Thursday, February 24, 2011

KU coach Bill Self praises Elijah Johnson’s defense

Kansas guard Elijah Johnson and head coach Bill Self slap hands with fans following the Jayhawks' 92-65 win over Oklahoma State on Monday, Feb. 21, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Elijah Johnson and head coach Bill Self slap hands with fans following the Jayhawks' 92-65 win over Oklahoma State on Monday, Feb. 21, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self chatted with his new starting point guard on Wednesday afternoon.

“Elijah made shots the other night. I told him today, ‘I couldn’t care less about you making shots,’’’ Self said, revealing his message to sophomore Elijah Johnson, who scored 15 points off 5-of-6 shooting (4-for-4 from three) in Monday’s 92-65 home victory over Oklahoma State.

“It was the best point guard defense we’ve had in a long time,” Self added of Johnson’s work on OSU’s Keiton Page, who scored eight points off 2-of-11 shooting.

“I thought his whole focus was guarding Page. You focus on the right things and what do you do? You shoot the ball better. Guys that worry about making shots, they don’t make them. Guys that worry about doing the right things make shots.

“A perfect example is Elijah making the most of his opportunity,” Self added of Johnson, who opened for junior Tyshawn Taylor, who remains on indefinite suspension heading into Saturday’s 3 p.m. game at Oklahoma.

“He is our starter. I mean there is no doubt about that. Whether or not he remains a starter for how long, who knows? We’re going to Norman ... he’s going to have the ball in his hands, so we’ll see how that goes.”

Johnson has started two games this season.

“That’s a point all fans around here think about and study it because starting is so important (to fans). To me it’s not,” Self said, “but I do think when you start, you usually think there’s more rope — that you have a chance to maybe play through mistakes more than if you come off the bench.”

Asked about Taylor on Wednesday’s Hawk Talk radio show ... Self didn’t reveal how many games he’d miss for violating team rules. He did respond to a question regarding Monday’s ESPN coverage of the KU-OSU game. According to a Hawk Talk questioner, ESPN sideline reporter Holly Rowe reported that she spoke with Taylor, who said his suspension was no big deal and he’d be back soon.

Self said Taylor merely meant the suspension was not season-ending. He said the penalized player definitely did consider this situation a “big deal.”

“It’s probably a big deal when he (Taylor) is in my office and is so emotional he can’t come to grips with what is going on because he knows he made a mistake and let everybody down. You don’t see that,” Self said of the moment Taylor learned he was suspended.

“The interviewer in this situation didn’t mean anything negative. She was trying to refer to, ‘Is this going to be a season-ending deal?’ Which it is not. It’s not, but still I can hold judgment or reserve the right to determine when (he’ll play again). When people get out of that, ‘He doesn’t care,’ that’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.”

Of the suspension, Self said: “Why can’t people just accept the fact, ‘Hey, a kid 21-years-old screwed up?’ The worst thing that could happen is if you let it go (unpunished), but if you let it go, nobody knows about it so it camouflages your problems. Here is a situation you do what is right. It happens all across America. You (coaches) do what is right, discipline or suspend or whatever and now people question, ‘Well they’ve got problems or they have character (issues).’ The problems occur if you don’t do anything and keep it from everybody.

“Sometimes if you can discipline somebody and nobody knows about it? Great. You can’t do that at Kansas with your starting point guard. That’s the bottom line. Why not put it out there and say what the situation is?”

Injuries: Self was asked on Hawk Talk if Elijah Johnson would eventually need surgery on his shoulder. It popped out of place in the Colorado State game on Dec. 11 and has bothered him off and on since.

“I don’t know exactly if it is something that needs to be addressed surgically or through rehab, strengthening it. That (surgery) would be the last resort. It’s not like it’s severely popping out of place. He has something, which I believe is very treatable, with a special kind of rehab to strengthen it. I imagine it’s the direction we will go,” Self said.

He said Thomas Robinson did not have excessive swelling in his right knee after playing 10 minutes on it Monday.

“Thomas is fine. He practiced full speed today,” Self said of the sophomore coming off meniscus surgery.

Going to rafters: Tyrel Reed’s name will be stitched on the banner in the north fieldhouse rafters that lists all of KU’s first-team Academic All-Americans.

“You can win some postseason accolades individually that don’t put you in the fieldhouse forever. You make first-team Academic All-American and your name is going up in the fieldhouse forever,” Self said. “Look up on the north end at the banner. Tyrel’s name will be right there under Cole Aldrich, so that’s pretty cool. He deserves it of course,” Self said.


Ralster Jayhawk 3 years, 1 month ago

BlownJay, I get the same "vibe" from afar regarding Josh and his wonderful mom. 100% genuine, and he still is able to project some 'swagger' even the way he walks. While I think he is adjusting to Div1 ball and his extra 15-lbs of Hudyization weight--he is a real baller and I can see what Self sees in him. So, to me it is a moot point if he is/was a #1 or not...who cares now. SelfBall always takes time to assimilate, for the guards and the bigs. Maybe the easiest position to play in BillBall is wing, which is why Rush could start, Xaveeyay could pretend, and Selby gets some floortime there. He has a ways to go and the NCAA penalty and the foot injury havent helped his progress. He has become marginally competent at D in just a few games, so I think his bball IQ is very high, also helped by him sitting the first games to watch and "see what Bill sees and says about each player's performance"--a huge intangible benefit for an eager young mind.

Early summer quote by Selby about goals for his 1st semester: "I want to be on the Dean's list!". He only got a 3.2gpa, but whats not to love about that effort in the classroom and on the court? Throws his body around (high jerrodhaase-factor...), unlike another recent highly touted KU recruit. RCJoshHawk!


Ron Franklin 3 years, 1 month ago


I'm still counting on Baylor to knock of UT and get us the regular season tie...though Baylors showing the other night leads me to believe they've got no chance. Guess we'll just have to take it from them in the tourney.....

One last thing, because I didn't get the opportunity to chime in on Tyrel's achievement the other day. We competed against Burlington in High School. & Though I was a few years older than he, I've been looking up to him for quite some time. He is what every small town Kansas kid dreams of....and he makes sooo many of us proud. I don't think there has ever been a Jayhawk that I'll be more sad to see go. I will cry like a baby.....

Rock Chalk

P.S. Grammar Police, please don't grade my paper today. My neurotransmitters quit firing correctly hours ago.


Ron Franklin 3 years, 1 month ago

Thanks to All!

Well, here I am again at midnight reading all these posts....trying to decipher the good from the bad and weed out the trolls and put my 1.5 cents in....too bad my brain is mush from all of these reports due this time of the year.....meh...a couple of observations.... --oakville, glad you made it back to your good self again. missed those lists.

jaybate...I have a new nick name for you, el matador de trolls. you can bang with the best of them.

ralster, ict, bate, & hem, I especially enjoyed your insight on elijah & tt. I'd like to know a little bit more about how the box n 1 & diamond & 1 are utilized if anybody cares to evaluate....I've also been thinking about EJ's performance the other night. Great, but it was just one game against probably the 3rd worst team in the league. Keiton Page is good and all, but EJ certainly should have been able to stay in front of he did. I will be certain he is the pt to beat if he can handle the pressure vs texas a&m & Mizzou. He may not even get the chance to shine @ Mizery if Turgeon is successful in getting in his head. He usually coaches pretty good defense:0. As far as Self'sSemantics....I agree wholeheartedly w/ Ralster. He is just keeping the players on edge....a true teacher & constant motivator.

I'm never going to forget the day I ran into Self at the Sprint Center and exchanged salutations. This picture of the article reminds me of the exact thoughts I had when I saw him....if you notice how tight he is in this picture, just imagine the complete opposite...and that's how he was that night.Soo carefree, no worries, just a guy having fun with a smile stretching a mile wide. I wish I could see more of that in his coaching. He is sooo tight.

Speaking of running into people, I just happened to run into Josh's mom at her house the other day. I had the chance to visit with her.....I like to consider myself a good judge of people as I meet 15-20 new people a week,....and I think she is something special. It's incredible the warmth she emits.... I wish I didn't have to remain professional at that moment in time....have a lot of questions I'd like to would be, "how and the heck does Josh screw up this opportunity by leaving his insoles at home?" That was disappointing, could have been him taking over the role insead of EJ. I'm fine either way, just hope to see everybody slide comfortably into whatever roles they have the next few games because here in a few weeks it gets serious.


Ralster Jayhawk 3 years, 1 month ago

Congrats, BlownJay!

Great discussion above between JB, HEM, ict...I think Self's seemingly contradictory statements are all really just designed for keeping all the "point guards" focused and hungry. He apparently doesnt want anyone to be complacent, especially this year as focus and consistency require constant attention. And we all know he simply cannot be satisfied by the overall defensive progress/regress like a roller coaster this season.

Regarding ESPN bias, if the 08Champs taught us fans/ESPN anything, its that we should relish the role of "spoiler" for all those ACC-wet dreams. The beatdown of UNC in 08 was sorely needed: good ole Roy vs. whatever-that-bill-self-is-doing-over-there-in-kansas. Remember fellow midwesterner Bill Self is right here with us. Born and bred and played in the rivalries of the Big8/12, and now coaches here. Who better to show the national dummies the complete basketball that is SelfBall? And this particular MorrisHawks team absolutely is a 'position-definition' buster. I can be a closet rebel. Now they want to attack our character. Some of our own fans want to attack our own player's character in blatant opposition to what Self has said about a player in question. Well, thank you to WildBill for setting everyone straight. Again. If only "they" would listen. But maybe its fine to let them believe and say what they want...give us bulletin-board material! Maybe thats why the team is always saying F.O.E (family over everything). Thats OK, you go show em what you are working on with the guys, Bill! RCJH


Jack Wilson 3 years, 1 month ago

Congrats .. the best line from the Simpsons. Homer at the hospital, and the doctor exclaims, "Congratulations, sir, you have a boy." Homer replies, "And man, what a boy!" The doctor responds .. "Mr. Simpson, that's the umbilical cord."

Anyway, parenthood is great. Hope all goes well.


Ron Franklin 3 years, 1 month ago

Great News for BlownJay Today,

My first born will be a Son.............


Now my grandma is trying to convince me to name him after Tyrel Reed......she must be a big fan, eh!


Scott Smetana 3 years, 1 month ago

My March Madness Fever is starting to rise....

Just bought my Southwest Airline tickets to San Antonio for the Regionals. Anyone who was there in '08 who can recommend a hotel near KU action? Riverwalk? Thanks!

(Lots of flights to LA if I have to transfer my tickets there)


12steps 3 years, 1 month ago

Ali Farokhmanesh..........................


SCHNBALL 3 years, 1 month ago

adding to #1 on oakvilles list, and stop at Eskimo Joes for 4 hours.


KansasComet 3 years, 1 month ago

I am proud of Elijah. Good for him, and well deserved! As I have said before, he is a five star recruit. Those are very rare! Given the opportunity he will play very well. We only have two on the team. The other is Selby. His time is coming. He needs the ball in his hand more to be effective. I have a feeling a motivated Selby, with something to prove is going to be a joy to watch come tournament time. Kansas is the best team in the nation. The most talented by far. All we need is to put the pieces in the right places.


benshawks08 3 years, 1 month ago

Isn't it amazing that among all of this "we need a consistent point guard" talk that we are still leading the nation in assists per game? Most would say the main function of a point guard is to distribute the ball and therefore should rack up monster assists. However, with this team more than any other I've seen at KU (even 08) that function comes from all five positions. We weave with the guards never really caring who ends up making the pass or taking the shot. The bigs run high low not caring who is on top and who is underneath nor caring if the shot comes from up top or down low. Heck, sometimes Marcus is even one of the weavers.

Others say a point guard should be able to penetrate because good things happen when you get into the lane. I agree, but again this year everyone drives. We see pump and goes all the time from our trey guns (the white boys) and our bigs catch, rip, and drive from the top of the key all the time.

This team almost makes defining positions obsolete. The all do just about everything (did you see Little with that little hook in the lane). It all starts with the twins. They said "we're 6'9/6'10, so what. We are going to play like guards because it's more fun." Oh yeah they can still get down and dirty down low rebounding, posting, and jamming (even if Thomas has to remind them how sometimes).

I've seen Jaybate posting about point wings for a while and I totally agree but would go a little further and say we use point forwards just as much. So does it really matter what position the announcers say our players are starting at or instead is it more important that we as Coach Self says, "have our best players on the floor" oh yeah and "we have a lot of best players!"


jayhawkinnebr 3 years, 1 month ago

Its about time that Self got his hear out of his --- and relized that Johnson can play and it's time to sit Lackadaisical Brady on the bench. This Freak Brady is a big drag to this team, and the sooner that Self does something about it, the better it will be. If Bill keeps playing Hindrance Brady, this team isn't going far in the Tourney. Reed is the one that has the senior leadership but, he needs to do more. Leadership with Brady is, none.


Tony Bandle 3 years, 1 month ago

Ten Ways we could lose to Oklahoma on Saturday:

1] We show up in Stillwater. 2] The whole team goes Gottlieb and has their pants on backwards. 3] The football team shows up. 4] The Twins keep breaking out in tunes from the broadway hit "Oklahoma" 5] Players distracted by the ghostly vision of Billy Tubbs mocking them from the sidelines. 6] The little red head from Texas shows up with her cousin Jayhawk, Miss Cleavage from last Monday night. 7] Eat a pregame meal of Oklahoma BBQ.....:-< 8] Start laughing at old Will Rodgers jokes. 9] Forget that it's not 1988, it's 2011 and Oklahoma sucks. 10) Lose focus, take the opponent lightly, don't go in for the kill, etc., etc.

PS: Items #1 thru #9 for amusement purposes only. Item #10..dead serious!!!!


Jack Wilson 3 years, 1 month ago

Quotes from Coach Self: “It was the best point guard defense we’ve had in a long time,” Self added of Johnson’s work on OSU’s Keiton Page, who scored eight points off 2-of-11 shooting. “I thought his whole focus was guarding Page. You focus on the right things and what do you do? You shoot the ball better. Guys that worry about making shots, they don’t make them. Guys that worry about doing the right things make shots."

If defense comes first, and defense wins championships, then why wouldn't EJ keep playing? If he as played the best point guard defense in a long time, we have the winner. Seriously, if it is the best in a "long time" .. what's the question? EJ is plainly the better offensive player (depending, of course, upon how much you value drives to the hoop that are missed with he hope of an offensive rebound to bailout the quasi-turnover).

But here's what I expect. Taylor is suspended one more game. He comes back next week off the bench vs. Texas A&M. Then starts at Missouri. It doesn't matter how good EJ is, or what he does. Of course, EJ isn't likely to play as well, and will likely have a couple down moments (but no worse than TT's worst -- see KSU, 1 assist 7 turnovers -- not 6 -- 7). And that could also be the opening to put TT back in.

Is that cynical? Maybe.

It's what I expect, based on what I've seen of coach Self. He is comfortable with TT at the point. He's tied to the hip with the guy. TT is his guy. He has demonstrated time and time again that TT's failures on the court, inconsistent play, lack of "focus", etc., will not diminish his role or his playing time. He is the one player that there appears to be no real consequences for poor play. It usually takes multiple screw-ups for the guy to find the pine, as opposed to one mistake placing others on the bench. So why should we expect a change now?

The only reason I could see hope for a permanent change now is that up until the OSU game, coach Self may not have felt that EJ could actually, competently, handle full-time duty at the point; and perhaps the OSU game showed him that he actually can (it is amazing what can happen when you actually place your faith in a player and not pull him out on every misstep, isn't it; .. will he stay committed to him Saturday if he commits a couple boneheaded turnovers, and start 0-3 from the field; and gets burnt on a backdoor cut? ... but I digress).

We can get all excited because of EJ's insertion in the lineup, but until he steps out as the starter in the Big 12 semis, don't get your hopes up. That's when you'll know there has been a real change.

If I had to wager, TT will be back in as the starter "having learned his lesson" and being "better for the experience."

My only suggestion is that if coach Self, in the back of his mind, knows TT will be back as the starter .. is near for sure .. then get the guy off suspension, and get him back on the court ASAP. Precious little time to "gel."


jaybate 3 years, 1 month ago

"Of course, through practice, practice and theory are one in the same - in theory."

Worthy of contemplation by analytical philosophers.

Pithy and funny, too.

Posting Hall of Fame.


tis4tim 3 years, 1 month ago

Self's double equivocation seems to indicate he's willing to hold open competition for the PG spot moving forward.

First he says EJ is without a doubt the starter.

Then, he equivocates saying, "For how long, who knows?"

He equivocates once more saying that as a starter EJ deserves more rope in terms of mistakes.

So, to me it seems he's going with EJ, but leaving the door for a contrite, but re-invigorated TT to fight for his starter's spot, all the while indicating it's going to be a long-term battle.

Because he's not going to yank EJ for the slightest mistakes, TT is going to have to show irrefutable proof he belongs at the starter spot. In the interim, Self and the team will hopefully benefit from two guys who are trying to out-defend each other, raising both of their games to new levels.

Of course, through practice, practice and theory are one in the same - in theory. In practice, they're usually not.


jayhawkintexas 3 years, 1 month ago

I want to add my congratulations to Tyrel. Most deserving of the honor and thank you for being a Jayhawk.


HawkKlaw 3 years, 1 month ago

Bill Self is great. Its all about the D!!! Now if he could just help everyone on the team make their free throws...


12steps 3 years, 1 month ago

jaybate loves ku b-ball and rush limpbaugh..................


jaybate 3 years, 1 month ago

(And of course the above post entitled "Some Ways You Know 12^10stepsbassackwards Is a Mega-Masochist" is entirely fiction and satire and no malice is intended.)


jaybate 3 years, 1 month ago

"Some Ways You Know 12^10stepsbassackwards Is a Mega-Masochist"

~Types with a wireless keyboard between his ankles.

~Wears a black and gold latex Fizzou bustier with a spank counter sensor on the right loaf.

~Has an Insider Subscription to

~Special Visa charge card from the Bank of Discipline.

~Favorite sports novelist is Pauline Reage.

~Favorite fictional sports heroine is O.

~Got aroused twice during Alcatraz tour.

~Identified deeply with Tony Danza in "Who's the Boss?"

~Fantasizes about wearing only tennis shoes and being slapped by Bob Knight.

~Didn't call for help when beasted on by aliens from Men in Black.

~Has been in therapy about a 7-year fixation on Emma Peel from the old Avengers series that has escalated to 24/7 viewing of Mrs. Peel on YouTube.

~Has never seriously considered marrying anyone but Queen Lattifa.

~Thinks instilling more discipline is the answer to all of America's political, military, economic and kindergarten problems.

~Thinks singer Sade's full name is Marquis de Sade.

~Drives vintage Renault Dauphine with a bumper sticker that reads "Whip me, beat me, make me be a surrogate SAT taker for UK."

~Admits to fantasizing about the nose of Duke's coach in a way that has nothing to do with an Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat specialty.

~Once worked as the test dummy in a riding crop factory...and liked it.

~Taking dictation from Mistress 12steps for a book titled "Self Loathing for Dummies."

~Keeps writing in FemDom Party candidates on general election ballots.

~Keeps an 8 1/2 x 11 glossy of Gino Auriemia on his night stand.

~Begs all Jayhawks, "Give me more, sirs and madams, give me more."


Vic Janeway 3 years, 1 month ago

Michigan could have won last night......FREE THROWS!!! KU needs to improve! How many times do I need to say it!


William Blake 3 years, 1 month ago

Let's compare this team with last year's team. Last year, come March, we had our star players filling the play card, along with the support cast. Opponents could scout us by looking at any game during the year.

This year we are approaching March with lots of development happening with this team. Players going in and out due to injuries and discipline issues.... and you would think every time it happens we would be set back. Instead, we seem to be evolving into a better team! We get beat down at Kittyland and we come back a new team lead by Kieff and his leap forward. TT makes a mistake and EJ puts on the best defensive game we have had from a guard since '08.

Our team is like muscle; tear it down to build it up.

How will teams prepare for us?

I can't recall a Jayhawk team that has gone through so much and bounced back so hard... All I can say is there is a lot of heart on this team!

Our story is compelling to all, but the one big mistake we absolutely can not make now is to start falling into the "it's destiny" trap. Granted we can look back through history and find teams that have gone through a lot and come up winners.... and they talk about it being destiny. That idea is heavily flawed.

Looking back at those teams, most waited to call it destiny AFTER they won it all and not before. Then take a look back at all the teams that thought they were teams of destiny but lost.... thousands if not millions.

Taking on the title "team of destiny" means the players can go on cruise control. No more worries because destiny is charge. This is certainly one of the black holes this team could fall in to. This is a black hole you can't recover from because once the destiny mentality catches on, everything happening from here on out, good or bad, seems to fit perfectly with "destiny."

The destiny concept is a complete mirage. There is no high power or force existing to anoint this team as national champions. It's the same false belief that sends the gambling addict out the door and to the casino because all the years of pain and suffering is just the necessary price that it takes to become the next destiny winner from the roll of the dice. (yeah, right)

If you go to Vegas you will see the big casinos, built from the hard-earned money of all those suckers betting on destiny. And the signs are lit up with winners' names... and, believe me, all the names fit on those tiny signs, and a list of the losers could reach the moon!

If we want to hang another banner at AFH it will only come through hard work, focus, discipline and belief in ourselves, not a fairytale for suckers.


SCHNBALL 3 years, 1 month ago


Bill Self vs Doug Gotta Lieb (fast)

All proceeds go to?

I love it that he called him out. How could you not love to be point guard under this coach!


Sally Presson 3 years, 1 month ago

Focus, focus, focus!!! We need these guys to have their heads on straight from here on out. We've got a great team, but dang, they can't ease up on any game from here on out. Bring on your A game guys and we'll be national champs!!! I was fortunate to get to be at the OSU game--great game guys!!! It was a wonderful game, enjoyed every minute of it, to the very end!!! I wouldn't leave a game early for anything. I'm so dang glad to be there, I soak up every minute I'm there. Was wonderful to see Thomas get into the game!! I'll be there senior night with a box of kleenexes. Hate to see our seniors go, it was a great 4 years and Mario, thanks for choosing KU. I'm from SE Kansas and Tyrell was our hero, I was thrilled when he chose KU. Brady, thank you for a great 4 years.


12steps 3 years, 1 month ago

"Why not put it out there and say what the situation is?”

Exactly Mr B.S. EXACTLY ! So what are you covering up?


jaybate 3 years, 1 month ago

Erratum: make that "who has apparently never benched"


jaybate 3 years, 1 month ago

Does anyone else notice ESPN's hypocrisy and asymmetry in KU vs. Duke and K vs. UK coverage?

Hypocrisy: ESPN never discusses Coach Rat-Faced Consonants, who stole a ring for Duke with cheap shotting, and who has benched, nor publicly scolded his players for their frequent cheap shotting that he appears perhaps to coach them how to do as a tactic.

Assymetry: ESPN goes on and on about Marcus and Kieff, who both have been publicly disciplined by Self for vastly less cheap shotting.

Hypocrisy: ESPN never indicates that UK has a half century long character character issue, ranging from point shaving to their current head coach--Cal at UMass (infractions), then Memphis (infractions and forfeits for ineligible players and SAT fraud), and UK (a long list of reputedly shady activities involving World Wide Wes, Wall, Enes, etc.)--who appears rarely to discipline players.

Asymmetry: ESPN says this year's KU team has character issues, because Self actually disciplines a few players.

ESPN, why don't you just stick to better expectations for the gaming industry buy under reporting KU's successes and over reporting KU's losses and leave these hypocritical and asymmetric XTReme Cheap Shots at KU out of the package. The gaming industries can make just as much off the false expectations you create in betters with your skillfully crafted under and over reoporting, without the cheap shots, too.

Rock Chalk!


kufamtrad1 3 years, 1 month ago

On a team where I thought there was no clear cut leader I guess I was wrong. The leader is the same as it has been for the past eight years, Coach Self. He continues to prove that he was the right replacement for Roy. His makes great decisions on and off the court, gets the most out of the potential of each player, and is a great example of a father figure. America take note why wouldn't you want your sons at KU. Great men produce great men.


REHawk 3 years, 1 month ago

Coach is doing the best he can to save Taylor, even in light of Taylor's comments to Holly Rowe, and the subsequent national frenzy regarding Kansas' issues with character. Beneath the strutting percolating b.s., the kid is a fabulous talent who posseses bundles of potential...if he can just manage to stay focused. The U19 success and accolades might have really screwed his mind in terms of blending with the other talents on this particular Jayhawk team and adhering to BIll Self-style of play. Considering everything this team has experienced by way of injury, family tragedy and suspensions, if the Jayhwaks advance to the Final Four, BIll Self must be recognized as National Coach of Alltime.


jayhawkfan96 3 years, 1 month ago

Finally, Elijah brought some focus to all of that athleticism. Great job defensively on a great shooter. Page is almost as good as Lace Dunn at moving without the ball and coming off of screens. EJ shot the ball well. He also was lucky not to have at least seven or eight turnovers. He's not a true point guard, I realize that, but he still is just way too lazy on the passes. Thankfully most of them were tipped back to him or his teammates. But still, it's the best I've seen him play by far. And given the way TT and Selby have been playing, keep starting him as long as he plays like that on the defensive end.


kushaw 3 years, 1 month ago

Also, I don't know if any of you watched college b-ball last night, but there were some really good games on last night. I was literally flipping between 4 games Wis/Mich, Neb/KSU, Baylor/Mizzou (Not very long as it turned into a blowout), and Ark/UK.

I'll tell ya, the Big 12 is heating up and there are some good races going on between KSU, Mizzou, Baylor, and Nebraska. Here were my predictions with 4 games to go.

K-State: currently 6-6 (below puts them at 9-7)

@Nebraska - Win Mizzou - win---------->They can not win on the road @ Texas - LOSS---------K-State always plays Texas tough though. Iowa St. - WIN

Nebraska - currently 6-6 (below puts them at 8-8) Nebraska has a great opportunity to do something special. IMO Nebraska has to finish 9-7 in conference to get a tourny bid.

K-State - LOSS @Iowa St. - WIN Mizzou: LOSS-------Mizzou plays terrible on the road so I could just as easily see Nebraska win-This is a Pick Em @Colorado - WIN

Mizzou: currently 7-5 (below puts them at 9-7 )

Baylor - Win This is a Pick Em @K-State - Loss @Nebraska - WIN Kansas - LOSS This is a Pick Em

Baylor: currently at 6-6 (below puts them at 8-8) Unfortunately for Baylor, going .500 doesn't get them into the Big Dance. They have had some tough losses and their resume isn't strong enough to get them in. They are going to have to have a miracle to win their next 3 and finish 9-7.

Mizzou - Loss A&M - WIN @Ok. State - WIN Texas - LOSS


kushaw 3 years, 1 month ago

Wow! Self is really really fired up! Man, it's not often he gets as detailed as he does with his quotes, but he's definitely sending a message.

"Self said Taylor merely meant the suspension was not season-ending. He said the penalized player definitely did consider this situation a “big deal.”

“It’s probably a big deal when he (Taylor) is in my office and is so emotional he can’t come to grips with what is going on because he knows he made a mistake and let everybody down. You don’t see that,” Self said of the moment Taylor learned he was suspended."

I mean, there's no reason to get that descriptive unless you are sending a message. Not only to Taylor, but to the media as well. IMO, it seems like the "Character Issues" card that the national media is trying to play ha gotten under Self's skin a little and deservedly so.


kenshinU 3 years, 1 month ago

What the hell is wrong with you guys? Been playing Sims too much maybe?


jaybate 3 years, 1 month ago

Imagine Coach Bill Self as a jilted spouse in a troubled point guard marriage and you will see where he is with all of this.

Monogamists don't impulsively give up track record and legacy. Everything Tyshawn has done for Self over the years still matters has a lot of weight. And as the sting of unfaithfulness recedes, the more that weight counts. If Tyshawn can convince Self that Tyshawn is faithful and fully commited to the marriage and willing to make the fundamental changes in his behavior the head of the family requires of his point guard mate, Tyshawn will be given another trial in awhile, and if he performs, Self will go with the trusted, tried and successfully reformed...if this new guy, that Self has tried to date in the past, can't keep it up the way Self likes--the way he has just started to do.

And if Tyshawn fails to reform, and if Elijah fails to keep it up big the way Self likes it, then Self will soon look in the mirror and say, "Hey, I deserve waaaay better than this. I matter. My desire to be faithful and loyal has lead me to accept less than I deserve in life. Screw both of the, I'm going to start dating that other one, the guy who really turns me on just thinking about what he could do for me.

The player that figures out he is dealing with a jilted lover and figures out how to go to any lengths to make that jilted lover feel good about himself and about his family wins.

It takes a real man to win at this game.

Self wants it all.

Sound familiar? :-)


jaybate 3 years, 1 month ago

"One More Thought about Self and EJ"

Self would be crazy not to start EJ now. Doing so, if EJ keeps playing as well as he did vs. OSU, lets Self keep Selby at the 3 and so be two deep (Selby and Brady) at wing point initiator. This means the initiator of his offense will always be fresh, always be a trey threat, and half the time be an absolute monster threat to put it on the deck.

But Self was making clear in the story above that he has seen EJ throw the ball cross court to no one a few too many times to marry him.

Self is basically a monogamist about point guards.

Self was married to Taylor.

The marriage went on the rocks. The coach was not getting his needs fully met and the player cheated on him, too.

They are currently in a trial separation and getting counseling.

At the same time, the coach has found another point guard that he has decided to date steady.

But like most spouses burned in a troubled marriage, while they wish to return to monogamy, either by repairing the old relationship, or by starting a new one, they are very, very, very leery of giving their heart to someone that might break it again.

And so such wounded spouses walk around saying multiple things: I am trying to work things out with my spouse, whom I still love; I have found a new steady who has made me feel very good recently, but he better perform and behave well, or else; and I've got my eye on another very, very, very attractive person (Selby), too, because now I know I can play the field a little.


Kurt Eskilson 3 years, 1 month ago

Racial stereotyping aside … EJ's D looked pretty good in limited minutes against Pullen last Saturday. He's a relatively athletic guard, wouldn't you say?


hawkitup 3 years, 1 month ago

I realize this is going to sound really bad, but let's keep in mind who EJ was guarding....a white boy. I would like to see how he does against a more athletic guard. Those are the kind of guards it seems like we've struggled against this year.


kenshinU 3 years, 1 month ago

"Self added of Johnson’s work on OSU’s Keaton Page, who scored two points off 2-of-11 shooting."

How do you make two field goals and only have two points? I could have sworn I say Page hit at least one three.


cmm889 3 years, 1 month ago

"The piggy face dude had around 8-10 points"

The most hilarious thing i've heard in a while, actually laughed out loud at work when I read that.

phew, good stuff.


jaybate 3 years, 1 month ago

"Strategic Starters, Tactical Subs, and the Length of the Leash"

"..when you start, you usually think there’s more rope — that you have a chance to maybe play through mistakes more than if you come off the bench.” --Bill Self

Self short-handed quite a lot here about how he coaches with starters and subs.

Starters are usually the best at fulfilling the full set of attributes required by the role at a position, given Self's scheme for the team.

Subs have somewhat lesser skill and experience sets (compared to starters) and so a narrowed set of attributes to offer. Subs are sent into a game to add something tactically specific to what is already underway in the game.

If the sub doesn't give the coach exactly what he wants tactically from the minute he steps on the floor; that is, the immediate tactical edge sought in pursuit of game strategy, then the sub goes out and either the starter resumes, or another sub is sought to try another tactical angle to advance strategy.

Starting is strategic.

Subbing is tactical.

Starters may vary some, because of performance trending to inadequate, or because of injury, or because game strategy may change somewhat from game to game.

Alternatively, subbing varies based on tactic sought, and based on who delivers the tactical edge Self seeks the quickest and with the least unrelated costs. For example, does Little give him the extra rebounding sought immediately and without pop tarts, regardless of whether he makes baskets?

Player "development" is subordinate to the strategic and tactical imperatives of a given game, especially once conference starts.

Starters are on a longer leash, because game strategy, especially if soundly conceived, is driven by each player fulfilling a fairly broad set of tasks for the greater part of the game. As the number of tasks is large, some mistakes have to be tolerated, because it is unrealistic to expect players performing multiple tasks over a long period to be perfect.

Subs, on the other hand, are on a much shorter leash, because tactics are by definition quick and momentary responses to circumstantial shortcomings in strategy. The whole reason a sub is inserted is to solve a specific strategic problem with a specific tactic. If he can't get it done immediately, then it doesn't help to let him play through his mistakes to get comfortable. The problem is right now and needs to be solved right now, or the coach would have let the starter play through his problems in the first place.

Hence, starters have longer leashes, and subs have shorter leashes.

There endeth the lesson for today. :-)


HAWKTOPIA 3 years, 1 month ago

If EJ keeps the defensive intensity TT will not start again. You could see the whole team peaking around screens into the passing lanes as EJ forced both direction and passes. HCBS knows his team can score, the challenge is stopping the opponent.

If KU falls it will be because one player puts up big numbers. if we can clamp down on the point guard, neither he nor any other player will be positioned for high percentage shots. When TT plays defense he takes nothing away from the ball handler, and instead of the defense cheating into the passing lanes they are pinching into the middle to hedge the drive.

Bring it EJ, defense is what makes us click as a team.


4everahawk 3 years, 1 month ago

Page made two 3 point shots and 2 freethrows for 8 points. Reporter must have meant that he was held to 2 made shots...


Adam Collins 3 years, 1 month ago

The thing I like most about EJ is that he hasn't had any major off the court issues (unless I'm forgetting something). It makes it a lot easier to root for someone when you know they don't do idiot things (e.g., DUIs, shooting people with air-soft guns).


RockCaCO3 3 years, 1 month ago

“You can win some postseason accolades individually that don’t put you in the fieldhouse forever. You make first-team Academic All-American and your name is going up in the fieldhouse forever,” Self said.

That is frickin awesome. Good job Tyrel!


FairgroveJayhawk 3 years, 1 month ago

Congratulations EJ!

Big Monday games are great and all, but man, the wait allllll weeeeek long for the next game is a bummer.


KEITHMILES05 3 years, 1 month ago

That was an incorrect statement. The piggy face dude had around 8-10 points. I know he hit at least 2 three point shots.


Toto_the_great 3 years, 1 month ago

How can you score two points when you shoot 2-11 from the floor?


Andrew Moore 3 years, 1 month ago

TT has problems for sure, but he is a valuable cog in the Kansas Machine. I don't want him 'moving on' or riding the pine all year. He does do some good things on the court and the more focused he plays the better he plays. Its really just a matter of getting his mind right. I have faith that after this ordeal, TT will be a better player for us moving forward.


Woody Cragg 3 years, 1 month ago

EJ can really play if he keeps the trash talk crap to a minimum. If TT doesn't "get it" after almost 3 yrs, IMO the job is Johnson's until someone else outplays him. Let TT move on if he pouts.


actorman 3 years, 1 month ago

"Texas?? Really Burnt! Orange!!"

I like it!


Larry Smith 3 years, 1 month ago

It is nice to see Coach Self call out all of the idiots that think it is OK to make assumptions and feel the need to judge a kid without kmowing the facts.

Love the quotes.

“The interviewer in this situation didn’t mean anything negative. She was trying to refer to, ‘Is this going to be a season-ending deal?’ Which it is not. It’s not, but still I can hold judgment or reserve the right to determine when (he’ll play again). When people get out of that, ‘He doesn’t care,’ that’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.”

Of the suspension, Self said: “Why can’t people just accept the fact, ‘Hey, a kid 21-years-old screwed up?

Pretty simple.

Don't miss curfew again, see you in Columbia. Take care of business.


KEITHMILES05 3 years, 1 month ago

Totally agree. Ty needs to get his mind right and buy in and give 100% on and off the court.


KU_Alumn_2000 3 years, 1 month ago

Always thought EJ would of been better off red shirting last year. This is the type of guy we would like to have within the program for a long time...and not have to worry about going to the NBA early.

Maybe Selby will end up being a Jayhawk for a few years.


Scott MacWilliams 3 years, 1 month ago

I might be in the minority here, but I'm hoping that TT comes back stronger than ever, focus-wise, and still has to fight like hell to get his job back.

If both TT and EJ are clamping down on the D, 40 minutes of every game, we will be VERY tough to stop going forward. Texas?? Really Burnt! Orange!!

With the twins and T-Rob getting a nice flow, Brady and Tyrel giving that fabulous senior leadership, the point is the last piece of the puzzle. Oh yeah, and then there's that Selby kid, too.

WOO HOO!! Is it March yet!!!

R O C K C H A L K!!!!!


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