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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

trustyourSelf 2 years, 7 months ago

I'm in need of watching a couple smackdown games

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ttoulouse 2 years, 7 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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manunitedjayhawk 2 years, 7 months ago

Who cares what he calls it. He can call it a Gregorian chant for all I care. When we hear this "chant" it means we are winning, enough said.

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zsn 2 years, 7 months ago

At first I thought you were taking exception to the "last minute" part of that quote.......doesn't the chant start whenever the game seems comfortably in the bag, as in, sometimes it's 3 min to go, sometimes in the last 30 sec? Of course, what do I know....that chanting the end of the game "tradition" started well after I had left Lawrence. We only sang it at the beginning, right after the National Anthem and the Alma Mater.

When DID it start? BTW, I think the LJW needs to start a new stat category. Along with Attendance, Refs, T's etc, at the bottom of the box scores "Time Remaining When [RCJH] Chant Starts" (TRWCS)

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Mike Bratisax 2 years, 7 months ago

Gregorian? Let's at least use a Julian chant..

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Jack Wilson 2 years, 7 months ago

To zsn: Here's a link that gives a bit of the history:

http://www.kuathletics.com/trads/kan-rock-chalk-chant.html

manunited: Interesting that some have referred to it as a Gregorian-like chant. Pope Gregory would be proud.

http://www.rockchalk.com/john/john/rock.html

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zsn 2 years, 7 months ago

I knew that old historic part....but as I recall, it was never done at the end of games.....when did THAT start.....early 90's? As I said, we only sang it before the game began, and waved the wheat at the end

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travisthein 2 years, 7 months ago

I'm pretty sure Thomas Robinson, of all people, is well aware of the official name of the chant. He's clearly just listing off things he likes about playing at the Phog, and "last minute chant" is a perfectly acceptable way of mentioning the "Rock Chalk Chant" considering it's always chanted at the end of the game when we're obviously going to get the W.

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FSUJHAWK 2 years, 7 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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kesmithstl1 2 years, 7 months ago

Ohio State did look tough. However, keep in mind, that wasn't the same Duke team as in Maui. Plus, Teddy Valentine is THE worst ref in college basketball.

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FSUJHAWK 2 years, 7 months ago

Agreed, however, it won't be the same Jayhawk or Buckeye team either. Two things it will be however are f-u-n and a learning experience for both teams. This will be the first road test for the Buckeyes and first home marquee game for our boys and fans.

RCJHGKU!!!

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RockChalkGuy 2 years, 7 months ago

No offense, but what does this have to do with anything?

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kushaw 2 years, 7 months ago

Kesmith said "Can't Wait" and that is exactly what I thought of when he said "Can't Wait".

It's the "Can't Wait" clip!

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kushaw 2 years, 7 months ago

Have you seen it before? You have to watch the whole clip! Plus, KU is the underdog in the Ohio State game so it applies.

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Mike Bratisax 2 years, 7 months ago

Watching Duke get trashed...we have our work cut out for us. TRob Wesley and Withey need to limit fouling while still playing aggressive. Hopefully the same refs from Maui who did the Championship game are scheduled elsewhere.

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KGphoto 2 years, 7 months ago

They also beat Duke in Columbus Ohio. Ohio State hadn't left campus to date, and Duke had already played in an exhausting tournament 5,000 miles from home.

The Buckeyes first road test will be in AFH. I also like our chances.

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REHawk 2 years, 7 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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chriz 2 years, 7 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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kushaw 2 years, 7 months ago

I don't like that at all! Tyshawn needs to get his minutes, but Self needs to managage TT and EJ"s minutes better if he really thinks Tharpe is truly going to help off the bench. It's not about TT sitting because he needs the reps, but it's about Self managing TT better.

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chriz 2 years, 7 months ago

I don't know, dude. I think TT actually might learn more on the bench than he does playing. To a certain extent, of course. Remember when he came off the bench last year before the Big XII tourney and how well he played, particularly against Texas? I have a feeling that he's the type of guy who does a lot of soul searching on the bench.

Of course, he'd hate it if Self sat him. But I think it would do him some good mentally AND physically.

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Tony Bandle 2 years, 7 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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Kye Clark 2 years, 7 months ago

Wasn't a bad dream, I remember it also. 64-49 on 1/25/93, and yes KU was ranked #1. I remember they had Lucious Harris and he went off!

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kushaw 2 years, 7 months ago

Yep! Lucious Harris was a stud! Remember that game well!

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Kevin Huffman 2 years, 7 months ago

I was at KU at that time and at the game. I think I remember us missing a TON of free throws or we would've at least been in the game.

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beebe1 2 years, 7 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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Kevin Huffman 2 years, 7 months ago

Duke also had a lot of wrong guys taking the shots.

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kushaw 2 years, 7 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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kushaw 2 years, 7 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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MGJayhawk 2 years, 7 months ago

I disagree. TT is our most important player. When he is doing well, we are doing well - and usually win. Think back to Texas game in Big 12 championship last year and toward end of season. Good stuff though KUShaw.

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kushaw 2 years, 7 months ago

I never indicated who was the most important piece? :) All I said was that EJ was the second most important piece. I think you assumed that because I mentioned T-Rob first that I thought he was the most important piece, but that's not exactly true.

Thanks for the kind words though. I do agree that TT is the most important piece!

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kushaw 2 years, 7 months ago

Agreed, but not all pieces are weighted evenly, Jaybate.

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jaybate 2 years, 7 months ago

A draft choice impact player with a future draft choice impact player on the bench nearly as good should be assigned less team weight than a draft choice impact player with no one behind him.

Brandon Rush always had to be assigned the most weight on his teams, because the greatest drop off occurred after him. Self literally had no credible replacement for Rush most of the time, much less one as good as Rush. :-)

This issue of substitutability, or replaceability, extends further.

A great glue man with no one behind him remotely capable of doing all the things he does has to be assigned greater weight than an impact player with a backup almost as good as the starting impact player is.

The Twins were very important to last season's team, but because they had Thomas Robinson behind them their weighting was reduced. One could even debate about which Twin deserved greater weight, because of TRob's presence. I would argue that TRob replaced more of what Marcus brought, than the trey shooting big that Kieff brought.

But take away Kieff, and Marcus weight sky rocketed. Likewise, take away Marcus and Kieff's importance skyrocketed.

Systems, systems, systems.

People always wondered why Self relied so much on Brady Morningstar. Why did Self always say he was so important? Why did Self always assign him so much "weight"?

Because he never had a glue 3 back up to Brady that could do most of what Brady did. X, a draft choice, learned to do much of what Brady did (defend, move the ball, feed the post and pot the trey, plus rebound better, so X started). Josh was such a prolific scorer, in addition to being able to defend, that had he stayed healthy he would have forced Brady to the bench for all but 10-15 minutes a game. But outside of X, or Selby, Brady was one of the toughest guys for Self to replace.

If Player A can be replaced with little fall off, Player A, no matter how good he is, and no matter how much he scores, deserves less weight than the guy who cannot be replaced without a huge fall off in net benefits.

It is a hard concept for many persons to grasp and embrace.

Not saying you don't, just saying many operate without conscious awareness of the distinction.

I don't have time right now to debate who is hardest for this team to replace due to fouls, matchup disadvantage, or injury, but I suspect it is not as obvious as it may at first appear.

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jaybate 2 years, 7 months ago

Some, however, are easier to replace than others.

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jaybate 2 years, 7 months ago

kushaw,

I mention all pieces are important and some are harder to replace for a reason and it is not to question you.

Persons sometimes oversimplify the concept of weighting.

Weighting can express that primitive human need to ascribe more value to certain persons than others, in a dignified, rationalistic way.

But the point is that in systems, a player given lesser weight by some that fails to perform, can destroy the system just as easily and yield a failure (i.e., a loss in basketball) just as certainly as the failure of a person assigned greater weight, when the concept of weighting is not understood in terms of systems.

If an impact player fails, the team loses.

If a glue man fails, the team loses.

If a guy who spells the impact man, or a guy who spells the glue man fails, the team loses.

So weighting independent of system context is not meaningful to winning and losing.

Weighting only takes on meaning in terms of how difficult a player is to replace, if lost to fouls, match up disadvantage, or injury.

If he is the hardest to replace, without a great fall off in performance of the substitute, then he must be assigned most weight, whether he is an impact man, or a glue man.

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jaybate 2 years, 7 months ago

A draft choice impact player with a future draft choice impact player on the bench nearly as good should be assigned less team weight than a draft choice impact player with no one behind him.

Brandon Rush always had to be assigned the most weight on his teams, because the greatest drop off occurred after him. Self literally had no credible replacement for Rush most of the time, much less one as good as Rush. :-)

This issue of substitutability, or replaceability, extends further.

A great glue man with no one behind him remotely capable of doing all the things he does has to be assigned greater weight than an impact player with a backup almost as good as the starting impact player is.

The Twins were very important to last season's team, but because they had Thomas Robinson behind them their weighting was reduced. One could even debate about which Twin deserved greater weight, because of TRob's presence. I would argue that TRob replaced more of what Marcus brought, than the trey shooting big that Kieff brought.

But take away Kieff, and Marcus weight sky rocketed. Likewise, take away Marcus and Kieff's importance skyrocketed.

Systems, systems, systems.

People always wondered why Self relied so much on Brady Morningstar. Why did Self always say he was so important? Why did Self always assign him so much "weight"?

Because he never had a glue 3 back up to Brady that could do most of what Brady did. X, a draft choice, learned to do much of what Brady did (defend, move the ball, feed the post and pot the trey, plus rebound better, so X started). Josh was such a prolific scorer, in addition to being able to defend, that had he stayed healthy he would have forced Brady to the bench for all but 10-15 minutes a game. But outside of X, or Selby, Brady was one of the toughest guys for Self to replace.

If Player A can be replaced with little fall off, Player A, no matter how good he is, and no matter how much he scores, deserves less weight than the guy who cannot be replaced without a huge fall off in net benefits.

It is a hard concept for many persons to grasp and embrace.

Not saying you don't, just saying many operate without conscious awareness of the distinction.

I don't have time right now to debate who is hardest for this team to replace due to fouls, matchup disadvantage, or injury, but I suspect it is not as obvious as it may at first appear.

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kushaw 2 years, 7 months ago

Oh, I didn't think you were questioning me, Jaybate. I just think if Releford or Withey have a bad game.............it's not without possibility that KU can still win the ballgame.

If EJ, TT, or T-Rob have a bad game, the chances of KU winning drastically go down as we have seen already early into the season.

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jaybate 2 years, 7 months ago

You may be right, but it basically contradicts a systems approach to thinking about team play, which I realize not every one agrees with. :-)

Take the Duke game, for instance.

TRob basically had a pretty good game.

It was Withey that started strong, but then lost the ability to defend his part of the paint the second half. Think how many points in the paint Plumlee and Kelly got off Withey directly, or because Withey could not handle his man on his own. I am almost positive that Withey gave up way more points by not being able to defend his position, than TT cost KU by making 11 TOs, instead of his normal 4. 7 TOs over his average only cost KU 7 points assuming a blended 50 percent conversion rate for 2s and treys. Look at how many points Plumlee alone scored on Withey the second half. Then add in what Kelly got because TRob was having to double down for Withey. The reason Withey sat out the stretch was that Self knew that he had lost the ability to guard his position. Despite Withey having played well in a lot of ways, he cost them the game the second half, much more so than TT did, even though TT played poorly in one respect--TOs. Self noted that TT played very, every well outside the TOs. He guarded his position.

Where I am going here is that people mistake the fact that certain players score a lot for how important they are.

What makes players important is how irreplaceable what they do is.

The fact is that if TT, EJ, or TRob have off nights, then two of those three can do a lot of compensating for the one having the off night. We have a lot of guys who can score event his year. Travis too can pick up the scoring slack when one of the big three you mention struggles.

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jaybate 2 years, 7 months ago

But look at what they do other than scoring, that is where you begin to find their importance.

Withey is perhaps the most important player on the floor, because we have no one that can take over shot alteration and blocking even remotely as well as he does...not TRob, not Justin.

So, when Self was forced to sit Withey because of Withey's inability to guard his position, then KU lost something that its team defense requires to be much more than an average defense. Justin guarded his position much better, but Justin could not alter and block shots and largely deny the inside game to Duke. Boom! KU's team defense began to be just so-so.

TT is very important, not because of his offensive production, but because he plays so much help defense that glues the defense together. TT is very important.

Against great competition, Travis Releford is as big of a loss as Withey. We have no one that can play the glue three as well as Travis can, though EJ might be able to come close. But if we assign EJ, then we have to go to Tharpe, or KY, and these are sharp drop offs at the 3.

Intriguingly, this team can most afford to lose TRob and EJ, because we can bring in Justin who can guard his position, and Justin and Withey have shown that when TRob is not in the game they can scramble for the rebounds not quite as well, but still adequately.

Hence, in my book, according to my systems analysis, the three players most likely to cost us a game, if they have a bad game, are Withey first, Releford second, and TT third. EJ and TRob we can patch something together and limp along. But take away TT and the perimeter defense falls apart. Take away Travis, and there's just no replacement that can come close to playing a glue 3 against truly athletic competition. And take away Withey, and the entire team defense becomes so ordinary that without a great shooting night we cannot win.

in systems approaches to understanding things, a lot of counterintuitive insights emerge. They are not always right, but they tend to be right.

The question is not how much they contribute on a good night, or how little they contribute on a bad night, the question is can someone enter the game and compensate?

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jaybate 2 years, 7 months ago

Scratch that last paragraph.

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MGJayhawk 2 years, 7 months ago

I disagree. TT is our most important player. When he is doing well, we are doing well - and usually win. Think back to Texas game in Big 12 championship last year and toward end of season. Good stuff though KUShaw.

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cmhjayhawk 2 years, 7 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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RockChalk26 2 years, 7 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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chicagojayhawk87 2 years, 7 months ago

firstrowsports.tv has had all the hawks games, including exhibitions.

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RockChalk26 2 years, 7 months ago

Is this site legit? Have you used it?

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jaybate 2 years, 7 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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Mike Bratisax 2 years, 7 months ago

Rex Walter was the head coach at Floria Atlantic before leaving to coach the Dons. Just throwing that out there.

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HawkKlaw 2 years, 7 months ago

I'm not sure I agree with your assessment of Naadir. His legs, while they are certainly short, are also fast. Naadir can keep up with just about any opponent, whether playing DI, DII or pro ball somewhere. And he's got quickness that can't be taught.

The real issue, according to Bill Self, is how he hasn't learned to fight through screens. But you and I have already discussed this.

I do agree that this is a great chance for Naadir to get some live game experience though. Really, that is the biggest downside of Naadir's game right now. But I believe Naadir will exceed everyone's expectations.

Next season everyone will forget all the things they posted about Naadir's short-ness...except for those types of people that still moan about Brady. They'll still be yapping about his shortness. They don't really know basketball though.

People like you and I will forget about his short-ness.

Because his short-ness isn't necessarily a disadvantage. The biggest disadvantage Naadir has is that he has to prove "conventional" wisdom wrong, much like Spud Webb, Muggsy Bogues, Avery Johnson, Earl Boykins, Nate Robinson, Terrell Brandon and many, many others did before him.

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jaybate 2 years, 7 months ago

HawkKlaw,

We mostly agree about Naadir. I just thinks it takes guys longer to overcome certain kinds of deficits than you do. You could be right and it sure would help this team.

Every body type has trade offs.

Long guys like Tyshawn and EJ can have real problems with short guards that have incredibly quick first steps. Little guys can get up and under guards like TT and EJ on defense, and they can crowd them offensively and then dart around them.

But short guards, while they can get by long guards like Tyshawn and EJ, also have to score very quickly of the short floater, or long guards like TT and EJ run them down and smother them.

And then there is posting up to contend with for short guards.

Tharpe is about to get some very good experience tonight. He gets to be the tall guard and he has to use turn and burn on these little darters he's going to be up against.

If he has been working hard on his D, then he should be able to turn and burn on blow bys and catch these darters the way TT and EJ catch guys Tharpe's size.

Each of the guys you mention were superior athletes who rarely ran into anyone. shorter, or taller, that had quicker feet.

My guess is that with Tharpes offensive skills, if he had the same kind of foot speed now that any of the diminutive players you mention, Tharpe would have played half the Duke game at least.

But time will tell.

Thanks for the take.

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kushaw 2 years, 7 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, 7 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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Alohahawk 2 years, 7 months ago

Never quite been a Steve Lavin fan, although he did seem to be less biased than many while talking about KU during his commentator/announcing days.

Just liked the fact that he coached UCLA, because he didn't have that good of a record while there. For that reason alone, I had hoped he would continue coaching there. Obviously, I'm not a UCLA fan at all. Or Kenstinky (the worst), Missery, Arizona, Duke, N. Carolina, Texas....) Oh well, the list has grown to be quite extensive. Anytime any of those teams lose it helps to make my day.

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jaybate 2 years, 7 months ago

I was kind of suspicious of Lavin at UCLA, and never could figure out what he was trying do do offensively. It seemed almost 100 percent free lance at times, but, on the other hand, he is a Gene Keady disciple and Keady, though a goofy looker on the side line, was considered one of the guys that played it straight during his Purdue years, and Keady was a KSU baller in his day. So: I try to cut Lavin some slack.

That said, I have read where Lavin is vacuuming up most of the guys that Norm Roberts could not get. That does fill me with confidence about Steve's approach to recruiting.

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kushaw 2 years, 7 months ago

I disagree about Steve Lavin! I think he got the raw end of the deal at UCLA when he took them to 6 straight Sweet 16's.

Granted, I know NC State isn't anything like UCLA when it comes to prominence, but Lavin pretty much got Sendecked right out of there.

I think Lavin was thrown in a tough spot at UCLA and did pretty darn well considering the circumstances and the mess he had to clean up after Jim Harrick.

In regards to St. Johns and Seton Hall..............I would never ever ever ever in my life coach at one of those schools! The outside influences that dominant those schools is crazy!

If you're a clean coach...............you end up like Norm Roberts. I still think Lavin is a clean dude, but he's older and wiser having been in the broadcast booth so many years and understands what it takes to succeed at St. Johns. Not only is he a desciple of Keady, but he's also close with Lou Carnasecca which also helps.

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cajayfan 2 years, 7 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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Mike Bratisax 2 years, 7 months ago

Pointless fouling padded the score and is no way indicative of how close the game really was.

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Mike Bratisax 2 years, 7 months ago

Forgot to add that I too am not as optimistic as some. We will win close or lose by a lot. Hopefully it is the former.

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Alohahawk 2 years, 7 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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Kye Clark 2 years, 7 months ago

Thanks for the info. Always interested in hearing about potential future 'hawks! :)

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HawkKlaw 2 years, 7 months ago

Cool story bro! Way to post this under a basketball article!

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chicagojayhawk87 2 years, 7 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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Alohahawk 2 years, 7 months ago

There are a number of comments mirroring your concern under today's other thread, about Self's need for more bench production. Sure wish there was a way to light a fire in his speedos so as to get Teahan's feet moving faster. It's either that or Conner may have to mimic Duke's Thornton role with some last second heroics.

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KansasComet 2 years, 7 months ago

I am not worried about Conner. If he does not produce, then he should not play very much. I like the way he shoots when we are ahead, not so much when we are behind. He has had some good moments and some not so good moments. I think the next few weeks will tell the story on him.

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Bob Houk 2 years, 7 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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