1. Washington outplays the Jayhawks in Kansas’ first loss of the season
KU was man-handled down the stretch of last week’s game against Washington. They seemed to lose all interest in playing defense, and the offense was sluggish at best. Kansas couldn’t rebound when they needed to and the ball felt like it stuck much to often. The only KU player that got much going was Lagerald Vick. He scored 28 points, had seven assists, and five rebounds. Vick went 12-23 from the field and 0-2 from three. Some people say he was the only bright spot, some say he was a liability because he was “too unselfish.” Honestly, he was both. Udoka Azubuike finshed with 10 points and nine rebounds. He was the only other Jayhawk to have anything resembling a good game. Here are some players that had bad games: Malik Newman, who can’t score, Svi Mykhailiuk who can’t make threes anymore, and Devonte Graham who can’t drive. Devonte Graham had three points in this game. He deferred far too often, and barely tried to drive. KU never found their rhythm on offense and their defense was a disaster. The Jayhawks went 5-20 from three as well. That’s how you lose a basketball game folks.
2. Kansas drops a high scoring affair to Arizona State
KU opened the game on a 15-2 run. They couldn’t miss. All was well. Then the defense gave up, and the offense went cold. The final score was 95-85 in favor of the Sun Devils. So much for that undefeated start. Everything was mostly terrible for Kansas. Lagerald Vick was a bright spot, scoring 25 points and grabbing seven rebounds. He’ll be in the NBA next season. Devonte Graham had a much better game, than against Washington, going 5-11 from behind the arc, with 19 points, and eight assists. He was good, but he once again, barely tried to score inside. Last year, Frank Mason and Josh Jackson could just decide they wanted to score and get to the bucket. KU doesn’t have that player this year. Svi Mykhailiuk had one of the worst first halves I’ve witnessed a Jayhawk have. He was utterly atrocious. He had a much better second half however, hitting three threes. Svi finished the game with 14 points. What a streaky player he is. Malik Newman had an ok game, going for 13 points. He was mostly a shrug. Udoka Azubuike scored 13 points as well, and added nine rebounds. I’ve got to give a shoutout to Arizona State guards Tra Holder (29 points, seven assists), Shannon Evens (22 points, 5-9 from three), and Remy Martin (21 points, 2-2 from three). They absolutely balled out and killed Kansas in transition. KU has no defense, a streaky offense, the don’t box out when trying to rebound, they rely on the three ball TOO much, and they have no depth. Kansas needs Sam Cunliffe (who will play on Saturday against Nebraska), Silvio de Sousa, and Billy Preston to get on the court and make a difference. These last two games have been ugly.
3. Fans need to stay calm, OK
Chill out everyone. KU is going to be fine. The defense is kind of terrible right now, and the offense is streaky, but the Jayhawks will be fine. Depth is also a legitimate issue. For the most part Kansas only plays seven players. That’s a problem but it’s not something that will matter much come March. Speaking of March, some of you out there think KU won’t be able to come away with another Big 12 title. Two things: 1) People should strive to be as objective as they possibly can be concerning sports. Thus please don’t jump to conclusions based on two losses. 2) Show me a team that you believe can knock KU off in Allen Fieldhouse. Also: Don’t call for Bill Self’s head…again. Every year (every one!), fans say Self has lost it and he’s as cooked as his favorite burrito at Salty Iguana. Well those of you who say that are wrong. Bill Self is the second best coach in the history of Kansas basketball. You can’t fire an all-time great coach. There are people on twitter saying that this team is just the leftovers from last year’s team. You have a point, I guess, but these players are still as good as anyone in the country. The Miami Heat took about half an NBA season (41 games) to figure out their chemistry. That team had Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Shane Battier, good Mario Chalmers, Udonis Haslem, and others. So don’t jump down Malik Newman’s throat for playing a little out of sync at times. If it took LeBron James 41 games, give Malik Newman (and the rest of the team for that matter) at least 15. Deal?
4. STAR WARS IN THREE DAYS!!!
Just about the only thing that can get me as excited as sports is Star Wars. I love everything about it. The story, the characters, the emotion behind every lightsaber duel, I don’t even hate the prequels (ask your nerd friends why that’s a big deal). I own every movie, and have seen all of them at least four times. AND THE NEW MOVIE IS COMING OUT THIS WEEKEND! You’re probably rolling your eyes at me for putting this in a sports article, but you know what? You can’t stop me! Haha! Who are Rey’s parents? Who is Snoke? Are Kylo Ren and Rey related? What else does Rey sense other than the light and dark side in that commercial? AND WHAT THE HECK IS SHE DOING WITH KYLO REN’S LIGHTSABER IN THAT OTHER COMMERCIAL???? Ok, I’m done nerding out. Oh, KU plays Nebraska on Saturday. KU’s going to win.
Landen Fields is a contributor for Rock Chalk Blog. You can check out his archive here.