Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Notebook: Naadir Tharpe keeps his cool; Kevin Young jokes about his ‘pass’


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.

Download podcast

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.

Download podcast

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.

Download podcast

Box score


— Naadir Tharpe stepped to the free-throw line with 22 seconds left and Kansas University nursing a 56-53 lead over Kansas State on Tuesday night in Bramlage Coliseum.

Was the sophomore backup point guard nervous at all as he toed the line, the fans shaking the building while trying to distract him?

“Not at all. I just knew I had to go and take my time and make the free throws,” said Tharpe, who hit both to give KU a 58-53 advantage down the stretch. The Jayhawks went on to win, 59-55.

He desperately wanted to make up for a bad experience at the line.

“I just thought about the time in AAU ... my last year in AAU we were in Las Vegas. I missed two free throws to go to the championship,” Tharpe said. “That’s all I think about every time I go to the free-throw line. That’s something I thought about, definitely. I finally had another chance to make it happen again. I was focused and knocked ’em down.”

Tharpe finished with six points off 2-of-7 shooting (0-for-4 from three) with two assists, a turnover and steal in 18 minutes.

It was a pass

Kevin Young banged a lob pass to Jeff Withey off the backboard with five minutes left and KU up, 54-49.

“It was a pass, a horrible pass,” Young said, asked if it was a pass or a shot. “I threw it too hard, and Jeff didn’t have a chance to get it.

“They called it a shot,” Young added of statkeepers, smiling. “That’s fine with me. I didn’t get a turnover.”

Young had a stickback of his own inside miss to beat the halftime buzzer and give KU a 31-27 lead at halftime.

“Perry (Ellis) gets credit for that,” Young said. “He tipped the ball and kept it alive, and I was able to put it back in. It gave us energy.”

Ellis finished with eight points and four boards in 18 minutes. He did miss four of six free throws, but hit three of four floor shots; Young had three points off 1-of-6 shooting with six rebounds, two assists and a turnover in 30 minutes.

Big game for flu-ridden big man

Withey scored 11 points off 3-of-6 shooting and grabbed 10 rebounds. He also hit five of six free throws and played 31 minutes, showing no effects of the flu bug that bit him at the team hotel Monday night.

Small world

KU teammates Justin Wesley and Rio Adams recently found out they were related. Rio is a second cousin to Brittany Langford, wife of Wesley’s brother, former KU guard Keith Langford. Brittany’s grandfather and Rio’s grandmother are brother and sister.

Jinx over

KU entered the game with an 0-3 record on Jan. 22 during the Bill Self era. KU lost on that date to Richmond, Villanova and Texas.

Winter goes to shootaround

Former KSU coach Tex Winter, 90, stopped by the Jayhawks’ shootaround and was introduced to KU’s team.

Stats, facts

KU is 5-0 in Big 12 play for the second-straight season and the sixth time under Self. ... KU has won 45 of the last 48 meetings with KSU dating to the 1994 season. The Jayhawks have won 10 of the last 11. KU is 184-91 all-time against KSU, including 75-45 in Manhattan (23-2 in Bramlage Coliseum). ... KU scored a season-low 59 points, its lowest scoring output since scoring 59 points in the 2012 national championship game (59 vs. Kentucky). ... KU shot 44.4 percent (12-for-27) in the first half, its highest shooting start in a Big 12 road game and the second-highest in conference play (48.3 percent vs. Iowa State). ... KU outrebounded KSU 35-28. ... KU has held KSU to 55 points or fewer in the last three meetings. ... For the first time in 28 games, Withey was not credited with a block. ... Despite feeling the effects of the flu, Withey recorded his 13th career double-double and his seventh on the season, second only to Melvin Ejim of Iowa State's eight in 2012-13. ... Ellis had seven points by halftime — his highest output since scoring 11 vs. American (12/29). He finished with eight points. ... Ben McLemore was whistled for two offensive fouls in a less than 90-second span (10:35, 9:22) and was benched for the remainder of the first half. After scoring two points in the first half, he scored nine in the second. Self said he considered putting McLemore back in the game the first half with two fouls, but at the suggestion of assistant Kurtis Townsend, waited to see if McLemore was needed the rest of the half. ... Tharpe is 4-for-4 in free throws in the last five minutes of games this season.


Former KU guard Josh Selby was traded by Memphis to Cleveland on Tuesday. The full deal sent Selby, Marreese Speights and Wayne Ellington to the Cavs for Jon Leuer and a trade exception. Selby, a second-year pro, was picked in the second round by the Grizzlies in the 2011 draft. He has appeared in 10 games in this season and also played in the NBA Developmental League.


wildjayhawk 1 year, 2 months ago

Tharpe is a lost cause. He should only be used for clean up at the end. White should be getting the playing time.


Reuben_J_Cogburn 1 year, 2 months ago

Hey I've been a big fan of Kevin Young's play all season. The guy has been critical to the success of this team, and we should all be proud of him.

Having said that.....I've never seen a stint where a player completely lost his mind like that. I mean, it was a complete mental breakdown, and it goes well beyond the "pass."

He mauled Southwell twice on the perimeter and then finally got called on the third one near half court. He missed a huge amount of gimmes, and threw ridiculously unnecessary passes resulting in turnovers.

Most of this was within one minute at its peak.

He has been a reliable, consistent presence in the game and yes, bring a lot of energy.

But he allowed that same emotion and energy got the better of him, and his mistakes were almost very costly.

Not knocking him at all, I just think this was a great learning experience for him. Although he'll be playing in some pressure-filled games with a lot on the line, he's not going to have to do it in an environment that hostile again, So let's hope he got a lesson in controlling his energy.


Robin Smith 1 year, 2 months ago

Kevin is awesome. No way he loses his starting spot.

EJ is doing fine, his shots are just not falling at the moment.

Alright, someone help me out here! I really want to find a clip of that tip pass that KY made on the break. That was outstanding.


tical523 1 year, 2 months ago

I love what Kevin brings to this team, gotta love the attitude on taking missed shot even though it was a terrible pass. . . . . ."That’s fine with me. I didn’t get a turnover." I laughed at that one.


bjejayhawk69 1 year, 2 months ago

Tharpe - will get more and more big minutes because a 4 guard lineup is needed more frequently - especially at the end of the game and he can handle and hit FT's. Also EJ is better off the ball then at point.

Young - if his energy is working and he isn't hurting us in half court sets play him. If not go to Ellis or use Tharpe depending on lineups.

How about Southwell yapping in Young face. Southwell has a career game and he thinks he is Jake Pullen. Young should have told how sad it is when team's game plans include not guarding him at all cause he usually can't shoot. His last layup was actually blocked into the goal as well.


jrbill67 1 year, 2 months ago

If Young doesn't play smarter, Ellis will be playing and Young will be getting mop up minutes wuith Traylor.


HawkKlaw 1 year, 2 months ago

Naadir Tharpe is crucial to this team. He doesn't wow anyone with his stats, but he steps up when the game is on the line. He protects the ball better than Elijah does and he's one of the only players on this team that can make a decent pass. Also, he's shooting the lights out from the free throw line this year with a .909 FT%! That's incredible.

And defensively, Naadir has come so far this season. Last night he was getting screened a lot, which left Rodriguez open a lot, but his effort and intensity were right where they needed to be. He's no longer getting blown by on every possession. I'm pretty jacked to see how he develops for the rest of the season.


Jonathan Allison 1 year, 2 months ago

Why did the broadcast crew discount KU a victory in the all-time series?

Before the game they posted a graphic showing KU leading 182-91 when this website had KU leading 183-91.

Is there an *asterisk win in the series? I'm just curious.


Travis Shinkle 1 year, 2 months ago

I liked Coach's reply to the question about K-State versus (that idiot state to our east)...ha ha. Awesome and he summarized exactly how I feel too about the situation.


hammerhawk 1 year, 2 months ago

Appreciate Jaybates comments. They appear to be right on the mark.

The announcers are/were terrible. I keep the sound off - I don't really need anyone telling me what is happening when I can see it myself. Someone mentioned earlier that those are "KU's" announcers. OMG if that is the case let's get new ones.

I also thought there was a lot of hacking down under that were not called against ksu players. BMac played excellent after he found out ticky-tac fouls were going to be called against him. He needs to stick around for another season. I'm sure he doesn't want to end up on the NBA development team like flash in-the-pan Josh Selby.

Great job mighty Kansas Jayhawks. Loved it that you beat the instate "rivals" once again at their place.


bradynsdad 1 year, 2 months ago

2 THINGS: Did anyone else catch the picture of Enriquez picking his nose after a play? Landen Lucas even reposted it on Twitter...hilarious!!!! Also Eric Stonestreet the actor from Modern Family and KSU's biggest fan even put on Twitter last night for fans to please stop calling it the Octagon of Doom.


Norm Jennings 1 year, 2 months ago

First, love Kevin's energy, and his superior knack for rebounding. The 'hawks desperately need his contributions in these areas.

Most nights the team also need a few easy buckets from him, often cleaning up misses on the offensive boards. Last night, just wish the third or fourth missed "bunny-shot" hadn't happened. Some nights the rims just are bouncing for a given player. If Ben McLemore can give up the ball to a teammate for a better angle in the shadow of the hoop, maybe Kevin can too?

Wouldn't change anything else about him -- especially love the attitude, and the hair! awesome!



Lifelong_Jayhawk 1 year, 2 months ago

If you go back before the Self era, Kansas also lost at Colorado on January 22, 2003 to snap a 27-game win streak against the Buffaloes.


PAJayhawk3 1 year, 2 months ago

Gary-If Melvin Ejim is the correct player leading the league with double-doubles, then the team is Iowa State and not Baylor unless Melvin somehow transferred this week.


jaybate 1 year, 2 months ago

Justin and Rio are also within three degrees of Kevin Bacon.


BucknellJayhawk3 1 year, 2 months ago

"KU teammates Justin Wesley and Rio Adams recently found out they were related. Rio is a second cousin to Brittany Langford, wife of Wesley’s brother, former KU guard Keith Langford. Brittany’s grandfather and Rio’s grandmother are brother and sister"

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA, come on, this is funny! Thanks, Gary, made my morning.


April13 1 year, 2 months ago

Don't know if you saw it.....right before Tharpe's free throws, Angel Rodriguez was yapping in his ear non-stop to try and rattle him. Tharpe really came through.

Making a critical free throw - or two - in an opposing gym with the game on the line has to be one of the most difficult things to do in sports.

Congrats Nadir!


jaybate 1 year, 2 months ago

"Wednesday After the Long March"

• Winning 4 games in 8 days, then 2 on the road Saturday/Tuesday, is one of the most memorable accomplishments in basketball I have seen during regular season play. To do it through a star player getting a severe sprain and a great center playing with flu and a point guard playing on bum knees is nearly miraculous. Frankly it was the sporting equivalent of Patton moving his army from one winter battle in a long march to another at Bastogne. Doing the seemingly impossible does not inspire cheers so much as solemn awe. Those that understand little of the game may not appreciate the magnitude of the accomplishment. This is one of the great achievements in the KU legacy though few may note it.

• Once again KU won in large part by modulating tempo enough to keep the opponent from getting in a rhythm. Self and his team are no longer playing it any way they want, as was his trademark for so many seasons. Now they are turning the dial up and down on tempo. And EJ and Tharpe seem to be well suited to doing it. I actually think some EJ's TOs come from re-dialing tempo. It may be almost as tough for KU players to play this way as it is for opponents to deal with. Watch EJ and you can almost see him working reigns. Whoa! Go! Whoa! Go! But it's not just a horse with four gates. EJ seems to be altering tempo like a CVT trannie in a car. Continuously variable. Always setting it at a speed just slower, or just faster than the opponent wants to play. The scout on KU has figured out you hold the "slide off the spots" offence. Now Self is using CVT tempo.

• Anyone notice the intermittent press has diminished and then disappeared as the long march wore on? It was shelved temporarily to conserve energy, but will return with a vengeance once game frequency lessens. When the energy budget permits the intermitant press, KU will again be blowing teams out. Think of the intermitant press as widening the ratio in KU's CVT transmission. It allows KU to take teams into a broader range of tempos.

• Hang a sign on the door to Self's office: "Maestro at work."


Matt Gauntt 1 year, 2 months ago

Kevin's comment made me cringe. It wasn't exactly a ha-ha funny moment. Half the time when he gets the ball, some thing cool happens. The other half - something profoundly goofy happens. A little more maturity, please. When the NCAA's come around, those profoundly goofy moments are going to be seized upon by the other team and we'll be watching someone else cut down the nets.


KJD 1 year, 2 months ago

Great quote by Tharpe. Crucial makes...At first I thought "the pass" was going to be Young throwing it to K-State under the KU goal in the final seconds to open the floor up for a K-State 2 to cut it to 3. "The Pass" he's joking about was pretty eye popping too. Young played a lot of minutes, a lot of good plays, though you can see Bill getting on Kevin these days for these kind of plays. It's all part of the process. This team is growing each game...Ellis is coming on more and more to his game too.


Jay Dogger 1 year, 2 months ago

Dateline: February 14 (V-Day) 2011. KU has just become ranked #1 for the first time that season...a mere eight hours (or so) earlier. K-State, led by Jacob Pullen, handed our asses to us, despite the Morri and a young T-Rob. End of the game, down by a million,...sophomore EJ gets a great pass and slams a dunk...hangs on the rim too long for a technical. HCBS yanks him for the rest of (reverse) garbage time.

Flash forward almost two years later...EJ, starting PG, and the latest KU hoops team...well, you know the rest...

Rock Chalk


s6u6r6f 1 year, 2 months ago

23-2 in Bramlage. Oooooo, the octagon of doom is soooooo scary. Ha ha ha. Rock chalk.


Commenting has been disabled for this item.