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Friday, December 9, 2011

OSU’s Jared Sullinger probable for Kansas

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Bill Self weekly press conference: Dec. 8, 2011

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Kansas head men's basketball coach Bill Self addressed the media at his weekly press conference Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Nothing’s official yet, but it sure sounds as if Jared Sullinger will be healthy enough to play in Saturday’s Ohio State-Kansas University basketball game in Allen Fieldhouse.

“He just told me he feels great,” Ohio State coach Thad Matta said Thursday afternoon, referring to the 6-foot-9, 265-pound sophomore All-America candidate out of Columbus, Ohio, who has been limited at practice this week because of back spasms. “He said he woke up dancing this morning, but I don’t know what that entails.”

Sullinger missed Saturday’s 64-35 home rout of Texas Pan American.

“It’ll probably be Saturday,” Matta said, asked when he’ll know whether Sullinger will be able to answer the call in the 2:15 p.m. tipoff.

“I’ll be perfectly honest with you: Saturday is not the most important thing in my mind for him. We definitely want him to play. I think he’s the best player in college basketball, but I want to make sure what we do is right by him as well.”

KU coach Bill Self is counting on Sullinger being able to participate in the battle between the country’s No. 2- (OSU) and 13-ranked (KU) teams.

“If I was a betting man, I’d say Thad is probably not a very good poker player, because I think that he’ll probably play,” Self said. “I hope he does play. He’s one of the better players that’s played in our building in recent memory.

“One of the draws of playing Ohio State and a great team is getting a chance to play against great players. Our guys like that. It’s an unbelievable game where you have two terrific teams and sets of players going after each other.”

KU junior Thomas Robinson, who averages 17.4 points and 12.0 rebounds for KU (6-2), hopes Sullinger (19.1 ppg, 10.3 rpg) takes the court for the Buckeyes (8-0).

“I mean, (it’s) competition. At the same time, it’s a health decision, but if it was my pick, I’d definitely have him in the game,” Robinson said.

Robinson and Sullinger attended the Amare Stoudemire, LeBron James and adidas Nations camps last summer.

“He’s fun to play against. He’s a smart player, very good player. We definitely had a good time,” Robinson said.

One of Sullinger’s teammates is convinced the big man will be in the lineup Saturday.

“Jared looks kind of tough, but he’s a big teddy bear,” point guard Aaron Craft said. “He was walking around really gingerly about four or five days ago, but now he’s looking a lot better. Now he’s got the bounce back in his step.”

Self said KU senior guard Tyshawn Taylor would return to the starting lineup. Taylor “tweaked “ his knee at practice Monday, yet played 34 minutes in Tuesday’s 88-80 victory over Long Beach State.

Home and home: Matta was asked if the KU-Ohio State series would continue.

“We’re going to play next year. They come to our place (in Columbus, Ohio, to complete two-year deal). Hey, by that time, who knows? Maybe they’ll be in the Big Ten or we’ll be in the Big 12 with how all this stuff is shaking out,” he joked of conference realignment.

Big game: KU-OSU game figures to be the marquee game of the weekend. It will be shown live on ESPN.

“I agree we have a chance to make a statement for our team. We have a chance to do something that would be really good for our team and program,” Self said. “We get a chance to have a great team come to Allen Fieldhouse, and it’ll be a juiced atmosphere. I thought we had the national stage in Maui (vs Duke in final) and in the Garden (vs. Kentucky in New York). We have been in a situation where there has been a center stage, and we’ve been a part of it. Now we get a chance to be part of the biggest stage we have a chance to be a part of (this season). I know our guys will look forward to it and the coaches will as well.”

— The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Comments

rockchalkchalkin23 2 years, 10 months ago

Craft's defensive pressure will bother Tyshawn. Elijah would just blow by him.

Alan Mills 2 years, 10 months ago

How can you say that? EJ has been terrible the last three games. Seems to me they'll both have trouble with OSU's guards. Let's hope for a dramatic and sudden improvement in play from both Taylor and Johnson.

jayhawker_97 2 years, 10 months ago

EJ had a few of good interior passes, but lack of anticipation from the bigs sometimes. he can penetrate and pass compared to TT which penetrate and force to shoot (then pass if he's in trouble). it's all great if he's a shooter + PG combo. but he's not (although he can score on occasion). let's hope they'll take care of the passing at least (our play is very predictable, that's probably another reason why there are so many TOs - it's always behind the arc passing around, or dangerous cross pass - won't work for fast-legs opponents).

rockchalkchalkin23 2 years, 10 months ago

I agree that our play is predictable. I believe that happens when the ball sticks or the point guard is indecisive. Taylor makes both those things happen. Taylor is also averaging nearly double his point average in his previous 3 years. I would say he's looking to score. Yet another reason why I believe it's better for the team if Johnson is at the 1 and Taylor is at the 2.

KUKRU 2 years, 10 months ago

EJ has been terrible! Taylor is our best SG! I want Tharp at the 1, Taylor at 2 and Releford at the 3! Tyshawn is our 3 point specialist! Oh and Thad I hope we join the Big 10.. That would be soo tight!

rockchalkchalkin23 2 years, 10 months ago

I can say that because the offense flows when Johnson is running the point. And "organized" chaos happens when Taylor runs the point. Watch the first half of the LBSU game if you need a visual.

I think the same switch needs to be made that was made with Robinson and Chalmers. Although both could handle the ball, it was better for the team that Robinson played the point.

Robin Smith 2 years, 10 months ago

Taylor is the stronger ballhandler, he's faster than EJ, and more adept at attacking the interior off the dribble

rockchalkchalkin23 2 years, 10 months ago

Elijah averages more assists and less turnovers, i'm not so sure about that, and that's why Tyshawn is a better fit at the 2.

Sam Constance 2 years, 10 months ago

I'm sorry, but for all of TT's brainfarts, he is clearly the better ballhandler and point guard between he and EJ.

TT is MUCH better at handling pressure in stride. TT's problem isn't handling pressure, it's in making dumb plays, period. Regardless of the amount of duress he's under.

rockchalkchalkin23 2 years, 10 months ago

Making dumb plays due to pressure situations, regarding the amount of duress he's under.

Sam Constance 2 years, 10 months ago

Nope. It's easy to assume that's what's going on, but such is not the case.

A lot of the mistakes he makes come unforced.

It's a mental thing, not a ballhandling thing. Elijah doesn't have the ballhandling chops that TT does.

rockchalkchalkin23 2 years, 10 months ago

I would rather have the ballhandling chops at the 2, and the guy who is mentally stable and a great passer at the 1. I'm not assuming, just observing.

jayhawker_97 2 years, 10 months ago

Sullinger all of a sudden felt better, wow. i'm sure that has nothing to do with recent TRob's solid performance! anyway, it's a good news! looking forward to another great play by TRob, Withey, Teahan (& the rest of the team).

rock chalk!

(starting TT made me nervous, though)

Mike Bratisax 2 years, 10 months ago

I wouldn't want it any other way... TRob will hold his own. Now only if everyone else does.

Matt Strausz 2 years, 10 months ago

If I had to predict, Sullinger won't be our demise if we lose. I predict the guard play will be the difference. If we can't keep the turnovers to absolute minimum we will highly decrease our chances.

If Taylor and EJ combine for 5 or less turnovers we have a shot to win. More than that, we are in trouble. Team turnovers need to be 10 or less.

RCJH beat OSU!

Ian Brown 2 years, 10 months ago

I posted this in one of yesterdays comment sections, but I don't think many people saw it with all the Charlie Weis commotion.

Well, Jaybate, I hope you didn't scare off all the bloggers that are still interested in basketball in the midst of the KU coaching madness.

Anyhow, I wanted to give an update that I recently saw on our future PF/C Landen Lucas. Now I know he's only a 3-star recruit (as of now) and not ranked by high school hype-machines rivals.com and ESPNU, so I know there are plenty of you who couldn't care less about what he actually does on the court (ratings are all that matters, right?), but it sure does appear that he's off to a pretty damn good start to his senior season:

http://highschoolhoop.com/video/2011/12/kansas-recruit-landen-lucas-goes-beast-mode-in-season-opener/

"Lucas had 27 points, 20 rebounds and five blocked shots in about 25 minutes as the Wildcats opened their season with a 79-51 win over visiting Oregon City."

The above link also features an interview/highlights from his dominating season opening performance. He looks much better than your average "3-star" recruit.

He went on to say he actually came up short for his goal, which was 30 points and 20 rebounds... so he was a few points off.

Oh yeah, he also went for 30 points and 16 rebounds in Tuesday nights game...

This kid is a baller. I think we are really going to enjoy having this young man as a part of Jayhawk nation, especially after D-Manning spends some time with him.

Rock Chalk Lucas Hawk

Alohahawk 2 years, 10 months ago

Thanks for reposting your previous post and I agree, Lucas looks impressive in the video. Although it's hard to judge how good the opposition was. Lucas does seem to have a nice spin move in the post, and definitely has some hops for dunking and blocking shots.

Always interesting. He's listed as 6' 8" in the article, while I remember reading elsewhere that Lucas was 6' 10". (I think it was when he was announced as a KU commit.)

Regarding KU's 2012 recruiting class, I posted my thoughts after your first post. Final recruit rankings come out in the Spring. I predict KU's class ranking will improve, and will end up surprising some of the so called "experts".

Ian Brown 2 years, 10 months ago

Yeah, I noticed your reply, thanks for the response. I wanted to make sure that most everyone got a chance to see it since it looked like most people were preoccupied with the football columns last night, and with good reason.

I began to speculate as to what level of competition Lucas faced in these two early-season match-ups, and these two thoughts came to mind (one thought is slightly more relevant than the other):

  1. He did appear to have a considerable height advantage over most players on the court, but that is pretty common when you're 6'8" or 6'10" in high school. However, that doesn't necessarily mean the opponent wasn't talented. Plus, if I'm not mistaken, it seems like quite a bit of quality D-1 players come out of Oregon, so there's a decent chance he went up against some talented players. Sure, the talent isn't the same as he'd face if he'd stayed at Findley Prep, but putting up 27pts, 20reb, 5blk in 25 min. Is good no matter who the competition is. Plus he went for 30pts, 16rebs the next night, so it wasn't an anomaly.

Ian Brown 2 years, 10 months ago

  1. Everyone on this site was disappointed that we didn't go after Willie Cauley who, of course, picked UK and is rated higher than Perry Ellis in the ESPNU 100. Well, for one, I had heard he was being forced to play somewhere other than KU. Not sure who was doing the pushing/pulling, but I know I heard someone say that on here. Also, from what I've seen, I really am not impressed with the footer. Sure it would have been nice to have at least recruited the guy considering he's just 20 miles down the road, but I will gladly take Landen Lucas over Cauley.

Cauley, I believe, is rated so high because of 1. His height; and 2. UK recruited him. I just am not impressed by him--he basically stands outside the paint looking inattentive and doesn't appear to try and get position or seal his man at all.. Which, if he did, and if he was worthy of being a top 40 recruit, he would score 30 ppg in the Sunflower League... But he doesn't.

As a junior, he was just second team All-Sunflower League, which, if you're concerned about the type of talent a recruit is competing with, well.. I can assure you he doesn't go up against many great players in that league, and he certainly doesn't go up against anyone even close to 7'0".

The Sunflower League is the same league Brady played in while at Free State, where he made first team all-league in both his junior and senior year (he was Sunflower League Player of the Year as a senior). Well, guess what? Brady was just a 3-star baller and unranked by both Rivals. Now this is nothing against Brady--Brady is my boy and he's a great ball player (we sure could use him this year), but I'm just saying, I'm quite familiar with the Sunflower League and the type of talent that it's comprised of, and there simply is not an abundance of great talent in this area. This lack of competition probably factored in to Brady's decision to attend New Hampton Prep out of HS.

So if Cauley is just second-team All-Sunflower League, how is he ranked 39 by Rivals? How is he ranked in front of Perry Ellis by ESPN when Ellis is the three-time Gatorade POY, yet Cauley isn't even first team All-Sunflower League? Well.. Again, I'd say it's all about potential and is based mostly on the fact that he's 7'0" tall... And the fact that Calislimey recruited him.

In the end, I think going all-in on Tarc was worth the gamble if, in fact, that was a reason why we didn't recruit Cauley. Why? 2 reasons: 1. If we had Tarc, he would/will be a much better ball player than Cauley, and we thought we had him locked. We had to go for Tarc. 2. Our "back up plan," Lucas is going to shoot up the rankings this year (or at least show off talent that should merit a boost in his ranking, but know how KU commits go, Rivals and the rest of the Hype-Machines will probably just ignore him. Regardless of his ranking, Lucas will be a better ball player than Cauley, in my opinion. We'll see here after a couple years, and see if we can recollect this bold prediction.

kushaw 2 years, 10 months ago

You are right that Cauley shot up over the summer because of his "Potential". He had a good summer in AAU.

You are also correct in that the rumor (Whether it is true or not, but I would say it's closer to truth) about him being pushed/pulled in another direction away from KU is most likely true.

I don't think Cauley's second team all sunflower had anything to do with his current ranking. He shot up over the summer because 1) He had a great summer 2) Potential like you said.

I believe Cauley's "Potential" is probably greater than Ellis', but Ellis is the better player any which way you slice it.

I don't think Cauley's ranking had anything to do with Calipari considering his ranking was already established before he committed to UK.

kushaw 2 years, 10 months ago

Team rankings were just updated a few days ago and Kansas is..............

12th by Rivals 14th by Scout 20th by ESPN.

This is with the addition of Adams and White to the 2012 recruiting class.

bennybob 2 years, 10 months ago

Shaw,

Have you heard if the Adams roster spot is solid? with the white commit i would think the need for adams has gone away.

I would really like to see that schollie applied torwards another big rather than a 2nd SG

Brian Conrad 2 years, 10 months ago

AND this does not factor in Ben , Jamari and still believe they will find a spot for Nino Jackson.

Ian Brown 2 years, 10 months ago

I agree, drgnslayr. I really like what I see in Lucas. His footwork alone in that video in the link I posted makes me giddy inside when I imagine him working with Manning.

And you are right in that he is a very intelligent young man. Before committing to Kansas, and in addition to receiving offers from great academic/athletic power houses like Stanford, Cal, etc., Harvard was recruiting him heavily before he became a hot name late last spring. He even visited Cambridge in March 2011. Definitely a smart guy.

Also, while I was delving into the history of Lucas, I found that as of March 2011, rivals, espn and scout all had him ranked at his position: Rivals- #13 C; ESPN- #18 PF; Scout- #18 C.

Of course now he is unranked in his class and for his position.. Oh well, I really couldn't care less about the stupid rankings. I believe there are a lot of politics and strange happenings involving these sites that rate players and the relationship they have with AAU clubs and basketball factories like Findley Prep, Oakhill Academy, etc. You might notice that Lucas happened to fall off everyones ratings after he decided to leave Findley Prep. Coincidence?

Same thing happened to Rio Adams who was ranked #72 by Rivals and #82 by ESPN as recently as July 5th, he leaves his AAU team and falls completely off the radar. Coincidence?

Oh well, I must remind myself, "Screw the ratings" To me, after the top 20-30 recruits, the rest is just an incredibly vague barometer one may use to get a very basic idea of where a recruit stands at any given moment; for the next moment he could drop nearly 100 spots without warning.

Jabez Harlan 2 years, 10 months ago

We may not see much of him as he will be playing behind Ellis, Traylor, Withey, Young and Wesley.

KU's frontcourt is looking stacked for next year though!!!

Ian Brown 2 years, 10 months ago

You may be right, and if you are, that is definitely a good thing. Means the rest of those guys will be very solid players.

At the same time, with the depth we have in the front court, I'm beginning to think HCBS may not have been bluffing when he said he would like to play ellis at the 3. Imagine this:

EJ/Tharpe/Adams McClemore/White/Adams Ellis/Releford/White Traylor/Ellis/Wesley/Lucas Withey/Lucas/Traylor/Peters

Not saying that is going to be our line-up, but it certainly could be at times. We still have a lot of ball to play this year, including a big game tomorrow, but I can't help but look ahead sometimes.

Ian Brown 2 years, 10 months ago

Oops, forgot about Young in that log-jam in the front court. However, if Young brings nothing more than what he brings to this team at the moment, I'm afraid Lucas may usurp him by the time next season begins.

I hate to get my expectations too high, but I have a lot of faith in LL Cool Jayhawk. I think he's going to continue his outstanding senior season and, by the time Rivals updates their ratings after this season, he will have the stars and rating sufficient enough to satisfy who put all their faith in such things.

Robert Murphy 2 years, 10 months ago

Don't forget Peters. An early commit but a good one with huge potential. When they ask wheres the beef you can direct them Lawrence Kansas the next few years. I can't see how they will get playing time.

Mike Bratisax 2 years, 10 months ago

I've heard some where (sorry for lack of a source) that he is the best player in the state.. Don't really get much news on HS Basketball in Oregon but this kid looks like he has a lot of potential.

Alohahawk 2 years, 10 months ago

Just read that KU has hired Charlie Weis, former Notre Dame head coach, as the new football coach. With the large head coaching carousel at season's end, KU could have done worse. Good luck, Coach Weis.

JakeBarnes 2 years, 10 months ago

If correct, one thing for Weis, he's a proven loser. He will know how to fit in.

Brak 2 years, 10 months ago

Pretty ironic comment considering who its coming from, I guess you know your own kind.

KansasComet 2 years, 10 months ago

To sum up this year's Kansas Team: Most of the time we are as fun to watch as the Harlem Globetrotters. It's just those 5-7 minutes each half when we look like the Washington Generals that make me nervous.

nuleafjhawk 2 years, 10 months ago

I hope Sullinger is 100% and feels better than he's ever felt before.

Don't want the Butteyes having any excuses after we we beat the opponents. Soundly. In the skirmish. (any Brian Regan fans out there?)

If we control the turnovers, we win the game. RCJH.

Ian Brown 2 years, 10 months ago

Agreed. I remember when Blake Griffen got injered while playing against us 3 or 4 years back. And if I recall correctly, OU was ranked pretty high at the time and, of course, a number of excuses were made.

HawkKlaw 2 years, 10 months ago

I was at that game...it sucked! Griffin left the game extremely early due to the injury and KU pretty much routed from that point on. It would have been nice to see how the game played out with him taking part.

Looking forward to the clash of the titans tonight!

John Randall 2 years, 10 months ago

They moved it back?
Last I saw, it was 2:15 CST tipoff.

FSUJHAWK 2 years, 10 months ago

This will be a game about the guards on both sides of the ball. We also need Mr. Robinson to play within the system and himself.

RCJHGKU!!!

kushaw 2 years, 10 months ago

IMO, I think it's going to be interesting how the officials call this game. I hope with all the "build-up" of this game that it doesn't turn into the dud that was the 2007 Championship between Florida and Ohio State.

That game had all the components to be great, but the officials got whistle happy and took Horford, Noah, and Oden completely out of the mix.

Let's hope Withey stays grounded.

IMO, I don't think it would be a bad move to start Wesley in front of Withey just to get the officials use to the rough play that will most likely will happen underneath. I mean, Wesley is foul happy anyway so why not make it count and get the officials prepared. Not saying it's the best decision just a possible smart option. You know, the officials will give Sullinger benefit of the doubt on a couple calls in this game.

Robert Murphy 2 years, 10 months ago

If the big guy stops dribbling the ball every time he gets it and just goes up with it he will be even better.

theend 2 years, 10 months ago

Jaybate is posting comments on the football page on the Weis story. I didn't know he was a football swami as well as basketball. He is multi-talented. He is a guru.

What's next for Jaybate.....Political satire? Travel Advice? Stock tips?

bennybob 2 years, 10 months ago

I could see political satire. He usually finds a way to sneak in a couple political subtexts to his posts.

jaybate 2 years, 10 months ago

Politics, and the oligarchs that try to control politics, are just fun to make fun of.

Private oligarchs that seek to use their wealth to out weigh our individual votes in our republic deserve nothing but satiric contempt and legal investigation. :-)

I do confess to thinking that one has a duty to point out which politics do the least harm to the most folks. It only seems fair and kind.

bennybob 2 years, 10 months ago

To clarify,

that wasn't a critique, simply an observation.

personally i find much of your political subtext entertaining.

nuleafjhawk 2 years, 10 months ago

jaybate - I will NEVER play Scrabble with you.

jaybate 2 years, 10 months ago

I don't know spit about football anymore.

But hiring Charlie Weis can't really be about football, can it?

I mean there have to be so many more qualified candidates that him, don't there?

Brian Conrad 2 years, 10 months ago

the players love it! recruits like to play for NFL connection... ND is almost impossible job... Charlie will get us to bowl game.. something Gill would have done once in every 50 years... If he gets a Great D coach .. this program will be on the map!

theend 2 years, 10 months ago

KU will keep it close tomorrow/......but i would expect OSU will pull away in the end and win. But this game....like the other two.......is so good for the team.....especially pay off in March.

theend 2 years, 10 months ago

Jaybate is a rogue.......a maverick.......a desperado.......an outlaw.

Robert Brock 2 years, 10 months ago

I'm glad that Sullinger is going to play. Should be a fun game.

KU should keep it close...unless Taylor, Johnson, and Releford turn it over at the usual rate.

HawkKlaw 2 years, 10 months ago

I'm not as worried about this game as I was when the season started. I think KU has a decent chance considering we've already had some great matchups against outstanding teams this season...we should be well-prepared for tomorrow night! Let's roll TRob! And TT, we need you to play smart!

Tony Bandle 2 years, 10 months ago

Why there is hope for a Kansas victory:

1] Although Sullinger declares himself 100%, a back injury is a real issue in basketball and going up against TRob, he may over-exert and reinjure himself. 2] The game is in Allen Fieldhouse...always a factor toward victory. 3] Withey continues to stand tall and dominate the middle...can make people alter shots without actually making contact. 4] Long Beach State game provided lessons and improvement goals for Tyshawn, Elijah and Travis. 5] Conner stays hot from the outside. 6] The highlight ESPN game gets a top notch set of refs.

Why there is fear for a Kansas defeat:

1]Sullinger is actually 100% healthy, plays out of his mind on a national stage and gets TRob in early foul trouble. 2]OSU takes the Kansas crowd out of the game early. 3]Withey tries to do too much and also gets in foul trouble. 4] Tyshawn, Elijah and Travis still think they're playing Long Beach State. 5] Conner goes cold from the outside. 6] There are no top notch set of refs anywhere.

Ron Franklin 2 years, 10 months ago

My biggest fear is that TRob and Tyshawn are going to try too hard too often and not play within the team concept.

Kansas obviously has the defense to stay in this game. I just fear their lack of patience on the offensive end is going to cost the Hawks a close one.

rwhawk 2 years, 10 months ago

I'm actually more concerned about TRob. Every game that has seemed that TT has been outside the team concept, Self has said afterward that that was the game plan. I haven't heard the same of TRob. I wouldn't be surprised to see TRob try to do more than what his skill set allows for (meaning, try to play more like McMorris than himself). I hope he brings TRob's game and stays in it, otherwise Sullinger will leave with what's most important, a Win.

tical523 2 years, 10 months ago

Yea t rob has gotten into some pissing contests on the big stage against certain players (t jones , m plumlee) like he is at an NBA pre draft camp. I hope Dillinger doesn't bring that out but I am nervous about it.

rockchalkchalkin23 2 years, 10 months ago

Agreed. It seems they speed up the game to try and "bury" their opponent. Well it's hard to end the game the next possession when there is still 13-14 minutes left in the game. They've got to learn to slow it down and get a good shot. Balance the fast and slow offense.

bennybob 2 years, 10 months ago

This is bad news for the KU fan in me.

For the basketball fan in me this couldn't be better. I'm really excited to watch T Rob and Sullinger spar for draft potitioning on saturday.

AsadZ 2 years, 10 months ago

OSU game without Sullinger will be a NO WIN situation for KU.

If we win, folks will point out that OSU was not at full strength

If we lose, folks will point how how overrated KU is that we lost to OSU at home without Sullinger.

That is why I hope Sullinger plays tomorrow.

Tony Bandle 2 years, 10 months ago

Sorry...I'll still take the "no win" option of beating them without him. They are still a damn good team.

tical523 2 years, 10 months ago

Their guard Aaron Craft is the one that really scares me. He controls the ball as well as Steve Nash and is so solid on D. . .if he is hitting threes watch out. gotta bring it tomorrow guards!!! Rock chalk.

BrockIII 2 years, 10 months ago

UNC vs UK will probably go down as the biggest matchup of the year with all the starpower that shared that court. Sullinger and Robinson would probably be the biggest individual matchup of the year though - two All-American first teamers and future lottery picks battling it out. Fun fun fun.

Joe Baker 2 years, 10 months ago

I'm so glad that TRob and Withey got to battle the twins before they went to the NBA. They are both better and stronger than Sullinger inside and definitely outside. Sullinger has no outside game.

Withey and TRob have played with Sullinger caliber players for a few years at KU. They should both be up for the challenge inside. TRob has the edge because OSU bigs will have to play TRob outside after the LBST game. Monson said it best, "We wanted to force TRob outsde to beat us, he did."

Ian Brown 2 years, 10 months ago

Okay, I have spent too much time talking about next years players/team. So I'll go ahead and discuss a couple things I think we must do in order to compete:

NOTE: Many of these points will sound obvious, but with this team, the obvious must be stated and made blatantly clear.

  1. Contain Sullinger and keep him off the offensive boards. Considering TRob is one of the best defensive rebounders in the country, this goal should be attainable. However, if he's not careful, it could lead to foul trouble for TRob, which leads me to my next point.

  2. Our big men must stay out of foul trouble. In order to compete, Withey and TRob not only have to bring their A-game, but they must stay in the game!

  3. Our guards--I'm talking to you TT, Elijah and Releford--must take care of the ball and focus on each possession. Tyshawn will not get away with any lackadaisical passes with Craft guarding him. In fact, it sounds odd, but against this OSU team, our guards should be "guarding" the ball when it is in our possession, because their guards have a knack for knocking balls away and getting in the lanes for easy takeaways. Tyshawn should be particularly careful here. Unfortunately I could see Craft getting into Tyshawn's head. Hope not.

  4. Releford must lock down Buford. Releford is our best perimeter defender and Buford is OSUs best outside shooter. Releford cannot leave him open or else Buford will make him pay as he shoots 46% from beyond the arc. I think Releford is up for this challenge, but if he continues to struggle offensively, Releford can't let that get to his head. We need his defense.

  5. Get the ball to Robinson! I know Robinson has a tendency to rush things--and I could certainly see him doing it against his basketball arch-nemesis, Jared Sullinger (obviously, they'll be battling for bragging rights, and possibly draft positioning)--but we must find a way to get the ball in his hands. This is easier said than done, for our passing has been god-awful this season, especially when attempting to feed the post. Most importantly, this could get OSUs bigs into foul trouble, and their front court is not deep at all. Also, TRob should do everything he can to take advantage of a "hobbled" Sullinger.

  6. Hit open threes! This has a lot to do with TRob as well. He must know when to kick the ball back out when he's being double/triple teamed. We know Teahan can knock down the open shot (In fact, I'm looking for him to have a big game), but our guy Elijah MUST (must is supposed to be in all caps) hit shots tomorrow if we want to win. I think Elijah is going to come up big. We need him to come up like UCLA big.

And... I could go on forever, but I've already spent entirely too much time on this website today, so I will probably rejoin the conversation later tonight or tomorrow.

P.S. Like I said, most of this is simple; obvious; fundamental; etc. However, with this team especially, you cannot take anything for granted.

Rock Chalk!

Alohahawk 2 years, 10 months ago

More on recruiting:

p>Scout.com on their Phognet page for KU, dated Dec. 9th, has an in depth write-up/interview with White on his decision making process for selecting KU, and the aftermath of his decision. Makes him sound much more intelligent than most recruits.

Article ends with White saying he can't wait to become a Jayhawk. Sounds to me like he already is a Jayhawk, a true "Crimson and Blue" Jayhawk at heart.

Wish all KU recruits would read the article.

Also recommend it to those fans doubting the KU coaching staff's recruit selection process.

danmoore 2 years, 10 months ago

I hate the timing of this game. If we had played OSU annually for the last 25 seasons we would likely be about 20-5 against them. It's unfortunate we meet in one of those rare seasons where they happen to be the better team.

John Randall 2 years, 10 months ago

I lose patience very quickly when someone wants to get things the easy way.

Can't we just be grateful for this opportunity to watch our guys challenged all the way this early in the season? Who was it who first said, "To get better, I have to play someone better than I am." Some tennis player, I think.

RustyTee 2 years, 10 months ago

Jayhawk fans in OHIO. Would love to see the Hawks win this one. We lived in Ohio (since 2003) and have watched this team in person, they are very good and well coached. Sullinger and Robinson two of the best this year. What I fear is the inconsistent guard play for KU. DO NOT underestimate Aarron Craft. As the team leader he's the real deal, consistantly makes good decisions with the ball. He plays 40 min. of heads up ball, not the fastest, but does so many things away from the ball. Atmosphere in Allen Fieldhouse 100 times better than Schottenstein Center in Columbus, should make the difference for the Hawks.

Go Jayhawks!

Dr. Robert s. Mosser 2 years, 10 months ago

Lots of dunks but as least two times showed good hands when ball was down low. Hands is one thing that seems to separate TRob and Withey.

Brian Conrad 2 years, 10 months ago

Withey , we fans are way nuts. but YOU are GREAT. with you in the game T ROB much better.. and the shot blocking is something only you bring to the table. people forget how important that is.. stay out of the cheap fouls.. and OSU may remember "those big fellows at KU"

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