Saturday, November 9, 2013

If openers any indication, Duke will spank KU

Kansas coach Bill Self yells at a referee during the second half of the Jayhawks' win against Louisiana-Monroe, Friday, November, 8, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse..

Kansas coach Bill Self yells at a referee during the second half of the Jayhawks' win against Louisiana-Monroe, Friday, November, 8, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse..


If the Opening Night performances of No. 4-ranked Duke and No. 5 Kansas University mean anything — and that, of course, is debatable — the Blue Devils would have to be given the early nod entering Tuesday’s Champions Classic basketball contest in Chicago.

“They hung 111 on Davidson (in 111-77 win). That’s a 34-point beatdown against a team that had a lot of players coming back from when they beat us in Sprint Center a couple years ago,” KU coach Bill Self said Friday after his Jayhawks’ 80-63 victory over Louisiana at Monroe.

A disciplined Davidson team stunned the Jayhawks, 80-74, on Dec. 19, 2011, in Kansas City, Mo.

“They pressure. They are going to get after us,” Self added of coach Mike Krzyzewski’s Blue Devils. “If we allow their pressure to offset our size, then they win. We’ve got to be able to neutralize their pressure so we can take advantage of size. Then we would win that particular battle.”

Duke freshman sensation Jabari Parker, 6-foot-8, 235 pounds from Chicago, who was ranked No. 4 in the recruiting class of 2013 by, scored 22 points off 8-of-10 shooting in his collegiate debut Friday. He hit three three-pointers in three tries. No. 1-ranked Andrew Wiggins opened his college career with 16 points off 5-of-9 shooting vs. ULM.

Duke sophomore Rodney Hood, a 6-8, 215 transfer from Mississippi State, decked Davidson with 22 points off 9-of-10 shooting with nine rebounds and two three-pointers in two tries. Duke junior point guard Quinn Cook, 6-2 from Washington, D.C., had 21 points and eight assists. KU starting point Naadir Tharpe, meanwhile, missed the Jayhawks’ opener while serving a one-game NCAA suspension.

Meanwhile, Duke starters Amile Jefferson (6-9 sophomore) and Tyler Thornton (6-2 senior) had 10 and six points respectively and reserve Rasheed Sulaimon (6-4 sophomore) 20 points off 6-of-9 shooting, 3-for-4 from three. Overall, Duke swished 13 of 21 treys. KU made seven of 18 threes versus Louisiana at Monroe.

“Our defense is just horrendous from what it needs to be, so we’ll have to do some things differently,” Self said. “We’ll have to handle the ball a lot better (after committing 15 turnovers to ULM’s 13).

“When we play Duke,” Self added, “our guys will know all their guys, and their guys will know our guys. It’s kind of easy on the scout: (You say), ‘Sulaimon is going to do this. Parker is going to do this. Cook is going to do this.’ When playing guys you are not familiar with and you’ve got young kids, No. 33 (ULM’s Drew Kite) comes in the game, and he bangs a three on Andrew White when he falls asleep.

“We put Wayne (Selden) into the game to guard him, and Wayne forgets he just banged a three on Andrew White, and he shoots a set shot and makes it. Those are things from a learning curve we have to pick up that stuff quicker. It’s going to be interesting for a while until we get the hang of exactly what we need to be doing and what our focus should be.

“Perry (Ellis) is young. Jamari (Traylor) is young. How do you have three offensive fouls called on you in five minutes?” he asked, referring to what did happen to Traylor. “It’s an entire team of young-uns that is going to be frustrating from time to time, but very rewarding I hope in the end.”

How KU plays against Duke remains to be seen.

“It will be good for our guys to play in the game,” Self said. “I think we have a pretty good feel who we are now. We’ll have a better feel, just like they will after Tuesday.”

KU will meet Duke approximately 9 p.m. Tuesday, after a 6:30 contest between Michigan State and Kentucky.

KU recruits attending games: Cliff Alexander, a 6-8 forward from Chicago’s Curie High who is ranked No. 4 in the class of 2014, has said he will attend KU’s women’s game against Oral Roberts, set for a 2 p.m. tip today in Allen Fieldhouse. He is considering KU, Memphis, DePaul and Illinois. Alexander’s girlfriend, Caelynn Manning-Allen, is a KU freshman forward from Chicago Curie High. ... Meanwhile, Jahlil Okafor, who is ranked No. 1 in the class, says he will attend Tuesday’s KU-Duke game in Chicago. He’s 6-10 from Chicago’s Whitney Young High and is expected to choose between KU and Duke. The weeklong early signing period begins Wednesday.


Suzi Marshall 8 years, 7 months ago

I am afraid the title of this article may be accurate. Our defensive troubles, particularly in the post, were alarming and can not be chalked up to the new rules. Our guys are nowhere near ready to compete on a high leve. All of us have confidence in this team and the coaching staff but we will for sure take some lumps from Duke, Florida, and maybe CO. If we learn and work hard....we might get another shot at them in March/April.

Rodney Crain 8 years, 7 months ago

Duke is going to have trouble with size this year. If we can minimize turnovers and make our free throws we should be competitive. We have to play better on defense that is for sure, but lets keep in mind we played most of our first game without our best two point guards. Frank battled foul trouble that whole game while Nadir battled his tie. We might live up to the title here, but I think it will be a close game.

Yonatan Negash 8 years, 7 months ago

  1. Duke vs. Kansas Game will be much closer than most think. Naadir Tharpe was missed last game for various reasons. The main reason, the first team has been practicing and preparing for the season with Naadir at the point guard position. If you couldn't tell it was a huge adjustment for the first team to play with Frank and Conner. Notwithstanding, both Frank and Conner did a decent job but they're not Naadir nor do they have his experience at this point. This game is much bigger than most you think.

Let's just say, if Kansas loses, the following chain of reaction will take place: . 2. Cliff Alexander signs with Illinois. In fact, this prediction will happen regardless win or lose
3. Jahlil Okafor and Tyus Jones will go to Duke.
4. Myles Turner is going to Oklahoma State. I can almost guarantee it, this will shock most of you but it's going to happen. 5. Justise Winslow – will sign with Duke, not much of a shock here.

If Kansas win's, Jahlil will sign with Kansas. However, Tyus will have to sign with Duke. As most of you know, Kansas doesn't have a need for OAD point guard, at least not next year with Naadir coming back for his senior year and Frank as the future point guard.

Unless Tyus Jones plans to play college ball for more than a year, Kansas is not the best fit for Tyus Jones and I think he knows that.

I live in the twin cities, to be honest I'd rather have an experienced Naadir running the point guard position for my Jayhawks. Just saying.

Jeff Mills 8 years, 7 months ago

This is not playstation. Where guys commit doesn't hinge on this one November game.

Jack Wilson 8 years, 7 months ago

Don't think that all guys commit after deep thought and contemplation. They're kids, and many of them don't have a lot of parental guidance. Many life decisions are made on hunches, and small things, when you have many very good choices. Darrell Arthur, of course, after a "dream." Really, is Okafer going to go wrong picking Duke or Kansas? Alexander may be different -- Illinois isn't in the same league.

A good example is CFB teams -- why do they have all the different uniforms and helmets? In large part, it's to attract players (money, of course, drives it too). When Indiana had new uniforms (football), one of their staff admitted that their "unveiling" was purely a recruiting tool. I'm sure ours was too. Or is Cliff Alexander swayed by the fact that his girlfriend goes to KU? If kids are making decisions based in part on uniforms, girlfriends, it's not a stretch to me that one game's outcome could sway a kid. If not the outcome, how each team "looks" to the kid. I'd like to think that's not the case, though.

On Tyus Jones, though, Duke has Quinn Cook. He's a junior like Tharpe. Duke and KU are in same boat. Meaning both Duke and Kansas will have returning senior point guards. Cook was the #38 player, Tharpe #92 with Rivals. I'm wondering how Duke is a better fit if he's an OAD?

Aaron Paisley 8 years, 7 months ago

Tyus Jones also basically said he cut Kentucky because he didn't want to compete with Ulis (sp) for minutes. If he doesn't want to compete against a 4 star freshman, he's not going to want to compete against returning senior starters either. Ever since that comment when he cut Kentucky (assuming that was the real reason why), I have been of the belief that he and Okafor are no longer a package deal because I think Jones ends up staying home at Minnesota.

Teejay Roden 8 years, 7 months ago

I think it's selling the kids short to think that their decisions are based on one November game and furthermore if you are looking toward the OAD angle, in some cases anyway, the team that loses might actually be the better choice, paradoxically. I admit that beyond their top three or four players, I do not know the depth chart at Duke and how it affects all of this. I don't see how this game affects Turner at all.(It might, I just don't see how.)

Greg Lux 8 years, 7 months ago

The team that drives the ball time and time again ( and can make his free-throws ) will win this game. You will have a hard time zoning Duke because like KU they have great 3 point shooters. We should win the inside battle but that is minor to driving the ball. These stupid enforcement of "THE RULES" is changing the focus of this game we love. Defensive players are no longer allowed any contact with and offensive player on the ball. After watching the call in the early season it obvious until the Ref's back off a little ( and they will ) drive drive drive. and we have three of the best players to do that in Wiggins, Selden and Tharpe. Duke has theirs. The team that uses the RULES to their advantage will win..

Rock Chalk

Jeff Kilgore 8 years, 7 months ago

Well, I like your confidence, but at times, ULM handed it to us inside in the first half. We both know what ULM's talent level is compared to Duke.

One thing is sure, if we don't step it up a notch, then they'll understand why 40-minute defense is important.

Robert Brock 8 years, 7 months ago

Our guys don't know how to play defense yet. Duke will rain 3s and get easy layups. It will be a learning experience for our young-uns but it will pay off later in the season. Maybe we will get another shot at Duke: I hope that we will play them in the NCAA tournament.

Matthew Pyle 8 years, 7 months ago

Hopefully they swallow their whistles. 60 fouls in 40 minutes is hardly watchable. I expect the game to be close.

Jack Wilson 8 years, 7 months ago

Duke starts a freshman, two sophomores, a junior and a senior.

KU starts two freshmen, a sophomore, a junior and a senior.

The starters' experience level is nearly equal -- just the difference from a freshman to a sophomore.

In the first game, Duke's #1 minutes guy off the bench was a sophomore. Ours was too.

And Duke's second highest minutes guy off the bench was a freshman. Ours might be too.

Only two subs played double digit minutes for Duke -- a sophomore and a freshman.

There is no real experience difference here.

What I can't stand hearing from Self (already) is that we're young. Most of the real good teams are young. Our age and experience did not seem to help us beat a young Michigan team. So perhaps we can dispense with the "young" stuff right now.

Let's not get too ready for a spanking. When you anticipate a spanking, many times it's a self-fulfilling prophecy. And I'm not talking about the headline writer here.

We can beat Duke. They have no advantage on us. Our rotation is more talented. I expect a win in Chicago. We're the better team. Whether they beat Davidson by 5 or 35, it doesn't matter. Let's expect to kick their a**.

Jeff Kilgore 8 years, 7 months ago

Excellent post. Great information that I hadn't thought about. Their ability to shoot the three and our lack of defensive intensity throughout the game (as of right now) makes me wonder about expecting to kick Duke or anyone's hind end.

Len Shaffer 8 years, 7 months ago

Thanks for listing the relative experience levels, Jack. Until I saw that, I believed that Duke was significantly more experienced than we were. And of course Elijah was more experienced than just about anyone on the floor against Michigan, and we all know how that turned out.

Unfortunately, Comcast/Xfinity screwed me on my ESPN Fullcourt package so I wasn't able to watch the first game, but I look forward to seeing how KU looks on Tuesday. I do think that it's a little silly to try to draw any conclusions from the performances of KU without its starting point guard vs. a complete Duke team.

Aaron Paisley 8 years, 7 months ago

Chemistry is something that has not been mentioned much and Duke's chemistry is significantly better than KU's at this point. Duke is integrating 2 or 3 new players in their rotation and KU is integrating 5 or 6 new players into their rotation. I'm not saying KU won't get there because I believe they will, but building chemistry with that many new players in the rotation takes more than 1 game. If KU was playing Duke in late December or January, I think KU would win, but I think Duke will win this one because their chemistry is better than KU's at this point. I hope I'm wrong and KU wins, buy my gut is telling me that KU's chemistry isn't quite there yet and Duke's is further along at this point and that will be the difference in the game.

Teejay Roden 8 years, 7 months ago

Thanks Jack, good post. The factor that skews the equation of course is that our senior is brand new to the rest of the team. I'm sure some of you thought of that, but it's not like starting Releford or EJ who had been around forever.

Jonathan Even 8 years, 7 months ago

Frankamp and Greene played a lot of minutes on Friday night. Hopefully whistles will not force them to play much again. Our best hope for success is to have a tight rotation so that our best players can get into a better rhythm and make plays.

We also didn't pound the ball into the post hardly at all on Friday and our length is a huge advantage going into the game. With Nadiir back, we'll see more patience on offense and more easy buckets in the paint.

If we can stay out of foul trouble and pound the ball into the paint, this will be a much different game. I also think our length, strength, and athleticism are going to bother Duke.

Karen Collier 8 years, 7 months ago

Let's stop making excuses we are Kansas. For those of us that really know and watch: 1. A good defensive team is not recruited it is couched. 2. Players that are promised minutes and starting positions in the recruiting process have no motivation to play tough defense. 3. Our opponents have figured out that we really only play man to man "Easy to prepare for". 4. As a committee we have bought in to the NBA One and Done Hype and forgot what it takes to win Collage games.

Watch what you ask for you might just get it! That's it for the tough Love! Let's go out and beat Duke! Go JHawks!

Ben Schwartz 8 years, 7 months ago

I'm just going to leave this here just in case anyone still has any questions.

Doc Roach 8 years, 7 months ago

Yes, Puke will def. bust our a$$ in this game. But if we get 'em in March or April, there guy's better lace em up, cause they will be getting an entirely different animal.

Ryan Houston 8 years, 7 months ago

This is an excellent way to start the season. . It is a great teaching opportunity, and will help both coaches to gage where their teams are at this early in the season.

John Fitzgerald 8 years, 7 months ago

I don't disagree with a lot of the stuff in the article but what I do disagree with is the headline. Even if we do get spanked I don't think it's something you want to emphasize unless you're not a KU fan. The first ingredient to winning is believing you can win. And the KU players need the fans to be positive and believe in them. Garbage like this only brings negativity and really isn't necessary. Again, the stuff in the article is relevant and for the most part true, but I'd say a headline such as "KU to face a tough matchup with Duke" would be more fitting. And I think Tuesday we will see a different Andrew Wiggins. When faced with a challenge and adversity the guy will rise to the challenge. And Tharpe makes us better regardless of what you think. He commands our offense and we will see a big difference in this game. If Duke didn't have their starting point would they have won by that much? I'd say no. So let's be positive everyone and have confidence that Self will have our guys ready for this game.

Dennis Kalivoda 8 years, 7 months ago

It is sad to say that Duke will kill KU, but that's the way it looks today. I think Self has screwed up again with Wiggins like he did with Selby and McLenmore. Self just doesn't seem to put a team together when he has a star leader. I get tired of saying this but, it happens every year like the past. A lot of hype and then it sits on the bench next to Self. Self's reputation as a great coach, I guess becomes questionable. Will save final thoughts after a few games. Duke looked great and everyone produced.

Erich Hartmann 8 years, 7 months ago

I see your KState Purple got shot down by who was it...? Northern Colorado? Tough home-opener loss for you guys. I sympathize.

Jeff Mills 8 years, 7 months ago

What are you talking about? "A lot of hype and then it sits on the bench next to Self". Last I checked Wiggins played a lot of minutes on Friday and will all season as long as he shows a little effort getting back on D.

You will evaluate Self's ability as a coach after a few games? So... here still in November. Get real.

Why I think KU might struggle tonight is this.... Self doesn't make it easy for freshmen... he makes them learn the right way. It takes time... so early, it can be ugly. Reference back to the Rush, Chalmers, Wright class... reference back to Perry Ellis last November and compare that to his March!

People think everyone should do what McLemore did as a freshman... and that's unfair to them, because he had a little time here under Self before he ever saw the floor.

As far as putting a team together.... okay... the two championship games KU has played in the last six seasons must mean nothing. The 08 team had 4 or 5 stars and I'd say the team was put together beautifully. Unselfish, smart, and relentless on D. Not sure what you expect.

John Fitzgerald 8 years, 7 months ago

So one game into the regular season and you can conclude Wiggins is a bust? Quite the expert you are. I'm sure you'll be thinking that when he posterizes every KSU player one by one and even your coach. Wiggins is the real deal and will show it this game. Thanks for your ignorance though, it makes all of us actual fans feel smarter.

Erich Hartmann 8 years, 7 months ago

Let us welcome Dennis heartily back to 2013, and congratulate him on medically defeating his amnesia...which apparently lasted 8-10 years, as Bill Self has been quite busy as a "coach" amassing the best W/L percentage in college basketball during that time, no matter WHO is in the lineup. He was the 'hot young upcoming coach' while at Tulsa and Illinois, and he is still 'somewhat relevant' on the college scene. Where is Shaka, Ben Anderson, Brad Stevens, etc...(are they still relevant in Div.1 ball? At a royalty program?). Just some basics to bring you up to speed of the rest of the college basketball world. Take care.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.