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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Notebook: Rio Adams shines late; Sherron Collins, Alex Smith attend game

Kansas guard Rio Adams defends against Texas Tech guard Daylen Robinson during the second half of the second round of the Big 12 tournament on Thursday, March 14, 2013 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri.

Kansas guard Rio Adams defends against Texas Tech guard Daylen Robinson during the second half of the second round of the Big 12 tournament on Thursday, March 14, 2013 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self talks after win over Texas Tech

Kansas coach Bill Self talks after his team's 91-63 win over Texas Tech on March 14, 2013.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Jeff Withey, Ben McLemore

Kansas players Jeff Withey and Ben McLemore talk to reporters following the Jayhawks' 91-63 victory over Texas Tech on March 14, 2013.

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Box score

KU-TTU

— Kansas University freshman guard Rio Adams made the most of his five minutes of playing time on Thursday in Sprint Center.

The 6-foot-3 Seattle native, who scored just 16 points total during the regular season, erupted for a career-high 11 points off 4-of-5 shooting (2-of-2 from three) in the Jayhawks’ 91-63 rout of Texas Tech.

“It was something I’ve been working on in practice and it showed up in the game,” Adams said after Thursday’s late-game scoring spree.

“A lot of shooting, working on my technique and getting right for next year,” Adams added when asked for more details on what’s been going on at practice.

“I’m starting to become a lot more comfortable on the floor,” he said. “I’ve learned from watching the older guys and taking the experiences we have in practice and putting them in the game.”

Adams agreed with a reporter’s assertion that he was “in a zone.”

“It feels good,” he said, “to let my coach know I can give something when he needs it to keep us going, just a little bit of energy. We don’t have a weak link on our team. That’s what makes us a great team. I went out and had fun.”

Adams said he’s happy to be a Jayhawk despite the fact he entered having played just 77 minutes in 21 games.

“Definitely,” he said. “This program is all about waiting your turn. Right now I’m waiting my turn. It’s all about adjusting. I’ve got to adjust. That’s what I’m doing right now. I’m trying to find my way and making sure I’m comfortable when I do what I do.

“It’s been a decent year, a great learning experience. I’m happy with it. I’m definitely happy here.”

Third meeting vs. ISU: KU’s 6:30 p.m. semifinal foe is Iowa State, a team the Jayhawks defeated, 97-89, in overtime on Jan. 9 in Allen Fieldhouse and again, 108-96, in OT on Feb. 25 in Hilton Coliseum.

Ben McLemore banked in a three to force overtime in the first game. Elijah Johnson had 39 points in the second game. That’s the game in which the Big 12 office admitted officiating mistakes were made at the end of the game, ostensibly referring to a no-call on a possible charge by Elijah Johnson into Georges Niang.

The officials also apparently awarded a foul committed by Jeff Withey to Kevin Young late in the game.

“I just play basketball. I don’t worry about calls,” Withey bristled, asked about that situation by a reporter from Iowa.

Told Iowa State’s players have a chip on their shoulder, Withey said: “We have a chip on our shoulder, too. We want to win this thing, too. Every team is a dangerous team. We’ve got to come ready every day.

“We’ve always been a target. Everybody wants to play against us. It’s nothing new. It was the same last year, the year before that, the year before that. We’re ready. If we come to play, we should win.”

Withey was asked if KU-ISU was a “rivalry.”

“I wouldn’t say we have a rivalry going. We are used to it. They can keep on talking. It’ll be a fun game to play.”

KU coach Bill Self was asked about ISU still complaining about the officiating in Ames, Iowa.

“I can see how they could feel that way because certainly there was a call or no-call that got a lot of attention, really both late that we benefited from,” Self said. “The thing about it is ... as a coach, I learned this from coach (Eddie) Sutton who has done this a long time. Over the course of a season, over a course of a career, those calls balance out over time.

“We’ve lost some tough games that came down to one call late, maybe not a bang-bang play like that one was. I understand their players and how they would feel. The bottom line is that’s not on us. They can use whatever as motivation which they should do. Our guys just play. They don’t have anything to do with how the game is called. I don’t have anything to do with how the game is called. They’ll just go out and play. The officials in our league are pros. We’ve got the best our league has calling the games. It should be a fun game. It’ll be hotly contested. I’m sure both teams will get after it.”

Bombs away: Iowa State hit 17 of 41 threes versus KU in Ames; 14 of 38 in Lawrence.

“They will spread it, set a ton of ball screens, play pick and pop, drive and kick. They are great at what they do,” Self said. “The negate our biggest strength by taking Jeff (Withey) away form the basket. It’s the way it should be. We’ve had two great games. There’s no reason we shouldn’t have a third.”

Practice makes perfect: Some of the Jayhawks said they’ve had a couple rough practices of late in the wake of Saturday’s 23-point loss at Baylor.

“We practice 80 minutes and they think it’s cranked up,” Self said with a smile. “The intensity has been good. This time of year it’s easier to yell at them than practice hard because bodies are tired. Practices are no different than what they’d normally be. We turned it up in practice the last couple days. They are not long or grueling.”

This, that: KU freshman walk-on Evan Manning sat in the stands instead of on the bench because of a rule limiting the number of players and staff members on the bench at 17. KU’s walk-ons will take turns sitting out games the rest of the postseason. ... Former KU players Sherron Collins, Walt Wesley and Tyrel Reed attended as did new Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith.

Stats, facts: KU (27-5) has won 27 games seven straight seasons. ... KU is 18-4 all-time at Sprint Center, including 4-0 this season. ... Self’s record is 296-58 at KU and 503-163 overall. ... KU is 25-4 versus Texas Tech. ... KU’s 66-percent shooting was best ever in the Big 12 tournament. KU’s previous best was 61.4-percent effort against Texas A&M in last season’s quarterfinals. ... KU’s 91 points were most in the Big 12 championship since the 94-69 win over Missouri in 2004. The 28-point victory was the largest margin of victory since the 90-50 win over Texas Tech in the 2002 semifinals. ... Ben McLemore’s 24 points were more than his two-game total of 23 against Texas Tech during the regular season. ... Jamari Traylor posted a career-high seven points, topping his six points against Michigan State on Nov. 13, 2012. ... With his three blocked shots, Jeff Withey moved into the No. 2 spot for blocks in a season in KU history with 127 rejections. He also owns the top spot with his 140 blocks last season.

Comments

702Hawk 1 year, 1 month ago

This article perfectly explains one of the very basic reasons that HCBS will have Rio in the dog house constantly. http://m.nbcsports.com/content/posnanski-genius-bill-self

Rio is a man who will terrorize opponents on defense and looks to hard for a shot on offense. Those can be great things but they will bug HCBS because they will let the other team get easy baskets too.I do hope he stays but there is going to be a lot of rough moments between him and HCBS.

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William Blake 1 year, 1 month ago

I believe Rio is a great addition to Jayhawk basketball. Yes... he's not a "standard off the shelf" guard. Yes... he may show his disappointment at times. Yes... it may take him a while to fully get the mindset/teachings of CS. Rio is a unique individual.

We should embrace his uniqueness. Rio brings with him the opportunity for CS to improve his coaching skills. He's a different "mystery to solve" and it is a part of Self's job to figure out how to reach him. He's a good project for CS to develop more of his coaching skills.

Is he worth it?

I'm trying to think when the last time we had a guard with his build and athleticism. Hmmmm.... maybe never. Rio has a unique build to go with his unique personality. I've been connected to basketball for 50 years now and he's about the best raw talent I've ever seen. He is worth any kind of investment needed.

But can he be molded?

No. You don't mold a guy like Rio. First... you take notice of his unique attributes then you try to help him find the best ways to use what he has to perform at his highest level. The last thing you want to do is strip him of what he brings to the game just to fit into being a different kind of player (that he's not).

What about his ego?

What about his ego? Rio is good for the Jayhawk fan base, too. We've come so used to humble guards who end up with great skills, but often bring a timid game with them. EJ is an example. EJ has outrageous skills and knowledge of the game, but I wish he had a little "Rio suga" in his veins. Rio reminds me of Reggie Miller. I wish I had a dozen Reggie Millers on my team. Yes... expect some noise and chaos. If that bothers you then cover your ears and just watch him play!

Rio is a test to see if we can all break away from our molded expectations. I'm on board with Rio. I hope he sticks it out in Lawrence, and I don't care who we recruit in the future, if Rio sticks it out and puts out the effort, he'll be getting plenty of PT as a Jayhawk. And at some point if he earns the job of running this team, I'll predict he'll bring hardware with him after playing in March!

Rio is sitting on the fence. He has these few developmental years to solve his game, and if he does, he'll write himself a fat ticket to the bigs!

You can all hold me accountable to this post.

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kanofass 1 year, 1 month ago

Self needs to keep his kid off the floor, he isn't worth anything.

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championhawks 1 year, 1 month ago

Everyone is jumping on Rio as not being a team player. He was in for the last 5 minutes, mostly with the end of the bench walk-ons. That is not the same as playing the rest of the game. If it was Tyler Self throwing up those shots everyone would be cheering for him and wanting him to throw up more, even if they weren't close to going in. If Rio starts chucking up shots during meaningful minutes and is being a "me first" players, then go ahead and bash him. But to bash him for what he did during the last 5 minutes of scrub time in a blow-out is ridiculous. Hopefully, Rio will stay and be a team player while contributing major minutes next year. I think he can bring a lot to this team, especially how young our guards will be.

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Woody Cragg 1 year, 1 month ago

I wonder if Melvin Weatherwax will be incognito tonight or have bodyguards? LOL. Think he'll be a no-show?

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Woody Cragg 1 year, 1 month ago

Most of what you refer to as character assassination is based on his inability to keep his comments private. He's looking for approval by doing so & this is merely an obseravation/opinion based on such. I personally don't follow twitterers, facebookers, or Oprah, but all season long others have posted his ramblings about no PT, no appreciation, moving on elsewhere, etc. Is generally a huge waste of energy & in many instances conterproductive to do so. Immaturity is always an issue with young adults & some outgrow it faster than others. Even coach Self has made references to his tweets. Spend more time in the books or in the gym. A more mature outlook would be results based on work & effort to play within a system, which he does not openly display when on the floor. This is only opinion(s) of board rats-not a homicide-so a different choice of words might benefit relevance of your comment.

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Woody Cragg 1 year, 1 month ago

HEM stated above in detail my take on Adam's showing yesterday. I posted it as a question on another thread at the end of the OSU/Baylor game last eve. I think Rio was looking to chuck up a shot each time he had the ball. That's OK elsewhere, but in HCBS system is not gaining endearment or momentum for increasing PT. Maybe an audition for a transfer-who knows. But the depth chart next year will have increased competition at the guard spots, & competition this year was too much for his ego (tweets) to bear. If you can't do anything else except talk about it, then, IMO, you aren't a fit for the situation. Some kids don't accept criticism well either. I dunno, maybe Bill is up for another Tyshawn project, but it was apparent yesterday his quickness to get off a shot & not reacting to the floor spacing or the movements of teamates & ball reversal sets, was all about Rio. Next year, Tharpe, Selden, Frankcamp- may become too much for the fragility of Adams demeanor. Maybe I'm way off base, but I think he's gone. Too bad too, cause he's got a lot of talent & could really develope in another year or so, IMO. Some kids are just hard to coach, depending a lot on distractions, social circumstances, girls, whatever. Oft times kids don't realize that all these things take time & energy to evolve-they want it all, now, ie., instant success. Life is never that way.

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Steven Mathew 1 year, 1 month ago

I for one think Iowa St. is not going to have an easy time against us for two reasons. The first reason being that our starters are more rested than theirs as they had to play a tough game against Oklahoma. The second reason is that they rely on their 3-point shooting abilities to win the game. And we all know that 3-point shooting requires strong legs, and I believe their legs are fatigued.

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therealjohnleach 1 year, 1 month ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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William Blake 1 year, 1 month ago

Rio has scary potential. I hope he listens to the old guys and keeps his patience.

His body type and athleticism gives him such an advantage over most players in the country. The potential is there to be the best (or one of the best) perimeter defenders we've ever had (and that says it all).

Those same attributes help him offensively, and he's starting to mold his mind around what his role will be. If he maintains good offensive efficiency next year, he'll get the green light on putting up some serious reps to the rim. I wish BMac would think a bit more like Rio about being aggressive on the offensive end.

Rio is strong-headed... and I think that has bothered some people in here. Personally, I like it. He has potential to be a real leader and take a team to the next level. It is very typical for players like him to be a bit difficult until the light comes on. He is worth the investment, I guarantee.

Go Rio!

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TexiCaliHawk 1 year, 1 month ago

My initial take on those 'Blame it on Rio' moments I saw yesterday was that it looked like Bill was putting him out there to 'audition' for a potential transfer to a new school -- I hope I'm wrong as we've all seen great examples of immature Freshmen who go on to become great players/leaders during their 4-year transformation at KU. Most of the time; however, those 'projects' took place without the pressure of having to make space for such highly touted incoming HS players. This is where you really see whether the player truly 'gets it' and demonstrates it with the patience to wait his turn (Russ Rob, T Rel., et. al.), or whether they simply cannot overcome their own personal ego for the sake of what's best for the TEAM and decide to move on. I really like Rio's speed/intensity on Defense and 'attack' mentality on Offense; however, both have to be 'harnessed' appropriately to ensure we obtain the best of both worlds and not some undisciplined, out of control 'Tasmanian Devil' who turns positive traits into negative ones. Personally, I hope we see Rio really 'breakthrough' next year.

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Armen Kurdian 1 year, 1 month ago

I'm happy for ISU they get another crack at us. Yes, bad calls balance out, but we did catch a couple of major breaks at the end of that one. But I remember 7 or 9 years ago (I think) down at Texas Tech when Aaron Miles got a rebound with very little time left and a 1-2 point lead, got mugged and then called for traveling, TT scored a winning bucket and won the game. That was pretty much the end of the season there (we lost in 1st or 2nd round in NCAA).

B-Mac could go pro. But one more year in a KU uniform will definitely make him a superstar like Pierce has become. B-Mac can flat out play. Another year will just make him tougher and stronger. These guys have to realize that the investment today will pay off in much higher cashflows down the line. Don't glom off on a big contract now and turn into Julian Wright or a Selby (although I still don't see why folks thought those guys were superstar material).

Big O was a solid player, but by no means an All-American. Yet his size and his consistency made him a terrific off the bench player for the Jazz for a very long time. I'd love to see every KU player make it big in the NBA. But the NCAA as a whole has got to get a handle on these one & done guys because so many are hurting themselves by going pro too early.

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Steve Corder 1 year, 1 month ago

I think the one-and-done issue will ultimately diminsh to a scant few. The NBA development league is financially growing more lucrative. The instruction and playing time exceeds the college game.

If money is the issue (the poor urban raised kid with family on welfare and section 8 housing) then more of these high school kids will skip the one year college game and the perfunctory attendance in class.

The way I see it, the only way the NBA can save money and the risk of drafting on potential of a OAD (name your favorite former OAD college player now in the D league or seeing vertually no NBA playing time) is to develop a version of a minor league system. Kind of like trying on that shoe before you buy it?

I could be all wrong, but reducing the draft risk to a NBA team is the ultimate objective. It's always about the money.

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monkeehawkSL8 1 year, 1 month ago

HEM view was spot on. I be the first to admit I loved watching Rio make shots and get to stay in the game. Simple truth is he was playing 1 on 5. He wasn't out there to get his team involved. It was a "watch me moment". I understand that if we were down by 4 when he was put in and given instructions to "go in and get us some points" which has been the case at times in the past. T. Taylor, as the most recent example. I'm not trying to knock on the kid.

What HCBS would be looking for yesterday was go in the game, play sound hard defense. Play your role in running the offense and take care of the ball. You think after his success yesterday Rio will get into the next game and not try to light it up again? Team ball is Kansas ball, " our go to guy is the open man", NC's 2008.

I like Rio, I hope he "get's it". I am really encouraged about his future. As a team player. And if I'm wrong and coach told Rio to go in and take as many shot's as you can, I'm wrong and my apologizes to all.

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Kevin Huffman 1 year, 1 month ago

All the complaints before the game about anticiapting those uniforms yet I would argue that ours looked WAAAAYYYYY better than the ugly TTech Under Armour ones!!!

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Adam Collins 1 year, 1 month ago

What I like most about what I just read: Jeff Withey seems pissed off. That can only mean bad things for Iowa State.

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REHawk 1 year, 1 month ago

As for Rio, what we saw yesterday bodes well and ill for his future in the program. As we have all suspected, there is a very talented player buried within the kid. But if he does not distribute and share the ball, he will soon upset the applecart of Bill Self Basketball. Nights when he enters the hot zone we might marvel at his scoring and stealing contributions; but game in and out, if he fails to share the ball he soon will ride the pine. Early on, I was an outspoken proponent for him to glean more playing time. At this stage of the long season, I better understand why he has not earned those minutes. Bill Self has demonstrated an appreciation for very determined hard-headed guards. For one more season, at least, I think the coaching staff will have its hands full reformulating Rio's mindset.

2

REHawk 1 year, 1 month ago

Goofy looking uniforms, in my opinion. But, hey, wear pink earmuffs if that's what it takes to keep the magic of winning alive at this stage of the season.

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magaggie 1 year, 1 month ago

Better keep those uniforms. They won us the game.

1

LngTimeFan 1 year, 1 month ago

I hope Rio stays, learns, and contributes when on the floor. But, I sense he thinks passage of time will get him on the floor, hope he doesn't overlook learning, working hard and playing the role he is assigned in the manner instructed by HCBS

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Jack Wilson 1 year, 1 month ago

Seriously, Adams makes one comment in the article above and we're going to proclaim that he is definitely not transferring? We would simply ignore the flood of negativity .. or better stated .. erratic comments by Adams this season?

Let's be realistic here. Yesterday changes nothing. His comments from yesterday are simply a little positivity. That's all. And they were comments that followed a positive performance.

On his performance, it was pretty apparent (to me) that in Adams' mind, it was all about Rio Adams. That's how it's been on the floor all season for him. The biggest indicator to me is the over dribbling, the repeated dribbling between his legs (even though he seems to lose control of it many times when he does it), and the obvious "searching out a shot" literally all the time. To me, he looks different on the court in his approach to the game compared to every other player on the team.

That being said, some of that can be a huge positive once he finds a role on the team. He isn't shy about wanting to score. And my guess is once he has an established role, he can relax a bit. He clearly has a scorer's mentality. But we'll see if he's here next season.

I am and have been in the camp that it was a battle between Rio and Tharpe for a scholarship, given our recruiting class. While I like Tharpe, I think Adams looks to be more talented overall. We'll see how it shakes out.

It is completely realistic to think that Tharpe, Adams, and White could be our starting perimeter players next season. But if Adams isn't ahead of Tharpe, the decision for Adams will come in the form of competition from Selden. I doubt Adams will stay if he doesn't think he'll start. We'll see.

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Kevin Jenkins 1 year, 1 month ago

Finally our future players look good.. And coach let them do their thing. Maybe next year they will achieve like KU should. No negative energy.

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KULA 1 year, 1 month ago

Great to see Rio have a good game! Especially after his last outing, when he flopped around like a fish on the dock. He's obviously an "in the flow" type player. Hope he gets a few more opportunities to get "in the flow" this year.

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Michael Luby 1 year, 1 month ago

Get Sherron a big afro wig and put him in the game!

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mikehawk 1 year, 1 month ago

So glad it sounds like Rio is starting to "get it." Say what you want, but the kid has a great looking body. He is long and big. I think if he continues to learn, and yes...mature between the ears, he could be a very good player at Kansas.

Keep yapping ISU. Be careful what you wish for. Where I come from out in western Kansas, we like to say "let sleeping dogs lay." I guess in Iowa they lean more toward the "talk is cheap" way of doing things. It isn't easy to beat a time three times in one year, but it gets easier when the opponent won't give you any respect and keeps talking smack.

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Danny Hernandez 1 year, 1 month ago

Rio will see the floor next year and it'll be in a Kansas uniform. He's getting it...It takes a while for the best to get it and Rio will have a leg up on them. Just wait and see.

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Steve Zimmerman 1 year, 1 month ago

Thanks for playing those reserves, coach. Oh, and thanks for picking up their jerseys, too!

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woowoowoo01 1 year, 1 month ago

I still think he's transferring. With what we have coming in, he's not going to see the floor next year either.... I hope I'm completely wrong because the kids can play but I think he's leaving.

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MinorThreat 1 year, 1 month ago

He'll be a player next year no doubt.

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Born_And_Raised_A_KU_Fan 1 year, 1 month ago

It would seem Rio is moving past the immature tweets and is finally realizing what his elders already know.

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