Saturday, December 14, 2013

KU men’s basketball notebook: KU junior Naadir Tharpe gets back on track

Kansas guard Naadir Tharpe celebrates after hitting a three pointer against New Mexico during the second half on Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013 at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

Kansas guard Naadir Tharpe celebrates after hitting a three pointer against New Mexico during the second half on Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013 at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.


Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Bill Self postgame after KU's 80-63 victory vs. New Mexico

Bill Self postgame after KU's 80-63 victory vs. New Mexico

Download podcast

Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Embiid, Ellis, Selden New Mexico postgame

Embiid, Ellis, Selden New Mexico postgame

Download podcast

— Naadir Tharpe’s return to the starting lineup after a two-game absence proved to be a resounding success on Saturday night in Sprint Center.

Tharpe, KU’s junior point guard from Worcester, Mass., dished nine assists against four turnovers and scored eight points while playing 37 minutes in the Jayhawks’ 80-63 victory over New Mexico. Freshman Frank Mason, who returned to a reserve role, had one assist and no points in six minutes.

“Naadir and I had a nice talk this week,” coach Bill Self said. “He knows beyond a shadow of a doubt I’m disappointed in him, not in his play as much (but) his ownership and how he’s helping the other guys. That was the thing I’ve been trying to beat into him. I think he responded really well.

“He has to take ownership for everything,” Self added. “There’s nobody else that can do it yet. He has to buy time for these guys to give them a chance to grow up and he hasn’t done that as well as he can do. Today I thought he did a good job with that.”

Self said Mason’s minutes were cut because, “they played zone. Frank hasn’t shot it well yet. I thought we’d be better off playing Brannen (Greene, five points, 16 minutes) or Wigs (Andrew Wiggins, 11 points, 28 minutes) or Wayne (Selden, 10 points, 34 minutes) on the wings and give the ball to Naadir and let him run the point the majority of the time.”

Black blanked: Senior forward Tarik Black, who has come off the bench the last two games in favor of freshman Joel Embiid, did not score with two turnovers and a quick foul in two minutes. Red-shirt frosh Landen Lucas had two points and five boards in 10 minutes.

“This is not a knock to Tarik ... Landen gets in there and gets five rebounds in nine minutes and is obviously a factor,” Self said. “I think that will be good for our team moving forward. He understands what we are doing about as well as anybody on our team. When you play heavy bodies like that (on UNM team) he’s about as good as we have guarding those heavy bodies. I thought everybody who got in the game contributed in a favorable way.”

Ellis excels: Sophomore forward Perry Ellis had 21 points off 9-of-14 shooting with nine rebounds in 31 minutes. He had 13 points and six boards the final half.

“I went into practice and kept working and I knew eventually good things would happen and just tried to continue playing hard,” Ellis said.

Big picture: KU improved to 7-3 heading into next Saturday’s 11 a.m. game against Georgetown in Allen Fieldhouse.

“If you told me before the season we’d be 8-2, I’d say that’s fine, that’s good,” Self said. “We’re probably a game off from realistically where I thought we could be.”

Hip pointer: KU sophomore guard Andrew White III missed the game because of a hip pointer he suffered in practice Thursday. He’s listed day to day.

“He tried to practice yesterday. It made it worse,” Self said. “He was hurting today. Hopefully we’ll get him back in practice this week.”

Merv doesn’t play: Former KU forward Merv Lindsay, a 6-7 red-shirt sophomore from Moreno Valley, Calif., did not play. He entered the game having hit his only shot attempt on the season. New Mexico used 10 players six or more minutes.

This, that: The game drew a crowd of 18,493. Sprint Center seats 18,500. ... KU’s nine turnovers tied its season-low (Wake Forest, Nov. 28). ... KU had seven blocked shots, same number as against UTEP on Nov. 30. ... Naadir Tharpe hit a three-pointer at 11:39 in the first half that started a 14-4 run that that lasted 4:02. Within the run, KU regained the lead when Brannen Greene cashed a three-point basket for an 18-16 advantage. ... New Mexico senior forward Cameron Bairstow scored 16 points in the first half, the most scored by an opponent since Duke’s Jabari Parker hit for 19, also in the first half. ... KU’s 17-point lead (78-68) was the biggest since last month when the Jayhawks built a 17-point advantage over Towson. ... Justin Wesley scored his first point of the season with a free throw in the first half.


Bryce Landon 7 years, 2 months ago

For those of us who are medically illiterate, what is a hip pointer?

Dirk Medema 7 years, 2 months ago

A hip pointer is a contusion on the pelvis caused by a direct blow or a bad fall at the top of the hip bone. The pain can be felt when walking, laughing, coughing or even breathing deeply. A hip pointer bruise usually causes bleeding into the hip abductor muscles, which move legs sideways, away from the midline of the body. This bleeding into muscle tissue creates swelling and makes leg movement painful. The hematoma that occurs can potentially build on the femoral nerve or lateral cutaneous of the femur. This injury usually lasts from one to six weeks, depending on the damage. Generally speaking.

Google is a good tool to use.

Walter Bridges 7 years, 2 months ago

AW3 might want to think about transferring..he just isn't getting the minutes and not just against New Mexico.

Too good to not be in the rotation.

Suzi Marshall 7 years, 2 months ago

Tharpe was great tonight. If we had him playing like tonight all season, we'd be 10-0 and ranked No. 1. Let's hope we can establish tonight's play as a base and improve from here.

Walter Bridges 7 years, 2 months ago

He has never been consistent and too many lazy passes. How good would this team be w/Tyshawn Taylor (although not Mr Consistent either)?

Benz Junque 7 years, 2 months ago

Taylor had the same number of issues at the same point in his career only he was a bigger knucklehead.

Suzi Marshall 7 years, 2 months ago

In the post game interview, Self scoffed at the idea of comparing the two. I'm not sure why, perhaps to motivate Tharpe. Taylor, IMO, didn't really come around to perform consistently until the second semester of his senior year. However, Self's opinion is the only one that matters.

Bernard Gregory 7 years, 2 months ago

Love the win but am I the only one that notice that Ellis can't defend and that New Mexico weren't that atheletic but yet they were in the game all night.Also if New Mexico had atheletic guards that Tharpe would have at least another 5 or 6 turnovers passing the balls to the wings.

Dirk Medema 7 years, 2 months ago

Half the game is "all night" for a glass half full kind of guy.

Mick Allen 7 years, 2 months ago

If you are thirsty, it is irrelevant whether the glass is half full or half empty.

Mick Allen 7 years, 2 months ago

If you are thirsty, it is irrelevant whether the glass is half empty or half full and the Hawks were thirsty.

Benz Junque 7 years, 2 months ago

And IF I had different numbers in the Last Powerball drawing I would be a millionaire...

Gerry Butler 7 years, 2 months ago

I have to agree with suzi, if we can get nadair just some consistency I think we will be fine. I'm impatient, a HUGE fault of mine, have to keep reminding myself as it was pointed out by the commentators last night we are SOOOOOOOOO very young 394th in the nation that's young, I like to live in a perfect basketball world, have gotten really spoiled by our hawks, just got to have patience have to keep reminding myself we are gonna take our lumps, but all I say is you better get us now cause later in the season LOOK OUT. good game tonight, now just build off that and continue to improve. some players of note tonight, nu.5 breenan- - - nice solid game,need that more , nu.4 landen lucas, played pretty well for his time in game, hit the boards, hustled, nice all around game for him. nu.3 nadair, much better tonight, just need consistency, we need a leader, he is the one that needs to help be that, nu.2 perry ellis, nice to see perry come out of his little funk he had been in the last couple of games, was huge tonight for us. and NU1 of course has to be as far as I'm concerned anyways JOEL, he just continues to make HUGE STRIDES every game, his shot blocking is really coming on, more production offensively, getting rebounds, and becoming intimidator defensively, all I can say is enjoy him while he is here. GO HAWKS

Larry Jackson 7 years, 2 months ago

I got to agree Butler, hopefully just the beginnings of something hugely successful. My secondary wish list includes: 1. Mr. Traylor staying out of foul trouble, and in the game. I think he'll make a tremendous difference on the inside with more playing time. 2. Selden getting more comfortable, confident, and aggressive in order to make a bigger contribution. He seems to disappear for long stretches. 3. Frankamp showing his pure shooting ability this season.

Erich Hartmann 7 years, 2 months ago

Lots to learn for a KU/Self guard, as Naadir and Mason have proven, right? So I seriously doubt Frankamp can stay on the floor long enough to get his 3gun going. Not only is he way behind Naadir in the run-the-team category, he doesnt know all the set plays, etc...but he ALSO is behind Mason in the physically-developed category. Mason is a pit bull, 185-lb ball of muscle. I just dont see Frankamp as being a penetrating slasher, not with his current frame. If anybody on the KU roster is being exposed physically, it is Connor Frankamp--> and that is not his fault. Yes, I would have traded his 1st year for a 5th year, meaning: he should have redshirted. Highly unlikely he contributes anything meaningful this season, other than get familiarized with Selfball, learn, and spend mucho time with Hudy.

Another thing about Frankamp's 3shooting: He has had open looks, and missed alot. Greene, in his few mpg, has hit many more 3s, and has great elevation...and is 6'6-6'7. I hate to be the one to re-state a basketball law: but this is an aggressive OR tall man's game OR quickness. Keiton Page 5'9 was 190-200lbs, and fearless. Sherron Collins was the ultimate wrecking ball, unstoppable, with an insanely good 3cannon from day 1 as a frosh. Tharpe is fearless, has a proven 3gun, and knows the offense. Mason is a Sherron-lite physique, that is very quick, very fearless, but not a developed 3gun yet. But he can get to the line. We've seen him finish amongst the trees, or get fouled. Somehow, I dont see Frankamp dribble-driving hard into the defense to draw a foul. He's not going to make a living at the FT line, like Mason did vs. Duke.

Its just not Frankamp's time yet. I hope he blossoms one day, especially nice to see for those of us near the Wichita area. Frankamp is an under-developed, undersized version of Tyrel Reed, and even Mr. Reed didnt get to play much until his junior season. Dont expect to see Frankamp other than spot duty for at least 2yrs...plenty of readier talent in front of him.

Luca Rossi 7 years, 2 months ago

RockkChalkk Comments:

  1. Great game by Tharpe: Loved the defensive intensity. He seemed to be the only one really making it uncomfortable for his man when he had the ball. Selden should take some notes, he is probably the one I think could improve the most in this area.

  2. Shot blocking: Some nice blocks in the game but this team appears to swing hard at the ball when the defender still has it vs a more KU familiar straight up type of technique and getting it when its in the air. Small detail but I think they could save on fouls in increase possessions by improving here.

  3. Rebounding: Much better this game. Was very impressed with Lucas on the boards, deserves continued minutes for it. Thought this would be Black's niche within our lineup but he can't keep out of foul trouble. The days of the big bruising gorillas bangin bodies down low and on screens are gone, its more of a finesse game now. Gotta learn the new dance or he's going to find himself watching all year. What's your 40 yd dash time big fella? Can you catch a pigskin?

  4. Perry shooting the three: Commentary at home watching - (catches behind the arc and faces hoop, squares to shoot) "No, no, NOOOoooo..... (swoosh) YEAAAAAAA!!" Glad it went in, hard to know if he hits it a lot in practice or not but surely would feel more comfortable to see him taking his shots down low.

Steve Kubler 7 years, 2 months ago

Had the same reaction to Perry's 3, however he has good form and if you can knock that shot down it changes the way people have to guard you. Still like to see him in the paint but I remember several bigs hitting shots form outside just killing us in the past. Be nice to be on the other end of that from time to time.

Yonatan Negash 7 years, 2 months ago

It's about freakin time Naadir showed up. I really don't understand it, the kid must have known begining of the season he would be the leader of this team.

Naadir has to play the leader role, he must lead this young group of kids, he must play the big brother role, it's the only way we come out of this mess.

I really like our chances, we have something that Kentucky does not have. A veteran point guard that will get it and will lead this team.

Of course the other tangible Kansas has that Kentucky does not have is coaching. Those two tangibles will make a huge difference come February and March. We will win and win lot's of games.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.