Sunday, January 31, 2010

Mr. Clutch

Sherron? Yes. But there was at least one other "Mr. Clutch" in the K-State game: Swat King Cole.

It was Cole who overcame homer refs to dominate the paint almost as thoroughly as he did against the weaker Mizzou frontline. It was Cole who played 10 minutes of regulation and overtime with 4 fouls, and continued to play dominant defense without committing that 5th foul. It was Cole who made the go-ahead shot in OT on an inbounds play when we had only 5 seconds on the shot clock.

Cole is back, baby.

Marcus was also great -- we desperately needed that double-double against a powerful rebounding team like the 'Cats. He and his brother were completely screwed by the refs.

Perimeter ballhandling continues to frustrate -- Sherron, TT, X, and Brady all had key turnovers that helped keep KSU in the game. On the other hand, all of those guys, plus Tyrel, made heroic plays as well. So... I guess I like our team.

And again, we're #1.


  1. I thought the refs probably bailed out Cole one or two times in that last stretch, but he did play awfully well.

    The best part was after Sherron made the bucket and the camera panned to the K-State bench. Schaudenfraude, baby.

  2. Morningstar was terrific.

    Taylor was great. He made a foolish turnover, but his work at the line was huge.

    Xavier struggled, but came up with some key circus shots late in the game.

    And how about those twins?

  3. I think that's been the key to our success this year compared to last year: We needed that third scorer. We assumed Xavier would be the guy. Instead, it's Marcus.

    I was also very happy to see not only KU moving to #1, but K-State moving up in the rankings as well.

    Our state is finally getting some attention. Everybody was talking about that game on Monday morning -- D.C. friends and colleagues of mine, Mike and Mike on ESPN...

    Everybody except Yancy and Aaron, that is. Come on, guys!

  4. Yes, as those of you know who see me on social networking sites, E and I went to the Seattle U game immediately following Kansas' glorious win. We eventually lost count of how many times someone would see our Jayhawk gear and stop to talk about the game. Good stuff.

    You're right about Cole, dgl. The ten mintes with 4 fouls was insanely impressive, especially in a game with such shoddy officiating. (Wish you could have joined in the groan at our alumni watch party when Vitale said the officials were doing a great job...)

    Speaking of our alumni group: I've been defending Tyshawn all week, since our friends here managed to see the turnovers without also noticing how huge he was. So thanks for having better eyes, Jayhawk Nation!

  5. Well, the Colorado game was so eerily similar to K-State (minus the fun) that it probably doesn't need its own post.

    I guess "Mr. Clutch" this time was Marcus? At least he padded those rebounding and free throw stats in OT.

    Can we attribute the free throw debacle to altitude? I sure hope so. Two other issues are more troubling to me because they're recurring: (1) this team relaxes, sometimes celebrates, with even a small lead; and (2) Sherron and Tyshawn continue to have bouts of poor late-game management.

    Oh well. Ain't no nights off in the Big 12 this year. Add Colorado to the list of much-improved B12-North regimes. I seem to recall Bzdelik and co. Princeton-ing us half to death last year too.

  6. Fortunately, I missed this one.

    Hats off to Cole for another strong performance.

    From the Topeka paper:

    "The KU team that won the national title was tied at halftime in Boulder, against a worse CU team. That's just the way it is with Colorado and Kansas.

    Bill Self described it succinctly at his news conference leading up to the game.

    "We've had success when we've gone there," he said. "But we haven't played well."

  7. Say what you will about Coach Self and about Twitter, or about Coach Self on Twitter, but the guy sure knows how to get the most of 140 characters. Here's the post-game tweet:
    Got in late last night... Loved the mnts! Tired team but gutted out tough win. We will watch tape today n get ready for our rematch w neb.

    I mean, it's like a short novel.
    And loved the mountains? Guess I like the positive attitude...
    Speaking of, I agree that we don't want to pop champagne every time we go up by three, but I really like the emphasis on fun, so I guess I can live with a little excessive celebration.

    Even when Self is yelling it looks like he's about to smile, and I sure appreciate the way he made the nerve-racking K-State seem like the coolest show in town. As Sherron and I have both said before, we gotta have our swag.

  8. I wouldn't mind the mini-celebrations if we didn't keep blowing those leads. But it is nice to see some collegiality on a team that is/was (?) rumored to be splintering.

    Looks like I'm about to be snowed under for the next few days. Dunno if I'll get to see the Nebraska game, but by the time I emerge from hibernation our boys will be headed for Austin. It's on, baby!

    (Wish I had ESPN Classic -- apparently they'll be doing a marathon of KU-UT games on Monday.)