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Rock It. Chalk It. Talk It.



Updated: 2018-02-22T10:30:02-06:00

 



Whose jersey retirement is next?

2018-02-22T10:30:02-06:00

Will Mason or others end up in the rafters of AFH? The rafters of Allen Fieldhouse got a little more crowded the past week as Cole Aldrich’s No. 45 and Sherron Collins’ No. 4 joined the Kansas greats on the south side of the Fieldhouse on Saturday and Monday respectively. This makes four players from the 2008 national championship team (Brandon Rush, Mario Chalmers, Aldrich, and Collins) whose numbers are forever enshrined. The question now, naturally, is who’s next? It’s unlikely anyone else on the 2008 team receives the honor, so let’s look at the best players since 2009 who have built solid cases. This is by no means a complete list, but here are a few of the candidates who could see their number raised in Allen Fieldhouse in the next few years. Frank Mason – No. 0 I’m going to avoid calling anyone a lock, but Frank Mason feels like as close as it gets. You can’t look at the Jayhawks’ all-time leaderboards without seeing Frank’s name. Mason is sixth all-time in scoring (1,885; three points behind Sherron Collins), sixth in assists (576), and ninth in 3-pointers (185). He then ended his career with one of the best individual seasons a Jayhawk had put up in years. Mason’s 20.9 ppg and 5.2 assists per game led to him receiving nearly every college basketball award available: Big 12 Player of the Year, Wooden Award, Naismith Award, AP Player of the Year, The Sporting News Player of the Year, NABC Player of the Year, USBWA Player of the Year, and consensus first-team All-American. Yeah, just schedule the ceremony already. Thomas Robinson – No. 0 Another wildly successful No. 0. Despite only scoring 83 points as a freshman, T-Rob became a 1,000-point scorer before leaving early after his junior year. That famed junior season, Robinson averaged 17.1 points and 11.9 rebounds (best in the country) per game, made the game-saving block against Missouri in the final showdown in Allen Fieldhouse (that gets factored in, right?), led the Jayhawks to the Final Four, was named the 2011-2012 Big 12 Player of the Year, a member of the 2012 NCAA All-Tournament team, and was a consensus first-team All-American. If it wasn’t for a guy named Anthony Davis, Robinson could have been the National Player of the Year. Marcus Morris – No. 22 Is it possible to retire one Morris twin’s jersey and not the other’s? Would Kansas be open to a joint 21/22 Morris jersey hanging with the fellow greats? If not, Marcus’ No. 22 has the best chance of the two to be enshrined, as his stats and hardware stands out compared to Markieff. Marcus finished his three-year career with 1,371 points and 676 rebounds. His career was capped off with a 17.2 ppg, 7.6 rpg junior season in which he was named the 2010-11 Big 12 Player of the Year, a NCAA All-Region team member in the 2011 NCAA Tournament, a consensus second-team All-American, and a Wooden Award finalist. Perry Ellis – No. 34 Perry Ellis is not the typical KU big man, and not just in his style of play. Unlike players like T-Rob and Jeff Withey, who had to wait their turns before shining in their final year or two, Ellis is one of the most consistent players throughout his Kansas career; his 1,798 career points is good for ninth best all-time and he also racked up 834 rebounds. Ellis averaged 14.7 ppg and 6.5 rpg his final three years, including a 16.9 and 5.8 senior season that resulted in Ellis being a 2016 consensus second-team All-American and Wooden Award finalist. Potential Current Player: Devonte’ Graham – No. 4 It’s tough to try and proclaim a player’s legacy before his career is over. A lot can happen in the next month to determine that fate. But out of all of the current Jayhawks, Devonte’ Graham has the best case for future enshrinement (unless Doke stays four years and just dominates, which is unlikely). Obviously leading Kansas to a Final Four, being a first-team All-Big 12 player, and reaching All-American status would greatly help his case. But even without those, not many players have been as successful throughout his career as Devont[...]



Live by the three, die by the three?

2018-02-22T09:30:02-06:00

Three point shooting has been a persistent theme in recent years when fans discuss Kansas basketball. For a long time, there was criticism that Self’s squads weren’t taking advantage of their shooting ability, as Kansas consistently ranked in the bottom half, and even bottom quarter of D1 basketball in the percentage of their field goal attempts that came from behind the three point arc. Those concerns are a thing of the past now, with this year’s team taking 42% of their shots from deep, ranking 72nd in the country. They rank 1st in the Big 12 with 44% of their shots coming from behind the arc in conference play. Of course, by nature, fans can’t be happy. At least, not when the team loses. Now that too few threes is no longer a valid criticism, I’ve noticed a drastic increase in how often I hear the words “live by the three, die by the three.” It’s replaced “fool’s gold” as the phrase of choice where shooting from distance is concerned. The phrase has existed for years, but is there truth to it? Specifically, can three point shooting be blamed for some of this year’s woes? I wanted to find out more, so I charted KU’s 3 point shooting for each game, along with the outcome. I won’t bury the lede. Kansas does a lot better when their threes are falling. It should be noted that this will be true for any team, though. Making more shots, especially those worth more points, is generally going to result in better outcomes. Still, the difference is pretty stark. While this is admittedly an arbitrary cutoff, in every game Kansas has lost, the Jayhawks have shot worse than 37% from three. They’re 9-6 in these games, which represent just over half the games played. They’re 13-0 when shooting over 37%. The fact that there isn’t a single outlier in the loss column would suggest that threes really are pretty darned important to the team. To further drive that point home, here are their five worst three point performances of the year, and how each game turned out: 19.4% in a 16 point loss to Baylor23.1% in a 12 point loss to Texas Tech25% in a 9 point loss to Washington28.6% in a 4 point win over Kentucky31.2% in a 5 point loss to Oklahoma Kansas has lost just six games, and four of them can be found in their five worst 3 point performances of the year. Throwing out non-conference games against opponents outside the KenPom top 100, here’s a scatter chart of the relationship between 3 point percentage and scoring margin: There’s a pretty prominent trend here. Though again, it’s nothing earth-shattering, the better the Jayhawks shoot from three, the better they fare. This would all support the idea that if Kansas shoots poorly, you can generally expect a frustrating viewing experience. Made three pointers, however, are only one aspect of three point shooting. The number of threes being attempted is a pretty big factor as well. With Kansas being one of the nation’s better three point shooting teams, you can probably expect more threes to mean more success, right? Or maybe shooting too many threes actually hurts them. Which one could it be? Neither! It doesn’t seem to make a bit of difference how many of KU’s shots are coming from behind the arc. There is a very slight negative correlation here, small enough to be dismissed based on the sample size. In both losses and wins, KU has shot both many and few threes. There’s no noticeable relationship here. This would suggest that when we’re yelling at our TVs about KU’s shot selection, we should probably stay away from yelling about how many (or few) threes they’re taking. Of course, none of this is causal. Making more threes could be closely associated with other factors, like better shooting performances from inside the arc, or playing worse defensive teams. That would be another post in itself, and would probably be even less exciting to read about. Still, it’s interesting to note that outside shooting follows the results on the scoreboard pretty closely for this team.[...]



Kansas Jayhawks News and Notes: 2.22.18

2018-02-22T08:00:30-06:00

Your Kansas Jayhawks’ men’s basketball team is all alone in first place after last night’s conference action, thanks to Oklahoma State knocking off Texas Tech in Stillwater. The stage is set for a first-place showdown in Lubbock, TX, on Saturday. Bill Self says the Big 12 Player of the Year should come down to either Devonte Graham, Trae Young, or Keenan Evans. Romeo Langford, the top shooting guard in the 2018 class, is down to KU, Indiana, and Vanderbilt. SBN site Crimson Quarry writes that evidence points to Langford not picking Indiana. Vanderbilt’s pitch to Langford seems to be, hey, join our awesome recruiting class, as Vandy has a consensus top-10 class for 2018 already. (KU is currently a top-5 class.) Langford is expected to sign sometime around toward the end of March, at or around the McDonald’s All-American game on March 28. Kansas women’s basketball picked up their first win over a ranked opponent since 2014 when they knocked off #23 Oklahoma State last night. KU softball wasn’t scheduled for its home opener until March 8, but the Jayhawks have added a double-header against South Dakota State on February 27. Admission will be free. In other news: “Sources” are indicating that the FBI has spreadsheets, wiretaps, and bank records that detail payments made to recruits and families “in surprising detail.” Condensation on the court due to unseasonably warm weather in Rhode Island forced a temporary postponement of the Seton Hall-Providence game midway through the second half. A long-time football coach is making news in Pennsylvania high school circles as the school board has voted to open up his position. (School board gonna do what the school board gonna do.) He will have the opportunity to re-apply for the position he has held for 21 years, sporting a record of 237-36. MLB executives are considering the idea of allowing a team to pick any three hitters for the ninth inning. Team USA women’s hockey took home the gold medal after a shootout with Canada. Disney is planning to end a famous (in nerd circles) easter egg from future Star Wars movies. [...]



Kansas Jayhawks News and Notes: 2.21.18

2018-02-21T10:15:31-06:00

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Hello; I’ve waited here for you

Devonte Graham has moved into second place on KU’s career three-pointers list.

Breaking down OU’s defensive lapses that resulted in a rout for KU.

Five stats that popped in KU’s blowout win over Oklahoma.

Silvio de Sousa’s effort and attitude have allowed him to fit in with his teammates and progress at his own pace, writes Matt Tait.

An OU beat writer says, never turn down a chance to see a game at Allen Fieldhouse.

Both KU and Texas Tech control their own destiny at this point.

Tom Crean says West Virginia needs to look in the mirror when placing blame regarding the foul shot discrepancy against KU last Saturday.

KU Baseball’s games against Arkansas Pine-Bluff have been canceled. The BatHawks will take the field again on Friday when they open up a three-game home set against Northwestern.

Kansas pitchers struck out 40 hitters in 27 innings last weekend, with Coach Price predicting that KU could have “as many as 5 to 7 pitchers drafted when the year is over.”

Who is Kurt Hinrich? I think dnoll needs to do a “Know Your KU History” if he played at KU and is good enough to be on an all-time team with Wilt, Manning, Pierce, and Vaughn.

In other news...

College football attendance is down, but here are some things ADs can try to keep people coming.

Big game in Stillwater tonight as Texas Tech comes to town trying to keep pace with Kansas.




A (semi) Statistical Recap of Oklahoma

2018-02-20T10:22:56-06:00

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I’m guessing Kansas fans have been waiting for a game like that for awhile - a 30-point win in which Kansas scored 1.46 points per possession, the most they’ve scored in a Big 12 game since senior night in 2008 against Texas Tech. In doing so, Kansas showed, regardless of how bad Oklahoma is on defense, it has the potential to beat anyone in the NCAA tournament just by virtue of shooting them out of the gym.

Kansas played well defensively for long stretches of the first half, and some parts of the second half as well, but mostly relaxed after it built its big lead, which allowed Oklahoma to get a ton of easy looks... and it still didn’t matter because of how good Kansas was offensively.

Kansas took close to half its shots from three, and shot 55 percent from deep, which is pretty much all you need to know. But they also made two-thirds of their twos, rebounded 40 percent of their misses, and turned it over on just 15.5 percent of their possessions. Malik Newman, Devonte Graham, Lagerald Vick, and Svi Mykhailiuk combined for 20 assists and 2 turnovers, and were a combined 16-28 from three. Regardless of what happened on defense, that effort was good enough to beat anyone.

Defensively, though, Kansas played a bit better than their numbers suggest. Oklahoma did shoot 54 percent on twos, but Kansas mostly took away their easy looks on jumpers, and absolutely locked the Sooners down the first five or so minutes of the game.

They also did a master class on Trae Young, who had his second lowest offensive rating of the season. Young did have 9 assists, but also had 5 turnovers, was 2-8 inside the arc, was limited to just five 3-point attempts, and only got to the line four times. He also had more shots blocked than shots made.

  • Malik Newman quietly had an incredible game, going 3-5 on twos, 4-6 from three, and adding 5 assists and a pair of steals.
  • Devonte Graham put on a performance of the guy whose number was retired by doing everything but actually murdering Trae Young on the court. He was 3-6 from two, 5-11 from deep, and added 7 assists to just 2 turnovers. And while he couldn’t defend with that type of intensity every possession, he showed when he’s locked in he can defend as well as anyone in the league. He also played in “just” 35 minutes, which is his lowest amount since December 18 against Nebraska-Omaha.
  • Svi Mykhailiuk had a nice bounce back game going 4-7 from three, and adding 7 rebounds and 4 assists.
  • Lagerald Vick struggled early with his energy, but he was 3-4 from three and had a couple really nice finishes off lobs. He also had 6 rebounds and 4 assists.
  • Udoka Azubuike struggled with fouls, but when he was in he was dominant. He was 4-6 from the field with 3 blocks and 3 steals, turning himself into an all Big 12 quality defender right before our eyes.
  • Marcus Garrett didn’t have his best offensive game, and didn’t fill up the boxscore, but had quite a few deflections and played well defensively, which is definitely a higher priority for Bill Self.
  • Silvio De Sousa had his best game in a Jayhawk uniform, going 3-3 from the field and 4-4 from the line. He also had 6 rebounds, all in just 13 minutes. De Sousa showed some nice patience in the post and played pretty decent post defense on a couple possessions against Khadeem Lattin.
  • Mitch Lightfoot played in just 7 minutes due to foul trouble, but had 4 points and 3 blocks in those 7 minutes.



Player Ratings to the Theme of Jayhawk Logos

2018-02-20T09:30:02-06:00

There have been many, so let’s rank them Today’s player ratings are based on the logos that KU has used throughout their history. No one will argue (unless you cheer for a rival school, and in that case you probably can’t envision yourself complimenting KU in any way) that the Jayhawk is one of the most iconic logos in all of sports. As an added bonus, this will be a combination platter so to speak. We’re combining the effort of the last two games in one packed ratings post. So, let’s rank the player according to the various logos in KU’s illustrious history. 5 Stars: 1941 Angry Jayhawk This logo is the only redeeming quality that I can find for the otherwise useless Kansas football program. They found a way to utilize this most awesome and fear inducing of the Jayhawks. That bird is not messing around! C’mon KU, let’s use this bad boy on more stuff and incorporate it throughout the athletic department as a secondary logo or something. Who’s on board with me? Udoka Azubuike. The man was a monster against the Mountaineers, racking up 21 points on seven of eight shooting from the field and knocking down an additional seven free throws. Against OU, Dok put in 10 points in only 18 minutes, but was a major influencer when he was out there. Devonte Graham. Seemed to will KU to the win against WVU with 15/7/8 and was a dominant force against OU. He scored 23 points, dished out seven assists, and made Trae Young look pedestrian all night. 4.5 Stars: Current Logo A classic. Instantly recognizable. I know I’ll get some trouble down in the comments section for this comment, but when KU switched from the state of Kansas at half court to the giant Jayhawk, the look of James Naismith Court improved dramatically. There are very few logos in college sports that are as easily recognizable as our current Jayhawk. Malik Newman. Played defense like a man against West Virginia and drilled the game tying three that brought Allen Fieldhouse to its feet. Against OU, his offense was the story. He was four of six from three and finished with 20 points. Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk was back to his old self against OU. He drained four of six from three and was taking the ball to the rim with authority again. Against the Mountaineers, Svi moved the ball better, but only took two shots from the floor. Finished that one with four assists and three steals. 4 Stars: Circus Font I miss circus font, but Kansas has done a great job of incorporating this iconic font into the retro “Phog” uniforms. I always seem to see circus font used on various KU t-shirts and apparel. Lagerald Vick. We started to see the old Vick creep back out against West Virginia, and he was on full display against the Sooners. Finished with 17 points, including hitting 75% from downtown. He also has some ups in case you haven't noticed. Silvio De Sousa. Was this a coming out party for KU’s big should-be high school senior? He scored 10 points and had three offensive rebounds, even showing some awareness that he previously didn't possess on his set play score. Perhaps it was OU’s “defense” that made him look so good, but maybe, just maybe, he can become a useful tool going into the rest of this season. 3.5 Stars: 1912 Original Jayhawk Call me a homer, but I love the original Jayhawk with his left leg crossed over his right. It’s a throwback to a simpler time. Side note: I have a hat with this logo on it and I really like the hat. Mitch Lightfoot. Azubuike took all the (not referee) headlines on Saturday, but Mitch’s initial few minutes of the OU game more than earn him this rating. Three blocks in about a minute and a slam off a screen. Marcus Garrett. Eight points against West Virginia is nice, but man, are this kid’s hands active or what? He’s going to be a nightmare to play against in the next three seasons. 3 Stars: 1923 Jayhawk This thing kind of looks like the designe[...]



Kansas Jayhawks News and Notes: 2.20.18

2018-02-20T08:30:02-06:00

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I heat up, I can’t cool down

What one KU staffer did to help Devonte Graham pick apart the OU defense last night.

Silvio de Sousa had a pretty good game last night himself.

Bill Self says the Jayhawks are clearly a better team now than they were three weeks ago.

A win on Saturday in Lubbock clinches at least a share of title #14.

Sherron Collins had an emotional jersey retirement ceremony at halftime.

People are STILL talking about the West Virginia game, including Rob Dauster at NBC Sports, who writes a great article using lots of stats to show that Huggins post-game tirade wasn’t justified - then completely ruins the entire piece with his final two sentences.

Kansas baseball will host Arkansas Pine-Bluff in a midweek set this week (weather permitting).

The first Kansas baseball games were played on the site where Memorial Stadium would eventually be constructed.

KU Football news: NBC Sports is reporting that Kansas and Washington State have agreed to a home-and-home series in 2027-28.

In other news:

Here’s how a very average American skier used loopholes and technicalities to make an Olympic dream come true - on the Hungarian team.




Jayhawks beat Sooners 104-74 because refs

2018-02-19T22:17:51-06:00

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Officials once again hand Kansas another home win.

Those crazy refs are at it again!

The refs gave Kansas a 10-0 lead to start the game before Oklahoma even took the floor. By the time the Sooners arrived, they just couldn’t catch up, as KU opened up first half leads of 20-4, 25-10, and 30-15 before coasting to a 10-point 49-39 halftime lead.

The second half was dunk city as KU ran Oklahoma all the way back to Norman, posting a 97-70 lead by the under-4 timeout. Kansas cruised the entire half en route to the final 104-74 score.

The refs also held Trae Young to a season low four first-half points; he would finish with a season-low 11 total points on 3-13 shooting, with 9 assists to 5 turnovers.

Incredibly, the refs also let KU shoot over 60% from the field for the game, including 16-29 from deep.

All five KU starters scored in double figures. Devonte Graham led all scorers with 23 points on 8-17 shooting, including 5-11 from deep. Graham added 7 assists versus just 2 turnovers. Additionally, Silvio de Sousa got into double figures, scoring 10 points on 3-3 shooting and picking up 6 rebounds in 13 minutes.

But the big story here is the officiating. Once again, the refs took over a KU game. They continually picked on the Jayhawks all night long, calling 14 fouls against Kansas compared to calling just 12 on OU. As a result, Oklahoma shot 13 free throws to KU’s 11.

I for one am outraged. This free throw discrepancy is an embarrassment to the conference and to college basketball as a whole.

These Big 12 refs, man. There is clearly a conspiracy here. How else could a team who beat Kansas earlier in the season lose to them by 30?

Anyway, KU will take its show back on the road for a matchup with Texas Tech in Lubbock on Saturday, Feb 24, at 3:15 PM Jayhawk time. Hopefully the Jayhawks won’t get bailed out yet again by an officiating crew looking to make a name for itself.