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Kansas defeats Oklahoma State, 92-65

  • 8 p.m., Feb. 21, 2011
  • Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, KS

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Fabulous fill-in: KU’s Elijah Johnson makes most of starting opportunity

Kansas guard Elijah Johnson (15) puts up a three-pointer over the Oklahoma State defense during the second half. Johnson, starting in place of suspended Tyshawn Taylor, had 15 points in KU’s 92-65 victory Monday, Feb. 21, 2011 in Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Elijah Johnson (15) puts up a three-pointer over the Oklahoma State defense during the second half. Johnson, starting in place of suspended Tyshawn Taylor, had 15 points in KU’s 92-65 victory Monday, Feb. 21, 2011 in Allen Fieldhouse.

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Kansas defeated Oklahoma State on Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self

Kansas coach Bill Self talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 92-65 victory over Oklahoma State on Feb. 21, 2011.

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Newly suspended Tyshawn Taylor slapped his replacement in the starting lineup on the backside as Elijah Johnson checked out with a couple of minutes left in Kansas University’s 92-65 rout of Oklahoma State on Monday night in Allen Fieldhouse.

“Attaboy,” Taylor said to a grinning Johnson, who had scored a career high 15 points off 5-of-6 shooting, including 4-for-4 from three.

Johnson kept that smile on his face in the postgame interview room as he discussed perhaps his best game as a Jayhawk.

“I found out right before we came out of the locker room,” Johnson said of learning he’d open at point guard for Taylor, who coach Bill Self said has been suspended indefinitely for violating team rules.

Self wouldn’t get specific in a press release reporting the suspension or after the game.

What were Johnson’s feelings upon learning he’d be introduced as a starter for just the second time his sophomore season?

“That it was a challenge and I’d be ready for it,” Johnson said.

“I try not to think about it. I just want to be ready when my number is called,” added Johnson, who played a whopping 30 minutes.

“I knew it’d be called more often because we need somebody to fill his spot. But I didn’t talk much about it before the game. I prepare the same way every day, whether I get two minutes or 35 minutes. I just try to be ready to play.

“I thought I did well, but there’s stuff I can improve on,” he continued. “I went 3-3 (actually three assists, two turnovers). I threw the ball away a couple of times, two to three unforced turnovers I felt we could have had four more points there.”

Johnson — he was overshadowed a bit by Marcus Morris, who had 27 points, and Thomas Robinson, who scored six points and grabbed six rebounds just 10 days after undergoing knee surgery — was most proud of his defense.

Johnson opened on OSU sharpshooter Keiton Page, who scored eight points off 2-of-11 shooting. Page had three points the first half as KU blazed to a 52-28 lead.

“It’s all I really cared about tonight,” Johnson said. “I didn’t care about starting or scoring or nothing. I knew Tyshawn wouldn’t be here to stop him, so I knew I had to be there. I knew it’d reflect on me (badly) if I didn’t (slow him). I didn’t want that bad name. I wanted to make a statement, kind of like against Pullen (Jacob, whom Johnson guarded with some success at K-State, with Pullen scoring most of his 38 off Taylor).”

The fact Johnson started was something of a fluke.

Self had decided to open at the point with Josh Selby (seven points, three assists, 20 minutes), but those plans switched.

“Josh was at shootaround and didn’t have his special orthotic. It was in his other shoe at his mother’s,” Self said. Selby wears an orthotic in his right shoe to help soothe the pain of his stress reaction.

“We decided to go live 10 minutes, and he couldn’t go live, so that’s when we decided to go with Eljah. It was a good decision because I thought Elijah played great.

“We haven’t had good point-guard defensive play consistently like we should. This was by far the best anybody has done being sound on a guy. I thought he played smart and did a good job defensively.”

As far as the future, Self said, “Hopefully this will be a confidence boost for him moving forward. I will not make any brash statements who will be starter the rest of the season, but the ball is definitely in his (Johnson’s) court. He has a chance to be if he continues to perform like that.”

He was more than happy to praise Johnson on a night the Jayhawks improved to 26-2 overall and 11-2 in the league.

“Look at how Elijah stepped up. You talk about making the most of an opportunity,” Self said. “I’m hoping he can bottle that. He’s not always going to make shots, but that was the best defense without gambling that anybody has played on the other team’s point guard in a long time.

“I think he (Johnson) is a little hesitant. He plays not to screw up. He has a tendency to get in his own way sometimes. He’s been good, though. Even at K-State when he got the technical for screaming after his dunk, he was by far the best perimeter player in that game. Making shots covers up a lot of ills, but I thought he was good, even if the ball didn’t go in the hole tonight.”

Morris exploded for 17 points the first half off 6-of-9 shooting (2-for-3 from three) as hot-shooting KU led, 52-28, at halftime.

He was the only Jayhawk in double figures in the initial half, though five players had five or more points, including Robinson, who just 10 days after surgery to repair a torn meniscus had six points and three boards in seven minutes.

Johnson had six points the first half with two assists and one turnover the first half.

KU hit 56.3 percent of its first-half shots to 45.5 percent for OSU. Marshall Moses scored 16 of the ’Pokes’ 28 points.

Moses finished with 27 points as OSU hit 42.9 percent of its shots to KU’s 54.4.

Marcus Morris scored seven points and Markieff five as KU led, 12-8, at 15:54.

Robinson entered at 13:34, immediately hitting a jumper and free throw as KU built a 24-17 lead at 12:05.

Up 24-19, KU went on runs of 12-0 and 18-2 to grab a 42-21 lead, effectively putting the game out of reach with 4:54 left in the first half. Marcus Morris had seven points (he also missed a dunk), Little five and Robinson and Johnson three in the 18-2 run.

KU will meet Oklahoma at 3 p.m. Saturday in Norman, Okla.

Interactive Timeline

2010-11 KU men's basketball timeline

Comments

Ralster Jayhawk 3 years, 2 months ago

The girl of the moment is a fun discussion. I recall similar nationwide sensation from the KU@Texas ESPN game last year regarding the "redhead" (Ariel Angelovich), also similarly endowed. (Ahem!...) And out of respect, shall only mention Lacey Reed in passing--we wish her well.

Unfortunately, that is immediately contrasted mentally with the all-too-real image of Holly Rowe. Sadness. Holly can you rowe yer boat elsewhere? Nope, cuz its a battleship. We get the BB team...not the A team (erin Andrews). And wont fit thru the Panama Canal to go from coast2coast, so stuck with us doing Midwest games...beached! Perhaps she liked Sherron so much as she realized he had very similar likes as she did. Ever being the optimist, I can report there's still time for a turnaround. Right f-u-l-l rudder, all ahead flank speed...uh, double-flank speed...

(all above is satire based solely on my imperfect memory of bygone recollections...)

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Brian Powell 3 years, 2 months ago

Let me just reiterate that EJ has been playing well all season, on O and D. Whoever says he was one of our worst perimeter defenders, before the KSU game, hasn't been keying on him when he's on the floor. He's played pretty good on-ball D all year.

I remember trying to point that out about 5 games ago, and Jesse countered that it was just his efficient offense that puts him in the game. I think without his guard D, he doesn't get nearly the minutes that he has so far. I was dying for him to play more last year, so when he started to get more minutes this year I watched him on the court--and was impressed by his hustle on the D end.

As far as 'well if he was that good all along, he'd have been starting before now' -- that's mostly bogus. TT's starting job was his, and his largely because of seniority, and it was/is his to lose. (Our depth at guard spots doesn't help EJ's chances, of course). It's very very rare for one of our younger guys to leapfrog another player in their position. The difference in ability or performance has to be HUGE, and here it's not.

EJ's just a year behind. Considering that, he's just as good all-around, relatively speaking, as TT or just about any other guard on the team.

Next year, you'll start to see Selby overtake and become the go-to guy over EJ and TT. Whether that's the official PG spot, I dunno, but he will be a monster next season.

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John Randall 3 years, 2 months ago

Some players just have IT. Some players never get IT.

Exactly what is IT, that is so natural for some but so elusive for others?

Where do you find IT? How do you build IT?

Well, I can answer the question of where to find it . . .

. . . IT is right in the middle of attITude . . .

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Martin Rosenblum 3 years, 2 months ago

It's oddly satisfying to have these 1, 2 and 3 word posts from Jaybate. He is, after all, the "Poster Laureate" of this site. The newfound trend of brevity and succinct comments is creating a balance that may have been lacking in the past.

In a democracy, freedom to express one's self is a precious gift. Jaybate may have his detractors, but he's taking advantage of the gift with more sensitivity and responsibility now than ever before and it has been favorably acknowledged by many.

As Tyshawn was reported to have said to EJ "Attaboy"!

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KU 3 years, 2 months ago

EJ played a nice game. Don't get too excited. (Remember the overreaction to Selby's debut.) He was guarding a slow, short white kid from a small town in Oklahoma who happens to have a good spot-up shot. It was a perfect match-up for EJ to look good. Yes, he played with good energy and tried to stay dialed in on defense, the one thing that keeps Tyshawn from being a good guard more than anything.

On top of that, his perimeter shot was falling on this night. Big deal. He's an OK shooter on a typical night. His points are not what KU needs from a point guard.

It's ALL about match-ups and CONSISTENCY over TIME. If EJ were a good match-up against premier guards and was consistent in practice, he would have been starting all along.

I still see a kid that is VERY loose with the handle and never knew a bad pass he didn't want to make. I'm not talking about passes that are well-intentioned.....I'm talking about just throwing the ball to nobody out of the blue. Against quicker guards, he still struggles to play sound, fundamental defense.

Still, I hope we get a heavy dose of EJ the next couple of games. The TRUE test will be when he goes into Columbia. If he can play like a man over there, he might be what we need at the point.

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AsadZ 3 years, 2 months ago

Check out this video. Its thrilling. Its awesome for them to show a glimpse of Ted Boyle and highlight the former players who were in attendance.

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jayhawkinnebr 3 years, 2 months ago

Well, its about time Self got his head out and put Johnson in the game for a lot of mins. Now just put Budweiser Brady's @ss on the bench and leave him there.

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HawkBBall 3 years, 2 months ago

When was the last time Brent Musburger was in the sun? Do they put powder on his face?

Who gave Tyshawn a western shirt?

Kudos to the cheerleader recruiter.

Kudos to the sideline cameraman for getting the right angle.

When is the next flash dance, or whatever you call it?

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Justin Carlson 3 years, 2 months ago

Congrats EJ! But lets not jump the gun! I think last night was a little fools gold! Think about Keaton page isnt Pullen and OSU defensively is not even close to KSU or Texas "D" ! Go back and watch the KSU game and the Texas game! Both teams (texas and KSU) were putting pressure on us clear out to half court. OSU allowed us to get comfortable in our offense and OSU's zone was awful! I am not yet convinced that EJ is the savior but I will not take anything away from his solid performance. But the cowboys defense was a C- to a D at best.

Josh Selby I think is a #1 recruit that is pouting on a team that plays team basketball and he thought he could handle a role and the fact is he can't. Frowning and pouting up by 25pts. because you cant get your own offense going.

Selby probably was told on his mom's couch that he would be: 1. Starter 2. Go to guy by Christmas 3. Averaging at least 30 minutes/game 4. Averaging a minumum of 18-20pts/game. 5. Leading the team down the Big 12 stretch as the point guard!

With all of this recruiting couch/coach speak JS right now has none of the above 5 guarentees. He has not excepted the team concept and never will. He wants to SCORE period!

LETS LOOK AT THE JS TIMELINE Game (USC) #1. His first game back after his suspension he was the most popular player not only in Jayhawk country probably in all of college basketball.

Cal - ISU was solid nothing flashy

Nebraska 13 mins to many selfish shots and Self lost faith in him! Routinely yanked him out of the game at the end because he didnt trust him!

Injury missed 3 games

Then the last 3 games marginly sub minutes!

I think Self doesn't care who he is! HCBS wants to win! And if JS wants to pout I respect Self for sitting him at the end of the bench with Juenemann.

Your thoughts!

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jaybate 3 years, 2 months ago

~In dishonor of this season exceeding my greatest fears about the spread of XTReme Cheap Shotting, I want to announce that jaybate will soon be turning over the first spade of soil on an earth art work called "The XTReme Cheap Shotting Hall of Maim."

It will be located on an inholding parcel in some BLM lands between Area 51 and earth artist Michael Heiser's phenomenal "City Complex" that he has been working now for about 30 years in Nevada.

jaybate's "Hall of Maim" will be comprised of many giant earth sculptures of ruptured organs, blown knees, and at least one 60 feet tall eye socket cracked and with a detached retina hanging out. The entry to the site will be distinguished by a row of giant heads a la Easter Island commemorating the game's greatest cheap shotting coaches. Heads finished so far include Bob Knight, Coach Consonants, Lute Olson and now Jay Richardhead of Villainousnova.

As per conventions of the greatest earth art works, the exact location of the Hall of Maim is remote and secret. Part of the experience it is the struggle to first get to the general location and then the arduous trek to actually find it.

Read below for advanced praise of the the XTReme Cheap Shotting Hall of Maim earth art project:

"It is beyond my own Guernica. jaybate doesn't seek earth art about cheap shotting, he finds it!" --the late Pablo Picasso, ass bandit and occassional painter

"Let me put this so even an ignoramus that relies on Time Magazine for news will grasp it: jaybate's Hall of Maim eclipses "The Lightening Rod Field" as the single greatest earth art exhibit ever." --Robert Hughes, form Time Magazine art critic, and authority on grilling shrimp on a barbie

"Next to my John Brown Mural in the Kansas state capital building, the greatest work of art with any relation at all to Kansas ever." --the late John Steuart Curry, regionalist better than Thomas Hart Benton

"Almost as beautiful as Warren." --Kansan Annette Benning Beatty, Sunflower hottie and actress

"Moldo Buono. I couldn't have done half as well." --the late Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, stone mason and kitch painter

"I hated it, because jaybate out-tongue-in-cheeked me." --Jeff Koons, fake artist

"Not bad for not throwing art randomly at canvas and calling it art." --the late Jackson Pollack, artist

"If he had done it out of wood with a lot of fantastically annoying detail like I did, it would have been a masterpiece." --the late Louise Nevelson, artist

"Whatta vonce!" --Julian Schnabel, artist and fake director

"I don't get the joke and that's the joke. Its post, post, post modern." --Michael Graves, designer who

"I should never have left The Wheel." --Paul Ruud, actor, neutralist,

(Note: all fiction. No malice.)

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jaybate 3 years, 2 months ago

"Think Next: OU and the jaybate Hall of Maim"

~Jeff Capel is a dead coach walking.

~He blew it with good talent.

~He's proving he can't recruit now that the Duke glow is off him."

~He can't get a lot out of lesser talent.

~He can't do anything now, but help Coach Weasel-Faced Consonants by cheap shotting KU into more injuries in order to get an assisstant spot back in Durham.

~My love for Jeff Capel knows no de minimus.

~I thought he was a jerk when he was hired.

~Now I think he's incompetant, too.

~If KU can beat Capel's OU team by 40 points it would be a very good thing for college basketball. The only thing better would be to beat Coach Weasel Faced Consonants by 40 in a national title game.

~But the Jayhawks have to be prepared for their biggest dose of XTReme Cheap Shotting yet. Players will be injured in this KU-OU game. It is going to happen.

~Speaking of cheap shotting, Villanova and Coach Jay Richardhead have move into a neck and neck race with Weasel Face and Duke for biggest bunch of XTReme Cheap Shotters. Anyone see that Villanousnova big layout the Syrexcuse player on ESPN last night? That actually gets my nomination for cheapest shot of the season so far in a season brimming with cheap shots.

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Andy Tweedy 3 years, 2 months ago

EJ was great tonight! I'm not sure he can keep up that kind of shooting, in fact I highly doubt it. But if he can continue to guard like that, he'll certainly get his minutes. I have to think the happiest guy in Lawrence is Brady. All the Brady haters have taken up shop in the TT hater club! What I personally got out of last night, more than how great EJ played, was that we may have found a pretty good option at the PG for next year. One other thing. Did anybody notice the swoop neck red Jayhawk shirt sitting behind Coach Knight when they were focusing on him last night? I must know if I was the only one...

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Lebowski 3 years, 2 months ago

Tyshawn is in no position to be giving out an "attaboy"..

I think last night was the best game of TT's career. I'd like to see more of it!!

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HawkKlaw 3 years, 2 months ago

Right before the game I was really hoping that Self would go with Elijah over Selby. Selby is pretty selfish (no pun intended). Like Mario Little, when Selby gets the ball all he's thinking about is scoring. Not the team winning. Selby's usually thinking about his draft spot. Besides the fact that he's a ball hog, he also plays terrible defense and turns the ball over too much. Really, the only good thing about Selby is his ability to shoot from anywhere. Elijah is definitely better right now than Selby in my opinion, so I think he should continue to start and get most of the minutes while Tyshawn is out. And honestly, if Tyshawn doesn't step up his D, I think Elijah should be the full-time starter. But then again, Tyshawn is Self's favorite guard (Bill Self's favorite thing to say..."Tyshawn is so athletic..."), so he will probably get the spot back when he returns. But a huge "congrats" goes out to Elijah for leading KU to victory.

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Vincent Patterson 3 years, 2 months ago

soswalt4 - "Keiton Page and Holly Rowe should make little piglets together"

Hilarious!

Some great posts on here today. I agree, Selby looked very frustrated on the bench last night. I just hope it's because he's frustrated that he's not healthy or healing fast enough and not with Self. I don't blame Self for not playing him any longer than he did though. We were in control of the game and there was no need to push it and cause further injury. And now Selby gets some more time to heal.

Great game by EJ. Hope Self continues with him at the point, but after what I saw when TT was suspended last year, I wouldn't bank on it! TT is his man.

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Scott Oswalt 3 years, 2 months ago

I just heard a rumor that TT had intercourse with MB inside AFH. I wonder how much truth that has behind it......

It makes sense.....

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Bill Shaw 3 years, 2 months ago

Yes, finally a game with no TT turnovers! Been waiting for that for a while.

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jebloom22 3 years, 2 months ago

TT is actually trending at #3 on Yahoo right now.

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kufankam 3 years, 2 months ago

i think people (especially BOB KNIGHT) are a little off when they are reading into Selby's frustrations. i think he seems more frustrated with "his game being just a bit off" or "his shots just seemed to rim out". normally when a player is frustrated with his playing time or how things are going, they start taking quick shots and not looking for their teammates. they kind of take on that, "i'm gonna get mine" demeanor. that has not ever appeared to be the case with selby. i don't see him pouting when he comes to the bench or appearing to not be excited when his teammates make a great play. when he makes a pass and someone gets a bucket, he often times looks very excited to be out there. i know when i played and shots just didn't seem to fall, it just made me go nuts. i think that those chippy's not falling is more of selby's body language than a dissatisfaction with playing time or KU overall. he is really close a lot of the time. just like self says, "made buckets cures a lot of ills." i think that if the lid comes off for him and some of his shots in the lane start dropping, his on court disposition will brighten up.

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KULA 3 years, 2 months ago

Really glad to hear Knight and Musberger point out twice last nite that Tyshawn's violation was not serious. The fact that they emphasized it means they probably got the info from a reliable source--maybe Bill himself. That, coupled with Tyshawn's body language early in the game makes me believe he'll be back soon. (Can't believe so many posters just want him to go away and don't mince words about it. The kid's like 57-5 as a starting point guard--whaddya want?).

On another body language note, interesting to see Ty's change as the game wore on and EJ continued to perform well. Hopefully it'll motivate. And EJ did have a great game. Granted, it was against a pretty inferior opponent, but still, makes me wonder why he can't get off Bill's bench. Only makes me question Bill judgement even more (than I usually do, lol).

On a recruiting note, judging by Josh's body language, I can't imagine him advising any MacDonald's All American to come to Kansas.

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Kye Clark 3 years, 2 months ago

Good analysis by kushaw. I've been a pretty big critic of EJ all year long, but it was good to see him play well last night. I think the negatives you listed are spot on, but I thought it was still a huge net gain from what we've been getting out of that position. It was only one game so I'm tempering my enthusiasm a bit (not ready to declare he has "arrived" just yet). Lest we forget that Tyshawn has had some good games this year, so one game does not a definitive statement make.

Much like HEM, I still believe Selby should be our starting PG. Unfortunately for him, he would have been had he not forgot his orthotic. I think it was this missed opportunity that led to him appearing angry or frustrated. I still like his aggressiveness trying to drive the lane, and considering he has only played in 16 games I think it's only a matter of time before the game slows down enough for him to the point that more of those drives result in positives.

So...now what does Self do? I would assume Taylor will miss at least one more game, so there will be at least one more game for EJ & Selby to audition for the starting PG role. If EJ can come close to matching his defensive effort from tonight I would guess Self will give him the reigns. And while I have said that I prefer Selby in that role, I wouldn't be displeased with this situation. It would be a little puzzling to me - a guy in EJ that Self barely gave a chance once Selby became eligible, and having played behind Tyshawn all year, suddenly being given his coach's confidence so close to tournament time. Would this be an admission of Self of having mis-managing his guards? Or simply a case of Self finally finding a line-up combination he's comfortable with on a very deep team (albeit only finding this line-up when his hand had been forced due to injuries and suspensions)?

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CRIMSONnBLUE 3 years, 2 months ago

I agree with all this and I'm happy for EJ but did anyone else notice Mario Little's efforts on the glass? That kid was a rebounding machine for about a 6 minute stretch. Unfortunately because he didn't do as much on offense it went unnoticed.

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SDSurferFan 3 years, 2 months ago

Knight is starting to have a soft spot for Ku. If we play like that it's going tO be a good March.

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Bryan Barnes 3 years, 2 months ago

is it me? or does Josh look terribly frustrated and nearly depressed on the court?

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jsmith725 3 years, 2 months ago

Great game by EJ, but in the words of The Wolf in "Pulp Fiction", let's not start..........well, you know the rest.

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hawksfan08 3 years, 2 months ago

A couple of interesting thoughts.

First, earlier this season many people, myself included, wanted to see morningstar's minutes cut in favor of our younger players. Interesting now that maybe we should've wanted Tyshawn's minutes cut. I know it's only one game but it will be something to continue watching.

Second, a couple weeks ago Selby got hurt and our offense played great without him and everyone said we we're better without Selby. Now Selby's back and Taylors out and our offense played great and everyone says we're better without Taylor. Maybe our offense is just really good regardless of who's playing and our depth really is as interchangeable as we all thought it was at the beginning of the year.

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kushaw 3 years, 2 months ago

Matt: I wouldn't worry too much about recruiting. There are too many questions right now with the team that need to be answered and they will get addressed in April and May. If everybody comes back then everything is fine. If they don't then I guess there would be some worry, but it's too early to tell.

As for the lockout, I just don't see that affecting too many people. The lockout of 1999 didn't afffect the 1998 NBA draft class that had LaFrentz and Pierce in it so I wouldn't bank on the lockout as a legitmate excuse to stay.

Going to be interesting to see what happens with McLemore now.Supposedly he enrolled down in DeAndre Jordan's school somewhere down in the Houston area. As for Daniels, he knows KU needs a legitimate "Rush Spot" so that spot would be open regardless. We'll see how much having his best friend here really works in that part of the recruiting game.

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drwho127 3 years, 2 months ago

I read some interesting stories on zagsblog this morning. Ben McLemore was dismissed from Oak Hill Academy for unspecified reasons. Most likely skipping classes, not making the grade, cheating, drug, alcohol, or party-related. Also, we are starting to recruit this Nigerian kid, Maurice Aniefiok, 6 foot 5 210 lbs for the 2011 class. If we can land one of these kids, and also get Deandre Daniels, we should be fine. But we definitely will be hurting big if the twins leave. However, there might be a high possibility of a NBA lockout, which means everyone stays except for the seniors.

http://www.zagsblog.com/2011/02/22/interest-picking-up-for-nigerian-guard-aniefiok/

http://www.zagsblog.com/2011/02/21/johnson-mclemore-dismissed-from-oak-hill/

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Matt1958 3 years, 2 months ago

I hate throw a damper out there after a great win, but I've got a mounting concern. Recruiting. It really seems like we're loosing out on a lot of talent this year. Not to downgrade Tharpe or Peters, but I keep seeing us in the running for high profile kids (Nash, Turner and Choi come to mind first) but ending up on the short end. It can't be lack of winning, facilities or tradition. If Ben picks Mizzou, I'll vomit. A lot of you consistent posters know a lot more than I do. Am I being a false alarmist?

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Robert Brock 3 years, 2 months ago

Selby is still "The New Kid" with a lot of high school in his game.

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Brian Powell 3 years, 2 months ago

EJ's been my fav. since he was riding the pine last year... Glad to see he finally got a big opportunity.

I said a few weeks ago that he probably has the best on-the-ball, move your feet, perimeter defense on the team (Brady is good, but people blow by him on the drive too much), and the last few games he's really shown that more. But watch him during a game on the D end, he really tries to stick to a guy - even when they're off the ball.

I'm surprised a bit at Self's comment about him playing hesitant: I agree, but Self yanking him after every little mistake last year (and earlier this year) is the reason! I think you let a kid play through a mistake or two if you really want them to play to their full potential. Sure, you start out pulling them when they first start to get PT, but as time goes on you have to try to let them play through 1 or 2 mistakes. Now, I think EJ has that green light, or room to operate, but I wonder if the 'damage' to his court psyche has already been done (?)

Because you know he has the potential to be a playmaker and create. And he IS as quick as Taylor. Not as long, but def. as quick and even more explosive. I'd love to see him take it to the rim a bit more -- mabye he will get more chances now. I dunno - maybe with the PG role he will shy away from that more, because we have plenty of weapons to distribute to. But Jesse made a remark last night that Self was yelling at EJ to drive on one play that he took a shot (a made 3)....so maybe. Maybe.

Great game; excited to see where we go from here.

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RockChalk26 3 years, 2 months ago

Nice game EJ!

I would recommend working on your dribble drive. You are incredibly quick, so take it to the rim. It will help keep the defense honest.

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kufankam 3 years, 2 months ago

Lindhawk...

You hit the nail on the head! The best thing EJ showed last night (other than D) is that he keeps the defense honest. Our last 4 or 5 games defenses have gaurded TT like he was Doug Gotlieb. Basically, his defender would not even gaurd him, but instead, try and just sag down to whomever he was going to pass to. I like TT, and he did shoot it better against Colorado, but EJ has seemed to knock them down more consistently throughout the year.

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slowplay 3 years, 2 months ago

A very good game for EJ. He is not a quick as TT but he showed excellent poise in getting the offense started. Let's not forget who the opponent was. OSU should not be any different. Closing out the season with 2 tough games and the the Big 12 Tourney should tell us a lot about how far this team will go and if EJ can be as consistent as he was last night.. The one thing that was very apparent, is that the offense needs to go through the Morris twins. They should touch the ball every time down the court. The post play was excellent, the inside-out passing opened everything up for good perimeter shots.

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AirCapJay 3 years, 2 months ago

Morningstar seemed out of it emotionally last night. Since his 16 point first half in the COL game, his offense is way down.

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jrbill67 3 years, 2 months ago

Looks like Self is asking Taylor to take his head out of his rear end. Didn't look like Taylor got the message on the bench. His attitude looked like he thinks he's coming back today & starting Saturday. I don't think so. Also looked like the OSU big boys were trying to bait the Twins into some trouble by playing physical and talking trash, but they didn't bite; they just played ball and buried them. OSU is a bad team, but this game may have gotten this team on the right track. Let's hope the Big 3 get it now and produce the rest of the year. By the way, EJ's defense may make TT's starting a moot point. The rust is almost off Selby. Robinson, Morningstar, Reed, & Little get it. If the Twins and Taylor get it, the only team that can beat KU is KU.

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tis4tim 3 years, 2 months ago

I'm proud of EJ. He was ready when called upon. This game should be a real shot in the arm for him moving forward. He really needed this one.

I'm a little concerned about Selby. Where is that exuberance and the fire he had early on? I'm hoping his face reflects frustration about his lingering foot issue and not regret about his college choice. His rather flat outside shot would seem to indicate the former, but something's not right with him. How do you forget the one piece of equipment that will ensure you floor time?

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KU_Mitch 3 years, 2 months ago

The thing I was most impressed by last night was how contrite Taylor was for letting his team down. His forcing his way into the "starters" area of the bench when he had on street clothes, and actually going on the floor to do one of those silly hopping in the air things, showed me he just doesn't get it. PLUS, why did the coaching staff let him act that way. To me, it looked like the whole suspension thing is a joke to all of them. What the hell is going on? Good grief.

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texasdochawk 3 years, 2 months ago

Great Job EJ! Great Job EJ!! Great Job EJ!!!

EVERYONE in the Jayhawk nation is pulling for you buddy!!!

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Justin Lindsley 3 years, 2 months ago

Look how much better we looked when you have a threat playing point. With TT the defense can sag into the lane. He can't hit the side of AFH!! But EJ is a threat and the defense has to honor that. I'm hoping that EJ gets the nod. He will only get better with age. Selby and EJ should split the minutes and TT can play at the end with the other non-scholly players.

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kushaw 3 years, 2 months ago

Morningstar: Same as Reed. Nothing flashy and you always know what you get from him. His minutes went down because of Selby's increased minutes. Self is going to have a tough juggling act on what to do with Selby and Morningstar come NCAA tourny time. How long will the leash be for these two guys. Actually, 3 guys if you include EJ in there.

Mario Little: Little had a great game getting all over the boards. I actually had to have a double take because I was shocked he had 10 boards. Little did a very good job down low. He's got to value the basketball a little more as he had a couple bonehead turnovers, but Little is turning into a nice role player for KU. Going to need him down the stretch to do the dirty work with T-Rob.

Releford: He's instant attack! He's always looking to drive which is a nice asset to have since so few of our guys look to attack the rim from the perimeter. He had that nice drive in the first half for his only FG that was very nice. I actually thought he got fouled on the play. Having guys like Little, T-Rob, Releford, and EJ come off the bench is a nice problem to have.

In the end, great performance, but there were some things that stuck out from a negative standpoint (Things to work on). I hope the Hawks don't take OU lightly down in Norman and I hope Selby, T-Rob, and EJ can get some more minutes to get back into the "Flow" in time for A&M, Mizzou, and the Big 12 tourney. Go Jayhawks!

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kushaw 3 years, 2 months ago

A couple of negatives: 1) He still thinks too much when he's getting into the lane unsure of what to do 2) At times he doesn't look comfortable getting the Jayhawks into their half court sets 25 feet away from the basket. He had a couple of bad turnovers just swinging the ball around the key. He's got to clean that up, but I really liked what I saw from EJ tonight.

T-Rob: I know T-Rob only played 10 minutes, but he scored 6 points, had 6 rebounds and a block in that span. Very efficient! You know the great thing about T-Rob is that everybody picks up their game when he's on the court. He is the emotional leader of this team and you can tell he's been missed the last couple of games with him out. I also think the Twins are a lot better when T-Rob can focus on rebounding and doing the dirty work. I think the T-Rob without a doubt makes the Twins better and vice versa. Great to have you back T-Rob. You are KU"s most important piece heading into the Big Dance IMO.

KIeff: Just another typical game for Kieff with 15 points, and 7 rebounds in 21 minutes. Got into a little foul trouble because Moses played so well, but not bad nonetheless. I still hate that he jacked up 3 from downtown, but it's been the same story all season so I don't think it's going to change. For some reason, I just have bad images of jacked up 3's coming in the NCAA tourney. As long as they go in I'll be fine.

Josh Selby: Selby last night looked out of sorts. Anybody else think that? I don't know if he's angry, frustrated or what, but something is out of whack with his game. I'm curious at the severity of his injury or if there is something else going on that we all don't know about. You would think that a 27 point victory would cause you to smile at least once, but I didn't see Selby smiling at all last night. He's got a great smile.

I think with everything that has happened to him this year (Some of it very unfair) the pressure has finally gotten to him to an extent and he's mentally having to figure out how to get out of this slump that he's in. You can definitely see him think about his decisions or the decisions he's going to make on the court. You can also see him second guessing himself at times. I know it comes with the territory of being a freshman, but out of anybody out there on the court, I just want to see him ball. Self can always reign him in, but just let the kid ball. He's thinking too much just like EJ does too much of it.

Reed: Nice sound solid performance. Nice to see the 5 assists. You always know what you get with Reed.

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kushaw 3 years, 2 months ago

Pretty darn good overall performance from start to finish by the Jayhawks against the Pokes. Obviously, the first half was more crisp than the second half, but overall it was nice to see a dominating performance.

Defense: Defensively, I think EJ set the tone with his tenacity on Keaton Paige within the first 10 seconds of the game after the frist Marcus score off of the opening tip. It was nice to see EJ get some minutes (30 minutes) and showcase what he could defensively. EJ only had 1 steal, but he did force Page into shooting 2-11 for the night. Outside of Moses, who had an extremely good game (27 points and 6 boards), nobody on OSU really came to play last night.

Surprisingly, the Pokes took care of the ball with only 13 turnovers, but 9 of their turnovers were off KU steals. KU outrebounded OSU 37 to 24 and they only gave up 3 offensive boards which is pretty impressive. KU also held the Pokes to 42 percent shooting (21-49) and a dreadful 3-14 from behind the arc. All in all, better defensive performance than what we have seen from the Jayhawks. Guys are still gambling on the perimeter (Selby), and KU is getting out-worked in the post at times, but having T-Rob back definitely created energy defensively for the hawks.

Offense: Another very efficient showing from an offensive perspective. KU shot 54 percent for the game and converted an impressive 20 assists on 31 FG made attempts. Despite the great offensive performance, I still feel uneasy in a couple of areas when it comes to this team offensively.

1) KU is still putting up an excessively amount of 3 pointers. They shot 10-23 for the game. That's great when they go in, but as we've seen in the past that when KU is hitting their shot it disrupts KU's game in other areas.

2) I thought EJ and Selby, especially Selby, look out of sorts at times running half court sets within the Hi-Lo offense. I'm not worried about them in transition, but they look completely out of sync at times.

Player of the Game: I was really trying to give this to EJ, but it's hard not to give it to a guy who scored 27 points on 9-13 shooting, 3-5 from downtown, and 5 boards in Marcus Morris. Fantastic game for Marcus and having T-Rob back really boosted not only Marcus, but Kieff as well. T-Rob takes pressure off of the Twins which is nice. Hope that continues for performances like the one Marcus showed tonight.

EJ: EJ could have very easily gotten Player of the game. He stepped up nicely with Taylor out and had a fantastic game defensively and offensively. He scored 15 points on 5-6 shooting, 4-4 from downtown, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, on 2 turnovers in 30 minutes.

I really like when EJ comes off that screen and looks for his shot from about 15-16 feet. He missed 1, but made another and I'm glad he was looking for that shot within the offense.

.

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HAWKTOPIA 3 years, 2 months ago

This was a bidtime winning adjustment, even if forced by suspension. We need predictable defensive pressure on the ball, that cuts the court in half, OR LESS. EJ did the job. The point pressure must limit options, and reduce a dribble-drive to a low perfcentage shot. EJ HIT THE JACKPOT. His play also told this team to be frenetic on defense, and settle down on the offensive side.

Here is the quickest way to the bench: force a stupid pass or shot coming up the open floor. When we all know we score from set pieces after 4-5 passes. few teams can match our strength 5v5 for 40 minutes. we shoot near 60% from set plays, and after a few passes every player knows who has the moment's weakest opponent.

We have also done a wonderful job of incorporating the high percentage 3 pointer into our game movement. this is a Duke trait we have harvested well these last few games. ( i am not taking about MM shot from 25 straight out) there is no better shot in college ball than a 3 along side the free throw line. put a man there and countem!

RCJH

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Tony Bandle 3 years, 2 months ago

Post-game Broadcast Observations:

1] The Prophet has arrived! 2] Who is chubbier....Page or Holly Rowe? 3] ESPN set a record for repeating the Mercedes commercial about 120 times. 4] ESPN has declared that the Carmelo Anthony trade ranks just below the Creation in historic significance. 5] Bobby Knight only mistakenly called KU, Kansas State 4 times...not bad!! :) 6] For a guy on a liquid diet for two weeks, the PaPa John's Pizza commercials were cruel and unusual punishment. 7] Is it just me or is that weenie in the front row with the Beak hat becoming annoying? 8] Someone please tell the director of the cheerleaders that cleavage wins National Championships!! 9] I can't decide if listing KU's 5 National Debating Championships on the turnpike sign is the greatest or the geekiest thing I have ever seen!! [Do you have to have earned a Masters to be a debator?] 10] Speaking of cleavage, did anyone notice the young lady sitting behind Coach Knight?

Good call of the Night - Bobby indicated that KU wouldn't miss a beat with EJ instead of Tyhawn...he was so right!!

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Dyrk Dugan 3 years, 2 months ago

yep, this is the lineup from now on. Did you see how Elijah actually went in FRONT of screens..instead of ducking behind? you have to work your tail off to play good perimeter defense....just like any defender....and with his quickness, he becomes very effective.

TT has played good D in the past, but not recently. you think Pullen would have had 38 vs. us, if EJ had been playing on him like he was last night? shoot no. Paige averaged almost 14 a game....he made two baskets.

Nope, this is it.....Tyshawn just lost his job...and we have to thank a missing shoe piece for it. I thought Selby played well too....looks like a good combo.

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rockchalk80 3 years, 2 months ago

Congrats to EJ.... great game!

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jayhawkintexas 3 years, 2 months ago

Great game by EJ and Marcus. Everyone else really contributed also. I agree about the second half letdown. In the tournaments we are going to have to play 40 minutes of intense basketball so we need to get into that habit now.

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rwhawk 3 years, 2 months ago

I thought EJ was our best defender in the K-State game too. I find the comment about EJ playing not to screw up funny because it seems that all year when he screws up he gets yanked. I'd play like that too if that was my reinforcement. Glad to see Self stuck with him last night.

And Selby is so in the unspoken doghouse (of course, it could be spoken and we just don't get to be a part of that information).

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rwhawk 3 years, 2 months ago

I thought EJ was our best defender in the K-State game too. I find the comment about EJ playing not to screw up funny because it seems that all year when he screws up he gets yanked. I'd play like that too if that was my reinforcement. Glad to see Self stuck with him last night.

And Selby is so in the unspoken doghouse (of course, it could be spoken and we just don't get to be a part of that information).

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floridajayhawks 3 years, 2 months ago

So TT gets caught with his hand in the cookie jar and EJ takes advantage of it. I have not been a fan of TT in 3 yrs. makes too many mistakes. EJ looked good and KU played better without TT.

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KU_FanSince75 3 years, 2 months ago

EJ convinced me that he should be starting against Oklahoma on Saturday. HCBS said in post-game that Tyshawn probably would be out one more game. I say, Hey----EJ, if you're game is on against OU, you probably gonna start against A&M. You're the starter until TT takes it away. Nice game! Go get the Sooners, EJ. I will be there! Rock Chalk!

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Jeff Schartz 3 years, 2 months ago

Before you guys get too crazy, let's don't forget who we were playing. It's not like we are gonna be out sellin' DVD's of last night's game in the Walgreen's parking lot for $19.95!

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JacquesMerde 3 years, 2 months ago

Did anyone pay attention to Johnson's defense? Of course, none of our guards can get in front of the opponent who is driving if it is a moderately fast opponent. Taylor, the bad boy, did a modest job against Colorado.

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tahawk81 3 years, 2 months ago

Ive been a big EJ fan all year so glad for the good performance tonight. I will say Page isn't the most athletic guard and ill be interested in seeing him guard someone a little quicker. I feel EJ has a better shot than Taylor, as long as he can play solid D he will continue to see more mins.

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madamhawk 3 years, 2 months ago

EJ finally looked comfortabe. He took an opportunity and shined on both ends. A major confindence boost.

I saw great improvement once again with the twins. Marcus didn't take the bait from Pilgrim. His play on the court spoke louder than any words that could of came out of his mouth. I watched closely at both their lips and body language after they would get whistled for a foul and didn't see them lose any compsure.

TRob-you can't but help praise him. Back just after 10 days removed from surgery? Wow. That kid has nothing but energy, heart and determination.

Tyshawn-we all can only make assumptions with what the suspension is about. I truly hope you can work through whatever is going on. What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger. I personally was elated by how you handled yourself on the bench in street clothes. You could of sat at the end of the bench ashamed, embarrassed and pissed off. But what I saw was you being a supporting teammate through the whole game. They need you Ty just like you need them. I wish you nothing but the best.

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jayhawker_97 3 years, 2 months ago

EJ looked so ready to take over the starting lineup. even coach Knight praised the way he played all night long. this team is getting better & better with EJ starting, Selby & TRob getting healthier, and TT on the bench (no offense, but TT is a nice kid - i'm sure he knows what's best for the team)!! rock chalk!!!!

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jhawkr 3 years, 2 months ago

Wow, EJ must have known it was time to step up and he did and in the process easily made the Jayhawk nation forget about TT !! Even when and if TT comes back, his minutes will probably be cut to give EJ more playing time. EJ can really stroke it !!

Glad to see TRob back. He made a few silly mistakes as well as Selby. But with any luck their stroke and drive will be fine tuned by the last game at Missouri.

I'll give Brady an off night based on his recent performances, but we need him to be scoring more to help give the Twins more operating room.

I was a little disappointed in the Hawks 2nd half results, but I guess its hard to go balls to the wall when you are up 24 points at half ! They just need to take more team pride in playing better defense for the night our shooting becomes suspect or non-existent god forbid ............

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murph 3 years, 2 months ago

Well! Looks like we have at least 3 guards we can count on now... Great job, E.J. Tyrel and Brady will feel better about leaving now that you've showed someone else will step up. This isn't a knock on Travis - he's had a hard year with that bad wheel. I'm sure he'll be fine when he's fully healthy, but this year he hasn't had much chance to show it.

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Jabez Harlan 3 years, 2 months ago

So how long is Tyshawn suspended?

Let's hope a while.

When he comes back he can take EJ's spot coming off the bench.

Of course EJ is not going to average 15 points a game for the rest of the season but his defense tonight was the best I have seen by a guard pretty much all year. Morningstar has defended well also. EJ played great and deserves to start at Oklahoma on Saturday.

May not start on Senior night against A&M but EJ is solid and I am glad he finally got his chance due to misconduct by his own team mates.

I don't wish any bad for Taylor but hopefully he sees his role differently from now on for the betterment of the team.

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khekhen 3 years, 2 months ago

EJ played great. the beauty of our system is that we dont have one ball dominant guard but rather a 3 guard rotation with one "lead" guard on the floor. the "lead" guard tonight was EJ and he played the role with much applause.

he was a basketball player tonight, not just a great athlete playing basketball...

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