Michigan State defeats Kansas, 67-64

  • 6 p.m., Nov. 13, 2012
  • Atlanta, Ga.,

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

KU drops down-to-the-wire thriller with Michigan State

Kansas players Elijah Johnson, left, Jamari Traylor and Perry Ellis make their way off the court after losing to Michigan State on Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

Kansas players Elijah Johnson, left, Jamari Traylor and Perry Ellis make their way off the court after losing to Michigan State on Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.


Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self talks after MSU loss

Kansas coach Bill Self talks to reporters after his team's 67-64 loss to Michigan State on Nov. 13, 2012.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Jeff Withey and Elijah Johnson

Kansas seniors Jeff Withey and Elijah Johnson talk to reporters following KU's 67-64 loss to Michigan State on Nov. 13, 2012.

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Box score


— With his team needing a three-pointer to tie, fifth-year senior Travis Releford let a trey attempt fly with two seconds left in Kansas University’s Champions Classic contest against Michigan State on Tuesday night in the Georgia Dome.

“Leaving my hand, it felt great. It just didn’t go in,” the 6-foot-6 Kansas City native said after the Jayhawks’ 67-64 loss.

His last-gasp miss followed a driving lay-up by Keith Appling that increased a one-point MSU lead to three with 14 seconds remaining.

“I also kind of rushed it at the time, but it was a good look,” added Releford, who shot after accepting a pass from senior point guard Elijah Johnson. “Ben (McLemore) wasn’t open. That was the guy we were trying to get the ball to at the end.”

There was enough time remaining that coach Bill Self gave the Jayhawks an option of trying for a two-pointer or a three.

“I said, ‘Take a quick two.’ If Elijah could have turned the corner and got a quick two, we going to do that, too. It just didn’t work out that way,” Self said after his squad fell to 1-1. Michigan State improved to 1-1.

“The thing is, if you wait too long, they are going to foul more than likely. We ran our little chop play that’s worked a couple times in the past (including 2008 national title game).

“Elijah could have shot the three at the top of the key. He was open because (Derrick) Nix switched on him. He elected not to (shoot). We told Ben to go under the fade screen set at an angle (and) act like you are going to run off the fade and bump back. He didn’t really bump back. He was wide-open. He went down to the corner.”

So ....

“We did a down screen for Travis,” Self explained. “We ended up getting a good look. You can’t ask for a better look under those situations. We just missed it. I thought the execution on the last play was actually pretty good.”

Johnson, who scored a team-leading 16 points off 6-of-15 shooting (2-for-5 from three) with two assists against four turnovers in 36 minutes, gave himself a failing grade for his direction of the final play.

“It was really, ‘Take the first available shot,’” Johnson said. “I’m putting it all on me. I think I could have made a better decision with that. Coach put the ball in my hands to make a play. I feel I didn’t do a great job at it. It was a good shot (by Releford), a good look.”

Self was OK with the last possession, but not the Jayhawks’ execution the final five minutes.

KU, which had a game-high lead of seven points with 12 minutes left, led 59-54 with five minutes to play. Michigan State outscored KU, 13-5, the rest of the game.

“We didn’t run offense down the stretch. Our spacing stunk the last seven, eight minutes,” Self said. “I thought we executed our offense better than we have all year long for about 30 minutes. I thought we got the ball where we wanted to get it. We missed a lot of bunnies, too. Jamari (Traylor, six points, four rebounds, 25 minutes) missed an uncontested lay-up midway through the second half. He’s never been in (those) situations. He’s going to have to learn to plug himself into the game, and we have to do a better job. There were a lot of things that weren’t very good. I think it’ll be a good teaching tool for us.”

KU trailed just 65-64 at :48.9 following a McLemore drive, bucket and foul shot. However, junior guard Appling skated through the lane for a huge lay-up at :14. Appling scored 19 points off 6-of-9 shooting and freshman guard Gary Harris 18 off 7-of-12 shooting. Appling also hit a huge three at 1:30, boosting a 62-61 lead to 65-61.

“I was late getting back. I’m usually good at blocking stuff like that,” KU big man Jeff Withey said of Appling’s lay-up. “He did a little pump-fake-type deal.”

Releford had hit two free throws and scored off a drive, and Withey hit a hook shot in a 6-0 run that gave KU its 59-54 lead at 4:59. That’s when Harris scored consecutive buckets sandwiched around a Perry Ellis inside miss and turnover.

“I think our young guys did all right,” Releford said. “For the first time to be able to step up and have to be a key role in the game ... it’s kind of tough for them. We went back in the locker room and told them our freshman year most of us didn’t even have a chance to play in a game like this. That’s good for us, and it’s going to be good for us on down the season.”

The Jayhawks will meet Chattanooga at 7 p.m. Thursday in Allen Fieldhouse.


msukc 1 year, 5 months ago

Not sure about the classiness but ill take it! Hope the B1G lives up to hype. We are setting up for a let down. I am surprised big ten is getting all the attention. Not really sure why this year.
With some luck my sparty will still make the big dance during our down year. With even more luck we nab that Jabari kid for next year. Good luck to Kansas.


JakeBarnes 1 year, 5 months ago

I don't think anyone doubts that MSU has a good basketball team, a good coach, and a first-rate program. Likewise, they won the game last night because they played better. They got a super game out of Harris. Hopefully we will play again at the end of the season and see who progressed the most. KU should since it has more freshmen or red-shirt freshmen. You don't need to be defensive about MSU basketball. As far as football how would you like to be a KU fan???? But we are turning the corner, I think..........


msukc 1 year, 5 months ago

A Sparty here. It is nice for State to get some good news with this win because our football has been dismal and our hoops hasn't been too good recently either. Sorry it had to be KU but in the end the game won't be that meaningful this season. And we are notorious for slow starts even in our final four or championship years. Nice to get a solid win early.

I agree with many of the posters that KU seemed to control the game and that is pretty obvious. But, it wasn't a clear dominating performance by KU. It was always within reach. Maybe KU doesn't have the killer instinct yet or Sparty had something to with it. Basically, the score was always close and someone had to finish it out.

The common theme I take exception to in this blog and please don't flame me on this. Sparty does have talent. I know there is a national perception that Izzo develops or coaches lesser talented players and that other teams are more talented. But I think that is not completely accurate. Take a look at recruiting rankings and your will Sparty in the top 10 most years. Compare KU class rankings with MSU.

I am not saying KU isn't talented because they are. I am just saying Spartans have some players on their team as well. I would be surprised not to see MSU's Dawson, Harris and Payne (cuz he's so long) in the NBA. Maybe KU has a lot more NBA caliber guys. I just think Sparty having talent actually helps KU's optimism for the season rather than being in the dumps for being beaten by a lesser talented team.

I am not sure if either team will contenders come end of the season. But it does seem the usual suspects are there tourney time. And the selection committee loves to set up rematches. I could see this one occurring again.

Good luck and thank God its BBall season!


REHawk 1 year, 5 months ago

My end-of-Wednesday focus remains on Rio and AW3...their getting lots of game experience in the next 6 weeks. From this point forth, until league play, I would insert each of them on the court for 12-14 minutes of every first half, come hell or high water. If they deserve a quick hook, then the coaching staff speaks to them about need for correction and quickly sticks them back in the game. EJ's head is not quite into this point guard project yet, and Tharpe is becoming a very serviceable backup, but with limited upside. Those 2 freshmen on the bench possess huge upsides, in my humble opinion. I would give them an all-out test until the end of December. If we go into halftime with scoring deficits, then the seniors get the test to see what they are made of in second halves of play.


ssteve1 1 year, 5 months ago

Withey. Probably the nicest guy around. I guess this is why I'm not a coach. He had all summer to gains some weight, some muscle, some something. But, he's the same lame tall skinny Whithey. Everytime he brings the ball below is waist (if he can hang on to it that long), something bad happens. Twice as many balls bounce off him than even Sasha Kahn ever imagined. It's becoming funny just to watch him clomp around. Can't we find a chair that will fit him?? Withey. Probably the nicest guy around.


Sam Constance 1 year, 5 months ago

I'm late to the party (as usual), but I'm too impressed with my own opinion not to have a say :-)

I've said it from the start of the season and will continue to shout it--Elijah is a very good player, maybe even NBA-caliber, but he is NOT the right personality type to be the vocal leader that Tyshawn was for us last year, and the twins were for us the year before. It's just not in his nature.

And I don't mean that in a bad way--a guy like EJ is an important piece of a great team, because he has the versatility and athletic ability to be what you need him to be--he can shoot it from deep, he can take his man off the dribble, he can defend pretty well, and he's clearly got heart. But he's not the guy who's going to put a team on his shoulders and say "let's go for a ride boys--I'm winning this game for us!".

Now, it's debatable whether we absolutely NEED a guy like that on the team to be successful. I tend to feel that yes, we do need that type of player who not only can handle the pressure of being the go to creator on offense, but the type who thrives under that pressure.

But if this team is going to have a guy like that, the best bet is McLemore. I think we can all see that "carry the team" mentality in his DNA. When I look at McLemore, his drive and reaction to pressure is the last thing I worry about. Rather, I worry about things like his pretty bad defense (I really don't understand the people who are saying that Ben looked pretty good on defense last night--he's consistently out of position and over-commits to his defenders fakes and moves), and the fact that he's a freshman and will, in spite of his great mentality, make mistakes like his 3 TOs last night (the far and away worst part of his line).

Ellis might have some of that DNA too, but it's harder to tell with him because he does seem more "freshman-y" than McLemore does. Probably because he's actually a freshman instead of a redshirt. But I tend to agree that the difference between this team turning out a season like 2008-09 (very respectable) and a final four appearance is going to hinge on McLemore's and Ellis' development as players.


DoubleDD 1 year, 5 months ago

A loss is always tough whether its this early in the season or not. Not to mention against a tough matchup like MSU. Yet I just can't help but feel that KU lost this game more than MSU won this game. Losing to a tough team that just outplayed ya is one thing, but to lose by giving the game away just leaves a sick feeling in my stomach. I have no doubt that HCBS will have this team firing on all cylinders in the near future. As KU fans though we might want to temper our emotions a little. I got feeling this team may take a few more knots to the head before the lights go on.


squawkhawk 1 year, 5 months ago

"Wait 'til basketball season!" ughhh?


cajayfan 1 year, 5 months ago

I did not see this mentioned and maybe it is just plain leadershship, but at this point I felt like MSU played with more heart. Maybe that is their coach, the kids or a little of both. They were like boxers that would just not stay down. We were up several times and they would fight their way back. I think they played like they thought they could not lose. I think we will continue to see this lack of heart, will, whatever throughout the year. The skill is there.


live4h2o 1 year, 5 months ago

These boys are going to be money come conference time. Look out in the tourney! With so many new faces, it is not suprising that there werea few rough patches, but I think this will be a better team than last year. And, they will be a lot of fun to watch!


Carolyn Hunzicker 1 year, 5 months ago

Relefords late game turnovers hurt....NO GUARD PLAY..No go to guy on the floor... AND any team that has an agressive guard or guards usually cause KU constant trouble WE NEED A BIG MEAN "big man" IN THE MIDDLE...

But, we'll be fine........................Enjoy the ride


JayhawkRock78 1 year, 5 months ago

Oakville I'm with you. Saw good and bad, but we are young and it is early.

I was not happy Withey and Young came out so far they couldn't recover on key plays late in the game.

Watching Duke take down Kentucky helped me get over the loss.


texashawk10 1 year, 5 months ago

Someone above mentioned this, but this team has one flaw that may not be correctable and will cause issues all season long and has the potential to send KU to an early exit in March and that is this team has no vocal leader. Bill Self has already said this team is too quiet and that KY is the best at this, but he's not going to be playing more than 15-20 minutes most games. This will be a big problem going forward and someone, preferably EJ or Releford, needs to step into that role and this team will become immediately and significantly better. Where the lack of communicating really hurts KU is on the defensive end when they are getting screened and when KU needs to switch players because KU gave way too many easy baskets and cheap fouls because their rotation was too slow and I think better communication would help with that a lot. The talent is there to make another Final Four run, but with the number of young players on this team, we will see some games where KU looks awful and probably drop a game or two this year that they have no business losing. That said, this is a team that is more than capable of winning 30+ games, win their 9th straight Big 12, and make a deep March run.


Tony Bandle 1 year, 5 months ago

This just in...with Jo Jo's verbal yesterday, Kansas has moved up to #2 in the 2013 team recruiting rankings, only behind Kensucky. The term "monster class" was used!!

Return with BMac, Perry, Semi, Zach, Nadiir, AW3, Landon and Rio with Conner, Brannen, Wayne, Jo Jo and Frank, I'd say the future will continue to burn a bright Crimson and Blue!!!!!


AsadZ 1 year, 5 months ago

I am OK with defensive lapses

I am OK withOffensive struggles

I am OK with this loss

There is only thing that is bothering me from last night's game - not seeing AW3 and Rio on the floor. Even if they were put in for a few mins, playing against a solid MSU team, in Georgia Dome, at a big time stage would have provided a huge boost of confidence for these kids.


DoubleDD 1 year, 5 months ago

I love all the comments about the game from this board good stuff. Now my 2 cents. As I watched this game unfold, the feeling was KU was going to pull away and put the Spartans away. KU just looked like they had more talent, they really did through my own eyes. However as KU fans we've all learned the good tough basketball can beat a more talented team. Spartans make a run KU has no answer, and thats where I see a problem with this team.

There can be no debate that KU has some serious talent, and that HCBS is one of the best coaches in America. The one thing that can be debated however, is does this team have a leader, that go to guy. McLemore and Ellis are being bantered around as the one to fill that need, along with Johnson. Either way untill a player steps forward and claims this team as his own KU will lose some more tight games. Somebody has to step forward and demand the ball when it gets to crunch time. I kind of hope its Withey

Just my 2 cents.


REHawk 1 year, 5 months ago

This contest was a huge teaching/learning experience for the entire squad, esp. those players who got in the game. Also for Bill Self. EJ has to reflect upon his statline and take a very close look at film. I imagine that Coach will lose more than a bit of sleep, reviewing his lineup and wondering what moves he might have made, and when. I don't feel any sense of doom after this loss. However, if we are to win another league title and move to the Elite 8 or better with this squad, adjustments appear to be in quick order. Playing time for newcomers is historically difficult for Bill Self to provide; but I look to see him move in that direction in the next few weeks. A couple of thoroughbreds rode the pine last night, probably rightly so for a contest of this nature. I will be surprised if the two of them remain there w/o getting extensive opportunity to play through freshman mistakes prior to league play. A matter of upside vs. blah performance.


KPOP 1 year, 5 months ago

that was not a pretty bball game. KU is very soft in the middle with Withey and will have to learn to score inside using Withey as a distraction. However, with as athletic as this team seems to be and with as many athletes as they have I think the offense has to change the game. KU's game plan should be we are going to score 90 points this game, if you want to beat us you need to score 91. we need to wear the opponent down and force them to make mistakes and I think we have the depth to do it this year.


jgkojak 1 year, 5 months ago

Traylor, Ellis and McLemore played like Freshmen at times. Play this game in March (and you know we will, since they love a rematch) and we win.


Joe Joseph 1 year, 5 months ago

This game came down to two plays, one on the offensive end and one on the defensive end.

Traylor's missed wide-open layup came at a time when momentum was starting to swing in favor of MSU. Traylor played like a stud the majority of the time he was in, but this play really hurt KU's momentum and gave a bunch of it to Sparty.

Around the same time in the game as the Traylor missed layup, the defense allowed a one-second-left lob-pass after playing outstanding defense for 34 seconds. Again, momentum/emotion draining for KU.

I'm not laying the blame on Traylor--at all. But if close games come down to a series of 2 or 3 plays, I think these were it.


Woody Cragg 1 year, 5 months ago

My assesssment on the final Appling blow-by vs Withey & Young was that Withey did not stay in front because he thought he had plenty of help, & Young didn't slide because he didn't want to foul. Either way, we had the open look for the three at the end to tie & didn't knock it down. Not happy we lost, but will be a geat learning game for these guys under, IMO, the best game coach in D-1. Not a thing negative except that I agree with HEM, we have to get point production from the PF position, or SF either. Maybe HCBS will have a change of heart about the shirt for Lucas now. I'd much rather see him play even if he is a freshman. Let him develope that toughness from court time where confidence comes from also. I doubt if Peters will even practice for some time to come, & I just don't think we're deep enough in the blocks. Sadly I think there will be games where Jeff will just whiff in the points category & Major is right on the under achievement in the point production stat. To win the conf & make a deep run in Mrach, we really need a scorer down low. Maybe Ellis will be the guy. We'll see, what are your thoughts?


mahone2 1 year, 5 months ago

What bothered me was that we never adjusted when Appling started running EJ into a screen with Withey coming up to the top to cut him off. Four or 5 times in a row he just blew by Withey and in for a layup. When any of our guys slid over to help (which only happened once or twice) he dumped it off to the sliders man for a bunny. That was the game. I was screaming to either have EJ fight thru the screen or leave Withey back and make Appling shoot from outside. He may have made the outside shot but it's better than 5 or 6 layups. Frustrating there was no adjustment on our part.


Michael Luby 1 year, 5 months ago

I just finished watching the game on dvr. First thoughts, Great game, fun to watch. It was ugly for both sides, we had defensive lapses and offensive struggles and too many turns but so did they. A few calls go our way and it would have been an OT game. A few more made free throws and its an OT game, same can be said about the turnovers. KU played a very good and close game for 35 min. Its a great experience for our young guys, the whole team will get better from this game.


Tony Bandle 1 year, 5 months ago

Some random thoughts from someone who lost the recorded broadcast thanks to ATT U-Verse!! [Maybe they did me a favor]

1] We had played this game after three or four other games later into this season, we win easily. Jumping from SEMO to MSU is a quantum leap in rival talent and coaching.

2] Come on, folks...this was only the second game of their college careers for a third of the rotation.

3] Perry Ellis did a fantastic impersonation of Claude Raines [The Invisible Man]...17 minutes, four points, minimum court presence. That won't happen very many times again.

4] BMac is everything I have been telling you guys for the last two years plus.

5] Semi's put back dunk was just a preview of good things to come.

6] No matter how bad you feel, and even though it was by Duke, Kentucky and Calipari lost. At least that's a small consolation prize.


HawkKlaw 1 year, 5 months ago

Good to see very few "sky is falling" posts. That was a great game despite being a loss for KU.

Jamari Traylor was a nice surprise (6 pts, 4 rebounds, 3 blocks, 2 stl). He's looking more and more confident each game. Also BMac, Releford and Elijah all had pretty solid games.

Ellis will get better as the season goes on, but we sorely needed more production out of him last night. We also needed more offense from Withey. He gets pushed around way too much.

In general, we need more tenacity and urgency out of everyone, especially our seniors. Our guys are too "nice" right now. Self calls them "soft." We just need to be meaner. Hungrier. More fiery.

One of the keys to this loss was that we lost the turnover battle and we didn't have nearly enough assists to make up for it. Izzo was prepared for was our ability to swing the ball back and forth on offense. They did a good job of keeping that part of our offense in check and ultimately, I believe that's why we lost the game. Some say Self was "out-coached." I don't think even Izzo would agree with that. Both teams played really well for it being the second game of the year and KU just came up short last night. Hopefully we'll get 'em back in March.


William Blake 1 year, 5 months ago

Best outcome we could hope for. These early (painful) losses begin the making of our chip; nothing drives a team towards success more than when they carry a chip with them every day.

So how big of a chip did we build from that loss? (size wise)

A. Dime

B. Flapjack Pancake

C. Frisbee

D. Mayan Calendar

I'd like to see us make a flapjack, but then, I'm hungry this morning.


Ethan Berger 1 year, 5 months ago

Everyone one else hit pretty much everything, so I'll just repeat. Give B Mac the ball and let him score. If defense are scared of two guys driving on them, that will open up for Withey and Ellis. If Releford drives more, then watch out. We played I nice game yesterday. Just not aggressive enough. Or when we were aggressive, they weren't smart with the ball. That will come as the season goes on. Mich State needed a second guy to have a huge game, and Harris did that. All we needed was one guy, and we didn't get that. It's okay, we can be a very good team.


justinryman 1 year, 5 months ago

It's not like we can win all the games. I mean what fun would that be?

OK yes there is a lot to work on and improve. We can sit here all day and discuss them, but hey we started slow last year as well. You don't play these games this early to win the title now. You play these games so you learn how to win these games for the Title in March/April.

Yes these games count on the W-L colums, but the bigger picture it shows is that this team is not a team yet, and last year vsKY and in Maui they weren't a team yet either. It takes time for everyone to gell at game speed, and in diffrent game situations.

I'm OK with this game, no such thing a a good loss, but they will learn from this especially watching film, the coaching staff has a lot of teachable moments.

Rock Chalk Jayhawk

Pay for it now and pick it up later.


yates33333 1 year, 5 months ago

KU will be a good team, but until someone develops with the leadership and closeout skills as near as possible to a Ty Taylor, Sheron Collins, Russell Robinson, or Chalmers it will not be a great team. McLemore seems to be our best bet. Johnson hasn't in three years and Releford will always be "a good defensive player." Hopefully Withey will score a bit more, but that seems more hope than reality when he faces big men who bang.


RockChalk26 1 year, 5 months ago

Here goes my "Wednesday Quarterbacking" rant.

1) We need to limit the amount of times we run the weave at the top of the key. I feel like everyone in the nation knows we are looking for the fade pass to the corner.

2) I agree with BeachHawk, BMac's defense was a pleasant surprise

3) Perry will be special. Hard to believe that he is only a freshman

4) Andrew White must absolutely suck on defense because I can't figure out why he isn't out on the floor. I need me some more Andrew White. The kid can flat out shoot the rock.

5) Even though we came up a little short, this game was a great learning experience for our young team.

Ok that is all. Carry on.

6) Almost forgot. Can we please work on help side defense coming off the screen? A few times Mich St had wide open attempts due to Jayhawks screening Jayhawks.


vd 1 year, 5 months ago

We looked 100 times improved from the SEMO game. This will take time, but man, we are talented. Bill will figure out his rotation and get the right mix in the game at the right time. He hid Perry last night, but then brought him in at the 5 min. mark. He came in cold and played like it. Was Bill testing him? Was Bill trying to find out who else would step up? With Young added to the mix, Bill is trying to figure out his rotation, and how the chemistry will work. Let the genius work.


TexasHawk44 1 year, 5 months ago

Some of you are just bottom feeders on this board. Anyone who watched that game and thought MSU is more talented is just plain dumb. Izzo is a great coach and they are terrific program. But when all is said and done this KU team has more pure talent than MSU they just need time to grow. And they will.

It was a good game by two strong programs that are just warming up. Both of these teams will make big noise in March as they normally do. KU is going to be really good by Big 12 play.

For some of you the glass is always empty. Simply ridiculous.


Beate Williams 1 year, 5 months ago

I think this game demonstrated something that Self said last week, the team does not communicate...that was obvious on a number of plays but the one that really stands out is the Appling 3 pointer in the last minute, both players left Appling at the top of the key rather than communicating to Withey for the switch. Had Withey stayed at the top Appling would not have been able to get that shot off. I thought that was a constant problem. Would agree with most, Perry will be good but it was obvious he was out of his element last night, i.e., he has not had to deal with that type of physical game until last night; he will learn and he will be a much better player in a few games. They handled him like a rookie and he had a hard time responding in the fashion he will in a few games. I thought our defense was very good the first half, even though we did not communicate as much as a coach would like, but we had quick feet, a lot of energy and moved very good. We even moved very good on offense, getting the ball around the court with precision and crispness, not so much the second half except in spurts. Would agree with HEM regarding the rating of Traylor over Mc and EJ. I was very pleasantly surprised with the defense from Mc, this kid is going to be an exceptional player and I'm pretty confident he will become more of the go to scorer that need. I was impressed with how he was always around the ball, even if he didn't get it he was there, even around the basket for rebounds. HEM believes if Ellis was given more minutes we might have pulled it out, that is speculation and we can prove it might not have happened but I think Self saw how he was getting moved around, under the basket and felt that Traylor's energy (vs Ellis cool, calm collected approach) was more of what was needed at the time. It is hard to disagree with that and the experience was good for Traylor who in my opinion gets a little hyper at times and looses control but he will learn. I'm very encouraged by last night, I think the sky is the limit for this group; don't like to lose but this is one of those times when I think the lost will teach them a bunch.


Robert Brock 1 year, 5 months ago

I don't want McLemore spending a lot of time waiting for the ball and just stroking outside shots. I don't want him to play the part of J.R. Giddens.


Craig Pannell 1 year, 5 months ago

Appling and Harris scored at will. Our guards could not keep up or get through screens. Relaford made bad decisions and failed to keep up with Harris in key situations. Withey did not show up at all. Must think he is in NBA already. Just stood around all game. Never bent his knees, never played defense except to try to make a block. Freshmen played great with the exception of Ellis. He kind of choked on the pressure at the end. Think they still win the Big 12 but need to rely more on Freshmen. Welsey had a good game. Withey needs to be benched until he pulls his head out. Relaford can't seem to handle pressure of being go-to guy. Maybe should just be defense and fast break guy. EJ needs to lead.


Jack Wilson 1 year, 5 months ago


I get the physicality of the game. But this team will struggle to score. We need scorers on the court.

To that end, if we are not going to be able to score in the post, we'll have to score other ways. Another option .. shooting the ball from the outside. Who might be your best shooter? Andrew White. And we need McLemore to shoot more.

As I mentioned last night .. just my opinion .. this team needs to be led by Ellis and McLemore on the offensive end (and eventually White joining them if Self lets him on the court .. see Europe). They are the most skilled offensive players on the team (joining EJ). EJ, though, can't come close to shooting 50%. He scores by volume of shots. And he's the point guard.

It seems to me that lack of post scoring was a big factor in the loss last night. There is only one solution in the post .. Perry Ellis.


Jack Wilson 1 year, 5 months ago

Remember the topic we discussed back in the summer? Concerns about post scoring. Where were we going to get our post scoring? A lot of that concern was based on how coach Self likes to play the game. He loves feeding the post. We discussed generally how we needed to get 30-32 ppg from the post players. I don't recall anyone disagreeing with the need. But rather, the disagreement was whether we were going to get that 30-32 ppg.

Last season, our post scoring was appx. 32 points per game.

2010-11 it was over 40 per game.

In the 2007/08, 08/09, and 09/10 seasons it was appx. 34 per game

What was it last night? 21 points. Just 21 points.

I see where Jesse rated Traylor the top KU player last night. I have no real problem with that other than McLemore played solid D, scored 14. And I think EJ was better too.

Traylor played 25 minutes in the post, scored a measly 6 points and only managed 4 rebounds. He had some "wow" plays .. the block, the dunk. Terrific stuff. But over 25 minutes, no stats.

Traylor playing 25 minutes won't cut it. Not next to Withey. Traylor's not a scorer. He'll get some points here and there. I've been impressed with his activity, athleticism, and effort. I don't want to minimize his contribution. But 25 minutes is way too many. Let's trim that 15.

Self played Traylor it appears because of the physicality of the game. He mentioned after the game that Ellis plays more of a finesse game. But Ellis can score. He's the only post scorer we have. Withey is not a post scorer. He'll get his points, but he's not a scorer (I think most know what I mean there).

Ellis needed 27-30 minutes last night. He got a quick hook -- the classic quick hook from Self. Do we win the game if he plays an extra 13 minutes, and Traylor sits say 5 of his 25 minutes, and Wesley gives up 8 minutes to Ellis? Who knows. Just speculation. But when you go back and critique a game, like the coaches do, you look for things you might have done differently. That's a big one we can look at.

On the initial post game thread, someone posted that Self got outcoached (he took the obligatory rash of crap for that). But I would simply say that we were in a position to win despite not scoring in the post. We didn't get it done down the stretch. But a coaching move that maybe could have made it better .. might have been more Ellis. When I went back and looked, Ellis' defense looked acceptable. He didn't get out of position as much as Traylor (it appeared to me). Obviously not as physical.



Joe Baker 1 year, 5 months ago

We got JoJo to commit. We got our future 7' that will get Self-ish and Hudy-ized. I love it.

It will be a good year. Let this game go like the other 2-3 games we lost to Izzo. It's a good loss that will keep on giving throughout the year. They need this pain from a D1 program so they don't forget the feeling. It's going to get even more intense, because Baylor will be similar to msu.


Jason Montgomery 1 year, 5 months ago

I guess we are a volleyball school now?


brojoe 1 year, 5 months ago

At this point last year I was freaking out thinking we were gonna have a bad season, it didn't turn out too bad. I thought we were clearly the better team out there last night, just inexperienced. I felt like we were right there on the cusp of making MSU look way inferior but inexperience and nerves got the best of us.


KansasComet 1 year, 5 months ago

Think back to this time last year. We play Kentucky and we look kind of lost towards the end of the game. Same thing this year. We will figure it out. This is an amazingly talented team. I am extemely excited about this season. Jamari Traylor is a freshman, and he held his own in his first big time game. I am proud of him. Releford had his moments, but did not close the deal in crunch time. I expected Elijah Johnson to come right back with a 3 once Appling stepped up and made his for his team. EJ, not quite as explosive as in years past. I thought Wesley looked good, but Kevin Young is not ready, maybe in two weeks. Withey seems a step slow at times, but he always shows up in flurries, that's just who he is. Perry Ellis, got the jitters at the end of the game, and that's okay, he will be fine. It appears, we need a 3 point assassin, I was hoping it would be AW3. McLemore is a star and needs the ball more. Sad that we lost the game, but very pleased with the talent we have on this team. Looking forward to Thursday. Go Jayhawks!


Steve Yeakel 1 year, 5 months ago

Our guards need to step it up and use their feet to stop opposing guards from driving the lane. Either that, or give them matador capes and teach them to say Ole' with a flourish of the cape when they turn the other guards loose for lay ups and 3s. This was a problem last year as well, something Bill needs to emphasize. Our big guys did okay, the guards defense against their two main guards really hurt us. You can't let the guy you are guarding by you with the ball, or leave him open for the 3 by not recovering on the ball screen. We are going to see lots if teams using this against us unless we are able to fix it.


NoteToSelf 1 year, 5 months ago

The difference in the game was the MSU guards played better in the last 5 minutes than Elijah and Travis. Too many turnovers and missed shots. Applying and Harris made great plays to win. Jay Bilas (who is a great analyst even though he is a Dukie) said KU is a lot better now than they were 10 days ago and they will be a lot better 10 days from now. We have a deeper bench this year and will win the Big 12 again because the league is down in talent. Good teaching film for HCBS because it was a tough loss, not a BAD loss.


bradynsdad 1 year, 5 months ago

Every scouting report from here on it for our opposing team will be to put Withey in a high pick and roll. That was all they did the entire second half of the game. Jeff would hedge then turn his back and run to the paint. They had probably 20 points off Jeff in that high ball screen. I also could not figure out how we kept letting them drive the lane and dish it to one of their teammates standing underneath the basket, our weak side help was awful. On that note I am encouraged by our play last night. We have a long journey but we should be good by conference play. Champions Classic=0-2.


duanep5ku 1 year, 5 months ago

Why I maybe don't like the final score. I thought for the most part the team played okay. The team played under control for most of the game. The poster that said Izzo out coached Self,question for you, what game were you watching? because KU controlled most of the game. Bill did not miss the lay up or fail to shoot the open shot,late in the game. The play was run to perfection at the end of the game,only problem was the player did not make the shot. It was a tough game but one this team should build on and hopefully improve on. Player break down's I don't like to single out on a message board, because you win and lose as a team. But here is a simple outlook from my eye. We all know that Releford is a good player at times, but in truth he is not an elite player but good enough. Perry is only a freshman,so lets just give him a pass here, but he is not yet ready to be a banger and that is a problem. Bill Self also pointed that out, soft player that is not ready for an Izzo style game yet. The positives of this game far out way the negatives, in my opinion. Traylor looks okay,probably going to be a plus for the team,so that is good. I think many of us, not me though was worried about some stupid rankings. I also think that Tharpe played okay,for the most part in the game,getting better. So that is a positive. I wold also like to remind everyone, that the players were going against some very elite level guards, MSU has and did a pretty good job over all. I think it was an okay game one the team can learn from and build on. KU is going to be good and should have a good year,hopefully.


Jason Keller 1 year, 5 months ago

Once we understand that this team can only be built around Ben Mclemore, we will be a much better team. The 3 seniors are all solid but Ben needs to have the ball at the end of games. He is the only stone cold killer that we have.

Jamari Traylor has a chance to really do something here at KU. He has the T-Rob intensity but is slightly smaller and has a little better handle.

Perry... wow, talk about a skilled player. Like Ben, he needs to stop defering to the seniors.

I thought our defense looked outstanding last night. Travis and Ben might make us the best defensive team in the nation when it is all said and done.

Michigan State shot the ball lights out all night long against good defense.

Closing thoughts - Make your gosh darn freethrows!!! They're called FREEthrows.


fansincewilt 1 year, 5 months ago

Better than expected at this point with the freshmen carrying key roles.


Doug Cramer 1 year, 5 months ago

This team is going to be really good come mid January...really good.

Predict we win the Big 12...and make a run for the final four.


KULA 1 year, 5 months ago

What kind of a defense are you running when your 7 footer is trying to guard their best guard above the 3pt line? Guess what happened? As Raftery would say, "The Blow-by!"


Gregor Southard 1 year, 5 months ago

I thought they did well, lack of experience considered. They'll be fine. Actually, they'll be great. I would, however, like to start a petition here for people to refuse to call layups "bunnies." Possibly the dumbest "cutesy" phrase in a world filled with dumb phrases like "Man crush," "buck fifty," "bigs (shall we call guards "littles?)" etc. Anybody with me?


Ralster Jayhawk 1 year, 5 months ago

Post by "adhawk": Claims Self was outcoached by Izzo. Zero basis for that comment, he just wanted to say those words to "add gravity" and drama to his post. Worthless. How about the real facts that Appling was fearless down the stretch, and also at the 10min mark of the 2nd half, we miss 2 bunnies in a row+2 FT's. Later Ellis misses a 2 foot shot. I thought in the second half, we left 6-8 easy points on the floor. We were up 7 at one point and could easily have been up 12-13 pts. Self was EXACTLY right about the "too many missed bunnies". If yall recall, this is how we lost to MichSt in Marcus+Tyshawn's frosh year also. Had a double digit lead in that one, but got beat down the stretch. This is a 40min of execution needed-type-of-game, not just 30min. MichSt offense was ugly, and got bailed out by some fortuitous 3pt shooting. Lot to build on. Just because its early, I like the loss for teaching and focus purposes. Make the kids work.


jayhawkinATL 1 year, 5 months ago

I didn't know what to expect after the SEMO game, but now I feel pretty confident that the 'hawks will be fine. This MSU game is going benefit us in the long run.


Michael Sillman 1 year, 5 months ago

Jayhawks played a good game but Mike DeCourcy hit the nail on the head with his critique in Sporting News. We need more shooting from McElmore and less from Johnson. A good close loss this early is good. The kids will pay even more attention to Self.


adhawk 1 year, 5 months ago

Let me get the obligatory stuff out of the way first. Wow, what a great game. If you love college basketball you love this game. MSU feeling down after a tough loss against UConn in Germany fought hard to win against the higher rated Jayhawks. Underdog prevails. We all knew it would be tough game for the Hawks, But now, the truth. MSU looked like a far more talented team and KU is way overrated. KU is soft in the middle and has inferior guard play, both offensively and defensively. And for one game (one game only), Self was out coached by Izzo. No excuses – freshman played OK (except Ellis) and the seniors played their best game all year. But, without tough aggressive play in the middle, piss poor guard play and no true leadership (coronary alert: man I miss Tyshawn), it will be a tough year. But I’m a true Jayhawk through and through. I expect then to turn it around. I project a 20 win season, 3rd place finish in the Big 12 and a nice 8th seed in the NCAA tourney. Help me in my quest to help the Hawks over achieve.


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