OTC: KU Crushes K-State In AFH / Is Tyshawn Really KU’s Problem? I Think Not

“This KU basketball season will go exactly as [Tyshawn] Taylor does.”
Sam Mellinger, columnist, Kansas City Star
GH: There has not been a more frustrating player to start for the Jayhawks in the Bill Self era. Reports from Allen Fieldhouse last night said that the home crowd was audibly getting on Taylor as he gave up eight turnovers. But is he the glue to KU’s success or failure?  

“I don’t think KU can win a championship because I don’t think Tyshawn Taylor can play you six must-win games in a row. I don’t think it’s possible.”
Danny Parkins, 610 AM
GH: I beg to differ. KU has far more issues than just TT’s penchant for tossing the rock into the third row. The spotlight is on Taylor because he is a highly-regarded senior point guard. But Kansas needs to shoot the ball a lot better if they want to win the Big 12 and
go deep into March. Taylor is far from the reason this team might not reach its

“The most perplexing player in recent Kansas basketball memory is a four-year starter who makes freshman mistakes and often tweets about the haters. He is thrilling and aggravating and cheered and cussed and, above all else, absolutely critical to KU’s chances at an absurd eighth consecutive Big 12 championship. Tyshawn Taylor, playing at
home in his 121st college game, got picked at halfcourt. Twice.”
Sam Mellinger, columnist, Kansas City Star
GH: Taylor is one of the main reasons KU is being considered as a favorite to win their eighth Big 12 title. The media needs to spread the blame around a tad bit more when it comes to KU’s plight. Yes, he turns it over way too often, but has anyone been able to guard the guy when he wants to drive to the hole?  

“Tyshawn had it in the paint, basically, every time he wanted it in the paint.”
Frank Martin, Kansas City Star
GH: I’ll bet Frank would trade for TT right now, TOs and all.

“I’ll bounce back Saturday.”
Tyshawn Taylor, after his eight-turnover performance against K-State, 610 AM
GH: I have no doubt he will. I keep hearing from KU fans who have thrown up their hands and describe Taylor as, “He is who he is. He is not going to change.” Seniors can have epiphanies. Please see a guy over in Columbia named Kim English. 

“Let’s be real. Some of these [current Kansas players] couldn’t get on the court for a Kansas team that was a number-one seed. That doesn’t mean you’re not good, it just means you’re not as good.”
Danny Clinkscale, 810 AM
GH: I think Clink’s assessment of this season’s KU team is spot on. They have some players in their eight-man rotation who would have been rock-chalk-time players during Self’s better era. Connor Teahan hit two big second-half threes Wednesday night but he is defensive liability or the highest order. Elijah Johnson shoots like a number one but plays the number two. Jeff Withey is a fun project but the Morris twins would eat him alive. 

“This is something that Coach Self preaches over and over again; that Thomas [Robinson] needs to be the anchor for our team this year.”
Danny Manning, 810 AM
GH: Robinson is a can’t-take-your-eyes-off-him kind of player. I swear he can elevate himself to another altitude even after he is airborne and jumping toward the hoop. He needs to stay healthy and foul-free for KU to compete in the Big 12. Hard to believe this soon-to-be All-American didn’t start for KU until his this his junior year. THAT is how good Kansas has been the past few years. 

“[Travis] Releford doesn’t have a loud game, but it can look ugly when he’s shooting, his right elbow flying, his release a little slow, or dribbling into trouble, or telegraphing a
pass. But Releford knows how to make life miserable for the man he’s guarding, and he did that and more in the first half of KU’s most-impressive 67-49 victory against the Wildcats. … A blue-collar basketball player who earns his playing time by frustrating smooth basketball artists into ugly performances, Releford keeps his approach simple.”
Tom Keegan, columnist, KUSports.com
GH: I really expected more from Releford after watching him play in high school at Miege. I saw him as a scorer – maybe a lite version of Brandon Rush. Maybe he is just now getting warned up.  

“We did a good job of pursuing the basketball on the backboard. We were very happy with the effort we put forth on the glass.”
Danny Manning, on KU’s 50 to 26 advantage in rebounds over KSU, 810 AM
GH: Frank Martin’s teams don’t get beat on the glass like this often – if ever. Wow. 

“It’s a heckuva lesson for every player who ever plays in this building.”
Frank Martin, on the intimidation factor of the crowd at Allen Fieldhouse after his team’s 18-point loss to KU, 610 AM
GH: Martin shows too much deference toward the environment at Allen Fieldhouse for an opponent. Sure, you want your team to respect the tradition at KU but it appears to me that Frank almost fears it. He body-hugged almost every KU player following the game while whispering in their ear. Screw that! Shake the opponent’s hands and get the
hell off the court. It is no wonder his teams play so poorly in Lawrence when their coach acts like AFH is a cathedral. 

“If KU hadn’t turn the ball over like they did [against K-State], this would have been an even wider margin that it was [Wednesday] night.”
Dave Armstrong, who had the TV play-by-play for the game broadcast on 38 The Spot, 810 AM
GH: Armstrong made this less-than- insightful comment the morning following the game on 810’s The Border Patrol. I have been subjected to Armstrong as a play-by-play broadcaster for at least the past 20 years. He is one of those guys who makes his living in front of the camera or microphone that I have long wondered how he has achieved financial success in this field. He has a broadcast-quality voice and never says anything that could even remotely be considered questionable. THAT is one of broadcastings greatest flaws – the guys who now last in the business are the guys who are the most forgettable.

“What about the college game is better than the professional sport; other than the fan experience, because I can’t think of any? At the end of the day, I’m still a sports fan. I look at [college sports] and I see kind of a crappy quality of play in these games. That’s why I’m more of a pro-sports guy rather than a college-sports guy.”
Danny Parkins, 610 AM
GH: Parkins referenced the poor quality of play at the KSU/KU game that he attended and the recent high-scoring college bowl games as evidence of the lack of quality play at the college level. Parkins is Chicago-raised and Syracuse educated. Pro sports are god where he’s from. They treat the college game like we do the T-Bones. Read on. 

“I look at these [college] games and they are nowhere close in terms of quality of play as to when I go home and turn on the NBA to watch these games. Nowhere close! I watched KU play K-State in a poorly-played, sloppy game. Is anyone else craving some professional-quality sports here other than me?”
Danny Parkins, 610 AM
GH: Soren Petro and Nick Wright, who are also Syracuse grads, suffer from the same pro-sports bias that affects Parkins — they just do a better job of hiding it. They are not wrong, just misguided in my mind. They see the college game as a lesser product, therefore inferior to their more refined tastes. I am content in the fact I am just a bumpkin from the plain states who can still enjoy a high school- or college-level contest. 

[email protected] and Twitter / greghall24

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About Greg Hall

Software guy who has been writing my Off The Couch column in KC newspapers, publications and websites since 1994. Has been bounced from some of the finest media establishments this side of State Line Road. Dad first and everything else second...and there are a lot of everything elses.

41 Responses to OTC: KU Crushes K-State In AFH / Is Tyshawn Really KU’s Problem? I Think Not

  1. Johnny Utah says:

    Not every KU team can be the 2007-08 team, loaded with nba talent. This is a top 10 team in the country, and judging by last year’s Final Four participants, you don’t even have to be a top 10 team for March success.

    KU has flaws though. only one consistent 3 point shooter, and he can’t create his shot. this team will have to hold a great team under 50 to beat them, which can happen in the airplane hangars they play NCAA tourney games in now.

  2. Jim says:

    Not sure if I’m in the minority or not, but I’m a college basketball junkie. But when it comes to the NBA, I never watch a game. I mean never. It an unwatchable brawl impersonating the game of basketball. IMO.

    • Hot Carl says:

      Agreed. Some of the most boring basketball imaginable. I hate the NBA.

      • Java Man says:

        A good many of college basketball fans will point out their dislike for the NBA.
        Next, they will brag about how many of their schools former players play in the league or currently have NBA potential.

    • Steve says:

      I would have agreed with you about 5 to 10 years ago but I’ve been drawn back into the NBA. Honestly, the level of talent is crazy and it’s legitimately fun to watch. It’s not always just a 1-on-1 show anymore. There are actual TEAMS that are fun to watch like the Thunder, Bulls, Clips, Blazer, Mavs and Nuggets to name a few.

      I’d suggest giving it a shot.

      • Merle Tagladucci says:

        The NBA sucked for about ten years in the post-Jordan hangover years but it’s evolved since then. The league is getting fun again to watch. Not every team, but a lot of teams are very college-like with a ton of young players who don’t play the “boring” style of ball most NBA haters think permeates the league.

  3. Ptolemy says:

    Great observation on Martin genuflecting in AFH. He blew a nice 2nd half comeback by coming out of a timeout down 3 and playing a 3-2 zone which led to 2 baseline 3′s. Too much hero worship. Bramlage is every but as loud as AFH when his teams fight. Frank’s squad definitely reacts to his reverance for AFH and Self. Maybe we|need more screaming Frank?

    • Greg Hall says:

      Bramlage is truly as loud when the Wildcat faithful have reason to growl. Last season the KSU crowd did exactly the same thing to Self’s team in an 18-point Cats’ win. I would love to see KSU renovate Bramlage. I’ve always disliked its aluminum stands and weird wide aisles. It would take a sugar-daddy to pay for it but the Purple People deserve a place just as homey as KU’s comfy confines.

      • Kyle Rohde says:

        Especially when they just announced spending $75 million on Bill Snyder Family Cow Pasture!

        • LeesSummitCat says:

          Don’t worry, we’ll call the expansion the Lew Perkins Memorial Gridiron Club. The man has been a tremendous help and source of joy for Wildcat faithful!

      • Ptolemy says:

        KU’s seats are every bit as sound reflective as Bramlage’s benches. I’ve been in both venues when the crowd is rocking, and they are equally loud….and KSU does it with fewer fans.

    • MrOlathe says:

      PT….I actually agree with you on this. I was even getting annoyed by Frank as he continually talked about AFH.

  4. Merle Tagladucci says:

    College football is an incredibly overrated product but there’s no way anybody can say college basketball isn’t far superior to the NBA in nearly every way. The way the NBA allows players to get away with traveling, double dribbles, carrying the ball, disrespecting and showing up the refs, whining/crying/wailing every time they get called for a foul…they’re all disgusting mutations of the evolution of the pro game. Not to mention the “art” of the game being so diluted on the pro level…it’s all pick and rolls and one-on-one drive-and-dish ball. There are hardly any offensive sets being run, save for the times when a team needs a big basket at the end of a quarter/half/game and a coach calls a timeout to set something up. Besides those situations, 85% of the time it’s all inmates running the asylum.

    There are some really fun teams to watch right now though. Oklahoma City, Golden State, Sacramento (even better once they trade Cousins), the Clippers, Chicago, Memphis, the Knicks…young teams that get up and down the court and play with a lot of energy, as opposed to the older Celtics/Lakers/Spurs vet-heavy teams.

    This is a weird season following the lockout but an interesting one because of the compacted schedule and one that lends itself to the younger teams with fresher legs. The older rosters may hit a wall that younger teams are more capable of plowing through. And the NBA playoffs are always the best, hardest played, most intense, serious basketball that is played on the planet. I love March Madness and the buzzer beaters and seeing a 12 take down a 5 but a seven-game fistfight playoff series in the NBA is a whole other level.

    • Cliffy says:

      “… traveling, double dribbles, carrying the ball, disrespecting and showing up the refs, whining/crying/wailing every time they get called for a foul…they’re all disgusting mutations of the evolution of the pro game.”

      Agree except for the last part. There’s plenty of whining/crying/wailing in the college game too … players and coaches alike. They’re imitating their NBA heros. I haven’t watched an NBA game in its entirety in 10 years … no interest whatsoever.

    • Hammy says:

      I can say it, the college game isn’t superior in every way. NBA players are better athletes, know the game better and run way more complicated offense and defense. I love college basketball for the rivalries and because of the upset nature of the tourney, but the actual game play isn’t even comparable.

      • Kyle says:

        What the NBA misses more than anything is passion. Until the playoffs, it seems they are going through the motions. Collge b-ball has way more urgency and excitement. Not even close.

        • Hammy says:

          I don’t completely disagree, but passion can at times be difficult to judge. While a college player may look like he is hustling more an NBA player is more graceful so it is harder to spot. Like Carlos Beltran running down a flyball, he didn’t look like he was running as hard as say Alex Gordon.

          but I do agree in the playoffs it goes to another level. but the same can be said in the NFL.

      • Merle Tagladucci says:

        How can defense be more complicated than covering your man, on-ball switching when necessary and moving your feet? It’s all the same. The level of hustle on defense is a joke in the NBA, there’s nothing complicated about it. Giving up baskets isn’t as big a deal in the pros because most teams turn it on when they have to. College players get yanked for lazy defense. Pro players just go down to the other end and make up for it by scoring.

        • Hammy says:

          really? It is just that easy? well hell I guess you have it figure out. An NBA team should hire you.

          • Merle Tagladucci says:

            If they do hire me, you’re welcome to submit an application to join my staff. I’ll probably ask during your interview if you could help me spot the difference between a college player hustling and an NBA player simply being “more graceful.” I may even ask you for a stat breakdown on the number of times college players dive on the floor for a loose ball versus the number of times pro players do, and then correlate that effort into the dichotomy between “hustle” and “grace.”

            Don’t turn your phone off, I may be calling!

  5. nick says:

    As a KU fan, Taylor is definitely frustrating at times. But his athletic ability is unbelievable and I want him on the court. Self pointed out that his drive and score right before half couldn’t be done by 5 other players in the NCAA….that was an incredible play! And when he’s locked in on defense, with his length, he can really mess up the opposing team’s plans. If he starts getting too careless, then Self will sit him a bit. But when he’s good, he’s NBA good. I think Self still thinks (hopes) that Taylor’s turnover issues will get better as the season goes on.

    Parkins’ comments are ludicrous on pro/college athletics. I LOVE the NBA Finals and even some of the playoff matchups. But the regular season games mostly blow. Most NBA games are one-on-one contests for the league stars. Traveling is never called, and you don’t often hear or see the crowd getting into the game.

    The college games are much more unpredictable. Even great teams like Kentucky can lose because of youth.

    Horrendous defense DOES make games like last night’s Orange Bowl kind of bummers, but I thought games like the Baylor bowl game were greatly entertaining and fun. I think the KSU/Arkansas has a chance to be a high-scoring, but thrilling football game.

    • BlackJack says:

      College Bowl games are the most soul-sucking, underwhelming, non-substantive, meaningless of exhibition games. They are absolutely worthless. I have no idea why so many people fall for it and accept these farces.

      Why don’t you have some preseason NFL to go with your college bowl games?

      • Cliffy says:

        Sounds like a kU fan.

        • Kyle says:

          Bowl games are nothing but glorified exhibitions (even if KU is playing in it). They are nice for the fans, but God, please give us a playoff!

          • JP says:

            Bowl games are a joke. Nobody goes and the stadiums are empty. The Orange Bowl had sections empty and it is a BCS game. Furthermore, teams treat them differently. You don’t know if your opponent is motivated or not. The NFL on Sunday was way more exciting than any of the January 2nd games.

  6. Kyle Rohde says:

    Taylor is maddeningly frustrating, but that’s mostly because he has much more responsibility than he should. Because of the weak recruiting classes the past two years, plus McLemore/Taylor being ineligible, KU is completely devoid of consistent wing scoring. Johnson is an 8th man at best, Releford is a great glue guy and defensive player but can’t consistently score, Teahan is one-dimensional and the rest of the guys aren’t ready to be on the court.

    KU really misses a Keith Langford-type that can shoot it and, more importantly, get to the rim and draw fouls. Taylor has that ability but he doesn’t do it enough, and half the times he does, he makes a stupid play on the way to the basket before he even has a chance to shoot.

    This is still a highly talented team that will win 25 games and maybe make the Sweet 16, but it’s going to be 2013-2014 before KU’s ready for another title run. And KU fans should be fine with that – we’ve been spoiled for 23 years now, with zero really bad years while Duke, Indiana, Kentucky, UCLA and North Carolina (our peers on the college basketball Mt. Rushmore) all have. The last bad KU year was probably Roy’s first year, and even that wasn’t that bad.

  7. Merle Tagladucci says:

    Just want to point out that this…

    GH: I think Clink’s assessment of this season’s KU team is spot on. They have some players in their eight-man rotation who would have been rock-chalk-time players during Self’s better era. Connor Teahan hit two big second-half threes Wednesday night but he is defensive liability or the highest order. Elijah Johnson shoots like a number one but plays the number two. Jeff Withey is a fun project but the Morris twins would eat him alive.

    …is a complete 180 from two weeks ago when you insisted that this team is “far more talented” than Self was letting on. Not to bust balls…but hey. Welcome back.

    • Greg Hall says:

      Self was quoted saying his team was as on the same level as Davidson when I stated he was underselling the talent on his team. Clink’s comments are right in line with my comments about this season’s Hawks. They’re good, just not #1-seed good. I think KU will finish fourth or fifth in the B12 and get a #4 or #5 seed in the tourney. That’s a decent “down” year for any school.

  8. tigerdan4 says:

    Frank Martin let AFH psych his team out, plain and simple. KU jumped out to a 23-5 lead and won the game by 18. If you take out the first 10 minutes when KState just pissed down their collective legs, it was an evenly played game. Cats are every bit as good as the Hawks and I think KSU will beat them in Bramlage. KU’s talent this year is probably 5th in the conference but they have the best coach and best homecourt advantage so they will finish around 3rd probably. Its amazing to me that so many visiting teams let AFH beat them before they even take the floor. How can talented collegiate athletes let a freaking building get in their heads?

    • Cliffy says:

      Those frisbee-catching dogs looked pretty intimidating to me!!

    • BlackJack says:

      Yeah, those two teams looked really even to me. KU only dominated K-State in every facet of the game, the two best players on the floor are on KU, and KU never trailed the whole game.

      • Kyle says:

        Great assessment. KU has one of the top 3 candidates for National Player of the Year, win by 18 in a game they turn it over 19 times, and they are the 5th most talented team in the Big 12. Keitz, is that you?

  9. Guy Who Says What Others Think says:

    It’s going to be interesting to see how Taylor handles the in your face pressure from Phil Pressey.

    • BlackJack says:

      Probably the same way he handled the in your face pressure from Martavius Irving, or Ohio State’s Aaron Craft – turn the ball over 7-8 times, score 14 point and get 5 assists. Or he may turn it over 10 times, and get 11 assists. He is what he is – alot of spectacular offset by mistakes and inconsistency.

    • Kyle says:

      Or vice versa is the real question.

  10. ssiknaf says:

    Most college football is practically unwatchable. The spread offense has ruined the game. It has turned it into a “first team to 40 points wins” game (first to 50 in the meaningless Bowls). Defense is an afterthought. I WILL take the Bama-LSU game over that Baylor bowl debacle. At least it was football, not Arena ball.
    If I want to see that, I’ll just watch the CFL.

  11. JP says:

    I have to somewhat agree with Danny Parkins, who has one of the better talk shows going. College athletics is nice, the hustle, the pageantry, but pro sportsis played at a much higher level. Put it this way, would you watch the 10 pm newscasts on the big stations or watch a similar newscast produced by college kids. The college kids may have a meltdown or two that’s entertaining, but give me professional.

    That said, the two main sports must be separated. Pro Football nukes College Football in every way imaginable. The Alamo Bowl and Orange Bowl were both jokes, in terms of lack of defense played. Furthermore, the pro guys do play hard and with passion. The NFL season has been exciting and unpredictable. Look at the Chiefs, if they were in the college system, they would be playing for a meaningless bowl.

    College basketball is different. Less games, and they can be meaningful. However, the best teams sometimes don’t win it all. One hiccup in the tournament and you’re done. That is soul-crushing yet exhilirating at the same time. Pro Basketball is played at such a high level, however they do play too many games, making the regular season essentially meaningless, except for playoff position. That said, an NBA or NHL team would excite Kansas City and give everyone a common team to get behind. I am a little sick of the KU/MU bickering that seems to be neverending.

    • Merle Tagladucci says:

      Pro Basketball is played at such a high level, however they do play too many games, making the regular season essentially meaningless, except for playoff position.

      They play even more games in MLB…are those meaningless?

      • JP says:

        No, because they limit the playoff teams. It’s an apples to oranges comparison. Also, the NBA prices are double the MLB prices. Added to that the NBA is playing for half the teams to make the postseason, whereas Baseball only allows 1/3 of it’s 30 teams as of 2012.

        The NBA also plays more games in relation to college basketball, but most of the games for the top teams have little impact, other than seeing where your team is prior to the playoffs.

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