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Kansas defeats Texas, 64-59

  • 1 p.m., Jan. 19, 2013
  • Frank Erwin Center, Austin, TX

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Naadir Tharpe makes most of second chance in KU’s comeback win over Texas

Kansas guard Naadir Tharpe chases down a loose ball past Texas guard Javan Felix late in the second half on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013 at Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas.

Kansas guard Naadir Tharpe chases down a loose ball past Texas guard Javan Felix late in the second half on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013 at Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self talks after win over Texas

Kansas coach Bill Self talks after his team's 64-59 victory over Texas on Jan. 19, 2013.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Jeff Withey and Ben McLemore

Kansas players Jeff Withey and Ben McLemore talk after the Jayhawks' 64-59 victory over Texas on Jan. 19, 2013.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Texas coach Rick Barnes

Texas coach Rick Barnes talks to reporters following his team's 64-59 loss to Kansas on Jan. 19, 2013.

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Box score

KU-Texas

— Kansas University backup point guard Naadir Tharpe, who according to coach Bill Self was “awful early,” pleaded his case while sitting the bench with about eight minutes left in the Jayhawks’ 64-59 victory over Texas on Saturday in Erwin Center.

“I was like, ‘Coach, please get me back in there. Give me another chance,'" Tharpe said. “Coach said, 'Don’t worry. I’m going to get you back in there.' He did. I was just grateful for that, and I’m happy we came out with a win,” added Tharpe, one of the heroes down the stretch as KU improved to 16-1 overall and 4-0 in the Big 12. Texas fell to 8-9, 0-4.

Tharpe, a 5-11 sophomore from Worcester, Mass., was re-inserted into the game by his coach with 6:08 left and KU down, 51-47.

He made his presence felt by hitting a three that rolled around before dropping with 4:42 left, cutting a four-point deficit to 53-52.

“I think I was talking to the basketball at that point. I was like, 'C'mon, You’re not going in there for me again?'" Tharpe said on a day he scored five points off 2-of-6 shooting (1-3 from three) and dished one assist against one turnover with one steal in 16 minutes.

“The basketball gods definitely helped me on that one.”

Tharpe next hit what proved to be the shot of the game — a driving layup that erased a 57-56 deficit and gave KU the lead for good at 2:18.

“Ben (McLemore, 16 points, four turnovers, one assist) did a great job driving it. He brought two defenders toward him and pitched it back to me. I saw the lane wide open so I just went in there aggressive," Tharpe explained.

Travis Releford (12 points, four rebounds) hit two free throws, upping KU’s lead to 60-57 lead at 1:45.

Next, Jeff Withey poked the ball from a Longhorn and knocked the ball ahead to Tharpe, who fed McLemore for a dunk at 1:16, upping KU’s lead to 62-57.

“Ben was running the floor hard. If anybody on the team is going to run the floor that hard, I have to reward ‘em. That’s what I tried to do,” Tharpe said of “giving a little handoff to him (McLemore).”

Tharpe did miss a fade-away jumper at :27, giving Texas (down 62-59) a final chance to tie. Julien Lewis missed a three from the corner with 13 seconds left and 13 seconds still on the shot clock.

KU grabbed the rebound, and Releford was fouled and hit two free throws at :07, accounting for the final points of the 64-59 win.

“Lewis got off a pretty good look,” Self said. “I didn’t think Ben did a great job getting to him on the perimeter.”

Self did not consider fouling Lewis rather than allowing a possible tying three.

“It’s too early to tell your team to foul,” Self said. “It was not a situation we were going to think about fouling or anything like that.”

Asked if he was surprised Lewis (11 points, 5-10 shooting, 1-4 from three) shot with so much time left, Self said: “No. That’s what he does. He and McClellan (Sheldon, 18 points, 8-of-18 shooting) can run along that baseline, pivot and make that shot. So that didn’t surprise me at all.”

It did surprise McLemore, who was the defender.

“Definitely ... so early in the shot clock,” McLemore said. “We made that stop and got the defensive rebound.”

And won a game in which KU trailed by as many as 11 points (42-31) at 15:21. Tharpe was as responsible for the ‘W’ as anybody.

“I thought he was terrific late,” Self said. “He missed two loose balls that cost us five points in the first half. We subbed him in (second half). He didn’t do a great job getting us into anything. There at the end he did a really nice job. He made a couple huge shots.”

Tharpe said he received a talking-to at halftime with the Jayhawks down, 28-26.

“From coach Self and (assistant Joe) Dooley,” Tharpe said of the message-givers. “They saw I wasn’t being myself, not being aggressive.”

Tharpe had no points, no assists in six minutes the first half. “It was all positive the way they came at me: ‘Just go relax and play your game.’ That’s what I did,” he said.

“We basically stuck together as a team. Coach came down on us hard. We knew what we could do as a team so we came together.”

Tharpe’s teammates were not surprised he helped the Jayhawks remain undefeated in league play heading into Tuesday’s 7 p.m. game at Kansas State.

“(He was) huge,” said Withey, who had 14 points, nine rebounds and three blocks. “He was playing great ‘D.’ He came in and did what he was supposed to. We all know Naadir can do that. He proved it tonight.”

“He’s a big-time player,” said senior Elijah Johnson, who missed 10 of 11 shots and finished with six points, three turnovers and two assists. “He is going to make some plays like that. I know he is finally getting comfortable on the court this year. That’s what he’s going to do, so expect that from him."

Comments

rockchalker5 1 year, 11 months ago

Elijah is driving the struggle bus right now. But he's too good not to get it figured out. I felt like Withey was standing around qutie a bit on defense today, and not being very agressive on the boards. Not sure what his deal was...Loved how Self changed to the smaller lineup late in the game. That seemed to be the turning point. Hopefully this offense gets turned around soon, because they haven't been real good the last couple weeks.

Brianna Zaleski 1 year, 11 months ago

Agreed on the lineup. I feel we'll see more of that in the future

DanR 1 year, 11 months ago

I agree about Withey too.. he stood and watched a couple guys just float some shots in that he normally would have challenged. He still played a solid game though when it really mattered.

oldalum 1 year, 11 months ago

I wonder if he had instructions to avoid any more contact. He ended up with three fouls, way more than his usual none.

Oscar_Unit 1 year, 11 months ago

Hey did you guys know Jeff used to play volleyball? Nice of the announcers to relate that little tidbit today.

yates33333 1 year, 11 months ago

Johnson reverted back to his early season style playing a very poor game. It's good thing Sharp played better when he came back in in the second half. Withey got pushed, shoved, and generally knocked around by more aggressive, bigger-in- bulk players. He needs to use his elbows more. In fact everyone played an ugly game yesterday, including the coach. This team will not beat K-State if it plays like it did against Texas.

KJD 1 year, 11 months ago

The most interesting thing about this game to me was seeing how well KU played when they switched to a small line up again late with the game on the line. I made comments on that in another story yet they have been effective with that change up. That hooks in with this headline and story too becasue it puts Tharpe on the court with the backcourt starting line up.

Our starting backcourt is loaded with talent, including Releford who proved to be a solid post defender his Sophomore year, and Tharpe is growing into being a solid point guard who can guard the ball on D plus drive to finish or dish just like Self wants out of his point. KU turned to Tharpe to break the press late in the game and you would have never seen that last year in conference play. He did that today, on the road, with poise.

The quote ‘Don’t worry. I’m going to get you back in there’ is supporting my own intuition that KU is finding a comfort level in late game change-ups that includes the option to go small in order to disrupt the other teams rhythm on both ends of the court. We’ll see in time how much and when they utilize Tharpe in this way with the backcourt starters.

John Randall 1 year, 11 months ago

We may see more of it than we want on Tuesday – four guards is K-State's normal lineup.

KJD 1 year, 11 months ago

It was also great to see McLemore slide over and take a charge in the second half when KU needed stops. He makes our backcourt line up incredible this year and we still would have been so solid, especially with Tharpe's emergence at the point. Ben had that great fast break assist earlier where he flips it over his shoulder while making a spin close to the basket while in traffic. That was a positive move to see in and of itself. I didn’t see any movements that were seriously hampering his play though my personal perception was that I saw some plays where he was being cautious with putting too much stress on that ankle which includes the end of that spin move on the fast break.

Ben’s recovery is an interesting story line to me since we had this big road game plus K-State and Oklahoma are up next. Overall Ben looked so positive in relationship to the last time we saw him on the court. The high flying dunk and becoming more assertive in the second half were even more positives. It was great to see Ben’s jumper unaffected. The fact that he led us in scoring has got to be great for his confidence too. So many questions were answered in the positive for him on the court today.

We’ll need everyone to be sharp next Tuesday on the D end because K-State has definitely settled into their offense just in time for conference play. Tharpe on Angel Rodriguiez will be a good match-up to see how well Tharp can pressure the ball against a quick, savvy ball handler who can score all over the court. Following the KU’s rest days earlier this week, we should have a well energized edge to D up the ‘Cats. Wildcat fans should be pumped up for the two in-state rivals, both of which are undefeated in conference play and well ranked, to make for a big time game.

Way to go Hawks! Keep it rolling!!

Ben Kane 1 year, 11 months ago

that charge was my favorite play of the game. I think it really shows a lot about Ben's character as well.

Woody Cragg 1 year, 11 months ago

When you win by nailing 21-25 free throws you are A) living right, B) Paying the right preacher, C) lucky, or D) learning how to survive when your point guard goes 1-11 & you're all playing so butt-ugly that Manti" wouldn't even call you his GF! ...all of the above.

Michael Johnson 1 year, 11 months ago

its easy to bring up texas losing to chaminade. this is two months later. there is more talent on texas than ksu and Oklahoma combined. they are just young. i think they're the team that will finally break our streak next year. we will be the team with mainly freshmen and sophomores.

John Randall 1 year, 11 months ago

It's not a given that the string of conf champs will last forever, though this year seems less threatening than next. Joking aside, ten straight has only been done once (on the way to eleven) and may never happen again.

Mike Bratisax 1 year, 11 months ago

KU62..I agree 100%. My comment was in regard to Texass having more skilled players than KSU & OSU combined. At some point, we will lose the conference championship. It's inevitable but I'm enjoying every bit of it.

If anything, I wish that the Big 12 had more talent but it is obviously a rebuilding job for many teams. I wish we (we = Big 12) would have gone after Louisville and Memphis. They are a natural rivalry and would bring more basketball talent into our league.

Boouk 1 year, 11 months ago

Elijah Johnson's leadership this season has been spectacular. Just because he hasn't been playing well doesn't mean he hasn't been a good leader.

Mike Bratisax 1 year, 11 months ago

"Also, it is great to finally see a talented freshman (BMac) not be a prima donna diva".

A different way of putting it but yeah... He is well matured both on and off the court. He could be one of our best recruits since HCBS became head coach... I might even say the best but Brandon Rush, Chalmers, DA, Taylor, and Sherron are the backbones of championship teams. They won it all in 2008. Not counting Taylor, I wonder if we would have won it all in 2008 without any one of those players.

Mike Bratisax 1 year, 11 months ago

I think he set a record for most consecutive missed layups or the most missed in a single game. I thought he played selfishly today, shooting first and passing second. I also thought this was atypical of his play in general as he is a good leader.

Maybe he was a little frustrated as shots he normally makes weren't falling. Not a good game for EJ.

dylans 1 year, 11 months ago

EJ's play today was lackluster at best. The team would look better with a more experienced point. EJ still looks better offensively off the ball, but is definitely learning to facilitate better with each game. I think by season's end he will be great.

John Randall 1 year, 11 months ago

Selfish, my @$$! EJ putting the ball up, even misses, had a lot to do with four guys getting double digits against an elite defensive team. UT geared up to stop him, and it cost them in the long run when everyone else had a few extra easy shots and/or free throws.

Mike Bratisax 1 year, 11 months ago

Only 1 made shot out of 11 attempts and missing both threes. UT didn't need to "gear" their team to stop Johnson. He did more than enough on his own. I guess in a sense he did help other players get more points, if they didn't, we would have lost. Going 1 for 11 is as bad as it gets.

Not being disrespectful as I usually find your comments to be right on target but on this, I couldn't disagree more. I thought we played our best ball with Tharpe at the point with EJ and BMac stretching the defense. I can count on one hand the times EJ looked to pass to an open opponent but instead drove to the hoop and missing badly. If you prefer stingy or ungenerous, that's fine by me.

zsn 1 year, 11 months ago

For the record, this time last year the Tyshawn-haters were out in force in these-here parts. Let's not forget how that turned out. Not saying that there are too many parallels between EJ this year and TT last year, but both struggled in the beginning of the conference season.

Also, it is great to finally see a talented freshman (BMac) not be a prima donna diva, much unlike the last two (Selby; X), and more like the previous one (BRush)

monkeehawkSL8 1 year, 11 months ago

I have received some negative responses asking for help or information on this site before..... but I have to ask.

To any former, current coaches or players. Is EJ having difficulty finishing at the rim because he's not following his shot visually all the way to the hoop? I only played organized ball in junior high but that's what I remember being told. If this is the problem might it be a fear of where he is going to land (safely) rather than finishing his shot? Taking his eye off the hole?

I have always hoped that the Hawks would start to use the glass to pass, like Dennis Johnson to Bird in the 80's. I have missed a lot of games this year due to the need to take out a small business loan to have all the channels necessary for viewing. Have the current Hawk team ever used this glass assist method? Thanks for your patience and ear. Dazed and confused, monk. RCJH

Boouk 1 year, 11 months ago

Self and Fran Frashilla have said he has a textbook shooting stroke, but he's just simply not making shots right now. Expect that to change soon.

Ben Kane 1 year, 11 months ago

My best answer to this is he's having trouble find the groove on his drvies because he's not used to doing it from the point. I'm not worried about him in this regard at all.

JayhawkRock78 1 year, 11 months ago

I was at the game just a few rows behind the ut bench. The physical play in the paint was brutal, even when the ball was out on the perimeter. I won't say it was overly " dirty" just what can ut get away with and for the most part the refs swallowed the whistle most of the game. I think it was a bit more even later on but the foul on Withey where he grabbed his arm and elbow numerous times during the foul shots finally opened eyes and it got more civil.

As for ku, I can't remember so much careless ball movement in the second half. Of course ut could not miss outside shots most the game and we were cold early on.

I am proud of our boys hanging tough and finishing the game with a win. I expected a few losses on the road, just happy it wasn't the one I attended. I spoke with quite a few ut people before, during and after the game. Very respectfull bunch. Go UT. I am proud to be in the big12 with you.

yates33333 1 year, 11 months ago

It was a poorly officiated game. Way too rough. But if you were UT that was the only way you were going to win. They didn't expect to shoot lights out as they did.

TXChalker 1 year, 11 months ago

I was 9 rows up from UT bench and the outright hits to Withey were not called. I was around a bunch of classless UT fans and booed every time I started chanting Let's Go Jayhawks. Someone behind me told me to sit down. The season ticket holders in Sect.22 were there for the social event more than the game, which has always been UT's problem. Truth be told, most were there to see Mack Brown and football team at halftme. Mack was just down 1 row and to the right from us.

Martin Rosenblum 1 year, 11 months ago

We can discuss the Xs and Os later.

This is a true gem of a find, if you haven't seen it yet.

You can all thank me after going here:

kuboobs.tumblr.com

(inspired by HEM's earlier post on another thread)

Ludwig Supraphonic 1 year, 11 months ago

Since Dick Vitale (who thinks Dook should be the new #1 followed by Michigan and Excuse) is the only boob I've seen tonight, thanks for the treat.

Jack Wilson 1 year, 11 months ago

I'm glad I can provide such inspiration ....

Martin Rosenblum 1 year, 11 months ago

Maybe if gdkadjayhawk would go to the site he would also be inspired. But, maybe there is a gender-ish issue we aren't aware of. Nevertheless, that Texas redhead would fit right in on that site if she was only sporting a KU shirt.

JayhawkRock78 1 year, 11 months ago

As for my last comment. Impressed with the class of the UT alums, and the fierce play of the UT players after such a rough start to the season. Keep up the intensity and you'll do we'll enough this year.

Jack Wilson 1 year, 11 months ago

It was completely unexpected to see how poorly EJ played. But I think they guy will be there for us in the end.

jhox 1 year, 11 months ago

E.J.'s problem is that he's not a true point guard. He does an OK job there but it is not his best position. Unfortunately, the best player in the country is his teammate and happens to play E.J.'s best position.

I really believe our offense looks more efficient with Nadir in the game, at least of late. Nadir seems to be more willing to drive into the lane. When E.J. Drives it is usually down the side of the lane.

jhox 1 year, 11 months ago

I really questioned if Nadir would ever even be a "servicable" player for us. The strides he's made in the past few weeks are incredible. It just goes to show how much a little confidence can do for a guy. As Self makes the leash a little longer, his play gets better. I am a big Bill Self fan, but if I have one criticism it is that he is maybe a little too quick to yank young guys when they make a mistake. I would like to see him lengthen the leash a little more on Ellis. We're going to need him playing with confidence in March.

SacJayhawk 1 year, 11 months ago

"Tharpe did miss a fade-away jumper at :27, giving Texas (down 62-59) a final chance to tie. Julien Lewis missed a three from the corner with 13 seconds left and 13 seconds still on the shot clock."

Not to be too picky here, but wasn't the shot clock turned off if Texas got possession with 27 seconds left?

Oscar_Unit 1 year, 11 months ago

Don't think I've seen someone talk to/yell at the ball the way Tharpe does. I've seen a ref stand by and wait while Tharpe slaps the ball and lectures it. Pretty funny. Wonder what he tells it.

nostradavid 1 year, 11 months ago

Keep on telling the ball who's boss, Naadir ! It's working !

Stay stylish, like...

Miles at his locker

Miles at his locker by nostradavid

KULA 1 year, 11 months ago

I love Naadir's "want to." You could see he was dying to launch that three the moment he crossed half court. You gotta have players who want to take the big shot in crunch time.

It looks like Bill told EJ to start taking it to the hole. And even tho he missed a bunch, it's still a net plus. And much like Tyshawn before him, I'll take my chances with a guard who can get the ball to the rim any day.

For those posters above complaining about Jeff, watch the game a little closer. You can't block every shot--it's a matter of position and timing. (I guess three is not enough) Especially with the angles Texas was driving at and the super high arch they were putting on their shots. If you don't believe me, then just listen to Bill, who cited Jeff as playing the best game on the squad today. Btw, did you see Jeff fill the lane on the break and double pump around the defender and lay it in? Name me another 7 footer who can pull that off.

Michael Leiker 1 year, 11 months ago

Texas fans around us were not happy when "Let's go Jayhawks" broke out, the whole place tried to start booing, but the boos were drowned out by the KU fans. Seeing that frustration on those faces was priceless yesterday, thanks to Self and co. Honestly think KU fans outnumbered UT fans yesterday.

Scott Smetana 1 year, 11 months ago

Awesome job Texas Jayhawks. Expect the same in Boulder next year from us in Colorado.

jumpinjayhawk 1 year, 11 months ago

We expected more from a senior leader than what EJ has shown so far. I hope he starts to step up his game, a lot like Tyshawn did last season. Lets go EJ show us what you have, stop playing scared.

Jack Wilson 1 year, 11 months ago

Self has a 6 man problem, doesn't he? Six guys that deserve to start. Complicated by respect for a senior who has put in his time.

How many posters here think our best lineup would have Tharpe at PG right now? drgnslayr has been implying it for sometime now. Is that a slam at EJ? Not really. EJ is a stud 2 guard. He proved it in March last season. But he just isn't better than a POY candidate at the 2 (but I would suggest that he could be an absolute stud off the ball this season, a much different player. We might be talking about EJ as conference POY if McLemore wasn't here).

It's a 6 man problem. If you start Tharpe, EJ wouldn't unseat McLemore or Releford. EJ not starting is unfathomable. Not possible. Self should not do it. EJ deserves to start (heck, he should have started his entire sophomore season at the 2, but that's a novel for some other time).

But we see it. This team needs a facilitator. Tharpe, with our other starters, seems the better choice. This has nothing to do with EJ's shooting yesterday. Nothing to do with the Texas game. This is a macro look at the season.

Self is stuck. He has to start EJ. Again, no slam on EJ. We do not get to the Final Four last season without EJ at the 2. He carried us for many stretches. He deserves to start. I want that guy taking a clutch three late in the game, in the Elite Eight.

But there's a partial answer.

Self now needs to manage this. We saw a little glimpse of this option vs. Texas -- four guards down the stretch. It will be interesting to see how that is used going forward. We know it would create matchup problems for opposing teams. We had to adjust vs. MU last season because we couldn't guard their 4 (English) with TRob or Withey. It is not a gimmick. It works. Earlier this season, there was discussion about using AW3 at the 4 as Self did vs. Belmont. Then nothing. So this may go that route.

But Releford can play the 4 for stretches .. play the high, in the high-low. Float outside. Create matchup problems of his own. Self has used undersized guys there before (Mario Little). With Withey patrolling the middle, it would be an interesting option. Maybe 4-5 minutes per half, or as needed. Again, it's not a gimmick. Some games, maybe not use it at all. Some games, use it a lot more.

This way, he can get Tharpe on the ball more; get EJ off the ball more. That takes care of 35 minutes of the game.

The question then becomes -- what does our personnel look like in the last 5 minutes of a tight game?

Personally, I want EJ in there. But I also want Tharpe, and McLemore, and Releford. But importantly, I think Tharpe needs to be on the ball. We're just better when that's the case. It will be interesting in how Self plays this, and how it shakes out.

Joseph Bullock 1 year, 11 months ago

but don't forget Perry Ellis in there, as he continues to improve! I totally agree that we need Tharpe on the ball (at both ends of the floor), but Perry Ellis is truly improving, and he is going to start hitting those shots, and he is becoming more and more agressive, every game, at both ends of the floor!

Kye Clark 1 year, 11 months ago

The biggest problem with your scenario of playing small is that on defense against teams that play two traditional post players, you sacrifice your best perimeter defender - Travis - to have him defend in the post. So it's up to Self to decide if that trade-off is worth getting Tharpe in there with EJ.

The other problem, albeit less significant, is that in going small you are bound to cut into Perry's minutes. Long-term that's a drawback, both in terms of having Perry more ready for crunch-time minutes later this year as well as having him more ready to carry a larger chunk of the load next year.

But, I would agree that it is a viable option in spurts, as we saw yesterday.

DCLawHawk 1 year, 11 months ago

Trust in HCBS. He has seen this before with RussRob and Sherron. RussRobb started the National Championship. Sherron finished it.

hawkmaster 1 year, 11 months ago

Again, I will raise the horrid guard play of EJ and NT for most of the game. EJ takes 11 shots, 1 more shot than Mac, and makes 1 shot, and only 2 assists in 34 minutes. Worst consistently bad point guard play in over 20 years for a KU team. If EJ isn't making shots, which he seldom does, then he needs to focus on his assists, defense, and bringing some leadership, EJ is just not a very smart point guard.

I know most probably did not notice this, but go back and watch the game again. At least 6 of EJ's shot attempts were driving lay-ups to the LEFT side of the basket, and he NEVER uses his LEFT hand, he has NO left hand...unlike TT who could score driving lay-ups with his left or right hand, that is a HUGE difference. EJ turns his body around in the air and tries to shoot a floating jump shot from the left side, a very difficult shot that missed badly most times this game. I don't know why Self does not put a stop to that nonsense, its not working, can't believe a starting point guard for a major college team has no Left hand....And one more point. EJ consistently picks up his dribble in the open court and waits for players to come to him, and then throws a bad pass. That is grade school basic basketball not to pick up your dribble as a guard, and he just doesn't get it.

Unfortunately, its getting late in the season and there are no other alternatives for EJ and NT, so lets hope that something starts clicking for EJ like it did late last season.

Yes, KU will win the Big 12 with this bad guard play, but it will be exposed in the NCAA tourney at some stage if improvements don't come around.

tis4tim 1 year, 11 months ago

I had to DVR the game and watch it yesterday evening. I got so disgusted once we got down 11 points that I figured we were going to lose. At that point, I decided to hit fast-forward and quickly skim through the rest. Once I did that, an amazing thing happened: we sped up the tempo; we started to hustle; we were all over the court defensively and started scoring at an alarmingly fast pace. Even better, we pulled out the win! I just hope our guys start to hustle in real time going forward or it's going to be a long night in Bramlage come Tuesday.

akgjenkintown 1 year, 11 months ago

EJ has been off for quite awhile and unless he turns it around soon the Big XII championship will not be coming through Lawrence. At this time of the year there is plenty of "film" on KU and the opposing teams have clearly built on their glowing weakness, e.g., inconsistent outside shooting, poor ball handling, and little input from the 4 position on offense. The conferences games are very physical (both helps, on defense and hurts, on offense, KU) and KU is not able to run their bread and butter high/low since Withey is constantly double team, while daring KU's 4 to beat them. All I can say at this time is thank the heavens that they play solid team defense, Releford continues to make timely plays, McLemore plays like a veterian, KU's team free throwing is strong, and most of all that Self is the head coach. What they can devise between now and Tuesday may dictate if KU has a chance to repeat as conference champs. KSU's motion offense could give KU fits and it will be hard to out score them if something doesn't change and the offense starts clicking, and on this team that means the 1's and 4's need to step up.

Martin Rosenblum 1 year, 11 months ago

What, no comments about the link in my earlier post here? I don't get it, nobody appreciates super tight, low cut and short t-shirts anymore?

John Randall 1 year, 11 months ago

You do realize noone logs on here to laud your contributions, or do you?

HAWKTOPIA 1 year, 11 months ago

KY needs to keep his feet moving. he became stationary cheating to double down low, and was being burned on easy 3 pt sets. He needs to cover wide and cheat down under when the bvall goes low. I have never seen him so off his cover and stationary. I think he knew it and he gets caught second guessing himself. That has happened twice in the last two games. Kevin also gets antsy and starts setting moving picks. in a game less physical he would have been giving fouls. Come on Kevin, cover, hustle, rebound, dish, and dunk.

Ben Kane 1 year, 11 months ago

food for thought. I'd really like to see this team with Tharpe in the starting lineup and Young coming off the bench. I love KY but the energy he brings is perfect for a 6 man. Maybe subsitute Perry for Tharpe in this equation but I don't think he's ready for that yet. Tharpe on the floor I think would help EJ relax from the beginning knowing that their is another guard on the floor who can run the team.

Ben Kane 1 year, 11 months ago

Also, Kenpom dropped us 2 spots to 8th after that win. However, I think more of the team for it. Winning away in the in conference when you are playing awful offensively and down multiple possesions late is a good indicator. Kstink may see the best game this team has played yet. that type of up and down performance will likely be our norm.

John Randall 1 year, 11 months ago

KenPom isn't a ranking poll - it's a statistical rating summary. If we dropped, we did it to ourselves. Agree the the final score means more than any numbered list.

Ben Kane 1 year, 11 months ago

I'm not arguing. though i think its formula would underestimate what texas really is, specially at home.

jaybate 1 year, 11 months ago

• Thinking of the season as a military campaign, Self paid a big price in the Battle of Austin for this W. Four of five starters played > 30 mpg. Only KY played sparingly at 22 minutes and that was because of 3 fouls. Ben played 37 on a sprained ankle. Inference: Self badly wanted the W and viewed it as more critical than saving gas for KSU.

Why?

Because it's tough to win two on the road on a Saturday-Tuesday combo and he wanted to ensure at least a split. He could do that in the Battle of Austin, in a muddy slugfest.

And there is a chance that with 2 days instead of one day off, KU's legs might recharge just enough to win another muddy, low possession game against KSU.

• Ben Analysis: Well, Ben showed everyone his ankle was just fine and playing through is smart, right? Right?

I said before the game that if his productivity fell off, it would be a sign the sprain was worse than was being admitted. His productivity did not fall off.

So: the injury fretting was for naught, right?

Well, as Neocons moving wealth upwards by taking our wealth from us and giving it to themselves and the private oligarchy they lie for, like to say: there is no free lunch.

Great athletes often give great performances when sick, or injured, for a game or two. But the real question is: what happens if the injury persists, or worsens, as it has with Elijah.

Ben's sprained ankle will now be more traumatized than before the Texas game.Playing 37 minutes on a sprained ankle doesn't make it better. It makes it worse. It makes it require more pool therapy, more ice packing, more laser treatment.

So: this is not likely over for Ben, yet. Now he gets to pass the second test: how does your injured ankle work after 37 minutes of trauma with two days rest?

If it's really a nothing sprain, then he will just keep perking along fine, but I kind of doubt one gets laser treatment for a nothing sprain, do you?

If it's a severe sprain being masked with therapy, then going hard after only two days after playing 30 minutes ought to expose it. And this would be a likely game for a resprain.

So: being an empirical kind of guy, I am withholding saying Ben's sprain is old news till I see how he does at Bramlage.

One thing is certain: he passed the first test.

• Why did Self choose to expend Ben in the Battle of Austin, rather than save him for the Battle of Manhattan? The answer is wrapped up in Self's apparent strategy of trying to guaranty at least one win in these two games.

DCLawHawk 1 year, 11 months ago

You lost me at Neocons moving our wealth upwards. Seems to me the President is the one handing out billions in taxpayer dollars to his crony capitalist campaign contributors.

jaybate 1 year, 11 months ago

First, Texas was going to be very tough to score on inside with KU's bigs. EJ was the designated guy to do the scoring but he went cold as dry ice in Siberia.Travis had a good defender on him. There was no one else to turn to that could get a basket. Ben had to go 37 to guaranty the win and fulfill the strategy. Not to win, when Self had fully spent his starters was not an option, so the longer the game stayed close the more Self could not rest Ben a second.

Also, KY getting three PFs meant Self would not have Kevin's usual 10-16 ppg and 9-10 RPG. Ben was the only guy that could replace Kevin's points and boards and he had to do it from another position. Yet again we see that Perry and Jamari are not yet developed enough to battle behemoths in D1 defensively AND score and rebound.

I'm betting Self thinks his bigs can decide the KSU game, but that Ben was needed to decide the Texas game, simply because of match ups.

• The game was only close, because KY got in foul trouble, no backup could take up the slack, and EJ turned into an ice sculpture

Ben Kane 1 year, 11 months ago

i'm leaning more and more to starting Tharpe and bringing KY in at first stoppage.

jaybate 1 year, 11 months ago

Chuck,

Because we are long and springy with Trav, Ben, and EJ, I see your purpose.

But I hate to give up our tenacious perimeter defense with these long springy guys that complements so well with Jeff and Kevin inside.

Frankly, I'm a bit conservative on interventions in complex systems that are working, Chuck. On complex systems, I tend to: "if it ain't broke don't fix it."

But if I were to tinker, I might start Dir in place of Elijah to try to get a few quick treys, then bring Elijah at the 3-4 minute mark for his usual minutes. But that might disrupt the seniority chemistry, even though I would not mean it as a down grade of Elijah.

I prefer to jump out to a lead, rather than have to play catch up with an energy guy. It forces the opponent into more fouling and gambling to get back into the game.

Part of the secret to our success starting Kevin is that we start out with more energy and put them on their heels.

I am not sure why board rats are starting to lose faith in KY as a starter, except that Self is talking up Perry in the papers to give opposing coaches something more to prepare for. Perry got his four shots and made 1; that's not good enough to go with, given Kevin brings more energy and explosiveness on defense.

Assuming Jeff plays his usual game on defense, team performance seems to correlate most highly with how Kevin does. And Kevin has been only slightly less consistent than Jeff and Releford.

The offense has been muddy for 5 games now largely for three reasons:

1) teams have chosen to start holding us instead of shoving us;

2) several teams have wanted to muddy it up, because of less talent and experience; and

3) Self has chosen to muddy it up a couple of times to hold down possessions, because there were so many games in such a short time.

I think once we get past this KSU game, we will see the offense starting to look up a bit.

I think Kevin is still the key to the team.

The team struggles the moment he leaves the floor, whether he is scoring or not.

We don't see a similar fall off at any other position, when substitution occurs, now that Dir can at least play adequate defense.

Of course, versus Tayhoss, we faced a big strong front line AND we had the worst of our substitution worlds (short of an injury scenario). KY was fouled up. Dir played so poorly before the stretch run that EJ had to play a lot of minutes on one of his horrid shooting days. And our backups for KY--Perry and Jamari--could guard a bit, but could not score, or rebound much, so Self had to play Ben 37 minutes on a sprained ankle, in order for him to get us some points AND some reebs.

I do think that starting Dir against at team like last season's 4-guard MU team is likely, if there is a guard Dir can stay with. But I don't know if there are any 4-guard teams in the B12 this season.

TXChalker 1 year, 11 months ago

I was at the game. The program handed out had underneath the roster of KU players "Head Coach: Bob Huggins (West Virginia '77) 6th Season. Associate Head Coach: Larry Harrison". I couldn' believe it. The Austin newspaper also has 2 pictures of Coach Self with the caption reading Bob Huggins as the coach. SERIOUSLY! www.statesman.com.

John Randall 1 year, 11 months ago

Two possibilities – the game program and the newspaper are both infected with incompetents, or else they intended the insult.

Personally, I don't give a $#i†.

jjinks 1 year, 11 months ago

I just keep wondering how long they are going to put up with Rick Barnes, he is incompetent, but then I wonder the same thing about their football coach.

Ethan Berger 1 year, 11 months ago

EJ- I really liked him driving to the basket yesterday. He drove almost at will, problem was he wasn't finishing well. If he keeps that mentality, passes more or makes more layups, then our Offense will be fine

B-Mac- He handles are below average, loses the ball way to easy. It scares me because to be a great off guard in the pros, you have to have at least good handles. However, what I love is he is a for sure 16 ppg game. He is a guy who will get that almost every game without it seeming like much. We haven't had many guys who can do that.

T Rel- He needs to be aggressive, he should easily be a 15 ppg guy with his new found shot. When he drives, he makes his lay ups. However he is to passive. drive the ball, shoot the ball. We were dominating teams when he was being aggressive.

KY- I don't expect anything but energy and he gives it. What I loved is he seems to get a good amount of offensive boards. However, he is kinda a tornado of player. Not sloppy, just he plays without balance. But he is a glue guy, and gets the 50/50 plays.

Withey - We need to go to him more. He doesn't take enough shots. If we can give it to him, we can really unlock the other 4 guys. He needs to demand the ball and back down his guy. Once again his defense started a run for us yesterday.

Perry- Is a guy who has great strength and a great athlete. However his fundamentals is below average. When he shoots it, there isn't that balance. But he gives 100% and is aggressive, really happy he will be back next year. He will do great next year and probably by the end of this season.

Naddir- He is a true point guard who can be a star for two years. Just needs to play smarter. But his combo of passing, shooting and driving should make us all foam at the mouth. And is a very under-rated defender. Him and Perry will be our Cole and Sherron next year

AW3- Just needs to hit those open shots. He is still scared but is a good shooter. Hopefully Self will let him get comfy and give him more pt. He can be a weapon by tourney if he can start knocking down those shots and at least staying on his man on D.

YuCoJayHawk 1 year, 11 months ago

WTH, why would these articles be saying that Indiana or Syracuse have a shot at #1? Both #1 Louisville and #2 Indiana lost this week. Duke at no. 3 will be #1 again, KU will be #2.... just sayin.

saltdog55 1 year, 11 months ago

You can tell Johnson doesn't want to play point guard and he just looks uncomfortable. He'd rather come off a ball screen and be a jump shooter. I think HCBS should try starting Tharpe with Johnson, McLemore, Withey and Releford.

TexasRockChalk 1 year, 11 months ago

I was at the game and several observations:

1) Texas fans are fair weather! The Jayhawk faithful were in full force and the chant of LET'S GO JAYHAWKS resounded like a cannon in an EMPTY Frank Erwin Center.

2) Give credit where credit is due: Texas is very young but has great athletes and they will give us fits next year.

3) Texas is meritorious of their top 2 defensive ranking.

4) Naadir Tharpe was clutch in the last 5 minutes. His 3 to pull us within one AND his off-hand layup were pivotal down the stretch!

5) For all those dogging Withey, he played his heart out; you could tell he was tired but he had two huge defensive plays down the stretch. His tap out for a dunk was classic JW.

6) Bill Self is a genius when it comes to tinkering with his lineup.

7) EJ has lost confidence. He won't go 1-11 Tues night. He can only get better!

8) We have 4 seniors who don't panic. All 4 made noticeable plays down the stretch to help us win as a TEAM.

This game is symbolic of how tough it will be to win 9 straight! EVERY Big 12 foe gives us their BEST shot.

Rock Chalk!

jaybate 1 year, 11 months ago

"Some Ridiculous Rumors about Interim Head Coach Bruce Weber That Probably Aren't True"

~Weber, who tried to walk on in basketball at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, was not only cut by the coach, but then beaten senseless by a brat-wielding yell leader.

~Weber's first assistant coaching job was at Purdue, where he was assistant in charge of comb overs for Gene Keady.

~Shortly after Weber held a mock funeral for Bill Self, Illinois players held a mock cremation of Weber.

~At Purdue, Weber assisted Gene Keady, who learned his game playing for Tex Winter at KSU, then assisted Eddie Sutton at Arkansas, then became HC at Western Kentucky and Purdue, then retired, then unretired and assisted first the Toronto Raptors, and now Steve Lavin at St. Johns. Gene Keady never staged a mock burial of any coach he replaced.

~Bruce Weber has been nominated 12 years in a row for the Peter Principle Award but never won.

~Bruce Weber reputedly brings a fiery brand of mediocrity to the KSU Wildcats.

~Bruce Weber has been so frustrated by the shadow of Frank Martin that Bruce has staged a mock hit on Frankie.

~Bruce Weber has written several basketball coaching books including: "Building Down in the Big Ten" as told to Dr. Phil, and "Mastering the Ordinary On and Off the Hardwood," as told to Bill Rafftery's Bartender, and "March and April Are For Fishing: Dealing with Not Making the Madness" as told to Will Ferrell.

~Weber's dog is named "Lil'Failure."

~Weber once held his breath after a 20 point loss to try to get his team to play harder.

~Gene Keady once said, "Recruiting is like shaving, if you don't do it every day, you look like Bruce Weber."

~Bruce Weber was once considered for the head job at Purdue, but the AD reportedly said, "Hire that guy and we may as well change our name to Purdoomed."

~Bruce Weber's KSU contract has an incentive clause where if Bruce win's 20 game in a season he gets to stop shoveling manure in the experimental barns.

~KSU fans are being treated to Bruce Weber's new "Whine and Shoot" offense.

~Bruce Weber's KSU contract requires that Bruce be operatated animatronically by Bill Snyder.

~When Bruce Weber was hired, Bill Snyder reputedly broke out laughing.

(Note: All fiction. No malice. Just getting ready for the big game in Kraplage Mausoleum.)

monkeehawkSL8 1 year, 11 months ago

"No malice" "Kraplage Mausoleum"? Air ball! Air ball! Air ball!

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