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Kansas defeats Washburn, 62-50

  • 7 p.m., Nov. 5, 2012
  • Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, KS

Monday, November 5, 2012

Self upset with ‘miserable’ offense following KU’s 62-50 win over Washburn

Kansas center Jeff Withey grabs a pass down low as he is guarded by Washburn defenders Jared Henry (4) and Zack Riggins (24) during the second half on Monday, Nov. 5, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas center Jeff Withey grabs a pass down low as he is guarded by Washburn defenders Jared Henry (4) and Zack Riggins (24) during the second half on Monday, Nov. 5, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self

Kansas coach Bill Self talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 62-50 victory over Washburn.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Elijah Johnson, Ben McLemore and Perry Ellis

Elijah Johnson, Ben McLemore and Perry Ellis talk to reporters following the Jayhawks' 62-50 victory over Washburn on Nov. 5, 2012.

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Kansas University's basketball team stretched its home exhibition win streak to 38 games on Monday night in Allen Fieldhouse.

So much for pretty much the only good news that came out of a 62-50 victory over Washburn before an eerily quiet crowd of 16,300.

“Our offense stunk. It was just beyond bad. Our offense was just miserable,” KU coach Bill Self said after an historically bad offensive effort.

How “miserable” was it?

The 62 points were by far the fewest points scored by the Jayhawks in a home exhibition contest in school history.

Previous low was 73 points in a 73-47 victory over Pittsburg State on Nov. 14, 2005. It also was KU’s closest home exhibition victory since a 79-70 victory over an equally pesky Washburn squad on Nov. 14, 2004.

“We are going to be a team that plays in spurts, and we’re going to be a team that labors to score. We just are,” Self said. “We didn’t execute, and our senior leadership was non-existent.”

He had plenty more to say following a game in which KU committed 24 turnovers to Washburn’s 18.

“Most of it is just pure softness,” Self said, pointing out only one positive — a defense that held Washburn to 25.8 percent shooting. “Not meeting the pass, just so soft with the ball. You can go down the list of things we didn’t do. Not very often do you have a collective game where everybody plays poor individually. ... We moped around a little bit. We have to have better senior leadership without question.”

Senior Jeff Withey, who had zero points and one rebound in 11 minutes the first half, did finish with nine points, eight boards and seven blocks.

“I’ll be honest with you. There was no low post presence either,” Self said. “We always have played inside/out. Jeff needs to be a factor in there.

“The first half he had no points, one rebound, no assists, one block and two turnovers in 11 minutes. That’s a guy who is going to challenge for all-league honors I hope. Our whole deal is designed to get Jeff the ball. Now we don’t have the best passers in the world, but he caught the ball several times from two feet and was not ready to score. That’s on Jeff. Jeff was much more aggressive the second half. You shouldn’t have to take a guy out and sit him to get him mad for him to get aggressive. That’s where you should be all the time. He was a factor late which hopefully will be a good boost for him moving forward.”

Senior Elijah Johnson, meanwhile, had 13 points off 4-of-8 shooting with five turnovers and four assists in 38 minutes.

“He’s got a lot to learn,” Self said. “Even there at the end, he deferred and let Ben (McLemore, 17 points, 10 rebounds, four turnovers, no assists) bring the ball up the court instead of him. Ben struggled the whole night. Here’s a guy with many turnovers and no assists and Elijah is having him initiate offense. That’s not what guards do. He has to do a better job running our team.

“Elijah can’t play that many minutes. That’s a great teaching point now. He knows he’s not in shape. He thinks he is. He didn’t create any pace defensively or offensively, so obviously he’s not in shape.”

Self added that the seniors (Travis Releford had seven points, four boards) didn’t do anything “to help the young guys change it. It’s the veterans’ responsibility to drag the young guys along. There was none of that tonight.”

Frosh McLemore scored 13 of KU’s 15 points in a 15-6 run to give KU a 34-19 first-half lead.

Yet ...

“Their guy pressured him and got underneath him, and he struggled to do anything when the guy got underneath him,” Self said. “Everybody will play underneath him now because everybody’s going to get this tape.”

The players realize there’s a lot of work to do before Friday’s regular-season opener against Southeast Missouri State (7 p.m., Allen).

“I think everybody is thinking too much right now,” Johnson said. “With us thinking so hard and making it complex, I think we’re confusing each other, rather than just rolling with a rhythm hopping on the same train, building off one play. I feel everyone is feeling they have to hit a home run. With that being said, I think there’s no chemistry out there.”

Comments

Brianna Zaleski 2 years, 1 month ago

Very blah game. You would expect to see some exciting things against an inferior opponent, but there just weren't. Jeff Withey is an offensive liability. He is a beast on D, but offensively, if we plan on running the O thru him (Self's words, and I realize he was trying to get thru to Jeff), we are in for a looonngg season. He has the hardest time 1. Catching the ball cleanly on the block, and 2. Maintaining his position. TRob, he is not! I expect Self to abandon this gameplan soon if Jeff continues to show no interior strength on the offensive end. Because he is too good defensively to not gave out there.

Michael Luby 2 years, 1 month ago

Someone's gotta light a fire under Jeff's pants. Make no mistake, KU will be good this year, they always are, it just remains to be seen how good. Theyve got the "pieces" to win the league again but can they figure it out in time? Ive been thinking it for a while now, I really feel like a freshman will be leading us in scoring this year.

dylans 2 years, 1 month ago

Probably two freshmen the way thing s are going. Ellis and McLemore should be among KU's top scores.

rockchalker5 2 years, 1 month ago

I like how last year Jeff Withey is the greatest thing since sliced bread and this year one day after we play an exhibition game hes an offensive liability. Lets take a step back here people.

lurkerhawk 2 years, 1 month ago

Jeff playing without T-Rob is revealing problems with his game.

Mike Bratisax 2 years, 1 month ago

No TRob to cover Jeff's mistakes. Jeff will be the focus inside for our opponents this year. I hope he has made the improvements in his game plus added muscle or his role this year will be diminished.

Luke Kay 2 years, 1 month ago

I have always thought that us having to make Jeff mad before he plays worth a damn was ridiculous! They talked about it quite a bit last year and I couldnt help but shake my head. He doesnt seem to have much heart. I like Jeff as a piece of the puzzle, but anybody who thinks Jeff will be anything more than that is fooling themselves. He is just not a great player, he is slightly above average at best. And seriously... after 4 years with our trainers he still looks small. Is he allergic to muscles?

JayhawkRock78 2 years, 1 month ago

I didn't see the game but Self needs to put JW on a red meat diet and keep him fired up. He had a couple of big games last year and needs to play at that level regularly.

Derek Conway 2 years, 1 month ago

Jeff has caught hundreds of passes down in the post from the perimeter. Yet, every time he attempts to catch it, he either is not ready to score the ball, or seems surprised by the help defender coming in behind him. Sometimes he just looks completely lost out there. He has a lot of work to do this season, that is for sure.

Jeremy Bolinger 2 years, 1 month ago

He NEVER goes up strong with the ball. He looks so uncoordinated at times.

Scott MacWilliams 2 years, 1 month ago

“We didn’t execute, and our senior leadership was non-existent.”

Not having seen the game, that doesn't sound too encouraging. Course it is early, but the seniors (and juniors?) need to step it up and show the way. With this many freshmen, HCBS >REALLY< needs them to be 'floor coaches'.

Maybe the Srs thought that they would let the kids try to jump in and lead???

C'mon, Jeff, Travis, EJ, the future is here!!!

Rock Chalk!!

Priest Fontaine 2 years, 1 month ago

Elijah looked like he forgot how to dribble the basketball. He lost it on his own at times. Lead by example!

I was really hoping Withey was going to get super-sized in the off season and come out dominate and aggressive. Sad to see that this isn't the case. Thanks to a stronger second half he did almost end up with a triple-double.

Releford needs to make his move this season. Hoping to see him take over games with 4 years of KU ball under his belt. We all know he is capable.

I guess this game will be a good teaching/motivational tool for Self. Not too worried. Things will gel. But hopefully soon because Michigan St is right around the corner...

Darin Bradley 2 years, 1 month ago

I've said this all along. EJ is not the answer at point. Can he do it? Sure, but he's better at the two. Tharpe MUST step it up so the offense can get into a flow. Tharpe can penetrate and kick or feed the post. He doesn't have to score. I'm not saying he should start but he needs to provide critical minutes so EJ can score from his natural position. EJ won't take many shots off the bounce. He's much better coming off screens. And when he does boy does it look pretty!

Rock Chalk!!

Big_Dipper 2 years, 1 month ago

Slight topic change...

Did anybody else find it funny how there were political ads for Missouri races during the Kansas Basketball game? I mean, when these people are spending money to pay for ads, and have to choose when and where to air them, are they sitting there going, "Golly Gee, the Kansas basketball games get a lot of viewers, let's get them to vote for us! You betcha!"

A few things come to mind with why this happened...

  1. The first is obvious. Most of the people watching the game on a local network would likely be from the state of Kansas, and cannot vote for Missouri politics. Basically throwing money away. (Missouri politicians aren't too bright. Yes, I realized that a long time ago, but it's further proof now.)

  2. The politicians want to make sure they get all the voters possible, so they think there are several die hard Big XII fans in Missouri that want to keep up with the Big XII.

  3. Myserians are disappointed with how bad their football season is going and want to watch a winner, and the politicians realize this fact.

  4. The politicians realize there are a lot of closet Kansas fans in Mysery, and maybe they, themselves, wear the crimson and blue underneath their dress clothes... Maybe a t-shirt, undies, or a KU sticky holding a hair replacement system in place...

Benz Junque 2 years, 1 month ago

There were probably TENS of THOUSANDS of Missouri residents that saw those ads last night.

KULA 2 years, 1 month ago

lol--just goes to prove--Missouri will always be Kansas' b____!

KULA 2 years, 1 month ago

lol--just goes to prove--Missouri will always be Kansas' b....!

hucking_fawks_rock 2 years, 1 month ago

Let me give you a lesson in Geography real quick. Lawrence, Kansas is about 40 minutes west of this place called "Kansas City", where there are more University of Kansas alumni living than the entire town of Lawrence. The biggest TV market for the University of Kansas is this place called Kansas City. There are a good portion of those who live in this "Kansas City" who live on the Missouri side of the border, and who would be the target audience for these political ads.

Don't hurt yourself thinking about this anymore than you already have.

Big_Dipper 2 years, 1 month ago

My young padawan, let me give you a lesson in being a true Jayhawk fan, and making fun of all things Missouri whenever possible. You see, there are these people that are reaaaaaaaaaaly loyal Jayhawk fans that reaaaaaaaaaaaly dislike fans who like Missouri, which are usually East of the Kansas border and West of Illinois. These Kansas Jayhawk fans enjoy making fun of all things that the Missouri putty tat fans may or may not do, but is at least related to their state. This will continue to go on, especially since they thought they were mooooving to greener pastures in the SEC, even though they couldn't even beat the geeks of Vanderbilt.

Don't hurt yourself thinking about any of this. You probably are one of those people that live East of Kansas and West of Illinois. This would likely give you a headache before the meth has a chance to kick in.

John Strayer 2 years, 1 month ago

Uhh....I just wonder how many Kansas Alumni live in KC MO??? When I lived in the area I lived in Lees Summit and I did vote in Missouri elections.

average 2 years, 1 month ago

The Missouri political race ads didn't surprise me at all. It was the night before the election.

The "buy your UMKC Kangaroos season tickets" ad in the middle of a KU-Washburn game? Now that was funny.

Jacob Zutterman 2 years, 1 month ago

This might have been one of the worst performances in the last 10 years that I can remember. I think we have the athleticism and talent, but Bill said it, there just isn't any team chemistry. Lots of passes where "I think he'll be" instead of passes where "I know he'll be". I was also very disappointed in our low post game. Jeff was SOFT. I hope Peters and Young make it back soon and at 100%. I'm sure Bill will pull them together by the end of the year but that was certainly not a 7th ranked team in the nation performance and I will go so far as to say that they played like a not-top 30 team.

mike88901 2 years, 1 month ago

I'm sorry but I'm leaving for Atlanta first thing Monday morning and before this game I had confidence we would beat msu. Now I'm a little worried. We will be good, we always are with self there is no doubt. But beating msu this early in the season we have to be a lot better than we were tonight. What would withey be with manning is the biggest question. T Rob jumped from a good player to a amazing player in one year and I think we all thought Jeff would do the same clearly he hasn't. I think our best lineup tonight was with Ellis, traylor, Johnson, releford, and mclemore out there and Jeff on the bench. Jeff needs to step it up and elijah has to lead this team more. Let's go beat msu and watch Kentucky get steam rolled with there high salary team. Rock chalk

dylans 2 years, 1 month ago

No. There were flashes of brilliance with TRob all along. I honestly think that Thomas would have played more minutes if he wasn't competing against two players that play so well together (Morri) It was not that he wasn't a better or equal player they just were better together. I have seen Jeff play a few good games, but TRob was special. A lack of Manning is not Withey's problem, he's just near his ceiling on offense. Withey's defense is what is special.

sportacopia 2 years, 1 month ago

I think it's too early to tell what kind of team we will have even early in the season because Self always plays a lot of players with a lot of different lineups in these exhibitions. That does not mean these same pairings will be on the floor at the same time in the games to come. I'd be more than willing to bet that Perry Ellis starts every game for KU this season that he is healthy and he did not start in either exhibition. I am also willing to bet that unless we get into foul trouble you will see smaller rotations of players in moments for the main 8 or so guys on the court. I think Wesley will take a back seat to some of the younger kids, and when Young comes back Wesley might hardly play at all. That being said MSU will still be a very tough game.
If you guys like talking KU basketball you should checkout http://sportacopia.com/ it is a free sports social network designed by a KU grad for people to have a place to talk about sports all the time with other sports fans. Here's the link to the KU fan page. http://sportacopia.com/group/1 free to use and easy to sign up. Rock Chalk! Cannot wait for Friday's game.

KansasComet 2 years, 1 month ago

Jeff Withey is fine. It's the beginning of the season. It is not late February or early March. Of course this team is not where it needs to be. The season has not started yet. Last year, we were not ready to play Kentucky in Madison Square Garden. Remember the entire team standing around while Tyshawn Taylor drove to the basket, because no one else seemed to know what to do? I love this team, and I am happy that we have Jeff Withey, the same Jeff Withey that set block records during the NCAA Tournament last year on our team. Developing chemistry takes a little time. I refuse to be upset at Withey or anyone else on the team over an exhibition game with Washburn. Now if we start out 4-4, then I'll be upset. Go Jayhawks!!

nuleafjhawk 2 years, 1 month ago

This is why they play exhibition games.

KGphoto 2 years, 1 month ago

lol, I must've said that out loud a dozen times last night. That and "We needed this".

KUFan90 2 years, 1 month ago

Sorry to see Gary didn't use Self's quote of the night:

"We played like a bunch of babies tonight."

Self is salivating over getting to use this game as a "teaching tool".

"Elijah's out of shape" = LOTS of running in practice! : )

Mike Bratisax 2 years, 1 month ago

EJ out of shape? Not questioning you as I did not see the game but wasn't that what boot camp was for? Hopefully will be able to catch Friday's game.. Still no power at home. Again, as I did not see the game, I imagine this team, as did last year's, will grow more confident playing with each other as roles become more defined.

Ron Prichard 2 years, 1 month ago

Yes, but KState beat Washburn by 20 and scored 81 points on them. This was a horrible performance by KU. I think we'll eventually gel and be a very, very good team, but if the KU team that played last night is the one that shows up to play MSU, we're going to get rolled.

Benjamin Piehler 2 years, 1 month ago

As always, I don't understand the infatuation with Withey... But since Withey skepticism has already been well documented here; EJ has really got to start playing like a senior.

The team as a whole really need to practice passing and understanding the value of keeping possession. Washburn are a decent team, but its going to be a long season if we don't do some quick maturing.

REHawk 2 years, 1 month ago

Gotta keep it in perspective that Washburn started 4 seniors and a junior, returned 90% of their scoring and almost all their rebounding from a 25-8 team. Yeah, we played sloppy and too often out of control, but still held them to less than 26% shooting. Ellis seemed to look more polished in the first half when Jeff was on the bench. I would like to see a chart of his touches of the ball in the second half when he was on the floor with the other 4 starters. I know that Self was waving the five fingers, I assume to urge the flow toward Jeff; but it appeared that Perry became invisible in our standard hi-lo focus on Withey. Lots of room for tweaking that 4/5 combination now that we have a power forward who brings a very different style of game from that of TRob.

MoralVictory 2 years, 1 month ago

Blending 7 freshmen with 3 seniors who weren't leaders on the team last year is going to take time. Kevin Young might be the best leader on the team and he was not on the court. Once Young and Peters return, I think that this team will start to gel.

Robert Brown 2 years, 1 month ago

Give Washburn some credit. Think about what a legendary coach Bob Chipman is at Washburn. By the time he retires he will have coached Washburn to over 800 wins. That's amazing.

REHawk 2 years, 1 month ago

Very good point. We should be thankful that he hasn't been coaching the recent talent which has flowed in and out of Waco. Our 8 title streak might have faced serious jeopardy.

Martin Rosenblum 2 years, 1 month ago

From what I saw, they are not playing any more inspired ball than they did in Europe, before boot camp and weeks of practice. A coach shouldn't be shocked at his team playing uninspired ball. It has to be evident in practice as well. Probably this year's seniors are the least inspiring we've had as floor leaders in a long time. Releford can be that guy, if he wants to be. Don't let the freshmen dominate the swagger of the team. They're in need of the spirit of the legacy of KU basketball. Even with so much individual talent, they are still a team and need to become one beating heart. They better review games from the past two seasons and learn to play as a team that is on a mission.

REHawk 2 years, 1 month ago

For me, one of the most disappointing things last night was the fact that the score was so tight that Adams, White and Lucas were unable to glean many minutes of experience. Bill Self was forced to go to an 8 man lineup, incl. Wesley. I had kicked back in my recliner with a beer, hoping to see those 3 young kids highlight some of the stuff they had begun to display last Tuesday; but poof, they were forced by circumstance to ride the pine. This outing kinda limited my exuberance to a one beer Jahyawk night.

Curtis Stutz 2 years, 1 month ago

'RIo's 3 TO's didn't help him play either, or AW3 popping a contested 3 the second he got his hands on the ball. You saw a more typical rotation last night, which I was actually excited to see. I want to see the guys that are actually going to play this season out there together, getting ready. Take UK for example, Cal isn't giving minutes to everyone on the team, he's playing his top7 and they're learning to play together. Wesley starting was about the only oddity last night, other than that minutes were about right for a regular season game.

jaybate 2 years, 1 month ago

Yup, its pretty clear that Self now trusts Naadir more than Anrio. But that's to be expected. And those three pop tarts didn't reassure Bill Self. :-)

Beate Williams 2 years, 1 month ago

Must agree with KansasComet and Rehawk. Last week everyone was worried about the lack of defense by the team, yet last night a good team shot less than 27%. The coach has to have teaching tools, so why would he tell 7 freshmen they are playing great after two exhibition games. Self will mold this team into a great team but he must first get them to believe that he knows more than they know at this time and he is getting there. I see the MSU game being a very different game from last night's, I guarantee you. Here is a link to a nice story on Marcus, who had to learn that what Self was trying to teach him would make him a better player and the team a team. http://blog.chron.com/ultimaterockets/2012/11/rockets’-morris-determined-to-make-most-of-second-nba-season/

Steve Reigle 2 years, 1 month ago

I don't remember the details from last season but at this point last year we stunk. The talent and the depth are here. Coach will get them going, just like last year.

dman_7899 2 years, 1 month ago

Wow Withey. You will be disappointed at the end of the year when all of these honors disappear If you keep that up. I saw a very sad 7 foot senior. And he thought he could go pro last year.....right.

HawkKlaw 2 years, 1 month ago

Woah, don't get so down little fella. It was just an exhibition game!

Steve Kubler 2 years, 1 month ago

Withey needs to play stronger but do not blame him for all of those missed chances down low. The passing was horrid, he was having to catch the ball below his shoulders instead of shoulder level or above. That gives the defenders a better shot at the ball and also slows him on a move to the basket. If you catch the ball at or above your shoulders you can turn and shoot in one move. A good pass can make all the difference to a low post player.

Of course on several passes he could have stepped into the pass and helped himself as well. Jeff, along with the rest of the seniors played with low intensity most of the game. I am just pleased that whatever fire HCBS lit under Withey at half time took hold as he was pretty dang good in the second half.

It appears the starting lineup, at least until Young is back in the mix will be EJ, McLemore, Releford, Ellis, and Withey. That sound about right?

Robert Brock 2 years, 1 month ago

We could have used Kaleb Tarczewski last night.

jayhawkeratheart 2 years, 1 month ago

Maybe the Charlie Weis tactic has rubbed off on the entire athletic department. You know, keep the score low, and keep the game close. Just a thought

HawkKlaw 2 years, 1 month ago

Withey will have his ups and downs this year like he did last year. Don't get too down on him just yet. His overall stat line was actually not that bad. He just got pushed around a lot in the first half.

At this point, we know what we're going to get from Travis every night. He will play great defense and he might contribute here and there on offense. He may not light up the stat sheet, but he does a lot of things that make him a valuable part of the team (steals, assists, rebounds). I agree that it would be awesome if he was more aggressive, but at this point I don't think he's going to do much more than what he has already done. He will have a couple breakout games this year, but for the most part this game is on par with what we will get from Releford on any given night.

rockchalker5 2 years, 1 month ago

Travis Releford was not a 5 star guy, and I really don't agree that he was that hyped. I don't think most people thought he was going to be a true elite player. He defers a lot of shots because he is simply not a good shooter. His strengths are as a defender and a slasher. Any offense we get from his is a bonus.

As for Withey, yeah he was soft last night and he will have his low points. He will play much better. Also for a 7 footer like himself, it can be frusturating playing against 6-7 and 6-8 guys.

HawkKlaw 2 years, 1 month ago

I agree with you - Releford should slash and drive and dish more. But we already have Elijah, BMac and Naadir doing that. They're all better at slashing than Releford is, which is why he defers. I wish he would be more aggressive, but like I mentioned above, that's just Releford's style. He's not an offensive juggernaut even though we all think he could and should be.

I agree with rockchalker5 too - Like it or not, any offense we get from Releford is just icing on the cake.

Sam Constance 2 years, 1 month ago

Releford and EJ need to switch roles.

EJ looked incredibly uncomfortable when he was in the lead guard role last night. That's just not his game. Johnson should be more the shooter who occasionally puts the ball on the floor and Releford should be the slasher/creator who occasionally takes an open jumper.

I'm not sure if they just assume that EJ has toe be the heir apparent to TT because he's a "point" guard (read as: combo guard who dribbles), but Releford does seem more capable of being the leader that Taylor was than EJ.

I love EJ, but I think his personality is too laid back to be the kind of leader a Bill Self team needs.

HawkKlaw 2 years, 1 month ago

Well, the problem with Releford in the "lead" role is that he isn't necessarily a "leader." I think he leads by example on defense, but on offense he doesn't assert himself enough to be "the guy". I think he has the skill. He just defers to other players too much on offense to be the team leader.

HawkKlaw 2 years, 1 month ago

Last night's game was pretty pitiful.

This is one of those learning games. Bill Self will right the ship and get this squad rolling.

That pathetic display of KU basketball falls mainly on the shoulders of Elijah, Travis & Withey. Those three guys need to come out fired up and lead the charge every single game. Elijah is clearly still figuring out that this is his team. He will get it. He's used to being in Tyshawn's shadow right now. He will grow out of it and become the leader that he is supposed to be. And if he doesn't, KU will make very little noise come March.

It's the same old, same old with Travis and Jeff. They are both great defensively but they need to step it up on the offensive end. Like Self said, our offense is designed to go through the post. Somehow Perry Ellis looks far more experienced than Jeff in the offense, yet Perry has only been here since the summer. Ellis + Withey is a great tandem but Withey needs to come out ready to fight from the get-go. And Travis didn't play bad (7pts, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals in 27 minutes), but as always, we need more from him.

It wasn't all bad, though.

Once again, our young guys showed a ton of promise.

McLemore lead the team in scoring and rebounding. He had too many turnovers, but he also did what he's on the court to do. I was pretty pleased with BMac last night despite his freshman errors.

Naadir was very adequate at the backup PG spot. He didn't turn the ball over, had two steals and two assists in 16 minutes. Those aren't exceptional numbers, but that's the kind of stat line Naadir will need if he wants minutes this year. And it was refreshing to see him not turn the ball over even though everyone else on the team was practically just giving the ball to Washburn. That makes Naadir's assist/turnover ratio in the past two games 6:1 (if I remember correctly). We need more assists per game, but at least it's a far cry from last year when he turned it over like 9 times to Kentucky in about 5 minutes of play.

Perry Ellis is a stud. I look for the offense to start going through him much more than Withey. Ellis can just score so effortlessly. He had 10pts and 5 boards in 27 minutes last night. You'd like to see more from him, but that's pretty solid for a freshman starting off the season.

The biggest hurdle that this squad has to overcome is it's passiveness. Bill Self knows it. That's why he's trying to light a fire under everybody's @$$es right now. The seniors need to come out ready to play and our young guys need to get to that point where they're playing more than thinking. And we need someone to bring the "swag", as the kids say nowadays. Last year it was TRob + Tyshawn, the year before that it was the Morris twins. KU needs someone to be the backbone of the team and to get everyone ready for action. I'm looking at you, Elijah Johnson!

REHawk 2 years, 1 month ago

Swag might, eventually, come from BenMac, once he figures it all out. When he surged into that hot streak last night, excitement mounted. Chipman made nice halftime adjustments to throttle Ben in the second half. And, yeah, I think BIll Self will adjust hi-lo ball movement more toward Ellis, who is much more natural on the offensive end than defensive-minded Withey. This team is going to be a sometimes frustrating work in progress; but, My O My, the potential is there for some terrific play. The two best newcomers are rare talents.

HawkKlaw 2 years, 1 month ago

I agree. I might even take it a step further and say that BMac and Ellis may end up being the best players on the team this year. That's probably taking it too far after just two exhibition games, but like you said, the potential is clearly there.

Ethan Berger 2 years, 1 month ago

Let's see how we play Friday before we freak out. Let's be honest, even though fridays game goes on our record, it is a tune up game. From what I saw yesterday, we played horrible offense. But Withey looked great in the 2nd half defense. Most the mistakes I saw are correctable. Forcing the ball, playing to fast. We need to move the ball, we have 2 three point shooters out there so defenses will have to play honest. We can't pass the ball on the baseline and get trapped. Happened a couple times. EJ has to drive and dish. He needs to be a creator. B mac must take better care of the ball. But if he keeps crashing the boards like yesterday, it will help Jeff out in the long run.I have a feeling we win by 30 on fridays game.

jbal32 2 years, 1 month ago

If Withey can put together two halves he will be fine. I really hope that Ellis develops into a huge offensive threat so that will take some pressure off of Withey. What really concerned me was the lack of leadership from EJ. I don't recall him penetrating once last night, which also really bothers me. It is early though, I remember last year after the Duke game everyone calling for Taylor's head so I guess its nothing new with this time of year.

Curtis Stutz 2 years, 1 month ago

If Tharpe/EJ/TRel/KYo/W were on the floor together I'd expect the offense to look pretty smooth. With a couple of those guys and a couple of freshmen I expect it to look a little rough right now.

All the negativity is a bit pathetic. The only thing this team doesn't have is a dominant player that is just scary good. UofL doesn't have one, UK doesn't have one, about the only teams that do are IU and OSU, possibly NC St. and UCLA if Bazz clears. Chances are nobody will turn into that guy, but if HCBS can have 5 excellent players on the floor, all being aggressive and looking to be in position to score, this is going to be a very difficult team to guard. Passing is just going to be a more important part of this season than it has been for a while.

HawkKlaw 2 years, 1 month ago

I disagree with your first sentence. That lineup would be pretty good defensively (with the exception of Tharpe, who still needs a lot of work), but offensively I think that BMac and Ellis need to be in the lineup for it to be smooth.

Tharpe is not the general yet and he still needs a lot of guidance on both ends of the court. And though I love Kevin Young, he is not nearly as gifted a scorer as Perry Ellis is.

I think that lineup you put together would struggle a bit offensively.

And I agree with konkey - BMac is the dominant, scary-good player on this KU team. If he keeps playing like he did last night, he's a one-and-done for sure.

Curtis Stutz 2 years, 1 month ago

kD - I don't think you're giving TRob full credit for his all-around athleticism, long, strong, quick, fast and with bounce. I'm optimistic, and I'd love for BMac to be that guy, but he's probably not going to just take over games the way a D'Shaun Thomas or Cody Zeller can. Some UK fans think WC-S is the 2nd coming of AD, UNC fans have been hyping McAdoo ever since the KU game, everybody thinks they've got an absolute stud or 2, fact is there are fewer out there this season than last. I think we agree that this team needs everyone on the court to be a credible scoring threat, rather than 1 guy to take over like a TRob or Collins or Marcus did in their jr. years. EJ, BMac, Ellis, TRel, W are all capable of taking over in stretches, but none is sure to wreak havoc on an opponents D almost every night. Also we haven't even seen BMac and Ellis go up against D1 comp yet.

HK - I'm saying if the vets were out there together they'd run the offense just the same as they ran it last year. Not saying it won't be better with the freshmen involved, the team is just going through normal growing pains. All those returners knew how the game was played last year. With the new guys in the lineup EJ is making sure they are doing the right things and learning to trust them. BMac is still getting comfortable passing into the post, Ellis is working his way into playing the Hi-Lo. Unfortunately sometimes EJ's not paying enough attention to his own game. If it was 5 returners on the court they would just go out and play, right now they've got more on their plate than that.

jaybate 2 years, 1 month ago

"Dung Snake"

Mondo PHOF, but still a PHOF!

jaybate 2 years, 1 month ago

On second reading...

The whole flipping post is a PHOF!

jaybate 2 years, 1 month ago

"We Need an Engineer to Take Over for an Artist, or Withey Sucked a Half, But EJ Sucked a Whole"

Part 1

Last year's team was run by a point guard with an artistic temperament. Artists do many beautiful things once they get control of their brushes, their colors and their sense of what a painting needs to be well composed. Tyshawn "Picasso" Taylor had a previous season being bad in art school at point guard, before going all Picasso on us last season. An artistic point guard runs a team creatively, often doing things improvisationally that a coach suspects will happen, but cannot for the life of him diagram. Now Tyshawn is gone.

Being prisoners of our experiences, if what we had before felt good, then we hope for it and seek it out again.

But players change and what can happen next always depends on what today's players strengths are and on what those strengths permit.

Elijah Johnson is a thinking man's point guard. He is articulate. He is analytical. He is also lightening fast and long. He is a streak shooter, who can't shoot worth a crap right now. As Slayr noted last season, he may never regain his touch because of a shoulder injury two seasons ago. And last year's knee injury makes him seem not quite as fast as he once was. But he is still a potential every game MUA, if he finds his won style of play that strikes a balance between thought and action. Clearly, he has not struck that balance yet.

Now to Withey for a moment.

Withey is easy to whip, because he played one half of game like a 5ppg/5rpg for 40 minute kind of guy, and one half as an 18/15 for 40 type of guy. Jeff needs to go start acting like he has some pride in his work instead of talking about having pride in his work. A guy can play hard, even when nothing is going right. Jeff has to realize that he will never be the center of this team, if the team never knows when he is going to be sleep walking and when he is going to be playing hard. Playing hard part of the time will make the team sit around and wait for him. It will make his teammates forget their roles in the pecking order of the team.

Here's the unvarnished, Cesar Millan truth. A basketball team is a pack. A pack has a leader. An alpha dog. Without the alpha dog, the pack gets nervous, overstimulated and irritable. Beta dogs start trying to act like alpha dogs. Beta dogs start doing more barking and tail chasing that purposeful pack activity.

jaybate 2 years, 1 month ago

Footnote 1: I understand that EJ shot 3-6 vs. Washburn after 2-8 vs ESU, and that's 36% vs. D2, but his stroke still looks unsorted and I saw him resort to what appeared the same half set shot once that Travis is trying and that just won't cut it with EJ, not once the D1 guys are guarding him.

jaybate 2 years, 1 month ago

Part 2

Withey has to become an alpha dog, not because he really is one, but because he is the center. Centers have to be alpha dogs. They have to be territorial. I write this little mantra every year early in the season, when our center is not acting like an alpha dog.

But it is an unwritten rule that bigs don't look good, whether they are being alpha, or not, when the team is not playing as if the big man were their anchor, not just the team's pivot, but its pivotal player. The center is called the center, because he is the center of everything.

And here is where basketball gets subtle and sticky.

The guy with the ball, the point guard, the guy who seems like maybe he ought to be the alpha dog, is never the alpha dog. The point guard by definition is the CPU of the team computer. He is the brain that senses the context, and senses the MUAs, and senses who can do what, and makes what is feasible to happen happen.

Even when the point guard is an alpha dog by nature, he has to learn that he is not really the alpha dog; that was what Sherron Collins had to learn playing with Cole Aldrich. Sherron was twice the alpha dog Cole Aldrich was by nature, and every fiber of Sherron's testosterone saturated, muscular, willful, and powerful self knew it. But to become the point guard for the team that had Cole Aldrich in the paint, Sherron had to subordinate that part of himself and use all of that alpha will to will the team to revolve around the big guy in the middle. That is the litmus test of all point guards. Can they find their own style of using their own will to impose the big man as the center of the team. It is a paradoxical act. A lot of human beings cannot do it. Point guard played to the pure elegant limit is a near state of psychosis between being the brain of the team and yet subordinating that brain to the body of the center.

What is a less labored way of saying this using some cliched short hand that many have never taken the time to thoroughly understand.

Hmmm.

A point guard is often called a quarter back, because it is his job to run the team, but if the team has a footer, then it is the job of the quarterback to run the team through the footer. And if the team has other MUAs, then it is the job of the point guard to exploit those other MUAs, but to do so without ceasing the footer being the center of things.

jaybate 2 years, 1 month ago

Part 3

It takes a lot practice to do this; this is why Self doesn't like to turn the point guard slot over to freshman, unless the alternative means playing an every game MUD (match up disadvantage).

So: when a team does not cook on offense, when it looks awful, when it stinks, as Self said KU did, it always comes down to the point guard not exerting the strength of will to make his team play through the player he needs it to play through and secondarily to play through the ancillary MUAs that will manifest when play moves through the footer.

All that happened last night against Washburn was that a wonderfully gifted, but relatively inexperienced point guard called The Prophet let the team play through the super talented Ben Mac first, because he saw Withey was in sleep walking mode. It probably seemed to make sense to his thoughtful, articulate, analytical side.

But what happened was that it turned KU into a jump shooting team and as soon as the flame went out on Ben Mac's J, which took some time, because he's so good, suddenly KU's "team" was a cold doughnut with a hole in the middle where an alpha footer needed to have been.

The Prophet has learned a valuable lesson against Washburn that is going to make KU a vastly better team down stream.

He has learned a heuristic that goes like this: don't wait for Jeff to wake up, wake the !@#$%^er up now. Call a time out. Throw the ball at his head. Chew him out publicly. Demand Self bench him. Kiss him. Cuddle him. Talk about what a good lover his girl friend thinks he is. Say the entire legacy thinks he is a disgrace to everything crimson and blue. But get the big guy playing. The brain has to demand the body to play hard first. Never go to the second option, BenMac, without establishing the big man.

Why?

Because if you don't follow the heuristic, then chaotic eddies emerge downstream of the footer stick standing sleeping in the river of the game and it becomes very hard for the brain to find the strange tendency of the team in such a stream. The CPU gets overloaded. It doesn't know how to undue what is sensitively dependent on initial conditions.

EJ looked just plain scared and confused out there, when things weren't working; that was because chaos had broken out. The team was so lethargic, and BenMac's gun was so hot, no one worried much about the chaos, because it seemed like harmless chaos, maybe not even chaos.

But it was chaos. And chaos is the enemy of all but the most sophisticated leaders.

While fatigue makes cowards of us all, it is overwhelming chaos makes dears caught in headlights.

The Prophet got his first taste of being the chef and screwing up the recipe, thinking that reordering the ingredients a little didn't matter.

Wrong!

The simpler the recipe, the more accurately it has to be followed.

jaybate 2 years, 1 month ago

Part 4

One learns the truth of this heuritic in Italian cooking, among other places.

Self's recipe for this team (and most of his teams) is unbelievably simple: in side out, inside out, inside out. And then inside out.

I wrote a couple days ago that EJ and Withey were likely to have some of those forlorn moments this season that Nick Krug's photos have captured of Marcus, Thomas and Tyshawn, the last few seasons, but those looks did not come on those guys until the regular season. The looks are, Jesus, is this what those guys carrying the team on their backs last season were feeling all that time I was thinking I could do what they did?

It appears to have dawned on EJ early just how deep the water is that he is swimming in. He's the guy now, not the guy wishing he were the guy. He's the guy that has to make real time decisions. And because he is intelligent, he is realizing very quickly that he really has no clue how to do the job yet. This was an inevitable step for him.

How you do it, when you are an analytical type, is not to try to become an artistic type, like Tyshawn; that's like trying to teach a catfish to sing.

So: how does an analytical type migrate from being an outside looking in analyst about things to become a real time CPU processing things at lightening speed?

You become an engineer. Engineers are machines solve problems without reflection. Point and solve. They aren't nonlinearly creative necessarily, but they transform their analytical natures into lean mean solving machines by taking all of the principles, rules, formulas, laws, heuristics, and internalizing them until they don't have to think about them. They just do them, when provoked by a problem in a context. Engineers don't anguish over what might be possible. They don't anguish over what might be impossible. Engineers build bridges from A to B and they don't ask if they ought to build a bridge to C. Engineers have a kind of ruthless elegance. They understand that it is not their job to explain the meaning of anything, or to deal with the why? That is someone elses job. The justification of any technological solution lies in its elegance and nothing more. And if you pay an engineer to think about the morality of something,he will view the morality of something in terms of elegance of fit of morality with the job at hand. For this reason, engineers can be kind of scarey people sometimes without meaning to be. When you talk to them about going to Jupiter, there is no hand wringing. There is an intensification of focus and attention and then, "What is the budget?" This implies that they already expect to find a way to do it, they just need to know if there is enough money to make an elegant solution feasible.

Jonathan Allison 2 years, 1 month ago

In terms of Situational Leadership Theory, EJ is in development level 2, the disillusioned learner. We've seen countless KU greats spend a year or more in D2, but EJ doesn't have that much time, he has to catch on fast and be a D4 Self-reliant Achiever.

jaybate 2 years, 1 month ago

I like it. Sign he and I both up for your seminar. :-)

jaybate 2 years, 1 month ago

Part 5

EJ has to become an engineer at point guard. He needs to start accepting that he knows all the nuts and bolts and plays and psychology and yadda yadda that he needs to know at this point, and what he doesn't know at this point, he's probably not going to learn this season.

Starting today, EJ has to distill everything to inside out. All things that relate to that theme, become hard wired. All things that do not relate to that them go to the land fill. All the ways his intellect can imagine that this team might play need to go into a folder for another season, or a career in coaching.

The Prophet must become The Engineer. The Engineer must bridge this team into Withey, even if Withey has his short comings and even if his analytical side sees all the manifold possibilities of Perry Ellis and Ben Mac first.

The order must be: Withey first, then Ben Mac and Perry. Withey first even if the score goes negative for awhile. Withey first even if he doesn't hold MUA. Why? Because Withey has to be gotten into the game first in order to play inside out, even if the team's real strengths are out. Its a paradox. But any engineer worth his salt fears no paradox. Any engineer will make use of paradoxical Quantum Theory without hesitating if it will help him solve a problem elegantly.

I wrote recently that Self was putting a huge burden on EJ by making him learn to be the point guard in only one season, and only for one season. Point guard is really, really, REALLY tough to play well for reasons described above. Tyshawn took a year and a quarter to really get smooth and efficient at it.

Self is gambling again. Self is gambling everything on EJ. He is gambling that The Prophet, the thinker, the analytical guy, the guy who gives good, thoughtful quotes assessing the team, can become The Engineer in one season.

Why is Self gambling this way?

Because EJ is his best chance.

Because EJ is sharp as a tack.

Because Self likes asking guys to turn themselve inside out for him.

Because when they turn themselves inside out, they often become twice the player they were before they did it.

jaybate 2 years, 1 month ago

Part 6

Its lucky Self is a basketball coach and constantly has big, socially acceptable risks to take.

If he weren't , he might develop a gambling addiction in Vegas.

So: what the heck! I'm all in on EJ with Self.

Its going to be ugly for awhile, as it was with Tyshawn, but I believe The Prophet can become The Engineer.

And when an engineer gets in control of things, seemingly impossible challenges become transforming solutions.

Build us a bridge to April, EJ, you, the analytical type, has to become The Engineer--the guy with the clarity of purpose and self confidence of his grasp of the principles, to cut straight to the solution.

And paradoxically, Jeff, the kicked-back, part time sleep walker without the conventional horizontal territorial streak, but with an unconventional vertical territorial streak, has the Big Man.

Both of you have some growing to do in these two regards.

But both of you have the right stuff, or Self wouldn't be gambling everything on you.

Rock Chalk!!

HAWKLICIOUS 2 years, 1 month ago

" He has learned a heuristic that goes like this: don't wait for Jeff to wake up, wake the !@#$%^er up now. Call a time out. Throw the ball at his head."

That there is funny stuff amigo!!!

RCJH

Tony Bandle 2 years, 1 month ago

Unlike many of you, I am thrilled with the result of this game. HCBS now has ammo to shoot down any flying egos, deflate any big heads or stomp out any delusions of grandeur.

This game was a wake-up call, the next game will be an alarm going off and the NEXT GAME, Michigan State, will be a punch in the face. Something tells me that we will survive and thrive....but, ooohhh, the cost!!!

Note to the team managers: get the barf barrells emptied, cleaned and ready to go!!!!!

Robin Smith 2 years, 1 month ago

Whenever we have this much youth and inexperience we start slowly. Don't worry, Chicken Littles :D

Don't you remember growth and development are essential parts of college hoops?

jaybate 2 years, 1 month ago

Found this ebay listing, while searching for Phog Allen quotes for another post. Interesting book written by Allen in 1927 and being Ebay auctioned by some one in Bloomington. Worth a look.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1927-Forrest-C-Allen-My-Basket-ball-Bible-Basketball-Book-/290665903635

jaybate 2 years, 1 month ago

"Looking For Light in a Train Tunnel with the East Lansing Express Coming At Us"

--Ben Mac is the best basketball player on the floor by a significant margin, even if he doesn't know how to tighten it up on offense. 10 boards out of the 2 cemented him in Self's heart. Ben's the best offender. Ben's the rebounder. Ben could be the best defender, but consistency is a problem on the defensive end. So what's new? He's a first year guy.

--Justin didn't do much bad. And he got on the offensive glass. And he guarded his position with only one foul in 10 minutes of PT.

--Jamari's expected come down from the ESU high looked ok, ignoring the 2 Pillsburys.

--Despite no offensive production, Naadir got 16 minutes without a Pillsbury and with 2 steals. This was easily his best game ever.

--AW3 got put on the short leash. Only 3 minutes. But he didn't bake a Pillsbury, and Anrio baked 3, so if AW3 will play some D in practice, his minutes will move back up to 5-7 next game. Not if not.

--Landen's slowness was exposed in this game, so he only got 3 minutes. Still, no Pillsburys means his minutes will get edged up next chance he gets.

--Withey looked very good for 7 minutes in the second half, which means he hasn't forgotten how. :-)

Jack Wilson 2 years, 1 month ago

I would have to agree with everything you said here. Tharpe looked reliable; BMac was the best player; AW3 is getting a little tough love here; Lucas ain't ready; Traylor/Wesley were adequate (vs. Washburn .. can't wait for KY to get back) and Withey is .. Withey.

One thing I do now fully expect -- at some point here relatively soon, most will agree that BMac and Ellis are the two best players on the team. Some EJ arguments maybe.

But otherwise, we have a senior core that has been there, done that. And we'll have the young guys that can play the game at a high level. Add in Mr. White's three ball once he makes it through the rough patch, this could be a very nice team come March.

This game, while really ugly, is as Oak said above .. a very good thing.

wrwlumpy 2 years, 1 month ago

In defense of EJ, some passes to freshmen were to places that they were suppose to be. Last night was an opponent that we needed. D2 but very well coached to keep the ball away from Jeff. Smaller, scrappier teams will triple team the post. Jeff finds it much easier to go one on one with the Sullingers of this world. We are responding here on this board like Chris Matthews after the first debate. Let Self be the one to scream. At least we as fans are finding out quickly who the early favorites are. From now on, Ellis will start. He isn't the flash that Ben can be, but he's our new backbone going forward. Really wanted to see more of Rio last night, but these D2 swarmers were much better than the highschooler from the Northeast.

REHawk 2 years, 1 month ago

The only thing I might add to the recent sound posts: I think Bill Self will tweak his hi-lo to direct more action to Ellis rather than almost totally to Withey. I don't have a VDR copy to review the game, but it seems to me that Ellis became much more polished when Withey was on the bench, first half: and that Ellis became somewhat invisible on the offensive end when the probable starting unit was together in the second half. Either Jeff and Perry will become more comfortable together, EJ will look more toward Perry, or Self will engineer some tweaks to his usual gameplan. Probably all three....

jaybate 2 years, 1 month ago

Ellis and Withey HAVE to learn to play as a tandem for the team to reach potential, but its going to be difficult. Perry's never been a second banana. And I'm not sure he and Jeff are clicking yet. It took TRob about a month and a half before he realized how much he needed Jeff and decided to start trying to build more than a desultory playing relationship.

With Perry, trying to dominate the paint on defense, the team is good but nothing special. When Jeff lights the candle and starts wrecking the opponent the same thing happens with the team this year that happened last year. Voila! A contender.

But I don't think Self himself has a very clear idea yet about how to communicate to Perry and Jeff how they can play best together. And here, I believe, is the first sign of Danny Manning's absense. Manning spoke big. Manning could understand what Self was envisioning, and then Manning could translate it into Big-ese and go work with them on it. I also think Danny was probably a sounding board for Self on the difference between what could be imagined and what could be done. Manning's great gift, IMHO, was the ability to really understand what was feasibly within a big's trajectory of improvement over the course of a season. And Big Danny was always sitting down on the end of the bench with those huge, impassive eyes saying the very least possible in perfectly clear "Big-ese" so that every time the bigs came off the court, after getting a ration from Self, they then got just the essense of what was needed next.

I don't see this dynamic occurring this yet on the bench, though its very early.

sportacopia 2 years, 1 month ago

If you guys like talking KU basketball you should checkout http://sportacopia.com/ it is a free sports social network designed by a KU grad for people to have a place to talk about sports all the time with other sports fans. Here's the link to the KU fan page. http://sportacopia.com/group/1 free to use and easy to sign up. Rock Chalk! Cannot wait for Friday's game.

Sam Constance 2 years, 1 month ago

I can't get too worried about last night, even though they looked pretty rough on offense. For starters, I think Washburn, being so close to Jayhawk HQ, must have some sort of immunity to the deer-in-headlights effect that manifests with most exhibition-level teams we play. Bill Simmons likes to talk about guys in the NBA who he describes as "irrational confidence guys" (ICG). They are players who are moderately-talented, but have a confidence that is vastly overblown in comparison to said moderate talents. However, they have just enough talent to catch fire, so their supreme confidence actually turns out to be either a liability--when ICG thinks he is Michael Jordan but is ice cold--or an unstoppable weapon--when ICG starts burying threes and generally dominating the game. The best Irrational Confidence Guy I can think of is Jason Terry, or maybe Eddie House.

So perhaps there was an element of a good team (#2 in the D-II preseason) coming in and having no fear that played into last night's offensive woes (Washburn's defense was hyper-aggressive) and end-result. Combine all that with a team full of new guys and old guys learning new roles, and it was a perfect situation. Given that, it's not the inability to pull away or the fact that we set a new record low for offensive output in an exhibition game that bothers me.

What worries me is more of a gut feeling about where our leadership is going to come from. I think I alluded to this on the first exhibition game's comment board, but our three seniors (the de facto "leaders" on any college bball team) lack the intense drive and insatiable appetite that both Taylor and Robinson had in spades. Johnson is a gifted player, but he's too laid-back. Withey has the same problem times 10. And Releford has always seemed to be content sitting back and contributing in myriad ways, but not being the limelight guy.

In other words, it's not in any of our seniors' natures to be that "alright, climb on my shoulders, we are winning this MFing game" type of leader who refuses to let his team win. Now, don't get me wrong--they all demonstrated the capability of contributing to that end, but only when being led by a guy like Taylor. I don't know if that's something that any of them can "develop", since it's so closely tied to who they are personality-wise.

(to be concluded...)

Sam Constance 2 years, 1 month ago

(...concluded)

But hope is not lost--there are a couple of ways in which this potential problem doesn't represent the end of Self's unprecedented run of success.

1) The team figures out how to play with each other in a way that doesn't NEED that alpha-dog leader role. The 2008 team was very much like that. In hindsight, if forced to pick someone, I'd say that drive came from RussRob (aka, Mario Chalmers' friend) or Chalmers--but even on that team, neither seemed to be the primary guy so much as just another really skilled guy who could lead. Of course, the problem with this theory is that the bulk of that 2008 team had at least one prior season with each other to help develop that leadership-by-committee/consensus. This year's team doesn't have the benefit of those experiences together.

2) One of the younger guys realizes his own potential as that type of alpha-dog and becomes that go-to crunchtime guy. Personally, I think this one is more likely, because it seems like McLemore and Ellis both have the capability to be this type of player, with Perry doing it in more of a "by example" kind of way. Of course, the risk is that you never know when that freshman/sophomore leader is going to revert to being an 18/19 year old. All it takes is one game to really put your team on it's heels.

I'll close by saying that I was very happy to see Washburn push KU with the same kind of pesky, under-your-jersey hand-slapping defense that the Jayhawks should expect to see all year long. Self and co. can start banging the drum about playing through contact early and often.

Okay, one more note: can we make Withey's starting lineup introduction a swift kick in the nuts instead of some jumping high-five chest-bump nonsense? I think the anger from the crotch-shot would serve him far better on the floor than anything coming from the chest bumping.

Tony Bandle 2 years, 1 month ago

Just tell Jeff if he doesn't shape up he'll have a Cole Aldrich tooth extraction!! Better yet, just tell him every team is Kensucky!! The Zach Attack would sure come in handy about now!!

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