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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Keegan

Press might have saved Jayhawks

University of Northern Iowa's Adam Koch (34), left, and Kansas guard Xavier Henry (1) run for a loose Saturday, March 20, 2010, in Oklahoma City.

University of Northern Iowa's Adam Koch (34), left, and Kansas guard Xavier Henry (1) run for a loose Saturday, March 20, 2010, in Oklahoma City.

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Kansas falls to Northern Iowa

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The Jayhawks lost to the Panthers Saturday in the second round of the NCAA tournament. Kansas ended its season 33-3.

Reader poll

Which NCAA Tournament loss in the last 20 years stung the most?

  • 1997 Arizona 23% 1698 votes
  • 1998 Rhode Island 4% 323 votes
  • 2005 Bucknell 14% 1041 votes
  • 2006 Bradley 2% 184 votes
  • 2010 Northern Iowa 54% 3978 votes
  • Other 1% 124 votes

7348 total votes.

Audio clips

2010 KU-Northern Iowa

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— So on top of his trade is Bill Self that he opens himself up to legitimate second-guessing only slightly more often than Halley’s Comet appears, which is about as often as a college basketball coach being asked why he doesn’t apply full-court pressure more often qualifies as a fair question.

Two Halley’s Comets collided in one day, and it happened to be the day Kansas, the nation’s No. 1-ranked team, faced a pack of Northern Iowa shooters who couldn’t miss on the way to a 69-67 upset Saturday in the Ford Center.

The Missouri Valley Conference school that spent much of the season in the Top 25 doesn’t look as good in the layup line as it does on the court. The Panthers play rugged defense. And they’re great shooters from the free-throw line, the baseline, the three-point line … you name a line, they can hit from it.

The Panthers prefer to play the game at a deliberate pace. They move the ball so well offensively that it makes them difficult to trap in the half court. In a first-round game against UNLV — a team that routinely applies full-court pressure — the Panthers didn’t handle that pressure so well and were rattled into 16 turnovers.

Against Kansas, the Panthers turned it over nine times, four coming in the final three minutes against KU’s full-court pressure, which started midway through the second half, right about the time Kansas started to come back from a double-digit deficit.

We’ll never know if Kansas coming out of a break in the action with full-court pressure midway through the first half would have turned the momentum and prevented UNI from taking a 36-28 lead at the half.

As effective as the press was in helping his team climb back into it, did Self think about using it in the first half?

“Sure, that was part of our strategy, but when they’re in the bonus at 12 minutes and they’re the best free-throw-shooting team in the country and we’ve got zero team fouls, I don’t think that was the percentage play,” Self said.

By “in the bonus,” Self meant that the next KU foul would have put UNI at the free-throw line. KU committed its sixth foul of the half at the 11:46 mark, the seventh at the three-minute mark. (Northern Iowa’s first three fouls came in a 15-second span that ended at the 9:58 mark of the first half).

“The thing about pressing is, we would like to create havoc, but that’s not who we are,” Self said. “You don’t win 33 games and say, ‘OK, today we’re going to change who we are in winning games.’ And I’m not being defensive because I would have loved to do that when they’re (one foul away from being) in the bonus with 12 left and they don’t miss free throws.

“Our thinking was, let’s continue to grind it and guard them. Let’s get this thing to three or four at halftime, and then we’ll regroup. Well, we didn’t do it.”

Coaches who say, “I’m not being defensive,” usually say that when fully in defensive mode. That wasn’t the case here. Self merely explained his reasoning. By the book, it made sense. But in a game that was so going UNI’s way, it seemed like the time to forget the percentages, try to rattle the foe and in so doing give the pro-KU crowd in the Ford Center reason to get into the game in a loud way. Plus, it might have broken the tension for Kansas players competing with the burden of being everyone’s pick to win it all.

Pressing in the middle of a game carries more risk than at the end because teams attack it looking to score, instead of trying merely to maintain possession. Even so, Kansas needed to do something to make UNI uncomfortable, something to keep the game from going according to the underdog’s plans.

That wouldn’t have changed some things about it simply being UNI’s night — 7-foot, 280-pound center Jordan Eglseder came into the game 1-of-9 from three-point range and made two of three in the first half; starting KU guards Sherron Collins and Tyshawn Taylor missed all 11 three-point attempts — but it might have shifted the flow, knocked the Panthers off-kilter.

Self is the smartest coach in college basketball, and when athletic director Lew Perkins says he wouldn’t trade him for anyone, he means it. Similarly, former Los Dodgers leader Tommy Lasorda was the greatest manager in the history of baseball. He managed nine players to Rookie of the Year honors, proving he can teach the game and purge insecurities of his players, two traits Self also has in his arsenal.

Going against the percentages, Lasorda let Tom Niedenfuer pitch to Jack Clark with first base open and two outs in the ninth inning of Game 6 of the 1985 National League Championship Series, and it backfired. I’ll go to my grave believing Self applying full-court pressure earlier in a game in which his team was the second-best on the floor that night would have given the Jayhawks a better shot at advancing to the Sweet 16.

Comments

Krohnutz 4 years, 5 months ago

You are going to get flamed for this article Tom, but let the first post be in your defense. Nothing you said there was wrong, furthermore, Coach is developing a nasty habit.

Self has some sort of religious conviction about using superior athletes against teams that play blah ball, sorry, fundamentally controlled passing offenses. Which is odd, because two years ago he gave them the keys and just let them go. Even in the years prior to their title run, with losses to Bradley and UCLA, he let them push.

Here is true irony in college basketball. I consider Self a far better coach than Roy, yet Roy blows that UNI team out of the water.

Why? Because Roy makes it a track meet, and their two slow big men barely get down to the basket before the play is over. Baldy and Fat Irish Shaggy would have been running so much they would have puked by the second half. We never made their inability to move an issue. We lost to Lump and Loaf, the Lug Brothers.

Their team was slower, less athletic at every position in that game. Yet we only brought athleticism into the equation as the ship was sinking.

If Michigan State faces these guys, they will roll them. Izzo won't mess around.

Over/under on how many teams in the Sweet 16 KU beat head-to-head this season, I set it at four, but that was before Baylor and K-State won. Already halfway to a push.

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mojayhawk 4 years, 5 months ago

Krohnutz, I disagree that Roy would have made it a track meet. He would have tried, but he would have failed. Did you notice how UNI was back deep after every made basket? Our guys have the keys to go when the opportunity is right. What makes Coach Self great is that his team can play up tempo and they can also play great at the grind it out game. We win this game 9 out of 10 times. The way they called fouls early, we would have had 8 or 10 midway through the first half to their zero fouls (seemed a bit bizarre).

The absurd part of this game was Eglseder hitting 2 threes, and the bizarre direction the caroms came off of their missed threes that always seemed to land in their hands. Come on Hawk fans. No excuses. It was just one of those bizarre games that we have won all season, but not last night. To win this tournament, everything has to work right for 6 games. It just wasn't to be for us last night. That's all their is to it.

No blame game please. We're better than that. Hold your heads high Hawks! We couldn't be prouder!

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1977kufan 4 years, 5 months ago

Tom, great article and you are exactly right. While watching this game, I kept saying the same thing. When are we going to try a full court press or when are we going to try a zone such as a box and one. I was screaming (of course to no avail) to try the full court press at the 12 minute (2nd half) mark time out and a zone in the middle of the first half (at multiple points). You are also correct, UNIs next game will see a very different defense - no you don't get to play that controlled, set up offense , we are coming at you and good luck to your slow motion. This game needs to go into the books in the "top 10". One of the worst prepared, executed [in terms of defense and shooting (including free throws)] and failure to adjust to another team's game plan. For me, it is a long way until next season and I certainly do not know who will want to "cash in or attempt to cash in their chips at the NBA table". I am very sorry for Sherron. He ends his Jayhawk career on a terribly sour note and cannot return. Again, Tom great article and I am glad you put this article on the LJW's site.

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Fruity22 4 years, 5 months ago

Good points Keegan. Agree with you Krohnutz. Lets do a little history lesson and see what has happened when we have played games that were up tempo. That would mainly be games against Mike Anderson and the MU tigers. In 2004 we played Mike Anderson's UAB team in the sweet 16 beat them by 30. In all but a couple of games against Mike Anderson's tiger teams we have beat them by 20 plus points. Lehigh tried to run a little the other night and played tough for a while but eventually our superior talent was up 20 late in the second half. When you are the the deeper, athletically superior team your goal should be to create more possesions. You can 't let the inferior team hold the ball until 10 seconds are on the shot clock and you don't want them always getting back down on defense packing it in and forcing you to shoot 3's.

Perhaps the team of future insurance salesman from hicksville, IA won't shoot so well if they are dog tired from being pressured all over the court. If you decide to press you are going to need a deeper rotation. Let's see here Thomas Robinson isn't very skilled offensively yet and brings back memories of Richard Scott with his free throw shooting but he runs and jumps like a deer. I can see him forcing turnovers in a press and catching alley oops on the back end. Elijah Johnson probably every bit as gifted athletically as Tyshawn Taylor. Speaking of Tyshawn would you rather see him driving to the hole on the break or hoisting 3's in a half-court set? I know my choice. Withey every bit of 7 foot and very athletic for his size, nice touch on his shot. Would make a nice anchor at the back of that press when Cole needs a rest. I realize Releford is a red-shirt but from what I've seen he excels in an up tempo wide open game. Anybody have a problem with any of these guys seeing 4 to 8 minutes in an up tempo full court game?

I love coach Self and wouldn't trade him for anybody and understand to some extent the "that isn't who we are argument". But the tournament is about survive and advance however possible. If that means getting out of your comfort zone then so be it.

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Shawn Otrimble 4 years, 5 months ago

A perfect storm! A number 1 team who has been playing sluggish of late with everything to lose and an underdog team that has no fear. When a teams 7 footer who has only made one three all year hits 2 in the first 5 minutes, you know were in trouble. I've been to several games this year and what I noticed as our biggest weakness was not having a "killer instinct". A loss of this magnitude (like Bradey and Bucknel) is what creates this. It will piss off the coach, players and fans. So that until we put our self in a position to win it all. We will have a killer mentality. We will want blood and I feel sorry already for the teams we play next year. Like the the 2008 team where our guards were so hungry that they would steal the ball from their own grandmothers and our bigs would just clobber you (I remember when Hansbourgh had the ball in the lane and was knocked to the ground by all 3 of our bigs and the look on his face was priceless). So KU fans don't hang your heads to low because what's better than a team loaded with talent and a great head coach, is one that is pissed off.

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billhawk 4 years, 5 months ago

I agree as well, I was really surprised we came out with the same basic strategy after half time. I understand about the pressing percentages, but we had the deepest bench in college basketball and with so many long time outs in the tournament it is hard to tire out a team without really pressing. Deep benches are over-rated in the big dance. However, I'm not smarter than HCBS and hate to second guess him about strategy.

Besides being out hustled, it was the play of our point guards that sank our ship. Poor shooting and our inability to break down their zone defense by penetrating and dishing off (or shooting) seemed to be the bigger problem.

We had a good year though and shouldn't hang our heads for long.

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doolindalton 4 years, 5 months ago

KU should have pressed from the opening tip. It was obvious UNI wanted to bring the game to a crawl and they were good at it, Yes, coach, you do change things in the tournament when it is obvious your team is going to lose unless you do. At the very least, you do not let the opposing team take 8-9 seconds off the clock each possession by allowing them to walk the ball up the court. KU is a very good pressure team when it wants to be and Self has changed up the defense numerous times during the season when the game was going south. This was one of the those times, Bill. You're a very good coach; just not a perfect one.

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jhox 4 years, 5 months ago

I agree completely. I thought (at very least) we should have pressed very early in the second half, as soon as it was clear that UNI was trying to take significant time off of the clock with every posession. A press isn't done simply to create turnovers. It can also be effective in causing the opponent to rush, and do things they don't want to do. I wouldn't trade Coach Self for any other coach, but do take exception to his reason for not pressing. What's the point of having a deep bench if you aren't willing to use it? Sure, we had foul trouble but we also had guys like Robinson, Johnson and Whithey sitting on the bench. Why let a physically undermatched opponent dictate thier will on us?

I hope Coach Self will learn from this. His first year or two at KU he ran a plodding offense, when he had the talent to speed the game up. He became a better coach once he recognized that, took off the reins. Let's hope he reexamines how we approach things defensively when we play a physically undermatched team like this.

All year long people have been concerned about how casually this team had approached games against teams who they obviously felt they physically outmatched. You could see this coming from a mile away. Once you get into the NCAA tourney, nearly every team is capable of beating another on a given day. I firmly believe having the number one ranking most of the year was a detriment to this team. They seemed to believe their press clippings right up to the very end. I still believe this team's A game beat the A game of any other team in the country. Unfortunately, their C game wasn't enough against a good UNI team.

Time to reload and look forward to next year. We should be very talented, once again, even with a couple of early NBA defections. I'm just hoping Marcus doesn't change his mind about coming back. We should have very mobile inside players next year with the twins, Robinson and Whithey. I'd like to see us go more up tempo both offensively and defensively.

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mkaynan 4 years, 5 months ago

Self did the identical thing he did against Oklahoma St. and lost the game the same way because he ran out of time.

Why did he try a zone for only 6 seconds when ANY change in tactics might have changed momentum as he did successfully to save the game against K-State.

He is a GREAT judge of talent, a very good motivator but the fact that he - with all his wins - has been to the Final Four only once in his career - proves he is NOT a great game day coach.

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Steve Brown 4 years, 5 months ago

everyone learned from our cornell game except us...watch that tape and get the blueprint how to stop us...collapse on sherron when he drives but don't foul him..let our guards launch the trey and prevent our bigs from dunkfest. then patiently work for the best shot by moving the ball around to everyone...that will speed KU up to feel pressure and we then don't make good O rotation passes..put us on defensive mindset that we are sinking and we do.

33-3 and a conf. title + post season crown, nice season.

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hellarockchalk 4 years, 5 months ago

Pretty fun regular season most of the time, but with many games that showed a very predictable, simplistic offense. Disappointing end to the season with two teams that exploited our predictable, simplistic offense. Not many are talking about X's slow methodical play. He never shows any emotion, good or bad, very inconsistent, and fundamentally lacks ball handling and defense. I say, go to the pros. Maybe X's lack of speed is what kept Self's tempo low. He needed to wait for the 3 guy to get down there??? Next season let the race horses run, especially when playing fat non-athletic pack animals. Wear them out then step on their throats!

Rock Chalk!

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dhortens 4 years, 5 months ago

I'm going to have to agree with mojayhawk and lighthawk on this one.

No excuses.

Something could be said about the slow starts in both tournament games or the non-calls on offensive rebounds and charges that were questionable at best at the end of the game or even the Obama jinx.

Unfortunately, this is the best example of what makes college basketball and it's tournament to decide the champion the best in sports. College football, this match never happens because UNI would not be able to fill a stadium like the Texas, Florida of the football world. KU beats UNI in a seven game series 4-1, blowing them out the other four games. During the tournament, it's one game, it was UNI's night. They played better as a team and they showed up to win, they used the Cornell blue print perfectly. Draw Cole away from the basket with a big man that can shot, ball movement and accurate/timely three point shooting. Need proof, watch the Tennessee, Cornell, Lehigh and the UNI games.

All in all, 33-3 and both conference titles is one great year. We all had high hopes this would be another special year but KU will be in position for another long run into the tournament next year. What more could you ask from our team, in position to win a championship most years. This is something not many schools can do, we have the right coach, AD and support structure to make this happen for a long time. Rock Chalk!! Oct. 15th will be here before we know it. ;-)

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okiedave 4 years, 5 months ago

I agree with Keenan and Krohnutz. Self learned to play from Iba who rarely had superior depth and attempted to beat teams with the philosophy of a half-court game and half-court execution. At ORU and Tulsa, Self also coached with thin benches and good athletes and used OSU tactics. Self has recruited and will recruit good athletes and win most all his games trading baskets. Roy Williams, even though not as good of a coach as Bill Self, has figured out (2 national championships at NC) on how to use a deep bench -- run the other team ragged for 40 minutes and exhaust their five best guys and take advantage of the mismatches when the other teams bench comes in (Roy has got caught in a rebuilding year). When you trade basket for basket, you are going to have nights when shots are not dropping and the other team cannot miss. Bradley, Bucknell, (OSU and Tennessee and NIU this year are examples.) Self merely brings in the bench for better shooters in the half - court. In the last four minutes of the game, we almost pulled it out with a full court game and four minutes of helter skelter. Self needs to think out of the box and try 40 min. of helter skelter. Perfect example: KU creamed North Carolina in 1988 NCAA because Self matched the same tactics as Roy and we were hot and NC was not.

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Lance Hobson 4 years, 5 months ago

I'm not a coach so I don't know, but it seems like we should have won easily. If Sherron and TT had made a couple of threes, maybe we barely win. The thing is, the rest of the guys made threes so we weren't all that bad in that department.

We have Johnson and Robinson and CJ on the bench, it seems like we could have used them and pressed constantly with quick subbing to keep everyone fresh and just ran past these guys. I wish we tried it.

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rockchalkjjjhawk 4 years, 5 months ago

While I understand the thinking behind those folks who believe that KU should have pressed, the bigger question is what was the thinking before the game about what type of defense to play. Let's look at UNI's team. They had a couple of decent really big post players. They had very good outside shooting. When a superior athletic team who also has good perimeter shooters plays a team like that, the only way to guarantee a win is by playing the odds and guarding the three. With the way the guards were constantly and tightly running thru picks and the fact that it looked like our perimeter defense was struggling to successfully fight thru those picks, a switching defense, though not ideal, would have been a better approach. The best approach would have been to just play an extended zone and make them win from the paint. Heck with Cole, Morrisx2, TRob, and Withey taking turns, that's a lot of fouls to wear down the not-so-in-shape UNI's big two. The ONLY way UNI wins that game is from the three, which they did. And at the end of the game, the only way with being down 1 of not getting a chance to tie the game was for UNI to get an open three. So, press? Eh. If KU had made it a point to do just one thing - guard the three, no sagging, just guard the three - KU walks away in the second half by double digits.

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hawkshot 4 years, 5 months ago

Bill should have said the pressing isn't who he is, not the team. If it had been used more through the season against the lesser talented teams, it could become a weapon and more people could have gained some experience. We were not a deep team, basically only eight players were used. Talent was wasted on the bench. When you play the game for the underdog to win, sometimes they do!

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KEITHMILES05 4 years, 5 months ago

The last numerous games this team came out sluggish and appeared non-interested in playing. Why? What happened? Were there issues amongst themselves? Sadly, they have only themselves to be upset with.

With all the high emotion displayed at the end of the game if they could have used that and channeled it at the beginning and not dug a hole for themselves the result would likely have been different. Just because they felt they were the better team didn't mean squat. This team was never sufficiently challenged when they needed to be.

Hopefully, this will be a lesson learned by them. Just because the front of the jersey says Kansas doesn't win games. Playing like you want to win does.

Sherron? You are such a big time gamer. You are da man. I love you like a son. You did KU proud.

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Chris1955 4 years, 5 months ago

In retrospect, I think this team never jelled. Beginning with the X Henry; is he here, is he not speculation, the OAD aspect of his coming to KU. Tyshawn Taylor little antics with the football team, his facebook issues, his I don't know what's expected of me whining. Brady Morningstar's DUI fiacso. Cole Aldrich regressed significantly offensively this year, and had health and family issues a good part of the season. Collins trying to overcompensate for overall lack of team agressiveness. For the most part, focus on kicking butt was not exhibited by this year's team. I believe these guys took too much comfort in the number 1 overall ranking. It was if just because last season's UNC team was annointed number 1(and won it it all), they thought they would too. There was too much Dallas Cowboys type distractions with this team.

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Christopher Johnson 4 years, 5 months ago

Keegan, I've been at your defense most of the time on your articles, and although my gut agrees with you, this is one that you should just let go. You arrogantly disagreed with Self, asked him about it, got what I thought was an excellent explanation from Self, and still thought you were the smarter man. There is a reason he's making millions coaching and you're the fat man who neither plays nor coaches the game. You're just a journalist and I think your and our gut instinct to question the coach probably proves our own ignorance and arrogance. Especially yours. Makes for a good article, but reduces you to your fat man couch potato journalist status. There's a reason you don't coach

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Hank Cross 4 years, 5 months ago

Korhnutz-you're exactly right. NI looked to have the conditioning of an adult rec team. They should've have been holding on to their shorts to keep upright. But, “The thing about pressing is, we would like to create havoc, but that’s not who we are,” Self said." Well whose fault is that? Is it b/c you had athletic talent like EJ wasting a year of their eligibility on the bench while Brady played?

To those who say Self it a genius, I say Bucknell, Bradley, NI and but for a missed shot by Davidson or a made FT by Rose, you'd be saying the same thing too.

As for 'let's all be happy b/c we won the Conf. and Conf. tourney, even though we got knocked out of the tourney way before should've been" crowd - Welcome to the World of Norm Stewart.

OSU go ahead and take him. We'll take Turg.

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mackdaddy 4 years, 5 months ago

Ditto to everything that has been posted so far.

In my opinion, Bill Self is the best coach in the country. However, it's time for an intervention. When you are driving a Mercedes, and you're racing a Geo Metro, you turn on the gas. Why are we too good to press? The last 2 minutes of the game they couldn't even get the ball in bounds!

This has been a problem throughout the season. Press = Intensity (which we lack).

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Mike Barnhart 4 years, 5 months ago

Sure, the press got us back in the game in the last five minutes but as coach said, "It's not who we are." So, why not call off the press down by one with 42 seconds left in the game. Once again, Coach Self panicked in the tournament.

Panicking in the tournament is his cross to bear; we all have one.

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Benjamin Jones 4 years, 5 months ago

Turg, hell. Give me Ben Carpenter.

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brent flanders 4 years, 5 months ago

As recognized and oxcaljayhawk stated, Bill owns 3 of the worst losses in Kansas Basketball history. The results of this game were not shocking, saw it coming for a long time. Although Bill has a remarkable record overall since becoming coach, his style of play is almost impossible for me to watch. Coupled with the fact that Lew and Bill have turned Allen Field House and the make-up of the team into more of an NBA franchise than propagating our "storied" College basketball program, makes one wonder if Bill's job should be secure after this loss. If it's corporate they want, then it's corporate they should expect in all aspects including the scrutiny of one's job at the most critical juncture. Should it be that way, no, but it is the transformation the current regime has brought on themselves.

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100 4 years, 5 months ago

Everyone of us saw this. A few of us are coaches that post on this site.

As an ex head Coach I can tell you -- sometimes you get so caught up in your own strategy you forget how simple it is to adjust for a few minutes & dramatically change the outcome of the game...

In short there is no reason to push a rock up the mountain if it is falling down everytime.

Use a crane.

Furthermore we all know (and that's why we love him, his ability to learn, adjust & even run fast at times), Self learned this lesson against Bucknell.

And he adjusted. And became much better. And in fact, became the best.

Yesterday was just a brief reminder to us all why using a multipronged strategy with Self's teams is so important. Yes I trust Self that with 12 to go in the first half he wanted to but didn't want to foul.

Well, let me ask you this -- who cares if they shoot one & one?

And further, it didn't have to be an all out press with 12 minutes left in the first half -- just some full pressure, making them go faster, making them see the court differently, making them tired faster, making them make quicker decisions, making a 280 pounder sprint up and down a court like a world class sprinter.

Or not.

It was really disheartening to see them take 10 seconds per possession dribbling the ball up the court for 75% of the game.

Even if it's just minor havoc, havoc must be created in a game like this.

Their 7 footer would have been so winded he would have played maybe 7 decent minutes per half.

It's all about wearing the other team down (and waking our team up) in a plodding type game like this.

Ku coaching staff please look at the tape -- it will be hard, but it will benefit us all in future games against teams like these.

It's all about number of possessions. Make them go fast.

KU's new goals against mid-majors: Double the possessions, make them use their bench players twice as much, & win big.

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Dyrk Dugan 4 years, 5 months ago

it's a bad loss, and Self will have to live with it..and learn from it.

we all have to live up, or deal with falling short, of our own, and our loved ones or work's, expectations. we were the #1 ranked team in the country for basically the entire season...we won a bunch of games...and dominated our league.

and yet, here we are, the day after another "falls short" loss. another chapter in KU disappointing lore folks...just another chapter.

this school has a great storied tradition...and no one can take that away. but we are not a glory bound, dripping with national championship swagger school....we're just not.

we have never been pre season ranked #1, and won the title. NEVER. we just can't handle it. oh, we try and say all the right things....talk about our "good kids"...and all of our hard work, and dedication....but in the end, it's just basketball. it's just basketball players, making basketball plays, night in and night out.

Collins and Taylor were 0-11 from three. You could be all over them in a pickup game, and they'll make two or three. UNI had the lead 18-12 on 2nd chance pts...21-11 on points of TOs...either category could be a tie...and we would have won...let alone if we would have actually WON one of those stats.

50-50 balls, and TOs...it comes down that. and this team couldn't consistently force TOs...we weren't near as good defensively as say, the '08 team. (national title.)

Celebrate the successes folks...and celebrate 'em hard. because they are few and far between on Mt. Oread. we're fortunate, and spoiled around here, season in and season out...but a national title dynasty school, we are not.

we'll still field a team next year...and some schools will schedule some games with us. we'll be OK.

Spring football anyone? Go Jayhawks!

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Christopher Johnson 4 years, 5 months ago

All coach haters come out after a loss. I wouldn't trade Self for anybody. We need to support him . . . if he leaves, we're not guaranteed to get a great coach. Revolving doors equal inconsistent programs. Think losing a second round game is inconsistent? Try being Florida, Syracuse, or UNC who can win it all, and then drop off the map completely. Bill Self has the foresight to always have the personnel to make this team a good team year in and year out. I'll take second round losses with one championship every decade over falling out of the NCAA tournament whenever we win it all. Sure, we disagree about some things with Self. Sure we're disappointed. But how many teams can look ahead to next year with as much optimism as we can! Bill Self is here to stay. And Bill Self will get us another championship sometime soon. Don't forget that only one team wins it all. Don't forget that at worst, we'll still have the least amount of losses of anybody this year. One loss was at a bad time, but winning is winning. Winning gets you opportunities for Championships. If you disagree with Self's strategy, OK, but that's only 1 thing. What about the 100 other things that he does just as well as any other coach in the country. Don't let our own greed dig us into the hole Kentucky was in for years. Support what we have. We're very lucky. I doubt it gets any better with anybody else, unless it's with that greaseball Calapari . . . wait, he hasn't one the big one. Self did. You poo poo that fact with examples of close calls . . . we win a lot of close calls . . . many more than we lose with HCBS. Great year hawks. Disappointing end. Next year will be great too!

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KEITHMILES05 4 years, 5 months ago

I love Self and want nobody else to be KU's coach. He's top notch. However, there are times when things don't go the way you thought prior to the game they would. Yesterday was one of those times. Every player and fan thought KU in the end would pull it out. It didn't happen. It's disheartening for everybody. Time to move forward and no doubt the staff will regroup and take things from this game to use in the future.

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Christopher Johnson 4 years, 5 months ago

We would've won had a player not taken an ill advised three that happened to go in. If we're down one with 20 seconds to go, I'm putting a lot of money on us. Man, big shots in the tournament this year!

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dgiles56 4 years, 5 months ago

Mvjayahwk, I really need some clarification of this comment: “this school has a great storied tradition...and no one can take that away. but we are not a glory bound, dripping with national championship swagger school....we're just not.”

Question: Who is number 2 on the all time victory list? Here ya go: 1. Kentucky – 2019 2. Kansas – 2002 3. North Carolina - 2000

Now let’s examine the ‘dripping with national champsionship swagger school’ comment. Here is the total by school of National Championships and how many these schools have had since 1985, when the tournament expanded to 64 teams:

UCLA : Total - 11 Since 1985 - 1 Kentucky: Total – 7 Since 1985 - 2 Indiana : Total – 5 Since 1985 - 1 North Carolina: Total – 5 Since 1985 - 3 Kansas : Total – 3 Since 1985 - 2 Duke: Total – 3 Since 1985 - 3

Looks like KU is tied for 5 overall, seems like a pretty steady drip to me. I am as sad as any other KU fan today, but let’s get the history right

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Steve Brown 4 years, 5 months ago

we bleed yet almost understand our losses to syracuse, arizona, ucla, yet the bradley, bucknll, Northern's hurt as they are unexpected.

It seems as if these underdog losses have a common theme, that some set of the regulars aren't on their normal game, yet get less bench time not more bench time and 'mental press' even further. Seems as if in these games our 7-8-9-10 guys are extremely more talented than the tired underdog opposing starters. They are running on adreniline. Our bench could be used to 'speed' up game especially a minute prior to each TV time out, putting some legs under our 'mentally stressed and pressing' starters that can't seem to take a breath. It's our own pressure valves that need a release. I recall Larry Brown in tight games giving starters a rest a minute before a TV timeout to extend their break and told reserves to run like the wind for 30 seconds.

mighty proud to have HCBS as our coach, as in all hurdles learn from them.

RCJHKU

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jhokfan 4 years, 5 months ago

I’m going to attribute the disparaging remarks (see Northern Iowa shocks Kansas) about Coach Self to the knee jerk reaction of some fans who are understandably disappointed. Thankfully the only opinion that matters is the AD.

“…athletic director Lew Perkins says he wouldn’t trade him for anyone.”

Bill Self will have his day in the sun again and those who have called for his head will conveniently change their user name to avoid eating their words.

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lincase 4 years, 5 months ago

I totally agree with this article. I will never understand the failure to press. I have always thought this energized the team that was pressing, as long as they played plenty of people. I also don't understand why, as the superior team we don't dictate the pace instead of letting the other team do it. It does no good to be a deep team if you don't make some use of the depth. That being said, I wouldn't trade Coach Self for anyone, but I hope he learns from what I regard as his mistake.

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jdonne44 4 years, 5 months ago

We have all experienced the pain from previous premature exits from the NCAA, and this was one of the worst. What has occurred to me in each of these is that we have been exposed each time for not having a really great back court. Guard play is what the experts say wins in the tournament. With the exception of 2008 when we had Mario (along with Sherron), we have not had that type of guards that could shoot lights out, off the dribble, and closely guarded. Sherron had way too much pressure on him to score. He got no help from Taylor. Reed is good in spots, but not off the dribble. Henry was a disappointment. He shoots so low and slow, he really has to be open. All we needed was a Pullen or a Clemente type player. Those are the players, like Mario, who could win a game for us in the last minute of play. I felt bad for Sherron. What a fabulous career, but he had to try to create things on many occasions when there just wasn't anything there.

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Dyrk Dugan 4 years, 5 months ago

dgile "Looks like KU is tied for 5 overall, seems like a pretty steady drip to me. I am as sad as any other KU fan today, but let’s get the history right."

the history IS right...buit not from you. you need a math class. KU has three NCAA tourney titles...not five.

and my statement means just that....we have two titles....twenty years apart. UNC won two recently in five years..Florida won back to back.....Duke won back to back....UCLA won 10 in 12 years....(7 straight.)

Even UCONN won two in six. i'm saying that we haven't...and with this year's 2nd round loss...we won't anytime soon, win multiple titles in any stretch of years. Shoot, Self has only been to one Final Four his whole career!

and i'm not disparaging the man...i love Coach Self. but for the Jayhawk nation, and for this team, to just believe that we're going to win national titles every couple of years...or go to Final Fours every year, is not sound thinking. History does not show that.

we have been to 13 Final Fours...and won three titles. those Final Fours, go back 70 years. We have been to three Final Fours in the 21st century...only two in the 90s.

that right there is one every four years....and our hot stretch was from 91 to '03 when we went to four in 13.

So ..."history" suggests that while we play for the big trophy quite often....it's not as often as we would like. but it truly is, OK.

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ShadowoftheHawk 4 years, 5 months ago

There is one point I haven't seen made, and I was yelling at the TV about this throughout the game. Not Full-court, though that did spark things. No, what I saw on offense was the only person moving was the guy with the ball. We had no one moving without the ball on offense. Our wings got locked between 2 guys, and no one came to the rescue, not enough motion to open up passes and their defense. Remember when the announcer said, now that they are going side to side they are exploiting gaps in the UNI D. I fully agree it all begins with defense, but you also need a plan once you have the ball. Additionally, with the lack of movement on the offense, they were settling for horrible looks with 20 seconds on the shot clock, but I guess that was panic sinking in.

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KURocksChalk 4 years, 5 months ago

Love the headline. "Media" could have saved Jayhawks. Ha, ha. Yeah, if only you got more respect!

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kesmithstl1 4 years, 5 months ago

Keegan---I love the comparison of a baseball manager playing the percentages! Who knows, if KU begins pressing earlier 2 things could have happened. 1) UNI discusses it at half and creates a game plan to handle it. Seems like they are a well coached and disciplined (except for the late 3), so assuming this wouldn't be that far off base! The second thing it could have done was shake the confidence of KU if UNI did figure it out. Maybe they think we can't beat these guys in a halfcourt set or a full court set, and panic sets in. Everyone needs to keep in mind, these are 19, 20, 21 year old young men. I know everyone of us would have pissed down our leg in that situation! We are all overweight, arm chair quarterbacks!

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Brian Conrad 4 years, 5 months ago

Last 10 games when KU would have game with poor offensive start, as soon as they turned up defense players were not over thinking every offensive shot. Bill Self is Still by far my favorite coach. One thing to improve teach all conference season, do not have players scared to use that knowledge in post season... several times players seemed very hesitant to shoot . trend bothers me to let up or think you can always come back KSU and MU can teach us with as deep a bench as we have... Turn up pressure. no full court whole game .. but he should have thrown it in for short periods. Northern Iowa was not going to basket after beating the press. AND players tend to turn up offense off defense press presspresspresspresspresspresspresspresspresspresspresspresspresspress

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Krohnutz 4 years, 5 months ago

Whoa whoa, hold the fire brigade. Nowhere in my original post did I EVER say to even consider getting somebody other than Self. Just shake his hand, the guy is as earnest as it gets. Its funny to think people wanted Dean Smith fired at one point in his career (I kid you not), that is not what my post is about at all, and if that is what Keegan wants then he is looking for the wrong allies. But the questions he posts in the article have some validity.

The Morris twins would be wrecking machines in both styles, I hope we do a lot of each next year, half court and run and gun, return to form on offense. They have the bodies to post up and work in the half court, and the agility to break on the ball and meet it at the rim. Those guys are going to destroy people and I am stoked as hell to see it. But right now I cannot name a guard that plays any significant minutes that is ready to run the show (EJ? Taylor might turn into Giddens Jr. if he starts getting debunked again, go go Twitter page).

As sad as I am about the loss, a part of me is hoping this loss never leaves them. Remember how pissed off Jordan was when he came back and lost to the Magic in the playoffs? The next year they retooled, got a couple pieces they needed, and started destroying teams.

Get some guards in there that want to be a triple threat again. Mario was underrated by the entire ESPN staff (for the most part they suck, except Katz and Bilas). He could penetrate, he could score, he could pass with the best. We need that kind of guy again, and don't try to tell me Taylor is that guy. Find that "guy" and give him the keys. Just don't sell your soul to World Wide Wes to get him.

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JayhawkBigXII 4 years, 5 months ago

UNI loss in a nutshell... Consistancy of a senior. Sherron is one of the greatest Jayhawks ever and has proved it, but his 0 for 6 in 3 pt. shooting (4 of 15 FGA overall) flat-out sucked in this game. His lack of speed penitration to draw the foul is another factor. He shot only 2 free throws and made them both. If he would have gotten to the line more, maybe he could've saved the day. Sure, Bill Self has to take the blame, but he isn't the one who missed the open 3's. 2 points changes everything, and 3 points win it. Sherron deserved to be on the floor, but this time, in this game, his presence actually may have cost the game. How is Self supposed to look into a crystal ball and know Sherron's performace would be sub-par? How do you adjust for that? You keep your best players on the court and do the best you can. I love Sherron, but I think they will actually have more chemistry next season... time to move on. Kentucky must die.

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chijayhawker1 4 years, 5 months ago

I'm not a coach so I might be talking out my a##, but it was like watching Bill fight a gun fight loaded to bear with different weapons, but only using two of them (because apparently they are his favorites), even when they were only shooting blanks. I don't understand why he didn't reach deeper into his arsenal at his dipsosal and use them. Sit Sherron and Tyshawn down for even a minute to give any of the other guards we have, who can shoot 3's usually better than those two, and let them go for it. How could it have hurt? I would have rather see Teahan, a pretty good 3 point shooter, at least get a shot at contributing. If he would have missed, how would that have been any different than what Sherron and Tyshawn was doing. Don't get me going on how disruptive I believe TT's attitude has been for the team overall, but there are other kids on that bench who would have given the very blood in their veins to be out on that floor, and given more than our two "stars" who apparently had a bad night.

I also believe Self is the one of the best coaches out there, but there are times where like all coaches, they get so stuck in their "method", that they can't see the plow that's about to run them over. Sometimes, you gotta try something different. So, I'd agree with Keegan...a rarity for me.

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KULA 4 years, 5 months ago

KU should have been pressing heavily all season. Self totally wasted the deepest bench in the country. He could've been pressing in waves with an 11-12 man rotation. His justification that presses only work briefly before getting beat is only partially right. If the team that's pressed has better athletes, they'll beat you. If you have better athletes, the press wins. Missouri's the perfect example. With better athletes, we beat them. With better athletes, they beat Clemson. And there's only a couple teams that MIGHT have better athletes than Kansas. NIU certainly doesn't.

With the highest average winning margin in the country, Self could have used the regular season getting EJ, TRob & Withey (who're are gonna be integral parts of next year's squad anyway) game ready by spotting them in 5-8 min/game all season. Instead, he coached scared all year--afraid to let them make a mistake or two while gaining valuable game experience. Then, when you get to crunch time in a big game, you don't have enough confidence in your bench to put them in for a stretch. It would've been nice to have another 7 ftr. throw at their 7 ft. lunk for a while. It's amazing that Kansas went down to a less talented squad while three (possibly) NBA caliber players never got off our bench. What a wasted season for those three guys. They might as well be freshmen starting next year for all the experience they got this year.

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Justin Kruse 4 years, 5 months ago

With a bench as deep as we had this year, we should have been pressing full court all season. Our guys wouldn't tire out b/c we don't lose too much from the bench, many of them are starters at other programs. UNI had too easy of a time bringing the ball up the court and we waited too long to press them. It's not like this was the first time this happened.

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Lance Hobson 4 years, 5 months ago

Self can explain why he didn't, but whether it's Keegan of someone else speculating, the truth is that we lost to a 9 seed. The loss make's the question fair game.

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KSseahawk 4 years, 5 months ago

Keeg's - I thought the headline was going to have to do with something you or the media could have done to save the Hawks...I was wrong...however, you are dead-on, sir. After all, what good is athleticism if you don't use it until it's too late.

It's not our place to second guess HCBS, but I wonder whether he watched the UNLV UNI game? He would have seen faster athletes applying pressure and being pretty effective. Especially with the lackluster showing against Lehigh, I would have expected the team to come out with more fire...and a 94 foot press to start the game would have totally caught UNI by surprise and the game may have been a totally different story.

HCBS knows better than anyone that this team doesn't like to start hot...but in the tourney it's imperative. Very disappointed by the poor showing, awful preparation, terrible (rather, non-existent) adjustments until the rats started scurying from the flaming sinking ship and then what happened...alas, we finally started doing something positive. Too little, too late...you won't win NCAA games by playing 3 of 40 minutes.

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