Thursday, February 7, 2013


Opinion: Setback as bad as it gets


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


If James Naismith had known Kansas University one day would butcher the game of basketball as badly as it did in the first half of a stunning loss Wednesday night in Fort Worth, Texas, he not only might have thought twice about starting the program, he might have passed on the entire idea of inventing the sport.

It looked that awful from my couch, where I watched because I thought the better story, Charlie Weis’ strong signing day, was in Lawrence. Certainly, that’s where the happier story was for KU. Weis landed enough strong prospects that his team should be able to pull off plenty of victories that now would be considered upsets. But it would be awfully tough to score one the magnitude of TCU’s 62-55 shocker.

Has there ever been a bigger upset in Big 12 history? Has a first-place team ever played such a poor first half of basketball? Anybody? Didn’t think so.

In a first half that set the sport back decades, Kansas scored 13 points and trailed by nine points to a school that came into the game with an 0-8 record in Big 12 play and came within single digits of an opponent just once, and that was in a nine-point loss to a dreadful Texas Tech squad.

As usual, KU’s offensive struggles started with addled point guard play. But it certainly didn’t end there. Elijah Johnson and Naadir Tharpe combined to make five of 27 shots, three of 14 three-pointers. As a team, Kansas made three of 22 threes, two of the makes by Johnson too late to make a difference. Travis Releford scored one point. Ben McLemore misfired on all six three-point attempts.

What a first half. It took 3:23 for either team to score, and it was TCU. It took 7:18 for Kansas to score, and it wasn’t until 6:06 remained in the first half that the Jayhawks scored their third and fourth points on Jeff Withey’s free throws. With 4:29 left, Withey’s jumper cut TCU’s lead to 17-6. Even in this year of peach-basket scoring rates casting a pall over college basketball from coast to coast, the scoreboard that wouldn’t budge seemed so bizarre.

“This is not a bad loss,” Bill Self told Greg Gurley during a postgame radio interview. “It’s an unbelievably bad loss. ... We’re probably in the worst funk I’ve ever seen a Kansas team be in.”

Self spoke to what the upset will do for the confidence of future KU opponents.

“It’s not so much that we lost, but it’s that we were kind of the bullies of the league, and we let people think that they could whip us, and when they did, everybody now thinks that they can whip us,” Self continued. “I mean, hey, we just opened the floodgates. If we’re going to get everybody’s best shot two weeks ago, think now what it’s going to be like when everybody thinks they’re going to win?”

It can’t possibly get worse than it was Wednesday night. Or could it?


Adam Evans 8 years, 7 months ago

Win Keegan. Yes. A bit dark. But your opening like was perfect. Thank you. I can't believe this. Yeah. We'll bounce back to some modicum of decency. But this was just dreadful.

Adam Evans 8 years, 7 months ago

Pardon. Opening line. And this isn't sarcasm. But I do have the faith in HCBS to right the ship. I just hope our guys take to it before its too late.

Michael Bratisax 8 years, 7 months ago

We were simply overrated. HCBS believes that he can take any talented group of players and turn them into a cohesive team focused on one goal.

This years class has proven him wrong. Next year's class will have even more raw talent than this one. Every great coach and every great player will at some point in their career need a big helping of humble pie.

Kent Richardson 8 years, 7 months ago

"A modicum of decency." I guess it could go anyway but down but if it comes to that?

LAJayhawk 8 years, 7 months ago

"That was the worst team Kansas has ever put on the floor."

--Bill Self

None by Eric Prisbell

Hank Cross 8 years, 7 months ago

You're the one that put them out there coach.

diegohawk 8 years, 7 months ago

This line was there in my email this morning. Gonna be a tough day at the water cooler. The way we have been playing since Xmas break has been uninspired. Team peaked early. They need to get some competition for minutes all the way from 2 - 10 on this roster with the exception being Mclemore and Withey.

lifelongKUfan 8 years, 7 months ago

One of the biggest issues the last 2 games has been Releford. He man has been the opponents' leading scorer and he's been afraid to shoot. When Releford plays well, this team looks a lot better.

Max Ledom 8 years, 7 months ago

I will say this: KU will go undefeated from here until the tourney. If we don't, we are not the team I thought we were. We are not National Championship caliber, we are having a down year. Cause if this loss doesn't do it, if losing at HOME doesn't do it. Nothing will. If we don't come together now. We'll tear ourselves a part.

championhawks 8 years, 7 months ago

Might as well get used to the idea that this team isn't the team you thought they were. And no, KU is NOT national championship caliber. No real threat in the post (Withey is too slow and has limited post moves and I hope I don't have to explain Young's offensive ineptness) and no threat from the point guard spot. The only threat there is comes from BMac, who can't create his own shot. So if if you think this team won't lose AT LEAST one more game, you are crazy!

Allin Herring 8 years, 7 months ago

Guess what. We aren't the team you thought we were. We are the most overrated team in America right now There is a better than even chance this team will be the one that breaks the Big 12 Championship streak and will see an early round exit in the NCAA's.The only thing in our favor is that we won't play a team the caliber of TCU? The more scary thing is look at the bench...nothing. Bill has little tools to use and nothing coming in next year. I sure hope we are not head back to the Ted Owens era

LAJayhawk 8 years, 7 months ago

Nothing coming in next year?? We have one of the best recruiting classes in the country. I understand the frustration you are feeling, but let's not go overboard.....

LAJayhawk 8 years, 7 months ago

The class is 2nd in the country according to ESPN:

2nd according to Bleacher Report:

2nd according to Rivals:

And 3rd according to Scout:

AND we very well might add another very highly ranked recruit on top of that before it's over (i.e. Wiggins, Randle). So, take a deep breath, and step back from the ledge......

Darrell Alexander 8 years, 7 months ago

I actually thought this team wasn't going to be that good at the start of the year, but then they really started playing good. It was fools gold. It's really hard to be a great basketball team when you don't have a guard with any 1 skills whatsoever. Self likes combo guards but he just doesn't have one on the roster. Combo guards have some 1 and 2 skills, ours have zero 1 skills and now they can't make shots either so their don't have 2 skills. Worst set of guards I have seen KU put on the floor in a long, long time.

Jack Hoover 8 years, 7 months ago

You think you'll win at Hilton......... playing like that? Really? See you soon.

Hank Cross 8 years, 7 months ago

This one is on Self. Shades of the UNI game: no adjustments in personnel or style. It's up to him to find the right combination. He failed and had that panicked look on his face. There was no reason to leave EJ out there when it was obvious that he couldn't do anythng right. It was like leaving in a pitcher who is getting shellacked, Can't imagine that he will remain on any draft board after this week. It's a shame, he's given his all to KU, but right now he is a major liability. Withey's stock also dropped as he got shoved around by a smaller team.

On the upside, they'll probably win the B12, but that's more due to the weakness of the league.

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 7 months ago

Dislike. How can you NOT at least pin a LITTLE of it on coaching?!?!?! I mean, 3 mins. for White III & 2 mins. for R.Adams when Releford, Elijah & Naadir were STRUGGLING SO MIGHTILY YET AGAIN!??!?!?

White III very nearly brought us back against Okla. St. - who knows if maybe he would have if inserted earlier. HE's at least not timid in his shot attempts!

THAT would be the coach's fault.

Jack Wilson 8 years, 7 months ago

Actually, trojanhawk, what's funny are folks like you that give coach Self a complete pass. Did you watch the game? Do you understand the game?

This was eerily similar to the UNI game.

Coach Self did not even attempt to press during the entire first half. His first "press" was at appx. the 7:30 mark of the second half, resulting in an immediate turnover. Against UNI, he didn't do it until the 2:00 mark. But again, he changes things up way too late. I'm not suggesting to press on every change of possession, but to do it every other time, or everything time. Try something. You have the superior team. They have trouble handling the ball. Not hard.

He refused to utilize other personnel to any great extent (Adams/White). That's choking. That's getting conservative. That's refusing to take risk. When you have options at your disposal and your refuse to incorporate them, who gets that blame? What is a complete joke is bring White in again in the last minute. Cold off the bench as if he's supposed to bail you out in the last minute. Self said after the OSU game something to the effect of "obviously I should have been playing more." But, as is always predictable, he didn't play him more.

To his credit, he did go small at the 11:00 minute mark. That's something. But he stubbornly stuck with a useless Releford -- one shot the entire game; only two attempted drives to the hoop all game. But Self just leaves him in. That's on coaching.

And a team so obviously lacking in chemistry is not partially on the coach? A coach stirs the pot. Self created masterpiece last season. No so much right now.

When someone makes a comment like you did, it demonstrates that you actually think that the loss had only to do with poor shooting. And that, as respectfully as I can say, it just plain ignorant.

Self gets great credit when we win. Deserving credit. He has to shoulder blame for part of what we saw. It was a team effort.

It is February 7. The NCAA tourney is over a month away. Lots of time.

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 7 months ago

I didn't get to watch this one yet, but I think HEM was referring to "The Press" as a full-court trapping zone press.

I don't know yet what kind of full-court pressure he applied and when, but usually when Bill Self calls for full court pressure early it's as simple ans picking up your man full court rather than picking up your man at half court.

A full-court trapping zone press is what we usually see at the end of games when we need to steal a few possessions late, so the point-man of the press tries to funnel the ball to the sideline where the wing-man of the press applies the double-team trap and everyone else tries to play the passing lanes.

Coach Self historically won't use the trap unless the team absolutely needs it in order to steal possessions late, and often we don't even see it then until fouling time.

Ron Franklin 8 years, 7 months ago

His first 'press' came with 11:?? in the first half, though it wasn't really an effective press. It appeared to be a pseudo-press because the pressure that was put on at the 10 min mark of the second half was much more intense as if they were actually trying to steal the ball. The press in the first half was more like going through the motions. It was an adjustment though. Coach also did everything but pull the Redshirt off of Lucas to try to mix things up a bit. I can understand why Coach does the quick yank on the new guys, but I don't agree with it.

JayDocMD 8 years, 7 months ago

How do you press with no made baskets?

Darrell Alexander 8 years, 7 months ago

Can't really blame this on his coaching, but I wouldn't have started EJ. By starting him you are telling him it's ok to mope because you aren't making shots. It's the 1 guards responsibility to lead the team even if you are in a shooting slump. He is failing as a leader and he needs to sit next to the manager for a while. But bottom line it's recruiting that is killing KU more than coaching. Hasn't signed a single player with 1 guard skills in 4 years. That will kill you.

Jack Wilson 8 years, 7 months ago

jhwksrock: plasticJHawk is right in his reply to you. Big difference between the a trapping "press" and token pressure that we utilize regularly.

But this was the earliest I have really seen the press since we pulled it out as a 3/4 court 2-2-1 back a few years ago in late December. We were all hopeful it would be incorporated more, but then it simply went away.

Mick Allen 8 years, 7 months ago

Come on. Did Self go 18 for 61 from the field?

Allin Herring 8 years, 7 months ago

You are Dreaming about the Big 12 Championship

SaltLakeHawk 8 years, 7 months ago

The blame for this loss rests squarely on the shoulders of...... Jesus.

Hear me out. The "C" in TCU stands for something. TCU had a 6th man last night. I also heard Jesus uses HGH, so that's even more unfair. Welcome to the Big12, cheaters.

Nikonman 8 years, 7 months ago

I think they are spending too much time in class and the library and not enough on the court.

pepper_bar 8 years, 7 months ago

Don't worry guys, Keegan wrote a column before league play started reminding everyone that the Big XII race is for second place. KU already won the league and doesn't really have to try.

Mick Allen 8 years, 7 months ago

Keegan and everybody else. He wasn't the Lone Ranger. Direct your criticism else where.

pepper_bar 8 years, 7 months ago

Are you a recent grad? Did KU stop teaching logic classes?

BigAl 8 years, 7 months ago

This was also stated by all the talk radio boys. Especially 810. Kansas was also voted to finish #1 by the coaches and the press. This isn't on Keegan. This was widespread. And, who knows, KU still might win the conference. Just sayin.

pepper_bar 8 years, 7 months ago

This is a Keegan basketball column. Thus the reference to Keegan's preseason bluster, without regard to anyone else's similar obnoxiousness.

It's sad that I have to explain this to people whom one can presume are college educated.

MinnesotaJay 8 years, 7 months ago

From two days ago, "KU's Elijah Johnson says Sunday's three-hour team meeting with head coach was productive."

Really? How so?

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 7 months ago

In my opinion, the first week of February may be too early for the traditional players-only meeting. There's still 9 conference regular season games to to, and the players only meeting generally is supposed to motivate players to finish the regular season strong and gain momentum heading into postseason ball. If the loss to TCU happened on Saturday the 23rd then there should be a players-only meeting. On February 6, the ball in still in Coach Self's court to motivate and make adjustments.

dumbarton 8 years, 7 months ago

Tharpe and EJ go combined 5 of 27 from the field and offer up 3 assists and 5 turnovers. Releford shoots once in 38 minutes. It appears TCU beat us playing 5 against 2.

JayHawkJay82 8 years, 7 months ago

+1 One shot attempt is pathetic. I don't know how you can be in the situation he was in last night, and at least not TRY to get things going for yourself and for your team.

Where is the leadership? Where is the toughness?

nostradavid 8 years, 7 months ago

A critical skill is missing. Time to hit the books!

Test on Saturday

Test on Saturday by nostradavid

Ron Franklin 8 years, 7 months ago

highs are higher when you've experienced the downs.

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 7 months ago

I didn't get to watch, but I plan on watching it on DVR still. Watching the losses is a lot easier for me when I already know how they end.

I hate watching KU lose, but when I know that they've already lost then I can at least try to glean a little insight about the team. I will always be highly invested in watching KU basketball, but watching the losses helps me to temper my expectations.

Tony Bandle 8 years, 7 months ago

pJH....turn on your TV, turn on your DVD, scroll to the KU/TCU game and do yourself a favor....hit erase!!

There is nothing to "glean" from this one.

DaNeille Dani Davis 8 years, 7 months ago

Oh are not going to like what you see. It was very, very painful to watch. Most horrific game I have ever witnessed. The guys played with no heart or soul.

LAJayhawk 8 years, 7 months ago

No good can come from subjecting yourself to that giant heaping pile.

Unless, of course, you are method acting and need motivation for a role in which you have to beat the crap out of small woodland creatures while cooking and eating a smurf.

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 7 months ago

Actually it's more of a masochistic self-mutilation like practice that involves more mental anguish that physical pain.

LAJayhawk 8 years, 7 months ago

Well, then, this game should be your coup de grâce!

John White 8 years, 7 months ago

You are missing something very important: this TCU team is so much worse than UNI and VCU. Those two teams were tournament teams, and teams that had won games in the tournament. TCU is among the worst teams in college basketball and probably the worst team the Big 12 has seen. This loss is exponentially worse than those to UNI and VCU.

SaltLakeHawk 8 years, 7 months ago

lol, great comment

Our football team will avenge this loss by destroying TCU.

wileykufan 8 years, 7 months ago

EJ saw plenty of time on the bench

I am curious how Ellis does enough to earn the start then never sees the court again after the first 5 minutes.

This group of seniors was spoiled and now we see what's happening. If this loss does not shake them up, nothing will.

We played uninspired on defense the first half. And I have no idea what we are doing anymore on offense

dylans 8 years, 7 months ago

Ellis started the 2nd half and was unproductive also. He's been a huge disappointment so far. Do something with your minutes guys!

Joseph Bullock 8 years, 7 months ago

This loss is on the players and the coaching staff. as Coach Self said on Hawk Talk, and I quote: E.J. is my guy, and I'm gonna ride him all the way (or something to that affect)! No, coach, you don't. Other players have put in the time and the hard work, and they should be given a chance early enough in the game, to come in and make a difference, if the horse you are riding can't make it to the finish line!!! And if your PG can't stop penetration, you "CAN" actually play a zone in College Basketball. I know you don't like to do that, and I don't really like it either, but at least you then have a chance to stop penetration. I'm not just talking about it (penetration) happening just, tonight, either. Also, defensive rebounding! Give me a break. We box out, half assed, and then, sometimes don't seem to even jump. And Kevin Young allowing another offensive rebound when the opposition misses a free throw, you gotta be friggin kidding me!!!!!!! And I love Travis, but why is he always deferring on taking shots? I understand being a "Team Player", but he is hurting the team by passing up so many open looks. It seems that Coach has everyone on the team thinking Ben should be talking almost all of the shots, but remember, he is just a RS Freshman, and although he has had some great games, you can see in a lot of situations, that he is very nervous. And how much did AW III play in the first half (I really don't remember him being in that much, especially given how well he played in his incredible minute in the OSU game)??? Let Rio, Perry, and Jamari, play through their mistakes, by giving them a lot more minutes, and not pulling them whenever the make a mistake. How is if fair to let the Veterans play through their mistakes, especially when they are making so many of them. I know Coach has Trust in them, but let's be realistic here, and take them out when they are continually screwing up. And E.J. jumping up in the air to throw two passes away? That is Basketball 101--You just don't do that!!! Where is a penetration to kick it back out, from our PG? Does anyone still not understand the Tyshawn Taylor concept now, because he was a great PG! Oh, and by the way, I am wondering why our Coaching Staff never did secure any "High Level PG", one with good size, especially knowing we would be losing Tyshawn (I know we really went after Marcus Smart, but he was not the only good one out there, and we missed out on all of them, and Conner (Wichita-next year), is probably not the answer.

Allin Herring 8 years, 7 months ago

Especially if he is like the McDonald All American bust like Perry Ellis! Coach Self really has few tools to work with. The bench is very week and White did play enough to see several clanks after his one shinning moment in the OSU LOST. You are correct about Releford. He seems to only shoot when he has 100% bunny shot.

phishyninja 8 years, 7 months ago

This post is indicative of the ignorance, short-sightedness, and fair-weather fanship that this board is mired in today. Ellis will be a legend before he leaves KU his Senior year, our bench is not at all "week", and... oh just nevermind.

Joseph Bullock 8 years, 7 months ago

PART TWOI I just hope there is still a good PG out there that we can somehow steal (for next year--maybe Rysheed Jordan, out of Philly, or a big, tall, athletic Ju Co guy from somewhere)) at the last minute, who may not have us on his list right now (like we did Landon Lucas). Now, all of this being said, we now have nothing to lose (everyone is now counting us out), and everything to gain. Let's go whip some O.U. ass!!!!!!! Then whip some K-State ass!!!!!!! If we do that, we are right back where we want, and need, to be. After all, nobody in their right mind (and a lot of people are not--ha ha ha), thought the League would be won with two or less losses. So let's get back to the basics, work harder than ever, and right the ship!!! and PS: We need to quit missing so many dayum layups!

dehawk 8 years, 7 months ago

I agree with your comment about letting vets. play through their mistakes and not doing the same for the newer players. Confidence goes both ways. By constantly pulling the younger players, it gives them the mindset that they are not allowed a few mistakes. That leads to over thinking (which is where EJ is at.) And don't say he is a senior, because that mindset started when he was a freshman too. So when I think about CS pass first mentality, then it is no wonder that someone like Releford is constantly passing up shot. He doesn't see himself as the go to guy because he has spend the past four to five years never being the go to guy. Fans underestimate the mental aspect of the game from the other end. Not just being mentally tough, but being told and understanding who should be the ones making the shots. When you are conditioned a certain way, then it is difficult to come on the court and think a different way.

Bob Culwell 8 years, 7 months ago

Quit missing layups, huh? That's brilliant! Have you thought about calling Coach Self and recommend that he tell the guys that? You should totally call Coach and offer that advice.

Quit missing layups! Man, Coach is going to kick himself that he hadn't thought of that already!

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 7 months ago

I think they'd already actually WERE giving effort. I'm hoping beyond all hope that if they couldn't practice yesterday, that they could at least watch game film......the PLAYERS that is.....maybe along with the coaches. THEN after watching that, don't take that when things WERE going smoothly.....THIS SAME YEAR!!!! Shouldn't be hard for them to see the differences and what adjustments are needed. After the narrow home loss to OSU I doubt they went at it with an analytical mind and thought that it was just an effort / want-to type of thing. That embarrassing type of loss deserves more than that. It deserves studying to see where things have veered.

nuleafjhawk 8 years, 7 months ago

“It’s not so much that we lost, but it’s that we were kind of the bullies of the league, and we let people think that they could whip us, and when they did, everybody now thinks that they can whip us,”

Why wouldn't everyone think that they can whip us?? They can. Heck, K-State's cheerleaders could whip us.

lothario64118 8 years, 7 months ago

Yes, the players are not playing well. It's not all EJ's fault. I have to pin this on Self. To think or as Bill thought after how EJ played last season in the last 6 games that this would continue is ludicrous. It's the coach's fault for not landing better PG talent. Is Naadir suppose to somehow make a 180 next year? or is Conner supposed to be the "guy" as a scrawny freshman? No. Self needed to recruit better talent. Yes, it is hard to land recruits but to let all them get away is absurd. Ben as good as he can be cannot play when guarded.

Now, what happens next year? Same thing? Going to be a bunch of freshman and sophomores (as limited playing frosh this season) going to be making mistakes. What happens then? can't bench them. So freaking let them learn now. Why can Self bench his young guys for messing up but allows his 4 seniors to keep playing.

Something is wrong. Very wrong.

Mick Allen 8 years, 7 months ago

Fans like you are what's wrong. Find another team team to root for.

jayschool 8 years, 7 months ago

I was wondering how Doc Sadler would leave his imprint on this KU team. Now we know.

Bill Kackley 8 years, 7 months ago


phishyninja 8 years, 7 months ago

Ladies and gentleman, Doc Sadler has now been implicated in the team's recent struggles. Turns out what we really need is a new Director of Basketball Operations. I'm turning off my computer now before I see any more posts like this one.

joshuamc914 8 years, 7 months ago

As a Kansas fan who has visited this site for as long as I have done so in the past, I have to finally put in my two cents. This team just doesn't have the horses right now and everyone saying bench Elijah and Travis lol. Who are you going to put into the game for them Tharpe is terrible and White III is too green right now. This Kansas team needs our seniors to play through their funk and help out McLemore because this was the one game that he couldn't save us while the players around him shoot to much like Elijah an Naadir or shoot to less like Releford. Also I love coach Self to death is resume is amazing but what has Perry Ellis done to earn minutes? He is so soft it makes me sick, and he new mode is to be aggressive and throw up everything he can around the rim being finesse he is Cottonelle soft. I believe Jamari Traylor is better then he is on the boards and in the post, but for some reason he gets no minutes smh. And Naadir Tharpe changed the momentum of the game down 4 you shoot a three 1 on 5 smh. He has the worse basketball IQ I've ever seen of anyone putting on the kansas uniform. He has no IQ and he is physically weak he isn't a big 12 caliber guard I want to see Anrio at this point he can't be any worse. Also can Jeff Withey get aggressive in the paint c'mon 6 shots you're bigger then the whole team get the ball, be physical and make a move down low. He is so passive as well as Releford those two need to be more aggressive because we have no point guard and no1 else can score other then McLemore. The only solution to our problem is that Elijah has to play better its all on his shoulders and I'm interested to watch h

Michael Sillman 8 years, 7 months ago

For those of you on TV, it was worse to see in person. I flew in and went with my brother in law.

Clearly the players were completely flat from the get go but as some have said Self needs to shoulder some of the blame. He was badly outcoached by Trent Johnson. TCU tore up our man to man by running our guards thru multiple screens and out quicking our big guys. A simple switch to a zone would have stopped that. Self needs to admit that sometimes he can't stay with the man no matter how stubburn he wants to be.

On offense Self should learn some of what TCU was running. We are just passing around the perimeter and running that stupid weave that seems to get nobody open. He needs an offense that fits the personnel.

Hopefully this happened early enough to make changes.

Kyle Crenshaw 8 years, 7 months ago

our personnel, up until today has been a 3 point shooting team or dump it into Withey. When you can't make shots it looks a whole lot worse than it actually is. Guys were open, wide open. they just couldn't make the shot. and someone please teach our guards how to throw a damn entry pass into Withey!

Displayhawk 8 years, 7 months ago

And someone PLEASE show our guards how to do the Jump-Stop instead of driving into an already packed lane and committing a charging foul!

VaJay 8 years, 7 months ago

Indy, looking at your posts, you should change your handle to "chicken little", or maybe you're just a troll. The team has the time and the ability to recover from this. Thank goodness the majority of Jayhawk nation doesn't think like you or the rest of the "end is nigh" group posting today.

Ron Franklin 8 years, 7 months ago

I wish we had Pierre Jackson.

Watching KU's offense lately has been like watchng Groundhog Day. --weave, flare screen, weave, flare screen, weave, flare screen.

It's tiresome and predictable now. Does this team really only know a handful of sets to run? Four seniors and nobody can run anything?

A pet peeve of mine is when athletes stand around with their hands on their knees. EJ has been doing this all year. Why are you so tired all of the time EJ? I thought you were pacing yourself?

We have seen what this team can do.

We have seen the potential.

My assumption is this: 1. Something is very very wrong inside that locker room. Chemistry is bad. I wonder if it has to do with the attention that Ben is getting. Or mutiny because Dir thinks he shoul be taking EJ's minutes. I know this is pure speculation...but it makes sense to me. We know Kevin isn't as happy to be playing on this team as he can see it in his face. In fact,nobody appears to be having fun anymore. Somebody on the inside know what the 'kliqs' are?

  1. Selfs offense is predictable and we only have one guy who can make something happen on his own right now when the play breaks down, and that is Dir. Even he isn't that good at it, but at least he does it.

I've decided that I'm not a fan of slow paced, low scoring games. I hope his gets better soon.

Mick Allen 8 years, 7 months ago

Then you shouldn't watch any more games this year, as "slow paced, low scoring games" is the norm in all college games this year. It is not just happening to us.

Steve Yeakel 8 years, 7 months ago

"Things can always get worse." Buddy Bell. I would much rather this happen now than in the NCAA tourney. Let's hope that Bill can use this remaining time to work his magic and get this team to be the best it can be, and then peak at the right time and stronger than ever.

phishyninja 8 years, 7 months ago

Where do these people come from? I know I said I was gonna shut off my machine, but I admit I'm a bit fascinated with what seems to be going on here today and powerless to stop reading, because I just know that 8 posts down somebody will suggest that we bulldoze Allen Fieldhouse, wtf?

Sam Constance 8 years, 7 months ago

"but I admit I'm a bit fascinated with what seems to be going on here today and powerless to stop reading, because I just know that 8 posts down somebody will suggest that we bulldoze Allen Fieldhouse, wtf?

Best comment of the thread. Hands down.

smhend 8 years, 7 months ago

I hope the old saw "guards win in March" is untrue this year.

dehawk 8 years, 7 months ago

Our bigs do look soft and get frustrated when they are pushed around and don't get the calls. Well if we get matched up with a Big 10 or Big East team come tournament time, we had better get use to not getting the call. I know CS said he actually was the one coaching the bigs, but was that just this year, or also when Danny was here. Because it sure looks like we are missing Danny alot. He was a big with a slender frame who knew how to work that to his advantage. We could use him now to help the bigs understand how to fight through the banger players.

GreatJake 8 years, 7 months ago

Smack down alert! Oh No Mr Bill there's another game Saturday.......

Mid-Major Smack downs during the torunament were always painful but a TCU smack down, 0-8 in the Big12.............

I hope the team gets their Kansas BB back!

JayDocMD 8 years, 7 months ago

Nightmare Scenario with it's Consequences:

  • Bill Self losing this team + no senior leadership = the wheels come off and we lose 4 or more games the rest of the way

  • 9th straight league title fading away - KSU Big 12 champs? (that really hurt to type)

  • a top seed (1st - 4th) in the NCAA tourney in serious jeopardy. No high seed? No KC 1st round games (or Dallas 2nd round)

  • no top seed + no local tourney game = increase chance of early NCAA exit (which was already a high probability with this team that doesn't know how to score)

  • Recruits turned off - better figure this out by Big Monday with Texas and Randle coming

JayDocMD 8 years, 7 months ago

This is a new coaching challenge for Self. I can't ever remember a Self-coached team that responded to a loss by laying a gigantic egg. I don't think he's ever had a group of Seniors that weren't able to rally around him and pick up the team when it faced adversity. He really does risk losing this team - I have to agree with some of what HEM has written about his post-game comments after OSU. That mistimed tough love seems to have fractured the already fragile psyche of this team. Can he rebuild it? We'll see - if not, this team could go down in infamy.

Jack Wilson 8 years, 7 months ago

I thought about the blowback from Self's meltdown as I watched the first half, and decided against going there today. I think you are right that it is a clear possibility that the meltdown had an effect on the team's psyche and contributed to the performance last night.

Dyrk Dugan 8 years, 7 months ago

think about it....since the 5:00 mark vs. OSU...we were up by was 58-33 OSU/TCU for the next 34 minutes of basketball. that's right. we got outscored by a team coming in 1-22 on the road in the league, and a winless bottom feeder in the league.

can you believe KU won at Ohio St.? K-State? watching us last night, i could not. Tharpe blew two consecutive LAYUPS in the 2nd half....Kevin Young couldn't make a LAYUP....if we can't make layups, how are we going to compete? let alone win?

it's like Steve Blass in baseball....Rick Ankiel in baseball.....this team has lost it. all the way around. Ben McLemore on defense? please. he can't guard anybody right now. they scored 22 points in the 1st half....but almost every make was a wide open shot.

and we cut it to four with 7 1/2 to play.....but we still pressed? even in the half court? at that point you play straight up're back in the game...the pressure is on THEM...but we don't see it that way. we feel the pressure.

the coaches, the players, the whole lot....needs to take a look in the mirror. good grief, i don't watch the OU game.....and i'll miss half of it for the boys' Y game, but my can't get much worse...can it? :)

jay_cheese 8 years, 7 months ago

Well last night we saw that even the finest tuned engine sometimes can sieze up. Little things can turn into big things pretty quick and all of the sudden it just stops. Whoever pissed in TR's soup better take it back fast. He is our best leader on this team and he was a ghost last night on offense.

EJ's gotta get confident and be the man (whether he wants to or not) real quick or we could be in for more losses. I don't think he's a great team leader but I do think he should be the best player on the floor most of the time. I think he's also been banged up for a while but understands that we don't have any other decent option. If cbb had 'dog days', they would be right now. We'll get out of this rutt and as any decent bb fan knows, you want to be playing your best ball at the end when it really counts-not the 1st week of February..

I think we could lose another couple in the league and still be champs. Our win a few weeks back at Bramlage could be the decider when all things are said and done. Every one of guys can and will play better than what we saw last night. Rockchalk!

jgkojak 8 years, 7 months ago

This is on Self.

And this is the same issue he has had in past bad losses -

Bucknell - playing Langford while Kaun, Robinson and Jackson (albeit as freshemen) sat on the bench.

It would be MATHEMATICALLY impossible for the bench players to play WORSE. So why not play Rio some significant minutes?

The only motivation I see in giving EJ 31 minutes is - this was his test. He can now, with utter confidence, bench EJ and switch things up at guard.

Some errors: I'll give him a pass on starting Ellis.

But... Young needed to be out there 30 minutes, not 14. Rio should have been trusted with the point in the 1st half - couldn't have been worse. He needs to find another guard on that bench - Manning has some Morningstar-like tools and can be passable - perhaps we go w/that? Where's Wesley? He gave them some good minutes at times last year.

Tony Bandle 8 years, 7 months ago

As I posted last night and please don't take this the wrong way but, deep down, did any of you truly think that a team that starts Kevin Young was a potential National Champion??

Kansas lost it's heart [TROB] and Soul {TYSHAWN] and, as of yet, has not gotten it back.

webmocker 8 years, 7 months ago

I recall someone saying that about Chris Piper back in 1988. Not that I think this is necessarily a National Championship caliber team, but I'm against dissing players who work hard and fill their roles with a positive attitude.

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 7 months ago

I know they didn't "technically" win the Championship, but what about Jeff Graves in '03......sure came da*n close to winning the Championship against Syracuse, had they not shot < 50% from the line.

Kevin Young is a better hustling, worse rebounding Jeff Graves. What he lacks that Jeff Graves DID have is a mean streak.

joshuamc914 8 years, 7 months ago

The most frustrating part to me it wasn't the missed shots or the turnovers, but it was the lack of leadership. Not one senior was trying to lead out there at all. This team lacks fire like Self has said all year to many nice guys. The team needs a strong personality to be able to light a fire under their teammate like T-Rob and Tyshawn did last year or like the Twins, Sherron, and Russ Rob. This team in my opinion is soft and they lack a fire. I didn't see anyone get in some1's face or yell say someone for a turnover or a bad shot. Self can't call out the team, a player has to step up and call out the team. The sad part is I don't see a leader. Alot of nice guys but no fire or passion from our too guys which is why we're struggling.

sleepy33 8 years, 7 months ago

+1 on the lack of fire, though there actually was a moment when BMac and one of the TCU players were both going for a loose ball and it got a bit chippy between the teams, but it quickly died down. Even when they drew to within 4, you didn't see anyone on the floor trying to get fired up about the momentum. I sort of wish we had a home game up next to try and help pump them up, but then it almost seems like the Phog mojo isn't even affecting them anymore. Didn't seem to help much vs. OSU, and there were certainly enough Jayhawk fans at the TCU game to cheer them on. They are in dire need of some internal motivation.

Sam Constance 8 years, 7 months ago

All the chippiness was coming from TCU. I know because at the time I remembered thinking "what the heck is that fat jerk from TCU flipping out about!?".

In hindsight, I think the fact that the TCU player was all riled up and the best KU could do was go over to be around McLemore is a worrisome indicator of our lack of fight.

Max Ledom 8 years, 7 months ago


If I knew we had THIS many coaches better than Self, I would have made the move years ago, and just have all of you coach from the bench! I'm sure you know much more than Self. I'm sure you could all do a better job. Shut up. This is not on coach at all.

I saw a group of players that looked like they didn't even FEEL like playing basketball yesterday. They looked like they didn't want to win! That is not on coach! These two losses happened because the players were not doing what they needed to!

It does make me laugh though, losing 2 games in a row means the sky is falling for us. I think we all have been a little spoiled and needed a reality check. We weren't going to go 2000+ games without consecutive losses. It happens. Now, shut up and believe.

This is the same team that went on the road and BEAT Ohio State. The same team that DISMANTLED Colorado. The same team that went on the road and BEAT KState. We are National Championship caliber. Not a doubt in my mind.

HawkKlaw 8 years, 7 months ago

Hear, hear! KU has bad losses every year. This year we've had a couple in a row. The sky is not falling. The players just didn't show up at all last night. Bill Self will right the ship and have this team back up to snuff by March.

Kye Clark 8 years, 7 months ago

"I would have made the move years ago..."

Who do you think you are? Sheahon Zenger?

If you think this is the same team that beat Ohio State and Colorado, you're dreaming. It's the same guys, but the team is completely different.

But by all means, bury your head in the sand and "LOL" your way through the rest of the season.

offline 8 years, 7 months ago

Self can't recruit, Tharpe did more harm then good and he is far from being a PG, or even a player. Ku will be lucky to make it to the NIT and that is a good question. KU can sit home and watch Kansas ST. in the NCAA Tournment. Basketball experts have been saying that KU isn't recruiting good players and now this, will only make it an uphill grade for top recruits. KU looked like a team that Morningstar was on, which he was a total dud. Kansas ST. has a great basketball and football team, as KST. rules the state of Kansas.

Does is resemble other Self teams, Bucknell, VCU, UNI and the others. Four seniors an and a coach like this says, it's time from Self to go. Maybe KU needs to go to the MVC, they would probably get their butts kick around by Creighton and WST. U.

Iowa ST. should have won that game as they out played KU. Oklahoma ST. was a blowout and Kansas ST. was close.

Some of the ESPN are saying it's time to take a long look at the head coach position at KU, than there should tell us something.

Brak 8 years, 7 months ago

Don't feed the Methzou troll, they are easy to spot by their many grammatical errors, low basketball IQ, references to MVC conference, and Bucknell.

Ludwig Supraphonic 8 years, 7 months ago

Jayhawkinnebr. New name. Same illiterate drivel.

Phoghorn 8 years, 7 months ago

I was going to post something like this as soon as I could remember his username. Jayhawkinnebraska was actually a Wildcat. K-State, not Kentucky that is.

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 7 months ago

4 Elite 8's in 6 years.

Along with the current No. 2 ranked recruiting class behind ONLY Kentucky.

Only weakness that you MIGHT be able to point to is a weak recruiting of PGs.

Stephan123 8 years, 7 months ago

Unfathomable: TCU beating KU. Coach Self, a great coach, will really have to earn his money now. KU needs bigger bodies and a play maker. But that is in the future, far away.

HawkKlaw 8 years, 7 months ago

Wow, people. This is the kusports message board, right? I haven't somehow slipped over to the KSU page, have I?

Our team is 19-3 atop the Big 12 standings. This team beat Ohio St. on its home court. This team beat KSU on its home court. This team pulled out a heck of a win against a very strong ISU team. We've shown glimpses of greatness throughout the season. If you want to jump ship because of two bad losses, feel free. But I'm betting my money on history and tradition.

If you remember way back before the season started, everyone wondered how this team would bounce back after losing Tyshawn and Trob. Well, last year at this time we were 18-4 (and we lost the next game to Mizzou, making us 18-5). This year we're 19-3. Seems like we've done "okay" thus far. Lol.

The reason KU lost last night is because the team played worse than any team KU has put on the court in the past 10 years. If you think Bill Self all the sudden forgot how to prepare teams for games, you're an idiot. Look at how many turnovers KU had. Look at how many three pointers KU missed. This is partially on Bill Self, sure, but it's mainly on the players for not executing at all. Elijah is certainly not a true PG, but there's no excuse for the amount of turnovers he has this season. He simply has to play better.

Kye Clark 8 years, 7 months ago

Last year's team also lost to Duke & Kentucky by this point in the season. It's not an apples to apples comparison to say we're "okay" because of our record.

I don't think it's "jumping ship" to start lowering expectations for this year's team. Sure there are the fair-weather fans. I will still watch every game, pull for them just as hard, and sit down expecting us to win every game and be disappointed when they don't. But big picture, these losses have to put things into perspective.

Beate Williams 8 years, 7 months ago

I'm not sure what game some of you were watching. You belittle the coach because he didn't have the team ready on defense and that he simply let the offense shrink into nothingness. Everyone was calling for him to start Perry and he did and Perry paid him with 0 points and 1 rebound in 10 minutes against an "inferior" interior team. You wanted him to put Tharpe in so that EJ could move to his natural 2 spot, he did and we see how successful that was last night by looking at the attempts and made shots by the two of them. The most upsetting thing about that combo was when KU was making a comeback and Tharpe rushes down and shoots a three when we had numbers; not to mention the time he had TRel on a two and one and he decided to take it to the hoop, didn't make the lay-up but did get fouled, TRel makes those shots.

You complain about the defensive sets from last night, TCU shot 39% and 31% from behind the arc. TCU had 22 points the first half, true enough they scored 40 in the second half, we scored 42 but my point is the defense, at least the half court defense worked. We could not shoot the ball last night; we did a lot of standing around on offense; we did not go aggresively for those 50-50 balls; we did not create T0s for whatever reason; we played against an inspired team that went after every lose ball and played with desire and agression.

I'm not sure if you blame the coach for the lack of inspired play, for the lack of aggressiveness or if you blame hyped up, Division 1 ball players who are playing at one of the greatest basketball schools in the country.

Not sure how many of you have coached and if you have you must have run into those games when no matter what you attempted trying to elimate the lackadasical approach to the game is sometimes impossible to elimate and that is the way in look at what happened last night.

I must say, I thought I was pissed Saturday, I can't describe how I'm still feeling this morning. I find this an embarrassing loss and if I feel this way I can't even imagine how this team must feel. I think the pride is there and the ship will be righted.

Tony Bushard 8 years, 7 months ago

A lot of truth there BeachHawk. Let's also remember that as embarrassing as that loss was to take as a fan, it's much more embarrassing for the players and coaching staff. In addition Self reminded us this year--as he has in the past--that winning, combined with making shots, covers up a lot of mistakes and (sometimes) weaknesses. I don't recall anyone expressing too much concern about lack of size in the post when we were in the win streak. We still have the players and weaknesses we did when we beat Ohio St. and put up 97 against Iowa St., but they're compounded by poor shooting. Sure, we're in a slump, but let's gain a little perspective here. We're 19-3, we're still in first place in the Big 12, and it's only February. Better to deal with this crap in February than late March. Heck, think back to the 2002-03 team. They lost consecutive games twice (the first of which was part of a 1-3 stretch and the second set included a road loss to Colorado) and suffered one of the biggest second-half free-falls in Allen Fieldhouse history and they ended up pretty good. Complain all you want, but have a little perspective. Yes it was bad, historically bad, but things are only called "historically bad" because they rarely happen. Rock Chalk!!

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 7 months ago

Only one thing that I'm mad at Self about. Tharpe has BARELY been better than EJ and Releford's been WAY too tentative for a while now. How about more than 3 mins. for A. Adams?!?!?!

We left that last game which we almost miraculously came back from 8 down w/ :50 left in large part due to the inspired minute of Andrew White III. Self is quoted as saying that maybe he should play him more and he proceeds to play him all of 2 mins.!!! :(

Dale Koch 8 years, 7 months ago

HCBS has to shoulder the blame on this one and this year. KU wins 60 percent of the time because they have superior talent on the floor and the other 40 percent might be due to coaching. This year is going to take a great deal of coaching and I don't see it happening so far. We've been playing terrible for over a month now and coaching hasn't improved anything, so now we get what we deserve. We could still be a good team, but someone has to step up and it's obviously not the ones he is putting on the floor. Ellis over Young was the change, made no sense at all. Perry is not near ready for D1 basketball and won't be for another year and a half. EJ has to come off the bench. In my opinion any other guard could do at least as good as he has done. I love EJ but it's in his head now and that's tough to correct.
Rock Chalk!!!

HawkKlaw 8 years, 7 months ago

Haha. Last year KU was 18-4 at this time and there were a lot of people like you questioning whether or not KU would win the Big 12 title. We did, and Bill Self masterfully coached our team into the Final Four. Count him out if you will, but shooting 30% from the field and 14% from three point land is going to spell a loss for almost every team. No amount of coaching can salvage that.

dhinkansas 8 years, 7 months ago

Don't agree that it was like the Northern Iowa NCAA game. UNI was a good team that year, won 28 games. KU scored 13 first half points against an 0 - 8 conference team last night. And really, was as lifeless as I've seen KU since the Ted Owens days before Larry Brown came.

yanman 8 years, 7 months ago

dhinkansas, the 1982/1983 Ted Owen’s coached team was never as pathetic as that abomination last night.

troutsee 8 years, 7 months ago

Look. We had a bad game. We shot the ball horrendously. Every team has a game or two when that happens. The sky is not falling. We played horribly as a team. That's it. Stop over analyzing. In some games the ball just doesn't drop. This was one of those games. Big deal.

ironhead80 8 years, 7 months ago

Head Game! As long as they have the heart of what it takes to be a JAYHAWK!

Don't give up, don't ever give up. Jimmy V

Ludwig Supraphonic 8 years, 7 months ago

I watched the first half of the OSU-Baylor game last night. Stagnant offense with terrible shooting from both teams. OSU started out 1 for 12 and 0 for 6 from 3. Many of the 3s were clankers off the backboard or back of the rim from Brown. Pierre Jackson's first half included 1 assist, 4 turnovers, three missed 3 pointers, two missed layups and one foul. His scoring was one lay-up 13 minutes into the game and a 2 point jumper with 57 seconds left. Pretty much the same Bears we played. A vastly different OSU: miserable passing and screens, awful on the offensive board, poor rotation and rushed shots. I didn't know that our first half would exceed this awful display. However, the OSU squad that couldn't miss Saturday didn't show up on the Sutton floor. The Pierre Jackson and Smart we would trade the ranch for were pedestrian last night.
I am very disappointed with our guard play and wish we had a true 1. However, mental and tactical errors are part of the game. The best guard match-up of the week was Michigan-OSU. I saw Craft pick Burke several times. Craft ended the game with two blocked floaters; when dishing seemed the better choice. We should not have been in the position where a 50% foul shooter can be clutch or we can be outmuscled by wide-bodies. Florida should not have been hammered by lights out shooting from Ark. I am not sure Self can right the ship; and the problems are multiple. I'm glad my job doesn't depend on consistant performances from 18-22 year olds.

hammerhawk 8 years, 7 months ago

Auuuuugggggggggg!!! I'm 65 years old and during that time ....(finish the sentence with agnst). It is impossible to put a finger on this performance. I did read above about sitting the whole team .. Roy did that, as I recall. OMG, OK and ksu coming. Lord help us.

Steve Jacob 8 years, 7 months ago

A day later, my thoughts are maybe Self maybe overreacted to much with the OSU game? KU did not play that bad, OSU just played great. He beat his players so much it hurt the team? I might be wrong, we will find out by Tuesday.

JayHawkFanToo 8 years, 7 months ago

I am not sure which is more embarrassing, the loss last night or some of the comments above.

Come on people !!! Bill Self is still one of the top 3 coaches in college BBall and he did not suddenly forgot how to coach.

He will right the ship and KU will get back to playing the way the were playing before. Keep in mind that we get OSU and TCU on consecutive games in two weeks...payback is a beotch!!!...and a great motivator.

Kristen Downing 8 years, 7 months ago

I have always wished we had an assistant coach that was a successful point guard. Duke does it and I believe Ohio State has one on the bench(from Duke). I think our point guards take too long to develop. I also think Larry Brown's help last year was more valuable than we realize. Yelling and inflexibility( a little zone defense, please) are two weak points in my opinion, of Self.

Tippyhawk 8 years, 7 months ago

Is it really true that "rats are the first to leave a sinking ship?"

Robert Lofthouse 8 years, 7 months ago

Flying Fickle Finger Of Fate Award goes to these Jayhawks.

" Fickle, by definition, means changeable, not steady. Fate is a predestination of something undetermined but inevitable. The fickle finger of fate points out something ominous or that may happen in the future without determination of a specific time frame. It is used mostly in a jocular vain."

~ no malice intended

Linda Peschka 8 years, 7 months ago

There are players who do not play quality bb but yet they are still in the game . They make the same mistakes and continue to shoot poorly or not at all as in Releford's case. Self should bench all of them and play others who want to play with energy. They certainly can not play any worse. Enough is enough. KU is going to lose to OU, OSU, and certainly to IOWA ST. and will not win the Big 12 League championship.

Too many of the players play for I and ME unstead of WE and US.

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 7 months ago

I want to see Self start

A.Adams McLemore White III K. Young Withey

on Saturday

Tharpe should be the next PG in & can come in RIGHT AWAY if Adams is really struggling. Give White III a healthy 5-6 mins. before subbing Releford in. I want to see less of P. Ellis & more of Traylor, particularly if we need rebounding help. MAYBE more of Ellis if they need a little more O but even then you can usually only count of Ellis for like 4-6 pts.

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 7 months ago

EJ should only come in if we're down big or up big. Maybe, if that's the case he won't feel the pressure. And maybe he could still have a lot of mins. played in either case, but I think that's what he needs RIGHT NOW.

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