Kansas defeats Arizona, 87-79

  • 9:30 p.m., Nov. 27, 2010
  • Las Vegas, Nev.,

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Vegas victors: Kansas holds off pesky Wildcats

Kansas guard Tyrel Reed gets a foul on an off-balance bucket against Arizona during the second half of the Las Vegas Invitational, Saturday, Nov. 27, at the Orleans Arena.

Kansas guard Tyrel Reed gets a foul on an off-balance bucket against Arizona during the second half of the Las Vegas Invitational, Saturday, Nov. 27, at the Orleans Arena.


Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self

Kansas coach Bill Self talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 87-79 victory over Arizona on Nov. 27, 2010.

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— Kansas University’s basketball players rejoiced during the first of what they hope will be a batch of mid-court trophy-raising ceremonies on Saturday night at Orleans Arena.

Jayhawk seniors Tyrel Reed and Brady Morningstar hoisted the silver Las Vegas Invitational Cup up high after a thrilling, closer-than-the-score-indicated 87-79 championship victory over Arizona.

“Coach said when we are in a tournament our goal is to win it, whether the Big 12 regular-season, the postseason, the NCAA Tournament or any preseason tournament,” said Reed, whose bank shot and free throw sliced a 60-56 deficit to one point with 9:31 left. Tyshawn Taylor followed with two free throws to give KU the lead, and Reed hit the lane for a driving layup and Markieff Morris an inside shot, putting the Jayhawks on top for good, 65-60.

“We’d definitely like some more of these,” Reed added.

The Jayhawks’ victory over Arizona came a day after a 57-point rout of Ohio. KU had won its first five games of the season by an average of 40.8 points a game.

“It was a great win,” said tournament MVP Marcus Morris, who sat for a long second-half stretch after picking up his fourth foul with 16:11 to play. “It was our first close one without Sherron (Collins) and Cole (Aldrich). It was a good test for us.”

Morris finished with 16 points and grabbed nine rebounds while playing just 25 minutes. His brother Markieff (15 points, three boards in 20 foul-plagued minutes) and Travis Releford (10 points, four rebounds) also made the all-tournament team.

“Every huddle I pulled ’em together and said, ‘Finish the game up,’’’ Marcus said. “After the game I said, ‘Way to stick with it.’ They knew they had to.”

KU survived a 27-point onslaught from Derrick Williams, who made the all-tourney team with Solomon Hill (nine points).

“I don’t think anybody would argue he (Williams) was the best player on the floor tonight,” said KU coach Bill Self, happy to see Williams foul out with 2:27 to play.

The Jayhawks led, 67-65, with 5:07 left, then went on a 8-3 run to lead, 75-68, at 3:37. Thomas Robinson had a vicious dunk off a lob from Tyshawn Taylor and had six of his 14 points in that surge.

“They are a good team. I think they were picked second in the league,” Self said of Arizona and the Pac-10. “It was good to play a good team and play a close game.

“We won and had to make some plays to do it, to play smart down the stretch. It will be a good teaching tape.”

Some keys?

“I thought the twins and Travis were good,” Self said. “Thomas Robinson off the bench really bailed us out. We played our experience down the stretch. Thomas had an unbelievable play on that lob.”

Kansas led a fast-paced game by a whopping 16 points early (31-15 at 11:21), but that lead dipped to five (33-28) at 7:13. The Jayhawks, who were paced by Releford’s 10 points, nine from Marcus Morris, eight by Robinson and seven by Markieff Morris, led, 44-39, at the break.

KU opened with a 6-0 lead, forcing Arizona coach Sean Miller to call a timeout at 18:40. Markieff Morris and Marcus Morris scored off feeds from Taylor, who had a breakaway layup.

Up 15-12, KU rolled, 16-3, to grab a 31-15 lead. Robinson scored six points, Marcus Morris three, Releford three and Elijah Johnson and Tyrel Reed two.

Arizona used a 10-0 run to slice a 33-18 deficit to 33-28. At that point, Self called timeout.

Out of the timeout, Releford scored seven straight points for KU.

KU will meet UCLA at 8 p.m. Thursday in Allen Fieldhouse.


MemphisMachine 7 years, 5 months ago

Funny who Memphis and Kansas recruits the same players. Got a good one coming off the bench in Thomas Robinson. The Morris twins what can you say that hasn't been said.

Impressive win vs. Arizona, congrats.

Adam Evans 7 years, 5 months ago

It's nice to see that some Memphis fans have a little bit of class. One reason I respect Memphis tons more than Kensucky.

kufaninmo 7 years, 5 months ago

Thanks, that is mighty classy of u...and I am really starting to see a strong Kansas Memphis rivalry forming which will be good for both teams.

ann42 7 years, 5 months ago

What a festive night to be a Jayhawk. A great game and what a assume KU crowd. A close game like this we needed to get us ready for the up coming games.

westernkshawk 7 years, 5 months ago

In think you must mean "awesome." Otherwise, it makes no sense!

JJHAWK 7 years, 5 months ago

I have nothing but cudo's for Roy's stay at Kansas. With that said, I find it interesting that Kansas has moved ahead of North Carolina in total wins on Roy's watch.

Thank you Coach Self. RCJH

JayHok 7 years, 5 months ago

We're up 2 on North Carolina I believe.

Only one team to catch now to put us back in our rightful place. The Calipari version of Contucky lost the other night so we gained a game on the alltime record to boot.

Great job Jayhawks!

Ben Kane 7 years, 5 months ago

thought we played great for the first ten minutes and never got in much of a flow after that. nice to see us victorious in a game that came down to who wanted it more.

Williams is a beast, reminds me of a guy in pickup who charges in every play and then screams foul, but he just had a monster game.

going to be a lot quicker and more athletic when selby starts and certain, I won't name who, players are seeing less playing time.

jhox 7 years, 5 months ago

I agree. Williams is one of those guys who lowers a shoulder and just bulls his way to the basket, and always seems to get away with it. Some guys make an art of that style of play. I thought Marcus' 4th foul was a perfect example. He tried to hold his ground and just kept getting bumped toward the basket until the officials finally whistled him. He should have just flopped and maybe he would have gotten the call. Fortunately, the officials made up for it with the 4th foul on Williams, a little later in the game.

It was good to see Reed step up and make big plays while Marcus was out. Taylor had another very solid game, as did Releford.

aerohawk 7 years, 5 months ago

I have been very impressed with TT. He has been having GREAT games and hasn't been to cocky about it. I really seems like he is getting the mental aspects of his game under control. And he has had some sweet assists to TRob.

I would like to see Releford play more, I just like his style.

Brianna Zaleski 7 years, 5 months ago


Totally agree w/ you on Williams. He seemed like he was dipping hi shoulder and stumbling out of control on his way to the basket every time he drove it. They did call on charge on him but I felt they could have called a few more. But judging from other highlights I've seen of him, this seems to be his MO. I was very frustrated w/ the foul calling, or lack thereof, during that game. They seemed to have their hands on us constantly. I thought hand checking was illegal? Obviously not because they were doing it to us all nite.

AirCapJay 7 years, 5 months ago

Arizona is not a very average team as you say. has Arizona ranked 8th based on his formulas which over the past several years has been very accurate of how a team will finish at the end of the year.

kufaninmo 7 years, 5 months ago

Actually I would like to know the answer to that question too...if it did predict uni beating ku somebody would be RICH.

DevilHawk 7 years, 5 months ago

Before the game began, UNI had a 22% chance of winning. (KU 78%)

We were miserable from beyond the arc that game (26.1%) and turned it over 6 times more than UNI did.

Dan Harris 7 years, 5 months ago

sooballs- it did predict that you are the biggest Debbie Downer day in and out on this site!

aerohawk 7 years, 5 months ago

We would have been much better off last night if Tyrel and Brady stopped shooting 3s after they missed the first couple. Every time we drove the lane AZ didn't have an answer.

JayHok 7 years, 5 months ago

The lazy passes comment is so true.

Without those Ariona doesn't go on that 10-0 run and we possibly extend our 15 point lead to 25. Arizona played the passing lanes during that exchange. On tape the coaches will show the players all it takes is a pump fake and a crisp pass and Arizona D is out of position and we run away with the game.

This team has done such a great job with solid passing. The lazy stuff was costly.

SDSurferFan 7 years, 5 months ago

First post of the season and first game I have seen this year.

soobawls- I back you and agree with you. Williams was a stud. Morris was great the first 8 minutes and good the rest of the game, but Williams was consistently the best player last night. Good match up between two potential first rounders. Also, agree with you on the lazy passes. Sometimes the 'offense' seems predictable, especially in the backcourt, so passes are telegraphed. Selby will loosen this up.

Other observations: - Taylor. Lot of posts on his maturity and it shows. Great to see. Going to be fun to see Selby and Taylor in the backcourt.
- zona was a lot better than I expected. Really good guards so I think they have more than just one good player (although it did help he fouled out). - Morris bros threes. Great to see they can hit them, but I hope they only shoot them when necessary. They are beasts down low, but sometimes the 'bigs' get comfy out on the three point line.
- Releford, such a sound player. Will get better as the season goes as long as he can keep his minutes. Great to see a player who paid his dues and now is contributing. -EJ, nice game. One of my fav plays of the game is where he shot-faked from three and then took the easier 17 ft jump shot.

Chris Shaw 7 years, 5 months ago

I'll keep this short as I need to get on a plane and leave this awful city (Vegas). :)

1) Was the officiating as bad as I witnessed live in person? I'm not one to usually complain about officiating, but the consistency IMO was not there on "Blocks", "No Calls", and "Charges". Somebody please correct me if it looked different on TV. I thought the Twins got robbed on calls and I also thought Zona got robbed on some calls. All the way around I thought it was poorly officiated both ways.

2) Despite his outside shot not falling, I thought Reed played pretty well defensively and he came up with some key drives that were not accustomed to seeing.

3) Thomas Robinson is certainly coming into his own. True "Beast Mode" is here and it's here to stay. Great freakin game.

4) My only criticism of the team is that I would like to see the guys if allowed "Open It up" a little. I feel like our offense last night is very "Programmed" and "Structured" and almost to the point where it doesn't allow guys the freedom to make mistakes or have that opportunity to be creative within the offense.

Finally, if KU is going to have "Depth" than let's utilize it. Last night was a perfect opportunity to get a couple of guys "More Experience" in clutch situations and I think KU failed to capitalize on that opportunity. I'm talking about Withey and Johnson. I know KU scored 87 points, but the middle 22-25 minutes of the game, Zona controlled tempo. I know the Twins were in foul trouble, but that is even more reason to increase tempo and utilize your depth. I hated the zone Self used to protect the Twins. Zona had just nailed a "3" and then we go zone and they hit another zone? Anyway, I wish I could expand on all this, but I have to go or otherwise I am going to miss my flight.

Go Jayhawk! Las Vegas Tourney Champs!

kubball99 7 years, 5 months ago

kushaw - I agree with you that the officiating was somewhat questionable for the majority of the game. It seemed like there were several times they bailed Williams out but never seemed to make the exact same call on the other end for KU. There were numerous times they were inconsistent with very similar calls/plays for KU and Arizona. For the first 30 minutes, I thought they let Williams get away with much more than the Morris twins/Robinson were allowed to get away with. I'm sure some of that has to do with my KU bias, but I agree that the officiating was inconsistent for most of the game.

DevilHawk 7 years, 5 months ago

Bad officiating is the name of the game out west, especially in the Pac-10. I'm not sure what conferences the refs were from, but it didn't come as much of a surprise to me. We will probably see it several times throughout the season from refs that want to see KU lose - especially by giving ghost fouls to the twins.

ahpersecoachingexperience 7 years, 5 months ago

yeah, i'm never one to play the officiating card but that was bad (i was there too) i cannot count the number of push-offs, charges, and shot fouls that should of been called against u of a. if you look at the foul totals you will see that in both halfs u of a reached 7-10 fouls first and the refs tried to balance out calls. call it espn execs or wise guys looking for a close game, but if it's officiated straight up the hawks win by more than 20.

Redlandsjhawk 7 years, 5 months ago

kushaw you hit the nail on the head. Regarding point 1) Yes that's exactly how it looked on tv replay and all. Williams was very good but doesn't fare nearly as well with better officiating. That alone changed the entire complexion of the game by forcing the twins onto the bench when it should have been him in foul trouble early. Luckily the calls eventually got just as bad on the other end. Your point 2) I couldn't agree more I was very pleased with Tyrell even without the three's 3) Concur and btw WOW hope that continues.

Michael Luby 7 years, 5 months ago

Yep, the calls looked missed on tv too. It wasnt just you. Btw, isnt the Vegas airport one of the worst to get in an out of? Hate it there, hate it. Anyways, I also agree about the fact that CS should have let them open it up more. They werent pushing it up the court fast enough times, they werent using full court presses on D either. Come on Coach, let your boys Run! I mean, sure we dont want them to just push it quick and toss up quick shots but still, this team has the potential to be so much faster than the past 2 years, its insane.

Chris Shaw 7 years, 5 months ago

By the way, I don't know what it is with Zona fans, but they are the worst I've been around in quite sometime. Talk about a fanbase that is "Defensive". I couldn't believe how rude they were walking through the Arena.

Scatterhawk 7 years, 5 months ago

You realize that when you put all these words in quotes you are basically making your statement read as the opposite of your intention, right?


Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ is a "great" film, and he's a "supremely talented" director.

We all know those statements to be false, so by using the quotes I am indicating that the terms "great" and "supremely talented" are used ironically.

Another example:

Soobawls is an "educated" basketball "fan" and an "eternal optimist" who really "brings something of value" to every conversation he joins.

Ken Sedgwick 7 years, 5 months ago

"All these words"? Defensive is the only one I see. Have you been to Arizona? It is a beautiful state, but not on my list of friendly places to visit. ( I know the game was in LV. We are talking fans.)

ahpersecoachingexperience 7 years, 5 months ago

i live in az and u of a has the biggest "little brother" complex. they want to be relevent so bad but it will never happen

ar-i-zona clap clap-clap clap clap SUUUUUUUUUUUUUCKS!


Helen Gross 7 years, 5 months ago

I was there also and sat in the end where most of the zona fans were, they got "U-G-L-Y" to say the very least! EVERY time we started the "Let's Go Jayhawks" they started the u of a chant. I think it was all they had, but was very rude.

Tallhawk 7 years, 5 months ago

I just don't see why Brady Morningstar gets more minutes than Travis Releford other than he is a Senior and has been in more games. Brady is weak on offense, and he often looks lost out there, very slow when on defense as well. I hope when Josh Selby joins the team he steals all of Brady's minutes, even Mario Little out plays Brady when he gets the chance, even Juneaman played better than Brady on Friday night.

ATexasJayhawk 7 years, 5 months ago

I think we sometimes fail to see what Morningstar brings to the table. He alters an opponents offensive scheme through his ability to take away their offensive pattern. Focus on him on the defensive end and see the frustration of the man he's assigned to. What he doesn't seem to bring on the offensive end, he gives back defensively. On the offensive end, I think he's increbile at making the entry pass getting our offensive game fiunctioning from the paint early in each half. I like Traivs as well - a gr8 make it happen player that is only going to get better through the year.

aerohawk 7 years, 5 months ago

Little didn't have a great stat line, but I thought he was important in keeping AZ from pulling away in the second half.

SDSurferFan 7 years, 5 months ago


Hope you have some $ left. Coming back from Vegas on a Sunday is torture.

  1. Yes. Inconsistent calls. Especially with charges/blocks.
  2. Yes. His drive to the basket where he kinda got hung up in the air was pretty athletic.
  3. Guy is a specimen. He reminds me of Kaun in the sense that they play a little bit reckless defensively. A good thing!
  4. Agree, see my last post. Predictable. I think one reason for that is having Reed and Morningstar in the backcourt. They are facilitating more than anything. Last point agree again. Withey had some solid D, but I don't think he was in for more than 2-3 minutes. Maybe it's a conditioning thing right now.

Have you been to Tucson? I would be bitter too. :)

Chris Shaw 7 years, 5 months ago

I did come back in the green so I feel pretty good. I lost two bets........Alabama (I can't believe they gave up a 24 point lead) and the Kansas game (Freakin Marcus Morris miss FT and the last second layup by Zona). Grrrrrrr! Anyway, I play a lot of poker so I did okay in my cash games and the two tournaments I entered.

My family lives in Phoenix, but have not visited Tucson. Don't think I will be visiting anytime soon.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 5 months ago

A number of positives from last night's game including: 1. Taylor played a solid point guard role .. more of a true point. If this continues, Selby can be freed up as the 2 when he returns. He is the biggest positive/surprise to me. Many of the posters here said he had it in him. I didn't believe it. 2. EJ played solid, no big brain cramps. Was fine at the point with TT on the bench. Seemed under control. Perhaps the three turnovers in a row last game focused him a bit. 3. Robinson had a great game when facing better competition, one of the things many were looking for. 4. We found scoring with Marcus on the bench. 5. Despite poor shooting, Reed contributed with great hustle and got to the hoop. 6. Releford looked terrific, and would love to see him play more minutes. 7. Our post offense is much improved with Cole off to the NBA. Obviously loved the guy. But with everything having to go through Cole, we were limited, I thought. Clearly, our post defense isn't going to be as good without Cole, but our post defense is certainly active thanks to TRob.

aerohawk 7 years, 5 months ago

My feelings exactly on all points.

  1. I was about to give up on TT last year. But he seems to have "found himself." He is averaging 7.2 assists according to ESPN! It seems like he is only taking high percentage shots too.
  2. All we need from EJ is to not do anything stupid while TT is on the bench.
  3. Robinson is going to be a monster with a little more polish and coaching from manning.
  4. And I thought there was huge room for improvement there too.
  5. I think he should drive more. Tyrel is very athletic.
  6. Releford is just looking great and I like his attitude/style when he makes big plays.
  7. If the twins and TRob would have been this good last year I bet things would have looked different offensively.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 5 months ago

The obvious topic of Brady's play ... I have mentioned this past week my concern about his play as it related to late 08-09, and last season (as have others). It was obvious he played terrific the past couple of games.

But last night is the perfect example of what I was referring to. He made a couple of nice passes, and generally played fine defense (meaning nothing stood out where he got completely burned). However, he brought nothing on the offensive end. Many times, his man was so in his face he had to make poor passes to simply escape. His movements with the ball are slow. He can't dribble out of pressure effectively. His shot is still lacking (the lean forward on release). I really felt he slowed our offense down, and hindered ball movement many times last night. When he gets the ball following a missed shot by the opponent, he generally doesn't push the ball down the court aggressively.

I get the "glue" thing. I do. It seems to be the trendy word. Though I would argue that much of the "glue" is on the bottom of Brady's shoes when he has the ball. Anyway, I would have loved to have seen Releford on the court at the end of the game. I do appreciate winning (but I enjoy it more in March). This was a perfect opportunity for Self to say, ok, why not put the guy with more upside in and see how he performs in this situation ... give him some quasi-big game experience. Plus, Brady was not playing particularly well. What's the worst that happens? We lose. And no one wants to lose. But now Releford has not played in crunch time, and Self has no information on how he'll perform, and thus how to coach him up. We got Brady and we know what we get there. In March, I want another option offensively on the court in the last five minutes. Releford brings a diverse offensive package that I view as second only to Marcus on this team (without having seen Selby).

Maybe Selby would have been on the court instead of Brady if he were available. But would Self have had Selby in for Brady, or for Reed? This was the perfect opportunity to get a bit out of the comfort zone with Brady and explore more upside. Just a consideration.

Thought it was great to see the team take control and win this game. Self made all the right moves last night to make that happen.

aerohawk 7 years, 5 months ago

I sure hope Selby goes in for Brady and NOT Reed. I think Reed brings a lot more to the table.

I think at this point Brady should be reserved for tactical defensive plays.

DevilHawk 7 years, 5 months ago

As much as I agree that we should have played out bench more, it was our first true game - and we gave up a large lead.

You want to see the team - and especially the starters - fight through the adversity of being stuck with fouls and giving up such a large lead.

ahpersecoachingexperience 7 years, 5 months ago

i love me some brady but once selby comes into the senerio he should just go ahead and give his senior speech early

lama 7 years, 5 months ago

Brady's minutes should continue to dwindle. He can't score (he doesn't have to be guarded), turns the ball over (still leaving his feet to pass), doesn't rebound, and for all the talk about great defense, he was beaten off the dribble several times last night. He's a nice role player -- 10-15 minutes should be about right. Releford has so much more upside -- particularly when we play elite teams.

Hank Cross 7 years, 5 months ago

Thank you for pointing out that Brady was beaten several times off the dribble several times last night. I have no idea why he's called a 'lock-down defender' when quicker guards have been doing this for two seasons. It really starts to show at the end of the season where Brady's worn down a bit and his opponents are getting into their groove.

If Brady starts or has any real minutes in the tourney, expect another quick exit as the other team uses his man to help with McM and Selby.

Jacobpaul81 7 years, 5 months ago

Game Notes:

1.) refs were way too involved. Way too many ticky-tack foul calls. Those ticky-tack calls just led to a "They're going to blow the whistle, so I might as well make it count" attitude. When will Refs learn that they need to call a game moderately and let the players play?

2.) Brady - Played 29 minutes... I honestly don't get this choice other than his off the ball skills. He does play well away from the ball... but there are other options Every team recognizes the fact that Brady doesn't shoot and they aren't guarding him. When he's on the court, that's one guy they can double down on Marcus with.

3.) Tyrel - Played 29 minutes... I get it, he's a 3 pt shooter. Cept he's hitting 28% from 3. His shot selection is terrible. He's just throwing up crap. It was his shot selection that hurt us in this game. I'd have benched his rear if we weren't in so much foul trouble. LET ME RESTATE THAT: 28% from 3. HCBS used to get on Russell Robinson for taking bad shots and he shot 32-34%. Tyrel is not Ron Kellogg.

4.) Travis and Mario - What is the deal Bill? These two are clearly the better options on offense when compared to Brady and Tyrel.

4a.) Mario is shooting 40% from 3pt Far better shot selection. Mario is grabbing 3.3 Rebounds per game in his less than 20 minutes of playing time, something we desperately need more of (Especially if Reed continues to throw up bricks). He's gotten at least 1 steal per game in the last 4 contests and his 61% FG percentage doesn't hurt either. He's as good off the ball as Brady and he's a vocal presence on the court. Teams have to defend him.

4b.) Travis is shooting 50% from 3. He's clearly got the best shot selection ability on the team, shooting 66% from a guard spot. He demonstrated quick hands on defense against Arizona, swiping the ball twice. He's a little slower on defense, but he still impresses me more than Tyrel or Brady on that end of the court.

5.) Rebounds. This is ugly. We are settling for way too many bad 3 pt shots. It's great when they are falling, but there are certain players shooting who aren't hitting (Hint, Hint: 28%) When they shoot, we are not getting the offensive boards. If they are to continue shooting so poorly, someone's gotta grab the ball.

Dan Harris 7 years, 5 months ago

Sure is good to know if anything happens to HCBS we can bring you in and not skip a beat!

Jacobpaul81 7 years, 5 months ago

I work for far less and I don't bite my fingers. =)

KU_FanSince75 7 years, 5 months ago

SDSurferFan----Welcome to this site. Made some good points and analysis. Cool name, btw. Rock Chalk!

Hank Cross 7 years, 5 months ago

Echoing what HEM and others have said, why on Earth is Brady getting those minutes, much less starting? Yes, TXJHK, I do watch Brady on D and saw a AZ guard go right past him much like in the late season/tourney last of the past two years, when quicker guards went right past him and he had to resort to fouling. And do I need to bring up the UNI game? If Brady can't lock up someone as slow, fat and short as Faroukmanesh, then I fail see his purpose. It isn't his offense, because most of the guys and many on the girls shooting hoops in Robinson have his offensive game.

This team is going to have real problems against bigger, stronger, more athletic teams as the season wears on because those teams will start to gel. The Hawks only weapon against those types of teams is to have as many scoring options as possible on the floor and find a good match-up for one of them. That means developing Releford and Little and sitting Brady.

pizzashuttle 7 years, 5 months ago

HEM, I agree with you about Self needing to make sure that Releford develops in time for the tourney. Releford's offensive game is way ahead of Brady's and we'll need him ready to play more minutes by tournament time. I expect to see Releford chip away at Brady's minutes as the season progresses.

jaybate 7 years, 5 months ago

"Sunday Morning After Self Out-Coached Miller and KU Wanted It More Than Zona"

~First anyone that thinks Self did anything but coach brilliantly needs counseling.

~Self just made Sean Miller look like an assistant filling in for a head coach. Sean spent the last half of the second half scowling not to motivate his players, but because he knew he had been exposed as a guy with a ton to learn about how to substitute.

~Sean Miller got "Selfed," as 82 percent of coaches do. His team came back. UA had KU on the ropes. Sean had the killer App in Williams. But then KU started taking what Miller was giving everywhere and running the archaic weave until Zona didn't know fecal matter from apple butter.

~Self, his offensive cornerstones fouled up, made all the right moves and stole victory from defeat's jaws.

~Miller, with the big MUA in Williams, got analysis paralysis, made the wrong moves, and stole defeat from the jaws of victory.

~KU's Twins, the core of the team, get fouled up early. KU's senior shooters, Brady and Tyrel, blow ice cold. Most coaches take the W and say, "Next." Self gets great minutes out of TRob, Little and Withey. TRob plays the game of his career so far. KU plays the last 10 minutes of the first half and the first 10 minutes of the second half with both hands tied behind its back and keeps it close, while the Twins wait, and Self uses EJ extensively to make sure Tyshawn is massively rested for the last ten minutes. KU with stands Williams onslaught and uses TRobs strength and athleticism to slowly, but steadily foul Williams up. Travis Releford plays a superb game. Little and EJ are solid. KU squirts out into a lead near the end and Self puts in his starting five who play great defense, protect, and break Zona's back with excellent help defense, and constantly taking it inside to Kieff. In the end, the team that started the game with bigs fouled up, has both bigs playing strong and decisively to the end of the game, while Zona, which had all the fouling advantage most of the game, wound up with two players fouled out. Self is an experienced genius. Miller is a rook. Miller lost the game for his team. Self masked his own team's weaknesses, put them in a position to win at the end, and his team came up big up and down the bench.

jaybate 7 years, 5 months ago

~TRob played the most glamorous game, but he still made the mistakes sophomore bigs make. Great plays almost always were followed by help defense mistakes.

~Tyshawn Taylor, Tyrel Reed and Travis Releford deserve to share the game ball.

~Tyshawn Taylor, for the first time in his career, played as superb of help defense as Brady Morningstar and he did it from the point, which, all things considered, is tougher to do than from the three spot. Tyshawn's performance can be loaded onto DVD, labeled "Definitive PG Defense" and sold to every high school and college player in the world. It was a clinic. His help defense was a performance art of exquisite beauty. So much of the time he was perfect. He was using his quantum speed the way Bill Self must always have dreamed of from the moment that Self stole Tyshawn away from Marquette. Tyshawn literally guarded his man beyond the trey stripe on the wing, or up top, and slid at one time or another all the way into the paint to give help, only to then slide all the way back out to apply pressure at the stripe. Even Brady hasn't got that kind of range on help. It was a defensive performance of incomparable beauty and it is rare when any kind of defense can be fittingly called beautiful. Tyshawn grew from a defensive technician aspiring to play defense as well as Brady, into a defensive artist who surpassed Brady's high standard for help.

jaybate 7 years, 5 months ago

~Tyrel, too, has learned to do what Brady does on help, and if Tyshawn had not put on such a magnificient display of help defense, I would probably be shining more light on Tyrel. The kid from Burlington, the kid who seemed to have such slow feet, the kid who seemed only a shooter, was out their last night in the jocks of highly "athletic" perimeter player from Zona, AND Tyrel was helping, helping, helping. The reason that Tyshawn, Brady and Tyrel are starting is now obvious. They are turning into a nearly seamless glue of help defense. And Tyrel, despite a cold night on the draw, finally showed that him with the 42 vert can get to the rim in the big trees.

~Vs. Zona, Travis Releford became the player everyone dreamed he could become. He was an impact player all over the floor, defense, offense, and transition. Impact players warp the space around them. Science cannot explain it. When they slash they leave wakes. When they spot up and fire, there is curvature all around them. When they defend, there are shock waves from contact. His UC trend line keeps climbing, but there remain a few moments when the confused, over stimulated look clouds his face. When he has outsripped the flow and is not sure how to get back in it. It is the curse of the maturing Impact Player. He is close now to being able to go in any time. But we will know when he has fully arrived, when he plays help defense the way Tyshawn does. It took Tyshawn till his third year to really get it. It may take Travis one more year, too. But here is the scary good thing: Travis is even longer than Tyshawn, and almost as lightening fast and much stronger. When he gets the help defense sutra mastered, he is going to be able to cover even more ground on help than Tyshawn. Travis could, literally, be able to help 2/3s of the way across the floor and still get back. The capability is glaringly there.

jaybate 7 years, 5 months ago

~Self is deploying Travis perfectly. Travis is one of the most natural sixth men I have ever scene at the 2/3 position. He is also soon to be a natural starter, too, but the guys playing ahead of him now cannot bring the kind of instant ignition that he can. Even Little can't do it...yet. So there is a very good chance that Travis is going to play the middle 20 minutes of many games. He brings so much speed and jumping and getting to the rim and apparently now trey stroking that in relief he is like setting an opponent up to have a roman candle go off when the opponent first starts to tire. Self use Sherron this way all of his first season and much of his second. Take what they give you, Stay with them till they start to substitute, then light the candle with Travis.

~It is clear that Self aims to use EJ at the point much the same way he is using Travis at the 2/3. Take what they give you, Stay with them till they start to substitute, then light the candle with EJ. EJ is not quite as developed, so it is not quite so unqualified of a success in strategy...yet. But does everyone see how EJ's real impact is not on offense, it is on defense. From the minute he enters the game, he changes the entire on ball defensive and offensive relationship at the point with an opponent. Tyshawn is a superb on-ball defender, but he does it with technique and speed. EJ is loooooooooong. EJ is like trying to shoot over or drive around a flying crane, when he is UC. When the opponent tires of Tyshawn, and Tyshawn takes a blow, the opponent is confronted by two more inches of height with nearly as much speed. If EJ ever figures out how to play help defense, he will absolutely terrorize opposing teams. Even the best point guards will dread playing him. It does not matter if EJ scores another basket the rest of his KU career, though that part of his game will develop eventually. His potential greatness lies in becoming a phenomenal long and suffocating on-ball point defender.

jaybate 7 years, 5 months ago

~Frankly, Self is trying to use Thomas Robinson and Little the same way he is trying to use Travis and EJ. KU is on the verge of having not one but four sixth men right now. So long as they stay on this path and get better, they will remain one of the most explosive teams in America.

~It was just a great, great win for this developing KU team. Self knew they needed it for confidence, so he coached them to it with as much coaching as he puts in at the end of the season. There was no letting KU labor in this game, as Self did often early with last year's experienced team. Self did everything he could for his fouled up team to get them in position to win it at the end and they did. But he may let them labor vs. UCLA with this win under their belts. As Marcus said: it was important for KU to win a close one against a good team without Cole and Sherron. They did it. Now that they have that confidence, it will soon be about letting them labor to learn how to win a close game without their coach helping.

~Every year watching Self is like watching Michelangelo paint a chapel ceiling. Its a lot of working painting a chapel ceiling. It is fitful at times, but there is a masterfulness in the progress, too. Each year he is building over the long season to the pinnacle where the hands finally are in a position to touch eternity. Mostly they don't touch, but always he is building for them to do so. Always they get very close. Once so far the hands touched. Maybe this year again. It is not at all hard to believe that TRob, Travis, EJ, and Little can all get enough better so as to master their roles. If they do, get ready to reach out and touch eternity again.

Hank Cross 7 years, 5 months ago

"~Every year watching Self is like watching Michelangelo paint a chapel ceiling. Its a lot of working painting a chapel ceiling. It is fitful at times, but there is a masterfulness in the progress, too" "Always they get very close"

Do the names Bradley, Bucknell, and Northern Iowa ring a bell?

jaybate 7 years, 5 months ago

Michelangelo worked a while in Florence before he got the gig in Rome. And Michelangelo was never perfect. Michelangelo's framed, wall paintings are hardly perfect, beautiful though they are.

Self apparently believes no team can give two great performances in a row, and so he never tries to get it to and so KU never does.

Self believes you save your best efforts for the game when you need them, and scramble through the rest.

Self keeps learning that while this model yields 82 percent wins over a long season, and can get you a ring, when you hold the aces and bet right, it yields early and mid round upsets.

But what other model does not have a weakness, except Wooden's, for which the formula seems to have only worked with him?

Self did not jack up KU for Bucknell, or Bradley, or NIU. He gambled in each case that he could wait to amp the team up later, then got upset and never got to later.

But he is playing to win it all always. He asked Little to waste a year, because there was an outside chance he could be the difference to win a ring.

Board rats forget that Self amped KU to the sky in the semis vs. Baja KU aka UNC to get to the Finals, taking the huge risk of having to beat Memphis with KU's B game. It worked, but just barely.

Wooden said you could get players to play at a high average level every game.

Self disagrees.

He says college boys are not capable of consistency. Talent and defense get you to the least bad performances. Coaches can amp teams for great performances a dozen times a season. Any more and the amping becomes unbelievable.

Self's philosophy is going to be fraught with great disappointments, but also great successes.

You get to win it all beating a Memphis with your B game, but you get upset some times when the coach gambles on not amping the team.

All any coach can do is do it the way he sees it.

I am darned happy with Self's results so far.

The lost to NIU was understandable. He did not adapt to XTReme Muscle Ball, his center had bad cardio vascular problems, and the team shot 20% from trey. 25% from trey and they would have gone on to beat NIU and Self would have gotten them through the entire first round without an amping. The rest of the tourney probably would have been a cake walk with KU amped half the games.

But coulda, woulda, shoulda didn't.

You really don't think Michelangelo ever botched something? Read his collected writings. The man was a hard worker and a struggler. And he was dogged by detractors his whole life, especially that last half.

Greatness does not guaranty perfection, or the absence of brutal failures.

But it guaranties the frequent doing of things that most others couldn't pull off under any conditions.

Hank Cross 7 years, 5 months ago

I think you hit the point as to what I believe to be Self's major weakness. Because, as you say, he does not believe that you can get two great performances in a row out a of college team; he plays not to lose, rather than playing to win every game. That's the only reason that explains the continued playing of Brady and Reed. They are known quantities.

Personally, I think this approach sucks for KU. I think most hard-core, long time KU fans don't care about conference titles, and even less about the conference tourney. At KU, with the talent they have year in and year out, a FF+ equals a good season, any thing less is quickly forgotten as a failed experiment.

I'd rather lose 5-7 games before the tourney just to have a battle-hardend core ready to ready to make a 6 game run in March, than have a 3 loss conference winner that gets punked in the 2nd round.

Dan Harris 7 years, 5 months ago

Jaybate- as much as it pains me to say this, great post(although still too War and Peace for my taste!) you avoided all your cutzie euphemisms and just gave clear concise points.

Redlandsjhawk 7 years, 5 months ago

Jaybate- loved your post it was unique and insightful. Your thoughts on the Self masterpiece is nuts on. You even ended in a very poetic way that left me inspired and excited for the rest of the season. I feel like printing your posts having them bound and giving them as Christmas presents this year. Enjoyed it immensely.

Ben Simonett 7 years, 5 months ago

Am i the only one who thinks the Morris twins need to dunk more?

Im not talking about dives to the basket, i mean the 3-4 times a night where they get great position and finish the play with a nice lay up where im left wondering "why didn't they finish strong?"

Marcus said himself in an interview this summer that the NBA scouts want to see him dunk more. Why not give them what they want?

clevelandjayhawker 7 years, 5 months ago

Feels weird when KU wins a game and I am this upset with how they played. I no longer feel worried about JShelby messing up the "chemistry" that we had so much of the first five games; this team needs a guy they can go to when we NEED a basket KU got up early and had no answer for williams or the Fogg's threes.

That dunk by t-rob was re-dunk-ulious

the officials looked like they were in pre-season mode too, especially the foul on Williams they called late under the basket when Robinson was guarding, prob should have been a no call or a foul on KU

These guys are young and there is no real leadership with this team; and it shows at times

I know its early but still feels like there are some basics that we need to master before we get to January, even the commentator on ESPN the Ocho pointed out Keif not rolling to the bucket after a screen to TT

6-0 Rock Chalk

Ben Simonett 7 years, 5 months ago

this team is young?

the starting 5 last night was 2 seniors and 3 juniors!

clevelandjayhawker 7 years, 5 months ago

Well tell reed and brady to start playing like seniors who know when to pull the ball out and restart the offense. in playing time experience the starting 5 is like 3 frosh and two soph

Dan Harris 7 years, 5 months ago

Williams should have had at least 3 charging fouls that were called blocks or no calls so it worked both ways

SDSurferFan 7 years, 5 months ago

Isn't Brady like 35 and graduated already. Seems like he's been on the team since the Paul Pierce years. He's a good bench player. Need more fire power in the back court.....Dec 18th awaits!

SCHNBALL 7 years, 5 months ago

Reed, a game ball, totally lost defensively that turned into wide open 3's for Zona, could not disagree more. While we continue to try and hide him defensively, we won't touch his offense at all, as our competition is upgraded over the next month, we will find it harder to hide him on the defensive end, I suspect the Memphis game will give us eveidence of this weakness. I just don't think Reed and Morningstar have "it" and if you have played this game or any sport, you know what I am mean. I will give Reed credit for finally, and I do mean finally, going to the basketball, even though he almost fell on himself because he did not know what to do when he made a clean cut to the basket. There is no denying that Releford opens up the court for us, just go watch the tape, same with Little, when he is at the right spot, oh what could have been last year.

jaybate 7 years, 5 months ago

As I keep repeating, Brady, Tyshawn, and Tyrel complement the Morris Twins games in a way that lets this team build early leads by playing through The Twins.

Releford, Little and EJ just are not yet as good at enabling playing through the Twins.

But Releford, Little and EJ are just awesome at accelerating the game into a transition game when the Twins are catching a blow, or get fouled up early.

Board rats have to stop seeing everything as either/or.

We are getting the best out of both groups right now.

What is wrong with blowing cupcakes out and beating good competition by ten points, especially when the team is still developing?

The above being said, let's now deal with your Brady take this way:

Let's see, Brady started and played 30 mpg on a green, 26 win, Sweet 16 team his first season of starting.

Last season, when he didn't play as much, the team labored all season long with a sand bagging OAD, a sick Cole, and Sherron in a late season shooting slump.

This season, with Brady starting, the team jumps out to big leads.

Therefore: Brady just doesn't have "it."

There is a logical disconnect here. :-)

Now about Reed:

Here's the main flaw in your logic. Reed starts and KU is up by 12. Reed takes a long blow and UA closes the gap. Reed comes back in and KU separates and ices a win.

Therefore: Reed is totally lost defensively.

There is, once again, a logical disconnect here. :-)

And there is a reason why you are perceiving it as you are.

Everyone gets burned occassionally, but when a team decides you are beatable and schemes to exploit an MUA against you, you get burned more often. Anyone who has played the game any length of time has experienced being schemed against and challenged. You are under siege and don't look too pretty while under siege. Inexperienced observers think you are doing a poor job, but in fact, you are doing a good job and your teammates help defense shores up the point of attack where you are...if your teammates are helping.

jaybate 7 years, 5 months ago

Watch Reed playing down the stretch. He's there every step of the way. No mistakes. Zero. On or off ball.

Now rewind back to early in the game. Some coaches pick out opposing players they think they have MUA over. They scheme to isolate those players. Those players inevitably are screened and shoved out of position to magnifiy the expected MUA. Help defense is the cure for this, not saying the player under attack is no good.

All offensive strategy hinges on overwhelming force directed to at the weakest flank, or link. No defensive position is uniformly strong. The game of defense is teaching help defense. Getting other soldiers in position to shore up the point of attack, then uncoiling quickly to reprotect other points of attack.

I did not see what you saw in Reed being lost defensively. But if he were, the question is where was the help?

Sometimes Self does not allow much switching early out of his m2m machismo. Players schemed against get burned, when there is no switching and they are being used as the point of attack.

But bottom line, Reed is a solid defender and has been since the middle of last season; that's why he is playing. His trey gun is not good enough right now to keep him in the games.

Also, was Reed making the mistakes your recall when the Twins were off the floor? KU's best defensive team by far is Tyshawn, Reed and Brady, with the Twins. The twins need very little help, which means Reed, especially, can focus more on his man. But everyone had to play a lot of minutes with TRob, Little and Withey, who need lots more help. Maybe Reed was sagging to help the newbies and so looked lost to you.

Also, Miller picking on Reed, if he did, and making Reed look, in your opinion, "totally lost," did not work. KU won.

Board rats just don't seem to appreciate what it means when they say they have a defense first coach. The best defenders Self has tend to play. Reed tends to play.

Inference: Reed is a sound defender.

No disconnect there.

ahpersecoachingexperience 7 years, 5 months ago

And someone might want to remeasure reeds 40something vertical. He had a wide open breakaway and multiple drives to the hoop where a normal 40incher would throw down, and didn't!

Lacy Mohler 7 years, 5 months ago

Reed couldn't keep up with his man last night. Allowed AZ wide-open treys and at least 9 points.

It's a good thing AZ didn't know how to defend the weave. You can bet they will know how to defend it should KU meet them again. Miller is a good coach.

Love this KU team--so much more enjoyable than last year.

jaybate 7 years, 5 months ago


Re: Tyrel--he will grade out well on defense. And he played terrific D down the stretch, when he was flanked by good help and having to help others less.

Now, if you want to talk defensive errors, focus in on EJ's help defense. Yeow ouch! If he cures that soon, we are really gold when he comes in, because his on ball is pretty good now.

Re: Miller--Of course Miller will prepare for the weave next time...when Self will be using something else.

The real question is why didn't Miller prepare for it this time? KU has been using in frequently since 2007 and this is 2010. Is Miller a little slow on the uptake, or what?

Miller is like so many of the Ohio River watershed coaches. If they can't out jump and out bump you, they can't out coach you, or out play you. Their game is just not as sophisticated as Self's.

Quite simply, KU, though its backup bigs got pushed out to far for a while, didn't scare when UA tried to muscle. Attitude and swagger, which Zona had, is not the same thing as being able to play through adversity, when an opponent neutralizes your intimidation tool. KU was tougher mentally and physically than Zona. Why? Because KU could keep playing its game and Zona couldn't.

And Miller could not devise anything for Releford, or TRob on the bench, or at half time, except more muscle.

Marcus and Kieff can be muscled out of their games early right now, because they are so new to their dominant role, and that's the only idea Miller had. But when Self could answer with TRob, Little and Withey, it just turned into two fast, strong teams grinding with muscle. And when The Twins came back rested down the stretch and did not have to worry about fouls, they flat out took it to Zona and Zona cracked. Williams fouled out quickly.

Re: this team being more enjoyable than 30 plus game winner last season. Uh, we'll see how much you enjoy the extra losses this team incurs, while its developing? :-)

DevilHawk 7 years, 5 months ago

If the losses occur away from home and we win the national championship, then the losses don't matter much.

DevilHawk 7 years, 5 months ago

  • Unless they are to K-State or Mizzou.

dynamitehawk 7 years, 5 months ago

I can't wait for Selby to join. We will be great upon great. And phat.

jaybate 7 years, 5 months ago

To all those who don't see this team as a young team being rebuilt by Self,

The team is young in playing their roles and in playing together, not in age. To wit:

1 Tyshawn: been a glue 2 for two season on a down the middle team and now he's a PG running a team playing through double posts.

2 Tyrel: Been a trey shooting sub for the last two seasons, now being asked to start, drive the hoop, defend the starting 2, and keep shooting 40% plus from trey.

3 Brady: Started at the 3 two seasons ago on a down the middle team, then played 1/2/3 glue on down the middle team last season, now starting 3 and teaming playing through double posts.

4 Marcus: garbage man 4 for two seasons on a down the middle team being asked this year to be the go-to guy on a team playing through its double posts.

5 Kieff: back up at 4 and 5 for two seasons on a down the middle team now starting and being one of two post men the team plays through.

6 TRob: last season a barely used back-up 5 on a down the middle team, who is now asked to be the the number one 4/5 back-up and to start scoring and being an enforcer on a team playing through the double posts.

7 Travis Releford: red shirt soph that has not played significant minutes in his first two years being asked to be the number one reserve, and part time starter, on the perimeter.

8 Mario Little: red shirt senior juco transfer that has never really played significant minutes healthy and is being required to swing between 3 and 4, be glue at 3, and impact at 4.

jaybate 7 years, 5 months ago

9 Elijah Johnson: Recruited as an impact 1/2, who did not play significant minutes his freshman season, now being asked to completely retool his game and be number one PG sub and defensive specialist.

10 Jeff Withey: Recruited as impact post man has never played significant minutes because of injuries and lack of strength, now being asked to retool his game away from down the middle post and become a 10 mpg shot swatting sub in a double post game.

11 Royce Woolridge: freshman

12 Jordan Juennemam: walk-on being asked to be glue game for occassional minutes.

Basically, Brady and Juenneman are the only players in basically doing the same role as last season and even that is different, because KU is playing a different style of game.

Frankly it is unbelievable that Self has been able to get this bunch to dominate every game, even with modest competition, given the nucleus is new and everyone is fullfilling new roles.

How about some freaking gratitude, people? Most coaches would have lost the Zona game with a club so early in development, and the rest of the games would probably have been at most 10 point wins.

Self is a Jedi. Luke with a rug. And Yoda Eddie is somewhere in the background, probably in Degabah, Oklahoma, hopefully pouring a lemonade, saying, "Billy boy, its workin', just like I said it would. You start the old reliables, even if they don't strike fear in other team's hearts, then after 8 minutes, when the other team's tongues are starting to drag, you bring your jack rabbits--Releford, Little, EJ, and Thomas--and you get out of the way like I told ya too, then bring the regulars back to ice it, and you can settle a score for the good of the game with Coach Cheap Shot and his Duke Brown Shirts, or I ain't from Bucklin and Hank Iba didn't beller on the bench. Sick'em Billy. You get to sneak up on all of'em this year."

Dan Harris 7 years, 5 months ago

Your on a roll today and spot on in your analysis(imho)

AsadZ 7 years, 5 months ago

Jaybate, I agree with you 100%. While the players are not young by age they had not played significant minutes in the past. We lost 3 key starters and most of the scoring with the departure of Sherron, Cole and Xavier. For playing time this is still a young team.

steamboat 7 years, 5 months ago

I have a better idea jaybate, why don't you put ALL your posts in your very own book that way you can amuse yourself each time you read it. I just counted 7 posts from you and quite frankly I enjoy reading daily obituaries in the local paper than I do seeing you ramble on and on and on and on. My gosh don't you have a job or a wife or a family that you occupy your time We're all KU fans.We don't need another version of Dick Vitale, Howard Cosell, John Madden and Digger Phelps telling us what goes on with KU BB.. Let it go other words Shut the f##k up!!!!!

jaybate 7 years, 5 months ago

You awe me with the profundity of your insights about basketball. Do tell me more, or something, anything at all, or perhaps you should take your own advice :-)

Jacobpaul81 7 years, 5 months ago

Jaybate, you've proven you have zero insight. I'm convinced you are Keegan in disguise.

Dan Harris 7 years, 5 months ago

scroll button buddy, nobody forces you to read anything.

Pam McCormick 7 years, 5 months ago

there is a scroll button on your keyboard, why not use it and quit being such a debbie downer????

AsadZ 7 years, 4 months ago

Steamboat. You have the right but thats a terrible and an extremely insulting comment. There are many on this board who really enjoy and respect posts from jaybate. he is putting the time and thought and people are enjoying it. If you dont like it simply ignore it but dont put insulting comments. One would expect better behavior from KU fans.

Michael Luby 7 years, 5 months ago

Good post Jaybate. Your sports prose are a thing of beauty. Tell me this though, do you think KU is working its way to running teams out of the gym? It seems to me that they have the athleticism to do it but their stats on possessions say they arent any faster than the D-I average. Whats up with that?

ahpersecoachingexperience 7 years, 5 months ago

46 scrolls with my finger to get through your post today. My scrolling finger has been hudiezd!

jaybate 7 years, 5 months ago


You must get Coach Hudy to help you develop that finger. Any one who has trouble scrolling is a girlie man. :-)

jaybate 7 years, 5 months ago

KU brings two games:

a) half court played through the Twins; and

b) transition played with one or both of the twins out and EJ, Releford and Little in.

They average out to what your stats are telling you. But when the half court team is in, they are ball control and sticky defense.

When the transition team comes in, they play faster than most teams.

KU is already a night mare to prepare for.

jaybate 7 years, 5 months ago

The Twins are shooting FGs at 67% and 54%. Would more dunking improve this percentage?

Sometimes I think more dunking might be in order, but Manning seems to be pretty saavy about how to play around the basket.

The game is to get the ball in the hole with the least effort.

Dunking is often a waste of energy, unless it helps prevent someone from blocking your shot as you finish.

My guess is that Manning coaches them to conserve energy until they play the big enforcers, then start dunking at that point.

I haven't seen anyone stopping the Twins from finishing, so far.

SCHNBALL 7 years, 5 months ago

jbate, while I can't give you the exact time of possessions where Reed was lost on picks coming out, I do not have Tivo, but I clearly remember 2. I don't consider myself a board rat, but a person who loves the 'game' more than a fan. I also remember that we stretched the lead when Releford came in and knocked down a 3 and some other buckets. Self said it himself, athletes win titles,not just coaches. I surely enjoy watching this team alot more than last year, the sight of us reversing the ball more than once on offense is so so so much better than last year and until the 9 minute mark of the first half, we have controlled tempo in each and every game, something we could not say about to many games last year. While I agree this team is a work in progress, Releford and Little must see more minutes, you will also find, if you look at a replay, several open 3's when defenders had to help Reed out in the middle. All in all, much more enjoyable team to watch, they all seem to like each other, which, for a coach, could not be more enjoyable. I

Theutus 7 years, 5 months ago

I can off the top of my head think of at least 6 possessions where Taylor completely lost his man. I can think of 4 or 5 where Brady couldn't find a way around a pick if you were to draw him a map.

Point is, they all dropped a man here and there, but to be quite honest I think Reed played as good or better D than any of the other PG's.

jaybate 7 years, 5 months ago

"Dropping a man" is hardly a crime by Tyshawn, when he is helping everyone in sight the entire game. Same with Brady. When perimeter guys have to help green wood inside, and/or have to help green wood outside, they are always making hedging choices that lead to what you call "dropping a man." If Self said stay with your man at all cost and forget the help, then any player who "dropped a man" 5 to 6 times would be benched by the third "drop." Self typically pulls green wood on the perimeter after only getting burned once, because Self does not typically ask green wood to help. Self does not even ask EJ, at this point, to think about help defense. If he were expecting EJ to provide big help, EJ would, as of now, usually be pulled within a minute, the same way he was pulled last year for failing simply to play sound on-ball d.

Theutus 7 years, 5 months ago

It's a crime when you are a 1PG and you can't keep your man in front of you... That's a problem.

But i'm not going to argue with you about it, because quite frankly I can't stand reading your posts.

Chris Shaw 7 years, 5 months ago

Jaybate: I think Miller is a good coach and has proved he is a pretty darn good recruiter. The way Miller protected Williams the last 10 minutes of the game with 4 fouls was pretty impressive. He kept substituiting in and out offensively and defensively for Williams and I thought up until he fouled out with 2.5 minutes that Miller did a fantastic job of keeping his star in the game.

jaybate 7 years, 5 months ago

Often we agree; this time we differ some.

We agree Miller and his brother can recruit.

The Miller Brothers could consistently put a very similar bunch of players on the floor at tiny Xavier, but at Xavier they could not also land a player of Williams' caliber. Self was not kidding a day or so before when he was praising Williams. KU did not have player as good as Williams.

Regarding Miller's handling of the foul situation we disagree.

With The Twins fouled up, Miller should never have let Williams get fouled up, too. Williams should never have been allowed to get to 4 fouls with 10 minutes to go; that was Miller's young coach goof. MIller had the edge. The moment UA closed to within 5-8 of KU, in the first half, Williams should have been set till half time. Miller made the classic young coach mistake. He tried to win the game in the first half. You never try to win a game in the first half, unless you spurt out into a significant lead with a chance to blow the game open. UA never had that. They were strictly in playing their way back into the game mode. Once UA got back in the game in the first half; that was the time to pull Williams. Self was certain to play the middle 20 with green wood inside. Self was certain to try to take it into transition to run away from Williams and to drag UA into a running game that played away from UA's strength--half court playing through Williams inside. Miller had to have known Self was going to play it close to the vest for the middle 20 and make his move to win the last ten. Self suckered Miller into going for a win too early. When he didn't get the win in the first half with big separation and playing Williams too much, then he had to play through Williams to start the second half to try to avoid a push by KU and to try to make a push the first five minutes of the second half. When that didn't lead to separation, Miller was looking at a tired, foul prone Williams the rest of the game with only a 5 minute gap before The Twins returned. Williams picked up his fourth foul at exactly the moment he should have been coming off the bench rested with 2-3 fouls, had Williams been pulled in the last 5-8 minutes of the first half, and protected much of the first ten minutes of the second half.

jaybate 7 years, 5 months ago

The way to beat KU was to play us even, or a little behind, and bet on a fresh, unfouled up Williams entering the game with a vengeance at the ten minute remaining mark in the second half. This would have forced Self to play through The Twins with 4 fouls starting ten to go. An unfouled up Williams would have been able to the game to the Twins, foul them out, and carry them on to victory. Instead, Miller got the worst of both worlds. He exposed his killer half court App, Williams to a bunch of unnecessary and unproductive running and second and third fouls; then had to spend the last ten minutes doing all the substituting to keep him in the game at half strength because of fatigue and four fouls. Miller got out coached by Self in a big way. And as I said, down the stretch Miller's scowl betrayed that he knew it well before the final buzzer.

Many coaches are one or two trick ponies. Miller is a two trick pony. Speed on the perimeter and jump and bump everywhere. If you have his kind of speed, and if you can take the bumping, then he has nothing else in his bag of tricks. Nowhere else to go in his offensive philosophy. Take the two tricks away from them and they have no effective counters.

Miller gets guys to play hard, and he gets them to play with a lot of contact. He can also focus on and manage one problem--how to keep Williams in the game with 4. But that's not enough. To be able to stay with Self he had to been smart enough to keep Williams from getting to four when he did.

jaybate 7 years, 5 months ago

The deal with Self is this: take something away from him, and he will take what else you give him. Take that and he will take the next thing you give him. He has a hard time with XTReme Muscle precisely because muscle ball doesn't leave you with much. With rules, taking away one thing means leaving something else exposed. Without rules, muscle can basically take away everything. Miller plays what I call jump and bump ball, which is a couple step shy of Bob Huggins all out XTReme Muscle Ball. All Self can do with XTReme Muscle is go with grind it out, if, that is, you won't be suckered into running with him, as Miller was. Self is a very tricky devil. Miller is just sound so far. Not tricky. But if he lasts, he will get better too. Self has a way of wising up other coaches after he has beaten them about four times. The only coach that I have seen consistently get the better of Self is Ratso Izzo. Why? Because Ratso never brings a knife to a gun fight and he knows the way to handle a tricky devil is to bludgeon him until tricks don't matter. The weave won't work if you kidney punch and trip and head punch each guy in the weave before he can make the hand off. Self massively respects Izzo, because Izzo is really the only guy that Self hasn't been able to out maneuver. Self really doesn't even try to out maneuver Ratso. He just tells everyone to get ready for grind it out buzzer to buzzer and Ratso usually wins. I think Self is utterly fascinated by Izzo.

Ratso Izzo really is the quintessential tough American mug. He comes to brawl and he brawls, but some how also creates a couple defensive wrinkles to weaknesses you never even knew you had, then gets you down and kicks you in the groin until you are dead. It is the antithesis to Self Ball. Self is both horrified by it and wishes he could get his players and himself to be able to play it that way, but so far he can't.

Tony Bandle 7 years, 5 months ago

dsf, etc......get the f### off our website you leeching whore.

Go bother Kentucky or Duke.....they'd love your cheap-ass, rip-off bargain crap.

Posted for anger's sake, Full malice intended!!!!!!!!!

jaybate 7 years, 5 months ago


New acronym.

FMI--Full Malice Intended.

Rack it.

FairgroveJayhawk 7 years, 5 months ago

Damn it. Bit off my nails watching that Arizona game. If KU had kept that first half pace, they'd have won by 60. It was good to see Reed and Little make some good plays to keep the offense alive in the second half. Releford had a good game also. It's great to see multiple secondary offensive weapons that commit minimal mistakes. We lacked those options last year.

jaybate 7 years, 5 months ago


You are a knowledgeable board rat, so I mean no disrespect. We just assess what is good defense differently.

I think good defenders playing good defense get burned occassionally.

I think in a high contact game, between two good, big, strong and active teams, there are always good defenders playing good defense that get scraped off. And when another team targets a defender as the weakest link they want to try to exploit, such defenders get scraped off multiple times. And there just are opponents that one defender cannot handle alone, especially if the opponent is setting lots of picks, or lots of ball screens.

And when a good perimeter defender is asked to play extra help defense on a big to make up for a green big defender, then that good perimeter defender is often burned in a game. It is a trade off coaches make. When you've got a green defender like TRob and Withey and in the paint, Little, then you've got to ask your good perimeter defenders to play a whole bunch of help for the bigs. As a coach, you make a choice: over guard their big to cut down the high percentage shots and force them to beat you on the perimeter, where you underguard them.

It just seems logical to me that when you have a great big like Williams on a rampage, and your starting post men get fouled up early in the first half, and you are playing green, mistake-prone bigs against this opposing big on a rampage, that you tell your perimeter defenders to increase the help even if it means weakening coverage on the perimeter. In turn, guys get burned on the perimeter. But that is not the same as bad defense.

Had Self absolutely not had to, he would not have played Withey a single minute vs. UA, because their bigs were too active for him to be guarding.

Likewise, had Self not had to, he would never have played TRob near the minutes he did, because the weaknesses in TRob's defensive game are most vulnerable to highly active bigs. And despite the glamor plays, TRob made a bunch of clinkers on defense. Little played quite a bit, because he could move with their bigs better, but he wasn't heavy enough himself to control them.

jaybate 7 years, 5 months ago

No matter how Self substituted in the paint, he had to ask the perimeter guys to play a lot of help.

Even with the Twins in he had to have the perimeter guys give lots of help inside, as the Twins' early fouling indicated.

Really, I think this was a very good defensive effort out of Ty, Tyrel and Brady. And I think EJ, Travis and Mario, and TRob made up for their limitations in help defense by playing extra hard and taking the game to UA much of the time in relief.

Further, by pushing the game into a transition game, EJ, TRel, Robinson and Little helped take away some of UAs advantage with Williams in the paint. Miller clearly let KU speed up the game, because Miller has a lot of speed ballers, but he was a darned fool to do so, because UA's great advantage was in the half court with Williams, especially with our green wood in the paint to guard him. Never, never, never run away from strategic advantage. Miller did and lost the game.

Next, I am quite sure I could look at any game against a similarly active team to this year's Zona that the '08 ring team played and find Mario and RR getting scraped off and defenders shaking loose. It happens in a game. The question is: did the defensive scheme with all of its lapses yield an overall strategy advantage that enabled, or prevented a win? I thought Ty, Tyrel and Brady played terrific help defense that enabled a win, while sacrificing some perimeter defense. I thought that EJ, Travis and Mario and TRob did some good things on defense, too, but we are so far clearly a better team defensively with Ty, Tyrel and Brady on the perimeter, than with EJ, Travis and Little.

CasperCorps 7 years, 5 months ago

Jaybate rocks.. Reading his comments makes me smarter when it comes to basketball.. He backs up most of his stuff with facts.. I look for his comments and a few others everytime I read the articles

jaybate 7 years, 5 months ago

How do we know this?

Because foolish Sean Miller went with a line up that was neither fish, nor fowl, in terms of being half court, or transition geared. Miller had guys playing a half court game as if they were in transition. Jumping around. Darting here and there. Creating sound and fury but no truly effective half court game, outside of Williams play. And when they allowed themselves to be drawn into transition, then they were running away from their strength--Williams.

Self is doing it the right way. When he wants to play a half court game, he gets his best half court players in there. When he wants to go transition he puts a transition team on the floor. This is clarity of purpose and fitting selection of players to task is a big part of why Self wins 82% of the time.

I do think that of the three backups, Travis is nearing becoming so good he could be a starter and a 30 minute man. What is impeding him is his nagging wild hair and the fact that Travis can give a spark 5-8 minutes in to the offense when he enters than Brady and Ty would probably not.

jaybate 7 years, 5 months ago

Lastly, the subtext to most of the disatisfaction among many posters is the same old stuff that has really nothing to do with who is the better defender in the half court, or in transition. The subtext is that many posters just want KU to "look" as athletic as UA does all the time, not just part of the time. Posters want to see TRel, EJ, and Mario hopping all the time, not just part of the time.

They want jumping. Its their preferred "look" in style of play, regardless of whether it complements better or worse with one group of bigs than another. Their eyes yearn for a certain homogeneity of style of play. It is not a black white thing at all. These folks would prefer EJ to Tyshawn. The would prefer Travis and Little to Brady and Travis to Little. They will prefer Selby to Reed, regardless of skin color. They just want the hops and the bounding around that it brings. Give them a choice between Selby and Russell Robinson and they will want Selby.

But Self knows there are many ways to play the game. And he knows that what works best in transition does not necesarily work best in half court and vice versa. Give them a choice between Sherron Colllins and Selby and they will want Selby. It is a way of wanting to look and to play that makes them choose this way. But Self is trying to win games, not achieve a look. He is winning 82% playing it every different way he can think of, every different way they give him. Sean Miller wants to keep it simple. He wants to keep it locked in the 20th Century. He wants to play the hops game. He wants to jump and bump, whether in half or in full court. It is a reductive way to look at the game and to play it. It gives a team so many fewer ways to attack an opponent. It makes a team so much easier to prepare for. Players come in all sizes and shapes and with all manner of potential match-up advantages. Self has room for them all. Self can take his'n and beat yer'n, and take yer'n and beat his'n. He is pointing the way to a beautiful future of basketball, an inclusive way of seeing the game, a path where all our differences let us all get better and better.

MIZNIT 7 years, 5 months ago

Jaybate: How many 4 page posts can you accomplish in one article! Jesus, I usually enjoy your incite... But this is overboard!!!

jaybate 7 years, 5 months ago

Every once in awhile it is good to stretch the envelope of what is conceivable to keep this new medium from ossifying into premature orthodoxy. :-)

Ken Sedgwick 7 years, 5 months ago

jaybate: Keep posting. Ive been reading your posts for the last 2 years. I dont read every word, I agree with maybe 75%. However I do find it thought provoking. Its been almost a year since I felt the need to hunt you down and break your fingers. Who can argue with " We Good".

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