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Recap: It's been a long time since KSU's defensive rebounding was this bad

Note: Here is a listing of definitions for some terms used in this blog. Also, feel free to ask questions in the comments section below if something doesn't make sense.

It's going to be hard to overstate just how important Kansas' rebounding dominance was in Wednesday night's 67-49 victory over Kansas State.

Kansas forward Thomas Robinson wags his tongue with delight behind Kansas State forward Thomas Gipson during a Jayhawk run in the first half on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Thomas Robinson wags his tongue with delight behind Kansas State forward Thomas Gipson during a Jayhawk run in the first half on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

Surely you know by now that the Jayhawks outrebounded the Wildcats, 50-26, but the performance on the glass was even better when you compare it to recent history.

KU grabbed 57.6 percent of its misses on Wednesday night, which was the most ever by a Bill Self-coached KU team against a Big 12 opponent.

Looking at it from the other direction, it was Kansas State's worst defensive rebounding effort in nearly 10 years. The last time the Wildcats grabbed less than 42.4 percent of the available defensive rebounds was March 8, 2002 against Oklahoma.

Oklahoma's Jabahri Brown, left, and Daryan Selvy, center, battle
for a loose ball with Kansas State's Larry Reid. Oklahoma
outrebounded K-State 54-30 on Friday in the Big 12 quarterfinals
and rallied for a 63-52 victory at Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Mo.

Oklahoma's Jabahri Brown, left, and Daryan Selvy, center, battle for a loose ball with Kansas State's Larry Reid. Oklahoma outrebounded K-State 54-30 on Friday in the Big 12 quarterfinals and rallied for a 63-52 victory at Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Mo. by AP Photo

(Just to give you some context, also on March 8, 2002, Jeff Boschee had 21 points, while Drew Gooden and Kirk Hinrich added 18 points apiece as KU defeated Colorado, 102-73, in the second round of the Big 12 Tournament. ... And I was in high school.)

Ku's Jeff Boschee (13) triggers over Stephane Pelle.

Ku's Jeff Boschee (13) triggers over Stephane Pelle.

KU also limited KSU's offensive rebounding, which is one of the Wildcats' greatest strengths. K-State grabbed just 27.9 percent of the available offensive rebounds, which was its worst mark of the season and second-worst percentage in the last two years.

M.O.J. (Most Outstanding Jayhawk)

Travis Releford was about as good as we've seen him at KU on both ends of the floor.

Kansas State coach Frank Martin greets KU's Travis Releford at the end of the Jayhawks 67-49 win against Kansas State at Allen Fieldhouse, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012.

Kansas State coach Frank Martin greets KU's Travis Releford at the end of the Jayhawks 67-49 win against Kansas State at Allen Fieldhouse, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012. by Mike Yoder

The junior posted 1.31 points per possession used while ending a season-high 22.9 percent of the possessions he was in (meaning he was more involved in the offense this game than any other).

Releford also helped hold KSU's Rodney McGruder — who had made 16 of his last 18 shots and six of his last seven threes coming in — to 5-for-14 shooting (1-for-5 from three).

Releford also seamlessly moved into the post late after Thomas Robinson picked up his fourth foul. Playing as a 4, Releford muscled up to Jamar Samuels after chasing down McGruder most of the night.

The most interesting statistic for Releford lately has been his offensive rebounding.

Kansas guard Travis Releford and Kansas State's Jamar Samuels battle for a loose ball Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Travis Releford and Kansas State's Jamar Samuels battle for a loose ball Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Mike Yoder

In KU's first 12 games this year, the Kansas City, Mo., native grabbed a combined 10 offensive rebounds.

In his last two games, Releford has combined for 11 offensive rebounds.

Whatever the reason for the surge, Self has to hope it continues. On Wednesday, Releford grabbed 24.2 percent of the available offensive rebounds (first on the team) and 15.5 percent of the available defensive rebounds (fourth on the team).

He's also quietly become the Jayhawks' third-leading rebounder, as his 4.3 per game put him only behind Robinson (12.3) and Jeff Withey (6.0).

Room for Improvement

KU's outstanding rebounding made up for a horrible night with turnovers in a low-possession game (64 possessions).

Tyshawn Taylor, (10) left, loses the handle on a ball against Kansas State in the first half Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Tyshawn Taylor, (10) left, loses the handle on a ball against Kansas State in the first half Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Mike Yoder

The Jayhawks gave it away on 31.2 percent of their possessions, which was their highest mark this year and 10th-highest mark in the Self era.

Tough-Luck Line

This goes to Tyshawn Taylor, whose stat line will look worse than his actual production.

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor looks to make a move against Kansas State guard Martavious Irving during the first half on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor looks to make a move against Kansas State guard Martavious Irving during the first half on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

The senior posted 0.75 points per possession used while ending a team-high 32.1 percent of KU's possessions.

Taylor's turnovers dragged down his numbers, as his eight giveaways were the second-most for him this season.

Still, it's hard to criticize too much, as Taylor's driving ability led to some offensive rebounds and also opened things up for KU.

This shouldn't be overlooked. KSU coach Frank Martin said after the game the main reason he switched to a zone defense was that the Wildcats didn't have anyone who could stay in front of Taylor.

That change ended up biting KSU, as the Jayhawks hit a couple of huge three-pointers (including one by Conner Teahan) against the zone that broke the game open.

Bottom Line

Kansas State's two biggest strengths offensively were getting to the free throw line and offensive rebounding, and KU neutralized both.

Kansas guard Conner Teahan and the Jayhawk bench go wild following a Jayhawk bucket during a run against Kansas State in the second half on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Conner Teahan and the Jayhawk bench go wild following a Jayhawk bucket during a run against Kansas State in the second half on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

Along with the rebounding numbers above, KU also held K-State to a free throw rate (free throws divided by field goals) of 28.1, which was the lowest mark by the Wildcats this season.

With few offensive rebounds, limited free throws and a poor shooting performance (36 eFG%, second worst team mark this season), the Wildcats scuffled to 0.76 points per possession — their worst mark of the season and second-worst total in the Frank Martin era.

Mark this as another game won more by KU's defense than its offense.

;

Comments

Marc Frey 2 years, 6 months ago

I love winning by D.I know you win by hanging scores on the board. We will get our shots, but when we go cold, it is good to know that we can shut the other team down as well.

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Kevin Crook 2 years, 6 months ago

Kstate has some good bodies, and some nice players. The return game will be interesting in Manhattan. KSU did not defend the post well, did not rotate well on defense, and were not good handling penetration. I think our turnovers were a combination of KSU being good at pressuring the ball and our lack of depth. TT makes a lot of silly mistakes when he looks tired. He seems to get picked at half court at least once a game trying to cross over right in front of someone. He needs help handling the ball. Travis was a beast last night. That's what we knew he could do. That was a great win.

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Thomas Michaud 2 years, 6 months ago

In Manhattan, I believe KU will have to keep the turnovers to a season low to win. However, we'll need TT to drive and Travis to have another outstanding rebound performance (to go along with his D and scoring).

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Kye Clark 2 years, 6 months ago

Some may be credited to fatigue, but 1 minute 13 seconds into the game Tyshawn got his pocket picked dribbling at the top of the key.

To your comment that he needs help handling the ball, I have been a proponent for much of the season that EJ should move to the point and assume more of the ball handling responsibilities while moving Tyshawn to the off-guard. Doesn't appear likely to happen, but the team sure looks good to me when EJ is running it (and not just last game either).

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Krohnutz 2 years, 6 months ago

You and I have been drinking the same coolaid, sir. I would like to see EJ run the point, and if Self is determined (and pretty much forced this season) to use Taylor full time I say move him to the 2.

We'll see if some lineup moves come down the pipe.

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SaltLakeHawk 2 years, 6 months ago

lol look at Teahan's face in the last picture. Look's like he's got a giant mouth

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Tony Bandle 2 years, 6 months ago

You're right....he looks like the Ice Cream man from the movie "Legion".

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Kye Clark 2 years, 6 months ago

The whole "Taylor's wild shots led to offensive rebounds" line is a little irritating to me. We've heard this before. It's not bad enough that people excuse away him throwing up a ton of bricks, entering the lane NOT looking to pass but rather to attempt some circus shot, but when people start actually crediting him for his erratic play...you know the defense of him has passed the point of insanity. As if they are passes (which has been not so subtly implied on the TRob dunk). What happens if the other players don't gather the rebounds? Is it then somehow their fault that we have an empty possession? Like "hey, Tyshawn put it up there for you guys. You just didn't go and get it," followed by one of Coach Self's "this team is soft" speeches.

Look, I know he's athletically gifted. Fast. Long. Great at getting by his man and into the paint. Capable of defending at a high level. I'm not questioning his heart or his toughness. I don't wish him off the team, and I know we have no one better on the bench. But on a night when he has 8 turnovers & shoots poorly and the announcers tell us that Self says he's one of the 5 best guards in the country!...it strains the mind a bit to think just how bad he has to play before people stop apologizing for him and say flat-out "yeah, he was awful." I mean, it wasn't that long ago that we were reading about how he'd watched tape of the Duke game over & over again and he admitted his mistakes were correctable. So are they correctable and he is just unwilling or unable to correct them? I don't know, I'm just grateful that his teammates picked him up and those mistakes didn't cost us this game.

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Kye Clark 2 years, 6 months ago

Ralster - first off, you're one of my favorite posters. Along with HEM, Oak, drgnslayr, aloha, and maybe some others that aren't springing to mind right away, I always make it a point to read you guys. Dynamite for his humor. And Bangkok to make sure he isn't posting anything outrageous using my avatar! Anyway, that being said...yeah I know HCBS is calling the shots. When I post, I have no illusions about my expertise regarding basketball knowledge. I wouldn't be able to coach a high school basketball team to any level of success, much less one of the blue blood D-1 college basketball programs. I don't know more than Coach Self. My posts are just observations, opinions, wishes, expectations, & analysis from a passionate fan. So when you say "the $3mil Man still runs this show,"...yeah I get it.

Now to your rebuttal. We know that Self has said he accepts a certain level of turnovers from Tyshawn. He accepts more than would be acceptable for most players as a trade-off for what Tyshawn brings to the table, most notably his ability to drive to the hoop. This is much the same as he accepted a couple bad shots from Russell Robinson every game for the things he brought to the team. And I am not discounting what Tyshawn brings; many other truly gifted athletes have came though the program yet did not have that ability. And on a team with not very many reliable outside shooters and only one consistent scorer in the post, it is invaluable. So like Self, as a fan I accept what I consider a reasonable amount of turnovers. For me that's 4 if he has a good game otherwise, meaning dishing a fair amount of assists and scoring. If he isn't creating for others or scoring, it's 3. The problem is in the big games, he is crossing that threshold. 11 against Duke. 7 against Ohio State (although he did have 13 assists). 5 against Davidson (combined with poor shooting, from 3 and at the free throw line). And now 8 against Kansas State. And maybe it is a case of him getting sped up in what you call high adrenaline games. Whatever the case, it leads to a feeling of distrust and nervousness as a fan.

And I'm with you about waiting to see all three gifted athletes on the floor at the same time. Right now all 3 are a crap shoot though. Releford has had a couple strong performances and I hope he can maintain that. Tyshawn has had good games against weak opponents, but against quality opponents it has been a mixed bag. EJ has been kind of the forgotten man. No horrible performances stick out, but he hasn't excelled or "exploded" like I hoped he might. Still a lot of season left and these guys haven't had a lot of time on the court together, so maybe they gel more as season goes on.

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Kye Clark 2 years, 6 months ago

One last thing to your point about Mario's mistakes, I agree. Mario was pretty awful, and did indeed make many of the same mistakes. The difference being Chalmers was a freshman and Tyshawn is a senior. Chalmers mistakes may have gotten worked out after adjusting to the speed of the college game. Maybe not. What we know is that moving to the 2 he was great. Maybe that could be the case for Tyshawn. It's something I'd like to see. We've never seen Tyshawn at the 2 once he was out from under Sherron's shadow.

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Jesse Newell 2 years, 6 months ago

ict — A few things.

I went back to the play-by-play, and from Taylor's nine misses, KU picked off the offensive rebound six times (67 percent). I know KU had a high offensive rebounding percentage on any missed shot, but with Tyshawn shooting, it was even higher. Just from the eye test, Tyshawn on a few occasions drove, forced help, missed, and left one of his teammates a great opportunity to grab the rebound. With the way KU was giving it away, a missed shot and opportunity for an offensive rebound is better than any turnover.

Plus, Self said this last week: "A lot of times people think those are bad shots when guards drive in there and shoot the floaters. They probably have a 20 percent chance to go in, but you have a 60 percent chance to rebound behind it, so those aren’t bad shots."

You're right about Taylor's turnovers. Eight is too many. Self would tell you that. Taylor would tell you that.

It's just, against Kansas State's extreme pressure defense, I'm not sure how KU would fare without him. You almost have to drive at the pressure to make KSU pay, and I don't know of another player on KU's roster that could have done that.

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Kye Clark 2 years, 6 months ago

Jesse - that's a good stat. But my point is that those offensive rebounds are a credit to those players rebounding them, and them only. I just cannot give Taylor credit for poor shooting, regardless of the eventual outcome. Yes a missed shot and opportunity for an offensive rebound is better than a turnover, but why does it have to be an either/or with Taylor? You say on a few occasions Taylor "drove, forced help, missed, and left one of his teammates a great opportunity to grab the rebound." My position has been if he's good enough to do all that, how about driving, forcing help, then dishing the ball off to the teammate that just became open? That is what frustrates me about him.

I imagine the offensive rebounding numbers were higher for Taylor's misses than for others because the other 4 starters all are good rebounders, and Taylor is not. That isn't a sleight at Taylor; I don't expect him to be a rebounding force. But the point is when Taylor shoots it you have four capable guys in better position to rebound the ball, versus when someone else shoots it you would have only three players in that position.

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Steve Hengeli 2 years, 6 months ago

Tyshawn didn't have a lot of assists in the KSU game, but he has setup teammates with nice passes, enough that it's a bit more than an "either/or" that he'll either put up a shot or turn the ball over.

Even though he probably looks to score more than to pass on the drive, this is part of what makes him an effective player. Defenses will not give as much help on his drives if they're expecting him to pass. The help man will stay back. It's Tyshawn's ability and willingness to score which makes defenders feel the need to come over to help contest.

In many cases, the reason to shoot rather than dish is because the help defender is still in between Tyshawn and the open man. For example, on one play in the second half Tyshawn drove and drew, from my point of view, three wildcat defenders. One of which was TRob's man. TRob's defender was very much in Tyshawn's way. It would have been a difficult wrap around pass. Instead, he took a hard shot against the backboard. Although the defender was in between Tyshawn and TRob, the defender was NOT in between TRob and the basket. It was an easy put back dunk for TRob.

Your theory would make more sense if Tyshawn shot jumpers all the time. However, when he drives and he draws help, Tyshawn makes those other rebounders better. TRob is a good rebounder, obviously. But when no one is even boxing him out, he's going to look even better. That's what the Tyshawn drive does. The play I described in the second half of the KSU game was the perfect example of what Bill Self is describing. I even think Tyshawn was intending for TRob to get the putback, as the shot was way to hard to have a chance of going in... But I'll excuse you if you don't want to give Tyshawn any credit for it.

The bottom line for me is that it's not just a fluke that Tyshawn's shooting leads to KU scoring. And as long as it's effective, I don't care if he looks erratic when doing it. Sometimes a missed shot is as good as an assist.

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Kye Clark 2 years, 6 months ago

You say that defenses will not give as much help on his drives if they're expecting him to pass. I agree. But right now they're not expecting him to pass, because he never does. If he mixed in a pass when appropriate, then the next time if the defender doesn't come to help because he's expecting a pass, then Tyshawn has a better chance to actually make the shot, thus making him even more effective. The problem with Tyshawn is he wants to be a scorer, even if it comes at the expense of setting up a teammate for an easier basket. I've shown that this is not an aberration, it happens over & over again against quality opponents. So go ahead and get geeked up over a good performance against Howard or North Dakota. The writing is on the wall that this will bite us when it matters most.

This is his line: 5-14 shooting (35.7%), 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 8 turnovers. If 5-14 and 8 turnovers isn't enough for you to say he had a bad game, then nothing will. And if you can't say it was a bad performance and maintain he was effective then we have nothing more to discuss. Bury your head in the sand and keep celebrating his bricks & turnovers. Now, please excuse yourself now from attempting to engage in intelligent debate.

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Steve Hengeli 2 years, 6 months ago

He had a bad game against KSU. Many of those 8 turnovers were bad plays. He shot three airballs, though one, if I remember correctly, was because the shot clock was running out. His .75 points per possession is a bad number.

I'm not celebrating his turnovers. Tyshawn is a player with limitations. I'm arguing in favor his aggressiveness on his drives. His game can be improved, and I'm sure in hindsight we could break down a bunch of plays and say he should have passed or done something differently. In general, I like his approach and I agree with Coach Self that it's better for the team that he is aggressive.

My point was that it's sometimes easier to get the big guy the ball off the rim then it is with a pass. As a bonus, some of Tyshawn's shots go in. Maybe he'd be even better if he passed more on drives, or maybe he'd turn the ball over more making those passes.

But the bottom line is, when he recognizes that the defense has collapsed on him, he knows there's a big man wide open by the basket. With a guy as good as TRob, you can count on him to be there to clean up a miss. I believe, and feel free to call me names if you think that's necessary, that Tyshawn Taylor is playing unselfishly on the court. I believe he's putting up the shots his coach wants him to take, and I believe that he is doing so with the understanding that the bigs can clean up. I don't think he's just jacking up shots and is getting bailed out by superior rebounders. I think there's a method to the madness. You can agree with me on this point and still think his method sucks, if you choose.

And if thinking there's a method to the madness means I'm burying my head in the sand, so be it. I'm capable of believing that Tyshawn is both a careless and a smart player.

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Krohnutz 2 years, 6 months ago

Wait, Jesse come on, moving him to the 2 spot does not mean he cannot put the ball on the floor and drive to the basket. I am not wanting him sent to a black hole, I just want somebody else initiating the offense and primarily bringing it across the timeline.

Could we imagine Kobe or Jordan in their prime NOT driving to the basket? Of course not, they made a killing doing it. Taylor gets fouled a lot for a guard (leads our team in attempts I think, check me), and hits a respectable amount. I want him to keep that up, but he can do that from the 2. He can do all the things that Coach likes from the off guard.

I simply would like somebody else initiating the offense, and when Taylor gets the ball if he thinks he can take his man off the dribble and make something go right, by all means, go at them. Taylor is very erratic, and that is tough to deal with from your point guard.

Also, as a side note: With the new "no charge" rule under the bucket I WANT Taylor staying aggressive. So we are in agreement there.

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ParisHawk 2 years, 6 months ago

Watched the game last night. Travis was tireless, great on D, rebounding and intangibles, plus he scored in different ways. Getting that kind of effort and production from the 3 spot makes us so much more complete.

Taylor looked so fast on some drives!

When things are clicking we have 4 1/2 scoring threats among our top six guys. If EJ starts driving some we will get to 5. Withey will create few scoring opportunities but his value is elsewhere.

Turnovers will cost us at least one game this year, hope it's not the last one...

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Mike Kendall 2 years, 6 months ago

I was watching the Michigan-Indiana game last night and ESPN II Color Analysist, Dan Dawkins (sp), was giving a lot of love to the Jayhawks. The win over K-State opened some eyes nationally. Have a good day everybody!

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Kye Clark 2 years, 6 months ago

I always root for any team playing Mizzou, regardless of stakes. Really hoping they get exposed soon so this love-fest the media is having with them can come to an end and I'll stop seeing that ridiculous picture of Frank Haith on the sidelines. I will also root for KSU against Baylor.

(just fyi, when you say "both games are in Manhattan", there will also be away games too, since we're playing everybody twice).

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Tony Bandle 2 years, 6 months ago

Hey icthawfan316..don't forget about ralster. He is sometimes the voice of reason in a sea of storm and, no Jaybate??

PS I'll root for traffic to be backed up for the Mizzou bus, so I'm with you , brother!! :)

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Kye Clark 2 years, 6 months ago

I didn't forget about Ralster.

"Ralster - first off, you're one of my favorite posters."

Regarding Jaybate, I enjoy some of his posts. However I don't read them all, not necessarily because of length. Truth be told, I enjoy posters who have a little more to say. But more because of length + occasionally going off on tangents either I find irrelevant or am just not smart enough to comprehend! He reminds me of Dennis Miller, in that he would make some obscure reference to where if you were fortunate enough to get then the joke was hilarious, but all too often I was left thinking "What? Who? Huh?".

Anyway, just a personal preference thing.

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Tony Bandle 2 years, 6 months ago

Hey, by the way, where is Jaybate? Is he cruising the Mediterranean again or climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro or caucussing in Iowa???

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