Archive for Saturday, March 10, 2007

Extra Minutes: Kansas 67, Kansas State 61

March 10, 2007

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Some thoughts...from Oklahoma City

Gary Bedore, Journal-World KU men's basketball beat writer

"The Jayhawks survived KSU's onslaught of threes the first half and had a pretty workmanlike victory.

Chalmers was big the first half and Darnell Jackson had some nice hustle plays the second, playing for Sasha, who committed a whopping three fouls in 14 seconds. That's probably some sort of record.

But it's on to the final and a likely No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

KU played good basketball again and seems to be clicking right now."

Tom Keegan, Journal-World sports editor

"In theory at least, great defensive teams should be less likely to have an off night than great scoring teams. Kansas is nothing if not a great defensive team, which means the Jayhawks should be more upset-proof than most No. 1 seeds. And make no mistake Kansas should be a No. 1 seed, even with a loss today in the title game."

Ryan Greene, KUSports.com editor

"For two years now, people have tried to find shortcomings to recruiting a team full of high school All-Americans. KU proved Saturday why it's beneficial.

See, when you have top-shelf high school talent, you're bringing in guys who play tons of games during the summer AAU circuits. Therefore, they're not going to get tired playing on back-to-back days. Or even three in a row, which is now the case.

Darrell Arthur pointed out after the game that at one point in AAU ball, he played five games in one day. This weekend is really no stretch for most of the Jayhawks, and they're showing it."

Ryan Wood, Journal-World sports reporter

"Not a pretty game, by anyone's standards.

The Jayhawks did a few things right, though. They hit free throws late, though we shouldn't consider the problem solved. They rebounded great in the first half. And they beat one of their rivals to complete the three-game sweep.

Take it and get ready for the title game."

Inside the numbers

2: Kansas State hit just two three-pointers in the game's second half, which turned out to be where the Wildcats most visibly undone. The 'Cats built an early lead in the way that most teams who beat KU do so - by hitting threes. Cartier Martin and Lance Harris couldn't miss early, but K-State was just 2-of-11 from deep in the second half, with both of them coming late.

12: Julian Wright was looked upon to have more energy than anyone in a KU uniform Saturday, as he only played 15 minutes in Friday's win over Oklahoma. He came up big with 12 points and eight rebounds and one huge final minute. First he hit a tear-drop jumper in the paint, and then a magical wraparound pass to Darrell Arthur for two more points which clinched it.

10: It's been a gradual process this week for Sherron Collins busting his mini scoring slump. First he had eight simpler points on Friday, and Saturday he was back to his old ways, scoring 10 points, including a pair of big three-pointers.

16: While there's still room for improvement, KU shot 16-of-22 from the free throw line, which included several late conversions from the stripe. Sherron Collins was 4-of-4 Saturday, while Mario Chalmers is 6-of-7 for the week in OKC.

8: Mario Chalmers was again a huge energizer for Kansas. He broke the offensive standstill early in the game for KU, driving to the hoop and getting to the line. In the early second half, he hit two huge three-pointers to cause the ultimate separation on the scoreboard. Again, as Chalmers' offense goes, so goes KU.

Just in case you missed it...

Sasha Kaun had one of the funnier moments of the season, recording three fouls in a span of 14 - yes, 14 - seconds. He played just 15 minutes, scoring three points and grabbing three rebounds. With him on the bench, Darnell Jackson came up big playing in his hometown. He had just five points, but grabbed four rebounds and was a big hustler on defense. He helped make Saturday a day to forget for KSU forward David Hoskins.

Hopefully you didn't miss it...

Julian Wright proved that he can close out a game and an opponent in a multitude of ways. Wright on Saturday first hit a crushing jumper from about six feet away right out of a K-State timeout to make it an eight-point game and at least three possessions separating the two sides. He then came down to flip a strange-looking pass around his shoulders to Darrell Arthur, who was expecting an alley-oop lob, but instead saved it around his head and dumped it in off the backboard. Wright was needed Saturday after playing just 15 minutes Friday due to foul trouble.

They said it...

Darrell Arthur on playing on back-to-back days for the first time this year: "I'm pretty used to it from high school. AAU, we had to play back-to-back-to-back. We had a lot of time to rest. We had the early game yesterday, so we had ll day to rest yesterday. Coming back, we had fresh legs. I know everybody came from a big elite (AAU) team, and they play back-to-back-to-back, so they're used to it."

Brandon Rush on whether he thinks K-State is in the NCAA Tournament: "I think so. I think they got that spot when they beat Texas Tech yesterday."

Brandon Rush on whether his team is a No. 1 seed after Saturday: "I think so, but we still don't have no control over that. I think we deserve it. I think we're one of the best teams in the country right now."

Julian Wright on whether he thinks K-State is in the NCAA Tournament: "I think so. They've played a really tough schedule, they have some good wins, and also just the fact that they have two, three capable guys who can put them on their backs and play well in (Cartier) Martin, (David) Hoskins and (Lance) Harris, so I really think they'd be a good NCAA team."

Bill Self on whether his team has a No. 1 seed locked up: "I don't know. I've watched some experts and there's a lot of people who say we should be on the one-line, and a lot of people say we don't. So I think a lot will kind of depend on what goes on the rest of the day. Maybe they can seed them differently based on how the performances go tomorrow, but based on last year, that'd be pretty difficult to do."

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