FINAL, TEXAS, 74-65
Good thing Jake showed up.
4:42 left, TEXAS, 62-54
Atchley with the tip. Brown at the line, and Fred has logged a lot of minutes tonight. Augustin gets what he wants again. And again – that guy is a pro. Lutz just said, “We’re watching two -fifths of the All-America team.” He’s right. Augustin converts a three-point play. Blake gets to the rack for a tough two. Airball for Jake – that was bad. Mike shrieked/whistled for the ball at the top of the key, and he missed a wide open 3. Bill is struggling – still. He does it again. He’s 0-for-12. He’s made as many baskets as Lutz. Mike drills his first free throw – and his second. Atchley with two tough rebounds that lead to five points – a lay-up and another Abrams 3.
10:17 left, 50-all
What has gotten into Andre Gilbert – and I mean that in a positive way? Abrams is getting going, hitting a deep 3. Jake has taken another step forward tonight after regressing against Baylor. OK, he just had a bad night Saturday. He isn’t having one tonight. There’s Abrams again, and he’s warm. Frank is HOT at ‘Nique right now. I think Bill needs to recognize he doesn’t have it and stop shooting. Atchley nails a 3, and Bill has one more point than Levi. How good has Jacob Pullen been? After that last 3, I saw scouts scribbling in their notebooks. He’s had a heck of a game already – 13 points and four assists.
14:28 left, KSU, 44-39
It’s loud in here, Levi says. I can barely hear him. K-State has gone ahead, and the Wildcats need to build on this. The pace has quickened considerably. What is Kevin Durant talking about? All we can see on press row is the monitor that says Ron and Fran are talking to him. By the way, I’m HUGE Ron and Fran fans. Ron Franklin might be the coolest older gentleman I know, and Fran is a college basketball nut, which I dig.
Augustin is filthy. A nice dish, then a pick of Jake for a layup. They left Fred Brown alone, and he finally hits a 3. He’s going to have those looks the rest of the season.
2:01 left, KSU, 27-26
Frank has done this before and the gamble hasn’t paid off. Bill is back on the floor, but he’s doing the offense-defense thing now with Walker – Gilbert is in for him. Mike makes a pair, and the Wildcats trail by 2. Bill’s back in. Great dish from Jake, a behind-the-back number, but Mike missed the reverse dunk. On the other end, James dribbles baseline but the ball skids off his feet. He misses both. Wangmene swats a Mike offering into the first row – but it’s goaltending. K-State takes the lead on a layup by Pullen, who runs back to the bench with his tongue out. They’re having fun in the stands. Yes, Dad, that’s the Wabash.
3:54 left in 1st half, TEXAS, 25-21
There’s a lot of pride in the house – or should I say a lot of “PROUD”? Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. I can feel a run coming on. For which team, I’m not sure. But if something is going to happen, it’s going to happen right now. Wow, Frank goes to a zone. Guess he’s not too stubborn. James with a late 3 in the shot clock. How that wasn’t goaltending is amazing. The signs here are ridiculous. It has to be said – Texas underwhelms me. But you have to appreciate Stew tossing it up to Mike, who crams it through and brings the crowd to its feet. Bill with what might have been a phantom foul call. Probably not. James with a lay-in and a foul on Stew. The three-point play is good, and Texas is up seven. Jake hits a 3, and he’s clearly focused. Offensive foul on the Longhorns. Timeout.
8:39 left in 1st half, TEXAS, 18-15
Augustin buries a 3. He’s good. Man, another 3. He’s tough. Timeout, and the fans are riding the officials. Enough. The Wildcats aren’t playing with much energy. The fans have begun throwing things on the court. A peppermint was tossed. Frank is clapping after Bill draws a foul on a drive to the rack. The Longhorns are solid on defense. Bill’s at the line and makes one of two. Ron Anderson with another offensive rebound, which leads to Mike getting a bucket. You’ve got Ron Prince sitting behind us, trying to coax a Clent Stewart 3 in the rim. “Get in there,” he said. It missed, but Mike grabbed the loose change and put it back, drawing a foul. And I think Bob Lutz has a crush on ESPN.com’s Dana O’Neil. I asked him if this was true, and my esteemed colleague nodded his head.
11:41 left, TEXAS, 11-10
It’s Mike’s turn for Head On A Stick Night. Lots of star power in the Bram. Curtis Malone is in the house, and yes, I’ve got it covered. Mike with a follow of a Pullen miss. Wow, a little Ron Anderson hit? He’s checking in with ‘Nique and Stew. Jake with a nice behind the pass dish to Mike, who converts the lay-up. A little bit of complaining on calls, and the Cats are down five. Jake brought his game tonight. He blows by Augustin, slips in between a pair of defenders and goes high off glass. Ron Anderson with another offensive rebound. Stew goes glass for two.
15:59 left, TEXAS, 6-2
I can’t wait to see D.J. Augustin in action. Sorry, sue me. I’ve been informed by Levi that Minnesota G.M. Kevin McHale is joined at the Fred tonight by Zarko Durisic, the Wolves’ director of pro personnel who apparently attended Wichita State. Not to be confused with Darko Milicic, folks, although he could probably take Darko. D.J. with penetration for a deuce. They’ve put Conor Atchley on Mike, and if he does a decent job, Conor might earn some scratch tonight. Mike beats him, and then Conor beats everyone the other way for a dunk. Cats look a little disjointed right now, but as my buddy Nate used to say back in York, Pa., “Dude, it’s sooooo early.” Never mind it was always 1:45 a.m. and the bars closed at 2. Oh, those were the days. D.J. with an absurd reverse that leaves the national folks here in awe. Mike with a steal and then a charge.
Hey, really self-serving here – does anyone know anyone at the Riley County Police Department? If so, e-mail me immediately at firstname.lastname@example.org. OK, back to the game. NBA general managers are out in droves – supposedly 14 in all. I told Steve Kerr I liked his trade, and he looked at me as if I were crazy. I don’t understand why, but that’s what happened. Mike has his game face on, if there is such a thing. Cool scene before the game – Mike came out to shoot, all by himself, and the student section applauded. The clapping subsided, and they started a chant – “One more year! One more year!” Beasley smiled in response. Nice atmosphere here in the Bram. Or the Fred. Can someone clear that up for me? I spoke to Fatima, who can’t wait to meet my Dad. Who knew? By the way, thumbs up for the new uniforms. I like them much better than the cat scratches. They’re simple yet elegant. Like my colleague Bob Lutz.