Monday, January 07, 2013

Temple of Doom -- Almost

The Owls gave us all we wanted in our last, and biggest, noncon home game. They played hard-ass physical defense and gave us no daylight in the halfcourt. On offense, they played to the scouting report, missing their 3s but not turning the ball over, and Wyatt was as good as advertised.

They got away with manhandling Withey, and we didn't get the same breaks on the other end. As Self politely put it, "I’m not saying we got a bad whistle, but it probably wasn’t a typical home whistle, so to speak.” So I forgive Jeff's 3-for-10 shooting performance because he should have gone to the line on a lot of those "misses." If the game had been properly called, he gets a triple double.

The main problem was Elijah reverting a bit -- turning it over, unable to stop his man, and visibly frustrated. He did make plays down the stretch, and finished with 9 dimes. I just wish he would get it together as Ty did last year, and consistently live up to his NBA potential.

Shout-outs are due to Kevin for going 6 for 6 at the stripe in the final minutes, including a couple of high-pressure 1-and-1s, and to BMac for stepping up to stymie Wyatt when EJ and Travis could not; if this guy is going to become a defensive stopper in addition to everything else he does -- well, wow.

The quick sequence in the final minute when Releford's three was followed by Withey's ninth block drew maybe the loudest crowd response I've heard in this year. Good times.

Highlights here. Also today, for you KU history buffs, Danny's team beat Larry's team.


  1. We definitely had to gut out ths win. I think we needed this slobberknocker right before the conference tourney. Temple looks like a solid 5 or 6 seed to me. Good size great guards.

    Ellijah (my favorite to bitch about) did struggle throughout the game and made some bad decisions. BUT I was impressed that he really turned on the after burners in about the last 3 minutes. He didn't make all the shots, but he put great pressure on the D with penetration and challenged them well. He didn't fold when it got tough which is something i wanted to see out of him.

    I think I'm going to do a whole post at some point about how Travis Relaford is the greatest garbage man in recent history. Better than Nick Bradford, Kenny Gregory, Keith Langford, Mario Little.

    Self got challenged as well, with a very good plan of attack by Temple's Fran Dunphy. I think if Roy had been our coach in this game, we lose. Self adjusted a bit and made the moves.

  2. Yeah, I'm surprised you're down on EJ, Deron. To end up with nine assists against five turnovers in that game looks pretty good to me. Add a couple of those moves where he seemingly wills himself all the way to the basket and you can count me happy with our Sr PG.

    Tense game, but a good solid win.

  3. Oh, and I like your paragraph about Releford, Scott, right up until the word "garbage." Surely Travis has moved decisively off of that list (and I'm suspicious of Langford too, but that's another conversation) now that he's a starter who averages 13.4 points per game (same as Withey, looks like) and hits such big shots down the stretch...

  4. Yeah, Travis might have been a garbage guy in past seasons, but he's a star this year. And I wouldn't put Langford or Gregory on that list either.

    I think it's Kevin Young who might be our best garbage man ever. We don't run anything for him yet he keeps finding ways to score in double digits. Historically, I'd put Jeff Graves, Christian Moody, and esp. Darnell Jackson on the list.

    As for EJ, I bow to no one in my love for the guy and I don't minimize the big plays he made. I love those swooping layups, and I'll never doubt his "clutch gene" after last year's tourney. But I'm singling him out for criticism because his intermittent sloppy play was the biggest reason we struggled in this game, just as it was when we struggled in November.