Archive for Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Border bummer: Kansas smarting after blowing 14-point halftime lead in 62-60 loss

Kansas defenders Mario Little, left, and Cole Aldrich take a bit of harassment from the Missouri faithful during the second half Monday, Feb. 9, 2009 at Mizzou Arena.

Kansas defenders Mario Little, left, and Cole Aldrich take a bit of harassment from the Missouri faithful during the second half Monday, Feb. 9, 2009 at Mizzou Arena.

February 10, 2009

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Mizzou edges past KU, 62-60

Kansas couldn't hold on against Missouri in Columbia. Enlarge video

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2009 KU-MU Feb. 10

— The memory of 1,000 or so gold-clad Missouri fans rushing the court to celebrate the Tigers’ 62-60 victory over Kansas University will stick with Cole Aldrich a long, long time.

“Oh, it’s tough. This is one of those games that will linger,” Aldrich, KU’s sophomore center, said Monday after the Jayhawks squandered a 14-point halftime lead, losing on a jumper in the lane by junior Zaire Taylor with 1.3 seconds left.

“If this doesn’t hurt, I don’t know what hurts. It really eats at me. No. 1, it’s Missouri, and No. 2, we didn’t fight. We didn’t play the second half like we normally do. We didn’t hold our composure.”

Aldrich, who was pretty much ignored by his teammates the second half in putting up just three shots, finished with 15 rebounds, but just eight points. KU’s other focal player, Sherron Collins, missed nine of 13 shots and had nine points on a night only Tyshawn Taylor (11 points) cracked double figures.

The Collins-Aldrich duo also combined for 10 turnovers on a night the Jayhawks committed 27 turnovers, 15 the second half.

It was a half won by Mizzou, 46 points to 30.

“We lacked concentration. We made sloppy passes,” said Collins, who missed two free throws with 1:48 left and KU up, 58-56, trying to hang on for dear life. “We didn’t play defense. No defense. There’s nothing else I can say. The turnovers would have had no effect if we played defense.”

He naturally was upset at KU’s defense on the Tigers’ last three possessions.

First, Leo Lyons cashed a pair of free throws at :58, tying the score at 58.Then after Collins was tied up in the lane, J.T. Tiller hit a jumper at :50, giving MU the lead.

Mario Little tied the score on a clutch baseline jumper at :29. However, on the final possession of the game, MU let the game clock run down before Taylor canned a jumper from about 10 feet.

KU’s Aldrich actually was able to hoist a last-second shot, but it was off balance and had no chance of falling to force overtime.

KU’s Tyrel Reed — he had eight points and five rebounds with no turnovers in 22 minutes — explained the mess-up on MU’s winning bucket.

“We were in man-to-man and wanted to have strong help on Cole in case they drove on him. Zaire was my man, and I closed out on him way too hard,” Reed said. “He shot-faked me and went around me. It’s basically a scouting-report (mistake) on me. I should have known he’s more a driver than shooter so I take that responsibility on that last play for him getting that shot off.”

KU coach Bill Self wasn’t pleased with his squad’s defense late.

“Obviously, we didn’t guard it well. They got a good look and got a good look the possession before on Tiller’s shot,” Self said. “We didn’t defend those two possessions very well.

Self was unhappy to see this one slip away. KU fell to 19-5 overall and 8-1 in the league; MU improved to 21-4, 8-2.

“We had the game where we wanted it,” Self said. “Obviously we didn’t finish worth a flip.”

“We did a pitiful job handling any type of pressure. We were not strong with the ball.”

Points were tough to come by down the stretch. Travis Releford hit a driving layup and foul shot to give KU a 54-43 lead at 8:19. KU didn’t score a two-pointer again until Little’s jumper from the corner.

“I can handle getting beat,” Self said. “We can learn from getting beat. We didn’t expect to run the table or anything like that. When you put yourself in position to be up 14 at halftime, 11 under 10 minutes and seven under four (minutes), as a coach you feel you need to win those games.

“We missed some free throws late. It’s disappointing because in large part we were trying to hang on as opposed to attacking.”

Self said it was “probably good” the Jayhawks had some time before playing again — 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Kansas State.

“If we can’t handle losing a game, we’re not a tough-minded team,” he said. “This one is different. It’s a big rivalry, obviously one we had in our grasp and let slip away. It’s probably good we have five days off.”

Comments

Jason Bailey 6 years, 2 months ago

I'd like to see the Morris twins benched -- both of these guys are the epitome of overhype in overdrive. Bad passes, sloppy shots, a Technical called when bumping into a ref after the ref called a foul on you. Ok, the later gripe applies to only one of the twins but these guys need to cool their heels and maybe then it would drive a point home.

Tarrant 6 years, 2 months ago

Benched??? How about bussed...right back to Philly. I don't like having thugs in Kansas uniforms.

CLARKKENT 6 years, 2 months ago

TAKE THE MINUTES AWAY FROM BOTH TWINS. THEY JUST DO NOT GET IT, NOT SURE THEY EVER WILL.MAYBE IT IS TIME TO GIVE RELEFORD A SHOT. HE LOOKED GOOD LAST NIGHT. ALSO MAYBE LITTLE SHOULD GET MORE PT.LET THE TWINS WATCH A GAME OR TWO, MAYBE SOME THINGS WILL SOAK IN.

mom_of_three 6 years, 2 months ago

Honestly, I don't think the twin noticed the ref walking by, and bumped into him. And the ref didn't see him coming either to avoid him. Although KU didn't play quite the same in the second half, there were a number of questionable calls, including the phantom 5 count, offensive charges (which were called blocks on us on the MO end), and Cole's foul after he rebounded. (he has the right to space) And what was up with the bounces - reminded me of the Disney movie where there was a remote control on the ball so one team could win. But I find it hard to believe a ref can't count to five (and he only threw his arm 4 times.).

tigerforlife 6 years, 2 months ago

waaaaahhhhhhhhit wouldn't be a KU loss without beaker nation complaining about the officiating...take your loss, and your referee-bashing thugs back to lawrence...

webmocker 6 years, 2 months ago

"...Cole's foul after he rebounded. (he has the right to space)..." Actually, you have no "right to space" on the basketball court just because you got a rebound. Plus, Aldrich hit that guy in the head with his elbow. (Not that MU players haven't done the same for decades, but it's still a foul if the ref sees it.)

Linda Aikins 6 years, 2 months ago

Thanks TOB. They are learning and growing up here. Any of you who did something at 18 with this much pressure for the first time with complete poise and success can drive the bus. I'm guessing MkMorris and McMorris will be here for a while.In the meantime, I will not be watching anything about sports today. Well, except this one time.

SoupBone 6 years, 2 months ago

The Morris twins are young. They will be excellent representatives of KU basketball...no worries at all. Bill Self knows exactly what he is doing. I'm sure some of you were saying the same thing about Darnell as a young player and he grew up to be an admirable human being and a fine Jayhawk baller.Let's give Mizzou just a little bit of credit. It's hard for us to beat a team every game for three years straight. They played hard and came back from a big halftime deficit. We get them in our barn soon for the payback. Folks, we should be very proud of this team. They continue to get better and better. This game will help make them hungry. I wouldn't have thought they would be this good after losing so much from a NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP LESS THAN ONE YEAR AGO!!!!Did I mention we are the National Champs? Enjoy the ride.

knayte 6 years, 2 months ago

RE: Mizzou fans storming the court...meh. Sure it makes them look pretty silly, but we did the same thing after beating them in football a few years ago. And MU's football team was never as good as KU basketball. Let them enjoy it, they'll never know what it's like to win a national championship.

hesshawk 6 years, 2 months ago

Can't add anything new to what anyone else has said this morning. Better learn from it fast, cuz it won't be any easier Saturday at KSUcks

nobody1793 6 years, 2 months ago

Morrises are not thugs, they're whiney and soft. 18 year olds in the army say nothing but "sir, yes sir". I want the only words coming out of the Morises' mouths to be "yes coach" or "you got it coach".

janeyb 6 years, 2 months ago

The team learned things last night you never learn in practice. In 1988 didn't KU have to play a full court press 3 times and won the big one on the third try?Ignore the tiger behind the curtain. Until they win a national basketball championship--or even a Big Twelve championship--they don't even begin to know what it is all about. Mike Anderson is a good coach--who won't remain at Missouri long term. He is probably already on some short lists for head coach at a real university. The referee that can't count to five must have been edumicated in Missouri.

fabian_zimbabwe 6 years, 2 months ago

On a sidenote, how about the shot of Gary Pinkel digging for gold in his nose...not once, but three times. Like QB, like Coach...nice.

Travis Shinkle 6 years, 2 months ago

Sometimes a loss is something that is needed to refocus the team. Last year's loss at Oklahoma State "fixed" the problems so perhaps this loss will "fix" this team's problems. I'm not going to say they'll never lose again like last year's team but perhaps the loss will slap these young guys into understanding that just because you build a 10+ point lead doesn't mean that your opponent, especially a rival, will just roll over and die on you.What will really show what this team is about is what they do to the Kitty Kats this weekend after this loss...Side point: is it me or is the guys from ESPN (Fran and Ron) the best basketball commentators on TV today? Seriously, ESPN has it right when they keep these two (plus Shelly) here doing nothing but Big 12 games so that they know the conference? These guys know the nasty rivals, they know that playing a road game at Iowa State isn't fun. I'm comparing that to the morons at CBS Sports who during tournament time do nothing but suck up to the Big 10 and Big East and think that college basketball ends at the Mississippi River...

janeyb 6 years, 2 months ago

As far as Gary Pinkel going to Booger King--did you notice his wife jumped right in there and joined him? Think how many Missourians probably shook their hands last night--I guess they took away a little souvenir from that handshake.

Steve Jacob 6 years, 2 months ago

I did not even see the game, but no one had blogged about the 27 turnovers?! KU got sucked into Missouri's type of game (one day rest did not help planning for it) and paid the price. MU is a good team.

cthulhu_4_president 6 years, 2 months ago

Dismal transition play on the part of KU in the last 5 minutes. No excuse for allowing an 8-0 run with that little time left. You could tell everyone was tired on both sides with all of those tie-ups. It's like the ball went down and the nearest two guys just flopped on top of it, rather than scrap out a dribble.I knew when Collins missed (?!) those last two free throws that it was a big deal. I hate being right.

BorderRat 6 years, 2 months ago

Coach Pinkel was showing the Missouri players his version of the "Pick and Roll."

mdfraz 6 years, 2 months ago

First, I've always liked Ron Franklin, but I start to wonder if he's getting senile. Just little comments throughout the game (and many other games this season) where if he just looked at the ref's call, or the scoreboard, or his monitor, he wouldn't say the things he says. I like the guy, but he just seems to be losing it a bit. I like that ESPN doesn't go in for all the politically correct bull sh** and they still call it the Border WAR. It's not a showdown. It's a war, and they started it!!!!!! As for the game.......1) MU is a pretty solid team this year and they play VERY aggressive defense, 2) they always play us extremely tough, especially in Columbia, 3) we have a lot of young guys who have never experienced an environment like that, and it definitely showed. However, Cole (poor shooting and 8 points, but he did grab a bunch of boards) and especially Sherron disappointed me. Sherron was out of control on a regular basis. Everyone will have a bad shooting night from time to time, and some of his TO's were b/c of MU's pressure, but he's supposed to be maybe our biggest asset, and he was one of our biggest liabilities late in the game. Add to the fact he's an 84% free throw shooter who only made 1 of 4, and missed two big ones late. Again, it's a very difficult place to play, and I'm not questioning his effort, but he hurt us in key moments last night. Yes the Morris twins are 18 year old freshmen, but so was Michael Beasley. And Kevin Durant. And OJ Mayo. And on and on and on. Young players (the above listed ones are the exception, to be sure) often take a while to adjust to the speed and athleticism of college ball. That's not my gripe. My gripe, and it's been mentioned above, is their attitude. They seem lazy and cocky. You don't just "accidentally" give a ref a shoulder in the middle of the court. They don't move their feet on defense, they whine, they make very lazy passes. They have their moments and maybe they will develop, IF their attitudes change. I just don't enjoy watching them play right now.

rgh 6 years, 2 months ago

Give the Morris twins a break. I wouldn't be surprised if some of these posts are Missouri or K-State fans logged on to blast the team and coaches.These kids are young and will mature in both skills and demeanor. It was clear on the replay that the ref was just as much at fault on the Technical foul. The Morris kid wasn't even looking toward him and was "meandering" toward the bench knowing he was coming out with his 3rd foul. It was purely an accident thus the reason Coach was not that upset with him.We just didn't finish the game off, plain and simple. It's no one persons fault, it's coming together as a team; a very very young team. If you remember, there was a great player from Philly at KU at one time many years ago who was nearly run out of town by KU folks. I think he's now in the NBA Hall of Fame and has a jersey retired in Allen Fieldhouse. Remember a "thug" named Darnell Jackson as a young Jayhawk? What did he end up becoming as a young man and as a KU player? Great in both aspects. The coaches will keep them going. By this time, if you would have told me that they Hawks would have this many wins and only 1 conference loss, I would have said, "You're crazy!"Coming into last night's game, if you would have told me we would have had a legitimate chance of winning the game in the last three minutes in Missouri, I would have taken it. With that being said, we did give it away, but to a great defensive team which an experienced Hawk team would have ripped apart.Keep plugging away and keep hanging in there as one unified group of players. Believe in your coaches and your abilities.

jonas_opines 6 years, 2 months ago

Man, 8:41 before a border stalker shows up? They're slipping it seems. Tigerforlife: Hey, though, what happened with this comment?tigerforlife (Anonymous) says… "sorry, beaks…i shouldn't pile on in what has to be the worst week of your pathetic lives, spending six days knowing a final four beat down by the coach who spurned you awaits.now, your current coach is going to leave, and this time it will be for oklahoma friggin state…ouch.stay classy ku."I notice after that one, on April 4th, you mysteriously vanished, basically up until now. With two exceptions, a slap on Collins for his harrassment claim, and a slap on Mangino for (originality!) his weight. Stay classy, tigerforlife. hahahahaha/it's funny because you fail

mom_of_three 6 years, 2 months ago

I was listening to the radio, watching the Tv, and Piper said Cole had a right to his space, and he was clearing his space. The MU player was just waiting for him to turn, like Cole had been doing all game. And it wasn't like Cole was throwing elbows on purpose. He had been clearing his space all game, and suddenly, someone just stands there, and lets the ref make the dumb call. The 5 second inbounds call, and the 5 second call on Brady were also dumb calls.No, you can't blame the loss on officiating, but Kansas didn't benefit from any dumb calls like MU did. I don't see thugs on the court. I see hard playing, talented basketball players from all over the country.

mdfraz 6 years, 2 months ago

rgh you are right to point out that we are 8-1; that would have been difficult to believe coming into the season. And we are indeed a young team, and hopefully learned a lot from last night's meltdown.Now, I disagree completely about Morris bumping the ref. Even assuming (which I'm not convinced about) that he didn't intentionally do it, who do you think is at fault when a player and ref bump? I didn't see Morris apologizing or anything when he did it, which made it look intentional. Point is, why even give the ref an excuse to T you up? That's what he did, and it was stupid. Should the ref have done it? Maybe not, and I do agree that there were a LOT of questionable calls throughout the game. However, it's like walking by a cop and giving him a shoulder. Perhaps it was an accident, but is it wise? Especially since you had just gotten called for a foul you disagreed with and then didn't even bother to excuse yourself for inadvertently bumping into him? Poor performance by the twins can be expected/excused. Poor attitude should not.

mdfraz 6 years, 2 months ago

I'm tired of the whining (including from Fran Fraschilla) about guys getting hit with elbows. REAL simple solution, when a big guy gets a rebound, don't try to get 4 inches away from him and take it away. If you do, when he pivots (which he is allowed to do) with his elbows up protecting the ball, you will get a busted nose. And you deserve it. It's different if a guy is wildly swinging his elbows as weapons. That's not what Cole did and that's not what the Michigan guy did a week or two ago. With as much pushing, shoving, hand checking, and bodying they let go in basketball anymore, are we really gonna try and protect a 6'2" guard who's up in a big man's jock? I don't think so. We cannot and should not blame the refs for the loss at all, but they didn't help our cause. Still, the blame falls on us and our failure to execute and close the tiggers out.

TheYetiSpeaks 6 years, 2 months ago

The calls were bad both ways. The facts are KU did not shoot well, they turned it over 27 times and missed some key opportunities down the stretch. It's not the end of the world. I think KU will probably win the game at Allen. Sometimes in a close game you just get a little unlucky as well (see game winning shot that defied the laws of physics). However, I think the Big 12 should take a close look at the ref who called the "T". I have been a basketball ref for a number of years, and that call was horrific. I rewatched it a few times and whichever twin it was (no idea) was dejected and heading toward the sideline looking at coaches when the ref came running through him. As a ref you give the players a wide berth. I believe that particular ref got caught up in the emotion of the game and he should of used better judgment in that situation. But MU only made one free throw off that and it can hardly be blamed for KU losing the game.

mdfraz 6 years, 2 months ago

Bob I'm not sure who you are talking about, but if you want to defend the Morris' twins attitudes, go ahead. I don't see Releford and Taylor with attitudes, and Releford would have as much reason as anyone to have a bad attitude with his sparse playing time (up until last night). I conceded that sometimes it takes some time for guys, esp. who dominated in high school, to get used to the fact that they have to work their butts off to be successful in college. I just haven't seen the requisite attitude from the Morris twins yet. It was a tough loss against a bitter rival at their place. I'm not bitching about it; I just hope we learn from it.

MUKUOUFan 6 years, 2 months ago

Self and Reed have clarified why KU lost, and what they say is true. Did the refs miss some calls? Sure, but on both sides of the court. KU is young and will learn from last night, and come out strong and hard. I have no doubt KU will beat MU at home...and then just like with KU fans, there will be MU whiners about the "Officiating". Congrats to both teams on a very exciting game.

Evan Ridenour 6 years, 2 months ago

The game wasn't lost because of poor officiating. It was bad on both sides, yes there were some horrific calls against KU that are INEXCUSABLE (the five second call for example), but the players lost that game. You should NEVER win with 27 turnovers. KU didn't deserve the win yesterday and I am actually happy they didn't pull it out at the end. The younger players need to learn that to compete and win in tough, close games, they need to compete for the ENTIRE game and they also need to learn the importance of taking care of the basketball... the turnovers the team is making are ridiculous. I would much rather KU learn these lessons now (yes... even against MU, I hate MU as much as the rest of you but unlike MU fans... we KU fans have more to look forward to than a rivalry game... like post season success) then have them learn it in March.

Armen Kurdian 6 years, 2 months ago

KU needs to finish. This team doesn't know how to play with a lead. I disagree about the officiating...I think it was fair all around. MU won despite being hugely outrebounded & missing a ton of FTs. They just wanted it more. We lost, I'm over it...let's see what level of focus we have against KSU.

mdfraz 6 years, 2 months ago

jhawks makes a good point, and I think other people have hinted at it as well. Take whatever lessons we can from last night, move on, and focus on KSUck this weekend. Can't change the outcome of the MU game, so let's not let it hang over us and influence how we play Saturday. Plus, we still have the tiggers coming to AFH.........

beawolf 6 years, 2 months ago

mdfraz,Good point. The players (and the fans) need to let it go. The coaches will break down the film and hopefully work on correcting the mistakes. But for now the players need to focus on the K-State game plan.As for the game, I saw a bunch of freshman mistakes, but I'm also concerned about Collins. At times the team seemed to play better when he was on the bench. As for Self, he needs to make up his mind on who the "main" guys are going to be and begin to let them get some playing time together. Little needs to stay at the 3 guard, Collins and Morningstar, at the other 2 guard spots. Taylor, Reed and Releford off the bench. His only option down low is rotating the twins and Cole.

Tiger79 6 years, 2 months ago

Ahhhhh....I gotta honestly say I didn't think my tigers would pull it out. But, the team has really been playing above expectations. This win takes some of the sting out of that loss in Arrowhead!!!Anyways, I hope MU and KU can be national powers at the same time and eventually be a greater rivaly than Duke and NC....ACC sucks....go BIG 12!!!

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