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Recap: Collins biting off more than he can chew?

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Sherron Collins means a lot to Kansas: That much was clear before KU's loss to Oklahoma State. After the Jayhawks' disappointing trip to Stillwater, however, fans and observers shouldn't be blamed for wondering just how healthy KU's reliance on its lead guard is.

Collins' final line wasn't actually all that brutal. The guard scored 22 points on 7-for-16 shooting and contributed four rebounds and four assists. But Collins' struggle in the opening half stood out as one of the clear reasons for KU's loss. Collins took 15 minutes and 47 seconds of game time to score his first point. During that period, the senior posted these numbers:

• 0-for-6 field goal shooting, 0-for-2 free throw shooting and two turnovers

During that same time frame, KU fell into a 36-20 hole.

In the game's final 24 minutes, Collins went 7-for-10 from the field and 4-for-4 from the free throw line and KU outscored Oklahoma State, 57-49.

Collins was far and away the Jayhawks' most active player, taking 30.6 percent of the team's shots and using 32.8 percent of the team's possessions during his playing time. The next most aggressive Jayhawk was guard Xavier Henry, who used just 22.8 percent of KU's trips down the floor. This would have been fine if Collins had flourished. Instead, the Chicago native generated a very pedestrian 1.01 points per possession while his counterpart, Oklahoma State's Keiton Page, created 1.92 points per trip (using substantially fewer possessions).

Having one player dominate the ball isn't necessarily a deal breaker. Oklahoma State guard James Anderson used 31.2 percent of the Cowboys possessions and took 39.8 percent of their shots. Because Anderson went 4-for-6 on three-point attempts and created 1.24 points per possession, his high activity level was not a problem. Its tough to argue, however, that KU would not have benefited from Collins hanging back a bit during a game in which the Jayhawks' most offensively efficient starter (Cole Aldrich) used just 18.7 percent of their possessions.

A graphical look at how Oklahoma State built and expanded its lead in the middle minutes of the game, from StatSheet.com:

M.O.J. (Most Outstanding Jayhawk)

Sherron Collins used a late push to bring his box score back to respectability and Cole Aldrich scored 11 points on 5-for-9 shooting, but guard Xavier Henry provided the Jayhawks' best offensive performance.

Henry scored 17 points on 6-for-12 shooting, scoring in double figures for the sixth straight game. Oklahoma State's all-everything guard James Anderson exposed Henry on defense more than a few times, but Collins (taken off the dribble by Keiton Page!) and Aldrich (five rebounds) didn't fare much better.

Room For Improvement

Plenty of room for discussion exists on why KU's defense struggled Saturday, but in essence, it all boiled down to shooting.

Oklahoma State shot more accurately than any KU opponent of the Bill Self era has. The Cowboys posted the fifth-best eFG% of any Big 12 team this conference season. Predictably, this did not end well for KU. The Jayhawks yielded their highest points-per-possession total (1.20) since last season's KU loss at Arizona (1.29).

http://worldonline.media.clients.ellingtoncms.com/img/blogs/entry_img/2010/Feb/28/james.jpg Guard James Anderson was the Cowboys' lead gunslinger on Saturday — Nick Krug/LJW Photo

Tough Luck Line

Aside from Collins, Brady Morningstar possessed KU's most unsightly line. The junior guard took — and missed — one shot and did not grab any rebounds in 16 minutes. As Journal-World sports editor Tom Keegan noted in his Keegan Ratings, Morningstar just hasn't looked right lately.

The Bottom Line

One regular season game is one regular season game. When you're 27-2 and already crowned conference champion, one regular season game doesn't mean a whole lot.

After Syracuse's exceptional Saturday night victory against Villanova, KU could fall from the top of the national rankings. Given college basketball's (thankful) refusal to use the meaningless polls for anything other than nothing, that doesn't mean a whole lot.

But if KU plays like it did against Oklahoma State — reckless and rattled on offense, ill-prepared on defense — against Kansas State and Missouri, the Jayhawks might not have much momentum heading into the Big 12 Championship.

Comments

Robert Brock 9 years, 6 months ago

Is there a method to the Jayhawk offense? It doesn't look like it most of the time. I was amused when Collins and Taylor decided to drive the ball into the lane against a packed defense with no place to go. And Self let them do stuff like that! O-State dictated that KU could beat them with the deep shot and the Jayhawks were not up to it. Little movement, few screens, no ball-reversal...It is getting late to install an offense.

GreyHawker 9 years, 6 months ago

Wow.......55.6% of our offense was consumed by SC and X......talk about selfish out of control B-ball......and good old Bill just sits there chewing his fingernails....here's an interesting idea Bill....try actually coaching!!! And yes Brock, there is NO METHOD to our offense.....just hope to have superior talent based on recruiting and hope they win!!

lama 9 years, 6 months ago

Brady's minutes should continue to decline. The "invisible Jayhawk," as Pomeroy labels him, just isn't contributing anything. He's routinely out-rebounded by more athletic guards, and is passing on wide open shots. When he's on the floor, his defender can sag into the lane and muck things up for everyone else. And his defense hasn't been great -- he was beaten off the dribble and was slow getting around screens yesterday. Taylor makes more mistakes -- but has so much more upside. I think we'll continue to see Brady for 15 minutes or less going forward.

Ed Fox 9 years, 6 months ago

Gotta love coming here after a loss. I start feeling bad, but end up feeling better because I'm not an idiot like so many posters here. See the first two comments in this thread for evidence. Yes, Coach Self can't coach, despite a 27-2 record, six straight conference titles, 55+ straight wins at home, 3 conference tournament titles and, oh yeah, a national championship. Gotta love the high quality posting done around here. This loss sucked, but having no perspective and turning into a raving idiot sucks a lot worse.

Lacy Mohler 9 years, 6 months ago

BannerforKirk--Agree Self is a great coach, but in his book he talks about getting down during times like this. He constantly is dealing with alumini pressures, players mad about playing time--and look at the extra problems that popped up this year--Cole has been sick, fights, car wrecks, facebook, Collins hasn't been playing up to expectations etc.

In his book he talks about the losing streak in 2008 and how down he was. Mrs. Chalmers stepped up and nicely kicked him in the butt. I hope he has a Mrs. Chalmers this year, because there is a lot of basketball still to be played. This team can go all the way.

kranny 9 years, 6 months ago

When you have a poor shooting day, you make up for it by playing tough defense-create turnovers to get your points. KU's defense was not very good yesterday and I imagine the boys are going to feel it in their next practice. They didn't come off of ball screens, didn't move their feet to cut off dribblers, didn't challenge shots and no help defense either. You simply can't allow a team to shoot over 60% and expect to win the game. If they would've played with as much intensity and effort the whole game as they did in the last 7 minutes it would've been a much different game. Suck it up boys, the next 2 games are going to be even tougher than this one.

Brandon Koch 9 years, 6 months ago

I couldn't agree more Banner. Self is one of the best coaches in the game. This game was just a matter of the other team hitting every shot they took. It wasn't even bad defense some of the time, they just hit tough shots. No need to be a fair weather fan and come down hard on Self for one loss. I hope Sherron starts hitting shots soon though.

Carl O'Hair 9 years, 6 months ago

I was sure that a lot of negativity would show up after that loss. I will always wonder how a coach can be sooooo good while he is winning and become so bad after a loss like that one. I was very unhappy with the defense yesterday but much more unhappy with the offense. Of course, when you have people shooting threes from the absolute corner with a man on them like Munoelo and Anderson did more than once and hitting all of them you have to shoot pretty well to keep up. Ford took a chance by packing the lane and forcing longer jump shooting and it worked quite well, that game. Ford said, himself, that the Hawks have the best chance of going all the way.

Folks, I think that Ford won that game but don't think it will happen again. His game plan worked very well on a day when the Hawks just couldn't find anybody who could score and I thought that as well as he played, X failed to shoot too many times when he could have. OSU covered Reed and Morningstar very well so they couldn't shoot threes and Collins couldn't hit one. Taylor still shot the 3 very well but passed up some opportunities.

All in all they never did look like they couldn't get back into the game but they just couldn't get over the hump from starting too late. Yesterday OSU would have beaten anybody in the conference so maybe it wasn't so bad after all.

My main gripe about the way they played was that when the bigs were double and triple teamed when they got the ball they tried too hard to get off a shot when going back outside immediately would have worked.

Kent Kossoy 9 years, 6 months ago

Those of you jumping off the bandwagon, jump quickly. The ride will be more fun and faster without the DEAD weight!!!

jkjhawk 9 years, 6 months ago

Our bigs were not getting it done. WTF was Collins supposed to do? This analysis is trash without considering the performance of our post play. Not fair to Collins. Three days before senior night... he doesn't deserve this.

fansincewilt 9 years, 6 months ago

Shoot 60% against a team that is having a really bad day and only win by eight points - hmmm, doesn't take much coaching to do that. I think I could have coached a win with that performance. Making fall-away three's with someone in your face doesn't happen enough to depend on that for wins. I'm not too worried.

melrank 9 years, 6 months ago

jkjhawk - thanks for the interjection of common sense and sanity.

I'm so tired of people complaining about Sherron, demanding he gets benched, asking for EJ, etc. Collins has a warrior's attitude and thank god he does, because what I saw yesterday was a team of tentative, low energy, low confidence players looking for someone to put them on their back and carry them to a victory. Deja vu from last year.

Sherron isn't going to play perfect all the time, you live by the sword and you die by the sword, But, at least Sherron has the guts to get into the battle which is more than I can say for several of our guys yesterday.

I know we are the best team in the nation and we have a great chance of winning it all. However, we will not win it all without Sherron leading the way - even when he's not playing at his best.

GreyHawker 9 years, 6 months ago

ku98 you're probably right...one of those early morning posts...you read after you wakeup and go geeeeez..........

GreyHawker 9 years, 6 months ago

ku98 you're probably right...one of those early morning posts...you read after you wakeup and go geeeeez..........

Clarence Haynes 9 years, 6 months ago

When Collins et al penetrate, there are times when the shot isn't going to be there. I am sure that there has to be a Plan B where they dish the ball out to someone positioned on the perimeter! We however, don't seem to be executing that and this leads to fouls and blocked shots! We are still a tough team and I am sure this was a wakeup call for the 'Hawks! We'll prevail! Rock Chalk!

willyhawk 9 years, 6 months ago

Will somebody please show Tyshawn some game footage of Keith Langford so he can learn how to finish. He can get to the cup anytime he wants but bless his heart he has the touch of Greg Ostertag.

Mike Kendall 9 years, 6 months ago

greyHawker-- Nice double post!!!!! Gotta question for you--- Would you rather have Roy Williams or Bill Self as coach? UHHHHHHHH---I think I'll choose Bill Self, thank you very much. Rock Chalk!!!

kcmostwanted 9 years, 6 months ago

I never realized how many idiots were KU fans....well at least until we loose then they all crawl out :-) ... How many times will anyone win when the opponent shoots 60+% from the field????/ ----------Not very often!!!! Grow up guys Okie state was on FIRE. They live and die by the 3 and that's what we saw on Saturday.

Tyler Bruce 9 years, 6 months ago

60%.. that's all that needs to be said! When kstate almost lost to Nebraska on their home court Nebraska shot 58%.. it's obvious that in the Big XII if a team shoots that well they'll win everytime at home!

Scott Smetana 9 years, 6 months ago

We're so used to running at KU, but that seems to take Cole out of the game. Maybe we should slow down games?

GreyHawker 9 years, 6 months ago

mikendal...........Ditto on Bill.........

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