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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Extra Minutes: Kansas 67, Oklahoma 65

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Some thoughts....from Norman

Gary Bedore, Journal-World KU men's basketball beat writer

"The Jayhawks blew a 17-point lead, but no biggie. KU won, and that's all that matters this time of year.

The Jayhawks need to get Brandon Rush going. He had another off game. He's had three mediocre-to-sub-par outings in a row.

The freshmen were due for a sub-par outing.

All in all, it's good to win on an off night. Winning on the road isn't easy and KU has made a habit of it the past two seasons."

Tom Keegan, Journal-World sports editor

"The NCAA Tournament is all about surviving and advancing, even when little goes right.

On its final night of February basketball, Kansas survived, despite not getting a single point in a combined 39 minutes from freshmen standouts Sherron Collins and Darrell Arthur."

Inside the numbers

0: That's how many points KU's freshman duo of Sherron Collins, who has been KU's best player the past two-plus weeks, and Darrell Arthur combined for. It was the first time that's happen since the two arrived in Lawrence, and most notably the first time it's happened in Arthur's KU career. It almost cost KU, as there wasn't one player for the Jayhawks Monday who was offensively dominant from start to finish. The closest was Julian Wright. Collins and Arthur are still great players, so don't consider this a bash-fest. But that can't happen too much if KU wants to be consistently successful.

12: Oklahoma outscored Kansas by 12 points in the second half, and did it in a fashion about as ugly as you'll see on a basketball court. Methodically, the Sooners did it from the free throw line and with a sample of timely jumpers, at one point tying KU thanks to a Michael Neal three from the corner. Basically, this game wound up closer than it rightfully should have been against an offensively porous team.

10: No 10 made shots were more important than the 10 free throws KU sophomore Mario Chalmers hit. During the free-throw-fest that was the second half, Chalmers was really KU's only response to OU's bit-by-bit attack.

5: As soon as OU's Taylor Griffin was called for his fifth foul late in the second half, the Sooners struggled because their energy source was pretty much unplugged from the wall. Griffin was gritty, with 12 points and seven rebounds, and the Sooners simply couldn't replace his adrenaline. Really, no one else in crimson and cream seemed to show emotion.

Just in case you missed it...

KU's freshman duo of Darrell Arthur and Sherron Collins combined to score nothing on 0-for-7 shooting. Collins at times looked to revert to his earlier season form, with two assists and two turnovers. The second turnover came late and could have been costly, as he went to fast down the sideline towards the bucket and collapsed near the baseline, loosing the rock out of bounds. Arthur, who had been much better about fouling as of late, was again plagued by whistles, picking up three untimely fouls which limited him to a season-low six minutes on the floor (his previous mark was 12). It was also his first scoreless performance of his KU career. For Collins, it was his fourth time with a goose egg in the points column, but his first since Dec. 23 against Boston College. KU will have a tough time winning in the tournament when the freshmen are that quiet. Fran Fraschilla made a great point during the ESPN telecast, saying Monday's game closely resembled what KU as a one- or two-seed could expect in the second round of the NCAA tournament from a seven-, eight-, nine- or 10-seed.

Hopefully you didn't miss it...

Russell Robinson basically hit his season scoring average on the head by putting home seven points Monday night, but two of them came at the most crucial of moments. He hit a pair of late free throws which made it impossible for OU to win, on a night where everyone but Mario Chalmers was far from a lock at the free throw line. Sure, Robinson's numbers don't really ever pop off a stat sheet, but after missing a game with a foot sprain, he showed why he'll be important in games like this - because they will come again - come the postseason.

Comments

MarcoPolo 15 years, 5 months ago

Everyone knows that teams cannot have their best game everytime out. But wow -- was that game at OU ugly or what? Thank God that effort was not in the first or second round of the dance!

Great, great defense on the part of Oklahoma shutting down Collins and Arthur and limiting KU to just 7 attempts beyond the arc. That's what KU needs to do to their opponents -- limit the 3-point shots.

Although Kahn did well at the free throw line, Chalmers was his usual,steady self, and RR hit a pair late, the team still needs much work in that area. Now is the time to step up -- free throws should not be the Achilles heel of this absolutlely excellent basketball team...

DocBean 15 years, 5 months ago

That was probably the worst game we can play, and we still won, problem is, Oklahoma isn't a tournament caliber team. Scary.

That game may have been the best thing that could happen to the team, close call against a bad team, but a win none the less.

97jhawk 15 years, 5 months ago

Uhh.....MarcoPolo, just so you know, the correct spelling for Sasha's last name is Kaun NOT Kahn!! Some people's kids I tell ya.

isolve4x 15 years, 5 months ago

Yes, that was UGLY! But, was anyone really surprised? We've been kicking butt the last 6 games, we'd just moved UP in the rankings (always a curse), it was an away conference game in late February, and it was OU's senior night. I'm just glad we did what we had to do to get a close win. It's better than a close LOSS!!

Sherron and Darrell, keep your heads up! You guys are still AWESOME!! Take it as a compliment when a team focuses on shutting you down, you must have been doing something very right!! Better to have an off game NOW than in a couple weeks!!

bbjunkie 15 years, 5 months ago

It was a awful game for the hawks but we won. Rush needs to get his game going or we won't be going very far in the tourny. The big 12 or the ncaa. Where was our outside shot last night ? it was non-exsistent. One three pointer the whoe game. That is horrible. Come on guys get with it, its tourny time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dirk Medema 15 years, 5 months ago

Ugly is right, as Sasha's bloody, no foul, nose indicates in very graphic fashion.

OU obviously had scouted Sherron and Darrell very well, and the freshmen didn't appear to know how to respond differently. It wasn't nearly as much about them having a bad night, as it was about OU knowing how to defend what they have been doing prolificly to date. Fortunately, they are too talented, and the coaching staff too wise not learn from this and develop alternate repetoires to keep from being shut-down completely in the long run.

The other good news is there are plenty of other obvious lessons to be learned through watching the tape (timing the inbounds play against the press, attacking the middle of the press, ...), some of which were corrected even as the game went on.

It is a good wake up ahead of the Texas game. What a great end to the regular season.

ralsterKUMed95 15 years, 5 months ago

Like everyone, I was on pins/needles whole 4th qtr--in a game I did not expect to be. Just watch, it will serve as a great wake-up to what the scouting reports out there on KU might be saying. We will probably butcher TX, as we have become quite good with the quick double team (vs. Durant hopefully), and our 4 guards should be able to handle that TX freshman guard as well. Competitors like Sherron and D.Arthur will be very quick to learn their lessons from the tape of the OU game, and I trust that quality in them--you can see that desire in their faces, especially Darrell Arthur, who should be pretty stoked against Texas. We will be fine. Nice test vs. TX--go get 'em guys!

yates33333 15 years, 5 months ago

Someone ought to note that Kaun played a good game, a much needed game, especially rebounding and blocking shots.

JayCeph 15 years, 5 months ago

Kaun was terrific. He doesn't get near the attention he deserves for the moxy he brings to the game outside of the numbers that show up in the box score.

He eats up a lot of space, moves well without the ball, alters opponent's shots, wears out other post players with how quickly he can run up and down the court... he even dives to floor for loose balls on many occasions.

The kid is a solid player.

Shemp 15 years, 5 months ago

"as he went to fast down the sideline towards the bucket and collapsed near the baseline, loosing the rock out of bounds." OUCH. Two big errors in one sentence from a profesional journalist? It's "too" and "losing." Ugh.

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