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Kansas vs Colorado: Game Thoughts

  • I went into this game worried that Kansas would be rusty since they hadn't played in eight days and also because the Buffaloes were off to a great start this season. Instead the Jayhawks played as well as they could play and Colorado played as poorly as it could play. A few thoughts:

    * While McLemore didn't shoot the ball very well today, it's quite obvious that he's becoming more confident and more aggressive. The most exciting things today were the fact that he attacked the paint a few more times off the dribble and the fact that Ben attempted eleven free throws today. He continues to show signs that he may be able to develop into the driving force that this team needs on the offensive end of the floor.

    * Young was outstanding today and completely outplayed Roberson in this contest. He makes the simple plays on the offensive end of the court, attacked the glass hard in the 2nd half (7 rebounds alone in his brief 2nd half playing time), and he does an outstanding job of hedging the pick and roll.

    * Kansas got exactly what it expects to get from Releford...defense, excellent transition play, and making the simple plays that make his teammates better. He did finish with six assists to complement his overall play today.

    * While Elijah was solid today I think the fans of Kansas basketball have to accept the fact that he is what he is at this point in his career...he is a great athlete who is uncomfortable attacking the paint in the half court and who is better served by playing off the basketball instead of being the set-up man. This isn't a knock on him at all as he's a solid perimeter shooter when he gets his feet set in catch and shoot situations. Coming into the season I made the mistake of expecting him to develop into a guy that could create offense. Credit Coach Self and his system for masking the deficiencies of this team well enough that puts Elijah in a position to play the point but also puts him in a position to be a solid offensive player by playing to his strengths.

    * Another solid effort from Jeff, although I think everyone would like to see him attack the glass harder. He didn't get as many looks today, in large part because Kansas got so many good looks in transition off of Colorado turnovers.

    * I was hoping that this was the game that would help Perry Ellis snap out of his mini-slump. He simply needs to see the ball go into the basket a few times and gain some confidence. Hopefully over the remainder of the non-conference season he has a couple games where he can excel.

    * Backup point guard continues to be an adventure as Tharpe had four turnover today. Kansas has to keep Elijah out of foul trouble in big games otherwise this could be an area that costs the Jayhawks a game or two going forward. Tharpe simply has to value the basketball and just get this team into the offense in order to be effective.

    * The youth of the Buffs showed up today in a big way to start the game. We knew this would be a key coming in but they had the deer in the headlights look and this game was essentially over in the first five minutes, especially after Dinwiddie rolled his ankle.

    * Colorado has struggled with turnover issues all season long and this was a bad match-up for them as the Jayhawks are as good as anyone at converting turnovers into points. In the first half alone the Jayhawks forced 12 Colorado turnovers and converted them into 22 points. The defensive intensity out of the gates was very impressive. At the same time it was good to see Kansas take care of the ball, especially in the first half where they only had 2 turnovers.

    * It was nice to see the Jayhawks show a killer instinct today. Once Colorado cut an 18 point lead to 11 in the first half I figured we would still end up seeing a ball game as Kansas has had a tendency to let leads slip away this season. However, they finished the half strong, pushing the lead to 21 at the half and came out of halftime scoring the first seven points. A very impressive step today.

    * Kansas controlled the glass today and only allowed the Buffs 9 offensive rebounds on 34 missed shots today. Again, a step in the right direction against a team who has rebounded the ball fairly well this season.

    Today was a very positive step for Kansas. Colorado has a very solid basketball team but the Jayhawks came out razor sharp and turned this into a blowout quickly. As long as the Jayhawks don't suffer from a lack of focus they should be heading into the Ohio State game with a 9-1 record.

    This post was edited by Matt Cumro 19 months ago

  • I was most impressed by the role players who played their roles yesterday. Specifically, Travis and Kevin both played the exact type of game that we need from them. Neither of them settled for long-range jumpers, and both of them did exactly what they are capable of on the defensive end - Travis as a lock-down defender, and Kevin excelling at hedging screens and playing away from the goal against smaller post players. Kevin started 6-6 from the floor, and I think finished 8-9, without taking a shot from outside of the charge circle. Travis was active, filled lanes on the break, and had a FILTHY dunk.

    Elijah doesn't look healthy to me. It looks to me like his knee is bothering him and he's just toughing it out.

    Backup point guard is a freaking disaster. Tharpe was terrible several times yesterday, and then Anrio came in and was worse on his first possession, and so crushed about that that he wasn't close to passing on the second.

    McLemore looks like he might be growing into the player we really need him to be. I'm still nervous about relying on a freshman for that role, but he's clearly the most talented player on the team and we may not have a choice.

  • I think Anrio could grow into a decent PG but is trying way too hard to impress. He has to find balance between his ability and his desire.
    The team had a lot of energy and just bowled over Colorado yesterday. We've been used to the other team having that kind of energy, but the team usually overcomes that with talent and great coaching. This time Colorado didn't stand a chance.
    The team is young and on another night they might come out as flat... and I fully expect this team to lose a game or two because they just can't put it together. But this is a Self coached team and I trust he won't be completely at a loss wen and where it does happen.

    Live to love, love to live

  • I don't get all the love for Anrio Adams I see and hear so many places. He wasn't overly great in high school, either as a talent or as a winner. I just haven't seen any evidence that his ceiling is very high.

    I also keep reading that we have a young team. I get that the roster is really imbalanced, and we have a lot of young blood toward the end of the rotation, and our best player is a freshman. However, two of our freshmen are redshirt freshmen, and we are currently starting four seniors (including two of them of the redshirt senior variety). We are likely to compete for the conference and national championships and be a high seed in the NCAA Tournament, while we will lose only one player early to the NBA Draft. Right? Let's stipulate all of that as fact...and then realize that we are likely to start at least three (and maybe four if Tharpe isn't better, though one could be redshirt Lucas and not true frosh Embiid) freshmen next year and a sophomore (Perry). I fail to see how we could be really good this year AND young this year AND lose only one player early AND still start three or more freshmen next year.

  • Actually, we start three 5th year seniors in Withey, Releford, and Young. Throw in a senior starting point and a redshirt freshman at the 2, and we must have one of the most experienced starting 5 out there. We can not be considered a young team. It also needs to be considered that 3 of those guys were starters all season on a Final Four team and the other senior was a two year starter at LMU.

  • I think with Anrio, a lot of us hope we are seeing another guard in the Robinson/ Taylor mold... maybe it's because of a slight physical similarity. Maybe he will never develop to anywhere near the talent of a taylor... but his Freshman year is not all that different from the previous guards Self brought into the system.

    Live to love, love to live

  • If Young and Releford can give that kind of effort on a regular basis Kansas is going to be very difficult to beat. Young's energy on both ends was great, and Releford is the engine of this team I believe. I know we all have wanted EJ to be that guy, but game after game this year I see it as Releford. He's outstanding on defense, has been knocking down his FT's, hits the occasional 3, and drives to the glass. It's no coincidence that when Releford is going well, the team is as well.

  • The differences with Anrio are that he (A) doesn't have the same mental makeup as Robinson\Taylor and (B) just flat-out isn't as talented.

    I think Anrio is the victim of a bit of overhyping done by his AAU coach and by the Kansas faithful because of Anrio's early prep rankings. He just never improved from his early AAU career and his ranking dropped heavily because of it. I think anyone hoping for much out of him through his KU career better not hold their breath for it.

  • Anrio seems to me like a classic case of a lot of raw ability (hence the high early prep ranking), but without any significant progress in understanding how to play the game, run a team, or run offense he's been passed by guys who started from a lesser place but improved on their skills AND learned how to play. I guess I see some physical attributes that are similar to Robinson or Chalmers (especially with the long arms, he looks like Chalmers to me), but Robinson and Taylor played in wildly successful high school programs, in the USA programs, and in good AAU progams. What the heck has Anrio Adams ever been a part of that would indicate he even has the ability to improve?

  • In regards to Anrio Adams, you just can't expect what was a shooting guard all his life to suddenly become a point guard in college. Sometimes that adjustment is successfully pulled off. Not often and certainly not quickly.

  • Jerry,

    With Anrio Adams, was he even a great shooting guard in high school / AAU? I don't seem to recall him being overly good even at that, so is it just the "transition" to more point-guard responsibilities in Self's system, or is it that he really wasn't that great to begin with AND we're asking him to do things he never really had to do?

  • Self must have seen something in his game to recruit him to Kansas. Was coaching a problem at the AAU level? Perhaps Self see's a kid that can be coached up to a higher level. He recruited him for a reason.

  • He's not the first kid that Self gave a chance... some of them work out and others don't. I still have hope for the kid, but some of the things he posts on facebook are questionable... but he's a kid so it's no surprise that what he posts seems a bit immature.

    he's got something that other kids like Merv and Milton obviously didn't... will he ever rise to the level of Taylor, Robinson, Chalmers? well if he turned out to be 1/2 the player those guys were it was probably worth the scholorship.

    This post was edited by Tralfaz 19 months ago

    Live to love, love to live

  • Saw something in his game, or had an available scholarship and took a shot since we are most desperate at point guard? Royce Woolridge, Zach Peters, Mervyn Lindsay, Milton Doyle...seems like they all were shots at something and didn't pan out, and I would bet dollars to donuts that Anrio joins that list, if not as a one-year (or less) transfer, as a fringe player who never really does much of anything at KU other than practice a lot.

  • Well to be fair to Royce, if he'd have stuck it out, I'm sure he'd be getting Tharpe's minutes right now. OTOH Peters does have a medical problem, but your point is well taken.

    Live to love, love to live

  • Funny you say that, because I've actually heard that he had no shot at playing any minutes this year or last. If he had a chance at minutes, he'd still be here.