Kansas defeats Southeast Missouri State, 74-55

  • 7 p.m., Nov. 9, 2012
  • Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, KS

Friday, November 9, 2012

With no help from its shooting, KU grinds out 74-55 victory over Southeast Missouri

KU's center Jeff Withey ties up with Southeast Missouri's Jacob Tolbert as KU's Ben McLemore (23) goes down on Friday, Nov. 9, 2012.

KU's center Jeff Withey ties up with Southeast Missouri's Jacob Tolbert as KU's Ben McLemore (23) goes down on Friday, Nov. 9, 2012.


Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self talks after 74-55 win over SEMO

KU coach Bill Self talks after his team's 74-55 win over Southeast Missouri on Nov. 9, 2012.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Jeff Withey, Perry Ellis and Naadir Tharpe

Kansas players Jeff Withey, Perry Ellis and Naadir Tharpe talk after KU's 74-55 victory over Southeast Missouri on Nov. 9, 2012.

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Box score

KU-Southeast Missouri

It’s too bad Kansas University’s basketball team didn’t meet Southeast Missouri State in a matinee on Friday in Allen Fieldhouse.

“We shot the heck out of it today in shooting practice, which was probably the kiss of death,” KU coach Bill Self said.

His Jayhawks, who couldn’t miss at shootaround Friday afternoon, made just two of 21 three-point tries in a workmanlike — some might say ugly — 74-55 regular-season opening victory over the Redhawks on Friday night.

“I think it’s also good you learn how to play when you don’t make shots. We’re becoming an expert on that the last couple games,” Self added.

The Jayhawks, who had 24 turnovers and hit 43.5 percent of their shots in a similarly unsightly 62-50 exhibition win over Washburn on Monday, suffered just 13 turnovers against SEMO.

Yet KU hit just 38.7 percent from the field — 9.5 percent from three. It tied for the sixth worst three-point shooting performance in school history, the lowest percentage since a 2-for-21 against VCU in the Elite Eight on March 27, 2011.

Naadir Tharpe (10 points, 28 minutes with Elijah Johnson in foul trouble) hit a three on KU’s third attempt of the night. The Jayhawks then bricked 17 straight threes before Andrew White III made one with just 16 seconds remaining.

“Miserable shooting and obviously the offense gets stagnant when that happens,” Self said. “When we started missing shots, it looked like we got real slow. We don’t put enough pressure on the defense by driving it, but it was 10 times better tonight than the other night. Our looks were good. You want Ben (McLemore, nine points, 0-3 from three, 12 boards) shooting shots. You want Naadir and Elijah (four points, 0-4 from three) jumping up and shooting shots. Travis (Releford, nine points, 3-11 shooting) is having a hard time finding the basket now. We know he can make a shot.

“You look a lot better ... even if you shoot it miserably and go 6-for-21 (from three), the game is a little bit different,” Self went on. “It wasn’t awful offensively. It was not good. Defensively I thought we were pretty good (holding SEMO to 29-percent shooting). We just missed shots.”

Self offered another stat of interest ... “Perry (Ellis, 15 points, eight boards in debut) made a 12-footer and no other person made anything other than a layup.”

Self’s frustrations at KU’s offensive performance were visible for all to see after McLemore missed a three with KU up, 36-22, with 16:30 remaining. Self slammed the advertising board next to the bench with an open hand, knocking a panel light out temporarily.

That was a few minutes before the game actually became a nailbiter. SE Missouri cut the gap to 43-37 with 12:10 left and Johnson on the bench with four fouls. With Tharpe running the show, KU used to 11-4 run to open things up to 54-41, at 7:57.

“If we can win and not make any shots, that’s a good sign obviously,” senior center Jeff Withey said after scoring 17 points with 12 rebounds and five blocks. “That’s not going to happen very often. It’s one of those nights for the guards. We’ll get in the gym and shoot and get ready for the game Tuesday (vs. Michigan State, 6 p.m., in Atlanta). It’s not going to happen too often we go 2-20,” Withey added.

Self said the Jayhawks will be facing a stern test Tuesday against 0-1 MSU, which lost to UConn, 66-62, on Friday.

“I don’t know Tom (Izzo, MSU coach) that well but they may practice in football pads and helmets tomorrow. Our guys want to practice with pillows,” Self cracked. “It may be a different mind-set. It’s going to be eye-opening experience. We may have to have a guy get punched in the mouth to really understand. They are going to hit us first if we’re not ready. We might as well get our guard up and get ready to go. It should make both teams better.”


FSJHAWK 1 year, 5 months ago

Andrew White is noted to be a great 3-point shooter and he made his only shot attempt of the night---A 3-POINT SHOT. So I was hoping when we were struggling with our outside shots Coach Self would give him a look much sooner rather then at the finish. B MAC is exciting to watch -- so was JO JO WHITE but he could not elevate like B MAC. However JO JO could handle the ball better and he could hit the shot at crunch time just like MARIO but he did not have near as good a supporting cast as MARIO ---- exception the 65-66 team. Unlike the movie script for Glory Road; JO JO swiped the ball and made a true 3-point play at the end of regulation time. As the time ran out in the 1st OT he hit a shot from 3-point range and to this day I do not believe his foot touched the out of bounds line --- look it up on the internet --- I believe KU should have won the NCAA Championship that year ---JO JO was a freshman, never had much help the other 3 years


Luca Rossi 1 year, 5 months ago

I agree with most everyone's comments (Naadir looked good, BMac showed flashes of greatness, Rel & EJ were disappointing) but one comment that I hope Self corrects after watching game film is where the bigs were catching the ball in the post. Against this team, i expected they'd be able to body up their defender and catch deep in the post for a close easy shot (see 90% of TRob's points) but instead they were being pushed to the edge of the paint and catching outside of it. The bigs can really help themselves out if they work hard before the entry pass comes in and put themselves in a better position to score.

Anyone hear anything else on Recruiting? Saw someone comment that Jermaine Lawrence cut KU from his list. The guy's name is Lawrence and he isn't coming to KU? The newspapers would have a field day with headlines for him. Too bad.


skijamin 1 year, 5 months ago

Perry Ellis looks awesome! I think the sooner we start running our offense through him, the quicker we will start having 100 point nights. I know all the hype has been for McLemore preseason, but Ellis is the real deal. He could be better than the Morris twins at the end of the season!


Jack Wilson 1 year, 5 months ago

jbal32 made a nice point that shouldn't be overlooked .. the defense is looking very good.

The point of all of this is to win. We should know from last season that winning ugly can carry you to within a few made shots of an NCAA title. A team that is better defensively than offensively can look ugly much of the time. It can also win a lot of games.

We have the makings of a "prettier" team .. McLemore, Ellis, White. But at the core, our seniors make up a blue collar, bring the lunch bucket to work each day, kind of team. It could end up being a nice mix. Traylor obviously fits that mold too.

And we need to have a clear go-to guy. We had two last season. I do think that EJ will end up being the main go-to guy, but that McLemore will be right there. I'd have no trouble, either, dumping the ball into the post to Ellis with the game on the line.

"Win" ... that's what Self does best. The defense is that nice, consistent, necessary component that could keep us in nearly every game (except against the unconscious shooting team you'll hit every so often) even if our offense is struggling.

But winning ugly is maddening. Be prepared. The real season starts with an ugly "W" on Tuesday.


Ethan Berger 1 year, 5 months ago

I really like white I'm seeing from Perry Ellis. I thought B Mac would easily lead this team in scoring but Perry could be a nice wildcard. Really good post skill set. I love B Mac athleticism. That put back dunk late in the 2 half was so good. However, there is one thing he needs to do before he becomes a great player and that is create his own shot. Work on ball handling and creating your own jump shot. If he does this, he is going pro after this year. T rel, come on man better have it sorted out by Tuesday. And Withey did his thing. Blocked shots, go rebounds, and scored enough points. It was a low team so we can get an even better vibe Tuesday. Shout out to Nadir. He looks so much more in control then he did last year. I remember last year it was always a rush, yesterday it appeared he let the game come to him. Everyone was giving up on him to fast. He can be a good college player. AW3, like HEM, I feel like Self will have to play him. He has a silky smooth shot. He is instant offense. If he is patient and keeps his man in front of him on defense, his PT will go up.

Overall we played well. Shot poorly, but played well.


minnhawk84 1 year, 5 months ago

Looks like Withey is reviving that old dance craze, "Doin' The Crazy Hand Jive"


jbal32 1 year, 5 months ago

Defense is looking crazy good for the beginning of a season!!! Withey 5 blocks and BMac with 3!!! When was the last time we had a wing be able to block shots like that? Tuesday should reveal a lot about KU but I think we won't have as tough of time as most think. Michigan State played in Germany, then has to travel to Atlanta. Not much time to prepare for a game I would think.


leonard 1 year, 5 months ago

Kind of curious because it seems strange to me concerning EJ:

After the Washburn game from Self..."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.”

After the SEMO game..."He didn’t play near that many minutes ... only 22. If he’s cramping after 22 then we got real issues."


REHawk 1 year, 5 months ago

At this stage, I would be most concerned with Elijah's game. His body does not look ready to drive to the basket in the manner to which we know he is capable. Rio Adams must stay patient and focused. I foresee him, yet, becoming an essential element in our backcourt.


Robert Brock 1 year, 5 months ago

KU looks a little soft. Probably explains why they choose to shoot a ton of threes.


yates33333 1 year, 5 months ago

Although Withey being pushed all over the key by the SE Missouri centers made it hard to tell but there didn't seem to be any plays designed to get him a shot. He really did miss TRob or maybe Danny Manning. He also looked tired. He didn't seem to have the fire he had last year. I guess he is playing in longer spurts and really does tire. I used to gripe that Self didn't keep him in long enough. Nevertheless, Withey made the big difference. He, and to lesser degrees Ellis, McLemore and Tharpe are why we won against a less talented, weaker, team. I hope it was just a bad night for EJ and Releford. They must play better against Michigan State or we are doomed. But as "they" say, a win is a win is a win. I hate to criticize the referees, but they weren't the best I have ever seen, not nearly the best. You must give SE Missouri credit for playing tough, rough basketball the second half. Nutt must be a good coach. KU needs to play like that. You can be sure Michigan State will.


redlegger 1 year, 5 months ago

Team chemistry looks good - should be great by January. Last season there seemed to be two events that got Withey going - 1) His haircut, and 2) Tyshawn Taylor reaching out to him.

In other news...


jhox 1 year, 5 months ago

I really thought this would be our best outside shooting team in the Self era. I do have a couple of theories on why his teams tend to shoot so inconsistently from the outside. One, he recruits athletes, guys who in high school are significantly bigger, stronger and faster than their competition. Those type of players don't have to develop an outside shot in high school. They just beat their weaker opponent off the dribble and take it to the rack. Once they reach college, suddenly they have to learn to shoot a jump shot. This is the most obvious explanation.

The second, less obvious issue is the defense Self demands. Our guys don't take time off on that end of the floor. If they do, they're yanked pretty quickly. Defensive effort takes something out of the legs, and when the legs tire, the shooting percentage goes down. One of these days I'm finally going to resign myself to the fact that we're never going to be a good jump shooting team, but I keep holding out hope that by some miracle we're going to someday have a good outside shooting team.

With guys like White and Frankamp, maybe next year will be that year. But first those guys will have to show the ability to defend well enough to earn playing time. On the bright side, we have a coach who demands that great defense and toughness and knows how to win. But it would sure be nice if we could also be a great outside shooting team, at least once every few years or so. We're certainly overdue to have one of those teams.


Clarence Haynes 1 year, 5 months ago

“I don’t know Tom (Izzo, MSU coach) that well but they may practice in football pads and helmets tomorrow. Our guys want to practice with pillows,” Self cracked.

MAN UP FELLAS! This is not the Cage au Folles!


NoteToSelf 1 year, 5 months ago

P.S. the SI cover jinx is alive and well since Elijah had a poor game against SEMS!


AsadZ 1 year, 5 months ago

ict, Good to see you back on the board


NoteToSelf 1 year, 5 months ago

Congratulations to Doc Sadler for his first official victory inside AFH. I was pleasantly surprised that Naadir was much improved from his freshmen year. W/o him we might have lost one last night with Elijah out of the game. Perry has a chance to be as good as Wayne by the end of his 4 years at KU (yes I think he will stay all 4 years). Kevin Young's return will also help this team be better. As usual KU will look shaky early in the season and come on strong during the Big 12 games. Besides the league is way down in talent this year. RCJH.


Jayhawks Rock 1 year, 5 months ago

Come on KU "fans", let's start whining! I guess the Withey haters are going to be quiet this game, or not. All the Travis haters should be out in full force.... Such joy.


nostradavid 1 year, 5 months ago

Good to know they left it all on the court during shootaround. They could have built a solid outhouse with all of those bricks. Winning ugly is a good skill to develop for when we need it.

Favorite miss: when Perry looked like he was going to dunk, then changed his mind due to a slight lack of elevation. So awkward I had to laugh. Great debut for Ellis.


ParisHawk 1 year, 5 months ago

The article quotes Self: “Perry ... made a 12-footer and no other person made anything other than a layup.”

Listen to the audio of Self's press conference. In context, he was talking about the starters only. He knows very well Tharpe made some two-pointers.


Jonathan Andrews 1 year, 5 months ago

Naadir had two elbow jumpers. But yeah, there weren't too many successful shots tonight other than layups, dunks and putbacks.


Kye Clark 1 year, 5 months ago

  • I was very pleased to see Withey play well. If he can just keep himself motivated I think he'll be very good. Probably won't ever be a consistent offensive threat, but he'll do enough to keep people honest. Rebound, defend, and occasionally "throw it down big fella, throw it down!" (in my best Bill Walton voice).

  • McLemore & Ellis are studs. Bona fide superstars in the making. McLemore's aggressiveness is everything we hoped to see from Xavier (and Releford). And Ellis is solid and is only going to get better. Haven't seen much of an outside shooting touch yet, which means he's a year or two from being nearly unguardable (along with a year or two of Hudy-ization).

  • Good to see the team bounce back from a poor free throw shooting performance against Washburn with an excellent one against SEMO.

Anyway, just a few quick hits. Not gonna run through every player and every facet. There are others that do that better than me that I enjoy reading. Can't wait for Tuesday to get a better idea of where we're at this early in the season. RCJHGKU!


Kye Clark 1 year, 5 months ago

I think Self's recollection might be off (or he is just exaggerating to prove a point), but I remember Naadir hitting a pull-up jumper a step or two inside the three point line in the second half.

Anyway, that aside, a few of my observations:

  • Player I was most disappointed in: Releford. On a night KU had only 13 turnovers, Relly had 4 of them. Two that stick out came on back-to-back possessions and were especially horrid, the second leading to EJ's 4th foul. I was equally frustrated with Self playing him the most minutes of anyone. His defense wasn't anything special, his outside shot doesn't look good (I understand everyone shot it poorly, but he felt the need to hoist up 5), and as has been the knock on him for a long time - he has all that athletic ability and for some reason almost refuses to use it. If he's not out in transition the chances are slim of him driving to the hoop. You know who he is? He's Brady Morningstar. He's a 5th role player. I'm sure many will view this as a sleight to Brady, but it's not meant to be. I guess I just expected Releford, blessed with more athleticism and a couple extra inches of height, to be better. Sure he's had some moments; some good games. But so did Brady. Heck, so did Teahan! I remember advocating for Releford specifically to replace Brady in Self's rotation a couple of years ago. I was so excited to see us getting more athletic last year when he got his chance. And I really thought this year he was going to take the next step; that he was going to further progress into the player so many of us see inside him. But I just found myself wondering tonight that if he can't be more aggressive against SEMO, then any instances of us seeing it will be few & far between. (and just an addendum because I'm sure I'll get slammed by many for my personal analysis on him, but I love Releford. And yes it was one game. The first real game of the year. So am I being a bit harsh on him? Perhaps, but again it's only because he's long been one of my favorites. Some people coddle their favorite players; make excuses for them; think they never do anything wrong. I tend to not be in that group).

  • Another thing I was disappointed in was the minutes distribution. I was really hoping one bad game against Washburn wasn't going to sink Adams, but it appears it has. I know Tharpe played well with EJ in foul trouble, but I thought Adams might have gotten a little more floor time to redeem himself. HEM speaks often on Self's unwillingness to play the inexperienced guys any more than he has to, and both he and I have bemoaned his use of the quick hook, but for the freshman it was two home exhibition games! I'm not in practice so I don't know what Adams, Lucas, & White (who I would like to see more of before relegating him to the end of the bench) are doing to possibly cement their status as non-rotation players, but to me it seems like 2 exhibition games is an awfully short audition.


Dirk Medema 1 year, 5 months ago

While 2-21 is really horrible, 24-28 is wonderful. Withey our best from the line last year destroys an otherwise virtually perfect night from the line by hitting 70% (Traylor missed 1 of 2 also).


diegohawk 1 year, 5 months ago

Question Of The Night ESPN3 Can someone help me with the answer to this one? The game resumed before I could get the answer to this trivia question;

Which of the following teams has never made an NCAA Men's Final Four? A: Arkansas B: Seton Hall C: Lasalle D: Missouri


Michael Auchard 1 year, 5 months ago

So odd to have an early season where Coach is upset about offense rather than defense. Justifiably so, of course, but he usually angles the other way. He usually is never happy with a team until it's got a lock down on D.

The story has yet to unfold, but we look pretty good at guarding the rim right now. Granted, the talent level we've faced hasn't been elite, but still. Lots of long arms on this team. I think Ellis may have been under-rated as a shot blocker in HS. I've liked what I've seen so far.


Steve Gantz 1 year, 5 months ago

They couldn't get their shoos on I guess.


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