What a difference it must be to have playmaking guards.
Shot clock goes under 5, I'll cross you over and hit a 3. Need a bucket after the opponent goes on a 8-0 run, I'll penetrate and draw a foul and knock down my throws. It's refreshing to watch backcourt play as solid as what Collins and Taylor vs. Clemente and Pullen showed tonight.
If I'm starting a team, give me a complete point guard over anything else for that very reason.
Speaking of guard play, Kansas was so enamored with the play of KSU's guards that they decided to run some triangle and two to try to stem the Wildcat tide. I'm not sure Bill Self had absolute conviction in rolling this defense out tonight, but a coach has to do what a coach has to do based on the opponent. I'm guessing Self feels the need to take a long shower after capitulating to the KSU guards. Of course, this has earned him respect and a new nickname from the Kings of Oread.
The difference between the two teams was Cole Aldrich and his ability to control the paint on both ends. Sure Marcus Morris had 13 points, mainly off of 4 offensive rebounds, but those boards and points should be attributed to Aldrich's presence on the floor. He commands so much attention in the post that guys like Marcus can slide in and grab the easy weakside carom for points. Cole should be credited with 4 or 5 assists for just showing up.
Tyshawn Taylor's emergence parallels that of Eric Bledsoe for UK. If Kansas continues to get a ball-handling playmaker to complement Collins, they'll be awful tough to guard as a team. Taylor seems to be that man for the job. Ditto that sentiment for UK who becomes just a sick basketball team when Bledsoe is a legit threat as a combo guard alongside Wall.
As for Kansas State, say what you want about Frank Martin, but his kids come to play when a big dog comes to town. Credit their squad for outrebounding one of the best frontcourts in America and taking better care of the basketball. If they could have gotten a little home cooking on the officiating front, they probably win the ball game.
Speaking of home cooking, it helps when you have Duke or Kansas across your chest. It's kind of like having Texas across your chest in football.
Great basketball game regardless. Thoughts?