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Michigan defeats Kansas, 87-85

  • 6:37 p.m., March 29, 2013
  • Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, TX

Friday, March 29, 2013

A sour ending: KU collapses late in 87-85 overtime loss to Michigan

Kansas guard Elijah Johnson watches the Michigan Wolverines celebrate after the Jayhawks' 87-85 overtime loss to Michigan on Friday, March 29, 2013 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Kansas guard Elijah Johnson watches the Michigan Wolverines celebrate after the Jayhawks' 87-85 overtime loss to Michigan on Friday, March 29, 2013 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

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KU-Michigan

Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self talks after loss to Michigan

Kansas coach Bill Self talks after his team's 87-85 overtime loss to Michigan on March 29, 2013.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Travis Releford, Jeff Withey

Kansas seniors Travis Releford and Jeff Withey talk briefly on the podium following the Jayhawks' 87-85 overtime loss to Michigan on March 29, 2013.

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Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Michigan coach John Beilein, Trey Burke, Mitch McGary and Tim Hardaway Jr.

Michigan coach John Beilein and playersTrey Burke, Mitch McGary and Tim Hardaway Jr. talk to reporters following the Wolverines' 87-85 overtime victory over Kansas on March 29, 2013.

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— Elijah Johnson stood hunched over on the Cowboys Stadium basketball court, a picture of utter dejection after the final buzzer sounded in the final game of his Kansas University basketball career — Friday’s 87-85 overtime setback to Michigan in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.

“Stuff like this you think about forever,” said Johnson, who scored 13 points with five turnovers and no assists in 24 memorable — many for the wrong reasons — minutes.

“It was a long, fun ride. People usually remember the end,” Johnson added.

Johnson put the spotlight on himself just 1:45 into the game when he was called for a Flagrant One foul for striking Michigan’s Mitch McGary (25 points, 14 rebounds) in the groin area with a closed fist while trying to run past McGary.

“It wasn’t intentional,” Johnson said. “Coach (Bill Self) asked me if I did it and I didn’t know what he was talking about.”

Johnson actually played just three minutes the entire first half because of foul problems. But he was in at the very end ... on the final possession of his season and collegiate career.

Handed the ball with 9.4 seconds remaining in OT, and KU down, 87-85, Johnson dribbled to the side and charged toward the goal. Feeling his path obstructed, he didn’t try a game-tying layup or floater, but passed way out to Naadir Tharpe, who missed a prayer of a three that barely beat the buzzer.

“Coach said he wanted to put the ball in my hand. It was on me,” Johnson said. “I tried to turn the corner. I ended up leaving the ground. When I left the ground, I didn’t like the shot I had so I tried to look for a better shot. I didn’t like my momentum.”

Tharpe, who scored two points off 1-of-8 shooting with seven assists against two turnovers in 32 minutes, said, “Yeah I was,” when asked if he was surprised when the ball came out to him from the baseline to behind the arc.

“Once it came to me I knew. There was not much time left on the clock. I tried to make a shot for myself. It wasn’t a good look.”

Asked to describe KU's plans for that last play, Tharpe said: “Elijah to get to the basket.”

As an interesting side note, KU coach Bill Self during the time setting up the final play initially asked the squad’s seniors how they wanted to attack.

“I said, ‘What do you guys want to do?’ Travis (Releford, 16 points) and those guys said, ‘Let’s shoot a three and win it.’ Then I said, ‘Or let’s drive it,’’’ Self said, smiling. “I think it was one of those things we were all on the same page leaving the time out. I don’t think that situation was the right time to intentionally clip off a three. I was going to put the ball in his hands to make a play or get the ball to Ben (McLemore, 20 points, 8-15 shooting) shooting a three. I thought the best percentage play was Elijah to drive it. He had the size advantage. It didn’t turn out the way we wanted.”

Asked whether he thought Johnson could have hoisted a possible game-tying shot, Self said: “I don’t know. He was able to get his shoulders past him (defender). But for whatever reason, he veered behind the backboard and really didn’t give himself a shot. That’s when he threw the ball back to ‘Naa.’ Naa had a shot. He pump-faked and took one bounce and didn’t get off a good look. That was poor execution,” Self added. “Obviously we didn’t do a very good job on the last possession.”

Michigan’s take is that Johnson may not have been able to complete the drive had he elected to.

“The angle he had wasn’t the best. He didn’t have a good angle to put it off the backboard,” forward Jordan Morgan said. “He got caught behind the backboard. He would’ve had to have shot a floater. That would’ve been tougher than putting it off the glass. He got caught in the air behind the basket. It would’ve been a tough shot for him.”

Johnson had a chance to perhaps ice the game in regulation, a game KU led by 14 with 6:50 left and eight points at 1:22.

He first hit two free throws to give KU a 76-71 lead with :21 left. After a Trey Burke bucket, Elijah missed the front end of a one-and-one at :12.6, Burke forcing overtime by hitting a three with 4.2 seconds to play.

“When I shot it, it felt good,” Johnson said of the final free throw. “When it left my hand, I felt it go to the side. I felt good sitting on the line.”

He committed three turnovers in four possessions as KU was squandering its lead down the stretch, one not getting the ball past midcourt in 10 seconds with KU up, 72-64.

“I love the kid,” Self said. “He had a rough game, a really poor decision to start the game (flagrant foul) that got him behind the 8-ball. We played through it. He made a couple bad, bad plays late. He also did some good things, too (hit a three that cut an 87-82 deficit to 87-85 with :45 left in OT). It’s one for him that will be tough to stomach. He’ll look back in time and reflect on what type of career he had, all those kids (seniors) had.”

Self pointed out the loss wasn’t all on Johnson. KU led by five late and failed to dive on a loose ball with a possession arrow in KU’s favor. Michigan scored on the possession.

“It was about five possessions we had a chance to get a stop or create a jump ball or anything,” Self said. “Ben muffed it (ball), they reached for it and were more aggressive. They were the more aggressive team then. And we had a chance to ice it from the free-throw line and didn’t do it. I’m not putting it on one player or one play. I could have done a much better job from the bench in that situation being up 12 late. We just didn’t get it done period. It will go down as one of the toughest games that we’ve been a part of and certainly I’ve been a part of.”

Of course, Michigan guard Burke (23 points, 10 assists) came through when it counted, tying the game with a step-back three that forced OT.

“The whole deal was don’t give up a three and we’re going to switch four,” Self said. “We switched and didn’t switch up. It was a hard shot. I wouldn’t have fouled with eight seconds left (when he started to go into his shot). Looking back now, I wish we would have, obviously. We let him come off naked and shoot it. It was from 27 to 30 feet, but still it was a great play by a big-time player.”

And so Michigan advances to Sunday’s Elite Eight game. KU’s season ends at 31-6.

Comments

HawkDownSouth 1 year ago

Seniors,

Great season. Ups and downs are part of the game and also a part of life. Focus on the good things and the relationships built along the journey these last 4 years as these cannot be taken away. It was a successful season knowing that you all took this team this far on heart with less raw talent than in the past. Good luck past your college careers and you will be greatly missed.

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Dale Stringer 1 year ago

This is what happens when you play not to lose instead of playing to win. What too many teams in all sports do this - football especially. You get a good lead and try to run the clock out instead of scoring more. We passed up two easy goals in the 2-3 min mark just to take time off the clock, then missed in the last 10 seconds of the possession.

I would like to see a breakdown of total points, % of points and make/attempt % on all of our possessions this year broken down into 5 second increments from the time we get the ball. 35-31, 30-26, etc. It seems to me we were better in the 20-16 sec timeframe.

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WindmillGIANT 1 year ago

Sure, Self is not perfect and the Michigan game wasn't a perfectly coached or played game. But just for perspective:

Mike Krzyzewski: in 37 seasons, the best active coach in basketball has NOT WON the championship 33 times. (5 years at Army, the rest at Duke)

Roy Williams - 25 years of coaching, has NOT WON the title 23 times. (All seasons at KU/UNC)

Jim Boeheim - 36 past years of coaching, has NOT WON the title 35 times. (All at Cuse)

Rick Pitino - 27 past years of coaching has NOT WON the title 26 times. (Had a few brief gigs at smaller programs before Kentucky)

Jim Calhoun - 40 years of coaching did NOT WIN title 37 times. (Coached 14 seasons at Northeastern before UConn)

Tom Izzo - 18 years of coaching has NOT WON title 17 times (all at Michigan state)

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Jack Wilson 1 year ago

I wonder if Wichita St. will play us in a home and home. I doubt it. I'm not sure it's to their benefit to do so. To play us, it has to help Wichita St. I don't understand what they're scared of?

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JD Roth 1 year ago

Great job Wheatshockers!! Should have been the last Big Ten team eliminated!!

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phog88 1 year ago

I'm watching the end of the Wichita St. / Ohio St. Game and talk about flops, they must preach this in the B1G. It also appears to me the refs are doing everything possible the help the $uckeyes.

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cjp22152 1 year ago

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

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cragarhawk 1 year ago

All I can say is WOW. EJ did you really want your legacy at KU to be all about hitting a guy in the nutbag?? Come on man. That will be the first thing people will remember about you. It honestly does very nearly negate all the great things you did here.

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Bill Shaw 1 year ago

Sooo, KU blows a lead in a game. Like that's never happened before? I knew it was to happen at some point during the game, I just didn't expect it at the end.

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Randy Bombardier 1 year ago

One more thing. I noticed toward the end of the game that Releford was being too unselfish. In there was anyone that I had confidence in to take the game in hand, it was him. Sure wish he had.

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Randy Bombardier 1 year ago

I wondered if we should have kept Withey down low via the use of a zone of some sort. We made some bad plays but overall we played a pretty solid game. If the game had ended 3 minutes earlier it would have reflected the way the game was going. Have to credit Michigan, though. They hung right with us. McGary was way more effective than I thought he would be. He is going to be a force when he is a senior. Heck, he was a force last night. All in all, the game reminded me of what Memphis must have felt in 2008. Now we know. What a kick in the groin.

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jayhawkonleftcoast 1 year ago

Robbk, I suggest you change allegiance to Kentucky, where fans have been known to poison the pets of players that don't do well, refuse service to their parents, send them dead squirrels via UPS, and slice their tires.

Judging by your use of sentence structure, I highly doubt that you are a college grad, certainly not from KU...and YOUR family tree may not have branches...

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Robbk1066 1 year ago

Anyone who defends EJ for last night is a lost cause so reply to me if you must, but you are a delete waiting to happen. Anyone who says we are a big family who love and worship our team, well we do up to the point where they embarass you, like he did last night. So our love and family for our team is not unconditional, we expect you to play with sporttmanship at a miniumum. Other than that ISU game, he hurt this team in games all year, non more so than last night. When you look at specifically why we lost, it was his play the last 2:22 mins of regulation. He missed the front end of a 1 on 1 that he kept the ball instead of passing so HE could take those freethrows. He made 3 costly TO's, each resulted in points for them. He had a chance to force a 2nd OT and passed. The blame is not a team one, the we are family line does not apply here, this guy was in it for himself, only himself. So if you have to make your other kumba Yai quotes go ahead but you dead wrong we lost last night we did not get beat. It was one guy EJ, he is gone we dont have to anguish about him anymore thank god but he is the reason we lost. Him alone.

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jayhawkinATL 1 year ago

Wonder if Rio is letting the world know he is no longer a Jayhawk???

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jayhawkonleftcoast 1 year ago

I am wondering about a majority of these posts. It is easy for us to be passionate about KU basketball – all we really have invested is what we see from our easy chairs, our seats in the Fieldhouse, or the time we take to read and write on here. Unless we have puked in every trash bin during a Bill Self boot camp, endured hundreds of Hudy sessions, hundreds more brutal Bill Self practices, we really have no clue of what Elijah Johnson has invested in Kansas basketball. The program lost a basketball game. He lost much more than that. Imagine...the rest of your life defined by your worst 2 ½ hours. Yes, a 22 year old kid messed up – a few times. It may even have cost us advancement of a tournament. We may be frustrated, hurt, and angry, but in the end, he is one of us. To leave him out of a list of seniors is not only wrong, it is downright mean.

The Jayhawk Nation has always prided itself on 'family'. 'Family' is unconditional -- never predicated on performance. If we truly are such, we will thank EJ for the puke in the trash cans, the pain of the Hudy sessions, support him in his future endeavors, and embrace him whenever and wherever we see him.

Bill Self has always been able to tell recruits that 'nowhere is a player more loved than at the University of Kansas'.

Judging by what I read here, I am not sure he can say that anymore.

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Robert Murphy 1 year ago

A word about EJ Johnson. No one in the history of Kansas basketball has given more than EJ. He came here with the right attitude and worked very hard to get better everyday. It showed in his play and by his junior year he became a real and established hero by helping the team to the final four.

Unfortunately, he was injured along the way and never fully recovered. This year it was obvious the knees have been a constant source of pain and this made his play more cautious and less effective. This problem was evident when near the end of the game a Michigan guard got around him because the knees wouldn't allow EJ to respond like he was able to do last year. He was also criticized by his coach this year in a very disrespectful manner, then went up to Iowa state and showed what his heart is made of.

I am not as disappointed in the loss as much as I am on what I read here. Empathy is what I feel for EJ, he gave his all and came up short. I have come up short more than once. Just because he destroyed the lives of millions of Jayhawks is no reason to be critical.

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KJD 1 year ago

An empty feeling of a kind I've never felt before watching a KU game started coming over me soon after Elijah's defensive rebound with 2:30 left in the game and KU up 10 points. Johnson, as Steve Kerr called it, probed the lane at a time you had no business going there–just pull up, burn 35 seconds of clock and let the feeling of losing set into the collective psyche of Michigan. Then to pass on calling one of your three remaining timeouts after picking up your dribble, getting trapped, choosing to throw the ball at and over Withey into Michigan's offensive side to give them a layup, to give them hope, to start the rally, was simply shocking. EJ immediately turns the ball over again by failing to show any urgency to cross half court in 10 seconds. Flabbergasted like no other KU game ever seen.

I don't know which was worse between the series of actions with 2:30 left or the groin grab. Both of them were terrible. The three fouls in the first half put pressure on his teammates and consumed valuable energy instead of playing KU's typical rotation to keep players fresh. Withey had dead legs at the end. KU could have, should have been up by more than 6 at half time even without Johnson because they were, again as Kerr pointed out, dominant in the first half.

With 2:30 to go Elijah threw the ball away and with it a good path to the win. He, all by himself, throwing all of the hard work that his teammates had put into the game, into the year, to get to that point of being up 10 with the ball and 2:30 left in the game, gave Michigan hope. I give a lot of credit to Michigan in cashing in on that hope. They still had to make plays and perhaps the play of the tournament by Burke sinking the 30 footer to force overtime.

I'm not mad Elijah. It simply left that empty, stunned bewilderment that I don't remember ever feeling, not like this, after a KU game. It makes me feel for all those folks in the KU locker room. It had me thinking of all the work that the entire program, including EJ, has put into winning this year and they did win: 31 games, Two Big XII championship trophies, another Sweet 16 appearance. This was a good year. This team had much success. EJ has been talking about how things go in one ear and out the other, go play the next play, and I end up feeling for the guy and the ghosts he will carry after this one because this stuff sticks. He has so much good, so many more positive accomplishments from his time at Kansas, to carry with him too. Many thanks for the fun this year KU!

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JayHok 1 year ago

Goodness 60 teams have had their hearts broken this year. We're not the only one. Two more will have their hearts broken today. Two tomorrow. Three next week. If anyone really wants to complain why wasn't the foul a Flagrant 2? EJ would have been ejected. Therefore Tharp would have been PG entire second half. Overall a great year for KU all things considered.

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Hank Cross 1 year ago

Something was very wrong about that game. EJ didn't have your 1/14 shooting night typical bad game. From the nutpunch to the 3 fouls in the first half. to the 10 second call, to the missed front end of the 1 and 1 that would've sealed the game, to the final ill-advised play - EJ was almost actively trying to defeat KU.

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CrystalJones 1 year ago

Look, we make regular appearances in the Final Four. We win conference championships. We're pretty damn good all of the time. We can't expect to win it all every time.

We should be grateful that we have such consistent excellence in basketball, because, frankly, if we didn't we wouldn't make much of a mark on the world of major college athletics. When you're a BCS-level school, you'd better be consistently competitive in football (we aren't) or extraordinarily good in basketball (we are). Kentucky, for example, is in the same position as KU...if not for basketball, no one would pay attention to them.

We should be grateful for the basketball program that we have.

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LngTimeFan 1 year ago

We have the best coach in the country. He didn't throw the ball away or cause a turnover, ole Mr Reliable, EJ did that at a critical time by going brain dead as he has throughout the last 2 years. His dirty play is pathetic. Withey worked his butt off and surely needed some rest along the way. Burke was outstanding when it counted and he is the real deal. The end of the game was similar to the way KState played in their last game. I hate the excuses posted about EJ isn't a point guard. Well bull, he had several years to learn the position so stop making excuses for his dumb play. Frankly, I am happy to see him go. Congrats to the team overall and the coaches for ANOTHER great year. Next year will be full of excitement and anticipation as we have a great incoming class. Lets stay behind them to RCJH!

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shufly 1 year ago

One of the best winning percentages for 10 years, nine league championships, one national championship and more than a hand full but less than a bushel of disappointments. It's great to be a hawk fan. Enjoyed every one of the last ten teams, looking forward to the next. EJ is just one of many players/stories and did well in his career. Bill Self has been excellent along with his staff. As a fan I have invested in the hawks but with no personal consequences. Time to man up, swallow the disappointment and celebrate the benefits of being a hawk fan. P.S. The sun came up this morning

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Steve Brown 1 year ago

How many days until late night?

rack 'em.

1

wildjayhawk 1 year ago

Longshot, I have saw the same thing you were talking about and yet that was my impression of their discussion. I just hate to see KU getting this type of publication. Self does need to get his act together with recruiting.

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Gil Ek 1 year ago

Thank you EJ, Jeff, Travis and Kevin. Another memorable year. A special team and group of guys. Realize this negativity isn't personal but human nature to a tough result. We ARE spoiled. Too bad we can't sit here, and feel what it is like to have a 18-18 record.

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longshot921 1 year ago

Have just watch ESPN experts on tv and they were not impressed with Kansas basketball at all. Self caught most of the blame for just complete poor coahing and game plan. Johnsons foul just made the whole team look pathetic. Majority of the experts said that KU really took a hit and its coming from the KU fan base and sports people in general. Extremely poor recruiting over the past few years have lead up to this failure and many of the experts have said they new this was coming. They said that KU now has s stigma of being a dirty team and that Johnson would have been bench if on a different team. They said that Self needs to apologize to nation for Johnson and his own action for playing him Gang, I am afraid that KU's reputation has been tarnished badly. .

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Beate Williams 1 year ago

Those of you who are on here calling EJ thug etc., get a life. All you refer to is the dunk at the end of the Iowa State game and this alleged "intentional" blow to the genitalia and therefore he is a thug and some want to throw the Morri in also, what is this?

I still do not believe it was intentional and I have looked at it at least 15 times, though I can understand how some of you might think it intentional; an interesting bit to watch is the reaction of McGary after he gets up and realizes the refs are paying attention. I have been hit below the belt and I was not in a position to walk so upright in such a short time frame. I consider it a flop, he got the attention he wanted because he was hit in the area but either he has super recuperative genes or it was a flop and based on his actions shortly thereafter I consider it a flop.

The kid did nothing like this, nor before last night has anyone ever suggested he was a dirty player, why now. Because you are frustrated. You are only a fan, those kids put their lives into those games and deserve better. A great year, from a great bunch of kids. Good luck to all of you in the future and I look forward to an even better year next year. RCJHGKU

1

dick_hawk 1 year ago

KU has a tremendous fan base...they spend their leisure time and a lot of money following the team. They enable and pay for Bill Self's huge salary...without the fan base and year around interest from fans,media, etc...this program would stink. You can't put a monetary value on the fan base at KU except to say,,,it is worth it's weight in gold.

The bars were full of fans last night and every night KU plays. The fans EXPECT to win,..not hope to win...EXPECT to win. Everyone knows when a team gets beat by a better team, like last year...Kentucky was CLEARLY the better team in last years loss in the finals. The loss last night was pathetic...it was on SELF. KU got beat by an equal or lesser team in value and talent.

Self needs to apologize to the fan base...he needs to show some humility and appreciation to the fan base and apologize. He needs a point guard, he needs to explain why he made a goat out of Johnson and put him in a position he couldn't play...all season long. Self needs to man up and shoulder the blame...instead of a young man like Johnson...Man up Self!!

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Robert Murphy 1 year ago

Terrible loss. Sorry for all the players. No one knows how much work went into this great basketball team. By the end of the season I feel they had the ability to win it all, but they fell short. So sad.

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machinegun 1 year ago

Usually I defend Elijah but not this time. His cheap shot lost us the game as well as the respect of fans across the country. But it will be the missed free throw at the end of regulation that he will remember the most because it also cost us the game. What an utter disappointment. The leader of our team must be held accountable for his actions. Elijah must be held to a higher standard.

Having said that, I really enjoyed having him on our team and Elijah did many great things during his time at KU. We will always remember his great game at Iowa State. He played a huge role in all of those consecutive Big 12 championships. Thanks Elijah! Best wishes in the future.

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eway12 1 year ago

Another good season. Too bad it ended with a cheap shot and a blown lead. Tell me at the beginning of the season we share the big 12 title, win the conference tournament and lose in overtime of the sweet sixteen to a top 10 team and I say "sounds like a pretty good season for this team". Next year... It'll be a different looking self team to have a true point guard running the show as opposed to combo guards. I'm really looking forward to seeing Perry and Jamari play together for extended periods. Obviously we'll be smaller without Withey, but Jamari has also demonstrated he can guard the rim fairly well, just not with the intimidating presence Withey has. I'm hopeful for Embiid, but not expecting much his freshman year, he'll need a year or two with Hudy before he becomes a rebounding shot blocking machine. I'm expecting White III to come out firing and am hoping that Selden will provide slashing from the wing that never quite materialized from Elijah, Selby and Henry. It'd be nice to have the ability both for penetration from the point with Naadir and slashing from the wing with Selden. From there, it will all depend on whether the young guards (White III, Frankamp, Greene) can knock down the jumpers on the collapse.

Well done, Jayhawks. Next season can't come soon enough. HCBS, teach the boys that cheap shots don't get you anywhere.

1

Brodieman1982 1 year ago

I'm sad that this game is what people will remember from Elijah and forget about his 39 points. He doesn't have a big game against Iowa State, KU doesn't win 9 straight, KU is not a number 1 seed. They probably play Florida Gulf Coast in the first game and lose. Then Mizzou and K-State fans walk around with FGCU shirts. I was frustrated with Elijah last night, but he has done some great things with this team. I wish him well and hope he doesn't take this loss too hard.

1

clgtiger 1 year ago

It's a lot harder for KU to win games down the stretch without Big 12 officials :)

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Jay Dogger 1 year ago

As bad as we fans feel, I'm sure EJ, Self & Co, the Seniors and the rest of the team feel much worse. For those of you angry, at least you know that they're in pain. For those just sad, there are others much sadder.

I'm a Chiefs fan and they bring me little pain because they're never really that close to glory (although the name Len Elliot still pains me). It sorts of like the old saying, "It's better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all." I love the team, but hate the endings. Blowing a huge lead doens't help. At the the three-minute mark I was more worried about Western Kentucky!

Time to get back to reality...

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bennybob 1 year ago

Wow, after all the flack I've taken on this forum anytime i dared to question Self or critique his performance in anyway its strange to see all the same people that use to attack me pull a complete 180 on the guy after one game.

O well, at least it gives me hope that there are some honest objective fans left in our fan base. Most of it is full of kool-aid drinking, basketball ignorant, fan boys.

Welcome to all of you who just realized the man isn't god, he makes mistakes just like the rest of us.

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wildjayhawk 1 year ago

Pretty much an embarrassment again with a bill self team. 2010, 2011, and 2013 Ku a number 1 seed not making it to the final four. Up 14 points with 6 mins to go and a foolish play at the end of the game. This all tells us that KU's players are not as good as presented and there is a big problem with the head coach. McLenmore, and Selby both over rated players and good players that are not developed properly by the head coach, that the head coach is not doing his job. Releford a 5th year senior, Withey a tall blocker, and Young only good, Johnson to much time behind Morningstar, all this spells disaster when not being properly guided to become good players. A taller team with 4 seniors just couldn't get it done, just a sad display.This team had problems from the start and everone could see it. bill says we don't have a point guard, well how come bill? Ku is behind the times of big time basketball and like everyone says it's on bill self. Many of the sports people after the game have said, this will weight heavy on bill self for a long time and the KU fans will have to evaluate which direction this program needs to go. This ranks up there with Bradley, Bucknell, Northen Iowa, and VCU, which tells us KU is not ready to play top teams consistently. Sad isn't. It is no wonder why Randle went to Kentucky, Wiggins looks to be headed there also. What about the twins, can't recall their names, going to kentucky, not even giving KU a look. Back a couple of years ago the experts were saying about KU in the recruiting, WHERE IS KU, well now we see the results of where is KU in recruiting, now it hurts. Well, we have Wichita State to carry the banner as KU and KST couldn't do. Now there is a coach and team, wonder why KU doesn't want to play Wichita ST. Lets get real and get this turned around and now.

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JayHok 1 year ago

What would you rather take. A first round loss in the NIT to Robert Morris or an overtime fourth round loss in the NCAA to Michigan. 67 teams go home sad. One happy. What is too bad is the seniors. They wanted it bad and they had it in the bag. They wanted to bring our program and fans a championship. Poured all their hearts into it.

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PhearThePhog 1 year ago

IF THE THERE'S ANYBODY WHO IS A DISGRACE TO KANSAS UNIVERSITY AND THE JAYHAWK BASKETBALL PROGRAM IT IS SOME OF THE POSTERS ON THIS BLOG. Calling for Bill Self's firing & EJ never setting foot on campus!!! You gotta be kidding. You all are idiots! Sure I'm disappointed BUT take a look at the full body of work not just one game or even one year. The Jayhawks are THE BEST basketball program and Self is arguably THE BEST NCAA coach in America and you all sound like we are Kentucky/Calipari or Mizzou/Haith fans. Come on ... Pull it together and start looking forward to next year without tearing apart our own. ROCK CHALK!!!!!!

1

HawksandShox 1 year ago

And then depression set in :)

Had to comment after reading all the posts for therapy. Agree with pretty much all of it. EJ cost us the game. It certainly was not Self's finest hour either.

That said....

I'm looking forward to next year, can't tell you how excited I am to watch all the recruits especially Connor Frankamp, you are going to LOVE this guy,

I do feel bad for EJ. I think ultimately the recruiting void of missing on point guards forced him to have to play at a position he was not best suited for. I'm not sure why Self seems to be so against recruiting a JUCO player to fill a void when we swing and miss on the high profile point guards.

Regardless it has to be tough for any player to have a very poor game in their last college game. EJ seems to be a good kid and I think he loves KU. I am as angry and disappointed as all of you on here but I'm sure the players to a man all feel the same way.

Thanks for a great year coach Self and all the players. Loved watching Withey develop and grow, going to miss Young's smile and his fro. Releford what can you say about him. To me he epitomizes everything good about Kansas basketball, would love to see him get into coaching and be the Kansas coach someday. EJ thanks for picking Kansas and wish you the best.

Rock Chalk to everyone on here, next year will be a treat.

2

Marilyn Robertson 1 year ago

EJ's foul was bad--but did anyone else also think the Michigan player was a good actor? I do wish EJ had stayed on the bench for the second half. The team played so well the first half and they had a really good start on the game.

0

dick_hawk 1 year ago

This one's on SELF!!

Johnson is Johnson...he was Johnson all season long...everyone knew he was Johnson except SELF.

Embarrassing loss with a loser like Johnson on the court. Five turnovers...four late in the game...no assists...flagrant foul...

This one's on SELF!!

1

Greg Lux 1 year ago

EJ you didn't loose the game for us, but you didn't win it either. Lying about the cheap shot is just plain stupid. The tape shows you are walking with an open hand and you close to a fist and punch the guy in the jewels. For Gods sake be a man and say I did it. If you had not made a fist I could buy your denial, but making a fist is for hitting and you did it. Own up and be a MAN. Hind site is always 20-20 but if we foul in the last seconds of the game we would still be playing I am guessing. Remember 2008 when Menphes didn't and Mario made the three to go to overtime? You would think we would have learned something from that. Burk had hit 2 long 3's right before the last one. Foul someone, but its too late now. Sadly

Great season Great fun watching Next year is to far away but I love watch our Jayhawks. Rock Chalk

1

BWH_KU_1980 1 year ago

Not coming on to dissect the game. I think every Jayhawk fan is disappointed but it can't compare to what our players feel !

Before we all go off to worry about the football season and basketball recruiting I just want to give my heartfelt Thanks to our players and coaches for an awesome season. Expectations for a team picked 2nd or 3rd in the Big 12 were exceeded. Everyone played hard and literally left all out on the floor.

All the best to the Seniors and Ben. To the rest, I look forward to cheering you on next year.

Proud to be a Jayhawk, BWH

0

Woody Cragg 1 year ago

Poor coaching decisions cost game opportunities all the time- #1) not using TO's (KSU), #2)not fouling when up 3 (08 NC), #3) depending on a player when his head is not in the game, and the last of which was the kicker. Tharpe played really well when he got the emergency call. IMO Johnson should have only been on the floor to give him a blow when required after the half, unless Nadir just fell apart. Bonehead is an inadequately politically correct descriptive word to paint this bleak portrait. This will take time to digest & fully evacuate.

0

Steve Brown 1 year ago

Same fan base that ran off Wilt after tough overtime loss to UNC in '57.

I love it that it hurts....

1

Konkis Dongington III 1 year ago

If you'd asked me 3 years ago who would be a better PG at the end of his career Tyshawn Taylor or Elijah Johnson, I would have put my money on EJ without hesitation. Somehow, someway, though, he never managed to get there. He just never developed the BBIQ. Tyshawn never fully did either, but he was so quick, so long, so athletic, that he could just go do crazy stuff like you'd never seen. EJ seemed to really want to be TT. He wasn't. He was bigger. He was stronger. He could bounce. But he was slower and he didn't know how to draw a foul for the life of him.

The unfortunate thing about EJ's career though is how thoroughly he blew his opportunities and marred his legacy. Coming into the year, he was projected as an early 2nd round pick. By mid-season, he disappeared from every major draft board. He did manage to get this team to a 31 season, but his play cost us a number of games, including this one. He sometimes showed the sort of swagger that Self likes to see in his players, swagger that no one else on this team had (Ben's a hell of a player, but not a real swagger guy), but then he goes and puts a cheap shot on McGary for no reason whatsoever! That was the kind of stupid stuff that the Morris twins would pull. Completely immature and reflects poorly on Self and program, as well as EJ himself. Commentators would often talk about how enigmatic and mercurial Tyshawn was. He has nothing on EJ in that department. By his junior season, TT always seemed to at least have his head in the game. He would try and make plays that you just never should, but as a leader and as a PG, he at least always looked plugged in and never let himself get caught up on something stupid like a 10 second violation. EJ... You just had to kind of wonder what it was that he saw when everyone else on the court and in the audience saw something else. He could lose the man standing in front of him at times.

There are no easy answers. It's just a sad state and a terrible way to have lost a game. I know we've done this to plenty of teams over the years (ISU twice this year), but man, it hurts to be on the other side.

2

kckuguy 1 year ago

Congratulations on a good year and thank you for being loyal team players Jeff, Travis, Kevin and Ben. You are all classic young men with bright futures. Continue to be team players and stay humble. You can only control your own actions. All 4 of you are true Jayhawks and we fans were blessed to have you on our team. The only way this season could end now without a sour taste in all of our mouths would be if you were to stay one more year Ben. That probably is selfish on my part and right now being selfish kind of rubs me the wrong way, just do what is best for you.

0

levonrealms 1 year ago

To Everyone who is taking time out of their Awesome lives to send negative vibes towards Elijah Johnson, perhaps take a minute and think about how horrible of a person you are. Elijah loved this team as much as anyone. He's not paid. You're spoiled by the great teams we have year after year. There was some very questionable coaching at times last night, but get over it.

2

tis4tim 1 year ago

Yes, you win as a team and you lose as a team but, when the chain breaks, it's generally pretty easy to identify the guilty link.

0

sdku 1 year ago

Every experiment, by multitudes or by individuals, that has a sensual and selfish aim, will fail.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

EJ, the low blow you gave McGary truly hurt the team and the fans a lot more in the end. It was a selfish thing.

0

Beate Williams 1 year ago

I'm as frustrated as every KU fan but I am not a hater of any KU player who has given his all for the crimson and blue. You think you are frustrated, angry, pissed, etc., etc., because of the outcome of the game and because of a couple of bonehead plays, think how the team, especially EJ feels about what happened late.

I think the players (all of them) could have done more, I think the coaches could have done more, and I think the refs could have done less. EJ has been with the program for 4 good years, in the four years he has never been accused of being a dirty player, so with all the world watching he decides to become a real cheap shot artist in the opening minutes of a big game...give me a break. If any of you have ever played basketball you know you don't run with your hands in the air and you also know that when you set a screen you protect the family jewels. EJ was trying to get around a screen and with an open hand hit a taller player in the groin who then fell to his knees after the play had advanced. By the way I can't count the number of times I have seen players get hurt, unintentional as the ref said this was, but play continue and no foul called, e.g., Withey's black eye, elbow over the shoulder. I have had the unfortunate opportunity to have been hit in the jewels and I tell you I was not ready to get up and shoot free throws in a matter of minutes, and not a lot of minutes.

I was totally in shock when Robinson's shot was short, hit the rim and we stood around and let the MU player get the ball and score. We had an opportunity to get the ball with just a little bit of aggressiveness, at a minimum we could have gotten a tie up and had possession. And if you watch the game again you will notice there were several occassions when we were quite lackadaisical in our approach to going after lose balls, I say this to say it was a team loss and not all on EJ, though he did make some bone head plays toward the end of the game. The two free throws he made should have wrapped up the game but poor decisions by the coaching staff took care of that. Again, my point is, it was a team loss, a most hurtful team loss, but a team loss and not a loss solely on the back of EJ. The kid bleeds crimson and blue and gave his heart to KU and for some "fans" to reject him in such a fashion, in my opinion is about as low as you can go, yes, even lower than the unintentional hit in the jewels. The 10 second count was rushed, in addition Burke fouled him at least three times in the exchange and the ref was right in front of it and all he could do was move his arm back and forth as rapidly as possible to get the 10 second call. Not to mention the take down during Burke's 3 point shot that sent it into OT. The "team" could have done more to protect this win and the refs could have done a lot more or less, depending on what situation you want to review.

1

Jack Wilson 1 year ago

4] No real plan at the end of overtime: We read the quote .. give it to EJ and let him get the the basket. Sorry, that isn't coaching. It's a cop out. With nearly 10 seconds, you have time to run a play. It is an eternity. Something. Anything. I could draw you up 5 plays with options right now. Of all the errors, this is the one that irks me most. It's easy. Have a notebook with plays for all situations. Go to your notebook. In 2008, we had 10.8 seconds and got a shot off just under 3 ... Collins got the ball, stalled for a bit before starting his dribble the length of the court. And at a timeout (created by review) we can't do anything. Pitiful. About the last 10 seconds of overtime, Self said of EJ's effort -- "That was poor execution,” Self added. “Obviously we didn’t do a very good job on the last possession.” No coach. It was poor coaching.

5] Giving the ball to EJ: Self gives the ball to the guy who literally collapsed under pressure. Puts the entire season on the line with him. Just gives him the ball. Really?

After this game, we go some mixed messages from Self .. he was blaming "execution" on EJ failed drive to the basket and other efforts of the players.

However, Self said "I could have done a much better job from the bench in that situation being up 12 late."

Personally, I hope Self looks back and turns his focus away from what the players did to what he could have done better. That's the item he can control most during a game. He did an excellent job with this team. No denying that. But last night, there were some key failures. And if he would have done his job a bit better last night, chances are we're playing Florida Sunday. Just go back and objectively scrutinize his decisions and actions.

Just my opinion.

2

Jack Wilson 1 year ago

Ok .. I watched the last 3 minutes again. My blood is boiling more now, thinking about how our coach failed us in critical situations. For those of you who defend coach Self regardless, I get it. I wouldn't trade him for another coach. But that doesn't mean we can't critique his efforts. And some of this stuff is just ridiculous. And I'm not expecting him to do more than the local high school coach, by the way:

1] Timeout. BigManU is spot on. Self had the ability to call a timeout to save the backcourt violation and froze. Didn't do it. We see coaches do that outside of crunch time. Huge, huge error by Self. This is really something a high school coach does regularly.

2] Fouling Burke. Clearly our guys had not been told to foul. Why permit a shot? Just go foul. No one was looking or trying to foul. They came down an matched up man to man. Granted, Burke made a herculean shot. But so did Chalmers. And so have many others. You remove that possibility. Self said "I wouldn’t have fouled with eight seconds left (when he started to go into his shot). Looking back now, I wish we would have, obviously." Sorry, coach. He started his shot with 6.4 seconds. Further, the writer of this story added the stuff in parenthesis. Eight seconds was not "when he started his shot." Much different. But very importantly, it was clear we weren't looking to foul. KY was the guy Burke shot over after the switch. Does he look like a guy with instructions to foul? Notice Self's quote ... Self didn't mention that he had actually asked them to foul at any certain point, and no player has said that. It was obvious that wasn't the plan. Self's plan .. guard the perimeter. Gambling on a better outcome with fewer seconds on the clock is the better option. He blew it.

3] No real plan at the end of regulation: At end of regulation, we had no real plan. Even with at timeout. At the end of regulation, we threw it to Tharpe and let him dribble from 3/4 court. Really? No play? On the 25 anniversary of Laettner's shot, we can't figure a way to get a pass to half court? Or after Tharpe receives it for a pass up court? This with 4.2 seconds. Not a lot of time, but enough time if you have a plan, and contingency plans. This one isn't my biggest gripe, though. There is risk with a tie game.

(continued)

3

davehawkSWK 1 year ago

31 WINS 4 YEARS STRAIGHT!! We lost because of numerous reasons so we cannot blame Coach Self or any individual player. EJ did not do us any service with some of his plays/actions. Withey never showed up as he looked lethargic from the very start. He let the Michigan player post him out and he did not chase down loose balls or fight for rebounds. The turning point in the game was when Burke was allowed to shoot at will from outside of the arc. Give the KU guards credit though, as many of those open shots were the result of moving screens and illegal screens to free Burke. The game should not have gone into overtime because Burke's shot came AFTER a foul on EJ when he was pulled down to the court. This happened right in fron of an official. His view was in the air looking at the ball, not on the players in his area. The camera action showed the replay from an angle which clearly showed EJ being pulled by his jersey. This view was only shown one time and all other replays were from just the one angle cross-court to show the shot.

I agree with the posts that this was a poorly called game. EJ, on replay, had the ball dribbled over the half-court line as the 10 seconds ended. Once the ball is on the floor in the front court, the time count ends. This did not happen. If the trail official had counted the many times that EJ was pushed, held, of illegally blocked bringing the ball up, the count would have been moot.

I cannot say one way or the other if EJ intentionally hit McGary. It looks like he was moving to quickly get around the screen. There is no inflection on EJ's face to show that he was going after McGary. I can say that our dominate center was dominated by the Freshman, 25 points/14 boards. Jeff picked a bad time to not show up!

I still love the Hawks and follow them in all sports. I was not ready for this ride to end as I still feel we have a great team. Again, there were many different reasons we lost the game. Don't put this loss on one player who is Jayhawk at heart and has done some great things for Hawks basketball. I look forward to next year and another 30 win season! There are thousands of basketball fans from other colleges that would love to be able to have this pedigree. RCJH

1

Davoud Maha 1 year ago

Let's see now:

  • We have won 9 straight Big12 Companionship.
  • 6 out of 7 years in Sweet 16.
  • Another Big 12 Tournament championship.
  • 31+ wins.
  • Won NCAA championship 5 years ago.
  • Went to finals last year and sweet 16 this year when Kentucky did not even make it to NCAA

What a horrible resume! I just can not believe it. So let's fire Self. Screw all the player especially EJ when we know he was part of that success.

You guys are not fans. Fans watch out for the team no matter what. You have unrealistic expectations. You want KU to play in the finals every year. Well. Let me tell you right now. It is not going to happen. Wake up and smell the coffee.

Coach Self, Thanks for being one of the greatest coaches ever. Thanks to all your present and past players and coaching staff for making KU a name like no other.

5

Steve Yeakel 1 year ago

I love you seniors and Ben, you were fantastic! And Bill you are the greatest coach of all time and I never want you to leave, ever, and please take this with my utmost love and respect, and please learn from your mistake to become even better - this season was ruined because you made a very serious mistake thinking that EJ could be a dependable PG, I think he proved to even you last night that he cannot. Not his fault, he is a great 2 guard,he and us would all be much happier this morning if you had made him 6th man after the mid season meltdown and put it in Naadir's hands. Rock Chalk.

2

Ethan Berger 1 year ago

EJ plays hurt us but they did not kill us.

After their miss and we had the rebound, but it slipped out of our hands. We tried to pick it up instead of jumping on it. We get the ball, possession. Game over. Instead they get it and score two.

The Burke 30 ft shot. I have watched basketball my whole life. The one thing I know, is not matter how hot a guy is, that is the shot you want him to take. He drained it.

Ya'll can bash EJ but the only issue I found with Bills strategy was leaving KY in instead of Perry. When that lead got under 10. Perry should have gone in just because of his offensive production. Outside that, I don't blame him for keeping EJ in. How many times have we seen Naddir get caught up in a trap? Or Rel? Or even Adams? EJ is our only true trap buster, and he kept busting them yesterday. This loss is on EJ and then our other guys for not being aggressive. But first and foremost this loss is on Trey Burke.

0

Tony Bandle 1 year ago

Anger, Angst, Depression, Outrage...all those things visited me all night. I woke up this morning, my dogs still like me, my wife still loves me and it's another day.

68 teams start this marathon and 67 go home pissed.

Sure, to lose like we did hurts extra hard but if you step back, this has been an amazing season for a team with no true experienced point guard, basically a seven man rotation that shrinks to six as the game goes along, only one senior who will play in the NBA and a freshman capable of amazing acts..both good and bad.

Everybody please take a deep breeath, step back from the ledge and show a little perspective. My Sept. prediction was 29-8 and we hit 31-6, get to the Sweet Sixteen, win our 9th and have some thrills and chills.

Check,check,check and check.

ROCKCHALKJAYHAWKGOKUIN'13-'14!!!!!!

2

Ryan Zimmerman 1 year ago

Here's an idea... put the ball in McLemore's hands? You know, the top scorer and potential top 3 NBA pick? The guy with the sweetest shot and finesse in the conference? Yeah... THAT guy

0

bennybob 1 year ago

More evidence:

Talent > Experience

Sweet 16 and 31 wins. After a final 4 run with the two least talented teams Self has had in his time at KU is pretty impressive.

Self's got an amazing recruiting class coming in, if he can bring in 2-3 more studs in the '14 class, the cupboards gonna be full again and he'll have the talent and depth needed to start putting legit national title contenders back on the court in March.

Next year is going to be rough, these freshman are going to have to learn fast if they want to win the conference for a 10th time.

2

Ron Franklin 1 year ago

Just google "jayhawk cheap shot" and see how many publications are writing about us, and not for good measure.

1

ferdthemooncat 1 year ago

Raise a glass and toast another 30-win team, one that went much farther than most thought they would at the beginning. Can't wait for October.

This tournament is not designed to determine the best college basketball team, or even the best one in March-April. It's the media's basketball version of Survivor, the Great Race, Trump's silly show or America's Got Talent, just another weepy semi-reality show with 20-year old athletes starring as the media's spring ratings foils. If the NCAA really wanted to determine the best team, they'd make it double-elimination or a format similar to their baseball tournament in which the best teams' statistical tendencies would have the best chance of rising to the top in competition. When you win this lottery, it's great, but for the 67 that don't, it wreaks havoc on good people, much like this column and its comments are doing on EJ. Get a life!

3

hotrodm 1 year ago

Why didn't Self have the guys foul near halfcourt? Bonehead decision from Coach Self. EJ and Self both cost KU the game. I hope Coach Self learns from not fouling when up by three with a few seconds left.

0

jayhawkeratheart 1 year ago

Wake up fans in B ball time, our team is ready to go With 5 long months and lots of practice, we’ll surely make the show It’s 2012 and 2013, the road is long and hard But we can rest assured that Bills on top, and has chosen the right point guard We’ve won a lot, and lost a few, the phog continues to flow, But while playing the sweet sixteen, some how, we forgot to show We hit em in the nuts, we played with guts, we scored and led the game But in the end, our sloppy play, was just enough to send, The winning team, and it wasn’t the hawks, went on to play again While all the fans had nothing to do but write stupid articles and grin Our faces are sad now, the season has ended, and we are all still breathing, So it’s time to move on to the future ball team, and watch as the youngsters start teething, For Bill’s got his work , and coaching don’t stop, decisions are made all the time Who’s next to step up, and show us their game, so we can toss them out in the prime It takes guts, and strength to weather a storm, shoulders so big and broad, But let’s not forget that youngsters these are, and all have roads yet to trod.

0

mariofan11 1 year ago

Thank you Elijah Johnson for completely blowing this game for us and dashing any hopes we had at a Final Four. Those turnovers you had toward the end of the game were ridiculous as you was bricking the one and one. I am glad you will NEVER play another game for KU and also thankful you won't ever hit another player in the junk on purpose and disgrace the University. See ya loser!

1

hotrodm 1 year ago

EJ did not hit McGary with a closed fist. Look at the replay. EJ's hand swung into McGary after contact, but he did not hit him with a fist. EJ was fighting to get through the screen and contact was made. Was the contact to the groin intentional? Only EJ knows.

0

REHawk 1 year ago

I know, I know, it's the national spotlight; and one of a handful of premiere sporting celebrations on the world stage. But how in all holy hell was Michigan able to bamboozle the very best of all certified officialdom and hordes of ecstatic viewers by starting and ending this contest with six players on the floor? And two point guards? Something downright fishy beneath that big dome down in Arlington....

0

southwindjay 1 year ago

EJ might as well been wearing a Michigan jersey

0

Yonatan Negash 1 year ago

What the hell is the wrong with you people?? You lose a game and you turn on your coach and players. For Gods sake, you should be grateful this team went as far as they did. You know as well as I do, Kansas had no business being seeded #1 this year, or winning 31 games. Anyone with half a brain knows Bill Self coached he's tails off to get every bit of effort from each player. I'd also like to point out, from a Kansas standards, this was one of the weakest teams we have had in a long while.

As of all this bad talk about EJ, last I checked, basketball is a team sport, we win as one team and we lose as one. I refuse to point out one player as being responsible for this game. I can also point out that Michigan played their ass off to beat us. It took one of the greatest games on behalf of Michigan to beat us. If anyone had told me prior to the game, that Mitch McGary would end up scoring 25 points and 14 rebounds against our defense, I would have said there is no way. But that's what it took to beat us.

I understand this loss to Michigan is tough to swallow but I suggest you start reflecting on the 31 wins this team managed to accomplish, the brilliance of coach Bill Self, celebrate the future of couple great player headed to the NBA and look forward to five new comers that will bring us many more wins. In no way shape of form, should the game against Michigan define us. Get over it people, stop all the whining and move on.

2

fljayhawk 1 year ago

SELF has to take part of the blame for not telling the team to foul on Michigan's last possession. He pulled a 'Calipari' blunder!!!!!!!

calipari

0

kanhawk 1 year ago

If Elijah Johnson isn't the worst KU point guard in the last 25 years or more, maybe someone could point out a worse one. The best thing about the end of this season I I won't have to watch him play again. KU was as good as they were this season in spite of him, not because of him. Absolutely horrendous player who should have been bench but because of Bill Self's weird loyalty to him, he brought down the team at the end.

1

thjhawk 1 year ago

Oh what could have been. McLemore out of his slump, naysayers eating crow, this is as painful a loss as any, it shouldn't have happened. I guess it's "go Shockers time". This sucks big time.

0

floridajayhawks 1 year ago

Wow, a bunch of "true fans" on here today. We have a top 5 coach and people want to bash him. I got news for you people, Coach Self didn't lose this game. The game plan worked, the players just didn't execute the plan in the final 3 minutes. This one is on the players, but can't wait until next year. I do agree about EJ though he should have been ejected. He followed in TT's foot steps, those two have frustrated me the last two years or more.

2

Rjanowski 1 year ago

This is 100% on Elijah, from that embarassing play at the beginning to passing up a layup at the end (and the stupid pass and the mindless 10 second violation), the only thing I am please about is that he won't be in a KU uniform ever again.

1

Chris Shaw 1 year ago

Mario Chalmer's #15-Sits in the rafters.

Elijah Johnson's #15-Lost in the basement.

2

fljayhawk 1 year ago

SELF blew it! He didn't learn anything from 'Calipari's goof that gave us the '08' crown. I didn't know that KU added a Major in Stupidity degree, EJ came out in the top of his class with that one!!!

0

KansasComet 1 year ago

31-6! Thanks for another great season. EJ, you're my guy and I appreciate the four years you put in at KU. When I think of you, I will think of the young man from Gary, Indiana that made something out of himself, and will be a graduate of the University of Kansas. Thanks for all the clutch shots during last years tourney run. I will always remember your 39 point game and the fact that you swished a three point shot, that was your last shot in a Kansas Uniform. Elijah Johnson, your good moments far outweigh your bad. You are one of my favorite players, and I enjoyed watching you play the game of basketball.

1

WindmillGIANT 1 year ago

When you cheer for a blue blood, only the very rarest of seasons don't end in disappointment. Even when we expect to have a down year, the players and Coach Self produce a team that resets our expectations so that by the end of the year we once again expect a national championship and forget the modest expectations we began with. I'm not a "real fans don't criticize" kind of fan and though disappointed, after calming down, I realize that this game hurts, but our loss wasn't some historic colossal collapse, this stuff happens every year, more than once, in the tournament. I will look at KU's tournament history and recognize that Self has produced the best 10 year run in KU basketball history and be glad that reactionary fans don't actually have a say in how our program is ran.

5

midwest_muser 1 year ago

at least there are no Jaybate comments..... something is positive

0

MichealJayHox 1 year ago

Agree with JD...this one does hurt. It would be different if they outplayed us the whole game, but that simply was not the case. We got outplayed for about 5 minutes. Unfortunately, it was the last five minutes of the game.

1

Chris Shaw 1 year ago

How come nobody is talking about the "Extra Timeout" Bill Self and his Kansas staff had in their back pocket at the end of regulation?

We can pointt to EJ and his 3 turnovers in the last 3:29 of the game, but why isn't Bill Self bailing out his PG when he's struggling to get the ball to half court while in the backcourt after 8 seconds? Every possession counts!

I think that's the part that ticks me off the most. We all know that situationally with EJ at point guard he was missing something all year. Not just this game, but the entire year EJ struggled with Time management, late game situations, understanding the shot clock...basically understanding the basic most fundamental things there are about being a PG.

I am baffled at how Bill Self and his staff with their cliboards and statistics right in front of them do not know that Kansas has 3 remaining timeouts left when that 10 second violatio occurred. 3 freaking timeouts, a 10 second violoation that could have been avoided, and an EJ turnover that could have been avoided had only our coaching staff been aware to bail out EJ and call a timeout.

Mindboggling those guys get paid what they do to have a timeout in their backpocket that they could have used...compile that by not fouling at the end of the game to prevent a 3...Wow just Wow!!!! I mean, we all know how Kansas won the 2008 Championship. I mean, we all saw John Calipari talk about his biggest mistake in the media. I mean, we all witnessed Fred Hoiberg and and Iowa State not foul and force OT on miraculous 3 by Ben McLemore. Karma is a freaking..... When are coaches going to wake up?

It's not all on EJ, but I put a lot of ownership on Bill Self and his Kansas staff as well as EJ. There is a big part of me that wishes Withey and Relly were a part of different class. Shame for those guys. Worst loss I can remember and I've been through some doozies over the 30 years.

7

Jay Dogger 1 year ago

This one hurts.

This is why I prefer a 10-point loss to a two-point loss.

This feels like being on the other side.

Rock Chalk, team. Rock Chalk, Seniors.

0

akgjenkintown 1 year ago

Self is a great coach, but this horrible ending to another disappointing season is squarely on him. Last year he stuck with Taylor through thick and thin and somehow made it to the championship game (with Teahan in the line up). This year he road EJ and anyone who has two eyes and any sense of basketball knew EJ was over his head. EJ would not start, let alone be the point guard, for any of the remaining teams in the tournament. He does not have the physical and mental abilities to lead a team. For the most part, Self recruits well, but there are always a glaring hole in the starting 5. This year it was the point guard. How do you lose that game? Poor ball handling and terrible court awareness and that starts with the point guard who is suppose to be the extension of the coach on the court.

For all of those who think this was a great season, it was not! Only one team will have a great season and it will not be KU yet again. You can't continue to brag about being a blue blood program unless you win national championships. How can KU have only 3 NC's (since the tournament started) and be the second winningest program? Next year is a true rebuilding year given Self has few quality veterans to rely on. So Jayhawk nation be prepared for another early exit, if they even get that far.

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Hoosierhawkfan 1 year ago

A nut shot to an opponent, three early fouls, a 10 second violation, zero assists, and a last second throwaway, just to highlight a few things. Something smells. Something really stinks. Have enjoyed the game and all of you who speak out here. See you next year!!

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KULA 1 year ago

Bill knew at the end of last year that he whiffed on recruiting a point guard. As a coach, he should have seen that Naadir was gonna be his best option at point and spent the year developing him and getting him ready for the tournament and had EJ play mainly the 2 instead of muddling through with EJ out of position and hoping for the best.

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Michael Sillman 1 year ago

This team performed way beyond my expectations at the beginning of the year and I want to thank them for the great run. However, I am more than ready for a new group to come in.

I feel that Johnson's year was screwed up by being kept at the point. He lacked the ball handling skills and the proper basketball savy to run a team. When you put a player in the wrong spot, you are setting him up for failure.

Self is an incredible coach as demonstrated by his average of 30 wins per year but he can be very stubborn particularly in regard to seniors. I wish that Self would have used the early part of the season to get both Tharpe and Adams acclimated as point guards. Leave Johnson at the off guard and alternate him with Releford and McLemore.

Here's to an exciting looking team for next year. It sure looks like we'll have some ball handlers in that bunch.

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jhawkerMick 1 year ago

This was our leader? EJ lead us to defeat!! No question he lost the game! The flagrant foul was totally uncalled for and in no way shape or form the KU way! Im disgusted!!! EJ had 1 game that was even worth talking about. It would of been better for KU if he would of been ejected! I have never felt this way for a KU player so dont know what i am feeling right now. All i can say, I hope you can look at Young, Releford and Withey in the eyes and say you played to win..... EJ that performance was HORRIBLE!!!

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fabio 1 year ago

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

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KULA 1 year ago

Up 10 with two minutes to go and you lose the game. WORST TOURNAMENT MELTDOWN EVER!!!

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phogallen 1 year ago

If only ej had gotten ejected after the cheap shot. One of the first times in a while I have been genuinely disgusted with self's coaching job.

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TexiCaliHawk 1 year ago

Again, I am sick of hearing about whether or not E.J. is a PG or SG -- or whether or not he has 1-2 'healthy' knees (Jaybate). He simply does not make good decisions, which for a Senior LEADER is especially maddening as one should expect more out of that position. Instead of a calming influence, E.J. becomes a 'wild card' . . . huh? why?

I'll tell you why -- for all the greatness that is HCBS and his Asst. Coaches, they simply have not instilled a deep sense of 'Basketball I.Q.' in this particular group of Seniors (other than maybe Travis who, for whatever reason, refuses to really step up and LEAD the team -- allowing E.J. way too much rope to do so that ends up being used more often than not to 'hang ourselves').

For example, on the last play in OT, E.J. drives to hoop with a Big on his back -- simply stop and pump fake to get the Big in the air, then go up for the layup to either get the 'And 1', or at least a 2 shot foul to send the game into OT #2. Have you ever seen an NBA game? Most of us have and they definitely exhibit a strong 'Basketball I.Q.' -- I don't expect that from a Frosh/Soph, but I definitely expect that of a Senior . . . again, regardless of whether E.J. is better suited to be a PG or SG . . . a LEADER is (still) a leader.

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LeadFarmer 1 year ago

As happy as I am that Elijah Johnson will never put on the Jayhawk uniform ever again (no one who intentionally hits someone between the legs should ever be allowed to step foot on campus), this loss is entirely on Bill Self. EJ did what he does, except sooner than we're used to. Happy day I thought. Get him out, put Tharpe in...get the lead. At one point the lead was 14. So how do we go from leading by 14 to losing in OT? By Bill Self inserting EJ back into the game. I swear, France has a better track record with defense than Elijah Johnson does. Burke had 0 points in the first half, then EJ guards him and he single-handedly wins the game. Bill Self beats KSU twice in the regular season, and they still share the title? Bill Self puts trust in EJ, loses 3 games in a row, blows 14-point lead in the Sweet Sixteen. Fire Bill Self.

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Michael Luby 1 year ago

Elijah, you lost the game for us. You did. Coach Self didn't help any by keeping you in the game when he should have let Naadir play the whole game for you after that flagrant. In addition you had 5 turnovers and 0 assists. That's just terrible. I feel terrible for Jeff and Kevin and Travis and Ben. They all deserved to have a better season. They all deserved to have a better point guard. You disgrace the name of Jayhawk.

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Steve Gantz 1 year ago

I was at church all evening. I knew the score thanks to my nephew texting me updates. But I knew nothing of the embarrassment of EJ. I first went to Yahoo and we're on the front page, 'ku player cheap shots against mu' or something like that. I click on it, watch the tape. What in the heck was that all about?

Then I start reading about the end of regulation. A 10 second call because of non-chalance? Really? Please tell me it was a press that forced that to happen.

Then I read we have a chance to tie at the end of the OT and EJ has a layup and kicks it out to Tharpe. Is that really what went down?

Bad way for the other seniors to end their KU careers. EJ, you helped carry us to the FF last year, but tonight sounds inexcusable and your entire season was played in a fog except that night in Ames.

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Davoud Maha 1 year ago

I was about to write a negative comment about EJ because he did cost us the game today. But he was the main guy responsible for taking us to the finals last year. So I want to say thank you EJ for the 4 years you gave at KU. You were not perfect but your game this year at IOWA State gave us the Big 12 Championship and your plays last year made us the runner up.

Also many thanks to all the players and coaching staff for another great year.

THANK YOU!

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Tam Bui 1 year ago

EJ, if you read this, just know that I have been a KU fan for 25+ years. I've enjoyed the ride through all of the ups and downs. These so-call fans who are looking for blame...some of them are very frustrated (as would most fans of most sports), but they're just venting because they care so much about KU basketball...while others are just being stupid fairweather fans looking for blood. Forget all of them. I know you put everything into this season. I will never turn my back on you, and I wish you nothing but the best. Thanks for a memorable 4 years! Rock Chalk!

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goliac492 1 year ago

Loss is on Bill Self. Stop with the shut down offense!! Play to hammer not to save victory. Your teams keep losing momentum. Great coaches don't lose a game with a 10 point lead with less than 3 minutes in the game. Especially in tourney time. You put unnecessary pressure on your players when they are clicking. Let them roll....

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bears1202 1 year ago

Elijah is a complete bumb! Shot the grion sealed their destiny for the game. It was intentional. Not th way to play ball!

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houdiniofhoops 1 year ago

Out Played...Out Coached! Bill Self is now the proud owner of one of the biggest chokes in NCAA Tourney history. Bill talked about being up 12 with 3:20 left in regulation - Coach you were up 8 with 1:22 left!!! I know you can't play for the players, like Johnson's back to back TO's inside 2:34 left in regulation (and one in OT) or Whitney's disappearing act in the 2nd half not to mention Whitney getting his butt kicked all night long (especially 2nd half) by FRESHMAN Mitch McGary. McGary 25 pts & 14 reb to Whitney's 12 pts & 8 reb. In the 2nd half & OT McGary 14 pts & 8 reb to Whitney's 4 pts & 2 reb.

Bill - Michigan's Burke just kicked your butt in the 2nd half, Freshman McGary kicked your butt for the entire game! You & your staff just couldn't figure it out!!! At the end of regulation with 4.3 sec left & a referee timeout - did you really call for Tharp to dibble down & jack up a 3 pointer? Tharp was the only Kansas player shooting less than 50% (when he took this shot Tharp was only 1 for 6 for the game-THAT'S NOT EVEN 17%). Why didn't Tharp take it all the way to the basket for a score or possible foul? Bill - do you remember the 1995 NCAA Tourney when Tyus Edney dibbled the length of the court & had the game wining layup vs. Missouri with only 4.1 sec left ??? Then at the end of OT, Tharp bricks another 3 pointer! I realize the play wasn't ran for him. When McLemore's man stayed with him, there should have been an alternate man to pass the ball to - not out to almost half court for Tharp to dibble in to brick another 3 pointer. What was Whitney doing? He was in NO MAN'S LAND on this last play. He should've been involved somehow. Bill - you need to watch a little NBA & see how those teams handle a last possesion with 9.3 sec left!

Michigan did not win this game...Kansas lost this game!

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texashawk10 1 year ago

The biggest flaw in EJ's game has nothing to do with him playing PG or SG, it's just a lack of situational awareness. Throughout his career, EJ was stuck with a poor shot at the end of a shot clock, not knowing where his teammates are, not knowing the score, or just not being aware of the clock in general.

I know I'm plenty ticked about the nut shot,the 10 second violation, and the end of the game above everything else with EJ and the rest of the team. The nut shot in particular made me lose respect for a person I lived next door to for a year when he was a freshman and had much respect for because of how he stuck it out early on in his career.

I honestly don't know if EJ was a net positive or negative for KU, I know what most will say right now, but EJ is the most up and down player in recent KU history and it's unfortunate that his KU career will end on the lowest of lows in regards to his lack of court awareness pretty much costing KU the game tonight.

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nostradavid 1 year ago

Thanks to all the Jayhawk players, coaches, managers, radio people and journalists for making this a great year to follow the Kansas Jayhawks! I had a fun time this year. I'll hang my National Champs hat from '88 up until next year. We'll get 'em then.

Peace, Love & Jayhawks !

and now back to our regular programming ...

[Cut to Crusader Antonius Block, resting near crashing waves on the beach. Silence abruptly descends, and a black-robed man with an unnaturally white face appears.]

Block: Who are you?

Death: I am Death.

Block: You have come for me?

Death: I have been for a long time at your side.

Block: I know.

Death: Are you prepared?

Block: My body is afraid, but I am not.

[Death approaches Block.]

Block: Wait a moment.

Death: You all say that. But I give no respite.

 I have no secrets.

I have no secrets. by nostradavid

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Jeff Schartz 1 year ago

Wolverines = Floppers. EJ gave it away.

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arcticjhawk 1 year ago

As mad as I am about Elijah's play both at the beginning and end of the game, this game was lost as a result of poor TEAM play when it counted. Time to suck it up and look forward to Perry's dominance alongside a great recruiting class next season! Thanks Elijah, Jeff, Travis, and Kevin for four great years! Good luck in the NBA Ben (assuming you go)! Time to step it up Andrew and Rio. I know you have the skills but now you might have the PT you desperately needed to show them off!

Rock Chalk!

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snoopy7943 1 year ago

What a joke. I am so glad I will never have to suffer the sight of EJ wearing a KU uniform ever again! If you don't think EJ cost us the game then you are just to worried about being politically correct or something. I don't hate the kid or wish him ill-will, but his play and decision making cost us the game. Period!

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JayhawkRock78 1 year ago

I was at the game. The refs did EVERYTHING they could to keep Michigan in the game!!!

It was some of the worst ticky tack fouls against KU versus flopping and letting Mcbrute foul Withey even without the ball I have seen. He beat the hell out of Withey in the paint when the ball wasn't near, let alone when Jeff got a touch. The jerk almost went the entire regulation without ONE foul!!!

I try to keep an open mind about refs but it was one sided to keep KU from putting the game away MULTIPLE times. the Michigan fans didn't make noise unitil the last 2 minutes. so Vegas calls the game at 2 points. I am beginning to wonder?

Given all the cr*p that let Michigan stay in the game, WHY WHY WHY, don't we finish a easy 2 for double OT to gamble on a three for all or nothing as if we were that desperate. Survive and advance in a game like that. Make the two, play double OT, not gamble the whole thing on a kick out for a 3. I want to believe Self drew it up differently then what we saw.

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Lance Hobson 1 year ago

Devastating. Just devastating.

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robertson4ku 1 year ago

Yes Elijah was horribe tonight, but seriously what is new? Besides a 3 game stretch he has been pretty bad all year. Even Self has admitted that EJ is not a point guard but he continued to play him at point all year and especially in cruntchtime down the stretch of some important games. I know that EJ was bad but it can't be all on him. I put this one of SELF. There is no way in hell he should of put the ball in his hands at the end of regulation. Anytime there is intense defensive pressure he folds like a tent. Also Self should have fouled at the end of regulation instead of letting Michigan have a chance to shoot the 3 and tie it. Hasn't he seen this scenerio backfire on other teams this year....like maybe the Iowa St. game when all they had to do is foul us and we lose the game. Bill Self choked tonight pure and simple. I know he is a good coach but he got out coached tonight big time. The problem with being a good coach and having great success is that you start believing the everything you do will turn to gold, and this sometimes leads to "tunnel vision"! This one really stings as a Jayhawk fan even more so than other tournament collapses because unlike the Bucknell, Bradley, VCU, and Northern Iowa games, we actually played good tonight, We were the better team. We didn't get out played and Michigan didn't win the game, we simply lost the game. All we had to do was hold on to the ball and play smart and we win the game. It was a good season but we really let a golden oppurtunity slip away and I will remember this one for years.

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741hawk 1 year ago

Is it possible that Self ruined Elijah's confidence by forcing him to play PG? Later in the season, in the games where he played the 2, he seemed comfortable / played well.

This team had the ability to win a NC, but it was consistently inconsistent all year -- either game to game or half to half -- inconsistent.

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JayHawkJay82 1 year ago

Just putting this out there because it has been a rough night and I've had a few too many. How much better could EJ have been if he wasn't sitting behind Morningstar/Reid all that time. EJ was obviously not ready for prime time, and he was our only (and untested) option. Even though the players he was sitting behind weren't the PG it still would have been more exposure and experience headed his way. I love HCBS, but I think this entire situation is on him, and perhaps he re-evaluates some of his philosophies regarding the development of younger talent.

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68hawk 1 year ago

EJ keep your head up. It's been a pleasure to watch you for the last 4 years. Without you we may not have even gone this far. Good luck and I hope you are successful.

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741hawk 1 year ago

And now I find out in the article that the play was designed for EJ? What was going on? I don't get the Self / Elijah relationship AT ALL!

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Tony Bandle 1 year ago

Time and again coach's pass up the two shot foul and try to defend the three. Burke was obviously on fire, had a history of doing this and our perimeter defense was helpless.

Reluctantly, I put this on on Bill...didn't he learn his lesson with Davidson in 2008 and make anyone else but the opponent's best shooter take that shot???? Double team Burke and take your chances!! Karmic Payback is a BITCH!!

Jesus H. Christ...what a friggin' ball buster. Thank God baseball starts Monday

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741hawk 1 year ago

Well, that was just awful. To lose to a team that you are clearly better than is such a waste . . . and so disappointing at this stage of the season.

Coach Beiline did not in any way out-coach Self. Self out-coached himself. He did not play his substitutes enough such that a lot of our guys, including Withey, were gassed at the six minute mark. He relied on EJ when every Jayhawk fan watching saw how EJ was killing us. Throughout the season, he would bench players who did not play well. He even benched Ben in the last game when he wasn’t performing. Yet, he never benched EJ.

I was embarrassed by EJ’s flagrant foul. That’s not Kansas Basketball. Where did that come from? KU played exceptionally well in the first half -- as well as they have played all year. Why? EJ was on the bench!

I hate to blame one player, but EJ cost us over and over in the second half . . . and overtime. Right down to the wire he cost us. Why didn’t he take it to the bucket? He would have made it or gotten fouled.

I think Bill is one of basketball’s best coaches, but I would hope that he sees what everyone else saw. He was going to go down in flames with EJ if necessary AND HE DID! A 14-point lead? More than 10 points ahead with five minutes left?

Though Bill denies it, what became clear is what the players see every day. Bill does play favorites. Throughout most of the year, he’d bench Nadir after a single mistake. Same with Perry. Rio and White got little playing time for development. He even benched Ben in the last game. But EJ? Not one time this year.

And re: EJ. How do you explain the decisions made by an experienced player? Think about it. How do you explain it?

What an inglorious end to a career for a young man who wore a KU jersey to a high school basketball all-star game in Lexington, KY (and got booed).

I feel badly for Jeff, and Kevin, and “Our Rock” Travis.

Consider this: How might the game have been different if EJ had been ejected for the flagrant foul?

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Carolyn Hunzicker 1 year ago

Bill Self--------------PLEASE GET US SOME GOOD GUARDS.....LIKE BROWN AT ILLINOIS IS A START

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Carolyn Hunzicker 1 year ago

Alot of this one is on Self.....Team looked lost the last three minutes, Withy was pooped and wasn't rested early on. Ej did whatever he wanted and his early conduct was not Kansas BB

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Hank Cross 1 year ago

Nor should they be. He was the goat plain and simple.

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ahpersecoachingexperience 1 year ago

EJ don't read these comments. It ain't pretty!

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