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Jayhawk Flashback: Oklahoma State, 2/27/05
This week's Jayhawk Flashback surely has to be one of the highest-ranked on Kansas coach Bill Self's victory list.
"I don't think I've ever been a part of a better basketball game. ... This will go down as one of the great ones ever (to have been) played in this building."
The highlights of this "instant classic" are below.
• What I remember most about this game is that it was the closest to an NBA shooting performance that I've ever seen at Allen Fieldhouse. No one was missing shots. Consider this: KU shot a higher percentage from the floor than from the free-throw line. And KU made 65.2 percent of its free throws, which isn't too bad.
The Jayhawks were 31-for-47 from the field (66.0 percent). OSU was almost as hot, making 31 of 53 shots (58.5 percent). Combined, the two teams made 62 of 100 field-goal attempts.
Afterwards, Self said it was more a product of good offense than bad defense. I'll agree. Any shot that was even semi-open was swishing through that day.
• It also was one of the best performances for Wayne Simien, who will best be remembered in this game for his reaction to the victory afterwards. Big Dub had a career-high 32 points on 11-for-17 shooting. He also seemed to answer OSU's John Lucas shot for shot, putting up some attempts before it looked like he even had a grip on the ball (see the 2:02 mark).
Our own Chuck Woodling even wondered which performance was better: Simien's against OSU, or Nick Collison's 24-point, 23-rebound performance in 2003 against Texas.
• Speaking of Lucas, he was unbelievable this game. He started 9-for-9 and was taking (and making) tough shots, too. Don't know about you, but when he fired up that open shot just before the buzzer, I was sure it was going in.
"I can't believe I missed that," Lucas said after the game. "I shoot that shot at least a thousand times a day."
Some other quick-hit notes, which might only interest me:
•The game ended a three-game losing streak for KU. Previously, the Jayhawks had lost at Texas Tech, at home to Iowa State and at Oklahoma. Interestingly, after the OSU win, KU still had a one-game lead in the conference standings.
• The win also ended the silly media boycott of 2005. The Jayhawks went without cell phones and media one-on-one interviews for four days in an attempt to focus on the Cowboys.
It led to an interesting quote from Keith Langford afterwards:
"We hear what everybody says. A lot of times you try to not take it personally, but guys do. You put in blood and sweat, and somebody writes up something negative, it's human instinct to get riled up about it.
"It's part of the reason we didn't want to talk to the media. It feels good to get the monkey off our back. We can't put any blame on media guys or anyone else. It's the guys on the floor."
• Was Sasha Kaun really on that team? That guy really was at KU for a long, long time.
• Christian Moody returned to this game after suffering an infected floor burn against Texas Tech. meaning he sat out KU's previous two losses. Moody tied a career-high against OSU with 11 points. So was it a coincidence that KU won in the game he returned?
• Simien had a streak of 34 free throws in a row snapped in the OSU game. That record was broken by Sherron Collins this year.
• KU had a pair of interesting recruits show up that day. One was Burlington sophomore Tyrel Reed.
Bet he never would have guessed that his career at KU would start 4 1/2 years later.