Sunday, December 14, 2008

Jayhawks floored

Minutemen stun KU at Sprint Center

Kansas players Sherron Collins, left, and Cole Aldrich watch from the floor at the buzzer as UMass players celebrate their 61-60 win over the Jayhawks Saturday, Dec. 13, 2008 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

Kansas players Sherron Collins, left, and Cole Aldrich watch from the floor at the buzzer as UMass players celebrate their 61-60 win over the Jayhawks Saturday, Dec. 13, 2008 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.


Jayhawks discuss loss to UMass

Kansas discussed Saturday's narrow loss to Massachusetts.

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— Sherron Collins lay face down on the Sprint Center floor, overcome by the agony of defeat after Kansas University’s 61-60 loss to UMass on Saturday afternoon in KU basketball’s home-away-from- home.

KU’s 5-foot-11 junior go-to guy, who misfired on a tough, possible game-winning six-foot left-handed shot in the lane with six seconds left, definitely took this loss harder than the Jayhawks’ only other setback — an overtime decision to Syracuse on Nov. 25 in the same building.

“Real frustrating,” Collins said after missing 15 of 21 shots, including six of seven threes. “We weren’t ready to play from the start. We didn’t lose this game on any last shot, any last possession. We lost it at the start of the game.

“We didn’t come ready to play,” added Collins, who finished with 19 points, four assists and a turnover in 38 minutes while playing with flu-like symptoms.

True, the last possession had nothing to do with KU falling behind the unranked Minutemen (3-6) by 14 points (34-20) with 2:35 left in the first half. But it did prevent the Jayhawks (7-2) from salvaging a victory at the buzzer.

“It got up there. I thought it was in. It came out,” Collins said of his well guarded attempt.

The shot — which was partially blocked by Tony Gaffney (six blocks, 13 rebounds, six points) — caromed to Conner Teahan with 4.9 ticks left. Teahan, who scored five points with five rebounds while playing 17 minutes on a day the Morris twins were ineffective, elected not to go up for a stickback try that would have been challenged by Gaffney and Chris Lowe.

Instead, he tried to fire the ball to the top of the key. Tyrel Reed wound up with the batted ball, too late to attempt a shot before the clock struck zero.

“Right when I caught it, I thought I was going to go right back up with it,” said Teahan, who had perhaps the play of the game — a basket and foul shot following a strong move to the hoop that helped narrow UMass’ 14-point lead to six by halftime.

“Honestly, I hesitated too much. That’s when … I don’t know if somebody grabbed my arm or the ball or something … it just kind of came out,” Teahan added. “Looking back, I should have at least got another attempt up, especially with that much time we had. It was definitely a mistake on my part. I guess it’s something you’ve got to learn from.”

KU coach Bill Self — he steered blame to himself for picking up a technical foul with 5:45 left; UMass hit two free throws to go up by three — was not enamored with KU’s final possession.

It followed two Chris Lowe free-throw misses with 20.4 seconds left.

“The whole deal was ‘drive it,’ no doubt about it,” Self said, confident in Collins, who buried a clutch three with :27.8 remaining to cut a four-point deficit to 61-60. “We had a play set up where we had a fade screen and a read screen. It looked to me we didn’t give ourselves a chance to score. It had no chance to go in from my perspective. I didn’t think we executed. I didn’t think it was good judgment on the last play.”

As for Teahan’s offensive rebound ...

“I wish he’d tried to score because he’s right under the basket,” Self said. “He didn’t feel like he could get it up there. We had numerous opportunities to not make it where it came down to one possession.”

Self used basically six players — Collins, Reed, Teahan, Brady Morningstar, Cole Aldrich and Tyshawn Taylor the first 10 minutes of the second half — leaving the Morris twins (combined four points, six rebounds, 25 minutes) out, as well as Quintrell Thomas and Travis Releford, who played two and four minutes the first half.

“Whenever you give up 16 points in the first half because of scouting report, it means you are probably not as ready as you should be,” Self said, not identifying those who gave up those points. “It’s our job to get them ready. We have some young kids who have played better than that. They did not have their best game today.”

The Jayhawks hit 33.9 percent of their shots and missed 18 of 23 threes.

“UMass contributed to us not playing well. But this is how we practice,” Self said. “There’s times in practice, 30 minutes into practice, (I say) ‘OK, let’s start again.’ The same way to start this game. We’ve just got to come more ready.”

Like Collins, Self took this loss harder than the one to undefeated, No. 13-ranked Syracuse.

“You’ve got to see progress. You’ve got to take steps in a positive direction, and we have not done that since the Kent State game (Dec. 1), in my opinion,” Self said. “We’ve just kind of been laboring around.”

The Jayhawks, who begin final exams Monday, next meet Temple at 1:30 p.m. Saturday in Allen Fieldhouse. Temple beat No. 8 Tennessee, 88-72, on Saturday.

“I am not discouraged with our team. I think we can be a good team. I don’t like the way we’re playing now, though,” Self said.


DHWHAWK 13 years, 11 months ago

Yesterday showed just how young this team is. I can also remember not too long ago when our Championship team was 3-4. Bill will get this straightened out and right the ship. Relax everyone, we will take some lumps this season. All I can hope is that the young guys stay the course and learn.

John Mueller 13 years, 11 months ago

I totally agree. It's not alot of fun to watch right now, but it is where we are.Young and clueless. So many poor decisions I don't know where to start and won't.I am glad to hear Sherron was somewhat under the weather. He was as bad as anybody on certain possessions.Just ugly.Can Kerry Meier play basketball?

jayhawkinATL 13 years, 11 months ago

Good one, springtxhawk. I's all about the growing pains right now for us. Remember the 10-loss season (with Boschee) and losing to Kentucky in the first round of the tourney??? It's coming again.

Chris Shaw 13 years, 11 months ago

I have to provide a little insight on this game. Most of you who think Umass based on their record was or still is a terrible team are crazy. Go look at their record. I knew this was going to be tough game. Umass is an experienced team and 70 percent of their games so far this year have been on the road. Just like St. Joe's and Temple, all those A-10 teams are better than their records indicate. As for our team. Obviously Self is trying to make a point to our youthness by barely playing them in the second half. Now, I understand what he's trying to do, but if you're going to go that route, you can't be getting technicals with 5 minutes to play with the group that was on the floor. Granted, that group had experience, but you can't be digging them in even bigger holes. I love the whole "Psychology" of what Self is trying to do, but I don't always agree with it. Playing and letting players figure it out is one thing, but teaching them "Effort" is a hard task to instill in the minds of 18 year olds. They got to bring it, every second of every game, and yesterday they just didn't flat out have it. We really needed that win yesterday because the stretch of games we have coming up aren't the exact "Cupcakes" of America. Temple, Tennesee, Zona, Siena, Mich State. We'll see what happens, but I could see ourselves 9-6 heading into conference play. Whew! That would be scary!

Tony Bandle 13 years, 11 months ago

I have been preaching patience and understanding for the development of this young team. However, one thing should be present every game and has nothing to do with talent or experience. That should be EFFORT. Did KU try as hard as they could to win, did they leave out on the floor, did they give it their best effort?I did not see the game but reading the reports and all the posts [ which I take seriously] it appears that answer is a resounding NO!!! The defeat is not disturbing, How the defeat happened is.I hope that this lesson, "you better come prepared to play every night in Division 1 because anyone is capable of biting you", got across to the entire team. Maybe Cole should duct tape THAT message on the wall of every team member dorm room!! What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger. As far as I know , everyone is still breathing. Let's see how we do against the next six opponents.[ Add Temple to the list of potential losses with Arizona, Tennessee and Michigan State if the Hawks don't put forth a maximum efffort]Still, it's great to be a Jayhawk and, if any of you players read this website, KICK A***!!Let's see how we fans handle these next six games as well.

Chris Shaw 13 years, 11 months ago

Please Jayhawk fans, do not overlook Siena as a "Cubcake". It's funny now that Temple beat Tennesee yesterday, that "Now" everybody is adding Temple to the list of tough teams. They were going to be a "Tough Out" before that Tennesee game. Siena has everybody back from their round of 32 game last year so they are definitely going to be tough. They have a ton of expereince just like Umass did. I think they are better than Siena, but Siena has yet to have any "Big" wins yet this year because of their schedule. I hope KU can go 11-4 heading into conference play. I would even trade a home loss for a road win at Zona or Michigan State. I think having a "Big" road win would help this squad. It's going to be tough, but I could see 9-6 or 10-5 very easily. Just got to keep plugging away and sooner or later they will figure it out.

Chris Shaw 13 years, 11 months ago

One last thing and I'm done. We keep comparing this team to 2005-2006, but I think it's somewhat unfair. I hope we can have the same run as that group, but I don't see it happening. Most talk about that 3-4 start, but not many talk about the 7 game winning streak heading into conference play to make KU 10-4. KU lost the first two conference games and then went on another 10 game winning streak. That squad was all about momentum and winning streaks. I just think with this squad it's going to be up and down. As the poster said above, I could very easily see a 10 loss squad here. That's not a bad thing, it's just the situation we have with the schedule.

Arkansashawk 13 years, 11 months ago

Can someone tell me why Appleton has yet to contribute? Wasn't he the #2 juco player in the country last year?

Chris Shaw 13 years, 11 months ago

arkansashawk: He was #3! Have you seen Appleton play yet? Self is all about "D" and Appleton is slower than a turtle out there on "D". He looks like he has concrete blocks on his feet. I know it's hard to come off the bench while sitting so long, but he just looks downright "Slow" out there when I have seen him.

klineisanazi 13 years, 11 months ago

This team has no where near the talent of the 2005-06 team. Period. I am not saying that don't have any talent, but they aren't in the same league. So they must do the basic things right...starting with playing tough defense and rebounding. So many easy points are to be had if they would do it. I also think the league will be a tougher this year. Trips to Manhattan, Columbia, Lubbock, or even Lincoln cannot be penciled in as wins. Everyone will be gunning for them. The NCAAs are not a lock by any means. Can they do it? Of course? Do I expect them to? Yes. But it will be closer than many would have thought.

tomike 13 years, 11 months ago

We had a TEAM last three years. Now we don't. I could not believe Self has given Collins that much freedom.

Larry Smith 13 years, 11 months ago

It is very easy to see why Releford gets no PT. All the players read the scouting report, they all know it is a dribble, drive, dish offense (the same as Memphis'). The key is to stay in front of your man, and you can't be overly aggressive on the help D. About 3 seconds after he gets in the game, Releford's man blows right by him for an easy basket. It happened on a couple of occasions and that is why he is back on the bench.The best line-up on the floor yesterday was Cole, Tyrell, Conner, Brady and Sherron. That is when we closed the gap, that is when we were able to stop them from scoring at will, that is when we stopped making all the silly turnovers and defensive lapses. You can have all the athletic ability in the world, but if you can't play under control, and you can't pay attention to the scouting report, and you can't finish around the basket, and you can't play sound defense, then you end up sitting next to coach Dooley and Townsend for the game. Until some of these players are ready to commit to doing what is needed, ready to commit to playing the way Coach Self needs them to play, I am perfectly fine with playing those that are willing. If that means some headaches and hiccups along the way, then so be it.The sky is not falling, we will be fine. Kids make mistakes and patience will be the key. I have faith and trust in the staff, as I have had from day 1. It is very nice to come here after a loss and not have all the idiots talking about how we got outcoached, how the staff is clueless and how its time to fire coach Self. Oh, the things a championship can get ya.

Chris Teegarden 13 years, 11 months ago

I didn't get to watch the game yesterday and just finished watching it. It was difficult to say the least, but we lost by one. We played the worst game of KU basketball in a long time against a good team (despite the record they have) and we lost by one. I believe that we a had few weeks coming up but our team will be forged in fire by the time we get to Feb. and if they don't shatter there going to be ready and be able to make us all proud. We can't lose faith and be fair weather fans that's not what being a Jayhawk is all about. I'm proud of all of our kids not because they play well or don't but because they are family.

Martin Rosenblum 13 years, 11 months ago

As I said on another post, it's obviously not all about the haircut. Just because you etch a star in your cranium, doesn't make you a star! How mis-guided to go for the "rally-haircut" when you can't back it up. Bill, Danny , etc. should never alllow, encourage or permit such frivilous actions that point away from a team spirit and are more about individuality. I recall a post by the infamous JAYBATE calling for Cole to be more threating as a post man and grow one fingernail out and file it into a sharp point for intimidation purposes. This was a throwback to a player in days gone by whom I don't remember the name. However, this would be a subtle individual alteration that would more likely alter the game positively than a new "do". Headbands, faux-hawks, shaved heads, tattoos, etc. don't change the box score one bit. Invest some time reviewing games, both good and bad, and seek the help that is availabel to you from the staff. Between all of the coaches, and former players, there are decades of experiences that should be used as resources to instill the pride and drive to excel through teamwork and to make sure the legacy doesn't fade.

Brian Leiker 13 years, 11 months ago

kushaw (anonymous) says...arkansashawk: He was #3! Have you seen Appleton play yet? Self is all about "D" and Appleton is slower than a turtle out there on "D". He looks like he has concrete blocks on his feet. I know it's hard to come off the bench while sitting so long, but he just looks downright "Slow" out there when I have seen him.___________If this is the case then Bill really missed the effing target with this wasted scholarship. The only thing he was supposed to bring to the table was his "LOCK DOWN DEFENSE"

tdub 13 years, 11 months ago

Sherron Collins is a cancer to this team right now. His best year came as a freshman, and you can't deny that he digressed last year. Now, he is trying to be "The Man", which is tough to do with a pretty star shaved in your head.As several have already said, we are NOT Davidson. We don't need Stephen (Sherron) Curry (Collins) to jack up 30 shots even if they are not falling. Next game, count how many wasted possessions we have when SC takes either a highly contested three or drives the lane and gets rejected. I got to double digits yesterday, and we wonder why the field goal percentage was abysmal.The silver lining is that Mario Little will soon arrive. We will have another player that is used to being "The Man", and he is SC's equal in basketball years. Sharing the spotlight will do him some good, because Bill Self doesn't seem to want to change anything right now, except for providing the opponents with the winning points through technical free throws.

actorman 13 years, 11 months ago

I am mystified by all the attention to being given to the players' haircuts. WHO GIVES A FLYING F**K?!?!? I couldn't care less what players choose to do with their OWN hair; all I care about is what they do on the court. It's remarkable to me how many people want to dictate to the players what they LOOK like. There's something in this country you might have heard of called freedom. NOTHING about their hair is affecting the team in any way.

FlaHawk 13 years, 11 months ago

Yesterday was pretty bad. Self get's a technical at a critical point in game; Collins goes Superman on everyone; KU defefense is totally lacking; offense can not move ball around and get great shots or feed Cole.Are we sure these guys have played together before? I disagree with everyone on UMass. They are a NCAA bubble team at most. If this is a good team, than KU is about 50 teams away from NCAA (can you say NIT).Realistically, the Frosh were getting cocky and were not ready to play. Even the vets have little playing time outside of Colliins. Add in the lack of Mario Little and they will get much better over time. I don;t see them coming close to COnference Title, but may hell by Big XII and NCAA tourney time (I hope)!

rockchalk80 13 years, 11 months ago

based on yesterday... winning 2 of the next 6 would be a stretch.

Clarence Haynes 13 years, 11 months ago

I always had the impression that b-ball players from Philly were tough!

Mangino_Maniac 13 years, 11 months ago

No excuse for this one... a program like ours shouldn't be losing a game like yesterday. Very disappointing.

Fred Davis 13 years, 11 months ago

Wow, it sounds like we've got the GOP writing half the posts here... I guess after yesterday KU should pack it in and say to hell with the rest of the season...For starters, I'm appalled at what people are saying about Sherron Collins - the kid is a competitor, plain and simple, and without him, we're not defending champs - bottomline... Now, that's not to say that our Boy isn't a little wreckless with the ball - of course he is... But we're nine games into the season after losing seven guys - five of whom are playing professionally - off our National Championship team, yet we're gonna rail on Sherron because he's taking some knocks as he learns the ropes of being the team's leader... That's pathetic...I watched the game yesterday, and there was never a time when it looked like guys weren't busting their butts - they just got beat on a night when everybody played a bad game of basketball... Everytime it looked like UMass might try to pull away, Sherron was there, whether it was a rebound, a steal, or something, to keep things close... And then there were times when he should've done more to get his teammates involved - yet he didn't, and KU loses by one point...There's still plenty of ball left, and the next few weeks will be very telling as to how the rest of this season plays out...

MIZ_NIT 13 years, 11 months ago

FreddyD-- GOP? Grow up. And no one is ripping Collins. He just doesn't need to be jacking up low percentage shots after we give up a bucket. Also, if Morningstar keeps getting 20 minutes plus were not going dancing. He is a 5-10 min guy right now, and 5 minutes if he's lucky when Little gets back. The only thing he brings to the table is a oversized T shirt and poor defense.

jchief40 13 years, 11 months ago

We'll be fine - Twins laid another egg darn it though! I think Collins is not confident enough yet that the young guys are going to be running the plays, reading the D, being in the right spot, you name it in pressure situations. He is putting it on himself to make the big plays. I think he knows what's up and I'm not worried - I understand. He'll probably stop putting as much pressure on himself and helping others to get more involved. I see comments on the board towards Reed and Morningstar as follows: Morningstar has breakout game and everyone wants Reed on the bench. Reed starts hitting crucial threes and everyone wants Morningstar on the bench. Make up your minds! I will say I don't think either will be starting by seasons end. Somebody said it would be hard to win 2 out of the next 6? We played awful - UMass (better than their record indicates - nice guards!) played very well - made their shots, and we lose by a single point. Taylor & Collins had off nights, nice defensive scheme on UMass' part to limit Cole's touches, Morris' lack of D - Releford now understands why he's going to continue to ride the bench - but we'll come around. We'll grow from this.

Martin Rosenblum 13 years, 11 months ago

Actorman- Freedom is in the Constitution. We're talking about basketball and being part of a team. You know, the whole "uniform" concept! Even while traveling with the team to road games, there are rules about appearance and conduct. It is part of discipline. And, that is the issue, discipline.

BluBird 13 years, 11 months ago

I was at the game. Loved the comeback at the end of the first half. I'm not a basketball expert like many of the people on the blog, but it appears to me that we have a very limited inside game. I like Cole, but wonder why we don't have anyone that attacks to the basket from under the net, and draws the fouls when misses, whether its Cole or one of our our guys. I don't think Cole got his first foul until half way through the 2nd half. Maybe the tough inside game isn't him, but seems we need someone in there doing the hard stuff of controlling the paint. Collins is our most agressive player, not any of our big guys. I saw during this game that Cole was double or triple teamed most of the time under the basket. Seems like that should free up someone else. Hope that experience and playing together develops another enforcer on the inside that will help loosen up the pressure on Cole.

jayhawkcat 13 years, 11 months ago

klineisanazi:I wouldn't be to worried to much about NU, I live up here and they are having there problems. One of their player is transferring because of an injury.I think in regards to the games I saw KU play so far is that Collins is trying to do too much. I like him and think he is a very good player for KU, but I do think he gets himself into trouble trying to be a leader.

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