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Kansas defeats Oklahoma, 84-62

  • 8 p.m., Feb. 1, 2012
  • Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, KS

Thursday, February 2, 2012

That’s more like it: Thomas Robinson returns to form, sparks KU

Kansas big men Jeff Withey (5) and Thomas Robinson get airborne as they celebrate a Jayhawk run against Oklahoma during the second half on Wednesday, February 1, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse. At left is KU guard Tyshawn Taylor.

Kansas big men Jeff Withey (5) and Thomas Robinson get airborne as they celebrate a Jayhawk run against Oklahoma during the second half on Wednesday, February 1, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse. At left is KU guard Tyshawn Taylor.

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Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self

Kansas coach Bill Self talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 84-62 victory over Oklahoma on Feb. 1, 2012.

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Bill Self, Lon Kruger, KU and OU players

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Kansas defeated Oklahoma, 84-62, on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012, at Allen Fieldhouse.

KU vs. OU

Box Score

Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self had a heart-to-heart talk with his slumping big man — Thomas Robinson — prior to Wednesday’s 84-62 rout of Oklahoma in Allen Fieldhouse.

“Coach told me that I’m not playing like the player I’m capable of being,” Robinson said after exploding for 20 points and 17 rebounds.

He had scored 13 points with just seven boards in Saturday’s loss at Iowa State and looked a bit lethargic in three consecutive games.

“He’s been stressed all week complaining to me why I’m not being aggressive anymore,” Robinson said. “I just wanted to be aggressive from the jump tonight.”

The 6-foot-10 junior from Washington, D.C., who opened the scoring by hitting a jumper, went for 12 points and 11 rebounds the second half as the Jayhawks outscored OU, 50-31, and broke open a close 34-31 game.

“Thomas hadn’t been himself for the last three games,” Self said. “But he was tonight ... so positive and into it. In Ames and against (Texas) A&M and Texas ... he had so much going on with the anniversary (of his mom’s death). He was worried about missing shots. He didn’t get an offensive rebound against Iowa State. (If) the best rebounder in the country can’t get an offensive rebound, he is not being who he is. He did a better job going after the ball tonight, obviously. He got 17 rebounds.”

Robinson went 6-for-6 from the field the second half and finished the game 9-of-12. He had made 17 of his last 37 shots over three games, including five of 11 at Iowa State.

“He looked like Thomas (vs. OU),” Self said, adding, “I was really concerned about the game after how we performed in the shootaround, and we weren’t that much better yesterday in practice. It’s not as if the guys aren’t trying. I just think we’ve been flat. In the second half, we got energized. When we get out and run, the guys have fun and defend a little bit harder.”

Robinson scored six points, while Jeff Withey had seven (of his 15) and Tyshawn Taylor four (of his 21) in a back-breaking 21-6 run to open the second half. It stretched the 34-31 lead to 55-36. It was reminiscent of KU’s 29-6 run that erased a one-point halftime deficit in KU’s 72-61 win over OU on Jan. 7 in Norman.

“Thomas played great tonight,” 7-footer Withey said. “I couldn’t get any rebounds. He took all of them.”

Withey, who hit seven of seven free throws and has made 27 of his last 29, grabbed two rebounds on a night KU tied the Sooners on the glass, 31-31. KU outrebounded OU, 19-13, the second half.

“We had much better flow the second half compared to the first half,” Self said.

Elijah Johnson and Travis Releford took turns guarding OU’s Steven Pledger, who had 17 points off 6-of-13 shooting, but just seven the second half off 2-for-7 marksmanship.

“We knew coming into the game they were going to go to him,” Releford said. “Coach said we were going to give him different looks. Elijah started it off playing him real well. Then we were just switching on and off.”

KU (18-4 overall, 8-1 Big 12) will meet Missouri at 8 p.m. Saturday at Mizzou Arena.

“This will be as hard of an environment that we have played against—for a lot of reasons. There is some pent-up frustration with everybody with the rivalry and them going to a different league,” Self said. “This could be the end of a long, long rivalry as far as home-and-home goes. They will want bragging rights in their place. Certainly, we would like nothing more than going over there and spoiling their party. They have a terrific team, and we will have to play the best that we have played, but I think our guys will be fired up to do it.”

Comments

jayhawker_97 2 years, 8 months ago

TRob: the strongest player in college basketball!! Mizzou boys better be ready to get spanked!

Mike Bratisax 2 years, 8 months ago

I so hope you're right but I see a very close fight for 40 min.

syceda 2 years, 8 months ago

This will be a great game, I'm glad we get the last one at home.

HawksWin 2 years, 8 months ago

TRob, we knew you're missing your mom on this one year anniversary. I'm sure basketball was the last thing on your mind these past few weeks. We feel your pain & sorrow. Heck, after 30+ years, I still miss my mom. We support you no matter what. Can't imagine having to play with such pain & heavy heart. You were fabulous tonight & made your mom proud - as always. God bless you TRob.

Nathan Scholl 2 years, 8 months ago

Couldn't have said it better myself Hawkswin, nice sentiment. Rock Chalk T-Rob and F.O.E.!

theboehr 2 years, 8 months ago

On the home page where it shows the date/time/tv channel for the next game, why doesn't it have the series record listed there anymore? KUsports used to always have the series record there and the result of the previous meeting between the teams, too. What gives?

Phoghorn 2 years, 8 months ago

Yes, but not always for the better. I agree with theboehr. Not that I can't google the information, but it was nice to see all in one place on kusports.com

mojayhawk 2 years, 8 months ago

To Gary Bedore, I agree with theboehr. I liked the way they posted upcoming games much better before they changed it. It's almost unnoticeable now. Why the change?

jayhawkmike 2 years, 8 months ago

Coach Self is terrible, isn't using the bench correctly, blah, blah, blah. Where are all you fools today? The sky has not fallen chicken little.

Kye Clark 2 years, 8 months ago

Right, because beating a mediocre OU team at home (after playing them almost even in the first half) means all is right with the world. Wake up knob.

Ron Franklin 2 years, 8 months ago

Mike, your logic is as flawed as those you are criticizing.

KU got 9 points from it's bench in a blow out.

We are one injury away from being a mediocre team.

Kye Clark 2 years, 8 months ago

Blownjay - did ya ever find the game on your phone last night? I saw during the in-game chat you lost power and were looking for a link.

I always go to espn3.com. With the exception of the occasional CBS game and the one game/year we seem to play that is on Fox Sports, espn3 carries most of the other games. But I don't know how compatible that is with your phone.

Ron Franklin 2 years, 8 months ago

No, I didn't. I ended up sitting out in my car listening to the radio. I was really pissed because I have at&t home internet & I purchased espn U, and when I access espn3 on my home computer, I can always watch the games. But for some reason, trying to log into at&t on my verizon phone wouldn't fly.

Jack Wilson 2 years, 8 months ago

I was going to comment, then I looked at his prior posts as an insight. Not worth the time.

jayhawkmike 2 years, 8 months ago

Thank you for not replying with long winded drivel like usual.

Gregor Southard 2 years, 8 months ago

mike is right. There are too many people who are critical of every little thing on those rare days when KU loses a game. Ask KSU if OU is mediocre, by the way

Mike Bratisax 2 years, 8 months ago

OU IS mediocre and I don't need KSU's input to know it.

Kye Clark 2 years, 8 months ago

+1

Their record speaks to their mediocrity. Like Bill Parcells said, "you are what your record says you are." The upset they pulled @ KSU speaks only to the kitties inconsistency.

Mike Bratisax 2 years, 8 months ago

OU is not in the same category as Mizzou AND we still had poor play off the bench. If you don't see the potential problems then you aren't being realistic.

We need more minutes and more production off the bench when it counts..not mopping up blowouts.

Nick Cole 2 years, 8 months ago

mizzou also has a thin bench. just saying...

jhawkr 2 years, 8 months ago

+1 ........... Been commenting off and on about our weaknesses. Not too hard to figure out. Bad thing is SELF doesn't have many options. Teahan, seriously once again plays 20 minutes, shoots 1 of 5, and scores only 3 points. Graduation can't happen soon enough .........

If you think this year is bad, wait till next year. SELF should be able say to any top recruit, "Son, watch one of our games. Our starting positions next year are going to be wide open. If you have game and want to play, come join us."

Cmill1221 2 years, 8 months ago

Oh man. I don't know If I can take it. I may go to a movie, record the game, check the final and then watch it. But I know that won't happen. I'll watch and live and die on every play. Even if I went to the movie I got a IPhone so I would still be glued to the updates. Just make it easy on me KU, and BLOW THEM OUT!!

Alohahawk 2 years, 8 months ago

Since it's an away game I'll take a one point win this Saturday. But yeah, would love to see KU blow them out of their kitty litter box and let them stink it up along with Kenstinky in the SEC.

We need to come up with a three word definition for what "SEC" stands for. It's obvious what the letter "S" represents. "E" could stand for the same: Excrement. and "C" also: Crap.

DanR 2 years, 8 months ago

Not sure who coined the phrase here, but it fits MU well ...

SEC: Society of Ex-Confederates

lv_jhwk 2 years, 8 months ago

Sports Enterprise of the Confederacy is the one I'm familiar with... its essentially the same.

FSUJHAWK 2 years, 8 months ago

Did i read HCBS's ending comment correctly? "This COULD be the end of a long, long rivalry as far as home-and-home goes." Interesting.

RCJHGKU!!!

Mike Mainzer 2 years, 8 months ago

Bill has already said he sees no reason to continue to schedule MU. While they've played with a chip on their shoulder and have a good record their RPI suggests they're as good as a top tier mid major. No reason to schedule them in non-con when you can play UK, NC, Duke, Michigan, etc in preseason tournaments where a win or a loss is a benefit to the team and your rankings.

Mizzou is quick on the perimeter and their pesky D forces TO's and makes entry passes difficult. Our guard play will be the key. TT, EJ, TR, and CT have to be focused, secure the ball, move their feet and minimize TO's. Their crowd will be jacked up since as usual Mizzou believes they are better than they really are.

Tuskin 2 years, 8 months ago

They really are better than you suggest.

Steve Gantz 2 years, 8 months ago

I hope it continues. It's a great rivalry. They do the same with Illinois every year so why shouldn't we?

kkoenig 2 years, 8 months ago

Anyone think TRob isn't 100%? His elevation doesn't seem as high as it has been. A couple of those dunks were just barely above the rim and he missed a couple over the last two games. He had a shot blocked that he normally dunks. Hope I'm just misreading the situation.

2 years, 8 months ago

Good observation, kkoenig. I have been noticing the same thing the past three or four games. He seemed to have good spring on his running one-handed tomahawk dunk from the middle of the paint last night, though. I hope his legs aren't tired, or worse yet, is suffering from an injury.

Chris Shaw 2 years, 8 months ago

It's an interesting observation for sure. I noticed the same thing with EJ and the differences of him going off one leg vs two. TT can go off one leg and explode to the rim like no other and EJ can explode like crazy off two. However, there is no lift with EJ off the one leg. Nothing wrong with that, it's just an interesting dynamic and the differences between one footed and two footed jumpers.

AsadZ 2 years, 8 months ago

kkoenig, I was going to post the same comment/question on board today. It does appear that T-Rob does not have same elevation/intensity that he was showing earlier in the season. I am not sure if he is fighting an injury or playing extended minutes simply taking a toll on him.

In the last two/three games he has missed simple dunks that he would never miss and he is not elevating like he was in the past. He did have one monstrous dunk in the 2nd half that was amazing but overall I kept thinking that there is something going on with him.

tis4tim 2 years, 8 months ago

Jaybate, if I'm not mistaken, posted about this very thing weeks ago. Go back to Volume VI, Post 5, Paragraph 9 of his writings and I'm certain you'll find it there.

(no malice intended, Jaybate) :^)

mikehawk 2 years, 8 months ago

Missouri's quickness and small size neutralizes Withey and he may spend quite a bit of time on the bench. Those match ups really hurt Baylor against them earlier. Our two quicker bigs off the bench will need to have great games, and I haven't seen that from them on the road yet this year. Time to step up and be men...boys.

Jack Wilson 2 years, 8 months ago

Therein lies the matchup .. do we adjust to them, or do they adjust to us. I think if we are forced to have Withey on the bench .. playing Wesley or KY, it is a definite advantage for MU. "Quicker bigs" is the term you used. I'd say "inferior bigs." When MU has English in with their 3 other guards and Ratliffe, Welsey and/or Young will be overmatched. If Moore is in with Ratliffe, both Wesley and Young will be overmatched there, too.

However, Withey and TRob are better. We need to force feed our advantage.

I saw Jeff Graves behind the bench last night ... how nice would it be to have that dude this season? One of my all-time favorite, blue-collar, know the snot out of you big guys.

FSUJHAWK 2 years, 8 months ago

Adjustments will be made based on who receives the first blow...

RCJHGKU!!!

bennybob 2 years, 8 months ago

You can't keep Withey on the bench saturday. Plant him in the paint and let him swat 5-6 shots from Mizzou's undersized line up.

Like you said MU is quick on the perimeter, our perimeter defenders are going to need someone capable of bailing them out from time to time.

Chris Shaw 2 years, 8 months ago

Not going to be good if Mizzou starts hitting 3's. We've already seen what Kansas likes to do when another team is hitting 3's. I just hope they can stay disciplined and take advantage of the post game.

I see Releford doing some post ups this game! We may see Muscle Ball to it's fullest extreme! As an official, that is one game I would not want to officiate!

rwhawk 2 years, 8 months ago

The problem with planting Withey is that Ratliffe will step out and screen for the ball handler. Because this team creates such space, not having Ratliffe's man come out to hedge will create wide open 3's and jumpers that will eat you alive.

Pressey and Ratliffe run a mean pick and role and if anyone else comes over to help, its a big problem because you are leaving hot hands wide open. Its why they only have two losses.

rwhawk 2 years, 8 months ago

Yeah, I think this could be a match-up nightmare...for somebody. They create space better than anyone I've seen and they get the shots they want better than any team I've seen in awhile. I'm actually highly impressed with their team this year...they are very quick at all the positions (except when Moore comes in), real good in transition, disciplined when they don't have exactly the shot they want, and they have shooters all over. In fact, as good as the starting 5 are, I'm almost most impressed with their 6th man, Dixon. That kid can flat out score.

IMO, anything less than an A+ game is a loss on the road to this team.

Kye Clark 2 years, 8 months ago

“I couldn’t get any rebounds. He took all of them.” - Jeff Withey

Is it just me, or does it sometimes look like TRob is fighting his own teammates to get boards? I've seen it before in other games too, there will be a rebound coming down to another KU player, and TRob seems to motor and push himself in there and they both end up having position for it, and the other player inevitably concedes the rebound to Thomas.

That being said, Jeff should be getting more than 2 boards. Also, EJ needs to be hitting the glass some. It's an improvement over the ISU and aTm games, but to me this team still isn't doing a good enough job on the glass. Gave up too many offensive rebounds in the first half. The article states we tied them for rebounds. The box score on espn.com has OU edging us 31-30. TRob did his job, and even if he stole a few away from teammates the rest of the bunch needs to contribute a bit more.

Chris Shaw 2 years, 8 months ago

Let everybody concede to T-Rob IMO. It's funny, I have noticed that a lot as well. It's like he gives a snarl or growl if anybody thinks about taking his board! It really is funny to watch!

Yolanda Gay 2 years, 8 months ago

T-rob is probably not wanting to leave anything to chance. KU hasn't been great on the boards as of late. The opponent is less likely to wrestle anything from T-rob then tney are from Jeff.

Micah Mandy Haase 2 years, 8 months ago

I know usually when your fighting for boards your focused on the ball not who is trying to wrestle the ball away, I know I have fought for a rebound and not even realize it was my own teammate I was taking the ball from..

jhawkr 2 years, 8 months ago

Withey, Withey, Withey ........... what face you gonna make next ?

Seriously, watch him some time. For some reason he either gets sucked under the bucket or pushed under. But watch him on long rebounds when his hands tend to hang down instead of up. Blocking out with your hands spread or up is fairly elementary against other big men !

REHawk 2 years, 8 months ago

I am very relieved to see Thomas' heart and mind back in the game. He is such a joy to watch when his energy is on track. All smiles for everyone. With continued production like last night, his name will be back at the top of the mix for national POY and his draft status will be secure as a top five lottery pick. Bill Self did a dandy job with bench players last night. As some of the more rational and knowledgeable posters predicted, he would play the bench as much as possible in the first half, so long as we were maintaining a close game; then break them out again in the second half, once the win looked secure. We stayed out of foul trouble, and our legs should be fairly fresh for the Sat. Border Showdown. Sad to see Naadir's just not "getting it." But for the one really good assist, he looked like a high school kid trying to play a man's game. I don't envision a quick Russ Rob style turnaround by November. Unless Bill Self can see much more than the fanbase has been able to see, we are going to need to recruit a dependable point guard backup for next season, be it a jr. cllg. grad, a decommit, or whatever. Everything else appears to be in place for a subsequent terrific season, 2012-13.

Kye Clark 2 years, 8 months ago

I really enjoy reading your posts, but man you need to get an avatar! I scroll by and miss 'em because you don't have one.

Just a suggestion anyway. :)

Chris Shaw 2 years, 8 months ago

I second that! Actually, I think the board forum should vote on REHawk's avatar!

Alohahawk 2 years, 8 months ago

We need a PG back up for next year, badly! And I hope Tharpe can progress. But I don't know. At this point, I'm concerned he may not survive the cut for next season. I think it will depend on what other PG option, if any, Self can come up with.

Kye Clark 2 years, 8 months ago

Assuming Anrio Adams qualifies, he is supposed to be a combo guard who could possibly push Naadir for minutes. Freshman point guards...they're scary!

jhawkr 2 years, 8 months ago

After all the ups and downs Tyshawn has put the KU fan base through, who would have thought last year that we would seriously hate to see him graduate after this year ?!!

Jack Wilson 2 years, 8 months ago

Just a couple items from the game .. on Releford: -Look at appx. the 14:20 mark, first half. Watch Releford on defense. Amazing. Stuck to his man like glue, stopped two penetration attempts perfectly. -At appx. the 10:10 mark first half, shot goes up for OU, Releford guarding his man out top (his man was not the shooter). Looks like everyone blocked out .. except Releford. Releford literally just turns, watches the shot, no block out, as his man swoops in and gets the long rebound.

When we want to pin down our rebounding issues, that's it. Guards not blocking out, and at times, the bigs. I'm not a Wesley fan, but that guy works hard to block out from what I've seen.

DocBean 2 years, 8 months ago

Where can I watch the Charlie Weis interview that was on at halftime? I missed it.

Chris Shaw 2 years, 8 months ago

Some observations from last night:

1) There is a comment above about relating to the "Bench...blah blah blah" comment. My only response is..................finally! It was good to see, KY and Wesley getting an opportunity. It wasn't the greatest performance by those two because KY still made a boneheaded turnover and picked up a hedging foul 30 feet away from the basket, but you can tell he is trying. No matter what you believe their capabilities are and what KU hasn't had in the past or will have in the future..............KU and Self have to get some type of production those 3 and you have to give them the time to figure it out. They may never figure it out, but you have to give them the opportunity, which Self did last night.

With that said, CT, KY, and Wesley will have to produce something and they will have to do it in minimal minutes. All 3 got 20, 13, and 11 minutes and I'm not sure if that is the right amount of minutes or not, but at least they got some "Game Minutes" to try and get their mind right so at least when those pressure situations do occur there can at least be an attempt to have success when the opportunity presents itself.

I loved seeing Self try to fire up those 3 guys especially when Conner hit his 3 from the corner. Self was pumping his fists and yelled a "Come on". It was great to see! I truly don't think 3 minutes a game is the answer for any of those 3 and in normal years those 3 may not even see the court. However, this is "This year" and getting some minutes and being able to produce something even if it's minimal is going to be key going into the second half of conference and then onto in the preseason with CT, KY, Wesley.

I have also pretty much come to the conclusion that Tharpe is probably out of the picture. If he was going to get meaningful time........it would have been last night most likely. Not going to happen in the next 2 weeks IMO with Mizzou, Baylor, Okie State, and K-State. Not on the road with those teams at least.

2) The stat that still disturbs me is the 3 point FG attempts, but on the flip side...........I saw some good things from CT and EJ that was encouraging. I still don't like chucking up 12 attempts in the first half and going 3-12 for 25 percent. Too many freaking shots! For the game KU was 6 of 20 for 30 percent, which again is too many freaking shots.

cont'd

Alohahawk 2 years, 8 months ago

Agree that KY and Wesley need to have more minutes as they did last night. However, they got those minutes out of necessity, since JW had early foul trouble and had to sit.

Point 2. well taken. Too many 3's in the first half, compared to the second. And, you could say, "Look at the score differential between the two halves."

Chris Shaw 2 years, 8 months ago

I agree with Miles Simon and his broadcast that they always monitored their 3 point attempts on their 1997 team. With that said, even though Conner's shots still aren't falling............I loved his drive to the hoop even though he missed. He had a couple of pump fakes to get inside the line as well as did EJ so you can tell they are thinking about it and doing things to try to get them out of their shooting slumps.

3) T-Rob, Withey, and TT brought it last night. Relly brought his usual stifling "D". Man, Withey is the best FT shooter on the team! He went 7-7 again last night. Freaking awesome to see! T-Rob==============Man Child!

4) It's Mizzou time! How big is this freaking game? Muck Fizzou!

AsadZ 2 years, 8 months ago

Withey was the diffeence last night. With him on the bench in 1st half game was close. Him coming back in 2nd half OU struggled to score and turned the ball over that led to transition baskets.

I also enjoyed Miles comments. He had done his homework on both teams very well. He made a comment couple of times something like if KU were to win Big 12 and advance in NCAA Jeff W will have to be the factor. I think he is spot on.

It is really disappointing to see Nadir's struggles. I really hope he can turn it around for next year.

Kye Clark 2 years, 8 months ago

mikehawk & HEM have already touched on this, but whoever exploits the match-up difference to their advantage the best wins the game Saturday.

If KU plays its starters normally, their keys to the game are:

  1. Keeping TRob out of foul trouble. Obviously this is one of the big keys to the whole season, and so far Bill has done a good job hiding TRob on defense. But if Withey guards Ratliffe, TRob will have to be on one of their 4 guards. How is that going to work? Will he reach and pick up some cheap fouls? Will he play off his man and give him more open looks from the outside? Will he allow for the drive and rely on help defense?

  2. Taking care of the ball. MU is going to make us pay for the turnovers as they get out in transition. If we can keep it around 10-12 TOs we should be OK.

  3. Playing to our strengths on offense. It was discouraging to see the guys jack up multiple 3s once OU went to zone last night (I think it was something like on 5 straight possessions). MU will most likely play some zone on us, could be for the majority of the game depending on how much we have our normal starting 5 out there. We'll need to attack their zone and not be content to settle for the outside shots.

Speaking of the zone, I wonder if Self will consider using one to combat the 4-guard line-up. We know Self is firmly entrenched in his man-to-man philosophy, but a zone might be the only we he can maximize the minutes from his starters without running the risk of getting TRob in foul trouble man guarding one of their perimeter players or sacrificing Jeff for KY.

I'm leery of a zone. I'd posted this in response to Jaybate proposing a zone earlier in the week (not specifically in regards to playing MU, but more in general as a way to get more out of the team as a whole):

Zones are not as simple as they may appear. It's not just "go cover this area on the court". Teams that don't practice playing zones a lot are often prone to fouling more often when asked to play it in games. They often leave shooters and driving lanes open with more frequency due to the unfamiliarity with their responsibilities in the zone. And even teams that are fluent in playing zones are often inferior at rebounding the basketball.

I just doubt we have practiced playing zone enough to execute it proficiently, and don't think we have enough time in practice the next two days to pull it off for Saturday. I also think that playing a zone somewhat neutralizes our size and what should be a huge rebounding advantage.

Chris Shaw 2 years, 8 months ago

I'll be honest...........I think Self has a trick up his sleeve for this game! I'm not sure what it is..........maybe a zone, but there is just something that tells me that Self views this game as probably the biggest possible game of the year outside of a National Championship or Final 4 game.

Self knows how important this game is in the overall tradition of both schools. If there was ever two games that KU "Must Win" it's the one Saturday in Columbia and the one later on AFH! Get these freaking brooms sweeping and send that trash onto the SEC.

I know you play the games, but I just don't see Self losing to a Frank Haith Mizzou squad in the last possible rivalry game ever played in the 100 year old series in Columbia! Too much at Stake! God, I hope I am right! Let Jayhawk nation be right on Saturday!

jaybate 2 years, 8 months ago

There are a lot of ways to slice this game. Self has intentionally kept his zone hidden for a surprise edge, if he ever needs it. And this might be the game he shows it, but probably not.

Self has been preparing KU's big men to play chase and hedge for full games now for 4 games at least. So MU trying to play a lot of ball screens outside is not going to work all that well on offense. KU is going to take away the trey stripe at all costs.

Self has also been preparing as methodically as Eisenhower to create a body of game feeds that show KU is capable of any of the following on offense:

  1. Play with both bigs on the low blocks across from each other, or side by side on the same side;

  2. Play with Jeff on the low block and Thomas showing up anywhere and every where;

  3. Play through TT driving the lanes from the front with Jeff and TRob positioned on both sides of the lane at the low blocks for dishes; and

  4. Play through Travis on wing drives and in transition.

The only thing Self has not yet shown offensively is playing through EJ for a game; this could happen at any moment.

IMHO, Haith is the coach with the really big problem, not Self.

If KU grinds it out through the bigs on offense, and uses its great defensive perimeter to take away the trey and force MU's excellent perimeter players into a mid range game, then this is an inevitable KU win. Bigs shooting 10 feet and in, and mostly dunking on short guys, inevitably shoot a better percentage than perimeter players shooting a mid range floaters. So: this is what KU will try to do from the tip off.

The only chance MU has to win this game is to run one of our bigs outside, and drive the ball hard at the remaining big constantly and get that big into foul trouble.

And they have to concentrate first on one, then only then on the other. If they don't get us fouled up early, we will build a spread quickly they cannot overcome, because we will be taking away their trey from the trey stripe to three feet beyond it. Beyond that, they will be able to take all the treys they want.

If they can get one of our two bigs in foul trouble, then they very well could win by forcing our remaining big to chase, which would then open our defense up for their highly mobile players to get to the rim.

Any other scenario and MU is road kill.

And Self will try to crush them, not just beat them.

Why am I so confident of this?

Because KU is one of the few teams with both a height advantage on the perimeter and enough speed to deny the trey to MU's perimeter and funnel them into our great height inside. This tempts them into a midrange game, or tons of blocks and alters.

We're going to win this game, and if our trey shooting is on, we're apt to win it handily, unless MU can trick our bigs into fouling them early and often.

Alohahawk 2 years, 8 months ago

Your second to the last paragragh is what I've been thinking all along. KU has a definite height advantage, and I don't think Mucky U. has been up against the kind of tough defense KU plays. MU had trouble winning against Texas and at Baylor. Neither of which plays as good of defense.

I think the game will boil down to three things: Can KU keep it's turnovers to a minimum? Will MU hit a high percentage of 3's? How bad will KU's bigs put the hurt on Ratliffe?

RCJH Muck Fizzou!!!!

Jack Wilson 2 years, 8 months ago

ict -- Excellent post on all counts. Your summary on the zone D is right on point. I only like the zone a change-up, like in 2008. If you are zone team, then play zone. If you are man team, play man. Self is a man to man guy .. that means he coaches that best. If you are in the mushy middle, then you're Baylor on defense. Can you imagine what coach Self would do with that group defensively? They'd be dominant. But some change up, strategic uses of the zone should be in the gameplan.

One other point -- MU's significant advantage is having Dixon and Moore off the bench vs. our first two off the bench. Can we get 3 of 5 from three range from Teahan, or 10 points and adequate D from KY? Could change the game.

Kye Clark 2 years, 8 months ago

Shaw - I was saying yesterday that I think Self really wants these games against MU. That he really wants to send them packing with a couple more losses. To your point about having something up his sleeve...I can't imagine what that might be. We are so limited personnel-wise it's hard for me to think of anything he could do creatively to surprise MU.

HEM - I seriously doubt we'll get the kind of production from the bench that either of your scenarios mentioned. We all know Connor shoots worse away from AFH, and for KY to get 10 points would mean he'd actually have to be in the flow of the game somewhat. Unless there's foul trouble to TRob or Withey, or Self does decide to alter his use of personnel and plays KY in place of one of TRob or Withey, I don't see him playing the minutes necessary to do it.

Brianna Zaleski 2 years, 8 months ago

ict,

On the heels of all the bench talk this week, it was good to see KY log some meaningful mins. He's very sketchy out there and looks like an accident waiting to happen, but his lenght and athleticism is very appealing. What I do worry about with him and Wesley, is fouling the MU guards on the perimeter when they run ball screens (I don't know what that is called, but when our big man temporarily flashes out on their guard to give our man time to recover and then our big goes back to his original assignment). KY damn near fouled from 30+ feet out last night tight when he got out there, but got a lucky no call. Anyway, I see problems with that on Saturday which will lead to Self having CT in there more, which (if he's not hitting his 3) essentially equates to 4 on 5. I hope we can keep our feet under us, shuffle and not reach. Or switch as some posters were suggesting to earlier.

Good to see Coach Self let KY play through a couple of misteaks last night, beacuse I agree with you, he is the better option.

Kye Clark 2 years, 8 months ago

Hedge is the term you're looking for.

You're right. KY looks very "sketchy", and regardless of the situation Wesley is a handful of fouls waiting to happen.

And it was good to see some of the bench get minutes last night. But against MU, if we're looking to them for much help we're already sunk. The starters all need to avoid foul trouble and play as many minutes as they can. This is not a game for developing the bench. Maybe someone surprises us and Connor sinks a few threes or KY channels his Ohio State game self and goes off for double digits. I don't see it happening, but if it does it should be regarded as a bonus, not something we rely upon.

Should we lose, the discussion may come around again to the bench and how they're not contributing, but it will all be irrelevant. Any discussion now is almost just second guessing how we should have done things with our bench players. Because it's sink or swim time, and there aren't many games coming up that they will have the luxury of through their mistakes.

Kye Clark 2 years, 8 months ago

*playing through their mistakes that should read

Chris Shaw 2 years, 8 months ago

Actually, it was a foul 30 feet away from the basketball when he was "Hedging".

Chris Shaw 2 years, 8 months ago

Actually, it was a foul 30 feet away from the basketball when he was "Hedging".

Chris Shaw 2 years, 8 months ago

Actually, it was a foul 30 feet away from the basketball when he was "Hedging".

justinryman 2 years, 8 months ago

I said this yesterday or the day before, not sure, who knows. But if MU likes their small line up and it is giving teams fits, and some have tried to go small to match their quickness, why not go big and see if they can stop us?

Robinson, Young, Wesley, Releford and Taylor as a starting five. That isn't just size but quickness. Wesley will come out and you put in Withey to play safety in the middle and swat weak lay ups leading TT to get fast break points. Bring EJ off the bench to give another dynamic as well.

No, it's not perfect, but do you think that MU could handle that much height?

Kye Clark 2 years, 8 months ago

Well...I don't like it honestly. In that scenario who do you have guarding Ratliffe? KY would get eaten alive in the post getting pushed around, Wesley would pick up his second or third foul five minutes into the game. Let's assume it's TRob since he would be the only one with a prayer of guarding him. I think Ratliffe remains effective because TRob plays to avoid foul trouble (and rightly so). Now on the perimeter you've created two mismatches having KY and Wesley chase around two of their guards. They might have trouble shooting over that length, but they wouldn't have any trouble driving past them. So in that scenario I think you've taken our one advantage - size - and on the defensive end neutralized it, while making us worse as a unit as only Tyshawn and Releford would be capable defenders in that scenario. On offense they have four guards and you've taken out one of our ball-handlers with EJ which I think would lead to us turning the ball over more, and you've sacrificed Withey's scoring. No matter how much taller KY and Wesley are than their defenders they aren't going to give you the net positive on the offensive end that Withey would.

Props on thinking outside the box. I just see too many holes.

kubiggestfan 2 years, 8 months ago

Way to go guys....Just love T-Rob....Tyshawn is also one of my favorites .

lrahardja 2 years, 8 months ago

“We had much better flow the second half compared to the first half,...” I think our guys moved the ball sooner before the defense could settle. Perhaps HCBS can shorten the time clock to 15 seconds during practice. :)

lrahardja 2 years, 8 months ago

Go Mizzou!!! Err... I meant go AWAY Mizzou, go KU!!!

justinryman 2 years, 8 months ago

I do not like to bash on a college kid, I mean the key word is "kid", but what has going through Conner Teahan's head lately?

VS. ISU he was right in front of his own bench and was looking down the court as a TT pass goes right by him, he looked lost.

Last night, TRob throws an outlet pass to him and leads him a little to far, but he stops and then starts again letting OU get the ball back.

Sure neither pass was perfect, but day dreaming and giving up on a 50/50 ball is not Div1 basketball.

Something has to be going on in his head. Maybe he is pressing to hard not to screw up, or is over thinking everything and not letting the game just flow.

Again I don't mean to bash on him, but I had to let this out.

FSUJHAWK 2 years, 8 months ago

I feel what you're saying. However, i can assure you playing for KU and being a local kid has immense pressures most of us cant begin to imagine. If we were dreaming we'd wake up because the pressure would be so intense.

Considering CT's recent struggles, i know he will be ready and amped up for Saturday. Being one of two local kids on the KU squad's last visit to Colombia, i'd have no issue betting my bottom dollar that he will make Kansas proud.

RCJHGKU!!!

justinryman 2 years, 8 months ago

I played with a kid in HS and if his shot wasn't falling he would lead the team in steals and defensive stops. He even had an opposing player kick him because he was denying him the ball so well.

If the shots not falling make up for it somewhere else on the court.

championhawks 2 years, 8 months ago

Man, I wish I could have been considered a "kid" when I was 23!

Teahan is just not a high-major basketball player. He has a nice shot, at times, but that is all that he has. He really has no ability to drive the ball and is a liability on defense. There is a reason that he has played less than 4 minutes a game before this year. Yes we have had more talent in front of him, but he couldn't compete for playing time with those players because he is not a high-major player, and that is showing against the tougher competition of the Big XII

jaybate 2 years, 8 months ago

Who doubts Self is a strategic genius after he sandbagged Lon Kruger and OU?

Self turned Lawrence, Kansas into Zai-!@#$%ing-ire, Africa last night!!!

Self was to basketball what Goren was to Bridge last night.

Self Sandbagged Lon Kruger into the next century last night.

Self was like Jim !@#$%^ing MacLaughlin riding a horse at the Belmont Stakes that couldn't run the full 1.5 miles and just kept it in the race till the last quarter mile; then he let her rip!!!

Bill Self stepped up to some new level of out-coaching last night.

Lon Kruger is a very, very good coach.

Lon Kruger does not get outsmarted very often.

Lon Kruger got faked out of his three button suit last night!!!

Lon Kruger might as well start cooking his burgers on a George Foreman grill!

Rope-a-dope, Rope-a-dope, Rope-a-dope!

Total master piece, Coach Self, total master piece.

Fred Hoiberg has Self's number right now.

Fred Hoiberg is just as wily as Self, just as competitive as Self and has played and administrated at the pro level, where Self has never played, coached, or administrated. Fred knows some tricks that Self hasn't seen.

But here's the thing: Fred, Bill Self is learning from you each time you guys meet, and he will relentlessly close the gap on you and then he will out maneuver you, too.

Self is a genius, Self is a genius, Self is a genius!!!!

dhinkansas 2 years, 8 months ago

Hoiberg will end up coaching in the NBA in a couple of years.

KansasComet 2 years, 8 months ago

Winning is a great deodorant. We still have a long way to go. This next game will be all about guard play. I hope we are up for the challenge. I think Tyshawn has become one of the most focused and best players in the nation. I think Elijah is very close. I would love to see what this kid Merv Lindsay can do. He has size and I believe he has skill. Maybe he will be the surprise of the season like Cole in '08? Go Jayhawks!

jaybate 2 years, 8 months ago

Comet,

Winning is not a great deodorant, it is the only deodorant. :-)

And we won.

And we're 18-4.

And we're in first.

And we're about to play a short team that can neutralize our guards, or our bigs, but not both.

This game will be about Haith trying to turn it into a game of guards, with MU playing 4 and KU outnumbered playing 3.

Defensively, MU will try to tempt KU into playing through its guards, by sagging on one of KU's bigs, while playing the other straight up.

Self being Self, he will take what they give.

Self will have Tyshawn drive between the sag on one big man and the one on one on the other big and kill MU with three point plays.

Once MU adjusts to stop TT driving, then the ball goes straight to the one on one match up on the block.

MU is about to be cut to pieces unless it literally packs the paint, and says beat us outside, and in turn finds away to drive on our bigs and get them fouled up.

Short teams can occasionally beat big teams, if the big team cannot deny the short team the trey and the short team can get the tall team's bigs fouled up.

I think KU has now been exposed to that strategy so many times, it is used to it and ready for it, and so will not fall victim to it.

KansasComet 2 years, 8 months ago

Thanks! Hopefully it will be "Lob City" for the us on Saturday Night!

KansasComet 2 years, 8 months ago

Thanks! Maybe Merv will develop more physically like the Morris Twins did. I think this regular season, more than any other, will have us ready for the tournament. I also hope we get another game with Iowa State in the Big XII Tourney. You are right, TT is the straw that stirs the drink.

jaybate 2 years, 8 months ago

First, I agree that Jeff is going to vulnerable, not because of his size, but because he's got a blown left quad, which puts him at a huge disadvantage to all players, large or small.

But for all those gripping about MU forcing us to play their game of 4 guards and a short big, let me remind all that there are very simple solutions to that problem.

First Solution: Switch.

Self makes his team's play without switching on m2m for as much of the season as he can get away with, because it builds toughness and confidence in each guy about his ability to man up on defense.

But in every big game a Self-coached KU team has played, Self has resorted to switching without hesitation.

Either Jeff, or Thomas, are going to be too slow away from the basket for the guy they are guarding; that's a given.

So switch.

KU's starting perimeter defenders are fabulous defensive players now.

Every time one of our bigs tries to run out to the perimeter, switch.

If they want to play 4 guys outside, have Thomas go out and stand on the trey stripe.

Second Solution: pick out one of their guards, and take him to the rim every time down the floor the first five minutes of the game and get him fouled up; then they only have 3 guards. :-)

Haith is in deep, do-do.

We are going to kill these guys.

rwhawk 2 years, 8 months ago

I love your optimism! I like our chances a lot if we can in fact get them into some foul trouble. That is one of their big vulnerabilities.

Not sure switching will fix anything though with that MU team because they spread the floor with their speed and ability to shoot, so a switch means you'll end up with a Ratliffe v. TT type of match-up and any help the guard might get will end up in exactly what MU is looking for anyway--open shots.

rwhawk 2 years, 8 months ago

Oh, and on the "second solution," I meant to say that their 6th man (Dixon) is as good if not better than their starters. So it would still mean 4 really good guards on the floor.

PurePierce 2 years, 8 months ago

Among the other improvements in TRob's game is avoiding fouls. On a few occasions I got peeved at him for not helping out when an opponent got down deep on one of our defenders. Then it hit me, by design or not TRob was not giving up 1/5th of his fouls to defend approximately 1/30th of the other team's baskets. Basketball genius or just good old dumb luck, I'm on board for this practice when he doesn't have a good chance for success without fouling.

KansasComet 2 years, 8 months ago

Welcome to the board. I like it when fans are classy!

wildjayhawk 2 years, 8 months ago

Cat has a point there. Have to agree with him.

Tony Bandle 2 years, 8 months ago

NNAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!....Nuke all trespassers!! :)

Tony Bandle 2 years, 8 months ago

Formula for beating Missouri:

Step 1] Pound it inside and foul out Radcliffe. Step 2] Pound it inside and foul out Radcliffe. Step 3] Pound it inside and foul out Radcliffe. and, finally, Step 4] Pound it inside and foul out Radcliffe!!!!!!!!!

PurePierce 2 years, 8 months ago

JB is absolutely correct about Self allowing switching. I remember early in the season that he said he wouldn't allow it early, so the guys had to get hardened in man-on situations. He said later that switching would be a go.

As far as Thomas going out on the perimeter and being not fast enough, that's true. He is, however, very mobile for a big. If he keeps in mind that he has the height advantage and guards like a big should guard a shorter opponent he can just give up a little space and then make the shot more difficult by making the shooter's arc higher than he's used to. If Thomas tries to guard in-your-face he will pick up fouls or get blown by.

In general, with our defense we should be able to force their shooters out of their comfort zones and into frustrationville. We all know, that is not a good place to be.

If we do our defensive jobs well, and execute our inside offense to take advantage of our bigs we should be able to break their will. If Thomas gets mid-teens to low twenties and Withey gets to mid-teens that should do it.

dw3c 2 years, 8 months ago

Not sure if anyone has posted this or not but on the Titus cbb power rankings on grantland.com he has an excellent breakdown of exactly how terrible the "we are mizzou" video is

FSJHAWK 2 years, 8 months ago

Our big man Jeff has certainly worked on his new shot. Moving to his left with that left-handed hook shot reminded how effective Clyde was at it as the Jayhawks won a national championship in by-gone years. If Jeff keeps perfecting it with a little more arch nobody will be able to stop him. T-Rob would be even more effective if he had a little jump hook in his array of shots. T.T. is a much different P-Guard now-days playing so much better, so the real test will be at m.u. sat.night. GO KU

jhawkr 2 years, 8 months ago

Funny you mention "arch / arc" ..........

Can Withey's shot be called a jump hook which normally requires touch and an arcing trajectory ? Or should his shot be called "The Long Range Line Drive Slam Hook" ? His shot reminded me of what mine could be called playing bedroom NERF basketball with my boys !!

Dang if I know how he was able to sneak those magnetic line drive hooks in against OU ...............

Tony Bandle 2 years, 8 months ago

Call them the shortest line between two points shots!!

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