Friday, January 11, 2013

Ben McLemore impresses ex-KU assistant Matt Doherty

Kansas guard Ben McLemore celebrates a bucket next to Iowa State guard Chris Babb as the Jayhawks make a run during the second half on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Ben McLemore celebrates a bucket next to Iowa State guard Chris Babb as the Jayhawks make a run during the second half on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.



Kansas guard Ben McLemore celebrates a bucket next to Iowa State guard Chris Babb as the Jayhawks make a run during the second half on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Former Kansas University basketball assistant coach Matt Doherty was not surprised to see Ben McLemore’s last-second, game-tying, overtime-inducing three-pointer bank off the backboard before falling through the net.

“It’s the Phog,” ESPNU color announcer Doherty exclaimed Wednesday, asked how the 6-foot-5 McLemore could kiss a 22-foot shot off the glass with 1.3 seconds to play and force the KU-Iowa State game into OT — one in which the Jayhawks scored the first 11 points en route to a 97-89 victory.

“That,” Doherty added, “was one of the best games I’ve been part of in Allen Fieldhouse.”

That is saying a lot, considering Doherty worked seven seasons on Roy Williams’ KU staff — 1992-93 to 1998-99.

Asked to recall some other huge shots he’d witnessed in KU’s tradition-rich building, he came up with ...

“Steve Woodberry’s shot in the corner against Oklahoma State,” Doherty said of a Woodberry trey that gave KU a 62-61 victory over OSU for Williams’ 150th career victory on Jan. 26, 1994.

“Jacque’s shot against Indiana,” he added of Jacque Vaughn’s three that gave KU an 86-83 victory over the Hoosiers on Dec. 22, 1993.

Doherty was impressed with the play that tied Wednesday’s game at 79 and the person who hit the shot.

“It was a great play, and we’ve seen that play before. They ran it for Mario Chalmers against Memphis,” Doherty said of the “chop,” which KU used to send the 2008 NCAA title game into overtime. “The secondary part was the flare screen. It was a great screen by (Travis) Releford and a great read, because they switched the screen. McLemore is fantastic. He has a beautiful jump shot. It’s a true jump shot.”

Doherty perhaps paid the ultimate compliment to McLemore.

“He’s great. He’s great. He’s Paul Pierce great,” Doherty said, comparing McLemore to former KU and current Boston Celtics great Pierce.

Accuracy: McLemore hit six threes in six tries en route to 33 points Wednesday.

“I was pretty proud to shoot 6-for-6 from three,” McLemore said. “I practice my shot every day.”

KU senior Elijah Johnson, who passed the ball to McLemore before he stroked the game-tying three, backs up the fact McLemore is a student of the game.

“Ben is the type of person willing to learn his whole life. He never thinks he knows too much. Even when he knows something, he won’t just come off with that type of attitude,” Johnson said. “That gave him the ability to keep up with us, to know all the plays, know what to do. He’s so fundamental.

“When his man catches the ball, every time he closes out with high hands. Just small stuff other people don’t do. It hurts him when he doesn’t do something right, whether it’s make a shot or help-side defense.

“Anything he is getting right now, I truly, deep down in my heart think he deserves it,” Johnson added. “He’s a little kid on the court. At the same time, he’s growing up. He’s the coolest person in the world, one of those people you could never get mad at. I feel his character off the court is showing on the court.”

Noted Jeff Withey: “Ben does everything the right way. He’s a great teammate. That matters a lot. The fact he sat out last year, he gained so much knowledge. This year, he’s just exploding into such a great player. He’s a good guy.”

Kevin Young on McLemore’s three and KU’s winning the game in overtime: “It’s magical. I don’t think any of us thought we were going to lose that game.”

Wooden list: McLemore and Withey on Thursday were named to the John R. Wooden Award Midseason Top 25, announced Thursday via ESPNU by The Los Angeles Athletic Club. Selected by the Wooden Award National Advisory Board, the list is made up of 25 players, who, based on their performances in November, December and the beginning of January, are front-runners for college basketball’s Wooden Award. Others on the midseason list: Anthony Bennett, UNLV; Laurence Bowers, Missouri; Trey Burke, Michigan; Isaiah Canaan, Murray State; Michael Carter-Williams, Syracuse; Jack Cooley, Notre Dame; Seth Curry, DUke; Jamaal Franklin, S.D. State; Erick Green, Virginia Tech; Elias Harris, Gonzaga; Pierre Jackson, Baylor; Sean Kilpatrick, Cincinnati; C.J. McCollum, Lehigh; Doug McDermott, Creighton; Brandon Paul, Illinois; Mason Plumlee, Duke; Otto Porter, Georgetown; Phil Pressey, Missouri; Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State; Russ Smith, Louisville; Deshaun Thomas, Ohio State; Nate Wolters, S.D. State; Cody Zeller, Indiana.

Honesty: ISU’s Tyrus McGee told the Des Moines Register he did foul McLemore on his game-tying three.

“The ref just didn’t call it. I got him on the bottom of his hand. I should have smacked him in the head,” McGee said.

Weis happy: KU football coach Charlie Weis, who had a courtside seat behind the goal, was jubilant after McLemore hit his game-tying three. To check out video of Weis’ reaction, see Jesse Newell’s blog.


William Blake 8 years, 3 months ago

I'm blown away by EJ's ability to articulate his beliefs about Ben. Profound wisdom!

chriz 8 years, 3 months ago

I completely agree. That not only says a lot about Ben, but it says a lot about Elijah. I really hope Elijah becomes some kind of analyst after his playing days are over. You learn something every time you hear from him, and he says so much in so few words. Brilliant kid.

tical523 8 years, 3 months ago

Same here, wow that is good stuff by EJ.

Ben Berglund 8 years, 3 months ago

EJ is always very articulate. He is my favorite Jayhawk to have interviewed. He's such a cerebral player.

RJ King 8 years, 3 months ago

Withey: ". . . does everything the right way . . . That matters a lot."
Character counts. Falling in love again . . .

KY: "I don’t think any of us thought we were going to lose that game.” Shame on me!

Shame on North Carolina. Matt Doherty got hosed as UNC won the title with his recruits. Give a coach some time please!

bayareajhawk 8 years, 3 months ago

He was national coach of the year at Notre Dame the year before Carolina hired him. He made the Irish basketball team nationally relevant and set that program up for Mike Brey. I wish he had stayed there. They would be naming the court after him right about now.

jhox 8 years, 3 months ago

His players supposedly hated him. I believe there was a near mutiny and UNC had little choice. Worked out great for KU though, otherwise we would be Self-less.

DCLawHawk 8 years, 3 months ago

Anyone else notice Doherty's comment about Norm Roberts setting the table for Steve Lavin at St. John's? Talk about putting the 'b' in subtle.

KULA 8 years, 3 months ago

Great seeing EJ's comments about Ben. It's no wonder Ben chose KU/Bill over UK/Cal--he wants to continue to learn, rather than just make a pit stop on his way to the NBA.

mojayhawk 8 years, 3 months ago

And yet, he'll be in the League soon, very soon. Pay attention recruits!

Ron Prichard 8 years, 3 months ago

That would be winning the lottery lucky (not Ben, but us). Ben is a sure-fire lottery pick and possibly the #1 pick in the draft. As much as I would love, love, love for him to stay, I don't see it happening.

Dirk Medema 8 years, 3 months ago

I'd say we're lucky if he goes to the league after his first year and excels. It would be good for recruiting long term. Besides, Self needs another '08 challenge.

Ron Franklin 8 years, 3 months ago

I hope Self gets credit for developing him just like Cal gets credit for getting guys to the League.

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 3 months ago

Not like he was chopped liver coming out though....wasn't he something like 24th or 25th ranked coming out?

David Leathers 8 years, 3 months ago

which means that nearly all of next year's recruits have the same potential to be stars.

Joe Baker 8 years, 3 months ago

Neither was TRob and look at him now.

jbal32 8 years, 3 months ago

Speaking of TROB, I checked his stat line for last night's game. 13 min, 10 rebounds and 2 points. I wonder how many boards he could grab with more time?

jhox 8 years, 3 months ago

Ben is that rare combination of incredible natural ability with an intense desire to get better. That's what separates the Hall of Fame type guys from those who float by on talent alone. I also believe that his strong desire to get better is what will give him the edge in making him the number 1 overall pick.

Guys like Ben don't come along very often.

Andy Godwin 8 years, 3 months ago

Very, very true. Nothing better than seeing teammates happy for another's success. Team chemistry goes a long way since these guys are together so much.

Tony Bandle 8 years, 3 months ago

Spot on...Peyton Manning, Michael Jordan, Stan Musial, Johnny Unitas, Gale Sayers are just a few names that come instantly to mind. Remember, I told you guys years ago, Ben would be special, because even then, he already was!!

jaybate 8 years, 3 months ago

Oak, you had Ben called. You get the XTRa Credit. :-)

David Leathers 8 years, 3 months ago

It was I, however, who changed Keegan's odds at the beginning of the season that BMac would be the leading scorer this season.

Alex Peekeaton 8 years, 3 months ago

Ben chose KU over Illinois, Missouri, and Purdue. UK didn't recruit Ben and never offered a scholarship just for the record.

JHawk06 8 years, 3 months ago

What a Kensucky's even worse if you can't spot talent unless ESPN tells you about them.

Alex Peekeaton 8 years, 3 months ago

I'm sure 3 high schools in 4 years, being dismissed from Oak Hill, and eligibility issues kept a lot schools from recruiting him. That 2011 class was pretty good for UK (3 NBA 1st Rounders - Davis/Gilchrest/Teague) and brought home another NC, so I think we are happy where everyone ended up going.

Ron Franklin 8 years, 3 months ago

"I should have hit him in the head"

I don't find that very classy at all.

Luca Rossi 8 years, 3 months ago

I read that differently, I think he is giving BMac props saying he made the shot even being fouled and that a small foul wasn't enough to stop him that night. Don't see any malicious intent here, more of a compliment.

Mel Clare 8 years, 3 months ago

If the foul gets over right there! Ben does not miss the FT..........results the same...........

gchawk 8 years, 3 months ago

Exactly right. Tyrus is just an intense competitor, and I'm impressed with his honesty.

Joe Baker 8 years, 3 months ago

"...I should've smacked him in the head..." ???? I think the idea was to keep the shot from going. I think grabbing his arm or simply hugging him would've been more "intentional." "Smacking" someone in the head sounds a little thuggish.

hawkhoops 8 years, 3 months ago

Without the foul, shot goes in clean, no glass:)

bradynsdad 8 years, 3 months ago

I like Matt Doherty but he looks like he would play a bad guy in a movie. Not sure if any of you are on twitter but Wayne Selden was having a fun conversation on there last night with Julius Randle. Those two have become pretty good friends. Much like Thomas Robinson I truly believe Ben is a really good kid who deserves everything that is coming to him. I would also love to see Jamari work his way into being a first round pick after reading about his struggles.

Stan Unruh 8 years, 3 months ago

I like Doherty also but I did not enjoy his color work on Wednesday's game. He is much better in the studio.

741hawk 8 years, 3 months ago

Agree swunru. But it's his first year on the broadcasts, I think. He might get better with good coaching. :)

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 3 months ago

Where's there something to read on Jamari?

bradynsdad 8 years, 3 months ago

Over Christmas break there was a great story about him and his background. From him being homeless in high school and finding out his dad got life in prison.

Eliott Reeder 8 years, 3 months ago

It was an article in the Topeka Capitol Journal...

JHawkIDoc 8 years, 3 months ago

It's a great must read article! Here's for wanting the very best or this young man who has overcome some amazing life challenges so far. Enjoy!

FearlessJayhawk 8 years, 3 months ago

I really believe this team has an excellent chance of winning it all this year. Think about it. It's primarily an experienced senior run team. You have "Mister inside", JW and "Mister outside" BM

Joe Baker 8 years, 3 months ago

Funny, Temple and ISU played like ranked teams. Minus ISU's 38 trey attempts, gawd awful shooting, Hoiberg got outcoached.

RJ King 8 years, 3 months ago

yeah, but minus about 38 trey attempts, we might have like six or seven ncaa national championships :-)

8 years, 3 months ago

Since Ben is a student of the game and has a hunger to continually learn and improve, it makes one wonder if that along with the thought of next year's team being his team would be enticing enough for him to delay entering the NBA draft for a year. On the other hand, if he is a certain lottery pick, possibly even #1 overall after having a great season, it would be difficult for him to turn down such an opportunity.

So many games and so much time between now and the time for that decision, though it can be fun to think about. Probably the best thing to do as a fan is to not worry about it and simply enjoy the ride this season.

741hawk 8 years, 3 months ago

The other problem for Ben (in chosing to come back is that he would be playing with four new starters. Not much to look forward to.

Ben Kane 8 years, 3 months ago

I think every jayhawk fan in the world would be happy to see Ben come back but let's be honest, if he is going to be a near #1 pick it would be silly of him to do so.

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 3 months ago

I think the opposite would be true. I think he KNOWS the value of those seniors and it would be a bit overwhelming not having the help of EJ, Releford, Withey & Young.

That is amazing to think that it should turn out that we'll need FIVE new starters next season. Have we ever had THAT MANY?!?!? I know last year was ALMOST like that but didn't Tyshawn start most of the year before anyway?

I mean it would seems to me like with the team as it is currently constituted they might choose to go small at the "5" and actually start:

Tharpe Selden White III / B. Greene...good competition there P. Ellis Traylor

If we manage to sign Randle I assume that we'd play him out of position at the "5". Other good competitions for minutes will also occur between R.Adams & Frankamp for a backup combo-G......I would suspect that Rio would probably be in a better position there with more versatility though Conner might earn time just to come in and attempt some outside shots anyway like when Tyrel first started getting some spot minutes. And also for backup spot minutes in the post between L.Lucas & Embiid. I have a feeling that even though I was REALLY excited for us to land Embiid that we're not going to actually see too much of him next year, BUT I think he's going to be AWESOME in '14/'15!!!!

texashawk10 8 years, 3 months ago

Self had to replace all 5 starter from the national title team.

Dirk Medema 8 years, 3 months ago

Tharpe and Ellis a probably on par with Sherron & Cole at the end of '07. Cole really didn't do much before the FF, and it was the first year that SC was healthy the whole year. There's lots of time for Tharpe and Ellis to develop and like you say, plenty more around them, both incoming and remnants of this year.

TexasRockChalk 8 years, 3 months ago

Nice handle :) Hope to see you in Lubbock or Austin for the next couple of road games. Haha!

8 years, 3 months ago

Thanks, and welcome to the boards fellow Texas Rock Chalker! I wish I could make those games -- hope you are able to join in the rock chalk chant at the end of them :^) I will be at the games in Fort Worth and Waco.

Suzi Marshall 8 years, 3 months ago

Add me to that Texan (The Woodlands...N. of Houston) Rock Chalker list! Already have my tickets for games at UT and Baylor. My tickets prices for UT and Baylor were $70 and and $65, respecitvely (Stub Hub). Tickets to a game in AFH usuallly cost $300 per. Check it out on Stub Hub. It's crazy how much more home Kansas games cost. .

TexasRockChalk 8 years, 3 months ago

JayhawkMarshall: I replied on another post, but will be in Austin, FW and Waco as well. I just got my tix from Texas Box Office for $27.99 apiece. I think we got lucky! The Mrs. has some connections I believe from her Baylor days, so we will probably score some decent seats for the March 9th game. Hope to see you guys there!

KGphoto 8 years, 3 months ago

“The ref just didn’t call it. I got him on the bottom of his hand. I should have smacked him in the head,” McGee said.

LMAO! That made my day.

jaybate 8 years, 3 months ago

McGee learned the lesson of hard fouling. If you're going to foul at the end, butcher the opponent so he's not even in much condition to shoot the free throw with composure.

Or don't foul.

If only the refs would quit swallowing their whistles like a bunch of striped eunuchs. We might have lost the game. But the game would be so much better off.

voygr1 8 years, 3 months ago

Doherty keeps comparing BMac to Ray Allen but I see someone different with initials MJ. True team player.Where is Vitale for JW Jeff has better stats than AD had at UK at this time last year. Guess its not UK, UNC, or Duke.

KGphoto 8 years, 3 months ago

Ray Allen's stroke. MJ's air.

Still missing MJ's handles, fadeaway J, and bloodthirsty mentality. He could acquire some of that in time, but if Ben ends up being a combo of those two, somebody will want to be the next Ben McLemore.

Suzi Marshall 8 years, 3 months ago

I love hearing how BMac works hard. When we were in Chicago, we held Bulls season tickets through the Jordan years. Your right on about MJ's mentality. The other amazing thing was how he'd alway play like a rooking trying to make the team. Jordan never had a bad game. On those very rare games he shot the ball poorly, he'd double up on his defense where he would dominate. BMac for sure has his skills.

Reuben_J_Cogburn 8 years, 3 months ago

My first thoughts on this game were, "Well, we luckily dodged a hell of a bullet on this one." But looking at the stats and rethinking everything, we actually played pretty well all around. Multiple double-doubles; pretty impressive. As long as they tighten up perimeter defense, which I'm sure HCBS has addressed heartily.

McLemore is playing great, but the biggest test is going to be Big XII road games. In fact, this whole team needs to be tested on the road. I understand Ohio State was an intimidating environment and we handled it, but remember we lost composure a couple of times and went on some pretty stupid streaks; especially at the end.

The conference road games, in my opinion, are going to be much more hostile than Ohio State, and that;'s how we are going to be able to judge McLemore's star status. Does he make that same dagger in Hilton? I can't honestly say.

The kid is incredible, no doubt, and I know all of you want to jump on the "Michael Jordan Reincarnated" train. But hold off just a little bit longer. We'll get everyone's best shot in conference play, and the kid who seemingly shrugs off pressure will be tested.

I think he'll prove himself worthy of all the worship and accolades, but he'll need to bring the same caliber on the road in the Big XII to do so.

Benny Boy, if you come close, even slightly, to repeating that performance in will have made a true believer out of me.

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 3 months ago

Only ones that hopefully I'm not warranted for NOT being worried about would be at Fort Worth, Lubbock & Norman.

Stillwater EASILY scares me the most. I can only remember us winning there like 2 x the last decade or something...and one of those wins was last year when OSU was really down. Look to be one of our 3 biggest challengers this year.

Joe Baker 8 years, 3 months ago

OSU is good, but not great. OSU and little Ford has no inside game. This is why they lost to Gonzaga. They had no answer for Gonzaga's big fella. Ford just sends in hacks on the other team's big.

vsmooth 8 years, 3 months ago

I knew it, I knew it...that Tyrus McGee did foul Ben McLemore when he took that three point shot to bank in. Ben knew he was fouled too!!! But as always, the ref did not make that call. And to add insult to injury, that was not the only time that he was fouled, shooting the three. Well props to McGee for being a man and fessing up...too bad he didn't go to the ref and say hey, I fouled that man. Game should never have went into overtime. But KU still prevailed as always!!!

Joe Baker 8 years, 3 months ago

If you watch the replay, Ben immediately turned to the ref with a plea. It should've been 3 and 1, game over.

RJ King 8 years, 3 months ago

We (Travis?) fouled I think McGee on a 3 earlier in the game and it wasn't called. Honestly, it usually goes both ways.

Ben Kane 8 years, 3 months ago

I enjoyed Matt's color commentary. It was refreshing to hear someone who actually knows what he's talking about when it comes to KU and not just reciting the same things over and over again. I don't think i heard the Withey volleyball comment all game.

Reuben_J_Cogburn 8 years, 3 months ago

Hey...did you know Jeff Withey played volleyball?

Ben Kane 8 years, 3 months ago

is that where he learned how to block?

Joel Thomas 8 years, 3 months ago

Definitely. We've been beat over the head by the fact that Withey played volleyball in high school. Al Bundy also scored 4 TDs in high school.

TexasRockChalk 8 years, 3 months ago

Dear Dane~ Whatever happened to you after the '85 World Series?

TexasRockChalk 8 years, 3 months ago

That's a shame, Dane. I was a freshman in high school when you hit that big two-run single to win Game 6 of the '85 I-70 series! ;) How's Garth doing? LOL

jaybate 8 years, 3 months ago

"On Luck, Swagger and Belief: Why Self's Teams Seem to Win A Lot of Close Games"

(Shameless Repost)

Part 1

When Ben made the lucky bank to beat the Iowa State Hoiclones, my first response was to discount it and KU's win as merely lucky, as if they didn't deserve it.

And that made me think about luck in hoops.

And that made me recall that lucky plays happen through out games. And I have never heard anyone complain about not deserving a win because of a lucky bounce on a free throw five minutes into a game.

What does it matter that luck happened on Ben's last second shot, versus a lucky bank 3 minutes in?

Except in the dynamical sense of games being unfolding events of complexity, nothing. Without being an omniscient god, a lucky point ten seconds in is worth as much as a lucky point ten seconds to the end. All luck counts the same at the end. Had KU missed three point early, because of an unlucky bounce on the rim, and then Ben made the lucky bank at the end, KU would still have come up three points shy of a win.

The more I think about it the more I think a basketball game brims with lucky plays.

Shots and FTs bounce around the rim in ways shooters don't plan and then fall. Luck.

Rebounds come off one way and not another in unplanned ways and so are rebounded unexpectedly. Luck.

Guys trip, or slip, or get injured, unexpectedly and you get an easy bucket, or an easy MUA. Luck.

You get a draw in the Madness with teams you match up well with. Luck.

There is so much luck to be had in basketball that one has not only to be good to win big, but one also has to be lucky.

At least a quarter to a half of possessions evidence some luck. Maybe more.

And the luck seems widely distributed among both teams.

So why do some teams seem to win so much more?

Is it talent and skill or luck that leads to asymmetric winning?

It both. No. Its three things.

More talented teams seem to win more. So recruit more talented players.

And luckier teams seem to win more. So recruit more lucky players.

And teams with players that respond well after the event of luck seem to win more.

That last one is Self's least understood edge.

His players not only get luck, good and bad, but then they play better after the luck than others.


He recruits players with swagger, the kind most likely to exploit good luck afterwards, or to play through bad luck well.

And he fills swaggering players with the word "believe."

jaybate 8 years, 3 months ago

Part 2

Talented, coached-up, swaggering players that think next and believe are not only more likely to hang for luck to happen, but more likely to seize the moment after it happens.

British military strategist and historian Lidell Hart noted that the way battles and wars are won is not by destroying armies of an opponent, but rather by destroying the hope of an opponent, primarily the opponent's leader. Leaders without hope surrender. Leaders with hope keep fighting and looking for the next luck to exploit.

I cannot say for sure, if Self's teams are more lucky. But it is increasingly clear that Self's teams hang on for luck as well as any, and exploit its aftermath better than almost any.

Two memorable cases do not prove my point, but exemplify it.

Memphis in 2008.

Iowa State in 2013.

In both cases, it isn't just that they hung in and got lucky.

Look at what they did after the luck!!

ku_foaf 8 years, 3 months ago

What I noticed in both of those games: opponent body language said "we just lost" and they went on to lose. KU body language said "We are going to win." Of course the score was actually tied!

I remember the Memphis fans in the stands when it went to OT. They were hanging their heads, looking down, looking like they had just been beaten.

I think this is a belief of "we can do it" and "it is our destiny as a great program to win."

Not to pick on K-State football, but they have had some really talented teams and not quite gotten there. I think it has something to do with this. Oklahoma State football kind of shares that, never quite feeling they are equals to OU, despite the rivalry and never missing a chance to hate them. Both schools have had really good teams, but always fall just a little short somewhere.

That extends to Missouri basketball. We know Norm had some really good teams that still fell short, same as Haith's last year. Never quite getting it done even if the talent is there.

RJ King 8 years, 3 months ago

For me, the level of confidence was all about foul trouble. Joey Dorsey had fouled out in the Memphis game, and Georges Niang for ISU. When they got it to OT, I was sure we would win both games. Thank goodness the Temple game didn't reach OT. I think a lot of people would not have been as confident with Travis having fouled out.

jaybate 8 years, 3 months ago

Good recall. Thx.

But I still think Self's guys deal with adversity in a significantly above average way for the reasons I mentioned.

jaybate 8 years, 3 months ago


"50% of the game is 90% mental."

--Yogi Berra

It takes a school that believes it can achieve excellence.

It takes talented players that work hard and believe a championship is as much theirs to win, as anyone else's.

It takes a coach that believes winning is feasible.

And finally it takes a coach that figures out how to win it all when you have all three of the above.

Why is it this way? Why are these the ingredients?

Because there is so much luck involved. There are so many plays that can break your way, or against you.

So: unless you really and truly believe, then the bad luck will erode your will, and the good luck will tend to mislead you about what you need to do to win.

lobohawk 8 years, 3 months ago

I was across the aisle from 6 to 8 ISU fans, pretty vocal all game til the shot, then their body language completely changed, it was amazing, just like their team, they knew they were defeated the moment the shot of Ben's went in

Michael Bratisax 8 years, 3 months ago

I had to look back at some of HCBS's early years and there is a significant improvement by Kansas from losing to winning most of the close games.

From 2004-2006, Kansas didn't do well in most close games:

2004 Lost to Richmond 68-69 2004 lost to Georgia Tech in OT in the round of eight, 2005 lost to Bucknell 63-64 in NCAA opener, 2005 lost to Oklahoma State in Big 12 Tournament, 2005 lost to Iowa State 61-63 in OT, 2005 lost to Texas Tech 79-80 in 2 OT, 2006 lost to Arkansas 64-65, 2006 lost to Nevada 70-72, 2006 lost to Missouri 86-89 in OT, 2006 lost to Bradley 73-77 in NCAA opener

In 2004, HCSB had his most single-season losses at Kansas and most of them were not nearly as close as in other years.

In 2007 the trend started to reverse and this was when his players became the starters and most of Roy's players had graduated or moved on. Obviously we still lost close games afterwards but now it seemed that Kansas expected to win when close and usually did.

Tony Bandle 8 years, 3 months ago

Look for teams to push the weave out toward midcourt, try to draw Jeff out from the paint, double team Ben and make someone else beat us from the outside and leave Kevin open until he gets to within 5' of the basket.

Thanks for schooling America about the Jayhawks on national television, Hoiberg, you turkey!!

Tony Bandle 8 years, 3 months ago

PS Watched North Carolina lose to Miami at home...and didn't look good doing it. Is Roy in a little trouble????

Joe Baker 8 years, 3 months ago

Naw, he'll get a pass. He's got two(?) NCs. He may look to retire before it gets messy though.

Reuben_J_Cogburn 8 years, 3 months ago

Wondered that myself. He has had several sub-par years, and even an embarrassing NIT appearance. However; he's brought them two NCAA titles. I think he'll be alright.

But it just goes to show you how better off we are under Bill Self. Roy had a knack for reloading every other year. Self does it every year.

Translation...we are Conference and National Championship contenders every year under this regime.

Love ya, Roy. But it's clear the change needed to happen.

jaybate 8 years, 3 months ago

Yes. Roy is in trouble. Short term with his team's play. Long term with recruiting. He's got serious health issues and recruiters, agents, AAU coaches, and ShoeCos won't see him as a good long term investment. You bet he has problems.

Sports is like a heard of impala being preyed on by lions. The weak are preyed on first.

Roy deserves better than this, even though I hate that he won't give KU the same kind of break on recruiting, while at UNC, that he gave UNC, while at KU.

"But its alright ma, I'm only bleeding."

--Bob Dylan

Ben Kane 8 years, 3 months ago

"Roy deserves better than this, even though I hate that he won't give KU the same kind of break on recruiting, while at UNC, that he gave UNC, while at KU."

what are you saying there?

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 3 months ago

I think it's in reference to how while at KU with rare excpetion (i.e., Kenny Gregory out of Ohio) he SELDOM recruited east of the Mississippi River whereas at UNC he recruits EVERYWHERE - especially Iowa (Barnes, Paige), Missouri (T. Hansbrough) and other Midwest locales.

Ben Kane 8 years, 3 months ago

that makes sense. I remember that now.

RJ King 8 years, 3 months ago

yeah - it seemed he refused to compete with Dean Smith. Therefore e ended up with a lot of players from the West Coast - Vaughan, Pollard, Haase, Walters, Pierce, Padgett, Chenowith, etc.

Joel Thomas 8 years, 3 months ago

Roy did not recruit the east coast hard while at KU because of his loyalty to UNC. However, he now recruits everywhere now that he's at UNC, KU's recruiting interest be damned. (Edit: see above. I needlessly responded, in haste.)

Reuben_J_Cogburn 8 years, 3 months ago

I don't think it's that cut and dry, Jaybate. Regardless of the roller coaster, he has brought 2 titles in a decade. Those alone will carry him through another 3 to 4 years of subpar seasons. All people care about is championships.

The only thing that has damaged his reputation with the fanbase is his continued support of KU Basketball.

jaybate 8 years, 3 months ago

Reuben, I didn't mean to imply Roy was in near term danger of being fired, or forced out, by UNC.

I meant that he is struggling a bit with getting his team to play the way he likes to play now.

I also meant the man appears to be fighting for his life against disease and the weasels of the world, er unprincipled recruiters, can and do use anything as a stick against their competitiors.

Further, those in the ShoeCo-Summer Game-Agency Complex are making investments in sending 5-start product (aka top recruits) to be developed and promoted for a year, maybe two, at a school at its peak of promotional capacity. They are looking to cash in on baby sitting some product in 1-3 years. How many guys battling the Big C would you bet a big piece of your future earning ability on, if you had a half dozen other coaches not battling such disease? This is a business. Roy's a pretty darned good guy by most measures. I wanted to beat him fair and square and keep beating him that way, until he retired and we could honor him without risking him stealing any more of our recruits. I didn't want an assist from Disease in cutting his career short. And I didn't want an assist from Disease making the weasels in The Complex view him as a bad investment risk.

Hope that clears my position up.

Regarding championships being important, how important would the 2008 championship be to Self keeping his job if he had dropped to .500 every year since? Even half the years since?

Rings get you a raise. Rings get you through one extenuating circumstances. But rings don't get you through an extended slump that starts leaving blood around the bottom line over at the AD's office.

Roy is far from leaving blood on the bottom line.

But the minute weasels at The Complex decide they don't want to valve you the talent, even the best coaches are dead men walking.

Scott Smetana 8 years, 3 months ago

Exactly... we've got to get Kevin to shoot and make that 8 foot shot. He was wide open against ISU. I'm sure HCBS and Young know this.

Yep, Roy will get a pass this year, but must have a top 10 team next year or he could be gone.... ouch!!!

mejayhawk 8 years, 3 months ago

New topic: Has anyone else noticed the cop who sits behind the visiting coach in Allen Fieldhouse? He looks so much like Rob Cordrey playing a cop that I laugh everytime the camera shows him. Also, I like the jayhawks!

RJ King 8 years, 3 months ago

Ha ha. I've noticed too.

Also - who is the guy usually next to him - at least behind Self - with the brown hair, glasses, and media credentials? Is that KU's SID? He reminds me of a larger version of Bob Costas.

Priest Fontaine 8 years, 3 months ago

Ben "Bank Glasslemore" Mclemore -Robert Pope

Ron Franklin 8 years, 3 months ago

Why did Coach Self say Fred did the right thing by not fouling before the three. Just last year Coach Self fouled Aaron Craft when the Jayhawks were up by three. Remember--when Craft botched the attempt on purpose but crossed the stripe.

Is it as simple as keeping coaches off of his scent and on their toes?

Coach Self fouls up 3 and Calipari tried to foul up in the 08 NC game, but the refs didn't call it.

Joe Baker 8 years, 3 months ago

Saying they'll not be so "lucky" is like saying, they may not be as good next time. Any dramatic win has an element of luck, but they are also really talented and the right shooter took the shot, maybe?

TexasRockChalk 8 years, 3 months ago

Any going to Lubbock or Austin for the next couple of road games?

Chris1955 8 years, 3 months ago

TRC, my wife and I will be going to the UT game and later this year, the Baylor game in Waco.

Suzi Marshall 8 years, 3 months ago

I'm going to Austin and Waco. I'm in the Houston area....Lubbock is a long way from here.

TexasRockChalk 8 years, 3 months ago

Chris1955 & JayhawkMarshall:

We should link up in Austin at Frank Erwin Centre at some point and exchange pleasantries, Rock Chalk style. The Mrs. and I will be heading to Austin this Saturday, and will also be at the TCU game in FW, as well as the Baylor game March 9th (since she went to Baylor!). Hope to see you guys!

jaybate 8 years, 3 months ago

"Friday Outside the Box"

Part 1

~POSSIBLE (?) ENGINEERING WORK AROUND FOR HIGH GROUND WATER PROBLEM FACING EXCAVATION OF MEMORIAL STADIUM EXPANSION: Oak says excavating to lower the field, will confront a ground water management problem.

Wild haired suggestion that has probably already been tried somewhere: Instead of fighting the ground water (i.e., pumping it out all the time, let's use the ground water as our friend).

Think of a Panama Canal lock. Two walls and closed gates (in effect two more walls, when closed) and water rising will float huge ships upwards as high as the water level is raised.

Think of the excavation to lower the field as building a canal lock with permanently closed gates.

Think of the football field as being built on a poured concrete boat hull (or field pan) that will float on the ground water that both seeps in under it and, if necessary to achieve adequate floatation is pumped in under it to create a giant, balanced, floating football field that rises and falls a bit with the level of the ground water.

Reinforced concrete is used for both the "lock" and the field pan that floats in it. Alternatively, modern high tech concretes might be used that are much stronger and lighter per unit volume, and less water permeable. The modern concrete might be used if and where cost effective, but not if and where not. For instance the field pan might be the high tech variety, and the lock walls might be the old fashioned kind.

The relationship of the size of the football field to the weight of the persons on the field would likely be so insignificant, that stability would not be a problem, depending on how the "hull" (i.e., the underside of the floating field were shaped).

Voila. No expensive pile driving, or excavations to bed rock. No constant pumping of ground water.

We use the weight of the football field pan (hull) force excesses of water high enough that when it reaches grade it is drained off into gravity storm sewers.

And if water needed to be pumped back into the lock at certain times of year, or in certain drought conditions, then a water reservoir could be built at the open end of the stadium to handle overflows and infusions. The water reservoir would be designed to also be a reflecting pool with fountains. A giant wishing well. Maybe even some fish for the kids. :-)

An engineer might also calculate how much water and volume would be required to add the seating to the field pan and make the new seating and the field float together.

Remember, concrete is cheap. Structural steel and deep piles are expensive.

Next. :-)

jaybate 8 years, 3 months ago

Part 2

~McLemore Reality Check: Ben had a great game. He was ridiculously hot, after having been in a small slump recently. He had the kind of game very good players have once in a while when they play on a team lacking in good scorers. But he is not out there throwing up Kevin Durant numbers every game. Not even Michael Beasley numbers every game. Just let Ben be Ben and see where the chips fall. I said early on the guy had Michael Jordan kind of ability. But that doesn't mean he is Michael Jordan. Kenny Gregory had Michael Jordan kind of ability, too. But it didn't play out that way. Really, Ben has a long way to go to be an accomplished basketball player. Everyone looks great when the make everything they throw up, just like every team looks unbeatable after a hot shooting game. The truth is Ben went unconscious for a game. Look back over his career at KU and high school. How many times has he gone 6 for 6 from trey, or whatever he did. It was an anomalous game. He is a terrific player, but everyone (including draft professionals) that thinks one game transforms him from a number 10 draft choice to a number 1 draft choice is suffering irrational exhuberance. He is a very good basketball player with a huge amount of talent. He is an OAD type. If he wants to, he can turn pro. But a hot game with a lucky shot doesn't really mean near as much, as how well he has played in all of the other games combined. He has shown he could step in and play as a starter without his mistakes erasing his benefits. He has contributed well. But we are not seeing even Kevin Durant yet. Durant could control a game on a night he was shooting "only" 38-40% from trey. Maybe Self is saying that with how limited this team's scoring abilities are it is time to see if Ben should take over more of the load. But really, more likely, the team is better off when he just occassionally explodes. One thing for sure, after the ISU game, opponent's scouting reports are going to put a lot more emphasis on controlling Ben, and that is going to be great for our other rotation players playing with him. Trav, Kevin, Jeff, and EJ are going to find it easier to score as more of the defense is focused on Ben. And these guys have already proven they can get the ball in the hole adequately.

Ben Kane 8 years, 3 months ago

oh Kenny Greggory. Anybody know whatever happened to him?

jaybate 8 years, 3 months ago

Part 3

~COMING TO THE PROPHET'S DEFENSE: Once again I am getting tired of KU's point guard being dissed for making too many turn overs and not meeting the "point guard eye test." This was the same thing we went through with Tyshawn, who went through a steep learning curve, and to lesser degree with Sherron, who did't "look" like a conventional point guard.

Fans need to understand that Self has a philosophy of getting his best players "now" on the court, and then scripting their roles carefully to allow them to do what they do best, while hoping time and experience will let them work toward masking their short comings. The result is that Self's impact players are often looking great at some things, while also looking bad at others. And there is something about this going on with point guards that particularly drives KU fans batty.

Elijah, despite his now intermittently bad knee, is a great pitch forward passer. He got a lot of assists against ISU even as he made a lot of TOs. Yes we need him to make fewer TOs, but he is a developing PG and he is running a new kind of offense this season, and each week brings more video for the opponents to study and learn how to hamstring him in yet another new way. Each week he has to learn to adjust to what happened last game, and then be confronted by something new he hasn't seen the next game. It will go on like this until at least February, maybe late February, maybe even into the Madness. This is the price of playing with a first year point guard in a new kind of offense. It was the price of playing with a first year point guard like Tyshawn. And it was the price of playing with a wide body point guard capable of exploding all over people like Sherron, who also had some troubles with over committing his entire career, because his incredible strength helped him not only do great things, but also get into situations that he lacked the height (and later) the hops to finish in.

jaybate 8 years, 3 months ago

Part 3

When a guy takes over as point guard, there just is a learning curve that has to happen, not just with the point guard, but with his teammates, too, before they begin to see how to handle all the different things opposing coaches can throw at them. Hell, Self had no flipping idea what Hoiberg was throwing at them. Why should EJ have somehow been able to figure it out seamlessly and avoid baking pop tarts in the heat of battle, when Self couldn't on the side lines.

Some military strategists have defined a battle plan as something designed to get you into battle, afterwhich the chaos of battle immediately obsolets the battle plan, and you are caught in a rush to see who can find some new plan that will get you through the chaos.

KU has played and beaten some good teams now. KU is 13-1 and could easily have beaten MSU--the one team it lost to.

Elijah Johnson is the point guard of a 13-1 team in Division 1 college basketball. Elijah Johnson may not pass some board rat's eye tests, or performance tests, but Elijah Johnson is passing the "getting it done" test. And at the end of the day, that's the only test that matters.

I have my doubts about whether the Prophet's knee can hold up for 35-40 games.

But I don't have a single doubt about going to war with Elijah Johnson, just as I didn't with Tyshawn, or Sherron, or RR, or Chalmers.

Elijah Johnson is a different kind of point guard evolving before our eyes.

He defies all the eye tests and cliches.

He used to be able to hit money shots from three, but now his knee makes those kinds of shots problematic.

But when the game was all most lost, when KU had to make its move to get back into the game, when the clock had to be stopped to a couple times to get enough time to get back into the game, it was Elijah Johnson that had the presence of mind and courage of conviction to drive the length of floor and draw the foul at the rim to stop the clock twice. And it was Elijah Johnson that made the free throws. That was where the game was saved by skill and basketball IQ.

And that is why I would go to war with Elijah Johnson any time any where.

He passes the "get it done" eye test.

And that's the only flipping eye test I care about.

lobohawk 8 years, 3 months ago

well said Jaybate, stop the tic tic tic

Joseph Hansen 8 years, 3 months ago

I really like the thought of what happens if Kevin Young starts taking that open foul-line jumper. Surely he will hit 50% of them, which is a good team % anyway; it opens the lane; opponents can't double-team Withey; and the likelihood of offensive rebounds grows, especially tip-ins by Jeff. Shoot it up, K Yo!

Jack Wilson 8 years, 3 months ago

I really like the idea of what happens when KY starts MAKING that foul-line jumper. Add in that KY can then put it on the deck vs. a man defense a bit easier. Against a zone, it's lethal. He has to shoot it.

Tony Bandle 8 years, 3 months ago

Agreed...mostly good things can happen.

1] The basket is good.

2] Kevin gets fouled.

3] Jeff tips in the miss.

4] They have to play Kevin and it opens up Jeff for the alley oop.

5] America discovers an endless supply of clean energy, the world is at peace and the Kardashians disappear forever....all right, all right, but it is late Friday afternoon!!!

jaybate 8 years, 3 months ago

Based on tradeoffs on points and shooting percentages and how much a defense is stretched, I would like to see Kevin take his shots from the trey strip out front. From the trey stripe, he only has to hit 33% or so to equal 50% from trey, right? And if he's out that far then the defense is stretched farther and so his length and agility has an extra step or two of blow by distance to separate even farther from his slower defender as he approaches the rim. This extra crash time means more defenders will be tempted to collapse to help. The more that collapse the more guys open for Keving to kick to for treys, or for a dish to Withey for a dunk.

Under normal game conditions, never take a two, when you can take a trey, or a shot likely to generate a make with a foul.

Every three point play increases the probability your opponent is playing catch up.

Ben Kane 8 years, 3 months ago

the long range two point jump shot has been proven to be the most pointless shot in basketball. However in my experience some players (bigs 4 and 5 spots) have a mental block when they step behind the line, where they have no trouble with the shot 1 foot closer when they step behind their shot goes all to heck. I agree with your point but will settle for him taking shots from up top to stretch the D and force respect whether he's behind the line or not.

Jack Wilson 8 years, 3 months ago

jb: I would say though that the 15 footer is to facilitate the high/low .. the high/low isn't a high/low from the 3 point-line.

I would not want KY taking anything outside the 14-16 foot range (and those only as part of the high/low set). Otherwise, he needs to stay inside that.

Just my thoughts.

jaybate 8 years, 3 months ago

HEM, you raise the key issue. Can the hi-lo work with the high out at the trey stripe. You doubt it can. My hunch is it can. Kieff played out at the trey stripe quite a bit in the high low. The hi-lo is all about stretching defenses. Giving each defender more space to cover and making help take longer to get there, without crossing a threshold into diminishing or negative returns of playing too far out. You sense of it is that if the 4 is out at the trey stripe, then its beyond the threshold. My hunch is that if the 4 is a serious trey threat from that one spot out high on the trey stripe, and also able to put it on the deck, then the 4 becomes what Self has described as the toughest position to cover in college basketball. The great thing about playing Marcus and Kieff at the bigs and letting them take turns floating out high on the trey stripe was that BOTH of them could pot it out there. Kieff was better an so took more. But Marcus was just good enough and fast enough they came out to guard him and he often drove the alley created by the stretching of the defense. It maybe that KY cannot hit that trey shot at a high enough percentage to make the other team come out that far, but again, at a bare minimum he only has to make 33% of his treys to equal 50% of twos. And the attractive thing about KY is that if he can draw them out, he is very long and fast to the hoop in a blow by, and stretching the defense out that far leaves Jeff free to run and jump hook across the lane. And if KY can't, then we need to start using AW3, or Perry at the 4 a bit more, because they could make that trey and that would again free Jeff up to run and jump hook. Get Withey's run and jump hook going is the next step for this team that could make this team almost unbeatable down the stretch.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.