• Solid win in Ames. There were parts of our game that need work, primarily fouls and TOs. Reduce those in this game and it would have been a massacre.

    Typically for this award I’m looking for guys to get down on the court and take one for the team. Last night’s performance yielded a different kind of hustle. A hustle we have to view the stat sheet to fully understand.

    There are 3 guys who share the FLOOR BURN AWARD in this game: Andrew Wiggins, Naadir Tharpe and Joel Embiid. All three brought hustle and tilted the stat sheet so much that the final score (and victory) would not have swung our way without all three of these guys stepping up.

    The media is all over Tharpe, and his points. Funny, but wasn’t that the same media that said Tharpe didn’t need to score this year?

    The one single stat that sticks out far above all other numbers came from Wiggins. 19 rebounds! Are you kidding me? And 5 of those on the offensive side, helping us win back some of the possessions we lost on TOs. 19 rebounds is one short of potentially helping two players reach a double-double. And the rest of Wiggins’ game yielded results, too, 17 points, 3 assists, 1 steal. Wiggins continued to make finishes that let ISU know how much more talent we have over them. He dominated in all aspects except one, and we’ll cover that at the end of this post.

    Joel Embiid is a beast. He is starting to earn a reputation for cheap shots and I’m not so sure that is a bad thing. Of course, we don’t promote cheap shots at Kansas, but suddenly Embiid has become the poster child for Wichita State’s motto: “Play angry!” JoJo became a determined man in the post, and we witnessed some of his best moments as a Jayhawk in Ames. He had a couple of spurts where he took over the game (on both sides of the ball), and it was clear that ISU (and the rest of college basketball) doesn’t have an answer for combating JoJo in the post. It makes me hope in every game forward Embiid doesn’t commit a cheap shot when all we need is a cheap foul call go against him. It was clear that ISU had a strategy to draw fouls in this game. Sounds good on paper, but not at the expense of angering JoJo! All of college basketball beware: “Don’t piss off JoJo!”

    Naadir Tharpe deserves plenty of praise for this game. He did an outstanding job of controlling our tempo and running our offense. In the process, he took what the defense gave him, and in doing so he banged down 23 points, almost 1/3 of our points, off of 7-of-9, including 3-of-4 from trey. He also accumulated 4 assists, 6 rebounds and a steal! That is a lot of participation in a game, exactly what you want from your PG, participation!

    The one downside to all three of these players’ performance was their TOs. The three amigos shared 17 TOs amongst themselves. If they had played error-free ball it is safe to say we may have won by 20 more points. Our TOs and our fouls putting ISU to the line kept this game much closer than it should have been.

    But we can never complain about going into Cyclone country and coming away with a victory, something Danny Manning and Larry Brown never accomplished back on our National Championship team.

    Conference Season Tally:

    Andrew Wiggins 1

    Joel Embiid 1

    Naadir Tharpe 1

    Tarik Black 1

    Wayne Selden 1

  • @drgnslayr agree completely on your choices and also the reasoning behind them.

  • @drgnslayr - I’m not sure we will see many more teams “poking the Lion.” Not long after one of his spurts last night, I noticed JoJo talking and laughing with his Iowa state opponent (maybe Ejim). I have a strong feeling that Fred sent said player out there to patch things up on the court with the angry JoJo. It is clearly in the opposing teams best interest not to get JoJo riled up. He’s obviously got the tools to dominate any time he steps on the court, but JoJo is a player that will really make you pay if you make him angry!

  • I love it when the camera angles over to the bench when Embiid has to sit because of fouls… his look is absolutely menacing!

    Yeah… I caught Embiid laughing it up, too. And since you mentioned it, I wonder if Fred played that card!

  • Embiid’s behavior is very typical among the soccer players. It is a little dirty trick often done behind the referee’s back. It’s done all the time because there is only one referee on the field and there is no replay. But it’s a very bad idea doing it on the basketball court. He must have forgotten how many cameras focus on him and there are three referee watching the players too. I’m sure Coach Self will nip the butt in no time. Joel is very tall kid and still learning the game. He will correct it quickly.

  • @Wishawk “nip the butt” – not bad.

  • @ParisHawk OOPS. Guess you pointed it out, so there is not sense correcting it. LOL.

  • The TV guys have made a big deal out of Joel getting a F1 and F2 in back to back games. Guys that keep making dumb plays that hurt the team could be referred to as knuckleheads. From all reports, Joel is about as far from a knucklehead as you can get. Could it happen again? Sure, but I don’t see it being a continuing problem.

  • I thought Wayne Selden earned an “honorable mention” floor burn award when he flew from the opposite side of the court while Ellis was wrestling for a loose ball, and Selden comes flying horizontal and traps the ball and calls a quick timeout…check his right elbow for a real, legit, floor burn. Jerrod Haase would be PROUD, as that was true hustle-stuff…!

    Self’s genius: get a MickeyD to play a “glue” role (Selden). And it seems the best Self-era wing at KU (B.Rush) title is finally going to pass to Wiggins. Rush was a better 3 shooter, they are about equal on defense (as frosh), but Wiggybaby is definitely more the slasher we all waited and waited for Rush to become. Edge to frosh Wiggins over frosh+soph Rush. But just barely…

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