Monday, November 29, 2004

The Second Game of the Seventeenth Year

Kansas 91 St. Joseph's 51

Bowling Green and Toledo conspired to run 40 minutes over the time allotted for their football game last Tuesday. Not being in the state of Kansas or in Philly, by the time I saw Allen Field House, there were a little under four minutes left in the first half and St. Joe's was finished. Thus, no player ratings.

In the twenty-four minutes of the game that I saw, Russell Robinson looked quite exciting. It's comforting to assert that the Cedric Hunter and Darnell Valentine comparisons may be apt. Especially because, despite protestations to the contrary, Keith Langford does not appear to be healthy. I can't remember the last time he got to the rim and dunked on a defender. He attempted to do so twice against St. Joe's but appeared physically unable to get high enough. As a freshman and sophomore, Langford excelled at getting into the paint and scoring in traffic, often scoring over bigger defenders. He's improved his outside shooting, but Keith Langford minus the ability to dribble penetrate and score will be a complementary player at most.

That, in turn, will heap more pressure on the freshman big men. The nature of the game (blowout) and the opponent (St. Joe's interior players provided little resistance on either end of the court) allowed Jackson, Giles, and Kaun to demonstrate some of their skills. In the long-term they could be a very good trio. I retain doubts about their ability to make key plays in key moments in the near future.

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