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What's wrong with the Aggies' offense? Plus, predictions for KU-Texas A&M

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Jesse Newell: Welcome back to the GameDay Cram Session, as Kansas is taking on Texas A&M on Wednesday night in College Station, Texas.

Tom, coaches will always call the next game a hard one. Do you buy it this time?

Kansas forward Justin Wesley fights for a rebound with Texas A&M forward Daniel Alexander during the second half on Monday, Jan. 23, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Justin Wesley fights for a rebound with Texas A&M forward Daniel Alexander during the second half on Monday, Jan. 23, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

Tom Keegan: Absolutely. A&M didn’t have Khris Middleton in Lawrence and still led at the half and lost by only 10 points. The Aggies packed it in defensively and Kansas wasn’t able to make them pay because it couldn’t shoot from the outside, other than Tyshawn Taylor (17 points, 3 for 6 three-pointers). Other than Taylor, Kansas made 1 of 14 three-point shots.

JN: Texas A&M probably wishes it could have last year's Middleton back instead of the player he's become this year.

The 6-7 junior has regressed in almost every offensive category, which includes free-throw shooting, two-point shooting, three-point shooting and getting to the free throw line. What's made it worse is that he's shooting even more this year than he did last year when he was a more efficient player.

Thomas Robinson (0) and Brady Morningstar (12) double-team Texas A&M's Khris Middleton (22) Wednesday, March 2, 2011.

Thomas Robinson (0) and Brady Morningstar (12) double-team Texas A&M's Khris Middleton (22) Wednesday, March 2, 2011. by Mike Yoder

Now, this wouldn't be the first time a highly regarded player snapped out of a slump against KU (see Denmon, Marcus), but if the Jayhawks get this year's typical Middleton, they might actually be facing off against a worse offensive team than the one they saw in Lawrence on Jan. 23.

Tom, if A&M could steal one player from the Kansas roster, who do you think it would it be?

TK: Tyshawn Taylor.

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor is fouled as he lofts a shot over Texas A&M forward Keith Davis during the second half on Monday, Jan. 23, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor is fouled as he lofts a shot over Texas A&M forward Keith Davis during the second half on Monday, Jan. 23, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

No guard in the country is better at blowing by his man and collapsing the defense. That’s the most glaring absence on the Aggies' roster, a blow-by guard.

JN: Taylor would definitely be the pick, though really, the Aggies could use anyone who was able to get some easy points at the free throw line.

A&M's inability to get to the line this year has been pretty remarkable, as David Loubeau leads the team with 89 free throws. To put that in perspective, that number would rank fourth on KU's roster.

Texas A&M forward David Loubeau pulls a rebound from Kansas forward Justin Wesley during the first half on Monday, Jan. 23, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Texas A&M forward David Loubeau pulls a rebound from Kansas forward Justin Wesley during the first half on Monday, Jan. 23, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

Thomas Robinson (155) and Taylor (151) have nearly double the amount of free throws as Loubeau, while Jeff Withey (104) is also ahead of him.

KU has shot 171 more free throws that A&M this year (583-412). That inability to get to the line is a major reason for A&M's offensive struggles this season and also a reason that the Aggies claim the second-worst offensive in the league, only in front of Texas Tech.

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

TK: Kansas by 5.

Kansas forward Thomas Robinson goes up for a shot against Texas A&M forward Ray Turner during the second half on Monday, Jan. 23, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Thomas Robinson goes up for a shot against Texas A&M forward Ray Turner during the second half on Monday, Jan. 23, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

A&M again will make it difficult for Kansas to score, but the Aggies have difficulty scoring against defenses not nearly as tough as KU’s.

JN: I'll take KU by 14.

I'm just not a fan of this Texas A&M team, and I don't think the Aggies pose a serious threat to KU, even at home.

A&M gets most of its points from twos (59 percent), and as we know, that's KU's greatest strength defensively. Plus, the fact that I see $10 tickets for the game available (as of 12:30 a.m. Wednesday) doesn't exactly sell me on the idea that the Aggies fans are too pumped for this game, either.

KU's already played one bad game against A&M this year. I don't see this as being poor game No. 2.

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

TK: Tyshawn Taylor.

Kansas players Tyshawn Taylor (10) and Travis Releford (24) react after Taylor was not called for a foul on an attempted steal during the second half on Monday, Jan. 23, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas players Tyshawn Taylor (10) and Travis Releford (24) react after Taylor was not called for a foul on an attempted steal during the second half on Monday, Jan. 23, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

You give him the outside shot, he’ll bury it to the tune of .433 accuracy rate.

JN: Jeff Withey is a nightmare opponent for A&M.

Kansas center Jeff Withey stuffs a shot by Texas A&M forward David Loubeau during the second half on Monday, Jan. 23, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas center Jeff Withey stuffs a shot by Texas A&M forward David Loubeau during the second half on Monday, Jan. 23, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

The 7-foot center had eight blocks against the Aggies last game, and with few reliable three-point shooters outside of Elston Turner, A&M will be forced once again to try to get shots around Withey. Like last game, it probably won't work.

Expect Withey to pile up the swats this game, while also improving on the four rebounds he had against A&M in the previous matchup.

Predictions tally (through 27 games)
Tom: 21-6 record, 259 points off (9.6 points off/game)
Jesse: 24-3 record, 222 points off (8.2 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)
Kansas State: Tyshawn Taylor (2nd in Keegan ratings)
Texas Tech: Thomas Robinson (3rd 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)
Kansas State: Travis Releford (4th in Keegan ratings)
Texas Tech: Kevin Young (4th in Keegan ratings)
Average: 3.9th in Keegan ratings

Comments

kusportsdotcom 6 years, 12 months ago

Jesse, have you ever wondered why you're behind in the Keegan ratings? At this point in the season, how have you only picked T-Rob as your Hawk to Rock in 3 games? That's ridiculous.

Ron Prichard 6 years, 12 months ago

Don't forget, Keegan is the one doing the rankings after the game. Slight conflict of interest there, but I realize it's all in fun.

swavity 6 years, 12 months ago

Disregarding the fact that Keegan always picks first and then sets the rankings afterwards(eye roll)...Jesse actually tries to pick the way it should be done: who is going to improve the most on their baseline performance as a result of the next game's matchups?

Keegan just picks T-Rob or Tyshawn every time. Why even pick then? I got $100 that says it'll be 12:03 twice in the next 24 hours!

BLITZED 6 years, 12 months ago

I'm sure reason JN only has picked Thomas 3x is because TK picks him every game. JN actually looks at the match ups and gets creative with his picks. Anyone can pick the best player on the team every game, it is refreshing to see JN think outside the box and not always go with the favorite. Keep it up JN.

milehighhawk 6 years, 12 months ago

Exactly. Hell, I could do fine if I picked Tyshawn or TRob every game - there's zero thinking involved. Pretty lame for Keegan to go with one of those two guys in each of the last 11 games.

Steve Gantz 6 years, 12 months ago

Withey's going to continue his hot streak and KU will win by 10, 60-52, even if they are looking ahead to Misery. The most pleasing season in recent KU memory continues!

Mark Kelly 6 years, 12 months ago

+1 for enthusiasm, -1 for math. haha. I agree that Withey will dominate in this game.

Kent Wells 6 years, 12 months ago

Well, this post makes it official - you have exposed yourself as a K-Stater!

Steve Kubler 6 years, 12 months ago

I was a big K-State supporter, for 40 minutes last night! Even now I look at them(the kitties) with a warm fuzzy feeling. I am sure with a little rest and maybe a round of anti-biotic it will wear off soon.

Kent Wells 6 years, 12 months ago

You know, I actually like KState people. It is sort of like a retarded nephew, you just love them and you never make fun of the helmet. Or wissoxfan83 for his clever 60-52 = 10 math!

I didn't like KSU so much from 1970-1982 or so, but I moved to Oklahoma and putting up with those inbreds let me to appreciate our KSU bretheren a little better. That, and (even though they never had any place to go) they have been loyal to the XII. Not like our meth-heads to our east. There is a special place in hell for those deliverance types.

So, go ahead, either take the meds or just put up with them. I guess they are OK in moderation. And it sure was nice to see them own MU last night. Althogth I guess tigger might have an edge come Saturday...

Steve Kubler 6 years, 12 months ago

Well, after they gave my daughter 6 years of nearly tuition paid education that lead to a job that will get me a good nursing home someday I find it hard to hate the cats anymore. I still try for old times sake and just to piss the girl-child off!

Ron Prichard 6 years, 12 months ago

I'm taking KU by 8, 72-59. Kidding! To steal a line from Jaybate, all in fun, no malice intended.

Steve Gantz 6 years, 12 months ago

I did the fuzzy math thing because now I have two chances to have correctly picked either the correct score or the correct margin.

KUwells I've never been so insulted in all my life, unless you had called me a misery fan.

Kent Wells 6 years, 12 months ago

Sorry my Jayhawk brother. But really? What did you expect? I guess I should have been the better person, but I think my behavior on here over the past 3 years dictates that response. I mean you might have been concerned about me had I taken the high road.

If you are at the game Saturday, I'll buy you a drink before or after and you can punch me in the nose!

Steve Gantz 6 years, 12 months ago

Oh man how I wish I could be at the game! I've stepped foot twice in Lawrence since I graduated in '88, sadly, neither time was during basketball season. The drink would have been better too, as you can see by my pic, I believe in non-violence!

Clarence Haynes 6 years, 12 months ago

It'll be interesting to see the impact of the "New Jeff Withey" on the score!

Robert Brock 6 years, 12 months ago

Hawk to Rock: Jeff Withey with a triple-double.

kesmithstl1 6 years, 12 months ago

I think with MU losing last night, it helps KU gain extra focus for tonight. Still nervous, but I like KU to win.

Ben Kane 6 years, 12 months ago

I think Withster has a big game again but i have to go with TRob to rock here. He needs a 25-15 type game to swing a little national momentum back his way.

we shot awful in the last game, don't see that happening again, KU by 15

Tony Bandle 6 years, 12 months ago

To lose this game before the confrontation with Missouri would be a disaster. I have every confidence that the coaching staff is hammering the Hawks with one word....

focus....focus....focus....focus...

Hawks take care of business, build a big lead then coast to a 13 point victory.

Kent Wells 6 years, 12 months ago

To steal from stupidmichael. I'm scared. Moo lost their "trap game" so hopefully, knowing they can win outright now, they will focus on the Aggies!

dylans 6 years, 12 months ago

KU could've won outright without this MU loss also by beating the Tigers. But leaving them 2 games out of first at the end of the season will be sweeter yet.

Kent Wells 6 years, 12 months ago

Yeah, I hope that is the case. I am just hoping for some cushion for TAMU this evening or Okie State. I'm thinking we have a loss on the schedule before the end of the year. I hope not!

Alex Berger 6 years, 12 months ago

If there is one thing Self does well, it is getting them ready to play in the regular season. I think we'll win tonight, Saturday, possibly lose at OSU, but win at Texas as a last hoorah for these Seniors (and TRob). There is no doubt that the 8th straight Big XII 'ship is ours for the taking.

stinkybulldog 6 years, 12 months ago

The Texas game is at AFH. I think we will finish out the Big12 season on a strong note and win the next 4 games.

LAJayhawk 6 years, 12 months ago

I have a strong feeling we will blow the Aggies out of the gym tonight. With mizzou losing, these guys can see the finish line, and will come out pumped up and ready to go. KU by 18.

HTR: Elijah. It's a gamble, but I think we're going to beat them from the outside, and I think this is FINALLY the game that EJ comes alive....

Mike Kendall 6 years, 12 months ago

I thought this was interesting-------assuming K-State is a lock to get in with their win over Mizzou last night--Wichita State should be in, too--KU is in. The last time all three Kansas schools were in the NCAA Tourney was 1988---oh, boy! We all know what happened in 1988!!!!!!!!

KU beats Oklahoma for the title!!!!!!!! Yeah, baby!!!!!!!!!!!

Danny and the Miracles!!!!!!!!!!!! One shining moment!!!!!!!!!!

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