Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Who is Tyshawn Taylor?

Never has a Kansas player been more of an enigma than young Tyshawn of Hoboken, who has been suspended indefinitely for undisclosed reasons in the midst of an erratic season.

He is an assist machine; he is a turnover machine. He is a majestic, Dr. J-like finisher; he is a clumsy, Clouseau-esque bumbler. He is a far better player than K-State's Jacob Pullen; and he is far, far worse.

He is a lover; he is a fighter. One moment he is cocky and arrogant; the next moment he is confused, childlike, innocent. One day he has a mohawk; the next day, poof -- the mohawk is gone.

Who is Tyshawn Taylor? No one knows, least of all himself. He is, like so many of us in life, unsure of his role.

Just about the only thing Tyshawn has done consistently at Kansas, since Day One, is start. Now, there is talk that he should no longer do that.

Which brings us to history's next great enigma: EJ. (We'll save that one for another time.)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Octagon of Gloom

Three years ago when the 'Cats beat us up in similar fashion, I asked, "Who the hell is Jacob Pullen?" He's had a good career, a spotty season, but give him credit -- he was All-World last night.

Now the question is, "Who the f*ck are Will Spradling and Jordan Henriquez-Roberts?"

Given our injuries, the performance of K-State, and the refs, we could have played well and lost this one. But we did not play well. Our guys seem to have gotten a bit lazy on defense the last few games. K-State shot 56 friggin' percent. That's almost unprecedented for a Self team.

Another recurring problem: our guards other than ReedStar were terrible, esp. Tyshawn and his unforced turnovers; EJ did a few good things, then melted down; Selby was outplayed by the ginger kid.

But the main issue that bums me out today is character and composure. The intentional foul call was b.s., but the twins have brought this scrutiny on themselves with repeated cheap shots. I'm tired of apologizing for it, I'm tired of Self having to apologize for it. And yes, EJ got fouled on his dunk, but for once I'll quote Keegan approvingly: "Trash-talking in self-worship with his team down 14 points and 5:55 left on the clock? ... On exactly what planet does that make even a shred of sense? Neptune? Jupiter? Mars? Where?" (OK, it's still a bad quote, but I agree with the sentiment.)

Players were jawing at each other, jawing back at the coach, showing no dignity in defeat. We've never had these recurring character issues on any KU team in memory, and it makes it harder for me as a fan to love this team. (It'll be easier once T-Rob comes back.)