Saturday, January 28, 2012

Kansas aware of ISU ‘magic’

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor glances over as the Iowa State student section, "Cyclone Alley," goes wild following an ISU three-pointer during the first half on Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011 at Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa. Despite the hostile environment, the Jayhawks held on to win, 84-79.

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor glances over as the Iowa State student section, "Cyclone Alley," goes wild following an ISU three-pointer during the first half on Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011 at Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa. Despite the hostile environment, the Jayhawks held on to win, 84-79.


— Just two of 10 teams in the Big 12 Conference have won more league road games than they have lost during Bill Self’s nine seasons at Kansas University.

They are ... KU, which takes a 50-17 league road record (.746) under Self into today’s 1 p.m. contest at Iowa State, and Rick Barnes’ Texas Longhorns, a whopping 15 games behind the Jayhawks at 35-32 (.522).

All other teams in the conference are way, way, way under .500 in enemy gyms. Kansas State is 28-40, Texas A&M; 27-41, Oklahoma 23-44, Missouri 21-47, Oklahoma State 19-48, Baylor 15-53, Texas Tech 14-53 and Iowa State 12-56.

“We love winning at home, but certainly you can’t win conference championships unless you win away from home,” said Self.

His No. 5-ranked Jayhawks (17-3) take a 7-0 league mark (3-0 on road) into today’s clash against the Cyclones (14-6), who are 2-1 in Hilton Coliseum, 2-2 on the road in league games.

“We’ve done pretty well with that. Hopefully we can keep it up,” Self added.

KU, which has won seven-straight Big 12 regular-season titles, currently holds a two-game lead over Baylor and Missouri in this still-young conference season.

“Certainly we know the last six (road games) we have (ISU, MU, BU, K-State, A&M;, OSU) will all be tough games, starting with a tough one in Ames,” Self said.

Asked the keys to winning on the road, Self said: “I think foxhole, tight huddle, blinders on; I think those things are very important when going away from home to play.”

KU may be facing its roughest road test to date in Iowa State’s 14,356-seat Hilton Coliseum.

“They call it, ‘Hilton Magic,’” Self said of the term coined by Des Moines Register sports writer Buck Turnbull back in 1989 after an 82-75 home victory over No. 3-ranked Missouri.

“Kansas had some great teams with Larry (Brown). Larry never won at Hilton (0-5). I’ve been part of teams that lost some heartbreakers there. When that place is jumping, it’s really a great place,” Self said.

The Jayhawks have won seven-straight games in Hilton, where they are 22-18 all-time.

Self’s first KU team fell at ISU, 68-61. Since then, the Jayhawks have won by five points twice and four points once (in overtime in 2007) to go with double-digits victories of 10, 11, 15 and 23 points.

The Cyclones are 10-2 in Hilton this season, with the only losses coming to Missouri and Northern Iowa. In the league, ISU has home wins over Texas and OSU.

“That place, with ‘Hilton Magic,’ it’s going to be a tough place to play,” KU fifth-year senior Conner Teahan said. “Every year that I’ve been there, it just seems like no matter how many fans are in the stands, it gets exciting. I think we’ve had a couple games where we pulled away, but just a couple buckets or one run can really put the fans back in the game. You have to be able to limit that.”

KU defeated coach Fred Hoiberg’s first Cyclone team by just five points — 84-79 — a year ago in Ames.

Just two weeks ago, KU overcame a 12-point second-half deficit in a 82-73 victory over the Cyclones in Allen Fieldhouse.

Tyshawn Taylor scored 22 of his 28 points in the second half of a game KU was outrebounded, 49-41. Royce White, ISU’s 6-foot-8, 270-pound junior forward, had 18 points and 17 rebounds.

“Trust me, Iowa State should have our full attention after the way they handled us for 25 minute at our place,” Self said. “They kicked us on the glass pretty good. Royce had 17 (boards). He kind of wore us out. We have to do a much better job defensively and play more aggressively.”

White, who averages 13.9 points and 9.6 rebounds a game, is an extremely difficult match-up for any team.

“I don’t know if the game plan will be a ton different. He’s such a good passer. He’s hard to trap. The thing about it is, when a 5-man — well, he’s not your 5-man, he’s your 4-man that plays point — brings it up, it’s really hard to have a different strategy because you can’t leave shooters to go guard him if you’re a man-to-man team. We don’t play a lot of zone, and they’re a good-shooting team. So I’m not sure it’d be real smart for us to do that. I would just like to see us play better. I thought he just whipped us physically, and I’d like to see us challenge him more, at least from a physicality standpoint,” Self said.

Taylor hit 10 of 21 shots (three of nine threes, five of nine free throws) with six assists, four steals and four turnovers in 37 minutes of the first meeting. He had 13 points in the first 10 minutes of the second half, helping KU turn a 52-40 deficit (with 17 minutes left) into a 70-61 lead (with eight minutes to play).

Jeff Withey had 13 points, 11 rebounds and seven blocks in 25 minutes; Elijah Johnson 12 points off 4-of-9 shooting (3-for-8 from three) with five assists, three turnovers and two steals in 35 minutes and Thomas Robinson 11 points and 14 rebounds in 32 minutes. Kevin Young had seven points off the bench.

ISU, which led 43-40 at half, received 17 points from Chris Allen; 12 from Melvin Ejim and 10 from Scott Christopherson. Overall, ISU hit nine of 28 threes to KU’s eight of 26.

“I recently watched that last game (on tape),” KU’s Taylor said. “We shot a lot of threes. I think it was trying to match them. They were sagging in on T-Rob. We got a lot of open ones. We can’t fall in love with them (threes). Conner can get hot. Elijah can get hot, and I can get hot sometimes, but our offense is inside-out. We’ve got to play through our bigs, be in attack mode.”


Scott MacWilliams 9 years, 2 months ago

"Elijah can get hot, and I can get hot sometimes, but our offense is inside-out. We’ve got to play through our bigs, be in attack mode.” true that, TT. Going into Hilton you better lace 'em up tight and hit the floor running, because the Psychlones are going to want to hang one on you in a BIG way.
A-game all the way, Jayhawks!

R O C K C H A L K, J A Y H A W K S, K - U ! ! ! ! !

ironhead80 9 years, 2 months ago

Tyshawn reminds me of that TV commercial of the round cheddar cheese that says immature silly things while the experiment guy writes done his actions and answers, all the while the round cheddar cheese guy finally ages and behaves and talks mature.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 2 months ago

'KU, which takes a 50-17 league road record (.746) under Self'

Pretty much says everything needed...

Priest Fontaine 9 years, 2 months ago

that link didn't take me to a andrew white update.

DDDHawk 9 years, 2 months ago

Wow! He hit 5 three pointers in the first QUARTER of his game!

Chris Weaver 9 years, 2 months ago

holy cow! what a shooter. 5 threes in 1st quarter from all over the court - nothing but net. that's what we need!

Mike Kendall 9 years, 2 months ago

Nice! Sweet stroke. Thanks for posting.

jayhawker_97 9 years, 2 months ago

Withey must better be prepared this time (his D is tenacious, but we need his O badly!!). TRob must be ready. He needs to show who's the true AA playa. he got outhustled last time. i hope this time KU will win the on-the-glass contest. that'll be one of the keys to control the game, besides the shot selection by our guards.

Royce is no pretty boy, his anxiety attack makes him even a better player. He is easily a leader in all category among their team. this cyclops team play hi-octane game.

let's rock, rock, rock chalk !!!

Curtis Stutz 9 years, 2 months ago

Hats off to the ISU fan base, even in other much worse years they always seem to provide a lot of support in Hilton

Relax and execute offensively 'Hawks, and lock down the glass on defense. A win in Ames would go a long ways and really demoralize Missery

Jeremy Paul 9 years, 2 months ago

Is it just me, or is Iowa State the one team in our league that you actually kind of like? I don't know, but I pretty much Hate every other team. Like, really Hate. But I don't know, I've always kind of liked Iowa State. They always play tough, and they always have a lot of in-state kids which I think is cool. And even their football team is a scrappy bunch and I find myself pulling for them too. Plus I think the whole Hoiberg story is great. And I've heard it as a knock that "a kid could go anywhere in the country to play, why would he want to go to--of all places--Lawrence, Kansas?" Well, how about getting a kid to come to--of all places--Ames, Iowa. And don't get me wrong, I mean nothing ill against Ames. It's actually a pretty cool town and I've had some very fun times in Ames. (It's no Iowa City though, but that's another post all together).

I don't know, I could be totally wrong and we're all supposed to hate each of our conference foes. But if I had to not hate one team it would be them. But they really scare me. They always do. Year after year when the schedule comes out, I always think they are our toughest road game of the year. Screw Columbia and Stillwater--they are tough, sure--but Iowa State always scares me. Today will be a good test, boys. Let's see where we are. Rock Chalk.

JHawk74 9 years, 2 months ago

ISU is probably the underdog most of the time and we tend to cheer for the underdogs over the top dogs.

Ron Franklin 9 years, 2 months ago

Their fans are courteous and respectful. That goes a long way.

Jeremy Paul 9 years, 2 months ago

You almost have me convinced! That cracked me up. I guess you might be right, but at least they're not Missouri or Kansas State-level of douche. And you're right about the cheerleaders (another spot where Iowa City is way better, but don't get me started), but their cool football uniforms almost make up for it.

Steve Gantz 9 years, 2 months ago

Johnny Orr wasn't a douche. He was a throwback coach that had his teams play way over their heads. I wish I could remember the guys name (Verge?) in the 80's but he exemplified Iowa St. He was something like 6 foot 3 and they had him play forward because he was so darn tough. Jeff Grayer was on that team too which drew the attention of teams. Those were my KU years and so I remember Iowa State well, as the article pointed out, they always beat us up there.

nuleafjhawk 9 years, 2 months ago


I always thought "Hilton Magic" referred to Paris Hilton.

My bad.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 2 months ago

She does haver an excellent "stroke", however. :)

JHawk74 9 years, 2 months ago

Let's kick some Cyclone A$$ today! Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

jaybate 9 years, 2 months ago

Just imagine Fred getting a true 5 next year and moving White to the point! :-)

jaybate 9 years, 2 months ago

Turn Hilton Magic into Hilton Tragic for ISU!

No big pregame analysis neede today.

KU will attack White until he is fouled up.

Fred will do something we haven't seen.

Self will counter.

If either EJ, or Conner, heat up, we win.

If not, its an L.

JHawk74 9 years, 2 months ago

My Prediction:

Taylor and Robinson will have big games again. EJ and Conner will continue to struggle shooting the three. We will need 7+ points and 5+ rebounds out of Kevin Young and 10+ points and 7+ rebounds and 6+ blocks out of Withey to win the game. Releford plays solid defense and only scores 7 points.

ahpersecoachingexperience 9 years, 2 months ago

One thing that is not mentioned is when Kansas goes on the road it's usually bringing the crew from college game day, big Monday, or at the very least a (usually only one of the year) sold out crowd. UT isnt doing that!

REHawk 9 years, 2 months ago

With so much defensive focus on Conner and the other 3 starters, I look to see Travis and Jeff step up big today. Rock Chalk!

jaybate 9 years, 2 months ago

When is Self going to have them start wearing steel toed Addidas, or Nikes?

Brian Skelly 9 years, 2 months ago

Until recent years, ISU almost always had at least one or two really good players every year. This is about as 'thin' as they've been since I can remember. That said, of all the road venues we play at, Hilton Coliseum is the one that surprises me the least when we gack up a road loss. Self, Roy, Larry B, whomever.

Id also say from my 'back in the day' years of road tripping for games and the years I regularly attended the Big 8/12 tourney in KC, the ISU fans tended to be the best behaved and least obnoxious of the conferences bunch. Not that I didnt ever run across the usual drunken douche bag. But even KU has those... sometimes lots of those.

I'll say when that place is packed though it gets nearly as loud as the Fieldhouse (not quite, but close). As with all conference road games, its tough to win. KU will have their job cut out for them today.

Jack Hoover 9 years, 2 months ago

Actually, Hilton was designed specifically for NOISE. Allen was not. Get yourself a decibel meter and you will find at peak times Hilton is louder. Ask Roy Williams. IB

SDSurferFan 9 years, 2 months ago

Looking fwd to 4 hours of bball today with KU n SDSU.

What a surprise and a treat this season for both teams. Last year was special but more excited about this year as these teams are exceeding expectations.

Self is doing it with a POY, improved 7fter, future NBA guard, and another freaky athletic guard. Fisher is doing it with 6'7" center with bad knees, transfer pt guard, 2 jrs, soph. No bench.


Darren McSweeney 9 years, 2 months ago

Wow! Imagine what SDSU could have done with Kevin Young. I wonder if they're still pissed...

SDSurferFan 9 years, 2 months ago

Yes. I am. But I have moved on.... Stoked he is on KU though. I was hammered on this site during the controversy. All in fun dudes!

Mike Kendall 9 years, 2 months ago

SurferFan--Always enjoy your West coast insight and posts. I know I didn't hammer you. Keep on posting!

SDSurferFan 9 years, 2 months ago

Ha, some of it was probably deserved. SDSU is one of those programs that has to survive with hidden gems and transfers so sdsu really could have used KY. He would have been starting and contributing in a huge way....owell

Thanks Mike.

Steve Gantz 9 years, 2 months ago

Those road game stats are incredible. Kind of funny, nor surprising to see Missouri's poor road record, although I'd bet that has changed, I used to remember them giving us fits at AFH. I'd imagine it's the same for other conferences too that are big on basketball. I live in Baton Rouge and the Maravich center has zero intimidation factor for visiting teams. (to be honest i hope today proves me wrong with Kentucky visiting) The Big 10 road records are probably similar, as are the ACC's. The Big East obviously has some intimidating places to play, but has a bunch of pushover road games too. The PAC 8 or whatever its' called, well we saw a road game at USC with 4000 fans in attendance there this year. Arizona is probably the only tough PAC place to play.

SDSurferFan 9 years, 2 months ago

SDSU and The Show is getting some great exposure. I have been to AFH 4-5xs and SDSU numerous. Both amazing. AFH second to none in terms of overall experience. SDSU has a raw edge about their student section. Google it(SDSU. I believe we will win). I am sure the true bball aficionados would highly appreciate it.

Steve Gantz 9 years, 2 months ago

They've had a good run. I have a similar experience to yours as I'm also quite avid about Wisconsin, and they have played incredibly well at the Kohl center. During the game the other night they showed the Badgers have the nations 5th most home wins in the last 5 years. KU is #1 in that category. Bo Ryan is 81-8 in BIg 10 home games.

SDSurferFan 9 years, 2 months ago

Looking fwd to bracketology conversations. Any chatter on that or too soon?

Ku, 2 seed. I predict they go as far as LYs team. Final 4 potential. SDSU. 5-6 seed. 2nd round. S16 potential.

I can only dream of them meeting someday.

Chris Bruning 9 years, 2 months ago

Yeah question is, who you goin for in that game?? Because KU would stomp that azz!!!

Chris Bruning 9 years, 2 months ago

And i would like to see that handshake between Self and that crybaby coach SDSU has, after a nice 14 and 10 game by K Young of course.

SDSurferFan 9 years, 2 months ago

Ku would/should win if they met. Spread would be 8-10. SDSU will be better next year, but so should ku.

Good question....probably SDSU. Have to understand they had never won a tourney game until LY so if they go deeper it would be great.

Since I watch every game for both teams it would be highly entertaining to watch the match ups. What I love is both teams play hard defensively.

SDSurferFan 9 years, 2 months ago

Don't get too chippy my friend.

It's not like KU has never had trouble beating mid-majors they should easily beat.

I have suffered through those losses like everyone else.

Ann Oneill 9 years, 2 months ago

Here's an interesting article about Royce White. He has some demons in his past, but seems to be moving in the right direction.

Mike Kendall 9 years, 2 months ago

Looking forward to this game. KU has had a lot of time to prepare so, I anticipate a good game from the Hawks!

Wow! What a Saturday--- four or five games I will be watching today. It all starts with KU and Iowa State. 6pm CST--OU at K-State. 8pm--Wichita State at Drake. Only thing better would be the First Round of the NCAA Tournament. The Madness is already setting in. Go Jayhawks! Best of Luck!

Mike Kendall 9 years, 2 months ago


I was also, going to say that KU does have an incredible record on the road in Big 12 play. Having said that, the Jayhawk fans and alumni come to expect excellence on the road. rcjh.

Ben Kane 9 years, 2 months ago

it helps our away record compared to opponents that we don't lose much on the road and none of them ever beat us at home. they are all weary of the phog!

Tony Bandle 9 years, 2 months ago

Since my preseason Kansas projection at this point in the season is 13-7, my prediction for this game is about as worthless as a used Starbucks cup, however here it goes.

The definition of a trap game is one that catches you by surprise.

Since they played us so tough in Allen, since Hilton has always been a danger zone, and, since we know there is a target on our backs, I predict we will be ready, willing and able to put a beating on the 'Clones....

KU 80 - ISU 65

jaybate 9 years, 2 months ago

"Justin Wesley, the Now Ancient Ralph Miller Theory of Big Men and the Decades of the Lost Opportunities"

For the old with Alzheimers, and those too young to recall,there was once a great Jayhawk athlete from Chanute named Ralph Miller, who was an all-sport star, who had some definite ideas about basketball coaching.

Glancing at his Wiki page, one learns Miller won 3 letters as KU quarterback and 3 letters in hoops in the years just before WWII. As a KU student, he had a guest lecturer named James Naismith. In 1940, Miller beat the 1932 US Olympic Gold Medalist in a decathlon competition. Miller then served at desk jobs in the then Army Air Force in World War II because of knee problems; then came home and tried coaching high school basketball at Mt. Oread High School. His players were reputedly professor's sons. It went so poorly he decided not to coach basketball. Miller shoved off for California and wound up supervising a play ground and starting a fruit hauling business. It must not have been too lucrative, because 8 years later a friend back in Wichita asked if he would like to coach East High in Wichita. He did and was instantly successful. He taught a running game combined with a full court zone press on defense first developed at KU in 1930. It was used after made baskets. Miller's 1949 improvement on it was to play it not only after made baskets but after missed baskets, too, based on a rule of defending the man nearest you once a shot went up. This was 1949. John Wooden did not supposedly start using the full court zone press until 1964, when a contentious assistant name Jerry Norman provoked him into doing so by first proving its merit while coaching the UCLA freshman team (more about this in a future post).

Back to Ralph Miller. Miller's first college head job was at Wichita State in the then extremely competitive Missouri Valley Conference. He turned a moribund program around and in 13 years took them to 3 NITs and NCAA Final in 1964, while winning 2 games for everyone he lost.

Miller went to Iowa in 1964 and turned it around, after its gambling scandals. Miller won a Big Ten title in 1970, when he built a team that "averaged" 100 points per game for the season!!!!!!!

Miller left Iowa for Oregon State in 1970, where he coached 20 seasons, the early portion in the shadow of John Wooden's run. Miller was National Coach of the Year in 81 and again in '82 at Oregon State.

At retirement, having turned around three non-blueblood programs in three good basketball conferences, his record was 657-382, placing him 6th all time. At retirement, he had the most wins of any active coach.

Chris Shaw 9 years, 2 months ago

There is "Magic" in Hilton?

What is a "Hilton Magic"?

jaybate 9 years, 2 months ago

So: jaybate, why do you regurgitate all this Wikipage stuff for us? What has any of this to do with Justin Wesley?

I wanted to establish this great Jayhawk's bona fides for young and old alike, before I mentioned a largely forgotten, but still provocative opinion Ralph Miller held about big men.

Miller was cited in Kelso Sturgeon's 1973 book titled "Guide to Sports Betting" as one of the best coaches of his time, as one of the coaches whose teams often beat the line, and as one of the coaches that could get more out of players and develop players more, than most other coaches.

Sturgeon wrote that Miller had long claimed that he could turn most any tall person on a playground into a serviceable NCAA big man with some coaching about defense and jumping. And Miller claimed he had gone out to play grounds looking for tall kids and had recruited kids that had never played organized basketball before, and turned them into serviceable NCAA big men, when he lacked such players at programs he was turning around.

Miller said that almost any tall person (then 6-8 or taller) could learn the defensive footwork needed to guard his position.

Miller also said that jumping could be taught to such a project. it was a matter of footwork and weight lifting and practice at jumping.

Teach any tall person to guard and jump and he could be an asset to any college team, if only as a substitute.

Kelso Sturgeon then cited Miller's favorite example of Gene Wiley, who Miller found on a play ground, and at Wichita State turned him into one of the game's great defensive centers. Wiley went on to have an NBA career in which he reputedly became one of Wilt Chamberlain's toughest adversaries. Sturgeon relates an anecdote that in the pros, Wilt once became so frustrated playing against Wiley, the Wilt stormed off the court and refuse to play the final quarter of the game!!!

So what Ralph Miller learned to do long, long ago, seems to be something that Bill Self and Danny Manning have figured out, too.

Self has gotten a whole lot out of a lot of bigs over the years, some of whom might well have been busts other wise had they had to rely on their offense to succeed, by teaching them to guard their positions.

When Justin Wesley came to KU from Lamar the lay man, and probably more than a few coaches around the country, said, what is Self doing bringing in a kid from Lamar who can barely get it done at Lamar?

jaybate 9 years, 2 months ago

The answer was: the kid was tall and athletic and no one had ever taught him how to guard his position.

Justin Wesley seemed like an impossible project early on.

But now Justin has learned how to guard his position and he is an asset to a blue blood program.

Next, he has to learn how not to foul and this will happen.

Next, he has learn how to jump. It is not the inches he has to develop. He has hops already. He has to learn to jump for effect. He has to learn to jump at the right time, so that when he jumps, he either alters the opponents shot, or beats him to a rebound. This is going to happen.

Gene Wiley was only 6'10" and 210 pounds, but he could completely frustrate the great Wilt Chamberlain at 7'1" and 220-300 pounds depending on the stage of Wilt's career Wiley played him at.

Justin Wesley could easily become one of our most important players next season, if he will just keep working on getting a little better every day at defending, and jumping for effect.

Post Script: More than a few men from my late father's generation, the same as Miller's, the WWII generation, often said Miller was the great one that got away--the KU great that should have coached KU to many, many, many titles. My father said it most directly. If Ralph Miller had come to KU the year Owens took over, UCLA would never have won 10 rings in 11 seasons. Miller would have recruited fabulous players to KU and he would have done innovative things that would have taken the game to the next level.

Coulda, woulda, should didn't and never has.

But my respect for Miller is deep and sometimes it is nice to imagine a what-if scenario in which Ralph Miller had a KU team with KU grade talent that averaged 100ppg in the early 1960s and cleaned UCLA's clock in '64, or '65, and Lew Alcindor and Lucious Allen and Dave Stallworth and Nate Bowman had come to KU instead.

It is because of this scenario of what might have been at Kansas in the 1960s and early 1970s, that I am so protective of Bill Self and so wary of the administrators above him that might accidentally sew the seeds of him departing before he gets on his roll of titles.

The last 25 years have been remarkable years in KU basketball, but they have in fact been the years required to try to recover KU from the lost opportunities of the 60s and 70s.

"He not busy being born is busy dying." --Bob Dylan

Michael Auchard 9 years, 2 months ago

One pre-game article for a critical, nationally relevant game? Talk about a budget crunch. I'm not even angry, I'm just sad.

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