Saturday, March 10, 2012

Baylor bomber’s treys sink KU

Kansas center Jeff Withey can't block a three-pointer from Baylor guard Brady Heslip during the second half on Friday, March 9, 2012.

Kansas center Jeff Withey can't block a three-pointer from Baylor guard Brady Heslip during the second half on Friday, March 9, 2012.


Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self

Kansas coach Bill Self talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 81-72 loss to Baylor on March 9, 2012.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU players Tyshawn Taylor and Jeff Withey

KU players Tyshawn Taylor and Jeff Withey talk to reporters following the Jayhawks' 81-72 loss to Baylor on March 9, 2012.

Download podcast

Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

BU's Scott Drew, Perry Jones III, Quincy Acy and Pierre Jackson

Baylor coach Scott Drew and players Perry Jones III, Quincy Acy and Pierre Jackson talk to reporters following the Bears' 81-72 victory over Kansas on March 9, 2012.

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KU vs. Baylor

Box score

— It might not have been a career night for Baylor guard Brady Heslip in the box score, but it definitely was as important a night as he ever had experienced.

After attempting just five shots and making one during a combined 44 minutes of playing time in his first two match-ups with Kansas University this season — both Baylor losses — the 6-foot-2 gunner from Burlington, Ontario, made four of seven shots Friday night, including four of six from three-point range, to help the fourth-seeded Bears knock off top-seeded Kansas, 81-72, at Sprint Center.

Heslip finished with 12 points in 33 minutes, a modest line by most standards, but the triples he made proved to be back-breaking for Kansas (27-6), including two daggers during the game’s final three minutes. The first, a bomb from the left wing, pushed Baylor’s lead from 67-64 to 70-64 with 2:06 to play.

The next, a pure swish from the opposite wing, gave the Bears’ a 73-66 lead with 1:18 remaining.

After each, Heslip responded with a move Jayhawk fans have seen from KU senior Tyshawn Taylor more than a few times this season — right hand makes a circle with index finger and thumb, leaving three fingers in the air and a perfect frame for an assassin’s eye.

“I’ve seen him do that in practice before,” Baylor big man Perry Jones III said. “Sometimes he gets a little excited.”

Asked about the celebratory gesture that, until Friday, had been for his teammates’ eyes only, Heslip shrugged.

“I was just caught up in the game,” he said. “I just had to throw it up one time. I went double after the second one. It was just an amazing environment and an incredible experience, especially against a great team like Kansas.”

While Heslip’s smooth shooting and clutch jumpers proved to be crucial in BU’s victory, the Canadian hardly operated alone. Six Bears scored in double figures, including Jones, a likely lottery pick, who paced Baylor with 18 points and seven rebounds.

“We’re way better when everybody plays together,” Jones said.

Added point guard Pierre Jackson, who scored 13 points and dished seven assists: “Once we all are clicking like that, we’re hard to beat.”

Jackson assisted on the second of Heslip’s daggers, and junior A.J. Walton (12 points, six rebounds) picked up the assist on the first. Baylor finished with 16 assists and just nine turnovers.

“Whenever Brady puts a shot up, we all think it’s going in,” Jackson said. “So I’m glad he had the confidence to (shoot). I’m glad he hit both of those threes. We needed them.”

It’s hard to say exactly why the Bears picked now to reveal two of their best games of the season. But there were a few guesses.

“We saw all the advertisements coming into the tournament, ‘It’s gonna be Kansas versus Missouri,’” Heslip said. “We used that as motivation. When we got that first win (against Kansas State on Thursday), we were playing with a different mind-set, and we were confident.”

Jackson’s answer was simpler.

“We know what time of year it is,” he said.

Baylor (27-6) will face Missouri (29-4) at 5 tonight for the tourney title.


fansincewilt 8 years, 10 months ago

I think if we hadn't beaten them so handily during the regular season, we would have been more ready. The guys really didn't look up for this game. Baylor finally played up to everyone's expectations for their players. They have some pretty good players on that team. I hope they go far and represent the Big 12 well. I always cheer for the Big 12 to do well. I will have mixed emotions this year with Mizzou. I don't know if I will be cheering for them or not in the NCAA tourney. They probably will be cheered on by the SEC. I will definitely be a Bear fan tonight.

gongs4ku 8 years, 10 months ago

I always take at least a little bit of pro-big 12 pleasure when Mizzou gets a win in the NCAAs, but not this year, since they can hardly be considered a big 12 team anymore...

When Mizzou loses, from here on out, my delight shall be unmitigated!

SaltLakeHawk 8 years, 10 months ago

Me too-- Baylor has earned a new fan tonight.

And, I can't believe I'm saying this, but... I'm ecstatic that we lost.

We lost to a very good team, and we didn't get blown out. And Bill Self always uses losses to focus the team. I truly believe this will help us going in the tourney (the one that actually matters). I could care less if we're a 2 seed instead of 1 seed. If anything, I prefer the 2 seed, because it releases some pressure.

Beating Baylor would have continued a slow-motion train wreck: playing mizery again.

Think about the upside. Sure it would be nice to beat mizery again. And we'd get another trophy to add to our massive collection. Both those things would be... well, just "nice". That's the upside.

Now think about the downside. If we lost, mizery would rightfully claim bragging rights for the year. And mizery fans, in their eternal stupidity, would probably claim bragging rights for the entire series since it was the last game. Some of the dumber mizery fans might even make signs that said "172-96" with a huge "6" portion. I wouldn't put that past them. And you K N O W the mizery administration would use the victory as a powerful tool for taunting KU into playing them again in the future.

Comparing upside to downside, that's a bad bet, and I'm glad we didn't have to take it.

By not even having to play mizery, their epic loss in Lawrence will sting for eternity. That game will always be highlighted in the history books as the very last chapter of the border war. That, alone, makes me feel warm and fuzzy. And regarding any future KU/MU games: 100% of the negotiating power still resides on our side of the table. They still have to beg us to play.

This Baylor loss is possibly the easiest loss to swallow. Ever.

John Mueller 8 years, 10 months ago

I think excuses are like a$$holes.

We got run out of the gym, period, full stop.

Hope we learned a lesson about effort, intensity and desire.

I thought Robinson just looked awful in the first half. just awful.

Let's regroup and get ready to play cuz it's gonna take a much better effort than that to win two ballgames next weekend.

Lets call it like it is. We flat got whipped, but it's one game.

Not a huge deal. Let's get ready to play our best basketball of the year next weekend.

Rock Chalk

JD Roth 8 years, 10 months ago

I agree totally. Baylor has played real well in this Big XII Tournament and when you guard and put the ball in the hole, you more than likely win. Heslip needs to relax though on his antics after hitting a three, unless he wants to do similar gyrations after his misses. Don't be a hotdog.

nuleafjhawk 8 years, 10 months ago

I'm not that impressed with anyone shooting 3's against us.

I'm 53 and I can shoot over 60% with NOBODY guarding me.

Greg Lux 8 years, 10 months ago

T-Rob has not looked like the "Player of the YEAR" in months. He has almost no offensive skills. He lacks a real offensive game. He plays soft defense to stay out of foul trouble ( I don't fault him for that at all ), but he has to be more offensive then he is playing of late.He seems to like to get the ball and wait for the double team instead of reacting immediately most of the time. Don't get me wrong I love T-Rob and his future is going to be great in the league, but he is not "having a POTY game right now". He is and looks very frustrated on the floor. I am happy for his future.. I would just like to see some of it NOW.

Rock Chalk

JD Roth 8 years, 10 months ago

Do you notice he can't elevate very high as of late. I texted my nephew during the aTm game and said, "I think T-Rob has a bad back or something, because he can hardly get off the floor." He felt the same way. Anybody else seeing this or is it our imagination?

Scott Alden 8 years, 10 months ago

My god you know nothing about basketball. It's obvious you never played competitively at any level. Either that or you barely did and now you're one of those guys that trashes good players to try and come off like you know something. He hasn't looked like POY for 'months'? Hint: the entire season is only a few months. Get off the bandwagon, K-State needs more fans.

rockchalker5 8 years, 10 months ago

Hasnt looked like a Player of the Year in months? Are you being serious right now? I bet you didn't say that when he had 25 and 14 LAST WEEKEND vs Texas. Don't be so reactive just because we lost a game. Don't crush him cuz he had an off night. I agree that he is soft on defense, but hes also the best rebounder in the country...which negatively affects his post defense at times. But lets no get carried away. And I'm sure what your watching, but he does get double teamed almost immediately every time. And I'm sure that Danny Manning teaches him to handle it and pass out of it..thats what good big men do.

But no problem, I'm sure you'll be singing his praises next game when he goes off.

mtajhok 8 years, 10 months ago

T-ROB has not been the same since the home game against Misery. In that game, if you remember he hurt his knee and left the game for a short time. In that game he lost his vertical and has not gotten in back. I truly believe there is something to it. I would not be a bit surprised to see another knee surgery following the NCAA tournament for T-ROB.

chicagojayhawk87 8 years, 10 months ago

I've heard rumors that he messed up his knee again pretty badly after that gamed but the staff is trying to keep quiet about it, most likely for T-Robs draft stock. Hope those rumors are false.

Steve Brown 8 years, 10 months ago

their cammo shorts distracted us, we should put iridescent crimson paisley decals on our blue shorts. confuse the heck out of them.

Hope we don't draw Wichita State, tired of upstarts.

sekjayhawkfan 8 years, 10 months ago

This post is directed to ESPN spokesman Mike Humes, who was quoted in a 2/21/2012 news article reporting how screwed up ESPN and Time Warner Cable were with the airing of Big 12 Big Monday games earlier this season. (BTW - If I could find an email address for Mr. Humes and the email addresses of Big 12 leadership then I wouldn't be posting this here!!)

Dear Mr. Humes:

So we're KU fans living in Southeast Kansas and we --- along with everyone else in our community who doesn't have satellite reception (with the Altitude Network !!!!!) --- are trying to figure out WHY you didn't broadcast the KU vs.Baylor game last night on ESPNU as listed/promised on the online schedule --- and as listed/promised on our cable television screen listing?!!

Geez! It was a #3 vs. #11 game, we live in the Big 12 footprint, and we got SEC basketball instead????!!!! Wondering why? Seriously!!??

If we had wanted to watch the game on ESPN3 --- with grainy video and halting audio --- then we would have turned off our 52-inch HD unit, popped some popcorn and had our dozen guests squeeze into our 8x8 foot home office to watch it on our 18-inch computer screen!

At the very least, please don't list games on your broadcast schedule when you can't follow thru with televising them! That way we'll know IN ADVANCE that we need to find someone/some place that has satellite before tip-off!

Oh --- and by the way --- feel free to air your SEC Tournament in Columbia, MO, and College Station, TX, next year! Those people might be interested --- BUT WE CERTAINLY ARE NOT!!

danmoore 8 years, 10 months ago

I've never liked this tournament, even the times we've won it. I'd prefer to go back to the pre-season tournament and push back the regular season so the last week conincides with conference tourney week.

WilburNether 8 years, 10 months ago

It is forbidden to use the words "Releford" and "defensive stopper" in the same sentence unless a negative is included, e.g., "Releford is NOT a defensive stopper."

Elijah Johnson did a great job on Heslip for most of the game, and Self has some explaining to do as to why he had Releford on him in that crucial minute late in the game when Heslip hit two 3s.

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