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Oklahoma State defeats Kansas, 85-80

  • 3 p.m., Feb. 2, 2013
  • Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, KS

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Bill Self questions team’s toughness, desire following home loss to OSU

Kansas head coach Bill Self walks off the court following the Jayhawks' 85-80 loss to Oklahoma State on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas head coach Bill Self walks off the court following the Jayhawks' 85-80 loss to Oklahoma State on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self talks after loss to Oklahoma State

Kansas coach Bill Self talks after his team's 85-80 loss to Oklahoma State on Feb. 2, 2013.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Kevin Young, Jeff Withey and Ben McLemore

Kansas players Kevin Young, Jeff Withey and Ben McLemore talk after the Jayhawks' 85-80 loss to Oklahoma State on Feb. 2, 2013, at Allen Fieldhouse.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

OSU coach Travis Ford

Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford talks to reporters following his team's 85-80 victory over Kansas on Feb. 2, 2013.

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Box score

KU-OSU

Bill Self didn’t flip out watching Oklahoma State freshman Marcus Smart perform a backflip after the rarest of rarities — a Kansas University basketball loss in Allen Fieldhouse.

Self instead got in line to shake hands with all the Cowboy players and coaches, while pondering all the reasons for Saturday's 85-80 defeat — KU’s first home setback in 34 games, second in the past 104 and just the eighth in the 10-year Self era.

“I’m disappointed because I hate to lose our homecourt streak, but we have been living on borrowed time the last three weeks,” said KU coach Self, whose Jayhawks needed overtime to beat Iowa State in Allen on Jan. 9 after barely surviving Temple on Jan. 6, and also squeaked by with recent road wins over Texas (five points), Kansas State (four) and West Virginia (five).

“We have been getting unbelievably poor play from some individuals and we have got to do a better job teaching them. We are better than what we played today, but today the best team did win the game,” Self added.

Oklahoma State, which used a 19-3 run to steal a 26-12 lead in the first half, was able to overcome a 66-62 deficit in the final 5:22, thanks to some big-time offensive rebounds and some huge KU turnovers.

“We are just so frustrated with the toughness. Let’s just call it like it is ... we are mentally tough in some ways, but physically this is our softest group of all time,” Self said of the No. 2-ranked Jayhawks, who fell to 19-2 overall and 7-1 in the league; OSU improved to 15-5, 5-3.

“We have never had a team like this. We get by and fake it sometimes, but we aren’t real thick and we aren’t real strong. Not to compete at game-point though, is beyond belief, and I’m sure this was an embarrassment — the way they kicked our (butt) in a late-game situation — to everybody that has played here because we didn’t compete when we needed to compete.”

KU did show some moxie in the final minute ... up until the final possession.

Thanks to six points from Andrew White III, the Jayhawks saw an eight-point deficit (77-69 at 1:01) dip to 80-78 with 24.6 ticks remaining. An Elijah Johnson layup at 18.8 seconds, which followed a Smart free throw, had KU down, 81-80. Two free throws by Phil Forte made it 83-80 at 7.9 seconds.

That’s when Johnson turned down what Self deemed an open three pointer and had the ball stolen by Smart, who dished to Forte for a last-second layup that turned the fieldhouse into a morgue.

“Losing at home is bad. We don’t lose at home often,” said KU freshman Ben McLemore, who scored 23 points, including nine in an 11-2 run that turned a 45-39 deficit into a 50-47 KU lead with 12:27 left.

“I think this loss really got to him (Johnson). Being a senior and losing at home ... I think it definitely kind of hurt him,” McLemore added.

Backup point guard Naadir Tharpe (eight points, four assists, one turnover) defended Johnson, who had eight points off 3-of-14 shooting (1-of-7 threes) with six assists and four turnovers.

“That (last possession) didn’t do anything about changing the game. The game was on their side from the start because of the way they came out (in grabbing 14-point lead). They threw the first punch,” Tharpe said. “That last play by Elijah didn’t do anything to turn out (decide) the game. We’ve done this a couple times already, come out lackadaisical to start. I try to tell the team, ‘We are not going to be able to have every miracle game, fellas. We have to figure a way to start stepping on people’s throats right away.’ That’s not what we did tonight.”

KU may have lost this one shortly after Kevin Young hit two free throws to give the Jayhawks a 68-67 lead at 3:19. An 10-1 OSU run ensued, highlighted by a Le’Bryan Nash jumper with one second left on the shot clock, a Smart putback of a missed free throw by Markel Brown (28 points), another Smart putback of a Michael Cobbins miss, a pair of Smart free throws after a Johnson miss and two more Smart free throws after Johnson made just one of two. After all that, OSU led 77-69 at 1:01.

“We were awful and they were good,” Self said. “They were tougher than us. They beat us to loose balls and they just kicked our (butt) on the glass in the second half (20-12). We didn’t compete for loose balls and felt sorry for ourselves and acted like little babies.

“At least when we put Andrew (White III) in there at the end, he got us six points in a minute. Nobody else on the team was doing that. We definitely need to tweak some things. When you are winning it kind of camouflages some things. I’ve known all along that we haven’t played as well as what our record indicated that we were.

“The game today was a primary example of a team coming out and getting comfortable. Oklahoma State hadn’t won on the road in a long time (0-4 this season). They came out and got comfortable and they wanted to beat us so bad. We didn’t have the same desire to play them.”

OSU, which led, 40-34, at halftime was led by Brown, who exploded for 22 of his 28 the first half. Smart finished with 25.

“We didn’t have an answer for Brown,” Self said, “and Marcus Smart beasted our little guards in the second half.”

Though Self loves OSU’s talent — he recruited Nash and Smart heavily — a lot of this loss, he said, was on the home team.

“The thing about it is we play so slow. We play with no pace offensively. We don’t put any pressure on anybody defensively. I wish we could play without guards to be honest with you, but that would be kind of an ugly game if you have five big guys playing out there at all times,” Self said. "But we have got to do something. We are better than what we played today and we will get it back.

"With this league race, all we did was invite everybody right back into it. It’s a joke what we did today. Hopefully we can regroup. It’s not panic mode or anything like that, but I know our staff feels the same.”

KU, which holds a one-game lead over Kansas State (6-2), will next meet TCU at 8 p.m. Wednesday in Fort Worth.

Comments

Michael Luby 1 year, 2 months ago

No, this team needed this loss. Every year we go through this. Those guys take bruises and cuts and losses every time and come out better for it. I said it once before, here it is again. This home loss stung so deep it was like two road losses by double digits each. They will fix their weaknesses, they will bounce back higher than they fell. Thanks Jaybate. Truly inspiring stuff there. Not just for this game we all love, but for life as well.

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Jeff Soisson 1 year, 2 months ago

I just don't feel like Bill has figured out the line up or chemistry for a starting 5. He has always done this so well. And now we have so much talent, it is almost confusing to him. I frankly have never seen a KU team that could not pass the ball, this is the most sloppy team I can remember. Do we have no leaders and all role players? That is what it looks like to me.

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easyfive 1 year, 2 months ago

EJ is the Gremlin on this team. Billy ball is getting very boring and very hard to watch. Without Jeff and we wouldn't be in the top 25. We are just have to fake it the rest of the way. Go back and watch that Colorado game and see what was working then. Shoot the ball when open and pass the ball at lest 3 or 4 times before shooting it. Hard, crisp passes. ...Easy

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jaybate 1 year, 2 months ago

Part 4

So Self must demand fresh tactics in real time be constantly being presented him to either order executed, or to disregard.

And if it were me, I would call in Wayne Simien to the first post game practice to deliver the following prayer.

"Almighty and most merciful Father, we humbly beseech Thee of Thy great goodness to restrain this tendency in us to let other teams bigger than us push us around. Grant us the blood thirstyness, cheap shots and dirty tricks needed for battle in the XTReme Muscle Era. Graciously harken to us as players who call upon Thee that, armed with Thy power, we may advance from victory to victory, and crush the oppression and wickedness of our enemies, and thus establish thy justice in our conference and in our title run. AMEN"--jaybate

Buckle your chin straps boys, and put in your carbon fiber cups, its about to get no holds barred.

If only they would call the game according to the rules again.

But they aren't going to again this season.

The whistles are a thing of the past, and the only winners will be those that can say and mean:

"God help me, I do love it so."--George Patton from the movie "Patton"

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jaybate 1 year, 2 months ago

Part 3

Self must convince his players that the disorder they experienced once the violent play started--the forearm smashing to the faces--is normal to feel.

"Battle is an orgy of disorder."--George Patton

He must tell his players that what Self means by defense is attack; that defense in basketball is but offense played at the other end of the floor. That this KU team must attack on defense, attack in transition and attack on offense.

"Nobody ever defended anything successfully, there is only attack and attack and attack some more."--George Patton

Though they are playing a judo offense, they are not waiting for anything: they are finding weakness and attacking it.

Swagger has to be part of the judo offense and part of the funnel them to Jeff defense.

Swagger has to come from tutored courage, from knowing you have the better strategy and training and conditioning for the abilities and skills and strengths that you and your team have that your opponent lacks, not matter how big and brawny he may appear.

They are Davids and they better get used to it.

Swagger has to come from knowing you can not only get down and grind it out as well as the opponent, but that you can get down and dirty with him even more than he can; that you are willing to go farther than he is.

"Do your damndest in an ostenatious manner all the time."--George Patton

To EJ, Self must tell him to start repeating:

"I am a soldier. I fight where I am told, and I win where I fight."--George Patton

And...

"A good solution now is worth more than a perfect solution ten minutes later."--George Patton

And further...

"May God have mercy upon my enemies, because I won't."

And to Self's staff, he must say:

"Good tactics can save even the worst strategy. Bad tactics will destroy even the best strategy."--George Patton

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jaybate 1 year, 2 months ago

Part 2

This is the army Self has and this is the way it has trained to fight and this is the way it must fight, whether fans like it or not.

The Oklahoma State game confirmed YET AGAIN that Kevin starting is the right thing; that Perry is no where near ready to be thrown to the dogs in a starting role; that if Self will just stay the course with Perry's incremental development that Perry will be ready to be a contributor by the end of this month in the current scheme.

The 19 wins say this army and its strategy and tactics are on the right track.

The 2 losses say it isn't perfect.

"A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week."--George Patton

Self's guys are a shaken, because they have finally seen what XTReme Ball is really like, when you are a light, mobile army, an army with a bunch of Shermans, and not a bunch of Panthers and King Tigers. Self needs to tell his guys they are in a war and there is no way out of it but forward with better tactics, more maneuvering, more flanking and more competitive greatness.

"Battle is the most magnificent competition in which a human being can indulge. It brings out all that is best; it removes all that is base. All men are afraid in battle. The coward is the one who lets his fear overcome his sense of duty. Duty is the essence of manhood."--George Patton

Self must tell his players:

"I don't measure a man's success by how high he climbs but how high he bounces when he hits bottom."--George Patton

Self seven or eight games into the season took stock of his fears and understood that this KU team could not stay on spots in the XTReme Era.

"The time to take counsel of your fears is before you make an important battle decision. That's the time to listen to every fear you can imagine! When you have collected all the facts and fears and made your decision, turn off all your fears and go ahead!"--George Patton

This is not the time to doubt and rethink what he decided back in early December. This is the time to tell his team:

"Americans love to fight. All real Americans love the sting of battle."--George Patton

And to say to them again:

"Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom."--George Patton

The only thing Self must work on is getting his guards to stop throwing the ball away, stop picking up their dribbles and stop stepping inside the trey stripe and taking long two pointers.

And he must reinstill in them will to attack and keep attacking.

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jaybate 1 year, 2 months ago

"Expect an Orgy of Disorder and No Holds Barred"

Part 1

Okay, now everyone has evacuated that game from their colons.

Think next.

This team played one of its worst games and only lost by five.

It still has a sound, but unconventional scheme.

It still has the Withey effect that holds opponents to 40% or less from the field most games. It still has a terrific player in Ben Mac. It still has a great perimeter defender and a guy who can score against many teams in Travis. Though no one is giving Kevin credit for it, it still has Kevin Young who impacts all over the floor and got 12 efficient points, 7 rebounds and 4 steals. And it still has two point guards that only need to break just a few bad habits to get their games back to the point where they are not hurting the team and their virtues can resume helping the team. And we've got a 4 that keeps getting incrementally better and who WILL be ready to actually make a difference by the end of this month, though it will remain in a backup capacity. And we have for the first time the entires season, an inkling of hope that the light went on in AWIII and that his trey shooting and apparent new found aggressiveness could finally give Self a reasonable selection of abilities on the perimeter. This is list of what we have is still longer than what most other teams have. And Bill Self is still better than most other team's coaches by a considerable margin.

So: "The Day of the Babies" is behind us.

The time to think next is now.

TCU is a weak team that our bunch can set restart on. And bludgeon.

A lot of board rats are going to want to go backwards.

Back to the high low the way it used to be played.

"I don't believe in paying for the same real estate twice."--George Patton

Self shouldn't turn back now.

The war is on.

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Woody Cragg 1 year, 2 months ago

We already did vs ISU & if not for the bank is open 3 by BMac, we lose at AFH then. And correct me if wrong, but that is how we lost vs NIU & VCU both-perimeter shooting offenses knocking down 3's. It's indicative of virtually all teams that only have one or less Releford's on defense. It's the nature of the game in opposition to the HiLo, grind it out, 52-50 type games that are so boring to watch. Every now & then the jump shooting team will knock off a goliath, & then they get beat the following game by someone that controls the paint. Why we can't do that with a footer in the paint, I don't understand? Ellis moves damn good without the ball, & Jeff is, well, Jeff. Frankly, not that mobile on offense to say the least, but a good finisher when he gets it down low. Perry is not TRob for damn sure, but let him get the experience with the seniors & a footer, & one of them will get the points. Perry can drive, dish, or pull up for the shot. He has the moves, so let him use them. Or either can execute the kickout for an open shot. We have several other good shooters even if EJ is in a slump. Control the game by playing under control & possessions and the clock. If you want to get in a horserace, you better have a damn thoroughbred. If Withey is the best player on our team, he's more like a Belgian or a Clydesdale & BMac is more like a Quarter, so I say slow the damn race down to suit your entries. KY is not executing the HiLo well at all, so give Traylor or Perry more minutes to get the job done. If KY gets the pass or rebound in the paint, he's just not strong enough to finsh very often. Travis knows the system, he can play the 4 spot in a HiLo when playing vs a 6-7 or 6-8 opponent. When you need the energizer bunny, wind him up & turn him loose. An 80 point game just does not not suit our teams' makeup at all.

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Sam Constance 1 year, 2 months ago

I pretty much agree with everything Self said. But a few specifics stood out to me...

The last play was ridiculous. I get Self's point about it not "deciding" the game, but it was still indicative of some of the poor decision-making that was persistent throughout this game. The only way a layup helps you when down 3 with only 8 seconds to go is if an opponent fouls you to get the 'and 1'. Meaning, it's a pretty low-percentage play compared to getting an open look from 3 with one of multiple players who were making them (White, McLemore, Releford, even Tharpe). The thing that's so infuriating is that the play before, when EJ went flying down the court and scored a layup, was a great play that put the pressure back on OSU to make free throws. Same choice of action on both plays, but it was only correct in one of them.

There was a play at one point in the game where the ball was loose and squirting around the court, and you watched multiple Cowboys throwing themselves on the floor, full extension to get to the ball. Meanwhile, KU players are trying to pick it up and go with it. Finally a couple of the Jayhawks did dive to try and get it, but it seemed like a fairly typical representation of the effort/toughness between the two teams.

Unsurprisingly, we lost this game the way we barely most of the last several games. Poor passing and lazy perimeter defense. The perimeter defense dug us into the hole in the first half and then our terrible passing made sure we couldn't complete the comeback. We've been just slipping by for weeks and the silver lining I can find is that we lost in the same way we've come close to winning, so there can be no excuses about it being just a fluke game. Hopefully it will galvanize the team to put more focus into the areas they are lacking, because it seems more like a focus issue than an athleticism/ability issue to me. The flip side of that coin is that if we're continuing to do these things so many games into the season, are they flaws we're capable of correcting? I think yes on perimeter defense, but I'm not sure about the medicore passing.

The most worrisome thing about this game, to me is that it means if we come up against a team that has good, athletic scorers at spots 1-3, we are in trouble. We obviously held Nash pretty quiet, but Smart and Brown both went bonkers, because we only have one Travis Releford on the perimeter.

It will be interesting to see how the team responds from here.

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machinegun 1 year, 2 months ago

I really wonder about the mentality of some of our fans. Elijah Johnson is the leader of our team, now 19-2. Elijah has a big heart. Elijah is a "gamer" and a clutch performer. Do you really think Coach Self is going to turn his back on Elijah because he is struggling? Not a chance.

Elijah has been loyal to our team and encourages other guys on and off the court. He had a rough day yesterday and it was painful. That game is over. Time to get ready for TCU.

For those with memory lapses, this is the same Elijah who took over the ball handling last year when Tyshawn was going through his turnover struggles. So now he can't play the point? Ha Ha! I remember the positive comments that he received from some of the same people who are attacking him now. Elijah also was critical to last year's Final Four run. I don't know what Elijah is going through right now but I will support him win or lose.

3

Steve Gantz 1 year, 2 months ago

I never comment after we lose a game like that. I'm in too bad of a mood.

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Jay Dogger 1 year, 2 months ago

This was originally meant as a reply to HEM's post above but I decided to put it at the bottom.

Yeah, Coach Self hates to lose. And he doesn't always take it well. That's part of why he is successful, and part of how he succeeds.

What I don't like is how red in the face he gets on the sideline, and how mad he gets at the players for seemingly every mistake. But that is his method. I am not thick-skinned and would not respond well to it. But I was always bad-medioccre at sports and peaked at age 12. I think KU players get used to it and they see red-faced Self as just being regular Self; his attitude is just normal to them.

But losing isn't normal, so what he did has less precedence. It will be curious as to how they will respond. Hopefully for the better.

A lot of the most successful people are royal pains in the ass. I didn't listen to the post-game interview and now I don't want to. Sounds depressing. Hopefully things will get better for the team.

I think nobody will be as hard on EJ as EJ. I just hope Self can build him up and not tear him down.

As a fan, I tend not to get mad at the players, but not getting that last shot off made me mad.

Sports makes fans crazy. I can't fully comprehend how it makes those directly involved feel. However, I do think it's easier for them in one way--at least they have power to affect it. We just sit on the couch powerless (lucky shirts notwithstanding), cheerling and yelling.

What bugs me about fans is that they appear to have higher performance standards for teams and players than they do for themselves. How would they respond to such criticism? The tough part for players is that their performance is so easily measured and quantified. Most of our jobs are not. And most of us don't have jobs that millions obsess over.

Fans bug me more than players. At least players walk the walk and not just talk the talk. It's like the difference between artists and critics. At least an artist actually creates something.

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Yolanda Gay 1 year, 2 months ago

No the sky isn't falling competely; but it's slowly on it's way. Except for the Baylor game, this team has won by the skin of their teeth. I was hoping for a loss - but not at home and not against KSU. I hope this was a wake up call. We'll see Wednesday. What happened to our Nov/Dec team?

I hope Self uses this as a chance to do some changing in the line-up. EJ just isn't cutting it. He's playing like a freshman. So why not put Tharpe at point and give AW3 and Rio more playing time. What can he lose. Then EJ should come off the bench at least until he gets his confidence back. He's making too many basketball 101 mistakes.

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yates33333 1 year, 2 months ago

I like your comments, read it all, but "beasted Self?" Is that like beastiality?

Doesn't Self look sad and older in the photograph above?

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oddgirl 1 year, 2 months ago

EJ is not a point guard. He is a 2-guard playing out of position. And for whatever reason, he isn't playing with the same confidence or with the same intelligence that he did for much of last season. I have no idea what he was doing on that last possession -- there wasn't enough time left in the game to try and go for 2 points. He simply needed to pull up and shoot the 3, If he misses it, well then, he misses it. I like EJ, and I feel bad piling on him, but he has not been playing well. He turns the ball over way to much and his decision making is shaky. Hopefully he will pull himself out of this funk and start playing more like he did last season.

Tyshawn wasn't really a PG either, but he still did a much better job than EJ has this year. Chalmers wasn't a true PG either. I'm trying to remember the last time KU had a good pure PG -- has there been anyone since Aaron Miles? Most of KU's recent PGs have really been combo guards or 2 guards playing out of position. It's a credit to the players and the coaches that they've had so much recent success without having a true PG running the team.

Even though they are 19-2, this isn't a team that is playing well enough right now to be a legit contender for the national title. They've basically been coasting through games, at least through the 1st half of them, for a couple of weeks now. Sooner or later, this was going to come back and bite them in the rear. Self is right about them being physically soft. Smart had EIGHT offensive rebounds all by himself yesterday. Eight!!! No one bothered to put a body on him and block him out all game. I love Jeff Withey, but he is not a good rebounder for a guy as big as he is, and he isn't strong enough to muscle a lot of other big guys. He is a great shot blocker because of his technique and timing, but he needs to play stronger when it comes to rebounding and offense.

McLemore is the best player on the team by a mile, but he can't do everything himself. Especially since he is much better catching and shooting or creating for himself than he is creating for others. And even he got outplayed by Marcus Smart yesterday.

If this was just one bad game, I wouldn't say anything. But they've been playing like crap lately -- they probably should have 4 or 5 losses, rather than just 2. I believe they can turn it around, but only if they wake up and take some hard lessons from yesterday's game.

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jaybate 1 year, 2 months ago

Part 8

This was one of those situations when a head coach probably should have pow-wowed with his assistants at half time and told them that if things didn't get sorted out by the last 5-6 minutes, he was going go get himself thrown out over some call, or other. It lights a fire under a team, when a coach that has tried everything he can think of, pushed every button he knows of, says, "Okay, if this is how it is, then I am going down with guns blazing in order to buy my team a series of good calls from the refs that had to throw me out of the game." Its always good for at least three good calls. And KU needed three calls. The refs had begun to call the game in such a ridiculously one sided way that an OSU play could literally charge into a KU player out on the wing in plain sight AND punch a KU player AND shove him AND A FOULD WAS CALLED ON THE KU PLAYER!!!!! And KU had not one but three seasoned assistants and one Director of Basketball Operations, two of which have been head coaches at D1 Majors.

What was Bill Self THINKING?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Of course you get yourself ejected from THAT game.

I'll tell you what he was thinking.

He was thinking the same thing his team had been thinking all game.

He was thinking BABY thoughts.

Not the thoughts of a certain future hall of fame Division 1 college basketball coach, which Bill Self most certainly is.

But Gerber baby food thoughts.

Some resort to religion for insight in such moments.

I resort to logic.

A famous syllogism adapted to this case.

All men are mortal.

Bill Self is a man.

Therefore, Bill Self is mortal.

The man coached like a baby.

His players played like babies.

It was the "Day of the Babies."

But they only lost by five and they are still in the lead.

It is now time to claw and scramble back up the developmental curve.

Time to become men again.

Next.

Rock Chalk!

1

jaybate 1 year, 2 months ago

Part 7

This loss was way worse than the early round upsets in the Madness. There was method and anomaly to those losses. KU shot poorly in those losses and Self intentionally sent them out flat against lesser teams to save their peak performances for the better team in the two game set. Self was gambling shrewdly, if riskily, and lost. Frankly, I never saw shame in that. And to tell you the truth, I don't believe Bill ever did either. When you play for all the marbles, sometimes you have to take risks that backfire on you.

Nor was this a loss that compares even up with the upset by the UTenn team in shambles a couple of seasons ago; that game was another one he sent them out flat for, because it was the last non conference game of the season, UTenn barely had enough players, and Self wanted to save his team's peak performance in the first conference game. A loss didn't cost KU much except ranking and PR. It was non-conference.

This game was for money; this was conference; this was a good team; this was a chance to build a nearly insurmountable lead in the hunt for another conference title AND for a 1 seed. This game had early money game written all over it from a conference standpoint, even though it wasn't a marquis game, even though the dolts at ESPN chose to show Wichita State/Northern Iowa instead. This was a home game--the kind of game a serious, experienced team is supposed to win, so that it can make a slip up or two on the road and still win the conference title. This was a game that can make one seem invincible at home to opponents for the rest of the season.

The team has been sputtering for weeks and Self has only been intermittently successful at diagnosing and fixing it.

It was only a five point loss.

Its not the end of the season and could be a loss that takes this team to its next level.

Self calls them babies and soft.

EJ still lacks what might be conventionally known as knees.

He got roughed up by a 6-4, 225 pound stud.

Self pulled EJ to humiliate him at the end, or at least in desperation anyway.

AW3 came in and did well.

But Self couldn't pull Self.

Well, frankly, he could have, when I stop to think about it.

And he probably should have.

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jaybate 1 year, 2 months ago

Part 6

And at game point, Self couldn't draw up anything in the huddle better up than dribble the length of the court and shoot, and he had to draw THAT up. He could just say it. No surprise. No deception. No nothing. No contingency. No KU player positioned to pick up the loose ball when an OSU player inevitably swiped at it. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zero. Empty set. A music chart with no notes. A blank chalk board at the Institute for Advanced Studies. Empty canvas in Picasso's studio.

It was a shame that Self had to sit EJ with 54 seconds to go, and bring Andrew White III, because it exposed that Self should have subbed White in much earlier in the game than Self did.

Items 1 through 9 are part of the reasons Self is so hot with his team.

But item 10, or what I should have numbered item 10, Bill Self himself, completes the list of drivers of a day that will live in infamy--the Day of the Babies.

Self got out coached. Badly out coached. Great Plains-sized outcoached.

And by a coach he is unarguably much more skillful than.

Bill Self was as much better than Travis Ford, as KU's players were better than OSU's players.

Self, who can usually win with his'n, or with your'n, went baby with his'n.

To be realistic here, Bill Self and his team were NOT infinitely better than little Travis Ford and his team. They will very likely be in March Madness. They are probably the best 14-5 team in America. Bill Self and team are also NOT way, way, way, way, better than Ford and Okie State. Nor are they an order of magnitude better, for as I wrote in the "jaybate Intelligence Estimate," OSU had more effective depth than KU (a full nine man rotation), and some likely draft choices, and a coach who has had made the same long, hard climb up the professional ladder of coaching success that Bill has made, only Ford has started 5 years later, and never won at more than a 2:1 ratio in part because Ford has not generally coached at as good of basketball schools in his stops.

But better.

Bill Self is better.

And this is not just Jayhawk bias speaking.

Yet Bill Self got his baby butt kicked by Travis Ford, who almost seemed surprised that he kicked Bill's baby butt at the end of the game.

I nominate this game as the worst coaching job by Self in his decade at Kansas. There haven't been that many awful ones either. The man IS a genius at coaching.

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jaybate 1 year, 2 months ago

Part 5

Little Travis Ford making about half as much money as Bill Self completely outcoached Bill Self yesterday.

Little Travis Ford beasted Bill Self.

Truth?

Self failed to get the team up for an important home game, maybe even a game that if won could have made KU almost impossible to beat for the conference title, even at this still early moment in the conference round robin.

Self failed to come up with an effective game plan to counter what Little Travis Ford came up with.

Self failed to make timely adjustments.

Self didn't come up with any offensive and defensive adjustments at half time to get his team out of the pickle of offensive predictability that it was in.

Nor could Self light a fire under his players. KU did not really fight its way back into the game in the second half. Oklahoma State "missed" us back into contention. Oklahoma State was just such a rotten shooting team that when it began to shoot its way back to its ghastly low average that even KU's baby coach and baby players could not find a way to keep the score from narrowing.

The only offensive solution Baby Self could think of was give the ball to Baby Ben McLemore and hope he saved baby KU's baby bacon.

Self didn't have his team prepared for the defenses Ford threw at his team.

Self didn't seem to recognize the zones Ford had Okie State play anymore than did Self's players could recognize them.

It was sad to watch. It was like watching a great tenor struggle with Row, Row, Row Your Boat. It was like watching Einstein struggle with long division. It was like watching Picasso spill a bucket of red during his blue phase.

For the entirety of the game, Self couldn't even call a play to get the ball in Travis Releford's hands when Travis was being guarded by Phil Forte, a player fully half a foot shorter than Travis.

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jaybate 1 year, 2 months ago

Part 4

3) Ben, though saving his fellow babies bacon repeatedly, increasingly lost composure defensively and let the Okie State Orange Meanies get under his skin with their face smashes (note: babies have never like face smashes);

4) Kevin made some incomprehensibly bad moves to the basket that appeared like nothing so much as a baby wriggling on a floor in a zipped jumper;

5) Jeff Withey seemed almost foetal guarding the post at times, having apparently become overly concerned with helping some of the nursing defensive babies on his team, and perhaps thinking a bit too much about the blocking record;

6) Naadir Tharpe, continued at least infant like behavior of picking up the ball outside and inside, when he shouldn't have, and to act out the quintessential (for a point guard) devolution to babyhood of stepping just inside the trey arc to take a trey, and he, like EJ, appeared finally not be able to inspire his fellow mates in the nursery to dish out more violence than OSU was dishing out (though in his suckling defense he seemed to try a time or two);

7) Perry Ellis continued to prove that he could continue to improve, achieve a technically respectable line score and still not impact the game, not dish out more rough stuff than he was giving, and could not avoid becoming a suckling at game point;

8) Jamari Traylor, who seems like such a promising stud, could once again add no impact beyond what a baby in knee quilts might, when confronted by a bunch of testosterone laced teenagers swaggering around the paint in loud orange uglies; and

9) Andrew White III, who at least came in and made a couple treys at game point, after months of waiting for him to do so, and who finally acted like the light had gone on, after months of waiting for him to look that way, promptly missed one end of a two shot foul (a foul that was by the way a gift from heaven) that almost certainly would have put us in position to win this horrendous performance that might come one day to be known in the dark annals of KU basketball as "Night of the Babies," had the game been played at night instead of in broad daylight, and so may instead one day become known as "Day of the Babies."

Items 1 to 9 are not by any means an exhaustive list of the things gone wrong, nor of the multi-faceted decent into babyhood that occurred against Oklahoma State, but they do demonstrate without question that a new regression back to basketball babyhood was reached.

Yet these sorts of regressions into babyhood tend to obscure another regression into babyhood of an even more shocking nature; the likes of which, I sadly submit--we have never witnessed during the Bill Self era, or at least that part my aging cortex can recall.

Bill Self himself coached like a baby.

I never thought I would live to write that string of words.

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jaybate 1 year, 2 months ago

Part Three

Playing like a baby is to be less than a high school player.

Less than a middle school player.

Less than a kiddie league player.

It is to be less than a young boy a father takes to Allen Field House in hopes that his son will one day grow up to wear the Crimson and Blue.

It is less than a toddler a KU mom plays with in front of a TV, as she watches the team she dreams her son may one day play for.

It is in the final analysis to be even less than an infant in a swaddling cloth just home a few weeks from a hospital.

Baby, as Self uses the word in his professional lexicon, is all the way back to an after birth -dripping, shrieking, near foetus state of a being in which one is utterly dependent, utterly lacking in any ability to meet any of one's most basic needs of survival, or responsibilities to one's buddies, family, friends, or school.

Baby is the least developed a human being outside the womb and off the umbilical can be.

Baby is a word Self pronounces, as if he had just had just sucked alum, and then chased it with a powdered aspirin and some castor oil.

Baby is, developmentally speaking, the farthest one can be from a Bill Self basketball player and still be alive.

But as I indicated, this loss was only of the 5 point variety in so far as a score board records such things. And to reiterate, the loss was to a pretty good team that Self said before the season would be one of the best teams in the Big 12, and that the "jaybate Intelligence Estimate" warned early last week could turn out to be a very, very big problem for this KU team, if this team were to get out to an early lead and go into half time with a lead greater than five points.

OSU got off to an early lead. OSU went in six up. OSU then fulfilled the worst case scenario of the "jaybate Intelligence Estimate."

But there was one thing happened that was worse than several of the obvious bad things that happened.

Yet before mentioning that, let me first itemize the obvious bad things as follows:

1) Elijah continued to play worse, descending all the way to what appeared at times to be quite literally wet-nursing babyhood, an even more shocking display of point guard play than several of Tyshawn Taylor's mid season melt downs his junior season;

2) Travis for the second game in a row made mistakes a senior should not make, and regressed to babyhood in terms of offensive play;

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jaybate 1 year, 2 months ago

Part 2

Bill Self does not love them when his father and mother are most assuredly tuned in and watching their beloved son put his character and professionalism on public display and so will have to go out to get their newspapers the next morning and speak to the neighbors and have to feel the disrespect, even disdain of their fellow Oklahomans in their and Bill's hometown. There is nothing, after all, worse than a local boy made good--a local boy they are most proud of--that they wish had stayed home and had the kind of success he has had at home--there is NOTHING worse than watching that local boy then disgrace himself and them, AGAINST the home team he should have returned to coach had there been any justice under god's heaven. No parent should have to go through this experience. No son would ever want his parents to have to go through this. No native son would ever want to put his beloved home state through this. Nor his adopted state.

For it goes without saying that his adopted state that has grown so to venerate, love and respect him, to depend on him, to perhaps even idolize him; that so loves basketball that it will fill a 16,000 seat venue for DECADES on end, that has grown amazed and in awe of his ability to pull not merely a few rabbits out of a hat, but literally hundreds of the furry, little hopping things out of not even so much as a hat; well, it just goes without saying that these best fans in college basketball don't wish to see this befall their beloved coach, nor his players, nor his parents, nor even their red clay neighbors and competitors to the south.

It would have been okay to have lost a respectable game to Self's Iba mater. Its even happened before in Self's tenure. Its even kind of feared and viewed as a significant risk most of the time. After all, it is his Iba mater. How can as decent of a man as Bill Self not feel a little conflicted about playing his old school, a school that has a rich and respected basketball tradition of its own? There is no shame in losing to them occasionally. Its not like losing to, say, Missouri, or Kentucky, or to any other nest of thieving cheaters. Its more like losing to family. There is a loss of bragging rights that goes with it, a serious sting alright, but its all in the usual spectrum of the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat…when one plays the game as it was meant to be played.

But playing like babies is NOT playing the game as it was meant to be played.

To play like babies in the vernacular of Bill Self is, well, is to play even less well than you played before you came to KU, before Bill Self expended his blood, sweat, toil and endless practice screeching and correcting to "coach you up" to be a Self Baller, a warrior, and a Kansas Jayhawk capable of grinding out a win even on that third of days when your performance stinks.

But even stinking performances ranks above playing like a baby in the Self lexicon.

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jaybate 1 year, 2 months ago

"Day of the Babies, or Time to Become Men Again"

Part 1

(Reader Alert: Author here again. I was torn between distilling htis to a bad game, and writing nothing but "NEXT," which is partly how I think, but also exploring the "baby" thing Coach Self has introduced. I decided to go long with the latter, but rest assured, I believe in the end this will just be a bump in the road loss this season. Further, be forewarned that Coach Self gets his share of the blame in this analysis.)

Why did Bill Self get so angry after a five point loss to a team with perhaps 3 draft choices, maybe 4, if Le'Bryan Nash ever were to get his act together?

Oklahoma State was a young, athletic, 14-5 team with a defense as hard nosed and sticky as Self's own. They liked to hit opponents in the face. They liked to go up and beat shots back at the shooters. They liked being physically stronger. They liked swaggering more.

True, most of the Cowboys couldn't shoot their way out of Django Unchained with Gatlin guns, but a couple of them were the kind of low percentage gunners that go off unpredictably occasionally and burn even the best defenders.

Still, a disgusted Self rolled out his harshest criticisms after this one.

Soft.

Lack of desire.

Lack of toughness.

No competitiveness at game point.

Exposed as not a very good team.

A team on borrowed time.

A team with problems camouflaged by winning.

Poor guard play ALL season.

And, yes, he even used the B word.

Bill said they played like "babies."

Rarely will Self use more than two of these pejoratives after a loss.

I don't ever recall him using all of them.

After this loss, he used them all.

And even repeated some.

For anyone new to Bill Self's post game coach speak, playing like babies is equivalent of dipping his team in poo-poo-nasty-no-no.

It is the most biting, stinging criticism that can be leveled against a KU player, or a KU team.

It signifies something worse than any deletable expletive can.

Babies is the sub-basement, no, make that the deepest mine shaft of Bill Self's disdain.

Now, for any baby loving persons out there, and I count myself foremost among them, I am sure Bill Self loves babies as much as the most compassionate nurturer out there, when said babies are swaddled and in the arms of their parents and cooing and crying and suckling, as they are meant to be and do.

But he does not love them, when they are wearing KU uniforms and "running stuff" on James Naismith Court before a cheering, full house on a day when Self's old school is the opponent.

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monkeehawkSL8 1 year, 2 months ago

It seems as though many posters are looking at TCU as some kind of scrimmage against a junior high church league team. If the Hawks go into this game with a simular attitude the result could be far worse than loosing to a very gifted Ok.St. team.

Recent history in college ball shows us that anything can happen. Maybe the attitude of this site is the same type of thinking at the core of the Jayhawks dysfunction.

Take no one, nothing for granted. Everything has to be earned. If anyone who spends time on this site has an opportunity to talk to Perry please encourage him to lift his head up. Perry's body language suggests he's just kicking the sh#*!%t out of himself. Perry, have fun, it's OK, "play". Love these Jayhawks! All of them.

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William Blake 1 year, 2 months ago

Elijah has some real problems. If you look at his entire career at KU you will realize he's a guy who has always brought doubts with him to the court. He's had shooting droughts in the past, sometimes lasting for months. This year, he's bringing that background of low esteem to a very different Jayhawk team.

In previous years, EJ played mostly at his natural position, the 2-guard. He never had to carry the team on his back (except briefly when TT was injured).

Now he's the centerpiece of a team with high fan expectations, a top ranking, he's playing out-of-position, still has esteem issues, hobbled by bad knees, and running an offense with no real plan of execution. There is no high-low.

This team is capable of high TOs because there is no structure away from the ball. What offense are we running? Where are the primary, secondary, on-ball, off-ball, backdoor, blind screens?

Screens do more than just open up a player to shoot. They are used to open up a player to get the ball. Screens are used to wear down defenses. Screens are used to keep defenses honest who play tight on the offense. Haven't you ever seen a defender nailed by a blind screen?

When you don't "move and plant" well (setting screens) other parts of the game suffer. Suddenly, defenses play tighter, and the offense makes more TOs. Suddenly, it becomes tough to get your real scoring threats the ball where they can score. Suddenly, defenses have plenty of energy because they are no longer fighting through screens.

I'm amazed we don't have even more TOs. The margin for error on our passes gets tighter and tighter as our opposition plays us tighter with plenty of energy.

Since the new year, we've been living in a dream and we've been under-developing, while most other teams we play are learning to execute better. We are in need of a big developmental leap now. We need to establish a real offense and address the issues and holes we have in our game.

I wish we had Zach Peters right now! Though... someday Perry will be a scoring star! And my answer to start Perry and give him more PT doesn't necessarily mean cutting Kevin's minutes. Kevin isn't a 4 anyways. He's a 3. Perry is closer to a 4.

Now I wish Jeff would have put a little bit more of his practice time on developing his post offense rather than becoming the best blocker in college basketball. If we hadn't lost Zach, it might not have mattered so much.

The pressure is on CS... not as much on EJ. It is CS who has to resolve the puzzle... he's missing a couple of pieces. You can't win it all only with defense. Those ugly wins masked our offensive deficiency. OSU did not play stellar defense yesterday, and a typical CS team from the past would have exploited OSU for more points and more margin.

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bennybob 1 year, 2 months ago

"Let’s just call it like it is ... we are mentally tough in some ways, but physically this is our softest group of all time”

"We get by and fake it sometimes, but we aren’t real thick and we aren’t real strong."

Striaght from the coaches mouth. when your front court consists of 2 "bigs" who both tip the scales at under 235 lbs your going to get pushed around inside.

Selfs MO has always been Hi-Lo, inside-out, basketball on the offensive end. He doesn't have the talent down low to run that scheme this year which is a big reason why i think the offense is struggling.

I'm scared to imagine what Cody Zeller would do to us int he tournament.

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kay_you 1 year, 2 months ago

Hate losing at home but I think yesterday’s loss was a good thing. It took some late minute heroics by a bench player just to put us in the position to tie the game. Even if EJ doesn’t turn the ball over we are forced to take a low percentage shot just to get to OT. Coach said it best, we have been living on borrowed time. It’s part of the maturation process and this team needs to mature.

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Ethan Berger 1 year, 2 months ago

I'm ready to see Naadir start, but he also has been sloppy with the ball. He is the problem with our offense. We don't know how to escape the trap. They dribble to half court, by the side line and pick up the ball. The closest guy is across the court on the same spot. So then we become a turnover machine team. The trap has been killing us since conf play. If we could break the trap, then I bet our offense would run much more smoothly. Everyone needs to work on their lazy passing. We are only a two loss team, who went on a rampage the last time we lost. We will be fine.

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William Blake 1 year, 2 months ago

Mid-Season Report Card -

  1. Athleticism - A
  2. Conditioning - A+
  3. Fundamentals - D
  4. Execution - D
  5. Effort - C
  6. Leadership - F

We needed this loss. We needed this loss weeks ago. January was a disaster for KU development. We were living in a bubble... a bubble of squeek-out victories, ugly winning, and luck. I don't know how many games we were lucky to come out with a "W" but it was a bunch, because no one was red-hot from trey against us, even when we weren't guarding tight. This game was so over-due... the exclamation point was it happened in AFH, our guarded museum for the entire game of basketball.

I know which Jayhawk I'm ready to blame for this loss... hmmmm.... it's got to be EJ, right?

The Jayhawk who lost this game for us is Zach Peters. Someone mentioned the other day how CS understood the game of basketball is a puzzle requiring all the right pieces to complete successfully. We are missing a piece (or maybe two)... and in this game, it was Zach Peters.

Here is why...

This is the absolute worst team Bill Self has had at Kansas concerning the game of basketball played below the belt. That became apparent against a team like OSU, who has thick players well-rooted on the playing surface. They controlled the game below the belt. When they set a screen, it held... when they needed rebounding position... they got it.

Fans needs to realize how bad this is. We lost this game twice yesterday. We lost the first half to a team that executed a game plan on offense where treys reined them to victory (by use of primary and secondary screens). We lost the second half to a different team; a team who couldn't hit the trey so they executed offensive rebounding for second-chance points. We are missing fundamentals... fundamentals on playing below the belt. That's what we lost with the loss of Zach Peters. And to lose this guy in practice every day, banging on the other guys to work below the belt, we lost something monumental.

We've lost the offense that CS has used to build his record at KU. The "high-low" is history, and Zach Peters could have been the 4 and 5 to give us an offensive post presence right away.

We have no structured offense.

Yes... EJ's play was atrocious. He's having several problems (he's had all season) and it certainly showed in this game. It's not going to work to yell at this guy to play better. There are fundamental problems with this team, and until those fundamentals are fixed, we won't be having stellar PG play... regardless who that PG is.

We need a player in the post who can score. Kevin isn't going to become a post scorer working with his back to the basket. I only see one post player on this team capable of bringing back the high-low... and you all know who I've been selling for weeks now. And that player needs a ton of PT in order to be effective. Those minutes of experience between now and tourney time are vanishing every game.

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CalBBaller 1 year, 2 months ago

KU is in a tough position. This team does not have a dominant offensive player. BMac could be that player, but it does not seem that is his style. Jeff Withey does not have the offensive ability or skill to be dominant. He will score his points, but he loses the ball too easily and is unable to bull people over when in a crowd. Unless KU changes their approach to the game and gets tougher and plays a full game, I see three more losses on the horizon (KState, OK State and Oklahoma) and that may mean they don't win the Big 12. Maybe that streak is an albatoss for them. They look like they are playing not to win, but to keep from losing.

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Hoosierhawkfan 1 year, 2 months ago

Would like to see AWIII EARLY vs TCU.

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Bob Bailey 1 year, 2 months ago

What a shame our team plays on Big 12 Network! A lot of fans are missing out. Half my time is spent in KS, the other half in OH. Not about to reschedule my TV twice to get those games! And the radio can't come on the computer any more.

Bad news for out of the time zone fans. Can't believe it helps recruiting either. Do SOMETHING to get our non-residents the message!

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Woody Cragg 1 year, 2 months ago

TCU will be a superior opportunity to inject some much needed new blood in the rotation-Adams & White for sure. Just what the Dr ordered. Let Jeff set a spell & give Traylor or Ellis more min also. If they rack up the fouls, then just go back to the Fro & Whiff. After all it's TCU. Give Nadir the start & let Johnson come off the bench. Go ahead & pi$$z em' off, you called out the team for a nut check, so see what they have? Drop all the dimes in your pockets, quarters too. Then we'll all see how deep you stand in the caca & just how far public embarrassment or peer pressure will take them. Wasn't it Lombardi who said "Fear is the greatest motivator?"

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Robert Brock 1 year, 2 months ago

Our defense failed. Evidence: OSU scoring 85 points. That is 20 more than they should have scored if we had played hard D, rebounded properly etc.

1

utahjayhawk 1 year, 2 months ago

Excellent points, HEM. Do you think that Coach still has the passion for KU that I believe he had in the past? I thought there might be a time when he left for the NBA eventually but his comments recently about looking at the OSU job a few years ago and that it was "not the right time" were pretty surprising to me.

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flyingfinn 1 year, 2 months ago

A lot of the attention is on EJ and perhaps rightfully so, whether he likes it or not he is our point guard now not a shooting guard and so when the shots are not falling as a point guard you do not continue to shoot (aka 3-14) but look to set up those that can make shots and focus on not commiting so many turnovers. Note a lot of fans blaming this on a poor offensive performance, REALLY, we scored 80 points. The truth is we did not play our usual very good defensive game and for those railing over ugly defensive wins, how well do you like them now.

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Beate Williams 1 year, 2 months ago

I csn't believe there are so many coaches on this site that are better than Self, not to mention all of you who are better players than the crew Self puts on the floor. I'm aghast that you are not playing in the pros or already in the HOF.

The team plays soft, as Self has said. I beleive Self knows how to handle this situation and will handle it. As much as I hate to lose and really hated to lose this game, I would much rather lose being in front of the race at this time of the year, than losing the third week of March because of softness.

Self said last week the team had the impression they could not lose, the mind set that regardless they will win in the end. Yesterday they were shown, simply because you have Kansas on your jersey you are not going to win. You have to do those extra things if you are going to win, rebound, go after all lose balls, play defense out of your mind for 40 minutes and take no prisoners when it is all said and done. I do think yesterday and today and tomorrow that message has been and will be pounded into their brain.

I'm not sure how many of you have played college ball and run against those hard screens, against some very hard bodies; but to say that TRel was not doing his job is totally ludicrous. He was all after Brown and some of those shots Brown made were well beyond the line and if you watch the game again, you will see how well they set those screens and how well the screens were utilized. OSU was psyched for this game and gave everything they had, and the guys giving everything they had are in fact good ball players and had a good day. But as someone said earlier, statistically the game was very close, it's those 50-50 balls and the careless TOs that ended up spoiling the day for the KU faithful...but the sky is not falling and I sincerely believe this game will prove to be a turning point for this team.

Because of this loss I can't all of a sudden believe I know more than Self and that I'm a better ball player than half of the team or that I know how the team should be constructed and put on the floor; I'm not in practice and I don't have a NC under my belt nor 8 conference championships to my credit.

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Justin Kruse 1 year, 2 months ago

The offensive boards and put-backs killed us just as much, if not more so, than EJ's turnovers. Basics...block out, hit FREE throws, and protect the ball.

Wish our next game was KSUck or Baylor instead of TCU.

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GreatJake 1 year, 2 months ago

Wishing the Hawks get game, toughness, mojo or whatever

Hate to say it but the last 4-5 games have been boring and painful to watch.

In the past there may have been one game that was painful (VCU,NI) but not really boring. There have never been a string of boring and painful games in a row.

We all knew they were going to lose soon but too bad it happened at AFH. OSU played great but it was not a blowout....KU could have won at the end

The turnovers, the missed baskets from shots taken near the basket, the scoreless droughts, the bad defense (wide open 3s, offensive rebounds by the other team, no blocking out). If they could just fix one of those problems

AW3 - thanks, like your story and like your game and hope to see you play some more. Nice to see someone come off the bench and make some plays fast and at a critical time.

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Stephan123 1 year, 2 months ago

KU played very poorly. OSU played with passion and had a hot hand shooting 3's. Nonetheless, we only lost by 5 points.

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Jack Wilson 1 year, 2 months ago

This issue is not new. I pointed it out very directly after the UNI loss and got hammered for it here. I pointed it out after VCU. I’ve pointed it out sporadically since. In all his comments, it was and always has been about the players, and their failings, and failure to execute, and their shooting. Never … it might have been me (coach Self), or the system, or the decisions. Always the players. I have paid great attention to this over the years. The best the guy can ever do is toss in a gratuitous “and we have to coach it better” every so often, but only after listing the litany of his players’ failings.

Look just down I-70 to coach Snyder. After Baylor loss, a much bigger loss in scope than our loss to OSU, Snyder was class. He talked about overall team issues. Not trashing his senior Klein who had a horrible game, which was the actual truth. Snyder made a clear point saying that the problem was his coaching – “Snyder said the problem was that he didn't coach his players well enough leading up to the game.” Snyder was composed. He was the leader.

Perhaps Self can learn from his failings – how he handled the post-game – in the same way he asks his players to learn from theirs. His handling of the post-game yesterday was a disgrace. It doesn’t have to be that way in future.

Personally, I expect more from our coach. We all should.

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Jack Wilson 1 year, 2 months ago

I would say this to coach Self – man up. Take responsibility. You get the accolades and praise for the wins, try actively taking responsibility for the losses. Deflect the heat from your players. But most of all, don’t engage in trashing a player, or players, in public – unless of course, it is well thought out, and well measured (as the Tharpe comments in November obviously were). You can do your best work behind closed doors. You can say all you want to say there. But back up your guys. Take some arrows. You, like all involved, are not immune. But leaders take the arrows.

Did you notice something else Self did? He made sure to say that OSU has just as much talent as we do. He said it more than once. Obviously, a little back-hand at Ford who does not have his team at 19-2; but more importantly, a Self-made bailout – no way it could have been his coaching. No possible way, right? We lost to team that has just as much talent.

Here’s my suggestion as to what a composed coach could/should have said: “This was a very poor game. I was concerned with our execution and our turnovers before today. We all saw it. Hey, this has been a constant theme. But we have some good players here. Really good players. They just have to play to their potential. Today, OSU was better. Smart and Brown were beasts. Do I think OSU is better than we are? No. I have great faith in our guys. You know, today, EJ had a tough game. But is there any other guy I’d rather go into battle with than Elijah Johnson? Absolutely not. I love the guy. We’ll get it worked out. We’re 19-2 guys. But we have to play better. And that starts with the coaching staff. When we lose, the first place to look is the coaching staff. We have to – I have to – do a better job. I put them in some tough spots today. We are going to take this ass kicking and learn from it.”

There you go. Even added in the “ass-kicking” and “beast” comments. It’s not hard, if you are humble. It’s not hard, if you are not arrogant. Coach Self acted like the spoiled “baby” yesterday, not the players.

(continued)

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Jack Wilson 1 year, 2 months ago

Lots of comments and passion. We lost. We knew it was coming. It happens. I am fine with that.

But the man who should be called out today for his inexcusable conduct is Coach Self. Not because of the game, or the loss, but because of how unprofessionally he handled the post-game.

Coach Self in so many ways makes us proud. I have said many times that he's the best coach in the nation and that I wouldn't want any other coach. I still feel that way. But yesterday, after the game, he was a disgrace.

Coach Self didn’t just identify some shortcoming or problems, he threw guys completely under the bus. In particular, he trashed Elijah Johnson -- a loyal, hard-working senior who has done absolutely everything asked of him. Without him, there is no 2011-12 final four; he is a crimson and blue, Jayhawk for life. He sat, he bided his time, he didn’t transfer, he has adjusted to the team’s scheme, he has been the consummate team player, he is obviously playing out of position. He is what makes this program - a four year player. Loyal. By all accounts, EJ is a great guy.

Now, when it gets a little tough, the coach simply hammers EJ in the post game. And he really ridiculously hammers the entire team. But the focus of Self’s daggers was EJ.

Look, I’m not a touchy, feely guy. I love in your face coaching. Not a fan of what coach Self did yesterday.

When the going gets tough, you need a leader to step up. You need composure and leadership, not blaming.

Here’s some of what I heard from coach Self in his post-game comments – we don’t have a point guard; Smart beasted our little guards – it was a man vs. boys; guard play has been horrible all year; physically softest team I’ve coached here; we play slow, with no pace; We are better with him (EJ) on the bench; All he (EJ) had to do was bounce it and shoot it .. I have no idea where he was going; and we played like “babies.”

Truth is not the issue here. Discretion is.

What I also heard in the post-game interview with Greg Gurley on the radio was a guy that had lost it. If you heard, you know what I mean. He was angry, he was just scorching the earth behind him. His tone, demeanor, and delivery lacked composure and professionalism. I was surprised Gurley concluded the interview so quickly when Self seemed so willing to talk, but I think he sensed what I did – it didn’t sound good for KU basketball. Make no mistake, his actions after the game were not some planned scheme to motivate. His actions were that of a guy who had lost control of his words and emotions.

(continued)

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Mike Barnhart 1 year, 2 months ago

Bill Self teams have lost in AFH when KU scores at least 70 points - TWICE!!!!

TOUGHNESS!!! Read Jay Bilas' definition of toughness and you'll agree, our team falls short. Come March, remember this: the toughest Bill Self teams play for national championships and the softer Bill self teams lose to Northern Iowa and VCU!

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jhawkrulz 1 year, 2 months ago

We scored 80 points and lost...to tell you the truth I thought our defense was our problem not our offense. Brown couldn't miss. In the last 3 minutes of the game, there were 3 or 4 offensive rebounds for scores, which really hurt us.

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kujayhawk7476 1 year, 2 months ago

Tharpe needs to shut his mouth; he's not playing very well, making stupid turnovers and shooting three's early in possessions and guess what....missing almost all of them.

Elijah just earned a seat far down on the bench; so far, he might as well stop suiting up.

If we're going to lose, I would rather lose with Rio and Andrew gaining some experience for post-season play.

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Nick Cole 1 year, 2 months ago

When your Sr. PG has the ball in his hands, team down 3 at home in the final seconds, and he turns the ball over... there is no other word for this than pathetic. Simply put, EJ killed us this game. He made some good plays, but he made too many bad ones to make up for it.

Congrats to OK State. I wish Smart would have come to KU, that kid is a stud. This isn't a knock on Self, but we need to recruit more hard nosed PGs. Tharpe, EJ, Frankamp (next year)... none of these guys have the kind of killer instinct of Sherron or Tyshawn or Mario or RussRob. We may be soft for some time if we don't get a hard ass like Smart into our program soon. That doesn't mean we won't win a tone of games or a Championship, it just means the chances are more slim (pun intended).

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Kye Clark 1 year, 2 months ago

  • Releford had a pretty poor game. Not the norm, so please don't think I'm totally down on him. But he let Brown get loose in the first half. I understand that he had the hot hand and OSU was doing everything they could to get him free, but when he's regarded as probably the best perimeter defender in the league, performances such as Brown's should only happen if he's willing to shoot from 5 feet beyond the arc and just gets insanely hot. That happens, you tip your cap. But his shots weren't of that variety. That being said, my biggest issue with his play today was his disappearing act on offense. I posted at half-time that we needed him to step up. He comes out and hits a 3, and I thought that would get him going. But it didn't. He doesn't shoot again for 10 minutes. We need more from him.

  • Posted this right after the game, but one positive was AW3. How about him coming in cold and draining that 3, then coming up with the steal? Impressive, and surprising. HEM, myself, and others have been advocates of giving him more minutes specifically so he could be ready when situations similar to today's come up he is ready. Given the absence of those minutes, and given his poor shooting against WVU on Monday, it was very unexpected to see him come up clutch. I still say give him minutes, but today he showed he doesn't necessarily need them to perform well in pressure situations. Could have been an aberration, but I'll take it.

In closing, no the sky isn't falling. We know OSU always gives Bill's teams fits, although it's usually in Stillwater and not AFH. Is it time to panic? Abandon any hopes of a 9th straight league crown? Of a Final Four season? Certainly not. We weren't able to gut this game out like some other recent performances, but when we play the style we've been playing it was bound to happen. It's avoidable, but perhaps some changes are in order...

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Kye Clark 1 year, 2 months ago

Anyway, I don't want to pile on the guy anymore, but I expressed my doubts last week about his ability to elevate his play back to what we saw at the end of last season. The loss today wasn't solely on him, but his play was awful. I hope he shakes it off and can come back strong, but I doubt it will happen. Today's loss highlighted everything that is deficient in his game - shooting, ability to take care of the ball, defense. And it was highlighted today by him getting severely outplayed by Marcus Smart. Smart is a great player so there's no great shame in that, but look at what Smart did - he shot 0-5 from 3 and had 2 assists vs 5 turnovers. Very EJ-esque, yet he was the player of the game. What he also did was found other ways to score and help his team, and willed them to victory. That was a senior/leader-type performance, while our senior looked like a freshman.

OK, so moving off EJ. A couple other amateur observations:

  • The game turned not on anything EJ did, but during this sequence - with 2:23 left and OSU up 1 Markel Brown misses the front end of a 1-and-1. Somehow Kevin & Jeff allow Smart to get the offensive rebound (unacceptable off an opponent's free throw). Smart sinks a jumper to put OSU up 3. Kevin turns the ball over in horrendous fashion on our next trip down the floor. Cobbins misses a jumper and there's Smart again for another offensive rebound and quickly shoots and sinks another shot with about a minute and a half left. KU went from being down 1 and should have had the ball with a chance to regain the lead, to down 5 in a 2-possession game. From there it was desperation offense and OSU shooting free throws.

  • Speaking of Kevin Young, you take the good with the bad. I went so far as to tell Jaybate that at least for this game my assertion that Perry should be eating into Kevin's minutes was wrong. You look at Kevin's stat line and it's very good. However, here's my problem with him today - he has two fouls trying to hedge 30-feet away from the basket. He had two fouls in the first half and had to sit more than usual. And picked up his 3rd foul about a minute into the second half. He took himself out of the game too much with unnecessary foul trouble. Got to be smarter than that. I can live with fouls of aggression - scrapping for rebounds, defending in the paint, out on opponents' fast breaks to make them earn them at the line. But not blocking fouls that far out can't take him out of the game.

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PhearThePhog 1 year, 2 months ago

This team has to return to going into games wanting to win and not expecting to win. In December that's how we were playing but now that we've already crowned ourselves BIGXII champ for the 9th time straight the intensity and well directed aggressiveness is lacking. The players need to decide amongst themselves, like the 08 team, that THEY want it and coaches need to sit those that they see are along for the ride. We all knew a loss was coming it just hurts more at home. We'll be OK if attitudes can change. ROCK CHALK!!!!!

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Kye Clark 1 year, 2 months ago

Posted this on the post-game discussion:

Well let's get the obvious out of the way: as many have stated, a simply awful game by EJ. Obviously this was highlighted by the plays at the end of both halves. While there has been some harsh reaction (some ridiculous and extreme), we must understand that criticism of his play is not a knee-jerk reaction to the loss. His declined play has been discussed for weeks. Lots of things have been tossed around - injuries, playing out of position, his great play at the end of last year, playing in a high school all-star game in Kentucky and sporting a KU shirt, etc. Winning covers a multitude of sins, but the loss brings some of those sins into the light.

Let me just say that EJ is a Jayhawk and deserves our support. We don't make it to the championship game last year without him, and for that we should be especially grateful to him. And if there is anything to the injury speculation and he's been playing through it, he is to be commended. However, does that give him a pass this year? I say no. Every player on this team has sacrificed and deserves the best chance at another deep run in the tournament. This is especially true of the three 5th year seniors. Should they sacrifice their last year in some sort of debt to EJ? Obviously not. And there's no way to know what the next few years will bring; this could be the young guys' best shot at a ring as well. It's almost definitely Ben's only shot. So if benching EJ gives this year's squad the best chance to win, that's what should happen.

So, does benching EJ give us a better chance to win? Many fans are fond of saying his poor play is a result of playing out of position; that he's a 2 guard and not a point guard. OK, maybe. So give Tharpe the starting PG position. Now is EJ better than BMac? No, so you can't start him at the 2. He's not better than Releford, regardless of position, so you can't swap the two out and play small (like Self did with the Collins, Reed, Brady line-ups a few years ago). So if it's a case of playing out of position, he has to be relegated to the bench.

However, playing out of position really isn't the cause of his poor play. That argument could be made if his poor play was solely based on not being able to handle the PG duties, but it's not. His poor shooting has little to do with bringing the ball up the court and initiating the offense. His lazy passes resulting in turnovers have little to do with him needing to be playing off the ball. Those passes are unacceptable regardless of position. And even as a 2, he would still be expected to handle the rock some. That excuse just doesn't fly.

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Mike Barnhart 1 year, 2 months ago

EJ, Travis and Ben all play the same position - kind of a 2/3 hybrid. They're very good spot up shooters that can cut and slash in space but have trouble creating their own shot off the bounce. In addition, they're all three poor passers. It just doesn't make sense to have them on the floor at the same time!

Problem is, Nadir is turnover prone, Andrew White is another 6'6" spot up shooter and Rio's not ready to contribute at this level. If we're not tougher than everyone else, we're not a sweet sixteen team.

Coach Self knows what we need. Either we're gonna' get VERY TOUGH in the next 30 days or March is gonna' be a sad Month.

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kcmojayhawker 1 year, 2 months ago

Bill Self said all that needs to be said in public, he will either get the team to respond or there won't a Final Four run this year. I agree with all that he said in this article. I never figured we would go undefeated in the league or at home with this roster Ben needs help that's the bottom line.

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Steve Yeakel 1 year, 2 months ago

EJ is not a quality starting PG no matter how much Bill wants him to be, but thankfully there is still time to realize that Nadir is is, give him the team, keep playing Perry more even if he does not always deserve it, we can still win the last 6 if we genet our best guys ready in time, and ket EJ and Kevin be the bench guys, let everyone get used to that and good at it before it is too late. Doing well in the Tourney is SO much more important than in the conference. Harbaugh was smart enough to put Colin over Alex and is in the Super Bowl, Bill needs to make his switches and we win it all.

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Jim Roth 1 year, 2 months ago

OSU is Self's Achilles heel (if he has one). His winning percentage against them is lower than against any other team in the conference, 66.7% (10-5). Can't blame him, though. Can you imagine any of our former players coaching against KU, and how that would feel?

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doolindalton 1 year, 2 months ago

The fact KU doesn't have a point guard and the lack of the highly technical, 6th grade skill of blocking out are what cost the game Saturday and almost cost the game against West Virginia. Opponents are sending their guards to the offensive boards and their defenders are waving them through.

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Michael Auchard 1 year, 2 months ago

A loss is a loss. It's bad, I get it.

But, we've been resting upon our interior play for too long. I'm not going to say the sky is falling here, but Elijah Johnson, and to a lesser extent his cadre of backups, need to be called out for their play. It's been, what, ten games since we've had a legitimate point guard? It's almost always a turnover when Elijah shoots, and he controls the ball like a high school sophomore who shoots (way, way) too often. I want the guy to succeed as much as anybody, but his play has just been atrocious.

But, who can you put in? No one has shown leadership on this team.

Anrio has the ability, and has gotten better recently, but I still get the feeling he wants to throw half-court alley-oops every time down the floor or drive the lane like a poor man's sophomore Tyshawn Taylor.

Tharpe is getting better. He seems to at least value the ball.

White... not a PG.

The rest of the guards are family members of coaches/former coaches.

I understand there are very few back-up options from a coach's standpoint, and that's actually a huge problem in my opinion, but I think we need to limit (at least temporarily) EJ's impact on the court. I don't know what else will work. He really should have cost us multiple games at this point, but his teammates have covered for him. In my mind, his play right now doesn't justify more than 24 minutes on the court a game.

I'm sure "when it rains, it pours," and I don't mean to beat up on any KU player, but I've felt this for a long time about Johnson. From what I've heard, a lot of other fans have, too. The problem is: who backs him up? We have no guard who's shown much in the way of leadership. I know HCBS doesn't usually check his seniors, but this might be the time.

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KCJay 1 year, 2 months ago

A very upsetting loss. The team came out flat and unprepared to play. The magic of the 'phog' can only take you so far. You have to, at least, meet it half way. This loss does not come as a surprise. In conference play, Coach Self has loss to OSU quite a few times. They are one of the most loss to schools if not the most loss to school. You can't take home lightly. They want us bad. Self defected!

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fansincewilt 1 year, 2 months ago

I think the guys are pretty tough. By Self's own words he has a #5 at 220 and a #4 at 180. We do not have a point guard and yet we are 19-2. I think the guys are playing above what should be expected. I think Self is a little out of line but probably saying what he is saying to attempt to get more out of them. We at Kansas just do not like to lose. We have a couple of forwards coming up that can rebound. The team playing way under its potential on that floor today was not Kansas. What Ford has done with this group of guys should get him fired. He has one of the best teams in the county with a pitiful record. I am proud of our guys and their accomplishments thus far. I do believe they are playing above their potential. The person that should be upset is Elijah. He is a #2 or could be a #3. This should have been his greatest year and yet he is suffering because we just could not get a point guard to play at a top ten level. It is very unfortunate for him. I hope he gets into a better situation in an overseas program. I think he will shine and maybe even make it to the NBA. We failed Elijah.

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midwest_muser 1 year, 2 months ago

Are you guys who think EJ should get "more minutes at the 2" on heroin? Play him over BMac? Ben and Trav need more shots, not less. EJ is going to have to earn his minutes vs Tharpe. If anyone left the court today with a shot of getting more minutes at the 2 (or 3) it's AW3.

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KJD 1 year, 2 months ago

January 14th against Baylor, just short of three weeks ago, there was no guard problem. None. The coaches picked Pierre Jackson as preseason player of the year and when the Bears left town there was no talk about Elijah playing poorly at the point.

December 22nd, when KU visited Aaron Craft's house, there was no guard problem that day either.

All of these "what have you done for me lately" comments are way too harsh.

Self can get wound up, right. He's playing his Alma mater and KU had a real opportunity to create a big fat lead in conference play today so he should have been up for the game. Self was definitely blowing steam after the game and should have after blowing an 8 point lead with 6 to go at home.

As for fans Johnson is in a rut right now and he well deserves our patience. Those turnovers with less than 6 minutes to go really hurt. Plenty of time to make up for it and you wouldn't want to be a TCU right now, a team who are double digit losers in all of their conference games.

As for that last play from tonights game I've watched it more than a few times and Smart did not backdown and give EJ plenty of room for the three. Smart was straddling the 3 point line, playing good D, and EJ would have had to foul him or present the ball to him just to get his toe's anywhere close to the arc line.

Smart pokes the ball away on the cross-over anyway because of good D. EJ crossed-over to Smart's left to clear space for a pass to BMac who was a cutting up and over. If BMac gets the ball he's defended well enough where Releford, who is trailing on the play, would have been the best option at the top of the arc. Same motion KU ran against Memphis State in the 2008 game, same spots on the floor, just like that same motion KU ran against Iowa State this year.

Could be time for Self to come up with some alternatives for a last shot because Okie State defended that last play as if they practiced for it.

1

nostradavid 1 year, 2 months ago

Having the #1 ranking in any poll puts a big target on you. Another loss was assured when it was slapped on us. The stat totals in the box score are all pretty close. This game could have gone either way. Congratulations to Okie State for wanting it more. The lousy feeling this will give our guys could be the best motivation they get this year. Fight like you mean it, Jayhawks!

KNOCK 'EM OUT!

KNOCK 'EM OUT! by nostradavid

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kucapcity91 1 year, 2 months ago

How does White III play about 1 min and has 4FTM and EJ played 34min and has 2FTM...we need a guard that's going to drive and get to the free frown line..

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siamsam 1 year, 2 months ago

When HCBS starts calling the team soft...watch out. TCU won't know what hit them. Now it's time to keep another streak going: not losing 2 games in a row since...I can't recall the stat but I know it's been an awful long time. Someone find that stat for us, will you?

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kucapcity91 1 year, 2 months ago

We need to start THAPRE, EJ, BMAC, TRAVE, and WITHEY!!!

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KansasComet 1 year, 2 months ago

So far we have lost a grand total of two games. 19-2 and this team is not very good, soft, can't guard, can't shoot, does not have any guards? Okay, so how did we get to 19-2 then? Louisville lost 3 in a row once they reached number 1. Their point guard Siva, was horrible in crunch time. They are starting to get it together. I believe in EJ, and apparently so does Self, because he put him back in the game. EJ will come around. We always find away. My confidence in this team is not shaken. This team is best when they defend, create turnovers and finish at the rim. OSU won in Allen for the first time since 1989. Children have been born and had babies of their own since then. What an accomplishment. The two losses are eerily similar. We had the lead with 5 minutes left, but failed to close the deal. Look on the bright side, we know EJ can shoot in a dome. So if we make it to the Sweet 16, we are in good shape. This is why I appreciate every win, because losing hurts.

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cajayfan 1 year, 2 months ago

p.s please tell me who is our toughest player/leader is? Can't, can you? Get ready to lose at Iowa Sate and Oklahoma and do we play at Oklahoma State? Cause I can tell you, they(Marcus) have no respect for KU basketball this year and I don't blame them. No problem for me if KU is a number two seed, cause I have lost respect for their toughness too.

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cajayfan 1 year, 2 months ago

If Coach Self and the players are not upset by a player who turned them down by not coming to KU and then did a flip on their home court after breaking two on-going 2012/13 reocords, then they are a bunch of wimpy anti dodge ball softies. I was angry for four hours as espn, espn news, espn 2 all showed his flip over and over again on KU's home court. PLEASE show you are not wimps and shake yourselves out of this offensive whatever it is. He showed you what he thought of you. Now show what it means to you to have sand kicked in your face on your home court, cause that is exactly what Marcus Smart did. I don't think the KU players are up for it.

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philipolson 1 year, 2 months ago

elijah is the man, but he is not a point guard. Love him as a 2 guard. Hopefully this loss will establish the need for a true point. May not happen, but I do think Tharpe should get a serious look at more minutes with elijah at 2 in the rotation.

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PSM 1 year, 2 months ago

Elijah just played himself out of the starting lineup! Naadir will be the new starting point guard.

1

jgkojak 1 year, 2 months ago

We lost a game that was a long time coming - we could have lost either of the last 5 games like this - and had White not done what he did - it wouldn't have even been close at the end.

That was embarrassing. And it was on EJ. He made bonehead play after bonehead play.

We'd be better off with Tharpe and Rio rotating at this point.

Maybe EJ needs to spend some time on the bench.

1

Robert Murphy 1 year, 2 months ago

Stop it! One more word of criticism from the morons on this board and I am going to puke We lost a stupid basketball game....get over it. This team has performed far better than any of us could have hoped. Johnson has given his heart and soul to this program. The seniors are playing now because they weren't talented enough to go to the NBA. I was critical of the team after the West Virginia game but after looking at a replay I realized there are two teams involved and others can learn to play great defense too. Folks don't always have their A game. Even Self acted a little silly after this one. If Bill Self wants better point guards then he needs to recruit them.That was a good team of athletes that Ford brought to Lawrence and look for them to win lots of games. No real embarrassment tonight.

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TexasRockChalk 1 year, 2 months ago

I agree about Ellis. How was this kid 4-time All-State or whatever? I don't mean to bash on him because he seems like a real sweet kid AND there is a quantum leap from high school to college, but today was a joke. Self was right -- we have WAY too many nice guys on this team. We need someone with T-Rob's toughness and Tyshawn's fearless approach to driving the rock into the lane and CREATING offense. What a novel concept point guards!

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Woody Cragg 1 year, 2 months ago

Babies? It's one thing to call them out for a gut check, but Self is calling them out for a nut check! I posted this morning they better have a sense of urgency on defense cause the Cowboy's guards can score a ton of points. I bet going forward we see more of Ellis or Traylor at the 4 spot-KY is getting pushed around by stronger guys and he's not strong enough to push back. And I think (hope) we'll see more of Tharpe, White, & Adams too. EJ is playing like he's in the friggin twilight zone, Wouldn't want to be practicing with those guys this week-running steps is about as far as they go for a day or two. Oh boy.

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monkeehawkSL8 1 year, 2 months ago

This team is soft. They have shown the ability to come back, yet they do not have the killer instinct to finish. This team is self destructive. Three or four possessions of aggressive sloppy play, followed by three to four consecutive turnovers. I don't have the time or desire to watch other college teams, maybe this is the norm? After each of the last 5 games I've thought sooner or later the Hawks are going to play a team that hits their shots and we are going to loose. We had our arses kicked today.

I would rather see a freshman make mistakes and develop than watch a senior continue to make the same errors over and over again. Getting beaten by a better team is painful, beating yourself is beyond painful. It's embarrassing and not what #1 seed, top 5 team does. We are neither at this point.

I do not think the position a team member is playing has anything to do with multiple errant passes, not boxing out or poor shot selection. I would like to see more AW111, Rio, Ellis, Perry lift your head up, your a Jayhawk. All rant, thanks.

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Linda Peschka 1 year, 2 months ago

Wrong gentlemen, It has nothing to do with what OSU has or doesn't have. It has to do with poor play from all positions today. Some of KU players played better than others, but none of them played well. EJ, whether he is or is not a point guard, is not the question. He is a player and knows the simple task of passing. He does not pass well at all, regardless of position he is playing. His decision making is fair at best. He should not start. Tharpe has improved, but he does not know how or will not play physical like he should. He is always standing around looking at a play instead of being in it. PEllis plays tentative like a freshman in HIGH SCHOOL and not a freshman in college. Releford has to do more offensively PERIOD. Ben has to play 40 minutes instead in spurts. Big W has to hold his postion more(he has been leaving his feet more in the last 4-5 games than what he did earlier in the year). Young has to control his "free spirit play" more and play under control when it is needed instead of dribbling into the middle and then trying to find some one to bale him out of a "ruptured duck" move. Lastly Self needs to not play those players who lack effort.

2

TexasRockChalk 1 year, 2 months ago

Let's face it folks: this was a classic trap game. Our Jayhawks were clearly looking ahead to TCU. :)

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Thephogminusix 1 year, 2 months ago

Tharpe seems like he has the right kind of mentality. The Jayhawks need to stop looking to Mclemore whenever the game needs saving, he highly talented, but we have seniors that have been here before, Mclemore needs to ed off of THEIR leadership and confedence, not the other way around. The bench needs more mins, and Tharpe needs to start over EJ, at least for now, because I do think Johnson may be hurt in some way, he is def not the same player he was when he first started getting major minutes years ago. All in all though, even though it was at AFH, the team still looked like they were going through the motions, but the Jayhawks are entitled to lose a handful of games before the tournament, you evolve when you figure out what you did wrong, and it's always more of a learning experience when you take a loss. I think they'll bounce back because whenever we're ranked top 5 for some reason, they play like we have everything to lose, the stupid home-game/all around winning streak is what got to em, I'm not worried about my Hawks, the pipes have now bursted!

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KJD 1 year, 2 months ago

KU started to play a whole lot better as a team when Self allowed his starters to play together for the first 5 to 6 minutes of each half in mid-December. This includes EJ starting at the point. Result is a 19-2 record, including a tie for the second longest win streak in the Bill Self era. That's good. Time to find the next level.

The starting 5 is the starting 5. EJ plays the point. He did stick that 2 with 18 to go. Naadir or Ellis will be the first sub off the bench as it has been. Traylor, White, Rio are the depth guys. The starting 5 has created solidity for this team and will continue to do so. It would be very surprising if either Naadir or Perry suddenly bloomed to the extent where you had to disrupt the rotations chemistry.

Typically Releford has been the last of the starting 5 to sit in each half. McLemore, when he is not in foul trouble, is typically on the court with Travis, Tharpe, Ellis and Traylor subbing in to make up our unit around the 13-11 minute mark of each half. That has been typical of each half for many games now and has been very successful. There are definitely small exceptions though that is the general map and can be tweaked a little still-like more White or Ellis/Tharpe a bit earlier.

Bill Self will not hit the panic button. Teams have got to keep growing.

The team is cool. Travis Releford is a cool, laid-back guy. BMac seems real laid back, just like Jeff has been laid back in the past. Jeff found his grit around this time last year. EJ is a chill, fun guy too and keeps finding his way at the point. EJ has had a lot of success. Young is the one out of the 5 who is the most amped up, giddy one on the court so that is a chill first 5. This 5 has shown that they can play at a high level together. That was established at Ohio State. They can still grow. Self knows they need to.

When the team is down like they were today by double digits to a team that was playing really well, with Smart being Smart and Brown shooting lights out to build that early lead, that cool temperament was a big bonus. KU was up early in the second half which showed KU's poise and fight. KU has shown that they can close a game too so getting beat in the last 6 minutes at home today was a punch in the gut.

Seems like Self in his post-game conference has gone back to what he has been saying this season. This team needs to find a more aggressive, competitive edge in their 40 minutes of play. He's been on BMac and Ellis to be more attacking, aggressive with the ball. BMac can be so quiet throughout a game and still hang 18-23 points: crazy upside.

So today EJ tries to step it up and be more aggressive on the offensive side of the ball, just like Self has been pleading. It doesn't work out for him. It doesn't work out for the team today. Tough match up for EJ going up against a true point guard lottery pick. KU needs to keep plugging away and they'll keep getting better, they'll keep finding ways to improve.

2

jackoman 1 year, 2 months ago

texasdochawk is correct. OSU is a real good team got two guy we went after that turned us down. they will go a ways in the tournament. More athletic like the announcers kept saying today.

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Scott Smetana 1 year, 2 months ago

I've never heard Self so verbally hard on his team. I actually thought we played pretty well today against a determined and hot team. EJ screwed it up in the end. I'm on the Tharpe wagon... he creates offense. I trust Self, of course, but don't understand why he's the one that seems in the doghouse all the time. Maybe it's his defense?

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F1J1_hawk 1 year, 2 months ago

Thought Nadir offered a little redemption today. Loved his shot selections and a little better with the ball. Afraid he'll need to carry more of the load until EJ can turn it around. TT did it, so can EJ.

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LSHawk 1 year, 2 months ago

and by the way, if this team doesnt go into stillwater and kick thier ass by 20, then I would say we will be an early out in the tourny....this team must step up now and start asserting itself.

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jackoman 1 year, 2 months ago

Coach Self has a right to be mad. The team looked dead today. I would have sat EJ's but on the bench. Tharpe should be starting. He is alot better ballplayer than EJ. Where was Releford today. If he just in for defense that's crazy cause nobody guards Young so that means we have 2 people that nobody needs to guard, and EJ's not that much of threat so we have 2 people that 5 defenders have to worry about. Crazy. They had no desire or enthusiam today. Dead. Tharpe should start, just cause EJ's a senior. White should be playing more too.. We'll have about 3 more losses on road trips with this attitude. Releford needs to shoot the ball cause he didn't stop any body on defense. No leadership at all. Get it together guys and Coach. They just wanted it more than we did

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LSHawk 1 year, 2 months ago

EJ is no point and the turnovers are just killers. We have to stop the lazy, crappy passes and we need to find a true point to lead the offence. Its time to sit EJ for awhile and play Tharpe, AW3 and Rio in his spot. But HCBS is correct, today they were just the better team, more physical and they just wanted it more.

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BPSkelly 1 year, 2 months ago

EJ maybe hurt. But in reality he is NOT a point guard, not even a 'shoot first' point guard, and the idea that we were going to push him into that role to me is hugely problematic.

What I find striking is that Self's comment about not having a point guard. Well no #@$% Bill, who's fault is that? It's not like he didnt know Taylor was leaving. I even remember thinking in the afterglow of last years run them talking about the idea that EJ would play point, and my thinking then wasnt and isnt different than it is now. It's crazy, and it obviously wont work against teams of comparable talent.

Rare is a team of Self's earned the public ire of him after a game to this extent. But again, while EJ is playing poorly, Im convinced forcing him into that role has a lot do with our issues. Thats hardly his fault. Self's inability to keep the point guard role with an actual point guard is. He's shown he can do it with Chalmers, Collins, Taylor. All 3 were shoot first point guards, but all 3 were at least point guards.

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Scott MacWilliams 1 year, 2 months ago

“The thing about it is we play so slow. We play with no pace offensively. We don’t put any pressure on anybody defensively. I wish we could play without guards to be honest with you, but that would be kind of an ugly game if you have five big guys playing out there at all times,” Self said.

Ouch! It's too bad this had to happen at home, but I could see it coming. Here's hoping that it gets better from here on out. My guess is that they will be on fire after this ugly loss.

Rock Chalk!!!

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ahpersecoachingexperience 1 year, 2 months ago

Remember when that one guard took over for TT last year when he was suspended. Where did that guy go?

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theend 1 year, 2 months ago

Self is not just making these comments to spark the team.......I sense he knows there are major problems. It's mainly EJ. But I'm done being negative about him. I really do think it's injury. He's not the same. And if he's hurt.....he sure doesn't deserve all the criticism.

Well........probably a good time to have TCU on the schedule.

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Lifelong_Jayhawk 1 year, 2 months ago

I can't remember the last time I heard Coach Self sound so angry in all my life.

The next few days of practice between now and the TCU game are going to be hell on earth for the KU players.

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Boouk 1 year, 2 months ago

I'd like to see Withey get more touches in the post with Elijah struggling mightily offensively.

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