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Monday, March 26, 2012

Tyshawn Taylor: ‘I’m a loveable guy, man’

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KU players parade their Final Four trophy to the locker room

Kansas players parade their Final Four trophy to the locker room following Sunday's 80-67 victory over North Carolina.

Thomas Robinson, Elijah Johnson and other Jayhawks cut down nets

Thomas Robinson, Elijah Johnson and other Jayhawks cut down the nets following Kansas' 80-67 victory over North Carolina on March 25, 2012.

Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self

Kansas coach Bill Self talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 80-67 victory over North Carolina on March 25, 2012.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU's starters discuss victory over UNC

Kansas' starters — Tyshawn Taylor, Elijah Johnson, Travis Releford, Thomas Robinson and Jeff Withey — discuss the Jayhawks' 80-67 victory over North Carolina.

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KU vs. North Carolina

Box score

— Kansas University senior guard Tyshawn Taylor, who scored 22 points, grabbed six rebounds, dished five assists and plucked five steals in 36 minutes in the biggest game of his life, grinned when asked if Jayhawk fans would now love him forever.

He was reminded he’s had a love/hate relationship with the fans in the past.

“It’s not for me to say,” Taylor said after the Jayhawks’ 80-67 victory over North Carolina on Sunday at Edward Jones Dome. “There are still a lot of (naysayers) out there, I’m sure. Look at my body of work ... I don’t understand how they can’t love me,” Taylor added, laughing.

“I’ve had some trouble on Facebook and Twitter in the past, but I think a lot of college kids do some things they regret later and learn from. I’m a loveable guy, man,” he added.

Taylor was holding court with a horde of media members in an arena hallway when junior forward Thomas Robinson motioned for him to re-enter the locker room.

Somebody asked Taylor what made Robinson (18 points, nine rebounds) so effective.

“Look at him, he’s huge,” Taylor said of the 6-foot-10, 237-pounder.

No Marshall: North Carolina was playing without point guard Kendall Marshall, who didn’t dress for the game because of a broken bone in his wrist.

“We know as a group we also caught a break today, too, with Kendall not playing,” KU coach Bill Self said. “I’m not saying that would have changed any the outcome, but we caught a break. But these guys, they wanted him to play. We talked about that.”

No fear with fouls: KU junior center Jeff Withey, on being a factor defensively after picking up his fourth foul with 3:58 left:

“I wasn’t really too worried about fouling out. I knew that if I would have backed up, they would have made a couple extra shots. So I knew I had to be aggressive still. If I fouled out, I fouled out. So I just knew I had to be aggressive and keep on trying to block shots.”

Rematch: KU will meet Ohio State in a Final Four semifinal Saturday in New Orleans. KU beat OSU, 78-67, on Dec. 10 in Allen Fieldhouse.

“I think it’s going to be good game,” Taylor said. “The last time we played them they had their best player on the bench (injured Jared Sullinger), and it was a home game, so it’s definitely their chance to get back at us. But we feel like we didn’t play our best that game, either. I didn’t play my best individually that game, and I’m sure Thomas is excited to play against Jared, so I think it’s going to be an exciting game.”

Dome woes: Taylor, who was 0-for-5 from three, has never hit a three in a dome. “I don’t even care. I don’t care one bit. I don’t like domes, but you know what, domes love me, it seems like, because we won. Is New Orleans a dome, too?” he asked.

Informed yes, he said: “Oh, man. You know what, hopefully that can change in New Orleans. But like I said yesterday, I’m going to keep shooting it because I got to. I got to make the defense respect that. I got to keep them honest. I’m going to get it to fall. I’m going to get it to fall.”

Robinson on this team overachieving: “That makes the feeling even more better. When people doubt you, I know myself, personally, I think that’s when I perform my best, when somebody doubts me. And as a team together, we knew that we could do it. But it took a lot of work. It just wasn’t a cakewalk. This moment is great to have, but you just want to finish our business now.”

KU fans galore: Self estimated there had to be 20,000 KU fans in the crowd of 24,107. “Our fans supported us great. It fired up our guys seeing all the blue in there,” he said. “We got energy from that. So that was good for us. But these guys, nothing fazes them. No matter what the situation is, they just think that they’re going to figure it out. And certainly they figured it out tonight.”

Taylor noted: “We had a lot of love in there tonight. I appreciate our fans. They’re always with us. No matter where we’re at, I feel like we always got a good fan base. So shout out to our fans for just supporting us and showing us a lot of love.”

Gimmick D: Self was asked about the triangle-and-two defense he employed with eight minutes left.

“We thought we’d go to it, but I thought we could really pressure (Stilman) White and (Justin) Watts. And we did,” Self said. “We did a great job on them the first half. They had nine points, eight assists and zero turnovers. Unbelievable. They played great. And we didn’t do a good job of that. So much for pressuring.

“They did a good job of releasing pressure in the backcourt with ball screens and things like that. And then we knew we were going to go to it, I thought the key was just pick the right time to go to it. And fortunately it kind of worked out for us.

“They got some open looks. Fortunately, they didn’t knock them down. And then sometimes when you get an open look, you don’t knock it down, you think a little bit, and that’s kind of what it does.

“But we were able to keep the ball out of their bigs’ hands and take away their two shooters. And the thing about it is, you got to rebound out of it. And you know, they’re a great rebounding team, but I thought we rebounded the ball as well as we have in a long time tonight.”

All-tourney team: Joining Robinson, Taylor and Jeff Withey on the all Midwest Regional team were North Carolina’s Tyler Zeller and Ohio’s Walter Offutt. Robinson was most outstanding player.

Comments

thmdmph 2 years, 4 months ago

Ty, from one dude to another. You are lovable. I love you man.

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Larry Smith 2 years, 4 months ago

Ty has worked hard this year. Every accolade he gets, he deserves. Way to take care of business this year TT.

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bbeckum 2 years, 4 months ago

TT: "I’m a loveable guy, man,” Yes you are sir. Surely, TT's critics are satisfied?! My favorite team ever (it's possible i say that every year). I nominate Travis for best glue guy since Chris Piper.

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waywardJay 2 years, 4 months ago

You suggesting Christian Moody wasn't a better glue guy than Piper ? he was the best walk-on Ever.

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aerohawk 2 years, 4 months ago

If I recall right he was a preferred walk-on (i.e., no tryout, he just wasn't on scholarship) on from North Carolina. He was a great walk-on though.

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Scatterhawk 2 years, 4 months ago

Jeff Hornacek walked on at Iowa State.

Unless you meant the best walk-on in Kansas history.

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bbeckum 2 years, 4 months ago

I said glue guy, not walk-on

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Chris Shaw 2 years, 4 months ago

I really enjoyed TJ Whatley! That dude sported that stache like no other!

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Chris Shaw 2 years, 4 months ago

My favorite team of all-time is 1991 squad with Adonis Jordan, Terry Brown, Alonzo Jamison, Richard Scott, Mark Randall, Steve Woodberry, Mike Maddox, Sean Tunstall, and Patrick Richey.

I think Wagner and Johanning were on there as well, but that squad beat everybody on the way to the NCAA Championship game against Duke!

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waywardJay 2 years, 4 months ago

Think Shabazz would miss a chance to see his Future Shoe Contract company beat the hell out of a NIKE team on National TV.....?

If you are suggesting that Shabazz doesn't love his future Shoe Contract you is Crazzzzzzzy!

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bville_hawk 2 years, 4 months ago

We don't want that guy. At best he'll be one and done. Let him be one and done somewhere else, IMHO.

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onetonhand 2 years, 4 months ago

We want who Bill Self wants to recruit. If the Kid wants to come to Kansas that says alot of the right things about him. It says wants to develop as a player. He wants to win, he thinks he can earn his spot instead of it being given. I welcome him if he makes that choice

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KansasComet 2 years, 4 months ago

Elijah Johnson has my vote for All Tournament Team. He hit a clutch shot in 3 of the 4 games, incredible!!!

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Wingshooter 2 years, 4 months ago

Tyshawn and Elijah = Fire and ice in the backcourt. Lethal combo.

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jaybate 2 years, 4 months ago

We were not at full strength either.

We didn't have BenMac or Jamari.

And the whole KU team gets my vote for all tourney.

Kevin and Conner were super of the pine.

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Andy Tweedy 2 years, 4 months ago

If we are really trying to dig up excused, how 'bout we lost 3 starters to the NBA draft as underclassmen. Excuses are lame!

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Brak 2 years, 4 months ago

Pretty sure he was just mocking everyone that keeps bringing up that the only reason we won is because their PG did not play. Lack of reading comprehension is even more lame.

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REHawk 2 years, 4 months ago

Hey, Jayhawks played an entire season without Kendall Marshall; managed quite well without him. Managed quite well without any of the Tarheels' 6 or 7 McDees.

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Steve Reigle 2 years, 4 months ago

I have never "disliked" Tyshawn Taylor. I've been frustrated with him at times in the past, but never disliked the young man.I think he'd be a fun guy to be around. Win or lose, I'm proud he's a Jayhawk.

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jhox 2 years, 4 months ago

Bill Self is the master. To go to the Final 4 with this team is just amazing. Yeah, we have a couple of stars, and a few other guys who step up on occasion and have a great game, but we didn't have a lot of depth, our big guys are foul prone, and we don't have a consistent 3 point shooter. Self is indeed the master.

He said in one interview that he thought of going to the Triangle and 2 in the first half, but decided to wait until after halftime so the UNC coaching staff wouldn't be able to make adjustments to it during halftime. Classic Self, always thinking two steps ahead.

Anybody else notice how slow Roy was in calling a timeout to try to settle his team down in the last 2 or 3 minutes of the game? I'd almost forgotten how much he hates to call timeouts in those situations.

Rock Chalk, Jayhawk! Beat Ohio State, then shock the world with a win over the best paid college team in America.

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bradh 2 years, 4 months ago

I thought all of our players played great. I like to look at the rebounds and assists to see what I think of as hustle plays. We had a lot of hustlers in the game yesterday.

I think I was happiest at Kevin Young's effort. Great hustle getting those rebounds. Think he got three in a row at one time that he really had to fight for, those seemed like a turning point in the game to me.

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jayhawkinATL 2 years, 4 months ago

Please, please, TT...start getting comfortable with shooting treys in a dome setting.

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jayhawkinATL 2 years, 4 months ago

Too funny that TT didn't realize the Final Four is at the Superdome.

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Robert Brock 2 years, 4 months ago

If domes bother him, wait'l he gets a load of THAT dome.

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oldalum 2 years, 4 months ago

I guess he truly wasn't looking ahead to future games!

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Displayhawk 2 years, 4 months ago

Generally, I'm not a big fan of the media, but I got to give credit where it's due. Selecting Bill Self as Coach of the Year ...... They got that one right! RCJH!!!

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okiedave 2 years, 4 months ago

What makes coach Self a great coach -- He's a coach of second chances. After Taylor was suspended for an altercation earlier in his career, their was the real possibility that Taylor would be released from the team. Self gave him a second chance. Now Taylor is a mover and shaker toward a national championship.

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REHawk 2 years, 4 months ago

Second chances, hell! In regard to TT, Self extended second chances annually!

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Martin Rosenblum 2 years, 4 months ago

Tyshawn is like the kid who waits until the night before a project is due to go out and buy a piece of poster board when he knew for two weeks that it was going to be due on a given day.

He buckles down and gets his poster board at the last minute and ends up making one of the best grades on his work. But, maybe he could have even gotten "extra credit" had he done more and done it earlier! (analogy:higher draft pick)

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HawkKlaw 2 years, 4 months ago

Rebounding and defense were huge in this game. Both teams were lighting up the scoreboard, but KU played better defense and grabbed more boards. That's really what it came down to. There were several runs in this game, and I was waiting for UNC's final run there at the end of the game. It never came because they weren't comfortable on offense and they couldn't wrestle the boards away from TRob (not even Withey could do that...lol). Also, this was a total team effort. Tyshawn and TRob were spectacular, but Elijah, Releford, Withey, Connor, KY and even Wesley contributed a lot to this victory. I'm really proud of this team of underdogs. This is the most unlikely Final Four year I can remember as a Kansas fan.

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monkeehawkSL8 2 years, 4 months ago

 TY, THE DOME IN NEW O. IS HUGE. IT IS POSSIBLE TO CHANGE THE WAY THINGS APPEAR TO US. BRING THE FIELD HOUSE WITH YOU TO THE DOME. STAND ON THE COURT IN PHOG ALLEN, LOCK ONTO IT. WHEN YOU PLAY IN THE DOME, JUST BE IN THE PHOG. BELIEVE ME, IT WILL FIT EASILY. 
 I HAVE HAD TO ENDURE SOME THINGS IN LIFE THAT BECAME TOLERABLE BECAUSE I HAVE BEEN ABLE TO BE IN  2 PLACES @ ONCE.
 FOR ANYBODY THAT WANTS TO MAKE FUN OF ME OR WHAT I'M SAYING, PLEASE KNOCK YOURSELF OUT.
 AGAIN, BRING THE FIELD HOUSE WITH YOU. YOU ARE FOREVER APART OF IT, I KNOW WHERE EVER YOU ARE RIGHT NOW, YOU CAN SEE, FEEL, SMELL, TASTE THE COURT THAT YOU HAVE SWEAT AND BLED ON FOR YOUR CAREER AT KANSAS.
 I AM THE A.H. THAT WROTE THAT I DID NOT BELIEVE YOU DESERVED THE COUSY AWARD. I ALSO CHALLENGED YOU TO PROVE ME WRONG BY WINNING A NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP. YOUR WINNING......... PLEASE CONTINUE TO PROVE ME WRONG.
 IF WHAT I HAVE SUGGESTED TO YOU SOUNDS STUPID, SO BE IT.ON THE OTHER HAND TRY IT, IT MAY HELP. YOU HAVE A BEAUTIFUL STROKE AND YOUR ONE FANTASTIC YOUNG MAN AND BASKETBALL PLAYER.
 THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR HARD WORK. C
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machinegun 2 years, 4 months ago

Coach Bill Self is a one of the best coaches I have ever seen! What puzzled me were the comments made at halftime by the CBS krewe (Auburn's Charles Barkley, UNC's Kenny "The Jet" Smith, and KSU's Frank Martin). They all said that North Carolina was playing their game and implied that North Carolina was probably going to win as if Coach Self was not going to make any adjustments. The score was tied 47-47. Unbelievable. Key adjustments were made, and made at a time of Coach Self's choosing, with outstanding results. North Carolina could not score against KU's defense!

I saw the small section of North Carolina fans behind their bench. I laughed to myself since my wife won't watch the game with me. North Carolina fans were so arrogant that they assumed they were going to the Final Four. Everywhere else in the arena we saw KU fans by the tens of thousands. And they were loud and they were proud! Someone said that it looked like a KU home game. Kudos to all of the KU faithful for supporting our team in Omaha and St. Louis. Now we march on to the "Big Easy."

OK--Tyshawn missed a few from 3-point land! He did his part in many other ways! Da Man was terrific all game long! Did you see that "and 1" with Stilman White hanging all over him! Ty lost the ball when he got fouled on the way up, regained control in midair, and made the sweetest layup I have ever seen at crunch time! Then, Ty made the FT to give us a 7-point lead!

Obviously, Elijah made the key shot of the game to give us the 4-point lead and then Ty gave us the insurance that we needed to ice the game! North Carolina folded their tent after those two scoring plays. I am not going to blame the "Huckleberry Hound" for the loss as many are doing in North Carolina. Coach Self, his assistants, and our exceptional team of warriors took it to the Tarheels and sent them packing!

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Armen Kurdian 2 years, 4 months ago

You were making us CRAZY last night TT, but the numbers don't lie...and you're the fastest man on the court by far. Bring on the Buckeyes!

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andy acosta 2 years, 4 months ago

machinegun. Yes, if you would have tuned in to the game at half time and caught the analysis from CBS's crew you would have thought KU was down at least 10. I literally feel like I am the only person on the planet that understands how good Bill Self is while no one else can see it (besides us KU fans.) People simply refuse to give us a chance but you know what, I will ride this underdog role all the way through Bourbon St.

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Sally Presson 2 years, 4 months ago

You are loveable Ty, my goodness you have really taken charge of this team. You guys have been outstanding and we love your "Get 'Um done" attitude. Your attitudes don't come around every year and those of us who are die hard fans know it and appreciate all of you. Everything about this team is so special, how hard y ou work, how you never give up, how you care about each other and it shows. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for a wonderful season!!!

Rock Chalk

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Iandhi 2 years, 4 months ago

“I wasn’t really too worried about fouling out. I knew that if I would have backed up, they would have made a couple extra shots. So I knew I had to be aggressive still. If I fouled out, I fouled out. So I just knew I had to be aggressive and keep on trying to block shots.” --Jeff Withey

I need to have this mentality all of the time.

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RJ King 2 years, 4 months ago

The things that drive us crazy about someone are usually the flip side of the very qualities that we love. As a parent and coach of many, you may love the even keel, laid back dude because he doesn't disrupt practices, but you also have to light a fire under him at times. Another kid makes unbelievably athletic plays, but also gets out of control. And on and on.

A Ying and Yang will always exist. A truly great parent, teacher, boss, or coach can minimize the negative and maximize the positive through instruction, motivation, and tough, unconditional love.

I love Tyshawn. And Bill Self is a master!

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Kit Duncan 2 years, 4 months ago

Don't flame me for saying this, but this may not be Bill Self's best job of coaching. I say this because he has no choice but to start the five best players that he has and sub sparingly and only when necessary. His best coaching performance was likely the 2008 team when he had to manage time between the egos of a nine deep bench.

The exception is that, when overloaded on talent, Bill has had a tendency to get out the hook the moment someone made a boneheaded play. In Ty's defense, and even more so E.J.'s, I felt in previous years they weren't given the chance to get their legs and brains going in the same direction when subbed into a game and would often get pulled immediately if they went right out and turned the ball over. This caused each to play tentatively, often times looking over their shoulder at the bench expecting to get pulled if they did make a mistake.

We finally saw Coach Self give Tyshawn the green light at the end of last season to run the team at his speed and it showed. Ty finally got the confidence to take over when the team needed a boost. This season, good or bad, Ty has had the green light by default with no one on the bench (Naadir got the quick hooks this year) capable of running the team for any stretch of time. Ty and E.J. have learned to switch positions when Ty has needed a breather and that has given Ty the legs to finish games which he didn't have earlier in the season.

Thomas Robinson may be the biggest surprise and the best player on this year's team, but the heart and soul of this team is Tyshawn Taylor. Win or lose, this year's Jayhawk Men's Basketball team will be remembered for many years to come and Tyshawn will be at the center of all the memories as the leader we hoped he would become!

Rock Chalk! Go Tyshawn! Go KU!

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RJ King 2 years, 4 months ago

6 of one, half dozen of the other. But I agree with your logic.

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Kit Duncan 2 years, 4 months ago

Regarding Bill Self's coaching ability: He is a master at managing games. One of the biggest differences is that Bill is not afraid to use timeouts at any time to either slow the tempo or get in his team's face when they are not playing focused. Bill used his last timeout the other day with a couple of minutes to go and, he couldn't have done it at a better time. Coach was able to tell his players face to face what he wanted each to do on the switches rather than yell to them and hope they heard him.

Conversely Roy, when down only four points with two minutes to go, had an opportunity to use one of his three timeouts and run a set play to get a better chance of making a basket or get a foul and free throws. (Bill had just used one of his three and didn't get a score) Instead, Roy saved his timeouts as he usually does and was out coached by Bill.

What followed were the two epic blocks by Withey and subsequent fast break scores by Tyshawn (and one) and Travis to put the Jayhawks up nine. Only then, with a little over a minute to go did Roy take a thirty second timeout to try to get something going. (Too little, too late)

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Kit Duncan 2 years, 4 months ago

Correction... "Bill used his last timeout the other day with a couple of minutes to go"

I meant to say... in the Purdue game when, Coach Self (KU down one, 61-60) called his last timeout with 59 seconds to go to set the defensive switches which stymied Jackson and led to a steal and basket by E.J. That was unquestionably a well called timeout.

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