GET BACK UP HOYAS!
The game started out going the Hoyas way to some degree until some young name named Tariq Black came off of the bench. Black scored 10 pts. in the first half to set the tone for Kansas. ''Tarik was better today than at any point in time, but that's how he's been practicing every day,'' Kansas coach Bill Self said. ''His attitude has been great.'' ''We can definitely do some damage on the inside,'' Black said.
''They did a good job of getting us in foul trouble,'' Hoyas coach John Thompson III said. ''I think particularly Black played very well today. Whenever we felt like we were making a step toward cutting into the lead, he'd get a rebound or make a three-point play.''
The Kansas bench out scored the Hoyas bench 15-7 in the first half as well. By the end of the game Jayhawks bench continued to outscore the Hoyas bench 33-15. KU's Black and Embid both combined for 34 pts., 17 a piece. Hoyas guards combined for a total of 40 points, KU's guards scored a combined total of 31 points.
I think the Hoyas guards could've done a better job at getting the bigs the ball in the paint a lot more especially in second half. There were lots of times the bigs were looked off. The guards have to know for "40 minutes" it's about getting the ball in the paint and attacking off the dribble. Hoyas defense needs to tighten up for the duration as well. ''All the credit goes to them,'' Lubick said. ''We didn't come ready to fight.''
The Hoyas were outrebounded 39-29. Kansas went on a 27-11 run before the half. Both teams shot poorly from 3 point range, KU 35.7%, Hoyas 26.7%. Hoyas shot well from the free throw line but only made it there 28 times, 16-28, at 57.1%. Kansas shot 31-46, at 67.4% from the free throw line.
"Kansas had 46 free throw attempts against the Hoyas, tied for it's most in a game over the last 15 seasons" per ESPN Stats Info. The foul calls and free throws could've been the difference maker in this game, because the field goal percentage for both teams were almost similar. "Field goals both teams, Gtown 22-54, 40.7%, KU shot 25-46 54.3%." Both teams had 12 turnovers and 7 steals.
Hoyas had 5 blocks, KU 7. Definitely not taking anything away from the Jayhawks, but something seems fishy here. I'd like to see most of our team play on a consistent basis. I think this will help a great deal. I'm glad I saw this today.
The Hoyas do have some experience on the bench especially on defense. I really like Hoyas senior guard John Caprio, the kid is for tough and has great hands on defense. I know my best defensive players get playing time because they make a difference and they are gamechangers. I always said when you have great defensive players playing great defense this becomes contagious, so I tell my teams whoever plays good to great defense you will earn playing time, and guess what? They all do, and this, again, becomes contagious.
I think this game was a great learning experience for our Hoyas today. They can either take this big road loss and put their heads down or get back up and use this loss as motivation for the rest of the season. Most teams we've beaten over the years during the regular season or have blown out made it to the Final Four, Butler, Duke, Louisville. If I'm missing one or two teams I'm sure you know the rest. ;) Anyways, I love seeing my team play win or lose. "I always take the bitter with the sweet, it's what life is all about, but NOW for the Hoyas it's about getting back up. Never give up, never give up!"
Up next, Florida International. Hoya Saxa!