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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

missouricat 2 years, 2 months ago

Game day tomorrow, put your money down, it's time to play the game.

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FSJHAWK 2 years, 2 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

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dw3c 2 years, 2 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

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PurePierce 2 years, 2 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.

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Tony Bandle 2 years, 2 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!!!!!!!!!

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Tony Bandle 2 years, 2 months ago

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

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missouricat 2 years, 2 months ago

Well, the day is getting closer for the Game Day Show. This is really going to be a real shootout. Jay Bilas and Digger Phillips talking about the advantages and disadvantages of both teams and then, let them play. This should set the course for the team to take the big 12.

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PurePierce 2 years, 2 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.

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jaybate 2 years, 2 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.

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KansasComet 2 years, 2 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!

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jaybate 2 years, 2 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!!!!

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justinryman 2 years, 2 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.

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lrahardja 2 years, 2 months ago

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

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lrahardja 2 years, 2 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. :)

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kubiggestfan 2 years, 2 months ago

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

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Kye Clark 2 years, 2 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.

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Chris Shaw 2 years, 2 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!

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Chris Shaw 2 years, 2 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

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DocBean 2 years, 2 months ago

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

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Jack Wilson 2 years, 2 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.

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REHawk 2 years, 2 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.

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Kye Clark 2 years, 2 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.

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mikehawk 2 years, 2 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.

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kkoenig 2 years, 2 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.

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FSUJHAWK 2 years, 2 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!!!

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Cmill1221 2 years, 2 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!!

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jayhawkmike 2 years, 2 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.

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theboehr 2 years, 2 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?

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HawksWin 2 years, 2 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.

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syceda 2 years, 2 months ago

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

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jayhawker_97 2 years, 2 months ago

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

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