Sunday, March 24, 2013

Kansas-Carolina more than coaches

North Carolina head coach Roy Williams talks with media members about the Jayhawks' defense, Saturday, March 23, 2013 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

North Carolina head coach Roy Williams talks with media members about the Jayhawks' defense, Saturday, March 23, 2013 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.


— Bill Self doesn’t see today’s Kansas-North Carolina basketball game as a battle between the current and former head coaches of the Jayhawks.

“I don’t know if there’s any importance at all about the coaches, at least from my perspective. I think if coach (Roy) Williams and I were to go out there and play 1-on-1, I think I could back him down on the post pretty good,” said KU coach Self, a 50-year-old former starting point guard at Oklahoma State. Williams, 62, was a point guard on the JV team at North Carolina.

“Of course, he could beat me on the golf course,” Self added of Williams. “This is two good teams playing each other.”

Hype being what it is, however … today’s third-round NCAA Tournament game between Self’s No. 1-seeded Jayhawks (30-5) and Williams’ No. 8-seeded Tar Heels (25-10) — tipoff is 4:15 p.m. at Sprint Center — has the focus square on the coaches’ shoulders.

Williams, who went 418-101 in 15 years at KU, picked up his 700th coaching victory (against 179 losses in 25 years) Friday, courtesy of the Tar Heels’ 78-71 second-round NCAA win over Villanova.

Self, who won his 500th game earlier this year — he’s 506-163 in 20 seasons — today goes for his 300th victory in 10 seasons at KU. He’s 299-58.

“There are good players on both teams,” Self said.

The Tar Heels, in fact, start five McDonald’s All-Americans (guards Reggie Bullock, P.J. Hairston, Marcus Paige, Dexter Strickland and center James Michael McAdoo), while KU brings All-American Perry Ellis off the bench.

“They (teams) are tradition-rich, intertwined with coach (Dean) Smith playing on the (KU) 1952 national championship team and him being maybe as innovative and great a leader of a program we’ve ever seen at North Carolina and coach (Larry) Brown being a great player there and winning a national championship here. Coach Williams obviously had 15 great years here, now being the head coach there,” Self added.

“There are some bitter rivalries out there, but I don’t see anything bitter about this at all. What’s unbelievable (is) in the tradition-rich years of both our programs, we’ve only played 10 times, and almost all have been in the NCAA Tournament. They (meetings) are few and far between, so I’m sure the fan base of both programs will enjoy the game.”

UNC is 6-4 against KU all-time. Five of the meetings have come in NCAAs.

Most fans remember the two games involving UNC coach Williams against his former school. KU won, 80-67, in last year’s Elite Eight in St. Louis and also prevailed, 84-66, in the 2008 Final Four semis in San Antonio.

Self went 1-1 versus Williams’ Jayhawks when Self coached at Illinois.

“I thought McAdoo was the best big guy in the game (last year). He’s a load,” Self said of 6-9 sophomore McAdoo (14.5 ppg, 7.3 rpg), who is the only big man in UNC’s four-guard lineup.

“They are playing small with Hairston (6-5, 220 soph., 14.5 ppg) at the 4. He’s still a good-sized guy. They will try to take advantage of taking our bigs away from the basket. We have to take advantage of scoring the ball inside.”

The two teams played to a 47-47 halftime tie a year ago.

“I remember the second half coming out and creating some separation,” KU senior point guard Elijah Johnson said. “It was back-and-forth the whole time. We finally got the separation we wanted.”

McAdoo had 15 points and four boards in that game. Of KU’s returning players, Jeff Withey had the best game with 15 points, eight rebounds and three blocks.

“They have four guards, can stretch the floor. We can do that math, and we know how to go about it,” Johnson said. “We can also stretch the floor. I don’t think it (four-guard lineup) is something we haven’t seen. We also played Iowa State three times this year (and won three against the smaller, three-point-shooting Cyclones).”

The Jayhawks, who edged No. 16-seed Western Kentucky, 64-57, in Friday’s second round, say they totally respect UNC, despite the 8 seed. A year ago, KU was seeded second and UNC first when KU prevailed.

“That number doesn’t matter. It’s two teams, 10 players, and they’ve got to play,” Johnson said.

The Jayhawks are extra-enthused playing a tradition-rich program such as Carolina. KU enters second in all-time victories with 2,100. UNC is third at 2,090, with Kentucky leading the pack at 2,111.

“North Carolina and Kansas ... just seeing these two great programs and now being able to play at Kansas and play against another great program is what I’m looking forward to,” KU freshman Ben McLemore said. “I’m really excited about this game.”

It was suggested he might have had a case of the jitters Friday when his NCAA debut resulted in 11 points, four turnovers and two assists.

“Not at all. I definitely wasn’t nervous,” McLemore said. “My shots weren’t falling (2-of-5), but I got to the line (7-of-8) and got an alley-oop. I was trying to get in the game and help my team any way I could. I don’t want to rush anything, force anything, just play my game and have fun like I’ve been doing.”

As far as today’s game, to be shown on CBS, Johnson said: “Yes, it’s a big game. It’s what you come to Kansas for. You don’t sit back and want it to happen. You’ve got to make it happen.

“When coach offers you a scholarship, you know you come here to play against teams like this, the Dukes, the Carolinas, the Kentuckys. That there is enough. You’ve got to be ready to play. You get a chance to advance.”

Today’s winner will advance to next Friday’s Sweet 16 and a game against Michigan at a yet-to-be -determined time in Dallas.


cstevenday 1 year ago

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Jayhawk13KU 1 year ago

Ever notice Tharpe hits more three's when we are up by 10 or more!?!?


monkeehawkSL8 1 year ago

00:00 Jayhawks 70 Tarheels 58, they woke up. The Hawks Heart won the game. That is one of the most magnificent comebacks I have seen in my life. Hawks, don't settle for anything but everything! EVERTHING! You can beat any team, you cannot be beaten by anyone but yourselves. Take care of each other and you will win it all. Jeff, Travis, Nadir WOW! Ben its coming, on the biggest stage at the right time. Jayhawks you may want to cut down on the turnovers. RCJH KAAAAAAAUOOOOOO!


monkeehawkSL8 1 year ago

The game has started and the Hawks are cold, missing bunnies and layups. and standing perfectly still after taking a shot. 12-2 after 8mins.Come on Hawks wake up whoops just got beat on a alley-op. Jeff took a shot earlier, stood flat footed and watched NC rebound and start a fast break. Guys, now, please start. 11:20 14-6


Dan Harris 1 year ago

Three keys to the game

  1. Make more then one basket outside the paint.
  2. Limit N Carolina to under 33% 3 point shooting.
  3. Limit out turnovers to under 15.

obviously #1 will happen, I still can't believe we won the game with that stat!


Ralster Jayhawk 1 year ago

Just remembered the other day someone posted about "tornados" and AllenFieldHouse...then I thought we actually did get hit by Cyclones pretty good in there, but BMac and Hawks pulled it out in Fear not! Now just put some heat on the TarHeels and make em stick to the floor...


jaybate 1 year ago

Well, ISU got "reffed" against the Crackeyes.

Nonstop moving screens by both teams.

Looked like Iowa state had it, but then craft and Thomas started XTReme fouling and the refs gave it to the Crackeyes.

Lesson for KU.

Shove and shove hard between 10 and 3 to go.

Moving screens every where nonstop.

Don't wait till the end to cheat against a major market team.

Intimidate first hardest.

This is foot-basketball from here on.


jayhawkinATL 1 year ago

Would have been nice to have snarky Thaddy-boy ousted.


kennethst 1 year ago

Random observations and musings.......I get annoyed by teams whose mascots have nothing to do with their St.


Jack Wilson 1 year ago

Assuming we don't have our "A" game, drilling shots, turning UNC over, etc., how do we beat UNC?

1] McLemore has to be McLemore .. he has to be aggressive on offense. But we have to find ways to get him shots. And get him involved early. When he's involved early, he seems to stay involved.

2] To expand on point one, don't be satisfied throwing it in to Withey. Diversity will make Withey more effective.

3] EJ has to find ways to get to the rim in transition. Conventional thinking says we slow it down. I heard that from a guy on CBS. Wrong. Wrong. Attack in transition at every opportunity (unless we are up double-digits under 5).

4] Play Ellis over Withey when needed. Don't hesitate. If McAdoo is stretching the floor, adjust. Ellis is scoring now and is a terrific option. But also on offense. We'll know the minute Withey catches the ball (or on the first dribble) what UNC's strategy is. If they double, we will need to adjust. Also, Ellis for KY. KY's energy may be good in a game like this, but liberal use of Ellis may be the key today.

5] Make sure Releford guards Hairston .. everywhere. Obviously.

6] Releford needs to drive the ball regularly, attempt to get to the rack, or dish. Self was yelling at him during the WKU game to drive the ball. Listen to coach.

7] Don't hesitate to play small -- like real small for stretches. Ellis in the post, with EJ, Tharpe, McLemore and Releford. Not all the time. Stretches.

Could this be the tourney game many here have anticipated .. where Perry Ellis is the key?


FearlessJayhawk 1 year ago

Enought talking! KU has to tighten the screws, lock down the defense, quit turning it over every 30 seconds and make the shots. If you do this you will win. If you can't, this is it.


jayhawkinATL 1 year ago

Booooooooooooooooo...Sir Charles is wearing Carolina blue shirt AND tie! That's trrrrrrr-ible.


seanswind 1 year ago

I like how coach Self has the players repeating his locker-room mantra:

This game is why you came to KU.

That was a hard sell against W KY.

It helps the majority of our starters played them last year and have already gone through the UNC-Williams prep session.


Benjamin Piehler 1 year ago

This is a big game... Finally beating KU in the tourney could potentially redeem the Tarheels lackluster season to the fans.


gongs4ku 1 year ago

This game worries me more than Michigan would. I feel like we can disrupt what Michigan wants to do--they have lost to tough, defensive teams pretty consistently. On the other hand, UNC is like Iowa State with better athletes. They've been erratic, but when they're on it can get ugly if the other team isn't an offensive juggernaut too (we clearly aren't this year). If they get hot from three, we could lose this one handily....


tis4tim 1 year ago

In close games or games we've lost:

EJ couldn't hit a shot Releford wouldn't take a shot BMac couldn't create a shot Withey, being double-teamed, couldn't get off a shot Tharpe took too many ill-advised shots And our bench never got a shot.

All this needs to change moving forward if we're going to win it all.

I'm nervous about today's game, but I think the boys prevail. I think it will be close until the 5-minute mark in the second half when we start to assert our dominance.

KU: 78 UNC: 67 ... though I'd love for this to be a laugher like in 2008.


kckuguy 1 year ago

We need a good start today. Play solid defense, drive the basket and take care off the damn ball, Carolina is not good enough to force turnovers, the ball is in our court so don't give it up. Be proud of the jersey and smack anyone that gets in our way. Be selfish with the ball like a 10 year old that doesn't want to share his brand new ball with the other kids on the block. Be the big bully today and it is ok to say "that's mine" and take it away. If they don't like it they can always go home, just like Roy did.


jayhawkinATL 1 year ago

If you're playing "not to mess up", aren't you playing "nervous"???


kennethst 1 year ago

Hope the snow does not keep anyone from going to the game.......just leave early and be careful.......KU needs everyone there......and LOUD!!!!!!

Off subject obviously......but it cracks me up how mesmerized kids are by snow. The second it started little 3 year old got up from her play-table to stare at it. And then of course she made me take her out to play. Not that I minded.......I make sure to capture moments like all goes too fast.

And yes.....her stuffed Baby Jayhawk came did the regular Jayhawk.


Kye Clark 1 year ago

Speaking of coaches, just saw that UCLA is expected to fire Howland, and will focus on bringing in Shaka Smart. Personally, I have enjoyed the last 5 seasons watching UCLA flounder under Howland.

I believe it was KonkeyDong who mentioned this possibility yesterday, and brought up the idea of possibly picking up some potential transfers from UCLA (specifically the Wear twins). Haven't put much thought into it, but having missed on Randle anything is possible.


Matt1958 1 year ago

After watching Chris Jones play in the JUCO tournament all week, I'm not disappointed that he's headed to Louisville.


Kye Clark 1 year ago

HEM brought it up yesterday, and in fact has throughout the season, but these type of games would be tailor-made to play AW3 at the 4. Not sure he is ready for this stage (and I'm almost 100% certain we won't see on the court today) since he didn't get PT during the season, but we are seeing more and more of this type of line-up in college basketball, and it's frustrating to know that KU has the personnel to match-up with these opponents but failed to hone that weapon during the season. I read that Jesse doesn't think UNC's 4 guard line-up will give us as much problems as ISU this year, or Misery last year due to KY being a more capable perimeter defender than TRob was, but he also says "barring a Wichita St.-like effort"...problem is I don't want to go into games just hoping we don't run into a hot shooting team. I want KU to be fully equipped to counter a hot shooting team.


kennethst 1 year ago

With wonderful,sincere friends of Kansas like Roy Williams and Dean Smith......who needs enemies?


jaybate 1 year ago

Do not trust this man.

Do not believe a word that comes out of his mouth.

Until he retires, he will say anything.

He will do anything.

To serve UNC, not KU.

He will recruit east and west of the Mississippi for UNC.

He would only recruit west of the Mississippi for KU.

He will not give KU the same breaks he gave UNC.

He is not a Jayhawk.

He is Benedict Williams.

Until he retires.

He is a Tar Hole.

Nothing more.

Until he retires.

Then give him luv.

He worked his butt off for KU west of the Mississippi and then he negotiated a move to UNC during a Final Four. Do not buy a used car from this man. Until he retires.

He worked his butt off for KU west of the Mississippi and then he negotiated a move to UNC during a Final Four. Do not buy a used car from this man. Until he retires. by jaybate


Steve Brown 1 year ago

We have had success and heartbreak in KC at old municiple hall, Kemper Arena and in Sprint Center, the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. Give Heels some agony.


Steve Brown 1 year ago

Street ball will send us packing, run our stuff , get the rock in the paint, Whitney go beast mode, California style. drive and kick out, jeff gets 18 in 1 st half, then BMac gets 24 in 2nd half. Do not, all into hurry up trap.

Take the midnight train to Georgia with a stop in Arlington next Friday/Sunday.

For those of you out of town, you won't believe the snow we are getting in KC today, 3rd major snow event this season....


kennethst 1 year ago

Curious........Anyone here happen to have been at the game the last time KU and UNC played in Kansas City in 1957 for the national title??? Anyone remember the game??

I just hear stories. My Dad was in his junior year at KU and was at the game at Municipal. He said it was an absolutely heart-breaking loss. UNC triple teamed Wilt at times.


AsadZ 1 year ago

On a different note word on the street is that Ben Howland is fired by UCLA. This could have an impact on the some of their incoming recruits. They may transfer to a different school and KU could be in the mix.


REHawk 1 year ago

Time for Wily Bill to reel out some new stuff. Or to revive some dependabole old stuff. Athletically speaking, we won't defeat these Tarheels playing streetball.


KansasComet 1 year ago

Should be a good game. Defense and rebounding are the key. Survive and advance!


William Blake 1 year ago

Wow... go Shockers!

Adios, Zag. I didn't know Neal (from The Young Ones) could play ball? A #1 seed? Yeah, right...


Joe Ross 1 year ago

"The path of the Jayhawks is beset on all sides by the iniquities of selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he (Coach Self) who in the name of charity and good will shepherds Kansas through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brothers' keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers...and you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee."

--Ezequiel 25:17

"I always thought that was some cold-blooded $#!% to say before I popped a cap in your @$$."


Randy Maxwell 1 year ago

It took me sevral years to say this, but Self is the better coach. AT least during the game, but Roy's style may be something we aren't ready for


ajhk 1 year ago

It doesn't matter if you are tight or loose if you come to play angry. Bring the anger boys!

Roy has his guys all juiced up over the seeding. He's told them they are disrespected and they'll have to beat Kansas to get that back.

The hatred of Roy has dissipated but our motivation to beat a rival blue should not.


machinegun 1 year ago

I've been looking forward to this game since last Sunday night. Beating North Carolina will propel us forward. Elijah needs to lead. Jeff needs to slam dunk. Simple as that. I was up all night Saturday and here I am again tonight. Big Bill is wrong. Beating Ol' Roy is a big deal.


Bewareofthephog Fifety-Five 1 year ago

My one concern for this game is McAdoo taking Withey away from the low post. Do we play zone to stop this? Maybe a triangle-and-two?


CasperCorps 1 year ago

Seems like all player interviews are rehearsed same lines over and over... Nobody wants to give up any bulletin board material


Kent Wells 1 year ago

I'm not looking ahead.... I'm very nervous anout UNC. That said, Michigan sure looked good today. And what a gutty performance by the Shockers...

And I thought Roy had a pretty good winning percentage in his 15 - Coach Self is crushing it! Wow....


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