Villanova defeats Kansas, 63-59

  • 8:30 p.m., Nov. 29, 2013
  • Nassau, Bahamas,

Saturday, November 30, 2013

No trip to title game for KU

Late Villanova three shocks Jayhawks

Kansas guard Naadir Tharpe looks for an outlet as he is trapped by Villanova defenders Ryan Arcidiacono and Darrun Hilliard (4) during the second half on Friday, Nov. 29, 2013 in Paradise Island, Bahamas.

Kansas guard Naadir Tharpe looks for an outlet as he is trapped by Villanova defenders Ryan Arcidiacono and Darrun Hilliard (4) during the second half on Friday, Nov. 29, 2013 in Paradise Island, Bahamas.


Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Jayhawks talk about first loss of season

Kansas coach Bill Self and Jayhawks Perry Ellis and Naadir Tharpe address the media following KU's 63-59 loss to Villanova at the Battle 4 Atlantis.

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Villanova 63, Kansas 59

Box score

— A spot in the third-place game is not what Kansas University’s basketball team and its loyal fanbase that occupied all but a handful of the seats in 3,900-seat Imperial Arena wanted at the Battle 4 Atlantis holiday tournament in paradise.

But it indeed is a 6 p.m., Central time, contest against UTEP that awaits KU today after the Jayhawks’ 63-59 loss to Villanova in a wild semifinal on Friday night.

Ryan Arcidiacono’s three over the outstretched arms of Perry Ellis with 11 seconds left gave the Wildcats (6-0) a 61-59 lead, answering a spinning layup and foul shot by KU’s Frank Mason that had given KU (5-1) a 59-58 lead at :29.2.

“I think we didn’t do a good job of guarding. It is the only shot he made for the game,” KU coach Bill Self said of sophomore guard Arcidiacono’s crucial trey, his only hoop in six tries, all from beyond the arc. “It was a big-time shot.”

It was one that KU sophomore Ellis tried to get out and contest but was late.

“I almost was (able to get to the shooter),” said Ellis, who hit five of seven free throws and scored 11 points on a night KU missed 10 of 25 charities, making 15. “I didn’t know if I could help too much. My man slipped. I did the best I could.”

The late Villanova heroics erased a gallant effort by KU freshman guard Mason. His driving layup and swish from the line helped KU come all the way back from a 12-point deficit (48-36 at 12:41).

Also, he followed Arcidiacono’s trey with a three -point try of his own that missed at :05. KU fouled following the rebound, and ’Nova hit two charities at 2.7 seconds to account for the final margin.

“I should have called a timeout (after the Villanova three),” Self said. “I had one left. My thinking is, the best thing is to get it in quick and go score. Still, when it got (to be) a makeshift deal there, there were four or five seconds left.

“Frank was open, though (it’s) not what I want. I’d rather him drive. (But) he had to take the shot,” Self added, not criticizing Mason’s judgment in the heat of battle.

“My deal is, if it is above six (seconds to play), get it and go (and not call time). If it’s under six, call time out. It was 9 when the ball went in the basket.”

Self applauded Mason for the key layup that could have won the game.

“Frank will get in there. He’s not intimidated by the situation at all,” Self said of Mason, who scored 12 points off 5-of-11 shooting. “It was a nice play by him and nice to make the free throw. There were a lot of good things young kids did to put us in position to win. To me, a positive is we can say Villanova has a really good team. They definitely will be in the tournament and have a good seed. Jay (Wright, coach) does a terrific job. Look at us individually, the team didn’t play great individually, but we were still there with a chance to win. We do have a lot of improvement to make.”

Of course, this one classifies as a heartbreaker, even though KU entered as a strong favorite.

“I hate it came down to one possession like that. At least we fought and defended better than we have been the second half,” Self said.

Mason actually led KU in scoring on a night KU hit 38.9 percent of its shots and two of 11 from three. Ellis had 11 points, while Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins had 10 apiece.

As far as the early story of the game, KU, which led 11-2 six minutes in, trailed 29-19 with 2:26 left in the half, courtesy of a 27-8 Villanova domination.

Included in the long stretch was a Self technical foul. KU’s coach charged onto the court to complain after ’Nova appeared to hack Ellis on a steal that led to a three by Dylan Ennis, making it 29-19 after Arcidiacono hit one of two technical foul shots.

It was a dismal half for KU in which the Jayhawks, down 29-22, hit just six of 25 shots, including one of six from three. At one point, Self was heard yelling the word “soft” at Wiggins after a ’Nova player ripped the ball from Wiggins’ grasp.

Darrun Hillard hit three threes and scored 12 the first half, while JayVaughn Pinkston had eight. KU’s leading scorer was Wiggins with five.

A huge problem the first half was fouls. Tarik Black played just six minutes in picking up three fouls. Embiid, who had two fouls, played three minutes, and Jamari Traylor, who had two fouls, played the same three minutes.

Things were rosy very early as Villanova missed its first seven shots, KU opening 11-2. Black, who picked up his second foul at 16:20, of the first half, scored four, while Embiid had a basket and foul shot and Wayne Selden and Ellis buckets in the run.

Hillard hit a three at 13:14 for Nova’s first bucket, and after a 6-0 run, the Wildcats trailed 11-8 at 12:27. ’Nova sliced the gap to 16-15 at 8:21.

UTEP enters today’s game with a 4-3 record after getting annihilated by Iowa, 89-53.


Steve Zimmerman 7 years, 4 months ago

This venue is just too damn small for our team. A ballroom is for dancing, dang it!

Brianna Zaleski 7 years, 4 months ago

I agree. I thought it looked so small, and it just looked so restricting to play on. It felt like the final table in a WSOP event.
All excuses aside tho, after the first 4 mis, we got outplayed AND out coached for the 1st half and most of the 2nd. They ran that 3/4 court press/ trap for a HUGE portion of the game. And it was giving us fits. Why did it take so long for Bill to adjust? If he did at all. Overall, very poor effort by the kids and the coaching staff....
This has to be the worst venue to play a men's college bball game. The whole thing looked so amateur and I kept wondering if a jump shot was going to hit the low ceiling.
Good learning exp for the kids. No one is going to give it to you. You have to go take it.

Chris Shaw 7 years, 4 months ago

I am just curious if you have been to a venue like this before? The venue is too small? Are you serious? There is nothing better than a small intimate setting for big time college basketball in November.

I went to the Maui Invitational in 2006 and plan on going again in 2015 and there is nothing better than watching 4 games a day over a 3 day period of big time college basketball in a 1900 capacity gym (Granted this gym sat about 3800/3900). The high school type intimacy is what makes the Maui Invitational and the Bahamas Tournament special.

Outside of the Indiana/Kansas Jacque Vaughn buzzer beater in 1993/1994 the best games I've ever seen were the Gonzaga/UConn Championship game and the Gonzaga/Mich State Triple OT game in Maui.

Brianna Zaleski 7 years, 4 months ago

It had nothing to do w the venue being too small. It had to do w looking like it was played in a converted ballroom. At least in Maui they are playing in a gym. This was most definitely not a gym. The whole thing just had such a cheap feel to it. I realize that the court and the rims are the same size, I get it. But you can't tell me that Resort can't splurge on an arena. If they want to be hosting more of these, you'd think they'd step their game up a bit. I mean, with the black lights and cheap bleachers, it looked so amateur.

RJ King 7 years, 4 months ago

Blame it on the Bossa Nova? I don't think so. As long as the court measurements are the same (cue up scene from Hoosiers) it shouldn't matter. Producing a championship will necessitate winning games in ALL environments - domes, ballrooms, whatever.

This game simulated the same kind of intense pressure they will face in March from some team with nothing to lose and not intimidated by Kansas jerseys. Mix with 3-pt daggers to make a formula for early exit.

If you want to show well at the Big Dance, ya gotta practice in a ballroom.

Steve Zimmerman 7 years, 4 months ago

Fine. The refs were not told the new rules, dang it! They should be fired.

Suzi Marshall 7 years, 4 months ago

I admire the guys fighting back but was amazed.saddened to see them pushed around so much for most of the night. It's been a long time since we've seen a team "out tough" us. Selden and Wiggens looked lost most of the game, just like how we saw Ellis early last year.

We should never have gotten so gitty beating up on the earlier teams. Like Self said...."soft" and "we have a long way to go."

Rodney Crain 7 years, 4 months ago


Down 10 in the 2nd half and they are shooting 26% from the field. We gave up way to many offensive rebounds. Perry has lost his touch and Tharpe is playing like he is a freshman.

That was a terrible effort by all but 2 guys.

I was expecting to have a loss or two with this non conf. schedule we have, but I didn't think we would gift wrap a loss so early before christmas.

Just pathetic...

Len Shaffer 7 years, 4 months ago

Rodney, you're making way too big a deal about an early-season loss. Did you hear the announcers in the Wake Forest game when they said that KU is 349th in the country in terms of experience. That's RIDICULOUSLY young. And young players--even insanely talented young players--are going to go through learning experiences.

Did the game drive me nuts? Yes. Was it frustrating to see KU getting NO offensive rebounds while giving Nova second chance after second chance? Absolutely. Would I refer to the situation as pathetic? Absolutely NOT.

Bryce Landon 7 years, 4 months ago

I would. And I would also call Self's coaching job last night pathetic. And that's being kind.

Ethan Berger 7 years, 4 months ago

Until you can do better, no one really cares what you think.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 4 months ago

I do Ethan. We all get a say, who put you in charge of free speech?

Ethan Berger 7 years, 4 months ago

Didn't say he isn't allowed to, but that calling our team pathetic is dumb. But then again it's easy to be dumb when you play as much ball as Self has....

Rodney Crain 7 years, 4 months ago

Sorry Ethan did not realize I was talking to a Bill Selfs mom lol.

Bill uses this word too sometimes. Its ok to use big words like this, but if you don't like it or understand it, let me use some simpler words. They did not play well last night. They were stinky.

Ethan Berger 7 years, 4 months ago

You do understand that pathetic and and bad are two different things. But then again you don't understand how that works. Your the idiot who thinks playing bad is playing with no effort. Critique them on their play not their heart. Understand that big boy? Play a sport before you act like you know what they go through.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 4 months ago

Ethan I pity you. You think the world revolves around you and your own narrow thoughts. Sorry to tell you this, but it does not. I have played at the college level, I do have a degree, and yes I know the difference, which is why for you I used the word "stinky", so you could understand that I was unhappy about their play. Again you cannot tell people what to do, I can critique them on their heart. If you think they played with heart last night, you sir are the one who is the idiot.

Ethan Berger 7 years, 4 months ago

Reading comprehension is not your cup of tea. Doubt you played at any level or for that matter have a degree. You can say what you want, doesn't mean that you are right. Say what they did to play bad, don't care. But questioning a players heart and desire is pathetic. If they didn't play with heart, then they wouldn't have looked so disappointed when the buzzer sounded. They were shell shocked but never gave up. That's why multiple times they came back from 10+ down. But I guess you wouldn't think of that. Before you act like you are so open-minded, just remember your the idiot who doesn't know the difference between losing and passion.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 4 months ago

Ethan, you are something else, you call people names and think it means something. You act like you know what you are saying but only make others explain themselves to comment. You do not think others have the right to say what is on their mind, only to agree with what is on yours. (you have called me dumb, an idiot x3, and now a liar)

I have run into people like you before. I feel sorry for you.

I will stop arguing with you since it is a fool's errand to argue with a you.

I will say this whenever I see you say something with intolerance or without respect to those who post, and I am afraid that will be a lot of the time, I will stand up to you and your bullying ways. Not because I have nothing else to do but because when we see one of us acting out of spite and not with merit, all of us should rise up and shout you down! You keep proving my point over and over and do not realize it. I am sorry you cannot see it, and more sorry I need to repeatedly call it out to you. Later Ethan, till the next time you think it is OK to act like you are king of the blog.

Ethan Berger 7 years, 4 months ago

So attacking the defenseless is better? Calling our coaches and players pathetic without them being able to defend themselves is better? Questioning our players effort is okay but questioning your credintials is bullying? I will admit that I over-reacted and I'm sorry for that. But one of the the things that I cannot stand is attacking player and coaches heart. I'm defending them because they cannot defend themselves. Look at Jack Wilson, he questions the quality of the game. I have yet to call him a name despite I might disagree with him. But when you attack our personnel on a personal basis it will turn me into a ticking time bomb.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 4 months ago

Get Help Ethan!

They are not defenseless lol. You are reaching. Calm down drink your coco and take a nap.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 4 months ago

Agree Bryce, either he made no adjustments or they did not understand what he was asking them to do. That 2-1-2 front court press confused us all night and took us out of our offense. Some of the decisions Tharpe made drove him nuts. He was in EJ land there for a few of them, taking a top of the key jump shot early in the shot clock at the end there, I was watching Self he screamed what are you doing, turned to the bench and then threw his hands up to the crowd. Was kind of funny it was like what can I do he has lost his mind :)

Thanks for being honest there are some that post on here that our team or coach can do no wrong.

Bryce Landon 7 years, 4 months ago

No, thank you Rodney for taking off the rose-colored glasses here. Self may have a national title, two Final Fours, and nine Big 12 titles, but that doesn't and shouldn't make him impervious to criticism when he doesn't do what he's getting paid big bucks to do. And he's had a lot of eyebrow-raising losses during his time here at Kansas.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 4 months ago

Wish I could buy you a cup of coffee Bryce! Well said sir!

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 4 months ago

Name a coach that doesn't have horrible losses on his resume?

Rodney Crain 7 years, 4 months ago

Sorry Len let me rephrase, you comment is also pathetic.

I don't mind mistakes young players make heck I expect them, I do mind young players not playing with effort, energy and being soft, there is no excuse for that at any age. Our team did not rebound, that is effort. Their Guard had twice as many rebounds as anyone on our team in the 2nd half. Come on lets not be as soft as they were last night in calling it what it was. That was a soft and weak performance regardless of age by our team.

Frank Mason played his tail off, he is a freshman, Joel was trying all night through foul trouble too. Where was that effort from the rest of our team?

That was pathetic.

Benz Junque 7 years, 4 months ago

It would have been nice if the team could have put forth a better effort last night. They were outhustled and outworked. Jay Wright's approach was to drive at the bigs to get them in foul trouble, pressure the young perimeter players into making mistakes and chuck enough threes that enough fall to outscore KU. All three worked to perfection. So it goes.

Sure, I would LOVE it if every player played to their max effort and ability every game. We all think we would do the same if given the opportunity. But the fact remains that I have never in my 40+ years seem a team make it through an entire season without having at least a game where they just didn't bring it. EVER.

KU has talented coaches and talented players and they will sit down when they get home and go over what needs to be done differently. I am not even remotely concerned. For those that think thew results are a glimpse of future doom, I recall being completely embarrassed by a KU team that went out to Maui and lost to Ball friggin' State and still ended up in the Final Four.

This loss means NOTHING except that we will have one less win in our final record. Period. We all hate to see KU lose but don't lose your minds...

Michael Bratisax 7 years, 4 months ago

I'm with you Rodney.. although pathetic may not cover just how bad this team is. We can't score, we can't play defense and we are soft. Downy toilet paper.

We should write in Oklahoma State as the Big 12 's best team and wait for next year. This is one of the worst groups of players ever to make a squad at Kansas. Add that to the worst coach in the conference, roll it up and flush it. We just suck! The sky is falling and it's raining cats and dogs and losing to Villanova! I am officially waiting for next year.

Benz Junque 7 years, 4 months ago

A bit drama queenish, don't you think? Don't hurt yourself jumping off the bandwagon...

I hope you were kidding.

Michael Bratisax 7 years, 4 months ago

I can't count how many times I've seen fans go completely overboard (including myself) at us for losing to a team that isn't nearly as talented.

I've learned my lesson. Maybe not my best attempt at sarcasm but that's what it was.

Michael Bratisax 7 years, 4 months ago


Relax BJ, of course I was kidding, so keep your homophobic responses where they belong.

Jumping OFF the bandwagon? Pretty sure I've been on that wagon a lot longer than you. I've seen this team lose to a lot worst than Villanova and come back to go deep into the NCAA and even Head Coach Bill Self called Wiggins soft. Every team will have a couple of losses before years end.

Gerry Butler 7 years, 4 months ago

OMG, here back street coaches. agreed with len. I could NOT believe we were getting beat so bad on the boards, but pathetic, I think not, again pay attention to this 349th in the nation in experience, Len is right on the head. like the announcer said this is November 29th for god sakes. ya there is things they have got to get corrected. can't be beat on the boards like that, Nadiar has to understand that he is a point guard we have all kinds of scorers use better judgement before jacking up forced shots, bottom line is we just got outplayed for the most part villanova definitely looked more aggressive, like bill said. they got all the 50/50 balls constantly slapping at the ball swarming defense in the 1st half especially . but agai this is such a young team its only their 6th game. I hope to god that their aren't people thinking we should have run the table this season. PLEASE kinda the vibe I've been getting from some people, ain't happening just too many really good teams out there for that. like Len frustrating yes but give them TIME they are still a group of very young kids, VERY TALENTED but VERY YOUNG and there is ALOT OF VERY GOOD teams I college. frustrated ya, but pathetic? outcoached? REALLY? don't think so

Jack Wilson 7 years, 4 months ago

It is possible for Self to get outcoached. It may be shocking. But you saw it last night. Nova dictated tempo and we had no answer for their half court trap. Self is to provide the answer. He was content to just get the ball across. That trap helped control the game.

That being said, it's just normal post-game stuff. The sky isn't falling.

Ethan Berger 7 years, 4 months ago

Jay Wright deserves a bunch of credit but we don't know if Bill was okay with the plan. It's all speculative unless we know what he told them in the huddle. No coach is perfect but take your talking points and hear him explain it. Point is, basketball you don't always get to see the coaches plan. I'm hard pressed to say where Bill Self is wrong unless I know what he called. And with his success and my experience, I have a feeling I'm in no place to tell him where he went wrong.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 4 months ago

Ethan: I understand your compulsion to defer to coach Self.

But remember, he will make mistakes. He's not God. And it's ok to criticize someone who may know more about what they are doing than you do, because that person (coach Self) has flaws. Sometimes you'll be right.

Ethan Berger 7 years, 4 months ago

Never said he is perfect, just rather have all the facts before I know who is to blame

Michael Bratisax 7 years, 4 months ago

Of coarse the sky isn't falling and if that was in reference to my quote above, it was meant as sarcasm although I could see how it was taken in the wrong way.

My ONLY criticism on the coaching going on at the KU's corner is that if you're going to play Calipari basketball then you need to out coach him somewhere down the line this season. Also (but related to the first) Coach Self needs to do well with Andrew Wiggins or it might be a while before we see the #1 recruited player here at Kansas.

Selby was a hugely a bust although several factors other than coaching played a large role but it will be coaching that in the end gets credit or the blame.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 4 months ago

Pathetic Gerry.

Frank and Joel, freshman played hard last night, the rest of our team was soft.

Its ok Gerry to say we did not play well to disagree with our Coach.

That was a weak effort by all but two last night.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 4 months ago

Brett I agree he sure is making better decisions than Tharpe and is attacking the basket.

Chuck Fitzgerald 7 years, 4 months ago

It is getting a little hard to watch these games with the ticky tack fouls that are called. Thank god KU is so deep with big men or they might have 5 guards out there late in the game. It just seemed that after the first ten minutes of the game they lost their intensity for fear of being whistled for a foul. The NCAA needs either drop this hands off policy or go to the 6th foul. Go KU !

Rodney Crain 7 years, 4 months ago

It is hard to watch, but the Duke, AZ game was called the same way. The players have to adjust, these are the rules they just were not calling them fouls for the last 10 years or so. I hate it too.

Beate Williams 7 years, 4 months ago

The officiating was ridiculous but I'm not blaming the loss on them. I think what some of you are forgetting is the fact this is the sixth game for the freshmen and like Jay Wright said, he does not want to face this group in March. He also complimented Bill on the job he has done with them so early. It is frustrating to lose, especially when you have a chance to pull it out but we are in November and I guarantee you they learned a bunch from this game. A lucky shot was the eventual winner, the kids showed a lot of heart and talent coming back as they did, this will be a grand lesson for them, one they will remember for some time. Pathetic, I think not, not by a long shot.

Kit Duncan 7 years, 4 months ago

I would like consistency in the foul calling. Wiggins might be soft, but he was beat up a couple times when he had the ball. One was a no-call when he was hacked from in front and SHOVED in the middle of the back on his way to the basket.

Embiid was rightly called for an illegal screen in the first half when he spread his legs wide and tripped a 'Nova player. Guess what? When Arcadiacono was running Mason through screens to get open, one of those screens was a wide spread-leg 'Nova player who tripped Frank in the same way. Was it called? No!

I noticed more hand checking in the second half by VU players that went uncalled. Sorry, but a foul in the first ten seconds of the game is a foul in the final 10 seconds.

The KU kids were however, outplayed most of the game, particularly on the boards. Talent-wise it should have been no contest. I hope they meet again in March! A beat-down by the then grown-up KU team, of a street punk Villanova team, would be especially pleasing!

Benz Junque 7 years, 4 months ago

THAT was the key problem. If KU touched a player at one end there was a foul called. And then at the other end, Nova assaulted KU players before finally getting fouls called on them. They might have been called for the same number of fouls but Nova committed four times as many as KU did. That comes with their ultra aggressive approach they had last night. It's the Mizzou approach where you swarm and trap and the refs get distracted by all the activity.

KU looked scared to death to touch anyone and got exposed. They'll learn. No biggie.

Bryce Landon 7 years, 4 months ago

'''“I should have called a timeout (after the Villanova three),” Self said.'''

Holy crap, Self is actually admitting to making a mistake? That alone is newsworthy! I don't remember him ever admitting to making mistakes in coaching. It's a step in the right direction for him. If only he would be just as willing to admit to not having his team prepared to play this game and shoulder some of the blame for the most pathetic display of basketball since last year's game at TCU...

Jack Wilson 7 years, 4 months ago

To your point on being prepared .. I was very disappointed in how we did not attack the half court trap. It is a risky defense because there are multiple options that could lead to a easy buckets. Teams rarely use it, obviously, because of that risk. We simply were content to get the ball across, where if we attacked it, we could have multiple opportunities to attack the rim. We would have gottent them out of it, and it would have allowed us to better player our game. They completely dictated tempo -- if ever there was a game one could say that, this was it. Last night we got outcoached.

And I'm with you on Self admitting mistakes. Let's just say it's a rare event. Gets even more rare in March. After UNI and VCU, it was everyone's fault except his. The always ready "we didn't execute" explanation. I remember last March he did reference "coaching" in something that was to blame, but kind of at the end. I pointed that out the time as being an astounding event.

Self's just one of those coaches that at least outwardly, doesn't take the blame. When I see folks like that, I always wonder if they learn from their mistakes, or if they continue to believe that they are free from mistakes. Head coaches, as a group, are arrogant. Meaning they get to where they are by doing it their way, and by being "right." And they are "right" a vast majority of the times. Just like big-time CEOs. There are just some obvious consequences with that.

Ethan Berger 7 years, 4 months ago

What if Bill had it set up and players didn't execute? What makes you think you know what Self has called? Coaches can coach but players play. Unless you have proof that Self didn't have a plan of counter then it's unfair to say he was under prepared. We played young and guess what.... WE ARE YOUNG

Rodney Crain 7 years, 4 months ago

Ethan that loss was not all because we were young. Frank and Joel came to play, no one else did. We did not see any adjustments from the coaches. Either they did not make any or we did not execute. Self gets some of the blame here, he has to.

Ethan Berger 7 years, 4 months ago

Which is my point, I wasn't in the huddle so I don't know who is to blame. Embiid played well but also made some dumb fouls. Self might have not made any adjustments but without evidence I cannot speculate on who went wrong .

Bryce Landon 7 years, 4 months ago

The only thing more shocking than Self admitting to making a mistake is that he didn't resort to any YMCA jokes about his team like he did last year.

Kye Clark 7 years, 4 months ago

Yeah bud, we caught your act in the post-game comments.

Move along.

Lee Sears 7 years, 4 months ago

The foul calling is still very annoying because it breaks up the game so much and you can't get any rhythm. Foul trouble definitely threw our game off, and there were a lot of no-calls on Villanova that put us at a disadvantage (like the one that Self got a technical for). It may not have mattered as the biggest issue last night with our team was our free-throw shooting was horrendous. We missed the front-end of several. There were at least 10 points given up at the charity stripe. We can't miss those in a big game. Wiggins and Ellis rarely miss but they missed plenty in this game. I think overall our young team was a little intimidated and they missed shots they would normally not miss. Frustrating game to watch.

Bryce Landon 7 years, 4 months ago

I don't believe the officials should be blamed at all. Kansas went out there and played soft and gave little to no effort. I warned before this tournament started when ESPN called this tournament ours to lose that Kansas could not afford to show up and think that other teams would cower at the sight of "K-A-N-S-A-S" on their jerseys, and unfortunately that's exactly what Kansas did. That Coach Self didn't have them mentally prepared to do battle is disappointing.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 4 months ago

-Three Point Shooting: My first thought during and after this game was -- what a waste. We have three guys that are supposed to be major outside shooters. Three point threats. And we desperately needed outside shooting in this game. But Greene, Frankamp, and White barely got time to get in the flow. Greene shot an open three and was barked at by Self. This is the exact type of game where we needed outside shooting, but it wasn't in the game. In hindsight, White or Greene would have been better in the game, down the stretch, than Wiggins. We have a strength that is now a weakness. Self has to commit -- pick one, and play him. Let him take some threes each half. White, Greene, and Frankamp played a combined 15 minutes. Just give all those minutes to one guy -- let him gun a bit.

-Press: I was perplexed as to why we didn't attack that half-court press harder. We were content to just get the ball across. Multiple options on attacking and trying to get easy buckets, but nothing. I was very disappointed with Self there. Hard middle flash, corner pass, long lob, three flat, x screen. Something. Please.

-Officiating: Again, both ways. But it is nearly criminal how the officials are controlling and screwing up games. From incompetency, to inconsistency. It is just horrible. One obvious example was the phantom call to foul out Embiid. But the officials go unpunished and are never accountable. The worst of this new "approach" is when an offensive player is driving and the the defender is to his side chasing. The offensive player invades the defenders space, bumps him, and gets a foul. Every time. It goes both ways.

-Hedging: Self is going to have to rethink this. We are exposing our big men to cheap fouls. Just cannot do it with Embiid. He is too valuable.

-Mason: The only real alpha dog on the team, so far. Oddly, I sensed that Brannen Greene has a little of that in him. Loved his body language when he got in the game.

-Post Play: Again, Tarik Black is a footnote. Actually played ok, but it was Self's call. 8 minutes of game-time. If you don't play Black in a dogfight like this, when do you play him? And Traylor got just 8 minutes. Would you trade Traylor and Black for Kevin Young? I would. But we need one of these guys to be a player.

-Wiggins/Selden: Was seriously waiting for Wiggins to try to take over. Still waiting. For a while there, forgot he was on the court. Selden kind of slipped into obscurity too. Mason is playing like I thought Selden would. Still, I would have rather had Selden in than Tharpe down the stretch. Just my gut feeling at the time.


Jack Wilson 7 years, 4 months ago


-Rotation: Pick one, Greene/White/Frankamp. Give him 15+ rotation minutes every game. Other two sit. Start Embiid. Start Mason. Four freshmen in the starting lineup -- Mason, Selden, Wiggins, Ellis, and Embiid. Pick Black or Traylor, first big off the bench. Only play the other one if necessary (like tonight, with foul issues). Add in Tharpe off the bench. And go with it. 8 guys, emergency big.

Sorry, but Villanova isn't that good. We allowed them to stay in the game. That's how it will be this year except with a few of the excellent teams. We will determine our fate.

Kye Clark 7 years, 4 months ago

Interesting, to say the least. I agree with some of your analysis/opinions, disagree with some.

  • 3-point shooting. I do agree with your assessment on letting one guy get the minutes, get comfortable, and then let that player take some shots. If I had a preference, it's White or Greene, just because I think their length gives them versatility in their game. On Greene's attempt, I remember thinking it was a poor shot at the time and was actually with Self. If memory serves it was early in the shot clock and he wasn't set...something about it made me think "no, what are you doing?". Problem is later he looked wide-open and afraid to shoot.

And the last little note about the outside shooting, it's always tougher with these funky shooting backgrounds. Whether it's cavernous domes in the Final 4 or last night's "Who Wants to Be a Millionare" lighting they seem to have going on there, it's something a young team surely isn't used to. I remember thinking that should have favored us last night because we weren't as dependent on the outside shot, but didn't work out that way!

  • Press. I agree it would have been nice to see Self implement something that would have turned that into an advantage for us, but I guess I was just glad it didn't hurt us either. Did we have many turnovers against the press? I can't recall any really. Maybe Self saw that we were having turnover problems in the half-court and didn't want to exacerbate that by risking having more by trying to get cute with the press. My thinking too is that with a team this young, attacking the press might not be something they've worked too extensively on in practice.

  • Officiating. Agreed. It's criminal. And I'm not one to blame officials for a loss, but they certainly played their part last night. Perry was mauled several times (not just on the shot that caused Self to get the technical, but often on going for rebounds when he had good position). You could see the rough inside play affected Wiggins. Embiid's limited minutes...more than anything that changed the game. If he is allowed to play 20 minutes last night, we win.

  • Hedging. Eh...yeah. Part of me thinks though that Embiid will learn to avoid the cheapies there.

Kye Clark 7 years, 4 months ago

  • Mason. Love him. Although I'd say that let's not just judge the alphas on one game. Wiggins has shown it this year. And I think Perry is, but in a different way that we're used to seeing. Obviously, he's never going to be very demonstrative, but he has put the team on his shoulders before, and I think we'll be able to lean on a lot this year.

  • Post play. Was very disappointed in the post play last night, but again with Embiid limited it's hard to say. Nova played a lot of smaller line-ups, and Self seemed to want to go smaller with them, the thinking presumably being that we needed smaller, quicker players to guard the arc. Lot of open looks early that gave Nova the lead, which was about the time Black, Traylor, & Lucas' playing time disappeared. But, I was actually pleased with what I saw from Lucas. Still won't be a major factor this year, but you can see he's on the right track.

  • Wiggins/Selden. They did seem to shrink from the challenge. Although I think Wiggins defense is great. That play he had in the final 'Nova possession was superb. If we have the possession arrow there, we win.

  • Rotation. I'm torn. How many years have we came into the season thinking we have a deep team, then we see Self choose an 8 man rotation and then in the tournament we are bemoaning having guys languish on the bench? I know you have, yet here you're advocating for an 8 man rotation? I know we've talked about playing bench guys in "crunch time minutes" so they'll be ready to step in and positively contribute come March. Like I said, I'm with you on having us pick one of the three of Greene/AW3/Frankamp, but I also think there needs to be a rotation there. One game it's Greene, another it's AW3, etc. I want all these guys to be ready. It's also advantageous when we'll run into teams that play 4 guards (a la Misery two years ago). Remember how thin we were that year and what a liability it was to have only Teahan as a perimeter sub? And what a liability Withey was against smaller "bigs" (the infamous "touch every step" punishment he got following one of those performances)? It's early. Self is still getting a feel for what combinations will work, who will perform under pressure, etc. But at the end of the day, I like being a deep team and hope that Self keeps developing all the perimeter players. The bigs will need to keep getting reps to stay sharp due to certain foul trouble.

I do agree, Villanova isn't that good and this is a game I'd chalked up as a win heading into it. Disappointing for sure, but I'm prepared to exercise a little patience with this team.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 4 months ago

ict: On the press, to me, it was more about tempo. We didn't attack, create offense, and make them pay. Puzzling spot for me. Look at the 10:40 mark first half. Mason crosses half court, gets trapped. Then, after a timeout, Selden does the exact same thing at 9:40. Your explanation is a good one on the approach .. Self was probably playing it conservatively.

On Greene, his three point attempt was at the 18 second mark on the clock, which was after an inbound play at the 23 second mark. So a quick shot. I'm sure that's why Self was barking. But you have to give shooters some freedom, if you want them to shoot. Then, the one he passed up was also at the 18 second mark of the shot clock. But it was 10 seconds into the offense that time. He didn't want to get barked at.

It's what you said. He was afraid to shoot. Self inspires that hesitancy. He wants that shot deeper in the shot clock. Under 15 seconds, Self might not have had a problem with it.

I really do like Greene. Caused a turnover poking the ball out. He runs the floor nicely. Seems aggressive. I might choose Greene over White/Frankamp. But hard call vs. White.

John Strayer 7 years, 4 months ago

I agree about the 3 point shooting...until KU proves to the basketball world they can consistently hit an outside shot, KU is going to see a lot of sagging lane packing defenses. room for bigs to work or wings to drive. And restricting known 3 pt shooters isn't helping in the confidence dept. Hell VU player missed 5 straight shots before the game winner...if Self were his coach he wouldn't have even been on the floor at the end.

Ethan Berger 7 years, 4 months ago

Look we can point to this and that and think we know what should have happened. We don't see the grind of practice, we don't go down a break down film and we don't spend our life's in the sport. If Bill Self came and told us our failures of our jobs we would be frustrated like we should. But luckily for us we have blogs that let us do that so screw it here are my thoughts.

1)What killed us was foul trouble. No way around it. Our bigs was our advantage and they took them out. 2) refs deserve blame. Why didn't we play physical? Because we have been told not to or else we would get called for fouls. And so far, we have been even in this game. But they got away with so many fouls. Don't wanna sound bitter, but looked like a game from last year not this. 3) Tharpe needs to get aggressive or he will lose the starting job. Before we act like Mason was so great, he has some issues of tunnel vision so before he can start I want to see him make the other 4 better. He is a perfect 6 guy, like Collins was. Tharpe can use some tunnel vision. He can hit all the shots, once teams start fearing him as a scorer, the court will open up.

4). We have three point shooters, we need to use them. Understand Bill sees them as a liability on defense. But a couple of three point makes changes the flow. I trust Bill because he knows more then I could ever dream, but in my fantasy world, we need to use those guys to jump start our offense.

Jesse Johnson 7 years, 4 months ago

Ethan, I totally agree with your second point. I know in the end the fouls evened out but in the first half the refs used unfair foul calling to allow Villanova to mob us but WOULD NOT allow KU to play aggressive. That set the pace for VU to take over the game.

I also think KU missed opportunity after opportunity that could have won us the game, and we were really awful on the glass. FT shooting was frustrating, but not our biggest weakness in the game (15/25 is 60%, a little low but it's not like we can expect them to make them all). With all that being said, a team shouldn't have to overcome unfair officiating to win a game and that is exactly what KU was up against. KU would have won even with their horrible rebounding, poor free throw and 3 pt shooting, turnovers, etc. if the officiating had been fair and that's what frustrated me the most.

Jesse Johnson 7 years, 4 months ago

I also agree with your point about Mason having tunnel vision. I'm surprised nobody has brought this up before as I've noticed it in every game so far. He makes good passes from the perimeter but once he's running or driving to the basket he never looks for a pass, he always ends the possession. He almost won us the game last night with his amazing spin move so I don't want to fault him too much, but in general I think he takes too many shots compared to our other players and a big reason for that is tunnel vision on drives.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 4 months ago

I disagree on Mason having tunnel vision. "Tunnel vision" is Tyshawn Taylor.

Ethan says tunnel vision; Jesse says he "never" looks to pass when driving to the basket. So we get "never" out of the way, go to 3:23 of 1st half Thursday. Drive, dish to Traylor for the dunk. And if you think all he's doing is lowering his head TT style, respectfully, you're not watching. That's not saying he's perfect, or can't get better in that and every aspect of his game.

I like Tharpe, too. Seriously, though, are we going to nit-pick Frank Mason to prop up Tharpe? Where would we be without Mason? We can't deny what Mason has been thus far -- team MVP.

And he plays good defense, to boot.

Ethan Berger 7 years, 4 months ago

Please re-read point 3. For your one example, there are four or five more plays where Mason rushed it. He does have tunnel vision one play doesn't disprove that and I'm okay with that. Just not ready to have him be our starting point.

Jesse Johnson 7 years, 4 months ago

Jack, go back and watch previous games. In the Iona game for example he was 4/10 from the field with only 2 assists, most of those misses were drives to the basket that he couldn't finish. Those 10 shot attempts were more than either Wiggins, Selden, or Embiid took in that game. Sort of the same thing in the Duke game where he only had 1 assist and was 2/6 from the floor (he did get to the foul line a lot by drawing fouls on his drives).

Don't get me wrong, I love Mason. He was more solid than anyone else against Villanova. I just find this one major fault in him. Once he starts driving to the basket he almost always (I'll avoid using a superlative this time) ends the possession with his own shot. I think he has great penetration skills, but I think he could do a better job of using them to setup his teammates when he doesn't have a great look to finish.

Mike Riches 7 years, 4 months ago

Sometimes a loss has more value than a win, and perhaps last night's game is an example. Even though I was cheering for our young team during their last minute comeback, I was honestly almost relieved they didn't win. The truth is they didn't deserve to win. They had much more talent, depth and athleticism than Nova (no surprise) and that's the only reason they were in this one late. But our guys were out-hustled, and didn't seem to have near the drive, desire and toughness that the other team had. To win when it really counts, we have to play with all of the above. Hopefully this will be a good teaching moment, especially for these young guys....the sting of a loss like this can often lead to more toughness, drive, etc. It will be interesting to see how they come out tonight, less than 24 hours later...I would bet that tonight, they look more like the team that beat Towson!

Rodney Crain 7 years, 4 months ago

Great Post Mike, I agree with you 100%!

Robert Murphy 7 years, 4 months ago

Perry Ellis has been playing basketball for how long? and he still doesn't know how to play defense, laying off 10 feet and then running and lunging after the ball is well in hand and the feet are set, to of course no avail. Mike, they are great against teams like Towson and the win over also overrated Duke but for the most part I see a lack of coaching and certainly a lack of understanding. I don't think Self can figure out who his best players are, maybe he doesn't have any.

Kye Clark 7 years, 4 months ago

Yeah, maybe you missed the part where that wasn't Perry's man. Given that, his effort to help was pretty good.

Should have read all the way before wasting my time with your post. "maybe he doesn't have any" (best players).

Hank Cross 7 years, 4 months ago

Too many talented players (not a bad thing at all!) + too many freshman + too many fouls = clumsy game with no flow. It'll get better.

Tracy L. Cauley 7 years, 4 months ago

The biggest dissappointment to me about this game is our inability to rebound the basketball. Couple that with not being able to score a basket for long stretches of time. I thought the upside to having an Andrew Wiggins on your team is that you could just give him the ball at times like this and say go get me a bucket. I thought Selden would be a player like that too. I knew defense would be a concern this year, but finding someone to score a bucket to end a cold stretch would rarely happen if at all. Two more buckets is all we needed and no one ever complains about a win.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 4 months ago

On rebounding, for his career, Black rebounded at the same rate per minute as Traylor did last season -- which was 25% less than Kevin Young's rate last season. That tells me something. This season, Traylor has been really bad. 9 rebounds in 87 minutes.

We are not going to rebound effectively with these two guys on the floor. Ellis and Embiid are much better.

Ethan Berger 7 years, 4 months ago

Seems to me Traylor doesn't have that attitude of Im going to get every rebound like T Rob did. Traylor is an great athlete who just needs to find his role

RJ King 7 years, 4 months ago

I do think Traylor has the attitude, but he's a smaller version of T-Robb, rather than a clone. Traylor comes in when our starting bigs get winded or in foul trouble. At that point, who is in for the other team, and who is on the floor for KU? Is is the ball now rebounding further out because of team depth and talent level of bigs vs guards? Statistics don't lie, but sometimes they don't tell the whole story. The eye test says you are correct JW. I don't know, but I do know I've thought fondly of Kevin Young several times already this season.

Ethan Berger 7 years, 4 months ago

I don't think it's a bad thing because Traylor is more then willing to get out of the post and put pressure or go for the block. So while he might not think every rebound is his, he is more then willing to try and get every ball.

Alex Berger 7 years, 4 months ago

The problem against Villanova is our guys were driving and getting fouled (no calls) a lot. Wiggins was also attempting to put the ball on the court and drive but he got 3 or 4 travels called on him. The refs were on our guys pretty hard last night. The young team just needs to pick their heads up and play hard and smart. I'm not too worried.

Scott Gruhn 7 years, 4 months ago

Bunch of negative posts here today. Who would've expected that?

Mason was great. Ellis was solid, but all those shots of his that used to bounce and roll around the rim before they fell in, well, they happened to be falling out this time.

I suppose Wiggins still has the flu, so I won't criticize there. But most of the team played like they had the flu until late. When we showed a little more energy. Had a chance late, which made up for a lot in my book.

Someone said the foul calls were more balanced in the second half. I missed the first half, but wow. I'm not one to complain about officiating but once or twice a wear... This has to be one of those games. We lose the ball out of bounds because a defender grabs our shoulder - not a foul. Embed gets a clean block- yes, a foul. Over and over again. When I heard Self had gotten a technical, I said , "No kidding. Only one, though?"

Scott Gruhn 7 years, 4 months ago

I like the idea - in theory - that basketball should be more finesse than like a brawl. Hopefully the officials, coaches, and players will figure it out soon, though. For now it's painful to watch every drive end up contested or fouled.

RJ King 7 years, 4 months ago

Self said this game was like Kentucky at MSG in 2011. I would say it was more like Davidson at the Sprint Center in 2011. The Topeka paper had reported the following (with yesterday's scenario in parenthesis):

"Monday (Friday), KU discovered what rebuilding really means. It means losing to Davidson (Villanova) at the Sprint Center (Atlantis), a place that becomes Allen Fieldhouse East whenever the Jayhawks visit. It means whiffing on a chance to take the lead in the second half, then watching some guy you’ve never heard of stick a 3-pointer to beat you."

Eerily similar. But perhaps - like 2011/12 this game will help pave our road to the Final Four.

Tony Bandle 7 years, 4 months ago

As Tonto would say.."Losing, bad..bitching about it worse..get back on horse and keep riding."

Think about it, Ladies and gentlemen....our 12 man rotation consists of FOUR 2012 /13 non-starters, ONE transfer, ONE redshirt Freshman and Six true freshman.

TRUST ME EVERYONE...this will not be the last time frustration will fill the morning after for KU Nation this season. As much as this squad needs to learn about Division One Ball, this coaching staff needs to learn about this squad.

Let's revisit this team come conference play!!!!!

Oakville Out!!

Nicholas Cederlind 7 years, 4 months ago

I'm still losing my MIND that no one mentions how Wiggins has been recovering from the flu. Not making excuses but the media is trying to call Wiggins a "no show". Ridiculous.

Sam Burns 7 years, 4 months ago

Jack, Kye, and Jesse, We were definitely watching the same game. Good points. I was excited when Self brought Greene in and then just as disappointed when he passed up several open threes because of the way he was treated after he missed the first one. It would be nice to see Embiid play every minute possible (until he fouls out of every game) to watch him develop and adjust until he learns to stay on his feet on ball fakes and improves his timing. I do think the reason Wiggins was mostly invisible was due to the mugging he was getting each time he attempted a move. The new foul rules are supposed to prevent this! It's time to make some changes for the better development of the team. Tharpe and Black will help our team coming off the bench. Let's get ready for March. Where are our plays to get a player open for the three? We chase the other teams three point shooters for the entire game, but our threes only come from the inside out pass, or our point guard shooting early.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 4 months ago

Last night was an inexperienced team playing like an inexperienced team. I believe Bill Self was forced to let his team try and play through their errors much more than he would've liked because of the foul issues. There will be a few more games like last night this season as well simply because that's the nature of the beast. Every team has bad games and last night was one for KU. I didn't see any new concerns pop up for this team that hadn't already been discussed in the first few games. The fact is that KU's schedule this year is a lot harder than most years and when KU has an off night, they're probably going to lose. All this team can do is learn from last night and try and get better going forward.

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