BOTTOM LINE: In most years, a road game at Texas would be cause for concern. This year, in a new-look Big 12, the Longhorns appear destined for the bottom half of the league. The Jayhawks can’t afford to look ahead to K-State, but if they defend with purpose, Texas will be lucky to score 60.
UT has averaged 10,128 fans in eight games in 16,540-seat Erwin Center. As of Friday, today’s game was not a sellout.
“I don’t think players should allow the atmosphere to dictate how they are going to play. We would love to have great crowds, and we have fans at Texas that are never going to give up on these guys, but the fact is, regardless of the situation, you have to play,” Barnes said Friday. “That would be on my list of excuses column. We all like having a great crowd. We won’t deny that.”
Barnes believes the fans will see an elite team in KU.
“I think that any time of the year, when you are not playing the way you want to, you want to play against the best teams. We look at it is as an opportunity to get better. Kansas is an outstanding team. You look at the older guys on their team, and they have been through it all,” Barnes said.
Of KU’s building a strong roster, Barnes said: “I don’t know what the players’ plans were coming in to Kansas, but the fact is, they stayed there and they have gotten better. When you have older guys (four senior starters), and you can keep a consistency where the older guys set the tone, they show the younger players what it is all about.”
Even after making just three of 18 shots in his last four games, Ellis says he’s found something close to a comfort zone. And it all came together in a six-point, seven-rebound performance against Baylor on Monday.
“I would say the last four games is when I really started to notice I’ve been more aggressive,” Ellis said, “and good things are coming out of it. It’s just a process.”
Kansas coach Bill Self sees Ellis’ slow start as less of a national crisis and more of a statement on the natural order of things in college hoops. Sometimes it takes freshmen time. And Self has plenty of anecdotes to feed the theory. He talks about Sherron Collins looking lost before Christmas of his freshmen year (“I didn’t know if he was coming back,” Self said), Mario Chalmers being a turnover machine, and Cole Aldrich spending most of his freshman season on the bench.
“If I’m not mistaken,” Self said, “we’ve had some really good players come through here that were freshman that didn’t start, or it took awhile to get adjusted and that kind of stuff.”
“We’ve taken a chapter out of a mid-major book,” Self told reporters. “You look at some of the losses we’ve had. We’ve gone against mid-major teams with third- and fourth-year guys when our guys were one- and two-year guys.
“To me, the perfect team is have the foundation be older guys and the most-talented players be your younger guys. The older guys will get it and teach the younger guys.”
The Longhorns (8-8, 0-3) do not have that luxury. Barnes is playing six freshmen and four sophomores.
Instead of having wise veterans to usher young teammates toward maturity, Barnes uses a well-worn tactic like allowing his leading scorer, sophomore Sheldon McClellan, to play just one minute at Iowa State last week. Barnes cited McClellan on Friday for questionable shot selection and a lack of rebounding.
Asked if he chooses to teach lessons at the possible cost of losing games, Barnes said, “If they are not doing what we ask them to do, we’re not gonna win. It’s not like we’ve got a big margin of error.”
The simple explanation for Texas’ troubles is that the Longhorns are playing without point guard Myck Kabongo, suspended 23 games by the NCAA for accepting airfare and personal training instruction and providing misleading information to university officials.
Kabongo isn’t eligible to return until Feb. 13, three days before the Longhorns visit Allen Fieldhouse for a primetime game on ESPN.
“Any time you lose a quality player like Kabongo it would hurt any team, no question, but his replacement has had a pretty good year,” Self said.
Kabongo’s replacement, Javan Felix, is averaging 14.3 points in league play and leads all freshmen with 6.3 assists per game. He is one of nine underlcassmen who have started for the Longhorns this season, which points to another reason for UT’s struggles: The Longhorns have lost six players to the NBA draft in the past two years, leaving them bereft of experience.
With just one starter standing taller than 6 feet, the Texas Tech women’s basketball team often employs a small lineup and tries to attack its opponents by spreading the floor and using quickness and mismatches on the perimeter.
That figures to be a challenge for the post-oriented Kansas University women’s basketball team at 7 tonight in Lubbock, Texas, where the 23rd-ranked Jayhawks (11-4 overall, 2-2 Big 12) will take on the Red Raiders (13-4, 3-2) in Kansas’ third road contest in the past four games.
VOTE for Ben
VOTE FOR COACH SELF (West Region, Sean Miller currently leading)
VOTE for KU Student Section
VOTE for Kansas players, team, and moment in NCAA 75th Anniversary of March Madness (Vote for Wilt, Clyde, Danny, 51-52 Kansas, Mario's Miracle)
Kansas 2012-13 MBB Schedule
Kansas 2012-13 WBB Schedule
Big 12/College News
SI Luke Winn: Contenders, Pretenders
The current suspension of Syracuse University basketball player James Southerland is the result of an NCAA investigation into the SU basketball program’s academic records, according to three sources with knowledge of the situation.
Big 12 Composite Schedule & Results
RPI and SOS Team Comparison Calculator
On a breakaway layup in the 2nd quarter, Scott City player, Austin Habier failed to slow his momentum at the last moment during Frankamp's jump, slightly clipping him mid-air. Frankamp then fell face first off the court, suffering a cut to his left temple that drew an ample amount of blood.
The game was delayed for about 10 minutes as an athletic trainer tried to stop the bleeding from a cut on his left temple. Frankamp was wheeled off the court in an office chair and didn’t return, missing the final 18 minutes, 21 seconds of North’s 67-63 overtime win.
After the game, Frankamp went to Western Plains Medical Center to get stitches. He was diagnosed with a concussion and will not play in Saturday’s title game against Shawnee Mission South.
“I thought he was going to get right up,” said his dad, Marty Frankamp, also a North assistant. “Then he realized he was bleeding pretty good. He was just really scared. He was a little bit dizzy.”
Scott City coach Glenn O’Neil said Frankamp stepped on Habiger’s foot, noting a tear on the top of Habiger’s shoe.
“It’s terribly unfortunate,” O’Neil said. “We came down here to play against him, not to see an injury. … For a great player, you never want to see that happen.”
Hoophall Classic (W. Selden's team vs Vermont T Sunday 10 am. B. Greene's team vs St Anthony's Monday 10 am)
It remains to be seen where Julius Randle will someday fit on the totem pole of former T of C players who moved on to more success on bigger basketball stages.
For now, though, Randle is patiently waiting to heal, as a broken foot suffered two days after Thanksgiving has him watching from the bench.
The blue-chipper said he’s enjoyed his time in the Ozarks, however.
“It’s been great, they have a lot of great fans here, and there’s a lot of tradition,” Randle said. “Even though I’m not playing, I still feel it. It’s just nice to get the experience of being here.”
He has not enjoyed the results, though, as defending Texas Class 5A champion Prestonwood lost its first two games by a combined 48 points. The Lions (7-14) will play Little Rock (Ark.) Hall in today’s 3:30 p.m. seventh-place game.
In addition to working himself back to the court, Randle also has a big decision upcoming, as programs across the country await the college choice of the 6-foot-9, five-star forward, rated by Rivals.com as the No. 2 national senior prospect.
…Randle is going to start going through light workouts next week and hopes to return soon, but the T of C will be a memory by then.
“That’s probably the biggest thing about the injury, is I’ve felt bad for people that they haven’t been able to see how much better even he is from even last year when I thought he was one of the best players in the country,” Mayberry said. “He’s a guy that impacts the game at every level.”
COOPER 87, FRIDLEY 64: Junior guard Rashad Vaughn lived up to his billing as one of ESPN's top-10 juniors in the nation, scoring 27 points -- including three three-pointers during a second-half run as the Hawks broke open a close game with the Tigers on Friday night. Vaughn also had nine rebounds, six assists, six blocks and three assists for Cooper.
• APPLE VALLEY 68, BLOOMINGTON JEFFERSON 55: Tyus Jones had 15 points as the Eagles beat the Jaguars Friday night. Joining Jones in double figures were four teammates.
Minn Star Tribune
My 2012 KU Alumni games, 2011-12 Border War, Legends of the Phog, KC Prep Invitational, & Jayhawk Invitational Videos, Late Night in the Phog, and more now on YouTube