Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Goliath Wins! A Look Back


  1. Thanks for the great photo post, D.

    Was hoping somewhere out there I could find a pic of Self on his hands and knees as that last shot missed (that is right, isn't it? hands and knees? how I'll always remember it . . .), but no luck.

    Great photo of Rush, a Davidson player, and a leg.

    Is this for real? My oh my.

  2. Whoa, good job tracking down the "breaking news" there, Yance.

    Pics were culled from LJW, the Star and CBS. I also didn't see one of a prostrated Self (I think you're remembering that right -- we've got it on video at home); but I think some of these pics do capture the unease of the players and staff during the game...

  3. I just love #41 getting posterized twice in succession...

  4. He has a name, you know; poor Andrew Lovedale . . .

    Yeah, not sure a belatedly April Fool's is worth the trouble, but that's what happens when the blog posts slow down and Indiana takes over the coaching carousel conversation.

    Any more thoughts or predictions for Saturday? Or is it too soon?
    Keegan says 83-80 good guys.

    The result looks right to me, but I again think the score may be lower than that--wait, do I? Is that right? Bit of a head-scratcher.
    How about this: margin will be bigger, scoring is on the mark.
    83-74 Kansas.

  5. First, can I just take stock for a moment and reiterate how F-ING AWESOME this is?!

    1. Self's first Final 4.

    2. The first, also, for these players, including Self's first KU recruiting class (now seniors) and the two superstar classes that followed -- a group that has been groomed over the course of 4 years all in preparation for this moment...

    3. KU's first Final 4 since Roy's departure -- and we're matched up against the man himself.

    4. 20th anniversary of the last KU title -- with Danny himself sitting on our bench.

    5. The greatest Final 4 ever in terms of seeds -- all #1s for the first time.

    I remember how exciting it was in '93 when KU was the only non-#1 seed in a Final 4 with (yes) UNC, Kentucky and the Fab Five. But it didn't compare to this. (Of course we lost in that semi- to UNC, but never mind that)...

    We want to win the title no matter what, of course. But winning the title this time, in this particular scenario, would be just ... beyond words. It does not get any better than this, my friends.

  6. I also want to say for the record, that I am not hung up about beating Roy.

    Yes it would make a championship run all the sweeter, and may provide small solace if we beat the Heels and lose in the final.

    But I'm not going to judge Self poorly if he doesn't beat Roy in one game.

    To my knowledge, Self and Williams have faced off twice, and are 1-1.

    I'm determined to enjoy the proceedings after getting that monkey off and into the Final Four.

    Funny, I can barely remember 93. But I remember 88 and 91 well. And, of course, 02, 03.

    I sure hope we win Saturday and Monday, but most importantly, I want so see the guys having fun, playing with abandon.

  7. I don't think I can be quite as philosophical about it as Chris.

    I agree that beating Roy isn't the important thing here, and that a loss won't reflect poorly on Self. And it's true that we'll always look back on this season as a success, no matter what, now that we've made the Final 4.

    But this team has what it takes to win it all -- we've seen the development of this group over the last 3 years, and the time is now. Remember Brandon's comment before the tourney started:

    This is the year we've got to do it. We've got five seniors leaving. Some people might be leaving early. We've got to make it happen. We're not ever going to have a team like this again.

    20 years of being an also-ran is 20 years too many, dammit. We can and should win the championship -- although there is one big caveat to that: Memphis. If they play the way they did against MSU and UT, we'd have a lot of trouble beating them.

    But the Tigers, like the Tar Heels, are due for a bad game; and KU has the chops to force them into one...

  8. My heart says we will play very well.

    My head says we will lose.

    UNC looks so good - much better than in January, when I was salivating over a possible matchup.

    So I will predict UNC wins 89-84.

    Now, if either Chalmers or Rush light it up, and if Arthur explodes, well, things could get interesting.

    We can win with other guys playing well - Kaun, Jackson, Collins.

    But when's the last time Arthur has gone apeshit?

    I do not like this talk of using our bigs (especially Aldrich) to foul Hansbrough. He ain't shaky from the line, why foul? If you have to foul him, throw in Kleinman. Aldrich can contribute more than fouls.

    So, the inside-outside game has to be in swing. I don't think we can beat them with just one part of the machine working.

    We're due to get hot, Memphis and UNC (the most impressive teams of the tourney) are hopefully due to cool off.

    Arthur, now is the time to go apeshit. And move those feet!

  9. Some interesting analysis:

    "Generally speaking, when KU has been in a close game, it's usually its offense that has underperformed. Only in the two Big 12 tournament games against Texas A&M and Texas did KU end up in a shootout. The Jayhawks could be in store for one on Saturday, though, so it will be interesting to see how the Jayhawks respond, especially if they get down early. . .

    Kansas at its best is probably better than North Carolina at its best, but it's anyone's guess whether KU will bring its A-game on Saturday. Will the release of pressure that comes with finally getting to a Final Four allow Bill Self and his players to coach/play more freely than the Davidson game?

    Carolina has been hurt most often this season by teams with balanced scoring and strong frontcourt contributions." ESPN Andy Glockner

  10. My heart and head say we win...

    Our offense underperforms when we're in a grind-it-out game against a tough defensive team, a la Davidson or OSU. That won't be the case here.

    I'm not worried about offense. Who on Carolina is going to stop us? Nor am I worried about our defense, which has been uniformly excellent all year long.

    My only big concern is rebounding. If we allow "Psycho T" too many offensive boards (as we did w/ Damion James in that first UT game), then they have a shot.

    I agree, Chris, that just fouling Hansbrough in and of itself is useless. But the idea is, because we have so many frontcourt fouls to give, we can play aggressively on him the whole game w/out worrying so much about fouls.

    It's the best defense vs. the best offense; in that scenario, defense usually wins. And don't forget, we've got a pretty good offense, too -- second in efficiency only to, you guessed it, UNC.

    I think Keegan actually has it about right -- KU, 85-81.

  11. Encouraging words.

    Here's some encouraging video:

    Freshman Rush lights up Kentucky

    2008 highlights - a few Julian highlights somehow snuck in from last year.

    this one is the most artfully constructed, best music.

  12. Great.

    There goes some of our potential depth.

    Let's see if the NCAA can't keep the f#*%ing floors dry.

  13. That's a damn shame. Rod really helped us out when Rush and Sherron were out early in the year. Even though he hasn't played much of late, he definitely deserves some of the credit for this year's success, IMO.

  14. That's awful.

    What a start to the weekend.

    If you want to see it, the KC Star has video. Didn't look that bad, but he sure was in a lot of pain.
    Shame too, as he's a senior and all . . .

    I accept Deron's reasoning, though I do worry a bit about our offense. Some relatively high-scoring games (Baylor, for example, when we broke 100) involved weird offense difficulties (like the 0-9 three-point shooting in that Baylor game). Assuming we can either a) avoid a similar cold spell tomorrow or b) find other ways to score (36-46 free throwing against Baylor), I think we'll be all right.

    I do have confidence in our defense; even without Stewart on the bench, our back-court has to be the best defensive back-court around.

    I can live with this being as far as we get, and I agree that this is worth savoring.
    But I'm feeling pretty good about our chances of climbing that last ladder.