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.


  1. Really? No one has anything to say?

  2. Sorry.

    I agree with you and Chris (and I think it's fun to know that although the three of us did not actually all speak, we were all texting similar comments back and forth ...).

    I would also add--and I know I've said this before--that this team has been one of my favorites. Never knew quite what to expect, which made the games exciting, and when they were good (as in the Mizzou game at Allen) they were amazing. Didn't have the high-flying ally-oop dunks of some of Self's other teams, and there was no one as exciting (or frustrating) as a Drew Gooden, but a team built around Collins' ability to drive and Aldrich's ability to rebound and throw crazy outlet passes is a team I like to watch.

    Especially after seeing how some of the other games went last weekend, ours looks like a decent way to lose. Yes, we gave up a lead, but I'm pretty sure I'd prefer that to the sort of embarrassment that Louisville or Oklahoma were subjected to.

    (Parenthetical response to parenthetical remark: I know I'm walking on eggs with this thought, but I really like what Mike Anderson is doing at Mizzou, and to the extent that getting deep (but not too deep) should help keep him there, I think I'm actually all right with their success. Maybe.)

    As far as Cole and Sherron, it was interesting to see Sherron be voted a 3rd team all-American while Cole received only an honorable mention. Nice to see that hype has its limits. My guess is that they'll both come back, but of course we'll have to wait and see.

    Speaking of waiting, when will Stephenson decide? And when will they announce that Self is the coach of the year?