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Bouncy Kevin Young takes top spot

Kansas forward Kevin Young wrestles for the ball with Colorado defender Andre Roberson (21) teammate Jeff Withey and CU forward Josh Scott (40) during the second half on Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Kevin Young wrestles for the ball with Colorado defender Andre Roberson (21) teammate Jeff Withey and CU forward Josh Scott (40) during the second half on Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

1. Kevin Young: His energy was contagious, and the senior's hustle paid off as he posted a career-high for his KU tenure with 16 points on 8-for-9 shooting. He made the easy and smart plays, with the box score showing seven of his eight makes were either layups or dunks. He also was active on the boards, pulling down eight caroms in just 20 minutes.

2. Ben McLemore: His aggressiveness offensively was most evident in his free throw attempts, as he made 10 of 11 to finish with 24 points. Had a great start to the game, reaching double figures at the 11:15 mark of the first half. McLemore impacted the game in other ways too, grabbing five rebounds to go with two steals in 30 minutes. The only negative was his mid-range shooting, as made just 6 of 16 field goals, including 1 of 7 two-point jumpshots.

3. Travis Releford: Held CU's hobbled leading scorer Spencer Dinwiddie to just four points on 1-for-4 shooting. The senior also posterized CU's Jeremy Adams on a dunk and continues to show an amazing ability to never get blocked on a layup in transition. Releford finished with 10 points on 5-for-8 shooting with six assists and no turnovers.

4. Elijah Johnson: The senior's knee looked much better after a week of working to strengthen it. His explosiveness looked to be back too, especially on the defensive end where he was able to slide quickly to keep his man in front of him. Offensively, he scored 11 points on 4-for-8 shooting and made 3 of 6 three-pointers. He contributed three assists and two steals to go with two turnovers in 25 minutes.

5. Jeff Withey: KU coach Bill Self said Withey "played great" afterwards, and one would have to assume that means the senior's ball-screen defense was much improved. Withey was efficient with his tries, posting eight points on 3-for-6 shooting. He also added seven rebounds, five blocks and two impressive assists in his 23 minutes.

6. Andrew White III: The freshman can shoot, nailing 2 of 3 three-pointers on his way to eight points in eight minutes. Had one turnover on a charge in transition.

7. Naadir Tharpe: Made two shots to beat the shot clock, but his turnover count (four) was too high considering he played only 17 minutes. He had five points, an assist and a steal and was generally a pest to CU's guards on the defensive end.

8. Jamari Traylor: Four points, three rebounds, two assists, a block and a steal in 11 minutes is good. Five fouls in those 11 minutes, though, is not so good.

9. Perry Ellis: Had an increase in minutes (17), but his stats wouldn't indicate that. The freshman had two points, one rebound, one assist, one block, one steal and one turnover.

10. Rio Adams: Self yanked him out for good late in the second half to sub in Evan Manning. Judging by Self's reaction, Adams wasn't doing what he was supposed to defensively. Adams did have two steals in five minutes, but he also had no points and a bad turnover after trying to dribble through too many defenders.

11. Justin Wesley: Had two rebounds in six minutes of garbage time.

KUsports.com Season Standings
1. Jeff Withey (50 points)
2. Ben McLemore (49 points)
3. Travis Releford (45 points)
4. Elijah Johnson (41 points)
5. Kevin Young (31 points)
6. Perry Ellis (30 points)
7. Naadir Tharpe (29 points)
8. Jamari Traylor (27 points)
9. Andrew White III (12 points)
10. Rio Adams (8 points)
11. Justin Wesley (7 points)

— Compiled and written by Jesse Newell.

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Comments

Kye Clark 1 year, 10 months ago

EJ's knee may be healthier, but it was evident it's still not 100%. On a play (I believe along the baseline, maybe a back-door of screen of some sort. I forget the exact details) he was virtually wide open and in the past would have flushed it. You could tell he wanted to, but the elevation wasn't there and he had to lay it in.

AsadZ 1 year, 10 months ago

Kevin Young was awesome. He has so much energy, its great. He seems to have a natural instinct for the ball, always at the right place at the right time. He and Mr. W. seem to be getting great flow together.

Going forward it seems to be best to have Kevin and Jeff start the game with Perry and Jamari coming in as subs.

This seems to be best Big combo.

Steve Kubler 1 year, 10 months ago

Glad to see Kevin get some love. His energy just turns the team up and today he made those bunnies that were eluding him earlier in the season. I got the impression that even though he was playing at top speed that he was in control. Some games he appeared to be flying around on the edge of control if not beyond.

Only flaw was a couple of bad fouls were, after turning his man into the middle, he committed a foul going for the block. Both times I have in mind Jeff had the guy in his sights for an apparent easy block. Just feed them into the big guy KY, he needs 200+ blocks this year!

Nice that EJ is moving better, still not drawing the fouls HCBS wants but appeared closer to full speed.

Alohahawk 1 year, 10 months ago

You're analysis is spot-on that Withey had a couple blocks well in hand (which would have given him at least 7 for the game), but with Young getting called for a foul instead. Nothing against Young's play, though. He seemed to be everywhere. Everytime he made a basket, he zoomed immediately to where the out-of-bounds Buffalo was attempting to get the inbounds pass in play, thus slowing down their attempt to fast break back down court. With his broad smile and enthusiasm, he seems to be having a lot of fun out there on the court.

And BenMc. is showing unbelievable speed, racing down court on those fast breaks and dunks.

Releford has come into his own since the CBE games in KC. Keep driving into the lane and dunking, Travis.

Only thing I was somewhat surprised at: Boyle left the Colorado starters pretty much in at the very end of the game, gaining back a few points, dropping KU's lead from 42 to the final 36 at the end. But perhaps that was good, letting KU's bench play against better players, rather than Colorado's scrubs.

Great game and hustle made for a nice blow-out win at home vs a decent, but not great, Colorado team. The starters were definitely hitting on all cylinders this game. If KU's bench improves just a few notches, the Jayhawks are going to be tough to beat. If Colorado does OK in the Pac 10 (or is it Pac 12?), it will look good for KU's RPI.

I watched part of the Texas vs UCLA game, played later, and they looked like two high school teams. Texas had the game won, but was outscored something like 15 to 4 at the end, and lost by two points. KU would wipe both teams off the court. I don't think having Kabongo back would vastly improve the Longhorns. (Hope Randle was watching them play and realize what he could be getting into if he were to chose the Longhorns.) And I wasn't really impressed with Parker. Maybe it was good KU missd out on him? Or maybe, Howland has just lost it as a coach. His recent centers haven't improved while at UCLA. Josh Smith never did.)

AsadZ 1 year, 10 months ago

KY Body is Cut. Look at the Biceps. Pure Energy.

Boouk 1 year, 10 months ago

I'd like too see Andrew White be our first guard off the bench from here on out. He looked way better defensively and his 3 point shooting is something this team needs to reach another Final 4.

Scott Smetana 1 year, 10 months ago

I agree, except Tharpe looks so darn fast. If he could just control himself on offense, though. Trying too hard. Just bring up the ball and make good passes. and play D.

Dirk Medema 1 year, 10 months ago

Tharpe seemed to be trying to force himself into the prototypical PG role instead of working with his teammates as the starting 5 seems to developing. Somewhat the same for Rio. While those 3 are still a bit of a weakness, it is exciting to think of what they'll become by March, and even more so for the future - assuming they don't pull a Royce (who could have had significant minutes last year and now as an understudy).

milehighhawk 1 year, 10 months ago

Nice use of "carom," Jesse.

Classin' up this place a little bit.

Phil Leister 1 year, 10 months ago

The LJW has a curious policy of not ranking the walk-ons. Ask them for an explanation... they won't give you one.

Chandler James 1 year, 10 months ago

unless your CJ Henry in 2010... i know makes since.. right?

Phil Leister 1 year, 10 months ago

Does anyone think Perry will come into his own this season and start playing like a McD's All American, or will it take until next season? Bill keeps telling us that Perry has the most potential at the 4 spot, but how long is the learning curve? This many games into the season (especially if you include the Europe trip and the exhibitions) you'd expect him to be able to put up more than 2 points in 17 minutes.

Dirk Medema 1 year, 10 months ago

He's cerebral. It's going to take a bit longer for him to understand the game, and it really isn't that long into the real season. Perry, AWIII, and to a lesser extent Rio all have the potential for a breakout game come March. I'm not expecting much more than a supporting role til then, especially the way the 5 are coming together.

aerohawk 1 year, 10 months ago

I love the picture. Our guys just look determined to get the ball.

Alohahawk 1 year, 10 months ago

I agree. Nick Krug always has great action photos, as he has demonstrated on numerous occasions, but this is one of his best images. Nick caught all three players at the perfect moment. Lots of tension and emotion from all three. Faces contorted and exhibiting complete concentration on the ball. Fingers reaching, arms extended. And Young doesn't appear to have any body fat. (Should we also credit Ms Hudy for what's shown in this pic?) Withey is less defined, while the Colorado player looking like your typical, everyday, intramural player.

JuliansWright 1 year, 10 months ago

Rio wasn't pulled, he tugged on his jersey asking for a breather.

jaybate 1 year, 10 months ago

KU's Roy Hobbs does it again.

Kevin is so much more than a guy who brings energy. Kevin is a tremendously talented basketball player just coming into his own after sitting a year (out of the game), then learning a new position, then playing intermittently last year, then breaking his mit.

Pound for pound and minute for minute he is already KU's best 4 this year.

Kevin is now doing things on the floor others can't do. His rebounds per minute statistics are intermittently off the charts.

Intermitently Young's scoring productivity is off the charts.

His defense at one of the toughest positions on the floor to guard is for stretches exceptional.

Pops Self has a ringer here and he knows it.

Minute for minute,Young's turning himself into the most productive garbage man 4 in Self's tenure.

And Young is still early in his development curve, despite his years.

Young knows Ellis is a great talent.

Young knows if he lets up there is no tomorrow.

But Pops Self knows he's got an old guy out there doing things at levels of productvity no one's done before.

Pop Self has got some one out there breaking the mold--a 185 pound power forward scoring and rebounding for 20 minute bursts at what equates to 32 points and 16 boards per game.

Pops Self is going to ride the horse while the horse is on a roll, thinking he can always fall back on his 5-star Ellis.

But this guy Hobbs, he's got people talking. He's got the team believing it can beat people. He's got Pops thinking this horse maybe on more than just a hot streak.

Pops has seen a lot of players come and go. Seen a lot of flashes in the pan. But those flashes never scored and boarded at 40 minute rates of 32 and 16 in 6-8 185 lb bodies.

Its one game at a time, and CU isn't Duke, but KU's natural just knocked the paint off the rim and the shellac off the wood...again!

Go, Roy, go!

I mean Kevin.

REHawk 1 year, 10 months ago

...and what's Iris say about the two lives? Roy appears to be delving into Life #2.

jaybate 1 year, 10 months ago

U know the answer coach.

And you and me are getting old enough to say the second one is a warm up for the third.

Would thathat there fourth and fifth lives so we could enjoy this game for that much longer.

My god, coach, its the greatest game ever invented.

Ain't we lucky, coach, ain't we lucky!

jaybate 1 year, 10 months ago

To get to wait to meet our makers watching this great game.

Until that time, coach, until that time.

Kent Noble 1 year, 10 months ago

Rio just needs to relax and let the game come to him. He presses way to hard and that will only get him bench minutes. He's is as athletic as they come just needs to make better decisions on the floor and quit worrying about trying to do to much. I think Bill needs to give Andrew White more playing time. He has yet to really get into the flow of the game. Once he does watchout he can really shoot it!

Robin Smith 1 year, 10 months ago

I like seeing this fairly narrow spread in the ratings -- shows depth, though there are clearly two tiers

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