• KU VICTORY SOMEWHAT HOLLOW — I think anybody with two eyes (or four in my case) who saw the end of the Kansas-Kansas State basketball game Tuesday night knows the Jayhawks’ game-winning basket by Svi Mykhailiuk should not have counted.
It shouldn’t even be argued.
Replay after replay confirmed what 16,300 in Allen Field House knew as well as the millions who watched the game nationally. It was a travel, plain and simple.
The only problem is the three officials who worked the game unfathomably missed it.
It’s about the most blatant missed call I’ve seen in a long time. I’ll give Svi credit, he made an athletic play to get to the rim for his game-winning layup.
But goodness sakes, the play was something you’d see at the YMCA in a third-grade fundamentals of basketball clinic. The Jayhawk junior literally ran with the ball.
At this posting there’s been no official statement from the Big 12 office, but I’m guessing the crew who worked the game will receive a dressing down. And one of the officials, Mike Stuart, is regarded as one of the best in the collegiate ranks.
When the officials went to the replay to see if Svi got the shot off in time, I’m sure their hearts sank when they saw they blew the call. But traveling is not a reviewable call.
I’m sure they had the replay running on the scoreboard, which is one reason Allen Field House didn’t overload with emotional juice. KU fans are sophisticated enough to spot a travel when they see one. I know being a KU alum, the victory didn’t seem earned and it took away from a great game between the two teams. It won’t be remembered for KU’s early rally or K-State’s second-half charge. It will be remembered for “The Travel.”
The game proved two things — 1) Kansas State is for real. The Wildcats’ 12-1 record going into the game was propped up by a litany of pushovers, but they’re going to have a definite say as how the race is going to take shape. 2) KU can’t guard inside. The Jayhawks are being torched by almost every opponent’s post players. It’s somewhat of a product of KU playing just one big and if it doesn’t shore things up, I can see the ‘Hawks losing more than a couple of conference games.
• GOOD START FOR MHS — There’s nothing better than coming back from Christmas break with a sweep. And it’s even better when the sweep comes against your most spirited rival.
McPherson High’s basketball teams started 2017 successfully on Tuesday by notching victories against Buhler. Even without 26-point-a-game scorer Taylor Robertson, the Bullpup girls still motored past the youthful Crusaders, who at this point are somewhat offensively challenged. Jon McLean’s team, however, embodied his personality as it played with a lot of passion.
Mandi Cooks stepped up big for the Bullpups. She no doubt knew with Robertson out that more was expected of her offensively and she delivered a 21-point virtuoso as she made 10 of 13 from the field. The Bullpup defense, led by Jordan Bruner, Riley Hett and Emma Yowell, forced the Crusaders into an avalanche of turnovers.
For the boys, the Bullpups inched closer to being the team they hope to be. Once they became less 3-point happy and got the ball inside, they were highly successful. It was good to see Ben Pyle slice up the Buhler defense for layup after layup as he finished with 29 points, 20 in the second half.
MHS’ defense was terrific in the first three quarters, then dissipated in the fourth as Buhler scored 31 points. The Bullpups are still looking to put together that 32-minute game.