Sunday, December 7, 2008

Jayhawks impress JSU

Coach: KU at least top 15


Audio clips

2008 KU-JSU basketball

Reader poll

Which freshman will have the most dunks this season for KU?

  • Tyshawn Taylor 40% 704 votes
  • Marcus Morris 27% 478 votes
  • Markieff Morris 13% 230 votes
  • Quintrell Thomas 9% 170 votes
  • Travis Releford 9% 171 votes

1753 total votes.

Jackson State University’s men’s basketball team proved Saturday afternoon it just might be the best one-win squad in the country.

Following the team’s 86-62 defeat at No. 25 Kansas, however, the Tigers were convinced they’d just lost to one of the top one-loss schools in the nation.

JSU coach Tevester Anderson has a vote in college basketball’s Top-25 coaches poll. Anderson said his next vote would reflect just how impressed he was with the Jayhawks’ performance.

“I think they deserve to be a little bit higher than 20, 25,” Anderson said after KU handed his team its largest margin of defeat this season. “They’re really a 15, 16 ranking right now in the Top 25, and that’s where I’m going to vote for them this week, at least in the top 15.”

But that kind of praise for Kansas (7-1) should speak volumes about what Jackson State (1-8) accomplished on Saturday inside Allen Fieldhouse — for one half, at least.

The smaller Tigers came back from a 17-0 Kansas run in the first half to take the lead, 26-25, on De’Suan Dixon’s free throw with 4:15 left. JSU flustered KU with a pesky 2-3 zone and even outrebounded KU by five (22-17) in the first half, going to the halftime break down only five points. Second-chance opportunities helped send the Tigers to the free-throw line 17 times in the opening 20 minutes to the Jayhawks’ four.

“We just wanted to box out and be aggressive going to the boards,” said Tigers forward Grant Maxey, who scored 14 first-half points on his way to a team-high 19. “Our scouting report said they like to rebound and come aggressive, but they also don’t like to box out.”

In the second half, the Jayhawks found their stroke from long-range against the Tigers’ zone (7-for-14 second-half threes), and JSU’s leg-weary starters finally buckled offensively.

This is a Jackson State team, after all, that has been home in Mississippi for exactly one day since Nov. 19, playing few cupcakes on its early-season slate.

To this point, Jackson State has played road games that included Louisiana State, Texas A&M;, Illinois, Arizona State and now Kansas.

In total, the Tigers’ eight losses have come to schools with a combined 42-11 record entering Saturday’s play.

Only one of those teams could top the Tigers’ list: KU.

“We’ve played several teams of this caliber,” Anderson said. “This is the best shooting team we’ve played. We thought our zone defense would help us some, but they shot the ball extremely well.”

For Maxey, the decision was a no-brainer.

“Best team and best fans,” Maxey said of KU. “When the fans get into it, (the Jayhawks) get an extra boost and start going on those big runs. We tried to keep the fans out of it, tried to keep it a close game. The fans were real good here, so I feel that it’s their sixth man here.”


KU 13 years, 9 months ago

“Our scouting report said they like to rebound and come aggressive, but they also don’t like to box out.”--MaxeyThere's a bit of bulletin board material, Coach Self. Cole can't keep getting 1/3 of our rebounds. The other post players need to do a better job. And Brady--bless his crimson and blue heart--just can't match up at the 3 spot. He's a huge liability when it comes to rebounding.I'm just not at all impressed with the Morris's work ethic, yet. And I finally see one of the main reasons (other than his weak jumper in half-court offense) Releford can't get on the floor: the kid doesn't know the sets yet. He even screws up simple baseline out-of-bounds plays.

KEITHMILES05 13 years, 9 months ago

The twins and Taylor are superb. Don't knock them. What the hell do you think they should be doing, building skyscrapers? LOL. They are learning very, very quickly. All three are extremely important to this team.As a side note just think about this: All three easily could not be at KU. All three were de-commits to previous teams.I am so thankful they are here.

JayhawkPhil64 13 years, 9 months ago

I agree about Taylor. The guy looks like he is really going to be a player for us. He has already improved tremendously and I can't wait to see how good he will be by the end of the year. However I kind of agree with KU about the Morris twins. They undoubtedly have talent but they seem to be a little questionable above the shoulders. One minute they remind you of a poor man's Julian Wright or Drew Gooden. The next minute they make some bonehead play. But the thing you have to remember is that Wright led the team in bonehead plays early in his career and he over came that. There is still plenty of time for these guys to come around and they show so much potential that they could really be exciting if they get their act together. If not, we've got Thomas in the wings for now and Robinson coming in next year.I have to admit I really root more for Thomas when he is in there because he is such a hard honest player in the Darnell Jackson mode. But I know he doesn't have the talent of the Morris twins and we will be a better team if they are dependable enough to keep Quinten from getting very many minutes. Until they do however he deserves all the minutes he can get.

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