Sunday, November 13, 2011

Senior Conner Teahan off to red-hot start for KU basketball

Kansas players Conner Teahan, left, and Travis Releford tangle with Towson players Marcus Damas, left, and Enrique Gumbs as the teams vie for a loose ball during the second half on Friday, Nov. 11, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas players Conner Teahan, left, and Travis Releford tangle with Towson players Marcus Damas, left, and Enrique Gumbs as the teams vie for a loose ball during the second half on Friday, Nov. 11, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Kansas University senior off guard Conner Teahan, who made 13 of 16 shots in the exhibition season for 81.3 percent, drained four of five attempts in Friday’s 100-54 regular-season opening rout of Towson.

That’s 17 baskets in 21 tries, good for an unheard-of 81 percent, if anybody’s counting.

“I don’t think about it,” Teahan, a 6-foot-6, 212-pounder out of Kansas City (Mo.) Rockhurst, said of his red-hot shooting, which included seven three-pointers in 10 tries in two exhibitions and three of four threes versus Towson.

“I can hit 10 or 12 in a row, and, to be honest with you, the last shot has nothing to do with the shot I’m going to take. That’s the mind-set I try to have.”

Teahan, who had scored just 81 points total in his first three seasons at KU, red-shirted last season with a big senior year in mind. Barring some unforeseen circumstance, he’s expected to be part of the rotation all year long.

He enters Tuesday’s marquee game against Kentucky (8 p.m., New York’s Madison Square Garden) as potentially a key factor in the game.

“I just dream of helping Kansas win. That’s something I have had the opportunity to do this year,” Teahan said, asked if playing a meaningful role in a game in the Garden classifies as a dream come true.

“Hopefully that’s something I will continue to have the opportunity to do. That’s just kind of my dream. Yes, playing big games like this, Kansas versus Kentucky ... that’s what you live for as a basketball player, and playing in the Garden, those things combined are huge.”

Teahan likely will spend some time Tuesday guarding 6-4 sophomore Doron Lamb, who figures to play in the NBA someday. Lamb scored 15 points (three threes, eight assists) in UK’s 108-58 blowout victory over Marist on Friday.

“It’s definitely a big opportunity for me, but it’s a big opportunity for our team,” Teahan said. “It’s a big opportunity for us to show how good our team defense is. Me by myself or anybody on our team by ourself is not going to be as effective against as talented a team as Kentucky. It’s going to have to be a team game, and that’s what coach (Bill Self) instills in us, and it’s the mind-set we have. We go out there and play good team defense, we feel we can stop whoever.”

KU’s offense clicked on Friday with 30 assists versus five turnovers.

“That’s very impressive. It shows we know how to find the open man and have a lot of unselfish people who know how to take care of the ball,” Teahan said. “It’s something we want to continue to build on.”

A good ball-mover, Teahan had an assist against no turnovers Friday after dishing six assists versus one turnover in the exhibition season. He also had four rebounds Friday and eight boards in the two exhibition games.

“Conner is good, man,” KU senior guard Tyshawn Taylor said. “He hasn’t had a chance to play because of Brady (Morningstar) and Tyrel (Reed) being in the same class as him. He’s comparable to those two guys as far as shooting is concerned. He’s 6-5 1/2 and can rebound from that position. He’s a fifth-year senior who knows what coach expects of him, knows his role. He’s just a good player.”

Landen Lucas, a 6-9 senior from Westview High in Portland, Ore., tells he had a great time on his official recruiting visit to KU. He will choose between KU, Cal, Stanford, Tennessee and Washington. He said he hoped to make a decision by tonight. “I’ll hopefully do a verbal commitment by then,” he said Saturday. “I plan to call the coaches and let them know, and then I’ll sign on Monday or Tuesday.”


Mike Rotchurtz 10 years, 6 months ago

You know the knock on Conner -- he's supposedly slow-footed. HCBS says his defense is improving and it has looked that way early in the season, although Lamb will be a helluva test. But if Conner keeps shooting like this he'll get a lot of minutes, even if he is a mediocre defender. The 'Hawks absolutely need some solid 3-point shooting from somebody this year to stretch defenses. So far this year, we've been real good behind the arc.

jaybate 10 years, 6 months ago

Even Conner cannot keep keeping 81%. :-)

Board rats need to prep themselves.

KU has been super hot the first three games.

We are do for a bad shooting night against a good team.

We can compete with UK on a good shooting night, but not on a bad one.

With one more hot night, we might steal a win. Any thing less and it could become radically unattractive.

Whatever, don't push the flush button on Conner when he misses 6 in a row shooting back to his average. The guy can shoot like Wyatt Earp at a corral. He is going to win several games for us an make zones a high risk option for opposing coaches.

FSUJHAWK 10 years, 6 months ago

Not sure if you're suggesting our three previous opponents were "good teams." But I'm with you on the premise that we need a good shooting night. I'll further that by saying UK needs to have a bad shooting night and we need to be smarter than the partial qualifiers from Kentucky!


jaybate 10 years, 6 months ago

Warning: Shameless Repost...

Some Ways You Know KU Is About to Play Kentucky"

~Certain Tri borough AAU coaches and certain juco coaches are beating a path to the coach they call, John "Wrong Way" Calipari.

~Reading Is Fundamental forecasts a decline in literacy in NYC the day the UK team arrives and a sharp increase when the KU team arrives.

~Interviewers prepare to ask players in the crimson and blue uniforms to comment on who will be the next President, while at the same time prepare to ask the players in blue and white their favorite colors of crayons?

~NYFD welcomes Bill Self with an honorary fire department t-shirt and issues a warning to John Calipari' that his hair represents a fire hazard.

~New Yorkers begin calling Kentucky "Wall Streets's Team".

(Note: All fiction. No malice.)

jayhawktalk 10 years, 6 months ago

Good post, but, while I believe "no malice", I suspect not all fiction.

jaybate 10 years, 6 months ago

Might Conner with his new, hard earned foot speed have Steve Kerr written all over him?

Self bringing him at 2/3/4 spots makes me suspect yes.

We are looking at a potential 50% trey gun; that is a difference maker waiting to happen.

But we have to wait and see if he can get his shot off, when the defenders are good enough to get in his face.

Go Conner, go!!!!!

KansasComet 10 years, 6 months ago

There are going to be situations when we can really use Conner, and there will be situations when we absolutely cannot use Conner. Uptempo is definitely not his strong suit. I think in situations when we need to play zone and protect guys in foul trouble or slow it down a bit to kill the clock, Conner will be an asset. In situations where we need to run a team out of the building, he may be a liability. He has an excellent stroke on the 3 ball, and I am happy to have him on our team. The question about Conner is, we know he can play, but is he ready for the primtime?

jaywords 10 years, 6 months ago

I suspect Conner's been practicing getting the ball in the air against some pretty tough defenders at practice for what, three years now? My hopes are up, up, up!

jaywords 10 years, 6 months ago

And don't forget... he looks an awful lot like Zac Efron. That's gotta be worth something.

Chris Shaw 10 years, 6 months ago

From the old NBA Jam arcade game with big heads and "He's on Fire" saying.................................Downtown Triple Treyhan!

Chris Shaw 10 years, 6 months ago

I just hope he's shooting fire balls on Tuesday!

Dan Pawlowski 10 years, 6 months ago

Just saw some video on Landon Lucas. Plays pretty well with his back to the basket. Not a common skill for a high school kid. I think with Danny coaching him he could become a beast.

mandomax 10 years, 6 months ago

My only worry is perimeter players blowing past Teahan and drawing a foul against TRob as he steps up to help...

Jack Wilson 10 years, 6 months ago

Yea .. I posted the link a few days ago, too.

The recruiting misses are a legitimate point of discussion, right?

Mike Crosbie 10 years, 6 months ago

LOL you sure got that right. I'm a '91 jayhawk living just outside Columbia MO in Fayette. My only recruiting regret is Bruce Marshall a 6' 11" C who is friends with my a Junior at FHS last year he averaged 6 Blocks and doubles in PTS. and RB's AND led the team in 3's. He went to HCBS summer camp the last few years and has played against Ostertag JR. in AAU eating his lunch. He desperately wanted to go to KU and reminds me of Raef Lafrentz....W. Kentucky, Perdue, Mizzou and Missouri State were the only ones who made him feel wanted...well he signed Mon. with Missouri State....where my son will be going with him. The Bears just missed the tourny last year and should have been there...With Bruce I'm sure I'll see MO. State get there...still wish HCBS payed more attention to him....but I'm biased.

Jack Wilson 10 years, 6 months ago

We can disagree on whether high profile misses are legitimate points of discussion .. I cannot understand why they wouldn't be. You just spent three large paragraphs discussing it.

Your best point is that Self regularly gets a top guy late. To your point, a recruiting class is like a batting average .. it isn't your "average" until the season is over.

But your weakest point is a strawman argument .. "most coaches miss most of the recruits they offer to. Even guys like Calipari and Barnes .. " Of course they do. That neither proves or means nothing. You just seem a little thin skinned when it comes to Self here. I have to ask you, is Self God?

Your questionable statement: That we didn't get Daniels because Self wouldn't kick Teahan off scholarship. What's your authority for that?

Bottom line. The only thing that matters is the results. So far .. as far as I can tell .. Self has been as good as their is, total package. But for one playing time decision that had a negative impact on two "should have been" final four teams (Brady), I can't argue with much of what coach Self has done.

As for legitimizing Goodman .. odd. A national writer. A national perspective. Worth discussing.

And as for trolls .. like the extra "g" in there .. but we tend to get too worked up about these guys. Perhaps because some view Calipari as the anti-christ. And hate Kentucky due to some insecurities. I don't. UKallday seems like a relatively reasonable guy .. just a fan.

Michael Bratisax 10 years, 6 months ago

Self's first class (2004) was #2 in the nation: Alex Galindo, C.J. Giles, Russell Robinson, Alexander Kaun and Darnell Jackson.

In 2005 his class was #4: Mario Chalmers, Washington for No. 28 Micah Downs and Chicago for No. 6 Julian Wright. USC transfer Roderick Stewart.

2006 dropped to #12: Darrell Arthur, Sherron Collins and Morningstar.

2007: Not ranked but signed Cole and Reed

2008 #2: Marcus Morris, Markieff Morris, Travis Releford, Tyshawn Taylor, Tyrone Appleton, Mario Little and Quintrell Thomas.

2009: Xavier Henry, Elijah Johnson and Thomas Robinson

So Self has put together several top classes and I'll agree many got late boosts there aren't many scholarships remaining. Also, other than Brady and Reed, there have only been a few not in the top 100. And none that haven't been ranked..until now

DDDHawk 10 years, 6 months ago

Thanks for the link. Frankly, I think that there are so many factors that go into the choice that a recruit makes which are not in the control of Coach Self, that it is unfair to conclude that he is not a great recruiter based upon this one year. We have seen the same thing happen with Coach Williams, Coach K, Coach Izzo, etc., in the past decade. I'm grateful to have Bill Self in our corner, and hope he's there for a LONG time!

pizzaboy225 10 years, 6 months ago

how is that crap? the writer doesn't attack KU or Self and doesn't resort to any backhanded comments; it's a straightforward opinion piece. you honestly haven't wondered why we seem to be losing more recruiting battles over the last three or four than years past? I trust Self and his staff, and we've done great with the guys that have committed, but it has seemed odd that Kentucky, Arizona, Texas, and a few other programs routinely win out over us. an opinion isn't crap just because it doesn't praise or give a happy ending.

Chris Shaw 10 years, 6 months ago

I wonder what he'll write when KU beats UK?

Michael Bratisax 10 years, 6 months ago

Kentucky will be using mostly untested but highly recruited players, while KU will be going with experienced players..a mixture of highly recruited and some which weren't. Early in the season...I believe that will give us the edge and a victory over UK. As far as recruiting though, I think the article raised some legitimate concerns. Selby and Woolridge probably did more damage than good. I'm sure Selby isn't going around singing the praises of HCBS. And (no facts..just what I think) Woolridge was most likely told that he would only have a limited roll and was shown the door.

I'm hoping the writer will say, "Self out-coaches Calipari again'.

Alohahawk 10 years, 6 months ago

Having just read the above referenced article from cbssports, I felt it was mostly true, although biased in some respects against KU. To be honest, every point mentioned in the article has been openly discussed and argued on this board. In fact, you could almost say that Goodman's article is plagiaristic. (Is that a word?)

However, it was the discussion remarks sent in afterwards which riled my nerves. For example, who is the poster (Troll, if they were to send a message to this board.) who infers that they are a local (Lawrence) resident, absurdly claiming that HCBS is constantly out on the town, partying and carrying on in a less than professional manner, and stating that Self would be a poor role model for a recruit? I know of no evidence from any source which would indicate anything of the sort. Obviously, the individual is from some other area of the country, and does not in any way, shape or form represent the Lawrence community, or KU. They just want to create a false impression to influence someone reading the remarks.

Self's recruiting may have dropped off from previous years, but as others have pointed out, numerous coaches from other schools have had the same problem. (A prime example would be UCLA over the last couple of years.) And, if a recruit doesn't choose KU after witnessing firsthand the "Legends of the Phog" game, I won't lay the blame for losing that recruit on Coach Self.

studio 10 years, 6 months ago

Conner looks, and sounds, like the leader who will focus his teammates with the confidence HCBS basketball can endow a fifth year listener. Congratulations Mr. Teahan.

REHawk 10 years, 6 months ago

CRAP is the key word for Jeff Goodman's article, as well as some of the accompanying blogs. Article comes across like the ramblings of a junior high sports analyst who has no clue to the strengths of Bill Self's recruiting/coaching talents. Goodman glosses over what Self/Manning/Hudy have done with recent big men who have passed through The Phog. Typical simperings of a one-and-done aficianado who knows very little about team play.

joeloveshawks 10 years, 6 months ago

I read the CBS article and am really not too upset with it. The fact is that we had a down recruiting year by KU standards, but Bill has consistently landed huge recruits for us. As I recall Selby was the #1 recruit in the country according to certain scouts and that was just last year. T Rob was a huge recruit, Morris Twins, Collins, Chalmers, Arthur, the list goes on. We are very spoiled to have had these players and will continue to get great kids. The one thing I did not agree with in the article was the Ellis is not a going to be a great player. I think he is going to be fantastic regardless of the fact that we landed him as a "home grown" kid. Wayne Simien worked out pretty well for us from Kansas as did Morningstar and Reed.

milehighhawk 10 years, 6 months ago

Is that the best photo we have of Teahan?

Jeeveshawk 10 years, 6 months ago

With Connor Teahans picture-perfect shooting we should be able to use him as a deadly weapon against UK. If he cramps under pressure of being in a game he might loose then we can turn to Tyshawn Taylor. He is a very on-off player but usually when our other guards are ineffective he comes to life. Sure, he will get the Wildcats with his slashing instead of his shooting but I do not see that change of how we use our guards to score as being very effective unless we need a three, in which case Tyshawn or Travis can deliver (that is if Connors shots aren't falling).

REHawk 10 years, 6 months ago

Conner Teahan is blessed with a mindset focused upon compensatory avenues toward greatness. At least half his life has been spent in winning efforts on courts and playing fields; and he has been involved annually with teams which perform on primetime settings. His previous four years on the Jayhawk practice courts have chiseled an athlete who knows what his coaching staff expects when he enters a game. Of his threes, "I can hit 10 or 12 in a row, and, to be honest with you, the last shot has nothing to do with the one I'm going to take." WOW! "I just dream of helping Kansas win." One and done players are a nice gift to a storied program, and provide huge surges of adrenalin to coaches, fans, teammates. But young men like Conner, who dedicate five years of their lives on practice courts, patiently awaiting the opportunity to contribute and feel once again the performing pride which they had felt as super high school athletes, these are the individuals whom I have come to cherish on BIll Self's rosters. Conner is now in position to perform as a huge difference maker this season. I wish him the very best. Very nice comments, by the way, from his teammate Tyshawn.

Jack Wilson 10 years, 6 months ago

Good read here on Lucas .. there's that word "honest" again.

And a point to those that don't value rivals rankings or stars, or those who would get giddy about Lucas if he signed, and say that rankings don't matter, and that Self knows what he is doing getting the lower ranked guy (see, Traylor/Anderson) ... please note that Self pursued the much, much higher ranked guy. The five star guy. That Self .. yes, coach Self .. felt that the higher ranked guy was the better option. And now he is on bended knee trying to get this guy, who he was "honest" with. Lucas is not even the 2nd, or 3rd, or 4th option. We were "all in" on Tarc. And there is no doubt it caused us to miss or neglect an all out pursuit of other post guys in the 30-70 range (perhaps local guy Willie Cauley .. but there are others). See the espn article below .. need insider access for the whole thing, but you can get the point.

This is a situation where Self gambled and lost. You play the game, you lose sometimes. It's just how much you put in the pot ... in this case, Self was "all in", and that means he did not lend the attention to other highly ranked guys, and now the replacement for that recruiting spot will be a player of lesser talent than if he'd hedged his bet. Self probably felt that a 100% commitment to Tarc was the way to win the game. Didn't work out that way.

If we get a three-star guy like Lucas, we have to expect that his ability to be an immediate impact is questionable. (See Darnell Jackson, who was a low 4 star, and how long he took to develop).

Next season .. we have TRob turning pro (have to assume that. Hope Self is. I say that because of the "surprise" comment by Self last spring). Withey is not a centerpiece. And talk is Ellis will play more 3 than 4. So we have freshman Peters, first year player Traylor (who Self expected would have a year of minutes under his belt), and Withey at the 4-5. Sorry, but that is ugly .. really ugly. Ellis playing the 4 makes it more appealing and Tarc's decision may seal that deal (Ellis at the 4).

But our post positions are of major concern as we stand now.

Not to pile on, but look at our 1-2 spots for 2012-13. EJ, Tharpe, and McLemore next season. We need another in this class. And there are really none that are available, or that we're in on except Nino Jackson. Academics are the concern there as I hear.

Jeremy Wilhelm 10 years, 6 months ago

We'll have Wesley and Young returning with a year of experience and an extra Hudy offseason, too. Plus, the recruiting season is far from over. We'll be fine.

addlime 10 years, 6 months ago

I don't understand why KU fans get so upset with an article/blog like the CBS one above. I think it's just being oversensitive because there is a lot of truth there. Lets look at the big picture... Self comes in after Williams and lands some outstanding recruiting classes. I believe that Chalmer's class had 4 McDonald's AA kids (including Micah downs) Many of those kids didn't work out because of playing time or not buying into the system, and that was a good thing because it allowed KU to get even more of the right kind of players.

Then, 2008! I personally expected the recruiting situation to explode after that. But it has been the opposite. I really can't understand it. KU gets some really great kids, and they are good fits for the program. I'm happy and excited about that. But as far as depth of talent on the roster, this program is a far cry from NC, UK, and even Self's early KU teams.

And this isn't really a knock on anyone. Self has demonstrated his ability to recruit in the past. The coaching staff has been outstanding, just look at the team's record over the last 5 years. Player development has been fantastic (God Bless D Manning), and facilities, fan support and tradition are kind of decent, right? So what gives?

Can anyone explain this, really?

addlime 10 years, 6 months ago

BTW, I meant that many kids didn't work out from Self's early classes (ie. Downs, Giles, Galindo, Giddens), not just that one great recruiting class.

Michael Bratisax 10 years, 6 months ago

Giddens was recruited by big deal and you most likely knew that. Just didn't want him included w/Self's recruits

MGJayhawk 10 years, 6 months ago

You have several factors that come up in a recruits mind. 1) Will the recruit play or start as soon as he get to KU? In recent years we've had big guys and guards that are more experienced and more notable than a Frosh. Look at the Selby situation. He was never going to start over Reed or Morningstar because he lacked experience. 2) Does the recruit get along with and take to the "style" of coaching that HCBS deploys? Guys like Micah Downs couldn't get with the program, so to speak, so transferred out. Same with J.R. Giddens. Even though these guys seem like Gods out of HS, doesn't mean they will fit in. Russel Robinson almost transferred after his freshmen year. He had enough sense to stick with HCBS. 3) Is Lawrence providing the atmosphere that I want to live in? Some guys have taste and preferences that lend themselves to other cities and / or states. 4) Does KU give enough national exposure to the players? We have a lot of ESPN games and CBS games, however, KU is not all over the media like Duke, UNC, UK and Mich St. We're forgot about a lot due to the East Coast bias that the media has. 5) Does the recruit "fit in" with the current KU team? Kris Humphries was almost a Jayhawk. Guys like Keith Langford and Aaron Miles told Roy that he was a d-bag. Some recruits might not get along with guys on KU's squad and vice versa.

We need to remember that most of the "blame" a recruit doesn't choose KU is more than likely out of the hands of the coach and administration.


Jeremy Wilhelm 10 years, 6 months ago

I think you're buying into the hype on UNC and UK... The separation between them and KU isn't probably as severe as you think (we'll know more after Tuesday). Butler is all the evidence you need that you can do a lot in NCAA hoops with sub four star recruits.

MGJayhawk 10 years, 6 months ago

ATL, I'm just saying they get more press due to bias not because their oncourt play or history justifies it.

LaJHawk666 10 years, 6 months ago

Thanks for the link to the clip.

I thought 6'8" seemed small for a center, but he's probably more of a PF. I noticed in the video that he claimed to be 6'10"--hopefully that's true.

He gets good grades and speaks Japanese--no academic issues with him. I think from here on out I'll always sigh in relief when I hear that the recruit gets good grades and only went to one high school, where as before it had been just a pleasant side note if the recruit does well in school.

I hope we land him.


brooksmd 10 years, 6 months ago

ESPN has an article on KU and Duke having an off recruiting year. I don't have a subscription to read it, but was wondering if anybody does and what it said.

Alohahawk 10 years, 6 months ago

The point was brought up by HEM, above, that Self was being honest with Landen Lucas. The 'honesty factor" has been brought up on this board numerous times before. I'm beginning to think more and more that that is 90% of Self's recruiting problems as of late. If one considers them as problems.

So many things factor into KU's recruiting vs other schools:

It's not just losing to an inferior school in the big dance. (Coach Self and KU won it all just 3 seasons ago, and Self has made it to the Elite Eight a number of times, including last year.) If we are truly honest with ourselves, those trump the early losses.

It's not having the second winningest record all-time in college basketball, and the best W/L record over the last few years.

It's not winning 7 straight Big 12 Conference titles.

It's not the "wow" factor of playing at KU or in the Phog.

It's not having one of the top recruits select another school, after attending firsthand "The Legends of the Phog" game, a game that represented the KU basketball family and legacy better than anything else could have.

It's not that KU has one of the best, if not the best "big man" coaches (Danny Manning) on its staff.

It's not the conference re-alignment problem. (If another coach uses that as a recruiting tool, then any recruit with a brain should be smart enough to see right through it. IMHO, KU's basketball legacy would forever negate that.)

It's not the TV airtime. Again, because of its legacy, KU will always garner its share. (I know, some will argue that other schools get more TV time. I agree, but you can't blame Coach Self for that.

Somewaht, its a family decision, if the parents trust the coach, or if the games are close enough to home to attend on a regular basis.

Somewhat, it's the environment. Will the family be ridiculed by their neighbors because the recruit choose a rival school which the neighbors hate? (I got that impression when McLemore choose KU over Mizzery.

Somewhat, it could be a warm climate year round, beating out the cold winter seasons each year. (Who knows, maybe Tarc thought that way?)

Somewhat, it's the East Coast bias by the big networks and their TV analysts's comments and opinions. ( I'm sure Dickie V's bias and love affair for the ACC, Duke and North Carolina has influenced a few recruits their way.)

Yes, the amount of available playing time is always a major factor. Does a recruit feel confident enough in their skills that they won't be sitting on the bench?

Yes, it's a recruit's assessment on whether or not they will fit in comfortably with their future teammates.

Yes, a recruit must have the willpower to put forth the effort required to satisfy the coach's requirments. The honesty factor steps in. (I'm sure Self informs them that they will have to put forth the effort on both ends of the court, or they will lose playing time.

MGJayhawk 10 years, 6 months ago

Pretty much summed up my thoughts from above. Well done.

Alohahawk 10 years, 6 months ago


And only two days till KU plays Kenstinky. The excitement is building.


brooksmd 10 years, 6 months ago

Got a text msg from that Lucas has committed to KU!

brooksmd 10 years, 6 months ago

Yeah I know I'm a day late and a dollar short. Missed the part in the text msg that story was already posted. Oh well, back to IRT.

KULA 10 years, 6 months ago

I'm afraid that against UK, Conner's gonna get left in the dust and we'll see why he hasn't played in his first 3 years here. That is, unless coach BS decides to make him this year's fair haired boy, a la Brady.

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