Long Distance Jayhawk


After Battle Report: Baylor Gonna Baylor by longdistancejayhawk
January 8, 2015, 10:30 am
Filed under: Recap

What the fucking shit? What the fucking shit? WHAT IN THE EVERLOVING ALL THINGS HOLY FUCKING SHIT HAPPENED LAST NIGHT?

God…that was…what was that? I don’t even know. I don’t have words to really capture what I just watched. This was a scorching, tight contest that ended in the most insane finish ever. For everything the Benji McDunks triple over Iowa State three years ago was, this was like the opposite. Everything about the end of regulation in that one was thrilling, well-played basketball. This? I don’t even know what the shit that was.

Final Score: Kansas 56-55 Baylor

The Good: It’s always nice to be reminded to thank the ancient Egyptians for inventing obelisks to keep track of time. Had they not figured out a way to keep track of that fiendish truth of reality, time, we might not have gotten to the point where timekeeping devices were sophisticated enough to not only time athletic contests, but to be tied to a red LED frame around a backboard. Without clocks, Baylor couldn’t have been bested by one last night and this recap might have turned out a little differently.

Ultimately, the good is going against Scott Drew1 because Baylor gonna Baylor. The ending of last night’s game couldn’t have been more Baylor if an actual Bear came out on the court and slaughtered everyone. The entire final minute was so fucking crazy that my notes are completely unintelligible. Here’s a sort of translation:

last off – Mason-> oop. Bad jump? Cliff lands, kick out, Mason brick trey. Blue shirts everywhere…no board, Baylor fast bk. Miss? Block? We got a hand, more us everywhere. Ellz heads it OoB. Oubre’s Gadget arms. KU ball. Foul. Shots. Greene two-good. [completely illegible scribbles] THE FUCKING CLOCK?!?! WHAT?

The sad thing is that I wrote all of that after the fact. It was like a fever dream, especially the part where I ended up writing the scribbles. I have no idea what I wanted to write, honestly. There’s nothing that could really capture whatever we just witnessed.

I don’t know if Mason knew what he was doing on the last free throw. I don’t know if he bricked it intentionally. Maybe he did, knowing that Baylor, lacking timeouts, would probably figure out a way to fuck it up. You know, Francis, I don’t think you knew that the grenade in his hand was a fake, what with all the hostages everywhere, but you neutralized the threat. That’s some damn fine detective work, Francis. Damn fine.

I mean, we won. We won a game that we probably shouldn’t have. Look at the box score for fuck’s sake. You’re reading that right. Selden, Ellis and Oubre combined to go 7-24. You’re not reading that incorrectly. Those three were one make better than Kobe Bryant in Game 7 of the 2010 Finals. Hell, that number might even make them look better than they were in the game. Had S-SLiME not stepped it up for 1:45 from the 3:02 mark and hit three straight clutch shots. Selden has a knack for going full Houdini in games, but in this one, he knew when it was time to burst out of that barrel right before it went over Niagara Falls. Or whatever waterfall might be close to Waco.

The sad thing about this one is that the sheer insanity of the ending completely overshadowed Magna and Greene having monster second halves. Traylor popped off for 13 points, 5 boards and 2 blocks before fouling out. Most importantly, he  scored the first seven KU points in the second half. Meanwhile, Greene went 4-5 (2-3 3PT), chipping in 12 points. Much like Selden, two of Greene’s points were huge, clutch free throws.

Seriously, I wanted to write a whole post about Jamari to try and troll avid reader Josh, but instead, I decided to talk about clocks. Clocks! Fucking Jamari and Greene giving huge contributions…it just feel like an after thought.

The Bad: Can I admit that the first half was damn near unwatchable? Given that I can’t remember anything specific other than us sucking balls about it, last night’s Baylor game was easily the worst first half since the Topeka YMCA debacle. The first frame in that one ended 13-22, bad guys, to last night’s 18-22. We looked like crap in the first, mostly because the zone seemed to completely dismantle anything we wanted to do. It certainly didn’t help that, in attempting to dismantle the zone, we routinely passed the ball around without much movement. Had we been more active, maybe we could have gotten some of the cross court skip passes and reverses we had in the second half going. Instead, we exwecsettled for not probing the defense, a lack of action reflected in us taking zero free throws in the first half2. More staggering might be the fact that we ended up taking six on the night, only one of which was not the result of an intentional foul at the end of the game3.

Outside of that, rebounding was an issue for most of the game. Various times throughout the matchup, we let Baylor get two and three offensive boards. Given how many boards we let them get, it’s a fucking shocking we actually won last night.

Withering Bill Self Quote of the Night: An empty field, a lone highway edged by towering power lines. A sweepingly dramatic location for a press conference. Four figures stand around in a circle. In the distance, the sound of a delivery vehicle. The portly gentleman walks towards the road, greets the delivery driver, and takes a box from him back to the other three. The reporter, stressed from the longest two hours of his life, holds his pen above his notepad. He stares a the box in the other man’s hands. His pen trembles.

The box holds the secret to the end of the world, the reporter is convinced.

The coach sets the box down at the feet of the reporter. No one moves. The report stares at the coach, hoping that this isn’t how it ends. He stares so long that he starts to stare through the coach. The coach doesn’t make eye contact and gestures towards the box. The reporter sighs, knowing that resisting will only prolong the inevitable.

He crouches and looks at the box. Sweat starts to collect on his forehead as he moves his pen towards the tape. A single drop of sweat stains the cardboard as the tape is cut. Of its own accord, the box pops open. The reporter opens  his eyes and looks inside.

Nothing. A brief moment of relief washes over him. Maybe he’s been spared.

Impossibly, the coach is behind him without seeming to move from his position five feet in front of the reporter. His breath smells strongly of Iguana Dip as he leans in and whispers in the reporter’s ear.

Wayne didn’t play a lick, in my opinion, until it counted, and then he played great,. He was terrific.

A garrote wire, a splatter of blood. In the last seconds of his life, the reporter sees Storming Norman Roberts pulling a saw out of bag. He knows his head will soon be inside the box. Kurtis Blow Townsend makes a final yank on the wire and then, darkness.

Man of the Match: There are certainly worthy guys, based solely on single moments, rather than a whole game of good work. Giving it to one of them, though, would marginalize the great games from Traylor and Greene. Greene deserves the award for putting together a good game coming off the bench, plus the previously mentioned clutch free throws. Mari gets his due for beasting in the second half4. I mean, the seven straight KU points to open the half would have probably been enough, but Mari wasn’t going to settle for anything other making a statement to the haters. Specifically me and my hatred of his new favorite pet shot: the 16-footer. I tremble every time he takes one, so when he caught it at the elbow around the 14:00 mark, I just assumed he’d jack it up. Instead, he made a feint, then hit BIG CLIFF SMASH OOP5! That’s the move, Mari. Keep it up, buddy!

Looking Ahead: Texas Tech on Saturday. Who’s ready for a red ass beatdown of the Red Raiders? I don’t trust this team to guard a ham sandwich, but there’s no way the Red Raiders make this the kind of rough ride we’re quickly growing accustomed to, right?

*

FOOTNOTES

1 – The cameras caught him point wildly coming out of a timeout last night and I was struck by the fact that he looks kind of like a guy who fancies himself a mafia don. You know, the kind of guy that would order things at a Luby’s pointing with index and pinkie finger like he wants that Salisbury steak whacked. That’ why you’re never going to be a true player, Baylor. Toupee orders his Salisbury steak like a regular person. Now, executions? Those he orders like a don. Back

2 – Which seems insane, but true. Back

3 – Yet, despite the complete lack of freebies, we attacked inside harder in the second half. Lest you think the refs were letting them play, Baylor went to the charity stripe 14 times last night. Either the Bears were playing the cleanest fucking defense of all time ever or the refs were giving them a hell of a home court advantage on calls. Back

4 – So much so that he fouled out with like 6:30 left in the game. Cool it, man! You were playing so well. You didn’t deserve that. Back

5 – Has there been a KU player that calls for the ball more than Cliff? Every time down, he’s got his hands up for the rock. It’s kind of endearing to see a guy that’s so convinced that he’s not only always open for a pass, but can basically crush any defender in his way. Back

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