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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Jayhawks’ effort called into question

Kansas coach Bill Self is escorted off the court as West Virginia fans rush the court after defeating the Jayhawks 74-63 at the WVU Colliseum in Morgantown, W.V. Tuesday.

Kansas coach Bill Self is escorted off the court as West Virginia fans rush the court after defeating the Jayhawks 74-63 at the WVU Colliseum in Morgantown, W.V. Tuesday.

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The worst thing about Tuesday’s 74-63 loss at West Virginia — according to Kansas University’s players and coaches — is the fact the No. 1-ranked Jayhawks didn’t appear to exert the extra effort it takes to beat a No. 11-ranked squad on its home floor.

“We were a little disappointed in how we competed and tried against them. I hadn’t seen our team do that all year. I think the players agreed the same thing. I think they agreed they didn’t try as hard as they need to,” KU assistant coach Kurtis Townsend said on Wednesday’s weekly “Hawk Talk” radio show, subbing for coach Bill Self, who was out recruiting.

“It was a rough trip. We got home pretty late. We didn’t do much today except watch tape,” Townsend added. “A couple of the guys said, ‘We didn’t realize how bad we were until we saw it on tape.’ Hopefully we can take from it, learn from it and go from there.”

Self said after the game the Jayhawks (14-2, 3-1) may have been “a little full of ourselves” after winning 13 in a row and vaulting to the top of the national polls.

“We feel we have a good enough team if we compete harder than other teams we should win the game,” said KU junior forward Landen Lucas, who had six rebounds and a blocked shot in 14 minutes. “We failed on that end for sure.

“I think we unfortunately let them compete more than we did. They got us off our game. It’s tough. We talk about it. We watch film. We’ve seen halves where we play into their rhythm and halves where we play our own. It’s night and day. Unfortunately, today they put in a full game. We can’t let that happen especially next time we play them (Feb. 9 in Allen Fieldhouse),” Lucas added.

As far as the Jayhawks not being as hungry as West Virginia (15-1, 4-0) ... Lucas says, guilty as charged.

“Unfortunately, it shouldn’t take a loss for that to happen,” Lucas said of the Jayhawks regaining intensity for each and every game. “But maybe that is the case where we could use this to motivate us and get us hungry again, want to get back on top because we got a little taste of it and were enjoying it. Now it’s just about getting back there.”

KU senior Perry Ellis said the result is “definitely a wake-up call to everybody that we can’t play that way if we want to do what we want to do. It’s definitely a wake-up call and will make us better,” added Ellis, who had 21 points, seven boards and three assists in 38 minutes.

Weather mayhem: Like KU’s players, who arrived at the game at 6 p.m. for a 7 p.m. tipoff because of icy roads that caused multiple accidents on the streets in Morgantown, West Virginia’s players had trouble making it to the arena, too.

Stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic, Mountaineers Jaysean Paige and Tarik Phillip jumped out of their car and ran several blocks to WVU Coliseum.

“We were debating whether to sit in the car or not. Long story short, I saw big Jon (Holton) running up the hill and so I jumped out of the car and started running with him,” Paige, who burned KU for 26 points, explained to John Antonik of wvusports.com. “I had my jacket, big old boots and my shoes, so people knew who we were. We were just running trying to get there.

“For a game like this you want to be here,” Paige added. “You don’t want to miss this. You don’t want to be late and might not play, or something might happen, so we just wanted to get here on time.”

Phillip’s mom took over driving duties and eventually parked in a Coliseum lot.

Turnover talk: West Virginia forced 22 turnovers. KU’s previous high in a game this season had been 15 three different times.

“That’s the way we play — ‘Press Virginia.’ They had 22 turnovers tonight. We were all over the floor,” WVU’s Devin Williams told wvusports.com. “Me and Jon Holton controlled the boards. Tarik and them were aggressive up top, just everything. We laid it out. I’m actually tired, so I can only imagine how they feel.”

AD statement: To show how bad the weather was on Tuesday, WVU athletic director Shane Lyons felt compelled to issue a statement after the game:

“Thank you Morgantown and Mountaineer Nation for braving Tuesday’s challenging conditions to make it to the Coliseum — or in front of your television sets — to support our basketball team and help it achieve an historic victory.

“We know the weather and road conditions presented obstacles to the community, even without the complicating factor of thousands of folks trying to get to the Coliseum for a nationally televised game against the No. 1 team in the nation. It was not feasible, nor even possible, to cancel or postpone the game as some have wondered or suggested, but this community came together in true Mountaineer determination to make it all work. It’s one reason Mountaineers are special.”

In all, 12,097 fans made it to the game, though a majority arrived late. WVU Coliseum holds 14,000.

Honorees: KU’s Perry Ellis and Wayne Selden Jr. were named to the Wooden Award’s midseason Top 25 list on Wednesday.

Recruiting: KU recruiting target Michael Porter and his teammates from Tolton Catholic in Columbia, Missouri, will attend KU’s game against TCU at 1 p.m Saturday in Allen. Then at 8:30 p.m., Tolton will meet Blue Valley Northwest at the Best of the Midwest Showcase at Johnson County Community College. Porter is the No. 3-rated player in the Class of 2017 by Rivals.com.

Comments

John Myers 4 years, 9 months ago

The fact that a KU team would EVER not try as hard as they are capable is completely unacceptable. You wear the Kansas name on your chest, it should be a given that you put forth 100% effort each and every time you step on the floor.

The more I read or hear about this game, the more I'm glad that I had to miss it because of work.

Joe Ross 4 years, 9 months ago

I totally agree. You KNOW the tendency will be to get excited because of a number one ranking. Tell the team that any number of teams could be ranked number 1--and likely will be--so dont let it go to your head. Tell them what Ive heard a thousand times on ESPN: there is no separation between the top teams this year. Tell them that they should be prepared that they are going to lose unless they bring it every night. It doesn't take a loss to drive this lesson home. Incidentally, I am not upset about a loss per se; rather, it was the manner of losing that bothers me. No one could look at that game and say Kansas was mentally ready to play. And if they do they're full of it. To have staying power as a number one you have to have a kind of fight Kansas doesnt have. I remember their guard giving Wayne Selden an earful with an angry expression on his face as if to say, "We're gonna kick your @$$." Selden smiled and walked away. You have to have a spine. Not playing at home? Dont care. Being late to the gym because of snowy weather? Let the frustration fuel you. The mentality of this team could be tougher. A lot tougher.

It also pisses me off that Kansas did not utilize the secondary break in that game. The press gave us fits. You beat the press by getting a headstart on it after made baskets. The ball moves faster than they can defend. When the ball is stuck in a players hands, you help the defense out. The ball is stuck on an inbound situation. So heres what: dont let it be. Not only do you beat the press by running the secondary break, but easy opportunities to score present themselves on the other end when you break the press. Kansas has TRANSITION GUYS!!! Why in the hell were we not inbounding quickly after made baskets? I just knew the adjustment would be made at the half, but no.

It was like they were kicking our butts in slow motion, and I hate that more than losing.

Benz Junque 4 years, 9 months ago

I am sure you were here raving about the fight that Kansas has after the OU game so stop we the whole "that this team doesn't have silliness". They have it; they just didn't show it against WV.

It is frustrating to see KU have a game where they didn't compete at a level necessary to win a game, I agree. But don't get carried away.

Joe Ross 4 years, 9 months ago

I have to sit you at the front of the classroom so youll pay better attention to my posts. Ive said elsewhere in so many words that their focus is inconsistent. So yes, I was raving after the OU game but my reason on that point has not been offended.

Dont get carried away? Im gone with the wind.

Rodney Crain 4 years, 9 months ago

John, Joe, I hear what you are saying, I saw the headline on this article and I am not sure I buy a lack of effort or even a lackadaisical approach.

They got it to within 4 so they fought back after the half, WV was playing the same, KU showed both fight and effort. They just did not play very well, they were in position to make play after play but made bad decisions over and over again. You cannot win on the road like that.

I do not fault them being late to the game, some of the WV players were too, but I always leave a lot earlier when there is bad weather, I live in Chicago, 25 miles in 4 hours is a given in the snow. (thats on the tollways) Its better to be too early than late, late makes you rush and we looked rushed in that game.

They could have had a better game plan, they sure did not look ready for the press, and with experienced players you would think they would, but again bad decisions, lots of mental errors were their downfall.

I am going to bring up leadership, especially when the team is playing bad. We have key players who are not vocal, or emotional when the chips are down. That is ok, but someone has to grab some jerseys and say enough when we get down by 8+. After a bad play seek out the player who made it and give them some encouragement, a swat on the back.

In Chicago we have one of the best leaders on any sports team in the country Jonathan Towes NHL, he is not a real vocal or emotional player. Heck his nickname is Captain Serious. But when someone screws up you can hear him above the crowd, even on TV, yell WAKE UP, or GET in THE GAME. It is his team, last one off the ice, first one on it. I am not sure who that is for us. I miss TR and his emotion sometimes, especially after games like that.

I think this is just blip not a common occurance. OU could have lost last night at unranked OState, things happen on the road in the B12. OU was not late, or dealing with bad weather or playing a pressing team, or even traveling very far to play.

Suzi Marshall 4 years, 9 months ago

Chicago will always have the legacy of MJ's leadership, especially when the team was down. MJ would be all over his teammates when he thought they were letting down....and I mean all over them with those wicked looks and relentless verbal assaults. Remember Stacy King, Toni Kukoc, Brad Sellers, Quintin Daley, etc etc.

Jay Scott 4 years, 9 months ago

Your revolutionary idea of leaving earlier when there is bad weather is genius. People everywhere may begin to copy this.....

Jay Scott 4 years, 9 months ago

You may feel free to plan your travel as you see fit Adam. Don't blame Rodney if you don't arrive on time.

Suzi Marshall 4 years, 9 months ago

Now that is a good come-backer. A good sense of humor is a trademark characteristic of all good Jayhawkers.

Rodney Crain 4 years, 9 months ago

Again you do not disagree with anything I said, just take a pot shot like an immature child. BlueJay I know you frat guys sometines have issues with acting your age in college but you got to grow up sometimes and act like an adult.

You need to quit hiding behind your many persona's and just stick to the topic at hand.

Jay Scott 4 years, 9 months ago

You're acting like a child because we agree? Perish the thought someone would question you.

Benz Junque 4 years, 9 months ago

If that is your expectation then you are 100% guaranteed to be disappointed every season regardless of which D1 team you choose to cheer for.

As fans, we all think that we'd give 100% in every game because of how passionately we care about the team and because of how much the vast majority of us envy the opportunity to play that these kids have. That doesn't make it reasonable to have as an expectation because it's simply not accurate.

Benz Junque 4 years, 9 months ago

Just a heads up that Michigan State, coached by one of the greatest coaches of all time, legendary for leading a team that always fights and claws for everything, just came out and got PUNKED AT HOME by Iowa in a game where the Spartans simply did not look like they were playing at the same effort level as Iowa.

Phil Leister 4 years, 9 months ago

Why does a loss, like this one in particular, get blamed on effort? Lack of hunger?

Lack of effort, maybe. But I saw a KU team that had no clue how to handle the pressure that WVU applied. 22 turnovers isn't because of a lack of effort. It's because guys panic and literally throw the ball 30 feet down the court to no one. Giving up so many offensive rebounds could be blamed on effort, but effort alone doesn't box a guy out. It's simple execution. And KU didn't/couldn't execute against a very talented and relentless WVU team.

Landen Lucas says if we compete harder than the other team, we should win the game. That's bothersome to read because effort is the one thing a team has 100% control of on any given night. If effort truly was lacking the other night, that's a shame. But I definitely saw a team that simply didn't know to execute against a team who was in their face 90 feet from the basket.

Michael Leiker 4 years, 9 months ago

Exactly. The other piece of it is when you're confused and out of sorts it's tough to give 100% effort, or look like you are giving it because unless you are sure of where you're going and what you need to do you hesitate. Hesitation and being unsure is often perceived as lack of effort, which seems to be the case here in my opinion.

Really, it's a loss, they'll be fine. Don't think this team is really "tourney built" though.

Benz Junque 4 years, 9 months ago

"Didn't know how to execute" and "didn't execute" are two different things. What I saw was a team that didn't execute often enough to win, in large part because they did not put forth enough focused energy and aggressiveness to accomplish what they were attempting to do against the level of focused energy and aggressiveness that West Virginia was playing with.

Joe Ross 4 years, 9 months ago

And you called me "Captain Obvious" once upon a time...

LOL!

Kent Richardson 4 years, 9 months ago

Exactly Phil. Not knowing how to execute and not knowing how to play together so when a guy gets pinched he has an out other than throwing and hoping.

That said, I was unimpressed with two things. First WVU repeatedly was able to run up behind us, after we had moved past the initial press, and just poke the ball away. Wayne was awful about recognizing this possibility. Second when a team is guarding you just as tough in the half court and it is hard to get open looks then when you do get open, in your sweet spot, take the shot. Svi and Brannen, and I am guessing because they were told to, would pass up an open three and drive. Then they would hesitate and not attempt a shot inside while getting caught down low and throw it away. Execution. If you are going to pass up an open three for a better shot then "execute." I don't want to hear about how many bricks they threw up either and there were some beauties. At least it was an open attempt which because they are good shooters will start falling as opposed to a completely wasted opportunity.

The game was really not as close as the final score. It was embarrassing and hurt my tender hearted feelings.

Suzi Marshall 4 years, 9 months ago

The team reflected the hubris some (many) of the KU fans, including regular posters on this site. KU has the superior team but as if often the case in any sort of competition, the win goes to the group that plays as a team, with heart / esprit de corps.

What bothers me most is this group has repeatedly shown a lack of heart in previous years, i.e. blowout defeats from last year (Temple, UK, WSU etc etc) to the year before (Stanford). I thought they had grown up, especially with the way they played in the WUG and OU but it appears to be something inherent in the individual and collective mentalities/personalities.

To win, even for elite teams playing inferior talent, morale is everything.

Brett McCabe 4 years, 9 months ago

Suzi, that's Monday-morning b.s. of the highest order. I thought we would win, I thought we had the guard play and the experience to not only handle the press but punish it. It's not hubris, it's confidence in the number-one ranked team in the country.

Going to WVU and losing a tough battle is one thing, going there and getting manhandled is something else. I didn't predict us to go 18-0, or even 16-2. That would be hubris. Expecting us to beat a team that did not have a single quality win, was not expecting too much.

Jay Scott 4 years, 9 months ago

Many in the media predicted a WVU win. Vegas opened the line with WVU as a 1.5 point favorite.

Brett McCabe 4 years, 9 months ago

We lost by 11. Do you even remotely have a point?

Jay Scott 4 years, 9 months ago

Humiliating you has become boring. Your point was that you expected a win and that it was reasonable because "Expecting us to beat a team that did not have a single quality win, was not expecting too much."

I was merely countering with what expectations knowledgeable people had. It's not surprising that this would escape you or that you would be ignorant enough to respond as you did.

Brett McCabe 4 years, 9 months ago

That's not the only one reason I expected us to win. A 1.5 pt line is basically a toss-up, so the experts agreed with me.

Jay Scott 4 years, 9 months ago

You're saying that because you expected Kansas to win and the experts didn't that they agree with you?

If that's as close to logic as you can get, it's time for you to stop sharing your thoughts in public.

Rodney Crain 4 years, 9 months ago

Maybe you should stop commenting on how a betting line works... You still do not get it.

Jay Scott 4 years, 9 months ago

Rod. When the line is first set, and no bets have been made, and it first goes up on the board, how is it determined?

Suzi Marshall 4 years, 9 months ago

What is so much b.s. I 100% agree with what you are saying. No doubt. It seems to me we are saying the same thing.

Jared Reeves 4 years, 9 months ago

Lack of preparation and lack of execution seemed to play just as large a roll as lack of effort.

Benz Junque 4 years, 9 months ago

You can't expect to execute properly without first giving enough effort. You can't skip Step One and expect to execute Step 4 right.

Joe Ross 4 years, 9 months ago

Wait. Let me get this. Step 1 comes before Step 4?

Profound.

Good thing we got you here, we might be confused. LOL!

(Take your pills, Im just kiddin. Kinda.)

Benz Junque 4 years, 9 months ago

You are all starting to get Rodney Crain-itis.

Mick Allen 4 years, 9 months ago

Joe, I too am confused with our tardiness in inbounding the ball after a made basket. WVU would score, the ball would bounce on the floor for 4 or 5 seconds, a WV player would pick it up and casually throw it to the referee standing out of bounds and our inbounder would throw it in. WV always had 8 to 10 seconds to set up their press. I know we have designated players to inbound the ball. By the time the designee goes from where he was on the defensive end of the floor to retrieve the ball and throw it in, significant time expires, which not only allows the press to be set but even in game situations where we are not being pressed it slows our ability to inbounds and play fast and push the ball to the other end. Obviously you want Frank and Devontae to bring the ball up court and generally they both have valued the ball and possession, although that was not the case Tuesday as Frank had his worst floor game in 2 years. Why can't one of the bigs who are closer to the end line generally because of defensive positioning, grab the ball, quickly hand it to the referee and get it in to Frank, Wayne or Devontae. Roy's teams often scored quickly off of made baskets and his teams ran the secondary break you speak of Joe with Randall, Pecca Markham etc. getting that open free throw line jumper.Don't misinterpret what I'm saying,Bill Self is the only coach I want to coach the team during my lifetime. Joe's comment raised an issue that I have pondered for quite sometime, which is why doesn't the player closest to the ball grab it and throw it in thus expediting our ability to confront the pressure and push the ball up the court if we want to play"fast".

Joe Ross 4 years, 9 months ago

Yes Mick. And in many cases after WVU scored, the ball would bounce on the floor but a WV player standing right by the ball would not throw it to the ref. Huggins clearly wanted time to set up the press. Why Kansas didnt run the break after made baskets is mind-boggling. Simply stupifying...

Michael Leiker 4 years, 9 months ago

Always wonder about this with Self's teams too, I was always taught get it in asap and don't let the defense get set.

Suzi Marshall 4 years, 9 months ago

This is even more surprising if you recall how Self himself used to play. Recall the OSU games when KU pressed. Self was a master getting the ball up the court for a fast break opportunity.

Bill Kackley 4 years, 9 months ago

Preparing for the press is easier said than done. First, you have to have backup players who can reasonably assimulate the role of WVU players to practice against, then you need the time to prepare for it. Which we did not coming off tough games against OU and against an improving Texas Tech team. I thought the intensity could have been a little better also but I can tell you that when you play against a team like WVU on their own court it seems like they have 8 players on defense all the time and that they are always fresh. I think rather that trying to place blame is not constructive at all. We just have to realize we ran into a juggernut and hope that with our home crowd we will be able to overcome the pressure in Lawrence. We got beat by a very good team Tuesday night. You have to give it to them. They won the game a lot more than we lost it.

Jay Scott 4 years, 9 months ago

Such rational thinking minimizes the opportunity for hysterics. That won't do.

Jared Reeves 4 years, 9 months ago

Bill,

Is there anything you think the team can learn from this game?

Brett McCabe 4 years, 9 months ago

We had plenty of time to prepare for WVU, that is an extremely smelly excuse. This team doesn't consist of freshmen who have never seen a press before. There is no excuse for the performance. We got out-hustled and we got out-coached.

Jay Scott 4 years, 9 months ago

Duke lost at unranked Clemson last night. One can only imagine how their fans are coming similarly unglued. No they're not. It was a loss. One loss.

Jay Scott 4 years, 9 months ago

Great point. That could be a factor. Exactly how successful does a coach need to be for fans not to detonate over losing to the 11th ranked team on the road? More than a national title, 11 straight conference championships, an NCAA bid every year, the highest winning percentage in the sport? How much more than that?

Thanks for opening this discussion. ;)

Brett McCabe 4 years, 9 months ago

Describe detonate, based on the conversation here today.

If KU loses a game, is there a reason for the loss that you deem worth discussing?

I know you probably have imaginary friends to go along with your imaginary foes, but the conversation on here so far as been very strong. With the exception of you.

Jay Scott 4 years, 9 months ago

Brett. Perhaps you should read the posts from all the boards regarding this game again. Do I really have to facilitate your humiliating of yourself yet again? It's become tedious.

Joe Ross 4 years, 9 months ago

Speaking for myself and guessing about the concerns of others, it's not the loss that is troublesome. It's the manner of losing. It appears that even the team and the coach himself have identified a problem area. When is it, therefore, acceptable to discuss team issues and when is it not? Winning percentage is great and tournament bids are wonderful, and no one appears to be lamenting that so far as I can tell. But at Kansas, by virtue of the history here, the tradition here, the quality of the program here (which you have eloquently spoken to), we wish for those things to culminate in the highest reward: Final Fours and National Championships. Those are the standards I am guessing all fans wish to attain. When players themselves cite lack of effort, it seems unfair to criticize fans for addressing lack of effort.

Brett McCabe 4 years, 9 months ago

Unsolicited tag-on: This is a discussion board, after all.

Jay Scott 4 years, 9 months ago

Joe. I perceive you as a knowledgeable fan. When teams lose, they never cite specific strategies that led to the defeat. Never. They always roll out cliches about effort. It's a lot better strategically than discussing what really happened. WVU played more aggressively and Kansas look confused and timid at times. I really don't think there was one second in the game where a Jayhawk consciously didn't give maximum effort.

A Final Four and National Title this year is my hope too. That would put Self ahead of Coach K at this stage in his KU tenure in may ways. It would be interesting to see how some detractors might react.

Joe Ross 4 years, 9 months ago

Well I see your respect and raise you. Not only do you seem knowledgeable, but you express your thoughts in an entertaining manner most generally. For the record, I dont think it was just lack of intensity. There are things you could point to in the game that showed Huggins had a good plan for attacking Kansas. So I also point to lack of adjustments made in the game as a contributing factor in the loss. Because of the strategy employed against us, Kansas' offense could not get into the flow of the game. But we will have to be content to disagree on the point of intensity. I take what they say at face value because it jibes with what I saw in the game. WVs players hyped to play, and Kansas' showing up not matching that intensity. I gave a brief anecdote in a post above. I dont think Kansas consciously chose not to give complete effort, but I do think they did not consciously pursue to match theirs either. That's a problem in any game, and especially when youre playing on the road. In any case, I very strongly feel that Kansas is the superior team on our floor, theirs, or a neutral court. So when we lose, there must be factors that attribute to that, and I have attempted to offer a couple. Does this mean getting mad about a loss is justifiable or even productive? No more than being elated over a win is, to be sure. But I suppose we part company over peoples' desires to lick their wounds together. I certainly have no problem with that.

Joe Ross 4 years, 9 months ago

Thats what I do. You and Brett might actually agree on this point! LOL. If you do I think we should all join hands and sing "Kumbaya". Leastwise, Im guessing you never encountered one "Jaybate"...

Jay Scott 4 years, 9 months ago

Jaybate didn't like me either.....

Do you really have a blog? Where?

Joe Ross 4 years, 9 months ago

I used to, before they quit doing fan blogs here. "A Crimson Quill on Campanile HIll". It wasnt the most insightful all the time. But Im not naturally creative so it forced me out of my comfort zone a little bit. Its a skill like anything else, I suppose, and my writing could improve with practice. Outside of this forum, I have plans to do just that.

Rodney Crain 4 years, 9 months ago

Can you name anyone that does like you Jay? Anyone but your pseudos that is?

Jay Scott 4 years, 9 months ago

Roddy. You seem to believe that your approval matters. That's a sad emotional state.

Benz Junque 4 years, 9 months ago

Or he didn't actually go read a Duke message board. I can guarantee they have ample amounts of fans losing their minds right now. EVERY BIG FAN BASE THAT LOSES A GAME DOES. There is thread titled something like "Can We Cancel the Game @Kansas?" on a Kentucky board.

Clark Groseth 4 years, 9 months ago

This may be only anecdotal, BUT, if my sweet, love of my life, Dookie bride is any example...she quit talking to me shortly after the final whistle at Clemson. This morning, she did say hello and kiss me goodbye. Maybe life will go on for Duke and KU!

Brad Mason 4 years, 9 months ago

This is a ridiculous article. Bottom line: we didn't handle the pressure WVa puts on teams--we've lost 3 years in a row now there--it's not "lack of effort" all 3 years in a row. WVa is #1 in the country in forcing turnovers. I grew up in Chicago as well---I'm not sure you can compare college kids to Toews or Jordan--I do agree that I miss an Alpha Male like T-Rob or Sherron Collins.

Benz Junque 4 years, 9 months ago

Yeah, thank god guys like T-Rob or Collins never had games where their intensity was questionable...

Herb Derpson 4 years, 9 months ago

And per usual most of you posting here have forgotten what its like to be a college aged male. Consistency is not their strong point. It happens. It will be okay. I promise.

Mick Allen 4 years, 9 months ago

Bill, I agree with your comments and placing blame is counterproductive. Give WV credit. They implemented their game plan. We are not the only highly ranked team they would have beaten that night under the then existing circumstances. Your reference to the fact that WV's press is so effective that it seemed they had 8 men on the court reminded me that in practice before the game Coach practiced against 8 defenders, but as you opined Tyler Self is not going to run it as effectively as Paige, Carter etc.

Joe Ross 4 years, 9 months ago

I agree. Sort of. Placing blame for the sake of being verbally deconstructive is useless. But there is something to be said for being able to discuss strategies among ourselves that might solve what problem areas there are. One might answer that even if we could come up with the right solution we, none of us, are Division I coaches (much less the coach of this particular team) so what does it matter? But the counter to that point, obviously, is to answer with "why does this message board even exist at all". Sometimes discussion exists for the sake of discussion itself and no other reason.

But to your point, "yes". You have to credit WV for an excellent game plan. Bob Huggins is a stellar coach, and the quality of coaching in this league is amazing. Credit where credit is due. It just seems to me that we should have been able to respond much better than we did. Our comeback in the second half seemed, to me anyway, to have more to do with effort picking up and less to do with X's and O's coaching adjustments (though both increased intensity and a better, quicker response in the game to WVs game plan would have been necessary to get the W).

Jared Reeves 4 years, 9 months ago

For all those who think the loss was all about WVU and not about KU--do you think KU can learn anything from this loss? Is there no way the team could prepare differently? Are we doomed to lose to them again?

Jay Scott 4 years, 9 months ago

Jared. That a weak and transparent attempt to indulge your need to play Chicken Little or incite an argument that you would inevitably lose, again. Of course there are things to learn. There will, for example, be more preparation and maybe even some modifications in handling the press. It's unlikely that these exact changes will be outlined in any future press conferences.

Hopefully you show more skill if you are actually allowed to cross examine.

Brett McCabe 4 years, 9 months ago

Jared, as with any loss there is plenty of blame/responsibility to go around. To discredit WVU's effort or coaching would be foolish, as would to minimize the difficulty of winning on the road.

On the other hand, if we were out-coached, or out-hustled, or out-motivated that would, indeed, be on us. And "us" is what I care about because it's the only thing "us" can control.

I can't address Self's strategy but I know that 0-3 at WVU and an OT win in AFH signifies a trend, not an off-night.

Jared Reeves 4 years, 9 months ago

Jay, I am sorry if you are unfamiliar with an honest inquiry.

Jay Scott 4 years, 9 months ago

Even weaker. You showed rare wisdom in not responding directly. You would have been better served not responding at all.

Jay Scott 4 years, 9 months ago

I agree. It's sad how transparent he is.

Edward Warren 4 years, 9 months ago

The Jayhawks had more field goals/3 pointers than WVa. Foul shots made the difference.

It wasn't the refs. The Jayhawks were not playing defense and allowing drives down the middle which led to fouls at the basket and a large number of offensive rebounds for WVa. WVa's guards were exceptionally quick and were going around Mason and Graham like they weren't even there most of the time and then they had open lanes to the basket.

With the number of double-teams and the fact we were beating their press most of the time we should have been lighting up the scoreboard. The guards let the double-teams get to them and that was half the problem.

High quality guards like Mason and Graham can usually easily handle a double team, quick guards, and a press in their sleep. Mason and Graham and Selden looked like they were dazed to me half the game.

No good guard play against a team like WVA and you are in trouble. Just a bad night against a good team. All teams have games like that.

David Howell 4 years, 9 months ago

Couldn't agree more Edward ............. Mason the last couple of games to me has regressed somewhat. We need him to drive to the bucket, but he can't throw it up every time on a prayer. He has to have a plan. When you are met by two or three opponents in the paint someone has to be open. Find them ! To me Mason at one point gave up in the 2nd half. You could see it in his face, his play, and Self saw it and took him out for awhile.

We have to have him playing at a top level more often !

Rob Byrd 4 years, 9 months ago

Unfortunately, or actually fortunately in this case, I did not watch the game and actually have no desire to watch it now after hearing all the comments , but I have a question concerning the stat sheet. Normally a pressing team tends to foul considerably more than teams that don't press, but if you look at the stat sheet it appears that West Virginia spent most of the night at the foul line and actually scored 20 points more than we did there. The rest of the sheet looks like we were pretty even but everybody says that we were dominated in the game, were we actually fouling them that much more that could result in such disparity in the numbers?

Jay Scott 4 years, 9 months ago

I like this Porter kid already. Anyone who relishes the wrath of Mizzery nation enough to consider coming to Kansas isn't afraid of a WVU press.

Joe Ross 4 years, 9 months ago

I think every other year, Coach needs to recruit a Jeff Graves-type enforcer. Forget how many stars he has or what Rivals says. Find that big lugg who's gonna camp out in the lane and dare even their biggest guys to have the audacity to come inside of it and try to score. If someone gets in the face of one of our players he comes between them and mean mugs the other guy. If he's out in the parking lot stealing hub cabs during the halftime speech, so be it. As long as he does his job. Maybe during the recruiting pitch we can promise impermissible benefits of neck and arm tattoos. I don't know. ANYTHING to get a physical presence in the lane!

Please Santa. Or please Jesus.

Jay Scott 4 years, 9 months ago

Love it! I like the Tariq Black type deal. You know what kind of attitude you get. Coleby?

Jeff Graves played in an era when there wasn't a social media outlet for fans to go bananas when he was on the floor and some McDonalds All American wasn't.

Joe Ross 4 years, 9 months ago

Could borrow a tight end from the football team. He'd already be on scholarship so it wouldn't count against the basketball team's scholarship count. In fact, offensive lineman Larry Hughes is 6' 7" and weighs 281.

Barry Weiss 4 years, 9 months ago

none of us like a loss, but seriously, I doubt anyone here thought we would go undefeated in conference play. I figure there will be 3 more conference losses and I won't like it one bit. It sounds like we did prepare for their press using 8 on 5 in practice, but it was not enough. I do think we fell back into letting their guards get past us to the hoop. Free Diallo!

Bryce Landon 4 years, 9 months ago

WVU isn't going undefeated either. Self himself said he thought the Big 12 champ (or co-champs) would finish with five losses.

Chad Smith 4 years, 9 months ago

Not too much to add to all points already made. All I can say is that when you have 20+ turnovers in a game, no matter who you play, unless they have 25 themselves, you will probably lose. Missed shots, missed free throws, and losing the rebounding margin by 10 will only serve to make the final score be even worse. And yes, we could have lost by way more. Need to play way better, lots of tough road games still ahead. The good thing that has been discussed is no clear cut great team in our conference let alone the country. Meaning we will have a good chance in every game we play assuming we don't have 20+ turnovers again.

William Weissbeck 4 years, 9 months ago

Same problems as last year. We have trouble controlling the boards. Our 3 experience bigs aren't doing it. I can't figure out the rotation. Just because the other team is pressing and is quicker doesn't mean you can't play Michelson. Other college teams have no choice but to use slower, less agile big men (because they don't have the luxury of 3-4), and they do just fine. Diallo? So what if he fouls out? It's not like the other guys weren't also committing fouls. Last year we had to handle the press with 2 guards one of who was Selden. This year we have two true guards plus Selden and still have issues. Elite teams can have bad nights, But you worry when a team has a bad night in all phases. You can shoot poorly some nights. You can have some above average turnovers. You might commit more fouls than average. You might lose the rebound battle slightly. But not all 4 and by wide margins.

Dustin Gudde 4 years, 9 months ago

Svi played 17 minutes because he was the only 3 man they had that was able to play good d and not turn the ball over. If 1 or 2 of his looks went down, this wouldn't even be talked about. Greene looked miserable out there missing shots and letting his man get to the bucket over and over again. Then Seldon had what 5-6 turnovers? Svi was the best option. Unfortunately much like everyone else that night, he missed 3 good looks. I thought his defense and effort were great though!

Jay Scott 4 years, 9 months ago

Nice! Svi is a legit NBA talent and he's progressing. He'll be needed as teams with 6'8 and taller wings are faced. If he was a McDonald's All American instead of a Ukrainian National Team player there would be armed mutiny over his playing time.

Mick Allen 4 years, 9 months ago

Joe and Jay you mentioned 2 of my favorites, Black and Graves. We need that "take no prisoners mentality". I share in your hope that Coleby could be that guy. Physically he certainly looks the part.

Xandor Okaqui 4 years, 9 months ago

Anyone going to see Porter? Probably should root on the next big recruit... hear a lot of good things about this kid.

Lloyd Kinnison 4 years, 9 months ago

These comments appear to be responding to each others views and not the play of the Jayhawks. Right?

Benz Junque 4 years, 9 months ago

This site has become a toxic waste dump of snarky smart ass comments.

Joe Ross 4 years, 9 months ago

You mean like when you called me Captain Obvious without even being addressed? Or when you accused me of "making stuff up"...when I wasnt even speaking to you? lol

When youre snarky does that contribute to the toxicity of the waste dump, or are your comments immune? Just curious.

Michael Lorraine 4 years, 9 months ago

Is it realistic to expect KU to match the intensity of every opponent they play? If there is one game on the schedule that the other 9 teams want to win it’s the home game against KU. WVU is a contender and I believe this game was more important to them than it was to us. I’ll give Bill and company a pass but when March arrives, no team should be hungrier than us.

Brian Mellor 4 years, 9 months ago

"It's absolutely inexcusable that these kids do not put forth 110% every second of every game."

  • Old person sitting on a couch with computer on their lap watching a game on TV

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