Thursday, March 20, 2008

That'll Do

From the Associated Press...

The last two times Kansas won by more than 20 points in the first round as a No. 1 seed, it was upset in the second round.

Year 2nd-rd opponent Result
2008 UNLV ?
1998 Rhode Island Lost
1992 UTEP Lost

Apparently the AP is relying on a source that isn't quite up to date. I can't think of any other reason to not mention last year's run as a #1 seed that started with a 40 point win over Niagara and continued with a convincing win over Kentucky.

But enough about that. As expected (but never to be underestimated), the Jayhawks dispatched Portland St. with relative ease today and will now move on to play UNLV on Saturday. I don't know a whole lot about the Rebels just yet, except that they play exceptional halfcourt defense, but they're pretty small. The key player to stop will be Wink Adams, as he not only leads them in scoring, but also chips in some rebounds and is one of their better assist guys. As I'm sure you know, they are coached by ex-Wildcat Lon Kruger - who, by the way, would have been a lot better long-term choice than Frank Martin - but that's neither here nor there.

Long story short, UNLV is extremely solid and will definitely try and slow the game down and win it with their defense. Interesting stat from their game today - in the first half, they held Kent St. to 10 points, 1 assist and forced 17 turnovers. I wasn't watching it too closely, so it's hard to say if that was more on account of their defense or Kent St being nervous, but if I had to guess, I'd say a little bit of both. Clearly, this is their strength.
But the Hawks should have an ENORMOUS advantage on the inside as the tallest Rebel is Matt Shaw, who is listed at 6'8" and pulls down 4 boards a game. Their best inside player is Joe Darger (6'7"), who averages 11 and 5. Their third leading scorer is Curtis Terry (6'5"), and he puts together a 10, 5 and 3 type game. A la Brandon Rush, their leading rebounder is wing player, Rene Rougeau (6'6"), pulling down almost 6 a game, while scoring 9 per.

So if you can't tell, the game will be won in the paint. The Jayhawks have an incredible size advantage and have really no excuse for not dominating the boards. If it does turn out to be a slow, close game, this will prove especially key as winning the rebounding battle will not only limit them to 1-shot possessions, but also give the Hawks a chance to steal some easy points on the offensive end.

We'll try and check back in periodically, but are making no promises. As for the Big 12, so far the league is 1-1, as Baylor decided not to show up for their first tournament appearance in 20 years. I mean, why bother? But all kidding aside, I guess congrats are in order for them making it, but I can't imagine they are too happy with the piss poor showing they gave. There are two more conference games tonight as Beasley takes on USC and Texas A&M faces up against the Mormons of BYU.

Rock Chalk!


TB said...

Lon Kruger, a long-term solution to anything? Are you thinking of the same Lon Kruger who has, in a 32-year coaching career, made eight different stops? I know at KU they teach you enough math to realize that equates to four years per stop.

Not to mention, I'm not sure our cheerleaders are safe with Kruger around.

Robo Boogie said...

Humm if memory serves lets name the last coach to get k-state into the elite 8 or even close to this. If you said lon kruger you would be correct. Or lets see what he did at UNLV took a team not in the tournament to the sweet 16 in 3 seasons. And back to back NCAA appearances with in 4 seasons. Something the cats have not been able to do for a long time nor will be able to do next year. In fact he had the cats in the tourney every year he was there. And when he was at florida a final four in 1994. So yeah he moved around a lot but he had a lot of success where ever he went. (not taking into account his NBA career) I know he is not the caliber of coach franky boy is but I think he has done ok. I suppose you would also argue that larry brown was a bad coach as he moves about as frequently, and again you would be wrong.

Hiphopopotamus said...

No, I must admit when I'm wrong. He's clearly not a better choice than the coach with no prior experience.

Just like I'm sure Florida football wishes they had hired Joe Bagofdonuts so that they could land Terrell Pryor for a year instead of that hack Urban Meyer. I mean, he didn't even stay at either Bowling Green or Utah very long.

TB said...

Robo: Read a little more closely. I didn't say he was a bad coach. I said he wasn't a long-term solution, which is what the post said. Specifically, that he was a better long-term solution than Frank Martin.

Lon Kruger and the phrase "long-term solution" don't belong in the same sentence.

Robo Boogie said...

You are right he would not be as good a choice as another long termer you choose 2 years back. Maybe the the real issue is that any coach with talent and aspirations cannot be a long term choice for KSU as it is a stepping stone to a major program. I know it hurts to see it that way but lets be honest. Frank might stay there but then he will do nothing and you will get rid of him like Wooldridge and Asbury, the "long-termers". Why not get a coach that comes in for 4 years and gives you a basketball program that gets in the tourney and stay there for a few years. You won't be able to keep him but it will be the most fun in manhattan, since well lon kruger!

Hiphopopotamus said...

Well played, sir.

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