Did I mention how bitter I am that I missed the career high 21 points out of my main man Darnell Jackson? We have developed a man-crush for D-Jack over at MTAC. He's rapidly risen to the #2 spot in the list of our all-time favorite Jayhawks just ahead of the cornrowed, fat, lazy, showed up when he wanted to, rebounding machine - Jeff Graves and just behind former KU all time three point king, the man I used to yell "MONEY" at everytime he put up a three-ball - Billy Thomas. DJ seems to want it more than anyone on the floor and never plays passive.
Coach Bill Self on Jackson: “I thought Darnell was terrific. He will be the first to tell you he had a couple of breakdowns defensively, but I thought he was really good.”
Jackson on being a team player: “If I was 10th man, I’d be fine with that. If I played one minute with two rebounds and we won, I’d be happy. I’m just glad coach Self has confidence in me enough to put me in the game.”
Jackson on his career-high 21 points: “Twenty one points makes me feel no different than if I had zero points and 10 rebounds. Twenty-one points is 21 points. I have a long way to go — blocking out, post moves, footwork.”
Self on the pourous transition defensive from KU: “Our transition defense was brutal. Their guards torched us. It was a good thing Hooper (19 points) got in foul trouble because he was scoring at will. Our guys did so much running — running downhill on offense and uphill on defense. I never knew the court was tilted that way.”
Self on his team’s defense: “That’s as poor a defensive performance as we’ve had in a long time...To get hung on 78 in your own building, first one to 70 should always win. It’s kind of a fine line, because I’ve got them a little bit screwed up. Because the faster you play, the looser the possessions, gamble and miss and that kind of stuff, and so there’s not as much pride in getting stops. And if you play a team that can attack you inside and have good guard play, which Louisiana-Monroe’s guards were very good. I thought in all honesty, our guards didn’t guard their guards very well at all tonight. We’ve got to get better in that area.”
Self on the play of freshmen Tyrel Reed and Cole Aldrich: “They did play well. And Tyrel made shots, and I thought Cole was really good the first half from a production standpoint. Those guys are going to get better and better, and they can’t help but get better playing against those other guys everyday in practice. If Tyrel can go against Rod and Sherron and Russell and Mario everyday, then he’s going to be pretty good in the games, because there’s not too many people that can just rotate guys like that and guard him everyday. Those are big bonuses. Same thing with Cole. He’s going against Sasha, Darnell and Shady everyday, and we’ll play against other good big guys, but for him, that’s unbelievable to go have a chance to go against those guys every possession, and he can’t help but get better.”
How about those Cavaliers? Anytime you can win on the road, especially out West, its legit. While the Sacramento Kings aren't what they once were (a younger Chris Webber, Peja Stojakovic, Vlade Divac, and a healthy Mike Bibby ain't walkin' through that door), it still isn't easy to go into Arco and come out victorious. With the Time Warner debacle last night, I watched the majority of this game instead. Lebron was brilliant again with 26, but the rest of the team seemed to be shooting blanks. Everyone except for Devin Brown that is.
Yes folks, the same Devin Brown who I declared would be "off the team by January," saved the Cavs bacon by scoring 20 points in 36 minutes off the bench. Without Brown last night, the Cavs had no chance of winning. Sasha Pavlovic played like someone who missed training camp, going 1-10. The Big Z was a porous 3-11 (awful for a center, but he did grab 15 boards), Boobie Gibson was 3-9, Damon Jones was Amon Ones last night, getting abused on D and shooting 4-11. It was all Brown and Lebron as Mike Brown essentially went seven deep again thanks to Larry Hughes (big shocker) and Donyell Marshall being in street clothes. Dwayne Jones continues to be a waste and Cedric Simmons looked lost during his nine minutes.
But hey, a win is a win, and the Cavs have two of them on this six game West coast road trip. Not bad for a squad with no depth and no size.