Saturday, January 7, 2012


This year’s identity? Defend and dash

Kansas guard Travis Releford glides for a bucket between Oklahoma defenders Sam Grooms, left, and Steven Pledger during the second half Saturday, Jan. 7, 2012, at Lloyd Noble Center.

Kansas guard Travis Releford glides for a bucket between Oklahoma defenders Sam Grooms, left, and Steven Pledger during the second half Saturday, Jan. 7, 2012, at Lloyd Noble Center.


Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self

Kansas coach Bill Self talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 72-61 victory over Oklahoma on Jan. 7, 2012.

Download podcast

Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Thomas Robinson and Travis Releford

KU players Thomas Robinson and Travis Releford talk to reporters following the Jayhawks' 72-61 victory over Oklahoma on Jan. 7, 2012.

Download podcast

ESPN video

Highlights: KU vs. Oklahoma

— Not many college basketball teams have four starters who could hang with Kansas University’s four best players in a sprint-relay/high-jump competition.

Tyshawn Taylor, Elijah Johnson, Travis Releford and Thomas Robinson all can fly and sky, and all know how to finish at the hoop without drawing an offensive foul. They all enjoy playing the game 94 feet at a time.

The work the four fast men did in transition to open the second half spurred Kansas to a 72-61 victory against Oklahoma in front of 11,268 fans at Noble Center.

Trailing by a point at the half, the senior and three juniors didn’t need their coach to blister them at halftime — coach Bill Self chose not to do that this time — to know what they needed to do to play the game at the speed they prefer. They needed to turn up the defensive heat, use their quick feet and active hands to knock the ball loose to trigger the break.

By the time the first TV timeout arrived and enabled the Sooners to stagger back to their corners, KU had erased any doubt about the outcome of Saturday afternoon’s Big 12 game.

During the first 4:13 of the second half, Robinson, Releford and Johnson each picked up a steal, OU turned it over four times, and KU outscored the hosts, 11-2. KU made five of six field goals, the only miss on a Johnson three-pointer. All five buckets came on drives to the hoop. Robinson had the most memorable performance of the span, which started with him swatting a dribble to himself, ended with him freeing himself with a behind-the-back dribble.

Oklahoma came out of the timeout skittish, its offensive purpose appearing to have shifted from trying to score to trying not to turn it over. The Sooners held onto the ball better, but, harassed by KU’s defenders, couldn’t score, either. Outlet pass, dribble, pass, layup. The onslaught continued.

“I thought 10 or 12 minutes to start the second half was probably the best run we’ve had all year,” Self said.

In the first 11:39 of the half, Kansas had outscored the overmatched Sooners, 29-6, forcing OU into six turnovers and 3-for-14 shooting. Kansas shot 13-for-17 over the same period, not because it has better shooters, but because it got better shots, thanks largely to its defense. Also, in the halfcourt, Taylor and Johnson had an easier time penetrating in the second half, setting up dunks.

All coaches will talk about a team needing to find its identity. When Self says that, he doesn’t mean he doesn’t know what the team’s identity is. He means the players haven’t figured it out yet.

Self recruits quick, fast athletes, teaches them how to play great team defense and lets them enjoy the game by turning the fruits of that defense into fast-break baskets. Based on how well the Jayhawks defended during the decisive stages of the two conference games, the identity crisis is in the past. If it resurfaces, clicking the play button on the first 11:39 of the second half should serve as ample reminder.

This team, more than most of Self’s, will need to embrace that identity aggressively because it can’t bank on searing long-range shooting. After going 4-for-19 on three-pointers (.641 from inside the arc) Saturday, KU came out of the game with a season .346 long-distance accuracy rate.

The more efficiently Kansas can guard and run, the less reliant the Jayhawks become on having to hope they can get hot from beyond the arc. The former is a realistic path to an eighth consecutive Big 12 title, the latter a long-shot approach.


Ludwig Supraphonic 6 years, 4 months ago

The first ten minutes of the second half were a defensive gem.

beebe1 6 years, 4 months ago

Disappointed that ESPN, or KU, or someone, has cut off your reporting opportunity! Last year you had a minute by minute report of the game. (Think the only criticism may have been the 'past perfect' tense that made it hard to understand.) This was a great service to the JHawk fans.

In Ohio, we have some problem getting JHawk TV. If ESPN has adopted a regional attitude, we have real problems. There are so few games on ESPNU it isn't quite worth the pain and hassle to try to get it added to my cable. What would really be good would be to eliminate about 80% of the channels we get --and get KU, Big 12, and/or ESPNU in place thereof. The only alternative is one of the sports bars, but I gave up drinking about the time most of you were born.

Last night about 3:30 am, I tried to get the final score. ESPN has way too much stuff across their bottom line! I personally have no interest in all their BW news! AND with all the sports they try to follow, it takes forever. Not too sure they even had the scores on the KU-OK game. And trying the computer didn't work either --surely there could be a way to put up a brief final notice of the score. Today, the score wasn't in any headline. Maybe all the other guys knew the score before they tuned in, not me! I sort of had to search for it.

At any rate, Your stuff is great, a daily read. But I sure hate the fact you can't keep up with your old image!

Dan Pawlowski 6 years, 4 months ago

ESPN3 blacks it out if the game is on the full court package. I know because that happened for the KU - KState game. I was not happy and spent some time on the phone and on line with ESPN and Comcast.

rrudy44 6 years, 4 months ago

BoulderHawk, I had some guests in town (DFW area) for the Cotton Bowl on Friday that watched the K-State - Misery game on Saturday afternoon on Full Court. KU was on ESPNU, but I was still able to watch the game on my ESPN3 account. Kept the MIL, BIL, and sister happy with K-State, but watched my game elsewhere in the house! The streaming has improved tremendously over the past 2-3 years. Thanks, ESPN!

James Clark 6 years, 4 months ago

use ESPN live on your pc it's free and you can see all the KU games live. Just get a good graphic card for your pc. It's a cheap way to get all your spots program live. Good luck.

Dan Pawlowski 6 years, 4 months ago

Depends on the provider. I unfortunately have and Internet Provide that is my cable TV as well. If they have the came on the Full Court Package they black it out on their internet service.

Dan Pawlowski 6 years, 4 months ago

Ok I am tired....I meant to type "I , unfortunately, have an internet provider that provides my cable TV as well"....

Dan Pawlowski 6 years, 4 months ago

Watching a game after you know the score is not worth it to me.

okiedave 6 years, 4 months ago

Tulsa's sports writer's opinion, posted Saturday morning, that KU's team was "passive, careless and selfish" probably is going to be retracted on Sunday morning.

WilburNether 6 years, 4 months ago

I don't think that "sportswriter" (or, for that matter, any form of "journalist") and "integrity" can be used in the same sentence, unless there is a negative inserted properly.

bad_dog 6 years, 4 months ago

So you would paint Jesse Newell and Matt Tait with that same broad brush?

Didn't think so...

Andy Tweedy 6 years, 4 months ago

I don't know if anybody will see this, but I happen to have gone to school with the writer you are referring to...AT KANSAS! So while he may have made an unpopular opinion on this board, he is a Jayhawk so take that for what it's worth.

Dan Pawlowski 6 years, 4 months ago

Just proves he hasn't done his homework.

Jeeveshawk 6 years, 4 months ago

I was surprised to hear that Self did nothing at halftime to turn the jayhawks around but that they had done it themselves. That shows the qualities of a mentally tough team which can help out alot of ways in the long run.

Now we have a third great scorer to add to the duo (im not putting the word dynamic in front of duo, its been overdone) of Robinson and Johnson. Travis will most likely stay for the 2012-2013 basketball season while the other 2 will not. My best guess for his recent improvements has been that Jamari and Ben have started practicing lately. So he has to go against McLemore in practice instead of Merv Lindsay, who he probably played against in practice most of the year.

Anyway, I am glad to see the improvement in Releford and in the whole team. With the recent victories against KSU and Oklahoma, and with Mizzou getting defeated by the first real team its played all season, the jayhawks have established their dominance over the rest of the conference.

John Randall 6 years, 4 months ago

I guess there's a reason you didn't mention the Bears from Waco . . .

It looks like it will be up to KU to start them on their annual slide down the late-conference slope. This shapes up as a four-horse race, and I am really liking the prospects for eight in a row.

Ron Franklin 6 years, 4 months ago

Thomas will be the only guy entering the draft this year.

Jeff Coffman 6 years, 4 months ago

Tyshawn is a senior.

I don't know if he will be drafted, but some of the drafts have him in the second round.

Robert Brock 6 years, 4 months ago

Not much demand for PGs who turn it over six or seven times per game.

Ann Oneill 6 years, 4 months ago

Hopefully the Bears will start their annual slide Tuesday when they play the Kitties in the Octogon of Gloom.

Jeffrey Nichols 6 years, 4 months ago

You question if Travis will stay for his Sr. year? You think EJ will forego his Sr year? Are you serious? They'd be skipping their final yr of eligibility to sit around and do nothing. Neither of those guys would get drafted this yr. Elijah might next year, if he keeps improving. I love them both, and love the Hawks, but I think you may have a hyper-inflated opinion of them both. Marcus Morris is in the D League right now, and he had player of the year aspirations. A dash of perspective is probably needed here.

Dan Pawlowski 6 years, 4 months ago

Morris is in the D league because he got drafted by a Team who needs him at the wrong position.

KU_Alumn_2000 6 years, 4 months ago

Jeeveshawk - are you saying that EJ will declare for the draft after this season ?

John Randall 6 years, 4 months ago

I think he's talking about the three top scoring threats, and he is probably right on in his assessment.

Jim Roth 6 years, 4 months ago

I also read the comment as a prediction Elijah will declare. I don't see that happening.

HawkKlaw 6 years, 4 months ago

I'm not positive that Elijah will declare for the draft, but on most "draft prediction" websites I've checked out he is expected to be an early 2nd round pick. Some sites even have him going before Tyshawn.

And we all remember how poor Selby played last season...somehow he made it into the NBA. Elijah has shown far more potential this season than Selby did last season.

It would suck for KU but it's definitely not out of the question.

David Friend 6 years, 4 months ago

there was not 11000 in that building. Place was half empty

REHawk 6 years, 4 months ago

I think Jeeves might have meant to type Taylor instead of Johnson, as those two have been our leading scorers. Johnson's scoring still a work in progress.

jaybate 6 years, 4 months ago

Not defend and dash.

Strip and Fifty.

KU has guarded well all season and could not win shooting 21% from trey.

Reason? Until this game, KU did not strip and protect, while shooting 50% from the field.

Self Ball thrives on a Disruption Stat approaching 1:1.

Versus OU, KU had 14 strips and 13 TOs.

Unless OU were fiery hot, it had no chance.

A Disruption stat near 1:1 and 50% FG shooting is the only known antidote to 21% trifectation.

Just imagine the magnitude of blow out had KU gotten it's TOs down to 5 -8 total.

jaybate 6 years, 4 months ago

Good to be back.

Health issues with a family member.

Chris Shaw 6 years, 4 months ago

This was a "Workmanlike" game and Self and Kansas got the job done on the road.

Some things that stuck out for me during this game.

1) Outside of Howard (10), G-Town (12), and North Dakota (13), KU had one of their lowest TO outputs all season. Considering this was a road league game I will take that any day of the week.

Yes, TT and EJ had a couple boneheaded turnovers, but for the most part I thought the decision making was pretty good for those two guys. I thought EJ did an extremely great job in transition feeding Relly a couple of times and he also had some nice oops to T-Rob getting into the paint in the half court sets.

2)During the second half after KU's run and KU a little bit out of rhythm, I noticed EJ get on KY after he fouled in the post. I just thought it was great that EJ showed some intensity and some leadership towards KY to keep his head into the game. Some may say that is "Bickering" towards one another, but I think that type of little chatter is vital for a good team, especially coming from a third year player like EJ.

3) You know what's interesting about this team................they are not a great outside shooting team as the articles states. They are going to get their points off their defense, in transition, and in the half court set running through the post. With that said, I really think this team has to monitor it's shot selection and not "Settle" for that trey. I think it's that important going forward.

Before the Davidson game, KU was attempting between 14-16 attempts from behind the arc and they didn't attempt more than 17 except the first game of the season. Since the Davidson game (6-23), KU has averaged almost 20 attempts per game and their 3 point percentage has gone down. KU attempted 18 against USC, 18 against Howard, 27 against North Dakota, 13 against K-State and 19 against Oklahoma.

In the 4 games where I thought KU played pretty well this season Duke (2-8), G-Town (5-16), Ohio State (9-17), and K-State (5-13).....................KU had better shot selection in those games limiting their 3 point attempts. I still think 16 and 17 are a couple too many for this squad, but if they are on early like the Ohio State game..............what's it going to hurt. Just can't fall in love with it.


Chris Shaw 6 years, 4 months ago

If anybody wants to ask me what the issue against Mid-Majors over the last couple of years has's this statistic right here. Attempts go up, Defensive pressure pushes KU out of their game plan, KU settles for 3, and their efficiency drastically goes down. Monitor those attempts.

4) Not to get on Downtown Triple Treyhan, but he had a pretty bad game. I think the part where he let his game go was mentally. He missed a couple of shots and his effort level decreased because he was missing some shots and thinking too much about it. Outside of the USC game (4-7 from downtown) Treyhan hasn't shot the ball well away from the Fieldhouse. Hopefully, he steps out of it because his shooting is going to be key come NCAA tournament time at those neutral site venues.

Nathan Scholl 6 years, 4 months ago

Travis Releford and TROB won this game for the Hawks. If the rest of the team can develop that will and aggressiveness and Tyshawn can stop constantly turning it over (to be fair, he had a good game as well) I think the Hawks are the definite favorite in the Big Twelve. They can't afford to take off ANY games though and HAVE to remain focused and pumped for EVERY game to have a chance. No mental lapses.

Hank Cross 6 years, 4 months ago

This team is turning out to be one of my favorite KU teams. More athletic and looser. Everyone has to step up and not rely on Sherron/The Twins/X/Selby to the savior. This team also knows: what it's like to be laughed at (UK); that it can play a top team in a neutral site (Duke); and, that it can be beaten by a mid-major (Davidson). All of that will make them tougher in the tourney. At the beginning of the year I thought they'd be lucky to make the S16. Now I think that's the least they will do.

REHawk 6 years, 4 months ago

I didn't much like EJ's jawing at KY, and KY's rebuttal. Was happy to see Travis step in to cool that scene. If EJ feels inclined to climb someone's backside, perhaps he could spend several minutes a game jawing at Tyshawn. That type of very obvious negative stuff on the court casts an ugly light on Kansas basketball. There are calmer means of addressing teammates, esp. newcomers whose input is dearly needed to relieve starters who are in foul trouble, injured or losing focus. If anyone cares to review that scene, it happened right before the 12 minute clock, second half.

Jack Wilson 6 years, 4 months ago

I have to say, I agree on the defend part -- good defense gives you steals, strips, and points going the other way. We will not be a dynamic offensive team, but we can be a stud defensive team ... we identified this back in June as something this team needs to be defined by. Nothing has changed.

The second half has to be finding an offensive identity. We are getting close. Option 1 must be TRob. On the block, feed the monster. Keep Withey off the block expect sporadically. He can't get post position. TRob can dominate. Option 2 must be Releford slashing, taking the open shot, or having the ball in his hands. More assertive, more aggressive, recognizing that while you take what the defense gives, he has the ability to take more than perhaps the defense appears to be conceding. Option 3 should be drive and kick to the open shooter, or for a lob, or to open offensive player down low (by TT or EJ), or take it to the hoop when open. Option 4 should be the elbow jumper if TRob is high, or KY is in the game.

We are finding an offensive identity. What has happened .. hopefully .. is that Releford is displacing TT as the second option. TT as an under control 3rd option, paired with EJ, makes more sense than TT as the second option. The next progression is EJ shooting a better percentage and perhaps having the ball in his hands a bit more often.

This team has lots of room to get better offensively. The last two games are a step in that direction.

Hank Cross 6 years, 4 months ago

I think Rele's continued offensive development can only help TT. Less of a need for TT to score equals less out of control TT shots.

jaybate 6 years, 4 months ago

"The KSU Win, the OU Win, and the Unspeakable"

I was derailed from posting much on the KSU and OU games.

I saw them, but was pressed for time otherwise and did not have a respectable keyboard handy.

Regarding KSU, I got that game flat wrong. I expected it to be rumble, and it turned out that Frank Martin was a gentleman, and so were his players. And it didn't hurt that they couldn't shoot squat.

KSU has also begun to spread out its Huggins offense (when it runs it) in a way that takes away most of the virtues of it.

More interesting was that Frank Martin seemed to have torn a few pages from Self's play book, as so many coaches are doing last year and this. KSU seemed to run the high low about as much as the Huggins offense. And KSU even showed some pick and roll. It was a very weird thing to watch. Muscle ball hybridized with Self Ball? I would have said after the game that Martin has a lot of work to do to make that cross breeding work, but then KSU went out and bludgeoned MU! Inference: we have to be careful of overconfidence regarding KSU out at the Polygon of Puke. They shot poorly and Self apparently threw them some curves. They will be tough on the rebound, even though we can probably take them.

KU played a good game and denied the glass in a spectacular way that I doubted they were capable.

The only thing I got right was the final score. In two days of XTReme hand wringing and warnings about how tough KSU, I did say I thought KU would win by 15 the first day of posting about the game. My longer analysis the second day I kind of ducked a prediction. Still, I'm going to take credit for the point spread. :-)

About OU, they weren't very good, Kruger made a game of it with some sound Okie Baller coaching the first half, KSU came out a little unfocused, and then two nonlinear leaps occurred (actually one--Travis' good game--continued and something we hadn't seen this season continued..

jaybate 6 years, 4 months ago

First, Travis, after a fine game against KSU, seemed suddenly to understand himself, his role and the game of basketball in a profound way and he rather quietly went about racking up an awesomely efficient 28 points against a real Division I team. TRob...that's a challenge to you! That was no North Dakota Travis hung two bakers dozens and a deuce on. What a game!

Second, KU turned into a bunch of havoc artists. They stripped the ball and disrupted OU with stripping in a way fondly reminiscent of the '08 teams thieving ways. 14 strips!

But it was very fortunate that KU got the 14 strips, because KU started baking pop tarts as fast as Martha Stewart in a sweeps week. 13 pop tarts! 13 Pillsburys. 13 turn overs! And many of those half-baked pastries were not the result of defensive pressure. They were just KU's increasingly characteristic and signature-style, bone-head plays with the ball.

Has anyone checked yet? Has this team already had more turnovers this season than some of Self's teams have had for an entire season? Or is this team just on track to set the record? :-)

Only Bill Self could produce a winning team characterized by high turnovers. I don't ever recall a high turn over team playing this well ever.

Are you ready?

Self is a genius. He can't figure out how to keep them from baking these bad pastries, so he figures out a scheme that enables them to win capitalize on their strengths and win inspite of the damned Danishes.

And when was the last time a team ran away from another team in conference, while shooting 21% from trey...with 13 turnovers?

Magister Ludi, er, Bill Self has showed us, and every other coach, a new formula for winning basketball games...even as he chastises his team and himself for continuing the bad habits he has some how figured a way to scheme around.

Who knows, maybe its Joe Dooley that is masterminding this.

jaybate 6 years, 4 months ago

INT. Allen Field House--Self's Office--Last Summer

Joe Dooley: Listen, Bill, I know this is going to be tough for you to think about. It goes against everything you believe. It is tantamount to shouting "I love Beezlebub" in the sanctuary of Church of Saint Henry Iba with pews full of anal retentive ball protectors. But here's what I think we ought to do this coming season. Let's just concede we are going to throw the ball away at a record rate. Let's treat this lack of ball handling skill the way you would a team full of bad free throw shooters. You just accept it and scheme around it. You play in ways that reduce your dependence on what they suck at.

(Bill Self palms his bowed head with both hands and appears to commence a petite mal seizure.)

Bill Self: "No, no, no, no, no, pain, pain, pain, help me god, help me, I want to protect the ball. Joe Dooley is not Joe Dooley. He is Satan dressed up in Big Ears and trying to tempt me to turn my back on everything Mr. Iba and Coach Sutton ever taught me. Forgive him, father, for he knows not what he does....

Joe: Now, gosh darn it, Bill, stop and listen to me a minute.

Bill: Pain, pain, pain, evil, evil. Something wicked this way comes. Oral Roberts forgive Joe Dooley, for I cannot. Not accept turnovers!!!! I would rather walk through the flames of hell after a 93 octane gasoline shower.

Joe: I know, I know, this is difficult for you, Bill, but you've made me and Danny walk through the looking glass more times than Alice. At least give this a listen. I'm trying to save our asses here and win another conference ring.

(Self looks upward, crosses himself, takes a deep breath, and looks over at Dooley.)

Joe: You're not even Catholic, Bill. What are you crossing yourself for?

Bill: If I even think about doing what you are about to say, I am going to have to join every religion in the world to save my basketball soul! (a long pause) Go ahead, Joe. Get this over with. Quick! Then let's start talking about drills to make them cough it up less.

Joe: We are going to start three guys on the perimeter and use a first back up there that often appear to be able to discover new ways to throw the ball away.

jaybate 6 years, 4 months ago

(Self gets up and runs for the door, but Joe grabs him and forces him back into his seat. Self struggles throwing his head right and left.)

Bill: I'm telling you Joe, if you say what I think you are going to say, I am going to go get Bernadette, Sheahon, and Charlie, and I am going to ask them to do an exorcism on you...and you know they can. They are all good Catholics, who know how to do that sort of thing. They might even call Father Jenkins at Notre Dame, if he's finally decided to join Big 12. Evil, evil, evil!!!!! Get out of me, get out of me, I worship the god of ball protection and defense, I swear I do before all that is holy and Henry Ibaesque...

(Joe shakes his head. Self starts hyper ventilating. Joe holds a brown bag up to Self's mouth.)

Joe: Holy cow, I knew this was gonna be tough. But here , take some deep breaths into the bag, Bill.

(Self settles down.)

Bill: Close the office door, Joe, please, don't let anyone hear us talking about not protecting the ball, about accepting turnovers. Please. For the love of all that is holy and good!!!!

(Joe quickly shuts the office door, locks it, pulls the blinds and turns out the lights, so that the two coaches can barely see each other. Joe approaches Bill.)

Joe: We're going to start Tyshawn again...

(In darkness, the sound of Bill breathing into the bag starts again.)

Joe: We're going to put EJ at the 2 and tell him he has to be a glue 2 trey shooter because he's got great shooting range and can jump through the roof....

(The bag opens and closes faster.)

Joe: Then we're going to start Travis at the 3, because he's a lock down defender and more athletic than any other 3 he will run into in the conference...

(The bag pumps so fast it sounds about to pop.)

Joe: Then we're going to bring in Conner as our first sub, because he is so deadly out of the corner, even though all for of these guys bake pop tarts faster than Martha Stewart on meth...

(The bag explodes and a shadowy outline of Self breaks for the locked door, but Dooley tackles him. Self is hyper ventilating.)

Bill: No-no-no-no, don't say any more, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death...

jaybate 6 years, 4 months ago

Joe: Stop it, Bill!!!! It will work. Tyshawn, EJ and Travis are more athletic than any three guys that have ever started on the perimeter in the Big 12 since we've been here. They are taller. They are stronger. They are faster. There are more elusive. They are....

Bill: But, but, but, they throw it away. They don't protect. EJ threw the ball across the court to me in a game!!!! EEAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

(Self starts wriggling to free himself.)

Joe: But, Bill, they will make more impacts than any other five players combined. And with TRob inside and making 70 percent of his FTs, we can afford some TOs.

Bill: YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAh! You said it!!!! I knew you were going to say it!!!!!!

Joe: We're going to scheme the offense and defense to win inspite of the Turnovers.

(Self convulses into a fetal position and starts dribbling saliva.)

Bill: No, not accept turnovers, no, no, no, no, no....

(Joe is sitting on Self now to keep him pinned down.)

Joe: I'm telling you, Bill, it will work. We'll win the conference. I've done the math. I've figured out the percentages and it will work. And if the Wizard of Getting Better, Mr. Bill Self, can just figure out how to make them get little better at not baking pop tarts, well, then come March, we'll be ready to make a serious run for the title.

(Suddenly, Self stops writhing and looks up.)

Bill: you've run the numbers?

Joe: Yes.

Bill: They say title?

Joe: Yes.

Bill: A deep run?

Joe: Maybe even a ring. I know its crazy, Bill, but this is a strange bunch of pieces of a team that just happen to fit together perfectly....if we let them...if we accept the...

jaybate 6 years, 4 months ago

Bill: Don't say it again, Joe. Don't ever say those words again. Ever!!!! If I promise to do what you say, you have to promise never to speak of it again. Ever!!! No one must ever know. No one!! it has to be our secret.

(At that moment the lights go on and Danny Manning and Barry Hinson come walking in. Manning is swinging a key on a chain in his hand and smiling seeing Joe and Bill on the floor.)

Danny: Looks like ya told him. I said it wouldn't be easy.

(Barry runs and kneels by his best friend.)

Barry: I'm sorry, Bill. Its the only way. We drew straws to see who had to break to you. Joe lost and had to do it. But it was his idea anyway. I almost had a seizure myself, when he tried it out on me. But there's no other way with this team.'

(Joe climbs of Self and Self struggles to his feet with Hinson's and Manning's help.)

Bill: If anyone of you admits to any of this ever, and I mean ever, I will fire the whole lot of you and hire every son and relative of Eddie Sutton I can find. Do you understand me?

Joe: Does that mean you're on board?

Bill: Just do it. And don't talk to me about it. I'll figure out a away to coach this sort of horse bleep, if it kills me....But I warn you. If EJ throws the ball across court to me ever again, you're all fired. Everyone of you, and I will personally excommunicate the lot of you from the Okie Baller Mafia, so help me Eddie.

(Self walks away muttering.)

Bill: Its just unspeakable, unspeakable, unspeakable....

jaybate 6 years, 4 months ago

(Note: All parts of the dramatization are fiction and without malice. And I had to take some poetic license with assuming CBernie, Sheahon, and Charlie were all Catholic. They may not be. I have no idea. It just seemed funnier if they were. Nor do I know if any of the staff are of any other religious persuasions.)

Chris Shaw 6 years, 4 months ago

Glad to have you back, Jaybate! Sorry to hear about your family member!

Jeeveshawk 6 years, 4 months ago

Im going to restate what I said earlier, only it will be corrected because I typed in the wrong word and everybody *ed about it.

Jeeveshawk(anonymous) says…

I was surprised to hear that Self did nothing at halftime to turn the jayhawks around but that they had done it themselves. That shows the qualities of a mentally tough team which can help out alot of ways in the long run.

Now we have a third great scorer to add to the duo (im not putting the word dynamic in front of duo, its been overdone) of Robinson and Taylor. Travis will most likely stay for the 2012-2013 basketball season while the other 2 will not. My best guess for his recent improvements has been that Jamari and Ben have started practicing lately. So he has to go against McLemore in practice instead of Merv Lindsay, who he probably played against in practice most of the year.

Anyway, I am glad to see the improvement in Releford and in the whole team. With the recent victories against KSU and Oklahoma, and with Mizzou getting defeated by the first real team its played all season, the jayhawks have established their dominance over the rest of the conference.

Dan Pawlowski 6 years, 4 months ago

Not surprised HCBS did not chew on them at halftime. Good coaches know when to let the team step up on their own. Case in point Phil Jackson. He often let the team alone to dig out of a hole on their own. It gives the team more confidence in themselves.

jaybate 6 years, 4 months ago

Board rats seem to be over-simplifying a bit about outside shooting.

Tyshawn and Conner have been dead eyes with Tyshawn at .439 and Conner currently near .397 after a bad game, but near 40% all season. Can't ask for better than that from these two.

Only Elijah has slumped sharply among those tasked with doing a lot of outside shooting. He's been in a terrible slump down in the mid 20% range, but of late he's tracking slowly upward to 30% and should catch fire shortly and shoot back to 40% the next 5-10 games. Stuck in my mind though is Slayr's warning that Elijah's shoulder may never have recovered from last season's injury and his shooting motion maybe permanently impaired. I hope not. But Slayr has a pretty keen eye. Still, I am going to be Norman Vincent Peale here and practice the power of positive thinking and say, "The Prophet has been in the wilderness for awhile gaining the vision necessary to go on a 50% shooting streak from trey, so as to shoot back to a seasonal 40% average." In turn, I expect EJ to be the next guy to have a break out game. Why? Because Travis has put together two such good games that the opposing coaches will now begin scheming to stop Travis and so EJ will have more room to shake and bake, roast and toast, and coast to coast.

Travis was mired in an early trey slump, also, but he is already up to .371 for the season, and there are reasons to believe he will settle out at .39 to .40. What are the reasons? He said he spent his entire red shirt season working on his trey and said he thought he had it wired. I believe him. His problem after that red shirt season was that he had a lot of proven talent ahead of him and he did not know what he did not know; that he had to give up his dependence on his athleticism and become a total player--not just add a trey shot to his existing repertoire. Last season, he got derailed into a lot of 3/4 swing work and an injury that seemed to force him to think about other things. His trey suffered. This season, he has been focusing on being a starter and a warden on defense; the former takes some adjustment time and the latter is always a big job for a player on a Self team. As Self says, the light finally seems to be going on in Travis and he has always been a player who needed a stretch of success to get his confidence back up to its natural levels, after several years of struggle at learning to become the total player Self has been demanding of him. With ten more games under his belt, all his hard work on his outside shot should begin to surface.

So: I think this is actually a pretty good outside shooting team--on the perimeter anyway--but its a bit streaky and two players are working their ways out of slumps, and so things look a little worse right now statistically than things probably actually are.

AsadZ 6 years, 4 months ago

so EJ will have more room to shake and bake, roast and toast, and coast to coast.

This is pretty classic bate

Commenting has been disabled for this item.