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Thursday, March 11, 2010

KU men hope to stay longer at the Big 12 tournament this year

Kansas guard Sherron Collins puts his hands over his head following the Jayhawks' 71-64 loss to Baylor Thursday, March 12, 2009 at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City.

Kansas guard Sherron Collins puts his hands over his head following the Jayhawks' 71-64 loss to Baylor Thursday, March 12, 2009 at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City.

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KU ready to face Texas Tech at Big 12 Tourney

The KU men's basketball team will lock up with Pat Knight's Texas Tech Red Raiders in the second round of the Big 12 Tournament.

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— Bill Self likes to check in with each of his Kansas University basketball players to see how they’re feeling — physically and mentally — heading into the postseason.

“A couple guys have got a cough, but that’s about it. Sherron (Collins) said his throat was scratchy and he was coughing a lot,” Self said Wednesday before boarding a charter bus for downtown Kansas City — site of today’s Big 12 tournament quarterfinal between KU (29-2) and Texas Tech (17-13). Tipoff is 11:30 a.m. in Sprint Center.

“I said, ‘Do you have a fever?’’’ Self said, indicating Collins’ answer was, “No.”

“I said, ‘Are you throwin’ up?’’’

Again, Collins’ answer was, “No.”

‘‘‘Well, you’re fine then.’ That’s how it works this time of year,” Self added.

“This time of year” is tournament time. The Jayhawks hope for a longer stay at the 2010 Big 12 tourney than last year’s one-and-done. KU fell to Baylor in a quarterfinal in Oklahoma City.

“We all said, ‘What happened?’’’ Collins said of the Jayhawks’ reaction to their 71-64 loss to the Bears, which preceded KU’s Sweet 16 NCAA Tournament run. “We felt if we played them again right after that game, we’ve have beat them bad. We were not ready to play,” Collins added.

This year?

“We want to win it all. Might as well finish off what we started,” Collins said.

A win would push KU into Friday’s 6 p.m. semifinal against Texas A&M; or Nebraska. Finals are 5 p.m. Saturday.

KU is matched against a Tech team that downed Colorado, 82-67, on Wednesday. The Jayhawks ripped the Red Raiders, 89-63, on Jan. 16 in Allen Fieldhouse.

“In the second half, we played them almost even, so we’re going to use that as confidence (builder) and take that into tomorrow,” said junior guard John Roberson. He scored 19 points with nine assists and five rebounds versus CU.

He was referring to Tech being outscored, 47-45, in the final 20 minutes in Lawrence.

“It’s always nice to play the No. 1 team in the nation because there’s no pressure on you. They have everything to lose. We’re going to come out with no pressure and play ball,” Roberson added.

Mike Singletary, a 6-6 junior forward, who scored 13 versus the Buffs (two under his average), had zero points off 0-for-4 shooting in the first meeting against KU.

“They played me real tough. I wasn’t adjusting,” Singletary said. “That really hurt my confidence.

“It’s always tough whenever you put up a goose egg. Whenever you put up a zero, it’s kind of tough,” Singletary added. “I think I’m a scorer so it’s tough to bury. I think it’ll be different.”

He’ll be ready for a physical matchup this time.

“I like to curl into the lane and get jump shots in the lane and get to the basket. They kind of bumped me a little bit,” Singletary said. “It’s a matter of adjusting and playing basketball. We’re playing the No. 1 team in the country. What more can you ask for?”

2,000 on the line

A KU victory today would be the 2,000th in school history. Kentucky is all-time leader with 2,017 wins. North Carolina has 2,000 heading into today’s game against Georgia Tech.

“Certainly I can use that as motivation, but I will not make a big deal out of that because that’s not a big deal to our guys and shouldn’t be any huge deal,” Self said. “But any little motivation this time of year you definitely try to use and I think they’ll want to play well for themselves and for how we played last year and for seeding (in NCAAs). Certainly this is an extra carrot for us.”

Baylor revisited

Roberson and Singletary were reminded that Baylor, the winner of last year’s No. 8-9 Big 12 tourney game, downed No. 1 seed KU in last year’s quarterfinals.

“We know anything can happen,” Roberson said. “When we’re playing — when we’re on our A game — we’re playing well. When we’re playing on the offensive end and the defensive end, I think we can beat anybody in the country. So we’re just going to see what happens, just try to play with the same energy we played with today (in 82-67 first-round victory over Colorado).”

Singletary said: “I think Kansas is a good team. And it’s just a matter of just going out there and just being in the right spots and listening to the scouting report that we’re going to have today. And it’s all about just containing their guards and trying to limit their big men to offensive rebounds and stuff like that. So it’s going to be a big challenge for us, but I think we're ready for it.

Pat’s take

Tech coach Pat Knight was asked about the challenge of trying to beat the country’s No. 1-ranked team.

“It’s going to be tough. It's like comparing my win/loss record to my old man’s,” he said of Bob Knight. “You have to look at it as a situation from a college coach and player. You get a chance to play the No. 1 team in the country and anything can happen on any given day. We just have to go out there and play hard and just compete and see what happens. Because a lot of funny things happen in these conference tournaments.

“We have to go back to playing in the passing lanes, getting into the ball, because we had to back off all that because of the Princeton offense that Colorado runs. So that’s really all we can do. Then we’ve got to talk to them about helping down the post.”

Self on Wednesday’s CU-Tech game

“I thought Colorado played great the first six to eight minutes. Then all of a sudden flip a switch and Tech was terrific the rest of the way. We didn’t get a chance to watch the second half because we were practicing.”

And Self on today’s matchup: “We haven’t played Tech since the second game of the conference season. It has been awhile. We have tape on them. We have a pretty good book, just like we would all potential opponents and I’m sure they’ve got a good book on us. Last year we played the winner of the 8-9 game and didn’t fare so well. I think we’ll go over there excited this time.”

Rush likes Jayhawks

Former KU player Brandon Rush of the Indiana Pacers likes KU in the upcoming NCAA Tournament.

“A.J. (Price of Pacers) swears up and down that my team is terrible and we’re not going to make it far, but his squad isn’t even going to make the tourney,” Rush told the Indianapolis Star. “Kansas has it all. They can get it done in the low post, they’ve got great point guard play and they're playing at a high-level defensively now.”

Collins likes being close to home

KU senior Collins on playing the Big 12 tourney so close to home in K.C.: “Maybe it’s a little bit of an advantage. I think we have more fans in Kansas City. It’s nice to have it in Kansas City in my last year rather than go to other places like back to Oklahoma.”

Comments

VegasJhawk09 10 years, 4 months ago

WORD Brandon Rush!!

posted Nov. 28 - originally, this is the road to the NCAA championship. Im basically copying the ranks of the top ten, adding their offensive and defensive ranks according to the AP, plus now Im adding # of players averaging over 15 min per game, # of those averaging 45% or better from the field + how many come close to it and how many average 10 points or better per game + how many come close to it within 3 pts/ game. Then finally Im adding the Kenpom (www.kenpom.com) offensive and defensive rating of each team AND the average years of experience. Its complicated, I know but it seems to work for me as far as trying to predict the final four teams and who will come out on top. I am slightly biased toward the Jayhawks but I didnt pick them to win it last year, they have a great great chance to do it this year for the 2nd time in 3 years.

1 KU - 5th / 49th , 8 , 6+2 , 4+4 , #2 , #5 , 1.43yrs

2 UK - 16th / 91st, 7+1 ,6+1 , 4+2 , #21 , #14 , 0.85yrs

3 'cuse- 7th/103rd, 7+1 ,6+1 , 4+2 , #10 , #16 , 1.65yrs

4 Duke- 20th/36th, 7+1 ,4+4 , 3+4 , #1 , #3 , 1.99yrs

5 OHst- 28th/19th, 5+3, 4+3 , 4+2 , #12 , #22 , 2.01yrs

6 Prdu- 97th/23rd, 7+1, 5+1, 3+2 , #38 , #4 , 1.86yrs

7 Wvu- 57th/76th, 6+1, 4+2, 4+1 , #7 , #28 , 1.78yrs

8 NMx- 36th/127th, 7 , 3+3, 4+1 , #24 , #72 , 2.40yrs

9 KSU- 14th/177th, 6+1, 5+1, 4+1 , #22 , #21 , 1.69yrs

10 'Nova- 3rd/252nd, 7+2 , 5+3, 3+4 , #8 , #56 , 1.59yrs

Notes : Question, when was the last time that a team won the NCAA with offensive and Defensive ratings greater than 20th over all? The past 5 years that I can remember, each team that has won it all has been in the top 15th over all in both categories. The only two teams that have close to that right now are KU and Duke with Syracuse & Kentucky not too far behind. Another thought, KU's '08 team with Chalmers, Robinson and Collins off the bench in the back court were the best in the country and they were loaded with seniors that year too, something they lack this year but, they are very talented, deep and balanced. Do they have the experience and the killer instinct to win it all this year? That is a concern of Coach Self, and us all...

I am going to make an early prediction of KU Syracuse Kentucky and Duke for the final4. Elite 8- those four plusOhio St, Purdue, KSU and West Virginia with MSU as my sleeper. 2008 was the year KU won it all, can they do it again this year? I think they have a great great chance.

Scott Lippoldt 10 years, 4 months ago

Vegas: really taking a chance there with that Final Four prediction. Way to go out on a limb! :-)

Trey Hohman 10 years, 4 months ago

VegasJhawk09,

Hi there, I'm a human being! What are you?

JayhawkRock 10 years, 4 months ago

I like the confidence and the chip on the shoulder attitude that Sherron and the rest of this team is taking. Its roughly 6 hours until tipoff and while I will be studying/taking an exam during the game I will be a nervous wreck while studying/taking exam.

Im very concerned about the early start time of this game. Im not scared of TTU beating us but us beating us. We are in a good position to move on to the next round but we cannot take TTU for granted. They can go on a role at any time and they have already played in the building and in this time slot. I know we will come out sluggish to start this game on offense. We have to play good defense to help counter that. We havent played in a while and this is an early game, its a lot easier to get into rhythm on defense than offense. Expect an ugly first 4 minutes from both teams and then I fully expect KU to take control down in the post and on the boards. That is our clear advantage in this game.

I would also like to put Tyshawn on Roberson because I dont like the matchup of Collins on Roberson because I think Roberson is too quick for Collins. Taylor is just as quick if not quicker than Roberson and his length may bother Roberson's shot. Right now Roberson is their biggest scoring threat and I get the sense that TTU goes as Roberson goes. Notice in the CU game TTU struggled from the floor until Roberson picked it up on offense and defense and then TTU came around and took control of the game. We cannot allow Roberson to get going from the field. Yes, Singletary is a threat on the offensive end but he has struggled this year scoring and really struggled against KU scoring (0 points in the only meeting this season).

Sweet_Sandbags 10 years, 4 months ago

VegasJHawk09 - Interesting stuff. Remember also that each national champion except for one (20 out of 21) after KU won it in '88 has had the following three characteristics:

  1. At least a 10 game winning streak at some point during the season prior to the NCAA tournament;

  2. An average margin of victory in games prior to the NCAA tournament of at least 10 pts. (usually much higher in the 14+ range);

  3. At least one future NBA player on the roster (yes subjective, but should be relatively easy to determine when looking at rosters of the true contenders).

When you combine these facts/trends with the KenPom offensive and defensive efficiency characteristics of the past six champs (only as far back as he goes), which as you point out are basically always top 15 and typically top five on both, you get a very short list of projected champs.

KU is at the top of said short list.

But hey, games aren't played on paper. The numbers work until they don't, and then you get a team like KU in '88 blowing everything up. Let us hope that this year's KU team keeps the trend in tact.

RCJGKU

John Brown 10 years, 4 months ago

SC can take some Ibuprofen for the sore throat. Sore throat is inflammatory and the ibuprofen is the best antiinflammatory. Then cough drops or hard candy to keep the throat moist and he'll be good to go.

VegasJhawk09 10 years, 4 months ago

Im just an obsessed KU Basketball fan, hoping for a 2nd Championship in 3 years. Rock out with your Chalk out!!! Thanks Sweet.

Jeff Schartz 10 years, 4 months ago

Collins should get some chicken soup, lay in bed with hot towels around his throat, and have his mom check on him every 5-10 minutes, at least for a week.

C'mon! He's fine. We're gonna knock the stuffing out of Tech! I live a couple of hours from Tech Campus, and I'm hearing NO, I mean absolutely NO smack from Tech fans. They know....

bradynsdad 10 years, 4 months ago

i was shocked last night watching the games. osu almost losing a twenty four point lead, nebraska and tech winning. also great job to iowa state for closing out the year strong, they lost a close game to texas. so far alot of surprises lets not be one of them. rock chalk go get the number one overall seed.

dynamitehawk 10 years, 4 months ago

I got coach Knight a pretty meat necklace from Gates, today.

hawkitup 10 years, 4 months ago

Kentucky & Duke will NOT make the Final Four...mark it down!

Timmay97 10 years, 4 months ago

This game is important, but give Sherron a break........let him heal. This would be a golden opportunity to get Elijah some minutes. Just an opinion.

Timmay97 10 years, 4 months ago

This game is important, but give Sherron a break........let him heal. This would be a golden opportunity to get Elijah some minutes. Just an opinion.

Ron Prichard 10 years, 4 months ago

“I think I’m a scorer so it’s tough to bury. I think it’ll be different.”

This does not sound like someone who is confident they can score. KU rolls against TT again. This one is over by half and KU gets to rest its starters for tomorrow.

3GJayhawk 10 years, 4 months ago

Welp. I'm in Vegas an I'm feeling like throwin down some loot on Kansas. Unstoppable baby. Unstoppable. Beer me.

Courtney McCabe 10 years, 4 months ago

I like how 3GJayhawk's mind works.

Moving on...the one thing that concerns me with the 2010 Jayhawks is our lack of killer instinct at times. There is nothing wrong with burying a team that deserves to be buried. There is something wrong with playing down to a team's level.

However, I think if the Hawks come out to play, then we will easily beat Texas Tech. Maybe something like 82-68.

Rock Chalk!!

JayhawkRock 10 years, 4 months ago

We win this game with defense and by wearing down TTU...I am not expecting to shoot it particularly well even though this will be like a home game...We just dont play well in the Sprint Center...Kemper curse?

Dyrk Dugan 10 years, 4 months ago

one game at a time folks....one game at a time. it is cliche, but it's so true.

if you're concerned about outcomes, and ignore the quality of your daily work, you more than likely will be disappointed.

let's enjoy the journey...and focus on just that...and it starts today.

KU 88 TTech 64 (one point worse for us...one better for them than the first time...tee he.)

BCRavenJHawkfan 10 years, 4 months ago

One thing I already like better than last year, Collins does not wear that stupid sleeve thing on his arm. Those things are best left to the conceited players like A. Iverson, J. Wall, et al.

In terms of toughness, I think they have it. But for all seasons after this I suggest Self engage in the regimen I just saw being adapted by the Navy Seals. Maybe others saw this. Turns out the athletes with the greatest mental and physical toughness are swimmers and water polo players etc.

JayhawkRock 10 years, 4 months ago

BCRavenJHawkfan,

To be fair Collins wasn't wearing that for style he was wearing it to protect his elbow...There was padding over the elbow part of the sleeve...Much like CJ has worn this year.

KANSTUCKY 10 years, 4 months ago

Maybe CJ should get one for his tailbone too. I sure miss his shooting and speed off the bench. Maybe since we have a one seed locked up we can see more bench play at the end of the game.

Tony Bandle 10 years, 4 months ago

Missouri did all the top seeds a favor by giving everyone a wake up call about not focusing on your opponent. Thank you, Tiggers...much appreciated!!

Possible Kansas matchups could be the state of Texas [ Tech, A&M, UT] although I will be disappointed if it isn't another KUvsKSU battle for the title.

Tech---Play hard and Good Knight, Red Raiders!! A&M---Beware of the Turge!! UT------No matter how bad you play, as long as Barnes is coaching, you have hope!! KSU---Very tough to beat one school three times in one season, especially Psycho Frank!!

Steve Brown 10 years, 4 months ago

1:59 left in today's game Rock Chalk Chant floats among the Sprint Center atmosphere

Steve Brown 10 years, 4 months ago

2,000 today, wonder how many of those Max witnessed, quite a number I would guess.

Dean Nesmith, (sp) long time trainer saw his share as well....

David Leathers 10 years, 4 months ago

Vegas, it would look like to me that Duke would be the team to beat.

BCRavenJHawkfan 10 years, 4 months ago

JayhawkRock: Collins had an elbow problem last year? How the heck did I miss that? Then let me correct my statement. Thank goodness Collins doesn't have that elbow problem like last year!

James122 10 years, 4 months ago

Something to think about. I read in article on kusports on how high many are on X and how he is doing. I went back to the 9 key games, not cupcakes, and took a solid look at his stats: The games I looked at:

@# 4 in the Big 12Texas A & M,

3 in the Big 12 Baylor,

7 in the Big 12@ OK.State,

3 in the SEC EAST@Tenn.,

2 in the Big 12@KSU,

1 in the Atlantic @ TEMPLE,

2 in Coference USA Memphis,

1 in the Ivy league Cornell,

1 in the Pac-10California-

Here is what stood out:

In those 9 games X had 109 points, shot 33-88 for 37% from the FG range and only 6 points at KSU, 10-30 from the 3 for 10% and 33/43 from the ft. line for 76%.
He had 23 TO's in that span, but did have 19 steals, 0 from the A & M game and 7 on the Baylor game.

Their is no doubt that we need X to play well, but in key games he has stunk it up in the shooting area. If X can shoot from the ft. line all day I like our odds in those big games.

Big time players produce in big time games!

Steve Gantz 10 years, 4 months ago

Too many worthless stats for this conversation.

Mike Kendall 10 years, 4 months ago

Good luck, Jayhawks! Rock Chalk to 2000!

Bill Skeet 10 years, 4 months ago

VegasJHawk09- Wonderfully insightful stats! Thank you!

Stunning stat: KU is the second youngest club in the top 10. Maybe that is the reason for the inconsistent play and the concerns of Coach Self. Interesting that people are dismissing Kentucky because they are so young, yet overlooking that KU is the second youngest.

One more thought: Villanova is another sleeper. Just look at that offensive power rating and note how efficient they are at scoring (7 at 45% or better from the field). Sounds like kryptonite for KU (ala OSU). Excellent point guard in Scottie Reynolds as well.

The intangible stat: Hall of Fame coach and experience - Coach K is not new to this game. We can debate the veracity of Duke's numbers, but he's got an Olympic gold medal... plus, I think they have a chip on their shoulder this year.. not much media love recently for the Dukies...

On the Big 12 Tourney: Toughest contests for KU would be TexA&M and Baylor with KState right after those two. We just squeaked by the first two earlier in the year... A rematch with either of those two teams promises to be a fantastic game.

KPOP 10 years, 4 months ago

Sherron and me have the same ailment. I have a scratchy throat and a cough but I am at work, so Sherron will be fine. I'm just sayin' ........ Rock Chalk. Let the Madness Begin.

texhawkinthehouse 10 years, 4 months ago

A win is a win folks--nobody remembers the box score--this team has only two losses. 2008 had frustrating moments as well. How this team wins is not as important as the fact that it won the game. I will take ugly any day--because its a win. Do you expect a blow out every game? get real! Here is an example of how that criticism is stupid. Say KU runs through the first 4 or 5 games in the NCAA tourney by "YOUR" lofty blow out 20+ point wins. Then we lose by 30 in the championship game or elite 8. It obviously won't happen, but to think we blow everyone out is just ridiculous and naive. Lets see--KU a lock for a number 1 seed, Texas Tech trying to run the table to get the automatic Big-12 bid (their only chance, coincidentally)--who has the bigger motivation in the game? That motivation got them beat by 12 in a good game. Sherron bashers should just go away--he played a great game.

Kelly Hanrahan 10 years, 4 months ago

James122 10-30 from the 3 for 10%

Let me guess - not a math major.

Debbie Mangen 10 years, 4 months ago

Someone on this site asked if anyone knew of a place online where they could watch a complete game after it was over. I stumbled onto this site just now. I hope it helps.

http://www.big12sports.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=10410&ATCLID=204866026

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