Neither team can establish any rhythm, the fans start sitting on their hands, and the whole flow of the game is changed. I know they wanted to "control" the game after the little altercation, but I don't know if they needed to do it for the next thirty minutes or more.
I don't know what happened in the altercation. It appeared on
the replay that Markieff got elbowed twice and retaliated. I
think he got in trouble when he got up in the "ready to square off"
stance. I hadn't realized that he had been ejected but
allowed to stay on the bench until he didn't come back in.
It's a fine line that will be discussed quite a bit. When
does aggressive play and not backing down turn into uncalled for
actions? I don't know if I like the term "dirty"
play. Seems to me that there is a lot of physical play that
goes on, especially under the basket. I really don't think
Coach would sit there and tolerate any of our players intentionally
throwing elbows and stuff like that - by the way, kudos to Coach
Manning for getting Markieff out of there before he really had
problems. I remember a lot of games way back when where we
complained that our players weren't tough enough. It IS a
I do know one thing I don't like, and that is to have players
continually talking to the refs about calls. I think it's
okay for the captains to get an explanation of what happened, but I
have never seen a call changed because a player complained or pointed
fingers. I know you have to “work the
refs,” but that should be the coach's job. I
remember last year how the guys just walked away even if they had a
disgusted look on their faces. In the end I believe you play
better when you aren't upset and can put it behind you.
Back to the game. I'm not into nicknames, but I was thinking
that maybe we should start calling Cole "Double B" - blocks and
boards. The guy is a monster. I think we sometimes
forced the ball into him when he was doubled and tripled
teamed. He needed to get the ball back out more, and he
usually does, in those situations. He tried to make some
moves a couple of times and just couldn't against that many
defenders. But just when the opponent thinks they have a shot
underneath here comes the long arm of Mr. Aldrich to swat it
away. I have to admit that I checked a box score because I
wanted to see how many minutes Markieff had, and I then realized that
BOTH Cole and Marcus had a double-double. That's pretty
impressive for two big guys to do that.
Too bad the play at the end of the half didn't count, but it was still
impressive. By the rules I think it was the right
call. As they explained, Cole grabbed it with both hands
before sending it through the hoop. With only .2 of a second
left you are not allowed to catch the ball. But it definitely
got everybody riled up. What a great pass, too!
Speaking of Marcus, I thought he had another good game. If
only he could hit his free throws. I mean, he was 8 out of
12, and the rest of the team was 24 for 24. Wish we had used
some of those up against Syracuse. Marcus looked a lot more
determined on the boards. His defense was solid,
also. And he has shown that he can handle the ball when he
needs to help bring it up the court. I think as long as he
can channel his aggressiveness into the things he does so well that he
is going to continue to grow and mature as a player. I think
he is going to be really good. The one criticism I can think
of for this game is that a couple of times he really forced an
individual move early in the shot clock. He can get those
guarded jumpers anytime. But when he starts knocking them
down then I won't say anything.
Speaking of really good, how about Sherron Collins? Whenever
they guy "turns it on" he can be as good as anybody. He can
blow by you in a second, but he can also pull up and knock down the
jumper. He has accepted the leadership role, and you can see
him constantly talking to the younger players - especially Tyshawn.
Speaking of Tyshawn, the young man has come a long way
already. I don't think I need to point out how he needs to
finish better. I bet he felt good coming out beginning the
second half and hitting that drive through the lane. He's
also knocked down some perimeter shots the last couple of
games. But the thing that will earn him the most minutes is
his effort on defense. It was most obvious the last
possession of the first half for Kent State when we got the shot clock
If I'm going to talk about Cole getting the ball back outside on a feed
to the post, then I have to say the perimeter players have to be ready
to take that open look. More than once the ball was passed
back out and we stood there and reset it. It's going to be a
lot easier for Cole if we can hit a few of those and get those guys
away from packing the lane. Brady and Tyrel are two guys that
are in there to help that situation. I thought Brady played
another solid game. I have stayed out of the debate about
playing time as best as I could, but I can say that I don't see any
reason for him not to be getting his minutes - at least at this
time. Yes, he makes mistakes. But so does everybody
else on the team. But he does enough things well that he is
an asset to have on the court.
I thought Markieff was doing some things well, too, before the
incident. I hope it helps him understand that he cannot help
the team sitting on the bench. But he was doing a good job
under the basket and on the boards. Both twins have a good
stroke. You can see it from the foul line. Our
rotation of big guys is really getting more solid, and we need to have
him available to be part of it.
Travis Releford came in, got beat out in position for a rebound, and
immediately went back to the bench for an extended period.
Then he came in at the end of the game and was very productive for his
few minutes. To me he just doesn't seem to be quite "there"
yet. He's got all the tools. It's just a matter of
him finding a comfort level and performing at a level that Coach feels
is beneficial to the team. Hopefully he will get some more
minutes against some of these teams. Like the announcers
said, this is kind of an audition for minutes before we get into the
meat of things.
It was encouraging to hear that Mario Little is feeling good and thinks
he is ready to play. Let's hope the x-ray shows the same
thing. I think he is going to really strengthen our rotation
if his play in Canada was any indication. He definitely could
shoot the ball, especially the mid-range jumper.
Like I said, I thought the second half got really long with all the
stops in the action. We really didn't have the opportunity to
get out and run like we like to. Shooting 36 free throws is a
lot. But I bet Coach would have liked to be able to have seen
us run through the offense more often to get a better perspective of
who was doing what. But there will be games like that, I
guess, and it's better us shooting all of those then them.
At least we don't have long to wait to see what happens next.
I can handle all of this action. I don't have to suffer
through withdrawal nearly as much.
It's a GREAT day to be a JAYHAWK! Rock Chalk!
The Day After: Kent St.
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