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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

LBSU’s gamble on Thomas Robinson backfires

Kansas forward Thomas Robinson comes away with a steal as he is pressured by Long Beach State forward James Ennis during the first half Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Thomas Robinson comes away with a steal as he is pressured by Long Beach State forward James Ennis during the first half Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self

Kansas coach Bill Self talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 88-80 victory over Long Beach State on Dec. 6, 2011.

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KU vs. Long Beach State

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KU defeated Long Beach State, 88-80, on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Long Beach State coach Dan Monson figured the best way to contain Kansas University junior Thomas Robinson was to make KU’s 6-foot-9, 237-pound monster of a man hang around the perimeter as often as possible.

Oops.

Robinson finished with 26 points and 11 rebounds ­— his seventh double-double in eight games. He kick-started his spectacular night, as well as KU’s 88-80 victory Tuesday at Allen Fieldhouse, by hitting a couple of deep jump shots during a 16-4 run by the Jayhawks that put the 49ers on their heels from the start.

“Defensively, I probably made a mistake,” Monson said. “We wanted Robinson to try to beat us from the perimeter, and he did that. He showed why he’s a preseason All-American candidate. He really hurt us.”

So did the opening run that helped KU race to a 34-15 lead, a cushion that proved to be crucial as LBSU trimmed KU’s lead to as few as four points in the final minute.

“When you come into an environment like this and you fall down 17, 19 in the first half, you’re just battling uphill the rest of the way,” Monson said. “We’re obviously disappointed. We came in with four seniors, and we didn’t play like seniors to start with.”

LBSU senior T.J. Robinson said KU’s opening run momentarily sent the 49ers into shock.

“They just made shots,” he said. “We left Conner (Teahan) open twice during that little run. Robinson hit two in a row. So they started out, and it was 12 before we had hardly even scored.”

Prior to Tuesday’s game, everything about Long Beach State’s team indicated that the 49ers were ready to play. The LBSU players had a bounce in their steps, a flicker in their eyes and enough confidence to make anyone watching believe they were here to win. But the environment, a few early mistakes and a stellar first half from the Jayhawks put a kink in their plans.

In racing to a 51-39 halftime lead, the Jayhawks (6-2) hit 59 percent of their shots, including a 50 percent mark (5-of-10) from three-point range.

“You have to give Kansas credit,” Monson said. “I think even if we weren’t out there, it would’ve been hard for them to make every shot they made in the first half. They were on fire. I’m beating our guys down because we came in here and expected to win, but the bottom line is you gotta give Kansas some credit. They built that lead up not by accident.”

LBSU’s road does not get any easier from here. Already saddled with losses at San Diego State (77-73 in overtime) and at Louisville (79-66), the 49ers on Saturday will travel to No. 4 North Carolina.

Knowing that the daunting task of going into the Dean Dome awaits, Monson took a little extra time during postgame handshakes to chat with KU coach Bill Self.

“I just thanked him for the opportunity to come in here,” Monson said. “He knew we were gonna have a good team, and he had enough confidence (in his team to play us). Obviously, you don’t want to lose a game like this, but this is a class place to play and a lifetime experience for our guys to come in here and battle. And I just told him I appreciated it.”

Comments

jaybate 10 years, 7 months ago

Sure, Dan, sure, you disingenuous, cheap shotting little bastard.

Joe Baker 10 years, 7 months ago

Ask Jeff Withey. I doubt he complains but most viewers saw some pretty cheap shots.

HawksWin 10 years, 7 months ago

+1 Disingenuous indeed. One cocky cheap shotting coach.

fancy80 10 years, 7 months ago

I wondered what was being said between the coaches after the game. It seemed like a longer than usual exchange and Coach Monson seemed pretty animated. Thanks Matt! great job as usual...

master16 10 years, 7 months ago

some of the quotes that I've seen from coach Monson... either he's extremely confident in his team or over cocky. regardless, his team does compete during every possession and plays hard. they will most likely win their league and be in the NCAA tournament, and will be a tough win for anyone.

Robert Brock 10 years, 7 months ago

If Sullinger is playing, Ohio State is going to beat the snot out of KU - whether our guards turn the ball over or not.

master16 10 years, 7 months ago

ku teams tend to always play to the competition. the fact that we're playing at home, should help tremendously. if sullinger plays, it's very possible we'll lose. but i don't know if we'll get the snot beaten out of us. at least i hope i'm wrong.

Sam Constance 10 years, 7 months ago

Yeah, because we have no one who could possibly match up with the likes of Sullinger...

Honestly, I don't think whether Sullinger is playing or not is our biggest concern. It's the fact that Ohio State is a better team right now.

Joe Baker 10 years, 7 months ago

I respect OSU very much but last I heard, TRob was pretty dang good.

Just sayin'

master16 10 years, 7 months ago

no one is saying TRob can't compete with Sullinger, or that even Sullinger is better than TRob. all i meant to say was that with sullinger OSU is just that much more dangerous and better. the same way that KU is that much more dangerous with TRob.

i think the concept that osu is much harder to beat with sullinger in the game is a pretty each concept to grasp.

Carter Patterson 10 years, 7 months ago

Long Beach State, Richmond, Oral Roberts have all snake bitten us at home. Its a short list. Nice to get revenge after 19 years.

Chris Shaw 10 years, 7 months ago

I have to chuckle a little because Dan Monson is a very animated individual and I can see how people could misconstrue his facial expressions and demeanor.

Monson is one of the good guys in the business. If you don't have a little "Cocky" in you, you'll never make it in the business.

I respect the "Fight" his players brought into AFH and battled to the very end. That's the way it should be. Hat's off Coach Monson!

Sam Constance 10 years, 7 months ago

Including the completely unnatural, dirty cheap-shot forearm that Withey took to the face.

The LBST player should have been given a flagrant, minimum on that play. I have no idea how the refs watched the replay and concluded that the arm motion was accidental.

I'm no professional, but in 25+ years of playing basketball growing up, I have never "followed through" on my shot by swinging my off arm out laterally from the side of my body. It's the same garbage that Kobe got in trouble for a few years ago--smacking his defender with his off arm, trying to feign that it was his natural shooting follow-through.

jamsim3 10 years, 7 months ago

It was definitely a cheap shot and it comes from the Kobe Bryant school of offfensive floundering. There are many players in the NBA who have complained for years about Kobe using this technique to keep the defense at a distance. It is clearly a foul and the refs last night missed it even after watching replays!!

stevejay35 10 years, 7 months ago

Withey was actually more guilty of a flagrant foul on that play, he pulled at the guys jersey when he was in the air; which is what also caused that follow through into Withey's face.

Sam Constance 10 years, 7 months ago

Ok. Clearly we watched two different plays.

Withey had a handful of the guy's jersey, which is a foul, but it was because he was holding onto it when the guy jumped. That's not a flagrant foul.

I suppose the case can be made that the jersey grab "caused" the forearm, but the only scenario I can envision an person flailing their arms out wildly to the side of their body is when they have no balance, and the LBS player seemed to have plenty of balance when his arm shot out and whacked Withey across the face.

Chris Shaw 10 years, 7 months ago

I don't know, but what I do know is that I'm an official and I didn't see anything dirty about the LBSU player hitting Withey. After watching it 3 times myself, it was completely unintentional IMO The officials even watched the replay and got the call right.

If anything if the center official could have seen it, he should have called an intentional on Jeff Withey for pulling of the jersey. Either way, it probably worked out for both teams considering that crew was pretty awful last night.

Actually, I take that back, the one older official who was bald had a bad night and unfortunately that brings the rest of the crew down.

Beak 10 years, 7 months ago

Withey grabbed the back of his shirt, pulling him backward, thus the hand flailing. Also, and I cannot stress this enough, the hand was OPEN. Had the hand been closed, then that would have been a different story.

diegohawk 10 years, 7 months ago

pretty easy for an arm to swing backwards as your jersey is getting tugged in that direction. sucks to get popped in the jaw. had it happen myself. nothing in that play warranted a flagrant. clear foul on withey. play on. refs got it right.

Chris Shaw 10 years, 7 months ago

Plus, it's basketball ladies and gents. Flailing arms happen from time to time when somebody is knocked off balance. With the ability of replay the officials got it right!

It was probably very hard to see, but if the officials could have called an intentional on Withey.......... they should have, but that is not reviewable.

Ron Franklin 10 years, 7 months ago

Without the tug on the jersey I wouldn't have liked the elbow to the face. Fact is, we all saw it on TV cameras in slow motion. It didn't look intentional--you never know what the momentum of that tug on the jersey did to the mechanics of the body movement.

Think about it--when you get pulled backwards, fall backwards, or start to lose balance, what do you do?? You throw your arms outward to stabilize.

Danny Hernandez 10 years, 7 months ago

HC Dan Monson though cocky and animated was very appreciative of playing Kansas in Allen. Plus, it will give his team a bit more confidence heading into the dean dome. LBSU could very well upset UNC. They don't quit and can shoot from outside. Could be a very close game

A class guy for thanking HCBS for the game and the opportunity to play in Allen. Way better environment that they'll face in North Carolina.

741hawk 10 years, 7 months ago

Good luck at the Dean Dump, Coach Monson. (Have you ever been there? It's down in a "holler" and already in disrepair.)

Alohahawk 10 years, 7 months ago

Love the pic of TRob laying the ball in while the LBS player (#13, not sure who it is) has a dazed look, like he just ran into an invisible wall. Maybe it was LBS's Casper (the ghost) blocking him out.

I doubt they'll win, but I would love to see LBS play N. Carolina down to the wire. Would give credence to KU's performance against LBS. And would help our RPI rating down the road. So far, except for Duke getting smacked by Ohio State, the teams from the Maui Invitational have faired well this season. Even UCLA played decent against Texas, till Reeves was benched. (Nelsen Reeves, BTW, has caused more trouble again and is on the verge of being permanently kicked off the UCLA team. If, that is, his coach had the backbone to get rid of him. This, from a recent report on ESPN.)

I think it's time HCBS starts practicing with 7 defensive men against the starters, like he did in preparing for Mizzery last season. Something needs to be done to improve the Jayhawk's inept passing. Playing like they have been, the Jayhawks will have 40 turnovers against Mizzery.

Beak 10 years, 7 months ago

the hand was OPEN. People on this board need to quit complaining.

Sam Constance 10 years, 7 months ago

Others have made compelling arguments for why the refs got the call right, but whether or not the hand was open or closed is pretty much irrelevant.

Certainly, a closed fist would be a huge indictment of the player's intention, but having an open hand doesn't absolve the player from an intentional/flagrant foul. All it means is that he didn't punch Withey. That is not the minimum threshold for a "dirty" or flagrant play.

But again, that being said, I'll defer to the opinions of the masses here and give the LBSU player the benefit of the doubt. Especially since I can't find the footage to see it again at this point. :-)

jayhawker_97 10 years, 7 months ago

that incident didn't change my view of how good this LBSU team is. they'll be back around March. trust me. although, i'm glad we won the battle.

Robert Murphy 10 years, 7 months ago

The best part of the game was Robinson playing like Dwight Howard. It's going to be a great year watching him and the rest of the crew. I'm thinking they are going to be good. They just got a little bored or they would have won by 20.

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