Friday, March 15, 2013

Cyclones: Perry Ellis too much

Kansas center Jeff Withey looks to high five forward Perry Ellis after Ellis hit a bucket after an Iowa State foul during the second half of the semifinal round of the Big 12 tournament on Friday, March 15, 2013 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri.

Kansas center Jeff Withey looks to high five forward Perry Ellis after Ellis hit a bucket after an Iowa State foul during the second half of the semifinal round of the Big 12 tournament on Friday, March 15, 2013 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri.


Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self talks after win over Iowa State

Kansas coach Bill Self talks after his team's 88-73 win over Iowa State on March 15, 2013.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Elijah Johnson, Perry Ellis

Kansas players Elijah Johnson and Perry Ellis talk to reporters following the Jayhawks' 88-73 victory over Iowa State on March 15, 2013.

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Box score


— With the haunting memory of Elijah Johnson's 39-point explosion in Ames, Iowa, still fresh in their minds, several Iowa State Cyclones admitted that Friday's 88-73 semifinal loss to Kansas University at Sprint Center felt like deja vu. Only with a different player.

Convinced that their third meeting with Kansas this season would be the one that got them over the hump, Iowa State entered Friday's match-up believing it had everything covered.

Although it stung at the time, the Cyclones learned from Johnson's outburst. ISU's plan to attack KU center Jeff Withey worked as well as any all season. And with 6-foot-5 senior Chris Babb assigned to get physical with KU star Ben McLemore, Friday was supposed to be ISU's day. But then Kansas freshman Perry Ellis checked in and changed everything.

“It felt like the same thing as when we played 'em at our place,” Babb said. “Elijah Johnson, who was averaging like nine or 10 points, goes off for whatever he had (39). It's been that way for us all season. It's always guys who aren't in the game plan finding a way.”

Ellis found several ways to dominate in this one, finishing with a career-high 23 points on 10-of-12 shooting, with six rebounds and two steals in 28 minutes. He flashed fancy footwork in his face-up game, hit a couple of mid-range jumpers and threw down multiple momentum-changing dunks after switching into attack mode.

“It kind of surprised us,” Babb said. “And was different from our game plan. But it worked for them. Guys are gonna play big in big games, and he stepped up for them. Our game plan was more targeted toward (KU senior Kevin) Young, who's not as big a threat offensively. But (Ellis) played great. He's way more active offensively. He's definitely skilled.”

Although Ellis' big game did not match ISU's game plan, one Cyclone who was not surprised by Ellis' big game was ISU freshman Georges Niang.

“I played against him in high school,” said Niang, who played at The Tilton School in Tilton, N.H. “And I know he's a real good player, but when we played them the first two times, he was always struggling. But he came out, he had some ambition and he really got it going. We couldn't really stop him. Credit to him. I know he's probably been working a lot on his game.”

Early on, Iowa State took control and built a 12-4 lead that seemed even larger because of the large number of ISU fans in the stands. But Kansas answered with a 20-9 run and, after taking a 26-24 lead on a bucket by Babb with 4:57 remaining in the first half, Iowa State never led again. That only added to the pain of falling short against the class of the Big 12 for the third straight time.

“We felt like we should've won both games, and we felt like we had this one,” senior point guard Korie Lucious said. “It's hard to beat any team three times in a row. We just thought we were gonna get this one. And it hurts.”

Added Will Clyburn, who openly talked Thursday about being ready to get payback: “I think everybody wanted this game. The freshmen, the seniors, even the walk-ons. Everyone wanted this one bad. We just didn't do what we were supposed to do. Kansas is a good team. You have to respect 'em.”


Steve Brown 1 year, 1 month ago


"dead & buried"

for you folks outside KC area may enjoy hearing it is reported that SEC called KC convention center to inquire if KC wanted to apply for a future SEC post season tourney, reportedly told, no thanks we are happy with what we got....


packywacky88 1 year, 1 month ago

Watched last night at a sports bar in Springfield, MO. Sat next to a table of ugly Missourah chicks that had to loudly clap and cheer for every ISU basket, for the sole reason that my wife was wearing her lucky Jayhawk shirt (which she looks smashing in), and they wanted to get under her skin. They actually launched into an "I hate KU" chant. We of course kept our Jayhawk class and acted appropriately. Should have seen the wife's smile on her face when they finally said F-it and went outside to smoke cigarettes to further augment their hideous, nicotine stained faces. It's good to be a Jayhawk.


jayhawkinATL 1 year, 1 month ago

I'm hoping the comments Weber and Rodriquez made last week provide enough incentive for the 'hawks to come out swinging and NOT let up.


amatxjayhawk 1 year, 1 month ago

Jay, Regarding your last point, a smart man once said, "The harder you work the luckier you get." Works well here I think.


jaybate 1 year, 1 month ago

What makes Bill Self so good?

He chooses the right strategies for teams early on. Spread high low on offense and funnel it to Jeff on defense.

He makes the right strategic adjustments early. Give Ben more FTAs/game.

He makes complicated personnel choices early. Kevin moved to starter to get most from Kevin's energy and to give Perry time to develop slowly on a track for post conference readyness.

He can dog players to get better a long time and then suddenly add sugar and coax an awesome game out of them. A lot of coaches can only dog players.

He instills willful mental toughness relentlessly by not only honoring player toughness in victory, but by giving them the blame in defeat for lack of it.

The guy wants to win.

The guy reliably differentiates between winning battles and winning wars.

He superbly minimizes risk when manageable, and recognizes when gambling in the face of unmanageable risk is necessary.

He almost always makes the most logical gamble about how to win the war, then sticks with the gamble and knows it won't always pay off. But when it pays off it pays off with a win.

He fights his players a long time, then has a great sense of timing about when to fight the refs.

He never expects perfection, which is impossible, but instead expects getting better, which is.

He can recruit even in the face of adversity.

He can beat you with his'n and with your'n.

He can some how keep it fun.

He has a good reserve of luck and works hard to make the most of it.


MinnesotaJay 1 year, 1 month ago

Iowa State has been very classy in defeat, especially given the circumstances of the first two losses. Hat's off to them!


Studogg 1 year, 1 month ago

"He(Ellis) just wasn't part of our game plan." Love it! I bet Bill Self would be a killer chess player.


KULA 1 year, 1 month ago

ps--Must be a drag for Iowa St to have a different Jayhawk tear you a new one every time you play them.


Keith Kienzle 1 year, 1 month ago

Any else enjoying this sequence of events in the second half?

  1. Elijah mentally take a possession off. He wasn't even in the back-court after a made Iowa St bucket and Iowa St was exerting full court pressure, forcing Travis to bring the ball up. He then gets the ball in the front court, dribbles in place and gets a five second call.
  2. He goes back, plays D, looking slightly guilty.
  3. Our following possession, he drives the length of the floor, does a spin move to juke someone out of their socks and dishes off to Withey right under the basket for an easy bucket.

It was absolutely brilliant and appeared easy for him. Stone cold killa! Good work EJ!

I'm not sure, but I think that may also have been the 4th assist EJ got in a 2 minute stretch between 7:52 and 5:24.


iamakufan 1 year, 1 month ago

I am impressed by the comments of the Iowa State players. No whining. Giving credit. That's a reflection of coaching, which is also pure class. Good luck in the tournament, Iowa State. I'll be pulling for you except if you play Kansas again.


kucapcity91 1 year, 1 month ago

Jeff needs to cut his hair before the NCAA..


Suzi Marshall 1 year, 1 month ago

Ellis now has a string of about 7 good games and now a great one. He deserves some applause for hanging in there and working hard. So nice to see our 4 with a nice 13-15' jumper, which will make life better for Withey and the team. I'm happy as hell he's arrived in time for the big third season!


Alex Wishart 1 year, 1 month ago

Ellis is rounding into form at the perfect time and it has me excited about next years prospects for him. A true sign of his improvement? Dunks. Multiple dunks. Remember when we all wanted the Morri to tear down the rim their freshman year and what they became? I think Perry's ceiling is equal to or higher than Marcus. Would love it if he mastered the trailing three.


Woody Cragg 1 year, 1 month ago

It's official-all Kansas final tomorrow. After the muggings I saw tonight, wouldn't be surprised to see someone packing Sat. They're allowing waaaaaaay too much contact, Lord what's this game comin to? Think ksu will gameplan for Perry?


Woody Cragg 1 year, 1 month ago

When it's "always guys that are not in the game plan" you're not only outplayed, but soundly outcoached as well.


ferdthemooncat 1 year, 1 month ago

Hoiberg: "Subbing Ellis wasn't fair"


Woody Cragg 1 year, 1 month ago

I got tickled at McGee postgame when asked what plan Hoiberg had for Ellis, "Uh, he didn't say nothinbout him man."


midwest_muser 1 year, 1 month ago

Thankfully the ugly unis were one and done...


Keith Kienzle 1 year, 1 month ago

This is the obligatory "who's talking smack about Perry now?" comment......

Who's talking smack about Perry now?

Agent P is a stud.


Boouk 1 year, 1 month ago

If we land Randle on March 20th we could have the best frontcourt in the country next season.


MinorThreat 1 year, 1 month ago

Cyclones have a good coach (hated him as a college player because he was so good)... so I won't dis ISU.

Having said that, we overcame a good game-plan by them and found a way to take the game (primarily Ellis). Can't wait to see a video of the locker-room celebrating for Ellis!


Born_And_Raised_A_KU_Fan 1 year, 1 month ago

No more whining about the refs. They can't beat us anywhere - Lawrence, Ames, Kansas City. Face it, Cy-Clowns - Kansas is the superior team.


Keith Kienzle 1 year, 1 month ago

It's admirable that they were so gracious in defeat. I like what Hoiberg is doing in Ames, and it's nice to get the feeling from their quotes that his guys appear to all be likeable and show the same tact that Hoiberg does off the court (something that Bruce Webber will never understand).

I think I'll be rooting pretty hard for Iowa St in the tournament this year (provided they're not playing us). I find myself rooting for KSt in this KSt OkSt game, because while I really don't like Webber, I like the KSt players, particular McGruder and Henriquez.

Anyone think Travis Ford and his plucked eyebrows would look less freakish if he were dressed in drag?


Rock Chalk 1 year, 1 month ago

"Kansas is a good team. You have to respect 'em.”

Yes, sir. You do have to respect us. Lesson learned.


Terran Woolley 1 year, 1 month ago

They asked for it, they got it........



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