Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Anti-Jayhawks dig big hole in first half

Kansas head coach Bill Self puts his head in his hand after a foul by the Jayhawks during the second half on Monday, Jan. 23, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas head coach Bill Self puts his head in his hand after a foul by the Jayhawks during the second half on Monday, Jan. 23, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.



KU vs. Texas A&M

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Kansas defeated Texas A&M, 64-54, on Monday, Jan. 23, 2012, at Allen Fieldhouse.

KU vs. Texas A&M

Box score

It was as if some of the players on the fifth-ranked Kansas University basketball squad had been instructed by an acting professor to pretend, for a half, to be a team as diametrically opposed to itself as possible, just to see how that might work.

Elijah Johnson played the leading role, a man on an island by himself trying to throw stones into the sea and missing. And trying again and again, expecting a different result and not getting one.

Shock of shocks, playing an individual game in a five-man sport didn’t work as well as the usual Kansas approach of smart, scrappy play.

Kansas ascended so high in the rankings by doing all the things necessary to create easy shots and spent the first half of Monday night’s game against Texas A&M; taking difficult shots. Kansas took a nine-game winning streak into the game in part by exhibiting more toughness than the guys wearing the other uniforms.

The Jayhawks who had played such stingy defense of late, played for a half as if this were an NBA game with a 24-second shot clock, instead of a college game that requires maintaining defensive focus for 35 seconds at a time.

Kansas snapped out of it in the second half and survived its own hubris and wayward shooting to defeat the Aggies, 64-54, but it took a fight to finish the job.

Afterward, all three Kansas players — Thomas Robinson, Tyshawn Taylor and Jeff Withey — who appeared in the post-game news conference pointed to the outstanding scouting job done by Aggies assistant coach Kyle Keller, a former member of Bill Self’s staff.

“I’m sure that helped a little bit,” Taylor said. “Every time I called a play or coach Self called a play, they called it right out after us and pretty much knew what we were doing. I think that helped, but every team is going to have a pretty good scouting report on us. It’s just part of the game. We get scouting reports on other teams as well, so we know their stuff pretty well, too.”

For the final 14:29 of the first half, the score was Texas A&M; 30, the anti-Kansas 17.

Billy Kennedy had his defensive-minded team ready to play, and Keller prepared an outstanding scouting report, Self said.

Of course, it didn’t hurt the Aggies’ cause that Johnson chose this as the night to audition his three-point shooting touch. For the first half, he was on a one-man mission, firing away from long range early in the clock. Clank. Clank. Clank. Clank. Clank. He missed all five first-half three-point shots and his lone three in the second half, pushing his season percentage from long range down to .288.

“Elijah went haywire, brain-dead with a couple of shots he was clipping off,” Self said.

The dud of a half came at the perfect time for reasons that extend well beyond Texas A&M; not having enough offensive firepower to make Kansas pay for its off night (4-of-20 on three-point shots). KU’s next game, Saturday in Hilton Coliseum against improved Iowa State, ranks as one of the toughest tests on the schedule. The Jayhawks gave their coach so very many moments Monday that he can use when reviewing the game film.

“We have to do a better job passing and finishing plays and not get frustrated,” Self said. “I thought we acted like a bunch of babies in the first half.”

Kansas doesn’t practice today before the coach paints the Allen Fieldhouse air blue Wednesday. Cover your ears.


Don Everett 6 years, 4 months ago

One again, the sky is falling. Run for cover and expect the worst from here on out for the rest of the season. Per Keegan, up one day, down the next. There can't be any other explanation than whatever Keegan says.

Adam Evans 6 years, 4 months ago

Keegan is not saying the season is over or the world is ending. He said that the team played like scrubs an if they had lost they deserved to do so. And I agree with him. The basketball gods smiled on us last night and we got lucky. That won't work again in Ames or at mizzou or kstate or Baylor. If we play even a little like we did last night in those games, we WILL lose all 4 no question.

Dirk Medema 6 years, 4 months ago

We didn't get "lucky".

We played just enough good basketball to beat a really mediocre BB team, though TRob's FT's are the one place that the jury is still out. They said he has been working overtime on it, and it has gotten Danny's attention. Hopefully, he and Withey can continue the hot shooting from the line. That would go a long ways to righting all wrongs.

Adam Evans 6 years, 4 months ago

Look at the first half. How many FTs did we shoot? Not many at all compared to the entire game. If we didn't get to the line in the 2nd half, we lose. Plain and simple. This was not the same team to take the court as the team that took it for Baylor. If it happens again to a good team, chalk up an L in conference. Baylor or Missouri would have beaten us last night badly. Would have been a 10-15 point home conference loss.

Benz Junque 6 years, 4 months ago

It wasn't LUCK that got us to the line more in the 2nd half. The guards made a concerted effort to either pass to the big guys or drive to the rim to draw contact instead of chucking shots from NBA range.

EJ needs to follow Taylor's lead and DRIVE TO THE RIM and draw fouls on the other team's big men. This puts tremendous pressure on them. Once they get in foul trouble they play much less aggressively against T-Rob and Withey and then those two are able to destroy the opponent at the rim.

It's not rocket science.

WilburNether 6 years, 4 months ago

It's not just Keegan. Here's what Coach Self had to say:

“That wasn’t a very good basketball team that played tonight,” Self said of his Jayhawks...

That's a diplomatic way of a head coach saying that his team played stinking lousy basketball for much of the game, and he well aware of that.

Or are you suggesting that they played brilliantly last night?

Mike Bratisax 6 years, 4 months ago

I disagree jayhawkdon. This team does play down to the competition at they did last year in the NCAA. All teams do. Pointing that out, doesn't make you 'chicken little'. If anything..I thought some of the quotes by HCBS probably should have been left in the locker room.

jayhawker_97 6 years, 4 months ago

nice pic. that says it all, Keg. EJ needs to go back to the gymn, practice more shooting, then he can try at the game. but it's good to see TT keep his FG stats steady. Withey is still rock solid blocker. love it!

Tony Bandle 6 years, 4 months ago both maybe drive to the hoop once in awhile?? Elijah can do it and when Conner does it, the opponents almost seemed shocked and he gets good penetration.

Alohahawk 6 years, 4 months ago

I don't claim to have any coaching abilities, but EJ should be glad that I'm not his coach. I'm going to quit suggesting that EJ stop shooting 3's. Maybe then, he'll start driving the d*** ball instead of taking the lazy 3's. I love his defense and desire, but get sooooo frustrated with his passive offense. I'd bet the NBA scouts have just about given him up as a lost cause.

What with their ability to shoot 2's and inconsistency shooting 3's, this team has no business shooting more than fifteen 3's in a game!!! If they do at Iowa State (and elsewhere), they're going to lose, no matter how good they play defense.

As for today's game, the Jayhawks may have been reading to many press releases. That and the 11 - zip start, and suddenly they thought they could win on cruise control. Luckily, TAM brought them back to reality.

Hope HCBS lays into them and reminds them that the season is only going to get harder. Because they have a big #5 plastered on their backs now. And, a lot of tough road games (5 of the next 7 games).

actorman 6 years, 4 months ago

Your analysis is spot on, Aloha. It was so frustrating when EJ made a nice drive to the middle and scored on a 15-footer in the second half, because I wondered why he doesn't just do that all the time. He has such a nice touch on his mid-range jumpers, and I think if he did that more often it would make him more relaxed when he did (occasionally) shoot a three-pointer. It seems like he's putting so much pressure on himself to make the three now, and he never even thinks about anything else.

Dirk Medema 6 years, 4 months ago

Maybe Danny can scrub together a copy of the KU-KSU game from the '88 tourney. We were doiong the same thing jacking bricks from long range, because they were sagging horribly on Danny, until Larry subbed in ??? who dribbled in for a higher% mid-range J and turned the game.

zsn 6 years, 4 months ago

Ahhhhh...the "JRGiddens Syndrome" - looks like it is contagious and VERY persistent. We need some industrial strength anti-whatever to cleanse AFH of this bug. Symptoms of this syndrome include the inability of an otherwise competent athlete to drive, either right away, or after a BobKnight-TM-upfake, or a ball-screen and get a perfectly sinkable 8-12 ft pull-up jumper as opposed to jacking up a three ("But coach, I was open"..."Yeah, you were open because they were double-dog-daring you to hit it")

Recent afflictees include Xavier Henry, Josh Selby and now, on occasion, Connor Teahan and EJ. Long term outcome of this affliction is that a multidimensional player into a dangerous "I;m going to try and jack one up whenever I get the ball" one-dimensional player, who is easy to guard. In some cases the deterioration is fast and furious (cf. Giddens); slow and painful in others (X, Selby)

Having said that, it seems like Tyshawn has found access to the vaccine!!

Alohahawk 6 years, 4 months ago

+1 Glad I'm not the only one who remembers the "Giddens 3 point fixation". Always thought KU lost that tourney game because he stood outside the arc and shot (and missed) all those 3's, while KU's inside game was what had won for them all season. The early loses in the NCAA tournaments can all be attributed, somewhat, to KU's poor 3 point production.

I'm beginning to think that Self's been too lax in telling his players "if you're open, go ahead and shoot." Instead, give the opposition a pump fake and drive. Or lean into the defensive guy and get three shots from the freethrow line.

And you're right. TT has been selective ( regarding his 3's, as the results have shown. If he continues in his superlative play, I think he has a good chance to be selected in the next NBA drive. Prove me right, TT!!!.

Mike Bratisax 6 years, 4 months ago

JR did make it to the NBA in the 1st round. Maybe not the Celtics best decision.

He's in Poland now.

JJHawq 6 years, 4 months ago

Great call here - also - you should read JR's take on this in Jesse Newell's book.

zsn 6 years, 4 months ago

Aloha: Unfortunately, "Everybody remembers Giddens" [spoken like "Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition"]...:o)

Pismo: I do not accept that Teahan is incapable of a pull-up jumper. His first made basket last night was on exactly such a play, a 15-footer. If you put it on the floor and get closer you will get more room on your 3's. Fraschilla was right in one of the earlier KU games: don't jack up a 3 before at least 20 seconds have run off the shot clock - that (un)guarded 3 will be available any time in the shot clock, but the opportunity to make that extra pass and get a high percentage shot will not.

REHawk 6 years, 4 months ago

"...he never even thinks about anything else." Key word: thinks. Would have taken a giant flyswatter to get his attention in the first half.

jaybate 6 years, 4 months ago

•Teams of destiny shoot 20% from trey against weak opponents and find a way to win.

•KU used FT shooting to save this off night.

•Conner and EJ got introduced to the loneliness of the long distance gunner...on off nights. Keegs story read best with focus on just EJ, but Conner was clanking them just as badly.

•This was the awful shooting night that sinks you in a tourney. Got it out of the way early. Good.

•The team shot 20% treys. Two games ago it shot 60%. Average equals 40%. Our trey shooting is still very good, but man is it streaky.

• Tyshawn is on a hot streak. Time for him to cool soon.

•Biggest concern of this game was rebounding, not shooting. KU could not dominate the glass with it size. The aTm technique was just old fashioned frorearm shoving in the back that stopped KU bigs from leaning into the action.

•Second bad was aTm's success with shackling TRob with a triangle of sagging defenders. aTm kept the 3 defenders' spacing at 3 feret apart, instead of collapsing on Thomas, then they tripped him whenever he tried to slit the defenders, rather than collapsing. By refusing to fully collapse on him, and tripping him instead, they cut off his dish off passes "and" his slice moves to the rim. He will see this again soon. It kept him from using his strength to over power defenders. Clever defense.

• Tommy Lasorda? Steer clear, Bill.

KGphoto 6 years, 4 months ago

I have no idea what a feret is. But perhaps he meant ferret, and ironically, if you are not measuring the tail, I believe they average about a foot in length.

For what it's worth, I also believe it would be easy to trip over 3 ferrets.

jaybate 6 years, 4 months ago


Is your handle UrbDic Contempo, or a loving homage to Lumpy Rutherford? Gots tuh know.

If its the latter, never forget Fred.

Dirk Medema 6 years, 4 months ago

Does TRob continue to pull a Withey and battle him for top FT%?

Alohahawk 6 years, 4 months ago

Yeah, that elbowing foul on TRob should have been an ATM foul first, as the commentators rightfully pointed out. If TRob would have just stood up straight, instead of twisting around with his arm, the ATM defender wrapped over the top of him would have been thrown up in the air.

David Robinett 6 years, 4 months ago

This was the awful shooting night that sinks you in a tourney. Got it out of the way early.


Why live and die by the three, when we can live and live and live with the two (and the occasional in-the-flow three)?

Killing ourselves with the three (bad night by us and inability to guard the three --due to sagging D rather than "stay on your man" D) is why we cringe at the names Texas El Paso, Rhode Island, Butler, Northern Iowa, etc.

Fortunately, Bill Self teams have shown they can guard the 3, unlike Roy's teams.

Mike Bratisax 6 years, 4 months ago

• Tommy Lasorda? Steer clear, Bill.


2 World Series, 4 pennants and 8 division titles plus over 5 decades w/the same organization.

Pretty sure Bill wouldn't be wasting his time meeting him.

Clarence Haynes 6 years, 4 months ago

Both EJ and Conner settled for threes when they had the opportunity to shoot higher percentage shots or dish the ball inside to TRob or Withey. In effect, there was less than desirable execution on their part, but KU for the most part, continued to play great defense. The bonus tonight was the effectiveness on the free throw line. Let's now go on to Hilton, kick butt at ISU, and forget about that dreadful first half.

Dirk Medema 6 years, 4 months ago

Withey showed no O (early) with openings and just kicked it out, and TRob was forcing it at others. When they made moves to the basket, we were fine.

lincase 6 years, 4 months ago

It is old fashioned, but using "blue" language means that profanity is being employed. I understood it, but I am old.

KGphoto 6 years, 4 months ago

If you had any common sense or even a smidgen of brain activity you would be able to figure out what it means simply from the context.

jhox 6 years, 4 months ago

The lack of a reliable 3 point shooter hurts this team more than any other weakness we have. I assume McLemore was the guy who was originally supposed to fill that role.

I think one of Teahan's problems is that they keep getting him shots in the deep corners. That is a very difficult place on the floor to shoot from. He (and pretty much every shooter I've ever seen) is better from the wings, yet we seem to continually run plays that attempt to get him open in the corners. Still, excuses aside, we need to start knocking down some of those shots.

jaybate 6 years, 4 months ago

I suspect that in practice Conner shoots about as well from the corner as from the wing.

Opponents have been clogging the driving lanes out front partly with a wing and that's where Self wants TT to work, so he can drive with TRob and Withey on either side of him down low, or with one out front for scrape offs.

Self is making the logical counter move, if he wants to keep playing the Tyshawn game out front (and he does and should).

By putting Conner in the Corner, then the opponent can only clog one side of the lane.

Its also supposed to be an easier, quicker kick out for Thomas on the low block, when he's doubled and tripled.

Putting Conner in the corner is basically the same solution John Wooden resorted to from the beginning when he had Kareem at UCLA on the low block and Kareem was always doubled and tripled. Wooden put a guy out in the corner practically full time to make it rain, even before there was a trey stripe. The guy's name was Lefty Lynn Shackleford. Similar height and build as Conner, maybe an inch or two shorter. It completely breaks teams, when your guys are hitting that corner shot.

Self started trying this with EJ a couple games ago, but EJ was in a shooting funk and the corner shot wouldn't fall.

So: now Self is trying Conner there.

Because these guys are such streaky trey shooters, you have to let each one try a few games before you decide whether they can or can't do it in games.

I will say, it is vital to find someone who can drain it from the corner at least for short stretches, otherwise team's will clog the front passing lanes, triangle Thomas, and with the kind of spacing the defenders used on Thomas last night, that enables an opponent to clog wing penetrations inside 10 feet as well. Lots of people are calling for more wing penetration by EJ, but unless Self can figure out a way to cross court the ball to the backside wing, and have him go baseline to the iron, instead of having to pull up for a 15 foot floater that 15 foot floater becomes a statistical sucker game. If you have to choose between a 15 foot floater made at most 50% of the time, or feeding the ball into Thomas and letting him be fouled and shoot FTs at 65-75% depending on the night, you would always rather have Thomas at the line than the 15 foot floater game.

But getting someone that can knock down the corner trey is the only way to really make them pay for the loose triangle on Thomas, and clogging the front driving lanes.

Its a must accomplish mission, a hill that has to be taken at any cost.

Conner or EJ have to learn to make this shot, or the platoon is going to get wiped out sooner or later.


Self finds another way to skin this cat.

And if anyone can, its Self and this amazingly resourceful coaching staff.

HawksWin 6 years, 4 months ago

Nice analysis Jaybate! You said earlier (in another post?) ISU will be a challenge for us. I assume ISU saw how aTm defense shut down TRob in 1H, and may borrow that strategy. If so, what do you think Self will do in response (considering Conner & Johnson's 3pt drought) this Sat? Agree Self positioning of Conner was clever, but man that boy cannot hit 3s when it matters. And Johnson!! I know Self wants both to drop 3s, but it's painful to watch. But I'm sure they are more frustrated than I'm. Hope they get out of their funk on the way to ISU.

jaybate 6 years, 4 months ago


Just remember how awful Brady looked on the trigger for one long stretch last season. His slump was so bad that he began to lose the ability to execute his floor game, too, something I thought impossible. But no matter how physically gifted one is, sports are in large part a head game. EJ looks horrible now, but just as Brady snapped back and played and shot back to his average, so should EJ.

How can sports be such a head game?

It is complicated to explain in detail, but the subtleties of the brain are exemplified by the fact that medical science has now verified the placebo effect as an empirical fact of such impact, that it is basically part of any treatment regime. Think about that. An inert pill will make you get at least somewhat better, maybe even a lot better, at least for awhile, if you know that it is supposed to make you better.

The placebo effect is so strong that it even has some measurable effect when you know you are taking a placebo!!!!

The implications of the placebo effect are staggering in all things, but I suspect they are quite remarkable in coaching. Coaches bromides and drawn up plays and defensive switches are to some degree placebos.

When Self draws up a play and confidently tells his players this will get them a basket, whether the play works or not, and whether it in fact offers any particular advantage over another play they might have run without his draw up, they are going to go out thinking their special play will help them score and the mere fact that they think this will almost certainly improve their performance.

The key in coaching, managing, and parenting is to give positive placebos instead of negative ones. Self is a great one for thinking about how to keep it simple and focused on some positive action, when he is at the end of a game. But he may have some getting better to do during half time, if the aTm game was significant. Why? Self apparently railed at them at half time about not guarding for the full shot clock in the first half, and about fouling near the end of the shot. They appear to have taken this as a negative placebo and instantly went out and did the same thing in a cluster of failures even sooner than they did the first half!

Placebos over mind. :-)

Self's great sense of the positive, of being able to couch action in a positive assertion, is a big factor in his team's winning.

But even he can always get better at it. :-)

Chris Shaw 6 years, 4 months ago

It has nothing to do with not having or having a reliable 3 point shooter. Tyrel Reed and Brady Morningstar or indicative of that because you have one bad night and your season is finished.

The problem is too many attempts for this paint driven squad!

jhox 6 years, 4 months ago

We're not taking too many 3's. If we don't shoot them, then Thomas gets triple teamed and struggles as he did last night, or the lane gets clogged to stop Tyshawn from penetrating. The reality of the current college game is you need a reliable 3 point shooter or two to make sure the defense is spread out, and doesn't clog the lane. It only seems like we're taking too many 3's because we're not hitting them.

Chris Shaw 6 years, 4 months ago


"It only seems like we're taking too many 3's because we're not hitting them."

Read that sentence again! You acknowledge that the college name needs a reliable 3 point shooter or two to make sure the defense is spread out! So.......does KU have "One" reliable shooter on this squad. TT is shooting great, but I don't want him camping out beyond the arc. I want him to keep doing what he's doing.

If you think Conner and EJ are reliable shooters than think again. This team (Go back and look at the stats) have struggled in big chunks of games "W's" and or "L's" when they are attempting 20 or more 3 point FG's.

If you think this team is okay chucking up 20 attempts a game than you will most certainly see another VCU or UNI loss in the future for the hawks. Fools Gold, especially with this team!

Mike Bratisax 6 years, 4 months ago

I agree BigManU. I would think that after missing 6 in a row, someone might point out that driving to the board might actually loosen up the defense allowing easier shots..

wrwlumpy 6 years, 4 months ago

The good thing about going to ISU is that we know how difficult it will be to win there. In fact, ISU might be favored in this game.

Its' games like this one that make me appreciate Bill Self. Andy Katz talked about Self and how incredibly tough he is during practice, The "blue" that Keegan refers to is language that almost all people who have ever played the game have heard directed at them during practice. Even last night, Holly was telling stories about things she's seen in practice in regard to Self''s way of working with Tyshawn.

Jeff Coffman 6 years, 4 months ago

I would imagine that KU would be favored on any game they play the rest of the season, including @Missouri if it was played today.

Mike Bratisax 6 years, 4 months ago

No chance...if played today, we would be the favorite at home. Either team would be.

RockChalk26 6 years, 4 months ago

I was so frustrated with EJ settling for the three ball last night. So frustrated that I was about to fly back to Lawrence, run out on the court, pick EJ up and drive him to the hoop myself.

When will he learn that he is more athletic then most the players on the court? Is Self instructing him to stay out of the lane? What am I missing here?

Marcia Parsons 6 years, 4 months ago

Bill commented again last night that EJ seems to judge himself by whether he is hitting that three. When it isn't falling, he goes into a funk and doesn't do anything else well either. You can tell from his body language. They need to set him up with a few lobs to get his spirits up.

MDHawk 6 years, 4 months ago

At some point, EJ will realize that his athleticism can get him to the hoop when his 3 ball isn't falling. What does a shooter do when he misses 3's? Step closer, hit a few shots up close, and work your way back out to the 3 line. One of the only times EJ stepped inside the arc to take a shot, he canned it. There's no reason he can't slice to the hole like Tyshawn...he may not be quite as fast, but he's certainly athletic enough to cut inside, either for his own sake or to dish it off. I know a shooter is supposed to keep shooting, but a guard who can receive an alley-oop can certainly crash the basket.

Teahen, on the other hand, needs to hit those shots.

jrbill67 6 years, 4 months ago

Thought the team came together with the destruction of a very good Baylor team, but then, they almost lose to a below average Texas team. The situation really hasn't changed; no leadership, no maturity. Only Tyshawn or TRob can provide that and they don't. They're studs and they do what they want. Johnson mimics Tyshawn and that's not a good thing. He's got Withey and TRob on the inside and he's cranking uip 26 footers at the beginning of the shot clock. Luckily Withey and Releford played hard every minute they played last night or they'd have lost to the second worst team in the Big 12 who played without their best player and their PG played on one leg the 2nd half. Better KU teams have lost in the early rounds of the NCAAs. This team has a chance to lose in the 1st round if they don't grow up fast and have someone step forward on the floor and kick some ass when necessary.

VaJay 6 years, 4 months ago

What really got me was when EJ had missed a couple treys, the next time down he takes a shot from beyond NBA range! When you're missing from the outside (as several wise posters have pointed out above), you take it inside. His lone shot inside the 3 point area in the second half was a swish and he showed nice form when sinking both free throws. I would like to see him try more shots from inside the arc than the three ball. He's got to build his confidence from the inside out.

HCBS wanted to bench him so bad, but when he put in Naadir - the kid got picked clean & gave up a layup in 5 seconds, so he had to put EJ right back in. If only we had a stronger bench so that these lessons from coach would last a little longer.

EJ - I love your defense, but on offense listen to your coach please!!

Alohahawk 6 years, 4 months ago

I'm concerned that Naadir hasn't got the handles to play Div. I BB. I like the guy's enthusiasm and love for KU, but Self needs someone he can trust with the ball in his hands. Seems like every game Tharpe's been in, no matter the competition, he gets stripped. It's going to be a major concern next year, and Self's going to have to find a solution.

Hopefully, Adams will be an option. Any word on the JUCO guard that was considering KU?

VaJay 6 years, 4 months ago

Aloha, it's like word is on the street that you can take it from Naadir if you press him - the opposing guards come after him immediately when he comes in & usually something bad happens. I would think & hope that's something the coaches can work on to improve.

Mike Bratisax 6 years, 4 months ago

Yes he did and he backed off when the other kid got in his face. A much better decision than then to do something dumb, but I would have liked to see him respond w/his play. Hard to do from the bench.

Ron Franklin 6 years, 4 months ago

I guess Holly Rowe slipped up last night when she told us why Tyshawn was suspended the first two games of the season? I don't remember anybody every coming public with it...

she said (paraphrasing) that Tyshawn was suspended for not trying hard enough in practice. And I thought only Crazy Frank Martin did that.

MimiHawk 6 years, 4 months ago

I believe Holly said just what Coach Self wanted her to say, the truth as to why Tyshawn was suspended the first two games.

Ron Franklin 6 years, 4 months ago

Where would this team be without Withey?

I'm really pulling for him to break the single-season block record at KU.

I started to pull for him to break the National record, but then I looked up David Robinsons block total and realized nobody will ever break that.

Alohahawk 6 years, 4 months ago

+1 But I'm also pulling for Jeff to get a triple double. If anyone can, it will be Withey. All of the Jayhawks have improved from last season, but as Knight said last night, he is one of the most improved in the nation.

Scott Smetana 6 years, 4 months ago

I thought our team looked incredibly tired last night. Thankfully we could rest and win at the free throw line.

I'd like to see Jesse analyze how many minutes these starters are averaging vs. all the other years of Bill's teams. I bet there's a huge difference. I thought maybe Kevin Young was going to develop into a real option this year. Guess not.

Marcia Parsons 6 years, 4 months ago

Kevin is getting a little better on defense. His big problem is that he's still too light and gets pushed around under the basket. Maybe he will beef up a little this summer.

Mike Bratisax 6 years, 4 months ago

No doubt! I really though EJ would have been a dominate presence on the court by now. I thought that last year.

Something seems to hold him back. Confidence?

benshawks08 6 years, 4 months ago

This is why as a senior Aaron Miles became a 40%+ three point shooter. You absolutely never saw him take a bad three pointer because he knew after three years he wasn't a good three point shooter. Fewer attempts actually meant better attempts which meant improved percentages. That would work if we didn't actually need EJ to be a three point shooter. I think we do, and it seems like Self thinks we do too. So therefore, EJ is going to shoot and shoot and shoot until he finds it.

jaybate 6 years, 4 months ago


This is a superb explanation of shooter's math. I buy it totally. Thanks.

Why doesn't a coaching staff as savvy as ours, explain this to him?

Did Larry Brown (or was it Ted) also not explain this to you?

Copy and email this to Self.

jaybate 6 years, 4 months ago

As you may recall, I am big on my own stat I call the Disruption Stat, which is Strips/TOs.

Self's teams have traditionally tended to win the Disruption Stat decisively in the last 3-4 seasons that I have watched it.

This season's team, however, has a rather undistinguished Disruption Stat most games.

Part of the cause early was a lot of pop tarts by our team, especially by TT early on.

But the other thing has been that this team just does not appear to strip as much as previous Self teams.

I have been vexed by this, since TT, TRel, and EJ seem such superb defenders.

But as you have focused me to think about Withey's blocks (and TRob's to), it occurs to me that a block is basically a strip, when recovered.

Were I to add in blocks with traditional strips, our undistinguished Disruption Stat might look quite distinguished.

I wonder if Self has issued some kind of edict that he would rather the perimeter guys focus on guarding and take fewer risks with stripping than in the past, because he wants the strips to come in the form of blocks this season?

Whatever, you layed down a fine barrage for posts. Thanks.

benshawks08 6 years, 4 months ago

Bill Self also commented a week or so ago that this team would not ever be as disruptive as some of his teams in the past simply because of depth. A lot of disruptions or steals happen on gambles. These gambles require a burst of energy in anticipation and most often another burst trying to recover if it fails. With a short bench, especially with regard to defensive players, these gambles simply aren't worth it. This is also why Self seems so frustrated with the late shot clock break downs is because he has coached them that since we can't gamble, we have to be sound for the full 35.

Our bench is not only short this year but also somewhat opposite of what it has been in the past. Normally our subs are not as gifted offensively as our starters but provide an impact on defense (Kaun, Cole, etc.) This year our bench (except for Wesley) is more offensive than defensive with Connor and Kevin.

This is not necessarily a good or a bad thing, just different. In the grand scheme of things it doesn't really matter because self uses subs more to create an impact or a spark then to rest players. We have seen in the past that in tight games if the bench doesn't produce what he wants, offensively or defensively, he will not hesitate to yank them and put the starter back in. In close games when the bench is struggling to make an impact, our starters get huge minutes no matter how deep we think our bench is.

Mike Bratisax 6 years, 4 months ago

I think his confidence is gone...looking at the teams normal rotation, EJ is one of the few that hasn't measurably improved. Next year he will a team leader who other players will look to... Hope he is up to it.

Micky Baker 6 years, 4 months ago

What I saw last night, T-Rob 100% from the FT line. He looked pure. He looked comfortable.

PurePierce 6 years, 4 months ago

Perhaps Coach should let K Young audition for the designated 3-shooter. He hit a couple early this year and looked comfortable doing it. He also has some all-around "O" instincts, including some pretty good assist passes. He would be a lesser candidate to drive it inside, but he could offset that with some weakside offense and more inlet passing, made easier with his additional height.

Connor isn't exactly a lock-down defender and with KY's height he could make it more difficult for his man to get off outside shots.Additionally, he could help us in the rebound department.

HawkKlaw 6 years, 4 months ago

"For the final 14:29 of the first half, the score was Texas A&M 30, the anti-Kansas 17."

This doesn't make a whole lot of sense, considering the halftime score was A&M 30, KU 28.

Then again this is a Keegan article, so I don't think it's really supposed to make "sense," per say. Just type up some words and abracadabra...we have an article.

HawkKlaw 6 years, 4 months ago

I'm not sure.

One thing I do know is that A&M didn't have 30 pts by the 14:29 mark in the first half. In addition, the score did not remain A&M 30, KU 17 from 14:29 left in the first half until halftime.

HawkKlaw 6 years, 4 months ago

Ah, I get it - A&M scored 30 in the last 14:29 in the first half, while KU just scored 17 in that time frame.

The wording threw me off.

Tony Bandle 6 years, 4 months ago

All of you who thought Kansas would be 17-3 and ranked #5 on January 24, 2012 please raise your hands.....I didn't think so.

Simple exercise..take a piece of graph paper, draw a horizontal line across the middle and plot the score differential for the first 20 games up or down. You will notice a very definite "rollercoaster" plot line, as most of us predicted.

The surprise is that line has dipped only three times below the zero line. Why???

1] Trob has fulfilled his hoped for upside with more to come. 2] Tyshawn has developed in his final season to elite point guard status 3] But finally and almost shockingly, Jeff Withey is establishing himself as a true "nationally-recognized" force in the middle.- rebounds, blocked shots, soft touch, altered shots, defensive presence, a mean streak and maybe the best foul-shooting by a big man in all of Division 1.

Jeff Withey is a year ahead of schedule by being Hudy'd and Manning'd !!

All you big men out there..take notice. Kaleb, you dummy, read it and weep!!

Kye Clark 6 years, 4 months ago

"Kaleb, you dummy, read it and weep!!"


Robert Murphy 6 years, 4 months ago

Not to worry Lucas will be better than Kaleb.

PurePierce 6 years, 4 months ago

+1,,, and Withey hasn't hit his ceiling, NPI

Alohahawk 6 years, 4 months ago

At this point in time there are 62 posts above this one. Of those 62 posts, 23 concerned EJ's 3 point shooting, and were in pretty much agreement. EJ needs to change his shooting strategy and start driving inside the arc.

However, Bill Self is KU's coach and most of us trust in his judgement. From the comments Self made during and after the game, let's hope EJ decides to trust him as well.

Chris Shaw 6 years, 4 months ago

Ladies and Gents, this game is pretty simple to break down and it has to do with one thing and one thing only Shot Selection and too many 3 pointers.

During the in game thread last night icthawk and I was having a discussion and he mentioned as well as a number of other posters about KU's "Open" looks fom 3 point land. My response, sure KU had a bunch of open looks, but were they really good shots? Shots early in the shot clock, no post touches by T-Rob or Withey, no swinging of the ball, and shots not within the confines of the offense are not "Good Shots" no matter how open you are.

Here is the deal, KU shot 3-13 in the first half and 1-7 in the second half for a grand whopping total of 4-20. I am going to keep burning this stat up like it's a brushfire because for this 2011-2012 team to be successful and make a deep run they are going to have to play "Okie Ball" (Jaybate term) and limit those damn 3 pointers. Unlike Jaybate thoughts on this team being a decent shooting team, this is not a good 3 point shooting team and even though I'm a gambling man when I go out to Vegas, I would not put money on this streaky 3 point shooting squad.

Now, I am with the majority that percentages don't matter much, but after the ass chewing those kids probably got at halftime, I'm shocked at the number of attempts in the second half quite honestly. There was only one good 3 point attempt in the second half of the 7 within the offense. One! Now, I don't even want to talk about the first half because I am as perplexed as the next guy, especially with EJ. That stuff has been noted above so no reason to get into it again.

So, What is the solution BigManU? The solution is to limit the gosh Darn attempts and play Okie Ball, get into the paint, and be as stubborn and tough as any KU team we've seen under the Self era. Self said it himself that guys are not running "Our Stuff". Our stuff, from my interpretation means the "Hi-Lo".

Yes, KU did a great job getting this win, but what happens if the lackluster play happens all 40 minutes and the opponent hits some big shots unlike A&M and like Davidson or previous tournament losses?

This team has to keep the 3 point FG attempts under 15 IMO and get the ball to the posts and have Relly, TT, and EJ attack that freaking paint and draw fouls. It's not want, but a "Must"! 3 point shooting should be an afterthought for this below average shooting squad. Know who you are! And, there is nothing wrong with this team playing Ugly, being tough, and smacking some people around in the paint. Actually, it's quite freaking refreshing to see it as long as they stick to the gameplan, which is..............................."Okie Ball" to it's roots!.

Hank Cross 6 years, 4 months ago

Right on the money. Too many 3s. When you've got a player like TRob, pound it in as much as possible. When they start collapsing too much, have TT or Rele take it to the hoop to break down the D and kick it to a big if open. Once that gets established, take the wide open 3s. Pretty simple.

The difference between this and other Okie Ball Self teams is the way this team gets out and scores in transition.

justinryman 6 years, 4 months ago

Whithey blocks the ball correctly. He blocks it down and not out of bounds. Sure smacking it out of bounds is great for SportsCenter but you give the ball back to them.

How many of his blocks does he get or a teammate that is real close get? A lot of them. It is just as good as a steal, but causes more concern on all shooters in the paint as they now know they may get tattooed right in the face.

I read above that the credit goes to Hudy and Manning, but do not forget this past summer working with Cole.

Alohahawk 6 years, 4 months ago

Hitting the opponents shots down, instead of out of bounds, makes Withey's "Rock Chalk Blocks". Rock 'em down to bedrock chalk, Jeff!!!

Alohahawk 6 years, 4 months ago

Just thought, wouldn't it be a great cheer if, after every block by any Jayhawk, the crowd would roar out, "ROCK CHALK BLOCK!!!" (all in caps)? I think that would fire up the defense to block more shots.

Bion Ostrander 6 years, 4 months ago

Disagree with jaybate, he concludes KU's 3-pt. shooting is "very good" by using a 2 game sample size (of a good and bad game), and then concludes the resulting 40% avg. is pretty good.

In fact, the Hawks are a pretty bad 3-pt. shooting team. Only 2 players on the roster shoot over 40%, TT at 46% (70 attempts) and TRob at 42% (only 7 attempts), and as a team KU shoots 35%. I read recently that KU holds other teams to a low 3-pt. percentage, guess what, opponents are shooting 34%, only 1% less than what KU shoots!!

EJ is shooting 29% on 3-pointers for the year, he needs to figure out he is not a 3-pt. shooter on this team this year. EJ has put up a surprising no. of 3-pt attempts at "111", only hitting 32 shots. TT has put up "70" 3-pt. attempts, but has hit 32 shots, the same number as EJ has, although EJ has put up 41 more 3-pt. attempts. UGH!

What doesn't EJ understand? He is more of a head case than TT, at least TT is delivering now. Unfortunately, KU does not have any other choices, in any other year EJ would not be on the floor.

This is a recipe for how you lose a big game in the tourney down the road, its happened before but lets hope the 3-point shot attempts come down and KU figures it out. Against a quality opponent, KU might not get the offsetting advantage of shooting a lot of free throws or getting a lot more rebounds in that kind of game.

VaJay 6 years, 4 months ago

7782- you should post this again tomorrow early on an article - it's definitely thought provoking, & should elicit a lot of colorful conversation. No Bud Stallworth, no Morris twins, having Chenowith relatively high on the list (hilarious!), Xavier Henry on the list at all when others are far more worthy (and what kind of picture of that was Drieling!). I think the only two places that people might agree on for the most part are the top two.

Scott Smetana 6 years, 4 months ago

Most of us who have a clue about KU basketball have just voted this the stupidest post of the year. Congrats... you've earned it!

PVJayhawk 6 years, 4 months ago


Good catch on the "feret" comment! You were right. J was probably thinking of ferrets since according to my friend Ashley he raises them. The thing is, we don't know if he does so to keep them as pets or eat them.

David Howell 6 years, 4 months ago

Those of you thinking our bench is DEEP must also think that Holly Rowe hasn't been through a buffet line in the past ten years ...........

Also, kudos to T-Rob sinking his FT's last night. Or was that a trick and Manning was shooting for him ?

Withey with -8- blocks ! He may be about a third grade equivalent of T-Robs brute strength, but drive in the lane and that boy can swat flies with the best of em.

Had to love Bobby Knights quote early in the 2nd half about Conner Teahan that went something like this ........... "The kid hasn't been in twenty seconds and he's already shooting a 3-pt. shot. He's a definite kink in the armor of a well oiled machine". I had to laugh. You may not always like Bobby's rolling rhetoric, but he tells it like it is .......... !

Kye Clark 6 years, 4 months ago

It's funny because I just shook my head when Bob Knight started referring to us as a "deep" team, and that being one our strengths. So in that case...he was telling it like it ain't!

Martin Shupert 6 years, 4 months ago

I was actually happy we were behind at half. If we had played that badly and were up a few, chances were Bill Self would have had a harder time getting their attention. Bobby Knight once said that if he was playing a good team, the best score at half time was to be 2 points behind... Then, his players would listen and do what the coach thought they should do. Otherwise, they just might keep doing whatever they wanted.

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