Sunday, March 31, 2013

Jayhawks bemoan end for seniors

Kansas guard Christian Guard Naadire Tharpe (1) walks off the court with Perry Ellis, left, and Christian Garrett, right after the  Jayhawks 87-85 loss to the University of Michigan, Friday, March 29, 2013, at Cowboys Stadium, in Arlington, TX.

Kansas guard Christian Guard Naadire Tharpe (1) walks off the court with Perry Ellis, left, and Christian Garrett, right after the Jayhawks 87-85 loss to the University of Michigan, Friday, March 29, 2013, at Cowboys Stadium, in Arlington, TX.


Perry Ellis stared straight ahead in a somber Dallas Cowboys locker room with a pained look on his face Friday night after Kansas University’s overtime loss to Michigan in the Sweet 16.

Ellis, who scored eight points and grabbed five rebounds in the Jayhawks’ 87-85 defeat, wasn’t so sad for himself as much as his mentors — the Jayhawks’ four senior starters whose college careers came to a crashing end.

“I just feel bad that we let our seniors down,” said Ellis, a 6-foot-8, 225-pound freshman out of Wichita. “We really wanted to let them go out in a great way, and unfortunately we fell short.”

Ellis has plenty of games left to play in a Jayhawk jersey, while the college careers of Elijah Johnson, Travis Releford, Jeff Withey and Kevin Young end following a 31-6 senior season. A McDonald’s All-American who came on strong late in the season, Ellis finished with freshman numbers of 5.8 points and 3.9 rebounds a game.

Fellow freshman Ben McLemore, who likely will turn pro after scoring 20 points versus Michigan and averaging 15.9 points and 5.2 boards on the season, was equally bummed for his senior pals.

“This is an emotional time. I feel bad for the seniors and thank them for how much they’ve helped me,” McLemore said. “Last year sitting out (as red-shirt) and seeing what they accomplished (in reaching NCAA title game), how far they got, was a great example (for me).

“I enjoyed playing with these guys. We are a family. It was a great team,” McLemore added. “I know it’s tough for the seniors. It’s their last year, but we’ve all been working so hard since July. It’s tough to have it end like this.”

Withey is considered a certain first-round NBA Draft pick, while Releford is being mentioned as a possible second-rounder. Johnson and/or Young figure to play for pay in Europe if they do not get drafted in the second round or invited to an NBA team’s summer camp.

Withey — he averaged 13.7 points and 8.5 rebounds with 146 blocks in 37 games his senior year — was philosophical after the Jayhawks failed to close out Michigan. KU led by 14 points with 6:50 left and eight at 1:22.

“Sometimes it doesn’t work out the way you want,” Withey said.

He has high hopes for the 2013-14 Jayhawks, who figure to return just three rotation players in Ellis, point guard Naadir Tharpe and forward Jamari Traylor.

“Naadir is a great player. He will be a great point guard next year. He will have a great career,” Withey said of the 5-11 sophomore from Worcester, Mass., who averaged 5.5 points a game, hitting 35 of 106 threes for 33 percent.

A pair of freshmen may back up Tharpe at the point. KU coach Bill Self has signed Frank Mason, 5-11 out Massanutten Military Academy in Woodstock, Va., who is ranked No. 134 nationally by High-scoring Conner Frankamp, 6-foot out of Wichita North, who is ranked No. 31, is known as a fierce competitor and gym rat who also figures to be in the mix right away.

Seldom-used freshman guard Rio Adams, who has expressed unhappiness on Twitter and Facebook this season, has said he’ll be back for a sophomore season, but that remains to be seen. His latest Twitter post Saturday read: “Wonder what god has in store for me from this point on and where I’m going to end up next. the ride was epic....”

Players who transfer out of KU’s program usually announce their intentions after season-ending meetings with Self, which are normally held the week after the Final Four.

Traylor, 6-8, 220 freshman from Chicago, averaged 2.1 points, 2.1 rebounds and 9.8 minutes a game with 28 blocks and 17 steals. Self has signed frontcourt player Joel Embiid, 7-foot out of Rock School in Gainesville, Fla., ranked No. 37 nationally. Also, Self has high hopes for Landen Lucas, 6-10, 240 out of Portland, who red-shirted as a freshman this past campaign. Forward Justin Wesley, a senior-to-be, knows the system well and could vie for rotation time depending on the progress of Lucas and the newcomers.

Some outside shooting could come from Andrew White, a 6-6 freshman out of Chester, Va., who hit 10 of 36 threes in his debut season, as well as newcomers Brannen Greene, 6-7 out of Tift County High in Tifton, Ga., ranked No. 25 nationally, and No. 26 Wayne Selden, 6-5 out of Tilton (N.H.) School, who like Ellis is a McDonald’s All-American.

KU’s four walk-ons — Christian Garrett, Evan Manning, Niko Roberts and Tyler Self — also are eligible to return. One might keep an eye on Manning for potential playing time down the road.

KU is still in the running for No. 1-ranked Andrew Wiggins, a 6-7 forward from Huntington (W.Va.) Prep who is considering KU, Kentucky, North Carolina and Florida State.

“I think they can be better than we were this year, definitely,” senior point guard Johnson said.

Self is not ready to close the chapter on this season. He applauds the seniors for their wildly successful careers. Fifth-year senior Releford won 158 games against 27 losses, while Johnson and Withey went 131-19 and Young 63-13.

“What a year ... what a team,” Self exclaimed. “This stings now. We’ll reflect on it soon, get our legs under us and be real happy with the year.”

Positive Twitter talk: Not all Twitter posts from Jayhawks are negative. Lucas stood up for his teammate, Johnson, who had several key blunders that helped Michigan in its comeback victory over KU. Lucas tweeted Friday: “Before I go 2 sleep I just want yall to remember the guy who everyone has things to say bout is the same guy who won us the league @ ISU #EJ” He also tweeted: “Next season starts today.”


741hawk 9 years, 6 months ago

1) I can see why Bill doesn't want to play Wichita State. :)

2) This one still hurts. Interesting that some loses can be as memorable as some of the greatest victories. I will take to my grave my angst over Roy Williams playing a one-handed Jerod Haas (he had a broken wrist) in the '97 Sweet 16 game against Arizona. That was arguably the best team KU ever put on a court. I remember where I was and how I felt. Awful.

I feel the same about this game. Stubborn coach. Missed opportunity. Geeeeeez, that was just an awful finish. I will remember this one forever, too, because, unfortunately, it cannot be "evacuated" from my memory.

Kye Clark 9 years, 6 months ago

The Wichita St. comment is garbage. Yeah anytime a team reaches a Final 4 it's impressive, but we would have too if we had that region. We already know we beat Ohio St. on their home court, surely we would have beat #12 LaSalle if that was our sweet 16 opponent. I said this on another thread, and it's pretty much accepted fact, but it's all about match-ups. You don't have to be the best team or even beat the best teams, you just have to beat the team you're playing. So to assume KU wants no part of WSU because "oh look, they're a Final 4 caliber team. We're scared to play them" is a crock.

actorman 9 years, 6 months ago

IC, apparently you are completely unable to translate from sarcastic to English. What, the smiley face wasn't enough of a clue for you??? For crying out loud, a third grader could have seen that 741 was joking!!!

jayhawkinATL 9 years, 6 months ago

Hey, actorman, give IC some slack. I've been called out too for missing some obvious sarcasm. We're all on edge after what happened Friday. LOL

Kye Clark 9 years, 6 months ago

My apologies for not recognizing the sarcasm. Yes, I'm still on edge, and living in Wichita I've already heard that statement in a non-sarcastic tone quite a few times. Just a knee-jerk reaction.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 6 months ago

Believe me..I've been there and done that. I think a 48 hour rest before posting helps me a lot w/games we lost.

741hawk 9 years, 6 months ago

I guess you missed the "Happy Face" which was meant to mean sarcasm!

KJD 9 years, 6 months ago

@icthawkfan316 did you not see the :)

I still know two KU alumns that grew up in Wichita who love both teams. There are a bunch of KU people from Wichita, including Ellis and soon to be Jayhawk Frankamp, that are from Wichita. I would love to see KU play the Shockers. A little KU loving jab at our schedule over the last couple of decades seems appropriate tonight.

jayhawkinATL 9 years, 6 months ago

I would love a permanent home-and-home with them.

jhox 9 years, 6 months ago

There is nothing to be gained by playing Wichita State. It won't help our recruiting. If they somehow win a couple we might lose the next great recruit out of Wichita as well. We'll win 9 out of 10 years, but the one year we don't they'll put up another classless billboard with the game score on it. We already have an in state rival and don't need another one. We already play one of the toughest schedules in the country, year in and year out. We don't need that game and should vote out the legislators trying to force that game on us. If our coaching staff and athletic director someday decide there is a good reason to schedule them, then that's fine, but I would be hard pressed to find any value in it.

Let Wichita State schedule Missery. Maybe they can become each others' most hated rivals.

jayhawkinATL 9 years, 6 months ago

For some reason, I don't think WSU would stoop to KSU's level.

jhox 9 years, 6 months ago

One year WSU beat us and their fans bought billboards around the state with the game score. Definitely classless.

jayhawkinATL 9 years, 6 months ago

I don't sense WSU has the inferiority complex that KSU does with us (exception only being football).

jay381 9 years, 6 months ago

I agree. Any successful program schedules games that are in THEIR best interest not for some half brained politically correct reason. There is absolutely nothing to be gained from scheduling Wichita State. Self has a tough pre season schedule but it is designed to be in the best interest of his team geographically for recruiting purposes, or style of play for potential opponents, or for national exposure. WSU add nothing to the benefit of KU. No one objectively analyzing the potential cost v reward would add WSU to the KU schedule.

chaggs 9 years, 6 months ago

It may be a moot point. Marshall is likely to get offers from most vacancies.

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 6 months ago

Agreed. It would surprise me "not at all" to see Gregg Marshall end up the head coach at Minnesota.

Lance Hobson 9 years, 6 months ago

Not playing WSU is holdover from the Roy Williams era. Self needs to dump that as fast as he dumped that ugly logo in the center of the court.

BigDBigJayhawk 9 years, 6 months ago

Why in the world would we want to play that commuter school? ZERO to gain.

AirCapJay 9 years, 6 months ago

Classless response. I'm starting to sense a northeast Kansas/Kansas City area bias in these posts towards Wichita. Do the Johnson County folks look down their noses at Wichita?

WSU usually has a very high RPI. It would not hurt KU to play WSU. It would raise non-conference strength of schedule. It would not hurt. Playing WSU is far better than playing some no-name school with a +200 RPI.

The legislature wants to have WSU-KU game mainly for economic benefits and for the Wichita area fans. What is wrong with that? Wichita area fans don't get a chance to see KU play. Allen is always sold out. Who wants to drive to KC Mo to see a game? It would be nice to see KU play a game in Wichita at Intrust Arena. KSU is playing Gonzaga at Intrust next year. KSU keeps dollars in the state of Kansas and at the same time lets the Wichita fans get to see their team play in person.

BigDBigJayhawk 9 years, 6 months ago

It would be a crime for KU to be forced into a series. Should be the call of the Coaches. If HCBS doesn't want it, it shouldn't be mandated. Congrats to WSU for their once every 50 years season. I'll check the name calling at the door, but I don't have a high opinion of Wichita or WSU. Call it "classless" if you want, but I'm sick of hearing about WSU.

90sHawk 9 years, 6 months ago

I'll call it classless. WSU fans have every right to enjoy there trip to the FF. KU didn't make it so get over it. Pathetic excuse for a KU fan in my opinion to basically talk crap on a class program like WSU, another KS school making the state proud.

Sam Constance 9 years, 6 months ago

Your entire last paragraph is about the most ridiculous thing I've ever read. You sit there suggesting that KU should play WSU because it would benefit Wichita, because driving to KCMO is no fun, and because it would be fun to see KU play at Intrust.

Of those things, which are the responsibility of KU basketball? And why should KU sacrifice the huge revenue generator that is home games in AFH so that a handful of displaced KU fans can see them play in person? There are tons of KU fans in areas far from Lawrence--Dallas and Chicago have two of the biggest KU alumni bases in the country.

I said this to a family member yesterday--if Wichita State is serious about playing Kansas, then they can offer a proposal that KU would have no reasonable grounds for refusal: offer to come play in AFH. No home and home. No neutral area. If Wichita State is so bent on playing KU, then they can do it the same way every other mid-major program does it, by agreeing to play in AFH as part of the non-conference slate.

Wichita's local economy is of no concern to KU, and even if it was, I'm highly skeptical how a single game per year would even move the needle in the local economy. It's nothing more than an excuse because the real thing that's driving this is the belief from a lot of WSU fans that their school is on par with KU and deserves a shot at the big dog.

I love it when Wichita State represents Kansas well. I'm going to root for them to win a national title next weekend. But I see absolutely no reason why KU should be playing a game that is basically a no-win for Kansas. Best case scenario, they win (like they were "supposed" to), their RPI is helped, and they lose the home court revenue. Worst case scenario, they lose ("unexpectedly"), RPI is hurt and they lose home court revenue. It's just not worth it, as frustrating as that may be to hear for WSU fans (or KU fans in Wichita).

jhox 9 years, 6 months ago

I'm pulling for Wichita State in the Final 4. I grew up in SE Kansas. I just don't see value in KU scheduling them. Especially when their fans put up billboards the rare occasions they beat us. If you want to play KU annually that didn't show a lot of intelligence. I also don't think it should be the legislatures' job to mandate games. Call me crazy, but I think the state has bigger issues to be dealing with than scheduling basketball games, especially when it is against the will of a large segment of the population.

I have no problem with KU scheduling neutral site games in Wichita against other majors. They can help the Wichita economy in that way.

BigDBigJayhawk 9 years, 6 months ago

"I have no problem with KU scheduling neutral site games in Wichita against other majors. They can help the Wichita economy in that way"

Actually like the idea myself. Just not WSU.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 6 months ago

741, I know exactly how you feel. I put far too much of myself into every season. I remember when every player on this team were making their commitments. For me, KU basketball is all year long. Recruiting, signing, rookie years and so on. Part of the reason is being a disabled vet. That's on me. You would think that I would have learned better. The '97 season, the 2002 season, watching Wayne go out in the first round. Actually, every season that ends in a loss takes a while to get over. This last one rates as one of the worst. I don't understand the decision-making or the play in the last 3 min.

I will continue being a fan but will surely find better things to spend my time on. Maybe Jayhawk football :-)

actorman 9 years, 6 months ago

“'I think they can be better than we were this year, definitely,' senior point guard Johnson said."

He forgot to add "because there won't be anyone making as many dumb plays game after game as I did."

Steve Zimmerman 9 years, 6 months ago

This is getting old, actor-not-man-enough. Cool it, go back to your momma. Cry -- just keep on crying like a baby. The season ends for KU. Period. Life goes on.

Rock Chalk 9 years, 6 months ago

I think the sting is still too fresh. Reference ict above and the responses to your post actorman. We have our senses of humor tucked away momentarily perhaps.

Steve Zimmerman 9 years, 6 months ago

Rio can work for Panera Bread - I could care less about him.

One thing I'm more interested in is why the heck do we always have red-shirted freshma/en? Traylor & Ben - due to their grades or whatever. But Lucas? Why not Wesley? Will we see Brannen next? Or Embiid? Perhaps Mason or Selden? Evan will be backup PG instead? Will somebody explain what's this BS is about?

Craig Carr 9 years, 6 months ago

Coach Self will use the red shirt according to his talent in any given year. Calling that BS is just being ignorant. Imagine this year without Withey or Releford, both used the red shirt to their fullest advantage.

Tim Orel 9 years, 6 months ago

Didn't Withey sit out a year because of transfer, not a choice to just sit and learn? Or is a transfer considered a "red shirt"?

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 6 months ago

Withey transferred at mid-season so he wasn't eligible until the following spring.

John Strayer 9 years, 6 months ago

As Coach Self has said many times...he'll gladly trade a limited freshman year for a more experienced senior year down the road. See Travis for instance. He struggled his freshman year so red shirted his sophomore year...great for us because we had two pretty good years and the end of his college career. Self even predicted he could be a 1000 pt scorer...which he almost did. It definitely works for some and we'll see if it did of Lucas.

Steve Zimmerman 9 years, 6 months ago

Do we see that in Michigan's freshmen? Do we see that in Louiville? I wonder if that's gonna do any good to the program, to the team or to the kid himself.

jhox 9 years, 6 months ago

So far the red shirts have been put to good use. My only fear is that someday we'll end up wasting one on someone who ends up having the skills to declare early for the draft and we end up wasting a year of a talented player. But until Self has made a mistake or two like that he deserves the right to not be questioned about it.

jay381 9 years, 6 months ago

I agree. There is enough talent we do not need a "head case" to mess with the chemistry of the team. I am sure there are many less prestigious programs he could transfer to an get playing time. The time he was on the court he was an absolute disaster. Does anyone remember one single contributive game?

texashawk10 9 years, 6 months ago

Teams don't redshirt players for the heck of it. Players are generally redshirted because they aren't physically ready to play (Landon Lucas), or are predicted to play very limited minutes at the time, but projected to be an contributor down the road (Travis Releford, Mario Little, Brady Morningstar). Joel Embiid and Frank Mason are the two recruits most likely to be redshirted, both for different reasons. Embiid may need a year to physically develop his body like Lucas did this year and Mason likely won't be a factor in the rotation this year, but could be in the future.

And just an FYI, Justin Wesley did redshirt the season he transferred to KU from Lamar.

jhox 9 years, 6 months ago

Travis could have helped his red shirt year, but it worked out fine. He was more valuable this year. Eventually we will redshirt one of these guys and the person will improve enough before his senior year to go pro. I suppose it will be a good problem to have when it happens.

Adam Tyler 9 years, 6 months ago

There is not a snowballs chance in Texas that Embiid is redshirted next year.

texashawk10 9 years, 6 months ago

Quite frankly, I don't think anybody redshirts next season unless it's an incoming transfer player Bill lands in the coming months. Based on his Rivals profile, Embiid appears to have the size to at least not get dominated next year, but you never know. Crazier things have happened before.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 6 months ago

When scholarship players transfer they are required to sit out one year. They will keep their year of eligibility and are considered redshirt players. Coaches will often redshirt players to maximize their potential and the needs of the team.

I'm guessing Lucas was redshirted because HCBS didn't see him getting much playing time this past season and possibly thought he would develop into a better player with another year to practice and mature.

This should answer any questions surreal:

Rock Chalk 9 years, 6 months ago

I'm sad Rio is thinking ahead to what is next in his life and tweeting as if he's moving on, but more sad we don't get to see this team in Kansas uniforms again doing what they do best. They'll be sorely missed. Wishing them all the luck and success in the world. Wishing we could rewind the clock.

LngTimeFan 9 years, 6 months ago

Rio had only seconds of decent play while in games, not minutes of good play. For him to think that passage of time makes him next in line vs being the best player at his assigned position tells me doesn't get it. Seems he likely will be disatisfied wherever he may land. Perhaps some small school will be able to use him. I doubt he will ever mature to accept that your performance gets you playing time, not just you thinking you deserve it. The coaches call that, not the player. I hope he can grasp this.

741hawk 9 years, 6 months ago

His freshman immaturity reminds me of Tyshawn. It's easy to see how he feels based on the way BS handled him vs EJ. At the same time, staying in the program, if Bill wants him, would probably be best for him. Not sure he sees that.

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 6 months ago

He needs a sit-down w/ Tyshawn & Ru. Robinson to get his "head on straight".

addlime 9 years, 6 months ago

Did anyone see the handshake line after the NC game? One thing that jumped out at me was how sincerely Roy Williams was congratulating KU players (no surprise since he appears to genuinely root for KU). All the players seemed to smile, and take time to thank him, especially Releford. Adams, on the other hand, did not even make eye contact with Williams, and seemed to blow him off rather dismissively. Pissed me off when I saw it. Am I imagining this or did anyone else see it? I think there could be some real maturity issues with that one.

Steve Zimmerman 9 years, 6 months ago

I thought I was the only one! Yea, that same Rio I do not like. He just seems so un-KU. That's why I could care less if he's gone. I'd love to see him out of KU team, indeed. Something about him that just doesn't seem fit in KU team. Frank Mason will replace him for the better. Trust me, we don't need this kind of Rio in KU roster!!!

KULA 9 years, 6 months ago

Thanks to all our seniors for a great season! You guys were awesome for us and you did Kansas Basketball proud.

I hope they don't read this chat board and see all of the dumb, dumb, dumb posts. Especially all the dumb posts about EJ. "He cost us the game" "He's a thug" He shouldn't have been in the game the last five minutes" Bill should have benched him for the flagrant foul." I can hardly believe all the dumb, myopic posts on this board. Oh, and I almost forgot, the most idiotic thing I've read on this board in the 4 years I've been here, "He must have thrown the game for money--he's from Vegas, right?"

First off, "he cost us the game." No one player ever cost you the game. Everyone on the team works together to put you in position to win or lose the game on one play. He missed a free throw. God forbid a player ever miss a free throw! They're FREE THROWS, for God's sake! How could you ever miss one? Never mind the fact that we never got into the double bonus in regulation--what's up with that? Thanks, refs. Yeah, he had some bad turnovers. But where was the coaching staff? Do they know anything about situational coaching. Don't they have any plays diagramed to take the pressure off the individual player in a late game press situation? Wichita State's coaching staff seemed to handle it pretty well. And the 10 second call? What are the coaches doing--watching? Talk about asleep at the switch!

Next--"he shouldn't have been in the game in the last five minutes." Are you effin' kidding me? He's your most experienced player in big game situations. I'll grant that Naadir should have been in to take some of the pressure off, but bench EJ? That's just idiotic. And don't try to compare it to the BMac benching in the UNC game. Ben's a freshman who was obviously affected by the bright lights. Why would you risk another green player over an experienced senior in crunch time? If Bill benched EJ for Naadir, and Naa had a few turnovers and we lost, now that would've been cause to call for Bill's job. EJ was still your best available, given the situation (crunch time in a one and done tourney). You go with your best available. (continued)

Rock Chalk 9 years, 6 months ago

First paragraph.... Nice.
The repeat of not nice comments not so nice. :/

Kye Clark 9 years, 6 months ago

On the 10 second call, yeah they probably were asleep, lulled that way by EJ's lackadaisical handling of it. I know I was shocked myself watching it the first time, and when they whistled the play dead I thought it must have been for a hand-check or something. Didn't even occur to me until I saw the shot clock read "24" what had happened, mostly because of EJ's lack of urgency during the play.

And what do you mean "what are the coaches doing--watching?" Um...I hope so. What do you want them doing? Tweeting? Yeah I get it, you probably want to have one of your assistants with an eye on the clock, and maybe someone was and by the time they realized what was going on and tried to alert Bill it was too late. More than likely it caught everybody by surprise. Not sure how you can shift blame to the coaches regardless, that your senior PG can't handle one defender. Nice try, but that one is all on EJ.

DanR 9 years, 6 months ago

For example, yesterday, wichita state coach called a timeout in the exact same situation against OSU, saving a turnover at a key moment.

KULA 9 years, 6 months ago

ict--Yeah, EJ screwed up. Does that mean the coach throws him to the wolves and doesn't bail him out and preserve the possession? If your guy screws up and has to scramble after the ball on the floor, and gets dived on by a defender going for the tie up, do you throw him to the wolves, or do you call a timeout to maintain possession. If your guy screws up and can't get the ball inbounded, do you throw him to the wolves or do you call a timeout to maintain possession?

As BigManU points out, with one more possession, we win the game. We either score or we burn 20-30 seconds off the clock, and the game never gets to 5 pts. at 21 seconds.

The sad point is, Bill and his staff simply weren't prepared for this situation. And it's really a coaching basic. The clock hits 26 and you can't get the ball across half court, you call a timeout to maintain possession. You shouldn't even have to think about it--it's a given. You see coaches do it often. Unfortunately, it looks like Bill's staff never worked on this. I guess while all his players spent the summer in the gym and weight room trying to become better basketball players, Bill was too busy playing golf and running a photo-op dude basketball camp for the psychological benefit of hundreds of dads who think their kid's gonna become the next Brady to work on becoming a better basketball coach.

diegohawk 9 years, 6 months ago

10 second call is as much on Bill as it is on EJ. Could have relieved pressure by having Naa in there and should have called a timeout when it got to 26 as we had plenty to give at that time.

EJ had a tough night but he loved our university and competed as best as he was able over his four years. He might not have made the best decisions late and the results just were painful but I won't question his positive impact overall on this program over his four years.

Thank you to all the seniors. Forgive our venom over the last couple days. We are just mere fans.

addlime 9 years, 6 months ago

EJ had a horrible night. I was screaming at my tv for Self to take him out during the entire last 4 minutes of the game. That being said, who was going to replace him? His head wasn't right, and he made a ton of mistakes. BUt that's KU's team this year and I guess we have to live with it. Frankly, EJ had a bad year because Tyshawn left and Naa couldn't really fill that role. Naa is still a defensive liability and not truly a slashing drive threat. His shot is also still too inconsistent. ISU was an anomaly for EJ. He really didn't play well all season. That being said, there is NO WAY KU GETS TO THE FINAL LAST YEAR WITHOUT EJ. So let's not be too quick to be glad to rid our team of him. I think his play this season was more about the combination of guards on this team and their stages of development.

texashawk10 9 years, 6 months ago

EJ did not have to come out of the game, but there was no reason for KY to be out there instead of Tharpe. KU's greatest need during the last 4 minutes was to have ball handlers and FT shooters on the floor and Naadir was the best at both this year for KU. KU was up 10 with 3:30 left, that means KU did not need to score another FG the rest of the game and Trey Burke's shooting should not have mattered. KU holds the ball untill the end of the shot clock on their next 2 possessions which leaves roughly 2:15 left before KU starts shooting FT's to ice the game.

hotrodm 9 years, 6 months ago

EJ needs to make an apology to McGrady for the low blow. Man up EJ and admit it to the media. An apology will set your mind free,

Jeremy Wilhelm 9 years, 6 months ago

How are you certain it was intentional and not a flop? Looked to me like McWimpy took one on the waist line and made a bid for a screen actors guild nomination. EJ says it wasn't intentional. I believe him.

AirCapJay 9 years, 6 months ago

I have to agree. EJ's hand was not completely in a fist and his arm movement was like when you start to run you swing your arms forward to gain momentum. I really think Michigan players flop and act to get their fouls. They are well coached in that regard. It looked like incidental contact to me.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 6 months ago

That was no flop. How am I certain? Because I saw him do it...repeatedly in slow motion from several angles.

If you want to delude yourself fine..but don't expect don't expect too many buyers because "EJ says it wasn't intentional".

Steve Gantz 9 years, 6 months ago

I've heard people watch the tape over and over and try to over analyze every movement, hoping they'll discover something that exhonerates his guilt. He did it folks, it was obvious. Stop denying it. I was aghast when I saw it happen. He's tarnished the Jayhawk image nationwide.

Glen Miller 9 years, 6 months ago

I'm a KU homer and I typically will side with our players...... but this is an instance where it's undeniable. EJ was in the wrong and anyone who says he didn't mean to is looking through rose colored glasses at our Hawks.

KULA 9 years, 6 months ago

Next, "Bill should've benched him for the flagrant foul." Bill didn't have access to the video. All he had to go by was what the refs told him. The refs reviewed the play, made a call, and meted out the prescribed punishment. Why on earth would Bill add to that? That's the refs job. Suppose Bill did bench EJ because he might have done something unseemly. And we lose the game. And on review, the play looks marginal--bad to some, not so bad to others. How does Bill explain that to his bosses? He's paid to win basketball games, no one-up the referees for the sake of some appearance of "honorability." Bill did the right thing by acceding to the referee's call and then 'playing on.'

Next, "EJ's a thug." Well, not necessarily, if you've ever played any playground ball. Bill has always coached a physical and intimidating game. If you doubt this, look back on the '02 and '3 Kansas/Illinois tournament games--still two of the dirtiest games I ever saw. Bill coaches his teams to not shy away from physicality. So if you're running through a screen and he elbows you in the chest, you give him a firm PAT where it counts to remind him where his hands ought to be the next time he screens. I really doubt if that really came out of the blue for EJ and I doubt that Bill was at all surprised by this. Unfortunately, they have more cameras at the tournament games.

And next, probably the most idiotic, "EJ must have thrown the game for money--he's from Vegas, right?" This is SO STUPID that I hate to even give it credence by addressing it, so I won't, other than to say, if you believe this, you are too moronic to be on this site and should probably stay on Yahoo! Sports.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 6 months ago

No access to the video? You're joking right?

The Dallas Cowboys have the official Guinness World Record for the world's largest high-definition video display.

The mega-screen consists of four Mitsubishi Diamond Vision LED video screens, with the two main sideline displays measuring 72 feet high by 160 feet wide, and two Diamond Vision end-zone displays measuring 29 feet high by 51 feet wide.

Weighing 600 tons, the screens are suspended 90 feet directly over the center of the playing surface and stretch from nearly one 20-yard line to the other.

Total viewing area of the display(s) is 11,393 square feet -- thus more than 3,000 52-inch TVs.

EVERYBODY had access to the video.

KULA 9 years, 6 months ago

They don't show the same shots on the stadium screen that they broadcast on the network, and I don't think they show plays under official review on the stadium screen. I could be wrong.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 6 months ago

Well..I admit to not knowing exactly when (in reference to that particular play) But I did hear the crowd react when the refs were giving Coach Self their explanations'

Personally, I thought it was dumb and EJ's fault but would rather thank him for his outstanding play over the coarse of his time year. He is NOT a PG but did his best.

I'm ready to move on and say "Go Shockers!" And I'm completely in agreement about HCBS...He could have easily make the needed changes.

KULA 9 years, 6 months ago

Next, so where does the blame lie, if anywhere. Well, if anywhere, I lay it at the coach's doorstep. He did NOTHING in the last three minutes of that game to give his team a chance to win. From the missed timeout to avoid the 10 second call to lack of play-calling, the coaching staff was asleep at the switch. Bill's excuse for not pressing is that a good team will attack the press and score on it. SO HOW COME WE NEVER ATTACK THE PRESS AND SCORE?!?!?! Anytime we're pressed, we just settle to get the ball across half court. Bill could learn something watching the tape of '89 Kansas/Kentucky game.

And with seconds left, there's not even a semblance of play. It's just, EJ, Tyshawn, Sherron, Whoever, go get it! Just sending your individual players out there to make up a play on the fly and hope the best. That's not coaching. If you want to see coaching, refer to Brad Stevens plays in the last few seconds of Marquette game and the Duke Championship game. Now there's a coach who sets up his players to give them a chance to win. As opposed to Bill's strategy of "send 'em out and see what happens" like Naadir at the end of regulation, EJ at the end of overtime, and Sherron at the end of the Michigan game in '09.

If you want to blame someone for this loss, don't put it on a kid who gave all he had for the program but came up a little short. Look to the 3.5 million dollar man who doesn't seem concerned with improving HIS game.

Btw, Brad Stevens just told UCLA, "Pass." I'll bet if a coaching vacancy ever arose, he might be interested in another Midwestern school with a rich basketball tradition...

Chris Shaw 9 years, 6 months ago

"Timing" is everything. Bill Self's contract runs for another 10 years, but even at that point Stevens would only be 46 and heading into the prime of his career. Amazing the kid already has 2 National Championship game appearances at that young of an age.

As good as Bill Self is and all the regular season and conference are going to have to start taking advantage of these "High Seeds" in the NCAA Tournament.

I mean, Coach K is great because he has been to the Final 4 11 times and is working on his 12th. From 1986 to 1992...Coach K went to 5 Final 4's in 6 years. I thought Bill Self was on the verge of doing a "Coach K" or at least getting close, but I guess the "Pressure" was too much.

I will say this...I am on record as to saying that I would sacrifice some of these 30 win seasons and Big 12 Championships for further runs in the NCAA Tournament.

dylans 9 years, 6 months ago

No way I would pass on conference hardware for anything less than a national championship. No other way to end with a win that counts.

Adam Tyler 9 years, 6 months ago

Unless we are hanging National Championship banners...Im happy with winning the conference every year and having a solid chance in the big dance....

Chris Shaw 9 years, 6 months ago

If you're a blueblood like Kansas IMO all that matters are Final 4's and Championships.

KULA 9 years, 6 months ago

Refer to Calipari's tour video of Kentucky's student athlete housing. To paraphrase, "We don't talk much about conference championships here. We don't talk about Final Fours. We're Kentucky. We talk about National Championships. That's what we're about here."

JayHawkFanToo 9 years, 6 months ago

...while losing as the top seed in the first round of the NIT to Robert Morris!

kevinatc 9 years, 6 months ago

I think KULA needs to pull his head out of the sand and oine the real world or go back to LA

SaltLakeHawk 9 years, 6 months ago

kevinatc, your comment is on par with a monkey throwing poop at something.

KULA made a lot of great points.

Instead of offering a rebuttal built on logic and reasoning, you just said... well I'll just let your comment stand for itself.

Chris Shaw 9 years, 6 months ago

Great Job Wichita State Shockers. Way to represent the State of Kansas. A couple of things here:

1) Do you have any "Timeouts" in your backpocket, Gregg Marshall? Great coaching job! Your team "Tightened" up at the end of the game which was expected, but as a coach you bailed your team and players out of a couple of jams and situations, saved some possessions, ran off time on the clock...and now you're in the Final 4. Great use of your "Timeouts".

2) I know this probably won't happen, but I do think it would be a cool story if Bill Self and his team went down to Wichita and offered any help or guidance in the scout vs Duke or Louisvile. Gregg Marshall would be the lead dog, but Self and Kansas would just be there for support to help with anything involved with the scout.

Kansas' players are a little taller and more athletic than Wichita State's scout team so I think it would be a good gesture to find a way to help a "Kansas School" to win the National Championship. Bring it back to the State.

You would just have to tread lightly because Marshall, the fans, and the boosters, could take that as a "Negative" and say that Kansas is just trying to stay in the spotlight. I could definitely see that, but for me, I want to see Wichita State cut down the nets.

3) Bill Self always says, "Players Gotta Play", but I also believe at times when players are "Playing", you have to bail them out every now and then when the pressure mounts. It's okay once in a while for a player to lose sight of what's going on...that's why you get paid the big help guide your team.

I don't think I will ever forget that 10 second violation knowing that Bill Self and staff had 3 timeouts at the time of that turnover. The fact the coaching staff had a timeout in their backpocket at the end of regulation makes this loss "Sting" even more me. EJ could have been bailed out of that turnover and saved a possesssion had Self just called the TO for him. I mean, there is a reason why they changed that rule years ago for coach's to be able to call a TO.

4) 1997 Zona, 2003 Cuse, 2005 Bucknell, and 2010 UNI were about as bad as it gets for me, but 2013 Michigan is the absolute worst for me considering how well Kansas played in the game. The whole team including coaching staff just lost focus and missed a great opportunity to be playing Florida today. Today is Easter and a great day, but it's still going to suck.

jayhawkinATL 9 years, 6 months ago

To your point #3, why in the hell did EJ take his sweet-a$$ time dribbling up court in the first place? It was not like he had intense ball pressure. One dude was on me, the replay shows him lolly-gagging.

Kye Clark 9 years, 6 months ago

Exactly. Some will point the finger at Bill for not calling a time-out (KULA, he never misses an opportunity to do so), but like you said - one defender. He wasn't in trouble by being trapped or fumbling the ball around. The fact that EJ needed "bailed out" there at all is inexcusable.

texashawk10 9 years, 6 months ago

EJ does deserve the lion's share of the blame for the 10 second violation, but Bill Self is not blameless either. Why did Self not call a timeout when it was obvious EJ wasn't going to get the ball across the time line?

KULA 9 years, 6 months ago

Was needing to be bailed out as inexcusable as not bailing him out? They are on the same team, right?

Kent Richardson 9 years, 6 months ago

The way I see it, and from our postings, during the pregame days, we offer solutions and comment on the Staff writing. We are hyper analytical, during the Newell Post game blogs and then critically reflective the next day. You come across as smart, brave, passionate and forgiving. I have been in business, union and government service and this is the only "team," outside my "men in camo," that has consistently shown the ability to police itself. You have entertained and impressed the hell out of me week after week. Thank you.

Danny Hernandez 9 years, 6 months ago

BigManU and KULA are pretty much spot on with their analysis. I too believe that with all the turnovers towards the end, the one that gets to me the most is the 10 second call and YES, Coach Self should have called a timeout right there. That call was huge when it could have been averted and probably saved the game for us. Remember, Michigan has to score every time it gets the ball to have any chance and that would have been one less chance to score. Kansas wins that game without that 10 second call

jayhawkinATL 9 years, 6 months ago

Posted this late yesterday. Says a lot doesn't it??? Look at Tharpe and BMac...then look at what Rio's doing.

Andy Godwin 9 years, 6 months ago

Both Tharpe and Adams are looking at their phones.

jayhawkinATL 9 years, 6 months ago

Good catch...bad eyesight on my part. Of course, you know what this means??? Tharpe's leaving too! :)

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 6 months ago

No, probably means Tharpe's saying something like, "No excuses for being left out from here on out!" :)

dylans 9 years, 6 months ago

Ben looks like a guys who's played his last game.

Janet Olin 9 years, 6 months ago

Rio is too immature to 'get it'; Tharpe knows better. If they don't want to be here, then let them go. You have to be 'all in' or it doesn't work out.

Andy Godwin 9 years, 6 months ago

"KU’s four walk-ons — Christian Garrett, Evan Manning, Niko Roberts and Tyler Self — also are eligible to return. One might keep an eye on Manning for potential playing time down the road."

Something that tends to go unnoticed about how a team develops throughout the year is the quality of the red team whose role is to push the starters day in and day out during practice. We saw how much the team improved last year when Jamari and Ben became eligible after the first semester and made the other players step up their game. Year in and year out we hear how KU bigs got better by practicing against better players (Kaun and Jackson, Aldrich, the twins, Robinson, Withey, and hopefully Lucus and Traylor). It is not clear KU has had sufficient competition at point guard to make this year's starters that much better. KU never got better handling the pressure during the season (actually much worse starting with the Temple but that may be the result of opposing coaches honing in on KU's Achilles' heal) and much of that has to be attributed to the quality of the guard play by the red team.

Hopefully Andrew and Rio will stick around and work hard in practice for extended minutes. Rio could be one of the best at stealing extra positions since Chalmers and Andrew is long and can shoot. Both are very talented players who can step up to compete for meaningful minutes since they have a year of Self under their belt. Importantly, KU needs to have serious competition at each position to get better and the guard play and ball handingly needs to improve dramatically. Therefore the quality of the unsung players on the red team needs to improve. This will be one of Self's youngest teams and to get better the red team needs to be much more athletic and unselfish to push the starters to get better. With 5 starting positions up for grab, hopefully Self rapidly develops "trust" in the returners and the newcomers and makes each position wide-open and allows the BEST players to play.

Competition is a good thing. Just ask Weis. KU football should be better this year since the team is deeper and positions (except QB and running backs) are up for grabs. Last year there was almost no competition. Hopefully Self will allow the players to compete for minutes and reward those with more playing time. It will be interesting it he goes more than two deep off the bench next year. Clearly that will depend upon who stays, and how well the freshman develop. With the level of talent on paper, it may be time to explore his bench a bit more and not wear down players so they become less effective during crunch time. Next year may be Self's biggest challenge, since KU's defense (the reason KU is in most games) will not be nearly as good (impossible to replace Withey and Releford with incoming freshman or returnees). Good luck Bill, KU fans don't accept down years.

chaggs 9 years, 6 months ago

I'd like to see KU bring in Young on staff. His family is in Lawrence. HCBS said he's a future coach. His energy and love of the game is infectous!

mejayhawk 9 years, 6 months ago

Yes. Kevin for graduate assistant. If any of the players do get this far down on the comments: Thanks for a fun year for the fans. Keep your heads up and always know you are a part of the Jayhawk family.

jay381 9 years, 6 months ago

Great idea. Please correct me if I am wrong but didn't he have some experience while sitting out while still in CA between the JUCO and the college in CA? I think I read he was something like an unpaid assistant or something. Regardless with all the youth next year he could be a great assistant off the court with the college experience at KU. Really a good idea.

Adam Tyler 9 years, 6 months ago

I would take Kevin as a Graduate Assistant in a heart beat. I just feel he has money to make on the hardwood somewhere across the pond.

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 6 months ago

Heck, if he's ready I'd take Russell Robinson in that capacity if he was interested too.

FL_Jhawk 9 years, 6 months ago

Kevin would be awesome! I agree he might need to go to overseas for a few years, but it would be great to see him come back home to coach. His energy and joy for the game is infectious.

Yonatan Negash 9 years, 6 months ago

Regardless of the outcome against Michigan, I still love my Jayhawks. God bless Elijah Johnson, coach Bill Self and the rest of our team. A lot of bad things were said about EJ the past day, it's completely not right.

One last thing, I am hoping Rio is part of our future.

JD Roth 9 years, 6 months ago

I think Rio Adams will be a good player somewhere and I'm hoping he stays here. Time to put the loss behind us and move on. If the team learned a lesson it will be beneficial down the line. Learn from everything, the good and the bad.

KEITHMILES05 9 years, 6 months ago

Rio is an emotional kid. That is all. No D-1 program will take him knowing he likes to get that emotional. He's stuck here for better or worse.

I feel bad Self put EJ back in the game towards the end. He placed the kid in a position to lose and lose we did. Yeah, EJ SHOULD do this and that but then Self has known the entire year he makes bonehead plays under pressure. This isn't news. Sadly, Self's allegiance to his senior guard cost us the game.

KEITHMILES05 9 years, 6 months ago

Ben was not on the return flight home. Pretty obvious he is already gone. Acutally was shocked to not see him exit the plane.

jayhawkinATL 9 years, 6 months ago

I mean not surprised that he's good as gone, but just that he didn't travel back with everybody else.

jayhawkinATL 9 years, 6 months ago

He has a kid who was #85 (can't remember his was mentioned during the game last night) and I'm sure he'll get a few more now.

Kye Clark 9 years, 6 months ago

Oh...who is this new alias? We've seen this before, with the throwing out names of analysts who actually never said anything of the sort...I forget who this joker is. Funny.

90sHawk 9 years, 6 months ago

Though I shouldn't be, I'm a little surprised to see the hate comments towards EJ still. Yeah, the dude messed up. But the remaining folks who can't seem to get past it almost 48 hours later need to quickly. The guy gave his all for 4 years. Despite his idiotic lapse in judgement with the nut shot, I don't believe in any fashion he's some kind of thug. Glad he was a Jayhawk, and look forward to seeing what the next chapter brings for him, Withey, Releford, and Young.

jumpinjayhawk 9 years, 6 months ago

Hurts worse when one of your seniors is the reason for the end. Hopefully in the future, if we have a senior with horrible decision making abilities, he will be on the bench at crunch time. Bill,we love you, but sometimes you have to do whats right by the team, not the player. Supporting 1 and letting down the rest of the team cost us big time.

Lance Hobson 9 years, 6 months ago

I never doubt Self but next year will be very difficult, and I'm not expecting a Big 12 title. To lose a star like Mac and all of those seniors is just too much. ISU, OSU, OU, and KState are on the rise, this will be tough. Coach of the year for sure if he can pull it off!

Adam Tyler 9 years, 6 months ago

KState will need major improvements from EVERY returning player if they plan on having anywhere close to the season they just had. McGruder was good and the only one who could get his own shot (see Angel Rodriguez with 7 seconds left against La Salle).

Tony Bandle 9 years, 6 months ago


1] Ohio State Coach Thad Matta probably hopes never to see a team from Kansas again, going 0-4 with consecutive 2 reg. season losses, an Elite Eight loss and a Semi-Final loss in the course of two seasons.

2] Defense was our armor, turnovers were our Achilles Heel...the arrow of defeat hit the heel!!

3] Take's only about six and a half months till Late Night.

4] In a matter of hours, we went from one of the most experienced teams in Division One to one of the youngest!! Not counting walk-ons, 1 Senior, 1 Junior, 4 Sophs and 6 Frosh....YIKES!!!

5] 2013-14 Schollie players: Perry, Landon, Jamari, AWIII, Rio, Conner, Brannen, Wayne, Jo Jo, Naadir, Frank and Justin. If my math is correct that leaves one more available [two if brother Keith comes to the rescue]...there still may be some surprises.

Adam Tyler 9 years, 6 months ago

Thad Matta looks like one of the grumpy old men on the balcony from the Muppets...

Michael Luby 9 years, 6 months ago

Im taking this opportunity to vent some more. If someone wants to bash me, then so be it. I still maintain that Elijah's lack of a brain during the Michigan game cost us a win. He turned the ball over way way way to many times down the stretch, during the last few minutes of regulation. He cannot shoot the ball for crap and he chucked up way to many desperation 3's. He had 5 GD turnovers and ZERO assists and a Flagrant foul. KU players don't do that. They just don't. ( OK what if it was incidental, he should publicly apologize! ) The fact that he didn't means to me he is guilty. He freekin meant to do it.
I heard commentators say the Ben disappeared during crunch time too. WHY? Because GD EJ was hogging the ball, missing three pointers and giving the ball to the other team! The blame also lies strongly with Coach Self. I have no idea why he is so GD loyal to a senior who cannot play consistently. Naadir was having a very good game despite a low scoring night. 7 assists and two turns? That's stellar considering what EJ has done this season. He absolutely should have let Naadir play more minutes in crunch time. We would have won the game. I really hope EJ never forgets that he screwed up and lost the game for his fellow teammates. He ended Jeff's, Kevin's, Travis's and Ben's season way to prematurely. He should never pick up a basketball again. If he has one ounce of respect left in him, he will not.

OK, now that Ive spewed all the BS out of my system, Im done with it. I'll end by saying this. I love KU basketball and I know next seasons team will be very rough around the edges to start with, being soooo so young. I cannot wait to see them play. I cant wait to see Coach Self mold them into Big 12 and National title contenders once again. That being said, I wouldn't be surprised if they lose 7,8,9 games next season. Its ok. Its not fair of us to expect they are going to win out over a tough non con schedule and lose less than a few during conference play. Im a die hard for life Jayhawk fan, despite what my words above convey. One oversight by the Coach and One consistently inconsistent player who had an even worse night cannot shake that from me.

That is all, the target range is open, shoot, fire and bash away.

Yonatan Negash 9 years, 6 months ago

No bashing necessary. While I understand your pain, as all Jayhawk nation share the same pain. The best medicine for all of us is to move on. I am only responding to your post because I want to encourage a fellow Jayhawk fan, to move on. I'm personally excited about the future of our Jayhawks, we will win again. In fact, I will predict the loss to Michigan will fuel a fire in coach Self to bring us another National Championship banner to Lawrence. I have been a fan for 30 years, I gaurantee you we will win a National Championship soon. We have the right coach and upcoming talent to do it.

rockchalkchalkin23 9 years, 6 months ago

It's not loyalty, it's the 'crutch syndrome'. If self does what he claims, johnson is not in the game after that 10 sec violation. He does what it takes to win the game is his claim. While johnson has taken some victories for us, clearly he demonstrated his head was not in THIS game after the without doubt intentional foul, 3 first half fouls, and that violation.

Here's another relatively recent example of self blowing smoke. I think most that know the roster would say AW3 is our best and or purest 3pt shooter. Why was he not in at the end of the Mich St game? Withey was in the game on the perimeter trying to screen anyone he saw. Easy to leave him and double team without thought. Do I really have to be a coach to deduce that when you need a 3 and this is your last chance to tie the game and send into OT, that 5 shooters is better than 4 and your best shooter on the bench is not doing what it takes to give your self the best chance to win...

Of course some could and have argued that coaching should have prevented the violation and or johnson playing, and they're 100% correct. And if you disagree, Gregg Marshall WSU vs OSU and who decides who's in the game....

HawksandShox 9 years, 6 months ago

Well at the risk of getting yelled at by ICT hawk....

I am a WSU grad, love WSU Bball. I'm a bigger KU fan as when I moved away after college couldn't get any coverage of WSU (that dates me a bit).

I agree there is no upside to KU playing WSU. I wouldn't do it if I was Self.

Yes a lot of WSU fan's have short man's complex about KU, but many many WSU fans are big KU fans as well.

I will say this. I think if you take Baker, Armstead and Van Vleet and put them on KU's team this year then KU is still moving on right now. But that's what makes March madness so awesome.

Rock Chalk and Go Shox.

FL_Jhawk 9 years, 6 months ago

We had everyone on our team we needed to move forward. We went brain dead the last few minutes after we got lazy and thought we had the game locked up.

But, to win the NC, you may be correct. We were too inconsistent to win all 6, but we should have won at least 4.

Rock Chalk 9 years, 6 months ago

Lets not let the nickname "No Rank Frank" stick. It does have a nice rhyme effect, but it is not a positive one.

Rock Chalk 9 years, 6 months ago

Yes, definitely my favorite for him. He's earned it.

addlime 9 years, 6 months ago

I don't know. If it was me, I'd probably relish the underdog role the name gives. No expectations. Go prove the "experts" wrong. Probably depends on the kid's personality.

SaltLakeHawk 9 years, 6 months ago

"Conner Frankamp, 6-foot out of Wichita North, who is ranked No. 31, is known as a fierce competitor and GYM RAT who also figures to be in the mix right away."

"Gym rat" = white athlete.

That is all.

AirCapJay 9 years, 6 months ago

The pressure is from local state legislators for a game with WSU from an economic standpoint. They want a game in Wichita to benefit the Wichita economy. KU plays a lot of games in Kansas City, MO. Why should Missouri get the economic benefit?

Also, there are a lot of Wichita KU fans that would like to see their team play. Allen is always sold out and why drive to KC, Mo? KSU has scheduled several games at Intrust Arena in Wichita and will play Gonzaga at Intrust next season. KSU sees the value of pleasing their Wichita and south central Kansas fans. I guess KU only cares about NE Kansas fans.

Adam Tyler 9 years, 6 months ago

I would be all for a KU/WSU home and home series if it guaranteed Wiggins. I like where your heads at!!!

AirCapJay 9 years, 6 months ago

I agree with your 1st paragraph. No way we should have lost. We would easily have beaten Florida. KU has missed 3 opportunities to win it all since 2008. The two years with the twins where we were the number 1 over all seed. And this year. Maybe last year too. Self let it get away and could have at least 2 more rings.

I don't know why you had to write the second paragraph. If it does not matter to you, let it go. You don't have to be a fan.

BigDBigJayhawk 9 years, 6 months ago

Cheers, Moon! Who cares about WSU, doubt you're in the "minority".

Steve Gantz 9 years, 6 months ago

Sox-Royals tomorrow at 3:10 See you all next fall!

vsmooth 9 years, 6 months ago

Well, as I see it the season is now over! Was not a pretty ending season, but yeah it is over. Now Bill Self is going to be in a rebuilding season. Man, whatever you do establish you a good point guard. We can name several messed up things that Johnson did in that game. But, what good would it do? None! Just pray for the brother, and wish that he does better wherever it is that he go. Ben, take a very hard, long look at what is ahead for you. Sure, the NBA looks real good right about now. But what? You get drafted, they work you out, feel that you are not quite ready, then stick you in some D-league somewhere. Things don't pan out the way you thought they would, they think that you are not right for their program. Then the next thing you see, is you riding the bench, you pay is not that high. After that, comes the trade talks. Before you know it, you're trying to find some damn assistant coach position. You see how the one and done has panned out for ex-jay-hawker's, Josh Selby?, Xavier Henry, in that case, sophomore Thomas Robinson and doing that well yet. So I do think, one more year would elevate your game, and raise your stock to a more lucrative contract. So, take heed my brother, just like the warning sign that goes out to those who enter into the Phog?, It applies also to those who enter the NBA!!! Luv ya Ben!

Yonatan Negash 9 years, 6 months ago

This will not replace a possible National Championship but hope it lighten's up the mood a bit:

Rock Chalk Jayhawks

Ozfan67 9 years, 6 months ago

All of this 'no single player loses a game' stuff, is just baloney. It's people trying to sound level headed. E.J. most certainly did lose the game, and embarrassed himself and the university while he was at it. Inexplicable why Self left him in there. Unfortunately, many locally have already lived through the "he's my guy and I know better than anyone else" coaches syndrome ( see Marty Schottenheimer and all of his championships while in K.C.). Doesn't mean Self isn't a great coach, it does mean that perhaps his flaws are keeping him from winning as many championships as his ability and player's talents should dictate.

Did E.J.'s four years at KU earn him the right to stay in the game in spite of his outrageously bad decisions any more than Travis' five years at KU earn him the right to move on to the Final Four. Because it was pretty obvious that even mediocre guard play the last 4 minutes and Withey, Releford, and the rest of the team who also put blood, sweat, tears into the program all get to go crush Florida and move on to the Final Four.

I had refrained from commenting for a couple of days, anticipating that my feelings would change at least some after the initial shock. They have not.

Sam Constance 9 years, 6 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Xanthe Sherman Swan 9 years, 6 months ago

Thank you Jayhawks for another thrilling roller coaster year. So easy to say could have this, should have that especially when we are coaching from the best seat at home. Do I wish it had ended differently? Of course. So easy to put blame somewhere, anywhere when we are disappointed but it won't change anything that has already happened.

Regarldless, in one weekend I will be in my no basketball funk until next fall. Every year Coach Self has gotten more out of our kids the we could imagine. I look forward to another exciting year.

Always a KU Men's Basketball Fan.

Steve Zimmerman 9 years, 6 months ago

Thank you seniors, thank you BMac, thank you for the team, thank you coach Self & staff. Now, can we hire Pitino?

Sam Constance 9 years, 6 months ago

Anyone who can't get past this ignorant notion that EJ single-handedly lost the game for us isn't a true Jayhawk fan.

There, I said it.

nuleafjhawk 9 years, 6 months ago

I'm happy that you are past blame at this point (14 hours and 42 minutes ago).

You are a better person than I am. I'm still right smack in the middle of blame.

So, I'm going to assess the blame percentage at 97% EJ, 1% concession stand employees, 1% cheerleaders, .5% to the kids mopping up the floor and .5% to the mascots.

Paul Rupp 9 years, 6 months ago

We were all talking at the beginning of the year that a Sweet 16 would be a great year--Check.

JW and KY----and TR turned out to be tougher, more resilient than anyone projected (Wrong for TR--his competiveness was not a surprise). I was at the game---yes, I saw the good and bad that EJ was involved with---yes, I wonder if it wouldn't have been better to have given the ball to Travis during the last seconds to bring us home as the most-solid rock of the team (I, in all my pressumed wisdom, was thinking I would have done that) I understand the EJ decision--he, a bigger risk for delivering a wider range of results, has delivered in big time situations before. It has worked out before, it just didn't this time. "Better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved" somehow fits into this discussion. ROCK CHALK. Can't wait 'till next year.

Carolyn Hunzicker 9 years, 6 months ago

Did ==3 freshmen 1 jr and 1 sophmore

Beat 4 seniors and 1 lottery pick

Janet Olin 9 years, 6 months ago

I so get it that EJ is not a true point and didn't handle the job excellently, but he bleeds crimson and blue to do what Coach wants, whether he's great at it or not. I've been a fan since '68 and have never seen a talented player give himself up for the team like EJ. Self could have called TO or could have fouled; he did nothing to right the ship, just let the guys play by the seat of their pants. Not good coaching. Your fault, Bill. You made EJ the sacrificial lamb, and I hate you for it, ruining a good player who idolizes KU.

Scott Smetana 9 years, 6 months ago

Trying so hard to get over the pain, I was at the game and am still in agony. This is worse than when my Broncos blew it against Baltimore. Any suggesions?

Oakville helps above pointing out that Late Night is only 6.5 months away. I predict pre-season ranking #13, top 5 by Feb 1, Big 12 #10.

nuleafjhawk 9 years, 6 months ago

I do have a suggestion for you Pikes - become a Chiefs fan. You will soon be numb and not care whether they win or lose. Actually, you will get to the point where you don't even watch any more.

jaybate 9 years, 6 months ago


~Shockers in the Final Four. Between the lines: if Perry Ellis had gone to Wichita State, the Shockers might be the favorite.

~Ryan Harrow out at UK. The story is he's going to Georgia State to be close to his sick dad. Between the lines: Cal wants Andrew Wiggins.

~Michigan should win this thing pretty easily. Between the lines: with Mitch McGrary--the game's next Bill Laimbeer.

~Syrexcuse being investigated for the second straight year and Boeheim scoffs that it happens every April. Between the lines: Jim Boeheim is a shoe-in for the Jim Calhoun Shameless about Being Investigated Award.

~Rick Pitino is getting kind of scary looking in old age. Between the lines: Rick's the basis for Ann Rice's first basketball novel: "The Basketball Coach Lestat."

~Can someone please tell me how much KU boosters would have to pay for Self to sign a Top Five recruit that has not decommitted from a corrupt program imploding? Between the lines: What must these guys be getting paid? Does anyone seriously think its just the Towers that are keeping these Top 5s away?

~Alford to UCLA. Alford thinks its his dream job. Jason King thinks its a great fit. Between the lines: Did Howland get run by the ShoeCo-Summer Game-Agency Complex for joining the right way guys? One story says Alford gets along well with AAU coaches in SoCal and Ben didn't. Here we go again.

~Alford has coached six years in The Snake Pit in Albuqueque with 18k at every game. Between the lines: Pauley Pavillion's 12K is going to seem pathetic!

~Lobos need a coach. Between the lines: round up the usual suspects. Hire assistant Craig Neal, or he goes to Westwood with Alford and valves the recruiting pipeline elsewhere.

~Lobos need a coach again. Between the lines again: Tough luck, Merv Lindsey.

~Minnesota s-canned Tubby. Between the lines: The Gophers were ready to go back to cheating and Tubby wasn't.

~Shaka, Hoiberg and Stevens weren't interested in UCLA. Between the lines: of course they weren't going to Minnesota. They wouldn't go to Point Barrow either.

~UM clobbers Gators by 20. Between the lines: KU would have beat them by 25.

~Go Shockers!!! Between the lines: I'm with the 'Ta Boys all the way.

MinorThreat 9 years, 6 months ago

If Ellis went the Shocker?? You have no clue what would have transpired. You'd fit right in with the mass media know-it-all's who speculate as experts.

jaybate 9 years, 6 months ago

Yo, threatminuto,

If you had you know whats, you'd be king!

Yeeeeee haaaaawwwwww!

Its only 6+ months of off season posting till Late Night! :-)

jaybate 9 years, 6 months ago


5--Traylor, Lucas and Embiid--Jamari is shorter than Self likes, and he needs to find 2 good knees and a J, but Traylor has improved down the stretch, though his minutes haven't, and Perry is clearly going to be taking 15-20 FGAs early. This could be a good rotation by February, but they will take two seasons to become consistent. Lucas might beat out Traylor, but these things take time. Embiid has super star body, but a long way to go and a long time to get there.

4--Ellis and Lucas--Ellis is going to immediately find out what a D1 team on his back weighs. He is going to have score a ton of points the first half of the season, while the rest of the guys are figuring out how to defend at this level. Their offense won't come around till January. I suspect there will be quite a few games, when Perry is the only player in double figures and he's got 25-30 points. Lucas is going to have to fill 4 ad 5, unless Embiid is just an insanely quickl study.

3--Selden and Brannen--Selden seems bound to start at the 3, unless Brannen Greene is a lot tougher than he appears. But can even Selden guard like Brandon Rush could out of the box, or is he a slow starter like Travis? Gotta have someone that can guard the 3 pronto. If Selden AND Brannen could both guard, then Selden to the 2.

2--Anrio and AWIII and Conner--Everyone thinks Anrio is gone. Keegs doesn't even mention him in his rotation. I think Rio thinks he's gone, if Wiggins shows. But Wiggins probably won't show. Ryan Harrow leaving UK means Wiggins is going to Lexington. So: I think Self is going to jump down Rio's throat like no one ever has, maybe the way Self jumped down Jeff Withey's throat. He's going to say, "Look, I don't really care anymore if you stay, or not, because I've got enough guys I don't need you. But here's the thing, Rio. You could be my best defensive guard, if you wanted to bust your butt for it. And my best defensive guard is going to play big minutes at the 2, if he can drive it baseline, and feed the post, because Perry is going to be doing most of the scoring. So: if you stay, I'm going to put you through living hell to get you ready. If you think this year was awful, you've only seen my good side. If you want to go through it, okay, but I'm telling you its going to be hell, because you've got a long way to go and a short time to get there." Anrio will go for it. Anrio wants it bad. And that defensive 2 guard spot is a gaping hole waiting to be filled, if Wiggins doesn't show. But here's the thing: if Self is going to rely on Perry inside, then he's got to have 40% trey guns on the wings to stretch it. Enter AWIII and Conner in a fight for the back up spot.

1--Naadir and Frank--Need a tall PG sometimes, but it doesn't look we'll have one next year. I think Naa and Frank rotate happily.

jaybate 9 years, 6 months ago

Rotation: Self likes to get five starters that are the best players, then a third guard and a third big that play 15, and use an 8th for 5 minutes.

1--Naadir 2--Rio 3--Selden 4--Perry 5--Jamari

3rd guard--Frank 3rd big--Lucas 4th big--Embiid

If Rio flees, then pencil AWIII.

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