Thursday, January 31, 2008

Splattered All Over Manhattan

Ha -- well, good thing that wasn't on TV, right?

The undefeated dream is dead; the Bramlage streak is dead. Time to move on.

We did do some good things in this game -- didn't let Beasley dominate the paint, and shot free throws very well (17 of 20). Brandon and Darrell got a (somewhat) impressive seven rebounds each.

But that wasn't enough. We shot better than they did (though not from beyond the arc) but didn't box out as a team; they got 16 offensive rebounds on us, and seemingly scored on all of them. Individually we didn't get enough rebounding from DJ (4 in 30 minutes) or Sasha (3 in 20). Plus we got a lot of near-steals where our guys turned upcourt for the fast-break before securing possession of the ball; then KSU would take it back and score easily since all our guys were out of position.

Also, Self made a big mistake by putting us into full-court press panic mode with a full five minutes left in the game. If we had just played our game and gotten a few stops in a row, we could have easily clawed back, but our full-court press just resulted in easy baskets or free throw trips for KSU on every possession from then onward.

Of course we couldn't control their hot 3-point shooting -- a lot of those were guarded -- or the poor officiating. The final foul totals don't show it, but when the game was close every key call went against us. Like when Sasha got called for traveling after snagging a loose ball, despite the fact that (a) he was clearly fouled, and (b) though he was fouled he still clearly DID NOT MOVE HIS FEET. Oh, the humanity!

Anyway, I'm sure we'll recover from this, but it is disconcerting that we're now trailing KSU in the conference standings -- AND that now we may be ranked below Duke.


  1. It is funny that a game that managed to be front-page news in Seattle (?) was only seen by Kansans and sports-bar denizens . . .

    It's good of you to point out some positives (though I think you exaggerated the free throw number a bit).
    Another positive:
    some text messages that came in after the final buzzer:
    ". . .but we are 20-1. We shall overcome!"
    "Wait til we get em in lawrence"

    Well said, all.

    Two things bothered me, however, a little more than I'm comfortable with.
    1) I did not enjoy learning that our back-court--the nation's best, I've heard it called--can be shut down so thoroughly. The numbers weren't terrible, but it's hard to find much to celebrate.
    Most telling stat: 3 steals in the entire game. And no steals (NONE) by Chalmers . . .

    2) My least favorite part about losses like this one is having to hear lame phrases like "wake-up call" and "learning experience." We lost. Isn't that bad enough? Why make it worse by smothering me with clichés?

  2. Ha, nice catch on the free throw numbers, Yance. I just hope we live to see the day when a KU team shoots 115% from the line...

    That's now corrected, and I moderated my praise for Rush's and Shady's rebounding numbers, upon reflection.

    I think you're being a little rough on Chalmers, however. He scored 19 points, after all. The problem wasn't so much that our backcourt got shut down, it's that they failed to shut KSU's backcourt down -- which we sort of assumed would be a given.

    I mean, who the hell is Jacob Pullen?

    Anyway, we'll get 'em when we play in Africa!