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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Kansas, nation struggle to score

Ben McLemore leaps for  basket in the Jayhawks 61-56 win against the Mountaineers Monday night at West Virginia University.

Ben McLemore leaps for basket in the Jayhawks 61-56 win against the Mountaineers Monday night at West Virginia University.

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Kansas University’s basketball team has labored a bit offensively the past six games, scoring in the 50s once and in the 60s five times en route to a 62-point scoring average.

But the No. 2-ranked Jayhawks (19-1 overall, 7-0 Big 12 Conference) — who won all six of the low-scoring games — aren’t alone nationally failing to light up the scoreboard. Kenpom.com recently pointed out that college basketball is headed toward its lowest-scoring season since 1951-52.

Scores such as Wisconsin 45, Minnesota 44; Georgetown 37, Tennessee 36; and Arkansas 56, Vanderbilt 33 are just three examples of some games played at an excessively slow pace.

“I know we are not scoring quite as much as the past. A lot could be us not executing,” KU coach Bill Self said. Overall, the Jayhawks average 73.9 points a game while allowing 58.7. In Big 12 play, KU averages 67.0 points and allows 57.6.

“I do think defenses are getting better all the time. I do think offenses are getting more sophisticated all the time. I don’t know what the reasons are,” he added of a national trend toward lower scores.

“It may come back to officiating,” Self stated. “Not that the games are being called wrong, but games are maybe being called in a manner in which there is more physical play. My personal opinion ... I think there are less free throws being shot.

“I think there is a little bit of reason for concern. I don’t think it’s like baseball where you juice the ball to get fans interested. I don’t think we’re to that point yet. I’d have to say it’s more how the physical play has kept teams getting free throws, but as long as it’s called the same on both ends, it’s still fair,” Self added.

Self conceded that, “I do think as a coach, it’s much easier to get a team great defensively than great offensively. Maybe there’s a little more emphasis on that. I don’t know. I don’t think we’ll have any problem maintaining the interest level even though fans definitely want to see high-flying scoring plays. I think this is more a phase that can be addressed without any major (rules) changes. Regardless of how you call it and regardless of the rules, it’s still a fabulous game.”

Facing a series of questions with negative overtones following another all-important road victory, Self defended his team after Monday’s 61-56 victory over West Virginia — one in which KU saw a 15-lead dip to two in the second half.

“If you look across America, there’s a lot of teams that would give anything to be 5-0 on the road. Hardly anybody in America has done that with the schedule we’ve played. We shouldn’t make any excuses for winning games away from home,” Self said. “Sure, I want to do better. They (Jayhawks) want to do better, and we will do better. It’s frustrating because I know we have to play better to play for high stakes. Still yet, I look across America, there are a lot of teams learning lessons through tough losses. We’ve been fortunate we haven’t done that. We’ve played well enough not to lose.”

Self’s Jayhawks have played well enough to ascend to the top spot in the USA Today coaches’ poll and No. 2 in the Associated Press poll.

“We need to understand it doesn’t mean much in January,” Self said. “But I am proud of our guys how well they’ve done so far.”

Block party update: KU senior center Jeff Withey needs seven blocks in Saturday’s 3 p.m. home game against Oklahoma State to tie Greg Ostertag for No. 1 on KU’s all-time blocked shot list. Withey has 251 blocks, Cole Aldrich 253 and Ostertag 258. Chris Mihm of Texas is the Big 12 record holder at 264.

“It doesn’t matter to me at all,” Withey said, asked if he would like to set the record at home. “As long as I get it, I’m happy.”

Strong start for KU: The Jayhawks, who have won eight straight Big 12 titles, hold a two-game lead over three teams after seven games of the 2012-13 Big 12 Conference season. KU is 7-0, followed by Kansas State (5-2), Oklahoma (5-2) and Baylor (5-2). Oklahoma State and Iowa State are three back at 4-3.

Ticket talk: A limited number of tickets for the 2013 Phillips 66 Big 12 Men’s Basketball Championship, scheduled for March 13-16 at Sprint Center, will be available to the public, the league office has announced. Fans may participate in an online drawing process for the opportunity to purchase up to four all-session tickets. To fill out a form, go to sprintcenter.com. The registration period begins at 5 p.m, Friday and ends at 4:59 p.m. on Feb. 6.

Comments

Priest Fontaine 1 year, 8 months ago

Nerds Noel got 12 the other night. Time to get Withey with it.

Eric Dawson 1 year, 8 months ago

"Anybody getting 12 blocks is because the other team was stupid." SEC basketball this year.

Also, I saw highlights of 6 of NN's 12 blocks, and on 3 he clearly fouled the shooter, but the refs whistles were strangely quiet. Just sayin'...

Sam Constance 1 year, 8 months ago

Well of COURSE the officials didn't blow their whistles.

Noel already had 4 fouls and fouling him out of the game would have seriously hindered Kentucky's ability to survive the comeback onslaught from Ole Miss.

To heterohilfiger: that was the first time this year that Noel has gotten more than 7 blocks. Withey has done it twice (9 and 12).

The other thing worth noting is that Noel seems to have been benefiting over the last 5 games or so from not having the crazy reputation as a shot-blocker that Withey has had for a year and a half now. I would expect the way people attack Noel to start to change, now that he's going to get the full-on ESPN hype treatment.

I've already seen/heard rumblings for giving Noel the DPOY, which would be the most ridiculous thing ever.

JayHawkFanToo 1 year, 8 months ago

I posted in the Rio thread the two photos that ESPN featured of Noel blocking shots, and they are both obvious fouls.

Steve Reigle 1 year, 8 months ago

Watched that game. Several of those blocks likely would have been called shot alterations by most officials, rather than blocks.

Steve Reigle 1 year, 8 months ago

Watched that game. Several of those blocks likely would have been called shot alterations by most scorers, rather than blocks.

Michael Sillman 1 year, 8 months ago

The recent close games don't worry me much at all. This is not gymnastics or diving. There are no style points for scoring margin.

I also don't really believe that there is much momentum that carries over from game to game either. Each game stands mostly by itself. Every game comes down to matchups.

I will honestly be more worried about the next game if we blow somebody out.

Just keep winning, Jayhawks.

Eric Dawson 1 year, 8 months ago

Actually, despite the low scoring, so far scoring margin really hasn't been an issue. KUMBB SM this year through the 1st 19 games was 15.8ppg. How does that compare to years past? Going back as far as 1996, we get --

2008: 19.0

1997: 18.8

2010: 17.4

1998: 17.2

2007: 16.7

2011: 16.5

2002: 16.2

2013: 15.8

source: http://www.rockchalk.com/boards/read.php?4,18413,18413#msg-18413

Granted, the earlier years represent full seasons, and if the scoring continues at current levels, the 15.8 scoring margin will likely drop some. But the way our defense is playing -- arguably the best KU defense we've seen since 2008 -- a string of wins averaging out to KU 66-50 keeps the stat right there. And don't forget, we still have TT in AFH and two games against TCU where we should see much higher SMs per game to help the team maintain that average SM.

jakejayhawk 1 year, 8 months ago

Besides the points you make, this is just some very fine research! Glad to have you on our side. And thank you for your service to our country.

TenaciousD 1 year, 8 months ago

Good points, Jaylark. And Coach Self went to his bench very early in the WV game, on the road, just to make sure we didn't blow them out early and not learn anything from that road game. Self is a master at orchestrating the game so he can create some of those anxious moments on the road that the team has to fight through to get the victory. He knows those experiences are priceless come tournament time.

Roy's teams at KU were so used to trying to run the other team out of the building that in March when they had an "oh sh#t" moment, and were forced to play a grind out half-court game, they didn't handle the pressure well.

Sure, Self would like to have the bench guys come in and keep or expand the lead, but he also sees the value in the case where the game becomes closer and more tense.

This team is super tough and fun to watch.

Jabez Harlan 1 year, 8 months ago

Fans on this thread complain about refs, pace, shot clock, etc. for KU's offense woes. I think it is time we all were honest and called it like it is. Elijah Johnson had not lived up to expectations of the fans, the coaches, or himself.

He turns the ball over at an alarming rate, he passes when he should shoot, and he is not nearly aggressive enough throughout the game. There are spots where he plays brilliantly and makes a shot that makes me say, "wow!" Unfortunately, those spots are too few and far between.

Elijah Johnson's offense rating is 95 which is higher than only two players getting at least 10 percent of minutes. He is currently higher than Jamari Traylor and Andrew White. EJ needs to step up and become a consistent scorer for KU to be a better offense.

Naadir Tharpe has saved the Jayhawks this year with some shots that he has made in late game situations. He is playing like EJ played last year. This may be unfair, but EJ needs to play like TT did last year!!

J.T. Even 1 year, 8 months ago

Withey isn't getting as many blocks any more because opposing teams are afraid to come into the paint, with his extraordinary success as a shot blocker, or changing their shots just enough to make him miss. The impact is still the same as if he were getting 10 blocks/game. He will still get his, and will go down as the leading shot blocker in KU history.

KEITHMILES05 1 year, 8 months ago

Bill thinks less free throws shot? My goodness! Look at our HORRID FT shooting against WVa of 18-32. That isn't less free throws but the team not MAKING those free throws. LOL

Sam Constance 1 year, 8 months ago

Come on, dude. That was one game. On the season, we are actually quite respectable from the charity stripe.

jaybate 1 year, 8 months ago

Yo, Keetie, we make 72% this year. Its not the best, but it's good for 19-1. LOL

machinegun 1 year, 8 months ago

We are going to lose a game or two because of our poor shooting. Not surprising for any team. But 19-1, 7-0, is amazing to me. Credit the coaches and players on their defensive toughness. No helmets or pads out there. Our guys get beat up every game.

Ben McLemore is the most consistent shooter on the team. Focus on him during the next game. He gets pushed and pulled, bumped and hip checked, as he tries to get away from the defense. He deserves a lot of credit.

So does the rest of the team, especially Elijah Johnson. His leadership is evident and the encouragement that he provides the other guys during the game should not be overlooked.

Rest assured, Coach Self and the rest of the coaches are working hard to figure it out. Hit the bunnies. Improve the free throw shooting. Get the feet set and square up on 3s. Take your pick.

Sam Constance 1 year, 8 months ago

Our shooting isn't really the problem. We rank 23rd in the country in eFG% at 53.5.

And if we want to be honest about it, our offense is still pretty decent, with an overall ranking of 20th in offensive efficiency.

Our raw scoring numbers are being hindered by two major factors: turnovers and pace.

In terms of TOs, we rank an atrocious 138th nationally in TO%--we turn the ball over on a whopping 19.5% of our possessions.

And for pace, we rank 158th nationally.

Combine those two things and scoring is going to be a problem.

actorman 1 year, 8 months ago

The difference is that pace doesn't really hurt anything, as that affects both teams, whereas turnovers can be the difference between returning to the championship game and having another Northern Iowa.

And it's not just the turnovers that worry me, it's the TYPE of turnovers. It's one thing if you're trying to be aggressive and get a charging foul; it's another thing entirely if you make a lazy, half-hearted pass that gets picked off and taken the other way for an easy score. We're doing that WAY too often.

Sam Constance 1 year, 8 months ago

I don't think shooting is really our issue. We rank 23rd in the country in eFG% at 53.5%.

More likely, the culprit for low raw scoring numbers is a combination of pace and turnovers. In terms of TOs, we give the ball up on a staggering 19.5% of our possessions, which places us at 138th nationally.

And in terms of tempo, this is the slowest-playing team that Self has had in his time at Kansas. How Self's KU teams rank nationally fluctuates all over the place (we've been as high as 53rd and as low as 163rd) because obviously the rest of the landscape changes around them. However, in terms of pure tempo numbers, this team is only managing 66.9 possessions per game, which makes it the only Bill Self KU team to sink below 67 (last year's team finished with 67.0 possessions per game exactly).

Gene Jackson 1 year, 8 months ago

"Scores such as Wisconsin 45, Minnesota 44; Georgetown 37, Tennessee 36; and Arkansas 56, Vanderbilt 33 are just three examples of some games played at an excessively slow pace." Interesting how 1+1+1+1+1+1=3.

Jonathan Allison 1 year, 8 months ago

the key here is that the text reads, "three examples of... games".

John Strayer 1 year, 8 months ago

hard not to read past the semi-colons....Wisc vs Minn, Georgetown vs Tenn, Ark vs Vandy.

KansasComet 1 year, 8 months ago

These are the type of games that get you to the Final Four. We must win ugly games. I do not care about turnovers and missed shots more than I care about winning!

brad53 1 year, 8 months ago

I agree 100%, ugly wins are still wins. We will get those games in the tourney. Averaging 13 TO a game and still winning. If we cut those down the games might not even be close.

jhox 1 year, 8 months ago

The game gets more physical every year. It is not nearly as pretty to watch as it once was but, fortunately, it plays into KU's hands. We have a coach who is happy to embrace physical basketball, and one who loves recruiting and building tough players.

The game is getting much more difficult to officiate. An official can't possibly call every true foul anymore, as there are way too many of them. It is also part of the officials job to help move the game along. If every "by the rule" foul was called games would take 3 hours and teams would be lucky to have enough guys left on the floor to finish games. Consequently, it becomes a game of individual judgement (relative to other fouls, how bad was that one?)

When I was in college a slap down on the ball was an automatic foul, even if it was a clean contact with the ball. Now a defender can rip the ball handlers arm away from the ball and, half the time it isn't called. Now just about anything seems to go in the pant.

Personally, I'd like to see officials tighten things up a bit. Basketball is much more artistic when the game is officiated as it was originally intended. But I don't blame officials as that's just the way the game has evolved. I've been an official, and it is a very difficult job. The more loosely you officiate, the tougher that job gets. I really believe that it was once possible for an official to call a perfect game, but those days are long gone. Now it is more about managing the chaos.

REHawk 1 year, 8 months ago

And the "chaos" results in too many players being carried to the locker rooms with concussions or serious orthopedic blows. I really love this sport as it has been played at the collegiate level, but grow increasingly dismayed at the brute force which advances incrementally from season to season. I would become an extremely stressed out parent if my child played the game today, especially if he were a 185 pound guard with a penchant for sliding into the paint. Hardly a chance that he survives 4 seasons without lifetime damage.

KansasComet 1 year, 8 months ago

Good post. The only thing I don't like as far as officiating goes is that they tend to allow flopping to draw a charge. This needs to change. I wish there was a way to penalize the obvious flop.

FearlessJayhawk 1 year, 8 months ago

Maybe if they took away the shot clock and go back the way the game was meant to be played, there would be more scoring. The game was originally meant to be a game of finesse. If they called fouls like they used to, everyone would be gone by half-time. Now it is all about slamma-jamma brute strength dunkarama. Players are simply not as good at shooting as they used to be. Can you imagine if Pete Marravich was playing today? He would score a hundred points on a regular basis.

Phoghorn 1 year, 8 months ago

Agreed. If we could outlaw dunking, erase the three-point line, extend the shot clock, eliminate the alternate possession, and call fouls, and traveling closer, the game would have a much closer resemblance to its roots.

Now, if you want to watch traditional basketball, you have to go to a Women's game. Obviously they still have the 3 ball, but Women's BB is still more about finesse and shooting.

HAWKTOPIA 1 year, 8 months ago

28 second shot clock, or 26 in a year or two.

Jeremy Paul 1 year, 8 months ago

I'm confused. "Longest current streaks" of what?

brooksmd 1 year, 8 months ago

NCAA appearances. Actually Kansas is the leader not Kenstinky.

Jonathan Allison 1 year, 8 months ago

Longest active streak of NCAA tourney appearances, and those boneheads switched Kansas and Kentucky! Kentucky was in the NIt in 2009. Kansas has made the NCAA tourney every year since 1989.

actorman 1 year, 8 months ago

Why am I not surprised? I remember when KU had been to back-to-back Final Fours, and only TWO years later they were constantly showing the last team to do it as someone earlier.

brooksmd 1 year, 8 months ago

I thought that's what I saw last night but since I don't have a dvr I wasn't able to review it. Just another shining example of ESPN's slobbering love affair with Kenstinky, Duke and UNC.

On another note it was fun to watch LSU beat Fizzou last night. Sure wish we had us a pg like Pressly though.

Steve Gantz 1 year, 8 months ago

Were you there? I was wanting to go but had a meeting. I really wanted to go and give the student section a few ideas for heckling misery, such as no final fours, norfolk state, etc.

brooksmd 1 year, 8 months ago

No. Caught it on tv by accident. Actually thought it was an indoor SEC football game. Rough. However, if I'd known I might have gone. My poster would've said "I'm from Kansas, trust me you'll learn to hate Fizzou."

Maybe we can catch them the next time Fizzou is in town.

Ben Kane 1 year, 8 months ago

it's just typical of ESPN which makes me sick.

Jonathan Allison 1 year, 8 months ago

KU Athletics should pressure ESPN to post a formal apology for this, and air it live next Wednesday when Kansas plays TCU.

Ben Kane 1 year, 8 months ago

If anyone knows where to send an email for either espn or kuathletics for this i'd be more than happy to oblige.

James McGuire 1 year, 8 months ago

Send it to Jim Marchiony, KU's associate athletic director for public affairs.

jmarch@ku.edup>jmarch@ku.edu>

Ben Kane 1 year, 8 months ago

Very shocked that he responded and did so in a timely manner. thanks for the addy.

James McGuire 1 year, 8 months ago

I've emailed him before and had the same reaction. For a guy in his position to take the time to respond personally and quickly was astounding to me. You're welcome.

Ben Kane 1 year, 8 months ago

he's passing the info on to ESPN. His point was that it was likely a mistake in the truck of someone being confused between ku and uk and that ESPN in no way would want that mistake.

Sam Constance 1 year, 8 months ago

I'd also recommend sending a picture of that screenshot to ESPN's "ombudsman".

He/she clearly has a lot of free time, based on how little oversight ESPN seems to exercise on their own coverage. This would definitely fall under his/her purvey.

Sam Constance 1 year, 8 months ago

For those who are interested, here is the email form to the ESPN Ombudsman (now called the Poynter Project):

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/columns/story?id=2826900

Steve Gantz 1 year, 8 months ago

ESPN is showing us playing TCU, but didn't air KU-KState?

jgkojak 1 year, 8 months ago

The Fox News guys must be working for ESPN now.

Every time a Republican congressman gets caught in a sex scandal or something, the Fox chiron says "Rep. Smith (D)"

Steve Gantz 1 year, 8 months ago

I sent it to awfulannouncing, maybe they'll post it.

jaybate 1 year, 8 months ago

"Getting theTravis Ford Short Jokes Out of the Way Early So a Good Coach Doesn't Upset Us"

• Travis Ford is so short he was turned down for a job at a flea circus.

• Travis Ford is so short he can walk under a closed door.

• Travis Ford is so short he wears shrunken hand-me-downs from a Ken Doll.

• Travis Ford is so short his feet won't reach the ground on a skateboard.

• Travis Ford is so short he jumps to flush the toilette in a doll house.

• Travis Ford is so short he wears elevator shoes on a date with a pygmie.

• Travis Ford is so short a little truth goes forever.

• Travis Ford is a heckuva coach no matter what height he is.

REHawk 1 year, 8 months ago

The one sure thing in which Travis Ford falls definitely short: conference wins.

jaybate 1 year, 8 months ago

You know, coach, I was down on Ford for a while, because:

a) he played for Misery;

b) playeed for Kenvicty;

c) he's only 270-200 career; and

c) he didn't put a well rounded team around James Anderson, who deserved better.

But I feel like he has a way of playing and coaching and he has stuck to his guns, and he seems to have some substance to him.

His team this season shows he has finally adapted to XTReme Ball and has tailored it more like a Self team without any shooting ability. I really think this team could be very tough for KU to handle, though of course we will whip their bottoms in the end. :-)

Everything about Travis Ford's associations makes me mistrust him.

But I am trying to not judge the book by the cover here. I am trying to give a weasel a chance to turn into a mink. :-)

I know, I know, no good deed goes unpunished.

But I sense he's got the pieces to build on, if he can just go out and get some shooters to go with what he has.

Boone may not let him though.

Boone knows Travis Ford has enough pieces in place that Boone could attract another up and comer into Stillwater to build off those pieces.

And, well, Boone probably didn't get where he is by giving anyone any breaks. :-)

Woody Cragg 1 year, 8 months ago

How about...Shaking hands with Travis Ford is like "shaking hands with shorty?" Fear not, for those who don't understand, I won't explain in public!

Foster Coburn 1 year, 8 months ago

So KU is 5-0 on the road this season and Mizzou is STILL looking for their first road win. They can leave the conference, but they can't leave mediocrity.

Beate Williams 1 year, 8 months ago

It is incredible that ESPN could publish/telecast something so wrong. And to make matters worse they didn't even have Kansas on the list. And the truth be known, if it had not been for the NCAA penalizing Kansas after the '88 win because Brown gave a kid money to go to his grandmother's funeral, noone would be close to as many appearances in the tournament.

I guess ESPN assumes that since the team name starts with "K" it had to be Kensucky who has the streak. They hate to have to admit that Kansas is the home of basketball as it is known today and is the mecca for all who appreciate basketball. When we surpass Kensucky next year in total wins they will find some way to try and say it is not justified, but we know and we will always be supreme. I might be getting a bit too boisterous, but facts are facts.

jgkojak 1 year, 8 months ago

Not sure our 19-11 would have gotten us an invite in 88-89!

I always thought that last year's champion should get an auto berth to the tourney - yes, I know that means KY would be in this year for sure, but to allow them to defend their title, no matter their seed.

milehighhawk 1 year, 8 months ago

Seth Greenberg (two days ago?) credited Elijah for good D when Rio was playing...and then referred to "Kevin Johnson" as having a good year for us.

Laughable.

Sam Constance 1 year, 8 months ago

Seth Greenberg was a terrible coach who liked to get on those god-awful selection shows and gravel and beg for his middle-of-the-road, barely-mediocre teams to get in the tournament.

It's no surprise he makes a terrible analyst too.

Jonathan Allison 1 year, 8 months ago

I agree about the flops/charge calls.

And I thought that the NCAA was making it a point of emphasis this season to call the blocking foul when a block/charge is close or a tie. They made a big deal about it in October and November on how they were going to be calling less charges and more blocks, but it hasn't happened that way at all from what I've seen.

Joe Baker 1 year, 8 months ago

Most refs do not know a charge if it hit them in the face. I'm convinced that most do not know how to call it. I've watched several no call charges both for and against KU, so no bias. I've watched blatant charges go uncalled for whatever reason. I'm not the sharpest tool in the game, but I know a charge.

There are many calls that are interesting, I hardly ever hear or see a lane violation unless a ref awakens from their slumber and calls it. In fact, I've watched refs when offensive players get in the lane and campout. I do not even see very many refs throw a count on the player in the lane, again both for and against KU. Also, carrying is another funny little call that hardely gets called, yet I see players do it all the time. In fact, I just saw KU get called for carrying. I believe it was Tharpe a few games ago. It's really getting ridiculous that most refs do not know their job.

I would think the NCAA would start spot checking and reviewing games. Do refs get evaluated on their performances? Do they get pay evals? I would start pulling random games and watching refs as they work or just watch a freakin' game to see how refs are performing. NOT ALL REFS ARE SUBJECT TO THIS POST, just the majority it seems. Ultimately, like Self mentioned, it's a game of human beings and you have to accept the good with the bad. Sometimes you get it and sometimes you don't.

Sam Constance 1 year, 8 months ago

My all-time least favorite "charge" call is when an offensive player is moving in one direction--straight line and all that--and a defender approaches him and gets "in position", and the second there is a shade of contact, the defender goes crashing to the floor like there's a sniper in the rafters.

However, the part that makes it so infuriating is that the defender often falls away from the offensive player in a direction that doesn't fit with the offensive player's vector. Sometimes it's subtle--the defender falls backwards at a 15-degree angle from the offensive player's forward motion. But a lot of times, the defender falls away at a much more obvious angle.

The worst version of this attempt to draw a charge I've ever seen was against WVU, when the Zangief-looking fellow came out to try and get position on a driving Jayhawk, and when the slightest of contact occurred, the WVU player went falling backwards, at a 90-degree angle from the direction of the ballhandler.

To the refs (very slight) credit, they didn't call a charge. But conversely, they didn't call a blocking foul either, which is something that NEEDS to happen when a player hits the floor because an offensive player and a defender "collide". This is especially important in the paint, where a body on the ground is prone to causing serious injuries--rolled ankles, twisted knees, etc.

That would help curb the rash of flopping-as-defense. If there were real penalties for trying to draw a foul where there clearly was none.

If the NCAA is concerned about the difficulty of making such a judgement call (understandable), then try something new and radical. Have one of the game's officials review all block/charge calls, and in cases where the defender "flops", make note of it and the penalty for the next game is that defender only gets 4 fouls before fouling out. Repeat offenders could be penalized more for effect.

Probably logistically not feasible, but something needs to be done to create a counter-incentive for flopping.

Sam Constance 1 year, 8 months ago

Yes, but neither of those solutions can work for college basketball.

Fines are pretty obvious, but the techs work in the NBA, partly because they are allowed 6 fouls instead of 5. Plus, I think the NBA has a way of distinguishing certain fouls from counting against the in-game total.

Although I guess that wouldn't be a whole lot different than my proposal of losing a foul to give in the next game...

Woody Cragg 1 year, 8 months ago

I swear this game gets tougher & more physical each season as refs continue to deep throat the whistles. What drives me to drink is that the announcers will go along with the non-calls by saying, "the contact did not effect the shooter, or it just was incidental, " or some insane rationalization that makes pushing off or moving screens legitimate, then turn around & call a BS hand check. Yeah defenses are better & easier to coach blah, blah, but by allowing the game to to reach this level of physicality it has allowed lesser talented athletes & coaches to compete on the same stage with others far more skilled, and it's created parity solely for tv money, or as I call it, job insurance. Of course I will refrain from naming names, although one quickly comes to mind (LOL), but how many mid majors or never relevant before programs are getting upsets in the dance like, for instance, last years 1st round? Heh, heh, damn the luck! It's not the same game as even 10 yrs ago, let alone when we were young. Palming the ball is so wildly blatant now virtually all guards do it & get away with it. KY could get called for moving screens about 50% of the time, and Pierre Jackson pushes off defenders with his left hand everytime he drives with the ball. Had we a mediocre product here, would be difficult for me to watch as many boring games as there are anymore. Excuse me for venting, but it just ain't the same anymore "Roosevelt", not even close to the skill & finess we grew up watching with guys like Jo Jo & Oscar & Cousey.

Phoghorn 1 year, 8 months ago

It has been a pleasure to see these low scoring games as of late. I just wish that it was purely about defense, and not about poor shot selection and bad no-calls. (As opposed to good no-calls, which do exist, sometimes in the form of a makeup call).

Tony Bandle 1 year, 8 months ago

When I was at Kansas, I struggled to score also!!

nostradavid 1 year, 8 months ago

Sorry for your struggles, Oak. Lawrence and the Hill were the most target-rich environments I've ever seen. Of course, all of the bars were full of drunk 18 year old coeds back then.

Woody Cragg 1 year, 8 months ago

Bob Knight is big on the shot fake, which IMO is virtually non existant anymore. A guy got me in the air once, then came up as I went down on top of his head only to knock my front teeth all the way through my bottom lip. When I took a drink of water it ran straight down my chest with all the blood! Couldn't eat for about a week. Wish I could figure out how to get that result from something far less invasive!

Jonathan Allison 1 year, 8 months ago

you mean, "it took a long time before you got used to it"?

jayhawkinnc 1 year, 8 months ago

not sure if we would have made it to the NCAA tourney in '89 had we not been banned that year. Granted, K-State went into the tourney at 19-10 as a 6 seed, but we were 19-12 after losing in the Big 8 Tourney and at one point we had lost 8 straight games in the middle of the season. NCAA selection committee might not have been very kind to us in that regard.

Tony Bandle 1 year, 8 months ago

A totally baffling season whereby we were 16-3 at one point, lost a heartbreaker to KSU by 1, then lost seven more and ended up 19-12, going 3-9 over the last dozen games.

Tuskin 1 year, 8 months ago

At the time, I thought it was that we didn't have that year-end goal to keep striving for. Maybe.

Joe Baker 1 year, 8 months ago

+1, another case and point - I'm baffled about officials. They are human but their inability to get calls right are becoming all too common. It's really becoming evident in many games where refs are determining games with too many bad calls or no calls. But hey, they are human and allowed to make mistakes.

Woody Cragg 1 year, 8 months ago

Sometimes that is called traveling when the feet leave the floor, at least that's the way I learn't it. Calling a TO when hitting the deck for a split second is also as much an abuse as is the flop.

Sam Constance 1 year, 8 months ago

I have NEVER understood that way of calling those plays.

Because strictly by the rules, the fraction of a second that it takes to stuff a shot doesn't pass muster for the necessary establishment of joint possession.

I would hazard a guess that it's traveling, because if a defender sticks his hand on the ball and causes an offensive player to take steps without another dribble, that would be travel.

jhox 1 year, 8 months ago

What you describe is, by rule, a jump ball. If the shooter has the ball blocked and comes down with the ball, without it hitting the floor or the backboard, that is by rule a jump ball, and a proper call.

Though I do recall a recent call involving KY and a block, and I seem to remember the ball making contact with the backboard before he came back down with it. Technically it was a very tough play to distinguish in real time, but I believe it was a blown call. But I did understand how the ref missed it because the ball barely touched the backboard.

Steve Gantz 1 year, 8 months ago

If you watch pro basketball and compare it to the college product you'd wonder why anyone watches college ball. The shooting in college has gotten horrendous. By comparison the shooting in the NBA is spectacular. If college players made shots like what pros make routinely Dicky V would fall all over himself with excitement.

In other words scoring is down because college players suck at shooting. And when a sure fire NBA player comes along like BMac, he stands out because he can shoot the ball.

There's very little interesting to watch in a college game, if it's not your team playing, than an in the 40's or 50's score.

Now if two teams I don't particularly cheer for are up in the 80's and 90's, then yes, I'm watching.

And as a fan of one of the guilty parties, Wisconsin, I plead the 5th because I love the Badgers nearly as much as the Jayhawks. In Madison it's great defense that makes it watchable!

Joe Baker 1 year, 8 months ago

Dicky boy falls all over himself regardless of college bball.

Woody Cragg 1 year, 8 months ago

Have been watching some A10 games lately & LaSalle & VCU shoot PDG. Also the Gonzaga vs Butler game had good, efficient shooting. But you're right on target about the shooting skills & especially McLemore. Major conf CBB is like what JB calls Xtreme muscle ball. I can take it or leave it. Is almost as enjoyable to listen on radio as to witness such poor play & officiating. I like Bob Davis, but I miss ole' Max.

Tuskin 1 year, 8 months ago

Just like, if you watch basketball highlights and compare them to the real time product, you'd wonder why anyone watches live. The live shooting is way worse.

stm62 1 year, 8 months ago

As Roy use to say, basketball is a FINESSE game. I agree. Save the physical play for football and the NBA. The students of the game appreciate the artistry of a proper screen, great defensive position, excellent ball movement, verticality, etc..

YuCoJayHawk 1 year, 8 months ago

I don't have the stats, but it seems to me that this KU team shoots free throws much better as a team than in the last 4 to 5 years. When was the last time KU had 2 of the top 3 FT shooters in the big 12? (Mclemore and Releford) ever? Jacque Vaughn? Jeff Withey seems to have regressed at the line this year and Ellis/Traylor are massively struggling. But the rest of the team seems good at the line. I think the WV game was the aberration of the season, and will probably end up being the worst FT game of the season. Better now than in the tment (2003 Syracuse), right?. And if Ben Mclemore is shooting the best FT % in the Big 12, he needs to be driving more, imho.

Joe Baker 1 year, 8 months ago

Traylor maybe, Ellis hits at least 1-2. He's much more capable than most. He is letting his head cause distractions with his game.

David Meredith 1 year, 8 months ago

I think the players now are bigger, more muscular, more athletic, not as much space on the court to operate as in the past. Shooting is not as much a premium as athleticism. As Bill Self said, it is easier to build a better defensive team than offensive team, especially with so many early departures of the top players for the pros. Look at a great coach like Rick Pitino, who used to be known for up tempo, high scoring basketball, but he knows nowadays it is easier to build a team like he has at Louisville who is physical and relies on only a couple of players to score. Kansas is very lucky to have Bill Self, because his style of coaching and types of players he recruits are tailor made for success in todays NCAA and the defensive nature of it. It will be much more difficult for a Roy Williams style of trying to reach 90 points to be as successful as it was 15 years ago.

Jackster 1 year, 8 months ago

This is way off subject but for the game opening jump ball, I think they should drop it from the scoreboard versus letting the ref's toss it up. I've noticed recently that more and more players are tipping it on the rise which means a 6 foot guy could get to it faster than a 7 foot guy. Plus it would be fun to watch!!!

Andy Tweedy 1 year, 8 months ago

Keeping McLemore out of foul trouble would help put a few more points on the board. The way EJ is shooting, McLemore's presence surely will open up the offense considerably...so QUIT FOULING, BMac!!!

robertson4ku 1 year, 8 months ago

The biggest reason for our scoring droughts this year can be attributed to not having a go-to man when we need a basket. Although McLemore looks like he could eventually be that guy he isn't at that level yet because of his unselfish demeanor he tends to defer to the upperclassmen. In years past we have always had the low post presence that could get us a basket when we have really needed one. Guys like LaFrentz, Collison, Simien, Morris, and Robinson were always capable of taking games over when needed. Not taking anything away from Withey, because I think his improvement has been remarkable, but he is not your prototypical back to the basket low post scorer you can throw the ball to on the block and expect to get a basket like the players I just mentioned. If you don't have the dominant low post scorer you have to have a point guard you can isolate that can beat his man off the dribble and get to the paint to lead to some easy baskets. Johnson and Tharpe have done that occasionally but not nearly enough to put pressure on defenses. Theyt have not shown that they can consistently do this. Possible solutions to this scoring problem is as follows:

1) Perry Ellis must get more minutes! He is averaging around 10 but needs to play 20. I know he may not be the high energy guy Kevin Young is but he is our only legitimate low post scoring threat. The more he plays the more confiedent he will get thus the more success KU will have in it's half court offense. 2) Must get Ben McLemore to be more aggressive offensively. He is averaging just over 10 shots a game. He needs to shoot atleast 15 for KU to make a deep run. 3) Play a more up-tempo game. We have the best finishers in college basketball. McLemore, Relaford, and Johnson are as good as it gets in the open court. We need to apply more full court pressure to speed up the game and force our oppostion to take quicker shots! We need to push the ball more on made or missed baskets! We have better athletes so don't make it a half court grind it out game, instead play to your strength!! That's all I got! Roch Chalk Jayhawk!!!!!!

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