Monday, December 03, 2007

Super Sunday

KU beats USC, our toughest noncon opponent? Check.

Texas beats UCLA, a coup for KU's ranking and for the Big 12? Check.

KU football invited to the Orange Bowl for the first time since 1968? Check.

Mizzou football snubbed by BCS after being No. 1 all last week? Priceless.


  1. The last point has me feeling awfully conflicted--justice vs. that rivalry stuff . . .

    Took us a while to locate a friendly TV yesterday, since KU/USC was during a Seahawks game, but we saw most of it, and although there were some frustrating aspects, I was once again loudly applauding "D-Jax." He provides some much-needed stability to our impressive but unpredictable team.

  2. Yeah, despite my snarky comment, I also have mixed feelings on KU being selected over Mizzou. It's hard to feel sorry for the Tigers, but I hate to see KU benefit from what seems like an unfair process.

    As for basketball, I also agree -- DJ wins co-MVP along w/ Mario. Thirteen boards -- that's more like it! (Shout-out also to Shady for his 8 boards, even though he couldn't get it going offensively).

    Speaking of offense, Scott predicted when Sherron went down that we'd lose some early games because we couldn't score; well, so far he was half right. Our offense was anemic in this game as it was against 'Zona -- not only was Brandon ice cold, but Mario, Russell and Rod notched 14 turnovers to 2 assists. That's the kind of play that killed us against UCLA; yes, Sherron will help, but we should expect smarter play from our veterans.

    Still, as w/ 'Zona, that's a good win against a Pac-10 team with major NBA talent.

    Subhead from today's Wichita Eagle:
    This Mayo Is Expired

  3. Now I know some of our contributors (or is he our only contributor? anyone? anyone?) have been, um, critical of Tom Keegan, but this piece on Darnell is a good read:
    Keegan: Jackson having a blast

    By Tom Keegan (Contact)

    Posted Wednesday, December 5, 2007

    Watching Darnell Jackson play basketball for Kansas University is such a stress-free experience.

    It doesn’t involve questions about how he’ll fit as an NBA player. It doesn’t leave the spectator asking: Does he look like he could be trying harder, or am I the only one who sees that? Or: Which Darnell Jackson will show up today? Or: Why did he take that shot? Or: What is so hard about making free throws?

    What you see with Jackson is what you get: a 6-foot-8, 250-pound block of muscle and energy, a non-step effort guy living in the moment, enjoying the heck out of playing a key role for the nation’s third-ranked college basketball team.

    Jackson never stopped improving and won’t until the day he exhausts his eligibility. A case could be made his biggest improvement came between his junior and senior seasons, which isn’t all that common. He’s shooting .588 from the field, .500 on 3-pointers, .824 from the line. He’s averaging 10.9 points and a team-high 6.4 rebounds. His body language on the court says he’s having the time of his life.

    “I’m loving it right now,” Jackson said before Tuesday’s practice. “I’m loving every minute of it. My mind is clear. My mom is doing great. My brother and sister are in school. I’m out here having fun with my teammates and trying to learn every day from all the coaches helping me out.”

    He must wish it could last forever.

    “Sometimes I wish it will last, but I know life goes on,” Jackson said. “When my time comes for me to go on and make a new life on my own, I’m going to be ready for it.”

    Jackson has been ready for whatever challenge has come his way seven games, all victories, into the season. Nobody on the roster has been more consistent.

    “My mind-set is I try to outplay the next big guy, try to be more physical than he is,” Jackson said. “Try to hit him before he hits me. ... I just try to keep that mind-set when I’m out there, and I don’t care how tall the guy is. If he’s 7-1, I’m going to try to play like I’m 7-1, too.”

    Jackson doesn’t have long arms and isn’t a natural shot-blocker, but he has willed himself into becoming a better defender.

    “He’s not as tall, therefore guys can score over him in the post, but we haven’t faced a team yet that just throws it inside,” Self said. “Even ’SC didn’t throw it inside. They threw it to their big guys, and they just faced it and drove it the whole time, but I think Darnell, when he’s turned up — which he has been the whole season — he becomes a good defender and certainly has been our best rebounder by far.”

    Not many basketball players who carry 250 pounds are as active as Jackson.

    “My teammates look at me to bring some energy,” Jackson said. “That’s what I try to do so we can get something going, or if I take a charge, or if I get an offensive rebound and throw it back out and we get a big shot from Mario (Chalmers) for a 3, I feed off that. I feed off of guys taking charges, getting and-ones.”

    Jackson never gives the impression his hunger is satisfied.

    “When I first got here, when I first ran out there for the first game, I got chills running up and down the spine,” he said. “I still get that every time, whether they call my name in introductions or I’m coming into a game off the bench.”

  4. That was good. I actually haven't found any good bad Keegan quotes lately; maybe he's got a ghostwriter now.

    Saw USC/Memphis last night; a good way to compare the Tigers with KU. I think we're more disciplined than them (even if we haven't shown it in some recent outings) but I'm a little concerned that they could eat us alive on the offensive boards. We'd need Darnell to REALLY have a monster game in that one.

    Any thoughts, Scott?

  5. Coach Cal after the game said that that was "the worst game he ever coached" even though he won. He said that he thought of all kinds of things to prepare Memphis for USC but "everything he told his players to do was just wrong". He is hilarious.

    Anyway, it was Chris Douglas-Robert's worst game in 2 years and Derek Rose's worst game too. Awful all around.