Kansas defeats Radford, 99-64

  • 7 p.m., Dec. 9, 2009
  • Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, KS

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Off to a fast start

Rookie Johnson gets nod

Kansas forward Thomas Robinson keeps pace with Radford guard Jeremy Robinson during the first half, Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Thomas Robinson keeps pace with Radford guard Jeremy Robinson during the first half, Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Audio clips

2009 KU-Radford


KU vs. Radford

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KU takes on Radford Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Reader poll

Who do you think is KU's best perimeter defender?

  • Sherron Collins 29% 811 votes
  • Tyshawn Taylor 14% 389 votes
  • Elijah Johnson 5% 160 votes
  • Tyrel Reed 7% 206 votes
  • Brady Morningstar 37% 1018 votes
  • Xavier Henry 4% 126 votes
  • Other 1% 33 votes

2743 total votes.

Kansas University freshman Elijah Johnson didn’t jump up and down in jubilation — heck, he didn’t even crack a smile — when coach Bill Self told him he’d be starting the first game of his college career Wednesday against Radford.

“I gave him a weird look. I basically ignored him,” Johnson said after scoring 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting with three rebounds, one assist and no turnovers in the Jayhawks’ 99-64 rout of the Highlanders in Allen Fieldhouse.

“It wasn’t intentional,” Johnson said of his ambivalent reaction upon receiving the good news near the end of Tuesday’s practice. “You know how some things happen? Weird moments where you just don’t know what to say so you don’t say anything? It was one of those kind of moments.”

The 6-foot-2 Las Vegas native, who started in place of Tyshawn Taylor (six points, six assists, five rebounds, no turnovers in 17 minutes), was much more emotional the day after learning he’d start after coming off the bench in KU’s first seven games.

“It didn’t register until they called the starting five,” Johnson said of introductions. “Starting in Allen Fieldhouse for the first time ... that overwhelming feeling was just breathtaking. That’s the best way to describe it ... breathtaking.”

The eloquent Johnson also used the words “excited, energized and comfortable” to describe his feelings about starting.

“Overwhelming ... I use that word a lot when I come in here,” Johnson said of the media room. “It means different things at different times. Overwhelming tonight meant I couldn’t believe it.”

Johnson — he was a bit too energized early in committing two quick fouls — had a bit of a panic attack just prior to the contest.

“I stole Cole’s playbook,” Johnson said of Cole Aldrich (15 points, nine rebounds), who held Radford big man Art Parakhouski to zero points the first half as KU blazed to a 36-18 lead.

“I left mine in my room. I just wanted to assure myself. I took his playbook and looked through every play just to make sure I knew what I thought I did.”

Johnson actually showed some overanxiousness early, picking up two fouls in the first 3 1/2 minutes. He regrouped after a short stay on the bench and finished the half with nine points, hitting two big threes, with two rebounds. He also had a vicious dunk off an alley-oop feed from Sherron Collins to start the second half.

“I thought Elijah played really well,” Self said. “And I thought Ty was good off the bench. And to be honest, I thought C.J. (guard Henry, 11 points, 10 minutes) ... I haven’t given him a chance to play at all. Tonight was by far the best he’s looked since he’s been here. It looked like he belonged out there. It could get interesting where guys’ minutes are being reduced, and maybe we can get out and actually pressure some people. We haven’t done a good job with that.”

He explained going to Johnson over Taylor.

“I don’t think Ty has played to his capabilities, not from scoring, but from a defensive (standpoint) and being able to keep a guy in front of him and take pride in it,” Self noted. “I predict Ty will get the job back, but right now there’s no reason not to play Elijah.”

Johnson admitted he felt more comfortable starting, thanks in part to Taylor, his buddy, who Johnson said has helped him immeasurably this semester, “giving me advice whether I wanted to hear it or not.”

“I felt more regular, as I would say,” Johnson said of starting. “I’ve never not started for a team until I got here. But I had no problem with that. I knew people in front of me were better than me. It came quicker than I imagined.”

By coincidence, on the night he started, Johnson was the subject of a “pop-up video” that appeared on the center videoboard during the second half. The video mentioned the fact he’s from Vegas, the home of Elvis, and some other lighthearted personal matters.

“It was during a timeout. I’m not supposed to look at the board,” Johnson said with a grin. “Sherron (Collins, 15 points, eight assists) looked at me and said, ‘Put your head up.’ I saw Gary, Ind., (his birthplace) and people looking at me weird from the stands. I still want to see the video, because I was paying attention to coach and didn’t see it.”

It remains to be seen how long coach will keep him as a starter.

“He started tonight. When you say ‘starter,’ it’s somebody who will start four of every five games for you,” Self said. “We don’t know if that’s going to be the case. It could be. He certainly has come a long ways fast.”


cffighter86 12 years, 6 months ago

I loved the fact he started. The Jayhawks as a whole team look better when he is in there.. he seems to have a motor that doesnt quit also.

jaybate 12 years, 6 months ago

Thursday Dreaming of KU Hooking When Cole Is Doubled and Other Things:

} Lynch-Flohr's restoration of the round house hook is very important. It proves the shot is still viable and lethal today, when opponents want to double your center. When the round house hooker is not double teamed, it is an impossible shot to block. The only reason the shot ever fell out of favor in the post was that double teaming of centers made it unfeasible. The round house hook (as opposed to the harder to shoot sky hook and jump hook) was easy for the double to disrupt, while the ball was starting low and being raised up. It became a strip waiting to happen. But when you start a big that attracts double teaming, the way Cole does, if you have a 3, or a 4 that can hook, you have an essentially unblockable 2 points any where from 10 feet in. This is very exciting strategically. As much as I love Danny Manning's jump hook, it has been very hard for guys to master. And one on one it is harder to get off than a round house. Time to teach Marcus, or Kieff, or TRob, the round house hook. It could really make teams pay for doubling Cole. Frankly, it would make someone like 6'3" Brady, or 6'6" Xavier into serious threats to score 2 inside on the back side, instead of just guys who have to stand out at the trey stripe and launch, or rarely be able to get to the rim against the big trees. The hook is dead. Long live the hook!

} Elijah looked good, but don't hallucinate. He did it against Radford's 5'9", 5'10", and 6'1" guards. Self was giving Tyshawn a jerk. Tyshawn is still in the midst of Self giving him his psychological toughening.

jaybate 12 years, 6 months ago

} Self was also lighting a major fire under CJ Henry with Elijah's start. CJ is almost certainly the better, stronger player with the better trey gun, but he isn't doing it. I was glad for CJ that he got in and got some digits in his line score. Sherron really needs CJ to push him some at the point also, to keep The Sarge focused.

} "It could get interesting where guys’ minutes are being reduced, and maybe we can get out and actually pressure some people. We haven’t done a good job with that.”"--Bill Self

This is the crux of it so far this season. KU has been so thin on the perimeter that Self has not been able to release the hounds on defense. With the arrival of CJ and the development of Elijah (who is still probably not capable of much more than 5 minutes against Memphis/UCLA or better competition), KU is very likely to start applying withering pressure at the 2. And when Brady gets back, pressure at the 3 will amp up similarly. And Withey is going to release Cole and The Twins and even TRob to strip the bark off the big trees they are guarding instead of just stay in front of them. Self Defense, that awesome combination of wreak-havoc hounding and manning-up physicality is about be playing at an arena near you!

} The fall off in defense on APar (8-12 FGA) and Lynch-Flohr (9-14 FGA) ought to merit some tremendous butt chewing by Self about lousy defense. APar was doubled into scorelessness the first half, but what kind of KU big lets APar go 8-12 in a single half?

Viggo3003 12 years, 6 months ago

I couldn't agree more on Lynch-Flohr's use of the round house hook as you say. Why more big guys don't use this is beyond me.

rawkhawk 12 years, 6 months ago

I predict Taylor will get more consistent. KU needs him. That said, EJ and CJ both looked good last night. KU has so much depth. It's exciting to see this team develop this year!

Benjamin Clay Jones 12 years, 6 months ago

" . . . Vegas, the home of Elvis . . . ."

They moved Graceland to Vegas? One of the new theme resorts they've built there?

Ben Kane 12 years, 6 months ago

I liked the way collins ran the show yesterday, did what needed to be done.

I'm not sure how I feel about Reed right now. I love that he has improved his game and has the versatility now to put the ball on the floor and create, but when his shot isn't falling he doesn't need to be out there trying to shoot his way out of it.

Best takeaway for me was the play of EJ and CJ. Regardless of how playing time spills out this year these guys will get great experience for next year. Before the start of the season I had never seen either of these guys play and I'm liking what I'm seeing.

omng392 12 years, 6 months ago

I personally think that Taylor should come off the bench for KU. This was the first game all season that KU Offense actually looked like their offense. Sometimes finding the best fit for your team is having great players come off the bench. He looks like a great six man. All we need from the point is someone to distribute, play defense and occassionally take the three to keep the other team honest. EJ can do that.

Joel Hood 12 years, 6 months ago

Very few big guys use the hook because true post play is out of vogue in the NBA. 5's want to be 4's and 4's want to be 3's. Playing the post is hard work and unsexy. Big money guys in the NBA face the basket. Everyone wants to be like Mike, or Kobe, or LeBron. Post players want to look like Kevin Garnett, not Kevin McHale.

Also, the hook shot developed a reputation for being used by less athletic guys (think Clyde Lovellete) to shoot over better athletes. Although Kareem was famous for his sky hook, that shot is really difficult to teach and it appears that only he could hit it consistently from 10 feet and beyond. Most coaches would rather teach better foot work and post moves (up and under, etc.) - just like Danny teaches our bigs. Danny was a master of great foot work and then a soft baby hook, which is typically much more effective than a sweeping hook.

yates33333 12 years, 6 months ago

If Jaybate is correct, and based on past performance he probably is, this was a good move. Not only did Johnson and C.J. play good games so did TT. What a dilemma for Self. Three excellent point guards and Collins who can do most anything despite his size. Too bad the games aren't eighty minutes.

kranny 12 years, 6 months ago

yates, Throw in Withey and Morningstar and it will very interesting. I will be curious to see if maybe Withey doesn't redshirt.

Tony Bandle 12 years, 6 months ago

Any guesses on how much ribbing Marcus will take having been "out-dunked" by the little guys, Elijah and Tyshawn!!??

Look at the box score...I think we were one point away from eight guys in double digits...geez loweez, we're gonna be tough!!

Wall..WOW!!!! Did anyone see the classless comment questioning his ACT scores and his sexual orientation on AOL Sports?? What trash!!

If that was the "real" CJ we saw last night, oh ma goodness. Taylor, Henry, Johnson, Woolridge, Morningstar, Reed......we may not get either Knight, Selby OR Lamb!!!!!

100 12 years, 6 months ago

Well said, Rawkhawk, well said...

The 2 spot is pretty amazing this year -- we have the possibility of an NBA first round pick... being the best eighth man in America!!!

In conjunction with what you posted at the two spot this morning, I add to your post, this post, an already posted post game post from last night which I posted just before I ran to check on the post...

Here's what I'd like to see a lot earlier in an upcoming game:

  1. Coal Train

  2. The X Man
  3. CJ
  4. The Human Bowling Ball (BB)

What I love about the 1 & the 2 is the crisp passing in this lineup. CJ seems to really have a good vision of the court & passes it like a fastball. Mostly, however, as important as passing is.... I love that all three guards are a rarity -- bulky, strong, quick jump shooting money men from downtown. All three have great strokes.

When Withey gets healthy, I'd love to see the threat of X,CJ & BB hanging outside the arc while, Withey & the Coal Train switch blocks & back pick for dunkfests down low, whether it's off a missed 3 rebound (like tonight for Cole), or the auto-alleyoop off the switch.

"Passing Wins Championships"


MGJayhawk 12 years, 6 months ago

Brady is the better 3 because he's our best defensive guard (as of right now). He is strictly a defensive role player and can hit the 3. That's why I see Reed's minutes going down once CJ, EJ and Brady at full strength.

BCRavenJHawkfan 12 years, 6 months ago

No kidding with CJ. What the hell crawled inside him and produced that performance? And at both ends of the floor. Do we have too much talent? Will it be difficult to get the right 5 on the floor come conference play? Or does this just make it possible that when the starting 5 go limp Self just mass substitutes?

Ann Oneill 12 years, 6 months ago

Withey already red-shirted. I don't think that's an option any more.

bradynsdad 12 years, 6 months ago

i think it is a good thing to start johnson. just because you come off the bench doesnt mean your not as talented, sausha kaun came off the bench and put up numbers just as good as the starters. i think cj brings that same confidence to the floor that sherron does tyrel, elijah and taylor dont have that yet but they will. also any coach will tell a good shooter like reed to keep taking shots when you tell them to stop thats when they lose their stroke.

KU 12 years, 6 months ago

What a great game between Kentucky and UConn last night. John Wall makes a world of difference on that team. There have been quite a few heavyweight matches already this year. Switching analogies, I feel like the other guys are getting a 10 meter headstart on us in the 100 meter dash. We know next to nothing about how we match up with a decent team, let alone an elite team. How many big games has UNC played already? How many has Michigan State played? Kentucky? I realize when we scheduled for this year it was impossible to predict that UCLA would fall off, but I sure wish we had a real elite game before January 10 when we play at Tennessee. Michigan is awful--they lost again last night. Cal got beat by New Mexico among others. Temple will be a reasonable road game. LaSalle will be better than most of these teams. I just don't see what we're going to gain from all these cupcakes. Three days after playing the only game that should really test us, we start conference play against Nebraska.

I know this is sacrilege to those who claim we're going 40-0, but I'd rather play a UNC or a Kentucky or Michigan State and get beat just so we can measure ourselves.

KU 12 years, 6 months ago

CJ said after the game last night that Tyshawn may be the quickest cat he's played against.....ever. My question is why doesn't he demonstrate that on DEFENSE during games?! If he has the potential, because of his quickness, to be a lockdown defender at the 2 spot, a la Mario, why isn't he doing it now? If I were Self, I would start EJ every game (or CJ if the health of his knee allows it) just to send the message to Tyshawn--"Defense wins championships!"

BCRavenJHawkfan 12 years, 6 months ago


Didn't UConn get pushed to the limit by a team we ran over? I know what you are saying but how do you really gage these things. Conference play is where things will sort themselves out.

TexasHawk44 12 years, 6 months ago

Jaybate: your preening and ridiculous rants are surely a joke. Right? I mean you are trying to be the Andy Kaufman of this board, right? Taking on an idiotic persona for your own self entertainment? Please tell me that this is the case and that you are not really such a ridiculous clown...

12 years, 6 months ago

KU ~

It's not our fault the teams you mentioned are worse than we could have anticipated at the time we set the schedule. Don't forget Memphis either. Had Calipari stuck around, they would be a Top 10 team right now.

All that being said, I was thinking the same thing last night about us not being tested yet like UNC and Kentucky. After UK's win last night, I would not be surprised if we lose some 1st-place votes to them in next week's poll. They are for real.

KU 12 years, 6 months ago

txrockchalk......Like the Shiner Bock.

BCRaven......Look at our conference schedule. If we're really supposed to contend for a National Championship, where's the team that's going to really push us until Texas on February 8? (That's 2 months from now!)

I was watching K-State the other night. They have a hell of a time scoring, but their guards would give KU's guards fits on the defensive end. I'd take Clemente and Pullen. They will give us a challenge at Bramlage on January 30.

12 years, 6 months ago

KU ~

Along with warmer (than Kansas) winters and no state income tax, the various Shiner offerings are another one of the nice things about living in Texas :^)

okiedave 12 years, 6 months ago

Mizzou's 40 minutes of Hell -- Scarry Helter-Skelter style basketball has kicked in again this year with a loss last night to Oral Roberts U. It must simply be degrading to be a Tiger fan.

Hawk1969 12 years, 6 months ago

KU... I think Michigan, Cal, and Tennessee will push our boys prior to the conference season starting. Nebraska, Iowa State, and KSU on the road will be challenging. NU and ISU always play the Hawks tough on their homecourt, and Bramlage is our home away from home (outside of the Coors Events Center) but could be a challenge this season if the inside game isn't clicking. I honestly believe a few teams will push the Hawks before the Texas game. I really don't want to think Texas until Feb. 8.

Hawk1969 12 years, 6 months ago

okiedave...the Oral Roberts game isn't the only reason it's degrading to be a Mizzou fan! ha

Joe Baker 12 years, 6 months ago

KU- I would play EJ or CJ too. TT is having too many issues right now. I don't know what he's doing, but he needs to get his act together and play ball.

I just don't know if CJ's knee will allow him to play solid mins. He certainly has the ability and has my full confidence. The guy is mature, strong, skilled and a dang good shooter.

I was really happy for EJ and TRob last night. I would never take much from the Radford team, except may their guard play which lacked. I don't think Clemente or Pullen or be too much for KU. They'll resort to that same crap they used last year. I don't think Wally Judge is much of a factor.

Hawk1969 12 years, 6 months ago

txrockchalk...I have family in Sulphur Springs, TX. Love it down there. Spent last Christmas down there and never even considered wearing a coat (light jacket at night).

Spent the 4th of July in Sulphur Springs this year and about died!! 107 with no wind and high humidity was no treat.

JHWK 12 years, 6 months ago

Does Withey's redshirt mean he's a Freshman for us, still? If so, that'll be nice.

I was curious when they posted us as having 5 Fr, 5 So & 5 Jr's last night, if C.J. and Withey are our 4th & 5th Frosh.

Agree with many of you that our starting lineup last night was outstanding. The twins had some cheap fouls called on some stellar defending, and TRob looked more confident. Add a healthy Withey to that mix, and we will need to rely on practice as our best chance to be challenged, other than Tenn. in the next month.

Wall was the real deal last night, and without him, UK is just another team. A defensive scheme that blankets/doubles him will be the key to beating them.

La Salle will be good this weekend, so maybe a chance to see increased defensive pressure and keep those turnovers down. Rock Chalk!

Joe Baker 12 years, 6 months ago

100- I think Michigan would be a good time to see your line-up. Since HCBS is "experimenting", this line-up would be interesting.

100 (anonymous) says... Here's what I'd like to see a lot earlier in an upcoming game:

  1. Coal Train

  2. The X Man
  3. CJ
  4. The Human Bowling Ball (BB)

I'm getting tired of seeing CJ play mostly with the 3rd and 4th string players.

Joe Baker 12 years, 6 months ago

OakvilleJHawk (anonymous) says... Any guesses on how much ribbing Marcus will take having been "out-dunked" by the little guys, Elijah and Tyshawn!!??

Oakville- I think it was Kief that missed the dunk! It was pretty funny and yes he will get some ribbing from the entire b-ball program.

kerbyd 12 years, 6 months ago

I don't believe Withey's sitting out is counted as a redshirt. It was because he transferred and I think he loses a year as a result.

bradynsdad 12 years, 6 months ago

everyone needs to remember being no.1 puts a bullseye on your back and any team can show up with their a game and take us down just ask washington about texas tech.

Joe Baker 12 years, 6 months ago

yates33333 (anonymous) says... If Jaybate is correct, and based on past performance he probably is, this was a good move. Not only did Johnson and C.J. play good games so did TT.

Were we watching the same game? TT didn't hit the broadside of a barn!! I don't know what TT is doing but he needs to decide if he wants to start or come off the bench. If he's quick and can shoot, he better get it together now!

12 years, 6 months ago

Hawk1969 ~

Have you had a chance yet to try any of the BBQ down here? :^) In Austin a few weeks ago prior to our football game vs. UT, I met an older gentleman who is from Sulphur Springs. Too bad he is a Longhorn fan ;) Several years ago, we only had one 100+ day in the summer here in the DFW area, however KC had something like 10 100+ days that summer. I don’t mind it normally being a little hotter here that time of year, as it is more than a good trade-off for the warmer winters.

Chris Shaw 12 years, 6 months ago

Some small observations since my wife recorded over my DVR game last night. Yikes! That is not a happy subject for me, but oh well.


I said after the UCLA game that I thought Tyshawn may be more suited by coming off the bench. Wow! I am looking like a genius now. Who knows what will happen going forward, but EJ may be the real deal. I was still shocked he only got 4 minutes during UCLA because I thought he played pretty well and also longer.

Michigan and California could be "Scare" games and I said this during the preseason

 1) Michigan-They have had a disappointing season thus far at 4-4 and I orginially thought this would be a "Scare" game because of the potential and how good I thought Michigan was going to be.  The opposite is true at the moment and that is why this could be a scary game for KU.  Michigan will be pulling and clawing for a "Big" victory to potentially save their season.  They will let it hang loose with nothing to lose so this game makes me a little nervous.

2)California-Out of the two games between Michigan and Califronia this is the one that scares me the most. I still think California is going to have a strong season in the Pac 10, but i think they will finish behind Washington.  California played last night (Dec. 9th) and doesn't play for two weeks until they come to Lawrence on the 22nd.  Mike Montgomery is going to have two full weeks to prepare for KU with also nothing to lose.  Could definitely be a potential "Trap" game for a team that wants back in the Top 25.  KU plays two games (La Salle and Michigan) before they will even be thinking of California.  Could be a scary game that may end the home winning streak.  Nah, but it could happen.

d_prowess 12 years, 6 months ago

Does anyone know if there is somewhere that you can see these pop-up video style player profiles can be viewed online. I missed last nights game so missed the one about EJ. If they aren't online, they need to be added to the KU you tube channel, because they are some of the best things to come out on the video board yet (maybe second behind the Dream On video!)

BCJayhawk 12 years, 6 months ago

Can somebody please bring us all up to date on how much eligibility Withey actually has? Here is what I know, or I think I know. He signed a letter of intent to play at Arizona, beginning in the fall of 2008. He was on Arizona's roster for that semester, but never played a game for them, I think because of injury. Meanwhile, Lute Olsen officially retired, and Arizona acquired an interim coach, who finished out the season and was replaced by Sean Miller. Meanwhile, Withey transferred to KU at the sememster break, and began practicing with the Hawks in second semester of the 2008-2009 season. To me, Withey has four full years (8 semesters) of eligibility because (1) he never played a minute for the Wildcats; and (2) and more importantly, Arizona changed coaches. Does the NCAA not allow student-athletes to transfer without loss of eligibility if the coach who recruited them is replaced? I understand why he has to sit out one year, but loss of eligibility is another question. Please clarify.

Dirk Medema 12 years, 6 months ago

kerbyd says - I don't believe Withey's sitting out is counted as a redshirt. It was because he transferred and I think he loses a year as a result.

That's semantics. You've got 5 yrs to use 4 yrs of eligibility, unless there is a season long injury/illness in which case you can get a 6th year. You can call it whatever you want, but Withey has 4 yrs left including this year, bc his clock began ticking last year.

jayhawker_97 12 years, 6 months ago

jaybate: you're right on the hook. it's a killer. it's a poison. just look how many points Lynch got out of the move. no one can contest that kind of shot. i thought one of the twins have tried doing it in the past games, why did they stop now? c-Manning needs to emphasize this move create even better bigs around the post. he needs to pass his skills fully to these bigs in a hurry. we dont' have much time till we meet Texas. good win against RU, but nevertheless, it's still not a true test. fun time for the bench. CJ looked good. Elijah could've done his 360 dunk!!

rock chalk!!

KULA 12 years, 6 months ago

Kentucky's wins look good on paper, but UNC got run over by Syracuse and UConn got pushed to the limit by Hofstra. Maybe those powerhouses have dropped off a bit this year also (a la UCLA & Memphis). Even so, Kentucky is a team I'm worried about.

Tony Bandle 12 years, 6 months ago


Not to devalue your opinion in any way, but I think the two week layoff that California will have will be a detriment to their efforts at Allen. In the meantime HCBS will be able to tinker with his line-up [Lasalle]and incorporate {Michigan} Withey and Morningstar into his already crowded rotation [Tyler, it was nice knowin' you] under game conditions.

Frankly, when you are the preseason #1, are currently undefeated and are almost unanimously at top of the rankings, EVERY GAME is a trap game.

It's great preparation for The Show, where every game is life and death. If everyone gets and/or stays healthy and all play to their potential, the quality depth is truly remarkable.

A second team of CJ, Taylor, Withey, Robinson and Marcus could probably beat 75% of the first teams in Division ! right now!!!!

100 12 years, 6 months ago

Someone above had commented on Wall's play. In tandem with some of the analysis on Wall above (albeit brief), I would like to add the following:

Tyshawn Taylor to me looks really fast. I think we all know that. CJ's quote about TT has confirmed what I suspected (possibly fastest he's ever played against). But after watching both Wall & Taylor play within moments of each other last night, a thought occurred to me...

As fast as John Wall looks, could TT be just as fast down the court in a straight down the court sprint dribbling the basketball. For instance on Tyshawn's one handed dunk last night, I swear he got to the rack (from half court) faster than Wall did on a similar play. His strides seem much longer & powerfully graceful, where Wall's seem like a powerfully fast running back trying to bust a twenty yard gain & turn it into an 80 yard hemorage for the defensive coordinator. It's like comparing Gale Sayer's running style to Bo Jackson's in the ultimate sports time machine. Bo is more powerfully fast. But is he faster in a fifty yard up the middle running play thrashing & swaying towards the paint at the end of the field?

First of all I might be wrong -- Wall might be faster than Quantum T in a dead on dribbling sprint. That said, even if I happen to be right, this says nothing of the importance of good decisions with the basketball & great lateral quickness (which Wall possesses), not to mention the ability to stop on a dime (which Wall also can do).

So for anyone who has the time & has taped any of the KU games (& perhaps a UK game), it would be interesting to get some data on how truly quick John Wall is up the court versus Tyshawn Taylor in a straight down the court dribble.

We need a fan with a DVR, two taped games, & a stopwatch.

Jaybate you have a stopwatch? I'd love to see the final tally, down to the hundredth of a second...

Again, as quick as John Wall looks (and he's the real deal as has been said before), I'd put my money on Tyshawn (Gale Sayers) by a hair.

Tyshawn needs to continue to work on the simplicity of passing to open wings & not forcing it, but this he is for certain -- deceptively smooth & fast.

"Fundamentals Wins Championships"


actorman 12 years, 6 months ago

Is it just me or does Johnson have one of the greatest smiles in the history of Kansas basketball? It's so much fun to see players having a good time out there.

kvskubball 12 years, 6 months ago


Why would or should KU worry about UK???? If UK continues to play well, the earlieast we would play them would be in a regional final or the final four...

We've got a lot of games to play before then. I say worry about ourselves and if we meet UK, great, because that means we've got a shot at a FF!

kvskubball 12 years, 6 months ago

Someone above said "So long Tyler" do we have a Tyler on our team??? Don;t think so!

He probably meant Tyrel Reed (or did he mean TTaylor?)...and if so...then I agree, if Reed doesn't start hitting shots consistently,...and If CJ's game yesterday is an indication of how well he can shoot(It is just one game, and Reed went off in one game as well), Coach is going to be giving CJ more looks.

Also, TTaylor's PT is endangered if he doesn't start playing within himself. Coach doesn't like sloppy/out-of-control play, no matter how much talent you have, and we've got options -- again CJ looks like a good option at the 2, if he's healthy!

And yes, I liked both EJ's and Robinson's games last night...get these guys some good experience, and they are going to be very good players!

Tony Bandle 12 years, 6 months ago

Is it just me being a crabby old guy, but shouldn't the article photo match the headline at least once in awhile???

Don't get me's a great shot of another guard getting around our guards with a big man having to help out.

Question: On the dribble drive offense, why don't you go to a 1-2-2 zone with your fastest big guy [X in this case] at the point to stop it before it starts???

100 12 years, 6 months ago


Your 1-2-2 zone concept is one way to attack it -- I like that, although I'm not sure I'd have the X man there , probably use one of our 4 options we have at the 2 guard -- then Wall's stuff is pretty much relegated to hitting three point shots or passing to the wing (his guys have to be on). Wall never leaves his feet for a three point shot (unlike X,CJ & BB), so I like our chances there with your scheme.

In my humble opinion, in the college game, a zone is the only time an explosive guard like Wall, Rose or Tyreke Evans should be guarded straight up (meaning perfect perpendicular stance)... Why?

Because he/ she can get around anyone, just about anytime they want in a one on one athlete-to-athlete matchup -- on a college court or an NBA court...

So it's about devising a scheme that gives Wall/ Rose/ Evans something -- but ultimately takes away from their teams' ultimate goal of scoring each & everytime down the court with high percentage shots....

What's the answer?

In my time as a coach & a player, the only one I've found is a surprising one:


Here's my simple concept that I've used time & time again with very good success against star point guards:

When playing man against a Calipari team, the player guarding the Wall/ Rose or Tyreke Evans, should be instructed & drilled to angle-guard Wall one way (preferably left although he's good that way, just not used to going that way for 40 minutes). Each and everytime down the court, as long as it's man to man.

So, dribbling left everytime, he'll get a 40 degree angle towards the baseline and hit the baseline at about 15 feet away from the bucket-- big deal. If he lowers his shoulder to get space on an angle guard, even with our defender's feet moving, it's a charge (even against the great John Wall, lowering the shoulder is still a charge!). Once he is forced to take that angle, he'll have two players to pass to on his left as opposed to 4 spread all over the court, which is where all teams run into trouble against a decent 5 man team.

This way he is forced to do the same thing everytime & our four other defensive players already know the angles their bodies' have to get to for the first 10 seconds of the possession, which gives our defensive big guys an advantage early in the possession (as Cal's team's rarely have the ball much longer than 15 seconds & all they're coached to do anyway is stand around and keep the floor spread).

This might sound really strange & too simple -- but it works.

Between your zone concept & this man-to-man, at least we're starting to think of down the road concepts -- after last night & after all the love ESPN has been showing John Calipari, the entire nation can't wait for Kentucky to meet someone who knows how to guard John Wall....

Rock Chalk, Oakville...

"Defense Wins Championships"


Kye Clark 12 years, 6 months ago

In HCBS's post-game press conference he said "I think Xavier’s defense is pretty good. I think it’s good for a young kid, without question. I don’t know if I’d put it quite at Brandon Rush third year yet, but I think his defense is getting better." Music to my ears considering the criticism the guy takes from time to time on these boards.

Coach also indicated that Sherron & X's minutes were not likely to take a hit (that Sherron likely to play 30 min/game, and X maybe getting close to that) with the additions of Brady & Withey to the mix. So that's 10 minutes at the point, 10 minutes at the 3, and 40 minutes at the 2 to divide up amongst TT, Elijah, CJ, Tyrel, Brady, and probably throw Marcus in there as well (eating some of those minutes at the 3). Even if you throw out Marcus getting any minutes there, that's 5 guys vying for 60 minutes. 12 minutes/game if you average that out, which surely won't play out like that. I'd agree with Oakville that Tyrel's minutes are the most likely to take a hit. My hope is that however it plays out that we don't have somone so disgruntled that they decide to leave seeking more PT. Tyshawn seems the most likely to be unhappy with a diminished role, as he had a chance (maybe an outside chance, but a chance nonetheless) of making the leap to the NBA coming into this season. I think he's not at all likely to leave because he wouldn't want to sit out a year and if nothing else Sherron and in all likelihood X's departures will guarantee him minutes next year. CJ would be the most likely to leave in my opinion, with his brother no longer here he could possibly seek stardom elsewhere. Just thinking about next year (premature I know) if no one leaves and we sign no other perimeter players we'd roll out TT, Elijah, CJ, Brady, Tyrel, Releford, Royce Woolridge, & probably Mario & again Marcus at the 3. No threat of a UCLA-esque drop off here guys!

BCRavenJHawkfan 12 years, 6 months ago


Thank you for clarifying it was Hofstra that pushed UConn to the limit. How did we handle Hofstra? I know it's all about match ups.


I understand the conference looks week with the exception of Texas. What everyone forgets is that every year, no matter who we play in conference and particularly when ranked # 1, Kansas has the bullseye on it's back. Mediocre teams become good teams, good teams become great teams. They will test us in their own way.

Joe Baker 12 years, 6 months ago

icthawkfan316- I think the 5th man has been open since boot camp. The four that are pretty solid are C, SC, X, Mk/Mc, .... This fifth slot is wide open for TT, TR, EJ, CJ and soon BM.

I'm really curious who HCBS finalizes in this fifth spot. I think most thought it to be TT. But we all agree he's got some issues that need work.

KU 12 years, 6 months ago

BCRaven....You're right, the conference season is a challenge unto itself. I'd just like to see this team challenged by an elite team--Syracuse, UNC, UK, Duke, Michigan State, etc--before the tourney.

kuproud96 12 years, 6 months ago

Tyshawn is just not getting it!!! I'm just not convinced he has the team first mentality. He may have had a few assists in the game but what stood out to me was his poor shot selection. I like the kid but he worries me, he just doesn't understand playing within the framework of your role.

KU 12 years, 6 months ago

And before you say the obvious.....of course Texas is an elite team.

KU 12 years, 6 months ago

kuproud......Oh, Tyshawn is about to "get it"! Self has been patient with him until last night. It won't take many starts by EJ or CJ for Tyshawn to figure out his role is to distribute on the offensive end and play lock-down defense. Quality depth is a real bitch!

Kye Clark 12 years, 6 months ago

truehawk - I'd more or less agree with that. I think a combination of TRob coming in and blowing everyone away and the Twins coming in much the same as they did their freshmen year was the only way that was gonna change. I think TT had the 5th spot at the 2, but based on his eratic play and the improvement of the newcomers, along with Brady's could be up in the air. I think ideally TT tightens up his game and holds on to that spot. He will probably never be a great, or even very good, shooter. But if his jump shot became as consistent as last year with maybe even marginal improvement and if he plays less reckless (i.e. cutting down on turnovers, which last night he was great with 6 assists and 0 turnovers) then he's the guy. He's athletic, fast, long, and has the ability to be the teams best perimeter defender. EJ & CJ have similar games with better shooting ability, but they're green and still learning the system, probably a year away from being the kind of defenders HCBS would be comfortable with in a big game. Brady has a better shot and has proven his abilities as a defender, but you lose a lot of athleticism and speed. I really think Reed is the odd man out. He's about the same as Brady but without the good defense.

100 12 years, 6 months ago


I agree with with you that X is a really good defender & coming along by the game.

For the sake of clarification, I only pulled X away from the top of Oakville's 1-2-2 zone to protect him so he could play 40 minutes if need be...

Alas we have a lot of fouls to give via our four 2 guards!!!

"Rebounding Wins Championships"


Kye Clark 12 years, 6 months ago

100 - that's cool. Just for further clarification, I didn't think you were criticizing his D at all, although I could see how you might think that seeing how's my post immediately followed your post. It was just a general comment that some have criticized him, and even part of an ongoing debate I was having yesterday with Jaybate (which was about many things).

KU 12 years, 6 months ago

X hasn't played against a 3 that is even halfway legit, yet. He's really not a good defender, yet. Self said he was pretty good for a young kid. Self doesn't want "pretty good for a young kid". He wants suffocating, REGARDLESS of age. X doesn't get it on the defensive end yet and his feet aren't quick enough to allow the lateral movement necessary to keep anybody--much less an elite 3--in front of him.

Fortunately for X, he's playing for a defensive mastermind. He'll get it eventually.

Kye Clark 12 years, 6 months ago

KU - Self said "pretty good", then quatified it with "good for a young kid". If he's doing good enough for HCBS at the moment, it's good enough for me. And as for not playing against a # that is even halfway legit, you can only play the guys in front of you. Kinda like coach said he wouldn't apologize for a win against UCLA, you can't expect X to apologize for the level of talent he's guarding. Just surprising that despite praise from his coach alleged KU fans continue to tear him down.

Jack Wilson 12 years, 6 months ago

EJ is Mario in the making, but I think he may be a touch more athletic and definitely stronger. I'd go EJ and not look back, bring Taylor off the bench and let CJ press for more time. Seeing EJ start made by day. When Sherron really gets going, we'll see a dominant team. As for X, he could be the best 3 to ever play at KU .. we just won't see it all because he'll be gone. Better than Pierce.

JOEKU 12 years, 6 months ago

KU -

"X hasn't played against a 3 that is even halfway legit, yet."

Elliot Williams

KU 12 years, 6 months ago

JOEKU--Elliot Williams is listed at 6-4 and 180. He's really more of a 2-guard than a legit, powerful 3-man. Memphis has Sallie, Witherspoon, Mack that are all bigger guards than Williams. I don't recall how much X guarded Williams. If he guarded him all day, thanks for making my point: Williams lit KU up for 21 points (40% of his team's scoring) in a very low-scoring game.

X hasn't played a powerful, legit wing forward who's 6-5 or 6-6 and 210-220 who can get to the rim or shoot from outside. The reason I stated that in my first post is because somebody claimed X is a good defender. I wanted to point out that he might be "good" guarding inferior competition, but we'll see how good he really is when he finally plays somebody.

I didn't take Self's comment as a compliment to X at all. I took it as a backhanded putdown, quite frankly. "X is pretty good.....for a young kid." X doesn't style himself to be pretty good for a young kid; he considers himself a one-and-done (though he's classy about it and doesn't talk about it).

I watched the replay of the UCLA game last night. X gets "stuck" on screens repeatedly. He can't or doesn't have the desire to get through screens as a high level defender. Michael Roll just wore him out running him into screens and UCLA doesn't exactly run screen plays for Roll all day long. X "chases" his opponent while turning his head away from the ball constantly in that game. You can't be a good defender if you don't triangulate and keep a ball-you-man relationship. Not only will you fail to guard your OWN man properly, but more importantly for the kind of defense Self wants KU to play, you can't play help defense. X doesn't seem to get the concept of weak-side defensive position yet. He guards the 3 very nonchalantly, which will lead to him getting lit up by the first legit 3 he plays--partly because he doesn't have the urgency to get through screens and partly because he doesn't have the ability (and hence, the mentality) to be quick enough to pressure beyond the 3 point line.

Don't get me wrong, X will be good. The sooner he figures out defense, the sooner KU will be a legit threat to win the National Championship.

yates33333 12 years, 6 months ago

TexasHawk44. Your comment re Jaybate is miles ahead in the race for the most misleading comment of the season.

truehawk93. Probably not the same game. I saw the KU v. Radford game from the fifth row center.

TT. 17 min. played, 3/9 shots, 3off/2def rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal, 0 turnovers. CJ. 10 min. played, 4/5 shots, 1 rebound, 0 assists, 0 steals, 0 turnovers. EJ. 15 min. played, 2/3 shots, 2off/1def rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 0 turnovers.

Granted TT didn't shoot as good as he needs to. He missed one three, CJ made 3 and EJ made 2, while missing one each. But a point guard needs to do more than score. They all have excellent stats for this game. TT's speed makes him look as if he is playing recklessly when he isn't. Check Collins, the best player on the team, he makes bad moves once in a while and sometimes he is moving so fast he looks out of control.

BTW, Collins had 4 turnovers.

Steve Brown 12 years, 6 months ago

Oakville put me down as another crabby old guy tired of the photo not matching the article too many times lately.

As for TTaylor, if as you say, his body is as fast & talented as jwall, even if almost, then in time he can be a super star

it is TT mindset, something not quite yet connected in his attitufe or method or mission, and I blame the 'you're so wonderful can do no wrong' summer mind probe from Jamie Dixon, Pitt coach running the under 19 league. HCBS will reprogram or share his minutes and for now if that means come in as 1st sub and watch the flow of the game at tip off, all the better.

I watched the radford game on tape and think now that this team has potential to accomplish some very special goals this year, if they want to work towards them.

Kye Clark 12 years, 6 months ago

KU - glad you know how to decode Bill Self's secret language. Silly me, when he said he's "pretty good", I thought that meant pretty good. Then we he said "good for a young guy" that's what I thought it meant to. So he's pretty good, and good for a young player. The fact that he further went on to say "I don’t know if I’d put it quite at Brandon Rush third year yet, but I think his defense is getting better", and considering the fact that Rush is pretty much the standard for lock-down defenders at the 3 for the Bill Self era, seems like he's probably not that bad. To your statement that "somebody claimed X is a good defender"...the was HCBS. Sorry, but you can't make quotes mean something different all together just because they disprove your previous arguement. As to your claim that "X hasn't played a powerful, legit wing forward who's 6-5 or 6-6 and 210-220 who can get to the rim or shoot from outside" long do you suspect players like that stay in college? If there are collegiate players of that ability and stature, they're most likely freshman and regardless they are few and far between. Again, if the team makes no apologies for beating the teams on their schedule, X should have to make no apologies for playing defense that's "pretty good, and good for a young guy" just because the players he's guarding aren't Kobe Bryant and Lebron James. Jeez, stop sweating this guy.

KU 12 years, 6 months ago

ic......To Self, "pretty good" ain't good enough. X knows that. I'm sure he gets his butt ripped every day from Self for his "pretty good" defense. You know as well as I do that there are big wings once you get to the Sweet 16, Elite Eight and Final Four that will expose a defender that is "pretty good".

If X is still "pretty good" on defense by the end of the year, there's a pretty good chance we'll go out in the Sweet 16 again.

Which brings me back to my larger point: until X improves on the defensive end and learns to get his own shot instead of sitting on the 3-point line waiting for a pass, we're not really the national title contender everybody thinks we are. The reason we're plugged in as a lock for the Final Four is the pre-season assumption that X was the missing piece. My problem with that is "the missing piece" was more about defense and rebounding out of the 3 spot last year than the offense. His 3 point ability is nice.

Go back and watch the UCLA game for yourself. You'll see the same things I mentioned in a previous post. I guarantee Self is a lot harder on him than I was in my critique.

KU 12 years, 6 months ago

(You'll see the same things, assuming you actually ever learned defensive principles from a good coach and actually put them in practice.)

Kye Clark 12 years, 6 months ago

I watched the UCLA game fine the first time around, so really no need. I have never argued that he's a lock-down defender, but really your nit-picking of him is way off-base. I'm sure HCBS is a lot harder on him, he's hard on everyone whether they're pretty good, really good, or great, as long as there's room for improvement (which is something I would say X can definitely do). His comments came after the Radford game, which was after the UCLA game, so I don't know why you're harkening back to games prior to the comment. Just as an example, that'd be like pointing out flaws in Coles game vs. Davidson after he just dominated Tyler Hansborough in the Final Four. He's going to get better, and after the most recent game played Self made those comments. And I think X would take his comments as a compliment, not X as a "back-handed insult" because he "doesn't style himself to be pretty good for a young kid; he considers himself a one-and-done". While this statement is generally accurate, X is on record as saying he didn't play defense in high school. So if he's "pretty good" after this many games, coming from the mouth of a very demanding head coach, I'm sure X took it as it was meant, a compliment and indication that he's coming along. Maybe you should listen to the interview. It was a glowing compliment. Or take it up with Coach. Maybe instead of posting on here you should send him some emails ranting about how X isn't good enough. Certainly everyone would like to see him get better, but why not enjoy the ride instead of first posting criticisms of him on the article where he won Rookie of the Week, and then after a good defensive performance where he had 3 blocks and 2 steals. I kinda wonder why you were going back and watching the UCLA game. What are you doing? Breaking down film for the sake of message board arguements? WAY too much time on your hands. Leave the film room for the coaches.

As for "me knowing as well as you do" about big some. Name me some guys who are "6-5 or 6-6 and 210-220 who can get to the rim or shoot from outside". Damion James comes to mind. Maybe Marcus Ginyard. I'm sure there are some others, but there aren't many, and that was my point.

KanKu 12 years, 6 months ago

As for "me knowing as well as you do" about big some. Name me some guys who are "6-5 or 6-6 and 210-220 who can get to the rim or shoot from outside". Damion James comes to mind. Maybe Marcus Ginyard. I'm sure there are some others, but there aren't many, and that was my point.

I've got a couple more....Travis Releford 6'5", Mario Little 6'5" and maybe Connor T. 6'5". I'm not saying they're elite, but they're all big, and can play. I'm sure by Tourney time that practicing against TR, fast driving muscular guard, ML jack-of-all-trades power guard, and CT shooter-McGaven and 3 year KU veteran will help.

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