Sunday, December 7, 2008
1753 total votes.
‘We’re not tough right now’
Kansas University junior guard Sherron Collins bemoaned KU’s “lack of toughness” Saturday against Jackson State.
“We’re not tough right now. Call it like it is. We outrebounded them by one (39-38). Think what it’ll be like when we play Texas. We need to get better, quick,” Collins said.
“We have to get a swagger to ourselves that we are tough and believe it,” added Collins, who scored 17 points with five rebounds, five assists, four turnovers and three steals in 37 minutes.
“We have to go after balls with two hands. Our freshmen are not used to doing that. You can’t blame them. Coach even knows you can’t blame them. They’re not used to boxing out against somebody who can jump as high as they can. They have to learn to get a motor, believe every ball is theirs.
“We’ve got to get this straightened out,” Collins added.
Coach Bill Self, who has challenged his big men repeatedly at practice, was asked when toughness first became a major issue with him.
“I grew up on the rough streets of Edmond, Okla.,” he joked.
“I’ve always felt that way. Am I going to get 70 percent of the 50/50 balls or am I going to get 30 percent? Those extra possessions win or lose games. We’re a team that gets 30 percent now. It’s an area we have to get better in.”
Self was asked his plans for Saturday night after the matinee victory.
“I’m going recruiting,” he said.
He was spotted Saturday night at the Wichita East-Wichita Heights game contested at Wichita State’s Koch Arena. Heights is led by freshman phenom Perry Ellis.
In other recruiting news, Dominic Cheek, a 6-5 senior from St. Anthony High in Jersey City, N.J., will choose between KU, Villanova, Pitt, Memphis and Rutgers this week.
KU made three of four free throws the first half to JSU’s 12 of 17.
“I asked the officials about that a few times, and they obviously thought that we fouled more than they did,” Self said, asked about the Tigers getting to the line. JSU hit 21 of 29 charities to KU’s 14 of 17.
KU has won 30 straight home games and 1,950 games overall. ... KU trailed 10-4, before embarking on a 17-0 run. ... Tyshawn Taylor’s 11 assists were most by a KU freshman since Aaron Miles had 15 against Texas Tech on March 9, 2002.