Tuesday, April 02, 2013

The Tragic Events in Dallas

Ah, to be a Jayhawk is to know suffering.

At least we probably won't be hearing about this one as long as some of the other losses -- losing to Michigan isn't like losing to Northern Iowa. And give a tip of the hat to Trey Burke for his trey-bombs. Our usual endgame miscues wouldn't have mattered had he not made some unbelievable shots.

It gives me no pleasure to report that our warnings on this blog were prescient. For whatever reasons, EJ just never put things together this year, other than a few great performances here and there. And his unsteadiness at the helm was the biggest reason (not the only one) we faltered in Dallas.

I don't know what it is, but Self seems to have some difficulty managing talented guards coming off Final Four seasons. He didn't quite get a handle on Miles and Langford; Sherron as an upperclassman was great at times but didn't seem to mature as much as you'd like a 4-year guy to do. Going back further, Self also had trouble dealing with Frank Williams at Illinois after their Elite 8 season. Maybe he's too indulgent with his accomplished upperclassmen; he certainly gave Elijah a lot of rope.

Anyway, I still love the kid, and I love this departing group of players. It's extremely hard to get to two Final Fours in a row; we were on the cusp, and I think we could have won it all with the right bounces. (I just wish we didn't have to keep saying that at the end of every season; 2008 is getting further in the rearview.)


  1. The inglorious end to the game was both a surprise and not a surprise.

    Am I suprised that our guardplay was shaky in the closing moments? No - you only have to go back as far as the Western Kentucky game to see that weakness.

    Am I surprised that Michigan went on a furious rally spurred by the national player of the year? Obviously not.

    But I am suprised that a 1 seeded KU team can outplay the competition for 35 minutues, I mean really dominate, and then lose it. I honestly can't think of another KU tournament loss like it.

    In almost every other early loss we have a bad game. Overlook the opponenent, cold from outside - whatever.

    That's why this game will haunt us. I can remember, in detail, so many specific moments that were a dagger. The other losses are mostly a vague fog of trying to fight our way back from uninspired play.

    Enough aboout that. I loved this team, and I'll be sad to see this unlikely group go. Ben, we hardly knew ye. Elijah was mercurial to the end (hitting big shots, untimely turnovers, sucker punches). Withey and Young, the transfers that came out of nowhere. Releford was terrific again - somehow high flying and steady.

    Remember, there is only one 1 seed remaining - the apparently dominant Cardinals. No one is shocked that we lost to Michigan. We were, perhaps, slightly overseeded considering we had a few horrible losses in a not terrific conference. The Big 12 really needs to step it up in the tourney.

    This loss will have a weird taste. But this was a really fun team to watch. They took us on a great ride that ended abruptly.

  2. Agree totally with Deron. Being accurate about this team's downfall did not soften the blow. I think we have a solid point coming in so i can switch my topic of bitching at the least.