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Monday, March 19, 2012

Switch stymies Robbie Hummel

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor can't get to a three by Purdue forward Robbie Hummel during the first half on Sunday, March 18, 2012 at CenturyLink Center in Omaha.

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor can't get to a three by Purdue forward Robbie Hummel during the first half on Sunday, March 18, 2012 at CenturyLink Center in Omaha.

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Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self

Kansas coach Bill Self talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 63-60 victory over Purdue on March 18, 2012.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU guards Elijah Johnson and Tyshawn Taylor

KU guards Elijah Johnson and Tyshawn Taylor talk to reporters following the Jayhawks' 63-60 victory over Purdue on March 18, 2012.

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Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Purdue's Matt Painter, Robbie Hummel and Lewis Jackson

Purdue coach Matt Painter and players Robbie Hummel and Lewis Jackson talk to reporters following the Boilermakers' 63-60 loss to Kansas on March 18, 2012.

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KU vs. Purdue

Box score

— For Kansas University basketball fans who believe in omens, Sunday’s 63-60 third-round NCAA Tournament victory against 10th-seeded Purdue had to be a sweet sign.

In each of the last three years, the team that has knocked out the Boilermakers in the NCAA Tournament has advanced to the Final Four.

In 2009, top-seeded Connecticut reached the Final Four after beating Purdue in the third round. A year later, the Boilermakers lost to eventual national champion Duke in the Sweet 16. And last year, Purdue — like Kansas — was one of the surprise victims of 11th-seeded VCU’s run to college basketball’s promised land.

“Ever since I’ve been here, the team we’ve lost to has gone on to the Final Four,” Purdue senior Ryne Smith said after Sunday’s loss. “It’s a tough feeling, but obviously Kansas has a great opportunity to go on and do that this year.”

It hardly looked like that was the case for much of the night. Kansas, seeded No. 2 in the Midwest region, trailed for most of the game and only was able to exhale after Smith’s last-second three-point attempt to force overtime banged off the front of the rim and fell to the floor.

A big reason the Jayhawks played from behind most of the night was the incredible first-half performance of Purdue’s fifth-year senior Robbie Hummel. Hummel torched Kansas for 22 points in the first half on 7-of-8 shooting, including a 5-for-6 mark from three-point range.

“I swear, if you had taken his jersey off, you probably would have found an S on his chest for Superman,” said KU’s proud and relieved director of basketball operations, Barry Hinson. “But (KU) Coach (Bill Self) made an adjustment. Sometimes in this business we get so stubborn and set in our ways, but he didn’t. He just looked at us and said, ‘We gotta do this.’ And it worked. I told him how proud of him I was.”

Hinson did not divulge exactly what that adjustment was. And it said a lot about it that the heartbroken Boilermakers couldn’t pinpoint it either.

“They threw in maybe a triangle-and-two, a box-and-one,” Smith said. “At some points in the game, I didn’t even know what they were in, but they were out there, and they were playing really good, and we just couldn’t get shots to fall down the stretch.”

Added Hummel, who also admitted to being confused by KU’s different defensive looks in a second half in which he made just two of five shots and missed all three of his three-point attempts: “They went to a triangle-and-two or a box-and-one or something and they did a very good job. They kept somebody on me the whole second half, and I probably should’ve been more aggressive, to be honest. But Kansas did a good job of switching their defense up, and that made it tough on me. I don’t even know what to say.”

One by one, the Jayhawks took turns on Hummel in the second half, sometimes with as many as two or three guys playing within arm’s length of Purdue’s 6-foot-8 wingman. Travis Releford. Thomas Robinson. Conner Teahan. Kevin Young. Elijah Johnson — they all took a turn. And they switched on screens repeatedly. That gave Hummel just enough pause to help Kansas survive.

“That was the idea,” Releford said. “We wanted to throw different looks and different guys at him all night to make him as uncomfortable as possible. We knew he was gonna score, and we knew we had to limit him. In the first half we didn’t. In the second half we did. That was the key to the game.”

Comments

deepind 2 years, 9 months ago

Props to coach for making the defensive adjustments! Perhaps he has learnt from his own experience in the past - there is no room for pride/stubbornness in the NCAA tourney. Just do what it takes to survive and advance!! Rock Chalk Jayhawk! Let's end the season with a win. ;)

Harrison Green 2 years, 9 months ago

Whatever it was, any adjustment is better than none which was a common theme in another early KU exit (UNI why didn't we press earlier) Either way good win. Lets smoke tobacco road RCJH.

SaltLakeHawk 2 years, 9 months ago

" Put Withey in the game!!!!!!!!!!! "

Those were the words I was screaming at my TV for most of the second half.

Either,

A. my suggested strategy was right, and we won in spite of a major coaching error

or

B. Bill Self is a genius

I'm goin' with B.

hawk_of_ages 2 years, 9 months ago

Yeah, I was screaming the same thing and even now I'm not sure whether I was right or not. Hard to argue with the outcome...

K_Easthouse 2 years, 9 months ago

As much of a defensive stopper as Withey is, he's only a stopper if a team is driving down low for their points, and Purdue was killing us on the wings with short-range jumpers or deep 3s, both of which have Withey playing horribly out of place.

Moreso, Withey has to be more confident in his midrange shot. When teams double- and triple-team TRob, Withey has to be able to play weakside and knock down a 10-ft jumper, far enough away from TRob that he is wide open and no one can jump back. Withey took one shot from outside the box last night, usually just dishing it off even when he was open. If Withey isn't taking those 10-15 foot jumpers - even if he's missing them - then it doesn't take any pressure of TRob.

In short, Withey was worthless last night. If he gets confidence in his shot, he'll be great, but the style Purdue was playing negated his defensive contributions, and he isn't contributing anything on offense if he isn't shooting it.

Steve Gantz 2 years, 9 months ago

So what's the scouting report on NCState and their 3's? Will this force the same thing to happen?

By the way thanks for picking the Badgers, my other team!

K_Easthouse 2 years, 9 months ago

Eh, my bracket is absolute toast, I'm surprised I still have 2 FF teams left. Picking with my head instead of my heart this year did nothing but hurt me.

I'm not terribly concerned about how NCState scores. HCBS will make the necessary adjustments. Our offense stagnates when people can triple-team TRob and Withey not be able to knock down a jumper. Watch the replay: They would play straight-man against Robinson until he got within 12ish feet, with a help defender. Withey's defender could roll right over for a triple-team if Withey was on the box, so he's got to clear out to let TRob work. If that player still triples up, then Withey is wide open for a 10-ft jumper.

Our defense is fine. Our offense needs some tweaking.

DevilHawk 2 years, 9 months ago

They tend not to shoot very well from beyond the arc - ~36% as a team - but they shot 46.7% against Georgetown.

The major threat from beyond the arc is Scott Wood - 4-5 3P% v. Georgetown and 41.7% on the year. After him, the next best trifecta shooter is Lorenzo Brown, who averages 34.2%.

ku_foaf 2 years, 9 months ago

I thought the same thing...put Withey in, push it in to him, let him get fouled and shoot freethrows!

I'd go with B., too!

I also had the same thought as K_Easthouse, but NOT the part about him being worthless! They were firing from outside, and Withey waiting for them inside was doing little good. Self probably wanted someone who could do a little more on the perimeter guarding. Coach obviously did not feel Jeff was a good matchup the way the play was going.

Robert Murphy 2 years, 9 months ago

Withy is way too soft. Now, he's even missing free throws. What's a mother to do?

Scott MacWilliams 2 years, 9 months ago

WOW -- Great job guys!!!

What a tough game, and although I was always confident that we would win, it was really hard to watch TRob pushed around like that, and see his frustration. But everyone kept their composure, and that is what is different from last year's team.

Seems like having fewer options off the bench helps people focus and lock down on the task at hand. They know there aren't so many others sitting there waiting to bail them out.

WOW!! Rock Chalk, Jayhawks!!!

yates33333 2 years, 9 months ago

Hummel played in the first half like he did before his injuries. KU showed in the second half how you can't depend on one man the way Purdue has depended on Hummel when he is able to play. Even though Robinson and Withey had bad nights the others picked them up. I, for one, would never have expected that the others--excluding Taylor, who had his troubles shooting--would be able to do this. Man am I glad I am/was wrong!!! The longer I watch BB the less I know about it. I still haven't figured out how Norfolk State beat Misery. I am just glad they did.

Benjamin Piehler 2 years, 9 months ago

I'm still scratching my head over the MU loss myself... Nofolk scored 86 points against the Tigers in regulation.

Jim Baker 2 years, 9 months ago

No answer for Kyle O'Quinn. He was phenomenal!

yates33333 2 years, 9 months ago

I forgot to say, Misery, that SEC power. Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha!!!!!

JHFrenzy 2 years, 9 months ago

Another crazy nail biter!! I had a gut feeling KU was going to slip in and take it like a thief in the night. Usually that last 3min stretch KU will just clamp down and whittle at the opponent. It worked tonight. Gonna be another tough one on Friday. Looking forward for a UNC match up and a trip to Nawln'z. Got KU over UK for the title. Let's go!

Michael Pannacciulli 2 years, 9 months ago

Hummel was incredible...Scary good early on. Glad we held on. EJ was awesome. He found his mojo when we needed it.

nuleafjhawk 2 years, 9 months ago

Just asking - is there some basketball etiquette rule somewhere that says you can't make adjustments until halftime?

Kent Wells 2 years, 9 months ago

I think as evident by Taylors dunk at the end of the game which gave the ball back to Purdue with a chancce to tie (instead of running out the clock), these kids aint that bright. So, I think halftime is where it has to be made. I agree with your thoughts, and clearly nothing was working to start the game. Letting Hummel get into the groove almost cost KU. I would also like to see an adjustment in game as well. Unfortunately, there is only one Larry Brown.

John Boyle 2 years, 9 months ago

Did you watch the post game interviews? Taylor said he thought about dribbling it out but in that split second he had to make a decision, he decided it was safer to score and at least make them have to make a miracle three to tie. He couldn't know how far behind the defenders were and if he gets fouled with time left and he misses the front end of the one and one then they have a chance to shoot a two to win the game. Obviously from our standpoint (watching on TV) he probably could have dribbled out the time before anyone could catch him to foul him but he didn't have eyes in the back of his head to see that.

brooksmd 2 years, 9 months ago

Or he could've dribbled off his foot, slipped on a wet spot, or grabbed by a Purdue player. Give me a 3 pt advantage and force them to bring the ball up court and shoot a rushed/guarded 3 pointer to tie.

Brak 2 years, 9 months ago

Wow so you are really calling out the team you claim to be a fan and accuse them of being "not bright". Sounds like something a slaver fan would say about their team, stay classy.

John White 2 years, 9 months ago

This is such a dumb comment. In the split second that TT got the ball and started running, it is impossible to decide if there is too much time left to run out or not. I am perfectly fine with him just taking the easy 2 points and defending against a hail mary.

What if he dribbles to the corner and gets fouled with 2.5 left? Now if he misses one or both free throws, Purdue has a chance to win the game. Nobody would be able to process all that in such a short time, especially while he is trying to dribble and avoid defenders, and really can't see exactly how much time is left. You need to realize it is a lot easier to think about that sitting on your couch at home.

bad_dog 2 years, 9 months ago

Yes, and when one goes there it is quite obvious the opinion was met with equal if not more disdain by the resident "geniuses" posting feedback at that site...

Seems like that mind-set is trending down.

Jonathan Allison 2 years, 9 months ago

Chris Chase @chaztopher Author Chris Chase is a NFL, Tennis and Olympics blogger for Yahoo! Sports.


KUWells taps yahoo tennis blogger for expert opinion on college hoops

point plankn

stinkybulldog 2 years, 9 months ago

kuwells, I wish you were a Mizzou fan, because you sound sooooooooo ignorant. Like Chris Chase....

kufaninmo 2 years, 9 months ago

HAHAHAHA I can't believe this guy posts a Chris Chase article as his defense!! I guess he never reads the comments sections of his articles...

And not just some of his articles, but ALL of them. Chase is a complete idiot!

ku_foaf 2 years, 9 months ago

I say with a 1 pt lead, YOU SCORE FIRST. Awesome job, Tyshawn.

Implying he is stupid is really not fair. I doubt he had time running down the court being chased to stop and look at the clock. He followed his instincts, and we won.

SaltLakeHawk 2 years, 9 months ago

kuwells:

Fail.

You just displayed a very dangerous combination of flaws: being a moron A N D a know-it-all.

Before you classlessly called TT and the team stupid, did you even think about the alternative?

I know it's hard, but T H I N K. Come on, try to rev up that low-watt brain of yours. Here we go...

TT runs to the corner. Gets fouled immediately. Then it's free throw time. Inside a pressure-cooker, no less. You better make both free throws, because Purdue WILL get the ball back and possibly win (as opposed to "tie") on a last second shot.

So the question is this:

"What's easier: making 1 unguarded dunk, or 2 free throws?"

I'm not even writing the answer. It's too obvious.

TT made the correct decision. Period. End of story. I can't believe people are even debating this.

And TT made that correct decision in about 1 second.

Y O U, on the other hand, had all day to think about it. And you S T I L L got it wrong. And then you insulted the team for not being as stupid as you. Wow.

Such idiocy is a suspicious side-effect of meth.

79ictjhawk 2 years, 9 months ago

+1 Saltlake, TT made the right decision. A dunk, over 2 free throws is a no brainer!

clevelandjayhawker 2 years, 9 months ago

One play that made me mad was the end of the first half....guy drove all the way like the misery ucla game from years ago....how did we let that happen. but man what a win!!

Beat NC State!!

Ron Prichard 2 years, 9 months ago

Did you see Self rip EJ a new one as they walked off the court after that? He was wondering the same thing. It's about as mad as I have seen him.

thmdmph 2 years, 9 months ago

I'm more impressed by your final four picks than anything else.

Steve Kubler 2 years, 9 months ago

When I saw Conner guarding Hummel I started frothing a bit. However he did a damn fine job on him as did the rest of the team in the second half. However I did start penning a letter to the KU team in general about that time.

Dear KU BB Men

As I am getting older I would appreciate it if you would try to avoid first halves like occurred Sunday evening. By the time the half arrived I was a weak shivering mass halfway off the couch to the floor. Sadly, the second half did nothing to lower my heart rate, in fact with two minutes left I was calling out for nitro pills and a shot of bourbon. Thankfully those last two minutes brought me back from the brink leaving me calm if rather hoarse and shaky.

Could you please give me a 20 point blow out in the next game so I can relax a bit? It could possibly save my life, or at least my marriage!

Thank you for your time.

Kubie

(as jaybate would say "all fiction, no malice intended")

2 years, 9 months ago

LOL - love the letter, Kubie! I completely relate to the heart attack / high blood pressure and cause of marital discord references :^)

AsadZ 2 years, 9 months ago

I had to take medication at the half to calm down the nerves

jackoman 2 years, 9 months ago

Where was Withey. The second half they did not shoot many three's but had alot of layups. If I remember Withey blocks alot of shoots. Dah. Also he started the second half looking really good then he was gone. We played their game. We should have played to our big guys...

John White 2 years, 9 months ago

I think matchups would have been a problem with Withey in. Purdue plays small. If KU puts in both Withey and Robinson, they will spread the court and drive to the empty basket. If you keep Withey under the basket, Purdue works it outside for open threes. It's just a tough prospect to figure out who both Withey and Robinson would have guarded. Perhaps this shows that going small with good outside shooters is the formula for beating KU?

Benjamin Piehler 2 years, 9 months ago

I think he's been struggling lately. He was hot near the middle of the Big XII season, after the game in Columbia. Lately, his production seems to have gone down. There's probably a reason coach didn't use him much last night. I expect to see more of him at NCState.

oldalum 2 years, 9 months ago

Coach said in his post-game interview that he knew before the game that he wouldn't be able to play Thomas and Jeff together much because of the match-ups. And Thomas had to be in there.

Steve Reigle 2 years, 9 months ago

Funny how we talk about Robinson having a bad night. For anyone else, 11 and 13 would be considered an excellent night. I guess it's all perspective. In any case, what a game. I am really pleased the guys kept their poise and kept on grinding.

rwhawk 2 years, 9 months ago

What I thought was most impressive was when Bill when extremely small, went man-to-man, and switched on every ball screen. They were unable to score (or at least get a decent look) when we did that.

They also really only got one easy basket when they were in the triangle and two.

Great coaching job in my opinion.

jiminycricket 2 years, 9 months ago

The problem with T-Robs night was not the 2 for the 12 or his rebounding, His defense on man was terrible, he got push around, and should have had a lot more assists. That's not what a player of the year would have done, even if he wasn't making shots. Goodbye Naismith...Hello NBA

jhawkrulz 2 years, 9 months ago

A little credit to the poor coaching job on Purdue's part in the second half. Hummel was guarded (maybe not on every play), but he had some coverage...and couldn't miss, he was draining everything.

In the second half he got off three shots and still put up 4 points in those three shots. I've always believed in riding the hot hand and clearly Purdue did not try that until KU took the lead.

I know our defense stepped up, but I think they went away from their strength as well.

Matt Kenton 2 years, 9 months ago

I still am frustrated that we focus on defense so much. How we can stop them dictates our lineup. Why not have the mentality of "make them stop us?" I still think there are few teams in the country who can stop Robinson and Withey inside, when we key on that offensively. In the first half, Robinson got doubled and had no choice but to kick it back out. In the beginning of the second half we did have both in, but rarely got it inside with both in position. And whatever happened to the high-low??

I am just tired of seeing us play down to the level of these tournament teams that have three or four good guards and one or two that get hot. Had we lost, that would be losses to 9, 11, and 10 seeds the last 3 years as a 1, 1, and 2. Is the answer that we need to play better defense? I don't think so. I think we need better offense! Put a lineup on the floor that THEY can't stop!

Self even said it post game interview, he basically tells guys to go after the ball and rebound. Sounds like the offense is up to them. And fortunately last night, that was good enough.

Scott Bonnet 2 years, 9 months ago

Which lineup is that? This team isn't an offensive dynamo. The only teams we've beaten with offense have been bad defensive teams. When the refs allow as much hooking, pushing and grabbing as they allowed last night, the bigs will struggle. Our guards have to make shots. Other than a stretch at the end for Elijah, when did you see that happen last night?

Matt Kenton 2 years, 9 months ago

You are right and maybe I need to give Purdue's defense more credit. I agree we are not a good shooting team, just don't get why we couldn't get more going on the post with a NPOY candidate and 7-footer with great hands. You rarely saw them in the game at the same time and I think that was because Self felt it left us vulnerable to guard the perimeter.

LSHawk 2 years, 9 months ago

Maybe we should fire HCBS and hire you....plaese, we just do not have the pure shooters on this team to be a team like that. defense and low post play has us where we are today, enough said.

Matt Kenton 2 years, 9 months ago

Appreciate the intelligent response, you bring up a lot of good points. I am struggling to give an 10 seed that went 10-8 in conference much credit, but I guess the Big10 was better this year than anyone thought, with four (almost five) teams remaining.

My frustration is also with Self's philosophy of preaching defense/rebounding/going after ball while seemingly letting offense take care of itself and basing it more on spacing rather than an offense that will generate points. I suppose this year we really don't have the firepower, but I would think the effing National Player of the Year (or runner-up) and a great 7-footer in Withey could do more, but they were rarely out there together. And true, this is the model of consistency, but would you trade it for a few more Final Fours or another NC?

Anyway, great game (which I realized can be rewatched on ncaa.com!!) and we are movin' on!

Rock Chalk!

Steve Gantz 2 years, 9 months ago

On another message board I saw some Purdue fans rightly moaning the apparent "prevent offense" kicking in during the last couple of minutes. It led to our winning points as their guard dribbled all over the court finally losing the ball. They moved the ball so well the entire game and then, surely accompanied by some intense defense on our part, stopped moving the ball.

2 years, 9 months ago

According to StatSheet, they were a mixture:

John Higgins was primarily a Big 12 referee this season Ray Natili was primarily an ACC referee this season John Gaffney was primarily an Big East referee this season

http://statsheet.com/mcb/referees

Steve Brown 2 years, 9 months ago

Robbie Hummel can ball,nice game Purdue.

in '88 Danny beat Vandy's Will Perdue, maybe an omen, like Kennedy shot in a Lincoln, Abe in a Ford Theater. Might have my years crossed, memory fades. If it was Danny's freshman year, perhaps we beat good NCState team to get to Final Four, recall a Michigan State Judd Heathcoat game clock game.

When MIZ.OUT fans have memories about past roads to final fours, wonder what they think about?

Steve Gantz 2 years, 9 months ago

Danny's sophomore year actually with the clock malfunction which I believe had Brown getting T'ed up, and then we made a nice comeback. MSU had Scott Skiles, they were tough that year. We went to the final four that year of course and learned to hate Duke when the refs tilted the game so far in their favor we couldn't overcome it.

Kristen Downing 2 years, 9 months ago

I remember last year Self saying he was going to look at why they kept flaming out early to lower seeds. I think his flexibility last night and maybe some encouragement from his not too shabby back seat coach, Larry Brown might have helped. Very glad to see the change, whatever the motivation.

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