Saturday, December 31, 2011

Gary Bedore’s KU basketball notebook: KU coach Bill Self concerned with team’s soft play

Kansas center Jeff Withey fights for a loose ball amidst the North Dakota defense during the first half Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas center Jeff Withey fights for a loose ball amidst the North Dakota defense during the first half Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self

Kansas coach Bill Self talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 84-58 victory over North Dakota on Dec. 31, 2011.

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Highlights: KU vs. North Dakota


KU vs. North Dakota

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Kansas head men's basketball coach Bill Self addressed the media after defeating North Dakota, 84-58, on Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas University’s basketball team, which lost NBA players Marcus and Markieff Morris and Josh Selby off last year’s 35-3 Elite Eight team, finished the 2011-12 nonconference campaign with a 10-3 record.

“Our record isn’t quite what I wanted. I was really hopeful we could get through nonconference with a couple of losses,” KU coach Bill Self said after Saturday’s 84-58 victory over North Dakota.

“After we beat Ohio State, I said we have a chance to have two losses, and if we had two losses we would be in the Top 10 in the country right now. Not that we deserve that, but that’s the way it works. The thing that concerns me is how soft we are. Everybody sees it. You have balls hitting guys in the hands, and they don’t come away with it, and we are getting ready to play big-boy ball starting Wednesday (7 p.m., at home against Kansas State). I am really concerned with our big guys because other than Thomas (Robinson). I don’t think we have a big guy that can get a rebound in traffic against men. That would be my biggest concern right now.”

Self’s plans for New Year’s Eve?: “We’re going to go to dinner, I guess,” he said, noting he wouldn’t be hosting any party.

He was asked if the team would practice today. “The guys who played all the minutes, they won’t practice much. Those other guys ... they should be ready for practice tomorrow.”

Starter Jeff Withey went just eight minutes Saturday, while Justin Wesley, Kevin Young and Naadir Tharpe each played six minutes.

This, that: KU won its 55th consecutive nonconference home game. ... KU has won 13 in a row overall in Allen. ... Self is 247-49 at KU. ... Robinson set KU season highs in points (30), rebounds (21) and offensive rebounds (eight). He also matched the KU season high for field goals (10). ... The Big 12’s last 30-point/20-rebound game was Oklahoma’s Blake Griffin vs. Texas Tech on Feb. 14, 2009. ... Travis Releford had a career-high seven boards and matched his career high with 14 points. He also had 14 in the opener versus Towson. ... Jordan Juenemann set career highs in rebounds (three), assists (one) and blocks (one). ... KU wore crimson uniforms for the first time since the Colorado State game last season. It was the first time KU wore crimson at home since the Alcorn State game in 2009. ... KU attempted a season-high 27 threes and shot a season-worst 22.2 percent from beyond the arc. KU also took 27 threes against Iowa State on Feb. 12, 2011. ... KU had a season-high 15 offensive rebounds.


BalKUrog 6 years, 4 months ago

We are exceedingly fortunate to have a coach as insightful and articulate as any of the old time great coaches. "You have balls hitting guys in the hands and they don't come away with it". Except for TRob he doesn't think right now "we have any big guys that can rebound in traffic against men".

You gotta love that stuff if you love BB.

You always know Coach Self is hitting his team hard on the important fundamentals for success. A veritable master at calling out his team.

Bion Ostrander 6 years, 4 months ago

Wow, any more "team meetings" and KU will be middle of the pack Big 12, please outlaw all future team meetings.

KU jacks up highest total of 3's this year and shoots its worst %...against ND!! Why are you "settling" against ND, K-State will be a big reality check. Was that the game plan from the team meeting, let TT and EJ jack up as many 3's and shots as possible.

TRob should be putting up at least 1/3 of EJ's shots, no way EJ should be taking as many shots as TRob in a game. Plus terrible free throw shooting.

I know its gross over-simplification, but remove TRob from this game and KU loses to ND. Withey was worthless.

I would like to see Young, Wesley and Tharpe getting even more minutes in a game like this to help down the road, but its scary that KU had to leave TRob in all those minutes to win this game.

It is clear that Self is very frustrated with this team, and I truly think Self is trying about everything to get their attention. I get the impression that TT thinks this team is like prior years', they can just turn it on when they want to - - but this team does not have that level of talent.

I'm optimistic that Self will get this thing going in the right direction or some guys will be riding the bench. TRob is a stud but he will need some help on the boards down the road.

actorman 6 years, 4 months ago

You act like the team meeting was before this game. The team meeting was before the last game, and they played great against Howard. Unfortunately a lot of them then promptly forgot about everything that they had done well against Howard and didn't come to play against ND.

But I'm still encouraged because of the tremendous play of T-Rob and TT. And somehow I also have the feeling that they will be a little more fired up to play KSUck than they were to play ND. Let's face it, they just played to the level of their competition in this one.

txjhawk77 6 years, 4 months ago

Not sure you can say they played great against a team that was no competition.

They are just not aggressive - haven't been in most games this year. It's not a team with a real instinct of what to do.

Lot's of talk. Not so much on the follow through.

Let the real season begin. I sure hope someone besides Robinson decides to show up consistently.

WilburNether 6 years, 4 months ago

Self was VERY negative on the play of everyone except Taylor, Johnson, Releford, and Robinson in his post-game comments. He basically said that he left those four in the game for as long as he did because no one else played worth a darn. And, sadly, he was absolutely right.

Wednesday will be a real gut check for this team, and after yesterday.....well.....we'll see.

Todd Mobray 6 years, 4 months ago

Coach Self just about made me a liar, but he finally made his annual December "soft on the inside" statement on the 31st.

Good thing college player's idea of history is about 5 weeks long or these kids might catch on and notice that HCBS points that out this time every year. (Not that its not true with this group...)

Alohahawk 6 years, 4 months ago

It's a new year and no one's getting any younger. At this rate Self may end up with a head full of gray hair, instead of the rumored toupee, before March rolls around.

He must be getting tired of barking up this tree. The bench is going to have to branch out with some heavy timber, and sprout some new leaves. Either that, or Self will bencherize their a**es till they're full of splinters. They'll wish they had packed their trunks to provide shade in a different forest.

Aha!! Maybe it's time to truly Hudyize some of those faux Sequoia Jayhawks. If they aren't learning fast enough or expending enough energy on the court, make them experience more time in the weight room.

Bion Ostrander 6 years, 4 months ago

Duh! So your point actorman is that the players need to have one of those player's only meetings before "every" game! The meetings dumba$$ are intended to be few and far between, and serve as "periodic" reminders of what they each need to do going forward for "every" game to be successful - - not to have meetings before every game. Players' only meetings before every game would be idiotic and would certainly lose their effect (if they even have any) after several times.

So you are impressed with beating Howard, mighty low expectations. In case you didn't get the memo, K-State beat Howard by about the same score that KU did, so that was not a great feat.

"Just play to the level of the competition"... has gotten KU some monumental losses against VCU, Northern Illinois, that is nothing to shrug and dismiss with this team.

KU will need more than TRob and TT to play well going forward, although those two should take the most shots on the team.

Howard game, EJ takes 9 shot attempts and TRob 6 attempts, Southern Cal game, EJ takes 11 attempts and TRob 12. I don't care by how much KU beats lousy teams like Howard and N. Dakota, if you start developing bad habits in those games they carry over to the real games.

And if you think EJ taking the same or more shots than TRob is a winning recipe for this team, well, you can take what you know about b-ball and put it in a thimble....

rockchalkchalkin23 6 years, 4 months ago

Insinuate much?

Player meetings aren't worthless, and actorman is right as far as the team meeting being before Howard, not ND. I got the memo. So winning by 19 points more and doing it with the scrubs in the last 8 minutes is about the same result? That's the same surface sightseeing you make here: "I know its gross over-simplification, but remove TRob from this game and KU loses to ND. Withey was worthless."

"Just play to the level of the competition". If you're going to quote someone, please quote them. Most people on here are JHN, couldn't you be a little more civilized and not call them names?

bad_dog 6 years, 4 months ago

"In case you didn't get the memo, K-State beat Howard by about the same score that KU did, so that was not a great feat."

KU 89, Howard 34. 55 point differential KSU 82, Howard 46. 36 point differential. KU scores 7 more than KSU and allows 12 less. That's a net 19 point difference in the two team's performances. KU has the larger differential versus an opponent that was arguably a little fresher/less road weary than they were several days later.

scraptown 6 years, 4 months ago

So what are your thoughts on the long beach game? K-state dominated them on a truly neutral court an the hawks eeked by them at afh.

bad_dog 6 years, 4 months ago

Given the comparitive scores I thought K-State must have played a great game. Don't get me wrong by virtue of my comment above regarding Howard-that was merely directed toward rcc23's conclusions. I didn't get to see the KSU-LBS game but was impressed by the outcome.

I'm not making any predictions but we'll get to see who the better team is next week, Scrappy ;-)

actorman 6 years, 4 months ago

Wow, hawster, Have we not taken our meds today? Are we being just a WEE bit defensive???

Where did I say anything about them needing to have a meeting before every game? All I said was that you were acting like the meeting had happened before the ND game instead of the Howard game.

But I guess because I responded to your post by pointing out something that I disagreed with, that was reason enough for you to lash out at me like a 5-year-old. Well, hey, if that's what it takes for you to feel better about yourself, then go for it.

rcaltrider 6 years, 4 months ago

If you don't have the ball, you can't put it in the hoop. And rebounding is about positioning, TOUGHNESS, and being strong with the ball. And if you don't rebound, you don't have the ball...and therefore you can't put it in the hoop. But of course, I'm sure you know much more about basketball than HCBS, so we should probably listen to you instead.

Ron Franklin 6 years, 4 months ago

Max- you obviously don't play ball if you believe your own words. Toughness is he most important ingredient to defensive stops, rebounding, defending shot clock for 35 seconds, fighting through screens, staying in defensive stance even after you've played 35 minutes. Let me see you box out Trob and then tell me toughness doesn't matter.

Dan Harris 6 years, 4 months ago

Yeah because all those high scoring teams from when Roy was here won how many championships??

Mike Gammill 6 years, 4 months ago

HCBS is right about his team. I see turnovers, sloppy play, missed layups, and put backs. One more thing is one too many passes in the paint, when open shots are passed up and given to men who are covered. This kind of play won't work in the conference, or in the big dance.

This should have been even more of a cream puff game than it was. Good teams hang a hundred plus on teams like NDU. The brightest spot so far seems to be the overall defense, save the rebounding.

Right now, for this 10 minutes, I see a third or fourth place finish in the conference, based on the way we play right now. Let's hope it improves soon.

wildjayhawk 6 years, 4 months ago

Brady wasn't a shooter anyway, he couldn't hit anything. He went to that three point contest on ESPN and he came in last out of 10. He was a cluts out there. Another reason that Self isn't recruiting the correct players which he has been the last 3-4 years or we wouldn't be in this mess we are in now. Tharpe isn't the answer with what we see so far.

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