Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Bill Self, KU wary of Billy Gillispie, Texas Tech

Kansas head coach Bill Self gets fired up on the sideline during the first half against Oklahoma on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2012, at Lloyd Noble Center.

Kansas head coach Bill Self gets fired up on the sideline during the first half against Oklahoma on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2012, at Lloyd Noble Center.


— Kansas University’s basketball team has left Lubbock red-faced — whether from anger or embarrassment — three times in the nine-year Bill Self era.

“We’ve had the court stormed on us a couple times. It’s not a great feeling,” said Self, whose Jayhawks enter today’s 8 p.m., Big 12 battle against Texas Tech with a 1-3 record against the Red Raiders at United Spirit Arena.

KU crushed coach Pat Knight’s last Tech team, 88-66, last Feb. 1, gaining some revenge for an 84-65 annihilation on March 4, 2009; a 69-64 setback on Jan. 20, 2007 and 80-79 double-overtime defeat on Feb. 14, 2005.

“I don’t look at that at all,” Self said of past trips to Lubbock as having any possible influence on tonight’s game. Tenth-ranked KU enters 12-3 overall and 2-0 in Big 12 play; Tech is 7-7, 0-2.

“We’ve only played there four times, and two of them were last-possession losses. Last year we played well the first half. Really that has nothing to do with this year’s game. It does us no good to watch tape of last year’s game. Robert plays. Not many others play. They’ve got nine (actually 10) new players. There’s a different system and style.”

Robert Lewandowski, a 6-10 senior out of Blue Valley West High (7.6 ppg average), is one notable returnee for first-year coach Billy Gillispie.

“It’s great to have Billy back coaching and in the league,” Self said of former Kentucky, UTEP and Texas A&M coach Gillispie, who worked for Self at both Tulsa and Illinois. “I don’t like playing friends, but it’s great he’s back, and he’ll definitely bring attention and quality to our league without a doubt.

“I want him to do great. I just don’t want him to do it at our expense. At A&M, he brought his team to Lawrence (in 2007), and it was our only (home) loss going into the Texas game last season. He’s been great wherever he’s been and will be a great addition to our league. He’s hungry, and he’s going to get guys down there,” Self added.

The Red Raiders lost to fourth-ranked Baylor, 73-60, Saturday in Lubbock after falling at Oklahoma State, 67-59, on Jan. 4. Both games were decided late.

“I don’t get into them (moral victories),” Gillispie said. “We’ve got to keep getting better and to the point you can win those type of games. We were in two situations playing two good opponents, whether at home or on the road and with three or four minutes left, if you make a few plays offensively and defensively, you have a great chance to win. So far we’ve not done that.

“We are improving very dramatically, very quickly, but the most important thing you need to improve on is winning games.”

Jordan Tolbert, a 6-7 freshman from Fort Worth, Texas, averages a team-leading 14.8 points and 6.4 rebounds per game.

“He’s been the most dominant production freshman in our league so far without question,” Self said. “He draws fouls, is good in the high post area because he can put it down and drive it.”

Ty Nurse, a 6-1 junior from Vancouver, averages 10.7 ppg. Javarez Willis, a 5-11 soph from Homer, La., averages 9.1 points.

“I love ‘em,” Gillispie said of his players. “You want to pull your hair out some days, but you have to expect it going in with 10 new guys (including seven freshmen). I am not an excuse-maker. I only bring it (youth) up when other people ask. I’m very proud of them, not happy where we are, never will be satisfied. We have to get better in every single aspect. But I am proud of the effort these guys give on a daily basis. Hopefully it will continue throughout the entire season. If it does we’ll have a chance to continue to improve.”

Gillispie knows a lot about the current KU team, including leading scorer and rebounder Thomas Robinson.

“When I wasn’t coaching, I spent a little time up there,” Gillispie said of Lawrence. “I really admire the amount of improvement he continues to make. Obviously they do a good job of developing players. He was really good when he came there. He’s a lot better now. Our guys have to deal with his athleticism. He’s got unbelievably strong hands, knows how to finish, plays good defense and is a good team player. He’s very deserving of the attention he’s getting right now.”

Of Big 12 player of the week Travis Releford, Gillispie said: “He’s always been a good player for them. He’s coming on at the right time when they need him the most, playing with a high level of confidence. That just makes him more dangerous.

“Having to guard five guys makes them a really difficult team to play,” Gillispie added.

Milestone victory ahead?

Bill Self’s next win will be his 250th at KU. He is 249-49 as Jayhawk coach. Overall, he’s 456-154 in 19 seasons at KU, Illinois, Tulsa and Oral Roberts.

Quality time

Tech coach Gillispie, who had been out of coaching the past two years after being fired by Kentucky, actually cherished time away from the game. He was able to be with his mother, Winifred, who died in January after a battle with cancer.

“Being able to spend time around her the last couple years of her life, I wouldn’t have traded that for any job in America,” Gillispie told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. “But she would have rather me been working, too,” he added with a smile.

Gillispie on the task ahead at Tech

“The first year in any job — and this is my fourth job — it feels like you have sand in your eyes,” Gillispie told the Avalanche-Journal. “And sand in your eyes is not a good feeling. You just have so many things you try to do. You’re trying to learn every single situation at a new school. You’re trying to learn every new thing about every new player you have.”

This, that

KU leads the all-time series with Texas Tech, 20-4. KU has won three straight and four of the last five meetings. KU leads the overall series played in Lubbock 7-4 but is 3-3 in United Spirit Arena. ... Since the inception of the Big 12 in 1997, Kansas is 13-4 against Texas Tech — 11-4 in regular-season and 2-0 in the Big 12 tourney . ... Tech freshman guard Toddrick Gotcher has been out since Dec. 6 because of an ankle injury. His return date is not known. Gotcher started the first eight games and averaged 8.3 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. He had just 13 turnovers in nine games.

Travis Releford on Tech: “We know they are a good team. They have a bunch of guys that came in this year. It’s not going to be an easy game going down there, so we have to get prepared this week for them.”


Ralster Jayhawk 2 years, 3 months ago

Again, with Larry, then Roy, now Bill--we have been very lucky@Kansas the last 27yrs...

Regarding Tyshawn's infamous phrase "point plank'n"--> I always thought it may have been a cool phrase, but didnt know what it meant. If Tyshawn says it was a typo, then there shouldnt be any "bad" connotation. I propose we use it in a humorous way simply to mean we've made&laid-out whatever point we were making. I shall now use it as a lighthearted way of recognizing the "benevolent quirkiness" that is TyshawnLightspeedTaylor, our soon to graduate senior guard...

Point plank'n/RCJH


dynamitehawk 2 years, 3 months ago

250 wins at one school is amazing. In 8 1/2 seasons it's super-human. Roy Williams AFTER 9 years: 243 wins.


Scott Smetana 2 years, 3 months ago

Self has 49 losses as a Jayhawk? Wow, that seems really high. I'm glad I'm able to only remember about 10 of them. Selective memory is a great thing.


Tony Bandle 2 years, 3 months ago

Actually, I think the Davidson game will serve Coach Self well through this season as all he has to do is point to that contest, show some of that game film or remind them of the outcome to snap them into focus.

There is no such thing as a "good" loss, but there is definitely a "useful" defeat.

Final Score, 76 -62, Kansas


wildjayhawk 2 years, 3 months ago

This could be a downer tonight.


Chris Shaw 2 years, 3 months ago

The only thing I'm looking for from this game tonight is energy and effort. Lubborck isn't exactly a firestorm when it comes to their atmoshpere for college basketball. Actually, it's a pretty dead arena if you want the honest truth.

With that said, winning conference and preparing for neutral sites in the NCAA Tournament.................sometimes you have to create your own energy, put in extra effort, focus more, and most importantly pump yourself up when you think it's impossible to have any motiviation. Don't let this be a "Letdown" game....................Find a way to make it a monumental game!

Biggest game of the year tonight.........Rock Chalk Jayhawk!


Ralster Jayhawk 2 years, 3 months ago

Billy vs Billy (technically speaking, since Self's actual given name is "Billy"). But Bill vs. Billy is good since Selfhimbill goes by "Bill". Top-billing, regardless...


KGphoto 2 years, 3 months ago

Me too, stupidmichael. Wherever you are. I smell a trap.

Get Baylor and Iowa St. out of you're heads gentlemen. 1-3 isn't a fluke, it's a habit. Find a big Texas sized chip somewhere, place it firmly on your shoulder while traveling to Lubbock and shove it up their red raiders with the United Spirit of Larryville!

I wanna see pit bulls on crack tonight! Go for the throat and don't let up until they tap out. Then knock 'em cold, and step on their heads as you walk away.

There is no time for complacency. Not this year, and certainly not in Lubbock.


REHawk 2 years, 3 months ago

Each, the United Sprint Center and Billy G., has dealt serious trouble for Jayhawk basketball in the past. As jaybate pointed out, tonight we view Bill Self Ball vs. Bill Self Ball. Both coaches know pretty much what to expect. Gotta be armed and ready from the getgo.


Steve Kubler 2 years, 3 months ago

249-49, I know 250 is considered significant but that +/- of +200 wins is damn impressive. A 80.3% winning percentage is pretty good, how many coaches can top that? Of course at KU that is expected of a BB coach, not appreciated.

We are spoiled, isn't it the pits!! ;)


wpjayhawk 2 years, 3 months ago

It's ancient history, but I remember like it was, well, not so ancient. None of the losses mentioned in this article come close to KU's worst loss in Lubbock. 1966. Stay in bounds, Jo Jo!


Tony Bandle 2 years, 3 months ago

Tenth-ranked team vs 7-7 team Road game in a venue where success has sometimes been elusive Anticipation of key match-ups down the line Perception that this Tech team is struggling.

Gillespie back from two year hiatus with a fresh start. Attention span on Kansas team this year tends to wander against lesser foes. Milestone victory for Coach Self Everyone expects blow-out

What's that spell?.....Just read post above vertically


always_a_jayhawk 2 years, 3 months ago

Looking for KU to put together another solid road victory before the next two-game homestand. Rock Chalk!


Mark Lindrud 2 years, 3 months ago

I recall Gillespie at A&M. He is a very good coach and in the next few years will have them in contention. He was a bad fit at Kentucky, but has family in the Tech area so this is home for him. He will put a good team together. Even though their talent is down I wouldn't be surprised if they give us a game tonight.


FarSideHawk 2 years, 3 months ago

Unrelated recruiting tidbit:

Isaiah Lewis just tweeted: "Finna be in Kansas later"

Can someone translate that for me please?


Danny Hernandez 2 years, 3 months ago

HCBS has a chance to win 300 games and over 500 overall following his 10 years as Kansas's Head Coach next year....quite an accomplishment and if he would coach for say another 15 years, could have way over 900 wins. Pretty darn impressive!

He's averaging almost 30 wins a year now. We're spoiled


KU_Alumn_2000 2 years, 3 months ago

Sounds like HCBS and his players are focused for this one.

Can't wait to play Baylor.


Jeeveshawk 2 years, 3 months ago

The worst TTU game of all was when Allan Voskuil hit 9 for 12 threes against us in 2009. Most of the other games were close like that 2OT game in 04 or 05. But I don't think TxTech has much of a chance after we have recently lost a game.


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