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.


  1. Nice opening sentence there, SJ. That sums it up.

    I think Naadir deserves a little more love than you're giving him. The two shots he DID make were friggin' huge. And there's no reason to think he can't develop into a strong starting PG as an upperclassman. He's come a long way since last year, after all.

    Elijah was good and bad. He seems to pick up at least one dumb foul early in every game -- in this case, his pointless grab on an OSU layup that he had no chance of stopping. Later calls against him were questionable, but he put himself in that position with that early foul. And is he never going to hit a free throw again? On the other hand, his aggressiveness early in the second half was one of the biggest reasons we won the game.

    Smart clearly made the stronger case for freshman of the year. I was very impressed with him, almost as much as the refs were. BMac should have gotten some calls early; that might have changed his trajectory.

    Withey, Travis, Kevin, and Traylor, on the other hand, were bad-ass. This was a good team we just beat, in a tough environment, with the pressure turned up to 11.

    We still have tough games, but so do K-State and OSU. The former has to play at the latter in the season finale, and OSU has to play at ISU. So we'll still have a good shot to share the title even if we drop one.

  2. By the way, Mr. Hughes-Dominick, I must register my strong dissent with your FB posting about how "bad" the game was because it wasn't high scoring and didn't generate exciting SportsCenter clips. While it wasn't a classic by any means, it was hugely competitive and dramatic, esp. given the stakes.

    SportsCenter always distorts the true drama of a game. Case in point -- Withey gets four blocks and basically dominates, but the only block that shows up on ESPN is the Cobbins block on EJ (probably a goaltend) where he just heaves the ball into the cheap seats rather than securing it or tapping it to a teammate as Withey would. Result? You get on ESPN but the opponent gets the ball back. ESPN loves show horses like Blake Griffin and ignores mere excellence -- Duncan and my Spurs absolutely demolished Griffin and the trending Clippers last night, but no doubt the highlight reel showed nothing but Blake getting meaningless dunks in garbage time.

  3. Double vengeance is sweet!

    Nothing erases the memory of suffering a 13-point first half than holding the same opponent to a 9-point half. I wonder if Self told the guys to go for that.

    And SportsCenter kvetching aside, that "Top 10" corkscrew dunk might have been my favorite BMac play of the season. Highlights, baby.

    Actually, my favorite BMac highlight was of course the "Mario Miracle" vs. Iowa State. And on Monday night, they'll be the ones looking for revenge.

  4. It's not that it wasn't high-scoring: it's that the score reflected poor execution rather than good defense. It's not that there weren't exciting clips: it's that there weren't significant plays in regulation, because both teams played sloppy and the tie was as much a result of that as of anything else.

    But thanks for giving me such a charitable reading ;)

    1. How about giving the two teams a more charitable reading? Kansas is #1 in the nation in defensive field goal percentage, and the Cowboys are #30. Naadir did make some poor decisions with the ball late, and OSU missed some open shots early, but mostly it was about defense.

    2. What is this, comment jujitsu? You've used my own attack against me? Ouch!

      I mean, we average like 15 assists per game, but had five. As a team we were 1-11 from three. OK-State usually takes about 23 free throws/game; they took 31 against us. I don't know... I mean, I guess I'm too busy to dig into all of the stats, and I'm certainly not going to watch a replay to look for evidence, but this all feels bad-gamey to me.

      I agree of course that it was competitive, dramatic, and had relatively high stakes. But from where I sit that's all compatible with it being a bad game.

    3. Shooting poorly is not entirely synonymous with playing poorly. If we had played poorly, on the road against a team that talented and that well-coached, we'd have lost big.

      We have a slightly different road challenge tonight against a team that's not as tough defensively but can light it up from outside at all five positions. Jesse Newell has Iowa State by four, which is scary because he tends to be right about these things. We guarded OSU's shooters much better the second time; can we do the same at Hilton? I'm going to go ahead and say yes.

    4. Look, my claim is that _both_ teams played poorly. I dug into our stats because, well, I don't really care about their stats.

      In any case, I do agree with you (gasp!) about tonight. Vegas has us by a point or so... so, we might as well go ahead and win by five.