Archive for Sunday, February 28, 2010

Loss could help KU down line

February 28, 2010


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KU-Oklahoma State basketball
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Which was more responsible for Oklahoma State's offensive performance against KU on Saturday?

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Does it matter to you if Kansas beats North Carolina to 2,000 wins?

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— It wouldn’t be accurate to say the nation’s No. 1-ranked college basketball team went through the motions Saturday in a first-half debacle in Gallagher-Iba Arena. More like it went through the slow-motions.

Unranked Oklahoma State consistently beat Kansas University down-court in both directions, went harder after rebounds and showed more aggressiveness and confidence in pulling off an 85-77 upset that inspired the student body to spill onto the court in celebration.

In short, what a horrible Saturday to be a fan of Kansas basketball.

In failing to overcome a 16-point halftime deficit that grew to 19 points, KU failed to put a comfortable distance on Kentucky in the competition to secure St. Louis as a regional site. It also made Roy Williams’ North Carolina Tar Heels, who upset Wake Forest earlier in the day, the prohibitive favorites to reach 2,000 victories first.

The shot at what could have been the second undefeated Big 12 conference season died, and KU’s hold on a No. 1 national ranking loosened.

Plus, Oklahoma State’s James Anderson virtually clinched Big 12 Player of the Year honors with a 27-point effort in a game in which Sherron Collins didn’t score in the first 16 minutes and Cole Aldrich impressed his coach so little he played just eight second-half minutes.

All of which means?

Not much.

If the Kansas basketball players polish their mirrors in the wake of this loss that killed a 13-game winning streak, the loss will do more good than harm for their chances of winning a second national title in three seasons.

Until it was too late to matter, the Jayhawks defended like a complacent team, and they are nowhere near talented enough defensively to get away with that against even an NCAA Tournament bubble team. It’s one thing to be told that, a far louder message when shown it.

“I feel like any team has to be scrappy,” Marcus Morris said. “We can’t just go into the game thinking we’re going to win the game just because we’re No. 1. We have to play, or we’re going to get beat again.”

Oklahoma State was in can’t-miss shooting mode, but give at least a little bit of the blame for that to a Kansas defense that didn’t show up in the first half.

“We can’t do that,” Morris said of the team playing well only for a half. “If we come out in the tournament and another team shoots us out of the game like that, we’ll go home early.”

Specifically, Morris lamented the poor job KU did in getting back on defense.

“I feel like they killed us in transition,” Morris said. “They were running right to the three-point line, and that hurt us.”

Some of the open three-pointers were the result of the Cowboys having numbers advantages in transition. Others came as a result of KU defenders failing to fight through screens.

From the outside, it’s evident this Kansas team needs to play with great defensive intensity for foes to hate playing against it. But is that as obvious to players who have gotten away with playing great defense only in spurts, gotten away with it to the tune of a 27-2 record?

The answer to that question will determine whether this team has what it takes to go the distance.


yankeevet 8 years ago

From this picture; it looks like its time too get outta town; by sundown...............those orange people dont look too friendly....

Don Whiteley 8 years ago

With the lackadaisical way in which the KU basketball team has been playing unranked opponents, you could see this game coming a mile away. Will they learn? They didn't learn when Tennessee beat them. They didn't learn when Colorado and Nebraska came within an eyelash of beating them. Why should we think that just because Oklahoma State beat them they'll play an entire game with the intensity needed to be #1.

rtwngr 8 years ago

Most of them need to stop reading their own press and start listening to the coach.

jaywalker 8 years ago

"Why should we think that just because Oklahoma State beat them they'll play an entire game with the intensity needed to be #1"

Gee, I don't know, maybe 'cuz they've been #1 for all but 3 weeks this season? My stomach turns at the prospect of what's gonna happen in the future when KU loses 7 or 8 games in a season, or worse, has a UNC/UCLA type year. Rationality and perspective goes out the window with spoiled fans. .

Todd Kepple 8 years ago

"those orange people don't look too friendly" says yankeevet? I'd say it's worse than that. Every so often I see an image that captures how whacked out some people are on what life is all about. I'm adding this one to the list. Chill, people.

riverdrifter 8 years ago

rtwngr (anonymous) says... Most of them need to stop reading their own press and start listening to the coach.

I agree with this. Been some fairly cocky comments in the media lately. They got their butts beat by a lesser team that outplayed them. I hope the no 1 ranking goes away, big-time. This team needs to stop huffing on and shining their fingernails and get a chip on their shoulder. March is here. Time to get surly.

4everahawk 8 years ago

riverdrifter: Completely agree with you, however, was coach even doing any talking yesterday? He didn't appear to be doing much coaching from the sideline. He was very unemotional, which is unlike him and the team seemed to have the same persona. Had he shown some intensity perhaps they would have as well. The entire team seemed unmotivated and tired. Perhaps they were. Kept waiting to see some fire from BS - even a technical - anything to fire them up and it just didn't happen. Sitting and chewing on your fingernails BS is not going to fire your team up much!

Hopefully Wednesday night the 'other' Jayhawk team will show up.

Gregory Newman 8 years ago

Nobody has taken an account that there was coaching on the other side. This blame the players thing has gotten out of hand. The hawks has the fastest group of guards in the country. Yet they play with a harness around their necks. They have to dribble drive into the lane to open up for the bigs. Every team refuses to get beat inside so they double and triple the posts. The post players post way too long nor do they screen for each other. The guards shoot to well not to develop a mid-range jumper 11-14. They need to quit trying to get lay-ups when there is no lane to get there. Every team knows that when they defense the post well they know Collins is coming so they attack with double teams while his teammates stand around looking. Drive while looking to pass will destroy any defense but it has to be more than just Collins. Its drive stop pop bang. The bigs need to catch and shoot or drive immediately not catch and wait then move. Currently that offense is easy to defense. That switching defense needs to go they do not have laterally speed to defense that way. Too much tendency to use hands and sticken the knee out instead of moving their feet especially the twins. When the ball is passed to the post the guards stand and watch instead of moving to the open area of the floor where they can be visible by the bigs for the kickout and it doesn't have to be a three. To some it up great speed that plays as methodical as a clock.

Jim Hoffman 8 years ago

i did notice a bit too much cockiness when i saw them play Temple here in philly, and that was a concern to me. Overall, the losses to Tenn and OK State dont bother me too much because those were extra jazzed up teams in their home arenas.... and a loss to avoid going into the tournament with a long winning streak isnt a bad thing either... but overall, i havent completely felt it with this team all year long, like i did with the 08 team..yes, they have a shot to win it all because of the lack of a dominant deam out there, but they definitely need to play better for an entire 40 minutes than i have seen them do in any game this season in order for that to happen... too many lazy passes, quick shots, defensive lapses and committing too many cheap fouls...will be interested to see how they respond against K-State...if its 40 minutes of efficiency, energy and focus, i'll be more excited about the rest of March.

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