Sunday, March 25, 2007

Kansas basketball notebook


Bill Self definitely felt the fourth time in the Elite Eight would be the charm.

"From my standpoint, it hurts. I really felt like this was our year," said KU's coach, who is 0-2 in the Elite Eight at Kansas University, 0-1 at Illinois and 0-1 at Tulsa.

"I'm not saying a year to win it all, but I felt we were the best-equipped team to make a strong run. And we did. But it wasn't good enough."

UCLA, which lost in the national title game a year ago, prevented Self from reaching his first Final Four, by downing the Jayhawks, 68-55.

"I'm not going to look and say, 'Poor pitiful me.' It's not about that," Self said. "It's about getting your team there. I feel bad for our guys because they've given us a great opportunity to have a great year because of their focus and unselfishness. This isn't about me."

¢ Collins hobbled: KU freshman point guard Sherron Collins, who has been hobbled by a left knee injury the past couple of weeks, did not score in 15 minutes, with four misses and no makes from the field.

"He was limping visibly," Self said. "He has some stuff going on in there. He'll need some time off."

Self said he didn't think Collins would need surgery. Earlier, it was indicated he had tendonitis.

¢ Low-water mark: The 55-point outing was KU's second-lowest-scoring game in the NCAA Tournament. The all-time low was in a 54-53, triple-overtime loss to North Carolina in the national championship game on March 23, 1957.

¢ All-tourney: KU's Russell Robinson and Brandon Rush made the West Regional all-tournament team, with UCLA's Arron Afflalo and Darren Collison, plus Southern Illinois' Jamaal Tatum.

¢ Kaun plays 13 minutes: Center Sasha Kaun scored four points in 13 minutes. His limited minutes were because of coach's decision, not injury.

"It was a tough night for us," Kaun said. "Something went wrong. We don't normally miss layups. We did tonight. Sometimes it happens in games. It's really disappointing."

Audio clips

2006-07 March 24 KU-UCLA Hoops

¢ Stats, facts: KU finished two shy of a school record for wins in a season. : KU is 12-6 in regional title games. : KU is 0-5 against UCLA in NCAA Tournament play and 9-5 against the Bruins overall. : KU scored a season-low 55 points. The previous low was 57 versus DePaul on Dec. 2 in a 64-57 loss. : The 32 combined steals marked an NCAA Tournament record. : KU hit a season-low 45.5 percent from the free-throw line. : Rush finished his sophomore season with 970 career points for an average of 13.7 ppg. : KU missed 19 inside shots. Overall, KU was 14-for-33 on layups and dunks.

¢ UCLA's Arron Afflalo on KU: "This was the best team we faced. It wasn't a one-point win, but it was the best team we faced."

¢ Big trey: Afflalo on Josh Shipp's momentum-building three at the halftime buzzer: "With six seconds left and five guys staring at you, you figure someone else is going to be open," said Afflalo, who dished to Shipp in the corner.

¢ Fan support for UCLA: UCLA's fans definitely outnumbered KU supporters in the West Coast arena.

Did the crowd play a role in the outcome?

"I don't think so," Self said. "For the most part, we've operated best under those situations. We've been in situations where the crowd definitely helped us. But we haven't been in very many where we felt the crowd hurt us. And I don't think that was the case today."

Fan reactions

Dan Skolink, Cristalle Jones, Corey Sargent and Emily Carkhuff react to the KU loss.

¢ Big-time player: Self on Afflalo, who hit 10 of 15 shots: "There really wasn't anything we wanted to do differently to try to slow him except maybe to deny him at the end of the clock. We had our best defender on him (Rush). With five seconds on the shot clock, he jabbed, jabbed, jabbed and shot the deep three on Brandon. We didn't switch a ball screen, which we were supposed to, and he made a 17-footer. There's a reason he's a first-team All-American."


pennerhome 15 years, 4 months ago

The word is "moxie".

KU was beaten by a team with 2 NBA quality players while KU has 6-7. Didn't protect the ball. Didn't finish the close shots. Didn't buckle down and run a disciplined offense. Didn't make smart decisions in transition.

I really wonder how much talent Self needs on a team in order to get to the Final 4. This team was loaded.

Just not loaded with "moxie".

actorman 15 years, 4 months ago

KU is 0-5 against UCLA in NCAA Tournament play and 9-5 against the Bruins overall ...

That would be nice, but unfortunately it's 4-10 overall, not 9-5. Hello, editors?!?!?!?

Chris McIlvain 15 years, 4 months ago

Roy Williams is 13 minutes from taking North Carolina to it's 2nd Final Four in 4 years. I can only imagine how heart-wrenching it's going to be for most KU fans when he wins his 2nd National Championship in 4 years with that team! But let's keep singing the praises of Bill Self! LOL!!!

FlaHawk 15 years, 4 months ago

KU has many McD All-Ameria ns but no true post presence or a shooting guard. You might get tothe final four without one but NEVER both.

Don;t see any help next year either!

I can not ebleive that Self is not aware of this and recruites to fill the shooting guard situation. Reed will not play next year at this level. Aldrich will help but is a year away at the post!

Chris Kurtz 15 years, 4 months ago

APD Roy just choked away a 10point lead in 6 minutes and lost in OT.

Brian Conrad 15 years, 4 months ago

flahawk is good name you are flawed in almost everything you spew out... Rush one of best guards in nation Mario had some bad moments..but will be excellent outside shooter..Collins Will be as good as anyone in country , maybe the best ... Jackson, Julian and Shady will be force down low.. you have to be a missery fan.. APD Roy is bawling on TV again just for you. I Like Roy the only thing great about his lossing is shutting you up.

Chris McIlvain 15 years, 4 months ago

LOL! Well, it appears Ol' Roy still has Kansas running in his veins! Classic Kansas post-season meltdown dressed in Carolina Blue! Go Heels!

frompekka2sasha 15 years, 4 months ago

LOL!! It appears that APDJayhawk wins the award for being the biggest idiot on this website. Congratulations for not knowing what in the hell you are talking about!

Hilarious post. It actually made my Sunday a bit brighter.

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