Rock Chalk Talk Roundtable 11.19.10

via cdn0.sbnation.com

The roundtable is back. This week's topics:

1. Are the pieces starting to fall into place for the football team or are the last few weeks a false hope?

2. Oklahoma State or Mizzou, who does Kansas stand a better chance against?

3. Through two games of the basketball season does anything surprise you?

4. Basketball weakness?

5. Season predictions.

Give us your take or just critique ours and if you'd be interested in participating as a guest in the future, send me an email, Penguin did!  denverjhawk@hotmail.com

1.  Over the last three games Kansas has had a competitive half against the Cyclones, a great comeback against the Buffaloes and than an admirable defensive effort against the Huskers.  Still a long way to go, but do you feel like the pieces are starting to fall into place or is it just a bit of false hope?

Owen:

I'll guess that after the next two games we might feel like it was a false hope but I'd say we have started to see something.  A little more confidence, a little more effort and just from a team psyche standpoint a little more fight.  

In a lot of ways I think it's even better to see considering how horrible things started.  The fact that we recovered and put together three decent games says to me that while the fall was a big one, it could be a little easier to get this group back on the horse.

Fetch:

Man, I send a tweet to Warden about a roundtable and bam! roundtable is up. I have some cache at this place.

In all seriousness, I think we are on the right track. Any time a new coach or boss comes in, and he is a nice guy and not a total hard ass it is human nature to think that you're going to be able to sluff off and not listen to him and things will be just fine. But I think guys are starting to buy in more and more to Coach Gill and hopefully some wins will accompany that belief.


KC:

Definitely doing something right these days. The worst part of the embarrassments against Baylor, K-State and A&M was seeing the team just give up. Whatever he has done or said since that time, Turner definitely has his guys' attention and has them motivated to play hard every snap. At least they're not painful to watch right now.

Warden:

It feels like things are falling into place.  However, Iowa State was just run over by Colorado and we're taking a defeat by them as a good thing (?).  Colorado ran all over us for 3 quarters and was well on their way to handing out another embarrassing defeat.  

Nebraska's offense hasn't looked very good since Martinez went down and I'm far from convinced he's close to 100%, yet that game was never close to being in doubt.  We might know more after the next two weeks, right now my hopes are very low for the rest of this season.




2.  Oklahoma State and Mizzou.  Two teams that pass a lot and pass well.  Any chance for Kansas in the last two? If you say no, at least throw out one condition where you see an outside shot.

Owen:

We'll need some help against Oklahoma State, but it's a home game on senior day so who knows.  I'm not very confident but I'll try to stay on the sunnyside for a while.

With Mizzou, as much as I again think it's going to be a tough one for Kansas, this game always seems to remain competitive.  Every indication tells you Mizzou runs away with it, but you just never know.  

The thing that could make it easy for our squad to pack it in that day is the fact that I see the Kansas crowd for that one being a bit sparse as compared to prior Border Wars.  

Fetch:

With Okie State I don't really see a shot. Missouri though, definitely. Two years ago we weren't as good as they were and we ended up beating them in dramatic fashion. Last year we were dog crap and it still came down to the final drive. I'm not expecting a win but I do think it will be competitive.

Warden:

I don't know about "dog crap" but definitely a team that was confused/sidetracked.  The Border War served up a nice point for everyone to focus on at the end of the season.

KC:

The weather is already below freezing here in Kansas City. That means snow is possible for Thanksgiving weekend. I think we know who wins that game if it snows. I'm grasping for something here. We played well against Nebraska after beating Colorado, but Nebraska can't throw for anything. We're surprisingly not terrible against the run. We're going to need some serious points (like 35 in a quarter) if we're going to win one of those two.

Warden:

Oklahoma State's still Oklahoma State, something teams said in 2007 about Kansas I'm sure.  I really don't think there is any way the game on Saturday should be close but maybe Sims gets going and the defense gets a couple of turnovers, that might keep it close.  

For the Missouri game, I do think there's a chance.  The Tigers are pretty good and better than us but you never know in rivalry games, especially in the Border War.  As KC said, get some nasty weather and cross our fingers.





3.  After watching two basketball games, are you surprised by anything we have seen or any player?

Owen:

I'm surprised by how effective we look offensively.  There are multiple weapons, multiple ways to score and we look efficient running the offense.  I'm anxious to see Selby added to the mix because I think it adds another dimension and this team could be a damn good one.

Fetch:

Nah not really. I am a little disappointed Brady seems to have regressed to the point where he is like the 9th man, but other than that the team is doing pretty much what I expected it to at this point, though it of course is only 2 games.

KC:

Agree with Owen. Lose Sherron, Cole and Xavier, and we get better? That makes no sense, but at least right now, that's how it looks. We were so reliant on those guys last year, but this year with them gone, it seems like everyone wants to step up and make things happen.

I just hope that with all the hype he brings to the team, that if/when Selby is finally cleared, the rest of the guys don't start relying on him to make everything happen. Because this team is incredibly fun to watch right now. It's like an Ol' Roy team, except with defense, too. We're going to score a ton of points, run you into the ground, but we're also going to shut you down eventually, too. Basketball utopia.

Warden:

Still surprised by the offensive output from the first two games.  Without Sherron and Xavier, I wasn't sure who would score outside of Marcus Morris.  Even though I said it many, many times leading up to the season about Markieff being a stud, I wasn't convinced he'd be a scorer.  He may not be but his offensive game has been impressive so far.  Again agreeing with KC about the offense, this year's squad is moving and passing the ball better than they did at any point last season.  



4.  What will be the basketball team's weakness this year?  


Owen:

I'll say right now it's perimeter scoring.  It's been up and down but minus Reed, the Morri are our best two three point shooters and I don't think anyone wants them hanging around the arc all night long.  We'll need to find a way(Selby) to either free up some space on the perimeter or penetrate against the zone as time goes on.

Fetch:

Definitely our three point shooting. On a similar note, "defending" the three, though three point defense isn't very consistent and if you consciously try to stop the three it often costs you in terms of two point defense, which Self has never done (consciously try to stop the three that is).

KC:

Just to be different, I'll say creating turnovers on the perimeter. What made the 2008 team so special, (and I'm not comparing this team to that one; I just think that that is how a team should play and defend) was that our guards made the opposing guards' life a living hell for 40 minutes a night. You couldn't beat any one of them off the dribble for one, and you sure as hell couldn't rotate the ball around the perimeter without someone getting a hand on it and turning it into transition points the other way.

I think Tyshawn and Selby are definitely athletic enough to do that, but we definitely haven't seen it out of Tyshawn yet, and I don't think Selby got his name because he's the best perimeter defender in the world. If Bill can get those two to sell out on the defensive end, too, watch out. We may pitch a shutout sometime, because the Morri are everywhere inside.

Warden: 

Robinson's everywhere the Morri aren't.

Turnovers.  The Big 12 teams play defense. Taylor, Selby (hopefully), and the white boyz have to be strong with the basketball and make our possessions count.  I have zero doubt that Kansas can outscore the other top teams in the Big 12 on possessions that don't end in a turnover.  Just have to make sure there are enough of those possessions.



5.  Give us a prediction for a final record.  


Owen:

26-5 regular season.  34-6 overall with a six game win streak to end the year.  Ok so take that last part as some heavy homerism but for the regular season I'll say 26-5 with the potential to make a deep tournament run and win the whole thing with a few breaks.  

Fetch:

Obviously there will be a surprise loss in there somewhere like there is every year, but right now the only games I see us losing are vs. Memphis, at Baylor and at K State. That's not to suggest we will lose all of them, but they're the ones that are most likely. KenPom has us going 26-5 (13-3), so I'll adjust that a bit and go 28-3 (14-2) in the regular season, and then hopefully a nice little winning streak to finish things off.

KC:

40-0. Signed, Bensa.

Right now, after watching the first couple games, I don't think we lose more two or three games regular season. Arizona, UCLA, Memphis will be a nice little stretch in late November/early December where we find out a lot about this team. I'll be able to give a much more accurate answer then, I'm sure.

Warden:

 I'm going to say 27-4 in regular season.  An early loss somewhere and then three conference losses.  One at Baylor and one random loss to a team that shoots out of their minds ala Okie State last year.  Then a loss in either Manhattan OR Columbia but not both.  

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