Thursday, February 14, 2013

Bill Self: Naadir Tharpe solid on ‘D

Kansas guard Naadir Tharpe steals the ball from Kansas State guard Rodney McGruder during the second half on Monday, Feb. 11, 2013.

Kansas guard Naadir Tharpe steals the ball from Kansas State guard Rodney McGruder during the second half on Monday, Feb. 11, 2013.


Reader poll

Who should start at point guard for KU?

  • Elijah Johnson 38% 816 votes
  • Naadir Tharpe 57% 1229 votes
  • Rio Adams 3% 69 votes
  • Other 0% 19 votes

2133 total votes.

Naadir Tharpe’s shooting stats haven’t been pretty the past nine games.

“He doesn’t have to shoot the ball well to play well,” Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self said with a shrug, not dwelling on the 5-foot-11 sophomore backup point guard’s 17 baskets in his last 62 attempts for 27.4 percent.

“He is a real good shooter.”

On Monday, he hit three of nine shots — one of four from three — in KU’s 83-62 home victory over Kansas State.

Those numbers did not tell the story of Tharpe’s entire evening. The Worcester, Mass., native was cited as one of the stars of the game for his defense on KSU standout Rodney McGruder.

Yes, the 5-foot-11 Tharpe shadowed the 6-foot-4 McGruder during much of the contest.

“I thought ‘Naa’ the first half did a great job on him,” Self said. McGruder, a likely first-team All-Big 12 pick, scored just three points off 1-of-3 shooting while being unable to shake free of Tharpe the first 20 minutes as KU stormed to a 47-29 lead.

“He got his the second half,” Self added of McGruder, who finished with 20 points off 7-of-14 shooting.

“I was happy for him and proud of him,” Self gushed of Tharpe. “He had been on the cusp of having a good game.”

In retrospect, Self doesn’t consider it a genius coaching move putting the shorter Tharpe on McGruder.

“We really didn’t have another choice. You need Ben’s legs to shoot. If you allow him to chase Rodney, that wears him down,” Self said of Ben McLemore, who scored 30 points against KSU. “Travis (Releford) was out of the game with foul problems, and Elijah (Johnson) had two.”

Tharpe wanted no credit for slowing McGruder when it mattered.

“In practice, we knew what we needed to do against him,” Tharpe said. “It wasn’t one person guarding him. It’s what we talked about. We knew he’d be curling screens. We needed everybody to be in tune. Everybody on the team did it together. I felt it is why he didn’t play as well as he usually does. He still made baskets.”

Tharpe, who played significant stretches at lead guard with Johnson moving over to shooting guard, “had a great first half on both ends,” Self assessed. “He had the defense on its heels. He drove the ball, got us easy baskets. It’s probably his best half of basketball since he’s been here.”

As far as shooting, those who know Tharpe know he needs to keep firing when open, despite the fact he has made seven of his last 31 threes over nine games.

“A lot of coaches that coached me always said I was a good shooter,” he said. “Coach says the same thing. He gets mad at me if I don’t shoot open shots, so I know I have to shoot the ball when I’m open.”

It’s all a process, Tharpe said.

“Everybody who has come here and everybody I’ve seen here, nobody comes and is automatically a superstar,” Tharpe said. “I’ve been trying to work hard every day at practice. That way I can get to being a good player and get out on the floor and help the team win.

Self to coach Dream Team?: Self on Wednesday was asked by national talk-show host Jim Rome about his name being mentioned as a strong candidate for U.S. men’s Olympic team coach, to succeed Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski.

“Sure it would, oh gosh, yes, it would interest me,” Self said of coaching the Dream Team. “I don’t know if anybody who has ever said that knows Jerry Colangelo (chair USA basketball board of directors) or the (Team) USA people. That’s a situation there’s so much emphasis and such a big deal they are going to hire somebody to coach that team that has been around those guys (NBA stars) and those guys have a comfort level with. Just like Coach K has done a masterful job doing that, he also had some experiences with those guys beforehand, too.

“Although it is flattering to hear things like that,” Self added, “it’s something I don’t put one bit of stock into at all because the reality of that happening is not very good at all. My plate is full here. I am just focused on what is going on at Kansas. It is flattering but not very realistic either.”

Rio update: KU freshman Rio Adams had two turnovers in five minutes vs. KSU.

“He has a good attitude in practice. He tries and is aggressive,” Self said in responding to a question about the 6-3 Seattle freshman on Self’s “Hawk Talk” radio show. “I’m not being negative at all, (but) most of the time he’s put in there is because of foul situations. We had Elijah with two and Travis with two. Rio tried hard. He had two turnovers (that led to KSU hoops) but tried hard. They were turnovers of trying rather than being passive.

“He will be a good player moving forward. Andrew (White) deserves to play,” Self added of the 6-6 freshman, who did not enter until the final minute. “Against a team that really pressures, we felt comfortable going with a ballhandler (Adams) rather than a guy who shoots it better (White).

“I don’t know his role moving forward,” he added of Adams. “He has to be ready, and if his number is called like Cole (Aldrich) in 2008, he’s got to step in and make the most of it.”

Up next: KU will meet Texas at 8 p.m. Saturday in Allen Fieldhouse.


Steve Zimmerman 9 years, 7 months ago

Naa is always my guy. He's very polished, calm, and very focused. Rio will have to learn that from him. I remember Naa's first few games, he looked lost just like Rio. Eventually, Rio will adjust & we'll get to enjoy the best of him.

Alex Resnik 9 years, 7 months ago

I love Naa and he is going to be a really good player for us for a long time, but it erks me whenever he turns it over or feels he got fouled he almost always looks at the bench or complains to the refs... other than that.. LOVE the kid!

Phoggy_Notion 9 years, 7 months ago

Regarding Ben and Releford shooting more: Both guys are shaky ball handlers in the half-court, so asking either of them to create their own shots is asking a lot. Self has said on numerous occasions that those two need someone to set them up, but what he fails to mention is that when that someone is a PG who prefers to fire 8-10 3pt shots/game, while only making 1-2 on a good night, then that Someone doesn't have a whole lot of interest leaving the 3 point line in order to collapse the defense and create shots for others.

-It all comes down to being perceived as a THREAT to the opposition: EJ's infatuation with the 3pt shot has been well documented both this season and last's (60% of all his shots last year were 3's, while this year 50% of his FG attempts are 3's). This is a problem if the guy who possesses the ball the most on the team is ALSO shooting the most 3's(on the team) and NOT making enough of them to garner enough respect from the defense. But if this is the case, then he MUST adjust his shot selection so that when he does attack the defense(penetrate the lane) this action is considered an actual threat, rather than what is the case in reality; a guard who begrudgingly enters into traffic with rarely any intent to try and score, and as a result has developed a predictable bad-habit of telegraphing JUMP passes to wing players who are NOT open because the defense doesn't view this player's penetration as anything more than an easy chance at interception, or an opportunity to stay at home and avoid closing out.

    ~Maybe its a lack of quickness for Elijah that prevents him from entertaining the notion of putting together a game where his 3pt attempts don't double or triple the amount of 2 pt shot attempts.  Ultimately what is at the center of  this concern is that even if EJ does start hitting his 3's, I have a hard time believing that he will will miraculously become the type guard that will routinely both create and give you the type of  'tough' baskets that result in And-1 opportunities(A.K.A The type of guard that wins in March).  This is why I believe Elijah should be relieved of the primary pg role, so that his focus can be on making shots, rather than creating shots for others. RCJ

KansasComet 9 years, 7 months ago

Take a look at Withwy's turnovers in our four losses. Maybe he should be benched too. He has one more than EJ. Look at the whole team instead of climbing all over one player.

BainDread 9 years, 7 months ago

Many of Withey's turnovers are due to fouls that are not being called. It's hard to catch and pass when someone is grabbing your arms.

Phoggy_Notion 9 years, 7 months ago

Because EJ is such a nice guy, a lot of the fan base feels uncomfortable about criticizing his play. But the fact of the matter is that he IS the starting PG for Kansas, and thus his performance will be looked at under a microscope. I will admit that Withey's recent turnovers have not been a positive, however his offensive production has remained consistent AND efficient. Plus, there is no one that is challenging Withey for playing time.

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 7 months ago

I think the adjustment for EJ is to NEITHER shoot the 3 OR drive all the way to the basket - keeps clanging easy layups too hard, BUT instead go with the dribble-drive, stop- mid-range jumper.

archercc 9 years, 7 months ago

That is a horrible stat to key on for that argument. Withey isnt the ball handler, he isnt the QB. He receives passes and goes up. There isnt anyone else who can do that as well as he can at this point so good luck benching him on it.

The PG, on the other hand, is supposed to be the ball handler. He is supposed to run the offense. Not the center.

Curtis Stutz 9 years, 7 months ago

Prior to last season Self's offenses had never been based on a PG driving and distributing for the majority or even a large number of offensive possessions. Miles and RussRob weren't expected to penetrate and open the game up for the rest of the team, they worked within the offense, which is what you should expect of EJ. Chalmers is shooting more 3's than 2's in the NBA right now, this is also not a bad thing. I would expect a guard to shoot close to the same number of each while the bigs shoot almost no 3's, leaving you with around 30% of your shots from 3 and 70% from as close to inside the paint as you can get. Oh look, exactly 30% of KU's FGA's are 3PAs, craziness. Often times in Self's offense the wings are given an advantage on their defender when the ball either swings or kicks out, which is why TRele and BMac should have no problem contributing to dribble penetration. Granted EJ has passed up some of those same opportunities this year, but in general he's not doing anything out of the ordinary if he's taking half his shots outside and half inside. As bad as he's shooting it we're probably getting more points per shot from outside than when he's driving. Maybe with FT's and offensive rebounds taken into account his drives have been more productive, though you have to consider turnovers as well. I'd love to see more shots put up by the big men, but when Withey is out we're not getting much scoring from down there. So Phoggy, the bottom line is there's absolutely nothing wrong with the ratio of 3's to 2's tat EJ is shooting. If somebody else wants to shoot more so he shoots less the opportunities are there. TRele should be pulling the trigger on more 3's, maybe Young needs to take a few more shots, or Ellis needs to start hitting and work his way into the starting 5. Tharpe is taking 53% of his shots from outside and hitting only about 1% more of them than EJ. Lately EJ has taken a few too many shots and a few too many 3's, but his numbers for the season don't suggest the red flags you're trying to raise.

RJ King 9 years, 7 months ago

This is old news, but funny . . .

Rock Chalk Siri Hawk

Rock Chalk Siri Hawk by RJ King

Steve Zimmerman 9 years, 7 months ago

Speaking of Dream Team, would someone post a youtube collection of KU Dream Team 2007-2008's games (non-NCAA conf)? I could only find bits & pieces of the games played that season (well, most of them vs UNC & Memphis). Gosh, I miss those guys. When will we have a team where everybody could dunk like them? TIA.

HawksWin 9 years, 7 months ago

Come on Naa, remember Ty & do what he did best. You can do it! Elijah has been in a battle - between his ears - with his knees & future career. Doubt generates fears which plays havoc on confidence. He will come to terms with it as all winners do. Here's an article on another winner of ours - Tyshawn.

kellerman411 9 years, 7 months ago

This kind of stuff is huge for the KU brand. Tyshawn will probably be a starter eventually just because he can penetrate. I'm really hoping T-Rob's offensive production comes around. He's not doing bad for a rookie though, he's getting good minutes.

RJ King 9 years, 7 months ago

“I stayed in college and played in a lot of big games,” Taylor said. “I’ve been well coached. I think I’m prepared to play at this level.”


hotrodm 9 years, 7 months ago

EJ should drive and dish, not drive and miss a lay up. After driving and dishing a few times the defense will be looking for the pass and EJ would be allowed to get closer to the basket and lay it up for 2.

Ron Franklin 9 years, 7 months ago

Last year at this time, I didn't want to see Naa on the floor because his d was atrocious. It appears he has picked up the itensity this year and is sliding better.

My only 'knock' on Naa is that he is trigger happy, but I'll take that over being timid.

If he could just correct that "lean-backwards-jumpshot" he has I'd be done with my nit-picking:)

Mel Clare 9 years, 7 months ago

That is why I hope we see McClemore for another year to hone his ball handling skills.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 7 months ago

With Noel going down BenMac's NBA stock has skyrocketed...Now he is top 3. the young man can be a multi-millionaire, playing in the NBA, at the age of 20!! I sure would take it and so would you. Enjoy him while you can!!

JayHok 9 years, 7 months ago

Depends what Ben wants. It would go against the current trend of athletes jumping to the NBA as soon as they can. If he wants to be the best possible player he can be and a major all-star in the league he will take Michael Jordan's advice as well as Paul Pierce's advice. Something about the extra 3 years in college really benefits those 6'6" athletes with a shooting touch. MJ said he never would have done in the NBA what he did without three years of Dean Smith along with the 3 hours a day of gym rat skills he could work on, alone, at UNC in the gym. As hard as it is to believe, in the NBA, the skills you really want to hone are taken away with nonstop player meetings, shootarounds and the meat and potatoes of offense and defense. The skills Ben really needs to perfect are best done by himself, in a gym in a small town. In the end it depends if Ben has the patience to understand what Paul Pierce and MJ got out of three years in college. Maturity is not always about presence of mind. If Ben wants to dominate the NBA, he'll show up as the number 1 draft pick in 2 years + 4 months as a player who has matured his GAME all by himself in the gym, just as Paul Pierce and MJ did.

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 7 months ago

Difference being it's not like Mc's college experience has been ONE year. You could argue that it's almost been a full two. Could practice from Jan. '12 on I want to say.

JayHok 9 years, 7 months ago

true but look at the individual skills he could work on for a couple years to show up completely in charge of his destiny as Pierce and MJ did. The only place that can happen is on the college campus often in the gym by yourself once you've signed that contract. MJ wised up after five years in the league and built his own gym at his house so he could perfect his skills as he was able to at UNC after hours.

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 7 months ago

Ummm, he was already top 3. In fact, I think it would be hard for him to be knocked off the top perch. baz would need to get hot.

stinkybulldog 9 years, 7 months ago

Not going to happen. Noel injury will likely make him the #1 pick. I agree though, he needs another year in college to improve his ball handling.

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 7 months ago

Whatever team takes him will know this. I ASSUME that his rookie year they would primarily use him as a "spot-up" jump-shooting 2-guard....a'la like a Ray Allen. Maybe as years go buy he would become more well-rounded.

JayHok 9 years, 7 months ago

He can either maybe become a good player in the NBA after a few years or stay for three years at KU and be certain he WILL be an extremely dominant player in the NBA with coaches drawing up sets for his unique skills he showed up to the league with because of his patience to be the best as MJ did.

BainDread 9 years, 7 months ago

Considering what happened to Noel a couple of nights ago, I have to disagree with your statement that continued development at KU is not a gamble. If he stays for another year, I hope his family can afford a good insurance policy.

sleepy33 9 years, 7 months ago

There's a difference between wanting him to go to the league, and accepting that it's the reality of what's going to happen. I'm sure nobody would disagree with your assessment of what would be best in terms of developing BMac's talent.

dylans 9 years, 7 months ago

I don't think Ben would hurt his draft stock by staying another year. I do think Ben would have a bigger 2nd contract if he stayed at KU another year and developed his overall game. However, I do not think it would be a good idea to turn down a chance at being drafted number one and making enough money at 20 to retire for life. Unfortunately most 20 year olds who make a million a year spend a million a year not the wise 40-100k.

JayHok 9 years, 7 months ago

If he's scared of hurting his draft stock he should go. If he wants to be the best in the NBA he should stay three full years and become a gym rat away from the NBA culture just as Pierce and Jordan did.

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 7 months ago

Disagreed. I don't think they'd overwhelm him with minutes right out of the gate.

JayHok 9 years, 7 months ago

You're defintely not in the majority of your sampling pool is fellow 6'6" shooters Paul Pierce and Michael Jordan. Both have said they never would have turned into the NBA players they became without those three years of college.

jaybate 9 years, 7 months ago


Seriously, I wish you would write a book on this subject and publish it with Amazon, so you get to keep control of it. I believe it would become a book that all kids being recruited every year would read. And you could periodically update it for changes. It would be a nice steady revenue stream. Not a get rich quick thing. But a significant contribution to the literature, and to the game, and your voice of both experience, and intelligence, should be heard.

Call it: "Jump Rules: A Rational Guide to Jumping from College to the Pros."

Get Self and Brown, and some other Self Ballers and Okie Ballers and other folks you may know to give you some quotes and blurb the book. I bet Harry Edwards Institute at Berkley would want you to speak. Go out and meet Professor Emeritus Murray Sperber who is out at Berkley part time with Edwards, or so I gather.

Get yourself invited to speak at a few conferences (NABC, agent's gatherings, camps, etc.), give a few interviews, and become an independent, unbiased expert on the subject. Maybe get a master's in sports of some sort or another.

It would very quickly become a bible that D1 coaches would recommend to all of their players every year, plus all of the NBA GMs and agents, and advisors, etc. would want to read it.

You have single handedly changed my mind with posts the last few months from being pretty much locked on guys jumping for the money ASAP to thinking there are rational reasons to risk injury in college that go beyond just the order you will be taken in the draft.

Rock Chalk!

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 7 months ago

Agreed if he were just going at the back-end of the first round.

If you're one of the top 2-3 picks. You go! That's all there is to it. You're "set" so long as you're responsible.

JayHok 9 years, 7 months ago

It depends if he cares only about getting a paycheck. He'll get a great paycheck whether he stays for three years at KU or goes. The reason player development is so terrible in the NBA is sad but true. Ask Jordan and Pierce what their secret to joining the league and being ALREADY in charge of their development was. Jordan eventually had to build his own indoor basketball court at his house because his own NBA team wouldn't let him work on the individual skills without interuption he needed to work on like he could at UNC, simply by having the keys to the facility or staying a couple hours after practice. Totally different culture in the NBA. Not conducive for young shooting guards to develop on an individual basis skills they should have mastered in college if they had even 75% the work ethic of MJ.

RJ King 9 years, 7 months ago

Bill Self was on the Jim Rome Show yesterday. He flat out said he would encourage, no almost insist, that Ben turn pro after this season. He probably knows the situation better than any of us here.

He also expressed his opinion on the OAD issue - that all restrictions should be lifted, and kids allowed to do what is best for them and their families.

dehawk 9 years, 7 months ago

Remember, in order for the second tier guys to have significant minutes, the starters have to play well enough for CS to let the others come into the game. That means the starter, for example, need to blow TCU out of the water so that they can sit some and have fresh legs for Iowa State. The key is for the starters to play extremely well early to earn their rest.

yates33333 9 years, 7 months ago

The announcer of the K-State game understood Tharp's value best when he kept saying, ad nauseam, that KU had found a point guard. For the most part Tharp did an excellent job driving and passing and giving players the ball at the right time. If he can keep this up.

Regarding Withey's turnovers relative to Johnson's, a center who blocks more shots and has about four times as many rebounds as TOs ought not be compared to a point guard who has as many TOs as assists. .

KansasComet 9 years, 7 months ago

Please explain what blocked shots and rebounds have to do with turnovers? The point is that in our four losses and I am only talking about our four losses, the stat line is EJ 42 Points, 14 Turnovers, Withey 45 Points, 15 Turnovers. Also, as far as rebounding goes in the four losses, I do not believe Withey had double figure rebounds any of the four losses. In big games we need EJ, and we also need our big man to be a big man. The easy answer is to blame EJ and concentrate everything on EJ, because he is the starting point guard. The problem with losses runs deeper than that. Also, KU is undefeated in games in which Travis Releford scores 10 or more.

VaJay 9 years, 7 months ago

KC - you need to look at the whole picture - the total benefit/drawback that each player brings to the team each game. There's a great blog - Sports in Review, that looks at each players Efficiency rating (pts+reb+ast+blk+stl-missed FG-turnovers). Withey's EFF rating is more than double EJ's.

What is apparent from these stats is that the way EJ is currently playing, he's hurting the team. He has got to tighten up his handle on the ball & take smarter shots.

KansasComet 9 years, 7 months ago


The whole picture? That is my whole point. We need to play better. It is not about sitting Elijah Johnson on the bench. It is about everyone doing what they are supposed to be doing on the court. Anyone can look at stats, and say this and say that. In my opinion, KU was flat for about a 10 game period. Hopefully, this will be a motivated bunch going forward. It is all on the team, not one individual.

Ron Franklin 9 years, 7 months ago

Blocks, Rebounds, Turnovers, Steals, 50/50 balls all have everything to do with one another. Each gain or loss of these listed stats leads to an opportunity to score or give up points.

I agree with your sentiment that it's a team effort and Withey should not be turning it over that much, he isn't even a ball handler.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 7 months ago

One thing you guys need to remember is that Jeff's blocks transitioned to KU possessions percentage is unbelievable. You could count each one of those as a rebound or a steal. This attribute certainly neutralizes a portion of his turnovers.

Marcia Parsons 9 years, 7 months ago

I'm not clear on what all is included in turnovers for Withey. Is it considered a turnover if he gets his hands on a rebound and then loses it to another player? I guess I had never thought about it.

yates33333 9 years, 7 months ago

You must be commenting on some other person's view on whether KU needs Johnson to play a good game. Of course, the team does. He hasn't in the last several games. I didn't blame Johnson only for our recent losses, nor would I have used Withey to support my view that Johnson is no more to blame than Withey as you seemingly do. Withey came closer than anyone to playing a normal game against OSU, TCU, and Oklahoma, although the team generally played much better against Oklahoma on the road than against TCU.

TOs hurt a team, but what Withey does makes KU win. Some of his turnovers are the result of semi mugging that occurs constantly in the post. If you think Johnson is more valuable to the team than Withey, I disagree, and I suspect I wouldn't be alone in this respect.

If people disagreeing with you bothers you maybe you ought to reconsider posting your views. I am use to disagreement ever since my days at SWMS.

KansasComet 9 years, 7 months ago

Let's go Jayhawks!!! One team, one fight! I think we all want the same thing, but I guess it is fun to disagree about how we get there. Disagreements must bother you? I would never suggest that you don't post anymore. It is your right to your opinion as it is mine. I can appreciate any Jayhawk fan's opinion, I may not agree with it, but I can appreciate it.

jaybate 9 years, 7 months ago

I understand what you are saying here, yates.

  1. Dir played well once, but consistency and putting the ball in the hole a reasonable percentage of the time are large next steps for Dir.

  2. Withey is contributing in so many ways and getting hammered constantly in the paint on both ends an d double and triple teamed on the offensive end that his 4 TOs are practically to be expected, whereas EJ can't hit whizz from trey and can't finish effectively on his penetrations and is so limited on his defense at times that his 4-5 TOs, plus his unacceptably low assist to TO ratio is much more a drag on the team.

Bottom line Withey is having a monster season and is the cornerstone to the team's success. Take away Withey and the opposing team goes from averaging 35-40% FG to 45-50% FG and the team. Take away Withey from the paint on offense, and the double teaming goes away and suddenly the opponent plays Ben straight up with help and Ben's numbers fall in half.

Take EJ out and all it takes to get better is for Dir to just play some defense, distribute and miss most of his shots and the team gets better.

This points to how slim a contribution to the offense and defense EJ is making due to his bad knees.

On the other hand, as I pointed out yesterday with perhaps too much drama, the point about EJ is that he HAS been able to use his hugely limited abilities this season as tar and glue to keep this boat not just afloat but up on a wobbly but still fast plane long enough for Dir to develop.

And EJ does seem to be showing a few more stretches every week or two of more strength in his knees, or at least more understanding of how to operate with their limitations, and so we have reason to think he may yet be able to string together 5-10 minute stretches of tolerable ball to go with Dir's likely 5-10 minute stretches of tolerable to solid ball, so that Self can bridge through the rest of the month and get to Madness with just enough points in his bridge hand at guard, to use his strong suits 5, 2, 3 and 4 to cross-ruff to run in the Madness.

Last season Self basically had to cross-ruff with just TRob and Tyshawn. This year, he can cross-ruff with Withey, Ben, Travis and Kevin. In any given game, 2-3 of these guys can trump the opponent's guys. That's a damn good hand...if Self can just keep developing Dir and EJ can keep getting a leeeeeeetle better physically each game. To continue the bridge analogy, EJ is like a 5, or 6 of clubs right now. We need to get him to a 10 of spades. Dir is an 7-8 of diamonds, and we need to get him to a 10 of spades. Two 10s will keep them honest, and our trump can win games for us. :-)

yates33333 9 years, 7 months ago

Good to see you back analyzing BB. Although I like your humor, I like the analysis better.

jaybate 9 years, 7 months ago

I know, I know, the game's the thing.

I will get back to serious business.

Thanks for the reminder.

Steven Mathew 9 years, 7 months ago

All Big XII First Team:

  1. Pierre Jackson, Baylor
  2. Rodney McGruder, K-State
  3. Ben McLemore, Kansas
  4. Romero Osby, Oklahoma
  5. Jeff Withey, Kansas

Ethan Berger 9 years, 7 months ago

Marcus smart will replace either Jackson if they keep it up.

Ron Franklin 9 years, 7 months ago

Very nice interview with Jay Bilas on 810 Border Patrol this morning.

I am certain Jaybate would like to listen to this podcast as Bilas discusses the fouling dilemma that is taking over NCAA right now.

Good stuff, and Kudos to Nate Bukaty and Steven St. John for getting such a great guy on their show. Bilas is definitely my favorite media guy for the NCAA.

In nutshell for those of you who may not have time to go listen or don't have the opportunity to listen:

Jay said the supervisors of officiating, not the officials themselves, are responsible for the calls and lack of calls, which directly is resulting in lower scoring games.

He also said that coaches know that officials can only call a certain number of fouls in a game, so the coaches use this is a strategy. "'f they are only going to call 25 or 30 fouls then you are crazy not to foul 60 times in a game.........the game can't go on for 2 hours and 45 minutes if they called every foul" That's a paraphrase....

Jay also said basketball has become equivalent to hockey with the hip checking, clutchig, chest fouls, grabbing, etc.

If that's the environment, then the adaptation we are seeing now makes perfect sense to me. Adapt and Evolve. That's the name of the game, right ?

Tony Bandle 9 years, 7 months ago

Blown Jay is right on. I have a friend who is an NCAA official and everything listed above is true. He looked at me straight-faced and deadly serious and said that per the strict letter of the rules, during a basketball game virtually all the players are fouling each other, all the time.

The fouls they call are supposed to be those that have an unfair effect on the flow of the game...and, yes, there is a time limit as well as calling a minimum number of fouls TV runs sports and Money runs TV!!

BainDread 9 years, 7 months ago

What does he have to say about the lack of traveling calls too? The NCAA has become much like the NBA in this aspect also. It appears that as with fouls, the NCAA has decided to only call traveling if it gives the offensive player a distinct advantage. Maybe that's okay, but it drives this old-school fan crazy.

BainDread 9 years, 7 months ago

How old am I? Son, I am so old I can remember when basketball was referred to as a non-contact sport.

Woody Cragg 9 years, 7 months ago

At least you're not so old you remember when the Dead Sea Scrolls were only sick! Sorry, I just couldn't resist.

jaybate 9 years, 7 months ago

"Repeat After Me: Basketball Is the Exception to the Rule or How I Learned to Stop Fearing Cleaning Up the Game"

Part 1


I am sooooooooooooo grateful to you for finding this and letting us all know about it.

This is an enormous taboo Jay Bilas has broken through and he is to be commended highly.

I have been writing and writing and writing about this for the last couple of years at least to try to bring a tiny bit of attention to it, but I am just one inconsequential board rat on one small web site, so I had no ripple effect.

But Jay Bilas has a significant bully pulpit and his outting of this huge taboo means Bilas is putting his broadcast career on the line to try to save the game from hockey-ization.

In turn, board rats everywhere should weigh in positively for Jay Bilas and for reform regarding this problem afflicting the game.

If we all speak out in favor of reform, but not of blaming the powers that be, we can at least create a face saving climate for reform that won't cost anyone anything and will result in an invigorated game that will lay even more golden eggs for everyone diverting revenues from the game in exchange for important services to the game.

Basketball is the greatest game ever invented. It is a gift from one man to the world. It will be just as popular without the violence and XTReme Contact, probably far more so and this is the point that must be emphasized to the TV executives, gaming industry executives, the NCAA officials, the supervisors of officials, the ADs and the coaches. There is MORE money to be made by cleaning the game up, than by letting it get worse. MORE MONEY. VASTLY MORE MONEY. GLOBALIZATION SCALE MONEY. MONEY SO VAST IT DWARFS WHAT IS BEING MADE NOW!!

There is nothing wrong with talking about the money. The pursuit of the money is the only reason the problem has arisen. If no one televised basketball, there would be no broadcast window to fit into and there would never have been a reason to change the way the game was called.

RJ King 9 years, 7 months ago

JB - please remove TV executives from your list of those you speculate secretly yearn for more violence in sports.

Rather, to generate additional interest (revenue) from our viewers, we go to great lengths to package player/coach features - much like the Olympics. That, and we sincerely root for our local teams to put a quality product on the floor.

jaybate 9 years, 7 months ago


Little broadcast fairies and nymphs cause it all to happen.

No TV executives involved.

They don't have a clue why TV just keeps getting more and more violent in content.

Its immaculate programming.

Sometimes TV people crack me up.

And you are one of them. :-)

jaybate 9 years, 7 months ago

P.S.: Bayhawkaholic, nice touch to call the whole post into question by posting after Part 1. Maybe a few eye balls got interrupted from reading the rest. Well played, sir. This is reputedly increasingly widely taught technique, too. What do you hear? :-)

jaybate 9 years, 7 months ago

Part 2

Money is the common currency among the TV executives, the gaming industry, the NCAA, and the ADs. All of these executives have long worked with a rule of thumb that the more violent a televised event is the better. Most of the most influetial ADs that control the NCAA are football men that have made their schools vast amounts of money selling the violence of football. The television execuitves have learned long ago that violent conflict sells better than anything else on television. So they have all come to the game thinking, well, if there is no obvious, easy solution to fitting games in windows, then it can't hurt to let it get more violent. It hits two birds with one stone. Let it get more violent by not calling the fouls consistently, they reason, and the games will be kept in the windows, and the violence will attract more eye balls.

But here's the thing: these are not stupid executives. They are just experienced executives. They have a rule that works everywhere else, so they figure it ought to work in basketball.

So here is what they need to hear.


Oh, yes, sirs, every good rule ever formulated has an exception. Oh, yes, sirs, football would be better if they were allowed to play with chainsaws. Oh, yes, sirs, Real Housewives of Terrorists would do bigger ratings on Thursday at 8pm EST with the women using Tasers on their neighbors.

But basketball, you see, is the exception to the rule.

jaybate 9 years, 7 months ago

Part 3

Basketball is a game specifically developed around the hook of no contact, not violence. It paradoxes viewing audiences from our violent society the same way your commercials paradox viewing audiences. You understand, Mr. Broadcast Programmer, the idea is to deliver an audience high levels of pain and fear in the content, then insert the commercial pleasure suggestion as relief. You know, show a movie, or series, where all hell is breaking loose and the bad guys to torture everyone insight, even some of the good guys want to torture people, and then show them the cologne, or car, attracting the hottie to the oaf.

But basket ball is the exception to the rule.

Basketball is the nonviolent game of death defying gymnastic and balletic motions through space and time. Basketball is dazzing the eyes of the audience, taking them utterly visual, the most prized suggestive state in all of public relations, advertising, psychological operations, propaganda, and so on. Basketball uses its own internal paradox of a non contact sport in which death defying leaping and racing up and down a court often as much as 40-50 inches of the floor without helmets, or knee pads, oar shoulder pads, etc., to deliver to you and audience that is already more ready for advertising suggestions than any amount of violent, enhanced interrogation content could ever ready them for.

And get this, TV execs, and gaming industry execs, NCAA execs, and ADs, and supervisors of officials: the global audience will love you for serving them this product and their demand for it will be effectively inelastic (that's economics speak for you can't get enough of something)

If the powers that be understand that basketball is the exception, plus the following:

a) they are not guilty and will not be punished;

b) they will make more money by restoring the rules to the game; and

c) the viewing audience will actually love them for it, rather than loathe them as is presently the case; then

Reform will happen like day follows night.

Let the decent men and women televising, setting spreads on, administrating, officiating and coaching the game understand that we want the game cleaned up and do not wish to blame them.

If we blame them, they will all be too paralysed from fear of the unforeseen consequences of revising the status quo to act.

The key to change is not to paint anyone as a villain in this situation now that Bilas has taken the huge step of introducing it into the public discourse.

The good TV executives, good gaming industry executives, good NCAA officials, good supervisors of officials, and good officials themselves, plus the good ADs that the NCAA serves the interests of, all deeply fear this issue, and they fear it more than the bad ones among them do, because they are good persons complicit in something undesirable. We do not want to use the word wrong; that implies culpability and culpability will stop reform dead in its tracks.

jaybate 9 years, 7 months ago

Part 4

So: say that this was simply a slippery slope the game slipped down, because the games needed to fit in the broadcast windows to serve the economic interests of all parties and at the time there was no clear cut fix, and there was insufficient insight into the problem to convene all of them together to find a solution that also included protecting the game itself.

Once this is done, a solution will emerge...and very quickly.

There are literally billions at stake now, and trillions down the road as shoes sales expand in the rapidly growing parts of Asia, Africa and SouthAmerica.

No time like the present to work the problem, fix it, and get ready to watch everyone get a whole lot richer.

Its a win-win game.

The only possible way to lose is to let it go the route of hockey into the sports dead end it fell into.

Repeat after me.

Basketball is the exception that proves the rule.

jaybate 9 years, 7 months ago

Part 5

Finally, the key thing Bilas has made public is that the officials are being told to call the games inconsistently so as to fit the games in the window (note: as I have hypothesized all along).

By making this remark, Bilas has set the initial conditions of public discourse on this issue at the level of what BigManU might tend to call a conspiracy theory, but which implies neither a conspiracy, nor a conspiracy theory. Rather, it is simply a broadcaster with legal training introducing the issue as one imbedded within a chain of command.

The way Bilas has set the initial conditions of discussion one cannot help but ask, well, if the supervisors of officials are telling the officials to call the games the way they, then should we ask the supervisors of officials if someone is telling them something, or other, that makes them think this is an effective solution to the problem of fitting games in broadcast windows?

It implies a chain of command and raises the issue of how high up the chain of command does this go?

Does the Director of the NCAA tell the supervisor of officials that games have to be called so the games fit in the broadcast windows?

If the Director of the NCAA, or some NCAA executive, or some conference commissioner, does not tell the supervisor of officials to do this, then under what authority do the supervisors of officials act to alter the rules of the game in the way that they are being altered? Why say, does the supervisor of officials feel obliged to fit games in broadcast windows, while his boss does not? And why is his boss letting him do this?

And if an NCAA executive, or conference commissioner, were telling the supervisor of officials to fit the games in the broadcast windows, by what official authority is he able to do that?

Further is someone, say a TV executive, telling the NCAA executive ,or conference commissioner, to tell the supervisor of officials, to tell the officials to fit the games in the broadcast windows?

And if some TV executive were telling them this, under what authority would he be doing so? And under what authority would they be following those instructions?

And I suppose one could fit gaming industry executives and ShoeCo executives into this chain of command inquiry also.

But the point is: there is no need for a chain of command inquiry, if the parties involved simply come together and come up with a sensible, above board way to keep the games in the windows, or alter the windows, or some of both, in order to let the game be called according to the rules, so that everyone can make a lot more money as the game moves forward.

jaybate 9 years, 7 months ago

Part 6

And, from a revenue stand point, no participants should be more keen to restore the game to its rules than the gaming industry and the sports apparel/ShoeCo industry, assuming they are behaving legally. The more the game is called according to its rules, the more likely rational the outcomes of games are apt to tend to be. The team with the best coach and the most talent will tend to win the most. Thus the odds will be less likely to be beaten by unpredictable rules violations, i.e., the game will be increasingly determined by talent and skill. As I write this, I am almost incredulous that the gaming industry, at least the good, honest portion of it, has not been a pioneer in such reform.

Likewise, if you are in sports apparel and shoes bidnesses, wouldn't you want a sport called in a way that promoted the awesome athleticism of these incredible D1 athletes, rather than encouraging them into Sumo rebounding and hockey body checking? I mean, really, how many Sumo wrestling shorts do the major apparel marketers sell, compared to basketball jerseys (and note I am not knocking Sumo wrestling). And shoes? Is the market bigger for kevlar armored and steel toed basketball shoes, or is it larger for fabulously light, high tech shoes enabling feats of magnificient athleticism.

I have studied some economics and marketing. I know how easy it is for even the best, most skillful, and most highly trained professionals and executives to get caught up in market inefficiencies triggered by rules changes that were not well thought out.

Sometimes reinstituting things is fantastically difficult, because all the parties have sunk costs and differing needs that prevent consensus.

But in this case, no one stands to lose a cent if the rules are and a rational consensus can be achieved on how to fit the games in the windows accordingly.

This is not rocket science.

Work the problem, people.

The game gets better. Everyone gets richer.


jgkojak 9 years, 7 months ago

That kind of game benefits a Bill Self coached team - maybe not THIS team, but most of his teams.

Cameron Cederlind 9 years, 7 months ago

On another note, I know it's looking pretty far in to the future but the 2014 team is going to be extremely talented and have a good amount of upperclassmen leadership. Tharpe as a senior, Traylor/Ellis/Rio/AW3 as juniors, Frankamp/Seldon(hopefully)/Greene/Embiid/Mason as sophomores with whatever Self can recruit next year. Next years team will be a bit sloppy but the following year, really going to be solid. Hopefully Lucas stays and he'd be a technically a junior at that point as well. So good to be a Jayhawk.

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 7 months ago

Um, I would describe that as the '14/'15 team. And, in terms of eligibility Lucas would ONLY be a sophomore that season.

Cameron Cederlind 9 years, 7 months ago

Correct, the 2014 recruiting class, and i said technically Lucas would be a junior, not eligibility wise. Like McLemore and Traylor technically being sophomores this year.

Steve Brown 9 years, 7 months ago

Traylor will be awsome and Ellis POY!!!! not to mention guard play will be our strength- 35- 3. sharpie

Let's not get too far ahead, we have sunshine today, enjoy it.

Scott Smetana 9 years, 7 months ago

On a side note.. Go Tad and the Buffaloes tonight! I can't stand arrogant Arizona fans.

Chris Shaw 9 years, 7 months ago

Ticks me off Colorado gave that game away in their first Pac 12 game of the season. Regardless of the last second shot, Colorado slipped up mightily down the stretch in that game. Good thing is that Colorado has won 5 of their last 6 and has a legtimate shot at the Pac 12 title with 5 of their remaining 7 conference games at home. Need to close the deal, Tad. Starts tonight!

Chris Shaw 9 years, 7 months ago

Sometimes when we as fans think things are bad they really aren't. Can you imagine being this guy? He went from a worldwide hero to this. Absolutely mind-boggling.

RJ King 9 years, 7 months ago

How disturbing that this happened on the eve of One Billion Rising to Stand Up Against Violence Toward Women.

Here's more about this beautiful victim's life and career:

yates33333 9 years, 7 months ago

BigManU. This isn't even in the same ballpark as BB. You are Absolutely Right.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 7 months ago

Posted this late yesterday .. new ESPN rankings are out .. a few moves:

13 - Wayne Selden

28 - Joel Embiid

43 - Brannen Greene

47 - Conner Frankamp

no rank - Frank Mason

Also, McDonalds All-Americans come out today. Small bit of info .. only one national champion since 1979 has won the national title without having a McDonald's AA on its roster. Maryland in 2002.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 7 months ago

Think about adding Randle to that .. He's 240ish. He could mean the difference between a true down year, and business as usual.

Kye Clark 9 years, 7 months ago

Wish it told us the moves from the last rankings. Embiid really seems like the diamond in the rough that Self snagged before everyone knew his stock was skyrocketing. It reminds me a lot of Otto Porter a couple of years ago, when he was originally ranked down around where Jamari Traylor was (+100 if memory serves) and ended up around 30. I often wonder if that's why we missed on him, because we weren't pursuing him very hard (we were still down to his final 3 schools if memory serves). Pure speculation on my part, but think about it: Peters - gone. Lucas - redshirting. Traylor - minimal impact. Perry - minimal impact. How sweet would it be to have Otto Porter on the roster right now?

Chris Shaw 9 years, 7 months ago

Over Ben McLemore? Over Travis Releford? Porter is a Small Forward. The two things Kansas lacks is a PF and PG. Porter just takes minutes away from Relly and B-MAC.

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 7 months ago

I don't know if I'd call Porter a SF. At 6'-8, he's more of a hybrid SF/PF.

Kye Clark 9 years, 7 months ago

As HEM pointed out, he's a college 4. Basically an upgraded version of Kevin Young.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 7 months ago

Porter is a college 4, an NBA 3; was a power forward coming out of high school. Would have been a huge, huge add. Can you imagine Porter and McLemore on last year's team? Yikes.

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 7 months ago

weird. When I looked this morning they had Selden 12th.....not 13th.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 7 months ago

I know it's not an exact science, but the disparity of rankings between ESPN and Rivals is significant.

13 vs 26 - Selden

28 vs 37 - Embiid

43 vs 25 - Greene

47 vs 31 - Frankamp

In almost all cases there is a double digit margin with Wayne and JoJo jumping up and Brannen and Conner falling back. Still everybody stays within the Top 50 for both polls and maybe that's what really counts.

Alex Berger 9 years, 7 months ago

So much of this ends up being speculation on how they will compete against each instead of against inferior opponents, but I do think Frankamp is consistently underrated because he is a short, skinny, white guy. He ended up leading the national U17 basketball team in points and assists this summer but he still isn't getting much love. Give this guy two off seasons to add strength and body mass and he will be an all-conference player. Frankamp is best suited for the college game, not the pros, and I wouldn't be surprised if he leaves KU a legend.

Ethan Berger 9 years, 7 months ago

From what I've seen, only rivals really likes Greene. And I don't understand why Scout and ESPN aren't high on him like rivals. He is a massive shooting guard for college who can do it all on offense. I guess that means his defense is below average? Plus a Julius Randle would be amazing. Kentucky thinks they already have Wiggins, Randle and Gordon in the bag. How sweet would it be if we landed two of them. Just to give UK the middle finger. But then again that means like Coach Cal, everything will think Self is a cheater.

Alex Peekeaton 9 years, 7 months ago

Nobody from Kentucky thinks they have Wiggins, Randle, and Gordon...UK doesn't have enough scholarships for all 3. This UK class already has 5 McDonalds AA - if they sign one more, it will be Wiggins. I see Randle going to NC State to team up with Purvis and Gordon to Oregon/Washington.

Curtis Stutz 9 years, 7 months ago

I have to agree with BB12, UK fans are trying to figure out who will be back next year. Noel is gone, and it might actually make it more likely for guys like Goodwin and Poythress to leave as they'll have to do more without Nerlens on the court. Same goes for WCS, I don't think there was any way he'd leave prior to the injury. Now, we'll see what he does as the starting center. Harrow will be back, Wiltjer will be back, already have a big class, hard to imagine anybody else wanting to join in, particularly Wiggins or Gordon.

Chris Shaw 9 years, 7 months ago

One other thing! Would love to see the student body pull off a last minute "Harlem Shake" at gameday on Saturday.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 7 months ago

JayDogger..never toke right before you go to bed!! :)

Sam Constance 9 years, 7 months ago

I approve of this.

EJ critics = Cartman.

But send your angry letters to JayDogger, c/o I didn't say it, I just think it's funny!

RJ King 9 years, 7 months ago

On another note - HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY to all. And, if no romance, I hope you all have many special other someone's in your lives.

I had the choice of going to the Gonzaga / Saint Mary's game, or dinner at Lark Creek. Hope I made the right one.

hawkmoon2020 9 years, 7 months ago

Off topic too much? Just wondering what rotation numbers CS will end up going with next year given the talent at most positions. i.e.

PG (3) Tharpe, Adams, Frankamp, Mason SG (2) Selden, White SF (2) Ellis, Greene PF (1) Traylor, (Randle?) C (2) Lucas, Embiid

That's a 10 man rotation without Randle, and 11 with him. Obviously, a nice problem to have, but wow. '13-'14 will be very interesting.

Kye Clark 9 years, 7 months ago

Well it's pretty much "on-topic" every other day it seems.

Without hashing out every permutation (which has been done hundreds of times during this season), what we know Self is not going to have a 10 man rotation. Or a 9 man rotation. Maybe 8.

Let's look at what we were saying last year:

Last year we all thought it was going to be a very deep team this year. We have 4 seniors who we figured would all be getting major minutes. We all thought Perry was going to be a 25 mpg starter at the latest by conference season. We'd have Peters, Lucas, Traylor, & Kevin all scratching for mpg as the 3rd "big". White was going to be a 15 mpg super-sub at the 2 & 3, and if Adams could live up to the hype from his HS coach he'd have overtaken Naadir for the back-up PG role.

What do we have? 6 regulars (7 if you include Ellis, whose mpg are shrinking) and a handful of guys getting scraps of minutes that you wouldn't ever consider part of the "rotation".

NJHAWK 9 years, 7 months ago

Who is responsible for not developing a 9-man rotation, coaches or players?

ParisHawk 9 years, 7 months ago

Coach Self wants 7 "core" guys, 3 bigs and 4 others: see 2008.

He has been known to go with 4 bigs if there's not a lot of separation between 3 and 4.

He does develop other players, but their minutes depend on the situation: see Championship Season when Rodrick Stewart played for an injured Brandon Rush: he was a developed rotation player who got in the rotation when he was needed, otherwise he sat.

If Ellis and EJ were on track, we'd be seeing Traylor a bit and no one else.

Self wants to have depth, not use it. It is what it is.

hawkmoon2020 9 years, 7 months ago

I would think to maximize the effectiveness and efficiently of players (and a victorious outcome) in a 40 minute game, 9-man is max. Many teams have done well with less.

Just saying that it's a little bitter sweet knowing that CS will probably go with an 8 (+/-) rotation, and therefore, leave guys like CF, BG, and perhaps LL and/or JE with very minimal minutes. Even so, nice problem to have, and I DO think there is still a big opportunity for Randle to shine if he decides to join the fun.

TexasRockChalk 9 years, 7 months ago

I'm glad to see the negative rhetoric on EJ die down a bit. HCBS made it clear EJ is not and has NOT been 100% in a very long time. Let's rally behind ALL our Jayhawks and let's sweep the rest of our Big 12 games! It's very much within reach. If we play the way we did against KSU, then there is NO reason we shouldn't win out.

As evidenced by ISU's loss to Texas in 2OTs, anything can happen. That's the greatness of college basketball and SPORT in general.

Rock Chalk!

soapisurfriend 9 years, 7 months ago

I posted a few days ago that I thought Brannen Greene and Conner Frankamp would both get good looks for the McDonalds AA game. That may have been true, but it looks like only Wayne Selden will be representing the Jayhawks in Chicago. Julius Randle did not recieve an invite either due to eligibility issues for the game because of his injury.

jaybate 9 years, 7 months ago

It is amazing that Big 12 schools are struggling. Good facilities everywhere. University of Texas Austin is the 900 pound gorilla of state universities. The quality of coaches is once again high.

Any idea what is driving the draught?

WETSUhawk 9 years, 7 months ago

East coast bias, and look at fan support at the other nine schools. With the exception of Iowa State, major empty seats except when playing KU. Recruits are sure to notice this when watching perspective teams. B1G, ACC, and Big East have better fan support. Big 12 is starting to look like SEC and Pac-12 with only big game support.

dylans 9 years, 7 months ago

It can't be like the SEC in football...there's an actual playoff!

archercc 9 years, 7 months ago

Really stoked to see Tharpe get some love besides one liners and half-criticisms. I think the kid had a great game against KU on both ends of the floor and really showed that he can change the way the offense plays.

He shouldnt just be running the point when EJ gets in trouble, he should be running the point and EJ should be in his natural 2 position. Obviously you change that for rests or to change the game plan but for regular minutes it should be Tharpe.

Yes, he makes mistakes and misses shots. But he is a sophomore. EJ is a senior and makes the same mistakes and misses the same shots. Tharpe, on the other hand, has progressed incredibly since last year and even has shown flashes of brilliance this year. I think this "protecting him or EJs ego" is hurting both Tharpe and the team. I was totally perplexed by EJ getting the start in the second half and playing so many minutes. Tharpe got cold on the bench. It took two bonehead plays by EJ for him to finally get back in the game.

Obviously Bill is a better coach than I but I cant really understand the coaching logic of not maximizing the time of a kid who was running over the opponent like a freight train.

bhol 9 years, 7 months ago

Naadir is an irrational confidence type. Guys like that can get hot!

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