Monday, December 30, 2013

KU men’s basketball notebook: Bill Self questions improvement of KU’s defense

Kansas head coach Bill Self gets at an official during the second half on Monday, Dec. 30, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas head coach Bill Self gets at an official during the second half on Monday, Dec. 30, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self cited one disturbing defensive statistic as he peered at the stat sheet following Monday’s 93-83 victory over Toledo in Allen Fieldhouse.

“When’s the last time in a non-conference home game did an opponent have eight turnovers (total) and we only get four steals (total)?’’ Self asked a group of media members in the interview room.

“I bet you could go back to the 1990s. I could be wrong on that, but I bet you could where both stats are that low playing at home. Now on the road, I can understand that, playing at home that’s totally inexcusable to me,” Self added.

KU-Toledo Box Score

Box Score

Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Bill Self bemoans defensive effort after 93-83 victory against Toledo

Bill Self bemoans defensive effort after 93-83 victory against Toledo

Download podcast

Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Naadir Tharpe, Perry Ellis and Andrew Wiggins dissect KU's win over Toledo

Naadir Tharpe, Perry Ellis and Andrew Wiggins dissect KU's win over Toledo

Download podcast

A check of the record books shows KU actually had just one steal against Temple’s four turnovers during last year’s 69-62 home victory over the Owls., by the way, tracks percentage of possessions that end with a steal. KU’s defense ranks 197th of 351 Division I teams with an average of 8.6 percent, compared to a national average of 9.0 percent.

Self also was disturbed that Toledo hit for 83 points off 46.4 percent shooting. The Rockets hit nine of 16 threes and 10 of 14 free throws. Toledo’s 83 tallies were most KU has surrendered in a nonconference home game since a 91-84 win over Siena on Jan. 6, 2009.

“Obviously teams that play here shouldn’t give up 83 (points) at home and certainly give up 83 at home when you only give up 10 free throws,” Self said. “You could give up 83 if it’s a free throw fest, but at a time when you only give up 10 free throws that was obviously as poor of defense as a team can play, collectively, I believe.

“The biggest thing; you scored 93 points you should win that game by a bunch of points and we don't ever give up 70 at home let alone 83 especially when the other team only makes 10 free throws, that’s unacceptable.”

Self spoke to his team about defense in the locker room after the game.

“I’m frustrated,” he said. “I told our team afterward, ‘Are we better defensively today than we were when we played Duke (KU’s 94-83 win on Nov. 12)?’ We spend a lot of time on it and I’d say the answer is probably no. I think Toledo scored easier today than Duke did.”

Happy New Year: Self, who spent much of his postgame media session bemoaning bad defense ended with ... “I’m in a great mood and I think there’s a lot of things we did well and everybody have a damn Happy New Year,” he said, smiling.

Nobody’s hurt: Nine Jayhawks played five or more minutes. Self said the players who did not get in the game were DNP/coach's decision. They were not injured.

Game notes: KU outrebounded its opponent (44-28) for the 11th time in 12 games. ... KU hit 56.3 percent of its shots, marking the eighth time the Jayhawks have been over 50 percent. ... KU hit a season-high 50 percent from three (seven of 14). ... KU is shooting 41 percent (25-of-61) from three-point range in its last four games after hitting 29.8 (36-of-121) percent in its first eight games. ... The Jayhawks blocked six shots, marking the sixth time KU has tallied six or more blocks in a game. ... KU’s 66.7 percent shooting the second half marked its second-most accurate half of the year (69.2 vs. Towson). ... KU’s bench was outscored for just the second time, by the largest margin of the season, 23-10. ... Toledo set KU opponent season-highs for: field goals (32), field goal attempts (69), three-point field goal percentage (56.3) and tied season-highs for assists (15) and steals (10).

Individual notes: Naadir Tharpe scored a career-high 20 points and had a career-high four threes in five tries. ... Perry Ellis’ only other double double occurred one year and two days ago (vs. American). ... Ellis (21 points, 11 boards) led the Jayhawks in scoring for the fifth time this season, tying Andrew Wiggins for the team lead. ... Joel Embiid had his second-career double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. ... Embiid had a career-best six offensive rebounds, the most by a Jayhawk this season and three blocks. ... Ellis and Embiid's double-doubles marked the first team two Jayhawks have recorded double-doubles in the same game since Elijah Johnson and Jeff Withey teamed up against West Virginia on March 2, 2013. ... Wiggins has converted 22 of his last 23 free throw attempts. ... Frank Mason dished a career-high seven assists and is now boasting a 12:2 assist-to-turnover ratio over his last three outings.


Bryce Landon 7 years, 11 months ago

"Everybody have a damn happy New Year"! Best Bill Self quote of the year.

Andy Rieger 7 years, 11 months ago

Why not say Frank Mason is now boasting a 36:6 turnover ratio?

His last three outings he has a total of 12 assists to 2 turnovers, boasting a 6:1 assist-to-turnover ratio.

Greg Lux 7 years, 11 months ago

The main problem with our defense is we are to willing to let our man catch the ball before we defend. Mario was good because he new his best defense was to anticipate where the ball was going and try to intercept it. All our guys play way to much with their arms down. We don't take pride in stopping our man from getting the ball. When we learn to anticipate where to ball is going we will be a much better defensive team.. And my #1 pet peeve. We don't do a good job of blocking out on the boards. We depend far to much on our height and not on basic defense. I use to teach my teams to block out and practice letting the ball hit the floor before getting the rebound. It will get you a lot more rebounds on the defensive end.

Happy New Year and Rock Chalk

Mick Allen 7 years, 11 months ago

A 44 to 28 rebounding edge against a team that was averaging 7 more rebounds a game than their opponents would indicate to me that someone must have blocked someone out last night. We have now out rebounded our opponents in 11 of our 12 games. I agree with your comment about Mario who was very skilled at anticipating the pass and jumping in the passing lane for the steal. Our inability to date to get our hands on more balls for deflections or steals was perhaps HCBS's biggest bitch after the game. Certainly as athletic as we are, it is reasonable to demand and expect them to cause more than 8 turnovers and only 4 steals. Deflections and steals of course fuel the fast break and get us in the open court where we are at our best. It will come.

Benz Junque 7 years, 11 months ago

Young players do not have the confidence and knowledge to know when to gamble on trying to steal a pass. KU perimeter defenders just allow the pass to happen and then try to defend. They seen unwilling to be more aggressive and go for steals.

Tony Bandle 7 years, 11 months ago


1] At the rate he is improving, Jo Jo will look like Hakeem by Valentine's Day!!! He made moves last night that many guards would have trrouble making. Watch and enjoy, my fellow Jayhawks....he will be gone before we know it.

2] I have watched Kansas basketball since the fall of 1966 and I have NEVER seen a player improve as dramatically as Jo Jo right before our eyes. Wilt came in a stud, but Joel is coming in a young colt and will leave as Secretariat!!

3] Dammit, Perry, can't you be effective without being so spectacular?? We don't want to lose you too!

4] If early returns are any indication, KU will have consecutive #1 picks in 2014 [Jo Jo] plus a #2 [Andrew] and 2015 [Cliff Alexander]. Alexander the Great is a man, dominating one of the toughest high school leagues in America in the Chicago Public.

5] Allen Fieldhouse....the Land where teams go to die...only EIGHT losses in almost ten and a half seasons!! Coach Allen and Wilt are smiling in heaven right now!!

6] HAPPY NEW YEAR to all. To our fighting men and women everywhere, be safe. To our policemen, emergency personnel and firemen, be careful. And to all of you true Jayhawks, be thankful and proud..for ours is a tradition like no other. [my apologies to The Masters, but that phrase fits us as well!! }

Benz Junque 7 years, 11 months ago

There are plenty of long winded books available to read if that is what you enjoy...

Michael Sillman 7 years, 11 months ago

I really think that Self should use some practice time to set up a couple of zone defenses to be available when needed. One of them should be a box and one with Wiggins on Marcus Smart.

Len Shaffer 7 years, 11 months ago

Was anyone else surprised that Toledo didn't go to the zone even once? Given KU's track record (not to mention what Self said earlier about it), I would think that every team would try to zone KU for at least a little while. And a zone might have been more effective at stopping KU's inside game.

Doug Cramer 7 years, 11 months ago

I guess we now know that Frankamp and White should have red shirted.

Benz Junque 7 years, 11 months ago

Nah. Both will have a few games where they are keys to winning. They are fine. Quite frankly, neither has enough talent to be serious contributors whenever their last year of eligibility of play would be. KU will always be able to recruit players better than them. They will be solid role players but I would be surprised if either is ever a regular starter.

Humpy Helsel 7 years, 11 months ago

Coach is working on their minds. They'll come to practice the rest of this week thinking about nothing more than defense. I think the focus may have been rebounding since the last game because their rebounding was much better. This is a team under construction.

Vic Janeway 7 years, 11 months ago

I really like his attention to the defense, cause on espn boards those sdsu fans think their teams defense is going to upset KU. maddening but I am positive HCBS is really going to get these guys ready!

Commenting has been disabled for this item.