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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Getting up to speed: Still without Josh Selby, KU coach Bill Self challenging Elijah Johnson

Kansas guard Elijah Johnson, center, pushes the ball past Washburn forward Logan Stutz, left, to teammate Thomas Robinson in the Jayhawks’ exhibition victory last Tuesday at Allen Fieldhouse. The Jayhawks play Emporia State in tonight’s exhibition game.

Kansas guard Elijah Johnson, center, pushes the ball past Washburn forward Logan Stutz, left, to teammate Thomas Robinson in the Jayhawks’ exhibition victory last Tuesday at Allen Fieldhouse. The Jayhawks play Emporia State in tonight’s exhibition game.

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Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self, who is known to mix and match all sorts of combinations at practice, recently played lightning-quick Josh Selby, Elijah Johnson and Tyshawn Taylor on the same team — at the same time.

“Coach said he wanted to see what it looked like. We ran the table — up and down, back and forth, up and down the whole time,” Johnson, KU’s insanely athletic sophomore combo guard, said Monday.

Because the NCAA’s snail-paced investigation into the amateur status of freshman point guard Selby continues ... Self cannot use that small lineup in today’s 7 p.m home exhibition game against Emporia State.

If Self wishes to do so, however, he could employ a threesome that’s similarly speedy — at least in the 6-foot-4, 195-pound Johnson’s eyes.

“Tyrel moves just like Josh, little do people know. He just doesn’t get credit because they (fans) say, ‘He’s a white boy,’’’ Johnson said with a laugh, referring to 6-3 senior Tyrel Reed. “Tyrel can move. Tyrel is pretty athletic. He can do a lot of stuff that I can’t even do (athletically),” Johnson added.

Johnson has been asked to play a lot of lead guard at practice as Self prepares for the possibility of going without Selby for what could be an extended period of time.

“The thing that concerns me about Elijah is that he is so careless with the ball. Either we need to get him off the ball or he needs to take better care of it,” Self said. “We have a whole bunch of combo guards, which is good, but I really wish there would be somebody that would be more of a consistent handler back there.”

Johnson has been trying his best to impress his boss.

“I just feel like he’s testing me every day to see how much he can trust me, putting me in different situations, putting me in situations that’s made for me to fail most of the time,” Johnson said.

“He’s trying to see how you react in those situations because it might happen in the season where you’ve got your back up against the wall. He wants to know, if there’s pressure all around me, will I fold or will I play?”

Johnson was asked to pinpoint situations where he’s made to fail.

“Putting me on the Red Team, which is basically the B team. Trying to have me run the show when you have the starting five on Blue and just have us run up and down the court, try to kill us, try to kick our butt, 10 minutes non-stop, no out of bounds, no fouls, no nothing,” Johnson explained. “Just play all out and see what type of demeanor I have during the process. Not before or after, but during, when it’s the most frustrating for me.”

Senior Reed says he’s noticed the pushing of Johnson at practice.

“Coach Self tests everybody in different ways. I think he’s testing Elijah and Elijah has been responding well,” Reed said, “getting on him and wanting him to do well. Once a coach stops coaching you is when they don’t care about you any more. Definitely he cares about Elijah. We all do. He’s going to be a good player.”

Overall, Johnson relishes running the offense.

“There’s more control you have over the whole game,” he said. “You can control most of the tempo on the court.”

Johnson scored two points off 1-of-6 shooting (0-for-4 threes) with two assists, two turnovers, two rebounds and a steal in 20 minutes in KU’s 92-62 exhibition opening victory over Washburn last Tuesday.

“I felt that was the first game jitters. I can shoot the ball. Everybody knows I can shoot the ball,” Johnson said. “It wasn’t falling. Everything felt good. I looked at it (shot) on tape. It looked good. It wouldn’t fall for me. I got in the gym and put up more shots. I felt the rhythm again, so we’ll see what happens tomorrow.”

It’s KU’s second and final exhibition game. Season opener is against Longwood at 7 p.m., Friday, in Allen Fieldhouse.

Comments

KEITHMILES05 9 years, 3 months ago

Why keep reporting every other day on the Selby situation? Leave it alone for crying out loud.

Nutflush21 9 years, 3 months ago

Probably because that is what the majority of the readers care about.

KEITHMILES05 9 years, 3 months ago

Why keep reporting every other day on the Selby situation? Leave it alone for crying out loud.

UmbertoConforti 9 years, 3 months ago

Why can't KU go to court and force the NCAA to do something? This is cruel and unusual punishment.

Kenny Nall 9 years, 3 months ago

You can't deny people will want to read about Selby whether he's been cleared or not.

KEITHMILES05 9 years, 3 months ago

Sorry about the two posts.

Uhmmmmm, how many different versions must be reported? Once a week if nothing has happened is plenty. It is becoming comical with this every couple day reporting.

Adam Evans 9 years, 3 months ago

Keith: I check this site regularly 2-3 times per day in hopes of any Selby news. And honestly, there has been almost no talk of Selby in 3-4 days. And this article was NOT about Selby. It was about EJ and how hard he is working. Selby was mentioned, but only to enhance where the article was going. I hope you aren't getting tired of hearing Selby's name, because you will be hearing it ALL season long. Better get used to it now.

Ryan Martin 9 years, 3 months ago

KUGuyIn TarheelLand is so right about articles and selby. I check for updates 4-5 times per day.

Tim Bingaman 9 years, 3 months ago

Agreed!!!

I love futile updates on Selby... just waiting on the great one!

You also gotta love how this is going to make EJ mature. If Selby was cleared, EJ wouldn't be getting nearly as much focus. After a year of wondering if he would ever see the court, I think this is good luck. (In a weird way, that I hope changes.)

Ken Sedgwick 9 years, 3 months ago

I also vote for futile updates. See i vote even when it doesn`t count.

fansincewilt 9 years, 3 months ago

Finally, somebody admits to checking numerous times a day to see what is going on with Selby. I must admit that I check in several times a day to see if a new post is out on Selby. I am getting some real excitement about this guard play. I think we have the best 4 and one of the best 5's in the land. With good guard play, the sky is the limit. What do teams do with a 4 and a 5 that can go outside and shoot 3's. I think that really hurt us last year in our last game. We couldn't guard it. I have a feeling teams are going to get completely blown out by this group. It may take some time for them to get going but once they do, watch out. They may lose six to eight games but win it all in the end.

Coach Self has got something going here.

Michael Luby 9 years, 3 months ago

Yeah, those three plus the twins, those 5 would be lightning!!! Faster even than when CS would play Chalmers, Collins, RussRob, Stewart and Shady.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 3 months ago

Pretty even imo in speed and I'd take the latter of the two until the first group proves itself.

ParisHawk 9 years, 3 months ago

The reason for the stories today is that Self had a press conference yesterday: every story is based on Self's answers, including about Selby. No way can you knock the Journal-World of Lawrence for this.

What I appreciate is that they added some quotes from EJ and Reed to flesh out Self's comments. Reed's comments were very good, but what you'd expect from a senior. EJ's comments seemed pretty darn insightful for someone who's being put through the ringer right now. It must be especially hard when you're plan B.

Jim Roth 9 years, 3 months ago

Wasn't Miles a true freshman point guard?

Martin Rosenblum 9 years, 3 months ago

Weren't Hinrich and Boshee freshman guards?

ParisHawk 9 years, 3 months ago

Boschee wasn't a point guard. Neither ran the offense for significant minutes as freshmen. Miles started at point guard his entire freshman year.

Jesse Johnson 9 years, 3 months ago

Hinrich was a freshman point guard. I still remember when he lit up #1 Duke in the tournament (we were a #8 seed). Barely couldn't hold on to win it, but we all saw and realized that day that he was going to be something special.

Miles was a freshman point guard in 2002. I still think that team was Kansas' best of the decade (unfortunately Maryland 2002 was slightly better), although it is really close with '08 IMHO.

Chris Shaw 9 years, 3 months ago

I wouldn't necessarily say Hinrich "Lit Up" Duke, but he did play well against them in 2000.

He had 12 points off of 4-7 shooting and 6 assists in 28 minutes. The most Hinrich scored that season was 12 points and he did that one other time against Okie State.

Chris Shaw 9 years, 3 months ago

Parishawk is right about Aaron Miles. Miles started Day 1 during the 2001-2002 season with Hinrich, Collison, Gooden, and Boschee. Langford and Simien came off the bench.

In regards to Boschee he played a great deal his freshman year alongside Ryan Robertson and started 32 of 33 games at the point guard position. Boschee averaged 10.9 points per game his freshman year. Boschee had 18 points in the 1999 second round loss to Kentucky. Williams pushed Robertson over to shooting guard quite a bit while Boschee played the point that season. Robertson had 31 points in that loss to Kentucky.

As for Hinrich, he started 13 of the 34 games he played in his freshman year in 2000 and averaged 5.5 ppg. Most of the season he came off the bench behind Boschee and also played shooting guard.

ParisHawk 9 years, 3 months ago

Thanks, kushaw, I stand corrected and sit informed.

Don Everett 9 years, 3 months ago

Vaughn was a PG but I wouldn't have him on my team regardless of ANY situation. When he was a senior against Arizona and passed a wide open shot to pass to Ryan Robertson instead of taking the shot himself just showed he was one dimensional. He is the most overrated Jayhawk in history. Aaron Miles, Adonis Jordan, Russell Robinson just to name a few that were FAR better than Vaughn.

Don Everett 9 years, 3 months ago

Vaughn was a PG but I wouldn't have him on my team regardless of ANY situation. When he was a senior against Arizona and passed a wide open shot to pass to Ryan Robertson instead of taking the shot himself just showed he was one dimensional. He is the most overrated Jayhawk in history. Aaron Miles, Adonis Jordan, Russell Robinson just to name a few that were FAR better than Vaughn.

NebraskaJayhawk 9 years, 3 months ago

“Tyrel moves just like Josh, little do people know. He just doesn’t get credit because they (fans) say, ‘He’s a white boy,’’’ Johnson said with a laugh,

Are you kidding me?

dylans 9 years, 3 months ago

Yeah nobody liked Hinrich or Boschee or Rex Walters etc.

cklarock 9 years, 3 months ago

People loved those players, but I remember hearing from basketball fans that Heinrich wasn't "athletic" enough to play in the NBA. Why would people say that about the guy who was the fastest player on the court more often than not?

Matt1958 9 years, 3 months ago

If Selby was a recruit for N. C. or Duke this would have been settled weeks ago.

REHawk 9 years, 3 months ago

Elijah's support of Tyrel is a breath of fresh air, coming from a competing team member who has been around long enough to evaluate Tyrel's strengths. It is becoming obvious that he not only is a steady focused gametime player, but an athlete who has developed superior skills to go with his natural speed, elevation and determination. Is good for TT to have someone like TR in the backcourt with him. Especially considering that Elijah, Josh, Royce still are caught up in the swirl of the learning curve re Self-Ball.

Ryan Martin 9 years, 3 months ago

Anything new on Ben McLemore? He is our key recruit for 2011! Got to land him over Mizzery.

tulsahawkfan 9 years, 3 months ago

He's announcing around Nov 16-18th. I forget the day.

REHawk 9 years, 3 months ago

Regarding pure point guards, it appears that Bill Self has recruited one in Naadir Tharpe.

REHawk 9 years, 3 months ago

I would wager that Royce will see 12-15 minutes of playing time tonight so that the coaching staff can evaluate his gametime skills prior to the start of the regular season. Then if that red shirt should still be a viable option, he might be held out of regular season play until or if the Selby decision comes down. Another of the reasons why it is super important for Bill Self to know about Josh, one way or the other.

Chris Shaw 9 years, 3 months ago

I think that's a pretty good assessment. I would love to see him get 20-25 minutes as well as EJ doing the same. We know what Tyrel and Morningstar can do and I'm confident in their capabilities. I would like to see Self give some time to what these two (Royce and EJ) can do. KU is only going to be as good as EJ and Taylor (If Selby isn't cleared). Those two need the "Experience" to close the gaps to Reed's and Morningstar's level.

chriz 9 years, 3 months ago

Maybe someone's mentioned this above, but couldn't Elijah play somewhat of a Brandon Rush role? Or a combo Rush-Chalmers role? I think he would thrive there.

By the way, Elijah is a great interview, and kudos to Bedore for publishing some of the best quotes. The morris twins do a good job, too. I always expect something insightful from Elijah and the twins. Interesting that one of EJ's comments about self was that he did the best at getting his point across in the fewest words, because EJ's good at that, too. Not only in few words, but illustrative words, too.

hawksince51 9 years, 3 months ago

I was really hoping that Elijah would get over the turnover problem and earn significant PT this year, even over Selby. I'd much rather see a long-term guy play the point than an OAD. It is not unusual for a freshman to have the turnover problem because they are not used to playing against the high level of competition. But, they should get over it by their sophomore year. I'm anxious to see if T-Rob has made strides in this regard as well. Certainly hope so. As I recall, Boschee was forced to play the Point his freshman year because Roy did not successfully recruit a true point guard in the years between Vaughan and Miles. We had that JUCO guy (Jamali?) that turned out to be a bust so we had no one who could play it effectively during Raef and Paul's final season. Hinrich was pretty effective at PG when he played there during his freshman year even though in college I felt he was more better suited for the 2.

knightmare34 9 years, 3 months ago

Maybe you mean Jelani Janisse? He was between Vaughn and Miles, but didn't do much. The '98 team (Raef and Paul's last) relied on Ryan Robertson and C.B. McGrath to play the point.

Chris Shaw 9 years, 3 months ago

That's not true. Boschee was a McDonald's All American and a Top 4 point guard in his recruiting class. As I stated above, Boschee started 32 of 33 games and averaged 10.9 points a game. Williams moved Robertson over to shooting guard most of the time and that's the way they ran their system that year (22-10).

Instead of repeating myself about Hinrich he was the complete opposite of what you described as a freshman. He helped play the point and then his sophomore year Boschee and Hinrich shared the responsibilities. It wasn't until Hinrich's junior and senior year (Miles was there) that he officially played the "2" and "3".

Chris Shaw 9 years, 3 months ago

Here were the rankings of point guards in the 1998 class. Boschee was a McDonald's All American, but buy this list he was the #6 point guard coming out of the class.

9 Ronald Curry-UNC

19 Keyon Dooling-Mizzou

20 Teddy Dupay-Florida

21 Frank Williams-Illinois

29 Erik Barkley-St. Johns

40 Jeff Boschee-KU

Jeremy Bloom 9 years, 3 months ago

Will anyone be streaming this game tonight? Please share a link below if you know of one!

hailtoku 9 years, 3 months ago

If you follow the game on here, someone will post it.

cklarock 9 years, 3 months ago

I love Elijah's attitude -- that he reads his tough role in practice for what it is. Good for him, and good job Coach.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 3 months ago

The NCAA being the NCAA, it figures that they will come up with a punishment of five regular season games to justify this delay and still make sure that Josh debuts on ESPN.

However, the NCAA being the NCAA, could be totally inconsistent, make a big splash and declare him eligible Friday morning.

The only constant with the NCAA is their total inconsistency.

PS Being totally honest, as far as I am concerned, you could have hourly 24/7 updates on Josh's eligibility and I would still be interested!!!

Tony Bandle 9 years, 3 months ago

Picture this: NBA follows through on the lockout for 2011-2012

Starting for Kansas: Selby,Taylor,McLemore, MarcMorris, Mark.Morris Second team: Naadir, Johnson, Releford, Withey, Robinson Swing men: Woolridge, Teahan, Chol [I hope]

Not a bad bunch!!!

Tony Bandle 9 years, 3 months ago

Picture this: NBA follows through on the lockout for 2011-2012

Starting for Kansas: Selby,Taylor,McLemore, MarcMorris, Mark.Morris Second team: Naadir, Johnson, Releford, Withey, Robinson Swing men: Woolridge, Teahan, Chol [I hope]

Not a bad bunch!!!

hailtoku 9 years, 3 months ago

Whoever posted the link for JustinTV.com last week, could you please do it again for this game?

JUSTINTV.com

ParisHawk 9 years, 3 months ago

Is there a site that will stream the game a few hours in advance? I can't stay up to watch it live.

dynamitehawk 9 years, 3 months ago

Stay up late and watch it, then go on strike tomorrow and skip work with everyone else. :)

Martin Rosenblum 9 years, 3 months ago

What time zone are you in that you can't stay awake for a game at 7:00 CST?

Ia your username an indication that you really are in Paris?

Oh yeah, as far as an advance stream, forget it, KU wins....big!

hailtoku 9 years, 3 months ago

Anyone know if the kid that got dunked on last year is still playing?

And, has he recovered?

Marc Frey 9 years, 3 months ago

I see a link to tonight's game at http://www.atdhe.net/ I have used this before. So go to it around 6:55 or so. RCJHGKU

hailtoku 9 years, 3 months ago

^^^^^^^^^

Awesome site. I recommend this to everyone.

Alohahawk 9 years, 3 months ago

Completely off the subject. I read on the internet somewhere(?) that FSN will be replaying a shortened version of last Saturday's KU football comeback over Colorado. Fox broadcast the game in Colorado so, having covered the game, they have a copy. Lost track of the web address where I read it but, if I remember correctly, it will be aired twice: On Wednesday (Noon ?) and also on Friday (Time?). They had different times for different areas of the country (South, Midwest, or something like that.) I'm not even sure they will show it out here in the islands. Hope so. If it's like CBS's KU basketball broadcasts, they'll cover some other game or replay. Hope everyone can find it. And "Good Luck" to the Basketball Team. As for me, I'm glad we are ranked in the top 25, and sort of glad we are not ranked too highly. I always felt that, last year, we had our heads in the clouds and were too over confident. We were looking ahead and not one game at a time. Thus, our early exit from the big dance. This year's ranking, though it rankles (Pun intended) the KU fans, should force the Hawks to prove the experts wrong. And, after all, it is only a preseason ranking. The experts can't claim much by last year's early rankings. Don't keep those horses in check too long coach. Let em loose and keep the pressure on. Once we're ahead, don't give our opponents any slack! How many times have we developed a large lead, then, went on cruise control and let our opponent gain back some momentum? (Ex. Texas last year) And to Josh: Waiting is frustrating, we all realize, but we all appreciate your patience, and anxiously anticipate your unveiling. The sooner the better! RCJH from Hawaii.

Tim Orel 9 years, 3 months ago

Fox didn't run it live here in Colorado - or at least I didn't see it on my listings (I'll be mad, but not surprised if they swapped it in). I'll check for it.

I'm just sorry Hawkins is out. I loved the way he couldn't coach.

HawkNVegas 9 years, 3 months ago

I moved to Las Vegas in '08, right after we won the Championship, and Vegas sent KU one of the most exciting players we've had in recent years, so even though I miss Lawrence more & more each year it helps to know that we play here later this month and one of the cities best players chose KU. Gotta love it!

Alohahawk 9 years, 3 months ago

Did some searching and found the website announcing the KU/Colorado replay on FOX. It's at The University of Kansas Official Athletic Site. Hope that goes through OK. I'm not a computer geek so I don't know how to add a direct link.

Ron Franklin 9 years, 3 months ago

Football will be replayed 12 noon on Wednesday and at 130 pm on Friday....at least the guy on 810 Radio said that anyway.

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