Best game I have seen in years

  • Well, for all the poor passes, turnovers, bad calls, and questionable defense, the guys showed a lot of grit when Oklahoma was looking almost unstoppable. Mason, even though Hield still scored, made it a lot tougher for him. It was disappointing to see Mason and Graham have a tough first half, and the turnovers, plus poor transition D, allowed OU to gain momentum that almost got them the win. Fortunately, they both were much better in the second half and overtimes and made several really good defensive plays.

    I do not want to hear anyone, ANYONE, ever say that Ellis is soft and not aggressive. We do not win tonight without him being aggressive, driving inside, and that huge open 3 to tie the game. I was also impressed with Selden. Still looks totally different than last year and made several huge plays.

    Oklahoma and Hield are definitely as good as advertised. Hield was dreaming of a chance to beat KU at Allen Fieldhouse, and he almost succeeded. When they are on, I would say maybe only KU and UNC could keep up with them. Hield is Durant level good and can carry them to the Final Four.

    I know that a lot of people wanted Self to sub more, but I can not blame him for going with the guys that could play defense the best, although I think Hunter should have been in more. I thought they made some very timely plays and showed championship level defense when needed.

    Right now, I think Oklahoma, KU, and UNC are probably the best teams, as I feel they can play at a higher level than MSU, Maryland, and Xavier. What are your thoughts?

  • My top 5 all time are tonight, the 7OT Syracuse-UConn game, the 2008 title game, the 2012 Missouri game in AFH, and the 2010 KU-KSU game in AFH because that was my final KU game as a student.

  • This is right up there with the KU-Texas OT game when Collison got the standing ovation from Vitale, the one when KU beat the Durant led Texas team after falling way behind in the first half and the last KU-MU game with the famous TRob block…

  • @Texas-Hawk-10 that’s a solid list!

  • It seems like every game KU plays it’s the best I’ve ever seen in a verrryyy loooong time. It’s great to see these kids have finally get it together! Rock Chalk!

  • I’m exhausted from this game. Best game I’ve seen in Allen Fieldhouse period.

    It’s hard to beat the emotions of the Missouri comeback a few years back but that game wasn’t a slugfest which I think sets it apart. This game didn’t deserve a loser, it was that good. When you hit 3 OT’s you really see who’s got the heart to win at that point. Frank Mason came up huge after having one of the worst games in his career. That’s a heck of a way to turn it all around.

    I do think Coach made some very very questionable decisions. But we won and I’m sure others will chime in on him as well.

    The ref’s were insanely terrible. That Frank Mason call in the 1st half was such poor judgement and a reflection of how that play is generally called. I thought Self was on his way to the locker room a few times after some of those whistles. I do think for the most part the ref’s tried to let them play instead of interrupting the flow of the game which really set up how great this game was.

    Next game up will definitely be harder now. This had to have taken a lot out of these guys. Rock Chalk JayHawk

  • @DinarHawk said:

    ’ I do not want to hear anyone, ANYONE, ever say that Ellis is soft and not aggressive"


    Perry Ellis was a WARRIOR last night. As of right this moment in the season, we don’t win games without him. I’ve been saying for a while now that when his KU career is done, and especially 5 - 10 years down the road, Perry Ellis will be remembered as one of the greatest Jayhawks ever.

  • @JayHawkFanToo I think Vitale would have liked to given a standing ovation last night, but like me, he’s too old and tired. Lol.

  • Coach clearly went with who had the most experience, i.e., Jamari and Landen. I can’t for the life of me understand why those two are continually pounded as non-producers. Without Jamari’s effort in the second half and Landen’s ability to alter shots in and around the basket at the end we wouldn’t have won. Heck he hit those crucial free throws that put us back in it. I wondered why coach went with Jamari once before in the Oregon State game and now with eyes wide open I get it. JMO.

  • @RockChalkinTexas I am typically very opposed to Landen playing at all and in favor of Jamari only getting limited minutes but last night certainly made me eat crow. They both played fantastic games. They may not have incredible stat lines but Bam Bam’s energy in the first 1/2 was unmatched and Landen was amazingly steady in the second half with rebounds, altering shots and knocking down key free throws. We don’t win without the performance of these two veterans last night.

  • @DinarHawk Assuming Denzel (not Washington, as Dicky V misnamed him) Valentine comes back, you’ve got to include Michigan St. in your list of contenders.

  • First of all, a great win…that’s all that really counts. My thoughts: You don’t want to read too much into one game, but it appeared that, on a neutral court, OU might be the better team with the difference being Hield…he was fantastic. I was really impressed with OU’s defense. But, man, I got sick of them forcing a turnover and then turning it into 2 points (would have been more if not for some great defensive plays…Traylor in particular). I don’t usually complain about refs…it usually evens out. But…if you are going to call the questionable foul on the body on Mason at the end of regulation, then you have to call him getting a forearm across the forehead on his attempted layup on the next trip down. Lucas gave them no choice but to call the foul on the rebound. Self always goes with who is playing well, so I understand why he left the same 5 guys in. But, I couldn’t help but think…wouldn’t a set of fresh legs allow us to take advantage of our depth? Couldn’t BG have helped? But…we won…again, that’s all that counts. The OTs were a war of attrition…both teams were completely spent…that’s why HIeld lost the ball and then turned it over on the in bound play…and why we won. Would love to hear others thoughts on these points. Oh yes…our efforts at the end of a couple of the periods…I forget which…one of Franks’s layups and Perry’s airball were really weak efforts…I thought we were doomed because of those alone…shows what I know.

  • @nuleafjhawk I thought he said he did??

  • This game is #1b for me, right up there with the Mizzou game. The part that I loved about the Mizzou game was how Self had Trob guarding Matt Pressey (who had no offensive game at the 3 spot) and couldn’t even play Withey because of Kim English playing the 4. I thought it was a brilliant piece of coaching.

    I loved this game because of the toughness EVERYONE showed. Selden got over foul trouble and a dumb tech, Perry showed us all why we love him with his post moves over height, Landon/Mari showed us why they play, Mason guarded Heild better than anyone has and Devonte hit key shots.

    The one thing I will question Self on is this: why play the 4-low with a tired Mason driving the ball at the end of the 1st and 2nd OT? We had plenty of time to get the ball to Perry in the post instead and he was automatic against Lattin and Spangler.

  • @Hawk8086 did u see BG playing D? Bad as ever against those 3 experienced guards. We shot poorly and fouled(?) to much, sloppy TO’s. This is by far the best OU has played.

  • @Hawk8086

    You made a lot of great points…

    I don’t like to complain about the refs but they did a really poor job of being consistent. In fact the only thing they did well was being inconsistent at best.

    How does Perry Ellis get called for an Offensive Foul while dribbling away from a defender, the opposite of an offensive foul. Truly baffled me. Ellis was clobbered on a rebound that ended up being a Hield or Woodard 3…I don’t know I stopped keeping track on how many they made at that point. Selden got a technical for what? I find it hard to believe the ref on the far side of the court could hear what he said in Allen Fieldhouse. Higgins is a terrible ref and he always will be. In the end the lack of calls being consistent didn’t hurt us in the end but its really troubling to see paid officials mess up so many calls. Self was absolutely beside himself on a handful of calls which he had every right to flex his muscles on.

    I also got the feeling that OU was a better team in area’s but the will to win can never be discounted with the eye test. And while Buddy Hield is clearly the best offensive player in the country, the collusion of KU’s team and how balanced we are will usually be enough to overcome one single great performance.

    I do wonder though if this game is in Norman do our troops respond the same way they do when the Phog is bearing down on the opponent.

    My biggest gripe even in victory was the lack of subs in OT. I get it, Self let them play but when you go 11 deep and can go 11 deep without losing what makes you good, why wouldn’t you give guys a breather. Mason was playing on borrowed time man. His defense on Hield totally spent his legs while driving or shooting jumpers. His will to win is the only reason he made those 2 FT’s at the end, he is a true warrior.

    We also ran little offense 2nd half into OT. Again it doesn’t really matter because we won but seemed to get away from our perimeter attack once it got close. Again you can look at it as Self told his guys to make plays and trusted them to do so (17 assists to 40 buckets) shows that guys were given freedom that we so often talk about. It just seemed we traded way more possessions with OU with 2’s to their 3’s and after every occasion was able to find a way to come back.

    I don’t believe I’ve been this proud of how a KU team gutted out a win in many years. Reminded me of the 2012 year where we found improbable ways to win in the tournament. I’m simply amazed at the effort put out by both clubs last night. That game was the National Championship played in January!

  • @Crimsonorblue22 Yes…that would be the reason he would not play…but heck maybe his fresher legs would have helped…that’s why I’m not a coach.

  • @mihawk Yes. I did not like the plays we ran or the shots we took when we had a chance to win at the end of multiple periods. Although, you can’t complain about the shot that Selden took…it just didn’t go in.

  • 24 bench points for KU and only 5 for OU.

    C5 had 17 points, 17 boards, 4 blocks and 3 steals

    Frustrating that Bragg and Diallo aren’t ready still, but not bad for a group effort. I would have liked to see what Diallo could do with his fresh legs in one of the overtimes.

  • @Hawk8086

    Exhibit A 77.jpg

    Exhibit B 47.jpg

    Exhibit C - Missed call 54.jpg

  • What a battle! So proud of those young men last night. Neither team deserved to lose. And we’ll definitely have our work cut out for us when we go to Norman next month.

    @BeddieKU23 said:

    I get it, Self let them play but when you go 11 deep and can go 11 deep without losing what makes you good, why wouldn’t you give guys a breather.

    Hard to knock anyone in this incredible game (well except the refs which I usually don’t do, but dang that was a clean Mason steal), but I sure was scratching my head about that in the OTs myself. Isn’t that what having a deep bench is all about? Having some fresh legs when the other team doesn’t? I guess I’m missing something?.

    And I’m probably missing something else here too, but I know that there was person who I really liked starting last night, who also first got us on the board after OU hung a few on us to begin the game, altered some shots and made some nice passes… then got yanked never to be seen again. I know Hunter had some rough plays as well, but what if we had yanked Graham or Mason after some struggles? Yes, yes, that would have been stupid of course, but the point is maybe Hunter might have stayed in a bit longer and positively effected the game more? Maybe he got hurt?

    @joeloveshawks I am typically very opposed to Landen playing at all and in favor of Jamari only getting limited minutes but last night certainly made me eat crow. We don’t win without the performance of these two veterans last night.

    And again, hard to knock the efforts of those two last night… they both played like men! But I have to admit to thinking that, given a few more of their minutes in the crucible that was cooking last night, would Svi had found more of his 3s (so good to see one go in for him), would Hunter’s nice little shot to get us on board have happened even more and perhaps his height got in peoples face more, would Bragg and Diallo have had more net positives than negatives, would this game even have gone to OT? Not whining at all, just wondering if better basketball minds than me can point out finer points that I likely missed.

    But what the heck, nitpicking at stuff like that in a game like that is like saying cotton candy needs a little more sugar… it was pretty dam sweet already!

    It is good to be Jayhawk 🙂

  • @Jyhwk_InTigrtwn Mason had a rough night with the refs and this is coming from a guy who made a resolution not to blame them.

    The first half strip was all ball. Self falling on the grenade technical so Frank wouldn’t get one. Then late in the second half he played Heild straight up and as Heild went up for the shot Frsnk called again and got all ball.

    Then his drive at the end of regulation getting closed lined, illegal in football legal in basketball as a no call. Funny how the tv talking heads said they had to call the foul on Lucas but they don’t mention what happened to Frank. Well SVP did on SC last night.

    Then after the game the Buddy Heild POy media wagon goes after Frank saying he didn’t give the three feet and taking away a great defensive play on his part.

  • In 9 conference football games KU scored a 108 points combined. Last night the basketball team scored 109.

  • This post isn’t about analysis. This post is about enjoying a basketball game for being great. This will be long, so feel free to skip it if you don’t have that kind of time.

    My perception of several guys was altered last night watching that game. Credit has to go to every single guy for playing their butts off last night, on both teams. The action wasn’t always perfect, but guys played extremely hard on both ends.

    Both Kruger and Self squeezed every ounce of effort out of their guys. Both drew up some brilliant plays and made some questionable decisions, but they got everything out of their players.

    Pack up the Big XII POY trophy and send it to Norman. Deliver it to a Mr. Hield. I went from thinking Hield was a fringe NBA prospect to being sold on him as a first rounder. Dropping 46 in AFH and playing 54 of 55 minutes, basically not letting your team die until exhaustion compromised his talents in the 54th minute of action (after playing all 40 in a wild game against ISU on Saturday). Hield was the best player on the floor. I wanted to shake his hand last night. As Vitale said last night, it wasn’t just that Hield made plays and dropped 46, it was that every single play he made was during a crucial moment. Every play was a must play. And he wasn’t just scoring. He had crucial assists, grabbed some big rebounds and played some tough D. Just incredible in every aspect.

    Perry Ellis played his best game as a Jayhawk. Not best because he has never played better. He has. Best because that was the type of game that you need to play if you’re going to be a top player on a top team. He battled in a way that I had never seen him battle. He had his problems against Lattin (I will get to him in a second), but Perry just kept plugging away and made some HUGE plays down the stretch.

    Isaiah Cousins has some stones. He was awful Saturday against Iowa State, until he wasn’t and keyed the win down the stretch. He struggled again last night, but then still hit a couple big buckets. He’s slumping right now, but once he gets going again, this OU team will be even more dangerous.

    Frank Mason changed how I feel about him as a defensive player. I have no idea how many points he scored, or how many assists, or anything like that. I watched him get into Buddy Hield’s space last night and take on the challenge of defending a top notch player that was red hot (and stayed hot). But Frank stayed right in Hield’s space, and ended up making the two biggest plays of the night to seal the win. I said Frank was an average defender at the beginning of the season. I stand corrected. Frank is above average, maybe well above average. I can’t even describe how impressed I was with his performance on that end.

    Kadeem Lattin was big time last night. He kept that game alive with his presence in the middle. He and Spangler are basically OU’s only useful bigs, and I think they both had double doubles last night. Spangler showed me more shooting than I knew he had. I was afraid he was going to be our undoing. The single biggest moment last night may have been when he left the game briefly due to injury. He wasn’t the same when he came back in. Those two are irreplaceable for the Sooners.

    Devonte Graham has some Mario Chalmers in him. He wants to be the guy that has to make plays. I hadn’t really gotten to see that attitude until last night, but he wants to be in the BIG moments. It’s clear that Self realized that before I did and that Graham will be on the floor at the end of every close game from now until he graduates. He was relentless last night.

    I didn’t even really think Jordan Woodard was that good until last night. He was, to me, the third of the three guards. I was so completely wrong. Woodard was in on everything. He handled the ball. He hit six threes, and I think four of them were on enormous, game altering possessions. Like Hield, he made several must plays. So very impressed.

    And finally, Wayne Selden, who has morphed from a running disappointment into a legitimate NBA level performer. Wayne Selden is different. Last year, in the type of game he was having, Selden would have finished with five points on 2-6 shooting with 3 fouls in 26 minutes of a KU loss. The foul trouble would have robbed him of his aggressiveness and he would have just disappeared. Last night, Selden saw Hield going absolutely bonkers and rose to that level. No, he didn’t drop 46, too, but there were moments where Selden saw Hield making plays and went and made a play, too. That’s what the greats do. Hield and Selden raised each other’s level of play last night, and it was a joy to watch.

    That was some great basketball. We will do this again in Norman in a little over 5 weeks.

  • The difference between first half Devonte and 2nd half and beyond Devonte was startling, wasn’t it?

  • @RockChalkinTexas

    Exhibit C was called a foul if that was Frank on the break in the first half. I actually think Frank may have slipped first, but it was pretty close.

  • @justanotherfan Like you, I wanted to be there so I could shake Hield’s hand. An unbelievable performance. I also felt the same way about Woodard. I was impressed with the whole OU team…they are really good. One thing I reminded myself of though, that game was nearly a game and 1/2…so we should keep that in mind when looking at the stats…(46pts, double doubles, etc). But I am in no way taking anything away from anyone on either tem. That also applies to turnovers…in a game played that hard fought…even more impressive.

  • @DanR

    “Frustrating that Bragg and Diallo aren’t ready still, but not bad for a group effort. I would have liked to see what Diallo could do with his fresh legs in one of the overtimes.”

    Frustrating… but this game showed us they aren’t ready yet.

    We can really use them, and it might be our real chance of winning in Norman if Cheick/Carlton can add a bigger bump.

    I definitely am not counting on either of these guys to start dominating games. They aren’t worked into the flow. Unlikely they will this year. All I want to see is both of them adding a spark.

    Look at Landen in the second half… when he came in and made a huge positive difference. He was the only guy on the court with fresh legs.

    We need to utilize our bench a bit better in these games. That was the one HUGE advantage we had over OU and we didn’t use it enough to make the difference.

    But I also understand that Self wants his top 6 or 7 players to lock down and flow together. They need big minutes together to get there. And we will be counting on upperclassmen this March, not freshmen.

    Yes, that could change. That isn’t up to Self… That is up to our freshmen to pierce through the experienced play of their elders to show an advantage for them to be on the floor.

  • @joeloveshawks

    Don’t forget that Jamari also had 3 blocks and the rest of the team had 2…He and Lucas really showed why they get playing time.

    I don’t care what anyone else thinks but Bragg went in early and for the most part he looked completely lost and so did Diallo when he played. I understand that they need on-court time to develop but last night’s game was not the game for them to do so; it was a game for them to observe and learn…

  • @JRyman said:

    Self falling on the grenade technical so Frank wouldn’t get one.

    That’s an awesome observation! He said it was his first one 3 years.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 I thought he was talking about the standing ovation given to Nick Collison back in the day… if he did it last night, it must have been during a potty break. Or when I had tears streaming down my face and couldn’t see.

  • @nuleafjhawk I heard it later on espn, he said he gave both teams a standing O. Maybe it was just words?

  • @nuleafjhawk

    In all fairness, he gave the standing ovation when Collison fouled out in OT and before the game was over. He has indicated that he had done it only one other time before and I am not sure he has done it again.

  • This was the best I’ve seen diallo, he stayed in the flow of the game and was unselfish. Big improvement! Might have jumped over Bragg who looked completely lost. I sure hope we have games to get them in. As much as I have praised BG, he looked so bad on D last pm. He could not keep up w/quick lil guards. Not sure what to think of ll or Hunter, each one has the opportunity to make a difference. I never would have guessed ll would be in the game during crunch time. I have a lot of praise for Mari, so did AFH! I guess if you don’t see it you don’t get it. He knows his role. As far as goaltending, they replayed everything on big screen and we didn’t see it, but we did see the awful calls we got, especially first half. I’ve never seen so much booing-Cept up north! Good thing they had security at half cause fans were really close to them and really hollering. I think somebody might have said this, but Higgins was the one who threw Hurley out at the end of a close game vs az. Hopefully ncaa is reviewing him!

  • @wrwlumpy love being classy!

  • @DanR 1988 14 bench points for KU, 0 for OU. We have a history of outscoring their bench!

  • @JRyman I just finished re watching the game again - stopping, rewinding, playing slow mo watching much of the uncountable critical moments over & over again. I saw at least 3 Hawks-Graham, Ellis, & Wayne all take contact in the face or head - clearly above the shoulders & not once was there a monitor reviewed of any contact-. I reiterate not once. All of those officials need to get a reprimand & a charm school retraining class for that in itself alone. Higgins sucks & tried his ass off to give OU advantages the entire contest but all 3 of them should be shipped to the Russian front. Those clowns missed more ducks than Elmer Effin Fudd!!

  • @globaljaybird I agree - watching the replay,I noticed contact that should have been called but wasn’t. Someone needs to suspend these idiots.

  • @globaljaybird each team usually submits a video to the big12 with calls that they think are unexplainable. Then each official is graded out again. This can affect what games they do or if they are suspended any.

    The problem is if any of them are suspended I’m sure they will get KU down the road and that won’t be good either.

  • @globaljaybird My particular favorite is when Devonte is running down the court next to an OU player and after the play he had to rub his face after taking an elbow. I am sure that the elbow was not intentional but getting hit in the face in the middle of the floor should garner some official attention.

  • @DinarHawk It was a great game, but with all due respect, OU always plays up to KU. Durant good? There will never be another Durant-like player. Hield is not and will never match Kevin Durant. UNC and OU two of the best teams? They have one outstanding game and they are two of the best teams? Give it some time. KU is consistently good. OU and UNC have more to prove.

    I believe this will be the best game OU plays all year.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 Exactly. KU didn’t play very well and still won. OU should’ve beaten them. OU failed to close the deal several times. OU is good, but not that good. I think this was a matter of KU having one of those ugly games and found a way to win.

  • @BeddieKU23 Don’t complain about the refs. You sound like OU fans now. I get so tired of fans blaming refs. Hield takes responsibility for his piss poor pass and then says, “he (Mason) was out of bounds.” Really? I respected him until he made that last stupid comment. What difference does it make? The pass was deflected in or out of bounds. Hield over played and frankly may have lost the game with the in bound pass and the lose ball dribbling out of control which he did many times. Then fans and Dick Vitale want to hype him into some phenom. Here’s a test for OU…take Hield and see how OU responds, like when Selden sat most of the first half. Hield is not a pure shooter. He didn’t get squat against Mason. Mason shut him down for the most part. They suckered punched Mason all night long. The ref that called the “T” on Self watched Mason all night and called anything close against Mason, when guarding Hield.

    The refs didn’t blow this game for OU. OU blew this game. Just like KU almost blew it.

  • @nuleafjhawk Ellis is good. He played like a warrior. But he does play soft. He is too timid at times and nice. He’s got to be mean when he’s so close to the rim. He’s got to come up strong and dunk the ball more often.

  • @nuleafjhawk Vitale and Mussburger got Mason and Selden mixed up all night long. What’s worse, they didn’t even try to correct themselves. The two are like listening to two old men sitting on a bench and forgetting what they’re talking about half the time.

  • @truehawk93 maybe. I think they are this good, but the guys need to work on playing smarter and transition defense. OU had too many open threes in transition, and that can’t happen.

  • @truehawk93 Also, I did not mean Durant pro potential. I meant Durant level college production. And yes, Hield had a Durant level performance.

  • @DinarHawk Obviously he had the best offensive game of his life with 46 points. How many were FTs? I’m not saying Hield is a bad player or can’t play. He still over plays at times and let’s the hype get the best of him. When he learns to let the game come to him, he’s going to be REALLY good. He should’ve dished to his teammates more. I thought Woodard was having a really good game and was letting the game come to him. Cousins came on late. Even Lattin was starting to play better as the game continued. We are lucky it ended the way it did with Mason on the line. Kevin Durant is PURE. He did that almost every game. Hell, I remember when he went ape crap on us and we still beat UT that year. I think Durant dropped some 45 plus points that year at AFH.

    My KU player of the game was freakin’ JTray. That guy is a beast. I’m so glad we have JTray. I love his blue collar performances.

  • @truehawk93 My contention is that Self made it ugly by his rotation and not substituting.

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