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Game 26: KU @ Texas A&M

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Eye test: B+. This team showed just enough to pull out a tough road win against a solid team. KU wears a target on their backs every game and to continue to pull games like this out bodes well for the rest of the season. Average grade: 8.1 (B) Weighted average: 8.2 (B)

A: Marcus Morris. Despite foul trouble, Morris had a super efficient game while on the floor. In 20 minutes he finished with 12 points on just 6 shots (made all 4 of his free throws), picked up 3 rebounds, an assist, 3 steals, and no turnovers. Need him to stay on the court more, but can't complain about what he did while on it. (B+, A)

A-: Cole Aldrich. The type of game we have come to expect from Aldrich. 12 points on 10 shots (not his most efficient outing, and missing his only two free throws didn't help...) led the way with 10 rebounds, and had 5 more blocked shots, giving him 98 on the year which is the best total in KU history since blocks have been kept as an official statistic (post-Wilt Chamberlin). Also picked up 2 steals with 3 turnovers. (A-, A-)

A-: Markieff Morris: Good game off the bench for 'Kieff, like his brother he got into foul trouble, but he had an efficient offensive game with 9 points on just 4 shots (made 5 of 6 freethrows!) and had 6 six boards in only 17 minutes. Also had 2 assists with no turnovers. (B, B+)

B+: Tyrel Reed. Cashed the teams only 3 (in 2 attempts) and picked up a steal. Again, Reed doesn't stuff the stat sheet, but he doesn't turn the ball over, and he doesn't take bad shots. (B, B+)

B: Xavier Henry. Still needs to do a better job of finishing drives (or maybe he really isn't THAT athletic? NBA scouts take note...) but persevered, played solidly as the "power forward" when Self opted for a smaller line-up. Cashed 6 of 8 free throws, had one assist and one turnover, and tied for second on the team with 6 boards. (B, B-)

B: Tyshawn Taylor. Coach must have liked what he saw from Taylor, as he earned the 2nd half start. He did look really good making a couple of drives to the bucket, but still is not a consistent outside shooter. Did add 3 rebounds, 2 assists, a steal, and a block, against one turnover, and played pretty solid defense, as did most of his teammates. (B, B)

B: Jeff Withey. Got in the game just for a minute to give the big men a breather before Self decided to go with a smaller line-up. (B, B+)

B-: Brady Morningstar. Not Brady's night shooting the ball, and coach must not have liked something from the first half as Tyshawn started the second half in Brady's place. His form also looked shaky on a couple of late free throws, but he did rebound well, with 4, and had 5 assists with no turnovers, and a steal. (B+, B+)

C: Sherron Collins. Not at all the type of game we need from Sherron. Was not finishing drives well, and looked way off on his outside shooting. Did finally make a couple of buckets, had an assist, a rebound, and was credited with a block (the 4th of his career, and first since his sophomore season). Had an uninspiring 5 turnovers. Offense still looks its best when he is in there running the show, but we need him to perform a bit better himself. (B+, B)

C: Thomas Robinson. Played a minute, had a turnover. Ho hum. (C+, B-)

Comments

waywardJay 9 years, 7 months ago

take exception with your rating brady above SHerron.... Brady was pulle dbecause SLoan was going to score 40 or 50 if we continued to let Brady Guard Sloan.... Too Fast, too Phsyical..... of sloans 15 points i think 12 of them came while brady was guarding him and the rest were the work of tyshawn taylor...... At least Sherron provide us with 7 points.... i would take 5 turnovers from sherron more than a -12 from guarding Am's only real weapon with no Roland......

I normally don't beef too much with your rankings.... but Brady deserved a C at best because of the rebounds nad assists.... otherwise... i woulda flunked him for tonight.... can't hit open shots or defend the guy you are supposed to "lock down"..... His minutes could have easily gone to ELijah or CJ tonight and we wouldn't have seen much of a drop off

Drew Alan 9 years, 7 months ago

Brady may have been pulled in favor of Taylor because of his defense, but he STILL played more minutes in the game than Taylor did. Sloan had 12 first half points. He had 10 points after 7 minutes, so clearly he got off to a hot start (4 of 5 to start the game) but he ended up only 6 for 18 from the field. Sloan played 38 minutes. So lets say Brady was responsible for Sloan during those first 7 minutes, and lets say Taylor guarded Sloan for ALL of his 22 minutes on the floor, that still leaves 9 minutes that SOMEBODY other than Taylor guarded Sloan, and my guess is it was Brady. (I don't have enough time, or get paid enough (or any) money to re-watch the whole game) Sometimes there is a difference between hot shooting and bad defense, and I think the law of averages showed us that Sloan simply got off to a hot start, so lets give equal credit to Taylor and Morningstar for defense.

"At least Sherron provides us with 7 points"... sure, I gave Sherron some positive credit for scoring those points, but you have to look at the negatives brought to the game by both players. Sherron missed 8 shots (7 from the field and 1 free throw). Of those 8 misses, KU got 1 rebound. So Sherron had a total of 12 KU possessions end with no points and go back to the other team. TWELVE possessions. Sherron scored or assisted on a total of only FIVE possessions. Brady Morningstar missed 2 shots, and 2 free throws (all though it was a two shot foul, so there was only 1 rebound opportunity) and KU got 1 rebound. Brady also had 5 assists, a steal, and no turnovers. So yeah, Brady may not have had a fantastic offensive game, but Brady only ended a KU possession with no points twice, and a KU possession ended with points 5 times because of Brady. Brady also had a steal, so he ended an A&M possession with no points as well. A net positive impact of 4 possessions for Brady, and a net negative impact of 7 possessions for Sherron. The difference is obvious to me. If you include rebounds, the difference is even greater, as Brady had 4 (with 2 offensive) and Sherron only had 1.

Don't even act like Elijah or CJ is as good a defender as Brady. If Self was that frustrated with Brady that he thought Elijah or CJ could have done a better job, they would have played in the game. They didn't. The benching was probably a wake-up call to Brady or a sign of trust for Tyshawn, and considering A&M shot something like 25% in the first half, I'd say it worked.

86finalfour 9 years, 7 months ago

morningstar did have that incredible assist for an alley-oop score. It was Nash-like. His release is so quick!

justanotherfan 9 years, 7 months ago

dsmith, I know you like Brady and are a big proponent of his contributions. I like his steady play, too, but you have to be honest that last night Brady was going to get torched if he stayed on Sloan. The whole reason Brady started the second half on the bench is that Coach saw that Sloan was owning him, so he started Tyshawn in place of Brady to keep Sloan under control.

In the first half, Sloan missed his first shot, then scored on his next four shots. At that point, Tyshawn went on him. Sloan was 4-5 with 10 points and 0 turnovers. From that point on Sloan was 1-5 with a turnover in the first half. One of the misses was due to a Taylor block. In the second half, Tyshawn started on him and Sloan missed his first four FG attempts, and that was basically it for his hot streak. I don't think you can disregard that he started red hot against Brady and that AS SOON AS Tyshawn went to him, he didn't score again until a made FG with about a minute left, and I think Tyshawn had gone to the bench when that happened. Even still, saying Tyshawn was responsible for Sloan for the rest of the first half, Brady gave up 10 points, while preventing 3 (missed 3 pointer), while Tyshawn gave up 2 points while preventing 10 (four missed FG, plus a turnover caused by a Taylor steal). Brady put us 7 points in the hole, while Tyshawn got us back even.

In a way, I am seeing Brady's play take the same type of arc as last year. Starts out playing really well, earning big minutes. Then, as conference season moves towards a close, his shot starts slumping, and his defense isn't quite as tight. I hope I am wrong about that, because if I am right, I hope the coaching staff is recognizing it, too.

Drew Alan 9 years, 7 months ago

Correction on my above comment: A&M shot 25% in the SECOND half.

"The whole reason Brady started the second half on the bench is that Coach saw that Sloan was owning him, so he started Tyshawn in place of Brady to keep Sloan under control." I didn't listen to post-game radio or anything, but did Self actually say this? I think it is equally likely that Coach wanted Taylor to do more of his disruptive dribble drives to the basket to try and create some defensive chaos for A&M.

I don't really feel like I need to defend my stance on this. Tyshawn at most guarded Sloan for 22 of his 38 minutes, and Brady probably guarded him for at least the other 16 minutes. Yeah, Sloan may have hit shots with Brady guarding him, but that doesn't necessarily put the onus on Brady. In the Baylor game, Brady was playing absolutely awesome, lock-down defense on LaceDarius Dunn, and Dunn still just HIT SHOTS. That's what good players do, and Sloan is A&M's best player. Also, I DID grade Taylor better than Brady... so I'm not exactly arguing that Brady was the savior of the game here...

jayhawkjoe98 9 years, 7 months ago

Personally, I thought Morningstar did a solid job of guarding Sloan. Sloan hit some ridiculous, guarded shots against Brady early in the game. Morningstar did everything possible on a couple of those shots to disrupt Sloan and it just didn't happen. Sloan was on fire the opening moments of the game.

This team continues to impress me. On a night when no one played exceptional, Kansas still found a way to pull it out against a ranked team on the road in a hostile environment.

If this team ever decides to put it all together.......

waywardJay 9 years, 7 months ago

i guess i just disagree... im not suggesting sherron should have gotten a higher regard.... im sugggesting Brady was killing us on defense and doing nothing on offense.... which you pretty much concur with...

Look it, I like Brady. I want him the starting lineup when he makes plays.Five rebounds and 4 assists aregood numbers. But when the two things Self counts on him for are " not making mistakes, and defending the go to guy of the other team..." and the one he PERFORMS is not making mistakes..... well that's an issue.

Sherron's impact on the team is beyond the 5 turnovers also, may i add. WHo is in the game keeping everyone together out there? Who calls the plays on the court? Who keeps us from having to rely on Tyshawn as the PRimary penitrator on offense ? While the 5 turnovers was something i was displeaed with but how many of our points come from having Sherron as a threat out there even if he can't hit the broad side of a barn for some reason..... He is responsible for 7 points and one assist according to self.... but really how many more baskets were made because they have believe SHerron could go postal at any moment. Exactly.

Brady didn't make any "mistakes" unless you consider getting blown by Sloan on defense several times in the first half ... and even late in the game when tyshawn was out... We were fortuantely Sloan missed late in the game, probably from having to work so much harder against TYSHAWN.

Sloan was on fire because of the Crowd and he saw he was getting guarded by someone who was slower than he was.

jayhawkjoe98 9 years, 7 months ago

Give some credit to Sloan, man... He's a good player. It's not like Joe Nobody was scoring over Brady. And like I said, he hit some very tough, guarded shots early in the game.

JayhawkRock 9 years, 7 months ago

I thought Brady looked like he was sleepwalking in that game. I agree with Wayward he was not his usual self on defense. Sloan is good but he shouldnt be good enough to beat Brady like that. I thought Sherron was pitiful as well though. A complete no show for Sherron and Brady.

You cant just go off of stats. Brady didnt do as good a job on defense as we are used to seeing out of him. Should be interesting to see how we play CU on Saturday. Burks playing back around his hometown, im sure he will have a ton of family at the game. Should be interesting to see how we handle CU this time around. I expect us to come out firing.

Drew Alan 9 years, 7 months ago

"Sloan is good but he shouldnt be good enough to beat Brady like that."

Really? The BEST player on a top 25 team shouldn't be good enough to make a couple of shots over our 5th/6th best player? This is no knock on Brady, but EVERY top 25 team has at least ONE player better than Brady Morningstar. Brady is a SOLID ROLE PLAYING college basketball player. Yes, Brady has the capability to guard people very tightly, but depending on the offensive scheme and opposing player ability, sometimes Brady's weaknesses will be exploited, and sometimes good basketball players just make shots.

JayhawkRock 9 years, 7 months ago

The BEST defender on the #1 team should be able to guard the BEST player on the #23 team. So yeah, if Brady is supposed to be our best on ball defender then he should be able to guard Donald Sloan.

waywardJay 9 years, 7 months ago

D and JJ.... I'm not taking anythign away from SLoan....Sloan is the best player left on this team.... i cannot imagine how good they woulda been with Elenu and Roland also.... However, Brady SUCKED. Period. he shoulda been ranked lower than Sherron. That's all im suggesting.

Drew Alan 9 years, 7 months ago

lets make no mistake, Cole Aldrich is the best defensive player on this team. It is unfortunate that he rarely matches up 1 on 1 with the oppositions best player, but Cole is easily the biggest game changer on the defensive end.

it is unrealistic to expect the oppositions best player to exclusively miss shots when Brady is guarding them. Craig Brackins scored 18 points, did Marcus have a bad defensive game? J'Covan Brown scored 28 points, did anybody complain about Brady/Tyshawn's defense after that performance? Jacob Pullen scored 22 points against us, but was anyone complaining about our defense against him? Also, if you're going to hold players accountable for their defense, why not look at Sherron? Sherron somehow gets a free pass for being the worst defender among our starting 5 because of his skills on the offensive end. In this game he didn't deliver on EITHER end, so he got a lower grade than Brady.

JayhawkRock 9 years, 7 months ago

First of all in my comment I mentioned on ball defender and Cole is not the best on ball defender. I do expect Brady to be able to defend Sloan better than he did. I do expect guys to miss shots when Brady is guarding them because he usually defends really well. He usually contests shots well enough to make guys miss majority of their shots but he got caught on some cuts and screens that he shouldnt have and Sloan got some open shots on him.

No doubt Cole blocks shots but Im not going to translate that to best defender necessarily. I think Cole is very slow getting back to his man when he hedges and that can get us in trouble against quick teams and it did a couple times against A&M. Cole also picks up at least one and most times two stupid fouls on the defensive end off of hedging. He tends to not move his feet or tries to reach in and then he picks up a dumb foul 30 feet from the basket.

I think the entire team really defends well but Brady did not defend well last game at A&M.

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