Sunday, January 30, 2011

Catharsis, Baby!

For once, I was really enjoying the Dickie V. experience vs. KSU last night, especially hearing him publicly eat his words over the preseason Big 12 picks. For a big emotional game like that one, and one in which Kansas dominates, Dick is a great hype man.

The tragedy seems to have pulled the team and the fanbase together, and that was a game we'll remember for a while. I loved T-Rob's 6-point stretch, the "Here's to you Mrs. Robinson" signs, and the K-State dunk in the first half that was rejected by the basketball gods.

The biggest thing for me was seeing Tyshawn waking from his stupor. Selby and EJ are still borderline. It's be nice if Selby could go one game without botching a fast break, and if EJ could go one game without some kind of dribbling snafu.

Was K-State just dogging it in the second half? Pullen seemed to be casting doubt on his teammates' effort in postgame comments. This is an even bigger meltdown than Texas last season.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

State of the Union?

I missed the Colorado game because I had to listen to some stupid speech last night, but by all accounts it was a very good win. The numbers tell me that, for the first time in ages, all of our guards played pretty well -- even EJ had 4 assists.

So do you guys think there's hope for this team yet? We played without T-Rob or Releford, yet were able to gut out a road win against a team that beat both Mizzou and K-State. The team is here in D.C. now for the funeral. Do you think the tragedy will serve as an emotional linchpin for us, or will T-Rob be too devastated to be a strong contributor the rest of the year? I guess I could see it going either way.

By the way, Upon Further Review points out that we have another streak to revel in: 186 games since we last dropped 2 in a row. That goes all the way back to January 2006, just before we launched this blog. (It's also astounding considering that apparently no one else in the Big 12 has gone longer than 36 games.)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Home Streak Stricken

A moment of silence for the now-defunct home streak.


OK, so what happened out there? Nothing too shocking, I guess. It's been clear for weeks that we aren't getting enough production from the perimeter. This game would have been an excellent time for TT, Selby, and EJ to snap out of it, but I suppose that's too much to ask against a top defensive team like Texas. They did an excellent job bottling up the twins, and that left us with Reed as our only scoring option at times; he played great, and Brady played well for the most part, too, but those guys aren't enough.

We were also handicapped by Travis's injury and T-Rob's family tragedies. (What the hell is going on there? I guess it's none of our business, but you have to wonder if he's going to be right for the rest of the year.)

The small consolation is that Texas is really good -- it's no shame to lose this one, even at home. And now we've got that streak-monkey off our backs; here's hoping we don't see any new ones appear.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Down with Drew

OK, I don't usually feel the need to bag on other Big 12 teams other than wanting KU to destroy them, but Scott Drew and Baylor can kiss my ass.

Last year, Drew drew Self's ire by keeping his team in the locker room during KU's pregame video introduction -- the only time I've ever seen Self go negative on a fellow Big 12 coach. Then, last night, in what could not have been a coincidence, they show a pregame video featuring not only KU's loss to Baylor in football (marginally insulting, but not over the line) but also the loss to UNI in the tourney last year (way, way, way over the fucking line).

I wish I had known about the video when watching the game last night, because that would have greatly enhanced the pleasure I took at watching us un-pants this talented but undisciplined Baylor team in front of 35 (!) NBA scouts.

As for my negativity the other day, well... I'm not totally over it, because TT and Selby still can't quite get their assist-TO ratio where it needs to be. However, it may not matter a great deal if the twins continue to blossom like this. It's starting to feel like we have two Danny Mannings out there at times, effortlessly tapping the ball back and forth to each other.

The only downside: All those NBA scouts bearing witness to the twins' excellence does not bode well for next year's roster.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


This is going to get rough -- Baylor tomorrow, then Texas, then Colorado, then K-State.

After the Nebraska near-debacle, I'm beginning to wonder about this team's title potential.

Without Aldrich (or Withey) our big men are undersized. We got decisively out-rebounded vs. Nebraska, and have been outmuscled down low in several games. Nonetheless, the twins continue to find ways to grit it out and win games for us.

Being undersized we can overcome -- but not if our guards continue to play as poorly as they have recently. Selby and EJ were horrific vs. Nebraska, but Tyshawn, even though he made some big plays, is the bigger concern. After starting the season so well, he's inexplicably regressed to freshman form. Brady was good yesterday but has not had a good season overall. The only perimeter guy meeting expectations is Reed -- and even he isn't shooting as well as last season.

Looks like we may be waiting another week on Releford -- sorry, Chris. But if a few of our guards don't get their shit together, this season could get ugly and soon.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Ann Arbor Anomaly?

OK, after the OT escape at Michigan, we can set our sights on the Big 12.

There's no question that it's been a relatively easy noncon schedule, and we haven't exactly looked dominant against it. From here on in, it only gets tougher, with the Big 12 sporting 5 teams in the Top 25.

Like the '08 team, we enter the conference schedule undefeated. Also like that team, I expect to see us lose 3 games, this time (shudder) maybe even one at home -- we've been so jittery at the Fieldhouse lately. Maybe Mizzou or Texas knocks us off at home, then I could see road losses at, say, K-State and Baylor.

It's still hard to imagine us not winning the conference, but our margin for error is smaller than it has been. If we lose more than three, our streak of Big 12 dominance could be at an end. The resurgence of the North division makes it more difficult than it used to be, but should also help toughen this team up going into March.

Key questions coming out of the Michigan game: Is Chris's newfound hero Travis going to be OK after his ankle sprain? Can we get our 3-point mojo back? Can any of our guards other than Tyrel start giving us consistent, night-in-night-out production? Can the twins keep their cool under pressure, as they did yesterday? Can Withey become this year's version of 2008 Aldrich? If we want to cut down some nets this year, we need most of those answers to be "yes."

Monday, January 03, 2011

Better Than Duke?

The poor saps from Miami (Ohio) think so, after our latest Fieldhouse dunkfest yesterday. (If you missed the game, I strongly suggest you catch the reel.)

Miami-Ohio lost to the Devils by 34 points, compared to 27 against us (and 21 against Ohio State). But that was against Duke when they had Kyrie Irving, so... who knows?

It's moot, anyway. The fact is, based on the evidence yesterday, Miami of Ohio just really sucks. One more patsy this week in UMKC, then it's the meat of the schedule -- at Michigan, then conference play.

Nice bounceback from the Twins. Still too many turnovers from Tyshawn and Brady. And hey, we've got a new athletic director -- this time for real!