Monday, December 10, 2012

Spirited victory helps Self preach high-energy approach to Jayhawks

Kansas guard Travis Releford knocks the ball away from Colorado guard Spencer Dinwiddie during the first half on Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Travis Releford knocks the ball away from Colorado guard Spencer Dinwiddie during the first half on Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Finally, thanks to his Kansas University basketball team’s spirited effort in Saturday’s 90-54 victory over Colorado, Bill Self possesses some game film that’s pleasing to the eyes.

“We have shown them a lot of tape (this season). It hasn’t been very positive the majority of things we’ve shown. (We say), ‘Look at this. Is this the best we’ve got?’” KU coach Self said on Monday’s Big 12 coaches teleconference. “Now we can show tape from the other day saying, ‘We’ve got to guard this better, but a lot of times effort and energy make up for the mistakes.’

“I think everybody tries hard. The teams that give the appearance of playing the hardest are always the teams playing with the most energy and having the most fun, and that’s what we had Saturday,” Self added.

KU has had some ugly victories en route to a 7-1 record and No. 9 national ranking.

“The mistakes we made defensively against Colorado ... we made up for them with four or six hands trying to steal every ball, two guys trying to block every shot, guys diving on the floor,” Self said on Monday’s “Hawk Talk” radio show. “I’m not sure we played a lot better. I just think we’ve been duds until Saturday. On Saturday it became fun for the kids. That’s something we have to bottle. We are not going to be a pretty team to watch all the time. We can do some good things, but what we’ve got to do, we’ve got to be high-energy, high-octane-type personality. If we do that, good things will happen.”

Senior forward Kevin Young provided a huge spark. He scored 16 points off 8-of-9 shooting with eight rebounds, two steals and two assists in 20 minutes.

“He had energy. He didn’t do many things where you look and say, ‘His stroke looked great or this or that,’” Self said. “Basically it was his energy, his hustle. He was terrific. His ball screen defense was better. So was Jeff’s,” Self added of center Jeff Withey.

For the year, the 6-foot-8, 190-pound Young has averaged 6.3 points and 6.4 rebounds in 18.6 minutes a game.

“We were talking today ... it would be really great to bring Kevin off the bench,” Self said of the player who has started five of seven games, missing one game because of injury. “He brings energy off the bench. He’s playing so well, you can’t afford to do that. We’ve got to have Jamari (Traylor), Perry (Ellis) and Naadir (Tharpe) more so than anybody else bring energy into the game and be assertive as opposed to just trying to fit in.

“Quit worrying about screwing up. Quit worrying about trying to score points. Just rebound, defend, dive on the floor, do the things that will give you confidence. One thing about Kevin, he’s the best talker we have. He won’t shut up. That’s contagious and good. A team that doesn’t talk can’t play,” Self added. “Bring in young kids who are unsure, (and) they don’t open their mouths, all of a sudden you lose a little bit of talking and energy, and it doesn’t look near as crisp. (Young) guys aren’t used to doing that. Our guys can learn from Kevin in that regard.”

The Jayhawks, who are in final exams this week, practiced Monday. They will practice today, take a day off Wednesday, then practice again Thursday and Friday in preparation for Saturday’s game against Belmont (6 p.m., Allen Fieldhouse). Belmont, of the Ohio Valley Conference, takes a 6-2 record into Thursday’s game against Middle Tennessee State in Belmont’s arena in Nashville.

“It’s a huge week for us,” Self said. “Basketball-wise, we need to get better. I don’t know if you get a lot better in finals week. You maintain, hopefully. Hopefully those guys are exhausted and tired staying up late studying like everybody else is (in student body). We need a good week academically this week and again in May. Those two weeks are as important as any weeks all year.”


Scott MacWilliams 9 years, 1 month ago

Okay Jayhawks:
Now you don't ALL have to look like you're on a pogo stick flying down the court, a la KYoung, but you gotta admit he looks like he's having more fun than anybody else out there. His energy and enthusiasm is contagious, at least for those of us cheering from a long distance away.
Who knows, maybe it would be better to have him come off the bench after about the first 2 minutes, so just as the opponent thinks they might be able to keep up with the Hawks, BAMM! goes the KY the cruise missile! The Flying Grin and Monster Fro! Can't stop That!!

Use Finals week to hit the books and rest the bones a bit, and then get ready for the last few non-conference games and then the real deal in Big 12 time!!
On to title #9!

Rock Chalk, etc....

David Serven 9 years, 1 month ago

What is "...his inner mean steak"? Could it be "streak"?

hawk316 9 years, 1 month ago

I would love to see Kevin come off the bench. He's the perfect kind of player for that role. But until someone else steps up to sufficiently fill the starter role, Young is probably the best bet. I would think Ellis may be the guy eventually.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 1 month ago

Actually, I really don't know what his issues are. If I had to guess, I would say confidence. Inner mean streak a.k.a. aggressiveness sounds just as plausible. I don't believe the was overrated but from high school to a blue-chip program such as Kansas can overwhelm just about anybody.

Regardless, I see him making whatever adjustments are necessary and becoming a major contributor.

David Leathers 9 years, 1 month ago

That game on Saturday was the hopeful turning point for this year's team. KY was moving so fast in and out of the lane, slipping by the defenders, and finishing at the hole. Such a role model, that kid.

Dirk Medema 9 years, 1 month ago

"Hopefully those guys are exhausted and tired staying up late studying like everybody else is (in student body). We need a good week academically this week and again in May. Those two weeks are as important as any weeks all year.”

Sounds like Coach Weis :-)

jaybate 9 years, 1 month ago


FROM: jaybate

TO: Pops Self

RE: Roy Hobbs coming off bench


Are you INSANE? Stop. Hobbs only player on your team capable of making anyone else better. Stop. Use Hobbs to make your best four better. Stop. Hobbs scored and boarded 32ppg and 16 rpg when normalized to 40 minutes. Stop. Only player on team other than Ben capable of that. Stop. And Hobbs way more efficient than Ben. Stop. Make Hobbs your 6th man and you will be known forever as the man who sat Roy Hobbs. Stop. If you want Hobbs to be your sixth man, start him and then leave him instead of resting him. Stop. You got a gift Pops. Stop. Be grateful. Stop. Once injuries start in start in second half of season, Hobbs will probably start at all five positions one game or another. Iris has tickets for the Madness. Stop. You will see. Stop. Go to Eldridge with Red Dooley. Stop. Have steak au poivre. Stop. He will tell you. Stop. Eats pretty good. Stop. Hobbs is special. Dont ask why? Stop. Play him. Stop.

Kit Duncan 9 years, 1 month ago


I'm a big fan of "The Natural" and agree Kevin's energy from the start set the tone for the entire game! Kevin "Hobbs" needs to start until someone else can match or exceed his desire to compete.

PS. Whatever "Wonderboy" lightning tattoo he's wearing needs to be copied by every other teammate.

Jonathan Allison 9 years, 1 month ago

Travis Releford is capable of 32p and 16r per 40min. But only when he's not guarding the point guard. Remember when Self used to use him a small post-man? He would play the PF position and he had a knack for fighting off the boxout and using his agility to steal rebounds.

jaybate 9 years, 1 month ago

You're right. Travis could do it at the 3.

But at the four?

Refresh my memory on which game Travis played the 4 and scored 16 points on 8 of 9 from the field and 8 reebs in 20 minutes.

Not saying it didn't happen. Just don't recall that kind o productivity and efficiency from Travis at the 4.

Benz Junque 9 years, 1 month ago

If you think you'll get that out of Young every game, you are even crazier than you portray on these boards. Great game by Young, but he does not have the talent to do that on a game-in, game-out basis. Ellis does. Self has said that Ellis is not rweady to start yet, but that when he will, Young's energy and per minute production will be even more effective when brought in from the bench. Frankly, they'd probably increase as he would be matched up against the opponents bench players more often.

jaybate 9 years, 1 month ago


Part 1

Starting with a straw argument--suggesting someone thinks something they obviously don't, then calling them crazy for thinking it--is always a sign of a weak mind, or a disingenuous poster, or both. Which of these three are you?

I expect Kevin to keep starting at the 4, as long as he outplays Perry, what with Kevin having only one good hand. :-)

There that was easy.

Who but a moron impersonator such as yourself would think someone else stupid enough to think that Kevin would go 8-9 every game in 20mpg, or grab 8 caroms every 20 minutes. Thomas Robison did not grab 8 caroms every 20 minutes he played, so why would anyone but a moron impersonator think that someone else would think that Kevin would do so every 20 minutes?

Now, if you don't mind, I am going to address you henceforth as my dear moron-impersonator, not as an epithet, but rather as a label aimed at keeping squarely front and center in readers' minds just how foolish the premise of your post was in the first place, as I continue. Capice?

First, my dear moron-impersonator, Young is starting his second year of playing big for KU; that is one of two years in a typical college career when KU bigs improve most over the course of a season. Young is already showing that kind of improvement. Freshman bigs often struggle as Perry is doing.

Second, my dear moron-impersonator, Young is doing what he has done with a BROKEN HAND!!!!!!!!!!! This means that he is playing efficiently and productively with basically one hand. Add one more hand to his offensive game, and don't you think he might just pick it up a notch or two from here? Well, you wouldn't if you were continuing to impersonate a moron, but otherwise I believe you would.

Kevin Young has proven to be an explosive player with quite a bit of variance in his level of contribution due not so much his emotional level of play, but rather due to his slight build. There are some opponents that his slight build, exceptional quickness for his size, impressive anticipation, and his relentless effort give him a pronounced edge over, while against other types of players, he struggles. This comes with Self playing him at the 4.

But I am pretty optimistic about what I see so far.

Give this guy the same number of games to get better and have two hands, that freshman Perry gets, and I think Perry is going to have the same trouble keeping Kevin off the floor that other 5 stars had keeping Brady and Tyrel off the floor. Self may start the 5-star for a specific skill advantage, or two, and to avoid bad PR for not developing his 5 stars rapidly enough, but over the course of a game, Self gets the guys that can play and do the most things well into the game for 20 mpg.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 1 month ago

"I expect Kevin to keep starting at the 4, as long as he outplays Perry, what with Kevin having only one good hand. :-)"

That's how it's been done under HCBS and particularly with freshman. No doubt that Bill Self knows that at some point Perry Ellis will be back at the starting position but not until he earns it.

jaybate 9 years, 1 month ago

Part 2

Not everyone passes the eye test.

Not everyone gets good at the same time.

But Kevin Young is a very good basketball player with one hand (that will be much better with two) and he keeps getting better, while many distract themselves with talk about stars and potential.

One more thing: you're suggestion that Kevin's production would go up against second stringers is another one of those unintentional stupidities you seem a merchant in.

If Kevin's numbers would go up against second stringers, and I suspect they would, too, then you have just doubly damned Perry, because his numbers have fallen against them. :-)

If you would stop impersonating a moron, I believe you would come into your own as a board rat.

You evidence awareness of logic.

You just don't know how to think logically yet.

Rock Chalk!

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 1 month ago

twocoach44, I'm sure that this is most likely unwanted advice but here it is anyways:

If you're going to battle a wordsmith a.k.a. jaybate, make sure to bring your best. Taking a knife to a gunfight has predictable outcomes.

Steve Gantz 9 years, 1 month ago

I took a class at KU called the Literature of Baseball, needless to say loved every minute of it. In the movie of course Roy Hobbs forgets about throwing the series and wins it. In the book, Roy Hobbs strikes out ending the game and series. So do you want the book version or the movie version?

jaybate 9 years, 1 month ago

Movie. And I've written a long explanation why, but I'm not posting it yet, because I know it will infuriate everyone. :-)

KansasComet 9 years, 1 month ago

Perry Ellis will be the starter. He has less than 10 games Division 1 experience. He will be fine and his talent will shine through. Kevin Young will play hard whether he starts or comes off the bench.

jaybate 9 years, 1 month ago

Perry's biggest worry right now is that Kevin is doing what Kevin is doing with one hand!!!

Kevin is going to get quite a bit better as his hand recovers. And this is his second year in the system and that is always the year of the greatest improvement for any KU big. Kevin's improvement probably won't peak until early February, if past players are any indication.

I suspect Self will begin playing Kevin some on the perimeter, as he alluded to previously, once Kevin's hand fully rehabs. Once Self starts doing that, then Self can bump Perry to starter and actually increase Kevin's overall minutes. Kevin can have 20 mpg at the 4 and 10 at the various perimeter positions, when defense is needed.

Then Self will have both these guys getting more minutes, which is probably what he wants.

And he will be keeping the Shoecos and Agents happy about their 5star--Perry.

Gotta keep the Complex happy, or the complex will just shut off the 5-star talent again.

KansasComet 9 years, 1 month ago

Perry will get better. Kevin will get better. The Kansas Jayhawks will get better. Coaching will get better. This team has not played 10 games yet, and it will get better. Hopefully the whole team will get better as the season goes on. Hopefully we all get better. Hopefully posting on this board will get better!

jaybate 9 years, 1 month ago

Yep, I hope it works out that both guys play based on their performances, and on which guy gives the best mua against any given opponent.

And the posting can always get better. :-)

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 1 month ago

If Ellis can make it into the starting lineup, I see Kevin Young possibly being a reincarnation of Steve Woodberry. Maybe reincarnation isn't the right word as Steve Woodberry is still above ground but you get my drift.

Having that needed energy and skills coming off the bench in tight games may be the deciding factor.

jaybate 9 years, 1 month ago


But I've always believed in starting your best to get the best start you can. Sensitive dependence on initial condions etc.

Who comes to sub should be better than the guy behind him. And so on.

I've never followed the logic of developing guys before they can play well.

I am simple that way. :-)

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 1 month ago

I agree 100%. I stated earlier (although it's further down the thread) that you start your best 5. My comment was based solely on Ellis being one of those 5.

archercc 9 years, 1 month ago

I will admit, I like that Tharpe progressed from last year but he does still have a way to go and, at times, falls into the same mistakes he made before. Its going to get tougher, he has a window to really establish himself with smart play. Its really all you need out of a point, smart play. Well, that and defense. But if he doesn't get there then he will miss his shot.

I also really hope Jamari can progress quickly. He looks like he can be a great bruiser, not quite the flash but a young TRob in ability to be physical and countless mistakes. Get rid of those mistakes and continued work with Hudy and he could be one of those guys who gets his by owning the paint for rebounds.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 1 month ago

The only issue I have with your prediction is that they play different positions. AW3 will need to get more PT at the expense of someone other than Tharpe. HCBS often plays three guards and I think he can increase his minutes coming in for BMac or Travis.

EJ, BMac/Travis and AW3 could be an awesome combination.

I would like to see AW3 getting more playing time also.

texashawk10 9 years, 1 month ago

Do you really want to take minutes away from KU's best offensive player and KU's best defensive player to help out someone who's only shown competence in being an exclusive 3 point shooter when he's not in there during garbage minutes? I'd love to see White get more minutes than he is, but the reality is he allows way more points than scores for KU with his poor defense and tendency to turn the ball over when he puts it on the floor at this point and he doesn't deserve more minutes right now.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 1 month ago

Only if he has earned it OR if we have things well in hand. I would rather see AW3, BMac, EJ, and Travis more than I want to see Tharpe who at best is an average PG. If we have an 8 man rotation, play White.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 1 month ago

First comment was directed to archercc who stated that White should start over Tharpe. I stated White played a different position and would get more minutes when BMac or Travis were out. Never did I say or imply he should get more minutes at their expense BUT neither plays 40 min a game and that is where he can pick-up minutes. I also think seeing him play w/EJ, and BMac/Travis would be awesome. So don't infer that I implied anything else w/my comment.

AND Withey is the teams best defensive player...

TraditionRich 9 years, 1 month ago

I have been hoping for years that we would apply more full court presses. We did it vs Colorado and it paid off in a big way. I really hope this becomes a fixture of this team going forward.

Belmont is 6-2 on the year with a win over Stanford. Will be another solid opponent. Go hawks!

Ben Berglund 9 years, 1 month ago

We're not a press team, we're a pressure team. (Sorry, couldn't resist!)

lincase 9 years, 1 month ago

I agree. This must come as a surprise to all those players who made one mistake and got yanked.

FarSideHawk 9 years, 1 month ago

He still doesn't want them to screw up and will yank them if they do. He just doesn't want them to worry about it. :) Typical Bill.

HawkKlaw 9 years, 1 month ago

I think Bill Self's point is that, historically, the players that can get past that fear of getting the quick hook for screwing up go on to become the better players at KU. You don't see BMac out there worrying about what he's doing wrong...

RJ King 9 years, 1 month ago

I think Self pretty well spelled it out:

“Quit worrying about trying to score points. Just rebound, defend, dive on the floor, do the things that will give you confidence." He wants "four or six hands trying to steal every ball . . . two guys trying to block every shot . . . guys diving on the floor. Bring energy into the game and be assertive as opposed to just trying to fit in."

Although fans complained, Self didn't always give such a quick hook to Brady, Tyrell, and Tyshawn. It comes down to his intuition and gut feeling as to what's in their heads and hearts at game time.

lincase 9 years, 1 month ago

Kevin Young is my favorite player. He is the only one who always looks like he is happy to be out there. I believe he truly appreciates the opportunity he has been given, and he has a great smile. Even if he makes mistakes, it is never due to lack of hustle. Gotta love him.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 1 month ago

I only saw it once against Colorado but after making an athletic slam, Travis stayed and jawed with one of the Colorado players who moved the ball quickly upcourt and scored an easy bucket.

monkeehawkSL8 9 years, 1 month ago

JHAWK7782 Thank you! This type of behavior is at the heart of a problem I believe cost the JAYHAWKS the championship last year. In one of last years early games T-Rob dunked nasty, then he stood screaming and beating chest while the other team had already crossed mid court on offense. Great "teaching moment" this won't happen again. J Traylor did the same against with the same result. I'm not a coach, I'm not even a knowledgable fan. I hope this stops soon. In last years final game after a hard fought rebound, T-Rob held the ball as if he had just chopped the head off someone in battle. We know the result. The steal, the dunk, and ultimately the loss. I hope this years team starts treating the ball and the game with the same respect that wins games and championships. I know they are kids, young men. When Travis stood over that Buff he dunked on I knew what the result was going to be. Long before the R.C. chant starts I would love to hear the JGBOD chant. Hey Jayhawks, JUST GET BACK ON DEFENSE. NO MATTER WHAT. Thanks

Benz Junque 9 years, 1 month ago

Because the goal is to get both hustle AND better skills out of Ellis. Young is a great hustle guy, but isn't skilled at all on offense. He gets his off of scraps. Ellis is the guy that can actually break his defender down. But he won't start until he plays at the same intensity level of Young. He'll get there. Every practice and every game film breakdown will continue to reinforce the message to him. He's a smart kid. He'll get it sooner rather than later.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 1 month ago

No.. The goal is to WIN. You play the players who are contributing the most at their respective positions. Practice is where Ellis needs to hone his skills and hustle is something you either have or don't. You can reward hustle or penalize for lack of hustle but you can't coach hustle. Hustle is internal.

If you don't hustle for Bill Self, you will find yourself sitting at the end of the bench.

Richard Scott, one of my all-time favorite Jayhawks, made a living at scoring from what you call scraps. Like Young, he scored a lot of his points by hustling offensive rebounds and put backs. Personally, I think these are offensive skills and Young has remarkable body control allowing him to put back shots that others missed.

jaybate 9 years, 1 month ago


You get it.


You don't.

Perry is a smart kid.

Perry will get it sooner or later.

Therefore: wait till he gets it later and keep winning in the interim.

They keep score for a reason.


REHawk 9 years, 1 month ago

Roy Hobbs. What a great analogy! In AFH Saturday there were 16,300 Irises gleaming with pride for the Comeback Kid. The folks at Netflix will probably be amazed at the number of Dec. requests for THE NATURAL. A splendid timefiller during long winter weeks when the Jayhawk hoopsters play only one game.

HawkKlaw 9 years, 1 month ago

It's becoming clear that there are 4 tiers of players on this team:

Tier 1: The Starters

Elijah, Travis, Ben, Kevin & Jeff

This is the tier that has it all: Energy, efficiency, talent and intelligence. This is the best combo of players that Bill Self has at his disposal on December 11, 2012. He'd like to switch Kevin and Perry, but Ellis' play just hasn't warranted that switch yet. It will probably come before the end of the season (my guess is by the time conference play starts), but for now Kevin Young gets the nod due to his energy and experience.

Tier 2: The Bench

Perry, Jamari & Naadir

This is the tier that Self has been probing all season, especially through the media. He needs Perry to think less (...a lot less, apparently) and score more. He needs Jamari to bring more energy, play smarter and generally be more "Kevin Young-esque." He needs Naadir to bring more intensity and move his feet on defense.

Tier 3: The Future Bench/Possible Starters

Rio & Andrew

These are the two players that a lot of fans would like to see on the court more. They have obvious talent and have some of the tools necessary to contribute big time at KU, but they lack the experience and confidence right now.

Naadir is ahead of both from a developmental standpoint and probably will be for the remainder of the season. I thought at some point Naadir would be phased out in favor of one (or both) of these guys, but it's becoming more and more clear that Self just isn't happy with what he sees in Rio or Andrew yet. Even with Naadir's 4 TO's against CU, his minutes aren't in jeopardy. So, for whatever reason, Self has chosen Naadir out of these three (my guess is that Naadir gets the nod because of his experience and ability to run the offense competently). Unless something crazy happens, I see Naadir getting more minutes than both of these guys for the remainder of the season.

Side Note: The other day there was an article where Self said that AW3 reminded him of Connor Teahen. We all threw our hands up in disgust and proclaimed that AW3 was far more talented than Teahen. We are right, but in Self's mind AW3 is a pretty similar player to Teahen thus far in his KU career. That will change next year, but for now AW3 is just a "hired gun" sharp shooter that will probably only get sparse minutes throughout the season. Like it or not, Naadir will continue to be the first guard off the bench until AW3 can prove to Bill Self that he's more than just a good shooter in practice.

Tier 4: Practice Players

Tyler, Niko, Landen, Justin, Evan & Christian

Pretty self-explanatory here. Important, adequate players that will only see mop-up minutes (except for Landen, of course, who will probably make his way up to Tier 1 next season).

Jack Wilson 9 years, 1 month ago

HawkKlaw: Really good stuff. I think you nailed it.

Regarding AW3, I heard coach Self on Hawk Tawk last night. He said he felt Andrew was doing fine. He was asked the question on why he didn't play him after he performed so well vs. OSU. Self said the team was clicking, he was able to sub his starters easily, and there was no foul trouble. Makes sense.

Agree or disagree, I think Self sees White as someone to play only when needed. Adding White to your second tier creates a nine man rotation. Not sure Self's up for that. My concern is that we'll need that 3 point ace ready to contribute, as opposed to unsure and negatively affected by the environment and the pressure. Exposure to those situations during the season will make those situations less distracting in March.

texashawk10 9 years, 1 month ago

I could also see White getting set up for a redshirt next season. Adams could be a possible redshirt as well, but with Seldon and Greene in the mix next year along with Tharpe and Frankamp. That realistically leaves 1 spot open in the back court and will it go to the 1/2 combo in Adams or will it go the the 2/3 combo in White? The winner is the last rotation player and the loser is redshirted next season.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 1 month ago

I also think you nailed it with the possible exception of AW3. I get what HEM is saying about not wanting a nine man rotation but I think there will come a point when we need his outside shooting. Tharpe has the advantage over AW3 because he is the backup point guard. If he were to lose minutes, they would probably go to Adams.

Sam Constance 9 years, 1 month ago

I think Tharpe's liability as a point guard is being overblown a little bit. He definitely has some shortcomings, but I would argue that they are mostly on the defensive end. He's not quick enough and doesn't move his feet well enough to lock down the opposing player's PG. And when you have him in the lineup with McLemore, who is also not really there yet defensively (but is athletic enough to make up for it most of the time), you have two gaping holes on the perimeter.

Through Naadir's first five games, he put up 13 assists against 3 TOs in a backup role. That's a pretty solid line as a ballhandler. He's tailed off the last three games (including his worst TO performance of the year against Colorado), but I'm willing to chalk that up to the typical lulls that can happen from game to game in a long season. At least, for now.

If he could just bring up his shooting percentage a little bit, he would be a fine backup point guard. He's currently sitting at 32.4% from the field and 31.6% from three, and rumor has it that he's a better shooter than that.

My biggest problem with Naadir is that he sometimes seems lackadaisical, which was the same issue he had last year.

Plus, let's look at his potential replacements: Rio and Andrew. Both have looked promising at times, but certainly not as steady as Tharpe. I just don't think crazy potential is what you want in a backup point guard. Tharpe's relative steadiness is far more valuable to this team in that role than the fact that Rio and Andrew both seem to have higher ceilings as players.

As far as Mr. Young goes... I don't really care much one way or another about whether he "deserves" to start. I think for now, he's a great option to start at the 4, but ultimately, I think this team is better served if Ellis is playing well enough to start at the 4, so that Young can come in as 6th man and help be the QB, so to speak, of the second-team lineup. That way you don't put as much pressure on Tharpe as the backup PG, since Young being in the game clearly helps with the vocal aspect of leading a team, and the fact that he can do a little ballhandling when needed.

Don't get me wrong--it doesn't help us to shoehorn Ellis into the starter role. This only works if he is playing reasonably well. But in an ideal world, we are a better team if Ellis plays the part of a competent roleplayer alongside EJ, McLemore, Releford and Withey, leaving Young to come in with the second unit to provide a spark. Being a 6th man takes a special kind of skill--you have to generate your own energy, since you can't feed off the adrenaline and hype that comes with the start of the game. I'm just not sure anyone else on the team has that kind of skill besides Young...

HawkKlaw 9 years, 1 month ago

Totally agree on Tharpe. He's, at the very least, "almost adequate" as a backup PG. And he's undoubtedly more adequate than the alternatives: Rio (lacks experience and confidence within Self's system), AW3 (not a PG), Travis (not a PG) and Young (not a guard, doesn't have the handles).

Kye Clark 9 years, 1 month ago

"I just don't think crazy potential is what you want in a backup point guard."

You are right. At worst you want someone steady who is just going to maintain while your starter gets a breather. At best, you want a spark plug who actually has the potential to positively impact the game (think Sherron his first 2 years).

However, the debate isn't solely based on who is steadier. That's a no-brainer at this point. The debate is over the future. Is anyone excited about the prospect of Tharpe being the starting point guard the next 2 seasons? I'm not. As a back-up, he's fine. As a starter, he's extremely pedestrian. I personally don't see Self handing the starting PG spot to a freshman (Frankamp, Mason), and it's even less likely that if Tharpe is the starting PG next season that Self takes that from him as a senior. So...the time is now for Adams to overtake Tharpe. Or at the very least, to position himself to pass him going into next season. To do that he will need some minutes this season. If it doesn't happen, we can only hope that the surrounding pieces are extremely dynamic playmakers, with Tharpe playing a role similar to a "game-manager" type QB

beebe1 9 years, 1 month ago

Seems Adam insists on dribbling into trouble! My count was 3 times in his mop up minutes, maybe wrong. It took Taylor about three and a half years to stop dribbling into trouble. Consequently he got us to finish the final four.

Jack Jones 9 years, 1 month ago

"Self said AW3

"Self said AW3 reminded......of .. Teahen". "Threw ..hands up...disgust". "WE ARE RIGHT,.. Really? Don't break your arms.......on your backs. I'm inclined to go with Self's evaluation as to who is "right".


HawkKlaw 9 years, 1 month ago

I...think...this is a response to my Side Note above. I think?

Anyway, to be fair, I personally didn't throw my hands up in disgust at that statement from Bill Self. I just recognized that that was the general reaction of everyone posting in that article. If you go back to that article and read my response, you'll see that I actually was one of the few that agreed with Self.

Clearly, expectations are much higher for AW3 than they were for Teahen. My point is just that, when it comes to shooting the ball and taking time to get comfortable in Self's system, the two are comparable.

Don't get too full of yourself, now.

texashawk10 9 years, 1 month ago

White is Teahan with an athletic upgrade. The only real skill either has/had is the ability to knock 3's. White has the potential to much better than Teahan as he is a far better athlete than Teahan could ever hope to be, but unless White is shooting an uncontested 3, he is a liability on the floor right now. If White puts in the hard work, he will be a solid contributor for KU in the future.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 1 month ago

Where have some of you been this last decade....SELF STARTS long as the produce points, defense or mayhem for the opponent.

I predict, barring injury or Divine Intervention, the starting lineup for the first round game in the NCAA Playoffs in March will still be Johnson, McLemore, Withey, Releford and Young.

Does anyone want to seriously disagree with that statement??

jaybate 9 years, 1 month ago

Required reading for Board Rat 101.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 1 month ago

+1 .. I agree now.

There is something to be said about "energy" off the bench, but if Ellis gets it rolling and can provide scoring off the bench .. I like that too.

Four seniors with significant NCAA tourney experience and the best freshman in the country. I think we can go to battle with that.

Now, will we be ready to beat the hot-shooting mid-major, the kind that when you get behind, the pressure is just a bit different than if you're down to Purdue? Will we have that the 3 point shooter off the bench ready to contribute? That is my only real concern about this team.

Ben Berglund 9 years, 1 month ago

Self gives seniors the nod for sure at the beginning of the season and in non-conference, but I predict/hope we'll see Perry starting ahead of Young by the tourney.

jaybate 9 years, 1 month ago

This is too much consensus on our parts.

Self will now surely do a 180 and start Perry. :-)

Jayhawkgirl2 9 years, 1 month ago

Don't worry about Traylor, Ellis or White yet! Don't consider the KU rotation complete yet! Don't get to excite about our wins yet ( No top 25 team) Look at the Michigan State loss, Traylor was a beast ( Got minutes)! Ellis got minutes but needed space ( Michigan State only team with legitimate BIGS this year). We needed the 3 ball to create space inside. The system must change when we play really good teams, we must develope and encourage rotation players to become game situation specialists. Looking for a final 4 appearance with this team. Want to know what you all think!

Chitown99 9 years, 1 month ago

Anyone else see more than a little Joakim Noah in Kevin Young? A guy who doesn't have the best of skill sets, but whose energy is unrivaled by anyone on the floor WHENEVER he is on the floor. He's a guy that you like to have on your team, but who would annoy you to no end if he were on your rival's team. He's a guy that doesn't do anything flashy, but through energy and the skill set he does have, simply helps your team win ballgames. I, for one, am glad that Kevin Young is a Jayhawk and here's to hoping that he helps our team win a title like Noah did for his Florida Gators.

RJ King 9 years, 1 month ago

Noah seemed more of a doofus than Young, but that could be the extra 3" and 50lbs. (I'm not guessing as to actual IQ, just on-court body language.) Obviously Noah's body and play has served him well.

If Kevin starts putting his hair in a bun though, the fro must go.

alittlecurious 9 years, 1 month ago

Perhaps revealing my age here... I am reminded of Archie Marshall when I see Kevin Young!!

Chitown99 9 years, 1 month ago

Ha! I think the venom for Noah expressed above proves my point that you don't like the guy if he isn't on your team. To that end, no fan is ever going to point to Young as the reason why his team lost to KU, but I would argue that if Young keeps up the effort and everything else he brings to our team, then he will bring with that several Ws to our record. I agree that Young isn't near the whiner that Noah is/was, but I think they both bring the intangibles that you want on your team. I used to get more upset about the Morrii twins for their reactions to the refs' whistles than anything I've seen from Young, but I will say that everytime the whistle is blown on Young he can be seen with a smile on his face and his palms facing skyward.

FarSideHawk 9 years, 1 month ago

I've liked Young's energy from the get-go last year. I remember even when people were complaining about him on these boards, I couldn't understand what the fuss was about as I thought him going wild on defense was great. It reminded me of the 08 team and fast-moving long hands on defense.

Same thing regarding Tharpe. I think he is coming along fine. He is going to be a real good point guard for us. He has the handles and court vision and he'll learn to maximize his defensive potential soon.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 1 month ago

This free throw takes Brady off the hook as the player shooting the worst foul shot in NCAA history!! :)

mikehawk 9 years, 1 month ago

Kevin isn't thinking, he's just playing and that comes from a year in the system. Perry is still learning and he appears to be a thinker. The action and game will eventually come in time. Jamari is still learning the game and his up side appears bigger and bigger. But in time, it may get down to matchups at the 4. Play a Michigan State type team again and you will need Jamari. Kevin can out quick a bunch of 4's but there are limits when faced with bulk. Perry has that uncanny gift of manuvering around the basket and scoring or getting fouled, and you will need that. Eventually, Withey will get in foul trouble and you will need all three to step up on various combinations. Maybe, as it concerns the 4, we go with one of HCBS's mantras, which is "it isn't who starts but who finishes." Easy question of the day...What other sport do Jeff and Wilt have in common?

Jack Wilson 9 years, 1 month ago

I'm guessing Withey does pretty well with the ladies on campus, but surely not to Wilt's epic level .. wait, is that what you're referring to?

Jack Wilson 9 years, 1 month ago

Right, getting him on campus allows lightning to stike. Without it, we're not in the game .. Julian Wright as the exception.

Alex Peekeaton 9 years, 1 month ago

I still think UK is the team to beat for Wiggins' services...just think of the Harrison Twins and Wiggins together on the same floor - that simply wouldn't be fair!

REHawk 9 years, 1 month ago

Well, one thing for certain, some of the Kentucky one-and-done lustre has lost its gloss recently. There might be a few recruits in the nation bright enough to do more careful shopping than did the current crew of Wildcat hopefuls. As HEM asserts, it is way too early too count out UK in terms of late season dominance. But if their squad remains out of the rankings for several more weeks, trouble is likely to dismantle forward momentum.

Alex Peekeaton 9 years, 1 month ago

a few recruits in the nation bright enough to do more careful shopping??? You realize Calipari is about to sign the greatest recruiting class of all time with the signing of either Johnson, Wiggins, Randle, or Gordon? You realize Karl Towns, #1 rated player in 2015 class, just committed to UK and reclassified to 2014 class. Recruiting is only getting think being out of the rankings for several more weeks will dismantle forward momentum??? What does that have to do with each other??? UK's season lies on them jelling as a team.

HawkKlaw 9 years, 1 month ago

BBall2012 is right, being out of the rankings for a few weeks won't have much impact on recruiting for the immediate future.

But if UK drops some more big games (they've lost the only 3 that were real tests this season), loses before the Sweet 16 in the tourney and doesn't right the ship next season, recruiting will certainly take a dive. I don't see that happening, but like a Red Sox fan that despises the Yankees, I'll always root for the collapse of the Evil Empire.

Alex Peekeaton 9 years, 1 month ago

As long as Calipari is around, the top recruits will always sign with him. Cal's history of getting players to the NBA is without equal. Regarding riding the ship next season, the Harrison twins, Young, Lee, and signing of one or two more elites (Wiggins, Johnson, Randle, Gordon) will be UK's most talented team ever.

HawkKlaw 9 years, 1 month ago

"Always" is a pretty strong word. It's generally a "What have you done for me lately?" attitude when it comes to sports and head coaches. If UK stops winning, recruiting will go downhill as well. Like I said, I don't see that downfall happening, but I'll be rooting for it regardless.

Being on "UK's most talented team ever" doesn't mean much if that team doesn't win a bunch of games, win a conference title and make it deep in the NCAA tournament. In all honesty, if UK's most talented team ever doesn't win the NC next year, it won't be remembered as such.

Alex Peekeaton 9 years, 1 month ago

Trust me HawkKlaw, when Cal goes into a potential recruit's home and talks about his previous players - Anthony Davis, Gilchrist, Wall, Cousins, Evans, Rose, etc., he has won half the battle. Add that to the basketball environment in Lexington, Cal can sign pretty much anyone he wants. I tend to use "talent" to compare past teams to current teams so that I can start gaging the potential. Obviously other factors are important (chemistry, hustle, depth), but you can't verify those until mid way through the actual season.

HawkKlaw 9 years, 1 month ago

You're right about that. When Cal talks about his previous talented players in the NBA, busts out his cell phone and calls up P. Diddy, flashes his championship ring, etc., he certainly has won half the battle. But the other half of the battle is important too. If a program isn't winning, recruits will not want to go there. That's just how it goes (See: UCLA's fall from grace).

It's the same for a great recruiter and coach like Bill Self. When he walks into a recruits home and talks about his past players - Aldrich, Morris twins, TRob, Chalmers, Rush, Selby, Xavier, etc. (leaves his Championship ring at home and doesn't call up P. Diddy, mind you), he's also won half the battle. And the basketball environment in Allen Fieldhouse is second to none. But if he didn't consistently win 84% of the time, win conference titles year after year, make it to Final Fours, etc., outstanding recruits like Brennen Greene and Wayne Selden would not want to play in Lawrence. And most of us in Lawrence would be calling for a new head coach. But the reality is that KU is always in the hunt for the National Championship and wins a ton of games every year (much like UK and UNC and Duke). That certainly makes it easier to recruit.

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