KJ’s BB Newsletter                March 4, 2001


You may recall that I recently wrote a newsletter in which I suggested (numerically) that the Jayhawks’ Kirk Hinrich was a better point guard than ISU’s Jamaal Tinsley.  Well, you can imagine how irate that made the Clone faithful.  If nothing else, I found out that there are some ISU fans who can actually read.  No really, what I mean to say is that there are some ISU fans who actually read my newsletters.  I received a firestorm of comments.  In general, they all had the same two themes:  “statistics don’t show everything”, and “Tinsley does the intangibles” (e.g. “leadership”, “espirit de corps”, “gets the job done”, etc.)

Actually, I admit that I agree.  I was as amazed as anyone to look at the stats which showed that Hinrich was generally superior, because in my mind, Tinsley is an All-American, while Hinrich is All-Conference (assuming that they would allow two points guards on the All-Big 12 team).  All this was proven to me Saturday afternoon, watching the ISU-Nebraska game.  ISU struggled throughout most of the game, leading by only three with about five minutes to go, when Tinsley took the game into his hands, coolly nailing a three, then grabbing an errant ball, driving the length of the court, and laying it in against three red shirted defenders, putting his team up by eight.  He simply assumed control and his teammates and the Cornhuskers knew it.  The game was over.

I’ve seen Kirk Hinrich do quite well in the finishing stages of games, and I’d put money on him when the game is on the line.  But I haven’t seen him simply ‘RULE’ like Tinsley.  No question about it, Tinsley’s the man.  I did go back and calculate comparisons stats, based on their two head-to-head matchups this season.   My gut feeling was that Jamaal was clearly better than Kirk in the first game at Lawrence.  However, I leaned toward Kirk’s performance in the second game in Ames, where he held Tinsley to 11 points.  The data proved my feeling correct, but overall Tinsley was superior.  The bottom line is that he took the Cyclones to two wins over the Jayhawks and to the Big 12 championship. 

Now, all that having been said, Hinrich’s a hell of a point guard too, even Cyclones have to agree. Ironically, as one of my Cyclone readers pointed out, Tinsley is at ISU because Hinrich backed out of his earlier commitment to Tim Floyd.  I suspect that’s true, and ISU has certainly benefited over the past two years.  There is no question that his contribution to ISU has been substantially more than Hinrich’s to KU over the same period.  I would suggest though, that Hinrich is now almost as good as Tinsley, and will take KU on his shoulders to the top of the conference his last two years.

Cyclones would also have to admit that the Jayhawks are a hell of a ball team.  The Clones got away with the skin of their teeth both times, the last against an injury-depleted KU squad.  Maybe there will be a rubber match in KC.


As usual, the Tigers played KU tough, holding to a one-point lead at the half, in spite of Kareem Rush’s inability to generate any game due to his injured hand.  After halftime however, KU jumped out to a quick six point lead which they maintained for about a quarter before Drew Gooden took the game into his hands and led the Jayhawks to a decisive 75-59 victory.

This was KU’s 18th straight Senior Day win, fortunately many of those against the hated Tigers.  Man, I sure love it when the Hawks kick their butt, particularly when it’s payback time for a loss in Columbia.

The win was a paticularly good one, since it gave KU a second seed in the Big 12 tourney, as well as giving them some momentum.  On Friday at 6:00 pm they will play the winner of the Thursday match between Nebraska and K-State.