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Saturday, February 2, 2013

Keegan

Opinion: Point guard Marcus Smart shows KU what it’s missing

Kansas guard Elijah Johnson watches from the floor as Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart recovers a fumbled ball by Johnson with seconds remaining in the game on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse. The turnover nullified the the Jayhawks' comeback effort. At right is Kansas guard Ben McLemore and Oklahoma State guard Markel Brown.

Kansas guard Elijah Johnson watches from the floor as Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart recovers a fumbled ball by Johnson with seconds remaining in the game on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse. The turnover nullified the the Jayhawks' comeback effort. At right is Kansas guard Ben McLemore and Oklahoma State guard Markel Brown.

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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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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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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

Six seconds less than a minute remained and the home team trailed in Allen Fieldhouse by eight points. In fairy tales, and sometimes even in real life, this is when the senior leader straps the team to his back and carries it home safely. It didn’t go that way Saturday for Kansas University senior guard Elijah Johnson. Not much has so far this winter for the second-year starter whose move from shooting guard to point guard has equated to a shift from efficiency to inadequacy.

You can’t lead a team to a dramatic comeback victory from the bench and that’s where Johnson headed with 54 seconds left, replaced by seldom-used freshman Andrew White III. When White signaled to Johnson to let him know he was replacing him, Johnson appeared to freeze in disbelief for a second and then headed to the bench.

“It’s sad,” Kansas coach Bill Self said of having to make that move at that moment. “But we needed something and we were definitely a better team with him over there sitting down next to us and putting somebody else in the game.”

That somebody else, White, hit a three-pointer, made three of four free throws, scored six points and made a crucial steal in 54 seconds.

Johnson’s brief eternity on the bench lasted 30 seconds. He still had a chance to put perfume on a stink bomb, and he looked as if he were primed to do so. After Oklahoma State’s magnificent man-child of a freshman point guard, Marcus Smart, made one of two free throws with 24 seconds left to put the Cowboys up three, Self flashed two fingers, reminding Johnson a quick two was the play. Johnson, faster speeding straight ahead than he is quick moving laterally, turned on the jets and needed just five seconds to go the distance for a layup that trimmed the deficit to a point with 19 seconds left.

After Phil Forte — son of former KU football player (1983-86, defensive lineman) of the same name — made a pair of free throws with seven seconds left to pump the lead to three points, the last chance to keep alive an 18-game winning streak was placed in the hands of Johnson. Most in the building figured that Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford wouldn’t let it come to that and would order a foul since all the research shows it’s the smart play. Ford went against conventional wisdom.

Johnson dribbled the ball to the right wing and attempted to get past Smart with a cross-over dribble. For what purpose? Kevin Young said afterward Johnson’s intention was to pass it to Ben McLemore for a three-pointer. Self wasn’t sure what his intention was, and Johnson was unavailable for comment. Whatever the design, it blew up. Smart stole the ball and pitched it forward to Forte for a layup at the buzzer. Oklahoma State 85, Kansas 80.

Smart responded to the final buzzer with a backflip, which would have qualified as a “did-I-just-see-that?” moment if he hadn’t already pulled off so many amazing plays at winning time.

Of all the aspects of Johnson’s rough day (3-for-14 overall shooting, 1-for-7 from three, six assists and four turnovers), the final play ate at his coach the most.

“I thought they’d foul and they didn’t foul,” Self said. “They backed off and Elijah had a wide-open three. All he had to do was bounce it and shoot it. He tried to go past him and crossed over right in front of a guy. I mean, I had no idea where he was going, but certainly not a good play. We had a shot. They backed off.”

Nobody made more big shots for Kansas in its improbable run to the NCAA title game last season than Johnson. That was when Tyshawn Taylor, too quick for any one man to guard, broke down the defense and created opportunities for others. Filling Taylor’s role has made for a tougher challenge for Johnson, who in the past seven games has as many turnovers (24) as assists.

Self the general manager has made life tougher this season on Self the coach than in most years.

“We don’t have a point guard,” Self said. “We’re playing with two guards, which is OK, a lot of people have to do that.”

What’s lacking?

“Poise,” Self said. “Understanding of the game, getting us into rhythm. We’re really not doing much of anything on either end. I mean, it was bad defense too. It’s disappointing because we’re better than what we played. The thing about our team is, and it’s not hard to see if you watch it, we’ve only got one ballhandler in the game. Travis (Releford) and Ben (McLemore) are recipients of other people’s ballhandling. They’re not guys who go do it themselves. And when you put them in positions to be your play-makers or be the guy who controls the ball, and that’s not who we are. That’s not how you can run good offense and look good.”

When Kansas climbs back from big deficits, such as Saturday and in the Big 12 opener in Allen Fieldhouse, it seems McLemore finds a way to get more shots up, so for him and teammates to bring some of that urgency to all game situations can’t hurt. But it all starts with the primary ballhandler.

“We’ve obviously got to get some things corrected and get better guard play and I’m not putting it all on Elijah, but that was a really poor game, obviously on both ends,” Self said.

Kansas lost this game when Smart said no to Self and yes to Ford.

“He was terrific down the stretch,” Self said of the 6-foot-4, 225-pound native of Flower Mound, Texas. “He definitely whipped our guards. I mean he whipped them. That was a physical beat-down that he put on our guys.”

If anything, point-guard play becomes more important in mid-March, when the Cowboys will be in good hands with Smart at the controls. Kansas? It usually finds a way to overcome its flaws, Saturday being the exception, not the rule.

“Our ballhandling and our guard play has been terrible all year,” Self said. “And certainly today was no exception.”

Comments

Sam Constance 1 year, 2 months ago

I'M SO ANGRY YOU GUYS!

We lost at home, dropping Self below .500...

...for Big 12 titles to Home losses.

Think about that statistic again. Remember all the great ways in which EJ has contributed to and given his body for KU Basketball. Look at how infrequently we have to experience this feeling compared to other fanbases.

THEN SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP. Let's at least wait until we have some actual controversy and losing issues before our website is overrun with doom and gloom.

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Jeremy Wilhelm 1 year, 2 months ago

I'm just going to refer every one back to this page of panic when it all clicks for Elijah in the next few games and he's playing well again. You all need to relax.

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Kevin Huffman 1 year, 2 months ago

I did have the thought. Why in the heck would you choose Okla. St. over KU if you were Smart. All I can think of is that Ford probably promised that he'd likely start from the get-go and Self was probably less promising.

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Kent Noble 1 year, 2 months ago

EJ is going through some tuff times right now. But lets look at the big picture, the whole starting 5 throws the ball away. We are averaging 12 plus turnovers a game it's not just EJ, everybody is having really stupid turnovers. Stupid is, is what stupid does and our turnovers are youthball turnovers. What I don't understand is coach Self jumps all over Nadir for taking a three point shot at somtimes the wrong time, but I would rather have that than throw the ball right to the other team. At least we have a chance to score instead of throwing the ball away. I never seen a KU team that throws the ball away as much as this team, I mean come on people 4 starting Seniors & 1 freshman that's ridiculous.

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budsitz 1 year, 2 months ago

KU is paying Bill Self $3 million a year for this pathetic offense? Excluding the one actually decent offensive performance during conference play (ISU @ home), the half-court offense is degrading into three perimeter players that are unable (Johnson and McLemore) or unwilling (Releford) to score. The bench is not providing any offense, either. And, then we have interior players that seem incapable of making point blank layups. How many point blank layups has Young missed? And yet, Young is the only starter that shows consistent energy and gets to the free throw line. I will list the stats since ISU: In 223 minutes, Johnson hs made 21-58 FGs 7-26 3Pt, 10-13 FTs 24 TOs and scored 53 points. In 253 minutes, Releford has made 28-49 FGs, 6-15 3pts, 17-19FTs, 10 TOs and scored 79 points. In 223 minutes (of a possible 280), McLemore has made 36-71 FGs, 18-37 3PTs, 24-29 FTs, 21 TOs (almost has bad a passer as Johnson), and scored 108 points. Tharpe is the only sub with over 100 minutes in conference play, in 127 minutes he has gone 11-38 FG, 6-26 3PT, 7-8 FTs, 11 TOs for 35 points. Total bench scoring since ISU is a grand total of 72 points! Young has 52 points and Withey has scored 84 points. No one has fouled out. So what is this saying? The stats indicate that this is a very passive team that does not drive the ball, does not get to the free throw line, is extremely prone to poor passing, and can not count on any offensive support from the bench. To get guys moving, they should institute a motion offense that would require some decent screening motion and get the perimeter players to the foul line. Only Withey and Young are going to the line, and they are the poorest FT shooters. A good defense can only carry a team so far. Letting a 6-4 guard get 8 Offensive boards did not help, either When has any of the guards taken a charge?

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Dyrk Dugan 1 year, 2 months ago

yes, it was a bad play at the end...a missed play. EJ didn't have a good overall game....so the last 7 seconds are really a microcosm of the entire day.

but to put the game's defeat at the hands of one player is ridiculous. mult. players had three plus TOs....we gave up a lot of O rebounds at the worst times.....we had a stretch of the beginning of the game and at the end of the game, where we gave up 44 points in 18 total minutes...that's an absurd pace.

and think about it, if EJ had made one more shot...let alone two, which would make him 5-14 for the game, we win it.

so Coach Self, it's a fairly clear cut decision: do you think Elijah Johnson just needs to make a couple more shots a game, and work through TOs? or is it a lost cause, at 19-2 and 7-1 in the league, change lineups, insert Mr. Tharpe, and bring EJ off the bench?

i don't believe one loss in league play merits the latter. but we indeed shall see.

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KU 1 year, 2 months ago

Don't take my previous comment as anti-Self. I am a huge fan of Bill Self. My point is just that a coach will attract the type of player that fits his style and opposing coaches will use his style against him to sway recruits to sign elsewhere. We have been fortunate enough over the last decade that a sufficient number of Self's combo guards proved they COULD handle the pressure and the ball when called upon. This year, we don't have that luxury. I was never a big fan of EJ. Even after he had a good run at the end of last year, I thought he would return to his trend line. He has never been an especially good ball handler or passer or defender. The only time he has shown himself to be an adequate shooter was the last 10 games of last season.

At this point of the season, Self has 2 choices: stay with the known quantity for better or worse and hope the defense is enough to carry the team through the post-season, or switch to Naadir/Anrio and hope their inexperience is offset enough by an ability to make the offense better. Knowing the Self/Sadler braintrust, I would put my money on them opting for the status quo.

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offline 1 year, 2 months ago

Self is not a recruiter and it has shown in the past few years, remember Morningstar, what a dud he was and it is just that, Self cann't recruit players, Players that are worth anything are not interested in KU and Self. KU will lose at least 5 more games and that will make it difficult for KU to get into the NCAA Tournment and no big 12 title. The only good chance would be to replace Self with Doc Sadler who can coach.

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KU 1 year, 2 months ago

It is no surprise why Self has missed out on the top point guards the last decade. Number 1, his philosophy is to run two combo guards so the opponent can't cut the head off his offense. He doesn't really value a true point guard as much as other coaches.....at least that is what opposing recruiters are saying when the make home visits to the top PG prospects, which brings me to Number 2: opposing programs can use Self's own words about his philosophy about guard play and the evidence of his Illinois and Kansas rotations to prove that a true point guard migt not fit Self's system.

Consider Nebraska football under Tom Osborne. Would he ever have a chance to get the top pro-style QB recruit, despite all his success?

1

HawkInAL 1 year, 2 months ago

Meh. This team has won ugly all year by playing hard-nosed defense and leading the nation in FG % defense. They haven't given up 60 points since the Iowa State game until the Cowboys dropped 85 yesterday.

-Give up 85 points at home and you deserve to lose. Plain and simple.

This team needs to embrace who they are: play gritty defense, let Ben score 15-20, Jeff 10-15 and figure out where the 30 points will come from on a game by game basis. Score 60 and win. That's who this team is, plain and simple.

In two years the freak show will be in town with Greene, Seldon, Embiid, Frankamp, Rio, AW3, Traylor, Ellis. Loads of firepower.

In the meantime, I'm happy clubbing teams to death and winning while scoring in the 60's.

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Tony Bandle 1 year, 2 months ago

Love the expression of the blonde cheerleader in the top photo right above EJ. She looks like she just walked in on her parents "doing it!!"

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Robert Brock 1 year, 2 months ago

Two big recruiting failures last year: Kaleb Tarczewski and Marcus Smart. This team would look a lot better if we had landed those two. Pity.

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WindmillGIANT 1 year, 2 months ago

The season is over half over and we haven't won the National Championship yet! My god! How can this be? What's to be done?!

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Doug Cramer 1 year, 2 months ago

EJ - This Jayhawk is behind you !!! You've got a little adversity to get through...and it's gonna feel great when you pull through...and help us bring home a national championship !!!

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AirCapJay 1 year, 2 months ago

How does Self lose a recruit to Ford? The Kansas program is so strong I can't fathom the idea that any good player would want to play anywhere else. Self needs to do a little introspection and figure out why he is losing great recruits like Smart.

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Max Ledom 1 year, 2 months ago

Well hey, lets all just jump ship! 19-2?! No sir get me off of this sinking ship! Please everyone, shut up. As I recall we have had tight games in the past 5. But if you remember correctly the team that took us to the title last year did not have "dominated every game" on their résumé either. EJ is a capable player. He will be fine. He will get better. We are only in February! The way fans are acting is ridiculous. This is not us. What EJ needs right now more than anything is our support and loyalty. We are 19-2. Still will be top 5. Doesn't matter how we won our games, a Win is a Win. And that's what this team does. Win. Don't head for the life boats yet gang. We got a lot of basketball left, and Captain Bill isn't gonna just roll over and die. No, no. Rock Chalk to the ceiling! Time to ride or die!

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RCJHGOKANSAS 1 year, 2 months ago

several people have complained about P Ellis not being good.....Remember the twins when they were freshmen? They were terrible...Self was wondering if they could even dunk.

P Ellis is going to be great.....even if he is a nice guy that doesn't shoot BB guns from the windows of jayhawk towers....

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Michael Leiker 1 year, 2 months ago

Witheys lackluster performance seems to be getting lost in the shuffle after this one. He was horrendous yesterday

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Tony Bandle 1 year, 2 months ago

The depth of Jayhawk Nation's passion is only matched by the soaring heights of angst after a loss:

*We are 19-2.

*We just lost only our 9th game at home IN A DECADE!

*We have all the components of a championship team,

  • This game will serve as a wake-up call for the players and coaches.

As Jayhawk fans, we are truly blessed......and spoiled. Everybody take a deep breath, watch the Super Bowl, have some really unhealthy snacks and have faith that we will fulfill our destiny.

Trust me on this...it feels a heck of a lot better to be optimistic.

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REHawk 1 year, 2 months ago

It is mighty durn late to give us a shot at correcting some of our guard problems. And I know I will get blasted for my I told you so criticism. But here goes. PLAY WHITE AND ADAMS at least 20 minutes each in the TCU contest! And please, Bill, do not give them the quick yank if we fall ten points behind. Playing the current Elijah Johnson more than 20 minutes at the point is not going to get this squad to optimum wins. I like Elijah and am respectful and appreciative of who he is and what efforts he has given the program. Right now he cannot compete against topnotch healthy athletes. Time for rest and recovery. And a differen direction.

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Bob Thompson 1 year, 2 months ago

EJ's problem is all in his head, he is trying too hard. He needs to let the game come to him. At the beginning of the season EJ said that he is the leader of this team, and put pressure on himself. Now, when things aren't going so well, he puts more pressure on himself, and things just get worse. His bad passes are a result of him forcing the play. He wants to make the play so bad that he is telegraphing the pass and taking some of the zip of the ball.

It’s the rare point guard that can put the team on his back and take over, and it’s even a rarer point guard that can get the other 4 guys involved to play better. EJ needs to get the other players more involved in the offence, and help them play better. When this happens, KU will play so much better.

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Larry Smith 1 year, 2 months ago

I just don't understatnd those who say EJ is not a Point Guard. He was a PG in high school, recruited as a pg and rated as a a pg. This notion that he isn't that position and therefore we excuse his terrible play is silly.

http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/basketball/recruiting/rankings/rank-1911

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Ferd Magellan 1 year, 2 months ago

Smart is a once-in-ten-years kind of triple threat guard. We aren't going to find someone like him. He's a massive PG who regularly out-rebounded the best high school centers in Texas. All that we need are combo guards who can shoot it well, defend at a high level, and limit their turnovers to 3-4 per game. EJ is going through a rough patch, but I know he'll return to his old form (last March) once he takes some pressure off himself. He's being asked to do something he shouldn't, but we have no choice. It's amazing what Self has been able to do with a team lacking quality ball-handlers.

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okiedave 1 year, 2 months ago

H-E-L-L-O -- Andrew White plays for 1 minute and get 6 points and 1 steal. Johnson plays for 34 minutes and gets -0- points and -0- steals. 'We may have a point guard yet.

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cajayfan 1 year, 2 months ago

Sheeesh, no wonder the KU players are a bunch of babies. You folks are not pissed off enough! Do you know how many records the Cowboys broke for us?! Maybe it started with weak hands Withey not knowing the difference between Big Country and Ostertag. But for me, it will take a looooong time to get the image of Marcus Smart on ESPN, ESPN NEWS and ESPN 2 doing a flip on our home court. Where in the hell is your indigiation?! Or your pride.....

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702Hawk 1 year, 2 months ago

Rock Chalk. KU is going to lace up it's shoes and still win the Big 12. EJ is the leader even if we have lost 2 games out of 21. We are having a awesome season, let's enjoy it. And I rather have a guy who is a true Jayhawk on my team any day then a cowboy.

1

Ralster Jayhawk 1 year, 2 months ago

Team gotta be miserable: they just gave Bill Self a carte-blanche license to chew their butts mercilessly in practice. Not good. Wouldnt want to trade places with EJ right about now. I got faith in him, but man, what a tough stretch for him...RCEJH (keep workin').

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Michael Johnson 1 year, 2 months ago

for crying out loud. we lost a game. the '08 team lost 3 games in a 7 game span. it happens.

4

HawkfromHays 1 year, 2 months ago

Today was a Tournament preview. First team we play with good guard play and a hot hand bounces us. Of course, this should be a surprise to no one who has watched this team the past 4 years.

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Ralster Jayhawk 1 year, 2 months ago

Counterpoint: Didnt EJ "run" the team admirably with a 2:1 assist/t.o. ratio last season whenever Tyshawn went out? So its a big misstatement to say he "isnt" a PG, or he "cannot" do it, since he already has, even better than Tyshawn at times if you compare A:T ratio alone. BUT, is he in a funk? You bet he is. I will wait til late March to see if he can come out of it. EJ is too much of an all-around capable player to be relegated to the bench. But I bet we see a slight shift in mpg between EJ and Tharpe. Lets see what WildBill does with this hiccup.

5

texashawk10 1 year, 2 months ago

EJ was awful today and helped shoot KU out of the game early, but Travis Releford and Ben McLemore's defense on Markel Brown needs to come under fire too because they weren't adjusting to OSU's screens at all while Brown kept launching open 3's.

Today perfectly illustrates the difference between the "Self is untouchable" crowd and the "Self's not perfect" crowd. Bill Self has missed out on every high profile PG over the past 3 classes for whatever reason and it has caught up to KU finally this season. KU is very lucky to have the expirienced talent they do, otherwise they could be in the position Texas or Kentucky are in this year.

Someone above wondered why KU doesn't run more pressure defense this year, and while I agree in principle with the idea, the reality is this team isn't capable of doing so effectively IMO. This team was at its best about 6-7 weeks ago when they were able to get out and run and ideally that's what pressing more would allow to happen, but there are two big flaws with this team that make pressing not a good idea for this team. First off, this team fouls way too much away from the basket which leads me to believe the same thing would happen when pressing. Secondly, this team does not communicate well enough to trap effectively which is the goal of running a full court press.

IMHO, unless the light bulb suddenly turns on for EJ making good, smart passes, or for Perry so KU can get its high-low offense going which opens up the floor tremendously for the guards, there's not a viable option to fix KU's problems this season. Anybody remember back in November when Self ws talking about how this team doesn't communicte very well, that problem has not gone away and is also contributing to KU's woes as well. It's either play in the low 60's or 50's and look ugly and disjointed with EJ running the show, or gain some offense with Naadir running the show at the expense of his defense and playing higher scoring games like today.

TCU is the best team in the league to experiment against as they are the worst in the league by a significant so I'll definitly be interested in seeing if Self shakes things up on Wednesday. Also congrats to the ladies on sweeping KSU today in Manhattan.

1

justanotherhawk 1 year, 2 months ago

Relax. We needed this to get the point across. We have played like crap every since conf play started and getting rewarded for it with wins. This should fire them up. Plus we get to whip TCU to get the taste out of our mouth. We are hungry now.

A drop off in the program? You nuts? We are leading the league and have the least amount of losses as anyone in the country. And almost halfway home with our 9th consecutive B12 title. We are fine. Don't set standards that no team can live up too. Think we could be UNC or UK, THEY are having a crappy year. Smile. We re 19-2.

1

Abdu Omar 1 year, 2 months ago

The only team in the Big XII that can beat Kansas is Okie State. I said that at the beginning of the season and that was proven true today. We will bounce back and our slap on the fanny will work and this is the best thing to happen to us. We will be fine, Elijah and all, will be fine. They had a bad game and OK State was tremendous. They won't beat us again. Mark my words.

D

4

KJD 1 year, 2 months ago

KU will get better. EJ will get better. We've got good guards. They'll step it up.

0

Michael Luby 1 year, 2 months ago

Nah, just lost all my confidence in EJ tonight. Its awful. We wont get past the first round in the NCAAs with him in there.

0

Richard Benson 1 year, 2 months ago

KU fans have always turned on their point guard. Fans shredded Tyshawn Taylor last year. All he did was take us to the brink of a national championship. Heck, I can remember editorial writers opining that Jacques Vaughn should be benched, so Ryan Robertson could start at point guard. Point guard is a terrible position. When a team loses, its point guard looks bad. So it was for the 'hawks today. And Elijah Johnson not only looked bad, he really did have a bad game today.

On the other hand, I thought Jamari Traylor had a really good game today. And as surely every single commentator has noted, Andrew White III had a really good game today. But in my heart of hearts I do not believe anyone has in mind either Jamari or Andrew running the point. Instead most admit that only Elijah or Naadir Tharp (or Elijah and Naadir) can do much by way of playing point guard and running the offense.

We'll most likely win the Big 12 with them. Maybe we'll give it a go in the post season. Between now and then my prayer is that Elijah and Naadir develop a much-needed thick layer of very thick skin.

4

okiedave 1 year, 2 months ago

No worries. This is a good wake up call in mid-season. KU cannot coast through the Big XII, we are not that good. OSU's intensity and focus simply surpassed our intensity and focus tonight.

3

ku1otaku 1 year, 2 months ago

Wayne Seldon come on down....

1

CrystalJones 1 year, 2 months ago

Well, why DON'T we have a point guard, Bill?!!! We are KANSAS. We ought to be able to get a point guard for crying out loud.

I am completely depressed. I know we're highly ranked and all that, but we've been skating by for a while now. We're at one of those points where the program could fall off a little. At least I hope it's just a little. We're just not as dominant as we've been in the past. I'm extremely concerned.

This has ruined my whole week. Maybe I just take KU sports too personally.

0

syceda 1 year, 2 months ago

Perry Ellis is not years away from competing in the big 12, That's laughable.

3

Tyson Ailshie 1 year, 2 months ago

This article's photo says it all.

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theend 1 year, 2 months ago

The title of this article says it all.

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Jason Keller 1 year, 2 months ago

One name. Rio Adams. Put him in right now and let him get as many bugs worked out before March as he can. He is a slasher and will open things up for ben and trav. Also, by far the best defending PG we have.

Forget Tharpe, he will always come off the bench. He is too challenged defensively.

EJ's knees are done. That is what has happened. Its taken his confidence. I feel so bad for him because he really is talented but the writing is on the wall.

Perry Ellis should have redshirted.... he is years away from competing in this league.

Without Jeff, KU is .500 in the Big 12.

Without Julius Randle, next year's team is under .500 in the Big12.

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kcmojayhawker 1 year, 2 months ago

Well both losses mirror one another, and in all reality we just don't have the supporting cast for Ben. T-Rob had Tyshawn and these guys as part of the supporting cast. The second guy has not been there, more of a 5 on 5 type team with Ben leading from the wing. Defense has to be it since this team cannot score in the eighties regularly, this is a low to mid 70 's scoring team. No secret EJ has not had a good year to this point considering he has as many TO's as assists the last half dozen games and his scoring is down. If he can get 12 points, 5 assists, 2 or less TO's, 4 boards, and play solid D this team may make a major run. Self has done a great job with these guys so far and knows his team better than anyone else and will find a way to get better guard play down the stretch and if he cannot there will not be a Final Four '13 for KU.

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ahpersecoachingexperience 1 year, 2 months ago

Did HCBS just call us "no point guard u"?

1

greenworm 1 year, 2 months ago

johnson after your 1 for 5 from downtown, stop it, maybe should have got white the 3rd in a little earlier, somebody drive to the hoop once in a while, we need a slasher someone that can drive it agressively to the rim. I hate to say it but we are overatted.. I don't remember the last time we had a great game, ku has been doing just enough to win and barely.. hopefully this will be a wake up call.. better to lose now than later..

2

Suzi Marshall 1 year, 2 months ago

The Kansas guard play is the worst it has been in years, maybe since the early 80s. I hope EJ comes through but it's been 21 games and this team needs to bring it together. EJ's killing us with poor shooting, crazy turnovers, poor judgement and defense, bad judgement. Self put AWIII on thee bench due to turnovers, surely he can not be much worse.

Ellis is going backwards. Today he looked like an out of placed HS player. i'm afraid we have been living on borrowed time and will be in for a tough close.

2

Dustin Gudde 1 year, 2 months ago

Trevor Releford wasn't recruited. He didn't slip away! Elijah shouldn't be benched or any other crazy move you guys are saying! He had a bad game and has been too passive in regular game situations and tries to turn it off and on. If anything this will be a big learning experience for him and it will make if more hungry for March!

3

Lifelong_Jayhawk 1 year, 2 months ago

Elijah doesn't deserve to play the next game. Plain and simple.

2

Justin Daniel 1 year, 2 months ago

If this team just had Trevor Releford we would be the best team in the country. How did he get away from us? he could have sat behind Taylor and stepped up this year.

0

Kye Clark 1 year, 2 months ago

Had just posted in the post-game discussion the contrast in Smart's game vs. that of EJ's today. I too have no idea what EJ was doing on that final play. Didn't Johnson balk at taking the big shot at the end of the MSU game as well?

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Ralster Jayhawk 1 year, 2 months ago

Well, Self's subspecialty is tough guard play. Work cut out, lets see what new wrinkles we see. Or, maybe he lets EJ play thru TCU and if he plays well, it serves as a get-ya-groove-back game for EJ. Put ya shooz on, EJ--we're pulling for you! We need you!

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Boouk 1 year, 2 months ago

I'll go out on a limb and say if Smart chose us over OSU we'd be the best team in the country. Fellow KU fans, is it time to give up on Elijah Johnson at PG and play Tharpe 36 minutes a game in close games? Maybe even play Releford at PG the other 4 minutes?

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