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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Keegan

Victory over UCLA sets up meeting with Blue Devils

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor (10) celebrates on the bench next to teammates Niko Roberts and Merv Lindsay as the Jayhawks go on a run against UCLA during the first half Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2011 at the Lahaina Civic Center.

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor (10) celebrates on the bench next to teammates Niko Roberts and Merv Lindsay as the Jayhawks go on a run against UCLA during the first half Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2011 at the Lahaina Civic Center.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self and players

KU coach Bill Self, Tyshawn Taylor, Elijah Johnson and Thomas Robinson talk to reporters following the Jayhawks' 72-56 victory over UCLA on Nov. 22, 2011.

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— An overflow crowd in a gymnasium that seats 2,800 and a global television audience will watch two of the top-four-winningest college basketball programs duke it out Wednesday for the Maui Invitational title.

The game features the game’s winningest coach, Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, and a decided underdog, Kansas, not accustomed to the role. Duke has more skill, is better offensively. Kansas, even more explosive, leads with defense when playing well.

November basketball doesn’t get any better than this. NBA lockout? Please, who cares? It’s so stale compared to the college game anyway.

Tuesday’s results delivered the best possible title match-up.

Duke looked hard to guard in its 82-75 victory against relentless Michigan. For a half, Kansas looked tough to score on and held on for a 72-56 victory against UCLA in the final game of the night at the Lahaina Civic and Recreational Center.

In an island known for buzzes, an especially loud one is mounting for Wednesday’s clash of basketball giants.

“I would bet the atmosphere for the final game could be as good any atmosphere as there has ever been in this building,” Kansas coach Bill Self said.

Added KU senior guard Tyshawn Taylor: “This is one of those games you sign up for when you come to Kansas. This is a game we’re going to remember forever, playing against Duke in the final in Maui.”

The Blue Devils (6-0) are favored for a reason. They have five McDonald’s All-Americans. Leading scorer Seth Curry, a .583 three-point shooter, isn’t one of them. Kansas has none, but junior guard Elijah Johnson (23 points, four rebounds) played like one Tuesday.

Johnson put on a quite a show for his godfather, Milwaukee Brewers hard-throwing relief pitcher LaTroy Hawkins.

Curry and fellow starting guard Austin Rivers, the nation’s top-ranked freshman recruit, impressed their in-attendance fathers, former NBA stars Del Curry and Doc Rivers, coach of the Boston Celtics. The second-generation star guards look as if they have been playing together for years, which their coach traced to an August trip.

“You don’t develop a really good relationship on the court until you’re in real good competition,” Krzyzewski said. “So that’s one of the reasons we went to China and Dubai, to give these guys a chance to get to know each other. And it’s why we’ve scheduled such a difficult schedule these first seven, eight games.”

Kansas hasn’t loaded up with stiffs either. Today will mark KU’s fourth game in nine days, and the opponents have been traditional college basketball heavyweights Kentucky, Georgetown, UCLA and now Duke. The Hoyas and Bruins have had stronger teams, but Wednesday’s opponent has the qualities of a typical hot-shooting (.463 on three-pointers), steady Coach K team, although a younger version than most.

One strong half of defense and one poor one won’t cut it against Duke, 14-0 in the Maui Invitational.

“If we defend like we did for five possessions in a row, we could be down 15-0,” Self said.

And if the Jayhawks bring it all night, they could make Maui history.

Comments

Michael Auchard 10 years, 6 months ago

Yeah, I only hate when he legitimately spouts drivel. Not much fluff here, solid article by the Tyshawn Taylor of KU journalists. When he's on his game, Keegan's a solid contributor, no doubt.

Double_D20 10 years, 6 months ago

Don't normally, but I have to say +1 Nice compairson of Keegan to Taylor!

JayDocMD 10 years, 6 months ago

Since you're asking...

The statement: "Johnson put on a quite a show for his godfather, Minnesota Twins hard-throwing relief pitcher LaTroy Hawkins" was a bit out of the blue and should have been accompanied with the info that Hawkins was in attendance in HI. (That was stated in another article on KUsports.com, but not here.)

I know - its nitpicking. Not hating, though.

azjhawk09 10 years, 6 months ago

Not to mention Hawkins plays for the Brewers and not the Twins.

Mark Lindrud 10 years, 6 months ago

He writes his one decent, not great article for the calendar year and now I'm supposed to kiss his fat butt? At least Matt and Jesse respond to our comments and write consistently good articles. Must be sad to know they're better than the boss.

Mark Lindrud 10 years, 6 months ago

He writes his one decent, not great article for the calendar year and now I'm supposed to kiss his fat butt? At least Matt and Jesse respond to our comments and write consistently good articles. Must be sad to know they're better than the boss.

actorman 10 years, 6 months ago

So wait, now the capacity is 2,800??? WTF?!?!? Between the ESPN broadcasters and the LJW, that's the FOURTH different capacity I've seen or heard in the last two days for this arena. Isn't there one set number, somewhere, anywhere (Bueller? anyone? anyone?) for this place??? I realize that we're talking about something trivial here, but aren't we also talking about something basic. Shouldn't this be a fairly simple thing?

I am PSYCHED for the game, though!

mattiesdad 10 years, 6 months ago

Took 2 seconds to look this up: http://www.co.maui.hi.us/facilities.aspx?page=detail&RID=209

  1. You'd think a journalist could do a little fact checking.

Alohahawk 10 years, 6 months ago

LOL Nice correlation, Perses: Panties and seating capacity in the same sentence.

Maybe, in these days of money means everything, the promoters over sold the ticket sales and let the crowds exceed the fire marshall's limits. As we all know, where ever the Jayhawks show up to play a basketball game, the more tickets made available, the better.

Jackalope7 10 years, 6 months ago

All I know is I'm proud of how much the Jayhawks have improved over the last week! Very excited about tonights game! Lets lace them up and put it to Duke! RCJH!

Thomas Michaud 10 years, 6 months ago

Okay, I have a question for Keegs... In this article you have:

"Johnson put on a quite a show for his godfather, Minnesota Twins hard-throwing relief pitcher LaTroy Hawkins."

In the Ratings article you have:

"With godfather LaTroy Hawkins, Milwaukee Brewers reliever, looking on with pride, Johnson torched UCLA for 23 points and made half of his eight three-point shots."

Does LaTroy pitch for the Twins or the Brewers ... I don't really follow either team, so I don't know, but you've confused the hell out of me to actually know from either article you've written. So, should it have been written: "LaTroy Hawkins, the FORMER Twins pitcher and CURRENT Brewer, looked on with pride..."? Totally unrelated to basketball, but still ... :-)

John Sheehan 10 years, 6 months ago

Sloppy Journalism to say the least.

Note to kusports.com - Hire some KU J-School students to be Keegan's editor.

It's not like LaTroy is pitching in irrelevance - just pitched in the the NLCS.

rockchalkchampionship 10 years, 6 months ago

As a senior at KU in the J-School, I would gladly accept. Simple fact checking isn't that difficult. Plus, I could make TK look better and maybe help him keep his job until I take it. Just kidding...but seriously.

FSUJHAWK 10 years, 6 months ago

Let 'em see RED (ie CRIMSON) boys!

RCJHGKU!!!

KPOP 10 years, 6 months ago

I think our high-low offense is in trouble this year. Seems to me the coaches will have to get that figured out or change schemes a little. TRob gets double teamed down low and Withey (and others) are not strong enough to hold their position on the blocks. With TT and EJ it seems like a drive and dish/pass to a spot up shooter may be the offense of choice this year. It will be interesting to see how it plays out against a pretty good defensive dook team.

Darrel Stice 10 years, 6 months ago

About the NBA, "It’s so stale compared to the college game anyway."

+100000000

Beat Duke!!!! Rock Chalk!!!!

KU_alum_2001 10 years, 6 months ago

The three teams I hate most, in order:

  1. Kentucky
  2. Mizzou (although I reserve the right on any day to switch 1 and 2)
  3. Duke (although I reserve the right on any day to switch 2 and 3)

It's just so hard to decide which of these teams I hate most. With that said, I can think of few things better than us upsetting Duke. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

However with THAT said, Duke wins this by 12.

@$@#%!!!!!!!

Mike Kendall 10 years, 6 months ago

4 for me would be K-State. Sorry kitty kats---that's just the way it is.

Tony Bandle 10 years, 6 months ago

Better than upsetting Duke? How about waking up naked next to a nude Scarlett Johannson...and she has a big smile on her face!!

Steve Brown 10 years, 6 months ago

Miz-DUi: hate to point of Romans and Carthaginians, scorched earth plow salt in their farm fields.v Hope a metorite hits the campus over break hurting no one yet destroying the buildings.

Kensucky: hate to point that I want CCal to get into Final Four then have to borrow a ladder to take the banner down to store with UMass and Memphis banners.

Dook: hate but respect, they win like UCLA in my generation want them to play us every year and we compete, they will make us better.

Marcia Parsons 10 years, 6 months ago

I'm guessing we will be in blue uniforms tonight with Duke being the higher ranked team. I hope so. I've been superstitiously partial to the blue even since the 2008 final four when we were the underdog all the way.

SaltLakeHawk 10 years, 6 months ago

I remember hearing a cool stat in 2008. During Russell Robinson's entire time at KU (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008), KU never lost a game when they were the underdog.

Now that I think about it, there's a chance that streak could have extended all the way until last week against Kentucky. That's a testament to Self's ability to get his guys ready for big time competition (and it's also a testament to how rarely we're the underdog).

Tony Bandle 10 years, 6 months ago

We weren't underdogs very many times in those seasons if you recall.

Tony Bandle 10 years, 6 months ago

We weren't underdogs very many times in those seasons if you recall.

FlashyThundercat 10 years, 6 months ago

Keegan's headline made me go "no !@#!?!" I hate Keegan.

David Robinett 10 years, 6 months ago

Let's go with surprise PINK Susan Komen unis tonight -- this will make the guys strive harder to prove their manhood -- that little extra we'll need to beat Puke.

Orangedog87 10 years, 6 months ago

Love the comment about the NBA.

NBA games are like happy hour with a basketball game side show.

honk_for_hawks 10 years, 6 months ago

In response the the comment about "NBA lockout? Please, who cares?"....I care. I'm a basketball junkie and I'm dying not having a game every night to watch.

justanotherfan 10 years, 6 months ago

I care too. Sadly, the owner's are intent on changing the system, even if it costs them a season (or two), and the players are at a point where they have other avenues that weren't available in 1998 (playing overseas, etc.). This could be a very long, ugly process.

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 6 months ago

I thought the owners were fighting to make the competitiveness similar to that found in the NFL, where all the good players go to a select handful of teams to garner championships. Basically, the issue is on competitive balance if I'm not mistaken. They want a handful of spots where free agents can go and the team can pay a salary cap penalty, but still can get all the players it wants.

I don't think a lot of the players that have NBA aspirations or have played in the NBA will want to go overseas. There have been a few, but not a lot.

Have you seen the stupid thing with James, Wade and a couple of others where they are going to play 4 games because they have always wanted to do some charity, but have never had time to do it. I'm sure Akron is going to love to see James come back after he told them he didn't like playing in Cleveland anymore.

The players are going to learn that the NBA Owners have a lot of political power.

justanotherfan 10 years, 6 months ago

The issue is money. There is no other issue. Well, that's not quite right. There are other issues, but the lockout wouldn't be costing fans a season if the issue wasn't money. The current deal has the players receiving 57% of basketball related income (BRI). That basically means that the salary cap every year (the ceiling and the floor) are set based on 57% of the BRI. The owners want that number to be lower. Some say around 50%, some say as low as 47%. The players are willing to go to 52 or 53% according to some reports. So we are stuck unless the players decide to give more money back, or the owners decide to compromise on their hard line.

Quite a few players are already playing overseas. Andrei Kirilenko, Deron Williams, Kenyon Martin, JR Smith all have contracts. Lamar Odom has been approached. Kobe Bryant has been approached. The longer the lockout goes, the more foreign teams will start approaching these players and offering them contracts. There are a limited number of people on this planet that can play basketball at a professional level. About 350 of those people are currently not playing basketball. Anybody with a team and some money is going to start contacting those people, especially the longer this goes on.

The charity games have gone on all summer. The Drew League (LA Summer League) played the Goodman League (DC Summer League). Guys have gotten together with guys from their hometowns and played charity games. Heck, even KU had a charity game. And almost every one has had solid to good attendance. When word that Kobe Bryant was going to play in a Drew League game leaked out, the line was three blocks long within minutes. When Kevin Durant showed up at Rucker Park it was standing room only (standard for the Rucker League, but still). Now that the season hasn't started, I wouldn't be surprised if we see a steady stream of charity games with a few big names headlining each one.

And the fans will come. If they come to the area, I would go. I miss basketball at its highest level.

jaybate 10 years, 6 months ago

If KU can keep pressure on the the Duke perimeter with KU's perimeter size and speed, plus handle the pressure Duke puts on them, then this thing quickly defaults to inside.

The big fall off will come with Naadir. He's not ready for Duke's speed on the perimeter. But if we can keep TT and EJ on the floor, we can hang with them.

If TRob and Withey can stay on the floor 25-30 minutes, then they will nullify Dukes inside players adequately, and Justin will do fine guarding them during substitutions.

Thus, as usual, the game defaults to who is shooting treys the best.

If the trey shooting is about equal, then the game defaults to who cheap shots best?

I just don't see any sign that KU's young team is ready to cheap shot yet. They've been working so hard on implementing offense, that they probably haven't had time to work on cheap shooting the way the bigs did last season.

So: if the game is close, it will default to cheap shooting and I think Self will not answer cheap shooting with cheap shooting this early.

Edge: Duke.

But if Duke goes cold from outside, and we shoot decently, then we'll whip them.

I haven't looked at Dukes trey percentage for the games they have played this season, so I can't say.

The only thing I can say about Duke is that they are already at mid season form right now, because of how many games they have played in Dubai, etc.

Since KU is not, I can't see how we win this game.

But KU has some very interesting pieces that teams like Duke don't see very often.

Withey just screws up an team's offense for the first ten minutes of the first half.

TRob's kind of strength does not show up most games.

TT and EJ and Trav bring more speed that 5stars are used to seeing. It did not bother UK's 5stars because they were so long. But Duke's 5stars are much more conventional in length.

I figure Duke has a long bench and that may be the difference in a 3 games in 3 days format.

Make_Ur_Free_Throws 10 years, 6 months ago

Agree with this. This would be the game for Conner to be zoned in from 3-land!

Rock Chalk Jayhawks! Beat the dookies!

jaybate 10 years, 6 months ago

KU's team is going to be able to walk into the conference this season with a pretty good sense of how good you have to be to play with the top teams. :-)

Tony Bandle 10 years, 6 months ago

Anyone notice the noise level during the game from the KU crowd?? it almost sounds like Allen fieldhouse.

Kudos to all you Jayhawk fans who made the big sacrifice to spend Thanksgiving away from cold, rainy weather on the mainland and grin and bear 80 degree tropical breezes and sun-filled days and star-filled nights, to watch two elite programs with NC coaches battle it out.

You are what makes America great!!

PS Travel tip...at the luau, if anyone offers you poi, smile and say "no speak English!!"

Jeff Kilgore 10 years, 6 months ago

If the officials allow a more physical game, that will help the Jayhawks. To win, we'll need to cut the turnovers from last nght's game in half. Some of Tyshawn's deflected passes look as though he forgets that defenders have arms! But when he goes to the hole with the ball, it is really exciting. I still love Tyshawn's heart too. This team, like all Self teams, play very hard. It's a tribute to them and to Coach Self.

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 6 months ago

keys of the game: 1) KU has to keep them from hitting uncontested 3s. 2) Keep our 3 bigs out of foul trouble (Withey, Trob, and JWesley). 3) Transition points need to be finished; it seems like every game we have left about 6-8 points off the board, by not finishing the fast breaks.

Orangedog87 10 years, 6 months ago

Instead of the negative.

It's Thanksgiving.

I love KUBB, our players and coaches.

Save the negative and give the love.

Steve Brown 10 years, 6 months ago

Coach Knight already did when Student K made a turnover.

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