twins have to show.

Tyshawn, I hope your elbow has healed.

X, it is now time to show what kind of defense you can play.

Martin Rosenblum 10 years, 2 months ago

RockChalkCaliHawk -

If you had read Strikewso's comment, he referenced Taylor's "thuggery". This was an obvious reference to the UT Taylor. Our Taylor wasn't being a thug when he got into the skirmish with the football chaps. Also, I didn't lead on about Tyshawn thinking black uniforms should be worn.

Clearly, we're not your wife! Corrections not required here, thank you. Save them for the domestic jousting. I've learned not to correct my wife, merely to agree to disagree! Then again, she is a red-head!

David Leathers 10 years, 2 months ago

memhawk, Sorry, but you're still wrong... Like ralster said there is no "Taylor" at UT... His name was "Tyler" Smith.. That's the correction I was making and one that you failed to see after I clearly pointed it out.

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