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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Self still steamed about loss

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It may be a while before a kinder, gentler version of Bill Self resurfaces at Kansas University basketball practices and in speeches before games.

"Coach is being coach. He came in and jumped our case from the beginning. I think he'll be like that the rest of the season to keep us focused," junior point guard Russell Robinson said.

Robinson was speaking after Sunday's 87-61 rout of Towson University, a game that followed the Jayhawks' shocking loss to Oral Roberts, one that still has KU's fourth-year coach steamed.

Tonight, Self will expect no letdown against Tennessee State, a team that dropped its Las Vegas Invitational and season opener, 87-69, to Western Kentucky on Sunday at WKU.

Tip is 7 p.m. in Allen Fieldhouse with a live telecast on channels 27 and 38 and replay at 10:30 on cable channel 6.

"We have only one day to prepare for Tennessee State," Self said. We want to prepare for them (but) we have only one game of theirs (on film). They played last night and lost in what was a close game until late.

"We've got to worry about ourselves. We need to try to understand what they want to do to us but have to get better ourselves because we've been way too hot and cold.

"Hopefully we'll get in one of these streaks where we grind it out and get better a little bit daily and look up 30 days from now and be a really, really good ballclub."

The Jayhawks, at 2-1, are in the midst of a hectic slate with a game tonight and games against Ball State on Friday and Florida on Saturday in Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.

"It's strange because the last five weeks we dealt with so much stuff, now we're really busy from a basketball standpoint," said Self, who had injuries to Sasha Kaun, Mario Chalmers and Jeremy Case to deal with as well as the dismissal of C.J. Giles. "Players like the games. We've got Tennessee State then we get to take our first trip (of the season) to Vegas, and everybody is excited about that. We're going to play Ball State and, of course, Florida.

"A lot of people have talked about that the whole offseason, and there's probably been a little bit of dampened spirits on that with C.J.'s dismissal and with Sasha being hurt and our poor performance against ORU.

"I do think we will play better because I feel there is more a sense of urgency now than there has been the last couple weeks."

¢ Kaun practices: Junior forward Sasha Kaun, who has missed the first three games because of a partially torn patellar tendon in his right knee, practiced on Monday.

He's not expected to play tonight, but this weekend might be a different matter.

"There is a chance he could play (against Florida on Saturday)," Self said Monday on his Hawk Talk radio show. "He practiced today and looked good practicing, but he is not in game shape. I don't know how fast we'll bring him along. We'll let the doctors dictate that and Sasha dictate that on how he feels. He's healing up very nicely.

"We miss him (playing), and we miss him talking and telling guys what to do because he understands as well as anybody what we're supposed to. I think we'll look more fluid in a lot of ways when he is game-ready. He is not game-ready now."

Self said it was good to have Kaun - who has stayed in reasonable shape the last few weeks working out in the pool - back Monday.

"I think you take players for granted from a fan perspective or a coaches perspective until you don't have them," Self said. "He is our anchor - no doubt about that. Whether he starts or not (when he returns) I don't know, but we need him in the game between 20-30 minutes a game.

"I believe Sasha ... seeing the way he's interacted since he's been sitting out, I think they'll (teammates) look to him more as a leader than I thought they would three weeks ago."

¢ Self received no negative calls on his first radio show of the season.

"Everybody has been nice tonight," he said. "Let's call it like it is. We played bad last week. From a coaching standpoint, of course you want to win, but the thing that really frustrated me is we didn't have close to the same bounce or energy, and we played tired (against ORU). We played as lively the other way four days before (against Northern Arizona). That's frustrating.

"Our team ... I know we are young and we'll get better and I know we're going to grow, but I think we've learned enough hard lessons. It's OK if somebody comes in and beats your butt, but not OK if you allow it to happen. I felt we allowed it to happen.

"Where is our fight and energy? Nine times out of 10 it's good, but when you face everybody's best shot everytime we lace it up, it needs to be there every time."

Comments

betti81 13 years, 2 months ago

See ya in Vegas Coach! Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

cobweb 13 years, 2 months ago

No excuses for losing to O.R. freakin' U. , a school with no social life, a dress code and required chapel attendance. How do they recruit anybody capable of beating KU?

mojayhawk 13 years, 2 months ago

Required chapel attendance is a great idea! Maybe you just answered your own question.

Steve Tramba 13 years, 2 months ago

Admittedly I haven't been following Kaun's injury as closely as other loyal hawkers... but PUHLEEZE do not risk further injury by bringing him back for the Florida game. I can accept another loss in November before hearing he is out for the year (& beyond?) if he fully tears that tendon. March is way more important than any November game, and I think most would share that sentiment.

hppychieffan 13 years, 2 months ago

Please note that this "Self" serving article is sponsored by Viagra...

"Billy boy" in Jayhawk BB land it is all about results! Good luck in keeping the "boyz" up and ready to play!

KansasPrep 13 years, 2 months ago

Hey, I live in Lincoln Nebraska. Anyway I can eitehr listen to or watch tonight's game?

JayCeph 13 years, 2 months ago

How many freakin' Tigers teams does KU play this season?!? Towson, Tennessee State, Fort Hayes State, Miz-zero (x2)... anyone else?

Hey, I have an idea... why don't schools and teams try using something other than Wildcat or Tiger (or any other fuzzy kitten) as a mascot for a change?!

One more reason to love the Jayhawks... nothing else like 'em in the world!

vmwskywalk 13 years, 2 months ago

Go to CSTV.com. You can probably listen to the game there.

Drpan99 13 years, 2 months ago

I've been a diehard KU fan for over 40 years. I've coached hs basketball for nearly 35 years. Successfully. I met coach Self in Reno a couple of years ago at the airport after a tough loss to the Wolfpack. He's a good man and a good coach. The championship will come.....maybe when we least expect it. For now.......enjoy the ride.........it will have its ups and downs........ See everyone in Las Vegas.......I am taking my three sons to watch and enjoy.......no matter the outcome. We support the Jayhawks and I am very proud to be an alum.

Dr J. from Boise.

Trentonator 13 years, 2 months ago

I have been a KU fan my entire life. I am not so sure about Self, he loses key games, he seems to recruit great talent and then we look like crap in games that count. What's up with Rush playing like he's only hitting on half his cylinders? Why the high low that does not work, and why do we look so lackluster? Granted, ORU had a great game and they hit 3 pointers like never before, but if we hit our usual freethrow number, we won that game. I dunno, it seems like we are always coming up with excuses, and I for one, am tired of it. Bucknell, Bradley, now ORU? WTF?

fansincewilt 13 years, 2 months ago

How boring would the GAME be if there were no chance of losing? No one has yet figued out why guys can be so up one game and do terrible the next. It happens. I'm sure Self was doing everything possible to get the guys up for the game. A loss speaks volumes to the guys and I believe they are listening now. The greatest of coaches (and I believe Self will prove to be one of the greatest) can't get it right every time. If so, there would be little reason to play the games that we should win. Towson's game became much more exciting after the ORU loss. It's a fun game because so much can happen. I am a diehard Jayhawk fan but I am very happy for the ORU boys. What a night for them.

Dan Harris 13 years, 2 months ago

Would everybody relax about the ORU loss. We have a great coach, great players and and the best tradition in college basketball but sometimes I think we have the most fair weather fans! We will probably lose another 4or 5 games this year and I'm sure after every one it will be fire Self time. Let the team mature as the season goes on and we will be fine by the end of the year.

GO HAWKS !

JayCeph 13 years, 2 months ago

Being critically analytical does not a fair weather fan make. Everybody is just trying to decipher the code for success and they happen to juxtapose that on their favorite team.

Sometimes that means you question the coach, you question the heart of the players, their focus, their drive... but when it comes right down to it, I haven't heard/read anyone say that they hope the 'Hawks will lose them all now and they deserve to suffer (the words of a true fair weather fan).

So, in the interim, let people ponder, question and explore. That is what makes them fans. Remember, the word 'fan' is derived from fanatic and we all know that a fanatic sometimes loses sight of reason. That still doesn't make them 'fair weather.'

viva la Rock Chalk!

CasperCorps 13 years, 2 months ago

Hey Trentonator you should look into the rest of last season, they actually had a good year... I don't know how many other coaches took an almost all freshmen team to a big twelve title and tournament.... And has he missed a NCAA tourney yet since he's been here?... And as far as Rush as been concerned, just because the media hypes a player up doesn't necessarily make him good... Rush should be looked at as a role player not the go to guy... look to Chalmers or Shady to fill that spot...... It does suck losing at home but have some patience....

JayCeph 13 years, 2 months ago

Hey, has anyone seen this article @ SI.com?

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/writers/seth_davis/11/21/hoop.thoughts/index.html

It is basically calling into question the ethical legitimacy of Mario's Dad working with the team (and even Danny Manning's presence as well). Kind of 'snoodly' if you ask me.

Neom 13 years, 2 months ago

B Rush is self and media inflated player, if you look at the professional opinions, he is not even listed as a second rounder possibility. Those NBA scouts make a living out of it, so they know who is good and who is not, not the likes of Vitale or Katz.

Eric TheCapn 13 years, 2 months ago

KU's at home, you should be able to listen at KJHK.org for free.

I don't think I've ever seen 'Coach' Self fired up.

actorman 13 years, 2 months ago

I think the jury's still out on how great a coach Self is. (I think he's very good but as to "great," I'm not sure yet.) But I don't think there's ANY question about the type of person he is. It is so refreshing to hear honest, straightforward answers to tough questions, with no excuses, equivocating or avoidance. Self always tells it like it is, shows his anger and frustration, and talks about what KU needs to do to be a really good team. It's great to not just have a team to root for but a coach as well.

quigley 13 years, 2 months ago

Sorry to change the subject, but has anyone read this article about JR Giddens in the KC start yet??? I love how he talks like he was always worked so hard and was soooo nice, your right, it was the other players and us fans that were unfair, give me a break!!!

http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/sports/16063169.htm

Larry Smith 13 years, 2 months ago

Would this be the first year that coach Self has only players that he signed?

Larry Smith 13 years, 2 months ago

Qiugley. You must have read a different article than I did.

GIHAWK 13 years, 2 months ago

Haven't they found that Viagra also grows hair....

notoriousfox 13 years, 2 months ago

Regarding the Giddens article, it says in there, "All that occurred after two seasons for the Jayhawks in which he averaged 11.3 points and 10.1 rebounds, respectively."

Um, I don't remember Giddens ever hitting double digits in rebounds, nonetheless averaging 10 boards.

bethnbob 13 years, 2 months ago

Yeah quigley, I also find it hilarious at the end of the article he says he will always be a Jayhawk deep down. Barf!!!!!!!!!!!

Robin Smith 13 years, 2 months ago

the article makes a mistake, because 11.3 and 10.1 are his scoring averages in the two seasons he was a jayhawk and his rebounding for those seasons is 3.something

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