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Tennessee defeats Kansas, 76-68

  • 3:30 p.m., Jan. 10, 2010
  • Knoxville, Tenn.,

Monday, January 11, 2010

Jayhawks suffer first loss of year

Self: 'We were awful'

Dejected Kansas players Xavier Henry (1) and Cole Aldrich make their way from the floor after the Jayhawks' 76-68 loss to Tennessee Sunday, Jan. 10, 2009 at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville.

Dejected Kansas players Xavier Henry (1) and Cole Aldrich make their way from the floor after the Jayhawks' 76-68 loss to Tennessee Sunday, Jan. 10, 2009 at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville.

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Kansas falls to Volunteers

Tennessee handed top-ranked Kansas its first loss of the season on Sunday.

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Audio clips

2010 KU-Tennessee

— A national media member, who hadn’t seen Bill Self in a while, innocuously asked Kansas University’s coach how he was doing Sunday night in Thompson-Boling Arena.

“Awful. Awful. We were awful,” Self said after the top-ranked Jayhawks’ 76-68 loss to a somewhat-depleted No. 16-ranked Tennessee team that played three walk-ons a total of 45 minutes.

The Jayhawks, who Self said resembled “guys on an island looking out for ourselves,” rather than being “as one,” had time to reflect on their “awful” play against a team that had just six scholarship players in an extended locker room session with the coach.

Not a peep was heard in or around the locker room a good 50 minutes after a loss that completed KU’s nonconference portion of the season at 14-1.

Normally, bodies are swinging out the locker room doors just 10 minutes or so after games, especially road games when the squad is anxious to get out of town.

“I did tell them this ... coaches talk about a ‘good loss.’ There is no such thing,” Self said. “We want to win every game and all that stuff, but if winning camouflaged us getting better? Then we’re better off to have this happen so we can start getting better now.

“If we can look back four weeks from now and say, ‘Hey, we became a team upon finding this out about ourselves’ … if we do that, I’m cool with this. If we don’t do that, then this is a really bad loss.”

He talked to the Jayhawks about becoming better teammates.

“Do we really go through the game thinking, ‘How I can get my other four teammates on the floor better?’ Or do we go into the game thinking how the other four teammates can affect me. As long as you worry how it affects you, you are not a good teammate. That’s a fact of life in this game. I think we have good teammates. I do not think we were good teammates today.”

One thing Self did not do after a contest that will see KU shed its No. 1 ranking after keeping it from the preseason until today, is harp about the fact KU’s undefeated dream is history.

“I told ’em also we were not going to run the table,” Self said. “I mean, that wasn’t going to happen. If they thought it was going to happen ... that should be our goal to win every game, but that’s not going to happen. I guess it is mathematically possible for two teams (Texas, Kentucky) to still do that. I don’t predict it’ll be the case.”

Senior Sherron Collins, who had 22 points off 7-of-20 shooting (two of 10 from three) and had four of KU’s 16 turnovers (against five assists), said, “Maybe,” when asked if he thought KU could run the table this year.

Junior Cole Aldrich, who Self said wasn’t aggressive enough in scoring just seven points off 3-of-5 shooting (he did have 18 rebounds), said a bit more about the end of the perfect season.

“I think every team would love to think they could (go undefeated). The reality of it is, it is probably not going to happen,” Aldrich said. “The odds of that happening are far-fetched just because in this day and age every team from top to bottom is that good.”

Even suspension-riddled teams forced to use walk-ons, like freshman Skylar McBee, whose big three as the shot clock wound close to zero, upped UT’s narrow three-point lead to 74-68 late. He had six points in 23 minutes, while fellow walk-on Josh Bone had three points and two assists in 12 minutes and walk-on Steven Pearl an assist and three rebounds in 10 minutes.

“Everybody is disappointed,” Aldrich said after a game in which KU whittled a second-half deficit of nine points to a tie game at 64 with 4 1/2 minutes to play. “It’s just tough because we know as a team we can play better. Guys on the team will play better. We’ll get back to work tomorrow and continue to work.

“Coach said we have to find an identity and get back to work.”

Of the team’s mood, Collins said: “It was down, but not that down. We know we can learn from it. The mood is more bad when you wonder why you lost. We know why we lost.”

Why’s that?

“We weren’t tough enough, and they hit tough shots,” he said, calling McBee’s three “lucky,” considering the freshman appeared not to know how much time was on the shot clock when he fired.

He was direct when asked about the play of big men Aldrich, Markieff Morris, Marcus Morris and Thomas Robinson.

“I don’t think they have been aggressive enough,” Collins said. “I know what it is. I don’t think they are playing to their ability. I think it’s just a lack of effort probably. It’s not going after balls and trying hard, which you should. I think we’ll be all right. We’ll spin it into a positive.”

KU was deficient in several other areas.

• The Jayhawks guarded the ball so poorly on the perimeter that Self was forced to use a zone defense.

“The zone did what it’s supposed to do. They milked the clock to five seconds and had to throw up a shot to get a shot. They were able to do so and made a couple of ’em (nine of 18 threes). Whether the ball goes in or not ... we probably played better zone than we did man,” Self said.

• KU didn’t pass the ball well against UT’s man and zone defenses, totaling just 10 assists to the Vols’ 16.

“The ball stuck,” Self said.

What else contributed to the loss?

“Toughness, poise, competitive juice … a lot of things,” the coach said.

The good news? Conference season begins at Nebraska on Wednesday. Tipoff is 8 p.m. at Devaney Center.

“This game is important, but not near as important as Wednesday,” Self said. “Our first season is over. It ended poorly. Last year our first season ended miserable in East Lansing (loss to Michigan State). We turned it around and did pretty well.”

Comments

gardenjay 4 years, 8 months ago

What the....well, KU can do no wrong, I'm a true fan. Go KU. Learn from it.

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mandomax 4 years, 8 months ago

We didn't show up today, and Tennesse hit 50% from 3. Enough said. Self will get the boys back on track with increasingly intense practices, and the Big 12 will tremble before the hawks.

RCJH

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kansas25 4 years, 8 months ago

Sherron went 7 of 20 shooting...he took some stupid shots (i.e. a three from 26 feet away with about 18 seconds on the shot clock when the game could go either way late in the second half). Anyways, I think a loss is sometimes a good thing. This will be a wake-up call. KU will be just fine!

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Chicago_JHawk 4 years, 8 months ago

Good analysis, soobawls.

Self definitely deserves an F yesterday. How do you not even pretend to pressure them on defense with out depth and their thin lineup? Especially after Prince and Chism get into trouble?

I have no idea what to expect from the Morrises from hear on out. Just when they seems to have turned the corner...

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Steve Brown 4 years, 8 months ago

Soo are you from north of border.

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Matt Bowers 4 years, 8 months ago

I have felt this entire season that our perimeter defense has been an issue, except the Temple game. The other major problem is that we are not finishing at the rim. Maybe this game was played poorly because the guys felt that with the suspensions UT would be a walk in the park. I do believe that HCBS will get this team where it needs to be by March, but there will probably be a few more bumps in the road. No matter what I love this team and am still proud to be wearing my KU shirt to work in NC. Carolina fans will have their fun today, they better enjoy it.

Rock Chalk

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yates33333 4 years, 8 months ago

I think soobawls is usually too pessimistic, but this time I agree with his evaluations except for Cole Aldrich and Sherron Collins. I am not sure Cole deserves a B level grade, nor Sherron an A. Maybe a C plus for Cole and an B plus or A minus for Sherron. They are the experienced, leadership element of the team and more is and should be expected of them. I am unsure about Collins. I am probably doing him an injustice. I hope not. Be interested in Jaybate's consistently excellent analysis.

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Roger Tobias 4 years, 8 months ago

My concern is that the Cornell game conditioned the team to turn to Sherron, and forget everyone else's need to contribute and play hard. I see us becoming one-dimensional again, just as we were last year. This would be tragic, considering all the weapons we ought to have on any given night. One dimension O, no dimension D.

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Mike Barnhart 4 years, 8 months ago

After the Cornell game, coach Self asked Cornells coach if he thought his team had played well. Cornells coach said, "Yes."

I think Bruce Pearls answer to the same question would have been, "Nope. Your team sucked!!!"

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Mike Tackett 4 years, 8 months ago

You really have to question the general view of the Hawks. Are we really that deep, if we "have" to play TT. If we can't get anybody on the floor better than him, no Indy. The Morris twins have now joined the FBI wittness protection program, they are missing in action. It also says alot about our defense, zone?, against a team that has six scholly players. The alarm clock has gone off, will this team wake up? We have played some pretty bad teams this year and our D still has looked middle of the road at best. Worst case, Sweet 16 loss. Best case, Final Four. No title.

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KY_Cats1 4 years, 8 months ago

A word of advice for KU…when you play games in SEC country, you had better wear your big-boy pants or you will get spanked. Even by half a team like Tennessee. You may be able to get through the corn-fed farm boys in the Big 12 by sleepwalking, but not down here.

An interesting trend starting to develop:

Cornell – 0 scholarship players, Kansas struggles

Tennessee – 6 scholarship players, Kansas struggles

Discuss amongst yourselves.

If KU has any walk-ons, maybe it should just play them because the scholarship players it is rolling out just aren’t very good given the competition.

Be careful going down the mountain Kansas. It is a long way down. We are not likely to see KU in any meaningful games from this point forward. That first weekend loss in the NCAA tourney is looking more and more like a lock now for KU.

Go Big Blue!!!

UK Wildcats YOUR 2009-’10 NCAA Tourney Champs First College Basketball Program to 2,000 Wins

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NH_JHawk 4 years, 8 months ago

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, even if it is of the "doom and gloom" variety. Yes, we absolutely sucked yesterday. No intensity, no desire, no hustle, no D, no finishing at the rim, and no identifiable offense. Having said all that, it's only 1 game and it's only 1 loss. I hope everyone realizes that. This happens every year and that includes our beloved '08 team when we played @ OSU. Go back and read the comments after that game b/c they look exactly like the ones we'll all read today.

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Steve Brown 4 years, 8 months ago

Cole for this game C+. Sherron B+ at best again for this game.

You have 2 rules for offense, according to our 6th grade coach 1. don't hold the ball more than 3 seconds, hot potato pass the rock. 2. don't have the sticky feet, if you don't have the ball your feet had better be moving, run and move the court to get open somewhere else than where you are now.

On holding the ball and motion w.out the ball on offense what's are team grade at rocky top?

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ChiJayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

In my uneducated opinion, we dont know how to feed the post. After spending the first half getting open and Cole got himself open on several occasion, I think you see him just focusing on rebounds as the game wears on. This team is so slow in a lot of cases and allow the double team to get to Cole instead of making the immediate pass. I dont know if its selfishness or just a slow reconition of what constitues open for a guy that is 3 inches taller than anyone on the other team. But for us to be competitive in March we need to learn how to recognize when we have this advantage. We didnt seem to have as much difficulty recognizing this last year.

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kuae99 4 years, 8 months ago

Nice drive-by post without evidence, KY Cats. Your geographic platitudes are entertaining at least.

When Coach Cal doesn't have your team any better in March, we'll see. Anybody can promise the Moon to a recruit, but coaching only sticks to brains that can handle it.

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Steve Brown 4 years, 8 months ago

solution: my starters

Sherron Brady X Keif Cole

After 3 minutes send Marcus in for Cole move Keif to center, send in T. 'Skylar' Taylor for Brady. TT can't feed Cole anyway so uncouple them in the rotation. Also, TT did well with a few opening minutes on the bench, let him go back there. Let Cole watch the court and see how he should dominate the other team's little big men.

Sunday's performance should have helped recruiting as any good HS stud would conclude, no talent there, I'll be a star at Kansas. get tons of minutes. )

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Steve Brown 4 years, 8 months ago

All teams preparing to play Kansas will follow UT and watch the masterful Cornell defensive game tape which was to collapse and put quick sand the lane.....

Solution: Our practices should have our 5 go against 7-8 guys so when we get on the court it looks as if the defense is easy to attack.

what doesn't kill you will make you stronger.....RCJHKU

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kushaw 4 years, 8 months ago

Well, I am not quite sure where to begin, but there seems to be a lot more Jayhawk fans "Venting" after this loss on the message boards early this morning than usual I think it's pretty funny and some of the posts I have read; I sense some are just downright "Angry". Take a deep breath Jayhawk fans. Did you actually think you could go the whole season undefeated? Seriously? Really?

Offense: I don't know really what to say. I thought Coach Self also had a poor game plan and it proves just that in the statistics. I don't feel statistics always tell the whole story, but shooting 7-27 from the 3 point line is..............I don't have the word to describe it. Why on earth are the Jayhawks shooting 27 3 pointers when they only average 16 per contest?

The limited Volunteers completely took KU out of the game. IMO KU only has one true slasher, creator, and playmaker and that is Sherron Collins. X, Taylor, Morningstar, Reed and others (EJ is the exception) are not trying to take anybody off the dribble when all other options are exhausted. It's one or two dribbles that really don't go anywhere and a "Kick-out" back beyond the 3 to start the set all over again. If KU had another playmaker or someone who could create off the dribble, that could really take a lot of pressure off Sherron. Everyone's lack of play-making on the perimeter is causing the "Standing" and "Watching" because Sherron is the only one who is able to do it therefore creating that effect.

KU's front-line was good the first part of the game, but they didn't capitalize on their second opportunities when given the first 12 minutes of the game. This is where Bill Self got a "D" in the coaching grade. The KU "Bigs" were ineffective for the Final 28 minutes of the game. I mean, it's not like Tennessee had a lot of depth today. LOL! I know they were getting double teamed, but let's pass out of it effectively and move the ball opposite side and get somebody to penetrate off the ball rotation instead of camping on the perimeter.

I thought Bruce Pearl did a great job of coaching. When X, Cole, Marcus, Tyshawn, and Sherron were in the game he went to a zone in the middle and spurts of the last part of the game. When Sherron, Morningstar, Reed, X, Cole and whoever the bigs were he would go man to man. Once he realized Morningstar and Reed weren't shooting well, Pearl could do whatever he wanted. Pretty smart coaching on Pearl's part. I guess if KU hits some of those "3's" maybe we are second guessing his moves. LOL!

What it boils down to ladies and gents is that X really needs to create that window of opportunity to slash because they are just camping on the perimeter and his post entry passes were horrendus tonight. KU needs somebody else to create besides Collins not only for themselves, but their teammates. Need somebody to draw fouls and draw contact in the paint area from the perimeter players.

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kushaw 4 years, 8 months ago

Defense: I am not sure what Self is doing on "D", but as soon as Tennessee went on a run of tri-fectas he comes out in a zone? Huh? Explain that to me again. The worst thing you ever want to do is build confidence for the opponent. They just hit a good run of "3's" and you're going to toss in the towel with the #2 scoring defense efficiency in the country by allowing a limited Tennessee team to feel comfortable in a zone and drop more bombs. I know Self said they couldn't guard anything, but that was where I was the most frustrated.

         Does anybody else feel that KU does not have the perception of having that intense stifling "D"?  Kansas has great "Team" defense (today you could question that), but individual pressure on the perimeter is something this KU team does lack.  I just figured it out today, but too many times the opposition IMO is too comfortable and gains too much confidence for the lack of on the ball pressure and individual pressure out on the perimeter  Anybody else feel this way?

Credit Tennesse for having an outstanding shooting day. Good Grief, two of those "3's" were prayers. Teams are going to have days like that and KU is going to have to adjust. KU normally creates offense through defense, but today it was a non-factor. KU is going to have to work on some offensive sets and fine tune some things for those days that their offense is going to have to carry load for a bad defensive day. Never thought I would ever say that.

Sherron Collins: I am still not worried about Sherron. It's everybody else I am worried about. The rest need to start carrying their weight . I thought Collins FG percentage was way down today because he was trying to do "Too Much" to compensate for the lack of effort from the rest of the team. This is not on Sherron, but Self and the rest of the players. Sherron was a work-horse today, but he's going to need 9 other work-horses who are ready to "Compete" on his same level. It starts when they get back from this road trip.

Cole Aldrich: Soft! That's the word I can describe Cole on offense. I mean, I know he was getting double-teamed, but quit holding the ball in the post for 3 seconds and then make your move. Do something with ball: 1) Pivot right or left 2) Turn and face-Pass cross-court 3) Shoulderfake-pass out 4) Take it to the rim without thinking 5) Quit Thinking. These missed dunks are irritating. Like I said, I have no problem with Aldrich on the defensive end, but KU has got to find another slasher when Cole is being double-teamed and KU passes the ball opposite side. While the "D" is shifting and rotating that's when KU needs to attack with X or somebody who wants to fill that void. Collins is the only one who wants to apply for that job at the moment.

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bradynsdad 4 years, 8 months ago

personally i think its hilarious kentucky fan talking big about sec basketball especially after barely beating georgia and only getting one team in the tournament last year. thats like calling the big east a powerhouse in football. also it is easy to blame a coach but he can only draw up a play and tell you what to do once you leave the bench it is out of his hands.

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kushaw 4 years, 8 months ago

X: I know X is calm and collected, but that demeanor really got KU in trouble at the start of the second half with two turnovers on KU's first 3 possessions. The entry pass was bad, but what was even worse was when he didn't hustle back to prevent the lay-up. Terrible! The throw-in on the sideline was just as bad two possessions later. Good way to start the Jayhawks in a "Hole" to start the second half. It set a very bad tone for the rest of the game.

 X is a great talent, but this was one game KU needed someone other than Sherron to get in the lane and score points from 8 feet or draw fouls in the paint area.  There was virtually none for the KU guards in the paint drawing contact.  If X could somehow (I don't think it will happen) find a way to to add a small dimension of slashing then KU could add another gear to their offense.   This is not to be funny in anyway, but KU could have really used a Lance Stephenson today to compliment Sherron.  Actually, KU does have that in Releford and Little, but unfortuantely they are on the bench for the year.  This was a game KU truly needed those type of players.

Morningstar and Reed: Posters are coming down awful hard at the moment on these two (I won't name names), but let's keep in mind that Reed did win the game essentially against Cornell. These two had a terrible shooting day and unfortunately for KU it came at the same time during the same game. Ouch! Chalk it up to a bad day! Shooters are going to have bad days, but I would have never guessed at the same time. We know what they do. They are "Speciality" players and when KU had to start relying on their "Role" players and "Utility" type of guys, KU will be in trouble like they were today. Morningstar and Reed will be fine if we all just understand that concept and accept it. To much of the offense was around them oddly enough today. That is not a good combination.

Tyshawn Taylor: I wasn't going to mention him to prove a point, but he didn't do anything during the game. I will credit him on one play. There was one play in the first half where I thought he was going to take it to the rim and get called for a charge like he normally does, but he kicked out to Morningstar for an open 16 footer. That was the only bucket Morningstar made. Bad shooting night.

Bench: As of right now, EJ, CJ, and Robinson are virtually getting no time and Self has basically cut his bench down to 8 at the moment. I am pretty stumped right now because I am not sure what to do. IMHO I think EJ needs to get some of Taylor's minutes so KU can get a little more aggressive in the "Slashing" and "Creating" department when needed.

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kushaw 4 years, 8 months ago

Conclusion: Hopefully, with this loss comes a great teaching opportunity, but I hope Self can come to grips with his mistakes that he made during the game as well. Practice over the next couple of weeks is going to be "Huge", but I am a little concerned at the moment. I have been concerned for the last couple of games, but I've said it many times that if X can find a way to put the ball on the floor when all of his other options are exhausted than "Lookout".

IMO X is the key to the Jayhawks success because if all he is going to do is stand on the perimeter than Brady Morningstar might as well be starting. X has the ability to open so many options by him simply getting in the paint and creating for himself or others. I hate to say it, but KU is going to live or die by the Freshman named Zah Vee Eh Henry. I have no problem putting this pressure on X because he was the one who asked for it. He wants to go to the NBA after this season than he needs to show KU and all these GM's why he is deserving. If X wants to be a "Speciality" player and just hang out on the perimeter than I can only hope the NBA comes calling tomorrow. I hope X can add this dimension to his game because he will benefit from it in "The League" and KU will be a much better team. We will see!

Just remember Jayhawk fans, Patriots and Bengals lost this weekend at home and their season is done. Just think how those fans must feel. Still another 11.5 weeks of basketball to figure it out. KU will be fine, I hope.

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Ben Kane 4 years, 8 months ago

well there's only about a thousand different UK and UT things on more door this morning.

I'd like to thank just about the whole team for an underwhelming performance. Without them, the door decorations would not have been possible.

can we please come out with some attitude next game. players who don't should be immediately benched.

I'm still disappointed with how Self has used his bench to this point. He rarely uses it as a motivator and doesn't seem to take advantage of it all. It seems he is content leaving last years team (plus X) on the floor.

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kushaw 4 years, 8 months ago

Oh, anybody else sick of seeing this stupid "Salute" that Tyshawn does after "He" makes a good play? That was what I wanted to say above, but forgot. I don't know, there is a difference between Sherron Collins making a tough play and pounding his chest for a possible 3 point play and Taylor doing a salute to the crowd after he makes a lay-up. I didn't see him doing that salute when he missed that lay-up on the second possession of the game. It's the "Me" first attitude that drives me nuts.

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Timmay97 4 years, 8 months ago

Here's my simple and to the point analysis:

1) Freshman or not.....Xavier has GOT to step it up. I'm sick of the carelessness with his passing. He should know better. He had two turnovers in a row.....one feeding the post and one throwing it in from out of bounds.

2) Is it just me, or is Tyshawn Taylor driving anyone else nuts. I know he's more athletic, but God knows he's not smarter than Morningstar. Brady should be starting.....NOT Taylor.

3) Say what you will about Cole.....the fact he is not scoring is not hurting this team. The fact that nobody else but him is rebounding is. I wish Self would play Aldrich and Robinson together. I think it would do good for the team.

4) The Morris twins need to play better against better competition. They look great against the weaker teams but haven't shown anything against the tougher ones. We need them to be better.

5) For the love of God, can anyone else besides Collins drive the ball? I can't figure out how Elijah is not playing. It's mind-boggling to me. I almost feel bad for that kid. I know I'm not at all the practices, but he could do nothing but good for this team..

The Jayhawks are fine. It's one loss and you knew it was coming. I would rather lose to TN than to someone like Nebraska. Lets come back strong and whip up the Cornhuskers.

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NH_JHawk 4 years, 8 months ago

kushaw -

Excellent analysis as usual, I enjoyed reading it.

I couldn't agree with you more about X needing to create more opportunities for himself and the rest of the offense by driving the ball into the middle. He's making it too easy on opposing Ds by just settling for the 3 given it's not the high % shot. When he settles like that he's basically just a more athletic version of Brady or Tyrel...no difference. Some people are letting him off the hook saying "he's just a freshman...etc" but you're right in that he put the spotlight on himself as an OAD candidate.

The thing that concerns me most about X right now is his apparent lack of confidnce when he does try to penetrate. During the last several games have you noticed that he has trouble finishing when driving to the rim? He either drives into a double team and gets rejected/fouls or comes in at the wrong angle and can't finish. Perhaps he's settling for 3s due to a lack of confidence? I'd be interested to hear your take on that.

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Tony Bandle 4 years, 8 months ago

Soobawls...nice analysis although rating Teahan over Xavier hints at a Zack Efron-like crush on Conner, you wild woman you. :}

Still, you managed to take all of the first 15 of games into account rather than just dwell on the last one. Bravo.

{Jaybate is that really you just pimping us all under a psuedonym??]

KY_Cats.....now that you have dismissed Kansas, better focus on Texas. Big men inside to dominate your big men, outside pressure to frustrate your POY and three point shooters coming from everywhere. Would have been a great match-up for 3rd place if they still did it in the NCAA.

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arcticjhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

Now I was only able to watch the game on television which limited my shots of HCBS, but every shot of him I did see, he was a placid, unemotional coach that definately hasn't reflected the coach of years past. I'm a big fan of Bill Self, but how can we expect our players to gain some momentum during hard times when their leader is sitting calmly and chatting with Danny Manning instead of showing energy on the sideline. Bruce Pearl lead his team to victory because he was animated and involved in the game. Fear not Jayhawk nation. I'm sure this game will open the eyes of not only our players, but our head coach as well. As has been said earlier, better our first loss comes at the hand of Tennessee than at team like Nebraska. Rock Chalk.

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3GJayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

kushaw-

I agree about TT. He's a great talent and can be a big part of this team but he needs to come off the bench. Self should start EJ over him. Actually, I wouldn't mind seeing a few changes in the starting lineup right now. Some of these guys aren't getting it and Self should sit them until they start playing tough.

Starting 5 should be:

"Barbershop" Collins EJ Morningstar T-Rob Aldrich

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86finalfour 4 years, 8 months ago

I hate to say it but they reminded me of a 'soft' roy team....they got punched in the mouth early and except for Collins, they were weak and passive the whole game. Can you believe not one Jayhawk dunked? The silver lining is that Collins tried to take over game but yet played controlled and not sloppy like some of last year's games (ie Mass, Syracuse).

I think this game also shows that in order for this team to win it all, Xavier and the Morris twins have to play well. Just like last year, Aldrich/Collins duo won't be enough. And what is with Taylor lately? Despite a couple threes, he is a liability and he can't make a layup. Why is Self playing him so much?

What a weak defensive effort -- Self was right about these guys. They are soft, except for Collins. Let's hope this loss toughens them up and the younger guys listen to Self about defense.

Let's go Hawks! 6th Consecutive Conference Championship!

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hawk_of_ages 4 years, 8 months ago

I agree with a lot of the negative comments here, but let's keep in mind we're really just talking about a couple of bad games (this one and Cornell). To declare our players "soft" and suggest Self doesn't know what he's doing after a 14-1 start is, to put it mildly, ludicrous.

To think that this relatively young team had a chance of going undefeated was a joke; the fact is, we've got two great veteran players in Cole and Sherron and then a bunch of talented underclassmen. X, the Twins and Tyshawn have all shown flashes of greatness, and I expect more consistency from them as the season goes on. Cole has also begun to break out of his early-season slump, and he will continue to return to form.

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Martin Rosenblum 4 years, 8 months ago

KY_Cats1 -

Thank you for proving my theory.

What is it that the school was awarded with for being first to reach 2000 wins? Was it a permanent top seed in any tournament? Was it a bye in any tournament? Was it an additional scholarsip player allowed every year? Just what was the significance and how does it really manifest itself in real terms. Oh yeah, it's just about being first in a race with no prize for first place.

When Billy Gillespie was hired, from a Big 12 school, don't you think the persons responsible for his hire gave any credit to his years coaching in the "corn-fed farm boy" conference? So he didn't work out. He was still hired from the B12. Cal was hired from CUSA, not exactly the powerhouse conference in the country. The majority of his wins in his 9 years were, of course in conference play where there was no competion. With the questionable activities surrounding his players in the last couple of years at Memphis, he is a good fit for Ky. His resume highlights are having two programs where he won no games, according to the record books and NCAA. Just because you are a coach diesn't make you an expert. Just because you won games, it doesn't mean you're a great coach. Just because you are not in prison doesn't mean you've not guilty of crimes either. Just because the people in Memphis and the state of Tennessee support public universities and therefore contribute to the salaries of employees, including head coaches, of those schools doesn't mean their money was used wisely. The scholarships for the players on the teams also come from funds at the schools that began as taxpayer money. With Cal's contract at KY, withe the economy in turmoil, there are a lot of folks who may be going without services and benefits just to feed his enormous ego while instilling the pride from having won 2000 games before any other shcool in the country. Congratulations!

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gchawk 4 years, 8 months ago

KY. You do a remarkable job of pointing out the obvious, and that is, we didn't have a good game yesterday, and we didn't have a good game against Cornell. Actually, we're looking very similiar to our '07 - '08 team with the possible exception that Aldrich is a better player than Kaun.You are a shining example of the fact that opinions are like axxholes, everyone has one, yours' just seems to be amazingly large!

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kennethst 4 years, 8 months ago

Yes....I know we should be thrilled to be 14-1....and in some ways I am.

But I'm also very alarmed by this game. This was not an especially good TN team. I give them credit though....they made 3's and had almost no turnovers.

Sadly.....something is missining on this KU team. Call it chemistry or whatever. Something is lacking.

I'm not sure what to do with Taylor. Yes....he made some shots.....but his horrible turnovers lost us the game. Yet if you bench him....who takes his place??? Reed and Morningstar were awful yesterday.....Johnson?

Collins was great......but just like last year....he's not enough.

X Henry? Good so far.....but not great....not even close. He should play another year in college. He's not ready. But I'm about 100% certain he will go.

Anybody have any answers? If they play like last night in the tournement....thety wont get past round 2.

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KEITHMILES05 4 years, 8 months ago

If Taylor continue to starts and get major minutes this team will not go far in the tourney. They will suffer more losses than necessary in the Big 12. He is a total deteriment. Period.

Aldrich is becoming softer every game. Against any big men he vanishes. He has no moves. He is slow.

This team isn't what we thought it was. They do not play intelligent. They are lackidaisal. They are soft. There is more and more "me mentality" every game.

I'm hugely disappointed in their lack of motivation. Oh yeah, they "talk the talk" but it's all shyt and they can't back it up.

I sure hope Self instills some discipline on the court. They are woefully lacking and it is becoming apparent he's gonna have to lower the boom. He needs to go back to the post fight mentality.

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jayhawkinATL 4 years, 8 months ago

I was just so disappointed that we were not able to do the Rock Chalk chant in Thompson-Boling Arena. But I did get to hear "Overrated!"

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Martini_Boy 4 years, 8 months ago

memhawk, don't expect an immediate respose from KY jelly cat. His translator/reader is out of town so he won't be responding till Jethro or someone there reads your message to him. He just knows that his school is trying to remain relevant after so many years of lackluster or poor performing basketball.

Bend over KY cat it's going to be a long year for you. Wait till Wall hits his frosh wall and the team can't do anything without him.....

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dynamitehawk 4 years, 8 months ago

KY -

As you lay back, sipping your moonshine from your copper straw and the sweet liquid swirls around your single tooth, pooling on your tongue, and savoring the 'shine, do you say to yourself, "KY, it's time to troll the KU board", or do you look longingly out the window of the guest shack on your Grandmothers sprawling Lake Cumberland estate, at the young hogs whom have been teasing you for weeks? My question, are the hogs next, or did we get graced by KY posting hogging?

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KU 4 years, 8 months ago

The puzzling thing is that this is the time of year when you USUALLY see a Bill Self team grow a lot. I can't recall one of his teams regressing over the Christmas (Holiday for the humanists among us) Break. I'm not just talking about losing a (one) game. They didn't play well against Cornell, but everyone wanted to pretend Cornell is a great team. Well, they're not. They are a good team who almost beat KU at home. It's not that I ever expected this team to go undefeated. I am on record as claiming they're really about the same team as last year with a bigger 3-guard. I don't have grand expectations.

I can't put my finger on the problem, but I think it has to do with Chemistry more than anything. These guys just don't fight for each other. There's no fighting intensity with this group, especially on the defensive end. All the pieces are there and you can't explain why things aren't meshing. I had the same feeling with the KU football team last fall.

From my observations, I can tell you I do NOT like the look of CJ or EJ on the bench. It's hard to explain, but they seem to have a sullen look that betrays a corrosiveness. It doesn't take much to really throw off the chemistry of a basketball team. I know those two think they deserve to play more. Heck, I've even said I think EJ is our best point guard.

But we don't see what goes on behind closed doors the way Coach Self does. We don't see who is pulling the opposite direction of the rest of the squad. We don't see the practice habits of the team. We don't see who (hypothetically) isn't performing in the classroom and needs to be disciplined by sitting.

Self is paid millions of dollars to do his job. He wouldn't jeopardize his career by sitting kids he thinks really have a chance to improve our performance. He's usually a master mind manipulator, so hopefully he can figure it all out soon. The sky hasn't fallen. Hopefully this loss can teach us about chemistry more than winning 14 cupcake games.

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jchief40 4 years, 8 months ago

soobawls must be 14 years old. Poor lil fella.

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duanep5ku 4 years, 8 months ago

KYCATS I think you need to get a reality check here you should spend more time worrying about your own team. UK will lose soon enough So why are you sweating Kansas on our own site? "Oh yeah I guess I know the reason you have know life. I find it funny you keep coming on this site why is that are you still suffering from your team recent inferiority complex. I will remind you your team NIT last year. I also want to remind you that this is your best start in what 4 decades. Try to grow up and act like your program has a history "YES I know your history but you seem so pathetic whining like a little Kittie Kat on another site. I see your still suffering from low self esteem at UK I think you better learn some class "Oh wait you can't because your a UK idiot on A KU board. Need I also remind you that this win was as close as the SEC will probably get to the championship this year. SEC is weak maybe not the worst conference this year but week still "Oh I do hope to hear from you again in March when you suffer that loss. I hope you man up then but you will probably crawl back in your hole. I know you will be back again when KU losses but feel free because if they lose in March I will survive because I have 2008 championship in my recent memory take care Troll I guess you would like all the KU nation to wait till you lose in March then cram your site at UK?

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86finalfour 4 years, 8 months ago

KU, I agree with your comment about chemistry. My fellow KU fans and I have mentioned a similar feeling we have for basketball that we had with this year's football team. Don't take this literally posters -- obviously, this bunch of hoopsters are way more talented but I'm talking about achieving to your potential. And thus far, this team hasn't.

But they also haven't really played anybody great -- they're non-conf stunk. So yeah, let's not overreact - it's only early Jan. And let's see what these guys do the next two months. Let's all be patient with Self too!

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tstanlick1909 4 years, 8 months ago

Guys, guys..

EJ just downright is not trustworthy enough to be thrown into the starting role against Big 12 teams. The options for the 2 spot are TT and Brady. When Brady is in, Sherron runs the point. When TT is in, he runs the point. Self likes Collins better as an offensive weapon when he is playing off the ball, that is one reason he wants to stick with TT. He also needs to stick with TT because he is faaaar more talented than Brady, and twice as athletic. Taylor had a couple of bad turnovers, but he did drill a key tre towards the end of the game. With Taylor, you just have to throw him out there and hope he lands in his groove, because the more experienced he gets, and the more comfortable he is, the better. Brady is very, very useful, but he is the same player he has always been, and probably will not progress too much more anyway. We have to stay with TT, no matter how sporadic he appears to be sometimes.

The Morris twins need to dunk the ball when they get close, absolutely no more missed layups. We need to get Cole at least 10 shots a game. Xavier needs to do more than shoot tre balls. Taylor needs to take it to the rack more and look to dish the ball once he gets close, it is obviously something he is comfortable doing, and it keeps the defense on their heels for the rest of the game. EJ is just not quite there yet on the offensive end to rely on him, I love his potential for next season though. If Taylor stays, we will have the most athletic backcourt in the country.

The loss yesterday was a good thing! Our boys have been knocked off their high horse, they were coasting through games in hopes that their #1 ranking would finish the game. If they were as sick as I was watching Tenn celebrate, they will make the adjustments to make sure it never happens again.

Time to destroy the Big 12, Kansas will prosper. Ky Cats: YOU ARE AN ABSOLUTE JOKE, you need a woman in your life

Rock Chalk

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Steve Brown 4 years, 8 months ago

someone needs to visit and enroll in KY cats blog and sign in as JHawknation for all of us.

Then provide all of us the same password so in March whenKY goes down to BYU or better yet Cornell in 2nd round we can go in mass to visit and chat on his site.

At KY 1st loss, should be soon, someone provide the site and password...

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duanep5ku 4 years, 8 months ago

KU Excellent post. I do think something is off with this team's chemistry this year too,but as fans it's easy for us to judge a team or make the call for certain players to play but as your pointed out were not the coach in practice with this team.

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duanep5ku 4 years, 8 months ago

Lighthawk I agree and It's easy to do because UK radio does not use a password any more to sign in to their site. All you need to do is log in with your email I hope the UK troll understands that their site would not like that either. So think about what your doing here

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JayhawkLova7 4 years, 8 months ago

KYkittens,

What has your guys record been for the last couple years?

Even if the stars align, and the Cats fall into the luck bucket, and by some fluke you guys do somehow even make it to the Final Four it will be stripped from you. Then instead of good memories, it will be a nightmare of memories that consist of "Why did we hire that snake Calipari?!" So enjoy the succes while it lasts, cause it won't for very long.

Rock Chalk Jayhawk! 2008 National Champions One of the best coaches The Best Fans

Now that you got what you had coming to ya, get off our site!

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86finalfour 4 years, 8 months ago

tstan, A reason why Twins may not dunk very much:

" “My hands are small,” Marcus said. “I can’t palm the ball. I don’t know if ya’ll ever knew that, but I never palm the ball. I always cup it like that.” "

http://www.kansascity.com/166/story/1661526.html

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KU 4 years, 8 months ago

86finalfour, Another reason why Twins may not dunk very much:

They can't jump very well.

They never have been explosive jumpers. If you want an explosive jumper, the only option we have from our bigs is Thomas Robinson. We just don't have the type of big, athletic players inside that Tennessee does. Against quick, big, athletic post players our bigs' size will be negated 9 times out of 10 when we are on offense. Fortunately, there are very few Big 12 teams that have post players that can exploit our lack of athleticism inside.

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WilburNether 4 years, 8 months ago

Where is the moron who jumped on me last week for writing that KU is not the #1 team in the country at this time? Hmmmmm??? Does the moron think we looked like the #1 team in the country yesterday?

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Chuck Stones 4 years, 8 months ago

We need to: Play STRONG Play HARD And stay that way when Sherron goes into "Sherron" mode, instead of standing around watching him!!!!

Hard and strong covers a multitude of sins!!!!!

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Tony Bandle 4 years, 8 months ago

Wilbur..totally agree.

Just as we blast the press for perceived slights and prejudices, we also turn a blind eye to reality with the Hawks receiving constant praise and media attention. In a sense, we the fans of KU Nation are as guilty as the players we accuse of reading our own press clippings.

We aren't the best team in America....haven't been all season. However, we have the potential to be there when it counts, but certain things need to happen:

Get meaner. Get deeper. Get closer together.

Will it happen....I think it will!!!

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bayareajhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

dynomitehawk, you kill me. Consistently. Thank you.

KY, I really hope you do all of your posting while you're bored at work, because if you're doing this on your own time you need to evaluate your life. Seriously, man. I enjoy arguing with people on the internet as much as the next man, but you have been coming here a lot just to wind people up, and it's been going on for a while now. I enjoy the entertainment, but I'm really starting to worry about you.

I agree with everyone who said TT is driving them nuts. That guy has been pissing me off all season. I tried to think of someone else that I had felt so high on freshman year and so low on sophomore year, and the only name I came up with was gulp JR Giddens.

Pull your head out, Tyshawn! You can be a great player, but you are dragging the team and yourself down. Brady should be starting right now, and playing most of the minutes until Tyshawn stops preening and starts playing.

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KU 4 years, 8 months ago

Tennessee beat us with walk-ons?? Lends a whole new meaning to "Volunteers".

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jrbill67 4 years, 8 months ago

Slow, selfish, soft.......not a good prescription for victory. Back to basics and consistency, please.

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labbadabba 4 years, 8 months ago

KY_Cats -

Enjoy your 2010 National Championship in BBall. Enjoy it even more when in 2011 the NCAA revokes it and vacates your season for Cal's slimeball recruiting antics.

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jayhawkinATL 4 years, 8 months ago

Obviously, KY (perfect user ID BTW) has something he/she is concerned about with regard to the greatness that is KU b-ball...otherwise, why would he/she take the time to ONLY post on KU message boards.

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KU 4 years, 8 months ago

drgnslayr.......Yes, the twins improved their vertical jumps this summer. But there's a difference in standing, uncontested, flat-footed in the gym and jumping to knock the little vertical-jump-tester-dealios and being an explosive jumper in a basketball game. Put it this way......the twins lack "bounce". They don't have springs. They are not quick "second jumpers". I don't think you can teach that or train for it. To a large degree, you're either born with it or you're not.

I agree with your mental assessment of them. Hopefully, they are just in a homesick funky letdown after seeing their family in Philly. That had to be a huge event they had circled for months. Sometimes when an event like that passes, it's easy to get deflated for a while.

On another subject, this is about the time of the season when Self starts to actually run some offensive sets. Up to this point, they have mainly free-lanced within some basic principles. We should start to see some specific plays now that conference time is here.

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Steve Brown 4 years, 8 months ago

will huskers score more or less than 64 wednesday, 60/40 I'm sayin' less.

78 v. 63

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Infidels_I_keel_u 4 years, 8 months ago

Two things:

(1) Coaching: When the opposing team is in definite fowl trouble, the prudent thing to do is drive the lane and risk a charging call here and there. Especially with 15 minutes left in the game. The odds are, that even if only 50% of the calls go your way, the opposing team will suffer key personnel fouling out. We had the depth, skill and experience in our favor to do this.

(2) I think Bill Self knows this. He is no dummy. His boys were getting soft and not playing as a team, and the ONLY WAY to get thier attention was to knock them down a bit. I distinctly remember this happening in the '08 season. Don't get me wrong, I don't think Bill intentionally wants to lose a game, but the way in which this game was lost was due to poor teamwork. If the teamwork was present, they would have won the game no matter who was in fowl trouble. This whole experience will help them win when it counts the most. Last nights loss sent a sharp message to the team... Sherron can not carry the team on his back every night, because it is impossible. Lets hope it doesn't take many more losses during the season to adjust the attitude.

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KU 4 years, 8 months ago

Infidels........I'm not trying to "duck" your post, but "fowl trouble"? Really? Just trying to lighten the mood on this Black Monday. The sun is out, the sky is blue.

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sdku 4 years, 8 months ago

If I see Taylor jump in the air and pass the ball one more time I'm going to throw my TV out of the window. The only reason you jump with the ball is to shoot. He makes stupid turnover's and has no offensive production.

Xavier - Where are you in this game? You are not going to NBA if you can't drive the lane. Maybe he's scared and doesn't want to get hurt. That's my guess!

Cole - shoot the damn ball

Twins - Looked like last year, lazy and cant' dunk. What the hell, these guy's miss more layups than the 6th grader.

Coach Self - PLEASE GIVE EJ OR CJ A CHANCE! They both are great! TT's minutes need to be taken down.

Sherron - Keep being the leader, he can do no wrong.

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lama 4 years, 8 months ago

Self needs to develop Thomas Robinson, Elijah Johnson and C.J. Henry perhaps at the expense of some minutes for Brady and the Morrises.

Ken Pomeroy's efficiency ratings of KU's team is telling:

http://kenpom.com/team.php?team=Kansas

Brady is a nice role player, but he should be limited to 10-12 minutes per game.

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Kevin Huffman 4 years, 8 months ago

soobawls - Why would Elijah transfer with Sherron gone after this season? Heck, he might go from seeing few minutes to winning the starting PG job over T.Taylor before next season!!!

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KU 4 years, 8 months ago

sdku......When you throw that TV out the window Wednesday night, could you please videotape it for us? I really want to see that. First story window? Second story?

dragonslayer.......We have seen the twins be "explosive" against the likes of....er.....well......some pretty bad teams. (Memphis is the only other team we've played that I would classify as having an abundance of explosive athletes: Mc had 10 & 1; Mk had 4 & 4.) I think our perception of their improvement MAY have been overstated. The proof is in the pudding. When you play teams with real explosive athletes, how do the twins play? We found out yesterday. They look pretty average, athletically. Now I agree with you that if you are outclassed athletically, you have to overcome it with toughness and IQ. They can't control the former, but to their detriment they didn't bring the latter.

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bradynsdad 4 years, 8 months ago

hawkforages you are right on were fourteen and one and now everyone is ready to string up HCBS. there is no other coach in the country i would rather have. furthermore self showed emotion when he got a technical for his team against cornell, if you want more there is an emotional coach for kstate i would rather have a coach that uses his brain.

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Kevin Huffman 4 years, 8 months ago

I will admit that I consider it an "absolute" disappointment if we get more than 3 conference losses in the Conference season....most likely ones would be at Texas, at Kansas State and at Mizzou. Even then 13-3 in the Conference would likely get you no worse than the 2-seed in the Big XII Tournament and if we were 27-4, you'd probably be looking at no worse than a 2-seed in the NCAA Tournament as well....go on and win the Big XII Tournament at that point and finish 30-4 and you're likely looking at the 3rd or 4th 1-seed I bet.

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Kevin Huffman 4 years, 8 months ago

KY_cats1 - The SEC has been a joke of a conference for quite a while now. How many tourney teams did they even have last year?!?!?!?!

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KU 4 years, 8 months ago

Guys, Bill Self is an 8 man rotation guy......maybe 9. He's just not gonna play 10 or 11 guys to develop them, especially from here on out. It's up to EJ and CJ and Thomas Robinson to EARN their way into the 8 or 9 man rotation in the practice gym. We don't see what goes on behind closed doors. Apparently, they can't be trusted. We have developed our limited perception of EJ, CJ and TR from the limited minutes they have played against the scrubs from the scrub teams we have beaten by 30 points. I bet Tyshawn Taylor would look like a world-beater in those situations, too. I'm not here to defend Tyshawn; he needs to feel Self's wrath on the practice floor.

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KUbsee69 4 years, 8 months ago

KU dropped to #3 in both polls.

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addlime 4 years, 8 months ago

Anybody else missing Rus Rob and Chalmers on the ball defense right now. How about B Rush's perimeter defense. Brady is good, but he's no B Rush. Self hasn't replaced any of these skills from that team, and it's showing, big time!

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kc_wildfire 4 years, 8 months ago

Has anyone else noticed in the last two games that every shot Aldrich has taken, besides the couple of missed follow up jams, have been turnaround jumpers or a hook shot? He hasn't dropped stop and went toward the basket once that I can remember, correct me if I am wrong. Even if he were to miss it he would be in a better position to draw a fould and / or get a rebound.

Either the bronchitis is really bothering him or he is playign extremely soft this year.

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Tony Bandle 4 years, 8 months ago

Only #3!!!!!????.......I'll take it. I guess the voters realized that even short-handed, a Top Twenty team at home on national TV is a real obstacle. I thought sure we'd be six or seven.

Kansas, Just stay at 4 or above and get one of those #1 seeds!!!!!

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eddiesuttonschoolofdriving 4 years, 8 months ago

Yes, X needs to drive more - but, am I the only one who was frustrated about how many unguarded 3 pointers he passed up in the second half? I can only think he could hear Self in his ear demanding they feed the bigs, or make the extra pass - but if you are a 50% 3 pt shooter and you are set/square and have space to get a good look - you've got to have a green light, especially when Aldrich is getting smothered inside and the bigs have disappeared.

Also, frustrating to watch Sherron drive into the crowd at the end of the game trying to create and not tossing up a floater for Aldrich to throw down. On at least two occasions in the final minutes his penetration into the teeth of the defense left Aldrich alone and he crashed from the weak side baseline. Chalmers/Robinson were great at doing that and tossing up the floater for Rush, Kaun, Arthur, Jackson to flush - Collins needs to feel less of the need to win the game himself in those situations.

The twins need a sports psychologist at this point - yikes!

I'd like to see EJ come on as an energy guy, the same way Sherron did in '07-'08 - we need his speed and dribble penetration.

All is not lost - this team is still deep and talented, but they have to start improving daily to have a shot at beating Texas and winning the Big 12, which is still the first priority.

Lastly, Self HAS to be willing to change the game plan in games like that, and I don't just mean that when things aren't working you put the whole game on Sherron's shoulders. Yes to pressure D, yes to going small and using EJ's speed, and yes to pulling the bigs away from the rim to create lanes when they're fronting Aldrich (see Bo Ryan's Wisconsin team for examples on how to do that).

New rule - NEVER throw an alley opp to Tyshawn - in what for me was the miracle shot for us he actually threw one down yesterday, but for crying out loud - we've got 3 other guys on the court at all times who are able to get up much higher - that is the third time I've seen them try it this year and it is a VERY low percentage shot.

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MIZNIT 4 years, 8 months ago

There is absolutely no reason Taylor should be in the starting line up.

Collins Johnson Henry Robinson Aldrich

Three freshman may seem like a bad idea, but at least you know you're going to get some effort out of them.

And for all those who doesn't think Henry's game resembles J.R. Giddens at Ku... You're missing all of the signs.

Great spot up 3-pt shooter. Explosive athlete, finishes above the rim. *Struggles to get his own shot, and ZERO mid-range game.

I'm not suggesting he's going to stab anyone in a bar, but his on the court game is strikingly similar!

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KU 4 years, 8 months ago

eddiesutton....Regarding your desire to see X shoot more open 3 pointers in the second half. Yeah.......yeah.......As I watched Sherron barrel recklessly through the lane for about the 5th time and going 2-10 from the 3, I was thinking we needed to shoot even more than 27 times from behind the arc......NOT!

Besides being a bad strategy on the road, X is in a bit of a slump from 3 since the Michigan game. He's only shooting 33% in the last 6 games.

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kushaw 4 years, 8 months ago

KU: I agree with your post about EJ and CJ. I don't know if it's 100 percent "Chemistry", but I would definitely say that the entire team is probably not singing the same tune. There definitely probably is some disgruntlement underneath some of those players "Feelings".

Nonetheless, Self got this team and plenty of depth so he has got to figure it out. Personally, I would like to see some change against a Nebraska team even it means sacrificing some "Smoothness". I would like to iron our the kinks now and be ready for the last 11 to 12 games in conference and get ready for Post-Season play. Great Post, "KU"!.

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BCRavenJHawkfan 4 years, 8 months ago

kushaw,

I hear you on all levels. Let me offer this evaluation of the defensive performance and the use of the zone. It really looked like our guys were bailing out on the screens that Tennessee set by switching far too much and getting "caught" on those switches. Self talked about this a few weeks ago that switching can become a crutch, and when it does "proper switching" breaks down. I think this is why we went zone, to limit the switching. Just my take.

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jhokfan 4 years, 8 months ago

There is an underlying sense of insecurity in kycats comments. If his team is as good as he claims, there is no reason for him to be here. Take it as a compliment. Besides, this guy has problems. Trolling the way he does is a mental disorder. We should pity him.

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hawk_of_ages 4 years, 8 months ago

A lot of you sure are quick to throw KU players under the bus after two bad games. Tyshawn, X and the twins didn't suddenly become worthless after looking like world-beaters vs. Cal and Temple. They're just young players who are learning to deal with the ups and downs of a long season with a target on their backs. Chill out, people.

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tstanlick1909 4 years, 8 months ago

You don't need to palm the ball to dunk with two hands. I know they're not the most athletic couple but I know that they can get up there. Two foot take-off, two hand slam, they have done it before, it just isn't instinctive.

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sdku 4 years, 8 months ago

This loss is more on SELF than anyone else. Yes, the players made too many turnovers but I think Self wasn't into it as much as he should have been. I almost think he wouldn't mind losing the game from a psychology standpoint. The only reason would be to get the team ready for the Big 12. Being #1 is stressful on everyone involved. February 8th is right around the corner and it's at TX. He has to get the team ready.

Did anyone see Self get too upset on the court. I didn't really. I saw his signals to the player's for the most part was just chill out.

Whoever said it earlier, EJ could be what Sherron was on the 08 team. I AGREE!

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zch20 4 years, 8 months ago

It's the same thing this year as in every year. HCBS is great at recruiting and not a great X&O coach. It was easy to see at the end of the game that Tenn has trouble with pressure and that would of been amplified earlier in the game with their two stars on the bench in foul trouble. I agree that how X plays seems to determine how the team plays, but that goes along with the fact that if KU shoots well from outside they look great and if they don't shoot well they don't look very good. It's obvious that X has always been asked to score and never learned how to throw a entry pass to the post, or do anything that doesn't involve his dominant hand. Good things happen when Cole touches the ball. He can score on one person and can pass out of the double team when it comes. His level of frustration has to be mounting from making himself available with a simple pass to the post and never getting the ball unless he rebounds a miss. Does anyone remember how UNLV would come out in the early 90's with a swagger and a killer instict to beat a team as bad as possible? It would be nice if that was something KU could find. This is for KY Cats. There was a reason that teams like UNC stopped recruiting John Wall and it has to do with the amount of money his mom asked for in order to sign with a school. Most schools backed off of him because of this. Coach Cal was one of the coaches that was okay with it. I know this because I personally know some coaches Wall and his mother made demands to. I also know the person that has made a few payment to them. I'm sure if I know this info then so do other people and it will not be long before this comes out. There is at least one person waiting to blow the whistle until after the season to punish KY instead of Wall. So don't get too excited about the Wildcats this year because it looks like Coach Cal can go 3-3 on getting schools into trouble with the NCAA.

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kushaw 4 years, 8 months ago

BCRhaven: I am not a big fan of switching, but it is necessary sometimes. I would like to see the "Hedge" more to allow more time for the guard being picked to recover. No matter, I agree with you that I saw little fight to get over those screens yesterday.

As for the zone, I didn't like the timing of the zone. Tennessee caught fire and went on a 14-2 run and after a timeout KU came out in the Zone. I didn't know it at the time, but looking back at the game again today, KU lost the game right there. You could see in the Volunteer players eyes that they had just won a "Small Battle" because they forced KU to come out in a zone. That right there gave them enough confidence to finish the game.

Finally, the confidence that Tennessee was already showing after the zone anything that KU did defensively wasn't going to work. I mean, KU wasn't even pressuring the ball, that's how bad it got. The Tennessee guards were just out there directing traffic and doing whatever they wanted. Definitely a tape that will be used as a learning tool.

I am more concerned about how KU is going to find a second slasher to create for others besides Collins. KU is basically right where they were last year as a team at the moment. That is what concerns me.

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Martin Rosenblum 4 years, 8 months ago

The only seeds that UT is probably going to end up with are the ones in the bottom of the bag.

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eddiesuttonschoolofdriving 4 years, 8 months ago

Well, maybe this is what happens when Coach Self tells the Cornell coach, and the media, that he thought we played well in that game. We didn't - our offense stunk against Cornell (other than Sherron) and it looks like there was no recognition of that fact, or adjustments, in the lead up to the Tennessee game. Hopefully they are all on the same page now.

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Hank Cross 4 years, 8 months ago

Hopefully this game will prove to many people that KU is nowhere as deep or good as people say. The idea that BM is a quality reserve is a joke. He has no offensive game whatsoever, consequently when he is on the floor, the other team can play 5 on 4 defense.

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KU 4 years, 8 months ago

oxcaljayhawk.......Ironically, the same can be said for the OTHER end of the floor when X or Tyshawn are on the floor--The other team can play their 5 against our 4 (sometimes 3) on their offensive end.

It's called "picking your poison". Self knows it's a bitter mix, but what's he going to do about it?

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Danimal 4 years, 8 months ago

I would rather they drop a game or two now than in the Tournament. We've all seen this happen before, for whatever reason, the boys failed to execute Self's game plan.

People forget that aside from a few seasoned leaders this is still a very young team with a lot of underclassmen. Hopefully this loss will toughen them up a little.

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nebraskahawkfan0308 4 years, 8 months ago

The Temple hangover is lasting a little bit too long. If we play well Wednesday and hammer Nebraska, it won’t matter that we lost to a ranked opponent on the road. Pressure is off now that we are no longer #1. All teams go through a funk, and hopefully ours is only 2 games long. The one thing we can’t do is start playing through Sherron all the time. We are at our best when we distribute the ball.

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dwphawk60 4 years, 8 months ago

A basketball coach's review of the performance - (1) defensive end => no help defense on drives - too many layups - inside players (Morris twins, in particular) standing and watching; no ball pressure to the normal degree - Collins, Reid, Taylor asleep at the wheel; lack of rebounding - anyone rebound other than Aldrich?; (2) offensive end => lack of ball movement - two passes and a chunk from 3-point range (how many threes? not 'Hawks game); lack of aggressiveness from inside players - well-documented in all the posts; lack of aggressiveness from outside players - for X. Henry to be the player he wants to be in the pros he has got to improve his 'slash' game, Taylor has to learn to finish, as a point of reference - you can pass over the players on Belmont, TN Tech (or whoever else) but the athletes at TN, Texas, etc., CAN jump and the ball can be bounced on a pass; (3) Coaching - Johnson has produced in his time on the floor although he makes "technical" errors; would like to see more of Robinson - but, as Coach Self said after the Temple game "who you going to sit?"

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100 4 years, 8 months ago

While our fanbase fully recovers from our first loss of the season, where by the way, close to zero subs played for any meaningful minutes, our shooters went a full week without shooting practice or without scrimmaging against the dribble drive or any semblance of another team, & our coaching staff forgot to not only drink coffee or some sort of thinking substance like water before the game, but we as a coaching staff forgot to actually have a plan B (you know, just in case things like our vaunted zone or heels of feet man to man defense isn't working, perhaps a possible plan B could be something like a full court press for CRYING OUT LOUD!!!! to get our blood flowing again & double the number of possessions for a team that has basically 5 1/2 guys in shape that aren't in jail), while we as a fanbase relax & enjoy this rather joyously sad, yet meditative state of, "Wow we really suck when we don't practice or have a gameplan", I thought you guys would enjoy the following:

According to the NCAA, if only counting Division 1 opponents, Kentucky is a distant 3rd on the all time win list. Third.... (third)..... Third.

THIRD!

Kansas is 2nd. Carolina is currently the runaway 1st (we're 12 games behind Roy's Heels).

Now, here's Kentucky's big claim to fame they all like to brag about: If counting Division II, Division 1 & NAIA opponents (that would be all games ever played), Kentucky is 1st. UNC is 2nd. Kansas is 3rd.

So put another way..

When Division one teams only are counted....

Kentucky is third...

Ouch!!!!!!!!!

It's interesting how money flows into a program, networks are called & stats can be used for anything -- it kind of reminds me of Russia in the 80's or East Germany before WWI or WWII...

Except, in Lexington's case, lots of money is also used to bring in an entire military & commander whose already been reprimanded twice & skipped over once by the afformentioned school, from an entirely different country altogether...

People are called. Shoes are confinscated. Duck tape wraps around secretaries mouths. Cell phones are trashed. Geniuses with make up wearing basketball shoes are flown across the country to testing sites to pose as 17 year old 6'4" guys & jump SAT tests 400 points in one month.... you get the drill.

This has all been done before, KY_Cats1...

Dozier...

Rose....

Camby...

Calipari.... now sit down & listen, KY_Cats1, I'm only gonna tell you this once about your new hero, "Mr. NIT to NCAA tourney in one year!": you can take the thief out of the crapper (& thank God he changed those pants before he arrived in Lexington!), but you can't take the crapper out of the thief...

Have a good day, KY_Cats1, you third place guy, you...

P.S. I look forward to you visiting again. For the record, it was great to see you guys peak the other day & break the bank against Georgia!

Wow, you guys looked GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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EastBayJay 4 years, 8 months ago

We needed to be able to take advantage of our depth in this game, especially with Chism and Prince on the bench 2nd half. And if we were going to play zone anyway, the way to do that was full court pressure on made baskets, falling back into the zone, and staying in man on opponents possessions that start with rebounds or turnovers. That way, you mix up defenses, apply pressure on guards that aren't ready for it, and wear down the opposition. Token man pressure doesn't do much except force a team to take a lttle more time getting across, and so shortening the shot clock a little.

I have to say, as many no-shows as there were yesterday, I lay this on Self also. Kids were not mentally ready to play, and that is part of the coach's job. I agree with others that playing EJ and TR seems like it would have been a good idea in the 2nd half. Heck, Pearl had to play walkons.

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Infidels_I_keel_u 4 years, 8 months ago

This just in...North Carolina... AP #12...with a12-4 record... Evidently... there is a lot of good weed out there.

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kufan89 4 years, 8 months ago

as much as it sucked, i'm not worried. We'll be fine. ROCK CHALK ALL DAY!!!!

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SCHNBALL 4 years, 8 months ago

I was at the game yesterday and have to see we are not improving at any part of the game. dwphawk- no help side defense? I think we forgot something before help side. How to keep the ball on one half of the offensive end. When is the last time anyone saw KU under Self force a sideline trap below the foul line? Can you remember? Hard to guard any team when we let them have the middle of the floor. I know everyone has said it already, but this is by FAR the softest team under SELF. I don't remember KU giving up that many layups in a 10 game stretch. Of the UT fans I spoke with, they wonder why we struggle so much with our offense. HCBS refers to winning hiding weakness, I believe our athletes of 2 years ago hid the struggles of this this offense.

The last thing I said to my son on the drive over is that if Sherron scores more than 20, we willl be in trouble. I should have phased it better, if he takes more that 18 shots, we will be in a close game, I think I can say that for the rest of the year. This team has a toughness issue and in listening to Self, he still wants them to work it out on their own.

After seeing this game in person, we are definitely slow, and play soft, soft defense. We control no aspects of tempo of the game, but the signature Self teams control tempo with great defense and breaks off of defensive stops, something we don't see now.

I have said at least 3 times if not more on this site, until we have a true point guard, this team will struggle against well coached teams. Keep the faith!!!

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KU 4 years, 8 months ago

SCHNBALL......Some good insights: Sherron shooting too much is bad, we're not as athletic as people think, we never play good trapping defense and the best--we don't play a true point guard.

Before people jump all over you about Sherron being the best point guard in the world--He's a 2 guard in a point guard's body. He thinks like a 2, he plays like a 2. He doesn't make his teammates better when he takes over like a truly great point guard would. He actually makes the team WORSE when he takes over because all he does is try to get his. He never thinks pass first when he's in that mode.

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Hank Cross 4 years, 8 months ago

KU-on the whole, I'd rather engage in a shoot-out with players capable of scoring, i.e. TT and X, than get in a defensive grind where it may come down to one shot. The starting 5 + whichever Morris is sitting should be able to out-score any team in country.

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KU 4 years, 8 months ago

oxcaljayhawk........But then, you don't think like Bill Self, do you?

So you're saying you'd rather lose 98-97 than 70-69? Sounds like Roy's soft philosophy to me: overwhelm them with your pretty offense. And when that offense goes south for the game in a tight game that actually MEANS something (which the Tennessee game didn't), what do you have left? Roy crying on the podium about how much he loves them dadgum kids in that locker room.

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KU 4 years, 8 months ago

oxcaljayhawk......To continue, defense CAN be a constant if you have players that believe it. You just have to work hard on the defensive end to be a good defender. You can make the choice to be good and play with intensity. Offense isn't something you can "will" as much, so it's naturally going to come and go to some degree. You can't "will" in a 20 foot 3 pointer quite as easily as you can "will" yourself to get your butt down, keep your eyes up, slide your feet, help your teammates, and block out.

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KU 4 years, 8 months ago

oxcaljayhawk.....But you're right "The starting 5 + whichever Morris is sitting should be able to out-score any team in the country."

Key word: "Should". That theory has finally been proven wrong for the first (probably not the last) time this season. Great defense breeds an attitude of toughness and invincibility, the feeling that you can play with anybody, anywhere, anytime; pretty offense gives you a false sense of security and the thought in the back of your mind in a big game "what if our offense doesn't click tonight?" That thought is what undermined so many great Roy teams when it became a self-fulfilling prophecy in big games.

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Jhawk_77 4 years, 8 months ago

I hate to encourage KY by responding to his post, but . . . To KY: You should have added to your words of advice, "Bring your pants, but don’t worry about guns and drugs. The SEC players have enough for everyone." As for the SEC’s record against the “farm boys,” let’s see, I believe this year the farm boys are 6 -3 against the gun totin’, rope smokin’ boys from the SEC. Oh, and Kentucky. You have a coach who has zero, nada, none national championships and is the only head coach EVER to have a Final Four appearance vacated by the NCAA at more than one school. So don’t start counting that 2,000th win or any NCAA Championship until (a) after you win it, and (b) after the NCAA completes its (inevitable) investigation of your program. And let us not forget the team that beat Calipari in his ONLY appearance in the NCAA Championship game. I won’t tell you who it was, Jelly. You will just have to look it up. Hint: It’s the same school that set a record by beating Kentucky 150 – 95. Second Hint: It’s the school where Adolph Rupp (you may have heard of him) learned his basketball.

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Jhawk_77 4 years, 8 months ago

My apologies to KY - the farm boys are 6 - 4 against the SEC this year. I missed the 79 - 76 drubbing that Alabama put on Baylor.

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SCHNBALL 4 years, 8 months ago

KU- I don't blame Sherron for taking over, I blame the lack of an offense for this mistake. Go listen to Self on the post game comments of the Cornell game. If I remember correctly, I think he refers to shutting down the offense at the 8 or maybe even 10 minute mark and told Sherron just to go and create. That will be Cornell, won't beat Texas, UK, Nova, Sparty or any top 10 team in crunch time during the tournament. I just watched the encore of the game yesterday, man, we don't even get close to the rim in our offense, not even close. We have terrible spacing, but I can say I have never been a big fan of the offense we run. I am sure we will get better, but the chemistry is not their now.

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jaybate 4 years, 8 months ago

Monday in the Valley of the Shadow of Death (And Fearing No Evil):

} Again, where are all the folks that said this KU team just needed a good old fashioned loss to shape it up? :-)

} Bottom line, Self didn't amp the team for UTenn, even a little. They came out flat and stayed that way. No serious pressure. They looked like they had had a practice that morning. Self showed almost none of his customary competitive fire in big games during this one. Self was mister calm and collected through out. Mr. Positive. He seemed to have no doubt about what was happening? Even Danny Manning was chuckling as he walked around the huddle, when the players came off for time outs. Manning chuckle about a showing by his bigs like that? I don't think so, unless the staff has decided to let the boys suffer. Joe Dooley did not look like his usual attack dog self. He did not scribble furiously on his clipboard, when Pearl threw the match-up zone at KU for a couple of minutes late in the first half. Self did not react to it either. Bluntly, the players were put in a very deep and turbulent pool of hungry, angry UTenn players, getting their chance for some PT and revenge. Self allowed his No.1 team to sink or swim that first half and they fought to a stalemate by their own means. Self was probably actually tickled to death about being tied at the end of 20 minutes. He hadn't done a thing to help them.

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jaybate 4 years, 8 months ago

} The second half he threw them a line. He let them play zone against a lousy trey team and, even though UTenn hit a lot of treys, the zone brought the laboring, confused, eventually terror stricken and exhausted KU team inexorably back to a tight game with 5 minutes to go. The KU team had at least three opportunities to take the game and run, but with Self barely helping them at all, certainly not giving them every advantage he could have, they proceeded to squander every opportunity and in the end, rediscovered the age old wisdom of sports; that fatigue makes cowards of us all. The starters, who think they don't really need the subs, and the subs, who don't think they are getting a fair shake, saw what happens to a basketball team that does not pull together as one for all and all for one. They lose their legs. The see lessers whip them. The experience the ridicule of 23000 fans in the building hooting at them, as if they were a city league team, not a numbero uno.

} Self knows (and has known for some time) what this team lacks. It lacks its own identity, as he said today. Its own all-for-one-and-one-for-all, backs-to-the-wall, cornered-dog ferocity. He tried to use get-better-week, and pairing down of PT, and Cornell (with Dunphy giving Donohue a scouting report to take away every strength KU has) to forge the identity and it failed.

} But Self was torn. He wanted to forge the identity without actually having to lose, if he could find a way. Knight had. Wooden had. The USF coach had. There had to be a way. But they all had so many great, great players, and/or so much experience. Still, Self's job is to help his team be the best it can be. This year the best it could be was undefeated and so he tried to finesse them through the sticky wicket of having no team identity forged through hardship. He tried, even though the Okie Baller deep down inside of him knew he was probably Don Quixote tilting at Spanish windmills, or Iba tilting at Aeromotor windmills in the depression.

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100 4 years, 8 months ago

Calipari University's newest slogan:

"You can take the thief out of the crapper...

But you can't take the Crapper out of the thief."

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jaybate 4 years, 8 months ago

} UTenn was like a gift from heaven. They were a great team decimated by suspensions. Their remaining players were no slouches. Chism could give Cole headaches any game. But KU had beaten them last year without Xavier, when UTenn was really quite good. UTenn was a lousy trey team. It was an away game in front of mad dog Tennesseans. KU thrown to these dogs--not too big, but not too small either--would force these guys to labor together and discover the common bond--the brotherhood of near war veterans that is a championship caliber basketball team. That was the plan.

} Regardless of what Self says publicly, he knew this team had a significant chance to run the table, because D1 talent and experience levels are so low this year. Look at the best teams. UK has a frosh PG that is TO-matic. Texas can't shoot its way out of an enema bag. Everyone but KU had an experience gap, or a skill gap, or both, everyone, that is, but KU. All Self had to do was figure a way to fit a potentially great wing player, Xavier, into last year's down the middle team, bring Brady off the bench for Ty and Xavier for defense and rest and trey shooting, and develop CJ to give Sherronatron a five minute blow each half and wait for Withey to give KU control of the paint even when Cole was out for blows. It all seemed so do-able. Self couldn't help himself. He said there was a chance for special season.

} But then stuff happened.

--Self had to suspend Brady, which meant he couldn't start working on pressure defense until January!

--Withey not only couldn't play first semester, a stress fracture meant he couldn't practice and get strong and challenge Cole each day in practice, and be ready to plug and play in January.

--CJ got injured, then came back and though he burned the cords from trey, betrayed he, like his brother, did not inherit the Defensive Gene from either parent. These sorts of genes sometimes skip a generation. Tough luck for the Henry Brothers. Tougher luck for KU. A Ron Artest X ain't. A Brandon Rush X ain't. A Paul Pierce X ain't. Not till next year, if there were a next year. CJ? To tell you how bad he is on defense, he's shooting 61% from trey and he can't play enough defense to beat out Brady and Tyrel. That's really bad! CJ is, shall we say, not his father's son, nor his mother son (Marion Washington demanded better defense from women than C.J. gives), when it comes to defending his man. He is just another suburban kid with a very good stroke and not enough D. Next.

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jaybate 4 years, 8 months ago

--Tyshawn, who played U19 instead of lifting, and who threw sucker punches instead of lifting, and who posted sucker punches instead of lifting, and who injured his elbow instead of lifting (does this young man have an allergy to weights or what?), then had to play hurt with his wing (probably a hyperextension), because Brady couldn't drink and walk, and Elijah couldn't guard and not foul. It got so bad, Self had to hide Ty's bum wing, and even had to try to go with a foulamatic freshman in The Prophet, who was even considered a raw high school player. Self pulled off one of his hide the weakness with smoke and mirrors temporarily things by making people think The Prophet was a serious threat to ascend above Ty. Not. Not so far. Perhaps never, if Ty's arm heals. The Prophet is so raw that he cannot beat out a one-armed softy, who fades at the rim and who would rather post on Facebook than challenge a post man and take a foul.

--The Twins come in looking like Mafia enforcers, after the Hudy thing, but in fact it takes more than a summer of Dance Dance Revolution to overcome a life time of self image as finesse guys with small hands and Rocky-like sensitivity to some Philly Adrian. Yo, Adrian, you got blocks, I got blocks. Together we hold hands and connect the blocks. They have become this way for good reason. Every time they get tough, or dirty, people in the land of mayonaisse and white bread ridicule them and act as if they were hoodlums instead of sensitive Rockies from Philly trying to find their balance between aggression and sportsmanship on the high plains. Still, the Twins become vastly more consistent and largely enable the team to carry on through Aldrich's quarter lung phase. But, when push comes to shove against guys as big and strong as them, they revert to their now obsolete self image--the world's most gentle and sensitive tattooed big men. They forget how big, strong and bouncy they truly are, regardless of hand size.

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jaybate 4 years, 8 months ago

--Cole, Self's anchor, his great Lake Superior lighthouse in the storm, begins operating on a quarter of a lung for most of the noncon season, and when the lungs slowly recover (but by no means fully), Cole has had no one in practice to give him even as much resistance as Withey and Big Red did last season between Big Red's digital drafting sessions. Remember this, if you remember nothing else written here: Last year's scout squad had a footer (Withey) and a 6'11" lug to rough Cole up each week. It was probably this dynamic, as much as any, that propelled Cole's development. Now he faces Chase Buford and Jordan Jeunneman and sometimes Thomas Robinson, who tends to foul his own shadow, but be pushed around by it at the same time. Cole has less offensive game than last season. It takes him half a game to get use to true big men. Though stronger in the legs and able to board and swat significantly better than last year, his offense has been pulled to let Xavier do the scoring. Big men shrug and go along, but they are like a battle ship. To ask them to start scoring again, it takes a considerable refit and shake down cruise to bring them back into combat readiness.

} Stop the presses! Stop the presses! Did you read what I just wrote under ca-ca happens? Self has chosen to take his proven down the middle team into the same thicket he did with Mario Little last season. And except against cupcakes, he's having the same experience. Close wins and close losses. It was a close loss to UTenn afterall.

} A strong wing presense appears not to energize the Sherron to Cole Axis the way so many expected. Getting rid of that lowly, unathletic Brady and replacing him with the NBA pecs ready Xavier would just instantly transform the team into a champion, so many believed. X looked like a basketball player, not an acolyte at an Episcopal church. Brady was such a waste of 35 minutes of PT all last year. He just wasn't any good at all against the good teams. He just folded against every team we played.

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jaybate 4 years, 8 months ago

} Selective memory haunts those that diss and doubt Brady. He only folded a few times and usually only when Self asked him to play 38 minutes and guard a guy twice his size, or weight. Brady rose to far more occassions than he plummited from last season, and he has helped us alot since getting back...pretty thanklessly I might add. Brady handled Frank Matriciano's program. Brady is plenty tough and plenty dedicated and plenty game. This team would be drastically better with three Bradys, rather than one Brady and a CJ and and an EJ, the latter two being unable to play reliably at D1 level so far. We likely would not have lost the UTenn game had we had two more players capable of giving 10 minutes a piece perimeter defense, making the second pass, and shooting 42% from trey. Alas, we did not have them. We had CJ, who is fast earning the nick name "Instant Burn," and The Prophet, who Self doesn't even try to fake around with anymore. And it is not Brady's fault, or even Coach Self's fault, that CJ and EJ cannot play defense and protect the ball. I believe CJ and EJ bear some significant responsibility there.

} Are the offensive sets inadequate to integrate Xavier's game? Well, that question lacks a simple answer. Rush flourished with essentially the same sets. He found he could let the game come to him and then dominate from the wing in high-low and pick and roll sets. But he was not a slasher. He lacked a left. Fine, so far, Xavier has not exactly sliced defenses like Jack the Ripper in Chucks. So: what then?

} Hypothesis: Sherron and Cole have down the middle personalities in an offense with two axes: north/south and east/west. They are dominant dudes. They like the axis down the middle. They like to keep it simple. Sherron and Cole, though different on the outside as night and day, are quite alike on the inside. Cut the finesse and attack. Fine, set some picks, but attack. Give me the ball and let me go to work. Cole is from Mesabi Range stock, son of a blue collar sheet metal worker. Sherron is from the projects. They have both heard all the feel good talk from US Presidents about how people are going to help them and then never do. They have heard high school principals say they are going clean up the knives and guns and then never do. These two know talk is cheap. Plans are mostly for suckers. For something to happen, someone has to roll up their sleeves and make it happen.

} Sherron and Cole like attacking on that north-south axis as much as Patton liked going through Germans like crap through a goose. Kick outs to wings that drain treys are okay, but only after a good north-south axis attack.

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jaybate 4 years, 8 months ago

} But feeding a wing to do di-doe dances outside and then go to the basket? Cole and Sherron shrug like they do at Presidential promises, and think, "What's the fricking point here? Give Sherron, or me, the ball and let us cram it down their throats. The worst that can happen is a TO near the rim that each of us can contain to prevent any break. And probably we get two, or three points on a foul. This ain't rocket science, Coach. C'mon coach, what is with this NBA body wing stuff?"

} Truth be told, Cole is the guy who is having the most trouble adapting to the three pronged attack, just as he did last year. He's a true big man. Psychologically, he is a center of gravity. Cole thinking about wingman shake and bake is like Wilt thinking about Elgin Baylor shaking and baking on the wing. What a waste of a good possession, Wilt thought. shake and bake to get a 45% shot instead of a 65% shot with me. Exit Elgin. Enter glue guy Jim MacMillan. Pop the trey on kick outs and shut your mouth while me and West get the job done, okay kid?

} The problem facing this team is not just finding an identity. The lack of identity is a symptom, not a cause. The cause of the symptom is a coach and a team that cannot figure out how either to integrate a three-pronged attack that includes Xavier into the existing Okie Baller sets (hi lo and pick and roll), or to tell Xavier he is glue in a down the middle game and shut up and drain treys.

} Last year with an injured Little, Self had no problem going glue at the 3 and relying on down the middle. This year, Self is sitting there like Little Jack Horner hoping if he keeps putting his thumb in the pie of X on the wing, in the same old scheme, that eventually he will pull out a plumb. Self is smart. Maybe he will. But by his own admission, it is not working presently.

} Xavier is too good to be glue. He knows it and Sherron and Cole know it. Unlike some, I believe Xavier is a great scorer capable of shooting and slashing (though he's proven surprisingly chicken about taking punishment at the rim), when given the green. But he is doing what his coach and stars are telling him to do, while he labors as a borderline adequate defender trying to get better on defense in the pressure cooker of playing for a ring.

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jaybate 4 years, 8 months ago

} Xavier is gentle. Xavier is cool. Xavier is pretty. Xavier is good. Xavier has an eye brow that is cocked always as if he knows something we do not (and perhaps he does, virtuosos have such insight). But Xavier has to be bloodied in combat to be Sherron's and Cole's equal. Xavier has to beast some game, too, instead of just scoring points. Scoring points is not enough for a natural scorer. Sherron could score points in his sleep. Its his ferocity and unbreakable will that distinguishes him.

} If KU is to have a three-pronged attack, and it needs one to get to the next level, Xavier must out man persons the way Sherron and Cole try relentlessly to do (sometimes succeeding and sometimes failing). Beasts don't win every time. Beasts are beasts precisely because they keep coming back like ferocious animals even when someone kicked the snot out of them the last time. Xavier has shown no beast.

} Some problems leave one no choice but to mine the past for insight by analogy.

} BRush was gentle. BRush was cool. BRush was pretty. BRush was good. BRush looked bemused, as if he knew something we did not (and perhaps he did, virtuosos have such insight). But BRush had no left. And, perhaps decisively, he had Sherron, and Mario, Darrell, and Julian, over the years. He usually played with three other beasts, so he did not have to be an attack dog. And he was a good-to-great defender from the beginning, regardless of what some misrecall here. He could let the game come to him and be just what his team needed. X cannot do what BRush did, because, well, because this team lacks a third beast. This team needs X to be its third beast.

} Self has never had a beast on the wing. He doesn't know how its done any more than we do right now. He's tried letting X play like Brandon and it hasn't worked. He's tried letting X play like Brady and it hasn't worked. He's tried letting X take over and it wastes Sherron and Cole. X does not yet have the gift of making everyone better yet.

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SCHNBALL 4 years, 8 months ago

You all pay to much attn to KY-Cats, having split time between KS and KY, this 'fan' is one of the following: 1. From Eastern Kentucky and has never left his house and still wears his socks like Macy. 2. From Louisville and converted back to a UK fan after he was caught on Frankfort Avenue with Ricky Pitino. 3. Is truly a Western Kentucky fan since they have been the best team in the state the last 4 years but had to jump on the band wagon since all of his buddies have done so.

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jaybate 4 years, 8 months ago

} It maybe time to rescheme the offense as a step to give this team its own identity. The closest this team has come to a new identity has been when it has moved X to the 2 guard and put Marcus at the three. THAT IS a new and fearsome identity!!!! It has definite weaknesses, but it makes unmistakeably clear that X is one of the three beasts of orients all. And each time down the floor, Sherron, or Cole, or X is going ta attack and beast you, if you give them half a chance. This is a no finesse, north/south offense in which Sherron and X take turns being attack dogs out front (screw this wing stuff) and Cole is flaring his nostrils on a block with the scent of beasting kills. He is ready to cram down stick backs. This is brutal offense somewhat like brutal architecture. Not the prettiest maybe, but sometimes pretty is beside the point. This offense is big, mean beasts coming at you again and again and again. Clear out. Attack. Clear out. Attack. Screw the finesse. Screw the screens and picks and ball movement. Screw the hi lo. Screw the pick and roll. This is mano-a-mano stuff. Match-up advantage on match-up disadvantage. Make all the mistakes happen near the basket. Cram it down their throats until the opponent is broken and beaten. It is a band of Transformers, not a band of brothers. It is what this team truly is, no matter how much Coach Self loves Eddie Ball. Heck, Eddie wouldn't hesitate to break his own mold. Eddie coached in Central Idaho. Eddie knows what has to be done has to be done. Eddie knows he had to turn Coach Iba on his head. Eddie would cram these three beasts of orients all in isolations down opponents throats until the cows came home and the fifths were all gone.

} Xavier looks even better than Little did last year, because Little had only one wheel. But in the hi-lo/pick and roll scheme, the dynamic is the same. Xavier makes a lower percentage from 15-25 feet than Cole does from 5 feet--surprise, surprise! We lose close games and the team gets into the no mans land of not quite a down the middle team and not quite an across the transcept team.

} In one sense, I am talking Okie Baller blasphemy here. I am talking about doing away with the cruciform--the north south and east west axis at the heart of Bill and Eddie Ball. I am talking about brutal, frontal assault with beasts beasting in hand to hand combat.

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jaybate 4 years, 8 months ago

} I am talking about making Xavier a true equal. A warrior. The third Achilles. And if he can't do it, toss him aside and go back to last year's model.

} The gamble is this: will there ever be a game where all three Achilles come up with the tactical equivalent of Achilles Heels? Will there ever be a game where none of them has match-up advantage. I look around Division 1 and the answer is a resounding NO! One of these three will on any given night, if allowed to beast, be able to cram it down the throats of an opponent and kick out occassionally for an open three.

} Will Iba roll over in his grave? Will Eddie go back on the bottle? Will Bill not be able to look Cin in the face? Will turning the Okie Baller tradition on its head end it all and drive all the Okie Baller Mafia mad? No.

} Self would still be playing take-what-they-give-us basketball with three beasts attacking relentlessly in clear outs? The one he attacked with would be the one they gave us, the one that gave the match-up advantage.

} Will Phog and James have hissy fits about the lack of team?

} No!!!!!

} Phog was a genius and 100 has made me understand over the years that his genius lay in his willingness to try every way, to play the game every possible way that it can be played based on the dictates of the talent at hand. Phog did not hesitate to bet everything on Wilt and neither did Harp who finally got to place the bet for Phog.

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jaybate 4 years, 8 months ago

} Phog played fast. Phog played slow. Phog played pressure defense. Phog played with post men and without post men. It was one of Phogs men who let Luisetti change the game forever with the jump shot. Phog's was a fierce, fearless, fertile mind. Nothing was impossible just because it had never been done before. No tradition was more important than being the best one could be now, however, one found to play. Frankly, the very fact something had never been tried almost made it more appealing to him. Surprise in the form of the unprecendented was always a great weapon never to be avoided.

} Grant applied the precursors of guerilla warfare and island hopping in the West; then he embraced War of Attrition in the East. Great strategists and tacticians are fearless in shaping battle fields to their advantages. It is the weenies that cling fearfully only to the ways it has been done before. They do what it takes.

} KU has three beasts. Self must unleash them for this team to be the best it can be, whether that is a ring team, or not. Xavier has a beast inside him. He is the son of Carl, therefore, there can be no doubt. He may not have gotten the defensive gene, but I am betting that deep inside this young man lurks a beast who is only waiting to be given the green light. Put him in an equal position to Sherron and let the two alternate attacking. No one has ever seen a duo like Sherron and X at the one and two guards attacking all night and a beast like Aldrich finishing on both.

} Self may be too married to tradition to do what I am suggesting, but he has already considered it because he has already tried Sherron and X together in the back court a few times. He is way ahead of me on this, as a great coach should be way ahead of citizen journalists. But he has considered it seriously only as a get a bucket offense, not the new identity of the team. Its time to consider it. Tyshawn cannot beast with a bum arm. Xavier is being wasted on the wing. Phil Jackson would have X at the two guard faster than you can say Michael Jordan and Ron Harper.

} Rock Chalk!

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SCHNBALL 4 years, 8 months ago

Jaybate, funny you should mentioned how Phog changed his schemes based on the talent them he had within a year, my father is nearing 80, and he always mentions that one fact about Phog, and how that is a lost art in today's world of basketball!!

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rockchalkjaydoc 4 years, 8 months ago

I was really hoping for the chance to echo the rock chalk chant in the "Tommy Bowl" yesterday. Instead, I'm sure to see this t-shirt all over Knoxville:

http://www.volmall.com/main_detail.cfm?nProductID=23401&sAuxTitle=Celebrate%20the%20Victory%20S%2FS%20T-Shirt

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SCHNBALL 4 years, 8 months ago

I will watch only for one aspect the rest of the year, that I remember so much about the 2008 year. How many uncontested layups we give up after a whistle has blown the play dead and the opposing player continues to go to the glass for fun. I know this sounds strange, but I remember watching the 08 team never wanting to give up a layup, even if the play was dead. This team gives layups away in full action. This will be the sign for me.

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Mike Kendall 4 years, 8 months ago

Well said, Jhawk_77. Let me add another little tidbit for KY. I hope you go to Florida, Tuesday night, really cocky and overconfident. Because if your team does, the Gators will have some real juicy wildkitty meat to chew on. Of course, God forbid that you team would lose--there would only be one undefeated team left--Texas Longhorns. What--you gonna call them farmboys when you lose Tuesday night? Really? Hey, you struggled with Georgia at "your old Kentucky home!" They only showed Ashley, what's her name, several hundred times, during the telecast. Playing Florida on the road--it's going to be a little tougher. If you lose the game, then, I really don't want to hear from you ever again. If you win, then, keep on being cocky, because somebody is going to cut you down, sooner or later.


In regard to the Tennessee locker room post-game--what a humbling perspective to our team, coaches and fans. I have new respect for Bruce Pearl. Really, I said this before, they're backs were against the wall (not John Wall)! And, they caught KU coming in a little over-confident and coming off a strange game with Cornell. So, hats off to the Vols.


In the locker room, Coach Pearl asked his players, "Where do we go from here?" Hey, HCBS could ask the same question of his own players, too! The Nebraska game is now, going to be a more closer competitive game--God, I hope not, but it will. Lose at Nebraska, and things could get real ugly for Coach Self. So, I hate to point out that the Husker game is Large with the Jayhawks, but it is. I am holding my collective breath to see who Self starts the game and which other bench players get to see playing time. We will see Wednesday night if the Jayhawks learned from their mistakes at Knoxville. I hope it is a fun game to watch, that's for sure. RCJHGOKU!

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jhokfan 4 years, 8 months ago

Wow, they actually printed a T-shirt. I'm both amazed and flattered.

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jaybate 4 years, 8 months ago

SCHNBALL,

You are obviously a great Kansas basketball man and so is your 80 year old father. They have a way of speaking plainly and succinctly about the game. My father and brother can do this. I didn't get the gene, but recognize and respect it. They cut to the essence. Thanks for sharing both your father's take and for pointing out this lay-up behavior as a telling standard of character and commitment to continuing The Legacy.

"Champions have character and commitment."

39-1

Right 100?

Going 39-1 is the goal now!

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wchawk 4 years, 8 months ago

This is going to be a very fine JAYHAWK club when the tournament comes around. 2 comments

  1. Taylor needs to sit. He is way out of control @ the worst times,he isn't who we need in there @ the end.
  2. X Henry ? I don't know if he was worth all the work to bring him here.

I really think we'll win it all. I have been watching the hawks since Wilt played. When we lose we (family) are in morning for days.GO KU!

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Jangaroo 4 years, 8 months ago

wchawk

  1. agreed

  2. X Henry is a frosh for the number 1 team in the nation in front of 25,000 opposing fans.

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annette38 4 years, 8 months ago

eddiesuttonschoolofdriving-

User name-genius! Still laughing!!! Sorry, I don't get out much!

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Mike Kendall 4 years, 8 months ago

annette38:

I laughed at that user name, too! Still want to know if ParisHawk is Paris, France, or Paris, TX, or Paris Hilton. Let us know the secret, please?????????

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dek9219 4 years, 8 months ago

Too many posts here but I will say this anyway. No way this team goes 39-1. If you can't beat a team that has 3 kids that came off the playground and two more that couldn't get a scholarship to any Big XII school you aren't going to win the rest of your games. Coaching sucked, playing sucked period. No one mentioned that if Tenn. shoots even 75% from the foul line this game isn't even close. What a pathetic display of the talent we are supposed to have. Sherron has it in his head now that he is the only one that can score and that's dooms day for this team.

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duanep5ku 4 years, 8 months ago

100 Thank you for your informative post on UK that information is good to know

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okiedave 4 years, 8 months ago

Soobawls -- I agree with you on the point that Self is not effectively utilizing a deep bench. We should be utilizing 11 players to exhaust the other teams' starting 5.

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annette38 4 years, 8 months ago

mikendal:

Belly laugh! Thank you! Would I have preferred a KU win, YES! Do we have alot more crazy moments before the season is is over? YES! Is Paris coming to a game? YES!

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Martin Rosenblum 4 years, 8 months ago

Skylar? We let a guy named Skylar put up a tre at the end of the game!

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KU 4 years, 8 months ago

memhawk.....His parents named him after their 1976 Buick Skylark--the sweetest ride they ever had. The nurse thought the "k" was his middle initial, so he's Skylar K. Not really.

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