Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The usual suspects

Aldrich, Collins lead way

Kansas guard Sherron Collins calls out a play against Emporia State during the first half Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2008 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Sherron Collins calls out a play against Emporia State during the first half Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2008 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Collins and Aldrich lead Jayhawks to victory

Bill Self's squad took to the hardwood for a final exhibition tune-up on Tuesday night. The Jayhawks defeated Emporia State 103-58.

Audio clips

2008-09 KU-Emporia State basketball

Everybody knows Kansas University's basketball team will rely heavily on Cole Aldrich and Sherron Collins this season.

"We have two standouts," KU coach Bill Self said of the dynamic duo, who erupted for 39 points off combined 14-of-19 shooting in the Jayhawks' 103-58 thrashing of Emporia State on Tuesday night in Allen Fieldhouse.

Collins hit for his 22 points and three assists in 20 minutes; Aldrich had 17 points and 10 rebounds in 18 minutes. Both sat out the final 16 minutes of the exhibition blowout.

Aldrich was 7-for-10 from the field, while Collins was 7-for-9.

"Cole was fabulous," Self said. "He will not hit every shot he takes; Sherron won't hit every shot he takes.

"Sherron's conditioning is not bad. He's doing a good job of leading a bunch of young guys right now. He'll play 32 to 34 minutes a game for us," he added of the stocky point guard.

Self on Tuesday surprised some media types when he singled out two other Jayhawks who have established themselves big-time this preseason.

Brady Morningstar, who burned ESU for 13 points off 6-of-9 shooting, and Tyrel Reed, who had three points and six assists against no turnovers, can count on possibly starting - certainly playing a lot - in KU's regular-season opener against UMKC (7:30 p.m. Sunday, Allen Fieldhouse).

"Brady and Tyrel the last two weeks have done a really good job. I won't use the word 'separate themselves,''' Self said, "but there's no way we'll go into the season without them being a big part of our rotation."

Morningstar, who accepted a pair of pinpoint passes from Collins for driving layups, showed the ability to run the floor well as a starter in KU's two practice games.

"Once Sherron gets the ball, everyone else says, 'Go,''' said Morningstar, who had seven points and three assists while playing 13 minutes the first half in helping KU blaze to a 56-30 halftime lead.

"When he and Tyshawn Taylor (four assists, no turnovers) get the ball, I run as fast as I can and get easy buckets to help get things going."

Morningstar - like Reed a sophomore - said he'll be ready to tackle a meaningful role a year after red-shirting.

"Surprised? I don't know if I'm surprised. I'm just trying to help the team any way I can," Morningstar said. "If coach puts me in there (as starter), I'll try to help the team any way I can. If not, I'll come off the bench."

Freshman forward Quintrell Thomas was the fifth starter Tuesday. He scored five points and had four rebounds in 13 minutes.

"He's been our second-best big guy," Self said.

Forward Marcus Morris came off the bench to contribute 11 points and six boards in 16 minutes.

The best big man was Aldrich, of course. The 6-foot-11 soph knocked down a pair of outside shots the first half to go with his array of inside moves. He scored four points to Collins' six in a 19-1 run that opened a 41-19 lead.

"This summer I worked a lot on that 15-footer, that elbow-free area," Aldrich said. "It's like Darnell (Jackson) last year coming down on the secondary break, taking that shot.

"I can shoot a 'half-courter' if you guys want. But my percentage goes down."

"I can shoot from about 17 feet," he added in a serious tone. "But it's easier getting shots to go in from two, three, five feet."

Self said he doesn't mind Aldrich shooting from the outside on occasion.

"If he's open," Self said. "He made two 16-footers. One was not a good shot in my opinion. It was good because it went in. We had a really small team in. If he shoots a 16-footer, there's nobody on the glass. The second one was high/low. They backed off. He stepped up and knocked it down. I'm very comfortable with him shooting that shot."

He's most happy when Aldrich hits the boards. He had 10 on a night KU won the board war, 44-23. KU led the rebounding total, 19-11, at half.

"Coach said at halftime, 'Win the boards by 20.' He gave us a little incentive, practice might be a little shorter, instead of eight hours, it might be 6 1/2," Aldrich said jokingly.


anna2221 14 years ago

good game jayhawk i love you twins

rockchalkin54 14 years ago

Shang Ping is known on the Emporia State campus as the "really tall Asian guy." But seriously, he is really good. So is Cole and Sherron and Tyrel and everybody. I'm excited for this season!

Joe Ross 14 years ago

...even Markie-Marc looked good last night!

CaramelMacchMan 14 years ago

Did you happen to miss Cole's blocks?

Francois 14 years, 1 month ago

Shang Ping was the best player on the court last night.

Kenneth Johnson 14 years ago

Brady's father, Roger, who starred for KU in 1974 and 1975, must be exceedingly proud.

Marcia Parsons 14 years ago

KU: "As most college coaches will tell you, "--I'm not sure I can agree with that. What good is talent when you can't figure out what the defense is doing to you, or can't hang onto the ball. Experience goes a long ways, and I think THAT is what most college coaches will tell you.

jman18562 14 years ago

rockchalkin54 is dead on! I attend ESU and saw Ping in the weight room one day. ESU has an enormous Asian population and yet EVERYBODY knows exactly who you mean when you talk about "the TALL Asian!" Not a bad player in all seriousness.

kvskubball 14 years ago

Coach Homer Drew at Valpo is quoted in the Athlon Sports 2008-09 College Basketball Preview (page 40) as saying:"Experience can offset talent. That's why you're seeing so many mid-majors do well. Experience counteracts talent at other schools."I'll take his word for it!!!!I think the benefit of truly stud/superior talent is that they learn quickly and can make up the difference in less than a season. That's why so many people say things like justanotherfan did above...Superior talent is what it is - superior.Well, it is IF they learn to manage their talent. Physical skills alone don't make an athlete "Superior". I think that superior talent is~~refined raw ability~~and the brains to make it work. That usually comes from guided instruction and practice.So, personally, at the beginning of the year I would take experienced moderate talent over raw superior talent. This year is a transition year for KU, and one of the story lines this year will probably be the 'changing of the guard'(emphasis added) from the experienced moderate talents of some of the returning players to the more superior talent of some of the newcomers. The team's success (With our challenging schedule) will depend on how quickly and smoothly that transition occurs.At the beginning of the year, as is usually the case, the 'line of best fit' is probably somewhere in between the two extremes of inexperienced superior talent and moderately talented experience.

Jeremy LeMaster 14 years ago

I was glad to see Marcus come down and even happier to see Tyshawn get the nerves under control and hold on to the ball. Quite an improvement over the first practice game. Time to go out and do it for real, keep improving!

GrayHawker 14 years ago

Brady isn't going to be "taken inside" any more then a lot of former players. He has shown very good quickness to go along with being very court savy. The one thing he needed more then anything else was to get stronger and a little bigger to be able to battle on thefloor. He has done that.Starting or the 1st off the bench. Brady will play very well this year. The one advantage he has over the newcomers is that he knows the system, how Self wants the "team" to play defense.

vmwskywalk 14 years ago

If Ping were from Japan, I'm sure they would compare him to Godzilla or Mothra. He is certainly a beast. I hear he has a mean streak.

K_Easthouse 14 years ago

Frankly, all I took away from the game is that we have a lot of former high school superstars on the floor.We looked most like a real team when Tyrel, Brady, Sherron and Cole were running the floor. The new guys haven't picked up on the intangibles that come with playing with the same guys for a long time.Do I think they'll get it? Only if they're willing to put their egos aside and play as a team. KU proved against Memphis that a strong team can overcome individual talent. We have the talent, but if we can meld these guys into a cohesive team, it'll be scary to watch.

jaybate 14 years ago

Knock me dead.Brady and Tyrell are starters.I haven't seen either exhibition game, so I can only speculate. It seems Self knows he needs Brady and Tyrell to be able to play significant back up minutes during the season and so he's decided to give them minutes and starts as a confidence boost early before moving to the frosh in D1 play. Whether they can stay starters, or even major backups, all depends on how good Aldrich is this season on defense. Is he so dominant defending the paint that he can back up Brady and Tyrell when they are taken inside by D1 players? If yes, then playing great shooters like Brady and Tyrell really opens things up for Cole and Sherron inside on offense.Does anyone who has been there get the feeling Tyshawn, Releford and Marcus Morris are closing fast?Also Self's indication yesterday that there would be no redshirting sounds like everyone is going to be in the mix. Lots of bodies, lots of bodying, lots of fouls."Let's get physical!"--Olivia Newton John

KU 14 years ago

GrayHawker.....As most college coaches will tell you, "I'd take inexperienced players with great talent over experienced players with average talent, any day."

KU 14 years ago

GrayHawker....Brady has gotten stronger and quicker and wiser. BUT, he's playing against inferior talent. If he's playing significant minutes during Big 12 season, it's going to be a sub-par year. He'll play a lot until Tyshawn, Tyrone and Travis get in the groove of D-1 ball, then take his spot back on the bench.jaybate.....Tyshawn looked more comfortable. Travis is so good in transition. Marcus Morris dribbling down the floor in transition faster than most guards gave me chills. Tyrone looked good, especially considering all the practice he missed. (Unreal pass ahead on the break last night.) Is it me, or does Tyrone resemble one Cedric Hunter just a little bit?

justanotherfan 14 years ago

I guess my point is this. We have seven new guys that haven't really played with each other that much - of course they look disjointed.The Morrises missed the Canada trip. Appleton has been hurt. Little is still out. These guys haven't had the time to get the reps in with each other. I would hope Cole, Sherron, Brady, and Tyrel would be a more cohesive unit. The twins have a good feel for each other, but no idea about how the rest of their teammates are functioning.The rest are still just individuals trying to see how they fit in.As for the mid major argument, it is true that the cohesion, saavy and poise that comes with experience has helped mid majors ascend, it is also true that come the last weekend in March, you want to be on the sideline with more talent. With all of the injuries and other issues, we haven't had the time to get our new guys acclimated to each other. Mid majors typically pick off the moderately talented teams from major conferences. However, when they run into the truly stacked teams - say Kansas, UNC, Memphis, UCLA, Texas and a handful of others last year - they can't match the talent. Sure, they can take down Vanderbilt, or Baylor, or another solid major conference team. Their experience outweighs the modest difference in talent. But when you weigh that against a team with 5 NBA caliber players like KU had, or like UNC has this year, the experience doesn't mean as much. This non-con schedule is going to be rocky while Tyshawn learns how the Morris twins like the ball on the block. It's going to take some time for Travis to figure out where Tyrone is going to pass just by the way he's pushing the ball. It will take some time for Markieff to get used to how fast Sherron is going to drive off the high screen. Quintrell will need reps to get used to the angles that the guards like to pass from. They need time to learn the system, and get used to where help is coming from defensively, and learning to trust that their teammates will be in the right places. When that happens, their talent will show. Until then, we wait.

kuwillkillit 14 years ago

Anyone heard anything about Snaer i tought he was going to reveal his choice today? Or is he waiting untill the spring?

justanotherfan 14 years ago

oldalum, you can GET experience in time. Superior talent is what it is - superior.

Martin Rosenblum 14 years ago

Does anybody know how many, if any, of our new players were on the McDonald's All American team last year? I believe Releford was , but not sure about others.Seems like HCBS was able to meld a championship team together from guys he recruited, when we had at least as many heralded newcomers. Gotta believe he can do the same with this new group. Plus, we haven't had a true walk-on with potential like Juenemann since Moody. If we only had that elusive 6-10 - 7-0, 260 lb. Joey Dorsey looking post man, we'd be much deeper and more of a threat.

Nutflush21 14 years ago

Memhawk- None of our newcomers were burger all-americans. The twins were not eligible as prep school players and obviously neither were the JuCo transfers. Taylor and Releford were ranked in the top 80 by every recruiting service, while Thomas was in the top 150. Releford did make the under 18 US team though and played pretty well overseas.

BCRavenJHawkfan 14 years ago

An incredible steal by Chalmers in the Trailblazers - Heat game on ESPN!

cklarock 14 years ago

I thought Shang Ping played very well considering he had Ebola and Spinal Menengitis.Apparently, his Coach wanted him to go to the hospital, but he shook his head and said, "Coach, there will be time for hospitals when I am dead. Tonight I BALL."

Commenting has been disabled for this item.