Originally published March 24, 2013 at 11:33p.m., updated March 25, 2013 at 12:08p.m.

Notebook: Bill Self says team ‘fortunate’ to have three-game NCAA win streak over UNC

Kansas coach Bill Self cheers from the sidelines in the second-half of the Jayhawks 70-58 win against North Carolina Sunday, March 24, 2013 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo..

Kansas coach Bill Self cheers from the sidelines in the second-half of the Jayhawks 70-58 win against North Carolina Sunday, March 24, 2013 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo..



KU-UNC reaction

Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self, Travis Releford, Jeff Withey

Kansas coach Bill Self and seniors Travis Releford and Jeff Withey talk to reporters following the Jayhawks' 70-58 victory over North Carolina on March 24, 2013.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

UNC coach Roy Williams, Marcus Paige, James Michael McAdoo

North Carolina coach Roy Williams, guard Marcus Paige and forward James Michael McAdoo talk to reporters following the Jayhawks' 70-58 victory over UNC on March 24, 2013.

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Box score


— Current Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self wasn’t gloating on Sunday after leading the Jayhawks to their third victory in as many tries against his predecessor Roy Williams’ North Carolina Tar Heels.

“We’ve been fortunate the three times we played them since I’ve been at KU,” Self said after a 70-58 victory in Sprint Center. A year ago, KU won, 80-67, in an Elite Eight battle in St. Louis. In 2008, KU prevailed, 84-66, in a Final Four semifinal in San Antonio.

“Last year was a coin-flip game that we made all the plays in the last four minutes. One-point game. We watched it today. Of course, we played great in 2008. Today was not one of those games.

“I don’t think it’s coach Williams at all,” Self added. “I think it would be anybody that’s on the other team, coaching the other team. When things don’t go well, you can’t allow other teams to play well. I thought that’s what happened tonight. Even though we played miserably the first half (in falling behind 30-21), I thought they could have played better, too. At least we kept ourselves within striking distance.”

Solid defense: KU senior Travis Releford held UNC’s Reggie Bullock to five points off 1-of-7 shooting.

“He did a great job on Bullock,” Self said. “The guy he’s checking who is right there as their leading scorer, gets five (points) and Travis gets 22. Of course he’s so steady and he’s a rock. He doesn’t get tired. He can play all day.”

Releford, who had 13 second-half points, hit KU’s first three-pointer of the NCAAs in a second-half opening 11-3 run that stretched to 29-8.

“I was wide open, stepped into it and took the shot,” Releford said of the bucket that cut the deficit to 30-26. “I wasn’t thinking, ‘We need the shot, need to make it.’ I was just focused on the game right then.”

Of Releford, KU center Jeff Withey said: “He put the team on his back tonight for sure. He played great defense. Offensively he was a stud.”

Next: KU will meet Michigan in the Sweet 16 on Friday in Dallas. “Michigan’s a great team, like North Carolina is a great team,” said freshman Perry Ellis, who scored three points with two boards in eight minutes. “It will be fun playing in the Sweet 16 for sure.”

KU’s Withey on falling behind, 30-21, at half: “We made some bonehead plays, especially me. I had six turnovers myself. A lot of that was just throwing it right to the defender. But second half, we kind of got a better feel for them, knew what they were going to do. We knew they were trying to gamble and trying to steal the ball every time. So we just played to that.”

Wesley hurts foot: KU junior forward Justin Wesley suffered a severely sprained right ankle at practice Saturday. He was on crutches and wore a boot on his foot while not suiting up for the game.

Self said there were no broken bones.

“X-rays were negative. We hope he’ll be able to participate in practice (this week) but there’s no timetable now,” Self said.

Self on experienced players helping the team advance: “I thought experience was important. I don’t think we demonstrated experience much during the first half. I thought our leadership wasn’t as good as what it should have been on the court. Second half, seemed like we communicated more, more energy. We came in the game ready to play. We came in the game playing with energy. We came in the game with the right mindset. But when things didn't go well, (it) kind of got away from us.

"Second half, after the game settled down, I just thought we got pretty good. Of course, the seniors were the huge reason why.”

This, that: KU has advanced to its 30th NCAA Tournament Sweet 16, including its seventh under head coach Bill Self. ... UNC leads the all-time series, 6-5. ... For the second straight game, and just the eighth time this season, KU trailed at the break. Kansas trailed 30-21, matching the Jayhawks’ largest halftime deficit of the season having trailed both Baylor and TCU by nine in road losses. It was the largest deficit overcome by KU this season as the Jayhawks evened the tally at 4-4 when behind at half. ... KU shot 25 percent (7-for-28) in the first half for its lowest field-goal percentage in a half in NCAA Tournament play. Kansas’ previous shooting low for a half was 28.6 percent in the second half against UCLA in the 1974 Final Four. ... KU had a season-high-tying 50 rebounds. The total was most in a regulation game this year, as KU had 50 boards in a double-overtime win at Oklahoma State. ... KU had a season-high 22 turnovers.

Individual notes: Travis Releford has 949 points in his career. ... Jeff Withey blocked five shots and topped his own KU single-season record set a year ago (140) with 141, while pushing his Big 12 and KU career record to 306 blocks. Withey’s blocks moved him past Duke’s Shelden Williams (39), Florida’s Joakim Noah (41) and Duke’s Shane Battier (42) into second place for career blocks in the NCAA Tournament at 44. Wake Forest’s Tim Duncan leads the all-time list with 50. Withey has blocked 12 shots in two games during this year’s tournament after setting the NCAA single tournament record with 31 a year ago.


Joel Thomas 8 years, 7 months ago

Will miss these seniors. However far they go.

jayhawkinnc 8 years, 7 months ago


You might want to edit your numbers above......It's KU's 7th Sweet 16 appearance under Bill Self, not 6th:

(2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013)


jaybate 8 years, 7 months ago

Withey going 16 and 16 is LARGE.

Travis going +19 on their leading scorer is EPIC.

VaJay 8 years, 7 months ago

Edge to Withey. Travis severely impacted one player on D, Withey severely impacted FIVE players. They were terrified to throw anything up near the lane!! (reminded me a little bit of 1st half with NC in 08).

I'm gonna miss them both soooooo much. (and while I'm at it I'll miss seeing the smiles on TRel & KY after big plays!)

jaybate 8 years, 7 months ago


I can go along to get along on this for sure.

But read Withey's take on who put the team on who's back and said, "come on, boys, follow me."

Withey in the end was the most dominant force in the game.

But it was Travis that came out of the trench and first found a way to break through the enemy's salient. Travis was the guy who made that first slashing move through the previously disruptive, confusing defense Roy had schemed. It was St. Travis of the Immaculate Defense who first bowed up and said, "Fellow saints, we are bigger, badder and more tough than these devil's disciples" and then walked the talk long enough alone to get Withey and Kevin out of the trenches and attacking as their inhibited body chemistry was telling them need to be done. They seemed to be trying to execute what Self had drawn up for them, and Travis was saying, "Brothers, listen to me, saith I to you there are times for doing as we are instructed by our priesthood, and then there are times when the lord speaketh straight unto our hearts and commandeth us, 'Yea, do my work directly, for thy priesthood at this particular moment hath become too preoccupied with earthly strategies, and it is in these trying moments that I ask certain men to rise to saintliness and do my work directly.'" And from that point it was just a triumvirate Jeff, Travis and Kevin impacting all over the wood and being fed by EJ and Dir. It was a half of beautiful, almost divine fury how ever you slice it.

BCRavenJHawkfan 8 years, 7 months ago

Amen! Bless us St. Benedict & St. Scholastica.

Robert Brock 8 years, 7 months ago

It looked to me like Withey had 16 blocks also. He officially was credited with only five. Seemed like he blocked a lot more.

jaybate 8 years, 7 months ago

Agreed. Not sure why Jeff gets shorted on these calls.

All these mere mortals are getting one or two blocks a game for plays that Jeff would not be credited for a block on.

It is a very strange dynamic.

David Leathers 8 years, 7 months ago

The statisticians must be Tim Duncan fans.

WETSUhawk 8 years, 7 months ago

I counted six, he got two back-to-back that they only gave him credit for one.

REHawk 8 years, 7 months ago

+1. Jeff really got shortchanged on that double block in the first period.

KJD 8 years, 7 months ago

The Big Board of All Time Victories:

2111 Kentucky

2101 Kansas

2090 North Carolina

Bill Self is 8-0 vs Michigan

Eric Dawson 8 years, 7 months ago

As an aside, Duke became the 4th program to hit 2000 wins on Sunday.

Michael Luby 8 years, 7 months ago

Im scared for Michigan. If KU turns it over too much, it wont be good. I love this team and I don't want to see them go out like that. But on the other hand, Id be just as scared or worse for VCU. Both are tough matches.

mojayhawk 8 years, 7 months ago

Don't be scared. Embrace it. It's what we play for.

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 7 months ago

The good news is that VCU is considered FAR better defensively. The thinkg you worry about w/ Michigan is that theyr'e perimeter offense "goes off". Good thing our game w/ them isn't in Ann Arbor or Auburn Hills!!! :) We beat them in overtime at Ann Arbor within the last 3-5 years I want to say though.

championhawks 8 years, 7 months ago

I would have been much more nervous for VCU. We could have had 30 turnovers against them!

nuleafjhawk 8 years, 7 months ago

The way we looked yesterday, we could have 30 turnovers against anyone.

jaybate 8 years, 7 months ago

Never thought I would live to say this about turnovers, but yes, it seems possible. It is almost spooky how this team has learned to win despite turnovers.

However, I am not morally opposed to fewer TOs.


BCRavenJHawkfan 8 years, 7 months ago

TO's are like dogs that chase cars.

It's fun for the dog, car after car.

And then the dog gets runover.

Lesson, know when to stop chasing cars.

ku_foaf 8 years, 7 months ago

I'm afraid I don't agree100% with your analogy there, BCRaven. I just don't see how it is fun for the KU players to turn it over. Unless they also like rope burns, and then I understand. ;>)

ku_foaf 8 years, 7 months ago

I felt the same way, and was actually glad to see MI win.

Hey, it's the Sweet 16! Every game is usually very tough from here on it!

12 turnovers and awful shooting in the first half. Good thing there is a half.

Sam Constance 8 years, 7 months ago

Make no mistake, VCU is a tougher matchup if you're focusing on our penchant for throwing the ball away.

Michigan has some great backcourt players, but their skill really shines through on the offensive end of the floor, not the defensive end. And maybe more to the point, Michigan doesn't run the high-pressure defensive sets that VCU likes to run to create chaos. It's entirely possible they will try that a bit, knowing how KU likes to give the ball away, but that is not their base defense.

That being said, Michigan is no slouch on the defensive end. They still rank in the top 50 of team defensive efficiency and have the athletes to give us quite a game.

I'm actually feeling pretty good about our game against Michigan.

jaybate 8 years, 7 months ago


I wonder if we should begin to be scared if we DON'T make turnovers?

This is the craziest unforeseen consequence of Bill's Weird Science of basketball yet.


jaybate 8 years, 7 months ago


That's a catchy metaphor, but metaphorical thinking rarely explains complex phenomena.

TO's can be desirable side effect, if they are coming as part of exploiting an opportunity set of high yield attempts to score.

For a thought experiment using exaggerated logic to clarify the issue, rather than a metaphor, consider a point guard that never makes a turn over, because he never passes it to anyone but a player that is never guarded and that cannot make a basket, or pass it to one who can.

At the end of the season, this point guard has 0 turnovers. But his passing has never yielded an assist, or a second pass away score.

jaybate 8 years, 7 months ago

Now, consider EJ making lots of passes trying to get the ball into a scorers hands, no matter how hard he is being guarded. He makes lots of turnovers trying to get it into the hands of player with a high probability of scoring. But on the passes that he gets through points get scored.

There is some trade off point between pay back in points and loss of opportunity from turn over.

In other words, as a coach, you don't want your point guard passing so conservatively that he never generates points with his passing.

On the other hand you do not want him throwing the ball away when there are no points to be gained even if the pass were completed.

I am now confident that turnovers are a much more complicated statistic that most realize.

What made me realize this?

Two things.

  1. KU winning while making so many TOs triggered me to think about it.

  2. Conventional wisdom holds that there are some levels of TOs and some ratios of TOs to Assists that are tolerable. This implies that the statistic actually implies a risk return matrix for all passing by all point guards. And this in turn implies that there could be other ways to exploit the risks and returns of passing than the conventional notion dramatized by your catchy but essentially tautological metaphor. Your metaphor sets out to dramatize as true what you assume is true. (Note: my thought experiment is constructed on a logic that simulates actual basketball logic. The logic is applied to an exaggerated, highly unrealistic situation and to an actual situation. But in both cases it is the logic of basketball that is being operated. The logic yields outcomes in basketball, not in dogs chasing cars and hubcaps.

So: Self appears a risk management freak to me. He makes all kinds of decisions based on risk and return, rather than just on what is the most conservative probabilistic way to go. I call him a gambler sometimes, but really he is a risk management type. Risk managers understand the full spectrum of risk choices up to and including the gamble.

His number one assistant is a QA guy that can run the numbers for him searching for preferrred risk return benefits in ways of playing the game.

These two fellows are probably sophisticated enough to unpack the Turn Over statistic and find fresh ways to interpret and learn from it.

Maybe they have done some QA and learned that if you are gaining enough points from the high risk/high return passing that it is worth some level of extra TOs (i.e., creates a greater net benefit). Maybe there is some upper limit of diminishing returns, too. Maybe 6-10 generate a superior payback to 2 TOs with exceedingly cautious low return passing.

dylans 8 years, 7 months ago

Jay, no matter how you slice it 22 turnovers is too many. Watch out for that car.

There is a risk reward ratio that must be evaluated, but there are examples of the opposite being true also - Vaughn, Miles, Jason Kidd, John Stockton. Those guys won and didn't turn it over. John Wall, Tyshawn Taylor, EJ win and turn it over, but wouldn't it be easier if they didn't give away so many possessions?

jaybate 8 years, 7 months ago

Perhaps you are missing my point. This year's spread high-low may require a point guard to take a huge amount more risk in passing, to get a sharply improved point pay payoff rate.

The guys you mention were mostly running conventional offenses in the time before most games being fitted into broadcast windows.


22 in one game would be too many for one player, but maybe not for a team.

But the proof is in the Ws.

6 are not to many for the PG.

With 6 EJ's teams win.

madmangine 8 years, 7 months ago

Food for thought....Maybe turnovers should be further categorized as:

1) passive "thefts" - ball gets taken away on the dribble, stripped in the post etc.

2) active "interceptions" - ball is turned over as a result attempted pass

One could definitely make the argument that interceptions are a necessary evil, as you say jaybate, but thefts would be just bad ball handling. Simple change would make it much easier to evaluate PG play

Chris Shaw 8 years, 7 months ago

Gary, doesn't Jeff Withey have 12 blocks in this year's NCAA tournament? 7 against WKU and 5 last night against UNC? Good article.

jaybate 8 years, 7 months ago


I just shot this at REHawk and now I am teeing it up for you too.

What happened out there the second half? What changed? Was it really all just will, or were adjustments made?

I noticed Self ordering a series of set plays that looked like he literally drew them up at half time LB style, but they set plays were very slow to unfold and actually weren't very productive after the first one that shook Travis loose for a slashing bucket.

Next, it appeared to me that the players were practically foaming at the mouth to attack and put some wood on the Tar Orifices. They seemed to me to literally take the game away from Self for much of the second half!!!! As i told REHawk, it damned near looked like the second half of the '88 Finals when LB said the team just disregarded him and took off on their own. Looking for "what happened out there the second half?" takes.

Not saying Self lost control, just that it was like the horse started to run and the jockey was just trying to stay out of the horse's way, hang on for dear life and do nothing but either curse at the XTReme Bone Heading and roar approvals at the XTReme Toughness.

It was one of the most amazing interplays between coach and team I have seen in quite a long time.

REHawk 8 years, 7 months ago

I have rewatched that second half thrice, and persistently heard myself roaring to EJ, "Get the ball into Tharpe's hands!" I am very comfortable watching Elijah dribble the ball upcourt, but when he approaches or steps beyond the halfcourt line, the ball must find Naadir, pronto. For awhile, actually until this last half of play, I felt that Tharpe all too often dribbled too long or stopped the flow of the offense while standing with a dead ball. Gradually, I have come to respect his manner of sizing up the defense, then executing a quick spin or precision pass. Kudos to the coaching staff for bringing Naadir along, grooming him for the high pressure demands of this Tournament. When his hand is hot, the outside shooting is a real bonus; but his crafty work on the ball is beginning to pay dividends, even against more heralded and athletic defenders. EJ and BenMac, Relly and KY just don't possess such reliable handles and decision making with the ball, esp. in an uptempo contest. (The exception to that statement is Releford's remarkable control when racing halfcourt to the basket for a layup.)

Chris Shaw 8 years, 7 months ago

Come on Relly...lead us to the National Championship. All you have to do is average 12.75 points over the next 4 games to get to a 1000 baby! Let's do this!

Chris Shaw 8 years, 7 months ago

I really like how Bill Self schemed yesterday against Hairston, Bullock, and Paige. Bullock got shot down against Relly. I think Young's "length" got Hairston off to a slow start and Paige got a couple of buckets, but for the most part defensively...KU was awesome yesterday.

I think the same can be done against Burke, Hardaway, and Staukas (Sp?). You can't leave Staukas ever. Hardaway has a better game than Bullock as he can put the ball on the flor. Burke is much better with the ball and quicker than paige so it will be interesting to see how Kansas scout's Burke.

I am just hoping the officials don't have that "Quick Whistle" against Withey. They did it to him twice yesterday which I thought were clean blocks as well.

longhawk 8 years, 7 months ago

Gary, while you're fixing the stats (like correcting Self's Sweet 16 appearances under Kansas to 7 in stead of 6), also note that Withey has 44 tournament blocks. 12 this year, 31 last year, AND 1 in the 2010 season.

Danny Hernandez 8 years, 7 months ago

So how can we be sure Gary gets it fixed and notifies the NCAA in case their numbers are also wrong. Jeff has a legitimate chance to surpass Duncan's 50 block shots in the next game alone

Ronald Cox 8 years, 7 months ago

Bill Self should admonish our fans to be a sportsmanlike as the team and not boo other teams or coaches. Our team does ot do that. Why boo Roy? he gave us a great 15 years. He wanted to go home which any of us could understand. He is family. I am ashamed of our fans who boo others at a game.

eric poncharello 8 years, 7 months ago

I have heard this from KU fan's about how we should respect Roy, Well, I don't agree with the perception your trying to create, with that being said, North Carolina is the enemy not Roy, where is your compassion and fight of the team you live and Die with each year? That's not poor sportsmanship, it's called playing to beat the other team because there trying to do the same!

chaggs 8 years, 7 months ago

Is Justin this tournament's version of Rodrick?

Jeremy Paul 8 years, 7 months ago

Did Roy really get booed? That's too bad. He did a lot of great things for KU, and it sure stung when he ditched us, but now looking back I am SO glad that he left. We ended up being better off afterward, so I am happy the way things turned out.

Tony Bandle 8 years, 7 months ago


1] THE GOOD NEWS. Bill gets 300, North Carolina goes 0-3, another Sweet Sixteen, UK's victory lead cut in half and NC's victory deficit doubled plus 1, Withey draft stock skyrocketing, we get to talk about KU tourney basketball for another week, at least one more game with "THe Fun Bunch" Seniors and UK, Missouri, Kansas State, North Carolina and Georgetown are all at home watching on TV.

2] THE BAD NEWS. Today.......THERE IS NO BAD NEWS!! :)


jaybate 8 years, 7 months ago

Bravo Oak.

It is a wise man that knows when to form a mold and when to break it.

jaybate 8 years, 7 months ago

For all the board rats feeling sorry for Roy: if he would just agree to recruit only west of the Mississippi to protect KU, as he did for UNC while KU's coach, I would cheer for him non stop and return to being one of his greatest admirers. But since he refuses to do that, we have no choice but to fight him at every turn and not be sucked in by his spin that invariably seems aimed to advance his and UNC's agenda, not KU's.

When Roy retires, and stops recruiting against Self and KU, I will beg him to come back and stand on the center circle on the James Naismith court that he did so much to restore to greatness. I love Roy so much that I would like to see KU go to the expense of repainting the center court jump circle to look exactly as Roy had it painted, when/if he returns (but quickly repainted of course). I want Roy to come back, and walk out the home team tunnel again and be presented with an official KU letter sweater--the old kind with a huge K on it that drapes over the shoulder, and a victors wreath and a large, old fashioned bottle of milk he will take a drink from and shoot that wondrous smile of his, and give him some fantastically valuable golf clubs, and a crimson and blue box of Kleenex, and I want the entire Allen Field House to stand and give him an ovation the likes of which he has never heard. And he can wear his UNC blazer, and he can say whatever he wants to say, and I don't care. He will deserve that right at that time. 15 years. 82% W&L. Four Final Fours. All accomplished in spite of Dean hamstringing him unfairly into recruiting only half the country.

But until that time, until Roy hangs up the whistle in Chapel Hell Hole, so long as he is out there spinning what happened and recruiting and working his "tail off" for the Tar Orifices east and west of the Mississippi, then Roy is the enemy--the head of the only program capable of legally challenging KU's leadership in the game. Until that time, Roy is just another coach that needs a good drubbing to silence his self serving spin in his quest to win more rings and recruit more talent at KU's expense.

Never make the same mistake Roy made: never try to serve two masters.

To every season turn, turn, turn...

Rock Chalk!

Phil Leister 8 years, 7 months ago

Never seen an old man harbor so much bitterness towards someone. You can feel the way you want, but it's unwarranted. I don't "feel sorry" for Roy or anything, but I respect him, and I respect him for what he did at KU. That respect doesn't have to wait until he retires. Why? Roy is no threat. If Roy had beaten us since he left, I'd feel differently. I'd feel I need to root against him because he's beaten his former team. But as it stands, we OWN Roy. I'm certainly not rooting for UNC, and never will. But there's no need to view Roy as the enemy.

You're paranoid Jaybate. You think Roy is the head of the only program capable of legally challenging KU's leadership in the game? Well, good, because he's 0-3 against us. Again, he's not a threat. We own UNC at this point.

If you've been watching since Harp, I'm concerned you won't be around long enough to pay your respects to Roy when he does retire :-)

kennethst 8 years, 7 months ago

I don't see the bitterness in Jaybate's post. I see reality.....I see facts. The truth always has that special bite to it, doesn't it? Why? Because it's.......well.....the truth. Nothing stings like it.........nothing.

jaybate 8 years, 7 months ago

Either you don't understand the word bitterness, or you just can't think clearly.

I'm not bitter in the least. I am grateful for how it all worked out.

I just don't trust Roy. Trust is something that has to be earned with me. And I'm a pretty easy to build up trust with, too. Roy has documented and continuing issues with allegiance and loyalties regarding KU, that don't make me, a KU fan, trust him. He can get better at this, but he hasn't. Such is life.

P.S.: Are you kind of an age bigot? You kind of sound like one. If you are, when did it start for you? Who did it? What was it that they did? Let's talk about it.

Dr. Robert s. Mosser 8 years, 7 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

KansasComet 8 years, 7 months ago

Roy chose to leave Kansas. It was his choice and he must live with the consequences of his actions just like everyone else. Part of those consequences is he must play against his old team from time to time. His job is to make UNC the best that they can be. He has been able to win 2 NCAA titles with the Tar Heels and that is good for him, it is afterall what he wanted. I have no hard feelings. I was not even upset when Coach Williams left.

Coach Self appears to be at his dream job at the University of Kansas. Another 30 plus win season, after being doubted for the second year in a row, by the media, and even some of our supporters, here we are again. 9 straight Big XII Regular Season Titles, countless Tournament Titles, and another Number 1 Seed in the tourney. Somehow, I think we have come out of the Roy Williams Era pretty okay. Coach Self left Illinois, Tulsa, and Oral Roberts. I am sure each program that he left was sad to see him go, and there are probably still some fans out there that are upset.

Kelly Hanrahan 8 years, 7 months ago

JB - you seem to imply that Roy was making a mistake when he was recruiting while being the head coach at KU. That he has now corrected this mistake and is recruiting the entire nation while being the head coach at UNC, and that you would be more supportive of coach Roy if he reverted to his previous erroneous ways. This doesn't say much for someone as thoughtful and educated as you. Think about it!

Lance Hobson 8 years, 7 months ago

That stupid yellow Kansas state shape on the center of the AFH court was just terrible. As much as I loved everything about AFH as a student I could never get over that. Just plain. Plain dumb. Thank goodness Self brought some life to our court.

jaybate 8 years, 7 months ago

Bill Self is the greatest KU coach I have ever seen.

I have been watching since Harp.

It is not even close.


kennethst 8 years, 7 months ago

Harp....a decent coach. But my Dad has always said if Phog had been allowed to stay on.......he would have won at least another (probably more) national titles.....especially 1957 with Wilt. He was at that game......and said it was one of the most heart-breaking and devestating events of his life.

Steve Brown 8 years, 7 months ago

Phog said he would have one in the early 40's but sent his boys home for the war, I think Oregon won that year, but just a memory from reading something years ago.

actorman 8 years, 7 months ago

Oregon won in '39, so that was before the war. You must have them confused with someone else.

kennethst 8 years, 7 months ago

Nice to see fire and leadership from Withey.....although I would think it's been there all the time.

I suspect Withey is like many of us......calm,polite,mild-mannered,reserved.....

But when you get his blood boiled ......look out! I have found in my life that the quiet and reserved people have the worst tempers of all.......and it's the everyday hotheads that have short tempers and can calm back down quickly.

Not so for those like Withey. When you get them riled......they stay riled.....angry.....mean.......and much later......back to their calm selves.

Dyrk Dugan 8 years, 7 months ago

what a great 2nd half....epic comeback, and breaking of Roy's team, seems to be right up Bill Self's alley.

Roy's main Achilles heel as a coach is he plays the same matter what the game plan is, it's all in. he has a different team this year, that doesn't have a dominant pt. guard, and big guys that can he has to play small, and that's not up HIS alley.

the strategery worke for awhile....get in the passing lanes and steal the ball after it got to our bigs...but once we started making shots, the confidence went through the roof. we knew we could get anything we wanted inside....we just had to see some outside shots fall....and the D took over.

we've never beaten Michigan. it's time for that streak to go away. it's time for this team to put a full game together. it's time to put a chink in the Big 10's armor. it's just time.

Go Jayhawks!

kennethst 8 years, 7 months ago

Yes I agree. And I would say that KU has not been "fortunate" at all. Thaty's just Self being polite. KU has outplayed and outcoached UNC in those 3 games......completely.

Tony Bandle 8 years, 7 months ago

Coach Self is, so far, undefeated for life against Michigan so we still have at least a puncher's chance if not more!!!

hawk_of_ages 8 years, 7 months ago

We beat Michigan in Ann Arbor two years ago.

Dyrk Dugan 8 years, 7 months ago

good grief, we've beaten them TWICE. i forgot about that series, home and home...from a couple of years ago. i stand corrected. :)

Ozfan67 8 years, 7 months ago

I lean heavily towards Jaybate's view on Roy, though I'm sure I'm much stronger in my resentment. I will say someone posted elsewhere that Rio had disrespected Roy after the game which is completely unacceptable. I surely hope that isn't true.

One additional thought on Roy - it's real easy for everyone to be magnanimous right now given that we are moving on. We will be very young next year and UNC will have another year of experience for his very talented team as well as some studs coming in. We might find ourselves outside looking in on their run, and Roy not giving us the same consideration as he gave UNC in terms of recruiting will probably feel like a bigger deal.

kennethst 8 years, 7 months ago

Excellent point. All this feeling sorry for Roy is pathetic.......It reminds me of all this political correctness today that we must feel guilt for our success and apologize for it........i wonder how you people may feel next year if Roy beats KU and wins the national title......still feel all sad and guilty? Doubt it.

Redlandsjhawk 8 years, 7 months ago

One small correction. If you're thinking about the moron that tried to rush Coach Self, he's not an alum, just a booster. A wannabe. A retired middle management stuffed shirt who's saved up enough to look like a big deal, maybe squeeze out a Carnival cruise with his wife and write angry letters to the editor.

Sam Constance 8 years, 7 months ago

The so-called booing of Roy is getting overblown.

I was at the game. The boos weren't specific to Roy, but were just a part of the crowd booing the introductions of UNC. Say what you will about booing opponents' introductions, but it wasn't directed at Roy individually. Personally, I don't see how booing is that much more disrespectful than rustling a newspaper while holding it in front of your face. It's just part of college athletics--nothing to get worked up about.

I also got the impression that when Roy was introduced as the head coach for Carolina, the fans noticed the boos and the majority of fans spoke up pretty quickly to cheer. I know I did.

hawk_of_ages 8 years, 7 months ago

Yeah, I was there and this is correct. The booing was restrained, and there were cheers as well.

kennethst 8 years, 7 months ago

3 straight losses by Roy's UNC to Kansas. Seems to me that what is not getting talked about is the fact that this shows how much better a coach Self is than Roy.......and completely and absolutely so. Self is too polite to say it, of course......and calls KU "fortunate". No......not fortunate. Self is by far the better coach.......BY FAR.

texashawk10 8 years, 7 months ago

That doesn't prove that Roy is necessarily a better coach than Bill because Roy does have 2 national titles to Bill's 1 and at the end of the day, national titles do mean something. It really depends on the criteria being used to judge who the better coach is, but both coaches are among the 5 best active coaches in college basketball today.

Andy Godwin 8 years, 7 months ago

You have to consider the situation as well. I love KU dearly, but it is much easier to recruit to UNC (for example 5 McDonald's All Americans started for UNC). Roy gets more of the top 50 players year in and year out compared to Bill. Furthermore you can see that Self's winning percentage has improved with each stop (Oral Roberts, Tulsa, Illinois, KU) showing that once you can recruit better players the results improve. Therefore, compare their records head to head (first 10 years at KU) under the same environment and Self has exceeded Williams accomplishment by far, including 9 straight Big XII championships which only trails UCLA during their dynasty, a better winning percentage, and a National Championship. I was sad to see old Roy leave, but KU traded up. I just hope we never see how well Self would do at UNC.

hawk_of_ages 8 years, 7 months ago

I agree with Texashawk. It's too close to call; no way you can say Self is better BY FAR. It's like comparing Dean Smith to Bob Knight. The head to head matchup isn't terribly relevant when you consider their careers as a whole.

kennethst 8 years, 7 months ago

Anyone have schematics or blueprints for building a "Snow Jayhawk"? My afternoon project for my 3 year old. If not.....I figure we can put her stuffed Baby Jayhawk on the patio furniture and use it as a model.

This kid loves playing in the snow......and I use that asmy excuse to play in it as well.

kennethst 8 years, 7 months ago

We did something like that......and she came up with the idea of pouring her red and blue finger paint on top of him. It really looks awful.......but looks awesome too.......if you know what I mean......

jaybate 8 years, 7 months ago

"The High Return Passing Offense, or How I Learned to Love the TO and Stop Worrying about Single Elimination Basketball"

Part 1

We think we know what a turnover is. It is the original sin of basketball. It is evil incarnate. It is a 100% loss of opportunity to score. It is the giving of an opponent the chance to do that which we do not want done.


Well, in conventional thinking, yes, but...

KU has found a way to win despite TOs; so, this begs us to ask the following question.

What is a TO really?

Have we perhaps misunderstood, or oversimplified it?

Under the K.I.S.S. methodology of international basketball studies, its simple. Baking a pop tart ie., making a Pillsbury, i.e. committing a turnover is to give it to the opponent. Underlying assumption: Make fewer TOs and you are playing better. Make more and you are playing worse.

Ah, HA!!

That assumption seems no longer to hold with these Jayhawks.

Now, bring me my surgical thinking instruments.

Under the first jaybate heuristic of basketball analysis, one must question all definitions and assumptions--especially those held longest and believed with greatest confidence.


Because on such assumptions logical structures and superstructures are erected. And, so, if one can expose a faulty definition, or assumption, one gets a vast ripple effect--an analytical tsunami, if you will--washing over and wiping out massive quantities of stupidity about the game.

So: let's go to the definition of a turnover.

Conventional definition: offensive player makes a bad play and surrenders control of the ball to the opponent.

Could there be a more fitting definition?

How about this: A turnover is a negative outcome of a risk taken with the ball possession.

Oh, noooooo, jaybate, don't do this to basketball!! No, no, no, don't deconstruct the turnover definition. Please, basketball god, strike jaybate down. Cut off his metacarpal filanges, so he can't type anymore.

Sorry, thinking hurts sometimes.

A turnover is a negative outcome of a risk taken with the ball possession.

Fruit will be borne.


So defined, the idea of a TO suggests that the nature of the risk feeds into the degree of badness of a TO. Risk conditions the turnover statistic.

What is risk. It is a probabiility distribution of possible outcomes from desired to undesired. Each point along the distribution has a trade of possible costs and benefits.

jaybate 8 years, 7 months ago

Part 2

Take one kind of risk with the ball and the cost is loss of possession, but the benefit is a basket. Take another kind of risk with the ball and the cost is loss of possession, but the benefit may be a three point play, or a changing of momentum, or a getting of the ball into the hands of a heavily guarded, but better scorer, than into the hands of a poor shooter who is unguarded and so easy to pass to with a TO.

But take a really safe risk with the ball and one might achieve no score, not even a significant increase in the next pass away's probability for points.

Do you see where this is headed fellow members of the KU Center for Advanced Studies in Basketball?

One cannot simply look in the TO column of EJ's line score under this definition of a turnover and leap to the assumption that EJ made 6 TOs and so he is the worst point guard KU has ever had.

What if everyone of those TOs he made were part of a scheme to make only high return passes, whenever possible? What if he made a dozen high return passes and six of them yielded points and six of them resulted in TOs? How would this compare if EJ had instead made six safe passes to Kevin Young out front with not one TO, and, alas, not one point resulting either?

The point here is that the badness of a TO depends on the nature of the risk/return function inherent in the risk taken; i.e., in the pass made.

What I submit is that in games EJ makes lots of TOs, he is probably being asked by Self to go into attack mode and stay in attack mode, and make passes that can generate points instead of just make passes that are not stripped.

He is being asked to make passes to KU's players only in positions where they have a high probability of scoring and this is necessarily into the places that opposing teams are often guarding the tightest.

Now, we might fault EJ and Self for not attacking where they are defending the weakest, but what if KU's scorers are some what limited in where they can be effective scorers, maybe even unusually limited? Might it be possible that even Bob Cousy himself might have to endure a few turnovers to stay in attack mode with teammates that had somewhat limited opportunity sets of high probability scoring?

Michael Jordan jarred conventional thinking about scoring, when he said you've got to learn to make failure your ally, to view missing as the investment required in order to achieve making, or you will never be a great scorer. As Jordan said: I have to be willing to miss 60% of the time to help my team win. His confidence has to take that much failure. Jordan sort of turned conventional thinking about scoring on its head, but it was hard to argue with one of the five greatest players in the history of the game. He had some bonafides, so to speak.

jaybate 8 years, 7 months ago

Part 3

Let us get back to EJ and turnovers.

EJ has lost a lot of his athleticism due to injuries. He cannot necessarily just go get a basket with the current set of shock absorbers that he might once have been able to do.

But EJ can take frequent risks with the ball?

What if a big part of the reason KU were winning so much with a team many doubted could win 30 games were that on the offensive end, an extremely high percentage of his passes are passes to the KU players that can put the ball in the hole. Some times they are registered as assists, and other times they are just risky passes to the player than can make the next pass to the scorer?

I suspect this is what is happening to some extent.

Just as Self has told Ben and Naadir, shoot and keep shooting, perhaps Self has said, "I don't care how many TOs you make, keep making the passes that get us to points, not just those that move it around.

Think about this for a moment.

KU is beating lots and lots of teams with point guards that aren't turning the ball over hardly at all; i.e., low TOs., while KU is making lots of TOs.

Further, KU as a team is not infrequently making more TOs than the other teams.

What I think we are seeing being run is a high return offense being that depends on players constantly choosing to make passes with the highest return, rather than with the least risk.

One would tend to see more TOs, when a team played this way, and a relatively more productive offense despite the greater TOs.

jaybate 8 years, 7 months ago

Just trying to have a little fun here.

Didn't mean to get you bollixed :-)

JayHawkFanToo 8 years, 7 months ago

Nothing would please me more that shutting this clown down:
He has continuously ranked KU lower than anyone else and he predicted that it would be the first one to lose. Did a KU fan steal his girlfriend? I don't understand his dislike of KU.

eric poncharello 8 years, 7 months ago

WHO is this stalusty head from another. He knows nothing about KU, he is a talking head trying to keep his job, just throwing stuff out there to get a rise.

texashawk10 8 years, 7 months ago

Reading how Medcalf, who I think is a moron most of the time, actually did this reseeding, I can't really disagree with it. He's essentially reseeding teams based on how they played in the first two games quite frankly, KU has been a little lucky in both games.

actorman 8 years, 7 months ago

UNC missed a lot of open shots in the first half, and could have had a much bigger lead going into the break.

I can't say his analysis is off base. Let's just hope they come out in the beginning against Michigan the way they did in the second half against UNC.

brooksmd 8 years, 7 months ago

Hmmm, I seem to recall KU missing a lot of open shots in the first half also. So using your theory, we could say UNC was just as lucky.

jaybate 8 years, 7 months ago


All champions are a little lucky. Some are very lucky.

JayHawkFanToo 8 years, 7 months ago

TexasHawk, champions MAKE their own luck...just like KU did.

REHawk 8 years, 7 months ago

Lotsa luck>Lotsa trophies. Uncanny correlation.

Steve Brown 8 years, 7 months ago

Someday Roy will hang it up and return to KU for alumni game and we will welcome him as we should. Until then beat his socks off every chance we get.

Jim Dickerson 8 years, 7 months ago

JB--- Please care to expound on the correlation between TO's and effectiveness of play----considering the fact that with 12 TO's first half and played like crap vs 11 TO's 2nd half and played like world champs.

Confusing as hell isn't it.

jaybate 8 years, 7 months ago


You have the nub of it here.

In the High Return Passing Offense it is not the TOs that are hard and fast indicators of either bad, or good play.

In the High Return Passign Offense the point guard is going to make turn overs than persons are traditionally used to, whether the team is play well, or poorly.

EJ is having to make the risky pass in this offense, whether or not the guys are playing well.

It is the nature of this offensive scheme. And if you think about it, it makes sense. This offense is a spread high-low offense. The more you spread it out, the longer the passes have to be. And the more you make passes that are to cutters in motion TO the rim, or alley oops, or to a guy like Ben being heavily guarded on the trey stripe, the more chance for error there is.

What I'm arguing here is that if Aaron Craft were to try to run our spread high low offense he would have about the same number of TOs at point as does EJ, though maybe some fewer because he has played the point for all of his years at OSU, whereas EJ is just getting his first year of experience starting at the point.

Anyway, my point here is that this offense is going to incur a lot more TOs that a motion offense, or a Princeton, or the old short-space high low we used to run.

I think Self knows he has a former super athlete with a knack for pitching forward and alley ooping in EJ, and he has a backup in Dir who is a good traditional distributor, but not quite as good of pitch forward and alley oop type, as EJ. But he knows that the way to get high percentage shots with a skinny team is to get his bigs and 2 and 3 players crashing toward the basket without a lot of screens, rather simply by using athleticism to get to the rim. The passes required to feed these guys on these cuts are very high risk, because they are often contested. But if you concentrate on pitcing forward on these kinds of plays and running tightly guarded curls and flares on the trey stripe, then you are maximizing you game of outside treys and your inside high percentage bucket plus a FT with skinny guys, to the same effect as using Thomas Robinson to play smash mouth on a low block spot last season.

jaybate 8 years, 7 months ago

So: if you've got a really good passer, like EJ, and tell him to go ahead and do nothing but make high risk passes to these skinny athletic freaks of ours, in order to get the high inside shooting percentage, then you've got to expect a lot of TOs.

Stop and think about the first half. KU shot 25%, or less. What was the driver? The driver was that UNC was really fresh the first half and they were slapping and shoving and hopping around all of our high risk, high return passing game. But they weren't so much spike up our TOs, rather they were spiking up our missing our high percentage looks.

Come out the second half. EJ is throws the exact same kind of high risk/high return passes and UNC quickly loses its hops and we learn to anticipate the illegal slapping and shoving. And once inside with the ball, we are used to being jumped into, something we hadn't see before the first half of the UNC game. So: what happens? Our TOs don't change much because they are still high risk/high return passes. But our shooting percentage spikes way up, because we are once again in the high percentage spots, but now UNC is too pooped to contest and hold down our shooting percentage.

Or so it seems to me so far.

Thanks for asking.

eric poncharello 8 years, 7 months ago

“Kansas? The sum is greater than the parts outside of McLemore and Withey, they’ve got Final Four experience, but I do like the guard play with Michigan. You’ve got NBA pros in that backcourt.” Quotes from some Michigan paper. Yeah, all last names of NBA players and we know who they are, Time to shut up all the so called experts on how Michigan will win against Kansas. We have talent and experience, I believe in these guy's this year because they waited there turn and they know it's there time. KANSAS WINS, beats MICHIGAN like a raggidy Andy.

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