Saturday, December 15, 2012

Bruins ‘embarrassed’ by showing against KU


Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Bill Self on KU's big win over Belmont

KU coach Bill Self talks about what went right during Saturday night's convincing victory over Belmont.

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Box score


Belmont men’s basketball coach Rick Byrd figured Saturday’s task would be a tough one, but he thought his team would handle it better than it did.

“I think everyone in our locker room is embarrassed,” Byrd said after the Bruins were throttled, 89-60, by ninth-ranked Kansas University at Allen Fieldhouse. “We are not embarrassed about the Belmont basketball program, but by the performance tonight, and Kansas had a lot to do with that.”

Byrd was especially embarrassed by the 10-2 run with which KU opened the game, the 17-7 run to close the half that gave the Jayhawks a 16-point lead at the break and the ridiculous runaway in the second half in which KU actually led by 41 at one point.

“We’re just disappointed,” he said. “We feel our program is at the stage where, very often, we give people like this all they want and occasionally sneak a win. We want to get to the point where we are winning a few more, but we just could not make this game competitive.”

There were plenty of reasons for that. Most of them wore Kansas uniforms.

Known for their impressive three-point shooting — Belmont (7-3) entered the game No. 2 in the nation in that category — the Bruins made just eight of 38 from behind the three-point line in this one, for a season-low 21.1 percent. That, Byrd said, was because of the Jayhawks as well.

“Their defense was so good, it affected our shooting numbers,” he said. “Our defense was so poor, it affected theirs in the opposite direction.”

Added Belmont senior Trevor Noack, who led the Bruins with 19 points and eight rebounds: “That was the biggest team I have ever played against. Their length bothered a lot of our shots. They were challenging all of our three-point shots. They were challenging everything inside. It was just a battle, and they came out well on top.”

KU (8-1) hit 10 of 21 three-pointers and shot 51 percent from the field overall. Three KU players recorded four or more assists.

“You’ve got to take away their drive,” Byrd said. “And if they make shots they are going to beat you. Our game plan was, we had to help out at the post and stop their drive. They made their shots. We were trying to hang in (there) the first half, and they kept making those shots.”

Not surprisingly, Byrd seemed to be impressed most by the man many believe is playing himself into the NBA’s draft lottery, red-shirt freshman Ben McLemore, who finished with 17 points on 6-of-7 shooting, including 4-of-5 from three-point land.

“If he can rise up and shoot it like that, he is just going to be a bear for anyone to guard,” Byrd said. “That was impressive. Our thought was to approach him under control, get a hand up, and if he makes a shot, they were going to beat us. He’s the real deal for sure.”


FarSideHawk 6 years, 7 months ago

I'm just loving this team!!! Love the hyper active defense and athleticism on offense.

jhox 6 years, 7 months ago

When Elijah plays the point like he did last night, this team is every bit as good, if not better, than last year's team. It is exciting to think where this team will be by season's end.

chriz 6 years, 7 months ago

Yep. We've got seniors and young athletes. And some shooters to boot. I love it.

David Leathers 6 years, 7 months ago

I wish these coaches would stop talking up Ben McLemore. He's amazing now, but I want to see him with one more year of Bill-ball under his belt.

Ron Prichard 6 years, 7 months ago

I would, too, but it isn't going to happen.

Hawk_Star 6 years, 7 months ago

It cannot be overstated the value of having a guy like Andrew White perform like this every once in a while. He will demand other team's attention at all times, giving greater space for our guards to penetrate, and posts to operate. Now if only Ellis would consider taking the 5-10 ft face up jumper every once in a while, hit a couple, and then return to the quick drive by defender. Establishing that jumper will give him more space to attack, leading to better shot opportunities and more trips to the foul line.

Last thing: Releford is really playing some inspired ball these last 2 games, particularly on defense. In addition to the rest of the guys on the team, we are going to have to have a big game out of him defensively against OSU because, although i don't believe he will start the game guarding him, Releford will be called upon to disrupt the offensive production of Deshaun Thomas. But of course one game at a time, so #24, bring that high level of play against the 8 legged freaks.

RJ King 6 years, 7 months ago

Did Simien have any kind of a 5=10 ft face up jumper as a freshmen? Trying to compare potential . . .

dylans 6 years, 7 months ago

As I recall Simien was automatic from within 15ft. Except for one turnaround 15 footer at the end of '05.

RJ King 6 years, 7 months ago

ya - definitely automatic as an upperclassman. And a streak of consecutive free throws too, if I recall. Couldn't remember how much he played - or how well - as a freshman (behind Colison ?), since we are talking about Perry as a freshman.

Dirk Medema 6 years, 7 months ago

It is exciting to see this team get it on the D end/play Bill-ball. It helps that the '11-'12 team rode it all the way to the FF. The fact that the 4 Sr's return with those thoughts fresh in their brains helps to set the example for the young guys.

I love hearing AWIII talking about being happy to sit behind BMac & TRel, and work hard to learn (to play D), which is already leading to more tim in the lineup. Perry will be there by the end of the year as well.

Even looking ahead to '12-'13, I anticipate the storyline will be, "What magic is Coach Self going to whip up after another April BB game, and losing the entire starting lineup to graduation and the draft."

gimmetheclaw78 6 years, 7 months ago

Hey, Ben. Love your style, kid. Stick around and help win a couple of National Championships for KU. Think about the day when your number 23 is raised up to the rafters.....

actorman 6 years, 7 months ago

It's a wonderful thought, but there's virtually no chance he'll stay past this year. And this will be one time that it will be hard to feel bad about it, given the type of season he is likely to have.

Michael Luby 6 years, 7 months ago

Seriously, I dont want him to be a OAD. He wasnt hyped to be that coming in here. But the kid is hot stuff and if he keeps it up, he will be a lottery pick for sure. He is soooo much better than Xavier or Selby, its not even funny.

Brianna Zaleski 6 years, 7 months ago

I wouldn't say no chance. It's not likely, yes, but there are outside factors that we might not consider. Such as: his desire to stick with his teammates and win ala Brandon Rush. He might desire a run at 1st team AA which he would surely be a pre-season selection for. Does anyone know who on this team BMac runs with the most? If he hangs with the younger kids, he might want to stick it out with them another year. Again, not likely since he has spent a whole extra year with the upper classmen. He is an incredible talent, tho, I can't remember a player that looked that good on the court (so early) in my KU lifetime. (I really started paying attn to this team when Danny and Larry were at the helm. I would have been about 10)

dylans 6 years, 7 months ago

Hope you're correct, but Rush only stuck around for his junior year because he blew out his knee. He had fun that year because he enjoyed his teammates (it helps that they were great also).

Gerry Butler 6 years, 7 months ago

well this team is not looking like the team that lost to michign state way back when. really impressive. its just kinda pick your poison trying to defend against us. you gonna clog the middle to bottle up jeff then what about the perimeter players just really really deep. i think by conference time or shortly afterwards you will see perry contributing more. grat kid i think just kinda caught up in the college game right now hasn't quite found his self yet. maybe pressing some afraid of making mistake, finding out some of the things he did in high school he can't do at this level lots of talented players but he will be ok. same goes with traylor you can see they have got it its just with some it just takes a little longer thats all. soooo deep a problem, but what a nice problem to have lol. as far a B MAC? uh i mean come on lets face reality, enjoy the guy while he is here and yes he is a one an done.. ya people can say well he might enjoy hanging around teamates and under classmen and all and enjoys the college experience but hey if the hawks go deep in the tourney you can't blame the kid why take that chance to come back another year face possible injury that could jeopardize his pro career anything could happen if he came back that could effect his future ya might be good kid with good interests but money speaks very very very loud. i mean seriously if you really think sincerely deep in your heart that he will come back then holler. let me know where you got the stuff your smoking cause i might want some lol. if he IS back awsome but if he is not then thats cool too we will be fine lets just enjoy the time we DO have with him and as far s that goes lets just enjoy this team period. GO HAWKS

Casey Gee 6 years, 7 months ago

"That was the biggest team I have ever played against." One of the many things that has me so excited for this team. We have so much length at every position that we should be a dominating defense and very difficult team to match up against on offense. And to make our length even more effective, Withey had a good game against a short team, something he has struggled with in the past. If he can find ways to always assert his will, we should be able to out-length almost anyone we play.

Ron Prichard 6 years, 7 months ago

This team has me really excited but the one person people are still overlooking is Releford. He had another great game last night. He is very quietly becoming one of our primary scorers. The difference I see in his offensive game is his willingness to drive to the rim. In the past he was always so passive. Now he is one of the most agressive players on the court. His defense speaks for itself, but his offense is really starting to take off. If Ellis can become what we all know he is capable of doing (10 pts, 5 rb a night) and EJ finds his rhythm, we will be scary good.

Steve Gantz 6 years, 7 months ago

I haven't read every article out there on this team, but people here are making automatic assumptions that BMac is leaving. I've never read that anywhere, nor even read a hint about it. Has he said anything? I doubt it. For all we know he could be committed to graduating from KU and playing ball here while he does it.

Joel Thomas 6 years, 7 months ago

We have to expect the worst and hope for the best. Most college guys would leave in his situation.

texashawk10 6 years, 7 months ago

How many projected lottery picks have you seen hang around for an extra year?

RJ King 6 years, 7 months ago

Not many. Jared Sullinger. Perry Jones !!!. Willie Warren. A few others. McLemore should go, and we should be prepared for him to go.

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