Iowa State defeats Kansas, 94-83

  • 6 p.m., March 14, 2014
  • Sprint Center, Kansas City, MO

Friday, March 14, 2014

Unacceptable’ performance: Jayhawks lament lack of defense in loss to Iowa State

Kansas gives up 94 points — most in regulation by any Self KU team

Kansas players Brannen Greene, left, Tarik Black, Wayne Selden, and Joel Embiid, sit quietly on the Jayhawks' bench as Iowa State begins to pull away in the second half on Friday, March 14, 2014 at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri.

Kansas players Brannen Greene, left, Tarik Black, Wayne Selden, and Joel Embiid, sit quietly on the Jayhawks' bench as Iowa State begins to pull away in the second half on Friday, March 14, 2014 at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri.


Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Bill Self, Perry Ellis and Tarik Black react to KU's BIg 12 semifinal loss to ISU

Kansas coach Bill Self, as well as post players Perry Ellis and Tarik Black, react to KU's BIg 12 semifinal loss to ISU, and discuss how the Cyclones broke down the Jayhawks' defense to reach the Big 12 championship game.

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Bill Self on KU's Big 12 semifinal loss to ISU

Kansas basketball coach Bill Self meets with media outside the Jayhawks' locker room after KU's 94-83 loss to Iowa State in the Big 12 tournament semifinals.


Box score

— Soft-spoken Perry Ellis issued a stern warning to his Kansas University basketball teammates after Friday’s 94-83 loss to Iowa State in a Big 12 tournament semifinal in Sprint Center.

“After the game, he told us, ‘No more, no more. We can’t let this happen any more,’’’ freshman guard Frank Mason said. 

“That was the biggest thing we got from him.”

Ellis, who erupted for 21 points in the first half and finished with 30 points off 11-of-12 shooting (seven of eight from the line), was most perturbed and concerned about his, and his teammates’ play on the defensive end.

Iowa State lit up the Jayhawks for 94 points off 54 percent shooting (11 of 19 threes). 

It was the most points allowed by the Jayhawks in a regulation game in Bill Self’s 11 years at KU.

The Jayhawks allowed 92 last Saturday at West Virginia and 92 against Iowa State on Jan. 28, 2012. Most points allowed by a Self team in an overtime game is 96 against the Cyclones on Feb. 25, 2013.

“That’s definitely unacceptable to give up that many points,” Ellis, a sophomore forward from Wichita, said. “That’s just way too many points. We have to realize if we want to continue pursuing (a national title) in this (upcoming NCAA) tournament, we have to be a team that is able to get stops.

“I think with us, as a young team, it’s just mental,” Ellis added. “We have to have a mentality we need to stop the men we are guarding. We have to figure that out or it’s going to end soon.”

Thanks in part to Ellis, the Jayhawks survived eight ISU three-pointers the first half and led, 48-46, at halftime. But ISU outscored KU, 48-35, the final half.

“Coach said with a team like that ... we can’t try to outscore a team like that,” said KU point guard Naadir Tharpe. “We have to get stops. We didn’t get stops as one.

“We couldn’t get stops at the end. It was back and forth. We can’t let that happen,” Tharpe added.

Iowa State’s Georges Niang had 14 of his 25 points the final half as the Cyclones finished with a whopping five players in double figures. DeAndre Kane had 20 points, Melvin Ejim 19, Dustin Hogue 12 and Monte Morris 11 for a team that hit 68 percent of its second-half shots, just three of seven threes.

“They were killing us on the inside and outside,” Tharpe stated of ISU, which opened a 59-52 lead off a three by Kane with 14:26 left. KU actually never crept closer than six the rest of the way.

Said soph forward Jamari Traylor.“We can’t win games going out and letting teams get 90-some points on us. We have to get more stops in a row, hunker down on defense and finish the possession with rebounding. We didn’t do that today."

Self had been quite pleased with his squad’s defense in a 77-70 quarterfinal win over Oklahoma State on Thursday.

“We’re not going to play a team more than likely in the tournament that’s better than Iowa State was tonight offensively,” Self said. “But sure I’m concerned. I don’t know of any coach that wouldn’t be concerned about different things with their ball club. That’s an area we’ve been inconsistent (defense) because our defense last night was exceptional.

“Tonight it wasn’t as good and the matchup was harder for us tonight. We historically play better defense when you play against two bigs and tonight we played against zero. That makes it hard for us to guard.”

KU has allowed 90-plus points in two of the last three games with 7-footer Joel Embiid out because of a stress fracture in his back. Embiid isn’t expected to return for next weekend’s NCAA tourney games.

“We definitely have to adjust,” Ellis said after the Jayhawks allowed 38 points in the paint, tying a season-high by the opposition. “He would deflect a lot of the drives and contest a lot of those shots. We have to focus on keeping them out of the paint. That’s an emphasis we have to do now without him.”

“We do have to change,” noted Tharpe, who went 0-for-3 from the field and five of six from the line and finished with five points, nine assists and two turnovers. “We don’t have Joel so there is a change we have to do. We have to guard the perimeter. We don’t have anybody down there to block shots like Joel. We have a couple that can defer shots. Nobody can block like Joel. We have to all defend better.”

On a positive note, Ellis’ 11-of-12 shooting from the field marked a new Big 12 tournament field goal percentage record (91.7). He had nine field goals at halftime, most by a KU player in a half since Nick Collison hit nine shots in the second half against Duke on March 27, 2003.

“Being aggressive,” Ellis said of the key to scoring 30, two points shy of his personal best mark. “That’s what I always say and what coach always tells me, be aggressive is what I’m trying to do.”

That’s offensively ... and defensively.


Benz Junque 6 years, 12 months ago

“We couldn’t get stops at the end. It was back and forth. We can’t let that happen,” Tharpe added.

Eh, Tharpe. You couldn't get stops in the beginning or the middle, either. It's getting ridiculous that we have to listen to "we have play play more aggressive on defense" after every other game now. QUIT FRIGGIN' TALKING ABOUT IT AND DO IT. That was ridiculous. Even the announcers were harping on the fact that KU might want to actually guard a three point shooter after letting them go 8-12 from deep in the first half. Pathetic.

Jack Jones 6 years, 12 months ago

Tsk, Tsk ~ Isn't it great to be a watcher and a critic, instead of having to actually "AND DO IT"? And, you actually have the ba**s to quote these two idiot announcers. I'm beginning to see a direct correlation between the intelligence of sports announcers, and many of the so-called "fans".

Rodney Crain 6 years, 12 months ago

So Jack nothing to say about the teams performance today, only about somebody who actually commented on it? Tsk Tsk No disagreement about how poorly the team played defense? So you agree with what he said just not the way he said it???

Benz Junque 6 years, 11 months ago

So Jack, do you think they played good defense today? Those two "idiot announcers" simply stated the same thing that any person who has ever watched the game of basketball was thinking as well which is that perhaps when a team is shooting lights out on open jumpers you should try to do something to contest those jumpers.

The only fans that are dumb are the fans that think that standing two feet closer to a guy and contesting a jumper is difficult. It's not. It does open the risk of having guys drive past you which is why an increase in energy level was needed to get guys to move their feet faster to slide side to side. It also takes bigs in the back who are paying more attention and are quicker to rotate over to help. We have all watched KU team after KU team after KU team learn these concepts and complete them. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure it out.

Don't call out FANS for pointing out the failure of the TEAM when the points they are making are realistic and based in the events that we all just watched happen. I did not make any doomsday predictions that are based on assumptions; just pointed out what actually happened.

Walter Bridges 6 years, 11 months ago

I don't care how direct the correlation is, it still doesn't show cause and effect. This team was ripped apart beCAUSE of their inept play. The EFFECT of such play lead to another disappointing performance. This has nothing to do with fans who aren't rah rah rahing their team who once again blew a double-digit lead.

Just because you point out this teams deficiencies doesn't make you a so-called 'fan'.

Walter Bridges 6 years, 11 months ago

Benz..Win or lose, Fraschilla never has anything good to say about Kansas. It gets old listening to his biased viewpoints.

Still though, the Jayhawks deserved just about every slight headed their way. This team has had its butt handed to them in 3 of their last 5 games. The Iowa State game proved to me that anything past the first weekend would be miraculous.

Kansas has no leader. They are still a bunch of talented individuals. I can't remember seeing a Kansas team playing with such a porous defense and turning the ball over in record-breaking numbers.

I only hope Coach Self will discontinue the OAD experiment and go back to developing players who will stick around 3/4 years. It's already too late for next year's team which will be led by senior point guard Tharpe..ugh

Rodney Crain 6 years, 12 months ago

When you look at the box score there is no reason why the Jayhawks lost this game. They just could not stop Iowa State from scoring at will.

What a terrible defensive performance from a team that thinks it deserves a 2 seed. This group, team is a word I would not use right now, is extremely ripe for an early upset out of the tournament. What is concerning is that the hope to turn this around is still a week plus away and even if Joel plays it still might not be enough.

I agree with Benz, stop talking about it and do it or get ready for the banquet and your summers.


Dirk Medema 6 years, 12 months ago

Has this team actually talked about the NCAA tourney, or are you just projecting your own thoughts (and those of other bloggers/bracketology devotees)?

Rodney Crain 6 years, 11 months ago

Dirk its my opinion. Sorry that was over your head???

Alex Berger 6 years, 11 months ago

Don't be such a D-bag Rodney. Dirk is talking about you saying "a team that thinks it deserves a 2 seed". The team hasn't said that so that's what he was asking about.

Rodney Crain 6 years, 11 months ago

Alex Dirk was questioning more than that. So thanks for the disrespect. Homers, upset with everything but the way their team plays. Anyone who says anything remotely negative is told to shut up and done so with grade school behavior just like you have done.

Alex Berger 6 years, 11 months ago

I don't think he was questioning anything more than what he said, which was, "Has this team actually talked about the NCAA Tourney...?" in response to you saying "a team that thinks it deserves a 2 seed," when the team has never mentioned seeding.

I can handle criticism of the team's play. I agree with a lot of the criticisms and even some of your criticisms of the team's play. In this instance I am saying you do not have to be a jerk to everyone who critiques you. So I don't think you need to shut up, your opinions are welcome, you just don't need to be so condescending to everyone who has a different opinion than you (hence being guilty of what you are angry about what "the other side" is doing) or is questioning what you are saying. Argue your points and your logic will speak for itself or be disagreed with.

Walter Bridges 6 years, 11 months ago

Just about everything goes over Dick's head. Once again I suggest using smaller words.

Ben Schwartz 6 years, 12 months ago

*what a lackluster defensive performance against a really impressive offensive performance by ISU from a team that doesn't seem to care if they are a 2 or a 3 seed (but will probably end up a 2 seed) ... Disappointing.

Fixed that for you.

Rodney Crain 6 years, 11 months ago

Here Ben let me fix this for you... I do not need your help to express my thoughts.

If you want to disagree please do but do it without being condescending please.

What a terrible defensive performance from a team that thinks it deserves a 2 seed. This group, team is a word I would not use right now, is extremely ripe for an early upset out of the tournament. What is concerning is that the hope to turn this around is still a week plus away and even if Joel plays it still might not be enough. I agree with Benz, stop talking about it and do it or get ready for the banquet and your summers. Embarrassing.

Sae Thirtysix 6 years, 11 months ago

Ben Crain = smartest poster* on the board

(*ref, Benjamin Crain, Expression Expert Inc.)

Rodney Crain 6 years, 11 months ago

Sae do you disagree with what I said, or are you trying to "reach" for an insult? I think you are just trying tp say I think I am smarter than everyone else, hard to tell. We are in the post season Sae if you want to just insult me without referencing the team be a little smarter about it yourself. Pickup your game like our team should.

By the way I am just voicing my displeasure about my team. Not about any person who is posting their opinion. So on a Blog about our team you take the time to put down a person for voicing their thoughts, not about disagreeing with me or voicing your own opinion about our team.

Not real smart, are you proud of yourself Sae?

Sae Thirtysix 6 years, 11 months ago

Insult? Only if you take it that way.

Smart? Your intelligence may or may not be reflected in your posts.

Self pride? Interpretation of ego, not for me to judge.

As for my team . . . Rock Chalk!!

Rodney Crain 6 years, 11 months ago

Can you type in sentences or provide the code book for understanding you?

Sae Thirtysix 6 years, 11 months ago

Your intelligence may or may not be reflected in your posts.

[sentence structure - (pronoun, subject, tenor, adverb, conclusion)]

Sae Thirtysix 6 years, 11 months ago

Sarcasm - something R. Benjamin Crain cannot understand.

John Myers 6 years, 11 months ago

You're missing the point - this team has never said they think they deserve a 2 seed.

Rodney Crain 6 years, 11 months ago

Hey Einstein when has the word think, mean said? They think they deserve, does not mean they said they think. My word. you are missing what I actually typed. I did not say they said it, they think it.

John Myers 6 years, 11 months ago

And you know this how? You're a mind reader, I guess?

Rodney Crain 6 years, 11 months ago

Cause you typed it lol. It's called an opinion not a fact. It's what you do here state your thoughts this is not a research paper with foot notes. I think our team thinks they deserve a number 2 seed.

Ben Schwartz 6 years, 11 months ago

Condescending? Hm, yeah, I guess, but pot definitely meet kettle.

If you would slow down Rodney, you would actually see I did not really disagree with your opinion. In fact, I definitely agree with you and Benz in regards to Naadir needing to stop saying he will improve things and just focus on improving them.

If you cut away some of the overwhelming loathing and negativity in your posts, they are often pretty agreeable (which was kind of the point of my first post). You appear to be so lost in your world of attention-seeking misery that you can't even figure out who is your friend and who is your enemy.

Rodney Crain 6 years, 11 months ago

Thanks for the " being lost in your world of attention-seeking misery" clarification. My friends use this with me all the time... I have friends btw.

I say what's on my mind, there are posters on here that cannot stand when anyone says something negative, even if true about our team. I am attacked repeatedly, like you did with this statement, it's fine I can stand up for myself. If you agree or disagree fine, but I never get muddy in my replies till people do it to me. So when you say fixed that I see that as I missed the real point. I questioned that and you say what I thought was behind your post, what you classify me as....attention seeking misery... It's ok Ben you just said what you thought, nothing about the team or our play, just a comment on poor me.

John Fitzgerald 6 years, 11 months ago

I see your frustration Rodney and I too am frustrated. I've said this before but our guys seem to be stuck in reaction mode on defense as opposed to attack mode. I only saw Wiggins and Selden reaching in trying to disrupt the dribbler. I didn't see much of our guys getting in the passing lanes. I also didn't see them forcing the dribbler to his weak side. Defense is all strategy and if you can't spend time in the film room noticing the weaknesses then your defense will not be helpful. Look at Russell Robinson. When he played defense his goal every time was to get the ball back. He attacked, he did not react. I just hope something gives and we are able to figure this defense thing out. I just want to see Embiid play again before he leaves for the NBA.

Steve Zimmerman 6 years, 12 months ago

The Cyclones shot well. They shared the ball well. Tharpe did pretty well sharing the ball, 9 assists/2 TOs. That's pretty good. Obviously, he didnt' participate in making some baskets. I give Ho-berg and his team a credit for winning against Jojo-less KU. When a team that hot played, they could beat just about anybody from inside outside. Their 5 players scored doubles vs KU's 2. I'm not sure who's fault that is. Can't really single out any players on our side.

Here's to March Madness! Rock Chalk KU!

Walter Bridges 6 years, 11 months ago

It's easy to shoot well when no one is defending you. And no need to single out any one player...they all stunk the place up.

HCBS and Kansas has been known for their defense but defense takes a team effort and that hasn't happened this year.

Jason Larkins 6 years, 12 months ago

First-time commenter here. I've followed for awhile and have seen some of comments/boards here. Unfortunately 90% of everything posted here is by KU homers. While I'm a season ticket holder, and often a HOMER myself, I can't help but tell it how it is: the KU team this year is simply soft.

Everything Self has wanted his past teams to avoid is everything this year's team is: soft. It's great they can score with any team in the country but what wins championships is defense. The '08 team could defend and force turnovers and this year's team is one of the worst we've had in years in those regards. This team brings it when they really want to (as last night against OKState was evidence to) but this wasn't one of those nights. They care more about scoring most nights than they do about defending. Embiid is a luxury at this point but even without him this team has enough talent to make a solid tourney run but they're not going anywhere if they don't man up. We have the talent but they just don't play TOUGH enough on the perimeter to shut people down. When's the last time we've seen a guard "pick the pocket" of another guard? I'm pretty sure we haven't seen it all year. Have we seen anybody really guard the direct pass and force a turnover from a passing lane? What....can you really recall a time or a whole two all season? Good for you.

It's always fun to watch the kids grow and true become Jayhawks. It's fun to see Wiggins smile and enjoy the moment...but anybody that believes we're making a deep in the tourney run is just fooling themselves. Until this year's squad commits to playing defense you're all just wasting your time.

Ben Schwartz 6 years, 12 months ago

I will keep wasting my time then. I don't have any other teams to root for.

I also apologize for the overwhelming support of KU on the KUSports website that you have experienced, we have been having trouble trying to correct that.

Your points are valid, but even the rest of us "homers" know we have defensive problems. Do I think we have a realistic shot at a title? No, but I think I will stay optimistic for each game until if/when they are finally done.

Rodney Crain 6 years, 11 months ago

Great Post Jason I could not agree more. I had a homer today try to tell me how to root for my team. Kind of amazing. They would rather get mad at posters instead of who they are truly disappointed with, their team.

Keep Posting Jason!!!

Alex Berger 6 years, 11 months ago

It's not a matter of being soft, they are just young and prone to mental lapses of losing their guys. It's not a matter of playing hard as much as not playing smart or thinking quickly. That's the downside to having young super-talents. The old guys tend to have more consistency but don't quite have the talent. Do you remember how hard it was for us to score last year? They played good defense but didn't quite have the talent to make shots (especially if Ben was cold or well guarded). Our young guys have been really hurt by the rule re-emphasis on hand-checking because it means they have to think quicker to change directions and can't use their hands to compensate. They try to play defense but sometimes just aren't thinking quick enough. That comes with age, but unfortunately, the NBA will come calling before our super-talents can mentally mature.

In the meantime I'll keep wasting my time and cheering for a deep run this year.

Walter Bridges 6 years, 11 months ago

"It's always fun to watch the kids grow and true become Jayhawks"

Agree Jason. Unfortunately though, in any one single season, it's hard to see that growth. I'm guessing we will lose a minimum of three players from this team and possibly 4 or 5. JoJo and Wiggins are at the end of their KU careers, Andrew White and maybe a few others will transfer. Selden is a question mark.. I see him as a mid-first rounder.

Next year we are bringing in two more OADs and possibly 3 if Myles Turner commits. Those players who have stuck around awaiting their chance might not be willing to wait another year. I hope Self goes back and recruits the players that he has had the most success developing. Recruits between #50 and #20 and maybe get a competent point guard.

I don't see anyone on this team who will ever develop like Travis Releford, TRob, Kuan, RussellRob,or even the Morris twins. I don't want Kansas to be another Kentucky.

Ethan Berger 6 years, 11 months ago

We still can win it all. Am I confident we will? Heck no but things happen. Only two teams deserve to be considered confident in their chances and that's Arizona and Florida. Let's walk through other contenders

Louisville. Suddenly the might be final four favorites but they have holes. Russ Smith is a beast but they don't have any true wing players. A team shooting hot can knock them out. But its looking like they grab the last 1.

Virginia- Their offense is equally weak as our defense. And defense as strong as our offense, if not more. You score 70 on them, you will have a decent chance of winning.

Duke- all guards no post. A big team will give them fits. No ACC team were big so they did very well. Great guard play but very beatable

Wisconsin- another interesting team. They aren't big, fast or strong. But very strong in their roles. Not a high scoring team but can't let them shoot open. A scare for a early exit

Michigan- if McGary wasn't hurt, they would snag the last 1 but he is hurt. Team has a bit of everything but doesn't do one thing really well. Could make a huge run or leave 1st weekend.

Villanova- Scrappy team that struggles on offense. Not a team you want to play but not a team you're scared of.

Whichita state- very good team that plays well on both sides. But untested. Can dump into the post but they will trap. Really don't know how good they really are.

San Diego State. Old, physical team, also not great on O but they will bring it all 40 minutes.

This was not in order but kind of random. If I forgot a team, add it. Every team has its flaws. If we can play intense ball, we can make a big run.

Allen Shepard 6 years, 11 months ago

Take arizona out because they don't have enough scorers and it will trip them up in one of the six games..

and Florida has played a few close games against -awful- teams recently and i think they are much the worse for not having actually lost one of them, and could easily get bit by a lower seed

Benz Junque 6 years, 11 months ago

Florida will win the national title this year because they play aggressive defense and can score and have experienced seniors that take care of the ball. They also play with passion and don't seem to be a "flip the switch" team that cruises like Kansas does some times.

Walter Bridges 6 years, 11 months ago

Kind of sad that Florida will match our total of NCAA Tournament championships if they win it all and I agree that they should be the favorite.

Walter Bridges 6 years, 11 months ago

Arizona has more than enough scorers. Four players average 10 or more points and two others average 8.6 points per game.

Steve Zimmerman 6 years, 11 months ago

I'm interested in what you think of KU. I still think FL has a shot to win it all. The Cards look good all of a sudden. I won't rule KU completely out though, every team has its weaknesses. But with healthy Jojo, KU seems unbeatable.

Ethan Berger 6 years, 11 months ago

If KU can "bring it" every game, no team can stop us. Even in yesterday's game, we should have won. We missed a lot of open shots. Iowa state had to shoot lights out. In the first two games, they missed a bunch of open treys. With Wiggins new found beast mode, we can find a way to hoist it up. But if we play lazy d, then all it takes is a team who won't miss to beat us.

Alex Berger 6 years, 11 months ago

With a healthy Jojo KU is much better but they have to come ready to play every night. The biggest problem with our team is that we have mental lapses on defense. Against ISU, I can handle some of the contested shots that Kane and Ejim were getting to fall but it was all of those lay-ups that were killing us (not from a matter of being "soft" but from mental lapses). If our guards hone in and move with the guy in front of them and our posts don't lose their man then we are in great shape. It will then just come down to whether or not we are making shots. Particularly open 3s and the contested lay-ups around the rim (that we miss a surprisingly amount of).

Bryan Mohr 6 years, 11 months ago

Keegan made too much of ISU's 3's. They made 11 (33 points). So, 61 of ISU's points came from non-3's. Non-3's is where KU lost. Once again KU's opponent spreads the court and burns us 1-on-1 with drives from the arc - the help defense too late because they're out guarding near the arc.

NCAA DIV I RECORD FOR MOST TEAM 3'S IN A GAME: 21. No team has scored more than 63 points from shooting 3's.

KU is losing this year because of getting burned by 1-on-1 drives to the hoop. Self needs to use a zone with this year's team, particularly with this year's officiating change of calling fouls (often) when the defender tries to cut-off a driving player. KU should have zoned tonight. KU should have zoned in many games this year. Is any team going to score more than 63 points from beyond the arc? History says no. I believe KU would have won this game if they played a zone, forcing ISU to win by 3's instead of playing 5 tight on the arc and losing from 1-on-1 match-ups and dribble penetration.

Benz Junque 6 years, 11 months ago

The reason why ISU was able to get to the rim so much is that KU sat back and dared them to shoot from outside and they went 8-12 from three in the first half while barely getting KU to commit any fouls. Once KU had to come out and guard them closer, the ISU players ran right past them, took it to the rim and got Wiggins and Black in foul trouble. Once they went to the bench with 3 fouls each the game was over. The KU bench players were HORRIBLE on defense and ISU scored at will on them.

That was all because of the fear of the crazy high percentage of threes that ISU shot did. So yes, they were huge.

Bryan Mohr 6 years, 11 months ago

Bill Self use a zone! The definition of insanity: doing the same thing and expecting different results. If you at least tried some zone, and it didn't help, then fine. But, no, not even an attempt at zone - and that while watching your players get burned over-and-over-and-over... sad and stubborn imo.

Allen Shepard 6 years, 11 months ago

He saves the zone for the tourney, remember?

Matthew Pyle 6 years, 11 months ago

Agree! I was saying the same thing. You can't let a team score 3 footer after 3 footer. Got to try something else....

Walter Bridges 6 years, 11 months ago

Actually, that is not the definition of insanity. Plus if we cannot guard against the 3pt shot then our zone will be picked apart. The only benefit I see would be to limit fouls.

Kevin Jenkins 6 years, 11 months ago

Here again is the coach on a couch. Self didn't get his team ready for last nights game. The X-NBA player had his team ready. Wow and did you see the assist given for each player? So our point guard had over 9, his leadership failed badly also his defense. Well everyone's defense failed. We can analyze everything, but what happened to Self's strong coaching staff on defense? KU let them win just let them blow past them. And yes we could use someone like Releford guarding or like the old 08" team. Now that was a defensive team. So many problems with this team, just can't see how one player can help get this team ready for the tourney. Hope so, always a KU fan, it's n my blood. Rock Chalk.

Aaron Paisley 6 years, 11 months ago

Coaches can teach defense all day long, but at some point the players have to show an interest in playing defense. And yes, having Joel Embiid back will help a lot because his ability to protect the rim does mask some of the weaknesses on defense.

Jonathan Unruh 6 years, 11 months ago

Self didn't make any changes on defense.Even though we're not a zone team we could have slowed their interior play. Post defense play crushes you just as perimeter 3 point defense does. Why does staff think Wiggins needed to be the guy tonight when Perry only got 3 touches the second half. Ride your horse. Perry was fantastic.

Aaron Paisley 6 years, 11 months ago

A zone defense may have stopped some of their interior scoring, but with the way ISU was hitting their 3's, a zone defense wouldn't have done much to stop ISU.

Joe Joseph 6 years, 11 months ago

If you've been paying attention to college basketball this season you would understand that no team, aside from Florida and Wichita State, has proven itself a consistent performer.

The field is probably more wide open this year than any other. Any team seeded 1-12 has about as good a chance as any other team to win it all and that includes kansas.

The odds are against KU, but they're also against every other team. Calm down and give KU a chance. It has one. Chip and a chair, people.

Alex Berger 6 years, 11 months ago

Even Wichita State is off of that list because of their competition. The one "good win" they have, Saint Louis, is 1-5 in their last 6 games and will be falling out of the top 25. I wouldn't be surprised if WSU makes it to the Final Four, but I wouldn't be surprised if they got bounced in the Sweet 16.

Joe Joseph 6 years, 11 months ago

Yeah, I didn't say Wichita State was as good as Florida, or better than any other team 1-25, but Wichita State has proven itself to be consistent. That, is a fact.

Kent Kossoy 6 years, 11 months ago

A lot of firsts. But for the best (first) recruiting class, this is indeed the worst (first) performance. Not just for the game, for the year. The year we had xavier, I thought what a waste because we did not really win anymore games than we would have without him. In this case, without Wiggins and Joel, we have a so so team. Ellis is at least now making up for Joel, but where are the others. This team has lost 9 games. You think they are really worthy of a 2 seed??? Tired of hearing KU played the hardest schedule. Still lost. And usually the losses came with either shoddy defense, or just plain waving the white flag after falling behind because of poor offense. None of these guys are ready for the NBA!

Paul Christiansen 6 years, 11 months ago

Our outside shooting has become ridiculous. We need production from the point guards To say the least.

Give Iowa State credit. They are scoring at will and we are struggling to score.

Aaron Paisley 6 years, 11 months ago

It's frustrating because the newcomers actually make an effort to play defense even if the execution isn't always there. Tharpe and Ellis are supposed to be the guys leading by example, but those two have shown no interest in playing defense. Joel Embiid's ability to protect the rim has masked Tharpe and Ellis's inabilities on defense and with him out, KU doesn't have that safety net.

Robert Brock 6 years, 11 months ago

Don't scapegoat Tharpe and Ellis. The entire squad fell short on defense. Without Joel Embiid, the KU defense is extremely vulnerable. It is not a matter of want-to (Roy William's expression) - our players lack individual skills and have not learned to play D as a unit. It is Bill Self's nightmare.

Matthew Pyle 6 years, 11 months ago

Niang is better than any of our post players other than Embiid. That's the sad reality....

Kent Richardson 6 years, 11 months ago

I don't know about sad but you are correct. He moves without the ball, can pass and score inside and out while not turning it over.

Kerby Rice 6 years, 11 months ago

Frustrated and disappointed fan here. All season everyone kept saying wait till March, you won't want to play this team. Here we are in March and the Duke game might be the best we have played all season. Frank Mason: you are correct, if this happens again the season is doneski. Very frustrated with the disappointment in March time and time again. This team is as good as any when they play but far too inconsistent to win 6 games. I expect another early/mid round tourney loss to a less talented and more hungry team.

darren martin 6 years, 11 months ago

this team took on wiggins laid back personality early in the season . now its killing them bcoz they don't have the killer instinct . they get up by 10 and then play lazy and let teams back into games. they are soft and that's why they don't calls. if they palyed hard tough defense from day one the refs would give them respect and not call so many tough falls. . unless coach self has been saving something for the ncaa's this team might lose on the first weekend and joel might never see the court againin a ku uniform.i love coach self but sometimes I cant understand his rotation or substitution pattern. I personally would have liked to see Justin Wesley play more ove lucas when joel went down. he is a senior and I think his toughness would have been helpful to this soft team.

Katie Fender 6 years, 11 months ago

This is the toughest Big 12 conference anyone can remember. Had we not played Villanova and Florida in the preseason, we would most likely have two more wins and all been pretty happy with this young teams performance. We just went back to back against OSU and ISU !!!!!!!!!!!! That's ridiculous. Those are teams that are as good as any of the best teams that are in the Big Dance. As a 2 or 3 seed, we have a very good chance to surviving 2 rounds without Embiid. Round 3, just plug Embiid back in and go for it!! Rock Chalk!

Luca Rossi 6 years, 11 months ago

Great post Katie, totally agree with you. Yes KU did not defend well in the game against ISU but ISU is a great team and they had a great game and deserve some credit. Its amazing how many posters talk about how disappointed they are with this team even though they won the conference for the 10th consecutive year with ZERO returning starters. A conference that is widely considered the best in the nation and they won it by multiple games. After losing the anticipated #1 pick in the draft we lost to a tough team that played very well. Thats a tough situation and can happen to any team out there. KU is definitely capable of winning the NCAA, they not only will need to play well but will need a little bit of luck and not run into a team having their best game of the year (i.e. NIU). Its no different than every other year.

DaNeille Dani Davis 6 years, 11 months ago

Killer instinct and desire to give all out effort to win...that's what this team lacks. SOFT! I called them a bunch of other names during the game but they would need to be censored here. But thanks for your effort guys....Lunardi (or however you spell it) just announced us a 3 seed. How do you go from a 1 seed to a 3 seed in a week! This team drives me crazy with their inconsistent play. I don't look for us to make it out of the second round....and that's if we're lucky enough to win the first but I'm not counting on it. And why did they wait until after the game to figure out their play was unacceptable and that they needed to play defense! Tsk tsk. Now go get your heads out of your little a$$es and get ready for the tournament. Everyone now knows you can't win and are beatable. No one is scared of the name on the front or back of your jersey!

Ben Schwartz 6 years, 11 months ago

Lunardi's March 15th bracket has us as a 2 in the West region. averages bracket-predictor's seedings and we are the second 2-seed.

Thomas Luxem 6 years, 11 months ago

We'll know our chances tomorrow night when they release the brackets. Hopefully, lol there will be no teams in our bracket with a good point guard. I would put Tharpe on their worst player. Seldan has shown he can guard.

Kent Richardson 6 years, 11 months ago

We have detailed, ad naseum, about what we need to fix. It is folly to think we can flip a switch after 33 games. As a team we are too easily scouted and limited. We can supply wow moments but 30 wows a game are too many to expect.. It will take a lot of help unless we can average 90 points and 8 TO's.

Jack Wilson 6 years, 11 months ago

How do we best attack the NCAA tournament?

1) Coach Self relies upon strong man to man defense as his philosophical center point. This season, the team’s defensive inadequacies threaten that philosophy.

2) This team is now ranked 189th in points per game allowed. That has gone up since we lost Embiid, but even with Embiid, our points per game allowed ranking was significantly more than normal -- 51, 35, 69, 62, 106, and 21 in past years, with the #21 being the title season.

3) Coach Self made the decision to continue to try to make this team a good man to man team, even when all signs early on pointed to personnel issues impeding that progress.

4) As a few pointed out after Atlantis -- this team would have been better off shifting to zone as its base defense, given personnel attributes and limitations. That was my position.

5) Self commented on Hawk talk that he considered that, but felt focusing on getting better at man to man was the best choice.

6) We now have a pretty horrific defensive team by comparison, magnified by the loss of Embiid. This team is not going to magically become good defensively. Tharpe and Ellis are too big of liabilities, and Traylor just can’t guard skilled post men. That’s ½ of the six players that usually play big minutes.

7) The comments about a "hot shooting team" in ISU are a bogus diversion. There are hot shooting teams in the NCAA tourney. We have lost 9 games now. We got beat vs. WVU. ISU just beat us. At some point, we have to stop making tailored excuses for each loss. This is a macro issue. We can’t guard.

8) With this team now, there is probably no way that we can competently shift to zone defense. It's too late. Late November, sure. Now, only as a change up.

9) As I mentioned before the tournament, we have to find a different way to win, and focus on a potent offensive lineup; caring less about how we match up defensively. It’s not that you don’t care at all about defense. Rather, defensive issues are not the focus.

10) We need only look to UNC and our beloved coach Roy for guidance. He has won with poor defensive teams. In Roy's 2005 title season, UNC ranked 203rd at 70.3 ppg. In his 2009 title season, UNC ranked 272nd in ppg, 72.0. He won by focusing on the type of approach I'm suggesting. We're quite familiar with it -- coach Roy windmilling his arm to get his team to move quickly.

11) There is a specific method to playing this way -- play urgently, push the ball, shoot early in the shot clock, don't worry as much about turnovers, increase possessions (which make each turnover mean less), take some risks on defense, use pressing and pressure regularly, constantly attack, and structure your personnel for scoring. On a made basket, have the closest guy to the ball immediately inbound the ball and then go.


Steve Zimmerman 6 years, 11 months ago

Stop right here. Now, how are you going to make HCBS & staff read your very valid points? Time is ticking, I don't think they'll try new different formation. Besides, #19 says it all.

Jack Wilson 6 years, 11 months ago

(continued from above)

12) A staple of Self's system is working to get a good shot. You see three point shooters, except really for Wiggins, turn down three point looks early in the shot clock (or face a quick benching). If the shot clock gets below 10 and you haven't shot, the approach I'm suggesting might send someone to the bench.

13) As part of this approach, we should focus highly on Wiggins with the ball in his hands. If he scores 50, so be it. We don't need to share the ball. Set up situations to isolate both Wiggins and Ellis. Self really doesn't do this, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

14) Another part of this approach would be to implement Mason's attacking style more often, and when Greene is in, give him the green light to just shoot the three. Permit Selden and Tharpe to gun away, away as well. But when you do this, guys down low are not necessarily only looking for the ball. They are looking to gain position to rebound. It's a subtle but important item.

15) Playing small is a of course an option, but not a necessity. It's match up by match up in how we can simply outscore the opponent. Part of that is actively spreading out the defense and posting up our non-post players as match ups dictate.

16) Most of this runs directly counter to coach Self's guiding philosophies. But we are likely unable to switch to an effective zone defense at this point.

17) Do we want to win, or do we want to follow a specific philosophy? Most of the time, coach Self's philosophy equals winning. But this season, our defense isn't up to par. To win the NCAA tournament, the status quo isn't going to do it.

18) Many folks want to give coach Self a complete pass and blame the players. For example, a lot of disdain for Tharpe’s and Ellis’ defense. But as a coach, you have to adjust to what you have. They aren’t changing now. Do you continue to beat your head against the wall, or do you put your team in the best position to win in spite of their deficiencies.

19) There is more than one way to skin a cat, and coaches many times are resistant to change. They got where they are by doing it their way. They win their way. They are arrogant. But it is that arrogance that many times limits their ability to recognize when they do need to adapt and change. It is a common flaw in leadership in all walks of life.

20) The question is then, what are the chances that this team will win the national championship doing things the same way we have been doing them this season? If your answer is “remote” then we have to change. There is no doubt. Change is risky. But risk is how greatness is achieved. My humble opinion is that the above method is our best opportunity. And if Embiid returns, so do options for coach Self.

Rock Chalk!

Rodney Crain 6 years, 11 months ago

So what you are saying is, we are in real trouble? Nice recap seriously well thought out!!!

Hope you are judged as a realist and not a arrogant, negative, Debbie Downer lol

Sam Constance 6 years, 11 months ago

The fact that you can't see the difference between this post and your posts is hilarious, but unsurprising.

There is a reason Jack doesn't get the same kind of blowback that you do, and I have a feeling you could figure out why if you thought about it for a moment.

Rodney Crain 6 years, 11 months ago

Sam a negative post to poster what a surprise, I would say Hilarious but well its not its just sad. So disappointed in you Sammy.

Do you have an original thought? Or a sense of humor? Of course not, being well who you are, you only have hate. This is so typical so standard for you do you even see it? Nope, just keep plodding along. I hate you, you suck, you are dumb. Step up your game buddy we are in the post season.

Think about this Sam, whatever you say and think about me, I think about what a disgrace you are, how embarrassed I am that I share this place with someone so disrespectful.

Keep this in mind, I make comments about our team, about their play. You make them about me, and you do it to make sure it is condescending, and without any reference to my post. I am going to defend myself since the attack is on me not what I said.

All things considered when you think about it, you are the one who does not belong here.

Sam Constance 6 years, 11 months ago

You have the gall to call me disrespectful after directing that childish tirade at me for merely pointed out that there is a difference between offering up constructive criticism (Jack's post) and just flaming about how terrible the team is (your posts)?


For someone who gets so indignant about being "attacked", you sure do go on the offensive a lot. Not to mention the fact that every time I've addressed you I've specifically noted that it was the content you contribute here that I find unappealing, and made a point to note that I don't know you personally and wouldn't dream of presuming anything about you based on what you post on a message board. A courtesy that you apparently find yourself unable to return in kind.

So rant and rave about my "hate" for you and whatever other nonsense you've invented in your mind because you can't take criticism, but the next time I say anything about you as a person will be the first.

In case you still aren't getting it--let me try to make it clear for you one more time:

I have no care or interest in who you are as a person. The only thing about you that matters to me is what you contribute on these forums, and for the most part I find that content (not you) to be obnoxiously over the top and hyperbolic. I have the right to express that opinion same as you have the right to express that the team is terrible this year.

If you really believe the things you say when you get up on your soapbox about having the right to share your opinion and others not having the right to tell you what you can share, then stop being a hypocrite and making things personal.

Rodney Crain 6 years, 11 months ago

The lady doth protest too much, methinks... lol

Sam lets face facts, you have lost your mind. Its ok it happens sometimes. My initial posts almost always state 1-3 points about our team. From all sides of perspective. Look it up.

You on the other hand quickly and without any reference to the post attack the poster. You just did it again you are like a broken record. You got issues buddy.

I get down in the dirt with anyone that wants to take it there, like you for instance. I never start there, I react to those who do it to me. I don't care what you yahoos think other than to let you know you are wrong and wrong for acting that way. You should be embarrassed about how you act. Really. So do not be surprised when we end up here and you get put in your place I am reflecting and you hate it, think looking in a mirror Sam. I know it makes you angry just look at this worthless rant you went on. Pointless and without thought. Again zero references to my post, which anyone with any sense can see was done tongue in check. btw Sam LOL means Laugh Out Loud.

I do not believe, I know what I am saying to you is fact, it is written and kept in these blogs, but your unbridled emotion blurs it somehow for you and you lose sight that we are here because you attacked me, not that you acted with any shade of decorum and disagreed with what I said. Its Fact not belief Sammy thus you might need help...

So put away your high horse.

Grow up and act like an adult otherwise lets keep this up. I got time to deal with junk bloggers like you all day and night. You are a joke to me, I find your pathetic arguments illustrations of how poor your perspective really is.

You think you something you are not Sam. Admitting you have a problem is the first step I hear...

Whoops my reply is long too. Guess I had a lot of factual points to make. I believe its your serve if you can get it over the net Sammy...

Sam Constance 6 years, 11 months ago

That's a lot of words to justify being a hypocrite.

Just out of curiosity, what part of the following comment do you consider me "taking it down into the mud"?

"The fact that you can't see the difference between this post and your posts is hilarious, but unsurprising.

There is a reason Jack doesn't get the same kind of blowback that you do, and I have a feeling you could figure out why if you thought about it for a moment."

Rodney Crain 6 years, 11 months ago

Get help Sam! Please.

You have lost touch with reality.

You are a petty man.

Sam Constance 6 years, 11 months ago

So you don't want to answer my question?

I don't see how it was petty. And I genuinely don't understand what about my initial comment to you was "down in the mud".

Seems pretty simple and easy to answer, no?

Luca Rossi 6 years, 11 months ago

Agree 100% that the team could improve greatly in transition. This year's team runs the floor far less than the teams in recent years. The transition game has been a staple of KU offense for a long time, not sure why that has been cut back this year. So many times the other team scores and the KU players go back and forth looking at each other trying to decide who is going to inbound the ball. Teams in year's past would be beating the other team down the court for a layup after such a made basket.

Theres several days before we play again, at least they have a bit of time to work on some changes if they're going to try.


Joe Baker 6 years, 11 months ago

They have a monkey on their back. They can now play loose and play as desperate as some of the other teams that have beat them. Each team that beat KU played like it was their last game. Well, now each game going forward may very well be their last game.

No more is exactly right or it's go home. So, go win or go home. Now is the time to decide and if you're not sure (Tharpe), then just stay in Lawrence. It should've been the Junior pg saying "no more." Instead, it's our 6-8 Sophmore forward trying to lead from down low.

Chad Lee 6 years, 11 months ago

It really is quite amazing how somerodneys have nothing to say when things are going good and then jump at the chance to bash his respected team whoever that may be. Im sure most of us can handle the truth and that should be easy to understand. The negative and arrogant way In which you Sir Rodney provide your opinion seems disturbing at the least. With all that said nothing but good vibes to the Jayhawk nation. We have a chance that is all I optimistically will say. RCJH!

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