KJís BB Newsletter                     February 7, 2001

HEARTBREAKERS

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 10:05PM

Cyclones 79, Jayhawks 77.  The Clones just simply beat the Hawks tonite, even though KU fought back to gain a chance to win in the final seconds.  This evening, anyway, the better team won.

As good a backcourt as KU has, and I think Hinrich and Boshee are damn good, they are outmatched by Tinsley and Horton.  Generally, I believe KU to be superior to Iowa State in the backcourt at every position.  But tonite I would call it a push. Unfortunately, the ISU bench (Evans, Power) outplayed ours, assuring the win.

When the announcers said that Ed Hightower was officiating, I knew the Jayhawks were in trouble.  That dread was justified in the waning minutes of the game, as good ol reliable Ed came through, making a couple of highly questionable calls. Guess what?  Both went against KU.  However, Iím not so sure that the Cyclones needed all his help.  They were simply awesome from beyond the arc.  And, they looked casual doing it!  Hortonís three at the end of the first half from about 30 feet was impressive, giving the Clones a double-digit lead into the locker.

Donít be too surprised however, if KU returns the favor in 12 days at Hilton Coliseum.  I still believe that overall KU is a better team.  They also play well on the road, and seem to rise to the occasion (albeit rising too late in their losses to MU and ISU).  Iím sure Roy will find a way for the ball to get to our big men. I would expect a better game from Kenny Gregory (he should be able to take any of ISUís small forwards on practically every play).  Youíd have to believe that the Clones couldnít shoot that well again.  Could they?

And, surely, Hightower will be somewhere else.  Weíll see.

If KU is to win the Big 12 crown they will almost have to win in Ames.  The Clones are just too good and may very well win out otherwise, to take the title again.  Our Iowa boys, Collison and Hinrich, badly need a win over an Iowa school.  Having lucked into four ducats for their next matchup, I'll be at the big game.  No, please donít call me, theyíre already committed.

Before then, KU will take on the OSU Aggies in Lawrence on the 10th, and then travel to Waco for a match with surprisingly tough Baylor on Monday night before the trip to Ames on the 17th. 

I canít wait!!!

WEDNESDAY EVENING, FEBRUARY 7, 9:00PM

OHIO STATE 69, IOWA 68.  Iowa was seemingly in control most of this game, going up by 9 midway through the second period.  The Buckeyes scratched back, however, eventually taking a short lead until freshman Glen Worley tied it with a triple at 1:27.  Unfortunately Worley then fouled out, followed by Duez Henderson.  The Hawks just couldnít pull it out.   All-American center Ken Johnson (donít you just LOVE that name?) was just too strong and talented for the severely shorthanded Hawkeyes down the stretch.  By the way, thereís absolutely no truth to that nasty rumor that Ken's Mom named him after seeing me dunk over Michael.

While KU enjoys the possibility of gaining revenge from itís loss this week to Iowa State, Iowa doesnít have that opportunity since the Buckeyes arenít on the Hawks schedule for a rematch this year.  Itís just a tough loss, as the Iowans lost their hold on second place.

Looking at the good side, I sure admired how Dean Oliver stepped up his game, trying to compensate for Reckerís loss.  He was totally in control of the Hawkeyes on offense, scoring 27 himself, and was a dynamo on defense.  Reggie Evans was also strong on both ends (he leads the nation in double-doubles)!  The third leg of Iowaís stool, Luke Recker, was missed throughout the game, since his shooting guard replacements (Boyd, Hogan, Galloway) didnít come through from beyond the arc, while allowing OSU's Brian Brown to rain in threes.  Clearly Lukeís absence was the difference between a good win for the Hawks and this blow.

Also on the good side was that the referees allowed the players to play in rhythm, pretty much throughout the game.  So many times the fan is forced to sit through continuous trips to the foul line, the refs stemming the flow of the game with quick whistles and questionable calls.  Although the Hawks ended up on the short end of the final score, the referees allowed this one to be a most enjoyable game to watch,  made even more so by the ebb and flow in scoring from the floor, not from the foul line.

LATER THAT EVENING, 10:30PM

CREIGHTON 68, DRAKE 44.  The sports news just reported that Drake took it on the chin in Omaha, continuing the team's record of consecutive road losses.  As with the KU-ISU and IU-OSU games, this was also a  mighty tough loss for the Bulldogs, dropping them below .500 and leveling their MVC record at 5-5.

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Damn, my three favorite teams tumbled this week.  I hate it when that happens!  I get somewhat testy. So until the good guys seal a victory, donít be surprised if I bite.   Shouldnít be long, though, as all three are favored this Saturday, with Oklahoma State, Northwestern and Northern Iowa on the slate. 

I canít wait!