Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Keegan: Collins reverts, learns


— The Kansas University basketball team slipped back into its B.S. days Monday night inside the Lloyd Noble Center, as in Before Sherron.

Freshman guard Sherron Collins, the driving force behind the team's improvement, didn't have it even a little bit Monday night, so it's a good thing Julian Wright and Mario Chalmers did when it counted. Kansas was on the verge of being on the wrong side of an upset before prevailing, 67-65, against Oklahoma University.

On top of Collins' scoreless evening, during which he often was double-teamed out of getting his normal penetration, the Jayhawks couldn't hit free throws for a long second-half stretch and couldn't handle either Oklahoma's full-court pressure or half-court trapping with much tidiness. In three words, the Jayhawks were shaky, shaky, shaky.

Still, KU, ranked third in the nation in the polls released Monday, survived, using a three-minute, 8-2 run that started at the four-minute mark.

It was a classic example of how a heavily favored team that suffers an unexpected bad night needs to get into survive-and-advance mode. For Collins, who so seldom has looked like a freshman in recent games, it was an education.

"I think this was like a tournament game for Sherron," Chalmers said. "This how it is in the tournament. I think what he takes from tonight is going to better prepare him for the tournament, and we just have to get him going again."

KU barely tops Oklahoma in tough conference play

The Jayhawks had a hard time with Oklahoma Monday night, but was able to come away with the road victory over the Sooners, 67-65.

It also could better prepare teams for how to defend against Kansas, which relies so heavily on big men setting screens to free guards, particularly Collins. On this night, the Sooners guards more often than not fought over the screens, and the big man from Oklahoma was there to help double-team the ballhandler.

The way the Sooners mixed up their defensive tactics seemed to confuse and frustrate Collins at times, but to think he won't be able to adjust would be to give such a driven, talented and clever athlete too little credit. Besides, it's not as if he was the only one taken out of his game by the Sooners. Brandon Rush had slippery hands and committed four turnovers. Chalmers, who made some questionable passes, also had four turnovers.

"I don't know if it was our game plan," first-year Oklahoma coach Jeff Capel said. "One of the things we wanted to do : we knew in scouting them they set a ton of ball screens, so we mixed up how we played ball screens. Our guards did a good job of stepping over them and trying to keep him (Collins) in front. When he penetrated, we didn't want to help up, we wanted to help over. He's such a good passer, such a good decision maker, if you help up, they have guys down there he can just give it to, and they can finish around the basket. I don't know if it was so much our defense or a freshman just having an off night."

Whatever it was, consider it an education for Collins. One of the many positive things he has shown this year is that he's a terrific student of the game.

Collins will get it revved back up to full-speed ahead, and when he does, look for the rest to follow. Just because he had a flashback to November in the final game of February doesn't mean he won't be ready for March. He has March madman written all over him.


kellen813 15 years, 4 months ago

I'm sorry guys, but sometimes it is "free" throws that will keep you in the game and help win it for you; but our free throws were AWEFUL! I really don't care if you are in college or in the NBA, those are shots that everyone should be making at least 75% of the time. No one is guarding you, you get to take your time, so make the easy shots when they are given to you. Thank you Chalmers for making yours, and Kaun I'm very pleased with your attempts. Good game guys but please, lets work on the free throws. Maybe coach shouldn't allow any player to leave practice unless they've made 20 free throws in a row.

Chris Shaw 15 years, 4 months ago

Easier said then done Kellen813. Tiredness, sweat, focus, contemplating, nerves, and stress all have factors in free-throw shooting. I'm sure you could go up and hit 75% of your free throws. I bet if you put a $1000 dollars and go heads up against someone else, I bet and I'm almost certain you would get a little shaky. It would be interesting to see though. If you got nerves of steel then it shouldn't be a problem, but some people have it some people don't. Players can certainly find it and I think this was a good game to test those nevers. It was a big game to hold our place in the rankings. Go Jayhawks

Chris Shaw 15 years, 4 months ago

For those correcting spelling errors. Line 7 it should be "Nerves" not "Nevers".

argentinehawk 15 years, 4 months ago

actually, it's line 8, kushaw. not that anyone really cares.

RonBurgandy 15 years, 4 months ago

Regardless of the mental pressure and tiredness that factor into free throw shooting, a team that shoots them well should make them probably around 70%. KU just seems to not be that good at FTs. FT shooting is a skill and it can be taught, just like every other aspect of the game.

speedy 15 years, 4 months ago

free throws. i,ll take your 1,000$ bet right now. i have not shot a bb in several years but i,ll still hit 1/2 with out a warm up. its a matter of gainging the touch. sorta like a horseshoe pitcher gettin it down to distance rotation and feel. a bowler getting it down. lots of players play ping pong. how do you play fast. its touch. pratice,pratice,pratice until it come so easy you KNOW you willl make them..

kellen813 15 years, 4 months ago

kushaw I know all about that I played basketball and you do get tired etc. but you are not rushed up at the line. You get to take a second to breath and concentrate on making the shot. And like Speedy said if you practice enough you can shoot them with your eyes closed and still make them, it is all about the touch. I didn't say you need to make even 90% of your free throws, but I do think that it should be fairly easy to get in the 70 percentile.

JayCeph 15 years, 4 months ago

It looked like Sherron finally tried to do too much again. I'm not sure how much of that is a result of the rest of the team depending on him too much or if OU got in his head or if he psyched himself out as a result of his second consecutive start.

I do know that he looked like a freshman. That is an acceptable position to be in for someone in his shoes. What we also seemed to suffer from is DA looking like a frosh and BRush playing the role of 'Timid-Tammy.'

I'm shocked that the 'LandGrabbers' were able to make it a much closer game than it should be and I am pleasantly surprised at how KU kept its composure and finished the game with a well-deserved win. Eerily similar game to the ones against DePaul and A&M but the outcome was much better. For the Hawks to pull that one out is a very good sign of what's to come in the next couple of weeks.

Leprechaunking13 15 years, 4 months ago

Its definitely a relief that they seem to be able to keep composure in tight games, especially going into the madness. I can't believe that Florida is still in the top 5 after their last week of play, pretty unbelievable.

truefan 15 years, 4 months ago

True to my word. I would like to congradulate Bill Self on a great coaching job to get our boys through that rough game. I posted on other articles that I do not hate Self, but I won't make excuses for him when he gets out coached. Last night, he was on the ropes, but he coached us out of several bad passes and players with nerves of seven year olds. The players choked, but Self has learned from previous games who he should have on the floor when such situations occur. He kept our best free throw shooters on the court at the crucial times, and he rotated players in to keep them from fouling out too early. Overall his strategy was great, and had we gotten a couple of 3-pointers to fall in the first half then we would have barried them then and they wouldn't have had a come back at all. Those are things that Self can't controll, but he coached through them and got us a much needed W.

Dirk Medema 15 years, 4 months ago

Great insightful article:

  1. Sherron will learn (Chalmers)
  2. We scouted KU and played D according to how they have played in the past. (Capel)
  3. Mario was part of the crew that was brick city in the middle of the 2nd half, but was perfect in the end.

Darnell was also one of the masons, in spite of his normal percentage. Go back a year plus and see how his percentage is linked to his suspension and not being able to do much but shoot free throws. In a way it reminds me about the comments during the game concerning Julian staying after practice to perfect finishing with either hand.

It will be interesting to see Julian play defense on Durrant. The team will continue to grow, and March should be a very interesting month.

jaybate 15 years, 4 months ago

Everyone is talking about Collins and free throws when the obvious thing KU will have to prepare for is getting cheapshotted and intimidated against UT if UT falls behind. Cheapshotting and intimidation worked fabulously well for a second rate OU team.

The big issue OU exposed is KU's lack of an enforcer. It is a shame that B12 ball has come to this, but from now on KU will get cheap shotted to death until some guy, or guys, on this team become capable of dishing it back to them.

Kaun? Not with that nose.

Jackson? Not with that stress fracture in his spine.

Wright? If he intentionally fouls, they'll go after those skinny legs of his for sure.

Shady? He can't get away with a foul even when he's trying not to foul.

And without any bigs capable of responding to cheap shotting, that tempts the opponent to head hunt the little guys whenever they enter the paint.

This is a serious problem folks.

jaybate 15 years, 4 months ago

Regarding UT,

It will be very tough for Julian to handle Durant without occassional double teams to keep Durant off balance.

Also, Durant spends significant time on the perimeter; this will draw Wright out and out of position to rebound. UT's team is partly built on this tactic. This means our other big and Rush are going to have to come up huge on the boards or we are going to have serious rebounding difficulties.

Frankly, I'd like to see Self play some zone to give Wright a rest and even throw an occassional box and one at UT with Wright on Durant. Changing defenses always screws with a young team's mind and UT is young.

ralsterKUMed95 15 years, 4 months ago

Texas game is going to be pretty interesting from a strategy standpoint. We all have heard about this Durant kid, so I agree with jaybate that a quick double team, like we have been doing lately may be an option. That freshman guard TX has is noteworthy, but our 4 "defensive glove" guards should be able to handle perimeter. I agree that rebounding will be key, but our team does a GREAT job lately of rebounding, not only by Darnell and other bigs, but it seems half the time Mario or Russell is streaking out of the paint with yet another rebound. So yeah, lets stick it to Durant defensively with whoever + some timely double teams (or maybe mercilessly double team him) & see what happens. Make a freshman who likes to shoot, have to make pass decisions under stress--hmm, I smell a KU transition steal headed the other way?...We hold Durant to under 15 or 20pts, and I think we all will like the resulting W. Should be a great game, er, uh, a great WIN for us!

jaybate 15 years, 4 months ago


better take than mine. kudos.

karmaxs3 15 years, 4 months ago

Is it just me, or does Durrant remind anyone else of Danny Manning? Style of play as well as physical build. I'm thinking we have the perfect coaching staff to take on this kid. Without him, they really don't have much of a team. We have an entire bench. Looking forward to seeing them beat A&M before we kill them though. Rock Chalk!

johnballa 15 years, 4 months ago

I think that Julian is going to be in his so-called, "Beast Mode". He tends to play extremely well against tough competition (guarding Corey Brewer and other great players). Knock wood on this, but I think he is going to rip Durant apart. It is either going to be a complete and total shutdown of Durant or Durant is going to put up 35 and 15. I don't think Texas' guards can compare themselves against ours, and for that matter I don't think any team in the country can keep up with the depth and talent of our guards.

Texas is going to be tired from A&M, I think we might just dub 'em. Knock Knock

kufankam 15 years, 4 months ago


Should Kaun have been thrown out of the Nebraska game when he put a "Cheapshot" elbow into Maric's ribs? Should Self had demonstrated some class as you called for Capel to demonstrate? Was Self suppose to suspend Kaun for his malicious cheapshot?

Your little theories are funny yet have little to do with basketball. Most people realize that those things are part of the game. OU wasnt after Sasha, nor was Sasha after Maric. ITS BASKETBALL!!!

Cheapshots do happen... but lets not go overboard to the point of obsession when one player bleeds.

jaybate 15 years, 4 months ago


I like your smugness. It undercuts your obliviousness. No doubt it is adaptive coloration to compensate and has stood you in good stead in school, or perhaps even a job. But I digress.

I watched it happen. I watched the replay. Its very tough to jump to block a shot against a center jumping straight up and accidentally hit him across the bridge of the nose with the radius bone of your forearm when the shot is already away...unless it isn't an accident.

I have evidence: a guy knocked half-silly with blood streaming down his face, while shooting a short put back, is escorted to the bench and stares glaze eyed awhile while the trainer shoves absorbents up both nostrils.

You on the other hand have nothing...just your opinion that the guy didn't mean to do it and that this sort of accidental stuff happens in the game. First, how exactly can you read this guys mind. Second, oh, I really like that "people who know the game." LOL! If you knew the game and had ANY evidence, then you wouldn't have to resort unpersuasive cliches. Are you another grad who declined to learn about debate, or are you just not a grad?

Let's be acutely generous to you. Let's pretend you graduated KU law school.

God help your clients. You couldn't argue your way out of a paper bag armed with a chainsaw.

Let's agree to disagree you fop.

fop (noun)

Etymology: Middle English; akin to Middle English fobben to deceive, Middle High German voppen 1 obsolete : a foolish or silly person 2 : a man who is devoted to or vain about his appearance or dress : COXCOMB, DANDY

Take your choice on which definition applies. You communicate some of both.

William James 15 years, 4 months ago

jaybate-it was an accident. Please dont take this comment personally.

kufankam 15 years, 4 months ago


All your fancy argument talk and fancy definitions cannot gaurd from the fact that you are a moron. I trust you already know the definition... but I digress.


You could use YOUR argument of evidence the same way when they were escorting Maric off the floor at Allen. Anyway, you prove your ignorance as a fan (short for fanatic) the more you type. Therefore, I will leave you be and continue to support my team no matter the outcome, stat line, or any other factor you can come up with. I am sure we will get a full report from you after Saturday, win or lose, on all of our team's deficiencies. Keep giving us your flawlessly structured arguments and your dictionary excerpts.

By the way... I thought the "fop" play was a nice example of what Vocabulary Toilet Paper can do in our lives!! Very nice!! You are the Master...

Jay (Master) Bate.

jaybate 15 years, 4 months ago

My, my, its easy to get through your veneer and see the real you, isn't it? :-)

Now, about your question. It seemed obtuse, so I did not think it merited a response. But if you insist on an answer, then I insist you be specific enough in your question to allow me to answer? Capice?

Are you claiming that Kaun tried intentionally to injure Maric? Be explicit; that's a very serious claim you're making, if that's what you are saying. Also, specify once more exactly how you read minds regarding intent. Otherwise, ad hom someone else my little fop.

kufankam 15 years, 4 months ago


Masterbate, you have a gift of using so many big words and saying so little...

Of course I am not making a "very serious" claim against Sasha. I am illustrating how when people play contact sports, things like that happen. Sasha wasnt going after Maric. Nor were they after Sasha. Everyone but you understands that.

I find it very humorous that you are the only person alive that is behind your "OU cheapshot" theory. I have not seen or heard of Self, Kaun, any media, a mascot, ANYONE mentioning a thing????? Why is that? Because they realize the only thing that there is to mention is a blown call! It was a foul and that is it! You may never swallow that, but that is only because you are so briliantly smart that you see what everyone else doesnt with your evidence collecting and all! LOL!

Anyway, I am done wasting my time with you... Although I do get a good laugh out of your responses... Bring on the vocab!!! I love it!! I only hope that Sasha has recovered and is good to go Saturday... I will keep my eye out (as you have cautioned) for Barnes and his trained hitman.

jaybate 15 years, 4 months ago


So once again you have NOTHING but an opinion. Yours is a metaphysical onanism. Be gone, fop.

P.S.: If multisyllabic communication irritates you, I insist on communicating with you via hyperpolysyllabicsesquepedallionism. Until you speak curteously, you don't deserve the curtesy of plain speech, foppen. :-)

kufankam 15 years, 4 months ago

case and point... no answer... thanks!

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