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10 Thoughts: Kansas



Photo Attribution: US Presswire

Photo Attribution: US Presswire


Hold on for a second.


How much fun was that?!

Marcus Smart welcomes himself to the national player of the year race as OSU takes down Kansas for the first time in Lawrence since 1989 and beats a top five team on the road for the first time since 1958 (!)

I cannot explain to you how Travis Ford is two for his last 21 on the road and one of those wins is at Allen Fieldhouse but I do (as always) have 10 thoughts…

1. It feels like forever ago but how monstrous was Markel Brown’s first half? For the game he had 28 on 9-17 shooting (7-10 from 3P) and played D on Kansas’ best chance at Big 12 player of the year, Ben McLemore. Oh, and he had 2 boards, 4 assists, a steal, and 2 blocks. So yeah, he can be Robin.

2. Let’s talk about Batman though: 25 points, 9 boards (8 offensive!!!), 3 assists, and 5 steals for Smart. And he just ripped KU’s heart out at the end. He controlled the last four minutes of the game in ways you want Big 12 player of the year candidates to control the last four minutes of games. He picked up Nash, boarded over Releford, hammered on Withey, and did a sweet little dance in Phog Allen’s house to top it all off.

National player of the year candidate indeed.

3. Thanks to pops for the idea here, Bill Self’s Big 12 losses:

4. While we’re here, how good is Ben McLemore? He’s what Nash would be if he played like Markel plays. Just a freaking monster.

5. The Nash thing…I just don’t know. I’m back to thinking he’s just not very good anymore. Murph played eight minutes and he had four points, five boards, and an assist. Nash played 24 and had 7-1-2. It was almost a relief when he finally fouled out.

6. The Smart apocalyptic almost-dunk on Withey to open the game really set the “eff you I’m Marcus Smart and I brought my boy Markel with me to play with you guys today” tone to open the game. He missed the dunk, I realize, but it really set the table for what was to come.

7. Am I the only one who felt like Withey got every 50/50 call in sight? I understand he’s a 5th-year senior and blah blah blah but my gosh. Oh, and Pau Gasol thinks Withey takes a lot of steps without dribbling.

8. Randy Rutherford was probably shifting the toothpick he was chomping on around a little bit during the first half getting nervous about Markel blowing past his 45-point effort at KU his senior year.

9. In case you missed the videos:

Marcus Smart dunks on Jeff Withey
Marcus Smart does a backflip on Allen Fieldhouse floor
Clock stops for six seconds at end of game
Marcus Smart with the knockout punch

10. The stat lines of OSU and KU are eerie

OSU: 85 points | 37 boards | 17 offensive | 13 assists | 9 steals | 6 blocks | 13 TO | 21 PF
KU:   80 points | 38 boards | 18 offensive | 15 assists | 9 steals | 6 blocks | 15 TO | 24 PF

Kansas actually shot better than OSU from 3P (45% to 33%) and made more foul shots. So how did OSU win?!

By hanging around, by willing themselves back in the game over and over again, by quenching KU runs with offensive putbacks and steals, by staving off those haunting “roooockkkk challllkkkk jayhaaaawk” chants at the very end.

By hitting big free throws at the end (the announcers said Phil Forte had “ice veins”!)

And mostly…by having Marcus Smart.

11. I’ve had this one queued up longer than Dave Armstrong had that “what can Markel Brown do for the Cowboys” line…

Marcus Smart’s stones are bigger than that Jayhawk at the middle of KU’s court.

Baylor on Wednesday.

Let this Cobbins hammer take you home.

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