Thursday, January 10, 2013

BMac Attack

I could go negative about why we almost lost to the 'Clones last night (as Jesse Newell wrote, "It's time to start getting concerned" about Elijah's turnovers), but it's time we directed our attention to the best player in college basketball. This blog has slept on McLemore a bit even amid a lot of hyperbolic praise from others. A month ago, Keegan called him the best KU player in decades -- plural -- which was kind of a headscratcher (better than Pierce?). But it's difficult to overhype what he did last night.

The above .gif was from after the Ohio State game, but I think it's most apt today. BMac was the maestro last night; he was the one guy who never looked rattled down the stretch. He was graceful, calm, and composed when it appeared that all was lost, and he was graceful, calm, and composed a few minutes later after he had almost singlehandedly crushed ISU's hopes in overtime and the roof was flying off the Fieldhouse. 

We haven't seen anything like this at the Phog since Durant, but Durant wasn't this clutch. 

In fact, this was an all-time performance at any level of basketball: 10-12 from the field, 6-6 from deep, 7-7 from the line, for 33 points. Most importantly -- I can't emphasize this enough -- half of it came in crunch time. It's beyond belief. I'm only glad I was there to witness it.


  1. I love nearly everything in this post, and I agree about McLemore. Just wow.

    However, let me just say a) I think we would all be even more glad had I been there too. Though it was fun to watch the surprise on Franklin's face when Emily and I jumped up and high-fived each other at the end of regulation.

    And b) from the Notebook: "Elijah Johnson's 10 assists were a career high .... Johnson's six rebounds were the most since he tallied 10 boards against Ohio State in last year's NCAA semifinals. His three steals matched a season high."

    So, you know, come on.

  2. I appreciate your giving EJ his due. He made some clutch plays too. But it's undeniable that every time we've had a lapse this season -- like the inexplicable 8-minute drought that almost cost us this game, against a team not known for defense -- EJ's miscues have the biggest problem.

    Some of his 10 assists came on brilliant shots by BMac that others would have missed. And some came in OT; if BMac doesn't bank in that Mario Miracle shot, we lose the game and EJ's line looks much worse. An assist-to-TO ratio of 7 to 6 is not good; as it is, he still didn't even manage a 2-1.

    It's just that I have high expectations for the guy in his senior year. He should be a star, and he hasn't quite been that.

  3. And (if memory serves) at least one turnover was the result of a teammate throwing a pass that EJ could only catch without fouling his defender if he traveled in doing so...

    I take your point(s), DGL, but if we're going to be willing to waive some assists, shouldn't we also be willing to let slide a couple of TO's every now and again?

    I don't mean to minimize problems, and I'm pretty sure I'm not just being argumentative; but I do think that even if he's not the star that he could be, he's having a pretty good season all told.

  4. I'm not trying to waive any stats. I'm just alarmed that we almost gave away two games in a row at home largely because of EJ's 12 turnovers. When he minimizes the miscues (see Colorado through American), we look like the best team in America. When he doesn't (every game before and after that stretch), we look shaky.

    Did I say I wasn't going to go negative? Very well, I contradict myself.

  5. Well, in fairness to your inner consistency, I'm the one insisting on debating the parenthetical comment in the original post.

    At least we can agree that McLemore is phenomenal; if he keeps this up it's hard to imagine us not contending for trophies in conference play and beyond.

  6. Followed up by a lackluster, low-energy, 14-point conference road win. I'll take it.

  7. Was hoping we'd play a more complete game against Tech, but after Wednesday's emotional high -- and Baylor staring us in the face -- it's not surprising.

    EJ's turnover woes continue. Again, we're not playing defensive juggernauts here. I think he just has concentration issues more than anything else, which was understandable when he was an underclassman but is cause for concern now. I do expect him to be better on Monday.

    BMac came back down to Earth, which was also predictable. You've got to like the fact that he can have a subpar game and still find his way into double figures.

    Scotty brought it up earlier, but Perry's inability to finish continues to boggle the mind. I've never seen a guy get to the rim more often with less result. At least he is getting to the rim; that's a start. But it's probably time to establish his jumper; he's way too predictable on offense right now.

  8. Predictions for tonight? I see the line is us by 10... Guess that sounds reasonable enough to me. Should be about due for a more energetic win, though, so 20 wouldn't surprise me either...