Win-Theft on the Road Is Sweet But It Required 55% from Trey and a Ritual Body Sacrifice by Devonte

  • After losing at home to Chris “High Plains Drifter” Beard and his Lagos terrorizers from Lubbock, stealing a road win in Fort Worthless from the Hopping Disciples of Christ coached by a man whose head doubles as a road stripe on two lane black, well, that was a HUGE win-theft on Conference Highway 14.

    But it would’ve been an L without the spontaneously combustible trifectation and the ritual body sacrificing of Devonte.

    Winning with hot trey shooting is not proof of getting better. Its proof of getting hotter.

    And hotter we got.

    But we gotta get better, mi amigos.

    We gotta find a stop button on the defensive dashboard, or our rig is going to keep bouncing out of control every game we get the chills.

    For god’s sake, though, it surely was good to see Mitch turn from tenderfoot to Lightfoot and go into blocking heat. SIX BLOCKS! OH. MY. GOTTERDAMMERUNG. And 26 minutos did not seem to phase our man en flambe either. What kind of a nickname befits a 6-8 210 pound post man? Paint the Pinto Postman? Let’s just say way to go, Mitch.

    Mitch’s break out was most fortuitous due to Doke’s break down game. Doke played his only uninspired game of the season, and between you and me, Doke seemed like Joel Embiid with a bad back. SHUDDER!!! Please, basketball gods, don’t let ANOTHER gifted KU footer get the lumbar blues for the rest of the season.

    Devonte got 28 the hard way. Yes, he was .500 (3-6) from trey, and yes he doing a Talking Head thing burning down the house from the Free Throw line (13-15), but that glaring 3 of 10 from inside the trey stripe made clear how hard the Hoppers were working him over on his dribble drives. To drive was to dive. I hope the trainers are able to hyper therapeut the D-Man, because its only three days till the Bomb Cyclones blow into Larryland for 40 more minutes of Graham cracker crunch.

    Marcus Garrett finally forced these old failing eyes to see what my fellow Band of Bucketeers have been proclaiming for quite some time now. Garrett goes about his business without flash, but with dash. Garrett is a “getter done” kind of guy that Self loves, and that Self is rarely wrong about. Garrett brought not only his usual defense but a sizable dose of rebounding to his wing in a way that Malik Newman cannot yet do. He also seemed to fit in, to manage the daunting team situation with calm and grace and lunch pail purposefulness.

    Speaking of Malik, the devolution continued. Malik seems to have STARTED his KU career in the Mother of All Slumps; this is a first in my recollection. This slump of his is so epic it might not end until after he leaves KU. Malik we hardly knew ye, is something I do not want to ever have to say, but its seems he and we are still moving that direction. Say it ain’t so, Bill. Say you will find the right set of buttons to push, and your trainers and docs will find the right set of therapies, to make this guy who not only passes the eye test, but looks like a candidate for an NBA logo of a ball player, when he walks around the wood, say you will make him ball with the best. But, damn, when he starts PLAYING something seems out of whack STILL. I don’t really see the limp of a foot injury to blame it on, but the foot injury story has never been retracted that I recall. By the process of elimination, and based on my own experience, I smell lingering effects of a brain concussion. Whatever, it sure would be nice for Malik to get better. This man needs some saving. Each season I pick one player NOT to give up on, even though part of me wants to. This season Malik is that player. Prepare for an inappropriate amount of moral support (and beyond eye test criticism) for Newman from me in the coming weeks. Malik, survival on The Canal is tough for everyone. Eyes on the prize. Even if your head doesn’t quit hurting till April, one foot in front of the other and keep humping through the tall grass. There are many more battles before we get off this rock.

    Svi played more within himself and his numbers and game restored to net positives, after his out of control flailing versus Tech.

    With Doke and Malik walking wounded, the new motto for this team may be “Thin and Thinner.”

    Let’s be real here. Even with the great outside shooting and ritual body sacrifice of Devonte, and break out by Mitch and the increased level of quality contribution by Marcus, and Svi playing within himself again, I still have no flipping idea how Self coached what amounts to half a team to a road win against a decent opponent with an opposing coach that wanted to will a win so bad he could taste it.

    This KU team is now mylar thin in front court and paper thin in back court.

    Self is a genius, yes, but he is something more. The squad broke and ran against the Red Raiders. Somehow he got the squad to regain its manhood, its poise, to a level sufficient to allow win-theft on the road. Most coaches have a hard time taking a full complement of players into an opposing gym and stealing a W. Self just did it with a recently routed bunch of walking wounded. He, or they, “re-moralized” this team. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a team crack wide open in a game they were supposed to win and needed to win and a few days later come recover from the disarray find a way in hostile territory.

    His remaining players must have great hearts and tremendous character not to sink irreversibly into demoralization from the adversity they are facing.

    This team just kept Henderson Field operational against a reinforced opponent. Hot shooting, or not, that kind of resilient resourcefulness counts for something.

    They are headed to Lawrence on the Matanikau River next.

    Don’t let the home floor fool you.

    Its going to get tougher.

    Much tougher.

    But this is one resilient bunch of leathernecked Jayhawks.

    Goddamned, my dad would have loved these guys at this moment.

    I would have been hanging my head and saying, “Dad, there’s no way. Doke can’t even jump. God only knows what’s wrong with Newman.”

    He’d have looked at me with those cool blue eyes that had seen so much blood and death.

    And he wouldn’t have hesitated.

    Difficult comes easy…Impossible takes a little longer.

    Rock Chalk!

    Sempre Fi.

    Do or die.

    Every try.

  • Nice job @jaybate-1-0. You’ve nailed a lot of it. Only issue with Garrett is defense knows the don’t have to guard him outside. And with Newman a non-factor and Mitch on the floor - our offense bogged down getting just enough to get over the hump. Our guys don’t quite trust Mitch inside so we need some consistency now from Mitch, Newman needs to find himself as you’ve discussed and Garrett needs to develop an outside shot, whether 3 ball or mid range.

  • @jaybate-1-0 My first thought on Dixons coiffe was…skunk?

    Agree with @Bwag that Garret’s J-deficiency is making it 5 on 4 and a lot more work to get the open look for the next guy, but he boxes out really well, defends above ave, and has a nose for the loose ball. His Overall game is > Newman therefore the Pt. who says bill does not play non-5star frosh? I do think if Sam had a bit longer leash he could give the same as garret + more offense but Bill is not seeing it yet. You can see it is making Sam play scared.

  • @jaybate-1.0 For dead certain, something is troubling Malik Newman. 3 years ago he was a top 5 recruit, a McD’s All American coming out of high school. Even playing out of position in Ben Howland’s Miss. State program, Malik averaged 14 pts. per game as a freshman. Two years later he is really struggling. I am not giving up on him yet. But while he gets his body and/or mind together it is important that Garrett and Cunliffe grab the brass ring and continue to develop. We’ve some really fine guards eligible to play on this squad; and they represent, ironically, the meat and potatoes of Self’s current system. As those two newbies continue to get minutes and develop, maybe Malik can gain relief to allow for a cure. He still has potential running out his ears, so to speak.

  • @REHawk

    Are we going to have to hire the FBI, or Fusion GPS, or Ghost Busters to get to the bottom of this Malik Mystery?

    Who we gonna call?

    Cue the music…

  • Hopefully, someone else can run the point for a lot of minutes vs Iowa State. Rest for all the weary - Let Mitch, Malik, Sam and others get the majority of the minutes!

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