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!


  1. It was ugly indeed! It's so frustrating that you played like that in our first big televised game. We honestly looked like a different team in the first 3 games at the fieldhouse. Maybe part of it was playing in a new venue with hostile fans present… or maybe the chaotic ugliness of the court (seriously, what was that!?) rubbed off on their play. In any case I was really happy when Self just came out and said “we stunk” at the half. I was hoping we’d adjust and come out a different team for the second half but it didn’t really happen. In the UDK Taylor said that having Sherron out for that long completely threw the team chemistry off. Once again however part of the problem was Taylor trying to do it all… 7 turnovers!?

    On the bright side, MSU also struggled against Gonzaga and barely won… although I think Gonzaga is a much better team than Memphis. Your thoughts Scott? Plus Kentucky, and Georgetown struggled too, and UCLA lost.

    Also, I like that they had a big ego check early in the season. Even though it didn’t end up a loss this game is something Self can pull out all season if they start getting big heads.

    As far as the Mangino situation, our football program is in utter chaos right now. I’ve heard more people talking about Mangino today than the Memphis game. Things were already bad enough. The last few Mondays the free for all section of the UDK was loaded with mean spirited trash talking of Reesing and the whole team. Who expected this senior class to go out like this? I’m afraid this could really hurt recruiting. They’re spending all this money on the gridiron club and yet our football program could sadly go back to its traditional role of serving as the doormat in the big 12. Rumor has it Perkins has serious doubts about Mangino.

  2. I think it's pretty clear that this Memphis team is not as talented as the one from the championship game a couple of years back. That being said, there still is some talent, particularly with the transfer of Elliot Williams from Duke who was highly regarded coming out, and down low Will Coleman looks decent and Will Witherspoon, Robert Sallie, and Willie Kemp have ability at the guards. Pierre Henderson Niles is just a dumb goon. It's good he doesn't weigh 350 anymore, but he has no talent. He will get regularly clowned by people less talented than Aldrich.

    The thing though that this Memphis team has like the national runner up team is a slew of guys they can throw out there that are long and quick and play aggressive D. I expected KU to win handily because of their superior offensive talent, but there won't be many teams that can keep running out as many good defenders as Memphis can. I thought that Pastner did an excellent job of making KU uncomfortable and getting them out of what they wanted to do on offense.

    Still, the game was really the best of both worlds for KU. The didn't lose the #1 ranking and Coach Self gets to tell them maybe they're not as good as they thought they were.

    Was KU sloppy and played down to Memphis? Yes. I'm happy of course KU won, since they had much more on the line. But I was encouraged by the new coach who I didn't trust. He really had them fired up to play.