Thursday, January 21, 2016

Kansas players vow changes after players-only meeting

Kansas guard Devonte' Graham and the rest of the Jayhawks leave the floor following their 86-67 loss to Oklahoma State on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016 at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Okla.

Kansas guard Devonte' Graham and the rest of the Jayhawks leave the floor following their 86-67 loss to Oklahoma State on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016 at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Okla.


Kansas University’s basketball players have done some soul-searching in the wake of Tuesday’s 19-point road loss to an Oklahoma State team that entered with a 1-4 league record.

The squad’s upperclassmen led a players-only meeting Wednesday in the players’ locker room in Allen Fieldhouse.

Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Bill Self: Going to be 'wild' year in Big 12

Kansas basketball coach Bill Self predicts the next few weeks in the Big 12 are going to be "wild," and discusses the recent lethargic play of his Jayhawks, who have lost their past two road games.

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“We talked a lot about stuff, how we should change our attitudes and stuff,” KU freshman forward Carlton Bragg said Thursday. “They got really deep,” Bragg said of unnamed veteran players.

“They said we are not playing like ourselves. We’re just wrong. We need to tighten things up. The leaders on our team said, ‘We’ve got to bring it now.’ They said, ‘We’re in conference play. Our defense has got to get better and we have to be better leaders.’’’

After Thursday’s practice, Bragg said: “We brought a lot of energy, defensively and offensively, and we’re playing as a team now. This is Day One. We’ve got to move forward getting better and better.”

Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Carlton Bragg: Jayhawks meet to address poor play

Kansas freshman Carlton Bragg discusses the tone of conversation amongst the Jayhawks, coming off a poor performance at Oklahoma State. Bragg says the players met in the locker room and talked about a lot of things, including how they should change their attitudes.

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KU junior Brannen Greene (knee bruise) practiced on Thursday and though coach Bill Self said he wasn’t 100 percent yet, he should be ready by Saturday’s 1 p.m. home game against (12-6, 4-2) Texas. KU will enter 15-3, 4-2.

Asked if freshman forward Cheick Diallo would make his second straight start, Self said: “Probably. We’ll see how practice goes. He did OK (vs. Oklahoma State). I don’t think it was a marquee-type performance but I don’t think you could say that about anybody on our team.”

On Mason: KU junior Frank Mason III said after Tuesday’s loss his leg was sore but aside from that he was fine physically.

“Since the OU game (109-106 3OT victory on Jan. 4) I don’t feel like he’s played with near the energy that he did in that particular game,” Self said. “He totally gave himself up for us that particular night (playing 53 minutes). Since then, it almost seems like he’s been worn out a little bit from that. It could be a coincidence. He’s got to get it back, but you can’t put it on Frank. I think the whole team looks that way. I think we look pretty lethargic right now. Well, I think we did look lethargic.”

Team is trying: Self was not fond of one criticism of his team, which has dropped two of its last three games.

“Somebody text me, ‘Hey, your guys act like they don’t care.’ That’s the biggest crock of bull ever. They care a lot,” Self said. “But I think sometimes stress and things like that probably keep you from probably being the way that you want to be all the time.”

Hoverboard chatter: Some KU players such as Bragg and Devonté Graham have been seen riding hoverboards in and outside of the fieldhouse.

“Now while there’s snow and stuff, coach said to stay off ‘em,” Bragg said. “It takes 10 minutes to master (riding one). When you first get on you have to balance it out and go a little slow. Once you get movement in your body and legs, you should be good.”

Of hoverboards, Self said: “There’s been like 30 schools across the country that have banned them. We do not have rules about them using them here, and maybe that will be something that transpires. We talk about Frank’s fatigue: So look, guys, we’re helping him out. It’s basically strategy to keep our guys more rested,” Self added of riding the boards.

Self said he once, “Got on one. I don’t know if you call it ride when you’re doing that, but I actually did get on one to see what it was like. I was pretty nervous getting off of it. I think getting on it is the easy part. I think getting off it is where you could really mess yourself up.”


Suzi Marshall 5 years, 9 months ago

'Hey, your guys act like they don’t care.’ Perhaps they really do care but has Self looked at the recent game tapes? Our ESPN game BPI for the past 3 games was 70,80, and...25!! Not sure, but teams might get a 24.9 for the introductions?

I've never been a big fan of these player only meetings, especially the well publicized variety. They usually are for show purposes and a presage to imminent catastrophes. I'm sure happy Self is calm and controlled because I'm in full panic mode concerned about heading outdoors for fear of being hit by the falling sky.

Len Shaffer 5 years, 9 months ago

You're right, Suzi. That player meeting in 2008 was no help at all ...

Jared Reeves 5 years, 9 months ago


I disagree with Suzi. I think our current woes are mental, and a players only meeting can only help. However, you are confusing correlation with causation.

James Kim 5 years, 9 months ago

Having the caliber of players from that team would be the biggest help.

This team just may not be that good.

Marius Rowlanski 5 years, 9 months ago

It seems they have a "players only meeting" just about every year recently Len. I know they did last year... How did that one work out?

And as Jared stated, you are confusing causation and correlation.

Allison Steen 5 years, 9 months ago

I disagree. I feel like we have always played much better after players only meetings. Not to mention, what does it hurt?

Bryce Landon 5 years, 9 months ago

Players' Only Meetings can go either way. Last year's Players' Only Meeting following the loss at KSU did nothing except reveal a loser's mentality, "We don't want to be the team that ends the streak". The team continued to flounder before unraveling against WSU. Same with the P.O.M. with the football team in the middle of 2009. The team finished 5-7 and Mark Mangino was forced to resign. Or they can do what they did in November 2006 between the Ball State and Florida games.

Brett McCabe 5 years, 9 months ago

Yep, not a fan of players' meeting. But they've apparently become an annual event. Maybe the guys are getting better at them now that they've had more practice.

Boy I miss the days of the basketball team getting into fights with the football team....that's what I call team bonding? Ahhhh, the good old days.

Marius Rowlanski 5 years, 9 months ago

They need to hit the Lawrence night-life... Plenty of opportunities for team bonding and maybe a DUI as well!

Suzi Marshall 5 years, 9 months ago

The past three years really demonstrate how special that '11-'12 team was. The more time goes by, the more special Withey, TRel and the rest were. Those guys played with tons of pride.

Steve Zimmerman 5 years, 9 months ago

Frank, check this out: Buddy Hield plays just as much, Jawun does, too. Okay, perhaps 5 minutes less. But Barber, Monte Morris, Ulis - these guys plays more than you. So, toughen up, General. Play hungry. Play mad..really mad. No need meetings. Just do it. Don't forget why you guys are here at KU, the best place to play bball on earth.

Marius Rowlanski 5 years, 9 months ago

I agree with the point you're making Steve but Oklahoma as little depth and Buddy Hield really doesn't have the opportunity to rest.

What I am having difficulty with is that we supposedly had a deep bench yet it doesn't seem to have made much of a difference.

Steve Zimmerman 5 years, 9 months ago

Yeah, I never understand that myself. I keep hearing we have deep bench. No we don't. To TV anchors, ESPN, Fran, please stop saying that. It just makes us look worse.

RJ King 5 years, 9 months ago

Hoverboards? Great. Hope we don't burn down the Field House.

Mike Riches 5 years, 9 months ago

Saw this coming...

Of all the upper-classmen, Wayne is the only one I could see being vocal as a leader in a meeting like this. I hope it works!

Tom Jones 5 years, 9 months ago

Actually, do. Even though he's tall, go ahead and sell him short.

Cameron Schienebeck 5 years, 9 months ago

My tweet after the game: Time for Gary to fire up that players only meeting article. 1/19/2016 8:27pm

Robert Brock 5 years, 9 months ago

Should have had a coaches-only meeting. There is definitely a problem with this motley collection.

Cameron Cederlind 5 years, 9 months ago

I feel like Self has surrounded himself with "yes" men. Since the core of his original coaching staff has left (Manning, Dooley), he's brought in former players and friends. I get that he's the head coach, but the assistants need to be there to keep him in check.

Cameron Cederlind 5 years, 9 months ago

I don't think Evan Manning would like being the new "towel boy"

Bryce Landon 5 years, 9 months ago

If this year's team fails to reach the Sweet 16, Dr. Zenger should be having a one-on-one meeting with Self to settle a buyout.

Joe Ross 5 years, 9 months ago

Quite the post from a guy who has the Bible as his primary image on his facebook account. Just sayin', bro.

Jared Reeves 5 years, 9 months ago

What's wrong with that? I love fantasy novels!

Bryce Landon 5 years, 9 months ago

That's probably true, but sometimes the only thing guys like Jay Scott understand is a swift kick in the (insert body part).

Bryce Landon 5 years, 9 months ago

That's right! The hair! (Pubic hair, that is)

Tom Jones 5 years, 9 months ago

I was joking about Joe, who apparently looks us up on FB. Cuz he's FBI, apparently? :) Just part of the job description...

Bryce Landon 5 years, 9 months ago

An FBI agent monitoring my FB profile? Did I say one too many negative things about President Obama? :)

Chandler Accipiter 5 years, 9 months ago

A bad road loss to OSU, losing 2 of the last 3, and a players-only meeting, shades of 2008. Too bad it didn't take place at a booth in Henry T's. Shouldn't it be required to have these players-only meetings, which have become an annual occurrence, held there? Maybe tapping in to the legend just a bit would help them reach that "magic level" Self referred to the other day.

Joseph Bullock 5 years, 9 months ago

Jared, I think Lennwas being sarcastic! Think: 2008! LOL

Brett McCabe 5 years, 9 months ago

In the infamous words of Romeo Crennel: Play good basketball. Eliminate bad basketball.

Bryce Landon 5 years, 9 months ago

Keep the worst Chiefs coach ever out your mouth!

Bj Cassady 5 years, 9 months ago

With games at Iowa State, at OU, at Texas, at Baylor and it will be difficult to defeat W Virginia at is time to develop the bench and everyone needs to be accountable and give 100 percent, else 3rd or 4th place is in the mix. Bottom line we lost to the worst team in the big 12, a team ranked 200th in the nation, not only lost but got waxed by them. We did not deserve to be in the same gym with them. We jogged back on defense will they sprinted...what's up with that?

Len Shaffer 5 years, 9 months ago

OSU is hardly the worst team in the Big 12.

KSU and TCU are worse, and possibly Texas Tech as well.

Kent Richardson 5 years, 9 months ago

Ah, the drama, the excuses, saying that things need to be fixed, coach calling out the team, we posters calling out the coaches. None of this means doodley squat.

I think our brass is not polished enough to scare anyone this season. If the team is to excel you can believe it will be harder now than two weeks ago when we looked kind of good. It will take a mental effort unlike what we have seen so far. These are 18-22 year old guys who have been on top of the basketball chain all their lives. Now something special besides their talent will need to be displayed. Need the buy in for sure.

I really want to believe so I will believe.

If we get rolling or gut check fight to the end against Texas then we better not exult too much but keep the focus into the next practice. Bragg said that yesterday was day one. Day three is almost upon us. If our attention span can't go that far, well.....

The first half of the Texas game will be devoured by the Allen crowd one way or the other.

Michael Lorraine 5 years, 9 months ago

We are 11 1/2 point favorites.

Why couldn't the Cavs have waited until the season ended to fire their coach.

Wayne McManus 5 years, 9 months ago

They just need a bounce back game at home, where they can take control and start getting some run outs. Have some fun, regain that sense of KU pride.

Then start to play tougher and less sheepish on the road. Perry, Wayne and Frank all need to step up their games at crunch time, so they're not looking so aimless and afraid on offense when games get tight, as invariably they will in conference play.

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