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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Kansas hoops players clear air

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Bill Self weekly press conference: Dec. 28, 2011

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Kansas head men's basketball coach Bill Self addressed the media at his weekly press conference Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Freshmen Jamari Traylor, Ben McLemore contributing in practice

Kansas basketball players Elijah Johnson and Tyshawn Taylor said freshmen Jamari Traylor and Ben McLemore, who are now eligible to practice, have brought another level of intensity and skill to KU's second team that will help the starters improve.

It remains to be seen if Monday night’s Kansas University basketball team meeting in Allen Fieldhouse proves as effective as two memorable sessions of the past:

• One conducted in a Las Vegas hotel hallway the night before KU’s overtime victory over No. 1-ranked Florida in November of 2006.

• One called at Henry T’s Bar and Grill after a discouraging loss to Oklahoma State in February of 2008 — which turned out to be the last loss of a national championship season.

“It was a defining moment for us,” KU senior guard Tyshawn Taylor said of Monday’s 15- to 20-minute players-only meeting that followed a post-practice speech of coach Bill Self. “We said, ‘Look, this is where we stop doing all the dumb stuff we’ve been doing, and this is where we stop not being good teammates, not talking when we’re on the court and not cheering for each other.’ Now we’re going to be better teammates. We’re going to be talking and having a lot of energy. After that meeting, practices have been really good.”

Bringing all-out effort each day summarizes the message of Self, whose Jayhawks will play host to Howard University at 7 tonight in Allen Fieldhouse.

“I just wanted to welcome everybody back from Christmas,” Self said of the first practice after a three-day holiday break. “The thing about it, is, I like our guys, and they know I like them, but I can’t coach them and let things I feel go unsaid.

“If I don’t say it, it will be pent-up frustration for me. The thing I told them more than anything is, we’re not that far off. We’re a team that, if we don’t bring it every night, then we get really average really fast because we’re not the most talented team. We’ve shown when we bring it, we’re talented enough to beat anybody.

“They’ve actually been pretty good since that meeting. I said, ‘Gosh, coach must be a real jerk. He wants you to play with emotion and passion. Imagine a coach actually telling a team that. What a jerk,’” Self cracked.

Once Self left the locker room, the meeting became a bit more personal.

“It worked for me my freshman year, telling Sherron (Collins), ‘We need you. We need you,’” junior combo guard Elijah Johnson said, indicating the squad normally holds about three special meetings per season. “Now to hear Merv (Lindsay, freshman) tell me the same thing ... it starts over. Sometimes you just need to hear it again.”

Johnson also had some advice for the rookies on the roster.

“Just me sitting down talking to a lot of the young fellas, telling them that next year a lot of us won’t be here. A lot of people will be gone (to graduation or NBA),” Johnson said. “Those games they sit on the sideline and cheer for us ... are they ready to be in (the game)? When I said that to a lot of them, they thought about it. I told them it’s less than a year away. They have to start preparing, getting stronger in the weight room. I got Ben (McLemore), Merv and a couple more players really just getting into their own zone and figuring out, ‘This is our life,’ and, ‘This is what we need to get the best at.’ They are trying to grow, trying to turn into grown men.”

KU junior Thomas Robinson, who is the Jayhawks’ one sure NBA prospect on the roster — he’s listed as No. 6 pick of the 2012 first round; Johnson as No. 14 selection of the second round and Taylor No. 15 of second round by draftexpress.com — spoke at the meeting, as did Johnson, Taylor, Conner Teahan, Justin Wesley and Jordan Juenemann.

“I said, ‘There is a problem where we are at. We are going downhill as a team,’” Robinson revealed. “We had to call a meeting to get things right. We found out what the problem is. We got the problem fixed. The attitude is back to where it was at the beginning of the season. It’s our fault we have three losses. Sickening,” he added of the squad’s 8-3 record. “Our motivation is to prove we are good every day. This is Kansas. Nothing less than championships is acceptable.”

Johnson said the team is newly motivated with two nonconference games remaining (KU meets North Dakota at 3 p.m. Saturday in Allen) before Wednesday’s league opener versus Kansas State.

“I feel we’ve got something to prove,” Johnson said. “A lot of people I won’t say are waiting for us to fall off, but they don’t pay us too much mind. They respect us because of who we are and our coach, but I feel a lot of people are just throwing us under the rug. It’s not a comfortable feeling. We want to make some headlines and be talk of the town again.

“If I was at another school in the Big 12, I would be thinking, ‘I can’t wait to play Kansas this year because (they are) most vulnerable,’ as far as the team goes and talent level goes. Everybody gets to come to the fieldhouse this year. I would circle that game because not many teams get a chance to beat us. This is the year for anybody. That’s what they are thinking, but we’ve got a different game plan.”

Overtime: KU has held daily two-a-day workouts leading to tonight’s game. “I’m really not a morning person,” said Johnson, who hopped out of bed at 8 a.m. for a morning practice Wednesday, “but today was one of my top three practices all year. If it’s going to make us feel like this after practice, I’d tell him (Self) to keep doing it every day.”

Newcomers: KU freshmen McLemore and Jamari Traylor, who were ineligible and could not practice with the team first semester, have been practicing since the end of final exams.

“Our practice squad is actually decent, pretty good. Ben and Jamari have given us a lot of energy and athleticism being out there,” Self said. “I wish they could play now because they would certainly help us. Practices have been better. It’s much more competitive out there.”

Self said the two players excelled in the classroom first semester.

“They can do everything now except play in games and travel. They’re cleared to go. One of them had a 3.3 (GPA) and one had a 3.2, so they did great academically. I’m really proud of them. The NCAA put some very strict stipulations on them, and they blew those away, so I’m really happy for them,” Self said of the two, who will be eligible to play in games next season with four years of eligibility remaining.

Since they’ve been back ... “The level of competition has shot out the roof,” Johnson said. “They are athletic and they can play.”

Taylor’s health: Tyshawn Taylor, who had surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee on Dec. 11, said he’s feeling fine. He didn’t miss a game because of the surgery.

“Aside from a little swelling here and there, it’s good,” Taylor said. “I ice it every day, and I’m good.”

Today’s foe: Howard is located in Washington, D.C., with an enrollment of 10,500. … The Bison are 4-1 at home, 0-7 on the road and 0-1 at neutral sites. Senior guard Glen Andrews, a Tulsa transfer who has played in three of Howard’s 12 games, averages a team-leading 14.0 points per game. Junior guard Calvin Thompson (no relation to former KU player Calvin Thompson) averages 11.3 points and 4.5 rebounds a game. Junior forward Mike Phillips averages 10.2 points and a team-best 6.9 boards. ... KU won the only meeting between the schools, 100-67, in the opening round of the 1992 NCAA Tournament in Dayton.

Self update on the red mark on his forehead: “I had some pre-cancer spots, and the doctor told me I needed to get rid of them. Today’s my last day of medicine. I’ve been taking it for three weeks. I’ll be back to normal in a couple days.”

Comments

txjhawk77 9 years, 11 months ago

Talk is cheap. The real proof is in the attitude and level of play, not just in these next two non-conference games but when the Big12 season starts. Let's hope the team is really diligent about doing smart things with the ball and avoiding the stupid mistakes.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 11 months ago

True...but I wouldn't want to be Howard tonight. It needs to carry over to Conference play for it to mean anything though.

Benz Junque 9 years, 11 months ago

Well, Kansas, you can obviously Talk the Talk. Can you Walk the Walk? KU better redo this meeting every two weeks, because I don't see this squad as disciplined enough to make it through the year giving max effort. I hope they prove me wrong.

Kye Clark 9 years, 11 months ago

"This is Kansas. Nothing less than championships is acceptable.”

Love that quote.

karken1992 9 years, 11 months ago

Love the quote as well. Love to hear a player say it. I think a little team spirit would help this particular team immensely

chriz 9 years, 11 months ago

I noticed that same thing. I wish a lot of posters here would recognize that and stop making excuses for our poor recruiting. Self is doing a great job, but it's not unreasonable for us to be disappointed for not having a top 5 recruiting class any given year. Maybe not every year, but any year, if that makes sense.

actorman 9 years, 11 months ago

Actually I would say that IS unreasonable. Self is a great recruiter -- as good as anyone in the country. And he's proven it year after year. But he can't hold a gun to someone's head to get them to come to KU, and we're talking about kids who have a right to make up their own minds. Sometimes the luck of the draw works out so that the best players all choose different places. It's the long run and the pattern that count, not any one particular year. It's great when top players choose KU, but to expect a top-5 recruiting year every time is totally unreasonable.

actorman 9 years, 11 months ago

Sorry, I didn't read closely enough to see the part where you said, "Maybe not every year, ...," so perhaps we're not that far apart in our assessments. But I do think that KU fans in general have expectations when it comes to recruiting that are a little unreasonable.

142466 9 years, 11 months ago

The juggling act that Self and the other perennial top10 coaches must perform every year due to early departures to the NBA makes it difficult to score a recruiting home run every year. And each year's top H.S. seniors have to sort through all that, too, and then predict which top college players are going to leave 1, 2, and 3 years hence. The only 2 programs that I see not being bitten regularly by the NBA virus are N.C. and Duke. And even those two programs get bitten occasionally.

The top 7 or 8 mid-major programs are usually immune to the NBA virus. I enjoy watching a NCAA BB game between one of the top mid-majors, with a veteran squad, vs. one of the all-time great major programs, like KU. In such games the veteran mid-major often wins or comes close. Surprising to some. Shouldn't be.. The veteran mid-major squad often resembles a top major squad of the 1960's and 1970's in one respect. They've played together so long that it's almost like they can predict each teammate's moves. In a free-flowing, continuous, game like basketball that's an advantage. Plus, the mid-major veteran teams are often better 3 point shooters. Lack of team height has forced them to hone their long range shooting skills.

Digressing into ice hockey. Ice hockey is the most free-flowing, continuous, sport of all the 4 bigs. Some famous hockey broadcaster once defined hockey as an ongoing series of reactions to busted plays.

ancient_hawk 9 years, 11 months ago

Much like futbol, which just can't seem to get respect here.

Possession changes about every 10 seconds on the average, and what a team does in that first 2 seconds after a possession change is everything.

It's not very fan friendly, due to the low scoring. But, to a BB purist, it's very familiar.

lee3022 9 years, 11 months ago

This is certainly not new. Most folks here believe this. But some believe their own judgment about recruits is better than the coaching staff. There are no excuses. But there are also seven consecutive league championships. If the team falls short of that this year their own self-criticism will be far stronger than anyone's from here.

The coaches here have earned and deserve our highest praise. There is not a single other coach in the NCAA I would rather have. Listen to Larry Brown - he knows and he supports. Coaches have a terrific class for next year with eight new high-level recruits (including McLemore and Traylor). Add to the training this group will have received and the string can continue into the foreseeable future. This statement comes from the coaches and has started taking root throughout the team.

actorman 9 years, 11 months ago

That's a great quote, but I love the other part of the quote even more ("It’s our fault we have three losses. Sickening, ..."). Given that two of the losses were to top-10 teams, I'd say they're being a little hard on themselves. But I love the attitude of expecting to be the best. I guess you could argue that that's basically saying the same thing as the part that you quoted.

Benz Junque 9 years, 11 months ago

What EJ and Taylor need to remember are that there are hundreds of people with NBA TALENT that are working at McDonalds or selling cars. To move from having NBA Talent to being an NBA Player, you have to show that you are willing to do the hard work, both mentally and physically, and show that you can do what your team needs you to do to succeed. Neither of them has made that transition yet, so neither of them has a future in the NBA until they do so.

Cantkeepagooddudedown 9 years, 11 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Jonathan Even 9 years, 11 months ago

More wins than any other head coach in the past 5 years (actually the best 5 year record of any Men's Basketball coach in Division 1 history). Most wins in the NCAA tournament the past 5 years. 7 Straight Conference Titles. One National Championship. Multiple COY awards.

But I'm not saying that he's perfect, doesn't make mistakes, can't be better,...

But he's not the lemon you make him out to be.

Players need to step up, execute the plays, not turn the ball over, etc. You think this team is executing the game plan? Oh yeah, I forgot, Self is telling them to turn the ball over.

The best leader is not the one with the most followers but the one that causes the most to lead. That's why I like the player's meeting, the way they're talking. Word comes before Action.

This is the worst Bill Self team in 8-9 years and yet not a bad worst team for almost every other coach.

Kansas fans are spoiled. Yes, once every 25 years, we experience what elitists would call an ok year, or what every other fan of almost every other college (except for like 3?) would call a good year.

Enjoy the ride. It's more fun that way.

lee3022 9 years, 11 months ago

I appreciate your message and agree. However there was once this fellow John Robert Wooden who had multiple five-year periods better than coach Self. His best was 1968-1973 with a record of 146 wins and 4 losses. Coach Self is at the top of his era but perhaps nobody will eclipse coach Wooden.

142466 9 years, 11 months ago

Yes. A reincarnated Wooden wouldn't come close to matching the original Wooden. In the 1960's and 1970's it was relatively easy for UCLA to get to the final 4. All they had to do each year was win the PAC 8 round robbin and win 2 NCAA western regional games. Then they were in. Nearly all the PAC 8 schools were weak in BB. And the west regional, being geographically based, was a complete joke.

We still must admire Wooden, though, for winning all those national titles. There were so many of them. That can't be ignored.

During UCLA's golden era KU, and to some extent, Loui of the Mo Valley, had relatively easy paths to the final 4. First win the Big 8 round robin (except for KU and KSU, Big 8 BB was bad). Then win 2 games in the midwest regional, consistently the second weakest of the 4 regions.

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

Dear cantkeepadickfrommakinganassofhimself,

Self has a ring, seven straight conference titles, an 84% W&L Statement, and the most wins of any coach the last 5 years.

And you've got a brain that makes a micron look big.

Next.

Cantkeepagooddudedown 9 years, 11 months ago

jaybate.... all that regular season domination doesn't help us beat sorry ass mid-majors that Self tries to pretend are much better than they are so we don't feel so bad about the continual choke jobs every March.

If KU lost that Davidson game... which came down to a single shot... is Self still coaching here? Who is arguing with me if Self has ZERO final four appearances while at Kansas? We are very lucky to have that one. You think a team that wins all those regular season games and conference could take a little better care of business in March.

CrissaxJayhawk16 9 years, 11 months ago

"What if, What if, What if." Who cares? The point is that we won the national championship in 2008, Davidson did not beat us. It was supposed to happen that way obviously or else it wouldn't have and things would be different. Quit trying to live in a world that doesn't exist.

lee3022 9 years, 11 months ago

I think you are overreacting or simply stirring up trouble. Coach Self understands what most Jayhawks understand - that winning your league championship is far more a test of the team's ability than the placement in the NCAA tournament. Make that tournament a double-elimination tournament and it still is not a true test.

There is a factor of luck in the NCAA. It is why it draws so much national interest. Every year there are four number 1 seeds. In 2008 all four made the final four. That was a first in my memory because more often two or three do not make it. If you remain unconvinced perhaps you can obtain a coaching job in a D-1 school and find out more.

Brianna Zaleski 9 years, 11 months ago

I, too, like to hear of the players taking it upon themselves to rally each other. It shows leadership and should provide a real spark this week for sure.

Self talks about just trying to get his players to play w/ energy and passion. This is THE most important aspect of sports and this is one of the key components why we are so good year in, year out. We play w/ energy, we are aggressive, we play w/ enthusiam. I coach a 7th grade girls bball team, and I am constantly telling them that if they play hard and w/ maximum effort, good things tend to happen. Its amazing what transpires when you leave it all one the court. And this applies to life as well as basketball.

I couldn't read cantkeepadickfrommakinganassofhimself's post as it was already deleted, but I gather he was taking cheap shots at Self. We have the best coach in the country. Coach K might be a little better in his prime, but he only has a few years left. Self has soooo many good years left in him and the ones who know, know we are in great shape for the next 10-20 years.

Cantkeepagooddudedown 9 years, 11 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

actorman 9 years, 11 months ago

They've had some disspiriting losses, no doubt, but making it to the Elite 8 4 times in 8 years and winning a national championship is not exactly "sucking balls."

There's an awful lot of luck in the tournament on a year-to-year basis; the real test is what happens in the long run. As frustrating as the losses have been, I would hardly say there have been enough of them to establish a pattern. And I'm still confident that by the time Self's career is over, his tournament record will be just fine.

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

"A Poem for Lurking IrishCharlie"

I may not want our football coach.

But he is ours and you are

Not fit to drink the sweat of his cup after

A hot practice and

in the time of getting better...

The spineless lurk

Like head lice on

Indolent Antlers.

Weakness.

Cowardice.

Flaccidity.

All things not KU basketball.

Or KU football.

Go ahead and identify yourself.

Fizzour castrati.

Sing soprano by your scum covered columns

Relieve yourself on the

Corner stone of that

Vile tabernacle--Fizzou Arena.

Mouth breath on its glass and

Finger paint in breath fog

Norm Stewart obscenities.

Contort and defecate on your

Own yellow and gold head.

Decorate the meth lab with black lights.

Defend Haith's phone addiction.

Hold yourself.

Charlie Weis would leave Pinkel a

Hail dog ravaged by pro sets

His offense would smear Tiger

Entrails goal line to goal line and

Leave Fizzou hearts chest torn and

Piked on both field goals

Of sweet Memorial Stadium.

Out damned inbreeders

To the SEC with you all

And enjoy the beatings inflicted

Under confederate...flags.

Marcia Parsons 9 years, 11 months ago

Charlie: Self (the captain) encourages team only meetings as he believes players will speak more freely among themselves. Please don't embarrass yourself further with this kind of childish and uninformed comment.

actorman 9 years, 11 months ago

I can picture IrishCharlie curled up in a ball on his basement floor cackling away like a wild man at his brilliant "joke," while his mother upstairs is calling the people in the white coats to take him where he belongs ...

FSUJHAWK 9 years, 11 months ago

TT and EJ need to develop KI, Killer Instinct. As the primary 1&2 on this team everything translates from them. Gaurds, you've got to strike first, get em on the ground second and step on their throats third! KI baby. We need the gaurds to start balling like men, if this happens then everything will fall into place. KI is contagious baby!

RCJHGKU!!!

tom123kufan 9 years, 11 months ago

This team is going to make a run in March, just wait and see. A team with nothing to lose is a dangerous team.

Bangkok_Jayhawk 9 years, 11 months ago

If UConn can win a NC with their team last year, then ANYTHING can happen. A single elimination basketball tournament doesn't always crown the best team, but it makes for good parody.

Ron Prichard 9 years, 11 months ago

Big East Tourney and NCAA Tourney. What other tourney is there and why would it matter? UConn was a bubble team before winning the Big East Tourney. If they were such a clutch team, why did they need to win their league tourney to be a lock for the NCAAs? Since you seem to have this all figured out, I'm sure you have the answer.

GeoHawk15 9 years, 11 months ago

UConn beat Kentucky for the 2010 Maui Invitational title.

lee3022 9 years, 11 months ago

Methinks thou protesteth too much. Having seen your colors and smelled your odor the rest of us invite you to lurk somewhere you belong.

As far as Kemba goes, the NBA apparently does not agree.

actorman 9 years, 11 months ago

you can'th spellt. The average third grader could blow you away on an English exam.

facts.

Ron Prichard 9 years, 11 months ago

I hate to be the one to say this because I pretty much can't stand the grammar police, but I believe you mean 'parity,' and not 'parody.' A completely different meaning, but I'm sure some would argue both could apply.

actorman 9 years, 11 months ago

Both would apply only if Misuse ever makes it to the Final Four, but your point is well taken.

Kevin Crook 9 years, 11 months ago

I hope the meeting helps. We are not very deep, and our margin for error is less than it has been for a long time. This is a 12-loss team if things go well.

actorman 9 years, 11 months ago

I assume you mean if things DON'T go well? If things go well, I could see this team only losing 6 or 7 games.

Cameron Schienebeck 9 years, 11 months ago

Like seeing this sort of thing but I hope they don't need something like this for Howard and North Dakota

REHawk 9 years, 11 months ago

If this team can motor along with no more than 5 losses in league play, Jayhawks should be set for an Elite 8 run. Earlier I predicted that 5 losses would at least tie for the Big 12 championship. Now not so certain. Baylor looking mighty tuff at the moment, but Drew could implode a la Rick Barnes by tournament time. Bill Self's focus on defense will keep us in the hunt. AFH wins are a must!

AsadZ 9 years, 11 months ago

On a different note, Georgetown knocked off Louisville at home. Hoyas are peaking. This should help KU's RPI.

Ron Prichard 9 years, 11 months ago

Georgetown's only loss was to us. They are a good team.

KansasComet 9 years, 11 months ago

Kansas has the talent to make finish in the top 3 of the Big XII, and make a decent run in the NCAA Tournament. Kansas is a team that opponents will look for a weak link on, and attack it. If we have any weaknesses it is time to tighten them up. We need to be a force on the glass and play good defense, while not hesitating to take open shots. All those things are easy to say, but can we do it on the court. I sure hope so.

lee3022 9 years, 11 months ago

After watching Baylor against Mississippi State I do not believe they (Baylor but either one) are better than KU. I think there is talent aplenty here to win another consecutive Big XII championship. It is necessary to take care of business each game to get there.

KansasComet 9 years, 11 months ago

Anyone is beatable. We have the talent to do it. Next few weeks will tell the story.

actorman 9 years, 11 months ago

Those are good points, but I think it really comes down to one thing: turnovers. And it pretty much comes down to one player: Tyshawn. If he can keep playing as well as he did against USC (i.e., if he can consistently stay focused), the sky's the limit for this team. I'm confident that their rebounding and defense will be consistently there, so if they can cut down on their turnovers and play with more discipline on offense, they coulld be really tough to beat.

KansasComet 9 years, 11 months ago

Tyshawn has had a few games with a lot of turnovers and he has had a few games where he not had very many turnovers. I hope he stays focused the rest of the way. The whole team needs to value possessions more. Enjoyed reading your post.

dynamitehawk 9 years, 11 months ago

So, I was reading this and just a world colliding moment. At first, I thought it was a simple simile mix up..."a lot of people are just throwing us under the rug"... But then I had the sharpest moment of clarity - did he actually combine throwing us under the bus and sweeping us under the rug on purpose?!?? HCBS' rug... the toupe?!?? Does that mean that the team is living in HCBS' brain, and cannot escape until they find a way out from under the rug? Defensive slides until you puke prison? 7 shot clock violations? How can you get out from under the rug?

FSUJHAWK 9 years, 11 months ago

I think you're on to something!

RCJHGKU!!!

LAJayhawk 9 years, 11 months ago

Hide yo kidz!

No, seriously. The rug is hungry.

AsadZ 9 years, 11 months ago

Johnson also had some advice for the rookies on the roster.

“Just me sitting down talking to a lot of the young fellas, telling them that next year a lot of us won’t be here. A lot of people will be gone (to graduation or NBA),” Johnson said. “Those games they sit on the sideline and cheer for us ... are they ready to be in (the game)?

Best quote of the year from KU player. Put some motivation and fire on younger bench players

Benz Junque 9 years, 11 months ago

Maybe EJ can turn on his brain a little more often and show HE is ready to be IN the game...

WilburNether 9 years, 11 months ago

I'm glad to see that the players have come to recognize what all but the idol-worshipping fanbois have long seen developing.

boknowssports 9 years, 11 months ago

The team has had its time to gel, it's now put up or shut up. I think it will be a good season. The bench, Releford, Whitey, and Conner need to show up big each game. T-rob, TT and EJ simply cannot carry this team alone. I think 4 losses wins the B-12

Steve Gantz 9 years, 11 months ago

Anyone surprised to see Johnson and Taylor as projected draft picks?

lee3022 9 years, 11 months ago

That has been true for a couple of years (see Draft Express' future mock drafts.) So no, no surprises.

The NBA can teach players to cover their weaknesses. They look for physical athletic ability and mental (character) strengths to draft. Both of these two still have a season to demonstrate both but have long ago demonstrated the athletic ability.

boknowssports 9 years, 11 months ago

I think Taylor actually was projected higher last year or the year before. Johnson, I'm not sold on so far. I think going into the last game or two, Taylor actually had a better shooting percentage from the field and from the 3 ball. To me, Johnson has to excel in that area. I do not think he has the ball handling, taking it to the hoop skills as Taylor. Taylor obviously needs to control turnovers, but I believe his ability to get ALOT of assists and get the ball to others may be attractive to NBA scouts. I don't know. He also gets to the line a ton more than EJ. I know they play different positions, but EJ to me, just seems to be an outsider shooter.

Uwe_Blab 9 years, 11 months ago

Did anybody watch the Davidson game and get the sense it was like some of the early exit NCAA tournament games? The game had that vibe to it. Sort of hopeless and heartwrenching. As much as KU tried to collect themselves and make a run, there was Davidson making some incredible plays (most notably Nik Cochran's 3 over TRob) and keeping the Jayhawks at bay. But unlike the NCAA early exits where all they can do is lament the ending to their season, the Jayhawks have plenty of games left to right the ship. It's as if the tournament wasn't a single elimination and they're getting another shot at it.

But as much as I am hopeful and excited for the second half of the season it seems there's been more talk this year about learning from mistakes and making corrections. I'm ready to see it on display on the court. Although I like the idea of the team meeting and getting everybody pumped, I almost wish it wasn't reported on. I view talk as being fairly cheap, and especially with this group so far. Nothing speaks louder and is more intimidating than good solid play. No flash, just bring your lunch pail and get to work.

Toby Wilson 9 years, 11 months ago

+1

They need to bring it every game and play as a team. Maybe it's just me, but at times it seems there are some conflicts between each other. If there is, they better put that to sleep before stepping onto the court, or their season could be put to sleep early.

Uwe_Blab 9 years, 11 months ago

Hard not to like what Lombardi was able to accomplish.

Ron Prichard 9 years, 11 months ago

Awesome post. That is the exact same feeling I had when watching that game. I wonder if the players felt that, too?

LAJayhawk 9 years, 11 months ago

"Although I like the idea of the team meeting and getting everybody pumped, I almost wish it wasn't reported on."

Exactly. Players-only meetings are just that: for players only. It shouldn't be reported on because the press shouldn't know about it. It's one of those things we should find out after the season is over..... "oh, so that's what turned it all around" type of thing. Aside from the personal nature of a players-only meeting, publicizing it puts added pressure on to the meeting itself, instead of the players holding themselves accountable, which is the entire point.

I do like that they held this meeting, but I'm with you: I shouldn't even know about it.

Uwe_Blab 9 years, 11 months ago

"Players-only meetings are just that: for players only. It shouldn't be reported on because the press shouldn't know about it. It's one of those things we should find out after the season is over."

Speaking of which, I don't seem to remember there being any mention of the players only meeting in '08 (post OSU game) until after the season was over. But I could be grossly mistaken.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 11 months ago

To: Coach Self From: A dumba** fan a/k/a HEM Re: Tharpe/Young/Misc Date: 12/29/11

  1. Please consider playing Tharpe 15 minutes tonight. The Juco team down the road might be able to beat Howard. If Tharpe needs to improve on everything, as you've said, might we check his progress tonight? Would also ask that you consider some real playing time for Tharpe Saturday. I know the Fighing Souix are formidable foe, but my guess is Tharpe won't cost us a W. We got a bit of a scare with TT's knee. If either he or EJ go down, Tharpe's next in line. Never know when he'll be needed. We may be playing Wisconsin, or Connecticut, or whoever in the Sweet 16 -- EJ in foul trouble, TT rolled his ankle -- whatever. Last five minutes and the ball is in Tharpe's hands. Good time to see if he "gets it" now. Good time to force feed him a bit.

  2. Please continue to incorporate Kevin Young. Seems to be a player that could really change the complexion of this team if his potential is realized. We need him now to be that guy.

  3. Please consider encouraging Releford to be more assertive on the offensive end. This is a mediocre offensive team. We know that. We aren't getting enough on the offensive end from Releford -- certainly not as much as he could give. Encourage him to slash when open, at least once the shot clock hits 20.

  4. Please consider sporadic use of the full court/three quarter court press that you used last season about this time. Give K-State, and others, something to think about. Then spring it on teams in conference play 3 or 4 times per game (or more, if it works). Nice option to have to try and grab a possession or two. I know, you can get burned .. it can lead to a foul on the back end .. risks. But this team may not succeed without some greater risks.

HEM

tical523 9 years, 11 months ago

Totally agree, my exact thoughts. Well said.

Kristen Downing 9 years, 11 months ago

Add the use of the zone defense when the starters look tired and I agree with everything you said.

HawkKlaw 9 years, 11 months ago

I agree with you, but I would bet that Self has already told Releford on numerous occasions to be more assertive on offense. For whatever reason, he just isn't getting the message.

Casey Gee 9 years, 11 months ago

This team can prove a lot to me on Jan. 4th. I'm tired of having both our rivals ahead of us in ESPN's power rankings. Kstate needs to be brought down a notch or two after beating up on a tournament of midmajors. I'm glad that Elijah is bothered that everyone thinks they can come into the filedhouse with a good chance to win because they probably are. Even in a tough year, they've got to defend home court, especially when your home court is Allen Fieldhouse.

Shelly Harshaw 9 years, 11 months ago

and it's good ONE Kansas team can win 7 conference championships in a row.

KansasComet 9 years, 11 months ago

I enjoyed reading your post. I believe this team is talented. It's time for the cream to rise to the top. It is time for KU to be the hunters and not the hunted!

machinegun 9 years, 11 months ago

KU is and ever shall be the biggest draw for any Big 12 team. The crowds at away games are rabid to the point of foaming at the mouth when the Jayhawks come to town. So we have to be ready to play every night. Our 16,300 fans give us a huge advantage at home. But I think we can steal a win or two on the road against Baylor, Mizzou and/or K-State.

Coach Self is a great coach! He and his assistants will deliver again this year!

Martin Shupert 9 years, 11 months ago

I was really worried about this team because I saw things that were just not the Jayhawk way going on out on the court. I saw players, especially our guards, making stupid mistakes and then, layering worse things on top of that by using body language to blame others for the mistakes. Time after time, I saw players looking at each other instead of saying, "my bad". So, now, if this meeting was really about being better teammates, I can relax a little. Bill made a bit of a speech. I'm sure he's seen the same things I have and he doesn't just let things like that go. The players, I hope I hope, get it and have decided to support one another. It takes a team, even when you have outstanding individual players, it takes a team. This team better get one fact clear. They have few options other than to face adversity together and do it as a team. This group has no other way to win.

Lash 9 years, 11 months ago

Withey needs to be a bigger part of this team offensively.

Martin Shupert 9 years, 11 months ago

What a wasted night this was for the team. They would have been better off practicing. It's either top five teams or bottom of the barrel. Too bad. But what a wasted night.

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