Thomas Robinson, Jeff Withey earn top spots against Duke


1. Thomas Robinson: The best defensive rebounder in the nation had 15 boards and 16 points and took two charges in 36 hard-driving minutes. His baseline jumper's a nice weapon, a smart shot for him to take, but he needs to pass on shooting from the perimeter for now.

2. Jeff Withey: He's not particularly strong and doesn't have the coordination to keep the ball high, but he's a lot tougher than his frame suggests, he has reliable hands and knows his role. Had 14 points, 10 rebounds and two blocked shots and battled hard against Duke's extremely talented, competitive center Mason Plumlee (17 points, 12 boards).

3. Tyshawn Taylor: Had 11 turnovers, including one he dribbled out of bounds with 56 seconds left. But without Taylor consistently breaking down Duke's defense in the first half, Kansas would have trailed by double figures instead of leading by four points.

4. Elijah Johnson: He loves to take the big shot and tends to hit it. His well-guarded, deep three form the top put Kansas up, 61-60, with 1:33 left.

5. Travis Releford: Hit a big lane jumper late and used his quickness to get loose balls. Finished with four points, five rebounds (three of the offensive variety) and a steal.

6. Justin Wesley: Fouled out in 10 minutes with zeroes across the board.

7. Conner Teahan: Missed his only three and didn't contribute a point or rebound in 13 minutes.

8. Naadir Tharpe: Looked a little shaky in his seven minutes on the floor.

The Keegan Ratings: Season Standings
1. Thomas Robinson (46 points)
2. Tyshawn Taylor (43 points)
3. Elijah Johnson (39 points)
4. Jeff Withey (32 points)
5. Travis Releford (31 points)
6. Justin Wesley (23 points)
7. Conner Teahan (20 points)
8. Kevin Young (18 points)
9. Naadir Tharpe (16 points)
10. Merv Lindsay (1 point)


Michael Luby 9 years, 3 months ago

Agreed that without Tyshawn we would have been down in the first half but conversely without his 11 TO's we might have won the game. Give Elijah the 3rd spot.

jgkojak 9 years, 3 months ago

Where was Kevin Young? Seems like he could have contributed.

We really are missing that extra 3-man.

Dirk Medema 9 years, 3 months ago

He's not trusted on D yet, and they have a crew that are deadly from the perimeter without suffocating D. Fortunately, we had it for most of the night. Just not quite enough.

Alohahawk 9 years, 3 months ago

Except for TT's 11 turnovers, it's hard to find fault with the starters. It was defense that kept KU in the game. And all five contributed, everyone of them: Robinson, Taylor, Releford, Withey and Johnson. They never gave an inch, and in most respects, outplayed Duke. Take away Duke's 3's, and KU wipes them off the court. This should give KU the confidence that they can compete with the best out there. I'm proud of the Jayhawks.

Unfortunately, the Tennessee curse struck the Jayhawks again. It was Duke's luck that won the game for them, with the two 3's made late by a sub who will probably never make another point except in the closing minutes of a blowout game. That's exactly how we lost to Tennessee two seasons ago, some nobody shoots a lucky shot (in this case, 2 shots) to pull out the win over KU. Frustrating!!! If this is the only way Duke can beat KU, then I don't feel as bad about losing as I probably should.

The Jayhawks will only get better. Bring on Ohio State.


Michael Luby 9 years, 3 months ago

+1 and a great game regardless of the outcome!

Alohahawk 9 years, 3 months ago

Mahalo, and yes, it was a great and exciting game, right down to the wire. My neighbors are probably still wondering what all the screaming and yelling (and final groan) was all about.

I can't see that KU should lose anything in the ratings from their performances in Maui. We beat a good Georgetown team that won their next game. And played Duke even, till those final lucky shots they hit. Too bad that UCLA couldn't win, too (to raise KU's RPI rating). Not that I like UCLA of Howland.

Dirk Medema 9 years, 3 months ago

"I just flung it up there" for the first one, but the second was a case of TT being lazy and not closing out on the shooter. The kid may be a D-stopper for them, but he is a D1 BB player who can make an uncontested 3.

Dirk Medema 9 years, 3 months ago

Travis' D needs to be mentioned. It is nice when he does get a stat, but most of his work is stat-less. At some point though, you'd hope that he'll step up his game and become more of a presence on O.

AsadZ 9 years, 3 months ago

I have always been a big fan of TT,and I was really expecting great play from him this year. However, after last night's championship game, I have come to conclusion that KU will be better off with EJ being the point guard. TT just can't contol himself in Big games, 11 turnovers is unacceptable from senior leader.

I felt offense ran much smoothly in previous games with EJ at point. HCBS should try this move now rather than Feb/Mar.

I still believe TT is a very good player but he can't be counted on to be team leader.

I am not sure why HCBS did not put KY in the game at 3. Team looked gassed in the end.

REHawk 9 years, 3 months ago

11 turnovers. Holy F. Moly! What a double barrel guard playing at a topnotch Div. I school! Fantastic contributions for 2 minutes, then a dependable letdown. It's who he is. Bill Self has rolled the dice and has had to live with the numbers. In my not so humble opinion, this type of play will repeat to snuff our chances to win a couple of more close contests this season.
Tharpe arrived in Lawrence with a pass-first reputation, and I see him gradually adopting Tyshawn's playing style. Maybe the answer is to put the ball in the hands of EJ at crunch time. Options are limited. Withey, Robinson and Releford played their hearts out last night. Tough thing, to trudge to the locker room with such a loss.
Among Bill Self's very few losses during his tenure at KU, it seems that most of them have come from an opponent's hot hand from the arc. If our lineup ever approaches complete sync, it is obvious that we can be comptitive with any team in the country. The Dukies and their fanbase appeared to be stunned throughout the major portion of this game. I am amazed at the no-whistles on brutal play in the lane, then the ticky tac call on perimeter handchecks. Players without thighs the size of Hulk Hogan are at a huge disadvantage, playing down low. Withey played an outstanding game last night.

REHawk 9 years, 3 months ago

I would place Releford 3rd on this list. Taylor 5th. There is a lot more to the game than numbers in the points column.

johnsont1 9 years, 3 months ago

Tyshawn needs to start reversing the ball. I can't believe he's started four years and still doesn't get that. Naadir understands that already, I think we'd be better off with him in the lineup. I don't think the guy Naadir was guarding ever scored too. Not bashing tyshawn,its just that he's not running the offense..

Steve Reigle 9 years, 3 months ago

Did TT really dribble it out of bounds or did he trip over the Dukie? From the TV angle it appeared there was a missed foul call there. TT seemed to think so, too. Or perhaps he dribbled off the Dukie's foot, meaning it was last touched by Duke and should have been Kansas ball.

Eric J. Baker 9 years, 3 months ago

I think Kelley or someone got up really close to him, the ball bounced a bit off his foot, and Tyshawn tried to get it back as it bounced out of bounds. So technically off Tyshawn, no foul. It was the right call, and a turnover I normally wouldn't worry too much about if we weren't down by 2 with 56 seconds left. And I wouldn't have worried about it much even then if Duke didn't hit a circus shot to put the game out of reach. Siiiiigh.

Hank Cross 9 years, 3 months ago

No problem with Travis's ranking. He needs to convert more of those easy opportunities. And I say that as one of his biggest supporters.

SunshineStateJHawk 9 years, 3 months ago

It is so hard to watch TT, Kansas basketball has always thrived on fundamental basketball and he is the epitome of the opposite. Hesitates on his decision, therefore doing everything too fast and doing things while out of control. The sad part is, he has not improved with team management and running the team which is crazy because he has had substantial playing time over his career during big situations.

As KU fans we can all make excuses for TT, but his carelessness with the ball is just ridiculous.

We need an Aaron Miles or Russell Robinson to run the floor.

Message for Bill, PLEASE DEVELOP THARPE or JOHNSON for next year as floor general.

Kansan_in_CA 9 years, 3 months ago

I couldn't agree more SunshineStateJHawk.

The issue isn't TT's abilities it's his mentality. He makes out of control plays and the worst part is that half the time he scores or someone cleans up after him and we all applaud it because it put points on the board, when in reality it was a boneheaded play to begin with. It buys him three more minutes of stupidity.

i also wonder (and I admit this might be my own irritation at TT coming out after this game) if he feels like he's gotta get his points.

The clear downside is... with McLemore out, Tharpe still developing and Lindsey sitting, we really can't bring anyone else in to cover. So either TT will have to mature or we'll always struggle in these close games.

Joel Thomas 9 years, 3 months ago

I like Taylor in that he plays the way I play. Except I play NBA 2K. Ugh.

jddehoff 9 years, 3 months ago

Classic game that could have easily gone our way but it didn't and thats college basketball !! Taking 2nd in the maui tourney is nothing to be ashamed of and I'm feeling great about this team , a lot more than I did before the tourney . Duke is not a better team than us and we proved that . TT needs to be moved to SG not the point he is a great player just playing out of position IMO . This team can and will do some damage in march .

Doug Fogleman 9 years, 3 months ago

I really like the play of Releford in the game. He did an excellent job on Curry. Curry finished with nine points. And four of them was from the free throw line and I know that one of his two 3's was againt Teehan.

I would like for Travis to look for his shot more on the offensive side and finish stronger in the paint.

It was a game that we controlled and let get away in the last two minutes.

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