Monday, February 05, 2007

Aggies 69, 'Hawks 66

Well, at least I predicted one of this weekend's games correctly. Wish it hadn't been the Super Bowl.

The Big 12 South finally takes one at the Fieldhouse. And my dreams of a 15-1 conference season are crushed.

From where I sat (at a crowded bar between Haley and a drunken middle-aged dentist) I thought we played a pretty terrific game, except that with just a few minutes left we stopped making shots and they stopped missing. Sometimes basketball is just that simple.

We can still win the conference--we could even move back into a tie for first as soon as tonight (Big Monday, Texas at A&M). But a 1 seed is almost out of the question now. Even if we do win the conference, a lot of people will assume it's just because the Aggies had the tougher schedule.

To the "adult" who reportedly "screamed an obscenity, ordering Sasha Kaun to 'make your free throws' as Kaun exited through the northwest tunnel after the game"... You, sir, are a jackass.


  1. This was a crusher.

    I totally blame Self for insisting on running the offense through Kahn for the last 5 minutes who is just flat not good enough to warrant that kind of offensive focus. Results (IIRC): 2 turnovers (off his stone-like hands), 1 awkwardly missed shot, and 2 misses on the front end of 1 and 1's. Blech. WTF was he doing in the game at all with under 3 to go in a tight game? Jackson shoots 20 points higher than him at the line and is capable of mostly the same stuff.

    I'm not on any fire Self bandwagon at this time, but this game sure didn't help at all.

  2. Perhaps Scott was the anonymous Kaun-taunter.

    I don't entirely disagree, but in fairness, Sasha has made big plays down the stretch before (see: Iowa State); he brings more offense than DJ and more defense than DA.

    And I've been on Self's case too, but I hope there aren't any "fire the bum" bandwagons for a coach who's led a team of underclassmen to 17-4.

  3. Come on: 20-4! We can take K-State. And we really have to now that A&M beat Texas last night. Seems to me that every game's a must-win from here on out. . . .

    I take it, by the way, that Scott's not screaming obscenities at Kaun for missing, but is rather criticizing Self for leaving him in there. If your offense/defense break-down is right, DGL, all that suggests is that switching DA & DJ would've been just as reasonable as leaving Kaun in; plus SK's poor free-throwing = he should've been on the bench, no?

    Anyway, no bandwagoneering here either, though he does make me nervous. And those time-outs . . . what bothers me, if you're wondering, is that when you call a timeout & draw up a play which then fails, things grind to a stop in a way that compounds the problem; or so it seems from where I sit.

    KU 100, K-State 75. Let's right this ship!

  4. KU 80 KSU 76. It will be an intense game and KSU hits enough 3s to keep things scary down the stretch. Then the Jayhawks decide to get tough and not repeat the A&M mistakes (Self keeps SK out) and good defense combined with decent foul shooting win the game for us. One of the bigs has to step up and we need to defend the perimeter better. Do this and withstand the inevitable barrage of threes and the late run that goes along with it and we will be fine.

  5. Apparently the only bandwagon here is not "fire Self" but "bench Kaun." Keegan agrees with all of you on that, though as usual he doesn't explain himself very well.

    But when Self was asked about it, he stood by his player.

    Taking Sasha out might have helped, but I'm not big on silver bullet explanations for what was a team-wide collapse, as discussed here and here. Besides, there's no doubt that for all his faults he's been our most consistent post player.

    As for tonight, KSU is on a roll but they're not ready for this kind of heat. KU by 12.

  6. I'm not saying bench anyone, I'm just saying that down the stretch in close games it's reasonable to go with players with higher free-throwing percentages.

    Self "stood by" the kid? Here's the quote:
    "Maybe he should have been out of the game in some people’s minds. I will not come out and say I will definitely take one of my players out every time the game is on (the line). I will not say that, even if I feel it, because what message are you sending to your players?"


    I agree, for whatever it's worth, that this one particular decision can't be seen as decisive. A generally disappointing ending to the game, but not really the fault of one player or one decision. I mean, if Law didn't hit his first 3 of the game w/25 seconds left, who knows? And B Rush was right there on him . . .

    Oh well, tonight should be a nice opportunity to shake that loss.

    Oh, and since Chris isn't posting these days, I'll take it upon myself to offer a list of the other top 25 teams who lost last weekend, just so we don't get to thinking it's just us (and, not for nothing, we lost to another top 25 team, which can't be said of any of these other teams):

    UNC (3) lost to NC State 79-83

    Oregon (9) (sorry, Ismail) lost to USC 68-71

    Duke (10) lost to Florida State 67-68

    OK State (14) lost to Colorado 77-89

    Virginia Tech (18) lost to BC 59-80

    Notre Dame (19) lost to South Florida 63-69

    Clemson (21) lost to Georgia Tech 62-80

    Texas (23) lost to K State 72-73

    Indiana (25) lost to Iowa 75-81

  7. Bench Kaun in crunch time, I meant. That seems to be the consensus, and will be until someone else makes a mistake in crunch time (or Sasha makes clutch plays again like he did against ISU).

    There just seems to be a tendency not only among bloggers but sportswriters in general to make sweeping conclusions about a team or player based on what happened in the last game, and often in just one crucial moment of the last game. I personally like Sasha's game and don't necessarily want to see him always riding the pine from the 3:00 mark just because of what happened Saturday.

    I don't know how you read that Self quote; it obviously wasn't a resounding vote of confidence, but he refused to say he would categorically take Sasha out in crunch time, and I think that was exactly the right response.

    Anyway, thanks for the list. That does make me feel better.