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Kansas defeats St. Louis, 73-59

  • 8:30 p.m., Nov. 20, 2012
  • Sprint Center, Kansas City, MO

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Travis Releford MVP as KU upends Billikens

Kansas guard Elijah Johnson slaps hands with teammate Travis Releford after a breakaway bucket by Releford against Saint Louis in the first half of the championship game of the CBE Classic, Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri.

Kansas guard Elijah Johnson slaps hands with teammate Travis Releford after a breakaway bucket by Releford against Saint Louis in the first half of the championship game of the CBE Classic, Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri.

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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' 73-59 victory over Saint Louis on Nov. 20, 2012.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Jeff Withey and Travis Releford

Jeff Withey and Travis Releford talk to reporters following the Jayhawks' 73-59 victory over Saint Louis on Nov. 20, 2012.

Download podcast

Box score

• KU-SLU

— Kansas University senior Travis Releford slapped hands with teammate Naadir Tharpe, then with a huge smile on his face, trotted to Sprint Center’s center court to receive his glass MVP trophy late Tuesday night.

“I’m excited for it,” said Releford, a 6-foot-6 senior, after being named the CBE Hall of Fame Classic’s top performer after scoring 23 points — 21 the first half — in KU’s 73-59 victory over Saint Louis.

“My teammates supported me throughout the struggles before I got here. I think it means a lot for my family and the city.”

Releford, who grew up in KC and attended Roeland Park’s Bishop Miege High, entered the two-day event 0-for-11 from three and 6-of-23 overall in the Jayhawks’ first three games.

Saint Louis’ defense elected to play off him during the first half, even though he did hit six of seven shots (two of three from three) in KU’s 78-41 first-round victory over Washington State on Monday night.

Did he feel disrespected by the Billikens?

“Of course,” Releford said. “I’m a player. Any player who is defended that way should feel disrespected. They played off. My teammates and coaches continued to tell me to shoot it. That’s what I did.”

He was angry but not stunned at the lack of respect.

“Coming into this game, you look at my shooting percentage on threes ... they weren’t too good,” Releford said. “It didn’t surprise me. My teammates told me to step up and shoot the ball. I did that, and the shots fell.”

They fell early and often.

Releford, who scored 17 points in the semifinals, erupted for 21 points vs. Saint Louis as the Jayhawks led, 39-25, into the break. He hit six of 11 shots, including four of six threes as well as five of six free throws while playing all but one minute of the first half.

He scored seven of KU’s first 14 points and 17 of the first 28, with KU leading 28-10 out of the gate. Eight of Releford’s points came in a 14-0 surge that increased KU’s 14-10 lead to 28-10 at 7:31. He had two threes and a driving layup in the run.

“Travis was unbelievable the first half,” KU coach Bill Self said. Releford took just two shots the second half, making one — a spectacular dunk following a behind-the-back feed from Elijah Johnson (nine assists, two turnovers, five points).

“They made a decision not to guard him. He was unbelievable and made them pay. The second half they guarded Travis,” Self added, noting that’s why Jeff Withey was freed for 15 of his career-high-tying 25 points (attained vs. Baylor last season). “It was good for Travis to get the lid off, so to speak.”

Releford said nothing much has changed from the first couple of games, just that the ball has started to go in.

“I mean, a lot of people were in my ear. I just had to continue to play,” Releford said. “I’ve been doing it awhile. The shots are going to fall. If I continue to do what my team needs me to do on the defensive end, the offense will come.”

Withey, who along with Ben McLemore (11 points, six rebounds) made the all tournament team, had four blocked shots and four rebounds to go with 10 first-half points. He finished with seven blocks and five rebounds.

Withey had a highlight-film block of a long three-point attempt by Mike McCall Jr. just before halftime. McCall fouled Withey as he retrieved the ball. Withey hit a pair of free throws — he made 11 of 14 on the night — with 7.9 seconds remaining in the half.

“Jeff was good on both ends,” Self said.

KU’s coach grinned when a reporter asked about Withey muscling the ball into the goal.

“That’s the first time I heard the word ‘muscle’ to speak of Jeff,” Self deadpanned. “He made some good post moves.”

KU led, 39-25, at halftime and had a 57-39 lead with 10:51 to play following a Johnson three. However, Saint Louis (2-2) of the Atlantic 10 cut the gap to nine, 65-56, with 3:45 to play. Withey then converted a bucket and foul shot and dunked off a feed from Johnson, then hit one of two free throws to make it 71-56.

“That’s a good team. Saint Louis is not easy to score on,” Self said. “I’d have been very happy before the game if I had known we’d score 73.”

KU (4-1) will meet San Jose State at 8 p.m. Monday in Allen Fieldhouse.

Comments

HawkKlaw 1 year, 5 months ago

This team is scary good. And it's only mid-November!

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jaybate 1 year, 5 months ago

"Some Things KU Fans Can Be Thankful for Not Being"

~K State fans.

~Scott Drew supporters.

~Athletic supporters.

~Dukies.

~Defenders of Roy Williams-style defense.

~Creditors needing Ben Howland not to be fired so they can be repaid.

~The brother of General Petraeus' wife.

~Someone trying to shoot over Jeff Withey.

~Rick Barnes coming into AFH to take his pay back for beating KU in AFH last year.

(Note: All fiction. No malice.)

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Jayhawkgirl2 1 year, 5 months ago

Finally got to see the Jayhawks play live what a pleasure. We need a consistant 3 point shooter, when talent is equal and coaching is equal we have problems. Shouldnt bring a knife to a gunfight, develope a consistant 3 point shooter for tournament time. Glad Releford came out of his slump, might give AW3 a try what do you think... GO HAWKS!!!!!

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Ralster Jayhawk 1 year, 5 months ago

Tough to watch Rio get the toughening-box treatment. But competent/experienced Self guards always set/impose the tone. And that begins on the defensive end. He doesnt recruit offensively-challenged players, but they wont play if they cant defend. Here is SelfBall's basic philosophy: bad O night + bad D night = Huge L. Good O night + bad D night = close game W/L, but other team may adjust and shut down your O--> you lose. But Bad O night + good D night = close game, but we can adjust and "find" the O eventually and get the W. Tough D always the disruptor of what the other team is trying to do. And tough D can feed surprise fast breaks off turnovers, and fast breaks can ignite offenses and change momentum in a hurry. (consider Purdue game in March...). Blowout losses extremely rare in Self era. Now I recall them with Roy's style...and saw it happen to Roy again this week vs. Butler.

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Tony Bandle 1 year, 5 months ago

Interesting rumor on local St.Louis radio..it appears Jim Delaney of the Big 10 is thinking of increasing the Big 10's basketball cache and is comtemplating inviting North Carolina and Kansas to join up some time in the future.

Throw in Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Indiana along with NC and KU and you've got one hell of a bball conference plus, along with Maryland and Rutgers, you add four football patsies for the original members to feast on.

Sounds crazy...but "crazy" seems to be the norm these days. We'll see??

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rockchalker5 1 year, 5 months ago

I wonder how much time he spends everyday writing these posts?

1

jaybate 1 year, 5 months ago

Part 6

Only a very experienced coach should ever be allowed to put a player through this process.

John Calipari just transforms players from A to B, and sometimes he doesn't even transform them. Sometimes he just lets them play like AAUers in college. Cal is no dummy. He knows he couldn't possibly transmogrify a whole team of freshman into real D1 basketball players capable of "both," of the hoops equivalent of The Glass Bead Game.

Self can't either. No one can.

So: Self is limiting himself to transmogrifying just two players and that can be alot when one of them is a freshman.

Perry, like Naadir, got his first real dosage of directed energy in the St. Louis game.

And he got it for the same reason. Perry is ready. He's now slightly more comfortable in playing "here", because Self has gone to a committee to ease his burden. With the burden eased, Perry now looks around a little occassionally beyond his own "here," and thinks, hey, I could go make a play over there! And he did it at least a couple times in the game last night...and that's really the first time he's done so. That was a big, big, big step. It made Self so happy that he decided Perry was ready for his first real dose of directed energy in a game.

Its going to get alot worse for Naadir and Perry.

Directed energy is something that blows a player out of "here" and into both "here" and "there."

Its going to take some more directed energy for these two players, because they are both very intelligent and very analytical types. They will backslide without further applications of directed energy. But there is a point at which they will come out of their inner worlds, their "here's" and explode into their outer world's of here and there. It is already starting.

But all good things take time.

Especially transmogrification. :-)

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jaybate 1 year, 5 months ago

Part 5

Perry's plight is, frankly, the much more harrowing situation to experience vicariously, when comparing Naadir's and Perry's play.

Perry is a freshman that has to score some at the 4 for the team to have a good season.

Therefore, Perry has no choice but to undergo rapid "development," as a basketball player, at least from Bill Self's POV. :-)

Hence, Perry doesn't get to wait until his sophomore season, which might be ideal for most players, despite their wish to start and be relied upon immediately in the age of instant gratification. (Note: there was a reason freshman were ineligible for varsity play once upon a time and the reason was at least partially a humane one. Too much expectation and too much rapid development too soon is hard on a human being, but I digress.)

Perry is going through something kind of like one of those scifi movie fx's, where an embryo rapidly develops into a mature alien organism intended to scare the bezeezus out of us. It is painful to watch. The effect of forced development is torquing him this way and that. The embryo transforms inside a force field that pulls and stretches him and distorts him and causes him to grimace and howl and struggle, before emerging into something alien to himself and to us and overpowering.

Self probably dearly wishes he had someone for Perry to truly play behind, the way he could play Thomas behind Marcus and Kieff, not because he has any real doubt that Perry can transmogrify, but because no human being likes to see another human being forced to go through sudden transmogrification. Transmogrification into both hurts.

Simple linear transformation form A to B is nothing in comparison to organic transmogrification into something we might think of as C and D.

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jaybate 1 year, 5 months ago

Part 4

This directed energy will take young Tharp to the next level of expected level of performance.

It will be taking him to the level of "both."

"Both" hurts...until you are used to it.

Both hurts some even after you are used to it.

Both is a very deep philosophical and spiritual and existential place for human beings.

We will both live and die.

We will be both happy and sad.

We will be both successful and unsuccessful.

We will both love and hate.

We will be both love and hate.

We will both win and lose.

We will be both individuals and part of teams.

We will both be masculine and feminine inside ourselves.

We will both love certain kinds of foods and limit our consumptions of those to keep from killing ourselves, like Rick Majerus has done.

We will both engage in wars to win them and engage in wars to create stalemates.

We will both work and play.

We will both laugh and cry.

We will both experience pleasure and pain.

We will both get better and get worse.

That last one is the scariest one of all.

Everyone likes getting better.

But everyone is really afraid of getting worse.

Why?

Because it makes them fear all their getting better was for naught. It makes them fear their faith in getting better. In moving toward a goal and attaining it.

Self is building into Naadir, and Perry, a realization that life is both getting better and getting worse.

Self is teaching Naadir, and Perry, a lesson both for this season, and for life: things get better when you work at it, and then they get harder, when you take the next step up. Get flipping used to it, you guys!!!! :-)

Why is Self teaching Naadir and Perry this lesson, but say, not Rio and AW3? Are Rio and AW3 just no good and going to be run?

Answer: of course not...well, probably not. Self doesn't absolutely need them this season, and he doesn't want to throw them into toughening, if he doesn't absolutely need them.

Getting toughened before you're ready, i.e., growing too fast, is one of the worst things that can happen to a person's emotional well being. Even when one survives it, one is left with unsightly scars and some dysfunction.

Naadir is developmentally ready for some directed energy from Self. And so he is getting it. That Self is dishing it out to Naadir means nothing more than Self thinks Naadir is ready to take the next step. And its a big step learning to do both. To play your position, and to explode beyond it, while protecting, defending, helping, and doing the distributing, the last of which Naadir was born to do. Whenever I see Naadir with the ball coming toward the top of the key, I feel certain that as he emerged from his mother's womb, he immediately grabbed the umbilical and put it in position for the doctor to cut.

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jaybate 1 year, 5 months ago

Part 3

Let's be present here. Self is at a stage of the season, when he has to turn into Drill Instructor Sergeant Minderfuchs, so as to expose the news to some live rounds aimed carefully by the Sergeanbt just over their heads, or these green grunts are going to experience XTReme Pant Filling, when they come up against some opposing thug ballers that really do want to put a hurt on them. Ratso Izzo actually took it easy on KU, not because he's gotten any less nasty, but for the self serving reason that KU was actually a little more experienced than his team was. If Ratso weren't starting that sapling of a Point Guard that Travis, or EJ, could have hurt, he would have had his guys out kicking Naadir and Perry and Jamari in the balls just to hear them scream.

But there are more Ratsos ahead on the schedule and some of them are going to have more experienced teams that allow them to act badly.

Self did not really lose his temper at Naadir, or Perry, last night. If Self were ever to truly lose his temper with this team it would be curtains. More than ever, he has to be surgical in his emoting.

Self gave them a dose of "directed energy."

Why now?

Because Naadir is finally far enough along to hear some painful truth. Up till now, he has been working through the unpainful truths of what his strengths are and how he needs to play to them in the limited way that Self knows he can do, if he focuses.

But now Naadir must hear the hurtful truth. If we were flies on the wall, it might sound something like this:

"My wife is more explosive than you are, Naadir. You're walking around thinking, a-ha! I've learned to play my narrowly defined role just well enough to keep coach off my back. I can help the team now and not get run for a new recruit. Next season, if I keep getting better I will be the driver of this car. Life is good and my girl friend is really sweet and I'm on path toward my goal of becoming a great coach one day." (pause for Self to laugh snidely) Well, I've got news for you, Naadir, I've taken every last mistake from you I'm going to take, and I've watched you sit back and not explode and make plays outside your position for as long as I'm going to. Either you become as perfectly polished as the President's favorite spoon, and as explosive as fuel-air bomb, or I will find someone who will be and the name Tharpe won't be on any Kansas jersey. Now get out of my face."

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jaybate 1 year, 5 months ago

Part 2

Early on, Self has coached the new-to-playing and the freshmen exactly as he should have. He is protective of those psyches he does not absolutely have to throw into harm s way this season: Rio and AW3.

Among those he has to throw into harms way, he has put Ben and Jamari and Tharpe in roles narrowly defined enough that each has a fighting chance of succeeding.

Make no mistake: Ben is not yet being asked to shoulder the kind of unlimited burden at both ends for guarding his position and helping others that Self is asking of EJ, Trav and Jeff.

And Tharpe and Jamari, regardless of how much one doubts Tharpe's defense, or Jamari's productivity per minute, are laboring along barely passably in their rather tightly circumscribed roles.

And through the Self Ball equivalent of "Mr. Rogers Takes the Kids to Gay Purree," and two exhibitions of patiently watched stinky play, and through three games of decent, but not extremely talented D1 pre-conference action, outside of some quick hooks to save Naadir and Jamari and Perry from themselves and the team, Self has been the quintessential Ward Cleaver/Heathcliff Huxtable (sorry I can't find contempo analogies because portraying middle class fathers as cheating, snivelling buffoons is en vogue now) of college basketball coaches.

Until last night against St. Louis, Self has basically been sitting in slippers and a cardigan singing, "Its a beautiful day in the neighborhood..." to his young players, while they got used to blue meanies in D1 being willing to do them bodily harm at high speeds heretofore unexperienced by the newbies.

In short, Self has been letting the newbies' confusions from Self speeding them up in practice, and from opposing coaches trying to do a little pre-conference mind mating with them, until he brought out the emotional scalpels to begin cutting away the psychic baby fat from cerebral cortex that the newbs showed up with after their sheltered lives in interscholastic high school basketball.

But I think we can all agree that sooner, or later, and the sooner the better, all of these young men need to go see the surgeon for at least a short while to get a trim to get them ready for when highly paid, grown men in suits called opposing coaches, get to sit and watch study hours and hours of unartfully edited mash-ups of game play by these newbies in order to figure out how to rough them up, scare them, destabilize their psyches and otherwise force them out of their comfort zones.

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jaybate 1 year, 5 months ago

"Understanding Self's Use of 'Directed Energy' at Players or All Good Things Take Time, Especially Transmogrification"

Part 1

Bill Self tore Naadir Tharpe a new one last night.

Board rats are feeling a little protective of Naadir Tharpe this morning.

Bill Self began, not just pulling Perry Ellis, but one could not help noticing the look of freshly mown ass on Perry Ellis last night either. It looked hurtful, and I suspect Perry Ellis did hurt some.

Some think Self unleashed to much anger, too much fury, at some of these younger players.

I dissent, even though I am among the peace loving pacifists that prefer reasoned discussion to verbal attack, whenever context enables.

Having watched Self for a decade now, and having been coached myself, and having had a father trained by the Marine Corp in "leading" men, I suspect there maybe under-appreciation of Self's calculatedness.

Self apparently believes that playing with "energy" is critical to a player's effectiveness.

Self also apparently thinks emotion is an ingredient in the recipe of energy.

Self apparently thinks that at certain point in a players development it is helpful for the player to have an experience with intense "energy" in order to model it.

There is much more going on here than just Self having a cold and deciding to go off on Naadir and Perry.

Self is very calculated in his emoting.

Before going further, I want to interject here that this level of emoting Self does sometimes is not to be tried at home with sons and daughters and spouses without professional supervision either. Self is a professional basketball coach. He has worked at his trade for a couple decades. He has clearly learned to manage his emotions. He has probably made few mistakes he deeply regrets. He appears also to have learned from Bob Knight that there are levels beyond which it is not okay to go, even when acting with calculation and control, i.e., the ends do not justify the means being carried beyond a certain point. End of digression.

Now to Self.

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Konkis Dongington III 1 year, 5 months ago

I know it's early, but honestly, even at this point, I'll be kind of shocked if BMac is back for next season. He's the one guy on this team that has been super consistent, he's freaky athletic, and he can do it all on both ends. Here's my lineup:

  1. Tharpe/ Frankamp/ Rio
  2. Rio/ AW3/ Green
  3. Selden/ Green/ AW3
  4. Ellis/ Traylor/ Peters
  5. Peters/ Embiid (I'm betting Lucas transfers at this point)

Of course, this all depends on a few things. We're still in the mix for Dakari Johnson. On Zagsblog today his mother included KU as a possible choice because of his relationship with Norm Roberts and his friendship with Embiid.

http://zagsblog.com/articles/dakari-johnsons-mother-breaks-down-his-six-schools/

That said, it sounds like Georgetown and UK might be his leaders right now. We're also still in the mix with Randle, though I think we're probably trailing UK and UF at this point. UT might also be able to make a run, but if Barnes season plays out the way Maui did for him, he might not be around to secure a Randle commit.

Basically there are a couple of scenarios where we could pick up one of these guys. First, Aaron Gordon probably needs to choose UK. He's apparently cut us, or at very least, excluded us from his top 3. Gordon to UK makes a Randle commit less likely. Given that Cauley will still be around for them as well as potentially Wiltjer, they'd be unlikely to lure Johnson either. With UK out of the picture, UF would be the main source of competition for Randle, and Georgetown would be for Johnson, but with UF close behind. If UF picks up Johnson, then Randle would be looking at KU or UT as the best remaining options. Conversely, if Randle picks UF, KU might be able to beat out Georgetown for Johnson's services. Going against Georgetown right now is that they're already over 1 on scholarship commitments. UF is also maxed out. I think by April, KU will have two slots free with BMac going pro and Lucas (or maybe Peters if he doesn't recover) transferring. Should make for an interesting late signing period.

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nuleafjhawk 1 year, 5 months ago

Travis Releford MVP as KU upends Billikens

Sometimes words confuse me - is UPEND the same as UPSET?

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Scott Smetana 1 year, 5 months ago

Way too early I know, but just for fun... what's our starting 5 next year? I'm guessing BMac is staying 1 more year at this point. Ellis staying for sure.

  1. Frankamp / Tharpe
  2. Green / White III
  3. Bmac
  4. Ellis / Traylor
  5. Embrid?
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yates33333 1 year, 5 months ago

Considering everything that happened previously I would have done the same thing the St. Louis coach did. I'd have laid off of Travis to cover Withey better. I am glad Travis got hot, and hope he stays hot. Of course, he won't stay that hot. I am happy for him that he did this in KC. Hopefully, KU is starting to gel as a team. They certainly seemed to in the last two games. I really don't think the Sjprint Center is that kind to KU, but that seemed to be the case in these two games. I think the court in Boulder, Colorado is kinder.

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Steve Gantz 1 year, 5 months ago

Been traveling over the holidays so I didn't get to watch the game, but I noticed in the box score Ellis got only 9 minutes. Is that a sign to come? Is he proving to be a work in progress instead of a potential one or two year player? I'd be interested to know why he played only 9 minutes last night.

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kugrampy 1 year, 5 months ago

Anybody else notice how annoying and anti-KU the announcers were?

0

flyingfinn 1 year, 5 months ago

Good for Travis but I am really excited about Withey's play....this is the type of play we need from the big man every night, not necessarily point total but his aggresiveness.

0

mikehawk 1 year, 5 months ago

Travis won't stay this hot for long, at least that isn't his MO. If he did, look out. More than likely he will go back to his super solid floor play and stopper defense as he does the needed dirty work every team has to have. Really interesting the team seems to have a pattern of playing with less pressure on the road and may try too hard with pressure at home. I thought that was the case last year, but need to watch more carefully over time this year. Not a bad problem as long as you find a way to win at home and play more relaxed with the mental intensity needed on the road. My prediction...Kevin Young continues to start into the New Year. I think HCBS has settled in on his substitution pattern for games we have a lead, with a slightly shorter bench when things are tight.

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Tony Bandle 1 year, 5 months ago

And now it's time for "PREDICTIONS "R" US".

1] KU will be 11-2 going into conference play in January with other loss at OSU.

2] KU could play Texas four on five and Barnes would still find a way to lose.

3] Dickie V will genuflect each morning in front of his photo of Coach Ratface.

4] Coach Williams will cry before New Years Eve.

5] Calimari will cheat...oh wait, he's cheating right now!!

6] KU's biggest challenge in the Big 12 this year will be......."crickets"......!!"

7] Lucas will redshirt, Peters will not play till at least Valentine's Day-if at all, Rio will likely transfer and the world will NOT end on December 21st, 2012....the IRS won't allow it.

8] it will always be better to be a Jayhawk on our worst day than be any other school alum on their best!!

9] And, finally, for all you brother and sister Jayhawks out there, Happy Thanksgiving. If nothing else, we can all be eternally grateful we are not Tiggers!!

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BCRavenJHawkfan 1 year, 5 months ago

Way to go Travis.

Did any body see the story about the D III player that scored 138 points in one game?

0

Reuben_J_Cogburn 1 year, 5 months ago

This is the sign we've been waiting for. Releford and Withey, seniors, taking charge of a game against a scrappy lesser opponent.

If only EJ would get his head right, we'll be looking good. And as for Young, I'm impressed that he seems to understand his role and not do too much. He's more of a glue guy/defender than he is scoring threat.

Senior leadership is what this team needs, but I'm telling you, I've never seen so much talent from younger guys. Mclemore, Traylor, and Ellis will be phenomenal. I understand the excitement of Mclemore and Traylor; obviously talented, but the thing I'm most excited about is Perry Ellis as a sophomore next year. The biggest leap is from frosh to sophomore, and Ellis has the makings of a KU great.

He's a little skiddish right now...and not nearly as aggressive as he should be. But once he unloads that, he'll be one of the guys we're talking about for years to come.

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Jack Wilson 1 year, 5 months ago

(cont)

Clown: Our game analyst was a clown, play by play guy was not quite that bad. Multiple examples, but here's the best one -- when referring to McLemore, he commented that McLemore's "lower body strength was underrated." I sat there and pondered -- where might I find that rating? Who rates that sort of stuff? And who is bagging on McLemore's lower body strength? And as some posted on the live chat, how did Withey flame out at Arizona .. he transferred as a freshman (at semester) based on a coaching change. The guy also go into some rant on "flopping" in response to KY drawing a questionable charge, which wasn't a flop. The question was whether he got there in time.

-Tharpe: 22 minutes, no turnovers, another night of effort on defense -- the effort that coach Self had demanded. Tharpe's an easy guy that we can want to be replaced. He's small, challenged defensively, doesn't bring any signficant, objective skill. But he is handling the ball nearly flawlessly. He got caught in some pressure a couple of times vs. Chattanooga, but other than that, dead solid. Now, 1-5 shooting isn't good. Quick suggestion - elevate vertically, don't fall away. I see that as a pretty obvious issue on his jumpers. But I'm betting his shooting percentage will improve. Hopefully he can keep improving.

-Adams: It was easy for a lot of us to crown Adams as the savior. Tharpe wasn't looking great. Adams looked like an animal on defense. But who looks better now? HawkKlaw pointed out that Adams really only looked terrific on D vs. Emporia St. At that time, an astute poster (can't recall who) pointed out that Adams was really playing a lot with his hands on the offensive player, and would get called for it. I get that Adams is better defensively than Tharpe -- and Adams is very good defensively -- but right now, he's not near the player that Tharpe is.

-Traylor/Ellis: Traylor gets 12 minutes and Ellis just 9? Ellis is a better rebounder, and a better scorer. He played fine defensively. If KY is getting 27 minutes and not scoring, then big doses of Ellis down low will be needed against better teams. I love KY's contributions and Self played it right last night. But when teams double Withey. Decide to take him away down low. Who will score in the post consistently? We got the 30-32 post points (that is the goal) last night, with 25 from Withey. When Withey gets held to 8 or 10 points, where do we turn? Post scoring is a concern with this roster. KY will chip in points, but there is only one real post-scoring answer on our roster -- Ellis. I trust that it is coming.

1

Jack Wilson 1 year, 5 months ago

Some post game observations -

-Kevin Young: My impression now is that KY is a big deal for this team. It's a subjective, much debated word .. but it is a word that anyone involved in sports cannot deny .. Chemistry. His presence on the court brings something. He passes very well in the post, finds Withey. He hustles. He boards. He is active on D (much better than say this time last season .. big difference). I was banging the drum for Ellis over Traylor. Not so much over KY. I really like KY starting right now, with Ellis getting major minutes off the bench (many predicted that during the summer). That may change. Ellis may end up starting. I really don't like the phrase "glue guy." It implies that he holds things together. KY isn't that. He creates action. All from a guy that didn't take a shot in 27 minutes. And no, I'm not mesmerized by the 'fro .. well, ok, kinda.

-Young Team: I don't want to hear it ever again. Self we'll say "oh, we're so young." It's like a reflex. When you start 4 seniors, you ain't young. I love the idea of starting 4 seniors. It's like we saw the foundation of this team form the last two days.

-Releford: During the game, I posted that the game analyst was a "clown" for saying that Releford was just taking what he was given, scoring 21 in the first half. I take that back .. not the "clown" part .. but the reason for calling him a clown. We can walk away from last night very encouraged by Releford. But should we be? From the article above, SLU wasn't guarding him the first half, slacking way off of him. I didn't notice it that blatantly live. Rewatching it, it was obvious. So when they guarded Releford, he took two shots in the second half. I guess I expect too much. You can drive to the hoop when you're being guarded; you can create when you're being guarded. That just might be the the disconnect I have here -- I think Releford has so much more in him than he allows to come through on the offensive end. Regardless, we need the guy to score. Don't take only what is given, take what you want to take .. and you can do that while still being under control and a team player. But you have to be encouraged by Releford executing and taking what was give .. this team needs scoring, and needs more.

-How to Guard KU: Double Withey when he gets the ball on the block with the closest defender who is not guarding 1) McLemore or 2) the 4. Force Withey to kick to Releford or say EJ .. make Releford and/or EJ beat you. If you don't have someone to match Withey, how can you not do this? Withey can score, he will score, but not against a double team. SLU made it too easy for Withey last night. As teams double, if they use perimeter defenders (which makes the most since so Withey can't dump it easily to the 4), those perimeter players have to cut to the hoop. We had this discussion last season. Not just hang out on the perimeter.

(cont)

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William Blake 1 year, 5 months ago

I liked Travis' hard drives to the hole. Good work, Travis!

We need to see more of that!

RCJH!

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KEITHMILES05 1 year, 5 months ago

KU did not include these games in the package.Why the hell do they think ticket holders should buy on their own? KUAC, as all college venues are nothing but money hungry and it only gets worse and not better.

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Janet Scott 1 year, 5 months ago

Why the poor attendence at the KU games in KC?

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clevelandjayhawker 1 year, 5 months ago

The GOOD: Mr. Withey is playing like we thought he should (hopefully it’s a trend), making some open threes, playing more physical, Thrape knowing when to slow the ball down

The BAD: EJ just doesn’t have it- is it from the offseason surgery or adjusting to his new role? Love the 9 dimes he had, but just doesn’t seem himself or what we were use to last March. As the announcer stated last night KU post players don’t do as well in the NBA because they get such great position and don’t have great 1 on 1 moves in their arsenal.

The UGLY: If Travis loses his lucky wristbands he will play like he did the first 3 games. Big props to his mom for finding them in Travis’ sock drawer at his parent’s house and then for her taking them to him at the Sprint center, he just wasn’t the same player without them.

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swunruhawk 1 year, 5 months ago

We never listen to the yackers on TV. We always tune in Bob Davis. I know sinking the audio is a challenge but the guys on radio tell you what you want to know.

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NoteToSelf 1 year, 5 months ago

Agreed on the announcers. Ironically they didn't say that KU had a three on none fast break for a dunk if they didn't call a foul on the Biliken. It should have been a no call. When was the last time KU had the same number of blocks as they did turnovers? I'm not sure it has ever happened. This team has improved immensively since the first game now that HCBS has settled on an 8 man rotation. I would like to see AW III get some shots though.

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Jason Keller 1 year, 5 months ago

I don't make it a habit to make suggestions to a guy like Bill Self but I do wish he would layoff of Tharpe a little. I know he is still making some mistakes but the guy is getting better, he's coming along. During one of the timeouts last night when Self was screaming at him he kind of got that deer in the headlights look for just a moment and that scares me. It was the same look he had last year. His confidence is there but it is still very fragile at this point. He is kind of a sensitive kid who I don't think responds the way a lot of other players do when coach yells at them. We NEED him this year to come in and hit shots. Rio is not ready.

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David Black 1 year, 5 months ago

Nice to see Travis and Jeff lite it up. Where does ESPNU get their announcers? They spent five minutes talking about Jeff not being called for a foul when he was going after the blocked three point attempt. I would prefer to have Dave Armstrong and Chris Piper anytime and I could not get my radio in sync with the game so I could enjoy Bob Davis and Greg. I don't want Dickie V but come on where is the respect. Give us some big time people to call our games. Ben I hope to see you a second year. You are a blast to watch and I actually enjoy the whole team as they learn KU basketball. Rock Chalk!

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RJ King 1 year, 5 months ago

I don't remember a KU team with such a lack of mid level experience (sophomore and junior) players.

How the Seniors mentor/ignite the freshmen (including Ben and Jamari) will define this season. Such an opportunity for both the coaches and the players!

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Mike Rotchurtz 1 year, 5 months ago

Get Releford hot. Check. Next, get Johnson hot.

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ljmhawk 1 year, 5 months ago

that should shut up everyone dogging on releford.

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