A Horn Is A Horn Is A Horn...

  • Okay… let’s get this over with…

    Kansas easily played the best 40 minutes of basketball it has played all year. 3 TOs? Are you kidding me? On the road at Texas?

    Hats off to Bill Self and his tough team for really coming ready this time. You won’t hear me say that very often.

    Kansas played “National Championship quality” basketball for pretty much 40 minutes.

    I’m not going to blast them for not using shot fakes (but they still should be added) or nag on certain players for not building their stat line in this one.

    The fact is: when Kansas comes ready and brings 40 minutes of hustle, they are just about impossible to beat… any place… any time.

    That performance was the type of performance where Kansas can challenge Kentucky.

    Alright… enough of the stroking. It’s time to get back to work.

    If our guys want to really appreciate what they did in Austin, they will carry that torch from here on out to the rest of their games. No more let ups.

    We can hand this win right back to the loss bracket if we are still stroking ourselves on Wednesday.

    You want to talk about a “trap game?” From here on out, every game is a trap game. We can’t take anyone for granted. For all that effort and focus and stellar play we had yesterday… it means nothing if we turn right around and hand over losses to teams like the Horned Frogs.

    Horned Frogs… Longhorns? They are all Horns my friends. TCU just gave away a game against WVU at WVU, a place that is very tough to win. Their record might stink, but that has just made them hungry and focused to get out of the “L” bracket, and what better game to do it in is against our stroked-up Jayhawks.

    Even the worse team in the nation is capable of having a great performance. Good teams are teams that know how to CONSISTENTLY bring quality ball. CONSISTENTLY bring hustle for 40 minutes and game after game.

    Now we know a bit of what this team is capable of… but there is still room for improvement, and we still have to improve between today and March if we want to be a tournament-capable team. Now we set the bar higher. We know we can play with anyone anyplace. Now we have to go DO IT every single game!

    The Oklahoma game was the perfect lesson of what we CAN do in the first half, and how much we CAN BLOW in the second half. We are very, very capable of bringing the wrong team to Fort Worth.

    Look what Tubby and his Red Raiders did to ISU… the same team that seemed to cruise right past use a week ago.

    This will really hurt if we soften up now. We’ve had our first real taste of quality basketball this year with a team reaching the expectations of everyone. A light has come on exposing a path way to a possible National Championship with a very young team. The question is… can these young guys mature enough to MAINTAIN this level of play (and even continue to IMPROVE throughout the rest of the season)?

    Great game, guys! Okay… back to work! Prove your identity throughout a season because you can’t do it with one performance.

    Fried frog legs anyone?

  • @drgnslayr I guess one good thing about the “Topeka YMCA” referenced game is that Self can use it as a warning to not let up. You are right…they had WVU beat.

  • @Hawk8086

    I caught that game and was screaming at TCU. Really wanted them to win, not only to hang a loss on WVU to help us, but to get the chip off their shoulders and make it an easier game on Wednesday.

    Anything is possible for this game. It depends which TCU and KU teams show up.

  • I thought perry did a much better job using fakes while at the same time attacking the rim. One play in particular he spun and faked all the way through the lane for an easy score. The Texas fan I was sitting next too was like, “what are you supposed to do against that?!” My response, “applaud!” Yes he did still get blocked. But each time it was because he was going to the rim. I think the block on Greene was the only one that wasn’t a strong challenge at the rim. Great game to watch as both teams played well until late in the second half.

  • @drgnslayr I guess I take the opposite approach to not only the TCU game, but the ISU-Tech game and the league in general. Regarding a WVU loss helping us and making Wednesday’s TCU game being easier had they won - I don’t want anyone’s help and I want everyone to play their “A” game against us. If TCU will have a chip on their shoulder Wednesday…good. Bring it!

    As for Tech beating ISU, I prefer the top teams in the league to perform as such. Tech is not an NCAA team, so that game only served to hurt the Big 12’s overall profile.

  • @icthawkfan316

    “Tech is not an NCAA team, so that game only served to hurt the Big 12’s overall profile.”

    Not sure I understand your rationale. Seems contradictory.

    You approve of TCU bringing their best game to us, but disapprove TTU bringing their best game against ISU? I think it hurts our league reputation more to have a bunch of highly-rated teams drop goose eggs in March. If we keep doing that as a league, no one will believe in us anymore. ISU should make improvements after this loss.

    I think every team gets up to play us… and if they don’t, they are in real trouble. I’m guessing here… but I bet every one of our B12 opponents has their best fan turnout for our game with them.

    Most teams in our conference help us. We didn’t win 10 in a row strictly by our play. Many times we’ve had help. I know the purple kitties have helped us many years. It seems that everyone just focuses on beating us, while they blow the games they really need to win. ISU really reduced their chances on Saturday. They were able to get up and beat us (of course with the help of their wild fans), and then had a come down at TT. They really didn’t look like the same team.

    We need to focus on every game in this league… and that definitely means the games we are supposed to win. We are supposed to beat the horny frogs. Beating them is just as important as beating Texas. They both count as a “W” or a “L.” I kind of recall us dropping one to TCU not too long ago…

  • @benshawks08

    Perry did a better job using fakes… and also showing more quickness. One of his previous issues was he would pause after gaining possession before making his move. This always helps set the defense and puts a huge disadvantage to the offense. I thought Perry looked more fluid, and had a quick first step because the pause was gone.

    Credit to Perry… He seemed to remove the mental barrier that was slowing him down! I hope he can continue doing that and maybe help Wayne reduce his thinking too much.

    I’ve gotten on this team for not using shot fakes. But if they increase their foot speed, they should need very few shot fakes. Shot fakes are often a tool used to bail players out of a situation. For the most part, guys ought to be able to create enough scoring space to flow through their shots. We did that on Saturday. Finally… we were the team that looked faster!

    Right now I’m thinking of one of our end of game plays where Frank took it right to Ridley, and he had a very simple time scoring on him because he had plenty of floor space and speed to zip right by Ridley in the paint! No shot fake needed! I was screaming with joy out of my seat when he did that!

    This team is learning and improving!

  • @drgnslayr KU just gave notice to every team in the conference. “You want OUR crown? You gotta come through US! We own the Big 12.”

    You are right though Drgn, now they have to bring it like they did at Texas every single game from now until the end. I am sure they will have another loss or two but thats ok. As long as it is a good loss, not a loss that could have been avoided by playing tougher, harder and smarter than the other team. We arent just talking the players here, we are talking everyone, the coaching staff, the trainers, everyone.

    final thought; If KU wins the conference AND wins the conference tourney, how do they not get a #1 seed? Would there really be four other teams out there that are more worthy, more deserving of a 1 seed than KU? Kentucky, Duke, Virginia, yah sure but who else? No one that I can think of. No one has KU’s tough schedule and the selection committee has to take that into consideration.

  • @Lulufulu

    It was fun listening to the tv commentators trying to build the hype that “maybe this is the year the Hawks are put on notice!”

    Hahahahaha… then we took a close game and really made it a beat down at the end. When Texas disparately needed to stop us on D, we just ran right through them with ease. Their full court pressure was like cutting butter!

    Fun to hear the commentators turn it back to Kansas being THE Big 12!

    We can’t celebrate now. We have to continue to improve. This game could end up being our biggest setback. If the guys get big heads now, then they stop their development. They’ve been scratching away at improvements. It has been great to see Kelly and Cliff picking up speed, but we have to be realistic. They are freshmen. Can they bring game every time out? What about March, when the big lights come on?

    We still have a long ways to go… not only in this season, but within the development of this team.

    We still need everyone to make gains… and some still lag a bit. Wayne needs to bring more… Kelly needs to prove he can dominate on the road… Cliff needs to put up big games continuously… same with Perry. Really everyone needs to stay buckled down to improving.

  • @drgnslayr No doubt. I kind of think of Selden as comparable to Travis Releford. Travis ended up being a stud for KU his Jr and Sr seasons. Great on defense, decent with the ball in his hands, more of a slasher type but he could drain the trey, lights out. Selden is further along than Travis was his sophomore year but he could use some improving, just like everyone else.
    I really really hope everyone comes back next season, regardless of what happens in March.

  • @drgnslayr said:

    Credit to Perry… He seemed to remove the mental barrier

    Yea, I saw that too. I have voiced my unhappiness about his play on these boards earlier, maybe unfairly. But with the changes I’m seeing in his game play, a decent chunk of which are likely due to a change in the team dynamics, I am happy to see such a key piece of our team start to look like a stud and make me eat my earlier words.

    Go get em Perry!!

  • @drgnslayr It’s two separate arguments.

    I guess what I’m saying is not that I have a problem with Tech bringing it’s best against ISU, but with ISU not bringing its best against Tech.

    I care about our opponents, as in the opponents we’re playing at the time, bringing their best game against us because I think it better prepares us for the NCAA tournament. I don’t care if someone is preparing ISU for the tournament, because I don’t care about them as a team.

    But what I do care about in regards to ISU is being a team at the top of the conference and losing to a bottom feeder. It serves to call into question how good the top of the league really is, and therefore how good KU is. Here’s an article from ESPN that might help illustrate my point a bit better:

    How Good is the Big 12?

    Now we can dismiss it as ESPN taking a dump all over the Big 12 because they’re not Kentucky or the ACC, but I think it raises fair questions. I’m concerned about how many teams the conference will get in come tournament time, and the seeding those teams will get.

    What’s good for the conference is good for KU. Because we are not only competing for recruits against teams like Kentucky and Duke, but we’re also competing against conferences. Duke can say “come here and you’ll play against UNC, Syracuse, Louisville, etc.” Teams with national championships and Final Four appearances within most the lifetime of current recruits. I just think it would be nice if someone in our conference could have a small modicum of success that would make it more attractive as a basketball conference.

    As for getting help, I’m fully aware we have gotten some help over the years. But what has felt better: winning the thing on our own merits or backing into it because Texas (or whoever) blew a game they should have won? And I won’t root for other top teams in the conference to lose just because it might make our road easier. I would prefer to do our own work.

  • @icthawkfan316

    Thanks for clarifying!

    “What’s good for the conference is good for KU.”

    Amen to that!

    I think the B12 should be questioned. I haven’t agreed with all the recent hype. I think it is setting us up again for another big March disappointment. For example, I think ISU is over-rated. Their pre-conference schedule was laughable. The only real competition they played was Maryland, and they lost in KC (which was almost a home game). Their RPI has now shot down to 20. 20? Seriously? The barely win against some tough conference teams at home, and that is enough to give them an RPI of 20 (after the TT beat down)?

    I agree that we need our conference to show well. But we need to show results when it counts, in March. If ISU is going to fade out early in March, then all the hype now hurts our conference. It’s that way for all of us teams in the B12, including Kansas.

    It is one thing for one team to have a bad game early in March and go home early… but if we put 6 teams in the tourney, someone better go high!

  • @icthawkfan316

    While I understand that the top 68 teams do not make it to the NCAA (too many automatic qualifiers in my opinion), assuming that they did, don’t you think that all 10 Big 12 teams would be in? MAybe the last two would be towards the bottom but you can make a solid case for the top 8. Seven are curently project by the different “bracketologists” and KSU is not even one of them, although I expect this to change in the next go around in view of the kitties decent recent play.

    As far as the Dana O’Neil article, I read it last night and it is fraught with selective statistics to make her point. A fairly biased article in my opinion, and one that shows a lazy reporter that did not do his/her job.

  • @drgnslayr Well we’ll have to agree to disagree about ISU. We’ve discussed this before. They may be a tad over-rated, but I don’t think all that much. They’re obviously not as bad as they showed yesterday, anymore than we were as bad as we were losing to TCU a couple of years ago. I think they’re a legit top 20 team, capable of a sweet 16 run, possibly an elite 8 even if they match-up well against whoever they draw.

    Agree that we need to show well in March, and that if we’re over-hyped now a flame out in the dance by the Big 12 will hurt us.

    @JayHawkFanToo All ten Big 12 teams? No way. TCU…maybe. They are in the top 68 of most rankings (Sagarin, Kenpom, etc.). But not Tech. And really, does anyone want an NCAA tournament with TCU, the 9th best team in the Big 12, in it? I don’t.

    Regardless of if it’s 7 or 8 teams that get in, remember I also said that I’m concerned with seeding. If the perception is the Big 12 is overrated and just a bunch of mediocre teams beating up on each other, that is likely to drag down the seeding of teams by the committee.

  • @icthawkfan316 said:

    I’m concerned about how many teams the conference will get in come tournament time

    I agree. It seems every year the B12 has teams that get in and and every March my bracket looks like crap because nearly none of them (beyond our hawks) make out of the first few rounds. I can even see how people can question how good KU is sometimes since we have teams loaded with NBA talent and still get taken out early too often.

    In our last ten years of ruling the B12 we have got bumped out in the Dance’s first or second round four times. Our conference record for the last ten years is 72 wins and 54 losses (57%)

    But I was surprised when I looked at the other conference’s Dance records (using a cool, interactive Dance history database here)

    Our league compares quite favorably to the other power conferences total Dance wins in the last ten years: ACC - 55w 46L (54%) Big East - 75w 71L (53%) SEC - 59w 41L (59%)

    We are behind in championships: b12- 1 ACC- 3 Big East- 2 SEC- 4

    So let’s get a bunch of teams in the Dance this year and lets have them all raise hell capped with KU bringing home another NC… Viva la Midwest!

  • @icthawkfan316

    ISU is truly built with over-achievers. We all need to appreciate the talent of the Mayor.

    But I don’t see a lot of upside left in that team. They are running full bore now. When looking mid-season at teams and how to rank, part of it should be on potential upside. Their bench is thin, and they lack size. They need more “go to” players. Their pre-conf schedule was soft. I definitely thought they were a great team last year and if they hadn’t lost Niang in March, they were bound for a better showing. I see them this year and just say a “good team.”

    Texas has upside. They’ve played a tougher schedule, too. I see the potential there… even though I can’t compare Barnes with the Mayor. But I think Texas will become a very tough out within the next 30 days. They haven’t really figured out how to use Myles. I’ve been surprised at how good a back-to-the-basket game he has already. I was just expecting him to stay unbruised and play the perimeter. Seeing the weight he put on and how he can post, we did lose out on him.

    I do think we have a great conference. The top 8 teams are solid, and the bottom 2 teams you better not fall asleep on. But I’m like everyone else who is outside the B12… wondering if any of these teams will make it to the FF. Or how about Elite 8? Anyone besides Kansas?

    Kansas is proven. But who else in our league is proven? No one. Name a team besides Kansas that has a big background in March recently?

    I don’t want to be Negative Nancy here… I’m really thrilled with the quality of the B12 this year. We’ve made positive strides and our league is moving up. But we still need to have someone besides Kansas make it to the FF again. Until that happens, we will be under-appreciated by the rest of the world, and rightly so. It’s time we prove ourselves!

    Texas needs to step up and at least make it to the Sweet 16 this year, and preferably to the Elite 8. OU is a streaky team and they could get hot in March. I can’t honestly say I know squat about WVU yet because we haven’t played and I don’t spend my spare time watching Huggins. He’s a decent coach, but he sickens me with his personality, especially as been the most-foul mouthed coach in college basketball. I appreciate real “man ball” but haven’t always appreciated some of his tactics of rough housing. He’s always kind of creeped me out!

    Sorry, but I just don’t see ISU doing much later, mostly because I think they lack bench. If they lose Niang they are toast, and if they lose any of their starters they will be hurting, big time.

  • @icthawkfan316 I don’t think I’ve ever disagreed with you before…but to say you’d rather see ISU win because it helps our league “profile” …I can’t get my head around that. Our number 1 RPI not good enough, eh? Our 6 or 7 wins over RPI Top 50 teams somehow won’t measure up unless the Clones win too? Nonsense. Complete useless ESPN drivel, imho. Sorry, but that is a bridge too far for me.

  • Texas putting on the press was a gift. My impressions of Devonte as a point guard goes up with every minute he plays. He and Frank calmly broke the press every time with no turnovers. The scouting report and how the entire team was ready for the press allowed Cliff many dunks in the second half. Coach Johnson, a great coach at Nevada and Stanford, was able to game plan against WVU’s version of 40 minutes of hell. The Jock shot that put the game into overtime was a killer. TCU did everything right and still lost. There are no easy outs in the Big 12. I would like to see more of the bench during these next two games to save some legs for ISU. I’m looking forward to that game but not listening to Mushburger who takes an ISU Viagra pill whenever they are featured. TCB at TCU. One game at a time.

  • @drgnslayr I was also surprised by Texas’s inability to use their clear advantage in the post, especially with Ridley, Turner and Holmes. Any time they got the ball down low we were toast. I just can’t figure out how they got away from it. I’ll have to rewatch the game on TV because being there i couldn’t really tell if we were just doing that good of a job denying the post or they were content to just play the perimeter. At one point they even got a switch so that Devonte Graham was guarding Holmes. Holmes posted up and they settled for a 3 pointer from a guy that was 6’10. Blew my mind. Several times during they game they went absolutely HUGE with 3 out of Lambert, Turner, Ridley, Ebeh on the court at the same time! It worked well to defend the post with a zone having a huge back line. Many of the 9 blocks came with that line up in.

    I understand why we shot 18 3s, but why did they? Talk about a gift! THIRTEEN 3 pt attempts by guys over 6’8 who had clear advantage in the post. I’m not as sure as you are that Texas will get this figured out. I do not think they will beat Iowa State. Certainly not if they get into another shooting contest with their bigs.

    Another factor in that game (or really lack of a factor) was the crowd. I’ve been to several of the KU-UT games down here and the crowd is never good but Saturday was especially bad. The “sold out” arena had a ton of empty seats. I can count on one hand the amount of times the crowd tried to “be a factor” but as soon as Texas missed a shot or Kansas made one, the moment was over and everyone politely sat back down. Man it made me miss the fieldhouse so bad. It felt more like a Jazz concert where they would clap every once in a while for a solo but mostly just relaxed and enjoyed the music. 7 lead changes in the opening of the second half… crickets.

    Enough hating on the Longhors. How about those hawks. If you would have told me we would win by 13 making only 6 three pointers I would have laughed. I told the guy I went to the game with that the first team to 65 would win. I was right of course but didn’t think we would make it into the 70s. Consider it was really only an average to below average shooting night for everyone not named Greene and this win continues to look just better and better.

    I’m prepared for a let down at TCU. We will still win but it might look ugly. But overall I could not be more excited about this team right now.

    P.S. Don’t’ know if anyone cares but… Conner Frankamp just got arrested for a DUI. Such a sad, sad story for that boy.

  • @benshawks08 P.S. Don’t’ know if anyone cares but… Conner Frankamp just got arrested for a DUI. Such a sad, sad story for that boy.

    Holy snikeys. It has to be miserable watching KU succeed, specifically our guard play with Frank and Devonte.

  • @KUSTEVE No worries on disagreeing with me. I’m wrong as often as I am right!

    To your points: first of all I’m not sure when RPI started making comeback as the “go-to” stat. Seems not too long ago it was outed as being a pretty flawed measuring stick. And it’s not just you. Obviously the article I posted a link to referenced RPI, as well as several other posters. However, when you ask me if our #1 conference RPI isn’t good enough, I guess I say…not really. What good does that do us? I think the only thing that having that #1 RPI does is hype us up and set us up for a letdown if we don’t show well in the NCAA tournament.

    I think @drgnslayr hit the nail on the head with his last comment. Let’s face it: the Big 12 is Kansas and the 9 red-headed step-children. Who was the last conference team to reach a Final 4 other than us? Oklahoma St…in 2004. That’s pathetic. I so desperately want KU to be a part of a true basketball conference! To be challenged. To have a true rivalry. None of this will happen unless some of the other teams in the conference elevate their profile.

    With all that in mind, understand that I pull for ISU to succeed. They are the most like us. Obviously lacking the tradition, but they are more a basketball school than most of the other teams in the conference. Their football program is anemic. They have probably the second best coach in the conference. They have the second best home court advantage in the conference. In my opinion, they are the team best positioned right now to elevate their status, which in turn would help the conference. And that is why I thought them losing to Tech was a blow to the conference as a whole.

    In short, I just feel that the top of the conference needs to continue to get better in order to truly help our conference “profile”, rather than fall back to the pack by losing to the cellar dwellers.

  • @icthawkfan316 Well, you’re more mature than me…lol. The Clones are my mortal enemies…lmao…when I get trolled by Clone fans, I pull out the picture of Hoiberg’s kid crying…

  • @icthawkfan316

    "With all that in mind, understand that I pull for ISU to succeed. "

    I do, too, as long as we aren’t playing. I support all the B12 teams in post play. And you said it right that what is good for our conference is good for Kansas.

    Typically… I don’t look at a few performances in March and judge a team (or coach) on that (including Kansas). As many have said, March is a crap shoot. But over a period of time and looking at the overall performance of a conference in March, one can definitely make some judgments.

    Here is a link that says it all:

    NCAA Wins by Conference

    This clearly shows the ACC dominance.

    I’d like to see the B12 with Kansas numbers removed from the totals. I know we represent the only NC, and at least 3 of the FFs.

  • @KUSTEVE are you serious about Conner? Don’t wish that on anyone! But, maybe they will follow him thru jail and court appearances. I can’t believe I said that!

  • I feel for Connor.

    It sounds like he had too much family involvement. People pushing on him. Because it seemed like he rushed to leave when he should have shown patience. He had a tight bond with his teammates, so maybe someone in his family applied pressure or he was trying to please them. He’s a great guy and solid player. I wish the best for him.

  • @benshawks08 Read my comments on the crowd of fans I had to contend with at the game. Was way up above in this post. Crude and rude. I’ve been to the last 4 games here and this was the WORST.

  • @RockChalkinTexas so how were the parents of our kids? We know what cliffs dad looks like, the others?

  • @RockChalkinTexas Took me a while but I found your comments about the crowd. That was really a very different experience from mine. I might have actually appreciated a little bit of fire from the fans around me. They were so lack luster and apathetic it hurt. At least the a@$hole near you cared, kind of. My seats originally were up in the rafters but I moved down right before tip. 25th Row near center court. No one ever came for the seats. The entire row behind me remained empty until near the midway point of the second half. Quietest basketball I have ever attended. Literally the loudest they ever were was when the balloons fell from the ceiling prior to the tip. Did notice many longhorn fans were able to turn their balloons into many different forms of Longhorns. Did they all go to clown school? Some were quite creative. What a weird talent to have for soooo many people around me. All in all a weird game for fans I guess.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 I wrote extensively about Frank Mason Jr. and Kelly Oubre Sr. in my post yesterday. Those were the only 2 parents I saw/met.

  • @RockChalkinTexas read that. Franks dad short? Kelly’s tall?

  • Why the hell did Barnes play a zone. M2m would have caused this team more trouble wouldn’t it ?

  • @Crimsonorblue22 Frank’s dad is tall and stout. Kelly’s dad is real tall.

  • @Blown

    “Why the hell did Barnes play a zone. M2m would have caused this team more trouble wouldn’t it?”

    Because he is Rick Barnes.

    I thought we’d see M2M, too… but read earlier in the week that his focus is on the zone. I hadn’t seen much Longhorn ball prior to our game.

    He should know Self is all about fast passes and attacking seams. We usually do well against zone ds. Barnes couldn’t really affect the pressure applied with that zone, so he made it really easy for us down the stretch when they extended backcourt pressure because they could never really set their defense. Then we had them extended. We crushed them at the end.

    I like how Self attacked the zone with Perry down on the baseline and Cliff or BamBam cutting in around the FT line. That worked really well because we could load a side and attack from the baseline or high post area.

    I thought Texas has the ponies this year to run with us?!

  • @drgnslayr he did play some man. Those are plow horses.

  • @icthawkfan316

    ESPN Bracketology now has 8 conference teams in the dance…

  • @drgnslayr The passing displayed in that game was phenomenal.–meaning, that for one time, the first time all year that each and every kid at all time on the court did not care who was going to shoot. They just knew to keep the ball moving until it found the right guy and all fit together so naturally. Was very nice to watch. Thanks for the reply, I always enjoy the insight from a guy with a little more than what I provide…

  • @Blown

    I was amazed that our guys moved their legs more, creating plenty of space so passes weren’t stolen. We often blame the passer on a steal, when often part of the blame should go to the guy on the other end, who didn’t put enough into creating the space.

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