Twitter Tuesday: McLemore, Allen Fieldhouse, K-State, KU, Chiefs, Royals, Grammys and Chappelle Show
The Kansas City Star
Rustin Dodd, my friend and the Star’s Kansas beat writer, made the joke last night that it was a bit like KU fans coped with three consecutive losses by making a bunch of signs. Even by KU standards, there were bunches and bunches of them.
I think my favorite: WE STILL BELIEVE!
That’s a now 20-4 team those fans still believe in, by the way. The 14th ranked team in the country that is now in first place of the Big 12, pointed toward what would be a ninth consecutive conference title. Good to know they still believe.
As I wrote in the column — mostly about Ben McLemore, reluctant superstar — KU’s had so much success lately their fans’ coping mechanisms are a bit rusty.
But other than McLemore’s stunning talent — and please, read Rustin’s story on him — my takeaway last night was the monster that is Allen Fieldhouse. Nobody in the country would’ve beaten KU last night, not in that building, with that energy, with the type of focus you can only get from a group of college kids playing for their pride. K-State was fighting a grizzly bear last night, and the fact that they lost by 21 — was it really that close? — isn’t a real indication for either what the Jayhawks are or the Wildcats aren’t.
Look it: there is still a plausible way for K-State to win the league, even after that loss.
Even with the tiebreaker now over K-State, you have to believe KU will need some help to win the league. KU is a very good team, but unlike years past they are a very good team like maybe 10 or 12 other very good teams. This is the way that the rest of college basketball lives .
The problem with extrapolating much from last night is that the Fieldhouse skews it. KU has now won an absurd 103 of 105 games there, and with a Gameday crowd coming Saturday for a game against crappy Texas, we can’t know much about KU again until it goes to Stillwater next week. K-State, similarly, has games we should expect it to win at least until March 2, when it plays in Waco.
Let’s hold off on making any grand statements about either team, is what I’m saying.
This week’s eating recommendation is the Peach Tree Buffet, which Tim Scott points out is open again. The reading recommendation is the talented Greg Bishop’s profile of Jay Williams. The story made waves in large part because of Williams’ assertion that some of his Bulls teammates used to get high before games, but the focus on that line distracts from an incredibly well-done piece.
Small programming note, part 1: sorry this is late today, but like I mentioned on Twitter, I’m stupid and deleted the whole shebang right before posting. Yes, I’m aware I’m an idiot. Thank you.
Small programming note, part 2: no Twitter Tuesday or columns from me next week, because your boy will be on a beach in San Juan. Boom.
Let’s get to it. As always, thanks for your help.
@NDRoyalsFan #TT is it bad my role models consist of you, Rex Hudler and the guy who invented whiskey?
One of three’s not bad. I’m also very impressed with whoever invented the raisin nuts in Raisin Nut Bran. Well done, sir or madam.
@thillsman How do you feel about @Royals_Report taking your Twitter Tues idea & immediately one-upping you by making it a daily feature? :)
Conflicted. I’ve said on here before that Dutton’s better at his job than any of the rest of us are at ours, so as much as I’d like to crush him for it I’m going to stand down here. I prefer my targets easier to hit. You know, like Babb.
@mblaze524 when do you think Bill self will cave and move EJ out of the point guard spot?
He’s starting to do it now. Naadir Tharpe played 27 minutes last night, essentially the same as Elijah Johnson (28). Afterward, Self called the decisive first half the best half Tharpe has played at KU and I’m not sure it wasn’t his best overall game: eight assists and one turnover.
To be at its best, KU most needs McLemore to be a star. But not far behind on the list is the need for more out of the point guard position. Johnson is too good of a shooter for an extended slump like this, and anyone who remembers KU’s tournament run last year remembers a guy who isn’t afraid of big moments. This is pretty clearly in his head, but it’s also pretty clear that right now KU’s best is with Tharpe at point and Johnson either on the bench or off the ball.
Playing both guys 25-30 minutes, with Johnson playing point only when Tharpe is on the bench seems like a good way to go. But Johnson’s too good of a player for people to be seemingly writing him off like this.
@ColeYoung give me one realistic time KU fans could storm the court? Can only think if F4 was in AFH or somehow Fball related. #TT
If Oprah went to Lawrence, and offered free Pizza Shuttle to the first 200 students on the floor.
I don’t have a problem with court-storming. Truth is, I kind of like it. Sports need more emotion, not less, and besides, hearing cranky old folk complain about the logic behind it is more than a little silly. A lot of the kids storming courts after college basketball games are also doing keg stands and wearing pajamas all day long in public. Take your logic somewhere else, and let the kids have their fun.
@JayDubIII I’m not a KU fan but you’d be pretty naive to think Self won’t have KU ready this March. Your thoughts ??
Self is one of the best three or so coaches in the country. Someday, they will probably have a statue of him outside the Fieldhouse. He has earned the benefit of the doubt, and a fan base’s confidence.
But he’s also not a magician. And KU is a flawed team, just like the 10 or 12 other best teams in the country are flawed. Like I wrote the other day, this is a good team — just not Kansas good.
Especially this season, they are good enough to win the league and even play on the season’s last weekend. I just don’t think they’re good enough to demand it, or consider the season a grand failure if either doesn’t happen.
@prnutz I’ll go ahead and eat crow. I wrote earlier this year questioning Weber’s hiring. I’m firmly on the bandwagon W or L vs KU. #TT
Scott is a friend of Twitter Tuesday. He sent this just before the game…
@prnutz I retract my earlier tweet. This is horrendous. Weber has a lot to learn. #TT
…and he sent this during the game. I heart sports.
@BrandanKC Are we in a golden era of Kansas State University athletics?
That’s a pretty straightforward case to make. The craptastic history of K-State football is well-known, so between football and men’s basketball — let’s be honest, those are the two sports we care about — this is as good as they’ve been together.
Depending on how you merge your seasons, right now is the first time that football has been to three straight bowl games AND basketball to three straight NCAA Tournaments simultaneously. K-State has won 11 and 10 football games the last two seasons, and the last time it did that Jim Wooldridge was coaching basketball. The time before that, it was Tom Asbury.
When Lon Kruger was coaching basketball, you had Stan Parrish with football and then the first few years of Snyder cleaning up the mess.
So, yeah. You can make this case pretty easily.
@kent_swanson #humblebrag I got engaged to my smoke show girlfriend.
Although, you know, I’m not sure what was humble about that.
@TheJeffReport convince me that the Chiefs not drafting a QB number one overall is the smart thing to do #TwitterTuesday
The inconvenient truth is that the Chiefs stunk one year too late. The NFL personnel community is unanimous that there is no sure franchise quarterback in this draft, and drafting a guy first overall won’t change that.
I’ve been pretty consistent on this: the Chiefs NEED to upgrade at quarterback during the offseason, but I don’t care how they do it. If they decide their own needs plus a particular quarterback’s ability is worth the first pick, then cool. But if they decide they can get a worthy quarterback later in the draft, or through a trade, then they should do that.
But taking a guy first overall won’t make him Andrew Luck or Peyton Manning or even Eli Manning. It might just mean they spent the highest NFL pick in franchise history on a guy they could’ve had in the second round.
@Made_Dad Gotye. What the hell? #twittertuesday
I’m a married man who’s seen my wife exactly two nights in the last two weeks, so, yeah, I watched the Grammys. I don’t love Gotye — that one song is OK, if overplayed — but I did think his acceptance speech was one of the coolest moments of the night:
That’s how they should all do it. We don’t care about your agent, or your label, or your “team.” Do like Gotye.
@mitchopkins What’s your favorite Chapelle Show skit?
This is the hardest question in Twitter Tuesday history. Whatever is the 40th best Chappelle Show skit is hilarious. This link here — and fair warning, you can spend a few hours on that thing — is the best roundup of Chappelle Show skits I’ve seen.
They picked Clayton Bigsby as the winner, and that’s hard to argue with. Probably my pick, too, but Hater’s Ball isn’t far behind. Or Mad Real World. Or Black Bush. Or maybe a dozen others.
What a freaking show.
@kchoya After the Grammys, isn’t it clear that any Black Keys/[insert musical act] combo would be awesome times five?
Well, yeah. But that was clear before the Grammys. Do you know about the Blackroc?
@rgoodwin5 #TT explain your level of disgust at Mumford & Sons beating The Black Keys for Best Album at the Grammys?
Non-existent. And not just because I like Mumford, and they were the obvious choice. But being disgusted would mean I’d have to give a rat about who wins the Grammys. I only sometimes care about who wins the MVP in sports I care about and in which I occasionally have a vote. Not winning doesn’t make the Keys any less awesome.
Far as I can tell, the Grammys exist to sell merchandise, promote music, and display cleavage. Which is fine.
@kctacoparty cake or pie? #TT
Both. The french silk from Tippins is tough to beat, as is a good apple pie. Pie has a greater upside, but cake is the safer choice, the more consistent performer.
@Fakefakenedyost If Hochevar wins 15-18 games I will buy you a year’s supply of Tank 7. #TwitterTuesday
Cool. And I’ll buy you a spaceship.
@Speck60 I refuse to to get worked up about what Ned says on Day 1. Just kidding. I’m freaking out. Just type words about Sal Perez please
I want to laugh it off. I want to dismiss saying the guy who was, perhaps, the worst starting pitcher in baseball last year will win 15 to 18 games this year — Felix Hernandez has won more than 14 exactly once — is meaningless optimism in early February. It’s harmless, and I also understand and respect the manager trying to pump confidence into a talented but star-crossed pitcher who very clearly needs confidence.
But there’s a way to do that without going full-on absurd. Like, what if he said this:
“Look, I have 100 percent confidence in Luke. Everyone in this organization does. I understand that the big leagues is a results-oriented business, and overall his results haven’t been good enough. But as Pete Grathoff points out, your boy had a 2.21 ERA in half his starts last year. We’re just not in a position to walk away from that yet. He needs to be more consistent, he understands that, and we all have confidence he’ll do it.”
What’s wrong with that?
@the_gingefactor If you got hit in the eye by Slugger’s hotdog gun, would you sue? #baseballisback
First of all, I love that we live in a world where if you type “Sluggerrr” into Google it gives you “hot dog lawsuit” as the first result.
But, guys. I don’t want to come across like I don’t have sympathy for a man’s eye injury. I do. But I’m also lucky enough to say I have the kinds of friends who would crush me every day the rest of my life if I sued a furry mascot for hitting me in the eye with a hot dog. I’d wear the patch if I had to.
@Thuettenmueller I’ve never been more excited for Royals baseball in the 19 years of my life. Am I going to be disappointed again?
Well, yeah. At some point, it’s started to feel like expectations for this team are reaching past reality. Everyone in the organization should be disappointed if they don’t have a winning record, and some of them would almost certainly lose their jobs under that scenario.
But c’mon. This team still has a lot of questions. I’m sure this is something I’ll get into more when I’m in Surprise at the end of the month, but for instance, aren’t people overlooking a little too easily that Ervin Santana just turned 30 and is coming off a season 98 percent as awful as Hochevar’s?
My over-under at the moment is a nice, round, 81 wins. And I’m not sure which side of that bet I’d take. But it sure seems like a lot of people are into the mid or even upper 80s, like competing with the Tigers is almost a forgone conclusion. I don’t know anyone outside Kansas City who thinks the Tigers won’t win the division.
The Royals should be much improved, in other words, but let’s pump the brakes a bit.
@RoyalDuraflame don’t ever bitch about your job, Sam.
It’s a better life than I deserve.