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Monday, December 2, 2013

Bill Self ‘frustrated’ in Battle’s aftermath

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— Kansas University’s basketball players, coaches and family members, who endured a couple days of cloudy, rainy weather during their 41⁄2-day trip to the Bahamas, took advantage of a glorious, 80-degree, sunny Sunday morning before leaving the Atlantis resort at 1 p.m. for a return trip home.

“It’s beautiful. It’s been beautiful here the last two days,” KU coach Bill Self said in a Sunday chat with the Journal-World.

He elected to look at the bright side about 15 hours after an unimpressive 67-63 victory over UTEP (4-4) in the third-place game of the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament.

“I don’t think we made the most of the trip basketball-wise,” Self said of his Jayhawks (6-1), who fell to Villanova in the semifinals, 63-59, after downing Wake Forest in the opener, 87-78. “I’m not depressed. I would say frustrated, but not just me. I think the players are frustrated, too, knowing we didn’t play like we are capable of playing while we were down here.

“I do think there’s some great teaching moments. I’m certainly looking forward to getting back to Kansas and getting in practice time.”

He set his players loose during the morning hours to soar down the giant water slide, take a ride on water scooters or do whatever else they wanted to do.

Did Self try the slide?

“I did not,” Self said.

Instead he spent some time hanging out with family members in paradise after Saturday night’s game and on Sunday morning.

“It was a good tournament, yes,” Self said of the Battle 4 Atlantis, which is on the schedule again Thanksgiving week, 2017. The Jayhawks will head to the Old Spice tourney in Orlando, Fla., Thanksgiving week, 2014, and Maui in 2015, with no tourney yet on tap for 2016.

“Logistically, it is a little bit harder. Yesterday’s performance (vs. UTEP, in which KU saw a late 14-point lead dip to three) doesn’t really surprise me, because, hey, when you are down in the dumps (after loss to Nova) and eat your postgame meal at 2 a.m. and turn around and play the next day, and the schedule is set for you, it doesn’t make for an easy day. But I think that’s all good learning preparation.

“Tonight we’ll get a good night’s rest and be ready to get back to work tomorrow.”

Practices and film sessions should be spirited leading up to the next game — Saturday’s 2:30 p.m. contest at Colorado.

“We only played one good half of ball here — the first one,” Self said of the first half of the Wake Forest game, in which KU led, 40-26, at the break.

By far the most impressive stat regarding KU had to be the attendance figures. All three games were sold out, with KU fans occupying most all the seats in 3,900-seat Imperial Arena.

Here’s a look at some of the ugliest statistics from three days of hoops.

KU, which still averages 80.1 points a game on the season, averaged just 71 ppg off 41.9 percent shooting. The Jayhawks hit 10 of 45 threes for 22.2 percent.

Junior starting point guard Naadir Tharpe had a team-best four threes in 10 tries. Starters Wayne Selden and Andrew Wiggins had two threes in three games, while Frank Mason was leading three producer off the bench, with two makes. The opposition, incidentally, hit 22 threes in 57 tries, or 12 more than the Jayhawks.

“How many open looks did we miss?” Self lamented.

The Jayhawks missed 30 free throws in 89 tries, good for a 66.3 percent mark to the opponents’ 67.1. Sophomore forward Perry Ellis, who was KU’s leading scorer at 13.0 ppg, was also leading free-thrower with 15 makes in 19 tries for 78.9 percent.

KU had just one other double-digit scorer.

Freshman guard Wiggins averaged 11.0 ppg off 36.7 percent shooting (11 of 30). Wiggins made two of eight threes and was 9-of-18 from the line for 50 percent. Freshman starting off guard Selden averaged 8.0 ppg off 47.6 percent shooting. He had eight turnovers against three assists.

Tharpe averaged 7.0 ppg off 30 percent shooting (six of 20), with 10 assists versus six turnovers. Senior center Tarik Black averaged 4.3 points off 55.6 percent shooting (five of nine) and grabbed 3.0 boards a game. He banged his knee and played just two minutes the second half versus UTEP.

“He’s just sore. Structurally, it (knee) is fine,” Self said Sunday.

KU’s bench was led by the inside/outside duo of Frank Mason and Joel Embiid. Mason, who nearly was the hero of the Villanova game — he hit a spinning layup and foul shot that gave KU a late one-point advantage — averaged 9.7 ppg off 38.5 percent shooting. He had six assists, five turnovers and four steals.

Seven-footer Embiid, who had a KU-freshman-record seven blocks in the second half against UTEP, averaged 9.7 ppg off 63.2 percent shooting (12 of 19) and 5-of-7 free throwing. He averaged 5.7 boards and had 10 blocks in playing 15 minutes against Wake, 12 minutes versus Villanova and 21 against UTEP. Embiid had 13 fouls in the three games. Self said he needed to find Embiid more minutes without fouling.

Sophomore forward Jamari Traylor, who played 24 minutes vs. Wake, saw his role diminish to eight minutes apiece in the next two games. He hit six free throws in six tries and was 3-of-6 from the field, good for 4.0 ppg.

The three Jayhawk reserves known for outside shooting provided little in Bahamas.

Sophomore wing Andrew White III was 0-for-5 from three and scored six points total, all in the Wake game. He was 2-for-8 overall and saw his minutes dip from 17 to nine to four. Freshman guard Conner Frankamp, who played nine, two and five minutes, was 0-for-2 from the field and 4-for-6 from the line.

Freshman wing Brannen Greene played three minutes in the ’Nova game, hitting a two-pointer and missing a three. Freshman center Landen Lucas had one point and two rebounds while combining for 11 minutes in the final two games.

KU was effective on the defensive end, allowing 68 ppg off 40.7 percent shooting. The 22 threes allowed, however, had to be a concern. KU outrebounded its foes by one, 114 to 113. The Jayhawks had more turnovers (40) than assists (35), while forcing foes into 41 turnovers against 32 assists. KU had 20 steals to the opponents’ 22 and 18 blocks to foes’ 12.

“We’ll practice Monday through Friday and get ready for Colorado Saturday and turn around at play at Florida on Tuesday,” Self said, realizing tough road trips await before KU returns to its Sprint Center home-away-from-home for a Dec. 14 game against New Mexico.

Comments

Beau Woolsey 4 months, 1 week ago

Well played Walt, Well played.

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Beau Woolsey 4 months, 2 weeks ago

I have used this site for 3 years and commented on it for the first time today. I really miss the old site, it seemed like there was recruiting news everyday and people would always talk about basketball. I tried and I was blasted for lack of punctuation. I hope that change this site back. That being said my Breaking Bad comment was one of my favorite things I have written.

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Rodney Crain 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Used to be so different on here.

Although all fans of our team it appears now we are more interested in tearing each other down or calling each other names.

My only wonder is why I am always surprised when it happens.

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Beau Woolsey 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Skyler Bridges: Walt, please, let's both of us stop trying to correct all this grammar and admit you're in danger! Walter Bridges: Who are you talking to right now? Who is it you think you see? Do you know how smart I am? I mean, even if I told you, you wouldn't believe it. Do you know what would happen if I suddenly decided to stop correcting grammar? Punctuation as we know it would Disappear! It ceases to exist without me. No, you clearly don't know who you're talking to, so let me clue you in. I am not in danger, Skyler. I am punctuation. A guy posts on this site and no one yells at him and you think that of me? No. I am the one who posts!

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Beau Woolsey 4 months, 2 weeks ago

I'm sure you know nothing of the plights of the Dustbowl Walter.

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Beau Woolsey 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Walter while I am taking lessons on grammar from Aaron can you possibly teach me how to use the internet.

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Beau Woolsey 4 months, 2 weeks ago

My neglect of the reply button is part of the satirical nature of my comments but thanks for the help Walter.

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Lance Cheney 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Did nobody else see that Villanova beat Iowa too, and won the damn tournament? I mean, this is a good team we got beat by. I was thinking to myself after we lost, that if Nova keeps playing like that they will be a top 15 team before long, and they appear to be on their way to top 25 (actually, after looking at the polls while I'm writing this, I was correct - #14 in AP, #17 in ESPN/USA Today). This was no slouch we lost to. Now, UTEP on the other hand, would've been an embarrassment, and really was, even though we won. I'm not excusing the way we played down there; it was downright ugly. Just giving some credit to Villanova. We, on the other hand, have got to figure some stuff out. Our rebounding is horrible, our free throw shooting's horrible (which is what's going to decide games in this new foul-saturated era), and our perimeter defense is bad. I'm not real worried at this point, but we are definitely not the invincible juggernaut that a lot of posters on here were talking about a few weeks ago. And like Coach Self said, we are going backwards as a team, which is not a good thing.

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Beau Woolsey 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Hey Aaron it's me I'm just wanting to know if you could maybe school my buddies on some wicked grammar knowledge. They think they know it all but I told them I know somebody way smarter and way cooler

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Beau Woolsey 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Aaron can you proof read my research paper

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Beau Woolsey 4 months, 2 weeks ago

You're so cool Aaron I wish I could be you

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Beau Woolsey 4 months, 2 weeks ago

I'm really sorry I stained the prestigious and astute grammar of this page. I believe that maybe if you took the time you did to remark on my lack of punctuation you could have decoded my unreadable, and punctuation-less comment. Aaron Paisley

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Benz Junque 4 months, 2 weeks ago

It is amazing to see how many people have pinpointed the exact reason for KU's struggles. "It is the outside shooters", "It is the free throw shooting", "Coach doesn't give the bench guys enough minutes", "Coach doesn't let the shooters stay in long enough to find their range", "It is the lighting in the crappy facility", etc...

When Kansas plays more aggressive than their opponent, Kansas wins. It has always been that way. They have won games where they shot like crap from outside but were more aggressive. They have won games when they shot like crap from the line but were more aggressive. It's not just this team, it is every team in every game. They team that plays with more intensity wins a huge percentage of games where there is not a massive difference in skill level. Kansas will never play a team that has a marked advantage of skill, so if they are the more aggressive team they should win almost every game.

I cannot think of a single loss in the last five years where I thought Kansas was the more aggressive team and they still lost. PLAY AGGRESSIVE and win.

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Beau Woolsey 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Wiggins will be just fine Ben was on fire to start the season But became quite once conference started I'm hoping and expecting the opposite for Andrew Embiid needs to start And selden shouldn't sit for mason selden needs be on the floor more than Mason and he needs to be given more touches

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Dickless Head 4 months, 2 weeks ago

This team has many problems, foremost, we dont even know if they believe in God Selden seems like a sinner with satanic eyes straight from 3rd row, 6th pit of the netherreaches. Tharpe has a tattoo of 666 on his left bicep. Wiggins is Canadian which, if im not mistaken, is a communist country, and they worship the devil like it aint no thang.

I think we have a serious problem with this teams faith. They were sent here from hell to destroy our faith in the Lord Our God. Don't fall for it. One look into Seldens eyes and youre a satanic worshiper til Rapture.

PRAISE JESUS!! LOVE THE LORD!!

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Preston Dwiggins 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Did anyone else feel like they were watching a bowling tournament with the blue lights on the fans?

All jokes aside, it's time for Wiggins to step up an share his talents with all the doubters.

As of right now, there's only one Jayhawk in my opinion who is worthy of leaving early for the NBA and he stands 7'...and I think Embiid could use one more year to learn the game better.

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Ryan Zimmerman 4 months, 2 weeks ago

The thing I'm most "frustrated" with is the emotion and excitement on the team. Everyone seems to be so stoic when they play-- not that they should celebrate every shot, but some of them look like they are just out there passing time. Passion doesn't win games, but it helps...

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Brianna Zaleski 4 months, 2 weeks ago

KC ticketguy, Good stat about the ft %. The low ceiling and lighting most def played a part in EVERYONES poor shooting. Why are we going back in 2017? Can someone plz explain to me why we accept invitations to low rent tourneys such as these. Other than the obvious of bring in the Bahamas

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Aaron Paisley 4 months, 2 weeks ago

This team is on par with the 2005-06 team in regards to experience and talent level and that team started the year 3-4 after a rough showing in Maui that season. Theses guys will be fine, they are just going through the typical growing pains of an inexperienced team.

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Yolanda Gay 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Yes I'd like our 3 point shooting to improve; but I'd take any outside shooting. Until we can prove we can shoot from the outside, teams will be packing it in the paint.

I also don't think we are taking advantage of the new rule. Drive the ball. Teams can't put their hand on you. BUT KU needs to make its freethrows!

I was happy to see Greene get some minutes.

I'm a little worried about Wiggins. If he's able to take over a game, then why doesn't he. Why does Self have to tell him to do it. To me, if I had that ability and the coach told me to take over, then I'd be shooting lights out, within the offense. I just don't understand kid's mentality. McLemore was the same way. I know money talks and there is always a chance of injury; but I think Wiggins would be better off if he stayed another year.

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Tony Bandle 4 months, 2 weeks ago

OAKVILLE ODDITIES.

1] Something tells me that Colorado is going to pay for Coach Bill's "frustration". [After the Hawks pay for it, of course.]

2] Lots of upsets and close calls this weekend against the Top 25. It appears the new fouling rules are evening out the odds somewhat for the underdog.

3] Nice seeing North Carolina lose again...let's keep building up our total victory cushion against them.

5] I was a center on a high school district championship team, so I know a little of what I'm talking about. Next time you watch the Hawks, just focus on Joel's feet for a moment. Watch how quick he moves and how little wasted motion there is. This young man has better footwork after only three years of ball then some NBA All-Star Centers. He is truly special and may indeed end up being the best NBA player of this entire NCAA class!!!

6] The problem with "The Ballroom" was the lighting. The on-court lighting was not great but it was just OK...the secondary ambient lighting around the perimeter was almost non-existent, thusly, there was little opportunity for depth perception for a shooting background.

7] Let's give CW one more season to start showing overall progress..from 1-11 to 3-9, maybe 6-6 would be over for next season. It is hard, however, being Jayhawk football fan living in Missouri right now.

8] YES, the three point shooting needs to improve, however, the foul shooting MUST improve. These rules aren't going away and that free throw line is going to determine a lot of games this year.

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Jack Wilson 4 months, 2 weeks ago

"The three Jayhawk reserves known for outside shooting provided little in Bahamas."

It's a wonder why. The "reserves" get very little consistent opportunity. They pinball in and out and are expected to perform.

There is not room for all of the reserves to play and for this team to reach it's maximum potential.

The UTEP game, CF played 5 minutes, White 4, and Greene 0.

It's nice to think that reserves just "have to be ready" when called upon. But for anyone that's played the game, sitting 90+% of the time, then being thrust into high intensity action is not a recipe for success. And then, every second they're in, they are subject to getting yanked for a mistake. That would make any player hesitant.

And one wonders why the "reserves" aren't helping a lot from a shooting perspective. Again, when you're not playing a lot, it's hard to come in, drill threes, when you have always be on alert to getting yanked because you've shot the wrong shot at the wrong time.

See Brannen Greene vs. Nova. Shot a three with 18 seconds on the clock, got barked at. Then turned down a completely wide open three at 18 seconds again.

When he got barked at by Self the first time, I understand why .. we'd done a side-out at 23 seconds and didn't get in any offensive flow.

My sole point there is that shooters can't be expected to perform on call. Couple that with with worrying about when they shoot, and getting yanked -- this causes hesitancy. Not great for shooter.

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Kc Ticketguy 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Did anyone else realize that only one team in only one game shot better than 67% from the line? I think the low ceiling threw everyone off.

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Doug Cramer 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Good quality games coming up against Colorado, Florida, and New Mexico.

We'll all be feeling better about this team after this stretch.

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