Saturday, January 19, 2013

Bill Self: Don’t count out Longhorns yet

Texas men's basketball coach Rick Barnes, left, talks with Cameron Ridley in the first half of a NCAA college basketball game against Baylor, Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013, in Waco, Texas.

Texas men's basketball coach Rick Barnes, left, talks with Cameron Ridley in the first half of a NCAA college basketball game against Baylor, Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013, in Waco, Texas.



Associated Press

Texas men's basketball coach Rick Barnes, left, talks with Cameron Ridley in the first half of a NCAA college basketball game against Baylor, Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013, in Waco, Texas.

— Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self has a message for those who have buried the 2012-13 Texas Longhorns three games into the conference season.

“It’s early. It’s early,” Self said. “North Carolina started 0-2 in the league (ACC) in 2009 and won the national championship. It’s not uncommon to see good teams or good programs get off to rough starts. This isn’t indicative of how great their program has been. They’ll get it back. Rick will get it back. I just hope it doesn’t happen Saturday.”

Coach Rick Barnes’ Longhorns (8-8 overall, 0-3 Big 12) occupy ninth place in the Big 12 standings. They will play host to first-place KU (15-1, 3-0) at 1 p.m. today in Erwin Center. The traditionally tough Longhorns are 0-3 in the league for the first time in the 15-year Barnes era. It’s the first time a Barnes team has had a losing record after three games. Texas has been 3-0 in the conference nine times and 2-1 five times.

“I think any time you lose a quality player like Kabongo, it’d hurt any team,” Self said of sophomore point guard Myck Kabongo, who is suspended until Feb. 13.

“They are arguably right there among the younger teams in the country (with seven freshmen, five sophomores). They are very capable of beating folks, as evidenced of what they did to Carolina (85-67 home victory on Dec. 19).”

Still, Texas must start winning — and winning big — or see its string of 14 consecutive NCAA Tournament bids snapped.

The Jayhawks lead the country in consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances (23), followed by Duke (17), Michigan State (15), Texas (14), Gonzaga (14) and Wisconsin (14).

Barnes’ 17 consecutive trips to the tournament (including three straight bids at Clemson) tie Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski for longest streak of all active coaches. KU’s Bill Self’s streak is 14 years and counting — nine NCAA Tourney berths at KU, three at Illinois and two at Tulsa.

“If they aren’t going to do what we ask them to do, we aren’t going to win,” Barnes said. His squad, which lost to Chaminade at the Maui Invitational, in conference play has fallen at Baylor (86-79, OT), at home to West Virginia (57-53, OT) and at Iowa State (82-62).

“We don’t have a big margin of error. If we continue to give up second shots and not do the things that are going to make us more precise on the offense, we aren’t going to win. Our (defensive) numbers are pretty impressive, but when you look at it from a coach’s standpoint, we aren’t nearly where we should be. It takes all five guys. I would say Sheldon (McClellan, 14.3 ppg) and Javan (point guard Felix, 9.4 ppg, 6.3 assists per game) are the two guys that have to take it to a different level defensively as far as getting out of their comfort zone.”

McClellan, a 6-foot-4 sophomore from Houston, and Felix, a 5-10 freshman from New Orleans, faced the wrath of Barnes on Saturday at Iowa State. McClellan played just one minute total. Felix played 34 minutes but received a loud chewing out during a timeout after a defensive lapse.

“We have a group of guys who want to be good,” Barnes told the Austin American-Statesman. “They are willing to work. I’m not worried about ever losing them.”

Texas ranks second nationally in field-goal-percentage defense (34.3 percent), trailing only KU (34.2 percent). KU’s opponents have hit 324 of 946 shots, Texas’ foes 321 of 937.

“We are right there neck-and-neck,” Self said, “but they are kicking our butt in three-point-field-goal-percentage defense.”

Texas leads the country in that category (24.8 percent), while KU is tied for 90th (31.2 percent).

“That’s a big difference,” Self said. “I think they do a much better job of guarding the arc. It’s hard to get easy baskets on them. He (Barnes) has always had good defensive teams, then they’ll sprinkle in and play some 2-3 zone like he has in the past. Statistically, they’ve always been good defensively.”

KU point guard Elijah Johnson isn’t stressing over the defensive stats.

“The key to taking care of that is just playing,” Johnson said. “I don’t feel like we should pay that any mind. We play. We do what we do. We take the shots that are open. We make ’em. We miss ’em. We just keep playing.”

The Jayhawks hold a 20-7 lead in the all-time series and have won six of the past seven meetings versus UT. Texas has won three of the past five at Erwin Center.

“It’s never easy going to Texas. Why would it be different now?” Johnson said. KU is 5-5 all-time in Austin. “They are going to fight ... 0-4 doesn’t sound good to them. I’m pretty sure they are not going to sit back and just let it happen. Four-and-oh sounds good to us. So go out and handle business, do what we’re supposed to do. I expect a good game.”

Texas coach talks: UT has averaged 10,128 fans in eight games in 16,540-seat Erwin Center. As of Friday, today’s game was not a sellout.

“I don’t think players should allow the atmosphere to dictate how they are going to play. We would love to have great crowds, and we have fans at Texas that are never going to give up on these guys, but the fact is, regardless of the situation, you have to play,” Barnes said Friday. “That would be on my list of excuses column. We all like having a great crowd. We won’t deny that.”

Barnes believes the fans will see an elite team in KU.

“I think that any time of the year, when you are not playing the way you want to, you want to play against the best teams. We look at it is as an opportunity to get better. Kansas is an outstanding team. You look at the older guys on their team, and they have been through it all,” Barnes said.

Of KU’s building a strong roster, Barnes said: “I don’t know what the players’ plans were coming in to Kansas, but the fact is, they stayed there and they have gotten better. When you have older guys (four senior starters), and you can keep a consistency where the older guys set the tone, they show the younger players what it is all about.”

Ben’s back: There was no change in Ben McLemore’s status Friday for today’s game. He returned to practice this week and is expected to play versus the Longhorns.

Praise: Barnes lauded the play of UT freshmen Demarcus Holland and Ioannis Papapetrou after last Saturday’s Iowa State loss. Holland, 6-2, had six points and four assists in 25 minutes. Papapetrou, a 6-8 forward who chose UT over KU in recruiting, had 13 points and seven rebounds in 21 minutes.

“That’s what we’ve lacked from the (wing) position — offensive rebounding,” Barnes told the American-Statesman. “Papi did an excellent job getting five of them.”

Criticism: Barnes had a colorful quote recently regarding his team: “Nothing hurts more than when you watch the other team want the game more than you,” Barnes told the American-Statesman. “That is a killer. I told them after the Baylor game, if I were a businessman, I’d fire them all.”


Brian Powell 1 year, 2 months ago

I shouldn't be worried about this game, but I am.. Planets aligned for us to possibly take a loss on a tough away venue. They're due, we're due.

But I hope it doesn't turn out that way and we crush them!


Jack Wilson 1 year, 2 months ago

This from the KC Star today on Ellis --- If Ellis is learning to strike the balance between comfort and aggressiveness, it could be coming at the right time. During most of January, opposing defenses have collapsed on senior center Jeff Withey in the paint, leaving forward Kevin Young all alone on the high post. And Ellis may be the best-equipped power forward to knock down 15-foot jumpers — and keep defenses honest. “I think he’s the best we have at that,” Self said. “The way that people have played us, even Perry the other day, they dared him to shoot. When he gets confidence in everything, he’ll make two out of those three, and that will be so important to open up things for Jeff.”

We've discussed here a bit that dynamic .. that teams are collapsing off of KY in the high-low, and he's not knocking down the 15 footer from elbow to elbow. That eliminates the KY driving, and eliminates the pass to Withey. KY has to take and hit the 15 footer. Self says that "to open things up for Jeff", Ellis needs to hit 2 of 3 .. well KY does, too.

Ellis has demonstrated that he needs to avoid the baseline 6-15 foot shots .. not his forte right now. But I'd like to see him more at the free throw line on offense (high), and see if he can knock down that shot.

KY has been such a vital part of this team, but there's a window there for Ellis to crawl through if he wants to grab more minutes.

If Ellis keeps up the progress, a 20 point game is not unthinkable.


Theonlythingthatexceedsyourbad 1 year, 2 months ago

@ Texas - big game.

Will B-Mac have half a leg to stand on?
Yes. Hunger absolves many small pains.

Texas plays man and 2-3. Who can zone-bust, catch-turn-and-face? Will they sink off Young again? Can Young make an open free throw in the zone or even man? Yes.

Will Texas try something different on defense? After all they are 0-3 in the Big 12. Although, 2 of those loses have come in overtime, so it's not like they were blown out in all the games. I predict that Texas will use a new zone against us. Either the triangle and 2 (B-Mac and EJ) or something with a one man point, like a 3-2. Who knows? It shouldn't really matter what D they play - if we take it to them with intensity and focus - this is the game we bring it back - we win.

Texas makes the NCAA tourney . . . after an 0-4 start in the conference. Go Jayhawks!


dylans 1 year, 2 months ago

So far I've only seen one coach on the opposing sideline that I was genuinely interested in. This was over a decade ago a young Bill Self was coaching Tulsa and I was slightly jealous in spite of having Roy. Rick Barnes is a serviceable coach, but not one I would want on the Jayhawk sideline. I don't mind him at Texas as he attracts top talent, but is very beatable (even when you have far less talent).


jaybate 1 year, 2 months ago

Part 3

It is wise to remember that seeming non-geniuses, if they make certain pivotal discoveries about what they are doing wrong, like John Wooden finally did after getting kicked around by Pete Newell and Sam Clancy for ten years, can become bonafide geniuses that get on rolls.

Further, whether or not Barnes makes such a break through, just because a coach is not a genius does not imply he is chopped liver.

But perhaps most importantly from KU's and Self's standpoint, KU and Self have to view Texas and Rick Barnes some what as the USA views certain competing countries and their leaders. Yes, we are in an advantageous position with them, but we best not crow about it, because we don't want to risk triggering regime change that might lead to an disadvantageous situation.

Rock Chalk!


jaybate 1 year, 2 months ago

Part 2

I detested Barnes for many seasons, because I saw him as part of the vanguard of butcher ballers along with Tom Izzo, Bob Huggins and others. I still detest this aspect of Rick Barnes' approach to the game. But since the referees pattern of calling games has normalized this kind of play, and Bill Self has in effect chosen to become the leper with the most fingers, by playing this way, when the opponent wants to play this way, I have no choice but to acknowledge it as the new normal and stop judging Barnes solely on the basis of my dislike for this way of playing the game (which I still detest, by the way).

What I see in Barnes is a very good coach, but not a genius--a guy who can get guys to play hard and win a lot of games, but maybe not beat the best unless he has sharply better talent by a significant margin.

College basketball has always had a coaching tier of good but not genius coaches. It is normal to have such a tier. Perhaps the best way to judge the quality of a profession, at any given time, is not by its number of geniuses, but by the number of its good but not genius coaches. How far do they raise the level of play for the geniuses to have to rise above?

While its true Rick Barnes has not been able to beat Bill Self very often, and when he has it seems it was because he had an unfair advantage, Rick Barnes has challenged Bill Self probably as much as any coach in the conference during Self's tenure. And Rick Barnes assistant, Frank Haith, certainly put a sweat on Bill Self last season.

Rick Barnes has made Bill Self have to keep getting better; that to me is a sign of a very, very, very good coach, when, or not, Barnes has the ability to rise above Bill Self.

All genius coaches have kept many very good coaches in their shadows.

For ten years, Cal's Pete Newell and USC's Sam Clancy kept John Wooden in the shadows.

For ten years, John Wooden overshadowed Bob Boyd.

Phog Allen overshadowed lots of coaches, but especially Jack Gardner at KSU. Even though Gardner won big. Allen won the ring. Gardner never did.

Knight forced many fine coaches, especially Gene Keady, into his shadow.

Dean Smith? Good lord. Even Frank McGuire could not get out of it, when McGuire returned to the game to coach South Carolina and see if he could beat his former pupil. Norm Sloan at NC State even won a ring with David Thompson, Monte Towe, and Tommy Burleson, and he could not escape the second banana role to Dean.

Rick Barnes is a good coach.

Self is right to lend him some moral support.

Self is right to be afraid of Barnes before today's game and down the road.


jaybate 1 year, 2 months ago

"On Barnes--Not Every Coach Can Be a Genius, But That Doesn't Mean They're Chopped Liver Either"

Part 1

Self dishes professional curtesy here. He senses yet another colleague in danger of being sacked. He gets on record defending yet another coach's competance.

Self has reason to support Barnes. Barnes has apparently joined the "right way" vanguard. And his recruiting has apparently suffered accordingly the last couple of years. Now the costs of walking the talk are being felt, as Self and Consonants and others have felt them, too.

Not every coach is a genius. But just because a coach is not a genius does not mean he is an incompetant.

Rick Barnes has gone through a lot of talented players without winning a ring--it is true, but he has been to 17 straight March Madnesses, and he reached three of those with Clemson. Not every coach can reach the Madness at Clemson.

More significantly, however, for a long time before Rick Barnes coached Texas, few coaches could reach the Madness at Texas. Look at this list of Texas head coaches and ask yourself how much tradition Rick Barnes had to build on, when he took the Texas job?

Magnus Mainland (1905–1907) No team (1907–1908) W. E. Metzenthin (1908–1911) J. Burton Rix (1911–1912) Carl Taylor (1912–1913) L. Theo Bellmont (1913–1915) Roy Henderson (1915–1916) Eugene Van Gent (1916–1917) Roy Henderson (1917–1919) Berry Whitaker (1919–1920) L. Theo Bellmont (1920–1922) Milt Romney (1922–1923) E. J. Stewart (1923–1927) Mysterious Walker (1927–1931) Ed Olle (1931–1934) Marty Karow (1934–1936) Jack Gray (1936–1942) Bully Gilstrap (1942–1945) Jack Gray (1945–1951) Slue Hull (1951–1956) Marshall Hughes (1956–1959) Harold Bradley (1959–1967) Leon Black (1967–1976) Abe Lemons (1976–1982) Bob Weltlich (1982–1988) Tom Penders (1988–1998) Rick Barnes (1998– )

In the modern era, say since the 1980s, Texas has been coached by Abe Lemmons, Bob Weltlich, Tom Penders, and Rick Barnes. Lemmons, though he was a kind of comic genius, and a maverick explorer of unstructured play, crafted no winning tradition worth building on. Lemmons had one good year in 1977! Bob Weltlich? Not one reached the NCAA tourney and he was 61-98. Tom Penders is what passes for a successful coach in the Texas basketball legacy. Penders "turned it around." He went to 8 Madnesses in ten season. And then 4 players went to DeLoss Dodds with complaints of abuse, while it surfaced the Luke Axtell quit the team for abuse, only to have his academic records improperly released subsequently by a Penders assistant. So the best we can say about the Tom Penders era is that Texas had some success, but it ended badly and the program was a conflicted mess when Barnes took it over.

Many forget that Texas was NOT one of the elite programs, until Barnes took it over and built into one.


skijamin 1 year, 2 months ago

Going to see my first live game in over 20 years! Will be sporting KU blue today! (I guess moving to Texas has one benefit.)


Michael Auchard 1 year, 2 months ago

No news about the Frankamp injury? C'mon, LJWorld!


Boouk 1 year, 2 months ago

Not that Dodds cares about any sport other than football, but is Barnes on the hot-seat? Wonder if Danny Manning or Larry Brown would be candidates for the job if they fire Barnes.


Robert Brock 1 year, 2 months ago

My fear is that the Hawks will have trouble scoring. Grind it out, KU!!!!!!!!!!


jayhawkinATL 1 year, 2 months ago

Barnes is a close second to Drew when it comes to coaching-down great talent.


Boouk 1 year, 2 months ago

I miss the days when this game was always a great matchup that everyone circled on the calendar when Texas had players like Augustine, Abrams, Durant, and LaMarcus Aldrich.


FearlessJayhawk 1 year, 2 months ago

Don't kid yourself. This may be the most difficult test KU will have all year. KU is going to have to lock down on defense early and not let up. Texas has some athletes that are capable of putting up big numbers. This game worries me.


stigs 1 year, 2 months ago

off topic, but i couldn't find it any where else on this site: Conner Frankamp was injured in a game last night. Diagnosed with a concussion and will sit out next game. Here's a link to the article from the Wichita Eagle.


Tony Bandle 1 year, 2 months ago

Without Mitch Kabongp, Texas is a ship without a rudder. Put pressure on Felix and start counting the passes that end up in the stands!!

As I posted yesterday..KU 75 Texas 60, BenMac 22 minutes and 14 points, AWIII plays and scores [on the court, that is!!]


Jack Wilson 1 year, 2 months ago

From the article -- Barnes had a colorful quote recently regarding his team: “Nothing hurts more than when you watch the other team want the game more than you,” Barnes told the American-Statesman. “That is a killer. I told them after the Baylor game, if I were a businessman, I’d fire them all.”

That reminds me of Quin Snyder saying that a coach "can't coach effort."

I wonder if the "fire them all" comment included the coach.

Texas is always dangerous from a talent perspective, but one of those teams that seems to always underachieve. Their coach is why they underachieve. Compare to KU and coach Self.

Julius Randle -- please note the difference. A starting spot is here, and has your name on it. Not sure how playing in a 60% full, drab arena, each night could have any luster.


bradynsdad 1 year, 2 months ago

Wow. Just wow. Outstanding post HEM.


JayDocMD 1 year, 2 months ago

Of KU’s building a strong roster, Barnes said: “I don’t know what the players’ plans were coming in to Kansas, but the fact is, they stayed there and they have gotten better. ”

Not sure what to make of this comment. My first thought was that it was a swipe at KU - saying the players who went to KU expected to be in the League by now, or at least expected to have seen more playing time sooner than what's happened. Am I off base?


Steve Gantz 1 year, 2 months ago

Been following that Manti Teo story and comparing it to Texas. He had a fake girlfriend for a couple years, while Texas has had a fake coach since 1998.


Jack Wilson 1 year, 2 months ago

If there are questions about who is the "redheaded Texas girl", here's the answer. Thought I would start everyone's day off right.


JayDocMD 1 year, 2 months ago

“We have a group of guys who want to be good,” Barnes told the Austin American-Statesman. “They are willing to work. I’m not worried about ever losing them.”

Translation: he's worried about losing his team - and with his track record he should be.


Lifelong_Jayhawk 1 year, 2 months ago

Looks like I'll have to watch this one on one of those crappy free websites since my local CBS station, WLKY, is carrying the WVU-Purdue game. Unless someone out there has a better suggestion...


tathagata 1 year, 2 months ago

The eyes of Texas are upon you.


Brianna Zaleski 1 year, 2 months ago

So Texas leads the country in 3 pt fg defense and is 2nd in 2 pt fg def, yet they are 8-8, 0-3? Their offensive and rebounding ranks must be awful. We'd better buckle down on D ourselves because if their Defensive numbers shake out, then they are one day of hot shooting away from giving us a loss. I don't expect this from our boys, but those stats are a little worrisome.


Michael Leiker 1 year, 2 months ago

Early flight down this morning. Beak 'Em Hawks!


Kansasballer2020 1 year, 2 months ago

Pray for Connor frankamp..was playing in the toc in dodge city, was undercut on a dunk attempt and landed on his head...looked really really bad, was down for about 20 minutes and then taken off by a chair/ stretcher..haven't heard much but know he lost a lot of blood..looked intentional from where I was sitting on the defenders part..hopefully he will be ok


Scott MacWilliams 1 year, 2 months ago

Yeah, Tejas is in the can lately, but they are going to look at this game as their ticket to the March time. oh, yeah...

Same old deal, like every Big 12 game -- it will be the biggest crowd of the season, all hoping to see Barnes pull one of the Stetson, but I agree with slayr, 4 seniors and uno SuperMac means no Bongo, no taco, no loco!!

Rock el Chalko, JayHawks!!


William Blake 1 year, 2 months ago

I look at this game to resemble most of our recent games with Texas.... the game stays close, and then at some point Texas collapses for a few minutes and goes down 15 or so and doesn't know how to come back and win.

If BMACulate starts rolling in this one, it could get ugly.

Yes we could lose. Yes we may be looking ahead to the purple kitties. But I just don't see it this time. We'll put 4 seniors on the floor who have past experience down in Austin, and a Superman freshman.

Why will Barnes figure out how to win this game?


Jay Dogger 1 year, 2 months ago

I think White could have numbers like Papapetrou...if he played.


kerbyd 1 year, 2 months ago

I kinda had to laugh at that last quote. It kinda reminded me of something a certain Kansas coach might say.


Mike Rotchurtz 1 year, 2 months ago

Yeah, we've seen what Barnes does when he has talent (that Kevin Durant guy was pretty good). Not much. Now whats he gonna do when he has maybe a little less talent to work with? Well, oh-and-four is a real possibility. Bummer about that.


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