Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Coach K & Co. KO.'d

It's been 10 years in the making since our last win over the evil empire, and how sweet it was. In fact, this is maybe our biggest non-conference season win since Florida in '07.

After Friday's game, I was starting to wonder how we were going to continue our Big 12 streak with such a callow team. After Tuesday's game, I'm wondering how could we not win the Big 12?

Lots of chatter about the freshmen in Chicago, and well deserved. Randle and Parker were tremendous, maybe better than Wiggins but he had the last laugh. Also tremendous: Selden and my man, Frank Mason.

Our best player, however, was Perry. I'm so amped to see his great play from this spring rolling over into the fall.

Yancy, what did you think of the Roy-esque score? I know the rule changes/emphases are generating a lot of criticism, but I love the fact that the NCAA is trying to open the game up. The only problem is the less-skilled refs take this as a license to blow the whistle on anything that even looks like contact--see our game vs. Louisiana-Monroe.

I know Self doesn't like the new rules; it's going to be a huge challenge to his coaching style, just as it was for my once defensive-minded Spurs when the NBA made a similar initiative. Popovich adjusted, and Self can do the same--especially with the offensive talent we have right now.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Here Come the Dookies!

I know it's a little early on the calendar but let's try to work up some enthusiasm here, people! We're playing the evil empire tonight!

The edge has to go to Duke. Their frosh phenom has looked better than ours so far and they have more experience overall (though not a lot more). Also, for whatever reason, Coach K always seems to have his guys ready to go in November, whereas Self's system builds more slowly.

And they seem to have an edge over us psychologically too. Every time we play them, we just seem to WANT it too much, and so we play with a lot of passion and effort but not a lot of precision--see Tyshawn's 11 turnovers in 2011, or Hinrich's poor shooting in 2003, even though we won that one narrowly.

LJW has a nice rundown of all the meetings between the two schools. Many, of course, have been in the Big Dance, and most have been close--except for a shellacking at Cameron during Roy's first season, which I had no memory of. We've only beaten them twice, although gratifyingly both were in the tourney.

The most painful loss is still the 1986 semifinal in which Archie Marshall was badly hurt and--I didn't know this but LJW pointed it out--Duke shot 18 more free throws than we did. Sounds like chalkboard material to me. LET'S GET 'EM!