Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Elijah Johnson reclaiming role as Jayhawks’ driving force

Kansas freshman Ben McLemore (23) and senior Elijah Johnson (15) talk during the end of the second half on Monday February 11, 2013 in Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas freshman Ben McLemore (23) and senior Elijah Johnson (15) talk during the end of the second half on Monday February 11, 2013 in Allen Fieldhouse.


Elijah Johnson realizes that, whether he’s making shots or not, he’s vitally important to Kansas University’s basketball team.

“I personally say that I’ve got to start the car. We can’t drive it until I start it,” Johnson, the Jayhawks’ senior starting point guard, said after scoring five points off 1-of-6 shooting (0-4 from three, 3-3 from the line) with three assists against four turnovers in Monday’s 83-62 victory over Kansas State in Allen Fieldhouse.

“They are sitting in the car waiting,” Johnson added of his teammates. “Tonight I started the car and had everybody rolling.”

Johnson — he played mostly shooting guard a year ago — can be seen during games encouraging younger players such as Ben McLemore and Perry Ellis while not dwelling on his shooting stats — 19 of 76 marksmanship over the past eight games for 25 percent.

“When Ben sees me smiling, he smiles harder. When Travis (Releford) sees me feeling confident he feels more confident,” Johnson said. “When I am doing things the right way, Jeff (Withey) feels better. I feel that domino effect is something people should pay attention to. It shouldn’t be underestimated because when I come in not feeling great, that feeds off everybody.”

Johnson — he’s made just five of 25 threes the last four games with 28 assists against 31 turnovers the last nine games — said he doesn’t dwell on the numbers.

“I love my teammates, man,” Johnson said. “They tell me, ‘You are all right. We are still with you. Whether the fans turn or not, whether the people turn or whether they doubt you, we are still with you because we know on the court stuff is not happening when you are not in the game.’ They tell me all the time, ‘Your stats don’t show what you do for us.’ That has helped me get through all of this ... and that means a lot to me.”

Johnson — for the year he averages 9.1 ppg off 36.5 percent shooting with 110 assists against 77 turnovers — said he received a wake-up call after the Feb. 2 home loss to Oklahoma State when coach Bill Self said the Jayhawks, “don’t have a point guard. We’re playing with two guards, which is OK, a lot of people have to do that.”

“It opened my eyes. He was right,” Johnson said. “The point guard of any team, whether they can shoot it, whether they only pass it, whatever they do, they set the tempo for everybody. When they are walking the ball up, the team is going to play slow. When they are (in) attack mode, the team is going to be in attack mode. I’ve got to make sure I’m always in control of the game. I can’t let the other point guard be in control, because when he’s in control his whole team is in control. When I am in control, my team is in control.”

Self on Tuesday’s Hawk Talk radio show praised Johnson for working overtime on his shooting.

“I watched him shoot 25 threes today. Although he shot way more than that, I stayed and watched him shoot 25 going full speed, game speed. All he did was make 20,” Self said. “He’s going to have a great last six weeks. I believe it and think you should believe it. The most important thing is he believes it and I think he will be confident moving forward.”

Self said Johnson, who is coming off offseason knee surgery, obviously isn’t yet 100 percent.

“He hasn’t complained once,” Self said. “But you know, the kid did have knee surgery. He doesn’t have all his bounce back or pop back. He’s starting to get it. I see things in practice. He’s starting to take some steps. Sometimes your body won’t quite cooperate and do what your brain tells it to do. He is used to being more athletic than anybody. He is used to hitting a seam and getting through it. Now he can’t quite get through it but is still trying to hit it. It takes a while to get that pop back. I see it coming.”

Whenever asked by media about his health, Johnson says he’s “100 percent.”

“He knows,” Self said, “if you are out there, you are not hurt. You have to perform.”

Self the past couple games has had sophomore Naadir Tharpe and Johnson in the game at the same time, Tharpe running point and Johnson the 2 spot.

“I can go to the 2 when Naadir is in,” Johnson said. “I don’t have a problem with it. Today he got a little winded and I came in and got the 1 back. Whatever we’ve got to do to win, I’m down for it.”

Self noted: “People say Naadir can be out there. That’s true. So Naadir plays 20 minutes, somebody else has to play 20 at the point,” Self said. “I believe in Elijah. He’s my guy. I believe in the kid. I feel for Elijah because all he’s done since he’s been here is win a lot of games.

“Try to picture anybody who is a defense attorney and the next year is told he’s a tax attorney. It’s still law, but a totally different deal. Elijah goes from 2 guard to point guard. Even though he’s still a guard, it’s a different deal. He’s got to shoot better. He will shoot the ball better. He was like this last year too, and came on (during NCAAs).”

Now that KU’s three-game losing streak is history, Johnson sees lots of good days ahead for himself and his (20-4, 8-3) teammates.

“We had fun tonight,” he said after the K-State game, played before a loud, supportive crowd. “We needed that. It felt great. I hadn’t had that feeling in a while. That felt good,” he added of the “love” in the building.

Jordan Classic: KU signees Wayne Selden and Joel Embiid have been selected to play in the Jordan Brand Classic on April 13 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. Selden will play for the East and Embiid the West.

Recruiting: Andrew Wiggins, a 6-7 senior forward from Huntington (W.V.) Prep, will visit KU for the Jayhawks’ March 4 Senior Day contest against Texas Tech, reports.’s No. 1 prospect also is considering Florida State, North Carolina and Kentucky. ... No. 2-rated Julius Randle, a 6-9 forward from Prestonwood Christian Academy in Plano, Texas, will visit KU for Saturday’s game against Texas. He also is considering Texas, Kentucky, N.C. State, Florida and Oklahoma.


hawkeroo 1 year, 2 months ago

There is no doubt that tharpe played the major role in Monday's defeat of K state. We all love EJ for what he's done but at 60% efficiency he is no longer driving the bus and for the good of the team, Self has to comprehend that Tharpe at 100% should assume the leadership role and relegate EJ as Tharpes' backup. Leave Ben at the 2 spot. Tharpe drives the lane with speed,elusiveness,doesn't turn the ball over as often as EJ does and has a higher pct. of shots made, moreover more agile (witness the reverse layup against the cats) Additionally, there does not appear to be ample time left in the season for EJ to recover sufficiently to regain 1 spot and to take the hawks to the next level. Let common sense over ride loyalty. RCJH!


Suzi Marshall 1 year, 2 months ago

I love EJ and will never forget what he did for us last year. This year he has earned my admiration for fighting through physical problems and giving all he has. EJ is a great kid!


Jack Wilson 1 year, 2 months ago

New ESPN rankings are out .. a few moves:

13 - Wayne Selden

28 - Joel Embiid

43 - Brannen Greene

47 - Conner Frankamp

no rank - Frank Mason


Robert Murphy 1 year, 2 months ago

This is pretty simple. We must have good play out of Nadir and EJ if we are to succeed. You can't win with one and not the other. By reducing Johnson's minutes he has a better chance to heal. Nadir can not succeed without Johnson as he cannot play 40 minutes. My biggest disappointment is with Ellis, White, Traylor and Rio. These guys have had half a season to develop and it really hasn't happened. This team could wear other teams down if the players off the bench had been more effective and had played as advertised. It is still possible but I am becoming doubtful that it will.


kusayzone 1 year, 2 months ago

I keep waiting for the "Talk" to match the "Walk"....put your shoes on EJ!


Priest Fontaine 1 year, 2 months ago

Get ready for the Julius Randle visit this Saturday vs. Texas. Hope someone makes a sign that includes the hash tag: #juliusmaximus


KMathis 1 year, 2 months ago

Caption for this article's picture:

Johnson whispers "Ben... If anyone asks you after the game... Tell 'em it was ME who jump started the offense!... Please?"


William Blake 1 year, 2 months ago

I'd still keep Naadir coming in off the bench. He's more effective that way. Opposing teams focus on scouting the starting five. It's hard to prepare for Naadir if he comes in off the bench.

For this very reason I have always supported bringing Kevin in as our 6th man... thinking it would be better for him if teams haven't prepared for his style of game.


kufaninmo 1 year, 2 months ago

"Whether the fans turn or not..."

we're all still right here with you EJ! don't you ever worry about that.


Tony Bandle 1 year, 2 months ago

After the way Naadir played on Monday night, if he was 6'-4" tall, he would be a lottery pick come this April!!

Bill is a leopard who can't change his spots...but he can rearrange them as needed. I think we will continue to see EJ start at point for the rest of the season, but watch as HCBS goes more and more to the two PG offense with Naadir.

Also, watch the rotation shrink as well. As the games get more crucial, the commercial breaks increase....don't be surprised at a seven man rotation of EJ, Jeff, KY, Travis, BenMac, Jamari and Naadir. Unless something radical happens or there is an emergency situation, I think the bus has left the depot for Perry this year!!


Jason Wilson 1 year, 2 months ago

EJ set the tone of the game and set the speed of the game. Did he miss shots still? Yeah. Did he turn the ball over? Yeah. Doesn't mean he didn't lead the team. Tharpe played fast too, and they both played fast together when they were on the court at the same time, but EJ is the one that got it started...

And Tharpe was definitely sucking wind, because on the tape you could literally see McGruder gasping for air. And if McGruder was sucking wind, you know Tharpe had it even worse because its harder for the defensive player than the offensive player... always having to fight through/around screens.


Sally Presson 1 year, 2 months ago

Elijah, way to get your mind set in the right direction. Anyone who knows basketball knows how valuable you are in leading the team. Your value to the team goes far beyond how many points you score. And I'd like to see anyone who critizes you for anything to step in your shoes and play like you do, they wouldn't last one minute. With that being said, get our guys ready for the remaining games, we need them all on the win side. And thanks for staying Elijah, we all appreciate your 4 years.

Rock Chalk


EdgarMarsalla 1 year, 2 months ago

I'm all for Johnson's positive attitude in spite of evidence to the contrary lately. I do think he ought to spend less time giving interviews though. Selling himself isn't as easy as pushing Girl Scout cookies this month and just makes him look smaller when he doesn't come through.


wrwlumpy 1 year, 2 months ago

I never thought Naadir could be this good. For an entire first half I felt that I was watching a reincarnation of Tiny Archibald. His 2nd half not quite as good, but does anyone remember a young man that was being screamed at on national TV all last year. If Bill continues to stay on your case it is because he cares. Anyone who can play for Bill Self and stay with it will be a better man. Mom's and Dad's, tell your sons to be Jayhawks.


Tony Bandle 1 year, 2 months ago

Just curious..does the Big 12 Championship remain a Co-Championship even if one team sweeps the team their tied with, 2 to 0?? If so, then this scenario could help us against OSU if we lose down there or hurt us if we remain tied with KSU.

We have shared three of the eight straight conference titles, one with OK and two with TX but I can't remember what the head to head was those years.

Something tells me if you're tied your a co-champ no matter what the head to head was but I can't verify that. can anyone help me?


Alan Mills 1 year, 2 months ago

This article surprised me. Perhaps, as someone said above, he "started the car" with that missed dunk attempt. Just the fact he would try that on two bum knees seemed to get others juiced. But, his less-than-stellar play certainly did more to slow the car down, or even crash it into the woods.

Not sure where anyone sees defense as a contribution Johnson is making right now. He cannot guard at all - again, two bum knees doesn't help him at all. He needs to be defending the slowest guard on the other team right now, plain and simple.

Jaybate, continue to disagree with you on White. When you can consistently hit the rim on a few shots, you get to play. But, a shooter who is more known for air balls is just not a shooter! He's fine on the bench right now, until he learns to shoot the ball in a game.


Joe Baker 1 year, 2 months ago

Loved what Tharpe did during the ksu game. I think EJ will emerge from the ashes. EJ shakes this funk, look out. The guy is capable of going unconscious at anytime. Teams know what Ben and Withey can do most games. EJ is the dark horse and he's dangerous. I pity the team that gets the honor of watching him emerge from all this crap.

Laugh, but EJ is capable of a 25+ or maybe 30+ game. It seems like a long shot now, but most didn't know they would be at this point in the season either. He's way overdue.

Rock Chalk EJ, GO KU


JayHok 1 year, 2 months ago

One thing Self surely is aware of that many of us tend to overlook is the defensive contributions of EJ. Plus the need for two PGs to get developed for March and April if he gets both of them understanding the speed that our offense needs to run, particularly the passing. Self is being a good father figure at the right time. Tharpe played great but he can't realistically PG the team for 40 minutes a game the rest of the year. The best thing we can do is be supportive and trust the coaching staff. From what we saw on Monday it looks like the meat and potatoes is finally going the proper speed. That's been a big concern. So it took an embarrassing loss to TCU to learn some things for March and April. OK.


jgkojak 1 year, 2 months ago

It sounds like EJ is hurt and just hasn't got it all back yet- its tough to come back from knee surgery. It also sounds like there will be a play in the next few weeks where he makes an incredible leaping play and we'll know he's back.


mikehawk 1 year, 2 months ago

This is the problem here, I believe. EJ is putting way too much pressure on himself. Relax and just pay Elijah. It will come.


Robert Brock 1 year, 2 months ago

Someday, Bill Self will recruit somebody who can play the point without dispute. I don't know when that will be. Getting Tyus Jones or Emmanuel Mudiay would help.


clevelandjayhawker 1 year, 2 months ago

I think NT isnt ready to be a 30+ mpg guy just yet. He played great in the first half, but was only average in the 2nd. Now that may be better than EJ right now, but I think Self is trying to get NT to be a 25-30 min guy, but he is trying to do it in a smooth transition, not a drastic change. Now if we lose to texas.....

EJ will bounce back, hopefully the long week between games is just what his knee needed. If he hits some shots early he will be back in his old form.


dylans 1 year, 2 months ago

You people that don't have to deal with butt hurt KSU fans are lucky.

I just tried to pick up some screws at the hardware store yesterday and I hear, "You had to come in here today to rub it in." I replied,"I wasn't going to say anything (about the game)." A second KSucker,"Those refs were terrible." I replied, "You don't get blown out by 21 due to refs." #2, "Well, we'll still beat you in football." Me,"It's still basketball season, but at least KU wins there bowl games." #2,"How about Belmont?" Me,"I think KU beat them by 30." #2, "I mean Butler." Me,"They are pretty good, but we haven't played 'em" #2,"Well, KU will loose to some nobody in the tourney." Me,"Maybe, but it won't be KSU. Thanks for reminding me why I don't like K-State fans."

Typical of the KSU fans around here. They don't sing the praises of their own team instead they try to run yours down. f#%$ 'em.


Norm Jennings 1 year, 2 months ago

not a stats-guru so if my impression is wrong - flame away

my best recall of EJ at his best was delivering the ball near the rim where Withey/Young/Traylor could jam it home

that doesn't seem to available anymore - in conference play our opponents may know us too well?

Distrbution below the rim, or creating off of the dribble, appeared to come easier to Nadir in the game with K-State then it has with EJ of late.

Will it be the same for Nadir against a taller, quicker opposing PG than Angel Rodriguez? Don't know.

Was it an anomaly of one night of Nadir avoiding the bad shot and envisioning the about-to-open passing lane? Don't know

Will EJ start creating from the dribble-drive without losing the handle and/or passing into an about-to-close passing lane?

Don't know, but none of the last four games would appear to indicate that this will be the case, whatever the reason.

If we have to start the upperclassmen, fine, but it seems to me that not giving Nadir more minutes to answer these questions before March might make for a short tournament.


William Blake 1 year, 2 months ago

I hope CS is right with his optimism.. and EJ will get his game back soon.

In the meantime... we know a player has to shoot out of a slump... however, we can't win most games if EJ goes 1-11 and has 5 TOs. He has to realize his game will come back over time and he can't get it back in one game.

EJ needs to do a little damage control. Focus on how he can turn it over less. Maybe he needs to meet individually with players to discuss "meeting the ball" or make sure there is good communication during the game. And if he goes halfway through a game and is shooting 1-6 he needs to limit his shooting or look for other scoring opportunities, maybe penetrating more, etc.

We can't afford to drop anymore games in B12. It doesn't mean we play conservative. We need to play with great energy and optimism... but we also have to play a realistic game. And a game where EJ suffers huge poor stats will make it tough to win most game, especially on the road.

One thing EJ needs to watch for... often he misses a shot then he becomes anxious and turns right around and makes a mistake on defense (or fouls). Now he's taken a simple missed shot and turned it into a double whammy. These are the kinds of mistakes that shift momentum in a game.

Play smart, EJ, and be patient for your game to come back. It will happen if you play smart because playing smart naturally brings confidence back at a healthy level. Don't expect to get it all back in one game. Make steps and prep yourself before a game to make sure you are bringing confidence with you onto the court.

EJ can turn it around and it couldn't happen at a better time!

Rock Chalk, EJ!


REHawk 1 year, 2 months ago

As I see the EJ situation, Bill Self scrambles for a reverse psychological spin...following his humiliating negative eruptions to the press after Okie State and TCU losses. Yeah, EJ's potential is crucial to the future of this squad. Naadir's amazing first half vs. OK saved our bacon and got the team back on a roll. This article highlights some bizarre talk.


Tony Bandle 1 year, 2 months ago


1] For Kentucky...17-7, best player hurt, no RPI juice in a crappy conference, ready to go unranked AGAIN, possibly looking at NIT.

2] North Carolina...16-7, about to get pounded by arch rival, not ranked, hoping for NIT.

3] Kansas...20-4, tied for 1st in conference, ranked in Top 15 all year, headed toward 23rd straight NCAA Tourney.

Gee, I wonder which school I am happy to be part of? :)


KansasComet 1 year, 2 months ago

Elijah Johnson is my guy. I will always support him. I love watching this young man play. This is his team, until the season is over. Next year, it may very well be Tharpe's team. Elijah is the starting point guard on this team. He is not going anywhere. There are those that want him taken out of the starting line up? That is their right to feel that way. I don't know how that makes team chemistry better? Part of good chemistry is to know your role. Elijah Johnson has accepted and embraced his role every single year. He sat bench when required to do so. He played point, when a player was suspened or injured. He played shooting guard when asked to do so. He has probably played through pain all season, because he would not miss this opportunity for the world. It is easy to sit back and say that he can't do this or that, or judge what type of guard he is. What Elijah Johnson is to me is one of my favorite "All-Time Jayhawks". He is a five star recruit that is all about team and not about "me". How rare is that this day and age? I will continue to throw my support his way because of all the joy he has brought me over the years, and when he is down, I feel it is my duty to help lift him back up. He is one of ours, and that is what this young man deserves from the Jayhawk Nation, and that is what he will continue to get from me!!!


Cameron Cederlind 1 year, 2 months ago

But, if you have a competent tax attorney already working for you, why not keep the defense attorney at his more comfortable more successful position?


Chris1955 1 year, 2 months ago

I understand the sentiment that Bill Self has for EJ. I understand that EJ is trying to overcome whatever knee problems that he had or has. I dont think I buy the Naadir ran out of gas comments.

It's Bill's team and he gets to make the decisions. However, if EJ is the starting PG at OSU we're going down to defeat. At least with Tharpe at PG we may still have a chance at our 9th straight BB title.

If EJ is the competitor that Bill Self thinks he is, he should certainly be able to beat out NT in practice and with his performance during games. Ignoring the obvious is seldom an effective solution.


Chris Shaw 1 year, 2 months ago

Very intriguing article with some very interesting quotes. Not really sure how to digest it all. Part of me is kind of confused and part of me is to the point of being very optimistic simply based on Self's comments.

The only thing I know is that it's pretty easy to start the damn car. It's getting your car home unscathed through the daily riggers of rush hour, construction zones, school zones, road ragers, texters while driving, 4-Way stops, yield roundabouts, car-pool lines, weather hazards, pot-holes, impaired drivers, teenage drivers, and many other things I am leaving out that puts our daily lives and others in jeopardy while driving. You got to "Focus" while driving.

With that said, I have been pretty critical of EJ throughout this season, but I think he has a great chance to prove himself over the next 4 games against Texas and TCU and 2 huge games on the road at Okie State and Iowa State. If he is going to get better and snap out of this "Funk" per say, no better way to do it than on the road against The Pokes and Cyclones, which we all know has pretty good guards on both of those squads.


monkeehawkSL8 1 year, 2 months ago

With Kentucky having an off year, don't get me wrong anything can still happen. Is there any possibility that some of the freshman playing there believed they were going to win everything this year, the whole rotation would be drafted like last year. Now, things haven't worked out that way. Next years team is suppose to be the greatest recruiting class in the history of college ball, whoops there is a log jam of talent all thinking they were either going to be in the NBA or starting for next years team.

I know I have taken a long time to make my point, Kentucky ends up loosing some commitments because they may have to work for a spot in the rotation, 10-12 top 30 players, thats a lot of young egos to buy into a system. There maybe some players available as this season comes to an end. Thoughts anyone, Bueller, Bueller?


jaybate 1 year, 2 months ago

"Whither AW3?"

This is the question foremost in my mind as we move forward.

So many have clamored for major PT for him. He has never seemed remotely ready for such, but a couple of minutes at the 3/4 seem needed to close out a half to save a starter some fouls and get a trey off.

Why not?

Assuming AW3 is not in a dog house, the answers are:

a) Self prefers Jamari 's defense and boarding at the 4; and

b) Self prefers Travis 40% gun and in late.

So: probably AW3 is just a victim of circumstances, but something feels a little odd still.


Boouk 1 year, 2 months ago

By the way, UK could have 6 players in the Jordan Brand Classic if they land Randle or Wiggins. They already have the Harrison's, Dakari Johnson, James Young, and Marcus Lee in the game. I have a feeling there's no way they miss out on both Randle and Wiggins.


Boouk 1 year, 2 months ago

Really encouraging comments there from Self. If Elijah starts shooting in games half as well as he did in practice and Naadir becomes more consistent we could make another Final 4 run. If they don't, then our chances are probably pretty slim.


jaybate 1 year, 2 months ago


I've respected your defense of EJ's good health and your determination not to give EJ any excuses. But...

"...the kid did have knee surgery. He doesn’t have all his bounce back or pop back. He’s starting to get it. I see things in practice. He’s starting to take some steps. Sometimes your body won’t quite cooperate and do what your brain tells it to do. He is used to being more athletic than anybody. He is used to hitting a seam and getting through it. Now he can’t quite get through it but is still trying to hit it."

--Bill Self

This guy was too great an athlete for it not to have been injury/sickness of some kind. No one suddenly forgets how to play. No one.

And Self makes clear by implication why he conceals. The opponent will scheme to attack any lack of depth.

So, whether or not EJ were getting better right now, Self would release this sort of story to keep opponents scheming for both guys.

Similarly, Naadir improving does not lessen the need for EJ to get better, whatever level of fitness he can function at. KU needs 2 guys at every position to challenge for a ring in case of fouls.

Right now there isn't evidence EJ is getting much stronger and fitter on the floor, except that he can now make a play once in awhile. That's better than nothing. His defense is pretty sketchy, but because he is such a great defender, EJ at 50% is as good as Dir at 100%.

He is in a shooting slump, too; that will end, so Self is right to be optimistic over the next month, that he should stay a starter the opponents have to scheme for

Dir on an up is now probably a little better than EJ struggling with injury, when the opponent is short, or a guy Dir can up and under a little, but Dir will not be up every game, so EJ remains a must recovery.

One thing you were absolutely right about, however, is that outside of knowing EJ is injured, we are not going to understand extent clearly till after the season


Grouch Lives 1 year, 2 months ago

I hate it when "my mind makes a promise that my body can't fill", Little Feat.


KMathis 1 year, 2 months ago

I couldn't think of more inappropriate timing for an article like this. The whole focus of the KState game was on Naadir Tharpe's performance and how he stepped up and showed who the point guard on this team really is. And the title says Johnson reclaiming role as JayhWk's driving force? At you serious? And all that crap about Johnson starting the car Monday night and getting his guys rolling. WTH?? It was Tharpe who got guys rolling. EJ picked up two fouls and WATCHED the guys get rolling. Any "A-Ha" moment came from watching Tharpe, not by his own performance. I agree that EJ is needed by this team, and maybe mentally and in practice he has turned the corner... But absolutely ZERO of that has been evidenced on the game court. The only positive was his free throw shooting. More turnover than assists... And 1-6 shooting is no better than anything else he has shown in the last 8 games. I'm cool with EJ telling himself whatever he needs to in order to get himself going, but don't take credit in the media for something Tharpe was the "driving force" behind. There will be no reclaiming until the on-court performance speaks for itself.


Kevin Huffman 1 year, 2 months ago

I know that this is a pipe dream, but what do we do if BOTH Randle & Wiggins were to want to come? I think Randle it was assumed would be able to come upon McLemore leaving early. But to fit another, I think another would have to be released from their scholarship. Mason most likely?


clevelandjayhawker 1 year, 2 months ago

Really suprised Wiggins is coming for a visit- I was thinking it was 60% uk, 39% fsu and 1% other...I def think this helps our chances of getting one of the two Randle/ Wiggins.


tathagata 1 year, 2 months ago

Tom Izzo, Michigan State, Big10 plus---9-2. Bill Self, Kansas, Big12 minus---8-3. See the difference?


Miguel Colón 1 year, 2 months ago

I want to talk recruiting. Does Noel's injury help us land Randle? What does everyone think our shot at Wiggins is?


ccarp 1 year, 2 months ago

My support was cemented last year against Purdue and NC State. I know EJ can ball. Just got to play with focused energy and start the car early!


jhox 1 year, 2 months ago

Tharpe has earned the right to get the bulk of the minutes at point guard. I would love to see EJ get it together and win back that right but he's not stepped up. I don't necessarily think you cut back on EJ's minutes but I do think we have to cut back on his minutes at the point and let him also spell Ben and Travis, positions he is better suited for offensively.

Tharpe showed on Monday night how valuable it is to have a PG who can consistently get in the paint and then distribute. EJ, unfortunately, hasn't shown me that ability.


machinegun 1 year, 2 months ago

Elijah is the leader of our team. Of course, he assumes the responsibility for the performance of the other guys. That is what makes him special. Let's take it to Texas on Saturday.


Jim Erickson 1 year, 2 months ago

As per my above post... It reminds me a bit of Tyshawn. There was never a doubt that Tyshawn has huge potential, but things always seemed to get in the way. Self stuck with him and we saw him blossom last year into a force. EJ, Releford, and Withey were good players last year but Taylor and T-Rob were the forces. I hope that EJ turns things around in a way that makes us forget we ever scratched our heads.


yates33333 1 year, 2 months ago

I didn't intend a comment here. I somehow got my comment placed after this post with which disagree. I wanted to endorse the previous post by agreeing that Johnson is a nice kid, but Tharp is playing better at point guard. The trouble with Tharp is his size. It's a problem on defense. The main complaint against Tharp is the same used against Taylor last year, he plays out of control at times. He also makes a few Taylor-like plays at times.


Jim Erickson 1 year, 2 months ago

I like what Naadir is doing, but I still feel that this Jayhawks team is at their best with a GOOD Elijah Johnson at point. There is no doubt that he has been in a major funk, but he has also shown throughout major stretches of his career that he can be a stud. It's not a certainty, but he has the ability to turn it around. I understand why Self is riding this thing out.


doolindalton 1 year, 2 months ago

Tharpe' s game against KState was the closest this team has come to having a point guard on the floor. Elijah is a fine human being and dedicated Jayhawk, but he is not a point guard, He's a two. Maybe we shouldn't have said goodbye to Royce Woolridge quite so hastily.


jaybate 1 year, 2 months ago

"Some More Alternate Uniform Ideas for Helping Spike T-Shirt Sales in a Trade Area Near You"

• Invertiforms--Uniforms with corporate sponsor in large, invisible letters and a tiny, highly visible Jayhawk logo.

• Nudiforms--no fabric, just the tattoo of a uniform.

• Gangiforms--the usual ridiculously outdated jams with gang logos plus the logo of the intelligence organization supplying the drugs that the local/regional gang sells (note: Intel logos will be from the Top 20 state intelligence organizations around the world dumping drugs in America to raise untraceable monies for their black operations).

• Invisiforms--above-top-secret, for-no-official-eyes-only, invisibility uniforms that hide the player and leave only corporate logos showing.

• Tweetiforms--wifi connected uniforms that low IQ and even lower EQ fans can post insipidly short twants (tweet rants) on.

(Note: all fiction. No malice.)


phogphan2000 1 year, 2 months ago

It was obvious earlier in the season that teaching and leading was cutting into EJ's ability to just play. That hasn't been/shouldn't be the case at this point in the season. Still, folks that want to see Naadir start have to consider whether he wants the pressure of leading the team out of the gates each night. I doubt it. Yes we all want to see EJ turn it over less and hit more of his shots, but he's a key player to have on the court because other guys do look up to him. It's great that his teammates have his back, as well as his coach.


Jay Dogger 1 year, 2 months ago

Huh? I was expecting this after a game where EJ was good statistically. Everyone else's stats went up Monday except for his, but he seems to be taking the credit for "starting the car."

This team's future rests on his shoulders. I hope it goes well.

Rock Chalk, EJ.


J.T. Even 1 year, 2 months ago

So Elijah may or may not be hurt, but he's certainly not 100%, and it has affected his game. However, Coach does seem to be playing him still because he earned it and for sentimental reasons. But Elijah's learning how to play within himself, so watch out. He's shooting well in practice, only a matter of time until it transfers onto court. Teammates believe in the senior guard; would benching Elijah hurt team chemistry? Elijah had an "ah-ha" moment realizing his role as the point guard. Bill Self says Naadir will not assume the majority minutes playing the point guard position. Elijah says that even when Naadir is in that Elijah is in still the top dog.

You may or may not have your reasons, but Elijah is not getting benched this season.


Raydude 1 year, 2 months ago

EJ: recommend, don't jump to max with your jump shot. Lots of pros, have decreased their jump, to more control the shot. When hyped in the game, it may help....control the shot. You will know that you will have to be more open to take the shot, also. just a thought. Trying to help.


MinnesotaJay 1 year, 2 months ago

Elijah, accelerator to the floor!


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