Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Who Are You & What Have You Done W/ Tyshawn?

Is that really Tyshawn Taylor -- the same guy who coughed it up 7 times vs. Memphis -- who now has a 24-2 assist/turnover ratio in the last four games? Is that really Tyshawn Taylor playing fundamentally sound basketball? Down the stretch against Cal he made a pick-and-roll play with Marcus that honestly reminded me of Stockton and Malone (sorry, Yance).

Sherron and Marcus were the big scorers, but they also made a lot of dumb plays that helped keep Cal in the game. The big heroes of this one were Tyshawn and Brady, who fulfilled all the things Self has been saying about him. The key stretch in the game was midway through the second half, when Brady made two big assists and a three -- would have had a third assist in that stretch if X hadn't missed an open shot.

Cole did look better; the twins were a bit spotty but not bad; T-Rob showed some signs but somehow turned it over 5 times in 9 mins. Elijah and C.J. are MIA.

As to the Texas comparison, I'm obviously being a bit wishy-washy about it. They were juggernaut-like this week against last year's finalists, while KU struggled a bit against good but not great competition.

Ken Pomeroy said recently that Texas has a better chance of going undefeated than Kansas, given that all of their toughest opponents, including Kansas, play them at home -- and he said that before they knocked off UNC and MSU. What do you think, guys? Is there room in the Big 12 for TWO JUGGERNAUTS?

Channel 6 highlight reel of last night's game is worth it just to see Self fist-bumping Santa. Merry Xmas, everybody!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Cole & Flu Season

Just as I was insisting to Yancy that Cole will be fine, the big guy goes out against Michigan and fails to make a field goal. He looked winded all through the second half, and Sherron says he's been using his inhaler a lot. Self is being a bit vague about it, and now I'm starting to worry -- just a little.

Compare this to the game that followed on ESPN -- Dexter Pittman and UT dismantling Carolina. Last year, Dexter looked like Shaq -- but Shaq circa 2009. This year, Dexter looks like Shaq circa 1997. Scaaaaary.

The good thing is, we have X and the new-look twins to make up for Cole's deficiencies in scoring. Is it possible that we can still be a championship team with Cole taking somewhat of a back seat? If he continues to pile up rebounds and blocks, I would say, definitely maybe. Unlike last season, this team's got some infrastructure. (Unfortunately, so does Texas).

Friday, December 18, 2009

Thoughts on Teams from Michigan

[This was a comment below, but seemed to outgrow itself.]

Wow--we're 0-5 all-time against Michigan! Will the streak end tomorrow?
9am Pacific is early for a Saturday, but I'll be ready.

Anyone want to make any predictions or break this thing down for me?

On a totally unrelated note, E and I saw Seattle U play Oakland last night--the same Oakland that KU beat 89-59. And the same Oakland whose Benson reportedly "manhandled" Cole...

Anyway, Seattle U lost 77-68 (which helps our Jayhawks' RPI, so I can't be too upset).
Most striking was that Benson didn't look nearly as good against SU as against Kansas. Sure, he had 5 blocks, 16 points, and 16 rebounds (better than his line at Allen), but last night he looked like one of many good players, whereas in Lawrence he was really the only way (as far I can remember) in which Oakland looked better than KU.

Which is all my way of saying 1) hey, Seattle U only lost by a few points to a decent Oakland team. Meanwhile 2) KU is so freakin' good that we beat that same team by 30. And 3) odd as it seems, this seems like a year where we have more trouble down low than with guards. But I hear Withey's eligible as of tomorrow, so since we're like 15 players deep in the post, I'm starting to feel awfully confident about this year.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Turner Gill and Things Of That Nature

Any thoughts on KU's new football coach? I don't know if I'm going to enjoy his press conferences, other than counting how many times he says "...and things of that nature," a la Darrell Hammond as Schwarzenegger.

His record seems comparable to Mangino's, but I'm inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt, because (a) his image is infinitely better than that of his predecessor, and (b) as Lew said, if he can recruit guys from Texas to Buffalo of all places, he can sure as hell recruit them to Kansas.

Back to hoops...

Comparisons being drawn between John Wall and Xavier: here and here. If we have to compare the two, I'd give the slight edge to Wall because he's had to lead at Kentucky from Day One, whereas X has had a cushier landing in college.

Also, one more salvo about our "weak" schedule: future KU road opponent Temple knocked off then-No. 3 Villanova this weekend. I saw 'Nova in person a few weeks ago making mincemeat out of the Terps; they're a great team. At the end of the Temple game, fans reportedly stormed the court chanting "We want Kansas!"

That's right: It is ON, baby!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

fieldhouse pics

My friend Russ took this awesome panoramic pic at the Alcorn State game.

And this is a cool pic he got at the Radford game of Xavier shooting a free throw.

A few quick questions:

Why didn't C.J. Henry play in the last two games? Ongoing injury issues?

Except for Memphis and UCLA we've beat everyone by 30+ Are we that good or have these cupcakes been that bad? Also, how vulnerable are we on the road?

And how much will Withey and Morningstar add to the team come January?


Monday, December 07, 2009

Bye, Bye, Baby

I'm really going to miss that little guy.

Any thoughts on the big news? Frankly, I'm glad to move on to the next era in KU football. As the saying goes, where there's smoke there's probably somebody smoking.

But thanks for bringing us some nice players and some nice memories, Coach. There's no doubt you left the program better than you found it.

Also, nice win last night against the hapless Bruins. As in the Memphis game, our guys didn't seem terribly inspired... There's a confidence bordering on arrogance about this team, which is not an entirely bad thing, but maybe they'll need a spanking at Tennessee to clear their heads.

* I know he had too many turnovers, but has any KU freshman ever looked less like a freshman than Xavier Henry?

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Alcorn State: The Massacre

How much credence does one give to a victory at home over an 0-10 squad? Precious little, obviously, but I just want to bask in this for a minute ...

** 98-31!
** 36-0 run in the first half, one point shy of an NCAA record.
** Fewest points allowed by Kansas since the Truman administration.

Best highlight reel is at

None of the highlight reels seem to contain Xavier's leapfrog over the Alcorn St. player in the first half, but it made SportsCenter's top plays. To see it, just click here, select top videos, and scroll over. Bonus feature is Dave Armstrong -- not "Wow!" but "Whoooop!"

Saturday, November 28, 2009

MU/KU Football

Anyone else watching? I'm posting this in the 3rd quarter as we are up 28-26. Mangino's back is against the wall and he has his guys fired up. Oh crap, Briscoe just fumbled again.

Aaron, if you are there, I heard there was an MU/KU marriage proposal what was universally booed, is that right?

Friday, November 27, 2009

Under the Radar

Anyone else see the Oakland game?
X looked much better, and Marcus Morris had a great game: 19 points, 11 rebounds, 2 of 3 from downtown, 5 of 8 at the line, and only one turnover.
Aldrich, on the other hand, was simply manhandled by that Benson fellow...
But on the whole it was a fun game to watch, and it's nice to see that we can win big (against small competition, but still) even with Cole having an unusually bad night.

Anyone else going to watch Tennessee Tech? Let me know if you need a link (shh).

Friday, November 20, 2009

KU rebounds against cruddy purple bears

I was able to watch this game live finally (I had to DVR the last two, after knowing the outcome of the Memphis game, grr). Anyway, it looked like our practices since Memphis were probably picked up a bit. This team we played though, did not have the bigs to stop our bigs. Plus, they shot like crap (mostly thanks to our excellent D) and it was pretty much hopeless at the outset. We've got three of these joke schools in a row. For a team that's supposed to be #1, why are we scheduling like we are K-State? This is apparently not a very good UCLA team we are going to play (lost in 2ot to Cal State Fullerton), but it is on the road, so maybe we will learn something. I am concerned we will not be ready when we go to Knoxville, TN. That is a very good team full of seniors and juniors that looks ready to run everyone out of the gym.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

St. Louis Blues

Unfortunately, like most people, I got my first view of the 2009-10 'Hawks from last night's butt-ugly game against Memphis in St. Louis.

Good news first: our inside game was dominant. Cole looked like the POY out there -- they credited him with 5 blocks, but he had more. The twins, as advertised, seem to have matured, except for Kieff fouling on a 3-point shot.

But the fact that we could dominate inside and still almost lose just goes to show how important guard play is in college hoops. Sherron was a hero at the end, and I like the fact that Xavier got 6 boards (a very Rush-like stat), but other than that our perimeter play su-u-u-ucked. The freshmen played scared -- not a surprise -- but so did Tyshawn and Tyrel. Even Sherron seemed off before he cramped up.

This team has hugely talented perimeter guys, but the question is, do we have any solid, dependable backcourt stalwarts to get us through these rough patches? Do we have a Russell Robinson?

Self's comments after the game seemed to indicate that Morningstar will be getting more playing time this season than most people assumed.

* Footnote: Scott, what do you think of your Tigers? Are they the real deal, or should 'Hawks fans be embarrassed that this game was so close?

* Another footnote: Do you think our players might have been distracted by this whole Mangino business? What's going on there, anyway?

* Also, one other key footnote about the game: We won! We won!

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Xavier Henry's line vs. Hofstra:

27 points
8-12 shooting
5-8 on threes
6-6 at the line
5 rebounds
2 assists
1 steal
1 block
0 turnovers

24 minutes. Good god.

Other numbers I like: 6 assists for Tyshawn, 23 points for Sherron, 4 blocks for Cole, 8 boards for Cole and 7 for Kieff. Also, 20-12 assists-to-TOs for the team.

This could be a juggernaut in the making. No, that's not a typo; I said "juggernaut."

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Gorilla Warfare

Kansas doubles up Pittsburg State!

Both the Journal-World and the Star devoted entire articles to Marcus Morris' tomahawk slam (highlights here). In fact, this was the Star's only article on the game. Has a single dunk ever gotten as many column inches as this one?

A lot of buzz, also, on Thomas Robinson. I'm going to reserve judgment on that, because big men always tend to look good against the D2 patsies. But I can't wait for my first opportunity to see this team play -- hopefully this week.

Friday, November 06, 2009

FHSU Highlights

Got the link from Sido; thought you'd like to see it (if you haven't already):

Emily and I watched a good deal of the game, but I didn't get a strong sense of the team (still trying to learn the names and numbers...). It was very nice that Elijah's highlight dunk started with Xavier on the floor making the steal and the pass.

Oh, and Deron has to be right about the ranking. Juggernaut. Should be a hell of a year.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

preseason #1

So we're the clear preseason #1, first game is tuesday against Temple, and I got myself a signed ball with the whole team and coach Self... Good times!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Late Night in the Phog

The new season is almost here and last night the newly renovated fieldhouse was packed and rocking.

The play was a little sloppy but still impressive. I couldn't believe how good of shape everyone was in. The Morris twins look like completely different players this year. And Xavier Henry is going to be amazing. He has incredible athleticism. Plus Cole and Sherron who were named co big 12 preseason players of the year! We are going to be tough to beat, to say the least.

The fieldhouse got a face lift and was unveiled last night. The sports museum was expanded and had all kinds of cool interactive exhibits. But the highlight had to be the giant trophy case in the center of it all.

The first game is nov. 3rd. Rock Chalk!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

X, Man!

Hoo boy.

It just seemed too good to be true, but as with so many Bill Self recruiting stories, the best-case scenario has come to pass. Xavier Henry's a Jayhawk -- as is C.J. apparently.

If we were the 2010 pre-season #1 already, now we're ... well, put it this way -- no one else is even worthy of #2.

Depending on which list you look at, X may be the biggest Kansas recruit since Manning. (Don't hold me to that, but that's an educated guess. Julian, Nick, Paul and Raef were big recruits, but were any of them ranked as high as #3 in their class?)

But even if X doesn't turn out to be the second coming, that's OK. This team is so loaded, he doesn't need to be. He'll have his ups and downs like any freshman, but if he can just average double figures -- and believe me, if you've seen this kid's jump shot, he can -- that should be enough to put us over the top.

This gives Kansas the holy trinity of great players that most championship teams must have -- guard, wing, big man.

Kansas 2010: Collins, Henry, Aldrich
Carolina 2009: Lawson, Ellington, Hansbrough
Kansas 2008: Chalmers/Collins, Rush, Arthur
Florida 2006-7: Green, Brewer, Noah/Horford
Carolina 2005: Felton, McCants, May
Syracuse 2003: McNamara, Anthony, Warrick
Duke 2001: Williams, Dunleavy, Boozer
Duke 1991-2: Hurley, Hill, Laettner
Kansas 1988: Pritchard, Newton, Manning

Scott, we haven't heard from you in a while... Thoughts? I'm genuinely sorry that so many of KU's recent successes seem to come at Memphis's expense...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I'm Back, Baby!

But more importantly, so are Cole and Sherron.

Here's some video on the announcement.

So, are we #1?

And, this kind of puts all that hand wringing about Xavier/Cal/Lance in perspective.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Here We Go

Finally the wait is over. The good news is rolling in--someday we'll look back on April 3rd as a historic day, the day that the Iowa Supreme Court finally did the right thing and
in an unrelated story, the day that the AP named Bill Self national coach of the year.

Congrats, coach!

Hell of a year. Hell of a year!

And in other news, although there's no word from Stephenson, Xavier Henry wants to be a Jayhawk, according to his father.

It's a good day to be an American, and a good day to be a Jayhawk.

Rock Chalk!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Gone To Seed

Chris texted me to say this was one of the least disappointing of KU's tourney exits, and I would have to agree. After all, we played to seed; we met or exceeded expectations for the year; and we made a heroic effort against the Spartans.

What hurts is that this was a winnable game, and we seemed to be the better team. Cole and Sherron were near-unstoppable, Brady and Tyrell had some nice moments, and we played with great aggression on both ends of the court. But we were undone by some of the usual problems -- turnovers, lack of scoring balance, poor shot selection by our freshmen. And credit to MSU for making some big, timely baskets and stops.

(What also hurts, by the way, is being outdone by Mizzou. When was the last time they advanced further than Kansas? Early '90s?)

Interesting turning point here. It feels to me -- and this is just an instinct -- that if we had pulled this one out we would have definitely seen Cole and/or Sherron bolt for the pros regardless of what happened in the next round. The two of them played like superstars, esp. in the first half. The hype on them if we had won this game would have been blinding. But since we lost, maybe not so much.

If those guys are back, we're a Final Four favorite in 2010. If they're back and Lance Stephenson commits, we're the favorite for the national title.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Anything Mizzou Can Do...

I'm still sort of in shock that the MU Tigers beat the MU Tigers last night -- at least that they did it so convincingly. I've seen Mizzou play well this year, but nowhere near THAT well. Sorry, Scott, but at least it's a boon to the Big 12. Can KU and OU follow suit?

Also glad, of course, to see the Devils go down in flames. Duke's now-customary comeuppance has become my second favorite event in the tourney every year, next to any KU win.

I've been going back and forth on this MSU game. They have the much more balanced and experienced team. It's an even match statistically, although they rebound better than us. Defensively, it's a little scary to consider their big men doing to Cole what we did to Hansbrough last year -- and MSU's Travis Walton spending day and night studying Sherron like an FBI profiler.

But ... we have the revenge factor, which is always a big psychological advantage, as is the underdog status, which we so rarely get to enjoy as Kansas fans. Even more important, they haven't played anyone as good as us ... ever since they did play us way back when. And it is a scientific fact that the Big 10 sucks this season.

So... OK, that settles it. 'Hawks by 5!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Will he stay or will he go?

There's a nice article about Sherron on If we somehow make it back into the final four this year is it likely that Sherron will go? Surprisingly the article says that Sherron is going to leave it up to Self to decide. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Self will want Sherron to head the team for sure next year. If we can hang on to Aldrich and Sherron we will be, with out question, one of the most dominate teams in the nation. Who knows how things will work out though. I think we actually turned into a better all around team having lost Julian a couple years ago. But I think the case is very different wit Sherron. I don't know if you could really fault Sherron for going but I think he could be even better if he waited one more year. Is everybody too focused on Friday to care about this issue yet? Thoughts?

Monday, March 23, 2009

No-Fly Zone

I had my doubts going into the weekend, but it's on to the Sweet 16 once again.

Cole snags the triple-double and becomes immortalized in tourney history. That had to be the most dominant individual tourney performance for KU at least since Collison against Duke in '03.

Sherron was nearly as good; Keegan has a good column (can't believe I just said that) in which Self really sings Sherron's praises -- an interesting counterpoint in a year when a lot of KU observers (including myself) have been quick to criticize him.

I have to admit, as Coach Self did, we were lucky that Dayton was terrible offensively. There were a lot of stretches when the 'Hawks went cold and the Flyers had a chance to build some momentum, but they just seemed to self-destruct on the offensive end. Their wing players were kamikazes, repeatedly driving right at Cole and getting it sent back every single time.... and then doing it again. But give our defense just a little credit as well -- Dayton had no problem against supposed defensive juggernaut West Virginia the other day.

The biggest concern now: Have we become too much of a two-man show? By my count, the dynamic duo scored 93 of Kansas's 144 points over the weekend. Mario, Tyrel and Marcus had some nice moments here and there, but that consistent third option has never materialized. Does it need to?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

I think I just smiled at him

Is there some way both versions could be right? Please?

One of Collins’ misses was put back hard by Aldrich, who dunked, was fouled and hit a free throw, upping a 73-67 lead to 76-67 with 1:53 left.

KU’s team leaders and fast friends — Collins said they have hung out off the court together a lot more this season than last — visited on the court after that bucket.

“I told him, ‘That’s how you go up and dunk. That’s how you finish at the rim. He whispered in my ear, ‘Da da da, da da da,’’’ Collins added, singing the theme song from ESPN’s SportsCenter.

Aldrich’s version?

“He always says some of the goofiest things,” he said of Collins. “He said, ‘Good follow (shot), way to go crash the boards.’ I think I just smiled at him.”

So it is indeed the Flyers for us tomorrow. Thoughts? I feel confident about our ability, and yesterday can't but be good for the team.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Death March To Minny?

There's a lot of fear and trembling in Jayhawk-land going into the tourney this year. Everyone seems to agree that the Midwest is the toughest bracket, and that the 'Hawks are ripe for an upset.

Keegan says we have no chance (although he's doing it to try to reverse-jinx our boys). Fox Sports puts N. Dakota St. on their list of Cinderellas and Kansas on their list of likely early exits. The Wall Street Journal also envisions a possible first-round upset. Joe Lunardi has us losing to West Virginia. CBS Sportsline's Doyel has us losing to Dayton. One notable exception is the KC Star's Upon Further Review blog, which puts us in the Final Four -- but I can't tell if they're being facetious.

The good thing about all of this is that the fashionable upset picks often don't materialize -- and it obviously provides good bulletin board material for our players. But I'm not going to ignore the evidence; NDSU is exactly the type of team best suited to beat us: deadly outside shooting, packed with 5th-year seniors who have won games against major conference competition, and headed by a major game-breaker on the offensive end, Ben Woodside, who seems an excellent candidate to pull another Voskuil (Texas Tech) on us. Plus once again the committee has set us up for a road game -- Minneapolis is just a few hours away from NDSU's campus.

The KC Star's statistical breakdown gives NDSU the advantage over KU in 10 of 15 categories. The one good thing here, though, is that even with our much stronger strength of schedule, we're a lot better than they are in one very important category -- FG percentage defense. Soooo... if we can just keep the unforced turnovers to a minimum and get out on their shooters, we should be OK. I think. (shudder)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Big 12 Blog-a-thon

And we're off...

Anyone catch Texas Tech's comeback against the Aggies last night? Sort of takes the curse off of our loss in Lubbock, but wow, I've never seen a team look as flummoxed as Turgeon and co. at the end of that game. Does this lock them out of the Dance for sure?

KU-Baylor is T-minus 80 minutes -- I'll be furtively following it at the office.

I hope you're all on board, and online, for the rest of our 2009 run.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

KU Big XII Champs; Kleinmann: The white Bill Russell

That's right b*tches! Five Rings for the Kleinmann, he is unstoppable! :)

Anyway, it was good to see us gather ourselves in a tough grind it out game and pull it out, even if it was at home. Damion James was having a great game, but Aldrich and Taylor woke up just in time to put an end to it. Seems like they let Pittman bang a lot in that game, we're going to be in trouble at whatever point in the tourney Aldrich gets into foul trouble. If we can weather that part of the game, we might be able to sneak out another elite 8 I think.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Wait, What?

I don't even know what we can say about last night.

(Photo from

Better now than in a post-season game, I suppose.

Have we won a single game in Lubbock this century? What gives?

But hey, we won the Big 12, so it's not all doom and gloom . . .

Sunday, March 01, 2009


Down goes Mizzou!

"I'm falling in love with this team" --Self.

"I think today was just one of those days that went well for us" --Collins.

WOW! We looked great today. Cole had 19 points and 14 rebounds. Sherron had 25 points and looked good except for a couple of crazy drive attempts. I actually sat next to his grandma at the game. She was cheering like crazy. I think he's realizing that he doesn't have to do it all. As long as Brady or Reed or Taylor has a decent game we're solid. I'm not sure how many turnovers we had but it was far fewer than in the last game at Mizzou. So which is it: was Mizzou that overrated, or are we this good? I'm inclined to think it's the latter. We seemed to handle the press much better this game. Thoughts?

To top it all off, Heinrich's jersey was retired at halftime. Collison was also there. Here's a few pics:

I can't wait for the big 12 tournament and a likely matchup with the, this time, Blake Griffin led Sooners. We seem to have a legit shot at a #2 seed which I never would have believed at the beginning of the season. Can't wait for the madness!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Somebody Should Do a Post

Border War coming up.

Still my favorite shirt logo . . .

Thoughts? Predictions?

Oh, just wanted to say, by the bye, that I agree with Deron with respect to Sherron shaking off the called plays. It worked, and I grant that his attitude is part of his greatness, but wow was that unsettling to read!

Hey, they're hanging Kirk's jersey Sunday! Right on.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

We're Number One!

In the conference, that is.

But I'll take it. What a game!

Thanks to for the photo.

This team is fast becoming one of my favorite teams to watch. So many scoring options, such great team play; so many impressive individual efforts (20 rebounds for Cole! Wow).

Great numbers, courtesy of

KU is 12-1 in the Big 12. It’s KU’s best conference 13-game record since the 2001-02 team went 16-0 ... KU has won at least 12 conference games for nine straight seasons. ... KU has won five straight versus OU. ... OU had a 19-game homecourt win streak snapped. OU had won 10 straight league games at home. ... KU is 15-15 at Noble Center. ... Oklahoma, at No. 3 in the AP poll, was the highest ranked team KU has beaten this season and the highest-ranked since beating Memphis (No. 2) in last year’s National Championship game.

Friday, February 20, 2009


Big couple of days coming up for us, fellow silent fans. Nebraska was a tough win the first time around, but I assume (unwisely?) that playing at Allen will give us a decided advantage.

But then on Monday we play down in Norman, and I'm going to go ahead and say that 1) the advantage is definitely not ours, and that 2) if we win there it would easily be the biggest win of the season. Can we do it? We sure looked good for most of the last couple games, and we didn't look all that bad, as Deron mentioned, against Mizzou . . . but, boy, this one looks tough.

Oh what the hell, I'll do it: KU by 3: 82-79.

Let's go 'hawks!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

'Hawks Retake Manhattan

I tuned into the KU-KSU game late, to find our boys down 28-13. From there Marcus took over and our rally began. So in the game I saw, KU wins 72-46.

Marcus continues alternating between brilliance (see Baylor and K-State) and embarrassing (see Mizzou, though I still believe he got a raw deal on that technical). But KU fans need to be patient -- his upside, and Markieff's as well, earns him some indulgences.

Cole looks to have his offensive groove back with a new mask. Marcus engineered our comeback in this one, but Cole was the one who slammed the door shut at the end. Very authoritative performances considering these guys are both still underclassmen.

Our guard play was a little spotty -- too many turnovers, fouls and points scored against by Clemente and Pullen. Gotta love the 8-for-12 three-point shooting, though.

Also, in fairness, since I always complain about turnovers, the Star's J. Brady McCullough has an interesting piece explaining why turnovers are a necessary component of Self's style. Given the results in terms of wins and losses, maybe I should stop whining about it so much.

Any thoughts? Hellooooo......

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

40 Minutes Of Turnovers

Congrats to Mike Anderson and Mizzou for grinding the 'Hawks down last night. I hope they go far -- just not at KU's expense from here on out.

I think we just got gassed in this one. Fran Fraschilla made the good observation that the Tigers' pressure is "cumulative." Hence "40 minutes of hell."

Of course, the officiating was an atrocity: Sherron was clearly fouled on his missed drive in the last minute; Marcus' bump of the ref seemed very clearly to be incidental contact; Morningstar would have had only one turnover if not for a ridiculous 3-second call in the backcourt and a downright ludicrous 5-second call on that inbounds pass -- the ref never even made it to 4 before blowing the whistle!

Our freshmen obviously made mistakes, as expected. But Tyshawn was our most productive offensive player, and Releford had a coming-out party.

Morningstar, Mario and esp. Reed played with a lot of grit, but we needed more scoring from them than we got.

To me, the biggest problem in this game -- and some of our other losses -- has been the stars. Sherron seemed completely stymied throughout. Cole was tough as a rebounder and defender, but despite Self's and Keegan's protests that he didn't get enough touches, the fact is that when he did get touches he repeatedly committed the Chenoweth-ian mortal sin of bringing the ball down to waist-level where the Lilliputians could strip it. That mask can't come off soon enough for me...

Also, Self needs to do a better job preserving those timeouts -- he seemed to think the sky was falling every time Mizzou cut it to 7.

Take heart, though, kids. Despite 27 turnovers and home cookin' from the zebras, we would have won this game minus a few unlucky bounces. Revenge will be forthcoming.

Monday, February 09, 2009

nice seats

My friend Russ and I got some pretty amazing seats at last Saturday's OSU game. The handicapped section completely filled up so that had no where else to put us but in front of the espn sound guy next to the OSU bench. We literally could have reached over and grabbed some of their Gatorade. Here's a couple pics.

Except for Appleton I think we looked pretty good. Even with that stupid mask thing Aldrich grabbed something like 16 rebounds. Morningstar still makes me a bit nervous when he in bounds the ball though. Other than that he seems to be getting better. I think their confidence is up and just in time for what is sure to be a tough Mizzou game tonight. I think this will be a big test for them. Do you guys think we have a chance to run the table in the big 12? Texas has proven to be a weaker team than most thought early on but the obvious challenge is OK on the road. If we can somehow beat them I think we can beat anyone. Honestly our only bad loss was Umass and that was pretty early on. Can't wait for March!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

The Rivalry Is Back -- Maybe

After watching KU beat OSU Saturday, Jason Whitlock concludes that Missouri is the better team. Is he right? IS HE RIGHT?

Looking at the two resumes side by side, I'll stick with my guys. Winning in Austin was impressive -- losing at Manhattan and Lincoln, on the other hand...

But there's no question that Mizzou is back, and that's good news for the conference. Both teams will probably be ranked -- KU should be in the teens now -- and Big Monday will really mean something.

I wouldn't be surprised if we lose this one, given that it's our freshmen's first Columbia foray, and the Tigers are more than capable of teeing off on our jitters/turnovers. But if our guys can relax and keep their heads above water early, I think we'll prove we've got the better team.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Back In Business

We neglect this blog for a few weeks and suddenly the 'Hawks are 7-0 in conference, back in the Top 25 and battling for a good seed in March.

Last night's road win over Baylor was the biggest of the year so far -- bigger than Tennessee given its conference significance. Now we're in excellent position to contend for 2nd; I don't see OU faltering -- they could go 16-0 -- but Texas and Mizzou already have 2 losses each and everyone else, oddly enough, has a losing record.

What a great 2nd half performance that was -- not only were the 'Hawks executing, but they were making all the hustle plays. The highlight was a seemingly endless scrum for the ball under Baylor's basket that finally culminated with a lay-in by Mario Little -- and the KU bench just exploded (see photo above, and the highlight reel).

Just as Cole's production has declined a bit (probably has to do with that ridiculous HazMat facemask), others have stepped it up. Sherron played one of his best games ever last night: His shot was spotty, but he didn't force it this time, kept his teammates involved, and stymied Jerrells on the defensive end -- not to mention breaking Simien's KU record for consecutive free throws.

Morningstar and Reed have, out of nowhere, become the glue guys, seemingly never missing a defensive assignment or an open 3. Morningstar played all 40 minutes yesterday, and Reed, as has become his custom, hit a huge clutch jumper.

Taylor, Little and the Twins remain inconsistent, but are all becoming increasingly confident and increasingly dangerous to any opponent who overlooks them. (Scott Drew seemed stunned that the Twins had this kind of performance in them).

The toughest games are yet to come, but the future looks bright, my friends.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Pummel the Powerkittenz

The Purple Kitties have shown some flashes where they looked talented when they play chumps, but anytime they've played a decent team, their true colors show.

I predict Jayhawk transcendence to the tune of 72-59.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Somebody has to say it.

This photo from seems to about capture my feeling about the game.

Turnovers; lack of scoring; poor rebounding (what did we give up, like 14 offense boards in the 1st half??) . . . I was so ready for Scott to repeat his prediction glory with respect to Morningstar, but it just wasn't there. So much just wasn't there.


To their credit, KU won the second half, and finished with some decent fight. Far too late, of course, but it made for a nice silver lining or light at the end of the tunnel or some such.

K-State didn't look too hot at home against OU, but I have no idea what to expect on Tuesday . . .

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Vols To The Wall

Whew. We needed that one. I don't know if this gets us into the Top 25, but it at least gets us off the bubble for the moment. And maybe we've turned a corner.

This was the way we need Sherron to play all the time -- more Chris Paul than Allen Iverson. The nine assists were the key. He dished the ball enough to keep the defenders honest, which in turn helped him score at will.

And Aldrich was equally good, playing a flawless game (other than two dumb TOs in the first half) against tough frontcourt competition. We're starting to almost take him for granted this year, but I can't overstate just how rare it is to have an underclassman play with this kind of confidence in the post.

Morningstar had three turnovers, but he also made six assists and a heroic effort on those contested inbounds passes. He's starting to look more and more like he belongs out there; I wasn't so sure before, but his defense on Budinger and his performance in this one are giving me pause.

And the enigmatic Tyshawn was an underrated contributor as well. During Collins' second-half breather TT scored three straight hoops; at that point I figured it was just our day.

Mario Little looks like he can theoretically contribute, but if he's still hobbled now, should he just redshirt? That wouldn't be the best thing for the team, but maybe best for him.

Everybody's now looking ahead to MSU, but don't sleep on Siena this week. That's a tournament team right there, and our boys are due for a letdown.