Thursday, February 7, 2013

Staying the course: Bill Self, Jayhawks not panicking over skid

Bill Self reacts to the Jayhawks play in second-half action of the Jayhawks 62-55 loss to Texas Christian University, Wednesday at TCU in Ft. Worth, TX.

Bill Self reacts to the Jayhawks play in second-half action of the Jayhawks 62-55 loss to Texas Christian University, Wednesday at TCU in Ft. Worth, TX.



Mike Yoder

Bill Self reacts to the Jayhawks play in second-half action of the Jayhawks 62-55 loss to Texas Christian University, Wednesday at TCU in Ft. Worth, TX.

Bill Self isn’t going to throw Kansas University’s basketball playbook out the window and start diagramming new offensive and defensive sets.

KU’s 10th-year coach isn’t going to toss the names of his 15 players in a hat and pick five to form a new, radical starting lineup.

Self, in a Thursday interview with the Journal-World, said he does not plan to overreact in the wake of consecutive losses to Oklahoma State and TCU. He says he’ll stay the course with his Jayhawks (19-3, 7-2), who following Wednesday’s 62-55 loss at TCU remain tied for first place with Kansas State in the Big 12 race.

“I don’t know what else you do. This team has won. It is 19-3,” Self said. “We would take 19-3 before the season. Everybody would with the schedule we play. We’d take 19-3 right now. The problem is, we’ve played really poorly the last five days.

“We’ll get it back. We’ve got good players. We haven’t played as well as we should. We haven’t gotten them as prepared as we should the past week. Hopefully we’ll do a better job of getting a little mojo back going to Norman (for 3 p.m. game Saturday versus Oklahoma).”

The Sooners will take a 14-7, 5-4 mark into the rematch of a 67-54 KU victory on Jan. 26 in Allen Fieldhouse.

“Every team goes through a funk. That was a bad funk we went through in Fort Worth, obviously,” Self said. “I haven’t had a team that hasn’t had games where they didn’t play well. That was magnified and looked so bad because obviously we couldn’t score the ball.”

The Jayhawks, in compliance with NCAA rules on practice time, took their regularly scheduled day off Thursday — a day after opening 1-for-17 shooting and scoring just 13 first-half points versus the Horned Frogs (10-12, 1-8).

“The thing is,” Self said, “if we were going to have changes, we would have done that over Christmas break. You can’t change when you have one day of practice or two days of practice. You can tweak something or put something in that can help you a bit. The meat and potatoes ... that’s done.

“This is who we are. This is how we play. We do need to develop more of an identity we can hang our hat on,” added Self, who has complained about lack of toughness of late. “Still a lot of teams would like to be where we are at right now, although we are not happy at all where we are at because everything has happened negative in the last five days.”

Self has said a team does not truly become a team until it goes through adversity. Back-to-back losses for the first time since the 2005-06 season (KU hasn’t lost three in a row since 2004-05 to Texas Tech, Iowa State, OU) would classify as adversity.

“This has been such a non-stressful-type year so far, in large part because the guys have won,” Self said. “You go 85 days without losing a game (80 days between the Michigan State loss on Nov. 13 and the Okie State loss on Feb. 2) you probably get a little bit too much of a comfort zone. We haven’t become a team yet the way we hopefully can become a team, because you can’t do that until you go through some stuff.

“All coaches will tell you that. I think we’ll learn from it. I’ll tell you this: The reason we played poorly is not from a lack of effort. The reason we played poorly is we just played poorly. It’s a fine line. We’ve had two of our better practices of the year Monday and Tuesday. We had a really good shoot-around on Wednesday. None of our practices translated to the games. We have to keep practicing hard, well and tough, and over time it’ll certainly translate.”

Self remembers instances in which the 2008 NCAA title team and last year’s NCAA runner-up squad became a true team.

“Were we a team because everything was so easy losing to Davidson and at Missouri?” Self said of last year. “Were we a team because everything was so easy after we lost three of five in the national title season (3-4 in seven-game stretch)?” Self added. “We lost to Michigan State, and there was a built-in excuse (so early in season). I’d rather go through crap and win. We need to go through some stuff. I hope this is the turning point we can look at and say, ‘Hey, we became a team.’ Who knows? If we can grow from it, we might become pretty good.”

As far as the technical aspects of Wednesday’s horrific start ...

“We had some open looks. We rushed our shots. We played sped-up after we missed our first several shots,” Self said. KU hit three of 22 shots overall the first half, 18 of 61 shots total (29.5 percent) and three of 22 threes for the game. “We didn’t go strong to the hole. We just didn’t play very well, which is evident. It wasn’t from lack of effort. I thought we tried. We just didn’t play very well.

“Even though we didn’t make shots and didn’t play well offensively, what probably should have been the case is we should have been down four or five points instead of nine (22-13 at half). We didn’t close the first half out right defensively — 18-13 or 17-13 wouldn’t have been a good score, but we would have been better off, because in a game like that, nine points is a lot. They controlled the ball most of the possessions.”


Barney Kruse 1 year, 2 months ago

You know, I'm not a coach or a player or even anybody important. But I love my KU basketball!
I have 2 observations.
First, where the H?!@# is the bench?!!! When Morningstar and Brady and all the other Walk Ons (or non-starters) {I'm talking to Self, Manning, and all the other stars-in-high-school-want-to-be-stars-at-KU} were sitting on the bench, they were the best cheerleaders in the country... where is the bench at? Second, who did we replace Danny with? We need some NBA big man experience. Scott POLLARD is NOW! What about Paul Pierce in a year or two? When we lose a game or two, how do we get it back? Nothing can replace EXPERIENCE. We have to have an NBA existance. Is it just me, or am I bleeding blue alone?!!!!! Huahhh!!!!


lrahardja 1 year, 2 months ago

Time to sharpen the offensive schemes, draw some new plays.


yates33333 1 year, 2 months ago

The regular comments that the 2007-08 team lost three games caused me to check on the three losses. They were to Big 12 co-champion Texas by 3 points (Texas was 31-7 and loser to Memphis in the elite 8), to K-State by 9 points (K-State was 21-12 and loser in the NCAA second round to Wisconsin), and Oklahoma State by 1 point (OSU was 17-16 and loser in the first round of the NIT). All three games were away games. Compare those records to TCU which has won six games. Other than KU their best wins were over UAB (10-13), Navy (6-18), and Rice (4-17). How they beat KU defies logic and common sense.


ironhead80 1 year, 2 months ago

The players on this team for the most part have been reserves and there learning how to be frontline players for the best div 1 bball programs in the country. I see them make some good plays trying to go to the basket and make plays, the ball was just not going down in the basket. Rele, Tharpe and Elijah especially tried to make moves to the hole and I feel in the remaining games the effort well be made in to made baskets, because these guy's work to hard not to get it to happen. They'll realize and probably already see that there the only ones out their and they have to rely on themselves. The problem that probably won't be fixed until next season is a playmaker at the 4, I just don't see it happening this season.

How do you go from where you are to where you want to be? I think you have to have an enthusiasm for life. You have to have a dream, a goal, and you have to be willing to work for it. Jimmy V


Emery 1 year, 2 months ago

I think the root of KU's problems will be found in the answer to this question. Why did Travis Releford take only 1 shot during the TCU game while Johnson/Tharpe took 27 shots?


Sam Constance 1 year, 2 months ago

If anyone is thinking that they don't want to watch anymore because of how bad it was on Wednesday, please take this friendly advice:

Don't. Watch, that is.

There are plenty of KU fans who will live and die WITH their team and who will proudly watch this team fight to the end, even if the season ends up finishing with disappointment. We don't need the types who feel that quality basketball is OWED to them in exchange for their eyes.

This team displayed some serious flaws. There are a few fans who would point to our record and ignore the problems, but I think most of us are aware enough to recognize the flaws. However, the true fans amongst us are going to keep watching in spite of those flaws, in hopes that this team will figure out the problem and improve, the same way countless, differently-composed Jayhawk teams have in the past. You see, we love the Jayhawks and would rather watch them go down in flames than not watch them at all. THAT is the definition of a "realist" fan. Not getting pissy because our team is struggling and taking our ball (eyes) and going home.

Some Jayhawk fans simply need to grow the [expl.] up.


Reuben_J_Cogburn 1 year, 2 months ago

Stop me if I'm wrong, and I don't relish saying this..........

......but I just can't help but think this is all somehow Brady Morningstar's fault.


REHawk 1 year, 2 months ago

I've been mostly quiet since the meltdown, probably happily so in the eyes of posters who have grown tired of my mini-rants most of the season, calling for more minutes for AW3 and Rio. I'm a guy who still fumes over the lack of minutes for freshman Russ Rob, a player who might have helped rest and revive Miles and Lankford when they ran out of gas by March. Maybe Andrew and Rio will never become the contributors whom Russell was, after he decidend not to transfer, then returned as a major piece in the puzzle his last 3 years. They might not possess Russell's tenacity or potential. And I wish to make clear that I am happy, over-all, with Bill Self's successes at the helm of Jayhawk hoops. I truly feel that no other coach in the nation could have matched his wins and league titles for KU. That said, I think he is too hardnosed and hardheaded about his #9 and #10 player. Since Christmas, something has been lacking in this program. Perhaps jaybate has hit part of the nail on the head in his theory that second semester of NCAA Div. 1 basketball mutates away from a finesse game into more of a muscleball scenario. I do not live in Lawrence, have not attended a game this year, have merely watched from my TV screen and read almost everything available about current Jayhawk basketball. And I am certainly no psychologist or current or former basketball coach. However, a thought niggles somewhere in the recesses of my mind that the gradually imploding advancement of this team might have as much to do with coaching stresses as with player shortcomings.


JayhawkRock78 1 year, 2 months ago

I have been frustrated watching us struggle a lot this year, even though we were winning. The last two games were hard to watch too. I'd say the first half of the TCU game was the worst basketball I've ever seen on TV. I'm done watching games live for a while. I'll use the DVR and wait until the outcome is known before I decide to watch it.


Gil Ek 1 year, 2 months ago

Patience. These guys will regroup under Coach Self and have a head of steam and some new confidence going into the tournament season. Almost seems as if all the seniors are bored playing in there 60ish + conference games. They will be hungry again soon and on a roll.


Scott Smetana 1 year, 2 months ago

If there's ever a year for a true Cinderella team to win the tourney, this is it. Right now I don't think it matters a lot which seed we are. There's very little difference right now between a 2 or 8 seed. For instance... #2 Arizona vs. #8 North Carolina.


Phog4ever 1 year, 2 months ago

How about just have some FUN!! The guys haven't looked like they are enjoying playing the game of basketball for weeks. No smiles on their faces, no energy, etc. Just go out there and have some fun playing the game you love! Rock Chalk!


tashe2 1 year, 2 months ago

I'm a die hard KU fan. I have "KU" tattooed on my right forearm.. with that in mind, I don't want to hear any crap about being a fair weather fan. I'm a "realist" fan. This team is the worst team in the Self era forsure, possibly the worst team since 81'. We have no true point guard, we have no rythem in our offense at all. Travis Releford is scared to shoot the ball, EJ has been playing worse than Tyshawn EVER did, and Bmac is turning into more of a volume shooter than anything else. Sure he scored 15 points vs. TCU but he went 6-16. That is unnacceptable.

Bottom line is, I'm ready for this season to be over. We will get bounced in the 2nd round of the tournament and then we can move onto next year.

This team is disgusting to watch.. I feel sorry for all the past players, coaches, alumni, boosters, etc for having to watch this miserable team play.

Thank the good Lord that we have a great recruting class coming in next year.


Brad Farha 1 year, 2 months ago

I want to stay the course, but I think we are well past that. It is a mistake to let 10 years of success overshadow 5 bad days. It's time to go in a new direction. If we get the chance to pick up Quin Snyder, we dump Self and make the change.


Tyson Ailshie 1 year, 2 months ago

Why can't it just be Saturday already? ROCK CHALK!


Reuben_J_Cogburn 1 year, 2 months ago

Two reasons why I am not concerned:

1.) Bill Self proved, last year, he can coach. End of story. He took a mediocre group and made them title contenders.

2.) Remember, if you will, back to 2005. Commentators and reports keep mentioning it....but think about that situation. We lose in Allen Fieldhouse to K-State. Two days later we lose in overtime at Missouri; per the great Moody free-throw debacle of 2005.

This, I thought back then, was the beginning of the dark ages of Kansas Basketball. Bill Self wasn't the right coach. We were heading toward oblivion. We had dropped two straight to our hated rivals.

Everyone refers to that stint because that was the last time we lost back-to-back conference games. But no one seems to recall what happened after that.

The following Saturday, we demolished Nebraska by 53, and went on a conference tear that included just one loss at Texas, but redeemed by the rematch in the Big XII Tournement Championship.


I don't know about you all, but for me, losing at home to KSUck; followed by a choke job in Columbia, was much worse than losing back-to-back games against Okie State and TCU.....regardless of the statistical significance behind the TCU loss.

Nothing comes easy, and this team just discoverd that. They've been hit, and the rebound is entirely up to them. But I believe, beyond all doubt, that Bill Self and his team will right the wrongs...and Phog Allen will make room for another banner.

The comments I've seen on here are complaining about our sense of entitlement. It is true that these players need to avoid that arrogance and play with heart and humility if they want to succeed from here on out.

But there's nothing wrong with KU fans feeling entitled to what is rightfully ours. Basketball tradition, success, and glory is our birthright. It's not arrogance, entitlement, or ego-centric. It's fact. It's history. It's legacy.

So, boys, keep your chins up, roll your sleeves back, and let's go claim what's ours.

Rock Chalk.


BCRavenJHawkfan 1 year, 2 months ago

“We would take 19-3 before the season. Everybody would with the schedule we play. We’d take 19-3 right now."


But the issue is not the record. It's the content of the record!

Had the three loses been to Michigan St., Ohio St., and Kansas St., that would be a bit more palatable, or even Michigan St., Ohio St., Kansas St.. But Okie St. at home and TCU as two of your three loses doesn't bolster your case for your 19 wins!


Tony Bandle 1 year, 2 months ago

Based on two days of postings, articles, quotes and general information, the question is NOT WHAT the Jayhawks need to do to recover. The question is HOW AND IF the Jayhawks can actually do it.

Can they suddenly become a team of aggressive personalities to counteract the "bullying" they will now see till the end of the season?

Can they suddenly gain strength to fight off the behemoths that will come crashing into them?

Can they find the defensive focus to put pressure on our opponents and create offensive turnover opportunities?

Can they overcome the fear of shooting/not shooting the basketball when presented with the circumstance?

Can they recapture the swagger, confidence and mystique that so many great Kansas teams have displayed in the past?

Can the coaching staff find a balance between consistency of philosophy and adaptability to circumstance?

I offer no answers....only patience and let's wait and see. My heart will always say YES, however, my head says I DON"T KNOW.


cpjc 1 year, 2 months ago

Maybe it's the pressure of (having been) a #1 ranked team. It becomes a JOB with lots of pressure to keep that ranking. Not a joy to climb their way up.

And as for missed shots and tons of missed bunnies all season - I wonder if there needs to be a focus on mental follow through every time they put up a shot. Sometimes I wonder if they are thinking GET BACK on defense one second too soon...


KU 1 year, 2 months ago

EJ is a very fragile person, psychologically. Self knows this. It's not a knock on EJ. He's a good kid. He's a very sensitive kid. In a lot of areas in life, those are admirable qualities that will help you succeed, but not when your job is to be an assassin for a blue-blood basketball program.

Self is damned if he does sit him and damned if he doesn't. If he does sit him, EJ's psyche takes a hit because EJ feels inadequate. If he doesn't sit him, EJ's poor decision-making, turnovers and poor shooting give EJ's psyche a hit.

Don't expect his role to change much the rest of the season. The most we can hope for is that EJ will get on a huge roll like the one l documented that lasted from the aTm game through the Big 12 tourney and the NCAAs last year. That's wishful thinking. Our best options are to get Releford and BMac to take 15-18 shots per game, each.


Justin Carlson 1 year, 2 months ago

Well it is Friday! I have read espn "conversation" the "KUSPORTS" board rats, listened to countless radio "experts" and I have come to one conclution none of us has flipping clue what is going on with this team! We have to trust the coaching staff and get behind the players because last I checked, there are no free agent PF or PG out there who average 10 and 10 or 10 and 5 so as a lifelong hawk fan I am eagerly awaiting 3pm tomorrow.

By the way I woke up early this morning and found this! I was laughing the whole time and you what we are still "KANSAS!!"


jackoman 1 year, 2 months ago

Hawk 90 is so very right. Releford can't be in the game for just defense. I hear that all the time and so stupid. He has got to start taking shots. He should be scoring at least 10-12 points a game as a 5th year senior. I hate watching somebody in the open and passing it off to someone else to shoot. Lack of Cofindence.


dhinkansas 1 year, 2 months ago

I don't know that anyone is in a state of panic. The reality is the team may have peaked too early. I think of the great win in Columbus, but the poor play of West Virginia, at Texas, at Texas Tech was not a thing of beauty and they pulled the Iowa St game out their backsides. It may not be a year to make a deep March's ok. KU Hoops are still the best show in town.


Kye Clark 1 year, 2 months ago

4) - Self’s game management. It’s not all on the players. A lot of it is. Self isn’t out there shooting these woeful percentages. A lot of it is as simple as making open looks. We make open looks, we’re having different discussions. However, he has to shoulder a lot of the blame as well. Watching the game last night, some of the stuff he was doing was a joke. As HEM has pointed out, putting AW3 in the game cold (again) with a minute left. Does he know he’s eligible to play the whole game, not just that desperation last minute of play? I was actually a fan of what he was doing with pulling the starters (as Roy used to do), but you have to leave them out there for more than a minute of play. Players were in and out too quickly. Let Rio get into a flow. Traylor scored our first points and then disappeared. Perry starts both halves but didn’t see the court after subbing out both times. What was he doing (or not doing) that was so much worse than the rest of the team? And just circling back - more AW3 please.

5) - Tharpe. This could be as simple as reeling him in. He is still young, but he got a little confidence and it worked against him last night. He got us back in the game, then took us right back out. And while he does some things well, I still don’t see him as the answer at PG. Long-term I have a hard time envisioning him as our starter the next two years. Short-term, he might be the answer for cutting EJ’s minutes, but that can’t be the case come March. I still think it was a mistake to not be developing Adams, but Self was probably more comfortable with Tharpe’s knowledge of the system so Adams had to take a back seat.

Anyway, I think if KU can just start fixing a handful of things the confidence, swagger, & toughness will come back. And really, that is what made this team so good. We’re not blowing anyone away from a pure talent standpoint. But we have the best coach in the country (yes, I still believe that), and when things are right those intangibles are what carry this team to victories over the likes of Ohio State. I can’t wait to see how they come out Saturday. Rock Chalk!


Kye Clark 1 year, 2 months ago

2) - EJ. Let's get this out of the way - EJ is in all likelihood not going to regain the form we saw during the last 9 games of last season. And as someone pointed out after the OSU game, that 9 game sample is the biggest reason we had any evidence to have our hopes so high for him. However, he is a better player than this. He is capable of being a good PG for this team. The problem is between his ears, and it's on Self to snap him out of it. I think when he's right he's the better option at the point, but until he's right Bill should be seriously cutting into his minutes and replacing him with Tharpe. Now that might seem counter-intuitive, that it will destroy his confidence and he'll never get it back, but it has to be done for two reasons. First, the constant poor performances aren't helping his confidence either, so maybe he needs to be unburdened as the leader of this team. If he isn't carrying that weight maybe he can relax and just play. The second reason is that with him burdening himself as the leader of this team, the crisis of confidence going on with him is spreading to the rest of the players. It’s like a cancer at this point. Instead of coming out ticked off and ready to lay a beat-down on TCU, they came out and got punked, and just took it.

3) - System. I believe in Self's system, but he doesn't have the pieces that fit that system perfectly this year. He has to adapt. You can't run a high-low offense with no post-scoring threat. Credit to Jeff, he's come a long way, but he is not suited for us to run offense through. Perry was our best hope for developing a true post scoring threat, but that doesn’t appear likely to happen soon. So in the absence of a running the offense as Self has traditionally ran it, what do we do? I don’t know honestly, but as sacrilege as this may seem…look at K-State. Borrow some of that motion offense, because really their personnel is not that different than ours right now. They have one bona fide scorer – McGruder. We have one bona fide scorer – BMac. Nearly everything else has to come from the system, so maybe it’s time to change it up. Probably won’t happen, but I’d like to see us at least adding some new wrinkles into the offense. Right now I have no idea what we’re running, other than the weave.


Kye Clark 1 year, 2 months ago

Posted this late in the day yesterday. Re-posting, just because I'm interested in fan reaction. The one person that responded tried explaining Releford's passiveness by telling me that he'd be his retirement that Travis was ill with the flu during the TCU game, and that the next time I had the flu to go play 36 minutes at my local YMCA and report how that worked out. The response was so laughable. Anyway, here's what was posted:

Please stop trying to justify this as "just one loss" or throwing out our record, or the record of teams from seasons' past. Because you know what? When we were playing horribly and skating by all January and some of the astute posters were leery of the direction the team was heading, you all were shouting us down then by saying "we've lost one game and are #2 (or whatever we were at the time) in the country!" How long can you keep burying your head in the sand and pretending that there aren't major issues with this team?

Is the team horrible? No. Is it broken beyond repair? No. Look, this morning the sun came up and I dressed my son in his Jayhawk hoodie before sending him off to start his day. I took the lumps at work, and was still thankful I was a Jayhawk fan and those poking fun at me weren't.

I still think we should win the Big 12, but some things need to be remedied:

1) - Releford. His passiveness on offense is inexcusable. Myself & others have been critical of this long before the losses started piling up. It's not new. It's his M.O. The Houdini act he pulls is the biggest problem with this team. Young isn't a scorer. Withey is not a natural scorer. EJ is struggling mightily. So where's the offense going to come from? BMac isn't going to have too many games like last night, but at least he was trying! Travis would get the ball on the perimeter and wouldn't even look towards the hoop. He couldn't get the ball out of his hands fast enough. After the OSU loss Jaybate suggested (perhaps jokingly, but probably with at least a dash of truth to it) that Self should tell the rest of the team to clear out for EJ and let him get 6 baskets. No one takes a shot until EJ gets us 6 baskets. Well, in all seriousness maybe that should be the case for Travis. He has to get more aggressive on the offensive end. If that had happened, at least one of these losses could have been avoided, and my guess is both of them. Might have still had to win ugly, but getting him on track is the biggest step this team needs to take to get their swagger back. If he's going to continue to be this much of a non-factor then Self is better off starting and playing AW3. A couple of weeks ago, I would say that is unthinkable because of the net gain Travis provides with his stellar defense and usually solid fundamentals. However, he’s been getting beat a lot on the defensive end lately too. And last night he was the one who failed to box out and allowed TCU that monstrous tip dunk that re-energized them.


JayDocMD 1 year, 2 months ago

I'm with Yahweh up above (rimshot.)

This Self quote is bothersome: "The problem is, we’ve played really poorly the last five days." Surely he doesn't believe that does he?

The first whiffs of a funk began Jan 6th vs Temple, and we have been progressively more funky with each game: Iowa St and then Tech. We could have easliy lost as well to TX, KSU, OU and WV. All of those game were in question deep into the 4th quarter.

The funk was not to be ignored vs OkSt. And then Wednesday happened. The funk came to a purulent head in Ft Worth. Fitting that it would take a Horned Frog to expose our warts - but I would argue they've been there all along.


John Strayer 1 year, 2 months ago

No disrespect for Coach Self intended, but I have to disagree with him. This team has been playing poorly for a lot longer than 5 days. Starting with the Temple game the offense has been very painful to watch. Scoring in the 80s hasn't been seen since before conference play. For goodness took a banked in 3 point shot to send the Iowa State game to overtime.

Maybe the offense has been poor all season and covered up by fast breaks started on the defensive end...which also has evaporated with the start of conference play.


Reuben_J_Cogburn 1 year, 2 months ago

Don't jump ship yet.

I had a feeling watching these guys in December, and two losses hasn't changed that.

Stay the course. Keep the faith. Rock Chalk.


KU 1 year, 2 months ago

Expect a bounceback game from Releford at OU. It was just last year that he put TRob and Tyshawn and company on his shoulders in Norman and said "I got this." What did he score that day? 24? 28? If he didn't come through that day, KU would have lost.

Not only does he have motivation to make up for his TCU no-show, but he also has the positive memory of playing well in Lloyd Noble Arena.


Jack Wilson 1 year, 2 months ago

Self said above -- “if we were going to have changes, we would have done that over Christmas break. You can’t change when you have one day of practice or two days of practice. You can tweak something or put something in that can help you a bit. The meat and potatoes ... that’s done."

Right. The above items are four tweaks (items 2, 3, 4, and 5) and one kick in the butt (Releford). One tweak he has made is that he is playing small in stretches. He did that at the 11:00 minute mark of the second half. But as ict pointed out yesterday, if Releford won't shoot, he's useless at the 4. But it's something.

There is no reason to panic .. at all.


Jack Wilson 1 year, 2 months ago

“I don’t know what else you do. This team has won. It is 19-3,” Self said. “We would take 19-3 before the season. Everybody would with the schedule we play. We’d take 19-3 right now.

A few items for consideration:

1] Do whatever you can to get Releford to assert himself on offense.Hawk90 mentions it above. To me, this is the panacea on offense. This is the key. This will fix it. It's the best option that is under the coach's and the player's (Releford) control. The guy can score. We need scoring. I went back and watched the game again from Wednesday. Seriously, it makes my stomach turn. Not the loss, but how Releford so calmly passes on opportunity after opportunity to even attempt to score. This "slasher" tried to drive twice the entire game. And guess what? It resulted in a dish for a basket, and then a foul (which should have been a shooting foul). Releford took 1 shot in 36 minutes. We were playing with 4 offensive players on the floor Wednesday. Harshly, Releford needs to act like a 5th year senior and step it up. There's one answer.

2] Sprinkle in the press. Good point made from the TCU game by some posters .. how do you press when you don't make baskets? Right. It's hard. You can only do it when there inbounds, full court. Simply to change pace and change the dynamic, try a full court trapping press every 3rd (or so) full court inbounds situation. It changes the dynamic. It's aggressive. Further, we ran a 2-2-1 3/4 court press a few years ago for a stretch in December .. sprinkle that in. And for those that were responding yesterday saying we did "press" early, don't confuse a real "press" like we initiate at the 7 minute mark of second have with "pressure", where we put KY on the ball in. Two different animals. I understand that pressing real good teams can lead to easy buckets. But it is the surprise element that leads to turnovers -- first time we popped it on TCU, they turned it over.

3] Incorporate a shooter. Give AW3 10 minutes per game. Look, Wednesday, he could have gotten 5 of Releford's minutes and 5 of EJ's (with Tharpe in the game). Evidence is mounting that this is the right thing to do. Self even said after OSU he should be playing him more. AW3 looks like maybe a streaky guy .. either on or off .. but we don't know yet. Either way, it's worth a minimum of 10 minutes for an offensively challenged team.

4] Ball screens for McLemore. Some isolations with a direct ball screen for McLemore, and let him go. This is easy. Make sure to remind McLemore he doesn't have to shoot .. he can dish on the drive. He's our biggest offensive threat. Isolate him. Let him go to work.

5] Build the team up. Instead of saying how bad they are, focus on how good they are. No, how great they are. Even if it's not exactly true. JayDocMD made the point yesterday that all of the negatively may have backfired. Maybe it did. No reason not to try the opposite approach.



chriz 1 year, 2 months ago

Why are we letting opponents dictate the game, anyway? Shouldn't we be showing them who their daddy is?!


JakeBarnes 1 year, 2 months ago

If anyone is going to have his team prepared for the usual sets run by KU it is the Oklahoma coach.


Jason Keller 1 year, 2 months ago

KU on Parden The Interruption.

KU on Parden The Interruption. by kellerman411

These two were laughing their heads off listening to Bill slam the team after the game. I enjoyed it as well.


nuleafjhawk 1 year, 2 months ago

“We would take 19-3 before the season. Everybody would with the schedule we play. We’d take 19-3 right now. The problem is, we’ve played really poorly the last five days. “We’ll get it back. We’ve got good players. We haven’t played as well as we should. "

See? That's the problem with Self. If he would listen to us (yes, myself included) posters, he would throw his arms in the air and say " Forget it, I'm done. Find some other moron to coach these losers, I'm gonna go find me a nice 9-5 blue collar job for 12 bucks an hour."

He's just too rational.


Janet Scott 1 year, 2 months ago

Perhaps Bill should invite Bonnie to "come over" and diagram a few plays, and give the players a pep talk on the agony of losing. She would something about the later, for sure. Any chance Bill will have KU wear Topeka YMCA retro jerseys when KU plays Manure U. next week? I honestly think KU's "soft" problems started when they wore those hideous retro jerseys at UWVA last week: that was almost akin to mothers in the early 1900s making their young sons wear frilly dresses in family photographs.


ajhk 1 year, 2 months ago

Cultivate their headspace Bill

They need focus. Focus is not effort, intensity or want to. Focus is not playing tight, playing with nerves. It is not about how sweaty your jersey is or how hard you can cry after a loss.

Focus is a calm preparedness for all scenarios. It is a clearing of the slate, a lax of expectations, a clear view of your role, your own limitations and a ready and willingness to adapt on the spot.

Focus is clearing the mind of all excitement, regrets, hesitations, or questions from the last battle by the morning after. It's disengagement before reengagement.

If you are surprised, confused, and agitated by the improbability of what is going wrong, and find yourself sweating blood to make up for them, you have not been focused.

The boys fought hard against Bradley, Bucknell, UNI, VCU, TCU. All different teams for KU. All had proven winners, competitors, skilled players, good chemistry, the X's and O's down pat, each fought to the end and were shocked to the core.

Each game the shots just didn't fall and it seemed like theirs did every time. Lucky threes. Come on call a foul refs. How can the ball pop out of the rim like that? Thoughts like those above are an early sign of defeat. A defeat that happened days before the game began.

Occasionally things just don't work out. Sometimes shots don't fall. But has a bigger picture pattern emerged?

Shots not falling is ok, but if your best shooters aren't the ones getting shots off then it isn't. If your point guards are trying as hard as they can at doing the wrong thing isn't that a misappropriation of energy.? Hard to see these things clearly in the midst of battle. If you have already seen this scenario in your mind and prepared for it with a calm head then you will not lose focus, you will know what course to take.

An HCBS team will always be focused for the "big" opponent. As for the little guys, lets take a minute, and remember we'll have to come just as well prepared for any scenario. Panic is not an option.


Michael Auchard 1 year, 2 months ago

Self keeps talking about how the team hasn't been up to par in the last week or so. Man, we haven't played a solid game since conference began. Everybody who's watched us knows that, why not admit it? This team has been downright pathetic for almost a month. We've just eked out some wins over inferior talent.


Michael Sillman 1 year, 2 months ago

Clearly, our offense starts with getting the ball to Withey but I can't really fault the guards in the TCU game.

I was in the stands. Withey was not sealing his guy. He was getting badly outworked and outmuscled in the blocks by the TCU big guys.

Several times the guards tried to force it in to him and turned it over.

There was also very little in the way of high-low action with either Ellis or Young.

Toward the end of the game we got some penetration that opened up Withey for some easy dunks.

Withey has to do better at establishing his spot against Oklahoma. If he does that, we'll get back on track.

It was also clear at TCU that if we desperately need someone to break down their man one on one, it will be Tharpe. He brought us back single-handed at the end with his drives but then we got impatient and started jacking threes.

Johnson and McLemore can't get by their man on their own. They need a screen to make it happen and this team does not seem to set screens like some of the past versions.


Jeff Soisson 1 year, 2 months ago

Seniors need to man up. Like all the past Seniors, it is not like we have all Freshman. Seniors, you want to lose the conference title, go for it. If you don't, then let's go!


nostradavid 1 year, 2 months ago

Judo could help them turn being pushed around inside to their advantage.

The mantra is: "Float like a butterfly - sting like a bee!"

not "Sting like a butterfly."

don't get pinned

don't get pinned by nostradavid


Steve Zimmerman 1 year, 2 months ago

“Even though we didn’t make shots and didn’t play well offensively, what probably should have been.." - “We didn’t go strong to the hole.." - EJ: nice strong drive, but fell short - could've been a lob-pass for an easy dunk by the tall white boy or BMac - 3pointers: need to practice more - Jumpshots: Tharpe or BMac, that's about it - Fastbreaks: can't really say it's an offense - Ring-a-round-a-rosie passing: leads more TOs

Sorry, I don't think our team did not perform well. It's the opponents that have become 'smarter'; their scouts are spot-on. I will trust HCBS & staff when I see the team is used more effectively. Obviously them boys are strong & skillful individuals, there's no way they play so badly. I'd love to see some good energy, good defense AND offense KU bball. Let's go Jayhawks!


Ralster Jayhawk 1 year, 2 months ago

I watched the first half again, from an analytical standpoint, and I must agree with Bill Self. We had many many good, open looks and just couldnt hit the shots. Later on, in the 2nd half, when TCU answered our run...the pucker-factor set in...But where's the D, let them score 40pts in the 2nd half. Of course, too many turnovers early killed our offensive chemistry, and contributed to us falling behind.


Ferd Magellan 1 year, 2 months ago

Keep passing and passing until you have the perfect shot. Poor ball movement has been one of the biggest issues I've seen since the start of Big 12 play after missing open jumpers. The best way to neutralize our below average dribblers is to move the ball around constantly. I would tell them to not hold the ball for more than a couple seconds.


Ethan Berger 1 year, 2 months ago

The keys I think to getting back into December basketball

  1. T Rel needs to be the 2nd scoring option. 1 shot vs TCU. 1 and he passed up some open ones. I've been saying this for about a month now, he should be a 15ppg guy. He came to KU known only as a slasher, now he is a great shooter. If he just believed in himself, he would easily be averaging 15. He needs to start to look to drive or shoot before forcing a pass.

  2. B Mac needs to improve his ball handling a whole bunch, esp if he wants to be an NBA star. He shows that he can make any shot, but can he do it under pressure? He had a couple of nice drives, but if he can tighten that handle, he shoots up to 18ppg. If he doesn't fix this by season end, I'm afraid he will be a good NBA player but not a great one like he should be. NBA isn't known for helping you develop your skills. Look for an explosion of 3 point makes against OU after missing all of them.

  3. Tharpe/EJ hitting pressured bunnies. I'm not mad at either of them because when they drive, they are taking good shots. I don't mind the lay ups, problem is they can't hit them. Just have Jeff stand in the middle and have them drive and take contested lay ups.

  4. Feed Jeff the Ball every poss, doesn't have to shoot but he needs to be the center piece of the O.

Luckily for us, I'm not Bill Self and I'm sure Bill will have this team winning again Saturday. When you hit the bottom, only direction is up.


COJHawk 1 year, 2 months ago

Couple thoughts...

--With no PG who can break down a defense and create shots for himself or others...and without someone down low who can score with their back to the basket...this team will struggle to score. Can anyone remember the last time KU didn't have either one of these, much less both of them?

--Their best offense is scoring in transition and defense feeds that. TCU didn't allow transition baskets and kansas' defense didn't create many chances to score that way. If they defend well and get out in transition, they're offense will improve.

--Kansas isn't playing their best but I'm with HCBS here...before the season, I think most of us would have taken 19-3 and I'll take it now


okiedave 1 year, 2 months ago

Not giving up on this team at all, but just in case, thank goodness football season is just around the corner.


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