Kansas defeats Swiss National Team, 79-76

  • noon, Aug. 7, 2012
  • Fribourg, Switzerland,

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Swiss miss: KU survives late rally by Switzerland in tour opener

Switzerland's Stefan Petkovic, right, and Kansas University's Perry Ellis, battle in Fribourg, Switzerland, Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012.

Switzerland's Stefan Petkovic, right, and Kansas University's Perry Ellis, battle in Fribourg, Switzerland, Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012.


— Early in the fourth quarter, Jeff Withey playfully razzed teammate Kevin Young about his passing skills.

He probably won’t do it again after Young’s performance in the final minute Tuesday.

With 25 seconds left and Kansas leading by two, Young rebounded Naadir Tharpe’s miss and dished to Withey in one motion, providing a clutch play in the Jayhawks’ 79-76 exhibition victory over the Swiss national team at Fribourg Arena.

“Jeff, when he’s down there, you’ve got to get him the ball,” Young said. “He’s like a big billboard down there.

“I saw Naadir and I saw him, and I told Naadir in the locker room, ‘I would have passed it to you, but Jeff’s a little bit bigger, so I had to pass it to Jeff.’”

Earlier in the fourth quarter, following a well-placed lob pass to Zach Peters, Withey returned to the bench and jokingly told Young that it was a pass that he couldn’t make.

“He one-upped me on that one,” Withey said. “Definitely a great pass, and that saved the game for us.”

After Tharpe’s baseline jumper missed, Young leapt high under the basket for the offensive rebound before firing it to Withey in front of the rim.

“Right when I caught the ball, I knew he was open, because his man slid over to take Naadir,” Young said. “My man tried to box me out or come to me when I got the ball, so he was wide open.”

The basket pushed KU’s lead to 77-73, and the Jayhawks held on through a crazy final few moments.

Following a Swiss three that cut the lead to 79-76 with 1.6 seconds left, Tharpe caught the inbounds pass, holding it with outstretched hands to let the time run out.

The clock didn’t start, though (in Switzerland, of all places), and after a defender bumped Tharpe with his lower body, the KU sophomore guard lost his balance and fell out of bounds.

Officials gave the ball back to Switzerland, but Dusan Mladjan’s three-pointer from the corner bounced off the rim to end the game.

KU won despite some sloppy play.

The Jayhawks didn’t score in the game’s first 6 1/2 minutes; Withey finally ended the drought with an 18-foot jumper that cut the deficit to 3-2.

KU had eight turnovers before its first basket and finished the game with 28 giveaways.

“I think we were nervous,” KU coach Bill Self said. “(Freshman) Ben (McLemore) and those guys, this is the first game that they’ve played. I haven’t seen these guys play like this from a nervous standpoint yet.”

Withey also sensed jitters.

“All the freshmen, they’re not used to this kind of stuff — having coach, you know, coaching them finally,” Withey said. “They’re probably pretty shocked. I think they’re going to get more comfortable as we keep on going out on this trip.”

Withey led KU with 12 points and 10 rebounds, while Elijah Johnson and Travis Releford both added 11 points.

KU freshman Andrew White contributed 10 points, while Young posted nine points and eight rebounds in 13 minutes.

The Jayhawks won at the end of a difficult travel day. The Jayhawks arrived in Frankfurt, Germany, at around 5:30 a.m. following a 7 1/2 hour flight from Washington, D.C. The team arrived in Zurich at around 10 a.m. local time before departing on a shortened sightseeing trip to Mount Pilatus in Lucerne at noon.

Following another two-hour drive, KU reached Fribourg at 5:30 p.m. to warm up.

The Jayhawks’ best stretch came during the first 15 minutes of the second half, as they turned a 30-all tie into a 71-54 lead with 5:42 left in the fourth quarter.

Switzerland scored 19 of the next 23 points before Young’s assist silenced his one critic.

“Jeff’s got some good passes. I think we’re neck-and-neck right now,” Young said with a smile. “We’ve both got one good pass in so far.”

KU and the Swiss national team will rematch today at 10 a.m. U.S. Central time. On Saturday and Sunday, the Jayhawks will play in France against a squad of French A and B League professionals. Both contests will be at 1 p.m. (Central time).

None of the games will be broadcast on radio or TV, though updates will be available at and on Twitter at @KUSports.


Alohahawk 9 years, 9 months ago

First game jitters for the new guys and with no time to rest after what has to have been an exhausting traveling experience, I give everyone credit for just showing up and winning. Next time out, along with more prep-time, I would expect a similar game by the Swiss team, but a little better shooting percentage by the Jayhawks. Congrats on the win, guys.

Woody Cragg 9 years, 9 months ago

Gonna be one of those years guys-10 freshman says it all till around February. By then we should have a good rotation & some much needed "togetherness" experience. I really think we'll see how much of a calming influence Danny had on these young kids without much of a doubt. HCBS can dish it out pretty tough at times, so another of the assistants will have to steady the ship at different junctures. If you've read "Beyond the Phog" you know how many freshman have either wanted to, or actually gone down the road from Lawrence. They'll take alot of punishment at times with Self. And boot camp is looming just over the horizon men, & better he than me!

Cameron Cederlind 9 years, 9 months ago

I really like this team, I think we might pull it together before February. You've got 4 senior starters who all played large minutes in the national championship, then you just fill in the extra guard spot with somewhat solid tharpe and you've got all experience out there. Bring in off the bench Mclemore, Perry, Peters, and White who can all score pretty easily it sounds like, and you've got a pretty dangerous 9 man rotation. We've got less scoring potential from our starters of last year but definitely a huge scoring advantage from our bench over last year.

Chris Bruning 9 years, 9 months ago

that swiss player reminds me of SPIKE from little giants-lol

Max Ledom 9 years, 9 months ago

So are these awesome new jerseys going to be our duds in 2012-13?

MN_KU_gohawk 9 years, 9 months ago

Last night was my only chance to see the Hawks play live probably in the next 3 years. I took a late train to Fribourg and made it just as the game started. Anyhow, I just wanted to give everyone my observations on the players and the team as a general. We are big! we have a lot of big guys and are thin in the backcourt. As a whole, despite the jetlag, first game jitters, playing against professionals, we played well and the upcoming season seems quite promising. The freshmen, except for Ellis and Peters, seemed nervous. However, all 4 seniors plus Naadir really kept things calm at times.

It's the first game and obviously to early to judge anyone, however, here are my first impressions of the team: 1) We are big and will bang teams inside. 2) On the perimeter White appears to be our only 3-shooter and this looks like our biggest question mark again. 3) Naadir will be a key because besides Elijah, we have no other ball handlers. 4) Will the real Ben McLemore stand up? can't judge this talent because he was not involved in the game. 5) After the first and I realize this is premature and unfair but the rotation appears to be: PG: Elijah and Naadir SG: McLemore and White rotation SF: backup that I can see PF: Ellis and Peters/Young C: Withey and Peters

Rio could probably give some minutes in the backcourt but Doyle appears to be not ready. Jamari will give us some physical minutes but Lucas seems to be the odd man out. Evan Manning will probably be our crowd favorite for the next 4 years. As I said, these observations are after one exhibition game and we still need to see these freshmen develop but our seniors will steer this ship. The next message will have more details on the players.

MN_KU_gohawk 9 years, 9 months ago

Here are my observations on the players: Elijah-Solid! he looks natural at the point and he really did a great job of helping out on the defensive boards. He came up kind of gimpy in the 3rd but appeared to be fine once he came in the game. He was agressive on offense when he had to be. Releford-solid out on the break. He was really aggressive and confident out there. He didn't shoot too much from the parameter but was his usual self. The seems to be our captain by example while Elijah appears to be our captain by voice and position (if that makes sense) Withey-he pretty much closed the paint on D. The Swiss never tried going inside after the first quarter. His back-to-the-basket game still is a work in progress. He hit a nice jumper in the first but most of his points were on put backs or on hustle plays.
Ellis-he will be a 4 year starter. Really smooth on offense and has a quite confidence about him (reminds me a bit of Collison). He had a nice one-on-one move in the first against a big guy and appears quite confident on offense. McLemore-struggled. Did not look comfortable on offense. I don't recall him making a shot. He seems rusty and probably needs a couple of games to get in to the flow. He did not play much in the fourth even though he was a starter. Kevin Young-brought a ton of energy on offense. Kept a ton of balls alive. Great on the offensive glass but not so effective on the defense end. He was probably the best player on the court for about a 3-4 minute stretch at the end of the 2nd quarter.

MN_KU_gohawk 9 years, 9 months ago

This 3000 word is killing me and I apologize for the poor formatting. Here is the rest:

Zach Peters-awesome! what a surprise! He looked like a junior/senior out there. Very aggressive and looks offensively skilled. He had his shot blocked a couple of times early but kept coming back. At the end of the game, when the Swiss pulled within 2, he calmly backed his guy down and hit about a 8-9 foot fade away jumper. He also made a nice jumper in the first half and used his body to get an easy entry pass for a layup as well. he appears to be miles ahead of Jamari and Lucas.

Naadir-Started sloppy and poorly but was strong in the 2nd half. He had a couple of nice outlet passes and settled the team down in the 3rd (also had a nice transition jumper). He was in the same backcourt as Elijah for the end of the game and appears to get plenty of playing time.

Rio-Lots of energy but really wild and sloppy on offense. He played early in the game but got 3 fouls on him and seemed frustrated. Didn't play much towards the end.

White-another surprise. He looks to shoot at every opportunity and he did. He missed his first 3s (all short) but once he let the game come to him he was very effective. He hit 2 3s in the 3rd to help us go ahead and drove by his guy once they closed out on his jumper. He also stepped out of bounds 3 times which shows his freshman side. I see the Rush comparisons but I think he looks more like Wayne Ellington. The reason I say that is because Rush was a natural slasher who was good shooter. Ellington looked to shoot first but then drove when he had to. More of a SG then SF.

Jamari-physical specimen. never looked comfortable on the court and was not much of a factor.

Lucas-3 fouls in 3 minutes. He also looked frustrated and looks like he needs some time to develop.

Doyle-really lanky and he came back on D to get a couple of rebounds in the first but did not play much after that and really did not get involved too much on the offensive end while in the game.

Wesley-Played a few minutes in the first and did not contribute on O but did a good job of sealing his guys on D. He had a minor medical issue in the 3rd but appeared to be fine.

Evan Manning-He came in the fourth quarter. He had a nice steal right away and then he had a nice defensive rebound. He seems to be quick but a little slight of frame to contribute at this point. It was surprising that Coach Self had him in the game when the game was close.

Anyhow, this is it from me as I can't make today's game but I really feel honored to see this new groups' first game. I hope this is the start of something special. Thank you Jayhawk Nation. Signing out from Switzerland.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 9 months ago

Great post. Really appreciate the excellent, first-hand observations.

HawkKlaw 9 years, 9 months ago

It appears that my expectations on who will contribute down low this season are pretty spot on. Good to know that Ellis and Peters already have the confidence of upper-classmen. I know a lot of people are pretty skeptical on Peters, but I have never understood why.

Bangkok_Jayhawk 9 years, 9 months ago

Good to get an update from an "on the scene" fan! Good update MN_KU_gohawk!

I see depth being a stregth for us this year so my bet is on an 8 or 9 man rotation. EJ, BMac, Releford, Ellis, and Withey look to be the starters. Tharp and back up PG, White will probably back up SG and SF, Young and Peters will back up the post.

REHawk 9 years, 9 months ago

I really enjoyed Jeff's assessment of Self's coaching impact on the newcomers. Yeah, I imagine that they were somewhat shocked. HA!

REHawk 9 years, 9 months ago

KY posts 9 pts./8 rebounds in 13 minutes. Two or three more minutes and he logs a double double. He has been a dandy acquisition for the Jayhawks. My man Wesley not impressive in this outing. HEM, I begin to grow wary of your approaching onslaught....

REHawk 9 years, 9 months ago

Naw. Matter of fact, after I passed my 71st birthdate the wife insisted that I tone down my Type A personality and accompanying bulldog inclinations.

REHawk 9 years, 9 months ago

Speaking of bulldog inclinations, our wily coach seems to have made an early statement to his unfocused scholarship newcomers. "Get with the program pronto, or Evan will win your minutes!"

Jack Wilson 9 years, 9 months ago

One game under the belt, some changes to the pre-Switzerland power rankings -- prior ranking in ( ):

  1. EJ (1)
  2. Withey (2)
  3. Releford (3)
  4. Ellis (5)
  5. McLemore (4)
  6. White (6)
  7. Young (9)
  8. Tharpe (8)
  9. Traylor (7)
  10. Peters (13)
  11. Lucas (11)
  12. Adams (14)
  13. Doyle (10)
  14. Wesley (12)

REHawk 9 years, 9 months ago

Wily Bill has made a statement to his unfocused perimeter newcomers. Get with the program pronto or Evan will win your minutes.

Jeff Suther 9 years, 9 months ago

Curious where to gage how good this Switzerland team is. We talking a bad non conf. Team level or an avg. Conf. Team?

Tony Bandle 9 years, 9 months ago

These posts make me chuckle, in a fellow Jayhawk way of course, but how can any true team assessment be made on the strength of the first preseason game set in a foreign land played under international rules of a team that played with basically no sleep.

Here's my assessment:

1] The seniors will play.....a lot 2] The freshmen will make errors....a lot. 3] Kansas will win......a lot

Posted with no malice and great anticipation for 2012-2013

MN_KU_gohawk 9 years, 9 months ago

I agree with you Oakville. It's too early for any analysis but I just wanted to give you some impressions from a game in August.

HawkKlaw 9 years, 9 months ago

I think MN_KU_gohawk did a pretty decent job of reiterating several times that his assessment is premature, as it is only based on one pre-season exhibition game in a foreign country. But despite that, there are certain things us fans can infer from MN_KU_gohawk's analysis. And it's fun to hear it from someone who experienced it first hand too, Snarky McSnarkenson.

Ron Prichard 9 years, 9 months ago

In Oakville's defense, he said "no malice intended." If he says no malice intended at the end, he can say whatever he wants and it's okay.

Nothing against Oakville, I just wanted to use my useless knowledge and infatuation with slapstick comedy in a post. I guess that's kind of like saying, no malice intended.

Redlandsjhawk 9 years, 9 months ago

It is what it is I know....but man isn't it great to just have a basketball story so soon? Also many thanks to Mn_Ku_gohawk for the great reporting!!

RecruitHawk 9 years, 9 months ago

Recruiting Updates: SF Jabari Parker (#1 2013) has a top 3 of Michigan State, Duke, and KU. (Wonder if Frankamp and Doyle had any help?)

SG James Young (#5 2013) list KU is his top four along with Michigan State, Arizona, and Kentucky.

PF Marcus Lee (#32 2013) list KU in his top seven.

PG Demetrius Jackson (#31 2013) has a top four of UK, KU, Notre Dame, and Illinois.

PF Tyler Roberson (#41 2013) said he will give KU an official visit along with Syracuse (Top 2).

Jack Wilson 9 years, 9 months ago

Your expectations should be Big 12 title and NCAA title. You are a Kansas fan, my friend.

Iandhi 9 years, 9 months ago

I love that picture of HCBS. “If you shoot that instead of feeding the post, I will yank you so fast. Did we bring the treadmill?”

Scott Smetana 9 years, 9 months ago

Awesome post MN... just what I wanted to read.
Great news about Ellis and Peters. Kevin Young is going to be awesome and drive us nuts this year.
Interesting about BMac... hopefully a better report soon.

Brian Conrad 9 years, 9 months ago

3 weeks ago some preseason polls had Mizzery ranked ahead of KU and Sporting news had KU barely in top 20... todays ESPN preseason now has KU 4th and Misery down where they belong ... out of top 20. life is good in Larryville

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