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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Keegan

Conner Teahan calming influence

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KU vs. Pittsburg State

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Kansas defeated Pittsburg State, 84-55, Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self

Kansas coach Bill Self talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 84-55 exhibition victory over Pittsburg State on Nov. 1, 2011.

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The team’s three best players didn’t dress. Two were serving the first half of two-game suspensions. The third was injured. Two of the team’s top three freshman recruits will watch all season in street clothes because the NCAA denied them eligibility.

It was enough to make even veteran Kansas University coach Bill Self a little nervous heading into Tuesday night’s exhibition opener against Pittsburg State.

No wonder so many in the announced Allen Fieldhouse crowd of 16,300 that actually was much smaller appeared on edge at tipoff.

Seventy-five seconds later, Conner Teahan was on pace to score 288 points, and Pitt State hadn’t yet scored. With three beautiful long shots, Teahan stretched the defense and plenty of tense nerves. Nobody cheered harder for him than suspended guards Elijah Johnson and Tyshawn Taylor, who would have been feeling pretty lousy watching SportsCenter if things had turned out differently.

Teahan didn’t maintain his pace, but did contribute 21 points, seven rebounds, three assists, five three-pointers and a steal to KU’s 84-55 victory, during which KU outscored the visitors 28-11 in the final 8:45.

The nerves Teahan calmed while giving Kansas a 9-0 lead returned at times during an extremely sloppy first half generated by a mix of inexperienced walk-ons and scholarship players, but thanks to Teahan’s hot shooting display, Pitt State never drew closer than two points (23-21, 4:20 left in the first half).

A fifth-year senior who red-shirted last season, Teahan won’t get as many open looks in the regular season, but he will get significant playing time for the first time in his career.

“Conner’s our sixth man,” ninth-year Kansas coach Bill Self said. “There are no ifs, ands or buts about that. I like him as that because if he’s hitting, he can stretch it and all those things. But we weren’t going to probably win the game or have a chance to look very good unless Conner was offensive tonight. He’s up 9-0 to start the game. He played well.”

At the risk of getting myself tagged with the “sexist” label again, Teahan, in having his big night, proved it is indeed possible for a male member of the human species to exercise patience.

“He’s waited his time,” Self said. “And he’s practiced like this for the majority of our practice sessions.”

In his three seasons, Teahan five times reached double digits in minutes, played 218 minutes total and scored 81 points.

During five seasons under the direction of strength and conditioning coach Andrea Hudy, Teahan gradually has added strength and quickness.

“If you looked at the way I was in high school, I’ve always been slow-footed,” Teahan said. “I’m not the quickest guy laterally, but I’ve been able to work with Hudy, and I’ve been able to hold my own. I owe a lot to her and other people I’ve worked with the past four years.”

Teahan fills the most enjoyable of all bench roles. He’s the designated gunner.

“I’m not supposed to hesitate at all,” he said after making five of eight three-pointers and eight of 11 field goals. “They might be a little mad at me not taking more shots tonight.”

Comments

REHawk 2 years, 5 months ago

jaybate, thanks for the view. My basic knowledge of hoops Xs and Os is so limited that often I catch myself merely glued to movement of the ball rather than of the ten players on the floor. Your analysis and projections frequently elevate my overall focus. Bill Self's coaching mastery is well worth in-depth study of what he does with those five positions on the hardwood. Considering his 80%+ winning percentage, there obviously is some fine wizardry at work. For several seasons I have been fascinated with the work done by Brandon and Brady at the 3 position. Your take on Travis stepping into that spot offers both broader and narrower focus for my televised view of the game. Metaphorically insightful....

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Ralster Jayhawk 2 years, 5 months ago

21 pts/7 rbs= star of the game. +1 Conner!

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TopCityWarrior 2 years, 5 months ago

Cool Hand Teahan? That's what I've been calling him since he was a 3 point specialist his freshman year.

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Steve Brown 2 years, 5 months ago

Bate, so very true. Was thinking this a.m. in a few weeks we will drop from 13 to 28 and likely get bloodied in the garden and in Aloha land, then come home to testy Buckeye team. Opponents will test the FT % of TRob and JeffW. we better hit at the line and stay out of foul trouble. Our W/L record may not be pretty yet we are B12 Champs until taken down. This will be a tough test as the year unfolds, can the team perform at champioinship caliber effort. It is easy to root for team when we are triple loaded at every spot and finish 35-3. This team will test our resolve, losses may add up. I support 300 Spartans, Remember the Alamo, into valley of death rode the 600, our crew may be light yet our cause is just. forage for food. nah, we got Conner the Bomber.

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KansasComet 2 years, 5 months ago

This is an interesting group we have this year. Cannot wait to see how we do in Maui, after we have a few games under our belt.

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jaybate 2 years, 5 months ago

This KU basketball team is outnumbered. Most of these players do not yet even realize what an inhospitable island they have landed on. When the opponents start dishing out the XTReme muscle and the losses come, they will become alone. Many that support them now will begin to sail with the withdrawing fleet looking at next year.

This will not be FOE overcoming personal tragedies with all the basketball odds stacked in a teams favor rolling toward 30 victories and with everyone's sympathy. Everyone loves a winner with some hardship.

Hard losses, and several of them, make cowards of many supporters that seem dedicated.

Injuries will come that make a good season seem beyond hope.

This will be real survival of a team facing long odds.

But there was early evidence on that floor against Pittsburgh State that this bunch does not merely walk in the valley of the shadow of death, fearing no evil, but that these young players have already embraced the idea that they must fight just to find a way to survive each game, that winning a war started here and now. That there are no guaranties anyone will survive this campaign at all. There was a look the players' faces that said they know what kind of deep shizz they are in and that they are going ashore anyway and they intend to find a way to survive no matter what comes.

History is always determined by groups of such young persons and their leader.

Got Travis Go!

Go Bill Go!

Go Hawks Go!

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jaybate 2 years, 5 months ago

Travis Releford has had to wait a long time to get his shot.

This season, if he can discipline himself, if he can keep all the flipping plays of all the positions straight, and if he can stay healthy, Travis Releford may become the first full time 2/3/4 swing man in KU history.

Heck, there's a chance he may play the point in some situations.

Travis could easily wind up playing 40 minutes a game, if his conditioning permits, and if he can stay in synch while playing so many positions.

Travis looled mentally overwhelmed last night, like a smart grad student in the early stages of working on two Master's degrees simultaneously. He should have. And he will for while. Self is basically telling Travis, "Hold Henderson Field and go get the enemy, and in your spare time fly a few combat missions."

And this really is this team's Guadalcanal in the very early stages. This next month and a half are going to be one long Guadalcanal.

It is going to take Travis some reps to get this role knocked.

There is going to be a lot of real doubt about how this campaign is going to go for the next month and a half.

People are going to get ambushed. There are going to be bloody battles lost. Everyone on the team is going to get a serious taste of what maybe not surviving against the odds is like. There is going to be hand to hand combat and that they are going to lose some times. The enemy is at times going to have way more fire power and way more numbers. And just as the Marines did on Guadalcanal, these players are going to know they are expendable; that this season is an operation aimed not at winning, but at stemming the tide of a very bad situation. These players are going to have to play knowing that when things go south, everyone will want to leave them to their doom, and pull back and save material, and reputations, and play for next year.

People forget now that a US Navy admiral withdrew to save his fleet and effectively abandoned the Marines and Army on Guadalcanal for a time, when things looked bleakest.

Those out numbered jar heads and dog faces were for a time utterly alone in one of the most inhospitable islands 3000 miles from home with no way off, with nothing but each other and some officers that resolved to kill their opponent by hand if necessary not so much to win a battle, but literally to survive and forage for food.

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jaybate 2 years, 5 months ago

Travis has never been steady enough to play this role for the team, and he showed some of his old twitchiness occasionally against Pitt State, but I am already pretty convinced that this is the role Self is going to make him play, and that this team will be as good as Travis Releford is at this role.

Self, lest we forget, likes to ask player to play out of position, outside their comfort zones. Super stars like BRush become jack of all trades. Point guards like Selby become 3s. Point guards like Chalmers wind up 2 guards. Tall 3s become 4s. Hulking post men like Kaun and Aldrich are told to go chase and guard pick and rolls 28 feet from the basket. Natural starters, like Collins in 08, are told to be sixth men. Guys that see themselves as offensive players, are told to become lock down defenders. 6'11" post men like Kaun are told to forget about rebounding and just guard their position and set teeth rattling picks. Big 4s like Kieff are told to play 5. Guards are sent to the boards. Self with a basketball team is like Mozart making combinations of sounds no one ever dreamed of before.

Last season, Tyshawn and EJ proved they can do what Self will ask of them this season.

Conner is getting one of Self's custom tailored roles that fits him.

TRob has a huge learning curve ahead of him, but he accomplished quite a lot last season and seems on a path to do what Self asks of him--be the first option most of the time.

Withey now seems capable of playing 20 minutes, even if a good portion of it involves him being pushed into the cheap seats, while swatting and altering shots as he is pushed there.

But the guy with the biggest, most demanding, job in the Self system is the do everything three. It is the role Travis is going to play, even though by nature he seems almost utterly unsuited to it.

And it looks like Kevin Young is months from being a credible backup, unless Self is sand bagging.

And Conner, though he will sub for Travis at the 3, and maybe play some short 4, when Travis is otherwise occupado, will not really be replacing Travis at the 3. He will be enabling Self to move Travis to another slot on the floor and draining treys in Travis' absence.

In fact, Self is going to ask more of Travis than he asked of BRush and Brady.

BRush but for a very few times never had to play 2, because Chalmers had it nailed and RR could play it, too.

Travis could well play some 2, some 3 and some 4 every single game of the season. And before the season is over, he is going to start at each of those positions one time or another.

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jaybate 2 years, 5 months ago

The mantra will go something like this: Travis do everything but score until your teammates cannot, then take over for awhile to get them untracked, then go back to doing everything but score.

Self did this with both BRush and Brady. BRush was just so great that he could play the role and still get 10-14 laying off the trigger. But time and again last season, when nothing was working, when things were gummed up, Self would go to Brady and say break the log jam. Sometimes Brady did and sometimes he didn't. But that was his role, as sure as it was BRush's and as sure as it will be Travis.

Travis is going to get 10-12 ppg and people are going to wonder why he isn't scoring more, the same way they used to wonder about BRush and Brady.

It will be because Travis is being asked to be everywhere for everyone simultaneously the way Self used to expect BRush and Brady to be.

Travis will be using his awesome athleticism to lock his man AND help out others.

He will play the wing until the guys at the four cannot cut it and then he will be sent to solve that problem.

When EJ runs into a really muscular 2 (like some MSU 2) that starts taking him inside and beating him senseless with muscle, Self is going to send Travis to fix it.

When there is a short fast and silky 3, Travis is going to have to stay with him, and put a hurt on him occassionally.

When there is a tall 3 that can stretch it from three, Travis is going to have to range out and still help and board.

When there is a wide body bigger than him, Travis is going to have to play grind it out.

And when there is a lottery pick that gets off someone else's leash, a guy Travis can't stop, but might slow down, like BRush being sent to save Julian's butt against Kevin Durant, Travis has to have thick enough skin and enough wiliness to slow him down without getting his confidence shaken.

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jaybate 2 years, 5 months ago

"Travis Is the Key/The Guadalcanal Campaign Has Just Started"

I know people were not very jazzed about Travis Releford's game last night, but I thought he played well.

And I want to call attention to what appears to be his role on this year's team.

Travis is monster athletic.

In our brief exhibition look at the team, he appears to be tasked with the Brandon Rush/Brady Morningstar role of compensating for everyone else with his athleticism and skill and versatility.

BRush was the lottery pick version of this role. Brady was the just get it done version of this role. But both BRush and Brady were the best defenders on their teams. And both guys were tasked with the other team's top perimeter player, and with shifting over to shut down another teammates on fire offender. Further, BRush and Brady were the kings of help defense. BRush added boards and a create a trey game. Brady just made the open look at 40-42% and played point when situations required.

Travis Releford has BRush grade size and muscle, and he is frankly more bouncy and racy than BRush, though that's deceptive because Rush was KC Kool Jazz Smooth. No doubt Travis can put it on the deck and create, but my guess is he won't do a whole lot of that this year, just as BRush and Brady did not either. Tyshawn seems the logical candidate for dating the rack on a regular basis. It remains to be seen what kind of triafectate Travis can be, but even if he has a good stroke, it is likely Self will want him only taking open looks, and leaving most of the trey shooting to EJ based on last year's stats.

My guess, however, is that when the going gets tough, when TRob is fouled up, and Withey is getting pushed around, when EJ is not hot, and when the opponent has some trees that are making it tough on Tyshawn, when the team needs a goose, Self is going to huddle up and say, "Travis make something happen," the same as Self did with BRush.

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hihawk 2 years, 5 months ago

jaybate, what, are you sick today and can't write 22 pages and say nothing?

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jaybate 2 years, 5 months ago

What? No AARP jokes about Treyhan? :-)

Oops I accidentally just made one.

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Tony Bandle 2 years, 5 months ago

That red shirt year may have been the best thing for Conner. [..well, and not making the football team, of course].

I hope he brings a "Tyrell Reed-like" attitude to the team this year as well.

Honestly, and I pride myself on always being straight with you fellow Jayhawks, I feel that anything Conner can contribute to the team this season will be a big bonus, even if it just attitude and the will to win.

PS A whole big bunch of trifectas would be great as well!!!

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jgkojak 2 years, 5 months ago

If you are upset at Self redshirting someone, it should be Releford/Little two years ago, when we really could have used them against UNI.

Which would have meant, of course, that Teahan would not have red-shirted last year, meaning we would have had him available against VCU.

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Ralster Jayhawk 2 years, 5 months ago

EJ said CT can hit 60 treys in-a-row in practice. EJ admitted he himself can only hit 42-45 in a row.

The good thing is 4 out of Conner's 5 treys were actually contested by whichever 6'3 PSU player was in front of him. He actually missed the wide-open look.

Saw Treyhan move his feet alot better than 2yrs ago.

I think CT is the next Tyrady MorningReed, except a 6'5 version, perhaps a better shooter even...he could/should have a solid year. Hopefully consistent. We need him.

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Lash 2 years, 5 months ago

He's been able to shoot this good since he arrived at KU. Should have been in every game and had his 3-4 shots a night. Our record would have been even better.

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William Blake 2 years, 5 months ago

Is it really true that Conner's full name is Sean Connery Teahan?

How did he acquire his "James Bond" shooting accuracy? The M5 target range, maybe?

Great game, 007!

Can we exception the NCAA and have 007 put on his jersey?

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REHawk 2 years, 5 months ago

I enjoyed reading CT's humble comments regarding leg speed, and his tribute to the sound input of Andrea Hudy. Great opening game for Conner. He could be a real game changer this season. Opponents will have to prepare for a second set of Jayhawk offenses, shifting and adjusting quickly when CT enters a game. If he and TRob both draw double teaming, we have guys who can make them pay. Withey and our twin guards or Releford just might go off like Chinese fireworks. John Calipari might be tossing in his sleep tonight, wondering how his very talented but green lineup will adjust to the Jayhawk offense.

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Keith Richards 2 years, 5 months ago

Let me give it a try Keegan...

With the risk of you guys calling me racist, Mexicans do such a much better job than others putting roofs on houses and picking fruit from fields.

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like_n_Lawrence 2 years, 5 months ago

Two of the three freshman recruits will be watching the season in street clothes due to ineligibility.

Who is responsible for this? I hope they are without a job. Seriously, this is ridiculous! How does something like this happen? Are there not studious kids out there that are good at basketball, and want a FREE...quality education? Maybe it is time to use a different strategy...and a new person in charge of the "basketball player eligibility" area.

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hawkster007 2 years, 5 months ago

Just glad to get a reprieve from football, the fieldhouse was very hot last night, literally. I actually like the fact these young kids are getting some valuable game time experience early in the season, although that will drop off a lot when TT and EJ are back because HCBS needs to have this starting 5 develop some chemistry more so than recent teams. The team settled down in the 2nd half, NT had 7 TO's the first half and only 2 the 2nd half, but then again KU fouled out a lot of the PS players the 2nd half and was starting to play PS's 2nd string in the 2nd half also. Worse stat, giving up 21 offensive rebounds to PS, that is almost double KU's 11 offensive rebounds, Ouch! Other than NT's 9 turnovers, the TO count was not that bad, especially for a first game, but we are not playing a Big 12 quality team yet. Contrary to what Keegan says, I think CT will get lots of open looks this year when TT and EJ drive the lane and kick it out for a CT 3-pointer. Coach Townsend came down hard on Wesley and Young after the game. He said Wesley needed a lot more than 2 rebounds for 20 minutes, and I agree, especially against a Pitt St. Townsend also said Young's defense was probably the worst, letting guys dribble around him to the bucket. Wesley and Young will have to spell TRob and Withey, and right now they look real green. Encouraged by CT's shooting, looks like he has returned to his freshman hot shooting status. And NT was a much better shooter than I thought he would be, he is supposedly not known as a scorer. KU will need more out of Releford also, but its early, and I think Releford will be much better with TT and EJ back in the line-up. I'm looking forward to b-ball no matter, I think Self and Manning will coach the heck out of these kids and get maximum performance.

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doolindalton 2 years, 5 months ago

1) The reverse layup in traffic was impressive. 2)Though I am glad he is still with us, if he plays this way in practice all the time then Bill redshirted the wrong person last season because the team could have used a 6-6 kid who can shoot, gets to the hoop and plays with passion. I don't think CT is the kind of player who would have taken the day off against VCU. 3) Could he could have been a solution to KU's quarterback problems as well? 4) Andrea Hudy should get a raise.

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actorman 2 years, 5 months ago

Okay, Keegan, you're sexist. There was absolutely no reason to specify gender; you could just as easily have said he'd shown patience over the course of his time at KU, without injecting a comment that was an insult to both men and women.

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jhawkrulz 2 years, 5 months ago

I disagree with one thing. Teahan had to have been one of the focuses on the defense with EJ, TT, and TRob on the bench. I'm also sure that JW was getting some double teams. In the regular season, I think the pressure will shift to TT to try to get turnovers, and I think that will lead to some open looks from people like Teahan. Additionally, I think with someone like TRob on the court, the double teams aren't going to double team JW, they are going to double team TRob. I expect that with the focus on the other two players, I think JW and someone like CT, can end up having solid years. The key will be for TRob to execute and distribute out of the double teams. and for TT not to turnover the ball. Those things will be difficult, but if the team is successful in doing that, we will have a really good year.

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Alohahawk 2 years, 5 months ago

Treyhan. Love it! Let's hope we can say that after every Jayhawk game this season. How about a nickname: "Triple Trey Treyhan".

Today's LJW headline could have read: "It's Triplets for Teahan and Withey Against Pittsburg State".

And some suggestions for a few future LJW headlines:

"Teahan Shoots To Top of Trey % Charts".

"For the Record: Withey Organizes Block Party".

"TRob Top Lob Man".

"Another Taylor Made Victory".

"Johnson Soars to New High in the Phog".

"Tharpe Sharp at the Point".

And then there's the old standby that never gets old: "Self Leads Jayhawks to Big Twelve Basketball Crown"

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kushaw 2 years, 5 months ago

Holy Downtown Teahan! Or Holy Downtown Treyhan! It's a knock off of Downtown Terry Brown, but nonetheless it has a nice ring to it.

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