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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Keegan

KU’s biggest gains tough to judge

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A thought camped in my mind and I decided to write it down before it died of loneliness: More than just the Kansas University basketball players have improved this season. The Allen Fieldhouse crowd has gotten even better too. Louder. Prouder.

Reader poll

Which KU starter has improved the most since last season?

  • Tyshawn Taylor 7% 334 votes
  • Elijah Johnson 0% 34 votes
  • Travis Releford 13% 589 votes
  • Thomas Robinson 19% 864 votes
  • Jeff Withey 58% 2600 votes

4421 total votes.

And what could have caused that, other than the team exceeding expectations?

Maybe, just maybe, in the final years of the ticket fraud that padded the pockets of folks now serving sentences, the ever-changing faces of those sitting in some of the best seats prevented a sense of community from growing with each game. Maybe, just maybe, donors started sensing they weren’t getting what they paid for and looked with suspicion at those with better seats and wondered how much, if anything, they donated to the Williams Fund.

Last year, honesty was restored to the system, but a transition was necessary in order for all the resentment of those who didn’t get what they paid for in previous seasons to fade.

The crowd for the Big Monday blowout against Baylor brought it from opening tip to the final horn. The loudmouth in the ball cap who sits near the visiting bench let the refs have it with extra acidity to his tongue, sharper fangs to his ever-pointing index finger. The dunks drew louder roars. The nervous silence that sometimes surfaces when KU falls behind never materialized during the Bears’ short stay ahead on the scoreboard.

It’s not easy to say why, but the crowd feels even livelier.

Before getting to another question that involves the basketball team, consider philosophical ones that rank behind it in degree of difficulty:

What came first, the Jayhawk or the egg?

Because he is the only Kansas football player who has played for new coach Charlie Weis, is Notre Dame transfer quarterback Dayne Crist, in a sense, the team’s only returning starter?

These questions present a greater challenge than: If Nebraska makes it financially enticing for Kansas to be the first visitor in the opening basketball game played in the 16,000-seat arena set to open in 2013, should KU accept the invitation. Answer: no. The Cornhuskers left the Big 12, remember?

The toughest question yet posed: Which player in KU’s cohesive, fast and agile defensive juggernaut of a starting five has improved the most since a year ago?

Thomas Robinson, who had four double-doubles and averaged 14.6 minutes last season and has had 13 double-doubles this season and is playing 30.6 minutes a game?

Tyshawn Taylor, coming off back-to-back 28-point games and playing with such contagious confidence?

Jeff Withey, who suffered from a paint allergy a year ago, now leads the Big 12 in blocked shots, makes players slam on the brakes on their drives to the hoop, has four double-doubles and had nine offensive rebounds against Baylor?

Glue guy Travis Releford, so much faster and more explosive than most complementary players?

Elijah Johnson, the early favorite to rank as next season’s most improved Jayhawk?

You make the call by casting your vote above.

Comments

Ralster Jayhawk 2 years, 3 months ago

Releford is the type of "glue" that someone (Self? Tyshawn? TRob? Manning?) added "accelerator" to. Some kind of superglue now.

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JayDocMD 2 years, 3 months ago

Trying to decide why my comment was a "violation of user agreement." Was it the steaming pile of crap comment? Or the fact that I likened these articles to car wrecks. Perhaps if I write "no malice intended" at the end of my comment like some do ... sort of like a get of of jail free card.

Whatever the reason, I find it hypocritical for a newspaper of all organizations to censor free speech. Print newspapers are all but dead and online media is the only lifeline journalists have. Without the people that frequent these sites and give you repeated "hits" with comments to your articles (even if it hurts your tender feeling) the LJW dies.

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imzcount 2 years, 3 months ago

JAYBATE , you have the best posts on this board! Wish I had more time to read them all.

p.s. I do believe you enjoy ticking people off though. :-)

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Sam Constance 2 years, 3 months ago

I read this... odd article and started reading through the comments. All I learned is that Morningstar detractors are still stupid.

Get away from the 'glue guy' tiff for a sec. Brady was a career 40% 3pt shooter who also put in three rebounds and assists per game to go with a steal per game. Pretty amazing numbers for an unathletic kid who can't guard anyone, not to mention EXACTLY the kind of line you want out of a role player.

Worth noting: Releford's averages this year are quite similar to Morningstar's career averages. A much worse 3pt shooter at 37%, a better scorer (10 ppg v. 7 ppg), with steals being even (1.4 ~ 1.5) and reb/ast being a wash (Rele with 4/2 respectively v. Morn's 3/3).

Brady played because he was good enough to play.

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Steve Brown 2 years, 3 months ago

We opened Rupp Arena as I recall, so you bet for a big payday and half the tickets for our traveling crimson and blue fans, we'll gladly inaugurate the Tom Osborne Cornhusker Arena ;) In Columbia Mo. didn't we close out at least one of their recent arenas?

Loudest AFH moments: '68 Jo Jo v. Norm Stewart. '72 Bud Stallworth 50 pts. v. MU. then the year Sooners' Tubbs had Tisdale not sure the year, Larry was coach.

The quietest game was Danny senior year, I think it was KState and Mitch Richmond giving us our 11th loss, I was saying after that game we won't make the NIT, and it was sad here in Larrytown. the Vitale Nick Collison standing ovation game was fairly loud as well. Lon Kruger KState guard was really really good for you youngsters, those Jack Hartman KState games were loud. The favorite all time LOUD cheer is still "sit down Norm!"

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danmoore 2 years, 3 months ago

As a matter of principle, no to the cobs. Of course they would never schedule us to break in their new arena.

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Ralster Jayhawk 2 years, 3 months ago

"Biggest gains" are in jelling as a team, and gaining personal confidence thru success for Withey, EJ, Releford. TT and TRob definitely have "it" right now. Young could improve, Conner needs road shooting confidence. Wesley needa keep pluggin away--maybe, just putting "length" on an opposing 220-lb 4man, and collecting boards is his forte.

Big tests are Mizz x 2, at Baylor, at Hilton, and at the Sherrontagon-o-gloom. Go 4 out of 5 vs these, and I will like our tourney-toughness. Conversely, you could say a close loss would still be a teaching tool for a young team going into the dance...

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jaybate 2 years, 3 months ago

Now is the time for KU to build a domed football stadium that integrates some of old Memorial. It should have moveable seats. 150k for football. 75k for basketball. KU plays all its non conference games in the Domed stadium and all conference games in AFH. The partnership that builds the domed stadium adds an NBA franchise to the mix. Next, it bids for the Chiefs. Boom! Monster revenues. And so much seating capacity that there will be cheap seats for ordinary families, and the students can be moved near the court again at Allen Field House, because the team will make so much money from the games in the dome. Problems solved.

Next.

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Ron Franklin 2 years, 3 months ago

U Conn had no depth last year. They had a man beast by the name of Kemba Walker.

KU has no depth, but they too have a man beast leading the team.

I give the Hawks a fair shot at the NC if they play hot for those 6 games.

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jgkojak 2 years, 3 months ago

The bottom line is our depth problem won't matter in March. Barring injury, HCBS only plays 7 guys in March anyway. He only really played 7 against Memphis.

Our starting 5 is as good as any starting 5 in the country.

If Teahan and Young can contribute, we have ourselves a legit 2 seed who could deservedly play in an Elite 8.

I also throw out that if we had McLemore and Traylor, Withey would not have been allowed to play through his mistakes and become as solid as he is.

I hope HCBS learns from this team that too much depth can hurt.

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JayHawkFanToo 2 years, 3 months ago

"Because he is the only Kansas football player who has played for new coach Charlie Weis, is Notre Dame transfer quarterback Dayne Crist, in a sense, the team’s only returning starter?"

As much as I like HCCW, the team is still KU's team not HCCW's team. How can you possibly be a "returning starter" for a school you never never attended or for a team for which you never started? Come on Keegan, you can do better than that...


"These questions present a greater challenge than: If Nebraska makes it financially enticing for Kansas to be the first visitor in the opening basketball game played in the 16,000-seat arena set to open in 2013, should KU accept the invitation. Answer: no. The Cornhuskers left the Big 12, remember?"

Look at the upside: Take a boat load of money. Give the huskers a beat down while chanting "Remember the Big 12?" and setting all kinds of records. Become the team that won the first game ever at the new arena. Establish an attendance record that will never be broken.

I say...play them!

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JayDocMD 2 years, 3 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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jhawkrulz 2 years, 3 months ago

Linking louder crowds...Maybe it has to do with monster jams by TRob or last time Baylor came they disrespected us or maybe it is just that loud when college gameday comes and a top 5 team comes to town. I'm sure that seeing the guy next to you because he may or may not have paid to the williams fund did not come up in anyones mind (except maybe keegan's) of how loud someone thought they should be.

If I was NU, I'd take a win over a sold out stadium for the christening of my new staidum, but if they want a loss as long as we get some of the pie, who cares.

Nadir Tharpe is who we need to be the most improved player of next year's squad...I'm going with him.

When it comes down to defensive player for the team...the key is the "TEAM" is communicating well and when you have been holding teams to 13 points or around 50 points a game lately, you have to give credit to the balance of the defense. Clearly, people are playing tougher people, but in general (except when Tyshawn forgot what he was doing on one play) the defensive pressure has been great since the Davidson game. Even when ISU was making all of those 3s, you saw HCBS adjust and soon enough 8 made 3s in the first half changed to only 1 in the second half.

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jayhawkintexas 2 years, 3 months ago

If Nebraska wants to play us, they should have stayed in the conference. Period.

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Andy Tweedy 2 years, 3 months ago

Since random thoughts seem to be the order of things today, did anybody else see the dude in the banana suit behind the basket? I may be the only one, and I'm not sure why I'm so down, but I just can't think of anything funnier than a banana suit...especially the way he was sort of boogyboarding during the free throws!!!

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WilburNether 2 years, 3 months ago

This is what happens when a columnist has no legitimate subject to write about. Blank space would have been better.

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KULA 2 years, 3 months ago

Speaking of random thoughts, I hope these recent blowouts of our ranked conference opponents isn't an indication of the relative weakness of the conference. If one team can continually dominate a conference, how good can that conference actually be? And how well does playing in a weak conference prepare us for the tournament?

Great games by the Jayhawks, though. I hope I'm wrong and several Big 12 teams make impressive runs in the tournament.

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jhox 2 years, 3 months ago

If I had to bet, my bet is that the Big 12 has an unwritten rule that you don't play defectors from the league. As far as playing NU in their new arena, I would have no problem with that. I would not play them in football, but I'd have no problem playing them in basketball under these circumstances. Unlike MU, they moved to a clearly better situation in the Big 10 and I can't blame them for that. In fact, I'm jealous of that fact.

MU on the other hand, the only way I would play them is if they would agree to play us one game in Allen Field House very year, with no return dates to Mizzou arena.

As long as we're going to be the strong favorite, I'd gladly play any of the defectors on our home floor, or as a one time exception to open NU's new arena (mainly because we'd likely beat them there anyway.) I would not play any of them in football, at least until we have a team that has a better than average chance of beating them. Playing for traditions sake makes no sense.

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jaybate 2 years, 3 months ago

Of course Withey could impact way more offensively than he is, were he assigned an impact role. The first exhibition game of the season, when he had never really played diddly till then, and when TRob was out, Withey got a triple double, fer gosh sakes. Withey is an enormous talent, it turns out. He is just not as far along as TRob. And it remains to be seen whether Jeff can ever develop the upper body strength needed for today's game. But he could be a serious impact player right now, if TRob went down...not nearly as good as TRob, but he could and would do more than he is doing now in the way of impact offense.

Everything in organized basketball is about team roles. Most players could do much more than they show. But coaches searching for optimal trade offs in specialization say, "You do this for me and you can start. Don't do it and you're out."

So: to cut to the chase, you have to have some guys that can shoot the ball and some guys that can pass those shooters the ball. The more guys you have that can shoot well, the better off you are because it gives you options when your impact players get hand cuffed occasionally. But no matter what, there is a tendency for there to be impact players and glue players in basketball, because there are five positions, the game is played in three D space, passing tends to get shooters more open than not passing, and shooting and passing skills are asymmetrically distributed, so specialization of labor arises, impact and glue roles are the distillate, and net benefit improves team performance.

Self's genius at optimizing these net benefits, and modulating them game to game, is one of the reasons he can be your'n with his'n and he can beat his'n with your'n. There are only a few guys like this at any given time in basketball. When they can get ahold of even a few of the best players, they are very, very tough to beat.

There endeth the lesson.

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jaybate 2 years, 3 months ago

It depends on the opportunity set of players and their abilities what choices a coach makes.

Last year, Self decided he could get more out of Travis impacting off the bench than starting him as a glue player servicing the more advanced impactors he had in the Twins, Tyshawn, and Selby.

This season, Self decided he could get more out of Travis by starting him as a glue 3 enabling his more advanced impactors--TRob and Tyshawn, except situationally where his impact players lacked decisive MUA, and where Travis did hold MUA.

But this glue vs. impact role is hardly limited to Travis and Brady at the 3.

Tyshawn played an impact 2 role as a freshman for a team that needed a third one.

But as a sophomore, Self obviously switched Tyshawn to a glue 2 role, when Xavier showed up, and it made more sense to score through Xavier than Tyshawn.

Impact vs. glue choices occur inside as well.

This year, TRob and Jeff Withey are our bigs and TRob is obviously assigned the impact role. Withey's job is to complement him, to be ready to do things for him that free him up to impact more, rather than less. He is playing inside glue for TRob. I don't see how anyone could not see this.

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William Blake 2 years, 3 months ago

"This is your last chance. After this there is no turning back. You take the blue pill, the story ends. You wake up in your bed and you believe whatever you want to. You take the red pill, you stay in wonderland... and I show you how deep the Jayhawk hole goes."

Blue or red?

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jaybate 2 years, 3 months ago

If passing is a strategic advantage to getting persons open either inside, or outside, or in between, and there are five players on a team on the floor, then if you position a best scorer inside, and a best scorer outside, and a best score somewhere in a position to take it to the rim, then that leaves both a need to get them the ball by passing and two positions that could conceivably be tailored to be mostly passers enabling those other three players.

Specialization rears its influential head again.

Of your five players, are some of them better passers than the others?

The answer is usually yes, because there tends to be some asymmetry in distribution of all talents, not just shooting and passing.

So: who do you want shooting? Your best shooters, or your lesser shooters, if both can be made equally open by the strategy of crisp passes?

Next: who do you want passing to your best shooters? Your best passers, or your best passers, or your lesser passers?

Because it is rather easy for coaches to calculate in practice who their best shooters are at particular positions and places on the floor, coaches tend to make a first cut on who the impact players will be based on their shooting accuracy and ability to get off the shots at given locations on the floor, where shooting averages tend to be highest.

Hence, TRob is assigned an impact role, because he is money down low buzzer to buzzer, where as Conner is a glue guy even though he comes in and tries to pot some treys. TRob is impact, because he can do what he does against almost anyone. Conner is glue, because he is often not able to get his look, much less make it. Conner's job is to pass it to someone who can impact, unless he has a wide open look.

Next, coaches sort through their best shooters and say, well, here is the best inside guy, and here is the best outside guy and here is the best guy off the dribble guy--the three basic ways to score.

Now, among the remaining serviceable shooters not given the impact roles, they think, can I get more out of this guy in back up minutes in an impact role, or can I get more out of this guy by having him become a passer starting, and only an occasional shooter aka starting glue?

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jaybate 2 years, 3 months ago

A crisp pass moves so fast that an offensive player is often more open than if an offensive player simply operated in isolation.

It is the degree of openness that a crisp pass or two creates that means passing is something a team trying to optimize its scoring opportunities ought logically to do. It is a rational pursuit of net benefit. it is not infallible. But over the course of a game, it offers net benefit.

Next, it is self evident that passes move through space and that no two (or five) players can occupy the same space on the floor at the same time.

Further, different spots on the floor favor different types of shooting abilities.

If you have ever shot around on a floor, you must notice that you make more shots certain places and fewer shots in other places.

Further, you must notice at such a work out that some players tend to be able to make more shots from certain spots, while other players tend to make more shots from other spots.

Next add in that being exceptionally tall, or an exceptional jumper, lets you get more shots off in close, where percentages making a basket tend to be higher.

Right there, logic operates and biases shot selection toward encouraging tall men and good jumpers to take shots near the basket. Some times bigs shooting inside and littles shooting outside is so orthodox that we forget the powerful logic and net benefits underlying the orthodoxy.

Still further, there just are certain players that can make long shots, while others cannot. They come in all sizes, but the ones that we see shooting outside most are shorter players. Why? Because even if a tall player can shoot outside, he is apt to shoot a higher percentage inside, so a choice tends to be made. Let the tall players shoot inside, let the great leapers take it to the iron inside, and let the shorter players that can also shoot long take the long shots.

This is but one aspect of specialization-drivers operating in the game space of basketball.

But all of the above is preamble to why there are inevitably in the game impact roles and glue roles.

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jaybate 2 years, 3 months ago

But every so often, MUAs and MUDs (match-up disadvantages) favor playing through another player. KU played through Travis one game for sure a couple games back and he got 28, instead of his usual Brady-like production as a glue man.

Why is this so hard to see? Brady also had a few games where Self said, take ten shots instead of 5. Initiate some offense instead of just taking the open looks. Brady's scoring spiked accordingly in those games.

To say Travis is a taller, stronger and more naturally gifted impact player than Brady, is not the same as saying that Travis is an impact player this year. Of course Trav has not been an impact player most of the games this season. Why you would suggest he is an impact player boggles the mind. Everything points to Travis playing a glue role so far this season. Even his occasionally break out game, is consistent with past glue players.

Clearly, you are mistaking roles for abilities. You rightly think Travis has impact ability. But you cannot seem to get your mind around the distinction that what makes a player a glue player is not so much his ability, but rather the role he is assigned.

I once had the need for glue men explained to me this way and I have always found it useful. Perhaps it will help you through this sticky wicket you find yourself caught up in.

If every player were to play an impact role in a 5 man team, there would be no passing once the ball were inbounded. Whomever got the ball would wait for the rest of the players to clear out, he would isolate on his defender, and he would jump shoot, or drive to the iron and shoot.

There are some players so good that that is essentially what is done, when a critical basket is needed at a certain moment, and that great player holds overwhelming MUA.

But the reason this is not done all the time is that it foregoes a fundamental strategic advantage of passing a ball in 3 dimensional space to one of four other players at four different locations in space.

What is the strategic advantage of passing to four other possible players?

Put most simply, if a passer has four choices, the defenders of the four other players have to hedge their defensive positions in anticipation that the ball might not only go to their man, but to any one of three others. The amount of hedging of defensive position that has to occur to allow for all possibilities tends to put these defensive players in positions that they cannot recover from quite as fast as the speed of a crisp pass or two to their man, if the offensive spacing is sufficiently wide, but not too wide.

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jaybate 2 years, 3 months ago

The goal of specialization is to get the best from every individual in the role they are best at and so raise the average level of performance to something above what would be achieved by everyone being generalists. It doesn't always work, but it works often enough that most every one tries to make use of it.

Specialization can be discerned even a few thousand years ago, though it has probably always been with us in one form or another. And specialization has been a strongly rising tide the last few centuries in particular. Specialization has persisted up to the present to the point that I know how to type on my keyboard, but I have no clue how to build a key board. I know how to participate in the web site, but I would not be good (without some training) at running the web site.

Nations, especially nation states, that have found ways to optimize with specialization, without throwing out entirely the benefits of broadly developing skills in individuals, have tended to flourish. Wars tend to be won by states that wield specialization the most effectively, while retaining some of the best benefits of utility players and grunts.

If you have never heard of specialization, then I can understand you being bumfuzzled by impact and glue.

If you have heard of specialization, then I am bumfuzzled at your bumfuzzlement about Travis being called a glue player this season.

Either way, you seem to miss the point of what Self talks about from time to time: impact and glue.

I frankly don't give a flip whether other coaches use the terms impact, or glue. I care that other coaches have some guys who do most of the shooting and some guys who spend most of their time enabling the shooters. Call it what ever you like. It is what it is.

Ideally, we want all players to be capable of impacting games, when needed; this is why Self recruits so many guys that can put the ball in the hole.

But match up advantages by position vary game to game.

Travis has been a glue man posting numbers remarkably similar to Brady at the 3 for much of the season, because MUAs at other positions vs other teams dictated KU could optimize by playing through TT and TRob and Withey. As a result, Trav (and EJ, too) have tended to play glue roles. Trav only takes 4 treys. He only scores about 6-10 ppg, etc.

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jaybate 2 years, 3 months ago

Dear oxcal,

Yours is one of the most reality denying posts I've read in awhile (which is something considering what is being posted about KU football these days), despite the fact that you are often an insightful poster. :-)

The terms impact and glue for kinds of roles on a team are hardly new.

Nor is the idea that some guys are scorers, and other guys are not scorers a new idea.

Of course Travis is playing a glue 3 most games. The world isn't flat either. :-)

My more than fragmentary memories of basketball teams date back to about 1962. Since that time, every team every year at every level that I have watched, has had some guys who were scorers and took more shots, and some who were not scorers and took less shots.

Most nights, Travis takes significantly fewer shots that Tyshawn and TRob. Therefore, empirically, by FGAs alone, he is not usually tasked with being an impact player we play through.

But back to my recollections for a moment.

Even the coaches of rare teams that can field five scorers typically either choose not to, or choose to task some of the scorers with less scoring and more ball movement and defensive responsibilities.

Maybe you haven't read about specialization in human activity. You should. Specialization recognizes that some individuals do some things better than others. Specialization argues that it is better to have individuals do things they are best at more of the time, and let others that are not quite so good at that particular task do a bit less of it, or not do it at all, and instead concentrate on other necessary tasks they happen to be better at.

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oldalum 2 years, 3 months ago

Sounds to me like Nebraska would like to be able to brag that they filled their new arena for basketball, and think they think the only way they can do it is to have Kansas come there to play the opening game. Screw that. They can put on one of those boring Big10 games before an empty house. If they wanted to play KU they should have stayed in the Big12.

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Ron Franklin 2 years, 3 months ago

RE: BRADY MORNING STAR

“I said it at the beginning of the year and I’ll say it now: Those guys are the anchors of this team,” Marcus Morris said Tuesday. “People give me and ‘Kieff a lot of credit, but they don’t see what goes on behind the scenes.

“Brady and Tyrel are the guys that keep this team together.”

Accurate as it may be, Morris’ statement is one that few people outside of Kansas’ locker room agree with – or are at least willing to accept. Reed could score 12 points and notch three steals in a 14-point win, and radio talk show hosts would complain that he played too many minutes. Morningstar could shut down an opponents’ top player while dishing our four assists, but Kansas message board posts remain the same.

“I’ve seen some of it,” Morningstar said. “People are like ‘Why is this kid shooting so much? Why is he handling the ball? Why is he even playing?’ It’s always a bunch of ‘Whys.’”

Reed and Morningstar have learned to chuckle about the situation. Even though they won’t say it publicly, the players know they’ve been stereotyped because of their skin color. As white guards, they’re assumed to be slower, weaker and not as athletic as most of their counterparts.

“I don’t think they pass the eye test in some people’s thinking,” Self said. “They’re both very athletic in their own way, and their IQ is off the charts. They’re just so solid and dependable.”

http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/basketball/news?slug=jn-king_morningstar_and_reed_the_glue_that_holds_kansas_together_032311

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Marc Frey 2 years, 3 months ago

My son and his room mates from Baylor had a great time and are envious of AFH and the crowd. People were very nice to them. But I would agree that if there are less Alumni and more students in AFH the place will be louder. I have attended many games at other Big 12 venues and the alums sit on their butts. At least Duke puts the students close to the court I give them that.

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rwhawk 2 years, 3 months ago

They are all improved. That being said, here is my order...

Withey. He was awful last year when he played, so he rarely made the court after the early part of the season.

T-Rob. He was a beast and had the cliche "motor," but his basketball skill set has improved tremendously.

EJ. He was good last year (when he did), but it seems to me that he feels more comfortable playing his full game this year.

TT. His ability to get into the lane hasn't changed, but I think his shooting has improved tremendously and is an important asset to him this year.

Releford. I think a lot of people will disagree with me on this one, but I'm not surprised at all about his recent success. I've seen his game come out when he's played sparingly before and I expected as much. And his defense was strong before this season. I just think this is the first year he's actually getting to show us his game.

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Jayhawks Rock 2 years, 3 months ago

nuleaf, I saw a UFO on TV. My toe itches. I cut my beard. Most mice are brown.

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kusayzone 2 years, 3 months ago

About the crowd noise....the Baylor game was twice as loud as the KSU game. I was there. Why??? There could be lots of reasons starting with ESPN and Dickie V being there or the halftime show at the Baylor that was just phenomenal, with the crowd was not letting up during half time as one of the Acrobat dunkers did a back flip standing on the top of the backboard to dunk the ball! Incredible.... The gold seats didnt fill until the final 3 minutes before the game started, but I saw a lot of enthusiasm from those folks,(even Roy wouldnt have complained about sitting on their hands) And most didnt seem to leave until the RockChalk chant rang through the air. And the 20 or so Baylor students sitting in the rafters got an education about what it is like to beware of the PHOG!

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nuleafjhawk 2 years, 3 months ago

As long as we're entertaining random thoughts, did anyone else see a UFO southwest of Salina last Saturday night?

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milehighhawk 2 years, 3 months ago

Allen Fieldhouse has been that loud for 30+ years. Absurd premise.

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Alohahawk 2 years, 3 months ago

Which came first? The Jayhawk or the egg? In J.K. Rowling's book, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows" (pg. 587), I think she answered the question perfectly. "A Circle has no beginning."

Or is your question really asking, "How did the term, 'Jayhawk', originate?" Afraid I'm not a historian, so I can't answer that.

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april28 2 years, 3 months ago

Let Nebraska host Kearney State....or the Washington Generals....and why did they waist millions of dollars building a basketball arena? Didn't they learn anything from Texas Tech or Mizzou? For the same money, they could have added some seats at the football stadium and actually filled them on game day.

The addition of TCU and A&M is going to make us forget even more quickly the kitties and the cornies. The only thing that we've really lost in all of this was the extra home game in Boulder.

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MinnesotaJay 2 years, 3 months ago

Wow, TK, you're working a tough room. Even sober, I find this piece, while light, interesting and entertaining.

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jayhawkintx1973 2 years, 3 months ago

Of course Robinson is getting 30.6 minutes per game, and of course he has more double doubles. No Morris Twins. Sure, he's improved, but I think everyone knew of his upside. I think Withey and Releford have improved the most, but that might be because of T-Rob and Taylor. Let's face it. Baylor was focused on defending under the goal, but then when they tried to defend T-Rob out at 15 or see feet, they got burned. Taylor exposed the weak help side defense by Baylor. It wasn't just that.

Against Iowa State on Saturday, the team did not panic at all. I didn't feel at any point during that game that Iowa State was going to win that game, even when they were up by 12 in the second half.

I think the reason why, Travis Releford. He wasn't the leading scorer that day but you can bet he was on of the guys Iowa State was focused on stopping. It freed up Taylor, and T-Rob.

Withey also, has taken some pressure of T-Rob, and if they Double T--Rob down low, Releford or Taylor or Teehan or Johnson on the wing, or Withey cutting down the lane.

If Johnson and Teehan improve some more, it could be the best 6 players as a unit in the country, and when I say unit, I mean in the way they play like a team. Tharpe is going to improve too. Against several teams we play the rest of this season, Young and Wesley will have matchup advantages when they come in. This team has pretty big upside.

If they can get all the pieces, including four deep on the bench, put together it will be hard for any team in the country to beat them home, away, or in a neutral location. With that said, that's a big if but there is no doubt that if the coach of the year was chosen today, it would be Bill Self.

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Benjamin Piehler 2 years, 3 months ago

I think the crowd realizes what an impact we have not only on opponents, but on our own teams confidence as well. This years team is undermanned, but is performing higher than expectations. My theory is the crowd is trying extra hard to keep the team confident because a lot of the talking heads didn't think they could compete with teams like Ohio St, Duke or Baylor this season. We may lose some games this year, but no way it happens at our house. The stakes are high for every Big XII game in my mind because there is a serious threat of Mizzou waltzing out of the Big XII with a conference title.

As for the ticket scandal theory... I dont really get it. I think my seats got moved back a row this season. After tipoff, the only thing I think about is the game, I've spent little to no time reflecting on the ticket scandal while in AFH.

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Hank Cross 2 years, 3 months ago

Cast my vote for what? Most random thought? And stop calling Travis "glue." Glue was a myth created to justify Brady's minutes despite his anemic stat line. Travis is already averaging more than Brady did last year. If you're making an impact on the floor, it's going to show up in the box score one way or another. Joe Dumars and Michael Cooper were famous defensive specialists, but they could also score.

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jayhawkboogeyman 2 years, 3 months ago

I genuinely don't follow what this article is supposed to be about. The AFH crowd is better since the ticket scandal was exposed. Some questions so convoluted I have no idea what he is asking, none of them at all relevant to AFH, and then a poll about the starting five. There is not a cohesive thought in this. Plus, TK is always trying to be witty or sarcastic, but his references and analogies are so forced and contrived that they make no sense at all.

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manginorh00lz 2 years, 3 months ago

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