Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Jayhawks not counting on another McMiracle vs. ISU

The fieldhouse watches as Kansas guard Ben McLemore puts up the game-tying three over Iowa State guard Tyrus McGee with three seconds left in regulation on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013. McLemore's three sent the game into overtime where the Jayhawks defeated the Cyclones 97-89.

The fieldhouse watches as Kansas guard Ben McLemore puts up the game-tying three over Iowa State guard Tyrus McGee with three seconds left in regulation on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013. McLemore's three sent the game into overtime where the Jayhawks defeated the Cyclones 97-89.


It’s been a year and 20 days since Kansas University wing Ben McLemore banked in a buzzer-beating three-point shot to force overtime against Iowa State in Allen Fieldhouse.

“It still pains me,” fourth-year ISU coach Fred Hoiberg said of the straight-on 22-footer that tied the game at 79 and forced an extra five-minute session. KU went on to win, 97-89.

“When it went off his hand, it looked like it’s three feet to the left. I usually can judge if the ball is going to go in. From my angle it looked so far left. It banked and went in. It was a hard one to handle,” added former ISU star Hoiberg, who had a 4-5 record versus KU as a player and takes a 1-7 mark as a head coach versus the Jayhawks into today’s 8 p.m. rematch in Allen.

“My message to the guys after that game was, ‘If we can play with that type of intensity and give ourselves a chance to win in that arena, we’ll have a pretty successful year.’ That’s exactly what our guys did (in finishing fourth in Big 12 and winning a game in 2013 NCAAs).”

KU, which went 3-0 against Iowa State last season and has defeated the Cyclones once this year — 77-70 on Jan. 13 in Ames — had all the momentum after McLemore’s improbable bank shot. KU scored the first 11 points of overtime and rode McLemore’s 33 points to victory.

“Last year as a team we felt we played the complete game,” said ISU sophomore forward Georges Niang, who missed 16 of 20 shots and went 0-for-9 from three in ISU’s loss to KU 16 days ago. “We guarded their stuff well. We made 14 threes. When he hit that banked three to win the game, it was sort of like, ‘How did that happen?’ Credit to them. They do a great job of winning in their home arena, so we’re going to have our hands full.”

KU coach Bill Self, who has directed KU to a 169-9 record in Allen in 11 seasons, was mighty happy McLemore gave KU an opportunity for overtime.

“Well, I knew it had a chance because it was plenty hard enough. There was no way it was going to be short because he banked it in,” Self said. “When we play Iowa State, it usually is a fun game for fans, kind of stressful for coaches probably.

“We were so lucky last year. Our guys are totally aware of how dangerous a team that can score as easily as Iowa State is. We need to guard them and do a good job on the glass (KU won the board battle on Jan. 13, 53-36). I’m sure Fred is telling his guys the same thing about us. We’ve scored quite a few points in our games as well. I hope it’s not a 100-95 game like last year,” added Self, whose Jayhawks rolled 108-96 in OT in Ames a year ago behind Elijah Johnson’s 39 points. “Certainly when they make shots, you’ve got to be able to put up points.”

KU’s returning players, of course, have fond memories of McLemore’s heroics. He’s now a rookie with the Sacramento Kings.

“Yes, that’s Ben McLemore, that’s my boy,” Tharpe said with a smile, asked if he thought the bank shot would drop through the hoop. Tharpe, by the way, burned ISU for a career-high 23 points on Jan. 13.

“Toward the end of that game, I didn’t know if we were going to come back and win,” noted red-shirt freshman center Landen Lucas. “When Ben hit that shot, I knew we were going to win in overtime. There was too much momentum. That was a big-time shot, definitely one to remember.”

Playing in the fieldhouse was an eye-opening experience for Iowa State’s Niang. It was his first Big 12 game.

“I don’t think any KU fan likes any opposing team that comes in and plays their Jayhawks,” Niang said. “There’s a lot of anger and it’s very loud in there.”

Freshman guard Monte Morris, who had seven points and four assists against KU in Hilton this season, remembers battling some KU fans on the Internet a year ago.

“I think I tweeted about it, saying when I get there hopefully it’ll be a different outcome,” Morris said. “I got a lot of tweets of, ‘Wait until you come here.’ KU fans got on me saying they can’t wait to chant some stuff,” he added, smiling. “This is a year ago. I don’t know if they are going to do that. They remember, so it should be fun.”

“It’s fun for a lot of people, it’s not fun for the coaches,” Hoiberg stated of playing in Allen. “It’s a cool place, a great atmosphere. Obviously has a lot of history. I think the two loudest arenas, if you ask anybody in the league, it’s Kansas and Iowa State.

“We put ourselves in a position to win there last year. It’s not something that’s easy to do. Obviously we didn’t finish it off. This time if we go down there and have the same confidence and again knock down shots, we will have a chance. It’s going to be rocking, we know that. It’s an important game for both teams.”

Noted ISU’s Morris: “It’s not a better feeling going somewhere and stunning their crowd. We have been talking about that all week, the feeling if we win at Kansas we can walk off the court and silence all their fans and the critics saying we can’t beat Kansas.”

No. 16-ranked ISU enters 3-3 in the league and 15-3 overall; No. 6 KU is 6-0 and 15-4. Senior forward Melvin Ejim (15 points vs. KU in Ames) leads the Big 12 in scoring at 17.9 points per game. Senior guard DeAndre Kane, who had 21 vs. the Jayhawks, is next in scoring for ISU at 16.3 ppg. Niang, who had 11 in Ames, averages 15.4 points.

“Great. We held him to 21 or 23 with a bad ankle?” Self joked when asked of KU’s defense on Kane in Ames. “Look at his stats and look at Niang and his stats and (one could) say we did a great job guarding him. I don’t think that was the case at all. He (Niang) missed some looks. There’s a lot of things we can do better defending them.”

Questionable: KU senior forward Tarik Black remains questionable for today’s game, Self said after Tuesday’s practice. Black did not practice 100 percent of the time Tuesday. “He’s made progress but not great,” Self said of the player who sprained his ankle in the Baylor game on Jan. 20.

Welcome back, Doc: Former KU director of basketball operations, Doc Sadler, is a first-year assistant on Hoiberg’s ISU staff.

Wiggins a winner: KU freshman guard Andrew Wiggins was named winner of the Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Week award Tuesday, the U.S. Basketball Writers Association announced. Wiggins was selected by’s Jeff Borzello, in partnership with the USBWA.

This, that: KU leads the all-time series, 174-59, dating to 1908. KU has won four straight and 17 of the last 18 meetings. ISU’s last win was 72-64 on Jan. 28, 2012, in Ames. KU is 48-9 vs. ISU in Allen. KU has won eight straight over ISU in Allen. ISU’s last win was 63-61 in overtime on Feb. 19, 2005. Self is 20-3 all-time versus Iowa State, including 19-3 while at KU.


Chris Easter 2 months, 3 weeks ago

We need to defend the 3 better. It seems the other team always has someone go off for 5 or 6 3's on us. With Iowa state they have several guys who can do that to us. They aren't going to miss as many as they did the last meeting. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I hope to see Conner and Greene and even AWII come in and knocked down a 3. That always makes me smile.


Ben Schwartz 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Am I alone in thinking "McLemiracle" sounds better?

Good article, Gary. Let's bring it tonight and not let them get hot from behind the arc.


Andrew Dunlap 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Sheesh! is this a Jayhawk Board or some Conservative rant! Enough already!! This team can be a team of destiny. They are coming together at the right time. I think relying on Wiggins to produce a little more makes us hard to defend. If Landon Lucas can cover for Tarik Black over the nest few games and Perry Ellis can also score more. we can make another 5-6 game run


tim deegan 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Interesting little piece comparing our hawks this year to 2011-12 UK freshman team. Let's hope history repeats itself... except for the part about sucking so bad the next year you don't make the big dance at all (as a KU fan, Kentucky going to the NIT was just all covered in awesomesauce)


Jack Wilson 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Brett: You do realize that you drove this entire page into the lake. Suzi made a pretty innocent comment and you overreacted. Then your overreaction creates the discussion that you (in all caps) supposedly don't want to occur here. The easiest way to avoid a political discussion, if you want to avoid it, is to not indulge it.


Beau Woolsey 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Bill Self for president The mayor is a good coach but he is not a president. ;)


Bruce Beckum 2 months, 3 weeks ago

I don't know when I've ever seen an entire team improve as much as this year's Jayhawks. Sure, HCBS had incredible talent to work with, but each player has improved tremendously on offense and defense. However, I'm betting that Self won't win Big12 coach of the year (that will probably go to Lon Kruger) and unless he wins it all, won't even get mentioned for national coach of the year. Guess that's one of the "downfalls" of being one of the best coaches in the nation? As I typed that last sentence, I remembered that coach k won it several years ago with an average team? Sheesh.

I agree with the poster above who suggested cracking down on flopping. ISU and OSU are making a mockery of the game by falling down every time Embiid is near. One of our guys (Wiggins?) flopped recently and I didn't like that any more than I do when opposing players do it.


Waylon Cook 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Beat their smug asses like a drum and move on. ISU came back to earth when Big 12 started and time to keep kicking their asses!


Robert Brock 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Thomas Jefferson and the next 24 presidents satisfied the Constitutional requirement that the President inform Congess as to the State of the Union "from time to time" via a polite letter. I recommend that we get back to that by the POTUS exchanging a few tweets. Congress is plenty informed as it is. Every Congressman and Senator believes he/she is God's gift to Civilization and all must hear their comments. ENOUGH ALREADY!


Erich Hartmann 2 months, 3 weeks ago

HAHA, Monte Morris tells us he had to "battle" some KU fans on twitter. I guarantee you it was nothing compared to what Elijah Johnson had to endure from stupid Iowa State students on his facebook page. And then some over-the-hill fan wanted to battle Bill Self on the sideline in Hilton after the game. Sorry, Melvin Weathermax, your team choked on our chicken, and you and your fans were an absolute embarrassment to college basketball. All those hundreds of angry fans even made Hoiberg's 5yr old son cry in the stands. One of the ugliest displays of hospitality I have ever seen. Oh, and Elijah dunking was specifically to silence the hecklers that were on him from the opening tip...they touched a nerve by taunting him, so he played like never before, or since. So he shut them up, as it should be. I will 100% support that particular dunk, given the unique circumstances. RCEJH!


Erich Hartmann 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Putcha SHOES on! (Maybe this year, Wiggins drops "39 pts" on the Clones, somebody's gotta do it). RCJH.


Rodney Crain 2 months, 3 weeks ago

What a conference! We had a tough schedule to start, came through it perfectly, and still have tough home and away games. Tonight one of the biggest remaining home games and a clear way to distant ourselves from the rest of the pack. These 3 next games are going to be as tough as any part of the schedule. If we can get to 9-0 all we have is the inside track, if we lose 1 game we could only have a 1 game lead with two possible teams right on our heels. Whoever wins the B12 will have survived as much as won a championship. Great games every week.


Greg Lux 2 months, 3 weeks ago

iT'S a sad world when we see a commercial for the SOTU address and all my wife and I can think is Damn we are going to miss some of our Tuesday night shows. She said to me " Why watch it? It's all lies anyway " I agree its a waste of time. My only statement is " Bring all of our troops home NOW " NOW on the KU game .. That's definitely NOT a waste of time. It's the best show on TV every time its on . KU has improved so much since the ISU game that I would say it maybe close ( within 10 ) at half but KU will run away with its bench strength in the second half winning by 15 or more. Embiid is just to much inside and when ( not if ) they double team we should get open shots. I predict Ellis will have a big game alone with Tharpe, Wiggins, Selden, Greene, Traylor, I could go on but you get the idea. We are the deepest team in the country depth wise and we will be far to much for ISU tonight.

Rock Chalk


Tony Bandle 2 months, 3 weeks ago


1] The State of the Union speech was so boring, politically self-congratulatory and so full of crap, just like all others, both Republican and Democratic, I watched an entire hockey game from start to finish!!! { I couldn't find a nail to hammer into the wall with my head].

2] Did anybody see the Kentucky game last night where Calipari went onto the court DURING LIVE GAME ACTION and actually pushed one of his players into position!!?? Isn't that just a bit of a violation of the rules?

3] If anyone is interested, I have a mean butterflied pork chop recipe I can share.

4] Back to gameday....something tells me ISU won't miss about 200 three pointers as they did in the first tough perimeter "D" and pound the ball inside and all will be well.

5] I wonder if Black is a little Blue. [See what I did there :) ].

6] Ethan Berger..please check my post prior to the start of Big 12 play...I predicted 18-0 in conference!! [ Of course, I was on medication at the time...but it still counts!! }

7] My suggestions for spicing up the NBA...add another ball, use razor wire instead of netting, turn out the lights and make it "Cosmic Ball" like the bowling alleys, actually play by Dr.Naismith's intended rules....NNAAAHHHH, they'd never do that one.

8] My suggestion for improving America..remove every president, senator, rep, judge, governer, mayor, county supervisor, councilman, etc. at federal, state and local levels put in all new guys and gals and start over. Could they do any worse??


Robert Brock 2 months, 3 weeks ago

KU caught a break in Ames. The Clones missed a lot of easy threes and shot poorly all night. Expect them to shoot better in AFH.

Hawks: better lace 'em up and play some D - especially on the perimeter.


Randy Maxwell 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Obama's Amerika, isn't it great


Phil Leister 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Everything Hoiberg says irks me. Everything complimentary he says about KU always included a nod to his ISU team as well.


Ethan Berger 2 months, 3 weeks ago

In our last 8 games, 7 of the teams will have been ranked or are currently ranked. The depth of our conference this year is unreal because it also comes with a title contender in our Jayhawks. We have to play 2 ranked teams again this week and we stand 2 games above the rest. Many people were scared that we would even finish in the top half after losing to some very good teams. It's a statement to what Bill Self has done. Ok State who was our big competition is a further down they way then they should. Incredible that such a young team was able to flip the switch and became a contender that fast. Also says how much these kids don't want to be the team that ends the streak. Pride can do some crazy things and this team has it. Heard so many times after loses that these kids don't care, they have no heart but we all learned that couldn't be further from the truth. Heck, I'll admit a 4-2 mark at this point would have been okay with me. Very few saw 6-0 coming. Thankfully tonight, we won't be in a arena who boos no matter the call.


Jeremy Paul 2 months, 3 weeks ago

If Iowa State hits their shots tonight, it's going to be a tough game. This is always an interesting game for me because unlike all the rest of the teams in our conference, I don't hate Iowa State. I like the way they play, and I respect their team, and I really like their coach. It's good for our conference when they're good.

With the injuries to Black and Embiid, I hope to see Traylor take over, and also see Lucas continue to play important minutes.


Jonathan Allison 2 months, 3 weeks ago

I've watched a few SOTU addresses from a few different presidents and always been mind-numbingly bored. It's always the same rhetoric no matter the affiliation. Sure some of the key points are different, but it all sounds like "wah wah wah" to me. I'm more interested in what the president does than in what the president says he wants to do. I find myself couldn't the applause breaks.

I didn't watch last night because my cable service went out (not that I'd have necessarily watched it anyway). Hopefully they get it fixed tonight because I actually do really want to watch this game with ISU.


Grouch Lives 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Obama. Republicans. Decriminalized marijuana.

Just baiting you, Brett.


Brianna Zaleski 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Brett, This is a free country and a free website. I did not find anything wrong with Suzi MENTIONING the Prez's speech last night. I found myself thinking some of the same things as Suzi while watching it also. Except instead of comparing choice of ties, I found myself amused w Boehner's inability to hide the disgust on his face as O eloquently blathered about. Did u watch it? You should have, so you can help call that criminal to task when he doesn't follow thru on 99% of what he promised.
But the prevailing thought that I had in my mind was how I couldn't wait for it to be 24 hrs later to see the Hawks in action again in what will surely be an intense game. The crowd is going to be juiced! Politics are a necessity in this country. We might not always like the game or the players, but it's impt to know what these ppl running our country are saying and doing. And it's just as impt to debate the right and wrong of it all. Just because this is a sports website, it doesn't mean we can't occasionally mention important political goings on. Be thankful we have an outlet like this to escape to, because if this was 20-30 yrs ago, the presidents speech would be what everyone was talking about this morning. Because of the lack of other outlets, ppl were much more engaged in the day to day of our "leaders".


Suzi Marshall 2 months, 3 weeks ago

I tried in vain to watch the SOTU speech last night but became bored with the all too predictable rhetoric, legislators that should be in jail, and comparing the ties worn by Obama, Biden and Boehner.

To lift my spirits, I re-watched the last ISU very strange game in Ames. We were able to steal a game nobody wanted to win. The Hawks made the most ridiculous turnovers and the senseless fouls. Ellis, much like the TCU game, missed a ton of shots (8 actually) at the rim. That game pointed out that ISU has no answer for Embiid or Wiggins. I’m really looking forward to see how we handle ISU when they double the post again. If we are hitting the 3s, FTs, limit turnovers to a dozen, and playing reasonable D….we will win by 25.

Marcus Smart would have fit right in with those guys and could collectively go by “the floppers.” I saw the recent poll that stated CBB enjoyed only a 3 percent popularity. To improve CBB they could start by discouraging flopping, cutting down the clock time (even the women only need 30 seconds), and limiting those mind-numbing monitor reviews.


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