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!"