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Friday, March 22, 2013

In sharp focus: Veterans keep Jayhawks on task

The Jayhawks react to a missed dunk by Justin Wesley as they entertain the fans at the end of their practice on Thursday, March 22, 2013 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

The Jayhawks react to a missed dunk by Justin Wesley as they entertain the fans at the end of their practice on Thursday, March 22, 2013 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

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— Kansas University’s basketball team, which won the NCAA title in 2008 and finished runner-up in 2012, is known for its tournament excellence — as in a 23-8 record in the 10-year Bill Self era.

Of course, Self’s Jayhawks also are recognized for some early stinkers, like first-round losses to Bucknell (2005) and Bradley (2006) and a second-round setback to Northern Iowa in 2010.

“It gets mentioned,” KU senior center Jeff Withey said of some KU shockers in past NCAAs. “We don’t want to be known as one of those teams that loses to a lesser name, you’d say. We’ve already lost this year to TCU. Baylor was a bad loss. We’ve lost badly to teams.

“I mean, we know we have to come ready every game. It’s possible to lose. I don’t think it’s going to happen this year. I’m not going to let it happen this year. We’re going to come ready every game,” added Withey, who said he’s raring to open the 2013 NCAA Tournament against Western Kentucky (20-15) approximately 8:50 tonight in Sprint Center.

No top-seeded team ever has lost to a 16 seed.

“I mean, we hear it every day,” senior Kevin Young said of some past KU early-round losses. “We try not to buy into all the stuff about it. As players, we realize we’ve got to take everybody serious, focus on everybody and take it one game at a time.”

The Jayhawks open the tourney with four senior starters plus red-shirt freshman standout Ben McLemore.

“We know what it takes to get to the championship game. We were there last year,” noted Withey, who along with Elijah Johnson and Travis Releford started for the team that placed runner-up to Kentucky in the 2012 NCAAs. “You can’t look down on your opponent at all. I think that’s something in the past we didn’t have four seniors to control the team and kind of take us to the promised land. I am really positive about this team. I think we are going to make a run for it. We know not to keep our guard down at all.”

If No. 1 seed KU (29-5) survives Western Kentucky of the Sun Belt Conference, it would meet the winner of today’s 6:20 p.m. game between North Carolina and Villanova on Sunday in a third-round tourney game.

Withey believes the Jayhawks learned a valuable lesson in this year’s 62-55 loss at Big 12 cellar dweller Texas Christian on Feb. 6.

“We weren’t tough at all. Our defense was horrible,” Withey said. “Coach prides himself on having tough teams, tough kids. That night, we weren’t us. We couldn’t score for the longest time. We were stuck at two points. Everything wasn’t going our way. That’s in the past. Like I said, we have a lot of seniors, and we’re all excited for this tournament.”

Point guard Johnson entertained the media Thursday by describing what the seniors bring to the table in terms of leadership.

“It’s so weird. We’ve got a chain reaction going,” Johnson said. “I know how to calm Travis down. Kevin knows how to calm me down. Jeff knows how to calm Kevin down, and Travis knows how to calm Jeff down. But those routes don’t mix. I don’t go to Jeff to calm Jeff down, but it’s something I expect Travis to do.

“Not many people try to calm me down. One person who has never hesitated to try is Kevin. We open our ears to each other.”

Like Withey, Johnson loves the fact the seniors bring experience to the table tonight.

“You’ve danced on the biggest stage, no need to be nervous, no need,” Johnson said.

A media member reminded Johnson his next loss would be his last in college.

“If you think like that, it’s possible,” Johnson said. “I don’t think like that. It’s the first time that has even gone through my ear.”

“Sorry man,” the media member responded.

“It went out the other one (ear). Don’t worry about it,” Johnson said with a smile.

“I respect them as a program,” he added of Western Kentucky, which has double-digit scorers in 6-4 sophomore T.J. Price (15.3 ppg), 6-6 sophomore George Fant (12.9) and 6-3 senior Jamal Crook (12.0). “I don’t underestimate them. They can come in here and beat us if we are not focused. I’m fully aware of that, and it keeps me focused.”

KU coach Self only speaks of positive things this time of year.

“It’s our most experienced starting five with three fifth-year seniors and a fourth-year senior. One thing it should do because we’ve seen the highs and lows of the tournament is, our guys will be well aware you can’t take anything for granted, any possession, anything for granted,” Self said, adding, “that sometimes is a tough lesson to learn.”

Comments

djchawk 1 year, 9 months ago

No mercy, men. Take it to 'em. Rock chalk.

okiedave 1 year, 9 months ago

KU has a tough road to the national championship -- Likely have to defeat NC - Mich - Fl - Indiana - Louisville. It just means that the championship is earned.

Curtis Stutz 1 year, 9 months ago

It's easy to worry as a fan, but hopefully our guys aren't thinking about that. You never know who will be there in each round, UNC could lose, Mich could lose to VCU, if KU makes it to the FF could be the only 1 seed to get there.

Jesse Johnson 1 year, 9 months ago

When the bracket was first revealed the team I was most concerned about playing was Michigan. After watching VCU last night I think I am more afraid of them now.

JayHawkFanToo 1 year, 9 months ago

Let's take into consideration that Akron had its top point guard suspended, two other players including the starting point guard seriously slowed down by the Flu and a backup point guard did not even dress up because of back spasms.
Its is not a surprise that VCU took advantage of the situation and went full press most of the game and Akron had problems getting the ball out of the back court. Michigan will be a different story. Trey Burke will eat up the press and Michigan will have plenty of open looks.

Kevin Huffman 1 year, 9 months ago

Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Slow down......that would overwhelm people. Just take it one game at a time - survive & advance.

jhawkrulz 1 year, 9 months ago

You forgot Western Kentucky, which is the only team that they are guaranteed to play.

nostradavid 1 year, 9 months ago

Play with INTENSITY! (and have fun :) Rock Chalk Jayhawk !

!!!!!!!!!!!

!!!!!!!!!!! by nostradavid

Jack Wilson 1 year, 9 months ago

Perhaps the Bobby Knight "game face" there ....

AirCapJay 1 year, 9 months ago

If you watched the VCU game last night... that's intensity. We need to come out like that every game.

JayHawkFanToo 1 year, 9 months ago

Teams that play full court press always look like they have a lot of intensity, it is the nature of the beasts but the approach does not always work when the opposing team has decent guards.
In 2004 Mike Anderson and UAB had the 40 minutes of whatever it was called at that time and went to beat Kentucky in a big upset, when UK had trouble against the press. They kept on bragging on how they were going to do the same thing to KU the following weekend. KU had good guards and beat UAB by 26 in the sweet 16...although it lost to Georgia Tech. the next game.
What I am saying is that the full press makes players look like they are playing with more enthusiasm and in a way they are; however, with decent guard play, it can be exploited and result in easy basket once the press in the backcourt is broken.

Robert Brock 1 year, 9 months ago

LOL. Lewis Black would really get our guys fired up! Calm us down? No.

jaybate 1 year, 9 months ago

In all honesty this is how I used to be when I was kicking back. :-)

Curtis Stutz 1 year, 9 months ago

I'm glad to hear the guys are focused, but I also hope they enjoy themselves. There was no joy on the team in the TCU and OU losses. In order to compete their hardest, these guys need to enjoy what they're doing. Compete with everything you've got and you'll hear the sweet cheers of Rock Chalk Jayhawk. Get it done the next 2 games and you'll be the kings of KC.

Kevin Huffman 1 year, 9 months ago

The good news is that they're coming off a NUMBER of enjoyable games in Kansas City in wins over Washington State, Saint Louis, Oregon State, Texas Tech, Iowa State & Kansas State. SHOULD be comfortable with that building by now - Geez!

hawkfan4life 1 year, 9 months ago

Oh, Burrito King...thank you for feeding me and bringing me thru many rough early Sunday mornings after WILD Saturday nights in Larry.

I miss you Burrito King, and pizza from Johnny's and the Wheel too!!

Kevin Huffman 1 year, 9 months ago

Making this 39 year old feel even older - though I have to confess, I don't remember any "Burrito King". Joe's Donuts, Pyramid Pizza, Louise's schooners - - - those were the places.

oldrocker 1 year, 9 months ago

I don't remember Burrito King either...but how about a Texas Burrito at "Border Bandito"!

Dan Harris 1 year, 9 months ago

don't remember b king but how about the hole in the wall or good old joes donuts!

Michael Luby 1 year, 9 months ago

I think Jaybate has us all beat by about 20 years. Sorry man, had to call you out.

jaybate 1 year, 9 months ago

It feels like 40 today. :-)

I'm so old I can't remember what I can't remember.

Tony Bandle 1 year, 9 months ago

Point of reference..OakvilleJHawk turns 65 this August.

To all of you north of that date, God Bless and Long May You Run!!

To all of you south of that date, it'll be here before you know it...enjoy every day of the ride to the max!!

Dirk Medema 1 year, 9 months ago

A media member reminded Johnson his next loss would be his last in college.

EJ - Remind him that the last might already be behind you. Play to win. Rock Chalk.

Joseph Bullock 1 year, 9 months ago

I have no problem with all the good teams in our bracket. That just means that more of them will be gone sooner. As long as we stay focused, I truly believe we will be the last team standing, just like I thought last year (and I think if we played them again,we would beat them, too). But this is now, and we are going to stay in the moment, and kick some tail. Another Kentucky team goes down in the first round tonight. Rock Chalk baby!

stm62 1 year, 9 months ago

Hopefully we will shoot better than we did last year in the tournament. But, like some of our players have said, DEFENSE is what gets you to the Final Four. The Jayhawks know how to play defense.

RJ King 1 year, 9 months ago

Just witnessed #12 Cal defeating #5 UNLV. Anthony Bennett looking like, well - just a big freshman. Then #13 Montana getting blown out by Syracuse. (If Montana is a 13, then Cal is a 1.) Syracuse cannot be that good. Montana (without their leading scorer) looked like a juco team.

Parity this year is creating seeding havoc. We should be wary of everyone.

Many Okie State fans leaving the San Jose Pavillion in tears / uber long faces. Not great showing so far by Big 12. (Good thing Mizzou no longer represents.)

C'mon Kansaaaasss . . . kick some!

Steve Gantz 1 year, 9 months ago

Pretty interesting though that Oregon and Cal get to play games fairly close to home as 12 seeds. I'm sure we'd a been howlin up a storm if we were a 5 seed and having to go play a team in their relative backyard.

Arizona got to play out west as well, and even UCLA and Colorado today get games at very neutral sights both in Austin.

Is the NCAA trying to help out PAC10 teams for some reason?

JayHawkFanToo 1 year, 9 months ago

What can you expect from Travis "Little Napoleon" Ford; he played for MU and UK...talk about a double whammy...although I had OSU winning at couple of games. Oh well, I got 13 of 16 so I can't complain too much.

Jeremy Paul 1 year, 9 months ago

I'm not sure what was better: Missouri losing, or Missouri playing in front of 800 people.

bad_dog 1 year, 9 months ago

Both. And don't forget to add it happened on national TV in the biggest of all collegiate tournaments.

nuleafjhawk 1 year, 9 months ago

I've said this before, but this year's team has the ability to beat ANY team in the tournament.

They also have the "ability" to lose to any team in the tournament.

BUT - if these guys just go out and play to win - NOT play not to lose - we will be bringing more hardware back to Lawrence in a few weeks. Nobody can play with these guys when they are focused and having fun and playing defense.

Jason Keller 1 year, 9 months ago

Rebounding out of our 4 guy is the key for this team in this tournament. We need a guy who can steal us extra possessions when shots aren't falling. Everything else held constant, rebounding at the 4 could send us home early or bring us another title.

Kent Richardson 1 year, 9 months ago

All season we faced good teams playing their hardest against us, massive effort every time. We are tempered and honed and expect nothing less. We can go very deep with this group. Disappointing lack of team play from Ok St with Smart and Nash looking to display their wares for the next level. Les Miserables. MU looked like crap. I don't expect Krueger to let his less talented group play as poorly and expect K-State to at least play very hard and hope to hit some 3's. I-State will spread out ND and The Mayor can adjust and motivate. Don't want to see his boy cry again. Kudos to the Shockers, looked like an SEC team with that D.

tis4tim 1 year, 9 months ago

A little motivational song for our boys. Sung to the tune of "Put on a Happy Face" from Bye Bye Birdie

Hey, guys, we're gonna D-up, Put on a Withey face! Beat down all comers and cheer up, Put on a Withey face!

Bucknell and Bradley and Northern Iowa That's not our style. So snuff out a shot and thwack the rock to the fifteenth aisle!

Pick out a guy to re-ject Stick out that noble chin, Wipe out potential two points Slap on a Withey grin!

T-shirts and trophies all over the place, just Put on a Withey face!

JayHawkFanToo 1 year, 9 months ago

Which Withey face do you speak of?

Withey dunking

Withey dunking by JayHawkFanToo

Mad Withey

Mad Withey by JayHawkFanToo

Ron Franklin 1 year, 9 months ago

From espn.com team stats, I found the following point totals for the three seniors that have been here 4+years.

Withey: 893

Releford: 916

Elijah: 919

I"m pulling for them all to get to a thousand, especially Travis. Unfortunately, we are going to need Six games to get it done.

Let's roll up on to a thousand each and we'll know we had a decent run!

AirCapJay 1 year, 9 months ago

Withey only needs 18 points per game and he could do it. Rock Chalk and get it done!

Justin Carlson 1 year, 9 months ago

Sorry to bug you guys! I have been out of town for a week on spring break! I know the hawks play tonight at 8:50pm TNT.

I just found out I have special meeting Sunday flipping evening. Does anyone know what time the hawks will play Sunday AFTER they win??

Please help I need to know if I have to call in sick after taking 5 days of vacation!!

thanks in advance!!

JC

Tony Bandle 1 year, 9 months ago

Sunday games are usually over by 6:00 pm so pray for no overtime!!

Kevin Huffman 1 year, 9 months ago

Not in recent years. In recent years they've had the last game or two start like ~ 4:30 or 5....would get over ~ 6:30 / 7:00....which makes sense since prime-time viewing begins at 7.

Having said that, I suspect that if we win we'll be in that grouping of those last two games. I think the UCLA / Minnesota vs. likely Florida might be the other late shown game on Sunday.

Tony Bandle 1 year, 9 months ago

This could be a great week on the court..UK and Misery lose in their first rounds and KU goes to the Sweet Sixteen!!! hooo hooo!!

FarSideHawk 1 year, 9 months ago

I think this will be a closer than we would like game, but we should pull through with ease at the end.

Next round will be tougher, but I'm happy that it will be a big-name university either way, so team would be amped.

Sweet 16 - against VCU or Mich - would be extremely tough, but Coach Self having a week to prepare with possible revenge against VCU, we should be ready!
I said numerous times before the tournament that I didn't want VCU in our side of the bracket, and I still think they are more dangerous for KU with their style of play than Michigan, but I take comfort in the fact that we have time to get ready for them this time.

Anything goes once we get to Elite 8.

FearlessJayhawk 1 year, 9 months ago

Don't super analyze, it will paralyze. Go out relaxed and have fun. Play your game and don't let the other team dictate the tempo. It would hurt to have chip on your shoulder for not winning it all last year. Play with intensity, but at the same time use common sense; don't play scatter-brain basketball. Hold on to the ball and don't make dumb mistakes. Go get em!

Jack Wilson 1 year, 9 months ago

Didn't get to pull this out all year, so in honor of our Border War rivals who have exited early once again:

Ask yourself this .. how can a team play college basketball for over a century and NOT make it to one final four? The answer is only in Columbia ---- Dartmouth , Duequesne , Colorado , Holy Cross, Baylor, NYU, Wichita St., NC -Charlotte, SMU, Drake, Dayton , Iowa St., Seattle, and for goodness sake, Santa Clara , have all obtained Final Four immortality. But Missouri ... well, they haven't. They watch it on TV. Rooting against their rival. One wonders how, in 112 years, there can't be at least one fluke? Incompetence can outweigh odds if it is significant. Heck, didn’t the entire tournament only have eight teams at one time? Oh, that’s right, they had to win the conference to get in. The Tigggers have attained immortality, all right, but in a way only Missouri can.

Has a school's fans ever held a higher opinion of themselves for no apparent reason? This school hired Quinn Snyder over coach Self. MU is kind of a “mousse in the hair” school. Their previous excellent hire, Larry Smith. He didn’t have “an internet.” This school forced Norm Stewart to leave, for Quinn Snyder. Who they hired instead of Coach Self. Has anyone ever referred to the Missouri coaching tree? More like a shrub, or weed. This school rests in a state with highways in shambles, major cities are mired in urban decay, and banjos play relentlessly further south, for those seeking deliverance from misery. Canoe trip anyone? This school prides themselves on their civil war history in the border war .. as a slave state. They pride themselves on the fact that they tried to convince Kansans, by murder and mayhem, to leave ranks of free states and join the Confederacy. And its basketball arena, first known as the "Paige" Sports arena, was named for a college student who attended USC, and who paid a student to do work for her .. allegedly. Now it is simply Mizzou arena. Very original. Perhaps they could have harkened back to their basketball heritage, and pulled a name worthy of recognition ... word is they tried. They may still be trying. Some think they may name it after their best player of all-time ... Doug Smith. Right, Doug Smith. Mizzou fans are known to "storm the court" for wins .. in January .. against Oklahoma . They've been known to start the season in the top 5, only to finish in the NIT. But just making the tournament is success. Heck, just making the NIT is success. Their favorite March past-time is rooting against their rival. And their March tradition is buying and wearing t-shirts of schools that beat their rival, in the tournament that they aren’t in. But this is a school that had to run “deals” to get their basketball tickets purchased. This is a school that defines its existence by their rival’s failures. And this all makes sense to them.

(continued)

Steve Gantz 1 year, 9 months ago

Penn was at the Larry/Magic final four and Rutgers played in '76. Just a couple more names for your list that've made it, not to mention Jacksonville St. with Artis Gilmore. Of course, I imagine 30 years from now people will see the names George Mason, VCU (which also made it before), and maybe even Butler and say, wow, those teams have made it but Misery hasn't?

actorman 1 year, 9 months ago

The one that has never made it that I can't quite fathom is New Mexico, given their intense fan support.

Jack Wilson 1 year, 9 months ago

Missouri has their “greatest basketball season ever” in 2011-12. They don’t even win the league. They achieve not a number 1 seed, but a number 2 seed in the NCAAs – greatest season. MU then suffers the most humiliating loss in NCAA tournament history .. a loss by a 2 seed to a 15 seed. As a note, KU fans did not buy Norfolk St. shirts. We were busy marching to another Final Four. And they march to the SEC, to finish 6th in basketball and 5-7 in football, 5th in a 7 team division – all in a year they proclaimed they would compete to win both titles. That’s competing, Missouri style. Now MU fans think they might want to come back.

A lack of real identity caused MU to be known as a softball school for a time, and they continue to emphasize their school of journalism. Point well taken -- that is absolutely wonderful. Something south of a debate national championship, though. They are so sure about their existence that they lobbied the legislature to keep Missouri State from becoming " Missouri State ", preferring the less threatening Southwest Missouri State . Their basketball arena and football stadium are split by Champions Drive , yet has there ever been a real "championship?" I’m sorry, did you know that MU did win a national championship … in indoor track .. in 1965. That’s as real as it gets in Columbia . As real as the gas station robberies, violent crime, and crime index areas that rank 11 out of 100 .. that’s right, 100 is the safest, and 11 is “Escape from New York ” .. in Columbia . Their police chief, outside of his normal duties, scuffles with KU fans that simply have a banner stating “Allen Fieldhouse East” .. the KU fans are booted out of the arena and arrested. Of course, our fans were later cleared by a Columbia police internal investigation. But no apology.

(continued)

Jack Wilson 1 year, 9 months ago

Their fans scream bloody murder when their own player steps out of bounds, sure that the ref moved the line. Ignorant fans, they just don’t know any better. Their all-male fan grouping, the Antlers, sit around and giggle about making phone calls to opposing players' rooms .. it's their calling card, after all ... all the while spending lots of time together, in hotel rooms .. not sure what the antlers are for; don't want to know. They revel in heckling opposing players .. great pastime. Their favorite lines involve bringing up that a player’s brother is disabled, or referring to one of their body parts and a player’s sister, or simply yelling obscenities with no logical end. And MU security permits it .. all in good, clean fun. Their explanation? All colleges have fans like this. Of course, there was some drinking with coach Eustachy .. Natty light, I hear. Has a school every had major success yanked away at the last moment like this pathetic institution? The NU football "kicked" TD (“flea kicker”) in the last seconds as fans run onto the field, thinking they had won. Tyus Edney. Did you hear me? Tyus freaking Edney! And, of course, a 5th down to defeat vs. Colorado . We have Ricky Clemons, and jail, and Carmento Floyd, and taped phone calls and ATVs, and broken ribs. Beautiful. A #1 football ranking only to get punked by a real football school. Then, the following season was to be THE season, but it crumbles without a Chase. A quarterback that digs deep in his nose, on national TV .. much like Spalding. Their “best football season ever” resulted in a trip .. to the Cotton bowl. They are unsure of what BCS really means. They were outmaneuvered (again by KU) for a BCS bowl, in large part because “their fans don’t travel like KU’s.” It’s a conspiracy.

It is cruel, isn't it? MU is a school that still longingly harkens back to its confederate civil war history, that has such little tradition in any sport, that can’t ever really win anything, and that has an inflated self-image, born from latent insecurity .. but deep down, they know. They know. In the end, Missouri will always shoot themselves in the foot. And they will always wish they were born a Jayhawk.

Give a jeer for Mizzou's Tigers!

A big game loss each time we play.

Give a jeer for Mizzou's Tigers!

And our Tigers will go down to defeat today.

We've got the team that flames out each time;

We've got the team that knows defeat!

Give a cheer for Mizzou's Tigers!

And our Tigers will lose today!

Give a jeer for Mizzou's Tigers!

And our Tigers will lose today!

Grrrrr Tigers.

jaybate 1 year, 9 months ago

Basketball Versifiying Hall of Fame.

Shaming MU Hall of Fame.

A good start to a day. :-)

Ben Kane 1 year, 9 months ago

rule number 1 of brackets is NEVER pick Mizery!

It odder though that a team like northwestern has never even gotten in.

Steve Gantz 1 year, 9 months ago

And odder still that they hosted the first NCAA Final Four!

Tony Bandle 1 year, 9 months ago

C'mon, HEM...tell us how you really feel!! :)

dahawk40 1 year, 9 months ago

It's been a while since anyone has posted some good missery-bashing material. Thanks, HEM!

Mick Allen 1 year, 9 months ago

HEM, beautiful capsulation of the tiggers athletic prowess. Usually not that enthralled with posts of this length, but this was spot on. We know them, we hate them and we are certainly showing we can live without them. SEC, SEC.

JayHawkFanToo 1 year, 9 months ago

To add insult to injury, the MU women's BBall team got bounced in the first round of the NIT.

jaybate 1 year, 9 months ago

The TCU loss is good to recall against WKU.

But the only losses that really matters over the entire season are those to Faylor and MSU.

The loss late to Faylor and early to MSU proved that KU can get psyched out by size inside and a good point guard. It is not that KU cannot beat this type of team. It is that if KU takes to long to probe for such a team's weakness, the big opponent inexorably forces KU out of its hot spots on offense, and takes away KU's transition game's capacity to create the usual half dozen easy baskets KU uses to win games on lackluster nights.

Fortunately, WKU lacks the size and KU has seen a 4-guard motion a half dozen times; so no surprises today.

If EJ's knee is sound, then KU will handcuff WKU's good PG, Withey will take away their inside game, Kevin will disrupt them and dunk on them with alley oops. And Ben and Trav will hurt them from everywhere on the floor. And when the starters need a blow, the ball goes straight to Perry and he score 3-4 times on the low blocks, and Dir penetrates and dishes.

There is only so much Ray Harper can do with a 6-7 post and 4 dwarves.

WKU could be road kill even on a no amp game. More likely though, we'll see the usual laboring seen frequently during KU's no amp performances.

Its going to be similar with UNC, only controlling the scoring of UNC's more and better runts will be more of a chore.

Likely as not, though, Villanova will beat UNC. Nova will bring some muscle and size and Jay Wrong's jerk effect.

The point here is that KU, after this weekend, is going to see almost nothing but size and good point guards.

So: KU has to love the sting of battle. Its that simple. They are not physically strong enough to over power such teams, so they have to run and jump them to death both in half and transition game, and like taking punishment. If they are willing to dish out enough punishment, and so have to take enough punishment, they are a Final Four team.

But if any member of the team gets fatigued by size, the MSU and Faylor losses are going to have been the miner's canaries of this team's Achilles Heel.

Ben Kane 1 year, 9 months ago

Sweep the knee boys!

our bracket has me more nervous than i have been in recent years but perhaps our overconfidence had been our weakness.

we are going to come to play every game and that should always translate to the defensive end. That means in a worst case scenario we should always still have a chance in the end.

In Self I Trust

jaybate 1 year, 9 months ago

By the mirroring composition and hue of colors used in Nick Krug's pics, one can tell its March Madness time.

Last season Nick shot a similar shot with Coach Self walking left to right in front of the young men practicing.

The recurrence of this kind of shot reveals this time of year and this moment for the players resonates in Nick for some reason.

jaybate 1 year, 9 months ago

My big worry in this photo is Coach Self's weight. He's got to fight for his svelteness, or he will have health problems. He works to damn hard to be able to carry around any extra weight. Bill and Cin: take care of yourselves NOW, so you can enjoy life later, too.

KansasComet 1 year, 9 months ago

Hopefully tonight we come out with intensity. Survive and Advance!

Ryan Zimmerman 1 year, 9 months ago

I love Dooley in the pic above... he's so stoic :)

Tony Bandle 1 year, 9 months ago

Check out the article on Naadir yesterday..it's a backshot and he's covering his mouth but I think it's the first photo in almost 10 years whereby Coach Dooley is actually smiling.

The classic story on Coach Dooley is that rght after we beat Memphis in 2008 he turned to Bill with a worried look on his face and exclaimed.."How are we going to do this again??"

jaybate 1 year, 9 months ago

Joe is definitely a candidate for the spooks to hire to sit in bars and eavesdrop on conversations. :-)

1 year, 9 months ago

It is time for our team to out shine all the rest.

jaybate 1 year, 9 months ago

I really like this image. It is on the threshold between photo and mashup that I like so much. From a composition stand point, You've got a circle and partial triangle. Self's lower left arm, especially the white cuff is the major eye distraction from routing the eye around the image. You could darken the cuff and it would cease to be a problem. You could also use a molding routine and pull the top tip of the program back toward Self's face, so it directs the eye back into the image and the image's apex.You might manipulate his hand a bit to help out too. Props.

Tony Bandle 1 year, 9 months ago

GOD..I wish I could have had all of you in my car this morning listening in on the radio to the Tiger fans moaning and crying and bitching about their team. It was pure entertainment.

They're ready to tar and feather Phil Pressey and ride Heath out of town on a rail!! I was laughing so hard, I had to pull over to a gas station so I wouldn't crash because my eyes were watering so badly.

But three cheers for the St.Louis Billikens, my second favorite team. [Numerous family alumni]

jaybate 1 year, 9 months ago

This is your reward for living a good clean Jayhawk life, my son.

Jack Wilson 1 year, 9 months ago

And how about a Lawrence kid putting them out of their misery for CSU .. a nice bonus.

jaybate 1 year, 9 months ago

There is no question that Fizzou committed some transgression against the basketball gods and they have been forever after cast into the land of Nod, east of KU Eden.

I wonder if it all doesn't go back to the night that James Naismith had to spirit his team out the back way of a Columbia hotel after beating MU in order to avoid an angry mob?

Joe Baker 1 year, 9 months ago

I hope CSU can keep up that intensity and give L'ville a good run and possibly an early exit. CSU looked solid.

Steve Gantz 1 year, 9 months ago

Congrats to St. Louis! I keep hearing their name mentioned as a darkhorse FF candidate. The only thing I know about them is we rocked them pretty good back in November. Of course we rock a lot of teams, good and bad. So do you think they're really that good, that they could make a Final Four?

Phil Leister 1 year, 9 months ago

I'm not sure KU has had such a well-spoken, eloquent guard as Elijah in a long time. You can tell just from the things he says how much of a leader he is.

actorman 1 year, 9 months ago

I've criticized him plenty this year for his turnovers, but there's no one I'm rooting for more. A class guy all the way and a true Jayhawk.

jaybate 1 year, 9 months ago

WKU Coach Ray Harper is clearly a coach you do not want to get on the wrong side of as this Nick Krug photo suggests.

Photo by Nick Krug

Photo by Nick Krug by jaybate

IrishHawk 1 year, 9 months ago

Posting at 30k feet somewhere between SF and Atlanta....can't concentrate on anything other than the tourney and tonight's matchup.

This team has surprised me all year long, so wouldn't be shocked to see us find another gear at Sprint Center. HCBS has them believing in what they do, and honestly Baylor/TCU only serve to make this great group of seniors that much more focused now that the tourney is upon us.

More excited to sit back and watch this group this year than any I can recall over the last several years.

ROCK CHALK, Let's go take Game 1 of 6!!!!

jaybate 1 year, 9 months ago

Irish, fine take. And can you occassionally use a still of Duke as Sean in The Quiet Man for your avatar. God, I love that movie still.

Joe Baker 1 year, 9 months ago

great vid- Here's to BMac being in the zone. I hope they show this vid at some point during the tourney.

Great kid.

jayhawkinATL 1 year, 9 months ago

Was kind of surprised to find out the video was put out by KU Athletics.

REHawk 1 year, 9 months ago

Terrific video. Thanks lots for sharing.

kennethst 1 year, 9 months ago

So.....I spent 20 minutes this morning with my 3 year old daughter looking out the kitchen window at cardinals and bluejays......and listening to her explain to me how and why each one looks like Baby Jayhawk.

Best 20 minutes of the week for me.......easily.

Tony Bandle 1 year, 9 months ago

Now that is wisdom coming from the mouths of babes!!

kennethst 1 year, 9 months ago

Yes......Now the debate has shifted to whether Baby Jayhawk is a boy or girl......and if he/she can fly. Serious matters that need to be addressed.

coloradojayhawk 1 year, 9 months ago

The KU Mascot web page says she's a girl. I just don't know whatever happened to Momma.

bad_dog 1 year, 9 months ago

I dated Baby Jay about 22 years ago. I can confirm she was female.

kennethst 1 year, 9 months ago

Thanks Ralster....I never knew that myself. I will tell my little girl.....it will impress her.

actorman 1 year, 9 months ago

Beautiful story, kennethst. It sounds like you're doing a great job raising your girl.

kennethst 1 year, 9 months ago

Actorman......Very nice of you to say! Yes.....it's the BEST job in the world!!!

kennethst 1 year, 9 months ago

HA! Yes. As soon as she learns her numbers and adding/subtracting!!

Kye Clark 1 year, 9 months ago

Hey, how great was it yesterday that after a whole year (and seemingly every game) with Holly Rowe as the sideline reporter we had a little eye candy with Rachel Nichols yesterday?

MizzouBest 1 year, 9 months ago

Sir......From your comment yesterday.....I think you mistake me for an obnoxious and rude MU fan. But I have posted on here for about a year......and enjoyed respectful banter from KU fans.....including old favorites as Jaybate,Oakville,Icthawk.....amoung others. Unlike many of my fellow MU fans....I have nothing but respect for KU.

actorman 1 year, 9 months ago

MizzouBest, it's nice to know that you're the exception that proves the rule. A shame there aren't more like you.

JayHawkFanToo 1 year, 9 months ago

"I think you mistake me for an obnoxious and rude MU fan."
Help out here, I am a little confused...is there any other kind of MU fan? Shouldn't you be posting in a MU forum? Uhmmm...Never mind, both of your teams for bounced in the first game. Maybe you can got to an SEC forum such as Kentucky and post there...I guess not, they were bounced too.
Maybe you should see a shrink. your fixation with all things KU is a little disturbing. Nothing personal, but didn't MU thought it was too good for the Big 12 and bolted for the SEC? Shouldn't you follow your school's lead and leave as well?

Phoghorn 1 year, 9 months ago

There is no need to be obnoxious. MizzouBest has made a lot of good posts on this forum, and has contributed a lot of information.

MizzouBest 1 year, 9 months ago

There is part of the problem. If you read my posts from last year you would know I hated leaving the Big 12 and I don't like the SEC. I don't have a fixation with KU.....I respect KU.

kennethst 1 year, 9 months ago

I agree......there is no need to be hateful to MizzouBest. I have known him to post nothing but respectful comments here.....and he is welcome to do so.

theend 1 year, 9 months ago

Are you that insecure that you can't handle opposing fans?? MizzouBest is a nice guy and has good basketball insight. And as others have said....he has been nothing but respectful.........You remind me of another guy that had anger issues on here.....but then changed his name and picture. I wonder if you're him.

Phoghorn 1 year, 9 months ago

I love Holly Rowe. She is smart, gets coaches to talk, and she keeps her biases out of the discussion.

Don't get me wrong, I think that Ms. Rowe is very pretty, but I really like her as a reporter.

Kye Clark 1 year, 9 months ago

"gets coaches to talk"

Trying to remember any insight I got from a coaches response following one of her questions. Or any instance of her pressing a coach for an answer if he side-stepped a question.

Up until this year I covered high school sports (including boys & girls basketball) for a small town paper, and I would interview coaches and players after the games. It wasn't difficult. Watching college basketball games, I can usually guess what the questions will be for the coaches going into half: "so-and-so only has 2 points for you so far, how do you get him going?", "your opponent hit 5 threes that half, what can you do differently to contain that?", "so-and-so looked a little gimpy heading to the bench, what's his condition?" Add that she has the ESPN stat machines feeding her up to the minute info, it's just really hard for me to give her (or any sideline reporter) a whole lot of credit.

Given this, might as well throw the babe out there in front of the camera.

Steve Gantz 1 year, 9 months ago

Man, I hate these first round games as a #1 seed! They're usually not very competitive, kind of dull to be honest, and if they are competitive, then there's no fun in watching because you know, we should be killing this team.

It's a little puzzling to me to see Western Kentucky as a 16. A few years back they were striking fear in the tourney as a tough out, ask Drake and Illinois, both 5 seeds. Even last year they were underseeded. They won the 16 seed playin game, and then lost by 'only' 15 to Kentucky.

So this game could turn into one of our nightmares, even when we win. Ask Gonzaga about the headlines today about their 'fraudulent' first seed as I read somewhere. Since KU wins more by our stout defense than our clicking on all cylinders offense (which was in fine form last week in the conference championship) we run the risk of appearing fraudulent as well.

kennethst 1 year, 9 months ago

As long as KU wins.....I don't really care. Remember 2002? KU barely beat Holy Cross in first round as a #1 seed......but still ended up going to Final Four. You can never tell.

Steve Gantz 1 year, 9 months ago

Yeah, I was trying to remember which year that was, I could have looked it up.

MizzouBest 1 year, 9 months ago

Oakville! You old scoundrel......still going at it on here, eh? Good to see the old rogues still battling it out. And you a Missourian as I recall??

I see Jaybate is still at it.......mocking MU. Well.....we deserve it.

MizzouBest 1 year, 9 months ago

Good to see you Ralster.....good thoughts/post.

sawman3333 1 year, 9 months ago

It was great to see a kid from Lawrence take it to you guys! Thank you for participating in this year's tournament Mizery and have a nice summer.

Phoghorn 1 year, 9 months ago

Welcome back, MizzouBest. I appreciate the information that you have posted on here.

I have to be honest, it has been interesting to read various message boards to see the opinions of MU fans about the big move to the SEC, both pro and con.

MizzouBest 1 year, 9 months ago

Thank you, sir! Yes a shame about Tigers....but I can't say I was too surprised. Colorado State is very good.

Ethan Berger 1 year, 9 months ago

Couple observations.

I remember in the 2010/2011 season we played Colorado State. They kept talking about a kid from Kansas who was pretty good. Well that kid led his team to victory over that laughable trailer park across the border.

Travis Ford is a great recruiter and an average coach. He did not plan very well against Oregon. He was trying to press a fast break team, and they were destroying the full court press. Worst part was, Travis Ford didn't adjust. They played a sloppy mix of zone/man that was useless. It was a Scott drew type performance. They have two top 10 recruits starting and couldn't beat Oregon. Oregon is a good team, but if Ok State had someone who could gameplan, then OK state should have won easily.

Pac 12 is better then I thought. I watched every single game almost and must say they looked good. Oregon, Cal and Arizona were all well coached and could tell they knew what they were doing. Cal didn't let Bennett own the middle, Oregon didn't let OSU get in their half court O and Arizona used their athletes to defeat a good shooting Belmont team.

Last thing, it was confirmed yesterday that the path for the Hawks will not be fun. Michigan started off shaky, but dominated the second half. They looked real good and will be a touch match up. VCU, my o my. Good news is that if they beat Michigan, KU will have revenge goggles on. And KU plays well with those goggles.

Should be a great day, make sure the rest of the world knows that KU is the team to beat in the south. No one is picking, make an example out of WKU.

O and Mizzery still sucks!

Kye Clark 1 year, 9 months ago

I took yesterday's VCU performance with a grain of salt. That Akron team had 2 regular rotation players out with the flu, and they had just suspended their starting point guard. Without those 3 players, Akron isn't a tournament team. They probably aren't even an NIT team. I'm not saying that Akron would have won, but with all the missing players it was a recipe for disaster.

Kye Clark 1 year, 9 months ago

Did Cincinnati get the memo they only had to wear those Adidas-Camo eye sores once and then they could go back to their regular uniforms? Their game with Creighton just started, and while not as bad as some (UCLA, Notre Dame), I still haven't warmed up to them.

bad_dog 1 year, 9 months ago

Someone else was wearing the their road versions in the tournament yesterday as well.

I was looking at KU's version of the camo uniforms down on Mass St. last evening. I was surprised the away uniforms weren't as bad in person as they were online. The light gray in the home uniforms stood out more in person than on TV or online. They also had the Adidas "Tone out" jerseys they wore at WVU, I believe. Those look pretty good too, but I still prefer what we ordinarily wear for both esthetic and traditional reasons.

sawman3333 1 year, 9 months ago

Well--looks like it will be up to us to represent the conference again. Thanks alot, OSU and KSU! LaSalle doing a beatdown on the Cats...

Kye Clark 1 year, 9 months ago

Agree. We'll most likely be the only Big 12 school playing next weekend. ISU & OU could win their first round games, but that will most likely be it.

The conference is a joke. This is why I was such a proponent of the Big 12 adding Louisville. It would be so good for KU to have someone like that in the conference. Myself, HEM, & others have bemoaned this point for pretty much the entire conference realignment discussions.

Phoghorn 1 year, 9 months ago

I am feeling a bit crummy about the Big 12. I hope that there is not a bad moon on the rise for KU.

jaybate 1 year, 9 months ago

I wanna kno-o--ow, have you ever seen the rain Rollin' down mizzou again...

coloradojayhawk 1 year, 9 months ago

We need to take a lesson from OSU and KSU that we can't just show up and teams will roll over for us. We need to show up to play each and every team. If the Big 12 winds up 6-4 in the tourney, but it's because KU won the tourney, I'll still be happy.

jayhawkinATL 1 year, 9 months ago

I'm sure Bill will point this out before tip-off.

ParisHawk 1 year, 9 months ago

All the real upsets help Gonzaga! They play a 9, then either a 12 or a 13. Then Harvard in the Elite 8?

Why is KU's region the last one to play, always? Don't they know I have an early bedtime?

jaybate 1 year, 9 months ago

They are envious and persecuting you, because they know you will always have Paris? :-)

Randy Bombardier 1 year, 9 months ago

Didn't 2008 start in the Sprint Center, too?

hawkmoon2020 1 year, 9 months ago

Way to "represent," KSU and OSU. Big uglies. Thought we were better than the Pac 12. We'll see after today. The upside, KU will be ON GUARD!!!

jaybate 1 year, 9 months ago

Wow, John Thompson 2.0 sent them out flat and he's got a problem on his hands.

jaybate 1 year, 9 months ago

Florida Gulf Coast is going through their getting mugged phase.

I hope these guys beat the dick out Georgetown.

sawman3333 1 year, 9 months ago

We must dominate tonight. No playing around. No letting them in the game. Do not let them think they even have a chance at halftime. Be serious.

jaybate 1 year, 9 months ago

Andy Enfield.

Remember this name.

FGCU is upsetting Georgetown.

They beat Miami this year.

This guy has done a great job with this team.

He assisted for Self's Okie State mentor Leonard Hamilton for five years.

He's been an assistant in the NBA for several teams before that. Started as a free throw shooting coach.

Played at Johns Hopkins. I didn't even know that Spook U had a basketball team. He was an academic AA at Spook U.

Fast track.

jaybate 1 year, 9 months ago

Not surprised KSU tanked, but still shocked at Okie State.

jaybate 1 year, 9 months ago

Looks like Georgetown maybe given this game by the referees.

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