I was born a Jayhawker and love the crimson and blue through and through. However, being one that roots for underdogs as well, I wouldn’t have rather lost to any other team. Actually attending the shitastrophy that took place was an experience. They are probably the best traveled team when it comes to fans in the country as the crowd was at least 85% crimson and blue. Home court advantage is one thing, getting all around out-coached and outplayed is another couple.
I’m glad I missed the first five minutes so I wasn’t filled with all the false hopes again that left the Alamodome overflowing with blood by halftime from all the fans that had slit their wrists already. Much like how the team performed, the vibe was panicky from when I set foot in that place and with good reason. I realize that we’re all aware of the David and Goliath premise, but it sure felt like the roles were reversed pretty early.
As much as I love KU, I sure dislike many of their fans. My Jayhawker blood makes me want to scream with the rest of you on every single call; but just because he has the name Morris on the back of his Jersey and makes a face and flails his arms up in the air doesn’t mean it wasn’t a clean block. I don’t know if it’s because it’s just the way I am or if it’s because I actually played the sport that all the experts around me in the crowd know so much about, but I like to think of myself as an actual objective observer.
So as much as I hate refs, and they made some bad calls of course, I would like to go over a few factors that may have been why they got handled.
1.There is no 20 point shot.
As much as I would love for there to be a four point shot at halfcourt, the best way to at least give yourself a chance to come back would be to maybe thinking about playing some defense. I know from experience that shooting a desperate forced unbalanced shot may also be harder to make then a wide open post penetrated and kicked one. I remember playing against Mr. Morningstar when he was a wee little frosh at Free State. I knew he’d be good. He ran the break fairly well, and knocked down his share of open balanced threes. However KU and everyone knowing your name may just get to your head a bit. I know he just had one of his best games, but sometimes that can also be a curse. He needed to duplicate that kind of performance in his head and being down to David when you’re Goliath is the main reason the thought going through all the Jayhawks heads when they forced up most of those threes was “I need to make this shot.” It’s much harder to make it that way. The Rams thoughts were “I’m going to make this shot” and that equals %53, which is just ridiculous.
2. Now seems like a perfect time to shave points and all, but you were just supposed to cover the spread, don’t make it obvious.
Although Tyshawn Taylor did play the best out of all the guards, (which doesn’t say much) perhaps down 6 with a minute to go you might not want to slowly dribble the ball up court and carelessly attempt an underhanded shovel-pass to a teammate. Is Bill Self just to cool to show a sense of urgency, or too proud to press. Instead Shaka put the press on when he was up four and it completely rattled the comeback effort. The Reed throwaway under his own goal was the end. Not to throw all the blame on him. How about actually jumping and putting a hand up at a three pointer. They pretty much all deserve equal blame, with the exception of Thomas Robinson. When he wasn’t on the bench due to foul trouble the man played like a freaky beast and he is the only one I’m truly excited about when it comes to KU basketball’s future.
3.Do they shoot free throws in practice or are they too busy not guarding the three-point line?
As good of coach as he is, it is becoming a pretty common theme to choke on the underdogs. I know anybody can pretty much be a guard in the complex dribble weave offense, but I’m particularly not too crazy about basically the same players starting at the two and three spots in Reed and Morningstar. (not b/c they are white) They both don’t possess the power and quickness needed to drive and create, nor the defense that could make up for an off night shooting. But I suppose we KU fans won’t have to fret that anymore, all do respect, RIP bla bla etc.
4.The curse of too much Talent
It must be tough having that many good players and distributing minutes, I know, I’ve been on some pretty good teams and seen both sides of the starting lineup at different levels. But here’s a friendly suggestion from the fan perspective in me:
5: Robinson 4:Morris 3: Morris (either way) 2:Morningstar or Reed (One in the same) 1: Taylor, although I like Johnson’s potential better
The morris twins like to shoot threes and will have to play 3 if they want to make it in the nba anyway. Robinson needs to be on the floor period. Don’t overcomplicate the duties of the basic white shooting guards, they are what they are, although Morningstar is very athletic, still undersized and he forces a lot. (And yes I’m also white, so it’s not racist) I know I would be frightened in the opposing teams shoes, that’s how I know it would work, it’s all perspective.
So in conclusion, to all the true Jayhawkers out there that haven’t slit their wrists or hung themselves yet, the truth is that it will never be better than 2008 regardless of what happens. The only ever all one seed final four, the comeback, and the Chalmers’ miracle is just like after I banged my first and only ten: It doesn’t matter if either of us achieve glorious victory again. Although it would still feel very very nice (she was persian btw) it would fade in the shadows compared to the last time they played in San Antonio.