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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Clash with Cowboys: KU to face Oklahoma State in Big 12 quarterfinals

Marcus Morris (left) and Travis Releford tangle with Marshall Moses as Kansas and Oklahoma State played during the first half Monday, Feb. 21, 2011, at Allen Fieldhouse

Marcus Morris (left) and Travis Releford tangle with Marshall Moses as Kansas and Oklahoma State played during the first half Monday, Feb. 21, 2011, at Allen Fieldhouse

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— Kansas University’s basketball practice ended at the perfect time early Wednesday afternoon, crunch time of a first-round Big 12 tournament clash between Oklahoma State and Nebraska.

“That was a great win for Oklahoma State,” KU coach Bill Self said.

He dined on barbecue in an Allen Fieldhouse lounge while watching the Cowboys (19-12) close out a 53-52 victory over the Cornhuskers (19-12) in Sprint Center.

“They are in a situation they probably need to win the tournament (to get an NCAA bid),” Self added of the No. 9-seeded Pokes, who meet No. 1 seed KU in a quarterfinal contest at 11:30 a.m. today in Sprint Center.

“I think they’ll play in the postseason, no question. To get in the NCAAs, they probably have to win this, which they are certainly capable of doing.”

Self — his Jayhawks boarded a huge, black charter bus for their downtown Kansas City hotel at 1:40 p.m. Wednesday — has a healthy dose of respect for coach Travis Ford’s Pokes, a team the Jayhawks slammed, 92-65, on Feb. 21 in Allen Fieldhouse.

“Even though we just played them two weeks ago, our players don’t know them as well as Nebraska,” Self said. The Jayhawks beat the Huskers twice.

“I said all along I like their team. They can throw three bigs at you (Matt Pilgrim, Marshall Moses, Jarred Shaw) and have guys who can stretch it from the perimeter (Keiton Page, Reger Dowell).”

Moses, a 6-foot-7, 255-pound senior power forward, exploded for a career-best 27 points off 8-of-11 shooting against KU. He hit 10 of 13 free throws.

“I don’t know who’s No. 1, but it must be the (Los Angeles) Lakers, because I think Kansas is the best team in America,” Moses said after scoring 10 points and grabbing five rebounds against Nebraska on Wednesday.

“I think we have legit shot if we play as a team and we do our best to contain the Morris twins and (Brady) Morningstar and the guys they’ve got from the three-point arc. They’ve got an excellent point guard and great depth on the bench. If we come ready to play and play as a team, we’ll have a shot.”

The Jayhawks resembled the Lakers in sinking 10 of 23 threes in the first meeting vs. OSU. KU led, 52-28, at halftime and never looked back.

“I was joking with some of my teammates after we played them. That team probably could play somewhere in the NBA and compete,” Moses said. “We knew they were that good. We’re going to know (today). So the question is, are we going to bring the effort to try to make those guys miss shots, to get out there and contest on the ball, box out, rebound, fronting, three-quartering the post and do our best job and give our best effort?”

Marcus and Markieff Morris combined for 32 points and 12 boards versus the Cowboys.

“Marcus Morris is personally my favorite player to watch when we’re not playing them. Him and (Colorado’s) Alec Burks,” Moses said. “They’re never really scared any nights. They don’t really take any nights off. Rebound the ball excellently, versatile player ... I think he (Morris) reminds me a lot of me,” Moses added, laughing. “He’s a cool guy, too. Playing against him, he’s not really a big trash-talker. A nice guy, him and Markieff. So I kind of like them.”

There appeared to be some trash-talking between the Morris twins and OSU’s Moses and Matt Pilgrim (four points, four boards) in Lawrence.

“You know when we’re playing basketball, especially against teams like that, you kind of get into bickering with guys back and forth. It’s all love. It’s all in basketball. After the game, we shake hands and let it go,” Moses said. “We’re going to have to come up with some different lines or something, because it didn’t work last time.”

Pilgrim — the 6-foot-8, 255-pound senior had 12 rebounds and two points versus Nebraska — said, “not at all,” when asked if he was trying to get in the twins’ heads.

“That’s just how we play. We play aggressive. They responded to it. We're going to play the same way we did last time,” said Pilgrim, who had four points and four boards against KU.

“If they respond to it, there’s nothing we can do. But I plan on attacking the same way we did last time.”

Of today’s meeting, Pilgrim said: “This is another opportunity to make a name for ourselves. It’s the end of the season, but there’s always time to step up.”

The Jayhawks, of course, have to be aware of sharpshooter Page, a 5-9 junior from Pawnee, Okla., who missed nine of 11 shots and had eight points in 38 minutes in Allen.

He scored 16 points off 6-of-13 shooting, including four of eight from three versus Nebraska.

Page has made 54 of 172 threes this season.

“He’s good,” KU coach Self said. “Four threes don’t seem like an unbelievable number. When the winning team has 53, it is a high number. He’s played well.”

Page had a tough time shaking the defense of Elijah Johnson in Allen, missing six of eight threes.

“He was just a little more physical and tried to play on top of ball screens a little bit more,” Page said. “He’s a good defender, good athlete, has good length. He did a good job down in Lawrence. Personally, I think I’ve been struggling all season to get my shots to fall down. But yeah, he did a great job of playing defense on me that game.”

Page noted that today’s game presents “a huge opportunity for us. Our backs are against the walls. We’re just striving to play another day. I think our guys are understanding that and knowing that it takes every single one of us out there to go out and give a team effort and just play as hard as we can for 40 minutes.”

The winner of today’s game will meet either Kansas State or Colorado at 6 p.m. Friday in Sprint Center.

The tourney final is 5 p.m. Saturday.

Comments

eagle64 3 years, 1 month ago

Tack up the baner now, Who can beat ku ?

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Mike Bratisax 3 years, 1 month ago

The second worst first half I've seen Kansas play this year. Can someone besides Reed shoot free throws after a technical? I can't remember him hitting both in a long while.

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REHawk 3 years, 1 month ago

Good photo, kudos to Kevin Anderson. This game should provide our coaching staff a prime opportunity to experiment with available chess pieces. Fans might view intriguing player combinations today. I'm hoping the best of good fortune befalls Releford and Withey.

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William Blake 3 years, 1 month ago

It is amazing how the media has vilified the twins all year by calling them thugs, etc.... but I haven't seen a Big 12 team speak anything but praise for the twins!

I think I'll go with the players' view on the twins over all the media distortion.

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DocBean 3 years, 1 month ago

Where can I listen to the game online? I tried 610, but it went silent.

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Martin Rosenblum 3 years, 1 month ago

There's another OSU team out there that we could possibly meet up with later on. Let's play this one like we were playing the other OSU and we'll show what we are really capable of. So what if we win by 30-40 pts. Would that be a bad thing? We HAVE to assert ourselves! Play like you've got 3 balls!

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BCRavenJHawkfan 3 years, 1 month ago

Please, please blanket Keiton Page. Please!

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Jack Wilson 3 years, 1 month ago

Considerations in today's game: 1. Intensity level/focus: This game might be an insight into how we might handle a significantly lesser opponent in the NCAA tourney, from a focus standpoint. That being said, OSU can beat us. But this is a team we should beat by 20. 2. EJ vs. TT: I had suggested that the important game to look at as to whether TT would be the main guy going forward .. starter .. would be the Big 12 semis. I still think that, but who knows. 3. Releford: Any playing real time at all, or is he done? 4. Morris twins calm: Despite the horrible calls vs. MU, both remained calm. It is a good trend. 5. Brady: I have been pretty wary of Brady's hot streak. Coach Self uses the term "fool's gold" many times, and recently to describe winning games by hitting shots (meaning, by being hot shooting which you can't rely upon game in, game out). The same could be said for Brady. He does little things well. I get that. But he does not do enough little things well to justify 35 minutes if he isn't hitting shots or dumping major assists .. most precisely, hitting the 3 ball. I really believe that a major threat to our NCAA advancement is if Brady isn't hitting shots and Self sticks with him for the same minutes. In a game where one Morris is off, the other in foul trouble, and Reed not hitting, we have to have the "fool's gold." 6. Selby: Appropriate to follow-up with Selby. Just wonder how much Self plays him. Selby's poor play has put Self in a box when it comes to the rotation. And that would rotate me back up to point 3 on Releford. Releford's defensive ability, 6-6 size, improved outside shooting, and ability to get to the rim has to have some value on this team. Is he a better option than Selby right now? Or is he better if Selby continues to play poorly? I just think we've missed the boat on Releford .. like we almost did with EJ.

RCJC!

KU 81 OSU 65

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chriz 3 years, 1 month ago

So, uh, when's the next game?

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HawkBBall 3 years, 1 month ago

Please, please, do not look past OSU for a rematch with KSU! One game at a time.

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KGphoto 3 years, 1 month ago

Okay, obviously I stopped working to watch the game today, so I'm bored for another couple hours. Apparently the actual Moses (top) was ripped off by a car insurance company. Am I the only one who can see this? What in the Sam hell is that photo about? LowerMoses'bills.com

What's he gonna do with $455 anyway? Make it rain at the scrimp club? I doubt it.

Hey pops, hate to break it, but you can't take it with you. Stop frettin'. What you really need is a nice warm bowl of oatmeal and a nap before tipoff. You shouldn't even be driving anyway.

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SaulGood 3 years, 1 month ago

If the 'Hawks take care of the ball today, we will win this. If we commit a lot of turnovers and give OSU the chance to build up a head of steam, OSU can make the most of that and really upset our day. I'd like to see what we can do against OSU before I worry at all about who we might get revenge on this weekend.

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clevelandjayhawker 3 years, 1 month ago

Get the W, no injuries and have fun

Anyone else feel like this team has more personality than any other team, ever?

I mean it feels like this season is going to be made into a movie in a few years, I feel like I know more about each player than any other year, and that they all have their own charactersitics that are easy to pick up on.

Given the past few sports movies made about teams id have to be Mathew Maconghy would play Self.

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3 years, 1 month ago

I enjoyed Matt Pilgrim’s quote above:

“That’s just how we play. We play aggressive. They responded to it. We're going to play the same way we did last time,” said Pilgrim, who had four points and four boards against KU.

Hmmm, I wonder how well that worked:

Oklahoma State’s wide-body power forward Matt Pilgrim looked as if on a mission to trigger Marcus’ temper at the outset of the game, talking trash to him and bumping him constantly and even nailing him with an elbow…“It’s hard to say he was trying to,” Marcus said. “At the beginning of the game, he gave me a little ’bow to show he was there. And I gave him 27 (points) to show I was there.”

http://www2.kusports.com/news/2011/feb/22/did-tyshawn-taylor-just-get-pipped/?mens_basketball

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joeloveshawks 3 years, 1 month ago

I very rarely say this as every team in the Big 12 gives us their best shot, but this game should not be close. We are playing well and are going to essentially be playing in front of our home crowd and the result should be similar to what it was in Lawrence.

What I am a bit concerned about is the potential back to back games Friday and Saturday that could be K State and then Texas. They could both be looked at as revenge games so I hope we don't expend too much energy today.

No matter what, we are a #1 seed on Selection Sunday.

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jhwkfan162515 3 years, 1 month ago

I appreciate the mutual respect between both teams here. I don't know how well the Jayhawks would do against an NBA team. At any rate, KU should win by 20 here today. Let's win the Big 12 Tournament for the second straight year and the fifth time in six years!

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Ben Kane 3 years, 1 month ago

does anyone know an interntet radio feed that won't be blacked out?

if not, oh well. I doubt this game will be close for more than 5 minutes.

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Woody Cragg 3 years, 1 month ago

I used to hate those damn blank pistols at Stillwater!

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JayhawkInChicago 3 years, 1 month ago

I hope so, especially having the extra rest. I won't be able to see the game ( damn work) but I will have my ear buds in and probably not getting any work done for 2 hours.ROCK CHALK!

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KGphoto 3 years, 1 month ago

Meh.

I smell a beat-down of the highest order.

The twins stand behind Moses, laughing, as he parts a sea. Twins I say. Twins.

It's just not fair.

Okie St. 66 KU much more than that

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