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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Keegan

KU basketball’s real test starts with conference play

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— Marcus Morris begins his third Big 12 season tonight in Hilton Coliseum, so he is well acquainted with the difference between the nonconference and conference seasons.

When the playing-dumb question “Which would be tougher, going undefeated in nonconference or the Big 12?” was sent his way, he crushed it with an expression that made him look as if he had just tasted motor oil.

“Oh, the Big 12, definitely,” he said. “We face a lot tougher teams.”

Nobody is in denial about the reality that starting tonight, everything changes, and nobody is in denial that just because Kansas University is 15-0, that doesn’t mean the team is where it needs to be to be taken seriously as a contender for what would be its second national title in four seasons.

Asked to rate the team’s performance to this point, Markieff Morris nailed his answer as if it were an overtime three-pointer.

“I would say it was OK,” Markieff said after Sunday’s 67-60 overtime road victory against Michigan. “We could have played better a whole lot of games, this one included. We snuck out a few, but going 15-0 in nonconference is good.”

Good, not great.

KU played a number of teams that face tough schedules, which inflates the Jayhawks’ RPI, but most of those schools are experiencing down years. KU did prove it can win close games, a good sign against any competition.

Forty-seven schools received at least one vote in the latest Associated Press college basketball poll. Kansas has played one of those 47, No. 38 Arizona. Whereas KU didn’t play against a team in the top 37, exactly half of its 16 Big 12 games will come against teams ranked in the top 32.

Three of those will be played on the road: Monday at Baylor, Feb. 14 at Kansas State, March 5 at Missouri. The dates of the five biggest threats to the home-court winning streak: Jan. 22 vs. Texas, Jan. 29 vs. K-State, Feb. 7 vs. Mizzou, Feb. 21 vs. Oklahoma State and March 2 vs. Texas A&M.

It seems like decades ago that 10 conference coaches gave first-place votes to K-State in the preseason poll. It was such a strange pick at the time it almost seemed as if the coaches forgot that it’s Baylor’s Scott Drew and not the Wildcats’ Frank Martin many seem to shun as an outsider.

So far, next to Texas Tech and Oklahoma, KSU ranks as the biggest disappointment in the conference. Here’s how the coaches rounded out their picks: 2. Kansas, 3. Texas, 4. Baylor, 5. Missouri, 6. Texas A&M, 7. Texas Tech, 8. Oklahoma State, 9. Colorado, 10. Nebraska, 11. Oklahoma, 12. Iowa State.

With the benefit of the nonconference season and a few Big 12 games, here’s a better guess as to how the standings could look heading into the conference tournament at the Sprint Center:

  1. Kansas, 2. Texas, 3. Baylor, 4. Texas A&M, 5. Missouri, 6. Oklahoma State, 7. Kansas State, 8. Colorado, 9. Iowa State, 10. Nebraska, 11. Oklahoma,12. Texas Tech.

A stab at the all-conference team: Alec Burks (Colorado), LaceDarius Dunn (Baylor), Jordan Hamilton (Texas), Marcus Morris (Kansas) and Jacob Pullen (K-State).

Comments

jayhawkinnebr 3 years, 3 months ago

Kansas ST did pretty good. a least they didn't get beat by a MVC team, like we did.

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Hank Cross 3 years, 3 months ago

For me, conference play is a letdown. If we never played ISU or TT again it would be too soon. Thank goodness NE is going away. This isn't a very good BB conference. Since it's formation no team other than KU from the B12 north has ever gone to the FF, and KU is the only B12 school to win it. Compare that with the ACC or Big East. Even the SEC has had 2 champs with multiple titles during the existence of the B12. KU deserves to play in a better league.

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bg_duck1 3 years, 3 months ago

LOL Jaybate always good for a laugh

Love Keeg's prediction of Kstate 7th couldn't be more accurate, no talent just big and physical...football players playing basketball, albeit tall football players.

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KU_FanSince75 3 years, 3 months ago

LA, BTW, if it wasn't for Michael Beasley (the OAD), the record would be 0-25. Yea, it's like they won the National Championship that night. I will never forget how the Kitty Kats rubbed that one lone win in our noses.

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jayhawkinnebr 3 years, 3 months ago

Don't get to honking your horn before you see the crowd. I would be aware of the Cat and the Octagon of Doom.

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jayhawkinnebr 3 years, 3 months ago

I think Kansas ST. has set the bar high for us to achieve from last year as they went to the final 8.

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kycamp0 3 years, 3 months ago

I told all my KSUckers at work that them being ranked ahead of KU and picked to win the Big XII before the season was just ridiculous to which someone replied:

"Well its a long season so I wouldn't talk to much trash 'cause I seem to remember a certain game last March when KU didn't play so well and was upset" to which my reply was:

"Well I seem to remember 3 games last year when the Hawks thrashed the Wild Kittens and this year we will beat them like the red-headed step child they are."

Bring out the brooms 'cause it's going to be another clean sweep this year!!!

Rock Chalk!!!

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kycamp0 3 years, 3 months ago

Lol @ Jaybate

"Mommie, mommie, what do I do when KU players don't believe my hype and kick my ass up around my ears?"

Jaybate's on fire today!!!

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jaybate 3 years, 3 months ago

What we have here is a sports editor indulging in click provocation and board rats with a failure to swagger.

Alec Burks (Colorado)--he wasn't even good enough for Self to offer him. Put any of our guards on him and he will go under his average by 5 in Boulder and 8 anywhere else. Hell, on one of Josh's good nights, it would be like watching a total eclipse of the sun. Alec Burks? Don't make me laugh. Better pick: Selby

LaceDarius Dunn (Baylor)--Shoelacedarius? A good player who could not beat us last year and this year we have more and better perimeter defenders than last and a solid interior, probably better than last year, because all the guys could go a full game if they had to. We'll tie Shoelace in a knot. Better pick: Tyrel, at least when he is shooting well, which he will be season's end, or we're sunk.

Jordan Hamilton (Texas)--Who is this? Did Jimmy Carter's old political strategist, Hamilton Jordan have an illegitimate child on the campaign trail and momma played reverse the names? Every year we have to listen to a lot of nonsense about Baja Oklahoma playing basketball hand making good barbeque, and then KU kicks their asses into cactus and comes home for the real thing in bones. How about we start out talking about how overrated they always are, then kick their asses in the cactus, then send them some KC barbeque laced with horse laxative and forget them? Jordan Hamilton has length, but he only shoots 36% from trey. Either Travis Releford, or Mario Little would have him crying, "Mommie, mommie, what do I do when KU players don't believe my hype and kick my ass up around my ears?" Better Pick: Travis, or Mario.

Marcus Morris (Kansas): the only sane choice Keegs made. Tom, what ever pill you were on when you selected Marcus, keep that one and flush the rest.

Jacob Pullen (K-State): as overrated as Viagra and Armani Code. Watch our guards shut him down. Better choice: Tyshawn

We are Kansas.

They wish they were.

We know who our daddy is.

They wish they did.

Its not the other way around, no matter how much Keegs wants to get a job in Austin.

Rock Chalk!

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clevelandjayhawker 3 years, 3 months ago

Im still debating who i would like to see the hawks lose to, I think this team needs 2-3 losses to get the message, a loss on a "cake" game might be what it takes for this team to get going....I say that because I feel that they are at like a 5-6 on the potential scale currently. Thats what I see, a team that can do so much more (not that they are bad, just their potential is super great)

Also, I want to see us play when we are down a little more.... like when mich hit that 3 in OT I wanted to see who took over, thank you twins...but had the zone continued who would have steped up?

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LAJayhawk 3 years, 3 months ago

LaceDarius Dunn is playing quite well right now, hitting 42.4 from three. However, it appears that his shooting is the measuring stick for his teams success. In their 3 losses he shot 23.1% from 3 (6 for 26). They live and die by his 3 point shot... he takes 9.8 per game, which is 67% of his shot attempts. In his 43 point outing against Morgan State he took 18 (eighteen!!) threes -- 82% of his attempts were from beyond the arc. If our guards can defend him well (which we are getting much better at as the year progresses), I think we can ride past them quite smoothly.

It will be a tough game, no doubt. But we will match up well, I believe.

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AsadZ 3 years, 3 months ago

They have some new pieces and they are long. Dunn is playing really good. Plus they play good zone and I have not seen KU play well against good zone defenses. We had lot of problems against Michigan zone. Our Bigs will have to be very active in the middle. I hope they can do it but so far I am not convinced.

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Ralster Jayhawk 3 years, 3 months ago

Can you really say Baylor is a better team without Tweety Carter and their other departed players from last year? Is KU better than last year's SherronHawks?

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AsadZ 3 years, 3 months ago

This is where HCBS excels in getting the team ready. Time for another Big 12 Championship. I can see us go 14-2 in the league play this year with potential losses at Baylor and at KSU.

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jayhawkinnebr 3 years, 3 months ago

When Kansas ST. gets Kelly back it's going to make a big difference and the rest of the big 11 better be ready. They will only be better when he returns. When they play Kansas ST. the teams better be ready for a battle as K ST. will be tough inside so, you better strap on your boots.

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Hawk007 3 years, 3 months ago

"It seems like decades ago that 10 conference coaches gave first-place votes to K-State in the preseason poll. It was such a strange pick at the time it almost seemed as if the coaches forgot that it’s Baylor’s Scott Drew and not the Wildcats’ Frank Martin many seem to shun as an outsider."

Can someone please explain what this is supposed to mean? It makes absolutely no sense. I have read it probably 10 times, and can't figure out what it is supposed to mean.

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KU_FanSince75 3 years, 3 months ago

Conference games----gotta love them! Just don't want any chippiness, if you know what I mean. Like the Cal game. Just play your game and the twins just do your thang! And as Aerosmith would say, "I don't want to miss a thang!"

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mikehawk 3 years, 3 months ago

Regardless of their current record and a loss in their first Big 12 game, I really think you are writing K-State out much too early. The Big 12 refs will let them play, and that plays right into "KSU thug ball" hands. They will be a tough out for KU on any night on any court. They lay awake nights thinking about KU.

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bballdiehard 3 years, 3 months ago

Correction: Kansas has actually played 2 of the top 47 teams now getting votes in the rankings. We also played Memphis.

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