Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Notebook: Jamari Traylor holds his own against MSU bigs

Kansas center Jeff Withey celebrates a put-back dunk by forward Jamari Traylor during a timeout against Michigan State during the first half on Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

Kansas center Jeff Withey celebrates a put-back dunk by forward Jamari Traylor during a timeout against Michigan State during the first half 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


— Kansas University red-shirt freshman forward Jamari Traylor had a vicious one-handed put-back dunk of an Elijah Johnson miss, took a charge and had three blocked shots in the Jayhawks’ 67-64 loss to Michigan State on Tuesday in the Georgia Dome.

He certainly held his own against Michigan State bruisers Derrick Nix and Adreian Payne.

“They were very physical, just like anybody else really,” Traylor said after scoring six points with four rebounds and two steals in 25 minutes. “That is definitely a game I think we should have won. The last four minutes, things didn’t go our way.

“Physically I guess I could go against anybody,” added the 6-8 Traylor, who battled 6-9 senior Nix and 6-10 junior Payne. “I went against Thomas (Robinson) every day for a whole year. That was nothing new (vs. MSU), just regular I guess.”

Self 'not leaving discouraged'

KU coach Bill Self was not despondent after the defeat.

“The thing about playing a game like this, this early, somebody is going to lose,” he said. “I thought we were pretty good for 35 minutes. But games are decided in the last five. They were much better the last five. I think this was a good game for us. I am not leaving discouraged at all. I’m not happy we lost because when you are up in that situation (seven with 12 minutes left; five with five minutes left) you’ve got to close. We didn’t close.”

KU commit Greene attends practice instead of KU game

KU commit Brannen Greene, a 6-7, 207-pound wing from Tift County High in Tifton, Ga., who had basketball practice scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m., local time, Tuesday, couldn’t make it to Atlanta’s Georgia Dome to watch his future school play Michigan State.

“It’s a 2 1/2 to 3 hour drive,” Greene told the Journal-World, “but it’s great they are here in the state. If they make it to the Final Four, I’ll be on it,” he added.

The 2013 Final Four will also be held at the Georgia Dome.

“My goal is to win a state championship,” said Greene, who averaged 24.5 points and 14 rebounds a game last season for Mary Persons High in Forsyth, Ga., moving over to Tift County this year.

Of Wednesday’s signing day ceremony at his school, he said: “I knew I wanted to go to KU at the time (when he committed in December) and I still know I want to go there. I haven’t wavered off of that.”

His dad, Jeffrey, a former Pittsburg State player, said he hoped the Jayhawks could defeat the Spartans.

“I hope they have a successful time. Winning is wonderful. That’s what the Jayhawk tradition is. That’s why we are so elated to be a part of it,” said Jeffrey, who is an assistant coach at Tift County this year. “The Final Four is back this way. Hopefully they make it back and it won’t be a dead period (in recruiting) and we can visit and be in the locker room, those kind of things.”

Naismith watch list

KU’s Ben McLemore and Jeff Withey have been named to the Naismith Award early-season watch list, the Atlantic Tipoff Club announced Tuesday.

In all, 50 players were included on the list, which will be cut to 30 in February and four in March before a winner is announced in April.

Other Big 12 players on the list: Pierre Jackson, Baylor; Rodney McGruder, Kansas State; Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State.

Stats, facts

KU is 1-1 for the second-straight season and the third time in the Bill Self era. ... MSU has a 6-4 record versus KU and has won three straight in the series. ... KU and MSU were tied with 15 total rebounds (six offensive/nine defensive) after the first half, but KU grabbed only 10 rebounds in the second half. KU's 25 rebounds are the fewest in a game since grabbing 23 at Iowa State on Jan. 28, 2012. ... MSU went ahead 54-53 at the 6:55 mark in the second half for the Spartans' first lead since going up 24-22 with 8:10 to play in the first half. Kansas held a lead for 20 minutes and 47 seconds. KU led by five, 59-54, with 5:02 to play. ... Ben McLemore scored a career-high 14 points. ... Kevin Young checked in with 13:42 to play in the first half for the first appearance of his senior season. His first point of the year came on the back end of a trip to the free throw line at 12:31. ... Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez attended and sat in the KU section. ... KU coach Self used nine players. Naadir Tharpe played 13 minutes, Justin Wesley seven and Kevin Young three.


s6u6r6f 8 years, 4 months ago

Early test taken. Another whole growth season. Lots of fun to come. Rock chalk.

Ken Sedgwick 8 years, 4 months ago

Never thought I could accept a loss this easily. The future is bright.

John Strayer 8 years, 4 months ago

"Somebody is going to lose"...yes but it always seems to be KU doing the losing. When was the last time KU won a big game like this early in the season...Florida in Vegas years ago?

KU lost to KY and Duke early last year...when everyone in the country was watching.

ccurr 8 years, 4 months ago

And we made the championship game. I'm OK with losing "big" games early.

Ron Prichard 8 years, 4 months ago

With a young team you have to expect some bumps along the way. I would rather lose an early marquee game than a league game. Games like this prepare us for an NCAA tourney run. Kentucky lost last night, too. It happens. To be honest, I was much more impressed with the way we played against MSU than I was on Friday night. The team looked much improved in only three days and will continue to get better each week. Even Bilas mentioned how much better KU looked when compared to 10 days ago when he was in town.

HawkKlaw 8 years, 4 months ago

"...but it always seems to be KU doing the losing." Wait, you mean Bill Self doesn't have an 84% winning percentage since he came to KU? He hasn't won more games than any other coach since he came to KU? He doesn't have more Big 12 titles than home losses?

I get what you're saying, but c'mon. KU wins it's fair share. lol

RJ King 8 years, 4 months ago

The good news is that we are a program in a November game that, "everyone in the country was watching."

Kansas is one of four teams to represent a group of champions. How much would North Carolina and UCLA have liked to have traveled to Atlanta to risk an early loss, in order to belong in this group?

travelhawk 8 years, 4 months ago

....and last year was a total bust, wasn't it?

jgkojak 8 years, 4 months ago

I'lll take those 5 wins leading up to the Nat Championship against Duke an KY in November any day.

This team played like Freshmen - because that's what they are. Give them a couple months, a couple tough losses (remember the Sprint Center last year?) and HCBS will be workin' 'em.

brooksmd 8 years, 4 months ago

“I went against Thomas (Robinson) every day for a whole year. That was nothing new (vs. MSU), just regular I guess.”

It looked obvious that year banging with TRob was very beneficial.

hawk316 8 years, 4 months ago

Being a partial qualifier and limited to practice last year might have been the best thing that could have happened to Jamari's game. Last night we saw the first installment of just how beneficial it was.

PSM 8 years, 4 months ago

Jamari's putback was number 2 on top plays last night. his chase down block was Lebroesque. Jamari is my new favorite player

Curtis Stutz 8 years, 4 months ago

MSU had a lot of extra motivation after the opening loss to UConn, they brought back I think 4 starters, the odds were stacked against KU a bit and it still should have been an easy win if the offense had executed at all the last 5 minutes.

I don't agree with anyone calling this KU team young. Yes, several players are, but 3 seniors that started on a title game team last year are not young. KYo wasn't near to full speed, he'll add to the experience Self can put on the floor. With arguably the best senior class in cbb, let's not use youth as an excuse.

My big takeaways were that W needs to be more aggressive, Traylor needs to look to score more and BMac needs to stay aggressive throughout the game. If EJ isn't the only guy looking to make a play he won't end up with many turnovers. All 5 guys on the court need to be looking to make things happen on offense when they are in there, even Wesley. Traylor has shown some nice moves, Ellis, BMac, TRele, KYo, W, EJ, Tharpe have all shown they can score and assist. They have to have playmaker mentality on every offensive possession so that whenever the defense gives them the advantage they are ready to capitalize. Do that and the offense will be very good, then they just have to figure out when to shoot and when to pass.

ku_foaf 8 years, 4 months ago

The late block Jamari had and the aggressive play by McLemore after the "non-foul" were both very exciting and bode well for the future. Some brilliance in those slightly disarrayed last few minutes. MSU really pulled together and looked organized. That is why they won. We just need time to gel in games with some pressure.

DonO 8 years, 4 months ago

I think Jamari's block against Mich. St. earned him a nickname! How about J-TRAY?

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