Monday, February 10, 2014


Column: Savvy Wildcats survive furious Kansas rally

Kansas State guard Marcus Foster pulls up for a three before Kansas guard Naadir Tharpe during the second half on Monday, Feb. 10, 2014 at Bramlage Coliseum.

Kansas State guard Marcus Foster pulls up for a three before Kansas guard Naadir Tharpe during the second half on Monday, Feb. 10, 2014 at Bramlage Coliseum.


Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Bill Self after 85-82 overtime loss at Kansas State

Bill Self after 85-82 overtime loss at Kansas State

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Naadir Tharpe and Perry Ellis on KU's overtime loss at K-State

Naadir Tharpe and Perry Ellis on KU's overtime loss at K-State

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Box score

— Down nine points Monday night in Bramlage Coliseum, 19 fewer seconds remained than when the Kansas University basketball program faced the same deficit and staged its greatest comeback ever in San Antonio six years ago.

In a remarkable flurry spurred by reserve Brannen Greene, KU forced an overtime again, but lost this time, 85-82.

The lineup Kansas coach Bill Self used for the final four minutes of regulation seemed at the time like such a desperate move. He sent five skilled scorers on the floor, leaving Andrew Wiggins as the only player with a strong defensive reputation in the lineup.

Remarkably, it worked, and in the final 1:53, Kansas won on the scoreboard, 10-1.

Naadir Tharpe, Conner Frankamp, Brannen Greene and Perry Ellis, all better scorers than defenders, joined Wiggins on the court for the final four minutes of regulation.

The bold move paid off because Greene, in a span of six seconds, slammed home a Tharpe miss, stole the ball under the basket and scored, and because Wiggins made such a remarkable play, a left-handed tip of his own miss after he instantly bounced off the floor with a blurry second jump.

Self said there might be, “three guys in basketball who can make that play and he’s definitely one of them.”

Except for that wild flurry, it was Kansas State’s determined, savvy  team that made the most good basketball plays.

K-State freshman guard Marcus Foster made such savvy decisions, executed such smooth moves, and played through pain, re-entering the game to a rowdy ovation on his way to a 20-point night. Senior guard Will Spradling was at his very best.

KU’s inability to defend the goal, seldom a problem through years of rosters jammed with tall, rugged defenders, spelled doom against the relentless Wildcats.

Unless and until Kansas freshman center Joel Embiid returns to form and with a sound knee, protecting the basket will be an issue. That’s not good for a team that doesn’t always do a great job of stopping penetration from the point.

Embiid was limited to 18 of the game’s 45 minutes.

“Jo’s beat up,” Self said. “He’s beat up. I’m not going to make excuses for him because if you’re out there, you’ve got to perform. Certainly, he needs some time off. He’ll get some time off.”

Self, who kept Jamari Traylor welded to the bench as a disciplinary measure, was quick to point out that “both teams were beat up.”

K-State's Omari Lawrence winced up and down the court waiting for a whistle while fighting the severe pain of a cramped leg. KU's Tarik Black twisted his ankle.

Kansas State hit KU with its best shot and a well-behaved, wild crowd spurred its tough team on and stepped in to supply the smelling salts after a nine-point lead vanished in the final 113 seconds of regulation.

It was an exhausting battle for both sides and the team that fought the hardest for the longest won it.


Layne Pierce 8 years, 7 months ago

Like it or not, for once Keegan is right. It was way too easy for Kstate to run down the clock and get a layup tonight, and too many second chance rebounds.

This team simply relies too much on somebody getting hot. Our best defense is let your man go around and straight toward Embid. Actually the same thing pretty much happened against West Virginia, but they were not looking to get their bigs on the inside.

When Selden, has nothing, and Embid is off his game, we can and will be had. To win the conference there cannot be many more nights off.

Traylor would have really helped tonight, also, but even if we had won, the weakness on defense would still have a fact.

Robert Brock 8 years, 7 months ago

The writer watches hours of Pirates of the Carribbean movies every night.

Scott Yessen 8 years, 7 months ago

Selden with 2pts and 0 rebounds? This happens too much.

Scott Yessen 8 years, 7 months ago

Give Greene and Franny more mins. They were much more productive in half as many last night.

Tony Bandle 8 years, 7 months ago


I guess Keegs didn't hear the F*&% KU chant coming from the crowd all night.

I do agree, however, the team that wanted it the most won..but, oh all those missed free throws...despite all the negatives [no Jamari, Tarik's ankle, cold three point shooting, Jo Jo's back, crappy defense..again, Selden a no show], we still could have won!!

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 7 months ago

I really don't understand the KSU fan base.

I get the who F*** KU chant from the perspective of I remember KU fans chanting the same at Mizzou when I was a student not too long ago. And yes maybe it did start as Muck Fizzou but that's really no better.

But just the constancy of it. After a good play by KSU after a bad play for KSU after a good call after a bad call, it's constantly the same thing. Yelling, insulting, berating, cursing, flipping off... all game long. It was really a bizarre crowd to watch on TV last night.

In one moment the KSU team was on a roll and the were coming back from a TV break, and Bramlage was pumping that horrible canned music that gets everybody pumping their fists or whatever they were doing and the camera panned across and paused on one fan who was just throwing the double bird out there. Not really directing his middle finger pointing the KU bench or any one person, but just with two hands hand middle fingers up and just kinda waving them around like crazy.

Sure it was maybe just one person... but somehow that whole fan base seems full of the worst of the mob mentality, angry, aggressive basketball fans I've ever seen.

John Myers 8 years, 7 months ago

Well behaved with the exception of loudly chanting "F*$& KU" more than once. That's not so well behaved, really.

Michael Pannacciulli 8 years, 7 months ago

They got beat by a hungry team in a hostile environment. Wigs had some good looks too but the rim had a lid on it. Joel looked liked a wounded man on the bench. Our physical youth really stands out to me against squads who have bruises like kstate, Florida, Texas. Boys against men at times. Not a knocknjust a fact. Imagine what Greene will look like as a senior. Wiggins in two years...Etc. monsters. Alas we will regroup and recover and kick butt next game.

Armen Kurdian 8 years, 7 months ago

Even I could see that they ran picks on us over & over again, the same dang play repeatedly. Kudos to KU for fighting at the end of regulation to tie it up, just a few too many errors and defensive breakdowns. Maybe keep Jo on the bench on Saturday, suit him up in case we need him, but just lay on Traylor & Black that they need to step up inside for us.

Mike Crosbie 8 years, 7 months ago

Anyone have any idea what Traylor did to get benched ??

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