That was fun

  • When a team slumps it’s always a relief to win again because you get the dread feeling that gee they might not win again unless it’s some really bad team.

    Nebraska is not a great team, but they were playing their championship feeling game tonight. And we withstood their best shot. They shot 50%, they outshot us on 3’s, they tied us in rebounding, they blocked a bunch of our shots, but we won. We made all 8 of our FT’s they made 6 of 8. So was the difference FT shooting?

    Not really. Bill Self is a masterful coach, and on a night when Newmann contributed little, Garrett still hasn’t contributed, Cunliffe, mystifyingly so, at least to me, got only 2 minutes, Svi was MIA most of the evening, Self drew up two great plays that won the game for us.

    The alley oop out of the timeout and the game winning 3 by Svi. Brilliant game winning maneuvers. Coach Self also recognized a mismatch inside, although it wasn’t really a size mismatch, it was definitely a skill mismatch and Doke aka Udunka made them pay. Tshimonga, gives up only 1 inch and 12 pounds to Doke, but his line of 2 points, 4 fouls, and 0 rebounds means we really won the game in the paint.

    The contribution of Lightfoot shouldn’t be dismissed either. 4-4 FT’s in a 1 point game are huge. Drawn charges don’t show up in box scores, but they’re difference makers and he had at least 2. That’s 2 fouls on them and our ball twice. Not sure what we did with those possessions, but we were efficient enough to have a chance to deliver and…

    Svi delivered. Not sure if that’s his first game winner, methinks he had a slightly controversial travel at the end of a KState game two years back, but this was a big shot. And he got hot at the right time. A big bucket when we needed it most.

    So the team that Bill Self called his softest team the other day, toughs out a win under some duress, in front of a hostile crowd and an inspired team and gets a nice pick me up win. It won’t register as a great win nationally, but we all know the significance of it. We took a step back towards regaining the rock chalk mo that we need.

  • We beat Nebraska by one. We should all let that sink in. A win is not just a win, because we have bigger goals in mind.

  • The team is just not that good. I have been saying it since the Kentucky game. The part that puzzles hme is that they seem to be less than the sum of all of their parts. Unusual for a Self team. Still love watching and maybe they will surprise us all.

  • I still think it was a fun game. I think I acknowledged that it’s not a resume building win, but important nonetheless.

  • @Blown Doke is getting better, needs a big sidekick

  • Looking at the scoreboard I see very few fouls called. Was the game that clean or did the refs swalled their whistles and just let them play?

  • @Crimsonorblue22 agree. pleasantly surprised with his continued improvement and improving touch around the rim.

  • I don’t see how Self can call these guys soft, when the starters are playing 31 mpg to Full Montes every game and they are 8-2 having faced a good mix of elites, majors and and decent mid majors.

    That said, KU was one late miss from losing three straight to majors that will be be mid pack in their conferences. Gulp!

    But the team did rally and Doke and Devonte played terrific games and Vick and Svi played solidly

    Lightfoot played productively.

    Garrett goose egged and prove he is not three point shooter again, but didn’t foul or bake pop tarts.

    The gaping hole was Malik Newman. 31 minutes of Zeroes. Did he still have double vision, or was it triple?

    Malik is getting the “play through” treatment.

    This is something Self does to very few guys. He has to believe you are tough as nails AND better hurt than anything else he has healthy.

    It is a great honor to join this club that no one in his right mind wants to be a member of.

    Malik is joining the ranks of Self’s play through club.

    Cue the lead in to Fan Fare for the Common Man by Aaron Copeland.

    Roll call…

    Sasha Kaun–played through one entire season with out ligaments OR tendons in either knee.

    Brandon Rush–played through knee rehab.

    Mario Little–played through missing one knee entirely.

    Tyrel Reed–played operable 2/3s of a season on a foot needing surgery.

    Joel Embiid–played through no back, until he just couldn’t play through no mo’.

    Josh Selby–played through a stress fracture wearing a boot.

    Jamari Traylor–Went from being one of the Self’s most explosive leapers to playing a season in which he he had zero elasticity in either knee.

    The above players endured more pain in their seasons playing through than most persons endure in a life time.

    But to my knowledge none of Self’s players have played games 10 through 35 or so with head trauma.

    Malik Newman–the player Self has chastised for not keeping focused on the present–is suddenly trying to bare pain like no one of us can really imagine–like no one on Self’s play through club has borne–like Zach Peters could not bear and he had had his bell rung in football before he ever got to KU and got it wrung again. Malik Newman is trying to do something my doctor didn’t let me do 45 years ago. Malik is doing something that I frankly cannot believe a doctor is letting him do now. I don’t care if the doctor’s claim it was just a mild concussion, or not. It hurt like hell. And I suspect it hurts like hell from time to time still. And whether it is smart, or dumb, to do, it takes incredible courage and manning up to go out and lace’em up and go for 31 minutes of D1 action when your brain is saying it doesn’t like swinging in the suspension fibers inside the brain case. Not one flipping little bit. Even if it were a mild concussion that afflicted him the last game, to go out so soon and play 31 minutes is astonishing to me, as someone that had a few concussions myself. My prayers are said for you, Malik.

    Vaya con dios.

  • Blown said:

    The part that puzzles hme is that they seem to be less than the sum of all of their parts.

    I think this puzzle is solved by realizing there ain’t all that many parts–yet.

  • @mayjay good one! Hate puzzles w/missing pieces, all that work

  • Blown said:

    The team is just not that good. I have been saying it since the Kentucky game. The part that puzzles hme is that they seem to be less than the sum of all of their parts. Unusual for a Self team. Still love watching and maybe they will surprise us all.

    You are onto something with less than the sum of their parts.

    One of the things Self does with a normal roster is search for the combination of guys that ball best together. Some rotation of guys’s skills and personalities fit together best. That group becomes “who we are.”

    This group has not yet meshed. But Self has so few parts he cannot juggle and find a combo that works. Instead, he has to let them labor and work to change themselves to fit better together. That’s a tall order.

  • It beats losing to the Cornshuckers. This was a great warmup for B12 play. Packed house - this was their game of the year. I don’t think we look good, but I thought Doke and Graham played well. Svi looked pretty good for a half. Lightfoot did real well I thought. Newman did well for having a concussion, I guess. Although Garrett couldn’t shoot, his defense was superb. All in all, we looked sluggish and ugly alot. The 1-3-1 zone baffled us, which helped them almost beat us. I think we have a long way to go, and a short time to get there.

  • Blown said:

    The team is just not that good. I have been saying it since the Kentucky game. The part that puzzles hme is that they seem to be less than the sum of all of their parts. Unusual for a Self team. Still love watching and maybe they will surprise us all.

    I don’t think the parts are that good. Newman and Svi have been pretty horrific against real competition. Though Svi late against Nebraska strung a few good possessions together. Vick disappears at times.

    We only had 5 players that scored a point against Nebraska. FIIIIIVE. A starter had no points.

    This team simply doesn’t have a lot of P5 talent.

  • KUSTEVE said:

    I think we have a long way to go, and a short time to get there.

    I’m east bound, just watch ol’ Doka run.

  • @BShark Looks like we’re back to the hi-lo grind out games.

  • If anyone can win a conference and make the tournament with 3 starters and a bag full of rocks, it’s Self.

  • @BShark That was a quite decent coaching job, Self and cohorts yesterday. The truth of it was to be seen in the post game faces of throttled Cornhusker fans. Roaring down the stretch those home fans just knew they were going to wave their upset flags of glory. Then, Pfffft!

  • I think @Jesse-Newell got his ideas for his game commentary from me 🙂

  • BShark said:

    If anyone can win a conference and make the tournament with 3 starters and a bag full of rocks, it’s Self.

    What kind of rocks lol. - - -ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY

  • Ukrainian and overrated prospect rocks.

  • @jaybate-1-0 Here’s what Newman said about his concussion, "I blacked out for a little while,” said Newman, who added Sunday was his first concussion. “When I finally got it together I kind of knew what was going on then, but once it happened I kind of blacked out. … Just a lot of headaches. A lot of headaches.” Before fixing that problem, Newman must overcome the concussion, a process that began in earnest Monday when the guard took his first exam of finals week. “It wasn’t a good one,” Newman said with a smile. “As far as just looking at the paper the whole time, the words looked like they started moving all over the paper and things like that. But I’m sure I did good.”

    From Self: “He was a little bit limited yesterday, so we’ll see how today goes,” Kansas coach Bill Self said Thursday. “No reason why he can’t be full speed Saturday — at least, that’s what I’ve been told.”

    So two days after the words moving around on the paper, the guy was practicing (limited)?

    You said, " Malik is doing something that I frankly cannot believe a doctor is letting him do now." Can’t agree more. Personally, I’m shocked. On Monday, he’s having significant concussion symptoms, words moving around on the paper; he’s have “a lot of headaches”, and by Saturday, he’s playing?

    The articles were posted late on Thursday, December 14. The quotes obviously came from that same day. No where does Newman say “I’m fine now.” I’m sure they use the direct testing, like the Impact test. Doctors will say that the Impact test is just one piece of the decision making process, though. Again, seems like the brain deserves a more cautious approach.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Great follow up and analysis. After expressing my initial concerns, I’ve been trying to see this glass half full and pay due respect for his apparent sacrifice and risk. But bottom line, I am very concerned about this situation, especially going forward, because there is no undoing what has already been done. VERY.

    I hope he is okay, or else sits.

    But then there are those that still think football is okay. Many, if not most, football players play through “getting their bells wrung” in a fashion comparable to what your supplied quotes appear to describe as Malik’s case.

    Being a layman, and an old one at that, I just don’t know what to think about here, except my own long ago experience. And it suggests erring on the side of caution.

  • First time posting this year. My grandson dealt with a basketball concussion his freshman year in high school. Took him a year to get over it. I can’t believe Newman is playing under these circumstances. Also, when you look at this team vs last year’s team, several things are evident.

    1. I think Doke may eventually be better at the 5 spot. So plus 1.
    2. Svi replacing Svi is a wash, but he may be a bit better at defense this year. Even up.
    3. Devonte is not a better point guard than Frank. Minus 1
    4. Malik is definitely not a better shooting guard than Devonte. Minus 1
    5. Vick is not better than Josh. Minus 1
    6. Bench is basically not there. Minus a couple. I think it is not surprising that this team is not as good as last year’s team.

  • I think we looked like crap for much of the game. Self calls this team soft because they can’t put teams away, or play well from behind. Lightfoot was solid, DTG and Doke. Svi deserves credit for hitting a big shot but other than that the rest of the team wasn’t good bye any stretch. I think the B12 is better than I thought they would be and we are not as good. The streak ends IMO and we know it real quick once conference season starts. Maybe it lights a fire under the teams butt for March being a 7 seed and finishing mid pack in the B12.

  • @jaybate-1.0 I’m concerned anytime I hear the word “concussion”. Like you alluded to on another post, the brain rattling around in the skull is definitely “no bueno”. I’m certain the KU medical staff checked him out, and cleared him. That doesn’t mean he is A-OK, though. I’d like to see him either play real limited minutes Monday, or not at all.

  • @lincase Welcome. You were reading my mind a bit. This morning, I was thinking about our trades essentially from last season. We have “traded” Lucas, Coleby, Bragg, Mason and Jackson for Doke, Newman, Garrett, and Lightfoot. No one would make that trade if you had the former group. We have better post player (Doke) but he doesn’t rebound as well. Nothing else is better about this team. Vick is better than he was last season. Svi might be. But the those marginal improvements don’t change that we lost the best PG in KU history, and the best OAD in KU history.

    A roller coaster ride, this will be (In Yoda speak – seeing the new Star Wars movie in just a bit, so I’m prepping myself).

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Thank you for keeping the mentality about Jayhawk basketball more than just receiving a “participation ribbon!”

    These guys need their arses jumped and pushed and pulled on until they decide to go “all in” for 40 minutes every single game.

    The Nebraska game was a perfect example. We played hard and we continually started pulling away. Then, we took plays off, allowing the Cornhuskers to close the gap.

    We were lucky as heck to come out of there with a win. Lucky.

    Luck is a great thing to have, and it is one of the elements needed in March. But it isn’t anything we can count on having. We need to be able to win without luck, even having bad luck.

  • All we have to do is look at OU. Here is a team in complete rebuild mode without many of the great pieces we have. They went into Wichita and toyed with the Shockers, like they were playing a D2 team.

    If OU continues to improve this year, they could be a final four team. They might end our conference streak.

    We have no one that can come close to stopping Young. No one.

    We don’t have a Young on this team. But we don’t have to have a Young. However… we do need to have someone who can pose all the threats Young can. Devonte is capable of coming close to Young, and he should be using his experience to give him an advantage to compensate.

    Most of our surges yesterday came through Devonte’s leadership. If we can get him to lead 100% of the time in a game, we will be a real threat in March and the favorite to win yet another Big 12 conference title!

  • @HighEliteMajor I was thinking the same thing. Seemed awfully early for Malik to be playing. Although it probably won t

    happen, it would probably be good to hold him out vs Omaha .

  • Appears to me that this is a game where Garrett and Cunliffe each draw 20 minutes of playing time. Rest Newman. Give the 3 walk-ons a few minutes of exposure. In retrospect, Newman is to be praised for his 30 minutes of effort at Lincoln; but the coaching staff walked a shaky line in the decision to play him, esp. so many minutes. Cunliffe has been in the program right at a year. Why transfer in a kid who possesses a semester of quite decent playing experience, then glue him to the bench? It’s not like he just walked in from the football locker room. I am well aware that the counter argument is that the program could not afford to lose 3 in a row. Obviously, that dictated the decision about playing time. Head injuries are not to be screwed with, in my not so humble opinion. Our starters have been hampered by recruiting decisions. Talk about SOFT! Bringing in 3 scholarship transfers who are ineligible this season…and a lamebrain power forward who couldn’t live within the rules. Our starters are being pounded with too many minutes.

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