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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Elijah Johnson’s big three reflects ‘great confidence’

Elijah Johnson (15) shoots a late three-point basket in the second-half of KUÕs 63-60 win over the Purdue Boilermakers. KU will advance to the Sweet Sixteen game against North Carolina State, Friday, March 23, in St. Louis.

Elijah Johnson (15) shoots a late three-point basket in the second-half of KUÕs 63-60 win over the Purdue Boilermakers. KU will advance to the Sweet Sixteen game against North Carolina State, Friday, March 23, in St. Louis.

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It won’t go down in history as a shot as important as, say, Mario Chalmers’ three-pointer against Memphis — one that forced overtime in Kansas University’s 2008 national title victory over the Tigers in San Antonio.

But, if the Jayhawks do happen to win two games this weekend in St. Louis and advance to the 2012 Final Four ... Elijah Johnson’s deep three in Sunday’s 63-60 second-round victory over Purdue just might be recognized forever as the dagger that kept KU’s postseason run alive.

“We pretty much approach everything in terms of character. I approached it in a good character way,” Johnson said Tuesday, referring to the shot that erased a 56-54 deficit with 3:04 to play — handing KU its first lead of the game. “I was in a good mood no matter what. I was having fun. I was doing what I love to do. Why not take the shot? It was icing on the cake if you ask me,” the 6-foot-4 junior from Las Vegas added.

His trey came early in the shot clock.

“Coach (Bill Self) always talks to us about, ‘Players make big-time plays,’ and trying to make them,” said Johnson, whose steal and breakaway layup put KU ahead for good, 61-60, with 23 ticks left, Purdue actually regaining the lead after his huge three.

“I wasn’t paying attention to the clock. There’s time to play to the clock and time to just play. That was time to just play.”

Johnson — he finished with 18 points on a day Thomas Robinson and Tyshawn Taylor combined for just 21 — said he relishes making plays during crunch time.

“I don’t think I would necessarily say I want to take it (big shot). I’ve always been a guy that will take it. I’m not afraid to take it. I like taking it,” Johnson said. “I’m not a guy to say, ‘I’m going to play hero.’ If I need to, I will. If it’s in rhythm I will.”

Johnson grinned when asked what Self said to him while watching a replay of the shot during Monday’s film session.

“Coach didn’t say, ‘Elijah you’ve got to shoot that shot from now on, shoot it no matter where you catch it.’ That wasn’t the point. He just said it was a big-time shot. I think he liked that,” Johnson said.

Self said Johnson, “did rise up and make a deep three when basically it wasn’t game-point, but close to game-point. It was a big-time play because, for a guy who hadn’t shot it well — I think he was 2-for-7 going into that shot (from three) — that’s usually not a shot a guy takes unless he has great confidence. He certainly has great confidence right now.

“Everybody’s been on him all year to be more aggressive. He’s been terrific the last three games. He’s played his tail off,” Self added.

Johnson said he and his teammates take a positive frame of mind into Friday’s 9:17 p.m. Sweet 16 game against North Carolina State at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis. He said the key to this weekend is, “bringing energy, not thinking we’re tired. A lot of people are starting to think they are tired on different teams. I can tell. We are not tired yet.

“Some (on other teams) are starting to feel weak and vulnerable. We’re getting close to the finish line. We want to be the ones to finish,” Johnson added.

Tough match-up: No. 2 seed KU takes on an 11-seed in N.C. State.

“N.C. State has 11 in front of its name. Our guys know that doesn’t matter. Everybody can play now,” Self said. “To me, balance is always the toughest thing, and they’ve got balance.”

Robinson honored: KU’s Thomas Robinson on Tuesday was named first-team All-America by the National Association of Basketball Coaches. Joining him on the team: Kentucky’s Anthony Davis, Michigan State’s Draymond Green, Creighton’s Doug McDermott and Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger. Last KU player to be named first-team NABC All-America was Sherron Collins in 2010. Robinson leads the country with 25 double-doubles in 2011-12, which is tied for the KU single-season record set by Drew Gooden in 2002.

Recruiting: KU is hoping to land Tony Parker, a 6-9, 250-pound senior center from Miller Grove High in Lithonia, Ga. Parker, the No. 33-rated player in the Class of 2012 by Rivals.com, has officially visited KU, Duke, Memphis, UCLA and Ohio State

“The Jayhawk fans are probably the best fans I’ve seen,” Parker told jayhawkslant.com. “I’m telling you, man, they’re something special. Kansas is a school I’m seriously considering.”

He has set no official date to announce his decision. It’s possible he could announce sometime next week while in Chicago for the McDonald’s All-America game.

Practice: The Jayhawks were to practice today, then board a charter bus at 2:30 p.m., for St. Louis. A shootaround that is open to the public will be held from 3:10 to 4 p.m., Thursday at the Edward Jones Dome.

Comments

Priest Fontaine 2 years, 8 months ago

Tony P! your talents are more than welcomed in Larryville! Bring Shabazz with you and let's have a legendary incoming class!

honk_for_hawks 2 years, 8 months ago

The NCAA has pretty much said to stay away from Shabazz. Most people think he has serious amateur issues and probably will never play a college game.

ajhk 2 years, 8 months ago

Can you link some sources? I'm not questioning your statement, I just haven't been in the loop and would like to be a little more up-to-date on Shabazz.

ajhk 2 years, 8 months ago

Thanks. Yeah, it does sound like Selby, dylans. But, Puke is going after him and we all know they run the cleanest program out there (sarc.)

If this guy is to make an impact after missing half the season, he'd have to have an unbelievable work ethic.

Sounds like too little return on a large investment

gardenjay 2 years, 8 months ago

I hope they get a chance to ride up the arch - if they can fit in those little caterpillar cars.

jchief40 2 years, 8 months ago

I think both Shabazz and Parker will play together at KU. I think the epic conclusion to that Border War game may have been bigger than we realize. From a recruiting standpoint it could not have been scripted any better. KU is the place where 4s and 5s become stars. Shabazz and Parker want to play together and want to win a championship. There's no place like Kansas.

Cameron Cederlind 2 years, 8 months ago

and the cherry on top being MU losing in the first round of the tournament, that can't be good for recruits.

ajhk 2 years, 8 months ago

“I was in a good mood no matter what. I was having fun. I was doing what I love to do. Why not take the shot? -EJ

That's a great attitude and the type we need to see out of our guys for the rest of the tourney. It's possible to prepare and play focused, intense, serious, disciplined, and tough, while at the same time having fun and playing loose with big a$$ smiles!

Let's remember - Beyond all the revenue generation from paraphernalia and tickets, future contracts for players, current ones for coaches, the pressure to play in line with the program history and tradition, at it's core, this game is supposed to be fun.

To our beloved Jayhawks-

You guys have exceeded this year's expectations. You've given us another great year to truly be proud of and it was a ton of fun watching it take place.

I now absolve you of any pressure to go further this season.

What I want to see most from this team is a group of guys having the most fun they possibly can. Playing basketball is fun! I believe that if every game is attacked with the energy and excitement as if it was the last chance to be together and have this level of fun, then everything else will fall into place.

I KNOW our Hawks can win the whole damn thing, but, I won't be disappointed if they don't. I'd only feel let down if they didn't have fun trying.

Go get'em boys!

David Robinett 2 years, 8 months ago

Question for the board: is it just me, or were the boys wrapped too tight for both games in Omaha? We played very tight in the 1st half against Detroit --fortunately they were such bad shooters, we built a lead.

Q2: It looks to me like Coach Self is conveying how tight HE is, if you look at his face during these games. This is surprising for a guy that preaches body language (e.g. not acting like you are losing, hangin your head, etc). I hope the assistant coaches point it out to him. Even when he is trying to crack a joke on the sideline, it seems like a struggle. Don't blame him, just saying.

EJ was the only guy with the right attitude -- that's why he balled for 18.

jchief40 2 years, 8 months ago

I would envy any team that had to face the likes of McLemore, Johnson, Muhammad, Ellis, Withey and regular doses of Parker (who should go pro after Junior season), Releford, Tharpe, Traylor .. on and on. But for now, it's NC State. Let's take care of business! Rock Chalk.

Ron Prichard 2 years, 8 months ago

Just a little difference in meaning, there... ;-)

Cmill1221 2 years, 8 months ago

A little gem for all of you who are looking for a good laugh. MU had a little show on CBS following them from selection show through the tournament. CHECK IT OUT!!! HAHAHAH http://www.ncaa.com/menshighlights/video/basketball-men/2012-03-15/missouri-confidential-episode-two

Cmill1221 2 years, 8 months ago

Scroll down on the website, the best one it titled "ITS GONNA HURT"!!

Ron Prichard 2 years, 8 months ago

Classic. I watched all the Missouri clips and I got the sense that MU's mind wasn't in the right place from the start. They were mad they didn't get a #1 seed. They were visibly upset they didn't get to play in the Midwest region. Finally, and probably most importantly, from the coach on down it was clear they looked past Norfolk State. Haith said, "we wanted to play in St. Louis." Well, you have to win two games before St. Louis even becomes a possibility. There was a clear sense of entitlement and a lack of focus for the first and even second round games.

This is something that has hurt KU in the past (VCU, anyone?). It shows just how fragile the balance between winning and losing in the NCAA tourney can be, and just how dialed in and focused these kids have to be each and every game. It also shows just how important and stressful the head coaching position can be. Self has struggled with this in the past, but I think he has this year's team dialed in and focused on each game. I hope KU goes out Friday night and plays loose but with their complete focus on NC State.

Whatever happens, it's good to be a Jayhawk, baby!!

2 years, 8 months ago

LOL! I wonder if World Wide Wes provides "consulting" for women's programs too ;)

Alohahawk 2 years, 8 months ago

This seems like a "feel good" article meant to sooth and relax the Jayhawk Nation before KU's upcoming game(s) in St. Louis. The headline may spotlight EJ, but the article includes a number of different anecdotes and quotes, another TRob award, recruiting imformation, Etc. All of which spotlight the positive. Even with the importance of the upcoming games, there's very little "negative concern" mentioned about KU's upcoming game. > Congratulations to TRob for being chosen as 1st Team All-American by the Nat'l Assoc. of Basketball Coaches. Question: What with all these different groups nominating all these All-American teams, which one does KU recognize when deciding to hang a player's jersey? >The quote by Parker graphically illustrates how a recruit can be influenced (positively) by the AFH crowd. It was only a short while back when I posted my concern that recruits who attended the "Legends of the Phog" and "KU vs MU" games might feel intimidated by the noise and crowd participation, because a number of them had decided to go elsewhere. I hope I have to eat those concerns. And if Parker does select KU due to the crowd appeal factor, he should fit right in as a true Jayhawk. Want to hear your name echo in the Phog, Mr. Parker? Sign that LOI.

mattiesdad 2 years, 8 months ago

With Sherron, they said he had to be a consensus 1st team AA, which he eventually was named. I'd think T-Rob is close with the 3-4 groups that have named him. Both guys should be in the rafters.

Curtis Stutz 2 years, 8 months ago

Hopefully the team is still well aware of how negative that Purdue game could have been. They make a few more shots down the stretch and we had no chance to come back, they make a few less turnovers and a comeback would have been much more difficult. The W was awesome, the Sweet16 is awesome, but KU has got to bring a better game than that to ensure a W against NCSt. Hopefully we're a long ways from our finish line, but it is time to pick up our stride so to speak. Would hate to see this team lose without playing a complete game in the tourney and showing the world just how good they can be. Hopefully they do that against a couple North Carolina schools.

dylans 2 years, 8 months ago

Yeah, but if KU makes 35% of their first half shots and they walk away with the game. Ifs and buts...

planojayhawk 2 years, 8 months ago

+1.

If Purdue did not shoot 7 out of 10 3s and especially if Hummel did not shoot 5 out of 6 3s in the first half, if ...

Bottom line we were mentally tougher in closing out the game, and Hummel missing a somewhat wide open look 3 and the rebound nicely going to TRob before Ty's dunk to put us up by 3 pts definitely helped in us taking the game.

We toughed out the W. End of story!

Curtis Stutz 2 years, 8 months ago

So no reason to be concerned, we willed a W according to you guys, let's all just be happy with the way the game went? Really, what's wrong with you two? KU can't afford to play that sloppy on offense, we've got two excellent post scorers we could barely get it into at all 'cause our guards were hesitating, we didn't finish around the rim when we did have the chances, we missed plenty of open 3pt opportunities. It didn't cost the team a loss this time around, but if the team has your attitude of "well it worked in the end so it must have been a golden performance" they won't last long. I have no idea what point you are trying to make your responses at all, if UNI or VCU hadn't shot so well we wouldn't have lost those games either, but if Davidson puts together a decent final possession maybe we don't win a title '08, we need to play better and not leave it to chance on one or two shots falling or not falling. I don't know, maybe you guys are just so happy go lucky it doesn't bother you if KU loses to a team they are much better than, but personally I find it really upsetting and it almost happened against Purdue.

dylans 2 years, 8 months ago

No, KU shot a horrible percentage particularly in the first half. That wasn't all pu doing, bad shooting games happen. The problem was everyone, but ej was horrible shooting the ball. BUT KU won the game! KU won by playing D and not giving up. Cry if you want; stuff happens in a one and done tournament. The best team rarely wins it all. One of the best teams will win it all though.

jaybate 2 years, 8 months ago

jaybate (anonymous) says...

"NC State Skinny".

Offense: Mirror image of KU offense statistically..

Defense: Similar perimeter defense, but not as strong of post defense..

Thomas, Jeff and Kevin should be able to weigh in against Wolfpack..

Gottfried taking a ride on Sidney Lowe's foundation, the same way Haith did on Anderson's..

Self and Gottfried may have some connection way back in both their Oklahoma days..

Gottfried will be clever enough to give Self some stimulation..

Big Challenge: Finding a way to win the game with starters kept to 30 minutes, as was done versus Detroit. That leaves room for a full amp versus Baja KU aka UNC. To do it, Naadir's got to go 10-12 minutes and Conner and Kevin/Justin have to play 20. .

If we see Naadir play the first half vs NC State, it means Self believes the team is good enough to beat UNC on Sunday; i.e., its worth the risk of resting players vs. a major to leave full tank for UNC. If Naadir does not play the first half, it means Self thinks the team's reasonable potential has been reached with a win over NC State..

I believe Self thinks this team matches up well with UNC, so I look for Self to gamble and play the subs alot vs. NC State. This means it will be a nail biter and a significant chance for a loss against an 11 seed we could otherwise beat, if we played our starters all the way..

Oddly enough, a Final Four appearance likely hinges on whether Naadir Tharpe is ready to play 15 minutes against NC State that enable us to beat NC State and play UNC with a full tank..

Rock Chalk Naadir

ParisHawk 2 years, 8 months ago

Plus whether UNC has a full tank, plus whether UNC has a fully operational steering wheel, etc.

I'm not sure how much Coach Self can control the amping / no amping of kids with strong emotions and wills, but he can definitely control substitution patterns.

I will look for those patterns if I ever get to see the game. ESPN360 lost the Purdue game and ncaa.com refuses to show games outside of the US.

This season has been truly horrible for overseas folks like me: justin tv and others have apparently cracked down on streaming copyrighted stuff, ESPN messed up and CBS does not acknowledge the existence of other continents.

2 years, 8 months ago

Paris ~ have you tried First Row Sports yet? If not, give this link a go for our next game:

http://www.firstrowsports.eu/sport/basketball.html

ParisHawk 2 years, 8 months ago

Thanks. Quality is nothing like ESPN, though.

What I really need is an archive to watch the game later. I can't wake up at 3 A.M. twice a week.

ESPN has archives (when they don't lose them) and justintv had archives last year that I used for the CBS games.

Anyone know where a Purdue archive is?

2 years, 8 months ago

You may want to check out a Slingbox if you have someone state side who can connect it for you.

http://www.slingbox.com/go/slingbox?displayVideo=true

Eliott Reeder 2 years, 8 months ago

I dropped the $3.99 on March Madness Live in order to watch all tournament games from home. Not sure if that works overseas but it is definitely worth it if so. Just letting you know!!!!!!!

ParisHawk 2 years, 8 months ago

I thought I mentioned that: March Madness Live is limited to the US. Bast$*$ds...

RJ King 2 years, 8 months ago

Do you skype? If so, you could skype with someone in the states. Just set the USA computer facing their TV and enjoy. It DOES work. (But I don't know if the quality is better or worse than First Row Sports.)

Jack Wilson 2 years, 8 months ago

JB: I do find it interesting now that there is a focus on Tharpe. He's been getting increased minutes in the tournament. Really something we knew would be necessary. TT's cramps is just an example (also, a real injury, foul trouble, etc). You know what I'm going to say here ....

This is what I was talking about earlier in the season. Wouldn't we feel much better if Tharpe actually had gotten more minutes to prepare him for this situation? Be permitted to play through mistakes, gain experience, play in some pressure situations. "Situation" is everything. Comfort can be gained by experiencing a situation. It makes it less stressful if you've been through it before. Experience is valuable and can reduce the pressure of a situation. Further, it let's you experience the situation so you know better how to react.

I know you had supported the theory that the better prep was in practice, and downplayed the "prep under fire" suggestions. Do you still feel the same way now that we may have to put great reliance on Mr. Tharpe?

And as you've suggested, a Final Four appearance "likely hinges on whether Naadir Tharpe is ready to play 15 minutes" -- and you suggest they must be good minutes by stating "that enables us to beat NC State ..." How can we realistically expect that from a guy that, down the stretch, played 1 minute vs. Baylor (Big 12 tourney), Texas, and K-State; 0 minutes vs. Missouri; and 5 minutes vs. OSU and A&M (Big 12 tourney)?

I have always believed that a player will perform better in the tournament if he can work through some of the normal mistakes earlier in the season that are brought on by inexperience. The old phrase that freshmen aren't freshmen in March, they're really now sophomores, is because of their experience from the season.

Wouldn't you feel much better if Mr. Tharpe had actually experienced this sort of pressure perhaps in important situations throughout the season, and had more significant experience right now .. when our season may depend on it?

jaybate 2 years, 8 months ago

HEM, you are at the crux of the matter and I think Self faced a choice that can be argued either way.

One path was your position. Its worst case scenario was losing a few more games, not winning the conference title, and probably still being too thin to win three in three days to get the conference tourney ring. In that case, their seed would have been so low as to make a deep run unlikely.

The other path, what Self chose, not playing Tharpe, and risking everything on winning the title, had a worst case scenario, of either not winning the conference title, or winning and being short handed in the Madness.

I think Self gambled that Tharpe would improve just enough in practice to make him a viable sub vs. 10 and 11 seeds likely to be faced the first three Madness games. Then the last three games, if they get that far, both teams will have to play their starters 35-40 mpg regardless.

IMHO, Self made the right choice, based on the safest path to go the farthest.

But if he could have taken the added losses, i.e., if KU had beaten ISU and MU the first times, Self would have hedged your way and played Naadir more. Self decided KU had to beat MU for the title to get a good seed.

One more thing, Tharpe has had a wrap on his knee the last two games. Maybe Tharpe has been injured this season and is only now starting to recover. Maybe he is getting healthy enough to perform a bit better?

Any way, your position is certainly defensible. I just think Self had to make a tough call. Next year, perhaps with more new guys being relied on, Self may follow your approach.

Jack Wilson 2 years, 8 months ago

On that, I agree that this season, he made the right choice ... winning the conference this season had different significance, we had different expectations .. much different than last season. I didn't complain much about him not playing Tharpe because Tharpe was so bad. And I see Tharpe differently than Releford or EJ in the past. I'm keeping my mind open on this because of Tharpe plays well, that bolsters the "learn in practice" side of this. Either way, winning the conference was a big deal this season.

I may question your premise that Tharpe is the key here. I hope he's not. I think we have the endurance .. mentally and physically .. for two big games in three days. Fouls, cramps .. those are more my worry.

dylans 2 years, 8 months ago

Or is it as you stated earlier that Self is reining in the turnovers like he couldn't with Ty? After you have to play him next season due to lack of point guard depth how do you bench him? I want Tharpe to be the player I saw in the first two games not the player who turns over the ball every 45 seconds that we saw later in the season.

FLJHK 2 years, 8 months ago

One other thought. Tharpe's play this season was so rough, so poor in the games in which he did appear, I'm not sure more play of that type would have enhanced his confidence. He did not look ready for significant minutes in contested games throughout the season, and playing him more and seeing him struggle might have shaken him further. It may have been best for him to gain confidence solely through his performances in practice. He certainly looks like a more confident player now than at any time during the season, and it's only through practices that he was able to gain that confidence.

jaybate 2 years, 8 months ago

You distilled the essence here better than either HEM or I have. Bad performance rewarded with more PT, when a person is too overwhelmed to learn will further erode confidence and habituate bad habits. Self has to find successful moments to bring players along far enough to the throw them in the deep water. I believe it has taken Naadir awhile, because like many young players who were good in high school, there were a few things he did not know that he did not know. Until you know what you do not know, it is hard to get better and so risky to expose players to too much failure.

KULA 2 years, 8 months ago

HEM, hit the nail on the head, as usual. It should have been obvious to anyone that with such a thin team, there was gonna come a time in the tournament when Bill was simply going to HAVE to play Naadir. That's happened in every tournament game so far. I had also hoped that Bill would have used regular season game minutes to get him some seasoning (also a constant refrain for the past few seasons). I'd given up on that hope when Naadir didn't see any minutes in handily won conference games. The silver lining is that Naadir appears to be a PLAYAH! and his confidence has not yet been shaken by Bill's quick hook. I'd still feel better, though, if he had been a regular, even if limited, part of the rotation.

Brianna Zaleski 2 years, 8 months ago

Ah, but DIScomfort could be gained by experiencing Mike "the situation".

HawksWin 2 years, 8 months ago

Thanks Jaybate for that analysis. I will have my "keen" eyes tracking Naadir's playing time.

ku_foaf 2 years, 8 months ago

I see Gottfried did play a year at Oral Roberts. I remembered him from Alabama. I thought you might be confusing him with the OSU player with a similar last name, as I have done in the past!

Curtis Stutz 2 years, 8 months ago

I hope HCBS isn't overthinking things as much as you Jaybate, it's 2 games over 3 days, these guys can handle playing big minutes in both of them. HCBS just needs to worry about winning it "one game at a time." I don't see how he'd forgive himself for losing a nail-biter to NCSt. if he tried to hold the starters out more than necessary and didn't give the team the best chance he could to simply win the game. Hopefully they are able to get some rest 'cause of an enormous lead with 5-7 minutes to play.

Also in what crazed Tar Heel fanatic's dreams would a person have to be living in to think KU can't take UNC this year? Sure they beat MSU early in the season on an aircraft carrier, took down Wisconsin in Chapel Hill by 3, and gave UK quite a game in Lexington (but they also hit 11 of 18 3's that day and still lost). They got swept by FSU and the first game was an absolute beatdown. Kenpom knows what's up, he has KU with a slightly better chance at the final four than UNC, and that isn't taking into account the injuries UNC is dealing with.

texasdochawk 2 years, 8 months ago

I think you are out-thinking Coach Self. When asked questions during post-game interviews about his use of bench players during games Self always says his primary motive is to "win the game"

All this talk about full amp vs 1/2 amp to save up for a future game doesn't make sense to me...the tournament format (lose and go home) dictates that you cannot gamble to that degree

Now if KU has a comfortable lead I agree that he will probably use the bench as much as possible

I could be wrong; I don't pretend to be a basketball genius...I just feel Coach Self uses basic logic and good common sense to his coaching style, from what I've seen of him and his coaching style.

Cheers

Tony Bandle 2 years, 8 months ago

Hawks...do what I do every time I pass thru Columbia...roll down the window and spit!! It's very juvenile....but it's really fun!!

This season: 1] Who'd a thought 30 or more victories was a definite possibility/ Not me!! 2] Who'd a thought the Hawks would go 16-2 while winning the Big 12? Not me!! 3] Who'd a thought KU would be in the Sweet 16 with Conner, Kevin, Naadir, Justin and Jordan as the "Bench"? Not me!! 4] TRob was going to be good, but POY good? Well, yeah, I kinda did on that one. 5] Who'd a thought Tyshawn would have a great shot at the Cousy? No way!! 6] Who'd a thought the LayHawks would be in the Sweet Sixteen and Bonnie's job would be safe? Not me and not me!! 7] Who'da thought Withey would become the Human Eraser [except against teams playing four guards]? Not me!! 8] Who would ever give up on a Bill Self Kansas team? NOT ME!!!!!!!!!!!

clevelandjayhawker 2 years, 8 months ago

who would have thought Charlie would be the football coach?

Alohahawk 2 years, 8 months ago

LayHawks? Slip of the tongue, there, Oakville? Or did you mean "Ladyhawks"?. :>?

(Or am I in the dark as to what they are called by others?)

Tony Bandle 2 years, 8 months ago

Good intentions...poor typing..my apologies for the slip!!

leonard 2 years, 8 months ago

Enjoy your stuff as usual, jaybate...but I think your focus on Nadir's critical role and the Hawks being rested enough to compete with UNC is a little over-dramatic.

I recognize the grind of a long season but with 5 days off before NCState and the 2 day turnaround for UNC I don't think physical fatigue will be a problem. If fatigue is a factor...I think it's more a mental issue than a physical one...for any team that has advanced this far.

If we're going to look past NCState and the fatigue factor then we surely have to look at the short roster situation for UNC as well.

-- "Call it the latest bad break (the Marshall injury) for a team that lost its No. 2 ballhandler, Dexter Strickland, to a season-ending knee injury, then played three postseason games without two-time ACC defensive player of the year John Henson after he sprained his left wrist in the conference tournament...

If Marshall can’t play against Ohio—and that seems likely the case—one option for top-seeded UNC (31-5) could be Stilman White...

The lightly tested freshman has gone from being one of the last players to receive a scholarship to being Marshall’s primary backup—to possibly starting in the regional semifinals.

“Stilman’s grown a lot. When he first got out there, we were a little scared that he might have an anxiety attack or pass out,” teammate Harrison Barnes said with a laugh." --

Any positive contribution from Nadir would be welcome but I don't think our season is perched on the brink and dependent on Nadir's performance against NCState.

HawksWin 2 years, 8 months ago

Tyshawn has been battling cold for a few weeks, Releford may not be 100% still, and Robinson has been banged by every team. We don't know about their ills, we surely didn't know about Ty's injury earlier. Elijah seemed healthy and perhaps explains his performance level vs. Purdue compared to TRob and TT. We don't know how healthy our guys are at this time of the year, and with the fatigue comes the inevitable injuries. Self should be very mindful of that - look at Roy's team. After 4 months of playing, these boys' tank can't be full going into the tourney. So playing safe or conservatively makes a lot of sense. Hope Naadir comes through for our starters.

Joe Baker 2 years, 8 months ago

Totally agree about Tharpe. It's time he stepped up in a freshman kind of way to pave his way for next year.

dylans 2 years, 8 months ago

I've though in past years when KU was exceptionally deep that all of the tv timeouts nullified the advantage. I actually believe a team 7 deep is perfect for the tourney as opposed to a team 9-10 deep. That is just due to chemistry and getting the line-up right. Fatigue will not be a problem for this KU team, but foul trouble could be.

AsadZ 2 years, 8 months ago

I raed this article a few days ago and it brought tears in my eyes.

What an incredible feeling to be part of KANSAS basketball program.

And I wish we can keep HCBS at KU for a very LONG time. He is simply Amazing. The Best.

tical523 2 years, 8 months ago

Unbelievable article. Thank you very much.

Mike Kendall 2 years, 8 months ago

Yeah, I read the article, too, Cleveland. That article should win some journalism awards---very well-written.

Brianna Zaleski 2 years, 8 months ago

This article just gave me a new reason to hate Dick Vitale. I can't believe he went out of his way to call Self and tell him not to take the KU job. Why? he either just flat doesn't like KU, or (more likely) he saw Self at KU as a legitimate powerhouse, considering his past success, and didn't want to see his beloved eastcoast conference have a contender in the Midwest.

And with all due respect, Roy is not, or was not, a legend at KU when he left. Had he stayed and won a champ, then yes, but not at that time.

jaybate 2 years, 8 months ago

Copy/paste.

It might appear to some that KU hasn't played ball with some one or other at some kind of cartel like activity within the game and has been redlined for many years. I suspect it tracks to media-gaming complex and an unwillingness to participate and subordinate quite as fully at they might like.

Is it any coincidence that Dick Vitale and Billy Packer have acted this way for at least two decades, and just happen to be leading faces for what at least appears the leading TV outlets for what appears the media-gaming complex. appears a leading face for that complex.

I wonder if all the bad blood dates all the way back to when Phog Allen took on the gamblers and what I believe he called "eastern trash" mucking up the game.

Remember the idea for the NCAA tournament was not just to get a tournament with fairer seeding, than the NIT. It was probably to get a tournament with less gambling influence.

Bad guys have long memories just like good guys. They hate being called weasels in public.

But even if all the speculation and hypothesizing above is broadly in error, something has to be going on to explain the apparently anomalous behaviors of Dick Vitale and Billy Packer.

Its just all so odd. Maybe someday we will learn the real story, whatever it maybe.

Maybe not.

nuleafjhawk 2 years, 8 months ago

That was beautiful ! I LOVE stuff like that. We are some spoiled fans here, huh?

Keep spoiling us coach.

RockChalk26 2 years, 8 months ago

Best thing about EJ peaking in the tournament, teams have to game plan for him. Tyshawn and T-Rob will have huge games on Friday due to the fact that NC State has to focus on EJ.

I have been waiting for this moment all year, EJ drawing attention away from TT and T-Rob. It couldn't happen at a better time.

AsadZ 2 years, 8 months ago

Fellow Jayhawk fans, On a different subject, while anything is possible at this stage, looking at brackets on sweet 16 round, I feel that East bracket is toughest followed by West, Midwest and South.

What do you think?

HawkKlaw 2 years, 8 months ago

I agree that the East is the toughest, followed by South, West and Midwest.

With Kendall Marshall out of the picture at UNC, and with 13 and 11 seeds still alive, I would say KU theoretically has the "easiest" rout to the Final Four (on paper anyway). I feel like the South is tough because Xavier is better than a 10 seed IMO, plus Kentucky & Baylor are both great teams. But I definitely agree that the East is the toughest.

Mike Kendall 2 years, 8 months ago

Great minds think alike, HawkKlaw. I would say that the Jayhawks have the easier route-----ON PAPER-----on paper are the key words. Once one is in the Sweet 16, anything is possible and anything can happen. South is the next to the easiest Region and therefore, Kentucky shouldn't have any issues. I would love to see the Jayhawks and the Tar Hills in the Regional Final. Is asking for a Kentucky & Kansas Final in New Orleans too much to expect? That would be heavenly!

Rock Chalk!

Curtis Stutz 2 years, 8 months ago

It just depends on who you are, any team in the East could get there, does that mean it's the toughest or does that mean none of them are incredibly good? If I was a 1 seed and could pick which bracket to take I would have to go MW just 'cause of the 2 low seeds playing in it. If I was a 2 seed I'd want to be in the East 'cause Cinci is not a team that can shoot and neither Cuse or Wisc are great teams. It'd be pretty easy to say that either the South or West have the best overall teams as UK is obviously the last team anyone wants to have to play in this tournament, Baylor is stacked with talent, IU has plenty of top quality notches on the belt and Xavier is an ex-top ten team getting its bounce back, or you have MSU (where Draymond can karate chop people in the neck and not get called for a foul but also is playing so well and with so much confidence while the rest of his team has improved an amazing amount this year), with UofL coming off the B.E. tourney title and playing their best ball, Marquette looking like it did at the beginning of the season again and Florida crushing people by 30 each game so far. So those would be the strongest fields, I think the MW #'s 1and2 trump both their East counterparts, but the other two teams in the East trump the MW underdogs, so it's kind of a push between those two for 3rd and 4th with the Marshall injury probably dropping the MW to last. I'd say W, S, E, MW 1-4 for overall quality of teams remaining

Kenpom would more agree with you, he has the East with a 30% chance of providing the nat'l champ, the South with a 27% chance, the West with a 23% chance and the MW with a 20% chance, but you have to take that with the grains of salt that are 1) Doesn't really factor Fab Melo loss for Syracuse 2) Computers are in love with Wisconsin (#5 kenpom) for some reason this year 3) They also love Ohio St, #1 kenpom, above UK but we all know Ohio St shouldn't be rated as the best team in cbb right now

smccullough 2 years, 8 months ago

Come on Mr. Parker. We have no real center who does everything real centers do for a whole basketball game..

HawkKlaw 2 years, 8 months ago

Well, we do have Withey, who does everything a real center does plus more. I can't think of another center that can knock down FT's and block shots like Mr. W. He's a non-factor against really small squads, but in any other match up he's pretty incredible.

AsadZ 2 years, 8 months ago

Its great to get talented guys however looking at current roster, guys already recruited and our scholarship position, I think we have a greater need for a guard rathen than a center. We will be loaded with Bigs however guard position can get some boost.

We will have EJ as PG. While Tharpe has talent, it is not clear whether he will be able to be a solid back up although he has been playing much better lately.

I feel that Justin will have to give his scholarship, and one big, most likely Landen has to redshirt, to free up a scholarship. I'd rather see that go to a talented guard rather than Big at this point.

Comments are welcome.

ParisHawk 2 years, 8 months ago

What makes you say a redshirt will free up a scholarship?

Unless I'm mistaken, they get 13 scholarships period, including redshirts.

Jack Wilson 2 years, 8 months ago

Try Merv being forced out ... er ... having a heart to heart with Coach Self wherein coach Self gives him the reasonable prognosis for his future playing time. Merv then decides that it is in his best interests to play somewhere else; he loves KU; appreciated the opportunity.

Also, Adams is no sure thing right now. There's another possibility.

Or if we get Parker, small chance that Peters or Lucas decide that they would be better off somewhere else and we release one of them.

Alohahawk 2 years, 8 months ago

Wesley will give up his scholarship, and Keith will cover his expenses. That's already a given, even without an additional recruit.

Merv is in a precarious situation. He'll lose his scholarship if someone else selects KU. Tharpe was in a similar situation, but I think Self has finally decided he will make the cut.

Anrio Adams has played very well his senior year, and unless I'm wrong, helped to win a state championship at Rainier H.S.. Rivals has predicted he would move up in their rankings. (Originally, they had him ranked in their top 100, before his senior year status became an issue.) And Anrio might fit the role of a backup PG.

Peters has been a staunch KU recruit from the outset. I don't see him deciding to back out. Now, if he wanted to double as a football recruit, and Charlie has space, maybe he could fit in that way. (?)

Lucas, according to some of the recruiting boards, has improved his game significantly, and he attended the KU vs MU game just recently. He mentioned then that he was looking forward to attending KU. (However, you're correct in thinking KU has a lot of bigs coming in, which could alter everyone's perceived playing time.)

I think the real wild card is Shabazz. Perhaps he'd like to team up with Parker. But he could do that at UCLA, which seems to have an inside track with him. (According to UCLA"s top recruit, Anderson - See recent Zagsblog.com article.) And with SM's amateur status in doubt, would Self want to deal with that debacle, like he had to with Selby?

Whatever happens, the upcoming recruiting results are night and day different from a year ago!

REHawk 2 years, 8 months ago

There is a growing altogetherness about this squad which portends awesome good things...unless they run into players with a 40 minute shooting frenzy similar to Hummel's hot hand in the first half. Even then, there appears to be enough athleticism and intermittent lockdown defensive intensity for the Jayhawks to stay in the game with anyone. The next player to step up in this tournament with invigorated confidence just might be Jeff Withey, who could hurl a monkey wrench into defensive schemes designed to shut down the offense of TT, T-Rob and EJ. Jeff and Travis are two starters destined to inherit scoring opportunities in lieu of so much defensive focus on our 3 hottest scoring hands. I envision Withey as a timebomb, ticking downhill for an explosive scoring production. If he should go off early in a game, and teammates grow confident in getting him the ball, offensive mayhem might break loose. Perhaps this is just wistful dreaming, but I've a feeling that Withey is due for a super performance, if we can keep the season alive long enough for the moment to occur.

Alohahawk 2 years, 8 months ago

Hope you're right. Nice thing about our starting five (and in some respects, six, with Teahan's 3 point abilities), any one of them are capable of hitting big numbers. It's just that, besides TT & Trob, the others haven't been consistent enough. But that can make this team dangerous because, who does the opposing team decide to concentrate their defense on (besides TRob down low)?

Inconsistency. That's what can give us fans, "March Madness!". To quote a well known fictional cartoon character, (from Peanuts), "Arrggghhhh!"

R C J H G K U !!!! (All caps)

benshawks08 2 years, 8 months ago

My girlfriend points to the moment in the Purdue game where they showed just the players in a huddle coming out of the time out as her favorite part of the game. They were focused, fired up, and most importantly working together. It definitely showed the "alltogetherness" you mention. Also you could really see the leadership of T-Rob as he had his hands on the others' jerseys holding them together both literally and figuratively.

Robert Brock 2 years, 8 months ago

I don't think that we will get Tony Parker or anyone else from the Class of 2012 (we already have signees PF-Perry Ellis, PF-Zach Peters, and C-Landon Lucas - plus commitments from SF-Andrew White and PG/SG-Rio Adams). Let's move on to the Class of 2013 and concentrate on Julius Randle. He is someone who is a serious difference-maker no matter what position he is playing.

Jason Keller 2 years, 8 months ago

I heard Brannen Greene is reaching out to other kids in the 2013 class to try and sell them KU.

Robert Brock 2 years, 8 months ago

Wish he could lure Chris Walker. Unfortunately, it looks like Walker is going to go with the Florida Gators.

Joe Baker 2 years, 8 months ago

For some strange reason Walker is dying to commit with uk. What's even more strange, Cal doesn't seem to interested. In fact, earlier in his recruiting, he made it very clear that he wanted to attend uk and Cal snubbed him. Yet, he still has a desire to attend a program that doesn't seem to care for him. Last word from uk was that uk may finally be interested but I think Cal is definitely considering all his options. This kid will get snubbed again by uk. He may commit to the Gators. I think there's another program, Syracuse or Gtown that he may be considering.

jaybate 2 years, 8 months ago

Brock, you're probably right, but 6-9 and 250 out of the box sounds good after the lumps Purdue dished out. :-)

Robert Brock 2 years, 8 months ago

He's big, uses his size well against smaller defenders, has great hands, and is talented. He can also drive you nuts when he coasts in games.

May be a strong lean for UCLA. The scribes seem to think so. If so...can you imagine the training table meals with Parker and Josh Smith?

Alohahawk 2 years, 8 months ago

Parker should keep in mind how far Smith has progressed at UCLA in the "getting in shape" department. Not! And if Parker was impressed with the crowd at AFH, he should compare that to UCLA's recent "no show" attendances. And isn't Pauley Pavillion still being renovated? When will that be completed?

jaybate 2 years, 8 months ago

Parker should also factor in that Howland is a dead coach walking.

The UCLA coach appeared to keep Howland to try to get his incoming recruits, then will arrange with a coach to take over mid season, or end of season next with a decent cupboard, sans Reevens Nelson, and take off running. Its a dirty way to run things, but UCLA could not really afford to fire Howland, eat his contract and have few bodies to offer the next coach. So: the AD is using Howland as the broom to get rid of Howlands undesirables, keep the 5 stars, and and a couple, so that some big time coach will be attracted to the talent base next year.

Bye Ben.

Curtis Stutz 2 years, 8 months ago

Seems overly complicated to try to find someone to take over midseason. If UCLA wanted to have their pick of the coaching pool for any part of next season, which they could have, they should have made the move already. Shaka Smart, Brad Stevens, whoever they liked. Don't see how any decent coaches are going to run out on their kids midseason to take over UCLA.

Tony Bandle 2 years, 8 months ago

Brock and AsadZ,

1] Parker has a huge upside as compared to guards still out there. 2] Parker is a pure center 3] Withey may actually be gone next year with TRob and Tyshawn. 4] KU has Manning...everybody else doesn't. 5] With Elijah, BenMac, Naadir and Rio, I feel the backline is in pretty good shape. 6] Conner F will be here in 2013 7] A Jayhawk in the hand is worth two in the bush!!

Alex Resnik 2 years, 8 months ago

6B] Don't forget about Brannen Green in 2013.

Jack Wilson 2 years, 8 months ago

5] So you're confident that Adams will be here then .. I'm not so confident.

Without Adams, we'll be as dangerously thin next season at the 1-2 as we are at the 4-5 this season. I don't think White is a stellar ball handler, though some project him as a 2.

7] Is that true if your hand is in the bush? Personally, I prefer to play on the green as opposed to out of the rough. Heck, I'd take a nice, smooth cart path every time. You go into the bush, you never know what might be lurking.

Alohahawk 2 years, 8 months ago

I've found a few backwoods bushes in my life that I didn't mind fiddlin' around with and keeping my hand in. Didn't find any wild birds, but found some live canaries who sang a fine tune. Sorry, I just had to add my two cents (if this doesn''t get censored). {:>)

Joe Baker 2 years, 8 months ago

Oak- Who is Rio? It's not Chalmers or Little, they're gone. Are you referring to Rel?

Joe Baker 2 years, 8 months ago

Ah yes- Anrio or Rio. We'll need to provide a way to keep them straight. Maybe Rio1, 2 and 3, LOL Anrio can be Rio3.

KU4LIFE24 2 years, 8 months ago

EJ has come up big in the NCAA tournament! I'm looking for a big game from T-Rob and Tyshawn Friday night as well!

I'm not too worried about getting Shabazz because I'm not sure he would fit into our system, but adding another big man would be great (Tony Parker).

ROCK CHALK, JAYHAWK!!!

Jason Keller 2 years, 8 months ago

Tony Parker, I'm almost disappointed that you weren't able to visit Lawrence on a regular non-Mizzou game night. If you had, you would have seen that we show up like that EVERY night, not just for Mizzou. Come to KU and learn from the best, win a championship and be a first round NBA draft selection. We're looking forward to the announcement, bud.

Kye Clark 2 years, 8 months ago

Regarding Tony Parker and extended recruiting in general:

In response to AsadZ's suggestion to redshirt Lucas to open up a schollie for Parker - I'm fairly certain that redshirting doesn't free up a scholarship. Thus redshirting someone won't solve the problem that if we sign someone else, we will be one over the scholarship limit, even with Wesley already returning to walk-on status.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong on this issue.

I post this on occasion for readers to view our scholarship situation. It is next year's roster as it stands now, assuming TRob leaves (pretty much guaranteed) and Wesley returns to walk-on status:

Returning players: 1. Withey 2. EJ 3. Releford 4. KY 5. Tharpe 6. Lindsay

Becoming eligible: 7. BMac 8. Traylor

Incoming recruits: 9. Ellis 10. Peters 11. White 12. Lucas 13. Adams

There's thirteen, the maximum allotment of scholarship players. Despite this, Self has kept recruiting. Why? The likely reason is that Self doesn't want to get caught flat-footed again like he was last year if a player or two surprises him and unexpectedly declares for the draft. The most likely player from this list to test the draft waters next year is Withey, although I think he is best served returning for his senior year.

Now the question becomes, is Self readily offering a scholarship to someone like Parker even if he loses no one else? If so, that means someone is leaving, be it voluntarily or having Self pull a scholarship. Lindsay is the likely candidate to leave under either scenario, although I could also envision Tharpe.

I am not a fan of pulling scholarships from players on the current roster. I understand that scholarships are on a one-year basis and are not guaranteed four-year contracts. My issue is more with the NCAA rule that the player transferring must sit out a year. In this situation, when a player loses his financial aide not through any choice of his own, I feel the player shouldn't be penalized.

Also, I like Lindsay. I feel that he's a project worth keeping around that may pay dividends in year three in the program. I also like Tharpe, and feel that after a year with increased minutes in the regular rotation as the back-up point guard he will make an excellent floor general his junior year.

Anyway, there is also the possibility that Self is simply recruiting to cover his bases, and has not solidly offered any of these recruits. It may be the reason Sampson chose St. Johns. He might have decided he didn't want to wait to see if a spot opened up here. Or not.

It will all sort itself out soon enough I suppose. Really looking forward to watching next year's squad, after enjoying the last memories this year's team makes of course. Rock Chalk!

JHawk74 2 years, 8 months ago

I'm not sure about Adams getting a scholarship. He may not be eligible either. Self is still recruiting in case someone transfers or Withey leaves for the NBA early. I could see Lindsay transferring (I hope he doesn't). If you redshirt you still are awarded a scholarship unless you are a walk-on that redshirts. I think we're loaded with both guards and big men for next year. The last recruit could be a guard or big men it doesn't really matter too much. It appears Ellis will be consider a PF but could play some minutes at SF also (similar to Marcus Morris in past years). I doubt Lucas will red shirt. It will be nice to have a true back up center next year for Withey (assuming he stays). We should be able to play small ball next year with Young, Ellis, Traylor and Zach Peters.

Jason Keller 2 years, 8 months ago

How are we loaded with big men? Whithey is the only big man that we may or may not have next year. Yes, I realize we have a good sized guy with Lucas but he will be a freshman and he is 3 or 4 inches shorter than Whithey. It is very unlikely that Perry will play PF for Kansas, in fact, Self has already said he will be a guard at this level.

Kansas has always had a dominant big going 6'10 - 7'. Jeff, Cole and Sasha come to mind from recent years. Not only are we not loaded with big men, we are in big trouble there. Go look at the recruiting classes that Texas and Baylor captured this year. Texas alone got two 6'10 studs. We need Tony Parker to be here at Kansas and I think he will come here.

People make way too big of a deal out of scholarships. If a top 50 guy wants to come here, we'll have a scholarship for him. These next two games are so huge for the recruiting front. There is a good sized gap between St. Louis and New Orleans and ESPN will have round the clock coverage on those 4 teams. Let's go get it Kansas. Rock Chalk

AsadZ 2 years, 8 months ago

Self likes 4 Bigs in his rotation. This year he got screwed with Kieff leaving early and ineligibility of Traylor and Anderson.

Next year's rotation:

Withey (I don't think he will leave as he is not ready for NBA) Ellis (Self will use him mostly at 4 spot mostly like he used Marcus) Traylor (Advantage of practice time this year) Peters Young Wesley Lucas This is 7 Bigs. Lucas will most likely red shirt IMO.

Only time will tell if Justin will be able to contibute more next year. However two points in his favor, significant experience & knowledge of HCBS system and athletic.

Regardless, we will be loaded with Bigs, 6-7 players fighting for minutes.

Kye Clark 2 years, 8 months ago

Actually what Self has said is that Ellis will see time at both the 3 & the 4. And this is the point I've been trying to hammer into people since he signed - it is very unlikely he will play the 3 next year. Consider the other hybrid 3/4s that Self has had: McMorris & Julian Wright. Both projected to be 3s at the NBA level, but both played almost exclusively in the post. Some scant minutes here & there when we have a plethora of other bigs, but rarely as freshman. The reason for this is that they are typically post players coming out of high school. Most kids that tall are, just out of necessity and common sense at that level of play (generally being the tallest kids on the floor). So they come in predominantly with that skill set. It is incredibly difficult to learn just one position as a freshman in Self's system, much less two. So the most likely scenario is that Ellis plays almost exclusively in the post next year. This is especially likely considering we have multiple options at the 3 (Releford, White, BMac and/or KY if necessary). I say all this in response to you saying that Self said he'll be a "guard", to which I assume you mean the 3 - small forward/wing out on the perimeter. He won't ever be a shooting or point guard.

I don't think we're in that big of trouble in the post. Even without someone else, we'll have Withey - defensive player of the year in the conference. Traylor - practicing for a full year, teammates describe him as TRob-esque. Ellis - gifted athletically, highest ceiling of any post player we'll have. Peters - Self said is a top 20 talent, dropped in the rankings from skipping the AAU circuit to play football. Lucas - player of the year in Oregon; has reportedly made huge strides. KY - senior with a year in the program, huge energy off the bench. Really...we'll be OK.

AsadZ 2 years, 8 months ago

ict, I was not aware that redshirt counts towards scholarship. Thanks for the clarification.

I agree wth your analysis. I also do not like to pull scholarship from players like Lindsay or Tharpe to bring more talented guys. I just don't think its the right thing to do for the kids and program in general over the long run.

I'd feel really bad for these kids who had chosen KU to fulfill their dreams but were forced out to make room for others. Personally, I don't think HCBS would do it. I agree that Self is simply covering the bases after learning from last year's bad experience.

On the same topic I am not in favor of getting OADs. HCBS system is best suited for 3-4 year players who develop into much better players over course of their careers.

Joe Baker 2 years, 8 months ago

Looks about right...I haven't heard anything about Adams' eligibility. Last I heard he was taking the ACTs/SATs.

He has a firm verbal on his commitment. If he is eligible and makes the grade, he is a big candidate for redshirting.

I would redshirt Lucas (if Parker commits to KU) and maybe Adams.

EJ/Tharpe BMac/Adams/ Lindsay Rel/White Ellis/Traylor/Lindsay Withey/Wesley/Parker/Peters/Lucas

Lindsay is the odd man out.

Joe Baker 2 years, 8 months ago

I totally forgot Young. Shame on me, bad Jayhawk.

Sorry Young, no implicatioin on your play. Just too many names and it's a great problem for Self to have.

Joe Baker 2 years, 8 months ago

I think with some reps, Ellis could play the 3 if necessary. You could bump Rel to the 2 if absolutely necessary. You could then bring a Wesley to the 4 spot. You may then keep Lucas from redshirting.

You could also drop EJ to the two too. Tharpe should be able to handle the 1 his soph yr.

I think having 3-4 bigs at the 5 is safe.

EJ/Tharpe Rel/BMac (Adams redshirts) Ellis/White Wesley/Traylor Withey/Parker/Peters (Lucas still redshirts)

Many, many options for Bill Self

Kye Clark 2 years, 8 months ago

Ellis is a great talent. I've watched him here in Wichita for four years. He has some perimeter game. That being said, there's no way he's ready to start at the 3 next year, even by season's end. Especially when Self has Releford available and BMac to start at the two, after having practiced for half the season with the team.

Hybrid guys like Ellis (and McMorris & Wright before them) struggle guarding wing players in college right out of the box. The speed of the game is just too much to adjust to, and we see them getting blown by.

Joe Baker 2 years, 8 months ago

The 3 would be a tall order for a freshman. Ellis' skills are definitely going to grow at KU under Self and Co.
I've watched Ellis' footwork on various vids and his ball handling is definitely TRob and McMorris- esq. Also, the level of competition will definitely increase in D1 from high school. I really believe this is what these talented recruits fail to grasp until they get a healthy dose D1 bball.
I am anxious to see how all this talent mixes to become they kind of team Self will take to the next level.

It's still a dream to have all this talent. It's almost like walking into a home improvement store with so many tools and materials and wondering what you could do with it all. I'm sure Self will figure out that rotation much like what led to the 2008 team.

Kye Clark 2 years, 8 months ago

I haven't heard anything either. Googled it and couldn't find anything. Maybe there's some scraps of information if you pay to subscribe to the rivals service, or are an espn insider. I don't know. Last I remember reading on here that he didn't expect to have any problems. But he has been to a lot of high schools, so it might be a deal like BMac & Traylor where he is deemed a partial qualifier, in which case I don't know if that nullifies the scholarship offer or not. What we do know is that we won't hear any ruling on that from the NCAA until well after recruiting has ended.

Agree there should be some redshirts next season, and that Adams would be a prime candidate. I'm wondering though if Self will redshirt anybody. We've seen before with so much inexperience coming in and uncertainty that he lets it play out over the course of the season. How many of us were calling for EJ to redshirt? But there was a chance he could help that year's team, so he burned a year of eligibility riding the bench. I'd redshirt one of our bigs (and agree initially that Lucas looks like the best candidate) even without Parker. Even with deep teams Self typically only plays three regularly. My guess is those three will be Withey, Ellis, & either Young or Traylor. Peters maybe seeing minutes as matched up against beefier front lines. And in case of emergency, we'd still have Wesley. So we'd still be well overstocked.

Not sure if I agree with your statement that being deep is a "great problem for Self to have." A fair amount of depth is desirable, both for injuries & foul trouble and to provide the proverbial playing time "carrot" to dangle in front of players to get them to do things his way. But too much and the counter-productive "quick hook" comes into play, and there's issues trying to establish chemistry, especially with so many new players coming in. We'll see.

zsn 2 years, 8 months ago

OK, be absolutely honest here: How many of you had this following reaction when EJ jacked-up said three-pointer - fingers interlocked, palms on top of the head, elbows firmly in front of the chin pointing straight out, yelling "no...NO...NO...", switching to "YAAAA" and fingers uninterlocked, turning into fists pointed straight up, all in the space of a few milliseconds? Come on, be honest........

Had the shot clanged off, how many of you would be posting "WTF was EJ thinking?" I thought it was a terrible shot to be taking in that situation.....but if you're feeling it......in all fairness, if you're going to take that shot, do it early in the shot clock when no one is expecting it! No guts, no glory...and this one was all guts!! As much as I hate Raftery, this one was all "Onions"

FarSideHawk 2 years, 8 months ago

I said this during the game on the live-blog too. It was a bad shot, but was glad that it went in. It looked like the shots that we usually start taking in panic mode without setting up the offense. More often than not, it clangs, but this one helped us get the W and play another game.

REHawk 2 years, 8 months ago

zsn, I had precisely your reaction when Tharpe tossed up his first 3 pt. shot; but I was more confident re EJ's heave. Hadn't he just shared a smile with TT prior to that series? Anyway, it was hugely exhilarating, both of their successful threes.

Joe Baker 2 years, 8 months ago

I really hope Tharpe and his confidence is rising.

Kye Clark 2 years, 8 months ago

Honestly, when EJ put it up I thought the same thing he did - Money! I rose from my chair to my feet and crept towards the television ready to explode with a loud "YEAH!!!!!!" You're right that if it had clanged I probably would have thought in retrospect that it was a foolish shot, but it looked so pure. Reminded me of Chalmers' shot against USC a few years ago, although that was with the shot clock winding down, in overtime I believe. Not nearly as high stakes either, but about as far out.

Aligned 2 years, 8 months ago

My first thought was “this guy’s a 30% 3-point shooter”. Glad it went in though.

benshawks08 2 years, 8 months ago

I saw it coming as he and Tyshawn were coming down the court and as TT got ready to pass my only thought was "knock it down!" Then, he did and I jumped off the couch and my dog jumped up on my shoulders and we did a little dance. Great moment.

zsn 2 years, 8 months ago

I don't believe you.......no way was anyone sitting down at that point in the game :)

I don't think I sat down after the under-12-timeout in the second half

FLJHK 2 years, 8 months ago

Sort of like the days of Ron Kellogg. No, no, no, YESSSS!!!

That '86 team was among KU's all-time best. If they had the 3-point shot rule at that time, with Kellogg and Calvin Thompson, and we win. Were unlucky not to have done so anyway.

Priest Fontaine 2 years, 8 months ago

JAYHAWKERS! check out this hilarious short film my friends in KC made: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=...

2 years, 8 months ago

Very funny! Thanks for sharing :^)

Mike Kendall 2 years, 8 months ago

Heterohilfiger---- I have seen this. Very funny and really enjoyed it! BTW, hopefully no offense taken, but James Naismith's character wife in the clip is pretty dang hot!!!!!! Thanks for sharing. Rock Chalk!

AsadZ 2 years, 8 months ago

kellerman, You questioned how we are loaded at Bigs next year?

Self likes 4 Bigs in his rotation. This year he got screwed with Kieff leaving early and ineligibility of Traylor and Anderson.

Next year's rotation:

Withey (I don't think he will leave as he is not ready for NBA) Ellis (Self will use him mostly at 4 spot mostly like he used Marcus) Traylor (He will have an edge as he has been practicing this year against T-Rob) Zach Young Wesley Lucas This is 7 Bigs. Lucas will most likely red shirt IMO.

Only time will tell if Wesley will be able to contibute more next year. However two points working in his favor, significant experience & knowledge of HCBS system and his athletic abilities.

Regardless, we will be loaded with Bigs, 6-7 players fighting for minutes when self likes to play 4 players.

REHawk 2 years, 8 months ago

I suspect that if Self brings in another big with tremendous immediate promise, we will see a decommit from one of our current big recruits. I don't see Tharpe leaving; if he should do so, we will need a guard rather than another big. Lindsay might be in a frame of mind similar to Royce Wooldridge or Quintrell Thomas; and if that occurs, I could see recruiting open for any position, 1 thru 5. I don't envision Withey departing, as his skillset, body, and confidence continues to improve for Round One draft status in June 2013. However, if he should step up for a superlative performance these next two weekends, all bets are off. We are likely to see someone opt for a red shirt next season, considering all the potential talent scrambling for playing minutes (although that won't affect scholarship numbers). Would be nice to know more precise details about Adams, how locked in that offer is, at this stage. Whatever the situation, the future squad appears to be loaded with an array of forwards who will compete with the more experienced Young, Wesley and Traylor for minutes. What a flipflop from our current situation!

kcruser 2 years, 8 months ago

Anybody know what section KU is in Friday night? I hope I am not mixed in with another team. I hope the majority of building is Jayhawk blue so I blend in well.

Tony Bandle 2 years, 8 months ago

According to the St.Louis Post Dispatch, over 40% and counting of the tickets sold are Jayhawks and that doesn't count the Missouri Tiger tickets!! :)

Jason Keller 2 years, 8 months ago

I was sad to see Missouri leave, but being brought up right I sent their school a farewell giftbasket:

To their basketball program: -Callipari's guidebook in avoiding NCAA recruiting sanctions given the lack of talent in the SEC -a guide on when and when-to-not make celebratory ban...ners -a basket of blank acceptance and thank you cards addressed to the NIT committee

To their Football program: -Rape Whistles -Rape Kits -A video on dealing with Depression

To their student body: - a coloring book - Chemistry 104 "introduction to cooking meth"

WE WILL MISS YOU!!!... (ripped off from an ESPN chat board)

Kye Clark 2 years, 8 months ago

It was a lower level of embarrassment, as a #2 has only lost to a #15 five times prior to this year. KU never lost as a #2 or a #1 seed in the first round. The embarrassment was only compounded when Norfolk St. got pummeled by 30 points in the next round of play.

Where's your gambling update? I'm sure you lost nice sums of money, both on the Mizery loss & KU's two wins. Nice to be rid of your trash. You'll surely do better in the SEC, without KU owning you.

2 years, 8 months ago

Yours was the biggest embarrassment in NCAA tournament history - - MU was the highest ranked team (3rd) ever to lose their first game of the tournament. Congrats on this and your move to the SEC, good luck at your Dominoes job, but mostly good riddance to you from this board.

Warmest Regards

Tony Bandle 2 years, 8 months ago

Missouricat..ever seen the movie "Deliverance"?

Picture the Missouri football program as the fat guy in the canoe and the SEC as the hillbilly on the shore.

Squeal,Squeal, Squeal!!!

Alohahawk 2 years, 8 months ago

Lying on the floor LMAO OakvilleJHawk - To slightly change Harry Callahan's quote from the movie, Dirty Harry: "You made my day." From now on, I'll forever imagine a MU Tiger in place of Ned Beatty whenever I watch Deliverance. Here, Kitty, Kitty.

Jack Wilson 2 years, 8 months ago

Missouricat: Even on Misery's day of infamy, you still got overshadowed. In the history of the tournament, only 4 prior 15 seeds had won vs. 2s. Then, after MU's historic downfall, they are upstaged when a higher profile program meets the same fate (Duke). "Duke loses to Lehigh" .. oh yea, Missouri loses to Norfolk St. Always second fiddle. Always the bridesmaid. Takin' it in the a**.

Interesting how one commentator put it .. paraphrasing (put in quotes though for a better read).. "Duke's loss was amazing. National program. Perhaps the best college coach ever. But Missouri .. this is all new to them and their coach. Shocking upset, but it makes more sense."

You may be right about not meeting the low of embarrassment. When great things are expected of you, when you are the top dog, the fall is harder and rougher. But of course, we have been to the mountain top. Missouri, on the other hand, grazes in the pasture at the foot of the mountain we have already climbed. Only hoping it could scale to our heights.

In the greatest season in the history of MU basketball .. first 30 win season (didn't we do that last season?) .. you lose in the first round. In our greatest season, we win the title. In a rebuilding year, we win the league (coincidentally in your greatest season) and advance farther in the NCCAs. A stark contrast. See, you are much like a mid-major .. you needed the perfect storm of senior leadership, maturity, four year players developing to be a player. But we're still better.

MU is a peon. An also ran. A second thought. A wannabe. We were born into royalty. Sorry, luck of the draw.

Try naming your arena after Norm Stewart. Show some respect. Your greatest coach ever. He reached the Elite Eight. Amazing. A guy who wouldn't spend his money in Kansas .. try going to the store on Naismith drive. You know, the one that sells banners. Buy one. Spray paint it black and gold. Call it your own.

It's the closest you'll ever get.

Now scurry off to your cultural peers in the SEC. We've upgraded to West Virginia (Final Fours 1959/2010). That's two more you. Grrrr Tigers. A century of incompetence.

Kye Clark 2 years, 8 months ago

The only thing I'm going to miss about Mizery in the Big XII is your anti-Mizery posts! Hilarious as always!

Jack Wilson 2 years, 8 months ago

I'm sure I might have a few more in me. It's part of my inner-being.

Benjamin Piehler 2 years, 8 months ago

Actually, its more embarrassing. 2 losing to a 15 seed hadn't happened in a decade. Thanks for playing, please try again!

jaybate 2 years, 8 months ago

missourishat,

Without putting to fine a point on this, I have observed to kinds of morons in the world: morons and Missouri morons.

Morons don't know things.

Missouri morons don't know what they don't know.

I have also heard there is a long standing, but recently named pathology in abnormal psychology called Mizzouphrenia. Afflicted persons manifest symptoms including hallucinating that MU has won a national champing in football and/or basketball, that Missouri fields good teams, that they hire honest coaches, and that their players are better than KU's.

Mizzouphrenia is reputedly a debilitating disease that first manifested in John Ashcroft and spread virulently and rapidly through meth lab fumes across Missouri. Now virtually the entires state suffers this terrible form of psychosis, and CDC studies indicate the MU's decision to jump the SEC is a by product of this affliction.

Tough luck. :-)

jaybate 2 years, 8 months ago

erratum: "two," not "to" kinds of morons. :-)

Benjamin Piehler 2 years, 8 months ago

Being a moron... I'm not sure Missouricat has the vocabulary or cognative strength to understand your post :-P

Benjamin Piehler 2 years, 8 months ago

Oh, and thanks to the Tigers for the $1200 I won betting they couldn't make it past Florida. Im in Puerto Rico now, waitin for my team to play in the Sweet 16... on the beach with my iPad, sippin on a cocktail. I'll send the bill to you ;-)

Enjoy you subpar hoops coach and your SEC basement recruiting class. I assure you, the Jayhawk nation is just as, or more excited to watch the Tigers play SEC football.

Now walk it off, chump.

utahjayhawk 2 years, 8 months ago

What an epic fail at trying to stir the pot, mousecat.

KU Nation, remember what KenPom stated -- the Norfolk St upset was the statistical equivalent of a 16 beating a 1, whereas Duke's loss was more of a 14 over a 3. Given this, Mizery really has the title of the very first 16 over 1 upset!! Always breaking newer heights of ineptitude and mediocrity...............

Steve_Jobs 2 years, 8 months ago

Anyone else noticed the phenomenon of Missouricat and Wildjayhawk posting minutes apart?

JayHawkFanToo 2 years, 8 months ago

missouripussy,

You see, our loses are easier to take, During HC Self's tenure, along with those loses we also have 2 Sweet 16s (one still going), 3 Elite 8s and one National Championship...also 8 straight Conference Championships...the ones that count.

Aren't' you embarrassed that your best team in a generation gets owned by a #15 seed, while our "rebuilding year" team keeps going?

There is a famous exchange between Bessie Braddock and Winston Churchill that went like this:

Bessie Braddock: “Sir, you are drunk.” Churchill: “Madam, you are ugly. In the morning, I shall be sober.”

Get it? You, MU fans are like Bessie Braddock and we are like Churchill.

Even after our loses we were, are and always still be KANSAS!!! After yours, you go back to being...well....you, Missouri.

Curtis Stutz 2 years, 8 months ago

I prefer to look at it this way: In the 12 years of this new millennium, the first college bball season being 2000-2001, so far KU has:

9 Sweet Sixteens 6 Elite Eights 3 Final Fours 2 Champ Games 1 Championship

and year 12 isn't over yet hopefully by Friday night I can change that Elite Eight number to 7!

JayHawkFanToo 2 years, 8 months ago

...and, ladies and gentlemen, this is how missouricat gets owned...again.

Mike Kendall 2 years, 8 months ago

keller--- Oh, my!

Talk about hitting the proverbial nail on the head! Ouch!

Alohahawk 2 years, 8 months ago

Not that I believe he will jump early to the NBA (He seems to love it at KU too much), but with EJ now in the spotlight, Self/KU still needs to be concerned that it could happen. Pick your poison: A great tournament where EJ excels, but ends up jumping early? Or a good, but not outstanding tournament, and he returns for his senior year? EJ definitely has the upside which the NBA uses as its main criteria. (IMHO, Johnson is more qualified now, than Henry was when he left.)

I'm sure every Jayhawk fan is highly anticipating Johnson leading the team next season.

Kye Clark 2 years, 8 months ago

http://rivalshoops.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1300034

http://insider.espn.go.com/college-sports/basketball/recruiting/classrankings?&action=upsell&appRedirect=http%3a%2f%2finsider.espn.go.com%2fncb%2frecruiting%2fclassrankings

There's two recruiting sites that have KU recruiting very well, with Mizery nowhere in sight.

As for our season, we're still playing, and Mizery fans have resumed their time-honored tradition of rooting against us in the tournament, rather than being able to watch their own team because they flamed out.

You honestly make it so easy. I wonder if you're actually a KU fan that just likes teeing up topics for Jayhawk Nation to rally around. I hope that's the case, because as weird as that scenario may be, for you it is surely preferable to the chorus of Jayhawk fans laughing at you!

JayHawkFanToo 2 years, 8 months ago

Ict, The Rivals ranking is an old one before KU completed its recruiting. This Scout ranking is more up to date:

http://scouthoops.scout.com/a.z?s=75&p=9&cfg=bb&c=14&yr=2012

Should KU get one of the top prospects still in play, it would certainly move into the top 10.

Benjamin Piehler 2 years, 8 months ago

Never stop posting Missouricat. Please. You're a good sport to keep posting here only to get humiliated constantly. Remind me how many All Americans Haith has recruited for next year?

(And don't stop posting next year for football either... Well be here for loss... After loss.... After loss for the tigers. If you thought blowing it in the Tourney was bad, wait for the Jayhawk Nation to be there every weekend in the SEC. You school has less than half the budget of the schools you are pretending to be on par with. And stop pretending you've won any money betting against anyone here. You never did. Ever. You'd need friends and money for that; anyone making multiple accounts on a rival sports site clearly has neither.)

Walk it off, chump...

And seriously. Dont stop posting... You're too easy.

REHawk 2 years, 8 months ago

The reason very few Missouri fans ever dare to unearth the path to The Phog? Can't read all the names and numbers hanging in AFH. Reading backwards from 68, current Tiger fans can't seem to get past #15. Numbers 1, 2, 3, 4 always a complete mystery, come March and April.

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