Take 5: MU/KU Game Notes From Inside Allen Fieldhouse

 

Sitting a few rows behind the Kansas bench in Allen Fieldhouse is a great place to get a unique perspective of the Missouri/Kansas basketball rivalry. Here are my notes from number-two-ranked Kansas’ 103-86 win over the game-but-overmatched Tigers on Big Monday.
 
·         Bill Self has a little Frank Martin in him. He’s just a whole lot better at hiding it than the volatile K-State coach. Inside KU’s team huddles, Self goes off on his players with much of the same ferocity as Martin – minus the Goodfellas stare. Self spent a good portion of the Mizzou game pissed, especially at his two point guards, Tyshawn Taylor and Elijah Johnson. I almost felt sorry for these two the way Self would yank them in and out of the game depending on their latest bad pass or poor defensive play. Somehow Self makes all this work. No coach I know of can juggle as much talent as KU annually attracts and keep everyone happy with their minutes and stats. Self’s greatest asset as a coach – aside from his ability to recruit studs – may be his ability to manage egos better than anybody in the college game.
 
·         Self never yelled at three players; Thomas Robinson, Brady Morningstar and Tyrell Reed.
 
·         Coolest thing of the night for the KU fan next to me happened after Mario Little hit that huge three-pointer as the shot clock expired, both teams headed to their bench for a time out. Marcus Morris looked into the crowd and caught the eye of a Kansas fan sitting next to me and gave him a huge smile. These Kansas players love their fans and the feeling is mutual.
 
·         Everyone who has a problem with Scott Drew taking his Baylor team out of Allen Fieldhouse to avoid them witnessing the pregame video on the scoreboard cannot understand how intimidating that 60-90 seconds of film, sound and fury must be to the opposition. It is simply one of the most thrilling things in college basketball. Hell, maybe all sports. I have witnessed this video a dozen times over the past few years and it never fails to raise goose bumps on my epidermis the size of Joe Buck’s forehead. It is crazy loud, it is crazy cool and it is worth the price of admission all by itself. If you are a sports fan – heck, if you’re human! –  you need to add viewing the KU pregame video in a packed Allen Fieldhouse to your bucket list. By the way, Mizzou stood right there in front of their bench and did their best to ignore it. Not many of the Tigers were successful.
 
·         I sat right next to two Mizzou fans, one who was decked out in full gold and black MU Tigers gear. The guy could not have been nicer. He assumed I was a KU season ticket holder and showed surprise that I knew his Tigers’ lineup as well as he. He caught some heat during the game from one jackmunch Kansas fan who sat directly behind him but only one. The rest of the KU-garbed fans around him could not have been more pleasant.
 
·         Mizzou is small. I mean they look like a high school team when Matt and Phil Pressey, Michael Dixon and Marcus Denmon are on the court. Ratliffe is a nice inside player but he rarely gets to touch the ball. But it is difficult to knock Mizzou helter-skelter offense. They live and die with the three and they did a lot more living than dying Monday night.
 
·         The quickness of Mizzou’s guards is impressive. Phil Pressey is going to be one fun player to watch over the next three seasons. His no-look lob pass inside was one of the prettiest plays of the night. The tiny MU guards hounded KU all night but Kansas has some talent too. A lot of talent.
 
·         As Travis Releford languished on the Kansas bench the first half I started to wonder how he was handling being one of the forgotten players on KU’s deep bench. I even wondered if the Bishop Miege grad would consider transferring at the end of the season. Then Self inserts him into the lineup late in the first half and all those thoughts disappeared. Releford had another breakout game off the bench, making Kansas an even more dangerous team to their March foes.
 
·         Add Mario Little to that list of comeback players. His off-court trials and tribulations have been well documented this season but none of that mattered to the Allen Fieldhouse crowd. Little had his best game as a Jayhawk against Mizzou and the fans loved him for it. All the more reason guys like Little need to think before they do something stupid to cost them their time as local heroes.
 
·         Mizzou’s back-up center, Steve Moore, is a very, very large human. He is offensive-tackle big. And as little as he contributes to Mike Anderson’s basketball team, Gary Pinkel might want to think about recruiting him to the football program. I never saw Moore utter a word on the court. If that kid ever got an ego to match his brawn he would be all-world.
 
·         Brady Morningstar isn’t back; he is in a place he’s never been. Morningstar is playing with more confidence than anyone on the Kansas team. In one month he has gone from the guy no one wants to shoot to the guy everyone thinks is going to make every shot he takes. You can see it in the way he walks, talks and stares. Every athlete should get a chance to be in the zone Brady is feeling right now. Morningstar has had some off-court issues as well but what a great way to go out his senior year in his hometown.
 
·         I watched Josh Selby walk around the team huddles with his injured foot. It was evident to me this freshman really wants to be a contributing part of this team. Unlike Xavier Henry, Selby is as much a part of this team as Tyrell Reed or Brady Morningstar. Xavier wasn’t a bad kid he just seemed distant. Selby wants to play and it’s killing him to have to sit. It will be interesting to see if he fits better into the offense when he returns. He has his hands full in trying to replace Morningstar. Who thought that sentence could be written a month ago?
 
·         Mario Little is trying to do everything he can to please Bill Self. He works as hard as anyone on defense but he’s just not as skilled at moving his feet or fighting through picks. But damn that kid tries hard. I can see why Self didn’t want to toss him aside after he was arrested – even if he deserved to be dumped.
 
·         Having the Morris twins on one team is simply unfair. Can you imagine being the opposing coach and having to game plan for one of these guys let alone two? Remember when Markieff was the one you didn’t have to worry about? You can hardly tell the two apart now not only in the face but also in their games.
 
·         KU’s assistant coach Joe Dooley’s hair might be the eighth wonder of Allen Fieldhouse. He has it greased down to Alfalfa-like standards with it all meeting in a three-inch ducktail flip at his neckline. It is truly a look you would not expect to see on an adult who wasn’t performing in a stage production of Grease or one who was not blind.
 
·         Mike Anderson is one of the most respected coaches in the conference. Even inside Allen Fieldhouse the Mizzou coach has few vocal enemies. It is so different from the days when Norm Stewart refused to sit down, much to the delight of the Kansas crowd. I wonder if Anderson is too nice for Mizzou. The Tigers were the Oakland Raiders of the Big 8 under Norm – and they relished that black-hat role. Under Anderson they are quick but classy, but not really a threat to unseat Kansas or Texas. Does Mizzou need to get their Al Davis mojo back to be champions again?
 

      ESPN’s sideline reporter Holly Rowe’s outfit is waaay too tight for her girth. She had on a pair of unforgiving pants that could be heard petitioning Twitter for a #freeholeyrowesrolls hashtag. All this poundage is squeezed into a torso-layered look that sits atop precarious stiletto-like heels. She looked about as uncomfortable tiptoeing and teetering around the Fieldhouse as Brent and Bob sound on Big Monday’s broadcasts.

 
·         The Mizzou fans I sat next to love Ricky Kreklow, the MU freshman out of Columbia Rockbridge. I watched Kreklow play in high school and I thought he was all wrong for Anderson’s style of play. He looks like a freshman on the court and plays like a kid who should be at William Jewell rather than in the Big 12. His body might fill out and he may become a decent outside threat, but he is a long way from deserving the minutes he is currently getting.
 
·         The dunk Thomas Robinson made in front of the Kansas bench was one of the most powerful slams I’ve ever witnessed. TRob may just pull one or two backboards down before he’s done at Kansas. BTW, this team seems to have gotten more focused and more together since Robinson’s mother’s funeral. Again, very glad I was wrong and Self was right about this one. Kansas hasn’t played this well in years. And quite a bit of that may have to do with how much they love each other.
 
·         Allen Fieldhouse always makes the court seem too small for the ten players it has to house. Intimate is an overused word for old barns like this but even that term might not accurately describe how close everyone is to the action on the court at Kansas. What a great place to watch a college basketball game.
 

·         Please forgive me if this notes column has a bit of a jumbled feel to it. I was more than a bit distracted – even at my advanced age – by one of the more stunning coeds I have had the pleasure of seeing who happened to sit directly in front of me. The left knee and crossed hands in this photo taken off the ESPN telecast belong to me. All the other good stuff belongs to her.

 
Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24

 

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37 Responses to Take 5: MU/KU Game Notes From Inside Allen Fieldhouse

  1. hammy says:

    um
    “Remember when Markieff was the one you didn

  2. Gavin says:

    Raiders Comparisons
    It’s interesting that you would compare Mizzou to the Raiders when Stewart was coaching the Tigers and they played in the Big 8. I would have been more likely to compare the Billy Tubbs Oklahoma teams to the Raiders. There may have been a brief period where I despised the Sooners more than the Tigers. Stewart wanted to beat you and, yeah, he was virulently anti-Kansas, but Tubbs’ teams rubbed your face in it. I recall when they clinched the Big 8 in Lawrence at the cut down the nets at Allen Fieldhouse. I don’t think Norm Stewart would have ever done anything like that but Billy Tubbs lived on that shit.

  3. Guy Who Says What Others Think says:

    No mention of Morris’ cheapshot on Justin Safford?
    Yet another example of the Morris twins playing dirty. I mean really, on JUSTIN SAFFORD? That guys sucks and hasn’t played physical even with himself in the shower.

  4. Jean says:

    Tubbs
    Gavin, I have to agree with you. Tubbs was an ass. I’ll never forget him grabbing his crotch at the crowd. Brief period nothing. I still can’t stand Oklahoma.

  5. Liver Cleanse says:

    Thank you very much for that superb article

  6. GB says:

    thanks
    thanks for that picture of the twins.

  7. Cliffy says:

    I don’t know …
    I can kind of see where Greg’s coming from with his take. Norm was somewhat of a villain while Tubbs was just a douchebag (although I really got a kick out of him). People I know from Nebraska and Iowa State simply hated Norm’s guts.

    Kudos to kU for shooting lights out last night. Mizzou played awfully well and was still double-digits short. Should be a good one in Columbia.

    The Morris kid should have been tossed for hitting Safford in the face, IMHO.

  8. harley says:

    Anderson blew this one….big time…
    what happened to the 40 minutes of hell…it was only 10 minutes of hell….and are the missouri
    guards afraid of monringstar or taylor handling the ball.
    MU lacks the killer instincts of last year with guys like tiller. They just arent doing the full court
    press against the other teams on the road. Why?
    Anderson doesn’t have the speed and angry guards he had last year….and they failed to transition
    against ku with their press defense. I’m willing to be that mu’s big men can run fasther than
    the morris twins and could beat them down court.
    Why play a different half court defense against ku. Go with what made you good.
    This mu team is young….they need someone to fire them up….and the scoring is
    so hard for this team….they shot 52% and stil lost by big numbers.
    My analysis is that MU will make the tournament…as a 10 or 11 seed. Because ku and kstate
    and the other big 12 teams see this kind of defense many times…they know how to handle it.
    Once in the tournament …if anderson can get this team fired up….they can get to elite 8.
    because noones faced a defense like this. But this year…therres not the intensity…theres not
    the quickness….theres not the hungry attitude.
    anderson is at the crossroads. either continue game in and game out to play the smothering
    defense or change the defense all together. He’s losing major recruits because of this
    type of play….he has to make a decision on the style of play now.
    Ku is hot now…but they’ve only played 2 ranked opponents and it remains to be seen when they
    play a top notch opponent whether they will be able to handle the pressure.
    Also…as glazer tells you…KU hasn’t really had that bad game yet. Or the 2 or 3 really bad
    games….they need that before the tournmaent or they will get that bad game in the
    tournmanet and be out early.
    MU screwed this game up.. they shouldnt be afraid of ku’s guards…no way..
    MU is in better physical condition than KU but they can’t come out and stand around and
    not play the 40 minutes of hell defense against them.
    Make no mistake…ku is good…but i believe they will face the same dillema that other
    ku teams have faced…not playing against enough good teams night after night.
    There will be a lot of upsets in the tournament…after the first 5 or 6 tyeams…the rest of the
    teams are pretty evenly matched…its going to be a fun march madness…
    but anderon has got to make up his mind or forget his style of play alltogkether.
    I ask anderson…why not play the defense ….you get 20 turnovers a game with it….were you
    scared of ku’s guards…I hope not…they’re not ballhandlers!
    I havent paid too much attention to mu bball this year. We all learned that football is king…
    and i look forward to kicking ku’s ass in novemer again …and again……turner gill is worhtless.

  9. bschloz says:

    Front Row
    Thats not Charlotte Blumbaugh is it?

  10. JJ says:

    Thank you for the superb picture.

  11. Tracy Thomas says:

    Any chance you can post that pregame KU tribute video for us
    I’d love to watch that video–can you make that happen? I could never stand out in the cold for 2 hours waiting for a ticket to the game, so your pulling strings might be my only hope for inspiration. And I laud you for admitting you were wrong about the value of attending Thomas Robinson’s mother’s funeral. I loved the sign, at the subsequent game, that read, “Here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson”. Gosh, I wonder how many people even got the brilliancy of that ironic quote, from the title song for the movie, The Graduate, starring Dustin Hoffman.

  12. Brian says:

    Admit it Greg. You were hiding your old man boner in that picture.

  13. Aaron says:

    I don’t think this year’s KU team will meet the same fate as
    last year’s team. I’m not saying they’ll win it all, but there’s a difference between this team and the ’10 team, and in a way a similarity with the ’08 team. ’10 had a higher ceiling with Aldrich, Henry, and Collins, but that team relied too much on the stars. Aldrich provided consistent defense, but on offense KU relied on Collins, Henry, and Mc Morris. Henry and Collins took a ton of shots, and for the most part they were very good. But if they struggled shooting the ball, KU struggled to score. If the opponent hit a few 3s and played fundamental defense KU was vulnerable against ANYBODY. That’s what Tennessee did, that’s what UNI did. This year’s Jayhawk team shares the ball more. There isn’t really one guy or even two guys who run the show. Anybody can step up on any given night. They’ve got a ton of experience in the lineup and they run the offense with more precision than any KU team I’ve ever seen. If TT is having a bad game, Selby may step up, or Reed, or as we’ve seen lately, Morningstar. Suddenly he’s not hesitating before he shoots, he’s playing with confidence and just letting it all come to him. Down low, Mc is a beast, but now opponents have to focus on him AND his brother, who’s coming on so strong. Add to that TR who is playing with some passion lately and has been a force on the offensive glass. We’re missing Cole’s defense down low, but offensively we’ve doubled our firepower. And after those top7 guys, KU has other guys who can play solid minutes if needed and they can mix and match based on the situation. Withey can add solid minutes if they face a tall center and/or the twins find themselves in foul trouble, Releford adds instant athleticism and solid man defense, Little has an nice jump shot and is interchangeable as a 3 or 4, and EJ brings a ton of athleticism and has shown in flashes that he CAN be a solid contributor to the team.

    KU’s two weak points that may end their season are FT shooting, and lack of an elite defender in the post. I think though that this team will have a solid tourney run and they’re certainly capable of making a trip to the Final Four. It would be nice to see a FF consisting of Texas and KU.

  14. Lee says:

    Great article
    Great article, thanks

  15. Jayhawk Fan says:

    rolls eyes
    25 minutes of hell 10:18:54 PM – Mon. Feb 7. 2011

    mu’s “25 minutes of hell” is tough.

    Good job KU, that is 12 wins in a row against mu at KU,, keep up the good work …. one game at a time.

  16. theKCeye says:

    Ratliffe
    Key to the game was Ratliffe getting in foul trouble. Mizzou was able to keep pace until Ratliffe picked up his third foul less than a minute into the second half. At that point, it was a four-point game, and Mizzou had (at least at time) played solid defense and competed on the boards. He didn’t get back on the floor until KU had built a 15-point lead and he almost immediately picked up his (phantom) fourth foul

  17. Mr Helper says:

    insider tip
    “”Key to the game was Ratliffe getting in foul trouble.
    Mizzou was able to keep pace until Ratliffe picked up his third foul …..””

    maybe mu does not understand, but mu should ret to recruit more/better players, depth is important in college basketball, that way if one player get in foul trouble, you can bring in another great player.

  18. Jhawker says:

    Tubbs
    Jean !! How can you not like Tubbs .. Had it not been for his great coaching in the NCG we may have not won. Tubbs in one of his great coaching moves went to a Zone in the second half after Danny Manning got his third foul. Allowing us to slow the game down and run some clock off before Danny came back into the game. Had Tubbs continued his high fired offense and defense we might not have won the game… I will always love Billy for that one…

    Greg: Whats with the Frank Martin comparison? Thats like comparing Santa to Scrooge. Jeez get a life. “Most of the game Pissed?” I think you mistake attention getting with emotional anger. Coach has a problem getting certain players attention, especially when 16,000 plus fans are cheering for them every play, successful or not. If you pay attention to TT he is in a fog half the time anyway. I am surprised he was not banging on his head with a chair ( just kidding ). Maybe if you weren’t staring into the “crevasse” you would have seen more of the real game.

    Rock Chalk

  19. Fred says:

    Nice writeup GH
    Made me feel like I was there. GH, your homeboy the Sportsguy said on a podcast that he is thinking about going to a game at Allen. You should offer to be his tour guide. I would but I live too far away now and he doesn’t know who I am.

  20. Rainbow Man says:

    the Andreson thing is weird
    I am a KU fan… I actually like Anderson… and I still would if he beat us. Something about that dude. He is good coach and MU is more of an NCAA tournament team than they are a Big 12 team… MU is an Elite 8 team easily..Very classy coach… I would watch out for those dudes in the tourney.

  21. bob kelly says:

    5 against 8
    Lacking from your article (which was great BTW) is Kansas NEVER fouls and NEVER travels with the ball. I have no dog in this hunt (I went to CMSU) but, along with Duke, I’ve NEVER seen a team that gets more love from the officials than KU. Are you kidding me? The Morris twins must have someone contributing serious $$ to the officials retirement fund. The hit on Safford should have had someone tossed. KU played a great game but the game I watched had 8 against 5. Tough to win against those odds.

  22. Typomaster says:

    REF BASHING IS FOR LITTLE PEOPLE
    Here is a tip for Saffold, and any other player out there, MESS WITH THE BULL, GET THE HORNS. There is a lot of pushing and shoving and if you watch the game again, you will see that kid was asking for it. Have you ever played bball? Respecting fellow players is important because of the close quarters. If a kid keeps getting uppitty, he will get what he deserves, as Saffold did.

    As far as whining about the refs, it is really in bad tastes to do that, esp in bball. There are make up calls for non calls, BS for that call BS for that missed call, it is a mess. When little people say things like “THEY MUST BE PAYING THE REFS MONEY FOR RETIEMENT” it makles me chuckle, what a noob. Learn the game, wacth the game, dont complain about the refs. If your team can make the shots you can beat the refs and the other team.

    I never compllain about the refs becase it is what it is. If my team can not beat the refs and the other team then my team does not deserve the win, and many many mnay times I have seen the refs screw KU, but I do not complain, becasue whining and complaining about bball refs is for small people and it is in bad taste.

  23. reuben says:

    Morris
    I think the thing about ‘Kieff not getting tossed was the fact that he was in a headlock moments before. If a foul had been called on that, and there way should have been, there would have been no head hit. I’m not trying to say it’s okay (man, those Morris twins do let their temper get a hold of them sometimes, but they’ve gotten better, if you can believe that), but I can understand why he was not ejected.

  24. Guy Who Says What Others Think says:

    LOL. Safford couldn’t get HIMSELF in a headlock.
    Dude is soft. It was a cheap shot by that thug Morris, nothing more or less. Just call it what it is, KU fans. The Morris twins are trashing talking, whining, cheap shot artists. Own it.

  25. harley says:

    morris twins are thugs….
    they can beat up on mizzou but big east/big 10/sec/ teams won’t take it without
    retaliation…..these guys are gong to get clocked…
    Now taking bets that ku does not win national championship….any takers?

  26. Jay Bee says:

    Fire MU’s team barber!
    Great game, MU is improving, quit crying about the Morris twins Tiger Fan…I think I would be more worried about that barber for the MU hoops team giving those guys haircuts on the bus ride into Lawrence. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

  27. Jay Bee says:

    Fire MU’s team barber!
    Great game, MU is improving, quit crying about the Morris twins Tiger Fan…I think I would be more worried about that barber for the MU hoops team giving those guys haircuts on the bus ride into Lawrence. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

  28. Jay Bee says:

    Fire MU’s team barber!
    Great game, MU is improving, quit crying about the Morris twins Tiger Fan…I think I would be more worried about that barber for the MU hoops team giving those guys haircuts on the bus ride into Lawrence. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

  29. jim says:

    Harley’s big gamble
    Betting that KU won’t win the championship this year is just a stupid proposition to begin with. Pick ANY team in the country you want and I’ll bet you they won’t win the championship. ONE team against the entire field? Give me the field, Harley. I’ll take your money every time.

  30. Thomas says:

    Really Bob Kelly?
    1st off, don’t claim you don’t have a dog in the fight, nobody’s buying it.

    2nd, the fouls were pretty much even in the 1st half. Please tell me what was different in the 2nd half…. That’s right, KU got the ball down low and focused on feeding the post. The very point of this strategy is to get easy shots and/or pick up fouls on the opponent. MU was not playing against the refs, they just don’t have a viable half court defense and they don’t have the athletes to stop guys like the Twins and TRob without hacking. When one team shoots nothing but jump shots and the other team feeds the post, the team shooting jump shots is going to have more fouls. It’s pretty much textbook. Complaining about the officials is a weak excuse. Your team got stomped.

    And to Harley and other MU fans, there’s a tactic in basketball where players try to get under the skin of opponents. My coach did it in high school, and I know for a fact that coaches do it at the college and NBA levels as well. The Morris twins are known for having a short fuse and retaliating, opponents know this. They try to egg them on to doing something stupid. Safford did a great job of this. On the possession before the “cheap shot”, Safford gave Morris an elbow to the stomach, then on the other side of the court he put his arm over him and pulled him back. A blatant foul. Morris did not punch him, he did not elbow him, it was not done with any kind of force. He put his forearm to his face and shoved. It was not intended to hurt, but was intended as a warning to get off him and back off. Morris needs to get smarter and learn to elbow the stomach/chest areas better, rather than retaliating after play ends. The refs didn’t kick him out, or even call a technical because it wasn’t a punch or elbow and was a retaliation of a blown call. In this situation, the ref will rather call a flagrant foul every time.

  31. bob kelly says:

    Like I Said
    I really don’t care who wins, not a fan of either one. Ask anyone outside of your blue colored glasses…..KU gets the calls. And yes, Mizzou got stomped, I’M NOT ARGUING THAT. Go anywhere outside a 90 miles radio of Larryville and ask just about anyone who knows anything about basketball, there are two teams that benefit from the officials…Duke and KU. And yes, I’ve played the game all the way to the Division II championship, so I think I know little what I’m talking about. (How about you?)I don’t live anywhere near KC, but used to. This is why your team is hated across the country. I was in California watching the KU-NIU game last March and no one..no one was rooting for KU. Why? I asked someone there who said that KU was the recipient of more blown calls than any other school in the country. Lighten up KU fans. You are displaying the kind of entitlement behavior that gives you a bad name across the country.

  32. reuben says:

    rooting for the underdog
    Bob Kelly: that’s not why they were rooting for NIU. They were rooting for NIU because everybody loves the underdog. It’s not exciting if the 1 seed wins, because everybody expects the 1 seed to win. It’s exciting when the “big boys” get knocked off.

  33. lmao says:

    There are 346 reams, and dufus bets one wont win it all?
    “”Now taking bets that ku does not win national championship….any takers””
    spoken like a jealous, jrBIG12 nongrad, jackstack eatin, mu loser.

    Poor mu, they have never ottent close to a national championship of any kind, EVER, lmao, mu losers have is hate and jealousy for KU, too bad you picked the wrong school.

  34. Don Kennedy says:

    take5
    Please refrain from whining about the refs. MU was allowed to play very physical in the first half, which was why KU was shooting threes. KU attacked the rim in the second half and that was the reason for the fouls. MU played very well, KU simply played better. You’ll get another chance in your place. Rock Chalk Jayhawk

  35. StephenKC says:

    Jumbled, but joyous
    Yes, Greg, it was jumbled. But it was also the most thorough, entertaining and accurate account I’ve read not only about that particular game, but about the AFH experience. Thanks for sharing!

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