’Cats meant to foul
KSU suffered ‘major breakdown’
Manhattan ? Following Kansas University’s 81-79 overtime victory over Kansas State, many Wildcat fans might have wondered why KSU didn’t opt to foul the Jayhawks late in overtime.
With 41 seconds left in OT, the Jayhawks had the ball and a one-point lead.
“We were supposed to (foul). We were supposed to,” KSU coach Frank Martin said. “We had a major defensive breakdown there. I’m not into passing blame, but as a whole, we had a major breakdown there.”
Martin said KSU was trying not to foul KU guard Sherron Collins, who entered the game as the best free-throw shooter in the Big 12 at 87.3 percent.
Right after Collins crossed midcourt, KU set a ball screen. For most of the game, KSU had trapped the ball-handler after a screen.
The problem was that KSU freshman Wally Judge arrived late, and Collins dribbled by him.
“Deep in the corner on the half-court line, that should have been a hard trap. Hard trap,” Martin said. “But we didn’t do it. He turned the corner and went.”
Following a timeout with 16 seconds left, Collins took the ball to the basket, making a bank shot while drawing a foul on Judge.
“Wally was a little late on the rotation there, but once again, it gets back to the same thing: You’ve got a grown man in Sherron, and you’ve got a young kid in Wally,” Martin said. “Wally’s a little late, but with all that said, Sherron gets knocked down and still scores the ball.”
Earlier, KSU had a chance to win at the end of regulation after a steal by Dominique Sutton, but his potential game-winning shot was swatted away by KU’s Tyrel Reed.
Martin didn’t complain about the no-call afterward.
“I’ve got no idea. I don’t talk about officiating. They’ve got a hard job to do,” Martin said. ” … It’s a bang-bang play. Whether he got fouled or didn’t get fouled, us sitting here talking about it right now doesn’t change the play.”
Martin, who called KU’s Cole Aldrich the best center in the country, said his team built too big of a deficit early in the second half.
“Unfortunately, you can’t do that when you play big-boy teams, because they’re not just going to turn around and say, ‘All right. It’s OK. We took a lead. It’s your turn now,'” Martin said. “This is not the WWE. It’s real.”
KSU guard Jacob Pullen scored 22 points on 8-for-18 shooting despite a tumultuous night. He threw up in a trash can on the side of the bench early in the first half and also left the game briefly after getting hit in the nose midway through the second half.
“If I would have broke something that game, I probably would have tried to play,” Pullen said.
Pullen laughed with fellow Chicago native Collins before the second half began, as Collins joked to an official that Pullen was holding him. Pullen quickly fired back, denying the false charge with a smile.
Pullen credited Collins for his clutch play.
“There’s not too many other guards who a coach would just give the keys to and just tell him to go,” Pullen said. “Sherron does that.”