Thursday, February 2, 2012


Now Jayhawks can focus on Missouri

Kansas players Thomas Robinson (0) and Elijah Johnson (15) raise up the fieldhouse during a run by the Jayhawks in the second half on Wednesday, February 1, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas players Thomas Robinson (0) and Elijah Johnson (15) raise up the fieldhouse during a run by the Jayhawks in the second half on Wednesday, February 1, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self

Kansas coach Bill Self talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 84-62 victory over Oklahoma on Feb. 1, 2012.

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Bill Self, Lon Kruger, KU and OU players

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Kansas defeated Oklahoma, 84-62, on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012, at Allen Fieldhouse.

KU vs. OU

Box Score

In a second half of non-stop, good old-fashioned Kansas University basketball dominance Wednesday night in Allen Fieldhouse, the Jayhawks did a nice job of scratching another victory against Oklahoma off the schedule and not looking past the Sooners.

In turning a three-point half-time lead into an 84-62 victory, all five starters played key roles.

Elijah Johnson didn’t score or get a rebound in the second half, but he did do a nice job of chasing Steven Pledger around the floor, guarding him physically. With the help of Travis Releford, Johnson frustrated Pledger into 2-for-7 shooting in the second 20 minutes.

Releford hit the boards and defended with passion. Jeff Withey used left-right hook combinations to slap the Sooners silly and scored 13 of his 15 points in the second half. He’s become so much more aggressive, which enables him to show off the sweetest free-throw rotation on the team. He never misses. After a sometimes-passive, sometimes-inattentive first half, Tyshawn Taylor (21 points) made all five of his second-half shots, including a pair of three-pointers and had five assists without a turnover after three first-half spills.

And then there was Thomas Robinson, who made all six second-half shots and, to round out a 20-point, 17-rebound night, had 12 points, 11 boards, three assists, two blocks and two steals after halftime. Robinson and Taylor combined to make 11 of 11 shots in the half, and KU made 17 of 20 shots inside the three-point arc.

A team doesn’t play that well if it’s thinking about a game scheduled to be played three nights later.

“I don’t think it was difficult to focus on this game because of our last game,” Taylor said, meaning the loss at Iowa State. “We wanted to bounce back. We knew we couldn’t look past OU. They played at K-State and beat them. We knew it was going to be a tough game.”

Still, he acknowledged, the invisible shadow of Saturday night’s showdown in the Show-Me State crept onto the scene.

“I think a lot of our focus was not all the way on Saturday, but in the backs of our heads, we were thinking about that game,” Taylor said. “It’s probably the biggest one we have on our schedule so far. Coach said in the locker room it’s something we can start thinking about now because that’s our focus.”

Watching the game, it was difficult not to think about Missouri.

Every time Robinson scored, the same question surfaced: What player on Missouri’s roster can slow him down? Tough to find an answer for that one.

Conversely, when Kansas passed the ball on the perimeter of Oklahoma’s tight zone defense and too often settled for a jumper in the first half, the same question surfaced: Is Missouri watching this and planning to play a zone for much of Saturday night? If so, can Taylor find the angles to exploit and not turn it over against such quick Tigers defenders? Will KU be able to figure out a way to get Robinson the ball on the block?

When Releford dropped down to play power forward, immediately the mind raced to how that lineup will be used plenty Saturday against the smaller Tigers.

Keeping focus trained on the task at hand will be a challenge for residents of both Border War states for the rest of the week. Look for productivity to decrease significantly in every office in both states. Sure, the 21st century is relatively young, but Saturday certainly shapes up as the regular-season Game of the Century for both schools.

It meets that lofty standard not just because Missouri is booking for the SEC, but because it’s a battle with first-place implications and even more so because it’s a contest between two Top-10 teams that bring such different strengths and vulnerabilities to the court.


jayhawker_97 10 years, 10 months ago

Tigers are smaller but they are fast, get away with their way-too-active hands and thus, are extremely dangerous with fastbreaks - they all run together. they move around the ball pretty well, too. if that's not enough, the refs seem to be on their side most of the time. we've got good defenders, TT is just as fast as their guard. watch for TOs, guys! our bigs will continue scoring on the inside and dominating on the glass. as long as we'll play like the 2nd half vs Okie, this Sat will be a blown-out!

r o c k chalk!!

ParisHawk 10 years, 10 months ago

Will the refs let our bigs play? Bigs in foul trouble = Big trouble.

Jeremy Wilhelm 10 years, 10 months ago

I actually think this is one game where having the one of our bigs in trouble will be less of a big deal - we ran a four guard rotation briefly last night, I bet in preparation for the possibility of foul trouble. I'd be okay with seeing Teahan or even Tharpe sub in for Withey or Trob occasionally - probably means moving Johnson or Releford into the post.

KULA 10 years, 10 months ago

Great game for the 'Hawks! Another stellar performance by TRob, fending off any assaults on his Player of the Year quest, AND providing some Sports Center highlights. Tyshawn continues to make those Bob Cousy guys (whoever they are) look like dopes. Offensively assertive Travis resurfaces. EJ throws down a couple 3's along with a few sweet assists (although I'd still like to see more from him). Withey continues his quest to become "a force."

So glad to see Kevin get some minutes. You can see in his face how much he wants to do well. And loved to look on Bill's face when Kevin got his on his cut to the bucket.

And Conner was...Conner. Btw, HEM, how'd you like his pump fake and drive to the lane, where he drew...air. Sorry, couldn't resist, lol. I liked your post about the pump fake, but that only works if you can actually shoot in the first place. Conner can't.

And I guess Naadir's done for the year. If you can't get any real minutes in a game like this, you never will. Looks like Bill's given up on him for this year. Understandable though, because Conner brings so much...

actorman 10 years, 10 months ago

It's more like what Conner DOESN'T bring, which is a turnover three seconds after he's entered the game. Naadir seems to be doing that fairly regularly, so as disappointing as Conner's slump has been, at least he's not a turnover machine.

JurisJayhawk 10 years, 10 months ago

Naadir is also a PG. The ball is in his hands more. I just wish the announcers would stop calling Conner our "3-point specialist."

Steve Kubler 10 years, 10 months ago

Problem is, the ball is not in his (tharpe's) hands that long. Last night is at least the 4th time I have seen him stick the ball out for an opposing player to take out of his hands.

Don't get me wrong I want Naadir to play. I love to watch a true point guard run his team. But Tharpe has to change his ways if he is going to become that point guard. He is careless with the ball and has taken to many ill advised shots.

Admitted he has not had many minutes to get in the flow of the game. However if I was his coach the first time he handed the ball over or took a three early in the shot clock I'd have him on the bench just like HCBS.

As far as Conner, I have been a big Teahan fan as he has shown he can be a huge threat outside. Having that threat makes everyone else better IF that threat can be backed up by results. Right not those results just are not there and I am to the point I am not sure they will return.

That pump fake and drive btw actually brings me hope. He missed the layup but if he does that once or twice a game, and makes a few I would not be surprised if that doesn't help him shooting outside. If nothing else it will make his defender back off a step to prevent the blow by, opening up passing lanes and a bit more room to take a shot.

Dyrk Dugan 10 years, 10 months ago

i can't wait for this game. i think we'll play well. the only thing that i truly worry about, is a bad reaction to the atmosphere for a stretch...and that will allow them to get back in the game....or break open a tight game.

Because the matchup does not favor them. Yes, they have four guards, who all handle it, and can shoot it. but then what? who will guard Withey? who will keep both TRob and Withey off the glass? How will Ricardo like having to shoot over one guy at 6-9, or the other guy at 7-0?.

You know, MU has only played one team in the league...that was both physical AND tall. (yes Baylor is long, but they are NOT physical)...and that was K-State. and the kitties blew 'em out. and they like the ISU matchup better than we do, because they have couple of guys that can cover their guards can go cover three point shooters fairly easily.

i don't know, i just don't see how we, as the dominant basketball school in this league, and who has had great success vs. Moo over the years, won't be totally fired up and ready to play, what very well could be our last game ever in Columbia MO.

I said before the year, that our bball teams should sweep. KU women got off to the good start at their place...let's make it 2 for 2. Go Jayhawks!

Andy Rieger 10 years, 10 months ago

Can't believe that Withey had only 2 boards. Not impressive.

Kit Duncan 10 years, 10 months ago

In another article Withey complained (in a lighthearted way) that T-Rob kept beating him to the rebounds. I saw one where Jeff was coming down with a rebound and Thomas grabbed it right out of Withey's hands! Think Coach Self might have motivated T-Rob a little bit at halftime?

FSUJHAWK 10 years, 10 months ago

A few quick points, KU will need to:

1) Hit 'em first and hit 'em hard, hit 'em high and hit 'em low 2) Control the tempo 3) Minimize turnovers 4) Get about 15 good minutes from the bench 5) Finish each half strong

Come on boys, history is riding on your shoulders and the entire Jayhawk Nation is behind you.


Brandon Pope 10 years, 10 months ago

Nice build up article. This is going to be a tough, tough game. However, I still think the Tigers are vulnerable and when they play a team that is halfway talented AND plays tough defense, they can go down hard. Regardless of Saturday, I feel we will handle them easily at the Fieldhouse.

jayhawkinATL 10 years, 10 months ago

Gotta beat 'em with our BIG boys...TRob and Withey!!!

Ron Franklin 10 years, 10 months ago

I think KU will match up with Missouri much in the same way as they matched up with Iowa St.

The main difference is Missouri doesn't have a Royce White to finish off a close game.

As long as Missouri doesn't just go Ape $#!t from 3 and KU's gaurds get those long rebounds off the 3 KU should win handily.

Don Everett 10 years, 10 months ago

Even if KU does not sweep moosouri this year, I vow that we always know you are an idiot.

lurkerhawk 10 years, 10 months ago

We hung with the best: Duke, Ohio State, Baylor and Kentucky. We aren't scared of the Tiggers. The Tiggers are scared of us.

Mike Kendall 10 years, 10 months ago

Blown Jay---- I can agree with you in regard to your assessment. Somebody mentioned (ParisHawk) that our bigs can't get into foul trouble. Boy, isn't that the truth?!

Finally, in regard to that weak Mizzou video that was introducing the Tigers into the SEC----"You know the bad thing about Arkansas? It has Kansas in it!"

Weak, Mizzou! Very weak!


Jonathan Allison 10 years, 10 months ago

the bad thing about Arkansas? I thought that it was because it has Mike Anderson in it!

NebraskaJayhawk 10 years, 10 months ago

This is more than just a typical rivalry game against MU. Not that a typical rivalry game against MU isn't huge, but this one is HUGE. We do not want to lose to MU in basketball this season. Lets send them out of the conference in style. Come on 'hawks..this one means a lot.

REHawk 10 years, 10 months ago

As I see it, we win this one unless the Tigers get super hot from the arc. Our point guard and all passers must cherish the ball. Rock Chalk!

cool_beans 10 years, 10 months ago

two teams with two different styles of play. it's going to be an awesome game.

hotrodm 10 years, 10 months ago

MIZWHO, or is it MIZZOO ? Beak em Hawks !

justinryman 10 years, 10 months ago

Here's my national press predictions after the game.

If KU wins, be it close or ugly, they will say KU got lucky or skimmed by.

If mu wins, they will say they were the better team all along and KU was out matched.

If KU wins in a blowout, that national press won't say much but point out how off mu was that night and not how well KU played.

If mu wins in a blowout, they will say how great their offense and defense was and how out matched KU was.

Kye Clark 10 years, 10 months ago

I also expect that if KU wins, MU fans will be crying about if they had Laurence Bowers they would have won.

You just know they got that excuse locked & loaded!

texashawk10 10 years, 10 months ago

Q: What's the best thing come out of Missouri? A: I-70 West

Q: Why do clocks in Missouri only have 56 minutes? A: Because they never reach the Final Four.

Q: How do you get a Missouri grad off your porch? A: Tip the delivery guy.

Q: Why does Missouri put "Mizzou" on their jerseys? A: Because spelling is a grad school course there.

justinryman 10 years, 10 months ago

Why do all the trees in Kansas lean East?

Because Missouri sucks so bad.

jakejayhawk 10 years, 10 months ago

I have been watching Missouri and have noticed a couple of things. On offense, their opponents tend to chase them beyond the three-point circle. This is when they use their quickness advantage and penetrate, thus causing the defense to choose between cutting off the penetration or staying back on the post player. It is the extended defense that provides broader lanes for the perimeter players. What if a defense would make it a point not to pursue beyond the arc? I’m not suggesting wide open threes. Rather, when a Missouri player moves outside the circle, defend right up to the line but not beyond. If that Missouri player gets the ball, put a hand up and force them to shoot over the defender. Hey, if Missouri is going to hit threes on a consistent basis from 6-8 feet beyond the circle, they will win no matter what a defense does. The key, I believe, is to drill into your defense not to go beyond that line. This diminishes the dribble-drives. It also means the defenders are packed closer to help one another. The other thing is that teams tend not to attack Missouri on offense. The failure to attack benefits the smaller and quicker Tigers. I have noticed that when players attack, and this is true of post and perimeter players, the tendency is for Missouri to foul. Taking the ball at the Missouri defense diminishes the Tiger’s quickness and swarming scheme. Just my ideas to beat Missouri by exposing their weaknesses and blunting their strengths. I had to take a breather from work anyway. Looking forward to feedback on this from the great basketball minds here in the “Comment Crew”.

actorman 10 years, 10 months ago

Some good ideas, jakejay.

One thing I'm worried about is how KU will do if Misuse goes into a zone. I was quite surprised that OU didn't use the zone in the second half, given how poorly KU played against it in the first half. That seemed like a strange choice to me.

SCHNBALL 10 years, 10 months ago

If I was Haith and Kansas was playing man to man, I would run a high pick and roll everytime from the left side of the court with whoever Withey is guarding setting the screen.
I am quite interested on how we hide Withey against Missouri

burnmu 10 years, 10 months ago

most mizzou fans know that bowers is injured and not playing at all this year

JayHawkFanToo 10 years, 10 months ago

"Then bring in some off the bench." What bench? MU's bench is shorter than KU's bench.

DrGraydog 10 years, 10 months ago

"match up with Withey real good"?

"Denmon and Engish who can really run the floor should get this game going in a fast pace."?

who taught this idiot grammer?

Tony Bandle 10 years, 10 months ago

Burnmu +1!!!

missouricat.....burnmu gotcha!!!

I knew you were a UK Troll, but I must complement you on your sentence structure and spelling. No way you're a native Kensuckian.

Steve Brown 10 years, 10 months ago

MIZZOU: My very 1st game in Hallowed AFH was MU, a neighbor brought my little brother and me and we sat courtside row 3.

JoJo White upset a team that was very highly ranked. As a soph/junior in HS from a small Kansas town it was quite a sight to behold, that night I gave my life to the Phog, rejected a full ride academic scholarship somewhere else to become a devoted JHawk.

You know it has not been often that we play a higher ranked Tiger team, yet when we do I wonder what our record is over the years, modern era for me started in '68.

For you kids not around in the Ted Owens era most coaches sat in the chair during the game and stood up only at time outs, Norm was ahead of his time in standing most of the game, hence the chant "sit down Norm". It was said in cadence by 16,800 fans at the top of our chords "sit down Norm!". over and over afte he complained about a foul, then the bass drum from jazz band would join in with us, Sit Down Norm, 1, 2 3, sit down norm.

We have had some great wins over the years, Memphis 07, Sooners '88, Kentucky by 50, Stallworth by 50, "97 team 35-3, yet none quite as sweet as the pounding we give good ole Mizzwho.

Next year, hate to say it, but one or two games a season I'll be pulling hard for Coach Cal.


PS: Sit down Norm!

Steve Brown 10 years, 10 months ago

KSate is our rival we want to beat them.

Mizzwho is our bitter enemy we want to cut off their heads, feed their entrails to the dogs, plow salt in their fields and send burnt offerings to the new Madrid Fault.

danmoore 10 years, 10 months ago

At the start of the season, it should have been understood by every coach and player in the conference that games against Missouri and A&M were of the utmost importance. Every time they enter an opposing teams arena they should have a target on their back.

ku_tailg8 10 years, 10 months ago

I'm not real big on analyzing the other team. Quite honestly, I don't care. I understand if we don't play sound basketball then this team wont win against a good team. The thing that has driven me crazy this year has been the guard play. TT has played very well lately so he is off the hook. I don't even need the 2 and 3 guards to play well, but just contribute somewhere. Elijah, Teahan and Releford tend to be no shows most of the time. Releford was a mad man for about 2 games in December. I haven't seen that intensity on offense since. They all play good defense and I'm thankful. But if we don't start rebounding then we won't win the BIG XII and that is what I want. The tourney is a crap shoot. But we should we this division. The last thing I want to see, as well as you all, is to see MU run off to the SEC with this title.

Scott MacWilliams 10 years, 10 months ago

Hey Folks, I just did some research and found some of the Official Department Mottoes for Mizzou!!

MU Biology: " Support bacteria! They're the only culture most people have." MU Marine Science: "How much deeper would the ocean be without sponges? " MU Gerontology: "What happens if you get scared half to death, twice?" MU Physics: "OK, so what's the speed of dark?" MU Psychology: "Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm." MU Law: "99 percent of MU lawyers give the rest a bad name." MU ROTC: "Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines." MU Admissions: "Hard work pays off in the future. Laziness pays off now." MU Philosophy: " Life isn't like a box of chocolates. It's more like a jar of jalapenos. What you do today just might burn your butt tomorrow." And the MU Motto: "Light travels faster than sound. That's why Tigers appear bright until you hear them speak."


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