Saturday, January 22, 2011


UT’s Jordan Hamilton difficult matchup

Texas forward Jordan Hamilton, right, drives around Texas A&M forward Khris Middleton, left, during the second half on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011, in Austin, Texas. Texas won, 81-60.

Texas forward Jordan Hamilton, right, drives around Texas A&M forward Khris Middleton, left, during the second half on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011, in Austin, Texas. Texas won, 81-60.


Upon leaving the New England Patriots because he didn’t have absolute authority on personnel decisions, renowned NFL coach Bill Parcells said, “They want you to cook the dinner. At least they should let you shop for the groceries.” College coaches get to shop for the groceries, shaping their rosters as they see fit.

When putting together college basketball teams, coaches don’t simply recruit the best talent they can land and see where it fits. They have an idea of how they want their teams to look on the floor. Bill Self, coach of Kansas University’s second-ranked basketball team, separates his pool of recruits into what he calls “bigs” and “guards.” Ideally, he likes to play two bigs whose responsibilities are interchangeable. He has that in the Morris twins, Marcus and Markieff.

At least one of the three guards has to have point-guard skills, two of them must able to stretch the defense as three-point shooting threats, and one should be long enough to guard the opposing small forward. Self starts Tyshawn Taylor, Josh Selby and Tyrel Reed on the perimeter. Two (Taylor and Selby) have point-guard skills. Two (Selby and Reed) can stretch the defense. None of the three is long enough to be suited perfectly to guarding the small Texas forward the Jayhawks face today for the 3 p.m. tipoff in Allen Fieldhouse.

Jordan Hamilton, a 6-foot-7, 220-pound sophomore from Los Angeles, ranks third in the Big 12 in scoring (19.7), tied for eighth in rebounding (7.1), fifth in three-point percentage (.424) and first in the conference in terms of difficult matchups for KU.

“Hamilton is a hard matchup because we have a 6-foot-2 guy guarding him the way we play starting out,” Self said, without specifying which of the three guards in the starting lineup will check him at the beginning. “It will be a tough deal for us, but Baylor was a lot bigger than us, too. There aren’t going to be too many teams that we play against that we’re bigger than across the board, moving forward.”

At this point, Hamilton and Marcus Morris qualify as the front-runners for Big 12 Player of the Year honors. Today’s game will determine the early-season favorite, and only one statistic will determine which player that is: the guy whose team scores more points.

In KU’s three conference games, Marcus is averaging 24.7 points and 9.7 rebounds and shooting .711 from the field. It’s possible he could guard Hamilton at times today.

Both players are scoring threats from down low and on the perimeter. Morris primarily is an inside scorer who is a bona fide three-point shooting threat. Hamilton shoots far more three-pointers, but is adept at abusing shorter defenders in the post as well.

Brady Morningstar, giving up three inches and 35 pounds, will get his turn on Hamilton. Morningstar popped a DVD of 100 made shots from Hamilton into his computer and gave them a look.

“It’s good to study the tape, but I don’t go way too in depth with it because he plays off how the defense plays him,” Morningstar said.

And how will Morningstar play him?

“Contest his shots and hope that the Phog’s with us,” Morningstar said.


100 11 years, 8 months ago

Pass, pass, pass today Jayhawks!!!!

Box out!!!!!!

Tough D!!!!

Own the stat sheet!!!!!!!!!!!!!

phi4life940 11 years, 8 months ago

As this feels like about the fourth article on Jordan Hamilton, I'm calling it....he'll finish with maybe 12-15 points with 4 coming at the very end after KU has secured the W.

R ockChalk

Chris Bruning 11 years, 8 months ago

hope you're right buddy, you very well could be. Brady can defend this guy

Dyrk Dugan 11 years, 8 months ago

i don't care if Brady takes zero shots....this game will be about his D on Hamilton. Without Releford, Morningstar is the key.

Now if he goes off.....and he can no matter what the defense, we just need to have him hit a stretch...8-10 minutes....when he does very little, then we'll be OK. but he must be guarded...and guarded well.

basty 11 years, 8 months ago

I'd prefer that Brady take zero shots. . .

basty 11 years, 8 months ago

And then he hits a big shot and I'm placated. Brady, you're 24ish, bring back that consistency baby!

finestack 11 years, 8 months ago

Travis Releford, sleeper Hamilton defender. Can I get a witness?

milehighhawk 11 years, 8 months ago

He would be perfect for that match-up. My feeling is he's not close to 100%, but my hope is that he can still give us 15 minutes or so of pure defensive effort.

JHWK 11 years, 8 months ago

I like the idea of using multiple looks, much like we did against Durant. Initially it will likely be Reed, then Brady, but I like the thought of Travis for as long as his ankle can take it, and then Little. If Little moved on the D end like he has been in the last 2 games on the offensive end, he could be a real lock down defender.

Rock Chalk! If we get maximum effort today like we had on Monday, this could be a great W!

Dirk Medema 11 years, 8 months ago

Coach Self played around with the 3 bigs line up recently. My guess is we see more of it today. Could be a big game for Mario. Could it also be a reason that Travis was held out recently, regardless of the % given in the paper? He will be needed more today than ever.

Woody Cragg 11 years, 8 months ago

I'd like to see Josh get the car keys today-home game, matchup problems at the 3 spot, drive the bus baby, show em what ya got. Leave Hamilton to commitee. If Tryel is sharp shootin today we could finally get to see some showtime dishes in the paint. Split the min with TT and head down the highway. Go Hawks!

John Randall 11 years, 8 months ago

A couple of steals early on passes intended for Hamilton would mean more than contesting shots, especially if they lead to solo dunks on the break. This could be other players than the one assigned to cover him.

LAJayhawk 11 years, 8 months ago

"Marcus is averaging 24.7 points and 9.7 rebounds and shooting .711 from the field."

Sweet Mother of God.

LAJayhawk 11 years, 8 months ago

This matchup is getting a little overblown. We'll defend him just fine. The key will be the same as it was with LaceDarius: deny him the ball from the start. Dunn didn't get the ball in a position to score too many times against us, and, therefore, didn't attempt to score. Deny the lanes first.

Hamilton will get some points and boards, but I believe we'll keep him below his averages across the board. Rebounding, honestly, may be more important. Our guards are going to have to box out strong.

Anyone in the mood for some steak?

Rock Chalk.

KU_FanSince75 11 years, 8 months ago

I look for our defense both individually and team, to be very focused. Just a gut feeling.

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