What separates good from great teams in college basketball? For me it would be consistency. The ability on a night in and night out basis to get a team to focus, compete and play at it's highest potential. Right now it's hard to say if there is a team out there that does that and last night Kansas showed once again that they have a long way to go.
This is a team that can come out and play with anyone in the country. There have been a handful of games where the general consensus is that on that night they could have beaten anyone in the country. Then we have a game like last night. Colorado was not in any way extraordinarily good last night. Sure they were playing hard and the effort was there because they were hosting #1, but they didn't play out of their minds. The fact is Kansas lacked focus, lacked intensity and any sort of desire until somehow finding it in overtime. Even in overtime it was primarily a motivated Marcus Morris that made it happen.
Clearly, this had the potential to be a trap game and we talked about it here before, but it doesn't make it acceptable when it rests squarely on the shoulders of the Jayhawks. Altitude, Shmaltitude, this team was missing shots and throwing up shots that were short from the beginning. Plain and simple they weren't ready to play. Fortunately for the Jayhawks, the Buffaloes weren't entirely ready either. It was close, Kansas survived and now it's on to Saturday.
Somehow, Kansas won nearly every statistical category in this one as a team. Better from the field, better at taking care of the ball, a few less fouls, and in the end even outrebounded the Buffs. Where's the problem here? Why are we sitting here a day later talking about an overtime scare against an inferior team? It boils down to good possessions. Colorado at times was milking the shot clock to the end, running circles around Kansas and getting a good look. Kansas did a nice job of getting high percentage shots but Colorado was determined to make them earn the points from the line. Kansas failed Miserably to the tune of 18 for 38. Throw in 8 more possessions for the Buffaloes because of work on the boards and Kansas is fortunate they weren't hitting much.
eFG% both teams struggled shooting well below their season average. Colorado and Jeff Bzdelik have given Kansas problems the last four years when they can make the game ugly. They did that.
Turnovers didn't play a major factor as it was pretty much even although many of Kansas' cough ups were unforced errors and lazy passes which doesn't sit well.
The offensive rebounding was honestly won by the Buffaloes but Marcus Morris' 4 rebound 2 point trip in overtime put that stat in a slightly more positive light.
Lastly is those dreaded free throws. Kansas attacked the rim, much like they did against the Wildcats. It's a great plan for Kansas, if they are making free throws. Last night could not have been more abysmal in this area.
|Stat||Game||Season Avg||Opp Season Avg|
|3pt FG Att||13||27||18||17||19||17|
|3pt FG Made||4||8||7||6||6||5|
|3pt FG Pct||30.8||29.6||40.9||37.5||31.5||33.2|
Individually we are talking a three man show last night. Sherron, Cole and Marcus Morris. I'm sure the plus/minus won't be kind to Sherron who despite tying for the team lead in points was a bit of a detriment with so many missed shots on the night. As always he seems to come up big when we need him, but there were far fewer cheers for #4 last night than normal.
Cole played outstanding for the most part but was as gassed as I've seen him all this year. It reminded me of our trip to Columbia last season, when he could barely get up and down the court late. I understand that there is a little bit of difference in the altitude, but I have a hard time with it being such a major factor that Cole is standing on the court ineffective and then has to sit during a critical time at the end of regulation. Great game for Cole for the first 35, but from about the 5 minute mark in the second half he became nonexistent.
The real winner last night for me was Marcus Morris. Sure he was frustrating at times as the Morri can be, but he was attacking from an offensive standpoint and it was a controlled chaos that for the most part was working. In overtime he brought an energy to the court that the team lacked all game long even waving off a substitution from the bench at one point. Sombody needed to step up and Morris did. 6 points and 7 rebounds in the extra frame. Obviously a number padded slightly by that on battle underneath but it was all the more important because of the effort and the end result being 2 points. Hats off to McMorris in this one.
|D. Thorne II||12||0||0||4||0||0||0||0||0||3||0||0||0||0||3||0||0||0||0|