Tuesday, December 8, 2009
I thought I'd throw down some random thoughts on some University of Kansas basketball action after seeing them walk over UCLA on Sunday. First things first, man has UCLA fallen off- they looked terrible out there. They played good defense, which is expected under Ben Howland, but I never feared KU losing their 10 point lead because they had an offense equivalent to that of a high school team.
I'd like to start by saying it has been harder for me to follow the Jayhawks this year with not being enrolled in the school. I've found it a little challenging to watch them blow out the lesser opponents so far this year. That must just come from not living in Lawrence anymore. But, I feel drawn in now, and why's that? Look at who's number 2...Texas. The next line of thought from my brain goes like this, F*** Texas, followed by an upside down hook 'em horns sign. I dunno if people can tell or not, but I currently have a strong distaste for Texas.
That being said, I would have no problem with Texas displacing KU as number 1 in the nation right now. I have not been impressed with them so far. I would say they haven't had an impressive game up to this point, which obviously means I'm not counting the blowouts of the little schools. In the Memphis and UCLA ballgames they seemed very ho-hum in their efforts and played sloppy, undisciplined basketball. I would argue their most impressive game of the year came against Oakland, a team picked to win their conference with a legitimate big man down low. Now, is this anything to worry about right now? Probably not, as long as it doesn't continue. They'll have a chance to impress with Michigan and Cal coming up in a 4 day span later this month. Although, I foresee their first loss coming at the hands of Tennessee in Knoxville.
The biggest problem I've seen out of the team this year has been players not knowing and/or not committing to their roles on the team. I believe a basketball team is at its best with three main scorers, and the other players filling roles around them. There just aren't enough basketballs to go around to feed four hungry scorers. This team has returnees Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich as the main building blocks, along with freshman Xavier Henry stepping in as that third scorer. The person this leaves on the fence is Tyshawn Taylor, who has been struggling mightily this season. If I were Bill Self, the first thing I'd do (besides admiring myself in the mirror) is show Tyshawn tapes of Russell Robinson. Become him. Accept your role. Make good passes, don't turn the ball over, and lead your team. You win championships with a mix of star players and other players knowing and accepting their roles. Tyshawn fits the bill of a role player, atleast for now, and coming off the bench might be the best way for him to learn that.
The next biggest problem I've seen is just an overall lack of involvement from Cole Aldrich. He is your stud, you need to ride him. It might just be early in the season, so they are including everyone in the action, but Cole needs to take charge and demand the ball more. I'm almost wandering if he has leveled off and reached his full potential.
My final thought is about the overall improvement of the Morris twins. They seem to be everywhere this year. Although, I wander, is that because there are two of them and we think we're seeing them twice as much as we actually are? Does anybody have a strategy for differentiating the two? Because I just say "good play Morris" every time, and refer to the two of them as a whole, 'The Morrisi'. I say we make them wear different colored head bands. Or one grows an afro. Or one becomes point guard. They gotsta do something...