You hear that...that giant thud? That's the sound of the Missouri Tigers falling back to earth. Visions of the first win in the Phog since 99' and a Big 12 conference title were surely running through the heads of Tiger fans prior to tip Sunday, but from the word go it wasn't a contest.
Kansas came out with a fire in their eyes and a determination in their step to win this one early and finally put the proverbial foot on the throat of the opponent. All year we've watched this team jump out early and then let teams crawl back in but with the Big 12 title hanging in the balance Sherron, Cole and the many new faces showed why this year is the best coaching job we've seen from Coach Bill Self.
The dust has settled, the chips have fallen and once again Kansas holding essentially a 2 game lead in the Big 12 standings, looks poised to win the Big 12 crown for the 5th straight year. Combine that with wins over two highly ranked opponents in OU and MU in the same week and you've got the recipe for a very satisfying week for the Jayhawks.
On to the breakdown and the game flow is what it is...no big surprise we controlled this one from the tip and hands down the earliest we've had a game in hand all year not counting the early non conference.
The rest of the breakdown inside the post...
Four keys to the game, no surprises here we dominated all of these minus turnovers and it translated to the result. On the boards we saw a collective effort with Cole leading the charge. Shooting wise it was an abolutely incredible game and I think that was a reflection of the improved ball movement we commented on early in the game in the OGT. We also stayed much more within ourselves in terms of taking care of the ball. While it was far from perfect and we still coughed it up 16 times it wasn't even close to the problems we had in the first matchup with Missouri.
The player impact chart is beginning to become very predictable because it's dominated by the 1-2 punch of Sherron and Cole. However, there is a new face that seems to be becoming more and more familiar and that's Tyshawn Taylor. 15 points and 6 assists for the freshman and back to back games earning the MVP honors in the best of the rest department (meaning beyond Cole/Sherron). Also worth mentioning here is for the first time "The Law Firm" has won a case. In "the Tigers vs. the Jayhawks on the glass" Little, Morris and Morris combined for 18 boards between the three of them and anytime the three can outrebound Cole that's probably a good thing because it means they're putting in solid minutes.
Team stats show as you might expect a Kansas team that played well above average and a Missouri squad that played below. Beyond shooting percentage which was off the charts for the Jayhawks to other things standout to me in a big way. Missouri held to only 32 boards, we absolutely controlled that area and limited second chance points in a big way. Secondly we tend to average about the same amound of turnovers as we do assists but tonight we were excellent at moving the ball and making the extra pass which got Kansas the better shots and it shows in the 22 assists put together by the team.
I think we know what it takes for us to have a chance at winning a game and we got that today. Sherron and Cole who both struggled in Columbia bounced back in a big way at home and with the stat lines they put up there was little chance at us losing this one.
Final thoughts on this one...quite simply it's hard not to be extremely excited and satisfied with what this team has been able to pull off. Clearly I'm speaking beyond this game because I do feel pretty good that following the win over the Tigers we should pull off our 5th straight Conference title which is truly amazing considering what we are replacing and the general consensus that this is a down year. Obviously things can change in a heartbeat and I don't take any of this for granted but it's once again a great time to be a Jayhawk. Expectations may be lower but it seems the end result turns out the same...what more can you ask??