The Basketblog

Celebrating the love of the Game.

Kansas vs. Southern Illinois

Well, I knew this game was gonna be grind-it-out slugfest, but I never imagined this. SIU is statistically one of the best defensive teams in the country. After watching tonight, they are the best that I’ve seen this year. I’m sure they’ve played games that weren’t as good, heck they may have played games where they’ve been better, but I’ve not seen it. SIU forced 13 KU turnovers in the first 25 minutes of the game. KU averages on 14 turnovers/game. SIU is just a great defensive team who came into San Jose ready to play ball, and they did! They held KU to its lowest point total all season long (61), but what did KU do? They buckled down and played a little bit better. They held SIU to less than 60 because KU is also a very good defensive team.

My general summary of the game and concerns for the next game against probably UCLA (but not confirmed for another 4:29), think back to the IL/Arizona game two years ago in the Elite Eight. Arizona outplayed IL the whole game; but in the last 2 minutes, IL dug deep and found what it took to win. They then went on to beat Louisville in the Final Four 72-57. Before IL played Arizona, their closest game was to 16 seed Farleigh Dickinson by 8. Just because IL had a rough game against Louisville, they realized how good they are and figured out they can dig down and really outplay teams and proved it by beating Louisville so handily.

KU is in almost the same situation this year….just one round earlier. That being the case, Kansas could be in luck to have figured it out a game earlier. IL lost the championship game to UNC and maybe since KU had their close game earlier that will make it easier for them later, I don’t know, but that is not the point. The point is, Kansas win tonight was not the best, they still found a way to win even if it wasn’t pretty. UCLA does not pressure the ball like SIU did, therefore the guards will not be as tired or frustrated and can handle the ball much better. This will also allow Kansas transition game, which is something, that if I’m UCLA, I don’t want to deal with. UCLA is a good offensive team, but their heart and soul player Arron Afflalo has not been shooting well this tournament. Kansas Big XII First All-Defensive Team guards Mario Chalmers and Russell Robinson are gonna make Afflalo’s and Collison’s job even harder. Taking those two out of the game, whether completely or partially, is gonna drastically slow their offense. Sherron Collins, a human pitbull as Zack dubbed him, can also come in and lock people nearly just as well. This will slow down the UCLA offense drastically. Because of the lack of offensive help UCLA gets from post players Mbah A Moute and Mhatta, I’m not sure what other kind of offense UCLA has to offer. By the way, I’ve not even mentioned Brandon Rush as one of the good guards KU has to offer and he’s First Team All-Big XII. Kansas’ scoring balance is gonna raise heck for UCLA to guard because no matter who you guard, someone from Kansas will step-up and get the job done. Kansas’ offensive threats are just to many and their defense is great enough to be sure that UCLA can’t go running on them. If KU forces a 4-5 minute scoring drought or goes on an 8or 10-0 run, that should be all it takes and will take KU to Georgia!



March 23, 2007 - Posted by | ACC, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, MVC, NCAA, Pac-10 | , , , , , , , , , , ,

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