Monday, December 12, 2011

Fun in the Fieldhouse: Allen was rockin’ for big showdown with Ohio State

Kansas guard Elijah Johnson gets up to slap hands with the students after the Jayhawks' 78-67 win over Ohio State on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Elijah Johnson gets up to slap hands with the students after the Jayhawks' 78-67 win over Ohio State on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.



A KU student — one of a group of students spelling out "Go KU Jayhawks!" — puts the exclamation point on Kansas' 78-67 victory over No. 2-ranked Ohio State University at Allen Fieldhouse, Dec. 10, 2011.

Thousands of fans — including a batch of students who painted their faces and bodies — arrived a couple of hours early for Saturday’s Kansas-Ohio State nonconference basketball matinee in Allen Fieldhouse.

A few hundred fans, mostly adults and their children, stayed late, gathering autographs from the Jayhawks outside the northwest tunnel following a pulsating 78-67 victory.

As coach Bill Self said, the atmosphere was “juiced” on a day No. 13-rated KU claimed its seventh victory against two losses and dropped No. 2 Ohio State to 8-1.

“I mean, it’s almost indescribable,” KU junior center Jeff Withey said of playing before 16,300 fans in the fieldhouse on a day like Saturday.

“It’s so loud, you can’t think. It’s just a great place to play. There’s something about this place when a team comes in … they definitely have to ‘Beware of the Phog.’”

KU’s big man scored two points and grabbed seven rebounds while logging 21 minutes. He was able to take an extra breather or two with junior forward Kevin Young having his breakout game as a Jayhawk (14 points, four boards, 14 minutes).

“Kevin played great,” Withey said. “We all know he can play like that from watching him at practice. He came out, and he was ready to play today. He showed everybody he can play.”

The former Loyola Marymount forward hit six of eight shots, including two of three from three.

As everybody knows, Ohio State sophomore standout Jared Sullinger was not in the game.

“I was shocked,” KU’s Withey said of Sullinger missing the contest because of back spasms. “I thought he was definitely going to play this game. I figured he’d play no matter what. It had to be something really bad for him to not come out. I feel bad for him not being able to play. It was definitely a letdown not to go against him. You go through practice planning your game plan around him. It was a letdown, but they had other guys step up. It was a great win.”

Withey said the Jayhawks “are not going to apologize for one of their guys not playing. If one of our guys was not playing, it would have been the same thing. We played tough. We beat the No. 2 team in the nation. It was a great thing.”

Now the Jayhawks prepare for Davidson (8 p.m., Dec. 19, Sprint Center) ... and final exams.

“It’ll be tough. I have a lot of papers to write. It’ll be all right, though,” Withey said of this week’s finals. “I’ve got to get on that.”

KU junior Tyshawn Taylor may miss the Davidson game following Sunday’s surgery to repair torn meniscus in his right leg. Self said freshman Naadir Tharpe would take reps with the first team at practice as Tharpe figures to back Elijah Johnson at the point if Taylor can’t play.

Taylor’s ticketed to miss between one and three weeks.

“This means a lot more to Naadir more so than me,” said KU’s Johnson, who hit five threes on Saturday versus Ohio State, “because I’m playing 30, 35 minutes regardless. What I give is what I give. I feel like Naadir can help pick up some of the slack and help us bring the ball up and not turn the ball over like we have been.”

Asked what Tharpe needs to improve on, Self said: “Everything. He’s just a freshman coming in here. He has to work on everything.”

Self said Sunday that Taylor’s surgery was a success.

“Tyshawn had surgery this morning, and I spoke with the doctors and it went as well as expected,” Self said in a release. “Nothing had changed in the time frame for recovery, which is one to three weeks. He will be up and around tomorrow morning and will be back in the shortest time possible. The time for recovery depends on swelling and how he reacts to rehab.”


jhawkr 2 years, 4 months ago

A win is a win, but can we continue to improve up through Big 12 play ? That is the question .......

Sorry, TTaylor is hurt and hope he returns sooner then later. But I also hope he learns to quit trying to do so much and go with the flow of the game. If he is on great, if not control the turnovers and involve everyone else. Driving to the bucket to get fouled only to miss close to half your FT's is not what we need.

Thank god for EJ and Kevin Young. They both played great and Young against a quality opponent really stepped up. Keep bringing it ! By the way, why is he listed on our roster as a 6-8 GUARD ?? He played big and definitely bigger then the 7 footer Withey.

As for Withey well he is what he is ........ A 7 footer getting more minutes, but he continues to play so weak under the bucket. When guards are knocking you around and taking the ball away, I have to still question his strength. Playing with a scowl on your face is not really intimidating anyone Mr. Withey ........


Ralster Jayhawk 2 years, 4 months ago

Tharpe has to play. Clearly are not going to use Niko or Garrett or Merv. Teahan needs to be able to shoot with "tired legs", so he may well improve in that specific high-mpg production.

Would be interesting if Tyshawn watches 1 or 2 games from the sideline and we have less-than-12 turnovers. Always teaching moments... If Tyshawn realizes he+EJ can be something really, really special--in some ways more dangerous than Chalmers+RussRob, we could become guard-solid by March... (just wishing...)


kirkhinrichflow 2 years, 4 months ago

you guys should really upload the ESPN films sneak peak they showed during the game on Saturday of the original rules coming back to afh. please!!!!


Jeeveshawk 2 years, 4 months ago

Survey q's for other users

  1. Would KU of still won if Sullinger would have played (keep in mind: he is in poor help and would have striggled, also other Buckeys such as Thomas would not have scored as much)

  2. During the next two games with Tyshawn out, will Tharpe play major minutes off the bench, or will he barely play and let Elija, Connor, and Travis play virtually the whole game as the guards?

  3. Young had a great game against Ohio St saturday. How well does that performance hold? It is clear that he will most likely be the first big off the bench, but will he ever get to the point were he plays that well most games?


chriz 2 years, 4 months ago

Did anyone else infer Elijah's comments to say that we may not have as many turnovers with Naadir as we do with Tyshawn?


jsillyghawk 2 years, 4 months ago

Who knew...

... two years ago that TRob (40%FT) and TRel (53%FT), then freshmen, would salvage a mediocre team performance on free throws by shooting 7-8 and 3-4 respectively from the line? ... before this game that the Hawks would shoot threes at better than 50% on a night when Teahan was 1-5?

There are plenty of "who knew?"s to point to this year, and hopefully they will continue to be as positive as these two that stood out to me on Saturday (I don't want to see "Who knew TT would be the first Jayhawk to record a triple-double [Pts, Asts, TOs] this year?" even if the TT detractors would be proud to say they saw it coming). These pleasant surprises speak a lot to the individual commitment certain individuals have made this year and past years ... and, of course, to the effects of a quality coaching staff dedicated to developing a talented and deep team. There's plenty to get excited about this year.


JD Roth 2 years, 4 months ago

With some first place votes. Didn't KU just beat them double digits?? Apparently their games don't count if Sullinger doesn't play. lol...


KUbsee69 2 years, 4 months ago

Polls are out. OSU stays at #2 ... KU moves up one to #12. What a joke.


Joe Baker 2 years, 4 months ago

Take that King James. Where do you want to attend Chris Walker? Yeah, Yeah, Sullinger didn't play and that maybe a bigger problem than the OSU bball program would like to divulge. If I were an OSU fan, I would be very concerned as to why my AA player isn't playing a little bit or at least limited time.

No. I think it was a five fold purpose. I don't think Matta wanted to risk Sullinger, first and foremost. I also think he didn't want to expose Sullinger to TRob, to a degree. if Sullinger plays and KU wins, it hurts them more. It was a political move on Matta's part to anticipate a KU win.


Mike Kendall 2 years, 4 months ago

The Rock Chalk Jayhawk chant was really loud at the end. I don't know if it was the loudest ever, but it was loud. I have been watching/attending games since well, since 1975. It was a sweet win, for sure.


danno1313 2 years, 4 months ago

The HOUSE was rocking on Saturday! My ears were bleeding!

Loved it!


tical523 2 years, 4 months ago

Wither had more than two points (6th paragraph). Just sayin he had a couple real nice turnaround jumpers, real nice. . . .would like to see more.


WilburNether 2 years, 4 months ago

"He was able to take an extra breather or two with junior forward Kevin Young having his breakout game as a Jayhawk (14 points, four boards, 14 minutes)."

Um...according to the box score, Young played 24 minutes, not 14.


Tony Bandle 2 years, 4 months ago

Totally nonexpert winter break team evaluations:

1] Surprises: Jeff [becoming a force in the middle at both ends] Conner [plant those feet and let'er fly] KY [HCBS just found another warrior]

2] They are who they are: Tyshawn [like a roller coaster ride, lots of ups and downs but never dull - 7/8 into his college career, he is who he is] TRob [Monster, Beast, All-American, Lottery...and he is just going to get better]

3] Awaiting expected results: Travis [although showing positive signs] Elijah [although showing positive signs] Justin [ reduce the fouls and you got a "D" monster]

4] Incomplete: Naadir [we should know soon enough] Mervin [transfer anyone?]

5] What else should we have expected: HCBS and Staff [potential 11-2 by conf. play, near Top Ten, #12 class for 2012 plus Jamari and BenMac]

6] What never changes: The magic of the Phog at Allen The passion of Kansas nation Missouri will always suck!!


AsadZ 2 years, 4 months ago

Asked what Tharpe needs to improve on, Self said: “Everything. He’s just a freshman coming in here

After reading the above I was wondering how many coaches will make a similar comment about their freshmen players. I know Calapri will never make it. I can understand that highly ranked recruits don't want to listen such comments but I really appreciate and admire HCBS on shooting straight with recruits and players.

It has been debated by many, and at times, I had even wondered about HCBS playing time philosphy. But it is clear to me that HCBS will not jeopradize any game to get PT to players even if it means valuable experience down the road. Guys like Naadir Tharpe, Kevin Young will have to really earn their minutes. KY has certainly earned it with his performances and now its Nadir's turn to do the same.


jhwkfan162515 2 years, 4 months ago

Tyshawn Taylor is a senior, not a junior. Fail on the LJW's part.


KansasComet 2 years, 4 months ago

Kevin Young did not improve. He could already play basketball. He just needed to find his role and get more minutes. The way he sets screens, rebounds, and scores game changing buckets, that's not an improvement, that's talent and experience.


Alohahawk 2 years, 4 months ago

Great win over Ohio State. And almost as pleasant a win was Indiana over Kenstinky.

Imagine there will be numerous teams with #1 votes, but when the new rankings come out today, the top teams will most likely look like this: 1. Syracuse 2. Louisville 3. Kenstinky 4. North Carolina 5. Duke Next four, in no particular order: Baylor, Mizzery, Connecticut and Xavier. Even with Taylor's injury, KU might make it to #10. If not, at least #12 in both major polls.


KU_Alumn_2000 2 years, 4 months ago

KY's improvement is likely another example of positive feedback from Danny Manning's coaching. If I was a 6 ft 10 post player with NBA potential...there is no other school or coach that I would put my faith in prepping for the NBA.


jaybate 2 years, 4 months ago

Naadir gets to get better at everything.

Lucky Naadir.

Its great to be young and doing so much getting better.

Don't get overwhelmed, NT.

One thing Ata time.

Day after day.


pepper_bar 2 years, 4 months ago

"A KU student — one of a group of students spelling out "Go KU Jayhawks!" — puts the explanation mark on Kansas' 78-67 victory over No. 2-ranked Ohio State University at Allen Fieldhouse, Dec. 10, 2011."

"Explanation mark"?


rockchalkchalkin23 2 years, 4 months ago

I love the energy you bring Kev, it's game changing. I'm glad you finally got the time to show what you can bring to the team in game time. I think if you would have played in the Kentucky and or Duke game it would have made a difference. You have 2 recorded minutes in our two losses. Keep it up with the heart and energy you bring to the court.


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