They All Stepped Up..

  • They ran the stuff and everyone stayed plugged in. And 14 TOs against that kind of pressure was solid.

    Wigs walked the tight rope between over impact and under impact. He stayed plugged in beginning to end. He had 30 and 3 assists and was on AWACs radar screens for three or four get-ups. Still think he can and will get 30 with 5 assists, and when he does it, KU will super nova on someone. Regardless, his defense and boarding was what stood out the most to me. He just guarded the best he has guarded all season and didn’t just grab boards with hops, but he got in and mixed it up on the glass on lots of plays. Still wish to heck he would look for two more dishes to anyone and two more post feeds for Tar, but he was plugged in beginning to end. But man did I love that defense he played, especially early in the game. His 5 TOs were excusable this game considering how well they were guarding him and how much we were asking him to work in traffic. 5 is high, but if we ask him to shoot 17 in traffic AND handle against that much pressure, and rebound, its probably the best we can hope for. And look at those 3 steals and a block!!! Sweet.

    Selden just played so hard, as Self likes to say. He wasn’t taking on much air, but his strides were so long and he was guarding so hard. And he would get it going for timely squirts for 14 points on an off shooting day that might have caused him to disappear earlier in the year. But not today. He was a major part of this game. And only two TOs under a lot of pressure.

    Tarik is so near and dear to my heart. He is such a pure big man. The team struggled grooving around him the first half mostly, because he labored after a good start. After the good start, his energy was not great the rest of the half. He seemed a step slow trying to protect against fouls. His hedge defense was decent though. But the second half he really came in and gave us several lifts and the team really played around him down the stretch and then again in the OT. Only 7 but they were timely and he did his duty on the glass with 12, and his help and hedge defense were as exceptional the second half as they were ordinary the first half. Also, no TOs. And I forgot his sense of getting the ball out of the defensive paint an on the move was quite good the second half and OT. Quick, not fast, as Wooden used to say.

    Perry was very quiet, but then he got into the game down the stretch and came away with 9 pts and 8 glassvacs, which we can live with every game. I know he had a couple nothing stretches that got him pulled, but he didn’t get his dobber down and when the chips were down down the stretch and in OT, Perry Ellis was there.

    I want to just heap praise all over Jamari Traylor. Jam Tray looked the best I have ever seen him in terms of being on an edge every time he came on the floor and for as long as he was out there. 6 points and 9 boards. Those boards were huge glass vacs and his defense was constantly setting the tone for the rest of the team. With that kind of defense, rebounding and energy (two blocks) coming off the bench, we can afford for Perry to work through his stretches of issues.

    Landen got a look and bought a few minutes, but could not get into the flow, but he did not turn it over.

    Brannen did not accomplish a lot and turned it over twice, but by playing a little pick and pop 4 gave OSU a little different look that seemed to distract them. If we can get Brannen untracked shooting in that role, that could really help us in the Madness. A 4 that is a serious threat from trey could really open it up for Wayne, Wigs, and Tar.

    Frank got in and got a trey, but Self seemed determined not to take the game away from Naa, even though Tharpe was struggling on and off.

    Naa I saved for last because he fought for his life out there and got us 8 points and 7 Assists and a steal on a 2-7 shooting day and 0-3 from the floor. Think about this for a moment. Naa was responsible for 22 points on essentially an off day, against the kinds of guys that were hardest for him to play against. He only really got super shaky briefly in the second half when OSU was really turning up the heat. You could see the shakiness in his eyes one huddle, but Self stayed with him and didn’t ream him and he marshaled his emotions and focused and slogged it out. Naa guided his team frequently and made only 2 TOs against a very tough perimeter defense. Why? Because Self schemed him lots of off centerline screens out high that he seemed to be able to work with better than the on centerline screens, or no screens, of previous games. I loved Naa for this game. It wasn’t pretty, or perfect, but he got the job done under very adverse circumstances coming off that WVU game.

    And to answer the man’s question: they all stepped up for you, slayr. You should be very, very proud of these guys. They won a game your way, as a team.

    And it would have been a team performance to build off from even if they had lost it. And this was in stark contrast to the WVU performance which would have not been a great team performance to build off from even if they had won.

    If we get Tar for both halves, on a day when Tharpe is making his shots, and Wigs adds two dishes on penetration and two feeds to Tar for assists, when he calls for them, then to repeat, this team will have a supernova game.

    Finally, it was sooooooooooooooooo good just to see Joel Embiid walking and smiling and wearing the silks. It was like seeing the dawn that first morning after I took sick awhile back. I was sooooooo grateful just for the sun to be up and today I was so grateful just for Joel to be up and there and be smiling.

    Rock Chalk!

  • Rock chalk!! Tough hard fought game. Thought osu looked like a pond of bass flopping all around at the end! This is a huge win to help w/post season seeding. Huge! Good news from Embiids dad. Announcers killed me, I can’t handle either one. Tarik, not tearik.

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    “Thought osu looked like a pond of bass flopping all around at the end!”


  • Didn’t get to see the game (but tracked it on ESPN gametracker) until I was able to catch the last 3 mins. and OT. It looked like we were doing OK and then they went up by one. I almost lost it. Good to read JBs summary and I will look for everyone else’s thoughts. Look…we are going to live or die with Tharpe. Just like EJ last year. Based on his stats, I think I would take his performance today in most games. Although it’s hard to tell since I didn’t see the game. It was a little alarming though that we didn’t get more inside against a team without much heighth inside. Did they play some zone? Why didn’t we go inside? Or did Selden and Andrew get their points inside? Please let me know.


  • @jaybate 1.0 Yes! They All stepped up big time. Way to get it done guys now, keep it goin! Rock Chalk!

  • OK. I just saw the highlights and the lead go from 8 to 3 when Andrew through the ball to Forte who then made a 3. Probably good that I didn’t see that live. Also, Ford’s quote that we are hard to beat…especially in that building with the fan support that we get. Making excuses.

  • Obviously he “threw” the ball.

  • Obviously he “threw” the ball.

    Not to pick nits, but that little pencil icon on your posts is the edit button.

  • @konkeyDong Can you give me your thoughts on the game?

  • @Hawk8086

    I missed the first few minutes where KU opened up our early lead.

    From then on the game looked like one where both coaches were trying to balance not letting the other team run away with the game, while simultaneously trying to conserve energy for the next game in the 3 in 3 tournament.

    OSU particularly appeared to be playing much more conservatively than it did in the previous game, when OSU had played at the edge of its energy budget from the tip off.

    The first half OSU was not pressing and it was not playing a half court trapping zone press much and only turned up the pressure briefly when it fell behind by ten. OSU appeared to turn up the pressure just enough to get it back under ten at half. OSU’s first half offense was ineffectual inside and outside much of the time. They shot a poor percentage inside and out. Neither Forte nor Brown really got untracked the first half.

    KU’s early first half looked like Self was for a short while switching between m2m and triangle and two to trigger some recognition problems, but then seemed to me to settle into playing m2m most of the rest of the half and game. Most of KU’s improvement on defense in this game was attributable to sharply more skillful double teaming inside than in other games since Embiid’s departure. They strangled off OSU’s close game. The first half they were tremendously effective and even pretty effective the second half despite OSU adjustments. Offensively, KU ran the stuff the first half, depending on inside buckets, some lobs and but suffered from weak outside shooting that never really heated up.

    The second half I expected a furious attack by OSU to get back in the game but OSU chose instead apply a bit more pressure and take its time closing the gap. KU refused to counter this strategy with disruption, so gave up few easy baskets that OSU could start a run with. OSU was also contending with a game long inability to rebound effectively. KU wound up an awesome +18 on the glass, and that edge seemed to build steadily over the entire game. OSU could never really get runs going off the glass, so the pace stayed controlled. Both teams seemed to be playing with an eye towerd the ten minute mark as the time cut loose and try to win. Alas, at around the 12 minute mark, KU’s lead squirted up enough that OSU felt it had to launch its attack then rather than wait for the ten minute mark. OSU’s pressure defense made KU struggle just as it had in Stillwater, but KU seemed to have a workable strategy for bringing the ball down either side line under the pressure. Still KU’s lead dwindled. From ten minutes on both teams increased attack. Wiggins, who had played exceptionally hard all game, increasingly became an offensive force. Selden, who had been mostly concentrating on defense came a live for a short burst. It was close with Markel Brown and Forte finally coming alive for OSU offensively, but OSU was victimized by some poor shooting choices by Smart, and could not close the game in regulation, despite things looking bleak for KU a time or two. Wiggins, Selden, Black and Ellis came through the last few minutes of the game. Black played increasingly well down the stretch.

    Overtime was neck and neck briefly, but the KU began to make some offensive plays and amp up its defense, even getting a bit physical with OSU. What broke OSU’s back finally was the loss of Murphy (if I recall his name correctly)–OSU’s only effective big man. From that point on, KU’s edge inside cemented board control and ground down OSU resistance. OSU finally seemed to crack and begin making desperate choices, despite not being totally out of the game. And then it was over.

    Neither team had shot well from outside. Both teams shot about the same FT%. OSU had protected exceptionally well. KU had protected better than normal and pretty good for as much pressure as OSU had applied down the stretch and OT. KU beasted the boards. Wiggins dominated KU’s scoring with 30 from 50% FG from the field and 90% from the FT line. But the rest of the team had well rounded high single digit scoring. Interesetingly, though Wiggins had some highlight lobs, his scoring was so much within the offense that it was a little surprising he had 30. Selden got 14 the hard way.

    What we learned today is that if someone finally tries to shut Wigs down, the rest of KU’s players should fare pretty well on open shots.

    Hope this helps some with the game.

  • @jaybate 1.0 Greatly, thanks. But, we gave up 44 in the 2nd half…not good. Of course, we’ll take the win.

  • Begins with Wiggins, and ends with win!

  • @Hawk8086 Selden did a darn good job on smart! Got him to take some jump shots, which he sucks at! We dominated the boards, wiggins got some steals late. Worst play was wiggins throwing it in to Tharpe, green ran into him and forte grabbed it and bam a 3 and close game! Big guys hung in there even though they were in foul trouble. Fun, hard fought game!

  • @Hawk8086 I didn’t get to watch it live exactly, cause I was at work, but I did see enough of the end, plus I rewatched the first half after getting home. Overall I was very please with the first half. We looked really good and with a few exceptions, we forced a lot of tough shots for OSU. We did that usual thing of having too many unforced TOs, especially that 5-second inbounds call, but as @jaybate pointed out, 14 TOs is pretty good for this team, especially against pressure and a skilled pickpocket like Smart.

    I was a little disappointed that we didn’t see a small ball line up to match OSU. I can’t argue with the results, but as much as Perry labored through the game on both ends, I would have liked to see what Greene or White could do on and against Nash. Jamari was a huge bright spot, though, and his improvement in many ways has been the most dramatic of anyone’s this year. I know we all expected Ellis to come up, and he really has, but Traylor has gone from a guy who’s ceiling I thought was super garbage man to a kid that can read the spacing of a D and no when he has a path to the basket, put the ball on the floor, and finish, as well as use his upper body to clear space and finish off the glass in the post. He may never live up to the ‘mini TRob’ billing, but as a senior, he can be a legit starter.

    I don’t think ISU actually poses as much of a threat to us as OSU because Kane really isn’t a defensive presence the way Smart is, even though they’re both very effective at the point. I think we should keep the same kind of defensive scheme against them, with Kane defended by Selden and Tharpe on Naz Long, or whoever the shooter d’jour is. And again, I’d like to see us play some small ball (unlike what we did this game). Black is a real odd man out against ISU. He can be a net positive if he rebounds and posts up as well as he did against OSU, but he’s really not shown the ability to defend a player like Georges Niang or Melvin Ejim, and I don’t expect that to change overnight. Traylor probably has the best chance to bother Niang, but I think he and Perry can at least cancel out, so why not try Greene or White on Ejim and give ourselves a little more spacing for Wigs to drive or Ellis to post up? It also really makes it difficult to double the post the way ISU did in our previous two meetings. We aren’t going to have Embiid to gracefully dribble out and repost, or use his size to find a cutter for a drop-off pass, but we can have perimeter shooters.

    At the end of the day, though, I’ll be pleased as long as we win.

  • @konkeyDong we did play small ball, Traylor 5 and Greene said he was 4, I thought it was wiggins. Read after game that Greene said he didn’t get much practice at the 4. Didn’t go to well though! On Traylor, he’s always reminded me of TRob, love them both! Mari’s developed a jumper that TRob didn’t ever have. Lots of hope for him to keep improving!

  • @konkeyDong we did play small ball, Traylor 5 and Greene said he was 4, I thought it was wiggins. Read after game that Greene said he didn’t get much practice at the 4. Didn’t go to well though! On Traylor, he’s always reminded me of TRob, love them both! Mari’s developed a jumper that TRob didn’t ever have. Lots of hope for him to keep improving!

    Fair enough. Like I said, I didn’t really get to watch all of the second half, so if they did play that configuration I didn’t see it, and I never saw Greene guarding Nash, which is what I was hoping for. I did read that Greene didn’t have much of a game, but I wouldn’t tank the idea over one performance. I still think he’d match up well against Ejim or Niang, at least better than Black does.

  • @Hawk8086 Hope you’ll see this-- I don’t think @konkeyDong was picking at your correction-- just trying to offer a helpful tip that about a feature on this site that might be easily overlooked.

    KUBuckets allows you to go in and edit your own posting after you posted…KU Sports didn’t have this feature for a long time.

    So that means if you notice that you made a typo or even want to rewrite something to make it clearer… whatever… you can just click the pencil icon and it will allow you to make that change, thereby avoiding correction posts…

    Just sharing in case folks didn’t know. Also, I think you can delete a post that you’ve made with the trash can… so if you’ve ever had a moment where you post something and you want to take it all back… that’s possible too.

    Thanks to @approxinfinity for such a robust site!

    PS: I recorded the game… Looking forward to watching it shortly. Don’t tell me how it ends 😛

  • @bskeet Thanks, I took it for what it was…helpful hint.

  • I’m watching the replay on ESPN3 and just noticed we played small for the first time this game due to foul trouble to Ellis and Black. We had Traylor, Wiggins, Greene, Selden and Tharpe. That was interesting, and they did alright. Traylor scored, Greene missed a three, then the team forced a travel call on Smart. While they were together on the floor OSU didn’t score for several possessions. It was encouraging to see.

  • You folks are making good points about Black tomorrow…I don’t know who he is going to guard.

  • @bskeet tell us what you think when you’re done! Please.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 Hah! I don’t think I could add much to the amazing insights that everyone here has had! It’s great reading everyone’s observations… makes me more excited to watch!

  • @Hawk8086 If Black starts he’ll guard Niang. Niang is a bit taller than Ejim, and he’s also much slower, less athletic, and a slightly worse 3 point shooter. Niang is capable of hitting some 3’s, but has only shot it at about a 31% clip this season. Perry will be on Ejim. If Niang and Ejim get hot from outside maybe KU will go small but I expect they’ll play who they play and match up the best they can. KU’s going to have a bigger lineup, they should control the glass. Look for Wiggins to grab a lot of rebounds.

  • My final thoughts on the game: Oh the drama at the end! OSU was playing in a soap opera and we were playing in a basketball game. The flops and limping and holding sides and heads… What a downtrodden bunch! What horseshlt.

    The next steps for OSU: They get to go back to Stillwater early and work on their rehearsals for the big stage.

  • @bskeet I loved how Fraschilla pointed out that having talked to officials, they’re really onto Smart’s game (flopping), and how that may be hurting him more than helping as he is now “the boy who cried wolf”, wherein when he is actually fouled he isn’t getting the benefit of the doubt anymore. Say what you will about officials, but they don’t like getting made to look foolish, and Smart has spent the better part of this year selling his bullshit. And now, during the most important time of year, it has finally backfired and blown up in his face.

  • I have to give props to osu. They didn’t go thug on KU. I also want to give the sportsmanship award to Markel Brown. He went over and helped Tharpe up after that late hard foul. Overall great game and thought it was officiated fairly well. Props all around.

    Loved the flop count crew too. ISU was in on the flop issue last night as well and held Smart accountable, as did the refs. Smart took on a third role last night. He was part player, coach, and official. The guy is ridiculous.

    Rock Chalk and beat ISU.

  • @icthawkfan316 How many times did Franny and Mussy tell us that Brown and Forte were hurt? The entire game? It almost sounded exusatory. Is that even a word? Excusatory?

  • I left work at 3:30 and listened to Bob Davis and Greg Gurley on my ride home on a Sirius radio station I luckily found. Their calling seems to make it to where you can almost see exactly what transpired. I was screaming, praying & pumping fists as I was driving home (43 mile commute). Had a couple looks from other commuters at intersections but what the hey. It was 70 degrees so had the windows down. Loved all the post game analysis, post game interviews and wrap up by Bob and Greg. Once I saw the highlights called by Muffberger & Fran, I was so glad I heard it called by Bob! 🙂

  • @KirkIsMyHinrich Niang and Black? Maybe Ellis? I’d put Black on someone else. Niang is pretty mobile for a guy his size. Wigs and Selden will be assigned to Kane. There’s really no other isu player for Black to guard except Niang. I just don’t think Black can stay away from fouls guarding Niang. It has to be someone more mobile in and out of the lane. Selden will probably get Kane most of the night. Hogue is about the only other sizeable option. We’ll definitely go small most of the night to match.

    Ok, Mr Ellis, this is your team. You always shine and now is the time to break this funk. Ellis matches really well with isu.

  • @RockChalkinTexas haha the Embiid change…nice touch

  • @icthawkfan316 A good coach would step in and tell Smart enough already. It’s getting old. But…we all know that Ford isn’t really the coach. It’s HCMS. This is Smart’s team, program, and staff. He is the team, program and staff. Ford looks incompetent and the writing on the wall is beginning to look pretty clear. But many osu sports fans don’t think osu will lift a finger to fire him. Oh well, dumb for osu, but even more tragic for B12 coaching staffs. Ford has now become the bottom of the coaching list. Ford, Drew, and Barnes were all competing for it and well all know what Barnes has done this year, “COY.” Drew isn’t much better but he does have his team playing right now at this point and time. Ford is just lost all coaching influence. He’s heading down the same path as some of the other coaches with less noticeable reps…kinda sad.

  • @truehawk93 I bet Smart got paid more this year than Ford did too.

    Lets see last year projected top 5 pick top 10 for sure, and he stays.

    Wonder how big of check T. Boone wrote for him to stay one more year??

  • @truehawk93 I’m laughing about your sportsmanship award, he fouled the crap out of him and then he’s nice about helping him up? Just giving you a hard time!

  • @truehawk93

    I wonder if Coach Self will try Wesley on Niang. Justin is an athletic big that could give Niang problems.

  • @JayHawkFanToo Whenever I see Wesley’s name I have ask anyone who bring him up “Are you serious?”

    Not quite in a John McEnroe tone, but close.

  • @HighEliteMajor I am starting to feel that way about Lucas lately.

  • @JayHawkFanToo Yeah, Wesley is a great athlete, but against Niang? No, that wouldn’t be good either. I think Ellis is your best option, but Traylor may give him some fits too. Correct me if I’m wrong but I think JTray and Niang played on the Mean Streets AAU?

  • @JRyman Lucas’ body language spoke so loud to me. He had one good block, but that’s about it. He’s a real young kid that needs time. My question was answered as to why “the Load” wasn’t playing. He looked out of his element.

  • @bskeet and… Take their whiney-a$$ announcers w/them!!!

  • @truehawk93 couldn’t have said it any better!!

  • @JRyman I was a huge fan of Lucas getting more time, maybe he’s a step slow?

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    I think Lucas just needs more PT to match pace with everyone else.

    Thing is… he has the best fundamentals of all our big men. He may not be the most athletic, but he is athletic enough to make an impact.

    Lucas is usually good on the boards… a symptom of fundamental play.

  • Black Death and Bam Bam.



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