Maybe fans understand NOW why Kansas head coach Bill Self has been pushing his guards on the defensive end of the floor the last week or so. It wasn’t just coach speak and Baylor’s guards lived up to the pre-game billing as some of the best in the conference.
Kansas survived a late barrage of three-pointers from Scott
Drew’s Baylor Bears winning a high-scoring affair, 100-90.
Curtis Jerrells put up 30 points - and they didn’t come
easily - LaceDarius Dunn was outstanding notching 23, and Henry Dugat
added 15 points. The trio combined to shoot 24-48 from the floor
including 10-21 from three.
Definitely not the kind of numbers Self had in mind for his defense but
when he reviews the tape of this one, he’ll just have to
shake his head at some of the long range threes Baylor was able to nail
under quite a bit of duress.
“They are good,” said Self.
“Not only are they fast, but they made shots tonight. You
don't anticipate them making as many hard shots as they did. I think in
the last three minutes they scored 20 points. They'd make a three, we'd
make a two. Obviously we have some concerns defensively with our guards
and they certainly have a talented group."
KU was really saved with its efficiency from the free throw line in
this one (36-46). Yes, that’s right the exact area pundits
and fans have been harping on all season long. If not for the stellar
performance from the line, this one would’ve been very
interesting at the end.
“There at the end they got on a roll that I don’t
think was as much bad defense as it was them making really hard
shots,” said Self referring to the 24 points Baylor put up in
the last five minutes.
The savvy free throw shooting and Baylor’s three-point
assault are not even the most amazing stats to come out of this one.
Somehow KU managed to score 100 points, put up 63 shots, and the
Jayhawks failed to make a single three-pointer. The last time Kansas
failed to make a trey was 271 games ago at Texas (February 28, 2000).
“Also to take 63 shots and only shoot nine of them, Self
continued. “That’s not going to happen very
There were plenty of positives for KU to take out of this one.
Kansas shot a blistering 63 percent from the floor in the second half,
scored 64 points, and only turned it over once.
“The second half offensively is probably as well as
we’ve played all year,” concluded Self.
Sophomore Darrell Arthur played 33 minutes, stayed out of foul trouble,
and showed what he can do when he’s not sitting next to his
coach. Shady put up 23 points - 16 of them after the intermission.
Arthur looked aggressive, confident, and displayed an array of
offensive skills rarely seen on the same night.
After a couple of subpar outings, Russell Robinson torched the Bears at
the line (14-15 FT) and was aggressive all night. Russell gave up his
duties as a distributor and fulfilled a scoring role in this one with
22 points but just one assist.
“I thought Russell played really well. He’ll say,
‘I didn’t play that good. The cat had 30 on
me.’ Of course it was great to see him make his free
On the offensive end Sherron Collins was the catalyst and ignited
KU’s transition game in the second stanza. Collins looked as
quick as ever and changed the game in the second half with his
penetrating ability. The sophomore scored 13 points in the second 20
minutes (17 points for the game) and dished out four assists in just 14
minutes of play.
“Shady was great. Russell was terrific but Sherron was the
spark tonight,” Self stated. “The second half he
changed the pace of the game and got us easy baskets in transition. He
looked faster tonight than he has all year.”
It sure doesn’t get any easier for the Jayhawks. KU is headed
for Austin to take on nationally ranked Texas, winners of six of its
last seven games. The Longhorns survived a Saturday scare at Iowa State
getting their sixth Big 12 win (19-4, 6-2), and they are salivating
over the chance to take down a Kansas team currently tied for first
KU is certainly no stranger to this group of Longhorns. These two teams
played two classics last season. Kevin Durant maybe gone but a host of
Horns return including a guard tandem that’s as good as any.
Texas leads the league in three-point shooting (39 percent) behind the
strength of A.J. Abrams and D.J. Augustin. Augustin and Abrams are also
the league’s 2nd and 3rd leading scorers respectively.
“It’s the best collective set of guards
back-to-back in the league,” said Self, referring to playing
Baylor and Texas in consecutive games.
“We’re going against the best guard D.J. (Augustin)
and (A.J. Abrams) has always been a thorn in our side. The one thing
I’ll say is I’m not sure offensively
we’ll play any guards that will actually play better than
what Baylor played tonight. I could be wrong but hopefully no one is
going to hang 77 on us again just from the guard spots.”
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