Tuesday, January 25, 2011

KU hoops notebook: Jayhawks prepare for Colorado

The Kansas bench watches against Texas on January 22, 2011 in Allen Fieldhouse.

The Kansas bench watches against Texas on January 22, 2011 in Allen Fieldhouse.


Bye bye Boulder

CU’s shift from the Big 12 Conference to the Pac-10 next season will halt one of the strangest occurrences in sports: Jayhawk basketball fans’ migration to Coors Events Center for the annual KU-Colorado hoops game.

Year in and out, for as long as anybody can remember, up to half the fans in the 11,096-seat building have worn crimson and blue and cheered for KU during the CU-KU game in Boulder.

“It’s awesome. It helps us every time. When we see our fans there, it gets us extra pumped,” said KU senior Reed, who is 3-0 in Boulder. “Realizing how the Jayhawk nation travels, it’s pretty cool.”

The Jayhawks, who will be playing CU in Boulder for likely the final time — KU’s home-away-from-home game in Boulder has been a source of frustration for the Buffs — have won seven consecutive games at Coors Center, where Colorado owns an 11-0 record this season.

“I know, me being a Kansas kid, knowing there are a lot of people in Western Kansas, it’s easier for them to go to the game in Boulder than Lawrence,” Reed said.

“It’s nice having your fans there and having people root for you.”

Reed believes the KU presence helps the Jayhawks, but not sure sure it hurts the Buffs, who have dropped 15 in a row to KU and 42 of the last 43 meetings.

“They are playing on their homecourt, and they definitely have their fans there,” Reed said. “It’s nice being on the court seeing our fans travel so well.”

Boyle’s take

Former KU guard Tad Boyle, who played for both Ted Owens and Larry Brown at KU, is first-year coach of the Buffs.

“It's a different feeling. I’m not going to say it’s just another game because it’s not. But it’s not just another game for our players either, or our fans. I think everybody kind of circles KU,” Boyle said. “That’s why, from their standpoint, they get everybody’s best shot when they go on the road. Colorado’s no different. The fact that I went there and that’s where I played my college basketball, it’s a little different. What I ask and expect of our players is a business-like approach to every game. So if I’m expecting that of them, I have to take that approach myself, no matter what’s going on inside of me.”

Self on the Buffs

“Well, Burks is a pro, and Higgins probably will be a pro. I think they’re both really good. ... Certainly probably as good of wings as we have in our league. Tad’s done a great job with them.”


YuCoJayHawk 9 years, 10 months ago

wow, that is insane. KU has beaten CU 42 of the last 43 times they have played?!?!? And I was at the one game that CU won (2003?), where Hinrich tried to rebound and get off a shot at the buzzer and went to the floor trying to draw a foul to no avail. Funny thing I remember about that game was the student section chanting "Harry Potter" when Hinrich had the ball. And then Kirk drained a 3 and just stared them down. lol Also remember getting some autographs after the game from Kirk and Nick, who were both very gracious after such a rare loss at Colorado. This game should not be nearly as close as last year's game at Colorado, but the team is still dealing with grief, might be a tight one. Looking forward to hearing the chant of 4000 Jayhawk fans at about 822pm, mountain time tomorrow!

Kyle Sybesma 9 years, 10 months ago

That was my first KU game in CO after I moved here in 2002. That game broke my heart. During that time they would parade their Big 12 North Champions out at half time I guess to intimidate the KU fans. WOW congratulations you won the Big 12 North and allowed 72 points to Texas in the Championship game. You beat out 5 other teams when they were at their worst. I hate CU but now that they have a Jayhawk leading them and they're moving to the Pac 12 I'll cheer for them and may even attend some games next year.

Eliott Reeder 9 years, 10 months ago

I was at that damn game. Drove in from Lawrence. Also saw us lose @ Nebraska a few years back, whenever that was. And was at the Richmond game in '04. This is why I stay at home or hit the bar and watch on TV...

Michael Leiker 9 years, 10 months ago

Interesting, I believe those Reed quotes are from a previous article. If I'm correct, nice of the LJW staff to not ask about that kind of trivial stuff right now.

Ron Franklin 9 years, 10 months ago

Selby is our only chance at a National Championship this year. He's a pro, and no other guard on our team has the 'potential' or ceiling that Josh has. We've seen what Brady, Tyshawn, Tyrel & EJ can do.....and, frankly, it's not enough.

The year can still be a good & fun one, but if somebody doesn't start making plays at the point.....this team will be cooked by the second round. The only thing we can do is patiently wait for him to develop over the next 10-12 games & hopefull the light will come on & Josh will be able to switch to unstoppable mode.

Michael Leiker 9 years, 10 months ago

What have you seen that gives you any indication he can get to "unstoppable mode." The Twins are the only way this team has a shot at a NC. This guy is no Carmello Anthony and other than him, it's pretty clear that freshmen do not lead teams to titles. People really need to get over these one and done love affairs. It's a bad way to run a basketball team.

Debbie Mangen 9 years, 10 months ago

You must be watching some other games of Josh Selby than I am. He's a freshman, just like all the rest of the freshmen. He consistantly turns the ball over, misses easy lay-ups and is always getting beat by his man and having to foul him as his guy goes by. I can't imagine him even thinking of leaving after this year. I seriously doubt those scouts at the Baylor game were impressed with him sitting on the bench. And I'm really sick of hearing "Josh Selby and the Kansas Jayhawks" from the commentators. He certainly isn't our top player or even among the top 3.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 10 months ago

Aaron Craft is the best freshman point guard that I've seen this year, although having freshman/player of the year, Jared Sullinger, gives him plenty of options and his scoring is not as important to the team as Selby's is.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 10 months ago

Right on point .. don't think leikness or Rockchalk_mom get your point .. potential vs. just what they see on TV.

Michael Leiker 9 years, 10 months ago

Only thing I'm asking for tonight is for Selby's time to continue to get cut.

RockChalk26 9 years, 10 months ago

I agree. He shouldn't be in the starting rotation

Chris Bruning 9 years, 10 months ago

@leikness....well i don't know about cutting selbys time ...i understand what you're saying though. definitely been struggling, i just don't think you cut his minutes becuase the kid has talent and don't forget he is nine games experience behind. We need to get him caught up and to his best potential for March Madness (hopefully sooner than that)!!

ccarp 9 years, 10 months ago

Only thing I want Selby to cut is the nets in April

Clarence Haynes 9 years, 10 months ago

+1!!!!! Forget this cutting time crap professed by these so called pundits! This is on the job training and come tourney time, he'll more than prove his worth!

rawkhawk 9 years, 10 months ago

Any word on the KU preparty in Boulder today?

Gene Jackson 9 years, 10 months ago

Preparty is at Folsom Stadium on the club level at 3:00 p.m. Views from there are spectacular. C U there.

clevelandjayhawker 9 years, 10 months ago

Im hoping Travis' ankle is okay and he is good to go, we lost one of if not our best defender when he wnet down.

Who is going to have a big game? and who is going to have a big game that we didnt expect to? (Witney, EJ, Travis, Brady, Mario)

My guess is TT is going to be a driving force and slash to the lane, unexpexted I think Mario is going to get a lot of mins and be a matchup problem as we take out some frustration on the buffs.

Kye Clark 9 years, 10 months ago

leikness - you say you want Selby's time to get cut. OK, while some may disagree with you no one can doubt that the kid is struggling, so your position is perfectly valid. However my question would then be...who do you want picking up his minutes? EJ and TT have also been trending downwards with their performances. Brady and Tyrel are already seeing about as many minutes as they deserve. If Travis plays certainly he can take some of those minutes, but there's no telling if he'll play and if so how much work Self is going to give him his first game back. Your position just illustrates something that was brought up after the UT game and that is we have had really poor guard play of late. Tyrel is having a great year and Brady can be counted on for the most part to be consistent, but we are lacking a dynamic presence in the backcourt, and that is the biggest threat to this team's chances of making a deep run in March. So I'm just curious as to what you think the answer is, if not Selby, then who?

Jack Wilson 9 years, 10 months ago

And if not now, then when?

Give Selby the ball.

GeoHawk15 9 years, 10 months ago

Let's give Allen Fieldhouse West... err... Coors Event Center a proper fairwell and drown out their fans! They'll never see another atmosphere like it once they're playing in the Pac 10. I hope the Hawks come together and play an impressive game in honor of T-Rob and his family.

Rock Chalk!

Chris Shaw 9 years, 10 months ago

Man, what a funky last 4 days. I agree with Ralster, it will be very interesting to see how this team responds. Looking forward to it and also hoping everything goes well this week with T-Rob and his sister.

Kye Clark 9 years, 10 months ago

I will go ahead and weigh in on what I feel the course of action should be at the guard spot. I think Coach Self should hand the point guard duties to Selby and see where that leads this team. We are 2 1/2 years into the Tyshawn Taylor project, and we probably saw him at his best during the first several games of the season. My problems with that are that it was against largely inferior competition and once the competition stiffened he has regressed, and that even at his best it probably isn't enough to take the team where it needs to go. Certainly you don't give up on him altogether, as he brings athleticism to the court, a familiarity with the system greater than Selby or EJ, and is capable of playing excellent defense (as was evidenced by the job he did on LaceDarius Dunn). But at this point I don't think he'll ever be a big part of the answer. The other option is EJ, but from what I've seen he is the most defensively deficient of the bunch. Even Selby guards his man better than EJ, which one would not expect given that Selby is only 10 games into his collegiate career. And for as much praise as he earned early in the year for taking care of the ball, he has been as careless as any of the three guards of late.

So now I'll make the case for Selby. Given his inexperience compared to the other two, I think we would see improvement at a much faster rate than the other two. It's hard to argue that TT will improve much. At this point in his career given the abundance of minutes he has seen each year it's just blind hope that he will figure it out now. Selby is as much his equal in the speed and athleticism department, and is a far better shooter. Given significant court time could EJ make the necessary strides? Maybe, but given the areas that he would probably need to show the most improvement - defense and running the offense - and given the fact that Selby is probably already better in these areas than EJ is, who should we expect to continue to improve, and improve quickly? So that is my argument for Selby - upside. The ability for him to get better faster and thus make this team better in time for a tournament run.

Kye Clark 9 years, 10 months ago

As much as many posters disagree with that as a valid argument when the Brady debates arise, I think it hold more weight here. With Brady people (myself included) were arguing to play players with upside over Brady - a consistent player - in hopes that the player with the upside would eventually be able to contribute more to the team. The difference with this situation is that all three players are playing poorly. You are already getting more or less the same thing with these players - questionable shot selection, carelessness with the ball, having the ball stick, etc. So whereas with Brady the argument has been to reduce his minutes and therefore the positives he brings to the table in exchange for the hope that someone like EJ improves enough to eventually make it a net gain playing him over Brady. With this situation that's all there is - the hope, or likelihood, of improvement, as their poor play has eliminated the variable of taking away the positives one player may bring.

It would be nice to think EJ would be up to the task. I think in a perfect world he would be the ideal choice - he is taller than the other two, yet just as fast and athletic. His outside shot has improved from a year ago. And he will most likely be here for more years than the TT and Selby, so it is not only an investment in this year's team but also more so in future teams. However, he is a defensive liability, and that more than anything will earn you bench time on Coach Self's teams. He has to know this, and yet it just would seem that it is not something that comes easy for him. I'm sure some may argue that this is also a byproduct of a lack of playing time. Perhaps to an extent. But I'm a believer that defense is as much of an attitude as it is about knowledge and being comfortable. He just doesn't seem to have a defensive minded attitude out there.

Now I've laid out my opinion of the situation. My fear is that Coach Self will continue with this strategy of playing Tyshawn and Selby, and yanking them for their mistakes and inserting EJ, only to have him on an equally short leash, to where at the end of the games we see Tyrel, Brady, and who knows which player on the court at the end of games. I have not been as critical of the strategy so far, as I think this team has had chemistry issues to deal with and with Selby becoming eligible so late it was going to take some time to get a feel for this team. However, going forward I can only hope that a confident choice emerges and we see less musical chairs at the guard spot.

Michael Leiker 9 years, 10 months ago

Great points. I agree with most of the evaluation on TT, Selby and EJ. I hope everyone could agree that Reed is the 2, period. I do think it's a misconception that it's a requirement to have some guard come out and play 6 games on fire to win a title. Especially with this team the guards main job is to not lose the game...don't shoot us out of it and don't turn it over.

In terms of line up the biggest thing I would like to see is for this team to get to a traditional 1 - 5, point, shooting, small, power, big line up. The 3 position is what has been missing the last few years and right now we have three guys capable of being contributors at that position with Marcus, Releford and Little. I think you can rotate TT, EJ, Selby, Brady, at the 1 and for the time spelling the 2 and 3. Like you said, I really don't think it matters which of those guys you play as there are so many pluses and minuses with each of them it's morely about the matchups in each specific game. Personally I think it's going to be hard to beat Travis Releford when it comes down to it at the end of the year.

If you're looking for upside, don't look for it at the guard spots, it's too risky. Look for it at the 3.

Kye Clark 9 years, 10 months ago

I agree that it is a misconception that you have to have "on-fire" guard play for 6 games to win it, but you have to have at least steady guard play. You'd be hard pressed to name very many championship teams that had mediocre guard play in the tournament.

And I yes I did say that we are getting more or less the same level of performance from TT, EJ, and Selby...but my point was to give one player the rock more than the others and hope for improvement, and that I think that player should be Selby. If after another 10 games he hasn't shown the necessary improvement, what have you lost (as opposed to the system we have in place now, where each player is quickly benched after a couple of mistakes)? Tyshawn will probably only improve in small increments from this point forward. With EJ he probably isn't improving any the way he is being used now. One could argue to hand him the reigns instead of Selby and to see if he improves, but I think Selby is already the better player now with more chance to show vast improvement.

I'm also not sure what match-ups we would be playing rotating those 3 in and out. The only thing I could think would be if the game called for a better defender you go with Tyshawn, and if the game required the need for another perimeter shooter you go with Selby. However, why not strive to get both? Why not try and develop Selby more to help get his defense more up to par. The same goes with him taking care of the ball. Again, with Tyshawn Self already knows he's going to be careless with the ball and has admitted as much, and was willing to live with that as long as he limited his bonehead plays and gave you a few "wow" plays. Well right now his bonehead plays have increased and his "wow" plays are few and far between. So why not let Selby play through his freshman slump in hopes that he comes out the other side ready to help us in March? It's not the same as last year where we played Xavier while having 2 unknown red-shirt options on the bench. We have seen what Tyshawn is going to give us and to a lesser extent EJ.

And as far as the 3, I would agree that Releford has tremendous upside. With Little I like his game, but as a 5th year Senior he's not going to get much better, and Marcus will only play the 3 in short spurts. But why not try and maximize your production from both the 1 and the 3? What is this risk you are talking about? Again, if you hand the rock to Selby for a large chunk of games and we are not seeing improvement...what have we lost? Bill can always revert back to the system we're seeing now.

KUFan90 9 years, 10 months ago

I can't believe people are already clamoring for Selbys minutes to be cut. He needs to play to work through his consistency issues. We've seen what he is capable of.

Rather than cutting his minutes, let's cut the freshman some slack.

Clarence Haynes 9 years, 10 months ago

Agree. I said this earlier. +1!!!!! Forget this cutting time crap professed by these so called pundits! This is on the job training and come tourney time, he'll more than prove his worth!

Michael Leiker 9 years, 10 months ago

This is KU Basketball, there's no on the job training, if you're not cutting it you don't play. Stop falling in love with 18 year olds! It blows my mind that real KU fans accept this crap. A KU National Championship team will never be made by one player and if we keep falling into this trap year after year with these supposed one and done guys it will continue to limit the ceiling for the team.

gchawk 9 years, 10 months ago

Attention all KU fans, we have found the missing link, no need to look any further.

KUbsee69 9 years, 10 months ago

Did Brady steal your girlfriend ... or what?

clevelandjayhawker 9 years, 10 months ago

Our gaurd play has been slacking, I would like to see Selby/EJ/Reed on point too, not so much them with it, but more to see how TT can play when he is off the ball. Reed seems to be one of the best handlers and i know everyone wants to see him jack 3s all game but he might be "the answer" to the point gaurd question right now. I still think TT is going to be the guy come march...

Is it just me or does the loss to Texas seem to cut the length of time we had till the big 12 conf tourney in half? I mean it seems like last week we had TONS of time to fix the problems, and now it feels like there is like a couple of weeks left to get this right.

hayjawk 9 years, 10 months ago

You are truly a foolish person. The only thing worse than a fool, is a loud fool.

Ben Kane 9 years, 10 months ago

wow, one loss and the sky is falling for some of you. chill out. let's get a W tonight!

jhawktop 9 years, 10 months ago

I'm assumnig local NBC will be airing the State of the Union address at 8 o'clock?

hayjawk 9 years, 10 months ago

WE have only lost one game, to a very good team, that played out of their collective ass in the 2d half, the day after our players were awake most of the night responding to a serious "family" problem. The sky is not falling. Coach will have his team ready. The maturation process continues. And these next months will be fun to watch. Have faith!

simpsonjayhawk 9 years, 10 months ago

I respectfully disagree with the fans that think Selby's minutes need to be reduced. He's clearly not playing at a level that we have come to expect has KU fans, but unfortunately I don't think we/HCBS have much of a choice. Taylor isn't going to be able to get it done and it doesn't appear that EJ can either. I've noticed this year that we don't have a guard that can consistently penetrate the lane, I’ve seen flashes of this from Releford, but I feel like we need someone who can get in there an create opportunities on a regular basis. Really wish we had a Keith Langford type player.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 10 months ago

Help...I'm in St.Louis and no sign of the Hawks on TV anywhere. We're getting the friggin' Missouri State game. UGH!!

Anybody got any ideas??

Steve Gantz 9 years, 10 months ago

I can't check ESPH3 from work here, but if you do, I'm guessing it's on there.

dynamitehawk 9 years, 10 months ago

Yes. Go to Ben McLemore's Mom's house decked in MU gear and use a loud speaker to serenade her with your worst Elton John impersonation for the next 18 hours...

Otherwise, I think that is something that many use outside the immediate viewing area.

RockChalkDoc 9 years, 10 months ago

When in St. Louis, I catch KU games at the St. Louis Sports Zone in Shrewsbury. Lots of televisions and KU alumni. Most of the time, they will play the audio for Jayhawk games. I just found out that they also have a new location in Arnold, just south of St. Louis.

Selbyville 9 years, 10 months ago

Yes, great place to watch a game. I never realized how many Jayhawk fans there were in the St. Louis area until I started going there

Tony Bandle 9 years, 10 months ago

Holy Crap...the Arnold location is about 5 minutes from my house in Oakville.

Now, if I walk in there and it's filled with a bunch of Missouri Tiger Hosers, some one is gonna pay!!!

texashawk10 9 years, 10 months ago

During my time at KU as a student, most of the people I met that weren't from Kansas or KCMO were usually either from St. Louis, Chicago, Dallas, or Denver.

Chris Shaw 9 years, 10 months ago

Go to a bar and ask them if they have ESPN Full court. Any decent sports bar will have it.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 10 months ago forget my friend, I am in Tigerland where civilized fans don't exist. There is safety in numbers!! :)

That's why I'm coming to the Kansas State game this Saturday to get my annual dose of Basketball Heaven. It keeps me for the whole year!!

And, Yes, I will spit out the window as I drive through Columbia each way!!!

REHawk 9 years, 10 months ago

At this stage, I am on board with promoting Selby for the point. I breathed a sigh of relief before Christmas, thinking that TT had sprung to life and would move dependably upward at that position. Obviously not happening. Just not in his nature to stay focused and avoid the highlight dreams.
Last season I ground molars when EJ chose not to don a red shirt; just as I did with Royce this season. The Russ Rob frosh fiasco proved that most promising guards need that extra season to prepare under Self's system. That said, it would appear to counter reason that Selby would be the best hope to lead this squad from the point for the remainder of the season. However, the TT/EJ projects have fallen short, to date. They each possess tremendous athleticism and strengths to help this team play to maximum potential. But the season flies by too quickly now for either of them to be valued as dependable leaders. If Releford mends quickly enough to provide significant minutes at the 3, the team might thrive best with Selby playing major minutes at the point. Turnovers are to be expected, but there appears to be better upside hopes. Only alternative is to toss Tyrel into the 1 spot.

REHawk 9 years, 10 months ago

Jeff Withey, tonight might just be the opportunity for you to establish your presence as a valuable ingredient to this squad's moving forward into February. Put on your thinking cap and hang tough when you enter this contest!

gchawk 9 years, 10 months ago

Great news all KU Sports posters, jayhawkinnebr has been removed!! Am glad that LJW got rid of that cancer.

Kurt Eskilson 9 years, 10 months ago

That is great news! I'm all for freedom of speech and respectful debate, but he/she was non-stop abusive with zero redeeming value. Just curious … how did you learn this?

gchawk 9 years, 10 months ago

I actually checked on one of my post for a possible response and I realized that one of my responses to jayhawkinnebr didn't show up, nor was his/her post. So I started checking on some of the other topics where I knew he/she/it posted and in every case their posts were absent. Sometimes it's a good thing to have a little time on my hands!

REHawk 9 years, 10 months ago

Is sad that former KU player Tad Boyle will no longer serve as a Big 12 coach after this season. Perhaps he will return someday to lead another of our league programs. Always dandy to find so many former Kansas talents and associates moving up in the coaching profession. As for Colorado, nice sub-heading, Gary: Bye-bye. Your program might miss our thousands of annual Big 12 supporters and Jayhawk ticket purchasers.

REHawk 9 years, 10 months ago

gchawk: Too good to be true. He will probably resurrect under some suspicious moniker such as bradynomo.

gchawk 9 years, 10 months ago

I thought the same thing, not sure how you can permanently keep "it" off the message board, but at least it's nice to have a reprieve, even if it's temporary.

Kye Clark 9 years, 10 months ago

chuckberr32 & hayjawk - I agree the sky is not falling. This is still a very good team with one loss to another very good team. However, I've brought up this saying before, and that is that "winning covers a multitude of sins." Surely last year we were all riding high after a 33-2 season and then bam...Northern Iowa. It was still a season of accomplishments, and overall fun to watch. Just keeping an eye on the bigger picture. As always I will enjoy watching this team play and win the majority of it's remaining games (hopefully going 4-0 against K-State and Misery).

hayjawk 9 years, 10 months ago

Point repectfully taken. I just think this team has yet to accomplish what it will. Although the first half of the last two games were awesome, I doubt that we have peaked. Still maturing and will put two halves together. I also suspect that we have not even begun to see how good J. Selby will be come dance time. When he starts driving, and I think he will, everyone on the floor will flourish. So, all I am saying is have faith, the not too distant future looks bright.

iowa_jayhawk 9 years, 10 months ago

Anyone know a place to catch the game online other than ESPN3?

Steve Gantz 9 years, 10 months ago

You mean you don't want to watch Obama?!!!

Laura Hrabak 9 years, 10 months ago

I've been 3 years in a row and it is way more than 50% KU fans most years! I expect this year to be even more so!

rnisly 9 years, 10 months ago

Can't wait to see them play tonight!

Jack Wilson 9 years, 10 months ago

ict: I have to say that you are on your game today .. lightning does strike every so often (insert smiley face here).

What to watch for tonight: Just watch the guard play. Watch and keep track of how many scoring opportunities the guard on the ball creates for teammates.

I had posted the following as coach Self's options at the 1 spot .. #1 being the most conservative (thus most likely), and #4 being the most risky approach (from Self's perspective):

1) TT continues to play primarily and we hope he reverts to early season form, with EJ getting 8 minutes or so; 2) Give Brady or Reed 10 - 12 per at the 1, with TT; 3) Playing EJ 20+ at that spot to challenge TT, and then best man gets the job. or 4) Self just saying "Selby, you're the man .. we'll live or die with you there".

Don't answer yet on which one you think would be best .. watch the game, consider what your ultimate goal would be for this team, then determine how much risk you'd be willing to assume.

REHawk 9 years, 10 months ago

drgnslayr: Buffs' Big 12 exit might be a double whammy squared for Colorado tourism, at least in regard to Jayhawk and Wildcat winter migration.

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