Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Knocked off the top

KU falls to 2nd in Big 12

Kansas guard Mario Chalmers, center, is mobbed by Texas defenders Connor Atchley, left, Damion James, top, and Justin Mason on an attempted layup. The Longhorns beat the Jayhawks, 72-69, Monday in Austin, Texas.

Kansas guard Mario Chalmers, center, is mobbed by Texas defenders Connor Atchley, left, Damion James, top, and Justin Mason on an attempted layup. The Longhorns beat the Jayhawks, 72-69, Monday in Austin, Texas.


'Horns hook 'Hawks

The KU men's basketball team fell to the Texas Longhorns in Austin on Monday night.

James comes up big for Texas

They say everything is bigger in Texas, and that includes Damion James' second half performance in the Longhorns' victory over Kansas.

Audio clips

2007-08 Feb. 11 KU-Texas Hoops

Go figure


Kansas' rebounding margin in the first half (23 to 13)


KU's rebounding margin in the second half (23 to 12)


Three-pointers made by the Jayhawks


Three-pointers made by UT's Connor Atchley by himself (UT had 8 total)


Points by which Texas outscored KU from the free-throw line


Longhorns who played at least 36 minutes (2 played the full 40)


Jayhawks who played at least 36 minutes (Russell Robinson played 34)


Career victories, in three tries, for KU coach Bill Self in Austin, Texas

— Mario Chalmers walked slowly off the Erwin Center court, shaking his head slowly from side to side as he headed to the visitor's locker room late Monday night.

He appeared more mad than sad after missing an off-balance potential game-tying three at the buzzer of No. 3-ranked Kansas University's 72-69 loss to No. 11 Texas.

"We're still the favorite. That's what's in our minds," a defiant Chalmers said 15 minutes after the final horn.

He was referring to the Big 12 race that now has Kansas State with one loss, KU and Texas with two and Texas A&M; and Baylor with three.

"We think we're the best team in the conference still," he said.

Chalmers' last-second shot from the side, which came off a shovel pass from Russell Robinson, was the end result of what coach Bill Self called "a bad possession."

"We had something we wanted to run, (but) we took it to the wrong side of the floor," Self said. "It killed the play. Eight seconds is enough time to do it."

Chalmers was KU's go-to guy down the stretch. He hit a three at :32 to slice a 69-64 deficit to two points and missed a three at :12 with KU down four, though Darrell Arthur scored a second later.

Chalmers didn't have time to set himself for his final trey.

"It was the last shot. I had the ball with a second left. I just tried to throw it up there and send it to overtime," Chalmers said.

His late threes weren't the only important ones on a night UT big man Connor Atchley canned four in four tries and scored 16 points.

Brandon Rush, who had 10 points (he took just three shots the second half), had a three from the corner rejected by 5-foot-11 A.J. Abrams with :54 left, KU down, 67-64.

"He was open. He had a good look," Self said of Rush. "We were not necessarily trying to shoot a three there. He was open. Brandon took time getting it off. A.J. did a good job of closing."

Abrams - he and guard D.J. Augustin were held to 24 points off 6-of-26 shooting - surprised the 6-6 Rush with his hops.

"I was pretty shocked. He had full-bore steam," Rush said. "He jumped high, (but) we still had a chance after that."

In fact, KU nearly forced a 10-second backcourt violation, at :21, when the Longhorns barely got it past halfcourt with a two-point lead. Abrams was fouled at :21 and hit two free throws, upping the margin to 71-67.

"I thought Mario had the loose ball. I don't know if it was 10 seconds. It had to be close," Self said. "It was the right no-call."

KU's Robinson, who said the final play which resulted in the Chalmers three "got twisted up," said he felt the game was actually lost "the first five minutes of the second half. They took back control of the game. It was downhill since."

The Longhorns led 42-38 at the half, but led by a point just three minutes into the final half.

Damion James, who played three minutes the first half because of foul problems, grabbed 13 rebounds the second half while playing all 20 minutes. Justin Mason had six of his eight boards the second 20 minutes as Texas outrebounded KU, 23-12, after halftime. KU won the board war, 23-13, the first half.

"They 'outmanned' us the second half," Self said, stressing the 'man' part of the word. "It does surprise me because all we talked about at halftime is how they would come at us on the glass."

The Jayhawks were disappointed at the rebound discrepancy after intermission.

"The second half, they killed us on the glass," said Darrell Arthur, who had 22 points and six boards. "Their second-chance buckets killed us. We had opportunities. We couldn't complete them. Damion was extra aggressive the second half and made big plays for them.

"We couldn't get our hands on the ball. We couldn't grab the rebounds. Balls were flying out of bounds. One came off Brandon's head. We couldn't get a rebound the second half."

Now it leaves the Jayhawks scrambling in the league chase.

"We can win it. Some things have to happen. We have to win 'em all out from here," guard Sherron Collins said.

"We can't lose another one or we are out of the race," Rush said.

"It's not over," Robinson declared, echoing the sentiments of his backcourt buddy, Chalmers.

KU will meet Colorado at 12:45 p.m. Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse.


Jeffery Barrett 13 years, 2 months ago

I know it's been said before, but it looks more painfully obvious every game Starting five for next year: Arthur Rush Collins Little Chalmers (Sorry, Morris twins, you'll have to wait another year to start)

KUglow 13 years, 2 months ago

The coach has a winning percentage over 800 and we question his coaching ability? Weak.

geniusmannumber1 13 years, 2 months ago

sgtjb123--- I hate to dispel your illusions, but Rush and Arthur will not be back next year. There is no scenario in which they will not be back. Do you think whether KU wins or loses has something to do with where they will be drafted? It doesn't. At all. Do you think it has something to do with their stats? It doesn't. Do you think they'll want to come back for some reason? They won't.

smitty33 13 years, 2 months ago

Ouch, it hurts. Guess that's what makes winning so great. Games like this will make us tougher in the tourney. I disagree Jhawkinati, I thought we played with good emotion the first half and the last 2 minutes of the game. Also, it's tough to play on the road when you're the favorite. The home team has everything to gain.

UCLA looked like crap and got killed at unranked Washington this week. I still consider them a contender. Some goes for us.

That said, Arthur needs to get more TOUGH down low. Yea, he led us in points, but he plays more like a guard lately. Chalmers is our go-to guy, period. No more forcing shots Robinson.

I'm tired of hearing NBA and Rush / Arthur in the same sentence every few minutes by the commentators. I don't think either stands a chance right now. Simien and Wright were both better and aren't even in the League now. Wishful thinking sjtbt, sound like the NBA will steal them both next year.. .what a crime!! Too early to focus on next year, but who's Little?

Ben Kane 13 years, 2 months ago

I agree jhawkdan42, it seems every loss is coupled with too many open threes. Regardless of the outcome I was also sick of seeing easy putbacks for UT when there were three Hawks down low.

Seems the key to stopping our offense is pressuring our guards and forcing them to constantly pass around the perimeter because none (except Collins) seems capable of putting the ball on the floor to beat someone.

Brian Skelly 13 years, 2 months ago

On the surface, losing two tough road games isnt anything to set off alarms about.

That said, last night was the first night that the thought of us making the Final Four was jarred seriously.

Both our losses came against teams that would be of the quality / level of teams we'd play in the Sweet 16 / Elite 8. And if we cant handle that???

Another season with a "Final Four" team that wont make it.

Any margin of error we have had is now certainly gone. Winning the Big 12 certainly isnt out of the question, but we're certainly going to make it interesting.

jayhawkinATL 13 years, 2 months ago

I agree, a lot of games, we just look like we're on cruise-control. We play emotionless a lot of the time.

Matt Kenton 13 years, 2 months ago

In a game like this, all it takes is a few posessions to make the difference between winning and losing.

Would be nice if we had a little more direction on offense that use our advantages. Replace a few of those Russell Robinson drives right at 2 or 3 big men with a double-screen for either Rush, Robinson, or Collins on the perimeter with the bigs crashing the glass and the outcome is different.

But relying on guys to just 'step up and make a play' will only get you so far. With great recruiting and tough defense, it can easily get you to .800.

Dan Harris 13 years, 2 months ago

I hate being negative but living in Texas means I'm going to have to listen to T-sips ad-nauseam! Where the HELL was B Rush' 0 Free throws, nice game! Why didn't we get the ball to DA at the free throw line and low post more, he was terrific in the first half and dissappeared in the second. Sherron, slow the F down, you can,t go mach1 ALL THE TIME! OK,I feel better now.

Kenny George 13 years, 2 months ago

The month of February has a way of separating the men from the boys.

Some teams hit the wall in February and never recover and others hit the wall and rebound from it.

Lets hope that we will rebound and become the team we know we can be!

I will agree that most of our players are not ready for the NBA. They will, however, listen to whoever, and think they are ready and declare for the draft.

In recent history I compare our talent to Hinrich and Collison to gague where they are relative to the NBA talent level. We do not have anyone close to those two in consistent ability.

suzifrye 13 years, 2 months ago

I don't know about anyone else but the Refs suck! I am not going to say they lost KU the game because KU lost the game but come on in the start of the second half KU has 16 team fouls and Texas has 2, RIGHT!!! If I am sitting at home and can see the fouls then why in the hell can't the stupid refs that are right there see the s__t??? I knew this was going to be a to the wire game I just wish we came out with the W but KU will bounce back from this and come out strong.

Jim Pendleton 13 years, 2 months ago

On the contrary palewhale, most of our guys were blocking out. However, they spent so much effort making sure they kept one guy from getting the board that they left the lane wide open allowing someone else to come in and beat them for the rebound, and allowing second chance point opportunities.

The offensive boards given up were the difference without question. I can live with some of the other issues, but if your opponent gets that many offensive rebounds in a close game in the second half, you are asking for trouble. The Horns not only had a lot of second chance points, but they also got a lot of free throws after they got the offensive board and got fouled. That creates another issue in addition to the rebounding problem, as it puts your guys in foul trouble and on the bench when you need them on the floor.

cincyHawk79 13 years, 2 months ago

Another game where Rush just disappears! 3 shots??? Just standing on the wing and so easy to guard. Someday Bill will get a clue and run him through some picks but does not look like it will be soon. I love the Jayhawks but they just got their ass kicked in all phases. The most glaring was rebounds. The Horns just wanted it more.

OldRick 13 years, 2 months ago

In the games we have lost to Texas and K-State, a common theme was that their defenses put extreme pressure on our guards. If we extended the offense out they just went out as far as we did and went toe to toe. It seemed as if we just tried to continue to pass it around the perimeter despite all that pressure. That far away from the basket, it would seem appropriate to dribble penetrate and then shoot or dish. Our ability to make teams pay for over guarding and tight ball pressure seems limited.

tis4tim 13 years, 2 months ago

The really annoying thing is that Texas HAD to be almost perfect from the line (and get more attempts). They HAD to hit all those three pointers. Some random dude HAD to have the game of his life. Texas needed all of that to beat us. We didn't need to be perfect to win. But, because we were so imperfect at critical times, we end up on the short end.

It bothers me after big games to sit here lamenting, "If only our four guys boxed out that one guy on two consecutive plays. If only we hit one shot in a five minute scoreless span. If only we didn't start yanking three pointers when we got down by 5-7 points with still 8 minutes left."


cscher 13 years, 2 months ago

Smitty...I agree TOTALLY. I don't see how two of our players are considered to be NBA material when they're still getting worked at the college level. If I were just somebody watching the Jayhawks for the first time after hearing all the NBA hype, I would think that Chalmers and Jackson MIGHT have a shot at the pros, and I would think that Rush and Arthur were role players coming off the bench. Didn't Rush seem more productive coming off the bench shortly after coming back?

Ben Kane 13 years, 2 months ago

It be nice to see us play a game with the drive and passion we showed in those last two plays. We need to learn that every possesion in a game is critical. Defense prowess doesn't help if you can't go down the court and build a lead. Too often we are content after a stop and not determined to score.

There isn't a team in the country with more talent than the Hawks so I'm starting to wonder about Self's X's and O's ability. Why didn't we make James a target in the second half and try and go after him to capitalize on his foul trouble?

palewhale 13 years, 2 months ago

I made this comment last year and I'll make it again. Bill Self teams DO NOT block out. They depend on athletic ability to out jump and reach their opponent. When we face a similarly talented team we struggle on the boards.

When you leave your feet to block shots and reach or over play for steals you will be out of position.

I would trade the steal and block stat for sound rebounding position any day.

justinryman 13 years, 2 months ago

I was suprised to see a KU team allow so many put backs and dunks off of missed shots, and most of those came from the wing too. Gotta know where your man is to box him out. Those pts given up alone not only let Texas in the game, but allowed them to win it as well.

And where has our Three point shooting gone?

Brandon Winkler 13 years, 2 months ago

i wish rush would step up at the end of the game and take this team on his back. This team is so deep and balanced yes, but we need THAT GUY to step up and carry this team to a national title...put manning back on the court..haha

rock chalk...we got this

thjhawk 13 years, 2 months ago

Ouch! I live in Knoxville, TN area. Driving into work this morning listening to local sports talk radio, comments of being over-rated, can't beat a ranked team on the road, are being spewed. This is miserable, listening to all these Vol and Memphis fans. They are talking as if their first coach invented the sport. First half, played with hunger, second half, just showed up. Get it together Hawks, the whole basketball world is watching. This is our sport, prove it to the naysayers. Rock on.

tis4tim 13 years, 2 months ago

On a side note, how must you feel if you're Colorado? This next game will be the second time they feel the brunt of one of our losses.

palewhale 13 years, 2 months ago

btw, I thought the game was one of the most entertaining of the year for the hawks. Most of the games have been kind-of boring.

Ben Kane 13 years, 2 months ago

Not only did Rush disappear but he was manhandled on the glass. It looked like our entire team forgot how to box out.

This loss definitely makes me feel that we are not as good as I hoped. Without a true slasher who can make his own plays our ability to spread the wealth becomes moot when we play teams capable of guarding. We were basically ineffective in working the high low and constantly had our big men rush shots from outside their comfort level. This of course leaves no one underneath to rebound and resulted in a lot of one-and-outs.

We looked more like a team that expects to win rather than a team that wants to win and any good team in the tourney will beat us if we give them that many opportunities on the defensive end.

Dan Harris 13 years, 2 months ago

I'm really disgusted with the way we guard the 3. How many more games are we going to have to watch of the other team launching wide open 3's! I know we are 22-2 but not being able to defend the 3 and our lack of not being able to shoot the 3 with any consistancy sadly will be our undoing come tournement time.

ed with the way we guard the 3.

jayhawkinATL 13 years, 2 months ago

It was disgusting!!!! How many times do you have to see a Longhorn fly in and jam a put-back?!?! Whatever happened to boxing out???

quigley 13 years, 2 months ago

First of all, I am the biggest KU fan. But last night, during the second half I was thinking, how can we even be ranked in the top 10??? I know that we have only lost two games, but those games were against our ONLY "quality" opponents. I don't know what we need to change, but it has to happen quick or else we will get punked in our seeding like we seem to do every other year.

KU 13 years, 2 months ago

thjhawk.......I think the sports talk listeners in Knoxville have hit the nail on the head. KU is overrated. Look at our schedule. Who have we beaten that you can say "THAT is a marquee win"?

Arizona? Middle of the pack Pac10 team and we struggled to beat them at home.

USC? Middle of the pack Pac10 team and we couldn't ever get out of the 50s offensively.

BC? They're 3-6 in conference and won't make the NCAA tourney.

GT? They're .500 in conference and wont make the tourney without getting a few major upsets.

This team doesn't have a guard that understands time and score in close games who can orchestrate offense to get the shot we need. Collins is a bull in a china shop, always going 100 mph with his head down and no plan to execute.

If this team had DJ Augustin nobody could stop them. That kid understands tempo. He understands who needs to get the ball. He understands how to penetrate. He probes and probes until he sees a weakness and rarely charges into the lane full-bore. He understands how important each offensive possession is in a close game.

Too many soldiers and no general on this team. The glorious "balance" we have is reduced to mediocrity across the board in close games because every player thinks somebody else is going to step up and nobody does.

jayhawkinATL 13 years, 2 months ago

Oh, and our guards (Chalmers, Robinson, Rush AND Collins) were a COMBINED 9 for 31!!!! Horrendous!!!!

SDSurferFan 13 years, 2 months ago

'KU' your comments are laughable. After you get up after the sword you just fell on, do your crappy analysis on any other team in the nation. We are 23-2. Two losses against opponents that are mostly likely a 4-5 seed and a 2 seed.

jayhawks4life 13 years, 2 months ago

I am so sick of the hawks playing flat. where is the passion and love for the sport? One point that comes to mind is bob knight. Something that Knight did so well was convey an attitude or vibe to his players through his body language on the bench. If he wanted them to up the intensity and get fired up, he would be intense and get fired up (and sometimes get a tech). If he wanted them to calm down and just relax he would sit down next to his assistants and cross his arms. And the players would see these things and respond! with that in mind, I would really like to see self more verbal and intense on the sideline to show the boys that he really cares and is passionate. I think that they would respond. Last year at the South Carolina game (which I attended) julian dove for a lose ball and a SC player practically tackled him. Bill proceeded to spit fire at the refs and get "T"d up. the whole team responded with a run to end the 1st half that left the gamecocks scarred and hopeless for the second half. I will say that i see Self do a bit of yelling periodically, but I think more intensity from him would yield alot of results.

SDSurferFan 13 years, 2 months ago

Dudes- The intensity is there. Don't get caught up in that. We don't have a lot of ra-ra players. I have no issues on their intensity, their will to win, dealing with losses, and wanting to win an NCAA championship.

hick25jayhawk 13 years, 2 months ago

As a life long jayhawk fan. I have studied and replayed many games on tape and now the life saving DVR I have noticed a trend clear back to the ROY era. A smaller athletic team who is shooting well behind the arc will always beat an unselfish post driven team. Arizona, Rhode Island, Kentucky, even Syracuse, UCLA, K-State, even Baylor and Missouri. The Jayhawks are getting beat off the dribble!! We don't ever take our man one on one off the bounce in the half-court. We can't and do not know how to gaurd it. The only time we ever attack off the dribble is in transition, and during a break the defender is all ready at a disadvantage because they don't have thier feet set. If we as KU fans are content to get beat by teams that have 1 - 3 guards and even post players that can penatrate then I guess we are content to get to the elite 8, maybe the final four, unless we play against a team with a great penatrating offense. Look at what Duke did to UNC....shredded them....but, Blue Devil fans enjoy it now you will be done in the sweet 16 or the elite 8 because one of the teams that beats you will be a team that has a combination of both. 1. Penatrate and pitch for 40% behind the arc, and 2. Penatrate and dish to their be fellas. Duke has no inside game! Congrats to Rick Barnes he has a good formula working. If Self would allow Collins and Chamlers early in the season to penatrate and pitch or dish we would be able to handle great post defending teams. Stop playing the cream puffs in the preseason and play against teams that actually guard our posts. My 8 year old daughter can throw a bounce pass to Sasha, Darrel, Darnell, and Cole in the half court to a sealed wide open KU post player. But when a team defends out to half court and our guards are peeing their pants and waiting to hand the ball off 40ft from the basket rather than attack it we are sunk!! Hey Bill lets attack the #### basket against great pressure defensive teams!! And for God sake stop the ball in the half-court we are giving up 3's, dunks, poor defensive rebounding position, and lastly our posts are getting in foul trouble trying to help our cement feet guards. Finally if a formula of dribble penatration is what always beats us then why not add some to the play book!!

thanks for reading ROCK CHALK

okjhok 13 years, 2 months ago

A lot of good points on here today. A loss really brings 'em out of the woodwork.

KU...I agree with everything except that the difference between KU and some of those other teams that are questionably better than KU is that KU has no BAD losses. No, they don't have a marquee win yet, but you can't call a team overrated just yet when they only have two losses and they came on the road against the 2nd and 3rd best team in the B12. If KU is overrated (and they may be, slightly) who would you put ahead of them?

palewhale and rebound as a team. If Texas was going to send a couple guys back on defense after a shot (like many teams do against KU), rebounding would be much easier. Texas came out in the 2nd half committed to rebounding with the whole team. So, I agree with palewhale that the blocking out was poor. jayhawkjim...if one guy was getting in the lane, then one of KU's players wasn't doing their job. We weren't playing zone, so there's no excuse when not getting a body on someone. No excuse at all. Like Sherron said, KU didn't get outhustled, but they did get outplayed and outsmarted. You've got to keep your head out there.

Someone also mentioned Texas' pressure defense. This is obviously something that takes KU out of their game. KSU did it, too. KU can dish it, but can't take it, when it comes to this. They let the defense dictate what they do. I hate to say it, but I think it does come down to Xs and Os, and it does appear to be related to, in some measure, to HCBS's coaching ability.

kucourtsider 13 years, 2 months ago

A team cannot go four and a half minutes without a basket against a worthy opponent. UT wanted it more. KU got outplayed, big time.

Plus, if Russell knew that they lost the game five minutes into the second half, why the hell did they even play at all? That isn't the kind of attitude that winners have! Good grief.

wiltstilt 13 years, 2 months ago

i think everyone needs to calm down a bit. the difficult part about being a Kansas fan is that you have to remember that there is nothing we can do during the regular season to impress anyone. nothing. every season, we have 1 or 2 of these type losses and immediately the message boards fill up with panic-riddled nonsense. then, the team buckles down, wins the conference back and has full momentum going into the tourney. and that's when our season starts. the players know it, coach self knows, you and i should know it, too. the only measuring stick for our success is laying out from mid-march to early april.

so, stay calm and take this loss for what it's worth... a tough road loss to the #11 team in the country (a team that earlier beat ucla at pauley pavilion, remember?). and hope we've taken something away from it.

KU 13 years, 2 months ago

SDSurfer......I don't see anything laughable about my comments. We don't have a quality win. The 2 chances we had for them we've squandered.

What's laughable about that?

Memphis: Wins against Georgetown and UConn. Duke: Wins against Pitt, Marquette, Wisconsin, UNC Tennessee: Wins against Xavier, Vanderbilt, Gonzaga UCLA: Wins against Stanford, Washington State (twice)

We don't have a win that can compare to any of these teams.

This team isn't built like a championship team. The roles aren't defined clearly enough to win an ugly game in the tournament. There's too much ambiguity.

I really don't find that funny.

jayhawkinATL 13 years, 2 months ago

Since people have brought up the draft-ability issue, DA is slowly (but surely) dropping down the first round. DJ has been the BIG surprise...he's now listed in the second round. BRush has TOTALLY dropped off of the radar...he shows up as a late first-rounder NEXT year. Sasha also has dropped off from being listed as a second-rounder. Chalmers is listed as an early second-rounder NEXT year. So, if there is any "good" news, it looks like BRush and Mario will get their senior send-offs.

wiltstilt 13 years, 2 months ago

on a lighter note... i think i've identified our achilles heel: teams whose centers go 4-4 from 3-point land while their power fowards toss in another 2 or 3 threes themselves. (KILLED us in both losses)

also, we don't appear to defend the airball very well. could texas have gotten any more points off of airballs ending up in the hands of their guys or from bad misses off of poorly-selected shots ricocheting back to them?

if that's all we have to worry about for the rest of the year, i like our chances.

(i do think our guys need to be better at getting to loose balls/rebounds in traffic, but there is a limit to what fundamentals can do. some guys have better "instincts" and seem to know where the ball is coming off, but there is also a little luck/chance involved. sometimes the ball just doesn't bounce your way.)

KUAlum2000 13 years, 2 months ago

You could easily question a coach with 80% winning percentage here; tell me the big games he has won. The more I watched this game the more I saw this as elight 8 to Final Four type game, and we didn't close it out. This team is easily the most talented in the nation, easily.

I'll admit that I've gone back and forth on Self, but now I'm back to where I was when he was hired; can't coach in the big games and can't motivate the troops to build in that killer instinct.

At this point we think we should win becuase our jersey says "Kansas" and people are on our bandwagon. Just look at Chalmers quote, (my paraphrase) "we lost, but are still better becuase people say we are. and I'm taking my ball and going home."

Self needs to knoch these guys off their pedestal real quick and let them know they need to play every possession to win.

esque 13 years, 2 months ago

Until KU recruits and signs a rugged big man and at least one guard with some mental toughness, they will never win a championship...

Once again, in a game that truly matters, Rush showed no inclination to get involved. I caught the last 7 minutes of the second half and after the game, I realized that I hadn't heard his name called. While KU fans wait for his "boys" to drop, we're destined for another disappointing NCAA tourney performance. If there was a rugged big man on the floor for KU, those follow up, game sealing slams would not have occurred. They're all great guys and seem genuinely nice off the court, I'm afraid they're equally too nice on the court. They desperately need some on the court attitude from a big-time player. I had hoped Collins would provide it but he's still deferring to others..

Should have been a tough win instead of a crushing loss.

halvhawk 13 years, 2 months ago

KU, i agreed with you on the wins thing until your last comment... A. Duke lost to Pitt on a neutral court B. wins against UConn, Wisconsin, Vandy, Gonzaga, and maybe even WSU (6-5 in conference play) are not the quality wins you claim them to be C. A majority of these teams wins came at home, not on the road where our 2 losses have come from...i would like to think that if KState & Texas were both played in Lawrence we would have won both, but we'll never know i guess

Also, i would rather have any of our 3 guards than Augustin...he dribbles around until he gets fouled or wants to take a bad shot, sure he had some good dribble drive & kicks last night, but he also was 1-13 and kept throwing it up there, just like Saturday at ISU when he was 3-18 and kept chuckin it up there, had he been more of an orchestrator last night when he figured out he was having an off night, we probably would have not had a chance to tie it at the end, as we would have been down by double digits, becuase guys like Atchley and Abrams werent having off-nights

And please guys, stop complaining about Sherron, didnt you notice who was guarding Augustin in the last 10 minutes, when he couldnt get into the lane at will anymore? Sure he gets going to fast on O sometimes, but his D last night on Augustin probably kept us in it

John Strayer 13 years, 2 months ago is not just about winning 80% of your games, especially if the quality of opponents is suspect. I don't know, but what is Coach Self's carreer record against top 10 teams? Top 25 teams?

Seriously...I don't know...but I would guess it is no where near 80%.

KUglow 13 years, 2 months ago

KUAlum, I will tell you two big games he has won recently:

We did beat Florida last year when they were ranked number 1. And, we beat Texas with Kevin Durant going nuts to win the Big 12 Championship outright. Oh yeah, but I guess we need to throw that win out since it was at home. Fine, so let's just use the Big 12 Tourney title game with again Durant going nuts on us to secure the number one seed. Now, those wins did not get us into the Final 4 but they were big wins.

I think the thing that you really meant to say is that he has no big tourney wins. I would agree with that. But winning last night would still not change that fact.

Mo Golany 13 years, 2 months ago

I feel that our trapping at half court is always leaving wide open 3's! Always! Our players are great defenders and we need to play straight up man with No trapping! 3's have killed us all year even in games we have won! We have trouble with fowards that can shoot and double teaming them doesn't make sense when we leae guards wide open for 3's! Anyway see this or feel the same way?

Ben Kane 13 years, 2 months ago

I will trade all these losses and a few more for six straight at the end. Remember our last national championship team didn't exactly blow our minds during the regular season and a few teams that did amazing things during the season suffered terrible upsets at the end.

Winning the conference should be our goal every year since winning the tourney is almost a crapshoot. However, I'll trade the conference title for a national title any day!

justanotherfan 13 years, 2 months ago

Several thoughts after reading all of these posts.

  1. Last night, we got away from our best options (Jackson and Arthur in the post). Both went for double figures in the first half alone. Both should have had 20 plus points. Arthur had 22, but Jackson finished with just 13, after having 10 at the half. 24 in the first half from the two starting bigs, 11 in the second. Is there any wonder why we went cold. DBlock and Darrell were killing Texas, then we became a perimeter oriented jump shooting team.

  2. Arthur isn't the guy to criticize after last night. He was big all night. We just didn't ride him enough. We don't ride him and Jackson enough. The fact is, our bigs give us a chance to get high percentage shots every trip because when we are pounding it inside it frees up Mario, Brandon, Sherron, RussRob and everyone else on the perimeter to get open looks and drives. I like seeing Mario and Brandon do their thing outside as much as anybody, but when we were working our high low last night, Texas had no answer.

  3. Our guards need to stop trying to get steals and focus on just getting stops. Too often we are reaching out on the perimeter and giving guys drives that make our defense collapse to cut it off. That is where a lot of the open threes are coming from. We need to just be disciplined on the outside and make people beat us from there rather than reaching to try to create steals against good ball handlers (this absolutely killed us against K-State).

  4. I could see Arthur as a lottery pick, then Rush, and Jackson as late first rounders. Chalmers isn't a first rounder this year because of all of the underclassmen that will declare (Gordon, Rose, Mayo) at his position.

  5. 14-2 or 13-3 will probably still win the Big XII title. K-State still plays us and Texas. Texas has a game against A&M left, not to mention a trip to Tech (always a tough place to play). Oddly enough, we can still control our destiny, even from second, because we get K-State again.

Larry Smith 13 years, 2 months ago

What I find funny KU is that if we lose to misery and nebraska at home, but win the road games at texas and k-state, you could put us in that same catagory as you mentioned above. is that what you would like? what would that show us? that we can win the tuff one on the road? Then everyone would be complaining about losing at home to middle of the pack teams. its a no-win situation for the team, unless they go undefeated.

Defense held texas to 40% shooting

KU had a bad offensive night

texas had 1 more offensive rebound than KU(not as bad as some people implied)

texas shot twice as many free throws

KU had 9 more pf than texas

KU has 2 losses in the last 33 regular season games.

the sky is falling ; )

quigley 13 years, 2 months ago

Chuck: I agree that learning experiences can help us later. I also think that the importance of winning the conference championship is lost on most people these days. I love the tournament. I think it is the most exciting sports event of the year. But we can't forget that the regular season still means something. Whitlock had an article in the KC star yesterday talking about how long and boring the regular season was, and how we need more tournament in college b-ball. I don't know why I am such a traditionalist on this, but I just think that people forget that once apon a time, the conference championship WAS the Big Deal. So to make a long story short, I want a conf. championship, and a national championship!!!

Larry Smith 13 years, 2 months ago

I wonder if you could call Coach Self's win over Kansas in the tourney a big one?

you could easily define "the big game" as any game or loss in the tourney. If that is the case, then there was a coach here who lost the big one for 15 straight years.

Jim Pendleton 13 years, 2 months ago

These comments about Coach Self are really unbelievable. In four years (before this one), we have two Elite Eights, one an OT loss away from a Final Four. Yes we got taken out by UCLA last year, but that might as well have been a Bruin home game. I will give you the other two early round exits, that shouldn't have happened, but let's understand, there have been a lot of big wins over a lot of good teams.

Everyone loses some weird games from time to time. Ours have been to good ranked teams on the road, which weren't exactly blowouts. Several of these other alledgedly good teams have lost at home, some more than once, to teams who won't even be in the tournament. Perhaps you'd rather be like perennial powers UK, Arizona, Syracuse to name a few, who might not even make the Tourney this year.

Let's all get off Coach's back, he is doing a great job, and bringing in exellent players. I don't want to give his friends at OSU any more ammunition to try and lure him away. Is that what you want?

Also, I have not heard or seen this addressed - Does anyone have any info on the big power guy (name escapes me) who signed with LSU over us? Since LSU fired their coach, I have wondered if he may be trying to get out of his signing and go elsewhere. If that happens, he would be a great pick-up for everyone who is looking for a strong big man.

KU 13 years, 2 months ago

Justanother......It's not quite as simple as "we shouldn't have gone away from Arthur and Jackson in the second half".

1) UT was without James virtually the whole 1st half and they don't have any legit 4 or 5 guys that can play INSIDE (see Atchley). Of course we owned the paint in the first half. What did you expect? (I don't hear those complaining about the officiating mention the fact that UT's 4 man spent 17 minutes on the bench the first half. They think the refs are always out to get KU.)

2) UT played almost ALL ZONE in the first half. That was easy high/low stuff given the fact that James was out of the game.

The second half, UT played almost all man to man and they had James back. Those factors are going to affect your ability to feed the post at will.

okjhok 13 years, 2 months ago

Bobo is waiting to see who the new head coach at LSU is going to be. Until then, he's still committed to them, so to say.

13 years, 2 months ago

jayhawkjim80 -

The kid you are thinking of is J'Mison Morgan. Here is a link telling a little about him.

cincyHawk79 13 years, 2 months ago

Jayhawkjim...Self is a great recruiter but if he can't put them in offensive scemes that show off their talet we will always be a OT loss away from the Final Four.

Self shows a consistent lack for taking advantage of situations.

Rush was not involved and was being guarded by a great shooter that is a lot shorter. Rush posted him up once and caused a foul. Never saw him try it again. It would have got Rush more involved and/or would have got Abrams in foul trouble.

As mentioned James had 13 rebounds and he would not have done if we attacked him on offense and forced him into foul trouble.

There is a reason for a coach and if you don't want to discuss some fixable faults then just move on. We have a right to complain.

Aaron Rosenthal 13 years, 2 months ago

KU needs to stop fooling itself about being a guard-oriented team. Jackson and Arthur are too good, but don't get enough touches. Basketball is still about owning the paint. The game has changed a lot in this generation, but that basic fact will never change. UNC, with all their weapons, understands this. UCLA lives and dies with the number of touches for Kevin Love.

Damion James played like a man last night, as did Gary Johnson. And KU put its big men in the terrible position of having to rebound and defend aggressive opponents to get their energy in the second half. Big men play better all over the court when they score. And they score when they are thrown the ball in the paint. It ain't rocket science. Anyone who's played serious post basketball knows how much adrenaline you get from dishing out some punishment as as offensive player. That's when the blocks, rebounds and general interior domination takes off. Even playing as hard as they can, it's asking too much of Arthur and Jackson to own the paint defensively when they aren't properly involved offensively. Damn this worries the hell out of me as Jayhawk fan.

KU 13 years, 2 months ago

I'm in no way knocking Coach Self. I think he's great for KU. I do think it was a huge blow when we lost Coach Jank. I always thought he was the "Brains" behind the whole outfit. He was the offense to complement Self's defense.

The high ball screen thing is really beginning to annoy me on the offensive end. It's very unimaginative and we're letting the defense double us out of any possible "roll" action. We've got the "pick" down, but there's rarely ever any threat of our big crashing hard to the basket to keep the defense honest.

David Howell 13 years, 2 months ago

Before some of you say it was just one bad game, think back several games. We haven't played great basketball in some time and time is running out. Duke & Memphis would kick out butts right now. Hell, I am scared of Butler amongst several others.

Something has to change and soon. Is Rush tired ?? Where have our big guys disappeared to ? Our bigs were dominating and our guards were struggling, but now it seems somewhat reversed. Of course little good came out of last night, with the exception of Arthur and Chalmers ...... There is just something scary about Collins. Yes he has dribble penetration, but he loses the ball way too much and throws up too much trash. When he unleashes a -3- I just cringe !

Comeon Bill ...... get this figured out.

bbeachy 13 years, 2 months ago

Let me take you back to 2003. According to Ken Pomeroy's rankings, KU's big regular season wins were all in conference play. We were 2-3 in non-con top 50 games all season (also lost to #52 UNC). We were 6-2 in the conference against top 50 teams with both losses coming on the road, and we also lost to top 25 Missouri in the Big 12 tourney. All we did was end up in the championship game against Syracuse.

Flash forward to 2008. We only have 2 top 50 games remaining on the schedule, are currently 6-2 in conference top 50 games, 2-0 in non-con top 50 games. Let us not forget that the Big 12 went 9-7 against the PAC 10 and that KU beat two PAC 10 teams and two ACC teams. KSU, UT, and aTm each still have 5 top 50 games left with 2 or 3 of those on the road. Unless we tank or KSU runs the table, we should at least tie for the Big 12 regular season.

A #2 seed can be a much better deal and is really no different than a #1 seed! Just ask the top #2 seed from last year, UCLA who got to play a virtual home game. Also, look at Florida's season last year (regardless of seeding). They were a team with varied leaders and shared stats. They were 24-2 and went 3 of 5 to close out the regular season. Florida also went 2-4 in "away" games against top 50 teams. The year before that, they were 7 of their last 6 in the regular season and were still just 2-4 in "away" games against top 50 teams. 2004's NC UConn team was also 2-4 in such situations.

KU was 2-1 in "away" games against top 50 teams last year and is now 3-2 with only one more such road test. Perhaps the experience is better than getting the actual win. (Other notable "away" against top 50 records: 2005 UNC 4-2; 2003 Syracuse 4-2; 2002 Maryland 2-2; 2001 Duke 5-1; 2000 MSU 2-5; 1999 UConn 4-0). Stop freaking out!

goldlighting 13 years, 2 months ago

Has anybody given it a thought Rush just wants to slide through this year hoping to get his millions in the NBA? He sure plays like all he wants to do is just get through this year uninjured.

WisconsinJayhawk 13 years, 2 months ago

Didn't our offense the last 6 minutes look like last year's Elite Eight game vs. UCLA? Repeated frantic, one-on-one attempts to get to the tin by our guards, resulting in turnovers and blocked shots, and no good passing/dishes/shots. I swear I was pleading with my TV for someone to look to set up the offense. I am not a D-1 coach, but what was HCBS doing then? A time out and a little chat might have been a good idea before letting them rattle of 5 or 6 consectuive possessions of that sort.

Our guards are excellent and play as good a defense with their hands as anyone, but the are not among the very quickest with their feet. We have history with that --back to Jaque Vaughn-- guards who are in the 90th % in quickness, but a quicker guard kills 'em on dribble penetration. (Steve Nash vs Vaughn, etc) Augustin was too much for our guys with his killer speed and quickness.

KUbsee69 13 years, 2 months ago

KUAlum2000 -

You said "... we think we should win because our jersey says "Kansas"".

Well, I think we should win because our jersey says KANSAS.

Unfortunately, sometimes, I think some of our players think we should win because we have so many NBA prospects and it should be impossible to lose with all that talent.

Lets all, players and fans, remember what the jerseys say and assume all the pride and passion that should go with it. THEY SAY KANSAS !!!

jayhawkinATL 13 years, 2 months ago

Hmmmm...good observation, goldlighting.

Only thing, though, is that he is only hurting himself by doing that. According to, he's already fallen back to a late first-rounder NEXT year rather than THIS year.

Kenny George 13 years, 2 months ago

If everyone played with the same intensity level as Darnell Jackson each and every game, we wouldn't be having these discussions.

For a veteran team, we seem to found it difficult to Self-motivate last night, pun intended.

Joshua Hann 13 years, 2 months ago

Give me a break on the stuff about this helping us in the tourney. This game did nothing but show what they think of themselves. Losing games that are hard faught and well played with passion helps in March. These guys know they are the best and they may be a problem. Knowing doesn't cut it. You have to play like the best and since the ksu game, they have been average.

Kevin Long 13 years, 2 months ago

Come on ppl! Let's not forget that there are other good teams in the league! KU didn't play as good as they can last night, I will give you that, but don't write them off just yet. I'm glad that they didn't peak now. There have been a lot of KU teams that have peaked now and look where that got them. Look at Florida last year? Look at anybody who has won a title recently. They always have a game or two that they just don't look good.

Let's just be patient and see what happens in the next month.

yovoy 13 years, 2 months ago

bigs can't own the paint on d when guards are breaking down on the perimeter. bigs can't own the paint on o when they are getting manhandled on every touch and every shot. sure, basketball is a contact sport, but to a point. ut just beat us up inside, on both ends of the floor, every trip, and the officiating didn't really keep it too even. sure there were about 4 or 5 times that we hammered them pretty good and there was not a call, but they were hammering us pretty good 2 or 3 times PER TRIP to both ends with no calls. it's easy to get some good work done on offense when you're allowed to batter you opponent on defense. the best thing an opposing coach can make a scorer/offensive-minded player do is to play defense. i thought we did okay at that (we lost by 3!), but i don't know how many times i saw ut players with both hands on our players on both end of the floor. rush jumps for a rebound, after a decent-enough box-out, and "somehow" ends up 4 feet back from where he jumped. whoever it was had his arm, and just clear him out. if there's no fear about getting a foul, there's not detriment to playing that way. fearlessness goes a long way - on both ends of the floor, because you've gained an advantage due to the officiating. fear goes a long way - on both ends of the floor. we couldn't really defend like we want to due to the moving screens and ticky-tack nature of the fouls being called out top.

my sky isn't falling, and i'm not really surprised/upset about the loss. 3 points to ut, in austin, when you're playing miserably on both ends, when you're getting manhandled? barnes does less with more talent than anyone, so it's no surprise that they only won by 3. as much as they had things going their way, they should've won by about 12-15.

yovoy 13 years, 2 months ago

"We couldn't get our hands on the ball. We couldn't grab the rebounds..."

exactly. if you dvr'ed the game watch how many times we were grabbed and then they got an offensive rebound. i WILL say that other times when we didn't box out, that it wasn't "we" who didn't box out- it was mario who didn't. he really did a fundamentally poor job of boxing out lots of times, like it was somebody else's job.

Matt Kenton 13 years, 2 months ago

Exactly CincyHawk! "Self is a great recruiter but if he can't put them in offensive scemes that show off their talet we will always be a OT loss away from the Final Four."

There are games when all the aforementioned things are going to happen (not blocking out in the 2nd half, guards not stopping the penetration, poor intensity, bad calls). I mean, we did just put up 100 pts 2 days earlier and had to travel... do you think we might not look our best!?

And if Mario makes his last 3 and we win in overtime, no one is saying these things. You all know we've won games where we got outrebounded, or never stopped a certain player... we failed in some aspect of the game.

What our boys need is just a little more offensive guidance. There were enough wasted posessions where not everyone knew what we were trying to do- a little more discipline on offense, which we hopefully will iron out now, and we win games like this.

cincyHawk79 13 years, 2 months ago

KU Matt...That is what I am worried about. I have not seen Self grow as a coach. He wants Rush to be more aggressive but appears happy to have him stand on the wing and watch the game go by. Again Rush would have been more effective taking a 7" height advantage against Abram and post him up! Does Rush really want to be a Decoy?

Too many times our guards get a steal and try to go 1 on 3 instead of valuing the possession of the ball. One time last night Collins did just that and when Rush was standing on the wing all alone Collins tried to attack the three taller defenders instead of dishing to Rush for the open three. We get all the accolades about being an unselfish team and make the extra pass but when we get behind we turn selfish and everyone tries to win the game on their own.

Offensive guidance or just plain offensive discipline?

ajs10 13 years, 2 months ago

I don't understand why everyone is so willing to jump all over our guys for being 23-2, with two losses on the road to very talented opponents in one of the toughest conferences.

cincyHawk79 13 years, 2 months ago

Because we should have won that game! If your happy with that effort last night then settle for lots of wins and a loss in the elite 8. Maybe even another Bucknell surprise.

This team is better than the one we saw last night and most of us here want them to raise thier level of play when challenged!

ajs10 13 years, 2 months ago

Obviously you watch alot of sports you should know that everything doesn't always go right...did you expect us to go 40-0? Or would you rather have us lose to weaker opponents at home? Losing sucks, but this is college basketball...its going to happen. Plus we are KU, we get everyones best shot in conference play.

cincyHawk79 13 years, 2 months ago

AJS 10... I would be happy with that loss if it was our best effort by players and coaches. I would also be happy if we learn from our losses. I saw some of the same things from Loss 1 show up in Loss 2 and guess what they will be there in Loss 3.

Lets talk when the season is over and see if you feel the same way.

Larry Smith 13 years, 2 months ago

Posted by WisconsinJayhawk (anonymous) on February 12, 2008 at 2:54 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"Didn't our offense the last 6 minutes look like last year's Elite Eight game vs. UCLA? Repeated frantic, one-on-one attempts to get to the tin by our guards, resulting in turnovers and blocked shots, and no good passing/dishes/shots. I swear I was pleading with my TV for someone to look to set up the offense. I am not a D-1 coach, but what was HCBS doing then? A time out and a little chat might have been a good idea before letting them rattle of 5 or 6 consectuive possessions of that sort."

Um.. actually KU did call a timeout about the 5:30 mark. KU then proceeded to score or get fouled for the next 4 possesions taking the clock under to under a minute left in the game. Then.... Brandon missed the three Mario made a three Mario missed a three, but we got the rebound and Arthur scored. Mario missed the three at the end.

We had 4 offensive possesions with under a minute to play. that is not a lot of time to set up the offense imo.

I guess I was watching a different game the last 6 minutes.

Matt Kenton 13 years, 2 months ago

I'm with you Cincy. It's real hard to take a loss when I can think back to at least three possessions where Russell Robinson took it upon himself to score for the team and failed.

As a senior, he should know better. If he's not going to be that disciplined, then he needs some more guidance from Coach Self.

And I remember Holly Rowe saying that she heard Self tell Sherron Collins during a timeout that he needs to step up and make a play. Sherron did make some great plays but some terrible ones too. C'mon coach, draw up a play to direct these guys, where everyone knows what's going to happen. Maximize our potential, utilize our talent, and get every bit of production out of it!

There's a reason Bruce Weber took Bill's Illinois kids to the title game- he took the talent Self recruited and then gave them the guidance and structure they needed to win. And there's also a reason Illinois isn't as good now- he can't recruit like Self can.

But I've had faith that Self is smart and will learn to improve that at KU. I've seen a little of that, but still am not convinced he can take us to the promised land.

I sincerely hope not, but he could be the Marty Shottenheimer of College Basketball. Only time will tell...

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