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Sunday, December 21, 2008

New ’do, new KU

Mohawk-less Jayhawks trim Temple

Kansas guard Sherron Collins puts up a floater through the Temple defense during the first half Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Sherron Collins puts up a floater through the Temple defense during the first half Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse.

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For Kansas, practice makes better

After a week that featured ongoing discussion regarding discipline and practice for the Kansas men's basketball team, the KU men showed off how seven days on the practice court can benefit a young roster.

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2008 KU-Temple

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Sherron Collins still doesn’t know what all the fuss was about.

“I bet you if that left-handed shot went in, nothing would have been said about it,” Collins, Kansas University’s junior guard, said.

“It” was the Mohawk haircut — and star cut-out on the left side of his head — Collins sported for last week’s game against UMass, a game in which his running six-footer clanged in the closing seconds of a one-point defeat.

Feeling the heat from fans and media alike, Collins returned to Watson’s Barbershop for a second haircut in two weeks Friday night and looked like his old self, with a traditional closely cropped cut, Saturday.

He scored 19 points off 8-of-18 shooting (including three of seven threes) and had six assists against two turnovers while playing 36 minutes in the Jayhawks’ 71-59 victory over Temple in Allen Fieldhouse.

Backcourt partner Tyshawn Taylor, who also had his Mohawk removed Friday, had 11 points and eight assists against one turnover, with four steals, as the Jayhawks erased the memory of last week’s stinker in Sprint Center.

“It drew too much attention,” Collins said of the Mohawk. “I really didn’t come here to be judged on my haircut, just to play basketball. I eliminated all those problems and cut it.”

At first, roommate Brady Morningstar — in a good mood after helping hold Temple standout Dionte Christmas to a 6-for-14 shooting effort (21 points) — tried to take credit for Collins’ current hairstyle.

“I’m trying to become a hair-cutter. I practiced on him. How does it look?” Morningstar said in the interview room after contributing 11 points off 4-of-6 shooting, including three threes in four tries.

It looked fine, but the credit goes to the professionals at Watson’s.

“That’s OK. They lie to me, too,” KU coach Bill Self joked of his players.

“I thought the look was a look I am much more comfortable with tonight than last week,” he added, indicating Collins and Taylor might have been told to get rid of the Mohawks.

“I am not sure they reached it (decision) on their own,” Self added with a smile.

He gave thumbs-up not only to Collins’ haircut, but more importantly, his play.

The 5-foot-11 junior guard missed 15 of 21 shots — forcing some on a day he was weakened by the flu — in the loss to UMass.

“Sherron took the shots we wanted him to take,” Self said of a healthy version of Collins on Saturday. “I thought he played very well. He looked like a point guard who can score today. I thought Tyshawn had a good game, also, probably as good as those two have been together, in large part because they were efficient.”

Collins hit a layup and found Morningstar in the corner for an open three, keying a 7-0 run that gave the Jayhawks a 38-30 halftime lead.

Collins had 11 points off 5-of-8 shooting the first 20 minutes and had a spectacular assist, hitting Markieff Morris in stride for a layup. Collins cashed a three and set up Morris for another bucket and foul shot, keying a game-breaking 15-2 run that gave the Jayhawks a 63-48 lead with 6:30 to play.

“I forced some things in the UMass game. Today I made a conscious effort to score within the offense rather than trying to just break somebody down and go get a shot,” Collins said. “I was in there trying to make a play for somebody else, get somebody else a shot.”

Cole Aldrich contributed 13 points with 11 rebounds despite battling flu-like symptoms. Marcus Morris scored nine points and Markieff eight in earning bragging rights against Temple, a school located in their hometown of Philadelphia.

“I think we lost last week because of the way we approached the game. You have to approach practice a different way. I think we were a lot more upbeat Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of this week,” Self said. “I think the guys decided it won’t be as much fun around here unless we improve.

“I could care less about making shots. I do care about approaching practice as wanting to get better, as opposed to putting time in and wanting to get out of there. We had good, crisp practices. Their attitude has been good.”

KU (8-2) will practice today, then fly charter to Tucson, Ariz., site of Tuesday’s late 9:30 p.m. (Central time) game against University of Arizona at McKale Center. The Wildcats (7-3) lost to UNLV, 79-64, on Saturday afternoon in Vegas.

Comments

tomike 13 years, 11 months ago

Even if the left-handed shot went in, it would not have covered the POOR play of SC in that game, considering UMass was only 2-7 before the game.

Scott Smetana 13 years, 11 months ago

Less Minutes = Better production for SC. He is a 'Spark' and cannot play at his speed 30+ minutes a game. I think he looks better at the 2 position.

Dirk Medema 13 years, 11 months ago

Sherron - Some people will find things to complain about regardless of whether the shot goes in or not. What is really important is that you continue to learn and improve as the year goes along thereby setting the example for your younger teammates to follow. Good bounce back game. Keep up the good work.Rock Chalk

osagefire209 13 years, 11 months ago

What ever happen to Bryant Allen? I thought he was going to decide last thrusday?

gaiapapaya 13 years, 11 months ago

I say go all out and grow the mohawk into a Mr. T style 'do.

Martin Rosenblum 13 years, 11 months ago

I, for one, see some acute irony in the "star-less" haircut. Wouldn't it have been less objectionable if he had KU, etc. shaved into his hair rather than a star? Even so, his play during that game was less than "stellar".Now that the whole haircut issue is behind us, hopefully, let's be more consistent and more productive as a balanced team. This is the point in the season where your stats start revealing strengths and weaknesses. I can't see any pattern in the stats so far. A few pleasant surprises from game to game. But, somebody has to prove they belong in the starting roatation. Cole is emerging as a lock for starting from here on out. Sherron should be a lock. But, who knows. Brady has been the luckiest and most productive of the veterans. MC and MK are struggling to fit into the program while Taylor is already more productive than Tyrel and Conner. Right now, I don't feel any more comfortable than I did the opening night of the season, that there is a core of solid players who will be our starters come conference play. Somebody, please set me straight, if I'm off base here. I'm proud of our record so far. But, we don't appear to be a post -season caliber team right now. Too many gifted players on too many teams this year in most conferences.

Larry Smith 13 years, 11 months ago

memhawk, What do you mean by Morningstar has been the luckiest?

Theutus 13 years, 11 months ago

memhawk what kind of crack have you been smoking? Cole was always going to be a starter throughout the year.... Actually he's our most consistent player. Problem is we don't get him the ball. I can't believe you said he's "emerging as a lock for starting from here on out". Who the hell else would start in his place? Honestly, i'm baffled.

KGphoto 13 years, 11 months ago

I'm just as amazed with PeePeeSmittys's ignorant comments about Sherron's ineptitude as a starter. If a Naismith candidate isn't worth 30 minutes a game, who is?

LAJayhawk 13 years, 11 months ago

Theutus & KG,Exactly. I was going to say something very similar. Cole is one of two people in the Big 12 averaging a double-double (the other being Griffin), and I believe he is currently 7th nationally for rebounds per game. He is hands down the most consistent shooter on the team with an incredibly soft touch and great range, best free-throw shooter, best defender, one of the best shot-blockers in the country..... at what point was this guy not going to start?!?!? And I am the first to scream at the TV when Sherron starts forcing, but we are nowhere near the same team with him off the floor. And when he plays within himself (as he did most of the game v. Temple), we are very tough. If his stamina could take it, I'd ask him to play 60 minutes of a 40 minute game.I also question memhawk as to not seeing any improvement since the opening game. What I saw on Saturday was a team that is starting to learn to play together. They still make a lot of Freshman mistakes, and, absolutely, the twins still need to go to the hoop stronger, but you can clearly see that everyone is getting a feel for each other now. There will be some more bumps (both game to game and possession to possession), but the gelling has begun. Look for marked improvement from here on out.

s6u6r6f 13 years, 11 months ago

"I trying to become a hair-cutter." Come on, Morningstar. This is KU! It's not a "hair-cutter." It's a "hair-cutter person." Value education.

actorman 13 years, 11 months ago

Um, actually, RM is right. You wouldn't say someone is a "barber person" or a "diamond-cutter person," would you? There's nothing wrong with someone saying he's a "hair-cutter." Assuming you're not being facetious, s6u6r6f, perhaps you should actually use your education before devaluing someone else's.

Scott Smetana 13 years, 11 months ago

KYphoto,SC resting 10 minutes for the game is the best thing for this team. Have you watched any games this year? He gets tired, wreckless, and shooting percentage goes down with any minutes over 30. Naismith Candidate? What, are you including the top 50 players?

s6u6r6f 13 years, 11 months ago

actorman, actually, facetious is correct. Glad you sensed it. I was working for verbal irony. Barber would of course be the more common term. No offense meant; just light word play. His dad and I were in the same graduating class. Young Brady is a good kid, has a nice game, and should develop into a contributing team leader. Rock Chalk.

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