Thursday, February 19, 2009

Turnovers plague KU

Kansas guard Travis Releford defends Iowa State guard Dominique Buckley during the first half, Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Travis Releford defends Iowa State guard Dominique Buckley during the first half, Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse.


KU overpowers ISU at Allen Fieldhouse

Kansas defeated Iowa State 72-55 and is now 21-5 overall. They are currently 10-1 in Big 12 play, one game behind conference leader Oklahoma.

Audio clips

2009 KU-ISU Feb. 18

Sherron Collins had no turnovers, but Kansas University’s men’s basketball team still had 18 giveaways Wednesday against Iowa State.

Though the Jayhawks came away with a 72-55 victory at Allen Fieldhouse, they didn’t exactly improve upon what has been their biggest weakness lately.

“Maybe it’s because of inexperience, but teams are speeding us up, and that’s what they feel like they can do,” KU guard Brady Morningstar said. “And right now, we’re showing them that’s what they should do.”

KU had 18 turnovers, marking the fifth straight game the team has committed 15 giveaways or more.

The Jayhawks are averaging 18.6 turnovers in their last five games and have given it away 16.3 times per game in 11 conference games. That’s second-worst in the Big 12 next to Texas Tech.

“The one reason why we turn it over so much is because we’re not great passers. Let’s call it like it is,” KU coach Bill Self said. “We’ve got to improve in that. I think the ball moves well, but I think our post-entry passes and our passes to finish plays aren’t near as good as what they should be.”

The most troubling part for KU might be the fact it turned it over often against a team not known for its ball-swiping skills.

ISU came into the game last in the Big 12 in steals (3.6 per conference game) and also turnovers forced (9.3 per conference game). The Cyclones had nine steals against KU.

KU’s inside players had problems passing out of double-teams all night. Cole Aldrich had five turnovers, while Marcus and Markieff Morris had three apiece.

“I think it was mostly that the bigs got a little rattled in the traps and had a few turnovers,” Collins said. “We’ve all got to take care of the ball. We can’t have 18 turnovers. We’ve just got to value the ball more.”

KU built a 30-13 first-half lead, but had trouble sustaining the advantage because of miscues.

The Jayhawks had two turnovers in the final 2:13 of the first half and three turnovers in the first 3:03 of the second half.

“To me, our biggest problem as far as allowing teams to get back in, is that we don’t get a shot a lot of possessions,” Self said. “When we go dry, it’s usually because we’re careless.”

The good news for KU is that its primarily ball-handlers had a relatively clean game. Collins had no turnovers for only the second time this year (Kent State was the other game), while Tyshawn Taylor had just two turnovers.

Those two led the Jayhawks in giveaways coming into the game.

KU, though, still has turned the ball over more times than its opponent in each of the last four games and also in seven of its last eight contests.

“Coach, in practice, just tells us all the time, ‘You’ve got to be smart with the ball and make the right pass and don’t try to make any hard plays,’” Morningstar said. “That’s what we’ve got to get better at.”


pigskinballin 13 years, 7 months ago

on of the worst passing teams i have seen during Self's tenure.

what is so fricken hard about not throwing the ball away....well or one is attention to the game and focus,Another is don't dribble into an obvious double team if you are not great at dribbling the ball,which KU has.IF you notice we have guards that when they are 2 timed,they jump up in the air to throw the ball,but they are ones that can't jump that high and Missu coach recognized that and had their guards time the Ku guards jumps to deflect the ball,,which happened. hey Bill,,,it doesn't take a rocket engineer to see that.

actorman 13 years, 7 months ago

"hey Bill,,,it doesn't take a rocket engineer to see that."

Perhaps. But it might take a rocket engineer to decipher what you wrote.

FlaHawk 13 years, 7 months ago

KU has gotten progressively worse against pressure all season. This may be due to a lack of progress on the offense and the fact that opposing teams know KUcan not handle the heat from a pressure defense.

KU must improve on this. Sherron had a great game in this area last night, but the bigs looked very jittery out their last night.

ISUis a horrible team both offfensive and defensively and they made the Hawks look like Turnover/Steal CIty..

actorman 13 years, 7 months ago

I wonder how much of the problem has to do with Cole's mask. I'd like to believe that's at least a part of it, since he wasn't turning it over as much before he broke his nose. Of course KU hadn't played as many tough games at that point either, so maybe that's part of it too.

kusayzone 13 years, 7 months ago

Easy troups, The best part of this problem is that there is still time to remediate the problem of turnovers. I believe it is still a process of the players thinking too much about running an offense and not seeing the defense. This team is soooo young! When they know without thinking where each of their team mates is on the floor without looking, then the turnovers will drop. Think about the number of times that B Rush would leave the corner for a thunder dunk and Mario and Russ just knew when to make that pass! It will take time, and there still is time....

d_prowess 13 years, 7 months ago

Does anyone else think that Taylor has hit a bit of a wall the last couple games? He just doesn't seem to have the energy he has had early in the season and it has really had an effect on his play. Hopefully he will pull out of it soon because we will need him in some of our upcoming games and the tourney.

yates33333 13 years, 7 months ago

KU's players throw too many no look passes, which they must signal because the opponents seem to know they are coming. Also, they are lazy passes. For all of Morningstar's many great assets, he is particularly guilty of lazy passes.

David Howell 13 years, 7 months ago

kusayzone, says "we still have time to remediate the problem of turnovers."

I was saying that about 10-12 games ago, but the problem hasn't got any better. We are 5 games away from the Big 12 tourney, and 4 of those 5 games could go either way depending on our lackluster play. By now after 25 games our freshmen shouldn't be playing like freshmen.

Coach Self preaches playing smart, but I just don't see some of our guys ever being that smart. As mentioned we tend to dribble into corner too much, into double teams or force a silly pass on a fast break. Maybe Self is willing to accept too many mistakes since our team is so young.

There is an old saying that you have to put up a shot to score or something like that. You never want to see a bad shot, but too many times we overpass the ball or work the clock only to throw it away, have it stolen, get a foul called on us, etc. without getting a shot off. Work the offense, but hit the open man when he is first open instead of waiting for the defense to catch up.

I wished I could have seen last nights game, but they don't show the Big 12 Network in Oklahoma. At least I couldn't find it on Direct TV.

Alan Mills 13 years, 7 months ago

21-5; 10-1...any of you who honestly would have predicted those records at this point, step right up. Otherwise, let's stop on this belly-aching over turnovers. Yes, we've turned it over more than previous teams. We ARE young, no matter what the date might be. But, as we seem to do time and time again, our young players make the plays when they need to. And, our "seasoned veterans" have come through over and over for us. I'm sorry, but I watched the game last night (jhawkr, try We beat ISU soundly AND committed 18 turnovers! I would never have imagined this team could do something like that! Somebody be happy about the way we're playing...PLEASE!

jaybate 13 years, 7 months ago


Regarding your response to pigskinballin; that was easily the best come back in the history of this site!

Now pigskinballin can return to making hogs nervous. ;-)

Aw, just a joke, pballin, just a joke.

jaybate 13 years, 7 months ago


I believe OakvilleJHawk has long since stepped forward on this one. :-)

Now the big question is: are you in Racine, Wisconsin, where you are within a close and edifying visit to the FLW's Johnson Wax Building, or are you Ned Racine from Bodyheat waiting to be done in by Kathleen Turner?

jaybate 13 years, 7 months ago

"Work the offense, but hit the open man when he is first open instead of waiting for the defense to catch up."--jhawkr

Sage advice when that is what the defense gives you and you have a match up advantage; that is when the defense is over anticipating ball reversal, and you have a shake and bake advantage over the on ball defender; but not when not.

jaybate 13 years, 7 months ago


You're onto this one for sure. Self being an old guard and a pretty muscular one at that, I remain a little amazed that passing is not very crisp.

Its kind of confounding about Brady, too. Because he feeds the post effectively, I am inclined to wonder if he is intentionally taking something off his passes, because he is playing with a goodly number of teammates who either have stone fingers, or who have to think so much about their positioning and next choice that they can't catch anything but lazy passes. But perhaps I am cutting him too much slack here. Perhaps the rest are such poor passers that they are making Brady look a better passer than he actually is. Hey, Brady, get on with it--start passing some frozen ropes, so yates33333 and I can enjoy our golden years thinking that one of the fundamentals of the game is not endangered by extinction.

jaybate 13 years, 7 months ago


No doubt, KU needs to take some Pertussin to reduce phlegm ball cough-ups. But...

A story today about Ernie Kent and the University of Oregon Daffys reminded me that the game just is on another upward spiral of physical contact and aggression and this may well have something to do with the spike in TOs.

After winning 20 plus games for 5 or so years in a row and after two Elite Eight finishes, Kent and the Daffy's are finding themselves rebuilding with youth and struggling to win ten games. This situation is reputedly a shock, because their incoming class was pretty highly touted. But here's the thing: as of today, they have three starters out with concussions!!!!!

Two are from elbows and a third is from an impact with the floor after being mugged in the lane.

Bottom line, this year, any time you play a lousy team, they are going to foul the dung out of you.

It is impossible NOT to leave phlegm balls quite a bit, when you are being fouled and the zebras are swallowing their whistles.

Just a thought.

kvskubball 13 years, 7 months ago

Many of our turnovers are due to bad passes or bad decisions.

The bad passes are due mostly to timing and the type of passes made. First - timing: Many times as jaybate noted above, passes are made after the defense has moved. One of our guard's favorite foibles is to dribble into the middle (sometimes resulting in a charge) and if they don't charge, they wait til the last second to decide to pass the ball to the big men, and of course the big men often bobble the ball away. IMO, it's unfortunate that most of the time the turnover goes to the big men in this situation when it should go to the guard for making a very low percentage and ill-timed pass that increases the difficulty of receiving the passes. Second - type: Two of our guards favorite type of passes are accidents waiting to happen. First, they like to throw bounce passes, which (along with often being late) take a little longer to get there, and if they are soft bounce passes, they take even longer. Second, as mentioned by others above, they like to make jump passes - often to a guarded recipient.

My favorite (or at least the one that disgusts me the most) passing pet-peeve is the lack of ability to get it to the big men. This should be practiced until it's choreographed like a dance routine. Big man seals his man and a one..two...lob ball high and big man catches the ball. My only conclusion is that our guards must have been so used to shooting rather than passing the ball (throughout their maturation) that they just aren't very good at it. That is hard to believe when two of the guards (Brady and Tyrel) are not the most athletic specimens. Oh yeah the other part of this is soooooo many lazy passes. Make 'em crisp!

Decision making has went hand-in-hand with bad passing this year. As mentioned by others above, dribbling into double and triple teams or racing down the court out of control and (as Tyshawn did last night) with the result being....sliding out of bounds. I can't believe the number of times I've seen guards running away from the ball when they are guarded. How do they expect the passer to get them the ball? This is especially irksome when we are inbounding the ball. Many times the tv is showing the inbounder and there isn't another KU player in view.

As mentioned above the good thing is that we are 21-5 inspite of our passing fits.

kvskubball 13 years, 7 months ago

I also agree that Sherron had his best game as a decision-maker last night. That has been the most challenging aspect of his game. He is a super shooting guard who can become a great point guard with better decision making. I like what I saw from him last night. If the rest of the guards can correct their greatest flaws, then this team can be dynomite! They aren't half bad as they are, even with their flaws! Every team has things they need to improve on. This is our most glaring need for improvement.

I guess the good thing is that none of these difficulties relate to talent, ability, or effort. We have lots of talent and usually play hard. Those things have helped this team weather it's passing woes!

Rock Chalk!

SCHNBALL 13 years, 7 months ago

Sherron, no doubt the best all around game of the year. Taylor has gone completely the wrong way and is not a much of a threat at all on the offensive end. This team shows periods of greatness, especially at the start of most games. I do not know how you can stop the inconsistent play and turnovers on offense, but these changes are well past due but understandable with the 11th youngest team in the NCAA. I have to listen to Kentucky and Texas fans all the time, I will take our team and our coach any day over those 2 programs. Maybe we should try to speed up every once in while when someone is pressing us, slowing down has not worked yet!!

jaybate 13 years, 7 months ago


You and justanotherfan are getting the analytics down to a science. I believe I understand our passing problem more rationally after reading your explanation.

kvskubball 13 years, 7 months ago

Jaybate, you said...

"You and justanotherfan are getting the analytics down to a science. I believe I understand our passing problem more rationally after reading your explanation"

Thanks, uh, I think! If you were being sarcastic, so be it!

OBTW - I liked your Magister Ludi reference in your other post. Taking the game to new heights. I liked Hesse's combining of music and math to form an altruistic-zen-Confucian, cosmic-harmonic, game-to-art-is-life-to-art-is-game, circle of life philosophy.

Such a grand doxology and eloquent expression of the potential heights that humanity may hopefully realize in the future. Sort of appropo as we digitize our thoughts about a young Jayhawk team striving to excel under the maestro HCBS's tutelage as the lord-high-protector of the realm of KU Bball.

OK, now all genuflect and bow, and most importantly rock the chalk!

s6u6r6f 13 years, 7 months ago

Yes, kvs. Let us now all bow our heads and offer a deprecatory prayer for the canis familiaris progeny from our adjacent slave state.

Rock chalk.

kvskubball 13 years, 7 months ago


I don't follow your reference to dogs and people from Missouri(?), which was the only adjacent pro-slavery state. How does my reference to Hermann Hesse lead to your inimical comment? He is most definitely NOT from Missouri. But given your id...

Could you provide a lucid explanation that at least borders on civility?

Did you mean for your retort to be comical, or did you intend it to be in poor taste?

kvskubball 13 years, 7 months ago


If you are referring, at least in part to my earlier comments, then my reply is that it is obvious that Sherron doesn't always make great decisions, as he averages 3.5 turnovers per game (if the statistics in the comparison between him and Hinrich are corrrect in the chat article from last night). I guess you could make great decisions and still have 3.5 turnovers per game (to me, that isn't just 'some' that is 'many'), but I think that would be like swallowing the blue pill in the movie "Matrix". It doesn't lead to reality. And a turnover is a turnover no matter who makes it, a more experienced player like Sherron or a freshman. So if he is making 3.5 a game, I'm not overly impressed with his previous 'reliability'. Yes I am impressed with his athletic ability and his shooting ability which are quite different abilities from decision-making...see below...

I think that trying to always have 'positive-spin' on people's actions doesn't often lead to improvement, but to stagnation and the acceptance of of the co-existence of mediocrity and excellence. That would sort of be like trying to weave silk and lint into a servicable piece of attire, which would be non-servicable after the first cleaning or washing...

To the specifics...Yes, sometimes you have to push the envelope to find out how to maximize your ability, but if you do and the results are negative, then intellect leads you to change your approach. You shouldn't keep repeating an action that has negative consequences and somehow expect that at some time, miraculously somehow, something good will result. Which leads me back to my comments about Sherron making good decisions in last night's game...

He had ZERO turnovers last night. He didn't repeatedly run headlong into double and triple teams... and the one time I remember him doing so, he was able to reverse course and extricate himself from the trap, making a good decision! Too often in the past, he has dribbled into a double team and then picked up his dribble, leaving himself in deep doodoo. He didn't do that at all last night. He also didn't rambo down court into a bad shot under the basket, or hoist a three without any rebounder under the basket and with 25 seconds left on the shot clock. I commended him on his good play and attributed some of it to better decision-making.

I think that should help explain why I thought that he made better decisions last night than he has tended to do sometimes in previous games. Would you agree with my analysis now that I have further explained my position?

Tag, your it!

Bruce Brock 13 years, 7 months ago

Here's a simple mathematical equation. Being the 333rd oldest team out of the 344 Division 1 teams in the nation equals a boatload of turnovers. They're talented, used to having everything work out in their favor, but are still learning that the guys wearing different colored jerseys are pretty good too. Turnovers are a part of the learning curve. OK, it's already mid-February, time to grow up, but they can turn the corner in any one game. Keep in mind that everyone not named Aldrich or Collins played flat at best, mistake-prone at worst, but KU won by 17. Frankly, I wouldn't want to be in OU's shoes right now. The Jayhawks have a scary level of potential yet to be realized.

jco8394 13 years, 7 months ago

Your mom had a lot of turnovers last night in my bed....allllll niiiiiggggghhhhttttt llllllonnnnngggggg cccccoooooooooooooookkkkiiiieeee

theno1kufan 13 years, 7 months ago

does everybody remember what self said at the beginning of the year? he said something along the lines of all he expects out of this year's team is to be in the top 10 in the nation defensively, ballhandling can wait until the offseason.

kvskubball 13 years, 7 months ago


Would it be easier to say KU is the 12th youngest team in the country according to KenPom????

I agree that youth is predisposed to errors, and specific to basketball parlance, turnovers.

s6u6r6f 13 years, 7 months ago

kvs, explanation that dances with civility...well, I don't know if I can pull off such a daunting task (civility, indeed!), but I'll give it a try. The motivation for my comment was to play off your doxology reference (the deprecatory prayer = a prayer for something bad to happen to someone). Missouri was indeed the target, and the obscure reference to them as sons of bitches the jab. Comical? It was hoped for. In poor taste? Meretriciously so...but when addressing Missouri, can any gutter dwelling, sewer stinking, bile swilling, revoltingly disgusting comment be anything but true?

Rock chalk!

kvskubball 13 years, 7 months ago


Thanks for the explanation. I thought the deprecatory prayer comment was aimed at Hesse's seminal work, which I consider his magnum opus, and is why I considered it as being in poor taste. As a reference to the antlers' herd and their antecedents, it makes more sense and metes a Heath Ledgerian Joker's glumly droll cantabile note.

I see your context more clearly now and I don't see the reference as being misdirected as I previously had. Your comment no longer grinds my gears, and therefore, was not such a silly-dog-saying after all! Touche!

JayhawkLova7 13 years, 7 months ago

Sherron definitely had one of his better games all around, ecspecially handling the ball. He showed his leadership abilities right there and then, and thats really when he needs to show it. Turning the ball over is a huge problem for us in crunch time in my opinion. We seem to have the game won by a fair amount and then all of a sudden it's a closer game than anyone would like. We just need to step on the opponents throat and cut off all hope of a comeback, instead we give teams that little glimpse of hope that they might actually get a chance to come back.

With all that being said, I am super proud of our young Jayhawk team! Rock chalk Jayhawk!!! You guys rock.

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