Kansas defeats Kansas State, 59-55

  • 7 p.m., Jan. 22, 2013
  • Bramlage Coliseum, Manhattan, KS

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Sealed with a kiss: Travis Releford’s ‘unbelievable’ game lifts KU over K-State

Kansas guard Elijah Johnson waves goodbye to the Bramlage Coliseum crowd after the Jayhawks' 59-55 win over Kansas State on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013.

Kansas guard Elijah Johnson waves goodbye to the Bramlage Coliseum crowd after the Jayhawks' 59-55 win over Kansas State on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013.


Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self talks after win over KSU

Kansas coach Bill Self talks after the Jayhawks' 59-55 victory over Kansas State on Jan. 22, 2013.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Travis Releford and Jeff Withey

Kansas seniors Travis Releford and Jeff Withey talk to reporters following the Jayhawks' 59-55 victory over Kansas State on Jan. 22, 2013.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KSU coach Bruce Weber and guard Rodney McGruder

Kansas State coach Bruce Weber and guard Rodney McGruder talk after the Wildcats' 59-55 loss to Kansas on Jan. 22, 2013.

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Box score


— Elijah Johnson paused in the south tunnel of Bramlage Coliseum, and, with a big smile on his face, blew kisses to thousands of purple-clad fans in the Kansas State student section.

“That was a goodbye kiss that felt good,” Johnson, Kansas University’s senior point guard, said after scoring eight points and grabbing four rebounds while dishing four assists against five turnovers with two steals in the No. 3-ranked Jayhawks’ 59-55 victory over No. 11-rated KSU on Tuesday night.

“It felt great to know I came in here and won three of four (in his career). This is a game I always wanted to play in since I was a freshman and to actually go out and produce for our team defensively and offensively ... it’s close to the end. I enjoyed the whole process. As crazy and weird as this may sound, I’m going to miss K-State. It’s probably the funnest environment to play in,” Johnson added.

Johnson was able to go out a winner in his final trip to Bramlage thanks in large part to senior Travis Releford, who scored 12 points off 5-of-6 shooting, but perhaps more importantly held KSU’s Rodney McGruder to 13 points off 4-of-12 shooting.

“I thought Travis played unbelievable. It was one of the better games he’s played for us,” KU coach Bill Self said after the Jayhawks improved to 17-1 overall and 5-0 in the Big 12. KSU dropped to 15-3 and 4-1.

“He was exhausted the second half. He asked to come out. I said no,” Self added with a smile.

This was a night where Self didn’t stop there.

Releford truly deserved a pat on the back from his coach for his work on the Big 12’s third-leading scorer, who entered with a 15.5 ppg average.

“He is smart. He is strong. He can slide. He is athletic. He’s tough on top. He did a great job guarding a team that set a ton of screens tonight,” Self said of Releford.

McGruder missed six of nine threes on a night Shane Southwell hit five of 11. As a team, KSU canned nine of 30 threes to KU’s four of 13.

“I think it was amazing,” senior Kevin Young said of Releford’s defense. “His main focus was not letting McGruder score.”

“Travis always helps save the day,” Johnson stated. “Rodney was supposed to score 22 tonight. Travis did a great job on him, got to him. You’ve got to give at least half the credit (for the win) to Travis.”

Releford — he also two big threes in three tries — gave himself a passing grade for his work on McGruder.

“The first half, I did real well making him uncomfortable and not let him get easy looks at the rim,” Releford said. McGruder scored two points the first half off 1-of-4 shooting (Releford had eight points) as KU led, 31-27, at the break.

“The second half, my teammates continued to help me by letting me get through down screens. I just continued to do whatever the team needed me to do, because we knew he would be the guy they were going to go to on offense. We tried to put a lot of pressure on their guards.”

Southwell scored a career-high 19 points off 7-of-16 shooting (5-11 from three).

“I think he would get my vote for most improved player in the league,” Self said, “because if you remember last year we played a triangle-and-two and the guy we did not guard was Shane, and he did not even look at the basket. He was probably their best offensive threat tonight.”

KU’s Withey (11 points, 10 rebounds) scored four points, Releford two and McLemore (11 points) two in an 8-0 run that gave KU a 39-30 lead with 16:16 left in the second half. McLemore scored five straight points to up a 48-43 lead to 53-43 at 6:51.

The Wildcats were able to slice the gap to 56-53 with 38 seconds left. That’s when Naadir Tharpe swished two free throws at :22.6 to keep KU in command by five. McGruder hit two free throws at 5.5 seconds to cut the gap to 58-55. Johnson made a free throw at 3.6 seconds, then missed the second as the clock ran out on KU’s victory.

“Both teams are very good offensively,” Self said. “It just came down to making some plays and having some key moments. We made it hard on ourselves not converting at the free throw line (13 of 21 to KSU’s six of seven).”

Self and the Jayhawks were pleased with a defensive effort that held KSU to 35.1-percent shooting to KU’s 45.7 mark.

“Our game is to not let a team get into the paint, and I think we did a good job of that,” said Withey. “That is what forced them to shoot a lot of threes. Whenever you can get a win on the road, it is good. It’s still early,” Withey added of the race. “They are still going to win games. They are going to come to Allen Fieldhouse, so they have a chance to win there. It matters to the people of Kansas, but as for the league, it’s so early that it does not matter that much,” Withey added.

KU will next play host to Oklahoma at 3 p.m. Saturday in Allen.


Eric Williams 8 years, 1 month ago

For some reason keeps adding a > to the end of it. Type it in and you'll see.

Steve Reigle 8 years, 1 month ago

It counts in the W-L totals and thus it matters.

Cameron Cederlind 8 years, 1 month ago

I think it mattered to him, he was just a little woozy from the lack of oxygen:

Scott MacWilliams 8 years, 1 month ago

Wish I could have seen it!!! Great game, one and all from the sound of it. Way to pop the purples at the octopus of gloom!

Rock CHalk!!

stm62 8 years, 1 month ago

The Bramlage fans were so amped for this game. They knew they had a decent chance to beat us. This made it especially SWEET to beat them. Perry Ellis did a good job of attacking the rim and drawing fouls on the purples big men, especially since Withey was in foul trouble.

Suzi Marshall 8 years, 1 month ago

Soon the Hawks will put it together offensively. They are all very good shooters.

TexasRockChalk 8 years, 1 month ago

With all due respect, they are not ALL very good shooters. KY is not a very good shooter, nor is Withey. Withey is serviceable and has some nice moves inside, getting better year over year. However, there are only a couple of "very good shooters": Bennie Mc. & Trav, and I would put AWIII in that category, but he doesn't get enough playing time to refuel his confidence level!

Suzi Marshall 8 years, 1 month ago

Fellow TX Hawk (I'm from Houston), KY is obvious. However, Withey normally takes high percentage shots and his 16 ft jumper is very good, though seldom shot. EJ and Tharpe have a very good stroke.

TexasRockChalk 8 years, 1 month ago

Very true. Nice to "meet" you fellow Texas Jayhawk! Were you in Austin last weekend? You should come up for the TCU & Baylor games. The Mrs. went to Baylor. We will be at both games! RCJGKU!

Suzi Marshall 8 years, 1 month ago

For sure we are going to both the TCU and Baylor games. We will be at Bar Louie (2973 W. 7 St., Fort Worth, TX) with the KU Alums for the pre-game. My wife and I both are KU grads. Our son is there now and played football last year as a walk-on. We bought our tickets directly from the TCU ticket office for $15 per...that is all they had. TCU's place only hold 7,000. Our tickets for games in AFH are a hell of alot more!

TexasRockChalk 8 years, 1 month ago

Sounds good bro. I think I just got an email about the get-together prior to the game. Not sure I can make it through DFW traffice by 4:30pm, but maybe we can link up at the game? I actually did my graduate work at TCU....but there won't be ANY doubt who I'll be rooting for! :)

TexasRockChalk 8 years, 1 month ago

Sounds good bro. I think I just got an email about the get-together prior to the game. Not sure I can make it through DFW traffic by 4:30pm, but maybe we can link up at the game? I actually did my graduate work at TCU....but there won't be ANY doubt who I'll be rooting for! :)

nostradavid 8 years, 1 month ago

Barnlage Silo is a great place for the Jayhawks to play. We have so much fun.

Those Wildcats can ...

Kiss Our Tail Feathers!

Kiss Our Tail Feathers! by nostradavid

actorman 8 years, 1 month ago

Barnlage Silo is a pretty good name, but you really shouldn't insult the place by not referring to it by its real name: Allen Fieldhouse West.

TexasRockChalk 8 years, 1 month ago

I'd have to say "The Hawktagon of Gloom" is a better moniker ;-)

Steve Gantz 8 years, 1 month ago

Octagon of broom, as we do seem to sweep them every year.

TexasRockChalk 8 years, 1 month ago

Nice Wissox Fan! If you weren't a White Sox (?) fan, I'd say GREAT! Gotta support the hometown Royals. Haha. Talk about GLOOM!

thmdmph 8 years, 1 month ago

More like Kitty Litter of Midwest. When the Hawks come to town, the kitties poop their pants

Luca Rossi 8 years, 1 month ago

I thought Ellis played well. Played better than KYo. A few more games go this way he might be looking at possibly taking his spot in the starting lineup.

Releford might be the most missed player in next years squad. His ability to shut down the opposing team's best offensive threat while still producing clutch shots on the offensive end is amazing. I don't think people realize just how valuable he is to this team's success.

Keep it rollin, RCJH!

actorman 8 years, 1 month ago

Good point about Travis, but isn't it interesting how Self always seems to come up with that one guy who can shut down the other team's best player? I'm confident that he'll find someone else who can do it next year.

wrwlumpy 8 years, 1 month ago

Rio is the only one next year with the defensive ability, but how do you replace everything else that Travis does for this team. There is no better finisher at the basket that Travis. Simeon was his equal. EJ became the team leader because he is wise and and fluent. Travis is all of that too but he is more of a doer. For all that he has sacrificed for KU, I'm glad he took the red shirt, he deserves all acolades and as Coach said when he did the red shirt. Travis will leave this school as a 1000 pt scorer.l

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 1 month ago

I know it's REALLY scary. But next year Naadir's probably going to be that "leader". I mean other than Wesley, EVERYONE else is going to be freshmen & sophomores. So unless one of them, like Selden takes the team by storm next year....????

bradh 8 years, 1 month ago

Ellis is playing a lot better, especially offensively. KY still brings a lot of energy that really helps this team. Some of KY's rebounds were crucial to the win last night. Don't put KY out to pasture just yet.

jhox 8 years, 1 month ago

I agree with you. I believe we'll start to see Perry eat more and more into Kevin's minutes. He's the better offensive player and I thought he did a great job on the boards last night. Kevin can look great one night and really poor the next. Last night was not his best showing.

Ben Kane 8 years, 1 month ago

I predicted last week that Ellis will be starting by March and Young will be first off the bench with Tharpe.

mejayhawk 8 years, 1 month ago

And KY's instant energy as sixth man might be the best way to use him.

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 1 month ago

If they give him minutes next year Rio's ALSO a lock-down defender. He doesn't see the floor due to being careless with the ball and taking some bad shots, but defensively he's SOLID.

Scott Smetana 8 years, 1 month ago

Tharpe is the most improved player. Amazing. Hurts to have him on the bench. I'm starting to feel better by the minute with Ellis in the game over Young, especially if its a bruiser game. That seems to be the new style against us.

VailHawk 8 years, 1 month ago

Just finished watching replay on espn3. Mildcats fought hard in the Hawktagon but alas, they lost...again. The crowd never ceases to amaze me how much they boo and complain about every call and non-call. It's almost as if they don't really watch much basketball...makes you wonder...

BringBackMark 8 years, 1 month ago

Yes, tonight was especially booey! It's a lot for them to comprehend because it moves so fast. It's a lot easier for them to just boo.

jhox 8 years, 1 month ago

Their inappropriate booing is second only to Iowa State fans.

HAWKTAGON...great name for that place!

Steve Gantz 8 years, 1 month ago

Home fans of every team boo the refs, not sure if any team has cornered the market.

VailHawk 8 years, 1 month ago

Does anyone remember when K-State played in their first cotton bowl in the 90's and took like 30,000 fans to Texas? Amazingly, it raised the IQ level of both states!

Bill Kiekel 8 years, 1 month ago

VailHawk, now that's a thoughtful analysis

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 1 month ago

we've got enough Jayhawks in Texas that it would bring the IQ down here

Suzi Marshall 8 years, 1 month ago

I completely agree with your assesment regarding the change in KS IQ. However, please recall KU has one of the top Chemical and Petroleum Engineering Schools in the country. Many of those grads earned near 4.0 gpa in a difficult major and now live in TX, where the Chemical and Petro. process is centered. Texas Hawks travel in great numbers to the "local" games in Austin, Waco and Dallas.

TexasRockChalk 8 years, 1 month ago

Thank you Jayhawk Marshall :) Although I now work in Corp HR, I was an Analytical Chemistry major.... Thanks for speaking up for us.

Sam Constance 8 years, 1 month ago

The KSU fanbase cannot be taken seriously until they learn a tiny bit of selectivity on when it makes sense to boo or not.

As I was listening to the pregame on 610, they interviewed a couple different people who were in Manhattan, and in the background all of a sudden a chorus of boos erupted and continued for several minutes. Come to find out the Jayhawks had taken the court for the first time for their warmups. I get wanting to create a hostile environment for your opponent, but booing for 5 minutes straight while your opponent warms up seems like a waste of energy. Save that booing for the game, when it might actually rattle the visitors.

Then of course, it's clear that your average KSU fan has no concept of a "bad" call vs. a "good" call. A whistle going against your team does not a bad call make, yet the Wildcat faithful had all the discrimination of an Italian looking for a can of Chef Boyardee--it was all bad. The thing they don't seem to understand is that if you boo everything, at a certain point it doesn't rattle your opponent, it just amuses them. When you boo every tiny little call that goes against your team, you'll never get to that moment when an opposing player steps to the line amidst a maelstrom of vicious boos and misses two free throws because he's so uncomfortable (like KU did to Baylor after Travis was called for that BS flagrant 1 foul in AFH).

I think my favorite KSU fan comment I read after the game was the guy on ESPN who complained about the refs' handling of the shot clock violation call where the KSU player had in fact hit the rim. He thought the refs stopping play and having to double-check ruined his team's chance to score after getting the offensive rebound. I guess he missed the fact that Withey finished out the play by rejecting Enriquez and getting the ball back

I have to say, now that Missouri is gone, there is no other Big 12 team I dislike losing to more than KSU. The difference, however, between the two is that when not playing KSU, I actually can find myself rooting for their success without choking on my own vomit. Such is not the case for the Tiggers. The main reason I don't like losing to KSU is because their fans can be quite insufferable. The main reason I don't like losing to Missouri is because someone has to stand in the way of Evil Incarnate.

Jack Wilson 8 years, 1 month ago

K-State fans act like the guy that's never done it before .. they are an uneducated fanbase (from a basketball perspective), they lack class (the "F*** KU chant), and as you say, they scream bloody murder on every call that goes against them -- even if it's obvious. Just ignorant.

The house that Roy built -- 23-2.

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 1 month ago

everyone boos the opposing team's warmup.

But I agree with you on all other points, and that shot by Angel Rodriguez looked like it deflected off iron, but watching the replay I almost thought it just took an awkward spin off the glass. I was mad that KSU got the ball back with a full shot clock (maybe they used the alternating possession rule to give them the ball back? That would be fair enough), but there were plenty of other bad calls both ways that it didn't make much difference. Also, since EJ came away with a steal on the ensuing possession it didn't hurt us any.

I also find myself rooting for KSU when they play other teams... I wonder if that is going to change with mu out of the picture?

Sam Constance 8 years, 1 month ago

Two things:

1) I also understand booing when the opponent comes out for warmups. KU fans do it to. But they only really do it as the team comes out of the tunnel, and by the time they get into the routine, KU fans are back to waiting for the game to start. Also, there was a difference in the ferocity of booing--I've never heard the Kansas students boo the opposing team entering for warmups with that level of intensity.

2) That shot definitely hit iron, but only barely. Plus the way he jacked it up, I can see how it might have looked like a funny spin off the backboard.

Chris Shaw 8 years, 1 month ago

It sucks losing plain and simple! When you've lost 45 of the last 48 to your in-state rival...jealousy and animosity build up. It's common nature. They are fans and despite Bruce Weber only being there 1 year so far...many many fans have had to endure the last 10 to 30 years respectively. Not a good feeling when you seem to be playing good basketball, but routinely get beat especially on your home floor. Gets frustrating!

KUbsee69 8 years, 1 month ago

First of all, they boo so much because its so similar to one of their city's most frequently heard words ... moo.

I also thought it would be a OK to support them (as fellow Kansans) when they are playing others until I read the story on how their fans at the Fiesta Bowl went to the NBA game and booed Markeif Morris during team introductions. Now, the only time I could support them is if they are playing MU.

Mallory Rempp 8 years, 1 month ago

I heard about that, too. Super un-classy. Though I must say, that is not the reason I don't cheer for them. I don't cheer for them because every State fan I know not only doesn't root for us when we're playing other teams, but they root AGAINST us. And their fans complain about how KU fans are so holier-than-thou. "Hello, Kettle? This is pot. You're black."

Cmill1221 8 years, 1 month ago

Possibly the two of the worst charge calls i have ever seen on B-Mac. Sucked that he had to sit the first half.

HAWKTOPIA 8 years, 1 month ago

the second call waws atrocious. the announcer on the replay is choking as he suggests the defender slid over and got position. there was barely contact, it was 35' from the basket, and the defender flops towards midcourt. terrible call. Bmac is so smooth he is fun to watch.

Chris Shaw 8 years, 1 month ago

They may have been the worst calls to you, but they were correct calls. Gipson was set and B-MAC extended his arm on a terrific hedge by Rodriquez. Doesn't mater if it was 90 feet away from the basket underneath the other basket. They were both charges.

KUbsee69 8 years, 1 month ago

Not true! Gibson was moving and actually lifted his left leg off the floor to lean into Ben before contact was made. Watch it again.

jhox 8 years, 1 month ago

I have to agree with BigManU...the first was clearly a charge. Ben leaned big time. The second the guy was set (though he did clearly flop, as it appeared as though Ben tried to move to the side and mostly just brushed him.)

The second could possibly be argued that it should have been a no call (in the NBA that's a fine) but if I had to decide between block or charge, I'd have to go with charge.

One mistake people make is to assume it is a block if the offensive player doesn't make contact with the center of the defender's body, but it doesn't matter where the body contact occurs, if the defender is set in time and not moving, it is a charge.

Chris Shaw 8 years, 1 month ago

Yeah, I partly agree with the second out at half-court with Rodriguez and McLemore. Yes, I do believe Rodriguez "Flopped" per say, but he read the play, was actually to the spot before B-Mac and once B-Mac used that off arm to extend himself to create space it was all over.

If you have noticed, B-Mac has had a couple of those this year and it has to do with the dribble weave up top. I think B-Mac needs to do a better job of reading the defense rather than be a robot with the dribble weave set, but I am still not a dribble weave set guy. Never really liked that set. Teams definitely have scouted it.

Micky Baker 8 years, 1 month ago

Gibson wasn't set, he was still moving in underneath him. Once BMac was in the air, Gibson took another rabbit hop underneath him, then flopped.

Joe Baker 8 years, 1 month ago

Yep- It wasn't the position so much, but the arm extension. I thought it was bad too until I saw the replay and that arm will do it everytime.

TexasRockChalk 8 years, 1 month ago

Check out this photo:

It's a 50/50 call. Gipson was DEFINITELY leaning when BMac made contact. However, Gipson does NOT seem to be adhering to the so-called "principle of verticality" as his arms are at approximately a 30 degree angle in BMac's face ;-)

Chris Shaw 8 years, 1 month ago

I have to kind of laugh Texas Rock Chalk at the "Still Photo" shots of so-called fouls/non-fouls. I know you say Gipson is not vertical, but to me contact had already been initiated and Gipson is already leaning backwords probably making his upper body contort forwards. I mean, any man who gets hit in the stomach or groin knows what happens to their arms or upper body. It goes forward unvoluntarily.

With all that said, Basketball is a moving game at very high rate of speed. You can still frame and go frame by frame all day long after the fact, but in the end the decisions have to made within tenths of seconds after a play happens. Tough Job!

TexasRockChalk 8 years, 1 month ago

I know man! They've gotta call those in real time. I'm just saying it could be argued it was a 50/50 call ;-) I have nothing but love and respect for your well thought-out reasoning on these boards!

Sam Constance 8 years, 1 month ago

The only reason I can't fully agree with BigManU about the charges is because both times, the KSU player flopped. I might be more understanding if, in both cases, the contact had occurred and the officials had called it, but the KSU player didn't fall to the floor like he'd been shot.

For the Gipson play, there is no way McLemore actually knocked Gipson over--to me, it looked like Gipson BARELY got set (if he even did get set) and then leaned back and almost hook-slid (without the hook), QB-style, under McLemore. Didn't anyone who thinks it was a charge think it was strange that Gipson's feet ended up so far behind where McLemore left the floor from?

The second one was also a flop, but it was hard to get upset, because McLemore's arm did extend a bit, and then the KSU player went flying to the floor. Although it happened to be in a different direction than the one that he should have been sent based on the direction of Ben's momentum.

And while we're on the subject--the worst foul call of the night was in the scrum under the KSU basket where Gipson ended up getting an offensive rebound and scoring an "and one". On replay you could clearly see Gipson extend his arm fully and put a hand in Withey's chest, knocking him backwards and allowing Gipson to get the rebound.

I said it last night--I think Gipson is the foulingest post player we've played this season. Which makes sense given that he looked more like a football player than a basketball player.

Marcia Parsons 8 years, 1 month ago

There was a picture in the Wichita paper this morning (maybe KC paper also) of Gipson and Withey under the basket, with Gipson's hand around Withey's neck in a choke hold. I'm guessing it didn't get called.

Chris Shaw 8 years, 1 month ago

There is no "Barely" or "If" he got set. He either was set or he wasn't set. It's yes or no. I say yes. Now, once you determine if the defensive player was set or not, then you determine with whom initiated the contact. McLemore in this case definitely initiated the contact. Finally, did that "Contact" warrant enough to have a whistle blown? Because there was a crash (I can see how limited contact or a flop you could have a "Play On" situation), but there was enough contact on that play to either have a 1) Charge 2) Block. It's one or the other in that situation because of the amount of the contact.

Therefore, IMO at the speed of the game and with the less than half second you have as an official to make a call 1) Gibson was set 2) McLemore initiated the contact 3) There was a crash in the paint with enough contact to warrant a charge or block. It was a good call by the official.

I will say that the call in the paint was much tougher than the one out at halfcourt. I think the one at halfcourt is a pretty easy call. Rodriguez read the play and McLemore once again initiated the contact and extended the arm. Even if it was small it was still noticeable he extended it.

Chris Shaw 8 years, 1 month ago

And...calls go both ways. I mean, that block, I mean foul, Henriquez had on Withey at the glass above the rim for one of his first two fouls was bad. I mean, that's about as clean a block as you can get. And...not get on Withey too much here, but that missed drop step dunk half way through the second half with Withey. Henriquez had every reason to be upset with that call.

It's not perfect, but I thought Kansas got some beneficial calls last night. I think the two plays we're discussing the officials got right on both of those plays.

jhox 8 years, 1 month ago

To me the worst call of the night was the no call on McLemore's first block. He did come down with the ball, and that's probably what saved him, but he also came down solidly on the K State player and clearly didn't go up vertically. The officiating wasn't great last night, but it didn't win or lose anyone the game. It definitely wasn't lop sided like some would have you believe, especially KSU fans. As Webber pointed out, it was their plan not to challenge Withey inside, so they settled for a lot of 3's. That's why the foul shot differential was so great.

Steve Gantz 8 years, 1 month ago

Funny reading that with all the complaints above of KSU fans booing everything and how they don't know basketball and such.

KJD 8 years, 1 month ago

The photo above captures another great smile by Elijah and Tyler's in the background is good too. Had to capture the celebration of Travis behind Elijah right after Johnson iced the game to put us up four. Great game Travis!

Releford Leads KU

Releford Leads KU by KJD

overseasjhawk 8 years, 1 month ago

"T Releford leads team to big win, 59-55"

That could be the headline for KU over K State, as well as Bama over Kensucky. It was a great night last night!

actorman 8 years, 1 month ago

Awesome! I didn't know that UK had lost again! We were 20 behind them going into the year. It would be great to gain at least half of them this year. And we also can pull a little more ahead of UNC.

jayhawkinATL 8 years, 1 month ago

I think we've made up 5 games on them this year already.

Choctaw 8 years, 1 month ago

Hands down the best way to gain ground on the Kentucky record is for them to be an early out in the Tournament and for us to make a deep run. G Big Blue!

BainDread 8 years, 1 month ago

Yes. Though it would be nice to see UK in the NIT, that would give them a better chance of picking up a few more wins than an early exit in the NCAA tourney.

RJ King 8 years, 1 month ago

If Travis brought spectacular offense instead of defensive prowess, wouldn't we be speculating which round (#1 or #2) he might fall in the draft? I don't know whether to lament the lack of recognition, accolades, and automatic future that a defensive specialist will see, or whether to celebrate it's existence for now in the college game.

It just seems unfair that his skills and efforts probably won't translate into the NBA game. Maybe Europe. But if Travis was to dog a player in the NBA the way he did McGruder, wouldn't he be criticized for being such a red hot, overachiever, or pest?

actorman 8 years, 1 month ago

I'm not so sure that he won't make it in the NBA. He seems like a good enough athlete to fit a need as a defensive specialist.

jaybate 8 years, 1 month ago

It doesn't matter how many points he scores, or how much buzz he gets, if he ends with his trey percentage with at 40% he will be drafted. The scouts understand he is playing with Ben. RussRobb would be in the show if he hit 40%. Its the magic number for taking a defensive specialist.

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 1 month ago

we've had this conversation before, but he has the tools to be a very effective NBA role player if he ends up on a team that knows how to use him. One one article, I think about his effective FG% I looked up some stats on Bruce Bowen when he was with the Spurs and I believe that Travis can be a Bowen type who is known as the defensive stopper who can consistently knock down the open shot with the added bonus of being able to finish in traffic like Manu Ginobili. Bowen's advantage is being a couple inches taller, but I don't know how they compare in arm span. Releford has long arms. The Spurs are a franchise that really know how to utilize a players strengths as part of a team (the whole is better than the sum of its parts). Many of the NBA teams don't seem to value role players as much. The two "role player types" that generally will get a look from a team in need are the three-point specialist and the shot-blocker. But most NBA teams don't seem to value to the defensive stopper role.

Chris Shaw 8 years, 1 month ago

Good coaches value "Role Players". Papa, Sloan, The defensive minded coach from the Bulls (Tibado-That is awful spelling right there), Doc Rivers, and The GOA Phil Jackson most definitely does. I think Jacque Vaughn and the recently fired Avery Johnson does. Vaughn and Avery still have a lot to prove, but I think they value "Role Players". To some extent the Miami Heat coach does as well IMO.

I just think Relly would have to find the right organization and the right system for him to flourish. I mean, Papa loves Danny Green and Relly would have to find a situation similar to that so he could feed the "Stars" like Parker, Ginobli, and Duncan. The problem is that it would have to be for a younger team because San Antonio is about to blow up because of their age.

actorman 8 years, 1 month ago

I've posted this a couple of times already but you can't blame a guy for trying: Does anyone have an extra ticket to the home game against KSU on 2/11 (not 2/10, as I erroneously posted yesterday)?

Gerry Butler 8 years, 1 month ago

i have to agree with some posts, pery is starting to look a little better, maybe a little more comfortable which is good he helped tonight for sure, travis was travis AGAIN you have to appreciate how he gets after it defensively. i think we played some better then we have ib the previous 4 games but like bill says we are just not getting some shots to fall but if you look at it another way if we can find ways to gut it out and win a fw games where offensively we are not at our best then i just think thats where our senior experience is HUGE. point about the ball not falling, not sure how many chippies kevin missed right at the rim, but this is team is good, very good and if we get back to the way we were playining in DEC them look out. but it was a good win any time you can win on the road is definetely a plus. but i forgot bramlage is ALLEN WEST GO HAWKS

fansincewilt 8 years, 1 month ago

Great game, Travis. Let's not stop here. Let's go all the way.

Brad Avery 8 years, 1 month ago

The missed story is how well the bench played. Ellis and Tharpe had 14 points between them and both played exceptionally well defensively. Those two were the difference. Ellis has to become consistent at the line. I watched him play in high school and don't recall him looking so tenuous at the line. Otherwise, this was his best game.

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 1 month ago

Agreed! 2-6 in last night's game and only 64.1% on the year? Been missing a lot more recently...started off the year pretty closer to an 80 - 85% clip.

Reuben_J_Cogburn 8 years, 1 month ago

Whine all you want, Staters, but the results will be the same.


April13 8 years, 1 month ago

Was that Kevin Young's worst game ever? If Kevin plays just an average game, we win by double-digits. He has looked out-of-sync the last few times out. I hope that he fights his way through the slump soon.

Ron Franklin 8 years, 1 month ago

Can Perry Ellis dunk? His vertical looks pathetic. But he is definitely improving by way of being more aggressive.

jaybate 8 years, 1 month ago

I believe his one step and jump is good and his hop on the run is better, but he is almost glued to the floor in jumping with planted feet, which means his quads are not as strong as his calves. He can already get up coming across to help. Next season he'll be jumping out of the gym regularly.

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 1 month ago

good point Jaybate. sometimes you see him flying for defensive rebounds because he gets to take a step and jump, but when he gets the pass below the hoop he can't seem to get off the floor to throw it down.

Chris Shaw 8 years, 1 month ago

I remember this question. Can the TWINS dunk?

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 1 month ago

Self was asking that question a lot in 08-09. I haven't heard Self question Perry Ellis about it yet.

Kye Clark 8 years, 1 month ago

Well and if you remember their replies were that dunking is hard and takes a lot of energy.

hotrodm 8 years, 1 month ago

Yes , without a doubt this was KY's worst game. He was letting Southwell shoot wide open shots. KY missed a lot of close in shots. His pass to Whithey from the three point line was as bad as it gets. Kevin will need to pull his head out if KU plans to go deep into the NCAA tourney.

Joe Baker 8 years, 1 month ago

KY= yucky this game. I think he was trying too hard and played way ahead of himself, out of control. It was atypical KYoung. But, I will give props to KY because just when I thought he couldn't get any more yucky this game, he would do a little something and totally redeem himself. Fran and Heller(?) called him a "garbage man," and "that was a good thing." Just like Rodriguez was "a flea, a pest, pesky, a bother, etc." I thought Rodriguez played like an idiot at times, the guy was 5'11 and had 1 personal. He should've had about 3 fouls on the night. They got hung up on trying to name people.

HAWKTOPIA 8 years, 1 month ago

The Bad News: KY is losing his focus. He was 1 for 6 from 2 feet, and the 1 was a putback on his miss. He seems a bit lazy on offense and acts like his top priority is helping whithey. IT IS NOT. Guard your man and help quickly, not sag off for help and leave your man open. KY made me think about what Coach said about tyshawn, "he will do things you just cannot coach, and then he will do things you will think he's never been coached." If KY just focuses on guarding his man top priority and rebounding, he is a lock. OH yeah, do not practice 3's from the top, if your man is in your face, get the ball up top, quick step and drive for the slam or dish, and probably the foul line. you arew not sinking a 25' threy anytime soon. Kevin Up!

The good news: Kentucky lost, we are one game closer to being the all time winningest program in college basketball history. i think we are at 15 or 16 behind Kentucky. We started the season at 20.

Chris Shaw 8 years, 1 month ago

KY is fine! That tip pass KY gave from Rio to Ellis was sweet! The great thing is that KY has created "Expectations" for himself and that is a good thing. BTW, he doesn't need to practice 3's...that was a pass that skyrocketed off the backboard. A terrible pass, but still a pass.

James McGuire 8 years, 1 month ago

I believe that was the shot clock violation that wasn't. KSU hit the rim with 1 second left on the shot clock and the refs wanted to make sure the ball hit the rim.

texashawk10 8 years, 1 month ago

It wasn't the shot clock situation. It wasn't long before that though that the refs stopped play after KU inbounded the ball and the announcers never gave an explanation. My guess would be a clock issue, but I really don't know.

James McGuire 8 years, 1 month ago

Thanks. I must have missed that one. I thought the shot clock situation took quite a while to resolve though.

Benjamin Clay Jones 8 years, 1 month ago

Is that Bill Snyder behind Tyler Self's head in the photo?

Chris Shaw 8 years, 1 month ago

-I don't know about the rest of you, but this game had a different "Ugly" feel to it than other games. You always hear Self say you need a good rhythm game every once in a while to get that offensive spark back...I think this was the potential game, but guys missed a lot of easy shots.

This game had a different feel to it in the sense that Self let guys be a little more "Creative" with less offensive sets tonight. I mean, that's the way the game viewed to me. I thought Kansas actually had some nice "flow" tonight, but just missed a number of open looks. Kansas did shoot 46 percent on only 46 attempts so that is a pretty good number despite a number of easy misses and the lack of FG attempts.

-This was a great game IMO to watch. Credit K-State for showing up and they also missed a number of open looks early in the first half. I enjoyed this game.

-I know McLemore got into foul trouble in the first half but we saw a lot of Tharpe/EJ with Relly and McLemore as the "3's" in the first half. I am liking the Tharpe/EJ lineup more and more. EJ seems more comfortable in that role and Tharpe's confidence as the primary ball handler seems to be getting better and better. Despite the missed shots between the two, I thought they played the best they have played with one another tonight.

-I got to give EJ credit. I thought his energy and aggressiveness was fantastic tonight. Yes, he missed some shots, but I think this is the EJ I have been expecting for most of the year! Well Done! He still seems more comfortable at the SG spot rather than PG, but either way he tried to be creative from opening tip tonight and I give him a lot of props. His play and extra energy tonight energized the ball club. He still had almost half the team turnovers (5 of the 13), but he can limit a couple of those. Big Improvement. He still finishes better going "Right" at the rim than he does going "Left" at the rim, but tonight was the first time in a long time that I have become encouraged with EJ's play.


Chris Shaw 8 years, 1 month ago

-KY missed some easy lay-ups, but I don't think that necessarily equates to playing bad. He did a lot of other small things, but he needs to hit those bunnies. That tip pass to Ellis from Rio was freaking sweet at the end of the first half.

-Man, Tharpe had some open looks from 3 tonight and didn't convert. He is one streaky shooter. I liked what I saw from Tharpe tonight and EJ played well with him on the court so that is a combination I like. That behind the back pull up jumper was sweet. He also had some nice kickouts to both EJ and Relly for 3 pointers.

-Ellis-Well done kiddo! His game is definitely improving. Keep working on those FT's. I like the attack mode.

-Relly-Just another solid effort that really goes unnoticed by most. He did a great job on McGruder and produced another efficient night offensively. That spin move for reverse layup was sweet.

-B-Mac was every where defensively tonight. Pretty quiet night as usual. He needs to find a way to get more shot attempts. He should be averaging double digit shot attempts IMO. I know, foul trouble had a little bit to do with that tonight.

-Surprsised Withey didn't pick up a block tonight. With that said, Withey is Withey. I have become so comfortable with him on the court because of his defensive capabilities, I don't really fault him for his offensive flaws. Another Double/Double for our footer.

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 1 month ago

Tharpe's pull-up two in transition was silky smooth! And I love when Releford drives the paint. Transition or half-court set, Releford can finish it in traffic like a pro.

Chris Shaw 8 years, 1 month ago

Totally agree about that pull up jumper. You know, I really like Tharpe's penetration. I know to some, maybe most, it looks like he's just dribbling and he's probably done that in the past, but tonight I thought there was a purpose within the confines of the offense for him to be creative and look for seams. It certainly makes EJ a better player IMO.

I really think Tharpe being all over the floor offensively caused K-State some issues. K-State wasn't able to tune in Kansas' offensive sets because Tharpe was unpredictable. That unpredictability was very good tonight IMO. Wish he could have knocked down a couple of those open 3 point attempts and I am sure we as fans would have even higher praise for Tharpe right now.

TexasRockChalk 8 years, 1 month ago

Historically, we have not fared well when sporting the Crimson Jersey, going back all the way to 1986 Final Four and that gut-wrenching loss to The Rat.

TexasRockChalk 8 years, 1 month ago

Amen to that AzHawk97! Even the Mrs. - who is very up to speed on her fashion prowess! LOL - commented on how UGLY the KSU jerseys were!

HawkKlaw 8 years, 1 month ago

The crimson jerseys are gross. The only reason KU wears them once or twice a year is because Adidas makes them. It's a marketing ploy, unfortunately.

texashawk10 8 years, 1 month ago

He's said it in post game press conferences after KU's worn them before. Think about why KU only wears them during exhibition games also instead of during the regular season also. I only remember high profile regular season game KU's worn them and that was against Missouri early in Self's tenure.

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 1 month ago

I remember that too. Adidas requires us to wear them twice a year. Bill Self usually pulls them out for an edxhibition and then one time early in the season against Towson or someone like that.

TexasRockChalk 8 years, 1 month ago

I'm sure many of you astute posters have noted this hypothesis already -- aka Jaybate, HEM, BigManU, TexasHawk10 to mention a few -- but what about the theory that goes something like this: Our Jayhawks expend SO much energy playing rock-solid defense that their legs get tired to the extent they won't have enough "ups" on their jump shots, and to perhaps even dunk (KY) -- save Ben McLemore of course. That dude has enough hops for an entire squad!

Interested in hearing your thoughts...

jhox 8 years, 1 month ago

There is something to what you're suggesting. Fresh legs definitely make shooting easier. I was actually happy Tharpe was fouled down the stretch after just coming off of the bench, for that very reason. It's a lot tougher to shoot free throws when you're breathing hard and have rubber legs. The fewer factors affecting the mechanics of the shot the better.

Chris Shaw 8 years, 1 month ago

I'll be honest, I don't think it really is an issue at all. It really doesn't seem to be effecting Relly in the least considering he went 2 for 3 last night from behind the arc and 5/6 overall and he had the biggest defensive assignment of everybody on the team. Plus, Relly has been the most efficient Jayhawk from a statistical standpoint I have seen in years so far into this 2013 season.

To me, it would be interesting to stat check EJ's 3 pointers and attempts going forward from when he plays PG to where he gets to move over to SG. We've seen it late in games lately since the Temple game where Tharpe and EJ are on the same floor together because of close games, but please correct me if I am wrong, I believe this is the first time we've seen Tharpe and EJ play significant minutes (McLemore foul trouble in first half) together where Tharpe is the point and EJ at the SG. I do know that EJ's one and only made 3 point FG attempt came off a great penetration kick-out by Tharpe to an open EJ on the far side in the first half. I am not sure about EJ's other 2 attempts if he was playing PG or SG.

I think one thing to consider as well is that Henriquez for K-State is also a "Footer" and got 24 minutes and 3 blocks last night. He also altered a lot of shots as well defensively for the Cats. I think that is definitely something to note. When you have a Withey or somebody like Henriquez in changes things very quickly in the paint, especially if they have a knack for swatting flies. Henriquez is obviously not as good as Withey, but he did cause havoc last night.

Finally, I am also a firm believer that despite this Jayhawk squad being a significantly better shooting team than last year's Jayhawk squad regardless of what the statistics show...If the Jayhawks monitor and watch the number of 3 point FG attempts this team takes...the sky is the limit. I just absolutely hate seeing teams "Panic" and then completely go away from what they did all season and start jacking up 3's. You saw it against UNI, You saw it against VCU, and You saw it against Purdue last year, but somehow Kansas got a few good bounces and prevailed against the Boilermakers.

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 1 month ago

Henriquez seems to play his best games against Kansas. I haven't watched K-State except for against KU, but I think Henriquez is a better player than Gipson, and should play a majority of the post minutes for KSU. He has a pretty clean stroke too, at least when KSU is playing against Kansas.

jhox 8 years, 1 month ago

I know from my own playing days, tired legs didn't affect my jump shot nearly as much as my free throws. Probably because the jump shot has more moving parts anyway.

Suzi Marshall 8 years, 1 month ago

I think it is Self's way of making the team mentally tough. There can be no doubt, from last year and this year, that these guys are tough as nail, especially in crunch time. Look how cool and confident these guys are in these close games! I've been following the Hawks a long .... long time ... and have never seen a group like them.

TexasRockChalk 8 years, 1 month ago

Sorry, JHOX, didn't mean to exclude you from the list of "astute posters" ;-) Thanks for your commentary.

Greenielivz 8 years, 1 month ago

After Travis' performance, was fun to flip over to watch Trevor Releford have a great game and hand Kentucky another loss.

Chris Shaw 8 years, 1 month ago

That was great! Alabama should have won by more. I kept thinking to myself that they were going to blow the game.

Marcia Parsons 8 years, 1 month ago

I watched a little of it, and was surprised that Trevor and Travis look so little alike. One would never guess they are brothers.

JayHok 8 years, 1 month ago

I actually think the floppingwe saw last night isn't being taught by Weber. Pretty sure that's a reminent of the eyebrow Wizard.

Tony Bandle 8 years, 1 month ago

As four year schol hall resident with my buddy, Bill James, I find there is always room for more statistics, thus I propose the Comparitive Victory Value. This simple formula gives a pretty accurate assessment of a team's win totals.

1] Assign one point for a victory at home.

2] Assign another point for a neutral site win [ Add .5 if it is a true road game]

3] Assign another point for a conference game.

4] Assign another point for a victory over a Top Twenty team.

5] Assign another point for a league tourney game.

6] Assign two points for NCAA playoff victory.

It would seem that by assigning a consistent set of values across the board, a fair comparitive value can be deduced for every team in Division 1. For instance, last night's victory over KSU was a 4.5 value.[ win, conference, true road game, top 25 opponent] whereas let's say American was a one pointer [win, at home, non-conf., unranked.].

Chris Shaw 8 years, 1 month ago

Oakville, you are definitely on to something. We now have the RPI and BPI that measures SOS and rankings, but I think you should sell your OPI (Oakville Point Index) and market it to the AP, Coaches, and ESPN for their weekly rankings.

Maybe KenPom will put you in his algorithm.

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 1 month ago of the complaints of the RPI is that it doesn't factor in margin of victory. Gotta' be something for bludgeoning a team by 40 vs. beating them by 1 in OT.

John Myers 8 years, 1 month ago

I thought the EXACT same thing. They were just gushing over him the entire game. In fact, I posted on Facebook that I expected the announcers to invite him to their hotel room for a threesome after the game.

Ron Franklin 8 years, 1 month ago

What did you guys think of that play Self drew up in the last few minutes...where he had all players on the baseline except EJ. I have not seen that before. That was a Royce White ISt type play. Maybe we'll see it more next year with Selden coming in.

Too bad Elijah's hops are disappearing too. That would have been a play I remembered for life, had he thrown it down like he used to be able too. As he did that 360 in High School.

I believe in Naadir. I believe he has a chance to be our Sherron Collins ala 2008 and come up very big in the tourney this year. But like Sherron, he can also have the problem of not knowing when to stay out of the trees. I'll take his aggression over that risk, though.

Chris Shaw 8 years, 1 month ago

Yeah, that was a pretty sweet attempt by EJ. I thought he was going to flush it. Wow, if he could have done it. He may be losing his hops a little, but he's never been a one footed jumper. He's a two footed jumper.

Ron Prichard 8 years, 1 month ago

Amazing game from Travis! What really makes me excited is the development I have seen in Ellis over the last few games. He looked really good last night. He is agressive and actually is starting to look comfortable. Once his shot starts falling (including free throws) he will be a major force for us going forward!

HawkKlaw 8 years, 1 month ago

Give credit to KSU, they were running the right plays to get McGruder, Southwell and Rodriguez open. They did an especially good job getting McGruder open (enough to get a quick shot off at least), he just had some trouble hitting the open shots early last night thanks to Travis Releford.

Also, last night was another example of how Withey impacts every game defensively just by his presence alone. No way they attempt 30 three pointers if Withey isn't doing a good job of guarding the paint. A lot of people were expecting Withey to play a lot less yesterday so that KU could better match up with KSU's size, but I'm glad Bill Self went with his normal game plan. We're one of the best teams in the country this year (like most years), and if anybody is going to adjust their game plan it should be our opponents. Obviously, what we do works.

EJ needs to protect the ball a lot better, but at least he makes up for it with aggression on offense. He made a few easy layups just because he was aggressive early in the game. Those are the kinds of plays that are the difference between a win and a loss.

Our team as a whole needs to figure out how to make good passes. There were so many senseless turnovers last night. Losing the turnover battle has been a trend with this team all year long and eventually that will come back to bite us.

Overall though, this was a huge win for KU. This may be the toughest road test for KU all season, and they passed. It's certainly looking like a 9th straight Big 12 regular season conference championship is in order.

Jeff Coffman 8 years, 1 month ago

A little off topic, but last night's game is why we should never play Wichita State. If anybody else noticed, KU was ranked #2 and KSU #11. An epic battle on the road, and a solid entertaining game. Lots of story lines (e.g. #1 draft pick, both coaches at Illinois, etc.). And who carried the game...yep you guessed it ESPN3. We couldn't even make ESPNU. Even Kentucky at Alabama made it before this game. I realize that many of these games are set at the beginning of the year; however, if there was a game of North Carolina that wasn't on TV, you know ESPN would have found a way to move it onto the network.

All I'm saying is outside of Kansas, this game didn't mean much.

Sam Constance 8 years, 1 month ago

All that shows is how ignorant the national media can be when it comes to sports in the "flyover" states.

I agree with you that they would have been able to adjust something to get a team like UNC on national TV if say they had been playing NC State in an unexpected matchup of top-15 teams.

Steve Gantz 8 years, 1 month ago

I really wish it wasn't this way, but money rules and in the Big12, Kansas and KState are the only schools that care about basketball. In other words, few Big12 fans outside of Kansas probably watched this game, even though it is a 2-11 matchup. ESPN wants viewers and they must have determined that this game doesn't attract the viewers that they want.

I am tired of watching these games on my computer. Seemingly happens often. We were on regular TV much more in the non-conference portion of the schedule. Incredibly frustrating, but as I pointed out, Kansas' relatively small population is as much of a reason as anything for being slighted like this.

Sam Constance 8 years, 1 month ago

I think you're a little off base there. Unless we're talking about two teams' local markets, I think most basketball fans want to watch ranked teams play. I'm that way, even when we're talking about two ranked teams from the coasts that have no bearing on the Big 12 race.

The reason we weren't on national TV is because no one expected KSU to be any good, and only expected KU to be moderately good. Without the rankings, KU vs. KSU is definitely not very interesting to the national audience, but with a 2 v. 11, I think it would have been...

HawksWin 8 years, 1 month ago

rulz, I agree it stinks ESPN didn't even look our way on last night's game. But, if you are business person looking to make a dough, finding buyers is a must. Would you spend $ to advertise to 9.2M (4.4M KY, 4.8M AL) vs 2.9M good old Kansans? As a Kansan, my pride was hurt because we love & are proud of Kansas basketball, but I don't get personal with what ESPN does anymore. RCJHKU!

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 1 month ago

Who cares about KY & AL? Tell me if the NATION would rather watch two unranked teams or two ranked in the top 11?!??!!

Jeff Coffman 8 years, 1 month ago

I'm saying if KU and KSU when both are ranked in the top 15, KU and WSU is a worthless game even if it is #1 vs #2. With the populations as you put it, there is no reason to play them. Anybody that throws in recruiting, we already get the Wichita kids if they are good and we want them.

Jack Wilson 8 years, 1 month ago

The post by TexasRockChalk kind of leads to my thoughts after last night's game. I would say that our defensive intensity has nothing to do with our sputtering offense, agreeing with BigManU. But I would also agree with jhox that fresh legs mean something. I just don't think that playing good defense means an elite athlete's performance should be diminished on the offensive end. Now, the arduous chasing of a top player that Releford did? That's arguable. But Releford has shown that he can make plays on offense really anytime he wants to. He actually turns it up most often near the end of the game.

Really, our lack of offensive "pop" is related to a "play slow" mindset, in my opinion. We created a very slow pace to the game, and do this regularly. And despite Self saying he wants to play faster sometimes, his approach creates a slower game.

Specifically, we do not push the ball up the court. On a made shot, we stand around and wait for the designated player to throw the ball in. EJ and Tharpe will stand there and wait for someone to throw the ball in, instead of grabbing it, and throwing it in immediately. Others just turn and run down the court. That is coached.

Most of the times, we don't force the action down the court off a miss, and we're content to "set it up." We have zero .. I mean completely zero .. secondary break. There is obviously no secondary break scheme.

We played in the 50s. We did that because coach Self is ok with it. He must believe that this team is best playing this way. Defense first, slower pace, break only when it's clearly there, value possessions. We are 17-1. Who's arguing?

My only caution is the hot shooting team. We hit a hot shooting team, we may not have an answer. It's hard to turn the faucet on only when needed. Our defense helps make teams shooting % go down, but we all know that there are times when the defense can't stop the hot shooting team.

That is my biggest concern. That we play a slow game. That we allow a slow game. A possession by possession game permits inferior teams to hang around because the game is shorter. Add that to a team that might be unconscious for a stretch, and that spells disaster.

Recent examples where teams hung around and weren't even hot ... Temple, Texas Tech, Texas, and K-State. Iowa St. was a different type of game.

I completely value our defense. My concern is whether we have an answer for a team like Temple if they actuallyhave a good shooting night of 45-50% instead of below 30%.

With a good sample under our belts, my only real concern is that our style of play makes us more vulnerable to the hot shooting team, while acknowledging that coach Self installing this style of play may be what has us at 17-1 vs. 13-4. I have UNI and VCU scars and I think having a fast-paced, push the ball answer to the hot shooting team is a necessity.

Chris Shaw 8 years, 1 month ago

I thought the pace was much better last night despite the "Ugly". That's what I meant above when I said this game had a different feel to it than the other games against Temple, Iowa State, Tech, and Texas. Kansas almost got there in the first half of Iowa State and the retreated.

I thought for the first time in a long time, Kansas was not "Robotic" last night and played ball. They ran less structured offensive sets last night than what I've seen since middle of December.

HawkKlaw 8 years, 1 month ago

That's always been Bill Self's philosophy and concerns like yours have been there since Bill Self came to KU. Some years it works better than others, but with Self, it's always "defense first." I personally like that philosophy (like you said, it's probably why we're 17-1 right now), but it definitely leaves open the possibility of a hot shooting team beating KU down the stretch.

Our halfcourt offense is good enough, but it could be great if we made better passes. Good passing leads to open shots. Poor passing leads to turnovers. Elijah Johnson in particular needs to do a better job protecting the ball. If we cut down on the turnovers, it cuts down on the opposing team's transition points (which KSU had a lot of last night) and it keeps the opposing team from gaining momentum.

Clearly, it's much harder for a team to hit a good percentage of shots from beyond the arc than it is for them to hit a good percentage of close shots. I don't know the stats, but it seems like barely anyone has luck scoring in the paint against KU this year. It appears our philosophy is "If you can get hot at the beginning of the game and drain threes all day long, you have a chance to beat us. If not, we win."

Hank Cross 8 years, 1 month ago

They're scoring 75.1 PPG, while Indiana is scoring about 85. So, I don't think that this is an especially low-scoring team. I didn't get to see last night's game, but I know what you are talking about, although this year's team seems to rely more on its athleticism than others in years past.

To me, the biggest threat is a team with real strength and size on the inside. It's nice that Ellis is coming along, but he doesn't have the bulk and Traylor doesn't have the size that will probably be needed to win the NC.

jrbill67 8 years, 1 month ago

Young's got to start playing smarter and Ellis has to start playing tougher & this could be a very special year.

Sam Constance 8 years, 1 month ago

I posted (part of) this over under the Postgame Discussion tab, but this seems like the place to share thoughts about the game, so...

I love Kevin Young's hustle, but the last few games, he has certainly shown signs of why he was not a highly-touted recruit. Tonight, I counted a handful of really great, hardworking plays where he enabled KU to score or get the ball from KSU, but I also counted several completely terrible plays.

The most glaring was obviously his WTF!?! shot/pass/lob to the 10-footer that he apparently saw on the court. If that was a shot, it was literally the worst I have ever seen in 20+ years of watching basketball. If it was a pass, it was a top-five worst I've ever seen. There was no explanation for it whatsoever.

He also missed 4 (or 5) bunnies around the rim. Granted, he got his own rebound and scored for one of those shots, but for the other three, that's 6-8 points that KU should not have left on the table. It's the difference (all else being equal) between a double-digit win and a 4-point squeaker.

The silver lining here is that Perry Ellis is the heir apparent to Kevin Young's spot in the lineup, and at the risk of sounding like a broken record, he has looked like a completely new player over the last 3-4 games. Maybe Kevin's gaffes are happening because he's seeing the writing on the wall and Ellis breathing down his neck to take his spot. While that worries me a little bit, I can't help but return to my early-season thinking that we are best served if Ellis is starting and Kevin Young is coming off the bench to "lead" the second unit. Maybe the uncertainty--or the impending change that seems to be coming--is contributing to Kevin's erratic play or affecting his focus, which is what seems to be the problem, to me.

Of course, Ellis needs to hit his free throws a bit more consistently, but that doesn't worry me. He seems to have a knack for scoring and nice form, so the free throws will come. I'm so excited about his new sense of aggressiveness and tenacity. He didn't have great numbers in today's game, but he inserted himself in the thick of the action and made a couple of really good plays. He also seems to be showing improved hands--earlier in the season, I felt like he had the tendency to bobble the ball as it was coming to him on passes, but he caught a couple of really difficult passes tonight. I have a feeling that he will be a huge asset come tournament time.

(to be continued...)

Ben Kane 8 years, 1 month ago

to those whining about charges and what not, i thought the game was called pretty fair both ways. I was forced to listen to the game on a wildcats radio station and i promise they were many calls and non-calls they were unhappy with... (basically all of them that didn't go their way :) )

Sam Constance 8 years, 1 month ago

Hey now... no need to be insulting. Even if mildly so :-)

I agree that it was overall a fair-called game. There were iffy calls on both sides. I counted several fouls and moving screens (and even a couple travels) on both teams that weren't called.

I'm rather tired of people suggesting that any discussion about officiating is automatically "whining". Some people just like to talk about details of the game, including the job the officials do.

Sam Constance 8 years, 1 month ago

Regarding those who've suggested fatigue might have been an issue tonight, I really don't think so. Fatigue can be an issue on jump shots, but the kinds of shots we were missing were around the rim, and the guy who should have been more tired than anyone for chasing MacGruder around 5 million screens shot the ball quite well.

I'll close by saying this about these Jayhawks--I'm concerned that they are ultimately going to succumb to one of two big-time flaws: 1) tendency to fall asleep on perimeter shooters (Southwell might've had more open looks than our entire team), and 2) our inability to make crisp passes that are less likely to be picked off. There are some things about this team that remind me of the 2008 team, but one of the most glaring differences is the passing. That 2008 team might have been Self's best passing team in his time at KU. The ball was constantly moving and rarely stuck, and when it was moving, the passes were crisp frozen ropes, rather than lazy parabolic arcs. This team not only throws tons of arcing passes, but the ball tends to stick and they tend to over-dribble (especially Tharpe). That being said, I think Tharpe had a good game.

I really hope they get that fixed before the postseason, because I have a bad feeling about a tourney game where we let a guy go off from three while also committing a bunch of turnovers with lazy passes. Hopefully I'm just being overly-sensitive.

JayhawkRock78 8 years, 1 month ago

I have the same concern. I was at the Texas game and UT got hot making outside shots when they were open. The second half we were terrible with the ball and gave up the ball back to back to back possessions.

John Myers 8 years, 1 month ago

I was there too - what a game. It's so satisfying leaving the Erwin Center in a sea of disappointed Longhorn fans.. haha.. And I know there's a big KU presence here, but I was really surprised at the number of KU fans at the game.

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 1 month ago

fatigue is easily cured by adrenaline. Adrenaline is a product of shot-making.

K-State was likely just as fatigued as KU because they weren't making shots.

HawksWin 8 years, 1 month ago

plastic, Do we agree Trav put on one heck of D against McGruder in the first half allowing 2 (or 4 can't recall) points? Then McGruder found 11 pts in the second half? Trav wanted to come out & rest in the 2nd half - and Self said no. I agree adrenaline is a cure for fatigue, but only temporary. There were so many screens for McGruder, my eyes got tired just trying to keep up with Trav. Man, he was hustling! If you moved at the speed and angles cut by Trav, no wondered he wanted to rest. Yes, he's very athletic with high endurance, but 4 games in 10 days with trips to Lubbock (660 mi), Austin (700 mi) and Little Apple? Fatigue accumulated over a period of days is nothing to sneeze at - just look how many teams have injury issues during mid to late season going in to March? Air travel causes dehydration on the body which then becomes more susceptible to cold/flu ,etc. A case in point is Withey with flu & taking IV before & during KSU game. Tired body is more prone to injuries. Freshman McLemore with sprained ankle is learning to build up his stamina for this rigorous sport. He's still taking lazer treatments, not yet 100%, hopefully he will be soon. RCJHKU!

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 1 month ago

I actually agree 100% with everything that you just said.

My comment was more anecdotal than anything. When I said fatigued it could be substituted as tired or winded.

But the word fatigue really should be a label for more of a long-haul issue.

In the chemical industry we are starting to implement new fatigue policies that mandate how many consecutive days an employee can labor without a day off etc. And add to it the stress of travel and it can really add up.

yates33333 8 years, 1 month ago

What is very difficult to understand is that the announcers and I saw Withey get two, maybe three, blocks. Yet, the box score doesn't credit him with any. Weird!! Fran Franschilla, or however you spell it, doesn't usually make mistakes on something so obvious as a block.

Sam Constance 8 years, 1 month ago

I thought the same thing. I couldn't help but think the home team scorer might've influenced it...

Redlandsjhawk 8 years, 1 month ago

I think there were more non calls than bad calls, and that's just the way I like it. I agree it was a great game just from a viewing standpoint and for once I wasn't worries in the least. I've had to leave the room for many of our other games.

One last thing...... I never thought I'd live to see the day when KU had "fouls to give" at the end of a game in manhattan!!!!!

JayHok 8 years, 1 month ago

The purple emaws are an interesting group. The ones who don't live that close to Lawrence are excited for anything that moves and I mean that in the best of ways. Once the NCAA tourney comes and their team is out they'll make sure to watch every Kansas game. Not necessarily clapping and jumping, but still enjoying. This is why the Purples can never be Mizzou as bad as the twelve KSU fans in Lawrence may want it to happen. Some of us secretly hoped they would beat Baylor even if it went against what might be better for Weis's KU's football program's recruiting in the longrun... Some of them secretly hoped we would beat Kentucky. Many KU fans could care less about KSU, not in a bad way, wouldn't have ever known who they were without being bugged about a shirt they were wearing. Not a single KSU fan doesn't know who KU is. Not that it matters. It's just there's only one flagship institution and I guess since we don't have Washington DC in our state it gives them something to get fired up about. It'll be interesting to see how Weber deals with this group in a couple years. You can still see Frank's mentality in their squad a bit like Self's signature was stamped into that 2005 Illinois team.

The best basketball schools consider "all the schools in their conference" plus the blue bloods (UNC, UK) their rivals. That's certainly the way the other gyms in our conference treat us and it's how he handle every single opponent that comes into Allen Fieldhouse whether it be Washburn or Iowa State. The point being, people who are trying to force a rivalry because of one reason or another, probably aren't seeing the bigger picture. Anyone who has played us since Naismith rolled the ball on the court HAS considered us a rival. The only real hated part of anything came from Mizzou, for obvious historical reasons. We don't need another Mizzou. We play about 40 of these rivalries a year in basketball, that's part of being a blue blood.

Reuben_J_Cogburn 8 years, 1 month ago

I don't know what K-State fans, or how many, you know. But from my experience, I've never known one....not one...that has rooted for KU in any capacity in any game.

And I'm from the middle of Kansas.

It doesn't matter if we fought against them in the Civil War or not, those people flat-out hate us. They don't deserve our courtesy or compassion, and certainly not our support in big games.

Believe me...the only thing that separates the K-State rivalry from the Mizzou rivalry is that we don't share the same mutual hatred. KU fans generally don't care about K-State. But they are completely on par with Missouri. As time passes and this thing intensifies, you'll begin to change your view of them.

JayHok 8 years, 1 month ago

They want us to notice them that's all. Completely different than Missouri coming in and burning down Lawrence. Missouri had 200,000 registered slaves.

We notice them like we notice the other Big 12 members and there's nothing wrong with that. For those of us that have gone to Allen, each team we play may as well be a rival, even Richmond.

We have 40 rivals a year plus five we don't often play. UK, UNC, UCLA, Duke, Indiana. Look in the gyms we go to and see how they handle us. We are all of their rivals, in their mind. Only about five schools can relate to that. It's not a bad thing it's just the way it is.

I've known many KSU fans as well as Iowa State, OSu, OU, UT etc fans who silently gleefully watch us when they think no one is watching. It's a credit to them and it's a credit to us.

Sally Presson 8 years, 1 month ago

Travis is one great Jayhawk, he has given us his all. Last night's game he was the Man of the game. Those poor fans don't even know how stupid they are, it's sad and I'm embarrassed for them. And the fans at a pro game booing at Markiff was way out of line. it's a pro game for goodness sake, those people know nothing about the KU/KState rivalry and just looked at those people and thought "What a bunch of hicks".

For me personally I wanted to beat their coach, the sight of that man makes me sick, he is not a good person, I hated to see K State get him because he's not good for the program.

Awfully proud of our Jayhawks, way to go Hawks!!!

kennethst 8 years, 1 month ago

Poor K-State.......always the bridesmaid.....never the bride.

Too bad.......So sad.

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 1 month ago

Just thought I'd throw this out there. First / Second / Third Team All Jayhawk for over the last 25-years (Post-Manning).....I'm taking this from the stanpt. NOT of duration of career as much as how good were they when they peaked?....AND I'm doing each of these with a logical 1, 2, 3, 4, & 5 man:

First Team = Hinrich, McLemore, Pierce, Tho. Robinson & Withey

Second Team = J. Vaughn, Langford, B. Rush, N. Collison & Aldrich

Third Team = S. Collins, Chalmers (yeah, combo. G), Mc. Morris (probably played = time at the "3" or "4"), LaFrentz, & Ostertag

Honorable Mentions = Simien, Ty. Taylor, E. Johnson, K. Gregory, Arthur, Ter. Brown, Pritchard, Randall, Haase, R. Walters, Ad. Jordan, D. Gooden, Woodberry, Boschee & Pollard (maybe even iffy on H.M. for Pollard)...other potential H.M.'s to Ru. Robinson, Ry. Robertson, & Tr. Releford....Robinson & Releford probably earn it for their def. play.

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 1 month ago

Now......saying that. Who's been your FAVORITE Jayhawk of the last 25 years?

I know it sounds TOOOOOOOO "in the moment", but McLemore's been becoming mine. I know he'll probably be a "OAD", but he'll certainly be my favorite "OAD" we've ever had, that's for surer!!!

kennethst 8 years, 1 month ago

Oops.....didn't see you put Langford and Rush up there

JayhawkRock78 8 years, 1 month ago

For sure he is my favorite OAD (if he leaves). He is right up there with Pierce as a complete player. AND the TV set doesn't not do justice to any of the athleticism that happens on the court. I'm just happy I got to see BMAC play up close in a Jayhawk uniform.

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 1 month ago

Miles? Eh. Probably the worst PG over that time period.

kennethst 8 years, 1 month ago

Miles....."the worst PG over that period".

Hmmm.....I guess you just hated all those assists, eh? Seeing that assists are the main function of a PG. Let's see.......954 career assists is #1 at KU.....Led KU to 2 Final Fours and a National Championship game.....2nd at KU in steals.....All time Big 12 leader in assists.....and 8th all time in the entire NCAA.

kennethst 8 years, 1 month ago

Miles....."the worst PG over that period".

Hmmm.....I guess you just hated all those assists, eh? Seeing that assists are the main function of a PG. Let's see.......954 career assists is #1 at KU.....Led KU to 2 Final Fours and a National Championship game.....2nd at KU in steals.....All time Big 12 leader in assists.....and 8th all time in the entire NCAA.

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 1 month ago

I'd take J.Vaughn as the best Assist man I saw at KU over that period. Seemed like Miles got his off of Simien. Couldn't shoot, couldn't score compared to most of our other PG's. Surprising on the steals as I don't remember him being the defensive PG like Ru. Robinson, Chalmers, et al.

I do remember that relative to expectations he probably did the worst.

I think there the potential that there MIGHT be some bias in me. I was there to see games from the '91 /'92 season through to the '97/'98 season so maybe it makes me partial to Vaughn..

Steve Gantz 8 years, 1 month ago

I love debates like this! I would put Collison on the first team and move TRob down to 2nd team. I'd also switch Cole and Jeff as Cole provided more offense than Jeff.

Maybe switch Mario and Jacque? Tough call there for sure.

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 1 month ago

Aldrich better offensively than Withey?! No, don't agree with that one. Better than Jeff the two previous seasons? Ok, I'd agree with that, but not how much more he's developed this year.

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 1 month ago

Cole was better on the offensive glass than Jeff is. He had a knack for getting good position for offensive rebounds.

DCLawHawk 8 years, 1 month ago

I think you're giving too much weight to the no Final Four point (though I didn't realize that fact, and it is interesting). No way is Jacque Vaughn the sixth best point guard during that time period. I think Vaughn played well enough to get KU to the Final Four in 97. He is not the reason they lost to Arizona--or at least that's not my memory of that game. And there's a reason why he's the only KU point guard to stick in the NBA over that same time period (Chalmers wasn't point at KU)--namely, he's better than those other guys.

Chris Shaw 8 years, 1 month ago

We are talking "College" not "NBA". And...Vaughn and his teammates did not play well enough in 97 because they lost. The only person who really showed up was Pierce that day. Vaughn shot 3 of 10 for 30 percent, 2 of 4 from the fould line and couldn't stop Mike Bibby to save his life. Vaughn always had trouble stepping up in the big games IMO. He had great individual statistics which you can not take away from him, but he also had a lot of media "Hype" surrounding him. The teams he led 3 out of the 4 years never played to their seed in the NCAA Tournament. His freshman year his team met expectations when their 4 seeded squad lost to #1 seed Purdue.

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 1 month ago

penalize for the loss in the Tournament in '97 in what over that 25-year span was probably our best team of ALL TIME?!?!?!?!??!!? Their ONLY LOSS was that 1-point either OT or 2OT's game in Columbia when Jacque ALMOST probably SHOULD HAVE had a great steal late only to have it bounce to L.Frazier who had a prayer-shot answered. I'd put that '96/''97 team against ANY of our other editions and would expect a win probably 75-80% of the time.

And come up in the big games?

I don't know if there was a bigger single shot in that last 25 years after Chalmers's 3 in '08 than Jacque's 3 to beat Indiana in OT at Allen. Only time I can remember Knight (prior to when he was at Tech) at Allen.

Chris Shaw 8 years, 1 month ago

I was at that game in 95 when Jacque Vaughn hit that 3 to beat Inidana. I agree, that was a big non-conference shot, but how many big shots did Chalmers have in his career? And...look at when he hit them. Twice in the Big 12 Tournament Championship in 07 and 08, regular season finale against Texas to win the Regular season title, National Championship and that doesn't include a couple of the meaningless regular season games he hit big shots.

The way college basketball is set position yourself in the regular season to produce in the post-season during the NCAA Tournament. That's the way it's always been. Jacque and his teams had great regular season records and yet, they routinely lost to lower seeds in the tournament. Mike Bibby and Harold Deane abusing Vaughn makes me cringe.

Chris Shaw 8 years, 1 month ago

I am sorry, but your Legacy is how you perform on the court and how you perform in Big games. Plain and Simple. Some games are more important than others. That's why we have awards, National Championships, players of the year, etc. There is a distinction there. 96/97 team was one of the best regular season Kansas squads ever at Kansas. Their stats prove that. I agree with that.

However, that 96/97 squad will never be inducted into the Kansas Athletics HOF. That 96/97 team had every opportunity to be special and they fell short. It's the way it goes sometimes. Everything can't be happy go lucky when we want it to be. The truth in it all is that they lost and underperformed. All I ever think about when I think of the 96/97 team is "What If" and feeling of complete disappointment. It's what happens when you don't meet expectations. It happens and unfortunately they lost in the sweet 16 and IMO teams who lose in the Sweet 16 don't get put in the same sentence as those who make the Final 4 and win a Championship.

DCLawHawk 8 years, 1 month ago

I'm not trying to take anything away from anyone on your list, but I detect a real recency bias here. Mark Randall seems like a glaring omission to me, unless you're not counting him as post-Manning eligible. He led that 1991 Final Four team to within 8 points of a national championship.

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 1 month ago

He's at least in the Honorable Mentions.

DCLawHawk 8 years, 1 month ago

So he is. My mistake. I overlooked that.

Will Palmer 8 years, 1 month ago

I just thought I should add this to the mix...

TexasRockChalk 8 years, 1 month ago

That looks downright evil! Especially for such a nice kid...from what I read :)

D20 8 years, 1 month ago

Just to add a bit to the discussion about KSU fans...

I grew up in KS and am a graduate of KSU. I love our great state and both of our schools. I grew up rooting for KU baskeball as a kid and have turned into an avid fan as an adult. I love the history and tradition that goes along with KU hoops. And I'm not alone- I have other family and friends who feel exactly the same. I root for both teams throughout the season and find it wildly entertaining whenever they face each other.

So all of that to say that not every KSU fan is as described above. There are plenty of us who have closets full of both purple and blue!

TexasRockChalk 8 years, 1 month ago

Dook gets absolutely CRUSHED on the road by TheU! :)

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