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Kansas defeats Detroit, 65-50

  • 8:57 p.m., March 16, 2012
  • CenturyLink Center, Omaha,

Saturday, March 17, 2012

No mercy: Kansas avoids upset

Kansas forward Thomas Robinson delivers a jam before Detroit center LaMarcus Lowe during the first half on Friday, March 16, 2012 at CenturyLink Center in Omaha.

Kansas forward Thomas Robinson delivers a jam before Detroit center LaMarcus Lowe during the first half on Friday, March 16, 2012 at CenturyLink Center in Omaha.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self

Kansas coach Bill Self talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 65-50 victory over Detroit on March 16, 2012.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Thomas Robinson and Jeff Withey

Kansas juniors Thomas Robinson and Jeff Withey talk to reporters following the Jayhawks' 65-50 victory over Detroit on March 16, 2012.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Detroit's Ray McCallum, Ray McCallum, Jr. and Eli Holman

Detroit coach Ray McCallum and players Ray McCallum, Jr. and Eli Holman talk to reporters following the Jayhawks' 65-50 victory over Detroit on March 16, 2012.

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KU vs. Detroit

Box score

— Tyshawn Taylor was lounging in his Embassy Suites hotel room Friday afternoon when he decided to check his infamous Twitter account.

“Somebody wrote on there that we should call today ‘Upset Friday,’’’ Taylor, Kansas University’s senior point guard, said after the Jayhawks’ 65-50 Midwest Regional-opening victory over Detroit Mercy in CenturyLink Center.

“I was like, ‘Dang, it doesn’t have to be that,’’’ Taylor added after scoring 10 points while playing just 23 minutes because of a nasty case of the cramps that kept him from playing all but five minutes the second half.

The Jayhawks on Friday were the only one of three No. 2 seeds to survive No. 15 seeds on an upset-riddled day.

Missouri fell to Norfolk State, and Duke was downed by Lehigh.

“Good thing we had the last game of the day. It opened our eyes. Thanks to them for losing. It helped us (get focused),” Taylor said. “Actually, we don’t need to be reminded too much. We’ve had some things happen to us in the past as well.”

Taylor headed to the locker room for good with 13 minutes left in the game. By that point, KU had used a 25-5 run to open a 52-28 lead and pretty much assure itself a spot in Sunday’s 7:40 p.m. game against Purdue (30 minutes after a 5:10 p.m. contest between Florida and Norfolk State).

Taylor suffered cramps in both legs after being called for a charge on a Thomas Robinson dunk with 16:48 left.

“I just cramped up real bad,” Taylor said. “It started in my calf, kept coming up to my hammy (hamstring), my feet, my back, all over.

“I’ve been taking some stuff for a cold, and it dehydrates you. I’ve been drinking a lot of Gatorade. I guess I have to drink a lot more and some pickle juice,” he added with a laugh.

Taylor said he’d be fine for the Purdue game.

“This happened to me in the first game in Maui, too,” he said of the Maui Invitational. “I was fine the next two games.”

He was not able to watch the remainder of the game on TV.

“They were keeping me posted, though,” he said. “I was getting an IV. I’d get up off the table, and I still couldn’t go. Finally they said, ‘You might as well chill in here the rest of the game.’”

As to why it happened ... “I was sweating a lot the first half,” Taylor said. “I don’t know why I was sweating so much. I was trying to play some good defense (on Ray McCallum, who finished with eight points on 4-of-15 shooting).”

Taylor’s absence, plus the foul trouble of Travis Releford (five points, 29 minutes) and Elijah Johnson (15 points, 26 minutes), meant a lot of playing time for Naadir Tharpe and Kevin Young. Tharpe didn’t score with an assist and one turnover in 13 minutes; Young had nine points in 22 minutes.

“Kevin and Naadir played great and really helped us tonight,” noted Thomas Robinson, who had 16 points and 13 rebounds.

“I’m happy for Naadir,” Taylor said. “He played good defense, played well tonight.”

Indeed, Tharpe said, “I was mainly focused on playing defense, getting up on my man. It was a good win for us tonight.”

KU used a 15-3 run over the last nine minutes of the first half to open a 34-24 lead at the break.

Young had five points and also fed Robinson for a vicious dunk in the surge. Robinson, who also had a steal and ensuing slam, scored six, while Taylor had four, including a layup to beat the halftime buzzer.

Young had five points and two assists in 11 minutes the first half, while seldom-used Tharpe had an assist against no turnovers in nine minutes. He helped out with Releford and Johnson picking up their second fouls at 9:36 and 9:25 respectively.

Detroit showed off its athleticism the first half, as Doug Anderson had two vicious slams and a third wiped off the board after a teammate committed a charge.

“They had a good team,” said junior center Jeff Withey, who scored seven points (five of nine from the line). They were athletic. We respected them, and they played hard. I think we did a good job on their big men the second half and were able to win the game.

“I’m excited about advancing,” he added. “Purdue has a good team, and it will be a fun game Sunday.”

KU improved to 28-6; Detroit fell to 22-14.

Comments

Joel Thomas 2 years, 9 months ago

Too bad K Faried has the nickname Manimal as it might fit T Rob better. What do you think of KY Jelly, or maybe just Jelly, for the kids?

Brianna Zaleski 2 years, 9 months ago

Uh yeah, I think we figured that one out.... Perv.

Ryan Mullen 2 years, 9 months ago

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, Come on man!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Seriously NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Joel Thomas 2 years, 9 months ago

Well he's no Magic Johnson or Dr. J. He's a college bench player who gets his team going. Seriously, nobody has the name and it's smooth.

ajhk 2 years, 9 months ago

Nice game boys, well played.

Taylor, get a roller cart for the IV so you can lug it around till Purdue, or ...drink some freak'n water dude! We NEED you!

Good job Bench guys. You gave great minutes early on. Give even better next time, your names will be called.

Detroit had some very athletic and lengthy players. They just seemed to lose the will to win early on when we gave them a taste of who we are. I expected more fight from those guys, given how much more physically capable they were than what they showed.

Stay motivated boys and you'll kick some serious butt this tourney!

billhawk 2 years, 9 months ago

Great point. Put down the Gatorade and drink some water!

LAJayhawk 2 years, 9 months ago

He needs other things besides water. Salt for one to help him retain that water; thus, the reason why he joked about the pickle juice. He also needs electrolytes which is where the gatorade comes in.

dylans 2 years, 9 months ago

Did you read his comments? He is on medication that led to his dehydration. You can't just drink water though you need the electrolytes and salt. You also need way more potassium than the gatorade gives you.

oldalum 2 years, 9 months ago

True, but I'm sure they told him to stop taking the medication. It was just over-the-counter stuff, Mucinex I think, for his cold.

Ben Kane 2 years, 9 months ago

I agree, felt like we broke them emotionally by halftime.

Dan Harris 2 years, 9 months ago

This is not a dig on TT but I don't get the cramping. These are superbly conditioned athletes and should not be cramping this time of year. Let's hope this doesn't happen again or it could prove to be FATAL! RCJH

oldalum 2 years, 9 months ago

It was from dehydration, not from tired muscles or being out of shape.

Mike Bratisax 2 years, 9 months ago

You're a smart guy Dan..at least that's the impression I get reading your posts... TT has so much lean muscle, he really needs to be forced to drink as much as possible before, during and after every game. That's my theory anyways. I don't think it has to do w/conditioning.

jayhawker_97 2 years, 9 months ago

i wouldn't call it we survived. we definitely were in control of the game the whole time. the score wasn't even that close. it's a total domination showing that we deserved the rank and POY, B12 regular champ, etc.etc..

hawk_of_ages 2 years, 9 months ago

Yeah, I liked the "No Mercy" part of the headline, but the "Avoids Upset" part makes it sound like this was a close game.

Ron Franklin 2 years, 9 months ago

considering 2 other 2 seeds lost, I think that's the angle he was going for imo.

Curtis Stutz 2 years, 9 months ago

Excellent win, gonna be tough to put an end to Robbie Hummel's long career at Purdue, but I'm sure he'd appreciate playing his last collegiate game against Kansas in the tournament. Little advice, don't leave Hummel open from 3 at the top of the key coming down the court, he will shoot it every time and make it 9 out of 10 if he's left alone up there. There's a reason the Boilers are top25 Sagarin, Painter can coach and he's got some talent to work with.

Think this is KU's first chance for payback from 1994 Sweet16? Jacque Vaughn got hosed on a chance to tie that game after Cuonzo Martin had been unconscious from 3 for PU.

hawk_of_ages 2 years, 9 months ago

Good thing Glenn "Big Dog" Robinson won't be playing this time. I still have bad memories of him dunking on Greg "Poster-tag."

RockChalkDoc 2 years, 9 months ago

We were also Dwayne Wade' last college opponent.

Steve Gantz 2 years, 9 months ago

If you're saying we were Glen Robinson's last opponent you might be wrong. He tore us up in the tourney and knocked us out in 94 or 95.

Mike Bratisax 2 years, 9 months ago

Carmelo's also..but not the way I hoped. Now he's a Knick stinking up the place.

Mike Bratisax 2 years, 9 months ago

Maybe if Ostertag could just get angry..it might have been different. He gets posterized then shakes 'Dog's' hand for a great play.

Cmill1221 2 years, 9 months ago

I can't wait for that moron MU homer Jack Harry to be in 810 this Wednesday. I hope they dont let him iff the hook! I will be downloading that pod cast for sure!! That's JACK'S SMACK!! Idiot.....

Roger Tobias 2 years, 9 months ago

Ought to be a lot of tickets for sale that the Misery crowd won't be using. We need to make Omaha into Allen Field House North for a day.

LAJayhawk 2 years, 9 months ago

+1

Or better yet, the location of the podcasts today.

johnnyphoton 2 years, 9 months ago

Coach Haith provided some post game nuggets that I'm sure Jack will use. Kim English was hurt (Hey Haith, watch how Self and Coach K conduct post game losses). NSU "banked in" in some three pointers. (Boo freaking hoo). NSU air mailed shots and put them back in. Bottom line: Mizzou got out-coached and out-hustled. See ya Mizzou, enjoy the SEC!

LAJayhawk 2 years, 9 months ago

Norfolk had 14 of their 35 rebounds on the offensive glass. 14!! When a team is shooting 52% from 3 you CAN'T let them get that many second chance points.

Mizzou's lack of rebounding came to bite them yesterday. That, almost exclusively, is what cost them that game.

Dan Harris 2 years, 9 months ago

MUCKZOO! See Ya wouldn't want to be ya!!!

KULA 2 years, 9 months ago

What a lame headline. Makes it sound like it was a squeaker. Come on LJW, get you shirt together.

SanFranHawk 2 years, 9 months ago

"The Jayhawks used a 13-2 run late in the first half to seize control and opened the second half with a 16-4 charge that allowed them to coast the rest of the way." ESPN

So, those totals (29-6) also makes me feel like this was a close game. Yes, the first 10 minutes, or maybe a few more, were pretty close....but come on, "avoid upset" Give me a break...

Lash 2 years, 9 months ago

Very disappointed with the local newspaper, crappy headlines. Does the LJW not think we remember early tourney losses? This is what the headline should have read. JAYHAWKS take care of business while other 2's CHOKE. Also poor coverage on women basketball and inaccurate reporting as well.

MinnesotaJay 2 years, 9 months ago

Besides the outstanding efforts of the starters, Young and Tharpe's significant minutes made a meaningful contribution to the outcome. Before this is all over, they may be called upon again. It's nice to see the solid performance from the bench.

Congrats to the team.

Jayhawklegacy 2 years, 9 months ago

I had posted before the tournament that a 1 seed and 2 seed does not make that much of a difference!! I guess I will change my thought process after today. It is a good thing that the 2 seed does not make much of a difference with this Jayhawk team anyway. Good Luck sunday and keep rolling!!

Kit Duncan 2 years, 9 months ago

It had been twelve years since a two seed had lost to a fifteen seed, so it wasn't wrong to believe in the nearly automatic advance for a two. That expectation was shattered this weekend when three of four "two" seeds fell in their opening games. It will likely happen in the next few years that a one seed will lose for the first time in an opener.

Roger Tobias 2 years, 9 months ago

At the half, they showed the Detroit locker room. While the coach was telling them not to pay attention to the name on our uniform, all that said was that HE was paying attention to that. Intimidation. It's a wonderful thing. I get the feeling if he had seen our pregame video he might have just walked back to the locker room.

Joel Hood 2 years, 9 months ago

Actually, I think he said, "...stop respecting the name on the front of the jersey.." But, your point is absolutely right - I'm not nit picking your post.

Kit Duncan 2 years, 9 months ago

I like Naadir and always hope for his success when he's playing, but it sure looked to me that he made more than one turnover in the game. In the second half when KU was up by 21 and Naadir was leading the offense, Detroit scored three quick baskets on steals or turnovers, causing Self to angrily call a timeout and put Travis back in. It was then noted Naadir was on the bench getting an earful from Coach Self.

dylans 2 years, 9 months ago

I saw back to back turnovers by Tharpe in the second half.

RockCaCO3 2 years, 9 months ago

Dook and Misery getting beat in the same day. Priceless. UK and Syracuse getting beat the next day: the best Christmas Ever!

Dan Harris 2 years, 9 months ago

MUCKZOO! See Ya wouldn't want to be ya!!!

Nancy Clyde 2 years, 9 months ago

Rock Chalk! Now let's get Purdue. One game at a time.

wisjayhawkfan 2 years, 9 months ago

nice to know our bench can step up when really needed. especially with this already wild tournament. keep it rolling

hawk_of_ages 2 years, 9 months ago

I'm doubtful that Mizzou will make a Final Four in my lifetime.

ku_foaf 2 years, 9 months ago

And the sad part is you are probably only 12! :>D

hawk_of_ages 2 years, 9 months ago

And due to advances in medical science, I expect to live another 100 years.

ku_foaf 2 years, 9 months ago

Is this a quote from Harry Truman?

I believe he also said "Don't name that #@$#%@# loser tiger after me!"

coloradojayhawk 2 years, 9 months ago

Hell yeah! I am SOOO glad I don't have to listen to the Misery fans whining about referees stealing a victory over KU from them, I'm glad I don't have to hear about them making the Final Four as that's a really fun thing to remind them of, and I'm very happy to not have to play those a*holes for the next few years at least. SOOO done with them.

On my local talk radio here in Denver shortly after the game a caller opened up by saying he wanted to congratulate Missouri for missing the Final Four for the 96th straight time and he followed that up with Rock Chalk!

I hope KU occasionally plays CU, as there are a lot of fans here, but I can understand if KU doesn't. Tad Boyle is doing well, however.

brooksmd 2 years, 9 months ago

"Tad Boyle is doing well, however.".....More like the PAC 12 sucks.

Ron Prichard 2 years, 9 months ago

I would never want to play MU for a national title. For starters, that would mean they actually made it to a Final Four, and that is something I hope never happens.

Redlandsjhawk 2 years, 9 months ago

Question:
Did you cheer louder during the KU win or the missery loss?

nuleafjhawk 2 years, 9 months ago

MU Loss. It wasn't even close.

Factor in the Puke loss and it was one of the best basketball days in my life even BEFORE we tipped off !!

2 years, 9 months ago

The Missery loss of course, our game was won 10 minutes into the second half. RockChalkJayHawk

ParisHawk 2 years, 9 months ago

Tournament's half over already: man that was fast!

Yes, the KU / Detroit game was game #36 out of 67 total.

Orangedog87 2 years, 9 months ago

Great game EJ, KY and NT.

What a great end to a great day.KU wins big; Duke discovered foul trouble and lost; Missouri being ...well Missouri.....

RCJKU!

MizzouBest 2 years, 9 months ago

My dear friends.....you can imagine my grief and disappointment. Perhaps it will surprise you, though.....that I will now cheer for Kansas. This will be my protest in leaving the Big 12. I hope KU wins the title. I really do. Good luck.

MizzouBest 2 years, 9 months ago

No. Thank you. It's been an honor......and an eye-opening experience to come on your board. I started off trash-talking and a bit obnoxious......but have come to respect almost all that post here. I intend to return often!

Janet Olin 2 years, 9 months ago

All Jayhawk all the time--won't ever root for Fizzou, but I admire good play and am enough of a good citizen to praise talent/individual effort. Denmon is a first-rate guard, and I have a real soft spot for Kim English (retired teacher of 34 yr. tenure). Haith has done a remarkable job, getting the guys to play as a team and play hard. I say the same about Frank Martin. I think Mizzou will regret leaving the Big12, $$ not withstanding.

wired 2 years, 9 months ago

I used to hate both the MIZZOU fans AND the dirty players under Norm Stewart –especially Cruddup and Sutherland. But I've come to respect Haith and especially this year's players. My friend wanted desperately for MU to lose because of the fans chanting SEC at the tournament. Me? I don't believe in punishing hard working players for fan behavior. The basketball team didn't choose to leave the Big 12 – the decision was all about football.

I know that MU fans have ridden the Jayhawks hard about "choking" in the tournament. But seeing Kim English's face on the sports page today. We know how that feels. (I will never forget the shock and pain of 1997). And I don't wish that on anybody.

ku_foaf 2 years, 9 months ago

I will agree with you on this. I could not hate Mike Anderson, either. Too good a coach, too nice a guy, and too much a gentleman. Haith is the same type of guy.

Norm Stewart acted incredibly bad in games. This was the feeling at many other Big 8 schools as well, not just KU and K-State. OU and OSU fans have said the same. He seemed like such a complete jerk, you wondered how anybody ever wanted to play him. I then happened to watch the "Norm Stewart Show" (this was 26 years ago) and I was surprised how funny and personable he was in a different environment. Like Woody Hays, that was how he shows his competitiveness. I don't hate him anymore. I don't want to have dinner with him, either, though.

ku_foaf 2 years, 9 months ago

in the above I meant "play for him."

ku_foaf 2 years, 9 months ago

I'm afraid those "choke" comments that MU fans love to make have come back to haunt them hard.

JJHAWK 2 years, 9 months ago

Classy Response

My take on your MU loss - "You got shot out of the tournament". Not that MU played poorly (if you lose you could have always played better), but Norfolk shot lights out from 3 distance. Its doubtful Norfolk can continue that shooting % in their next few games. Part of the tourney is luck.

KU has been there a number of times. One year we had the best team in the country, Raef LaFrentz, Paul pierce, etc and Rhode Island lights it up from the outside in the second half with a ridculous 70%. It was still very close, but Calipari's bunch shot us out. They weren't disqualified and their season set aside until later. Another year Arizona did it to us and everyone else with freshman. 68 teams come to play, only one survives. It's a fantastic tournament, but being really good doesn't gaurantee anything.

hawk_of_ages 2 years, 9 months ago

Calipari at Rhode Island? I think you mean Harrick -- which is an easy mistake to make.

Ben Kane 2 years, 9 months ago

two must watches...

this one is the kansas pep rally yesterday as they watched mizery lose.

theend 2 years, 9 months ago

I can't decide which of the three I am happier about.......MU losing......KU winning......or Glorious Leader Obama being wrong with his brackets!!!! I thought Dear Leader knew all the answers???? What happenned????

Well......of course I am happiest about KU winning.......the other two are awesome gravy, though!!

theend 2 years, 9 months ago

I don't know much of Purdue.......but I'm still terrified of Creighton. I almost would prefer playing UNC. (Also......I was scared of St.Mary's.......with that point guard they have.....from Australia........reminded me too much of UNI!!)

theend 2 years, 9 months ago

Poor little Kim English.....awe........so sad. I'm sick of all this political coorectness about Kim English. Where is it written that we must say only nice and polite things about him? When has he been anything but disrespect for KU??

I guess because he once had a speech impediment......we must smile and nod our heads in approval to everything this idiot says.

Not me. I'm sick of him and his trash talk and everyone saying how wonderful he is. HA HA HA!!!!!!! He's done and I'm glad. Bye Bye Kimmy!!

MizzouBest 2 years, 9 months ago

Like anyone......Kim English has his strengths and weaknesses. If he played for KU.....you would love him. But I can understand why you don't.

JayHawkFanToo 2 years, 9 months ago

Give Kimberly a break...it was that time of the month.

David Robinett 2 years, 9 months ago

He said we weren't like Duke. But I guess MU is.

Eric Baker 2 years, 9 months ago

Here's a tweet from Kimg English:

"it's no rivalry. 1 good sport vs respected athletic PROGRAM. Barren state vs 2 major cities, moving fwd vs stuck on sinking ship."

Kim English is clearly a very intelligent, articulate guy, and he still manages to force crap like that out. You just wonder why there's no filter on running his mouth. Why does Tyshawn's twitter account get covered so much when Kim English ROUTINELY tweets stuff like this. Or, you know, gets into arguments with Doug Gottlieb about whether or not Steve Moore flops.

I won't be sad to see any of them go. The only person connected with Mizzou that I respected all around was Mike Anderson, and he got out of there. We'll see how much Mizzou's 'PROGRAM" gets respected in the SEC.

COJHawk 2 years, 9 months ago

solid win. KU gives up 50 points and moves on. mizzou gives up 86 (86!) to my new 2nd favorite team and goes home. love it

AsadZ 2 years, 9 months ago

Since Missouri's loss to Norfolk State I have seen several comments on this board where KU fans are making fun of Tigers and their fans.

I have a request for Jayhawk nation. We represent Kansas basketball. We must not laugh or throw dirt and someone who is wounded even against a rival. I am a strong believer in "what goes around comes around".

I still have hurt from Bucknell, Bradley, UNI, VCU losses. I try to put myself in other's shoes and see how I would be feeling when someone comes and laughs at me when I am hurting.

Do not get me wrong. I am a die hard KU fan and I do not like Missouri. However my point is simply for KU fans not to bash and stomp the enemy when he is down.

Let us enjoy KU's season without putting salt on other's wounds. Let our actions and words represent KU and its rich basketball program in a classic manner. Let us differentiate ourselves from others with dignity.

Lets be humble.

Rock Chalk.

MizzouBest 2 years, 9 months ago

You are a scholar and a gentleman,sir. Your view is appreciated.

JayHawkFanToo 2 years, 9 months ago

/Sarcasm on.

Are you telling us we cannot wear Norfolk State t-shirt to the next game against MU? Oh wait, we do not play MU any more...too bad, I had already ordered mine.

/Sarcasm off.

Uwe_Blab 2 years, 9 months ago

Definitely agree with your sentiments AsadZ. I am a die hard KU fan, and truly enjoy nothing more than Jayhawk victories. And nothing stings worse than a KU loss. I was definitely enjoying the news of the MU loss even though I grew up in MO and even attended MU for a year while waiting to get a spot in KU's architecture school. But I hope MU fans are able to take away at least a little bit of what it feels like for their team to enter the tournament with high expectations and experience great disappointment. I just find it's so much easier and more fulfilling to quietly enjoy the KU victories and the MU losses. Otherwise Karma seems to be so vendictive. No reason to talk trash, just let the fine play of the Jayhawks do all the talking you need.

MizzouBest 2 years, 9 months ago

Prediction from an MU fan: (if you care in the slightest bit)

KU 79

Purdue 68

Fred Davis 2 years, 9 months ago

I too believe in what goes around comes around, but having lived in Columbia and around Mizzou, I don't feel bad at all about clowning Mizzou or their sorry-ass fan base. And for them to leave for the SEC on top of it all, even better they're embarrassed. Bye Mizzou. Rock Chalk.

AsadZ 2 years, 9 months ago

FreddyD, My point is exactly it. You lived in Colombia and were not happy with actions from their fan base. But you are a Jayhawk. You have a higher set of standard. You do not want to act like them. You want to represent yourself and your fine institution with dignity. You do not want to throw dirt at the enemy.

I know several Missour fans and I have talked to them on how they feel about their school leaving Big 12 for SEC. Pretty much everyone of them is not happy at all. They want to stay in Big 12. Its a decision that was taken at a much higher level for greed and they can't do anything about it. I am sure that MU players also want to stay in Big 12 but its out of their control.

At this time let us enjoy our own ride but not throw trash at others.

Rock Chalk

jayhawkinATL 2 years, 9 months ago

Heard on another web site that Ratliffe was talking trash when they were up 4 saying stuff like "this is too easy" coming back down the court after scoring. LMAO

jaybate 2 years, 9 months ago

Part I

"Forensics of First Target Omaha Sortie--For Official Use Only"

In the second half in a M.A.S.H. unit known as the KU locker room, the leader of the Kansas Jayhawks aka the Lawrence Airmen--one Squadron Captain Tyshawn "Quantum T" Taylor rested with an IV drip rehydrating one of the most magnificently athletic bodies in March Madness--yet a body alarmingly wracked with cramps, probably triggered by a combination of sudden, unseasonably warm Omaha weather, nagging cold symptoms and side effects of some medicine taken for controlling same.

To those watching the Lawrence Airmen dog fighting sans Captain Taylor through their home radar screens, there was serious concern if Captain Taylor had sustained a season shattering injury in a nasty crash landing on the hardwood runway below the action. There was, further, sudden realization of what had been buried deep in their denial boxes for months.

KU's 332rd Fighter Squadron is always one injury away from catastrophe.

But then the news came that it was cramps and the paralyzing realization was quickly put back where it belonged--in an even deeper denial box buried deep in a hardened denial silo somewhere underground near SAC in Omaha.

This 332rd Kansas fighter squadron has run on bailing wire and band aids and joint wraps and ankle boots, PT therapy, IV drips and stitching gut for the entire season. The margin for injury error is some where between zero and -1. KU is so thin, it cannot even afford to lose its ball boy, because Self might have suit him up sometime.

But fighting legends in the making are not built on plenty, vast superiority, on privilege and grandness. They are not built on advantages medium, large, or super-sized. They are built on disadvantage and not nearly enough of anything-- except talent, team work, competitive fire and a chip the size of Omaha's Arena on their shoulders.

From the beginning of this first, late night sortie code named Operation Shoulder Chip, the 332rd's Group Commander, one Bird Colonel named Bill Self, was blinking, twitching, scowling and pacing around like a leopard on testosterone with a chip not only on both shoulders, but on front and hind quarters, too. Self was swinging from a tense, gun-slit eyed smile to fanged snarls and back again from the moment the Lawrence Airmen took off. He looked just plain ticked off most of the time. No Lawrence Airmen was going to look to the bench and find solace or comfort from Group Commander Self. They were going to find something way worse over on the bench than what they were struggling agains, and what they were struggling against was a handful.

Yet Self wasn't sky high with intensity, as he sometimes gets, when he is walking around like the only he-lion with a pride in the veldt. In those situations, when he is amping a team's emotions up into the upper atmosphere for a peak performance, he is practically walking on lightening himself.

JJHAWK 2 years, 9 months ago

Is the 332rd an attachment to the 332nd or is it a stealth unit . . . of sorts?

LOL . . . just because today before Purdue, I'm a happy hawk!

jaybate 2 years, 9 months ago

Part II

Instead, Self seemed to be dialing the 332rd into flying and fighting for a win out of a hatred of disrespect.

To reiterate for emphasis, this mind set was quite different than the kind of XTReme Swagger Self puts on them a few times a season that often triggers preternatural performances of defensive brilliance and overwhelming lightening strikes on offense.

Rather, this Self mind set enabled a team to come out with just enough fire in its belly to withstand an outmanned enemies bonsai attempt to blow the game open early with withering defense and then hope to hang on the rest of the game for an upset win.

To be candid, UDM Coach Ray MacCallum tried last night to copy a page from Bill Self's still-being-written book of signature wins. Ray, a man clearly as feisty and driven and emotionally directed as Bill, copied the page marked "2008 KU SemiFinals Victory over North Carolina." Ray amped his team to the ionosphere, told them to jump in KU's face on ball, and jump into every passing lane off ball and forget saving even an ounce of energy for the long haul. The first five minutes of defense by UDM were some of the most withering, disruptive defense KU has endured in a long time. No one but Captain Taylor and Lieutenant Robinson, frankly, could function under the pressure and even they struggled with it. Lieutenants Johnson, Releford and Withey nearly folded...but in the end stood fast.

UDM's withering defense put the fighting 332rd on its heels for nearly a half, but there was one flaw in Ray MacCallum Sr.'s strategy. His players, even his own son, could not hit basket standards with bulldozers, much less find the range short, or long, against the long and athletic and chip-bearing Lawrence Airmen.

So: at the end of all the heroic expenditure of defensive pressure applied by UDM, UDM could not separate, in fact, fell behind, and faced their enemy with the additional burden of fatigue, which, as any fan of basketball knows, makes cowards of us all.

UDM finally broke. They finally could not apply defensive pressure, and not surprisingly, they did not suddenly learn to shoot either: 31% from the field; 17.6% from trey; and a pitiful 50% from the FT line, where no Lawrence Airmen could get a hand in their faces.

jaybate 2 years, 9 months ago

Part III

To get briefly counter factual in this mission forensic, had UDM been able to hit the broadside of Queen Latifah's barn with a nerf bazooka, the fighting 332rd might have joined the ranks of ignominy now manned by Duke, UConn, Texas, Michigan, and (praise God!) Fizzou.

UDM really put on a great defensive imitation of Kansas...for ten minutes. But then UDM found out how hard it is to play Kansas defense, as the Lawrence Airmen do, for 40 minutes. Without the season long mind set, the task is impossible.

Still, despite UDM's eventual self-exhaustion, the Lawrence Airmen had to "...piece one together", as Self said, afterwards.

Piecing one together met getting something from one guy for awhile, then something else from another guy for awhile, then patching with this guy for awhile, then moving that guy to repatch the patch that could only hold briefly, then trying some inside, then some defense, then get a few stops from the suddenly awakened Withey and so on.

Understand, "piecing one together" in Self vernacular is different from "laboring for one," or "grinding one out," again in Self-ese.

Self guessed right that UDM was a little too good and a little too likely to come out in a bonsai defense to "let 'em labor," or even "grind one."

Without meaning a back-handed compliment, UDM was the best awful shooting team I have ever seen.

UDM could basically do everything KU could do, but shoot...and sustain intense defensive pressure for 40 minutes. But heck, even the Lawrence Airmen can't do it a full forty either.

No doubt the Lawrence Airmen's defensive schemes and abilities and training had something to do with UDM's shooting woes. The Airmen's pressure appeared to make a bad shooting team shoot disgracefully. But UDM's ghastly shooting performance was more than just the Airmen's defense. It appeared Coach MacCallum had decided to practice his team on defense this season, and wait for next to practice shooting. The UDM offense actually generated quite a few good looks the first half, but UDM's players turned those good looks into the appearance of a meeting of members of Clankers Anonymous falling off the wagon...again...and again.

So: UDM deserves extreme praise for its defense and extreme criticism for, not so much an off-night of shooting, as an off-season of shooting.

jaybate 2 years, 9 months ago

Part IV

What then can be said of the pieced-together performance of the 332rd?

Tyshawn delivered as usual till the cramps hit.

Thomas rediscovered the King Kong inside him. Alas this King Kong nature carried within it a tendency to make intellectually challenged fouls. Still, 16/13 against the kind of pressure applied and against the kind of size and bounce Holman and Lowe brought was a major accomplishment for the Airman still deserving to be called Superman by his mates.

But Elijah, Withey and Travis disappeared the first half. They defended pretty well, but they passed poorly, fouled, and seemed paralyzed offensively by UDM.

First Half Elijah appeared to lose his confidence after a couple of early errors; then he disappeared over the event horizon into his own private black hole the rest of the first half. Elijah needs someone to sit him down and tell him he is a great basketball player and that the only person that can stop him is a guy named Elijah. I can't say that I recall a guard that needed a lawn mower taken to his rear to get him to attack an opponent ever before, but Elijah seems to need a Toro permanently strapped to his glutes.

Second Half Elijah had apparently heard a fiery sermon from Group Commander Self inside the 332rd's M.A.S.H. unit at half time. It probably went something like this:

"Elijah, you played like (bleep). You embarrassed yourself and all of us the first (bleeping) half. You played like you were (bleeping) afraid to dribble against your man. You (bleeping bleep). The entire team is depending on your (bleeping bleep) and you left a pile of (bleep) out there deeper than a (bleeping bleep) hole the size of the Grand (bleeping) Canyon. Now if you ever (bleeping) play that way again in your (bleeping) time at KU, you and this team, because of your (bleeping bleep), are going to run your (bleeping bleeps) off till all of you (bleeping) drop dead!!! Do you (bleeping) hear me, you (bleeping) pile of (bleep)?"

Among fighting men, such colorful, pointed language is sometimes part of making an Airman recognize some of his obligations to his mates, and to regain some of his self-respect. And so such fiery sermonizing is sometimes imparted in order to lift performance of Airmen in the 332rd to levels capable of keeping the unit sufficiently lubricated to bring the fight to the enemy at all times...not just between bouts of self-doubt.

jaybate 2 years, 9 months ago

Part V

And, of course, Elijah appeared to hear and process the fiery sermon by Group Commander Self and promptly went out the second half and played pretty (bleeping) well...not perfect mind you...for it seemed to take most of the half for him to truly get comfortable dribbling against pressure, but the point is Lieutenant Johnson regained his self-respect and scored 15 on 6 of 8 from the field, was 3 of 4 from trey, snagged 5 glass vacs, and generally stepped into the breach, after choking so badly that Group Commander Self had to resort to Private Nadiir Tharpe, thus nearly leading Group Commander Self to infarct on the sidelines and nearly having said Group Commander have to be not only stretchered, but strait-jacketed into aforementioned M.A.S.H. unit along with Captain Taylor, then being dripped back to some semblance of muscle function. More about Private Tharpe later.

Lieutentants Withey and Releford must have come in for similar sermonizing at the half. Withey responded admirably on the defensive end the second half, suddenly rediscovering his aptitude for reversing the vector on enemy jump shots away from the basket and towards the shooters' faces.

Lieutenant Releford, however, encumbered with fouls of an intellectually challenged nature, never quite got untracked the second half, for each time he began to take the oxygen and life from his defensive target, he was forced to land his aerobatic ass and wait to return.

One more note about Lieutenant Withey: during his first half he demonstrated his need for a Toro to be strapped to his glutes, also, because more than once he demonstrated his intermittent problem with thinking intensely that a rebound, or even a pass into his number on his chest actually should belong to him. Lieutenant Withey found himself watching lesser human beings separate him from balls that were clearly government issued to him. This sort of behavior from a Lawrence Airman this late in the season deserves a Toro treatment with sharpened blades.

And lest we forget Lieutenant Teahan, who could also not hit New Jersey if he were standing in it, accomplished the peculiar feet of playing a singularly uninspired game for 29 minutes that was, nevertheless, possessed of sufficient glue effect to hold the team together during its greatest risk of melt down in Captain Taylor's absence and Lieutenant Johnson's loss of self-respect, and Lieutenant Releford's attack of intellectually challenged fouls.

The problems of Lieutenants Releford and Johnson, and the medical condition of Captain Taylor, not surprisingly, pressed Private Tharpe into duty in a situation perhaps least conducive to enabling him more than a water vapor molecule's chance in hell of performing well. UDM's guards were fast and Private Tharpe has not yet mastered defending slow guards.

jaybate 2 years, 9 months ago

Part VI

Yet Private Tharpe proved himself to be exactly the kind of paradoxical human being that Group Commander Self tends to surround himself with, and which, during the early years of such paradoxical human beings' careers, tends to give Group Commander Self acute myocardial infarctions at some of the worst possible moments, while simultaneously saving the posterior of Group Commander Self.

Yes, it defies the laws of logic and is consistent with the deepest mysteries of the universe, but Private Tharpe simultaneously stunk up the floor, while at the same time patching a gaping hole in the 332rd's aerial defenses and miraculously allowed the team to perform better than it had been performing...once.

Private Tharpe played 13 minutes of which 10 were the kind of "don't make things worse" minutes that a freshman plunged into such a serious situation are expected to contribute.

But there was 1 minute in the first half and there were two minutes in the second half in which Private Tharpe seemed to be discovering new and previously thought inconceivable ways to screw up on an on-going aerial battle. In these 3 minutes, Private Tharpe rewrote the record book on play unbecoming a Lawrence Airman, or even a blind mute in a street choir.

Yet it is without question that Private Tharpe, at times almost inspite of himself, saved the asses of both Group Commander Bill Self and the increasingly legendary 332rd Kansas higher squadron. And whilst there were moments when Group Commander sElf undoubtedly would have committed, and been charged with justifiable homicide upon Private Tharpe, had Group Commander Self had even one more Airman remotely capable of stepping onto the the aforementioned fast moving, still fluid, and so dangerous situation, said Private Tharpe helped KU win a game it might have lost without him.

jaybate 2 years, 9 months ago

Part VII

So: while no awards, or medals, or ribbons, will probably be issued to Private Tharpe by Group Commander Self, Private Tharpe has in the process of nearly killing Group Commander Self, also won a place in his heart; that place being marked "winner inspite of everything." Because in fact, it was exactly the kind of situation the Group Commander Self has shielded Private Tharpe from the entire season, because he knew full well that he would not do well. But with Group Commander Self, despite being a finicky, nagging demanding wife of a group commander, the buck truly does stop at winning. If Ws result when a player is asked to do something he is utterly unprepared and unsuited for, then all sins, while not forgiven, can be borne and the sinner can stay aboard.

So: my compliments to Private Tharpe, who under the direst of conditions in Operation Shoulder Chip, conditions least favorable to him, he found a way to get it done.

Finally, this analysis would hardly be complete without reference to Lieutentant Kevin Young, who in 22 sometimes ragged and sometimes beautiful minutes aerial combat hung 9 points, grabbed 3 reebs, was 5-6 at the FT line, made only one TO, and for extended stretches became the fire in the belly of this team, well, I commend you, Lieutenant Young. Young played hard. Young ran the floor hard. Young defended hard, even though he still got blown by a couple times. Young brought swagger, and fight, and grit at times when such were most needed.

The Lawrence Airmen survived the best bad shooting team, the best low seed team, and then separated for a 15 point win playing extended stretches without Captain Taylor, without Lieutenant Robinson, without Lieutenant Releford, and without Lieutenant Johnson either.

Frankly, Group Commander Self could not have hoped for a better scenario for a win than what in the end occurred. Not one player played more than 29 minutes. Only a few weeks ago, back on The Canal, the idea of every starter playing less than 35-40 minutes and KU pulling out a win seemed a virtual impossibility.

Group Commander Self has once again made lemonade from lemons. He has taken a game that could easily have come unglued in the hands of a lesser group commander, or a lesser group of Airmen, and turned a "piece it together" game into a "rest-up" for Purdue game.

jaybate 2 years, 9 months ago

Part VIII

The reservers may be a little tired for the Purdue game, but the starters, barring sickness, or injuries unreported, ought to feel like they've just been to some island in the Mediterranean for some R&R in comparison to some of their 40 minute performances required to win the Big 12.

Next sortie: Operation Full Amp.

Purdue is a very muscular bunch and Painter will have them well schemed defensively.

Purdue will try to tire us with relentless contact as all opponents do.

But the Lawrence Airmen are well positioned for kill number two in Target Omaha. So: while no awards, or medals, or ribbons, will probably be issued to Private Tharpe by Group Commander Self, Private Tharpe has in the process of nearly killing Group Commander Self, also won a place in his heart; that place being marked "winner inspite of everything." Because in fact, it was exactly the kind of situation the Group Commander Self has shielded Private Tharpe from the entire season, because he knew full well that he would not do well. But with Group Commander Self, despite being a finicky, nagging demanding wife of a group commander, the buck truly does stop at winning. If Ws result when a player is asked to do something he is utterly unprepared and unsuited for, then all sins, while not forgiven, can be borne and the sinner can stay aboard.

So: my compliments to Private Tharpe, who under the direst of conditions in Operation Shoulder Chip, conditions least favorable to him, he found a way to get it done.

Finally, this analysis would hardly be complete without reference to Lieutentant Kevin Young, who in 22 sometimes ragged and sometimes beautiful minutes aerial combat hung 9 points, grabbed 3 reebs, was 5-6 at the FT line, made only one TO, and for extended stretches became the fire in the belly of this team, well, I commend you, Lieutenant Young. Young played hard. Young ran the floor hard. Young defended hard, even though he still got blown by a couple times. Young brought swagger, and fight, and grit at times when such were most needed.

jaybate 2 years, 9 months ago

Part IX

The Lawrence Airmen survived the best bad shooting team, the best low seed team, and then separated for a 15 point win playing extended stretches without Captain Taylor, without Lieutenant Robinson, without Lieutenant Releford, and without Lieutenant Johnson either.

Frankly, Group Commander Self could not have hoped for a better scenario for a win than what in the end occurred. Not one player played more than 29 minutes. Only a few weeks ago, back on The Canal, the idea of every starter playing less than 35-40 minutes and KU pulling out a win seemed a virtual impossibility.

Group Commander Self has once again made lemonade from lemons. He has taken a game that could easily have come unglued in the hands of a lesser group commander, or a lesser group of Airmen, and turned a "piece it together" game into a "rest-up" for Purdue game.

The reservers may be a little tired for the Purdue game, but the starters, barring sickness, or injuries unreported, ought to feel like they've just been to some island in the Mediterranean for some R&R in comparison to some of their 40 minute performances required to win the Big 12.

Next sortie: Operation Full Amp.

Purdue is a very muscular bunch and Painter will have them well schemed defensively.

Purdue will try to tire us with relentless contact as all opponents do.

But the Lawrence Airmen are well positioned for kill number two in Target Omaha.

oldalum 2 years, 9 months ago

Something messed up your post. There are a lot of repeated paragraphs in there.

en1gmatikk 2 years, 9 months ago

“keep my name out ya’ mouth for you get smacked in it,”

jaybate 2 years, 9 months ago

en1gmatikk,

You are the first lurker ever to be awarded a virtual tobacco sauce enema.

en1gmatikk 2 years, 9 months ago

What is tobacco sauce, does it taste like Tabasco I wonder?

ErieHawk 2 years, 9 months ago

Does Private Tharpe receive a Purple Heart?

Mark Wooden 2 years, 9 months ago

If you are worried about what other teams are doing then your head isn't in the game. It's about about what you and your teammates do; just play KU basketball because it has been successful for 114 years.

Drink Water-it is magically!!!

Rock Chalk Jayhawk!!

KansasComet 2 years, 9 months ago

Jaybate,

Recently you said that outside of TT and TRob, CT is the only other guy who comes up big for big games. I am still shaking my head over that one. You also recently stated that Travis and EJ only drop numbers on lesser teams. I have always said that there is a role for Conner Teahan on this team. That role is shooting the ball when we are comfortably ahead, and stealing a few minutes when our starters need a break. I know that he had good shooting games against Missouri, but their guards are extremely short.

As I have stated before, I am glad this young man is on the team, but in no way does he even come close to comparison to Travis Releford and Elijah Johnson as far as impact on this team.

Last night Conner Teahan looked like Don Knotts in the "Shakiest Gun in the West" when he shot the ball when the game was close. He hardly even looked toward the basket unless he was wide open. There was so much hesitation with his shot, that you could tell he did not want to shoot. Now, when the game was pretty much decided, then he returned to his confident shooting stroke and nailed one. Even the second shot that he took when the outcome was pretty much secured, had excellent form to it.

I appreciate your passion for Kansas Basketball, but I have to respectfully disagree with you on this one. Elijah Johnson and Travis Releford contribute greatly to our success. Conner Teahan has his role as well, and I am glad he is a Jayhawk.

hawk_of_ages 2 years, 9 months ago

Conner has made some big shots in close games, although we can all agree he's not done it consistently enough.

jaybate 2 years, 9 months ago

I am still trying to get over your pic. Very weird.

Tony Bandle 2 years, 9 months ago

Conner Teahan not killing us with multiple missed shots and turnovers = Success Nadiir Tharpe handling the ball with minimum turnovers and playing defense = Success Kevin Young outscoring the guy he guards without fouling out = Success Justin Wesley actually staying on the court longer than one minute = Success Jordan Jeunemann getting into the game at garbage time - Success

Let's get real and recognize what our bench truly is...spit, duct tape and a little prayer.

We love them because they do the best they can but if you talk about Kansas depth as a swimming pool, we never come close to the deep water bouy line.

Still, 28 victories with a chance for more....yes, there is a God!!!!

KansasComet 2 years, 9 months ago

Nice post. Bench players serve a need. They have a role to play. Especially this year.

KansasComet 2 years, 9 months ago

Who is the best basketball player born in Lawrence, Kansas? Opinions please. Did not have to play for KU. I know Alvan Adams was born in Lawrence and he was pretty good.

JayHawkFanToo 2 years, 9 months ago

I believe the only well known player from Lawrence is Adams. The closest would be Wayne Simien, Leavenworth. There are a a few other players from Kansas City, Kansas, Lucius Allen and Larry Drew come to mind.

KansasComet 2 years, 9 months ago

Thank you. Lucius Allen, now that's a basketball player!

JayHawkFanToo 2 years, 9 months ago

Dean Smith (not so famous as a player) and Mark Turgeon, better known as coaches are both from Topeka...close enough?

JayHawkFanToo 2 years, 9 months ago

headlines from ESPN mobile:

Syracuse beats KSU by 16 and the headline is: Top-seeded Syracuse marches into Sweet 16 with rout of Kansas State.

KU wins by 15 and the headline is: No. 2 KU dials up defense to get past Detroit.

Can you spell bias?

Alohahawk 2 years, 9 months ago

Recruiting news: Zagsblog.com has an article on Mike Chandler, a 6' 10" recruit ranked #5 in 2011, who originally didn't qualify and had to take some high school courses to satisfy the NCAA. KU is one of 4 or 5 schools he is interested in.

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