Sunday, March 03, 2013

Farewell to the Seniors -- and the Freshman

I love this kid. I never tell him. I think he knows, though.  
-- Elijah Johnson, on Ben McLemore

How fitting that my favorite Elijah quote of all time would come after my two favorite Elijah performances of all time. Even though he made some mistakes early, I enjoyed watching him in this game even more than in Ames. Instead of worrying about living up to his 39-point explosion on Monday, he was completely focused on bringing BMac back. He passed up makeable shots for himself and found Ben time and time again.

Ten assists for EJ, a freshman-record 36 points for Ben, and a de facto triple-double for Jeff. Now we just need big games for Travis and Kevin on Monday night, and we'll have the perfect sendoff.

Highlights are a bit hard to find -- ESPN snubbed us on the Top Plays since the game was on CBS, but I can't find video from CBS either. The KU Athletics reel is always good, but for some reason it cuts off EJ's monumental dunk at the end. I'll keep looking for that one.


  1. Full game is on YouTube (shh!), which is one place you might look... and where we'll be catching up since we were out yesterday.

    Looking forward to seeing all the fun!

  2. Some LJW commenter was saying that EJ did make #1 on Top Plays, but damned if I can find it anywhere.

    Also, YHD, if you want to spend all day on YouTube (why not?), someone linked to the 1985 game where freshman Manning put up 35 on senior Self and the Cowboys. I'm going to have to spend some time with that one later.

  3. Well, I'm glad it's there, but I'm buried a bit deep to watch two replays in one week... Hopefully your link will stick until I hit spring break!

    Saturday's was indeed a great game, by the way. I was really impressed (aside from the headline-getters I mean) with Young. Always manages to be in the scrum and come up with a great play right when we need it.

    It also surprised me how quiet EJ's ten assists (against 4 turnovers! take that, doubters!) were. Guess that sort of thing is easily overshadowed by 9 blocks and 36 freshman points. Somehow that makes me even more impressed with the way he's finishing the regular season.

    Onward to victory for the seniors!

  4. I watched some of it. Danny's jump hook was absolutely unguardable. He ruined Self's senior night. Just about all Self can do is make the occasional mid-range jumper and draw charges--he takes a hard one from my man Milt Newton at one point. Also with special appearances by Chris Piper, Tad Boyle, Mark "the surgeon" Turgeon, and for OSU, Win Case (father of Jeremy).

    As for EJ, if I read the stats right he still isn't even close to cracking a 2-1 assist/turnover ratio. But none of that matters if he keeps playing the way he has of late.

  5. ... And just as soon as I say that, he comes out on Senior Night with a 12-2 ratio, his career-best assist total. A few more games like this and his numbers for the year start to look a lot better.

    You can't script Senior Night any better than that, with all four of them in double figures and Withey pulling a Scot Pollard -- hitting the first three attempt of his career. I don't expect more of those out of him, but I do love the fact that he's added the mid-range jumper to his game late in the season; it seems as if he's hit nearly every one he's tried.

    Once again, the highlight reel is a must-see alley oop-fest.

    OK, March has arrived and we're playing our best basketball. Let's see some chatter in here, bloggers!

  6. Replies
    1. This isn't really the kind of chatter I was hoping for.

  7. Well, sure.

    Nevertheless, nine in a row!

    And it's hard not to like this quote from Coach Self:

    “I’m happy we got a ninth. I will never apologize for winning a league championship. It’s not entirely the way we scripted it, which is obvious.”

    1. Yeah, not to be a Pollyanna but there's no point in reading too much into this game. Our team has been under tremendous pressure for the past month and they did what they had to do when they had to do it. This time, they went in knowing they could afford to lose, and they were going up against a talented team that knew they HAD to win.

      My only concern is seeing EJ revert. He handled Pierre Jackson just fine in Lawrence, so it was a bit shocking to see him get owned this time. I hope his knee isn't bothering him again. But as long as he's healthy and positive going into the tourney, Waco should be no more than a footnote.