Monday, November 12, 2007

A 23 Point Win, Yet I'm Not Impressed

Sorry this took so long to post, but the Browns/Steelers game took precedent. Before I get into a breakdown of Kansas 85-62 over UMKC, lets talk about the geniuses at Time Warner cable. As I told you over the weekend, for some reason, Time Warner couldn't figure out for the life of them why my ESPN Full Court package wasn't working. I spent three different one hour stretches between Thursday and Saturday telling them I ordered it, yet it wasn't showing up on my TV. I scheduled an appointment for them to come out here and fix this. They gave me an "all day" appointment, meaning 8AM-8PM. I took it, but gave them my cell number and said for the guy to call me ahead of time so I could at least have the chance to leave my house if I wanted to. The finally called about 3.

So the guy gets here and of course he can't figure out the problem. He keeps saying the codes are in correctly, but it isn't working. The entire time he was working with a technician on the phone at Time Warner. They had no clue. None. Finally, I suggested since the channels are shared with the College Football package, they should tray that code. Well what do you know, it worked! Thank goodness for me. So the guy left.

Two hours later, I turn the channels back on, guess what, they don't work again! So I got to spend another hour on the phone to some idiot telling them to put the Football codes in. They literally couldn't grasp the concept. This should have been cut and dry, yet it wasn't. It took them 40 minutes to figure it out. After all of that, at least it finally worked and I was about to set in and watch my Jayhawks for the first time this season.

Now to the game. In my analysis, I will break it down into two categories after the jump, "the whup" which is what was good about the game, and "the weak beav" which are the negatives. While KU won by 23, there was a lot I didn't like.

The Whup: Mario Chalmers has his three point stroke on. He buried six threes in a career-high tying 23 point outburst. Including the two exhibition games, Mario is 14-22 from deep. That is sick. “Mario shot the lights out. Obviously, he’s off to a good start,” Coach Bill Self said. “We needed him tonight." My only concern is that Mario is camping out at the three-point line too much. His floater in the lane was his signature move his first two seasons in Lawrence.

Rod Stewart can flat out play. Once again, the Senior Guard played the role of glue guy. In 18 big minutes off the bench, he scored nine points on 4-4 from the field and added four boards. He seemed to be all over the floor everytime there was a loose ball and had a big basket and one just after UMKC had cut the lead to 10. Even when Brandon Rush comes back from injury, Rod deserves minutes.

Russell Robinson's shot looks vastly improved. In 35 minutes, Russ nailed 3-6 from deep and looked smooth doing so. He didn't force the action on offense, dishing out nine assists with just one turnover, while scoring 15. RR doesn't get the press Collins, Chalmers, and Rush do, but he is just as, if not more important to this team.

Sasha Kaun's aggressiveness was good to see. While he still shows a seriously lack of post moves or athleticism, he was trying hard out there last night and got to the line 13 times. That was the good news. The bad news is that he is still the worst free throw shooter on the team and made just six.

The Weak Beav: KU looks like a bunch of three-point chuckers. Since when did Bill Self's signature hi-lo offense become "pass the ball around the perimeter and chuck up a three?" They shot 22 last night. UMKC, who is a mid-major team with no size shot 23. This is a disturbing trend to me. The offense must work inside out to be great. After the game, Chalmers was asked if the team is taking too many deep shots: “I don’t think so. We shot 22 3s. That might be our new game plan. I think it was (the game plan) this game, just because they were sagging off us so much. Anytime you are open, you’ve got to take it.”

Darrell Arthur, All-American? Again, I've only seen one game, but where is the dominant Shady Arthur I've been reading about all summer? He looks passive to me. There were some interesting quotes on this in today's Lawrence Journal-World. “We all have a ways to go,” Robinson said. “He definitely left a lot of points out there. He missed a couple of bunnies, a couple of dunks, but he’s going to show up when the time comes. We just have to continue to pound the ball inside and get him to work. ... Shady’s unstoppable in practice. We’ve just got to get that to carry over into the game.”Arthur said: “They’re just not going in right now. I’m probably just nervous. I come out nervous. Every game I’ve played in my life I’ve come out nervous.” Does this guy sound like an All American to you? Shady is by far their most talented post man; he has to play that way if this team is going to go to the Final Four. I'm ripping him and he had a double-double 13 and 10.

Bunnies, Arthur's Weakness - Tom Keegan, Lawrence Journal-World

Another year, more bad free throw shooting. Led by Sasha "the brick machine" Kaun's seven misses, KU shot a porous 16-31 from the line. We've seen this before, bad free throw shooting can kill this team. Its never acceptable to shoot around 50% from the line, but you can get away with it against the UMKC's of the world. Shoot like that against Texas, Arizona, or Georgia Tech, and you won't win.

No Cole Aldrich. Sighting the lack of size and the need for more speed, Self only played bally-hooed the Freshman Center only the last three mop-up minutes. I didn't matter, but I would have liked to have seen Cole get a little more run so I can get a feel for his game.

The Roos' were hanging around too long. This was a 10 point game with 8:41 to play. UMKC was well coached, took the shot clock down as much as they good to get the best possible shot, and hit timely threes. There is no excuse to be in a 10 point game to a team with a lot less talent on your home floor.

NEXT UP: Thursday night against D-II Washburn in Lawrence.

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