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Monday, December 26, 2011

Teahan time: KU senior ‘happy to be out there’

Kansas University guard Conner Teahan, a fifth-year senior, says he has enjoyed playing almost 22 minutes a game for the Jayhawks this year after starting his KU career as a walk-on.

Kansas University guard Conner Teahan, a fifth-year senior, says he has enjoyed playing almost 22 minutes a game for the Jayhawks this year after starting his KU career as a walk-on.

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One feel-good story during the pre-Christmas portion of Kansas University’s 2011-12 basketball schedule had to be the emergence of fifth-year senior Conner Teahan as a regular rotation player.

He’s the same guy who, as an invited walk-on, played precious few minutes in his previous seasons at KU.

“It is so much fun being out there helping this Kansas basketball team. Being able to wear the jersey and everything is a dream come true,” said Teahan, a 6-foot-6, 212-pound shooting guard out of Kansas City Rockhurst.

He’s averaged 7.8 points (off 42.2 percent shooting; 21 of 51 from three for 41.2 percent) and 2.8 rebounds while logging 21.9 minutes a game in 11 games for the 8-3 Jayhawks. He played a career-high 35 minutes in the Jayhawks’ 88-80 victory over Long Beach State on Dec. 6 in Allen Fieldhouse.

“I think that was a once-in-every-now-and-then thing,” Teahan said, with a smile, referring to playing nearly the entire game.

Wichita Eagle columnist Bob Lutz recently put Teahan’s minutes into perspective. He pointed out that in Teahan’s first four seasons at KU, which included his 2010-11 red-shirt year, the Jayhawks played 149 games and, including overtimes, 5,990 minutes.

Of those 5,990 minutes, Teahan was on the floor for 218 minutes or 3.6 percent of the total time.

The meager minutes never bothered Teahan.

“Like I said, I’ve always wanted to be a contributor on the team, no matter what that was,” Teahan said. “If that meant playing in games, great. Being able to play 15 minutes plus a game ... yeah it’s a dream come true and being able to score and help the team win.”

He grinned when asked if he’s finally “arrived.”

“I don’t know about that. I’m just happy to be out there. I don’t look at it any other way,” he said. “I just want to help the team win. It’s a lot of fun.”

In past seasons, other players have been in his way.

“Brady (Morningstar) and Tyrel (Reed) did a great job when they were in there. You can’t take that away from them at all,” Teahan said. “I don’t sit back and look at the past, if I could have gotten in or whatnot. I’m happy with this year and think this is the best situation for me.”

KU coach Bill Self said he considers Teahan (who is on scholarship this year for the second straight year) one of KU’s “six starters.” Self did not agree when Teahan personally blamed himself for KU’s loss to Davidson last Monday in Sprint Center.

“Conner cares. He didn’t lose us that game,” Self said. “No one person lost the game. We all lost together. When somebody screws up in practice, Conner always says, ‘My bad,’ just to take the pressure off the other guys. He’s unbelievable that way. He really gets it.”

KU’s next game will be Thursday versus Howard. Tip is 7 p.m., in Allen Fieldhouse.

Comments

Scott MacWilliams 9 years, 9 months ago

Living the dream!! I love the walkon players getting a chance, but I hope that some of these other guys can step up and share the load. You can't fault Teahan's heart and effort, but too many of these other players can get by him too often. It's great to have a 3 point dagger on the floor, but his defense is not quick enough for most of the guys he's going to be up against in the Big 12. Keep it up, Conner, and make every minute count!

ROCK CHALK!!!

Martin Shupert 9 years, 9 months ago

I think Coach Self is wrong about something. Stop the presses. I think Teahan really believes he's the guy who made the bad play... in practice and in games... He steps up and owns it. I love the guy. What I love this year is seeing Connor getting in there and doing the things that do not show up in the score book. He makes some great passes that are sometimes botched because our players are surprised by the ball. He tips loose balls to a teammate. He gets out on perimeter shooters. He does a whole lot that could go unnoticed. So much of it is great team oriented stuff too.

EverRisingHawk 9 years, 9 months ago

Conner, thanks for your years of diligence and effort. So many of your consistent threes come from doing work early on in the offensive set. Your ability to stretch the D is precious on a team with limited shooters - glad to see you playing some hard earned minutes.

jayhawker_97 9 years, 9 months ago

it's fun to watch dunks as highlights and all, but it's also fun to watch Teahan to drill the 3s with his beautiful archy strokes. me, as a fan, want to see KU win with double digit each game. i like the way Teahan find just the right spot because he's so active offensively (yea, sometimes with the driving to the basket). looking back, you've gone so far than I (a lot of us?) could ever imagine. keep working on those strokes & D, you'll help the team even more.

John Randall 9 years, 9 months ago

"""When somebody screws up in practice, Conner always says, ‘My bad,’ just to take the pressure off the other guys.""" . . Stepping in to take blame for another player's 'screw up' may sometimes make it too easy for the real culprit to duck responsibility and to not learn from mistakes.

In therapy group, that is called "enabling behavior". Though I'm sure the coaches do make sure it doesn't go too far.

JayHawkFanToo 9 years, 9 months ago

Do you actually believe that the coaching staff does not know who screws up in practice or during games?

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 9 months ago

Lighten up guys...Of course the coach knows, but Teahan is doing his best to gain the teams confidence. Conner is a gifted athlete and not just in basketball, still, he is not as fast, not the best on D or as talented as many of the other players are who are on the team. Conner is out there to hit the three and to make the other team spread out on defense. Do your thing Conner!

KansasComet 9 years, 9 months ago

This article is obviously meant to set off arguing today. There will be those that feel that Conner is doing great, while encouraging him to "keep up the good work". There will be others that say, "why is this guy getting so many minutes? He is too slow and can't make meaningful baskets."

I appreciate the young man wanting to play for Kansas, when he could have played more minutes on a smaller stage. However, I feel strongly that the players that are being heavily recruited to play at Kansas should be given the opportunity to play and find a way to fit into the program. There is nothing wrong with a little on the job training. If I were a potential recruit considering Kansas, I would take a look at who is currently playing and at what type of players were brought in and immediately transferred after one season. I would seek out the transfers and ask why did they leave? I would seek the truth, and not some lame excuse given to the media. I think we may lose out on a few recruits by giving too many minutes to a less talented player, while not letting recruits that were sought after to come to Kansas earn playing time through trial and error.

In closing, my opinion is that while I like Conner, a lot of times we are playing 4 against 5 on defense, because his foot speed can be a real liability. When he is on and when we are in the lead he can be incredible. When we are trailing and we need a basket his confidence level seems to drop. I think we have better options on the bench. I respect anyones opinion that feels he is doing great out there.

KansasComet 9 years, 9 months ago

Oh yeah, I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!

jaybate 9 years, 9 months ago

Not very many teams have the talent to bottle up TT, TRob and Withey, if Conner, or EJ can keep them honest from outside.

But when he can't, Kevin Young ought to be the guy Self goes to at either 3, or 4, and Self tries.

But except for one game, KY has suffered instant blow by syndrome.

Its hard to figure. The blow bys occur the same way every time. KY runs up to guard some one 12-17 feet from the iron and sort of skips into position with one foot too far forward and weight too far forward to drop step his lead foot. Bam. The guy is by him even before he starts to turn. It s strange. I've never really seen this problem repeat again and again like this before. I suspect it is a lack of leg strength in the thighs. He's kind of a loper when he runs and lopers often don't have a lot of leg strength in the thighs.

Anyway, KY has to learn proper foot placement in that initial set up on a guy facing him, or he's only going to be able to stay against some very slow competition. Once the opposing coaches see the problem on tape, they coach their players to blow by KY ASAP on KY's left. Its up to KY to fix it.

If he does fix it, it just makes me salivate imagining him playing some 3, TRob stepping out, and Kevin posting up a 6'5" wing player on the blocks!

KansasComet 9 years, 9 months ago

I hope Kevin Young can earn meaningful minutes. I would love to see him play the way he did against Ohio State.

Martin Shupert 9 years, 9 months ago

wow... are your thoughts ever stupid. I mean, you can't be thinking more stupid than you are right now. To say those who are heavily recruited... I'm astounded at how stupid that is. It's hard to respond to that idea. I've watched this kid get the hell beat out of himself in practice day after day, and for what? To get a few seconds at the end of the games... not even to have a scholarship... to put in tons of work to help the team be ready for a game... YOU are probably a very intelligent person, but you are so far off the track here that I can't even relate to it. I'm amazed someone could even conjure up an opinion this far from reality.

KansasComet 9 years, 9 months ago

Those heavily recruited....Okay, give me 15 Conner Teahans, and see where KU is ranked. I like the kid. I really do. I think he has a sweet jump shot when we are ahead. I was thrilled that he has taken it to the basket a few times recently. But name calling me, because you don't agree with what I say does not prove your point.

Now my point is this: Conner Teahan wants to play at Kansas because it is a premier school near his hometown. I applaud that, and I agree that he has put time in to earn some minutes on the floor. However, when coaches recruit kids by showing up at their games, calling them, texting them, and writing them letters to come play for them while explaining to them what their role is on the team, then I feel the coaches should try and find a way to have the kids fit into their system or capatilize on a kids strengths.

Now, I will leave you with this... How many of Conner Teahan's games do you think Coach Self attended? You should also understand that this is a forum for everyone to share their opinions. I do not agree with every comment I have read on the boards. You really shouldn't name call someone unless you know who it is, you could be talking to your mama!!

jaybate 9 years, 9 months ago

At Mid Season, the Biggest...

•Outside shooting joys are TT at 50% from trey and Conner at 41%. •Outside shooting letdowns are EJ at 32% from trey and Travis at 28%. •Free throw shooting surprises are Jeff Withey leading the team at 83% and TRob improving to 69%. •Offensive rebounding surprise is Jeff Withey with only 3 fewer o-reebs than TRob in about 2/3s the minutes. •Defensive rebounding let down is Jeff Withey with less than half TRob's boards in 2/3s his minutes. •Offensive promise being held back by defensive lapses is KevinYoung with 59% FGA and 50% 3pt shooting.

AsadZ 9 years, 9 months ago

Teahan, Firstly I'd like to congratulate you in earning respect of your coach and getting the minutes this year. You have earned them by contributing to the program over the years. And you have a sweet 3 point shot, fun to watch.

My only wish is that during grind out games, such as against Davidson, when shots are not falling, you will play a greater role in D, and also provide senior leadership to the younger players.

While you may not be fastest player on court, you can overcome it with good basketball IQ since you have been in HCBS system for some time, and also by becoming a leader on the floor.

I wish you best of luck. Rock Chalk Teahan.

jaybate 9 years, 9 months ago

Good take and I bet Self is telling Conner the same thing.

Mike Kendall 9 years, 9 months ago

I used to coach a player like Conner. The ultimate team player. Yeah, I wish he could play better D but he is like a sixth starter, like Coach Self says. Good luck the rest of your playing days for the Jayhawks, Conner. Rock Chalk!

REHawk 9 years, 9 months ago

jb has posted tantalizing stats for future articles. Kudos to Jeff Withey for leading this team at the freethrow line. Very interesting breakdown of Jeff's and Thomas's o+d rebounding. That said, kudos also to Conner for redshirting last season, sticking around to help this team through its developmental strides this first semester. His Jayhawk hoops IQ does much to offset the step slow vs. gifted speedsters. At this stage of the season he fills an integral slot in the Bill Self puzzle. I have been a proponent of playing Naadir more minutes, but it is obvious that he is not ready for extended time on the big stage. However, I continue to feel that this team will not reach its full potential unless Tharpe and Young can be counted on for key minutes; they each represent a very different positional style for the coaching staff to pitch a major change-up at an opponent.

Lance Hobson 9 years, 9 months ago

Releford is the biggest disappointment so far this season. His job is to hit threes and he's not doing it. He's not even taking them.

Ron Franklin 9 years, 9 months ago

Relefords "job" is not to shoot the 3. He is to play lockdown d on the opposing teams best offensive threat. On offense he's a ball mover slasher and should only take the open 3. Travis hitting the 3 would just be gravy. He was definitely hitting a higher % last season.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 9 months ago

No doubt..but if he is, I would like to either see a better percentage or make the extra pass to an open man (if possible).

JayHawkFanToo 9 years, 9 months ago

I have posted before that I have noticed that Relford is passing on wide open 3s. I do not know if he has been told to shoot less 3s or simply his confidence is not there. He has the potential to be a superior 3 point shooter, I just wish he he would take more shots.

jaybate 9 years, 9 months ago

Yeah, I think Travis is playing very good ball. The shots just aren't falling yet. He will get them to go down. And it is important for him and for the team that he does.

It is tough to suddenly be a 30 minute man and the defensive stopper and learn to shoot with tired legs. We were spoiled by BRush and Brady and X who could guard hard all game, and still drain treys at 40%. Travis will probably only get to 35-37% this year, but next season, when he has had an off season to refocus on trifectation, he will break 40% next year.

Regardless, he needs to be taking 4 treys a game, as Brady did until the stretch last year, when Self asked Brady to score more. Trav is probably only taking 3 treys per game, because of his slump. But the shot will come back.

When I said Trav's treys have been a disappointment this season, I did not mean to suggest he would not break out of his slump. He will. And he has been an absolute man on defense.

If you look at his shooting mechanics, he has reverted some to his freshman season. During his red shirt season he really straightened his shot out and it looked pretty good last season, when he was healthy. But the incredible efforts he is expending on defense, and probably a slump, have caused him to back slide on his mechanics. He will watch tape and get it back, probably during the week of getting better.

Go Travis Go!!!!

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 9 months ago

He usually plays the opposing teams best scorer..for a reason. He has solid defensive fundamentals plus the instincts that cannot be coached. He gets the job done.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 9 months ago

Nice post .. one thing that will help Travis -- "assert yourself."

Travis has been passive, one game taking only 3 shots. He has natural slashing ability, which he can exploit. That .. in my opinion .. is his strongest offensive skill. If we have a slashing 3, that will pull up and take the 14-17 footer, the three point shooting is a bonus, but one he again needs to assert himself on. We've seen him turn down shots, turn down opportunities past the mid-point in the shot clock to drive the ball to the basket.

I noted you mentioning him being the stopper on defense, and "tired legs." I've never seen him appear winded, or really tired. Being the stopper is a big task, but it shouldn't stop him from being assertive on offense. It may have a marginal effect late in the game. But I don't buy it as any sort of excuse or explanation for the lack of assertiveness.

My best explanation for the lack of assertiveness is perhaps he's doing what coach Self is telling him to do, generally, and maybe being a bit over cautious. If not, I can't believe coach Self wouldn't push him to assert himself on the offensive end. It is an element that this team is lacking.

mikehawk 9 years, 9 months ago

I really agree with the mid range jumper idea for Travis. Not sure where Strike is getting idea Travis's job is to shoot threes. But...they are starting to give it to him, daring him to take it. He is hesitating ever so slightly and needs to just pull the trigger. Or, he has to slash and draw fouls, or go down low and post his guy up. Travis's deal is defense and he can guard smaller players and bigger ones. Watch his wing span when he is guarding guys on the wing.

As my son and I watched the replay of the USC game today (got to get that life thing going) it really occurred to me this team is still finding their identity, and there are a bunch of guys who are very young when it comes to "game time." Practice and game time are two very different things. Outside of Tyshawn, this is a very young game time team. I think this is part of what Coach is talking about when he refers to lacking personality and "bounce." Only a hunch, butI think it could come from Nadir when he decides to not be afraid to speak up because he is a frosh.

chriz 9 years, 9 months ago

Yeah, Conner, good to see you out there. I'd love it if you could zoom off of screens with a little more urgency. I think it will actually help your shot and get you more open by the time of your release. Run a little lower to the ground...that should help.

Also, coming from a slow white guy, play D with your feet. I'm sure Self tells you that all the time. Back off a little bit if your guy can drive. Do a better job of making sure you're between the basket and the goal at all times. And just like Brady did, if you can't block a shot, cover the shooter's face so he can't see.

(Message to other posters: Yes, I know that Self is a better coach than I am.)

Paul Brozik 9 years, 9 months ago

Anyone know if Isaiah Lewis is making his decision today?

Joe Baker 9 years, 9 months ago

Yes, on his birthday. The day after Christmas was the word. I just hope the word from Isaiah includes KU.

We could have two prophets at KU: Elijah and Isaiah.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 9 months ago

Elijah and Isaiah....that would put Kansas right in the middle of the Bible Belt.

A team can never have too many prophets, you know !!!

After four years of playing the opponents ace three point specialist in practice, Conner is finally getting to do it for real.

1] Basketball defense is like geometry, it's all angles and verticals. 2] Compensate for your slower foot speed by taking better angles to cover, block and intercept. 3] The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. 4] Compare and evaluate your opponents speed within the first couple of possessions and then compensate accordingly. 5] Your minimum goal is to stop the drive, force your man to take a jump shot within the three point line, block out and get the long rebound. 6] The ultimate goal is to take the charge or force the turnover. 7] The ultimate failure is to allow an uncontested three or a basket and a foul.

My guess is you've probably heard this already, but if a namelss poster can break down this issue, it's obvious your coaches know what they're talking about.

Besides, you'll be the perfect stunt double for Zach Efrom when you graduate!!!

jaybate 9 years, 9 months ago

Screw the triangle and CAD CAM, get Oak a whistle.

After all these years he remembers what he learned between football seasons.

Rock chalk!

Joe Baker 9 years, 9 months ago

I have no problem with Zach Efron,aka, Connor What's his name ? I think he'll be fine and is mature enough to step up for this team. It's extremely early. Connor is very BM-like in fundamentals.

On to another recruiting possibility. I think this is huge and I love it that KU is making noise with Parker. We are disrupting dook's little power recruiting plan.

http://www.zagsblog.com/2011/12/20/kansas-in-the-mix-for-tony-parker/#more-63625

Tony Parker is a smart kid based on this article. If he's as smart, he'll seriously think about what he said in this article and make the best decision for his career. Either choice gets him a good education, but KU will max his potential as a big. I hope he doesn't commit career suicide at UCLA. That program is horrible with bigs right now. They can't develop a play, let alone a player. In fact, Howland is dismantling his team.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 9 months ago

Jesus Christ had enough prophets to form a football team. My guess is that Miami's undefeated winning season total would be in real jeopardy with the Holy White and Gold of the Almighty Prophets playing out of Bethlehem, PA!!!

rockchalkjayhawkku 9 years, 9 months ago

Isn't Teahan the only current KU player remaining from the 2008 championship team?

Joe Baker 9 years, 9 months ago

Ok- It's official. The sleazeball of uk can't recruit on his own. Why the hell does he have to have some NBA player at the game of a recruit? He is slipping and the idiot knows it too. He's such a scumbag coach that would sink to new lows to get a recruit. It's bad enough he shows to a recruit's game and he brings an NBA player to disrupt the environment. He's a real SOB.

Bill Self needs to start attending these games with an NBA player when he goes to a recruit's game. Oh wait, he doesn't need to do that. Self recruits on his own merit, not some NBA player he paid to play for him in college.

http://www.zagsblog.com/

lee3022 9 years, 9 months ago

Parker may follow Rose - to Memphis! (kidding). This is the very first time I have seen an NBA MVP and All-NBA player wearing his high school jacket.

Joe Baker 9 years, 9 months ago

I know...I thought that was strange. LOL

Joe Baker 9 years, 9 months ago

It appears Lewis' twitter account is blowing up with JHawk Nation asking him if he's made a decision and happy bday.

Cantkeepagooddudedown 9 years, 9 months ago

"The meager minutes never bothered Teahan."

Really, Gary? Did you ASK Conner if it ever bothered him and he said "no, not at all?"

Because in the "In Conner's words section of the book A Year to Remember on pp 91-92... I see a plethora of quotes that make this look like a ridiculous statement:

"Coach Self thinks I have the ability to contribute here. I didn't come to Kansas to sit on the bench"

"As happy as I am to be part of something like this (the championship team), I'm not going to be satisfied."

"People say I might be able to contribute someday like Christian Moody did a few years ago. Christian was a great player, but I feel like I can be more of a consistent asset to the team. No offense to him, but I just feel like I can do more."

"Hopefully my minutes will increase each year and I'll become a more important part of what we're trying to do."

All quotes from Conner Teahan... I'd say it "bothered" him not playing... maybe I'm reading too much into these quotes. Maybe you have more inside information.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 9 months ago

Great post .. better than the posts that just mindlessly criticize the writer of the article. Love quotes.

Martin Shupert 9 years, 9 months ago

I think you have to look up the word "Bothered" here. He had higher goals, but did he pout or question the coach for the present amount of playing time? I don't think so.

Cantkeepagooddudedown 9 years, 9 months ago

Bothered: to give trouble to, annoy, or worry; to bewilder or confuse.

Dang... I thought it was some form of necrophilia and that Conner has been spending too much time down at the morgue. I'm glad you directed me to clear up that confusion on my part. MY BAD!!!!!

I'm sure you're actually an intelligent person... but you're conjuring up out of thin air that someone said he's pouting or questioning the coach.

I'm saying it has "bothered" him at some point in time... and that's pretty much a FACT. Read the quotes. To conclude that him seeing no increase in the following 3 years since those quotes (including the RS year) did not bother him the least is completely idiotic. I'm sure you are a genius, but you're probably just having a bad day.

jaybate 9 years, 9 months ago

"A Few Ideas for Last Pranks to Pull on Fizzouri"

Yes, the holidays are not yet complete. Yes, there are several games before KU gets to introduce Frank "Phone Job" Haith to losing in Allen Field House, but some things require preparation to savor adequately, like Fizzouri's departure from AFH forever. The following are some pranks jaybate News Service stringers have heard rumored.

~Stuffed tigers soaked in kerosene and weighted with chunks of stone blasted out of the columns in Columbia will be lit and dropped on the Chancellor's house from a Northrup-Grumman x47C stolen from a flat bed trailer recently bin Cowley County.

~Norm Stewart's pacemaker will be hacked and reprogrammed to the rhythm of the Rock Chalk chant.

~Potter's Lake will be drained and refilled with zinc acid and the Antlers, weighted with bags of their own feces, with be thrown in over their heads and cease to exist.

~Dave Pinkel's toxic liver will be taken from him, placed on a pike and ignited in Fizzou Arena for all to witness.

~Frank Haith will be tricked into playing in a touring rock band called "Blind Haith" and the same folks that tampered with Paul Wellstone's and JFK Jr.'s light planes be retained to crash Haith's light plane.c

~Columbia will be burn to the ground.

(Note: All fiction. No malice.)

tdscpa 9 years, 9 months ago

"Norm Stewart's pacemaker will be hacked and reprogrammed to the rhythm of the Rock Chalk chant."

FUNNY!

The rest of it? Not so much.

(Just a tip to help you break your bad habit of overdoing your "contributions" to the board.)

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