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Monday, December 30, 2013

KU’s size foils Toledo’s sound gameplan in 93-83 Kansas victory

Kansas center Joel Embiid dips under the bucket for a shot against Toledo center Nathan Boothe during the second half on Monday, Dec. 30, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas center Joel Embiid dips under the bucket for a shot against Toledo center Nathan Boothe during the second half on Monday, Dec. 30, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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There can’t be many things more frustrating for a visiting coach at Allen Fieldhouse than watching his team play darn near exactly the way he hoped it would and still come out on the losing end.

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

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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

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Toledo coach Tod Kowalczyk knew that feeling all too well following Monday’s 93-83 loss to the 16th-ranked Jayhawks, and he had very few negative things to say about his team’s showing.

“Gameplan-wise, we played ’em the right way,” Kowalczyk said. “No regrets. None.”

While that might not be the expected soundbite from the losing team’s locker room, the statistics showed that Kowalczyk did not have much reason to be disappointed. Toledo, which fell to 12-1, shot 46 percent from the floor — a respectable percentage by Allen Fieldhouse standards — 56 percent from three-point range and turned it over just eight times while swiping 10 steals and forcing 18 turnovers.

“I thought we were there,” Kowalczyk said. “... If we could be in the game with five minutes to play, I honestly thought we were gonna win the game. But, obviously, we weren’t quite close enough.”

After trailing by as many as 16 in the second half (68-52), Toledo trimmed KU’s lead to 79-70 with 6:46 to play but could crawl no closer than eight the rest of the way.

While the Rockets and Jayhawks (9-3) battled back and forth throughout the opening minutes, KU took control late in the first half by doing what Toledo knew it would — pounding the ball inside.

“Oh yeah,” said senior guard Rian Pearson, who hails from nearby Raytown, Mo. “A 7-footer inside, Perry Ellis … we knew they were going to attack us inside.”

And there wasn’t much Toledo could do to stop it. The Jayhawks outrebounded the Rockets 44-28 and outscored them 54-30 in the paint. Ellis led Kansas with 21 points and 11 rebounds — six offensive — and three other Jayhawks snagged at least three rebounds.

“We certainly had some trouble in the second half guarding around the basket with their size,” Kowalczyk said. “Getting into foul trouble certainly didn’t help us.”

Asked to divulge the Rockets’ strategy for handling KU’s size advantage, Kowalczyk did not hide anything.

“Pack it in,” he said. “That’s all we could do.”

In keeping with Toledo’s theme of doing things right but watching them go wrong, the Jayhawks responded to that gameplan by hitting seven of 14 three-pointers. Junior point guard Naadir Tharpe made four of the five he attempted.

“That was big,” Kowalczyk said. “I thought a couple of those were just defensive mistakes. We rotated to a non-shooter and left a shooter.”

Despite the loss, Kowalczyk said his team remained upbeat and planned to benefit from the experience.

“We came here for two reasons,” he said. “No. 1, I wanted to take Rian Pearson home. And, No. 2, I wanted our guys to experience the best atmosphere in college basketball, and we’re gonna be a better team for coming out here.”

Comments

Suzi Marshall 9 months, 3 weeks ago

I hate to be a drag after our guys did a lot of really good things tonight, but will this team ever learn how to D and take care of the ball? I was hoping after the GT game and some concentrated D work the past few days, we'd come out showing the ability to guard people.

Since Greene got in the game ahead of AWIII, I'm beginning to have some concerns. If it continues through the SDSU it will seem Greene has that rotation spot.

Rodney Crain 9 months, 3 weeks ago

I agree and might add learning how to box out for a rebound. I sure hope we learn a lot between now and our conference opener.

If we do not I forecast 5-6 conf. losses with two of those at home.

We continue to make mistakes on how to play screens, forget at times the scouting reports, and once we have a lead we do not show a killer instinct. Turnovers you covered but we make things so much harder on our defense by making so many. I did not see a lot of zone tonight… so I guess it is not just that.

We had to score 50 shooting over 66% in the 2nd half to win by 10 over a team we out rebounded by 16.

I take nothing away from Toledo but come on, does anyone think they are better than Ok State, ISU, or even Baylor?

Its a win but lets not be overly proud of this one.

My News Years "HOPE", is that we make amazing strides in the next week or so.

Benz Junque 9 months, 3 weeks ago

"We continue to make mistakes on how to play screens, forget at times the scouting reports, and once we have a lead we do not show a killer instinct."

You just described just about every team in basketball.

"Its a win but lets not be overly proud of this one."

I don't think a single person is going to stand up and say that Kansas is a great team BECAUSE they beat Toledo. They are a very good team and will be in the NCAA tourney this year barring an upset but that is a game KU should, and did, win.

This is BY FAR the best team KU has played right after the holiday break. We typically get a total cream puff like last year's game against American U. I expect KU to come out far more aggressive and dialed in this Sunday against San Diego State. Self is just making these points to help get their focus right heading into that game.

Doug Cramer 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Our D will come around.

Good point about Green playing ahead of A&W. I think A&W will be fine...but I hope he doesn't transfer or something. If he keeps working hard...the playing time will come.

Doug Cramer 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Wished both Frankamp and A&W would have red shirted this season. It would be nice to have them in the system an extra year.

Benz Junque 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Meh, they guys have been off for 9 days , including gone entirely for multiple days for the holidays. Virtually every good team in the nation looked rusty this weekend after the layoff. They should be better against SDSU this weekend after a full week of nasty practices.

Joe Joseph 9 months, 3 weeks ago

The inconsistent officiating has really screwed this team's defensive progress. If the officials continue to allow a degree of physicality this team should start making strides. It's almost inevitable, however, that there will be various crews that will call everything the way it was called during the first two weeks of the season, which will most likely hurt KU more than its opponents.

Really, really frustrated with the officiating this season.

Benz Junque 9 months, 3 weeks ago

The officiating has nothing to do with their poor defense. Officiating has been ionconsistent since the origin of the sport, no different this year. We just have a bunch of young players who haven't learned how much communication is needed to be an excellent defensive team yet. They'll figure it out. They have the physical tools needed to accomplish it.

Jennifer Nikkila Pressgrove 9 months, 3 weeks ago

No zone all night from Toledo. That might be the last time all season that happens. HCBS kept his bench short tonight. I wonder if that was just to let his main guys shake off the rust or if this is the rotation we will see the rest of the season. If so, as mentioned above, it's a bummer that AW3 or Frankamp didn't take the redshirt. If I remember right, SDSU plays a lot of zone defense. We will get to see how that works out next.

Dirk Medema 9 months, 3 weeks ago

If we continue to shoot 50% from 3, we'll see a lot less zone.

Marc Frey 9 months, 3 weeks ago

I too am concerned about the D and TOs, on both sides of the ball. It seems like our guys think they are still playing in some All-Star game at times. But we are playing some of the better teams and our RPI and SOS attest to that. With 3 more weeks of break, I feel good about HCBS getting these guys focused on the basics that will give us another Championship.

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