Kansas defeats Texas-El Paso, 67-63

  • 6 p.m., Nov. 30, 2013
  • Nassau, Bahamas,

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Victory in third-place game doesn’t impress Self

Kansas forward Perry Ellis is fouled after being surrounded by UTEP defenders Tevin Caldwell (15) and Vince Hunter on the Jayhawks' final inbound pass on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013 in Paradise Island, Bahamas.

Kansas forward Perry Ellis is fouled after being surrounded by UTEP defenders Tevin Caldwell (15) and Vince Hunter on the Jayhawks' final inbound pass on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013 in Paradise Island, Bahamas.


Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Self: Jayhawks 'exposed' in Bahamas

Kansas basketball players Joel Embiid and Perry Ellis, and their coach Bill Self, talk about the hard lessons they learned after going 2-1 at the Battle 4 Atlantis.

Download podcast


Box score

— A narrow victory over UTEP in the third-place game of the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament was no cause for celebration for Kansas University’s basketball players, coaches and fans on Saturday in Imperial Arena in the plush Atlantis resort.

The mood, in fact, was downright gloomy after the Jayhawks’ 67-63 win — a game in which KU (6-1) nearly blew a 14-point lead against a 4-4 team in the final two minutes.

“I’m tired,” coach Bill Self said with a frown after KU won for the first time in four all-time meetings versus UTEP, then added some levity to the situation by saying his fatigue was because of a long walk from the locker room to the interview room.

“I’m leaving here not discouraged, but with the understanding that we’re not who I think we thought we were and certainly not who the I think the players thought we were when we headed over here. We were exposed pretty good over here.”

He let loose with a stream of negatives after the Jayhawks appeared to suffer a hangover following Friday’s semifinal loss to Villanova.

“I think we are taking away we have a long way to go to becoming good basketball team. That’s not bad, either. We rarely have great teams in November,” Self said. “We are not as good as we were 17, 18 days ago. That’s a little frustrating we’ve gone backwards. We didn’t play well at all over here. We played one decent half and five crappy ones, in large part because of opponents and how they played.

“We made some plays especially in late-game situations against Wake Forest (in first-round win). Against Wake (in first-round win), we had the game put away and let them back in. Today we had the game put away and let them back in. Villanova ... we had a one-point lead with 12 seconds left and didn’t do what we should have done. There are great teaching moments that should help us moving forward.”

There were some highlights Saturday.

Joel Embiid totaled a freshman record seven blocks, passing Nick Collison’s six versus Nebraska in 2000. And Wayne Selden had 12 points the first half and finished with 14 off 6-of-9 shooting. Also Perry Ellis, who hit some clutch free throws late, netted 19 points with seven boards.

But the lowlights were aplenty as well.

“I think our energy level sucks,” Self said. The Jayhawks, who were patient in attacking UTEP’s gimmick defenses and four-corner offense, held a 15-2 lead nine minutes into the game. However, the lead dipped to 26-20 at 2:51 before being upped to 34-25 by intermission.

“It’s hard to play the game if you don’t have great energy,” Self noted. “It’s hard to play the third game of a three-game tournament with unbelievable energy, (but) there has to be more a sense of urgency. We play way, way, way too casual. That goes into how you screen, block out, go after loose balls, a lot of things we are not doing well now.”

Self said he’s not doing a good job of coaching the Jayhawks.

“I thought we’d have errors of trying too hard instead of casualness,” he said. “That’s what’s really frustrating to me. To me, a coach should be judged on three things: Do they play together? Are they unselfish? Do they play extremely hard and are they tough? I’d say we went 0-for-3. That’s frustrating to me when you go 0-for-3.”

Freshman guard Selden, who was one point off a career high, missed a shot and had three turnovers before the first TV time out. But he also scored KU’s first five points and dove into the stands for a loose ball during the contest.

“I would say Wayne played with as good as energy as anybody,” Self said, also citing Embiid and Tarik Black. “It’s good to see Wayne make a couple shots. That was good. He got off to a rough start. I’m glad I didn’t sub him. He had three turnovers in three minutes, got a couple shots down and actually played well the first half.”

Embiid had six points, six rebounds and seven blocks the final half while playing 16 minutes that half.

“I thought he was good. I’m speaking honestly (in his frank postgame session with media). That’s one guy on a big uptick,” Self said. “He has to play more minutes without fouling.”

As far as re-living the near disastrous ending, KU led, 59-45, at 2:15. However, UTEP brought it all the way back to 66-63 at 6.8. Frosh guard Frank Mason fouled McKenzie Moore, who hit three free throws.

KU was able to inbound, and Ellis, who made five of six free throws the last 35 seconds, made one of two to complete the scoring.

“We have a lot to learn as a team, a lot of things we need to work on,” Ellis said. “This has been a learning experience coming here. The main message (from Self) is we have a lot to learn still. We made mistakes which gave them (Miners) confidence.”

Suffice it to say, Self will be doing a lot of coaching in upcoming practices. The Jayhawks next meet Colorado on 2:15 p.m., Central time, Saturday, Dec. 7, in Boulder.

“We’ve got to get where in practice we are making mistakes but with the same energy and effort you have to play with in the game. You play like you practice. We have not been a great practice team so far,” Self lamented.


Aaron Paisley 4 months, 2 weeks ago

This is a very inexperienced team that played like a very inexperienced team. These are typical growing pains inexperienced teams go through. Duke had a close call against Vermont, Kentucky had a close call against Cleveland St., even an extremely experienced team like Michigan St. had a close call against Columbia. Yes, Bill Self was outcoached in the Villanova game, that wasn't the first time Self has been outcoached and it won't be the last time either because even great coaches have bad games every once in awhile. This team will continue to grow and get better and will be on the short list of title contenders come early March because Bill Self is a great coach.


Barney Kruse 4 months, 2 weeks ago

I've been able to watch more Okie State than KU on tv this year. Used to be that I never missed a game. It's sad to think it is all about the almighty dollar any more. Perhaps because thousands of us aren't able to watch and cheer anymore is why we lost our mojo... it's only weird if it don't work, right?... and it ain't working.


Tony Bandle 4 months, 2 weeks ago


1] Gee, I wonder how many fan bases would be upset over a 6-1 record and a Top Ten Ranking??

2] As I posted yesterday..12 man rotation..FOUR non-starters from last season, ONE transfer, ONE redshirt Freshmen, SIX true freshmen..if this team got any younger, they'd be deciding who to ask to the Prom!!!

3] Villanova won it all...this is no slouch of a team. Yes, we should have beat them, but give them some credit.

4] THE QUESTION OF THE WEEK...which was worse, the venue or the refereeing??

5] THE QUESTION OF THE WEEK TWO...Who on the Kansas team is ready for the NBA?......crickets.....crickets.....!!

6] Hope all of you had a great Thanksgiving.


Gerry Butler 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Brianna, you keep trying to put the problem with how the jayhawks played on the way the paced looked. it WAS NOT, I REPEAT WAS NOT because of the way the place looked that effected how the played period. you say well the ceilings were bad, no wonder they didn't shoot well the ceiling DID NOT have any effect on how we shot the ball.huh really funny if the ceiling effected out shot, wonder why the other teams didn't have the problem as much as shooting the ball if its the ceiling, here is a thought, could it be maybe just MAYBE that their lack of emotion, lackluster approach on defense not aggressive at all could possible be the problem? maybe silly turnovers, maybe that's the problem? ridiculous fouls maybe the problem? not blocking out for rebounds maybe that's the problem? just flat out being outplayed maybe that's the problem? lack of intensity maybe that's the problem? or MAYBE, JUST MAYBE its a combination of all these that's the problem? but it sure the hell is not the hallways, or locker rooms or ceiling that was the rason we struggled, thank god for practice time. the ONLY one who show ANY EMOTION was wayne. multiple times tried to get wiggins fired up and NOTHING some of the guys just looked like they would have been somewhere else. was mentioned by the commentators multiple about how they didn't like the look of the demeanor of some of the starters when they were sitting on the bench, have some time , but got to get back to where we were 3 weeks ago. and as far as pro status goes RIGHT NOW, joel is head and shoulders above wiggins as far as draft status goes, if draft was today NO WAY would Andrew be the nu 1 pick joel very well could be but NOT Andrew. anaylast at half time last night said, Andrew is a great talent right now, but NOT a great player said has a tendency to drift right out of a game


Pam Goad 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Perry Ellis is my new favorite Jayhawk this year, with Frank Mason a close second (except for those boo boos at the end of the UTEP game). Travis Releford was my guy last year - I loved his hustle and leadership. That being said, I agree with the other folks on this board who see Embiid starting soon. That kid is good!


Clarence Haynes 4 months, 2 weeks ago

I still think that this is a talented team with a lot of potential. I will give Wiggins the benefit of the doubt in that I think that he was under the weather throughout this past weekend. Nonetheless, he has to become more assertive and more plays have to be designed to get him the ball! Monsieur Embid has to start, point blank. He's too talented to bring off of the bench. Also, during this weekend, opponents did put up different defenses that somewhat confused the young Hawks (and seemed to surprise the coaching staff), but having now been in those situations, that could be beneficial down the stretch. Finally, Hawks have to listen to HCBS and staff and less to the hype! If so, we'll be fine. Rock Chalk!


Robert Brock 4 months, 2 weeks ago

If the team continues to play casual ball, expect to earn a big L in Boulder.


Suzi Marshall 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Anyone want to bet Self tries Senden at PG? I think he's going to look at this "emergency" option because:

1) Our PGs are not getting the job done. They are not moving the ball to make the team better. We are not getting near the assists needed. Mason does not seem to have the ability to find the open man when he penetrates.

2) We need a long range scoring threat from the 2 spot. White has earned a chance to start and if Greene has settled down it will give him more PT as a backup 2.

Selden's 6 turnovers agains UTEP may give Self some pause to do this right away. However, if he steadies up over the next few games before the break and our PG's don't do better...he will make the change over break.Selden's NBA position will be PG.

I bet one change effective with the next game will be Embiid starting at the 5.


Kevin Long 4 months, 2 weeks ago

There is no need to panic. This is a team loaded with freshmen and sophomores. Trust in Self! He knows what he is doing. I think this weekend was great for them to learn from. If they are still playing this bad in 6 weeks then I will start to worry a little.


Brianna Zaleski 4 months, 2 weeks ago

I'll say it again: that venue is horrible!
It doesn't look good on tv, it's incredibly cramped looking. I felt cramped just watching it on tv. Carpet floors, ballrooms for locker rooms, hallways for "tunnels". The scoreboard looked like a cheap, hockey scoreboard you'd fine in a youth league game in Buffalo. The lighting was ridiculous. Was it a basketball game or a final table in poker? And the ceilings!? Jesus, were they 20 feet? No wonder no one could shoot, their shots were probably skimming off the track lighting above. I mention this (again) because the article references the plushness of the resort. And I know that to be true. But that "arena" should be completely overhauled.


Eric TheCapn 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Just doing some late-night thinking....

Like you all, at this point of the season I don't worry much about poor performance because our boys will be learning and growing over the next several months. "It's only November."

But it's also only November for everyone else. They'll be learning and growing too. So what is it that makes us think we're going to be better off than they are? Coaching? Talent? Youth? History? Superstition?

What is it for you, pray tell?


Michael Sillman 4 months, 2 weeks ago

I know that there was a lot of concern (including myself) about the incredibly tough non-conference schedule for this very young team. However, I now feel that it will help it grow up fast.

The next four games are all going to be challenging based on what we saw today. Hopefully, the Bahamas struggle will get the team to pay close attention to Coach Self during the holiday practice stretch.

One thing was apparent even with the somewhat disappointing results: Embiid is a beast. I can't imagine that Black will be starting much longer.


Dave Coen 4 months, 2 weeks ago

No reason to panic. Have faith in Coach Self. His teams have a consistent pattern of playing poorly or just well enough to win in November & December with exceptions of rising to the occasion against outstanding teams (eg. Florida, Ohio St., Duke, etc.). When the calendar turns to January, Coach Self will have his team playing well. This team is young and inexperienced and, of course, they are unimpressive now, but wait until January.


Hank Cross 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Let's be glad we finally got over on UTEP. I think one loss was in the tourney that UTEP won and another was a 2nd round tourney loss when Don Haskins out-coached Roy Williams and Tim Hardaway drove at will. That one still smarts.


Rodney Crain 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Agree Bryce! Self's teams always get better as the year progresses lets hope that hold's true here this season.

We have no bounce no energy, it is bothersome. Add no outside shooting to speak of and it could get much worse.

Self said WE were EXPOSED, I agree 100% with the coach. Lots to do and not a lot of time to do it.


Bryce Landon 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Self said he’s not doing a good job of coaching the Jayhawks. “I thought we’d have errors of trying too hard instead of casualness,” he said. “That’s what’s really frustrating to me. To me, a coach should be judged on three things: Do they play together? Are they unselfish? Do they play extremely hard and are they tough? I’d say we went 0-for-3. That’s frustrating to me when you go 0-for-3.”

After last night's loss to Villanova, I was really down on Bill Self for his piss-poor coaching and not being willing to admit it. Tonight, after reading this, I take it back. Self is finally showing some humility, and for that I applaud him.


Commenting has been disabled for this item.