Friday, March 23, 2012

’Pack mentality: N.C. State has KU’s full attention

Kansas head coach Bill Self paces the court as the Jayhawks warm up with passing drills during the beginning of practice the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis.

Kansas head coach Bill Self paces the court as the Jayhawks warm up with passing drills during the beginning of practice the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis.


— Kansas University center Jeff Withey worked up quite a sweat during a pair of practices Thursday: the first at St. John Vianney High School and the second a 50-minute shootaround at Edward Jones Dome, site of today’s 9:17 p.m. Sweet 16 game against North Carolina State.

“I’m trying to get back in shape,” the 7-footer said with a smile. “It’s weird to say that, but sitting out a game you kind of lose your breath a lot. I’m trying to get back into it.”

The San Diego junior might have been exaggerating just a tad about his physical condition this late in the season. The point is, he’s a bit rusty coming off Sunday’s game against Purdue in which he played just 15 largely ineffective minutes.

“I am a lot more comfortable than the first weekend,” Withey said.

He scored four points and grabbed two rebounds in KU’s 63-60 second-round victory over the Boilermakers. He had seven points and nine boards while playing 29 minutes in a first-round victory over Detroit, also in Omaha.

“It was a tough weekend for me,” Withey said. “I feel I had a little bit of jitters. It’s the first time I played in this tournament, really (after not playing much as a sophomore). To get that monkey off my back feels really good. I’m excited we got past that round. I feel now we can really get comfortable and start playing.”

Withey said it’s only natural a No. 2 seed such as KU (29-6) would feel jitters going against a No. 15 seed in Detroit and No. 10 in Purdue.

“You don’t want to be the team that gets upset,” Withey said. “This weekend, everybody can play. We will have fun with it and kind of let loose.

“After the game last weekend, coach (Bill) Self mentioned that every great team has to have a win like that,” he added of the narrow, come-from-behind win over Purdue. “The last couple years, we fell short. To get a win like that this year takes a lot of pressure off.”

North Carolina State (24-12) enters tonight’s late game as a No. 11 seed, which in theory could again add to the pressure.

Withey doesn’t see it that way.

“They’re a great team. We know at this point of the season they are all great teams,” Withey said. “They are a more traditional team (than guard-oriented Purdue). It should be a little easier for me and T-Rob (Thomas Robinson) playing against them. They have two big guys, not just a bunch of guards. It’s a perfect chance for me to get back into it. I’ll be able to make a bigger impact, I feel.”

N.C. State has a pair of 6-foot-8 starting forwards in C.J. Leslie (14.6 ppg, 7.4 rpg) and Richard Howell (11.0 ppg, 9.1 rpg). DeShawn Painter, who is 6-9, comes off the bench for 6.3 points and 4.3 rebounds per contest.

“They remind you of Baylor,” Withey said, “because they are so athletic. They can jump out of the gym and are really fast.”

Of the challenge of going against 209-pound sophomore Leslie, the 6-10, 237-pound Robinson said: “I need to be aggressive from the jump ball. He’s athletic so I’ve definitely got to use that to my advantage, the fact that he is an athlete, probably one of the best I’m going to face the whole year.”

Self is wary of junior Howell and Leslie.

“It’s more traditional because they will play two bigs,” Self said. “Their bigs are really quick. They can catch the ball at 17-feet and put it down and drive it, or they can make shots. They are not traditional bigs, but at least they are bigs. We can play more traditional than we had to against Purdue when we had Thomas guarding their two guards for the majority of the game.”

N.C. State has scoring balance. Point guard Lorenzo Brown averages 12.8 ppg (231 assists, 116 turnovers), three-point bomber Scott Wood 12.4 ppg (93 of 223 threes for 41.7 percent) and senior guard C.J. Williams 10.6 ppg.

When a reporter suggested N.C. State had “nothing to lose,” Withey said: “We have that mind-set all year, too. We have nothing to lose, either. It’ll be a fun game, a battle. There will be a lot of scoring.”

Withey also was asked what the odds were of KU shooting just 33.9 percent as it did Sunday versus Purdue.

“The odds are ... it’s not going to happen again,” he said. “Purdue put a lot of pressure on us. I feel N.C. State is more a team like ourselves, that likes to run. I think it’ll be a high-scoring game, a lot of layups and quicker game.”

The winner advances to a Sunday game against either North Carolina or Ohio. KU officials indicated that game time would either be 1:10 p.m. or 3:55 p.m.

“I feel we’re excited and ready,” Withey said. “I feel the last two years we let ourselves down. There is a chip on our shoulders because we were favored two years in a row. To lose last year in the Elite Eight, and the year before we didn’t make it past the first week ... we definitely want to win. A lot of people didn’t pick us to be here this year. It helps us being under the radar. We all love each other on this team and enjoy playing together. I think when we come out with energy we are tough to beat, and that will be the case (against N.C. State).”


Doug Cramer 8 years, 2 months ago

Would like to see us attack NC State's weaknesses...instead of them attacking our weaknesses...and having to play their game.

Both the Missouri games and the Purdue felt as though we let them play their game...and did not play to our strengths.

Let's play our game and capitalize on their lack of physical play in the post...and not let Scott shoot from the perimeter. Play Bill Self defense...and crash the boards HARD !!!

spinachawk 8 years, 2 months ago

Initially I thought the same thing but after thinking about it I realized our strength really is our defense, so we must matchup there first. It hurts our offense but Bill Self is a defense first coach.

jaybate 8 years, 2 months ago

Self always plays it any way they want to start and tries to take whatever they give on offense. If you want to run, and you give him the run, he will run with you. If you want to run, but take away the run, he will play half court, and use his defense to strangle your running game. If you want to slog it out in half court, and use your defense to take away his running game, he will slog it out with you. If you want to slog it out, but take away his half court game, he will run.

Defensively, he will defend your strength no matter where it is, and no matter where it takes his players. The only way he hedges on this is that if you make his big play for from the basket, and then try to cut back to the basket for short shots, he will eventually go to a gimmick zone, like a triangle and two or a box and one. Self dislikes traditional zones apparently, because they neither confuse, nor keep pressure on an opponent. Gimmick zones create a recognition problem and allow one, or two, or two guards, say, to keep the pressure on key impact players.

The logic is this: if you can beat them at their own game, i.e., the way they have schemed to play you, then there is little chance they can beat you any other way.

This logic is part of the secret of Self Ball that most other coaches cannot yet bring themselves to embrace.

Self never tries to dictate tempo on offense. On offense, it is this: among what they give, take the best match-up advantage play, except for occasional designed plays when a high percentage basket might alter momentum, or preserver a lead late in a game.

But Self does try to dictate events with defense nonstop. His defense tries to take away your strength, whatever it maybe, and disrupt you with blocks, alters and strips.

Self Ball distills to this:

Stop their strength.

Guard hard for 35 seconds.

Win the Disruption statistic [(blocks+strips)/TOs] so that KU always gets more chances to score.

Play the game offensively anyway they want, so long as they are not making us play faster than we are able, or more roughly than we are able, and thus beat them with their own game, so they have no other better way to beat you. Take what they give you and beat them with it. Then any adjustment they make will open them up to even greater vulnerabilities.


Get impact players in position to make big plays at big moments.

Get glue players in position to get the impact players the ball, and to stretch the defenses, so there is room for the impact players to make their big plays at the decisive moments.

jaybate 8 years, 2 months ago

Self will play NCSU however it wants to play and exploit whatever the best match-ups they give, while doing it.

Most coaches try to set tempo on offense and prevent scoring on defense.

Self sets tempo on defense by forcing opposing coaches to switch to other tempos, strategies and tactics they are less effective at, because KU's defense has taken away their preferred approach, or stay the course and be defeated playing their own game. This is why Self wins so much. Unless the opposing team has vastly more talent, or impact player match-ups KU just cannot control, then the deck is strategically stacked against the opposing team. Self teams can be upset, because of a bad performance, or they can be beaten, because the impact match-ups sharply favor an opponent, but they win most of the time because the strategy puts other teams behind an eight ball that takes them out of their comfort zones.

It doesn't always work. Nothing does. But it works 84% of the time so far.

And it leads to lots of games where it looks like KU is not playing very well, but some how eeks out a win.

Why? Because KU is rarely playing the game they way that is optimal for their talent to play. They are playing the way that is optimal for what they are being given. In effect, Self trades away those games where his teams can dictate everything and so wipes out opponents, for keeping it close with defense, keeping the opponent out of their comfort zone for the entire game, and then chipping away at them, until they get a run here, and run their, because the opponent gets frustrated not being able to win playing their own game.

jaybate 8 years, 2 months ago

If KU has way more talent, of course, its a blow out regardless of philosophy and strategy.

But if its close, or sometimes if KU has less talent, it seems to get a lot more wins that playing it the way other coaches do right now.

It is very hairy for a fan to watch, because there are many times when a game is going in a certain direction and it seems obvious what the correcting move ought to be. Change the tempo of the offense. Or cease playing it their way. But Self doesn't do it. New fans, or fans with only a little knowledge, think, "Self is too stubborn, or Self is missing the obvious, or Self is getting out coached." Very occasionally these things happen, because great though he is, he is human and fallible. But most of the time, Bill Self is not doing what you, or the other coach is expecting, because he is trying to figure out how to beat them at their own game, by hunting through and finding a match-up advantage that can be exploited to beat them that way.

Part of it seems to have to do simply with the way Self is wired. He thinks globally and spatially, which a lot of persons, even extremely smart persons, cannot do. He also appears to be of above average intelligence, too. His fractured syntax and tendency to approach the game in this kind of inverted approach mark him as an unconventional thinker, who keeps this facet of himself usefully under control by wrapping himself in sound philosophy, and a lot of tradition.

The combination has so far proven formidable.

Doug Cramer 8 years, 2 months ago

Makes a lot of sense Jaybate...and I don't disagree with you. Just sucks as a fan because these grind it out games aren't easy on a body.

I had a migraine headache and a naucious stomach until 3 in the morning after that Purdue game.

It would be nice to get a comfortable lead and keep it the entire game for once.

Matt Kenton 8 years, 2 months ago

That may be the first time I've read completely through one of your multi-post diatribes, and it makes sense for the most part. What drives me nuts is that Self sticks to this when we have a decided talent advantage, and he overcomplicates what should be simple. Most of our upset losses in the tournament to VCU, UNI, Bradley, Bucknell, etc are examples. The almost-losses to Davidson and Purdue are too. I was screaming for him to leave Withey and T-Rob in at the same time against Purdue, make them stop us inside, and eventually have Marcius foul out. For the first five minutes of the second half it worked great, then he took Withey out, after he just made his and-one. He managed to pull out the win, so who knows what is the best approach, evidence in that game points to Self. I think it is a great strategy if your talent is less or similar, like at Oral Roberts, Tulsa, Oklahoma State, or us against UNC, or Kentucky.

Here's to Teahan going 5 of 5 from three in the first half and none of that mattering as we roll to a 15 point win!

ironhead80 8 years, 2 months ago

I'am sure someone has talked about this but I like to bring up before KU plays NC state, Trob, Tyshawn, Rele, Eli, and Withy have not had a great game where they put there play all together as a whole team. like other teams in the past in march madness. I hope we can play all together in these next 3 games and make this a special team as CHAMPIONS !!!!! ROCK CHALK !!!!

ironhead80 8 years, 2 months ago

It seems like in the last three games the opponants have figured out how to play KU and I hope coach self can figure this out!!

Kye Clark 8 years, 2 months ago

Glad to be playing a more traditional team; sick of these 4 guard teams that give us such trouble. Despite their seeding I think NC State is a better team than Purdue, yet at the same time I think the match-up favors us more in this game. I think for this game our stars - TRob & Tyshawn - get back on track. Not that they were horrible against Purdue, but definitely sub-par games by the standards they have set all year. Let's keep this "down" year going guys!

baldwinjhawk 8 years, 2 months ago

Davis wins an award named for a former Jayhawk and Halstead Kansas native!

Brak 8 years, 2 months ago

How impressive Kentucky created their own "national" poy award and give it to a Kentucky player pretty much every year. I'm sure his mother must be proud.

REHawk 8 years, 2 months ago

KGphoto, thanks for the link. I'd like to think that little Jayhawk sitting up there in the caption is preparing a giant grin for the way things turn out.

Alohahawk 8 years, 2 months ago

I'd say most birds perched above something (car, statue, human walking or sitting, Wildkitten, Unibrow) are planning to 'drop' something yucky on the target below. And that Jayhawk does appear to have a slight grin.

Sure would be nice if it was a double dose with a bit of bad luck mixed in for UK and Cal Lie Pari. Maybe even a disqualification.

JD Roth 8 years, 2 months ago

Shouldn't win POY when you can't finish a 2 footer and TRob has struggled as of late. I noticed for several games he could hardly elevate. Jumped a little better against Purdue. Hope he's healthy, but even a casual observer can tell he hasn't been himself lately.

Curtis Stutz 8 years, 2 months ago

It's nice to have Withey so stoked to get going in this next game, he's got to play well on both ends. TRob just needs to get back to finishing around the rim and TT needs to hit some FG's again and the offense is going to be just peachy. Not getting called for a bunch of cheap fouls is going to be key, pressure on every guy to guard his man fairly tight without getting caught with his hand in the cookie jar. If KU can stay out of foul trouble while playing tough defense, the offense will most likely take care of itself in this one. If EJ or TT get into foul trouble along with Withey or TRob, it's going to be a tough game. Let's win this one with sound defense and working the offense through the post. Rock Chalk!

Kent Richardson 8 years, 2 months ago

Finish arond the rim is indeed the key and not just for TRob. While he is double and triple teamed and passes Withey needs to hit the 2 and 3 footers. 12 to 15 points for Jeff and we win it by 6.

yates33333 8 years, 2 months ago

Are we to assume that Withey's replacement played well on both ends? Watch the reply before you conclude that, particularly the defensive part.

Jonathan Unruh 8 years, 2 months ago

Drive it to the hole. We took way to many 3's last game.

8 years, 2 months ago

Can't 9:17pm CT get here any faster?? :^)

FLJHK 8 years, 2 months ago

+1. From my own selfish perspective they might as well play the game right now. I'm not going to think about or accomplish anything meaningful until the game anyway.

Displayhawk 8 years, 2 months ago

Kansas is ballin', while Missouri is bawlin'!

Marcia Parsons 8 years, 2 months ago

I do believe you have put this after every article today.

yates33333 8 years, 2 months ago

Self replaced Withey against Purdue to get what he considered the proper defensive match against P.U. He sacrificed offense to get defense, which isn't a surprise but not fair to Withey. Good thing KU won. I have yet to understand why Withey is always the scapegoat. I guess he looks to awkward and slow for a former small guard. Withey's comments are a polite way of saying he wasn't thrilled by Self's opinion.

jaybate 8 years, 2 months ago


I've wondered a bit about this, too.

But after thinking about it some, I have come to the following conclusion: as long as Jeff is this light and has this amount of upper body strength, his game is very limited either by Bang Ball teams like Purdue, or alternatively, by 4 guard offenses that can run him away from the basket.

Purdue kept doing both. Purdue's bigs, while brawny and applying lots of muscle in the game, were also surprisingly mobile and ranging fare and wide on the court. Hummel, at 6-8, scored almost entirely from trey the first half. The result was Jeff was neither rebounding much, nor getting "alterations", nor "blocks."

I actually don't think Jeff was subbed to get more scoring per se. He was subbed, because he was not getting enough blocks and alterations, to off set his limitations on chasing bigs far and wide, and on playing bang ball.

Jeff's biggest contribution, even in the games when he scores quite a bit, stem from his altering and blocking of shots. I say this because of my opinion of the importance of my Modified Disruption Statistic, which is [(blocks+strips)/TOs. The stat would include "alterations" too, if anyone could really keep that statistic credibly. Beating a team at the disruption statistic means KU gets lots more scoring opportunities than the opponent. This biases winning sharply in favor or our team. Jeff contributes hugely to this winning bias, when the team lets him be in the paint and takes shots in that region that he can alter or block, but not when not. This sort of contribution vastly outweighs what his scoring brings for the simple reason that KU has any number of players that can score the points that Jeff can, but, frankly, it has no players that can alter and block what he can alter and block.

So: when Jeff is not altering and blocking frequently, Self has a strong motivation to substitute someone that can chase defend much better than Jeff can, because Self has this monster rebounder in Thomas Robinson to cover for the lost rebounding when Jeff goes out.

jaybate 8 years, 2 months ago

At first I did not recognize Self's decision logic, because it was so apparent that Kevin Young came in and did not guard the post as well as Jeff, and was often getting blown by when guarding posts at the top of the key.

But what I realized was that though Kevin does get blown by, and though Kevin does not guard the post as well as Jeff, Kevin does stay with moving bigs outside better, does close faster on bigs moving outside to three point shooting spots, and does hedge defend off the picks outside about as well, and sometimes better than Jeff.

So: if the opposing team has decided to force Jeff away from the basket, and heavily muscle him wherever he goes, and has decided not to take shots that Jeff has a chance to alter, or block, then it probably makes sense to switch to Kevin, despite the inevitable blow-bys that will occur.

It is not a clear choice with decisive advantage either.

And because it is not, Self often waits some time to make it.

But bottom line, if Jeff cannot give KU a lot of blocks and alterations, the loss of his scoring and rebounding from substitution, can be absorbed by other players, while his subs, most often Kevin, but sometimes Justin, can do a little better job hedge defending and denying 3pt shot opportunities to opposing bigs with good trey shots.

jaybate 8 years, 2 months ago

Good to see your orthodoxy meds are at least allowing you to get up and type finally.

Welcome back, you dementia ridden old fake of a true Jayhawk! :-)

jaybate 8 years, 2 months ago

Oh, this was completely in jest, jross1872. :-)

rmshawk67 8 years, 2 months ago

I think Withey is fine with Self's opinion. He is the coach!

Jack Wilson 8 years, 2 months ago

Withey was replaced because he couldn't guard, or with TRob in, he couldn't guard, TRob couldn't guard. It's that simple.

TRob could barely hang with Hummel. Who does Withey guard?

Vs. MU, we tried TRob guarding English with Withey on Ratliffe. Withey was fine on Ratliffe, but TRob couldn't hang with English away from the basket. One has to come out.

Same with Purdue.

This isn't as big of an issue when we have more athletes off the bench. This year things are different.

A pure center limits your options. But MU would have presented problems even to the '08 team with Arthur/Jackson .. who guards English at the 4?

In the end, MU lost because of the matchup .. they couldn't rebound or stop Norfolk with their small lineup.

The key is whether your offensive advantage going big trumps the defensive weakness. I think we now know the answer as it applies to this KU team.

KULA 8 years, 2 months ago

That's why Bill ought to think about incorporating a zone into his defensive bag of tricks (maybe next year). Why let the other team dictate who you play? Especially if it means sitting your Defensive Player of the Year and playing a walk-on or transfer.

deepind 8 years, 2 months ago

You hit the nail on the head - "whether your offensive advantage going big trumps the defensive weakness". In the Purdue game, say TRob and Withey were on fire hitting their shots then Self would have left them both on the floor. Since they were struggling with their shots, Self has to bench JW so that at least our defense can be strengthened.

jaybate 8 years, 2 months ago

In no way am I feeling argumentative here, HEM, but it can't be just guarding alone, because Kevin blows a lot of defensive assignments and keeps playing in these situations.

So: again, not to quarrel, but logic indicates its a combination.

Withey without blocks and alterations makes Kevin, who is at least a little better on defense outside, but still subject to lots of break downs, a viable alternative, but not a vastly superior one.

This is not splitting hairs on my part.

This is the reality of what happens, when teams take away one of KU's biggest edges: blocks and alterations that create a lot more scoring opps for KU than the opponent gets.

Blocks and alterations, especially with a rebounder like Thomas and active perimeter players like Travis and EJ, are just strips closer to the basket.

Self never takes Withey out, when he is getting blocks and alterations, even if he blows a few defensive assignments. Why? Because he knows that when he brings Kevin in there are going to be blown defensive assignments, but many fewer blocks and alterations, which translate to more scoring oops for KU than for the opponent.

bbeckum 8 years, 2 months ago

i don't know if i've mentioned this before but I LOVE THE FREAKING JAYHAWKS!

KGphoto 8 years, 2 months ago

I doubt Withey thinks it wasn't fair. I doubt even more that he's publicly, politely, backhanding Self's decision to limit his minutes. To me his comments demonstrated that he understands perfectly well why he was sitting for much of the Purdue game. Because coach told him to, and coach knows what he's doing.

Withey was just as glad to get a win as anyone else. He's a team player, c'mon.

KGphoto 8 years, 2 months ago

This was supposed to be a reply to yates.

planojayhawk 8 years, 2 months ago

Let's hope that the refs do not make this game about themselves. Let the players on both teams play and decide the game!

I am so geek up for this game. This is going to be a great game. Hope we can get the W and play at least another game.

Win or lose, I am so proud of this year's team. I want to keep watching them play until the NC game!

Go get them boys. Rock Chalk Jayhawks!

REHawk 8 years, 2 months ago

It would appear that a heady offensive strategy would be to go for the bucket from the getgo, strive to get the Wolfpack in foul trouble. I'd love to see us draw a foul on our opening series, set the stage for dropping them back on their heels.

vd 8 years, 2 months ago

I understand why BS doesn't play Withey, because of defense. But when we have the ball, IMO he should have him in there. At the end of the at MU game, he didn't play him. His size gives you an advantage on the offensive end, since Mu couldn't match up with him. BS doesn't seem to make the O-D switches that most coaches make at the end of games.

Displayhawk 8 years, 2 months ago

Most coaches don't have a National Championship ring either! In Bill We Trust!

Ron Franklin 8 years, 2 months ago

Anybody see Hudy shove that assistant when Tyshawn dunked it @ 3.5 seconds in the Purdue game? Maybe it's just my quirky sense of humor, but I thought that was hilarious.

Little ol blondie shoved this guy about 6 feet across the baseline when Ty threw it down.

Wouldn't mess with her; glad she's on our team.

Tony Bandle 8 years, 2 months ago

CRAP!!!! Vianney High School is within walking distance of my office!! Why wasn't I given a heads up so I could hoof it over there and give Bill some valuable coaching tips???!!! :)

Phog Allen once said, you learn much, much more from a loss than you do a victory.

1] Kentucky - showed us how far we were from being an elite team. 2] Duke - showed us that you have to maintain poise for a full game. 3] Davidson - showed us never, never, never underestimate your opponent. 4] Iowa State - showed us that no matter how hostile the environment, find a way to win 5] Missouri - showed us that no lead is safe until the last buzzer 6] Baylor - showed us the past means nothing, each game stands alone.

Jayhawks, the lessons are over....apply 1 through 6 and we won't need lesson 7!!!!

jaybate 8 years, 2 months ago


Continue to keep Oak in the dark about viewing opps, if it sharpens his faculties this way. :-)

8 years, 2 months ago

Q: Has there ever been a triple-double performance in March Madness? A: For KU, Cole Aldrich against Dayton Flyers

8 years, 2 months ago

You bet, drgn! Happy Beer Day :^)

~ Cheers ~

Ethan Berger 8 years, 2 months ago

Dreymond Green Twice, Magic Johnson Twice, Oscar Robinson Twice, and many other including Cole

JayHawkFanToo 8 years, 2 months ago

Who is this Oscar Robinson you speak of? - Jake Harper

I am sure you meant Oscar Robertson.

planojayhawk 8 years, 2 months ago

I think he meant most of his tournament jitters are gone, but you are right that he needs to get mad!

This is the game to start his strings of triple-double!

If he goes into beast mode and can equal or better at providing the blocks/shot alternation like Louisville Gorgui Dieng in last night game, we should win comfortably.

Rock Chalk Jayhawks!

Philip Nguyen 8 years, 2 months ago

We need Withey to go into beast mode again.

katman52 8 years, 2 months ago

No way KU overlooks them...This NC State team is no joke...If you look at their schedule, all but 1 of their losses is bad....Their losses are: Vandy, Indiana, @Stanford, Syracuse, Georgia Tech (horrible loss), UNC (3 times), UVA, @Duke, FSU, @Clemson...I'm looking forward to a great game!!

katman52 8 years, 2 months ago

correction....NC State only has 1 bad loss....the rest of their losses are to NCAA tourney or legit teams...

Curtis Stutz 8 years, 2 months ago

Fortunately for KU they hadn't managed a lot of big wins before the tourney, UNC-Asheville opener, @Texas, UVA in the ACC tourney their only wins over tourney bound teams, 3-9 against tourney teams coming in, 2-0 since they got in, looks to me like they're due for an L

KansasComet 8 years, 2 months ago

Glad to see Withey admit jitters. Hopefully he can shake those and have a good game. Looking forward to tonight. If we control the boards and get good play from our guards, we should have a good outcome. I am sure that I am like most posters at this point. It doesn't matter who does it, let's just get it done! Survive and advance!

JD Roth 8 years, 2 months ago

Kevin Young bringing energy every time he's in there!!

jaybate 8 years, 2 months ago

"Gottfried Maybe the Key Variable"

Mark Gottfried may be the key to this game, even though how KU handles Lorenzo Brown and controls the glass will decide things in the end.

If Gottfried pulls out all the stops against KU, rather than saving their A-game for UNC, KU could be in for a nail biter for reasons I will explain later.

First, let's understand Gottfried a bit.

Gottfried played a year for ORU, when Self was playing at Okie State.

Gottfried then jumped back to his native Alabama and played for Wimp Sanderson, head coach of the Crimson Tide.

To understand Wimp Sanderson, you have to know he assisted for 20 years at Alabama--first under Hayden Riley, then C.M. Newton.

Hayden Riley was a Bear Bryant football assistant in the then independent republic of Bryant. Bryant made Riley an assistant athletic director and head basketball coach. Bryant understood early on that you had to take up the budgetary and political oxygen within an athletic department if you wanted to stay in control of your own football program. I discovered little about Riley, except that he was a successful high school basketball coach.

The plot thickens for Kansas basketball fans, however, when we realize that Wimp Sanderson assisted for quite a while under C.M. Newton. Newton was a sub on Adolph Rupp's 1951 national champion basketball team.

To cut to the begets, Allen begat Rupp. Rupp begat Newton. Newton began Sanderson. Sanderson begat Gottfried.

Back to Newton and Sanderson for a moment of digression. These two men are largely responsible for executing the integration of Alabama basketball. Late though it may have occurred, they had to have been men of some courage and character to get that accomplished, even when it did finally happen.

Sanderson was a beloved and a widely respected coach that coached an interesting hybrid of basketball not unlike what Rupp disciple Joe B. Hall (who also claimed some influence by Iba) contemporaneously coached at Kentucky.

FLJHK 8 years, 2 months ago

I like our chances tonight. When Self has several days to dissect an opponent and create a game plan, he is tough to beat. Too, NC State doesn't pose particular match-up problems nor do they play an unconventioal style that can nullify some of KU's defensive prowess and athleticism like a Mizzery or Purdue. Barring anomolies like ridiculously hot or cold shooting by one team or the other, I think KU wins a tough battle by 6-12 points.

Historically, it's in the second game of tourney weekends with less prep time that we have struggled. It's certainly premature to speculate about Sunday before getting through tonight, but I will say that of all the Elite 8 prospective match-ups, I'd rather be playing Carolina (or Ohio) than who we would face in any other regional final.

Curtis Stutz 8 years, 2 months ago

I could see liking Florida as an opponent

jaybate 8 years, 2 months ago

Alas, Sanderson, who coached Mark Gottfried, got in a scrape over a 15 year affair with a secretary, and wound up being forced out in some disgrace at Alabama. Sanderson's former player, Mark Gottfried, went and coached under Jim Harrick at UCLA, then came back a half decade later and became Alabama's head coach for ten years, starting well, before struggling a couple season, enduring some controversies about a player dismissal, and then resigning during mid season.

Gottfried returned to coaching a year ago and turned North Carolina State around.

Thus Gottfried carries within him an interesting and unusual mixture of Sanderson's hybridization of indigenous southern basketball crossed with Rupp's version of Kansas basketball on the one hand, and Jim Harrick's version of Wooden's UCLA way filtered through his assisting Wooden disciple Gary Cunningham two seasons at UCLA, before moving to Pepperdine. And we know that one of the significant origins of Wooden's UCLA way, related to the defensive philosophies of Henry Iba.

Gottfried has long been considered a fast rising, skillful coach that got himself sideways at his alma mater. He is a member of Bill Self's coaching generation at one point was significantly ahead of the curve in comparison with Self.

So: Gottried is a very estimable adversary for Self and one he will most definitely take seriously.

We are apt to see a very cunning battle of wits between Gottfried and Self.

Gottfried is fighting here for a second chance at a coaching career and at regaining is stature as an important coach in the profession.

I maintained yesterday that that KU is probably a slightly better team than UNC and UNC is probably a better team than NC State.

As a result, Self and Gottfried would face different agendas.

Self would probably try to limit his starters to 30mpg, if possible, and hope to leave enough in the tank to beat Roy and UNC on Sunday with KU's A-Game.

jaybate 8 years, 2 months ago

Conversely, I maintained that Gottfried would probably approach the KU game as the game to pull out all of the stops on and then find a way to labor past UNC.

This situation makes Gottfried and NCSU especially dangerous for Self and KU.

And Gottfried coming up with some really surprising wrinkles could make it very difficult for Self to play his starters only 30 minutes.

Anyway, I look for a very interesting tactical battle among two coaches that appear to play somewhat different ways, but arrive at offensive statistics that are virtually identical.

Gottfried seems more offensive minded.

Self more defensive minded.

Both basketball have roots that run way back Iba. Self rather directly. Gottfried via Harrick, Wooden to Iba.

Both have basketball roots that run to KU, also. Self directly from coaching here under Brown to Smith to Allen and then as the head coach at KU. Gottfried's connection is much less direct, but its there: Gottfried to Sanderson to Newton to Rupp to Allen.

I know many say heritage and legacy are inconsequential factors in any given competition in the present. Many say that having the ghosts of great coaches in the back ground of one or both coaches means nothing in the heat of a battle for who survives and advances, and who perishes and goes home. But I think outcomes in the present are always convergence of path dependence springing from legacy philosophies, strategies and tactics winding down through history into the present, and the skills and inventivenesses of the coaches prowling the sidelines in the present.

Legacy may play only a small and hard to determine part, but it is a part worth noticing...and savoring sometimes.

jaybate 8 years, 2 months ago

Conversely, I maintained that Gottfried would probably approach the KU game as the game to pull out all of the stops on and then find a way to labor past UNC.

This situation makes Gottfried and NCSU especially dangerous for Self and KU.

And Gottfried coming up with some really surprising wrinkles could make it very difficult for Self to play his starters only 30 minutes.

Anyway, I look for a very interesting tactical battle among two coaches that appear to play somewhat different ways, but arrive at offensive statistics that are virtually identical.

Gottfried seems more offensive minded.

Self more defensive minded.

Both basketball have roots that run way back Iba. Self rather directly. Gottfried via Harrick, Wooden to Iba.

Both have basketball roots that run to KU, also. Self directly from coaching here under Brown to Smith to Allen and then as the head coach at KU. Gottfried's connection is much less direct, but its there: Gottfried to Sanderson to Newton to Rupp to Allen.

I know many say heritage and legacy are inconsequential factors in any given competition in the present. Many say that having the ghosts of great coaches in the back ground of one or both coaches means nothing in the heat of a battle for who survives and advances, and who perishes and goes home. But I think outcomes in the present are always convergence of path dependence springing from legacy philosophies, strategies and tactics winding down through history into the present, and the skills and inventivenesses of the coaches prowling the sidelines in the present.

Legacy may play only a small and hard to determine part, but it is a part worth noticing...and savoring sometimes.

8 years, 2 months ago

JB ~ you are bringin’ it big time today! Are you on your second pot of Peet’s French Roast yet, or did you opt for the IV drip and Depends Tear-offs to save on trips? :^)

WyoJayHawk 8 years, 2 months ago

Comments from NCSU newspaper. “We have to convincingly beat them”…"If we are good offensively, that can also help us defensively," Gottfried said. "If we can get their bigs in foul trouble, they are a different team when they go to the bench just like we are. We have to be aggressive on how to attack them inside."

Curtis Stutz 8 years, 2 months ago

No doubt foul trouble is a big concern for KU. Looking at teams with some similar players to what NCSt brings to the table like GTown and Baylor Withey has been in a lot of foul trouble in most of those games and TRob in several as well. Good news is how much more comfortable our bench is since some of those games, Young and Teahan able to come in and play plenty of minutes. Hopefully Wesley is fired up and ready to play just in case we need him for some stretches to keep Withey and TRob rested and out of foul trouble. Only 7 1/2 more hours to wait, yeeesh

Lex Valdez 8 years, 2 months ago

Let's get it done tonight fellas! Rock Chalk Jayhawk KU!!!!

Tony Bandle 8 years, 2 months ago

Please forgive me..maybe because it's Lent and I'm Catholic.... but the photo above, for some strange reason, reminds me of Leonardo da Vinci's famous "The Last Supper" fresco in the Santa Maria delle Grazie Monastery in Milan, Italy.

Something tells me that this photo's composition as shot by the very talented Nick Krug was not an accident!!

As always, all comments and criticisms are welcome.

FLJHK 8 years, 2 months ago

Well, maybe. Or maybe it's just some long pre-game delusional thinking exacerbated by late-night game times.

But if you think you've got it bad, consider this: I'm starting to think that Jaybate's musings are short on critical thinking, lack appropriate historical reference and are altogether way too concise!

Let's get this game going.

Martin Rosenblum 8 years, 2 months ago

Note that the only one with crossed arms is Joe Dooley. Is that body language symbolic of anyone in "The Last Supper"?

sayers48 8 years, 2 months ago

Anyone know how I might find a DVD of the MU game at AFH? Any guidance on this would be greatly appreciated.

Bradley Sitz 8 years, 2 months ago

NC State is the best 11 Seed in tournament history! First, they have fixed their chemistry issues and have bought into Gottifrieds system. Second, they are not only huge, the starting five are all athletes. I live in Clayton,NC and have made several games. This team has the size of Baylor and the defensive intensity of Wisconsin. Wood and Brown are the only consistent 3 point shooters (.417 & .342). They are both very good FT shooters (90.1% and 82.6%). They both get to the line alot! So, KU really needs to avoid fouling these two. The rest of the team is dreadful from the line, Leslie is is 108 of 180 (59%), for example. Painter, Howell and Leslie crash the Offensive boards. Their better than 50% FG percentages reflects their putback opportunities. They have had games with more than 12 turnovers, but, not since Florida State. And their back court, unlike KU, are very good passers. They have a very high assists to turn-over ratio.

The key will be Withey's play.  Production from Young and Wesley.  And getting some 3 pointers from Johnson and Taylor -and, Teahan not shooting.

Hawktacular 8 years, 2 months ago

Keep your heads, listen to Coach Self, and lose yourselves in the game tonight, fellas. No way they will lose if they have some fun. Rock Chalk!

Alohahawk 8 years, 2 months ago

Interesting statistic: With 12 teams left in the Big Dance there are 2 teams left from each BCS conference, except the Pac 12, which has zero. > ACC - N.Carolina & N C State > Big 12 - KU & Baylor > SEC - UK and Florida (Florida in E. 8) > Big East - Syracuse & Louisville (Both in E. 8) > Big Ten - Ohio State & Indiana (Ohio State in E. 8) > Atlantic 10 - Xavier > Other - Ohio (can't remember, are they Mid American?) > I predict that KU & Baylor will advance to E. 8, along with UK & N. Carolina. Which gives 3 conferences 2 each, and 1 each to ACC & Big Ten. > I further predict that KU, Louisville, UK and Ohio State will advance to the Final Four. Therefore, there would be one team from 4 different BCS conferences in the Final Four. The ACC and Pac 12 will have been knocked out. Seeds left = one #1, two #2, One # 4. > KU would play Ohio State, and pull out a squeaker. And UK beats Louisville in a much closer game than anticipated. > KU would have to play an almost perfect game, which they are capable of, to beat UK for the championship.

Alohahawk 8 years, 2 months ago

Dang. What does a poster have to do to keep each >'d line separate from the rest? The above looks like a mish-mash, all jumbled and hard to decipher.

Ben Kliewer 8 years, 2 months ago

Rock Chalk guys. The ESPN pickers have NCSU as the most likely upset for tonight, so there's a little bit of bulletin board material for you. Go out and prove them wrong!

RJ King 8 years, 2 months ago

With less than an hour to kill here's a read on Tony Parker that gives a ton of insight to the thought process of a prize recruit, and an update on where we might stand

Alohahawk 8 years, 2 months ago

Excellent article on what a top recruit goes through before signing an LOI. Tony Parker appears to have a good head on his shoulders and is going about it in the right way. > From my take, it sounds like Parker is torn between KU, playing closer to home (Duke, per his immediate family), and UCLA's extra-curricular activities. Ohio State has an outside chance, due to their recent history with bigs heading to the NBA. > I think KU trumps every school in the weight and post development departments, as well as in audience participation. They also have performed as good as, or better than, the other schools when comparing W/L records. They also lead in consecutive trips to the Big Dance. > Parker has to have doubts about UCLA's volatile situation. Plus, UCLA's party atmosphere could redirect his focus (future development). Does he want to party now, and possibly pay the piper later? I think he should look at how little Smith has progressed during the 2 years he's played at UCLA. > No matter how much Parker admires Coach K, he thoughtfully questions how well they develop their big men. > However, overall, it may come down to how much influence his family has. And since he brings up the fact he has a girlfriend, how might her location effect Parker's decision? (Remember the excuse Downs made about missing his girlfriend?)

Alohahawk 8 years, 2 months ago

The last 2 minutes of this game against N. C. State took what must have been a record number of minutes to play. I didn't time it, but I'd bet money it took 20+ minutes. Every 20 second time out took 3 minutes or more.

KU hit one of about 15 - 3's. And while TT came up big in the rebound department, he couldn't hit anything the entire game.

The Jayhawks tried everything imaginable to let NCSU win this one!!!

I hope the Jayhawks got the "bad" out of their systems. If Marshall plays for N. Carolina next game, that could be a long game.

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