2006-07 March 9 KU-OU Hoops
- Bill Self, Darrell Arthur and Sherron Collins take the podium to meet the media following Friday's win
- Bill Self speaks further with the media outside the Kansas locker room Friday afternoon
- Brandon Rush talks about his big second half in KU's 64-47 win over OU
- K-State coach Bob Huggins, guard Lance Harris and forward Cartier Martin take the podium after setting up Saturday's semifinal showdown with KU
Some thoughts...from Oklahoma City
Gary Bedore, Journal-World KU men's basketball beat writer
"Things looked pretty tense the second half, but KU apparently just needed the time to shake off some rust.
Rush was great in the second half.
It was good to see Arthur and Collins play well. Collins was a bit shaky early, but looked like the old Sherron in the final half.
KU's defense was phenomenal, as Self claimed his 100th win close to home.
On to the second round."
Tom Keegan, Journal-World sports editor
"When Brandon Rush checked out of the game in the second half, the score for the half was Rush 13, Oklahoma 12. He left his passiveness in the locker room, and as soon as he did that, the game was on a path toward a blowout. The more he decides to drive to the hoop, the better for Kansas."
Ryan Greene, KUSports.com editor
"Aggressive play can make free throw woes not matter, as was the case Friday. There might not be a better team in the country as far as finishing around the basket than KU. Brandon Rush and Sherron Collins both took it upon themselves in the second half to do so, and the Jayhawks ran away with a 17-point laugher.
What impressed me most was how well KU defended the ball. If their legs stay that fresh throughout the weekend, beating KU might be impossible for anyone to do. Of course, it didn't hurt that Oklahoma is as atrocious as they come offensively in the Big 12."
Ryan Wood, Journal-World sports reporter
"Bill Self summed up his team greatly, saying that KU is so good in spurts, all the Jayhawks need to do is grind it out and keep it close, then use that spurt to power ahead for the win.
That's what happened against the Sooners. And as long as the spurts come at some point, it's a recipe that could take KU deep into March.
Forty minutes of dominance won't happen against top teams. Thirty minutes of even-steven basketball and 10 minutes of superior play will still get the job done."
Inside the numbers
13: Something woke Brandon Rush up for the second half, after he passed on a handful of open looks from outside in the first half and scored just three points in the game's first 20 minutes. Rush scored 13 points in the second half, but more importantly to the Jayhawks was as impressive as he's looked in a half of basketball all year. He also took down six rebounds.
16: Bill Self admitted he cheated doctor's orders a bit by playing Darrell Arthur more than he probably should have. The freshman big man is coming off of a stomach virus which arose earlier in the week. He scored 10 points in 16 floor minutes, which actually turned out to be more than the 15 minutes logged by Julian Wright. Expect a big game from Wright on Friday, as his legs should be fresher than anyone's in the regular rotation.
50: KU's mediocre free throw shooting wasn't an issue because of the spread late on the scoreboard. But the numbers don't lie, and KU converted just 11 of 22 charity attempts. Mario Chalmers was the only Jayhawk to be perfect from the line, hitting both of his looks, while Wright was 1-for-4.
100: Bill Self logged his 100th win as the KU head coach in a city which has a history of being unkind to the Jayhawks.
34: KU and OU each pulled down 34 rebounds, and it marked the first time since Jan. 27 - 12 games ago - in which the Jayhawks didn't finish a game with the edge in rebounds. KU will gladly take the trade-off in field goal percentage, though. The Jayhawks shot 48.1 percent from the field Friday, while Oklahoma was just 4-of-20 in the second half and was a paltry 31.3 percent from the floor all afternoon.
Just in case you missed it...
The Jayhawks forced 15 turnovers, and two big ones came in a key second half stretch which included an alley-oop from Sherron Collins to Julian Wright, and then an uncontested, one-handed dunk by Brandon Rush. After the first half played out to KU leading 28-26, you knew this game would come down to who could go on the first run. It was KU. Of course, Oklahoma converting just four of its 20 field goal attempts in the second half didn't hurt. Or, in better terms, an average of one field goal per five minutes.
Hopefully, you didn't miss it...
Sherron Collins played well against Texas, with five rebounds and five assists while fitting in smoothly to the flow of the action. Though it was the second straight game he didn't score a point. He registered eight of them Friday, and while he finished 0-for-4 from three-point range, his four field goals from in close were a start to him breaking out of what's been a slump of sorts.
They said it
Bill Self on the aggressiveness Brandon Rush showed in the second half: "Well, we're not going to be a real good team unless we have our best offensive players stepping up and making plays or taking shots...When he is aggressive, he gives us a whole different dimension because he can get an easy basket getting to the rack or he can make three or four threes in a ten-minute stretch. He just wasn't looking to do that at all the first half."
Bill Self on Sherron Collins not having pressure to break out of his scoring slump: "That's what I said all along is that, gosh, we got two guys in double figures and won by 17. That's a positive thing. It's not ideal, but that's who we are, so we don't care who it is."
Kansas State guard Lance Harris on playing KU for a third time: "Yeah, I mean, we want to play them again. We want a chance to play them again so we can try to get a win over them. It is always big to play against Kansas, but it is also playing for Big 12, trying to get that Big 12 championship also."