Saturday, March 5, 2011

KU men’s basketball looking to snap Missouri’s home streak

Kansas center Cole Aldrich hangs from the rim over Missouri forward Keith Ramsey after a dunk in the second half, Saturday, March 6, 2010 at Mizzou Arena.

Kansas center Cole Aldrich hangs from the rim over Missouri forward Keith Ramsey after a dunk in the second half, Saturday, March 6, 2010 at Mizzou Arena.


— Awful on the road, Missouri’s basketball team has been awesome at home this season.

“I think that’s true for the most part with most teams across America. It’s a natural phenomenon,” Kansas University coach Bill Self said with a shrug, referring to squads struggling in enemy gyms and excelling in their own.

“I don’t know details. I don’t know their team, but usually with us we are much more active at home than away from home from things like the energy of the crowd. That’s why it’s called homecourt advantage. I’m sure they’ll be turned up big-time for us.”

The Tigers (22-8, 8-7 Big 12), who play host to rival KU (28-2, 13-2) at 11 a.m. today, are a perfect 17-0 in Mizzou Arena — 7-0 in Big 12 games.

On the road, MU is 2-7 overall and 1-7 in the league. Lending hope to MU fans regarding the NCAA Tournament, the Tigers are 3-1 on neutral courts.

“People take pride in protecting their home turf. That basically sums it up,” MU junior center Steve Moore told the Columbia Missourian, asked about the home/road discrepancy.

“The ambiance is just a different feel,” MU junior guard Kim English theorized to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “You can’t compare scores. You can’t compare games. It's just a different beast on the road. You just have to come prepared from the get-go.”

MU coach Mike Anderson has tried to sidestep the issue.

“I just talk about us getting better,” Anderson said.

His Tigers actually played one of their best road games in Lawrence this season. KU outlasted MU, 103-86, in a game the Jayhawks led, 46-42, at the break.

“I’d be shocked if there were that many points scored (today) — shocked,” Self said. “But it’ll be a fast game. They want to play fast. We want to play fast. It can be misleading, a misnomer because there are so many more possessions (in an up-tempo contest). More possessions usually produce more points. We have to do a better job defensively. We allowed it to be a H-O-R-S-E contest the first half against them, and of course they stepped up and made shots.”

KU’s Marcus Morris scored a team-leading 22 points in the first meeting. Mario Little had 17 points off 7-of-9 shooting, while Markieff Morris, Tyshawn Taylor and Travis Releford had 16, 13 and 10, respectively. Lawrence Bowers scored 19 to lead Mizzou, followed by Phil Pressey (17) and Ricardo Ratliffe (12).

“I think it’s something we will focus on defending their motion,” KU junior guard Taylor said. “They do a lot of backcutting and fade screens, single down. We’ll practice hard. I think we’ll be ready.”

On the intangible side, the Jayhawks realize they can wrap up an undisputed Big 12 title with a victory. If KU loses and Texas beats Baylor, the Jayhawks share the league title with UT.

“I think it’s both,” Taylor said of the motivation being winning league outright and beating a rival. “It’s definitely a rivalry. We know they will play us tough there. They are undefeated at home. The last time we played a rival on the road, it wasn’t too good (84-68 loss to Kansas State on Feb. 14). We’ve got to be better than we were at K-State. I think we know that.

“I think we’ll be ready for their pressure, and the atmosphere will be crazy. We have to be ready to respond,” Taylor added.

Self noted: “We’ve only played one road game since K-State — Oklahoma,” he said of last Saturday’s 82-70 victory. “It was a game we made shots early. We didn’t feel the pressure in that game. We are going to feel some pressure (today).”

That’s full-court pressure.

KU suffered just 12 turnovers against an MU team that didn’t press much in Lawrence. Last year, KU suffered 19 turnovers in a 77-56 victory in Columbia. At home, the Tigers are holding opponents to 39 percent shooting and 29 percent from three-point range, while forcing 21 turnovers per contest. MU ranks third in the country at 9.7 steals a game.

“When we’re at home, the crowd kind of feeds off our energy, and we kind of do the same off theirs,” said MU’s Marcus Denmon, a 6-3 junior guard out of Kansas City (Mo.) Hogan Prep. “It (Mizzou Arena) is a tough place to play in, and that kind of helps us out.”

The Jayhawks are 13-3 overall versus Mizzou in the Self era. KU owns a 4-3 mark in Columbia, where, as Marcus Morris indicated, the pressing Tigers resemble “gnats that won’t get out of your kitchen when you leave dishes in there a long time.”

“One thing you want to do,” Self said, “is take advantage of their aggressiveness, if you can. Like a lot of teams out there, if you are passive against them, their pressure becomes greater. We need to attack their pressure. That’s not any hidden secret at all. Sometimes we’ve had success doing that, and sometimes we have not at all.

“They are a team that you can’t get hung up on turning it over once or twice in a row; when you put that much pressure on people, you will turn it over some. We have to make sure we limit our turnovers and take care of the basketball, be in attack mode. Then when we do screw up, our mistakes don’t lead to easy baskets.”

KU, by the way, is 8-1 on the road this season, 6-1 in enemy gyms in league action.

“It’s fun, a different kind of adrenaline rush,” KU sophomore Elijah Johnson said of the road. “Pride is something we have. We’ll see what happens.”


Kevin Studer 8 years, 10 months ago

So MU only had one true nonconference road game this year? Umm, why are they ranked again?

KU_FanSince75 8 years, 10 months ago

It will nice if the Jayhawks can have a fast start like they did at Oklahoma. KU will play well, I am confident of that. Is that enough to win at Mizzou arena? It should be if the Jayhawks play their game. Good luck, Hawks! Beat Missouri!

actorman 8 years, 10 months ago

Cusack, that's kind of a bizarre comment considering that KU only had two true nonconference road games. Sadly, it's not that unusual these days for major-conference teams to only have one or two road games. The best non-conference games are usually at neutral sites.

jaybate 8 years, 10 months ago


This is in answer to yesterday's question about why illegal hand checking appears on the way down and cheap shotting appears on the up swing?

This is a fascinating question that I suspect takes us very near the core of how the referees have tried to go about remedying last year's increased contact that culminated in an NCAA Finals spectacle pitting Butler's illegal hand checking against Duke's XTReme Cheap Shotting, and how that remedy appears not to be working as intended.

My guess is that sometime after last season, certain respected refs talked with several respected coaches (probably some retired ones like Bob Knight, and some active ones like Self) about what happened in the Finals and what ought to be done to prevent that sort of disgrace from happening again and heard some consensus form that went as follows.

Coach Consonants only escalated to XTReme Cheap Shotting every time Butler closed within three, because you guys would not call Butler for illegal hand checking. Call the games tighter, or at least call the hand checking and he, and others, won't resort to XTReme Cheap Shotting.

The refs probably thought about it, maybe conferred with higher ups at the NCAA, and decided that calling the game tighter would not keep the games in the broadcast windows, so that was out.

A decision was made to call hand checking more tightly this season, though not so tightly that it would stretch games beyond their broadcast windows.

Probably no one seriously considered the simplest response: just put a stop to the XTReme Cheap Shotting by calling it more tightly, because that would be calling the Dean of College Basketball coaches, and a major market media draw, Coach Consonants, on the carpet. No one wanted to disgrace a "respected" and "legendary" "winner" and "pillar" of the game by saying that the way he had won his latest ring was by cheating that should have been enforced and wasn't, but will be now. That is kind of a messy problematic path to move down.

jaybate 8 years, 10 months ago

If you were the powers that be, who's strategy of winning illegally would you rather blame for last year's debacle and stop the following season?

A young, little known coach from a mid major in a small Indiana media market that has annoyed a great many coaches by using illegal hand checking?

Or the most celebrated active coach in the game, who just retaliated with XTReme Cheap Shotting against a young coach who would like to take the next step up in coaching?

They decided to slap down the yong loser for illegal hand checking and appease the old winner, a petty tyrant in Durham, Coach Consonants, who has a long history of cheap shotting whenever his team gets in danger of losing a game before the stretch run.

It probably seemed an expedient compromise.

Take away the hand checking and the XTReme Cheap Shotting goes away on its own.

Unfortunately that is at foundation an appeasement strategy. Appeasement strategies are not always bad strategies, but they do have some inherent problems.

Appeasement strategies always assume that the aggressor being appeased will do what he says; that he will stop after he gets one ring with XTReme Cheap Shotting, or one country in the case of Adolph Hitler. Petty tyrants often do not do what they say they will do, or what they are expected to.

Also, by not explicitly punishing a rule breaker's misbehavior, for whatever reaspm, everyone else in the game sees that one way or another it is possible now to break the rule and not only get away with it, but profit handsomely by doing so.

Quite a lot of lessons, intended and otherwise, were learned when Coach Consonants was allowed to beat a team playing an illegal hand checking defense and so steal a ring with XTReme Cheaps Shotting.

Lesson 1: If the refs will let Coach Consonants get away with XTReme Cheap Shotting, then it must be the new standard.

Lesson 2: Siince XTReme Cheap Shotting trumps illegal hand checking, don't waste practice time learning to illegal hand check, even though they let you get away with; instead, learn to XTreme Cheap Shot.

Lesson 3: XTReme Cheap Shotting is an effective way to trump XTReme Muscle, because no XTReme Muscle teams got to the Finals.

Lesson 4: XTReme Cheap Shotting can be done without prison bodies, so I can do XTReme Cheap Shotting regardless of whom I have on the roster next year; hence, this is a quick, easy remedy for dealing with XTReme Muscle, illegal hand checking, or any other illegal tactic that comes my way way.

So the season began and the refs began curbing the illegal hand checking and hoped that the XTReme Cheap Shotting would disappear like a bad dream.

But with the lessons learned above, that has not appeared to happen.

jaybate 8 years, 10 months ago

What has happened is that a lot of coaches realize that, while they aren't seeing as much illegal hand checking, there remains an increasing diet of XTReme Muscle being played, which was the original reason Brad Stevens at Butler had innovated with his illegal hand checking defense. And lo and behold Coach Consonants appeared to use XTReme Cheap Shotting again this season now directed toward any team that XTReme Muscled his players. And not only was he allowed apparently to get away with it, he was apparently allowed to practice it against some mid majors that were not even threats to win a game with Duke.

This appeared to trigger other coaches, by December, to start using XCSing.

And, of course, there are always unforeseen adaptations of a strategy by clever coaches.

The unforeseen adaptation here was KU appearing to have its team deliver cheap shots in ways that assured the player would not be ejected, and that the referee would have instead to contemplate whether it was a flagrant cheap shot, or the astoninshing paradox of, a non flagrant cheap shot, or what I have coined the XTReme Cheap Shot Lite.

Referees now find themselves slipping into what used to be called a Vietnam, but which now has to be called an Afghanistan, because USA's war in Vietnam now seems brief in comparison to to its war in Afghanistan.

Referees have a achieved a lot less hand checking, but at the expense of an unexpected rising tide of XTReme Cheap Shotting, plus an unexpected variation called XTReme Cheap Shotting Lite that puts referees in the highly problematic, nearly absurd position of having to distinguish between a flagrant cheap shot and a non-flagrant cheap shot.

Big troubles in zebra land.

If they let this continue, they are going to have more and more XTReme Cheap Shotting Lite that is going to force them to call more and more fouls to prevent the XTReme Cheap Shotting Lite, which is going to push the games out of the broadcast windows, or they are going to have to let the game turn into an out of control caricature of itself in which XTReme Cheap Shotting, XTReme Cheap Shotting Lite, and XTReme Muscle are now epidemic.

This is a case study in emergent complexity and unforeseen consequences altering a dynamic system into a new, and decidedly undesirable new equilibrium strategy, as the game theorists call it.

Everyone meant to clean up the game a little, and instead they have made it not only dirtier, but dirtier in a more complicated way.

All for now.

Matt1958 8 years, 10 months ago

How do I nominate you for a Pulitzer prize?

bulltown03 8 years, 10 months ago

also, national title @ misery?? get real anderson

madamhawk 8 years, 10 months ago

Gawd I love that pic of Cole with the "deez nuts" dunk! That my friends will never get old to look at!

Beat Misery!!! RCJH!

Jeremy Paul 8 years, 10 months ago

My parents taught me that hate is a strong word and that it is unhealthy to hate, so there really isn't anything I hate at all in this world except the Missouri Tigers. I grew up in Leawood, Kansas--about 1/2 mile from State Line Road. Their side of the like was black and piss yellow, and our side was Crimson and Blue, and it had to be fiercely defended. I hated them from day one, hated Derrick Chievous and Doug Smith and Anthony Peeler. I hated that they were slave-owning, confederate outlaws and was proud that we were peacefuly abolitionists. And when my two older brothers went to KU the hatred for Missouri grew. I spent three years of college in Wisconsin, then suddenly found myself transrerring to of all places the f-ing Universith of Missouri. I sewed a big Jayhawk patch onto my backpack and walked proudly around campus each day, declaring my love for KU at every opportunity. I enjoyed school and appreciate my education, and I actually really dug Columbia, but my hatred for their sports teams flourished. I hated black and I hated gold and I hated Derek Grimm and I especially hated Jason Sutherland. In my two years there I went to one game: when KU came to town in 1996. I was able to score two tickets and invited one of my brother's old roommates--a KU grad. It was a magical season, their best team I'd ever seen, Vaughn and Haase and LaFrentz and Pierce and Pollard. And there's me and my buddy in our blue shirts among a sea of urine-colored people and the game goes to overtime and KU loses and the pain--the actual, physical pain--is something I never want to feel ever again. Then somehow their pathetic football team suddenly becomes decent and the attitude and cockiness just became unbearable. I hate Missouri and I hate those stupid antler jerkoffs and I swear to god the one thing I hate the MOST in the whole world is the sound of Missouri fans cheering. I don't want them cheering. I HATE them. This is a big game. I really hope they play in front of a quiet crowd. Rock Chalk!

Jack Wilson 8 years, 10 months ago

Thing important to watch for today - 1. Will Missouri really press? Last game, Anderson called off the dogs and didn't press much at all, understanding he would get run out of the gym. He still got run out of the gym. 2. If Anderson has a Razorbacks sticker under his jacket. In an attempt to quell the rumor, Anderson played dodgeball, saying he "planned on" being at Missouri and retireing there, and saying "I'm here." Of course without saying "I definitely won't take the Arkansas job or any other job. I love Missouri and will retire here." Understandable. 3. Will Releford get any serious minutes? If not, he is definitively the odd guy out. 4. Does EJ get yanked on his first turnover? If so, Self's tipping his hand to TT. If not, Self has really, truly reached a comfort level with EJ. And how he responds to TT in the same manner. Basically, monitoring Self's reactions to bad plays, which will certainly occur. Will be interesting to see how much composure EJ has in that environment. 5. How well does TT play off the bench? Personally, I think this role is great for TT. I know other view it differently. But I think TT off the bench is better. Bring the faster/quicker guy off the bench, sometimes, is more effective because of the change of pace. Easy to adjust to a guy a touch slower than to a faster guy ... particularly a guy on the ball (much like football, where bring in the faster RB as a change of pace is more effective than bringing the bigger back off the bench -- see Thomas Jones/Jamaal Charles). 6. Can we get baskets to fall? Seems simple. But we keep teams in games by failing to convert on relatively easy chances. By missing layups and shots that should go in .. meaning we have stretches like that (see the first 10 minutes vs. Texas A&M). 7. Will Brady keep it up? Coach Self has gone "all in" with Brady. His season is riding on this guy. The fact is, regardless of all the talk of intangibles, Brady needs to bang down the three and pick up some other garbage points ---- but most importantly, to be another scoring option when other guys go cold. Will that situation arise today .. will Marcus struggle, will Kieff get in foul trouble. will Reed be cold from behind the arc, will TT/EJ fail to contribute points .. break glass, and can Brady step up. I will not change my opinion. I would have gone will Releford all season at the 3, and I believe we would have a better overall player (and we don't know if that's where Self would have ended up if Releford didn't get hurt). But Brady has been playing well, and again, Self has gone "all in" .. we all hope his decision pays off. If Brady can consistently bang down the 3, that is huge for this team.

Jack Wilson 8 years, 10 months ago

(cont) 8. Selby -- like many, I've waited for him to have another USC game. Still waiting. A more open floor vs. Missouri could create some more opportunities. But his jump-shot has flattened out (as pointed out on the broadcast Wednesday), and he just doesn't seem explosive. I wonder if the guy has been mismanaged by Self. Pure speculation. It's Selby's job to perform within the system. 9. How much do we dominate inside? We run it through the big guy. Will that pay off today. Just a guess, but I think TRob plays huge today. 10. Who guards Denmon? Odds say Brady, but maybe EJ. Self has said EJ's defense has been excellent .. did he say "spectaculor" or something like that? 11. And to TRob. And an unfortunate subject. How will the Antlers react to TRob and what he has gone through? What do I expect? You know ... I expect zero class. I expect the worst. I expect to hear of comments that would only be uttered from the safety of the mob, supported by an institution like MU. I seriously hope that this little group can draw the line where it should be drawn. If they do draw the line, we all can simply grant them a little respect. 12. Oh, and how low will MU's NCAA seed go? Could they get as low as a 12 with a loss today, and a loss next Wednesday? Doubtful, but enjoyable to consider.

KU 83 MU 74

jaybate 8 years, 10 months ago

Good questions.

Good pick.

Re: Selby. He's injured. He's such a great player, that he can play on one leg and still help the team just a little. If he were to come back next season, and be healthy, he would easily average what ever amount of points Self asked him to score. He could average 25-30 per game if asked. He would play excellent defense. He would master every phase of his role by the mid point of next season. He could be the gunny, or the M-260 man. He could impact, or glue. He's Picasso with broken hands. No, he's Leonardo sent young to the studio in Florence, when he was learning from some of the great craftsmen of his time, who said, "Let this one go at his own pace, he can paint!"

Tony Bandle 8 years, 10 months ago

Tough Assignment: 1] Mizzou's Home Advantage 2] 11:00 am start time...always throws off team rythm 3] Our lack of success on CBS. 4] Mizzou is due for one of those every shot goes in games. 5] Kansas in a lot better position than Misery...misery more desparate.

If we play our game, defend the three, and pound it inside, we'll be fine.

Dave Chance 8 years, 10 months ago

Hello fellow Jayhawks. I'm in Kuwait this week and need a website to watch the game. I've never used justinTV, but I did just go to that site and it doesn't appear to be available there. Does CBS stream their games?

Thanks for any help, Rock Chalk!

Woody Cragg 8 years, 10 months ago

Don't know if any posters roots run as deep, but my Mother's GrDad lost a leg in the Civil War at 17 yrs old fighting for the Union (Massachusetts Infantry). He settled in SW Iowa & is buried about mile from the family farm. Man the stories we heard when we were kids. Dad's family settled in Eastern Kansas and lived in these parts during the 1860's. Their yarns were even more dramatic because of the real Border War. Am showing my age now, but history tells the truth about Quantrell, John Brown, Jesse James, and the Knights of the Golden Circle. The owner/editor of the Kansas City Star was also a phanatic supporter of the Confederacy. The Battle of Mine Creek was about the rebels last stand, just about 20 miles from my little farm. Some accounts say 4 to 5 thousand died in that battle and it actually occured after the surrender at Appommatox. If these hills could talk...they'd probably tell me to just blow away. Anyhoo, beatdown misery badly guys, take no prisoners! Remember always, KSU sucks, but misery swallows!

Woody Cragg 8 years, 10 months ago

A humble thanks. My family actually lived the Border War.

PistolPete 8 years, 10 months ago

Try this link:

Scroll down the listings and you will see KU v Mizzou

Best regards

jaybate 8 years, 10 months ago

"Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord: He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored; He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword: His truth is marching on."

Vittorio1224 8 years, 10 months ago

One only need look back at history and understand the reason for the hatred rivalry in the first place --- the origins rest in the fact that Misery was a "slave state" and Kansas is a FREE STATE, hence the name of the infamous Free State Brewery on Mass St. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!! Freedom is a sweet thing...

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