Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Self not worried by McLemore’s scoring slump

Kansas guard Ben McLemore drives against North Carolina guard Reggie Bullock during the first half, Sunday, March 24, 2013 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

Kansas guard Ben McLemore drives against North Carolina guard Reggie Bullock during the first half, Sunday, March 24, 2013 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.


Bill Self isn’t sweating the fact his squad’s top scorer has had a rough start in the 2013 NCAA Tournament.

“I think it’s exciting for our team to know you can win a game like that and have your leading scorer not make a basket. I don’t think it’ll happen (again),” 10th-year Kansas University basketball coach Self said of red-shirt freshman guard Ben McLemore.

The 6-foot-5, 195-pound St. Louis native scored two points off 0-for-9 shooting (0-6 from three) with two assists and two turnovers while playing 24 minutes in Sunday’s 70-58 third-round victory over North Carolina in Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

McLemore had 11 points off 2-of-5 shooting (0-for-2 from three, 7-of-8 from the line) with six rebounds, two assists and four turnovers in Friday’s second-round win over Western Kentucky. McLemore — he averages 16.2 ppg off 50.5 percent shooting on the season — played just six minutes in the second half against Carolina in large part because things were going so well with sophomore point guard Naadir Tharpe in the lineup.

Tharpe exploded for 12 points (Travis Releford had 13 and Jeff Withey 12) as KU stomped UNC, 49-28, in the final 20 minutes.

“The way the mood of the game and flow of the game was going was perfect. I’m pretty sure the coaches didn’t want to slow that down,” said McLemore, who averages 32.2 minutes a game, second on the team to Releford’s 33.5. “I was actually happy I was on the bench supporting my teammates because they were doing great. Our ball-handling ... it was awesome,” he added.

Self said it was a tough call to leave McLemore on the bench from the 13:40 mark (KU led, 37-35) to 1:48, when KU led, 65-52.

“I’ve talked to enough people, coaches over the years; you don’t do that with your best player,” Self said, “but we actually were better in that stretch and Ben was the best cheerleader we had. It was hard to take Naadir out, too. He was fabulous the second half. Everybody played well the second half. Travis and Jeff carried us.”

And so the No. 1 seeded Jayhawks (31-5) have advanced to a Sweet 16 contest against Michigan (28-7) at 6:37 p.m., Friday in Cowboy Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Winner meets either Florida or Florida Gulf Coast on Sunday for a spot in the Final Four.

“Not really,” Self said, asked if he was concerned about McLemore’s production. “He had a rough weekend. Travis (K.C. native Releford) loves Sprint Center. Ben probably needs to get out of it. He’ll be fine. He’s too good a player, too talented.

“He’s got to see the ball go in the hole,” Self added. “The thing about it is with kids and freshmen who never experienced it (NCAAs), it’s a different pressure. You are talking about expectations. The Sports Illustrated (story), CBS deal (TV piece), all these things going on ... he handles it beautifully and his family does too. He was probably a little tight, a little nervous.”

McLemore said he didn’t experience the jitters. He said his form was just a little off. In the three previous games in the Big 12 tournament, he had averaged 13 points a game off 14-of-24 shooting (7-15 from three).

“The last couple games, my shot hasn’t been falling,” McLemore said. “I’ll keep playing my game. I talked to coach. He told me they are going to really need me. I’ve got to get back in the gym all week and keep shooting and play my game like I’ve always done, the way I played in the season. This game, I cheered my team on. We played a terrific game the second half. I felt like a fan out there. It was great.”

Freshman Perry Ellis said there’s no doubt McLemore will shrug off what happened in Sprint Center.

“He knows that he still has it. He knows we still trust in him. He’s carried us a lot. He knows he will pick it up. He just knows,” Ellis stated.

Burke a beast: Michigan’s Trey Burke, a 6-foot sophomore guard from Columbus, Ohio, who averages 18.8 ppg with 236 assists against 75 turnovers in 35 games, is a finalist for Naismith Player of the Year with Indiana’s Victor Oladipo, Creighton’s Doug McDermott and Georgetown’s Otto Porter.

Tim Hardaway, Jr., a 6-6 guard from Miami, Fla., completes perhaps the best backcourt in the country. He averages 14.9 ppg and 4.6 rebounds a game with 76 assists to 66 turnovers.

“I don’t think we have any edge going into this game,” Hardaway Jr. told ESPN radio in comments printed in the Detroit Free Press. “Both teams are similar, both have bigs that have great motors, they’ve got guards, wings that are capable of having any type of game when you’re playing against them. I don’t think (anyone) has an edge. You’ve got to do what you’re doing and keep on having fun, like we’re doing.”

Wolverines rugged foe: KU coach Self’s early take on Michigan, a team that went 12-6 in the Big 10. Michigan beat South Dakota State (71-56) and VCU (78-53) in second- and third-round tourney games.

“In order to cut down the nets, we’ve got to prepare for another two-game tournament,” Self said. “We’re playing a team that demolished an unbelievable basketball team (VCU). When Michigan plays well, they are definitely a top five team in the country. We’ve got our work cut out.”

He wasn’t crying: The Springfield News-Leader pointed out that the North Carolina fan who was shown cringing on TV after a vicious blocked shot by Jeff Withey was Chase Allen, son of Missouri State football coach Terry Allen.

Terry Allen, a former KU head football coach, and his family members are Carolina basketball fans. Allen is a close friend of UNC coach Roy Williams..

The paper, by the way, pointed out that Chase Allen was not crying as suggested by some.

South Regional info: KU’s shootaround, which is open to the public, will run from 2:10 to 3 p.m. Thursday in Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.


Jeff Coffman 8 years, 6 months ago

How did we ever hire Terry Allen when the family is Carolina Basketball fans?

hawk_of_ages 8 years, 6 months ago

How did we ever hire Roy Williams or Larry Brown, who are Carolina fans? How did we ever hire Bill Self, an Okie State alum?

Greg Lux 8 years, 6 months ago

Because they are winners and KU fans like winners ... Sorry Roy you are still a quality guy who I would be proud to call my friend.

Rock Chalk

Michael Johnson 8 years, 6 months ago

it said terry allen was a close friend of roy williams. they are probably unc fans because of that.

Marcia Parsons 8 years, 6 months ago

I don't think he was a fan until Roy went there. They were friends at KU. Don't you remember how mad Roy was because they fired Allen before the end of the season or something? Another reason he hated Bohl.

741hawk 8 years, 6 months ago

Roy was big "buds" with T Allen because he knew Allen would never threaten his Kingdom of KU athletics.

actorman 8 years, 6 months ago

That's one of those things that people simply started believing, with no evidence for it whatsoever.

Regardless of how bad a coach Allen might have been at KU, it was universally agreed that he was a really nice guy. So isn't it just possible that he and Roy got along great and became friends, and that it had nothing to do with Roy's ego? There's no reason for the cynicism when it comes to their friendship.

Lance Hobson 8 years, 6 months ago

Actually your are probably 100% correct. KU was about to hire Dennis Franchione but it is well known that Roy but the kibosh on that. He wanted to be the big man on campus and Franchione didn't fit with his plans. Quite a shame, he would have been great.

Hurinfan 8 years, 6 months ago

I'd like to know how the paper knows he wasn't crying. Did they ask him and have him respond "wait. they saw that?... I mean.... I wasn't crying."

hawk_of_ages 8 years, 6 months ago

Who knows, but I never thought it looked like he was crying. "Cringing" definitely seemed like the correct word.

archercc 8 years, 6 months ago

If you watched the game it was pretty obvious that he was reacting to the Withey play where he blocked the 3 point shot, grabbed the ball and pushed it up the court for EJ to be fouled.

It was a particularly ugly exchange for UNC and his face looked more like "Ugh!" at the moment instead of crying. Kind of like the reaction you'd make to avoid seeing someone get hit by car, turn your head and cringe.

John White 8 years, 6 months ago

Obviously you didn't notice this shot during the broadcast. When seen in context, he was clearly having a cringe reaction to a huge play made by Withey. When seen in context, it was very clear he was not crying. The screenshot and short GIF appear like crying only when shown completely without the surrounding footage.

Lance Hobson 8 years, 6 months ago

Why would he be crying? It was just an exaggerated face to convey the horror that Withey had just brought to UNC fans.

Steve Zimmerman 8 years, 6 months ago

You'll watch Michigan crying - that's for sure. Travis will shut Burke down while Jeff busy collecting swats surpassing Timmy's record. BMac, well it is hard to tell. Naa will continue his speedy penetration & hitting 3s. EJ - is still the leader. Perry, hopefully he's not shy anymore.

Rock Chalk!

Andrew Cox 8 years, 6 months ago

got butterflies reading that, I hope you are right!

Steve Zimmerman 8 years, 6 months ago

Funny comment from Grantland's Titus:

"I'll never pick a team coached by any of the following coaches in an NCAA tournament toss-up game ever again: Frank Haith, Steve Alford, Bruce Weber, Frank Haith, Bo Ryan, John Thompson III, Frank Haith, Jamie Dixon, Frank Haith, Mark Few, Frank Haith, and Roy Williams if he's playing Kansas.

Oh, and Frank Haith. Don't forget about him."


Rock Chalk 8 years, 6 months ago

If you read Jesse's analysis of Travis' defense against UNC, you'd change your tune from "alright" to seriously impressed.

eric poncharello 8 years, 6 months ago

This game will be the best game until we play Sunday? Michigan has talent, but young talent maybe better than ours, I don't think they do Friday, They have the names on the back of there jersey's but it do's not say KANSAS on the front. Kansas has players who accomplished more from last season to this season and I'm not listing what they have accomplished, if your a Jayhawk fan then you know. Michigan has not done a thing other than get more love from the media, there going to have to prove they can beat us not the other way around., enough said. SMASH MOUTH TIME!

RJ King 8 years, 6 months ago

I hope you're right, but so far a pretty good showing from the Big 10. It looks like they were fairly deserving of that love. I think Kansas has been given quite the love as well.

We've gone home enough after playing as though our opponent was to bow down to the name Kansas, only to realize too little, too late that we still have to earn it..

If we play like we are capable, it should be a thriller.

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 6 months ago

Ummm, so far they've played to seed. Noone's advanced farther than they should have and no higher seeded team has bowed out earlier than they should have(even Wisconsin was a 5 & thus by seed would have been outside of the top 16).

If anything, I would argue a little disappointing in the performances by Indiana & Ohio State where it really looked like they maybe SHOULD HAVE lost their last games.

deepind 8 years, 6 months ago

Mostly agree with you.... but at the same time the Big12 was quite disappointing in the tourney: 3 out of 5 teams flamed out in the opening game, and one more in the next round. In the end only 1 out of 5 made it into the 16.

RJ King 8 years, 6 months ago

The Big had some good wins, some expected, some close, and some less than expected, but no other conference can boast 33% of their teams in the Sweet Sixteen. if it was the Big 12, we'd be shouting it to the world.

I'm just saying that ironhawk seems to think we can just walk out on the floor and be "Kansas." I'm saying that any sense of entitlement will take us down. I suspect it will take our A game to advance.

John White 8 years, 6 months ago

They have played to seed, exactly. That's something the Big 12 failed miserably to do. When a conference's teams played to seed, that shows that they were not overrated. When a conference's higher seeds (K-State and Oklahoma State) both get upset, that shows a weaker conference. There is no rational way you can deny that the Big 10 was a very strong conference based on the outcome of the first two rounds.

SaltLakeHawk 8 years, 6 months ago

Actually there IS a perfectly rational way you can deny the strength of the Big 10 based on the first two rounds: you could say "two rounds is a small sample size."

Duke Christoffersen 8 years, 6 months ago

Agree, Bay. If both teams play like they're capable, it will be an incredible game. Let's hope Michigan has a let down, and the boys play like they did in the second half Sunday.

JAY2016 8 years, 6 months ago

This could be perfect timing for Ben. He didn't play well earlier in the season for a couple games straight then exploded on KSU for 30. Hopefully the same will happen again Michigan and everyone else will play just as well too. All in all, let's go get 'em!

KJD 8 years, 6 months ago

Ooof: 76 assists to 66 turnovers for Hardaway. That is not a good stat for a starting point guard. 6-4 Elijah Johnson has 169 assists to 111 turnovers so those two are in a similar mix on that level with EJ having a better ration. EJ is 31.2 minutes per game and 9.8 points per game while 6-6 Hardaway Jr is 34.6 minutes a game and 14.9 points. Kansas is obviously the defensive oriented team. Hardaway only had 11 points at home against Indiana and 8 points in the Wolverines loss to Wisconsin in their Big 10 tournament quarterfinal loss.

Freshman 6-6 Robinson Jr is a bit undersized as compared to the longer, taller and more energetic Young. 6-0 Burke has to go through 6-6 Releford and when he does get to the paint he looks at all that is 7-0 Withey and those demons that get into the head. I like KU in this game. I think our 'other' players, which includes Withey and McLemore, are better than their 'other' players. I like our team Defense a whole lot too.

RJ King 8 years, 6 months ago

Wouldn't Burke play the point and Hardaway the 2?

John Randall 8 years, 6 months ago

You noticed that miss-speak, too? I was fixed on the mistakes with homonyms. yore - long ago your - 2nd person possessive adjective You're - contracted verb form, 2nd person

their - belonging to them there - at that place they're - contracted verb form, 3rd person

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 6 months ago

the later, the latter, or the ladder?

I'll pass on the ladder. Spelling and grammar posts make me want to jump!

Kip_McSmithers 8 years, 6 months ago

Are we going to have a test on this later KU62??

nuleafjhawk 8 years, 6 months ago

Eye howp knot - Eye ain't got no good english.

RJ King 8 years, 6 months ago

I like to assume that many posts are spoken into a phone and misinterpreted by Siri. It's better than the alternative concept - an undereducated fan base.

bad_dog 8 years, 6 months ago


One word. Two "s". No hyphen.

John White 8 years, 6 months ago

That certainly would not be a good stat for a point guard. Fortunately for Michigan, Tim Hardaway Jr is not their point guard. Have you heard of the player of the year candidate who does play point guard for them? Did you completely miss his stat line in this article?

nostradavid 8 years, 6 months ago

It's good to hear the big guy isn't worried about Ben's slump.

I will try to get it together.

I will try to get it together. by nostradavid

Mark Lindrud 8 years, 6 months ago

Whether he is truly worried about the slump or not you certainly don't say it in public lol. Stay positive with Ben, the kid is talented, and a great shooter. Once he finally knocks down a few he will be hot again.

jaybate 8 years, 6 months ago


• Attack where they are weak.

• Defend where they are strong.

• Play smash mouth the whole game.

The Big 10 is winning for two reasons and neither are better talent.

  1. They have moved from bang ball to outright hockey, and once again teams outside the Big Ten are not ready for it.

  2. Referees appear to be favoring large market teams.

Conclusion: what's new? NADA!

Beilein's team plays with more finesse than most B12 teams, but that is not saying much.

Keys to game:

• dome shooting. Who ever shoots treys best, and relies least on trys has an edge.

• Battle of the benches. Both teams have to conserve energy for second game. KU will be at most risk, because Beilein's Modified Princeton burns the most energy budget to guard.

• Zone defense could become decisive, if either coach will resort to it.

• KU and UM cause each other serious match up problems. EJ/Dir vs. Burke may favor KU. Ben vs Hardaway could favor UM, unless Ben grows up quick defensively.

• UM has to draw Jeff outside, or lose.

• Inside games to be analyzed later.

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 6 months ago

The last time we played UM in Ann Arbor Beilein switched to a 1-3-1 in the 2nd half.

jaybate 8 years, 6 months ago

Thx for the Total Recall. I envy you. I expect we will see some of it again. KU has shown some tardiness in recognition of changing defenses, so that's one reason at least for Beilein to use it intermittently. But it has to be scary for other teams to zone KU, given Ben and Travis are above 40% from trey for the season!!!! And EJ and Dir have the touch on certain nights.

I'm always wondering whether Self will use a zone? And if so, what kind?

100 always used to insist that zones played properly actually expended more energy than m2m. I never quite bought it, but he was a wise one on such matters.

It seems to me that Self has to manage the energy budget very carefully against UM.

Both coaches should want a low possession game with a lot of reserve play the first half. Basically both coaches should want a 20 minute game to maximize their chances of winning two games.

UM running their modified Princeton can crank down the pace at any time.

KU's athleticism benefits from a faster pace if fouls were being called, but they won't be.

So: we are looking at a low possession game for strategic reasons.

On the other hand, both teams are looking at this game as the tougher of the two games this weekend.

So: both teams will look for some transition baskets and then reel it back in, then look for transition baskets, then reel it back in. Run'n'Walk. Run'n'Walk.

Either team that gets a lead will try to keep it a low possession game.

Either team that gets behind, will try to speed things up.

Its going to be a tremendous battle of coaching wits.

Self clearly thinks Beilein's once of the right way types; that's why he was quick to give him a home and home to help Beilein get started up at UM.

I've watched Beilein and he's a very sharp guy.

So is Self.

jaybate 8 years, 6 months ago

Both coaches have to love the chance to match wits.

I'm not sure this game is going to be as consistently violent as the KU-Purdue slug fest last season, but it is going to seem rougher than the KU players are used to. And UM will get very rough whenever it thinks it may have KU on the ropes.

KU has to come out and match them blow for blow.

KU has to worry about moving screens, guarding 35 seconds and wearing down, as it always must against a Princeton team.

UM has to worry about Jeff nullifying all of its inside plays and KU bumping them out of their timing routes on the defensive end and KU going over the top of them on the offensive end.

In these sorts of games, where there are differing styles and favorable matchups on both sides, and teams that both guard well, it is rebounding and outside shooting percentage that tell the tale.

I really think KU can beat this UM team, if KU can make just a decent percentage of its treys. Without a decent shooting game, I think UM's good guards and decent inside game could prevail.

But I think KU will shoot decently one half, at least, and the Boa Constrictor defense will once again crush the air out of their inside game.

KU by 6.

Steve Brown 8 years, 6 months ago

Yes JB dome shooting is key yet a we are the 1st game we get to warm up and shoot around before the actual warm ups, this will help BMac with the sight lines and give us better odds than if we were 2nd game. Look at UNC 1st half. Jeff drawn outside, not going to happen as a lioness protects her cubs Mr. Jeff protects his rim.

jaybate 8 years, 6 months ago

Love that lioness metaphor for our rim tender!!!

Tony Bandle 8 years, 6 months ago

JB, I totally agree on Big 10 basketball formula.....foul on every play..... sooner or later the refs swallow the whistle or they'll run out of players!!

RJ King 8 years, 6 months ago

We almost ran out of players against Adrian Dantley and Notre Dame back in '75 (?). They got a small lead and pulled out Smith's Four Corners offense, using the clock and eventually Dantley driving to the hoop..

With a couple of minutes to go, several KU players had fouled out, and many/most/all of our players still on the floor were carrying four fouls. I remember thinking, "next foul and ND will have a power play for the rest of the game." I don't think it happened, but we came very close.

Page Butler 8 years, 6 months ago

Key to the game. Score more than Michigan. If we do that we have a real good chance of winning.

jaybate 8 years, 6 months ago


What you have posted here is absolutely correct and absolutely incorrect.

It is true and and false.

It is perfectly stated and perfectly misstated.

It is tragic and it is comic.

It is genius and stupidity.


nuleafjhawk 8 years, 6 months ago

That will work.

Also, if they score less than we do, we should win.

FL_Jhawk 8 years, 6 months ago

Well, the way I figure it, is if you add up the number of field goals made and add 1 to each, unless made from outside the arc in which case you add 2, and to that add the number of free throws made, which ever team has the highest total almost always wins. At least in every game I have watched, that has been true.

nuleafjhawk 8 years, 6 months ago


Self not worried by McLemore’s scoring slump

  • If there is an article dedicated to the fact that Self is not worried - he's worried. So am I.

Jim Roth 8 years, 6 months ago

It means Bedore is worried, not necessarily Self. I think we'll be fine.

Brian Zachary 8 years, 6 months ago

Talk about over analyzing and reading WAY to much into an article. I don't take Coach to mince words and not speak what's on his mind. If Ben struggles, then he struggles and they another way to win. It is like that in life. Things don;t work how we plan but we find ways to make things work out. At the end of the game, the best TEAM will have won.

Woody Cragg 8 years, 6 months ago

Ben is stellar on the glass & D. O production can balance itself out as proven. Most amazing thing is how we are defensively taking others out of a flow. Typical for a Kansas team under Self. Won't be a pretty 80 point game IMO, but a 55-54 W is just as good to keep advancing. Danm, can you say "D" again?

Ryan Michael 8 years, 6 months ago

Ben is stellar on D? What games have you watched all year? Ben is by far our worst defender. Love his shot, but his D is weak at best.

Watch some film... Ben loses his man every other possession. I've actually noticed the rest of the team being overly aggressive on the switch to cover Bens man, this started a few games before the tournament I believe.

Fact of the matter is, Ben rarely ever goes through a screen and instead he goes around it. If you have a big 6'6 wing that can shoot... Good luck. Releford needs to guard that guy, because McLemore will give him open looks all night long.

hawk_of_ages 8 years, 6 months ago

Well, it would hardly be surprising that our one freshman starter would be the "worst" defender of the lot. I don't know if I'd call him "stellar" on D, but given that we've had the #1 defense in the nation with him starting all year, he obviously isn't a serious liability.

jaybate 8 years, 6 months ago

Ryan, Ryan, Ryan,

Calling Ben our worst defender all year is, hmmmm, absurd. :-)

Self said from the beginning Ben was a good defender.

Ben had guarded well.

And Ben was not a worse perimeter defender by any stretch of the imagination than EJ and Dir the first 3/4s of the season, when EJ was really gimpy and Dir's neural nets had not yet grown together.

I mean your assertion just baldly contradicts the facts. I try like heck to give other posters the benefit of the doubt on their takes, because persons are in a hurry and fitting their posts in when they can. But I've got a limit on my tolerance for these sorts of obtuse generalizations.

Ben's defense has been good enough to start and play 32-34 mpg for a 31-5 conference champion and Sweet 16 team.

I'm sorry to master the obvious, but the only antidote for groundless generalizations is reality grounding. Water is wet. My puppy General Patton's poop stinks. Your assertion is ridiculously overbroad. And Ben is a sound defender relying on a lot of help to keep him fresh for the offensive end.

These kinds of overbroad criticisms of a first year player's defense shed confusion, not light.

Tim Hardaway will be tough for Ben to guard, because Tim is a good, physical, scorer and has a couple of years of experience on Ben.

But at the same time Ben is a lottery pick and Tim probably isn't.

Ben has played superbly most of the season. He's just finally having his shooting slump late, as always happens to some unfortunate player each year. Last year it was Tyshawn. When these slumps come, then everyone grows very intolerant of imperfections and jumps on these exceptional players for, in fact, simply being typical of all good players.

Very few freshman players can be both the first option outside and the best perimeter defender. Its just too much to ask a first year player. And only the very, very good can do it with a few years experience. Tyshawn was a senior and so his defense was much farther developed than Ben's, but danged if people didn't start complaining and nitpicking about Tyshawn when the apple quit falling.

jaybate 8 years, 6 months ago

All the above said, of course Travis is going to take the toughest perimeter offender. That is the rational division of labor on this team. Travis is a bigger, stronger, more experienced defender (arguably one of KU's great perimeter defenders now of all time), who can still find ways to score when operating at the edge of his endurance envelope guarding a first option. Ben is the better shooter and scorer, if he doesn't have to spend his quads on the defensive end.

Its worked well all season. Yes, we could run into problems if they have two great 6-6 stretch it types at 2 and 3, but that's life. Every team has resource limits; that's what Self is referring to when he talks about match ups.

But calling Ben our worst defender is not plausible. And even if he were our worst defender, well, if the team is 31-5 and in the Sweet 16, then maybe our worst defender is pretty good!

Rock Chalk!!

HAWKTOPIA 8 years, 6 months ago

BMac will be fine. When he scored 33 did we feel he would do that every game? He was in the game in the 2nd half during the climb to be within 2. He missed some shots he will never miss again. I would suggest he is much closer to having a 25 point game than another 2 pt game.

I feel this game will be won at the 3 and 4 slots. Look for Kevin and Ben to combine for 40pts and 20 rebs. I don't think Michigan can run with us for 40 minutes.

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 6 months ago

That's werid. I always considered Ben our "2" & Releford our "3".

Robert Brock 8 years, 6 months ago

2s are usually good ball-handlers; BMac is not capable at the present time.

REHawk 8 years, 6 months ago

1 priority for Wolverines to stand a 49% winning chance: Do NOT slap an elbow to the head of Jeff Withey!

Joe Baker 8 years, 6 months ago

Withey will get stank faced. I actually think it makes Jeff play better. Not that I want him to be injured, but he was FIRED UP after that elbow.

monkeehawkSL8 8 years, 6 months ago

With longer arms, ah, wings. HAWKZILLA was caught with an elbow to his noggin and the blow woke the beast from his 1st half snooze. There was nothing left but for Roy's boy's to loose. Beware, Hawkzilla is on the scene, blocking shot's and setting screen's. Breathing fire and eating wolverines. Hawkzilla blocks shots and runs fast breaks, all dunks no layups his free throws he makes. The beast is alive and he'll rebound and drive. This year the Jayhawks win 6 not just 5. RCJH KAAAUOOO with pyrotechnics.

Tuskin 8 years, 6 months ago

Fired up, after he regained consciousness... He looked really groggy the rest of the first half.

DanR 8 years, 6 months ago

There's definitely a pattern in Ben's offensive production:

Last 4 games: 28 total points, 8-26 (3-15 from three) 7 ppg

Previous 4 games: 96 total points, 33-57 (14-28 from three) 24 ppg

Previous 4 games: 41 pts, 13-35 (5-15 from three) 10 ppg

Previous 4 games: 83 pts, 30-56 (10-26 from three) 21 ppg

jaybate 8 years, 6 months ago

Great layout of the stats, DanR.

These swings suggest at least several things to me.

  1. Ben is a freshman. Freshman are more volatile scorers than upper classmen, because they are still having flaws in their games exposed and taking a few games to retool to get effective again.

  2. The violence of D1 is such that it is probably very likely to throw shooters mechanics, especially young shooters mechanics, out of whack from time to time. Ben said he's got to get back in the gym and fix a flaw in his mechanics that has emerged.

  3. There is a cycle to scheming against an offensive player. When he is hot, the opposing coaches are doing everything they can to stop him. When he begins to labor for a number of games, KU switches its scoring to other players and so opposing coaches adjust their scheming to stop other players. When the scheming shifts to the other players, then Ben feels less pressure, has rehabbed his mechanics and confidence, and begins to surge again with less focus on him. As he does, the cycle repeats. Coaches begin to spend more time scheming on him.

  4. Penultimately, woven into this stuff are some structural changes in KU's shooting distributions, regardless of how well, or poorly, Ben is shooting. Naadir and Perry began to take more shots. EJ for awhile took more shots.

  5. Lastly, Self has a tendency to deal with team and individual shooting slumps by nipping them in the budd early, but routing the offense inside more and more. When he thinks KU is shooting poorly, he appears to say, okay, we aren't going to just keep taking a lot of treys and hope for things to get better. Instead, he seems to say we'll cut back to treys for the game, and wait to see if next game we warm up. It is not a QA based technique, but rather a psychologically based technique. Self gambles certain shooting slumps can be reduced in duration simply by avoidance. Players come back fresh and sometimes get out of slumps. I think it makes some sense psychologically, but statistical tendencies over the course of a season are tough to do anything but hedge ever so slightly in one's favor.

DanR 8 years, 6 months ago

Yep, JB. I agree with all that, and I'd add (for what it's worth)...

(6). Ben's cycles have had no effect on our ability to win (we won all 8 of those games during the two recent slumps), yet 4 of our 5 losses were during those two hot stretches.

So, the stats are interesting, but basically meaningless. I do expect him to be back on target this Friday...but I wouldn't mind seeing him keep the three point attempts to under half of his total shots. He needs more dunks!

Christopher Hauser 8 years, 6 months ago

I would say that three is probably the best bet. I would also add that KU has shown the ability to win from different positions and the North Carolina game just added to that aspect. When coaches prepare their players for the next game it is always to stop the other teams best scorer and the thought has been take Ben away and make them beat us from the other four positions which we have now shown the ability to do. So I think the biggest question is if Beline will attempt to play the percentage game or if he will attempt to play KU straight up? We have a great problem on our hands and that is the ability for a different player to step up every night. Still the key to the game just like every game is Withey and Releford's ability to disrupt on the defensive end of the court. Withey blocks=easy buckets at the other end=a good day for KU.

Ron Franklin 8 years, 6 months ago

I started having cynical thoughts, whereby I questioned McLemore's character. All of this talk about, going pro, and not getting injured, and not coming back in case that he does get injured he loses a lot of money. So: I started wondering....has BMac checked out? For about 2-3 minutes I really thought he had. It is so close to the end of the year...'why risk so much when there is so much to gain'. It's a reasonable argument....for some types of folks.

Then I remembered that those types of players don't come to Kansas. So, I started digging for other explanations, and found one that might be related to his poor shooting, let me know if you think it's valid.

Every home game, Ben comes out alone 2-3 hours before to tip-off. I've never counted how many shots he gets up before going back into the locker room, and then coming back out to warm up with the rest of the team, but I would say it's between 250-350. He takes short & midrange jumpers. He shoots freethrows, and spots up all around the perimeter before he finishes. It's amazing to watch him cash in so many shots in a row. Unguarded or not.

I don't know for sure because I've never been to an away game, but I'm guessing Ben gets less time to go through his routine before tip off, thus, his conference shooting percentage drops.

Further, he only gets 27 minutes pre game (with the team) in the NCAA tournament, and he had to ditch his pregame warm up routine altogether.

Based on his comment above, I"m guessing that being taken out of his practice/warm up routine, it's resulting in even lower percentage shooting.

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 6 months ago

If he'd really "checked out", I don't think he'd've been as invested in the game as you saw him. Normally, Rio's our biggest cheerleader on the sideline, but when he was out in that 2nd half, Ben was our biggest cheerleader.

Ron Franklin 8 years, 6 months ago

Under my original, not-believable, conspiracy theory,[ ahem, Jaybate :) ] cheer leading on the sidelines would not have led to an injury.

Ron Franklin 8 years, 6 months ago

All this talk of injuries ruining draft status by coming back early and possibly injuring one's self has me thinking about Brandon Rush.

Did Brandon's injury and subsequent return to college hurt his draft status?

Joe Baker 8 years, 6 months ago

I really don't think Ben will hurt himself much regardless of his decision. If he stays, he will remain in the top 5 or worse case top 10. He will be a lottery pick either way. I believe he can go now, but if he stays, he's only going to get better. People who are so big on him going now, fail to forget that he will get better too. He will improve a great deal and learn. I personally believed like many, take the money and run. However, I've changed my tune. I really think he could help himself if he stays with Self and Co. I'm not being selfish either. It's not about making KU better next year, but whether we get Wiggins or not, BMac would be wise to stay one more year. It won't hurt much. His mom will be fine for one more year. I think it's a win win for all involved if he stays. All the dooms day fans and negative talk of "what ifs," are just terrible. You don't tell a kid, "Go or you might get hurt and lose your stock status." I also believe his brother is street wise and is giving him some really good advice on life. If you watch the vid of BMac and his bro in prison, his brother Keith gives him some really good input on life.
But, he needs to enjoy this moment and deal with this decision after the tourney is over. Keep dancing BMac and enjoy the Harlem Shake. You deserve to have fun right now.

KansasComet 8 years, 6 months ago

Kansas has an advantage on the inside as far as rebounding goes. Couple that with the inside presence of Jeff Withey altering and blocking shots and the advantage goes to KU. As long as our guards get back on defense and make Michigan work when we are on offense, we will be fine. Elijah Johnson has been doing a great job of maintaining the pace that Coach Self has set. Yes we will have turnovers, probably 50% of the turnovers from last game could have been avoided, but as Jaybate said in a post yesterday, they may have been necessary to get the point across that we will pound you inside. If it gets us the win, then I am all for it.

I don't worry about other teams, they don't scare me. I was not worried about VCU, and I am not really worried about Michigan. I think KU can beat MIchigan. Looking at their regular season, Michigan had a losing road record in Big 10 play. All of their losses were in Big 10 road games. Michigan has looked great in two games at Auburn Hills, Michigan. Kansas on the other hand has proved they could go into the "Octogon of Doom", faced "Hilton Magic" and survived "Gallagher-Iba",for three extremely impressive road wins. Yes, we won two tourney games in Kansas City, but I feel we are a much better road team than Michigan, which in my opinion gives us an advantage at a neutral site.

Tim Orel 8 years, 6 months ago

You may be interested to know the last time a Michigan team played in Arlington stadium. The 10th ranked Wolverine football team went there against Alabama to open last season. It wasn't pretty for Michigan - Alabama could have named the score and settled for a 20 point win. So that stadium hasn't been particularly nice to Michigan for a game against a neutral opponent.

jaybate 8 years, 6 months ago

I am very much with you on this take and you were much more able to articulate our advantages than I have been able to. Thanks, as always.

A +6 edge in rebounding is like a big bank account. It makes up for a multitude of shortcomings.

Rebound, you Jayhawks!!!

We also need our bench to come to play. I'm thinking here especially about Jamari and Perry.

Their goal most definitely should be to turn this into a low possession game, in order to have the best shot at winning both games this weekend.

The way Self has developed for beating the Princeton is simply a brute force solution. Guard the full 35, so as to take away their high percentage looks off timed cuts and screens. Also, send your big out before the ball screen even happens to hedge defend. At the same time, on offense, force the ball up the floor regularly and try to get about 6 transitions baskets. Don't try to turn it into a running game necessarily, but a quick game of squirts and walks.

Michigan will guaranty the low possession game both teams will want to conserve energy for game two.

KU's critical need is to be able to use its bench extensively the first half, to keep its players from getting burned out guarding the Princeton.

I have long argued that VCU didn't beat KU. Richmond running the Princeton two days before beat KU. Shaka's XTReme conditioning was just ideal for exploiting KU's low batteries.

KU is in superb cardiovascular condition right now--much better than in the Richmond-VCU situation.

All KU has to do is get 7-10 minutes each the first half out of Perry and Jamari in which the spread holds with KU either -3 or better on the score, and KU will beat the shizz out of these guys the second half.

If it were a one game tourney this weekend, I would have no doubt that KU can beat them.

But trying to win two games gets more dicey with a Princeton opponent the first game.

Fortunately, Self has been in this predicament before. UM is much better than Richmond was. But Self has a great record of learning from past mistakes.

I'm optimistic he will find a way to win two games despite playing a good Princeton offense the first game. I'm calling KU by 6.

KansasComet 8 years, 6 months ago

Good points. Perry and Jamari are well rested and may give us a decided advantage on the boards come next game.

KGphoto 8 years, 6 months ago

You left out KU’s most important road win of them all. @ Ohio State!

KansasComet 8 years, 6 months ago

You are right, that was an impressive road win.

jaybate 8 years, 6 months ago

Florida very dangerous because of Billy and talent, but also because we will be coming off guarding a Princeton offense and Florida won't be.

Ron Franklin 8 years, 6 months ago

Common Opponents:
Kansas State: neutral court—71-57 (w) West Virginia: neutral court—81-66 (w) Ohio State: at OSU—56-53 (L) Ohio State: home—76-74 ot (w) Michigan State: at MSU—75-52 (L) Michigan State: home—58-57 (w)

Worst Loss: Penn State @ Penn State 84-78 Penn is 1-14 in conference play.

Notable Losses: Wisconsin (2x) Indiana (2x) Never beat Indiana.

My two keys to the game:

Who guards Burke? I think it has to be Travis because he would get EJ in foul trouble quickly.

Mitch McGary is the most important key, IMHO. He’s coming on strong right now; Turning into a man right in front of us. He checks in at 6’ 10” 250 pounds. He has the ability to push Jeff around down on the low and force Jeff back on rebounds. If Jeff takes him to Swat City, North Texas and doesn’t let McGary get him in foul trouble, I see Kansas eeeking this out.

Another wrench that could be thrown in is if Belein throws in the zone and McLemore and Elijah are still off. The zone should be busted really quickly after BMac goes 3-3 from downtown.

Joe Baker 8 years, 6 months ago

It would be nice to see McGary and Peters match up against each other. I really wish we had Peters right now.

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 6 months ago

UNC threw a zone on us about mid-way through the 2nd half, we had one bad possession, but then we had a possession where Young was able to drop off a beautfiul pass to Withey (I think for a dunk), followed by two 3's and then I think Roy might've had enough with the zone after that trial of 4 or 5 possessions.

Ron Franklin 8 years, 6 months ago

Anybody notice Coach Self used Hockey Terminology when referring to Travis 'checking' their best player (when referring to PJ Hairston)

It's guarding, not checking, right ? :)

Also, can we get a count on how many jerseys have been destroyed from all of the clutching and grabbing going on in the NCAA tournament? This is where this "parity" comes from. It's a lot easier for lesser talent to keep up with superior talent when the rules of the game are not being followed. I could go play TyshawnTaylor right now in one and one and if I were allowed to clutch, grab, tear, push, pull, yank, hip-check, chest bump, he'd only beat me 10 to 5 instead of 10-0.

Also, while I'm complaining, I'm so flippin tired of the block/charge call, I"m ready for them to get rid of the rule all together. First few minutes of the game vs UNC Elijah drives in lays it in and gets called for a charge, when the dudes feet were in the semi circle. What gives?

Get rid of it, or use replay on it.

Let's see if I feel better now :)

Joe Baker 8 years, 6 months ago

I agree with Jamie Dixon. Get rid of the arc. It's stupid. There's too much in the game and worry about a stupid arc area. It's really a simple call. The defender has to beat the offense to the stop, be completely set, and avoid undercutting while the player is in the air. You literally have to be standing pretty much still and you can't lean or move into the ball handler. Okay, I need to shut my mouth before I get going on this way missed call. But while on it, let's discuss 3 second lane violations, palming, and moving screens. I see palming on a regular bases. Moving screens are numerous, especially against WKY. They would set, shuffle, turn, move, and set another screen on the same player. Oh and while we're at it the dumb dumb Naadir violaiton of players in the arc. Why does KU get these dumb calls? You don't hear it all year and then KU gets hit with them in the tourney. It's really funny. I guarantee you if that was any other team, it's a no call. A call is a call and if it's a rule, call it. I also know it's happened many other times and it's just one of those calls that never get called. Oh well, we're KU we should expect this more often than not.

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 6 months ago

Probably the MOST erroenous call...the charge. HOW MANY TIMES do they call it when the player's in the "restricted area", not set, sliding in after the offensive player's already left his feet, or flopping before the player even makes contact with them. All of those situation are EITHER a no-call or a Blocking foul.....>NOT A CHARGE!!!!!

kennethst 8 years, 6 months ago

I was reading through an article last night on cbssports......of course saying Michigan would win. I moved down to the comments section......and who do I see there? None other than our Marchphog88 providing a glorious and noble defense to our Jayhawks. There Marchphog stood......"Look Men! There is Marchphog88 standing like a stonewall!"

Stonewall Jackson? Stonewall Marchphog88!!!!!!!

Marchphog88.......a courageous defender of our Kansas Jayhawks......

justinryman 8 years, 6 months ago

Kimmy English said Jeff Withey was the easist guy he had to guard, can't see how he gets RBs or points.

C'mon Jeff, use that as bulliten board material.

Then again you can block his shot next year in the NBA!

yellowjeep 8 years, 6 months ago

Fake Jeff Withey had a pretty good comeback with "You know who found you easy to guard? Norfolk State." posted a with a box score.

JS82 8 years, 6 months ago

In the NCAA tournament Defense wins. If we continue to play defense and hold opponents to 35% shooting we are going to win. Withey is the anchor but Releford is the glue. Ugly games are our style and Bill Self's record shows that it works.

I loved Roy's style of offense when he was here but a team like ours would stop Roy's team in their tracks. Bill Self was the best hire and he is a tremendous bench coach who figures things out as the game goes along. We are fortunate to have him here and I hope he never leaves.

justinryman 8 years, 6 months ago

I agree, and he has some very good assisntants that scout the game before and during it so they can pass along what they see.

KU has an amazing coaching staff, it's no wonder every year KU loses an Assistant coach.

Here's to this staff getting it done so this team can live in the rafters.

jgkojak 8 years, 6 months ago

In the NCAA Tournament, defense wins until the Final Four - then you HAVE to have some offense.

Steve Brown 8 years, 6 months ago

During the extra long half time BS told team to chat among themselves, then he went out for 10 minutes. My hope is he got LB on the line and SMU head man gave Willie the game insights and tactics.all fiction.

LB best ever at mid game strategy and tactics.

Since we are in DFW, can LB go into our half time locker room, or are extra coaches banned.

kennethst 8 years, 6 months ago

Self does not need any advice from Larry Brown.

Why would he?

I like Larry Brown too.......but he no longer works for Kansas.

I think you need to get out of the 1980''s 2013!!

Steve Reigle 8 years, 6 months ago

You know, referring to North Carolina as "Carolina" is really disrespectful to South Carolina. I have friends from South Carolina and they most definitely feel that way.

jaybate 8 years, 6 months ago


I much prefer calling them Tar Orifices.

Marshall Ballard 8 years, 6 months ago

I see the deciding factor in this match-up with Michigan to be fouls! If we can keep our guards and Withey out of foul trouble and really attack their guards, then we can gain the upper hand. The most aggressive team who gets the other side in foul trouble will prevail, IMO. Burke has the tendency to play a little out of control, and once he gets into foul trouble, its like a 180 shift in his attitude. He goes from stud to our best defense real quick like!

dhinkansas 8 years, 6 months ago

That's funny Terry Allen was there. Remember he and Roy were buds at KU and Williams pitched a fit when Allen as fired. Good times.

justinryman 8 years, 6 months ago

Free throws. Turnovers. Rebounds.

Win those numbers and play solid offense and deffense and you win.

Not 3 pt shooting, not pressure D.

If both teams are crossing each other out on D and O then it comes to those three things listed above to survive and advance.

stinkybulldog 8 years, 6 months ago

Defense will win this game. We need a low scoring slug fest to come out on top. If we try to run and gun with Michigan, it won't be pretty. Beak Em' Hawks!

kennethst 8 years, 6 months ago

I think Michigan has no idea what they are in for. A %$%^storm! Two things stick out.......Michigan is not too good at defense and rebounding.

If KU is better than average on offense on Friday......look out, Michigan.......look out!

Sally Presson 8 years, 6 months ago

Could be we got Terry Allen because he was Roy Boy's friend.

Ben, You're our guy, stay loose and play like you always have been, you're OK, can't wait for you & the entire team to shock Michigan-you guys can beat anyone, can't wait. Love you jayhawks!!!

Rock Chalk

bad_dog 8 years, 6 months ago

Better to be Roy Boy's friend, than Roy's boyfriend...

Kristen Downing 8 years, 6 months ago

I really want to be as positive as most of you guys, so you need to please explain to me how Ben is going to play better in an even larger environment. I have seen our veteran players not be able to hit the side of a barn in a dome. Please tell me how our NBA draftee is going to play less tight in a bigger, more pressure filled situation?! I can only hope at this point that freshman Trey Burke has trouble adjusting.

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 6 months ago

Ummm, easy....because he's DUE!!!!! He hasn't had any "prolonged" slumps all year long. A few games here or there, but he always comes back hard!!!! Until the last 3 or 4 games wasn't he hitting something crazy like close to 50% on the year?!?!??!!

Tony Bandle 8 years, 6 months ago

1] Kansas has never beaten Michigan.

2] Michigan has never beaten Bill Self.

3] Immovable Object meets Irresistible Force.

4] I just wanted once to post in the Gigantis Maximus Font. :)

Tony Bandle 8 years, 6 months ago

AAWWW didn't work!! Oh well...guess I'll just have to settle for the guys advancing to the Elite Eight.

kennethst 8 years, 6 months ago

I think KU beat Michigan in 2011 and 2010.

Mark Wooden 8 years, 6 months ago

Michigan leads the series 5-2. KU has won last two 09 and 11(these seniors were sophomores.

Andy Tweedy 8 years, 6 months ago

Man, I love the LJW coverage, but can the writers please resist continually using the word "exploded" when a player had 12 points? They did that the other day, too, about someone having similar totals. How 'bout "contributed" or "chipped in?" When I think "exploded" I think of EJ's performance against ISU or B-Mac's performances earlier in the season. 12 points? Exploded? Really?

Okay, I'm done...

Dale Koch 8 years, 6 months ago

For N. Tharpe, that's an explosion!!!

bad_dog 8 years, 6 months ago

In one half wasn't it? OK, so half of an explosion.

DanR 8 years, 6 months ago

I agree... I'd like to see fewer explosions and more eruptions.

Tony Bandle 8 years, 6 months ago

My September 1, 2012 predictions.

1] 9th Big 12 Title - Check.

2] Make it to Big 12 Tourney Final - Won it....Even better.

3] 29-8 record - 31-5 ....and counting!!

4] 2nd seed in Midwest - 1st seed in South

5] Bill would start all four seniors all season - Check.

6] BenMac would be good - despite weekend, BenMac much better than "good"!

7] Perry would have an immediate impact - missed that one by about 5 months.

8] Kentucky was going to be tough - I loved being totally wrong on this one.

9] If we played North Carolina again, we'd beat them - Hahahahahahahahaha..check.

10] Would still be proud to be a Jayhawk - ALWAYS!!!!!!!!

Sandeep Kalburgie 8 years, 6 months ago

I am gradually getting worried about our 2014 recruiting class. I will be terribly worried after we win the NCAA championship :)

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 6 months ago

Ummm, not all that many teams have even dipped into the 2014 class. I think UNC got one and UK's got one officially though in on two others (E. Mudiaye & T. Lyles). I doubt that we get Tyus Jones or Jahlil Okafor, but MAYBE Cliff Alexander.

In the meantime, I'd LOVE to get Josh Perkins and think we have a REAL shot at him (competition is just Colorado, Gonzaga, SDSU & New Mexico - in terms of "High Interest"....other reported interest from some other schools including Stanford).

Jordan McLaughlin MIGHT be one we could get and maybe even moreso now - he WAS a UCLA lean. With the coaching situation up in the air might be all the more reason to go after him hard!!!

kennethst 8 years, 6 months ago

My 3 year old likes to draw. She asked who Jayhawks are playing....and I told her she is going to make some pictures.....3 year old style.

I thought she could get some inspiration from Coyote vs Roadrunner(close comparison!)......but so far no pictures......just lots of laughing.

jayhawkinATL 8 years, 6 months ago article on ESPN ranks KU as the 11th best of the 16 remaining. I guess, based on our struggles in the first two games, I shouldn't be THAT surprised.

kennethst 8 years, 6 months ago

True. But KU has been able to win DESPITE all their some ways that's even more impressive. But that's fine. I want KU to go under the radar.

Ethan Berger 8 years, 6 months ago

Kansas has had no respect all tourney. They were never the team to beat in the region. Everyone has us losing this game.

RJ King 8 years, 6 months ago

I fetched the Sports Illustrated magazines from my mailbox for four weeks in the Spring of 2008.

There was Kevin Love on the cover. Then Tyler Hansbrough. Then Derrick Rose.

Finally, it was the entire KU team holding some kind of trophy.

Jeff Kilgore 8 years, 6 months ago

Best comment I've read in weeks. This ought to be a mantra for our fan base.

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 6 months ago

Myron Medcalf.....he seems to hate us.

Also, I think I'd RATHER them pick us not to advance.

When the media DOESN'T buy into us we seem to do a LOT better!!!!

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 6 months ago

Off-topic alert.

I live in Houston and so I have at least some interest in the Houston Rockets.

That said, the more I read about Royce White, the more impressed I am with Fred Hoibergs ability to even get Royce to show up to practice and games.

Professional sports is not for everyone, and if the Rockets can find anyway to get this kid off the payroll without facing a lawsuit or looking like a supervillian then they should do it.

jaybate 8 years, 6 months ago


UM is what Pete Carrill probably fantasized about when he was developing the Princeton system, except for one thing.

Instead of playing it with a bunch of flat footed, Ivy league half talents, Beilein has assembled all of the required D1 grade, Big Ten meat grinder pieces but one.

And this is why Self says: "We've got our work cut out for us."

1 6-0 190 Trey Burke--lightening quick, short and tough PG with 39% trey.

2 6-6 205 Tim Hardaway--lightening quick long and tough PG/2 with 39% trey.

3 6-6 190 Nik Stauskas--solid spot up 43 percent trey

4 6-6 210 Glen Robinson-athletic 4 with 57% short game

5 6-10 250 Mitch McGrary--bruising former footballer with 59% short game

Third Big-- 6-8 250 Jordan Morgan--bruiser with 59% short game (commitee at post)

Fourth Big sub--6-10 250 Jon Horford bruiser with 57% inside game

Fourth perimeter 6-5 170 Caris Lavert defensive sub

Fifth perimeter 5-11 Spike Albrecht point guard with 41% trey game

The Michigan formula with the Princeton is simple. Keep 3 guys on the trey stripe and have one guy either being ball screened by a brick outhouse, or cutting past a brick outhouse. If the cutter isn't scraped off, the brick out house takes a feed inside, lowers a shoulder and plows to the rim. On the ball screens, eventually the perimeter defenders are supposed to slowly wear down from the beatings. The variation is Glen Robinson cuts and screens inside, again either to rim ram, or to scrape one of the brick outhouses to turn, drop a shoulder and power to the rim.

Distilled this is three tree shooters, one L&A, and a brick outhouse playing the Princeton six play routine.

Think of it as an ancient Power I formation in football with kickouts to the trey stripe.

The keys to the game are Mitch McGary and Jordan Morgan. Our guys can defend and score on all of their 1-4 position players, despite the brass knuckles action. The key will be what Self and KU can come up with to counter the 250 pound outhouses.

If the brick outhouses are allowed to shove Jeff all over the lane when he is on defense, then he will get very few blocks.

On offense, if the brick outhouses are allowed to shove Jeff and Kevin all over the lanes, then we are going to have to play full time Spread Hi-Lo with push when they pull and pull when they push.

All for now. More later.

Lin Rahardja 8 years, 6 months ago

Ben, Just soar up and shoot your form, nobody can really reach and block your shot. Go Mr. McLemore.

Kevin Lee 8 years, 6 months ago

Kansas is 26-0 this season when Travis Releford scores at least nine points. Travis needs to lead the way because the rest of the team plays off him.

KansasComet 8 years, 6 months ago

Been saying this for a long time, that Travis Releford with double figures equals a KU win.

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 6 months ago

Wouldn't surprise me if UM goes small on D & has Stauskas guard K. Young so Robinson can be on Releford. Burke on EJ or Tharpe, Hardaway on Mc.

KansasComet 8 years, 6 months ago

Unfortunately, it appears that Ben McLemore has let the Technical Foul that occured in the Iowa State game get the best of him. Before that shot that he swished, and celebrated in front of the Iowa State bench, he was full of confidence. However, after the Technical Foul, he has been kind of an introvert on the court, not quite his fun loving self. It's easy for me to say, but he needs to find a way to let it go, and not be afraid to celebrate when he drains a 3 pointer. He is one of the best in the nation, and clearly has the nation's best shooting form. Ben McLemore has made 1 out of his last 12 three point attempts since the Iowa State game and has scored 18 points in the last 3 games since that unfortunate call. It is in our best interest for Ben to just get back to being himself. We miss the smiling, flying, dunking, shooting, and celebrating on the court. This is who Ben McLemore is, and hopefully, his coaches, teammates, Jayhawk fans and the rest of the nation will see him back to being himself again real soon.

KGphoto 8 years, 6 months ago

That is a GREAT point. Getting that T had to hit him hard. He’s a good kid, and I think he believed he let his team down with a “stupid” celebration, even if it wasn’t stupid at all. In fact I wouldn’t doubt if it had something to do with Bill flying off the hook like he did. Partly because it was a stupid call, and partly to let the quiet, humble, Ben know he didn’t do anything wrong and to continue playing with passion.

Man, somebody needs to get Mac this info stat!

hawkdiek 8 years, 6 months ago

As far as Ben staying or leaving, I wish the final choice was truely his with no pressure from anyone else. I see a kid that for one of the first times in his life he is having fun. He is enjoying his life on a regular basis. I don't think he could say that growing up. He may have had good days here and there, but from everything I have seen and heard he had it pretty rough. No one is making Ben come into the gym hours before others working on his shot. No one is making him stay extra in study hall. He is doing it because he enjoys it and is having fun for a change. You can't coach or teach that kind of attitude or ethic. You can't make someone have an infectious smile or teach dance moves like that. That comes from a young man that is truely enjoying his life right now. I for one would be sad (for him) to go to the NBA so that he could have a house or a car 1 year sooner. Let's face it, the NBA is a job. It's a business. He will not have near the experience there that he is having right now at KU. That life will be there. Posters say he will benefit if he stays another year. I agree, but for different reasons.

Tony Bandle 8 years, 6 months ago

Points all well made but, as always, Ben will put others ahead of himself, this time his family and he'll take the money and the physical punishment of the NBA to help his family.

I truly believe that if his family was in decent shape, he would stay another year. Hawkdiek, you're totally correct about Ben savoring every moment of his Jayhawk experience. At least he got two years.

RJ King 8 years, 6 months ago

Must be allergy season. My eyes are watering. You guys are both so right.

Mark Wooden 8 years, 6 months ago

Move the ball around, guard the 3 point line and make them go inside, make crisper entry passes to the inside, calm Young down, and have Elijah play like a senior.

soapisurfriend 8 years, 6 months ago

Sorry if it has been mentioned and I missed it, but as expected, it appears Tony Parker may be looking to leave UCLA. His dad, who's from KC if I remember correctly, mentioned that Tony is looking for a good strength program in his possible destinations should he leave, and listed Kansas and Miami as examples. Parker has conditioning issues, to say the least, but a year under Hudy may be all he needs. Also, UCLA has a good shot at landing Mark Gottfried, which could open up The possibility of current recruits at NCst could be released from their LOIs and reopen their recruitments.

monkeehawkSL8 8 years, 6 months ago

With the exception the "I just made a 3" sign that resembles the O.K. hand signal, I have never seen Ben do anything on the court that even suggests a taunt. I loath players that go out of their way to draw attention to themselves over what should be considered at best a good play. When Ben has wowed us with rainbow 3's, alley-oops and come out of nowhere blocks, he just gets back on defense. This quality is so rare in today's "what's in it for me" and my career attitude. Struggles produce character. In the midst of Ben's current lose of stroke, whatever is going on. Instead of sulking Ben cheered passionately for the success of his "team", family, that he has become a lifelong member of. This is one small part of the miracles that are taking place during another extremely successful season of Jayhawk basketball. What a year, and its not over yet. Jayhawks take care of each other and go and win another. RCJH.KAAUOO!

Priest Fontaine 8 years, 6 months ago

The matchups to start the game:

1 6-0 190 Trey Burke-- vs 6'4" EJ

2 6-6 205 Tim Hardaway Jr-- vs 6'6" Releford

3 6-6 190 Nik Stauskas-- vs 6'5" B-Mac

4 6-6 210 Glenn Robinson-- vs 6'8" Young

5 6-10 250 Mitch McGrary-- vs 7' Withey

Tharp comes into relieve EJ guarding Burke. If Burke becomes too much for them to handle then Releford switches to Burke in second half with EJ taking Hardaway. I would love to see Traylor come in and just bang on McGrary to wear him down while withey catches a breather. If he fouls, make it memorable. Withey isn't going to get stretched much going against their bigs. This means we can put pressure on the perimeter and know that out insurance policy is in effect. I really hope we are the aggressors and come to play.

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