Sunday, February 8, 2015

Self: ‘We just watch’ conference race

Kansas players Jamari Traylor, left, Wayne Selden, Kelly Oubre, Tyler Self and Evan Manning go wild during a timeout in the second half on Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015 at Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas.

Kansas players Jamari Traylor, left, Wayne Selden, Kelly Oubre, Tyler Self and Evan Manning go wild during a timeout in the second half on Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015 at Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas.


Bill Self, who has coached Kansas University’s basketball team to 10 consecutive Big 12 titles, most certainly keeps track of what’s happening day to day in the league.

What he doesn’t do is root for — or against — certain teams with eight games yet to be played.

“It’s so early. My thinking is, a lot of times when you wish for something to happen early in conference play, it turns out to be totally irrelevant late, and it may end up biting you,” Self said. “So we just watch, not get too hung up or emotional in what’s going on and then just focus in on what we need to do.”

KU’s 67-62 loss to Oklahoma State on Saturday dropped the Jayhawks to 19-4 overall and 8-2 in Big 12 play. The Jayhawks hold a one-game lead over Iowa State (7-3) and game-and-a-half margin on Oklahoma (7-4). Baylor and West Virginia own 6-4 marks, while OSU is 6-5, Kansas State 5-6, Texas 4-6, Texas Tech 2-9 and TCU 1-9.

Iowa State pounded KU’s next opponent, Texas Tech, 75-38, on Saturday in Ames. Coincidentally, on Jan. 24, Tech beat Iowa State in Lubbock, 78-73. KU will meet Tech at 8 p.m. Tuesday in United Spirit Arena in Lubbock.

Shooting discrepancy: KU hit 56.5 percent of its shots in building a 41-30 halftime lead against Oklahoma State. The Jayhawks made eight of 30 shots the second half for 26.7 percent in getting outscored, 37-21.

“I think I missed a couple easy baskets in the lane, a couple floaters. My teammates also missed a couple easy baskets around the rim,” KU sophomore point guard Frank Mason III said.

“The same shots we were making the first half weren’t falling in the second. The ball didn’t go in. That’s it. Guys didn’t make shots they normally make.”

KU hit seven of nine threes the first half and three of 11 the second.

“I don’t know,” sophomore Brannen Greene said, asked to explain the difference. “That was the flow of the game. That’s just how it went. Obviously there were things we could have done better to pull out the win.”

Effort not good enough: Assessing the contest, Self said: “We didn’t play hard. We didn’t play smart. That’s a tough combination on the road playing against a team that played with more hunger than we did.

“Look at Jamari (Traylor), six turnovers against no pressure. It was a collective team effort. Wayne made shots (Selden, 4-for-5 from three). Frank made some shots (3-of-5 from three). Other than that, we played really poorly. Wayne didn’t do anything else other than make shots. Frank didn’t do anything else other than make shots. We didn’t get much from our bigs. We didn’t do the job on the sidelines coaching ’em. It was disappointing.”

Get back: Self is hoping for better on Tuesday.

His goal?

“Getting back to being who we are,” he said. “That happens a lot with teams throughout the season, get a little full of themselves, take the foot off the gas or lose their edge a bit. We’ve got to get our edge back. The last two road games, we’ve not played well at all (loss at OSU, win at TCU). Everybody talks winning and losing. We’re all judged by that. More important to me is if we just play better. If you play right, wins and losses take care of themselves.”


Tom Jones 6 years, 8 months ago

Yeah, he's lying a bit, there. If Iowa State's playing TCU, he's absolutely rooting for TCU. Early or not.

Of course there's shades of grey when you talk about teams in the middle of the pack playing each other.

Erich Hartmann 6 years, 8 months ago

It becomes a hypothetical 'what if' avalanche: If TCU beats IowaSt, and another couple of top-half BigXII teams, then all of a sudden, like Self said, the situation has changed, and what you were rooting for, now may not apply. If TCU beats a few good teams, by season's end, maybe we are rooting against TCU instead of "for" them, as they may be the team breathing down our neck?

If KU was 5-5 right now, the pundits were right, and somebody else is top dog. But each team has issues and flaws. Its more about matchups, and honestly about extracting the most efficiency out of our own system (offensively and defensively). Self's philosophies are proven by several different sets of KU players. Execution thereof, and intensity factors are highly variable. Self's aim is to chase the efficient reproduction of high-level execution, night in and night out. And thats what takes focus, toughness (physical + mental), and experience.

I hope the reliably-efficient-execution lightbulb comes on before March Madness...

Tom Longhofer 6 years, 8 months ago

Surely Coach Self is aware that "rooting" has no effect on the outcome of a game. If it did, Duke would never win a game.

Michael Lorraine 6 years, 8 months ago

Don't be so sure about that. I've rooted against mizzoo all season and so far it's worked pretty well.

Tom Longhofer 6 years, 8 months ago

There is that. Just think, Missouri could have Bill Self for their coach if only Dollar Bill hadn't thought that being rich also meant he was smart. Hello, Quin Snyder.

Erich Hartmann 6 years, 8 months ago

If Self had been hired by Mizzou, I think he would have bit on T.Boone Pickens' offer (& gone to OkieState), or gone to some other large school that came calling...Going to Gallagher-Iba would arguably be a step up (not a lateral move) from Mizzoo. As much as I dislike Travis Ford, and the recent Smart/Nash attitude-fest takeover of OkieState, I will forever tip my hat to the years of basketball legacy built by fellow Kansan Eddie Sutton (& Henry Iba).

Unfortunately for T.Boone, Self wasnt going to step down from KU to go to OSU...that would not have been a lateral move. And now, he has way more history at KU than he ever did at OSU.

Joseph Bullock 6 years, 8 months ago

LOL@duke would never win, and at rooting against misery (ha ha ha) all season! I with you guys on both of those things!

Joseph Bullock 6 years, 8 months ago

Also, I'm not buying what Frank Mason told he said (and I don't remember what it was, and I don't really care)! BG was in the mix, and walked away, without incident, and Mason then went right into the mide of things, and got the "t"! In my not so humble opinion (LOL), that was the turning point in the game!!! They had just called a foul on OSU, so we had the ball, and then we get a "T", which stops the game, and they get 2 points, and we don't score when we take the ball out, after the free throws by Forte! Momentum-Gone! Also, Frank needs to stop jumping up in the air and throwing those wild passes! And he needs to start making free throws, down the stretch of games. And why did BG not look to shoot down the stretch? Perry also needs to make his free throws, down the stretch of games. It comes down to first, a lack of concentration, and now it is a confidence issue, for him and Frank. Just relax, and put em in!

Tom Longhofer 6 years, 8 months ago

My gut feeling is that referees do the the best they can and at a minimum, you couldn't have the game without them.

I've survived Johnny Overby, Jim Bain, and the guy who fouled out our entire team against Notre Dame and UCLA (Mickey something?) in '77 and '78, so I'm pretty philosophical about calls that go against KU now days.

RJ King 6 years, 8 months ago

I have not yet watched the 2nd half. (I was working and not particularly motivated to view it now.) However, caught the play by play on stat broadcast. It looked something like this: "KU missed layup," "KU missed layup," "KU missed layup," "KU missed layup. . . . "

Is this a lack of focus? Were the shots contested? If so, no foul called? We've seen so many missed bunnies from Perry and Wayne in particular. What's the deal?

Bob Bailey 6 years, 8 months ago

Ellis seems to have confused his muscle memory. They are not the same as in=game shots. Several of the players seem not to have discerned the difference and maximized their muscle-memory.

After you learn the shot, it would help with muscle-memory to practice free throws with closed eyes.

Sandeep Kalburgie 6 years, 8 months ago

Any idea why Svi hasn't been playing much lately?

Erich Hartmann 6 years, 8 months ago

Aaron nailed it, like a Brannen Greene 3 bomb!

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