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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Jayhawks say semi setback history

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None of Kansas University’s basketball players or coaches will be thinking about Friday’s Big 12 tournament semifinal loss to Iowa State when they gather at 5 p.m. today in Allen Fieldhouse to watch CBS-TV’s NCAA Tournament Selection Sunday show.

What’s done is done — good and bad — regarding the 2013-14 regular season and conference tournament, as there’s new life, so to speak, entering the 2014 postseason.

“It’s the same way even if you win the (Big 12) tournament on Saturday. By Sunday at 5, it doesn’t matter. It’s over,” KU coach Bill Self said.

“A couple years ago, we lost to Baylor in the second round and had a pretty good run in the (NCAA) tournament after that and made it to the finals (losing to Kentucky in 2012 title game). In all honesty, it’s time to really try to have some fun and do something to prolong our season as long as we possibly can.”

KU sophomore Perry Ellis has enjoyed one Selection Sunday as a college player.

Is it one of the most exciting days of the season?

“It is,” Ellis said. “To see where we are at ... to see who we get to play, it is.”

ESPN’s Joe Lunardi on Saturday had KU as a No. 2 seed in the Midwest regional, ticketed for a second-round game against Milwaukee in St. Louis. He has the winner of that game playing hometown school Saint Louis or Iowa for the right to go to the Sweet 16 in Indianapolis.

Self was asked if it would be better for his 24-9 squad to be a “high 2-seed” than the last of the No. 1s.

“We’re not going to be a 1,” Self said, “so I’m going to tell you it’s definitely better since we’re not going to be a 1. We played a really good schedule, and who knows if we’ll be a 2? We’re not going to be disappointed with whatever happens.”

Lunardi’s 1 seeds as of Saturday were Florida, Arizona, Wichita State and Michigan. The 2 seeds were Villanova, Wisconsin, Duke and KU.

The 3s were Virginia, Creighton, Syracuse and Iowa State, with Louisville curiously all the way on the 4 line.

Obviously, some of those slots could change by 5 p.m. today. In fact, Villanova is being touted as a No. 1 in some circles. Also, Arizona lost in the Pac-12 semifinals Saturday.

“Honestly, I have no clue where they will put us,” Ellis said. “I mean, this (regular) season is over. There’s nothing we can do now. It’s wherever they put us we have to be ready to compete and play wherever we play.”

Sophomore forward Jamari Traylor said he spends no time considering the possibilities.

“I don’t really know. I’m not into that,” Traylor said. “I’m just going to watch it and see where we are and then get ready to play our schedule out. Wherever they put us, we have to play hard and win every game.”

Junior point guard Naadir Tharpe said the important thing is to treat the postseason as the most important segment of the year.

“We have to let this go,” he said of a setback in which Iowa State hit 11 threes and shot 54 percent overall in a 94-83 victory over KU. “We have Sunday coming up, Selection Sunday, and we have to move forward from there. We can’t let this game drag. It’s a new day tomorrow, and we still know we can make things happen.”

Despite having nine losses, “I definitely feel we are one of the best teams,” Ellis said. “It’s a mental-type thing with this team. If we go out and believe and are energized while playing, good things happen. We have to learn to consistently do that.”

Still an elite team: As of Friday, ESPN’s Jay Bilas had KU as his fifth-ranked team in the country.

“Kansas is a contender because the Jayhawks can score and protect the rim with (the injured) Joel Embiid in the paint. When he isn’t on the court, it’s a big difference,” Bilas wrote at ESPN.com. “Overall, Kansas allows only 9.4 second-chance points per game, fewest in the Big 12. Additionally, Kansas shoots 49.8 percent from the floor, fourth-best in the nation, but gets spotty play at point guard. When Naadir Tharpe plays well — and he has played really well at times this season — Kansas wins. The Jayhawks have won six games against the Sagarin top 25 and 12 games against the top 50.”

Recruiting: JaQuan Lyle, a 6-5 senior shooting guard from Huntington (W.Va.) Prep, has a final list of Memphis, Oklahoma State and Oregon, he reported Saturday on Twitter. Lyle, who is ranked No. 22 in the Class of 2014 by Rivals.com, made an official recruiting visit to KU for the KU-Oklahoma game on Feb. 24. Zagsblog.com said KU recently dropped Lyle as a recruit. ... KU signees Cliff Alexander and Kelly Oubre have been named to the 20-player Parade All-America team.

Wiggins all-tourney: KU’s Andrew Wiggins on Saturday was named to the Big 12 tournament all-tourney team. He was joined by most outstanding player DeAndre Kane (Iowa State), plus ISU’s Melvin Ejim and Georges Niang and Baylor’s Isaiah Austin.

Comments

Suzi Marshall 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Anyone want to bet Self dropped Lyle so he can go after an elite transfer.

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Rodney Crain 4 months, 1 week ago

Oh Suzi do I hope so. Next years team can be special but we must have a PG. So soon after that visit though it was probably one of those team personality conflict things.

2

Ashwin Rao 4 months, 1 week ago

Here's to our incoming point guard!

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Robert Brock 4 months, 1 week ago

Self dropped Lyle because Lyle makes Tharpe look like an Olympic decathlon winner.

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Walter Bridges 4 months, 1 week ago

Lyle is a 2. No one makes Tharpe look like an Olympic decathlon winner.. If Tharpe is our #1 PG next year then expect a repeat of this years performance.

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Andy Hess 4 months, 1 week ago

Rivals has his as a SG, Scout has him as a PG/SF, ESPN has him as a PG. He's a combo guard that often plays PG.

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Jason Keller 4 months, 1 week ago

Robert Brock must be high on Peyote. Tharpe is just not a good player. It's a mental thing with him. He has the ball skills and the stroke but he just can't deliver in the clutch. He's a junior, it's time to move on. Get the very best point guard that you can and explain to Naadir that next year he will have to prove himself like everyone else.

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Ian Emerson 4 months, 1 week ago

Cant deliver in the clutch? Are you absolutely insane? Remember OKST last year at their place? He hit the game winning jumper and has put up big number and assist totals in alot of important games this season. He is just physically lacking an elite D-1 body, he has everything else.

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Aaron Paisley 4 months, 1 week ago

Self dropped Lyle because Selden is coming back next year. Selden was a OAD when he came here and Self made plans in case that played out. Selden didn't do enough to be OAD and a second year Selden will be much better that a first year Lyle. It could also be a sign that AW3 is going to stick around.

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Aaron Paisley 4 months, 1 week ago

Meant to say Selden was a potential OAD.

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Ian Emerson 4 months, 1 week ago

Obviously something happened. I agree that it is Selden letting his boss know that hes decided to stick around, no matter the tournament run.

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Steve Zimmerman 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Does anyone know if Shockers & KU are in the same region?

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Jack Wilson 4 months, 1 week ago

I feel like the Aflac duck ...

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Andrew Horigan 4 months, 1 week ago

Well since the selection isn't until 5 today..... no.

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Ian Emerson 4 months, 1 week ago

They arent. We got a rematch with Florida.

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Rock Klein 4 months, 1 week ago

It will be interesting to see if Tulsa, SMU, and Wichita St. all get placed in our region. That would give us a chance to play against Danny, Larry, and Gregg. That's something I could see the Tournament Committee doing.

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Michael Gentemann 4 months, 1 week ago

Don't forget Roy. The Committee seems to still like that storyline too

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John Fitzgerald 4 months, 1 week ago

What seed do you guys think we'll get? I'm hoping for a 2 seed in WSU's bracket, mainly because if we get to the elite 8 odds are we won't have to play them. In confident they will get upset early.

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Yonatan Negash 4 months, 1 week ago

Glad to know, I'm not the only one who thinks Naadir Tharpe has been an underachiever.

However, my 6 year old son firmly believes Naadir is saving it all for the NCAA tournament.

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Aaron Paisley 4 months, 1 week ago

Depends on what the definition of an underachiever is. Naadir Tharpe was a mid 4 star recruit (75-100 range) and that's typically someone (at least at KU) who is 4-5 year player, may never start or not start until the end of his career at KU, but Naadir has had to play major minutes since he was a sophomore. This speaks more to the fact that Bill Self hasn't landed an elite PG since Sherron Collins and isn't going to land one this year either simply because there aren't any out there for next year. I don't know what's in the the 2015 class as far as PG's go, but hopefully Bill Self can land one because that's been KU's biggest achilles heel over the past few years.

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