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Archive for Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Jayhawks made Aldrich disappear

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

— He shouldn’t be difficult to find. He’s the tallest guy on the floor. He wears an ugly mask. He battles for position on the block as told, and he catches everything thrown his way.

Yet, for some reason, Cole Aldrich again somehow became invisible to his teammates. If only the Kansas University guards had thrown him the ball more often, a terribly messy self-destruction could have been avoided.

Instead, Kansas coughed up a 14-point lead to top rival Missouri and lost, 62-60, Monday night in Mizzou Arena, where the students stormed the court in celebration.

Aldrich attempted three field goals in 19 second-half minutes. For the game, he played 35 minutes and attempted eight shots. He had at least two inches on Missouri’s tallest player.

Apparently, the Kansas guards didn’t think they needed Aldrich. They thought wrong.

Too gracious in defeat to take any credit away from Missouri, Kansas coach Bill Self did his best to bite his tongue and did not come right out and say his team blew the game, which it did on a 27-turnover night.

But when the topic turned to Aldrich, who scored eight points, Self couldn’t hold back.

“Not too many people play that zone, so the zone is what did the best job,” Self said of Mizzou’s extended 2-3 matchup zone before changing his mind. “And I’ll tell you who did the best job of guarding Cole tonight — besides, they did a good job on him — but our players did a real good job of guarding Cole because we never threw the ball to him. That’s frustrating because he was open more times than we threw the ball to him.”

Sherron Collins (nine points, three assists, six turnovers) addressed the issue.

“We just didn’t do a good job of getting him the ball,” Collins said. “And I thought they did a good job of keeping him out of the game, fronting him, trapping him, doing a lot of different things to him. You’ve got to give a hand to them. They played a good defensive game.”

Teams will continue to figure out ways to play strong defensive games against Aldrich, and Kansas must figure out how to feed him anyway.

Aldrich represented the best advantage Kansas had going for it, as evidenced by his 15 rebounds in a game in which nobody else had more than seven boards. Feeding the center for a couple of buckets during the late eight-minute stretch in which KU made just one field goal could have been just the tonic the team needed to stem the implosion.

“I definitely thought that there were times they could have thrown the ball in a little more,” Aldrich said. “I’m not a selfish player. If I don’t have it, nine times out of 10 I’m going to kick it out to the shooters and go and ball-screen or whatever.”

How could he get only eight shots?

“It’s just kind of how the game goes,” Aldrich said. “If they didn’t think they were able to throw the ball in, I trust them. They’re my teammates. I trust them with all my heart.”

Those are the words of a good teammate. It’s best for the team if behind the closed practice doors his words strike a far different tone. Something along the lines of, “Throw me the (bleepin’) ball. Now.”

Comments

Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 6 years ago

He also got the ball on a few occasions late and they took the ball away from him. Maybe you missed those parts of the game.

Leprechaunking13 6 years ago

If we saw Cole today I'm positive he's battered with scratches and bruises because of the double and triple teams that they placed on him the 2nd half. He should have been put on the line another 10 times. The refs were too whistle happy on one end and not the other. How can there be a 4way tie up with 3 players from one team and there not be a foul. My hats off to ref hartsohl, thanks for packaging the game for them! A 5 second call after 3 seconds, and a charge on Aldrich after a defensive rebound, really?! Within 2 minutes of each other. The refs stole the momentum from a young KU team in a fire pit of MU bushwhackers. I'm proud of our team for the poise they showed til the refs killed our momentum. We get them again at home we take care of business like we know we can the next 7 games we r still golden. C'mon boys bring it home strong!

jaywalker 6 years ago

Aldrich will be a lot more effective when he learns to get rid of the ball as soon as he sees a double and triple team coming at him. Kick it out, defense sags back, then feed him again. It makes the defense hesitate. Last night when he did get the ball he just stood there waiting for the double to come. But he did get hacked a lot with no calls. Couldn't agree more on the quick 5 second calls, both plays. That's three painful losses on the year. And besides the UMass game, that's three losses after leading by double digits in the second half. Ouch. But not surprising from such a young team.

shotgun 6 years ago

Yep, must have been the refs! Otherwise how could crack smokin' hillbillies beat the Layhawks! ;-) Grrrrr!!!!!!!

MUKUOUFan 6 years ago

How sad to see some of the usual whiners "blame it on the officiating". Excuses are like aholes, everyone has one, and they all stink. Bottom line is that KU had a 14 point halftime lead and blew it. It happens. KU is a young team with a lot of talent. MU is a rebuilt team with a lot of talent. Both teams are fairly equal, and when they play at KU, I think KU will win. And then MU whiners will start in with the "blame it on the officials" tune. Congratulations to BOTH teams for a great game.

jaywalker 6 years ago

Oooooo! The 'Layhawks'? Now that's clever.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

The bad officiating (despite your contentions to the contrary, MUKUOUFan) was definitely a big factor. Nevertheless, they still had a chance to win it, and didn't.But at the beginning of this season, I'm sure everybody would have been happy with the first league loss not coming until this game. 8-1 ain't bad at all for this young team.

MUKUOUFan 6 years ago

"8-1 ain't bad at all for this young team."We agree. Actually, 8-1 is awesome for this young team, and I think KU will take it up a notch after last night's game. It was also fun to watch Nebraska take it to Texas this past weekend. And CU gave OU a big scare. The Big XII is definitely a premier basketball conference.

jaywalker 6 years ago

No doubt if we'd been told KU would start 8-1 everyone would have been tickled pink. I was just hoping to go 1-1 this week and it sure would have nice to get that one last night. I'm afraid the 'hawks will come out tight at Bramlage now. This is the rough half of the conference schedule now, that's why last night was so pivotal.

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