Kansas head coach Bill Self stood at the podium and told reporters he couldn’t even hear the whistle blown. This one had it all including an atmosphere that shows what college basketball is all about. It was two undefeated conference rivals going toe-to-toe, and two of the best players you’ll see lace ‘em up this season.
It was a classy way for Frank Martin’s Kansas Wildcat team to
end the talk about KU’s dominance at Bramlage Coliseum and
beyond. Instead of discussing the streak at the water cooler today,
fans and pundits alike will be discussing just how good K-State is, and
wondering how much a return match in Lawrence March 1st might mean.
Martin’s squad proved last night they could be here to stay.
K-State sits atop the Big 12 standings as the only undefeated team in
league play, and for the moment at least, is the class of the Big 12.
Kansas State used a barrage of three-pointers (12) that
might’ve caught some off guard including KU. The Wildcats
also got solid contributions from their role players like freshman
guard Jacob Pullen (20 points), and Clent Stewart (11 points). Martin
had to be pleased that his team also limited its turnovers (13), and
his dynamic duo of Bill Walker and Michael Beasley were outstanding.
Walker was the early first half spark plug and Beasley finished it in
style. The two combined for 47 of K-State’s 84 points. The
Jayhawks vaunted defense simply had no answer.
“I think we could’ve guarded him better,”
said Self, referring to the defensive job done on Beasley.
“It’s a hard matchup for anybody if you play a big
on him because if he goes 4-4 from three, he may go 2-4 but you
don’t anticipate him going 4-4, but he was terrific the
second half, just fabulous.”
Kansas State also came up big in the hustle categories gathering a
majority of the loose balls and crashing the glass with fervor. On this
night the Wildcats were the quicker, and tougher team. The Wildcats
showed by they are the best in the Big 12 on the offensive glass with
16 devastating offensive rebounds.
“K-State was just a better team than we were
tonight,” Self said in his postgame news conference.
“I don’t know if you can pinpoint one thing but to
me of the 50-50 balls, they got 70-80 percent of them. Seems to me they
scored an awful lot off loose balls and that’s something
we’re usually pretty good at.”
On the flip side for Kansas, once again in a road game the Jayhawks got
sped up, turned it over more often, and just when the Jayhawks seemed
to find their stride in the first half, foul trouble set in. But
somehow KU clawed its way to just a two-point deficit (38-36). Just
after breathing a collective sigh of relief to be down just two with
Darrell Arthur, and Sasha Kaun spending a large portion of time on the
bench, KU came out flat in the second half.
“We didn’t lose the game in the first half, we lost
it in the first 10 minutes of the second half,” stated Self.
KU never got in a flow offensively in the second half and by the
ten-minute mark, the Hawks were down 12 for the first time all season.
Beasley, who guaranteed a KSU victory over KU this season, was pivotal
during this stretch with nine key points.
“Up until this point he’s averaging 25, and
he’s scoring 25 off of some easy baskets,” Self
explained. “He scored real points tonight. He scored pro
Though at the end of the day Kansas held another opponent under 50
percent from the field (42.9%) and again shot a decent percentage for
the game (48.1%), the Jayhawks came up nine points short, came away
with their first loss of the season, and ended 25 years of dominance in
“It doesn’t sting because of the streak,”
said Self. “It stings because it’s our rival. I
could care less about the streak. But I do care about beating our
KU No Longer Perfect
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