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Florida defeats Kansas, 67-61

  • 6 p.m., Dec. 10, 2013
  • Stephen C. O'Connell Center, Gainesvillle, FL

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Gator Bait: KU basketball chomped, 67-61, by No. 19 Florida

Kansas guard Frank Mason is caught between Florida defenders Michael Frazier II, left, and Will Yeguete during the first half on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013 at O'Connell Center in Gainesville, Florida.

Kansas guard Frank Mason is caught between Florida defenders Michael Frazier II, left, and Will Yeguete during the first half on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013 at O'Connell Center in Gainesville, Florida.

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Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Bill Self after loss at Florida

Bill Self after loss at Florida

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Florida 67, Kansas 61

Box score

— Going with four freshman starters for what is believed to be the first time in Kansas University basketball history looked like a fine game plan against Florida on Tuesday night in O’Connell Center.

“It wasn’t who we started that was the problem. We were up 10-3,” KU coach Bill Self exclaimed after the Jayhawks’ group of rookies Joel Embiid, Frank Mason, Wayne Selden and Andrew Wiggins plus sophomore Perry Ellis opened strong, then were victimized by a 21-0 run during a 67-61 loss to the Gators.

“I think we should have had an electrical shortage and canceled the game after that,” Self added of the early seven-point lead that quickly turned into a 24-10 deficit.

“We actually made a couple shots and played pretty well the first five minutes. We were awful after that,” Self stated. “When it started going bad (deficit stretching to 34-16 and 36-21 at half), we didn’t do anything to stop it. I don’t think it was lack of effort. I think anything that can go wrong went wrong.”

The (6-3) Jayhawks committed 16 turnovers the first half in trailing (7-2) Florida by 15 at the break.

“We set a record. I think that’s an NCAA record maybe,” Self said of the 16 turnovers in 20 minutes. KU finished with 24 miscues. “Three assists (to) 16 turnovers ... that’s bad. We thought we played poorly against TCU in the first half last year (in loss to Big 12’s last place team). That was worse tonight no question. The quality of competition was different.

“To get outscored 18-0 on points off turnovers? If we could have just got a 35-second call every time and they had to take the ball out of bounds we would have had a chance maybe to be in the game. That’s been our Achille's heel all year. We are not a real skilled team yet. We pass the ball miserably. We don’t pass the ball well at all.”

KU freshman point Frank Mason had five turnovers to no assists; junior point Naadir Tharpe five assists against three turnovers. Frosh combo guard Wayne Selden, who played one minute the final half, had four turnovers to one assist.

“He had a tough night,” Self said of Selden. “He, Perry (Ellis, four points, three turnovers, four rebounds) and obviously Frank. That was a pretty tough night for those guys. I think they can learn and respond and handle situations better moving forward.”

Of the lead guard play, Self said: “the thing is, if your offense sucks in football, usually you look at the quarterbacks. I’m not saying ... it doesn’t fall on the point guards totally. They can do better, but we all can do better. Certainly I don’t think our guard play has been consistent so far.”

Frosh wing Andrew Wiggins scored 18 of his career-high 26 points in the second half as KU made it a game. The Jayhawks were down 58-52 at 1:20 following a Wiggins three. After a KU steal, it was ruled Wiggins, who went up for a shot, threw the ball out of bounds, Florida taking possession and canning two free throws at 1:06 to go up by eight again.

Brannen Greene, who had five points in 14 minutes, batted the ball out of bounds with KU down 61-55 with :45.3 left.

“That was on me. I mishandled the ball. It went out of bounds, stupid mistake,” Greene said.

Again Florida hit a pair of free throws after that miscue to go up eight at :37.1 Two Jamari Traylor free throws sliced the gap to 65-61 at :10.9 seconds, but a pair of Kasey Hill free throws answered at :8.5.

“Even though we lost, it showed we’re not going to back down,” Wiggins said. “We’re playing until the end.”

The Jayhawks, who have dropped three of four games, will next meet New Mexico at 6 p.m., Saturday, in Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. Chances are Self will go with the four freshmen again.

“I am not down on my freshmen,” Self said. “We can play better. Our more experienced guys are sophomores. That’s not really experienced. They don’t have anybody they can fall back on. We’ve got to get everybody playing better. I can’t blame it all on youth. We could have come here and played great and got beat by six. Florida is good, talented. A lot of it may be youth. I think we can still play better.”

Comments

Jeff Kilgore 4 months, 1 week ago

Will we be able to play under pressure and figure out zone defenses? One good thing about last night is that we weren't in terrible foul trouble. That's a really good sign. As far as leadership is concerned, it's point black obvious to me that 18 year olds aren't 22 and 23 year olds and talent doesn't overcome that in November and December. I'm hoping and believing that the best is yet to come, but there are no guarantees and that itself is what makes the whole thing worth watching.

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Jack Jones 4 months, 1 week ago

Actually, Mike (and others) ~ You are spot on, except that it won't be two days, but more like 2 HOURS (if that long) before no one cares what is posted on this site. It seems that far too often it's primary purpose is to provide a place for the terminally whiners to vent their "expert analysis". My God, these are FRESHMAN with 9 games of high level D-1 basketball experience ~ plus Sophomores and a Junior, none of which have significant on-court game time. This team has unbelievable individual basketball talent ~ and with the proven best Coach in developing players ~ we will become a very, very good TEAM. Whether that will translate to another Big 12 Championship, or beyond, is predictably unknown. But, we will be as competitive as anyone else in the conference ~ you can bank that. Relax, all you boo birds (I know you can't ~ it's genetic) ~ there is absolutely nothing positive in bad-mouthing the team or individual players ~ (although you can also bank the fact that the players care even less about what is posted here)

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Yonatan Negash 4 months, 1 week ago

The biggest letdown this season thus far is the lack of leadership Naadir Tharpe has shown

I don't know about you but I had a lot of expectations from Tharpe this year May be I set myself up for having so much confidence in Tharpe.

In no way shape or form, should we expect freshmen to lead Kansas in scoring, rebounding, and expect them be the vocal leaders on the court (in my opinion harpe, Ellis and Black should be huddling up the team on as/if needed basis to settle them down some).

In my opionion, Naadir is/was the floor general and he needed to be that guy. The guy that brings the players together during panic moments and settles everyone down.

Will the freshmen figure it out themselves? Yes, I guess they'll have to and they will.

No way will I place any of the blame Kansas is having on any of the freshmen.

If you watch the 8 games Naadir has played, most of the time he's passed up a lot of shots.

Why is that important you ask? By taking the damn shot, he can take the pressure off of the freshmen.

I’m really not too worried about the team we have, we’ll be fine come tournament time. But the veterans we have can make this a lot easier than it has been.

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Benz Junque 4 months, 1 week ago

So here is my theory that I am going to roll with to try to keep a positive attitude: this brutal non-conference schedule will help out Kansas in the long run because it has moved their reality slap in the face to this early in the year.

Last year's team had a number of easy games in the non-con in between their two tough games (Mich. St. and Ohio St.). They came out of non-con looking and feeling pretty invincible. They hit conference season and kept winning, but it was on a fluky bank shot three vs. Iowa State and then some really terrible offensive performances against Texas Tech, Baylor, Texas, KSU, OU and West Virginia. My gut feel is that they didn't take their issues very seriously because hey, they're still "finding ways to win". Ugh. then Okie State punched them in the face in AFH. they swore they were going to be "more focused" but they foolowed it up with two of the worst games in KU history in losing @ TCU and OU.

This was in mid-February, just five weeks before the end of the season. they were still able to recover and win the conference and be major contenders for a run at the Final Four.

I am HOPING that the run this team is having now is their punch in the face that they didn't get last year until early February. They haven't had the typical easy games early in the year to give themselves the false sense that any mistakes they are making are OK because they are still winning despite them. You can't make mistakes like this and beat good teams and that is all KU has left in their non-con. My hope is that by the end of non-con they will have their eyes wide open about what needs to be done and they will hit the ground running for Big 12 season.

I HOPE.

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Ryan Zimmerman 4 months, 1 week ago

The first half was obviously abysmal, but when Greene poked away the inbounds pass to Wiggins for the steal under our basket with under 3 minutes to play, Wiggins got absolutely mugged by two Florida guys-- in the face! No foul. That would have given us the ball back down by 5 and a chance to make it a one possession game. Clawed our way back and for that to be a no-call was insane. Not saying that determined the game due to how off they were initially, but still, pivotal moment blown by the refs

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Kye Clark 4 months, 1 week ago

(cont.) - Mason. Might it be time to re-think the experiment of him starting? I'm still a believer that he is better than Tharpe, but something just tells me that he is better suited to come off the bench as a spark plug right now as opposed to trying to lead the offense. At the very least, I don't think it can be argued that Mason has looked his best coming off the bench and often when he is on the court with Tharpe at the same time. During halftime the studio crew pointed to one play which they said embodied the first half. Loose ball on the court, Gator player diving for the ball, KU player standing there watching. That player was Mason. That lack of energy & hustle is unacceptable. Perhaps returning to his back-up role, reducing his minutes a bit, and taking the starting PG duties from him would restore some of his spark.

  • Ellis. Where is the guy that carried us for much of the Duke game? After that performance, we were all thinking "great, but now he's so good we'll probably lose him to the NBA after this year." I understand he's playing the post and doesn't have full control of when he touches the ball, but I kept waiting for him to right the ship during that horrendous 21-0 run last night and it never came. I was waiting for him to demand the ball, coming out to the perimeter if he had to. I kept waiting to see him catch it high and drive his way to the basket like we saw in the closing moments of the CU game.

  • Selden. What does he do well that justifies starting? He's got the look of a great player, and when things are going well he seems to fit in and contribute. But when things are in disarray he seems to offer nothing. He's not a good outside shooter and he isn't creating his own shot, so at this point I'm actually going to officially lobby for Greene to get the start and a large chunk of Selden's minutes. Either Greene or AW3, but after last night it at least appears that Self has deemed Greene the winner of the 3 player battle royale for minutes between those two and Frankamp.

  • Wiggins. Like Vitale was saying last night, he needs to be more of the alpha on this team. Great performance late, but he can't wait to flip that switch. It needs to be a mentality from the opening tip.

Still confident this team will get it figured out, but the zone issues need to be rectified immediately.

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Ron Prichard 4 months, 1 week ago

(part 2...jeez, I feel like Jaybate...)

  1. I hope, HOPE, Wiggins realizes he needs to be the man for the entire game now. It wasn't the fact that he hit a bunch of threes late that gives me hope. It's that he wanted the ball in a big way down the strech. He wanted to take every shot, and I think you saw his competitiveness come out for the first time since the Duke game. If he realizes we need him to be that guy the entire game, every game, watch out.

I think the reason I'm not as upset as I have been after other losses is that I see Self throwing this team to the wolves so he can get their attention and get them battle tested. Yes, he wants to win, but he's preparing them for something bigger than just one game. He's molding, and I think last night will be a great opportunity for him to work some of his typical magic. I may be mistaken, but I look for KU to come out and play well on Saturday.

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Kye Clark 4 months, 1 week ago

Without re-watching the game here's a few thoughts:

  • As I stated after the CU game, our biggest problem is that we can't attack the zone. It was suggested that if our outside shooting was better teams will abandon the zone and that would solve the problem. Last night we saw that wasn't the case. KU came out and hit two 3s en route to their 10-3 lead. That didn't deter Florida from sticking with it, and eventually embarrassing our squad into committing ridiculous amounts of turnovers. For the game we shot good from the outside, so that wasn't the problem. Our perimeter starters, all whose strengths lend more to slashing/driving than outside shooting, can't seem to figure it out. They isn't any consistent dribble penetration, no feeding the high post, nothing. So zone offense still our biggest weaknesses, as was the case following the CU game, and what's really disappointing is there was virtually no improvement from one game to the next.

  • Black. At this point, he deserves no minutes. He's already lost his starting spot, and I would argue that both Traylor & Lucas are better options at this point. Black should only be subbed in emergency injury/foul trouble scenarios. He was brought in to be the beef and keep Perry & Embiid from getting knocked around down low. Hasn't really panned out that way. Of course, you can't foul early & often in every game and have any expectations of filling that role.

  • Speaking of Traylor, one of the few bright spots IMO. Excellent job rebounding (9 in 17 minutes), and his driving post move was NICE! He almost always plays with energy, and he's a proficient shot blocker for his size.

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Ron Prichard 4 months, 1 week ago

My thoughts on the game in list format (ala Oakville, but not as clever):

  1. Self's pre-season comment that Tharpe needs to be this team's MVP is right on the money. This team needs someone to step in and calm them down when things get crazy or go bad. They need someone to restore order when they get out of sync. They need someone who has "been there, done that." That player has to be Tharpe. The only other possibility is Ellis, and I don't think he has the outgoing persona to be that guy. Also, Tharpe typically has the ball in his hands on every possession at least once. We really need for him to take some ownership of the team.

  2. Self is starting to pull Greene out of the dog house. It is exactly the same thing he has done with so many players in the past. Tear them down and then build them up. Did you notice how hard Greene played last night? He wasn't perfect, but he played with energy. Also, when he made mistakes, you could see Self's frustration, but he didn't pull him and he didn't yell at him. In the past he was yanked immediately for what may have been a minor offense. Last night Self called him over and taught him what to do, how to react, but left him in the game. Also, in his post game comments, he complimented Green's effort. I think you will see much more of Greene in coming weeks. I wonder if anyone else noticed this last night?

  3. Clearly, a message was being sent to Selden. Maybe he is Self's next project. He wasn't good when he was in the game, but I was absolutely amazed he only saw one minute in the second half. Self typically doesn't do that to his starters. A sub, yes. A starter, no.

  4. It seems like Ellis gets hammered down low and loses the ball on more "no calls" than any post player I have seen. I wonder if this is his fault for not being stronger or if the calls truly have gone against him (I am biased, you know).

  5. Self got more teaching points out of this game than any in the last two years. I could be wrong, but I think this is exactly the kind of game this team will need to be able to compete on the road in league play and in March. The best part about it is that we played HORRIBLY and had a chance to cut it to four when Greene stole the ball and Wiggins was hammered going to the basket. A horrible no call gave it to Florida, but KU was making it a game. Considering we had 24 turnovers, that is nothing short of amazing.

(cont...)

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Yolanda Gay 4 months, 1 week ago

I just don't see any signs of improvement in any player except maybe Wiggins and Embiid. We have no outside shooters. Did these recruits shoot the ball in high school. Learning to play defense I understand. But players had to shoot the ball in high school. Where is Selden? Why did we get Black? People say we will get better; proof for me is steady improvement each game. I don't see it.

Yes, we will see zone the rest of the year. We have NO zone busters.

We only have 4 games until we start conference play. The team I saw in the Bahamas, and against Colorado and Florida won't get it. Unless there is major improvement, this team will not beat the likes of Baylor, Okie St, and Iowa St for sure. We have 6 wins so far. Reaching the 'magic 20' will be a struggle this year.

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Lance Cheney 4 months, 1 week ago

Here's what I don't get (I just noticed this). Why is it when Bill runs his players down, saying they played like crap, etc, nobody says anything. But when Charlie Weis does it, he's an arrogant a-hole who can't accept responsibility for his own bad coaching. I know the answer, I just think it's a stupid double-standard that illustrates the fair-weatherness of KU fans.

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Tony Bandle 4 months, 1 week ago

OAKVILLE ODDITIES:

1] NOW THIS IS MORE LIKE IT!!!!!!

Posters going after each other's throats [politely, of course], long diatrabes reaching "mini Jaybate" lengths, point and counterpoint ["Jane you ignorant slut" ala SNL Glory Days - coming down a little hard on Suzi, huh guys??]. Today's postings are bringing tears of joy to my eyes remembering the good old days of freedom of speech!!!

2] This team is like watching a new born colt trying to walk..try and fall, try, wobble and fall, try, stand up, start, wobble and fall. Someday, that colt becomes a thoroughbred. EVERYBODY CHILL OUT!!!!

3] Amongst the ruins of last night were flashes of brilliance, like lightning bolts of potential on the horizon. Brannen Greene IS on this team, Andrew Wiggins IS realizing he can take over a game, Jo Jo IS knowing he can do better...on and on.

4] By March, this team will as dangerous as any team in America...so enjoy the ride, bumps and all!!!

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Grouch Lives 4 months, 1 week ago

Movement. Some of us here are old and we enjoy a good movement every now and then. It's the same in beating zone defense. You must have body and ball movement. When we play against zones, no one is running after they pass, nor are they running through or into the zone. Wiggins was noted for this last night.

After you pass the ball, you have to move to get the attention of the defense. If you stand, they don't have to move to cover you. When you do move, it has to have an effect. Run into the lane to an open area, request the ball. It will collapse one or two defenders. No response from the ball handler, bounce out a little bit, then move on. The ball handler passes the ball and then cuts through the defense. Find an open spot? Stop and request the ball. When a player moves into the zone, or runs through it, the defense must recognize and respond. And the outside shot moves closer and closer. At the same time, a defenders mind gets hazier, and pretty soon one or two of them start drifting out on coverage, and now we have an open lane. I've taught this movement to grade school dweebs and to players that went on to start on Div I Final Four teams. It's really not that hard, but it takes a clear mind.

"A clear mind to take it, or a clear mind to not take it." "It takes a clear mind to make it." Shel Silverstein, but I regress.

The discussion point is to wonder why, in the last decade, our teams have trouble with zones, unless we're hitting the three. Maybe the players aren't being taught this simple concept? Is asking akin to heresy? Or is our difficulty with zones just a lack of movement?

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Robert Brock 4 months, 1 week ago

Frank Mason has a lot of heart but he had a terrible game. Zero assists and five turnovers from your starting point guard is not what you want. He needs to learn the position and right quick - the season has a long ways to go, but it is not going to get any easier (except in Manhattan :)

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Rodney Crain 4 months, 1 week ago

We played down to our experience level. It was tough to watch a Kansas team play that poorly in a spotlight game like that. Considering the start of the game the level of that collapse was surprising.

There are two ways this goes, we hit our ceiling and become a very good team at the end of the year, or the losses pile up to the point this team never gets over the hill it is creating.

Very impressed with Wiggins' response last night. Its one thing to have the talent to do it, but he showed big time fight there. The elite players hate to lose more than they like to win. That was an elite response last night.

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Gerry Butler 4 months, 1 week ago

like has bee stated a couple of times, and with which I agree totally, there is NO leader on this team, and I certainly hope nobody tries to suggest that Andrew is the leader of this team, uh I don't think so, not at this point anyways, same problems we have been havin really really bad boxing out getting defensive rebounds, getting beat off the dribble drive, defense breaking down, defensive intensity missing, poor outside shooting, we will CONTINUE to see ZONES until we prove we can knock down outside shots more then say 1 out of every four or five times, that's not gonna cut it. again if you watch when we play against the zone as coach self says and said in one of the articles today when we playin the ball sticks to much not moving like past teams. ya Andrew looked good in the 2nd half, BU the game is 40 minutes not 20 joel is still looking better, but where has perry gone, wayne had a terrible night, but yet like was said for us to play that poorly in the 1st half and then end up being the final that it was, not to bad , they will get better, its called GROWIN PAINS now come on we knew they were gonna take some whoopins early, but hey better days ahead. GO HAWKS

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Kendall Shaw 4 months, 1 week ago

It's a fact of life that this years team will continue to face zone defenses. There is a right way and a wrong way to "attack a zone". Obviously it helps to make shots but from my perspective this is what I see: You don't stand around the perimeter and pass the ball without a purpose, especially lazy over the top passes. The defense resets every time and you're back to square one with the shot clock winding down. You do make sharp passes with ball reversal to get the zone to shift which will create seams in the zone. "fake a pass to make a pass". When the zone shifts passing and penetration becomes so much easier. In other words "DON'T HOLD THE BALL"! When the zone is shifting get the ball inside and kick it back out after the passer "relocates". When the shift in the zone occurs it is easier to penetrate the seam or angles to finish or to kick it out to a shooter. I fully believe once you "attack a zone" in this manner, a shooter will find it easier to get into a rhythm with their shot also. Thanks for hearing my frustration. This all sounds so basic. This team has so much talent, but until they figure out the rights and wrongs of breaking a zone their offense will struggle.

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Luca Rossi 4 months, 1 week ago

Game/Team Thoughts:

  1. Team lacks a leader: Like Pam mentioned above, you never see a players huddle on the court. Thought Tharpe would be the guy, where has he been? Who kidnapped him and replaced him with his low intensity, clueless evil twin with a ridiculous looking haircut?

  2. Team lacks defensive intensity: Missing a "Releford Guy." Forget a lockdown defender and new rules aside, the team still lacks any defensive intensity. They don't pressure the ball handler at all, basically just let him walk the ball up the court and do whatever he wants. Passes are barely contested. Think there was only one steal last night that I can remember and it came when they were in the press at the end of the game. I don't even remember a time where a defender went for a steal on a pass. I remember a specific play where a Florida guard picked up his dribble away from the hoop near the sideline, I expected our defenders to clamp down on their guy to force a 5 second call or turnover and they sat back and let him pass it out of trouble. We could be a lot better in this area.

  3. Team lacks a hustle guy: Last year we had Young who was always running full speed up and down the court. Our squad looks out of shape. They don't run the court as hard as I'm used to seeing a KU team run. I think Greene can potentially be this guy and could be his ticket onto the court for bigger minutes. If a few players pick up the hustle, it can be contagious too. Hope it catches on soon.

In the end, the sky is not falling, they still have a load of talent, and will surely get better. However, every other team in the country is going to get better too. KU needs to get better and a faster rate than the competition if they want to find themselves contending for a title at the end of the year. What concerns me is that they knew Florida would play zone, I'm sure they prepared for it, and they still looked bad. The improvement isn't being displayed yet and that's the concerning part.

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Kent Richardson 4 months, 1 week ago

"Four times Mason drove to the basket, every time he had guys open for a dunk but he chose to take the shot...and missed or was blocked." Suzi you nailed it. Not very savvy of Frank.

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Pam Goad 4 months, 1 week ago

One of the most significant remarks I heard the announcers make last night was that this team appears to have no leader. They remarked that no one took the initiative to pull the team together in a huddle after one of the players (Selden?) was fouled, and that this looked like a group of individuals - not a team. I'd have to agree. Sure doesn't look like Kansas basketball right now. If they improve to even close to their potential, it will be one of Bill Self's best coaching jobs ever. If they don't, then a few of those "lottery picks" may end up playing a second year and then they will be good. :-)

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Brett Clark 4 months, 1 week ago

Why does it seem like KU has never been able to play against the zone? Our guard play has got too get better. Wayne Selden playing 1 minute in the second half is unacceptable the kid is supposed to be a lottery pick. I love the way JoJo is playing his defense looks better every game. Only up from here boys

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Benz Junque 4 months, 1 week ago

I counted at least 13 missed shots within 5 feet of the basket in the last 8 minutes of the game. Factor that in with the turnovers and it's amazing we only lost by 6. That first half was the worst half of basketball I have seen since... last year's TCU game. At least this train wreck wasn't with 4 seniors in the starting lineup against a terrible team.

I keep trying to figure out where the bottom will be before these guys start to get a clue and have some confidence that they have actually practiced and know what to do. They made strides and competed in the 21nd half but still shot themselves in the foot too much.

And NOW can we stop calling for more minutes for Greene? Good god, that kid couldn't guard me. Brannen, you are in there because you allegedly can shoot threes. TWO attempts in 13 minutes is ridiculous.

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Mike Riches 4 months, 1 week ago

As frustrating as it is to see our team lose again, I'm sure that one thing that Nova, Colorado and Florida have in common is, none of them want to see Kansas again in March. To play as bad as we did for 20 minutes of this game, to be on the losing end of a 21-0 run, to commit 16 turnovers in the first half, all of this against a top 20 program on their home court, and to be within a couple possessions at the end of the game, speaks volumes about how who this team is.

The bad will get better. One of the most inexperienced teams in the country playing the most difficult non-conference schedule...perhaps these types of losses were bound to happen. But teams can grow from losses, in some cases more than they grow from wins. I do believe they'll look back and be grateful to have had this tough on-the-job training in December against good, ranked teams, rather than play a super-easy fall schedule and not face any real adversity until conference play. I still believe 100% in what Bill Self has been saying since Spring...this team can be really good by the end of the season (which is when we all would love to see them peak!)

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Preston Dwiggins 4 months, 1 week ago

The Good: Wiggins The Bad: Florida's Zone D# The Ugly: Turnovers

This team is so salty that I need a drink. In other words...I'm not worried, but holding steady in my belief in our Jayhawks.

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