Archive for Friday, April 9, 2010

Tables, railings, KU in ’11

April 9, 2010


Two technical aspects of college basketball keep bugging me as speculation broadens about next season and how Kansas fits into the 2011 Big 12 picture.

One item goes clear back to the Kansas-Missouri game at Columbia on March 6. KU’s Marcus Morris had a violent cranial collision with an “officials” table that looked as if it would gong him into the next century. Was the table too close to the combat court, and if so, was it as fully padded as it must be? If the answer is affirmative, no problem. If not, MU and every other school with tables in similar positions should get out the foam or something even friendlier to human body parts and provide the right protection. That one blow could have left Marcus addled for life. He and every player in any gym needs to be fully protected.

The second issue is whether KU can somehow provide handrailings in the aisles of Allen Fieldhouse. You don’t have to be a Mikhail Baryshnikov to get up and down those steps with ease or security, but it would sure help. I notice most all the first-class arenas featured during the NCAA Tournament had the railings, particularly the final setting in Indianapolis. Thing is, KU might lose a few revenue-producing seats to install solid railings, but the fear and misery eliminated could do wonders for the more feeble and unstable among us. Doubt the need? Ask some acquaintances if they have stopped coming to games because of the aisle perils, or that they dread another sortie into the Phog because of them. And a lot of such sources are not really old.

As for the KU team that will be sashaying around in no-railing AFH next season, I think it’s being blindly downrated in favor of the likes of nouveau riche Kansas State, Baylor and even rebuilding Missouri. Even with Cole Aldrich, Sherron Collins and Xavier Henry gone, I’m asking, “Who dat team gonna beat our Hawks?” Even if KU doesn’t add one other prospect to the roster. Indications are, coach Bill Self is about to sign some savior to take over the point guard slot, a la Derrick Rose, Tyreke Evans or John Wall. Note: Don’t shortchange viable candidates already in the stable. If there are no additions whatever, Kansas should be a contender not only for Big 12 but national honors.

Self put too much on Sherron Collins’ plate, and he wasn’t able to digest it suitably at crunch time. He’s a senior and done. I’m thinking whoever takes over the quarterbacking duties could do the team more good than Collins in his stretch-run slump. Sherron may struggle to stick in the NBA.

KU has the Morris twins, Jeff Withey, Thomas Robinson, Elijah Johnson, Tyrel Reed, Brady Morningstar, Tyshawn Taylor, Mario Little, Travis Releford and C.J. Henry due back, and if Self can’t fashion a major winner from that package, he should take a pay cut. Two star recruits could put more icing on that tasty holdover cake.

Sure, the league will be tough, but KU has the potential for another Top-10 status, and maybe a better chance to survive and advance in the NCAA Tourney without the Collins-Aldrich-Henry stay-or-go distractions.

This year’s erratic, lag-lag-lag-tie-then-lose team never got as steady and cohesive as next year’s might well do. Low-key KU tried to mail in the Northern Iowa victory, but UNI hijacked the postal truck.


rtwngr 8 years, 2 months ago

With Sherron Collins on the court it seemed like the other players were waiting for him to "do his thing" or thought, what's the point he's going to do his thing. Collins was a ball hog and his teammates knew it. They were better during the UNI game without him on the court. Passes were crisper and they worked the ball around more.

Everlasting memory - Collins dribbles around his man, jukes the post man out top who didn't move, falls down and turns the ball over. Way to go.

wolfy 8 years, 2 months ago

The Hawks might very well be better in some areas next year, like on the perimeter, particularly if we land Josh Selby. My concern is shoring up the defense. Last year Cole's presence inside disguised a lot of defensive problems and allowed us to keep sub-par defenders like Collins and Reed on the floor. When Cole came out of the game last year, we all of a sudden looked very small and soft in the middle.

drnater 8 years, 2 months ago

Thats probably because nobody else on the team is 6'11 besides Jeff Withey and he hardly ever played. So of course we looked small, Kief and Marcus are 6'9 and 6'8 on good days. Robinson is 6'9 so of course any good sized guy on the court was going to tower over our other defenders if Cole and his long arms werent on the court.

hwker 8 years, 2 months ago

Collins was a thug....good riddance!

wolfy 8 years, 2 months ago

drnater- you are too literal. My point was that, other than Cole, none of our big men, including Withey, played big. Next year our perimeter D must get a heck of a lot better because we'll have no one in the paint to cover for their breakdowns.

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