W. Virginia Game

  • It was great to see Josh step up and win the T Tech game. Landen was great; we need double digit scoring from him all the time. (double digit rebounding too, but I’m not complaining.) But, we are going to need a healthy Frank Mason on Monday if we are to avoid back-to-back losses at AFH. And where the heck is Devonte in all this? He’s stepping back and letting others take the spotlight when he should be starring.

    After suffering through a too close ending in Lubbock, I’m already feeling the butterflies for Monday night.

  • I’m gonna be honest I think we have a big chance of losing Monday. I do hope that our players bring it and the atmosphere makes it difficult for West Virginia because otherwise I’m not feeling great about this game.

    KU will have to win the fundamentals battle. That means rebounding, 50/50 balls, points after turnovers, points in the paint. West Virginia does all of this better then KU and killed us in Morgantown doing so. We lost our poise and that can’t happen at home.

    Josh Jackson was incredible Saturday but he won’t get away with points in the paint like he did against Tech, they will be charges because West Virginia flops flops flops. A primarily jump shooting tech squad was able to live in the paint with ZERO resistance. How do you think WVU scored so many layups against us? Because we don’t have anything to stop a team from running back screens on us all day, something has to change with our paint defense.

    I hope our 3 point shot is hot and Mason is healthy enough to give us a better version of himself because otherwise we are underdogs

  • I like our chances tomorrow. WVU is very beatable as long as you handle their press…I know what happened in Morgantown…it wasn’t their press that beat us. But we’re playing at home. If WVU is hot…not just good, but hot from 3 pt…then we could be in trouble…but you could say that about most teams. Otherwise, I think we win.

  • KU’s best game last year. Lucas with 16 rebounds and post game interview with DV.

  • I really dont know what the team talks about, but there are numerous issues with their defense and that is inexcusable for a veteran team. I dont buy that “its the refs, its the refs” or “we dont have a shot blocker”. Opponents are cutting back door, getting into the lane and constantly shooting wide open shots. It looks like everyone has regressed from last year. In general, I agree with Beddie - it seems as though our guys get outhustled almost every game.

    Btw, does Devonte not know that he can dribble drive? All he wants to do is shoot.

    The only positive I see is that this team has not yet played its best for over twenty minutes in a game at any point this year. Youd have to think that at some point soon we will see them put it all together.

  • @HawkChamp I was just thinking the same thing about Devonte…came to mind when I looked at the number of FT attempts. Devonte should be, I think, closer to Frank and Josh in number of attempts. He is as capable as either of them (well, almost, not as long as JJ of course), but he did drive more last year…and he can make FTs (but not as high a % as last year). But if we had 3 guys driving…I see that as a good thing.

  • 22-3!

  • @stoptheflop

    Agreed, it is all concerning, but…

    Self had to send’em out flat, play slow, and generally do just enough to win, to keep this wheat whisker thin 7-man roster with enough gas in the tank to have a prayer against WVU’s press.

    WVU’s 9-4 record proves they are a flawed team that can be beaten often.

    But they are strong (depth) where we are weak, and are designed to attack that weakness, and that is Sun Tzu 101.

    I didn’t see the whole RECENT WVU game, but it appeared Huggie pressed a lot less to save his team’s pressing legs for KU on Monday.

    Hope our guys eat their wheaties and some power bars.

  • We’ll see what this team is made of on Monday.

    When was the last time we lost 2 games in AFH in one season?

    Do they want that “title?”

  • @drgnslayr as well as against Baylor. 2-0 this week would basically lock up no. 13 and a 1 seed. The short turnaround will be tough but get the W and have a few days rest for Baylor.

  • I personally don’t think WV is that great. Our press breaker needs work. Watching that highlight from last year, having athletic bigs is so huge. LL has been solid but has nothing athletic wise on Perry and Mari. I worry more about WV this year because we are so under maned and the pressure wears a team down. Im already mad we blew out home court streak against ISU hopefully that along with losing to them already fires up the team and the crowd. Come on guys let’s go!! Make the roof come off that place!!

  • @kjayhawks Im not worried about their press - we seemed to handle it fine at Morgantown. Not getting outhustled and smart decisions will decide this game.

  • Josh’s D on Ahmad killed us, his career night!

  • They called those 2 quick fouls👀. Started frank on a bad note. That won’t happen again!

  • @BeddieKU23 The bottom line is - - we have to DEFEND. crap has been going on all year. Game after game after game. Seriously it’s like the parting of the sea, off the dribble drive, a lot of people want to blame Landen for no help, being slow and so on and so on… Bottom line is - -our perimitor defense has to step up. Frank, Devonte, but hell everyone on the man to man, we just get beat time after time I just don’t see ANY improvement on the DEFENSE and that’s what it comes down to in games like this. - - I’m not concerned on the offensive side of the ball, we got scorers.

    I think actually, against a team like WV, we really ought to ty a little more zone defense, ya I know THAT’S not going to happen, Coach just hates zone, would rather go to his grave take the L instead of admitting that we need to play that in certain situations a little more. - -I’m not saying exclusive, but run it some. Especially WV, make them beat us fro the outside, ya they may make some, but I don’t feel they are that consistent - - - I would fall back to that phrase from that puky state let me borrow their motto - - - SHOW ME. They make 1, 2, 3, 4, to that I’d say AND? you best be showing me consistence. I would feel much better at least trying this tomorrow, take my chances instead of getting beat off the drive time after time- -but as we know that’s just not going to happen.-- - -ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY

  • @jayballer54 Spot on. Our guards obviously dont care about staying in front of their man. Its as though they only care about playing offense - they have to learn to do both which is certainly possible.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 we have given up career nights too often to bigs this year. Because JJ and Bragg are too smally built, and LL just isn’t athletic enough to do much.

  • @kjayhawks same thing happened last year - remember Devin Williams? Imo, too much is made of that. The perimeter players dont seem to care about defense.

  • Two things:

    1. We don’t lose big games in conference. Especially at home. When was the last time we lost to a ranked team at home when the conference title was on the line? Was Okie State ranked when Smart did the backflip?

    2. As @jaybate-1.0 mentioned earlier, we played like we played against Tech because we had WV coming. We played like we did against WV earlier because we had Kentucky coming. We played like we did against Iowa State because we had KState coming.

    Coach preps the kids for the big games at the expense of performing well in the small games. More often than not it works out well for the small games. Even more often than that (it seems), it works out well for the big games.

    We’ll be fine. We’ll probably beat Baylor too. It’s the others we should be concerned about.

  • @HawkChamp I agree with you on a point anyways, just to dam easy to blame it on the refs so many times. - - Sure this miss call, blow calls but dam how about playing a little defense some times, it’s always really scary in close games because of our defense, more times then not the other teams ends up getting easy look - -path to the basket and score. The ref thing is just the easy cop out, makes things not look so bad.

    The only thing I’ve noticed ya now it’s not trying to make excuses cause we have nothing to do with these other teams, and we just need to worry about our team BUT I will say this. - -I watch a lot of ball and we are not the only team that’s having this issue, I can think of two others real easy right off the top of my head where they also have been having this same issue - - - Kentucky - - & Duke you watch them , their fans say the same, those guys get beat time after time, – they can’t stop a hot cold. Whats happened to defense these days - - -ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY

  • On a side note I think this week will decide who wins the B12 with us playing WV and Baylor. They both in return play tech, Baylor on the road Monday and WV at home Saturday. I see Baylor losing monday, if we can get two wins with that happening our chances for 13 straight are very very high.

  • @jayballer54 a lot of it is weak touch fouls. Watching the numerous games I do every year, it seems to me like we end up with a bump at half court be a foul but someone getting hammered under the bucket goes uncalled a lot. I think most of our issues are with Svi and Vick. During the game yesterday the announcers talked about how TT coach said to take Svi to the hoop everytime. That’s exactly what I would do against us. That’s why opponents big men have career days, like the kid from WV, Svi let’s man bye, bigs block lane to the hoop and the bigs man is open for a layup or dunk.

  • @jayballer54 yep very few really good defensive teams. Virginia and Villanova come to mind as teams that have defensive pride. Our guys can but they need to realize its importance.

  • Where was Devonte Graham? Helping win the game from what I could see. For example, at 3:23 left in the game Graham blocks a shot on a Texas Tech player’s drive to the basket. It’s not in the box score, I don’t know why, but it was a clean block. 2:05 left in the game Graham throws a perfect lob to Josh Jackson for a two hand slam dunk. 58 seconds remaining he throws a pass into the paint to Lucas, who is fouled reaching for the passes. Unfortunately, Lucas misses the front end of the 1 and 1. Devonte Graham pulls down a rebound with 15 seconds left that leads to Josh Jackson’s game winning free throw. As the Texas Tech player attempts to throw up a prayer at the buzzer to win the game, the KU player that got in the way and stopped him from getting off a decent shot was Devonte Graham. What an excellent effort by a young man that does the things that don’t always show up in the box score, like guarding 3 different Texas Tech players, including their big man on one possession. It is great to see a young man do the things necessary to get a team victory instead of being a me first player only worried about himself. I love watching this young man play the game of basketball.

  • Question: is the pressure more on WV than us? They have to win to have a chance at the B12, if we lose we are still tied for the lead. Same could be said Saturday with a victory Monday.

  • @kjayhawks the pressure is on us to keep the streak alive. No one else is expected to do it - they want to win it just as much as we do, but there are no expectations.

  • @HawkChamp I disagree. I’m not saying we don’t have pressure but so do they. WV had a 75% chance to win the conference according to ESPN and bpi. They also have to deal with the pressure of always losing the conference to Kansas, you know players get tired of being 2nd. they tired of fans asking them to beat KU.

  • @KansasComet I agree Comet, Devonte’s block was huge. He got the stop we needed to win the T Tech game. (In those gray uni’s I had trouble seeing just who got that block.) I would like Devonte to take a one-third share of the offensive load. When Frank drives, Devonte should be looking for the pass out and be positioned to shoot the 3. I’m not calling Devonte out: I’m suggesting he should be looking to score, like Frank and Josh do all game on the offensive end. Maybe the team just isn’t getting Devonte the ball in a position where he may score. But, here we go. Another 8 PM start on ESPN, so we’ll miss at least the first 5 minutes of our game. Let’s get it done.

  • One more thought before tonight’s game: Do we play the most Saturday/Monday games in the country? I would think the extra day or two of rest before playing on Tuesday or Wednesday would make a big difference, even if you are 20 years old. But, W Virginia played Saturday and has to travel to Lawrence, so it seems even.

  • @stoptheflop

    I believe we do play the most Saturday/Monday games. Some other leagues might have different scenario’s where they play games every other but I’m not aware of them. ESPN wants KU on TV on Big Monday so that’s the grind we get placed into. We play 4 consecutive Saturdays on the road as well which seems made for television

    The price for success?

  • @BeddieKU23 good practice for the short turnaround in the tournament.

  • @stoptheflop Huggy bear just gave KU some pretty good compliments in the article over on KU sports.

    Thanks Huggy bear!

    Compliments aside, he remains one of my favorite Big 12 coaches. Him and former coach Martin of K State.

  • @stoptheflop I don’t really have a bad feeling about this game. I feel good about it. I think Frank will be fine. The medical staff will have been treating him and watching him all the way until game time. Our boys will come out ready to play and protect our home court.

    Rock Chalk!!

  • @kjayhawks YA, sucks our streak got broken - -Especially to ISU, I have no doubt the atmosphere is going to be juiced tonight for a combination of things, payback: – we beat WV tonight puts a big dent in their title hopes, and we OWE them. - - Also we going for the record in noise level, the phog is going to be jumpin, fans have to turn it loose… I agree also I really like Landen for a guy that gets the most of what he has is awesome, BUT, he is just not that athletic and gets the ball stripped a lot, which is from a bad habit of bring the ball down, it just seems like a lot of times it’s like he almost tries to over think his moves - hesitant, but you got to love the guy he is a guy that will always give you 120% -Bottom line I still think we win - - -ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY

  • @chriz Sounds good.- - -The only thing is , if Coach is prepping us up more for K-State then Iowa St, ummm something is wrong with that picture. We all know or should know, that Iowa State is much more dangerous, more of a challenge anytime, anywhere then KSU. If you ask a lot of people as of now who is the bigger Rival, ISU or KU 90 % will tell you it’s ISU, Iowa State much bigger game. Can’t say it’s KSU because of in state rivalry, cause you have to win some more then every once in awhile. Look at the streak we had at Allen West what like 24 in a row?- -that’s not a rivalry. Iowa State is at least in the conversation about challenging for the title more then what KSU is especially when Niang was there. - -So no I don’t buy the KU-KSU saying K-State is a bigger game then ISU - -hell if you look at it - -they are ALL big games, cause they all want to be a part of stripping us from our title. You look at it, most of the teams that we play, these teams, their fans look at it as their BIGGEST game of the year, blueblood coming in, we got the name Kansas written across our uniform - They are ALL big, for a lot of teams /non-con our game is the NCAA championship game. Half empty arena’s are packed for the night we play, So I understand the others - -But KSU bigger then ISU - -ummm maybe not so much - - -ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY

  • @jayballer54 Where I live, KU had best beat KSU. If not the purple pussies make t-shirts. They make my life as hard as they can for a full year. When ISU wins the KSU fans give me a hard time too. ISU fans are a whiny bunch, but they have nothing on the venom KSU and its fans hold for KU. It’s a one sided rivalry, but a rivalry none the less especially for those of us who live in Kansas.

  • @dylans well know that sucks, but you need to kindly remind them umm for it to be A RIVALRY the other side needs to win more then once like in every four years lol, I know then they want to start talking shit about their football lol, well guess what? - -that’s on the way down too. - - -ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY

  • @jayballer54 You can’t have a rational conversation with an irrational person (or fan base as it may be). KU must beat them into submission every year and it will begin happening on the gridiron soon too.

    You are right. When I lived in Lawrence I gave little thought to KSU, but in western Kansas it’s a different story. I also feel as though I must wear a KU shirt or hat or both every day here. While in Larryville I wore a KU shirt on gamedays and every once in a while otherwise.

    Gotta represent!

  • I agree with @jayballer54 that the WV game tonight is huge in that it pretty much stiff-arms the Mountaineers from taking the title and it also helps us maintain the lead over Baylor going into that game Saturday. With a full 4+ days rest between this game and Baylor there is no reason to leave anything on the court tonight.

    The next two games are for all the marbles. We take the next two and immortality awaits. Somehow, I get the feeling words like “manhood” will be peppered into any pre-game rituals this week.

  • @dylans NOT to worry my friend, we got your back. we know how it REALLY is, just hand tuff and ROCK CHALK - - -ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY

  • I believe the game against WVU at home is tougher than playing Baylor on the roads because WVU has a HOF coach while Baylor has Scott Drew that we know will screw up sooner or later. WVU put together runs of 12-2 and 11-0 down the stretch to win the game in Morgantown and blew a close game wide open; I don’t believe Baylor can do something like this.

    A win tonight pretty much places KU in the driver’s seat and, barring a stumble somewhere else, almost ensures at least a share of the title and pretty much put WVU out of contention. It is an ubber important game for both teams. for KU to keep the lead in the conference and for WVU to have a remote chance of winning the conference.

    I think it will be a close game in the upper 70s or low 80s and decided by 3 points or less with KU outlasting WVU. Hopefully WVU will not have the refs help tonight.

  • @stoptheflop Thanks. Devonte does not appear to be looking for his shot as much. I like it when he looks to score as well. We will need more offense from Devonte going forward. I am thankful for his defense, rebounding, passing skills and the way he runs the offense. 22-3!

  • Lots of things can happen in this game. It really could go either way.

    Here are few of the keys I’ll be looking closely at:

    1. Frank - He will play, and I’m guessing he will have a good game, but will he have the stamina down the stretch when we need him most?

    2. Josh - Many look at the TT game and think he can’t get a lot better. I believe he can still improve considerably. For one thing, he can just turn up the alpha-dog another click or two. Meaning… he takes mores shots and drives to the basket. Draw fouls. Maybe make some FTs. But at least, put someone in foul trouble on the other team.

    3. AFH Crowd - We normally LOVE the big crowd noise and it helps confuse other teams. Are our fans smart enough to realize that we can HURT our chances if we are screaming loud while WVU is running their press? I hope our guys can stay focused against their press. When the crowd noise is super loud it kills communications and also tends to dizzy players that have to execute.

    4. Landen - He could end up being the difference-maker. He didn’t have a good game in Morgantown. Foul trouble limited him to 24 minutes. He did have 10 rebounds but he only scored 2 points and Ahmad scored 27. Whether LL gets matched up with him or not, he has to help out on that.

    5. NOT the Press - The focus against WVU is always about beating their press. Well… in Morgantown we gave up 13 TOs. We’ve given up more against other non-pressing teams. I think we make a big mistake if we are only focused on beating their press. The best way to handle their press is for us to play good defense to prevent the inbounds from under our basket.

    6. Perimeter Defense - It goes without saying… but if our perimeter guys don’t start stepping up on defense, we can be challenged by any D1 team. We’ve been letting every team run at their pace without disruptions… running plays, setting ball screens, driving and kicking for open treys, tossing the ball in the low post.

  • @drgnslayr

    The fatigue factor is an important one. KU relies primarily on a 7 man rotation and the 5 starters will get the bulk of the minutes and have to make sure to save energy to last the entire game; playing hard defense wears you out and perhaps this is why KU’s defense is not as good as what we have seen in the past.

    WVU has 9 players that play considerable minutes and 2 0r 3 more that come in for short stints. No question they can p;ay harder since they do not have to play as many minutes as the KU starters do.

  • @JayHawkFanToo I think there is truth to that. They can only play hard defense for stretches and not for the whole game in order to still have legs for offense. As long as they win, I don’t care how they do it.

  • @drgnslayr you telling me to be quiet!🤐🤔

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    That’s very true. We do have 7 players for most of our minutes. I think the question in this game is will we ever go back to our 3-guard offense? I think Landen can handle their press better than Carlton, but can we ever go with both on the floor?

    If so, that buys extra rest minutes for our 5 guards (potentially).

    My biggest concern in this one is Frank’s health. I seriously doubt he will have his normal stamina.

  • @drgnslayr

    The big question mark is Bragg because he is so unpredictable. If he is playing well I can see him playing 20+ minutes but if he is not his time will be pretty limited and the other 6 player will have to pick up the slack.

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    Ha! Never! Just during the press.

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