View Full Version : Whitlock: This KU team will be remembered for wrong reasons

03-19-2005, 02:13 AM

This team will be remembered for all of the wrong reasons


OKLAHOMA CITY When it was over, only Michael Lee, C.J. Giles and Alex Galindo showed enough class to shake the hands of the better basketball team on Friday night. The rest of the Kansas Jayhawks walked off the court sore losers, ignoring the handshake line of the celebratory Bucknell Bison.

Unbelievable. One of the most disappointing losses in the history of Kansas basketball ended poorly and finished the careers of four players we thought we'd never forget. Well, we still might always remember Wayne Simien, Michael Lee, Keith Langford and Aaron Miles, KU's thought-to-be-legendary senior class.

But now we will remember them for what they didn't accomplish. They didn't make it out of the NCAA Tournament's first round.

The Bison pulled the biggest shocker of the tournament, upsetting the third-seeded Jayhawks 64-63.

Roy Williams must be turning over in his Tar Heel teal warm-up. No one imagined these decorated Jayhawks getting bounced from the tournament by a midmajor, scholarship-deficient squad. Kansas was supposed to meet Williams and North Carolina in the regional finals.

Instead, we'll be spending the next few weeks trying to figure out what went wrong and what is wrong with Bill Self's Kansas program.

Yeah, this is going to fall hard on Self, Williams' successor. He was given the keys to an experienced, talented basketball team, and he steered the Jayhawks into a Big 12 ditch the last month of the season and into a head-on collision during the Big Dance.

The Roy Williams comparisons are going to start all over again, particularly if the Tar Heels advance to the Final Four.

Self never fully got the attention of this team. He never defined roles for KU's underclassmen. He never reached streak shooter J.R. Giddens. Much more than Langford's injured ankle, Self's inability to get anything out of his five freshmen and Giddens wrecked this Kansas squad.

Giddens was awful. He missed six of the seven shots he took. His only basket was a layup off an alley-oop pass. He missed all five of his three-point attempts. Giddens yo-yoed in and out of the lineup all Friday night. He lacked energy from the opening tip. Self ripped Giddens because he got outhustled to a loose ball early on.

Giddens' lack of energy mirrored the energy shortage of all the Jayhawks except Lee and Simien, the only Jayhawks who came to play Friday night. The seniors scored 42 of KU's points. But Simien missed a crucial free throw late and missed an open 15-footer in the lane as time expired.

Simien can be forgiven. Other than that, he was absolutely sensational despite a collapsing defense designed to limit his touches.

Lee was sensational, too, scoring 18 points. He made what we thought was the biggest play of the game when he stole the ball with 52 seconds to play and drew an intentional foul. Kansas trailed by three points at the time. Lee sank two free throws, and Kansas went ahead by a point with 24 seconds left when Langford dropped two freebies.

The intentional foul should've never been called. The game was poorly officiated. Kansas fans won't be doing any complaining about how poor officiating cost the Jayhawks the game. The officiating was one-sided. Kansas stayed in the game primarily because it shot 27 free throws and Bucknell went to the line just 16 times.

Nope. Kansas lost because it came out flat, because Giddens, Langford and Miles shot a combined two of 19 from the field and scored 12 points.

Miles missed all five shots he took.

Unbelievable. This Kansas team completely fell apart. Self never corrected the chemistry problems that plagued the Jayhawks throughout the season. Giddens pouted on the bench and took bad shots when he was on the court.

The whole mess undermines the legacy of what was thought to be a great class. They walked off the court in an unsportsmanlike fashion. Now you have to question what they accomplished. Did they just ride the backs of Drew Gooden, Kirk Hinrich and Nick Collison to two Final Four appearances? Did the seniors ride Roy Williams to two outright Big 12 titles?

Hmmm. They're probably unfair questions, but they'll be asked. I still consider it a great recruiting class. Miles, Langford, Simien and Lee are all good young men. They'll be successful in life. But something was missing from the group, besides a terrific shooter.

Having said that, they're going to leave a huge void in the Kansas basketball program. There better be a Carmelo Anthony in Self's incoming class of freshmen and transfers, because the Jayhawks don't return a player capable of being dominant.

Roy Williams' ghost may really start to howl next season.

Mr. Flopnuts
03-19-2005, 02:20 AM
They refused to shake hands with Bucknell? That is pathetic, act like men.

Pitt Gorilla
03-19-2005, 02:34 AM
There was a discussion concerning class a while back and some KU fan noted that he couldn't think of a time when a KU player didn't have class. I guess he can take his pick of players now.

03-19-2005, 02:34 AM
They refused to shake hands with Bucknell? That is pathetic, act like men.

You post whore, I refuse to associate with yo kind. :p

03-19-2005, 02:41 AM
I thought MU was the only program that didn't act with class.


03-19-2005, 02:47 AM
They refused to shake hands with Bucknell? That is pathetic, act like men.

That is pathetic and kinda like wipimg a bugar on somebody :p

03-19-2005, 03:46 AM
Well, if anybody can recognize a meltdown, it's Whitlock.

03-19-2005, 06:26 AM
Damn, I didn't even stay up and watch this game. I just figured KU would blow them out by halftime. I guess that's gotta feel as bad as it did for us back when Northern Iowa hit that 30 foot shot at the buzzer to beat us back in '87.

03-19-2005, 07:45 AM
I thought MU was the only program that didn't act with class.


Amen. :clap: