Friday, December 11, 2009

Elijah Johnson to make second start Saturday against La Salle

Kansas guard Elijah Johnson defends against the pass from Central Arkansas guard Ryan Daniels during the second half, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Elijah Johnson defends against the pass from Central Arkansas guard Ryan Daniels during the second half, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Kansas freshman combo guard Elijah Johnson will make his second straight start Saturday against La Salle, KU coach BIll Self said Friday during his pre-game meeting with reporters.

Johnson made his first career start Wednesday against Radford in place of Tyshawn Taylor, who had opened the previous seven games.

"We'll start Elijah," Self said. "Elijah played well the other day. Obviously, Ty's going to play, but we'll start Elijah. I don't think you start a kid and have him play as well as he did and all of a sudden bench him, because, to be honest, he deserves it (to start)."

Self said he thought Taylor played well in contributing six assists with no turnovers against Radford.

For a complete look at the KU-La Salle matchup, check back to or read Saturday's Journal-World.


suttonku 10 years, 1 month ago

This is great news. EJ is a stud and he will be for a long time at KU. As a fan, I really love how he takes pride in putting on that KU uniform. I think he knows what it really means to play at KU. He shows more pride in playing for Kansas than any other player on that team. EJ is becoming my new favorite Jayhawk.

sdoyel 10 years, 1 month ago

As someone on the boards mentioned: Notice how Tyshawn carries himself with "unfound confidence".

He is too cocky-acting out on the court. He can't shoot....

Justin Diederich 10 years, 1 month ago

Suttonku well said. I met EJ at late night and he simply loves KU.

Ben Kane 10 years, 1 month ago

this is good news i think. most importantly TT seems to do much better coming off the bench.

Marcia Parsons 10 years, 1 month ago

Latest podcasters has an interesting take on TT, suggesting he is trying too hard, worrying about making mistakes, thinking too much about not turning the ball over, whether to pass or shoot, etc.

tobyfoo 10 years, 1 month ago

Gotta love this kid's energy! I'm glad he's getting the chance to start.

SaltyJayhawk 10 years, 1 month ago

i just wish that Tyshawn would take better shots. He played some good defense, had some assists and he actually didn't turn the ball over. But the problem is that he ran into the lane three or four times and tried to shoot a floater, and it did not work at all. He should at least try to pass it out or look for better shot selection before he just lobs the ball at the rim like that. it's just not a smart move.

Joe Baker 10 years, 1 month ago

I think Elijah responds to Self's motivation much better. He gets it! He understands Self's coaching style and will respond. He needs a huge breakout game.

Go Elijah!


Ben Kane 10 years, 1 month ago

just heard a rumor we are negotiating with Harbough for around 2.7mil

Cimhawk 10 years, 1 month ago

Bill's going to play whoever makes us better.......I respect that!!! Hope the boyz understand that also......makes for good practices!!!!

easyfive 10 years, 1 month ago

Bill could take all the names on the team, put them in a hat and the first 5 start. C.J. has the best looking shot i ever seen! He kind of reminds me of Terry B. but better...

tahawk81 10 years, 1 month ago

Not sure I am on board with "renting" Harbough for a what would surely only be a couple year stay. But putting my trust in Lew.

sdku 10 years, 1 month ago

EJ is more explosive and when it comes to a real team we have to play I want someone in the game who can DRIVE THE LANE. EJ will create havic for defenses and when they collapse there is Cole for an easy 2 points or Sherron or Xavier for a easy 3!

Chad Hallack 10 years, 1 month ago

I love this move... I like TT coming off the bench. He looked pretty good the other night. Still needs to be more cafeful with the ball, just making crisper passes in general would be a huge improvement. I think this "experiment" will work and we'll continue to see Tyshawn come off the bench and enable SC to be more of a true 2.

SC will play the 1 in the NBA but this team is better if he doesn't have to be the primary ball handler and I don't trust Tyshawn to be the primary ballhandler. Reminds me too much of Nick Bradford when the ball is in his hands... you just never know where it may end up.

If TT would embrace a RussRob mentality to be a lockdown guy, take care of the ball and let his points come to him it would be yet an another agrument as to why this team could be standing head and shoulders above the rest come March.

kuclay 10 years, 1 month ago

That #15 jersey must have some of Mario's magic left in it. Tyshawn caught fire wearing it last year, and had the best season of his entire career. Unfortunately for him he made the mistake of allowing EJ to usurp the magic number, and now look who's starting...

jaybate 10 years, 1 month ago

Friday Fish Fry, or Defend or Don't Come Back Alive...

} Self is telegraphing quite a lot with his second start of the Prophet Elijah against a cupcake. He is not saying Elijah is better than Tyshawn. If Texas were tomorrow, instead of LaSalle, Tyshawn would start and play the whole game. Self is saying that he needs two experienced players at the 2 spot. This implies he has made a decisive choice about how this team is going to play most of the rest of the season and he hinted at it a day or so ago, when he said that as players minutes decrease KU can begin to apply more pressure. I suspect Self has decided to turn this team into one that plays defense most of every game the way the '08 championship team played wreak havoc defense the first ten minutes vs. Baja KU (i.e. UNC). Self wants muscle, intense pressure, and the ability to play any tempo and neither tire on the run, nor foul out during grind it out. The theme for this season is going to be: "The Defense Never Rests."

First, developing the Prophet now means he's making clear that he wants to play two deep at every position the entire season. He wants the Prophet and 2T at the 2 and he wants them defending like each minute is their last. Their orders? Defend and strip, or don't come back alive.

Second, the above implies that Brady is going to stay at the 3, likely as a backup, to ensure two deep at the 3, so that defensive pressure can be amped up through the roof on both wings. Xavier's and Brady's orders? Defend and strip, or don't come back alive.

Self is being a crafty devil about making Tyshawn back up to the Prophet. This will put Tyshawn and Brady on the same footing, and so head off anger on either players' parts at coming off the bench. Self is telling them it is not a demotion. He's saying he wants Elijah's and Xavier's offensive impact capabilities in for the first 3-5 minutes as a tactical blitzkrieg move. Next he wants to come with Tyshawn and Brady to lock down the shell-shocked opponent, as only they can. This is inspired coaching, if he can get Elijah sufficiently developed, and if Elijah and Xavier really can beast offensively the first 3-5 minutes of every game.

Kevin John 10 years, 1 month ago

Good insight kuclay. Let Tyshawn wear the headband, and I say he goes off!! Rock Chalk

kuproud96 10 years, 1 month ago

Hallacek- Nice Nicky the "Sox" Bradford reference. I agree TT is just out of control. He has great potential but the maturity is not quite there yet.

Mike Kendall 10 years, 1 month ago

CJ looked good the other night. He comes off the bench and scores 11 points in how many minutes? In my opinion, he looks like Mike Lee, from the great state of Oregon, but obviously shoots better than Lee.

Mike Kendall 10 years, 1 month ago

Tennessee beatin' up on a Mid-Major cupcake on the road, winning 75-54, over Middle TN State. KU is averaging 90+ points per game. TN only scores 75. Iowa State knocking off Iowa by 17 with 17 min. to go--another win for the Big 12.

Philip Bowman 10 years, 1 month ago

A couple of days ago TT made a take-way slam dunk and then mugged the camera. I'm willing to be that cost him his starting job. If you don't think so take a look at how he acted the last two games after a dunk. He may have lost permanently it now. He is a real hot dog and needs to start acting like a Jayhawk.

Mike Kendall 10 years, 1 month ago

How 'bout a Slam Dunk between TT and John Wall from Kentucky--see who is the bigger hot dog!!!

Doug LeMoine 10 years, 1 month ago

Jaybate: Maybe Self is every bit as Machiavellian as you imagine him to be, but I don't think he'd ever dream of starting EJ if Tyshawn hadn't been absolutely terrible against Memphis (7 TOs) and UCLA (3 TOs). He's starting the best players at each position, period. Of course there are benefits to this down the line, but there's no way he'd promote EJ at this point if Tyshawn was showing the poise and leadership that generally go along with experience. You have to believe that Tyshawn feels demoted, and that he wants to return to the starting line-up. The question is: Will he get his game together in time? ... The more EJ starts and plays well, and the more the starting squad gels around him, the less likely it will be for Tyshawn to crack it. Then again, Tyshawn could be the Steve Woodberry (or the '07-'08 Sherron) of this team -- a huge spark off the bench who absolutely destroys the second line of the opponent in the later part of the first half.

JayhawkPurist 10 years, 1 month ago

I agree re Taylor: too much bravado. I'm afraid he got too much too soon at KU, starting his freshman year and not having any real adversity a la the Morris twins. There's something missing with Taylor, but I can't quite put my finger on it. Any psychologists out there?

Mike Kendall 10 years, 1 month ago

Nothing wrong coming off the bench and contributing to the overall team's success. KU is deep and everyone knows it. I will give an example. During last night's Syracuse/Florida game, a game between two undefeated teams, the "Prince of Late Night," Jimmy Dykes, said no one is in the class of the Kansas Jayhawks. In fact, Jimmy gave his Final 4 if it happened today-- KANSAS, KENTUCKY, NORTH CAROLINA AND WEST VIRGINIA. Dykes said there are several teams battling for Top 10 status, which he included Syracuse. But nobody is in the same League as KU, according to Dykes. Still, a long season to go, however.

KEITHMILES05 10 years, 1 month ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Mike Kendall 10 years, 1 month ago

Is La Salle any good? I know they are the "other" team from Philly (Villanova, St. Joe's are the well-knowns). Anybody from the East Coast--help me out, here! The game is on ESPN, right?

Mike Kendall 10 years, 1 month ago


Good nickname for Collins--bowlingBall! I just hope he doesn't hit the gutter too often. He scares the crap out of me when he lands on the floor. On one hand, if he gets hurt, we have the depth off the bench but on the other hand, would miss his leadership on the floor.

Steve Brown 10 years, 1 month ago

does Paul P wear the celtic green headband? Get TTaylor a dark headband if HCBS doesn't like the stark white head band. Put 3 addias stripes on it hjeck the way he's making some decisions i'd get his old # back 51 with the 5 on backwards so it looks like 15 in the mirror.

during the FB debate tournament some thumbs were bent and a few verbal exchanges that sunk deep into his head that surface at 2 in morning and also surface when he throws the ball into other players. may need excorsism.

just random thoughts

Mike Kendall 10 years, 1 month ago

Former Jayhawk coach, Kevin Stallings and Vandy loses to Western KY, in a mild upset, 76-69.

100 10 years, 1 month ago

Great comments all, regarding TT.

First of all I think a lot of our prophecies have come true -- "the 2 guard will sort it self out all by itself this year -- competition brings the best out of all of us," is essentially what many of us said.

So for now, we play the guys who don't turn the ball over & run tough D.

Scoring is not so much a key for the 2 guard. It's great if he can do it (ala CJ the other night), but really the 2 guard gets himself time out there if he can swing the ball around confidently & not turn it over, as well as be an emotional defensive stop gate who supports all that is Jayhawk, which spelled another way is "G R E A T - T E A M M A T E"...

That's how easy it is -- next time TT gets out there, all he has to do is put a big smile on his face, swing the ball back & forth safely, turn the ball over zero times & not take any stupid shots besides dunks, because a stupid shot is as bad as a turnover any day of the week....

That's really how easy it is this year boys...

Smart, good old fashioned basketball....

Pass the ball crisply, TT....

Pass the ball...

"Intelligence Wins Championships"


KU_Alumn_2000 10 years, 1 month ago

First of all...ralster is hot.

Second of all...I truely believe in karma. Every time I make a bad decision and not do the right thing...I always pay the price for it. When I think back to the fight between taylor and the football players...he showed his character in his comments on facebook. Can't help but to think that he is probably going to experience a period of ramification for his actions.

100 10 years, 1 month ago


Interesting way to look at it, & for many this can be true if one buys into the yin-yang philosophical vision of the universe....

Then, for others, there's the simplicity of mind over matter, or taken further, mind over one's past, otherwise known as learning (at core, we, our spirits, are creatures wrought from the original fire we built way back when to cook our first steak dinner not to mention spiritually, creatures woven within the first pair of leaf sandals ever made for that excruciatingly long walk way millions of years ago to get away from those bothersome trees we used to call beds)...

So... that said....

I think TT went through the five stages of "fire is hot" realization process weeks ago & decided to grow up, move on & do his best in life from now on.

As for basketball, he's still trying to "get it"... and he will...

It's really this simple: if the pass isn't clear, eat the ball & pass out of it the other way... you want to play in the NBA? You better learn this skill...

Do you really want to play in the NBA? The last thing an NBA scout wants to see is a stupid shot (which is worse than a turnover) when you have 4 awesome scorers who are waiting for some ball movement...

Get your turnovers down to zero TT, move the ball, move the ball, move the ball, & go 2 for 2 on two dunks a game of of 2 steals & you'll play whenever you want!!!

We're all rooting for you, TT!!!!!

"Defense Wins Championships"


100 10 years, 1 month ago

P.S. There's nothing wrong with missing a good shot...

"Shot Selection Wins Championships"


Dirk Medema 10 years, 1 month ago

Great comments Jaybate, and all in one post :-) Do you think Self will ever resort to the wave subbing that Roy use to employ? It always seemed like it must be demoralizing to see 5 fresh players waiting to run you into the ground, tho with Self's crew they are likely to take the ball away before you have a chance to score as well. What was Bill's quote when asked during his first interview about pushing the ball upcourt after an made basket. "Why let them score?"

You too williepless - Good knowledge on the Steve Woodberry ref.

UmbertoConforti 10 years, 1 month ago

KEITHMILES05 says... "Taylor gets very careless with his dumb azz passes. He one hands them which is wrong. He's also very herky jerky and nervous..... He most certainly does too much thinking which means his confidence has suffered."

Good insight. Also, he is very young and I suspect his childhood much different from those making the comments. He is very talented and makes some spectacular plays. That he walks with a swagger isn't all bad although it is obviously off putting for some fans. I hope he can keep up his good work with this arrangement of EJ starting and CJ probably getting more playing time.

kerbyd 10 years, 1 month ago

Remember how much Sherron has been through and how much he has changed since coming here. Hopefully, TT can do the same.

Steve Brown 10 years, 1 month ago

ralster nice post about the terms of service it takes for different players fermenting process, very few get to Larry town div. 1 BB 'ready' from the gate.

KU-Alum, yes the FB 'debate' seems to be either a revelation to character or a turning point or a hurdle that in physical world is past but in corner of TT head maybe still linger, may need excorcism is code for some wise counsel.

watched tape of radford end of game SC on bench smiling next to Cole coughing in the towel- so what is it, mono, bird flu, walking pneum. I know I'm connecting unconnected dots, yet even HCBS says in published media, CA has been 'under' weather early portion of season, let's get him mega Vit C and fluids. so he can dance like last year.

100 says: next time TT gets out there, all he has to do is put a big smile on his face, swing the ball back & forth safely, turn the ball over zero times & not take any stupid shots besides dunks.

so true: release the mind TaylorHawk and fly free- your talent & TEAM will let you soar.

Matt Bowers 10 years, 1 month ago

I believe we call this a sophmore slump. TT loves KU and takes just as much pride as anyone else when he puts on that uniform, a new uniform because he gave his number to EJ. This team will be unstopable and TT will be our starting point as soon as he stops worrying about making mistakes and lets the game slow down and come to him. I am rooting for TT because he was one of the most clutch freshmen with the cast that he had.

Rock Chalk

Steve Brown 10 years, 1 month ago

sdoyel your comment about his unfounded confidence salthawk you comment about his posing for the camera after a dunk

reminded me of our 1st or 2nd game McKeif had slam dunk that made ESPN top 10 plays and don't you know TT facebook or twitter pals from back home, said "hey when you makin' top 10 plays, aren't you the stud soph?" The next game not only this last one, he started posing after a slam and it looked like the pose was more important than getting back on D, I noticed it a couple weeks ago, not just now.

kustrong: yes, soph slumps we've had plenty over the years and they are as real as the SI cover jynx. Powerful medicine to break the spell. Maybe he will get the game winning shot or assist against Mich or Cal and that should do it.

consensus seems to be he needs to play by instinct and quit over thinking- fun to speculate on his whys, hows and solutoins. We need him.

waywardJay 10 years, 1 month ago

in fairness... Tyshawn has looked brilliant the last two from the bench..... something i was bashed for advocating March- Septmeber of this year.... ;)

I think he earned his starting spot back today, and I don't think Elijah will make it easy on him to KEEP it..... Excellent coaching Self.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.