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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Wake-up call

Jayhawks slip past Sooners

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— It was time for a reality check for Kansas University's basketball team Monday night in Noble Center.

The Jayhawks, who vaulted to No. 3 in the polls earlier in the day as reward for piling up six consecutive victories by an average of 28.8 points, blew a 17-point lead before regaining their composure in a 67-65 victory over Oklahoma, a team that now has dropped five straight games.

"We'd been on kind of a roll. This will ground us a bit, help us get refocused," KU coach Bill Self said after the Jayhawks improved to 26-4 overall and 13-2 in the Big 12 Conference.

A victory over Texas on Saturday in Allen Fieldhouse would guarantee Self's fourth KU squad at least a share of the league crown.

"The most important thing is we won the game. Our guys made enough plays to win the game," Self said.

Yes, but the Jayhawks, who suffered 12 second-half turnovers against OU's press and netted no points from fab freshmen Sherron Collins and Darrell Arthur, definitely wobbled after dominating the past couple of weeks.

Some have said the Jayhawks needed a close game after a batch of blowouts and a nine-pointer at Kansas State.

They got their wish Monday night.

"It's the best scenario. I just wish we'd played better. But it's the best scenario to have a grind-it-out game and win (this time of year)," Self said.












Go figure

1-for-11 Oklahoma's first-half three-point shooting5-for-8 Oklahoma's second-half three-point shooting1-for-7 KU's first-half three-point shooting0-for-0 KU's second-half three-point shooting4, 2 KU's first-half turnovers, OU's points off those turnovers12, 17 KU's second-half turnovers, OU's points off those turnovers

He liked the fact Julian Wright scored 12 points early in helping KU blaze to a 33-16 lead. And he was tickled Mario Chalmers hit 10 of 12 free throws the second half on a night KU's other players made 12 of 22.

He didn't like the fact Brandon Rush missed five of seven shots and scored nine points with four turnovers in 33 minutes and Collins had his first sub-par game in a while with no points off five misses in 33 minutes.

"Our best performers got timid. We can't play that way," Self said. "Brandon shied away from plays tonight. That's what he can't do.

"No question, Sherron has been our best player in crunch time until tonight. Maybe he was due. Julian and Mario were good (with 18 apiece). Shady (Arthur) didn't play much. I won't throw him under the bus. You can make the case more than one guy didn't have it. I also wanted to go with experienced guys down the stretch. There was nothing he (Arthur) did that made me mad."

OU's Nate Carter, who was fired up playing on Senior Night, scored six of his 20 points and David Godbold four in a 19-7 run that turned a 33-16 deficit into a five-point game (40-35) with 14:40 left.

OU finally tied it on a Michael Neal three with 6:06 left. Suddenly, a dead crowd had come to life.

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.

"We forgot press offense against soft pressure," Self lamented.

Also :

"We made easy plays the first half," said Wright, who hit eight of 12 shots and had eight rebounds and four assists. "The second half, we were giving them confidence by not making the easy play. We had to dig down, and we did that."

"The reason they came back strong," Chalmers noted, "is they started making shots and forced us into some turnovers. We had a lot of good possessions the first half."

Tentativeness against OU's press was a killer.

"We've got good ballhandlers," Collins noted, "but you can't dribble against two or three people. Your teammates have to make the right cut. My shot wasn't there for me tonight, but my teammates know they can count on me to do other things, like get a stop."

How did KU pull out a win?

Rush actually put KU ahead for good by making one of two free throws at 5:28, busting the 51-51 tie. Chalmers followed with four charities, answered by a Bobby Maze bucket as KU led 56-53 at 4:07.

Wright's scoop shot boosted the lead to 58-53 at 3:29.

Another big bucket came when Sasha Kaun horsed in a rebound of a Rush miss at 1:29, keeping KU in front, 60-55. Rush's two free throws at 1:07 upped the lead back to seven, but OU outscored the Jayhawks 10-5 down the stretch. Wright missed two free throws and Rush one of two, but Chalmers and Russell Robinson swished two apiece.

"We kept our poise for the most part," Chalmers said, "in making free throws and getting some stops down the stretch. Now we go home and regroup, work on some things and hope to play better Saturday."

"We were a little frustrated at times," Wright noted, "but give Oklahoma credit. They turned up the pressure. They're a pretty good team at home and gave us a great game."

Tipoff for Saturday's game against Texas is 11 a.m. at Allen Fieldhouse.

Comments

kellen813 15 years, 5 months ago

Wow...that will get you to the edge of your seat faster than anything! I'm very glad that we pulled it out, and maybe the big wins made us a little lackadaisical, but we hung on even if it was just by 2 points. However that is the kind of game all KU fans dread when it comes to the NCAA tourney. I want to be excited for these guys but at the same time I'm reserved because of past experiences. When it comes time, as long as we have more than a couple people come to play, we'll be just fine.

WAY TO PULL IT OUT HAWKS! GET "MAD" FOR MARCH MADNESS BABY! We've got something to prove and we've been trying to do it since 1988.

KURocker 15 years, 5 months ago

Poor defense in the 2nd half. No clue how to inbound the ball against the press and once inbound little idea how to move it up the court. WAY too many careless passes (especially by Rush and Julian). Rush was lost and intimidated by the crowd. Darrell was his former timid/shy and unconfident self. Sherron just had a really bad night. Out hustled for most of the 2nd half.

What can you say - I suppose thank you to Mario and Juilan for actually scoring. Oh and thank you to Sasha for making 3 out of 4 free throws down the stretch. It's a win, but I would hope Bill grinds them for their lack of focus and tougness.

mcoan 15 years, 5 months ago

Well, it shows you how deep we are when two players averaging 10 PPG didn't contribute. Still, we blew a 17 point lead. I think that was the worst lead blowing this season. But everything's okay as long as you win right? I mean, I saw coach smiling late in the 2nd when we were up by 3. So I guess it didn't bother him that they'd blown such a lead, huh? "It's all good."

Guess what I saw? Our old friend "lack of Killer Instinct" was back.

mcoan 15 years, 5 months ago

Man, I don't know what to think going into the NCAA's. If the team that played in the 1st half shows up for every game, we'll get to the Great 8. If the team that played in the 2nd half shows up, we'll get beat in the 32.

The team in the 1st half WAS #3. The team in the 2nd half was not even a top 10 team. If that team runs up against a Washington State "grind it out with defense" team in the tourney, we're toast.

I kind of wish we weren't so highly ranked and wouldn't be so highly seeded. I certainly don't want to be a #1, but if A&M loses Wednesday, we probably will be. I would rather be a #3 or #4 and suprise everyone than be a #1 and here all about the Monkey On Their Back.

mcoan 15 years, 5 months ago

Best part of the OU game? Their maturity and composure as the lead dwindled to nothing. They never started jacking up stupid shots.

But man, do we need a consistent "go to" guy. I keep thinking it will be Rush or Wright. But both are too inconsistent to be able to say to teammates in a crunch situation, "get me the ball, guys, I got your back."

A REAL future NBAer (i.e., a Danny Manning) would be able to do that. Maybe in a year or two, we will have one of those guys. (It will likely be Arthur or Collins, though.)

okjhok 15 years, 5 months ago

What I saw in the second half was referees that decided they were going to take the game into their own hands instead of letting the players decide. OU was in the bonus with something like 13 minutes left in the game. It really bothers me when refs let the actions, or reactions, of players get in their heads and then call a completely different game from half to half. As long as KU plays in a game of the type they played in last night, where it's slowed down with no rhythm because play is being blown dead every 15 seconds, it's going to be a nail biter.

Jaminrawk 15 years, 5 months ago

Well, at least this game was a good warmup for the NCAA Tournament. Pretty much every game tends to be like this in the tournament. I just hope that KU got all of their careless play out of their system.

I can't wait to watch the Texas A&M vs. Texas game on Thursday now. Maybe, a grinding win against A&M will take something out of UT by Saturday, when KU should be well rested.

EternalHawk 15 years, 5 months ago

I think although we were rattled a little bit, the guys held it together and maintained their poise enough to win. They seemed tired and OU capitalized on that and the fact that the Refs changed the type of game we were playing.

The first half we controlled the tempo of the game. The second half was a free throw shooting contest.

I get so freakin sick of the Refs determining the type of game that is played. Let the players dictate that. Learn the art of the no-call and stop compounding crappy calls with more crappy calls.

However, we have to make better adjustments. IMO if we control the pace and style of the game defensively like we usually do then we're unbeatable. And if we are on fire offensively when that happens, watch out.

Rock Chalk

justanotherfan 15 years, 5 months ago

This is exactly the type of game that KU needed to show that they could win. Here's a little perspective... In the last couple of weeks, three teams that are in the conversation for #1 seeds have lost. Florida went on the road to both LSU (a team that isn't even going to the NCAA's) and Vanderbilt, both inferior opponents to the Gators, and Florida lost both of those basketball games. Wisconsin went on the road to Michigan St. (a tournament bubble team) and got thumped. North Carolina went up to Maryland and lost to a Maryland team whose future was in doubt prior to that win.

The key in the NCAA's, especially for a high seed, is to be able to win an ugly game. There aren't many uglier than what you saw from Norman last night. An emotionally charged Sooners team on senior night, with the old coach in the stands, brought the game to a grinding halt in the second half. Rather than panic and start doing stupid things like forcing the action, the Hawks did just enough to win. That's a tournament type game. The next one is, too, though and I don't think it will be a grind it out game.

It should also be noted that Oklahoma held Texas to only two second half field goals, so their team defense is legitimate. They are just offensively hit and miss.

Studogg 15 years, 5 months ago

Hey Jaminrawk, Don't want to nitpick, but don't want you to miss the game either. A&M vs. UT is Wednesday night, not Thursday. Just wanted to give the heads up. You probably would have figured it out, but that's a big one. It would be a shame to miss it.

okjhok 15 years, 5 months ago

mcoan...I disagree with your thoughts on seeding. Basic statistics tell us that higher seeds have a better probability of advancing further into the tournament, and I think this year a top seed is even more important. Based on the bball I've seen this year, there is a legitimate separation between the top 8-10 teams and the rest of the field. I wouldn't want to face one of those teams in the round of 16. You said you'd rather KU have a 3 or 4-seed and surprise everyone. I've got news for you. Kansas will never surprise anyone. That's part of being a national powerhouse. I think we all better hope for a 1 or 2-seed in the midwest, and hope the corresponding 1 or 2-seed in that region is a good matchup for us, even though historically, the 1 and 2 don't meet as often as many might imagine.

mom_of_three 15 years, 5 months ago

Watching the game last night was extremely frustrating. The refs couldn't decide how to call it and when.
When Sasha got smacked in the face should have been an easy call to make and they didn't do it.
We couldn't hit anything in the 2nd half, but who knows what wasn't or was called. It seems things on one end of the floor was called close and our end was not.
But we won, had the composure, hit the free throws. Passing in the first half was great. 2nd half was non-existant.

What was your opinion of the blocking call on Darnell Jackson in the 2nd half?

It was funny the 5th foul on the OU player(whats his face) was from a moving screen he had been doing all night.

Seth Peattie 15 years, 5 months ago

We've been blowing people out - have one close game and the sky is falling? We'll be fine. HAWKS will look great against UT, win another Big XII Title and likely lock up a #1 seed.

13-2 heading into Saturday's game. Not bad.

Robert Brock 15 years, 5 months ago

KU's defense allowed a LOUSY Sooner club to score 46 points in the second half. The Hawks were ready to lose the game. My hat is off to Sasha for getting whacked in the face, getting a bloody nose, and yet he managed to concentrate and drain a good put-back when it mattered a lot. And to Mario for calmly making some free-throws...WHEW!

Brock

Craig Lang 15 years, 5 months ago

After Capel's technical foul, I noticed that more and more calls went OU's way. That seems to be a trend in games. A coach starts harassing the refs for what he believes to be bad calls and a ref calls a T. Then the ref starts questioning his own calls and starts eyeing the opposing team more. I know refs are only human, but they really need to try harder to take their emotions out of the game.

r1ck_jayhawk 15 years, 5 months ago

I am glad that I am not the only one who thought the refs were a little tweet happy in the second half. Of course the coaches can't comment on the refs calls, but the looks on both Bill's and Jeff Capel's faces told us all we needed to know. I am pretty certain that it was evenly bad though. I don't think the bad calls favored one team or the other. I am not saying that we didn't commit the fouls, because we were quite handsy when things weren't going our way. But lots of those calls weren't necessary. I almost thought that I was watching Eddy Hightower. I was quite disappointed with the zebras. But I was happy to see us grind one out on a night that things weren't clicking.

Way to go RussRob! I was glad to see him back on the court.

Rock Chalk!

betti81 15 years, 5 months ago

mom_of_three:

I agree on the moving screen. There were WAY TOO many fouls in this game (all around). I think the refs were a bit antsy or something. I even thought the technical on the OU coach was uncalled for (granted I don't know what he said to ref, but I didn't think he did anything too bad). And Darnell's "blocking" was called the other way on brandon rush at the other end of the floor. I thought it was a charge. Just too much whistle blowing and free throw shooting for my tastes.

That said...I am just glad we won. A 'w' is a 'w' ugly or not. I am just glad OU was not a better team. We did not play well at all. Where did our outside shooting go to?

jaw7621 15 years, 5 months ago

I understand everyones hesitations about this team given the last two years of performance. Having said that, all of this nitpicking about last night is silly to me. KU went into a very excited road venue (senior night) playing against a good defensive team who knew that pressure, zone, and giving fouls would slow things down and keep them in the game. There were certainly mental errors, and I wish we would be more careful with the ball at times, but the bottom line is Mario was icey at the free throw line, and the team did enough to get a tough win. I think many KU fans are spoiled by expectations. These guys are coming together and I believe they are well equipped to play deep into the tourney so long as they play to their talent.

One thing I wonder about; why is it that I see many opponents mix in zones and presses against us, but we rarely employ these basic tactics? Seems like a dose of zone or press can be a great way to throw a team off rhythm, as evidenced by how it effected KU last night.

cellogrl 15 years, 5 months ago

I have 2 comments here. First, people are saying that we don't have a go-to guy in clutch time. I would just like to point out that even though he may do it in his own quiet way, Mario Chalmers has ALWAYS come up for us in tough situations. This was evidenced last night by his 18 points (along with Julian's).

Second, mcoan, you said that Self wasn't upset by his kids?!? I have to say, I saw him say on the sidelines MANY times last night that his kids needed to focus. I guarantee you that he was not happy with that play last night. If you listened to his comments at half time, he wasn't really happy with the FIRST half play, let alone the second half. I would bet you money that he ripped them a new one about their lack of focus last night.

cellogrl 15 years, 5 months ago

Couranna1, I hope your predictions come true! Rock Chalk!!

coldsplice 15 years, 5 months ago

64.7% from the line!!!!! Been watching KU basketball since the Darnell Valentine/Ted Owens years and this has been a problem for as long as i can recall. Even if we hit 10% better, thats a 5-6 point difference which changes the entire complection of the last 3 minutes. I've been really impressed with these guys in the last 6 weeks, even in some losses but lazy play and free throws just drive me crazy.

aberry33 15 years, 5 months ago

Our free throw shooting really concerns me. We stepped up at the very end of the game which was very nice to see, but midway-late second half we hit a strech where it was brick city. That's right when OU was making their big run and we couldn't put them away at the line. I know it's nitpicking since KU stepped up at the end, but it's still a pretty big concern in my eyes.

97jhawk 15 years, 5 months ago

I've gotta say that the officiating for this game was a bit of a joke. I mean c'mon, a 5 sec violation on the inbounds? WTF! Seriously, how is that ref counting?! Does he count using "Mississippi" spelled with just "M-i-s-i-p-i"? That was ridiculous!

And then that no call foul on Sasha. I mean really, his nose was bleeding and he sustained a bit of a black eye!! I just hope he's okay cause we're gonna need him and his inside presence down the stretch. That was such BS though!! Some of those ticky-tack foul calls on Arthur were totally retarded as well. I hate that officiating crew. That bald headed guy is a chump and we always seem to get the calls against us. Wouldn't you think a team that's running a press is gonna get the calls cause they're in the face of the offense so much? Really.

Sure the Jayhawks slacked in the 2nd half and couldn't make shots, but it doesn't help when the rhythm of the game is constantly interrupted with BS foul calls. Poorly officiated game.....just poor.

Kyle Crenshaw 15 years, 5 months ago

way to hit the free throws at crunch time, especially u sasha!!!

oldrocker 15 years, 5 months ago

OK, so we blew a big lead...but part of the reason we had a big lead was because OU couldn't throw it in the ocean in the first half. When they started hitting a few shots in the second half and we were throwing the ball away every other trip down the floor, things got interesting. We can't expect to beat everyone by 28 points. I agree with a lot of the other comments...even though we had several guys with sub-par games, we still managed to win on the road in a very hostile environment. Just the kind of win we need heading into the NCAA tourney.

wiltstilt 15 years, 5 months ago

I hate to rehash old battles, but I wonder if all the coaching wizards who were posting on this site after the A&M game were watching last night... specifically when we had a 3 point lead with 1:30 to go and Sasha was on the floor. What happened? He made a big play and we won the game... which is exactly why he was on the floor against A&M in the exact same situation. The only difference was Billy Gillespie was willing to treat his team's conference hopes like an outside bet on the roulette table. (there's a decent chance it'll work once, but over the long haul, you'll be broke)

OU's the kind of team you could expect a move like that from, because they have nothing to lose... and coach Capel didn't resort to that tactic (well played, coach). Of course, that may be because it was too hard to choose between which of our guys to foul, since they were all missing free throws (except Mario)...

dbgjayhawk 15 years, 5 months ago

how about sasha hitting 3-4 free throws in the second half? that made my night.

argentinehawk 15 years, 5 months ago

I agree with you in a way wiltstilt, Kaun came up big when we needed it, BIG TIME, but we'll never know if they actually would have tried to foul Kaun down the stretch, because after he made his last bucket, ou called a t.o., and Kaun had to stay on the bench because he had a bloody nose, so he never made it back into the game. In a way, I think that was the best thing that could have happened (Kaun having a bloody nose, and putting him on the bench). Either way, it was a "W", and I'll take it. GO KU!!

Jacobpaul81 15 years, 5 months ago

People will praise players down the line, but I would really like to hear some praise for what coach self has done. What a great job of getting these boys ready for tournament time. I expected this to be a hard fought game (and a close one), especially with it being senior night. Of course it was, and we came through in the end. Here's some positives I found in this battle:

1.) Kansas had consistent scoring, even on a poor shooting night - 33 1st half , 34 2nd half. (revolved around better shot selection - IE: good coaching)

2.) KU outrebounded OU - An emphasis of the coaching staff.

3.) Focus on the post (KU only took 7 threes - of course, only hitting 1 hurts, but id rather see us pound it inside than throw up bad shots all night - like OU (6-19 from 3) - Far improved shot selection.

4.) RR - In 19 minutes, he proved why he's the starter, and the most important element in this teams success. Ball Control. Consistent defense. And a lack of turnovers.

Really, for me, the only downside of the night was all the turnovers. We allowed 10 steals last night and 16 turnovers (most of them given up by Chalmbers, Collins and Wright). Need to slow down our passes, and control the ball better.

Leprechaunking13 15 years, 5 months ago

What gets me is how the ref with the quick whistle is always the one the furthest away from the play and has 5 other players in his way of seeing what actually happened. And the no call on Sasha getting his face busted was absolutely rediculous I hate the refs in this league, because we're bigger faster stronger than they are we had to have fouled the sh*t out of them all night, yeah right. Kansas is getting over looked by every basketball analyst right now, I say let everyone not talk about us. The coaches know that we're a juggernaut of a team that they don't want to face because of the seemingly endless match up problems. Lets win Saturday clench atleast a share of the conference title.

hawkfan4life 15 years, 5 months ago

The refs were horrible and we still maintained the lead and a win in the end, but I agree with some previous posts that we would have had at least a 10 point lead in the last few minutes had we made some earlier free throws. Mario, Sasha and Russell were key making some clutch charity shots, but Julian, Darnell, Brandon and the rest have got to practice more from the foul line. We already know that hitting free throws is a must in the tournament. I won't bring up the incident that taught it to us because it hurts to remember that, but we have got to practice more from the line. Another thought: I am kind of glad that Sherron and Darrell went cold last night because they can get past this and focus on DJ Augustine and Kevin Durant. We'll need them to bring their A game more on Saturday anyway. Glad we pulled it out, Rock Chalk!!!

KURUSH1530 15 years, 5 months ago

who's going to guard Durant on Saturday?

benz78 15 years, 5 months ago

My boss comes up to me today and says "you guys almost lost last night, blew a 17 point lead and still think your #3 in the nation?" (He's an SEC guy, nothing more needs to be said) The key word there is ALMOST. Teams that blow out other teams by 25+ everynight lose in close tourny games. Yeah it would be nice to play a Nebraska everynight and drill them by 30-50 points but it would not prepare us for the dance. The fact is that we need these tough games to get us ready. A WIN is a WIN. There are no "almost" wins or loses. Unless you're a K-State or Mizzery fan.

jaybate 15 years, 5 months ago

Playing Durant is something we need at this time. Our bigs haven't faced a guy this highly touted since Noah and Horford and he's probably better than both. OSU's Bogan was good, but still lacked the chops Durant has. Durant's the most talented 4 in the country. Shutting this guy down would give Wright, Shady and Rush, the guys likely to be hounding him, a huge dose of confidence for the tourney. I've always hated when KU ran into guys the grade of Carmelo Anthony for the first time in the tourney. Great players are beatable, but you can't spend half the game getting used to just how good they are and still beat them. Playing a great one in regular season means you know what to expect from the best.

Everyone assumes Julian will be the decisive defender on Durant. I suppose they're right. Still I have a hunch Shady might rise to the challenge against Durant too. Shady would foul out in 3 minutes if he tried to get up on Durant, but if Shady lays off Durant a little to limit him driving to the hoop and relies on his springs to still get in his face on Js, I really think Shady could cause problems for Durant. The thing you have to remember about Durant is that good as he is, he still has NOT played against many big men as tall and quick as KU. Julian is as as quick and tall and both Julian and Shady can take on air like kangaroos on pogo sticks.

I suspect Durant is about to find out what D1 defense is all about. If they can hold him to 20 KU can win. Much more and it becomes dicey.

Self would like to run past Texas, but I don't see how they can control the boards well enough to do it with Wright or Shady tied up with Durant all night.

johnballa 15 years, 5 months ago

This is not related to the topic of this story, but is still pretty dang funny.

On K-Statesports.com they have this...

Kansas State is known for having the best fans in the nation and the University appreciates the enthusiasm with which K-Staters support their athletics programs. However, at the recent Kansas State vs. Kansas men's basketball game on Monday, Feb. 19, there were several instances of the mistreatment of animals. These acts cannot and will not be condoned or tolerated.

K-State, you have reached a new low. Congratulations. And the funniest part is, "Kansas State is known for having the best fans in the nation...." Wow! Hold on to that dream.

b1afide 15 years, 5 months ago

Many of us live around the country and are exposed to a broader variety of hoops fanatics. The following is a response my brother originally given to an email from some tarheels with whom I work. The jist of the original email was inflated expectations for the heels this year. Here is his response.

Some thoughts:

Based on tarheel logic, I'm going to throw KU and UNC into the title game next year. We're not losing anyone to the NBA; they probably won't (with a possible exception), and Florida, Ohio State, and UCLA are losing their bigs, and the Badgers? We don't need no stinkin' Badgers.

This year? We have two choices. Survive and advance or go home. Same as everyone else.

I do, however, like that Jay Bilas proclaimed Kansas as the most dangerous team in the tournament. However, he prefaced his statement with the conditional "...if they get past the first round." And unfortunately, he wasn't joking when he said it.

So, do we have a chance? Yes, Daniel-san, good chance. We have a deep, balanced, and talented team, but it's still winning six games in a row against (theoretically) tougher competition as the field dwindles and the pressure grows. I'm convinced, as I'm sure you are, that it's the same everywhere. Everybody thinks they get the bad calls. Everybody thinks that their coach isn't making the right halftime adjustments. Everybody thinks that some no-namer five-foot-something white guy from somewhere who never makes nothing from nowhere made every shot he took from anywhere he took it, and he did it for the first time against OUR team.

The truth is, though, one team gets hot, plays hard, gets the rolls, gets the calls, weathers the storm, survives, and advances, till there's no one else standing and that's it. The fans get to say WE won, while everyone else says THEY lost, and for everyone except WE, it's just another long baseball season until football season.

Rock chalk till next time we talk.

justsaying 15 years, 5 months ago

So, does anyone know if the "no-call" against Kaun broke his nose or just bloodied it?

KURUSH1530 15 years, 5 months ago

Just to let Jaybate know, I think Arthur would have a difficult time guarding Durant. You do know Durant is 6'9 and just as long as Shady, probably more athletic to. So staying off of him to prevent the drive means Durant will pull up with his sweet jumper all day and smoke us. Now at the moment, I have no clue who will guard Durant. Either Wright or Rush with his 7'2 wing span. With that being said, Durant will get his points no matter what. I'm guessing around 25-30, but you can only hope to contain him and put the pressure on his younger playing teammates.

William James 15 years, 5 months ago

johnballa-You obviously dont know much about the KU/KSU basketball rivalry. If you did you would know that the chicken thing last week was far from the first time Wildcat fans have done that.
Maybe Im totally barbaric but I think its a pretty funny tradition.

scootja32 15 years, 5 months ago

If one team can shut down Durant, this is it. Take him out of the game and it's over. I think we'll blow them out.

HillbillyHick 15 years, 5 months ago

11:00 a.m. is a brutal time for such a huge game.

Everyone better get a good night of sleep on Friday night and be ready to rock the fieldhouse on Saturday morning.

Fans will be huge in a game involving so many young stars.

GO K.U.!!!!!!!!!!!!!

jaybate 15 years, 5 months ago

KURUSH1530,

I know Durant is 6'9." Do you know that he can outjump Shady? I've watched Durant. He's a wonderful player, but he doesn't seem to have the springs Shady does.

Joe Ross 15 years, 5 months ago

Everyone is a contender in the tournament. there should be no overlooked games, regardless of seeding. If the last couple of years hasnt taught us that then oh well...

The approach to every game needs to be as if we are playing Ohio State, or Florida, or Wisconsin, or whoever!

jaybate 15 years, 5 months ago

Question of the Day: Will Florida ever win again? The Volunteers spanked them. Lord, I'm looking forward to read how Vitale is going to rationalize this loss!

Sing along everyone...

Oh its a great day to be a Jayhawk its a great day to be a Jayhawk yea, its a great day to be a Jayhawk so stand up and shout out Rock Chalk!!!!!

William James 15 years, 5 months ago

During the final minutes of the game while Tennessee fans were starting to celebrate Vitale was already explaining why Florida is STILL a 1 seed. How many times does Florida need to get blown out at the very end of the season to convince Vitale they arent worthy of a 1 seed.

johnballa 15 years, 5 months ago

fabio- There is no such thing as a KU/KSU basketball rivalry. We slaughter them 99% of the time, the day that is a rivalry, come talk to me.

johnballa 15 years, 5 months ago

Also, the part I was laughing about was how they think they have the best fans.

William James 15 years, 5 months ago

johnballa-Tell Ted Owens or Larry Brown or Lon Kreuger or Danny Manning or Tony Guy or Jack Hartman or Mitch Ritchmond that. You are only proving your own ignorance of KU Basketball history.

"When I played K-State was the game. Missouri was a big game for us, too, but not as big as K-State." Roger Morningstar

I suggest you learn KUs incredible history before you type another word.

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