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Saturday, February 5, 2011

KU to clash with confident NU

Kansas forward Thomas Robinson roars after a dunk and a foul against Nebraska during the second half on Saturday, Jan. 15, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Thomas Robinson roars after a dunk and a foul against Nebraska during the second half on Saturday, Jan. 15, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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— A three-point victory, 46 percent shooting from the floor, 53 percent shooting from the free-throw line and just 25 points in the first half.

Those were the facts the last time the Kansas University men’s basketball team faced off against Nebraska — Jan. 15 at Allen Fieldhouse — and KU coach Bill Self remembers them all too well.

“They definitely got our attention,” Self said of the Cornhuskers, who will play host to KU at 3 p.m. Saturday in Devaney Center. “There’s no question about that. We were fortunate to win the first time, and we know that this will be probably as hard a game as we’ve played all year.”

The reasons for that are many, but they start and end with Nebraska’s defense. In the first half of the first meeting, Kansas trailed by as many as eight points, including a 30-25 deficit at the half, and shot just 33 percent from the floor during the first 20 minutes.

“They’re a great defensive team, first and foremost,” said junior forward Marcus Morris, who led KU with 16 points and 11 rebounds in the win. “They double-team the post, and their guards are very scrappy, and they do a lot of help defense that’s good for them.”

Senior Tyrel Reed also pointed to NU’s defense as the thing that stood out from the previous meeting.

“I thought they played great defensively against us,” Reed said. “It was an extremely tough game in the fieldhouse, and they weren’t rattled by our fans or things like that.”

That was what got KU’s attention the most. Annually, teams come into Allen Fieldhouse thinking they won’t be intimidated by the historic arena only to discover otherwise once they’re running up and down the floor.

In January, Nebraska (15-6, 3-4) did not appear to be fazed in Lawrence. Nebraska’s ability to perform so well in such a hostile setting should have the Huskers prepared for today’s rematch.

“The thing about the Nebraska players is, I think they probably think they can beat us,” Self said. “I think they came in here believing they could beat us and came very, very close to doing so. Their players should be as confident as they’ve ever been playing us, and our players have to respect that.”

Today’s game will represent the final meeting between KU and Nebraska as members of the same conference, something that Nebraska fans might consider to be good news. Since the inception of the Big 12 in 1997, KU owns a 30-3 record against the Cornhuskers. Included in that record is a stretch of 16 straight victories, dating back to the 2004 season. Overall, KU leads the series 169-71, but the Jayhawks aren’t expecting those numbers to intimidate the Huskers today.

“I don’t think they’ve backed down to any of their competition,” Reed said. “I don’t think that Nebraska looks at playing Kansas and is scared or anything like that. They’re going to be ready to play, and it’s definitely going to be a tough game for us.”

Added Morris: “I found out that they haven’t lost at home, and it’s definitely going to be a great environment. Their fans are gonna be amped and into it, and hopefully the fans that we have there will be amped and into it. It’s going to be a great game, and it’s gonna be a great test for us.”

Senior guard Lance Jeter leads Nebraska in scoring at 10.9 points per game, just ahead of senior center Jorge Brian Diaz, who averages 10.5 ppg. Diaz is shooting 55.4 percent from the field, averages 4.5 rebounds per game and is second on the team with 22 blocked shots. Jeter leads NU with 91 assists and 41 steals. Junior guard Toney McCray is next in scoring at 7.0 ppg.

“They may not score a lot of points, as far as having one guy go out and get 25 or whatever,” Self said. “They have balance, where a bunch of guys score more than eight, kind of like we had in ’08, to be honest with you. Our leading scorer averaged 13, but it could be a different guy (every night).”

Most nights, that’s Jeter, who scored 13 points on 5-of-10 shooting against the Jayhawks in January.

“It seems like to me, as he goes, so go the Huskers,” Self said of Jeter.

The Jayhawks did not seem too sentimental about traveling to Lincoln, Neb., for the final time, but Self did address the future of the series. Asked if he could envision playing the Cornhuskers as part of the nonconference schedule somewhere down the road, Self said: “I don’t know. It’d probably be fine with Doc, and it’d be fine with me. But I don’t see it happening in the near future. If anything, I think we should play Colorado because, to me, Colorado gives our fans in the western part of the state a chance to be a semi-home game. I think the Colorado game would probably benefit the masses more.”

Comments

Funhawk 10 years, 10 months ago

KU pounded the Huskers 72-44 in one of the most fun NU games. Hot headed Joe Cipriano was out of control, running onto the court after Norm Cook made a great defensive play. One of the referees kept slapping the Nebraska coach with technicals for his behavior. Finally, after the fourth technical assessed to their coach, smokin' Joe was ejected from the game. Big 8 coaches make today's coaches look like choir boys. KU fun guy Roger Morningstar was high point man with 19 points. The year was 1975. Betcha Hawk historian Jaybate was there, and so long Cornhuskers, its been fun.

jaybate 10 years, 10 months ago

Not only was I there, I am who put a gob of Atomic Balm on Slippery Joe's bench seat that caused him to go ballistic and be ejected.

And that's the rest of the story. :-)

Saguaro_Jayhawk 10 years, 10 months ago

Pretty sure Jerry Menz was the Big 8 ref who gave Slippery Cip the ziggy in that game. It got so out of hand that even Tom King and Dale Ladner from Ulysses played minutes that game.

Ah the days of Owens' Kansas teams playing a 2-3 zone for a majority of the game against an opponent with less on-the-court talent. That was always a head-scratcher to me.

omng392 10 years, 10 months ago

I was born a year after that game... Man I feel young... :>) Here in Omaha and can't wait to talk smack come Monday!!! Then I can't wait to talk smack to my MU wife on Tuesday!!!

Brandon Meek 10 years, 10 months ago

Wait, you married a Fizzou fan / alum...?

Steve Corder 10 years, 10 months ago

I was at that game. I recall the score was close at the time when A. Nash? stole the ball from NU around half court and was fouled while making the lay-up. Cipriano indeed raced to the jump circle stompping mad/crazy. I thought they "T-d" him up 3 times (maybe it was 4) then ejected him. We made all FTs. Got the ball w/the Tech and scored too. It was the ball game.

It was better than any baseball manager tantrum with an umpire I've ever seen.

But the amazing thing was that Cipriano's reaction was in keeping with his demeanor and reputation.

The only other conference coach that comes to mind was Billy Tubbs at OU. He was simply rude, crude and one big time jerk (and it was contagious within his team). Gave us one half (as Jack Mitchell coined it) of the peace sign when they beat us in Lawrence in 1988. It made the Natl Champ game all the more enjoyable. Just thinking of that man makes my blood pressure rise a little.

Saguaro_Jayhawk 10 years, 10 months ago

For the 3 technical fouls, Rick Suttle made 3 out of 4 FT attempts. The reason he had 4 instead of 3 attempts was one was a flagrant technical foul.

The original poster had it right in that the play involved Norm Cook blocking a layup by an NU player [maybe Bob Siegel, but not 100% positive?], the ball remained live as the Jays grabbed the loose ball. Then Cip bolted onto the court, insisted his guy was fouled by Cook and it escalated from there.

YuCoJayHawk 10 years, 10 months ago

Couldn't agree with you more Bill! Since I grew up in western Kansas and now live in eastern Colorado, would love to see the Jayhawks occasionally come to Boulder to play! Allen Fieldhouse West and the "Rock Chalk" chant go great together. I've yet to see the Jayhawks play in Lawrence, but I'll get there someday. Bill will have em geared up for this game at Nebraska. Only beat them by 3 at home, Nebraska is 14-0 at home this year, and will probably be the last time to play the bugeaters for a LONG time. KU 70 NU 59

jaybate 10 years, 10 months ago

Wasn't this a wonderful passive aggressive slap in the face to Nebraska.

God bless, Bill Self.

Boulder Juco (BCC) is a good viewing opp for Western Kansans and BCC hired a KU man to coach now, so Self would rather play the Buffs.

James Miller 10 years, 10 months ago

I thought it was pretty straight up F&^% You Nebraska. Most Big 12 fans feel that the Cornhuskers are traitors...they took the easy way out to play in the watered down Big 10...uh...Big 11...uh...Big 12...whatever. Colorado does make more sense. Even though they took the easy way out also, it is like adding another home game on the schedule.

Saguaro_Jayhawk 10 years, 10 months ago

Seriously doubt Kansas would schedule NU for a future OoC hoops or football game. If there was a 5* hoops recruit from NE, Creighton would likely be first choice for a "homecoming" game for such a recruit.

Kyle Sybesma 10 years, 10 months ago

Living in Denver I would be all for the Jayhawks coming to Boulder. Since we all know (and I hope the new AD knows) that the Big 12 life span is short I can only hope that we can join the future PAC 12 so we can come back to Boulder on a consistent basis.

kusayzone 10 years, 10 months ago

Control Diaz with defense , drive the basket on offense, game over. KU72 Nu 55.

jaybate 10 years, 10 months ago

"jaybate's Tinictin Pre-Game Moment:"

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Content:

Erin Andrews is asked by her bosses to help spike ratings by broadcasting an outdoor interview of Doc Sadler in 3 feet of snow, while wearing a see through spandex leotard. Things go waaaaaaaay wrong, however, when sub zero temperatures cause the leotard to first freeze and fog over, and then shatter and split. Doc has a coronary as the suddenly nude, but ever poised Andrews asks Doc why he can never beat Self. Paramedics arrive on the scene and revive Sadler with paddles, while treating the broadcastrix Erin for frost bite on her greater trochanters. Eastern Sports Network ratings triple and Andrews get a 5 year extention on her contract, while Doc is offered his own weekly segment on ESN Sports Center in which he is to be de-fibrolated and re-fibrolated live by cheerleaders from schools participating in the game of the week.

(Note: All Fiction. No malice)

FairgroveJayhawk 10 years, 10 months ago

That Funny! Brings to mind the commonly used pic of Doc, open-mouthed and in disbelief.

YuCoJayHawk 10 years, 10 months ago

You have to speculate on the departure of Colorado and Nebraska in Big 12 basketball as far as KU is concerned. KU holds unbelieveable win marks vs. Colorado and Nebraska (and KSt for that matter) over the last 20 years. With Colorado and Nebraska gone, you would think the overall strength of the league would be much greater in basketball, as those two were typically two of the worst of the big 12. But with KU playing everyone in the league next year with home and away's, you might wonder if KU won't be able to keep up the dominance of several teams. The overall strength of the big 12 North was probably weaker than the big 12 South for most years.....but with all that considered, playing Texas, A&M, Baylor, Oklahoma, Ok St, and Tex Tech twice a year will probably help KU from a competition standpoint going forward....

waywardJay 10 years, 10 months ago

especially if the former south turns on a dime..... Oklahoma schools bring in coaches that make the conference a little bit more salty....

Think Billy Gillespie to Replace Knight.... Think a recently fired North Carolina Coach in Roy WIlliams return to the conference he so long didn't want to be a part of.... this time taking t Boone's Oil money.

Possibly Stew Morrill of Utah State, who perrenially has a great tourney team IN Utah State that gets passed up come 65 time for some middle of the pack stinker like Maryland, or MInnesota.

Ann Oneill 10 years, 10 months ago

I don't think Roy is going anywhere. If he continues to flame out at NC, he'll just retire, and ride into the sunset as a Cackalackie.

waywardJay 10 years, 10 months ago

Flame out might be happening before our very eyes.... The Harrison barnes SHow was not as it was expected to be.... and I won't knock him too much for Larry Drew.... He can't help the fact Larry Drew will never be a college level point guard, no matter who good his dad was.

mattiesdad 10 years, 10 months ago

Very unlike Self to so openly dis a program like he did CU here. But the truth is the truth.

KU79 10 years, 10 months ago

Hilarious...he said just about everything short of "AFH-West." But if we're going to schedule a game in Colorado, how about Colorado State. We could probably get a 2 for 1, and we could move AFH-West a few miles east.

Jeremy Paul 10 years, 10 months ago

This is one of those games that makes me very nervous. I think for Nebraska, their biggest game of the year is when big, bad Kansas comes to town, and they're hoping for their "storm-the-floor" moment. Plus, the Huskers are a tough team and played very well in Allen last month. And I do like Doc Sadler-- his teams always play hard and fair, and he seems to get the most out of them even though they aren't particularly talented. With all that being said though, our Hawks are coming off their two best performances of the season and seem to be putting everything together. This should be a good test.

Dyrk Dugan 10 years, 10 months ago

KU has a knack of handing school's their first loss of the year in their own building. the 'Huskers are 14-0 in the Devaney Center....and you know Bill Self is saying the same thing to his team that he told them in Boulder..."don't be the team to lose its last game played in this building." because definitely, this is the last time we will play in Lincoln NE...sans an NCAA tourney game.

it will be a good test nonetheless...they're a tough matchup for us, because they're so big inside....but i have a feeling, we'll play well today...and that means a W in our last visit to 'Husker land.

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 10 months ago

KU seldom plays road non-conference games. They usually have the PAC-10 hardwood series, which leads to non-conference game. They schedule one or two others, but I think the Big XII has indirectly told them (and others) not to schedule any games against NU and CU for a while.

The NU football progam is going to fall apart when they won't be able to recruit from Texas...trying to recruit from a state that you never play in will be so much more difficult, even Urban Meyer mentioned that on signing day.

Ron Franklin 10 years, 10 months ago

Don't Forget To Vote:

http://www.seniorclassaward.com/vote/mens_basketball_2010-11

you can vote from each computer in your home, once a day.

since this campaign started, tyrel has gained 5% on the competition!!!

keep it up!!

Alohahawk 10 years, 10 months ago

Thanks for the reminder, "BlownJay". Just got up and was a little hazzy, but always check this board first thing each morn. And wow, Reed is leading the pack by about 6%. I know it isn't the final decision factor, but this shows the nation we back our team like nobody else in the NCAA..Just like our string of home court sell outs, and our attendance at away games. RCJHGKU

Greg Lux 10 years, 10 months ago

I will bet all I have that Doc wants NO PART of coming back to the PHOG. He is so happy to never have to play there again he is beaming.

Rock Chalk

Jack Wilson 10 years, 10 months ago

Saw Self's comment yesterday about Releford basically having to beat someone out to get his minutes back. Here it is (first sentence is the reporter, quotes are Self):

Before the injury, Releford had begun to establish himself as one of the key members of Self’s shrinking rotation. Now, the 6-foot-5 guard is fighting to get back into it. “In tight games, I don’t want to play six perimeter players,” Self said. “So I don’t know. He’s probably gonna have to get back into that mode of either beating Mario Little out or beating one of our perimeter players out.”

I think this highlights that Self is wildly inconsistent in his approach to players and what he values on the floor. It seems that what Self supposedly values on the floor is more important when expressing the value of some guys, than others. Remember before Releford was hurt? He was the "utility" guy .. he could do some of everything. He could defend the post, play guard, rebound .. you name it. Valuable. Now, he has to earn his minutes back? What has changed in his value.

If it is simply that Releford has to show he's healthy, that makes sense. Self referenced that he wasn't 100% in a comment I did not quote, but Self's comments above have nothing to do with that. His value does not change.

I would understand Self's approach to earning minutes back if we were playing lights out. Why mess up a good thing? But we're not. Of the games against real competition (not counting the UMKCs of the world), we were only able to really put three away prior to the last five minutes (Cal/Baylor/KSU). So I think it is safe to say we can get better. The question is, without Releford, are we really as good as we can be? I don't think so.

omng392 10 years, 10 months ago

I think what it boils down to is that you have a Mario vs Releford deal. Personally, I think Releford has more upside, but I think Coach Self sees the calm, mature Mario as a player who can play those utility minutes. In my mind you have to have a eye for the hear and now and a eye for the future. Let's face it. Mario is exciting as the "Junior College's best player" hasn't shown all that much. I personally, would be playing Releford all of Mario's minutes to develop the future but that's just me, but that's why I'm typing here and not sitting on the bench playing or coach, so what do I know...

Jack Wilson 10 years, 10 months ago

(cont) Over the years we've heard from Self regarding the value of defense .. but does this apply to Releford? Prior to Releford's injury, Releford was on track to becoming our only true stopper on D. Self referenced that fact prior to the season. Many felt he was a our best defensive player. I certainly did. His size at 6-6 also provided us the ability to match-up against teams with a bigger guy at the 3 .. see Texas (wouldn't you have liked to have seen Releford on Jordan Hamilton?). And he gave us the ability to be pretty overwelming against a smaller team on that end of the floor. At 6-6, he gives us the ability to guard guys that TT and Brady just can't at 6-3. Also puzzling, when it comes to earning his minutes back, is the fact that Releford is shooting 41% from 3 range. Basically a 2 of 5 guy, that shouldn't or wouldn't shoot more than 3 - 4 per game. Releford is probably second only to Selby in his slashing ability. Curious if the 3 point shooting, slashing ability, and stout defense really have value .. or if it has value as it relates to Self's assessment of Releford. Releford apparently was so impressive in the preseason that he was a starter to begin the season. Over Brady. Over Little. So obviously his practice play is sufficient. I have seen nothing to change that initial assessment.

Oh, I know, he had some rough patches. But that reinforces my point. Self makes the initial assessment that he's a starter. Then, when there are some bumps in the road, Self can't stomach it ... even vs. some of the crap teams we played in November/December, and Releford's role decreases. I would suggest that Self's initial assessment of the guy was right, but that Self's continued pattern is to exhibit a complete lack of patience for the development of player (or some players). Self seems to simply ignore .. or generally ignore .. the rough patches of other players when it comes to playing time. Tyshawn has been given so much rope that we have lost count. And Brady just plays and plays through some pretty horrible stretches .. like most of last season. And it appears the same logic doesn't apply to Releford when it comes to experience. The guy is in his first season of any substantial playing time, yet the patience level is not near what it is, or was, with TT, Brady, Reed, or Selby. All of that is arguable, I know. But at least it seems that way.

As a complete aside, I agree that Little's mid-range game gives us an added element. (It is amazing how the game has changed, isn't it? When I played, the game WAS the mid-range game. We worked for the 15 footer. Now, with the 3 point stripe, it's the forgotten land) Little, though, is much less active than Releford and his game isn't as diverse. And he certainly isn't as good of a defender.

Hank Cross 10 years, 10 months ago

When I first saw those quotes, I thought about the old adage about an injury not costing a player his job/minutes going out the window. As you say, it would make a difference if the team was firing on all cylanders on all aspects of the game. But, this team still needs work on transition offense and slashing to the basket. Further, teams in the tourney are going to be physically and mentally tougher than the B12 teams we've been beating.

It is not just you observation that Self has a quick hook with EJ and Travis, while players like TT, Reed, and Brady get to play through far worse mistakes, it's a provable fact. (I don't have a problem letting Selby learn on the fly because his talent level is so far above the other 3 and in all likelihood we will only be able to utilize his talent for a year.)

Obviously Brady is playing much better than he did earlier, but I think there is a correlation between his performance and the poor level of competition in the B12 save UT.

Speaking of the B12 and UT, it is too bad that this isn't KU's last game in NE b/c it was KU going to the B10. I'm not a fan of the B10 and think the BE or P10 would've been better fits, but I'd like to see KU face a better level of competition in conference. KU contributes more pretige and power to B12 BB than UT does to B12 FB; and it's a shame we can't exploit that like UT does.

hawk_of_ages 10 years, 10 months ago

"poor level of competition in the B12..."

This is just laughable.

Hank Cross 10 years, 10 months ago

What's laughable is the quality of BB in this league except for KU. Fact are facts. No B12 North team (aside from KU) has ever gone to the FF in the league's existence. KU is the only B12 team to have won it in that same time frame. If you look at the total histories of the member schools, the only other B12 school which won the NCAA won it under a different name, when FDR was president. KU deserves to be in a better conference.

Jack Wilson 10 years, 10 months ago

(cont) Back to the point .. I understand Travis' injury changed things. But before his injury, his minutes were cut way, way back -- in December. Some games hardly anything. This guy gives us something, in combination of skills and size, that no one else on this team can provide us, this side of Marcus.. right? His minutes and use were increasing when he got hurt. But now, he has to beat someone out? On a team that is not playing lights out?

I am a huge Tyrel Reed fan. I admire Brady's non-stat sheet contributions (though, not near as much as some). And as mentioned, Little's midrange game is an added bonus. But can any of these guys give us what Releford can at the 3 spot? The total package?

My argument here is not to simply replace anyone now. Repeat. I am not suggesting to replace Reed, Brady, or Little ... just yet.

My argument is to give Releford back his 15 or so minutes once he is close to 100%, and let the best man win the majority of the playing time heading into March. If only it was that easy .. actually, it is that easy.

jayhawktalk 10 years, 10 months ago

Possible it's just motivational? That would be my guess. I expect TRel and Self have had a conversational something like, "Travis, we want you back, and we have talked about how important you are to this team. We need you to work hard to get back into playing shape, and to prove without a doubt you are healthy and continue to deserve the minutes I want to give you. Let's get out there and get some work done."

Also, with so many players vying for time, the default response pretty much has to be, "Everyone has to give 100 percent to prove themselves every practice and every game."

I am pretty confident Travis will respond. He seems to be a hard worker, good kid with a great attitude, fantastic teammate, and has already shown himself to be a capable contributer.

jayhawktalk 10 years, 10 months ago

Conversational = conversation... Sorry, I am pretty lazy when it comes to proofing when pondering from my bberry.

Jack Wilson 10 years, 10 months ago

It may be motivational .. but I can see where it is fact. He's compressing his rotation. I wouldn't doubt for a moment that Releford's minutes don't exceed 15 again but for a blow out game.

waywardJay 10 years, 10 months ago

Well.... you can't replace Tyshawn with Travis because of ball handling ( though you would like too.... even if stats prove you would be an idiot for thinking tyshawn is anythign more than a potential NBA point... ) You can't replace Selby as an eventually NBA point.... Which leaves Tyrel Reed, who can play any of the three positions relatively well as a starter or a back up and would provide us with unreal substitutional patterns.... But demoting Tyrel reed shouldn't ( wouldn't ?) happen in Self's world, unless Tyrel just goes plain CJ Giles.....

I've always clamoured for the "big" guard in this mix.... because we lack that... I've often wondered why not just go BIg and bring up Trob, and drop Marcus to the 3, but Marcus there woul expose us a little even if it meant relying on Little and releford as back up posts.... which I COULD stomach in foul trouble..... especially given Releford's prowess at defending the post.... It woudl certainly be interesting to see.....

Tyshawn, Josh, Travis< markieff, Marcus.... Sub Tyrel, and Thomas for first big and little not doing what self asks..... Sub Brady and ELijah where necessary....

Dirk Medema 10 years, 10 months ago

I've noticed us playing 3 bigs (Marcus at the 3) quite a bit in the latter part of some of the blow outs, and been amazed that there is no mention of it by the announcers, journo's, anyone. Coach Self seems to me to be prep'ing for the rest of the season.

Jack Wilson 10 years, 10 months ago

Imagine .. pretend .. make believe .. dream .. whatever, but imagine that Self made EJ, Selby, Releford, Marcus, and Markieff the starting lineup, most minutes, from day one (or at least added in Selby when he hit the floor).

Would we be 21-1? Would we be better now than with our current rotation make-up? Would we be a better team heading into March?

Imagine .. I think someone wrote a song about that ....

Reed, TT, TRob off the bench .. and heck, Brady, too, so as not to rile a vocal constituency.

ABeesus 10 years, 10 months ago

Excellent post; thank you. I think Self sees Releford, even when healthy, as a specific tool to be used only when a given opposing guard or small forward is outplaying ours badly. Then he's brought in to cool off that player. Otherwise, he prefers the ball distribution ability of the others, as Self's prime directive is to always get the ball inside. Outside 3's are used just enough to open the inside game. Self is a percentage playing coach. His winning percentage seems to indicate he's good at math.

waywardJay 10 years, 10 months ago

Travis Releford is more talented than just a cooler though. He deservs more props than that. He's light years better than what I expected.

Jack Wilson 10 years, 10 months ago

I generally agree with your belief that Releford isn't a primary guy to Self.

I also agree with your suggestion on Self's offensive approach.

Hope his math is good this season. It wasn't last season when it counted.

Kye Clark 10 years, 10 months ago

HighEliteMajor - I was disappointed upon hearing that comment at Self's press conference as well. However, if we look at the comment, I don't think it's as dire as you make it out to be. The key phrase for me isn't him having to beat someone out, it's "In tight games, I don’t want to play six perimeter players,”. In these games, were we likely to see Releford anyway? At this point? We could debate the validity of that strategy, but really Releford probably wasn't going to be out there at the end of tight games anyway. What the comment speaks to more than anything is that he will not develop these players during crunch time minutes. At this point in the season, I don't disagree with that position...certainly not when we're trailing a Texas team in the standings that - as Self also said in the interview - will no doubt be favored in every game they play from here on out. I know how you feel about getting these guys ready for crunch time minutes, I feel the same way to a certain extent. I was all for giving everybody some significant court minutes during the non-conference schedule (it didn't happen nearly as much as I would have liked, but that's over now). However, at some point the window for developing every player on the bench closes, and Self must work more towards getting a consistent effort from his team game in, game out. There just isn't enough developed talent that deep on the bench, and that's not just KU and Bill Self. Looking back at teams that won the championship the past several years, none appear to have regular rotations of 10 guys, and 9 appears to be rare.

Now, if we do look at the portion of his comment relating to beating someone out, he says he doesn't want to play 6 perimeter players. I think even with the ankle set-back Travis is able to beat out EJ fairly easily. Obviously Self is going to use Selby, TT, Brady, & Tyrel as his regulars. We could debate the validity of this as well (delving back into the Brady debates), but I think it would just be an academic exercise, as I don't see Self straying from those 4 guys much. That leaves Travis and Mario Little battling it out for minutes at the 3, which is kind of where we were going into the season. Here is where I hope Self uses an alternating system based on match-ups. Little is such a weapon against the zone he should get the nod there, and against teams where Travis can use his length and athleticism more, especially on the defensive end, I think he would be the choice. I don't know if Self will go that route, but that's how I see it.

Kye Clark 10 years, 10 months ago

Lastly, I think you may be over-valuing Travis. "The total package"? I like Travis a lot and think he can be a starter and quality contributor, but he isn't exactly Brandon Rush out there. I think he's a little too timid on the offensive end, settling behind the 3-point line too much (this might be related to his shrinking minutes. In that same interview Self said he has told Selby he has to be more aggressive or he can't continue to play him as many minutes. Maybe Self has said the same thing to Travis and hasn't seen it. Pure speculation, but a possibility). I also think his defensive accolades were primarily earned when he was starting at the 4 and garnering praise for denying the ball into the post (a good skill no doubt, but I don't think anyone would suggest at this point him taking minutes from the Twins or TRob to get him his minutes). I don't recall him ever matching up with a dynamic 3 this year (maybe he has and they just aren't springing to mind), but on the perimeter I would say he is an above average defender. I know the comment before the season was that Travis needs to be our shutdown defender, that he has the tools to do so, but I don't know that we ever saw him approach that level. And finally I think he's not as strong a rebounder as Self would like. Consider that Self is getting more rebounds per minute from Tyrel Reed than he is Releford. I would agree he is a better overall player than Little, but Little offers more in terms of instant offense and rebounding presence than Travis does and there are games where that would definitely be more of value. So while I share your concern regarding the comment from Bill Self, my hope is that once he is 100% we see Travis getting back some of his minutes...and from there just see how things shake out.

Jack Wilson 10 years, 10 months ago

You may be right .. I may be over-valuing him. I don't know, though. I'm an optimist, generally, and I see a lot of potential there, particularly when he came out with the 40% 3 point shooting. Perhaps I am looking at this through my own crimson and blue colored glasses, but I don't see any reason why Releford couldn't develop into a player of Rush's quality. Rush would still be the better shooter, but Releford the better take it to the hoop guy. I could see Releford exceeding his defensive skill (though Rush got pretty good) .. when I watch him, I see a guy that could for 15 per game pretty easily.

On his defensive skills, I might disagree. But you're right, until he guards a Jordan Hamilton, etc., we won't know for sure. And I like your Reed comment on his rebounding .. scrappy guy, gets to the rebounding spot based on shot angle, and gets some taken away by our bigs, or he'd have more.

KULA 10 years, 10 months ago

HEM, I think it just boils down to the fact that the wonderful Brady has actually made a few baskets in the last few games, or as jaybate would say, "He's reloaded his trey gun!!!" (after a 2 year "slump" lol). Now BS can't conceive of ANY reason to give Releford any of Brady's minutes.

Jack Wilson 10 years, 10 months ago

I sense a little cynicism .. listening to Self, he made the point that Brady hitting the 3 now makes him an even more effective post-feeder because his shot has to be respected. Clearly, Self values that post-feeder deal much more than the average coach. But that is his offense, after all. And regardless of all our protests, Brady is Self's pet player. On your slump reference ... I'm with you there. I'd posted a while back that I don't think Brady was in a slump .. but it was just his actual level of play and anything better (like CU and Tech) is actually a "hot streak." I miss our TT debates .. kind of.

Jack Wilson 10 years, 10 months ago

Above comment was reply to KULA .. hit wrong reply box.

Dirk Medema 10 years, 10 months ago

“It seems like to me, as he goes, so go the Huskers,” Self said of Jeter.

I bet this has been a conversation with TT, and could easily determine how the game ends.

Martin Rosenblum 10 years, 10 months ago

Great photo choice for this article. One #0 looking to the bench with a "what just happened?" look, and another #0 just doing his thing! Hope we see a lot of this today!

JHWK 10 years, 10 months ago

Rock Chalk! The Huskers will be looking at today's game as the biggest one circled on their season. Let's give them a farewell Jayhawk style!

Don't forget to vote for Coach Self: http://promo.espn.go.com/espn/contests/infiniti/2011/index

He's getting clobbered by calimari and Donovan.

SDSurferFan 10 years, 10 months ago

Any link available to watch online? Please...thank you!

Hank Cross 10 years, 10 months ago

KDOC will be showing it. I don't know if they carry that channel in SD. Otherwise, it's a nice day for a drive up the coast to an OC sports bar.

741hawk 10 years, 10 months ago

BlownJay I vote every day that you remind me with a link. Thanks. Rock Chalk

KU_FanSince75 10 years, 10 months ago

It shouldn't take too much to get fired up for this game! Rock Chalk----good luck Jayhawks!

Tony Bandle 10 years, 10 months ago

Kansas by a touchdown and a field goal!!

Ron Franklin 10 years, 10 months ago

so, touchdown and a PAT? or a touchdown & a 3 pt field goal:-)

Jack Wilson 10 years, 10 months ago

BlownJay -- curious if you're watching the KSU game, given you have some Wildcat dna and all .....

Ron Franklin 10 years, 10 months ago

yep. here and there and on the radio....between running kiddos around today. im just happy they are still battling & not giving up on Frank

Ron Franklin 10 years, 10 months ago

but...to add to that... I feel like things could quickly fall apart...as if they haven't enough. It takes a special type of person to respond to Franks coaching style....you can only go so long being yelled at for motivation. If they get screamed at and are winning like last year, it's all fine and dandy, but if they don't get that positive feedback in the form of a win, they get it nowhere else. imo, things then will start caving in around him.

Martin Rosenblum 10 years, 10 months ago

Does anybody know how Doc Sadler got the name "Doc"? I doubt that he's a PHD!

Martin Rosenblum 10 years, 10 months ago

Wow, what service! Thanks HEM. Now we know. Who knew? I does fit though, with his county-fied demeanor.

Woody Cragg 10 years, 10 months ago

How bout Brady spankin the ja$$ innebraska. Ha! Only fitting IMO.

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