Archive for Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Jayhawks survive another close call

Kansas teammates Tyshawn Taylor (10) and Xavier Henry bump fists as they walk off the court smiling after the Jayhawks' 59-54 win over Texas A&M, Monday, Feb. 15, 2010 at Reed Arena in College Station, Texas.

Kansas teammates Tyshawn Taylor (10) and Xavier Henry bump fists as they walk off the court smiling after the Jayhawks' 59-54 win over Texas A&M, Monday, Feb. 15, 2010 at Reed Arena in College Station, Texas.

February 16, 2010


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Kansas holds off Aggies

The Jayhawks overcame Texas A&M in the final minutes Monday, Feb. 15, 2010 at Reed Arena in College Station, Texas. Enlarge video

— Mark Turgeon, who passed Bill Self in a Reed Arena hallway on the way to the interview room, didn’t try to mask his disappointment as he briefly visited with the head coach of his alma mater’s basketball team late Monday night.

“I thought we had you,” Texas A&M; coach/Kansas University graduate Turgeon said, shaking his head.

“You did have us,” Self replied quickly, after his No. 1-ranked Jayhawks managed to pull out a 59-54 victory over Turg’s No. 24-rated Aggies.

The two went on to discuss good-naturedly a few calls that could have gone either way.

“You’re doing a great job, Turg,” Self said, concluding a rare chat between opposing coaches following a hard-fought game.

Just 30 minutes earlier, while exiting the court, Self asked the question of the night — “How’d we ever win that game?” — to nobody in particular as he exited the tunnel toward the victorious KU locker room.

Good question, coach.

The Jayhawks were outrebounded, 41-33 (A&M; had a whopping 20 offensive rebounds) on a night they made hit just 43.5 percent of their shots, including one of 10 threes.

What’s more, senior guard Sherron Collins missed seven of nine shots and scored just seven points with one assist against five turnovers, leaving leading scoring honors to Xavier Henry, Marcus Morris and Cole Aldrich, who had just 12 apiece.

The answer to Self’s question obviously did not come on the offensive end, but the defensive. KU held the hard-working, yet cold-shooting (34.9 percent, 5-for-21 threes), Aggies to zero points off 0-of-7 shooting the last four minutes, eight seconds.

The Jayhawks, who were down 54-52 following a bucket by Donald Sloan, managed seven points in that game-ending “run” (two free throws by Morris, a goaltending bucket by Aldrich and three free throws by Henry) to win that four-minute battle, 7-0.

“We just came together in the huddle and said we have to hunker down and play defense,” said Aldrich, who blocked five shots and in the process became KU’s all-time single-season block leader. He has 98, two more rejections than Greg Ostertag totaled in 1993-94.

“I think coach will tell you this, if we play defense, then the offense takes care of itself,” Aldrich added. “Toward the end, we started to defend. We gave up 20 offensive rebounds tonight, which is unacceptable. That’s on our bigs.”

The late defensive work put a smile on the face of Self, who felt his squad was outworked on the glass the majority of the contest.

“If Marcus isn’t going to play much (20 foul-plagued minutes) and Sherron has the night he had, it’s amazing to me that we won the game,” Self said. “We won the game muddy. We’ve shown we can win games when we make shots. It’s probably a good thing to know we can win a game muddy, ugly from an offensive standpoint.

“We can say it’s ugly, but from our perspective, when we shoot it miserably from distance, but not turn it over (11) and get fouled (KU hit 18 of 26 free throws to A&M;’s five of 11), even though it wasn’t pretty, those were two things that make it a positive situation for us.

“I think their big guys controlled our big guys,” he added. “Our bigs did play well down the stretch, though.”

Everybody played well on the defensive end late.

“Sometimes you get lucky when they miss open looks and you get unlucky when they make guarded ones. Our defense was pretty good late,” Self said.

Though pleased KU improved to 25-1 overall and 11-0 in league play, Self realizes there have been some close calls.

“Shocked,” he said of the team being 11-0. “It’s the best the conference has been maybe since the inception of the league. I personally had a record in mind I thought for anybody to have a chance to win the league ... 13-3. It still may be. That’s what I thought it’d be.”

He mentioned that the Colorado, Baylor, Kansas State and A&M; games could have gone either way.

“We’re playing too many of ’em,” he said of nailbiters. “Billy Tubbs (former Oklahoma coach) told me one time over the course of a season you’ve got to play some close games, but you don’t want to play too many, because for whatever reason, he feels they will all balance out at the end. It does take a grind on your team.”

And uses up some good luck?

“It uses up luck, but also uses more energy, more stress,” he said.

KU will meet Colorado at 3 p.m. Saturday in Allen Fieldhouse.


Jim Hoffman 8 years, 2 months ago

GREAT win. In a tough environment against a team that matches up well with you, on a night where nothing went KU's way (outside of a number of calls that could have gone either way and all seemed to go ours). Great to win a game while Sherron Collins (and Morningstar) contributed next to nothing offensively. We have to let Collins having one bad game slide, but he is still too sloppy with the ball at times for a senior all-american point guard. Great to win a game with the three pointer taken away, which i think the Jayhawks have been relying on a bit too much of late. It was a great prep for the NCAA overcome a tough shooting night and your star having an off game. Loved the fight i saw in the guys last night.

Robert Rauktis 8 years, 2 months ago

Offense sells tickets, defense wins games. Why before Self, there was NO chance at an NC.

mom_of_three 8 years, 2 months ago

The team played the best defense of the night in the last four minutes of the game. Next time, he needs to tell them that speech at the start of the game.

blackfox 8 years, 2 months ago

They sure didnt look like a team that is ranked #1. What a JOKE! They should have lost. I wish the rankings were based on how they played, not if a team wins or looses.

BigAl 8 years, 2 months ago

blackfox... Are you kidding me? KU just gutted out a very good win. They just beat a very good ranked team on the road. A team that had won 16 in a row at home. Kansas didn't look great at times but that was largely due to A&M. Anything less than the #1 team in the country and that probably would have been a loss.

Thinking_Out_Loud 8 years, 2 months ago

True that, SFBayhawk.

That's why our former coach still hasn't added any NCs to his resume.

(Eyes roll)

Armen Kurdian 8 years, 2 months ago

A&M fought tooth & nail on that one...if they had stayed patient and not jacked up a bunch of threes at the end, I doubt KU would have won. We're winning w/several different factors each night, but the one consistency is our poise...we don't panic.

jonas_opines 8 years, 2 months ago

blackfox (Anonymous) says…

"They should have lost. I wish the rankings were based on how they played, not if a team wins or looses."

Hey, you're totally right. Then we should recalculate the ratings for the top few, right now.

So, here we go.

1: Kansas, played poorly on the road, and won 2: Kentucky, hasn't played anybody, at least not on the road, and still plays poorly at times. 3: Syracuse, played poorly at home, and lost. 4: Villanova, played poorly at home, and lost

Feel free to contribute your own top picks, fairly losing your advantage of criticism without offered alternatives.

blackfox 8 years, 2 months ago

People, put KU up against teams other than big 12. lets see how they do? Is it just because you live in Lawrence you suppor this over rated team? Has anyone actually ran into these guys when they are out at night? They arent the good little kids everybody thinks they are. They are the biggest bunch of arrogant pr--ks you have ever seen.

Mandie Eutsler 8 years, 2 months ago

blackfox (Anonymous) says…

"They sure didnt look like a team that is ranked #1. What a JOKE! They should have lost. I wish the rankings were based on how they played, not if a team wins or looses."

First of all what is the definition of "looses"? Did you mean loosen, or loses? About No. 1 ranked teams; What does that look like exactly? Does a no. 1 ranked team look like a team that has a 25-1 record? A team that wins road games on Big Monday WEEKLY? A team that can have thier star player have a rough game and still win? Bottom line is this, a win is a win, no matter how you get it. Any team that can keep winning while sporting the biggest target on their back and play every game under constant pressure is a team that deserves thier no. 1 ranking...

Mandie Eutsler 8 years, 2 months ago

Here you go Blackfox. Here's an unbiased opinion for you. These rankings are all about the numbers, and numbers don't lie...

jonas_opines 8 years, 2 months ago

Ooh, an "outside big 12 (5 teams top 25)" wharrgarbl. Haven't seen one of those in awhile.

Yes, I support the Jayhawks being in Lawrence. I will continue to do so, whether they win the NC or not.

So cmon blackfox, list your top 5 and wow us with your insight.

hungryhustler 8 years, 2 months ago

blackfox is an idiot. i guess he is right tho. from now on we should base a win or a loss on how well they played, not the score.

amesn 8 years, 2 months ago

blackfox- I've seen plenty of 'intellectual' college students acting like arrogant pr*ks out and about in the night life of Lawrence as well. Not long ago I was impressed with one of the Moris twins (sorry couldn't tell which one), he came and sat at the table where us almost 30-somethings were sitting and constantly had girl after girl come up to him wanting him to comply with their requests, he politely declined and sat with us for the duration of the night not at all acting like a jerk! Last spring I did witness some unsavory activity from 2 individuals of the team but these two are no longer a part of the roster! Sherron really looked like an arrogant sb when he plowed over that little girl after the game last night and proceeded to pick her up and give her a huge hug! The nerve of that guy! (dripping with sarcasm) Remember Blackfoot some of the team members are teenagers and the rest in their early 20's except for maybe ol man Brady, and yes they possibly do exude a fair amount of confidence that can be misinterpreted but I myself have been impressed at how these young men carry themselves on and off the court! Most of my praise in this department goes to Sherron, his game time performance exudes confidence not cockiness and off the court he speaks with positivity and praise about his fellow team mates! He has stepped into the role as the team daddy and done a damn good job! I will bawl my eyes out come senior my years as a fan I don't know if anyone has impressed me as much as he! Ok i'll get off my Sherron soapbox! I'm sure you too blackfoot would have extreme self confidence with an air of arrogance if you had the admiration of so many people, especially pretty girls :)

chzypoof1 8 years, 2 months ago

Blackfox is a troll...ignore him

Thinking out loud....Roy is able to recruit better talent without trying in NC. His first first title wasn't with his players...the one last year was legit, FULL of NBA talent. I loved Roy..he won more games than anyone in NCAA history in the time he was here....

Our team is fine. They can win anywhere, anytime. It's still the tourney for a reason...we could win, but the best team rarely wins the tourney...


Larry Bauerle Jr. 8 years, 2 months ago

"I wish the rankings were based on how they played, not if a team wins or looses."

Perhaps the "greatest" line ever on a sports story. All that matters in the end is the scoreboard, not the style points. Will KU win the NC? Who knows, at this point? But they have shown an amazing ability to win games, and since that is why they keep score, they must be pretty good. Are all the players "angels"? Probably not. I'm not either, and definitely wasn't 30 years ago in college.

nobody1793 8 years, 2 months ago

“I wish the rankings were based on how they played, not if a team wins or looses.”

Blackfox = Pete Carroll!!!

jaywalker 8 years, 2 months ago

"People, put KU up against teams other than big 12. lets see how they do? "

Yeah! The Big 12 is only the toughest conference in the country, leader in the RPI, 5 ranked teams, and 6 to 7 to be playin' in March. Winning at Texas, at A&M, and at KSU ain't nothin' but a thing. And to think 'Nova and 'Cuse lost games at home to 15-11 squads while we win on the road. KU sucks, you betcha!

What a moron. Gee, I wonder where blackfox trolls from?

puddleglum 8 years, 2 months ago

prolly misery..... heard they had their streak broken....nuthin left to hang hat on...

devilsrighthandman 8 years, 2 months ago

Blackfox...You have given me the best belly laugh of the week!!!! I am not sure what team you support but I bet that you are there after every game ready to hand out "great effort certificates", organge slices and soda pops. This also solves the BCS problem. We no longer keep score and a panel of "experts" will decide who wins the game based on effort and should have. It's not weather you win or lose, but how you play the game.

devilsrighthandman 8 years, 2 months ago

Pardon my english... it's whether, not weather....

Mandie Eutsler 8 years, 2 months ago

"I bet that you are there after every game ready to hand out “great effort certificates”, organge slices and soda pops."

LOL, Hahahahahahaha....that's funny, devil!

Jim Hoffman 8 years, 2 months ago

im as tough on the Jayhawks as anyone, but i can't say i noticed a lack of effort in the first half. they have won a number of tough games of late that had different styles to them, and thats impressive, though id almost prefer they lose one like that before the tourney (say, in the conference tourney semi's)... this team definitely has the ability to play better than they have to this point, and that is staying something.. better foul shooting last night was good..werent quite as sloppy with the ball as in recent games either... bobby knight making some observations about the lack of help defense in some instances...

as for the rankings, id actually rather not be #1 going into the tourney anyway...but they definitely deserve the # 1 ranking... i live near Villanova and like watching their squad, but dont see how they could compete with Kansas' size in the tourney

ResQd 8 years, 2 months ago

They all have off-games. Keep up the good work, Jayhawks!

ralphralph 8 years, 2 months ago

Better hope "Good Sherron" shows up for the post season, and not the "Bad Sherron" from last night. When he's "on", he can take over the game, and even the whole building. When he's "off", it's like watching a train wreck that won't stop happening.

That said, it would be a wonderful thing if Ex-ay-vee-urr would play with half the heart and hustle of Sherron.

Bobo Fleming 8 years, 2 months ago

guys figure it out. all black fox wants is reponses to his posts. So he posts idiotic things. Just ignore the little troll and he will stop posting.

nolanjohnm 8 years, 2 months ago

@Blackfox - So how do you suppose we go about ranking "how they played, not if a team wins or looses" ? Seems like the most subjective idea I've ever heard. Better yet how 'bout we rank them by your favorite color or mascot if you prefer?

GD4TREY 8 years, 2 months ago

@ralph partly agree with you.. as good as Sheron can be, he can stink it up too. But that is the nature of the game, sometimes you are just off. As for X a lot of the times he seems either lost or doesn't know what to do out there. I can see he has skills but he needs to get more aggressive offensively as well as on the defensive side. Time and again he gets himself out of position. Then fouls or puts up a bad shot. They cannot do like last year and stand around and wait for Collins to do it. He needs the rest of the team to step up and do their jobs. That is what cost the game last year against MSU, nobody wanted to shoot the ball. So Collins had to, and he found himself a lot of the times double and triple teamed. Sometimes he got himself cornered. Tyshon hopefully will get his head right...your summertime success is over. This team needs the skills you possess, just relax and you game will come to you. Don't press like you have been, trying to do to much. Play within yourself and you will stop the turnovers, and letting your man get past you on defense. You are a good defender or Self wouldn't have you out there. But arrogance, or thinking you are all that won't cut it. People around your mom at the games can see that doesn't help her doing all that yelling, and possibly filling your head full of you are this and you are all that. Yes, you are good but that isn't enough if you want to be the best. The best players in history are always trying to get better. They aren't satisfied with past accomplishmnets.

krtoal 8 years, 2 months ago

Bill has the team playing defense first, a characteristic rarely seen in Roy's KU teams (Hinrich era being one notable exception). I agree that the team should probably lose a game to keep them mentally balanced, but let's take a different approach. Let's put the challenge on Bill (who in my view has rarely let us down when it counted) to keep the team focused throughout, without losing another game for the rest of the season. Can Bill get these guys to play every game like he wants them to for the remainder? My money's on Bill.

Jeff Kilgore 8 years, 2 months ago

There isn't one team in the top 10 that hasn't had an unimpressive night, but this win is impressive because every single factor seemed to go against us, and we stil won. The single most important thing is knowing how to win which is part hustle, part experience, and part intangible, something you can't coach. The 2008 team had it, and this one does too. I agree, krtoal, my money is also on Coach.

GD4TREY 8 years, 2 months ago

my money if I had any lol is on Bill Self....was he happy about the play probably not was he happy they escaped with a win I bet he was... these games will make them tougher in the long run.

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