KU loses to Arkansas

65-64 in a nailbiter. KU played much better, but they just couldn't put it togther on the final play. Very disappointed by a loss, but heck, at least we'll be playing during primetime tomorrow night. For 7th place.

A couple of stats stick out to me:

2-5: Free throws for the game. KU has got to be more agressive in order to get to the line more often. Arkansas fouled more than KU, and yet Arkansas scored 10 points from the line. In two games in Maui, KU has been outscored 33-9 on the foul line. Pit Bull aggressiveness? Not yet. Pit poodle is more like it. Come on guys, you can do better.

1-2: Our record at present. It's worse than I would have thought (I really thought we could have and should have beaten Arkansas), but at the end of the year, no one will care. These tough games in a tough environment will prove an inexpensive education at the end of the year.

KU played considerably better, but still played sloppy. They flat out gave away 8-10 points in the second half and gave up a few key possessions with STUPID turnovers. Most notable among these was Jeff Hawkins' dribble off the foot in the closing minutes when he simply took his eye off the ball.

A good loss?

I suppose so, but I sure do hate losing.

Phog Forecasts: Arizona

It will be a good game I think. Vegas thinks so, if it's any comfort -they have Arizona favored by 5, which is a lot less than I would have suspected. Arizona lost a lot since last year - Adams is their top returning scorer at around 13 points a game, I believe. I do think that Arizona will likely win, but I wouldn't be surprised to see the 'Hawks pull one out.

It's just so easy in the season that it's very difficult to know what to expect.

Arizona will very likely press. If that rattles our team, we could get run out of the building. If our ballhandlers, particularly Julian Wright, can maintain poise and not panic, we should be able to hang with them very well. Arizona is more experienced, but they are not more talented.

Because I'm a homer, I'll predict that KU squeaks by in a very high scoring game, and gets the entire nation talking about this team well before even the turn of the year.

My pick:

KU: 87 Arizona: 83

UPDATE: I am not alone. Tony Mejia at Sportsline picks KU 83-79.

Something about Hawaii:

Ken Pomeroy explores the Hawaian magic in this post, as well as naming Sasha Kaun winner of Friday's "Line of the Night". Great props for Sasha to have the best line in college basketball on Friday.

Michigan State gets thwomped by Hawaii?

You read that right. MSU picked up a quick game in Oahu en route to the Maui Classic. I guess this will give them more motivation, but I wouldn't have expected MSU, picked #1 in the land by the Sporting News, to get pounded by Hawaii. But that's college hoops.

Maui Preview from Arizona

An interesting, if not overly-deep preview of the Maui Invitational. What they say about KU:

#

Kansas

J.R. Giddens transferred, and Wayne Simien and Aaron Miles graduated. So what's left for head coach Bill Self?

Three walk-ons turned into scholarship players, and in came four incoming freshmen who make as good of a recruiting class as any in the nation.

Guards Mario Chalmers, Micah Downs and Brandon Rush, brother of the Charlotte Bobcats' Kareem Rush and ex-UCLA player JaRon Rush, join forward Julian Wright, as all four are expected to contribute.

# Go-to player: Sophomore forward C.J. Giles (2.8 points, 2.4 rebounds)

# What they have to do win: Let the freshmen loose.

Don't forget about the Sophomores, either. It's Self's team now.

PhogCast Episode 3: Interview with Mike DeCourcy

Mike DeCourcy, who covers college basketball for The Sporting News, was nice enough to join us for episode 3 of PhogCasts. Download PhogCast Episode 3 here.

In this episode we cover many a thing to get a KU fan excited, including, but not limited to:

Mike's thoughts on the strenth of the college game this year.

Kansas' national prospects (including an interesting story about why KU wasn't ranked in their top 25 that might surprise you)

The Big 12 Conference

Quin Snyder's job and why he's still around.

Mike's thoughts on Arizona

and

Some information on Maui that you shouldn't miss. As always, we welcome any feedback you may have. We're looking at providing some cool coverage from the beach at Maui.

Thanks a lot and happy listening.

As always, you can listen on your computer by downloading above, or by clicking play on the handy device below.

Maui Invitational Conference Call Highlights

Today was the 2005 Maui Invitational Conference Call (pdf), wherein both Arizona's Lute Olson and Bill Self commented. This exchange I found particularly interesting:

(Jeffery Parson): (Coach Olson), this is (Jeffery Parson) from Wichita Eagle, and can you compare this field to - is there any field that sticks out in your mind in these pre-season tournaments you've been in that you thought, "Oh this is tough, or looks as loaded as this one?"

(Lute Olson): No, this in my opinion is the best pre-season match-ups in a tournament situation that I've ever seen. And that includes NIT pre-season or anyone you want to mention. You know, when you got six teams that have won National Championship's, the seventh team that's been invited is (Gonzaga) who's been ranked in the top 6, 7, 8 and even higher. I saw fourth in one poll. So I mean it is loaded. It's going to be - there are going to be some great basketball games. And I feel very strongly that every team is going to come out of that tournament with some positives to build on.

Worth a read, definitely.

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