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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Keegan

Jayhawks rise to challenge

Kansas guard Sherron Collins lets out a celebratory yell as the Jayhawks pull away from rival Kansas State during the second half, Wednesday, March 3, 2010 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Sherron Collins lets out a celebratory yell as the Jayhawks pull away from rival Kansas State during the second half, Wednesday, March 3, 2010 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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KU vs. KSU

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Kansas takes on Kansas State Wednesday, March 3, 2010 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Reader poll

Where would Sherron Collins rank in your list of all-time favorite KU basketball players?

  • No. 1 9% 746 votes
  • Top 5 44% 3560 votes
  • Top 10 30% 2472 votes
  • Top 20 11% 888 votes
  • Top 30 2% 197 votes
  • Top 100 1% 102 votes
  • He wouldn't rank in my top 100 0% 75 votes
  • Undecided 0% 26 votes

8066 total votes.

Audio clips

Kansas-Kansas State

Lost amid the tears shed by Sherron Collins and teammates who will miss him and chants for Cole Aldrich to return for “One more year!” came an emphatic answer to a question that dominated conversations in every establishment in town Wednesday.

Was the Oklahoma State loss an aberration or a symptom of cracks in the winning machine?

Well, Kansas University defeated Kansas State, the No. 5 team in the nation, despite the Jayhawks’ two best players not bringing much in the way of positive, first-half contributions.

Stillwater was an aberration, which isn’t to say it can’t return the instant Kansas gets too comfortable, but there were no signs of comfort Wednesday night. While clinching an outright Big 12 title, KU made it extremely uncomfortable for a K-State team that doesn’t back down.

Nobody asked that annoying 21st-century question: What’s my role? Everybody instinctively did what was needed, and in the first half that meant the other three guys on the floor to bring their best because Collins and Aldrich, overcome by the emotion of their fieldhouse finales, didn’t play like themselves until the final 17 minutes.

Marcus Morris, the team’s third-best player, didn’t have a typical night, either, so it was imperative for Kansas to flash its depth.

Xavier Henry, who might have been playing in his final game in Allen Fieldhouse, had plenty about which to smile. He buried three of four long balls and led the team with 19 points.

Reserve post player Markieff Morris matched K-State’s physical inside players, elbow for elbow, push for shove. He showcased his exceptional passing ability and totaled 10 points, nine rebounds (five offensive), two assists and a blocked shot.

Tyshawn Taylor played aggressively and under control, not always an easy juggling act for him. His 11 points, four assists and two steals came in handy on a night both of K-State’s talented guards, Jacob Pullen (in the first half) and Denis Clemente, hit tough shots.

Collins didn’t have his three-point touch, so Tyrel Reed made sure to bring his, dropping two big ones.

Brady Morningstar’s numbers weren’t flashy, but in a span of 12 seconds in the first half he set up Markieff Morris with a beauty of a pass to make the score 15-4 and then knocked the ball loose from Jamar Samuels for a turnover.

Later, after Clemente’s three-pointer with 17:08 left in the game tied it at 45, Collins and Aldrich were too lathered in sweat and focused on the battle to think about swan songs. They went to work. In the final 10:33, Kansas outscored K-State, 23-10, setting up the Wildcats for an intense postgame blistering from its coach, Frank Martin.

That took place while Kansas coach Bill Self held a microphone and charmed the spectators, gently breaking the truth about their desire for one more year from the center they love, the guy who played much of his sophomore season with a mask and all of his junior year with a missing front tooth.

“I’m all for that,” Self said. “But don’t hold your breath on that one.”

Instead, focus on where Aldrich, Collins and a supporting cast that performed so well in the season’s final home game can take Kansas: into April.

Comments

docileboy 4 years, 7 months ago

I think by the way Coach Self removed X from the game (the same time as Cole) I think he may well be one and done. I hope this is not the case, because another year would help all involved.

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jayhawkintexas 4 years, 7 months ago

Yes!! THAT's what I call kicking the 'Cats behind!! I wish Sherron, Cole and (probably) X all the best for the future and thank them for their play and dedication to KU.

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jayhawkintexas 4 years, 7 months ago

Yes!! THAT's what I call kicking the 'Cats behind!! I wish Sherron, Cole and (probably) X all the best for the future and thank them for their play and dedication to KU.

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Mike Kendall 4 years, 7 months ago

Oklahoma State, the "world-beaters" was dominated by A&M last night. Makes me feel better about losing to the Cowpokes. O-State just happen to be hot against the Jayhawks that afternoon. We are 0-2 on CBS this year. We play Mizzou on CBS at 1 p.m., another afternoon game. Any superstitions? Or do we just go in to Columbia kick some Tiger tail?

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hawksince51 4 years, 7 months ago

If X plays through April the way he played last night, we will all get what we want--a first round pick for him and another NC for us. By early April, we will need a better first half performance from other key guys but on a neutral site that should not prove to be a problem. Seniornightitus is often a problem. But we still need to take care of business in Columbia Saturday and not repeat last year's collapse. Beating the tigers in Columbia is the 2nd best thing to an NC. ROCK CHALK

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BCRavenJHawkfan 4 years, 7 months ago

mikendal:

I had my eye on that OSU - A&M game last night as I could only listen to a radio stream of the KU - KSU game. (by the way, Bob was in full voice last night calling that game and I thought Piper was going to jump out and take down an official. They must have been calling 'em tight) Anyway, OSU was not the same...........they actually could miss last night. A&M's defense was not all that noticably better than what KU's was on Saturday. Plus A&M looked like the usual offensive team KU encountered. So my point here is this, was the OSU game on Saturday a KU aberration or an OSU aberration? No doubt it was some of both, but I really think OSU played much more above their norm than KU played below theirs.

On a side note, in my quest to listen on line last night, KLWN and the LAZER 105 were both in blackout mode. For others that have run up against this I was able to find KFH out of Wichita (www.kfhradio.com) that carries the games.

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Brak 4 years, 7 months ago

I wonder if they were able to "rise" to the occasion due to the fact that Coach Townsend gave a former KU student and current Pornstar courtside tickets to the game. You can read the article on deadspin.com its pretty funny and the speculation is that she was Sherron's senior night present.

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Mike Kendall 4 years, 7 months ago

BC--Thanks for the tip regarding the kfhradio.com link. That could be helpful for others in your situation. Rock Chalk!

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coloradojayhawk 4 years, 7 months ago

Brak, - the comments on the link you presented were pretty funny, especially the take-off on the KU chant (no - this is a family website).

I didn't see any speculation on Sherron, and I'll bet he's the happy husband and daddy he's shown to be. KU's got a lot of pure fans - there doesn't have to be a motive beyond watching a great game.

KU's student body is as good as I remember.

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Sally Presson 4 years, 7 months ago

Let's hit the Tigers with the same swagger we hit the Cats!!! Then on to the big dance!!! Go KU you can get the really big one, I just know it! Our team is as special as the last national champ team!!!

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