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Blog from New Orleans: Self says coaching changes won't be a distraction, plus a cool Barry Hinson story

8:18 p.m.: Update by Jesse Newell

As promised, here's our wrap-up video from the Superdome.

For those who haven't listened yet, I wanted to point out a funny answer KU coach Bill Self gave to Jack Harry at the 6:33 mark of our audio press conference.

Harry, from NBC Action News in Kansas City, gave a rather famous prediction on KU this year ... one Self, evidently, is well aware of.

With that, we're going to wrap up today's live coverage from New Orleans. Be sure to check back for more coverage from the Final Fourt throughout the week.

7:12 p.m.: Update by Jesse Newell

Working on a wrap-up video that Matt Tait and I just shot. Should be posted soon.

5:46 p.m.: Update by Jesse Newell

Some great video here from Mike Yoder.

You can also see in this video why Tyshawn Taylor is a media favorite.

5:33 p.m.: Update by Jesse Newell

Some breaking news ...

5:05 p.m.: Update by Jesse Newell

Some miscellaneous quotes from Ohio State's time with reporters.

Ohio State forward Jared Sullinger on Kansas forward Thomas Robinson: "He's the player of the year in my eyes, without a doubt."

OSU small forward small forward William Buford on what stood out from the Buckeyes' last game against KU: "The loss. Us losing. That was the main thing. And not converting at the end of the game — not being able to make the plays at the end of the game when they were able to, and we weren't able to do that. That really cost us the game, too.

OSU forward Deshaun Thomas, on whether he thinks Thomas Robinson will guard him: "Probably for a little bit in the first half. I think they're going to switch to No. 40 (Kevin Young) holding me, to be quicker and longer and probably contain me more."

Thomas, on KU trying to have Young guard him in the first matchup: "They tried to make it more difficult, but like I said, we're a better team now. They are too, but we're going to try to make it difficult and run through our offense the same way and get great shots."

OSU point guard Aaron Craft, on Tyshawn Taylor in the teams' first game: "He was the catalyst. I think he was a very big reason why they won that game scoring the ball and distributing it to their shooters and their playmakers. He's a great player, and he's been through the battles, and he's a veteran. It's something that ... it's going to be a great challenge, and hopefully as a team, we can find a way to contain him and hopefully make some other people make some plays."

4:07 p.m.: Update by Jesse Newell

Here are some highlights from Elijah Johnson's talk with reporters. Some interesting stuff in there:

Elijah, on being at the Final Four: "I've never felt like I've had a red carpet laid down for me ever in my life, so the experience is definitely fun, and something I've never been a part of."

Elijah, on Hinson and Manning taking head-coaching jobs: "I think if they have the opportunity, they should take it. I don't think it's something that they should overlook. Jayhawk nation will always love them. I think that shows you how winning, or how if you're doing the right thing, the pie's big enough for everybody. I never, ever thought that I would be able to help one of our coaches get a job. For us to be able to be part of the reason that happened, it makes me feel good. It makes me want to win even more."

On the games coming up: "I think it's going to get fun for us this weekend. I really do. I think that Saturday and Monday can be, probably, the most fun days of my life that I ever even imagined."

On the Final Four attention: "This weekend is bigger than I expected. Everything is on a higher pedestal. I'm conscious of it."

On playing a long time at KU: "Not that I do this, but I find myself not even having to listen to coach Self with a lot of stuff he says. He can start a sentence, and I know how the sentence is going to end, because I've been paying attention the whole year. I wanted to be a student of the game; I didn't just want to play it. I think that definitely just made my confidence shoot through the roof."

On Tyshawn Taylor's three-point shooting: "My personal opinion: Tyshawn's having fun with the whole statement of not being able to make shot in a dome. Tyshawn can make a shot in a dome. He will make a shot in a dome."

On Tyshawn's freedom this year: "Tyshawn needs to be let off the leash. You can't try to tame Tyshawn. You've got to let him have fun, and that's when you get the best from Ty. I think that Ty's having the most fun since he's had since he's been at Kansas right now, and I think it's showing in his game."

3:48 p.m.: Update by Jesse Newell

Just posted the full audio press conference from KU coach Bill Self if you want to check it out.

Sorry, but you won't be able to hear most of the questions from reporters because of the setup here.

3:32 p.m.: Update by Jesse Newell

Journal-World photographer Nick Krug has posted a photo gallery from today's festivities.

Here are a couple of the photos in there.

The Kansas Jayhawks head inside the Superdome for practice after interviews on Thursday, March 29, 2012.

The Kansas Jayhawks head inside the Superdome for practice after interviews on Thursday, March 29, 2012. by Nick Krug

Kansas head coach Bill Self takes questions during breakout interviews at the Superdome in New Orleans on Thursday, March 29, 2012.

Kansas head coach Bill Self takes questions during breakout interviews at the Superdome in New Orleans on Thursday, March 29, 2012. by Nick Krug

3:17 p.m.: Update by Jesse Newell

I stuck with KU guard Elijah Johnson during the breakout session and just posted the full audio from his time there.

I'll be putting a quick recap up from his comments shortly.

Also, KU coach Bill Self talked for 15 minutes. Most important from his time at the podium was his insistence that Danny Manning and Barry Hinson taking head-coaching jobs were not a distraction to the team. Self said he asked the schools to get everything done with by today so everyone could talk about it today and so the team could be done with it.

Self also said he kept his players up to date on Manning and Hinson through the whole process and informed them there was a good chance they both could take positions.

2:10 p.m.: Update by Jesse Newell

Welcome back to the NCAA Tournament blog, coming live to you from the Superdome in New Orleans, site of this year's Final Four.

Kansas players and coach Bill Self are preparing to speak with the media. Here's the schedule:

2:20-2:40 p.m. — Kansas Student-Athletes
2:40-2:55 p.m. — Kansas coach Bill Self
4:10-4:30 p.m. — Ohio State Student-Athletes
4:30-4:45 p.m. — Ohio State coach Thad Matta

Before I get to the interviews, I wanted to share a cool story from KU director of basketball operations Barry Hinson, who accepted the Southern Illinois head-coaching job Wednesday.

Hinson, who spoke with reporters outside the locker room a few minutes ago, said right after KU's win over North Carolina last week, he gave Self a hug to celebrate KU advancing to the Final Four.

During the embrace, Self leaned over.

"The only thing that could make this better," Self told him, "is if you get the job."

"That's the kind of guy I've worked for for the last four years," Hinson said. "There are a lot of stories out there about coaches, but for a guy to turn around and say that right after he knows he's going to the Final Four, I think that speaks volumes of what type of guy Bill Self is."

We'll be back with updates throughout the day here, so be sure to keep checking back for more coverage from New Orleans.

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Comments

Ben Kane 2 years, 6 months ago

That's why we love coach Self. I have complete faith that he will bring in some tremendous talent to replace the giants we are losing on our staff.

SCHNBALL 2 years, 6 months ago

Great story, now a question:

Jesse, any chance Ohio State pulls a self trick and goes triangle and 2 or box and 1

and lets us take our chances from behind the arc?

TnJHawkFan 2 years, 6 months ago

I don't think that's the kind of defense you can just throw together in a week. There has to be a lot of coordination between the three playing the zone. If they do play it I would expect a lot of open lanes to the basket.

Jesse Newell 2 years, 6 months ago

At this point, I think you are who you are.

Ohio State is the second-best defensive team in the nation because of a tough man defense. I wouldn't expect that to change.

Vernon Riggs 2 years, 6 months ago

The Triagle and 2 would leave TT or EJ (whomever was playing the #1) wide open from about 12 ft. Even a person who has 'never hit a shot in a dome' would be lighting up tOSU with that defense. With tOSU point guard, Kansas won't play the Tri and 2 either. We will be rockin' it old school with man-to-man.

jaybate 2 years, 6 months ago

There is a very strong possibility that Matta will adapt the triangle and 2.

Matta has based the rest of his team's game on Self Ball. Matta used to play straight Sendek. But last season and this he has largely incorporated Self's game.

Frankly, the triangle and two is so easy to play, so easy to install, Matta would be a fool not to do so.

And it would keep Ohio States two good defensive guards on EJ and Tyshawn, just as the triangle and two keeps EJ and Tyshawn on the other teams two top threats outside.

Finally, I have been watching KU's triangle and two very closely the last three games and there are times when it is actually just two big men zoning underneath and three guys playing man to man. Tyshawn and EJ are always man2man, but there are times when Travis plays the front of the diamond and there are other times when Travis goes man; this is the only significant difference from the ancient triangle and two that has always been played.

benshawks08 2 years, 6 months ago

I always see Tyshawn at the top of the triangle and Travis and EJ chasing. That way we get max disruption from Ty and lock down from Travis and Elijah. Plus the slight bonus of less exertion on D from our offensive spark plug. That's been the way I've seen it. Maybe I'm wrong.

Danny Hernandez 2 years, 6 months ago

I agree....let's enjoy the ride and as EJ pretty much said, "This weekend is bigger than I expected. Everything is on a higher pedestal. I'm conscious of it."

SO Kansas fans, enjoy the ride.....damn, it's great

Displayhawk 2 years, 6 months ago

I agree too! After all, it could be worse! ....... we could be like Methzou fans and have to watch their fiercest rival play in a game (Final Four) that they have never played in, all the while knowing that their only pathetic comeback is that they won the Big 12 conference tournament. (That nobody but them cares about!)

namder 2 years, 6 months ago

You know, in the long and storied history and short list of head coaches at KU, Bill Self will, if not top the list, be right beside the great Phog.

Scott Smetana 2 years, 6 months ago

Why is a triangle and 2 called 'junk'? Junk defense to me is Baylor's zone or the ole' Pentagon and 3.

dylans 2 years, 6 months ago

If you call it a junk defense then maybe people will underestimate its effectiveness. Hopefully you can call it junk and embarrass the other team into not preparing for it. Why get ready for a junk defense that the Hawks may not even use?

irvan moore 2 years, 6 months ago

the hawks play the last weekend of the season, we got a horse in the race, it don't get a lot better than this

JayHawkFanToo 2 years, 6 months ago

Interesting Sullinger comment about Robinson:

"He's the player of the year in my eyes, without a doubt."

Which in turn raised Anthony Davis eyebrows...I mean the unibrow; the sight of which created a stampede of people trying to get away from that sight.

DDDHawk 2 years, 6 months ago

You should have spent the $200 on spelling lessons. Then you would have known that lose is spelled lose, rather than loose. Just a friendly tip to our Missouri friend.

jaybate 2 years, 6 months ago

MissouriShat,

KU just keeps winning, while MU just keeps losing.

Did you hear KU is 31-6 and about to play a team it has already beaten once this season, which means KU is in a great position to get to the Finals...again, something MU has never done. :-)

And as you at MU know so painfully well, and must now carry with you always in the SEC, when Bill Self prepares our team intensely for a big game, KU almost always wins.

Expect us in the Finals, MissouriShat.

Then watch us hang another banner in Allen Field House.

Its what we do.

Regarding Manning and Hinson, we don't call it losing coaches. We call it having them succeed and that success leads to even more great new coaching talent to KU.

KU is not like MU, MissouriShat.

We don't have to hire guys like Quin Snyder and Frank Haith. Ever. For anything. :-)

Ah, its been a fine season, so much better than yours, even if it were to end in the semis.

But then you know that. :-)

Kye Clark 2 years, 6 months ago

Too bad Mizery couldn't struggle or luck through their game against Norfolk St.! Kimberly English said before the game "it's time to show the world what we're all about." You sure showed 'em Kimberly. Mizery is about losing. Epically. Your coach was exposed as not being very good at all.

I'm sure your "company" (missouricat talk for meth lab workers) is rooting for Kensucky. They are slimy, corrupt, inbred lowlifes. Only in Kensucky do they celebrate a unibrow as fashionable. You fit right in.

Self has already pulled in a better recruiting class than Haith. If Self can't recruit, what does that say about Haith. Answer: nothing we didn't already know. Haith is a fraud.

But hey, at least you guys got that "cool" rap video to reminisce about.

oldalum 2 years, 6 months ago

It's actually "lowlife" and not "lowlight". Being one, you'd think he would know how to spell it. I really got a good laugh out of that post. If he lost $200 on KU, I wonder how much he lost on Mizzou. How sad that he thought it would make us feel bad.

rnrover81 2 years, 6 months ago

What's wrong missouricat? Nothing happening over on the Missouri basketball forums? Nothing ever does in March, except losing. I live and work in St. Louis and I get a kick out of all the Missouri fans who are saying Kansas got another lucky path to the Final Four. What makes a Missouri fan an expert on anything to do with the Final Four? You lost to a 15 seed that got blistered in the next round. Hilarious. Try achieving something first. Why are you posting out here anyway? Shouldn't you be helping with the move of all those empty trophy cases to the SEC? Pathetic.

JayHawkFanToo 2 years, 6 months ago

Missouri is got to be the only state where a meth lab in a single wide is called a company. Probably the same reason why they call a group of wannabes the University of Missouri Basketball team? By the way, how is your wife's business doing? http://www.zouorleans.com/ I guess MU fans will buy anything so they can pretend MU made it to New Orleans, just like they pretend they won the Conference Title. Keep on dreaming.

packywacky88 2 years, 6 months ago

I want one of those shirts. Buy 3 and get a free bag of crystal? Sweet deal.

Dan Pawlowski 2 years, 6 months ago

Wake up wake up lil Tommy Tiger .You know its a dream. Misery grads don't have jobs or wives. Wake up . Its not too late to grow an be a Jayhawk.

jaybate 2 years, 6 months ago

ralster,

There's a better than 50/50 chance Louisville will upset UK.

Slick'deVille is tough.

Slick Rick is a wiley devil, as a coach, too.

And I really think Louisville brings a combination of defensive pressure, trey shooting, and experience that will be very difficult for UK to handle.

oldalum 2 years, 6 months ago

Maybe their hatred for each other will boil over and they will get in a big, bench-clearing brawl. Watching that would be worth the drive to New Orleans. I'd like to think Louisville could beat them. I'm so tired of hearing from them and everyone else that no one else has a chance.

JayHawkFanToo 2 years, 6 months ago

"There's a better than 50/50 chance Louisville will upset UK"

That would make Louisville the favorite.; Vegas does not agree with you (UK -9)and those are the people that put their money where the odds are.

I believe Louisville can upset UK but the chance is no better than 1 in 3.

SatchWill7 2 years, 6 months ago

How about David West as a Thomas Robinson comparison?

rockchalkxii 2 years, 6 months ago

I think Robinson is much more athletic and West is more polished offensively. Just my $.02

jaybate 2 years, 6 months ago

"Some Ways You Know that MU Fans Are Envious of KU"

~Taking more meth and grinding their teeth more.

~Displacing KU success with more incest and euphemizing incest as "interfamilial intimacy".

~Standing at urinals next to KU fans and saying, "Why do theirs look bigger?"

~MU fans contemplate: "Frank is reputedly part of recruiting improprieties at Miami, just like Quin was in Columbia--how does KU do it without cheating?

~Manning's going to Tulsa? Now they'll be better than MU!

~Hinson's going to SIU? Now they'll be better than MU, too!

~MU fans are having dreams where they are KU fans experiencing good times.

~MU fans are muttering, "Maybe if we'd quit cracking sudafed as our preferred recreation, we'd get the kind of respect that KU fans get."

~MU fans grumble, "Maybe The Columns signify the ruin of our sports and KU's Campanile signifies KU's virility and accomplishment."

~MU fans ask each other, "Why does everyone ridicule us and look up to KU fans?"

eway12 2 years, 6 months ago

This morning on one of the Kansas City radio stations an Ohio State radio personality made some excuses about losing without Sullinger and took a shot at Self's junk defense. I really hope someone got that in front of HCBS. That is exactly the kind of challenge that will allow him to will this team another victory.

Kye Clark 2 years, 6 months ago

Did anybody see Kendall Marshall won the Cousy Award? No actual espn article on the matter, but it is mentioned in this article about Marshall, Henson, & Barnes all declaring for the draft:

http://espn.go.com/nba/draft2012/story/_/id/7752253/north-carolina-tar-heels-john-henson-harrison-barnes-kendall-marshall-enter-draft

Hard to argue, I've thought all year he was the best pure point guard in the country. Tyshawn was well deserving as a finalist.

On the subject of UNC losing so many players (Zeller was a senior, and Stillman White is leaving on a 2-year mormon retreat), think they'll return to NIT status?

JayHawkFanToo 2 years, 6 months ago

Here is the actual article:

http://espn.go.com/blog/north-carolina-basketball/post/_/id/7422/uncs-marshall-wins-cousy-award

Interesting, the Cousy Award website does not show a winner; it indicates that one will be announced on April 2.

http://www.cousyaward.com/

easyfive 2 years, 6 months ago

If only Bill would have went zone years ago

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