Tuesday, April 03, 2012

A (Mostly) Upbeat Postmortem

Chris's 2003 analogy held true to the end: a freshman-led but incredibly talented opponent in the final, who couldn't miss a shot early on and stifled our offense with their length; KU makes a valiant, hard-fought 2nd-half comeback but makes a few too many mistakes to get over the hump.

This is easier to take than '03 for reasons discussed in the previous post -- plus, although we did have some semi-embarrassing misses and turnovers last night, there was no equivalent to the free throw woes we suffered that year. The only thing that doesn't sit well with me, as in '03, is the fact of getting beat by such a young team, talented or not; that's just not the way it's supposed to play out.

Another point about that 2003 game: It always annoys me that people blame Collison for choking while forgetting that he had 19 points and 21 rebounds. With that in mind, we must give a parting salute to Tyshawn and T-Rob for leading us this far, and for their performances last night. They both struggled at times, but they played their asses off as they have all year: Robinson with 18 and 17, Taylor with 19 on nearly 50 percent shooting (and his long-awaited first 3-pointer of the tourney).

The always-entertaining Tyshawn, as a four-year starter, leaves with a record of 127-21 by my quick count, and with only one loss at the Phog (the day after T-Rob's mother died).

Also, even though The Unibrow outblocked Withey last night, congrats to Jeff for setting the NCAA single-tourney blocks record. Assuming he's back, I like our prospects for next year -- a senior-laden lineup bolstered by promising newcomers.

It's pretty amazing; Chris first made the '03 analogy before the tourney began; if I'd known then that it was going to hold true, even to the end, I'd have taken it. Rock chalk.

1 comment:

  1. These guys really overachieved. I mean, the first post of the season was titled "Any cause for optimism in 2011-2012?"

    I probably speak for a lot of people when I say I can't remember the last time I was this attached to a Jayhawk team. I was surprisingly sad last night. It was a win I didn't need as a fan, I just wanted it for the team. These redshirts, walk ons, transfers, were probably the most lovable team since the '91 Jayhawks.

    I obviously really liked the Championship group. I liked them since they were freshmen. They were a great team, and loaded with talent - reminiscent of the 01-02 team with Gooden, Hinrich, and Collison.

    I enjoyed last years' team. They were fun to watch and had a really strong season. The 09-10 team was accomplished, but kind of hard to figure out - enigmatic.

    But these guys were just special. Just an unusual mix of guys who took us on an unlikely ride.

    The championship team was fun to watch for their brilliant displays - the offensive finesse, the incredibly tough defense.

    But, somehow these misfits gave me even more joy. To feel shock in March - and have it be positive. Imagine!

    And it's corny, but they tell a good story. To dig yourself a hole, and steadily claw back. To dig in and grind it out in hopes you get ahead in the end. A much more relevant arc to the average fan than the juggernauts of yore.