Kansas defeats South Florida, 70-42

  • 4:15 p.m., Dec. 3, 2011
  • Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, KS

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Ol’ cruddy duddy: Bill Self: KU sick on, off court

Kansas forward Thomas Robinson, top, hugs teammate Tyshawn Taylor after Taylor's feed to Robinson for a dunk against South Florida during the second half on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Thomas Robinson, top, hugs teammate Tyshawn Taylor after Taylor's feed to Robinson for a dunk against South Florida during the second half on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self

Kansas coach Bill Self talks to reporters following his team's 70-42 victory over South Florida on Dec. 3, 2011.

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KU vs. South Florida

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Kansas defeated South Florida, 70-42 on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

A case of the “crud” has stricken Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self and several of his players this past several days.

“Head congestion. Cough. Fever. Diarrhea. That’s the crud,” Self said, defining the malady that has slowed the likes of Thomas Robinson, Elijah Johnson, Travis Releford, Naadir Tharpe, Kevin Young and Merv Lindsay, to name a handful of Jayhawks.

“I think it’s going around on campus. We have some people, including the coach, that haven’t felt great, but good gosh … ” he exclaimed, not blaming illness for cruddy play in Saturday’s 70-42 victory over South Florida in Allen Fieldhouse.

KU led just, 24-21, at the half.

“I just think we were awful,” Self said of a half in which the Jayhawks (5-2) hit just 37.5 percent of their shots while missing 10 of 11 threes and committing nine turnovers against six assists.

“I told our guys before the season that we were going to have to really enjoy winning ugly because we don’t have as many offensive weapons as we’ve had in the past, but they’ve taken it to a different level than I’ve ever imagined. I told our guys it’s a different galaxy where no man has ever gone before.”

It makes two sub-par games in a row for the Jayhawks, who also were lethargic in Wednesday’s 77-54 victory over Florida Atlantic.

Fortunately for KU, the Bulls (5-4) weren’t much better. They were 4-for-17 from three and hit 32.6 percent from the field to KU’s 46-percent mark.

“You start a game ... you should be full of energy. Why do we have more energy the second half than the first half? To me, that doesn’t make a lot of sense,” Self said. “We’re fortunate they didn’t play great. They missed shots. We did a pretty good job guarding overall.”

Junior shooting guard Johnson went 1-for-8 from three, 1-for-7 the first half. He finished with five points, four rebounds and three assists.

“With Elijah, he has good intentions to play well, but when he doesn’t play well, he automatically becomes very deflated fast, which is really bad,” Self said. Johnson missed threes on KU’s first three possessions.

“As an athlete, you’ve always got to be thinking, ‘Next play.’ You go 0-for-3 and have three strikeouts (as a baseball hitter), you still have to get on base when you are one run down in the ninth. We’re not showing that mental toughness. When the coach is telling you, ‘Shoot it every time you are open,’ that ain’t a bad gig. There’s a lot of people would like to have that gig in college basketball.

“To abuse that and not guard on the other end or lose focus ... I am not buying into that,” Self said. “He’s too good a player to play like this. We’ve got to get him where he is playing better. If your playing well is based only on missed shots, you are probably not a complete player. He is a complete player. Elijah can do a lot of things. He is not impacting the game when things don’t go well early, which he’s got to be able to change.”

How to do that, coach?

“Through toughness. ‘Next play’ is a form of toughness. We had one (unidentified) guy stop playing to call three-seconds while the ball is in play. Who does that?” Self asked incredulously. “That is not thinking ‘next play.’ I think maybe our sickness has a little bit to do with it. I don’t think the guys were all there emotionally.”

Asked if sickness was the reason Johnson only played eight minutes the second half after 12 the first, Self said: “To be honest with you, I was trying to win the game. The guys who played in the second half are the guys who I thought gave us the best chance to win.”

KU, which did outscore the Bulls, 46-21, the second 20 minutes, was fueled by Tyshawn Taylor’s 20 second-half points. Taylor, who finished with 24, had 14 points (including three threes) in a 29-8 run that expanded a 38-31 lead (11:09) to 67-39 at 2:35. Releford, Teahan and Taylor opened that surge with made threes. KU hit six of 14 threes the second half.

Junior All-America candidate Robinson did not record a double-double for the first time this season. He finished with 14 points and eight boards.

Self smiled when a reporter suggested Robinson was one Jayhawk who played hard all the time.

“Next question,” Self said. “I think we pick and choose when we play hard. The whole team picks and chooses.”

Self didn’t want to make it seem as if he was leaving the fieldhouse feeling totally negative about his squad, which next meets Long Beach State at 8 p.m. Tuesday in Allen.

“It is a 28-point win. Who would ever argue beating a Big East team by 28 points?” Self said.


John Randall 10 years, 6 months ago

“It is a 28-point win. Who would ever argue beating a Big East team by 28 points?” Self said.

Good question, coach, good question.

Michael Bratisax 10 years, 6 months ago

St. John's, Rutgers, USF, DePaul, Providence, Seton Hall, I'm not overwhelmed bybeating the not so great Big East 2nd tier teams. But..IMO, our worst execution of the year and we won by 28.

baldwinjhawk 10 years, 6 months ago

TT was hitting his 3's That's great. He still plays out of control and carry's the ball while he dribble's. 2 of his outta control drives ended with crazy lucky shots that went in. That's a good thing. But at that point if he hadn't made them, it would've given them the chance to go ahead of us. I know we need him to play fast, but can't he slow down just a bit to see what's in front of him? That's what make Derrick Rose so great.

hailtoku 10 years, 6 months ago

This wasn't a big game. Tyshawn likes non-threatening games. Its when something is on the line that he decides to toss the ball to the other team a lot.

jhox 10 years, 6 months ago

He still doesn't pass when he gets into the lane. To make his teammates better, he needs to penetrate and pass once in awhile, not just penetrate and shoot. Seems the only time he passes when he's in the paint, is when he's out of control and can't get off a shot, and he then throws a wild pass in a panic.

He brings a lot of skills to the table. He's a great athlete, long, gets into the paint with ease. He's becoming a decent outside shooter. If he ever gets the basketball IQ to go along with his skill and athleticism, look out.

Nick Cole 10 years, 6 months ago

He still had some really stupid and lazy turnovers (but not as many as against Dook).

yovoy 10 years, 6 months ago

I've always knocked him for his inconsistency. After yesterday I can still degrade him for that. He wasn't consistently good over the course of the game yesterday, he hasn't be consistent over the course of the season, nor has he been consistent thus far in his career here. He gives us a taste of how exceptional he could be, then he lays a stinker (and at a time when we can ill-afford it).

To his credit though, if ourSelf had unleashed him in the Duke game, he could've had 30, and we beat them by 10+. Duke doesn't have a guard that can defend him. As a coach do you hold a player down "for the sake of the team"?

IMO TT's view of his own talent is like that Freeman kid that used to play FB for KSU, and it's also like Tebow's in the NFL: he gets away with making a stupid play just because he's athletic just often enough to think that he's good enough to try it whenever he wants to.

John Boyle 10 years, 6 months ago

5 turnovers and 5 assist against a not very good defensive team. Yes he was hot from 3 in the second half and he probably played his best game ever. But he needs to get other players involved more and he has to value possession more. That being said, I was encouraged by his scoring ability which we desperately need.

Kevin Kelly 10 years, 6 months ago

Journalism 101. I came onto this site looking for the score to the game. Looking over your articles....the headline and first sentance make this article seem like its about the flu and that's all. I had to click on it to find out the subject of this article isn't sickness....but the article about the game.

We beat a team by 28 points. Put that on the homepage somewhere please.

lawrence_is_my_middle_name 10 years, 6 months ago

And who uses two colons in a headline? Just awful.

John Mueller 10 years, 6 months ago

I am usually not the journalism teacher on this site.

But, i do agree with this point:

LJW: There should be a clear game article every morning after a game that is a summary of the game, key plays, key moments and a summary of the game from beginning to end which includes quotations from the key participants.

It's called a lead story. It should be at the top. It should allow the reader to read the article with zero knowledge of the contest and walk away with a good understanding of who played, why the winning team won the game, etc.

Some weeks in football, it isn't even clear that there is a lead story at all??

C'mon man!

lee3022 10 years, 6 months ago

Box scores are found under 'Schedule' at the top of page. Not the intuitive place to look but, oh well.

Michael Bratisax 10 years, 6 months ago

Good points but I'm still going w/the LJW for first hand knowledge of KU basketball. Always room for improvement. And a 'Lead Story' should be discussed.

nuleafjhawk 10 years, 6 months ago

The journalism stuff doesn't bother me much. I really only read well enough to order off of a menu anyway.

But, if our team doesn't pull it's proverbial head out soon - SOON - Ohio State will humiliate us like we've never seen before. Don't hate - it's true. I hate the Buckeyes worse than any of you will ever know and I love KU - but it's not shaping up to be a great game for us.

I wasn't happy with the Kentucky game, though some would say a 10 point loss to the (then ranked) #2 team on a neutral court isn't bad. I was slightly more encouraged with the Duke game, which most of us feel we should/could have won.

Since then, what's happened? We seem to have no focus or mental toughness. Not dogging on T-Rob, but who would have thought that the only game this year, so far, that he did NOT have a double-double would be against South Florida???

If you're sick fellas - grab the vitamin C, water and take a nap.

If it's a mental toughness issue - well, Coach - I guess that part's up to you.

Kye Clark 10 years, 6 months ago

Respectfully disagree with your last point. I am not one that think that Self can do no wrong. I question his substitution patterns, in-game adjustments, decisions on when to press, etc. However, he is responsible for the Xs & Os side of the game. Putting them in a position to succeed. Effort & execution are on the players. I know a lot of posters don't like to put any blame on the players because they're "kids". Because Coach is making millions of dollars. I don't buy that reasoning at all though. They are young adults who have been given a free ride to attend a good school and play basketball for one of the royalty programs of college basketball. Coach does his part to toughen them up anyway, but if given the situation you have to be told to play hard, that if your shot isn't falling not to sulk and to still play defense...that's on the players.

nuleafjhawk 10 years, 6 months ago

icthawk - you're right, it IS up to the kids to perform.

To me, many of our past players have been great self motivators (no pun intended) and I don't see a lot of that in this team so far. I guess I was just saying that Coach needs to figure out what makes these guys tick and then light a fire under them if they won't do it themselves.

And I totally agree with you about the effort and execution - it's all on the players.

master16 10 years, 6 months ago

it's not only about the raw talent that you have on your roster, it's about how you use what you have.

we have an all american candidate and a potential top 10 draft pick on our roster. we have a senior guard, who while error-prone is more than capable of being the team leader, and is currently our leading scorer. the rest of our team is inexperienced but EJ and JW were both top 30 players in their class. releford is a good defender who has to learn to become more aggressive in attacking the rim. there's a drop off in terms of talent when it comes to the bench, but we also got screwed over with BMac and Traylor not being able to play. i think we have more than enough to be a good team, once HCBS and the players learn to play with their flaws and maximize whatever potential they have, we will challenge for the big 12 title and make some noise in march.

Jeremy Wilhelm 10 years, 6 months ago

I might get crucified for saying so, but I think Self's first team after taking over for Roy was the least talented I have seen since following KU (since 1986 when I was 10, but I'm only referring to teams from 1991 on, since I didn't know jack about basketball until I played a few years in high school).

Also, I would go so far as to say that this team is aLmost as talented as last years - maybe more. TROB has more talent and potential as a starter than either Morris, and our guards are better athletes than last year. The problem for this years team so far is that they aren't playing good basketball yet. No doubt last years team had players who did more with less overall talent or physical skills. Specifically thinking of Reed and Morningstar here.

lee3022 10 years, 6 months ago

The talent is certainly inexperienced. But there are two very highly ranked upperclassmen and another that may have as much talent as any guard in the country.

He is missing his top recruit (Ben) this year and his second best as well (Traylor) but he has recruited some good talent. I think he can make another run at the league championship and, succeeding. will make this another good year.

John Randall 10 years, 6 months ago

Not dub-dubing was mostly due to the ball coming off the defensive board long. Also, playing good help defense and then getting rebound position requires a ton of energy.

First time I ever recall seeing TRob's energy flagging, and that definitely is impacted by "the crud" and compounded by having only one front-court reserve (an inexperienced one at that).

okjhok 10 years, 6 months ago

I don't understand why everyone is so shocked that the guys are playing to the level of their competition. This happens virtually every season around this time (December). I agree that there is a lack of mental toughness, and it bothers me, too. But I'm not worried about how they will show against OSU. It's just like all the other big games. You KNOW they're going to show up and compete, especially on their home court. I'm not predicting a win...not a loss, either. CAN'T WAIT!

Kye Clark 10 years, 6 months ago

I don't think it's shock. I think it's concern, because playing down to the level of competition in December is one thing, but it's happened too many times in the tournament. Teams can't just throw that switch, they need to be conditioned to play with the killer instinct at all times regardless of opponent.

nuleafjhawk 10 years, 6 months ago

That's a really good point - about "throwing the switch".

The switch should always be ON, in my opinion. I would be greatly disliked (or hated) by the opposition if I was a coach - because I would be accused of running up the score.

I want us to score on every possession, whether we're playing the Kentucky Wildcats or the Albany Great Danes. It should be about HOW we're playing, not WHO we're playing.

Are kids not as competitive nowadays? I seriously HATE losing and I don't think it hurts our players as much as it does the fans sometimes.

Tyshawn made a telling comment a while back concerning being suspended for the first two games. He said something to the effect that he didn't like sitting and watching, but it didn't kill him. It would have, if it were me.

Ben Simonett 10 years, 6 months ago

Your first point is 100% correct.

KU is always the biggest name on the schedule for most of these small programs. What is just another practice game to us as we prepare for Ohio St., is the biggest game of the year for them.

Combine that motivation with a good coach and any team will step up its performance for that game.

Billy Derringer 10 years, 6 months ago

i like how self is coaching this team, he's not pulling any punches with them an taking our weaknesses (turnovers-turnovers-turnovers- lack of impactful depth no pure scorer ect.) head on..back to your roots self, mold an challange, he did wonders at tulsa getting them to the elite 8 only this team has better athletes, we our the underdog kinda like in 90-91 we went 27–8 overall an 10–4 in league. thats about where id put this team, only the 91 team made it all the way to the final. stay on em coach! .

ccarp 10 years, 6 months ago

Wanna get Toughness + Attention = Treadmill!

REHawk 10 years, 6 months ago

What was being cleaned off Thomas' singlet while he was on the bench in the first half? Ten minutes into the contest my wife and I agreed that Thomas must be battling the flu. Rather than battling for defensive rebounds he was hanging around half court, as though he were conserving energy just to get back on offense. If it was merely a case of mental toughness, then Coach must have applied the whip effectively at halftime. However, I think T-Rob was worried early on that he might not be able to make it through the entire game.

babyjay1 10 years, 6 months ago

I feel so vindicated... I told my husband partway thru that I thought they all had the flu or something!!

Jim Glover 10 years, 6 months ago

Good Win! We Won, We did not lose! We have a team that is finding their way, and learning how to play together. This year is going to probably be one of the toughest coaching challenges Self has had in a long time! Patience is the word all of our fans need to remember. Outside of Robinson and Taylor, most of these boys level of talent are playing at South Florida or Florida Atlantic etc.. Coach self is doing a great job of helping these players play at a higher level, and we need to recognize that achievement before we throw out the critical comments that they are not playing at the level of the Ohio States, Duke and Kentucky's. Fact is we DO NOT HAVE those kind of players on our team. We are getting better and Self will have a Strong team by the end of the season, because he is a great coach!

Gregor Southard 10 years, 6 months ago

Good God people! Seven games ago, TT had outscored the rest the team combined in career points. Give its some time.

TexasHawk44 10 years, 6 months ago

Journalism 101? NEJhawk, did you get your Journalism degree from a box of Captain Crunch or was it Frosted Flakes? I think I will go find a NASA site and start posting about Rocket Science 101 so I can flex my pseudo Physics degree muscles this morning... "I just want to know what color the flame on the launch was, not why there were problems with the launch.

That is Rocket Science 101". Dude, seriously go pour another bowl of sugary cereal and leave the journalism to professionals. If you don't like the LJW then go to watch ESPN and find the score. Apparently God created Internet commenting so donkeys could remind others that they are not racehorses. Or was it an Al Gore invention, another certified sugary cereal lover.

tical523 10 years, 6 months ago

I wish Kevin Young played more, he brings the energy on every play and when he does get on the court it seems we go on a run or simply play better together, just an observation. I love his mentality and would like to see what he could do with 10-12 minutes of playing time.

tical523 10 years, 6 months ago

. . . . especially when Travis Releford doesn't seem to be bringing anything to the game, just dribbling to pass the ball (not to attack the basket or challenge the D) and not battling for rebounds as Young does on every play.

John Randall 10 years, 6 months ago

I, too, like Kevin and the effort he brings — when he gets some focus for that energy, the minutes will come.

Your put-down of Travis is way out of line, though. He is the best we have at taking an assignment and carrying it out. This year, KU won't survive with helter-skelter, everybody-do-everything (Kentucky style) play. Travis understands that and makes sure his man is below their average in scoring and in rebounding every game. Playing with (mostly behind) Brady has a lot to do with that.

tical523 10 years, 6 months ago

I did not say Travis never brings it but when our offense is horrific as in the first half someone needs to bring the energy plays. I think Young is the best SHORT term sub for Travis and look at rebounds per minute between the two........ I just don't get how Young only gets five mop up minutes. Dude gets TO the line and MAKES them too!!!

Jack Wilson 10 years, 6 months ago

tical523: I share your belief a bit on KY. I just think he needs some minutes to get comfortable. But really only in a reserve role, and then if there is an emergency (injury, fouls).

KY is horrific when it comes to man-up defense; I haven't been able to gauge his all-around defensive ability just yet.

On Releford, you are completely missing it -- "doesn't bring anything to the game." He is the best defender on the team, and really a shut-down defender. Watch him. It's impressive.

What we need from Releford, in my opinion, is just to be a bit more assertive. I've seen others (ict) note that it may be because he's afraid of getting pulled .. given the scars of the past. I buy that. I also think he is a bit of a passive player by nature. Taking what the game gives him. Just need him to take more

I do like you comparison to KY on the boards. Would like to see Releford attack the boards.

yovoy 10 years, 6 months ago

Granted, this guy has played with the rest of the team for quite awhile, and has been around for 4 years, but if he's "behind" at all there are a couple of reasons. He played out of position for a couple of years. He was being used as a big 3/small 4 a lot of the time. That has to mess with one's game a little bit. He also red-shirted. So then, 2 years not playing a "true" position, and then sitting out a year. Granted, I'm sure that an intense practice at our place is about as taxing as some peoples' games are, but game speed against different opponents takes time. He hasn't really had that much at his position. What did he play in HS?

I think he brings a bunch of things that don't really show up much in the score book. He defends, gets lots of deflections, 50/50 balls, and crazy caroms seem to go his way pretty often. It's things like that that will get you PT. I was wondering why he was getting so much time, then I really started watching him, and he's a hustler. He made a number of plays to keep us in it vs. Duke. His footwork is atrocious, he's not particularly fast nor fluid, and his form (on both ends) is wrong/unorthodox. He's STILL amazingly effective though. He's kind of lost in the half-court, but I trust him to finish a play in transition more than anyone else on this team. My only knock (besides his awkward footwork and positioning on D) is that he's a bit streaky with his shot.

He might be one of the ones that we can look to for some good, in what I'm guessing is going to be a long, trying season for some of us.

jaybate 10 years, 6 months ago

Slashing just does not make much sense in the hi lo with a good big, or two.

The question is: why drive into the paint and have a 6'4" guy shoot in the tall trees, when you could feed TRob, or Withey, at 6'9" and 7' tall take the close in shot?

Further, wing slashing causes defenses to collapse in the paint, which is what you don't want when you've got big men that could easily clear a rebound on a long shot and stick back.

Slashing is growing as endangered as the mid range game.

It gets you a lower percentage shot by a shorter guy than does feeding the bigs.

Alternatively, if you're trying to drive to get fouled, Tyshawn is hands down the best free throw shooter between TT and Travis.

Travis is in the same predicament BRush and Brady were.

It's better for the offense for the 3 to stay out at the 3 stripe and stretch the defense with occasional treys, or feed the post, than it is to drive to the basket.

Billy Derringer 10 years, 6 months ago

Over the last five seasons (2007–2011), Self's KU teams won 165 games, an average of 33.0 wins a year, passing Mike Krzyzewski of Duke (164 wins, 32.8 a year from 1998 to 2002)[16] and Jerry Tarkanian of UNLV (163 wins, 32.6 a year from 1987-1991) for the best 5 year record of any Men's Basketball coach in Division 1 history. (Memphis' entire 38-win 2007-2008 season was vacated by the NCAA for using an ineligible player, so former Memphis and current Kentucky coach John Calipari's record from 2006–2009 at Memphis and 2010 at Kentucky does not qualify).

lee3022 10 years, 6 months ago

Not sure if you considered UCLA under John Wooden (Bill Walton lost one or two games in four years. Lew Alcinder was even better. But for recent coaches, Self is tops.

KEITHMILES05 10 years, 6 months ago

Self is so correct that this tough has very little mental toughness. Who the hell cares about this no name teams and beating them 20-30 points? Yeah, it helps to build confidence but the lack of toughness is something this team will always battle.

KEITHMILES05 10 years, 6 months ago

Self is so correct that this tough has very little mental toughness. Who the hell cares about this no name teams and beating them 20-30 points? Yeah, it helps to build confidence but the lack of toughness is something this team will always battle.

KEITHMILES05 10 years, 6 months ago

Self is so correct that this tough has very little mental toughness. Who the hell cares about this no name teams and beating them 20-30 points? Yeah, it helps to build confidence but the lack of toughness is something this team will always battle.

Tony Bandle 10 years, 6 months ago all three of your posts...I thought maybe it was a brain teaser and we were to find the missing word!! :)

If I could remind everyone that with the loss of the Morrii and 3/4 of our 2011 recruiting class, we all agreed that we would need to be prepared for games like this.

KU has about a dozen games against teams currently ranked in the Top 25.

We will be doing well to win half of them, since, most likely, we'll be down 0-3 after the OSU game.

It's all about a six game winning streak at the end of the year. Let's see where we are March 1, 2012.

Tony Bandle 10 years, 6 months ago

PS regarding the crud...I told everyone, don't eat the poi at the Thanksgiving luau...but did they listen to me??.....nnnnnnoooooo!!!

yovoy 10 years, 6 months ago

Look, this team just doesn't have that much "upper crust" talent. It has some decent talent, but not like what we've had, nor what we're used to. The annual NCAA screw-over has play havoc on our guards over the last 2 seasons, and that's a position that could've been stronger for us over the course of that time.

This team will lose 6-10 games this year. That said, it will still win 1 or 2 games that I shouldn't win.

machinegun 10 years, 6 months ago

WTG TT-you finally put an end to the "brick contest". That was a great second half.

southwindjay 10 years, 6 months ago

TT was still 5 assist to 5 turnovers and he should be 3 to1 IMO. Overall as a team we need to get our assist up.

REHawk 10 years, 6 months ago

derringer29, thanks for the stats on best Div. I five year spread. Self will go down as a terrific HOF inductee before long. ...and he issues a much smoother delivery at the mic than Jim Boeheim.

lee3022 10 years, 6 months ago

Every year the team is ragged in November. But when the term ends (about now?) coach gets them for intensive instruction. They have no classes and can do intensive basketball. When January comes it is a whole new team with the way they run the sets and tighten up the help defense.

Already we are #23 on offense and #10 on defense. That despite being #234 on 3-point defense. The 2-point defense is very good (under 40%) and with the versatile athletes we have the 3-point will get better. This is already a better defensive team than the past two years. So I am looking forward to that leap coming to see the fruit.

jaybate 10 years, 6 months ago

Good memory.

I call it "The Week of Getting Better."

It is that week break after semester tests when Self has them for a week uninterrupted by classes and by games.

It is a critical week for the team.

Self has learned in the pre-conference games at that point what the team can and cannot reasonably be expected to execute as a strength.

He has also figured out what the teams vulnerabilities, as schemed so far, are and what additional wrinkles the team needs to master.

So during "The Week of Getting Better," there is intense focus on mastering poor execution of what they already do, plus mastering some new wrinkles the team needs to cover its vulnerabilities.

The team always surfaces from that week tired, but well drilled, and much more aware of what kind of team it must be to win.

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