Archive for Thursday, February 4, 2010

Rocky Mountain sigh

KU wins despite FT woes

Colorado forward Marcus Relphorde fouls Kansas forward Marcus Morris during the second half Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2010 at the Coors Event Center in Boulder.

Colorado forward Marcus Relphorde fouls Kansas forward Marcus Morris during the second half Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2010 at the Coors Event Center in Boulder.

February 4, 2010


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— Sherron Collins pinpointed the reason for Kansas University’s abysmal free-throw shooting late Wednesday night in Coors Events Center.

“It HAD to be the altitude,” Collins said after the No. 1-ranked Jayhawks went just 18-of-38 from the line in a tense, 72-66 overtime victory over the .500 Buffs.

Of course, he was kidding, folks.

Collins, who actually had a decent 4-of-6 free-throw outing on a night he missed 11 of 17 floor shots and all five three-point tries, was baffled that a team that had hit 72.6 percent of its charities in Big 12 games could fare so poorly in Mile High Country.

“Tomorrow I guarantee you we will shoot over 150 free throws,” Collins said.

The lousy free throwing — KU was 14-of-30 in regulation — and inability to demoralize the Buffs after bolting to a 24-8 lead had Collins feeling mighty fortunate following CU’s last possession of the second half.

Cory Higgins (14 points, 4-of-15 shooting) had the ball in his hands with 10.6 seconds to play and 8 on the shot clock in a tie game.

Higgins hoisted a deep three with about five ticks left. That shot, after missing the mark, turned the ball over to KU with two seconds to play. The Jayhawks weren’t able to bust the tie, but were able at least to take the game into OT.

“I was just praying it didn’t go in. I think the altitude took that one, too far, too,” Collins said with a smile.

Seriously, folks, Collins said Marcus Morris (15 points, eight boards; six points, seven boards in OT) played tight defense on Higgins on the play.

“Marcus was right on him,” Collins said.

Morris accepted the credit modestly.

“Higgins is a great player,” Morris said. “I thought he was going to drive it, so I gave him a little space. When I saw he was going to shoot, I got a hand up. I think he was three or four feet behind the line. If he hits it from there ...” Morris added, not completing the thought, wincing at the idea of losing on such a deep attempt.

Morris was a force in overtime, scoring half of KU’s 12 points as the Jayhawks won the five-minute session, 12-6.

His driving layup, which followed an eight-footer by Brady Morningstar and free throw by Cole Aldrich, gave KU a 65-60 lead with 3:13 left.

After a Morningstar steal of an ill-advised Higgins pass, Morris grabbed a rebound of a Morningstar miss. He missed an inside shot and grabbed the board, missed again and grabbed the board, then converted as KU led, 67-60, at 2:41.

“Marcus made the play of the game, the best basketball play of the game,” KU coach Bill Self said. “The guy goes after his own ball three or four times.”

The Buffs, who were playing without freshman sensation Alec Burks (knee injury), cut that gap to 67-64 with 1:52 left in OT, meaning KU still had some work to do.

Collins hit a driving layup, but missed a free throw, and Morningstar made one of two charities at :34 to give KU a 70-64 lead. Higgins made two charities at :27.1 to slice it to four points. But Morris finally swished a pair of free throws at :26, which accounted for the final scoring of the game.

“We’ll look back on this as a game where we made it hard on ourselves (because of free-throw woes), but as a good win,” Self said.

“It was contagious,” Self added of the poor charity work. “We weren’t even close. We almost had two airballs the first half. We had numerous chances to put it away from the free-throw line, but couldn’t, obviously. I don’t know how that happens, but it’s something we’ll address in a short period of time.”

Cole Aldrich scored 16 points and had 14 boards, while Collins also had 16 off 6-of-17 shooting with five assists and three turnovers. Morris had 15 points. Marcus Relphorde led the Buffs (11-11, 2-6) with 18 points.

KU will meet Nebraska at 5 p.m. Saturday in Allen Fieldhouse.


Jim Hoffman 7 years, 4 months ago

I love Sherron, but I'd like to see a little less strutting at the end of games. Also, for a senior point guard, he can still be too sloppy with the ball sometimes and can still take ill advised shots too early in the shot looking for a little more of the senior version of Ty Lawson from last years Carolina team. have to be happy that KU is winning and still has room for improvement over the next month before the tourney...hopefully the dose of humility Xavier is getting will benefit him later in the year.. KU will definitely need to cut down on mistakes and shoot better free throws to beat Texas on monday.

reserveseating 7 years, 4 months ago

Gotta give it to my Boy Tyshaun Taylor. Who sometimes I still dont think he knows what his role is. At least this time it looked as if he was playing for Our team this time. But going into OT to a team who got beat a couple days ago by Iowa State. And Colorado was even missing a player. Hopefully we will get back to beginning season form this weekend against Nebraska.

galwaygal 7 years, 4 months ago

I just have to believe that high altitude does have something to do with the woeful free throw shooting last night. How do a bunch of land lubbers (I'm one of 'em) successfully prepare for strenuous physical exercises in high altitudes ... just asking? After wading in calf deep water in a trout stream in Montana last year I could hardly lift my feet high enough to climb out of the river. So, how do younger, more physically fit athletes acclimate themselves a week prior to a basketball game in Boulder? Sure, skill & talent have more to do with wins & losses but high altitude conditioning surely has some effect as well.

ksjayhawk74 7 years, 4 months ago

The altitude thing would explain why Colorado only wins when they're at home.

cowboy 7 years, 4 months ago

On the road in the Big 12 is no cakewalk this year. Any road win is great ! Yeah that sherron really sucks....NOT

Melissa Sigler 7 years, 4 months ago

I'm sure altitude doesn't may have made our players more fatigued than usual, but that doesn't really excuse poor free throw shooting :\

Looks like we got in a funk...the guys were probably so worried about NOT making the previous shots that their attitude was poor and it just snowballed on itself.

They looked SO tired at the end. I'm sure some heads will roll today, but hopefully they'll learn from it.

But hey, on the bright side, at least Taylor doesn't have to feel bad that he's not the only one that sucked last night.

Sf Boggsz 7 years, 4 months ago

Has anyone else wondered why it was so hot in the arena last night? You don't think Coach Buzzzzzzzz huddled with maintenance and suggested making it a sauna combined with the altitude could even the playing field. Not unlike the Raiders watering the field prior to a game to slow down a running attack! To the CU fans at the game: Chanting ALCOHOLIC to Morningstar-uh your arena is called the Coors Event Center and your school is rated highly as a party school/drug use Chanting OVERATED to a team you just lost isn't the smartest chant. What does that say about your team?

KU is now 27-1 vs. Colorado in the Big Twelve. Perhaps CU should consider moving to the PacTen to even the playing field.

rgh 7 years, 4 months ago

Colorado finally packed the house which helped also. There were a lot of KU fans there but CU had more than usual for the KU game. You have to play every team as hard as the next. I think they let up after the big lead and just expected Colorado to fold near the end but the exact opposite happened.

And wow, people taking shots at Bill Self who is about to win a 6th STRAIGHT Big XII title and brought KU the NCAA title about substitutions?

Keep on pushing guys, you have a long way to go but can certainly get there under the guidance we have.

Rock Chalk Jayhawk, go KU.

Rich Noever 7 years, 4 months ago

Xavier is not living up to all the hype. He will not be effective until he learns to take his man to the basket. He plays way too soft. He is a long way from being NBA ready. It make you wonder if all this static from his dad was worth enduring.

coereg 7 years, 4 months ago

This Alec Burks kid is a player. We can say what we want ... "should've won by 20pts." ... fact is, if Colorado was playing w/Burks last night it may have been a 10pt. loss for us.

Theres something about Bzdelik (I live out here in Denver) ... he may be right up there w/Self and Barnes as the best coaches in this league and (CU) is starting to gather a nice solid group of players. They now have more than 1 or 2 impact players.

Relphorde, Higgins, & Burks will all return next year and CU is recruiting two strong post-players (one of them - Aziz Ndiaye - Coll. So Idaho). Forget Mizzou or K-State ... Colorado, with Bzdelik coaching, could actually (believe it or not) be right there challenging us for the North very soon.

I never thought I'd see the day ... CU has been terrible.

amesn 7 years, 4 months ago

Sherron doesn't strut...he sports his swagga! Strut, swag, or just walk however you want Sherron cuz you the man!

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