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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Keegan

Aggies will test Kansas

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The Missouri game, in case you haven’t heard, is Saturday in Allen Fieldhouse.

The website “Bovada.lv” has released college basketball player-of-the-year odds, and Kansas University forward Thomas Robinson (7/4) is the slight favorite over Kentucky’s Anthony Davis (2/1), who is way ahead of Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger (13/2).

All of which at the moment means nothing to Robinson, an athlete locked in enough to know the only way to get it done is to train his focus on the next opponent and all the details that go into defeating it.

In this case, that’s Texas A&M on Wednesday in College Station. The Aggies’ season has been fraught with injuries, illness and embarrassing losses.

Even so, they’re getting better. Their last three home games: three-point loss to Baylor, two-point loss to Texas, nine-point loss to Missouri.

Khris Middleton, A&M’s most accomplished player, returned for Saturday’s Missouri game from his second knee-caused inactive stretch. Without Middleton, the Aggies were a tough out for Kansas in Allen Fieldhouse, where KU won, 64-54.

“We’ve got to play tougher than the first time,” Robinson said before Monday’s practice. “We were not only struggling, but if I remember right, we were down in the first half.”

Robinson remembered right. A&M took a 30-28 lead into the locker room.

“They’re going to be a much better team now,” Robinson said. “We have to go down there prepared with our minds right.”

Defensively, the Aggies like to clog the lane, which creates three-point opportunities. Only Tyshawn Taylor (3-for-6) made them pay in the first game. The rest of the players combined to make one of 14.

“They sit their off-side guy right in the middle of the lane, so it’s kind of hard for us to work our game plan, which is inside-out,” Robinson said. “We’ll just have to work around it, but it’s not like it’s our first time playing them. We know what to expect.”

Robinson and center Jeff Withey both are prolific scorers, which drives home the importance of feeding the post. A&M won’t make it easy.

“Coach (Bill) Self’s going to find a way for our game plan to work,” Robinson said.

He carries a heavy load, and mid-February can be when players feel it most.

“You have your days you’re tired,” Robinson said. “Some days you feel good. It’s all part of the season. But when I’m playing, it’s not a problem. It’s not something that will stop me. I’m in pretty good shape right now to finish the season off.”

Comments

jaybate 2 years, 2 months ago

MU is a light weight that is being exposed.

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Mike Kendall 2 years, 2 months ago

Bummer---Missery lost. And the biggest crybaby award goes to--------

Steve Moore. I hope some of Jayhawk Nation saw what a huge fit he threw when he fouled out. Unbelievable!!!!!!!!!!

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texashawk10 2 years, 2 months ago

Do not underestimate Texas A&M. Khris Middleton was a legitimate preseason Big 12 POY candidate, David Loubeau is a solid player with lots of experience, Dash Harris if he plays minutes is one of the better PG's in the Big 12 and Billy Kennedy is a very good coach (He built that Murray St. team this year) so this is a game that KU could definitely lose if they are looking ahead to Saturday. It does worry me that this isn't the most focused of teams KU has had in recent memory and that they have yet to play a complete game this season. A game against a deceptively good team after right before the biggest rivalry game on the schedule equals trap game for a KU team that has been caught looking ahead a couple of times this season against lesser opponents.

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hawkmaster 2 years, 2 months ago

Changing the subject, but something for you all to chew on.

Which "starting" KU bigs would you rather have on a team (do not consider big man depth, only the starters)? Would you rather have KU's 09-10 bigs of Aldrich/Marcus Morris, 10-11 bigs of Marcus/Markieff, or the 11-12 bigs of TRob/Withey (and to make it more difficult, assume that Withey will play like he has in the last 4 games subsequent to his poor Mizzou showing).

I never thought at the beginning of this season, that I would be considering the current KU combo with the bigs in the prior two years. Without getting into a lot of stats, comparative records, etc. which is difficult to do because of the different dynamics of each team - - I believe there is a good argument that TRob/Withey may be the best. But with the huge caveat, only if Withey plays the remainder of the season more like he did the past 4 games.

So let the debate begin....This would be a good article for LJW writers to develop!

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Benjamin Piehler 2 years, 2 months ago

I'm more worried about playing OSU away; but take them one at a time, I guess.

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ejlumus 2 years, 2 months ago

How are officials assigned (picked) for games?

The last game in the sh$t hole was very troubling. I hope "lil brother" is treated fair and can kick their a$$!!

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Tony Bandle 2 years, 2 months ago

Hey, Jayhawks..remember, these guys are traitors also, as they scurry off to the SEC [the Screw Education Conference]. Please send them off with a real butt tatooing.

Home Record: 15 - 0 Away Record: 5 - 2 Neutral Record 2 - 3

Last time I looked, except for Duke and North Carolina, the rest of Division One NCAA games are played on neutral courts. I'm just sayin'.

If we lose any of these next four conference games, I won't jump off a bridge.....jump in front of a bus, maybe.....but not jump off of a bridge!!

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Aaron Rosenthal 2 years, 2 months ago

That is a perfectly fine sentence. Also, if you're going to criticize the writing you should probably spell inference correctly.

Ditto all the A&M is dangerous comments. Middleton, Harris, Loubeau and Turner have been part of a successful program in their 3-4 years. I'm sure they're all sick of losing and even with no NCAA prospects see themselves as a good team on a given night.

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William Blake 2 years, 2 months ago

"The rest of the players combined to make one of 14."

Two things need to happen in this game different from the first game. First... our perimeter players have to either hit the 3... or let up on it when it isn't dropping and penetrate at least past their own defender and start nailing mid-range shots (or take it to the rim if it is there). Second... Mr. W can relieve some of the double-team pressure off of TRob by playing with more aggressiveness on offense.

"“Coach (Bill) Self’s going to find a way for our game plan to work,” Robinson said."

When you are vying for Player Of the Year you better find ways to win yourself. No question, CS makes plans, but it is more about the team executing his plan. Don't back off your own responsibilities.

"“You have your days you’re tired,” Robinson said. “Some days you feel good."

If you want to start playing like the pro you will soon become then you have to adjust your life around basketball. Don't start your day with 3 Twix bars. Start your day with a big shot of wheatgrass, 3 bananas and lots of bottled water. You do that and suddenly you don't have those tired days anymore. It's not a joke... watch grand slam tennis and see what these guys do between sets and games.

If we are really focused on winning this league and another national title, we have to think like adults and make responsible choices on and off the court.

Advice to the entire team... read two paragraphs above and knock out candy, energy drinks and all other junk now. You can resume torturing your body in April... It has been a long season and our starting 5 has racked up so many minutes of PT that it is starting to take its toll. Body nicks and low energy now enhances the chances of injury and sub-par performance. Counter the effects with better nutrition and responsible rest.

Now is the time for the responsible adults to take charge and decide who takes home the gold this year. We've worked so hard this year and it would be a shame if we didn't stay achieving at the end....

Step up, men!

Rock Chalk!

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Jason Keller 2 years, 2 months ago

I am the nation's most passionate Kansas State fan..... tonight.

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REHawk 2 years, 2 months ago

A+M began play this season with high regard from league coaches who predicted that they would tie for the league title. Middleton's lingering injury and Billy Kennedy's health problems combined to derail the Aggies in early play, so that by league season their squad sputtered and failed to play to expectation. However, the players are still there; and with the return of Middleton, perhaps significant minutes from a recovering Dash Harris, we could be in for a battle with a highly regarded group of players who have now adjusted to the coaching change and situation. I look to see a real cliffhanger for the Jayhawks tomorrow night. Kind of like what Bill Self said weeks ago about Jeff Withey. He is blessed with height, and wakes up every morning as a 7 footer. Aggies are now a squad which wakes up as a talented group whom league coaches predicted to share the trophy. Beware!

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jhox 2 years, 2 months ago

aTm is a trap game if I've ever seen one. They gave us all we wanted in Lawrence, and now they're getting healthy again. Guys are saying the right things, but let's hope they really understand we can lose this game if we think ahead to MU, and don't come ready to play.

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Danny Hernandez 2 years, 2 months ago

Somehow, I got the gist of what the writer while taking the slow road fraught with wrong turns was trying to say; See, I too can be a sports writer!

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kusportsdotcom 2 years, 2 months ago

"All of which at the moment means nothing to Robinson, an athlete locked in enough to know the only way to get it done is to train his focus on the next opponent and all the details that go into defeating it."

Not only is that not a complete sentence, it doesn't really make sense.

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KU_Alumn_2000 2 years, 2 months ago

Two keys stated in the article that should lead to KU winning.

1: KU knows what to expect with A&M clogging the paint...since we've played them once.

2: HCBS will game plan around A&M's defensive strategy to ensure success.

Words do not describe how much I hope we humiliate and destroy Mizzou by at least 30 on Saturday......and do it again in the Big 12 tournament final.

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