Sunday, January 14, 2007

Rush hushes Hilton

Great late, Kansas silences Cyclones in OT

Kansas guard Brandon Rush raises a high fist as the Jayhawks walk off the court with a 68-64 win over Iowa State in overtime at Hilton Coliseum.

Kansas guard Brandon Rush raises a high fist as the Jayhawks walk off the court with a 68-64 win over Iowa State in overtime at Hilton Coliseum.


— Standing at center-court, Brandon Rush held an open hand to his right ear, his eyes scanning a suddenly silent Iowa State cheering section.

Rush's point in mimicking wrestling star Hulk Hogan's signature gesture?

He and the Jayhawks (15-2 overall, 2-0 Big 12 Conference) had shut up a loud crowd by surviving a gritty Iowa State (11-6, 2-1) team, 68-64, in overtime Saturday afternoon in Hilton Coliseum.

"I saw Rahshon (Clark, ISU) doing it earlier to get the crowd fired up. I thought I'd do it at the end to make 'em mad," Rush said of the loud throng of 13,226 fans.

He made two middle-aged fans mad enough they stuck around to scream at Rush during his postgame interview with ESPN.

"A bunch of McDonald's All-Americans get taken to overtime by a bunch of freshmen. Big deal," one fan bellowed.

It was Rush - who was ordinary early and superb late - who made some spectators probably wish they hadn't braved a morning snowstorm to attend the game.

Rush - who was assigned to guard red-hot ISU point guard Mike Taylor the last six minutes of regulation and into overtime - had just four points at halftime off 1-of-5 shooting. Rush had eight points through regulation on 2-of-9 marksmanship.

Yet he had a huge three to tie the game at 58 with :54 left in regulation, then scored four of the Jayhawks' 10 points in overtime, including four points off the two signature plays of the game.

He slammed home a lob from Mario Chalmers, tying the score at 63 with 1:51 left. Next, ballhawking on defense, he poked the ball from Taylor and raced to the other end for what turned out to be the game-winning jam.

"He tried to split Sasha (Kaun)," Rush said of a slashing Taylor. "I sensed that he had a clear lane. I managed to get behind. I reached and tapped it from behind. I got a nice steal and a nice dunk, too."

Audio clips

2006-07 Jan. 13 KU-ISU Hoops

Following a turnover, ISU fouled Chalmers, who hit two free throws with :21.9 left to give KU a 67-63 lead.

Taylor hit one of two free throws at 9.4, answered by Julian Wright, who made one of two at 5.9 seconds.

All in all, it was vintage Rush down the stretch.

"If you study the game, Iowa State was going to win the game until Brandon guarded No. 24 (Taylor)," Self said. "You never say one guy wins or loses a game, but Brandon did an unbelievable job on No. 24 Then the shot (dunk) he made off Mario's pass and then the steal. That was Brandon Rush in overtime.

"That's what good players do. They step up and make plays when it matters."

It said a lot that Rush shrugged off a poor shooting night to contribute in other areas.

At DePaul he never snapped out of a funk in hitting for just three points in a road loss.

"Maybe maturing a bit, getting tougher, it's good to see," Self said of Rush keeping his composure late.

Once again, Rush's defense was huge. Self called a timeout with 5:39 left, partly because to silence the crowd and partly to put Rush on Taylor (who finished with 21 points, hitting four of 16 threes).

Taylor didn't score again in regulation.

"I like that at the end of the game," Rush said of getting a big-time defensive assignment. "Coach does that sometimes at the end of the game. He did that today. When you're not shooting well, you try to find something else to help the team out. It motivated me, getting key stops."

KU hit just 41.9 percent of its shots and committed 16 turnovers, but still nearly won at the end of regulation.

Self called a timeout with 19.6 seconds left. Chalmers received the ball on a wing and missed a three over Wesley Johnson at :02.

"Terrible execution," Self said of a play in which Chalmers was supposed to be able to get into the lane closer to the hoop. "We faced a big-little switch. We settled. If the shot had gone in, we'd have been happy, but it wasn't great execution."

Chalmers said he thought the shot would drop.

"I felt it was good. It went left," Chalmers said. "I was supposed to drive off Julian's screen, but the defense sagged, and I didn't want to risk a turnover."

It made for an interesting overtime.

KU survived and won despite missing six of its first seven shots in the extra five-minute period.

KU had double-digit scorers in Sasha Kaun (13 off 6-of-8 shooting), Rush (12 off 4-of-14 shooting), Chalmers (11 off 3-of-nine shooting) and Sherron Collins (10 off 5-of-8 shooting).

"It's a win," Self said. "We obviously didn't play very well. I don't want to say lethargic, but we didn't have the same energy as the Oklahoma State game (30-point win Wednesday). Our pressure didn't bother them.

"We missed a lot of layups. We had some bad turnovers. We were careless with the ball and didn't push it like we can, but we showed toughness. It was not picturesque, but we got a road win in the Big 12. They had the crowd today just like we had it Wednesday.

"Iowa State has a good team, maybe better than a lot of people thought. It was good to come out of here with a win."

KU will meet Missouri at 8 p.m. Monday at Allen Fieldhouse.


mitch 15 years, 8 months ago

It would be easy to pick apart the game, but to what end? Self will help the team learn from their errors, especially how to execute more effectively at the end of regulation when only 1 point was needed and the player with the ball could have driven with the knowledge that the other team was going to go to great lengths to avoid a foul of someone almost guaranteed at least the 1 point needed to win the game. Still, it was the team's first conference road game and they came away with the win. Not evey game is going to be like OSU at Allen. Great teams find a way to win. Some big names in the Top 25 didn't do that on the same day, so let's put it all in perspective and congratulate our team on pulling a tough one out in front of a hostile crowd when it really counted. Go 'Hawks!

Cornfed 15 years, 8 months ago

To the ISU fan yelling at Rush............he wasn't a MCDAA.......but what can you expect your an ISU fan.

jwel2nd 15 years, 8 months ago

"A bunch of freshmen?" I thought Iowa State started 4 juniors and 1 freshman.

Larry 15 years, 8 months ago

Great outcome. Too bad Rush had to act like a jerk as he walked off the court. I hate it when players do stuff like that. I remember Lou Holtz would tell his players that they are welcome to dance and point at themselves, etc after big plays/big games as long as they do the same after bad plays/losses. I wonder if Rush would have gone to center court with his hands to his ears if ISU had won. I don't know, maybe I'm overreacting but I just think a better example of good sportsmanship would be to shake hands and walk off the court.

GIHAWK 15 years, 8 months ago

"A bunch of McDonald's All-Americans get taken to overtime by a bunch of freshmen. Big deal," one fan bellowed.

He failed to mention that we had to go against a "7th Man" with the officiating. We played our worst game and they played their best game and we still won. Period. Case closed.

ku98 15 years, 8 months ago

You're right, Cornfed. Rush was not a McD's All-American. Sasha was not either. Russell was not either. Not to mention that being a McD's AA never guarantees greatness. We have seen that over and over again... but hey, it is like Fraschilla said "ISU fans are so knowledgeable". What a joke! As for Rush's reaction at the end of the game, I am ok with it. I am sure he heard all kinds of cr*p from the ISU fans throughout the game, so it is just a little payback.
Way to go, Hawks!

Alec White 15 years, 8 months ago

I think that this was a big win for us but mostly for Bill Self. Over his tenure here, he hasn't exactly closed out games. It seems that if the game is close with less than five minutes we have a tough time winning it. Either our guys start to give it away or an opposing player will go off on us (Mike Taylor, Thomas Gardner, Sammy Mejia). Maybe the key is if Rush guards their go-to-guy at the end we win. It worked against Florida so I hope that this will get us over the hump in all the close games that will occur in the Conference season.

David Reed 15 years, 8 months ago

I am happy they won.anytime we come out of Ames with a W it's a great win

97jhawk 15 years, 8 months ago

I was at the game in Ames and their so called 6th man was in effect at the Hilton. I'm sure it had some part in the Jayhawks poor play. What was sad though is that the crowd is nothing like KU's at AFH. ISU was on one end of the court playing defense and only the crowd on that end was yelling "defense!" while the other side remained pretty quiet. Pretty pathetic. Because the place is like a cement bomb shelter (which it might have been originally designed for) the noise levels can get quite loud. That was a big win cause everyone parked their tractors on Saturday to come out and try to witness an upset as usual. It's true, we do get every opponent's best game cause we're KU. Wish that was included in Sagrin or RPI or any ranking. Outsiders just don't understand that concept.

Oh yeah, when the final seconds were winding down my group of 30 Jayhawk fans started yelling the "Rock Chalk Chant" and some angry ISU fan yelled "What the hell does that mean anyway?!" I yelled back, "It means we just won in your House!" Guess he didn't like that to much...LOL!

jhyphene 15 years, 8 months ago

Absolutely. Take the road win any which way you can...pretty or ugly.

The comment by the ISU fan is heat of the moment, and unfortunate. Most people say stupid stuff in that situation, then an hour later think "man, that was stupid." Don't think for a second the same thing wouldn't/doesn't happen in Lawrence. It's not a big deal, just a common mistake/lack-of-judgement from a passionate fan. Same can be said about players (Rush's hand to the ear, and the Witherspoon kid jumping around popping his jersey vs. Florida).

Bring on Mizzou! KU better come to play, I'm pretty sure MU will.

Rodney Stice 15 years, 8 months ago

It was a hard game to watch, I felt that ISU's defence kept the hawks off balance. 16 turnovers will not do against top quality teams. I'm ready for Monday night. Bring on Mizzou!

Nutflush21 15 years, 8 months ago

What the hell is that ISU fan talking about? ISU is not a bunch of Freshman. They start 4 juniors. Last time I checked KU starts 2 juniors and 3 sophomores as well as having 2 freshman who play major minutes. Turnsout we are younger. What a clown!

Seth Peattie 15 years, 8 months ago

Suck it: ISU, JimJones, ISU's version of the Antlers and MU tomorrow. Great coming away with the W.

Sparko 15 years, 8 months ago

I think Chalmer's play at the end of regulation was superb. If he forces the lane, loses the ball for a transition break-away? Nope. I'll take my chances in OT. It was a PERFECTLY executed end game. They were tied and took the last shot. The guards didn't force an out of control drive, but took a shot with the best pure scorer-Russell had a tip-in chnace as it was. I want to see more of that kind of finish. KU is 2-0 in overtime, and has the athletes in an extended game.

b1afide 15 years, 8 months ago

I had a different and positive sense of the game today. Although they made a ton of mistakes, the grit, passion, and energy seemed to be there. Tough road game in the conference.

rockchalkjayhawk4ku11 15 years, 8 months ago

I agree with ku98 whats wrong with bragging a little??

Jeremy Bolinger 15 years, 8 months ago

You crack me up LAJAYHAWK! I can always count on you to put others in their place! Iowa St. played a hell of a game, and we still won. Thats all that matters here. Every single ranked team, with the exception of Florida, who we beat, played like crap yesterday. Even good ol' Roy Williams couldnt even muster a win against Virginia Tech! What defense allows a bubble-tourney team to score 94 points? I will take Bill Self's defense anyday of the week!

HotCarl9 15 years, 8 months ago

I thought that the refs did a poor job of not calling over the back in the first half. During free throws, and Jayhawk defensive box outs. There were multiple offenses (not called) that led to ISU points. Plus, who makes off-balance spinning around threes?

I want to shout out to the underrated play of Bimbo Collins! that kid is a ball of kinetic fire and provides the offensive spark that RussRob lacks.

brent brockmueller 15 years, 8 months ago

rockchalkjayhalk4ku11 if you can tell me a reason why you should brag like that, I would like to hear it. And Sparko, what are you thinking? Chalmers and Self said that the play wasn't run the way it was set up and it didn't go in. That was not "perfect' execution. It was a good looking shot but not what was supposed to be done.

CasperCorps 15 years, 8 months ago

Why did Collins get benched in the second half anyways?

Michael Leiker 15 years, 8 months ago

How about Mario forcing the foul away from the ball towards the end of OT. Really was nice having him at the line to shoot those throws to seal it. Smart Play.

Kyle Crenshaw 15 years, 8 months ago

this is just me, but i fully support rush doin the ear to the hand thing. this shows he is FINALLY getting some confidence. great players back up their talk and even though it wasnt until the end of the game, brandon finally showed up. now im not sayin brandon is a "great" player yet but hes gettin closer. Rock Chalk baby! MUCK FIZZOU!!!

Kyle Crenshaw 15 years, 8 months ago

just to add something. maybe rush had a little talk with ex-Jayhawk relief pitcher Don Cryz to learn the secret of closing out games. because if he did, i like our chances!

klineisanazi 15 years, 8 months ago

It would have been nice to have won by a big margin, but I will take a win at Hilton anytime. As for the ISU fans, they are just frustrated. They could taste the upset, and it has been a while since they beat KU there. Not classy, but understandable.
In my opinion, there is a big difference between a close game on the road in conference, and struggling by no-name competition at home. What seperates the top teams from the rest is finding a way--any way--to win. KU did that. No complaining here.

Michael Leiker 15 years, 8 months ago

I ended up having a ticket 7 rows behind the ISU bench yesterday right in the middle of the big money. I was about 5 seats down from Jamie Pollard and let me tell you, those people hate KU. I was doing nothing but positive cheering, not being obnoxious at all, and there were 75 year old dudes turning around and clapping in my face as if to show me up when the clones would score. Some kids sold me a ticket for $40 outside the game and the booster whose seat it normally was could have killed me, you should have seen the look on this guy's face when he walked up to his seat and there was a guy sitting there with blue on, and then when I told him it only cost me 40 bucks, priceless. Seemed like KU fans made a pretty good showing given the weather, just probably not the loudest group of hawk fans ever (course there wasn't much to get loud about). Those fans really remind me of K-State fans, just peretually frustrated and mad about everything. Looking for a reason to complain. I thought the game was pretty evenly officiated, but you would have thought the official was sleeping with the guy next to me's wife.

All I did at the end of the game was laugh. It was great. Thanks Hawks.

rushlover22 15 years, 8 months ago

97Jhawk....that's hilarious more power to you. I would have done the something if I was there. ISU fans are not that knowledgeable...they booed at every call. When they took those points from them because it was a shot clock violation they went nuts. It was rather obvious that the clock was at 0 before he took the shot. Knowledgeable fans would not get upset about that. Anyways, enough talk about this game. It's a win that's all that matters. Let's get out there in beat Missouri.

troycaswell 15 years, 8 months ago

i was right next to those isu fans waitin for brandon to give me his wristbands(like he said he would, which he did) and they were yellin at him on his wait out of the tunnell and they were jawing at him 1st adn he looks up at them and hes liek ha where u at and they dint have anything to say....ISU fans are not knowledgeable, they wanted a foul on everything...

Seth Peattie 15 years, 8 months ago

ISU = low rent. On the subject, can't wait to hand MU a 40+ beat down tomorrow night. One of the best days of the year.

jaybate 15 years, 8 months ago

"It's the 18.5% three point shooting, 58% FT shooting and -6 TO margin, stupid."--James Carville summarizing why KU barely beat ISU in OT.

Didn't see it on the tube, but the numbers tell plenty. KU didn't beat ISU. ISU beat ISU at the ISU FT line. ISU shot an absolutely pitiful 42% from the FT line, something KU's supposedly "bring it every game" defense had absolutely nothing to do with. KU just got dumb lucky that ISU sucked at FTs, or it would have been an embarrassing loss.

What apparently kept KU in the game was manly rebounding by Julian and Brandon. Oh, Sasha, when are you going to become manly on the boards? 5 in 26 minutes won't cut it.

Of course, if KU had shot to its average on treys and FTs and handled the ball decently, it would have been an easy win.

Post Script: If Rush was celebrating, or taunting, at the end of this embarrassing game, as some posts suggest, he doesn't really have a clue about how far KU is from being a team capable of beating mid-majors like Bucknell and Bradley in the first round of the NCAA tourney. God, I hope he didn't do it.

Larry Smith 15 years, 8 months ago

Jaybate, If you did not watch the game. Please do not come in here with comments on what won or lost the game. KU won that game. The only reason ISU was even in it was a bunch of the miracle shots they threw up, some easy misses by KU and oh yeah, by the way KU did hold them to 37% shooting.

How can you not watch a game and come in here with stupid assesments? Always negative. Gotta love it.

dbgjayhawk 15 years, 8 months ago

jaybate, we can always count on you for a retarded post. it just makes me laugh every time i read something that you write because you obviously don't think very hard about what you write.

Muska 15 years, 8 months ago

gosh jaybate, settle down a bit. You remind me a bit of my mother when it comes to sports, nothing is ever good enough. If the 'Hawks were to cut down the nets at the final four this year, you would probably immediately start griping about recruiting or something. Get over Bradley and Bucknell, those were different seasons and completely different teams. If you really want something to bitch about, cheer for somebody else. Always the pessimist

Muska 15 years, 8 months ago

a win is a win, especially on the road. show some pride!

RockChalkGumbyHawk 15 years, 8 months ago

Personally, I'm happy to see us getting out of Hilton with a 'W', especially on a foul-weather day like it was. (Anyone remember how flat we were a few years ago against Villanova on another horrible wintry day?)

I'd like to congratulate Self on making an adjustment late in the game that probably saved the day for us. If he doesn't put Rush on Taylor, who knows?

Belichik just showed how the GREAT coaches make these in-game adjustments when it counts, and perhaps this is a prelude to coach making the right moves when the team is not dominating the opponent (Wasn't that Oklahoma State game great!!!!)


actorman 15 years, 8 months ago

jaybate, I haven't always disagreed with you but it's pretty idiotic to come on and make comments based purely on numbers. Have you ever heard the quote, "There are lies, damn lies and statistics?" Numbers tell you something but not the whole story.

It was an ugly win, true. I wasn't even that bothered by the poor shooting, it can happen. What bothered me the most was that most of KU's 16 turnovers were unforced, just stupid, sloppy passes. Hopefully that won't happen to that extent again.

But the fact is that KU managed to pull it out with tough defense at the end and some big plays; that's what good teams do, win when they're not playing their best, in a hostile environment. Kudos to the 'Hawks and I can't wait 'til we stomp on the kitties!

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