Monthly Archives: January 2013

The KU Chalkboard: Kansas or Michigan?

Every Monday, The Eagle delves into Kansas basketball — and the week ahead. Here’s the latest installment of the weekly feature.

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The new polls won’t come out until this afternoon, but this much seems obvious: Michigan, Kansas and Florida will likely be the new top three in the latest Associated Press poll — maybe in that order.

Florida, 16-2, has been leaving a trail of dust in the SEC, posting eight straight victories after falling to Kansas State at the Sprint Center in December. Michigan, 19-1, meanwhile, suffered its only loss at rival Ohio State on Jan. 13. And Kansas, winners of 17 straight, will attempt to move to 7-0 in the Big 12 tonight at West Virginia.  [UPDATE: Michigan and Kansas split the No. 1 spots in the AP and coaches polls.]

All three schools have played like top-three teams at times, but who deserves to be No. 1? Here’s the tempo-free computer profile for all three teams, via KenPom.com.

Michigan

Offense efficiency: 1st (124.8 points per 100 possessions)

Defensive efficiency: 39th (90.0)

Kansas

Offense efficiency: 18th (112.6)

Defensive efficiency: 3rd (83.5)

Florida

Offense efficiency: 2nd (123.5)

Defensive efficiency: 1st (81.0)

Bottom line: Michigan’s defensive issues could cost them a loss or two in a loaded Big Ten, while Florida may struggle to find consistent challenges in a watered-down SEC. And, of course, Kansas’ offensive struggles are well-documented. Then again, given the fickle nature of this season, it’s likely that the top of the polls will have shifted again by next Monday.

Scouting West Virginia

Since Bob Huggins arrived in Morgantown, the Mountaineers have generally profiled as a rugged, defensive-minded program. But even with that in mind, West Virginia has been offensively-challenged this season, connecting on just 39.5 percent of its shots from the field, the 315th best mark in the nation.

One key: Freshman guard Eron Harris is averaging 15.8 points in his last four games and provides the best option from deep; he’s made 42.6 percent (23 for 53) of his three-point attempts.

It’s likely that Kansas will be the highest-ranked team to play in the WVU Coliseum since No. 2 UCLA — with Russell Westbrook and Aaron Afflalo — arrived on February 10, 2007, according to The Dominion Post. The Bruins left with a 70-65 defeat.

Monday morning links

The Internet loves Jeff Withey. This “Withey Block Party” video, produced by Kansas’ in-house video crew, played during a timeout at Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday and has since found a home on YouTube. (Kudos to the KU official who convinced Withey to don that shirt.) Maybe it doesn’t quite measure up to this, but it’s certainly better than the growing list of Withey-inspired songs.

Alternate jerseys

Kansas is breaking out some alternate, nearly all-blue road jerseys for tonight’s Big Monday matchup in Morgantown. If you want a sneak peek, click on this link.

 

KU to retire Mario Chalmers’ No. 15

By Rustin Dodd

Kansas announced on Thursday morning that former guard Mario Chalmers will have his No. 15 jersey retired at halftime of KU’s game against Texas on Feb. 16 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Chalmers, the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four during KU’s National Championship season in 2008, stamped his name in Kansas history by swishing a game-tying three-pointer in the final seconds of the national championship game against Memphis. The Jayhawks would win 75-68 in overtime.

“Mario definitely deserves to have his jersey hung,” Kansas head coach Bill Self said. “He was the most outstanding player in a 2008 Final Four, which featured four number one seeds. He was as clutch of a player as we’ve ever had here.

“He was a guy that seemed like the bigger the stage, the brighter he shined. He had an orneriness and toughness that a lot people didn’t see because they saw the smile. He was an assassin on the court.”

 

Kansas Men’s Basketball Retired Jerseys

Tus Ackerman • 1923-25

Charlie B. Black • 1942-43, 1946-47

Charlie T. Black • 1922-24

B.H. Born • 1952-54

Bill Bridges • 1959-61

Wilt Chamberlain • 1957-58

Nick Collison • 2000-03

Paul Endacott • 1921-23

Howard Engleman • 1939-41

Ray Evans • 1942-43, 1946-47

Max Falkenstien • 1946-2006

Drew Gooden • 2000-02

Gale Gordon • 1925-27

Kirk Hinrich • 2000-03

Raef LaFrentz • 1995-98

Clyde Lovellette • 1950-52

Danny Manning • 1985-88

Al Peterson • 1925-27

Paul Pierce • 1996-98

Fred Pralle • 1936-38

David Robisch • 1969-71

Wayne Simien • 2002-05

Bud Stallworth • 1970-72

Darnell Valentine • 1978-81

Jacque Vaughn • 1994-97

Walter Wesley • 1964-66

Jo Jo White • 1966-69