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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Bill Self: Loss gets Jayhawks’ attention

The Jayhawks try to pull it together against Baylor during the second half on Friday, March 9, 2012.

The Jayhawks try to pull it together against Baylor during the second half on Friday, March 9, 2012.

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For the first time in three seasons, Kansas University’s basketball team enters the NCAA Tournament following the sting of a loss.

“I kind of like it. I hate saying that. I don’t like losing, but I kind of like the fact it’s not fool’s gold with us anymore,” KU coach Bill Self said on Monday’s Big 12 coaches teleconference. “When you make shots and don’t guard and get away with it ... our guys saw first-hand what will happen in a one-and-done type situation, which the Big 12 tournament is also.

“I kind of like our mind-set. I like where we are at. I like being able to get their attention (following Friday’s 81-72 loss to Baylor) before we go to Omaha.”

Kansas will open the NCAAs at 8:57 p.m. Friday against Detroit at CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Neb.

“You get their attention, but still they are so excited,” Self said. “In the room (Sunday), they were talking about opponents and pounding on the desk and all that, trying to act cool, but you can see they are so excited.”

Of course, there may be a downside to entering the NCAAs on the heels of a defeat.

“I would say going into it the most recent previous years we probably felt like we had a little bit more momentum only because we won the Big 12 tournament,” Self said of the past two seasons. “But like I told ’em yesterday, the four teams that were supposedly projected as No. 1 seeds, none of ’em won their conference tournament (KU, North Carolina, Kentucky, Syracuse). We didn’t play very well at all.”

KU junior forward Thomas Robinson said Monday on Jim Rome’s national radio show that the loss to Baylor “could have been a blessing in disguise.”

“The extra day benefited us, us not being so deep. We are six, seven guys deep. We all play a lot of minutes,” Robinson said.

The loss may have helped his personal motivation entering the NCAAs.

“I didn’t compete in that game. I didn’t come ready to play. I let another bunch of guys outplay me,” Robinson said. “He (Self) wasn’t happy with that at all. I wasn’t happy with it. He was definitely angry with it. It’s my fault we lost that game. It’s something we learned from. I’m kind of glad it happened, kind of a wake-up call for me, to get my head back on straight and ready for the tournament. I feel I didn’t show up. Baylor’s bigs got the best of me. It’s the last time that will happen for this year.”

Robinson, by the way, told Rome he hadn’t made a final decision on whether or not he’d enter the NBA Draft or return for his senior year. He said he was focused on KU making a run in the NCAAs and would decide at the conclusion of the season. It’s been a foregone conclusion Robinson will be off to the pros after this season.

All-America: KU’s Robinson on Monday was named to the U.S. Basketball Writers Association All-America team. He was joined on the first team by Kentucky’s Anthony Davis, Michigan State’s Draymond Green, Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger and Creighton’s Doug McDermott.

Know the foe: Self said he had plenty of information on Detroit, the Horizon League tournament champ that enters Friday’s game with a 22-13 record and No. 15 seed.

“The thing is, basically we get everything off the computer. It used to be hustling tapes, compiling video services. That is not as big a necessity now,” Self said.

“Where you are scrambling around is trying to get with people on scouting-report tendencies, which we divided this weekend among our three (assistant) coaches in which every coach has an assignment. That’s what they’ll be working on last night, today, through tomorrow morning, to get a book on our opponent as fast as we can.”

Self said he watched one of the five tapes No. 2 seed KU acquired on Detroit on Sunday night.

“They are very, very athletic, will try to pressure, and of course they’ve got a great player,” Self said of sophomore guard Ray McCallum. “They’ve got more McDonald’s All-Americans (one) than we do. We respect Ray a lot. We tried to recruit him. That is not a typical 15 seed. I was shocked when they were on that line.”

Of McCallum, Self said: “He came to Late Night a few years ago. I think in ’08. He was young. He and his mother came up (from Detroit). It really came down to his mother liked the Detroit coach a lot more than Kansas’ coach,” Self added with a laugh. Ray McCallum, Sr., is the Titans’ head coach.

Late start: Self on the fact the Jayhawks play the late game in Omaha:

“That will be a long day. Fortunately for us, we played a ton (of late games). Four of our last six (in regular season) were 8 p.m. games,” Self said. “We’ll probably have to find some way to occupy the day.

“Personally, I think that is too late to be playing ball, but our guys will adjust fine, and both teams if I’m not mistaken have to play at the same time so there will be no advantage or disadvantage.”

Vitale likes KU: ESPN’s Dick Vitale, a former head coach at Detroit, believes KU will win. Detroit opened as a 15-point underdog.

“It’s a tough, tough draw,” Vitale said. “I looked at (Detroit) at better than a No. 15 (seed). (Ray) McCallum is a stud. He’s a scorer. Kansas has lost to Northern Iowa and Bucknell in the past. Detroit is athletic, quick and they have a strut to them. But you’ve got to give the edge to Kansas. Thomas Robinson is a great player, but what helps Robinson is the development of (Jeff) Withey, their 7-footer. This is a great basketball team. No matter what happens it’s been a tremendous season for Detroit,” added Vitale. “They’ve played sensational the last 10 games.”

Roomies: McCallum and Robinson were roommates at the LeBron James Skills camp last summer.

“We’re not close friends,” McCallum told the Detroit News. “He’s a cool guy. He has a remarkable story with his mom (overcoming loss of Lisa, who died Robinson’s sophomore season).

“Kansas has a lot of great players,” McCallum added. “(Tyshawn) Taylor is a real aggressive guard. He’s a big-time scorer who makes plays. I just have to have a defensive mind-set.”

Comments

Ron Franklin 2 years, 1 month ago

I have issues with picking against Kansas in my brackets. I end up having them win the National Championship every year. Kind of puts me at a disadvantage in bracket pools!

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packywacky88 2 years, 1 month ago

Does any one else enjoy that 1950s car insurance add as much as I do?

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jaybate 2 years, 1 month ago

Part II

Retained: Ben Howland of UCLA, because he has two top recruits signed and a shot at two more, and it would have cost $3M to dump him. Inference: UCLA's AD wants to get Howland's two recruits, maybe three, locked into UCLA, before they shop for a new head coach next season.

S-Canned: Darrin Horn after 4 seasons by South Carolina AD Eric Hyman for going from 21 wins per season to 10 wins per season, instead of producing the Top 25 program Hyman said he seeks. Inference: Darrin Horn, who was never a great coach at Western Kentucky, just a good one, probably either wouldn't hire an AAU coach, or wouldn't cheat enough, or both, to bring the players in to a program that probably lacks the gravitas to bring them in legally in an era of reputed check book recruiting.

Grovelled: President Obama selected Kentucky, Ohio State, Mizzou, and UNC, as his Final Four picks. Inference: Desperate for votes, the President turned his back on not one, but three schools from his mother's home state of Kansas, and instead selected schools from swing states crucial to his election. Of course, after Santorum won the Kansas Republican primary, he probably figured the state of Kansas was a lost cause regardless.

(Note: Despite a smattering of facts, the above Parts I and II of this post are essentially all fiction written entirely for the amusement of certain board rats with time on their hands No malice is intended. I mean, some days the sports news is so disillusioning you have to make fun of it to get through till the game on Friday.)

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jaybate 2 years, 1 month ago

Part I

jaybate News Service (jns):

Dateline: Where ever you can get cheap, unreliable information in phase space.

Slug: satiric ins sports news summary done out of boredom, while waiting for KU-Detroit Mercy game

jns stringers have worked over time cribbing news headlines from leading sports web sites, explaining them vaguely close to the truth, and then adding irreverent, likely false inferences. jns is not responsible for the reports of these stringers, because most of them reputedly work for British Intelligence, or Mossad, or Chinese intelligence, or other intelligence organizations reputedly deeply engaged in biasing the outcome of the US Presidential election, and so willing to work for ins gratis in their down times.

Ineligible: Fab Melo of Syracuse for unexplained eligibility issues. Inference: Syracuse may have been told something like, "Lose the kid before the tournament, so we don't have to go through the risk of a forfeited National Championship, and we'll not give you the death penalty for all the other reputed stuff on your plate."

Dismissed: Reputed problem child Glen Rice Jr of Georgia Tech for permitting unlawful operation of a vehicle in a bang-bang incident at a bar. Inference: Two coaches couldn't bring this kid around and his daddy has the bucks to make serious legal head aches if anyone tries to tie the kid into anything, so best to say adios and good luck.

Fired: Matt Dougherty by SMU for taking a scandal ridden rich kid school up to 80-109 after 5 years, because the AD Orsini said the practice facilities can attract better players with a new coach. Inference: this sounds vaguely like, "We've tried it the right way, and now we're going to get a coach in here who will try it the wrong way again."

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danmoore 2 years, 1 month ago

I love and hate this tournament. The excitement is unparalleled but there are too many landmines. Most of the teams have no chance of winning it and are playing with house money.

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RJ King 2 years, 1 month ago

I would rather face St. Mary's than Purdue. A healthy Hummell could match up OK with T-Robb, and they have a big, slow-ish center. We have less success (fewer opportunities to score) when a team slows it down.

I've seen SMC up close and personal. They are a very likeable, fun team (lots of Aussie's), but KU should overpower. Waldo hasn't the length of Withey, and Rob Jones is no T-Robb. Steindel has some length, but Rele should shut him down. Delavedova brings the ball up AND shoots the trey, but he has not faced the speed of TT or EJ.

They beat us only if we don't play inside AND they make 9-10 3's. OR if we don't take care of Motown Mercy first.

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Ben Kane 2 years, 1 month ago

detroit is a very good team, but i just can't see us losing the first game after a loss.

i'm not sure about the stats for us, but the second game of a weekend always scares me more than the first regardless of opponent. you only get one day to prepare, you're tired, and you aren't as psyched up as you are for the first game.

I'd much rather see purdue than st mary's but i don't think that will happen. I don't know much about st mary's this year but it sounds like everybody is worried about them. does anyone have some specific reasons as to why? style of play? matchups?

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William Blake 2 years, 1 month ago

"For the first time in three seasons, Kansas University’s basketball team enters the NCAA Tournament following the sting of a loss."

Hey... we are back to being a sleeper in this tournament.

We are in better shape now than if we had won out in the B12 Tourney and captured a 1-seed with a target on our heads and all the media chaos to guarantee we can't focus.

We've got a real shot!

Rock Chalk!

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KansasComet 2 years, 1 month ago

Victory will come from a team effort. This time of year, it is play your butt off, or check out of the game and give someone else a chance to try. I don't know who will step up on this year's team, but I can't wait to find out.

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Ralster Jayhawk 2 years, 1 month ago

Basically sick of Vitale. Guess how much crapola he must have caught for picking his homer Detroit Titans (with their court dedicated to vitale) over KU. First he picks KU to win the tough BigXII. And we do, 16-2. But now he picks a Horizon League team to beat us, a Titan team that is only in the Dance because they surprised a better Valpo team and won their conf. tourney. Vitale proves he does not understand the real matchup nightmare that is KU, not just because our starting 5 are 'capable', but mainly because he misses what SelfBall means on both ends of the floor. Bill Self is all about "making the opponent ugly", and what better lesson on that than the Baylor loss, where we did not stop the opponent. God help Detroit when the KU starting 5 hit the floor. And may an angel of mercy come save us from DickieV. I will take Bobby Knight 50times over DickieVitale. Vitale is just a attention-generator. Knight could care less about spinning things to "create" media buzz. Alas, even Knight is slipping on his grasp of game details, as is obvious during his commentary on certain players...

Dickie Vitale must go.

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Ralster Jayhawk 2 years, 1 month ago

KPOP, Tyshawn varies in his attack speed, depending on the situation. Have you missed when he sees the d isn't set, he streaks in for the quick layup (&foul)? Other times, the game situation and game clock dictates we try to run off as much clock as possible, so he walks it up. Also, other times team may be out of breath so he spends 15-20 sec of the possession letting everyone catch their breath. Game mgmt, and its in Tyshawn's hands. Self is very aware of what the best play for a given situation is--> way, way more than you or me. What do we know? Not much.

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KPOP 2 years, 1 month ago

KU has played very good ball this year at times. It seems if we stay aggressive and attack the basket and force the action that we are a much better team. I think Tyshawn brings the ball up the court too slow and deliberate. I understand we are not a deep team but we still have to make the competition uncomfortable or we start playing their game and then we all know what happens. If you're making shots and creating turnovers you don't get nearly as tired as when you are struggling to score. RCJHGKU

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nuleafjhawk 2 years, 1 month ago

Tuesday March 13, 2012 - 12:15 PM Kansas' Robinson worthy of POY, but Kentucky's Davis is better

http://www.cbssports.com/collegebasketball/story/17767925/kansas-robinson-worthy-of-poy-but-kentuckys-davis-is-better

Someone PLEASE put this under T-Rob's nose.

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alexandriaka 2 years, 1 month ago

Starting to get a little nervous. I have complete faith in the boys...just many people have us losing. Hope our minds are right!

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katiekelley 2 years, 1 month ago

Minority coaches have a great chance this year.

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RJ King 2 years, 1 month ago

Latest Scoop (Jardine) . . . The Fabulous Melo is out for the tournament. (Academic Re-Probation???) Redo your brackets everyone. The Cuse is probably gonna lose. (And another Fine mess we're in, Holly.)

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Justin Carlson 2 years, 1 month ago

This just in FAB MELO out!!!

Look out for the Purple Kitties to make a run!!

Go Frankie!!

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packywacky88 2 years, 1 month ago

I'm looking for tickets to Omaha Friday and Sunday, but I can only find pairs. Are any of you board rats interested in spliting a pair with me?

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Tony Bandle 2 years, 1 month ago

9:00 Tip Off?

Save the big name for last to get keep all the televisions on to run those commercials!!!

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jgkojak 2 years, 1 month ago

I like our late start time -

1) Its a compliment - they put the teams later who are either a) west coast teams or b) the teams that will give you the highest national rating.

2) Your kids are in bed, and you can settle down and just watch w/no interruptions - kind of a nice "zone out" experience - which you definitely cannot do later in the Tourney

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theend 2 years, 1 month ago

Just keep Creighton the $%^& away from us......that's all I have to say. I'm happy we would not have to deal with them at least for a couple games. KU would have a very hard time getting by them.

Keep them the %^&* away from us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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theend 2 years, 1 month ago

How well KU does will come down to not our good players......but our "other " players.....EJ,Releford and Teahan. We know TRob,Withey and Taylor will be very good for the most part. But can these other three step up? Can they live up to their potential? Can they be another scoring threat? Can they great?

They will need to be great if KU has any chance of a national title.......actually......they will need to be great in every single game, including Detroit.

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rockchalkxii 2 years, 1 month ago

I'm worried Vitale picked us. He wrong so much it's scary.

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REHawk 2 years, 1 month ago

Dookey Vee the Clapper Flapper. Irrelevant bray and burble.

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jaybate 2 years, 1 month ago

What's the latest on the cold and flu front with the team?

It must not be good, or they would be saying everyone was healthy.

Come on, what gives?

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jaybate 2 years, 1 month ago

I care as much about DVi doing a 180 and picking KU, as I did DVi picking Detroit initially.

Zero.

He's having it both ways.

Well, there's only one way, when you're not a broadcaster trying to attract eye balls.

As someone quoted Road Warrior: Beyond Thunderdome:

"Two go in.

One comes out."

Rock Chalk, Jayhawks!

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BCRavenJHawkfan 2 years, 1 month ago

Detroit is athletic, but our guys better be ready for some thug ball.

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SDSurferFan 2 years, 1 month ago

Bracket talk-

-SDSU was suppose to be rebuilding and not even make the tourney. They were ranked all seasn and won their league. The world is picking the 11 over the 6. Good luck. - fav matchup of first round. Nmex vs LB st. Nmex is good and can defend like crazy. But The Beach is battle tested and have a bunch of seniors. Including Ware at the pt. special player. Go Beach. - didnt ku play gtown in the 808 this season? Not real creative Committee! - UK. brutal bracket. I'd say KUs potential 2nd opponent is easier than ISU/Uconn.

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jayhawkinATL 2 years, 1 month ago

Hope this motivates TRob...

From ESPN.com:

Kansas vs. Detroit: The Titans might be the most talented No. 15 seed in the history of the NCAA tournament. Along with McCallum Jr. at point guard, Detroit also has a 6-foot-10 center (Eli Holman) who began his career at Indiana. Asked Sunday evening about stopping KU's Thomas Robinson, Holman told the Detroit News: "Robinson? I can handle Robinson. He has to handle me."

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Timmay97 2 years, 1 month ago

As a KU fan, it's hard for me to listen to all these analysts jump on the Missouri bandwagon. Let's all get this straight......Missouri will make it to the sweet 16, but they won't go much further. Size WILL become a factor for that team and they will get run down.

Missouri isn't much different than Villanova a few years back with Foye, Ray and a bunch of other guards. They played 4 guards and one big man. Where did it get them in the tourney? Not even to the Final 4.

Personally, KU has a MUCH better shot of reaching the Final 4 that Mizzou. I'm a Missouri hater (guilty as charged) but I do feel it's the honest-to-God truth.

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Martin Rosenblum 2 years, 1 month ago

Do we really have to play (potentially) a team with "Saint" in their name on a Sunday?

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LSHawk 2 years, 1 month ago

I like the fact we have very tough teams to play in the first 2 rounds, should keep them focused without looking past anyone. GO HAWKS!!

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Scott Murphy 2 years, 1 month ago

I really want to stick it to this McCallum kid, after watching videos of him and listening to him talk he sounds like a complete jerk!! Here's hoping TT and EJ shut him up.

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nuleafjhawk 2 years, 1 month ago

Bill Self: Loss gets Jayhawks’ attention

I don't know if I'm buying into this so much. Didn't the first 5 losses get their attention?

I've heard the different stories: A) The loss to Baylor didn't mean anything - gives us an extra day of rest. B) We don't care what seed we are or who/where we play. C)This is a good loss for us - will give us a chance to re-focus.

It all sounds like coach-speak to me.

This is a good team. Not great. If that last loss actually does cause us to focus - then it WAS a good loss. But it was our last possible loss.

We will actually have to focus by WINNING from here on out.

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Jackalope7 2 years, 1 month ago

Jeff Withey will be the key to our success. I know good gaurd play is essential in the NCAA tourney. But our best basketball this year was when Jeff was hitting on all cyclinders. I've said all year long that this team will probably only make it to the Sweet 16. I really hope I'm wrong thou. RCJH.

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KULA 2 years, 1 month ago

All PC coach-speak, but seriously, Detroit should only be a minor speed bump on the road. The real problem game is going to be St. Mary's (provided they don't get Big 10 mugged by Purdue). Hope Bill's got someone studying these guys too so we don't have to go into this game on one day's prep. These guys can play.

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Alohahawk 2 years, 1 month ago

It's nice to say a team needs to rebound better and not turn the ball over. Those are givens. However, I'd like to see the Jayhawks do a few things a little differently against Detroit (and really, every opponent in the tourney):

As quick footed as they both are, early in the games TT and EJ need to drive the middle more, forcing the opposition to foul. This should also force the opponent to drop back a step, thinking KU's guards are going to continue driving, which would then open space up outside for them to shoot a more open 3. EJ has good form and seems to make his 3's if he isn't rushed. His %'s are low when he's forced into a quick catch and shot, which is just about always.

I like Booby Knight's suggestion about using fakes to get open. Either that, or fake the three forcing the defense to jump towards the shooter, and then jumping into the defender to garner fouls and freethrows. I think Teahan could make that into a science, if he would just try it a few times. After all, he is very good shooting freethrows.

Along the same lines, before KU's guards drive into the paint they should be thinking, "If I drive this way, which Jayhawk big should be open so I can dish him the ball or lob it up for the dunk?" (ie. When driving the lane, passing to a big should be just as much a priority as shooting the ball.)

And stick with what has worked best for KU over the season. Three point shooting has won how many games for KU this year? Two or three, max. It's the two point shooting which KU does most efficiently!!

All this points to much less 3 point shooting, which in most cases has been KU's biggest downfall during past losses in tournament games. This KU team just can not rely on 3 pointers to win games.

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EverRisingHawk 2 years, 1 month ago

If we play to our strengths, we can beat any team in the country. No one here doubts that, but I see nothing wrong with a little mental m@sturbation before this thing gets started. I love your comments Tyshawn. Lock down defense and aggressiveness on the glass can stymie any opponent who happens to be white hot from the perimeter (which is known to fell the giants in March - Northern Iowa is a case in point). We take the court with a special hybrid of humility and confidence, we can go all the way. I like the phrase 'relaxed instensity.' Picture Maurice Greene's jaw when he runs the 100 meters. His cheeks flap all over the track, but his eyes say murder. Do it Hawks.

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trustyourSelf 2 years, 1 month ago

I'm so glad to hear that Dick Vitale picked us to beat Detroit. So, SO glad to hear that's his prediction for that game.

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