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Okla. St. at Kansas coverage

Oklahoma State defeats Kansas, 85-80

  • 3 p.m., Feb. 2, 2013
  • Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, KS

FINAL: Oklahoma State stuns KU with 85-80 win at Allen Fieldhouse

Markel Brown scored 28 points and Marcus Smart added 25, as the Oklahoma State men's basketball team snapped Kansas' 18-game winning streak with an 85-80 victory on Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse.

Trailing 83-80 with seven seconds left, KU had one last chance to tie, but point guard Elijah Johnson lost the ball on the dribble and turned it over.

OSU led by as many as 14 in the first half before KU stormed back to take the lead early in the second half.

KU led late before turnovers doomed it down the stretch. The Jayhawks finished with 16 turnovers, compared to 13 for the Cowboys.

Ben McLemore led KU with 23 points on 9-for-17 shooting. Kevin Young added 12 points, while Jeff Withey had 11.

KU (19-2, 7-1 Big 12) will play at TCU at 8 p.m. Wednesday.

Box score

Comments

Brian Conrad 4 years, 8 months ago

EJ needs to take hard look inside , his lazy passes are killing the team. he needs to stay in gym all night shooting.. but the passing is horrible , he single handed lost this game. shooting pitiful turnovers at real bad time.. Nadir needs to start to see if that will get his attention. this team was out of gas .. EJ EJ EJ EJ EJ up 4 and he has 4 bad plays in a row to hand them the game..

Justin Daniel 4 years, 8 months ago

If we play like we did today, they might get their first big 12 win

westernkshawk 4 years, 8 months ago

Think EJ needs to sit for awhile until he can regain his focus. He is killing this team! Think he had three turnovers in the last few minutes and nothing on the positive side. I feel bad for him as I know the desire is there but he's just not producing!

Brian Conrad 4 years, 8 months ago

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MGJayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

Dylans - then who would you sit if Tharpe started? Would you sit EJ? Not sure if I agree with that

dylans 4 years, 8 months ago

Or sit Young and play small. You'd better tell EJ not to shoot though.

MGJayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

I tend to trust EJ over Tharpe but maybe experiment with that against TCU.

4 years, 8 months ago

Tharpe will be in replacing EJ with EJ being the first player off the pine. Let's also remember that EJ had help in this loss.. Perry Ellis is starting to remind me of Ricky Ross (for the other old-timers) Traylor scored zero points in 8 min. Withey had more personal fouls then blocks.

If you look at production i.e. points scored per time on the floor, Andrew White had six points and one steal and played only 1 min. Not sure how relevant that was but we desperately need another scorer to better address the 2/3 zone that Oklahoma State likes to play.

texashawk10 4 years, 8 months ago

AW3 also had a huge mental lapse when he didn't foul Smart at the end when Releford had him trapped. White needs to be aware of the situation and know Releford had 4 fouls and couldn't foul Smart in that situation.

dehawk 4 years, 8 months ago

There's probably enough blame to go around but why bother. CS has said time and again that this team is not as good as everyone thinks they are. Maybe instead of blaming, we should consider that this might be a team that has ben overachieving, but isn't as good as we all had thought. I don't mind losing, but I wish it hadn't been home court. That is the only thing that bothers me about this game.

texasdochawk 4 years, 8 months ago

I understand the remorse about losing at home with the tradition and win streak, but if we're going to lose I would ESPECIALLY prefer to lose at home because it's an embarrassment to everyone involved, especially the players and coaches! This will definitely light some fires under the tails of the Hawks! I too feel for TCU right now!

Brian Conrad 4 years, 8 months ago

everyone knew it was coming lazy lazy lazy passes.. better in second half till EJ started handling the ball. Nadir needs to be point the team goes as the poimt goes energy smart passes , shooting.. EJ behind Nadir all three fazes.. EJ come off the bech more minutes for Tharpe

Brandon Pope 4 years, 8 months ago

I agree with this and I hate to because EJ has given so much to KU. You can just see that he has lost his edge somehow. Maybe it is the knee issues. Even when he gets a break away dunk it looks labored. I remember the EJ that would sky for lob dunks from the Morri. The EJ that would stroke it from three all night long if left open at the end of last season. The guy that would have freaking pulled up and taken that deep three today for the tie with 4 second left on the clock, rather than trying to cross it over resulting in a steal and the L at home.

The guy doesn't handle ball pressure, he doesn't make his shots, he turn it over, he doesn't create shots for anyone, he doesn't make his FTs, and he doesn't belong in his starting role over Na right now.

TCU is a game we could sleep walk through if we wanted so I think this is the time to try Na with the start and EJ 1st off the bench. Their minutes should simply flip. Na is doing all the things EJ cant right now including creating offense for others. Thats what a PG should be doing, not turning it over at the end of regulation.

theend 4 years, 8 months ago

I have been very negative. I should not be . But it's just that I have never seen one player have such a horrible game. You have to work hard to play that poorly. I thought everyone else played ok. EJ needs to be benched indefinitely. Force him to earn his way back(if he can.....I doubt it). Maybe his injury is way worse than we know?

Pitthawk34 4 years, 8 months ago

EJ just seems to do what he wants without any consequence. Want to continue to see him play but his minutes should be cut without question.

Marcia Parsons 4 years, 8 months ago

I think he is hurting. Have you watched him try to run on a fast break? He runs practically stiff legged, loping along instead of running. That being said, it's hard to want him to keep playing the point. He did well last year, but with him in the game it was slow and deliberate. He's trying to play faster this year, and it isn't working for whatever reason.

texasdochawk 4 years, 8 months ago

Unfortunately, I don't think it's an injury issue for Elijah...

Rock_Chalk_NYC 4 years, 8 months ago

EJ is horrible. I trust Self will address how to best move the team forward. We're not there in practice so I have to assume EJ knows how to dribble, shoot, defend and pass? But again, thats an assumption. Win as a team, lose as a team. Lets hope this loss helps in some way?

LAJayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

Really, this was long overdue. Too bad it had to happen at home, but we all knew it was going to happen. Interested to see how these guys bounce back.

Brandon Pope 4 years, 8 months ago

Yeah you never want to lose at home, but this team needed to lose a game and it needed to happen soon. Interested to see if we can refocus, make some lineup changes and start rolling on another winning streak.

Brad Boline 4 years, 8 months ago

yes, I didn't want to lose at home but we had this coming, played bad past few games. This is about the point where Self gets his teams tough. We played so soft 1st half, and that cannot happen.

Calvin Mabry 4 years, 8 months ago

I will be surprised if Johnson starts another game this year. This wasn't a one game funk by him. Its an entire season and a good part of last year. He doesn't seem to think. I don't think it's due to an injury unless it's a brain injury. Tharpe, White, Adams, and just about anybody else is playing way better than Johnson. I don't know what his issues are but KU can't afford to let him drag them down any longer. Bench him and play someone who will listen to the head coach.

dylans 4 years, 8 months ago

I wish White was playing well enough to get on the court.

Hank Cross 4 years, 8 months ago

Let him play through some mistakes. What is the worst that will happpen?

Brian Conrad 4 years, 8 months ago

he can not make the same mistakes at Iowa State, at Oklahoma State and at Baylor.. if EJ plays the same kus will not repeat , that is the worst thing that can happen.. then get 3 seed and get shipped out west .. this year is set up... time to stay loyal to EJ ... but he does not need to get 34 minutes 28 to 30 max. he ab solutely does not need to shoot the ball more than Releford , Withey or Nadir

texasdochawk 4 years, 8 months ago

He is. He scored 6 points in a minute of play...Pretty efficient if you ask me!

dylans 4 years, 8 months ago

That's the play I want to see out of White, but its not the play we've seen up to this point. Wasn't he the leading scorer in Europe? The potential is there.

David Howell 4 years, 8 months ago

Somehow that loss was avoided over the past month. OSU can't play much better, but god knows KU can a lot of things better. Consistently they got rebounds they shouldn't have if only they'd put a body on someone and block out. Unless the ball comes to Withey he doesn't work for rebounds. Smart was the better freshman today and as good as McLemore is, Smart is simply the better player. As for EJ, well he shouldn't be starting for us. Turnover after turnover with shots that should be passes and passes that are just terrible. He acts like he hasn't touched a ball in 3 months. I don't believe that he will wake up and figure it out by tournament time .........

Niraj Shah 4 years, 8 months ago

How does OSU score 85 points in AFH, where was the defense? When was the last time KU allowed two 25+ scorers at a home game? EJ needs to fnd the bench until he gets his head on straight, I hope we can repay the cowpokes in Stillwater. Losing at AFH s&cks!! Argghhh, time to demolish TCU and go after OU in Norman.

Brian Conrad 4 years, 8 months ago

Elijah Johnson , 34:00 minutes , 3-14 shooting , 1-7 from three not counting cruical turnovers.. up 4 and he single handed gave them the lead. how can he throw those lazy passes in final few minutes of a game? Nadir needs to handle point in final 10 minutes for sure..

Justin Carlson 4 years, 8 months ago

You forgot Smart had 8 offensive rebounds mostly in the 2nd half! Gosh I wonder who was supposed to be guarding/boxing him out him? EJ is horrible! 3 -4 games a slump yes but he has played like my 3rd grade girls rec team point guard! 8 straight big 12 games averaging 12 + shots on a couple makes ton of turnovers and on very few assists! Make a change SELF! EJ has no confidence and he is hurting this team! No helping it!!!

Lloyd Kinnison 4 years, 8 months ago

KU needed to lose a game. They have been playing on the edge. Maybe this loss will send the word to the Jayhawks---you cannot win without the determination and elimation of the inconsistent play. The last 3 games have been luck not the talent that the Jayhawks players are capable of playing. lk

Martin Rosenblum 4 years, 8 months ago

We took notice from the first half and dominated in the first few minutes of the second half. A loss doesn't have to take place in order for a team to have been sent a message. We "won" the second half, just looking at points. We dominated with 3pt'ers. Hell, we forced two of their players to foul out! there were just some poor decisions made that cost us the W.

mojayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

AND, allowing Smart to get all of those freaking offensive rebound/putbacks.

KU86 4 years, 8 months ago

How much money did EJ spend today?? Who is going to be looking to draft a player who continues to pass the ball like he has recently??

4 years, 8 months ago

PittHawk, I agree that EJ will never play in the NBA. Early in his career at KU I thought for sure that he was going to emerge as a high-scoring perimeter player.

I think that perhaps only BMac will succeed in the NBA.

Brandon Pope 4 years, 8 months ago

... and Withey.

EJ is also listed on most draft boards but he is not helping himself right now. I don't know how successful he will be but he will get a shot.

BCRavenJHawkfan 4 years, 8 months ago

Hmmm, well it is groundhog day, and it seems KU came out, saw it's shadow, and didn't like what it saw.
As a result spring (March Madness) is still far away. Be patient, wait for the thaw.

AirCapJay 4 years, 8 months ago

I hope this is not the Bill Murray version of Ground Hog day.

Niraj Shah 4 years, 8 months ago

A home loss stings more, but maybe this is what this team needed to get out of its slumber. HCBS will do his thing, but the players and in particular the seniors need to get the ship righted. This year reminds me of 2004-05, Langford, Miles and Simien's last year, when KU started 20-1 and then the wheels came off. This team can go that route, or the players can hunker down and get better.

Hank Cross 4 years, 8 months ago

If KU doesn't end up at the Sprint Center for the first 2 rounds, a UNI-esque 2nd round KO coulbe be in their future. Lack of size and strength inside, lazy passes, inconsistent O. Not good.

Pitthawk34 4 years, 8 months ago

Dont believe it will matter where they plan as we cant even hit shots in our own home.

Scott Smetana 4 years, 8 months ago

Disagree. I thought overall we played great today against a hot team. EJ single handedly handed them the game.

Martin Rosenblum 4 years, 8 months ago

I would never be a snarky poster who says things like.."Shut the %^# up with that negativity". Or, have you watched KU play in more than two games to form your &%@ opinions?

feefifofum 4 years, 8 months ago

I am really hoping that Johnson had a health issue for this game. Self benched him down the stretch - that is all anyone needs to know. He has been struggling of late = he was one of the main reasons we were playing well this year - but he was the main reason we stunk today. Horrible passing and general ball handling for most of the game - along with a brick-filled shooting day.

Hank Cross 4 years, 8 months ago

There is no health issue that I know of that forces you to make a lazy one-armed pass.

jingalls 4 years, 8 months ago

EJ...... such a talent...such a bad performance! Anyone know how many dunks EJ had in each of the last two year and how many he has this year? Talent just doesn't evaporate because of a change of position...something else going on here

David Howell 4 years, 8 months ago

I never thought I'd say "I miss Tyshawn Taylor" !

Scott Smetana 4 years, 8 months ago

This is about 5 bad games in a row for EJ... I've had enough. Self stuck with Collins and Taylor though rough times, but EJ is neither of them. Tharpe is twice as quick, has less turnovers, makes layups, and most importantly creates offense.

dougr 4 years, 8 months ago

You never want to be ranked #1 in the nation before your last game in March Madness. Both Kansas teams need to keep working hard if either wants the big prize.

Pitthawk34 4 years, 8 months ago

We wont be a 1 or 2 seed this year. I see about 3 to 4 more losses this year. I would bank on a 3 seed.

Brandon Pope 4 years, 8 months ago

hmm... seems highly unlikely to me. Hard to drop a team that is 18-2 from a 1 seed to a 3 seed because of one bad loss.

FarSideHawk 4 years, 8 months ago

Wow! The claws are out in full force against EJ. Elijah is Jayhawk through and through. He was instrumental and clutch last year all the way tothe final game.

We win with EJ and we lose with EJ, but we're not going to turn our backs on EJ!

Scott Smetana 4 years, 8 months ago

He was a clutch at a 2 guard. He was clutch when healthy and quick on D. He was clutch when he didn't turn it over and made shots. He is not the man for our point guard spot, period. Start Tharpe.

dehawk 4 years, 8 months ago

Finally, thank you for that. Everyone is blaming EJ and I have sat here and listened and read it all. But the bottom line is, if everyone needs to find someone to blame (and for me, I choose not to blame anyone) then look to the coach. I don't blame CS but it is his decision who will play and for how long. No player, (unless they have to be carted off the floor) is going to ask to be taken out of a game because they aren't playing well. That is a quiters mentality and that is not a Jayhawk mentality. Coach has to be the one to decide when a player should be pulled. It is not EJ's fault that he played for so long. If coach had pulled him early then no one would be blaming him. (they would find someone else to blame) EJ has no control over how many minutes he plays. So cut him some slack. Know that he is trying his best and then leave it to coach to make the decision who plays. If people don't like it, complain to him. It won't matter because CS will play who he want to play. That's how it works. I don't plan on throwing anyone to the wolves. Keep your chin up EJ.

jingalls 4 years, 8 months ago

Elijah Johnson says quieting road crowd 'best feeling in the world'

I wonder how he feels about quieting the Home Crowd?

Stephan123 4 years, 8 months ago

EJ had a bad day. Maybe this is the low point and things will turn around for him.

jayhawkeratheart 4 years, 8 months ago

The entire game was played as lazy as ever. The last several games have displayed a "No Win Attitude" for some unknown reason, and is always led by EJ and his sloppy play. Today was no exception. Unbelievable that a freshman could bring it on to EJ like he did. Looking back you have to wonder how we got ourselves into this situation, without a seasoned point guard that could run the team. BS had to have enough foreknowledge to prevent this type of play. Why should we wait so long to bench EJ and play the deck with the rest of the benched players. Tharpe is at least able to compose himself and put up a controlled shot that looks like he knows what he is doing, not so with EJ. OUT OF CONTROL. Even though the win, loss record looks good, we are no way in shape to win the big one down the road. Our competition is developing faster than we are, and the future is not ours to hold unless we wake up, and do it quickly. Kudos to the team, overall, but cmon, someone has to be the leader and shoulder the responsibility. How do 4, 5 year seniors give it up to an up and coming young team. Thought for the day:

Orange and Blue went out to play we didn't know it was judgement day

They ran they shot, they played the game we stood by and watched, and weren't the same

Above, the threes, rang home with demand while we fumbled the ball, on the other hand

Although we came back, it wasn't enough and at the end of the game, the going got rough,

With seconds to go, the tie was at hand yet we still lost the ball with sloppy hand, and all stood amazed to see the real loss as the Cowboys demonstrated who was really the boss.

Our 33 wins ended, our pride was destroyed and even our media was strangely annoyed While all we could hear was the drop of a pin in Allen Field House that infamous gym,

Yet knowing the team is a winner at heart it just hurts the pride, to see us all fall apart.

But next week is not here, and spirits will rebuild as the Jayhawks become the team that won't yield.

brooksmd 4 years, 8 months ago

Funny I don't ever recall you waxing poetically after a win.

Jack Jones 4 years, 8 months ago

Clever > "pride was destroyed" Naaaa - a touch of hyperbole !!!!

jumpinjayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

EJ has had a bad year, not what is expected from a senior. Very disappointing to say the least. Maybe he just can't handle the pressure of being a team leader and is only a good support player. Maybe Nadir or White will step up in EJ's absence.

Ceee 4 years, 8 months ago

Tharpe dribbles too much. When he gets in the game KU's passing game falters. Watch next time. Tharpe in: Too much dribbling and not enough passing.

Brandon Pope 4 years, 8 months ago

What I saw from our other PG was a lot of passing to the opposition. Tharpe known how to create off the bounce and he is very skilled at it. He also knows when to pull up and pop the J and he makes most of those. He is also finishing at the rim right now. EJ has be completely ineffective at all facets of the game. I like tharpe's "too much dribbling" over EJ's "passing game" right now. And its not even close.

Niraj Shah 4 years, 8 months ago

EJ has had more than a few bad days in the last month. He needs to figure it out while not costing the team a victory. He played poor defense, poor offense, did not box out and his guy went nuts on the scoreboard.

jumpinjayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

I hate to lose, but I think its a good loss, we did see some good things from other guys and Ben is starting to exert himself more, we will need that come tournament time. I hope EJ straightens out his game because he is killing this team.

Justin Carlson 4 years, 8 months ago

26 for 81 32% in the last 10 games! Wow ! Uh a guy shooting that bad ave 8 + shots a game!

9 for 37 24% 3 pointers

Assists 43

Turnovers 37

Uh!

Make a change or Schedule Bucknell or Bradley in the first round so we can look forward to better guard play next year!!

Michael Bennett 4 years, 8 months ago

point guard play has been atrocious ever since Sherron left. I just don't see why Johnson felt the need to keep trying to "take over" the game when he was clearly not shooting well. His last offensive play in both halves were just sad, EJ trying to go to fast and screw around with the ball while you have an NBA guard on the wing patiently waiting for the ball... I just don't get it. He sucked last year too, just couldn't tell because the ball wasn't in his hands too much.

Brandon Pope 4 years, 8 months ago

He had a pretty solid year last year and was phenomenal late in the season, not sure what you are talking about.

That said HIS PG play has been atrocious all year. Taylor was a fantastic point for us in his senior campaign. You don't make it to the national championship game with horrible point guard play. Also, Na is looking better and better. His PG play has been really solid this year as well, and I look for him to pick up some more minutes.

We haven't had as good a PG as sherron since he left, but I wouldn't go as far as to say it has been atrocious. We are 86-15 since his departure.

Ryan Michael 4 years, 8 months ago

Taylor was only fantastic in the second half of the senior season... He started off that season with a double digit turnover game against Duke for a loss... Something EJ hasn't come close to doing.

I agree, EJ hasn't been playing well... However TT had much worse streaks, and anyone who says otherwise has a really short memory.

Niraj Shah 4 years, 8 months ago

Can't worry about games that have not been played. Guys need to refocus and go after TCU.

AirCapJay 4 years, 8 months ago

This game has to be especially bad for Self to lose to his old school. What is Self's record against OSU compared to other Big 12 schools? I think Self has lost the most to OSU.

Jim Roth 4 years, 8 months ago

He is now 10-5 against OSU. He has also lost 5 times to Texas, but has beat them 12 times.

Brian Conrad 4 years, 8 months ago

one last EJ slam... if a freshman made the mistakes he makes... Self would not give him 5 minutes a game.. cut his minutes back to 25 and see if his focus gets better..

wisjayhawkfan 4 years, 8 months ago

does anyone know how many scholarships we have left to give next season?

Kyle Sybesma 4 years, 8 months ago

This was a long time coming. EJ awful. OSU killed us on offensive rebounds. Brown was shooting lights out. We 2nd guessed every pass. The final play was fumbled by EJ but HCBS may need to draw up a new 3 point play. This was the same play we ran for Mario's Miracle. (Thank goodness that one worked.)

Brandon Pope 4 years, 8 months ago

And for Ben in the Ia St game. That play continues to work for two reasons 1. there are a ton of wrinkles in it that nobody has ever seen and 2. team think they know what is coming which is why going to the chop is still effective when you change it up. Given the fact that KU rarely has to pull it out, I don't see Self going away from his money play any time soon.

Joseph Hansen 4 years, 8 months ago

And so it begins.

What begins is these guys heading into the final month of the season playing like a pack of hungry dogs. What begins is EJ rebounding from humiliation at home at the hands of OSU and regaining his focus . What begins is this team of seniors reasserting themselves, recognizing that the competition in this Conference is young, hungry, talented, and fierce. What begins is this group answering all these with their own hunger, ferocity, and talent, and something more--experience. What begins is BMac being a freshman no longer, but as elite talent in College BB asserting his will and taking over games when necessary.

The 'Pokes swaggered into our house and smacked us in the face. The guys in crimson and blue are gamers and will not take this lightly. There will be payback on the court and a message sent to all who think there is blood in the water. It will not stand.

Let it begin.

justinryman 4 years, 8 months ago

EJ had a dunk in the 1st half and I didn't think he was gonna make it to the rim when he jumped. His knees have to be an issue.

Reminds me of Lester Earl, a ton of talent that is hindered by injury and hampered by the pain.

There are people that will say playing through pain makes you tougher, but sometimes the pain just gets in your head when it is too much and you just can't do things the way you used to. It's like advanced aging. Your body just won't do it anymore.

I have to think that is an issue with EJ right now, he had a hard time back peddling today too.

KU let OSU get offensive rebounds on missed FT's.

KU missed to many FTs.

KU got tired down the stretch after mounting a comeback. It happens a lot to teams, that push and push to get back into a game, but then they have used up all their legs and in the end they get beat to loose balls and rebounds.

Coach said it right, the better team won today. They played a lot tougher than KU did. KU played soft and paid for it early and often.

On to the next game.

brooksmd 4 years, 8 months ago

"KU missed to many FT's." ---- You didn't check stats did you? 21 for 27 almost 78%. 45% from 3. However only 41% shooting. Allowing 2 OSU players to score 53 of the 85 points was ridiculous.

phertheblur 4 years, 8 months ago

Elijah played like sht, that's obvious. He wasn't the only one messing it up for us though. We consistently let OSU get offensive rebound after offensive rebound down the stretch, most or all of which led to OSU points. After a home loss as bad as this one, I think our guys need a team meeting to get their sht figured out. If I were Self, I'd give Na the start over EJ in the TCU game. If Na plays well then we have found a point guard, if we plays bad then maybe it will help wake up Elijah.

Also maybe it was just me but EJ looked like his mind was elsewhere. Very possible there's stuff going on we don't know, just like there always is.

Nonetheless, we need to bounce back, beat the sh*t out of TCU, and get rollin! rock chalk

RibMan 4 years, 8 months ago

My guess is we'll see a new starting lineup next game. SF made a big change at QB late in the year and things worked out pretty well. A shake up is needed.

loverofidiots 4 years, 8 months ago

EJ will wake up and be coached to a new level. It takes a bad game sometimes to wake you up and help you re-focus....for athletes and the coaching staff. This is a great coaching staff and team and it will do well.

theend 4 years, 8 months ago

Agree some......but EJ has had many bad games. He should have woken up by now. Unless that injury is much worse thean we know.

theend 4 years, 8 months ago

I don't much buy into this "KU needed to lose a game"........No. Not a home game against OSU. I can certainly understand them losing on the road .....but not AFH.

But that is a minor issue. The real issue is EJ. I still want him to play......but he needs to ride the bench. Start Tharpe. It can't hurt. Maybe it will give EJ a spark.

I honestly thought everyone played ok......except EJ. He was beyond terrible. But you have to credit OSU. They played great.

theend 4 years, 8 months ago

The $64,000 question: Where is the Kansas that beat Ohio State? I have not seen them since then.....that's for sure.

Steve Kubler 4 years, 8 months ago

Lot of hate for EJ, and yeah his game is Fubar but he has been a clutch player in the past and it is criminal the way some have turned on him. Jaybate says his knees are gone and that is a possibility but in watching him I think it goes deeper than that. His shooting/passing motion appears to have changed, is it a shoulder or has his knees and the intense pressure he is under to run the team gotten to his head?

I personally am leaning towards nagging injury(ies) and the pressure to succeed resulting in him pushing so hard he has gotten himself totally out of sync. Problem is he is going to have to play through it. The team needs him and he has to play to get back to where he was. Unless of course there is enough of an injury that getting better is not an option. I just do not see that, I see a young man that is desperately trying to be the MAN and tearing himself up in the process. Watch his face, you can see the frustration.

theend 4 years, 8 months ago

I was hard on EJ but now I feel badly about it.......Because I think it is injury. Someone made the point above that he could barely get to the rim on a dunk today. We don't know ......but he's not the same player.

Pitthawk34 4 years, 8 months ago

Not hate...just disappointment because we know he is better than what he is showing. Coaches show tough love and fans do as well.

Edwin Hailey 4 years, 8 months ago

I think Self needs to let White start next game and sit EJ. Maybe that will take him up....

theend 4 years, 8 months ago

I was looking forward to watching Michigan and Indiana.......Now I don't care at all......whatever.

Yolanda Gay 4 years, 8 months ago

I agree with most posts; the way this team has been playing of late, this was bound to happen. I too wish it wasn't at home.

There has to be some changes if we want to make a run at the title and the NCAA tournament. We need better guard play. I don't know what position Rio plays; but he can't be worse than EJ. He needs more playing time and plays good defense. EJ needs to be coming off the bench.

Jim Johnson 4 years, 8 months ago

I read all these comments and can't help but laugh at all the idiots, we have lost TWO games and now the team is worthless and everyone is smarter than Bill Self. Get real! Is there a place for REAL FANS or is this it? Some of the officiating was horrible, the call on Kevin Young at the top of the circle when he was ran over, but it didn't cost them the game, the game was lost by lack of hustle and taking stupid shots. This can be fixed, but this was an athletic team they lost to, not a bunch of nobodies and you all will realize that soon enough. Remember a team's ranking means nothing these guys are good physical players and you haven't heard the last of them. I'm not a fan of Travis Ford but he is a good coach.

Leo Hawkins 4 years, 8 months ago

I never thought that losing at home was in the cards today -- or in this entire season. But, with that now a reality, we will need to steal a road win at venue where I had thought we would lose --- Stillwater, OK. We are taking OSU out on February 20th. Believe that!! Today is a bad day. Our boys better get real and ready for the latter half of the Big XII season.

Jack Wilson 4 years, 8 months ago

Here's a suggestion. Deep breath and let's discuss tomorrow. Sleep on it.

Pitthawk34 4 years, 8 months ago

and drink on it...absolute is a wonderful drink.

Kye Clark 4 years, 8 months ago

Well let's get the obvious out of the way: as many have stated, a simply awful game by EJ. Obviously this was highlighted by the plays at the end of both halves. While there has been some harsh reaction (some ridiculous and extreme), we must understand that criticism of his play is not a knee-jerk reaction to the loss. His declined play has been discussed for weeks. Lots of things have been tossed around - injuries, playing out of position, his great play at the end of last year, playing in a high school all-star game in Kentucky and sporting a KU shirt, etc. Winning covers a multitude of sins, but the loss brings some of those sins into the light.

Let me just say that EJ is a Jayhawk and deserves our support. We don't make it to the championship game last year without him, and for that we should be especially grateful to him. And if there is anything to the injury speculation and he's been playing through it, he is to be commended. However, does that give him a pass this year? I say no. Every player on this team has sacrificed and deserves the best chance at another deep run in the tournament. This is especially true of the three 5th year seniors. Should they sacrifice their last year in some sort of debt to EJ? Obviously not. And there's no way to know what the next few years will bring; this could be the young guys' best shot at a ring as well. It's almost definitely Ben's only shot. So if benching EJ gives this year's squad the best chance to win, that's what should happen.

So, does benching EJ give us a better chance to win? Many fans are fond of saying his poor play is a result of playing out of position; that he's a 2 guard and not a point guard. OK, maybe. So give Tharpe the starting PG position. Now is EJ better than BMac? No, so you can't start him at the 2. He's not better than Releford, regardless of position, so you can't swap the two out and play small (like Self did with the Collins, Reed, Brady line-ups a few years ago). So if it's a case of playing out of position, he has to be relegated to the bench.

However, playing out of position really isn't the cause of his poor play. That argument could be made if his poor play was solely based on not being able to handle the PG duties, but it's not. His poor shooting has little to do with bringing the ball up the court and initiating the offense. His lazy passes resulting in turnovers have little to do with him needing to be playing off the ball. Those passes are unacceptable regardless of position. And even as a 2, he would still be expected to handle the rock some. That excuse just doesn't fly.

Kye Clark 4 years, 8 months ago

Anyway, I don't want to pile on the guy anymore, but I expressed my doubts last week about his ability to elevate his play back to what we saw at the end of last season. The loss today wasn't solely on him, but his play was awful. I hope he shakes it off and can come back strong, but I doubt it will happen. Today's loss highlighted everything that is deficient in his game - shooting, ability to take care of the ball, defense. And it was highlighted today by him getting severely outplayed by Marcus Smart. Smart is a great player so there's no great shame in that, but look at what Smart did - he shot 0-5 from 3 and had 2 assists vs 5 turnovers. Very EJ-esque, yet he was the player of the game. What he also did was found other ways to score and help his team, and willed them to victory. That was a senior/leader-type performance, while our senior looked like a freshman.

OK, so moving off EJ. A couple other amateur observations:

  • The game turned not on anything EJ did, but during this sequence - with 2:23 left and OSU up 1 Markel Brown misses the front end of a 1-and-1. Somehow Kevin & Jeff allow Smart to get the offensive rebound (unacceptable off an opponent's free throw). Smart sinks a jumper to put OSU up 3. Kevin turns the ball over in horrendous fashion on our next trip down the floor. Cobbins misses a jumper and there's Smart again for another offensive rebound and quickly shoots and sinks another shot with about a minute and a half left. KU went from being down 1 and should have had the ball with a chance to regain the lead, to down 5 in a 2-possession game. From there it was desperation offense and OSU shooting free throws.

  • Speaking of Kevin Young, you take the good with the bad. I went so far as to tell Jaybate that at least for this game my assertion that Perry should be eating into Kevin's minutes was wrong. You look at Kevin's stat line and it's very good. However, here's my problem with him today - he has two fouls trying to hedge 30-feet away from the basket. He had two fouls in the first half and had to sit more than usual. And picked up his 3rd foul about a minute into the second half. He took himself out of the game too much with unnecessary foul trouble. Got to be smarter than that. I can live with fouls of aggression - scrapping for rebounds, defending in the paint, out on opponents' fast breaks to make them earn them at the line. But not blocking fouls that far out can't take him out of the game.

Kye Clark 4 years, 8 months ago

  • Releford had a pretty poor game. Not the norm, so please don't think I'm totally down on him. But he let Brown get loose in the first half. I understand that he had the hot hand and OSU was doing everything they could to get him free, but when he's regarded as probably the best perimeter defender in the league, performances such as Brown's should only happen if he's willing to shoot from 5 feet beyond the arc and just gets insanely hot. That happens, you tip your cap. But his shots weren't of that variety. That being said, my biggest issue with his play today was his disappearing act on offense. I posted at half-time that we needed him to step up. He comes out and hits a 3, and I thought that would get him going. But it didn't. He doesn't shoot again for 10 minutes. We need more from him.

  • Posted this right after the game, but one positive was AW3. How about him coming in cold and draining that 3, then coming up with the steal? Impressive, and surprising. HEM, myself, and others have been advocates of giving him more minutes specifically so he could be ready when situations similar to today's come up he is ready. Given the absence of those minutes, and given his poor shooting against WVU on Monday, it was very unexpected to see him come up clutch. I still say give him minutes, but today he showed he doesn't necessarily need them to perform well in pressure situations. Could have been an aberration, but I'll take it.

In closing, no the sky isn't falling. We know OSU always gives Bill's teams fits, although it's usually in Stillwater and not AFH. Is it time to panic? Abandon any hopes of a 9th straight league crown? Of a Final Four season? Certainly not. We weren't able to gut this game out like some other recent performances, but when we play the style we've been playing it was bound to happen. It's avoidable, but perhaps some changes are in order...

theend 4 years, 8 months ago

A good analysis and good points. I think EJ is hurt much more than is being said. And Ben is a graet player but he also had some bad turnovers. It was not all EJ.

theend 4 years, 8 months ago

So we beat one OSU on the road and look great......and lose at home to another OSU and look bad. Who would have thought that???

Ah......such is life. It happens.

Jack Jones 4 years, 8 months ago

If only Coach Self would spend 20-30 minutes reading and re-reading > and taking note of all the "unofficial assistant coaches" wisdom offered on this site > all would be just hunky dory in 'Jayhawk-land'. Somehow, I just can't quite choose between Coach Self's judgement and the 'others'. As has been mentioned > we have not played two good half's of any game for several in a row. This clearly was a "team loss". Jeff gets two points in 2nd half. More than one player made critical turnovers down the stretch, as well as throughout the game. We allowed too many offensive rebound baskets all game. 85 points allowed in "THE PHOG". Two opposing players 25+ points. For the first time in previous close games, we were outplayed at clutch time.

If ever a loss was needed, perhaps this was the one. Maybe being only 7 (?) players deep even starting 4 Seniors + a lottery pick red- shirt Freshman > we aren't a "top-whatever" team -YET. If I were a betting man - which I am - my money is still on this Bill Self team.

And yet, there were a number of positives to taken from this game. Coming back from -16 down, to being up + 6 > that's a 20 point swing by my ancient math. (a la, 2012 Missery) against a team that couldn't miss first half. Kevin was terrific. We won some wild, down and dirty rebound battles. Perry, Andrew and Nadair had some encouraging playing time which will pay off as the season rolls on. Keep the faith - this game did not "destroy our pride", as someone posited previously > it simply was a momentary slap in the face - to us as rabid fans, and to the team as well.

theend 4 years, 8 months ago

Don't really think there were many positives in this game......whatever there was.....not enough or too little-too late.....and were way overshadowed by the negatives. This team has problems. I denied it a long time but no more. This game changed my entire view.

Kye Clark 4 years, 8 months ago

The classic "you don't know more than Coach Self so shut up" post.

In other news, water is wet, the sky is blue, and Misery sucks.

TexasRockChalk 4 years, 8 months ago

The highly educated Mrs. was screaming, "Why is EJ in there?!" (late in the second half). I simply had no reply....

VailHawk 4 years, 8 months ago

I don't see HCBS changing the starting rotation. Just watched replay on e3 and really focussed on EJ, he looks hurt to me. His defense is labored and 3's not even close. I have a hunch the sun will come up tomorrow, though. RCJHGKU!!!

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