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Trying to explain K-State's .500 Big 12 record; plus, two very different predictions for Monday's game

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Jesse Newell: Welcome back to the GameDay Cram Session, as Kansas is taking on Kansas State on Monday night at Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan.

Tom, why isn’t Kansas State better than a .500 Big 12 team?

Tyshawn Taylor, (10) left, loses the handle on a ball against Kansas State in the first half Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Tyshawn Taylor, (10) left, loses the handle on a ball against Kansas State in the first half Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Mike Yoder

Tom Keegan: For one thing, the Wildcats’ backcourt is flawed. Will Spradling can shoot, but he’s too easy to blow by on the dribble. Angel Rodriguez can score and he’s a pretty good passer, too, but he turns it over too much and he too can get abused on defense. Martavious Irving is a tough, tough defender, strong and quick, but he’s not a guy you want running things at the other end.

Also, I think Frank Martin needs to settle on a rotation and decide which big men he’s going to play the most.

JN: KU coach Bill Self touched on one of KSU's biggest difficulties in Big 12 play during Saturday's postgame press conference: the Wildcats' inability to win close games.

KSU has played three conference games that have been decided by three points and lost them all. The Wildcats have won their six league games by an average of 13.3 points and lost their six Big 12 games by an average of 7.5 points.

Those kind of numbers point to a team getting a bit unlucky and perhaps being better than its league record indicates.

Looking at KU, from the Jayhawks' perspective, do you think it worrisome to see how effective Oklahoma State’s full-court pressure was in the second half Saturday, or do you just attribute KU’s sloppiness to having a 27-point lead at the half?

TK: I’m sure the big lead was part of it, but I do think it was a little worrisome.

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor passes through a trap by Oklahoma State defenders Markel Brown, left, and Brian Williams during the second half on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor passes through a trap by Oklahoma State defenders Markel Brown, left, and Brian Williams during the second half on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

Tyshawn Taylor and Elijah Johnson will get better at breaking the pressure than they were Saturday, but beyond that, what player do you want helping them break it? There isn’t really a third reliable ballhandler/passer on the roster and reliable isn’t always the first word that pops to mind when talking about Tyshawn’s ballhandling.

JN: I think the comforting thing for KU fans should be that the team won't see full-court presses that often, especially with coach Mike Anderson now at Arkansas.

Kansas forward Thomas Robinson pulls his teammates together during the first half on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Thomas Robinson pulls his teammates together during the first half on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

Also, KU probably was exposed as being a weak full-court-press-breaking team at the right time. Better to learn now that the Jayhawks need work there than be surprised in the NCAA Tournament.

All right, Tom, what's your prediction for this game?

TK: Kansas by 16.

Kansas forward Thomas Robinson rejects a shot by Kansas State forward Thomas Gipson during the first half on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Thomas Robinson rejects a shot by Kansas State forward Thomas Gipson during the first half on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

K-State might have a really tough time keeping Taylor from getting where he wants to go and setting up Thomas Robinson sand Jeff Withey for dunks.

JN: Wow. I'm not sure we've ever been so far apart on a prediction. I'll take Kansas State by four.

This is the hardest game left on KU's regular-season schedule, and it's made even harder by the fact that it's on a Big Monday and will be at the most hostile place that KU plays each year.

Kansas guard Tyrel Reed leaves the court after losing to Kansas State on Monday, Feb. 14, 2011 at Bramlage Coliseum.

Kansas guard Tyrel Reed leaves the court after losing to Kansas State on Monday, Feb. 14, 2011 at Bramlage Coliseum. by Nick Krug

It's tough to turn momentum in Bramlage, and this is a game that the Wildcats will be desperate to win to ensure a spot in the NCAA Tournament.

Add to it that KSU should get a friendly whistle and KU has been especially foul-prone lately, and this could be a game where KSU can solve some of its offensive woes by getting to the free throw line 35 times or more.

I still see this game being close, but I think KSU pulls it out in the end.

OK, Tom, who's your Hawk to Rock?

TK: Tyshawn Taylor.

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor drives around Oklahoma State forward Le'Bryan Nash during the second half on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor drives around Oklahoma State forward Le'Bryan Nash during the second half on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

Other than Irving, K-State doesn’t have anybody who can slow down Taylor and once the Wildcats get behind by double digits, Irving’s not a great catch-up player.

JN: I'll go with Travis Releford.

Kansas guard Travis Releford defends against Oklahoma State guard Cezar Guerrero during the first half on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Travis Releford defends against Oklahoma State guard Cezar Guerrero during the first half on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

He did a great job defensively on KSU's Rodney McGruder the first time, and he seems to play his best when he knows he needs to be a lockdown defender against the opposing team's best player.

Releford also added 16 points in the first matchup against KSU. Though the junior has only taken seven shots in KU's last two games, I think we'll see him be more aggressive offensively Monday night.

Predictions tally (through 25 games)
Tom: 19-6 record, 244 points off (9.8 points off/game)
Jesse: 23-2 record, 210 points off (8.4 points off/game)

Hawk to Rock

Tom Keegan
Towson: Tyshawn Taylor (4th in Keegan ratings)
Kentucky: Tyshawn Taylor (1st in Keegan ratings)
Georgetown: Elijah Johnson (4th in Keegan ratings)
UCLA: Tyshawn Taylor (2nd in Keegan ratings)
Duke: Elijah Johnson (4th in Keegan ratings)
FAU: Jeff Withey (4th in Keegan ratings)
South Florida: Tyshawn Taylor (1st in Keegan ratings)
Long Beach State: Elijah Johnson (7th in Keegan ratings)
Ohio State: Thomas Robinson (2nd in Keegan ratings)
Davidson: Thomas Robinson (1st in Keegan ratings)
USC: Jeff Withey (4th in Keegan ratings)
Howard: Kevin Young (4th in Keegan ratings)
North Dakota: Elijah Johnson (3rd in Keegan ratings)
Kansas State: Tyshawn Taylor (5th in Keegan ratings)
Oklahoma: Tyshawn Taylor (4th in Keegan ratings)
Texas Tech: Thomas Robinson (1st in Keegan ratings)
Iowa State: Elijah Johnson (4th in Keegan ratings)
Baylor: Thomas Robinson (1st in Keegan ratings)
Texas: Thomas Robinson (3rd in Keegan ratings)
Texas A&M: Thomas Robinson (3rd in Keegan ratings)
Iowa State: Tyshawn Taylor (1st in Keegan ratings)
Oklahoma: Thomas Robinson (1st in Keegan ratings)
Missouri: Thomas Robinson (1st in Keegan ratings)
Baylor: Thomas Robinson (3rd in Keegan ratings)
Oklahoma State: Thomas Robinson (2nd in Keegan ratings)
Average: 2.8th in Keegan ratings

Jesse Newell
Towson: Conner Teahan (6th in Keegan ratings)
Kentucky: Elijah Johnson (4th in Keegan ratings)
Georgetown: Kevin Young (9th in Keegan ratings)
UCLA: Elijah Johnson (1st in Keegan ratings)
Duke: Thomas Robinson (1st in Keegan ratings)
FAU: Tyshawn Taylor (7th in Keegan ratings)
South Florida: Elijah Johnson (6th in Keegan ratings)
Long Beach State: Thomas Robinson (1st in Keegan ratings)
Ohio State: Travis Releford (5th in Keegan ratings)
Davidson: Jeff Withey (5th in Keegan ratings)
USC: Elijah Johnson (1st in Keegan ratings)
Howard: Tyshawn Taylor (1st in Keegan ratings)
North Dakota: Conner Teahan (5th in Keegan ratings)
Kansas State: Travis Releford (1st in Keegan ratings)
Oklahoma: Elijah Johnson (3rd in Keegan ratings)
Texas Tech: Travis Releford (2nd in Keegan ratings
Iowa State: Thomas Robinson (3rd in Keegan ratings)
Baylor: Kevin Young (9th in Keegan ratings)
Texas: Travis Releford (5th in Keegan ratings)
Texas A&M: Tyshawn Taylor (1st in Keegan ratings)
Iowa State: Jeff Withey (3rd in Keegan ratings)
Oklahoma: Conner Teahan (6th in Keegan ratings)
Missouri: Kevin Young (8th in Keegan ratings)
Baylor: Jeff Withey (1st in Keegan ratings)
Oklahoma State: Tyshawn Taylor (4th in Keegan ratings)
Average: 3.9th in Keegan ratings

Comments

RockCaCO3 7 years, 9 months ago

Hawk(s) to Rock: The starting 5. They're going to kick some kitty butt.

honk_for_hawks 7 years, 9 months ago

The most hostile place they'll play all season? please. I've been to road games at both KSU and Mizzou and there is not a more hostile place for Jayhawks in the entire country. They throw stuff at you, they try to start crap with you, their inbred fans are pretty loud (against us anyway), and they legitimately hate us. KSU is more like a brotherly rivalry. KSU fans don't have venom in their words and malice in their hearts. They just want good hearted competition (which we've gladly given them all but about 3 times in the past 20+years). Mizzou wants to kill us.

Chris Bailey 7 years, 9 months ago

Don't we still play Mizzou? Isn't that going to be one of our toughest games left in the season??? I guess Newell missed that game.

Micah Mandy Haase 7 years, 9 months ago

I'm thinking the reason he said that is because we play Mizzou at AFH and I should be a much easier game than it was in mizzery. But I don't agree with his projection!!! RCjHKU

Chris Bailey 7 years, 9 months ago

Newell,

I gotta say it really ticks me off when you pick us to lose but when you pick us to lose to KSUCK! Really? What the heck is wrong with you? I don't care if that's where your gut is you don't pick the cats, EVER! We're gonna beat em by at least 10 points! Rock Chalk!

Robert Brock 7 years, 9 months ago

We lost to the Wildcats at the Octagon of Doo-Doo last year even though we had the Morris Twins and a more complete roster. KU's lack of any bench players really hurts our chances.

KuKain 7 years, 9 months ago

Ya, but also remember they had Pullen throwing up prayers and they ALL went in as he went for 38 points. This hurts their chances even more.

Chris Bailey 7 years, 9 months ago

Agree. And they are not near the team of last season. We still have some great players even minus the Morris twins!

Brandon Pope 7 years, 9 months ago

Pretty surprised by both picks. I don't see us winning by 16 but I certainly don't see us loosing this one either. KU by 9 in a game that is never really in question but never really put away.

rwhawk 7 years, 9 months ago

This is not the trap game. At A&M and at OSU are, in my opinion, the trap games on the remaining schedule. A&M because of the concern of looking forward to Mizery and at OSU if we win a big game against Mizery.

This will be a tough game, though. KU by 9.

JHawk06 7 years, 9 months ago

@ OSU is a trap game for sure. aTm not so much (they just arn't good)

texashawk10 7 years, 9 months ago

A healthy A&M team is a top 25 team, but two of their top three players (Dash Harris and Kris Middleton) have missed significant time because of injuries this year. I don't know if Harris will play against KU, but if he does, A&M will not be an easy win for KU.

Ron Franklin 7 years, 9 months ago

Those uni's are sweet. I guess I misunderstood, but I thought I heard the announcer say Saturday that the team didn't wear the bottoms. ??

If I were Frank I'd use my depth and 3/4 to full pressure the Hawks the entire game. That will give them their best chance.

kupride4u 7 years, 9 months ago

probably meant they didn't wear the short shorts

rwhawk 7 years, 9 months ago

I think they actually played in just their jock straps, but the t.v. network was able to put shorts on the players (like the NFL yellow first down line) and all photos were covered via photo shop.

The sweetest look was TT's black leggings and those socks with the blue shoes! That was awesome and he deserves the Cousy award simply for this clothing performance!

Jeff Coffman 7 years, 9 months ago

Under Bill Self, OSU has always been a harder place to play than KSU.

KU by what TK said.

KGphoto 7 years, 9 months ago

We out-rebounded the pitty paws 48-24 back in early Jan. That's pitty pawful.

They shot 31.6% FG (18-57), 50% FT (8-16), and 25% 3pt (5-20).

Since then we've become a more dominant inside team and TT has become a more consistent scorer and reliable ball handler.

Considering we only beat the Cowpokes by 15, I think 16 sounds high, but if we find a way to lose I'm gonna be seriously pizzd!

Somebody go punch Withey in the chest for me. Real Hard!!

Tony Bandle 7 years, 9 months ago

You may disagree with Jesse but check his season record [23-2]...he sure isn't just throwing darts at a Norm Stewart dartboard to come up with those results.

[Actually, it's much more fun to throw darts at Norm Stewart in the flesh!! :) ]

Also, North Carolina, Baylor twice, Florida, Murray State and Ohio State all lost last week, so Kansas could jump as high as #5 in the polls, which will make a nice bulls-eye on our butts tonight.

As long as we beat Missouri {which we will do soundly], we have a one game margin for error to at least tie for the titlle. These last three away games will be a challenge.......but I think we can do it!!

Let's just go out and win it all!!!! "RCJHGKU"

LAJayhawk 7 years, 9 months ago

Tying for the title is like kissing your sister: may be a great accomplishment and tremendous enjoyment for mizzou, but not for the rest of us.

All I can think of is a quote from another Taylor in Major League:

"Well, I guess there's only one thing left to do... Win the whole f###ing thing."

Rock Chalk.

Chris Bailey 7 years, 9 months ago

Well lets see so he picked 23 out of our 25 games. I mean seriously you could get 90% of our games right and just guess win. The point is he writes for a Kansas team! THE Kansas Team! He shouldn't pick against us when we're playing our in-state rival or Mizzery! It ticks me off everytime they pick the other guys! I don't care if they end up being wrong. Fall on a damn sword for YOUR team and roll the dice even if you think there is a chance we could lose support the boys! Who cares about your prediction record? Rock Chalk!

Gregor Southard 7 years, 9 months ago

I've got no problem with Jesse picking against KU if he really believes it. It's called honest journalism as opposed to "homerism."

Chris Bailey 7 years, 9 months ago

Well he picked the wrong team! We won! And when it's your in-state rival it's not the same thing! WE are also a MUCH better team then the kitties! No matter we won and HE was WRONG! Rock F'ing Chalk!

AcesWild 7 years, 9 months ago

i here so much how this kansas team is not as good as pass ku teams ,that is bull were better defense and we play with more heart. i got tried mortingstar reed every ncaa tourment
not being able to hit a shot.my bigger problem is time warrern cable. mu wants the greater kc area so if mu ku playing at sametime ihope this is big 12 area or will we all be watching sec sound like someone is on the take.

justinryman 7 years, 9 months ago

TRob will go off tonight.

It is his turn to lower the boom, and Jeff Withey will be there with him, but TRob will be the man tonight.!!!!

KU by 21

Matt Woodard 7 years, 9 months ago

Just a thought (perhaps an incomplete one at that): An interesting article might be to research the home and away game attendance for each Big 12 team [including every year of the Big 12s existence - or even just a single season if you're not that motivated]. I would love to see how the attendance of KU's games on the road in conference venues (e.g. Gallagher-Iba Arena) compares with other games in the same venue, say when a visiting team such as Baylor or Missouri come to town.

e.g.: KU @ OkSt (attendance: 13,611) MU @ OkSt (attendance: 9,476) BU @ OkSt (attendance: 10,775) ...etc

perhaps even including the highest attendance at a game for each teams visit. I know I am not alone in the belief that no other team in the conference has to deal with the same crowd and atmosphere that Kansas does every single road trip. It would be truly interesting to see this comparison over the Big 12 years and see if what we deem to be true actually is. Knowing that many places fudge on their attendance anymore - using ticket sales instead of actual butts in seats - this may not be the truest representation... yes, it would be a hefty amount of research to tackle... but what an interesting piece it would be IMO. Maybe this is a job for Jesse to crunch numbers on? Just think of all the work involved as "job security."

rwhawk 7 years, 9 months ago

You would also have to factor in the KU presence.

7 years, 9 months ago

(complete with theme music)

Sade dit moi Hosanna Sade donne moi Hosanna Sade dit moi Hosanna Sade donne moi Hosanna

REHawk 7 years, 9 months ago

C'mon, stupidmichael, stand up like a man! We could requisition some chest thwacks for you, delivered near game time by some of Withey's teammates.

Mike Kendall 7 years, 9 months ago

Jesse, Jesse, Jesse-------

Wow! Lose by four----I think we win by four. I don't think we'll win by 16, like Tom said. Yeah, I believe it will be a close game. It was interesting how far apart you two guys were on this one. Let's play----let's do this!

Alohahawk 7 years, 9 months ago

Jesse, My friend says she'll lei one around your neck, if you're right. If you're prediction is wrong, you have to walk down Massachusetts holding up a large sign stating you were wrong and yelling the same.

Just kidding, but I hope the Jayhawks hear about your prediction and roast you over a slow burning fire - right or wrong. :-)

And come on Louisville. They're up three to Syracuse, with 4 minutes to go. Syracuse has looked less than spectacular the last few games.

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