Originally published November 5, 2012 at 10:56p.m., updated November 5, 2012 at 11:32p.m.


Opinion: Be kind to Jayhawks, because Self won’t be

Kansas head coach Bill Self gets at point guard Naadir Tharpe during the second half on Monday, Nov. 5, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas head coach Bill Self gets at point guard Naadir Tharpe during the second half on Monday, Nov. 5, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.


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Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self

Kansas coach Bill Self talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 62-50 victory over Washburn.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Elijah Johnson, Ben McLemore and Perry Ellis

Elijah Johnson, Ben McLemore and Perry Ellis talk to reporters following the Jayhawks' 62-50 victory over Washburn on Nov. 5, 2012.

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If you should happen to run into one of Bill Self’s basketball players on campus or in town Tuesday, make sure to say something nice to him. You can bet his coach won’t beat you to it.

“We played like little babies tonight,” Self said during his post-game radio interview after an unsightly 62-50 exhibition victory against Washburn University, a very good Division II basketball team.

Who knows what Self might have said if not for FCC regulations. (Consult the late comedian George Carlin’s signature routine for hints.)

If you see Elijah Johnson, remind him that without him, Kansas gets bounced from the NCAA Tournament by Purdue after Tyshawn Taylor cramps up. Let Jeff Withey know he holds the record with 31 blocked shots in a single NCAA tournament.

Let Travis Releford know that you know he scored 28 points against Oklahoma a year ago.

Tell Perry Ellis that although his 10 points, five rebounds, two blocked shots and two steals came in handy, it was his coast-to-coast ball-handling punctuated by an and-one, left-handed layup, and when double-teamed, his back-to-the-basket feed of Jeff Withey for a dunk that really caught your attention.

Inform Ben McLemore that when he scored 13 of his 17 points, took a charge and picked up a steal in a stretch of 5:22 late in the first half, things happening on the court didn’t make you want to retch.

The players probably could stand to hear some words not colored blue and delivered with a crimson face. Pity the poor players at practice Tuesday. They put their coach in an absolutely miserable mood for two hours Monday night and Tuesday’s practice is his chance to exact revenge with the regular-season opener lurking Friday night against Southeast Missouri State.

You didn’t like that you had to sit in the top row Monday night? Well, at least you won’t have to touch the top row after running the Allen Fieldhouse steps Tuesday. Can Self’s players be sure of the same?

The Jayhawks committed an astonishing 24 turnovers and not one of those could be blamed on Dayne Crist.

The team that looked like in mid-season form against Emporia State in the exhibition opener, whipping the ball from one side to the other and back to the original with decisive passes that left the defense gasping to catch up, looked as if it wanted to make it so much harder on itself by dribbling and hurrying its way into giving the ball back to the Ichabods from Topeka.

The beauty of talent on display for stretches of the first half when freshmen scored 26 of KU’s 36 points gave way to the bane of inexperience in the second, when the frosh combined for seven of 13 turnovers.

Freshmen frustrate coaches. It’s unavoidable. But they can’t anger coaches to the same depth as seniors who play like freshmen.

“What did Jeff and Travis and Elijah do to help the young guys change it?” Self asked rhetorically.

Well, not much.

Maybe it’s difficult for players who made it all the way to the NCAA title game to get up for an exhibition game, but with a performance so shoddy it turned the fieldhouse volume into the same level as the library at a Trappist monastery so fresh on their minds, the players shouldn’t have any trouble bringing laser focus to the season-opener.

“I think it’s perfect we can go into the season and get their attention a little bit,” Self said. “We have a big game Friday and a huge game Tuesday (against Michigan State in Atlanta). If we play this soft a week from now, we’re going to get a knot put on our head, big-time. Usually, guys in this program rally around this, and I’m sure these guys will.”

When they do, they’ll pass the basketball to each other, instead of dribbling it off the other guys' feet or their own, and the fieldhouse will come alive again, louder than ever.


ahpersecoachingexperience 9 years, 6 months ago

62 points against Washburn. I'm sure that will translate well to the big 12.

ahpersecoachingexperience 9 years, 6 months ago

And could of done without the DC blast. Writers should be better than that. Now posters on the other hand...

Pitthawk34 9 years, 6 months ago

Now posters on the other hand, just sit by the computer with their BJ sandwich in hand just dreaming of making a clever post the split second a article is posted.

bg_duck1 9 years, 6 months ago

Agreed ahperse, that was a low class swipe at a good kid for absolutely no good reason.

Marcia Parsons 9 years, 6 months ago

I don't think he was taking a swipe at Crist, but at all the fans who continually blamed him for everything that went wrong in any game he played in.

okiedave 9 years, 6 months ago

Washburn actually has a pretty stout team this year. Washburn gave OU a scare last week and kept the game pretty close. The score does not concern me. Self will work out the kinks. Looking forward to the Michigan State game to see how the Jayhawks will stack up in the Big XII.

Dirk Medema 9 years, 6 months ago

62 points against Washburn. I'm sure that will translate well to the big 10 is more accurate, so maybe we do have a chance next week :-)

Joe Satterwhite 9 years, 6 months ago

I don't blame Coach Self one-bit if he rips the players a new one. Matter of fact I hope he does. Rock Chalk.

Phil Leister 9 years, 6 months ago

Does anyone edit articles before they're posted? The other day Tait wrote "towing the line". Not sure why the readers are always the ones pointing out spelling and grammatical errors.

Gary Wirsig 9 years, 6 months ago

You're only seeing the finished product. You don't know how much was caught by the staff before you saw it.

Phil Leister 9 years, 6 months ago

True...not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

Jesse Newell 9 years, 6 months ago

Hey — Thanks for the feedback. These are edited before they are placed online, but I will tell you we are placing greater emphasis on getting stories up sooner in a 24-hour news cycle. Our goal is to provide you content quicker so you don't have to wait multiple hours for a game story or column if it's ready to go online. We hope getting the content to you quicker is worth the (hopefully very) occasional typo you might see.

Michael Luby 9 years, 6 months ago

Ohhhhh man. Hehehehe, Coach is gonna lay the smack down in practice, technically later on today. Hay Jaybate, please do the same to Ahperse. He stinks of day old and microwaved dookie. How can you not have faith in our Jayhawks? I mean, yeah they got spanked tonight by a "very good Div II team", even though they won. But, still hasnt Coach Self always had his teams ready and primed for the big time later in the season? Uhhh yah! He will this time too. Someone has to light a fire under the seniors pants and he will be the one to do it. He will remind them they go nowhere, win no league without their leadership. Despite that, I think one of our freshmen will lead us in scoring this year.

Michael Auchard 9 years, 6 months ago

I think this opinion is completely backwards. Coach Self has told the story many times of how the 2005-2006 team, a bunch of Froshes, were playing like crud at the beginning of the year. After multiple people on the streets asked them what was wrong with their games, he says they started to buy into his system. Flash forward to 2008 and the rest is history.

mattiesdad 9 years, 6 months ago

Key Question: Is Withey lost without his sage and mentor, Danny Manning?

Hawk_Star 9 years, 6 months ago

Unless EJ starts attacking the rim, and a getting to the line, we will be in big trouble. I've missed Tyshawn since last april.

yates33333 9 years, 6 months ago

You are absolutely correct. While Robinson is missed, Taylor is vitally missed. I think of all the sniping at him last year by posters. Hopefully, they are honest enough to admit that someone with his ability is the ingredient we really need this year.

Ann Oneill 9 years, 6 months ago

He is lost without the defense that focused on TRob.

NebraskaJayhawk 9 years, 6 months ago

Anyone that thinks Withey is going to post big point totals game in and game out are fooling themselves. And if our offense is going to run through him this season we are in trouble. Withey is about as adept at scoring as Aldrich was. They are both great defenders in the post and that's what I hope Self is relying on Withey to do. Whatever he can clean up around the rim and at the FT line should be his points for the game in my opinion.

Bob Thompson 9 years, 6 months ago

KU has always played bad against pesky teams. Look back at some of the tournament games in March. How many time have we been either beaten, or had a hard time beating some of these teams. We always seem to play better against the taller more conventional teams. This isn't an excuse for the way they played, just an observation.

Woody Cragg 9 years, 6 months ago

Gotta be the red jerseys. They always struggle with them on, always! LOL!

Steve Gantz 9 years, 6 months ago

When they sported them against Duke in the '86 final four, it was the striped shirts that did them in, not the red jerseys.

Steve Reigle 9 years, 6 months ago

Looks a lot like this time last season, doesn't it? This year we have even more talent, much more depth, and the same excellent coaching staff. It's painful to watch at first but it's really nice knowing this team will get it together and it will be a great ride. A few bumps along the way, but a great ride nonetheless.

SaltLakeHawk 9 years, 6 months ago

We do NOT have the same excellent coaching staff. Danny Manning is no longer coaching the bigs. Danny Manning is THE best big man coach in the country. Obviously, we still have a stable of elite coaches, but you can't say we have the same coaching staff, not even close.

We're all kidding ourselves if we think KU won't take a hit in the big man department after Danny's departure. I'm nervous about it, especially since Self runs his system through his bigs.

hawkdiek 9 years, 6 months ago

Danny didn't just teach the bigs the whole time he was here. He also taught the other coaches how to teach. I can assure you our coaching staff it still teaching "Danny's ways" to the current and future bigs on the team. Thank You Danny!!!

NebraskaJayhawk 9 years, 6 months ago

Um, Self did not have Manning at Illinois and he still had great if the not the best post play in the country. Not saying Manning won't be missed, but Self knows the post with or without him.

Bville Hawk 9 years, 6 months ago

+++ I love Danny as much as the next person, but he's is getting way too much credit for bigs development, IMHO. I guess we'll find out over the next 2-3 seasons how our bigs are progressing

mikehawk 9 years, 6 months ago

HCBS is upset sure, but always takes these type games as a chance to get their attention again and get them focused and humble. This time of year in an exhibition, he needs stuff to legitimately chew on to get them out of their egos. He has a frown on the outside, and a sly smile going on with the other coaches with the door closed on the inside.

Just a matter of time before the KU faithful turn on Withey because he isn't a one for one exchange for T-Rob people think he should be. He isn't and never will be the main guy on any team. He needs another big to step up around him and then he can do what he does best, which is block shots and play off from the weak side. If he averages 10 and 8 and 3, I think that would be about his ceiling, and a level very complimentary to the overall team. Clearly, as coach has noted, he does't play well against smallish bigs because they are too quick for him. He will see a lot of those types of players early in the year.

702Hawk 9 years, 6 months ago

"The Jayhawks committed an astonishing 24 turnovers and not one of those could be blamed on Dayne Crist."

I'm sure we can.

  1. Crist has been a spy this whole time for Washburn. Hence why he hasn't gotten better in football all year. He has been to busy learning the basketball plays to send over to the Bods.

  2. He gave the Jayhawks some of his special water before the game.

  3. He was at BWW to watch the game and told the bar tender that he wanted to see the Bods do well.

That darn Crist, always a trouble maker.

Jeff Coffman 9 years, 6 months ago

I thought the defense did pretty good, if I'm not mistaken there were a lot of shot clock violations, which speaks well to what Bill Self drives down first...defense.

The offense will come. I saw releford miss a dunk (maybe two), I saw some timing issues, where the pass was quicker than someone was able to turn and catch.

Self runs a complicated offense and it takes freshman a little while to get all of the ins/outs of it.

The turnovers make me more nervous than anything, but most of those were unforced, meaning a lot of practice drills by Self will fix those.

I don't know what the final shooting numbers were, but I saw that Mclemore has a sweet shot and with game time, people will shift to him and EJ and JW will free up.

This team is going to continue to improve on defense as well, I think it will be an exciting year.

KGphoto 9 years, 6 months ago

That's why he's the boss folks. Good stuff, Tom. Put this one in the vault.

REHawk 9 years, 6 months ago

It is imprinted somewhere in my memory bank that Bill Self, on numerous occasions, has professed not to worry much about long as his players excel at defense, rebounding, protecting the ball. He recruits kids who have sound scoring histories prior to their arrival, and fits them into a winning style which offers more chances to score than does the opponent. Those 24 turnovers limited many scoring opportunities, and turned the game into something of an anomaly. Until the newcomers and 3 starting seniors have worked together for a dozen games or so, we are likely to view much more erratic action. Maybe Izzo and Co. will lapse into overconfidence when they review this tape!

Terry Sexton 9 years, 6 months ago

Red jerseys are the work of the debbil - except when they're not, like at the Orange Bowl that year. Still hate red as the primary color on a Jayhawk, though. Go, Big BLUE!

741hawk 9 years, 6 months ago

How do you feel about crimson jerseys?

stinkybulldog 9 years, 6 months ago

This was one of the ugliest games I've ever seen in AFH. On a brighter note, B-Mac will be something special this year!

Steve Gantz 9 years, 6 months ago

One of the ugliest wins. I always consider losses uglier.

HawkKlaw 9 years, 6 months ago

Self won't be, and Self shouldn't be. This is one of those early-season learning games. Self will use this to light the fire for Elijah, Travis and Jeff. HCBS doesn't want to be having this same conversation when conference play starts.

Use this game to get better, young (and senior) 'Hawks!

FarSideHawk 9 years, 6 months ago

I sometimes think that too, about having BMac on last year's team. But then I think of the Butterfly effect.

Who knows, with BMac on the team, maybe we don't even get past Purdue.

Last year was as good as it could have been. We fought and clawed for every win in the tournament and made it to the last game. The year before, the team was a lot better with a much easier path to win it all, and stumbled against VCU. Go figure.

Three titles that should have been KU's will always bother me: 1997 2003 2011

Last year's runner-up finish doesn't figure into that.

Steve Gantz 9 years, 6 months ago

I agree with 97 and 03, but 11 was more of a we could win this because the other supposed top teams were being upset. We were heads and shoulders above the rest of the teams in 97 and 03.

FarSideHawk 9 years, 6 months ago

Yeah, but in 2011 we were one of the top teams to start with and at the time we got upset, we were head and shoulder above everyone left.

But I agree, I would rate 1997 and 2003 as bigger misses than 2011.

Those championships would have put us at par with the rest of the blue bloods in terms of championships. We have the total wins, but we have underperformed in the Championships.

Sally Presson 9 years, 6 months ago

Don't lose that killer attitude we had last year, the seniors need to instill it in our young players, that's KU basketball!!! Learn from this game guys and go out and give our oponents hell!!! Make them scared to play the Jayhawks!!!

Rock Chalk

jaybate 9 years, 6 months ago

“We played like little babies tonight.” -Bill Self

I have always thought that throughout the Field House there need to be great quotes by KU coaches stencilled on walls. I have always wanted the quotes to be both the positive and wise ones, but also the memorably critical, also. What coaches say is such a big part of the game, such a memorable part of it that I want these quotes up on the walls in the field house.

This quote above by Self HAS to be one of them. It says everything about Self and about the way he looks at the game and about what he expects out of players, and what he cannot stand from them. This Self quote ranks up their with Larry Brown's "They can't even guard their own shadows!"

These quotes have to be up on the walls in the field house for people see and re-read them.

"I have more want-to in my little finger than all the fans combined." --Roy Williams

"You can't coach basketball, Forrest." --James Naismith

"Well, you can certainly teach free-throwing. And you can teach the boys to pass at angles and run in curves." --Forrest Allen

Someone just has to convince Self and Sheahon and CBernie to start recalling and cataloguing the great quotes and putting the quotes up. They constitute a treasure trove of basketball wisdom and memories that fans need to be reminded of again and again. The game isn't perfect. It isn't coached, or played by perfect people. Things don't go perfectly all the time. Every season is full of growing pains. For every high there is a low.

"You can't stop at every dog that barks or you'll never get the mail delivered."

--Phog Allen

"Be strong in body, clean in mind, and lofty in ideals." --James Naismith

"I am sure that no man can derive more pleasure from money or power than I do from seeing a pair of basketball goals in some out of the way place." --James Naismith

"The invention of basketball was not an accident. It was developed to meet a need. Those boys simply would not play 'Drop the Handkerchief." --James Naismith

Nick Thompson 9 years, 6 months ago

Amazing quotes, jb....Thanks so much for sharing.

nostradavid 9 years, 6 months ago

"A dirty mind is a terrible thing to waste." - a magnet on my fridge

jaybate 9 years, 6 months ago

“I thought there were some men playing against guys who were not as old tonight.” --Bill Self

“I know it hurts. It crushed him. But if the kid isn't tough, how can a walk-on kid from Asheville, N.C., come in here, get an education and start for Kansas” --Bill Self

“People around here talk about it being one of the better weeks in the history of the program. But the week they signed Chamberlain -- that was pretty good, and the week they signed Manning, that was goodtoo, even if they didn't sign anybody else. We're certainly excited about it, but the new recruits still have to perform.” --Bill Self

“You don't want to take away his freedom to make creative plays." --Bill Self

“We didn't make any passes except to them.” --Larry Brown (not while at KU)

“If we raised the goals, these mezzanine-peeping goons wouldn’t be able to score like little children pushing pennies into gum machines." --Phog Allen

“Twelve-foot baskets? What are you talking about? I’ve developed amnesia.” --Phog Allen after signing Wilt Chamberlain

"Believe." --Bill Self

Hawk_Star 9 years, 6 months ago

Don't get me wrong, I love a good quote as much as the next guy, but stenciling said quotes on the walls of the fieldhouse would look tacky. Leave the quotes to the students and their signs/banners.

texashawk10 9 years, 6 months ago

I think putting them up all over AFH would look very tacky, but putting some of those quotes in the Booth Hall of Fame or on the mural in the west hallway would look nice and add more character.

wildjayhawk 9 years, 6 months ago

jayfart, you're all gas coming out of that hole in your butt.

sportacopia 9 years, 6 months ago

Sloppy game for an exhibition with all that talent we have, but with that many new comers to the lineup in a system where you need to have familiarity it is expected. I expect some bumps in the road this season, but nothing our coaches cannot handle. If you guys like talking KU basketball you should checkout it is a free sports social network designed by a KU grad for people to have a place to talk about sports all the time with other sports fans. Here's the link to the KU fan page. free to use and easy to sign up. Rock Chalk! Cannot wait for Friday's game.

jaybate 9 years, 6 months ago


Bruce Webber Interim Head Coach

dunruh 9 years, 6 months ago

This is literally the dumbest article I have ever read................. we played awful and you are saying Self shouldn't lay into them after that? There's no crying in basketball.

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