Gameday Thoughts

  • It goes without question that tonight is the biggest game of the season so far.

    Likely #1 going into Ames where the fans suck and we have yet another game of listening to Fran talk about his favorite team. Over/Under on how many times Fran compares Monte Morris to Frank Mason, or talks about how good ISU’s back-court is compared to KU’s. Or, well, you get the picture, the list goes on for this guy. This game will feel like a 6 on 5 (or 9 on 5) contest if you include the ref’s for most of the night.

    So what’s it going to take for KU to win tonight?

    1. Get off to a fast start.

    Lately we’ve walked out of the gate and found ourselves in deficits. It’s a good thing most KU fans missed the first 11 minutes of Saturday’s game. I expect the first 7-8 minutes to be fast paced and emotionally charged for ISU. Making shots will keep the crowd level down, forcing misses would do even more. We need to be either ahead at half our within a few baskets.

    1. Honestly this should be #1, Transition defense.

    ISU LIVES by pushing the pace off made/missed baskets. I cannot stress how much they play like UNC in regards to transition and secondary break. Naz Long has become their leading scorer as he’s become their most consistent player driving to the hoop. With our lack of rim protection and just plain lazy defense sometimes this is a huge key to the game. Last year ISU pushed the pace and got a lot of easy baskets because the team was unaware of how fast ISU changes pace up the court. I believe that was the biggest factor in our loss in Ames last year. We cannot let it happen twice.

    1. Rebound.

    Much like KU they rely on a collection of guys to rebound. Expect long misses off Naz Long 3’s, 50/50 balls will be key. Lucas, Bragg & Jackson are key in this game in the battle of boards.

    1. Lucas

    ISU’s biggest player tonight is a freshman Solomon Young at 6’8, no bigger than Josh Jackson. I’m not sure what’s wrong with Merrill Holden but he’s missed the past 3 games. Lucas is huge is this game if we can get him in scoring position and he can make a catch and move to the basket. This has been an area he’s really improved on lately which has cut down on turnovers for him. Lucas is also ISU’s biggest matchup advantage if Landon is forced to guard Bowie or Young out on the perimeter. Bowie has only take 11 3’s all year but at a 45% clip and he has slashing ability to get by Lucas. This could be a game we also look to Carlton Bragg to step up (if that’s possible).

    1. Limit at least 1 perimeter player to below season averages.

    A big part of why KU won Saturday which has gone mostly forgotten was KU’s ability to shut down Evans, Forte & Carroll in the 2nd half. If Young and Bowie have career nights I’m okay with that because it most likely takes away points Thomas, Long and Morris could be chucking from outside. ISU doesn’t shoot a lot of FT’s, for reference KU has shot almost 100 more overall. Force this team off the 3 point line and into 2 point jumpers.

    Huge game, I think a lot of KU fans are waiting for a reason to believe they really are worthy of being the #1 team in the nation. Tonight, a road win would be a huge statement win for this team.

  • @BeddieKU23 just might see 5 guards this game?

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    I highly doubt it unless Lucas & Bragg were in foul trouble. If they are in foul trouble we should be really upset with our perimeter defense because they have zero post players. Young & Bowie are basically SF’s playing the post. Jackson should have a huge night if he brings his game on the road (something he hasn’t done yet in Big-12 play).

  • It will take a solid all around game to beat the cryclones tonight. The majority of their fans on cyclone fanatic think we are going to win after their loss to TCU. A solid start is important along with maintaining poise when Iowa State makes a run. Also cant have a 5 for 20 night from three and expect a W - 9 or 10 for 20 would do just fine.

    In all actuality, this is a must win game, not only for no. 13 but for tournament seeding. A true road win against a top 50 team is very important for our success this year.

  • @HawkChamp

    Cyfan is worse than any KSU board imo.

  • @BShark eh, I dont know. The threads I have been reading were pretty grounded - some reminded me of our discussions here. Many of them are unhappy with Prohm

  • They really hate KU and are delusional about us in general. I guess that isn’t that different than Missouri and KSU. Lots of KU pays the refs crap. I think the EJ game damaged them permanently. Been awhile since I’ve popped over there before last night to see what they were thinking though.

  • Dont look now but Higgins is reffing tonight.

  • @HawkChamp said:

    Dont look now but Higgins is reffing tonight.


  • @HawkChamp

    Yes 3 point shooting will have to be better than 5 of 20. I imagine it will be we had a lot of quality looks against OSU and they just didn’t go down. I can’t imagine we go cold for a 2nd straight game.

    Another good point about maintaining poise.

    This game doesn’t mean much for tournament seeding unless ISU becomes a ranked team by the end of year. A win in Rupp, Morgantown and Waco would do much more for us. Usually ISU would be a solid resume building win on the road but as it stands right now ISU is a fringe tournament team.

    By the end of the year our potential resume is going to stack up with almost any team out there. 5 potential top 10 games (and more) still on the horizon.

  • @BShark I’d rather have higgins ref than Fran announce. I think Higgins was flirting w/Josh at ou.👬

  • @BeddieKU23 yes but we dont have any chance for a one seed with five losses - MIGHT be able to get away with four. UCLA, Nova, UK and Gonzaga and going to end up with no more than three losses a piece. UCLA, UK and Gonzaga might not lose another game before the tournament because their conferences are weak. This does not look like a year a team can have more than four losses a get a top seed.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 wait what?

  • I’ll take a sterner view. I dont think the EJ39 game “permanently damaged” them, as it only revealed the rotten chunk of their fanbase. Somebody tell that twat Fraschilla that he looks the fool for touting a program that embarrassed themselves in multiple ways on a nationally televised game, on the internet thereafter, and then they as an institution were forced to apologize to the Univ. of KS, the BigXII, the KU team, and Elijah Johnson the next day. An ugly disgrace to the league, seconded only by KSU fan antics. If I ever get within earshot of Fraschilla, maybe I’ll personally yell/heckle him about that sordid stain. But he wont hear me amidst all his heavy smooching noises on cyclonebutt…

    Even if EJ made a 2pt basket that ran up the score, their minds somehow justified all that followed. Not acceptable! Guarantee you they will never, ever be a royalty program. Not to go off topic, but it reminds me of the analogous parallel internationally, that the US will always be a superpower, while others never will be one. Everybody hates Duke because most programs, even if they beat Duke in 1 game, will never BE a royalty program like Duke. Or KU. Or UNC. Or KY.

  • @BShark Why dont some of us “invade” cyfan sites, with clone aliases, or if you’re feeling feisty, do so with a KU moniker. Or maybe use a UNC or MichSt or bigbrother IowaHawkeye alias. Just to troll the livin hell out of em? I dont have the time, so far this is an idle thought…but I’m sharing…and maybe I’ll find the time if I have a few days off…hahaha!

  • @HawkChamp

    Your counting a lot of chickens before they even happen don’t you think? KU will get a good seed in the tournament, you can book it now. We all want the cozy Sprint Center spot and I’m sure we’ll have every chance of getting it. It’s also not the end of the world if we don’t get it. Your taking too much of a pessimistic point of view at this point. Games right now don’t mean as much as they do in February/early March.

    Kentucky & Gonzaga are the only teams that look like they have a cakewalk for the rest of the year. They might have a shiny untarnished record but its also going to work against them if the rest of the SEC is mediocre & Saint Mary’s doesn’t stay ranked. If KU wins the game in Rupp, there is really no way Kentucky will be seeded higher than us if KU finishes the regular season the way its expected to. Again its way to early to project the seeds right now, bracketology is pointless right now until we get to within the last few weeks of conference play.

  • @BeddieKU23 WOW , really great thread. - -Seems really thought out, couldn’t agree more with any of these points. This is a game I worry about Landen getting in foul trouble, a lot of quick players. The question is does Landen go out on the floor with these guys he is guarding away from the basket? - -or does he lay back closer to the rim? - -are these guys have they proven they can be consistent hitting the J from the outside to pull Landen out? BUT we pose match up problems for them also on our offensive end. Agree we have to get out to a better start, these last games have come out blah.

    This would be a big win for the Big 12 race - -huge on the road, we need to win in Ames. I’m not that concerned about being # 1 in the nation right now, nice but really doesn’t mean a lot - -I want that trophy and # 1 at THE END OF THE YEAR - - ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY

  • @BeddieKU23 I disagree. Is there any guarantee we are in KC with a two seed? Maybe, maybe not. I think all games matter including the opening loss to Indiana - hope that doesnt come back to bite us.

  • I wouldn’t call this a must win. We do need to win in a tough place on the road though…WVU, Baylor, KSU, or tonight…obviously we don’t know how many of those we need for #13. If we lose tonight…just means it is more imperative to win at other places…pure and simple. Need road wins…might as well start tonight.

  • @Hawk8086 all I know is I wouldnt want 13 to come down to our last at oklahoma state. Seal it early and build a great resume for a one seed.

  • @HawkChamp Agree!

  • @Hawk8086

    Very good point, a win tonight gives us 3 road victories with 6 to go (7 if we count the biggy in Rupp Out of Conference). If we can finish 5-4 in conference play on the road there is a good chance we get #13. If our record is better than that, the conversation starts changing to by how many games we win by as well as talk of this team being Elite. All teams lose on the road unless you become a machine. We’ll see starting tonight whether this team is capable of winning the hard one’s

  • @BeddieKU23 Nice post. Didn’t realize I was double posting the same topic. I spent too much time writing mine to delete it and was concentrating on mine as you posted yours. All similar brilliant points between the same posts is not coincidental, it’s the work of two geniuses analyzing the game to it’s highest level of cognition!

  • @wissox

    After I saw yours I thought we must have started writing this around the same time! And I agree a lot of good points going into tonight’s game. Big game, I hope these guys play like they know its a big one

  • @ralster I’d like to be there if you “talk” to Fran. Might have to hold me back. Fran IS on their level, SMALL! EJ’s game was one of the best single game performances I’ve ever seen. He was in a zone and needed to keep shooting while everyone was showering. Of course it was to dangerous for our players to be there. Hopefully they show respect on MLK day!

  • @BeddieKU23

    Awesome thread!

    I like your thoughts on what it will take to beat ISU.

    I put transition defense as #1. We have to slow down their offense and keep it in the half court. I don’t see ISU getting lots of uncontested fast break points, but the real danger is in their secondary break offense.

    I think I would put close to the top that we need to stay out of foul trouble.

    If you look at us, compared to past years, we really have the right team to dismantle ISU. A 4-guard offense against their pressure and desire to run the ball should be a big help for us.

    I think I would generalize around rebounding more and just say “possessions.” If we lose the possession battle we will have a tough time coming out of their with a win. That means we need low TOs and high rebounds. We need to secure at least half of the 50/50 balls, too.

    If we show up with 40 minutes of real energy, we should win this game. If we don’t… then I think we are in for another Ames loss.

    If we lack energy then we can expect foul trouble, getting beat on the boards, losing 50/50 balls, low or no momentum, perhaps our lowest point total on offense.

    Contrary to what many people think… you have to look at our offense carefully when grading it. Yes, the stats say we are one of the better offenses in the country, but the reality is different. In many ways we are starting to fail the eye test. We rely more on one-on-one moves to score, and we have been successful mostly against inferior defenses. What happens when we don’t get secondary break points? What happens when our guards are actually guarded on the perimeter? We don’t really run a lot of set offense,

    Tonight I think we need demonstrative leadership on the floor. We need someone keeping our guys on the same page (through a screaming crowd of crazies). We need someone trying to have control on our tempo.

    My offensive fears with this team is that we operate really well only at a narrow tempo. We do best when we are at a quick pace from a secondary break. When things slow down, and we are using most of the shot clock, we usually have to get bailed out by a one-on-one move. I like some of that, but I also like to see more team offense. Our assist numbers should be higher.

    Funny hearing that out of me. I’m contradicting what I said in past years. But not really. I used to complain because we didn’t have guys that could take over one-on-one. We relied SOLELY on team offense. Now… I wish we had just a bit more of that. Actually, I’d like to see us drive more, but also feed off the drive to an open trey more. In some ways, I feel like our offense is getting less and less aggressive as league play goes on.

    Defensively… look at the stat numbers from our past games. We can’t stop ANY big men from scoring! I only put a little of that blame on Landen. I put a lot more blame on our guards. Our guards have been playing HORRIBLE defense! I say that because of my expectations from a Bill Self team. We are not pressuring the perimeter so we allow the easy feed into the post. Or we let guards easily drive into the paint to challenge Landen. Last… our trey defense is really not good. We have been lucky to win these 5 conference games.

  • @jayballer54

    Good point about Landen. I would say that Landen shouldn’t worry about Bowie or Young launching shots outside unless they make one early. I’m sure ISU is going to run pick and roll action with Morris to draw Lucas out and draw in help side defense. Oklahoma St did this and got a lot of those easy looks in the paint off of it. If Landen was quick enough to guard the perimeter I would suggest we switch all screens to negate that option where Morris exploits that pick.

    It will also be interesting to see who Vick covers in this game. All of ISU’s perimeter guys are streaky 3 point shooters but Vick has made a habit of helping too much and losing his man who sits in the corner wide open. My biggest fear is that ISU makes enough 3 pointers to negate all the advantages KU has in this game.

  • Who guards who?

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    Mason- Morris, Graham- Thomas, Svi- Long, Jackson- Burton, Lucas- Bowie

    I could see Graham switching on/off Long because Svi has not defended as well recently.

  • @BeddieKU23 I might put Svi on Burton, strong not to quick. I’d put DG or Josh on long, he’s their leading scorer. Wonder if Josh on Morris might bother him? Lots of options. Gotta stay out of foul trouble and rebound

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    I think we’ll see plenty of our players on other guys as we tend to switch as many screens as we can. It will be interesting to see how we defend their action.

  • image.jpeg

  • See the lil man there💩😡

  • @Crimsonorblue22 Ya, cant wait to hear the littleman gush about the Clones (not). All internet banter aside, of course its different if we were ever face to face with Fraschilla. But man, if I was in the first few rows during a game, I’d be sorely tempted to yell out “Fran Weathermax, how ya doin’? I didnt know Melvin had a brother…” Yup.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 great photo-wish 8 o’clock would hurry up

  • image.jpeg

    Guess who’s passing out donuts! I know, I’m obsessed

  • @ralster

    They won’t validate your account if it has a KU related name.

  • Fran… smh. Man i hope Mason eats Morris’s lunch tonight. I think the winner will be the team that makes the most 3 pointers. Both teams struggle to defend and to rebound. Could be a track meet and end up with a ton of points scored or will one coach put a rabbit outta of a hat and slow the game down to make the other guard in the half court.

  • getting ready for the game tonight-replayed the 12/13 ot win. elijah was on FIRE that night. almost felt bad for the clones, we didn’t help them with the 23rd in a row win. never mind-i’m over the sadness!

  • I’m nervous about this one. Indiana/Duke nervous. Feels like the team has been stealing wins a bit lately and I think it catches up with them tonight with an L.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 are those white tubular sticks (one per each chair) “thunder sticks”?

  • Still #2:and they jumped Nova over us. I have no problem with being #2 this time of year Dont want that #1 at all right now. This should challenge the guys to play better, than just because other teams lost.

  • Points 3 and 4 will be large for KU.

    I would say Landens veteran experince will have to produce rebounds.

    The winner will win the boards.

    50/50 balls will be priceless.

    Clones will be hungry for a key win.

    KU will be tested with composure. Mason, Graham, Svi and Lucas must step up in this game.

  • @truehawk93

    You would think Landen will dominate this game, but it may not work out that way.

    He was dogged early in the year because our tempo was too fast for him to sync with. ISU will try to keep things running fast and they will be testing him in the paint.

    If ever he gets in foul trouble it could easily be this game.

    If he does dominate this game I will truly be impressed!

  • I keep saying that KU needs to stop spotting the other team a dozen points to start the game. On the other hand, we are following an ACC game so, due to ESPN technical difficulties, we might miss that part of the game anyway.

    Best prank ever…those light sticks are fitted with a clock that after 8:00 PM and during the ISU player introduction, start glowing crimson and blue and you cannot turn them off…they would never see it coming and 50 cents of Chinese electronics would do it…oh well…

  • @drgnslayr looks like ll has some tape on either wrist or thumb, can’t tell

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    Are you at the game?

  • @drgnslayr no! Watching pregame

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