Saturday, January 27, 2007

He said it

Coach Self on today's game (from
“I thought our perimeter was very good. And I thought our big guys were as bad as our perimeter was good. So I would give us a passing grade...Same thing, we don’t rebound the ball, and our big guys, they’re not rebounding the ball. To me it’s hard to give us too good of a performance because I don’t think our big guys played. I think it can be summed up in one word, and that is our big guys play soft.”

That sounds just right to me. The rebounding margin was not us by 15: no, they outrebounded us. The margin? Too soon to say, I guess—ESPN has it at 34-29; has 36-30. Either way, that's really not what I was hoping for.

We did, thanks largely to the 56% shooting and 30 CU turnovers, win convincingly (though not by Vegas' 26 and not nearly by Deron's 43).

If you haven't yet, I hope you never see it, but the Noodle's missed dunk seemed emblematic: we were in a comfortable spot all game long, and we should've been having fun, but we just didn't look as cool as you would expect.

Good play from Rush (pictured) and Chalmers (nice to see him shine again), and RussRob went 2-3 from outside. That rebounding, though . . .


  1. Looks like Self has been reading your blog posts, Yancy, even if our big men haven't.

    I'm surprised to see him include Julian in that critique; he only had 4 boards against CU but he's averaging almost 8--more than Brandon, and pretty good for a guy w/ his skinny frame.

    Our other Achilles heel--turnovers--were also a factor Saturday. We had 19 total; 4 each from Brandon, Julian, and Mario. This might be understandable against a defensive juggernaut, but... Colorado?

    Anyway, the Buffs continue a quarter-century of futility at the Fieldhouse. I like this quote from Richard Roby:

    "When they score, the crowd erupts, and it seems like the points count for more, like 6-pointers or something ... After you play here, everywhere else will be easier."

    Profound Keegan Quote of the Week: (referring to Darrell's freshman-year struggles)

    "As mustachioed 19th-century philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche used to say, 'Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.'"

  2. That's a great quote from Roby (who, it should be noted, was pretty damn good, all told).

    Well, I'm afraid to ask, but what about tonight? Not sure why KU/Nebraska's on Big Monday, but more national coverage can't hurt (can it?).

    Maric will be a challenge, but I hear that K-State held him to 10 points; adds that he "even chucked an airball from four feet" . . .

    So, KU 85-75.

    I didn't see you flying out to Vegas.


  3. from Luke Winn of CNNSI who last week put us at 8 on the power rankings:

    There's no disputing that the Jayhawks are one of the nation's better defensive teams; they rank fourth in the country in defensive efficiency through Tuesday. They're a phenomenal shot-blocking team, too, ranking second in the nation in block percentage (at 20.2). So why did they lose at Texas Tech last Saturday? Perhaps because -- and this is an insult one rarely hears -- they're a terrible layup team. KU missed 11 bunnies against the Red Raiders. "We've been a poor layup team all year long," coach Bill Self told the Kansas City Star. "We have to take advantage of them, because we work too hard to get them." The solution, according to freshman Darrell Arthur, is simple: "The easiest way to fix it is just to dunk it."
    Next three: 1/27 vs. Colorado, 1/29 at Nebraska, 2/3 vs. Texas A&M.

    Also, the big dogs of the Pac 10 took a beating this week with Oregon and UCLA losing, and Arizona took a beating at home vs. Carolina.

    I'm hoping that KU's rebounding and layup woes (and general lack of consistency) will be temporary. We're still in the hunt, but we can't keep playing rope-a-dope and be an elite team.

    Other than the nuts and bolts issues, the biggest problem is that the sophomores haven't improved much from the end of last season. Our talented freshman are playing as expected, but we need Chalmers, Rush, and Wright to get more consistent and fast.

  4. It was rather distressing to see Roy's Boys dominate Arizona in Tucson more convincingly than we did Colorado at the Fieldhouse.

    But yeah, missed layups were a huge problem against Iowa State as well. All together now... KISS IT OFF THE GLASS already!

    (This sort of goes along with the recurring theme of guys trying to make the impressive play rather than the easy play).

    In fairness, sophomore slumps are common to a lot of great players. Kirk, Nick and Drew were hardly dominant in their first two years, either. If only these guys would stick around, as Julian says he will. Their lack of improvement this year, as Chris puts it, indicates they might have to.

    Nebraska will not be an easy one. I can't think of a better prediction than Yancy's, so I'll defer.

  5. What does it mean that Texas Tech lost to Misouri by 13 after beating A&M and Kansas?

    It means they never got to crack the top 25.

    Is Missouri turning into a good team?

    Other bottom dwellers are definitely improving with USC getting into the top 25 (the pac-10 is fascinating this year) and Louisville's on a hot streak as well.