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Bench play a highlight for KU against Iowa State

Kansas guard Naadir Tharpe hangs for a shot past Iowa State center Percy Gibson and teammate Jamari Traylor during the first half of the semifinal round of the Big 12 tournament on Friday, March 15, 2013 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri.

Kansas guard Naadir Tharpe hangs for a shot past Iowa State center Percy Gibson and teammate Jamari Traylor during the first half of the semifinal round of the Big 12 tournament on Friday, March 15, 2013 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri. by Nick Krug

1. Perry Ellis: The more he plays, the more teams will have to start respecting KU's 4 man offensively, which in turn should open up some room for Jeff Withey in the lane. Ellis scored in a variety of ways Friday, which included pinning his defender deep for layups and shooting jumpers over the top. The freshman scored a career-high 23 points on 10-for-12 shooting, adding six rebounds and two steals to go with no turnovers in 28 minutes.

2. Naadir Tharpe: Attacked ISU's defense well, especially in the first half. Tharpe finished with eight points on 4-for-6 shooting, which included perfect 4-for-4 two-point accuracy. He also had eight assists — tying for his second-highest mark this season — with a steal and just one turnover in 21 minutes.

3. Elijah Johnson: Though he didn't have a good shooting game, Johnson still posted 14 points (4-for-12 on field goals) and seven assists to go with five turnovers. Other than a late giveaway, the senior managed KU's late possessions well, breaking the press and also nailing a deep three late in the shot clock to put KU up 17 with 2:25 left.

4. Kevin Young: Played with great energy — especially on the offensive glass — before his playing time was limited because of a leg injury. In just 10 minutes, Young had four points on 2-for-3 shooting with six rebounds (four offensive). He also added an assist and a block with no turnovers.

5. Jeff Withey: A rare inefficient scoring night for Withey, who shot under 50 percent from the floor for the first time in six games. The senior still posted 14 points on 5-for-12 shooting with six rebounds in 29 minutes.

6. Ben McLemore: The freshman shot it well — making four of five shots and two of three three-pointers for 10 points — and also led KU in rebounding with seven boards. That still didn't make up for a sloppy night offensively, as he posted a season-high six turnovers.

7. Travis Releford: Releford found some openings in transition early, but he never could get his three-pointers to fall. The senior made just three of nine shots and one of six threes, ending with nine points and six rebounds to go with two assists and two turnovers in a team-high 36 minutes.

8. Jamari Traylor: Solid production in limited time, as Traylor scored six points with help from 4-for-4 free throw shooting (he now has made 13 straight free throws). The freshman also had a rebound, two blocks and no turnovers in 10 minutes.

9. Justin Wesley: Recorded no stats in one minute at the end of the first half.

KUsports.com Season Standings
1. Jeff Withey (265 points)
2. Ben McLemore (253 points)
3. Travis Releford (236 points)
4. Kevin Young (202 points)
5. Elijah Johnson (188 points)
6. Naadir Tharpe (167 points)
7. Perry Ellis (152 points)
8. Jamari Traylor (108 points)
9. Andrew White III (51 points)
10. Rio Adams (36 points)
11. Justin Wesley (24 points)

Big 12/Postseason Standings
1. Jeff Withey (174 points)
2. Ben McLemore (164 points)
3. Travis Releford (151 points)
4. Kevin Young (143 points)
5. Elijah Johnson (112 points)
6. Naadir Tharpe (106 points)
7. Perry Ellis (100 points)
8. Jamari Traylor (67 points)
9. Andrew White III (28 points)
10. Rio Adams (21 points)
11. Justin Wesley (17 points)

Comments

rtwngr 1 year, 9 months ago

During the interview on TV, after the ISU game, coach was saying with Ellis playing like that "we can be pretty darn good." I love it when he says that. That's coachspeak for "we can beat anybody."

JayHawkFanToo 1 year, 9 months ago

IMHO opinion, top player is Perry Ellis, second is shared by the rest of the team. An excellent team effort; I cannot think of a single player that did not play well.

rtwngr 1 year, 9 months ago

McLemore. I'm not saying slide him a chair! He needs to be on the floor because of his offensive presence alone. His youth and inexperience makes him a bit of a liability in two areas. 1) Defense. He is still a little inexperienced on the defensive end of the floor. 2) Handling the ball. It's not his thing. He doesn't have that "shake and bake" quick twitch. What he does have is a quick first step and the ability to get above the rim.

rtwngr 1 year, 9 months ago

He wasn't ready a month ago. He is now. Look for Perry Ellis to start down the stretch.

texashawk10 1 year, 9 months ago

There's only one way Ellis starts at this point and it's the "I" word. KU's chemistry and rotation has set and moving Ellis into the lineup at this point does more harm than good to KU's chemistry and rotation. Quite frankly, having someone on the bench who is a competent scorer like Ellis is becoming is a good thing and something KU will need to make a title run.

ParisHawk 1 year, 9 months ago

Ladies and Gentlemen, Ellis has left the building!

Hawkanator 1 year, 9 months ago

I object with Traylor at 8. He played pretty well! It was nice to see Ellis have a good night!

Michael Luby 1 year, 9 months ago

Our bench is peaking at the perfect freeking time!!! Hell yes! Here we come Kstate kitties.

Doug Merrill 1 year, 9 months ago

yup - Jamari was more important than Withey tonight. His free throws were important at a time ISU was challenging and his defense was great.

John Randall 1 year, 9 months ago

@dougmd Whatever you're smoking, I can smell from way out here in NC Ks.

Scott Smetana 1 year, 9 months ago

I'd move Withey down the list. Too fast of a game for him. I love Tharpe, he's amazing!!

JayHawkFanToo 1 year, 9 months ago

I disagree. Withey absolutely changes the game. By definition layups have the highest percentage and Withey takes that away from the other team more so than any other players. Roy Williams had a practice where 3 pointers counted 1 point, 2 point shot 2 and layups 3 points; this is how important he an most coaches think layups are. Look at what happened yesterday when KU was not hitting from the outside; they went inside with Ellis and worked out well. ISU was not hitting from the inside and was hesitant to go inside because of Withey. I am not saying that he scored a lot, blocked shot or collected rebounds, but when he was in the game, even with ISU trying to draw him out, he changed the game.

oldalum 1 year, 9 months ago

Jeff should get some credit for assists, as he passed to KU and Perry when he couldn't score.

rtwngr 1 year, 9 months ago

Has anybody else noticed the size and bulk that Traylor has added to his frame. I shudder to think what this guy is going to look like with another year with coach Hudy. This guy is a beast!

Phoggie_Thinking 1 year, 9 months ago

Agree with previous evaluation, Ellis 1 and everyone else tied for second.

Steve Grimm 1 year, 9 months ago

Hey! Some good news on the recruiting front:

JULIUS RANDLE: www.RantSports.com: "Julius Randle’s Decision Only 5 Days Away, Kansas Jayhawks in Possible Lead"
- Author is an NC State fan. Not authoritative article, but still a good feel read for Jayhawk fans.

ANDREW WIGGINS: www.SI.com: "Andrew Wiggins finishes official visits to nation's top programs" - excerpt: "After tripping to Kentucky, Wiggins made it back to Huntington for a few days before heading back out on the road, this time to Lawrence to see what Bill Self and the Jayhawks would offer. "It was his first trip there and Phog is one of those venues that is a bucket list venue and everybody knows that," Fulford said. "He really enjoyed the atmosphere as far as the interaction he had with the fans and the players." It seems that it was his time with the players that stood out during his visit to Lawrence. "He spoke about being able to spend a little more personal time with the players," Fulford said. "I think he enjoyed the atmosphere there, and I'm not saying he enjoyed the atmosphere there more than others, but he talked about it more than the others."

Joseph Bullock 1 year, 9 months ago

Perry is getting stronger. Thank you Miss Hudy!

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