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Kansas Barely Sneaks out of Columbia Victorious

Before I break down just how crappy our team played, I want to congratulate the Missouri Tigers for one helluva ball game. They very well the entire game, and continued to capitalize on our mistakes, never allowing the patented Jayhawk run to materialize.

But seriously, it is nice to know that even when we play like absolute crap, we can still beat pretty good teams on the road. Even rivals whose Super Bowl each and every season is to beat Kansas at home.

Just like everyone else in the sports' world, save maybe the stupid New England Patriots, there is certainly a recipe to beat us. Without a doubt. And tonight, just about everything happened that would have to happen for us to lose.

Here is everything that needs to happen for Kansas to lose a basketball game this season to almost anybody in the country. Almost.

Here we go:

  • Brandon Rush Has an Off Night --> Brandon Rush had an absolutely horrendous night, maybe the worst game of his entire collegiate career. He shot the ball 28 different times, 14 from the field and 14 from the free throw line. He made a total of 11 shots, and only 2 of those were actually worth 2 points. He was 0-4 from the three-point line. Brandon Rush doesn't play worse than that. He missed layups, he missed a dunk, he missed wide-open seven-footers. And even on the defensive side, he played far from perfect. Twice his man out-ran him down the court for easy, fast-break layups, and his knee seemed to bother him at times while following three-point specialist Matt Lawrence around the court. Brandon Rush just makes the shots I make the majority of the time, the under-ten-footers, and we win going away.
  • Get Our Bigs in Foul Trouble --> Yep, this happened too. Darrell Arthur got 2 fouls pretty quick, then went and struggled to stay out of foul trouble the entire second half, reverting back to his freshman ways of committing fouls a long way from the basket. Darnell Jackson didn't pick up a single foul in the first half, but three quick ones at teh beginning of the second half quickly put him in foul trouble. Sasha Kaun was in foul trouble all night long, but of course he didn't play well once while he was in there anyways, so whatever. In all honesty, I think the big that played the best tonight was Cole Aldrich. Hands down. DA and DJack played pretty well at times, then would struggle and play like crap for a couple of minutes. Darnell especially struggled when the double came his way, turning the ball over a handful of times after putting the ball on the floor in the paint. Cole Aldrich was a huge reason why we won tonight, providing the Jayhawks with 9 huge minutes, most of them in the first half with everyone in foul trouble, while picking up 4 big rebounds, 2 points on a dunk and awesome defense. For minutes at a time, he and Rodrick Stewart held down the fort on the inside. That is huge if we can do that against quality minutes, and tonight was a H-U-G-E learning experience for the big freshman.
  • Hope the Refs are Whistle-Happy --> Our team is big on momentum, big on runs, big on streaks and all of that jazz. When Eddie Hightower is reffing, there is none of that. There is a ref who wants the attention, and will blow his whistle as often as he possibly can to attract some attention his way. And it wasn't even that there were more favorable calls that went against Mizzou. I would say, just like the Georgia Tech game (also a game that Eddie Hightower reffed), that the bad calls evened out. But the entire flow of the game was ruined, no one was able to go out on a big run, and that was a big reason why we never could build a big enough lead to be comforted.
Some more on the game tomorrow, along with a Big 12 Power Rankings segment and a breakdown of who should be #1 when the polls come out, Kansas or Memphis (we will save the end-all-be-all debate for a little later in time).