Missouri Defense Takes the Wrong Day Off

Aside

By: MoMo Harris

Why, Mizzou, why?!  – Cue Annie Lenox great hit Why

Why taunt me with your great defense only for it to fall apart in spectacular fashion to Tre Mason doing his best Bo Jackson impression all over us for 1 kajillion yards. You know what Mizzou bragged about all week, how great our defense is. I mean we contained Johnny Football for fewer yards than LSU did and stopped A&M’s great receiver for only 4 catches for eight yards. When it comes to the option though, Dave Steckel doesn’t know what to do. Hey Dave here’s a tip: THEY ARE GOING TO RUN THE BALL AGAIN! It’s not like it’s Peyton Manning throwing all over you with the crying Knowshon Moreno getting 120 yards for two touchdowns.

I mean come on Pinkel and Steckel, you know they run an option offense, you know they only throw the ball maybe five times a game, but yet you decide to put out a three man line only for it to be gashed over and over and over again. How about this for a plan, put eight men in the box, trust your corners and safeties and just try to stop the run. But no, keep putting three man lines out there…oh wait you just did and Mason just ran another 40 yards! Nice job of making our defense a joke on national television when half the nation finally watched us play for the first time ALL YEAR! Here is what they thought:

“Mizzou’s defense is horrible, just horrible”

America, Mizzou’s defense isn’t that bad, really it’s not, it’s called we have an unimaginative d-coordinator and a coach who doesn’t ask, “Hey, let’s change the scheme, they are just running ALL OVER US!” Wait, Gary trusts too much for his own good, ARRGGHHHH!!

Hey Gary and Josh Henson (O-Coordinator) just a hint as well, how about throwing the ball more downfield, you know you have three beasts who tower over Auburn’s secondary and cannot keep up with them. Screw bubble screens, you have Dorial Green-Beckham who can jump over anyone and catch jump balls all day long; that’s all you have to do! If I see one more time DGB is in the slot I am going to scream. You were able to get away with that all year long, but Auburn isn’t Tennessee, they can punish a receiver in a ten-yard gap.

James Franklin – I love you, but STOP OVERTHROWING WIDE OPEN RECIVERS!!! We left at least two to three touchdowns on the field because you throw it ten yards past them. I mean, it’s called Practice, yeah that’s right, practice, not the game.

Oh and if I have to hear Gary Danielson gush over Auburn like it’s the second coming of Christ I will throw the remote through the TV, wasn’t this the same guy that was gushing over Alabama the week before?! I mean wow Gary, how much can you talk about how Auburn is going to be amazing. you’re a joke Gary and you could be replaced by an Auburn fan just screaming WAR DAMN EAGLE all night long and it would be the same. Plus, Gary, physics majors don’t use test tubes, but you don’t even know that simple fact.

Hey Refs, nice job on preserving the holiness of the SEC. You gave us the call on the TD by DGB, but you did a lot for Auburn to make up that call by not throwing out the player that ran Henry Josey into the cart which caused him to be injured. Wow, I mean you just had to overlook that one. I mean what did you need, a helmet to barely graze his face?! Oh and not calling the multiple facemask calls that were missed, nice job there. Just had to make sure the newbie school didn’t have to go to the national championship and that Auburn, celebrated by throwing TP ON A TREE, gets in.

Auburn, I really don’t hate you, but the more I think about it really TPing a tree, wow, what a great tradition that speaks to hijinks that a 14 year old does to a neighbor’s house. What’s next, spray paint the fence with “War Eagle #1,” sounds amazing. What a great SEC “tradition!”

Ugg, Mizzou was only a game away from the National Championship and watched it literally run away on Tre Mason’s back, which he just ran for a 60-yards just now. What did I do in my life to be a Mizzou fan?

Well at least I can watch Frank Haith choke away good talent and lose in the first (second) round of the Tourney….ARRGGHHH!

-If you want to join in on ‘Loss for Words’, either for Missouri or any other team, send me an email chrisobrien30@gmail.com and I will get your thoughts out there!

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Eurostepped in Boulder

For the second time in ten days, the Kansas Jayhawks lost to an unranked opponent away from Lawrence. Saturday’s loss at Colorado ended at the buzzer and unlike the Villanova loss down in the Bahamas, this was a true road game with the crowd being 95/5 Colorado over Kansas.

I always have three levels of reaction to a close loss. The first is the passionate fan hoping for the late whistle, some miracle to wipe away what I watched transpire. My first reaction definitely thought this was a travel.

Second reaction is acceptance. Begrudgingly seeing the play as a Dwyane Wade/Manu Ginobili Eurostep.

Third reaction is the optimistic “this will be good for our guys” wannabe coach mentality. A tough loss brings adversity, adversity builds character, character builds leaders, etc. Plus a buzzer beater loss stings a lot less in December than it does in March.

But do these types of losses really help a team? Is Kansas better off having that shot go in than say bouncing off and the Jayhawks winning in Overtime?

My theory is a championship caliber team has to develop four traits over the course of a season. These four traits are more important than the win/loss record.

1. Ability to win despite everything going wrong. Withstand an opponent shooting lights out from three, going on runs.

2. Develop a last two minutes of the game lineup with no cringe-worthy players.

3. Three players who are willing to take the last shot.

4. Reliable three point shooting

Notice there is nothing about ‘ability to bounce back from a loss.’ Come NCAA Tournament time, that trait doesn’t matter. Buzzer beater goes in, season over.

Hey, Not Everyone’s Cheering for us coach…

Neutral courts are never neutral when it comes to KU. The United Center was predominately Jayhawks. Thousands of Kansas fans took advantage of a Thanksgiving trip to the Bahamas. Last year in the NCAA Regionals, Cowboys Stadium was 80/20 Kansas fans vs. everyone else.

Saturday’s game in Boulder was the first time ever that Andrew Wiggins, Frank Mason and Joel Embiid played in front of 11,000 people all cheering for the opposite team. The Canadian Wiggins heard U-S-A chants at the foul line. Embiid was only cheered on when he stepped out of bounds. Nobody was shouting out “FOUL REF!” on Mason’s drives to the basket.

The three freshmen handled the situation well. In the first half Embiid was dominant, living up to the recent Hakeem Olajuwon 2.0 hype. It is rare for someone Embiid’s size and age to already have this much footwork, decent foul shooting, few bad habits in terms of placing the ball on the ground or not having his hands ready for the pass. He wants the ball on offense and he’s developing as a shot blocker on defense. Against Colorado he even had three steals, two assists.

Mason had an off night shooting, but did what he does best, fearlessly attacking the rim and not being afraid to take big shots. My favorite play of Mason’s was on an outlet pass from Jamari Traylor. The ball looked like it was clearly heading out of bounds, Traylor even threw his hands in the air upset, but Mason sprinted it down, turned the near disaster into foul shots at the other end. He’s my favorite player on the team right now and should be here for all four years. Sherron Collins 2.0

I was most impressed with Andrew Wiggins. THIS is how he needs to play every game. We saw a little bit of this in the second half of the Duke game, the attacking attitude, crossing half court and deciding ‘I’m going to the basket and nobody’s going to stop me.’ It amazes me how far out he can take off from and get right to the rim.

I wish he would have stuck all three free throws on the Dinwiddie foul and definitely think he needs to switch the way he rests his hands on his hips, but big steps in the right direction.

So Colorado must have played great then

Not really. Colorado hit seven threes, but put up 22 attempts. The Buffaloes only shot 41 percent compared to Kansas at 53. Turnover margin only five and the Buffaloes missed 15 free throws (five less than KU attempted).

The only two “home court moments” were Spencer Dinwiddie’s end of shot clock 3-pointer that landed flat on the rim then somehow rolled in. Then of course the final shot of the game by Askia Booker.

This wasn’t Colorado playing their best game ever and catching KU on an off night. If anything, Colorado can look at this game tape and say, “We could’ve won this by 10-12 points.”

Like Villanova, Colorado will jump into the top 25 in the next poll and possibly end the season in the top 15. The win helps Colorado’s resume, will not be a Bad Loss for KU.

End of Game Lineup

The end of game lineup of Mason, Tharpe, Selden, Wiggins and Ellis passes the “no cringe-worthy” options. All five are comfortable taking the big shot and capable of delivering. Same can be said for Embiid, but I think we will see this four ball handlers and Perry Ellis option more often closing out tight games.

Tharpe and/or Selden need to be the 3-pt guy. Mason and Wiggins are both attackers. Embiid and Ellis are reliable in the post. The potential for this team is there, still a lot of room to grow.

Final Questions

How long before Bill Self starts Joel Embiid over Tarik Black?

Why isn’t Spencer Dinwiddie higher in the NBA Mock Drafts? The 6’6” point guard has a big opportunity to shine in a head-to-head matchup against Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart in two weeks.

How long can announcers refer to Conner Frankamp  as the ‘dangerous’ ‘incredible’ outside shooter without him turning in a few Jeff Boschee type performances?

Is Frank Mason the new starting point guard?

Wayne Simien??

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This is part of the ‘Loss for Words’ series. Articles/rants/email chains less than 48 hours after a loss. Goal is to be part coping mechanism, part silver lining hunt. Ideally won’t be posting too many of these for KU… If you want a place to vent after your team’s loss send me a message @chris0brien on Twitter or email me chrisobrien30@gmail.com and I’ll post on the site.