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Will Tyshawn Taylor perform well on his Senior Night? Plus, predictions for KU, Texas

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Jesse Newell: Welcome back to the GameDay Cram Session, as Kansas is taking on Texas on Saturday night at Allen Fieldhouse.

Tom, Kansas coach Bill Self said earlier this week that sometimes Senior Night can cause extra nerves for seniors because they worry about their postgame speeches and other distractions that the game brings. With as emotional as KU guard Tyshawn is, could you potentially see those things leading to him having bad night?

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor tosses up a lob over the Texas defense for teammate Thomas Robinson during the first half on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012 at the Frank Erwin Center.

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor tosses up a lob over the Texas defense for teammate Thomas Robinson during the first half on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012 at the Frank Erwin Center. by Nick Krug

Tom Keegan: No. If anything, I think the emotions will make him play better.

He's going out in style with a great year, and I think this game will be a microcosm of that. He might start shaky, but once he gets the sweat going, he'll play great.

JN: Taylor will have lots of family here today, including a sister who flew in from New Jersey, an aunt who flew in from Florida and quite a few cousins that also made their way to Kansas to see his last home game.

He also mentioned earlier in the week how he wished he could write his speech on Twitter, as he's not entirely comfortable with public speaking.

Take out the human factors, and this probably shouldn't be a high-turnover game for Taylor. He had no giveaways in the first matchup against UT, and in his last 81 minutes, he has just three turnovers.

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor lofts a shot over Texas forward Sheldon McClellan (2) for a bucket during the second half on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012 at the Frank Erwin Center.

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor lofts a shot over Texas forward Sheldon McClellan (2) for a bucket during the second half on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012 at the Frank Erwin Center. by Nick Krug

I'm not sure if anyone could blame him, though, if he did struggle in the first few minutes on such an emotional day.

Tom, Texas has been inconsistent, but if the Longhorns put it all together, is there anything scary about them as an opponent?

Kansas guard Elijah Johnson tosses a pass from the floor underneath Texas guard Myck Kabongo after a steal during the first half on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012 at the Frank Erwin Center.

Kansas guard Elijah Johnson tosses a pass from the floor underneath Texas guard Myck Kabongo after a steal during the first half on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012 at the Frank Erwin Center. by Nick Krug

TK: Sure. Junior guard J'Covan Brown tends to play well against Kansas, and if he does share the ball, there are some guys that can get hot.

I thought Sheldon McClellan got hot in the first matchup, but Brown never picked up on that. Guard Myck Kabongo is super-quick, and he has a whole year of experience now. And a win here for the Longhorns also would vault to the top of their argument for making the NCAA Tournament field.

JN: I think the scary part about this matchup for KU is that Travis Releford hasn't had his best defensive games as of late.

The junior did a great job in the first game against Brown, who scored 24 points but made just seven of 26 field goals.

Kansas guard Travis Releford gets a hand on a three to block a shot by Texas guard J'Covan Brown late in the second half on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012 at the Frank Erwin Center.

Kansas guard Travis Releford gets a hand on a three to block a shot by Texas guard J'Covan Brown late in the second half on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012 at the Frank Erwin Center. by Nick Krug

Maybe it's a defensive slump, or maybe Releford's ankle is bothering him more than he's telling, but he just hasn't been the lockdown defender lately that he was early in the season.

Releford is KU's best option to guard Brown, and if he's not able to stick with him, the 6-foot-1 UT guard has the ability to shoot the Longhorns right into a game — even one at Allen Fieldhouse.

OK, Tom, what's your prediction for this game?

TK: KU by 12.

Kansas University students Vanessa Phillips, Wichita senior, and Josh Deboer, Overland Park senior, scowl at the Missouri players as they take the court  prior to tipoff on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas University students Vanessa Phillips, Wichita senior, and Josh Deboer, Overland Park senior, scowl at the Missouri players as they take the court prior to tipoff on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

Fans will be into it because they know they won't see this team again in Allen Fieldhouse until Late Night, which should be enough to carry KU to the victory.

JN: I'll take KU by five.

Kansas forward Justin Wesley wrestles for a loose ball with Texas center Clint Chapman during the second half on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012 at the Frank Erwin Center.

Kansas forward Justin Wesley wrestles for a loose ball with Texas center Clint Chapman during the second half on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012 at the Frank Erwin Center. by Nick Krug

Texas' ability to get offensive rebounds and to the free throw line makes it a dangerous opponent no matter the location. Plus, this just feels like the type of big-time atmosphere where Brown will thrive.

I'm still picking KU, but I wouldn't be surprised if this is a game where the Jayhawks face a second-half deficit before rallying to win.

All right, Tom, who's your Hawk to Rock?

TK: Tyshawn Taylor.

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor hooks around Texas big men Clint Chapman (53) and Jonathan Holmes (10) for a pass during the second half on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012 at the Frank Erwin Center.

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor hooks around Texas big men Clint Chapman (53) and Jonathan Holmes (10) for a pass during the second half on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012 at the Frank Erwin Center. by Nick Krug

The quickest player in the country goes out in style.

JN: I'll take Thomas Robinson on what should be his final home game.

Kansas forward Thomas Robinson smiles as he waits for the inbound while guarded by Texas forward Alexis Wangmene during the first half on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012 at the Frank Erwin Center.

Kansas forward Thomas Robinson smiles as he waits for the inbound while guarded by Texas forward Alexis Wangmene during the first half on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012 at the Frank Erwin Center. by Nick Krug

He won't have it easy scoring inside against guys like Clint Chapman — who remains an underrated defender — but Robinson still should have a huge impact on the offensive glass.

The Longhorns have struggled this year with closing out possessions, and Robinson took advantage with five offensive rebounds in his first game against UT.

I think we'll see Robinson's famed motor on full display on Saturday night, which should lead to a 20-10 effort in KU's home finale.

Predictions tally (through 30 games)
Tom: 24-6 record, 279 points off (9.3 points off/game)
Jesse: 27-3 record, 237 points off (7.9 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)
Texas A&M: Tyshawn Taylor (3rd in Keegan ratings)
Missouri: Thomas Robinson (2nd in Keegan ratings)
Oklahoma State: Travis Releford (7th in Keegan ratings)
Average: 2.9th 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)
Texas A&M: Jeff Withey (2nd in Keegan ratings)
Missouri: Travis Releford (6th in Keegan ratings)
Oklahoma State: Jeff Withey (6th in Keegan ratings)
Average: 4th in Keegan ratings

Comments

Alex Berger 5 years, 9 months ago

Go out in style Tyshawn and TRob. Don't even give the longhorns a chance.

I'm scared about March Madness. Not because I think we will lose quick but because I don't want to see Tyshawn and TRob play their last games as Jayhawks. I'll just have to enjoy it while I can.

Mike Kendall 5 years, 9 months ago

Would love to see a blowout. A win is a win, though. Good luck tonight, Jayhawks!

Kye Clark 5 years, 9 months ago

Funny, I was saying the same thing about Travis not playing well defensively lately and quite a few of my fellow Jayhawk fans ripped me for it. I hope it's a slump, and not an injury bothering him that will linger into the NCAA tourney. Would definitely be in favor of him sitting out some in the Big XII tourney, perhaps his PT goes to KY or even Merv (won't happen, but I'd still be in favor of it), if his ankle is the reason for the defensive decline.

jakejayhawk 5 years, 9 months ago

Prediction? Perhaps more than any game this season, Kansas is poised for an emotional breakout against a familiar opponent. Aside from the last game for our seniors and the last hurrah for our amazing junior Robinson, this one is about payback. Our guys have not forgotten that this is the same Texas team that ended our great run of consecutive home victories. And with all due respect to the Longhorns for pulling off the upset, our Jayhawks know full well that the streak would not have ended save for the horror of the worst night of Robinson's young life. I believe the team sees this as an opportunity to exorcise some demons from a year ago. Texas did nothing wrong that day, other than win a game. But that will not diminish the raw emotions of a hungry and talented group of young warriors who want to demonstrate their heart, and the love they feel for one of their own who was wounded and yet gave the full measure of who he is. Tonight is all about a statement: and that statement is "We are family and this is our home".

8ball 5 years, 9 months ago

anybody got a link for watching the seniors speeches tonight?

REHawk 5 years, 9 months ago

I'd love to see Conner light up the basket, score 15+ points tonight. If Travis needs r+r, I hope he can get some bench time tonight and Thursday. Gosh, the final game of this season at AFH! What a whirlwind winter of play!

LAJayhawk 5 years, 9 months ago

Vegas currently has KU favored by 12.

I think we explode in this game. I'm taking a big chance here and saying KU by 23.

HTR: TRob. I was going to say Taylor, but these are the type of games that Robinson can dominate, and I think he will. Enigma will be a very, very close second, though.

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