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Kansas defeats Texas A&M, 64-54

  • 8 p.m., Jan. 23, 2012
  • Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, KS

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Roger, Dodger: Tommy Lasorda tells Bill Self to ‘enjoy the wins’ following KU’s 64-54 victory over Texas A&M

Kansas players Tyshawn Taylor (10) and Travis Releford (24) react after Taylor was not called for a foul on an attempted steal during the second half on Monday, Jan. 23, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas players Tyshawn Taylor (10) and Travis Releford (24) react after Taylor was not called for a foul on an attempted steal during the second half on Monday, Jan. 23, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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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

Baseball Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda visited with Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self in the Jayhawks’ locker room after KU’s somewhat-lethargic 64-54 victory over Texas A&M on Monday in Allen Fieldhouse.

“He said, ‘Hey, you looked great.’ I said we didn’t look good at all,” Self said, eyes gleaming as he prepared to relate a classic tale involving the former Los Angeles Dodgers manager who trekked to Allen Fieldhouse (with KU alum Jamie Coulter and his niece, who is married to Coulter) for the first time.

“He said, ‘You don’t understand. Stats don’t matter.’ I said, ‘If your starting pitcher gives up five runs in six innings and you just hang on to win, you’re happy?’ He said, ‘I’m happy. I’m happy.’

“He said, ‘You’ve got to enjoy the wins.’ He’s right. We do. I just didn’t think tonight we were very good, but A&M had a lot to do with it, too,” Self added.

One stat that stood out helped KU survive a first-half performance in which the Jayhawks, in Self’s words, played, “soft, selfish and dumb.”

It was free-throw shooting — specifically, Thomas Robinson’s free-throw shooting. The 6-foot-10 junior went 10-for-10 from the line on a night the Jayhawks made 20 of 23 free throws to A&M’s seven of 11.

Self was asked if he ever thought Robinson, who had hit just 13 of 28 free throws (46.4 percent) the last six games, would have a perfect 10-of-10 night.

“Sure, I’m a positive thinker,” Self said, smiling. “I also didn’t expect him to miss some bunnies (inside shots). If I’d pick one of the two, I’d take the bunnies because they count for two (points) instead of one.

“I thought he had nice rhythm at the line tonight.”

Robinson, who has made 66.7 percent of his free throws on the season, said he didn’t do anything differently Monday.

“No, it’s the same,” he said of his form.

He finished with 18 points off 4-of-10 shooting after scoring just two points off 1-of-6 shooting the first half. KU, which led, 11-0 early, actually was down, 30-28, at the break.

“The defense was trying to not let me touch it, so I had to knock my free throws down,” Robinson said. His 10-of-10 outing was the most KU free-throw attempts without a miss since Wayne Simien went 11-for-11 against Colorado on Feb. 12, 2005.

Robinson scored five straight points to open an 11-3 run that stretched a narrow 44-42 lead (with 7:11 left) to 55-45 at 4:41. Elijah Johnson, who missed five threes the first half (he finished with four points off 1-for-7 shooting, 0-of-6 from three) finally hit a jumper, followed by a basket and two free throws by Jeff Withey.

Withey had a huge game with 10 points and eight blocks in 33 minutes. Foul-plagued Tyshawn Taylor scored 17 points with three steals, two assists and two turnovers in 28 minutes.

“That wasn’t a very good basketball team that played tonight,” Self said of his Jayhawks, who improved to 17-3 overall and 7-0 in the Big 12. A&M dropped to 11-8, 2-5. “We had mental lapses. It was our focus. I also thought we looked like a tired team.”

The Jayhawks, who hit 42.6 percent of their shots (four of 20 threes for 20 percent), were inefficient against an A&M team helped by the presence of assistant coach Kyle Keller, who had worked as video coordinator at KU the past three seasons.

“I think Kyle did a good job. I think Billy (Kennedy, A&M head coach) and his staff had them ready to play, defensively especially,” Self said. “We knew we weren’t going to hang 80 on A&M.”

The Jayhawks will travel to Iowa State on Saturday for a 1 p.m. tipoff in Hilton Coliseum.

Comments

johninkc1 2 years, 2 months ago

Don't agree. It does matter. My diploma say and I quote " The University of Kansas" not "Kansas University." If LJW wants to use the wrong way to refer to our university then perhaps they need to be told that is beneath a great university to be referred by a "nickname." Le't man up and asked that LJW correct this mistake.

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longtimehawk 2 years, 2 months ago

Very poor performance by a KU basketball team against Texas A&M. Out coached, out played, out recruited again. Ku will see 5-6 more losses, this year with 2 or 3 being real blowouts by the other teams. Again like last year KU is highly overrated. Poor guard play again like last year with Morningstar. Last year Ku did have Reed for a scorer and this year Taylor. Again the front court is carrying the team and they can't do it every game. Poor recruiting by Self again has put this team and KU down the path that will end their run like a Bradley, Bucknell, VCU or Northern Iowa team did. Ku basketball can be almost compared to the KU football team last year, poor coaching.

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RockChalkDoc 2 years, 2 months ago

Yates: i agree with you on Jeff's slowness and lack of hands. But all in all he has exceeded my expectations. His number of altered shots is significant. Great job, coach Manning.

Has anyone noticed that 90% of Travis' missed threes are short? He hardly ever misses short, left, or right. It has been that way all year. But what a great defender all year. Im very proud of T Rel.

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Ed Brown 2 years, 2 months ago

I think what we saw Saturday and last night with TRob is just a little preoccupation. I agree when there are 4 on him, he should have found the open Jayhawks but they just weren't moving to the ball like usual. Even though he is a beast physically, he is still very young and this week will always be tough on him and Jayla. That's the price we pay to love someone as much as they do their family. He still came alive when needed and got focused on the line going 10/10.

Then take the man that has known Bill Self since college and slept on Bill and Cindy's couch when they were first married running the scouting process and setting up the defensive side of the game. A&M had a tremendous advantage that no one has mentioned just becase of this. They knew KU better than any other team in the country and Bill will tweak enough to show them he still rules the roost!

Conner was not intended to be the role player he has been put into. He was added to the practice squad but earned his way up, much like Morningstar. BM played defense much better and although he wasn't great with ball handling, he knew it and passed more than what I am seeing with Conner. Wesley and Young are the best remedy for Conner so he won't be expected to handle the ball as much as spot up for the 3.

Withey on the other hand is too confident in the "high/low" system of Bill Self and gets it out too quick. TRob just hangs waiting for the foul when he is going to miss more and Withey should be doing that. When the two of them understand each other on the court, it is a beautiful thing! They could be one of the best 1-2 punches out there in the post but just need to sync it up better. It's coming. Games like the last 2 would have been so much easier if it were the beginning of the season but we won so many, we're starting to expect play like last year from players subpar compared to last year. Let's face it, we have not been programmed (all our lives for some) to see KU lose very many games each year.

We now allow fellow students to mess with TT on Twitter and FB, threaten him and do things that are not conducive to supporting our team. When our society erodes to the point NFL players receive death threats for turnovers in big games, how do we expect kids in college to react? Let's either get behind them or leave them alone. Encouragement will always do more than a beat down. That's HCBS's job and he already has an established relationship with the player and his family. just sayin

ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK GO KU!

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cajayfan 2 years, 2 months ago

Need more NBA scouts at the game to get them to play better in the first half. 22 scouts were at the Baylor game.....MU Tigers on the front page of the USA Today sports. We play them this way and we will be pounded. Bring on the scouts.

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Jeeveshawk 2 years, 2 months ago

If we play like that in Aimes we'll get our butts kicked right off the court. Comumbia should be fine.

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Steve Gantz 2 years, 2 months ago

I think Tommy was wrong :) I too, like the coach, walked away less than impressed with the teams effort, but a win is a win.

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kubiggestfan 2 years, 2 months ago

Great win guys..... I am rooting for you! Coach Self somehow knows how to get the best out of his players.

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jcw3691 2 years, 2 months ago

So much for stopping HOME OF THE CHIEFS. I'm pretty sure it was louder than ever before. Well done.

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oldalum 2 years, 2 months ago

Bob and Chris mentioned that last night, saying he waited too long to pass out of a double team which soon turned into a triple team, thinking he would be able to force the ball up and score. But instead he would find out he couldn't get rid of it at all by then. I think Bill/Danny must have pointed that out to him because he got better as the game went along.

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Timmay97 2 years, 2 months ago

There is only one thing I can be critical on with Thomas Robinson......and technically it's just a minor thing. Does anyone else think that Robinson waits too long to get rid of the ball when he's double teamed? If he moves the ball quicker, someone is going to be wide open. All KU teams are great passing teams and I just feel he holds on to the ball too long in the post.

By no means is that an insult to Robinson. He's our glue guy!

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always_a_jayhawk 2 years, 2 months ago

I wonder what Traitor A&M must be thinking knowing they will never beat us in our house again. Nice to beat them. Wasn't the ass-whipping I wanted, but it'll be fun later on to flog them in their gym.

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Jeremy Paul 2 years, 2 months ago

I've got some random questions that I hope y'all can help me with:

  1. Does a blocked shot count as a missed field goal? I'm not sure if all the blocked shots last night counted against A&M's fg percentage, since technically a shot has to hit the rim to be considered a shot.

  2. In order to get credit for an assist, does it have to be a pass that leads directly to a made field goal? Or does the official scorer have some discression in handing out assists? What I mean specifically is: player A makes a great pass to player B, who goes in for an easy bucket, but player B is fouled as that is the defender's only chance of denying the bucket. If player B his his free throws, can player A get credit for the assist, since his great pass ultimately led to 2 points?

  3. How can you be called for charging when you don't have the ball? And for that matter, how can you be called for charging when the defender still has one foot in the air? I've seen both of these called multiple times this year. It's gotten to the point where I have no idea anymore what charging is.

Thanks friends. Rock chalk.

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yates33333 2 years, 2 months ago

Of course, you're right. I think Withey's biggest problem is that he is too slow to take it to the basket once he has the ball and is in shooting mode. Maybe his grip is uncertain. For this he can develop stronger hands. Maybe he doesn't react fast enough. I am not sure that can be corrected. But All in All, He is playing super basketball. I think his progress this year, since the first of the season, is the best job Self and Manning have done with any player. If he continues to improve at this rate he will be an all-american next year and might be an excellent pro. I think what has happened is amazing.

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rockchalk80 2 years, 2 months ago

a few comments...

  • I reviewed the play of Withey (earlier in the season) ---his early stat lines do not necessarily reflect his play... he looked a little awkward and at times was out of position. I was disappointed, because I thought he really hadn't had any playing time to exhibit the benefits of D Manning's 2 years of tutelage. Maybe his previous injuries held him back?

I am amazed at the progression Withey has shown in just a few months... I hope these comments don't sound condescending --they aren't meant to be....but if Withey would step up a little on the offensive end, Trob + Withey combo would seem unstoppable.

It would mean fewer double/triple teams on Trob. Especially if Trob would learn to pass to Withey when doubled.

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Ben Kane 2 years, 2 months ago

these saturday monday turnarounds are going to bite us in the butt one of these days.

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keith horinek 2 years, 2 months ago

This team has developed a way to win games. You never know who is going to step up to pull the game out. Most of the time it has been TRob but lately there have been others. TT,Releford, Withey come to mind. That is what makes a great team, balance. The oponents can double or triple on TRob and that leaves someone else open. when they recognize when this is happening, we are good. Last night we weren't being patient with the ball. When TRob was being double teamed he needs to pass out to the open man. They figure it out in the second half, credit to HCBS.

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AsadZ 2 years, 2 months ago

Withey was great again, most improved player in the country

What worries me as Shaw had pointed out earlier is the number of 3 point attempts we took last night. For this team 10-12 3 point attempts is a good number. Beyond that it takes us out of offensive rhythm.

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yates33333 2 years, 2 months ago

Ever consider that maybe Elijah isn't as good a basketball player as we all thought? I know Taylor and Withey are much better than many seemed to think according to their posts during the last two years. Robinson is about the only player we all expected he would be. Releford is a player I can't figure out. He plays like an all-american at times and disappears at others. I know he is a super defensive player as judged by the scoring of men he guards. What we really need is the all-american all the time. Someone said we need Johnson to play better. Of course, we hope they all play better. But Releford can make the big difference if he keeps consistently outstanding. I know it's hard to do, but do it Travis.

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Timmay97 2 years, 2 months ago

Why doesn't Elijah drive more (ala Tyshawn)? The kid is so athletically gifted, but extraordinarily timid. Part of me wonders if he's just scared to make mistakes knowing he would be pulled from the game.

If your shot isn't going down.....TAKE IT TO THE HOLE!!!

My opinion.....KU needs a great Elijah Johnson if they are expected to go ANYWHERE in the NCAA tourney. We are not deep at guard and he needs to step up. It's OK to have an off night with the shot, but you must help the team in other areas as well. Elijah is a good defender.....so that's a bonus.

Jeff Withey is getting better each and every game. Part of me wishes he would make more moves in the post. Go up strong and get fouled. He shoots over 80% from the line. His defensive prescence is unmatched. Love it! As my father always told me growing up "you can't teach height!!?"

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manginorh00lz 2 years, 2 months ago

"Kansas University" doesn't exist.

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REHawk 2 years, 2 months ago

Another blue ribbon for Nick Krug!

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Matt Gauntt 2 years, 2 months ago

Lasorda was one of my idols growing up. How cool is it for him to be at AFH?

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stm62 2 years, 2 months ago

More than once I've seen a Big 12 opponent come in to Allen and play us tough only to be beaten handily at there place. The Hawks will be ready for the Cyclones.

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cool_beans 2 years, 2 months ago

just an fyi it's the university of kansas not kansas university. so you should change that

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Jeeveshawk 2 years, 2 months ago

Playing @ Iowa State always worries me. We all know that KU is going to lose 1 conference game to somebody they shouldn't lose to. I'm hoping it will be @ Oklahoma State or in the conference tourney, because a recent loss increases KU's odds of going deeper into the NCAA tourney.

Losing at Iowa State will make us dominate Missou instead of just beating them, but I still think its too early for our conference loss.

Also, if we were to lose to a lesser team it would drop our seed in the big dance (thats' a good thing, less pressure).

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