Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Reaction to Kansas Jayhawks first loss vs. Tennessee


The loss to Tennessee is nothing to fret about, even if they were severely undermanned. In the short-term that can bring teams together, and they certainly played fired up on Sunday. Don't freak when Tennessee starts to plummet because they won't be able to keep that effort up in the long-term. It will catch up to them.

Losses happen. The way to win it all in College Basketball is to respond well to losses. You have to be able to build from them. I'm sure Bill Self didn't mind seeing a loss at all, and is now able to get his point across to his players. They all have gigantic heads now (cough cough, Tyshawn), and now its time for Self to shrink those. I see no reason to think that Self won't get his team to respond well from this loss, and see little chance that KU isn't a number 1 seed come March.

Now why did KU lose? If I had to put blame on one soul, which is hard to do, I'd go with Xavier Henry. He took but 1 shot in the second half of the game, which happened to be an impressive blow by and easy layup. He has to be more aggressive. He looked scared, along with a number of other players, which forced Sherron Collins to take shot after shot. I'd blame Sherron, but he's seeing the same things I'm seeing, that nobody else WANTED to take a shot. We also might have to start admitting the fact that Cole Aldrich isn't the player that he was last year for whatever reason. He seems disinterested in getting involved on the offensive end.

I look for KU to implement the style of basketball that they hope leads to a championship this year starting Wednesday against Nebraska. Look for them to go high-low and hammer the ball inside until all 5 defensive players collapse, and then dish out it to any of the shooters on the outside. Self knows the way to win in March is with inside toughness. He thought that long before his National Championship proved the point. I predict a season-high in points for Cole Aldrich against Nebraska (19).

I would also suggest making a change to the starting lineup. I would insert Tyrel Reid in place of Tyshawn Taylor. The results of this are three-fold. First, I believe Taylor's ego is a little out of control, most likely from playing on the under-19 USA team, and this shrinks it down a bit. Second, they need more of a spark coming off the bench, not Reid and Morningstar, who are too similar of players (racist jokes aside). Think Sherron coming off the bench for the 2007-08 team. You need a scoring threat, an instigator, to come off the bench. This fits Tyshawn perfectly. He can be the main threat on the floor that he's looking to be and do it against the other team's bench, who he's more apt to go against. Thirdly, this frees up all the scoring threats to get more of their looks, and puts the best pure shooter just floating in the corner for when any of them get double-teamed. Reid has finally gotten big enough that he is no longer a liability on the defensive end. Think Lee Humphrey from the Florida Gators' championship teams.

In the long run, this loss is not a big deal to where KU wants to be come the end of the season. Nobody will look back at this season and remember anything about this game really. It's best chance to be remembered will be as the turning point in a National Championship season.

P.S. I smell upset-city in either Kentucky-Florida tonight or Texas-Iowa St. tomorrow


Rickaay the Leadoff Man said...

Alright Dirkness, you hit the ball-peen hammer on the head a few times here. Immediately I do blame X for his lack of poise (2 straight dumb pass turnovers) and his lack of aggressive fight in driving to the bucket, which he could have such success at doing instead of only yanking up 3s. What ever happened to the backdoor lob slam that our Champ team was so good at? Everytime we try it, even to Cole or X, they bobble it in the air and it goes out of bounds...

I don't have much to say on lil Tyshawn because you already laid it out, and i'm glad you didn't support "Yeeeah" Brady "Cornbread" Morningstar. Also, Reid needs to learn that he has to hit the rare shots he gets instead of being just another miss (he needs to be like that dufus walk on that sealed our fate). Well enough about the whitey tighty's... (and that didnt' even include whitey Whithey!).

But a huge part of my blame goes on the backs of the Morris twins. Now that they aren't playin for everyone in their extended family. I mean, they combine for a measly 7 pts and 4 rebounds or something! If they can't slam around some of those skinny Tenn guys in there, then they aren't going to have a chance vs Damion James or even Bucket Gallon Tiny Smith. Where's Pierre Niles-Richardson when you need him to teach a lesson??

And Sherron showed he could take the team on his back vs Cornell, but this time he was literally forced to because everyone was so timid. But I am glad that he's scoring more than 9 pts like he was earlier this year.

In Cole's situation, when he gets the ball in the post, instead of tossing it back out, he needs to back in and battle until he can use his 8 ft wingspan to dump it in. I know it sounds easy, but if i was that tall I'd most surely try not to be Eric Chenowith. He's a good turnaround/hook shooter so Danny needs to tell him to utilize it.

I wish the Hawks well in the Big XII, everyone is going to play their best ball against us and every banked 3 ptr will kill us. They need to gets their roles cleaned up and play with a big ol barbecue Chip on their shoulder.

Zeets said...

Just three things. About the Xavier thing- anyone think he's Brandon Rush all over again. Very talented kid that mostly just wants to take fadeaway jumpers and 3's but has highlight reel dunks whenever he decides to drive.

Also one thing that I think is very telling about Cole happened in the Tenn game. He had 18 rebounds, 8 of them offensive, and only 5 shots. That means he probably had the ball near the basket 10 times at the least I would think and only took 5 shots? Those guys are working hard to get the ball in to you. Put the shot back up when you get it.

Also I like Brady starting over Tyrel, but to each their own.

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