I must be the eternal optimist of RCT, but while there was a lot of consternation in the OGT last night, I was pretty carefree during the game. Sure Arlington came out shooting well and we took awhile to get going, and true there were a couple lulls in the second half when KU didn't really seem like they wanted to put them away, but all in all I am fine with a performance like this.
It was 4 days after Christmas, school is not in session, etc. etc. and to be honest I can't blame the guys for not coming out too hot. Add in Tyshawn missing practices and Marcus not starting and it's clear that tonight's game was basically for tinkering. But once screwing around time was done, Kansas went to their advantages and pounded the rock inside and pressured the opposing guards.
Bill Self says the defense isn't where he wants it to be yet, and I saw some complaints about Selby's defense in the OGT and Denver's recap post, but Arlington's best player, whom Selby guarded a lot, went 3-13 and only got to the line once. That is great defense. Kansas held Arlington to almost exactly their season average eFG (47.3%), which of course isn't good, but that can partially be credited to Bo Ingram's 4-7 performance from beyond the arc, when he is just a 30% three point shooter on the year. At some point one of these fluke shooting performances is going to kill us, but if that is what it takes for some team to spring an upset, I am fine with it.
player notes after the jump:
- I saw some complaining about Tyshawn in the OGT last night, and it made me scratch my head. He made every shot he took, and only turned it over once (granted it was in 15 minutes).
- Holy crap Thomas Robinson. 20 points is great, but doing it on 8-10 shooting is awesome. I think there is a general feeling that he maybe shoots a bit too often, but if he shoots anywhere near 80% he can go for it. 10 rebounds is also great, and 6 of them were offensive.
- Welcome to D1 basketball, Josh Selby. It was his first bad game, and fortunately it came in a game in which we didn't need him. 1-9, including 0-5 from three. Those games are obviously going to happen, and hopefully as the season progresses he learns to drive to the basket when his shot isn't falling.
- With Selby off and Tyshawn not playing much, Elijah had very nice game. 4-5 shooting (3-4 from three), and 5 assists next to just 1 turnover.
Travis Releford had another quietly good game. He was 2-3 from three which is nice, and also showed off the athleticism that gets me very excited for what he could be as a player a couple of years down the line.
- Coach Self had a little congratulations video to Coach K for moving into 2nd on the all time wins list and sounded sincere even though I'm sure he thought the thing was utterly ridiculous, like I did, and he even threw in a funny joke proving once again that he is the man.