Loveable Losers: 2002-2003 Kansas Jayhawks

Basketball season has only been over for a couple of weeks, but for anyone who suffers from the “Jones” as badly as I do, there are remedies. I’ve been traveling a great deal for the past month, but anytime I hit a lull, I go to the NCAA Vault and pull up an old game–usually from the 2002-2003 era.

Why that time period? Well in my honest opinion, I think it was the golden age of Big 12 basketball. The Big 12 was littered with big name coaches. Kelvin Sampson was over at Oklahoma coaching Hollis Price and Quannis White.

Eddie Sutton had some great players at Oklahoma State in John Lucas III, Tony Allen, Ivan McFarlin, the Graham brothers, Desmond Mason  (a few years before), and Victor and Andre Williams.

Rick Barnes had some guy named T.J. Ford who is only the best point guard in UT history. Lastly, you have Roy Williams coaching at Kansas (they had some sweet uniforms those years).

It is no secret that the 2002-2003 team was one of my favorite college basketball teams of all time. Watching that squad get up and down the court was a thing of beauty with the backcourt of Aaron Miles and “Captain” Kirk Hinrich (Wichita States’s Ron Baker and Fred Van Fleet kinda low key remind me of them).

Keith Langford is one of my all time favorite wing players. He was dazzling and flashy, but he was also almost always in control. “K-freeze” just got buckets, and could finish once he got to the rim. Don’t let me get started on Nick Collison. We’ll get to him in a second.

For those of you tapping that vein, and in need of some good ass games to watch, I give you the best five Kansas Jayhawks games from 2002-2003. Honorable mention goes to this match from the 2001-2002 season affectionately know as the Juan Dixon game.

#5 Senior Night

Nick Collison and Kirk Hinrich go out in style vs. the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Definitely worth the stop in, even though the clip ends pre-maturely. You also get to see glimpses of Tony Allen’s world class NBA defense in this game and see why he has become such a good pro.

#4 The Nick Collison Game

This is one of the best, most intense regular season games you will ever watch. I remember it like it was yesterday. Texas and Kansas were in the top 5 that year; both having lost to Arizona (a team that everyone thought was going to win it all that year).

T.J. Ford puts on a clinic in this week, and almost willed UT to a Big Monday win in Allen Fieldhouse, but Nick Collison put up a nasty double-double; taking James Thomas to school, before fouling out after the game was already in hand. It is as beautiful now as it was to watch live.

#3 The Nick Collison Game part 2

With Duke’s weak ass front line that year, I knew the Jayhawks would do well in the paint, but how many people expected Collison to put up a 30-20 night? There were many reasons to hate Duke back then. Dahntay Jones (who I’m shocked to find had one of the highest scoring averages in that tournament–look it up if you don’t  believe me. It was something crazy like 24.6 pts) was a star on that team.

Sheldon Williams was a poor man’s Carlos Boozer (that isn’t meant to be as harsh as it sounds. Boozer was pretty nasty in college and was a big reason why they won it in 2001). J.J. Redick was always great until he got to the big stage and had to play against taller and faster players. Anyway, Collison carried them to victory that game, because Hinrich didn’t play all that well in that game.

#2 The Carmelo Anthony/ Gerry McNamera Show

Despite the outcome, this was a good ass game. Kansas had no business being as far behind as they were. I feel like Roy Williams got outcoached in this one. After Keith Langford picked up his second foul guarding Carmelo Anthony, I would have switched it up, gone zone or put Michael Lee on him.

Langford was too important for their offense going against Syracuse’s 2-3. He made it a lot easier for them to get buckets with his passing and penetration. Sure he picked up a phantom foul that disqualified him during “winning time”, but he shouldn’t have been put in that position to begin with.

The Jayhawks also shot less than 50 % on the free throw line. Everyone on Syracuse had big moments in the biggest game, while the moment seemed a bit too big for Kansas. Even though Syracuse was slightly deeper, I still to this day think that if the teams played a best of 7 series, then KU would have won 5 of those 7 games.

This is also why I cannot in good conscience put this as # 1. Its a shame that this was the last college game for Hinrich and Collison, because I’d have liked to have seen them go out winners. Even though Kansas lost the title game, they were anything but losers. They came out of arguably  the toughest conference that year, and the road they took just to get to the title game was extremely difficult.

Which brings us to #1 The Arizona Game

Arizona was the best team all year that season, and they were heavy favorites. They had beaten Texas and Kansas already that year and they were deep. Future NBA champions Andre Iguodala and Luke Walton were key cogs on that unit, along with Jason Gardner, Salim Stoudamire, and Rick Anderson. Plus, Lute Olson was doing some of his best coaching.

This was the game to be nervous about. Kansas played a great team game and pulled it out, but it was a nail biter. It was a good ass game (Just one of many good ass games that tournament). If I were to recommend any of these five, I’d say jump on this one first. But they all good ass games if you ask me. This was a special year, and you could look up at least 20 games from that year’s tournament and by halftime you’ll be saying, “Damn. This a GOOD ASS GAME.”

Peace.

BM

@clickpicka79

bobbymickey@gmail.com

Resting Up for the Playoffs

From now until the 18th of April, every game will be a “tap that vein” game. Most of the playoff berths have been set, and now we are just waiting on the seedings to play out. I will be taking a vacation from the blog until the playoff seedings are set, then we can break down which series will be worth tuning into.

Western Conference Standings as of 4/6/15
1. Warriors

2. Rockets

3. Grizzlies

4. Blazers

5. Clippers

6. Spurs

7. Mavericks

8. Thunder

On the bubble: Pelicans, and Suns. Pelicans are only .5 games back of the 8th spot, while the Suns are barely hovering at .500.

Easter Conference Standings as of 4/6/15

1. Hawks

2. Cavs

3. Bulls

4. Raptors

5. Bullets errr Wizards

6. Bucks

7. Nets

8. Celtics

On the bubble:
Pacers, Heat, Hornets

the 6, 7, 8, seeds are all under .500…

There are 7 games left in the year. For the Bucks, Nets, Celtics, Heat, Hornets,and Pacers, every game will be a playoff game. The same goes for the Thunder and Pelicans. You want that playoff intensity, then watch any of the aforementioned teams. But like I said before, is it worth not being able to cancel date night in April because you wanted to see if the Celtics were going to squeeze into the 8th seed?

Well maybe it will be.

Good Ass Games for the rest of the season:

Monday

Duke vs. Wisconsin….Calipari’s no coaching ass got exposed again……people should start looking at 2012 as the aberration and not the norm. How many NBA prospects has he pushed out, and how many chips does he have? Exactly. Tonight’s championship game may be the “Good Ass Game of the Week”.

Tuesday
Golden State vs. new Orleans
San Antonio vs. OkC

Wed
Houston-san Antonio

Thursday
Portland-Golden State

Friday
Golden State-San Antonio

Saturday
Clippers-Grizzlebees

Sunday

Pelicans-Rockets

Monday-13th

OKC-Blazers
Clippers-Suns

Tuesday
N/A

Wednesday 15th

New Orleans-Spurs

Just the Tip

Things are starting to get pretty interesting out on the roundball court. There were some good ass games this past week. The Cavaliers-Lakers game was weirdly entertaining. It felt like I was watching a really fun pickup game. Nothing was at stake, it was just a regular season team between two losing teams. It was cool just watching Kobe and Lebron interact throughout the affair–laughing and joking during timeouts and in less active transitional periods.

Clippers-Blazers won the “Good Ass Game of the Week” award by default, barely beating out Phoenix-Cleveland from Tuesday night’s slate of games.

I got a chance yesterday to watch some college hoops, and though Duke-Louisville let me down, I was certainly impressed with Jahlil Okafor’s game. He dominated the post in the second half of that game yesterday, with most of his scoring coming after the half. He has great footwork and soft hands. He is clearly the first pick in next year’s draft. I think Montrezl Harrell can carve himself a niche in the league too. Bro just looks built to ball.

Kansas-Iowa State was a great affair, and the cyclone fans were HYPE!!! during last night’s engagement. I enjoyed it thoroughly. It was about as loud and adverse and atmosphere that a team can go into. Kansas played sloppily and the Hoibergs made them pay with every mistake.

Their guard play was pretty phenomenal, Naz Long put up 20 points and had 5 boards. 6 Iowa State players hit double figures in scoring. Even after the Jayhawks scored, the Cyclones were already pushing the ball up the court with crisp outlet passes–rather than trying to dribble the length of the floor.

They are a good passing team, and should be respected. Fred Hoiberg is legit, and he’ll be bringing his boys to Lawrence the first week of February, in a can’t miss affair.

Good Ass Games of the Week:

Monday

What better way to celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther (the) King than by watching bruthas make millions of dollars for playing the most beautiful game ever created.

It would be dismissive of me not to include a couple of Eastern Conference teams on this slate, both Detroit and Atlanta have been playing great ball of late. Atlanta has won 12 straight and has a 10-3 record against the West this year. They are legit. I was one last year who was kind of skeptical of what “good” meant in the east, but the Hawks are the real deal.

Their games are fun to watch too. They pass the ball as well as the Spurs, Warriors, and Phoenix Suns. They have some ballers in Paul Milsap (who I thought the Thunder should have made a run at years ago), Al Horford, Kyle Korver (the 50-50-90 club????), and Jeff Teague have made it impossible for me to ignore their ballclub. ATLIENS, I stand corrected.

Denver-Golden State Speaking of balling, Golden State smacked Houston on the second end of back-to-back games. 131-106.

Dallas-Memphis If Mike Conley played in the Eastern Conference, he’d be a sure fire All-Star. Unfortunately the West is loaded right now. How do you sort that out? Kobe will probably get voted in since its his last productive year, which takes up another guard spot. We’ll see. The Grizzlies backcourt matches up well with the Mavericks’ Ellis and Rondo.

Sacramento-Portland will be highly competitive, and might be better than the Chicago-Cleveland game that night. Neither the Cavs or Bulls are playing all that well of late (the last 5-7 games).

Tuesday
Thunder-Heat Thing were turnt up in OKC on Friday. Durant shot 14-18 and scored 36. Westbrook had an insane stat line of 17 points, 17 assists , and 15 rebounds.

They are poised to make a run soon, and it looks like Dion Waiters may be a good fit after all. Word on the street is that “Perk” and Reggie Jackson will be the next pieces moved. Does this mean Brooklyn is willing to part with Brook Lopez for a big man, a draft pick and a little Reggie thrown in for good measure? Stay tuned.

Wednesday

Toronto-Memphis I’ve always wondered what a fight between a Grizzly Bear and a dinosaur would look like.

Houston-Golden State
Yes. Please.

Portland-Phoenix Oh so much good ass basketball this week.

Lakers-Pellies Only if you are desperate.

Oklahoma City-Washington
Worth checking out only because the game is in D.C.

KD goes HOME.

Thursday

Spurs-Bulls
There are going to be some sick dimes thrown in this game. If you like big men who know how to pass, don’t put an ad out on Craigslist, just tune in to this game. Trust me. I was a doctor for Halloween once.

Friday

Happy Hour can’t get here soon enough with this Oklahoma City-Atlanta game to kick off the weekend.

Houston-Phoenix will be a game that gets into high 100’s for both teams. Sacramento will get slapped by Golden State. In case you forgot about this game

‘Nuff Said.

Saturday

Wizards-Blazers. The best matchup of backcourts you will see that night.

Sunday
HEY! DO I HAVE THE HANGOVER CURE FOR YOU!!!!!!!

Oklahoma City-Cleveland
Clippers-Suns

What else you gonna do, watch the NFL PRO BOWL?

BUSTER OF THE WEEK AWARD:

Oh it pains me so much to do this. This is a man’s whose career I have followed since he was running the show in Las Vegas. I watched him with the Knicks and Blazers, and enjoyed his voice as a basketball analyst for CBS and TNT.

My man Greg Anthony got busted Friday night on charges of soliciting a prostitute when he was in D.C. He was supposed to call the Maryland-Michigan State game and decided to see more than the usual tourist sights. CBS has suspended him for the rest of the year, and so has Turner Broadcasting. The only way this story can get worse is if Marion Barry and Rob Ford were hiding in his bedroom with cocaine and a videotape.

Now I don’t know what happened. Apparently he just picked the wrong day to get a pro.There was a sting operation by the police. We still don’t know if she was a streetwalker or an escort, but I figured my man had more game than that. I’m not one to judge.

Things happen, and I’ve been to Amsterdam so you can probably guess what my opinion is on prostitution. I guess the law is the law. It’s terrible news though, this man’s career is in jeopardy because he is accused of trying to purchase sex. Maybe my sympathies are in the wrong place, but I feel for him. It can all be taken away so easily.

Enjoy this week’s slate of games, and remember to make good choices. As these NFL Playoffs have shown, there is a very thin margin of error that separates the winning and losing locker rooms.

PEACE.
BM

#THISAGOODASSGAME
@clickpicka79
bobbymickey@gmail.com

It’s Kentucky’s World (and everyone else is just in it)

Are you ready to read the fastest college basketball preview ever?
This year’s title is Kentucky’s to lose. Why do I say that?

Let’s start with the number 9.

That is how many McDonald’s All Americans John Calipari has playing for his team this year.
You know how many NBA teams have nine McDonald’s All Americans playing for them?
One–the Charlotte Hornets.

With a front-line of (Olathe’s own) Willie Cauley-Stein, Dakari Johnson, Trey Lyles, Marcus Lee, and a backcourt of the Harrison twins (who led the team to Final Four during their freshman year–think about THAT), Kentucky is the hands down favorite to take the championship this year. People from Syracuse, Durham, Chapel Hill, and Lawrence ain’t gonna wanna hear that but it’s the truth.

If you are a hoops fan, this is the year to just watch for the players (There won’t be much drama–hate to say it). This draft could be just as deep as last year’s–if not deeper. The majority of those lottery picks will be coming from two programs, Duke, and Kentucky.

Kansas will be good of course, they reloaded after losing Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins. Cliff Alexander stands to become the next Thomas Robinson, and Kelly Oubre is a great replacement at the wing. Wayne Selden will be returning to have an even bigger impact as the leader of that team. Perry Ellis will continue to quietly put up his double-doubles.

The biggest question (again) will be at point guard. Conner Frankamp, Frank Mason, and newcomer Devonte Graham will all get chances to handle the rock. I’m curious how much improvement we will see from Frankamp, Mason and former “Mr. Georgia Basketball” Brannen Greene. There is also some hype surrounding this new kid from the Ukraine, Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (though I do wonder how an 16 year old from a war torn country will handle being away from his family). I’ve seen his highlights and I like what I saw from him (I was really impressed when I played with him on NCAA basketball on X-box–he was the only one who could consistently hit 3’s).

If you look at the Jayhawks roster, you’ll see that they are still pretty young, with only one senior on the team–benchwarmer Christian Garrett. If anyone other than Rick Barnes coached the University of Texas basketball team, I’d say the Horns were ripe to pluck the Big-12 title away from Bill Self. Texas will be entertaining to watch though, with Cameron Ridley, Isiah Taylor and newcomer Myles Turner as the top stars. Barnes will figure out a way to lose at least 3 games they should win this season.

If anyone is close enough to snatch that streak from KU, it is Fred Hoiberg and Iowa State. The “Mayor” always seems to get the best out of his players, and not in a Tom Izzo “scream at the players until he’s hoarse” kind of way. Iowa State will miss DeAndre Kane and Melvin Ejim, but don’t sleep on the Cyclones. They could easily grab second place in the Big 12 standings.

I just looked at Duke’s stacked roster for the year and was tempted to write up a quick blurb about them, but then again what is there to say? They’ll blow through the ACC with that loaded roster and put up points against every team they face. They’ll win 20 plus games and lose maybe 5 (one of them to Carolina of course), and then they’ll get knocked out in the Elite Eight (yawn). Wake me up for the next lacrosse court case, otherwise I don’t wanna hear shit about Duke University.

Don’t sleep on the boys out of the Missouri Valley Conference–Wichita State. Sure they lost CleAnthony Early, but they return Tekele Cotton, Ron Baker, and Fred Van Fleet, along with coach Gregg Marshall. they won’t go undefeated this year, but they will still “play angry” and win their conference (and could go deep into the tournament depending on who they draw).

Living back on Tulsa time, I am right in the middle of things. I can catch a few Jayhawks’ games up in Allen Fieldhouse, down in Texas, or right here in Oklahoma. I’m honestly more excited about the NBA this year (again), but I have a couple of games circled this year. I want to be there in person for the KU-ISU game in Lawrence, KU-Texas is worth a drive up as well, and on December 5th, Florida visits Kansas for what should be a pretty hype affair.

Depending on what you are looking for, it will be a pretty entertaining year. There will be tons of draft hype, and there will be some good games for sure. If you are hoping for somebody other than Kentucky to win this year, you’ll more than likely be disappointed. Otherwise just enjoy it for what it is. If you saw how close Kentucky came last year to winning it all, then it won’t surprise you to see the Harrison boys and Alex Poythress cutting down the nets in April.

Next post: NBA Preview Click-Picka style!

All I needed to see [Originally posted on sportsblog.com 11/13/13

Last night was a nice glimpse into what is going to be a fantastic basketball season. I haven’t been this excited about college hoops since Kevin Durant was a one and done for University of Texas.
The hype dissipated and the truth unveiled itself. Here is what I took away from last night’s Champions Classic:

Julius Randle is the real deal. Bro put up 27-13 and could have had more had Kentucky been able to pass the ball effectively. His footwork is absurdly good for a freshman and he will undoubtedly dominate the paint for the rest of the year.

Unfortunately he doesn’t have much help. I’m sure Andrew Harrison will be fine come post-season time, his brother Aaron on the other hand, I’m not exactly sold on (1-7 shooting, 0-5 from 3 and 2 TO’s). This squad reminds me of some of Calipari’s Memphis teams where they were heavy on length and bigs but short on outside shooting. With no shooters to spread out the floor, teams are just going to collapse on Randle and dare the rest of the team to shoot it.

That being said, I feel like that Michigan State win was an aberration. They are good. They probably should win the Big Ten (I haven’t seen what Indiana or Michigan will trot out this year). I’m not sure that if they played a best of 7 that kentucky wouldn’t win 4-1. The Spartans looked good. I like Keith Appling’s game and Gary Harris and Adrian Payne had great games as well. I just don’t think that kind of game can be replicated. Kentucky looked very lost at times last night and Michigan State had a lot of easy looks, but also took a lot of bad shots that happened to go in the hoop. Of course, like most Tom Izzo squads, they played excellent defense. This alone will keep them in any game against any team.

Andrew Wiggins had a very quiet night at 22 points. I had predicted to some friends that his new haircut meant he was all business. I figured if the beast were going to be released it would be tonight on the big stage. Early foul trouble never let him get into a rhythm and it took a 16 point surge in the 2nd half to get it to 22. This should scare most teams because he hasn’t even gotten loose yet. It’s coming. Just you wait.

One of the reasons Wiggins didn’t have to put the team on his back the whole game was because Perry Ellis has broad shoulders himself. 24 points on 9-13 shooting, 3 steals, 9 boards, and a couple of really awesome hustle plays where he went to the floor for loose balls. In the words of Stephen A. Smith, Ellis “flat out balled.” If Ellis keeps this kind of production up, you can pretty much kiss him goodbye (especially if this year ends with a National Championship).

This may have been mentioned before, but KU is deep. Wayne Selden stepped up and made big plays on both ends of the court. Frank Mason showed no fear whatsoever. If for some reason Tharpe gets hurt or messes up somehow off the court, Mason could end up stealing his job. Mason is super fast and was not afraid to push the tempo. There were times he beat defenders down the court when it seemed impossible to get a transition bucket. He either got to the cup, or got fouled. I was really impressed with how well he played.

Duke is a pretty good team. Rodney Hood showed me something last night and 3 other players got double figures in scoring (Amile Jefferson, Quinn Cook, and Rasheed Sulaimon). They only had 10 collective turnovers (KU only had 10 themselves) and they played really well. KU just imposed their will near the end. With all the bodies Bill Self could just throw out there, it seemed like they just wore the Blue Devils down (foul trouble played a small part in that as well–who wants to pay good money to see Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins ride the pine?).

Jabari Parker may have vaulted himself into the number 1 draft pick with his performance last night. Dude’s game is so ill. There were a couple of shots he made last night that made me make faces only reserved for “his airness” Michael Jordan and the second greatest shooting guard to ever play, Kobe Bryant. Jabari is legit. I’m not crazy about making comparisons, but if there were a player in the draft whose games is anything like Kevin Durant, it might be Parker. He can sky, he can shoot, and he can penetrate.

I was so juiced after last night that it took me at least an hour and half to calm down enough to fall asleep. I was excited about the season before I saw Kentucky and Duke play last night. Now I’m just plain hype. Not only will I watch every single minute of KU basketball this year, but I won’t miss too many televised events that involve Jabari Parker or Julius Randle.

Last night felt very close to Final Four Semi-finals match-ups (I know Louisville is ranked #3 but I still feel like it was a very fluky win. Louisville had a lot of help from the officials in both games. Until they beat someone they gets no respect from me). In no way is it clear just how good these teams are or will be come post-season, however; I’m extremely impressed with this Kansas squad.

Kentucky has Randle. Duke has Parker. But Kansas to me has the best team of all the squads that played last night. Duke played about as good of a game as they could have and KU played no where near as good of a game as they are capable of. I think injuries aside, this Kansas team can beat anybody out there. I will not be surprised one bit to see Perry Ellis, Andrew Wiggins, and company, cutting down the nets in April. The beauty of the Men’s game of course is that it will be decided on the court and not in the polls.

Bowled over in Boulder and Other Icy Receptions [originally posted 12/9/13 on sportsblog.com]

Much like most of the people in this region who are experiencing an early visit from the winter, I spent the majority of my weekend indoors. The football games, with the added elements were entertaining to watch, but I wouldn’t trade places with not a player nor fan this weekend. I felt rather lucky to be comfortably lying on the couch, vegging out on what turned out to be a spectacular sports Saturday.

Friday night found me at a buddy’s apartment, sitting in front of his television, praying that the Baylor-Kentucky women’s game did not go into a 5th overtime. Luckily I had taken a nap after work, and hadn’t lost all my juju, but I was worried that the delay would affect the quality of play with the Men’s game–played in a fairly empty JerryWorld.

I was happy to be proven wrong. Not long after tip off, both teams had traded dunks within the first five possessions. It ended up being a really entertaining matchup with Baylor’s front court length being too much for Kentucky.

Julius Randle still put up 16 and 8 but was not able to dominate the game like he had been for the past 2 weeks. Aaron Harrison “the knucklehead twin” had a decent game with 15 points and 6 assists. James Young continued his consistent efficiency with 14 points on 5 of 11 shooting (4-7 from 3 point land).

Kentucky only had 2 points from their bench. That will not cut it against a ranked team like Baylor. All that being said, Kentucky looks like they could be really good come March. This team reminds me of the ’08 Memphis squad that Calipari took to the Championship against the Jayhawks.

They have lots of length (I’m really feeling Willie Cauley-Stein’s game), inconsistent outside shooting, and their free throw shooting is pretty poor. A team can get pretty far with a makeup like this if they are blowing teams out, but the margin is much smaller in tightly contested games against good opponents.

John Calipari is a great recruiter but as X’s and O’s go, he’s been known to get out coached when the talent gap has been even between teams. I keep joking to my buddy, a lifetime Wildcat fan, that as soon as Calipari leaves (because of the inevitable sanctions that will creep up), Travis Ford will be his replacement.

Baylor looked really good. Their front court really impressed me. Isiah Austin and Corey Jefferson really brought it. The point guard Kenny Cherry had a great game as well, pouring in 18 points. I could see Baylor winning a couple of home games against Oklahoma State and Kansas on the right night. Their Achilles heel will be at the guard positions.

Cherry is decent but it took him 15 shots to get 18 points, and they had trouble getting the ball up the court without turning it over. They didn’t get very much production from Brady Heslip, Ish Wainwright, and Gary Franklin (5 pts combined from the 3). They messed up five consecutive pick n rolls during one particular stretch; either not seeing the open big man or messing the pass up altogether.

They’ll make the tourney but will get knocked out by a team with good back court and good head coach with a good zone defensive scheme (Syracuse maybe?). They shoot too many jump shots to be taken seriously as a contender.

*** I got to watch the Duke vs. Michigan game last Tuesday night. What a waste of time that was. If you want to know how Mitch McGary will look in the NBA, just watch the tape of this game. I’m not sure why everyone is so high on him. At best he reminds me of a poor man’s David Lee. McGary looked too slow for Duke’s pressure D and they took advantage of him and the Wolverines’ lack of an elite point guard.That being said he still managed to put up 15 and 14. If he learns how to play D at the NBA level and rebound he can be as good as Nick Collison, an energy and rebounds guy. Maybe I’m wrong, who knows.

Michigan looked horrible. The only one who showed up to play was that Levert’s nephew Caris.Quinn Cook and Rodney Hood got to the rack whenever they wanted to and Michgan couldn’t rotate fast enough to get out on the shooters. Duke made 8 – pointers but chucked up 23 attempts (many of them wide open it seemed). Had Jabari Parker shot been falling the game would have been a blowout. Let me tell you that the game never seemed as close as a ten point deficit. Duke was in control the whole time.

**** Saturday was a highly anticipated day around here. The KC Sporting were in the MLS cup championship and for the first time since I have been here, I was in a bar where the Jayhawks were second fiddle. Sporting fans would be rewarded for their diligence, with an epic win in overtime on penalty kicks.

KU fans were treated to a really exciting, but revealing loss to the Colorado Buffaloes. I liked how krunk the fans were in that building. I have been told that historically, their venue would joking be referred to as “Allen Fieldhouse West” The CU fans represented though. The ball players fed off it and it was definitely a tough environment.

I liked how the Jayhawks handled themselves. They didn’t fold up, they fought back to tie it, and almost came back and won a game they didn’t deserve to win. Wiggins came on in the 2nd half after playing sparingly the first half (picked up a careless reaching foul that put him on the bench very early). He had 16 second half points down the stretch (22 points on 7-11 shooting).

They needed his production too. No one else got close to scoring 20 points. Joel Embiid had only ten points as he struggled with foul trouble. Perry Ellis only had 10 points. Ellis only shot the ball 6 times .The team as a whole shot attempted 20 3 pointers and only made 5 of them. The team also only had 11 assists and were only got 8 offensive rebounds to the Buffaloes 15. These stats will tell you all you need to know about the game and why the Jayhawks were lucky to only lose by 3 points.

They made the Buffs look like a team better than what their ranking (currently unranked) suggested. Guard Jaron Hopkins was the only starter to not hit double digits in scoring. The Buffs found way to find the hole in the zone on almost every possession and seemed to hit every open jumper that was available. They looked in sync down the stretch, making the correct passes and getting the ball to the open perimeter player.

Spencer Dinwiddie (whose mustache and name suggest a future as a high school principal somewhere in the Denver area) played a great game. He had 15 points and 7 assists (3-8 shooting) and seemed to be in on every critical play (save the quarter court heave at the end by Askia Booker).

So bad officiating, foul trouble, and a little bit of luck and heroics conspired to hand the Jayhawks their second loss of the season to an inferior opponent. One could argue that this was the story line to the first loss out in the Bahamas (if you take away the distractions of alcohol, the holidays, the stomach flu, and the Bahamas).

There is no reason for Jayhawks fans to panic. The Buffaloes played out of their minds, good for them. We’ll see how good they are in March. I think this game on Tuesday will be a great revelation of what adjustments the team needs to make. Perhaps that means starting Embiid and Mason and going with a near all Freshman lineup. I’m excited to see how they do in Gainesville.

***** A quick nod to the NBA ballers who went HAM this past week. We’ll call it THACLICKPICKA’s ALL KOSHER ALL STARS for dudes who go ham throughout the week.

PG STEPH CURRY- BALLING!!!!

PG DAMIEN LILLARD- BALLING!!

SF PAUL GEORGE– Did you see his game against the Trailblazers last week? Bro went HAM!

PF KEVIN DURANT– dude was straight balling against Indy last night. FILTHY!!!

and lastly at

Center from Seagoville, Texas:

LAMARCUS!!!!!!!!