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Devonte Graham credits coach Bill Self's fiery halftime for turning tide vs. Duke

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Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) gets in for a bucket past Duke forward Amile Jefferson (21) during the second half of the Champions Classic on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016 at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) gets in for a bucket past Duke forward Amile Jefferson (21) during the second half of the Champions Classic on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016 at Madison Square Garden in New York. by Nick Krug

Kansas opened the second half of Tuesday night's 77-75 victory against top-ranked Duke by going on a 17-5 tear. Junior guard Devonte Graham did not think the timing of the team's best stretch of the night was a coincidence. He sent credit the way of the coach.

"The halftime speech," Graham said of Kansas coming out of the locker room in such energetic fashion. "Coach was a little upset with us."

When an athlete shares that his coach was "a little upset," what he usually means is the coach was livid and didn't hold back.

"(We were) taking contested threes and we weren't making them," Graham said. "I think we were 1 of 12 at halftime, so he just got on us about our speed and quickness, (and said) just to get in the lane."

Self has a way of pumping up players' confidence when yelling at them by stressing what they do so well and blasting them for not doing it.

"He tells us nobody can guard us and stay in front of us," Graham said. "They have to put their hands on us or foul us. Either we're going to get in the lane and score or get fouled or drop off to a big man, so he got after us about driving the ball."

And after he did, the Jayhawks' perimeter players relentlessly drove to the hoop and turned a five-point halftime deficit into a 12-point lead with 8:03 remaining.

Self really does know how to get his players to respond to him, a gift partially responsible for Kansas defeating the No. 1 team in the nation, despite shooting .118 on three-pointers and .474 from the line.


By the Numbers: Kansas 77, Duke 75

By the Numbers: Kansas 77, Duke 75

— See what people were saying about KU's matchup against Duke during KUsports.com’s live coverage.


More news and notes from the win against Duke


Comments

Suzi Marshall 1 year ago

Shooting.118 on three-pointers is one thing but the .474 from the line is another. There is no valid excuse for an elite (or even a not so elite) team to shoot under 70% from the line. We simply can not compete for a NC with that kind of shooting, much less our 13 straight Big 12 Championship.

Len Shaffer 1 year ago

It's only one game. KU shot well from the line against IU. I'm guessing that Josh was a little nervous at the beginning, and that was four of the misses right there. If it continues, I'll be worried, but I'm not worried about it from one game.

Robert Brock 1 year ago

Duke's free throw defense was outstanding!

Ryan Zimmerman 1 year ago

There was a time in that first half to where I was thinking "I wonder when the last time KU had an entire half with zero made free throws and zero 3s"...

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