Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Bill Self praises Staten’s winning drive

West Virginia guards Chase Connor, left, and Gary Browne, center, surround Juwan Staten (3) at the end of the Mountaineers 62-61 win over the Jayhawks Monday, February 16, 2105  in Morgantown, W.V. Staten scored the final basket for the win.

West Virginia guards Chase Connor, left, and Gary Browne, center, surround Juwan Staten (3) at the end of the Mountaineers 62-61 win over the Jayhawks Monday, February 16, 2105 in Morgantown, W.V. Staten scored the final basket for the win.


West Virginia point guard Juwan Staten — who went coast-to-coast for a layup, then sprinted back to bother a potential game-winning answer by Perry Ellis — certainly dominated crunch time in Monday’s 62-61 victory over Kansas University at WVU Coliseum in Morgantown, West Virginia.

“It was one of the best winning plays that you’ll ever see an opposing team make,” KU coach Bill Self said Tuesday on his “Hawk Talk” radio show.

Some viewers thought Staten traveled before converting a layup at 3.9 seconds that gave WVU its one-point margin of victory.

“Regardless of how he got to the rim, he got to the rim and made the basket,” Self stated. “Then he’s the one who defended Perry on the other end. What a great hustle play. That’s a kid who really wanted to win.”

Regarding the first part of the 8.3-second sequence ... Staten, after a timeout, accepted an inbounds pass and managed to traverse the length of the court for a hoop in less than five seconds.

“We tried to deny Staten the ball, and we could not do it,” Self said. “We should have put Jamari (Traylor) and Frank (Mason) behind Staten as opposed to just Frank and therefore make him catch it in front of us to make him use clock and (have) strong help where he had to beat two guys coming up the floor.”

Or KU could have used a zone defense for the final WVU possession, with the Jayhawks trying to hold onto its one-point lead.

“If you are going to beat yourself up (second-guessing), we could have played zone last possession and tried to build a wall and make him (Staten) shoot a three,” Self said. “That’s hard for me to do, to buy into doing something you are not used to doing on a last possession. That’s certainly something that could have created a problem, and looking back now, the way we defended it, I wish we’d done that, probably.”

Big 12 Preseason Player of the Year Staten said coach Bob Huggins deserves credit for the game-winner.

“Huggs told me to start on the left-hand side, sweep around, catch the ball (off inbounds pass),” Staten said. “I had two screens. Coach told me to drive it to the man at the corner. If his man helped, Jon (Holton) was going to the rim for a lob. If he stayed put, I had to get it to the rim. I drove it to the corner. I saw Jon’s man staying put. I saw Frank Mason coming to cut me off. I knew if I spun, I’d have Chase (Connor) on the right-hand side for a shot. When I spun, I saw nothing in the lane and laid the ball up. It was a good call by coach.”

KU had 3.9 seconds to erase the one-point deficit and pull out the road victory.

Traylor inbounded and threw a bullet baseball pass to Perry Ellis, who, with Staten next to him, ultimately missed a layup at the buzzer.

“It worked out perfectly, but obviously Staten made a good play and Perry was just off balance a little bit,” Self explained.

Staten — who had 20 points, four assists, no turnovers — and Mason — who had 18 points, two assists, two turnovers — barked at each other during various junctures.

“Always,” Staten said, asked if trash-talking brings out the best in him. “I am going to be pumped all these games. This is Kansas. Everybody wants to play Kansas — Big Monday game, prime time. The fact he was doing a lot of jawing definitely helped me out. I like that. That’s why I came back to school (for senior year). I appreciate him for that.”

Limited minutes for Cliff: Cliff Alexander had no points and a rebound in six first half minutes. He did not play the second half.

“I’m still planning on starting Cliff,” Self said. “Cliff wasn’t his best last night. I’m not going to throw any player under the bus saying what all he didn’t do, but he has to be a defensive presence for us. He has to protect the rim. His man caught the ball with no resistance at all, made two uncontested layups against him. A lot of it was scouting report, being in the right place. He’s learning. It will take time. When he’s good, he’s really good. When he’s not as good, our other players can do some things that maybe give us a better chance. It’s not anything personal, it’s the other guys probably gave us a chance in that particular game.”

Watch list: KU’s Perry Ellis is one of 16 players on the watch list for the 2015 Karl Malone power forward of the year award, it was announced Tuesday.

Staten fired up: WVU senior Staten told the Charleston Daily Mail he was especially fired up after a pre-game interview with ESPN.

“Holly Rowe asked me who was faster, me or Frank Mason,” Staten said. “That kind of made me mad. I told her I thought I was the fastest player in college basketball. Hopefully people got to see that.”


Joe Ross 4 years, 11 months ago

Take the bus, Staten! (It beats walking.)

Suzi Marshall 4 years, 11 months ago

Staten looked like a great football running breaking through the line of scrimmage into an open backfield. He tucked the ball away, made a fake slide step, then a stutter step, then spun and broke free to the rim...all in only 4 or 5 steps.

Question - Is college BBall going the way of the NBA where traveling is not enforced ?

There is absolutely no excuse for Ellis missing that last layup, none. Over his 3 seasons at Kansas, Ellis has consistently shown the inability to finish at the rim (i.e. Stanford and nearly every other game). None of us should be surprised he missed it. I love the guy but he's a mental midget with the game on the line.

Greg Lux 4 years, 11 months ago

Harsh words for Perry, who I also love, but he has to get stronger with the ball to have any future after next year. Perry may have the record ( if they keep one ) for the most missed shots under 3 feet in the nation. He is constantly loosing the ball on rebounds, dribbles and shots because he can't seem to grab or control the ball then touched or bumped. This game is over but there will be other games and we all need Perry to get it together and get tougher. He is more then capable he just needs to put it into his head and do it.

Benz Junque 4 years, 11 months ago

For you, who is frequently a voice of reason around here, to type that last paragraph makes me sick to my stomach. You suck and should save yourself the misery of watching a team comprised of "mental midgets" play any more.

Suzi Marshall 4 years, 11 months ago

I'm not sure why you are so offended with that comment. For almost 3 years we have seen Ellis dropping his head, slumping his shoulders and playing soft. This year, especially the last several games, it's apparent he's working on his mental game.

Ellis is a class guy with unbelievable physical skills. All that is standing between Ellis and becoming a great player is his own head. Let's hope he gets another game opportunity like Saturday...and he converts.

Otis Gouty 4 years, 11 months ago

Suzi, he probably would have made it if not fouled. Ask Oubre.

Yonatan Negash 4 years, 11 months ago

I would take Ellis on my team any day of the week. Glad he's a Jayhawk.

Couple things to consider before criticizing Ellis for the last missed shot:

  1. Ellis was indeed tough throughout the game, he led Kansas in scoring against a tough WV team. He came to play, he showed up to play.

  2. Kansas didn't lose the game because of one missed shot. We were outplayed and out hustled throughout the game. You may want to watch the game again to see how poorly we played.

  3. Several of our key players were missing in action (i.e., Wayne Selden, Devonte Graham and Brannen Green). Note three players combined to score 4 points in total.

  4. Lastly, this Kansas team has shown time and time again, we are not a good road team. Some of our players just don't show up to play. If you need example, refer to comment #3.

Without Ellis's effort, trust me this game would've been ugly. That last shot would've mattered less.

Glen Miller 4 years, 11 months ago

Ellis is a Junior, he has been in the system for 3 years and is supposed to be THE MAN. There is no excuse for some of his weak plays around the rim. He has had 3 years with Hudy to get stronger. 3 years with the coaching staff to learn to be tougher in his boxing out and his positioning. He has had 3 years competing against some of the most talented college players in the country every day in practice. I'm sorry, but there is no excuse for the multitude of missed opportunities at the rim for him. I have never seen someone who is supposed to be a power forward miss so many shots at the rim. It's becoming a problem. 18 points is nice, but he could be averaging 25 a game if he could finish.......

Yonatan Negash 4 years, 11 months ago

You're entitled to your opinion.

Not that I agree but you're entitled to an opinion.

You may be missing a key variable in your assessment, Perry Ellis is often double teamed because we don't have the big players we're used to having. This is not an excuse but a reality of what P. Ellis has to overcome game in game out. Give the guy a break, he's exceed my expectation given what we have to work with.

Joe Ross 4 years, 11 months ago

Finishing weakly around the rim is not Perry Ellis' problem alone. We need to bring the dunk back to Kansas. Leastwise, if youre going to blame Perry for how he finishes then it would be fair to blame Coach Self as well.

Glen Miller 4 years, 11 months ago

I don't blame Perry solely for any loss. That would be ridiculous..... but if you go back and watch tape of him, even when he had other bigs to take the pressure off. He has not at any point in time in his career been a very strong finisher. He is more finesse and my point is that a power forward that is not a real perimeter threat, should have some power to his game. I expect bigs to play big, Ellis disappears too often and his rebounding is awful at times. We give up way too many offensive rebounds and he, Traylor and Alexander are all to blame for that. Selden is almost worse at finishing than Ellis is, so I'm not saying he is solely to blame..... but I expect much more out of Ellis than what he has done. The guy should be a double double machine with the minutes he plays and the importance he holds to our team. Nowhere in any of my posts did I say anyone has to agree with me, but if you think Ellis is a strong finisher in any way, shape or form... I would have to ask if you are actually watching the games.

Joe Ross 4 years, 11 months ago

While I may not validate Perry's game play by crediting him as a strong finisher there is plenty to credit him for, a lot of which culminates in the fact that he is our leading scorer and rebounder.

Rob Bedford III 4 years, 11 months ago

Hudy is overrated. With the exception of T-Rob who added a great amount of muscle I have not seen many other players add size while at KU. I see opposing players that are much bigger and tougher than players for KU in almost every game.

Benz Junque 4 years, 11 months ago

The Morris twins weights just under 210 pounds when they finished their freshmen years at KU. Enough said.

Glen Miller 4 years, 11 months ago

Hudy is widely regarded as one of the top strength and conditioning coaches in college basketball. Her record speaks for itself, our competition all would rather have her than who they have and HCBS and his players swear by her. That's good enough for me. I'm not sure just because she hasn't bulked up a bunch of guys, that makes her overrated. It's not always about adding weight. These days it's about quick twitch muscles, the core and stamina..... not so much size.

Shannon Gustafson 4 years, 11 months ago

They talked about this during the WVU game and they reported Self said he has her focusing on avoiding injuries to keep players on the floor, not putting on as much muscle mass as possible. I'm sure Rob knows way more about this subject than Hudy though.

Clarence Haynes 4 years, 11 months ago

I thought that KU should have called timeout when the score was 49-45 or 49-47 and have called a set play. That imo might've changed the outcome of the game. Also, I think that Cliff has a better chance of developing by being on the court. At minimum, he could've gotten a few of those rebounds that The Mountaineers got on their offensive end.

Bob Thompson 4 years, 11 months ago

It seemed like during the whole game when we came down with a rebound WV would just yank it out our hands. I know it's hard not to focus on the last play, but it really shouldn't have came down to that. We did so many things wrong in so many ways. I feel sorry that this game is falling on Perry. I would hope that loosing this game would put a little fire in their hearts that would carry them into the tournament. I wouldn't want to be TCU this Saturday.

Cameron Cederlind 4 years, 11 months ago

Funny, I remember a loose ball around half court that Mason out sprinted Staten and everyone else on the court for an easy layup. He did all that while actually dribbling the ball.

Ryan Michael 4 years, 11 months ago

He had a good second half offensively. His defense and rebounding are still atrocious. That's who he is though.

My only problem with all of this is that people still make Perry out to be a huge all-star that he's not. He's a finesse 4, with the right matchups he excels on the offensive end. He does not rebound well, he does not block out well, he does not go up strong and struggles against tall athletic bigs. That's who he is and people would probably be less upset if LJWorld etc would stop making him out to be this amazing dominant talent. We run our entire offense through the kid, of course he's going to put up 10 or 15 points a game. Anyone in the starting lineup would if they had as many opportunities as Perry gets.

The one thing I would actually like to see change is that Self hold Perry accountable for all of his defensive lapses. For whatever reason, he seems to get a complete pass on those while other players get a quick yank.

Benz Junque 4 years, 11 months ago

Man do I hate 99% of our fan base this week. Talk about mental midgets.

Otavio Silva 4 years, 11 months ago

Ditto to Benz Junque.

Mental midget is offensive, the comment is offensive.

Those so-called fans throwing stones at Perry should look at themselves and ask: Have I ever made a mistake in last second situation while under pressure? Probably not, because you are likely not talented enough to put yourself in such situation.

Dale Koch 4 years, 11 months ago

No one remembers Oubre missed a layup Seldon missed 2 and Mason missed 1 during crucial times in the game. Get off of Perry's back. For someone to call a jayhawk a mental midget is pathetic and should be banned from posting on this sight. How are you going to act on senior night next year when Perry is announced? I will be cheering loudly and very happy he is Jayhawk!

Tony Bandle 4 years, 11 months ago

Thon Maker declared for the 2015 Class today:

1] Thon, call your fellow Canadian, Andrew Wiggins and let him tell you how great KU was.

2] Thon, call Joel Embiid and let him tell you how much he improved at KU.

3] Thon, call Bill Self and ask if he has a true will like his answer.

4] Thon..KU is the place for you..guaranteed top level coaching, maximum playing time, national exposure and the fiercest competition anywhere!!!

Shannon Gustafson 4 years, 11 months ago

Agreed, though Thon Maker doesn't like to play as a Center, he'd rather play a Durant type game because of his thin frame and physical tools/abilities.

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