That’s all you really need to know about KU right now. It’s not always pretty, in fact on the road it can be a little tense, as it was last night at West Virginia. But the Jayhawks simply know how to win. Last night they shot a high enough percentage to overcome 16 turnovers and once again held an opponent to less than 40 percent from the field. Kansas wins because Kansas defends better than any team in the country. In fact, they’re holding opponents to a nation leading 35 percent.
Ben McLemore and Jeff Withey get the headlines for the ‘Hawks, but Travis Releford may be the club’s mortar. A tremendous defender, he’s earned Bill Self’s trust to the point that he always assigned the oppositions best perimeter threat. He’s improved his shooting across the board, plays the most minutes and averages 13 points a game.
Lose the blue---
So much for ‘sartorial splendor. Call me old, call me boring, or just call me a play-by-play guy who knows how hard it is to read numbers on the monochromatic blues that KU was wearing last night. It’s not as big of deal for national games, when you don’t need a roster to know the players---but if you’re getting an unknown team in that kind of uniform---forget it.
What’s Vegas know that I don’t?
I was surprised to hear that Wichita State was a 12 ½ point favorite against Indiana State tonight in the Roundhouse. The Sycamore have been beaten that badly only twice this season; in their opener at UCLA by 27 and by 13 at Creighton three weeks ago. I like Indiana State, they don’t have the look of a Valley team, in that they’re big across the front (many MVC teams go with three guards) and they have two 6’4 players in the backcourt. One of those players is Jake Odum, who seems like he’s been at Indiana State for six years—but is still only a junior. The native of Terre Haute, In. spent much of last year battling a foot injury, but is playing pain free this year. He leads the club in scoring, minutes, free throws(leads the MVC), assists and floor burns. He has the look of a guy you’d never choose for a pickup game at the Y, but he’s often the best player on the floor. It’ll be fun to watch WSU’s Tekele Cotton and Demetric Williams take turns on the Sycamore guard.
With the Shockers ascending to #15 in the AP Poll, it will be interesting to check their staying power. WSU faces two tough tests this week; after wins over ACC leading Miami and SEC leading Ole Miss, Indiana State’s in the top 50 in the RPI. Then it’s on to Northern Iowa on Saturday to face a team that’s won 9 of 11 games on its home floor by an average marin of 21 points.
More stupid than super---
After being described by his own father as ‘dull’ (presumably tongue in cheek), Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco then called playing next year’s Super Bowl in the Meadowland—“retarded”. I don’t know about dull, but I’m pretty sure about insensitive.