2007-08 Jan. 14 KU-Oklahoma men's basketball
- Bill Self discusses his team's routine-looking 30-point win over Oklahoma in their Big 12 home opener
- Brandon Rush talks about his hot hand to start Big 12 play (nine threes in two games)
- Darnell Jackson talks about how he still thinks he can produce more for the undefeated Jayhawks
- Mario Chalmers talks about picking up his own aggressiveness against Oklahoma
Some thoughts...from Allen Fieldhouse
Gary Bedore, Journal-World KU men's basketball beat writer
"Darnell Jackson had another big game, this time against his home-state school. Too bad Blake Griffin got hurt early. It would have been nice to see him play. I'm sure the 14 NBA scouts agree. Great win for KU. Quite the blowout. Cole Aldrich, by the way, looked pretty strong this night during his moments in the game. Man, he got up for blocks. Kudos to Longar Longar. He's improved a lot."
Tom Keegan, Journal-World sports editor
"A team can't play much better. Kansas made 17 of 18 free throws, turned the ball over seven times, and didn't let the lopsided score lead to careless basketball. Playing that extraordinarily well, it can't be easy having to wait until Saturday to play another game."
Ryan Greene, KUSports.com editor
"It's not so much the margin of victory that is impressing me, but it's just the way the Jayhawks' two wins in Big 12 play so far have looked completely routine. It's not like the Jayhawks are playing above their heads. And then it's nice to hear Darnell Jackson say that he feels there's still more he can give. As far as his potential pro career goes, Monday night couldn't have hurt. Aside from the loads of NBA scouts on hand, there were four teams - Houston, Portland, Indiana and San Antonio - that brought two people to watch this game. That means those four teams are very serious about someone. Even if Jackson wasn't one of them before the game, I'm sure he was afterwards. he showed everything - his rebounding ability, toughness inside and a sweet outside stroke. Good for Darnell. Can't help but be a fan of that guy."
Inside the numbers
9: In two Big 12 games, Brandon has put home 10 field goals en route to a 17.5 point per game average. Nine of those made buckets have come from beyond the three-point arc. But as was the case Saturday night, his aggressiveness consisted of more than an outside shot. He again was slashing, kicking the ball out and being as active a part of the offense as he possibly can. Nine rebounds made his line look even nicer.
32.8: Again, the Jayhawk defense held its opponent to an astonishingly low field goal percentage, as OU managed to hit just 32.8 percent of its shots. The Sooners, in a state of confusion a bit without Blake Griffin for much of the night, were forced in to some pretty bad looks. Tony Crocker, who entered the game as almost a 50 percent three-point shooter, was 0-for-2 from deep, and Taylor Griffin was forced into four ugly long range looks.
17: The only thing Darnell Jackson had to apologize for after the game (in a joking manner, of course) was being the lone Jayhawk to miss a free throw attempt. KU has made 67 of its 85 free throw attempts in four January games. The Jayhawks made 17 of 18 Monday night, including four-of-four showings from Darrell Arthur, Russell Robinson and Mario Chalmers.
5: With as well as KU played Monday night, Blake Griffin getting hurt might not have made much of a difference on the scoreboard. But you can only hope OU's super frosh is all right, after leaving the game with what was being called a sprained left MCL five minutes into the game. He had just one rebound and no points before spending the rest of the night on the bench, left knee wrapped with an ice pack.
45: Cole Aldrich certainly deserves some mention for his solid minutes off the bench. While Jackson, Arthur and Sasha Kaun have gotten plenty of pub for KU's consistent post play, the freshman had six points, three rebounds and three blocked shots in 13 minutes of play. Plus, he had no turnovers and hit a pair of free throw attempts.
Just in case you missed it...
The official reunion in the Fieldhouse for the Jayhawks' 1988 national championship squad isn't for a few more weeks, but Kevin Pritchard, who started several games that season in the backcourt for Larry Brown, was on hand Monday night. Of course, Pritchard's visit was business-related, as the general manager of the Portland Trailblazers. Don't be surprised if he has a vested interest in a couple of KU's pro prospects, as a few would make a nice fit for his club, currently in seventh place in the Western Conference.
Hopefully you didn't miss it...
Darnell Jackson had a little something extra in his corner Monday with his mother in attendance. Jackson sure didn't disappoint, finishing with 14 points, eight rebounds and a pair of blocked shots. Despite the Jayhawks' balance, Jackson not only has the best case this year to be considered KU's most improved player, but also as its most valuable. Through 17 games, he's averaging 12.3 points per game (second on the team) and a team-best seven rebounds per contest.
They said it...
Brandon Rush on Blake Griffin's injury: "It's a sad thing that he got hurt, because we've seen him on film and I admired him. I wanted to see what he played like, I heard he was pretty great."
Brandon Rush on his hot play to start the Big 12 slate: "I'm just feeling it. Everything's going right, staying aggressive, putting myself in a position to make plays for my teammates, and I don't know, I've just got the hot hand right now."
Mario Chalmers on KU's margin of victory Monday night: "We're a little bit surprised, but when Blake went down, it took a lot of their offensive power away. We just fed off of that, just tried to put our foot on their throat and put it away."
Darnell Jackson on the Jayhawks' improved free throw shooting: "After every practice, we take like 45 minutes to shoot free throws. No talking. You shoot two free throws, run it down and back, shoot two free throws, run it down and back. We're just constantly shooting free throws after every practice, and it's just paying off."
Darnell Jackson on whether he's got more in the tank to add to his already impressive play this year: "Yes, I think I can (do more). I think I can give a lot more than I'm giving now."
Bill Self on Blake Griffin's injury affecting OU some: "I'm sure it deflated them when Blake whenever down, it would deflate us. He's terrific, and I certainly hope it's not a major or season-ending type of injury, but we played well tonight. We were definitely pretty charged, and I thought our guys were flying around pretty good defensively for the most part."
Bill Self on OU coach Jeff Capel claiming KU is a much better team than Memphis: "I think it probably is close. I think we're pretty good, and I know Memphis is very good...I appreciate Jeff saying that, but I wouldn't read too much into that."
Bill Self on his team being a 'spurt team': "I think that's what our team is - we're a spurt team. We can putter around and be behind 17-15 or be ahead 17-15, and three minutes later have a double-figure lead. And that's what most really good teams can do."
Bill Self on how he felt with his team's performance in playing two games in three days: "It's not that big a deal. These guys are 20 years old, they shouldn't get tired. And the other thing is we catch some breaks where maybe other people don't. I think we had two guys play 30 minutes against Nebraska, and then tonight we had one guy play 30 minutes, where our opponents a lot of times are playing 35. So if anything, it probably helps us against our opponent because we probably have more depth than most people."
Bill Self on going on the road to play Missouri this Saturday: " They've got a good team, and I really enjoy going to Columbia. We're not going to vacation there this summer, but I really enjoy the atmosphere going there. It's been great overtime we've been, and I anticipate it being a juiced up atmosphere going there Saturday."