Ben McLemore tops ratings against Cowboys


1. Ben McLemore: Took over the game for stretches offensively to help KU erase a 14-point, first-half deficit. His three-pointer with 15:16 left in the second half gave KU a 46-45 lead and was the first of seven straight points for the freshman. McLemore finished with 23 points on 9-for-17 shooting with 3-for-6 accuracy from three-point range. He also added five rebounds while tying a season-high with four turnovers in 33 minutes.

2. Kevin Young: As he often does, Young provided KU with a surge of energy in the first half, slamming in a poorly thrown lob by Naadir Tharpe to get the crowd going and force an OSU timeout. Young tied a career-high with four steals while also posting an efficient line: 12 points, 3-for-5 shooting, 6-for-8 free throw shooting with seven rebounds and just one turnover in 24 minutes.

3. Travis Releford: His second-half defense was part of the reason OSU's Markel Brown didn't score 50 points instead of 28. Releford had three steals and three assists with no turnovers. His eight points came on 2-for-5 shooting, though he did make both of his three-point attempts. It was the first time in 17 games that Releford failed to score in double figures.

4. Jeff Withey: It wasn't a typical Jeff Withey performance, especially with as much as KU has relied on him defensively this year. The senior posted 11 points (4-for-8 shooting) and made all three of his free throws, but he didn't seem to have as much defensive impact against an athletic OSU team. The senior added eight rebounds, one assist and three blocks to go with four turnovers in 30 minutes.

5. Andrew White III: White III played only one minute, but man he did a lot in that time. He hit a deep three, picked up a steal, was fouled twice and hit three of four free throws to finish with six points. KU coach Bill Self hinted after the game that he should be playing the freshman more, but unfortunately for Self, White isn't a ball-handler, which is what his team needs most right now.

6. Naadir Tharpe: The sophomore made some shots to bail out KU when it was running poor offense in the second half. Tharpe scored eight points on 3-for-7 shooting (2-for-4 from three) with four assists and one turnover. Self wasn't happy with any of his guards' defense, though, and that's an area where Tharpe still needs improvement.

7. Jamari Traylor: Performed well during limited playing time. The freshman missed his only field goal, but in eight minutes, he grabbed five rebounds (three offensive) with a block and a steal. He didn't appear to be overmatched athletically against OSU's talented players.

8. Perry Ellis: Played a better first half than second half. With Self giving Withey one final breather around the seven-minute mark, the freshman had a horrible stretch, failing to grab two defensive rebounds while also picking up a foul. Self was forced to go back to Withey probably a minute quicker than he wanted to. Ellis missed all three of his field goals but still contributed four points (4-for-6 free throw shooting) to go with six rebounds in 13 minutes.

9. Elijah Johnson: After the game, Self said this about Johnson: "We were definitely a better team with him over there sitting down next to us and putting somebody else in the game." Just last week, Self defended Johnson, saying he was doing a good job based on KU's record. Self has reversed course now, as the above quote appears to be a pretty clear challenge to the senior. Johnson posted eight points on 3-for-14 shooting, making one of seven threes. He also had six assists to go with four turnovers and was beaten badly on the boards by OSU's Marcus Smart (eight offensive rebounds). Season Standings
1. Jeff Withey (160 points)
2. Ben McLemore (158 points)
3. Travis Releford (154 points)
T4. Elijah Johnson (116 points)
T4. Kevin Young (116 points)
6. Naadir Tharpe (101 points)
7. Perry Ellis (89 points)
8. Jamari Traylor (66 points)
9. Andrew White III (38 points)
10. Rio Adams (23 points)
11. Justin Wesley (9 points)

Big 12 Standings
T1. Jeff Withey (69 points)
T1. Ben McLemore (69 points)
3. Travis Releford (68 points)
4. Kevin Young (57 points)
T5. Elijah Johnson (40 points)
T5. Naadir Tharpe (40 points)
7. Perry Ellis (37 points)
8. Jamari Traylor (25 points)
9. Andrew White III (15 points)
10. Rio Adams (8 points)
11. Justin Wesley (2 points)


Adam Evans 6 years, 5 months ago

Tharpe not on the list at all? 8 pts 4 ast?

Adam Evans 6 years, 5 months ago

Previous comment is dumb. Didn't see that tharpe started midway through #5 on the list. My bad. :)

Jesse Newell 6 years, 5 months ago

Sorry about that. Should display better now.

Allen Shepard 6 years, 5 months ago

You must mean calendar year, because they were playing the best ball in the nation in December....

Dry your tears Pollyanas...

Remind me again who we lost to in '08 that was the wake up call for that team?

Boouk 6 years, 5 months ago

If I'm Self, I'd replace Elijah with Tharpe in the starting lineup and have another look at Releford playing some PG. I still think this team is a reliable ball handler and passer away from being as good as anyone in the country. Hopefully Naadir Tharpe breaks out in the NCAA Tournament like Elijah did last season and becomes the reliable player at PG we desperately need.

Emery 6 years, 5 months ago

Elijah needs to try to start playing like a point guard instead of a shooting guard. A point guard does not typically look to score first. I don't care if he played shooting guard in his prior three seasons, KU now needs him to play point guard. He needs to quit jacking up quick three point shots and to focus more on distributing the basketball to his fellow teammates. I hope he relaxes a little and trys more to help his teammates get open shots. Go Elijah!

VaJay 6 years, 5 months ago

To expand on that, EJ needs to stop shooting 3's after the first several misses & drive with the ball, forcing the issue. You look at his FG % the last several games & it's atrocious. I think Coach has signaled with the late benching of EJ that he may come up with an alternative plan. I hope so. EJ has got to realize he's hurting the team with his style of play. More PT for Tharpe, Young, & maybe even Rio in the near future I hope...

dtownhawkfan 6 years, 5 months ago

I have a real problem with a guy who gives up an offensive rebound off a missed front end of a 1-and-1 to a PG being listed at #2. That was one of the softest plays we had of the game, especially only being down 1 at the be fair I don't know who I would have put higher...pretty awful performance all the way around. We can only hope this will be a true wake-up call.

TommieSmithElbow 6 years, 5 months ago

Totally agree. It shows you how bad the game was when KY's effort is #2. And to be fair, McLemore's two late turnovers, combined with EJ's 2 turnovers within 5 possessions, showed that even the #1 player significantly contributed to the loss. Just a really bad day for the boys!

Scott Smetana 6 years, 5 months ago

Is Tharpe's defense really that bad? I don't see it.

TommieSmithElbow 6 years, 5 months ago

If you mean that you don't see him playing any good defense, I'm with you. That missed block-out that OSU rebounded and put back really hurt.

Kyle Sybesma 6 years, 5 months ago

Something personal has to be going on with EJ. I can't believe he's regressed this much during his senior year. Lazy passes and bad shooting has become too much of an inconsistency with him.

At a timeout in the 2nd half we saw OSU highlights and they were all offensive rebound put backs.

This is an effort problem. Self will fix it.

Ashwin Rao 6 years, 5 months ago

I agree that EJ is not contributing much at this point... but I believe that he needs to be on the court, even if it is as a 2. he does bring experience to the game for us. He is definitely not a 1, and that has been exposed in league play. Teams are now taking advantage of that. Tharpe seems to be better, but makes a lot of bad decisions (and obviously his defense needs work). I bet, Self will now start looking for a reliable 1 for next year, even though all the good ones are gone, we need someone who can at least bring the ball in and not turn it over.

John Randall 6 years, 5 months ago

'Not contributing much' is a very generous evaluation!

Someone has gotten inside the Prophet's head, and it isn't the deity. My top candidates are

• EJ himself (panic attacks)

• Coach Self panic attacks

• scouting reports (pressure in crunch time)

There is still plenty of time to recover some confidence and composure, so I'm not ready to panic yet. Jayhawk fan base is pretty poor at giving support and encouragement when needed, but this guy really could use some of that.

justinryman 6 years, 5 months ago

Team game.

You lose as a team win as a team.

That goes from the Head coach to the walk ons on the practice squad.

Not one player played a perfect game, nor did a coach coach a perfect game.

So to but this blame on EJ is like last year putting the blame on TT. Just cause they handle the ball more doesn't make them the goat.

Make FTs. Get RBs. Make a shot in the paint. Run more set plays. Execute better. Use timeouts better. change the defense up.

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