Friday, March 16, 2012

KU plays waiting game


— Kansas University’s basketball players will have a lot of time to kill before today’s 8:57 p.m. tipoff against Detroit in Century Link Center.

“I do know that we need to shorten the day somehow. Whether that be strictly let them sleep longer, change your practice time to break it up more, break up the day more, but the last thing you want to do is lay around in your room and watch other people play because I think that does build to the anxiousness, so we will try to occupy their time a little bit,” KU coach Bill Self said Thursday.

“The other team has to play at the same time, too. It’s not the perfect time, I think, that anybody would want to play, but we played five or six games at 8 p.m. this last year and nobody wanted to play then, either, but it just works out.”

The Jayhawks aren’t crazy about sitting around all day waiting for their first NCAA Tournament game.

“I feel like it’s one of those things where I feel like I’ve got to tone it down a little bit,” senior Tyshawn Taylor said. “I don’t like playing the last game, but that’s the draw, and we’ve got to take advantage of the situation the best we can.”

“We’re anxious to play, and we will just wait our turn,” junior Elijah Johnson said. “I was watching teams earlier, and they were turning the ball over and having jitters and just watching, and it’s fun to watch the teams that you never thought would play each other, play each other, so I’m enjoying the process. I’m not in a rush.”

Difference of opinion: Taylor said Ray McCallum is a “terrific guard, a crafty player with great understanding of the game.”

He also said, “We learned about him briefly that he doesn’t want to guard too much so we’re going to put him in situations where he has to be a defender and maybe that can wear him down offensively, but he’s good, he does a great job for his dad (head coach Ray McCallum) over there and for their team.”

McCallum said he does like to guard. “Coming into this game I have a defensive mind-set,” he said.

More on Eli’s boasts; On Sunday, Detroit’s Eli Holman said he wasn’t worried about KU’s Thomas Robinson and that Robinson should be worried about him.

Of that statement, Robinson said: “He’s confident. I hope he backs it up. I mean, that’s a different part of the game. I expect somebody to try to challenge me. We’ll see when the game happens. I don’t have a comment at all.”

Noted Tyshawn Taylor: “I heard the quote. You are able to see everything over Twitter these days. I don’t think they were being disrespectful, just competitors. If I was on Detroit’s team and we were playing Kansas, I’d be telling my guys, ‘Look, man, this is what we’ve been waiting for all year. We’re not going to back down just because it’s Kansas.’ I expect that from anybody we play. I’ve been telling my team the same thing. We can’t sleep on them because they are Detroit. They’ve got guys that can put the ball in the basket like we do. We’ve got to play.”

Same dressing area as MU: KU shared the same locker room (at different times) as Missouri’s players Thursday.

“It’s a little ironic, kind of funny,” Kansas senior Conner Teahan said. “I don’t know if we’ll be cheering for them to win. They’re a Big 12 team. We want the Big 12 to be successful. It’s hard to cheer for them. I guess they are not part of the Big 12 any more.”

Taylor and Johnson discussed the issue together at a podium in the media room.

“I’ll root for the Big 12 because I know that any win will help our conference,” Johnson said.

“They’re not in the conference. They’re in the SEC now,” Taylor responded.

“You know what, Ty, you’ve got a good point!” Johnson said.

“So it doesn’t matter, really,” Taylor concluded.

Self a finalist: Self is one of four finalists for Naismith Coach of the Year Award. Others: Frank Haith, Missouri; Jim Boeheim, Syracuse; and John Calipari, Kentucky.

Short practice: About 1,000 fans attended KU’s 40-minute shoot-around at CenturyLink Center. Justin Wesley concluded the proceedings with a vicious dunk to the delight of the spectators. The Jayhawks held a regular practice at Omaha Central High School before the 5:10 p.m. shoot-around.


Bill Skeet 9 years, 6 months ago

Someone will know the answer to this hypothetical question:

If Missouri gets to the final four and (even more hypothetically) if they win a game or two, is it considered a Big 12 victory? And aren't the leagues of the final four teams awarded some money? Wouldn't that go to the B12?

Hypothetically speaking, that would be an ironic parting gift.

Alohahawk 9 years, 6 months ago

Technically speaking, (I would think) MU still earns money for the Big 12 every time they play. Until they are ousted from the tourney. I would imagine that gripes them just as much as MU's winning any more games does us.

But speaking as a fan, MU no longer represents the Big 12 conference in any way, shape or form. And they haven't, since they decided to SECede from the Big 12 Conference.

Jim Roth 9 years, 6 months ago

This year's MU team played in the Big 12. This year's team is playing in the tourney. Any success they have in the tourney will reflect well on our league.

In the tourney I always root for any team that beat KU in the regular season, for 2 reasons. 1. If they do well and look strong, our loss doesn't look that bad.

  1. More importantly, the longer they stay in, the more likely we will get to play them, avenge our loss, and knock them out of the tournament (e.g., K-State, Duke, & Oklahoma in 1988. Couldn't have been sweeter).

That's my rational side. My jilted lover side would enjoy seeing MU embarrassed with an upset by a much lower seed.

Cameron Cederlind 9 years, 6 months ago

I don't think your first point means anything anymore, at this point, all losses are scratched and it doesn't matter if we had a good or bad loss during the season.

Bill Skeet 9 years, 6 months ago

"My jilted lover side would enjoy seeing MU embarrassed with an upset by a much lower seed."

Wish granted.

Steve Reigle 9 years, 6 months ago

I would think their conference affiliation change has a specific date. Isn't it July 1? Prior to that date they are Big 12. After that they drop to the SEC. Normally I would root for Missouri because they are Big 12. But that will be difficult for me to do this year.

KU79 9 years, 6 months ago

"Everything from Missouri has a taint about."

Jfanallways 9 years, 6 months ago

i dont know if i could handle meeting misery in the championship, too much excitment. i think i would overload before the game even started.

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