Thursday, February 7, 2013

Notebook: Jeff Withey says morale ‘pretty low’

Kansas center Jeff Withey (5) blocks a shot by TCU's Connell Crossland (2) in the Jayhawks' game Wednesday at TCU in Fort Worth, Texas.

Kansas center Jeff Withey (5) blocks a shot by TCU's Connell Crossland (2) in the Jayhawks' game Wednesday at TCU in Fort Worth, Texas.


Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self talks after loss to TCU

Kansas coach Bill Self talks after his team's 62-55 loss to TCU on Feb. 6, 2013.

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Box score


— Kansas University senior center Jeff Withey admits team morale is “pretty low” following Wednesday’s 62-55 loss to TCU, the last-place team in the Big 12 Conference.

“Losing two in a row is tough,” Withey said after scoring 12 points off 4-of-6 shooting and grabbing eight rebounds in 33 minutes.

“We have a lot more to play. We have a quick turnaround. We play at OU (Oklahoma) Saturday. We can’t ever let one (loss) become two, which we’ve already done. Now we have to nip it in the bud. We still have a chance to be great.”

KU fell at home to Oklahoma State, 85-80, on Saturday.

Individual notes

Withey, who had three blocks, is one rejection shy of tying KU’s career-blocked-shots mark. Withey has 257 blocks, Greg Ostertag 258. ... Freshman Perry Ellis made his third career start Wednesday and his first since the Michigan State game (11/13). That meant for the first time in 18 games, senior forward Kevin Young did not start. He checked in for the first time at the 14:39 mark. ... Sophomore G Naadir Tharpe hit a three-pointer at the 9:18 mark, keeping KU’s streak of games with at least one trey alive. Last game in which Kansas did not hit a three was a 100-90 win against Baylor (2/9/08). ... Red-shirt freshman G Ben McLemore’s 15 points marked the 10th-straight contest he has scored in double-digits. ... McLemore’s three assists are the most for him in a Big 12 game (career-high 5 vs. SE Missouri, 11/9/12) ... Senior point guard Elijah Johnson had zero points with a minute left in the game. He finished the night with eight thanks to two three-pointers and two free throws. ... Young is the only Jayhawk to have a steal in every Big 12 game this season. He collected one more on Wednesday. His 16 steals in league play leads the team.

Team notes

KU was the highest-ranked team to play TCU in Daniel-Meyer Coliseum since Dec. 1, 2003 – when TCU played host to then-No. 1 Kansas. KU won that game. ... KU’s three field goals in the first half marked the fewest since the Jayhawks hit just five (5-for-18) in at Texas Tech earlier this season (1/12/13). ... KU’s 17 field goals (17-for-57) are the lowest since tallying 17 at Kansas State (1/14/06). ... The Jayhawks didn’t score until the 12:43 mark, going 0-for-4 with six turnovers in the first seven minutes. Red-shirt freshman F Jamari Traylor scored first with a layup and the assist from McLemore. ... Kansas was shooting 5.9 percent (1-for-17) before Withey hit the team’s second shot of the game with 4:27 remaining. ... KU’s 16-point deficit (37-21, 11:14 (2nd) marked its worst deficit of the season. ... TCU set an attendance record with 7,412 fans. The team’s last sell-out crowd occurred against then-No. 7 BYU on Feb. 19, 2011. ... Kansas grabbed 44 rebounds to TCU’s 39. KU has outrebounded 19 of 22 opponents in 2012-13. ... Kansas was out-shot (39.1 percent/29.5 percent) for only the fourth time this season (vs. Michigan State, at Texas, vs. Oklahoma State) and the first time it occurred in back-to-back games this year.

This, that

KU leads the all-time series vs. TCU, 4-1. ... It marked TCU’s first-ever win against a top-five team.

Frankamp pots 48

Future KU guard Conner Frankamp scored 48 points in Wichita North’s 71-63 victory over Wichita East on Tuesday in North’s gym.

Frankamp has three games of 40 or more points this season and seven in his career, most in Wichita City League history. He holds the top two single-game outbursts in league history (52 and 48).

Frankamp hit 11 of 20 floor shots, five of 12 threes and 21 of 22 free throws on Tuesday.

“He’s been shooting it well in practice lately,” North coach Gary Squires told the Wichita Eagle. North is 13-2, 10-1 in the City League. “I knew that one of these nights, he’d just go for a big night because in our shooting drills and stuff, he’s been lighting it up. When he gets it going ...”

Frankamp is averaging 34.0 points a game. He’s 150 points behind Ellis on the all-time city league scoring list. Frankamp has 2,081 points. Frankamp recently missed a couple games because of a concussion.

About TCU

Bill Self likes the addition of TCU to the Big 12 Conference.

“I think TCU is good for our league. Selfishly, I think it’s good for us from a recruiting standpoint,” said Self, who recruited NCAA title team member Darrell Arthur from the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

Wesley’s family attends

KU junior Justin Wesley told his hometown Fort Worth Star-Telegram he left 22 tickets for family and friends for the game.

In a pre-game article, Wesley discussed his playing the role of Wilt Chamberlain in an upcoming independent film, “Jayhawkers.”

In one scene, Wesley was forced to cry.

“My father passed away when I was 4, and sometimes when the right song comes up maybe I’ll tear up,” Wesley said. “(Shooting) that scene was really quiet. It was so awkward.”


VailHawk 7 years, 6 months ago

Can Conner (don't call me Teahan) Frankamp suit up against OU on Saturday?

KULA 7 years, 6 months ago

Wouldn't matter--Bill wants his players to pass, not shoot.

actorman 7 years, 6 months ago

Clearly, KULA, Bill Self is not good enough and you should take over the coaching of the team.

klineisanazi 7 years, 6 months ago

Plenty of shooting------and missing open shots.

Ron Prichard 7 years, 6 months ago

Actually, if you read any of the articles, Self has been begging the players to shoot instead of passing. Drive and shoot instead of drive and kick it out. For whatever reason, Releford beat his man several times but passed it out each time. I have no idea why, but I was yelling at the TV.

Vic Janeway 7 years, 6 months ago

all the guards looked scared, they had open shots but instead got shaking and tried to drive into crowds. I did the same...wake up wake up get it together man!

dumbarton 7 years, 6 months ago

Self is correct about the talent. Tharpe and Johnson are not quarterbacking this team and are borderline liabilities. Releford and Ellis elected to not show up.They might as well have stayed in Lawrence. Withey is outmuscled on the block and Young, who at least brings a lot of energy, throws-up out of control Hail Mary's around the rim hoping something will stick. Great teams start with leadership and add a good measure of toughness and we appear to be lacking in both areas. Here's hoping for a miraculous turnaround.

hammerhawk 7 years, 6 months ago

Tell us something we don't know through watching the game last nite. I really don't know what to think or say about what is going on. It does seem that something must be going on with the team.

Martin Shupert 7 years, 6 months ago

I never noticed the deficit in Tharpe's game before. He drives, and once he gets about 5 to 10 feet away, if a defense stops him, he has NO shot whatsoever... no tear drop, no bank shot, nothing. The things he threw up on the board were borderline 4th grade shots.

nostradavid 7 years, 6 months ago

Looks like the rest of the league has figured us out. Time to rearrange the deck chairs. I'm glad I didn't go out to watch the game; it was painful enough on the radio. Losing at home really knocked our guys for a loop.

Perry starts, only plays 10, only shoots once (and misses) and only gets one rebound. That must be his worst box score ever.

A card from John

A card from John by nostradavid

Chris Nieto 7 years, 6 months ago

Elijah definitely made a lay-up and not two free throws last night.

nuleafjhawk 7 years, 6 months ago

Don't feel bad Jeff - you're not alone.

Fan morale is " pretty low " too.

PhearThePhog 7 years, 6 months ago

Only Jeff & Company has the ability to change that ... unfortunately, we the fans, can't. BRING IT AND TURN IT AROUND!!!!

hjarrett 7 years, 6 months ago

Wow! I didn't know KU had such fair weather fans. Teams lose 2 sometimes in a row. What they do next will reveal their true character. I personally feel that they are gonna run through the rest of their games without another loss. Even if they lose one more they will still be ok for the tourney. 2008 team lost 3 games that year. Have faith Jayhawk nation!

nuleafjhawk 7 years, 6 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

GreatJake 7 years, 6 months ago

It is not the two losses.

KU has not played well since December.

It is watching them play poorlyknowing they can be so much better.

There is a lack of effort. There are guys not shooting, rebounding, boxing out, etc.

Jeremy Wilhelm 7 years, 6 months ago

As I recall, the 08 team lost to some less than stellar opponents, as did last years team. The season is a marathon and full of ups and downs... these doldrums are what will define a team in March and April... if KU can figure out what is ailing them and change it, then this nightmarish stretch will be quickly forgotten. They just need to figure out how to do that. I believe they will.

Jonathan Allison 7 years, 6 months ago

today the players will have a little meet and greet session with the aisles and stairs of Allen Fieldhouse.

Hopefully that will lift their spirits.

Jonathan Allison 7 years, 6 months ago

the problem is that KU is not used to playing with a Nike ball.

hammerhawk 7 years, 6 months ago

This makes as much sense as some of the other comments I have read - and it may be the most likely!!!

clevelandjayhawker 7 years, 6 months ago

I like being a #2 or #3 seed more than a #1, maybe this loss will be motivation that we cant just show up and get a win. I was really hoping there would have been a halftime speach that got us fired up.

FearlessJayhawk 7 years, 6 months ago

I cannot see KU winning a Big 12 championship. The wheels have officially come off and this team is in disarray. I don't know what they have been eating or drinking, but at this point they are barely on life-support. The reality is that there is no leadership on this team and no one knows how to shoot the ball anymore.

Cameron Schienebeck 7 years, 6 months ago

Man that game felt like Northern Iowa. It was disgusting to watch. Elijah needs a big dunk or 3 to get some confidence. Nadir needs a kick to the head at times. That 1 on 4 three point miss really took us out of a run. Overall embarrassing and all we can hope for is a learning experience and that they keep this taste in their mouth going into the tournament.

Brianna Zaleski 7 years, 6 months ago

You are exactly right on Tharpe's 3. Killed all the momentum HE helped get established. I just knew it was coming too. I was screaming at the tube for him not to shoot a meaningless 3, 5 secs into the shotclock because he hoists 2-3 of those a game. I'd of yanked him right there. Only BMac should have a green light in that situation.

Kevin Huffman 7 years, 6 months ago

This doesn't seem like the type of team that's going to "go on a run" and recover or bounce back. Despite looking good not all that long ago this looks more like a team that's going down the toilet.

Continue the way they have for about the past month and it would seem like this team's VERY likely to only win 3 or 4 of their next 8, probably be bounced on Thurs. in the Big XII Tournament as they'll probably only be something like a 4 or 5-seed in the Big XII Tournament anyway.

Looking VERY MUCH like a 9-seed in the NCAAs about now. Probably lose to a team like Colorado State in the 1st round or something. I think that would give them a final record of something like 22-9.....Don't think they've been that bad since like '89 or '90!....Roy Williams 1st year or two.

My prediction?

Only remaining wins will be vs. TCU, WVU & TTech at home.....otherwise, ALL losses! :( The game Sat. SHOULD at least be close, but I'd be surprised to see them win it.

ku1otaku 7 years, 6 months ago

This is beginning to remind me of the 2004-05 (?) team that had all those seniors (Simien, Langford, Miles, & Lee) who lost in the opening round to Bucknell. They started off the year really strong and then stumbled into the tourney. I just hope this year's group can turn it around.

clevelandjayhawker 7 years, 6 months ago

I was really hoping Self was going to pull everyone on the floor and give them a lashing. How long without a bucket was he going to let that go, then how long with only 2 points? Why not empty the bench and give the halftime speech right then and there when its 10-2.

I dont think we will have to worry about a #1 seed anymore this year.

RJ King 7 years, 6 months ago

At this rate, we could be the #16 seed knocking off a #1

jgkojak 7 years, 6 months ago

I don't understand why Self let that scoring drought go -- at the 10:00 mark with ZERO pts - I'd have yanked 'em all (as suggested) and put in the scrubs - it was mathematically impossible for them to play worse.

Seriously - what would Rio, Manning, McLemore, Young and Traylor have done out there?

leonard 7 years, 6 months ago

40 points in a half? TCU has averaged 49ppg in conference play and they hang 40 on us in a half!! There was a lot wrong with our play last night but this is ridiculous.

The most disturbing and hardest to fix is the play of EJ...because it's mostly physical. I don't care what he or anyone else says...he's not healthy. From his first day on campus he was regarded as a freak athletically. Today he has lost all bounce and quickness...and he reminds me of when my dad would play pickup games with us out on the driveway hoop.

DaNeille Dani Davis 7 years, 6 months ago

I think they need a session or two with a sports psychologist. Something is wrong. They have lost their confidence, their swag, their mojo, whatever it was that made them #1 to begin with. They are just LOST! They are not having fun. They are playing like little scared jackrabbits. What happened to the team that believed they couldn't lose? Everyone in this game sucked. Even BMac. Even Withey. It was soooo painful to watch. I hope we never have to see this "team" again. Yes it is embarrassing for the die hard fans that we are. You would never believe after watching that game that we were once an awesome team. I say you get your "awesomeness" back and let's play some KANSAS basketball! Jayhawk for life! ROCK CHALK!!

DaNeille Dani Davis 7 years, 6 months ago

I thought that after Sunday's three hour team meeting that this team was going to come out and just annihilate and humiliate TCU. After the first four minutes, I knew it was going to be a bad day. They have lost all their confidence in themselves and the team. Time for some deep soul searching boys. This is the game you have played your whole life and love. Now start playing like it!! I hope HCBS gets in Releford's face and tells him if he doesn't take at least 10 shots next time, his ass is on the bench! He was totally ineffective the whole game. No stats worth mentioning. For a fifth year senior, that is totally unacceptable.

Tony Bandle 7 years, 6 months ago


  1. Why does HCBS have Withey continually trying to double team on defense near the halfcourt line?

  2. Why doesn't KU throw a zone defense in once in awhile to change up on the opponent?

  3. On offense, after 10 seasons, our league opponents pretty much have the weave figured out. Maybe we need to change up with something different..and please forgive me...but the dribble drive offense?

  4. By the look on the players faces last night, you'd think our name was the "ChickenHawks"?

5] Why does Kevin shoot and Releford doesn't?

6] Why does 19-3, tied for first place in the Big 12 and ranked 5th in the country sound so hollow this morning?????

Kip_McSmithers 7 years, 6 months ago

Next Monday, when the new polls are out, we will be no higher than 14th in the nation.

shelleysue 7 years, 6 months ago

They had better get over it by Monday.

sleepy33 7 years, 6 months ago

I'd like them to get over it by Saturday...?

deepind 7 years, 6 months ago

I'd rather them get over it before Saturday (against OU)!

Steve Reigle 7 years, 6 months ago

Am I the only one who thinks the team will come out of this and be just fine? Am I the only one who remembers other seasons where similar situations occurred? We have the right coaches, we have the right players. In about two months we'll look back at this and say it was a good thing, a turning point that made the team better in the long run.

lifelongKUfan 7 years, 6 months ago

This seems different because the players look scared. In the past, they had some bad losses and some rough patches, but the only other times I've seen the team look scared, were the early exits from the tourney.

GreatJake 7 years, 6 months ago

This does seem different. Never thought I would see a senior KUBB player with 60% field goal % take one shot and score one point in a game where KU is losing to a lesser team.

Did that really happen?

No wonder they have no offense.

Mike Hamilton 7 years, 6 months ago

I too think it is different, but hope I am wrong. This is not a great shooting team nor does it appear that they are able to run. They have a 1/2 court offense going right now and that is not successful, at least not at this time. Then where at one time, I thought we had a deep team, it is apparent that we do not. The development of Ellis and Traylor has moved at snail's pace, not what I expected. I am still a Jayhawk fan but at this time we are not as strong as most of the teams have been in the last 25 years. I know this has been a struggle for HCBS, trying to find their game plan, but if anyone can get this ship righted, it is him.

DaNeille Dani Davis 7 years, 6 months ago

For some reason, I don't think they will be just fine. Their body language, their faces, I just don't see it. Releford not taking shots (scared?), missing bunnies, making terrible passes, not playing defense. They are playing timid, not loose. Now they are afraid of losing and are playing like it. I don't know what it will take to get their confidence back (I thought this games would surely have done it!), but they need to get it back!

gchawk 7 years, 6 months ago

Practically every year we have a "head scratcher" loss, hopefully this one was it and our guys got it out of their system.

Scott Smetana 7 years, 6 months ago

head scratcher came against OSU. This was much, much worse.

TenaciousD 7 years, 6 months ago

It was sink or swim time for EJ. Coach Self defended him in the media after OSU saying "he is our guy" and in return EJ gave a sinking effort. It's a tough situation to be in where your point guard goes away half way through the season. This is exactly why Self doesn't hand the team over to a freshman one-and-done point guard. They could hit the wall half way through and then you are toast.

The plain fact is that EJ is not a leader and never has had leadership qualities as a player on the floor. It will be super interesting to see how Self handles this going forward. I say make the switch to Tharpe now and let him work through some of his poor decisions. At least Tharpe WANTS to lead this team. Either that or go bigger at the point with one of the wings or KY. Tharpe is probably the much better choice. Then again, we don't get to see them at practice to see what the other players can do.

Interesting year for sure.

Tom Gillaspie 7 years, 6 months ago

The bottom line with this team - not tough. Physically and mentally, maybe on of the weakest KU teams I have seen. Self's style of coaching is based on his personal style - toughness. An ugly win is better than a pretty loss - the loss last night was a pathetic testament to this teams lack of focus, toughness, and will.

kesmithstl1 7 years, 6 months ago

That 2008 team scored 100 points without hitting a 3! Man that team gets better and better with age!

greg robinson 7 years, 6 months ago

And this team appears to going in the opposite direction.

jaybate 7 years, 6 months ago

Going back through the photo gallery for this season's games, it is just amazing how much thicker than KU most of the opponents are.

I knew we were skinny inside. But I didn't realize how skinny our perimeter guys are.

Also, it seems that except for Jeff Withey, our length may be a bit over stated,too.

Janella Williams 7 years, 6 months ago

Buck up guys!! Just remember that you're GOOD, damn GREAT! Tell the negative people to stuff it and be a real fan!

Jeff Johnson 7 years, 6 months ago

KU's offense has been struggling since at least the beginning of conference play. I'm used to seeing a KU team scoring in the 80s and even the 90s normally the last decade or so and this past month I've seen KU, even in the case of winning, only up into the 50s late in the second half. The surprise about last night was to WHO and HOW.....TCU was just as pathetic if not worse offensively (FT's clanking at the end and even an airball). KU should have lost to ISU in Lawrence....and everyone knows that was an extremely fortunate comeback helped out by ISU. Texas led KU for half a game....KSU goes 9-30 from the arc in only a 4-5 point loss. Likely, KU will right the ship enough to hold onto the conference title but this squad is going nowhere in the NCAA tourney....certainly nowhere close to the FF.

jrbill67 7 years, 6 months ago

Morale's down, huh? Not as much as effort. Four Seniors, the best player in the country, and a great coach, playing one of the the worst teams in the country with a house full of Jayhawk fans and this is the effort you get. Play the practice dummies; at least they'll try & maybe motivate the starters.

Jackster 7 years, 6 months ago

I just received 2 tickets for my son and I to attend the Texas game at home and can't wait for the game/Chalmers celebration. I paid a fortune for these and sure hope that we don't watch what we saw last night. That was painful but I believe that we will bounce back...fingers are crossed for a great performance.

Neom 7 years, 6 months ago

McLemore can forget about #1 pick - or top 5 in that matter. #1 pick should have the ability to take over a college game by himself, especially against an opponent like ... TCU. Remember Durant or Beasley? They completely dominated most of their college games, but still were not good enough to go #1.

dhinkansas 7 years, 6 months ago

For the life of me, I can't figure out scoring 13 points against TCU in the first half.

RJ King 7 years, 6 months ago

“I think TCU is good for our league. Selfishly, I think it’s good for us from a recruiting standpoint,” said Self

Well, maybe not this year.

Bradley Sitz 7 years, 6 months ago

Self is simply not a very accomplished bench coach. Bucknell, Bradley, N.Iowa, VCU, pathetic Texas Tech teams (3 times). They say he is a great recruiter. But, what is wrong with Ellis and White? These are McDonald High School All-Americans getting less than five minutes a game. And, they have yet to score in double figures in a single game. The current funk spells like a real team chemistry problem, like the 2004-2005 team. KU is starting 4 seniors and looks worse than Texas with their five freshman. They don't screen, they don't get to the free throw line (except for Withey and Young). And, their passing is simply incomprehensible. How does a senior point guard make so many unforced passing turnovers and stay on the floor? So, Releford does not screen, won't shoot and is no longer going to offensive board or getting to the free throw line - where he is excellent. Withey is playing weaker with every game. His foot work is pathetic. McLemore is getting caught watching on defense - like the game is going too fast. His passing is almost as poor as Johnson and Tharpe. He also is not driving like he was. Another excellent free throw shooter that does not get to the line. His outside shot looks great -except it is no longer going in. His defense is pitiful. Young is usually out-of-control. But, he is the only player that is showing any love for the game and getting to the offensive board. But, he has also forgotten how to box out. What is left to say about EJ? If KU can pay a coach $3 mil a year for this... KU ought to be able to find a World renowned sports Psycholigist. This team needs to find some mental toughness. They need Bob Knight.

VaJay 7 years, 6 months ago

Well, obviously, they need you. Please submit your resume to AFH asap. Now, back to the planet earth, where were we?...

wolfco 7 years, 6 months ago

Would you like to venture a guess how long Bill Self would be an unemployed coach? Geesh, did a bunch of you stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night? Might I suggest some of you stop by the local undertaker and show them how to properly embalm a body, or the financial advisor's office and re-balance a bunch of portfolios since there is an obvious bubble in the bond market. You know just as much about coaching as either one of these, but you don't get it.

The team, or at least some of the squad, played uninspired ball during some January games, got spanked at home, and tried too hard to get back on track @ TCU. That led to players forcing shots and playing out of control. Did you notice that several shots weren't really shots, but rather throws-a sure sign of players playing just the opposite of loose, confident, and aggressive.

You don't win 8 league crowns in a row, and suddenly forget how to coach. How about writing down the following: I don't know much about basketball coaching, but. Now sign your name, submit suggestions, and send to KU staff.

Martin Shupert 7 years, 6 months ago

Wesley should have no trouble crying for the camera now. Instead of telling him to think of when he lost his dad when he was four, someone just needs to say, "Think of how you felt in the locker room the night TCU thumped you guys... and the tears would flow.

JayHawkJay82 7 years, 6 months ago

Travis Releford has attempted 6 field goals in the last two games combined, with 74 minutes of playing time between the two. How does this happen?

Scott Smetana 7 years, 6 months ago

Simple. EJ and Tharpe are taking all the shots.

hawkfansa 7 years, 6 months ago

There was a time when the Hawks would go on 8 - 10 point runs before the opposition would call timeouts. Now it's happening after we put two baskets together. I guess that's considered a run with this offense.

jgkojak 7 years, 6 months ago

This is a chemistry problem and it does feel like 05 all over... Maybe the younger players are feeling the seniors are getting too much pt?

Scott Smetana 7 years, 6 months ago

Onto Plan C: Bench EJ, not KY. Tell Tharpe to simmer down.

Michael Bennett 7 years, 6 months ago

I still don't get why a 180-pound guy is playing power forward for Kansas...

Colin Fernandes 7 years, 6 months ago

I predict a National Championship for this Jayhawk team - see you all in April

VailHawk 7 years, 6 months ago

I'm all 4 that! This was a weird loss and I'm punishing myself by reading every post!

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