Before we get started I want to thank Rock Chalk Talk and their basketball editor, Misterbrain, for sitting down with me and helping CRFF out with this game's Q&A!
A couple quick things before the game:
CRFF Preview: here.
Tip time: 1:00 p.m. CST
Let's jump right into it!
I think the mood this year is about the same it is every year, we all have some nits to pick, but overall we trust the direction of our coach. This year seems especially odd though, because I think most of the fanbase had come to peace with the idea that maybe we wouldn't win the conference this year. So to find ourselves two games up at this point has gotten some super jacked up, and others have started to question the premise of the season - that the Big 12 was so good this year that Kansas would have trouble winning number 11.What we've seen though is that the next tier in the league has beaten each other up so much that Kansas has been able to build a moderately comfortable lead in the standing halfway throughout the season.
No question it would be Ellis. I think I'm comfortable saying that is who it SHOULD be as well, but I could hear an argument for someone like Kelly Oubre and his blazing speed when cutting to the rim or (B&$ch, I'm) Frank Mason and his ability to create offense at will during our most crucial periods. But Bill Self has made it absolutely clear that he sees Ellis as the leader of this team, and as he's shown in the past, he puts trust in the leaders at crucial times.As for whether its to tie or take the lead, I have to think he'd be ok with either, but the play drawn up is going to try and get Ellis into the post if at all possible.
All-time, like Mount Rushmore (+1) style? That is really tough, and would take hours of weighing the possibilities. Instead, I'll arbitrarily limit myself to an all-time Bill Self era KU starting 5 (an idea that was already used all over the place at the end of last year) and pick the best starting 5 I can. I'm sure I'll get plenty of flack from others over on RCT, especially since I won't have to worry about other people stealing my picks like I did last time which you can find here. So this is the lineup I'd use, without any explanation: Aaron Miles, Andrew Wiggins, Brandon Rush, Thomas Robinson, Jeff Withey.Ask me again tomorrow and I could probably come up with a completely different starting 5.
I'm assuming Brannen Greene is still under the radar, right? At least a lot more than Kelly Oubre or Wayne Selden is. Greene has been absolutely unconscious from 3-point land this year (50.9%), even though he has started to cool a little bit. And his strongest games have come recently, even as Oubre has started to grab all the headlines.
It's all going to come down to how well the Cowboys execute on offense. OSU and Kansas are essentially dead even on defense in conference play this year, but Kansas has the second best offense while Oklahoma State has the 7th. If KU gets off to a fast start, OSU probably won't be able to make it all the way back, even if they do make it interesting.Unfortunately for the Pokes, I think KU gets off to a great start, consistently building a 10-12 point lead at the half. OSU starts the second half well to pull within a couple buckets, but KU puts them away late as Phil Forte III just can't hit enough 3s to keep them in it. Kansas 81, Oklahoma State 68.