Friday, December 02, 2005


Friday's Follies.......

With an interesting week of hoops behind us, and a big weekend of hoops ahead of us, I give you Friday's Follies.......

1) I was tempted to start with Thursday night's game in Lawrence.....but decided that I should talk about somebody much more important to the Illini faithful...and that was the performance of Deron Williams last night against the about 20 pts., 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals in 37 minutes. I have now seen 3-4 games of his this year.....there is no doubt...kid has a chance to be a star. Best player on the Jazz right now....18 games into his rookie year. Did everything he needed to do last night to get the win...big play after big play down the stretch....only to have a horrible call allow the Lakers to keep playing. No matter to me....Deron Williams was the player of the game.

2) Normally, I would be concerned about the Xavier game...coming off of big game against UNC on the road. I just think playing in the UC will have the kids letdown tomorrow. I expect a solid win against a pretty good Xavier team that will be sky high for the game. Bruce...Jamar needs more minutes.

3) How good was the win on tuesday night??? It will look much better after UNC goes into Lexington tomorrow and beats Kentucky on their home court. If UNC's guards can handle Rondo's pressure, their bigs will get them the win. Kentucky very weak down low.

4) The pressure is getting to Bill Self.....I think hair is falling out of his toup and he has a constant pained expression on his face...I thought he cut the jerky out of his diet? Maybe not. He let one player beat him last night.....a player that Augie treated like a stepchild 7-8 months ago. Just take away one player....heck, just limit him to 25 pts and you win going away. Oh well...he is still a great recruiter.

5) Just wondering.....when did Arkansas and Nevada become big time?? Times have changed in Lawrence when their fans are justifying losses to these programs......Nevada on their home court....interesting. I'm pretty sure when we played these teams over the last couple of seasons....that kind of talk wasn't coming from Lawrence. I wonder how that Arkansas loss will look if Quinny beats them tonight?

6) Kaun and Rush look good for Kansas.....we go to the Final 4 with Rush. How can you not play Downs more minutes when he is one of the only guys on the team can score? And, more strangely, how can you take him out with 6 seconds left when you need a basket? I actually feel bad for Julian Wright.....3 minutes. Kid picked the wrong school....and, more importantly, the wrong coach to develop him.

7) Looking for some entertainment late Saturday afternoon....tune into Oklahoma and Villanova....should be a fun game to watch.

8) Arkansas Little Rock plays Michigan St. tomorrow.....and then gets us on Monday. That should be a good game to get some guys some minutes.

9) Eric Gordon chose us over Duke this week....just in case any of you forgot!

10) Have a nice weekend!

Bucknell plays @DePaul tomorrow.

Kelvin "Integrity" Sampson vs. Jay "Fancy Suits" Wright. Two overrated coaches.
It should get even more fun if KU loses a few more games and Rush decides the rest of the season is his audition for the league.

I don't feel bad for Wright at all. He was dumb enough to fall for Self's lies so it's on him. Someone should ask him if how the hamburger tastes now.
Wright was picked Big 12 freshman of the year by the media wasn't he? I don't think any of them had ever seen him play.

Also, while I think Brandon Rush is auditioning for a spot in the draft, he is going about it in an unselfish manner. He passed up an oppurtunity late in the game to take a shot, and passed to a wide open teammate (Kaun I think) at the top of the key.
Butts - I agree with most of what you said. But are any of you really that surprised that KU is 2 - 3 so far?

They're a team of freshmen, sophomores who barely played last year and a couple walkons. Honestly I am not surprised they lost to #8 AZ, an underated Arkansas team and an experienced Nevada team.

I'm not justifying it, just saying I'm really not surprised.
Honestly....yes I'm surprised. There is alot of talent on that team...but not well coached. Carolina is playing a bunch of freshmen....but they seemed much more ready to play. Arkansas is an average team...and will proven to be so over the length of the season. And, absolutely no way they should ever lose to Nevada on their home court. Not one kid on their team other than Fazekas can shoot the ball....and you let that 1 kid beat you by himself....poor coaching.

I didn't expect them to be great this year....but I expected 4 McDonald's All-Americans to be better than they have shown. Maybe overrated? Or poorly coached? Chalmers isn't a PG. Self won't play Downs even though he is their 2nd best offensive player. Anyway, jmo.

If I'm a KU fan the most troubling thing is Robinson and Giles look just as bad now as they did last year.
Butts -

Wow - you expected way more of them then I did. Six of their top 7 guys basically haven't played much college ball or none at all.

I looked at that, their schedule, and factored in their coaching and 2 - 3 does not surprise me at all.

For Nevada - maybe Fazekas is their only big time scorer - but the other kids on that team are experienced and they've played together a lot. That can totally outweigh talent when the talented kids are young, inexperienced and not well coached.

I also wasn't surprised they lost to an Arkansas team that gave us quite a game last year when we were loaded.

Like I said - I'm not making excuses for KU - I'm just not at all surprised.
Arkansas struggled with Missouri on their home court...losing late in 2nd half. Pulled out a 3pt win....not too impressive.

Hey, but you know I'm going to pick on Kansas if given the chance.

It's obvious to me that Julian doesn't fit that structured spot to spot type system. I don't think his stay in Lawrence will be too long and that doesn't mean he will be leaving for the NBA.
"I don't think his stay in Lawrence will be too long and that doesn't mean he will be leaving for the NBA."

I second that motion. The question is, Self seems to be good at talking kids into coming. Is he also good at talking kids into staying?
I still say smart money is on Micah Downs in the "who will be the first Kansas freshman to transfer?" contest.
You left out one important stat from Deron Williams' excellent performance against the (cheating) Lakers: 0 turnovers in 37 minutes at the point. That's impressive.
Micah Downs will not be the one that leaves KU. He's one of the few guys they have that can shoot.
Downs played 27 minutes against Western Illinois, so it looks like Self is figuring out that he needs to be on the floor more.

KU will beat St. Joe's this week on national TV and has a tough game against Cal on Saturday, but will play it in Kansas City. Win both of those, and they're 5-3 with a couple pretty good wins.

Then they have 4 relatively easy games before playing a Kentucky team (in Lawrence) that doesn't look that great without Randolph Morris.

I can see KU ending up with a regular season record of 20-9, 19-10 or 18-11 based on the remaining schedule. Any of those records would get KU into the NCAA Tournament. They'll win another game in the Big XII tournament most likely. I'll bet whoever wants to that KU will be an NCAA Tournament team this year.
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