Monday, November 21, 2011

Making waves: Jayhawks hope to bond — and win — in Maui

Kansas guards Tyshawn Taylor, left of center, Travis Releford and team video coordinator Doug Compton Jr., catch a wave during some free time before practice on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2011 on Kaanapali Beach in Lahaina. The Jayhawks take on Georgetown Monday night during the Maui Invitational.

Kansas guards Tyshawn Taylor, left of center, Travis Releford and team video coordinator Doug Compton Jr., catch a wave during some free time before practice on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2011 on Kaanapali Beach in Lahaina. The Jayhawks take on Georgetown Monday night during the Maui Invitational.


Bill Self on Maui, Georgetown and Coach K

Kansas head coach Bill Self talks about preparing his team for Georgetown among other things.

— A talented but inexperienced Kansas University basketball team struggled mightily during the 2005 Maui Invitational.

“If anything, we were humbled,” KU coach Bill Self said, reflecting on the likes of freshmen Brandon Rush, Mario Chalmers and Julian Wright and sophomores Russell Robinson and Sasha Kaun losing to Arizona (61-49) and Arkansas (65-64) before downing Div. II Chaminade (102-54) in KU’s last trip to paradise.

“That wasn’t a bad thing with that team,” Self added of the taming of a squad that wound up winning the Big 12 regular-season and postseason tournament titles and finished 25-8 after a first-round loss to Bradley in the NCAA Touranment.

“This is a different team,” Self noted. “Our nonconference schedule is so tough, we need to certainly play well out here and come away from here believing we’re closer to becoming a team, which is probably my goal for this trip as much as anything.”

The Jayhawks (1-1), who meet Georgetown (2-0) in a first-round Maui Invite clash at 11 p.m. today in Lahaina Civic Center, aren’t as young as in 2005. They’re just as inexperienced in terms of playing time, however.

“I don’t know if it was a great trip last time,” Self said. “I’m certainly hopeful this is more fun. I know it’s not as much fun playing those 8 and 9 a.m. (losers bracket) games. We need to make sure we play well against Georgetown so we play in the evening.”

The winner of today’s game will meet either UCLA or Chaminade at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday. Losers meet at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Today’s first-round games on the other side of the bracket pit Michigan vs. Memphis and Duke vs. Tennessee.

The championship game is 9 p.m. Wednesday, following consolation battles at 1:30, 4 and 6:30 p.m.

“For us to win this, we’ve got to beat a really good team and a couple other nationally ranked teams,” Self said, well aware half the field (KU, Duke, Memphis, Michigan) is ranked in the AP poll.

KU’s opening test is a John Thompson III-coached Georgetown squad that has defeated Savannah State (83-54) and UNC-Greensboro (86-45).

“Their bigs can really pass,” Self said. “Lubick (Nate, 6-8 sophomore, 7.0 ppg) is really a good passer, and Clark (Jason, 6-2 senior, 13.0 ppg) is as active as any big guard we’ll play against. Hollis (Thompson, 6-8 junior, 16 ppg) is 7-for-9 from three this year. They can really shoot it.

“They run the variation of the Princeton offense. They get baskets off back-cutting. We have to do a good job of eliminating layups and eliminating threes, which has always been a strategy of ours. We face a big challenge against somebody like that,” Self added.

Senior center Henry Sims averages 13.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game. He has made 11 of 14 shots for 78.6 percent. Sophomore guard Markel Starks is 4-for-8 from three-point range and averages 9.5 points per game. Other GU regulars include four freshmen: forward Otto Porter (7.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg and a team-high four blocked shots), forward Greg Whittington (5.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg), guard Jabril Trawick (5.5 ppg, 2.5 rpg) and forward Mikael Hopkins (5.0 ppg, 4.5 rpg).

“It’s a little bit different going in. We don’t have a lot of tape,” Self said of teams in the field. “Duke’s played the most games so far, three. I’m not even worried about the other half of the bracket because we have two games to scout them in person. I’m concerned about Georgetown and the next day the short turnaround. That’s what I’m concerned with.”


kusayzone 10 years, 8 months ago

Yep, the coach needs confidence, the players need confidence and finally the fans need confidence that with hard work, this basketball season can be a success.

Michael Pannacciulli 10 years, 8 months ago

That pic...can't tell if they are having fun or they just spotted a shark.

I hope these guys can muster up some wins. What a field...was at the kentucky game and didn't like what I saw out of our guard play. Lots of room for growth.

Tony Bandle 10 years, 8 months ago

Totaly agree..looks like the beach scene from "Jaws"!!

Joe Baker 10 years, 8 months ago

LOL- I was wondering the same thing about having fun or spotting a shark. It looks like they are getting to the beach on a fast break.

Andy Tweedy 10 years, 8 months ago

That's funny! I hadn't noticed 'til your post made me look again, but TT looks terrified!!!

Andy Tweedy 10 years, 8 months ago

It also appears the dude at top right isn't going to make it? R.I.P.

dynamitehawk 10 years, 8 months ago

Nick Krug is a photographic genius...but this picture seems like a coverup to me... and not just becuse I finished watching season two of spiderman (1967 version)....There's no wave and clearly these kids are terrified. Is there a giant moonwalking Charlette Blubaugh holding mahi-mahi switchblade emerging from the pacific waters?

EverRisingHawk 10 years, 8 months ago

Coooooach, Travis pee'd in the water!

Rock Chalk Jay Hawk Go KU. Can't wait to see how the tournament unfolds with this dynamic group of guys - it's gonna be a hard fought season in which every game counts, and every win is sweet. Let's enjoy it.

milehighhawk 10 years, 8 months ago

Lighten up, Francis. The season is two games old.

EverRisingHawk 10 years, 8 months ago

I was referring to watching the Maui Invitational unfold, not the NCAA tournament... far too early to be talking about a loss in March. I know it's tough for KU fans, but we have to take one game at a time and relish the opportunity to watch this team develop - it's gonna be a fun ride.

EverRisingHawk 10 years, 8 months ago

Seriously people? We have the opportunity to watch a ranked, Self-coached team carve out an identity for themselves and evolve, and people are alluding to a possible March no-show?

EverRisingHawk 10 years, 8 months ago

And when I said "loss in March," I meant the figurative, far more bleak and confusing kind of loss that would ensue if KU found itself on the outside of March Madness looking in. However, why are we even talking about this right now?

actorman 10 years, 8 months ago

Kind of like it's hard to enjoy ridiculous, nonsensical posts.

SDSurferFan 10 years, 8 months ago

I was there is 2005. Although KU didnt do well it was cool it see the NT team play their first game. Also, they still talk about that tourney as being one of the best non-march tourney ever. Mich St -Zags (3ot), Uconn-zags final. Very cool. Go JayHawks!

clevelandjayhawker 10 years, 8 months ago

Game is at midnight for those in the eastern time zone and Chiefs on monday night football are going to pull off the upset :)

May not make it to work tomorrow....glad KU basketball season is in full swing!!

Lets see how we respond, have fun and move that rock, dont just spread the floor and drive. I want to see the screens and ally opps we have become acustom to seeing with a Self team.

KEITHMILES05 10 years, 8 months ago

Self coached KU teams have shown not much ability in defending the three even though he says it's a strategy and if so then the team is poorly taught.

jaymar74 10 years, 8 months ago

Thats why each year we are top 10-15 in 3-pt fg% defense.

Jeremy Wilhelm 10 years, 8 months ago

But, but... why would you let pesky facts get in the way of perfectly good gripes?

actorman 10 years, 8 months ago

Atl Hawk is right on the mark. What are you, jaymar, some kind of commie or something, trying to inject facts into the conversation?

Robert Brock 10 years, 8 months ago

It will be interesting to see if Johnson has learned to defend the back-cut.

Bee Bee 10 years, 8 months ago

I think less swimming and surfing and more practice may be a good idea. Based on what I saw against UK, we could use it! Just saying!

Alex Berger 10 years, 8 months ago

Yeah basketball team! You aren't allowed to go to the beach while in Hawaii. In fact, my expectation as a fan is that you will be in the gym from 6 am until lights out at 10 pm. I'll allow you to have 3 meal breaks of 30 minutes each. The gall of losing to the #2 team in the country and then not practicing 24/7 with the only breaks coming from time to eat, sleep, and poop is unacceptable.

actorman 10 years, 8 months ago

Yeah, seriously, I mean who do they think they are, college kids or something?

Bee Bee 10 years, 8 months ago

Sounds about right. Works well for the Marine Corps!

Tony Bandle 10 years, 8 months ago

Explanation of picture shown above;

1] As mentioned before, re-enactment of beach scene from "Jaws". 2] Re-enactment of pool scene from "Caddyshack". 3] Tsunami caused by Coach Mangino cannon balling offshore. 4] Dick Vitale thought it was a nude beach. 5] Topless hula dancers have arrived at the hotel pool. 6] Last one in has to guard TRob one-on-one in practice. 7] The bell rang for 4:00 tea. 8] Team went surfing, but forgot surfboards. 9] Beautiful colored bubbles floating on surface turned out to be Man-on-Wars!! 10] "Those aren't carpets....those are sting rays!!!!

Tony Bandle 10 years, 8 months ago

Should have said, last one "left" in, but you got the right idea...

Tony Bandle 10 years, 8 months ago

My apologies..the imagery of #4 is probably a violation of the Geneva Convention!!

actorman 10 years, 8 months ago

Good stuff, Oakville! I especially enjoyed ## 2, 3 and 4.

texashawk10 10 years, 8 months ago

If it was #4, why are they leaving the water? If Vitale's on land, I'm running to the water to drown myself.

actorman 10 years, 8 months ago

Good point, texashawk, except perhaps Vitale was already in the water.

beebe1 10 years, 8 months ago

Three things bother me about coaching BB. 1. Muscle memory and free throws. They seem to have picked something up -- they are much better than about 3 years ago -- regardless of what they picked up. 2. Guarding 3 pt shots: Our guys were taught to double up, sometimes leaving the 3-pt shooter unguarded. When returning to him, run PAST the shooter, rt or left handed, and do not touch him. Alter the arc, tip or block him, but don't ever foul a 3 pt shooter. It converts them to free throws! 3. Don't let the 'good' 3 pt shooter teams scare or rattle our teams. Last year in the NCAA Tourn, the 3pt team got to Morningstar and Reed, and then our other 3 pt shooters -- and we lost. They then lost their next game. Happened the year before as well. Seems like they got to Self, too. There are two possible answers to that: a. laugh in their face, even if you are missing your 3 pointers. or b. Get just angry enough to emphasize the basics you were taught. (Happened to Dayton U. IUPUI quickly translates to"Oooey Pooey". They were invited to Dayton and the crowd razzed them. UIPUI got just mad enough to beat DU on their own home court.)

Those three items don't seem to get enough attention in 'coaching training'. They are important enough to justify attention. Just look at our recent history!

Comments by Jaybate elite? Oakville, etc On these three psychologic points.

Derek Conway 10 years, 8 months ago

compton and teahan seem to be relaxed and having a good time, while taylor and johnson not so much....just sayin

Martin Rosenblum 10 years, 8 months ago

But Travis, you told me it was just like Oceans of Fun back in KC!

Alohahawk 10 years, 8 months ago

I remember hearing an NBA announcer saying that D. Wade has adapted his game around two pointers (and the bank shot) better than almost any other player. And Wade normally shoots a pretty good percentage. Of course, it helps if a player has the speed to create space, or get around his defender. In KU's case, I think our guards (Taylor, Johnson and Tharpe) have all demonstrated that they have that extra speed gear in their arsenal. They just settle for the three much to often. And to back up your 3 point argument, remember what happened when Collins couldn't hit his 3's in his final game.

Unfortunately, the 3 pt. shot has leveled the playing field for a lot of mediocre teams in the NCAA tournament. All it takes is one player (ie. Ali Farouk - spelling?) to get on a hot 3 point streak, and any team can knock an otherwise much better team out of the tourney. Not to knock Davidson, which had a good team in 2008, but without Curry hitting anything and everything, they don't make the sweet 16. Course, if a team lives and dies by the three, it can backfire. Duke's loses usually occur when they hit a poor percentage of their 3's, because that's always been their bread and butter.

Sam Constance 10 years, 8 months ago

I believe the spelling you are looking for is...

Ali Faroukman-I-have-no-buisiness-taking-this-shot.

Or maybe it's...

Ali Far-fetched-shot-that-should-not-have-been-taken-but-was-and-went-in.

EverRisingHawk 10 years, 8 months ago

I agree. I liked Tyshawn's aggressiveness against UK when nothing else was happening on the offensive end, but our lack of productivity was a little unsettling. Granted, it's way too early to make any conclusions, but Bill Self teams get most of their points in a half court set up, not in transition. Gotta move the ball, allow TRob to get a touch / find scoring angles inside and create off screens.

jaybate 10 years, 8 months ago


Your analysis makes a key assumption; that KU could have gone inside and shot a "modest 43%."

I can see why you go with this assumption: 43% sounds modest. :-)

But what I recall is that VCU's extreme conditioning and their bigs were just to big and in too good of shape for our bigs that day. Shaka read the Morri right as carrying a lot of weight and not being in nearly as good of condition, as Shaka's big who out weighed the Morri. Shaka stretched his offense for the first half and made KU's big chase his bigs all over the floor.

By the second half, what became apparent was that the Morri ran out of gas in their tanks; that's why Self routed the game outside to the trey stripe; that and Self was playing the percentages with all the 40% trey shooters he had.

It was highly improbable for 40% trey shooters to shoot an effective trey percentage under 43%, since they only have to make 29% of their treys to equal 43% on two point shooting.

And if the trey shooters had come out of their slumps, KU would have quickly separated from VCU regardless of the fatigue of the Morri.

And the strong probability was that the Morri, as exhausted as they were, and as much as Shaka began to pack the paint on the Morri in the second half, would probably have shot more like 35% from inside. And their bigs were so fresh and enough heavier and stronger than the Morri that there was little likelihood of playing their bigs into foul trouble by continuing to go inside.

Plus, when you go to tired bigs playing against bigger stronger bigs, like VCUs, your smaller, pooped bigs are almost certain to pick up charging fouls and force Self to sit them.

Going outside was clearly the percentage play and it ensured keeping the Morri in for defense as much as possible the second half. It also maximized the chance of having them as threats at the end.

Some times the percentages break against you, as they did against Self in the VCU game, but there is no doubt that Self made the smart play.

He bet on good trey shooters snapping out of it.

He bet on keeping his bigs in the game for defense and down the stretch.

But when the other team is just fabulously better conditioned than your team and they have a big load big that can stop one of your two bigs cold, and the other team's perimeter players are able to go longer and harder than your perimeter players, again because of conditioning, well, the percentages can get hedged against you.

That's what happened IMHO.

clevelandjayhawker 10 years, 8 months ago

Otto Porter was one of our recruits, interesting to see how we play against him

texashawk10 10 years, 8 months ago

Day 1 Michigan over Memphis (already happened at time of posting) Duke over Tennessee UCLA over Chaminade Kansas over Georgetown

Day 2 Memphis over Tennessee Georgetown over Chaminade Duke over Michigan Kansas over UCLA

Day 3 Tennesse over Chaminade Memphis over Georgetown Michigan over UCLA Kansas over Duke

texashawk10 10 years, 8 months ago

Duke is a lot better match up for KU than Kentucky is. They are a good team, but they not a very athletic team and I don't see this Duke team going deeper than the Sweet 16 in the tourney this year. Before the tournament started, I had KU playing Memphis in the final with Memphis winning it, but Michigan beating Memphis changed that.

Lance Hobson 10 years, 8 months ago

Looks more like the wave is catching them.

jaybate 10 years, 8 months ago

Eddie Sutton--the greatest innovator of his generation, the man who invented modern Okie Ball, the man who tutored Self and enabled him to become the Zen master of Eddie's Tumbleweed Buddhism--70 point take what they give us--Eddie Sutton was inducted into the Hoops Hall of Fame along with Bob Knight and some fabulous figures in basketball history today.

Eddie...there are only five or six strains of basketball left that matter as of 2011--yours (perfected by Self), Knights (perfected by Consonants), Smith's (shepherded by Roy), Carril's Princeton, and Walberg's Dribble Drive Motion (advanced by Calipari). We could maybe add Larry Brown, because he hybridized Dean and Frank McGuire, and whispers Dribble Drive in Calipari's ear, and Carolina ball in Self's.

We can't argue with Knight's and Consonants variation of Iba ball. They have both won 900 plus games. They are the kings, but that is because they spent more time at blue blood programs than you got to spend.

Eddie, you won 800 the hard away at places like Creighton, Arkansas, and Okie State.

Look at Knight's numbers at Texas Tech. He would never have won even 700 games at the schools you coached at.

Bill Self is proving how superior your brand of ball can be when it is run at a blue blood program.

84% winning percentage.

Most games won of any coach the last five years.

A ring.

Eddie...the kid from Bucklin...the greatest Kansan KU ever ever let get away.

We'll never know what would have happened if KU had hired you instead of Larry. Probably no Danny Manning. Maybe no '88 ring.

But maybe playing 70-point-take-what-they-give us you would have won a ring one of the prior years...the years Larry let slip through his fingers.

Your game is spreading, as the reign of Knight and Consonants winds down.

Eddie Sutton.

The greatest innovator of his generation.

Rock Chalk!!!!

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