Saturday, January 12, 2013

Red Raiders pleased with defense against Ben McLemore

Kansas guard Ben McLemore passes as he is defended by Texas Tech guards Ty Nurse and Daylen Robinson during the second half on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013 at United Spirit Arena in Lubbock, Texas.

Kansas guard Ben McLemore passes as he is defended by Texas Tech guards Ty Nurse and Daylen Robinson during the second half on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013 at United Spirit Arena in Lubbock, Texas.


Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self talks after win over Texas Tech

Kansas coach Bill Self talks after his team's 60-46 win over Texas Tech on Jan. 12, 2012.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Travis Releford and Kevin Young

Kansas seniors Travis Releford and Kevin Young talk to reporters following the Jayhawks' 60-46 victory over Texas Tech on Saturday.

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Box score


— Texas Tech junior Jamal Williams led his team with 11 points Saturday in a 60-46 loss to Kansas in United Spirit Arena. But it was talk of his defense that put a smile on his face.

Williams spent part of the game checking Kansas freshman Ben McLemore, who was coming off a 33-point night against Iowa State. McLemore made two of seven shots, misfired on all four three-pointers and scored 10 points.

"He's a great player," Williams said. "I like the fact that i got a chance to play against him. During film, I knew he was going to have a good game, so I just anticipated him. I tried to be a step ahead of him, tried to think it through each time and read what he was going to do. Some plays he made good plays and we defended him well. … I didn't let him get comfortable. I kept him out of his comfort zone."

Red Raiders interim head coach Chris Walker, elevated when Billy Gillispie lost his job, discussed the approach against McLemore.

"We just wanted to limit his touches," Walker said. "He's a great player, taking nothing away from him. He didn't take as many shots as he normally had taken."

McLemore's such a great finisher on drives to the hoop that Tech's approach was to try to stymie the drives at the beginning.

"We just didn't want to let him have clean looks," Walker said. "That was our No. 1 goal. Not let him have clean looks, and to push him a little higher, really stay on his dribble and force him to drive the ball, because he's really good with space. I don't know if it was us or him today, but we did slow him up. I think our guys did a good job on him."

Tech's approach worked against McLemore, and the strategy Walker employed against KU's big men worked in the first half and was exploited in the second. The Red Raiders consistently double-teamed center Jeff Withey and decided if a big man was going to beat them, it was going to be Kevin Young, for whom opportunities were created because of the special attention paid to Withey. Young didn't make them pay in the first half and did in the second.

Tech also made Withey earn eight of his 12 points at the free-throw line, playing him physically at both ends and challenging him defensively.

"That's the only way you can," Red Raiders center Dejan Kravic said. "If you don't play physical against him, he's blocking every shot And there were times in the second half where I faded away from him and just missed easy shots. But the objective was just to go at him and try getting in the air to try to get him to foul you That was our objective in the first half. Just take it inside and be aggressive. If you're not aggressive, he's blocking it."

Attempts to draw fouls on Withey failed, but he only blocked one shot. The underdogs stayed aggressive, but couldn't keep Kansas dominating the interior in the second half.

Coming off an 82-48 Tuesday night loss to Baylor, Tech (8-6 overall, 1-2 in the Big 12) played better Saturday in part because of the lopsided nature of that loss, according to Walker.

"Now that we had that situation — and I called it a hiccup — versus Baylor, we had their attention. We had a chance to prove that we're not that team that everyone saw on Tuesday," walker said. "I think those guys did that. We didn't get the job done today. We're not satisfied with losing. The objective is to win the game, but I think we played with more pride today."


jaybate 8 years, 3 months ago

Coach Walker, anyone can stop an opponent by fouling them and putting them on the line. :-)

Coach Self appeared to me to not WANT to beat the snot out of your team. Coach Self appeared to me to send his team out flat, dead legged, and without anything but the bare bone schemes to run until midway in the second half.

Coach Walker, has it ever occurred to you that since you were Coach Gillispie's right hand man, and Coach Self and Coach Gillispie are reputedly pals, and that you are a young coach in a difficult situation, that Coach Self did you a small curtesy today?

Imagine if Coach Self had sent his team in rested and amped with a sophisticated game plan and beaten your outmanned team 122-38. Coming off that 82-48 loss to Baylor, how tenuous would your job be right now?

Don't look a gift horse in the mouth, Coach Walker.


HawksWin 8 years, 3 months ago

+1000!!! Is Walker smart enough to know that? Plus, why get the tired body players from ISU-OT game two days ago all amped up for a walk in the park team with Baylor coming to town a day later? By the way, thanks for the analysis on the shoeco-sport industrial-complex. Thought about publishing an article on that for WSJ or GQ since espns of the world won't?

Beate Williams 8 years, 3 months ago

Totally agree with both posts. I thought the same but thought maybe I was being a bit naive but to know that Jaybate had the same thoughts lets me know I was not out in left field.

Jeff Coffman 8 years, 3 months ago

I'm sorry, but believe or not other coaches can actually game plan. Walker had three key points that did really well. 1) Slowed the game down (way down), using that slow down, the second thing they did was when they did go to the basket they went straight at Withey. Sometimes it worked. 2) HCBS said he was going to use Ben more, everyone can see they shut the offense through Ben down. They guarded the open jumper and made him put the ball on the floor. Of course, you are going to get more fouls.

I think sometimes we are naive as Jayhawk fans to think that teams don't put together great game plans. The plan worked pretty good the first half and really kept them in the game. KU made adjustments the second half, specifically on the rebounding side of the ball.

With Ben getting a lot of defensive pressure, they put a lot of pressure on EJ and Naadir, if they had shot better, the game wouldn't have been as close. HCBS will adjust if someone else tries to do this same gameplan.

As much as I like some of Jaybate's comments, to suggest HCBS ever sends a team without a gameplan or making adjustments during the game is absurd.

jaybate 8 years, 3 months ago


Good for you. I think what you assert here is a gross oversimplification of my POV that triggers you to say it is absurd. But once again you made an argument and not an attack. I love it.

hawk316 8 years, 3 months ago

This game illustrates why BMac could benefit from another year at KU. As gifted and talented as he obviously is, there are definite areas of his game that need improvement. Will he return for another year in college? Highly unlikely.

Tony Bandle 8 years, 3 months ago


ODDS - The odds of Ben Mac returning to Kansas next year are 69% against....I just like to use that number whenever possible.

ENDS - No unbeaten teams remain as the scorched Earth weekend takes down Duke and Michigan, as well as Arizona, Kentucky asnd Missouri. Regular season weekends don't get better than this for Jayhawk fans!!

ODDS - Bobby Knight's gaffes regarding the time clock versus the shot clock were disturbing, to say the least. I hope it was just a temporary brain cramp and not the "A Word".

ENDS - Best ends in the world Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce and Shakira as well as New England's Gronkowski.

Tony Bandle 8 years, 3 months ago

Arizona was earlier in the week, but I'm sure you get my drift plus KU winning two games and North Carolina getting smoked on their home floor!!!!

BCRavenJHawkfan 8 years, 3 months ago

Let me just add this as I was at the game. Got there a good hour before tip time. Got to see every part of warm up. I know a good shooting release when I see it.

On this day, Ben did not have his usual release. In comparison to other games his shot was a little flatter and the ball rotation had a hint of side spin. As I watched all of warm ups he made ONE from beyond the arc.

Now, let me also add, Evil Spirit Arena is a crappy place to shoot. Plus, when one gets down on the Texas plains on the Caprock where the humidity is all of 2% it takes all feel out of ones hands. The hands become dry and don't have that natural tactile feel.

So what I am saying here? The success the Red Raiders had against BMac was as much serendipitous as it was scheme.

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