Jayhawk fans might as well get used to it. This IS NOT a basketball team that is going to blow teams off the court. Oh, they might be good enough but, so far, they are not focused enough, not Bill Self-drilled enough, to make that happen. They are good enough to beat any team in the country but they can also lose to a whole bunch of teams and every one of them will be a close game!
The frustrating thing about this Kansas team is that they keep games close in a number of mind-numbing ways but pick another avenue for each game. In one game they may not shoot well. In another an uncharacteristic high amount of turnovers. In Monday night’s win over Texas they were pitiful from the free throw line, hitting an anemic 11 of 21. Other nights it has been a lack of rebounding and others just poor defense. Fortunately for KU fans, this is a team that seldom does more than one or two of these things wrong on the same night.
Kansas is a good enough defensive team to beat another good team without shooting well but they cannot, must not, add in one of the other liabilities on the same night or an Iowa State happens. Do that and these Jayhawks are capable of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory!
The St.John Lions Club Mid-Winter Classic is underway in St.John this week. It is the 51st Annual tournament, one of the longest running basketball tournaments in the state. Area fans can gorge themselves on basketball as well as mouth-watering delights in the food court! This tournament is known almost as much for its famous pie and stuffed baked potatoes as it is for the basketball.
Not to be outdone by the cooks in the kitchen, the basketball talent supplied by the teams competing this year is a fan’s delight. Only one team, Nickerson, comes into the tournament with less than a winning record and they are a solid 5-5. The field is so tough that Larned, with a 6-2 record was relegated to the fifth seed. The field includes Central Plains (9-0), Ness City (9-1), Wichita Sunrise (10-2), St.John (8-2), Larned (6-2), Macksville (6-3), Kansas City Christian (5-3) and Nickerson (5-5)
Some tournaments carry the name “Classic” in their title but for the St.John Tournament it really belongs there. This one really is a “Classic”. Please pass me a piece of that Chocolate Meringue pie please!
— Could it be any better? The new gunslinger in town (Mahomes) vs. the old master (Brady)? Patriots vs. Chiefs at Arrowhead. Game on! Can the Chiefs defense repeat their performance of the past two weeks? Probably not completely but I think they will do just enough for the Chiefs to win in another shootout. Chiefs 39, Patriots 35.
— Cowboys owner Jerry Jones just bought a new yacht that reportedly cost him $250 Million! It comes equipped with two helipads, a garage, steam room, pool and other things of pleasure but Jerry WILL NOT be able to sail it to watch his team play in the Super Bowl! I wonder if you could catch a Bluegill off of the deck?
— NFL television ratings were UP 5% in 2018, after several years of decline. The Big Cigars in the NFL can thank the emergence of the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes and the resurgence of the LA Rams for that increase. Without that buzz they would still have been in the tank, thanks to their National Anthem stand!
— Wouldn’t it be great to see Kansas State play well for a complete game? These “Krazy Kats” have looked horrible at the start of games only to finish like gangbusters. Will Dean Wade’s return “right the ship”? Reminds me of an old joke that goes, “What’s the difference between a dollar bill and the New York Jets? You can still get four quarters out of a dollar bill!”
Buddy Tabler is a guest columnist for the Great Bend Tribune and his views don’t necessarily reflect those of the paper. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.