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.”


Rock Chalk 6 years, 4 months ago

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

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

Keith Kienzle 6 years, 4 months 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?

Woody Cragg 6 years, 4 months ago

Guess that's just a philosophical difference-you couldn't pay me to watch it.

MinorThreat 6 years, 4 months 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!

Boouk 6 years, 4 months ago

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

Keith Kienzle 6 years, 4 months ago

Randle, Ellis, Jamari, Embiid... I can't wait to see what Embiid brings to the table... I think for us to really say we've got the best frontcourt, we're going to need solid work out of Embiid. Jamari is undersized at the 5, which is fine.. but to be the best I think you probably need a guy 6'10 to 7' getting starter minutes... If you put Randle, Ellis and Jamari with Withey, for instance, I would say without a doubt, it could be the best front court.

Keith Kienzle 6 years, 4 months ago

Oh snap. I did. "He's going to be a load" :) Hope so!

Keith Kienzle 6 years, 4 months 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.

rockchalkjh16 6 years, 4 months ago

I'm so relieved he's finally getting into the groove.

Ross Cargo 6 years, 4 months ago

I like the Agent P moniker. Well done.

Keith Kienzle 6 years, 4 months ago

Thanks. For those who may not be familiar.... "Perry the Platypus, also known as Agent P or simply Perry, is an anthropomorphic platypus from the animated television series Phineas and Ferb." --

mattiesdad 6 years, 4 months ago

I think i can stop saying, "Hey, where's Perry?"

Woody Cragg 6 years, 4 months ago

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

Woody Cragg 6 years, 4 months ago

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

Woody Cragg 6 years, 4 months 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?

Alex Wishart 6 years, 4 months 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.

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 4 months 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!

kucapcity91 6 years, 4 months ago

Jeff needs to cut his hair before the NCAA..

Debbie Mangen 6 years, 4 months ago

Definitely no! And he shouldn't shave either.

Steve Reigle 6 years, 4 months 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.

Keith Kienzle 6 years, 4 months 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.

KULA 6 years, 4 months ago

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

JD Roth 6 years, 4 months ago

The refs beat Iowa State again, not KU. Just check their basketball message board lol,,,

Studogg 6 years, 4 months ago

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

MinnesotaJay 6 years, 4 months ago

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

jayhawkinATL 6 years, 4 months ago

I agree with what's been said all starts with the coach.

dylans 6 years, 4 months ago

Fairly classy, if you don't count throwing junk on the court, rushing Bill after the game, and crying about the refs for months. There were so many ISU fans in the Sprint Center it's unreal; most were respectful and loudly cheered on their team, but every ISU fan within earshot also complained about getting jobbed by the refs as if the calls were completely one sided. I am glad they will be gone today, so the only whining I will have to hear is by the KSuck fans.

Michael Bratisax 6 years, 4 months ago

That was Iowa State's fans, many of which never attended the University. I think their coach and players handled it with class. I know how upset I would be if the situation was reversed.

The one thing that Iowa State doesn't bring up is that in OT, they basically got their butts kicked.

Kenneth Johnson 6 years, 4 months ago


I live in Des Moines, and after hearing on a daily basis for the last couple of months how the Cyclones got jobbed, how they were better than KU, and in the last few days all you could hear was how excited the Clones were to have another opportunity to show that they really were the better team.

They complained loudly that McLemore’s ‘bank’ shot to send the first game into overtime was just a lucky shot, but there wasn’t even a squeak about Korey Lucious’s lob that accidently went in the basket. In the second game, they were so unhappy that the refs didn’t call charging on KU, causing the game to go into overtime. However, I never heard mention the fact that they got a whole bunch of favorable calls through most of the game.

Oh, I should also mention that several ISU students texted death threats to Elijah, and one adult fan ran up to Self in a threatening manner. Classy??? And then there’s the fact that no one in Iowa ever mentioned the facts that KU just stomped ISU in both overtimes.

Clearly, tonite’s game showed everyone who is really the best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Keith Kienzle 6 years, 4 months ago

I think MinnesotaJay was talking about the team being classy. Fans will be fans, and every team will have its spectrum of fans.... There are plenty of people acting like a**es amongst the Jayhawk faithful on a regular basis, but what sets us apart is that Self, his staff, and his team act classy, for the most part. Hoiberg seems to have them going in a similar direction.

Michael Bratisax 6 years, 4 months ago

The only real gripe I have is that bad calls of this magnitude can be overcome early in the game but when it happens on the next to last possession in regular time, there is a difference.

jaybate 6 years, 4 months 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.

KansasComet 6 years, 4 months ago

I believe Coach Self answered any questions about his intensity with this game. Wow! He went off for about 15 minutes because of the technical foul on McLemore. Way to have your player's back coach!

wrwlumpy 6 years, 4 months ago

Sports Center spent a whole segment on Self's rant including using Digital pixilaton to cover his words for the deaf TV watchers. He might be fined for his sarcasm to Holly at half time. "A Tech for looking at the ISU bench!" Smile and then he says "It was a great call".

Marcia Parsons 6 years, 4 months ago

Be pretty hard to fine him for criticizing when he didn't. Sarcasm is in the ear of the listener (or something like that).

KansasComet 6 years, 4 months ago

Jaybate, you broke down Coach Self, like Perry Ellis broke down Iowa State. An enjoyable read, thanks!

mattiesdad 6 years, 4 months ago

Self's KU winning percentage has now reached 84% (rounding up a bit), topping Roy by about 3.5 percent. Stratospheric!

He should pass Roy's 418 KU wins in 4 more seasons, a full season ahead of Coach Williams (14 seasons vs. 15). Outrageous!

I never dreamed that Self would be such an across the board upgrade. I really hope he stays long enough to pass Phog's 590 wins. It would only be fitting for Self to be the all-time KU wins leader. Exceptional in every way!

Chris1955 6 years, 4 months ago

Jaybate, I loved the Bum Phillips quote.

amatxjayhawk 6 years, 4 months ago

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

mattiesdad 6 years, 4 months ago

Harvey Penick, the great golf coach said it this way: Practice and prepare and then let luck happen.

jayhawkinATL 6 years, 4 months 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.

packywacky88 6 years, 4 months 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.

Robert Brock 6 years, 4 months ago

My last thoughts about Missouri ended when the closing credits scrolled at the conclusion of Winter's Bone.

Steve Brown 6 years, 4 months 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....

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