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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

KU men’s basketball team eager to be back home

Kansas forward Thomas Robinson tries to hook a shot under the bucket amidst the Towson defense during the second half on Friday, Nov. 11, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Thomas Robinson tries to hook a shot under the bucket amidst the Towson defense during the second half on Friday, Nov. 11, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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After exhilarating trips to New York and Hawaii, Kansas University’s basketball players are back where they feel most comfortable — home.

“I was shooting in the gym the other day. It felt so good just to be back,” KU senior point guard Tyshawn Taylor said.

“I’m excited to play a couple games in the fieldhouse.”

The Jayhawks, who are 1-0 at home and 2-2 at neutral sites, play their first home game in 19 days today — a 7 p.m. contest against (3-4) Florida Atlantic.

“Definitely, I miss our fans. You don’t get the same reaction (on the road) when you dunk or do something good as you do in the fieldhouse,” junior forward Thomas Robinson said. “I can’t wait to get out there just to see our fans, see the videos, the reaction, our last-minute chant and everything.”

The last time KU went more than 19 days without a home game was way back in the 2000-01 season when the Jayhawks traveled to Ohio State, KC’s Kemper Arena, Oklahoma and Texas Tech in a 32-day span in December/January.

“It’ll be fun for our guys to get back home. There’s not too many teams in America that are high-majors that are playing their second home game on Nov. 30,” KU coach Bill Self said. “From that standpoint, I know our guys will be more in a comfort state to get better.”

Like KU, FAU has spent most of its time away from home.

The Owls, who won the Sun Belt Conference last season and are picked to win the league again this season, lost to Portland (70-65) and Washington (77-71) and defeated Georgia State (84-77) at a season-opening tourney in Seattle. The Owls also lost at American (62-56) and South Florida (68-55) and won at Hofstra (62-60). FAU won its lone game on campus in Boca Raton — a 80-75 overtime decision over George Mason.

“They are a nice team and quick, really quick,” Self said.

Greg Gantt, a 6-foot-2 junior guard from Gainesville, Fla., averages a team-leading 14.7 points a game. Junior forward Kore White (6-8, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) and freshman guard Omari Grier (6-4, Erial, N.J.) follow at 10.4 ppg each. Grier scored a career-high 20 points off the bench Saturday against South Florida. White averages 5.9 rebounds and has 15 blocked shots. Pablo Bertone, a 6-4 sophomore from Argentina, averages 10.0 points and 4.3 rebounds per game.

Raymond Taylor, a 5-6 junior from Miami, averages 7.0 points and 5.1 assists.

“He’s really fast. He’ll probably be as quick as anybody we go against all year,” Self said of Taylor.

The Owls are coached by Mike Jarvis, who is 44-57 in four seasons at FAU. Overall, he’s 363-259 with stops at St. John’s, George Washington and Boston University.

“Mike coached a guy in high school who wasn’t a bad player — Patrick Ewing,” Self said. Indeed, Jarvis coached the likes of Ewing, Rumeal Robinson and Karl Hobbs at Rindge Technical High School in Cambridge, Mass. “He certainly does a good job. They won the league last year and are picked to win it again this year. It’ll be a tough game.”

After today, KU remains at home to play South Florida on Saturday (4:15 p.m.), Long Beach State on Tuesday (8 p.m.) and Ohio State on Dec. 10 (2:15 p.m.). After finals, KU meets Davidson on Dec. 19 at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

“March is a long way away. We want to get as good as we can nonconference to give us the best chance we can to have success in our league,” Self said. “Florida Atlantic, South Florida, Long Beach, Ohio State ... it doesn’t get any easier at all. We’re not going to get a chance to catch our breath for a while.

“When you play a hard schedule, you’ve got to win some of the games. We won a couple big games, lost a couple big games. We need to have some big wins moving forward. I do think it’s a great barometer of where you are at. We’ve been exposed in some things we don’t do well. I’d rather get exposed in November than January or February,” Self added.

As Self points out, not many teams have played the likes of Duke, Georgetown, UCLA and Kentucky this early.

“I think we’ve gotten better each day with the schedule we’ve played. Our schedule has forced us to probably have an enthusiasm and energy level to where we want to get better each day,” Self said. “The games on the horizon should be motivation, ‘We’ve got to get better today because we’ve got so-and-so coming up’ and that kind of stuff.”

Comments

Bob Houk 2 years, 4 months ago

It is halftime, but for those that are still trying to get the game. go to http://espn.go.com/watchespn/player/_/source/espn3/id/321192/# Go HAWKS

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chicagojayhawk87 2 years, 4 months ago

Anyone worried about Teahan? I really dont mean to be hard or sound like a downer, but I really don't think he can do anything but shoot an open three. He seems slow on D and unable to create his own shot. I think with Tharpe on the floor, and Releford, Johnson or Taylor we could be one of the fastest teams in the nation. I'm not saying he shouldn't get playing time, because Gawd knows we need the bench. just thinking outloud (or in text)

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hihawk 2 years, 4 months ago

Well, looks like Mike Leach is no longer unemployed, Washington ST. good place for him.

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Alohahawk 2 years, 4 months ago

Change of subject:

There is a recruiting article just out on zagsblog.com in which 4 star shooting guard I. Lewis says it's possible that he and his good friend, 5 Star small forward B. Greene, would choose the same school. Lewis states that he is high on Kansas. KU, Louisville and Memphis are showing the most interest, and are on both their lists. They are both in the 2013 class.

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cajayfan 2 years, 4 months ago

Lose to Long Beach State cause the players snooze on it and no way we beat Ohio State. Their point guard will eat Tyshawn alive. Allen field house is worth 10 points, but they beat Duke by over 20...we lost to Duke by 7. I know it is about match-ups, but they looked like an offensive machine. We have to search for our points after Thomas and Tyshawn. We lose by 12. Hope I'm wrong.

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jaybate 2 years, 4 months ago

Jarvis is an example of Self offering a hand to a coach that got caught up in the scum around St. John's.

As far as I have found, Jarvis had no problems at Boston U and George Washington before taking on the legacy proud, but riddled St. John's program.

Jarvis replaced Fran Fraschilla at St. Johns, when Fraschilla jumped to New Mexico.

Note: I always wondered about Fraschilla's jump to New Mexico. It seemed odd. Maybe he had smelled the corruption blend of coffee at St. John's and decided to split, or did he really think UNM was a step up from the Big East?

Regardless, Jarvis came in hot from GW and squirted to a strong start at St. John's.

Alas, the previously unscandal ridden Jarvis, suddenly found himself with having played an ineligible player for four seasons, plus a flattened trend line in his W&L stement his last two seasons, and St. John's S-canned him, and replaced Jarvis with Norm Roberts.

Jarvis sat out 3 years before he could get back on the bench at Florida Atlantic, where he once again appears to have no problems.

Remember Norm Roberts reputedly got the treatment from certain AAU coaches and juco coaches for doing things "the right way."

St. John's S-canned Norm, too.

Self stood up for Norm, took Niko, and Billy Donovan hired Norm at Florida.

I wonder: did Mike Jarvis get the business from the scum around St. John's, too? Did Mike get set up for the ineligible kid? I never found any details about the ineligible le player.

Maybe Self is offering professional curtesy to a guy who got framed?

Or maybe Self is offering a guy a hand, who faltered, but who has convinced colleagues he has decided to ply the straight and narrow?

Either way it is interesting.

Pray for Steve Lavin, at St. John's by the way.

He's in with the sharks, it seems.

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kushaw 2 years, 4 months ago

Mike Jarvis is the cleanest looking dude I've ever seen! His dome is always waxed and buffed so you can see your reflection. His beard and mustache is trimmed like a..................................I won't go there. Finally, you'll never see a wrinkle in his tie or suits.

If only his teams played the way he looked. Jarvis is a heck of a coach and IMO he's always taken the wrong jobs, but nothing wrong with that. Some guys like takng impossible challenges and I respect that out of some coaches. Jarvis is one them!

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jaybate 2 years, 4 months ago

“They are a nice team and quick, really quick,” Self said.

So: Florida Atlantic will be a chance for Naadir Tharpe to show he can handle D1 quickness with short legs before he has to handle D1 quickness with long legs. And our bigs are bigger and better than theirs, so our bigs can seal off the blow bys that occur, and we can win this game while Tharpe starts the long slow trek to being able to defend D1 speed with long legs.

Leg length and quickness mean devastating first steps.

Tharpe has to be get to where he can handle those first steps without having to sag so far off the ball to prevent blow bys.

If he has a lot of blow bys tonight, don't get down on him. He is learning and he will master it.

And if he does not have a lot of blow bys, do get euphoric. It only means he can control a quick guy with a short first step. But that is getting better and that is what Tharpe must do to be ready for the stretch run.

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RockChalk26 2 years, 4 months ago

Where is our Justin.Tv guy? Anyone have the username and password so I can watch the hawks tonight?

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cmhjayhawk 2 years, 4 months ago

I was at the Ohio State/Duke game last night in Columbus and boy the Bucks looked awesome. They shot 50% from 3 pt land and you won't beat a team that shoots lights out. I believe Kentucky did that to KU in NYC in the second half of our game..I knew Duke was soft but the difference in the game last night and the championship in Maui was that the guards were "in the game" whereas last night they weren't. Ku will have their hands full but the Phog is a special place and it will be the most hostile environment OSU will have played in for many years. Need to limit the turnovers and do what we do best. Go get em Hawks!

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kushaw 2 years, 4 months ago

EJ has to get to the line more than he has the first 5 games.

T-Relly-Almost as important as EJ is T-Relly IMO. He, just like EJ, needs these next 3 games as much as anybody. I'm not worried about his defense capabilities at all. I don't think any of us are. With that said, he needs to be more aggressive on offense. He's pressing a little bit on offense and when you get tight like that you start thinking. "Thinking" does not work. Slow down, let the game come to you, and just go out there and play ball.

Withey-Withey is doing exactly what I thought he would do this season and I'm excited for Withey. If he can stay away from the "Cheapies" that will take away from the pressure of Wesley, which I think is a good thing.

TT-TT will be fine, and I know most will point to his 11 turnovers as an issue, but that's the least of my worries. TT has to understand the importance of different possessions, game situations, and game management.

I talked about this the other day, but getting caught on a screen in the paint and being lazy just after your team just took the lead late in the game is unacceptable! It's Lazy and Selfish! IMO TT is held to higher standard and he has to understand these situations and circumstances! He's a senior and it's time to learn from these early season mistakes. The TO's will take care of themselves, but the "Effort" has got to be better.

TT has to pay attention to detail and that has to start now.

Wesley-Wesley is doing his thing and I'm not worried about him

Bill Self-I haven't read the other article, but it looks like Self is looking to expand his bench a little more. I wish Self would have used Tharpe against Duke more and I wish he would have used KY just more in general. I would like to see those guys in the rotation more. I hate to say it, but I would have liked KY to have subbed for T-Relly during that Duke game.

I know Self is looking for perfection, but with a team like this............growing pains are expected, but you have to let those kids experience those growing pains if they are going to have a shot. Coach K did it with Tyler Thornton and his confidence is through the roof.

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kushaw 2 years, 4 months ago

As a couple of posters have noted, I also watched the Ohio State game last night and came away very impressed. With that said, I think Ohio State is beatable and I think KU is going to beat the Buckeyes in Allen Fieldhouse.

For that to happen though, KU is going to have to be crisp, pay attention to detail, get better, and focus over the next 3 games against FAU, LBSU, and South Florida. LBSU and South Florida will not be slouches. KU's RPI and SOS will definitely pick up more steam by playing those teams.

Things KU needs to focus on over the next 3 games starting tonight with FAU.

T-Rob- Watching Jared Sullinger last night made me realize one thing....................The kid is a stud, patient, and so fundamentally sound with his feet. It was amazing how calm and collected Sullinger looked in the post. Even when the double team was coming, Sullinger took his time and always made the correct decision passing out of the double team.

     I think the most amazing thing about Sullinger was when he was getting double teamed and making that pass..........as soon as the ball was passed and getting reversed, he was already pinning his man, getting in position for either a repost or setting up his rebounding for the shot from the weak side.  It was pretty neat to watch that.

If there is one thing we know about T-Rob is that.............well two things............he's built like Zeus and he's got a great motor. I honestly think T-Rob needs to watch that game film of Sullinger last night and watch how calm and patient Sullinger was in the post. I"m not saying T-Rob needs to be like Sullinger, but T-Rob needs to shift gears at times and himself to take what the defense gives him. From the first game against Kentucky to the Duke game, you can see the game is slowing down for T-Rob, but I think these next 3 games will allow T-Rob to find his pace within these games.

EJ-I think the second most important piece of this team is EJ. I know some might be scratching their head on this one, but EJ has to use his athletic ability to get in the lane/paint and create for himself and for others. He has to be more aggressive! He's settling around the 3 point arc at the moment and that's unacceptable IMO.

I don't care if EJ's assist/TO ratio drops over the next 3 games, but he needs these 3 games more than anbody else IMO to get comfortable and creating off the dribble. He's too good to make defenders relax and sag on T-Rob. Have to keep those defenders honest and make them work and unfortuantely EJ is giving his defensive matchup a free ride.

cont'd

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beebe1 2 years, 4 months ago

Ohio State beat the heck out of Duke! Oh St had three guys score double figures before halftime. Oh St led by 9-0 in the first few minutes of the game, and led by 19 at the half! Of course "Duke didn't play well," Oh St guarded them hard. They seem to be the best team in the country -- wonder how the other 3 ahead of Duke are doing. If Syr is one of them, they didn't look so good last night.

Duke played D against us and stopped our 3 pt shooting. They couldn't against Oh St. Our best chance against them is to put our 3 best guards on them, like TRob, Taylor, and maybe Withey or Releford, and tell them to stop double teaming and stick with their man. We have to guard the 3 pt line effectively. That may not be enough. It looks like a potential loss to me. Oakville, you may have under-guessed Oh St potential.

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Tony Bandle 2 years, 4 months ago

Kansas vs Ohio State in Columbus..........lose by 10 Kansas vs Ohio State on a neutral floor....lose by 4 Kansas vs Ohio State in the Phog............win by 3

PS I'm onboard with hihawk..watch out for Long Beach State.

By the way, wasn't it Long Beach State that pulled one of the greatest upsets of Kansas many years ago? I think it was January of 1993 and KU was ranked #1 and I think they pounded us by 15 or so points.

Was this just a bad dream or did it really happen?

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chriz 2 years, 4 months ago

So, do we have a football coach yet? :)

I'm excited to see our guys play again. I don't mind Self sitting Tyshawn a lot during the next few games prior to OSU. He probably needs the rest more than anyone.

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REHawk 2 years, 4 months ago

Thomas and Jeff, I hope to see you continue your double-doubles. And Naadir, double your assists to turnovers!

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hihawk 2 years, 4 months ago

Ku better be looking at Long Beach State before Ohio ST.

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Jayhawks Rock 2 years, 4 months ago

I think those two games before the OS game will be good learning experiences for us. As far as the match-up with OS, I like our chances. They have three great players that defensively we can match-up well with. They don't use their bench either. It should be a fun game. We can definately hang with them. They handed it to Duke, but the refs called a pretty fair game and Duke didn't play well. We only lost to Duke because we didn't play well and they did. We can hang with the best this year. We have a better team than I expected. RCJH go KU!

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FSUJHAWK 2 years, 4 months ago

Ohio State will be a handful. I am not sure games in between give us enough time to develop our bench as needed, but I am sure HCBS sees it differently. It will be a great learning experience for us.

BTW, the "Last Minute Chant" reference is a bit amusing.

RCJHGKU!!!

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ttoulouse 2 years, 4 months ago

I love T-rob - am a BIG fan.

But...

Our "last-minute chant?"

As Boomer and the heads on ESPN say every Sunday - C'mon Man! You're a junior dude.

Rock Chalk T-rob, Rock Chalk.

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trustyourSelf 2 years, 4 months ago

I'm in need of watching a couple smackdown games

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