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Kansas defeats Western Kentucky, 64-57

  • 8:50 p.m., March 22, 2013
  • Sprint Center, Kansas City, MO

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Whew! Kansas survives big, red scare

Kansas guard Elijah Johnson tries to pump up the crowd after a defensive stop by the Jayhawks against Western Kentucky during the second half on Friday, March 22, 2013 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

Kansas guard Elijah Johnson tries to pump up the crowd after a defensive stop by the Jayhawks against Western Kentucky during the second half on Friday, March 22, 2013 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self, Elijah Johnson, Travis Releford talk after win over WKU

Kansas coach Bill Self and guards Elijah Johnson and Travis Releford talk after the Jayhawks' 64-57 win over WKU on March 23, 2013.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

WKU coach Ray Harper

WKU coach Ray Harper talks after his team's 64-57 loss to Kansas on March 22, 2013.

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Box score

• KU-WKU

— Kansas University did not become the first No. 1-seeded team in NCAA Tournament history to lose to a 16 on Friday night in Sprint Center.

The Jayhawks, however, did trail by a point at halftime before managing to do just enough to edge Western Kentucky of the Sun Belt Conference, 64-57, in a second-round clash that scared the heck out of 18,488 fans — almost all wearing Crimson and Blue, except for one section of loud, red-clad Hilltoppers.

“We came out uptight, nervous,” said KU center Jeff Withey, who scored 17 points with seven blocks and six rebounds. “They surprised us with how good they were. We definitely took them lightly. I talked earlier that we can’t let that happen, but we did.

“At least we got it out of the way, and we’ll be ready Sunday,” added Withey, referring to a 4:15 p.m. third-round game against North Carolina to be shown on CBS.

The Jayhawks, who never led by more than six points until 5:10 remained and even saw a somewhat comfy, game-high lead of 11 points with 3:08 left dip to just five at 1:43, committed 17 turnovers, many against the Hilltoppers’ press.

The Jayhawks also went 0-for-6 from three. It marked the first time in 201 games KU had gone without a made three. Last game without a three was a 100-90 victory over Baylor in 2008.

“I knew we’d pull it out,” Withey said. “We’ve been in this situation too many times.

“Coach got on us a little (after the game),” Withey added of Bill Self’s message. “At the same time, we won. He said we can’t come out like that Sunday or we’ll get beat by 20.”

Self said that though the Jayhawks were loose in the locker room all week, the mood changed a bit Friday. KU’s effort brought to mind No. 1 seed Gonzaga’s narrow 64-58 win over No. 16 seed Southern on Thursday. All of the top seeds in this tourney advanced, increasing the all-time record of No. 1s over 16s to 116-0.

Though this one was definitely scary for the 1.

“I don’t know if we’ve been much looser all season than this week,” Self said after his team ran its record to 30-5 overall. Self improved his personal record at KU to 299-58 entering the Carolina game, which has a chance to be his win No. 300 as a Jayhawk.

“But I did sense a little bit different feel in the locker room. We were a little tight. We got tighter as we went. The second half we did guard better,” he added.

KU held WKU to 3-of-20 three-point shooting. The Hilltoppers (20-16) hit 31.8 percent of their shots.

Still, KU, which became the first team to win a tourney game without a three since Arizona in 2001, made oh-so-many mistakes in this one.

Ben McLemore had four turnovers to go with his 11 points. Kevin Young had four turnovers to go with his eight boards and five points. Withey and Elijah Johnson each had three turnovers, Johnson five points off 1-for-6 shooting.

“I wasn’t nervous,” said McLemore, who did hit seven of eight free throws on a night KU hit 24 of 30. “I just tried to get my head in the game, and I tried to be focused. I didn’t want to mess up.”

KU hit 7.7 percent of its shots outside the paint, as in just one field goal outside the paint.

“We didn’t play our best by any stretch,” Self said. “But give Western credit. I thought they were the most aggressive team (WKU outrebounded KU, 41-35). I thought they controlled the game for the most part until the second half when we got the ball inside some. We’re happy to advance but not pleased how we played. We’ll have to play a lot better on Sunday.”

KU went 0-for-5 from three and was outrebounded, 18-13, by a smaller Western Kentucky team as the Jayhawks trailed, 31-30, at halftime.

The Hilltoppers made just one of six threes but did convert 13 of 27 shots the initial half for 48.1 percent to KU’s 12 of 25 for 48 percent.

Withey scored eight points off 4-of-5 shooting, while Perry Ellis had seven points and Travis Releford six the first half.

Western Kentucky was led by forwards Aleksejs Rostov and George Fant, who scored nine and eight points respectively.

Comments

Lash 7 years, 7 months ago

We are KANSAS! We will find a way to beat you. It may not be pretty but a W is a W. Congrats also to ISU and WSU!

Aligned 7 years, 7 months ago

I’m happy we won, but this team can look very mediocre at times. We were fortunate to get to the line so many times.

Steve Quatrocky 7 years, 7 months ago

Yes, the Topeka Y team won last night, very similar to TCU, played totally crappy in the first half because they didn't respect their opponent, shots wouldn't fall, then they still didn't fall and thankfully our defense saved our butts in the second half. Defense wins Championships but gives the fans high blood pressure and ulcers too!

Aligned 7 years, 7 months ago

Defense is important, that’s for sure, but to advance in the tournament a team needs pretty good offense too.

jhox 7 years, 7 months ago

Classic Bill Self tough it out, grind it out kind of win.

We won't go very far if we're reluctant to take 3's though. We were right to take it inside against that team but we need to knock down a few 3's against UNC or it will be curtains. I will say that WK defended the 3 point line as well as any team I've seen. We didn't get a lot of open looks out there, and some we did take were pretty tentative.

RockChalkRedlock 7 years, 7 months ago

This is the game I kind of expected in the first round. But being a Jayhawk for years im not suprised we came out with the W. I could see it in Withey's face during the 2nd half, he was fired up and played tough. That toughness is going to be the most important factor in this tournament. We'll need all pistons fireing in this next one, Bmac needs to get plugged into the game and get more shots off. I hope we can move the ball better sunday, but o boy im excited for KU vs. UNC, lets go hawks its March! Get tough! Rock Chalk!

Curtis Stutz 7 years, 7 months ago

I think BMac learned a little something about the toughness this group of seniors expects from starters tonight, and I'd be very afraid of that fact if I was a wussy group of UNC players. I love Roy, but KU is gonna work you over on Sunday, count on it. Best group of seniors ever, can't stand the idea of these guys not winning their last game of college basketball.

BringBackNike 7 years, 7 months ago

Best group of seniors ever? You must have forgotten about '03, '05 and the '08 senior classes. Don't get me wrong I love these guys. But best group of seniors comment is ridiculous.

Curtis Stutz 7 years, 7 months ago

The only class that I'd consider of those 3 is '05. I've got a lot of love for all the senior classes but give me a break, KU only had 2 seniors in '03 and none of the seniors in '08 were go to players on that team. Maybe you need to take a second look.

Bradly Moore 7 years, 7 months ago

05 group most overrated group ever. Biggest choke job ever. Never really bought into HCBS.

hawk_of_ages 7 years, 7 months ago

Langford was playing hurt vs. Bucknell. It was hardly a "choke job." And it's pretty bizarre for a so-called KU fan to disrespect a class that went to three Elite Eights and two Final Fours. How soon we forget.

Brad Hall 7 years, 7 months ago

When Roy was here he liked to press and trap. Our guys have had trouble bringing it up without a press. I'd be surprised if we don't see a press every game from here on out. We'll likely be tougher, but if we can't find a way to bring the ball up the court it won't be a fun game.

jayhawkinATL 7 years, 7 months ago

Teams that haven't seen us all year know now that our guards CAN'T handle pressure. You're right...they are going to bring it every game now.

Michael Bratisax 7 years, 7 months ago

"I'd be very afraid of that fact if I was a wussy group of UNC players"

I'm sure that UNC wishes they could just forfeit the game and fly home on an earlier flight... After that performance they must be laying awake at night with pure fear.

KJD 7 years, 7 months ago

Withey's the man and he will continue to be. He's been so consistent all year. McLemore, Ellis and even Tharpe get their first taste of what the NCAA tournament is. Bill Self wins a coaching duel. In the first half I saw WKU run hockey lines of energy at our rotation of 8 while both coaches sparred with line ups, combinations. KU's play did get that front line of the Hilltoppers in foul trouble. Survive and advance in all rounds of play, no matter the round, no matter the seed.

I don't agree with all that is Charles Barkley though I liked his post game take: “I was impressed tonight with how Kansas battled. People expect, because you are a higher seed, to blow these lower seeds out. These lower seeds, as Georgetown found out tonight, can play also. So, great win by Kansas.”

jhawkchuck 7 years, 7 months ago

I also like his line about Sundays game. we are going to beat NC "like they stole something"

jayhawkinATL 7 years, 7 months ago

Sir Charles is trrrrrrrible. He knows ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about college b-ball. Surprised CBS wastes its time with him. Greg Anthony and Kenny Smith try their best to save the broadcasts.

Max Ledom 7 years, 7 months ago

Doesn't matter how it's done. Survive and advance. That's March.

Rock Chalk

April13 7 years, 7 months ago

Why did Perry sit so much? He was our best player in the first half and then sat so long that he cooled off and tightened up in the second half. I don't understand it, especially with Kevin playing a bonehead game.

BringBackNike 7 years, 7 months ago

Kevin played much better in the second half. His first half was dreadful. Perry really got the ax after he hesitated on the wide open mid range jumper. Self recognized the lack of aggressiveness and made the right move to pull him.

jaybate 7 years, 7 months ago

Perry was overstimulated and not setting up enough on the low block to make his spin moves reliably.

The opponent was a very good defender against a guy Perry's size. A super shover and Perry kept letting him get him moving off his spot, His shot then wouldn't fall. Its okay. Just because he arrived doesn't mean he can be good every game yet. And it was his first Madness.

jhox 7 years, 7 months ago

12 minutes, 9 points, 7 rebounds, one steal. I wish some of our other players would have been that overstimulated. His hesitance on that one shot (I think the only one he missed) and the fact he didn't follow his shot, got him yanked. Freshman short leash syndrome again. This kid needs more minutes. He's earned more minutes. Other than one short stretch, Young was a mess last night.

jaybate 7 years, 7 months ago

I Explained why Perry did not play more.

You explain what he did well.

They are almost never the same thing, are they?

Young played so poorly we won.

You need to be a little more careful in order to to achieve useful accuracy.

come out thinking, not swinging.

Rock Chalk!

jhox 7 years, 7 months ago

I get what you're saying, Jaybate, but I am a strong believer that you only get better by playing. If watching made a person better, I'd be making millions in the NBA right now. If he had gotten more minutes earlier this year, with outcomes in doubt, he wouldn't be making those tentative mistakes.

Kevin brings great energy and guys feed off of him, but he goes through stretches where he does nothing right. He is a better defender, but Perry is better offensively and rebounding. If it were my call, the two of them would probably be getting roughly equal minutes right now.

Jeremy Hays 7 years, 7 months ago

Jhox,

I understand what you are saying except you said more minutes and you don't make tentative mistakes. Yet BMac made tentative mistakes and he has played a lot of minutes. I think the learning curve for big men is much tougher in NCAA than it is for G and Small Forwards (I'm not saying it is easy just toughER for Big men). Perry didn't attack like he has the last 10 games.

Non-Con: he wasn't very good until made a few shots but wasn't aggressive. Conf play: Started at HORRIBLE and finally understood what it took to play and started to play well. Conf Tourney: played outstanding and made great plays (I thought the mins would be split at worst with KY) WKU: He missed a bunny and was hesitant against defenders who can't stay with him. He looked like he did early in conf play (a nice play here or there but as a whole not very sure of himself)

Lastly, I will never question someone who has had the success of HCBS going for 300 wins on Sunday (reminder that he has been here for 10 years sooo that's an average of 30 wins per season!!!) I let him decide a good lineup and trust him.

REHawk 7 years, 7 months ago

Self has done a super job of bringing Perry along. One of the announcers pointed out that the yank might have been very appropriate, as the moment was a bit heavy for Perry to handle at that particular juncture. I'm okay with the move. This kid is a jewel; deserves all the best of proper polish and care. Already, he is making a difference for the Jayhawks on this big stage. His first half production kept us in the game.

jaybate 7 years, 7 months ago

Yes, he has been a late bloomer based on his reputation only.

He is going to be a valuable weapon.

His productivity only fell off when he got too excited on offense and let them coax him into trying to catch on the move down low, rather than set up on a spot. Trying to play this sliding post game was what screwed him up so long. He got better late in the season once they began letting him stay on a spot and make his spinning pivot moves that hat he is long comfortable with.

Also, second half KU had to disrupt and get more stops. That is Kevin's forte.

But all in all Perry is finally effective in his instant offense role Self has crafted for him. Notice that he shoots every time he touches the ball the first 3 or so possessions he is in. That is totally scripted to get him going and to force the opponent into being attacked from a new angle. It works great, when Perry's shots are falling.

rtwngr 7 years, 7 months ago

There was a possession where Ellis had the ball about 15 feet alway from the basket and he was wide open. He had two choices; he could drive because they were denying Withey or he could shoot. He hesitated, double clutched, and then tossed up a brick. That is the tentativeness that Coach Self does not want. It earned him a chair for the rest of the game.

David Gisi 7 years, 7 months ago

Ellis was tentative, like he didn't know what to do on that shot attempt. But he proved right after that, before Self could get him out, that he is a long way ahead of earlier in the year. The defensive rebound he got on the following possession was a tough, contested rebound that would have made TRob proud. As far as Young goes, you get what you get. In the first half, not much. But his aggressiveness in second was just as important as Withey's. The shot-follow dunk was a play nobody else on that team would have made.

jhox 7 years, 7 months ago

Perry is a great rebounder and we could have used a little more of him for that reason alone. Yes, he did hesitate on that jumper, but I wish Self would have played him more the second half. I know he has his defensive deficiencies but his offense and rebounding more than make up for it.

April13 7 years, 7 months ago

So....he's tentative on one shot and he gets yanked? Anybody want to count up the mistakes KY made? We could start with 4 turnovers, right?

You pointed out his line earlier and were dead on. If Ellis plays 30 minutes, we win by double digits. KY is the one with jitters.

JD Roth 7 years, 7 months ago

Congratulations KU on being the first D-1 team in history to win 30 or more games four consecutive seasons. I would appreciate it if you would bring your A game Sunday. Play relaxed Kansas basketball.

nostradavid 7 years, 7 months ago

That's the good kind of history.

I can dig it !

I can dig it ! by nostradavid

jaybate 7 years, 7 months ago

Best yet, nostra!!!!

This I believe is a distant relative on one side of my family, or the other. :-)

The pronounced brow gives it away.

Curtis Stutz 7 years, 7 months ago

I'm so disgusted by the officiating in this game I can't even describe it. When BMac was called for a travel it was at the instant he even caught the ball. Withey's last foul was probably that block when he was in position for a good 3 seconds. Sure there was 1 call where EJ got an and 1 that I thought was a no call, but overall it was like 20 bad calls to 1 on WKU's side. Their players kept taking shots at EJ and never were called for a foul. I am on the record here as being someone that has cheered on WKU in the past, but never again. I'm sorry Coach Townsend, your team disgraced all its history tonight with dirty play and NCAA love, I wish nothing but horrible things for their current coach and anyone associated with this team as well as the officiating crew tonight. Go f yourselves WKU, zero respect in the future from this KU fan, just like I have zero respect for UK after they all cheered Muhammed for stomping on Ryan Robertson when he was on the floor. May that entire state burn (except all the service men and women at Ft. Knox). You have no respect for the real game of basketball and no right to consider yourselves a part of the sport. That is all I have to say about that.

Michael Sillman 7 years, 7 months ago

Actually I thought Johnson was out of line on some occasions.

John Randall 7 years, 7 months ago

EJ allowed himself to be provoked, and the retaliator always comes off looking worse than the instigator.

April13 7 years, 7 months ago

If he gets a T for that shove, just like the kid from FGCU did against Georgetown, we probably lose the game.

Bill Anthony 7 years, 7 months ago

There were some bad calls, but the refs didn't ref nearly as poorly as Kansas played. I doubt they made much difference in the final score. Nor do I believe WKU played dirty. Sadly, I did just now loose a little respesct for you, phogphan.

Curtis Stutz 7 years, 7 months ago

Good for you, but I didn't see you agreeing with me last year after the UK game when I was high on the team and it's ability to go deep in the tourney, or this year when I said Gonzaga had a good shot at a 1 seed 4 months ago. Nor did I notice you sticking up for EJ when a bunch of posers were tearing into him on here, so maybe I can do without your opinion of me.

Michael Bratisax 7 years, 7 months ago

You okay phogphan..you must be devastated at losing a little of his respect.

Joe Baker 7 years, 7 months ago

I was especially impressed with the screens by WKY on top of the key. They did it all night. They set a screen. Then they would spin, moving with the KU defender, to set another (moving) screen. They would even do a third and fourth screen. The refs let them do it all night long.

Still doesn't justify the dumb dumb plays made by KU.

farnamjayhawk 7 years, 7 months ago

The officiating was fine. In fact, I liked how the ref stopped play and talked to Johnson and the WKU player instead of calling a foul.

As for wishing ill will on them....Go somewhere else because we don't need that kind of talk here.

Joe Baker 7 years, 7 months ago

I loved the "palming" call on Nadiir. Palming the ball?

brooksmd 7 years, 7 months ago

Really. They could whistle every guard in college ball for palming.

Curtis Stutz 7 years, 7 months ago

I know I'm going to sound like a hypocrite, but I didn't take issue with that one. I just don't get the calls like BMac's travel where the whistle has blown before he's even established possession. To me that's a ref with an agenda, he's not calling what he sees, he's calling what he hopes to see. This was far from the worst officiating I've seen this season or anything, but it never ceases to amaze me how other highly ranked teams like Gonzaga can get away with slapping arms all day on defense to help them squeak out a win, and in KU's case they're being called for a travel for catching the ball. Or you look at Syracuse's win over UNC-Ashville last year where the refs just handed the ball repeatedly to 'Cuse in the last 5 minutes to make sure they'd advance. At some point a 1 is losing to a 16 and it's going to be KU, 'cause KU is the only team that gets 1 seeds and can still end up with the short stick on calls in those games. I get really stressed out over this, and sometimes it causes me to type in fits of rage.

jayhawkinATL 7 years, 7 months ago

Palming/carried...he definitely did it on that play.

David Gisi 7 years, 7 months ago

My son asked me what palming was. I said, "It's that thing you do when you put your hand under the ball and turn it over. I keep telling you it's a violation and you keep telling me, 'Everybody does it.'" It is very difficult to accept it being called when it happens constantly. Would be curious to hear an "official" stance on what would cause a palm call, since it is rarely called when it actually occurs.

jayhawkab 7 years, 7 months ago

Yeah he definitely palmed the ball. Instead of hand on top of the ball he had the hand on the bottom of the ball when he moved.

Curtis Stutz 7 years, 7 months ago

Yeah no, that's great officiating when WKU takes a backhanded swing at our guy and the refs stops to tell EJ how to avoid getting hit when WKU players take a swipe at him? What did EJ do in that situation that the ref needed to converse with him about it?

I'm just fed up with everything related to any fans of any Kentucky teams. Did I overdue it? Probably, maybe I should have put it this way. Hey state of Kentucky, whatever happens to happen always happens for the worst and if the worst is yet to happen I hope it happens to you first.

It won't let me edit my other comment, so there it is.

David Gisi 7 years, 7 months ago

Disagree. I'm sure that WKU player was just trying to "get up", but everytime EJ moved to try to step away from standing over him, the guy seemed to move right where EJ was trying to step. I think it frustrated both of them. But as he got up, EJ simply reached his hand out, while watching the ball to feel where he was, to not allow him to slip away unnoticed. The guy shoved EJ, he was the only aggressor in that situation and a foul should have been called. EJ did nothing to warrant anything on that play. Even the beginning of it when the player fell, he was out of control and rolled under EJ. Now later in the game, EJ should have had a foul, maybe even a tech on the deadball when he shoved another player. Didn't like that at all from EJ.

minnhawk84 7 years, 7 months ago

Don't forget Fort Campbell, home of the Screamin' Eagles, when you start burning.

mejayhawk 7 years, 7 months ago

This is the funniest comment I've seen on here in quite a while.

NJHAWK 7 years, 7 months ago

Officiating was inconsistent but lets not forget that the officials did not turn it over 17 times.

hawk_of_ages 7 years, 7 months ago

No but I do think some of those turnovers were not turnovers at all -- phantom travel calls, Naadir gets hit by two defenders resulting in an overthrow out of bounds... And a number of those offensive rebounds for putbacks by the Hilltoppers happened after they simply came up behind and shoved a KU player out of the way -- no call.

Jim Johnson 7 years, 7 months ago

Why don't you tell us how you really feel phogphan2000? There were some bad calls but on both sides especially on some out of bounds calls and I guess I didn't see dirty ball by WKU but I did see KU play bad,as they tend to do at times, but it was more KU playing an uptight game than anything else. I have been on here several times asking for apologies from posters that were down on this team earlier but none have the backbone to do that but if they had common sense they wouldn't have done it in they first place.

jayhawkinATL 7 years, 7 months ago

Actually, I HATE seeing BMac handle to ball so much in the back court...he traveled at least three times last night.

jayhawkinATL 7 years, 7 months ago

...without it being called. Thanks to the refs for that!

JayHawkFanToo 7 years, 7 months ago

The kid is practically in the NBA so they called NBA rules...

jaybate 7 years, 7 months ago

Phogphan,

One of the reasons you don't amp and You do tend to play it close to the vest in these first round games is that the refs do tend to side with underdogs. Also, since jay bilas reputedly says refs are trying to keep games in broadcast windows, it's only a short step further to say they are going to hedge at least subconsciously toward keeping the games close enough to be watchable, to some extent. In this context, it makes sense for the foul calling to be inconsistent and infuriating. And it makes sense that the coach of the one seed is going to pull in his horns to keep the referees from really fouling his guys up early for the 1seed trying to blow the game open early.

Phognatic 7 years, 7 months ago

Officiating was fine. EJ was being a punk straddling the other player keeping him from getting up.

tical523 7 years, 7 months ago

Wow ralster, where did race come into this? You always have angry and attacking posts but jesus you are a nut. You suck.

Curtis Stutz 7 years, 7 months ago

Ralster is spot on, in no way did he try to keep that player down. I'm sorry his existence offends you and that EJ is such a baller.

KULA 7 years, 7 months ago

Same ol' same--why should we expect anything different. Almost made history tonight Bill. I know, you only had a week to prepare for a 16 seed...

Better figure out some plays to get your leading scorer and #1 pick more than 5 shots. You can't always inbound the ball under your own basket. Gonna be a short tournament and a long afternoon against Carolina if you don't generate some offense.

JakeBarnes 7 years, 7 months ago

Bill didn't make a mistake last night; he made it several years ago when he failed to recruit a point guard who could handle the opposition's speed. You're right about Johnson, Jaylark.

jaybate 7 years, 7 months ago

30-5.

299-58.

1 seed.

2 seed overall.

9 Conference titles in a row.

Advance to round of 32.

Next.

Ron Franklin 7 years, 7 months ago

I want more I want more. Like winning so much that I want more.

jayhawkinATL 7 years, 7 months ago

LOL...been watching to many of those AT&T commercials with those kids.

Ron Franklin 7 years, 7 months ago

Exactly ATL wondered if anybody would pick that up

Duane Rice 7 years, 7 months ago

Self should of used the pickle roll play more!

mejayhawk 7 years, 7 months ago

And I don't want the other team to ever score. EVER.

yates33333 7 years, 7 months ago

Am I to understand that you endorse our point guard play this year? I read earlier posts by you explaining the problem with point guard play was poor wheels, hurt knees. I know you recognize how easily most point guards go past our guards. Taylor did a good job last year and so did Collins the previous year. Further, we haven't had a pair of guards like Chalmers and Robinson that I can remember in 50 years.

I guess I don't see JakeBarnes criticism as a general criticism of Self. I don't know who JakeBarnes might be but we could use a fast point guard tall enough to guard the opposition. Personally, I had hoped Tharp would develop to be effective and I hope he develops for next year. Of course, he probably won't grow any taller.

I hope we can keep up with UNC's guards.

jaybate 7 years, 7 months ago

yates,

Part 1

Endorse it?

Well, I think Self, EJ and Dir have made the best of a difficult situation--especially EJ and Dir.

We are 30-5. Conference champions. Round of 32.

If EJ were not playing injured, we very likely would be 35-0 even with his learning curve of only having started one full season at point guard.

And even if EJ had only been even as healthy as he is now from the beginning of the year, then we would have cleaned MSU's clock early and probably be 31-4. The team funk did not seem to be about EJ's knee, so I will leave that out.

In analysing EJ's season we have to keep three things in mind:

1) knee that's never recovered to pre injury capacity;

2) trying to find a way to win without ANY muscle in the paint;

3) trying to find a way to win until a perimeter back up in Dir emerged 3/4s of the way through the season;

4) trying to find a way to win until a big backup emerged the last week or two of the conference season.

No other point guard in memory at KU has had to overcome so much over the course of a season, and do so with a knee that at most recovered to something like 75-80% of what it once was.

Consider Tyshawn, who I thought was the most heroic point guard in memory, because he overcame a knee cut in the season, then had to make due with Teahan as a perimeter back-up, and a 180 pound backup 4. At least Tyshawn had a prior year to learn the position, and at least he had Teahan and Kevin Young pretty much able to perform from the beginning of the season. Tyshawn had a great five and two backups available pretty much all season.

EJ, in comparison, played 3/4s of a season without a reliable backup inside or outside; then he played the last quarter of regular season without a reliable backup inside. I mean, when you step back and look at it, its impossible to figure out how the heck Self pulled this off. And had the team not had the mystery funk, we could easily be looking at 33-2!!!

(Note: the way Self did it was with a fabulous defensive season from Jeff, and one of the best statistical seasons ever by a KU 3 by Travis, and the phenomenal performances of Ben Mac, but I digress.)

EJ had to play this fiddle not only without his knee, but without a couple strings for most of the season. Backups are still necessary in D1 and EJ didn't have them most of the season.

Next, consider the great Sherron Collins his first year of starting at point with Cole Aldrich. Sherron had an incredible load to bear, because KU was so green that year on the starting line up. But at least Sherron seemed to be healthy most of the time. And what kind of record could Sherron generate? 26-7 or something like that.

I now EJ has looked really lousy at times.

jaybate 7 years, 7 months ago

Part 2

But remember: he is seeing all of this stuff for the first time. He is experiencing the other coaches scheming to break him for the first time. And he is doing it all for the first time on 1.5 knees.

To me, to go 30-5 means EJ has done pretty darned good, despite the ugly aspects of his performances.

Would I rather have a great, healthy point guard with a second year of experience at the point leading us? You bet I would.

Would I be delighted if it were Elijah Johnson with 2 full knees and a second year of starting at the point leading us?

You bet I would, yates.

If EJ can accomplish what he has accomplished under these constraints, I can only imagine what he could do with all his ducks lined up.

P.S.: Dir is a good distribute, adequate defense backup now. He's not near the shooter people think he is. He's only a 33% trey shooter. As a trey shooter, he is kind of like one of those Dummy Sherman Tanks the Allies used in WWII to confuse the Germans into thinking the Allies had another Army up in the North of England. Self and Dir and the team have been told to talk about what a great shooter Dir is to try to fool opposing teams into guarding him. Watch Roy. I doubt he will fall for the ruse. How good Dir can be next year is not clear to me. As I have always said, he is short from the waist down; that's very, very tough to over come on defense. But he has made a lot of progress and I've learned never to underestimate these guys Self identifies as having the getting better gene.

KULA 7 years, 7 months ago

Ah yes, the "Who cares, we won. Look at our numbers" rebuttal. I can just see Bill in the locker room last night:

"Great game guys. 30-5 299-58 1 seed 2 seed overall. 9 Conference titles in a row. Advance to round of 32. Next."

I'll paraphrase your favorite coach, Calipari, for my attitude about the tournament:

We don't talk much about conference championships. We don't talk much about final fours. We're Kentucky. We talk about National Championships. That's what we're about here. Next.

jaybate 7 years, 7 months ago

Cal's in the NIT.

Cal lost in the first round of the NIT.

Cal doesn't have as good of winning percentage as Self.

Cal finally tied Self for number of rings.

Self might get another this year.

Cal won't.

Shut your lame arced yap.

You couldn't think you way through a garden hose if you were a ferret the size of a dime.

Next.

KULA 7 years, 7 months ago

Ah, "shut your lame arsed yap." Another compelling argument from our resident intellectual. As above, so below. They have 8 NCAA banners. We have 3.

KULA 7 years, 7 months ago

They have 8 NCAA banners. We have 3.

Marcia Parsons 7 years, 7 months ago

Ben didn't play well last night, but I'm not sure "figuring out plays" would have gotten him involved. He was double and triple-teamed constantly.

Adam McEwen 7 years, 7 months ago

The boys were a little nervous tonight, saw some real nice play at times, but we were a little too wound up. Lighten up fellas, we're here to kick some ass, with a smile :-) Have fun, play ball, and we're gonna be alright, we got this!

texashawk10 7 years, 7 months ago

That was about as ugly a 1-16 game as I have ever seen. There is no sugar coating it, KU played like crap tonight (except for Withey and Ellis in the first half) and got very lucky WKU wasn't making shots otherwise this would've been the most embarrassing night in KU basketball history. I hope that was just opening round jitters, but it also absolutely confirmed the way to beat KU is to pressure EJ and Naadir into making bad passes (not hard to do as they've proven time and again this year) or making McLemore handle the ball (how can someone with his shooting touch be so stone handed the rest of the time is beyond my level of comprehension).

Fortunately, Roy has never been too big on defense and Michigan has been subpar as well, so barring either team being hotter than Hades from 3 (entirely possible) or KU being ice cold from beyond 5' (also entirely possible), KU should beat both of them. That said, VCU is another story and it has absolutely nothing to do with 2 years ago as I've said repeatedly. KU can shut down VCU in their halfcourt offense all night and still lose. VCU's biggest strength this year is their defense's ability to create turnovers and get easy transition baskets and you combine that with EJ and Naadir's habits of making questionable decisions with the ball a lot more frequently than one would prefer equals a recipe where VCU can upset KU even if KU plays lights out defense.

I absolutely agree with those who say EJ will be the reason KU wins the title this year because that is a true statement. KU cannot win a national championship this year without EJ playing well for the next 5 games. It's also true that if KU does not win 5 more games, EJ is likely to be a very prominent figure in that as well. It does not take away from EJ being a very good player, but no one can honestly that EJ isn't one of the streakiest players in recent KU history either. KU's performance this year has largely reflected his play, and when EJ is playing well (not necessaily scoring a bunch of points), KU is nearly unbeatable. When EJ isn't playing well however, KU is capable of losing to almost anybody as we all found out against TCU and were reminded of tonight.

All that said above, time to put WKU behind us and move on to UNC and trying to keep Roy on 700 and get Bill 300 at KU. It's incredible to think that with one more win, Bill Self will have averaged 30 wins a season in his 10 years at KU.

texashawk10 7 years, 7 months ago

I don't know if VCU can beat Michigan today, I'm certainly pulling for Michigan, because Michigan has good guard play that can handle the press. I can't speak for others, but my concern with a potential KU-VCU game does not stem from VCU beating KU two years ago, but rather KU's inability to handle the press effectively combined with VCU's ability to create easy baskets for themselves with their press. That's why VCU makes me nervous if KU has to play them. The ideal way that game plays out is that KU's defense causes VCU to shoot poorly and KU gets those rebounds and doesn't allow VCU to set up their press. That's how KU beats VCU if they match up next Friday.

Michael Luby 7 years, 7 months ago

That is exactly how Michigan just beat VCU. Defense, rebound, break press, score. VCU got their butts kicked today. Personally I like our match up with Michigan better than VCU. Provided we beat UNC tomorrow, that is.

Kye Clark 7 years, 7 months ago

Good post. Totally agree about last night, VCU, & EJ.

eastcoasthawk 7 years, 7 months ago

Well said. We had 17 turnovers against a team that pressed maybe 25% of the time. Multiply that out against VCU that presses over 50% and it could get ugly. I am still scratching my head on how our guys can miss Jeff Withey in the open court. We've thrown it over his head twice lately when he is WIDE OPEN. Let's beat UNC and then Bill should get 8 defenders with brooms on the practice court against our starting 5 and see how they bring the ball up.

Dave Benjamin 7 years, 7 months ago

+1. Worthy of Webster's dictionary. We will live or die by consistent (and effective) guard play.

Phognatic 7 years, 7 months ago

I wasn't buying the VCU hype until watching them zap the zips. Their press is impresssive and would wreck havoc on our guards. Let's beat UNC and then worry about VCU.

JayHawkFanToo 7 years, 7 months ago

The problem with full court press is that if you have good guards and break the press, you usually have wide open shots. Michigan has Burke and Hardaway and will tear the full court press up.

KU reminded me last night or early Perry Ellis. The moves were there, the foot work was perfect but the final shot was slightly off, but once he got the hang of it now every thing is falling in place. Last night KU would break the press and have a wide open pass and it would overthrow it; HC Self is going to fix that before the next game.

Eric Keene 7 years, 7 months ago

You're a little too verbose. I stopped reading half-way into your post.

Phognatic 7 years, 7 months ago

Half of the VCU vs Michigan game. VCU and their press look like one-trick ponies. They have absolutely no half-court offensive against an average defensive Michigan team.

Steve Gantz 7 years, 7 months ago

And that's why I posted about the VCU coolaid. Michigan has been a top ten team all year. They were shafted in their seeding after losing in the quarters of the Big10. They finished the season ranked 10th I believe which was just about their worst ranking of the year.

So last night as everyone was worrying if we'd be able to beat VCU I'm like, whoa there partners, Michigan is who we've got to worry about and I wrote the same thing on here when the brackets were released.

nostradavid 7 years, 7 months ago

After all the upsets already, that was a tough game to relax & enjoy.

It was good to see Kevin follow his bad shot in for the dunk. That should be the standard follow through, instead of standing still to admire the shot. I was surprised that Ben and Kevin only had 4 turnovers each - it seemed like more. It was funny to see Ben going to sit on the bench at the end of the TO after his last one. He seemed surprised that Bill was leaving him in. We need his free-throw shooting at the end of a game, and more.

Perry has had the best points per minute stat for awhile now. He needs to be on the floor more.

Kick butt Sunday! Rock Chalk Jayhawks!

Wake me up Sunday...

Wake me up Sunday... by nostradavid

Dirk Medema 7 years, 7 months ago

We won the game because of D, and Perry is still learning. That is why he isn't on the floor more.

jaybate 7 years, 7 months ago

Jean: Life is a struggle, it's cowardly not to put up a fight!

--Zero Mostel, as John (Jean) in 1973 film of Ionesco's Rhinoceros

Figured you would enjoy a little Ionesco reference in March Madness. :-)

Michael Luby 7 years, 7 months ago

Terrible game. Good Defense. We wont win against UNC or VCU if they play like that again.

JakeBarnes 7 years, 7 months ago

Wont it be nice next year when KU has a point guard. I guess Coach Self has recruited one.

JayHawkFanToo 7 years, 7 months ago

Honest question Jake; How did KU win 30 games without a point guard?

KGphoto 7 years, 7 months ago

The boys didn’t respect WKU last night. You could say they played stiff, but it’s only by comparison to WKU’s intensity. I think KU instead got punched in the gut because they were too loose. Bill said it himself.

“I don’t know if we’ve been much looser all season than this week...”

Being loose when you are an underdog is one thing. Being so loose when you are a heavy favorite feels like complacency. KU rolled through the Big 12 tourney, in this arena, and probably felt pretty good about finding a way to win last night without much effort.

I’m glad they got slapped. They needed it.

Thankfully KU is playing a name brand school on Sunday. It shouldn’t be so hard to muster up a little respect for the opponent.

monkeehawkSL8 7 years, 7 months ago

KGphoto, Bill said they were loose during the week. But in the locker room before the the game they were very tight. Then got tighter as the night went on. If there was something they didn't respect it would be some basic basketball fundamentals. Don't pick up your dribble without knowing what team your going to pass it too. Box out, we could add to the list but that would be piling on. "take care of the ball and we can win it all"

JD Roth 7 years, 7 months ago

KU was tighter than a drum. Defense in second half saved them. Need to play loose and relax Sunday to win.

machinegun 7 years, 7 months ago

Elijah got tired of getting pushed around so he pushed back. Front runners look at the score and act like we lost. We won. Our guys fought hard. North Carolina is soft.

jaybate 7 years, 7 months ago

Now this is a crimson and blue man talking.

PHOF

Kevin Jenkins 7 years, 7 months ago

So where was the guys with the keys to the car last night? Wow really I thought the point guard was absent. I watched the game and thought nobody has the heart to win. But I was wrong, you pulled it out. I hope this is your worse game. Defense and free throws won the game. Perry played again great. Whitney, Mac, Naadir and Releford on defense played well the second half. I always believe the point guard should lead the team, but I think Kevin's motivation heart and leadership helped win this game.

FearlessJayhawk 7 years, 7 months ago

This is the last time this year we will be able to lay an egg and get away with it. I can't believe how lucky this team has been. From now on its your A game or go home. KU simply cannot play against the mid-majors. If we're lucky enough to beat Roy's boys, I hope we play Michigan because if we play VCU, it's over.

jaybate 7 years, 7 months ago

Comet. PHOF!

We have nothing to fear but fear itself.

jayhawkinATL 7 years, 7 months ago

Sorry...been outta the loop...but what does "PHOF" mean???

KJD 7 years, 7 months ago

I didn't know that was what it meant. I've been translating it as the sound of pure nylon from downtown, rip city.

JayHawkFanToo 7 years, 7 months ago

Have you ever heard the expression winners make their own luck? This is exactly what KU did last night.
You really need to change your screen name. Maybe you can ask the Wizard of Oz to give you a medal, we are in Kansas after all.

Mike Mainzer 7 years, 7 months ago

We have zero ball handlers on the team. Full court press or traps and we turn the ball over. Roy's teams don't play D or press well so we should be fine Sunday with an up tempo game that will highlight our athleticism and get Mac into a rhythm. Go Michigan!!! Go Minnesota!!

Bob Thompson 7 years, 7 months ago

I was going to post something about our guard play, but can't seem to come up with something positive to say.

ny05ks08 7 years, 7 months ago

KU shaky tourney starts with EJ's turnover, seniors should step up, consistently, be humble, and focus; BMac and Ellis should go aggressive, can't rely on seniors, or even afraid of them

Tony Bandle 7 years, 7 months ago

We did win..didn't we???

Go ask Georgetown how they feel right now. Please understand that Kansas must transition and run to be dominant in a game. When we're off you can see the formula.

1] Travis can't create his shot.

2] BenMac won't take his shot.

3] Kevin doesn't have a shot.

4] Elijah will miss his shot.

5] Jeff is swarmed on his shot.

The guys need to create it, take it, find it, make it and just bang it in!!!

Things will be better Sunday....it will be a run and gun scoring battle and BenMac will score 20+!!!!!

REHawk 7 years, 7 months ago

Wellwritten "formula," Oak. I detect space for Perry to help revive this recipe.

Joe Baker 7 years, 7 months ago

Nadiir and EJ forgot how to drive the ball and dish. The lane was wide open, all night long. They hesitated and stayed outside and dribbled.

jayhawkinATL 7 years, 7 months ago

...and shot threes with no rebounders even in the picture.

Jim Dickerson 7 years, 7 months ago

One time by Tharpe. What the hell, the whole team only shot 6 treys all nite long.

jaybate 7 years, 7 months ago

Thompson gambled on sending them out flat and lost.

He's not the least bit doubting what he did.

He knows upsets come with the gamble.

monkeehawkSL8 7 years, 7 months ago

OakvilleJHawk, you remind me of the father I never had. The teacher that taught all the kids that hated school and wanted to drop out but had that teacher that changed their life. The nurse that goes ahead and gives the rest of the pain meds even though the Dr. said he's had enough. The friend that stays your friend after you've found out what you did the night before. I'm getting misty, thanks. Keep posting, is that suit your wearing in your avatar hot?

Phognatic 7 years, 7 months ago

Nice!
6] Ellis on the defensive end needs a shot-in-the-arm.

Steve Gantz 7 years, 7 months ago

Loose is only one letter away from lose.

John Randall 7 years, 7 months ago

Except on message boards, where one spelling is as likely as the other for either word ...

ny05ks08 7 years, 7 months ago

EJ lacks good sense of space and timing in passing the ball, that is essential to a PG. Oh well, Tharpe is just a sophomore now ...

jayhawkinATL 7 years, 7 months ago

Yep...he telegraphs his passes most of the friggin' time.

Joe Baker 7 years, 7 months ago

Win, learn, and move on to the next game. Put this stinker behind.

Rock Chalk Jayhawk GO KU beat the heels

jhawkchuck 7 years, 7 months ago

Phogfan commented about the poor officiating earlier. It was different for this game but not slanted one way or another. After watching two day of the tourney it seemed the officials were really letting them play. It took a major mugging to get a call. TheKU game seemed just the opposite, it seemed they were calling alot of ticky tack contact especially in the backcourt? Did anyone else see this? Or was it just me?

brooksmd 7 years, 7 months ago

Only took Withey going straight up to get 3 calls.

John Strayer 7 years, 7 months ago

I totally agree with this...the game never really had a flow...way too many stoppages of play and add to the the incredibly long time outs and extra long half time...even if KU came out loose to start, they would have been "bored" by the end of the game with all the stoppages.

Jim Johnson 7 years, 7 months ago

I predict an a$$ whopping at Roy's expense. That's all that needs to be said.

Justin Daniel 7 years, 7 months ago

Elijah has only played about 30 good minutes of basketball this year and that was in one game. Ben needs another year, but with a down class will be the first overall pick in the draft. Our only chance against UNC is to feed the post and guard the perimeter with our life. They are a better version of ISU. Hopefully, we will play like we did against ISU last week, if we don't it could be a rough afternoon.

jaybate 7 years, 7 months ago

"Its the Sending them Out Flat, Stupid"

Part 1

Every two game tournament it is the same. Pick the worst team of the two you have to play. Take the risk of going out flat and beating the worse team of the two. Save your peak performance for the better team. Know you will labor when flat.

Cue the refrain: Self sent them out flat, as I predicted and they labored as I predicted. I said it might turn into a route despite being sent out flat, because of our talent and size, but Ray Harper proved why he has won 4 rings--2 NAIA and 2 D2, which may be a tougher accomplishment statistically than winning 4 D1 rings, because of the huge number of teams at those levels of play. I had never really watched Ray Harper closely. I had only heard of him. He is a contemporary equivalent of Jack Hartman. He is a great one. He showed Bill Self (and unfortunately Roy) a few things last night that Self hadn't seen before. That move to XTReme motion on the perimeter two or three plays at the beginning of the second half when KU tried to turn on a little defensive pressure complete fooled Self and our players. Then when we tried to force it up Harper suddenly had them press. It was beautiful timing to disrupt exactly what Self intended to do.

This is no knock on Self. Self played this game exactly right. Sent them out flat. Refused to show any new wrinkles, thus saving those for Roy. Spent the first half game playing his three subs as much as possible to conserve for Sunday. Even had the nerve to play subs the second half despite the close game. Never veered from his determination to conserve for Sunday. Harper understood exactly what Self had to do. Harper schemed exactly right to try to exploit what Self had to do. KU's player found it difficult to play a conservation game against good pressure defense and started taking outside shots in frustration for one stretch each half.

But in the end Self got exactly what he wanted. A high 50-low 60 point win with 30 minutes of the game played in low energy, half court sets.

Would Self have liked to open a 10-15 point lead with 10 to go? Yes. But Harper wasn't going to let that happen, so long as Self was playing a conservation game.

Now, Self's team has a fairly full tank for yet another 4 guard offense, which KU has seen so many of it knows how to play them in its sleep.

Roy has a very difficult decision to make.

He cannot control the boards for any length of time.

He cannot wait to the end to win, because KU will still be tall at the end and his guys will be jumping less high and shooting lower percentages at the end.

brooksmd 7 years, 7 months ago

"Elijah has only played about 30 good minutes of basketball this year and that was in one game."

How quickly one forgets.

Kye Clark 7 years, 7 months ago

You shouldn't have to roll out any new wrinkles for a #16 seed. If you play focused and without mental lapses it is a route, flat or not, amped or not.

My problem is we've already seen this song and dance this year. It's nice and comforting to think the team struggles because Self sends them out flat against Texas Tech, WVU, TCU...oh wait. No it has nothing to do with being flat. It is that we go through LONG stretches of not playing mentally tough. We have 4 seniors, all of whom had to sit and wait their turn. How is it these guys aren't ready to leave it all on the floor each and every game?

Jeff Kilgore 7 years, 7 months ago

You'll notice that Indiana and Louisville needed no explanations.

jaybate 7 years, 7 months ago

You'll notice that they probably weren't playing Ray Harper.

You'll probably notice that they may have decided to win the first game and labor the second.

Or most likely, you'll notice that they shot decently from trey and KU did not.

Had KU made half its six treys, the game would not have been close at the 60 point range.

Really this doubting is all much ado about nothing.

The question now is can the team turn it on for Self as well as they conserved for Self.

Nothing is written.

jaybate 7 years, 7 months ago

Describing strategy and tactics are not excuse making. No one should leave it all on the floor against an inferior opponent late Friday night, when they have to face a better opponent on Sunday. This just seems common sense.

Further, Self sand bagged repeatedly last season.

Not sure why people are doubtful about this sort of thing, at all.

I suppose they fear the 3-game funk phenomenon.

Oh, well.

I would never tell my players to leave it all on the floor against WKU in a million years, even with the risk of losing. The benefits of gambling are too great to not take the risk.

All competition involves knowing which risks to take and which to allay, or avoid.

jaybate 7 years, 7 months ago

brooksmd,

Thanks for recalling that quote, because it helps me flesh out my case to you and others.

No forgetting on my part. Maybe some on your part. But not mine. :-)

That quote, as I am confident you will shortly recall, when prompted, indicated that EJ was engaged in a heroic struggle against injury this season and had done something incredible. He had lead a team to a great record and to a share of the title, or then very nearly so, on one knee. And I was noting that EJ's knee had finally healed enough for him to begin to play adequately and that only a player of EJ's incredible athletic gifts and mental toughness could have produced a 39 point performance on a still not 100 percent recovered knee.

So you see, broodsmd, you are right in a way you did not intend: how quickly we forget the contexst of quotes, eh?

Context, context, context.

Always remember the context when giving quotes.

Otherwise it comes back to bite you.

EJ played horrible basketball this season, because of an injury, not because he is a lousy point guard; that has been my endlessly repeated point all season. EJ is not a lousy point guard. He is a potentially great point guard trying to bailing-wire himself and a team through a season. EJ ran the team exactly the way it should have been run yesterday. He did exactly what Self asked him to do. Travis Releford has tried to put the doubting to rest by saying that EJ has done exactly what Self has asked. There were just levels of execution that were and remain difficult to achieve on 1.5 knees.

jaybate 7 years, 7 months ago

It has been a very difficult assignment and people have to understand that when you have only about 1.5 knees and a coach asks you to make the team play it close to the vest to conserve itself for the second game, a guy like EJ is not going to look pretty at all. His only strong remaining offensive advantage in his skill set is straightline speed and occassionally a hot hand. So: when Self said play it close to the vest. We don't want an 80 point game even if we can force one on WKU, then the opposition knew EJ's options were greatly reduced and could begin taking lots more chances to force him into turnovers. It worked.

I would even go so far as to say: of course, it worked.

I've never said EJ was a perfect player. I've just said only a 5-star athlete could even dream about accomplishing what he has accomplished this season: win a conference title, win a conference tourney, and advance in the Madness playing conservation ball, all the while starting at point guard for the first time in his college career and having to do so with a bum knee.

Get it now?

He is such a great athlete and such a tough human being he has been able to fight through this and achieve in a big, big way.

He is always going to be vulnerable to pressure defense when he has 1.5 knees. That he keeps finding ways to compensate for that vulnerablity and win is what distinguishes him and why board rats like you should be praising him, rather than trying to find inconsistencies in my assertions, where there are none.

lanehawk 7 years, 7 months ago

1998 NCAA tournament - KU destroys Prairie View 110 - 52 as a #1 seed. Lose to eight seed Rhode Island 75 - 80. No resting, no let up against Prairie View and mentally went into the RI gain with heads on wrong. RI went to the Elite Eight. A #1 in a blow-out first round is no guarantee of the future. I like the idea that Coach Self was preparing them mentally and physically for North Carolina.

jaybate 7 years, 7 months ago

Part 2

So Roy has to choose between:

a) going balls to the walls the first half and building a lead and milking it the second half; and

b) alternating fast and slow the first half and trying to go in with a 5 point lead, then go for it all with a balls to the walls charge as long as he can the second half, and then begin milking the clock.

I suspect the choice Roy will make is the former. And I would guess that he will do the one thing that KU has not faced this season. He is going to try to force Withey to run the floor chasing the secondary break. This is likely the best way to tire Withey and so make him foul prone in the half court defensive sets. I think Roy has the athletes inside and out to get up for a half with the taller Withey. If UNC can get enough boards the first half to run Jeff on the secondary breaks, then Jeff could get very tired the second half, and that would open up the middle for UNC.

Beating KU is super simple. Get Jeff Withey off the floor. KU has a decent answer for losing anyone else but Jeff.

Roy has good enough short athletes to try to do this. He will try.

But here is the thing. Regardless of what choice he makes, unless his guys shoot the lights out from trey the first half, and tire Jeff with chasing secondary breaks, KU's Boa Constrictor defense will slowly squeeze the oxygen out of the short game in both halves and KU will unleash Ben and at the same time go dunking the second half and UNC will be powder blue road kill, and Roy knows it.

I look for Self to come out in a dark suit with white shirt and a bold tie and mean serious business.

Roy meddled with Self's players the first two seasons Self was at KU.

Roy tried to strip Tyrel Reed out from under Self.

Roy recruited Harrison Barnes out from under Self.

Roy apparently kept recruiting and exploiting Self's problems with all the scandals at KU.

Self knows Roy is the kind of guy that will say anything publicly to ingratiate himself for the shizz that he intentionally did, while at the same time passive aggressively doing nothing at all in private to do anything helpful for KU.

Roy is a Tar Hole, pure and simple.

Self is a Jayhawk.

Roy did all this adult-child-of-an-alcoholic stuff after having recruited only half the country while at KU for 15 years. Roy didn't cut KU the same slack he cut UNC. Roy has never given Self the professional curtesy that Self deserved, or that Self has given Roy.

Self finally ran out of cheeks. Now Self rightly refuses to talk about Roy as anything but the "ex-KU coach," which is all Roy is.

Self openly took the recruiting battle into Tar Hole country. Brannen Greene was very likely a Roy target.

hawk_of_ages 7 years, 7 months ago

What are you talking about? Self said very complimentary things about Roy before last year's game vs. UNC, and no doubt will do the same now.

hawk_of_ages 7 years, 7 months ago

I understand that these message boards are a safe haven for wild, baseless speculating, and I enjoy much of what Jaybate writes. But when he says something that is just objectively false, as he did here, he should get called on it.

jaybate 7 years, 7 months ago

Self has always been complimentary toward Roy, until recently, when he just finally had enough of Roy's back hand.

I meant to say that he has been and that he finally quit doing it.

And I'm glad Self quit.

Roy doesn't deserve the perspiration off Self's you know whats.

What I wrote about holds.

What you interpreted does not.

Next.

hawk_of_ages 7 years, 7 months ago

Your nasty comments about Roy are most unwarranted. I have nothing but appreciation for what he did here, and if Self's comments are to be believed, so does he.

jaybate 7 years, 7 months ago

Part 3

Self wants to beat Roy into the next century on Sunday. But all he needs to do is get a win and so that's what the professional will do.

The guiding principle against a small team is that you must remember you are playing the clock the entire game, not just the last 10 minutes. The small team has to separate early to win, for it grows smaller the longer the game goes on.

Self has the clear strategic advantage in this game.

But the scout still has to identify correctly the tactical matchup weaknesses of specific UNC players. The biggest tactical weaknesses are at 5 and 2. But to exploit those weaknesses, KU has to prepare its point guards for a lot of trapping. Roy doesn't seem to trap much anymore, but I believe he will not be able to resist the temptation to trap against our point guards.

Self may use a variety of guys bringing the ball up the floor to pre-empt the trapping.

Self conserved his players and almost lost to Harper in order to make sure he had the best chance to beat Roy into the next century.

KU is going to be very ready for UNC.

If I were UNC and Roy, I would be very afraid.

I would want to jump out fast and to 10 points the first 5 minutes.

Or I would want to have a box of kleenex ready for Roy.

They are facing one furiously competitive and ticked off Okie.

Steve Brown 7 years, 7 months ago

I have never been more proud of a group of kids in all my years of coaching....

jaybate 7 years, 7 months ago

Yeeee hawwww, great to see some positive thinking this morning.

ny05ks08 7 years, 7 months ago

let's stop dreaming and just play hearts out like every game is the last game, every coach says the next game is the most important, I believe they mean it, if not, the result won't be good, for everyone.

PhearThePhog 7 years, 7 months ago

BMac has got to get rid of that mindset of "I just don't want to mess up." Relax. Play the game and be aggressive. Create and take advantage of opportunities that come to you. He appears to be holding back hoping that someone else will do it.

jayhawkinATL 7 years, 7 months ago

Hilltopper knows the 'hawks all too well!!! "They have the talent for it (to win the title), but you just never know whether they’re gonna come to play or not.”

ny05ks08 7 years, 7 months ago

KU needs to get that "butler" mindset, take the ugly game as our game style, no space for ego, just being tough and muscle on

Beate Williams 7 years, 7 months ago

Jaybate I think that is an excellent analysis and I know everyone is talking about UNC pressing and trapping our point guards; I dare say the UNC players cannot execute the press and trap in the same fashion as the WKU players, the were phenomenal, quick and in the right place at the right time. In fact, I have not seen many teams execute in such an efficient fashion all year and it all goes back to the coach, Harper knows what he is doing. I think Bill did what he needed to do and I also think he learned a few things last night. RCJH, let's make it three in a row to get that 300 win for CS.

Ethan Berger 7 years, 7 months ago

Got to give WKU credit. They were quick and play good defense. Honestly felt like we should have played Perry more. Our advantage was in the post. KY is not a scorer and that is okay, but we need a low post scorer because our guards were not doing nothing. Also, the half time guys got it right. When they pressed, we would swing it back out and let the defense reset. Their were multiple times we had B mac wide open in the corner, Rel wide up our side the stripe. And Jeff one on one down low. But we swing back to the top and ruin any chance. We played timid once they hit us in the first half. We also got lucky that they missed so many wide open threes. A win is a win, but we cannot play that sloppy and that scared against UNC. They won't miss their open threes. Jeff, you did great. FEED WITHEY!

jaybate 7 years, 7 months ago

slayr,

With all due respect, without Jeff, Self would have approached everything totally differently.

He probably would still have won.

But what Jeff means to this team cannot be underestimated.

If I were an opposing coach, like Roy, I would make Jeff chase secondary breaks all day and get him into foul trouble.

With Jeff on the bench, your FG% goes from 35% to 45-50%.

Coaches have been tried all season to deny him his blocks. That much is sound.

But they have not made him chase a center on secondary breaks. That is the next tactic to try.

Not sure it will work, because of how good of condition Jeff is in, but it's a good possibility.

KJD 7 years, 7 months ago

Ah yes, the Roy Williams secondary break. Nice topic jaybate. The last three North Carolina games the Tarheel's went on the break best, just like Kansas, after the other team turned the ball over–especially in the first half against Villanova. Stickland and Paige simply are not at the same level as Miles, Felton, Lawson, or Marshall in the open court. This is also good news in the half court for NC dribble penetration. KU, especially Elijah and Tharpe, need to take care of the ball. That's one of our big mantra's now.

Paige is a Freshman which I think is key. Strickland is solid in many ways, he went 7-12 from the field against Maryland in the ACC semis, though he had 4 points against Miami in the ACC final and 2 against Villanova yesterday. As a team those North Carolina guards did get a bunch of assists for J's against the Wildcats and that is what they do best as a team.

McAdoo has a good jumpshot though the range that he has been showing is well inside of the arc. If Withey is back defensively in transition I would personally like to see him defend the rim and in the secondary break our guards should be getting back to guard the line.

In the Villanova game the starting 5 for North Carolina lost some passion, attacking energy on defense, a lack of toughness on both ends which Roy described as 'giving in' to Villanova's aggressiveness. Above you called this Tarheel team soft and I think that is item number 1 on Roy's list: getting his team to play tough for 40 minutes, especially around the rim and on the glass.

I think you are right about North Carolina getting out on the break as much as possible in this game to avoid the KU half court defense. How well will North Carolina pressure the ball, expose what Self has called a not so good KU passing team, and will Elijah rise to be a composed point for 40 minutes.

Carolina is going to need to make a lot of jump shots and KU is going to need to stick those bunnies. Early foul trouble for McAdoo is going to stick the spot light on one of those slow developing bigs on North Carolina's bench.

KJD 7 years, 7 months ago

Since McAdoo has a bulging disc and North Carolina is trying decrease the amount of physical play for him, like opting for 3 foot jumpers instead of taking it hard to the glass, Carolina has been regularly committing 3 to the defensive boards. 3 on the defensive boards means maximum of 1 leaking out to run next to with the ball handler. This is much less dynamic than 2 skilled beasts hitting the glass and 3 running.

Kansas is geared to taking the ball to the low block, getting to the rim and scoring there in bunches. This means less long rebounds. This means Tharpe takes zero long or guarded threes and concentrates on dribble penetration. This also equals less Carolina fast break opportunities. I like Releford and McLemore to be confident in taking open 3's when there feet are set along with Elijah and Tharpe picking there spots when we have good offensive rebounding position. Minimize to the extreme Carolina's chances to get out and run.

Take care of the ball. Attack the rim with bunnies. Dominate the glass. Get back on Defense with urgency which includes after made shots. Play 40.

jaybate 7 years, 7 months ago

KJD,

Now that is a damned manly take.

Kudos.

AirCapJay 7 years, 7 months ago

As coach Harper said - He could not believe Withey was out guarding.

I have to agree. Why does coach Self have Withey away from the basket guarding? Withey should camp out under the basket and be ready to swat anything coming in. Instead Withey is running all around out at the 3 point line and a quicker forward/guard can get past him or draw a foul.

Where is the triangle and 2 we saw so much of last year? I think Self should dust that off and bring it out once or twice a game.

741hawk 7 years, 7 months ago

I agree. My son actually suggest a triangle and 2 in the first half . . . just so Jeff wouldn't have to chase.

jayhawkinATL 7 years, 7 months ago

OK, I can understand taking a team lightly, but shouldn't that ONLY last a few minutes at most??? Not 3/4 of a freakin' game!!!

KansasComet 7 years, 7 months ago

Defense and rebounding is the key. Uptight? Yes. Nervous? Yes. So, who wouldn't be a little nervous? It is easy to sit back and criticize and say who can't do what. What is not easy is playing the game of basketball in a win or go home format. The advantage often goes to the lower seeded team, because it is easier to let it fly when you have a nothing to lose mentality.

If your team is in the NCAA Tournament, then they can play basketball at a high level. There are very few Harlem Globetrotters vs Washington Generals match ups. All of these teams expect to win, and they believe they can win. We have a point guard that I believe in, and I am all in with him. No matter what happens the rest of the tournament. With that being said, it is time for us to get back to a "kick your heart out" mentality. We are Kansas, and we are supposed to let teams know that we are Kansas. That means tough defense, crashing the board, and getting transition buckets. That will boost confidence and lead to 3 point buckets. Nobody said it would be easy. We can do it, survive and advance.

KansasComet 7 years, 7 months ago

Slayr, great points! We are spoiled by Jeff's presence at times, I think we looked ahead to UNC because the players probably know through Tyler Self, how Coach Self really feels about beating Roy Williams.

jaybate 7 years, 7 months ago

And they most certainly will.

I would rather be most anyone than UNC right now.

Adam James 7 years, 7 months ago

You don't get style points for a win in the tournament. A win is a win. The only thing I don't get is that when you've been playing basketball your entire life, how in the world do you go out and play such a terrible game. I don't care if you are a freshman or a senior, when you have talent and you go play a game your talent will show. The only guy who showed was Withey. We will play much better vs. Carolina, but the bottom line is that if you are a competitor and have talent it doesn't matter who or where you play. It frustrates me to see guys that can't take care of the ball and make the easy plays. This is not on self, but the guys out on the floor. RCJH

kurules 7 years, 7 months ago

Talent is relative. We have better athletes sure, but having better athletes does not translate to better ball handlers, shooters, passers etc. That is why the "more talented" teams often get beat. People put too much emphasis on athletic ability when talking about talent. All these players are good enough to play D-1 basketball so while Western KY may not be quite as fast, quick and agile, the difference in athletic ability can be small. These "less talented" teams thrive on spotting the "more talented" teams weakness (for us, it's ballhandling, point guard play and lack of outside shooting) and set specific defenses to make us play a game we don't want to. I love KU but if I'm defending us, I put pressure on our guards since we don't handle the ball very well, double down in the post with my 3, 4 and 5, and make us shoot threes until we prove we can hit them which we haven't done on a consistent basis.

ny05ks08 7 years, 7 months ago

I believe in EJ, on a SG position, not a PG one.

AirCapJay 7 years, 7 months ago

Ben needs to be more aggressive now. Unless he can hit a 3, he does not make a move to the basket unless someone sets him up. He only looks for the stylized slam dunk plays or shoots 3's.

Travis needs to be more aggressive too. He is very good at driving in and making layups when we need them but for some reason he goes passive. EJ can do that too, but for some reason they go passive.

kurules 7 years, 7 months ago

Good win but we have no consistent shooters on this team. If we happen to be "on" in the right games we can go far but it's going to catch up to us at some point without a consistent threat from beyond the arc. Luckily, Western KY did not have a big that could counter Withey but if we run up against a long athletic team that Withey typically struggles against, we better shoot the ball better.

theend 7 years, 7 months ago

A good win against a tough team.....that's all it was....and that's alll that matters. Many of you(not all) really need to calm down and trust them.

Yesterday's game has nothing to do with how they will play from here. Remember how badly KU played vs Baylor?.........and then completely dominated all 3 games in the Big 12 tournement.

Most of the theories and complaints that some of you are spewing are complete nonsense.....and I would guess most that make them know next to nothing about what is really going on. So just relax and enjoy the ride. The team is in good hands.

Steve Corder 7 years, 7 months ago

What is it about mid majors/ low seeded teams that give KU fits in the tournament? UNC, if history repeats, should be a much better played game. But if KU gets VCU then will it be stupid turnovers and poor shooting once more?

Who is it that needs to wear boxers?

jayhawkinATL 7 years, 7 months ago

I have a feeling "small-ball" is going to be the death of us in this tourney.

kennethst 7 years, 7 months ago

My 3 year old tried to stay up late to watch the whole game with Daddy. It was a valiant effort.....but she fell asleep in the 2nd half with Baby Jayhawk wrapped in her arms. I told her this morning that KU won.......and she threw Baby Jay up.....and said "Baby fly!!"

I think that means "good" in 3 year old language.

caveman53 7 years, 7 months ago

What I found most troubling about last night's game was the inability of anyone to make an outside shot. Only one player made a field goal outside the paint and that was Jeff! Other than that, it was a brick layer's convention. Not a single three???? Keep that up and it will be a short tournament run indeed.

kennethst 7 years, 7 months ago

Don't worry about it. That stuff happens. 'Theend' makes a good point above......KU went from Baylor to Big 12 tournement champs......night and day........so it can and will be a completely different game tomorrow. Plus KU seems to play better with just a day or two off. No worries. Stay strong and keep supporting them......they will be fine.

Robert Brock 7 years, 7 months ago

What was even more troubling was our willingness to cough up the ball when we were crowded. Carolina must be salivating!

mejayhawk 7 years, 7 months ago

Anybody remember two # 2 seeds losing in the first round last year: Duke and Mizzery?

I thought Steve Kerr did a good job last night when discussing the pressures of being a # 1 seed. Because it is going to happen--sooner rather than later--and if you keep getting a # 1 seed every year (like KU and Dike), the chances are high that it will happen to you.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 7 months ago

What were we missing last night? What have we been struggling with all season? What single-handedly caused our doom vs. TCU? What makes us vulnerable to any team .. from TCU to Louisville? What doomed our efforts vs. UNI? And VCU?

Shooting. Scoring.

We scored one basket last night outside of the paint. Digest that fact for a moment. One. We were also the first NCAA team since 2001 to win a tourney game without making a three point shot.

I have harped on this from literally day one. We have a stud shooter on the bench whose development was neglected. A guy who scored 6 points in 50 seconds vs. Oklahoma St. A guy who has shown flashes, but for the rust of regular pine time -- Andrew White.

Last night was the kind of game that we needed an Andrew White. A guy to come off the bench, shoot some threes, maybe make 2-4 in a stretch; loosen things up; change the pace. Better yet, maybe he pulls a P.J. Hairston and hits 4 or 5. We needed shooting off the bench.

The point is that this is a significant flaw that has been brought on and determined specifically by coach Self. For whatever reason, he can't coach McLemore into the flow; he can't coach Releford to drive the basketball or become part of the offense after 5 years in the program. That's one thing. But he has specifically determined that we don't need the shooting. That playing Andrew White during the season to be ready for last night was simply not important.

I have mentioned that vs. a UNI or VCU, or in another similar type situation, we'd need another offensive option or options .. that we have failed to cultivate during the season. We got lucky last night. We needed it last night. It was plain to see. WKU nearly joined the other overachievers.

As for shooting, we have Releford who many times won't shoot; McLemore who disappears; EJ who is not reliable; and Tharpe who is streaky. All that was on display last night. Where do we get outside shooting?

We won that game last night because WKU literally missed multiple open looks. And we nearly lost it because, starting in November, Self refused to get offensive options ready during the season, and refused to use them regularly. He refused to use them because he just couldn't stomach the growing pains.

The "who cares we won" crowd was loud and vocal before the three game losing streak where our major flaws were exposed. That crowd is getting louder again, strangely bolstered by what they saw last night.

Regardless, this team needs a shooter off the bench. And we don't have that weapon ready for action.

Jeff Kilgore 7 years, 7 months ago

We made one shot outside the paint all night. One. How we win another game is a mystery to me. If I'm a KU opponent, though, I wouldn't know what to expect.

ParisHawk 7 years, 7 months ago

"He refused to use them because he just couldn't stomach the growing pains."

And because he values the regular season more than you do.

Anyway, after this season it won't matter. The NCAA will just be hosting another Pro-Am tournament, so we can concentrate on the Big 12.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 7 months ago

kd: White has not been given an opportunity to develop. You cannot expect a kid to be nails when he hasn't had time to adjust to situations, get comfortable, and feel a real part of the team. I do not agree that playing AW3 means we lose any more games. Could it happen? Sure. I don't think you "play him just to play him." You play him to be ready and help you win. Would you have rather had White in, assuming he was ready to play, or Traylor last night? Traylor is just a body, can't do really anything offensively, and barely defends.

I said at half time of the TCU game I'd go Roy Williams-esque and go 5 new starters. I would argue that if we had other options, the TCU loss never happens. Perfect example. I would argue that if White plays some, we at least have another option vs. Ok. St. and that could have been averted (pure speculation).

I think you are discounting the value of a shooter. And you agreed that he will "be a stud shooter when given a chance." The "chance" is what I suggest should have been given.

All I suggest (again since Nov. 1) is that he should have been given the chance for just his moment. And for Sunday.

I think that you look at successes and feel as if everything is ok because we're 30-5. 30-5 does not win titles. Adapting -- much like when Self went triangle and two last season -- wins games. We have to be able to adapt when the big guns fall silent. When the other team is overachieving. When things go bad. Because it happens. You need to have contingencies.

And I do know that a lot of things contribute to losing -- but when you're hitting shots, as coach Self says, everything looks better.

I agree. A W is a W. And I agree, the strength of your argument are the ugly wins in last year's tournament. So we will have to see.

jaybate 7 years, 7 months ago

These debates always seem fundamentally metaphysical to me.

III WASNT READY.

AFTER III WASN'T READY, SELF CRAFTED ANOTHER KIND OF TEAM.

NOW SELF DOESN'T NEED III, BECAUSE YOU ONLY NEED 7 TO WIN WITH FOULS NOT BEING CALLED.

III WILL GET ANOTHER LOOK NEXT YEAR.

IF HE IS READY, THEN HE WILL PLAY AND DEVELOP.

IF NOT, THEN HE WILL WAIT ANOTHER YEAR.

Next.

:-)

Jack Wilson 7 years, 7 months ago

kd: I understand where you're coming from .. Traylor is a completely inadequate rotation player (my opinion). He can block a random shot. But he's small/thin, not physical. Better than Wesley of course .. but Self played Wesley out of need in 2011-12. He's playing Traylor out of need now. I have no ill will toward Traylor. Love his story. But not his game. As an arrogant KU fan, there is no reason why we should be relying upon such an unskilled freshman.

Self had made it clear that White isn't playing because of numbers. He said that real clear on HawkTalk. He said that White "should be playing a lot more." And that he'd earned it. But numbers were the issue. Self also said this after the Ok. St. game -- “You look at our team,” Self said, “and does Andrew deserve — from a talent standpoint — to play more? Absolutely, no question. But you look at our team and what’s our biggest need? Ballhandling and passing. So now, you’re putting in a guy that doesn’t do that as well as some other guys. To be real candid, if we were more consistent handling and passing the ball, Andrew White would be playing more.”

Further, White demonstrated potential value as a pick and pop 4 vs. Belmont. Against a smaller team, he'd be an equal size-wise. Against a big team, he'd be the same matchup nightmare we've experienced. Not as a full-time player .. maybe 15 minutes per game, some at the 3, some at the 4. It's all fantasy, I know.

ict pointed out yesterday that perhaps the ultrashort rotation from 2011-12 may have convinced Self that a tighter rotation is better. Max minutes for the big guns.

I don't profess that AW3 is some magic pill. What I want are options when things don't go as planned. For injuries. For cold shooting. Situationally.

I don't think there is any dispute that we don't have those options available. I get that the NCAA tourney is a pot shot. But if you have more options, you chances of an untimely demise are lessened.

jb: I think Self has admitted that he's ready and deserves more minutes. Watching the game last night, weren't you begging for a shooter off the bench? Someone to come in and inject some life? White is as ready as Self wants to make him ready.

You say we don't need AW3 .. or really, you're saying we don't need that option because our top 7 are fine. When you barely beat WKU, and can't score, I would want all the options I could have.

KULA 7 years, 7 months ago

I disagree on Traylor--I think he's a fine rotation player and will become an even better one. Probably never a star, but a fine rotation player. And I think he will be a GREAT shot blocker. He gets a lot of blocks for the minutes he plays.

Jonathan Even 7 years, 7 months ago

I have huge issues with this argument. It implies that White is going as close to 100% as he can in practice, in the weight room, and in the classroom, and "gets" his role in the offense and defense. That all has to be true. Otherwise, if Self plays him anyways, he is telling the rest of the team that you don't have to give everything to see court time for one of the most prestigious programs in the country. When I say jump higher, I mean, well if you feel like it, because we still need to play you in big games anyways to "develop" you. When I say run faster, well, don't run too fast, otherwise the other guys on the team might actually experience competition like they got last night.

It also implies that he is not having a freshman slump that we don't see (actually we have seen him go scoreless in games).

Self's philosophy of not developing players is the reason why we got the championship game last year without one McDonald's All American and one walk-on.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 7 months ago

See, Self has said multiple times how well White has done. He mentioned multiple times that he should play him more. That he deserves to play. That "numbers" are the problem. There are freshmen all over the country that play. You make so many negative assumptions. None of which have ever been mentioned or implied.

Jonathan Even 7 years, 7 months ago

I don't think I'm making any negative assumptions at all. Has Self said in the past month that he needs to play White more? Although... I will give you that. If everything that you are implying is true (he is playing at level consistent for the college game, he gets the system, he is not in a slump), then he deserves to play more.

However, Self has said on numerous times every year that the problem with freshman is that they don't know how to play consistently at the college level. He shouldn't have to tell people to run faster or jump higher, like he has mentioned with Perry. He has tell Perry that but not the other freshman? Furthermore, Self's system is complex. Just because he can hit three's doesn't mean he's being everywhere he is supposed to be on every play.

jaybate 7 years, 7 months ago

HEM,

You are at the essence of it. The players are like bytes in a CPU cue with a tight protocol prescribing rank preference of what gets processed first.

Players that can give what the team scheme needs now get processed first. The rest wait.

The price of waiting is that a recruit that has more of what the next team will need might arrive. But this rarely happens, because the supposed 5 stars, while long on talent, are usually lacking in skills of one kind or another.

jaybate 7 years, 7 months ago

The only thing we were missing last night were an amping and a 3 pt touch.

Add a trey touch and it's a comfortable win.

Add an amping and it's a 20 point blowout cut to 15 out of professional curtesy to a guy Self obviously respects.

Phognatic 7 years, 7 months ago

AWIII would have contributed an additional 2-3 TOs, likely negating a majority of offensive contributions. We were cold last night, but a majority of discrepancy on inside-outside buckets in my humble opinion was by design. And appropriately so, Withey and Ellis were scoring with nice efficiency and getting Rostov and Fant into foul trouble was key down the stretch allowing us to stretch the lead to 11 for a time.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 7 months ago

We barely beat WKU .. it is amazing to me that you can forecast turnovers. "We were cold last night", you say. Right.

Why is it so hard to imagine that 3 point shooter off the bench could be of benefit? Of all the silly things to say on my part. Why would we want another scoring option when we're cold? Ask UNI, or VCU, or the 16 seed that almost shocked the world.

KULA 7 years, 7 months ago

Great observation, as usual, HEM. Same ol' same Bill--never using the regular season to develop players that you know and say are gonna contribute in the future, just not this year. Same as in the UNI/VCU years, when we had the deepest teams in D1, but to no avail come tournament time. As above, so below.

I'm beginning to wonder if Bill's contract bonus for winning the conference has anything to do with it. Does he also have a bonus clause for number of wins per season, say 25 or 30?

Add to that our no motion "sets" (quite the appropriate term) that aren't freeing up our best shooter--5 shots.

And of course the "who cares we won" crowd, who never fail to point out records and past accomplishments. Which only would have made a defeat last night a bigger disgrace. If both we and Gonzaga lost last night, who would've been the headline and who would've been talked about more? This crowd could learn something from Calipari--"we don't hang conference banners or final four banners. We're Kentucky. We hang National Championship banners."

hawk_of_ages 7 years, 7 months ago

I'm sorry, did I miss something? Does Cal have more national titles than Self? What are you talking about?

Jack Wilson 7 years, 7 months ago

hawk_of_ages: That was not KULA's point. It's the approach. His point was that while we can get very excited about winning conference tournaments, NCAA titles are the real definition of success.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 7 months ago

hawk_of_ages: That was not KULA's point. It's the approach. His point was that while we can get very excited about winning conference tournaments, NCAA titles are the real definition of success.

hawk_of_ages 7 years, 7 months ago

I just categorically reject the notion that Self's choice of rotation throughout the season somehow proves that he values conference tourneys or win totals over national championships. No coach in America does that. Do you think he gets a bonus for winning the conference but NOT for Final Fours or national titles? That is just laughable.

These are not separate things -- the more you win in the regular season, the better seed you will get in the tournament, thus the better shot you have at a national championship. This is not rocket science.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 7 months ago

Agreed .. I don't devalue the idea of winning in the regular season as it relates to seeding. I do think that you can be successful giving guys meaningful minutes. But the conflict in my positions is there.

hawk_of_ages 7 years, 7 months ago

HEM, I think your premise is faulty because your diagnosis of what went wrong in the game was faulty. Of course I wish we'd hit some 3's, but we didn't try that many of them anyway. It wasn't like the VCU game a few years ago when we jacked up 22 of them. The focus of our game plan this time was to relentlessly feed the post, as we did, and that plan ultimately worked.

We struggled in the game primarily because we got outmuscled and out-rebounded, and most importantly, because we kept coughing up the damn ball. And AWIII wouldn't have been able to solve either of those problems.

WKU totally bottled up BMac, who's a great shooter. Why would the result have been different with White? And I don't see how you could have played them both at once for any stretch of this game; if White's at the 2 or 3 spot alongside Ben then you sacrifice ball-handling, and if he's at the 4 spot then you sacrifice rebounding--and we can't afford to make those sacrifices.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 7 months ago

We struggled because we could not "score the basketball." Same as the TCU game. That's the biggest slice of the blame pie .. by a large margin. And I hope you're not saying that Traylor is a better rebounder than White. White is long, and has rebounded effectively. But you're reason for not playing White at the 4 is pretty weak .. sacrificing rebounding. We need to score. We were playing a team where White would have matched up fine with their 4. I do agree White isn't a ball handler .. only suggesting that a change of pace would be a nice option to have.

hawk_of_ages 7 years, 7 months ago

Again, we put up a measly six 3-point attempts. It just wasn't our game plan. Getting out-rebounded and turning it over 17 friggin' times was much more detrimental than our few 3-point misses. And yes, I know you like to dismiss Traylor, but the available evidence shows that he is indeed a better rebounder than White. What evidence do you have that shows otherwise?

KULA 7 years, 7 months ago

How about this--Did Rio or AW3 look any more inept in Dec/Jan than Perry Ellis? No, probably even less so. And yet Ellis got the game minutes to develop and the other two didn't. And now in March, Perry is a solid and arguably indispensable part of the rotation. The argument in this camp is that those two could very well have developed into contributing members of the rotation, just as Perry has and Cole did before him, and just as EJ and Withey were not allowed to in the UNI/VCU years. Can you ever have too many 3pt shooters on your bench?

hawk_of_ages 7 years, 7 months ago

Why do you assume that players are not developing unless you see them on the floor? If that were the case, how did Cole, Withey, and RussRob ever become good players?

Joe Ross 7 years, 7 months ago

Sprint Center was amped last night! Looking for the Jayhawks to come out better against the Tar Heels. Awaiting gay-bait's derision of Matt Tait's prediction that KU and UNC wouldn't meet. Good to be in the company of so many raucous Jayhawks last night. There were lots of high fives, but scary moments too. Liked Elijah Johnson's post-game comments about having a different attitude prior to the game on Sunday.

tis4tim 7 years, 7 months ago

The Hawks win, but I lose my patience, my temper, my hair and a few more years off my life. Is this really an equitable relationship?

Jonathan Even 7 years, 7 months ago

I disagree that Self sent them out flat but he might not have amped them to the extreme. Self said they were loose all week and then they felt tight in the locker room. This is my theory: It's gotta be tough to sit in a hotel all day, watch other teams get upset, and then play the last game of the day after 9 pm. As if it wasn't late enough, tip-off got pushed back almost 30 minutes. Plus, WKU is better than their record; they lost a number of games due to injury. All the pressure is on the 1-seed. Geez, how many times did we hear that no 1-seed has lost to a 16-seed? WKU had nothing to lose and played like it.

Self has said for every three games you're going to play one amazing, one ok, and one like crap. Well, we got the crap game out of the way. We're not going to shoot 0 for anything from three the rest of tourney. I doubt we'll be out-rebounded again. KU got its jitters out of the way and will play fine (and still be able to win) the rest of the tourney.

Robbk1066 7 years, 7 months ago

I agree with you on post but doesn't it suck that we are looking at this as a bottom feeder scavengers? Why can't we get 1 or 2 of the top 5 recruits, every 3-5 years? Just 1 every 3 years? Makes me feel like recruiting wise we are at bottom of top tier, duke, NC, IU, MSU, SY, and UK all above us. Heck even TX and Baylor gets some top notch guys.. Sad

AsadZ 7 years, 7 months ago

Top 5 recruits are OADs. They are already looking forward to NBA. Whereas Bill Self has a different philosophy - when you play at Kansas you get PT by guarding on D and rebound the ball. Most top recruits are not interested in this philosophy.

Ron Franklin 7 years, 7 months ago

If we miss on Wiggins, I anticipate Self will find one of these sleeper transfer bigs--he always seems to do that.

amandamarie00 7 years, 7 months ago

I wasn't aware that Kansas University played last night. I'm pretty sure Western Kentucky played the University of Kansas. Why on Earth does the Journal-World insist on using the wrong name? They're the only media outlet I've ever seen that calls KU Kansas University.

yellowjeep 7 years, 7 months ago

It seems like its only Gary. I actually like his articles but the Kansas U think freaking kills me every time I see it.

monkeehawkSL8 7 years, 7 months ago

KU, University of Kansas. KU, Kansas University. Read the last line of your post, "They're the only media outlet I've ever seen that calls (now, pay attention) KU, K standing for Kansas, U standing for University, Kansas University". Are you a basketball fan? Is the back of your car covered with bumper stickers? Have you started a petition to stop the senseless slaughter of the real name of the school where the Jayhawks play? I want to help you. What can I do?

741hawk 7 years, 7 months ago

I get it, but I just don't think it matters that much.

jayhawkinATL 7 years, 7 months ago

I'm sooooo over VCU and Shaka...Go Big Blue!!!

kennethst 7 years, 7 months ago

Crisis! Apparently......3 year old girls are just like most women.......concede something just a little......and they take a mile! The situation? Yesterday......I conceded Baby Jayhawk is "most likely" a girl. Well......this morning......she thinks it's just hilarious to put doll clothes on her regular stuffed Jayhawk!!! She has been running in here every 5 minutes with a new dress on .....the regular Jayhawk!!! And laughing it up. Of course my exagerated looks of displeasure only egg her on.

This cannot stand. ......but then again.....it's my own fault.

Redlandsjhawk 7 years, 7 months ago

We have awakened a sleeping giant and filled him with a terrible resolve.

The StupidMichael of Carolina is scared!

Robbk1066 7 years, 7 months ago

This team is average and even worse when they cant hit a shot, only 1 away from paint last night. What is truly amazing is they think they are some top notch talented team. They don't rebound against a smaller team, get out hustled by less talented team, and take a team that is good lightly. Sorry but if they get to the sweet 16 they will lose that 4th round game, VCU or MICH. If they play with urgency, toughness, and focus they can get to the final 4 and then who knows. But turnovers, inconsistent scoring, and a lack of talent will be their downfall. We just cant put it all together. I am glad we weren't first 1 seed to lose to 16 seed but we are living on borrowed time guys. Self/staff is to blame for lack of quality recruits on team, but also for overcoming how average we are, he is only a small part of this train wreck of a game. Lets hope for the best, that EJ wont throw the game away, that BMAC wakes up and the Ghost appears as player instead of poser he looks like some games. Its a miracle we are a #1 seed, should be a 2, or 3. We are transparent champion, only won because no else was any good. Only ISU won from B12 with meaning in NCAA tourney in 13, this conf. at a 10-15 year low and as champ we show why.

Robbk1066 7 years, 7 months ago

I love KU, but this team is sure tough to love.

kennethst 7 years, 7 months ago

Those 30 win seasons are tough to take......but when you throw in Big 12 Conference championships and tournement championships.....well......that's just too much! How dare they!

Robbk1066 7 years, 7 months ago

Ken you are exactly the reason are team plays with false confidence.

kennethst 7 years, 7 months ago

Yes....You're right. What was I thinking?? It's always better to be negative and pessimistic......That always works! PS-I'm so sick of KU winning championships year after year.......so over it!!

Robbk1066 7 years, 7 months ago

hopeless. Well Ken with every one of your "we are great" replies you prove my point, you understand this right? want to see what i said better said read Texi below. We have serious issues, glad we had great year and 30 wins but we cannot play like last night and expect that to mean anything. 1 made shot by a 7 footer btw, from outside of 2 feet. Who cares what we did right now, this tourney is about what you are doing right now. Can you honestly say you watched last nights game and said now this is what I expect from a 30 win, season and tourney champ? Really? seriously you think that was ok? Want to know what we should be playing like, see SY, Duke, Mich blowing out teams they should. come on and join the real world

kennethst 7 years, 7 months ago

I know it's a stretch.....but let me guess. You were one of those "fans" spewing your hate at the team after the Baylor loss.......and then salavating over them with praise when they dominated the Big 12 tourney. You know.....fair weather fans like you are not needed here. If you find so much wrong with them.....then find another team or another sport. Leave. You will not be missed.

Robbk1066 7 years, 7 months ago

leave huh thats your answer? mercy. Ken this is not a We Love the Jayhawks site, this is a sports site where all fans get a voice. I was unhappy about Baylor, and TCU loss's and when they won b12 tourney i was happy for them, they played like they can. Last night was VCU bad. This cannot happen. So yes I am unhappy again. Not fairweather fan, I been at KU games since 1977 was at 1988 games and in Kemper that year, ever since where were you back then? So if I want to demand that we play like we can why is that bad? Why do i have to leave, why not those like you who are blind we are great fans, who really dont see the whole picture? This is not some fan club Ken where you only get to hear what you want to hear.

Robbk1066 7 years, 7 months ago

PS- the right word to use for Headline was PHEW not whew...

theend 7 years, 7 months ago

Stupid comments. I doubt you're a KU fan......but if you are.....leave. Find another team. There's the door......use it. Loser.

Robbk1066 7 years, 7 months ago

LOL wake up the end. honest comments made by our coach. False belief that last night was OK. All above have been echo'd by coach Self. You are one of the reason we play with false confidence. We need to be honest here.

theend 7 years, 7 months ago

Negative losers are so annoying. I'm guessing it's just a symptom of something else in your life. Last one picked for the team when you were in school? Don't make enough money? Still have acne? No women in your life?(big surprise there)........Why don't you find another team to root for?.....one that does everything perfectly.

Robbk1066 7 years, 7 months ago

wow what are you 5? lol oh my thanks I needed a good laugh this afternoon. btw way i am not a negative loser i am a negative winner so lets make sure you get that right... I have rooted for this team longer than you have been alive, assumption here due to your reply... we deserve better than this. Last nights play was ok for you huh, well I think you might be out of touch with whats real, so i will be careful with my next statement. Seek help the end, you need it more then me. lol btw you were wrong on all counts, so you can try again if you want , in the next round the values are double so who knows you might catchup... thanks for the laughs

theend 7 years, 7 months ago

Who needs enemies when we have "fans" like you. I hope KU dominates UNC ....just to upset you. Something tells me you like being miserable.

Robbk1066 7 years, 7 months ago

only miserable when dealing with poor souls that cannot understand higher concepts the end... and then not miserable more like disappointed. Just disappointment the end, just disappointment. Like the header of article i do say Whew a lot when i have to talk those poor souls. they tire me out, they are so closed off to others thoughts that are different than theirs.

jayhawkinATL 7 years, 7 months ago

Watching Michigan handle VCU's pressure is VERY impressive...only 2 TOs at 8+ minutes in.

BCRavenJHawkfan 7 years, 7 months ago

Just two questions.

  1. What exactly did Townsend scout on this club?

  2. Suggestions on a replacement television? Mine is history after last night :0

Steve Reigle 7 years, 7 months ago

McLemore said "I didn’t want to mess up."

That's the problem. Thinking too much. Playing to not lose. Just quit thinking about it and go play. Go have fun.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 7 months ago

Perhaps the most insightful post on this entire board. Maybe isolating Ben's problem on the road sometimes this season and why he goes into a shell.

Coach Self -- hope you read Ben's quote. Time to inspire greatness.

theend 7 years, 7 months ago

Good. So sick of VCU and Shaka Smart. Overrated losers.

jaybate 7 years, 7 months ago

Damn I wanted to beat those guys ourselves

theend 7 years, 7 months ago

Spike Lee is a VCU fan......another reason to hate them. I hope he's there are crying.

Robbk1066 7 years, 7 months ago

Bilas had them in final four too lol. So take what he says with grain of salt...

jayhawkinATL 7 years, 7 months ago

I saw a couple of "experts" on SI.com had VCU in the Final Four.

Robbk1066 7 years, 7 months ago

lol thats right, makes me feel even better that Bilas is so wrong.

Robbk1066 7 years, 7 months ago

And he is wrong about that too... lol

Ron Franklin 7 years, 7 months ago

why in the Hell Shaka expended so much energy on Akron, I"ll never know. There was no point in blowing that team out by 40. Looks like the legs didn't recover in time to handle an elite PG.

sawman3333 7 years, 7 months ago

I wonder how many folks will go back and read these comments when we're in another Final Four this year? We'll wax the floor with Roy tomorrow and then bring on Michigan!

vsb 7 years, 7 months ago

My oh my...a W is a W. That's what I always thought...until the Zags played against a #16, a team whom, btw, DIDN'T go cold in the second half...like your game. The other major difference was the the crowd turned on Gonzaga and clearly cheered for the underdog, once they smelled blood. Your crowd may have gone a tad silent, but your players never had to deal with turncoats. And what was said about Gonzaga? They are 'Frauds' b/c they were voted (NOT self appointed) a #1 seed. So, will the media cry now be that Kansas is also a 'Fraud?' No way. There's a total double standard going on here. The media STILL cannot even correctly pronounce the name of the school, GONZAGA (say it with me...Gone-ZAY-Guh...emphasis on the ZAY). Sad.

yates33333 7 years, 7 months ago

I don't understand this comment. Did KU fans "turn on" Gonzaga? As a long time Jayhawk supporter I am neither for nor against Gonzaga unless they play KU. In fact I have probably supported Gonzaga on most occasions since they are often considered a mid-major even though they often beat major conference teams. Like most people I have an affinity for the underdog unless KU is whipping up on them.

As far as the media is concerned they rarely please anyone. After all they are distant relatives of newsmen, regular reporter types, who were created to be despised.

vsb 7 years, 7 months ago

I'm sorry. I certainly didn't mean to vilify Kansas fans. I was merely trying to draw attention to 2 similar games for 2 of the #1 seeds. The fallout from the media and comments sections online were very ugly toward Gonzaga's loss. I feel they are/and will be treated very differently than Kansas' loss. Thank you, yates 33333, for actually being supportive of Gonzaga. Best of luck to your team.

theblondie 7 years, 7 months ago

After attending last night's game, I have some comments about "loose" and "tight"... I've had lots of contact with elite athletes in another sport that has nothing to do with basketball, but the messages from the sports psychologist are the same.

  1. Big expectations often cause big pressures and fear of failure. That's why, in any individual sport, it's always easier to win a title than defend a title. This is particularly a problem for KU, who, for some reason, the media can't mention without "Bucknell and Bradley" spewing out of their mouth like vomit. All the talk about this year's upset potential and being the first #1 to lose to a #16 is what may have changed a team that was loose all week into a tight team that just didn't want to "mess up." Last night KU looked like a team playing not to lose rather than playing to win.

  2. Visualizing positive outcomes works lots better than concentrating on possible failures. Just think to yourself, "Oh no, don't let me turn this over, " and that will be the first thing you do. When you're facing big expectations, that happens more often.

  3. Now that we've gotten past that first victory, it should be time to get back a little of that swagger and general sense of confidence and fun that brings out the best in this team. Can't wait so see those great Young and McLemore smiles!

Redlandsjhawk 7 years, 7 months ago

the blondie; You are right. The brain doesn't hear the "don't" or "never". It just hears the "mess up." If you're teaching a child to ride a bike his brain doesn't hear "don't ride off the curb'" just the "ride off the curb."

jayhawkinATL 7 years, 7 months ago

CBS is reaching for stories. How they can make a big deal about Ole Miss' Marshall Henderson is beyond me. He shot a lame-a$$ 28.5 percent from the field (6-21) and only 25 percent from three (3-12) yesterday.

LngTimeFan 7 years, 7 months ago

Ben continues to look lost much of the time, IMO, and I really don't think he has any business going pro yet. He gets beaten alot, thows the ball away, and now that the level of competition has improved he looks average. I know the family situation will dictate what he does most likely and I wish him the best if he does go, but another year of seasoning sure would improve his chances of a longer term pro career. The better college players hold him down, the pros will eat him up. Just my opinion.

Robbk1066 7 years, 7 months ago

I agree, he shows sparks of greatness but he does not look ready. Not being selfish for him to come back but he is non consistent.

741hawk 7 years, 7 months ago

His long-term earnings will be much greater if he stays and develops for another year. I'm afraid the short-term, "show me the money" concept will prevail.

Tony Bandle 7 years, 7 months ago

Two words..Noel Nerlens...every aspiring NBA collegiate has been scared to death by the "I" word....INJURY!!

TexiCaliHawk 7 years, 7 months ago

First of all, it's always great to get a 'W' so congrats to the Hawks for NOT being the 'first to lose as a 1 Seed to a 16 Seed -- I know, I know . . . 'Survive and Advance'. That said, we simply cannot play so 'scared' any more as that seems to be the recipe for disaster for this squad (e.g., long tentative passes, holding the ball instead of moving it, standing around instead of moving without the ball, looking to pass instead of aggressively driving into the paint, short-arming 'bunnies' instead of dunking the ball with authority, etc., etc.). We also need MUCH more 'Senior Leadership' than our 4 Seniors (3 of them '5th Years!') have demonstrated as there were more 'brain fart' plays out of them than you would expect from a Freshman. E.J. has reverted back into his 'funk' and Releford seems to have likewise reverted back into his 'shell' -- we need BOTH of those guys to step and LEAD like we all know they are capable -- especially when things aren't going well. Ben was 'invisible' (at best) and actually a 'barrier' (at worst) to our progress -- he looked absolutely lost out there for the majority of the game and tried to force the issue on several occasions when he got the ball -- only to result in a missed (difficult) shot, or errant pass, etc. Thank God for Jeff Withey who DID show up to play as well as our ability to hit Free Throws down the stretch, or we would be going home early from the Tourney (just like K-State!). Monkee -- your (repeated) mantra of "Take care of the ball and we can win it all" is indeed an accurate assessment (especially when we play a quick, athletic, pressing, trapping team like UNC or VCU), but unfortunately, it is only one of our keys to advancing -- this team responds best when it has a chip on its shoulder; playing with a tremendous amount of energy and PASSION (a 'Free Mind') in squeezing the utmost out of their God-given abilities. When we just 'show up' and play as passive as we did last night, we are still a good team, but just not GREAT team. Sorry to sound so negative, but I'm guessing HCBS is thinking/saying the same things to his team -- we have the Talent and Coaching (as well as a decided 'Home Court' advantage in playing at the Sprint Center in front of a vast majority of fans on a floor where we just last week won the Big 12 Conf. Tourney by playing our BEST basketball of the season). Now we have to mentally put that 'stinker' behind us and gear up for WAR against 'ol Roy and his Tar Heels who WILL show up and play like they have nothing to lose . . . Will we? I certainly hope so as I love these Seniors and just want them to go out like they deserve to . . . as CHAMPIONS! As we've seen from all the upsets thus far, nobody is going to 'give' us anything . . . we have to TAKE it! I'm thinking that our lackluster performance last night will get our attention and indeed give us the push we need to take care of business on Sunday . . . ROCK CHALK!

monkeehawkSL8 7 years, 7 months ago

Very nice to hear from you. I was hoping that the "mantra" would become a thread of agreement through the comment board, it kind of fell off the table. I totally agree with you that there is more to it than just taking care of the ball. All KU teams have a "personality" and character that becomes recognizable at different times during a season depending on rotation depth, health, chemistry, off court distraction etc. This team is very special for me, I am fan of student athletes. Having 4 seniors starting is unusual and I love it. What I believe is missing is consistent execution of simple fundamentals. What they suffer from is an addiction to adrenaline style basketball. When the adrenaline isn't flowing the team seems to fall asleep and they begin to watch each other, standing still in the process. What makes this so confusing are periods of play that can be described only as pure team basketball followed by careless wasted possessions. This is the result of a complete lack of team self confidence. That was not intended to be a play on words. I think we Jayhawk fans demand & expect perfection and with the size of our fan base thats a lot of pressure. I want these young men to go out as CHAMPIONS, they are already. Whatever causes the over thinking, fear of failure, I hope they flush it down the toilet when they get up tomorrow, take a deep breath of "Free Mind" exercise those GOD-given abilities to the max and play with unstoppable drive for another five. Jayhawks take care of each other, we're here with you, RCJH KAAAAAAAUOOOOOOO NOW JAYHAWKS TAKE CARE OF EACH OTHER AND YOU CAN WIN ANOTHER!

yates33333 7 years, 7 months ago

I think Western Kentucky played a smart game and played pretty effectively except for missing open shots. KU played horrible in spurts, but I am not sure overall KU played as poorly as everyone seems to believe. I think some credit for the close game goes to the WKU coach, his game plan, and his players. Like the announcer said, our wings and point guard had rough games. Let's hope that ended Friday night and on Sunday we play like we did against Ohio State or Iowa State, the last game. What has been obvious thus far is that the Big 10 really is the premier BB conference this year. The Big 12 has been a disappointment except for Iowa State and after tomorrow KU.

jaybate 7 years, 7 months ago

Good call.

Plus no amp.

Plus no trey touch.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 7 months ago

yates .. I'm sorry, we played horrible. No other way to slice it. You said it correctly WKU played a smart and effective game "except for missing open shots."

We all understand that WKU missing those open shots was the only thing between a win and a TCU like loss. That's it.

hawk_of_ages 7 years, 7 months ago

I'm not totally disagreeing with you here, but there is a reason that teams generally shoot poorly against us. It doesn't just happen by magic.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 7 months ago

hawk .. you are exactly right. But i differentiate between open looks and guarded shots. WKU missed a ton of wide open looks. That's not D. On the other hand, our D does affect a lot of shots.

FarSideHawk 7 years, 7 months ago

The reason I'm not worried this year is because every contending team (and there are about 15 of those) is in the same boat. They have looked great at times and they have looked clueless at times.

The Jayhawks have played some beautiful basketball during the season, with ugly games mixed in.

I'm not worried because we have the team that can beat anybody in the country if it comes to play. We are not fundamentally at a disadvantage against anybody.
We have experience and poise to win close games against the top teams, be it UNC, Mich, Florida, IU, or Louisville!

We have the horses to win against all of those, if we play our defense.

Believe in the Prophet!

Believe in the Jayhawks!

jayhawkinATL 7 years, 7 months ago

Anyone else feel that EJ's energy is about gone???

FarSideHawk 7 years, 7 months ago

I don't think so. I think he has a lot left in his tank and he will rise up for the 'moment'.

okiedave 7 years, 7 months ago

It looks like we have on our plate NC - Mich - Fl. - Miami/Syac. - Louisville. If we can reach the championship it may turn out to be the toughest bracket for a national championship in NCAA tournament history. One game at a time.

eric poncharello 7 years, 7 months ago

Western Kentucky played a good game and for the most part took Kansas out of there game which KU should be concerned about other teams they play will use these same tactics. Elijah isn't a smart player for letting himself get caught up in the physical play Western Kentucky used on him. Elijah is the team QB and needs to be a top performer now and get his team involved with better decision play or will get beat by UNC. I'll make a statement now if KU beats UNC Sunday will be in the championship again, But, I feel will get beat by UNC because Roy has a perimeter team that can beat our perimeter players. I'am not saying there more talented over our guy's, I just feel they will be Sunday. Whew!

Glen Darge 7 years, 7 months ago

If the Hawks cannot hit from the outside and maintain what they did to defeat WKU, then they need to stay home and not embarrass us fans by getting on the court and playing the way the did-- And THEY even WON the game??? They did not deserve to win the way they played. Coach self did his job! It was the tem that let him and the rest of us down.

monkeehawkSL8 7 years, 7 months ago

Your a "test pilot" right. I'm not sure, but I think I would be more embarrassed of the team not showing up to play, refusing to come out on the court for a previously poorly played game. Is the 454 currently logging hours over any populated area's right now? Or is it area 51 hush-hush kinda stuff. Should I eat my lap top after talking about it? Up in the air junior bird men, up in the

TexiCaliHawk 7 years, 7 months ago

Good post FarSide as we essentially agree that (for a 30-5 team) KU can look absolutely gorgeous as well as incredibly hideous (sometimes even in the same game!). Nerves aside, I think the common denominator for KU -- as it has been historically -- is that our Defense sparks our Offense (transition game to get easy, emotionally uplifting dunks; improved focus that results in better movement, screening, inside/out passing and trey shooting or seal-off 'bunnies' down low).

So, the whole notion of whether HCBS has the team 'amped' or not is irrelevant as a coach can only do so much -- each individual player and, of course, the team collectively -- must realize that EVERY game is THE game and EVERY opponent (especially during a 'one-and-done' elimination tourney) is desperate, dangerous and to be respected. EFFORT cannot be 'coached' -- it is simply a matter of good 'ol fashioned 'Want-To'.

This then provides the 'catalyst' to COMMIT to playing a suffocating style of Defense that imposes your will over the other team -- a few steals, a block and some defensive rebounds will lead to CONFIDENCE on the Offensive side of the court. DEFENSE starts the OFFENSE and Confidence leads to 'Swagger' and a fun, loose style of play that by the time you look up we're on a 12-0 run, which results in 'W's' . . . lot's of 'em!

THAT is what we as long-time Jayhawk followers/fans affectionately refer to as 'KANSAS Basketball' and how we all know THIS team is capable of playing (e.g., OSU in Columbus, KSU in Lawrence, etc., etc., etc.). The stage is set for us to do so yet again as we impose OUR WILL on 'ol Roy and the Tarheels on Sunday -- just play 'KANSAS Basketball' and the rest will take care of itself . . . NEXT!

Kye Clark 7 years, 7 months ago

HEM with another spot on post. It always particularly baffles me, the "who cares we won" crowd, as HEM put it. Fans like that often act as if one game has nothing to do with another.

There are also fans like Jaybate, who for some reason use poor performances as encouragement and hope for future games. I saw him say he was glad we stunk it up last night (paraphrased), because if we had blown them out by 30 he would have been disappointed we wasted a good performance on a #16 seed. Huh? You mean to tell me, had we won by 30 he would have been on the message boards bemoaning a dominant performance? I find that hard to believe. It's a rationalization, plain and simple.

Similar to this, there's also the "we got our bad game out of the way" attitude. This assumes that one bad game can't snow-ball into another, that there is no carry-over in the way the team plays game-to-game. That confidence isn't fluid. From what I saw last game, I'm extremely concerned for the team tomorrow night.

And win, lose, blow-out, grind-it-out. Jaybate and others will have some way to explain it away. Some way, that is, that fits into their "Self has a plan" way of thinking. I just can't see how last night's performance was part of the plan. Self himself said he wasn't pleased with the way they played. The worshipers will shrug it off as some kind of Self-zen psychology, and that he was really sending a coded message to his team or UNC through the media, and that he really was pleased because that's what he wanted all along.

Whatever helps get you through the madness I guess.

hawk_of_ages 7 years, 7 months ago

I think "fans" is the word you're looking for, not "worshipers."

Look, I don't think there's any reason to be alarmist or to be terribly confident. Tomorrow will be a totally different circumstance. There was plenty of (justifiable) handwringing last year after the Purdue game, which was very similar to this one, yet we all know what happened after that. On the other hand, I remember a similarly weak performance against 16-seeded Lehigh a few years ago, which turned out to be foreshadowing of disaster vs. UNI. So who knows?

My guess is that we will be much better tomorrow. Self's teams tend to out-tough Roy's teams even when the talent level is equal. And in this case, we have the better, more balanced personnel. And the fear of a historic upset won't be there to impede our performance this time. But obviously, if we find a way to turn it over 17 times vs. the 'Heels, it could be a disaster.

Kye Clark 7 years, 7 months ago

hawk_of_ages - No, I mean worshipers. The "Self is God" people. The crowd that when Self brings in a Milton Doyle or Merv Lindsay it's because Self knows what he's doing and just unearthed a diamond in the rough, and not because we missed on every other guy he was recruiting and had some left-over scholarships. Or those that see the team struggle against Western Kentucky and think that Self must have somehow wanted the team to struggle. No way Self would have wanted a 20-30 point blowout right? No way he would have rather had the game well in hand with over 10 minutes left thus allowing him to rest the starters? Of course not, Self is God, so if the team labored against a #16 seed, it's because it was His will.

Also, your comparison to last year's team is slighly off, in that Purdue was a #10 seed. But I get your point. Last night's poor performance doesn't necessarily mean we'll play horribly against the 'heels, but it's not a ideal.

hawk_of_ages 7 years, 7 months ago

Fair enough. I do agree that certain long-winded posters here give Self too much credit for omnipotence (the whole idea that he can choose whether or not to "amp" his players for any given game is absurd).

But if you don't like the Purdue comparison, how about our Final Four teams in 2002 and 2003? They both started out with brutal, grind-it-out 1st round games against Mid-Majors -- Holy Cross and Montana St., a 16 and a 15 seed, respectively. Those games were very similar to yesterday's, but once they survived to play a major-conference team with a style more to their liking in the 2nd round, they were off to the races. (I know that was Roy instead of Self, but since we're agreeing that Self doesn't walk on water, we can allow that, right?)

Jack Wilson 7 years, 7 months ago

ict .. thanks. You know, it's not that a bad performance like this "always" means bad things. It's just that it is more likely. I think some forget that. This team has a certain character to it. I mentioned it after the Baylor game. Teams gain a certain character that defines them. And we're talking about winning it all here. Not just winning. Folks I think mistake the two. We can plug away in the regular season. But we're at a time of the year when weaknesses get exposed -- a one and one deal. And it's over.

hawk_of_ages brought up a great point. The Lehigh game of 2010 before the UNI disaster. Here's a quote from after the Lehigh game: "Struggling against another Patriot League team in Oklahoma City, top-seeded Kansas survived a scare by pulling away for a 90-74 win over scrappy Lehigh and avoiding a monumental upset in the Midwest Regional on Thursday night. "It's a good thing we got tested," Kansas senior Sherron Collins said. "We needed that. It'll get us ready for games like this because there'll be more games we get tested in this tournament. It's a crazy tournament."

They got tested vs. UNI the next game, to be sure.

objectiveKUfan 7 years, 7 months ago

Did anyone else catch WKY coach see Bills/Tharpes called play in the first half (pointing to elbow)and immediately calling to his players to defend the set play and than we absolutely botched said set play? Scouting us is just too easy. We have no legit PG to change the offense up. I've lost all hope for EJ to effectively run the offense. Tharpe is still the key, but we'll have to wait for his senior yr. for a legit chance at the trophy.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 7 months ago

Ah, now I would not be so quick to dispel Mr. Tharpe. Imagine if he makes 1/2 the improvement he did from last year to this, we'll all be very happy.

objectiveKUfan 7 years, 7 months ago

I love Tharpe. He's my guy. Been my guy since I saw him freshman yr. give an easy layup in transition to one of our better finishers. I really think Tharpe will be one of the great PGs in the Self era when all is said and done. I just think our team will be too young next year for a deep run. Tharpes senior yr with Ellis/Frankamp will be our best chance at getting another trophy...

And to your pt. about playing White, would it have made a difference yesterday? Would he have magically given our guards the confidence to handle the ball/pressure/pass better? The poor ball handling is like the plague, spreads throughout the guards and turns them into scared little Topeka YMCA'ers. I've said all year long this team is in desperate need of leadership, esp. from the guards. Just one of those intangibles that Self cannot instill in these men....and unfortunately time has ran out.

Again, Tharpe is the key, still capable of molding, still capable of learning, still capable of leading. Sub him in quicker and move EJ to the 2 sooner. No one gets Ben the open trey better than Tharpe. Take Tharpes defensive deficiencys for offensive power. Up to Bill if he wants to roll the dice.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 7 months ago

Ok, I may have misread you on Tharpe .. you're saying we have no legit title shot next season. Understood. Lot's of reading, and sometimes not as much comprehending on my part.

On the White point, no, I'm not saying he would magically do anything. I have only said that having another option when the rest of your players are either shut down, unwilling, or unable (other than Withey) to create offense is not a luxury. It is something we should have available to decrease our chances of an early exit. Making baskets is magic in this game. Having options to make baskets is a good thing.

Marcia Parsons 7 years, 7 months ago

That wild defensive style of WKU's seemed familiar, and after I read an article about their coach I realized why. He used to be the coach at SIU. Isn't that the team we played in 2007 (I think) in California? Their slap and bump style of defense left us exhausted and probably bruised from head to toe. We won, but were so exhausted we weren't fully recovered and didn't play well against UCLA (still in California) in the next game, and lost.

hawk_of_ages 7 years, 7 months ago

Yes, but the SIU coach in that game is now an assistant at Kansas State.

monkeehawkSL8 7 years, 7 months ago

Jaybate, the Bruins are in need of a new coach. Are you going to put your resume in? I'm sure they've heard of you, let the board know if you need some references. First there was the "Wizard of Westwood", you could be the "Liberace of the powder blue bears".

Steve Brown 7 years, 7 months ago

Sidney Wicks, Lucious Allen, Lew Alcindor, j. Wilkes, before the 3 pt line before the shot clock it was a different era. A mid major coach about to get big pay day.....some school,about to lose a coach, is it Butler, VCU, Davidson, SMU !).

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