Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Elijah Jordan?

I did think the Hilton magic would be our toughest test of the remainder of the season, but I didn't know that Elijah Johnson was immune to the Hilton's properties. It's kind of like one of those Superman comics where when Bizzaro Superman goes to a place with a red sun and he turns stronger than Superman.

I'm going to call that 37 points, perfect from the FT line, with two big ones at the end of regulation. That's subtracting the ill-advised dunk as time expired in OT. On sportscenter, it showed where Elijah said that Bill Self gave him an earful for that, and he shouldn't have done it.

So, is this what this dude has been capable of all along? It was the most scored by any Jayhawk in 15 years. He did almost all of the damage from the 2 position. Mentally, he seems to relax and let his talent shine when he's not saddled with the responsibilities of running the team. Tharpe can't play 40 mins, but our best lineup seems to be Tharpe-Johnson-McLemore-Relaford-Withey, then rotate in Young and Ellis when needed.

Also it had to be Scott van Pelt (Mizzou grad) on Sportscenter who of course bitched about the no-call at the end of regulation.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Save (or, survive and advance!)

Truly a "BarnBurner" of a game, in that we played in a barn and we left with it on fire. Easily the most exciting win of the year, just amazing that we survived the 2OT slugfest with these guys. Both Kevin Young and Travis Relaford seemed to come to the game with a chip on their shoulder that this was going to be different than Allen Fieldhouse.

In the "Freshman of the Year Contest", both Marcus Smart and Ben Mclemore made a strong case for "None of the Above", as Ben Mclemore had perhaps his worst game, but OK St (and especially Smart) helped by missing nearly everything they threw up (except Forte).

In the continuing saga of "Does KU have a legitimate point guard?", it appears that the answer might be no. Both EJ and Tharpe had some ups and downs in regulation, but both were truly awful in OT. I have seen enough that Tharpe isn't the answer. Hopefully someone coming in next year has a good handle on the ball and their head screwed on straight.

Withey- clutch, clutch, clutch free throws down the stretch.Self's game plan of just "attack the rim" about halfway through the second half seemed to be just the thing to keep us in it until the fouls caught up to Ellijah.

This game felt like one of those "war" games we used to have with Oklahoma when Kelvin Sampson was there, or aTm with Law and Johnson. Nice to see we can gut out a win like this in a hostile place when not everything s going our way. We still have to go to Iowa State, so this is not a done deal yet, and K State could win out, but Self has a pretty good shot at keeping the streak alive.

BTW, these guys look like complete retards.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Lots to Love

From Saturday, including EJ's line: 12 points, 4 assists, only one TO.

But mostly—and I know I'm a little shallow, but hey—mostly I loved this:

Monday, February 11, 2013

Righting the Ship

So, that's what it feels like to have a real point guard for most of a game. EJ's two fouls, fair or not, gave tharpe the chance to get the lions share of minutes and get in an actual rhythm for once.

Tharpe reminded us of what it looks like to actually have your point guard create easy baskets as opposed to creating them for the opposing team.

and tharpe, of course is not an elite point guard at all. It's just that Ellijah is NOT a point, no matter how much self promised to improve his pro prospects. Johnson is fine at the two. he defends well at that position and is better on the break there. Either in the 3 guard lineup or as the first sub, he can still get plenty of minutes.

Never thought id be thanking brent muskburger for his unashamed "change the point guard" campaign during the broadcast.

Self still sounded noncomittal at the half though. Surely he can run a few numbers on efficiency here and figure it out?

Mclemore was aggressive and back to awesome.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

My Small Hope

I just hope that in the midst of the wailing over what's just happened, we can at some point pause to be amazed at the streak that just ended. Seven years and 264 games without a losing streak is just mind-blowingly cool.

We've mentioned it once or twice, but it is worth considering how many teams, seasons, and championships have come and gone without KU losing two games in a row.

We may be disappointed now, but I hope we can also stay mindful of how special Self's Jayhawks have been...

Monday, February 04, 2013

The Elijah Conundrum

As Yancy said in the previous thread, there were a lot of reasons for our loss to OSU this weekend -- not least of which is that OSU was awesome. They're finally starting to live up to preseason expectations.

Still, I hate to say it but the blame game indeed points us back to "a certain point guard." The OSU game followed the script we saw against Temple, Texas, and Iowa State, where EJ's miscues helped our opponents build a lead -- except this time, instead of righting the ship in crunch time, he melted down when we needed him the most.

I know a lot of our guys had poor games on Saturday, but it all starts with the point guard. I don't blame him so much for his shooting woes -- his stroke has always looked good to me and his shot selection was fine. But I've never seen a KU starting PG commit more unforced turnovers than EJ has this year -- not even Tyshawn as an underclassman.

Self announced today that he's standing by his man, which is fine by me. If he'd decided to start Tharpe instead, that would have been fine by me as well; it would have been more than justified. (Tharpe, by the way, showed some class after the game by adamantly not putting the blame on EJ.) But Elijah has the ability to do a lot more for us than Tharpe does; we've seen him do it before on the biggest stage. And benching him might do more harm than good to his psyche. I just hope he can get it together.