Monday, November 28, 2011

Turkey Hangover

It seems like a long time and a lot of calories ago, but just a few thoughts on the Duke game:

First of all, it was damned exciting for KU to be part of a game like that, win or lose. You had to be proud of our guys and optimistic for the season.

I know everyone wants to blame Tyshawn for his 2nd-half turnovers, but the problem right now is lack of depth. Our guys were completely gassed by the end after three consecutive games and an intense first three-quarters vs. Duke. Self didn't have the confidence in Tharpe to play him more than 7 mins., and so TT stayed in there for 38 mins. Interestingly, Self had nothing but praise for Tyshawn after the game.

One good sign re. depth is that EJ, Travis, and esp. Withey all showed signs. In fact, the latter might have been our MVP if he'd stayed out of foul trouble.

Interesting thing about this team's defense -- it's really good EXCEPT beyond the 3-point line, where every opponent is just killing us. I guess that's not atypical for a Self team, and at least they're not taking us to the hoop.

Also: Au revoir, Turner Gill. That was one of the worst of KU's many terrible football seasons. Still doesn't make me miss Mangino, however.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Hawaii 3-0?

Our first big win of the season: a narrow but rather convincing victory over my local Hoyas. I wish we had won by more against an unranked team, but give some credit to a surprisingly athletic G-town squad.

Great bounce-back for T-Rob and Travis after struggles vs. UK. Travis was Mr. Clutch, T-Rob dominated, and TT-EJ continue to show signs.

Now we're in the Final Four with Duke, UCLA and Michigan. Feels like the early '90s all over again...

OK, it's my bedtime. Looking forward to more hoops tomorrow/later today.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wildcat-Scratch Fever

Well, I enjoyed long stretches of our loss to Kentucky. We fought, we played defense, we outrebounded them, we blocked shots, our guards penetrated on offense and forced turnovers on defense. Withey and Wesley were pleasant surprises.

We proved at least we can play with the big boys. We theoretically could have won if not for the Cats' crazy barrage of 3s, many of them guarded or heaved up to beat the shot clock.

Tyshawn played his ass off. I was impressed that he was able to get to the line so much against such athletic opponents. Elijah penetrated well too. But when they penetrate, these guys need someone on the wings to kick to. Which brings us to this team's possible fatal flaw: shooting.

The turnovers were disappointing, but 14 TOs isn't terrible. 34 percent from the field and 27 percent from three -- now that's terrible.

A lot of firepower went out the door with Brady, Tyrel and the twins. If Teahan is the only spot-up guy we have, then we can expect a lot more games like this one where we're competitive but still fall short.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Any Cause for Optimism in 2011-12?

We're back after a depressing offseason following a depressing early exit -- conference defections, ineligible freshmen, recruiting misses, player suspensions, football futility.

Now at least the games have started up again. But is there any cause for hope after our boys struggled to beat Pitt State? Not much, I fear.

Nine turnovers for Tharpe? (Deron grimaces, tugs collar nervously.)

And I can't give much credence to Withey's triple-double. The Jayhawk big man overachieving against preseason D-2 competition is now a longstanding, and predictable, pattern.

The good news is that Teahan apparently kicked ass, and we won despite being severely depleted. For now, I'll take it. TT, EJ and T-Rob return soon -- as do my fellow bloggers, I hope.