For What It's Worth: January 15th

(WICHITA, Kan.)

For What it’s Worth on this cold January 15th--- Thirteen baskets-- fourteen turnovers, that’s a telling stat for Baylor. Need another? Kansas blocked as many shots as BU made in the 61-44 blowout on Big Monday. Senior center Jeff Withey ‘only’ had three of his team’s 13 blocks, but just his presence makes Kansas a better defensive club. When you have a 7’0” shot blocker behind you, it allows perimeter defenders to take more chances. The best case scenario is creating turnovers, but even if a guy gets by someone outside they still have Withey to deal with. When Kansas is focused, as they clearly were last night, they can do things like holding a team that scores 80 a game to 44 points on 23 percent shooting. What a pleasure to see.

What about Mac?

Not as good on the eyes was Ben McLemore going down with an apparent ankle turn/sprain at the 2:44 mark of the second half. At least the freshman walked off with only a little help, his status for Saturday’s trip to Texas is day to day according to Self.

Perry sighting---

Wichitan Perry Ellis was one of seven Jayhawks to play 20 or more minutes against Baylor, as KU Coach Bill Self tries to find a reasonable facsimile of depth. Ellis looked uncomfortable with his shot, but did score 6 points and pull 7 rebounds. KU did manage to get to the National Final with a short bench last season, but they don’t quite have the star power of that team. Monday’s bench report: 4 players hitting 5-16 shots, combining for 10 points and five turnovers. Ugh.

Makes Musberger sound good---

Fran Fraschilla may be the most under rated color guy in the game. He’s understated, but knowledgeable and funny. Beyond that, he’s extremely well prepared and an excellent communicator. One of his best lines of the night, as the buzzer sounder on a shot clock violation: “my favorite sound as a coach”-- subtle but insightful.

Great sense of timing---

WSU head Coach Gregg Marshall announced that Carl Hall has been cleared to play after missing seven games with a broken thumb. The Shockers need this both emotionally and physically. They’ve lost a little steam over their last three games, winning in the last minute and a half at Bradley, before rallying from nine down in the second half against SIU, then losing at Evansville. I wouldn’t expect the senior big man to play a lot against Illinois State on Wednesday, but all bets are off when Creighton comes in on Saturday—Hall wants that game badly.

Lance on Oprah---

Are you really going invest time on Thursday to watch this interview? I’m not sure how much I really care to hear Armstrong confirm what we already knew. Armstrong has done so much good in the fight against cancer and he should always be lauded for that, but this has the desperate feel of a guy trying to save his legacy. It’s too late.

Colts for Slade---

Two of the good guys in high school sports are coming together in Haysville, in an effort to resuscitate football at Campus High School. Greg Slade won a 4A State Championship at Rose Hill and Dr. John Burke is a great sports enthusiast as the Superintendent at the Haysville school district. I hope the deal works out great for both.

Right here tomorrow---

…Amongst other things: K-State getting ready for its visit to TCU. Have a great Tuesday.

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