Sunday, January 20, 2008

Mike Anderson, Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?

The answer; an overwhelming no. Or at least not any more mature. I'll let you decide. If you haven't seen his post-game thoughts, here's a look at them:
“I’ve never seen so many block/charges called in a long time. The thing about it is, none of them went our way. And for a coach, that’s kind of hard to swallow."
When Big Mike was hired from UAB I was pretty disappointed. Not because I feared he would turn Methzou into a team, but because it's only so often that the coach of your rival is blowing the recruiting budget on late night lines. Long story short, Anderson was much too likable, whereas Quin was...well, Quin. Then again, these geniuses seemed to agree with him. But Anderson is doing his best at gaining on him with short-sighted, immature comments such as these. Out of all the sports I watch, I am rarely completely satisfied with the officiating, but ever since about the time of my tenth birthday I've learned not to blame them for losses, no matter how bad it may seem at the time. (*Note* I try not to watch the NBA too often) But what's most hilarious about these comments are the substance of his complaint, which as you may remember was a foul discrepancy.

In breaking it down, there were 8 more fouls called on Methzou, 30 to Kansas' 22. What Mike is apparently forgetting is that Methzou was purposely fouling to try and get back in the game and did so 6 times in the final 1:01.What he may also be forgetting is that Methzou attempted 28 threes to Kansas' 12. I'm under the impression that a player is more likely to be fouled, particularly in the act of shooting if they are driving aggressively to the basket as opposed to heaving up desperate shots from 20 feet all game. So, once that is factored in, along with the 6 intentional fouls in the final minute, one could possibly argue that perhaps too many fouls went in Methzou's favor. In summation, I would advise Big Mike to adapt his team's style of play if he would like even more calls to go in their favor next time around. But enough about him.

On Kansas' end, I couldn't be much happier. They needed that. Not because they played well (obviously), but because they found a way to win. Some people say they like to lose a game; I prefer to win close ones because it teaches you how. Reasonable minds can differ. (I should take this time to also say that I'd be shocked beyond belief if this team went undefeated.) Back to the game, per Russell's opinion (and I tend to agree) only Mario played up to his ability, with Darnell a close second. And even more predictably, no one played worse than Kaun. You can't be an incredible athlete that stands 6'11" and play games in which you foul (4) more than you rebound (3), not to mention scoring only 3 points to go along with 2 turnovers. Obviously defense is his strength and it was fine last night, but with his ability, there is no reason for him to be considered a liability. And that's basically what he amounted to last night.
- I loved the way Arthur (9), Jackson (9) and Rush (9) rebounded.
- I loved the way everyone attacked the basket with the outside shots not falling.
- I loved the way they never flinched when Methzou made their runs, both early and late.
- I loved the depth. To have Arthur, Chalmers Rush, Kaun and Stewart (3) all have 2+ first half fouls and lead.
- I hated the free throw shooting. Though it was "fine" late.
- I hated how they played sped-up. Part of it was Methzou's pressure, but more of it came from them trying to do too much (see: Elite 8 loss to UCLA).

All in all, it was another good day to be a Jayhawk. Just as they were in football, they are the last remaining unbeaten team from a BCS conference. UNC had been playing with fire for a while and it finally caught up to them. But hey, Maryland was good enough to almost beat American, Ohio and VCU so winning in Chapel Hill was no big deal. As said, UNC can't continue to give up 80+ points a game and expect to win. Unfortunately, due to regional coverage I was unable to see USC/UCLA but when KU played the Trojans I was more impressed with Davon Jefferson than anyone else. From the looks of what happened yesterday, that was again the case and they need to figure out a way to keep him on the court. As for the Big 12 story of the day, apparently A&M can't do much on the road, now standing at 0-3. But kudos to slick Frank and the Purple for a good win over a talented team. And while we're at it, kudos to Baylor for effectively ending Nebraska's season and moving themselves to 3-0 in the league. And finally, thank you Sean Sutton for again proving why you are the least qualified coach in the country.

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