2007-08 Feb. 27 KU-ISU Hoops
- Bill Self talks about a relieving win for his team and looks ahead to Saturday's rematch with K-State
- Brandon Rush talks about what was different this time for KU on the road and looks ahead to K-State
- Darrell Arthur talks about the success KU had offensively moving the ball through the big men
- Sherron Collins talks about the improving health of his knee
Some thoughts...from Ames
Gary Bedore, Journal-World KU men's basketball beat writer
KU fans had to be biting their nails when the Jayhawks' 22-point lead dipped to nine the second half. The lead actually was cut in half in just two minutes which has to be some kind of record. But Mario Chalmers righted the ship with a three to up the lead back to 12. Arthur put up 18 shots which might be about as many as he needs to take. The closer to the hoop the better for him, yet his biggest bucket was a 15-footer that upped a six-point lead to eight. It was not all smooth sailing, but KU will take it. As Bill Self said, many Jayhawk teams have lost in Ames. This KU team won and will take it and move on to Saturday."
Tom Keegan, Journal-World sports editor
"When Darrell Arthur plays a lot, he scores a lot. When he fouls a lot, he sits a lot. He played a lot and scored a lot. It sounds so simple, but Arthur so often makes it look so hard. In the three games he has played at least 30 minutes, he has averaged 20.3 points. Kansas has a go-to scorer, but only when he's on the court."
Ryan Greene, KUSports.com editor
"Bill Self hammered home the point early in the non-conference season that his team needed to work its offense through the big men. That principle needed to be driven home yet again against Iowa State. And eureka, the ball went through Darrell Arthur mostly (who said it was the first time in Big 12 play he'd seen one-on-one coverage) and everything fell into place. Arthur not only bounced back from his worst game of the season with a solid 18-point, 10-rebound showing, but it opened up three-point looks for Brandon Rush and Mario Chalmers, who both went 3-of-4 from deep. There's still lots to do to get this team back to where it was on a consistent basis, but this was a good step in the right direction. Now comes the big one - K-State on Saturday."
Inside the numbers
18: Darrell Arthur scored 18 points and took a season-high 18 shots for the Jayhawks, and it looked like that should become the norm for KU establishing its offense. KU worked the ball to Arthur on its first two possessions, which resulted in him scoring one bucket. But after that, things just fell in place offensively for KU, which opened up a 13-point halftime lead. Arthur was again integral in helping KU keep Iowa State from completing a full-circle comeback in the second half.
7: KU helped push the spread in the second half in large part because of the three-point shot. The Jayhawks were 7-of-11 from deep, giving them their best single-game percentage of the season. Mario Chalmers and Brandon Rush were each 3-of-4. Chalmers' straight-on three-pointer after Iowa State cut KU's lead to nine late in the second half ultimately sealed up any hopes the 'Clones had of a full-on comeback.
3: Russell Robinson had a great line outside of the scoring column. For the fourth straight game he didn't score in double figures, but the senior guard had a career-high 10 rebounds (nine on the defensive glass) and also had five assists. His two turnovers came in the game's closing minutes with the outcome all but decided.
2: Part of the reason things went so smooth for the Jayhawks' in a quick first half was that the they were whistled for just two personal fouls. The first infraction did not come until the 6:35 mark, and deserving credit is Darrell Arthur. He had four fouls, but was never in serious foul trouble, which allowed him to play the 31 minutes Bill Self desires to be the norm.
18: A promising sign for KU was the 18 minutes played by Sherron Collins. The sophomore spark off the bench played 11 ineffective minutes Saturday in a 61-60 loss to Oklahoma State, but Wednesday took a step towards looking like the Sherron of old - again - in playing solid ball for the most part. He scored seven points and helped KU not skip a beat when the starters needed breathers. Self said he thinks Collins is still a good way away from 100 percent.
Just in case you missed it...
In the absence of Rodrick Stewart, who was in Seattle for his brother's funeral, the thought was that Tyrel Reed or Jeremy Case could see some legitimate minutes. Self even said a couple weeks back that Reed could be moving past Stewart for the fifth backcourt spot in the rotation. Reed and Case both spent the night on the bench and neither entered the game.
Hopefully you didn't miss it...
The Jayhawks didn't lose poise or focus in the second half when Iowa State worked big Jayhawk leads down to six and nine points at different junctures. In response to the first one, KU came out and busted off an 8-0 run keyed by a 17-foot Darrell Arthur jumper. The second time, Mario Chalmers hit a huge straight-on three to stick the dagger in ISU's comeback hopes. In hindsight, the Jayhawks were never in serious danger of losing this game.
They said it...
Bill Self on whether the ship needed to be righted Wednesday: "I think when you're 24-3, you shouldn't be able to say that the ship needs righting, but our players all know that it did. We felt it did, too. I don't know if we did or not, only time will tell, but we were a better team tonight than we were the last 2-3 weeks...I do think this is big, but I don't think that we're back where we were. I don't think you go from playing poor to playing great consistently. I think it's still a process, and it was a great start."
Bill Self on Darrell Arthur's play and his influence on the game's outcome: "We don't talk about it being a calming force, but certainly the team has more confidence when you have your best players in the game the majority of the minutes...I think we've got really good players, but our players are a lot better if things come to them rather than go force the issue. And playing through Shady on the post is great for our team. Also, running and trying to get easy baskets is great for our team, but also getting the ball to the third side a lot is great for our team. We have been impatient of late because I think individuals are saying 'I need to go make a play' as opposed to thinking 'We need to go have a great possession.'
Bill Self on Sherron Collins: "Oh, he was better than Saturday. He's still a shadow of himself, but that's by far the best he's moved since he's been with us, playing the last three weeks. He's not close to being himself, hopefully that bruise will continue to get better, the doctors say it's just time away, so hopefully that's the case. He says he's feeling better."
Bill Self on getting ready for Saturday's game with K-State: "The thing about it is Saturday night, I think our guys will be as excited to play as they have all year - I hope not too excited. I think K-State guys will be excited to play. I think Gameday adds to the excitement probably for both teams, because it's gonna be a hyped up game and all that stuff. But the bottom line is they handled us the first time. And that, right there, in itself, our players know they handled us, there's no other way to sugarcoat it, that will be great motivation...I would be totally disappointed if - we may not play great, who knows, but I'd be totally disappointed if it wasn't an unbelievable effort game for us...a great effort game for us."
Bill Self on preparing for Kansas State: "If you go back and watch the tape, (Jacob Pullen) made eight free throws in the last two minutes. Even though he got 20, he played well, he was the best guard in the game, without question. He was the best guard in the game. And I think we have better players than that and hopefully we'll do a better job trying to contain him, but it's kind of a unique situation, watching tape for the next two days. Teams have struggled playing them one way, they've had success playing them the same way. Teams have had success guarding them one way, then if you guard Beasley and Walker one-on-one, they can go for 75. But Baylor won. We double-teamed Beasley a lot, they kicked our butt. There's gonna be some thinking going on on how's the best way to defend them."
Sherron Collins on the health of his knee: "It's getting better. I didn't like (the brace) either, but the first couple of times I wore it it was for support and help. But now, that's turned around here a little bit, so I don't have to wear it...I just couldn't open it up and turn it into that second gear. It's coming back, it won't be too long. I won't know how long it will be, but at the rate it's getting better at now, it won't be too long...I think I'm healthy enough to be the spark off the bench. Because of the injury, stuff doesn't go well and I'm not at full speed and I can't really do what I want to do, but I think I'm able to be that spark."
Darrell Arthur on working the offense through the post: "Yeah, we got to the post a lot, we had a lot of mismatches down there. They had Wesley (Johnson) playing the four, so we just attacked him down low. He usually plays the two or the three, so we just saw the opportunity to attack...We were going inside and out, so if they trapped the posts we were going to kick it out, but if we had one-on-one situations, they wanted us to take them, so that's basically what we did the whole game...That was the first time (I've played one-on-one) in awhile. I don't even remember (the last time). They never trapped the posts or anything."
Mario Chalmers on the three-point shooting: "I think it was just having the confidence to take the open shot when you have it. I think a lot of people have been hesitating a little bit lately, and today the coaches were just like 'let it fly,' so we did that."