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Travis Releford's career night earns top Keegan honor

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1. Travis Releford: Career highs in points (16) and rebounds (11, five offensive) and played a huge part in limiting Rodney McGruder in the first half to six points and one rebound.

2. Thomas Robinson: Pushed and shoved all night, Robinson didn’t let that derail him from contributing 15 points and 14 rebounds. Played well with four fouls.

3. Conner Teahan: Hit back-to-back threes that deflated K-State and made the Wildcats look mighty tired.

4. Jeff Withey: After one of his six blocked shots, Withey tipped the ball to himself and threw a bomb so on the money to Tyshawn Taylor for an uncontested flush that it could have made Dayne Crist proud.

5. Tyshawn Taylor: What was that Bill Self said about his senior point guard? He does some things you can’t coach. For example, the drive at the end of the first half for a bucket when everyone in the building knew he was trying to get to the hoop. What else was that Self said? He does some things that make you wonder if he’s ever been coached. Such as late in the first half when he threw two long passes out of bounds, passes that Terrell Owens in his prime couldn’t have dreamed of catching. Those were two of Taylor’s eight turnovers. He also played standout defense and scored 13 points.

“Tyshawn got the ball to the paint basically every time he wanted to get into the paint,” Kansas State coach Frank Martin said.

6. Elijah Johnson: Couldn’t get his shots to drop (1 for 7), but he did have eight rebounds, five assists and three steals. For those who taped the game, try to find one of Johnson’s seven defensive rebounds and watch it in slow motion. Stop it at the peak of his jump. Why wasn’t this guy an Olympic high jumper?

7. Kevin Young: Scored a bucket on a bank after cutting on the baseline and receiving a nice pass from Taylor. Also made all four tree throw attempts. Didn’t defend well enough to play more than 10 minutes.

8. Naadir Tharpe: Played five minutes and had an assist but he took an ill-advised shot and went 0 for 2 from the field.

9. Justin Wesley: Two turnovers and one rebound in nine scoreless minutes.

The Keegan Ratings: Season Standings
1. Thomas Robinson (127 points)
2. Tyshawn Taylor (112 points)
T3. Elijah Johnson (93 points)
T3. Jeff Withey (93 points)
5. Travis Releford (91 points)
6. Conner Teahan (82 points)
7. Kevin Young (60 points)
8. Justin Wesley (56 points)
9. Naadir Tharpe (35 points)
10. Merv Lindsay (7 points)

Comments

Eric J. Baker 9 years, 2 months ago

Travis Releford did even more than his impressive stat line shows. Bill talked a lot about 50/50 balls, and boy did Travis win that battle for us. I'll be honest, his freshman year I wondered if he'd ever improve, but now he's one of my favorite Jayhawks. Just a hard worker on both ends of the court.

bradh 9 years, 2 months ago

I've liked Releford from the moment he got here. He had quick hops and could get to the basket whenever he wanted, he just didn't have much defense. Now he's our best defender. I think we'll see more games like last night from him.

As for Keegan's ratings, I'd probably have Withey at #2. If a ball came near him he either blocked it or grabbed it. Such a difference from the game before.

Curtis Stutz 9 years, 2 months ago

I am so relieved to see Releford have a big game. KU needs him to keep attacking the offensive glass and the basket. He's got the tools and talent, hopefully this game isn't an anomaly and TR continues to get after it on offense.

Don't know about Teahan above Withey, or Elijah really, EJ didn't shoot well but didn't let that stop him from being a big contributor tonight, which shows maturity.

Obviously TT's ranking is up for debate.

Thomas Michaud 9 years, 2 months ago

Agree ... Releford did a great job. Wish the rotations could have been a bit better when he was picked off McGruder, but the defense still did well enough to limit the options (and State's rhythm for most of the game). Love the "D" by Withey and EJ when Robinson HAD to sit.

While TT made some boneheaded passes, his ability to drive to the rim is something we need. He made some level headed decisions in the second half when time was running down to help ice the game. If he can play both halves equally well (which we'll need against the likes of MU and Baylor), this team could easily content for their 8th title.

The thing that scares me most about this team (at times) is their ability to break the press with crisp passes and players coming to the ball. MU has the ability to make good passing teams look really bad and that's concerns me - passing on the wing and to the post.

One thing I love seeing (and would love to see more of) is TT and TRob playing together against the opposing "D" ... like at 17:54 mark in the second half. Like a pick and roll from the Stockton & Malone days. Also loved the "pass" off the backboard that TRob cleaned up-er-caught and flushed.

LAJayhawk 9 years, 2 months ago

“Tyshawn got the ball to the paint basically every time he wanted to get into the paint,”

That's the enigma that is TT. As I've said several times, he has ridiculous, ludicrous talent. DRose, get-past-anyone-and-get-to-the-paint-anytime-I-want type talent. Just insane ankle-breaking, jock-disposing, NBA-allstar type moves off the dribble. He just makes some really careless, stupid mistakes.

Self's quote -- which Dave Armstrong repeated during the game and Keegs stated again above -- hits the nail as flush on the head as it can be hit. He is both unbelievable and unbelievable all in the same package.

But in the end, I am certainly glad that level of talent is on our side of the ball, regardless of the mistakes that come with it.

tical523 9 years, 2 months ago

I hear ya and his supreme talent is obvious but that is what is so frustrating. People that criticism don't want him benched it just seems like the turnovers will bite us in the ass when Jayhawk fans care most, March. In March the game is shortened by long possessions and tedious play, turnovers and missed throws are poison. Enjoy the ride.

JJHawq 9 years, 2 months ago

We made that second half run that finished them AFTER Ty went to the bench and EJ ran the point... McTait even tweeted about it. I thought EJ played a great game for a bad shooting night.

Enjoy the ride fo sho!!

Kye Clark 9 years, 2 months ago

I made the same comment during the in-game thread, and have said that I would like EJ to run the point on several occasions. Just move Tyshawn over to the 2. Take some of the ball handling responsibilities out of his hands. He can still pick his spots and attack the rim, but it would cut down at least 2 turnovers/game from him just bringing the ball up carelessly and getting his pocket picked.

Jeff Coffman 9 years, 2 months ago

TRele is going to move up the standings with play like today.

Even at the beginning of the game, the jump that didn't really happen he got the 50/50 and than out jumped the other guy for us to get the first possession.

Alohahawk 9 years, 2 months ago

I usually try not to use my rose tinted glasses when I make predictions on Jayhawk basketball games. And I wasn't wearing them earlier today. But I might have done reasonably well if I had been gambling in Vegas today.

I predicted that KU would win by 7. I think the line was 8.5 points.

As always, I predicted TRob would be the "Hawk that Rocks". Close. Although I did allocate Releford to second place, because, being from Kansas, he had the incentive to beat cross-state rival, K-State. Perhaps I should have added a footnote that Teahan also had the same incentive. And I should have predicted another double-double from Robinson. But I couldn't have guessed TRob would have a double-double in the first half!

I predicted KU would win if they didn't shoot more than fifteen 3's. They made 5 on 13 attempts.

I predicted that KU would need to hit 70% + on their freethrows. They hit 75%.

And I predicted that KU would need to block out while rebounding. Obviously, the Jayhawks did, having collected 48 to K-State's 24. (ESPN's box score shows a 50 to 26 advantage.)

However one looks at the final box score, I'm proud of the way the team played, and especially the way they didn't give up when K-Stutter got back within 3 points.

For the conference, one down, seventeen more (wins?) to go. Next up - Oklahoma.

RCJHGKU!!!

John Randall 9 years, 2 months ago

The discrepancy is because of "team rebounds", when the ball goes out of bounds or a tie-up occurs – one team gets possession but no individual gets credit for the rebound.

Hank Cross 9 years, 2 months ago

A late Christmas gift for those of us who have been honking Releford for over a year. I don't believe in 'invisible glue.' If you're really contributing, it's going to show up in the box score. And, honestly Releford has been MIA during many games. He's not going to shoot like that every night, but he got his shots in the flow and actually tried to make something happen on offense. If he keeps it up, he should start getting around 10 points a game.

John Randall 9 years, 2 months ago

Couldn't do a better job myself of exposing your ignorance about "team" basketball.

number1fanfromillinois 9 years, 2 months ago

"7. Kevin Young: Also made all four tree throw attempts. "

**If Kevin Young can throw a tree four times, then I think he deserves to be higher on the rankings...just saying.

PhogAdvisory 9 years, 2 months ago

Ha! I didn't notice that until you pointed it out. The mental image of KYo chucking sycamores at the basket darn near made me spit out my coffee. Thanks for that one. :D

AsadZ 9 years, 2 months ago

Robinson scored more pts and got more rebounds than Withey but I believe that Jeff had a greater impact on last night's game. His blocks and defensive presence contributed significantly in KU getting the win. He should have gotten #2 ranking after Releford.

Jonathan Allison 9 years, 2 months ago

Withey was maybe the only jayhawk who didn't hit a lull in the first 10 minutes of the second half. He brought good consistent energy on offense and defense. The man was a beast defensively and hit the boards hard.

TRob was TRob however. Aside from early in the second half, before w got Henriquez in foul trouble, TRob was a machine. He couldn't be stopped. He set the tone for KU in the first half. He's the reason that we jumped way out ahead early.

When I said that Withey was the only jayhawk who remained consistent I may have discredited Releford. He brought maximum effort for the full game. The way the he chased down rebounds, followed his shots, scrapped for loose balls, played sticky defense, and attacked the basket was exactly what we need from him. And it was definitely nice to get a couple threes from him too. But I'm still waiting for his big breakaway dunk of the year... he needs to top the monster windmill from last year before his injury!

Teahan's three's were definitely clutch. Even though they came with around 10 minutes left, they were two huge baskets. Reminded me of Tyrel Reed as a junior. Before he was the 30 minutes per game player that he was last year, he was the dedicated assassin who would come in and make the timely three to kill the opponent's momentum and put them back into scramble mode. And he always had a knack for providing the dagger against KState and Mizzou.

Tyshawn Taylor's game last night was much better than the 5th ranking would suggest. Yeah, he did turn it over a bunch on some stupid throw-aways, but without him that game is much closer, because he not only got into the lane whenever he wanted he got into the lane and made things happen. He got in there and finished on his drives, or he collapsed the defense and dished it out.

The ball movement last night was great at times, and then there were times when KState went into their zone defense and people just stood around and watched the ball handler get into trouble. It drove me crazy early in the second half when it just seemed like the offense went lame and nobody was moving around, nobody was moving to the holes in the zone, and nobody was helping the ball handler.

I think that this game tape will provide lots of great coaching points for the staff.

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