Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Memphis ‘out-toughed’ by Kansas basketball at Madison Square Garden

Kansas guard Tyrel Reed comes away with the ball as he is pressured by Memphis defenders Will Barton (5) and Charles Carmouche (4) during the first half of the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Kansas guard Tyrel Reed comes away with the ball as he is pressured by Memphis defenders Will Barton (5) and Charles Carmouche (4) during the first half of the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden in New York.


Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self

Selections from KU coach Bill Self's press conference following the Jayhawks' 81-68 victory over Memphis on Dec. 7, 2010.

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— Memphis guard Will Barton needed only a few words to explain what went wrong for his team on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden.

“I think,” Barton said, “we just got out-toughed.”

Following Kansas University’s 81-68 victory over Memphis, Barton’s teammates were in agreement with his statement.

“Indeed,” Memphis forward Will Coleman said. “It started from the point guard all the way up to the bigs, including me. We all got out-toughed tonight.”

KU’s physicality especially showed inside, as the Jayhawks outrebounded the Tigers, 44-31.

So who was toughest in the paint for KU?

“The (Morris) twins and (Thomas) Robinson. They were on those boards,” Coleman said. “Robinson, I don’t know how many rebounds he ended up with. I think he was in double figures. He was a freaking monster on those boards. In the end, credit to him, but we just got out-toughed.

“I’m not going to say we were playing scared. I don’t know what was going on.”

Though half of Memphis’ players are freshmen, Memphis coach Josh Pastner wasn’t giving his team an out after the loss.

“I told the guys I don’t want to hear about being young,” Pastner said. “I am not going to allow them to have that as an excuse.”

It was still difficult for the Memphis players not to mention their youth as a factor Tuesday night.

“It shouldn’t matter,” Coleman said, “but tonight, it showed. It showed.”

Coleman said he saw his team getting rattled in the second half.

“It really showed who the older team was,” Coleman said. “They ran their plays. They went through their sets. Ball screens, handoffs ... they did what they were supposed to do. In the second half, I’d say come the 17- or 18-minute mark, we just fell apart.”

After Memphis tied the game at 39 with 18:21 left in the second half, KU put together a 9-0 run in just two minutes, 12 seconds.

“Coming out of half, we didn’t throw the first punch,” Memphis freshman guard Antonio Barton said. “They did. We never recovered from that.”

Memphis also suffered from a poor shooting night, making just 27 of 73 shots (37 percent). It was the Tigers’ second-worst shooting effort of the season.

“We are going to spend time on just the basics, layup drills,” Pastner said, “and being able to go through contact and being able to make plays.”

Pastner said after his team missed shots, his players started to press.

“That affected our defense and that was the difference for Kansas,” Pastner said. “(The Jayhawks’) turnovers and missed shots did not affect their defense.”

Meanwhile, Antonio and Will Barton weren’t able to get the chance to play against their cousin, KU guard Josh Selby.

The freshman Selby did not make the trip, as he is still serving a nine-game suspension handed down by the NCAA.

“It would have made it more fun, but that didn’t change anything,” Will said. “I was just worried about beating Kansas no matter who was playing.”

Both Antonio and Will said KU was getting a valuable player in Selby.

“He does a lot of good things on the court,” Will said. “He’s an explosive athlete. He can shoot it. He can pass it, defend it, and he plays hard, too.”

Added Antonio: “He’s a leader. He’ll fit right in with their program and their system. I think he’ll come out and surprise people from the jump.”


Michael Luby 11 years ago

Yaaaaah! Cant wait til the 18th! RCJH!

Joe Baker 11 years ago

Agree Ralster- Pastner has brought so much to this Memphis program. He has cleaned up that nasty oil slick left behind. The players will only get better and become a much better team with Pastner. It appears he's teaching a lot. I have great respect for this once tarnished program.

Kudos to Memphis for a good game. I thank them for exposing yet some more opps for KU to change. We have got to take care of the ball and handle that pesky press.

Andy Tweedy 11 years ago

Jay Bilas is always fond of KU, and really what is not to like about the program; however, late in the game he listed some things he thought KU could be better at, and toughness was one of them. I don't think he was saying they weren't at all tough, but I thought this article was curious when put against the comments of someone who clearly knows a lot about college basketball.

KUutmb 11 years ago

I don't think Digger gave us many nice comments; in fact after the game he talked about all the turnovers and how that was going to hamper KU but never said anything about how we would improve in this area; then he talks about Michigan State and their turnovers but indicated that Izzo would fix that. I think Knight and Bilas have always given KU its due, including HCBS, whereas others have attempted to make it appear we get lucky sometimes. At least that's the way I've been hearing things.

Sam Constance 11 years ago


I commented to my wife at the time "here we go again with Digger playing the 'the other team gave Kansas this game' card".

But I've never cared what Digger thinks. He seems to have a tendency to downplay KU.

Bilas, on the other hand, I have a great deal of respect for. I was so excited when I saw that he was the color analyst for this game, because ESPN typically bogarts his services for the ACC and Big East games, it seems like. It was nice to have someone besides Knight and Mussberger from the national media crew.

Alfred_W 11 years ago

Digger doesn't even like to pronounce "Kansas"

TheYetiSpeaks 11 years ago

I think Bilas may have been referring, specifically to the bigs on the defensive end. There's no doubt that the twins are plenty tough on the end that leads to points, they need to show equal effort on the other end.

JHWK 11 years ago

I don't necessarily agree. There were many times during the game that Jay B. commented that the Twins needed to finish toward the basket, not settling for the 3 footer. He was talking about both ends of the floor, and I agree. Despite the Memphis players comments, the inside was not tough, other than TRobot.

Joe Baker 11 years ago

Their lips are not stuck to Self's backside 24/7. Most comments are factual about KU's program from people like Bilas and Knight. They keep it real.

kcglowboy 11 years ago

Ditto. Our program has reached a point of respectability and maturity where all the major, respected commentators know us well, they know HCBS well, and they ALL truly, genuinely respect our program. Every once in awhile, one of them will make a silly comment (Bob Knight suggesting Self should bench Sherron Collins), but occasional erroneous comments are going to happen to anyone who is being paid to talk and comment non-stop for several hours. The point is: we at KU (and throughout the Midwest) need to get over our inferiority complex. We've got a good thing here and we know it, and most of the smart people who comment on our good thing know that we have a good thing.

Michael Luby 11 years ago

Kind of interesting that the '08 games final score was 75-68 and this games final score was 81-68. Of course it was minus the OT and the championship implications but still... kinda cool all the same.

jddehoff 11 years ago

How come their is no live game play by play article ? Has it been discontinued or is it just for big 12 games ? That was one of my favorite things about this site was the opinions of writer as the game played out .

Jonathan Kealing 11 years ago

Hi JD--

We changed the format this year. Here's the link to the live posts. There are filters you can use to see just posts from staff, or you can read other users' and staff's impression:

Jonathan Kealing

yates33333 11 years ago

The refereeing was awful, but I guess it is good practice for the NCAA playoffs. I try to overcome my bias, but the calls really do seem to go against KU most of the time. I'll say this for Memphis they play hands on basketball. Their hands are constantly on their opponent, the person they are guarding. They hold, pull jerseys, grab arms, bump, and at times hack but little seems to be called. Usually charges are called but not last night, and under the basket it was a free-for-all most of the time.

John Strayer 11 years ago

ditto...and I like this Memphis team. Add a year's experience to these athletes and I wouldn't want a part of them next year...or later this year.

Ron Franklin 11 years ago

agreed. I hope the hawks don't have to play these guys again in March.

They are fast, athletic, and very long.

I would like to credit KU's turnovers to that, but really only about half of the turnovers were forced, the rest were really bonehead plays.

Brady's 4 turnovers were ridiculous.

Marcia Parsons 11 years ago

More ridiculous than the 16 committed by the rest of the team?

Sam Constance 11 years ago


Pastner = humble, respectful, classy

In other words, everything that Calipari is not. Plus, he coaches up his young talent, rather than simply relying on the hyper-athleticism of his top recruits to stumble their way through.

Martin Rosenblum 11 years ago

Give partial credit for the ",,out-toughed" accomplishment to Hudy. She must be working these guys pretty effectively.

Maybe Memphis needs to seek a better strength coach to go along with the institution of their "dap charting" that was discussed by the ESPN guys. Team unity and cohesiveness are one thing, but, those guys need some muscle! Patting each other on the head won't result in more domination on the court.

ahpersecoachingexperience 11 years ago

JP is one of those guys you love to death but also want to punch in the face. Memphis will be big time next season.

Marcia Parsons 11 years ago

I hope he loses his habit of coming clear onto the floor. A couple times I thought he was going to get run down.

JHWK 11 years ago

Completely agree! He reminds me of Missery's Quinn - the fact that he looks like he's heading out to celebrate his 21st B-day. The fact he's in Conf USA means I can actually like watching his young team get much better.

njsnowdog 11 years ago

Awesome to see the Jayhawks in person and finally winning some games at MSG. Here are some 3D photos I took:

FSUJHAWK 11 years ago

Pastner seems like a classy guy. His players seem to have that same trait. A total night and day from the previous coach.

KU does have toughness but it's not consistent. Our free throw woes will haunt us in league play and March/April. We only have flashes of that killer instinct needed to finish off better teams. When all these things come full circle the world will be ours!


TripleDs 11 years ago

Anyone else notice a 9-0 run in 2min & 12 secs? Deja vu???

KU_FanSince75 11 years ago

Yea, the Jayhawks threw the first punch going into the second half, that is true----give credit to HCBS for chewing some butt at half time. I am sure that happened.

hawksince51 11 years ago

It was great to see 3 of the bigs do well. Withey, again, not so much--his dunk attempt would make MNF "C'mon Man"! if they included b-ball. The whole team is gonna have to cut down on the TO's and improve at the foul line if we are going to be a legit final 4 team though.

REHawk 11 years ago

Come on, Jeff Withey, this team NEEDS you! We know there is some good stuff lurking in your game. Time to bring it on and give the Jayhawks 6-8 minutes of SuperBig!

Michael Bratisax 11 years ago

He needs to play angry..He has skills but is way to soft.

REHawk 11 years ago

Come on, Jeff Withey, this team NEEDS you! We know there is some good stuff lurking in your game. Time to bring it on and give the Jayhawks 6-8 minutes of SuperBig!

misfire 11 years ago

Boneheaded passing and 20 turnovers won't win against a really good team. K-State will beat us every time if we play like last night. Hate to be negative. Just saying.

Brian Conrad 11 years ago

if not for the turnovers we would have beat the #14 team in country by 40! this team plays A game and KSU plays its A game we still win 9 out of 10 times. both have not played a real A+ game.. setting the line KU by 5 over KSUck both games. by the way boneheaded perfectly describes KSU everytime I have watched them. all I hear is how deep they are .. really... KU 10 deep. Withey healthy and Selby in = another long season for wildkitties. this team great already , only going to get better. UCLA game bothered me but great teaching tool. never felt like Memphis had a shot. looked like men playing freshman , as it was.

bradynsdad 11 years ago

Did anyone else hear pastners comments that self was one of the most underappreciated coaches by the media? Pastner said self doesn't get nearly enough credit for how well he puts an offense together. I think for pastners age he coaches very mature. Sloppy play on the full court press. It looked like our guys had no idea what a full court press was. I still think releford is earning his minutes, that kid is a natural slasher.

JHWK 11 years ago

I didn't hear that, but am glad to read it from you. Like has been said above, I'm a fan of Pastner. Could be a real threat on the recruiting trail, too.

Michael Bratisax 11 years ago

That's twice now the press has hurt us and you can count on Missouri playing that way for 40 min. At least by then, Selby will provide another needed ball handler.

brooksmd 11 years ago

Is it just me or is anyone else annoyed with the background music in the highlight clips. I would much rather listen to the the broadcast audio. LJW, play one or the other, but not both. Personally, drop the music.

Alohahawk 11 years ago

Hear, Hear! Agree brookmd. A couple games ago there was also a chicken sqawking sound track, or something like that, in the background. Unless I had some other feed coming from another source? Music soundtracks are for movies, not sports highlight reels. I had to turn the sound down or I would have woke up the neighbors.

Dr. Robert s. Mosser 11 years ago

No bitchers about Tyrel and Brady? They played great. Defense, rebounding and made some timely shots. Bilas noted that "role" players were needed and they certainly did that. You bitchers, give them come credit.

Jared Grillot 11 years ago

Did Coleman really use the word "Indeed"? You just don't see a lot of people do that anymore. Great to see some classy response to the game (unlike last time) and to be able to establish some mutual respect between our two teams.

Michael Bratisax 11 years ago

Pastner is quickly making a name for himself on the national scene. I'm glad Memphis has been able to recover so quickly after Calapari jumped ship just in time as the NCAA was investigating. UMass has never really recovered but they didn't have the tradition Memphis had/has.

CasperCorps 11 years ago

The refs could have stayed home lastnight.. They were letting all kinds of fouls go.. Was it because it was a ESPN game? Nuetral court? Letting the players play? They probably would have fouled out Memphis's entire team in the first half had they did their job.

jaybate 11 years ago

Two things have to happen to really get to where you want to go with aggressive play inside.

First, Kieff has to take a physical beating of the kind MSU gave Cole his first season starting; then it has to be followed shortly by the mugging that Doc Sadler's Cornhuskers gave Cole. Those two physical beatings taught Cole that there is no such thing as sportsmanship in the paint in D1 basketball. It is survival of the fittest and the dominant bigs have to hand out pain first to establish a pecking order in every game. I don't wish this on Kieff, but it is coming, whether I wish it or not. Until he grows cruel and violent while under control, they will try to break him.

Second, for the Twins to truly play with wreckless abandon, Withey has to become a credible tandem for TRob. Without Withey as a credible fourth big man, the Twins will always have to play to keep from fouling. TRob's is playing smashingly well right now, but 3 bigs are not really enough to play balls to the walls with until March Madness when no fouls are called.

jaybate 11 years ago


Basically nice guys like Cole Aldrich and Kieff Morris have to be made mean to compete in D1 in the paint. Cole wasn't really freed from the physical beatings until he became a little sadistic and took some pride in hurting guys early in games. The same will have to happen to Kieff. You can see that Marcus understands just how violent it is out there in D1 and understands it in a way that Kieff does not yet understand. The difference between knowing about violent attack and experiencing it is like the difference between hearing about war and then experiencing it. No neighborhood is tough enough to prepare you for a D1 head coach directing 4-6 guys to try to hurt you out on a hardwood floor. It is a level of barbarity that D1 should never have been allowed to sink down to. But that is how it is.

Brian Conrad 11 years ago

they had an NFL lineman in Smith guy wieghs 300 ++++ not many going to push Marcus around. T rob and The twins pack a punch and many fouls he he

hailtoku 11 years ago

I have a question I'm not sure anyone can answer but here goes:

When was the last time KU scheduled 5 teams from the same conference for an out of conferencre schedule?

If we beat USC and Cal does that make us PAC 10 champions?

jaybate 11 years ago

Still, I think it does make us PacTen Champs this season. :-)

jaybate 11 years ago

“I told the guys I don’t want to hear about being young. I am not going to allow them to have that as an excuse.”--Josh Pastner

Pastner is using one of the oldest, disingenuous rhetorical tricks in the book.

It goes like this:

"I told the guys I don't want to hear about being shot through the head with a Saturday night special. I am not going to give them that out."


"I told the guys I don't want to hear about how we got screwed by the referees. I am not going to give them that out."


"I told the guys I don't want to hear about how the other team cheated. I am not going to give them that out."

The disingenous rhetorical game is to state the excuse you want to plant through the media, and then distance yourself by pretending not to want to let your team use it.

Pastner is just a little creep underneath, who a lot of board rats should know better than to respect.

He still has to wipe Cal's putrifying mousse off himself for the time he spent with Cal.

He still has the AAU stink of his AAU dad on him.

He is still the guy that in desperation offered Carl Henry a freaking D1 assistant coaching job to keep Xavier.

Carl Henry on a D1 bench? Are you kidding me? He's one of us. He's an AAU guy and I wouldn't let him near a intramural team, except as a player.

Josh Pastner apparently only got the Memphis job for two reasons:

a) because Memphis wanted to control and limit the discovery of damaging information in the wake of the inundation of sewage that surfaced in Cal's departure wake--leaving Pastner in place likely sealed a lot mouths that knew more than the NCAA was discovering; and

b) Pastner's dad and his dad's contacts in the Texas AAU world might funnel a lot of AAU players to Josh if he got to stay at Memphis (and that was apparently the only reason Cal hired him to assist, too).

jaybate 11 years ago

Frankly, the only qualification Josh Pastner has ever had to be a D1 assistant, or a D1 head coach, has been his father's AAU pipeline.

Self made Pastner look like exactly what he is: an inexperienced AAU coach's son with a lousy hair cut.

In the Okie Baller Mafia, alone, there are probably 20 coaches more qualified to coach Memphis than Josh Pastner. Real coaches don't even take a guy like Pastner seriously in a professional sense. Real coaches know why he got the job.

Barry Hinson is vastly more qualified to coach Memphis than Pastner. So is Janks at Illinois State. So is Billie Gillispie. Hell, Joe Dooley and Danny Manning are each more qualified to be D1 head coaches than Josh Pastner is.

Josh Pastner has his team playing Calipari's gimmick offense--the dribble-dribble-hop-hop-hop-skip-skip-skip-jump-jump-jump-frig-frig-frig-stumble-stumble-stumble goofy fricking high school offense.

But watch Kentucky run this offense.

Calipari, no matter how dubious his basketball ethics may be, knows the game and he knows that offense. He has evolved it a bunch just while at UK. Pastner is doing the same stuff as before.

Pastner seems like one of those guys that can win 20 in a weak conference with superior talent to the rest of that weak conference, if he can keep sucking up a few AAU IOUs of his dad. But he can't bring in the bigs, can he? If you stop and really look at Memphis, they had the talent of a top mid major. UCLA and Arizona were true majors. Zona especially had D1 major players across the board. UCLA had three and a pillsbury dough boy. Pastner hasn't been able to bring'em in, as hoped. But why should he be able to. The program still carries the stain of the years he was an assistant. He has no bonafides as a D1 coach. He has no Calipari ahead of him. He has nothing behind him but his dad.

Memphis, hire a coach Self recommends to you. Marquette is doing just fine with Okie Baller Buzz. Norm Roberts and Billy Gillispie fell into a den of theives at St. Johns and UK. Janks is doing fine at Illinois State. Any one of these men would do your school proud.

Note: Of course, this is all entirely opining about Josh Pastner. I have no insider knowledge about the fellow. Maybe he's really a peach of a guy.

jaybate 11 years ago

"Self's Anti-Princeton on Hemorrhoids Ball Doubling Tactic Spreading Already"

Yesterday I said Self's anti Princeton on Hemorrhoids tactic of doubling the ball before the ball screener arrives to set the ball screen was going to be picked up quickly by D1 coaches, but even I didn't expect to see Notre Dame's Mike Brey try it tonight against UK.

But Brey did and it worked beautifully for ND for awhile. And ND is really short on talent.

jaybate 11 years ago

"Mike the Weasel Hits New Low: Has Brown Shirts Cheap Shotting a Mid Major"

Yep, watched a bit of Duke and Bradley and Mike the Weasel had his boys tripping and neck chopping, etc. until the Duke Brown Shirts separated. I quit watching very shortly to go vomit. XTReme Cheap Shotting a mid major like Bradley was a new low for Mike the Weasel, a coach who knows there is no bottom to the sewer he has now taken Duke down into. Mike the Weasel having his Brown Shirts XTreme Cheap Shot a mid major means Mike the Weasel actually has his team practice XTReme Cheap Shotting. Singler is now among the worst cheap shotter I have ever see.

KU clearly has a slightly better team than Duke in terms of talent and depth, even without Selby. With Selby, it is not contest. KU is much more talented and deep.

Which means that Mike the Weasel will cheap shot the hell out of KU, if Self lets him.

Will he?

Will Bill Self have the stomach to teach his players to counter cheap shot the Duke Brown Shirts?

Will our players have the stomachs for such counter cheap shotting?

They better.

I believe the only counter to XTReme Cheapshotting is XTReme Cheapshotting.

This year's Finals, if it includes Duke, could very well become the XTreme Cheap Shotting equaivalent of XTreme Butcher Ball Finals between MSU and Wisconsin back in 2000.

New low, Mike the Weasel, and you are taking us all down with you.

CasperCorps 11 years ago

t feel the same way about pasner.. something is up when you come from the calipari tree.. recruits passing on top tier programs for a kid coach//

MemphisMachine 11 years ago

Cheers guys, the Jayhawks played an awesome game at Madison, completely rolled over my tigers. Your team will advance deep in the tournament, just be "Beat Duke".

Martin Rosenblum 11 years ago

It appears that there is an atmosphere of humility here in Memphis after the game. My experience, being the Jayhawk fan that I am, is that Memphis fans seem to have now put the loss in the championship game behind them and realize the lessons learned by playing Kansas and other "storied" teams. A loss is never a tasty treat. But, sometimes it is the best medicine.

KU_FanSince75 11 years ago

@ MemphisMachine---- Sometimes, you want something so bad (i.e., to beat the Kansas Jayhawks) and then, the game finally happens. It's one of those things where you have to be careful what you wish for. A lot of KU fans want to play Duke but to be quite honest, I don't think we're ready for Duke yet---again, for us, we have to be careful what we wish for. This KU team still has a long way to go because of its defensive weaknesses. Obviously, free throw shooting has to improve, too. However, a lot of other teams in the country are having FT shooting woes, too.

Having said that----- the Memphis team is a very young team, and as Bob Davis (our voice of the Jayhawks) said your Memphis team will be very good the next two years. I would hate to play you in the Tournament in the future. We will try our best to beat Duke. Has to be a near perfect performance---outside shooting, low turnovers, winning the rebounding war, shooting a high % from the charity stripe.

Thanks for the classy complement and the very best to you in the Conference USA League!

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