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Kansas defeats Nebraska, 84-72

  • 8 p.m., Jan. 13, 2010
  • Devaney Sports Center, Lincoln, NE

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A fresh start

Collins, KU open Big 12 with win

Kansas guard Sherron Collins pressures Nebraska guard Sek Henry during the second half Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2010 at the Devaney Center in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Kansas guard Sherron Collins pressures Nebraska guard Sek Henry during the second half Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2010 at the Devaney Center in Lincoln, Nebraska.

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2010 KU-Nebraska basketball

Reader poll

How many road losses do you think the Jayhawks will have in Big 12 play?

  • 0 7% 198 votes
  • 1 20% 560 votes
  • 2 42% 1183 votes
  • 3 23% 642 votes
  • 4 4% 122 votes
  • 5 or more 2% 58 votes
  • Undecided 0% 21 votes

2784 total votes.

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KU vs. Nebraska

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KU takes on Nebraska Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2010 in Lincoln.

— A red-clad Nebraska basketball fan, who was seated in the student section, yelled in the direction of Sherron Collins after Kansas University’s 84-72 victory over the hometown Huskers on Wednesday night in Devaney Center.

The fan was not out to bury KU’s senior point guard, but to praise him.

“I heard him say, ‘Collins. You the man. How does it feel to go undefeated here against us?’ I just gave him a head nod,” Collins said with a smile.

The 5-foot-11 dynamo scored 22 points off 6-of-11 shooting and drilled four three-pointers in five tries. He also went 6-of-6 from the line and had five assists against two turnovers, pretty much willing the Jayhawks to Collins’ fourth victory in as many tries in Lincoln.

It marked KU’s 14th straight victory overall against NU and sixth straight in Devaney. And it marked the 19th straight season KU opened conference play with a victory.

All that was made possible largely because of Collins and Marcus Morris, who responded to his removal from the starting lineup (Thomas Robinson earned the nod) to the tune of 19 points and seven rebounds.

“It wasn’t easy. It’s never easy here,” Collins said. “They never backed down. Give credit to Nebraska and their fans. Doc (Sadler, NU coach) had ’em ready. It was a hard-fought win for us.”

The Jayhawks (15-1 overall, 1-0 Big 12), who were coming off Sunday’s loss at Tennessee, fell behind 12-1 just 21⁄2 minutes into the game and frankly looked like a team that might get run out of the gym.

Enter Collins, who hit three threes and steadied the ship, as KU trailed just 17-14 at 13:01.

“I thought we were really ready to play,” KU coach Bill Self said. “They steal the opening tip, and then it was just downhill from there. A couple guys were sped up, but I thought we were really ready to play. So even though we were down 12-1, it wasn’t the end of the world.

“And then Sherron put us on his back. Sherron got us back to the point where it was a basketball game, and we played a lot better after that.”

The Jayhawks were down just 44-43 at halftime only because KU matched NU three-pointer for three-pointer. The Jayhawks hit nine of 14 to NU’s eight of 11.

It was Collins who again steered KU in the right direction after Brandon Richardson’s eight-point flurry gave NU a 54-53 lead at 13:11.

Collins scored two buckets — on one, he wound up landing on his backside — to open a 12-2 run that gave the Jayhawks a 65-56 advantage at 8:52. NU did cut the gap to six at 68-62, at which point Morris scored four straight, and Tyshawn Taylor iced a three to boost KU’s lead to a comfy 13 points with 51⁄2 minutes to play.

“Sherron was big. He’s always big. He’s our leader. He’s the engine that keeps us going,” Morris said.

And on this night kept the Jayhawks from falling behind by what could have been an insurmountable margin early.

“I was not worried. It was too early in the game to be worried,” Collins said. “Coach called a timeout, and I tried to get my team calmed down. They were hitting tough shots. We took their best shot. We knew we’d come along.”

Nebraska did finally cool off. The Huskers hit 11 of 21 threes to KU’s 13 of 21.

“We stayed hot,” KU coach Self said of the Jayhawks, who hit 58.3 percent of their shots the first half, 57.1 the second. NU hit 55.6 the first and just 30.8 the second.

“The law of averages. Isn’t that amazing how it works?” Self said. “They missed a lot of the same shots they made in the first half. Fortunately for us, we got the ball in tighter the second half yet stayed hot. We were able to make shots for the most part the majority of the game.”

Self thought the Jayhawks played decent defense that wild first half.

“I didn’t think they got that many open looks,” he said. “I thought we played the scouting report, and I thought that Jones (Eshaunte 4-for-11 threes, 12 points) got some looks, but I don’t think they were wide-open. They’re averaging five threes a game. Guys made them that haven’t been shooting them that well. I thought we were turned up and tried to guard them. I had fun coaching them tonight.”

Next up is Saturday’s home game against Texas Tech. Tipoff is 12:45 p.m., in Allen Fieldhouse.

Comments

KU_Alumn_2000 4 years, 10 months ago

Great job on keeping your composure last night hawks.

Does anyone else feel this way ? It just seems like reed plays just as good...or even better defense than morningstar. It is well known that reed is faster...and I think he is more athletic than Brady...and seems to play with more length.

Also...I like the move toward starting t-rob.

KU_Alumn_2000 4 years, 10 months ago

Marcus played pretty darn good coming off the bench.

Robert Brock 4 years, 10 months ago

Coach was bold for starting Robinson over Marcus Morris - sending a message - but the freshman quickly showed why playing someone so inexperienced is taking a chance. Robinson will learn.

86finalfour 4 years, 10 months ago

This game was the perfect teaching tool for Bill Self bball. These offensive minded young guys played it their way the first half ( I, along with ESPN analysts, thought they're defense stunk) and they still couldn't come out on top -- halftime 44-43 Nebraska. After the half, they tightened up and played tough Self D Ball. These young players must realize that they can't out score their opponent every night because last night proved that any team in the country, ANY team (since this was the Huskers) can get hot. I think this is what Bill Self tries to instill in all of his pupils. They looked slow the first half on the defensive end ( much like Tenn) but came out faster and went for more loose balls and attempted more steals during the second half.

Did anyone else notice that Xavier just stands around the perimeter waiting to shoot? I wonder if he's been the chemistry killer lately. I wonder if he has the "island' mentality. Team played better when he was on the bench.
He did seem to come out stronger on defense when Self benched him mid 2nd half.

Maybe I'm too optimistic, but the Hawks seemed to find their some of their identity in the second half -- I enjoyed watching this game!

yates33333 4 years, 10 months ago

Playing as they are now this team will not be in the final four. Collins carries them too much, and other teams with ability can shut down one player. That said, thank Heavens for Collins. Cole Aldrich must be having bronchitis again. Are they sure it is bronchitis. X has been xed or so it seems. TT played better as did Marcus. Wouldn't it be great if they could carry the team against quality opposition, not Pittsburg State or Emporia State. Bill Self may not have been worried during the first thirty minutes but he looked worried. I was and still am. Aren't you Jaybate?

NH_JHawk 4 years, 10 months ago

yup, our defense really stunk. The last 3 games our opponents have been putting on 3 pt. clinics against our perimeter defense.

X still settling for jumpers w/o driving into the middle plus being careless with the ball. Sooner or later he's bound to break out of his funk. I also thought TT did a better job last night of being aggressive and creating some shots.

Cole, where are you? We miss ya, big fella. I hope we can see this version of Mc Morris from here forward. Good road win and cant complain about starting 1-0.

RockChalk1225 4 years, 10 months ago

Great bounce back. Road wins will be few and far between in the Big 12. Just look at how hard KU and Texas had to word last night at Nebraska and Iowa St.

To Alum_2000: Reed has been a big spark and may be quicker than Brady. But who can deny that Brady makes more plays. He had two HUGE offensive tips outs last night that resulted in buckets. And that back door off the feed from Sherron was sick. Brady is without a doubt the smartest player we have.

KU 4 years, 10 months ago

Interesting combination when we went REAL small. We had Sherron, Brady, Tyrel and Tyshawn (among other guard combinations) on the floor with one big, usually Markieff (for a short while Thomas Robinson).

You could tell Coach Self had talked to kuwells about strategy because we came out with a little press from time to time after made baskets and EJ got to play a few minutes.

Three point shooting is fools' gold. Only average teams (and Duke) try to hang their hat on 3 point shooting purposely. We got lucky that we made a high percentage of them last night or we could have gone down, again. Gotta hang our hat on defense, defense, defense. Offense can flow from defense.

Defense in the first half stunk, regardless of what Self tries to spin. Looked slow and lethargic. No urgency on the perimeter to get out on 3 point shooters. NU's inexperienced young post players just humiliated KU's bigs. Horrible. I think the difference (regarding post scoring) is that NU does a better job spreading the floor and taking all extra defenders out of the lane to make it a one-on-one post move. KU could learn something from this on offense: we usually clog the lane with 2 post players and have guards playing offense too close to the lane, making it impossible for Cole to even turn around, let alone try to isolate his man on the block.

Bottom line: we were lucky Sherron had such an efficient night on the offensive end or we would have gotten beat due to poor defense in the first half. I liked how we turned up the pressure a little in the 2nd half and got some extra possessions and transition baskets.

Timmay97 4 years, 10 months ago

Why is everyone ragging on Cole? He's fine. He was in a little foul trouble last night and didn't get the minutes he normally does. Granted, his scoring is down, but that's because of all the talent around him and the fact he doesn't get the ball enough.

Cole is irreplacable on the defensive end. Even if he doesn't block shots, he alters them. Plus, the team is lost without his rebounding. He didn't have very many minutes last night and yet he still got 9 boards.

Leave Cole alone.....he's fine. If you're going to rag on someone lately for his play, I think Xavier is a better person. Cole doesn't have to score to matter to this team as far as I'm concerned. He just needs to play good defense and rebound.

Chris Shaw 4 years, 10 months ago

Tyshawn Taylor: I've decided to start with Tyshawn Taylor because I thought this was the best game he's played in a long time. For the first time in a long time I think Taylor was just out there playing ball without thinking. I thought he picked his opportunities well and we even saw some old flashes of Taylor taking it to the rack. It was nice to see him picking his spots when he wanted to push it and when he wanted to get into the offense. For that I give Taylor a lot of props.

                     I also thought Taylor's engergy and intensity offensively and especaially defensively set a great tone for the Jayhawks.  I know it's one game, but I thought he made significant strides in just three days.  It looked like he was just having a little big of fun playing ball.  His decision making was fantastic tonight IMO.  Great job Taylor! Isn't it fun just to play the game of basketball?

                   My only negatives about Taylor: Missed that easy lay-up and that sequence with under a minute to play in the game was one he would like to forget.  The turnover which Collins left Taylor in a bad spot with the shot-clock winding down, but then he raced back on "D" and committed that foul on the 3.  I'll give Taylor a pass because he showed energy, effort and actually looked like he enjoyed himself tonight.

General: Wow! Did the Cornhuskers come ready to play or what? I kind of expected that, but down 12-1 was not the score I was expecting. Credit Nebraska because they came out on fire. I don't think KU came out "Flat" even though most will disagree with me. It was good to see Robinson get the start just to shake things up, but that wasn't the "Shake-up" I expected. Nonetheless, it sparked a fire in the Twins so either way it was probably a good move by Self. Robinson missed some defensive assignments early that lead to the early Nebraska run, but KU did come out with energy and that was biggest thing I was looking for when the game started.

Chris Shaw 4 years, 10 months ago

Offense: Somebody is going to have to help me out here because I am a little bit stumped. To be honest, there wasn't too much difference offensively between this game and the Tennessee game. The obvious big difference was that KU was "Hot" and knocked down a bunch of 3's (Thank you Tyrel). I also think the effort was there and the energy was simply better. On the flip side, there are some things that concern me. Feel free to offer your opinion about these points.

1)What happens if KU goes on another "Cold" shooting night? 21 attempts is a lot? Now I can't determine if KU's opponents defense is so good that it is totally stopping KU inside and preventing KU from getting into the paint that KU is taking their best shot around the arc or KU is getting pushed out around the arc and KU is "Settling" for the 3? I am not sure which it is. I still think it's problematic though.

2) The Ball movement was great tonight and it was good seeing somebody other than Sherron try to get to the rim and paint. Tyshawn did a better job of this and even though X was ineffective at doing it you could tell he had more energy and tried to pick his spots at driving on a couple of possessions. I still think KU needs to improve in this department, but you could tell Tyshawn and X were trying to incorporate that into the offense.

Defense: I thought overall the mindset was fantastic. Sure, KU gave up the early run, but at least there was energy and finally KU had some on the ball pressure which made the Nebraska guards uncomfortable. I thought Self did a lot better job of mixing up his defenses. I thought his "Timing" was better than the Tennessee game. On one possession KU played Zone and over the course of the dead ball switched to a man when the shot-clock had about 12 seconds left. I thought that was an excellent move.

         Self mixed up the press and did it in spurts which actually caught Nebraska off-guard on a couple of possessions.  Self actually did a Kamikaze effect which was nice to see.  Some of the switching needs to be better communicated as shooters were being left open, but IMO it was just great to see the intensity, energy and overall fire of the players take over on "D".

Chris Shaw 4 years, 10 months ago

Sherron Collins: Another typical All-American performance by Sherron Collins, AGAIN! He wasn't "Forcing" as much as he was against Cornell and Tennesse which was good to see, but he did take a couple of bad shots, but I'll let that slide. He is KU's energizer bunny! Love that kid!

Cole Aldrich: Cole is struggling there is no doubt about that. Again, nothing defensively you can really say anything negative about Aldrich. He does his job and he takes up space. Offensively, we as fans just need to accept Aldrich for who he is. This was the first time I saw him get frustrated on the offensive end. He forced a couple of shots during the double-team. Cole needs to watch how Kieff passes out of the double-team. Cole is still rushing when he gets two defenders around him. Hopefully, his passing will get better in that department because he's going to see more of it in future games.

              I don't think Aldrich has his legs right now.  It doesn't look like he has any bounce at the moment.  He did knock down that 16 footer which he did do consistenly last year.  That was encouraging to see.  I just think Cole is in a funk at the moment on the offensive end and he just needs to play his way out of it.  He will be fine.

Twins: Well, they woke up! I don't know if going 3-3 from 3 point range is good or not? They made them this time. It was nice to see Kieff try to rip down the rim off the pick and roll. He did a baby drop step off the pass and took it hard to the rack for the monster dunk. That was awesome to see. YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!

     Kiff made a great pass out of the double-team to his brother for the 3 point play.  They both still did some stupid things on the defensive end with rotatation, but that will be addressed.  Marcus shot great and they both responded well to a two game drought.  Kudos!

Chris Shaw 4 years, 10 months ago

X: I actually saw some fire out of X tonight. He did not have a great game, but you could tell he was trying out a few new things. Yes, He got that charge, but quite frankly it was good to see because that means he was actually trying to take somebody off the dribble. That was great to see! X will always have his shot anytime he wants it.

 I've said this for a long time now and it's getting repetitive, but he just needs to work on his "Triple Threat" position out beyond the arc.  I know it sounds very fundamental, but sometimes you need to get back to basics.  He needs to work on his "Pump and Go" move and it starts by selling his shot.  As Big as X is it would be nice to see X do a half post-up.   It's what Carmelo Anthony use to do and it's where Kobe Bryant usually posts up.   You don't post up on the block, but a little further out at about the 10-14 foot mark.  You can turn and face from either direction and shoot, pass, or make your move.  I think that would be a viable option for X since he is not comfortable putting the ball on the floor for more than 2 dribbles.    What do you all think?

Robinson: He's going to get it eventually! I love his energy and he did have great energy at the start of the game, but he did miss his rotations on defense there at the start. Good to see that he lit a fire for the twins. Nice play diving out of bounds for a loose ball.

Morningstar: Made some good plays with the cut to the basket late and the tip out rebound off a miss was "Huge". I would like to see Morningstar look for his shot just a tad more coming off those screens, but another typical Morningstar game.

Reed: Where was this on Sunday? Great shooting is what KU needs from Reed and that was exactly what he did tonight. He had that "huge" block, but I think it was goal-tend personally. His "D" was a lot better as well.

EJ: Got some time, which was good to see, but I was hoping for some more time. EJ did have that nice move out of the offense late in the first half, but called for hooking his arm. I didn't get to see it fully so I don't know. What I loved and even though he got called for the offensive foul he made a move to get to the rim. Nobody else from KU is making that type of move so that is why I would like to see EJ get some more minutes. EJ is fearless and I hope he keeps his head up.

Conclusion: Nice win in Lincoln as Nebraska always plays KU tough. Engergy was great and it was good to see the intenstiy again. I saw some changes tonight for the good so I hope it only gets better from here on out with the offense and the offensive sets. It should, but I hope KU does tweak some things just in case they have that "Cold" shooting night.

Rock Chalk Go KU!

Chris Shaw 4 years, 10 months ago

KU: You bring up a good point about KU going small! I think this is a great opportunity for EJ to get minutes. Sherron, Tyshawn or X, EJ, Morningstar or Reed, and a big. I like that idea and I like that combination. The only thing I don't like when KU goes small is that both Reed and Morningstar are playing at the same time.

When I noticed what Self did during the game I was actually excited, but than I wasn't because I thought that would be a great opportunity for EJ to get minutes. I think it's the perfect opportunity because it can allow EJ to feel confident with the 4 guard set. Just my two cents.

Chris Shaw 4 years, 10 months ago

"also couldn’t overcome a hot shooting night for KU, as the Jayhawks made 13 of their 21 three-point attempts (62 percent).

In KU’s last game against Tennessee, the Jayhawks went just 7-for-27 from behind the arc (26 percent).

“Flip a coin. They’ve not been making them, and they made them tonight,” Sadler said. “When you play a team like that, you’re going to give up something.”

The above paragraph is from the Doc Sadler article and it is very telling to me. Teams are going to have to give up something. All it takes is one loss for KU to go home in March, but I think most will probably gamble on the fact that opponents would rather see KU beat them from the arc then anywhere else on the floor. Tennessee did it and it worked, and Nebraska tried and it failed. It's not always going to work, but there will be a few times where it does work. I just hope it doesn't happen during the 6 games in March.

This is why IMO KU has got to get "Tougher" on offense and create lanes by getting their guards into foul trouble out on the perimeter. I loved the ball movement last night, but I would like to see KU's guards get the other guards into foul trouble. That would be an intersting stat to see. I bet the Tennessee game it was terrible. I bet Nebraska wasn't much better.

truehawkfan 4 years, 10 months ago

I honestly don't think Cole had a bad game. The only thing I think HCBS may have had a problem with was the fouling. (Any coach would be upset if you had to sit him because of fouls.) Look, we shot (and made) a lot of three's because they were packing it in, so Cole had a hard time catching. Nebraska gambled on us shooting 3's. Doc is a good coach. I am sure his strategy was to not let Cole catch the ball. Even if he doesn't score, we always get an open look somewhere if he catches the ball. You also have to figure that Cole is the main focus of every teams scouting report. He had a great year last year because no one knew what he could do, so he got to score a lot. Now, everyone knows what he can do. Simple fact of the matter is he is still a top 5 pick in the NBA regardless of what happens to his scoring numbers this year. I saw him play with more emotion last night. You know it has to be frustrating getting the hell beat out of you every game!! So, I think Cole is still the backbone of this team with Collins as the brainchild.

Last note, I am not sold X is NBA ready. He has the body, just not the mentality yet. He loves basketball enough to get it fixed, plus he truly is trying to be a teammate. Others such as Wall are only worried about where they will go in the draft. I really don't think X is even thinking about it right now. He is trying to learn the game of basketball the way it is supposed to be played. Enough from me. Now, Screw you guys...I'm goin' home.

Joe Baker 4 years, 10 months ago

Overall a great team effort. They didn't have that same "island" look as before. I was really impressed with TT. I think his shooting confidence is rising.

I liked the man to zone back to man. That was an interesting strategy used by CS.

If they keep this same intensity and improve that press, they'll be better over the next 2-3 games. I'm seeing marked improvement.

X hit a few and he seems to be in and out of ruts with each series on the offensive end.

Good win!

RCJHKU

RckChalkJeff 4 years, 10 months ago

Good crap kushaw...you can't say what you need to in 5 posts? had to make it 6.

Way to go on a "Jaybate like" douche nozzle posting.

Alan Mills 4 years, 10 months ago

It's always nice to get a road win in conference. Still, last night's game presents several concerns that remain for our team.

  1. Aldrich is still not showing signs of "All-American" status. He rebounds like a man and blocks everything, but he's non-existent at the offensive end. He simply cannot score. His inability to dunk the ball from 6-inches reminded me of the Morris twins from last year. And, they dunk everything this year! Aldrich needs help with offense if we hope to remain at the top this season.
  2. Robinson is a nice prospect, but he's just not ready for the big time quite yet. He'll be there down the road, though, but not this year.
  3. Sherron is fantastic. Yet, he continues to make too many poor decisions. Shot selection is erratic, at best. Defensively, his man beats him to the basket anytime he wants. Sherron will have to be smarter if we hope to challenge Texas for the conference crown.
  4. Xavier is not the player we were led to believe. I don't see him being in a "funk". He's just not that good. Reed is, in general, a better shooter. Xavier cannot defend, period. He has absolutely no sense of team offense. He cannot create his own shot. He's tall, so he can rebound well. But, he seems to think he's either too good or too cool to box out. Brandon Rush was 10x the player Xavier is as a freshman, and he's having a tough time doing anything productive in the NBA. If Xavier leaves after one year, it will be our gain.
  5. Finally, our best player, without a doubt, is Morningstar. If he does not join the starting line-up soon, we'll be fortunate to make the Sweet 16 and will have virtually no shot at a conference championship. He needs to start and play as many minutes as Sherron, like last year. There isn't anything he does poorly. In fact, he covers all aspects of the game well.

It was nice to see Tyshawn play better last night. Was I the only one who noticed Tyshawn and Sherron jawing at each other after that late turnover. Sherron, thinking the ball had to be in his hands, brought his man over to Tyshawn, allowing Sherron's man to get the steal in a double-team. It looked like Sherron barked something about "taking care of the ball", to which Tyshawn came back with "don't bring your man to me" (that's my best effort at reading lips, but I'm pretty sure that's what he said). On TV, you could see the anger in Sherron's face after that reply! Those two must get along for us to succeed. They work so well together...I wonder if they know that?!

Hope to see us improve...we need to.

Joe Baker 4 years, 10 months ago

kushaw- You mentioned the defensive end and getting opposing guards into foul trouble. I really appreciated the observation from Rafterty last night about defenders controlling their attempts to block shots by swiping across and to the side of shooters. All KU does is go right at shooters and they wind up fouling them. In most cases, knocking them down!

This would be a great defensive drill for our D to practice with trey shooters. We need to stop jumping right into shooters and start jumping or swiping to the side of shooters to prevent 3pt charity stripe opps.

Sean Rodger 4 years, 10 months ago

If this KU team is supposed to win a National Championship I'm not seein' it. Yeah we are deep, but we only show up to play 20 minutes out of 40. I'm glad we have 3 point shooters, but we are far to reliant on the deep ball. Nobody drives to the hoop and creates off the drive until the second half. Cole is damn near non-existant in the post, the Morris twins pick and choose which games to play in, and at times Sherron can seem to try to do to much (although he has been great down the stretch when we need him). Have you seen Xavier? Just wondering where he's gone the past few games? You can tell sometimes when he hasn't gotten to shoot that he'll throw something up the second he touches the ball. I don't know if I can see this team winning the Big 12 this year - let alone a National Championship. We clearly haven't gelled as a team, and there is only a month and a half until March! Everyone here on the message boards is saying "Bill will whip 'em into shape" and "he'll get this team together". Really? It hasn't happened yet and we've had a weak non-con schedule, and have been playing since Oct./Nov.

We are deep as hell, but it doesn't matter how many great players you have if you can't get 'em working as a functional unit.

I really hope I'm wrong - I want to be wrong. I'm not trying to be pessimistic, but seriously - this team needs to find a killer instinct and fast!

CaramelMacchMan 4 years, 10 months ago

Cole is getting Tripple teamed.. I think if any Teams wants to beat KU... They should just let Cole have his 15 points because if other team gets in 3 point shooting contest, 9 out of 10 times KU is going to win. ( Tenn. was that one team including KUs TO)

Chris Shaw 4 years, 10 months ago

Rckchaljeff: I only had 4 posts! My fifth post was in response to another poster "KU" and his comments and I thought the Doc Sadler article had a lot of good information on his comments. Sadler is a smart guy and good coach and I think some of his comments tells the story about this KU team. Thanks RckChalkjeff! Maybe I'll shoot for 7 next time. LOL!

docileboy 4 years, 10 months ago

As to what is wrong with Cole; I think he is too pre-occupied with that damn mouthpiece to focus on basketball. He just about gags me taking that thing in and out of his mouth. I can't imagine how many NBA dollars that mouthpiece is costing him. As far as Tyshawn Taylor goes, I think he will become a superstar as soon as he realizes that evry shot he takes,pass he makes, dribble, etc. doesn't have to make the highlight reel

Chris Shaw 4 years, 10 months ago

Caramel: "Cole is getting Tripple teamed.. I think if any Teams wants to beat KU... They should just let Cole have his 15 points because if other team gets in 3 point shooting contest, 9 out of 10 times KU is going to win. ( Tenn. was that one team including KUs TO)"

That's why Doc Sadler's comments that I copied above are important. As an opposing coach that is the question you have to ask yourself? Am I going to sag in the paint and stop post play or am I going to pressure the "3" and leave Aldrich, Twins, and Robinson open for dunks. Some even may try to play straight up. Nobody knows, but it's something coaches have to choose. Bruce Pearl eveidently had a good game plan.

Chris Shaw 4 years, 10 months ago

truehawk: I also heard that from Rafterty. I agree with it! Also, I was actually talking about on offense getting the opposing guards into foul trouble. With the dribble weave up on top that KU does every now and then; It doesn't allow pressure to the basket, but rather side to side.

           I know the purpose is to get the defense to have a mental lapse, but prior to the Nebraska game the KU guards were not getting in the paint and creating except Sherron.  Taylor did a little bit last night and X had more intensity, but for the most part KU's guards didn't draw that many fouls on Nebraska's guards.  I don't know the official stat, but it would be interesting to see.

          Because of all the pick and rolls that KU does more times than not you usually see KU's guards picking up fouls on the big man that is trying to hedge.  That is still good, but I would like to see KU's guards put pressure on the opponents guards.  Too many times I feel like they are getting a "Pass" on their defensive possessions.  It's almost like they are completely satisfied by playing token pressure.

NebraskaJayhawk 4 years, 10 months ago

"What's going on with Cole?"

He is not a good offensive player and probably never will be. He struggles against other big men on the offensive end of the court. Great defensive player, but as an overall player, my best comparison to him is Greg Ostertag. A little better offensively, but not a whole lot. He dunks better than O-tag because he has a 10" vertical instead of a 7".

Just my opinion.

Joe Baker 4 years, 10 months ago

docileboy (anonymous) says... As to what is wrong with Cole; I think he is too pre-occupied with that damn mouthpiece to focus on basketball.

I think he's still a little timid about his nose and tooth!

beatmastermatt 4 years, 10 months ago

The fact is, Cole is not as open as he used to be now that everyone in the country knows he is good. Nearly every time he touched the ball last night he was immediately triple teamed. But that's ok, because that left plenty of excellent shooters open. And how about those two blocks in a row he had on Diaz? Diaz will be an NBA, big-time player (eventually), and that was impressive to me.

leonard 4 years, 10 months ago

We've seen and heard this from the twins before...professing to finally get it...and then going back in the tank.

Xavier Giddens has proven to be a big time player against ordinary competition.

The offensive flow is pretty sluggish...passing around the perimeter and settling for jump shots is not the way a championship contender plays.

Perimeter defense...a little better effort but not producing much different results. Cole and company can handle the inside defense but the guards better start guarding someone.

It was a good road win but the only difference between losing to Tennessee and beating Nebraska? We shot 58% overall and 62% from 3-land last night.

Relying on hot shooting will produce a lot of wins this year because of our talent...but doesn't bode well for a deep run in March.

Brett Forreal 4 years, 10 months ago

I'm glad we got the "W" but with this caliber of play we are going to lose several and be out quick in March. We may not even be a number one seed like ESPN says. I hate to say this, but I'm afraid it is true. ESPN noted that KU is not playing up to its ability and seems not focused. If we played Texas or UK now we would get thumped bad I'm afraid. Something is got to change quick. Teams now are triple teaming Cole, so it seems he is kinda giving up at times, and X is in a bad funk. We can't get into a 3 shot out and expect to win every game, like Tennesse game. This is what Neb. did, just followed Tennesse game plan against us. Other teams are thinking take away the high percentage shot down low and make us win with the three. Every team will have off nights from the three point range as we did at Tennesse and we lost pretty bad. Something different has to happen down low to get guys off Cole. Twins have got to step up every game, if Cole can't be freed up. Luckily the twins did this last night. We have got to get more high percentage shots easily, not just rely on deep three's or throwing up fast break layups. You will lose games only relying on this.

Joe Baker 4 years, 10 months ago

kushaw- I thought TT showed some great penetration from the baseline side. X really needs to get into the mix. I don't understand his thinking. X dribbles around the perimeter and then shoots. He's so effective by penetrating and will usually finish.

Your point is great and they need to recognize when defenses set up against them when the drive. A good disappointing example was SC against Diaz. I can't believe SC charged into a big man and drew a charge!!

They really need to be strong and aggressive, but know when to dish without charging. They also need to control those passes in the air too. They have a real bad habit of passing line drives into defenders, only to have them turnover.

truehawkfan 4 years, 10 months ago

kushaw, I think you and I are on the same page. I agree with your overview of our offense. I don't know if I like our offensive system, but I am a fan that pays to go to games. Self is a basketball junkie who gets paid to do what we all think we can do better. I think with our guards, we could put more pressure on the defense and get more open looks in the post if we could draw another defender from guard penetration. I don't like all the screens we have our post players doing, but on the cut to the block after the screen, if we get the ball reversed quickly, the post look is there. We have a lot to work on defensively. I feel like we switch too often and that draws a lot of mismatch opportunities for the opposing team, but again, Self knows what he is doing and is a great teacher. All I know how to do is teach my 5 year old to get me a beer from the fridge in less than 10 seconds.

Joe Baker 4 years, 10 months ago

leonard- I thought the twins were great! They moved their feet and made some huge treys. I like to see big men shoot and hit treys. They look more confident each time they shoot those treys.

Also, their footwork in the paint looked much stronger. Their screens and slips were near perfect. They weren't bad on the boards either. They really cleaned on some seconds around the rim.

They keep working on some of these staples, they'll get better by season's end.

bradynsdad 4 years, 10 months ago

it amazes me that even with a win regardless by one point or thirty someone is always to blame. who would you rather see play than cole? i dont trust anyone else. it is ok for a player and teams to go through rough patches. "how much can you really know about yourself if you've never been in a fight." brad pitt, fight club

Tony Bandle 4 years, 10 months ago

kushaw...a posting that would make Jaybate proud

soobawls....agreed, although they both showed a lot of little hustle play moves i.e. Reed's block, Brady's tip out to Marcus, and both scored, etc.

Cole....I think his grandmother's condition is bothering him much more than we realize and seeing him run the floor, you can just tell he isn't at 100%, He needs to keep the ball high to avoid the steals from slapping little guys.

Unfortunately the Twin Tower offense with Cole and Jeff ain't gonna happen this year!!

One Other Comment...WE DID WIN, DIDN'T WE!!??????????

NebraskaJayhawk 4 years, 10 months ago

I don't think anyone wants to see anyone else on the court besides Cole. I certainly don't. I think he's a great individual and leader. My comment was just that he isn't a power on the offensive end of the court when he's playing against other big men. I think anybody that follows the 'hawks can see that 75% of the time.

But he's a great defensive player and will have a lengthy NBA career...just won't be a scorer.

Alan Mills 4 years, 10 months ago

My earlier post was long, I know. But I am stunned to see all this talk about Aldrich. He must play...he's the cornerstone of our defense and rebounding. I'm shocked that none of the scholars on this board are talking about Morningstar. Maybe I'm alone on this one, but I just don't see us reaching anything close to our goals if he is not inserted into the starting line-up (in place of Xavier) soon. And, his minutes should mirror Sherron's. He is easily the best basketball player on the court last night, and every night!

kennethst 4 years, 10 months ago

I was just looking at the "game-time" article .....I'm truly amazed by some of the comments some of you were making when KU was down early. I bet you feel really stupid now.

Morons like this are the ones that created these ridiculous expectations for our team......and then they get pissed that the team does not live up to the expectations that THEY created! Amazing.

Guess what......KU is not always going to win 100-0. Deal with it!!!

leonard 4 years, 10 months ago

truehawk93,

I agree with your comments on the twins...in the game last night.

My only knock is that they don't produce those results or effort game in and game out. I'm a fan of the twins and don't expect them to play like all-americans every night. But it's getting a little tiresome that they have to get a butt-chewing or special film sessions to motivate them.

It's not too much to expect them to give 100% for a couple of hours in practice and on game day.

KUFan90 4 years, 10 months ago

great posts kushaw. I agree with the idea on X posting up at the 10-14' mark. Seems like he would have much more versatility than simply drifting aimlessly around the perimeter. You can see he is indecisive out there at times. He wants to drive it but isn't sure when, and is afraid of the charge. He can shoot it just about anytime, but he is supposed to pass in to the post so he tries to not just jack up 3s. Seems like he would be much more dangerous in that post up and give us another entry alternative other than "pass it to Cole".

Also, the foul on EJ was legit. I backed it up a few times and you could clearly see the hook with his left arm. But I loved the idea, and wish he had seen more minutes.

Joe Baker 4 years, 10 months ago

Oh for sure...consistency has always been the biggest opp!

shinguard 4 years, 10 months ago

Is it just be or did TT play his best when Sherron was on the bench. I thought he just looked more relaxed. It is like the court is just not big enough for the 2 of them.

Joe Baker 4 years, 10 months ago

Oakville- I thought BM played really smart. He did little things that resulted in big results. He became a util man. He also hit a trey or two too!! BM's b-ball IQ will be huge. We forget that he's still getting into the swing of things from his little debacle.

If he gets into full swing, I hope we see more cosistency from BM as the season continues.

Jetson 4 years, 10 months ago

KUShaw, great analysis, as usual. One question for you however:

Is there a "Reason" you put "Random" words in "Quotation Marks" throughout your "Paragraphs?"

I just picture you typing along speaking out loud and doing the little "fingers in the air, quotation mark" thing to yourself.

86finalfour 4 years, 10 months ago

I think it takes a while for these young players to learn Self's defensive system and it remains to be seen if these guys can execute it by March. We must remember that most of these talents never played D in high school. Self reminds me of Larry Brown in that once the team 'buys into their system,' they become champions. I'm just not sure if these next few months will be enough time. This year might be a redux of 2007 team and next year could be the year.

Joe Baker 4 years, 10 months ago

Does anyone truly see any of the current players going to the NBA?

I honestly don't think any of them should think of going yet.

I see them all staying another year, even X (contrary to opinion). I really believe he has all the tools, but frankly, he needs much more development at the current level. I've said before and I'll say it again, Rush made huge improvements and did himself a favor for staying inadvertently (injury) for another year before going. I also think Cole needs to stay too and get some more from Manning!!

SC graduating will give us one scholly for either Lamb, Selby or Knight! If any one of them commits. Lamb and Knight seem to be leaning East. Selby may be the only one leaning KU, "leaning."

They'll do what they want, but they would be much better off skill wise if they do. They will sit the pine if they go now.

Ryan Wilson 4 years, 10 months ago

i didn't get to watch the game last night because of work. I was wondering what the starting lineup was???

hawk_of_ages 4 years, 10 months ago

Hmm. I don't remember any top-of-the-key jump shots -- or tournament triple doubles -- from Greg Ostertag.

Cole Aldrich is a great offensive player. He's just in a slump, and as many have pointed out, he is getting double- and sometimes triple-teamed. I think he's been making some nice passes out of the double teams -- had a great cross-court assist to Sherron last night. It's just something he's learning to adjust to, and as the twins improve, that will gradually take the defensive pressure off of Cole.

oldalum 4 years, 10 months ago

Enjoyed your comments KUshaw. Have to disagree, though, about Reid's blocked shot. Goal tending from that location? Maybe you were kidding, because if the ball was on its way down when it got to Reid, it wasn't going to reach the basket.

Vincent Patterson 4 years, 10 months ago

Sherron is a beast, nuff said.

Cole - I'm starting to realize that Cole just isn't as great of an offensive player as I originally thought, but he gives you everything else you need in a big man on the defensive end and the boards. I say just stop expecting so much from him offensively and the nights he does go for 15-18 points, that's all gravy.

Kieff - If they are double and tripple teaming Cole, that means more scoring opportunities for Kieff. After seeing how Cole is playing offensively so far, I really believe a key ingredient to our success this season is actually going to be what he does, or whoever plays at the 4 (whether it be Robinson or can Withey see some clock?) when Cole is in the game. That was a nice finish at the rack last night by the way!

Marcus - All the potential in the world, he just has to bring it consistently. Even on nights when he doesn't shoot it lights out, there are still other ways to contribute and help the team win, it's called hustle.

TyShawn - Just stay away from the media, Facebook, and Twitter and you'll be fine.

Reed - At least you know what you are going to get out of this guy every game. For him, it's all about if he's hittin his shots, because he really doesn't give you anything else offensively. But as long as he is hitting a high percentage of his shots, his minutes are fine. Nice goal-tend, I mean block last night BTW.

Brady - I was a Brady-Basher and was actually disgusted when he returned to the team, because I was loving the rotation and chemistry that was building with some of the Freshman, but, after watching several games, I see why Bill has him out there so much. He is one of those "glue-guys". Doesn't really turn the ball over and almost always makes the right pass. Good, selective perimeter shooter and brings it on Defense almost every single night. Still can't penetrate worth a dam, but if Sherron and X or Sherron and TyShawn are in with him at the same time, he doesn't necessarily have to. I tell you what, if it were up to that commentator last night, I think he would put Brady in the college basketball hall of fame!

Xavier - The first letter in your name says it all. You are the X factor. When you are on the floor with other shooters like Reed or Morningstar, that is when you need to go to work attacking the basket. Being aggressive does not necessarily mean shooting more threes! It means attacking the basket off the dribble and finishing with your strength, or sucking the defense in and kicking it out to the other GOOD shooters on our team. Shot selection was very shaky last night.

Elijah, CJ, and T-Rob - Just keep busting your tails in practice and getting better. If Self wants to win it all this year, he will eventually have to give you bigger roles and more minutes. This CURRENT rotation has disaster/underachievement written all over it (if the tourney were to start tomorrow). BIll will figure it out though.

Vincent Patterson 4 years, 10 months ago

HCBS - Ahhhh to see him bring that full court pressure last night was a thing of beauty. Nice addition to his defensive package, glad to see he didn't abandon it after using it in the Tenn game (especially after that article about the press). Definitely hope to see more of it.

milehighhawk 4 years, 10 months ago

fanatic - Robinson replaced Marcus - rest was the same.

hawksince51 4 years, 10 months ago

It seems like Cole is satisfied with being a D and RB specialist and is not at all aggressive on the O end of the floor. Two out of 3 ain't bad but we need more out of him on O if we are going to make the final 4. In the few minutes that we went small and Marcus played the 5, I saw our best O post play of the year. X is a big concern on O--we need more out of the 3 spot than standing on the 3-pt line waiting for a pass. Collins was the man again and that works so long as he gets support from another 2 or 3 guys.. Last night that was Marcus, Reed and Taylor.

ParisHawk 4 years, 10 months ago

oldalum says... "Goal tending from that location? Maybe you were kidding, because if the ball was on its way down when it got to Reid, it wasn't going to reach the basket."

Doesn't matter if the ball is going up or down, once it hits the backboard it's goaltending. That was clearly the case.

Scott Smetana 4 years, 10 months ago

TrueHawk, I've got my 4 year old girl getting me a beer in 8 seconds... your son needs to step it up. I'm concerned come March he's going to let us down.

I think analyzing this team is easy... having an awesome season depends on 3 things. 1. Stingy defense... no doubt we'll get there. 2. X finding his game. 3. The twins being a big part of the game in helping Cole.

It'll happen, we have Self. That said, I'm already thinking about champtionship next year.

Starting 5 next year? Taylor X Morningstar Morris Morris

Bench: Robinson Whithey Reed EJ CJ

40-0 next year, why not? Hell, I could probably do the same for 2011-2012. We're set everyone, quit your beaaaching.

Joe Baker 4 years, 10 months ago

bhann- X is definitely in a funky slump!! He stroked a few last night, not typical with so many misses. Cole seems to be in a strange slump. TT's trey shooting is getting better and wish he could've finished at the rim w/ 3 pt finishes.

They did fine!

Joe Baker 4 years, 10 months ago

Yep! I agree. X is too big of a player and he needs to put up or shut up!! He's young, but he's got to grow up fast if he plays with the men in the NBA. I for one am sick of hearing him going to the NBA. He's not ready, period.

Pikes- Which son are you referring to?

hawk_of_ages 4 years, 10 months ago

Fair criticism of X, but given his scoring abilities, why aren't we running any plays for him to get him untracked? It's a little unfair to just expect the kid to improvise.

lrahardja 4 years, 10 months ago

Our opponents knew that in order to beat KU, they needed to execute quick screens for open shots somewhere near the 3 point line. These are their best chances to score against KU stingy defense. In the second half, KU decided to extend their defense area to guard NU outside of their comfort 3 pts shooting zone, hence NU started to miss.

truehawkfan 4 years, 10 months ago

turehawk93, I think he was talking to me. Now I have to chew my kids butt because a 4 year old is fetching beer faster.

Joe Baker 4 years, 10 months ago

hawkofages- I really don't think CS wants any one play to go through any one perimeter player. All plays seem to go through the paint as a first option. They run that little 2-3 man shuffle pass on the perimeter (ie. 2008 Chalmers/SC shot).

The bigs then get into the passing lanes, while the guards pass. After 2-3 passes, you notice that either a big sets a high screen/slip or the guards penetrate. X tries to create his own offense if he gets open enough after the passing and dribbling. He usually has room to shoot. He can hit this shot if he's in the right place. Last night he dribbled around and tried to create his own shot. He failed to rely on his teammates for some screens or passes, little impatient.

But no one play focuses nor will CS allow a play to depend on X. The guard who gets the opp will make the play or shot!! This is HCBS guard play. Unlike Sleazy, we don't rely on 1-2 players to create our offense. Sleazy does this dribble/drive with one guard, ie. Rose or now Wall!!

Joe Baker 4 years, 10 months ago

Yeah. I read your post and saw your comment about your son!! LOL

ravenjayhawk 4 years, 10 months ago

X is spotting up & staying in the same spot on the wing just like JR did. If you are hitting it's great, if you aren't it is a game of clunkers.

truehawkfan 4 years, 10 months ago

Its actually my daughter. If I had a son, he would drink the beer and give me the empty.

Joe Baker 4 years, 10 months ago

LOL- I'm out folks. I've said to much. I'm reading from here out!!

RCJHKU Beat Tech!

jaybate 4 years, 10 months ago

soobawls (anonymous) says...

"It just seems like reed plays just as good...or even better defense than morningstar." - no

Let me second that.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Brady can guard the opponents best scorer. He did it all last season. And he can play tight or loose, as Self asks. Everyone looks good defending tight, just like a well tailored suit makes everyone look good. But the truly elegant guys can wear the looser and more casual styles and still look like a million bucks. Brady can sag off and help when Self says, "Help him for god's sakes!" and still defend handsomely.

Brady's anticipation is nothing short of phenomenal. His foot quickness and nimbleness are astonishing. His spatial sense of where people are is astonishing, too. He gets out of teammates' ways a pass before they even realize it might be good if he would. The only guy who can play tighter--but only for short stretches--is Tyshawn. Tyshawn could become a better defender than Brady (probably will eventually), because: a) Tyshawn is one of the quickest and fastest human beings ever to walk on wood; and b) Tyshawn recovers defensively at nearly the speed of light. Alas, Tyshawn's anticipation and court awareness are works in progress and so not quite as good as Brady's.

Brady and Tyshawn highlight the two greatest qualities defenders can have. Brady plays such great defense because he almost always guesses right on how and where he defends in any situation. Tyshawn plays such great defense, because he can recover so fast from any mistake he makes. Ty makes more mistakes, but recovers faster. Brady makes fewer mistakes, but recovers more slowly. There's something to be said for both kinds of defenders.

Self's Platonic ideal of a defender is probably a guy with Brady's anticipation and Tyshawn's recovery time. It wouldn't hurt if he were also 4-5 inches taller, maybe 25 pounds heavier, too.

Well, to be specific, Brandon Rush. :-)

jaybate 4 years, 10 months ago

But even Brandon was not quite the Platonic ideal. He lacked Mario's and RR's quick hands and burglar-like cunning regarding strips.

Tyrel?

Tyrel is just now achieving defensive competancy; i.e., he rarely gets faked out of his jock, or blown by any more. Tyrel is still a work in progress.

But this is not to diss Tyrel. Tyrel is about light year beyond where he was last year. Or if you need more contemporary comparison, he is about a light year beyond where Elijah Johnson is today. Yes, Elijah of the fabulous athleticism and perfect attitude, cannot reliably guard his own shadow presently. What fools so many right now is that even his mistakes look so incredibly athletic. :-)

But this is not to diss The Prophet. The Prophet is going to be a great one, if he has the work ethic of Tyrel. His athletic potential is off the meter. But he can't guard on- and off-ball better than Tyrel yet.

Back to Tyrel.

jaybate 4 years, 10 months ago

Tyrel is such a directed worker (everyone of these players works hard, but only some can bring the kind of focus it takes to actually improve sharply at what they are naturally lousy at), and has such good sprinting speed and anticipation, that by the time he is a senior, he very likely will be able to over come his limited forward/backward and lateral agility that Self will finally look him in the eye and say, "Tyrel, you finally learned to play defense." This will be the greatest day in Tyrel's life to that time. Tyrel is blessed with some incredible basketball talents that most don't appreciate, but he is cursed with "slow feet." Many good sprinters have slow feet and Tyrel is clearly fast in sprints. But it takes quick feet to defend well. Because he is so obsessed, he and Hudy and Self will eventually probably prove that "slow feet" can be speeded up to adequate, if one works at it long enough. He will never have the foot quickness of Brady, or Tyshawn, I suppose, but I am convinced that Tyrel will get to the defensive promised land for him that would be an above average defender. When he does, it will mark one of the great athletic accomplishments in KU basketball. We always focus most on the achievement of greatness. But Wooden was right. The real standard is becoming the very best you can be with what you've got. When Tyrel becomes the very best he can be defensively, he will very likely have improved a greater increment than many other perimeter players on the team, because he had far to go. And he will be potting treys at 40% when the rest of the guys on the bench are still watching old "slow foot," because they couldn't become 40% trifectates. Life isn't fair. Teahan is probably a vastly better trifectate, but hasn't been able to overcome his slow feet (yet...I never give up on anyone). Properly focused, hard work can certainly lessen the asymmetries god and nature seem so partial to.

Tyrel is working on his feet.

Tyshawn is working on his anticipation and court awareness.

Brady is working on his recovery time.

God, this is one of the things I love most about basketball!!

Guys not only having something to get better at, but actually working their butts off and getting better at it!!!!

Rock chalk!

kennethst 4 years, 10 months ago

Jaybate----

Well done as usual.

What do you make of the comments by Tyshawn Taylor ...ie-not knowing his role?

Chris Shaw 4 years, 10 months ago

oldalum: You may be right, however, I ran that thing back a couple of times and to me it looked like the ball hit the backboard first and then Reed came in and blocked. It was very close and I do agree that the ball was never on the way down, but from my perspective I thought it unfortuantely hit the backboard first and fortuantely for KU, Reed got the block!

Chris Shaw 4 years, 10 months ago

Jetson: Funny post and thanks for the words! I don't know why I do the quotation mark thing. I know it's not proper and I really don't pay attention to it much, but basketball is such a hard sport to talk about. It's much easier for me to play than to talk about it.

There are so many words not commonly used to describe the action on a basketball court. I think I do it because I want someone who is a casual basketball fan reading the post to focus on what I mean when I am talking "Triple Threat" rather than just triple threat.

Again, I wasn't an english major so I know I make some rather fundamental mistakes when I type, but I really don't have time to edit my posts. Now, if the LJW wanted to pay me and I could do this as a profession than I would take a little more time and think about what I spew on these message boards. Hopefully, Keegan could be my mentor and do all my editing for me.

I am sorry about the quotation marks, but it's a stupid habit and yes, I do walk around in my house with my hands constantly in the air making the quotations sign. LOL!

Chris Shaw 4 years, 10 months ago

KUfan: Thanks for the words! I don't know I just think a half post-up for X out from the lane inside the arc would do him wonders and open some things up for him. Carmelo Anthony was one of the best college players I've ever seen with the mid-range catch and face game. Melo did a number on Langford in the 2003 Championship game. I didn't like watching it, but it was quite pretty to see.

Most college players usually gain that skill as they get older or when they get into the professional ranks, but Danny Manning is also a great teacher of this skill. I think X could follow in the same mold and I think it could be a "Quick-Fix" to get him going towards the basket a little more.

Finally, you are probably right about EJ, but I also love the idea even though he did hook his arm. I was clapping even though the possession was going the other way. I still think it would be nice to get EJ 8-12 minutes a game. He loves playing and his energy is awesome. I say let him play through some mistakes.

Chris Shaw 4 years, 10 months ago

Whomever made the comparison above and said the sarcastic statement about Xavier Giddens is actually somewhat accurate with that sarcasm. Let's make sure, however, that we separate Giddens off the court antics with his on court play. X is in no way in the cateogory that Giddens displayed off the court.

On the flip side, when we talk strictly about the two playing the game of basketball, remarkably there are quite a few similarities. As athletic as Giddens was, I was always perplexed at how he couldn't get to the rim. X kind of falls into the same mold although I do think X is a better player. There are some similarities there.

jaybate 4 years, 10 months ago

kennethst,

I wrote at some length (gross understatement) yesterday that Tyshawn was being honest about himself and some others...and that it probably would have been wiser diplomatically had he not spoken to the press about it.

I think the role of the 2 position on this team is complex and problematic given the impact players at the 1, 3 and 5 spots. The hi-lo and pick and role sets combined with the talents of Collins and Cole yield a down the middle game, regardless of how good the wing is.

But Self is trying to integrate a 3 in X that he has until NU, given a lot of shots to. This has disrupted the down the middle dynamic this year, the same way fitting Little in did last year.

Self does not actually have a final solution as to how to make this work and is having to try different things.

Self has shifted half of Tyshawn's shots, plus 5 of Sherron's shots, from last year to X at the three this year.

Then Self ran into Tyshawn's elbow problem that has lowered him from a 36% trey rate to a 26% trey shooter. Ty can't take a trey, and they sag off him so he can't slash.

So: Self turned Tyshawn's 2 into this glue spot (defense, feed the post, no TOs, no shots unless wide open) like Brady at the 3 last year, but with a further modification. The 2 is effectively the PG part of the time.

Sherron brings the ball up the court much of the time and looks to create. If no creation option, then to Ty who sets things up.

Ty is having to learn to be glue, learn to run the offense, and defend like he always could, all without a good dominant right arm that defenses increasingly exploit.

Ty is overwhelmed part of the time with the job that Self has tasked him with.

And since the Temple game, Self has been breaking down the team, dismantling the team, to force it to forge a team identity.

No doubt Self did not tell his players that he was purposefully destroying a number one team in order to rebuild it.

There had to be confusion, self doubting, and confusion about roles emerge from what Self was doing.

It is what he intended IMHO.

The guys all thought they were too good...and they were. But they were not really a team. They were just a very talented group of individuals that could beat most lesser teams handily. But Self knew that to be the best they could be, they had to become a team. He knew their opponents alone weren't good enough to precipitate the blast furnace that was needed to forge the new team. So: Self did it. He tore them down. Undermotivated them. And threw them to the dogs. It took a few games, but they finally cracked wide open the first half against Nebraska. Even Sherron got scared and lost the eye of the tiger in the first half, when Self was making intensionally looney substitutions and fielding teams that couldn't possibly separate from NU.

jaybate 4 years, 10 months ago

I'm not saying Self wanted to lose any games. He didn't. But he was willing to lose one or more if he had to to forge the team. He really believed the team could struggle through what he was doing to them on their raw talent. But he guessed wrong about UTenn. They played over their heads and KU shot horribly. They lost.

Tyshawn was just, probably unintentionally, lifting the curtain like Dorothy and Toto did on the Wizard, when he talked about role confusion. Wizards don't like to be witnessed while they work. Self bristled and called him on the carpet. But notice: Self did not bench him. He started him and played him big minutes. Self believes in Tyshawn and probably was not at all surprised that one of the players eventually got so confused by what he was doing that they spoke out. At the same time he had to manage it quickly.

Self isn't done with forging this team either. I would guess things will be pretty brutal against TTech again. He'll let them come together for KSU. Then see where they stand. He is in a process of building a team the he thinks is strong enough to go to a ring in March; that's all and that's everything.

But underlying all of this is a significant, though not necessarily terminal structural flaw in the definition of the 2 position.

Think of a basketball team like a mobile hanging from the ceiling. If it is all strung together right it tries to equilibrate even as it moves in many dimensions. If all the pieces are not weighted and sized just right, if all the strings are not connected at just the right point on the pieces, the mobile moves, but hopelessly out of equilibrium.

It isn't beautiful. It isn't elegant. It has no formal integrity. It cannot fulfill its intended function--to hang together beautifully.

Basketball is an aesthetically beautiful game. It often descends into ugliness, sometimes it cannot be pretty at all, but its best teams always tend toward elegance and efficiency.

This is the odyssey of the team right now. To start out good, go way out into the controlled chaos Self is creating for them, and to come back elegant and efficient and in their own way beautiful...to survive and prevail in the Madness.

Its a great game.

A really great game.

yates33333 4 years, 10 months ago

KUGrampy. "If not for his flat footed rebounds he is a liability on the floor." BS. Cole hasn't played as good as he did last year, but he is invaluable not only as a rebounder but as a defensive force, as an intimidater, and as a check on bigger centers. He is a pretty good passer, sets pretty good screens, and runs the floor acceptably as a big man. He has good hands and doesn't turn the ball over very often. As many have noted, he ties up two and three players when he touches the ball. His problem is getting his shots and getting them to go. He also seems tired. I suspect we do not know the whole story about his health. I imagine pro scouts are also wondering about his health.

BTW, where are all of TTs critics this week? The kid played a great game at Nebraska. He isn't Collins yet, very few in basketball are, but by the time he is a senior he may be.

I also can't understand all the critics of Reed and Morningstar. They generally play solid basketball and contribute.

Obviously, at this juncture the new players, X, CJ, Robinson, EJ aren't the force we hoped they would be. But, they will be. I don't know what to say about Withey. I wish he could get some playing time, but Self is a great coach and knows what he is doing.

Kent Wells 4 years, 10 months ago

Thanks KU!

Actually, I tweeted Coach Self during the game. If you look real close, you can see him check his cell before the under 8:00 timeout.

The press is a great change of pace. The notion is to keep a team out of their rhythm. Not that stupid 40 min of hell press, that would get predictable too. We got the athletes, might as well use them!

I was happy to see the press. And EJ!

Well, gotta run. Coach and I have a planning session for Tech now.

Jacobpaul81 4 years, 10 months ago

I know few people agree with me, but I continue to see the same problem. Although he's scoring 20 pts a game, #4's style of play is at odds with the rest of his teammates on both ends of the court. In my very humble opinion, this is our weak point and will be our downfall and keep us out of the final game. Until our offense creates proper motion on the outside and opens up the middle for the bigs, we will continue to struggle against inferior teams like Nebraska. It's real easy to defend bigs when the guards draw the defense in on top of them.

Kye Clark 4 years, 10 months ago

The way I see it this team has 3 games to get things figured out. Our upcoming games are against Texas Tech, Baylor, and Iowa State. These teams, despite posting some decent non-conference records, are not necessarily teams we should struggle with. At the very least, none of these teams should be difficult to run up the score, and you figure in any game where the scoring is high we should prevail. Sure Baylor is ranked, but they just lost to Colorado. The first two games are at home, and will everyone raves about the "Hilton Magic", Iowa State figures to be in the bottom third of teams in the conference. After the Iowa State game, the 'hawks will have a quick two day turn around, traveling home to take on Mizzou.

The most important thing this team needs to improve is perimeter defense. And that means everybody. For as much as people love to dub Brady a "lock-down defender", even he has been getting torched lately. Over our last 3 games our opponents are shooting 45% from the field, and 44.6% from beyond the arc. You can maybe attribute one game to a fluke, two is the beginning of a trend, and three is a problem.

The next thing this team needs to fix is to get more inside scoring production from the bigs. This problem is a combination of the guards feeding the post, the bigs getting in good enough position to warrant a pass inside, and the bigs finishing once receiving the pass. As I said, two instances is the beginning of a problem, and Cole has scored a combined 13 points the past two games. Yesterday, Jaybate had laid out a formula where we basically need to get 30 ppg combined from Cole & the Twins. On the season they are averaging slightly less at 28.3 ppg. Last night we got exactly 30, thanks in large part to Marcus getting 19 points (in only 21 minutes. Impressive). I think getting Cole on track is crucial. Last year, with no other post presence at all (as the Morris Twins were pretty green) and surely getting doubled all the time, Cole averaged 14.9 ppg. This year, he is down to 10.6. Not exactly sure what the source of his struggles are. Whether it is personal issues due to his ailing grandmother, the Twins & X taking away some of his shots, whether he misses his mask. IDK. You can't really attribute it all to being doubled, again because last year he averaged almost 15 ppg while constantly being double-teamed. And besides X, this is basically the same group that was feeding the post last year, so it's unlikely that there has been such a drastic decline in their post-feeding abilities. Regardless, it is asking a lot to expect the Twins to not only elevate their games from last year but also to pick up slack from Cole.

Kye Clark 4 years, 10 months ago

Getting more from X is the next thing this team needs to fix. He's been rebounding better, playing decent defense, but his offensive game has become inconsistent. Normally this is expected from a freshman, but as he was largely regarded as the missing piece if we are going to have a chance to cut down some nets he must tighten his game up.

At the start of the season we were all excited over having the deepest team in the land. Well as conference play has started, HCBS has pretty much established an 8 man rotation (SC, TT, X, Brady, Tyrel, Cole, & the Twins), 9 if you want to include TRob as the 4th big playing much the same role as Cole did his freshman year. I know this is much to the chagrin of fans clamoring for EJ or CJ, and to some extent Withey, but barring injury or some dramatic leap in understanding and ability, this is who we're rolling with. Having at least established a rotation, this should help to some extent TT's claim that himself and others don't necessarily understand their roles.

Some of these problems will surely work themselves out. Whether they all do and we field an elite squad capable of success in March remains to be seen. RCJHGKU!

DENDK24 4 years, 10 months ago

For everyone that is freaking out about the last few games, Please return to this article and read what was being posted afterwards

http://www2.kusports.com/news/2008/feb/24/upset_squared/?mens_basketball

I'm pretty sure that everything turned out ok after that game

There is a lot of season left and we have only lost one game. Enjoy what we have, you could all be Missouri fans. Just think about it.

illuminatironin 4 years, 10 months ago

I think Morris I say Morris because only one seems to play, Has remembered how he scored all of those points early this year. Slamming them down!!! Cole needs to stop guarding the top of the key and patrol the paint!! Taylor needs to realize that he is a slasher and we need him driving the lane! That is his "role" X maybe needs to sit and not be coddled! So what if his parents and brother get mad at us. We are deeep! Tyrel, Brady and EJ could use the minutes! At some point Self is going to have to take off his comfy underpants and let EJ and T-Rob get some minutes they ARE OUR FUTURE! Yeah Sure T-Rob made a few mistakes but he is a monster!!! And, EJ has more balls than Taylor. Taylor has regressed. Also, where the f is Withey? Is he really that far behind that he can't be a presence in the paint?

BCRavenJHawkfan 4 years, 10 months ago

Tennessee just scored an SEC blow out with their "walk-ons". Does that some feel better?

Kye Clark 4 years, 10 months ago

BCRaven - not really. We still played awful, and still have a better team and should have won.

duanep5ku 4 years, 10 months ago

DENDK24 I want to award you the best post of the year in my opinion and to recommend that all the Kansas fans on this site to read all those comments from the link giving in your post. I also noticed some of the same poster from that year once again making the same dumb comments about this team too this year. The comments after that lose border on stupid at best. So please thank about this obviously the season did not end that night. We did win the championship that year. I think we as fans should just enjoy the teams success or failures this year. This team can and probably will have a good season this year. A reasonable goal for this team win all the home games. 1ST or 2ND in league, Make NCAA tournament."I think we all know KU will get the bid for March. Then who know what will happen with the team in March. I do get upset with the posters hating on certain players let all fans remember they where the Kansas uniform. So we should still be proud of them good or bad. Their still KU players. I will add one more thing about HCBS he did win us one championship only 2 years ago. So lets not worry to much about what he can do as a coach yet.

I do agree with poster illuminatironin I think HCBS may have a problem with wanting to keep the X family happy but let's all remember how happy we were when X came to Kansas. I also agree that EJ has more upside then Taylor but then what do I or any other poster on here really know about that Were not the coach PS I would like to remind all of you that current players and recruits can read your comments. So we should keep them classy. "You do know that some 5 star recruits mom's are watching us and maybe our post about the team and players.

Craig Colgin 4 years, 10 months ago

I honestly think X is messing up the chemistry of this team, and his standing around the 3 point line waiting to throw up bricks is not going to win us a NC. At this point we are not a final four team, and X has no business in the NBA, the only one who comes close is Sherron. Plain and simple, these are the facts of the case and they speak for themselves,

duanep5ku 4 years, 10 months ago

Ralster I would like to see a UK and KU game as well but only if Kansas Win's the game. Otherwise KU fans would never hear the end of it from their ignorant fans. Their already to much now to deal with. I just hope that UK won't make the final four this year

Kye Clark 4 years, 10 months ago

duaneP5ku, DENDK24 - that is indeed interesting to read those comments. However, the fact that we went on to win the championship that year does not change what may have been legitimate observations & criticisms of that game or the team to that point. I remember that game vividly, and we played flat. Period. Are we as fans supposed to feel stupid for noticing that just because they got it together after the fact? HCBS is on record as saying we hit a lull that year, that winning was masking some of the flaws in their play, and that following that poor performance in that game the team buckled down and willed themselves to play better. So, as fans on a forum meant for the discussion and free-flow of ideas and opinions, I don't think speculating on what we think the team needs to improve upon is the some horrible evil.

P.S. To any 5-star recruits (or their mothers), we would love for you (or your son) to come join the best program in the country. Obviously our disappointment over 1 loss so far demonstrates the high expectations for our team, so know that we will always have a chance to play for the highest stakes and showcase players' talents on the grandest of stages. Rock Chalk Jayhawk! :)

duanep5ku 4 years, 10 months ago

icthawkfan316 I know we all have an opinion as KU fans about our BB program and "Yes" we should be able to express them on this site freely. That's what it's for. I just wish some posters would be a little kinder when it comes to criticizing the players on the site because they are young and may see some of the post. Its hard for a student athlete to play for KU and go to class and practice. Then if they see post complaining about their playing skills. I just do not think that helps them get better if the player notices the negative post about them on this board, remember their young men. I no top recruits love the Allen Field House experience when they come here because the fans show them a lot of love when their here but if they notices negative,nasty post towards our current players. It can be counter productive in the long run and please no that other sleazy coaches might point out our site for their benefit. I do remember last summer with a certain recruit. I guess my main argument about some of the hate towards the players is the mean spirit of the post towards some of are current players. I also believe that the only way we can judge a KU, BB season is when the season is done

Steve Brown 4 years, 10 months ago

Players should not be on this site, this place, while fun for us, is RCJH fanta- sea land. The only message they need to know about their game or what folks think of them is totally 100% from HCBS and staff. We are fickle anyway, one game tell a kid to transfer another we adore him....

Our rants, raves, adorations, instructions, advice is for our fun and not for any player.

my cents view-

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