Dec 30 Headlines: Game Day News

  • Toledo

    ####Undefeated Rockets not awed by KU####

    The Toledo Rockets of the Mid America Conference are 5-0 in games decided by four points or less, including a 71-67 victory over Cleveland State on Dec. 21 in Toledo. The other narrow victories are over Robert Morris (80-77), Detroit (80-78) , Stony Brook (103-99) and Boston College (95-92).

    ####Lucas earning time in crowded KU frontcourt####

    “You’ve just got to stay focused and make sure that you’re always paying attention to what the starters and the people on the blue team are doing,” Lucas said, “so that if you do get in, you know what the gameplan is.”

    ####Dodd: Do the Jayhawks have an outside shooting problem?####

    LAWRENCE — In college basketball terms, Kansas freshman guard Frank Mason fits a pretty familiar archetype: An overlooked recruit. A little undersized. A young point guard armed with enough built-in confidence to start a few games in November.

    KU-San Diego State hoops on Jan. 5 set for 3:30 p.m. tip-off

  • Toledo is 12-0 but they haven’t beaten anyone. A lot of those wins have been close against teams that aren’t that good. I suppose they could give us trouble by hitting 3s and getting to the foul line, but if we play reasonably well, this game should not be close. You have to respect their mind set that they think they can come in and win. I don’t think their fans are counting on it though…

  • I think it’d be cool if their nickname was the MudHens and their coach was named Klinger.

    I think it’d be cooler if they wore Klinger style dresses, maybe like Immaculata used to wear when they played.

    I think it’d be real cool if we show them a narrow victory in AFH is by about 45 or 50 points.

  • Who will get the minutes tonight? How much does Greene play, do we continue to pair Black and Traylor when NoelJoel and Perry rest? Will Seldon & Wiggie have more assists than rebounds?

  • Looking at the Toledo schedule, it’s not too bad. They haven’t played any major conference teams other than Boston College, but their schedule is full of pretty solid mid and low major schools. They also have four true road wins, which is pretty impressive. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see them finish first or second in their division in the MAC and have a chance to go to the NCAAs depending on their run in the MAC tournament.

    As an aside, I imagine it would be tough at a school like Toledo. You either play tons of road games against major conference teams or you mix in some home games with mid majors and low majors such as yourself to generate some gate revenue. I know Toledo and others get some money for playing at KU, but I wonder how that works out for them financially to play more road games against power conference teams?

  • I like this guy’s thinking:

    College Basketball Talk’s latest top 25

    Rob Dauster NBC Sports

    Dec 30, 2013, 9:00 AM EST

    THE TOP 25

    1. Arizona (13-0, LW: No. 1): The Wildcats picked up another blowout, non-conference win last week. They’ll kick off Pac-12 play with a visit from the Washington schools next weekend. The biggest concern for Arizona right now? Finding some depth. With Gabe York struggling, this team basically goes six-deep.

    2. Syracuse (12-0, LW: No. 2): The Orange made quite a statement on Saturday afternoon, putting a whipping on Villanova despite digging themselves a 25-7 hole. Villanova is a good basketball team, and Syracuse made them look like they didn’t belong in the same gym for the last 30 minutes.

    3. Wisconsin (13-0, LW: No. 3): The Badgers continued rolling along, smacking around Prairie View A&M to end their non-conference season. Wisconsin kicks off league play next week with a trip to Northwestern.

    4. Ohio State (13-0, LW: No. 4): Over the course of his last eight games, LaQuinton Ross is averaging 17.1 points and shooting 48.5% from three. Let’s see how that works out in league play.

    5. Michigan State (11-1, LW: No. 5): The Spartans won by 53 points on Saturday thanks to a career-high 27 points from Keith Appling. Michigan State look like it’s getting healthy.

    6. Duke (10-2, LW: No. 7): Rasheed Sulaimon followed up last Thursday’s breakout performance against UCLA with 13 points, three assists and two steals in 22 minutes against Eastern Michigan.

    7. Florida (10-2, LW: No. eight): The Gators, now at full strength, look more impressive every time out.

    8. Oklahoma State (11-1, LW: No. 9): Wins over Colorado and Memphis stand out, but the Cowboys are going to be tested in Big 12 play. There may not be a tougher conference, top-to-bottom, than the Big 12.

    9. Kansas (8-3, LW: No. 13): I know Villanova beat Kansas, so please don’t remind me. But I also think that Kansas is better than Villanova, and the Jayhawks are only getting better as they learn that their best option this season will be to pound the ball into Joel Embiid and Perry Ellis.

    Ten. Villanova (11-1, LW: No. 10): I still like the Wildcats, loss at Syracuse or not.

  • @RockChalkinTexas

    I generally agree with the ranking; however, I have a problem with a couple of the descriptions. The Syracuse-Villanova game was a 3 point game with 7 minutes to play and 7 point with less than 3 minutes. The bulk of the point differential was made when Villanova had to foul and Syracuse made the free throws. The final score is not indicative of how most of the game played out. The Ohio State games was the opposite. If they replay the last minute of their game against Notre dame 100 times, Notre Dame wins 99 of them. Notre Dame (with a little help from the refs) lost their PGs and had no one that could bring the ball up resulting in a combination of turnovers and missed free throws in the last minute of the game that gave OSU a miracle win. I am not particularly impressed with OSU. According to Sagarin, they have the weakest SOS of any team in the top 20 and they have not played a single team in the top 50, compared to KU that has played 6 top 50 teams, again according to Sagarin.

  • Here’s the ESPN talking heads opinion on KU vs Toledo tonight:

    The schedule hasn’t been too tough, but Toledo is undefeated. Any chance the Rockets leave Allen Fieldhouse with an unblemished record?


    Kansas has quite a week with the undefeated Rockets and then hosting one of the least-discussed Top 25 teams in the country in San Diego State. Toledo hasn’t yet faced the defensive challenges they’ll be forced to deal with Monday. The Rockets may end up being the best in the MAC (still debatable), but they won’t be in the Top 25 since it’s highly unlikely they’ll get out of Phog Allen with a win.


    On a neutral court in March, I’d fear the Rockets. At Allen in December? Tall ticket. No disrespect to Toledo, which is a good, legit team and mid-major threat, but beating Kansas at home is too much to ask.


    The Rockets have just the right blend of veterans that will make a second-round opponent quiver in the NCAA tournament. While their schedule isn’t impressive, you’ve got to respect the fact that they’ve already won four true road games. But ultimately, they don’t defend well enough to pull off an upset at Kansas. There’s always a chance in college basketball, but in this case it’s a slim one.

  • The team that I’m very impressed with is Florida.

    In the year of the foul, Syracuse seems perfectly positioned with its 2-3 zone to be the superior defensive team on the floor every night.

    Not super impressed with Arizona, Wisconsin, or Ohio State. Arizona having a bit higher bar as they are the current #1. They are very good.

    Here’s my top 10:

    1. Syracuse

    2. Florida

    3. Michigan St.

    4. Kansas

    5. Oklahoma St.

    6. Arizona

    7. Duke

    8. North Carolina

    9. Wisconsin

    10. Iowa St.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Agree. Maybe we are jaded because of the tough schedule KU has played, 6 top 50 teams compared to 0 for Ohio State, but the weak schedule is not unique to them.

    Once conference play starts. the ranking will change quite a bit. In the Big 12, I believe a 14-4 record will win the conference.

  • The last couple of games have been fantastic for Embiid and I think that will continue tonight. I have posted this before, but what I am still really hoping to see is a breakout performance from Wiggins. He has obviously been solid but I don’t think I am alone in wanting to see a 10-15 from the field game where he puts up 30 and has a break away dunk or two.

  • Look like Mr. Zenger strikes again. I can’t find the game on my Surewest schedule and ESPN3 is blacked out on the entire state of Kansas.

    Reminds me of the Story that Jim Valvano told:

    Valvano: Hey ref., can you give me a “T” for what I am thinking?

    Referee: Of course not, I cannot give you a “T” for you are thinking…

    Valvano: In that case…I think you are an idiot.

    Referee: You got your “T”…

    I hope they cannot put me in jail for what I am thinking about Mr. Zenger right about now…

  • @HighEliteMajor I like your rankings except for Kentucky and Villanova. I know that Louisville has no inside presence, but there defense looked really good. Villanova I think should also be in the top ten. Even though the final score indicates a blowout, it was a close game in the final minutes. After watching the other elite teams this past weekend, I noticed a few things that KU has to work on in order to compete with them and consequently beat them. First, while their defense has steadily improved over the course of the season so far, it is not at the level of Syracuse or Arizona. Secondly, transition points. They have the speed, athleticism and talent to run better than anyone in the country except for Kentucky, and they have not utilized that every game. If they have a cold night shooting, this is the easiest way to get points, especially in a slow, half court game like what the Northern Iowa and VCU games were like.

    Other than those two things, they stack up very well against the best teams this year, and have a solid chance(as long as they continue to improve) to make the Final Four.

  • @JayHawkFanToo There are a lot of folks thinking the same thing! Several items have come to light this past week; Forbes ranking of fb teams by money spent and of course we are number one. The article Keegan wrote about Rock Chalk park cutting bathrooms and concessions on one side. Someone didn’t do a very good job of representing KU. Nothing says classy like port-a-potties!

  • @HighEliteMajor I’ve been impressed with uconn and Kentucky. I expect good seasons from them.

  • @DinarHawk - I just don’t think Villanova is that good. We played horribly and they ended up needing a last second shot to win. UK of course was tough to leave out – I was tempted to have them at 9 or 10. But Louisville wasn’t. They just dismissed Behanan from the team today.

    @approxinfinity - UConn … hmmm. Who do you think they are better than? Maybe ISU or UNC?

    @JayHawkFanToo - Right, Ohio State is unproven right now. They barely beat a bad Notre Dame team. Interested to see how they play against MSU.

  • Thoughts about tonight’s game:

    • I would like to see Andrew have more offensive production tonight. We all know that he is capable of putting up 20 - 25 a night, but he just hasn’t been doing it. To me, it seems like he is starting to settle for the outside shot a little too much, which is what Josh Selby and Xavier Henry did too much. He is not a good enough shooter to be a consistent outside threat. He needs to drive and look to score or dish it off. With the new rules, he is the one that should benefit the most out of our perimeter players, except for maybe Mason. It think that he has been thinking too much because of all the expectations and pressure that media organizations such as ESPN are putting on him. While he doesn’t need to be averaging 35 ppg, I do feel that he needs to step it up a little bit. I agree with the analysis that has been done regarding his entry passes into the post. Guys such as Morningstar were adept in regards to their post entry passing technique. Andrew is a guy that has the ability to be Mr. Automatic in his post passing, and is something we are going to need this year with all of the defensive pressure that our outstanding post men are going to be facing.

    • In regards to Frank Mason, I think it was stated best that he is best against man to man. Unfortunately, a lot of teams are playing zone, which means fewer opportunities for him to shine. However, I feel that Tharpe has been running the point pretty well, which is really all he needs to do. I also like that he has shown the ability to knock down the occasional 15 foot shot, which is something that he has to do in order to spread out the defense. I personally think that the difference between him and Tharpe on the defensive end is not that much, although one of them could prove me wrong during the course of the next couple games. As of right now, I agree with Self that Tharpe is the better option at point when we are facing zones, as they have shown improvement about how to attack zones and the vulnerable areas of said defense.

    • As I have said before, Black is probably the second biggest key for us to get to Dallas. We MUST have his rebounding, especially when we face big teams such as Michigan State, Kentucky, and Syracuse. I remember Duke’s national championship team in 2010 and the good rebounders they had in Brian Zoubeck and Lance Thomas. If I am not mistaken, both of them graduated, and the following year they were defeated in the Sweet Sixteen with much of the same team. Same thing with Louisville this year. They lost Dieng and therefore have practically no inside presence and shot blocker to speak of. This year, we have so much size and ability down low that they should dominate every opponent in the paint.

    • I mentioned in my post earlier that a crucial area that KU needs to improve on in order to be able to beat any team this year is their transition game. It is by far the easiest way to score points, and we have all the necessary athletes to do so. However, in order to get transition points, they must hunker down on the defensive end to get run outs on the other. The good thing about it is, this team has so much potential and room to grow on defense, and by March, I think that they will be maybe the best defensive team in the country. They have the size, speed, talent, and athleticism to do it. All they have to do is want to do it.

    • While Toledo is a solid mid major and is unbeaten, they have played no one similar to the opponents that we have. For this game to be a blowout win, they must guard with full energy and not take possessions off. If anything, they can relax on offense. The national championship did not win it all because of its offense, even though their O was tremendous. The '12 team certainly didn’t go to the championship game because of its offense. Defense wins championships. Even with the new rules, they can still play Bill Self style defense that is in your face, lock down defense.

  • Live blog is up for those who are interested …

  • Frustration level all time high with the Time Warner black out of other cable companies. You may say just switch cable companies and I had TW in the past, not a firm I wish to have again and more importantly don’t pay ransom to pirates or your ships will continue to be hijacked. It wasn’t right to trade arms for hostages and certainly won’t reward the blackout by enrolling in TW, if I do then next year it will be 12 games. How many pieces of silver does it take to deny a portion of your fan base your product. We’ve had season tickets over 15 years, attended several final fours, watched in person the Billy Tubbs fiasco, the jack Hartman golf bag retirement, the sit down Norm retirement, with the rocking chair, saw Bud go off for 50 against MU. Many great memories in person and on the radio and on video. We went shopping and turned off the radio, my wife said don’t you want to listen, and I replied what if I hear a good play, I will want to go home and watch it delayed and can’t so why listen. At both stores last night, the subject of KU black out came up at checkout and not by me. All agreed with sentiment to NEVER enroll in TW cable even if they become the only game in town. Odd we can get Sooners, KState and a host of other schools ball games. I called my attorney and said are you getting the game, he said no and was so mad he couldn’t talk. His wife said we normally know the players by now and know their personalities. She said we have been to a couple games and watched a few but with all the blackouts we aren’t connected to this team as in prior years. I called a teacher family friend and she said no I am blacked out and ‘hate TW cable’, will not enroll if it becomes free. First time in 35 years haven’t been able to see the games live. I guess Zenger, like Andrew Snowden is a K-State mole sent to tear apart a once loyal fan base. The fact that only a few of us are affected doesn’t make it right anymore than only a few were being rounded up in pre war Germany. Gladly never divorced yet starting to know what it feels like. Prisoner swap Snowden for Zenger.

  • @lighthawk

    I feel your pain. If you call Surewest, their initial recording now has a message about not having the KU games available; I imagined they have been flooded with calls. I talked to them anyway and they indicated that they are still negotiating to have the games on but they do not have a target date. I am going to guess that the fees have gone up with the expectation that enough fans will complain and will place cable provider in an untenable situation. This used to be called blackmail and was against the law and KU’s Athletic Department is smack in the middle of it.

    I have now figured out how to get one of the streamed ESPN3 broadcast via one of the many European feeds (don’t download any plugins and be very careful with viruses) although the quality is normally subpar.

    When it comes to Mr. Zenger, the expression…many levels above an atomic wedgie, comes to mind.

  • @approxinfinity said:> @HighEliteMajor I’ve been impressed with uconn and Kentucky. I expect good seasons from them.

    Ha! Now that the site is indexed correctly with Google, i was finally able to find my December gut feelings on UConn/Kentucky by searching the site from google 🙂

    If only I had heeded it when picking a bracket.

    [A little] sorry for the self promotion! Here’s how I searched the site with google.

  • @approxinfinity

    Wow! Nice call.

    P.S. Interesting thread. I was right about “the” Ohio State…and I still want to give Zenger an atomic wedgie; come basketball (and football) season, I think a lot of people will want to join me when we are unable to watch the Jayhawks on TV.

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