A TALE OF TWO GAMES—THE MORE IMPORTANT OF WHICH WE GOT OUR BUTTS BEAT IN (DANGLING PREPOSITION AND ALL)
(Note: for Mrs @drgnslayr)
It is with regret that I have to inform Jayhawk nation that the 2014-15 Jayhawk Expeditionary Force affectionately nicknamed by me this arduous season as Basketball’s Merrill’s Marauders were repelled today at the Battle of Omaha on their long slog to reach Myitkyina.
The team fought through 36 games of unparalleled adversity and appeared to have found a way to play and win in the face of the most difficult condititions a team might be expected to face.
Their long slog through the metaphorical Burma jungle ended at an arena in Omaha on 22 March 2015.
It was a tale of two games.
There was the game from tipoff to the moment in the first half when talented, experienced, savvy, hard nosed, and apparently win at nearly any cost, Fred Van Vleet drove the ball beautifully into KU’s jumping Perry Ellis and then apparently opted to use his elbow as a weapon to strike Perry Ellis in the face hard enough to not only bloody Ellis’ nose, but also to appear to leave Ellis dazed and confused for a time, and to never thereafter appear to recover full clarity of athletic state of mind the rest of the game.
And then there was the game after that moment in which KU chose not to retaliate for the egregiously unnecessary foul of Ellis by Van Vleet.
In the first game, we saw a business like KU team playing its now patented brand of BAD BALL and methodically pulling away from a clearly less physically talented WSU team.
After the apparent punking of Perry Ellis, we saw a KU team appear to grow tentative, then intimidated, and then finally fall briefly apart the last minute before the end of the first half.
After the half, we saw the second of the two games continue with KU still not retaliating against WSU, or getting any more physical in a non-retaliatory way, and we saw a flurry of high energy, high contact horizontal basketball played by WSU help WSU begin to steadily pull away from KU until the middle of the second half, when the tentative and intimidated Jayhawks found themselves fully abandoning BAD BALL and retreating into long passing at angles that the exceptional WSU lane jumping defenders could make make strips in. Still the game was not out of reach, given the time remaining in the second half, if stops could be had, and offensive flow restored even partially.
But then WSU began a series of BAD BALL possessions in which the WSU version of BAD BALL was played perfectly and KU began to collapse from the overwhelming physical beating it was being administered inside and outside.
Boys that thought themselves men, because of the terrible rigors they had overcome this long season, soon found themselves to be boys still. Scared boys. Increasingly frightened boys. And finally as whipped currs, as granny jaybate 1.0 once said of little jaybate 1.0 coming home whining about a bully having punched his lights out and being sent back out to get the bully, or not come home to granny’s house. They grew some grannies pretty tough in those days still.
This was a point when the team was ten down with some six or so minutes remaining, if I recall correctly, and had the KU team been able to regain its fortitude, and composure, defended cohesively and generally found its cojones, it could have surely made a game of it, even then.
But instead, WSU played exactly the way KU has played BAD BALL down the stretch, and exactly as ISU played it down the stretch on KU and in the end, today, KU’s players finally broke and beat themselves, the same way other teams have beaten themselves for KU. Jamari Traylor on one leg could not keep up with the ferociously motivated, much stronger inside players of WSU. Landen Lucas could not play 40 minutes and take the pounding that was dished out by the WSU players and stay effective. Perry Ellis did not ever appear to regain normal consciousness looking a bit foggy in the eyes and a bit slow in the reactions. Frank Mason’s right leg, reinjured some time in the first and second half jousting administered to him by Fred VanVleet, when VanVLeet was not busy punking Perry Ellis, finally went dead and became an appendage mostly good for dragging around behind him the final ten minutes. Kelly Oubre learned that he doesn’t really weigh enough yet, nor carry enough muscle mass to bang with anyone that he cannot out jump, or outrun and he could do neither to those that guarded him today. Devonte Graham hung in and continued to scrap on defense, but could not finally cope on offense with the constant contact and lane jumping that the entire WSU defensive team employed more and more brilliantly as the game went on. Brannen Greene, who seemed to have found the range versus NMSU, lost it as swiftly as he had found it. The basket became a chimera from three point range for him and the rest of his increasingly weak kneed and demoralized Marauders, who finally ran out of weapons to fight with at a village called Omaha.
But even I, a devotee of the trey, doubt that this game would have been won by good three point shooting, or more 3ptas. KU shot 21 and made 29%. WSU shot only 20, while making 50%. Making half our treys would have made it close for sure, probably would have reduced it to a tie game and we are good at those kinds of games. But something else would have been necessary. Shooting more treys probably would surely have have been a dead end today with the amount of body contact WSU was putting on every shot all over the floor and getting away with.
This was a Bad Ball versus XTReme Bad Ball—a contest that would never have let either side decide the game with three point shooting except maybe on the last possession. One team was going to have the hotter hand; that was all, and one team was going to be shooting from intimidation; that was all. This kind of game has to be won another way.
This was BAD BALL without the punking and win at any cost cheapshotting (KU) versus XTReme BAD BALL with the punking and win at any cost cheap shotting. (WSU)
In this tale of two games, KU faced a choice after the punking little Fred Van Vleet gave big Perry Ellis. Get down in the mud with Fred. Or not.
It was a decisive moment.
Play it anyway they want, or don’t.
On the playground there is not even a moment’s hesitation.
Among my father’s generation, those that played in the 1930s, there was no hesitation at any level of the organized game. You ran under, or flipped the guy the next time he left the floor. And if he wouldn’t leave the floor you found their most important player.
It was a kind of moment that a coach like Coach K probably would not have flinched at unleashing a torrent of counter cheap shotting at, as he appeared to do in a national title game against Butler a few years back.
It was a kind of moment that Bill Self at times has even appeared to resort to Cheap Shotting lite as a counter, and at times has not.
We will never know what yard stick Coach Self used to make the decision of whether or not to retaliate, because such retaliation is never discussed publicly by any coach that I recall.
I suspect he may use a rule of thumb that goes something like this: if we intend to foul them up, then you don’t retaliate in hopes of getting the refs on your side and getting a bunch more calls to go your way. If you intend to win a grind game and fouls be damned, then you retaliate shortly.
In today’s second game, the referees were not won over by our peaceful turning of the other cheek, and our players, not surprisingly grew first tentative, then intimidated, and then cracked completely.
Self’s decision was a calculated risk. He had seen how tough his team had grown in recent weeks. He had seen them overcome incredible adversity. He bet that they could stand up to the inevitable ground swell of intimidation that ensues when a bully is allowed to get away with an egregious play.
He bet wrong.
His young men, my beloved Basketball’s Merrill’s Marauders, were not up to just playing ball and standing up under the attacks to follow.
The Marauders had a metaphorical rabid pitbull down in the first game.
Their lack of retaliation, combined with the referees’ apparent refusal to right the wrong themselves, appeared to let a rabid pitbull get off the leash in the second game.
And the rabid pit bull finally chewed the KU team to pieces.
I have a hunch that Coach Self is very shortly going to get a lot chances to avenge this loss.
I have a hunch that Greg Marshall may shortly be the head coach of the University of Texas.
He would be my choice, if I were the University of Texas, if I were to have grown tired of Coach Barnes.
But if/when Greg Marshall gets hold of a major program allied with the Nike brand, that has already had one season’s talent stacking and could get another very quickly, and were it to play the kind of XTReme BAD BALL that Marshall’s Wheat Shockers displayed today, unless Coach Self joins the 9-10 draft choice talent stacking club, I am not sure if Coach Self will capitalize on many of those opportunities to avenge the loss.
That failure to retaliate, however much I respect Coach Self for not doing so, and so not risking the safety and reputation of one of his players, and even though I might have been tempted not to be so principled, may turn out to have been a tipping point in his KU coaching tenure. But that is grist for the off season mills.
In this tale of two games, there remains one thread of the story obviously dangling and unaddressed.
Wayne Selden, Jr.
Wayne was a no show, as he has been intermittently all season.
It was an odd thing to watch.
I don’t know if anyone on the team—Coaches, players, or Wayne–will offer an explanation or not. He has played very well of late. Not today.
I don’t know if there is an explanation for this was not so much an off day, or a poor performance, as a non-day.
I have not yet read the stories, or watched the press conferences. Maybe an injury, a death in the family, or a broken heart will surface. Such things happen in the course of a long season.
But for now, sans any extenuating circumstances, Wayne was a guy that ought to have been able to play well, or at least hard, in this kind of a game.
But he disappeared…completely. He played so poorly that at crunch time he was not put in. A 17 year old bench warmer from the Ukraine was.
Perhaps a sports psychologist can help Wayne.
Good players are not supposed to disappear in big games. They may have off shooting games. Or they make mistakes. But they are not supposed to dematerialize.
When one goes down the box score, it could be said that Frank and Van Vleet played to a wash. For the record Frank got 16 points.
Perry was not sterling, but despite getting his bell run, nose bloodied, and playing on a sore knee, he still showed up and recorded 17 points and nine rebound, about what I had hoped for.
Kelly Oubre had the kind of bad game a good player has sometimes and it cost us. Mr. Draft Choice got 9 points and Tekele Cotton, all 6-3 muscular inches of him torched Kelly for 19. Clearly Kelly was not quick enough to cover Tekele and Kelly’s extra four inches and 7 wing span didn’t help spit.
Landen Lucas could not get in the offensive flow, but he grabbed 10 rebounds and made no TOs. I don’t see Landen as the heart of the problem, though most teams have a center that can at least get 9-10 points.
Jamari Traylor played one of his okay games with 4 points and 5 rebounds in only 17 minutes on one working leg, so on the list of the usual suspects, he can released on his own recognizance.
We even contained Darius Carter okay.
But a lot of this, fully 12 points of this loss, comes down squarely on Wayne Selden, Jr, getting smoked by Ron Baker, who played 37minutes, scored 12 points and shut Wayne down to 0 points in 23 pitifully played minutes by Wayne.
It was easy to see last season against Stanford that Andrew Wiggins appeared to phone one in perhaps to protect the merchandize, after Embiid apparently decided not to come back.
But what was Wayne Selden, Jr.s excuse today?
Is the NBA drafting him on his potential?
It is interesting, if painful to look at the box score and note that KU accomplished much that I thought it needed to do to win this game.
KU was even on TOs and near even on Steals.
Frank held his own with Van Vleet.
KU was +6 on rebounding.
Devonte played a lot of minutes and gave Frank some blows on and off the court, even though Devonte was inefficient shooting (5-13), after Frank’s right leg went dead.
KU played to even on FTAs, which was the kind of wash I kind of expected from two teams that try to get to the FT line and try to keep others off it.
But KU couldn’t get anyone fouled up early, or late; in the first game, or the second one.
KU could not guard WSU in the paint, which it seemed a certainty that our size would allow us to do.
And KU could not score efficiently in the paint (35%).
KU’s bench even outscored WSU 21 to 8. KU hardly ever loses when that happens.
In the end, four things decided the outcome of this game.
Wayne Selden, Jr., folded like Optimus Prime getting his All Spark yanked out of his chest. Freshman Kelly got torched by sage old Tekele Cotton, which happens sometimes.
Normal offensive and defensive production from those two alone would have made us easy winners, despite the next two items.
Our guys got intimidated after Van Vleet punked Perry and they never regained their manhoods. WSU’s players were much more fiercely competitive on the 50/50 balls.
What I cannot explain is why items 1, 2, 3, and 4 had to happen today against WSU.
I like WSU’s moxie.
I like WSU’s aggressiveness and willing to win at any cost (well, I don’t really like it, but in a tournament known for whistle swallowing I appreciate the efficacy of playing that way).
i like how tough WSU played.
But bottom line, KU had to play one of its worst games of the season to go down 78-65.
So: I am going to conclude that the loss had much more to do with what KU did not do, what game KU did not bring, what will to stand up to intimidation KU could not muster, rather than what WSU did do.
Beat us at our best, WSU, and you’ve got something to brag about. Beat us at our worst, and punk us to do it, and you’ve got something cheap shot artists that will soon be wearing their asses for hats get to talk trash about for the off season.
WSU could have played that exact same game against KU, if KU had hung on to its cojones, and had Wayne and Kelley come to play, KU would be advancing to the next game.
That was WSU’s best game. Congratulations. That was KU’s worst game. We’ve got some more soul searching to do.
Coach Self and Kelly and Wayne are going to have to look in the mirror together on this one.
Coach Self has to decide how to respond more effectively to a punking of his star stretch 4 and he has to ask himself why he kept Perry at the high post in the middle of the floor clogging up Frank’s driving lanes so much of the game?
6-7 draft choice Kelly has to ask himself how he let 6-3 Tekele Cotton eat him alive, and what real NBA 3s will do to him next season?
And Wayne Seden, Jr. has to ask himself why he appeared not even to try hard in the biggest game of his life? What is it about trying hard that is so elusive? I didn’t notice anyone else on your team not trying hard. Some played ineptly, but they tried, Wayne. I didn’t see anyone on WSU having trouble lighting the candle for this game. You stuck out a bit out there.
And we are all going to have put up with the echoes of Mrs. @dragnslayr using the P-word for the entire off season.
Why can’t we punch someone back in the face?
I hope next year we do.
@jaybate-1.0 I didn’t think oubre hustled much either.
@JayhawkRock78 I’d like to punch Gregg Marshall!
Jaybate, I want you to know I loved your pre-game Omaha post, read it all in the voice of our distinguished Jayhawk, General Eisenhower. Great post!
The truth is. The season ended today. We went 1 and 2 in our last 3. And in the 2 losses we let up 49 pts in the second half of each game. Which to me seems unbelievably ridiculous for a team and coach that is supposed to be defensive minded. I have no excuses and refuse to make any. We just got our ass beat by a team that wanted it more and outplayed us
@jaybate-1.0 the hit on Perry may have been retaliation for the pick Greene set on Van Vleet.
@jaybate-1.0 I thought of Mrs d frequently yesterday. Until it was 41-30. Then I went to Braum’s and got a nice frozen yogurt in a waffle cone.
It’s never the courageous thing to do to place blame on officials. The manly-man will always counter with “losers blame the officials.” And I had a very important priority to be involved in yesterday, so I cannot comment with much intelligence on the game.
But, I predicted before the the game that the Refs would control this from the very beginning with fouls, and consequently get inside the players heads.
A quick look at the game’s play by play, shows by the second time out the foul count was KU 7 and WSU 1.
I have a lot respect for officials, for the most part. I Umpired baseball games starting at 5A-6A in High School, American Legion, as well as Junior College. And while a lot of them do the best job that they can, we know, WE KNOW, that we can get inside a players head. If a pitcher is used to getting the corner, or below the knee strike, and he’s not getting those calls, they can fall apart with every other pitch in their arsenal. I’ve seen it many times. We talk about it. And we justify it by saying, “hey, it’s my strike zone today, he needs to locate it.” And we are right. The best ones can adjust. But to believe that we don’t affect things (especially from a psychological standpoint) is complete nonsense.
It’s probably not why the Hawks lost, and it Sounds like a lot of players could have brought more to the table. But to think the officials play no part in the way a game plays out, is just not realistic.
I can say with most certainty, the last two years have been far easier to move on from without duress as I just don’t have the same connection with the players that I once had. Maybe as Frank & Graham continue with their career some of that will return.
@jaybate-1.0 this loss hurts, the refs didn’t help KU any, and Gregg Marshall is a jerk. But… KU looked bad because WSUs guards were all over KU’s guards and they could’ve handle the pressure. WSU made KU look bad. KU wasn’t just bad WSUs pressure did it as WVU pressure did and KSUs pressure did.
All you had to do to beat KU this season was put pressure on the perimeter. The inside game was weak other than Perry. Hound the guards if the lineup is mason Selden and greene/Oubre you only have one ball handler and two other guys who couldn’t handle the pressure. If you turn KU over too much then Self puts in Graham who jacks up too many shots.
Once Graham gets more experience KU will look much better. Watch tape of the '08 team. They had 2-3 ball handlers on the court at all times. The ball moved so much better. The exact same offense that looked so stale this year was fantastic with players executing it.
I just hope next years team gets it figured out. The extra year of experience and practice should make next years team quite formidable. Too bad Svi can’t practice or play with the team over the summer when they go to Europe. It would be great if he could catch up.
FYI: Mrs. Drgn never used the “P” word yesterday. I’m not sure why. We weren’t alone watching the game, and so I’m pretty sure she didn’t want to throw out that kind of vocabulary. She used to say it a lot about Perry, but Perry played with a lot of guts yesterday. It sure looked like a broken nose to me. I was proud that Perry returned as fast as he could.
We had my dad over for the game, and one of my old team mates from a team where we had several undefeated seasons. During the game, I was texted by a couple of other players from that team. And right after the game, I was called from our old coach from that team. They all said the same thing… Kansas was out-hustled, out-played and out-coached. I couldn’t argue with them, and didn’t. My coach said he had to call me because the hustle of WSU brought back old sentiment of how we played all those years. He really crushed me with that one.
Everything in me points to heart more than talent… and what the answer is for Kansas. All the guys were for WSU because they know these guys play 100% of the time with hustle and heart. One guy stated, “with Kansas, you never know if they are going to show up.”
I’m just glad that all these guys were respectful. None trashed me or KU. So today I"m feeling a bit better that I won’t have to uproot my family immediately to an undisclosed foreign nation to avoid the harassment!
Good game, Shockers, good game!
KU got beat by a better team, pure and simple. WSU deserves all the credit: 2013 Final Four, 2014 perfect season stopped by UK, 2015 another UK match up on the horizon. I hate to say it but we got beat by a better team, period.
The symbolism of the bloody nose is good, but there was no foul play. WSU front court so much better than KU’s. The D disappeared when the O was not working, and out guys let them get comfortable and confident.
Once that happened (at the end of the first half?), the game was over.
I thought the only chance for the comeback was when Frank drove the lane and Wessel jumped out in front of him (clearly a blocking foul) and the ref called a charge and took away the ‘and one’ which had us right back in the hunt. That play was a killer and we never recovered.
The hi-lo clogging the lane makes dribble drive impossible, so when we started to make a play (Frank, Devonte, Kelly…) the lane was clogged. Spacing is the issue with KU’s O and when they cannot score, their D effort and intensity breaks down against superior opponents.
Truth be told, this team, this year actually over-performed and if we had a series with WSU this year with these two teams, we would lose as well.
RCJH and on to 2015-16. We will be better next year for sure. Guard play is the absolute key in the dance and ours will improve over the next year and the year after. Future is bright. Don’t call out the guys for lack of effort or heart or desire to win. WSU just beat us with a better team of players than ours.
I believe you have it exactly right. I watched the game with an eclectic group of friends including my son-in-law that is a MU fan and everybody, without exception though the refereeing at the beginning of the game was heavily pro-WSU and it did set the tone for the game as it took the aggressiveness out of KU players. I am not going to say the refs cost KU the game, but there is no doubt that the early calls changed the flow of the game. The non-call on the flagrant was huge call since it sent a message that WSU could play aggressive and also sent Perry to the dressing room for several minutes. Just my opinion.
@jaybate-1.0 okay, how about this idea - let go of the tough rough B12 wins, save bodies for the tourney. If our boys were healthy (one thing I do not like about Self is playing injured boys at all cost during season to win B12), I think they’d have punched back yesterday. When bodies are worn & injured, mind is weak too - may not so for grown adult males, but these are still young boys. Save their bodies during the season, and go all out healthy body & mind in March. I’m tired of winning B12 that leaves boys injured & worn out only to go at it HARDER for the tourney. That logic doesn’t work. Self’s been repeating that formula, and the March outcome hasn’t changed. It’s time for a different strategy, not just the game strategy, but the season, annual strategy needs to be revisited. Lastly, B12 needs to review current “we get to play each other twice” that leaves injured and used up players for the tourney - leaving Espunnies & coast biased laughing to the FF. B12 is sabotaging itself. The league needs to be divided into 2, and stop the “let’s beat up on each other” while other leagues are playing smarter.
@dylans I agree, Wusuu coach Marshall is a BIG HUGE Jerk. I’d love to put a sock in his mouth.
@HawksWin He may be a jerk. But he is a jerk with a message. And even though I hate the message, his players buy into it, and it works.
@jaybate-1.0: Back in the old days in the NFL, 1950s), when somebody cheap-shotted one of your players, it was treated like a HBP in baseball: You sent in a third-teamer, and the retaliation usually cleared things up summarily. If the refs wouldn’t correct that, then Mr VanVleet should have found himself about 4 rows behind the cheerleaders. Either the thugs you are playing against get the message, or the referees are forced to deal with it in the ensuing melee. If you use a player who might not otherwise get into the game and he is ejected, he has served his team, er, platoon, well.
My wife says that, as fans, we can say nothing publicly about this w/o looking like whiners, but she thinks somebody wanted this outcome, and they got it. When you are playing a thug, you cannot turn the other cheek. Hard to imagine this happening with a team that had T-Rob or the Morrises. Retaliating in this fashion is not retaliating per se; it is just showing “how much you want it.”
I too was sent back to find the bully and to challenge him. I did and had no problems with him after that.
@benshawks08 We all know successful and accomplished people, and there are those who earn the respect and love even from their enemies, and those are real wo/men. Marshall is someone - even if he wins the NC - I will not love or respect. I respect Izzo. But, Marshall is a loser, he may be a winner of 1 game or seasons, but a loser unlike Self who is a winner - as a man. It’s hard to find wo/men of character with virtues today. Marshall taught & allowed his players to purposely physically beat up opponents - just so he can win? That’s not a man of character, but a weasel and a weak pitiful man. Fear the weak, not the strong, for the weak is wicked - the weak wicked emperor Marcus Aurelius in the “Gladiator” is no king or even a man.
Speaking of Marshall being a jerk, he is now saying that KU continued to try to get VanVleet even after he committed to WSU. It’s all over Twitter.
@iheartjayhawks he’s the gift that keeps on giving!!! Can’t keep his slimy mouth shut. Class less!
@HawksWin Just want to make it clear that I also HATE Marshall. He lies. He has no class. And I wouldn’t want him working as a ball boy for KU. I was just lamenting the fact that his players out hustled the Hawks on Sunday. I really really hate it.
@jayhawk-007 I agree that WSU deserves congratulations. But, I don’t agree that we can’t say our team needed to show more effort. WSU won because they wanted it more…for whatever reason. I’m not so sure they would win a series between the two teams…IU was a middle of the pack Big 10 and WSU scraped by them. I can’t explain why one team would want to win a game more than the other when a sweet 16 berth is on the line…but it appeared that way to me.
To say they wanted it more, meaning we wanted it less, implying a lack of desire/effort/will to win is just not accurate. We were trying just as hard as the other team but we were not as good, as a team, as the other guys.
It does appear that way when one team outperforms another team and on paper one (KU) is better than the other (WSU). But this is simply not the case - even the infamous “effort play” where Kelly was “out hustled” might just be that the other guy is faster than our guy and outran him to the ball.
When their shots are falling and they get loose and confident and comfortable and start believing, and at the same time our shots are not falling and we get tight and stressed, and start pushing harder and it gets even worse, it might look like lack of effort or lack of heart or lack of will to win, but it is not. It could be panic and fear of losing but not lack of effort by the players.
We had a couple of guys who did not show up and played poorly on the biggest stage in that game, but I think it is incorrect and harsh to conclude they had no desire to win and put forth no effort to make it happen.
This is mental team and individual toughness and hard to come by with underclassmen. I really think this team and all our teams at KU really care a lot and want to win just as bad as the other guys, but maybe they were just not quite as good as the other guys on this one night, and as soon as things went south, there was no one to take over and change the dynamic of the game. Lack of seniors and juniors, yes, lack of effort, no.
Sherron, one of the greatest Jayhawks in recent history, could not even get it done and forced the action in that last game loss when he was a senior (like Frank tried to do yesterday). He hurt so badly he did not even have the energy to show up for the year end events ceremony.
No one is claiming he lacked effort or heart or attachment to KU.
Do you really think Baylor and ISU and Virginia and KU players want to win less than the other guys? Competition is hard and everyone can have an off-night in a single elimination tourney (read my post: tourney reality).
In the case of KU vs WSU, it was less about an off-night than getting beat by a better team, in my opinion, and yes in a three or five game series, we would get beat this year with these players, theirs and ours, most of the time.
Very tough for us as KU fans to stomach, but here we are, playing a very strong 7 seed in the second (third) round.
Could we have won - of course! Should we have won - probably not because we are simply not the better team this year.
RCJH - don’t hate on our guys. They wanted to win even more than us.
The key thing I believe you are both giving insufficient weight to is at the moment that KU was pulling away from WSU, Perry flagrantly attacked Fred’s elbow with his nose and caused himself to have to leave the game with a bloody, perhaps broken nose, a dazed look, and needing to be helped to the locker room for treatment. This completely gratuitous attack on Fred’s elbow by Perry with Perry’s nose, left Perry operating significantly impaired when he finally did come back into the game. My point here is that Perry, our best player, calculatedly injured himself and took himself out of the game and significantly impaired his performance for the rest of the game, simply to indulge in a violent calculated attack on Fred’s elbow. That it backfired and did not injure Fred in the least, meant that KU really was never the same the rest of the game and in fact grew continually more tentative, then timid and finally it just cracked entirely. I can’t be sure of course, but all signs point to the appearance that if Perry had not engaged in egregiously weaponizing his nose against Fred, then KU, with its best player performing up to pre-nose attack standards, would easily have won the game.