Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Jayhawks basking in glow

Self relishes exposure of another Sweet 16

The Kansas men proved to be too much for the Dayton Flyers. But for a Sweet 16 victory, they'll have to pull off a win they couldn't accomplish in January.



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Spartans give impressions of Jayhawks

The Jayhawks will square off against Michigan State Friday at 8:35 p.m.

Bill Self gave his Sweet 16-bound Kansas University basketball players a well deserved day off Monday.

It was business as usual for KU’s sixth-year coach, however.

Of course, he spent time working on his game plan for Friday’s foe, Michigan State, while also making the rounds on ESPN’s First Take TV and Doug Gottlieb radio shows.

“To me, getting in the NCAA Tournament is great, but to really receive the benefit of the NCAA Tournament, you’ve got to get to the second weekend,” Self said of gaining exposure for his program.

“They are talking about 65 teams the first weekend. Now they are talking about 16. We are in the game — the hunt. That’s all I can ask.”

His No. 3-seeded Jayhawks will meet No. 2 seed Michigan State in a Midwest Regional semifinal at approximately 8:37 p.m. Friday in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

MSU stopped KU, 75-62, on Jan. 10 in East Lansing, Mich.

“We’ve got to be hard to guard from all five spots. We can’t be a team you can just focus on two areas. Those teams get easy to guard over time,” Self said of needing more production from players not named Cole Aldrich and Sherron Collins.

“It puts too much pressure on two guys that they have to play great. We need to get consistent play from everybody.”

Also, Self is stressing rebounding.

“We have to do a fabulous job on the glass. It’s one area other than Cole we are not terrific at,” Self said. His Jayhawks were outrebounded 42-31 in that first meeting at MSU.

“Michigan State historically is as good or maybe the best rebounding team in America over the last 10 years since Tom (Izzo) has been there. They are plus-11 (rebounding margin) this year.

MSU coach Izzo — like Self, he appeared on ESPN on Monday — believes the Spartans (28-6) will have their hands full in the rematch versus KU (27-7).

“What Bill has done with that team is remarkable,” Izzo said.

Izzo believes any of the four teams assembling in Indy could advance to the Final Four.

“I like Kansas. They are looking good, getting better every game,” Izzo said. “Who knows what will happen in the Arizona-Louisville game? Those two teams are also playing very well. We’ve got a lot of work to do, but it’s fun to be in the hunt.”


mojayhawk 10 years, 10 months ago

If you "Bask in the glow" When you "Return to the show" You will blow your Chance To stay in the Dance.

It's been a great season, but that is no reason to get "Satisifed" and full of Hawk Pride.

So lace 'em up men. Stay "hungry" and then, when you Chew on some Spartan, for home they'll be departin'.

Rock Chalk! See you in Indy

Matt Kenton 10 years, 10 months ago

It's awesome that a team with such low expectations at the beginning of the season has made the Sweet 16, and a testament to Self's coaching and recruiting ability and Sherron & Cole's toughness and talents.

But let's not get too high on ourselves. Jason Whitlock has made a career out of writing what everyone else isn't, so this comes at no surprise.

But don't forget how bad we looked in the first half. We couldn't buy a shot, and had Dayton been nailing theirs this could have been easily different. They couldn't hit from outside, so took it inside, and that's when Cole had his hayday.

I just hope we don't think we've made it. We'll need to step it up even higher to do anything Friday. We need the same from Cole/Sherron, and a lot more from Tyrone, Brady, Tyrel, and then Mario and the Twins.

Rock Chalk!

phogthedog 10 years, 10 months ago

Show up at the WNIT on Thursday evening. Support the Lady Jayhawks. Our university can support more than two athletic teams!

keith horinek 10 years, 10 months ago

With Sherron and Cole playing well during the tournament, if somone else stepped up, with three players scoring "out of control" I think we can be in the elite 8.

Kevin Long 10 years, 10 months ago

Some of what Whitlock said is right. KU did play ugly against Dayton. With that said, Whitlock will always look at the negative. I think we all know that this years team is not near what last years team was. They are doing the best with the VERY young team they have. I don't care if you played UMKC and Washburn to get to the sweet 16 your still there. I'm tired of people like Whitlock acting like were ranked #1 in the country! If they do lose I will still be very proud and happy with the season.

Seth Peattie 10 years, 10 months ago

“We’ve got to be hard to guard from all five spots. We can’t be a team you can just focus on two areas. Those teams get easy to guard over time,” Self said of needing more production from players not named Cole Aldrich and Sherron Collins.

“It puts too much pressure on two guys that they have to play great. We need to get consistent play from everybody.”

The other starters and the bench need to STEP UP!!!!!!!!

JHWK 10 years, 10 months ago

mojayhawk, that is a riot. You should work for Hallmark.

MSU will be ready to play, and you can bet they won't shoot such an awful percentage.

There were solid contributions Sunday from Mario Little (where's he been since January?!) and Marcus and Markief both had some memorable moments. Although Morningstar had a poor shooting day, our defense kept us in the game, and his was no exception.

If they listen to the plan Coach puts together and believe in their defense, it will be one physical, intense game Friday night. Clearly, Cole and Sherron love to play there!

Rock Chalk!! And the Beak goes on!!!

slowplay 10 years, 10 months ago

The shooting percentages are blown out of proportion. Both teams played extremely tight defense and most of the shots were contested. Morningstar and Reed did however, have some nice open looks.

The benches of both teams will be key factors. Cole and Sutton, and Collins and Lucas may cancel each other out. Taylor reverted to "freshman" mistakes but we know he is capable of having a 20+ night.

dustfan 10 years, 10 months ago

Whitlock basically calls Dayton terrible but check out what he said about them last week. Also how many of his "10 picks you can book" turned out right? What a joke.

mdfraz 10 years, 10 months ago

Good find dustfan. Whitlock talking out of both sides of his mouth. Last week, Dayton was good. This week, Dayton is awful. Which is it, there, Whitlock?

plotku 10 years, 10 months ago

I must say I am surprised and pleased with the results of making the sweet 16. I never would have thought after watching Michigan State making us look foolish in the early part of the year, that we would get a chance to avenge that loss. If we make the same effort to pound the ball inside first and play through the post, I think we have a real shot of seeing the Elite 8. Go Hawks! On a side note I just read an article on yahoo sports about training after college football, and the writer interviewed Josh Freeman, as former Kansas quarterback. HA! they can keep his 0-3 record against the hawks in Manhattan.;_ylt=AujwNI9g_C2umAqEUz1VVAY5nYcB?slug=ms-trippintuesday032409&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

Lin Rahardja 10 years, 10 months ago

Self pointed out that the rest of the team has to step up big against MSU. A 6 of 22 shooting (from the rest of the team) probably won't get us through this time.

KU defenders must blanket MSU's two guards. Perhaps a "Zone 3 - and Two" defense will be effective against them. We must blanket Kalin Lucas (without fouling him) and reserve Chris Allen. Looking into MSU's lost column, so far, they lost if these two guards have bad shooting games (7-23 vs Ohio St, 5-17 vs Purdue, 11-30 vs Penn State, 8-23 vs Northwestern, 8-24 vs NC, 5-22 vs Maryland). Come on, these guys are not D Rose, they can be stopped!!!

dustfan 10 years, 10 months ago

Whitlock's qoutes:

I like the Flyers. They remind me of the Ball State teams of my youth — deep, athletic and plenty of swagger. Dayton spanked Big East heavyweight Marquette in November, so the Flyers will have plenty of confidence.


Sunday’s 60-43 laugher over the Dayton Flyers simply confirmed what I’ve always believed about the unfairness of the Big Dance. Thanks to a flawed seeding process and a horrendous, first-round performance by Bob Huggins’ West Virginia Mountaineers, the third-seeded Jayhawks were blessed with the privilege of playing the most unskilled team left in the tournament.

Honestly, I played on and coached better-shooting intramural teams in college than the 2008-09 Dayton Flyers.

Dayton, the runner-up in the Atlantic 10, might be on par with Colorado, the last-place team in the Big 12. Yes, in November Dayton beat Auburn and Marquette on back-to-back nights. November is college basketball’s exhibition season. The results shouldn’t count.

Lin Rahardja 10 years, 10 months ago

"Zone-3 and Two" defense... "Zone 3" to neutralize their rebounding edge (+11 against Kansas), and "Two" to blanket MSU guards and force them to have a bad shooting night. GO HAWKS!!!

jayhawkboogeyman 10 years, 10 months ago

Whitlock is a fool. Like there's no chance our swarming defense - by far the best this KU team has played this season - had anything to do with shutting down what last week was a great Dayton team.
Michigan State is good, but not unbeatable. They have lost to a few bad teams since the first match up, and we are light years ahead of where we were then. Hopefully the earlier loss plays to our advantage - revenge, and MSU comes in thinking they automatically got us beat again. Another swarming defensive effort, smart outlet passes (Cole - 243,000 rebounds good, half-court outlet passes to no one, bad), and Brady hitting those open shots, and we can beat MSU and live to fight another day. Still, very happy about the progress of this young team. Their effort and improvement makes the future of KU basketball more than bright enough to live up to our great past; these kids should be the favorites heading into next year, and the downs (TTU, Baylor), and now the ups (this run), should give this group the toughness to be great next year. Rock Chalk Friday night, let's get a great win, and if not, still a lot to be proud of this season, and a tough loss would not be a heart-breaker like past failures. There is no failing in this game - no one is picking us, so we should be much looser and hit some big shots. The boogeyman thinks the outlook is good for a great night Friday.

tis4tim 10 years, 10 months ago

About Whitlock's article, I interpreted it as a Keegan-esque article hoping to keep that chip on this young team's shoulder. You know, the whole lack of respect angle.

He is certainly inflammatory with his writing, but he's usually pro-Kansas.

ctyankee 10 years, 10 months ago

Revenge is sweet, boogeyman....and a great motivator. My (non LJW) bracket is rather hopeful but ends with KU over MSU, Arizona, Mizzou and then Syracuse in the final. The only four teams in the field of 64 to beat KU this year...and all four are still alive. Nothing could be finer (even than beating rhyming you-know-who). This might take a little divine intervention, but stranger things have happened. If you remember that sweet season in 88 ended with consecutive wins over K-State, Duke and Oklahoma....the only three teams to win in Allen Field House that season. Let the magic begin.

BCRavenJHawkfan 10 years, 10 months ago

Whitlock does not know how to do anything but stir the pot, and it is eveident everyone here sees this (I've always known this was a good group). He is an unhappy empty jockstrap that failed to ride the coat tails of his high school buddy Jeff George.

Now Whitlock on the basketball court would be quite a site. Would be good for side bets as to how many times he could go up and down the court without keeling over.

But since he touts his basketball skill, I say lets bring back the one-on-one compitition from the 1970's in the NBA. The primetime match up Whitlock vs Aldrich. My advise to Whitlock, make sure your health insurance is up to date.

Chris Seferyn 10 years, 10 months ago

here's what we need to happen Friday: 1) Brady decides to man up and make a shot 2) doctors are able somehow to add the twins IQ together and make one smart player who can rebound and go to the hoop on offense 3) MSU has an off night shooting. One thing is that Mario was playing in his first real game back when we played in East Lansing. He's better now and he actually matches up OK with this team. Think how good he'd be if he was fully ready to play the 3 (these Juco guys just don't play any D - its taken a long time to get him on the ball defensively and he's not quite there yet) and an undersized 4...

FairgroveJayhawk 10 years, 10 months ago

Lets say Lance Stephenson does come to KU. I wonder how our tournament success has or has not influenced his decision.

WRDK24 10 years, 10 months ago

Check out how even we match up on paper...

I think revenge will be the biggest factor in this game. I especially think Sherron will be fired up. He almost single handedly brought us back last time we played MSU. If that three he took in transition would have fallen it would have been a six point game and we would have had all of the momentum. I think when he missed it the comeback was deflated. Good Luck Young Hawks!!!

jaybate 10 years, 10 months ago

Other things equal, KU should not be able to beat MSU.

KU will require peak performances and Self will have to pull a strategic rabbit out of his hat on the order of magnitude of what he did to UNC last year.

Izzo plays ten guys double digit minutes, starts, 3 guys 6'8" to 6'10", and rotates two more 6'8" guys double digit minutes. All five bigs are bangers. And if he has to he will bring in a sixth in 6'11" 260 Ibok Idong for 4-5 minutes to bang Cole to death.

How do you beat MSU? Either you get in the trenches with them and slug it out, which is usually Self's preference, or you find a way to use your defense to disrupt what they like to do most.

What MSU likes to do best is outrebound teams by +11, then cram it down their throats on offense. We are not talking finesse here.

There are two ways to beat a great rebounding team. First, you have to deny them offensive rebounding position. Second, you have to make a high percentage of your shots, by shooting close in, by fast breaking and by making what few treys you take. Taking a lot of treys plays right into their hands, because they generate rebounds.

To get maximize positioning, you have to play some zone. And you have to go to the zone before your guys get in foul trouble, so that you are moving in and out of it, rather than being forced into it.

Gimmick zones are tough to play for extended periods. But KU definitely ought to show some triangle and two occassionally if MSU actually had trouble with it.

But what KU does in its man to man is just as important. KU has to take the bodying to MSU. It has to body MSU's rebounders away from the basket. They have to get them on their hips and drive them out, not just feel them and run to the rebound. If KU can drive them away from the rim in m2m, and then block them out during zone, they can eliminate MSU's rebounding edge.

jaybate 10 years, 10 months ago

Then KU needs either MSU's Kalin Lucas, or Raymar Morgan, to have cold shooting nights.

What else KU will have to do to have a chance:

KU has to have all hands hitting the trey, but not taking that many.

Cole will have to score 20-25 points and get 15 rebounds for KU to have a good chance to win. It is not likely he can do this, but this is what we need. He's got to get us a 10 point scoring edge over MSU center Goran Sutton; this will be exceedingly tough to do, but that is his objective.

Sherron has got to the rim like he has never gone to the rim before. He has to have one of his great games offensively. We need him to outscore Lucas by at least 5.

Marcus Morris has to have his greatest performance of the season to score five points less than Morgan, or better, and more importantly, to play 25-30 minutes. Why are his minutes so important? Because we need Mario Little playing probably 20 minutes at the three in this game to give Brady the kind of back up that will allow him to stay fresh. We don't want Mario Little backing up Marcus this game. We want Markieff and Quintrel acting as back up for Marcus and we can't have either one on the floor too much. Kieff will be needed to spell Cole. And Quintrel is just not violent enough yet for MSU.

KU is probably going to have to play ten guys significant minutes to try to stay fresh and manage fouling.

Tyshawn has to have a big game, but probably can't. MSU's physical game is the kind that takes the wind out of Tyshawn's sails. Getting aerial against these guys gets you put on the floor. We need 10 pts out of Tyshawn, but it is not realistic to expect much more.

Brady is going to come out shooting treys immediately and try to get out on the break. If he is hot from three he stays in. If not, then Little comes in quickly,unless Morgan gets Marcus in foul trouble. If Marcus gets fouled up, then Travis Releford is about to find out what Ratso Izzo violence is all about.

Frankly, I am praying for a break out game by Mario Little, that is what I am praying for. If we could get 3-4 treys out of Brady at the three, and 10 points out of Little at the three, we could win this game.

But if this turns into Little at the four for an extended period, we are almost certainly done for.

Hence, MSU will concentrate on roughing up Marcus Morris like he has never been beaten up before.

If we get great performances across the board, the game comes down to whether Marcus can maintain his cool and break out despite the pressure. It is a very tall order for a frosh.

But this is what it comes down to.

Lance Hobson 10 years, 10 months ago

Jaybate, I really think Little could be the key to our victory. He didn't play last time and should be about ready to show what he can do. Remember, Sherron made the game close at the end - we would have won if we got another few minutes. It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone if we win.

As far as Witlock is concerned, he truly is Mr. Negative, and kind of a vulture. He wrote a scathing column about Bill Self after the Bucknell loss that was ridiculously over the top. I mean, at the end of the day it was just one game. He also went off on Mike Davis at Indiana when he had an average team his last year, saying he was friends with him but had to tell the truth. Some friend.

He once had a radio job in KC but got fired after causing trouble - he's kind of the TO of the media world. They talked about him replacing Don Imus when the latter made those comments about the Rutgers' girls, but that idea died when they found out what a pain in the arse Whitlock is. I love Dustfan's column comparison, he is so busted!

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