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Friday, October 12, 2012

Setting the pace: Senior guard Elijah Johnson relishing lead role for KU

Kansas University Senior point guard Elijah Johnson says he’s ready to step up as the Jayhawks’ leader on and off the court. KU coach Bill Self said he’ll rely on Johnson to teach and keep the team’s nine newcomers in line.

Kansas University Senior point guard Elijah Johnson says he’s ready to step up as the Jayhawks’ leader on and off the court. KU coach Bill Self said he’ll rely on Johnson to teach and keep the team’s nine newcomers in line.

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For the first time in a long time, there’s a new point guard running the show at Kansas University.

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Elijah Johnson talks about his leadership style, adjusting to personalities and being the favorite

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Kansas guard Elijah Johnson discusses leadership, adjusting to personalities and being the Big 12 favorite. He talked to reporters during KU media day on Oct. 11, 2012.

He’s former Jayhawk combo guard Elijah Johnson, who takes over as floor general following the departure of four-year starter Tyshawn Taylor, a rookie with the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets.

“Hand the keys over. I’ll drive. I definitely will drive,” the articulate 6-foot-4 Las Vegas senior said Thursday at men’s basketball Media Day in Allen Fieldhouse.

“But it’s not just about me,” Johnson quickly added, disagreeing with an inquisitor who referred to the 2012-13 Jayhawks as “Elijah’s team.”

“Thanks for the compliment,” Johnson said, “but it’s still, ‘our year.’ If we lose, Travis (Releford) is going to feel worse than I feel. Jeff (Withey) is going to feel worse than I feel. Kevin (Young) is going to feel it’s our last run. I’ll share it with them,” he added of his fellow Jayhawk seniors.

Johnson, who averaged 10.2 points a game with 137 assists against 71 turnovers last year for KU’s NCAA runner-up team, does admit it’s nice to be a lead guard once again.

The last time he had the same responsibility was his senior year at Cheyenne High.

“Honestly, yes I have (missed it),” Johnson said. “I think that setting the pace and being a person who can bring air into the room, giving life ... I think that’s the funnest part of basketball. I really do.

“Personally I get to have — I don’t want to say more fun — but I get to set the speed. Last year we played at Tyshawn’s speed, whatever that had to be. Sometimes he was downcourt before everybody. I’m setting the speed (now). I like that the most.”

Johnson said he’s planning on letting his true personality flow freely his senior campaign.

“Not to say I’m this fancy, flashy basketball player, but last year I did everything how it’s supposed to be done — out of the book,” Johnson said. “I didn’t add an ‘Elijah Johnson flavor’ to it. I just did what I’m supposed to do, but this year ... I plan to have a little more fun because you’ve definitely got to rile some of these people up.

“There’s a little more freedom that comes with the years. I don’t think coach will have a problem with me being comfortable out there doing what I do as long as it’s beneficial.”

Coach Bill Self said Johnson has earned his trust.

“It is one of those things that I am going to hold Elijah responsible for how the freshmen perform. If he wants to be a leader, he is going to have to make sure those guys’ heads are right to give us the best chance,” Self said.

Johnson has already wrapped his arms around the Jayhawk newcomers: Case in point, Boot Camp, when the players were exhausted after running sprint after sprint, day after day for a two-week period.

“One day we were running and Landen (Lucas, frosh center) ... he wasn’t about to break, but it was getting to him. Everybody was trying to motivate him saying, ‘C’mon, c’mon.’ I said ‘Leave him alone.’ I looked at him (Lucas) and said, ‘You’ve got it.’ He finished it. The tiredness just left. That’s what people need to hear sometimes, when you feel the whole world is against you.

“I feel Landen would do anything in the world for me. I’m not saying I did it for that reason, but that’s how it works. I’ve done that with a lot of people. There’s still some people I haven’t had a chance to get to. I let them know, ‘I’m personally here for you. You want that lob, I’ll throw it to you. You want a backscreen, I’ll set it for you.’ It’s a mutual thing. I don’t want people to think it’s all about the seniors or one person in the starting five. It’s about people on the bench, too.”

Freshman Ben McLemore and Rio Adams said Johnson has already proven himself worthy of being starting point guard on a Big 12 and national title contender.

“He’s great, one of the best point guards I’ve ever seen — a great person on and off the court,” McLemore said.

“He is a leader on and off the court. It’s all we need from him. He’s keeping us focused,” Adams stated.

Johnson said he learned a lot from his buddy Taylor, who like Johnson, enjoyed talking to the media.

There is one difference between the two, however.

Taylor liked to express himself on Twitter; Johnson not so much.

“I’m not big with social networking,” Johnson said. “I feel you should think about things rather than just stating an opinion for a few seconds that might change tomorrow. I stay off all the social networking. I get on and I read because it’s definitely interesting. I choose to not really share too many thoughts on there.”

Self believes fans will be tweeting a lot of positive comments about the Jayhawks’ new, starting lead guard this season.

“We are going to rely on keeping the ball in Elijah’s hands probably more so than we even did last year with Ty (Taylor),” said Self, who said he hopes Naadir Tharpe and Rio Adams are capable backups. “The thing about Tyshawn last year, he had the ball in his hands at game point for important possessions most of the time, but Elijah could take pressure off of him. This year we are going to have to do a good job of developing some other guys and getting Travis (Releford) and Ben more comfortable with the ball in their hands and basically being smart on how we play Elijah and rest him to make sure he is fresh going down the stretch.”

Comments

mitch 1 year, 10 months ago

Good team chemistry + focused leadership = success on a Bill Self coached team. Play smart, be tough, and know the fans are on your side. Rock Chalk Jayhawk Go KU!!

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KansasComet 1 year, 10 months ago

This year's team will be better than last year's team. Everything is in place. Senior leadership, Freshmen that have been in the system for a year, and the High School Player of the Year...I absolutely love it. If we can get the rebounds that we lose with Robinson's departure, we will be just fine. Ellis appears to be a more natural scorer than Robinson was? Not saying that we won't miss Robinson, but we will move forward. Elijah Johnson may not have Tyshawn Taylor's speed, but he also does not turn the ball over as much as Tyshawn, so that should be an improvement. Ben McLemore should be able to score and defend better than Conner Teahan, so that position should be an upgrade as well. Yes, we did lose 3 important pieces, but I feel that we have gained a lot as well. Go Jayhawks!

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Ron Franklin 1 year, 10 months ago

Along with missing TRob's rebounds, I think the team will miss his intimidation factor more than anything. He intimidated a lot of players and teams and held a psychological advantage over many of the bigs, IMO.

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Ron Prichard 1 year, 10 months ago

I think that's one of those intangibles that often get overlooked. TRobb just had 'attitude.' It was his lane, and if you wanted to come in there, be prepared to get pushed, hit, shoved, and more likely than not, knocked to the ground at least once.

I remember two years ago my wife and I were at a game in Allen and we happened to be walking right where the players come out of the locker room at halftime. The usher guy stopped us, put up the little dividing rope, and the players ran by giving high-fives, etc. The twins were big, Withey was tall, but TRobb was a flat-out monster. Six-nine or six-ten and he had the widest shoulders I have ever seen, his arms were absolutely huge, and he had a look on his face and the tattoos that just screamed intensity and intimidation. Man I loved watching him play!

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KansasComet 1 year, 10 months ago

BlownJay, I also liked TRob's intimidation factor. I think Withey's increased role along with his ability to reject shots may also be a great intimidator. I think Jeff will finally get a chance to show what he is capable of, without having to defer.

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VaJay 1 year, 10 months ago

Wow. Do you remember how good the team was last year!? If we get even close to that, I'll be elated. There's a great deal of youth & inexperience that we will be depending on. They're going to be fun to watch and IF they improve rapidly enough over the course of the season, we might see something special happen.

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FarSideHawk 1 year, 10 months ago

I don't think the team was that good last year. Certainly, the 2010 and 2011 versions were better.

However, what made last year successful was the toughness of the team. The relentless defense and never-giveup attitude is what made the team last till the last game.

This year's team does get some talent upgrade from last year, and should get better offensively as the season progresses, but the question is whether it can replicate the toughness and defense of last year's team.

If the answer is yes, then this team has a chance to go deep in March again...with a little bit of luck obviously.

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MGJayhawk 1 year, 10 months ago

I disagree KC - I think we will have more struggles this year. This is the type of team that could win the conference, conference tourney then go out in the first round. Who knows though? RCJHGKU!

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KansasComet 1 year, 10 months ago

I understand why you think that we will have more struggles this year. I hope you are wrong. I am sure you do to? Go Jayhawks!

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Michael Auchard 1 year, 10 months ago

This team will be deeper than last year, for sure. I don't know if we're going to have any players that just destroy the opponent like T-Rob, though. That's not an every-year type performance right there. Not sure if we'll be better, only time will tell. I think if the talent sticks around, though, we'll be simply dominant next year.

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jaybate 1 year, 10 months ago

Yahweh,

Your's is perhaps the clearest take on this team yet.

No big man that would seem to be able to stand up to XTReme Ball and dish out as much as he takes.

But numbers to allow enough fouling to compensate some this season.

And maturity next year to make it dominant.

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jaybate 1 year, 10 months ago

Elijah may set the record for most 30 point games by a KU guard and most game winning baskets, unless Ben and Trav come on strong.

3

KansasComet 1 year, 10 months ago

Game winning baskets, may be his strong suit, especially the way he played in last years tournament. Good post, thanks!

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KGphoto 1 year, 10 months ago

Good trivia! Hard to believe, but it would only take two 30pt. efforts to achieve the single season mark by a Kansas guard. Ron Kellogg went off in the 1985 season. He scored 30 or more in 6 games. Doesn't count though, because it was his only season playing small forward.

I would've guessed Bud Stallworth in '72. He averaged about 25/game, but amazingly his only game over 30 was a 50pt. effort against Mizzou.

I could be off on some of this. If anybody has better info or knows how to find game-winning shot stats, I would love to see those too.

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Kurt Eskilson 1 year, 10 months ago

If Kellogg had the three-point line, he would have set a possibly unbeatable record – especially firing out of the deep corner.

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jaybate 1 year, 10 months ago

KG, way to bring it all back out of the Memory Hole.

Awesome recall.

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nuleafjhawk 1 year, 10 months ago

I'm glad I read the whole article.

I'm probably one of the few who, in the past, did not have a man-crush on EJ, but I never saw anything that he did that really knocked my socks off or made me go " WOW, am I glad he's on our team ".

I feel much better after reading that Coach Self said that Johnson has earned his trust.

AND - after reading that EJ said " I'm not big with social networking " - well, he may just be my new favorite Jayhawk.

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Jason Keller 1 year, 10 months ago

nuleafjhawk has never seen EJ do anything that knockes his socks off. Well, you can check that one off the bucket list.

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nuleafjhawk 1 year, 10 months ago

lol - thanks kellerman - now i'll have to revise my statement to say I've never seen him do anything in a Jayhawk uniform that knocks my socks off.

But that was pretty dang impressive!!

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Joe Baker 1 year, 10 months ago

I especially liked this vid because it was in KY and he waved a KU jersey in front of a bunch of uk fans. Luv it and luv EJ's style.

Wave the KU jersey again and again EJ.

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yates33333 1 year, 10 months ago

I agree with Nuleaf's original second paragraph. Unless he plays much better this year we are going to have big trouble. I hope you and Self are correct. Unfortunately, I still have my doubts. We should know by next year.

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jaybate 1 year, 10 months ago

nuleafjhawk,

Raising the posting standard from the get go.

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jayhawkeratheart 1 year, 10 months ago

EJ, This is your year. You have all the talent necessary to be the leader that you know you can be. Your skills are off the chart, and with your excellent decision making, that has been seen in the past, you now have an opportunity to make believers out of the rest of the world. Bill only picks winners at that spot, and he has chosen the right leader this year. Playing second fiddle to others is always hard, and very seldom do we get to see the real EJ at any given time. But now is the time, and you will do great. The name Elija Johnson fits into the names of great Bball players, just like Isaiah Thomas, Danny Manning, Larry Bird, Paul Pierce, etc. It's just a name that sticks with you. Looking forward to a great season, with some great leadership. Rockchalk

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joeloveshawks 1 year, 10 months ago

I'm really looking forward to seeing EJ play the point this year. He has been so incredibly patient waiting his turn. He was a top 30 recruit and has essentially had to wait until his Senior year to be able to run the show. I think that says a lot about his character and maturity. With the ball in his hands every possession this year I have a feeling he will be the Big 12 Player of the Year. Rock chalk.

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clevelandjayhawker 1 year, 10 months ago

When Traylor and BMac were allowed to practice the 2nd semester last year the whole team improved at a faster rate. I am looking forward to seeing how this team unfolds, we had no depth last year and were some missed dunks and a couple of stops away from cutting down the nets. We have a lot of young guys, but we have senior leaders and the best coach in the nation to get us prepared for March.

I wish we were picked 3rd or so in the conference rankings and lower than 10th in the national rankings, nothing worse than high expectations, I want our team to play like no one believes in them outside of Lawrence.

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onetime_77 1 year, 10 months ago

wait, according to some other school, no one does....

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Ron Franklin 1 year, 10 months ago

This is good to hear. I have always thought EJ was one of the more articulate speakers on the team, but I questioned his aggressiveness and determination to lead. I'm seeing bright spots here and I hope they shine on through completely.

On another note, I have a really bad feeling about the Zach Peters injury. That decision to play football his senior season could ultimately cost him a career in basketball. That's the worst case scenario, obviously, but still a possibility.

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onetime_77 1 year, 10 months ago

I think by the end of the year, EJ will have proven himself to be a better floor leader than TT. I think our scoring will be a problem for a lot of teams this year because any one player can go off for 20+, not just the usual suspect. We do need someone to be the "tough guy" though. T-Rob last year and the twins before set a (mostly) good standard on that. Who will it be this year?

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KGphoto 1 year, 10 months ago

I don't think we have one. Nobody who will instigate a fight by standing over you or walking through you. Then again we didn't really have one in '07-'08 either. DBlock would occasionally get fired up, but it wasn't his M.O.

That's a big reason this team is going to look very different. It's gonna be a little more finesse this year. A little more savvy. Last year we rode the wave of TRob's emotions, and muscle. This year, it seems, we ride on EJ's intellect and precision.

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Ron Prichard 1 year, 10 months ago

That's a really good way of summing up the differences from last year to this year. Great--and succinct--statement on the difference in styles we will probably see. I'm really, really looking forward to this season.

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jaybate 1 year, 10 months ago

Good take. But don't get anal about how long you go. rap is on a concision binge, right rap? ;-)

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TexasHawk44 1 year, 10 months ago

People sometimes forget what a stud EJ was coming out of H.S. Here's to a break out season for him!

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jaybate 1 year, 10 months ago

No one forgets this. This is yet another inert comment by you.

Next.

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Ron Prichard 1 year, 10 months ago

jaybate, I have complimented you and disagreed with you. This comment, however, was completely uncalled for. There is no malice or negativity in TexasHawk's comment. There was no dig at anyone. He has as much right as you or me to come on and participate in the comments and articles. Lord knows not everything I say is intelligent or popular. To be honest, I kind of agree with his statement. I think some people do tend to forget how athletic EJ is and how highly touted he was simply because it has been three years since he was a primary option.

When you focus on the teams and analysis or opinions related to the teams/games, you have some good stuff. Sometimes a bit long winded, but interesting nevertheless. Comments like this, however, make you seem more like mangino or apherse just trying to be obnoxious. Get back to taking the high road. The view is much better.

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DCLawHawk 1 year, 10 months ago

I'm with raprichard. These attacks by jaybate have become utterly predictable, tiresome, and sophomoric.

0

jaybate 1 year, 10 months ago

rap,

The high road is good. But sometimes I play grind it out.

To each his own.

0

Robin Smith 1 year, 10 months ago

the internet is somewhat like the basketball court:

since not everyone witnesses the initial foul it's often the one who retaliates that gets whistled.

just watch out that the onlookers don't mistake you for the aggressor and you incite a mistaken, bench-clearing brawl :D (but you know me, I like to retort)

2

John Randall 1 year, 10 months ago

This seems to be a new attitude – sullen whenever someone intimates you aren't getting any closer to being the end-all of message board repartee.

Could you read other's comments for things you might learn or improve instead what you can find smart-ass or even nasty comebacks for?

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jaybate 1 year, 10 months ago

KU62,

I studied you for awhile, and I never learned anything from you. And I noticed you were rarely trying to add much.

Get better.

Next.

0

hucking_fawks_rock 1 year, 10 months ago

EJ will shine this year. He was clutch all last season, and now he gets to run the show. No doubt in my mind that EJ will create some national buzz.

1

wildjayhawk 1 year, 10 months ago

Better recruiting prior could have given more hope for this year.

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HawkKlaw 1 year, 10 months ago

wildjayhawk = offline = troll

1

Joe Baker 1 year, 10 months ago

I always hope regardless. You should learn to hope after last year's achievement. Good grief why are people so hung up on recruiting? You win some recruits and lose some. Self has his share of top recruits in a single season. We still have Gordon, Selden, Vonleh, Lawrence, Roberson, and Peters. We get one maybe two of these guys.

1

offline 1 year, 10 months ago

Watchout for the Wildcats, they might pound the Hawks like they did in football.

0

nuleafjhawk 1 year, 10 months ago

  • Livestock Judging
  • Ag Fashion Design
  • Sanitation Engineering
1

jaybate 1 year, 10 months ago

Designer anthrax Shellaced Cow pie coasters Glass Colon Performance Art by Experimental Animals X Factor Pig Rutting Episode Winner

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Tony Bandle 1 year, 10 months ago

Very true...if they had a coach, some players and a fan base that actually had a clue!!

I'm beginning to see that KSU will fill the role of designated D##k H##d once occupied by Missouri, quite nicely!!

2

jaybate 1 year, 10 months ago

Interim Coach Bruce Weber to hold mock burial of himself to help players forget him until he is fired.

1

Tony Bandle 1 year, 10 months ago

Losing our two best players in TT and TRob is more than compensated for:

1) by the return of America's big man stud Jeff 2) coupled with senior-experienced Travis and Kevin, 3) the anticipated breakout year for EJ,
4) a game-tested Naadir 5) plus an overall significant talent increase with BenMac, Perry, A&W, Jamari and the eventual Zach Attack. 6] as well as possible surprise contributions from Rio and Landen.

To think that, last year, Conner Teahan was our actual first man off the bench compared to the potential talent of this season's roster.......you've got to smile in anticipation!!

5

onetime_77 1 year, 10 months ago

and EJ seems just fine hitting the big 3's that Teahan did once upon a time.

0

HawkKlaw 1 year, 10 months ago

+100

The first three off the bench last year were Kevin Young, Connor Teahen and Justin Wesley. Those aren't exactly the caliber of bench players that a program like KU is used to. Contrast that with this year in Andrew White, Naadir Tharpe, Kevin Young & Zach Peters. I'd say we're in pretty good shape!

1

Ryan Michael 1 year, 10 months ago

I've been waiting for EJ's leash to be cut since he got here... Until now it always seemed like there was another PG that Self allowed off their leash, but EJ was always yanked for doing anything outside of the basics.

I have a feeling that being the Go-To guy, and being the senior leader is going to put EJ over the top. I have always liked his play, and his dedication to the team and Selfs system. It's his time now, and this is the most excited i've been heading into a season in a long time.

In my opinion EJ is going to shock people all over the country this year... I sincerely hope so, because he seems like a great young man that deserves it.

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FarSideHawk 1 year, 10 months ago

Self always lets his lead PG off the hook and complete freedom. We saw that with Sherron and Ty most recently.

I think with the full support of Coach, we will see a different EJ on the floor.

Can't wait for the season to begin!

2

jaybate 1 year, 10 months ago

PHOF!!!

And you have inspired another installment in...

jaybate's "Progressions in a Key of Sports" entitled...

"Oil Circularity"

Oil.

Boots made of oil.

Boots on the ground to get oil.

Oil.

0

Chris Shaw 1 year, 10 months ago

I keep seeing the phrase, "This team will be better than last year!". What does that actually mean? Will their record be better? Will they actually cut down the Nets for a National Championship because to be better than last year winning the National Championship would in theory trump that belief?

I am going to go with about the same expectations I had with last year's team. I predicted 8 or 9 losses and KU ended up 32-7 last year. Actually, I think the team will be on par and I am going to predict 7 or 8 losses this year.

With that said here are some concerns with this team (Keep in mind, there are so many positives, but I am only going to address my concerns or possible road bumbs):

1) Jeff Withey- I thought Jeff Withey was going to have a monster year last year and I was right. Having T-Rob was the perfect supplement for Jeff Withey. Defensively, I think Jeff Withey is going to be on par with last year. He is going to have to watch his fouls a little more this year because he is the "Anchor" in the middle.

Offensively, I think we should curtail expectations with Withey. If you expect Withey to be this big dominant much improved player from last year than I think you will be disappointed. I hope I am surprised as hell, but I don't think it will happpen. What I mean, is that Withey should be the 3rd or 4th option on offense and I think if that happens that will take the offesnive pressure off of Withey. EJ, McLmore, Ellis and to some degree Relly need to take that pressure off of Withey.

I truly believe that if Withey is the 1st or 2nd option that that isn't the best recipe for success. We will see and I may be wrong, but I just don't see that being a good option. You have to remember that this is technically Withey's second full year of playing even though he is a red-shirt senior. Could we see a sophomore slump? I hope not, but it could happen.

2) I am worried about the Ball Handling duties. EJ I am not worried about, but I am curious about the combinations Self is going to use With EJ, Relly, BMac, Tharpe, and Adams. Relly and BMac aren't true ball handlers so I am curious how Tharpe and Adams are going to step up or step up at all? I am hoping Tharpe will surprise and I am confident he will, but I am curious how is going to to be used in the lineups.

Rock Chalk Jayhawk!!!!!! Basketball Season is here!!!!!!!!!!

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Chris Shaw 1 year, 10 months ago

Very good point Konkey. I know I say this every time I get in a discussion with you, but I have to say that your handle is one of the best on these boards. Okay, back to business..........................I totally agree with you about Withey's 15 footer. You know what's crazy, is that I hope Withey kind of has an opposite approach that Cole Aldrich had.

If you remember, during Aldrich's sophomore breakout season he was money from that 15 foot mark albeit a funny looking stroke. Then for whatever reason, he struggled with that shot quite a bit his junior season with Xavier and the Twins coming into their own. Great Points!

1

FarSideHawk 1 year, 10 months ago

My expectations regarding Withey's offense are low. I think Perry Ellis will be the first option in the paint, and having Jeff there as decoy would help him.

I am not worried about Naadir at all. I think he will be a great back-up this year. All the alums that played with him before last season raved about him. He showed flashes in the first couple of games when TT and EJ had to sit out. Again, Self keeps a very short leash on freshmen PG's so he never got that chance. He has a year under him, he will step up and I think Self will give him a bit more time early on in the season as there are no other options.

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Chris Shaw 1 year, 10 months ago

I hope you're right about Perry Ellis. That's a lot of pressure on a Freshman!

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clevelandjayhawker 1 year, 10 months ago

Only two concerns? I agree with both of those points and to add on to ball handling- penetration; what TT did best was drive into the lane, this opened up everything! Put backs, layups and kickouts. This is what I worry about us not having this year, who is going to be that force.

I for one think we have a lot of issues, another is development of our bigs, your handle BigManU shows our track record of success, I worry about DMan going to Tulsa is going to hurt us both this year and for the future.

Also, I think our expectations are too high also. This is because we overachived expectations so much last year and becasue we have a lot of unknows with 9 freshmen. I think we will see a lot of these posters throwing a fit when we hit a slump (either in Novemember/Dec or in conference play, even if its just a couple losses).

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Chris Shaw 1 year, 10 months ago

I actually had a couple more concerns, but I literally only had 8 min from start to finish to get that post in because I had to run some errands. So.............that is why the only two concerns at the moment.

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Chris Shaw 1 year, 10 months ago

Wow, that is high praise for Relly! I hope you're right because that's some pretty good company with Paul Pierce, Mario Chalmers, Ron Kellogg, Rex Walters, and Keith Langford.

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jaybate 1 year, 10 months ago

Good to see BigManU flexing his posting muscles. Ball must be near.

1

Chris Shaw 1 year, 10 months ago

Jaybate, It's "Offically" basketball season and that means everybody has step up their game. It's no longer preseason boys!

1

texashawk10 1 year, 10 months ago

EJ spent his summer doing very little because he was recovering from offseason knee surgery.

0

Joel Thomas 1 year, 10 months ago

How do you not like EJ? His game is graceful and polished, and he has always exhibited a team-first attitude.

0

HawkKlaw 1 year, 10 months ago

You mean "¡TRÉS BANDIDOS!"

OR

"¡EL TRÍO DE BANDIDOS!"

I can dig it.

1

jaybate 1 year, 10 months ago

Or Anglo-sized as:

Yo, 3 !@#$% !@#$%^in' Ball Thieves!

0

Ron Prichard 1 year, 10 months ago

Thanks for the link. That promo gets me completely fired up for KU basketball. I wrote down the showtime. There's no way I'm going to miss recording this.

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Robin Smith 1 year, 10 months ago

My friend posted this nifty little factoid on fb in honor of the season kicking off and I thought I'd share it:

"Kansas has the fewest head coaches (8) of any program that has been around 100 years, yet has reached the Final Four under more head coaches (6) than any other program in the nation. Every head coach since the inception of the NCAA Tournament has led the program to the Final Four."

1

clevelandjayhawker 1 year, 10 months ago

thats great, and should be the same stat for at least the 120 year mark

1

Tony Bandle 1 year, 10 months ago

LOOK OUT.....BigManU [kushaw to us oldtimers] has awakened from hibernation..that means only one thing....BBALL TIME!!!

My Predictions: 1. Kansas will go 40-0 and win the National Championship beating UK 149 - 98. 2. Jeff and EJ will be All-Americans 3. BenMac will be a frosh lottery pick and Big 12 Freshman [sort of] of the Year. 4. Dickie V will pick Duke to win it all...and be wrong again. 5. Calipari will finally get caught and UK will forfeit the last 90 games. 6. The world will NOT end [although the K-State fans with Bruce Weber will wish it did] 7. Jaybate and TexasHawk44 will actually agree on something.[This may be the least likely] 8. Tyler Self will transfer to Tulsa because of lack of PT. 9. Our porn star Jayhawk fan returns as an honorary cheerleader, going commando.

1

Tony Bandle 1 year, 10 months ago

PS What happened to my evil twin, Jaybate Eunuch?????

0

Robin Smith 1 year, 10 months ago

if number 1 and 5 happen would we overtake UK for all-time wins?

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Tony Bandle 1 year, 10 months ago

Actually we are only behind UK by 20 wins, 2090 to 2070 and 5 wins ahead of North Carolina at 2065

1

Tony Bandle 1 year, 10 months ago

PS we were only down by 14 at the start of last season but they gained 6 on us, 38 to 32. :-{

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Robin Smith 1 year, 10 months ago

rats. I hope they don't gain any on us this year, though it seems like they will.

if 5 were to happen it would be doubly sweet because it would likely (and should be) the end of Calipari and the end of their run, though, I imagine they have enough momentum to remain well even with someone else at the helm.

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jaybate 1 year, 10 months ago

Robin, the key is are you asking who is ahead if UK's wins that should have been forfeited during the gambling scandals, or not? :-)

If wins that should have been forfeits are included, as I recall 100 explaining, UK would be behind KU.

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FarSideHawk 1 year, 10 months ago

Isn't the latenight supposed to be on ESPNU? I don't see it on the website schedule.

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Robin Smith 1 year, 10 months ago

they have a compilation Midnight Madness thing where they will do live look-ins, but it won't be purely KU's Late Night

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texashawk10 1 year, 10 months ago

I haven't really posted any expectations for this year, so here goes. Like just about every year, this team is talented enough to reach the Final Four, but there are so many factors beyond just talent level that determine who reaches the Final Four each year. In the non-conference portion of the schedule, I can realistically see this team go 13-0, but I think 12-1 is more likely. MSU, St. Louis or TAMU (whoever KU plays in KC), Colorado, Belmont, OSU, and Temple are all quality opponents. In Big 12 play, I see KU going 15-3 and winning another Big 12 title. KU has had issues playing in Austin, even with KU's gaudy record in Bramlege it's still a rivalry game, Morgantown will be a new experience for this team, Stillwater is a place Bill Self has had issues at, and ISU is always tough at Hilton. I think KU loses three of those games and enters the Big 12 tournament with an overall record of 28-3 or 27-4.

As for player stats, EJ will lead the team in scoring averaging about 18 a game while also leading the team in assists at about 5 per game. Jeff Withey will lead the team in rebounding and average a double-double this year with a 12-11 average. I think McLemore will be second on the team in scoring with 13 a game and I think he will be a sneaky good rebounder getting about 5 per game. Perry Ellis I think will average 9-7 this year while Releford I think will be in the 8 point range. I do think Releford could be a 15 ppg guy, but that hasn't been his role and will not be his role this year either. He might go off for 20+ a couple of times again this year but Releford's job is to shut down the other teams best scorer and Self doesn't want Releford expending more energy than necessary on the offensive end of the floor.

As for the bench, Tharpe, Young, and White will be the primary guys off the bench with Traylor, Young, and Lucas fighting to be the fourth big. Peters injury sounds serious enough to where it could jeopardize his PT this year as he appeared to be in line for the 7-8 minutes the fourth big normally gets. Tharpe isn't going to counted on to score very much so I think he will average about 4 and 3 for the year. Young is going to be the bench guy who gets the most minutes as I see him playing about 20 minutes this year and averaging about 7 points and 4 rebounds a game. Andrew White will play the Tyrel Reed role during Reed's sophomore and junior years where he came off the bench and was the team's designated sniper. White should be in the 6 point per game range to have a good season. As for the 4th big man role, I think we'll see that end up being a committee role and if Self can get 4 points and 3-4 rebounds per game from that role, I think he'll be happy.

That scoring load comes out to 81 ppg which is at the high end of where some of Self's best offensive teams have been and I think this team very could be right there in regards to scoring.

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texashawk10 1 year, 10 months ago

The overall scoring in conference play does tend to be a little lower, but factor in that KU has a relatively weak non-conference slate and I could see KU's ppg being in the 80-82 range for the season. I'm not going to disagree about Releford because I really do believe he could be 15 ppg guy if Self wanted Releford to be that, but I think that because he is Self's #1 defender, he's not going to ask Releford to should as much of the scoring load as Releford is capable of. Playing the kind of lockdown defense Relly plays takes a lot of energy and I think Self believes that Relly's energy is better spent locking down the other teams best scorer. In games where the other team doesn't have a good scoring perimeter player, I think we could see Relly going off, but I just don't see being a scorer as the role Self wants Relly in.

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jaybate 1 year, 10 months ago

"Top Stories from the Micro Wave Mind Control Sports Network: Tachyon Based Sports News from the Future"

~Let's cut to the chase here, sports fans: KU cuts down the nets in April beating UK by ten to avenge last year's loss. The Prophet aka A Player Formerly Known as Elijah Johnson" scores 43 going 11-12 from trey, and 10-10 from the foul line. Withey blocks 13 shots and alters 7 more, while snagging 20 rebounds. Perry Ellis goes wild out of the 4 dunking six straight times during one stretch, while Ben Mac and Travis hound UK offenders into asking to be taken out. KU shoots 67% the first half and coasts for a win.

~jaybate is discovered to be the anti-Menken. He goes all 777 over the 666 pessimists and bets his entire childhood coin and stamp collection, plus his Aurora slot car racing set and electric vibration football game on KU winning. He cleans up.

~Calipari blames the loss on injury problems this season. Nike made UK a special shoe called AirBourbon that had fluid suspension soles with digitalized pneumatic stabilization ducts and valves. During a UK blow-out of Fizzou (173-20) electro conducting rubber circuitry comes in the shoes comes in contact with the Wild Turkey injected in the souls and three UK starters are briefly electrocuted and left with cardiac arrhythmias that limit their endurance the rest of the season.

~Coach Self asked about the cardiac arrythmias says, "That's nothing, Releford played through a heart transplant this season we didn't tell any one about. UK and Cal need to man up."

(Note: all fiction. No malice.)

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KansasComet 1 year, 10 months ago

You had me at "KU cuts down the nets"!

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jaybate 1 year, 10 months ago

"First to Ask Department"

In which jaybate leaps into the abyss of early questioning...

~Does Tyler Self wear a rug?

~Does EJ ever feel tempted to say to Kentucky fans:

  “And there came a writing to him from Elijah the prophet, saying, Thus saith the LORD God of David thy father, Because thou hast not walked in the ways of Jehoshaphat thy father, nor in the ways of Asa king of Judah, / But hast walked in the way of the kings of Israel, and hast made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to go a whoring, like to the whoredoms of the house of Ahab, and also hast slain thy brethren of thy father's house, which were better than thyself: / Behold, with a great plague will the LORD smite thy people, and thy children, and thy wives, and all thy goods: / And thou shalt have great sickness by disease of thy bowels, until thy bowels fall out by reason of the sickness day by day.” ?

~Is Perry Ellis the reincarnation of Perry Ellis the fashion designer? (there: I had to get that one out of my system now!)

~Will Jeff Withey force the creation of a new basketball stat called the "mind alteration"?

~Does Travis Releford realize while guarding the life out of his man, out anticpating every move, and giving Self whatever he asks for on offense, that a significant number of fans (excluding jaybate) interpret this to be tentativeness?

~Does BenMac realize that all he has to do to become immortal is score 20 points his first game and be quoted after the game as saying: "Its so nice to be playing in a state where people can read"?

~Does Justin Wesley realize that whether the fans recognize it yet, or not, there are going to be many times, when he is the best defensive match up KU will have inside at the substation points?

~Does Kevin Young realize he is going to play a ton of minutes and probably have a great season that will make everyone wonder why they didn't see it coming?

~Does Jamari Traylor realize that he should not get too comfortable thinking he is a back up at the 4, because Self could easily turn him into the first point post man that brings the ball up the floor regularly, while also asking him to teach the team how to cook Chicago style pizza?

~Does Zach Peters understand that he only gets to rest the shoulder till January, and after that Self will expect him to tape his arm behind his back and play one armed the rest of the season...and be able to dribble both ways?

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jaybate 1 year, 10 months ago

~Does Andrew White understand that until early February, he is going into the toughening box, and even if he were to go 6-6 from trey and make a buzzer beater to knock off a top ranked team, Self will say, "Andrew's falling in love with his shot, did not feed the post worth a darned, and was softer than Play Doe on defense?

~Does Landon Lucas understand that by being a pleasant surprise so far, that means his mail will be being sent to the toughening box whenever Andrew is let out?

~Does Evan Manning ever think about wearing his hair in shoulder length braids and saying, "Yeah, pop was pretty good, but he can't grow hair worth a darned, and he couldn't drain the trey like I can"?

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D20 1 year, 10 months ago

I think last years' success was built on two very important facets:

1) The team had a certain grit and determination that is rarely seen in sports these days. Unlike other teams we faced, we didn't have the best talent and finesse that money can buy. We had to sweat it out and find ways to scratch and claw our way to victory even when the odds were greatly stacked against us.

2) We always seemed to have a player that would step up if one of our key players wasn't able to. If TRob was too bogged down with double and triple defenders, TT could step up and make the plays. If not TT, Releford would step up. If not Releford, then Withey. If not Withey, then EJ. If not EJ, then KYoung came in short bursts to light the fire.

These two points lead to putting up quite a few in the W's column. The reason that I think this years' team could even surpass last year is because we have an awful lot of the names mentioned above who are returning. They know grit and determination. They know how to score. They know how to overtake a game when their number is called. And they have something that last year didn't: a bench and a talented group of freshmen.

It'll be fun to watch!

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