Wednesday, March 13, 2013

KU’s Elijah Johnson grows into Jayhawks’ clear leader

Kansas guard Elijah Johnson encourages strong play from his teammates against Texas Christian during the second half on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Elijah Johnson encourages strong play from his teammates against Texas Christian during the second half on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.


During the first two seasons of his college basketball career, Kansas University guard Elijah Johnson sat in the shadows and watched the Jayhawks rack up 68 victories in 74 games.

While averaging just 11 minutes per game during those two seasons, Johnson used the pine time to study players such as Sherron Collins, Marcus and Markieff Morris, Tyshawn Taylor and Thomas Robinson as they led the Jayhawks both on the stat sheet and in the huddle.

“I learned a lot from those guys,” the 6-foot-4 senior said during a recent interview with the Journal-World. “I always thought about how I would go about it when I looked at them in different situations. ... For those first two years, I watched, I watched, I watched, and now that I’m out there it’s just slow motion to me.”

Those days, with Collins serving as the undisputed leader during Johnson’s freshman season and Taylor gradually working his way into the same role over the course of the next two seasons, Johnson was merely a backup point guard and offered a different option off the bench. He did what he could to get reps, played when called upon and tried to keep track of the lessons in a mental scrap book.

Playing alongside Taylor as a junior allowed Johnson to flourish. He became a starter and the team’s third-leading scorer (10.2 points per game), averaged 32 minutes per game and had the freedom to fit into games as needed — no restrictions, no burdens. Basketball, the way Johnson played it, looked simple. And fun. Shoot, pass, score, rebound, defend. And it was fun, of course. The Jayhawks reached the national title game and Johnson, who had a fantastic NCAA Tournament in 2012, was a big part of the reason why.

But even as the fun and freedom led to new heights, Johnson admitted it took awhile to get used to his new role.

“I think that was probably the hardest adjustment I have had here,” he said of transitioning from point guard to combo guard. “Coach never told me not to play point guard but it just felt a little different.”

Now in his final season, Johnson once again has had to fight to adjust, this time moving back to the position he always considered to be most natural.

“In my opinion, I’ve always been a point guard,” Johnson said. “Ever since I was real young, I always have been able to rally people. It’s just been a part of my character. It’s just me, really.”

Ranked out of high school by as the fifth-best point-guard prospect in the nation, Johnson’s return to the point has been hard to evaluate. Early on, he looked to be in control, running the offense effortlessly, getting others involved on each possession and operating with the poise and confidence of a player who had been in the program for four seasons.

“Elijah has to become an extension of the coaching staff and of me,” said KU coach Bill Self at the beginning of Big 12 play. “And I think he’s done a pretty good job of doing that. He’s a bright kid and been around a lot and played in big games, so he gets it.”

At the same time, there were moments — stretches, even — when Johnson disappeared and looked nothing like the cold-blooded, confident gamer he was as a junior. During the down times, he was far less explosive and offensive-minded than he was during last season’s run to the title game. Johnson will be the first to tell you that his numbers aren’t what he expected or even what they should be. But it’s not numbers Johnson is worried about heading into Thursday’s 2 p.m., Big 12 tournament quarterfinal against either West Virginia or Texas Tech. It’s wins. And leadership. And as he tries to deliver both, he often goes back to the lessons he learned from Collins and Taylor during his first three years in Lawrence.

“Watching Sherron,” Johnson recalled, “the way he was just so focused at the end of the games; I would try to talk to him and he didn’t want to be bothered, he was just so focused on leading the team. I always kind of let moments like those linger in my head and I’m just trying to let them play out now.”

As his final season in Lawrence has neared its end, Johnson has traveled his rocky road with the confidence of one of those guys who walks barefoot across hot coals — one foot in front of the other, just keep going. He followed up the worst three-game stretch of his life with a 39-point outburst in a huge road victory at Iowa State. It was a highlight moment for Johnson and one of the best performances of all-time by a KU guard, according to Self.

“He was the best player in the country,” Self said following Johnson’s career night.

Johnson followed up the ISU outburst with back-to-back double-digit assist games in blowout victories over West Virginia and Texas Tech, both of which were crucial in delivering a ninth straight Big 12 Conference title to Lawrence.

Johnson’s current teammates have nothing but admiration for the resolve and toughness their leader has displayed this season.

“Especially in practice,” fellow senior Travis Releford said. “There’s times where he’s dead tired and he won’t come out of practice just because he wants to continue to push himself and continue to make the team better. I definitely see it.”

Asked if watching the adjustment from Johnson the scorer to Johnson the distributor had been strange, Releford dismissed the thought.

“That’s what people were worried about,” Releford said. “But he’s a point guard. He’s not supposed to look to score. He’s supposed to create opportunities for others to score. He’s done everything he’s been asked to do.”

Added red-shirt freshman Ben McLemore: “He means a lot to me. On and off the court, he’s like a big brother to me. He talks to me a lot, gives me advice about different things I need to work on and what I need to do. Watching him and learning from him is just awesome.”

For a coach who has had nothing but clear-cut leaders at Johnson’s position since arriving at KU, Self was honest when asked to think back on his preseason assessment of the next man up.

“I probably didn’t know (if he would),” said Self regarding Johnson’s ability to lead. “But I certainly expected (it). I think he’s still growing into it. But I think he’s done well. I think guys listen to him.”

Self continued: “It’s amazing to me: you can have a great leader that’s a big guy, you can have an unbelievable talker as a four man or a guy that everybody follows his lead as a three man, but still, if you were to ask any coach, ‘Who would you want to be your leader?’ everyone would say, ‘I want my quarterback or my point guard to be that guy.’”

Now that the Jayhawks (26-5 overall, 14-4 Big 12) have just two guaranteed games remaining in Johnson’s career, Self’s hoping and expecting that his point guard will take his game to another level.

“So much of Elijah’s criticism, in my perspective, has been (because) he hasn’t made shots,” Self said. “If you make shots and you’re not a true point guard, I think that’s something people can kind of get past. Tyshawn didn’t make shots. Tyshawn was 0-for-21 in the NCAA Tournament or whatever and everybody’s talking about how great he was because he put himself in the game. I think that’s what Elijah’s gotta do the rest of the season, make sure he impacts as many possessions as he possibly can.”

Now that the he’s the one saddled with the responsibility of navigating last year’s national runner-up through the 2013 postseason, Johnson does not plan to let anything change how he attacks his final crack at living up to the standard.

“I think when you’re here, you focus on your task,” Johnson said. “You’re not focused on what happened before you or what’s gonna happen after you; you’re just trying to focus on what you’re here to do. I have a job to do, and that’s what I’m doing.”


wavingthewheatinOH 5 years, 2 months ago

Remember what Coach Self told the boys in a timeout with two minutes to go in regulation in the ‘08 Final Four game? He said, “As far as I’m concerned, you’ve won this game. All you have to do is believe it!” They did, and what was the result? A national championship! It’s a curious thing about believing–whatever you believe for, you get. It’s a law of life: Believing equals receiving.

What we believe is directly reflected in what we speak or write. If our words are full of fear, doubt, and worry, then our negative believing will yield negative results. Negative words become fiery darts that lodge in the minds of the players and coaches, and if believed, eventually result in discouragement, disappointment, and defeat.

Each fan in our Jayhawk Nation can have a positive impact on what happens in Kansas City and at the NCAAs this year, and here’s how: Since words are powerful and their impact can be far-reaching, let’s encourage and inspire our players to more worthy endeavors by speaking/writing positives about them. Let’s help them build confidence in their ability to win. The results of our words will be amazing, and we may even be dancing in the streets by April. It’s worth a shot!

dehawk 5 years, 2 months ago

Well said! Here another fan who believes in the team. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

KGphoto 5 years, 2 months ago

Wow! Where have you been? You need to post more often, and keep bringing the BELIEVE!

For a minute there I thought maybe 100 was back!

nostradavid 5 years, 2 months ago

The post-season is upon us. Time to believe !

Art Tatum reflects.

Art Tatum reflects. by nostradavid

Doug Cramer 5 years, 2 months ago

Would like to see EJ have confidence in himself through the next 9 post season games. EJ...if your dribble drive results in a charge...don't let that discourage you from taking it to the hole on the next possession. We need your dribble drive ability to win the next 9 games. It's huge !

Displayhawk 5 years, 2 months ago

Throw in a few jump-stops and the dribble-drive becomes even more effective!

Displayhawk 5 years, 2 months ago

You call KU pretenders, but MisSOURi was a bottom feeder in the SEC in football, and didn't exactly tear it up in basketball, while KU went to the national championship game! After Norfolk State took you out in the first round last year, you should troll elsewhere!

5 years, 2 months ago

It would appear the LJW staff has become more expeditious in their troll eradication :^)

jaybate 5 years, 2 months ago

"Bill and Elijah: Let Us Not Talk Falsely Now"

Part 1

“If you make shots and you’re not a true point guard, I think that’s something people can kind of get past." --Bill Self on Elijah Johnson

“In my opinion, I’ve always been a point guard..." --Elijah Johnson on Elijah Johnson

And herein lies a big part of the rub at point guard on this year's KU basketball team.

The coach apparently sees the player differently than the player sees the player.

If a coach and a player can't even agree on whether the player is a point guard, how the heck can a player become an extension of his coach on the floor at point guard?

To wit: “Elijah has to become an extension of the coaching staff and of me,” said Bill Self at the beginning of Big 12 play, back in what seeems another century.

Its March 13th, guys. There are two flipping guarantied games left. How much longer to do you plan to take to work through this issue? The last minute of the last guarantied game?

Or are you thinking about maintaining this schizoid approach all the way to the end of the line--the final game in March Madness?

Imagine KU winning it all this season.

Cue the hackneyed, dreadful, "One Shining Moment" theme.

What? The last shot is Self and Elijah debating on whether he's a flipping point guard, or not? Let's get to yes, shall we?

Travis Releford, whom I increasingly venerate as perhaps the sanest, steadiest Jayhawk--player, or coach--put it this way with mild annoyance.

Saith St. Travis of the Immaculate Defense: “But he’s a point guard. He’s not supposed to look to score. He’s supposed to create opportunities for others to score. He’s done everything he’s been asked to do.”

May I add: next.

But Self can't seem to allow "next" in this case.

Bill Self, apparently a combo in his own mind, if ever one viewed oneself as one, seems to be stuck on this issue.

Bill can be this way.

Bill is very big on players seeing themselves the way he sees them.

Bill is trying to do them a favor.

Bill is trying to disabuse players of false illusions.

Marcus saw himself as a 3 playing 4.

Bill saw Marcus as a stretch 4 playing a smattering of 3 in a pinch.

Perry saw himself as a 3 being asked to play 4.

Bill saw Perry as a 4 without a prayer of playing 3, at least this year.

Bill saw (and still sees) Tyshawn Taylor as a combo playing point.

Tyshawn kind of came into his own, when he basically forgot entirely what Bill Self thought about him.

Tyshawn tried the "I'mma combo, I'm notta point guard" thing and went through a stretch of 8-10 turnovers and got to the point where he asked to be benched.

Sometimes, I think forgetting all about what Self thinks of you is actually the final step in Self's freeing of the birds of prey in his player aviary.

Sometimes it seems like the whole point.

KJD 5 years, 2 months ago

At some point Bill will say that 'you've got to free your mind' and go make some plays.

Kent Richardson 5 years, 2 months ago

I think he stole the ball from John Lennon.

Jeff Kilgore 5 years, 2 months ago

Imagine, there's no point guard. It's easy if you try. Just kidding.

I think EJ can get it done!

jaybate 5 years, 2 months ago


"And if you go carryin' pictures of Head Coach Bruce, You ain't gonna make it with anyone on the loose... They say they want an offense with motion, Way-ell, you know, we all wanna see the moving screens..."

Redlandsjhawk 5 years, 2 months ago

And if you talk about revenge, Well you know that you can count me

dehawk 5 years, 2 months ago

jaybate, One of your best post. I agree with your thinking. However I don't think CS vision of Perry will really help Perry. If his goal is the NBA, he is not big enough to fight with the 4's there. 3 would be better for his size.

diegohawk 5 years, 2 months ago

I like Perry as a 3 who we can post up. A 3 - 4. Depending on how the newcomers next year shake out I can see him in this position a little more. He will most certainly be a post player for Bill during his time here but I think you are right in his assessment at making the next level. Possibly by his Jr or Sr year Bill will allow him to display more of his outside game. I hear it is solid. I like that Bill is using this year to acclimate him to the physicality of the college game and developing him inside out. If Perry has an outside game, developing the inside game at this level will make him more NBA ready as he will need both skill sets at the next level.

jaybate 5 years, 2 months ago

Part 2

Sometimes Self seems to be playing this long career of breaking players out of their self-images and breaking them through to who they heck they really are.

Sometimes I think that is why Self is so terrific at taking player to new levels.

Sometimes I think the point here with Elijah is for Self to make him (force him) to realize that he isn't really a point guard, or a two guard, or a combo guard, or any preconceived notion of himself.

There is a reason Self has repeated himself thusly: “He was the best player in the country.”

Sometimes I think the point is to coach Elijah up and then force him beyond all his preconceived notions and into lightening in a bottle, a player that is utterly, purely himself and no one and nothing else. Its just that once in this state, he also happens to be able to play Self Defense and run a team, too.

This is, I believe, is the Glass Bead Game that Magister Self is trying to teach Magister Johnson.

But, hey, guys, we're kind of getting up against a deadline here. And it looks like we've got a grudge match coming up against K-State. We need to work through this. Now!

As Bob Dylan sang:

“There must be some way out of here,” said the joker to the thief.

“There’s too much confusion, I can’t get no relief.

Businessmen, they drink my wine, plowmen dig my earth.

None of them along the line know what any of it is worth.”

“No reason to get excited,” the thief, he kindly spoke.

“There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke.

But you and I, we’ve been through that, and this is not our fate,

So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late.”

All along the watchtower, princes kept the view,

While all the women came and went, barefoot servants, too.

Outside in the distance a wildcat did growl.

Two riders were approaching, the wind began to howl.

--"All Along the Watchtower" Bob Dylan, Dwarf Music

Kent Richardson 5 years, 2 months ago

Who are the two riders approaching? Either JoJo and Danny or Fire and Pestilence? I think Dylan saw the soul of Hendrix and should get credit for a dime as Jimi throws down the alley-opp. Sorry Jay-B you got me started.

Mick Allen 5 years, 2 months ago

All Along The Watchtower,the later rendition by Jimi Hendrix was almost as good. The hour is getting late. Nicely spun.

jaybate 5 years, 2 months ago

jimi was the best guitar burning veteran this country ever produced, I reckon.

But Bob Dylan remains a man with the Big Medicine.

alittlecurious 5 years, 2 months ago

If you haven't heard Jimi's latest album then you should check it out...

jaybate 5 years, 2 months ago

A remix of some kind? I will check it out.

Mick Allen 5 years, 2 months ago

Spot on. You are absolutely correct. BD is the greatest lyricist of all time, with Neil Young not far behind. Obviously I did not feel restricted to making only KU basket ball relevant posts today. Will try to make only germane basketball comments in the future.

jaybate 5 years, 2 months ago

Good for you. Never feel restricted. Respect others' preferences, unless you've got something that you think needs saying. Respect is a two way street. They've got some respecting they need to do too.

Rock Chalk!

Mike Bratisax 5 years, 2 months ago

You cannot leave out Stevie Ray Vaughan!!!

jaybate 5 years, 2 months ago

I saw many of the 80s guitar virtuosos live, when I lived in Los Angeles and had some time to indulge. I saw many of the 60s legends live after their primes during the early 1970s and subsequently.

What I think is that in any given era the top lead guitar players are technically awesome and probably equally good. Art is different than sport and war. You really can compare across time in technical terms, at least across the time of the instruments.

The problem with comparing them across time is that certain generations of music speak more clearly to one than others and so Eric Clapton speaks to me much more clearly than earlier and later guitar players, even though I don't think he is a better guitar player, if you know what I mean.

Beyond a certain point of playing a song skillfully and within the fabric of fellow musicians, playing a guitar is about expressing music with a machine to induce emotion from someone else regarding something you both understand and that matters to you very much.

I am old enough now, I couldn't just call up all the great guitarists from memory, so I cheated with a Rolling Stone 100 best list.

My favorite guitarists are in rank order break out this way.

jaybate 5 years, 2 months ago


Eric Clapton Jimi Hendrix Keith Richards Peter Townsend John Lee Hooker George Harrison John Fogarty Jimmie Page Steve Winwood Carlos Santana Chet Atkins Steven Stills Mark Knopfler B.B. King Chuck Berry Bo Diddley Steve Cropper--what can I say, I loved the Stax record sound he created. Joan Jett--who would have thought a lady would be the one to boil it all back down? Stevie Ray Vaughn Jeff Beck Dave Davies--"You Really Got Me" Mike Bloomfield--changed my life with sound on Highway 61 Revisited John Cipollina--Lead in Quicksilver Messenger Service, he meant nothing to me as a guitarist I cared about, but looking back the music he made made a difference in me. John Fahey--I heard him once on a Takoma label record and it changed what I thought could happen on a acoustic box, then I never thought of him again until this moment. Still he comes rushing back to me. Peter Green--I didn't even know who this guy was until I looked at the Rolling Stone list and the thousand listenings of my John Mayall's Blues Breakers vinyls came roaring back. Scotty Moore--Sun Sessions, Elvis, definitive. T-Bone Walker--they say the solo came from him. Who am I to doubt it? John McLaughlin, but only because of what Miles inspired him to do on Bitches Brew Robbie Robertson has the distinction of speaking to me and me often not liking it, but knowing the guy was phenomenal (yes, I was a Band addict for a while).


Lou Reed is the coolest guitarist that never spoke to me but for Take a Walk on the Wild Side, and that had nothing to do with guitar virtuosity. Van Halen--saw him. It hurt. He did what he did great. But no, it didn't speak to me. Gregg Allman--but for one all time great song he never reached me Angus Young--Satan has his market niche, its just not me. Ry Cooder--guitar players guitar player Mick Ronson--knew he was great, but unless he sneaked one by me with Dylan never spoke to me,especially with Bowie. Kirk Hammett Jerry Garcia--I'm supposed to like him but he never moved me Johnny Ramone--so pure, but the music didn't work for me. Frank Zappa--like his song titles way more than his music. The Edge--U2, great as I know they were never spoke to me. Ron Asheton--Detroit machine music and punk was a crucial driver of music, but it didn't move me. Dick Dale--surf music beyond Pipeline and the Beach Boys never did it for me. Lee Ranaldo--Sonic Youth mattered, and I understood why, but not to me.

jaybate 5 years, 2 months ago


Burt Jansch--anyone Jimmy Page and Neil Young obsessed on has to be found out. Jack White--recent James Burton--old session musician I don't know enough about Freddy King Buddy Guy Eddie Hazel Les Paul Tom Verlaine Hubert Sumlin Vernon Reid Ali Farka Toure Robert Randolph--13 strings on one guitar like instrument. Gotta hear it.


But at the end of the day Jimi Hendrix blew a hole through the fabric of reality and had a more lasting and transforming and frightening and wonderful effect on me than any other single guitarist. Its not just his sound. Its not just his skill. Its not just his flamboyant tricks. Its not even just him. If Bob Dylan was LSD on stage for awhile, and he was, then Jimi Hendrix was LSD on a guitar. I'm not an advocate of LSD. I don't want to go back to it as a port hole to other realities. But I defy anyone to watch and listen to Jimi Hendrix music and argue that such portholes don't exist. Not bad for a vet that did his hitch and then left the program. Some times I wonder if Jimi Hendrix were an MK-Ultra project. He is that far removed from what else was going on before, after, or then. But then I suppose you could have said something similar about Mozard and Beethoven, when they decided to start creating their architectures of sound. Don't know what Jimi was up to. Don't even know if he knew. Just know he impacted waaaaaaaaaaaay beyond his role as lead guitarist.

Sorry I can't be more sophisticated about any of this. I just loved music and systematically tried not to learn too much about it for fear of killing the alchemical joy of it.

JayhawkRock78 5 years, 2 months ago

Jaybate, I have many Dylan favorites but for my money Hendrix really rocked this song bigtime. And I remember it playing in the background of at least two movies in 'Nam, but I digress.

Rock Chalk boys. I look forward to you cutting down the nets in KC this weekend!!!

nostradavid 5 years, 2 months ago

For creating the poster, I scored comp tickets (8th row center) for Mahavishnu Orchestra - the concert that blew the doors off of Hoch Auditorium in 1973. (Far louder than Kansas after Don Kirshner bought them their stadium equipment after the first album.) John McLaughlin was awesome to see. His work since then has been excellent. That was The Inner Mounting Flame tour.

I had the same poster for tix deal later that semester for Weather Report on the I Sing The Body Electric tour. They were already playing the new unreleased album Sweetnighter. “The first hip-hop beat ever recorded!” – Joe Zawinul. Some very large football players were standing in front of the stage adding their own beats with their fists on the stage. Probably the greatest semester in SUA concert history.

John McLaughlin

John McLaughlin by nostradavid

nostradavid 5 years, 2 months ago

Pat Metheny was known as the best guitarist in KC before he graduated from Lee's Summit High in '72. I was in Lawrence at Liberty Hall in 2011 to see Pat Metheny on the What's It All About tour. I also saw him there in 2004 for One Quiet Night. The first set was solo, the second was the Pat Metheny Trio.

I saw his Unity Band at the Folly Theater last summer. That album won him his 20th Grammy award. He's always worth a trip to Lawrence or KC. He's won "Guitarist of the Year" four years in a row from the Downbeat Magazine Readers Poll. Lyrics can get in the way of a great musician :)

Pat and the Pikasso guitar.

Pat and the Pikasso guitar. by nostradavid

nostradavid 5 years, 2 months ago

The above musical replies are a riff on “He was the best player in the country.” Building pride in KU, Lawrence and other great things like our basketball team. Go Hawks!

jaybate 5 years, 2 months ago

"7 Things You Probably Didn't Know about Bruce Weber"

  1. Bruce graduated magna cum laude from the Donald Trump School of Tact.

  2. Bruce is the first coach to have rationalized a force-out season by saying he was "coaching not to lose."

  3. Weber spelled backwards means nothing.

  4. Bruce Weber is not related to Max Weber.

  5. Bruce believes he is among the Top 10 busiest recruiters and Top 5 fertilizer spreaders.

  6. The Weber Grill is not named for Bruce Weber.

  7. Bruce's middle name is Brett. He was not named for Brett Maverick, or Bruce Wayne.

Note: All fiction.

Allen Shepard 5 years, 2 months ago

"All Fiction"

i see what you did there...

jaybate 5 years, 2 months ago

By his Bratanic Majesty's request then. :-)

Robert Brown 5 years, 2 months ago

Is this supposed to be amusing. It's barely coherent and totally lacks relevance. The constant rants of insulating opposing coaches is very tiresome.

jaybate 5 years, 2 months ago

Dang, I gotta stop insulatin' them suckers, doesn't I? :-)

REHawk 5 years, 2 months ago

Insulators sometimes work long tiring hours.

jaybate 5 years, 2 months ago


Good to hear from you, Coach.

Are you fired up for 3 in 3?

Your man, Perry Ellis aka Mr. Perseverance, seems at last ready to strike a blow deep in the heart of the enemy.

Which game will he break out in?

In the Faylor loss, he proved his spurs against the long and slow footed.

His teammates and coach have to have gained a lot of confidence from his work there.

I sense he is ready to carve someone up, but who will it be, Coach?

I reckon Self's plan will be to play him 10-20 vs. WVU/TTech winner, then give him even more work for the second conference tourney game, so that Kevin is waaaaay rested for the 3rd in 3.

What does your crystal ball say?

jaybate 5 years, 2 months ago

Dear EweTexHawk,

What is America coming to, when a Texan doesn't like insulting someone (or being insulted)?

And why do you read that which tires you? Are you a glutton for fatigue? Are you unable to just say no to posters you hold in esteem as low as below mean low tide in Galveston? Are you unable to tap a space bar with a thumb, when your fingers are resting on home row?

By the way, did you know the original name of Galveston was Gaveston, but that the town folk changed the name when they realized it was taken from the character in Edward II? (note: just funnin' wich ya there, EweTex)

And why do you say constant rants?

The word constant means "marked by firm steadfast resolution or faithfulness ." It might also mean "all the time" to you. I am neither steadfastly resolved in dissing opposing coaches, nor am I faithful about it. Nor do I post about opposing coaches all the time. For example, I am posting to you right now, not about opposing coaches. And I post to lots of board rats about lots of subjects. Ipso facto you be wrong-o.

Now I understand that extended exposure to Houston's inadequate urban planning and essential absence of zoning (at least the last time I was forced to hang in your humid city) can have an adverse effect on even the most orderly mind, and can turn a disorderly mind nearly batty, but you've got to get a grip on your use of the word "constant" and on your warped impression of jaybate. It is imperative, Señor Tayhorse-ista.

Penultimately, never forget Robert Rauschenberg's goat in the tire and, while you're not forgetting, sing along with Robert in a deeply shallow voice: "Deep in the Art of Texas.

And finally, by the way, go find yourself a flats boat and catch me something edible down at Gaveston, er, Galveston, okay?

P.S.: Next.

jaybate 5 years, 2 months ago

I goofed. I was writing in the middle of the night, while sitting with a new 10 week old Golden Retriever puppy that I lobbied hard against getting. I lost out as usual with the power that is. The little thing pees and poops on cue, when I get him outside in time, but feels no shame is going on the rug, when I am even a minute late to get to him. Once again, I remember why evolution has selected in XTReme Cuteness into they very young in most species. Without the sky high cuteness co-efficient, the young would be abandoned by the sleep deprived.

So: what I meant to say was: All fiction. No malice.

JayhawkRock78 5 years, 2 months ago

Easiest and kindest way to house train is confined space like a portable kennel where he only has room to stand up and turn around. The dog will hold it until you let him out-and take him directly outside. You will get the sleep you need to keep your mind clear as you move on to part 3,,,6,,,etc.
I like your knowledge of the game. Your observations seem to be accurate, albiet a bit windy at times. You and HEM make a good read.

jaybate 5 years, 2 months ago

Advice taken on the dog training.

And thx for the props.

Dan Harris 5 years, 2 months ago

crate training works like a charm with labs and retrievers.

Kevin Jenkins 5 years, 2 months ago

If we can just get EJ to act on what he just said. If Bill can get him motivated to respond. We can win it all

KJD 5 years, 2 months ago

I enjoyed the concoction of history and what we are all about to witness. Cheers.

Recent "blowout victories over West Virginia and Texas Tech" is one of the up sides to the late season surge that Texas unleashed. Kansas has recent scouting reports and the confidence to execute against either team they will face in our first round match-up.

The best upside to the two wins against K-State is getting the more favorable side of the tournament bracket. Texas is going to smoke TCU, if I had to bet anything. The Longhorns are much more dangerous than either TT or WV right now. OU beat KU in our last meeting, where they shot lights out to build a lead, so that is plenty of focus. If you want super focus lets see how much focus EJ's team can put on ISU after ESPN and the world said we might have well lost to them twice this season.

Meanwhile, K-State, if they survive Texas, will have to face Smart's Cowboy's on a neutral court or hungry Bears. ISU will be hungry, though I think KU will be hungry to put a boot on their throat and stomp them to make clear who owns this league.

KEITHMILES05 5 years, 2 months ago

Word is he and his family really, really liked Self.

Tony Bandle 5 years, 2 months ago

How did Wiggins visit to Misery go...oh wait, never mind..Misery wasn't even on his radar. Fancy that!!

Robert Brock 5 years, 2 months ago

He liked his visit a lot and now KU has a 5% chance of landing him.

nuleafjhawk 5 years, 2 months ago

So, about the same chance that TCU had of beating us a few weeks ago?

Kevin Huffman 5 years, 2 months ago

LOL Actually I think that's up from earlier reports of something like 2-3%.

Brian Haase 5 years, 2 months ago

actually heard from a relative of his current coach that he said KU was by far his best visit and that Coach Self was the nicest coach he's met with. I think our chances are a lot better than people really want to believe.

KansasComet 5 years, 2 months ago

Elijah Johnson will do his part as the point guard and leader of this team. It's his team. He has shown the ability to be Mr. Big Shot for this team in close games. However, this is a team sport and everyone on the team needs to accept and embrace their role on the team.

Naadir Tharpe needs to do his part and knock down open 3's, get others involved and take over the point when EJ needs a breather.

Travis Releford needs to score. The offense and the defense feed off Travis Releford's scoring. The majority of his buckets come in transition. He is the best finisher at the rim on this team. When he splashes 3's it gives the entire team confidence.

Jeff Withey needs to stay out of foul trouble. His game changes dramatically when he is in foul trouble. We need his shot blocking and rebounding. Knocking down an occasional jump shot is an added bonus..

Kevin Young needs to crash the boards and steal us extra possessions.

Perry Ellis needs to continue to drive as well as splash the open 10-12 footer when he is left open.

Ben McLemore needs to do what he does best which is run around and get himself free for the automatic (Radar Love) jump shot. Highlight dunks are not a bad thing in transition. This will command the double team which may could leave EJ or Naadir a one on one matchup where they could get in the lane to score or throw the lob for a dunk.

Everyone else, be ready, your name could get called.

In every game in which we are reactionary, we lose. However, KU is lethal when in attack mode, pretty much unbeatable.

jaybate 5 years, 2 months ago

KU gets reactionary when the opposing team is skillful at moving screens and/or just muscling KU out of its preferred movements and ball rotation.

Baylor revealed attack KU at the 1 and 4. Defend the 2, 3, and 5.

Most importantly, Baylor showed that KU can be beaten by subjecting Kevin Young to constant moving screens, while forcing Jeff out to cover.

From here on out, things are going to get crazy physical.

I think Huggins will finally get rough, so KU has to watch out for it.

Winning the conference tournament means a one seed for KU. But Self seems to be telegraphing that the likelihood of his team winning 3 in 3 is not high without two ampings and that he is not going to amp them two straight games just to get a 1 seed.

So: things should go like this.

Game 1: flat and closer than expected unless KU shoots the lights out.

if Game 2: flat and a labored, tough get.

if Game 3: amp.

Don't waste an amp on anything but getting a one seed is my expectation.

Figure the sting of the Baylor loss will get them through Game 1.

Gamble on letting them labor for Game 2.

Amp them out through the roof if there is a game 3.

KGphoto 5 years, 2 months ago

Releford’s bonus amps for playing in the Spring Center could be enough to get to 3. Then Self can dip into the amp account as he sees fit, in order to slap the ignorance off Bruce’s lips and put a stamp on Title 9. You know he wants to.

By the way, can we get some signs made?

“Jayhawk fans support Title 9!”

I’m sure some fans somewhere can get more creative with the idea...

KansasComet 5 years, 2 months ago

"From here on out, things are going to get crazy physical". You had better believe it is going to get crazy physical. Excellent Post!

Note2Self 5 years, 2 months ago

What form to "amps" generally take. It sounds like they are totally awesome.

Michael Luby 5 years, 2 months ago

Jaybate, correct me if Im wrong but isnt a moving screen frowned upon in the rules of College Bball?

Phognatic 5 years, 2 months ago

Love the positive, and accurate "to do list." Despite how much I like this year's Hawk team, particularly EJ who has shown a lot of perseverance, I think a lot of our success has been and will be predicated on our ability to adhere to our "do NOT do list." Sure, every player and team have their deficiencies, but we really have to minimize our errors.

  1. Please stop running the wing pick and roll. Unless their path to the basket is completely clear, it lands either Withey and/or Young a foul a game. I'm sure Self is ok with offensive fouls, but they always feel like big moment swings.

  2. Nadir, play smart meaningful minutes at the point. Know the situation and choose your shots accordingly, all the while, ATTACK ATTACK ATTACK.

  3. Trav, you're the man, don't be shy.

  4. Young, do your thing young man, but stop getting fancy with the hoops.

  5. Minimize the exploitation of our lack of scoring threat from the 4.

  6. Minimize the exploitation of our lack of defense/missmatch at the 4.

  7. No lazy passes, we have too many TOs already.

  8. Ellis, you are not a wallflower. You are not a wallflower. You are NOT a wallflower. BE A BEAST!!! A ferocious basketball beast. Rip that rebound down like you want it.

  9. We are skinny and weak in the paint compared to prior years and tend to overall play scared at times, but we don't have to be. EVERYONE BE A BEAST!!! Watch us play tenative, watch the turnovers go up.

  10. Nothing we can do about the conference tourney, but at least we won't draw any Big 12 officials come madness time.

  11. In Bill I trust. Box and 1? Triangle and 2? What magic do you have this year?

  12. EJ, I have no idea. We know you are more capable.

Michael Luby 5 years, 2 months ago

Seriously. I was just thinking that I hope Bill makes use of a screen or two during the tournaments. Just to throw off the opposing teams and mess with the other coaches head.

FearlessJayhawk 5 years, 2 months ago

Johnson may be the clear leader, but all the talk and good intentions doesn't mean anything. It's time to put up or shut up.

Scott Smetana 5 years, 2 months ago

Exactly. I'm still very concerned about him going 2-11 trying to force things. I still think we're much better off with Tharpe at the 1 with EJ and BMac sharing the 2.

KEITHMILES05 5 years, 2 months ago

I agree! Every year the main spokesperson for the team yammers on and on trying to sell the fans "all is well."

It's time to just STFU and play the game.

It is apparent EJ has a great heart and is a very intelligent man. I love that in a man but it doesn't always translate into being a leader.

IMO this team is lacking in an on the floor general as compared to Sherron and Tyshawn. Those two guys had great type A personalities and this years 4 seniors come across as wanting to always take a naps and quiet times. I don't say that lightly either.

However, I trust Bill Self to reach deep down to this team to imspire them and have them on the go.


actorman 5 years, 2 months ago

Sherron's type A personality led to the Northern Iowa loss.

Leadership is often overrated.

TenaciousD 5 years, 2 months ago

Great article, Matt. Very well written. Whether it's football or basketball, you always do your homework and deliver.

Here's hoping Elijah shows us the Iowa State Elijah from here on out. I think he will, especially in the big tournament.

REHawk 5 years, 2 months ago

Hey, muser, don't sit there and grumble, waiting for the green light. Just barrel right on thru the red.

KGphoto 5 years, 2 months ago

Somebody please help muser block jb so he will STFU about it.

JayhawkRock78 5 years, 2 months ago

muser, I like jb, but sometimes I have to scroll down and move on. Try that.

yates33333 5 years, 2 months ago

This is an interesting article considering the outcome of the Baylor game and KU's performance. I hope it wasn't based on floor leadership.

I don't understand this hostility toward jaybate. I agree that I would rather read his analysis of players and games than read his comic presentations, but as in life you gotta take the excellent with the mundane. Jaybate suffers from being too intelligent. He needs to be like most of us B and C students.

I don't understand this dislike of Weber. I would have liked to have Frank Martin stay at K-State, but he didn't. Weber did a good job this year albeit with Martin's recruits. These things don't happen automatically. He does make some dumb statements. He doesn't have the savoir-faire of our Okie from Edmund, but very few BB coaches do. Self is a one of a kind. Everyday, or almost everyday, I thank the Lord that Williams left and we got Self. Talk about falling in it and coming out smelling like a Rose. And to think I resented Williams leaving. Good Luck Goober, but I still don't like your Tarheels.

jaybate 5 years, 2 months ago


Bruce can coach.

Bruce is an Okie Baller due to Keady training under Eddie, plus having a strong dose of Jack Gardner and Tex Winter, which tracks back to USC and Sam Berry (if I recall).

But Bruce is a male reproductive organ waiting to happen.

He wants to undermine Self and KU, not co-exist with either.

Therefore he is the enemy and every chink in his armor needs water and acid pored in it to help him rust and corrode, until he shows some signs of preferring to co-exist. Beatings are not enough. Containment with occassional constructive engagement also has to be part of the plan.

The main chink in Weber's armor is his tendency to pot shot his opponents and players, and to wear out his welcome because of it. We need to help him wear out his welcome, unless he wants to co-exist.

Regarding my posting, I'm just trying to have fun here. And if anyone can enjoy one or two out of ten, of either the analysis, or the funning, then I am honored.

Finally, regarding "Good Luck Goober, but I still don't like your Tarheels."


true_fan 5 years, 2 months ago

jaybate's posts are (almost) always worth the time to read...insight, humor and wit. If you don't want to take the time, here's what you do - when you see "jaybate" on a post, scroll that wheel on your mouse until you see a different name.

Here's hoping for a perfect 9-0 record in the "third season" and some new hardware and banners for AFH.

Rock Chalk

oh, and just for my personal edification, could you kindly expand the PHOF acronym for my old brain?

actorman 5 years, 2 months ago

Ah, the perils of not hitting refresh ...

jaybate 5 years, 2 months ago


The others did it for me. You are very kind. Thx.

jaybate 5 years, 2 months ago

Thx. Mother jaybate and father jaybate said much the same thing, but without the positivity. :-)

jaybate 5 years, 2 months ago



Mike Bratisax 5 years, 2 months ago

Most of the hostility is simply due to the inability to comprehend.

Steve Yeakel 5 years, 2 months ago

I have loved the Jayhawks since 1958 and always will, but let's be honest - EJ is very inconsistent, does not play good defense against a top driving PG (his Las Vegas counterpart Pierre Jackson single handedly broke us down with shots and feeds because EJ could not stay in front of him, which was the key to our loss). We can go all the way this year, I will be pulling for it and rooting for it big time, like always, but I hope that Naadir has been allowed to develop his game and is good enough for when we need him, and that Bill will make the switch when needed.

hawk_of_ages 5 years, 2 months ago

EJ contained Pierre in the game at Lawrence, so maybe Waco was just an anomaly.

At this point in the season, Self won't be making a "switch" to Naadir. He'll get the same minutes he's been getting.

741hawk 5 years, 2 months ago

Speaking of Williams . . . Did ya see the Duke / UNC game? UNC just shot jump shots . . . and missed. They ran no offense. Duke got out to a 14-0 lead; and, of course, Roy did not call time-out. (He learned that from Dean.) Roy was a non-entity in that game. Reminded me of how, two weeks before he left, I realized how tired I was of his act. Rock Chalk!

hawk_of_ages 5 years, 2 months ago

I didn't see the Duke game, but I always liked Roy's policy of not calling the obvious timeout. I've never understood when a coach calls a frustration timeout and announcers say, "That's a good timeout." How do you know if it's a "good timeout" until you see what happens afterward? When Roy's teams get in a deficit early, he doesn't panic, and they usually make a run and have all their timeouts left for the endgame. Obviously it didn't work this time vs. Duke, but Roy's record speaks for itself.

Tony Bandle 5 years, 2 months ago

C'mon're a damn good poster yourself. Don't beat yourself up over being able to get your message across in five sentences whereby JB uses five posts.

It's all just a matter of style!!

jaybate 5 years, 2 months ago


Because you've been to the altar of ritual and actual sacrifice thrice, I cut you some slack about going short. :-)

theend 5 years, 2 months ago

I like JB......and you as well. Oak is always excellent too.

jaybate 5 years, 2 months ago

Thx. Oak is excellent, but he always goes too short!!! :-)

jaybate 5 years, 2 months ago


You came into your own voice this season. I read you when I don't know what's going on out on the wood. Some times you take a while to find the time and the words, but when you do its worth the wait.


Tony Bandle 5 years, 2 months ago

Leaders are born, or grow into the role, or are thrown into the position by circumstance or take over because there is no one else.

I really can't decide which situation truly fits Elijah. But my suspicion is that if there had been someone else on this roster who fit the leadership role, he would have gladly turned the reins over to them.

It seems that sometimes he is battling two opponents....the opposing team ...and himself.

theend 5 years, 2 months ago

I agree. I like him......but doubt he will be much remembered at KU. But who knows what will happen in the next few days.

kellerman411 5 years, 2 months ago

I've got a good feeling about this year. I don't think we will lose a game in the Sweet 16 or the Elite 8. The first two, however, scare me. If we don't get knocked out in one of the first 2 rounds, I think they go to the Final Four where ANYTHING can happen.

Tank 7: Check, Nacho Chips: Check, Little Smokies: Check

Now, if I can just get rid of the girlfriend on gameday, I might actually be able to enjoy this darn thing!

Tony Bandle 5 years, 2 months ago

Advice From Someone Thrice Married:

It will cost you, but give her some shopping money before each game and tell her to have fun, then give her a back masssage after the game is over and you've reran it a couple of times. Godiva Chocolate doesn't hurt either!!.

sleepy33 5 years, 2 months ago

As a person who's still married to husband #1, I say: who in the hell marries a person that isn't a KU basketball fan?

theend 5 years, 2 months ago

I would add that if your wife(or any woman) asks how they look.........IMMEDIATELT mummble something incoherent and leave the room. THERE IS NO GOOD ANYSWER HERE!!!!!! Keep moving.......act like something is caught in your throat.......change the subject.......DO WHATEVER YOU CAN......DO NOT ANSWER THIS QUESTION!!!!!!!!!

nuleafjhawk 5 years, 2 months ago

I found out (the hard way) that the correct answer to

"Do these jeans make my butt look big?"


"No, it's the other way around."

theend 5 years, 2 months ago

Good!! Well done! And what about when women ask men "what they're thinking"????? They want some deep emotional response.....when reality is we're probably thinking about beer,sports or sex!! Usually one of those three!

theend 5 years, 2 months ago

Creighton terrifies me. McDermot......3 point shooters everywhere.......assist machines everywhere.........I don';t think KU would get by Creighton.

theend 5 years, 2 months ago

No. They just scare the you know what out of me.......priobably bcause of prior experience ie-VCU,Northern Iowa. Not a good match-up.

justinryman 5 years, 2 months ago

They don't haje strong point guard play after Josh Jones had to leave the team in December for a heart issue.

They do like to shoot the three, but they are a very soft team. Grant Gibbs is the guy nobody likes cause he does those little pesky things that make you mad. Greg E. Thier center is a beast of size but has not touch outside of a layup, but he can pass.

I think KU would beat them by 10 in an ISU style of a game. High scoring lots f shot taken.

KGphoto 5 years, 2 months ago

I’m not totally sure that the LJW are banning the alias’s. I think it’s possible that these are hit and run posters. Make an alias. Stir the pot. GTFO.

That was my first impression, anyway. Because from what I saw they never posted anything that broke the rules. I could definitely be wrong though. I haven’t seen them all since they aren’t around very long.

KGphoto 5 years, 2 months ago

Anybody witnessing “The Biggest Loser” on ESPN right now? Cincinnati severely screwed themselves by losing the tie-breaker to Providence and are the first victim of the camo/zuba adidas scandal.

They got the away versions on national TV. Ouch! You just cannot unsee that.

kennethst 5 years, 2 months ago

I see regardless of where ESPN puts us in the brackets......we seem destined to play Creighton in 2nd round. This is NOT a match up we want. I agree with theend.

Not good. That's a minefield waiting.

I don't like it.

Tony Bandle 5 years, 2 months ago

I understand your trepidation but let's take the tournaments one at a time, OK?

Frankly, if you substituted Iowa State for Creighton, I think your post would be just as valid for the current Tourney!!!

justinryman 5 years, 2 months ago

Exactly who Icompared Creighton to a few post up,but CU has a legit big man, that won't pull Withey away from the rim. They don't penetrate at much as ISU does either.

Now in a few years CU might be handful for about anyone, that is if they join the new BigEast conf. They will be able to get some top flight recruits. You have toe remember Doug Mcdermott wasn't that good in HS wath the 6th man his Jr year and the third best player his senior year on that team in Ames. His own dad wan't recruitting him to play at ISU and he was gonna go to N Iowa.

I really don't think Creight can hang a full 40 mins with KU though.

kennethst 5 years, 2 months ago

You're right, of course.....on both counts. But I'm one of those "glass half empty" people.....a doubting Thomas......a worry-wart......It's my nature......But I know you're right.

Curtis Stutz 5 years, 2 months ago

If they seed Creighton at all like they did N. Iowa they won't be higher than a 9 seed, which is of no concern to KU since the chances are incredibly slim that KU gets a 1 seed. If Creighton ends up KU's 10 seed at least they'll have a decent shot at knocking off whoever is seeded a 7. If Gibbs runs into a team that can actually play defense against a slow moving wing he won't look so impressive. He's crafty, McDermott is capable of making tough shots, but Creighton is not a concern.

Kevin Huffman 5 years, 2 months ago

"I always told people in the recruiting process that I saw him play 24 straight AAU games," Fulford said. "He knew me and I was around all the time and he developed a personal relationship with me. So when the decision had to be made, he knew where he wanted to come and his parents just had to sign off and I don't think this will be any different.

"Fans are important but I don't think they are as important as the people he is going to be associated with on a daily basis. The staff, the administration, the current players and the incoming recruits, he is going to want to feel total comfort with them all."

Read More:

****Grabbed this from - posted like 2 hours ago. The last sentence to me - given that in the article he said that he already knows Kennedy Meeks and other makes me think that UNC's in the lead with him (Wiggins).

actorman 5 years, 2 months ago

Excellent point, ralster! It's funny how similar their expressions are.

JayhawkRock78 5 years, 2 months ago

Just FYI our women recently won the Big 12 Track Championships and now we have another Jayhawk honored as Track & Field Athlete of the year!!!

This young lady graduates this year, AND this is the last year the KU Relays will be held in Memorial Stadium. The Relays are April 19, and 20. Get up to Lawrence and watch her and the rest of our squads.

Sally Presson 5 years, 2 months ago

I'm with wavingthewheatOH, you said it all, now is the time to stand behind our Jayhawks and give them all the support they deserve!! I just know they will give the remainder of the season their all and blow away the teams in the Big 12 tourney and hit them hard at the NCAA!!

Go Jayhawks!!!

Freedman Moor 5 years, 2 months ago

From the Andrew Wiggins camp:

" It seems that it was his time with the players that stood out during his visit to Lawrence.

'He spoke about being able to spend a little more personal time with the players,' Fulford said. 'I think he enjoyed the atmosphere there, and I'm not saying he enjoyed the atmosphere there more than others, but he talked about it more than the others.'''

JayHawkFanToo 5 years, 2 months ago

Too much Is being made of KU playing Creighton. Lunardi may have coined the term "bracketology," but there are others that rank ahead of him. In the latest evaluation of "bracketologists" based on past performance, he came I believe in 23rd place.

In any case, there is still a lot of BBall to be played before the seeding and locations are finalized. KU can realistically be anywhere between a 1 and 3 seed.

Dan Harris 5 years, 2 months ago

The only team that scares the bejeebers out of me is the team that KU put out on the floor against TCU and Baylor!

Chris1955 5 years, 2 months ago

Somebody previously mentioned Radar Love, and unfortunately, that got my mind off track. This is what happened. Yeah, its bad, well maybe the first line isn't too bad, but what heck.

Jayhawk Love

I've been drivin' tonight, just to get to the Wheel. There's a voice in my ear, saying “Go for the steal”. It's my baby yellin', says, "Get over here". And it's late 2nd half, and I'm sensing fear.

When she's nervous and the game is just too much, She starts to holler, callin’ me bad names and such. Don't need no phone at all. We've got a thing that's called Jayhawk love. We've got to wave the wheat in the air, Jayhawk love.

The announcer sayin’ some forgotten stat, I thought I heard him say that Sherron was fat. The Hawks are comin' on fast. The PHOG gets to me every time. Now I'm sure we’re headed into overtime.

When she gets lonely, and I'm sure she’s had enough, She sends for comfort, comin' in from above. Don't need no text at all. We've got a thing that's called Jayhawk love We've got Phog in the rafters, Jayhawk love.

No more speedin’, I just got there, Gotta keep cool, now gotta take care. At last errant pass, there we go. And the timeouts left are getting down real low And the announcer says that forgotten stat. The Hawks are comin' on fast. That last commercial had a stupid song. Now that I’m here, we’re one more Jayhawk lover strong.

When she get nervous, and I'm sure she’s had enough. She starts to holler callin’ me bad names and such. We don't need no text at all. We've got a thing that's called Jayhawk love. We've got PHOG in the rafters. We've got a thing that's called Jayhawk love. We've got a thing that's called Jayhawk love

KansasComet 5 years, 2 months ago

Didn't know it would have that kind of effect. Very nice! Way to take it to the next level!

JayhawkRock78 5 years, 2 months ago

Chris, That was sweet. I say put some KU highlight videos on U Tube and put your song in the background. Next thing you know they'll show it on the airwaves with KU's Harlem Shake.

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