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Archive for Tuesday, February 16, 2010

KU overcomes Collins’ struggles

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

— The second half was about to start when Bob Knight, a member of the media now working games as a color commentator for ESPN, said he wouldn’t start Sherron Collins to open the half because he had been a negative for Kansas, especially offensively, in the first half.

KU coach Bill Self started Collins, of course, but just knowing the winningest college men’s basketball coach said that of a player who stands a chance to become the winningest college basketball player of all-time reveals just how rough a night Collins had in every way except one.

His Jayhawks won, 59-54, against a Texas A&M team that hit the boards hard and shot harder. The victory kept Kansas (25-1 overall, 11-0 Big 12) alive for a shot at what would be a shocker of an undefeated Big 12 season.

It also showed that unlike some teams, it can’t be said of Kansas that as any one player goes, so goes the team. The nation’s No. 1 team has too much depth and versatility to say that.

As with any team, Kansas looks its best when the guy who takes the most shots catches fire. Yet, in the past eight games, Collins has made just 10 of 42 three-point shots, or 24 percent.

“Hasn’t shot it a lick,” Self said of his senior leader.

That could mean one of two things, one good, the other not. It could mean Collins either is getting his shooting slump out of his system without it keeping the team from winning, and he’ll recover his sweet stroke in time for March, or it could mean something is causing the slump. Could it be something physical? Is Collins hurt?

“No,” said Collins, who slammed his shoulder taking a hard fall. “I’m all right.”

His coach didn’t offer any theories as to why Collins has been misfiring from long range of late.

“I just think he’s missing shots,” Self said. “I’m not a big believer in thinking there’s something going on. A lot of times basketball is a game of so much human element. Why does a golfer hit it straight one day and blow it out to the right the next? Sometimes, it just happens, but I still think he’s as good as any guard around.”

Why does Brady Morningstar make 12 of his first 14 free throws and miss his next four?

Even with his shot on temporary leave, Collins has a contagious confidence to him. He makes sure his team stays aggressive, especially at the end of close games.

He knew it wasn’t his night, so he didn’t shoot as much. He finished with seven points, just one assist and five turnovers, including a ball he dribbled away in the final minutes. All four of his three-point shots missed on a night Kansas made just one of 10 three-pointers.

In the past two games, KU has made eight of 37 threes, just 22 percent. Sometimes this teams wins pretty games, other times ugly ones. For now, the important thing is to keep winning because Kentucky, the nation’s No. 2 team, is doing so.

Kentucky poses the biggest threat to Kansas landing the No. 1 seed in the St. Louis regional. If KU can stay ahead of Kentucky in the eyes of the seeding committee, it will get to stay close to home, rather than be sent, say, to Houston.

Collins doesn’t need to shoot well for the team to win, but its chances of winning it all certainly will improve when his long-distance shooting does.

Comments

Robert Rauktis 4 years, 10 months ago

"It also showed that unlike some teams, it can’t be said of Kansas that as any one player goes, so goes the team. The nation’s No. 1 team has too much depth and versatility to say that."

Sorry. They don't come close to the last NC team.

Rickyonealku 4 years, 10 months ago

YEP SFBayhawk....Kansas is a TEAM yep a Basketball TEAM....great road win...now BEAT Colorado this Saturday at the HOUSE...

jumpin_catfish 4 years, 10 months ago

Sometimes Collins tries to do too much but that is only because he competes so intensely. Great game last night, I like this team's chances in the tournament.

Sparko 4 years, 10 months ago

Hah! The national championship team would have lost last night. They lost at OSU in similar circumstances. This is a tough and deep team. The Big XII defends, buddy. This is the toughest defensive conference--easily--in America.

cato_the_elder 4 years, 10 months ago

Hope we don't find out later that Collins has been playing with a previously undisclosed groin injury suffered during the Colorado game at Boulder.

newmedia 4 years, 10 months ago

Next time Bob doesn't like something maybe he can just toss his chair on the court to get his point across !!

jaywalker 4 years, 10 months ago

I have the same worry, cato, though I'm thinking it has to do with his knee from the the KSU game. He hasn't been challenging the lane much in these last 5 games either, and his shot has been short. Seems like a bit of hitch in his giddy-up would explain that.

hesshawk 4 years, 10 months ago

It's defense that will carry this team. As long as they put 100% into playing defense, they have the capability to shut teams down for 4 minutes like last night or 7 minutes like Texas. That's what I'm most excited about. That said, some perimeter shooting must be there to prevent total collapse on the bigs. I believe it will come back soon. Too many good shooters for them to all be flat at the same time for very many games.

Rock Chalk

sailor 4 years, 10 months ago

If Aldrige puts that ball on the floor, under the basket again, I'm gonna come up there and yank out his other front tooth.

Jim Williamson 4 years, 10 months ago

I don't like Knight as a commentator, but I did find it interesting that on the goal-tended basket by Aldrich that put KU up 3 late, Knight desribed the play as it happened and correctly said, as Aldrioch started to go left, "Now he's going to wheel back around to his right." Aldrich did just that a split second later and made the bucket. Coach Knight knew the scouting report better than the Ags.

sailor 4 years, 10 months ago

Sorry about the spelling. Aldrich, put that ball into the hoop, don't try to dribble!

ralphralph 4 years, 10 months ago

Sherron: He didn't just "miss" his 3-pt attempts, he was hurling bricks and airballs. He was an out-of-control mess who belonged on the bench, but Self doesn't have the guts to put him there.

Knight: Love him or hate him -- and he obviously doesn't care which you do -- Coach Knight distinguishes himself from almost every other "color" man because he actually watches the game, he understands what he is seeing, and he calls it like he sees it. I don't want to be stranded on a desert island with Bobby, but I wish he worked every game I watch on TV.

somebodynew 4 years, 10 months ago

ralphralph hit it on the head. Knight actually pays attention to the game. Then with his ability to explain things it make for a good game call. We don't go on 5 minute wanderings while stuff is happening, he keeps up with it. Most of the others do not.

But I do think it is time for Brent to retire. Did everyone else how he started pronouncing Turg's name about 1/2 way through the game???

Clint Church 4 years, 10 months ago

What the hell ever happened to the bank shot?

1029 4 years, 10 months ago

If they would only get rid of Holly Rowe.....

Nobody wants to hear her ramble on through 2 or 3 possessions with some worthless information about some player's personal life or something that a coach supposedly said to her before the game. Next time she starts rambling on while some exciting play is unfolding, I'd like to see Knight just go ahead and interrupt her. Nobody cares what she has to say. Nobody.

ralphralph 4 years, 10 months ago

Maybe they could broadcast on 2 channels and make it like a DVD where you can choose the "commentary" you want ... :)

bad_dog 4 years, 10 months ago

I'm with you 1029-nothing against female sports reporters, but at least address something substantive. Too much fluff-zero substance.

stuckinthemiddle 4 years, 10 months ago

I turn the sound down when Knight's doing the games... nothing but inane stating of the obvious... if you know absolutely nothing about basketball, bobby might be interesting...

txron 4 years, 10 months ago

BEFORE IT IS ALL OVER WE ALL WILL BE SINGING COLLINS HIS PRAISES

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