Wednesday, February 18, 2015


Column: Cyber bullies unfair to Ellis

Kansas forward Perry Ellis (34) is defended by West Virginia guard Juwan Staten (3) after Ellis caught a long pass from Jamari Traylor in an attempt for a last-second shot at the end of the Jayhawks 62-61 loss game against the West Virginia Mountaineers Monday, February 16, 2105  in Morgantown, W.V.

Kansas forward Perry Ellis (34) is defended by West Virginia guard Juwan Staten (3) after Ellis caught a long pass from Jamari Traylor in an attempt for a last-second shot at the end of the Jayhawks 62-61 loss game against the West Virginia Mountaineers Monday, February 16, 2105 in Morgantown, W.V.


More cruel, painful spaces exist than the one called Cyber in the wake of an athlete having the audacity to be less than perfect in a game-deciding moment.

Let’s see, there is the space between a boxer’s face and Manny Pacquiao’s gloved fist. It can turn pretty ugly in an instant. Nose flattened. Blood gushing. Head throbbing. The 6-foot-by-8-foot cell shared with another violent offender in a maximum-security penitentiary must make the walls feel even closer. The space that extends from the left ear to the right for a man who has lost his mind, via dementia or psychosis, is the saddest of all spaces.

Cyberspace in the moments after a tough loss can’t quite compare to those places. But that doesn’t excuse the over-the-top criticism, even mockery, that befouls the Internet when a sports fan feels cheated of a victory — for which he worked so hard, sometimes even putting forth so much effort as to put down the remote, get up off the couch and walk to the fridge six times in two hours to crack open another cold one — and puts fingers to computer to vent.


Mike Yoder

Kansas forward Perry Ellis (34) is defended by West Virginia guard Juwan Staten (3) after Ellis caught a long pass from Jamari Traylor in an attempt for a last-second shot at the end of the Jayhawks 62-61 loss game against the West Virginia Mountaineers Monday, February 16, 2105 in Morgantown, W.V.

I’m told the Cyber bullies, the loud minority, piled on Kansas University’s Perry Ellis after he failed to make a shot at point-blank range in the final seconds of Monday night’s 62-61 loss to West Virginia. It became so ugly, I’m told, that members of the silent majority were motivated to make rare Internet appearances, compelled to express shame over the treatment of an athlete who failed on a game-deciding play.

By the way, from West Virginia coach Bob Huggins’ vantage point, guard Juwan Staten deserves some credit for contributing to the miss. After hitting the game-winning shot with a 360-dribble at the hoop, Staten hustled back and darted in front of Ellis, altering the shot by throwing off Ellis’ footwork, his rhythm.

“I still say that was the play of the game,” Huggins said of Staten hustling back.

Still, Ellis was right at the rim and should have made the shot. In the minds of some, the fact that he didn’t apparently erases all of his positive contributions. He scored 15 of his 19 points in a second half in which he made six of eight shots, including his lone three-point attempt, from the right corner. He made all four free throws, two in each half. And he has averaged 15.7 points in his past six games.

Another factor nobody ever mentions: No post player at Kansas under Self has played with less impressive fellow inside players than Ellis. He’s carrying a big load and handling that responsibility well.


John Randall 7 years, 5 months ago

Well written as well as well intentioned, Keegs. The comment about Perry playing better with less support from other inside players is spot on.

Still, the play did happen, and the impulse to apply our so sharply focused hindsight is more than some of us can resist

Suzi Marshall 7 years, 5 months ago

I get it that Ellis is a great student-athlete and representative for Kansas but why does the LJW always try to paint Ellis as somebody he is not, then vigorously defends him when he can't live up to those expectations painted by your columns?

Just before the season commenced, the LJW ran a column on Ellis stating how he dominated all the summer games. The comments sections challenged they hype citing Ellis' need to be comfortable and inability to come through in the biggest games. Also, Ellis' passive personality and lack of killer instinct was discussed. As for missing the layup, I'll buy the idea that Ellis was not comfortable in that situation.

None of this is meant as a criticism at all. It's just who he is....a great kid with a passive personality that is not comfortable in critical situations.

Joe Ross 7 years, 5 months ago

Ellis is an outstanding player, Suzi. Painting Ellis as someone he is not? The guy just joined the 1000-point club without any help from the press!

Suzi Marshall 7 years, 5 months ago

Yes he is and he is playing his heart out. If becomes mentally stronger, he can end up in the top 10 scoring for Kansas along with have a great future in ball.

Yolanda Gay 7 years, 5 months ago

He's a good player; not outstanding. Looking at how he's playing this year, I think he needs to thank Joel and Jeff for reaching the 1,000 point milestone. Like Suzi said, Perry was built up saying he had a fantastic summer. He just can't hack it if playing against taller, more physical players.

Teri Jester 7 years, 5 months ago

You just called him a "mental midget" in your other is part of bullying. Totally uneccesary!

Suzi Marshall 7 years, 5 months ago

Not at all bullying. It is what it is and his body language constantly shows it. Ellis has to be stronger mentally and play like a man.

Shannon Gustafson 7 years, 5 months ago

Every bully "thinks" what they are saying about someone is true...or at least wants others to think it's true. Calling someone a "mental midget" is bullying. So this article is about people like you (though some others said much worse things). At least I haven't seen any racially motivated comments yet.

Shannon Gustafson 7 years, 5 months ago

So if somebody tells your little girl over and over again she's got a big nose (and she does have a big nose), and your little girl is crying because of this. Is it bullying, or is it simply "it is what it is" as you put it? The obvious answer should clarify whether bullying has to involve stating false information about someone or not.

To clarify in case you don't get it, just because you say something that is true, doesn't mean it's not bullying.

Paul Meyer 7 years, 5 months ago

Suzi, I suggest searching for a more enriching pursuit than your consumed activity on this board.

Suzi Marshall 7 years, 5 months ago

Would it be better if I ran my comments past you first for your approval?

Don Everett 7 years, 5 months ago

It would be better if you didn't comment at all.

Joe Ross 7 years, 5 months ago

Muzzling Suzi is not the answer. The most interesting contributions to discourse come when people are both vocal and fair of their own accord.

Walter Bridges 7 years, 5 months ago

Where was the indignation when Tharpe was being criticized?

Yonatan Negash 7 years, 5 months ago

First and foremost, we didn't lose the game because of the missed last shot by Ellis. As bad as Kansas played, we were fortunate to have had a chance to win. Think about that.

Without Ellis's 19 points, the last shot would've mattered less. Ellis got us to that point.

Mistakes happen, I'm sure if Ellis could re-take that last shot, the result may be different.

Nonetheless, let's not lose focus of the kids effort throughout the game. After all his effort made the last shot worthwhile.

Walter Bridges 7 years, 5 months ago

Well..make the shot and we win. Ellis would have been given the credit every bit as much as he is getting 'bullied'.

Kelly Knott 7 years, 5 months ago

There were many contributing factors to this loss. Just as there were many contributing factors to the KU National Championship win against Memphis. It’s the nature of the game that the moments that truly resonate will always be the critical moments during the last few seconds of the competition. (Mario’s Miracle Shot) It’s true that “big-time” players make “big-time” plays at “big-time” moments.

I think Perry Ellis has been given a gift… How he chooses to respond to this gift will be character building. This may have happened at the most opportune time for Perry and the Jayhawks. Rock Chalk!!

Pamela Shanks 7 years, 5 months ago

John this comment could be applied to any bullying behavior as well as breaking the law. "Sorry officer, I just couldn't resist driving 10 mph over the speed limit." "Sorry mom, I just couldn't resist writing awful things about that girl in my class who committed suicide." Resisting is the point. The ability to resist is the difference between right and wrong. I will tell you the same thing I tell my kindergarteners: Learning when you are responsible for your own behavior and not making excuses is hard, maybe the hardest thing you will do all day. There is no excuse you can give me now that is going to make me say, "Oh, I get it now. Then go on ahead and be a bully. "

If you simply cannot resist, call LJW and have them deactivate your account so that you cannot comment. Either be responsible or take yourself out of the game. And remember, you are setting an example for young fans who read the comment section as well. You either teach bullying behavior is OK, or you teach responsibility with your posts.

There is no excuse for such behavior. That IS the point.

Joe Ross 7 years, 5 months ago

My intuition is that John is not condoning the behavior, but I suppose I should let him speak for himself.

Greg Lux 7 years, 5 months ago

There are excuses for everything. They are called opinions. And the right to make them is why we live in this great country.

Joe Ross 7 years, 5 months ago

With great respect, Westboro Baptist has the right to inflict pain of grieving families by protesting at funerals of dead soldiers. I'm not saying criticism of Perry is equal to those offenses, but I am drawing out the principle that just because one has a freedom to do something reprehensible does not make it honorable and/or mean it should be done.

Even in America, we have moral obligations that lie within the borders of wherever freedom is extended, and one of those responsibilities is to not be excessively unkind.

Suzi Marshall 7 years, 5 months ago

Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes made that point in the 1919 decision of Schenck v United States when he said something to the effect of "Shouting fire in a crowded theater" ,which held that the defendant's speech in opposition to the draft during World War I was not protected free speech under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Fast forwarding to Vietnam and Westboro, you can see the twist interpreting what the First Amendment.

Joe Ross 7 years, 5 months ago

Having trouble interpreting your point because your conclusive last sentence is not at all clear.

Suzi Marshall 7 years, 5 months ago

Westboro case (Snyder v. Phelps), which was upheld by the SCOTUS 8-1, is a case that I followed closely.

During the Vietnam period, The Warren Court, upheld protesting the draft (United States v Seeger and others), including displays of burning draft cards and the flag, was protected speech.

My statement questions your comment what those moral obligations might be, as represented how the SCOTUS case law evolved over the past 100 years .... since Schenck ... when it comes to interpreting the First Amendment and any associated moral obligations or responsibilities.

Joe Ross 7 years, 5 months ago

Thank you for the clarification. Among the things that are clearer is the observation that you didnt appreciate my original comment to you. The part of your comment that makes this clear is the following:

My statement questions your comment what those moral obligations might be, as represented how the SCOTUS case law evolved over the past 100 years...

To be clear, I'm saying there is a difference between what is legal and what is moral, even though these domains overlap somewhat. Since SC decisions interpret the Constitution they are in essence determining the legality of issues. My point goes outside of legality, however (see comments above), and therefore any reference to the Supreme Court is tangential to my point.

The law does not define what is moral. It only defines what is legal.

Suzi Marshall 7 years, 5 months ago

I hear what you are saying. The Westboro case touched on morality but did focus on the legality.

Joe Ross 7 years, 5 months ago

Again, however, it's not the fact that there was a case that makes what Westboro did moral or not. I've granted above that sometimes moral and legal issues overlap, but they are not one and the same. Freedom of speech often highlights this. People have LEGAL freedoms to say some very IMMORAL things. For proof positive of the fact that these magisteriae are often incongruent, you need only consider your own observations. Slavery was at one time legal. As was denying the right to vote to women. I could go on with examples, but the point is that the morality of these issues never changed even while the legality did based on the SCs interpretation. Practically speaking, to give you a list of everything that is "moral" would consume too much space. But certainly, when you ask what moral obligations we have as citizens, the scope of that question is too large to be answerable in a comments section of a sports site. Yet we have them.

But at this point, too many words have been spent in this particular thread arguing in favor of the simplistic truth that Perry Ellis doesn't deserve the barbed attacks he's been receiving.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 5 months ago

I know you are done talking about this Joe, but morality is a releative term. What you think as moral is based on your own beliefs. The freedoms we have are in place because they were once taken away from us and in OUR country we wanted our freedom free of beleifs but not the law. This means that as long as you are within the law, your freedoms will not be hindered. You know this but it needs to be said again, it is the price we all pay to ensure that all voices are heard, not only the ones we agree with. We as a country are not perfect, but it is the best option I have seen or studied.

Personally I detest Westboro, I would not be able to contain my anger if I ever saw them doing this in my presence. Our Armed forces sacrfice deserves honor, not disrespect. But that is only my beleif.

Joe Ross 7 years, 5 months ago

I believe that people in their cynicism can deny that they have moral impulses. I believe that not only do they exist, but that they converge in predictable ways. I say this respectfully: if we are going to have a meaningful discussion about morality, we need to start by admitting the following: that a social morality exists apart from individual morality, that it often reaches consensus along a collective intuition about what is "right", and that "right" is established by activity that is accordance with humans' best interests (physically, psychologically, and so on).

Rodney Crain 7 years, 5 months ago

My last comment on this... Social morality is a myth, it does not exist but in the minds of those who think it should exist. You would hope that we all value the same things but we do not. That our beliefs are shared or even understood on some basic human level by all. What is happening in the Ukraine? Syria? Nigeria? The will of man is not guided by some unwritten moral compass or even a desire for there to be one. I wish it was, but time after time people will accept brutality, even extreme limitations on their freedoms if they get some element of security. A way, no matter how perverted it appears to us, for them to feed and clothe their families. The biggest mistake one can make is to think we all value the same morals. History, over and over shows we do not, no matter how badly we wish it didn't.

Joe Ross 7 years, 5 months ago

Rodney, as I read your comment its clear to me that we've come a long way in how we disagree. We ought to congratulate ourselves, perhaps over a beer sometime. I do believe there is a social morality that lies apart from an individual morality, and maybe the point of breakdown between our points of view as they relate to Perry Ellis rest on this point alone. In any case, it seems that if any two individuals--even excluding you and me--were to have any meaningful discussion about whether or not certain things are socially right and good and true, they would have to begin by accepting that a social morality governs us all, even outside of the machinations of government. I believe it is a phenomenon that has biologically cognitive roots, that it causes >99 per cent of humans to have a sense of what is "right", with "right" being defined as what is in the best interest of all mankind. (This is not to say that we always act in accordance with what we believe is right. I accept that we sometimes offend our social sense of morality for individual "profit".) This should not be surprising, however. As an undergraduate biology major we learned that animals' behavior inside of communities allowed for those communities to survive. If a group of animals, for example, started killing all the others that community would dwindle in numbers to the point that even the killers might lose the protection of the community and die themselves. But the point is that even behavior--which flows from cognitive processes--is subject to being shapen by natural selection. We also learn in Richard Dawkins' The Selfish Gene that there is a push/pull relationship between individual and social morality that turns out to be very complex.

Joe Ross 7 years, 5 months ago

In the case of human killers, the argument from someone who believes as I do is that if a murderer kills someone without any reason whatsoever, this would offend his own sense of morality. But why does it offend? Because his genetics bear the markings of influences which have shapen him in how to feel about specific things. Across the spectrum of the human population attitudes converge on certain things. We would all be horrified, for example to see a baby thrown off a cliff or being intentionally drowned. Yet we would all derive a sense of relief if someone were to arrest the perpetrator before he could commit these offenses. Why? Because these influences that shape us genetically coalesce into something called social morality. Consider this film:

Rodney Crain 7 years, 5 months ago

Anytime the word beleive is used to define something it highlights the lack of proof, only conjecture. Consider tribes who have never been in contact with any civilzations. They murder and eat other human beings. Their right and wrong are shaped by their own rules created by themselves. They are not forced to eat humans, no one was born with these morales, they have created a society all by themselves with no outside influence that is appalling to us, but not to them. They carry no burden, they do not consider themselves barbarics. Since they were not born with morals they shaped their own, what they believed. Genocides from early cilivzations to now have shown ruthless examples of mans inhumanity to man over long periods of time even. It is learned, it is carried out by societies, religions, governments, individuals, cults, groups, in free, democratic, dictatorship, ruled places on Earth. It is tolerated until a society who fears it enough rises up to try to defeat it. Morales are not inherit, they are chosen because over time we have learned that life is lived better with them. I agree with them. To assume that others who conduct themselves outside of our beliefs share an inherent base level of right and wrong that we have learned would be a mistake. Which unfortunately is repeated over and over throughout history to the cost of millions, even billions of lives.

As to congratulations to disagreement, have you noticed we have done it with respect and without name calling recently? Like you I disagree and agree with you on different subjects. On this subject I tried to ignore the discussion, but felt compelled to offer a different view. One of the things I have learned over my life is there are very few absolutes. Especially when we are talking about the human endeavor.

Walter Bridges 7 years, 5 months ago

With respect Pam, who made you the arbiter of what is or isn't acceptable to be posted on this board?

"breaking the law."

"The ability to resist is the difference between right and wrong."

"If you simply cannot resist, call LJW and have them deactivate your account so that you cannot comment"

Sounds to me as if you condone censorship. There is a reason that free speech is guaranteed in the First Amendment, do you mention that to your kindergartners? There is a sharp divide between criticism and bullying and frankly what I saw fell under criticism. Maybe you could show me a post that you believe fell under the bullying.

As a former middle school and high school teacher, I told my students to think for themselves and then take responsibility for your actions.

Joe Ross 7 years, 5 months ago

Agree also!

People are speaking about Perry as if he intentionally tried to miss the shot. In any case, the volume needs to be turned off on the hateful rhetoric. It's unfair, unwarranted, and unbecoming of our fans.

Armen Kurdian 7 years, 5 months ago

Anybody forget he's still in college and imperfect? How about the rest of the team with a missed front end of a one-on-one, or the offensive rebounds that led to additional WV points? So easy to key in on the last play of the game, when in fact it should never have come down to it.

Perry's gonna have a game winner when it counts come March. You're OK in my book buddy.

Walter Bridges 7 years, 5 months ago

I'm sure the LJW would have removed any comments deemed to be bullying from here so do you think it's unfair to criticize?

So tell us of your heroics on the athletic field Brett..jock itch doesn't count.

Joe Joseph 7 years, 5 months ago

Perry's been a stud since conference play. In addition to averaging 15.7 over his last six games, he's also averaging 15.1 over his last ten.

Next to Mason, he's developed into this team's most consistent player.

Perry will never be the dunk-on-you type of player so many fans want him to be. He simply lacks the raw athleticism and length. And even if he was that type of player, he would be long gone by this point and making millions in the NBA.

People need to accept Perry for who he is: a very good college basketball player, and a great student-athlete.

Thomas Michaud 7 years, 5 months ago

Perry was the first dude running down the court to receive the pass. Yeah, sounds passive to me. He didn't sulk. He didn't just stand there. He tried to make a play. Nearly succeeded. Would have been amazing. Love the hustle and wherewithal to think on his feet about what needed to be done. I don't blame Perry one bit.

Was it Selden who nearly followed up the miss? He hustled too. Look like he was fouled on the put-back.

There were a few offensive plays before all of this that weren't great. Hawks had a chance to go up by three. Didn't. Oh well. Move on and focus on the next game.

Michael Lorraine 7 years, 5 months ago

Sport is a weird psychological dynamic. I don’t know why we care about something that should be so unimportant and has the power to make adults behave worse than children. I think the comments Tom is referring to must have taken place somewhere other than LJW. If you should decide to read the comments following a story on ESPN I can pretty much guarantee it will lower your opinion of the human species.

Bryce Landon 7 years, 5 months ago

Same goes for Twitter. Which is why I don't have an account there.

Joe Ross 7 years, 5 months ago

Michael you have hit the nail squarely on the head. I enthusiastically agree except on one point: after reading comments below many stories both sports-related and otherwise, it is hard to lower my opinion any further below what it is. Nice post.

Cameron Cederlind 7 years, 5 months ago

Loud minority? ESPN had coverage on the play from almost all of its talking heads. From Sportscenter, to Around the Horn, to PTI. I hope the poor kid didn't turn on the TV because apparently his miss was more important than Sterling Gibbs punching another player in the head.

Janet Olin 7 years, 5 months ago

I do not regularly watch PTI but was channel-surfing and saw the Ellis play up for discussion. Thankfully the guys talked about Perry being a solid player and the other positive things he did in the game, said basically he shouldn't be shouldered with blame for the loss. Still, I was surprised this was chosen as a discussion topic. Must have been a slow night in sports for this to be the big deal. KU wouldn't have been in a position to win at the end had it not been for efforts of Perry and Frank, even if the last 10 seconds didn't end up in KU's favor.

JD Roth 7 years, 5 months ago

Yep Perry will be just fine against TCU this Saturday. He will help his team win its eleventh consecutive Big XII Championship, his third as a player and get set for the Big XII Tournament and a possible run to the Final Four. Well done Perry Ellis...Finish these last five conference games in style as you polish your game for a deep run in the Big Dance!

Benz Junque 7 years, 5 months ago

I go on the assumption that every fan base is 5-10% idiot. With the large fan base that Kansas has, that 5-10% adds up to a healthy number of people and the more passionate those fans are, the more emboldened the idiots become.

Look, I get down on the play of specific players when they seem to be moving at half speed or seem to lack focus but it is absolutely moronic to bust on Perry Ellis in that game. He played an excellent game and was that main reason we didn't lose by 15. He isn't perfect, nor is any player in college basketball. He made a heads up play at crunch time and it just didn't go down. That shot falls and everyone is praising how he has turned the corner and shown toughness and leadership. We tend to overreact to things when it comes to KU basketball. Be honest.

But the fact that people actually went to twitter and took action on their frustrations is mind bogglingly stupid. For those who chose that reaction, all you accomplished was to mark you as a member of the 5-10% of our fan base that we'd rather do without.

Tom Jones 7 years, 5 months ago

I put the percentage much higher, around 30-35 percent.

I guess it also depends on the definition of "idiot". I don't necessarily mean JUST people who are inherently stupid...I also include people who speak (type) before really considering what they're saying. Socially stupid.

And it's hard not to lump ignorant people in there, too...people (we have several on this site) who truly THINK they know the rules of basketball or the ins and outs of coaching, but....they don't. And their comments reflect this.

Shannon Gustafson 7 years, 5 months ago

Great comment Benz, I agree, though I had the same thought as Tom; the percentage is much higher than that. It may even be higher than 30-35%, though it's hard to tell since the "idiots" have a higher probability of publicly proving their lack of brainpower or knowledge about the game so it skews the data.

Walter Bridges 7 years, 5 months ago

Benz, I think I'm going to keep my right to criticize a player, coach or team on their performance.

Perry caught the ball as he passed the free throw line with 3.9 seconds left. It was NOT a difficult shot but he rushed it and tried to lay it up when he should have dunked it.

Here is the play:

I think a 3rd year 5 star player should make that shot 9 out of 10 tries but for some reason, Perry often chooses the more difficult layup then go for the dunk. Maybe he felt rushed but the clock shows he had plenty of time.

I believe that is fair criticism and not bullying. I remember you calling Tharp an 'idiot' . Which column does that go under?

Forrest Ranjer 7 years, 5 months ago

The shot was a very tough shot. Perry was still 2-3 feet away when he released the ball. He has just been challenged and went up a bit quick and not as high as usual. Tough shot.

And, everyone knows it's not the final shot, but the put back that wins most often. And, we only had one other Jayhawk on that end of the floor when the usual missed shot came off the rim. I think we had five on the floor.

If the complaints are about one play, then those people don't know basketball. One play doesn't win a game. Granted, one play may save a game, but there are plenty of other opps in the game setting to "win" the game. Hoping to win in the last 8 seconds is a losing strategy.

If the complaints are about the player, as noted here, no one else was getting back, as had been coached.

I could go on and on about how I wish each player performed, who we should have gotten and who we lost. In the end, I want to just see us compete. And competing doesn't always mean winning. Do I want the Jayhawks to win a National Championship every year? I've never turned in a tournament bracket without them on top. Of course I've only won twice in 20+ years, but so the f*ck what? I believe. I'm just dang happy we win 88% of our games, rule our league, and get to play in the tournament.

I'm not about to go after any player on our team, unless they lose mental control and hit someone in the balls in an important game. I don't care if they party and get stoned, as long as they don't put their pants on backwards or score an the wrong basket.

If you're over 30 and still going after these boys, you need to grow up. It took me until I was almost 60 to realize, yes, I do enjoy winning, but I also enjoy just knowing that the majority of our kids are having fun. They have fun scoring. They have fun playing defense. And because of that, we often win.

If I want to bitch about anything, it's that we don't pay our players enough for the profits they bring to our non-profit institutions.

Bryan Eck 7 years, 5 months ago

as much as I hate losing to the Huggies Diaper....I'm glad that Perry missed the shot. sucked a big fat one but i'll guarantee u that because of it he will work even harder and come tournament time you can be sure he won't miss another one like that.

Michael Bennett 7 years, 5 months ago

I was thinking the same thing, sort of. I wish he had made that shot, but missing it highlighted a weakness in his game and decision-making that was there before. He can still make adjustments just in time for the postseason.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 5 months ago

Missing that lay up didn't highlight a weakness wasn't already very obvious. He's left probably around 100 points on the floor this season because of blocked shots, missed bunnies, and lay ups. This has been an issue for Perry since the day heot to Lawrence and to expect him to correct something in 3 weeks that has been a flaw for almost 3 years now is not realistic and isn't going to happen.

Steve Corder 7 years, 5 months ago

I have not read the referrenced post, but from my distant perch I can say that God created a fine basketball player, a scholar and a young man with a kind and gentle heart. Critics abound everywhere, and the worst one is usually ourself. Press-on Perry!

John Geissal 7 years, 5 months ago

Perry Ellis didn't lose the game Foul Shooting did, even though we didn't get as many as we should have. Perry is a leader of this team without saying a word. Without his anchor we would have had a lot more loses.

Jim Pendleton 7 years, 5 months ago

I have said this many times before, including yesterday. One or two end of game plays may result in final outcome, but they don't paint the whole picture.

Had KU as a team (repeat, a team) not given up 22 offensive rebounds and numerous second chance points, this is a double digit win, and nothing at the end of the game matters. There were many other issues, both from team and other individuals also, but those could be somewhat overlooked had we just taken care of the boards.

These so called fans bashing Perry as the sole reason we lost, are probably the same ones who said Elijah Johnson solely lost us the Sweet 16 game to Michigan a couple years ago. Yes, he did not have a great game, but I will still to this day point to a number of things that happened in that game that Elijah was not even involved in, but yet many people still blamed him for the loss.

Most KU fans have excellent understanding of the game, but we all need to learn that one person is not the problem or the answer from game to game. Calling players out with terms such as mental midgets, jerks, worst player in school history, etc etc, is just beyond pathetic. I hate seeing KU lose in any sport, so you can imagine how I am for a hoops game. That being said, I may talk about a good or bad play, a hot shooter, etc, but you will never hear me call out our players.

Come on Jayhawk Nation, be better than everyone else. Leave the name calling to the trolls from other schools, who really don't like our players because we are always better than they are. Rock Chalk!!

Robert Brown 7 years, 5 months ago

Let's be honest, social media allows some people the opportunity to act like jerks because they can hide behind their screenname or computer. I guess I old, but I find it reprehensible some of the name calling and criticism I see on message board and in the live game blog.

Christopher Giordano 7 years, 5 months ago

We should not be upset about Perry missing the potential game-winning lay-up, although he should've made it. We all should be disappointed that Perry and his teammates allowed their opponent to get 22 offensive rebounds. That should make all Jayhawks upset.

Mike Riches 7 years, 5 months ago

When it comes to college sports, my opinion is very simple. It's unreasonable to overly criticize anyone who is playing a game without monetary compensation, who by the way is just a kid. If someone is being paid millions of dollars to hit an open shot, expectations can be different. This is college.

Joe Joseph 7 years, 5 months ago

I agree with your premise.

However, college students are not kids. Legally speaking they are adults, even if they are often irresponsible and imperfect adults.

Part of being an adult - and playing college sports at an institution like Kansas - is being able to role with the punches and handle such situations in adult-like ways. Basketball players are treated like rock stars in Lawrence. People love them and shower them with adoration 95% of the time, but hate, or hate on them the other 5% of the time. Anyone who signs up to play at Kansas should understand this. It's part of playing for such an institution. Dealing with the haters. Even when those haters reside within your own fan base.

I don't say this to serve as justification for treating people poorly or saying mean things. It's just an understanding that all D1 athletes at successful institutions should be prepared to deal with. Perry strikes me as the type who will respond quite well.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 5 months ago

Have you seen parents at their kids football, soccer, Hockey games?

It is unreasonable but it happens everywhere here and abroad.

JD Roth 7 years, 5 months ago

Rodney is right in that respect. It gets pretty bad at some of these youth games, mothers and fathers seemingly reliving their youth through their offspring.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 5 months ago

Surprising posts on a "I'm told" zero information Tom K column. There is no who, what, where, how or any reaction from Perry? Self? Other players? In a sense I feel Tom trolled this whole response.

He is right about one thing though, lots of the silent majority are posting, even here to defend Perry. Interesting.

When it happened my first response was that Perry missed a chance to win the game. After giving it some thought, we missed a lot of chances to win that game, Perry's was not even the last one. Even our coach did a mea culpa on how he set us up to defend at the 8.9 second mark.

I did not blame Perry for this loss. He just had the best chance to win the game the last time we had the ball. Perry felt that way, heck even Tom ranked him the third best player in the game so he had some reservations about him too.

Janet Olin 7 years, 5 months ago

Agreed. There were plenty of other opportunities before as well. The difference was one two-point shot. One. A couple more free throws, a blocked shot, an extra rebound--any of those things could have produced the needed 2 points. To bash Perry for the loss is wrong on so many levels and really ridiculous.

Otis Gouty 7 years, 5 months ago

Oubre said there was a foul on the play, but, of course, it was not called

Walter Bridges 7 years, 5 months ago

They tend to let the refs make those calls and not the players...

JD Roth 7 years, 5 months ago

KU, please work on rebounding and ball control. I hate to see such a fine shooting team at times go through 4 or 5 trips down the court without getting a shot off. Drives me crazy in some games.

Richard Aronoff 7 years, 5 months ago

I imagine most of the people dumping on Perry Ellis couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with a basketball.

Bill Kackley 7 years, 5 months ago

I agree with you. Also calling close in shots with people hanging all over you "Bunnies" is total whacked. If anything is a bunny it is the wide open 3 point shot.

Shannon Gustafson 7 years, 5 months ago

Thank you! Sometimes I wonder if some of these people commenting have ever touched a basketball in their life! An open 3 is as easy or easier to make than what these people consider a "bunnie" near the rim. It's amazing how badly a minor bump on your body or arm will effect a close to the bucket shot.

Robert Robinson 7 years, 5 months ago

People do need to lay off. Maybe we think about other things that caused this situation. Turnovers, port shot selection in the last few minutes, and my biggest pet peeve, missing the front end of our free throws. Perry, I doubt you read these, but if you do, I hope you'll forget this and start thinking "next play".

Mark Lindrud 7 years, 5 months ago

There is no reason to put blame on Ellis and if you are putting it on his shoulders then just stop watching from here on out please. Ellis gives us great effort nightly, and had a solid performance.of 19 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists. He had as many assists as our starting point guard by the way.

Major factors in the loss were we got out-rebounded, their defensive pressure which they got 8 steals, Cliff Alexander's face is on a milk carton, we still are not setting up Greene for outside shots, and that the last few games we still are starting games slow.

Lee Sears 7 years, 5 months ago

“I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” ― Michael Jordan Juwan affected Ellis's shot and should have had a foul caled.

Roger Hoff 7 years, 5 months ago

Perry is a tremendous player, and just about the last guy that needs to be criticized regarding this game. The way I see it is that Coach Self has to spend lots of game time trying to figure out what combination of players will be best for each opposing team. Selden didn't play well so he tries other guys to fill the gap.. etc.. I know this sounds obvious, but not having a set five guys to count on creates a lot of confusion in how plays are run and how they handle the ball especially with a team like WVU. However, sometimes this plays to our favor since players who are off a night can be replaced with another who can step up. Greene, Lucas, etc... There was lots to complain about in the WVU game. One thing that drove me nuts, and I think someone here already mentioned it, is that the refs were allowing WVU lots of contact that otherwise would have been called. It's as if they are resigned to the fact that this is WVU's game so they get away with it... Just a thought. We have arguably the greatest college basketball program of all time, so we don't like to lose at all. If it is necessary to blame someonesomething for this loss blame WVU.. they are incredibly athletic, they have some clutch shooters, and they played with fire. Anyway, I have been reading posts here for a long time before contributing today. I really like the overall attitudes and good sportsmanship. It feels like a bunch of friends talking about the game without the small mindedness of most comment sections. Thanks.

Derek Bowman 7 years, 5 months ago

The criticism of the missed layup is so ridiculous. It was a great hustle play on his part to get in that position and with Staten darting in front of him, it would have required tremendous body control to make the shot. That's a physical thing. I'm more bothered by his defense on the other end. Right after his coach told them in the huddle to keep Staten in front of them, he vacates the path in front of him to cover the wing man when the whole arena knew Staten was taking that shot. Staten took the path directly to the basket where Perry WAS. With all of that said, losses like this (and the subsequent backlash) can be used as motivation and I wouldn't be surprised if the boys don't go on a tear now.

RJ King 7 years, 5 months ago

Yes, but how do we know that if Perry had not covered the wing man, Staten would've dished off for an assist to the wingman? We don't. And we never will.

"Mr. Destiny"

"Sliding Doors"

"Damn Yankees"

"It's a Wonderful Life"

Maybe someone will make a movie about this one game and choose another ending for us.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 5 months ago

The player Perry shaded to that opened the lane up for Staten was a sub 20% shooter. I would much rather see a sub 20% 3 point shooter take that final shot than arguably the best player in the Big 12 having a lay up to win the game. That's what I've been on Perry for more than the lay up itself. You have to know the scouting report and Perry either didn't know, didn't care, or didn't remember the scouting reports and for someone who's supposed to be one of the best players in the league, that's a big problem and something I'm sure Self got on Perry about while going over the game film.

Mark Lindrud 7 years, 5 months ago

I see it now, coming to theaters near you, "KU vs WVU." Kevin Hart as Frank Mason Anthony Mackie as Wayne Selden Tim Crews as Jamari Traylor Dwayne Johnson as Perry Ellis Chad Boseman as Kelly Oubre

Matthew McConaghy as Bill Self special appearance by Melissa McCarthy as Coach Bob Huggins

Dale Rogers 7 years, 5 months ago

I hope Ellis is able to shrug off that kind of criticism. There is not one of those who are doing the criticizing who could come even close to doing what Ellis does. And I doubt any single one of them is man enough or woman enough to walk up and say those things to his face. Internet anonymity brings out the stupid in a lot of people.

Patrick Bryant 7 years, 5 months ago

THANK YOU PERRY FOR BEING A JAYHAWK AND REMAINING A JAYHAWK! Excelling in the classroom and basketball court is all we could ask from you. Thank you for going all out on the last shot of the game!

Joe Ross 7 years, 5 months ago

...the players gonna play, play, play, play, play and the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate,...

Shake it off. Shake it off.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 5 months ago

We have finally broken through the Taylor Swift barrier. :))

Mercy people, it has to be bad if I am exhausted by this lol.

I think we should find out what charity Perry supports personally and all donate to it in his name and call it a day.

Todd Hill 7 years, 5 months ago

One player can win the game, but one player never loses the game.

Dale Koch 7 years, 5 months ago

Rock on Perry! I will always be glad you wore a jayhawk uniform.

Margaret Schadler 7 years, 5 months ago

Thank you Todd Hill! That game was won and lost so many times in the previous 39 min. Let's see how the next 5 go.

Gerry Butler 7 years, 5 months ago

you know, I'm as guilty as some on Perry, to a point. I think this thing is way out of control. was I frustrated, upset, PO"ED even hollering ya? hell yes I did. I've always had problems with Perry not being aggressive enough, personal opinion to soft, never seen a 6ft 8 player get his shot blocked so many times and want to finger roll shots. But this has just gotten out of control. I don't now of to many posters on here that could do better then Perry myself included. take your anger out on me or your frustration whatever I've been thru worse then what you can give me, if it makes you feel better, bigger then knock yourself out. but no matter we are still dealing with what a 19yr maybe 20 yr old KID and yes he is STILL a kid playing ball at a major basketball institution where I think we expect way to much, we are SO SPOILED. its gotten to the point where some and I repeat some fans have made it for these kids a game where it used to be fun for them and should be fun for them we have made it NO FUN. you know how your job has stress? that's what it has turned into for these kids can't imagine the stress. NOT FUN but stress, pressure. we put them under a microscope analizing every move, every defensive possession, offensive possession,, this is surpose to FUN for these KIDS and we take that from them. all this continual barrage on Perry this kid is probably so shell shocked, Perry Loves KU, he is a Kansas Kid, grew up in Kansas living his dream playing for the school he has dreamt about playing for and this is what he gets. bottom line we have just gotten TO SPOILED from past success. these kids are dealing with ALOT in their lives having to work around their degrees, practing, traveling, and the PRESSURE from media, and from us kinda sad. again I'm guilty I know I'm guilty but really? seriously? when you start attacking Perry on his twitter? give me a break, grow the hell up.hell you wanna attack someone how about jumpin on alexander all you guys think he is such a fantastic player show me where and how he is, he is such AHUGE DEFENSIVE LIABILITY, he has got beat so bad left holding his jock every big player see him in the line up and their eyes light up and take him right to the hole. he has NO SHOT none what so ever, he is so great he can't even get on the floor anymore 6 minute, 6 minutes and yanked. its time to re-evaluate back the hell off Perry.he for sure is NOT the only player that cost us this game GO HAWKS

Joe Ross 7 years, 5 months ago

Brave post! Read every word.

Excellently done, sir.

William Weissbeck 7 years, 5 months ago

Ellis felt bad after the game. Why does anyone think they need to tell him and pile on? Has no one not struck out to end the game with the tying run on third? For any of us who go back into the 60's with KU have seen many defeats snatched from the jaws of victory. That's what made 2008 so sweat. We stole victory from defeat. You want to talk about a lost opportunity - what about McLemore's missed baseline layup against Michigan? It's still fresh in my mind. But just goes to show that a player's speed moving toward the basket often makes the most simple of shots go awry.

Charles Shirley 7 years, 5 months ago

I coach elementary school age kids in basketball. And every once in a while we lose by one bucket. My kids immediately think about the last shot that was made by the other team that supposedly lost the game for them and that kid is made the goat. The truth is more complex of course. These kids play as a team and there is 20 minutes of game time for them to either make winning plays or not. I point out to the other kids that we win as a team and we lose as a team. I point out that we could have hit a couple of more free throws or we could have made one fewer turnover that lead to the other team's bucket. I make them re-live the one or two plays during the other 19 minutes (not the last minute of the game) of the game that could have been played differently and lead to a victory. That is the same for the cyber bullies. They are acting like elementary school kids when that focus on one play that Perry missed. As usual Self moved 9 players through the game and anyone of them could have turned around a missed play the outcome against WVU would have been different. What goes for my kids, goes for the Hawks, we win as a team and we lose as a team.

Aaron Rosenthal 7 years, 5 months ago

I invite anyone dumping on Perry Ellis to reflect on these questions: Do you root for the Jayhawks because you love Kansas basketball or because you want to be able to brag and boast when KU wins games? What changes when KU's basketball team is or is not successful? Does your world change, or only your attitude?

And maybe spend another minute trying to recall your attitude toward Elijah Johnson following the NCAA loss in 2013. Are there any similarities? Because my guess is there are some.

William Weissbeck 7 years, 5 months ago

That just goes to show that we view it differently. I think McLemore's miss was more critical. Or the jump ball under Michigan's basket that wasn't. Or Derik Coleman's missed free throws against Indiana.

KJ Quartermaine 7 years, 5 months ago

UK easily has the dumbest overall fanbase

Bill Kackley 7 years, 5 months ago

After reading some of the negativity on this, I'm not so sure of that>

Bill Kackley 7 years, 5 months ago

Thanks for warning me. I surely will never go there.

John Pritchett 7 years, 5 months ago

For any person who is in the public eye, who is blessed enough to have a career where people care about what you do, there is going to be plenty of hate to go with the love. I hope Perry Ellis is mature enough to understand this. Fans are important, but what they think cannot matter nearly as much as what one thinks of him/herself, what our parents and loved-ones think of us, and what our coaches and teammates (or boss and co-workers) think of us. As far as fans go, if you care about what you do, you know when the fans are justified in their anger, and you're already motivated to do better, for yourself and for those who really matter. So my advice to Perry would be to enjoy the love from the fans (and there is plenty of it), but don't waste a moment on the hate. The reality is, you've gotta be pretty blessed and pretty successful to even be in a position where people care enough about you to hate. For most of us, very few people care about our successes and failures. You've accomplished something when you become the focus of so much passion. Just don't let the negative passion drown out the positive.

Rock chalk, Perry!

Greg Lux 7 years, 5 months ago

Perry Ellis did NOT lose the game. He only missed the last shot. Many players contributed to the lost through out their time on the court. Do I wish Perry had made the shot? Yes. But more then anything I wish Perry didn't need to make the last shot because his teammates had made some of theirs through out the game... Great effort Perry

Michael Leiker 7 years, 5 months ago

Six times in two hours!!! Tom, you highly underestimate your average Lawrence resident!!

Joseph Bullock 7 years, 5 months ago

I don't get on this site much these days, because some people here think they know everything about basketball, and they think anyone who does not agree with them, knows nothing about basketball. I also get tired of people arguing and being nasty, like they are about 3 year old, spoiled brats! Obviously, we, as K.U. Basketball fans, are spoiled, when it comes to winning, and we don't take losing, very well (including myself). But I am realistic, and also open minded, and i usually 'Think', before I speak. In fact, I went home (after watching the game at a sports bar, with friends), and replayed the last 5 to 7 minutes, over, and over, again, to look at the things that may have caused us to lose that game, and there were a lot of things. NOW, does anyone know how many game winning shots (wide open shots), that Kobe, LaBron, KD, Westbrook, or Dirk, have missed. I'm not just talking about difficult shots, either. Staten made an incredible play on Perrys drive, and cut right in front of him, at the last second, which made it much more difficult, than what the distance of the shot would indicate. Plus, without Perry, when are not even in the game, at the end. Let me just reflect on a few things, I feel were troubling to me. 22 Offensive rebounds for WV, missed free throws (front ends), Frank missing the layup, or a very short driving shot (I think he may have had a better look than Perry), Kelly Oubres wild, back em down shot (if you can call that a shot), and to be honest, I would have had "Two People" (Mason and Graham), playing Staten, when he got the inbounds pass, and that would have at least slowed him down a lot (and he would have, at best, had to shoot a jump shot), or it would have caused him to pass it, and make someone else beat us! Let us not forget, that these are young kids (and I don't think any of them are over age 22, and playing in such a pressure packed game (on the road)! I'm wondering how many of you, live your lives through our basketball team? Someone mentioned that the people who make the most nasty comments, and are the most critical, have probably never been good enough to have been in the position, to take a last shot in a game, and I would take it a step further, and say that most people have never even played in a game, of anywhere near this caliber, and most of those making such negative comments, probably never played, at all!!! I would also agree, that most of the really critical people, are ignorant, with the things they say. I remember, a total idiot, after the Kentucky game, which absolutely "NO ONE", played good, saying they wanted Perry to leave, so we can have another Scholarship! Really? After one game! Again: IDIOT!

Joseph Bullock 7 years, 5 months ago

Now, I will make a couple other points here. Most of the people who make such ignorant statements/posts, probably are the same negative way, in their personal lives (and I am a Professional person), and I truly believe, that when things don't go their way, in their shallow minds, it is never their fault, and they always point a finger, and place blame, on someone else! And all of us, including Suzi (although she does take things way too far, on a regular basis), have the right to our opinions, but I do think so people should try to be "better people", and stop always, playing the 'blame game'! Be happy we are part of the Jayhawk Nation! PS; I have no idea when I will be back on here again, and I will not respond to ANY negative comments about my post. I am not here to argue, like a child. I'm just giving my opinion! Have a Blessed Day! Rock Chalk!

Dirk Andrews 7 years, 5 months ago

Amen Joseph Bullock! So many "basketball experts" on here, makes you wonder why they aren't coaching at a Division I school somewhere. Because anyone can do it, right?

"Most of the people who make such ignorant statements/posts, probably are the same negative way, in their personal lives (and I am a Professional person), and I truly believe, that when things don't go their way, in their shallow minds, it is never their fault, and they always point a finger, and place blame, on someone else!" Well put Joseph.

Talking to a fellow KU "fan" after the WV loss, he thinks that the loss is Bill Self's fault. He thinks that every loss is Bill Self's fault. He went on to tell me that Bill Self is not a god, but then I asked him why he was blaming everything on him like he was one?

Fanatic-marked by excessive enthusiasm and intense uncritical devotion.

Lunatic-wildly foolish.

Blake Brown 7 years, 5 months ago

For Ellis to even be in the position to make a game winning shot, Traylor has to make a perfect full length pass and he did. Perry catches it [which is a miracle in itself as he has terrible hands] and is a step and 1/2 from the basket. This is not the best or practiced position for completing a layup going straight in. There`s also a time issue and enough so to hurry things abnormally. The distraction of Staten running in front of him adds further interference to the norm. These have all the ingredients of a missed shot.

As many have already mentioned, there are all kinds of mistakes throughout the game that could have resulted in a different outcome, stopping Staten from getting to the basket, Masons TO and Lucas missed front end of a one and one with 57 seconds to go as examples. Fundamental basketball is still an issue with these Jayhawks across the board. Handling the ball even without pressure, blocking off on the boards, weak side defensive help, FT shooting, avoiding jumping up in the air with no where to go or no-one to throw the ball to, running over defenders while driving to the hoop are examples. Let`s get back to the basics and we do not have to worry about last second shots.

Kelly Knott 7 years, 5 months ago

There were many contributing factors to this loss. Just as there were many contributing factors to the KU National Championship win against Memphis. It’s the nature of the game that the moments that truly resonate will always be the critical moments during the last few seconds of the competition. (Mario’s Miracle Shot) It’s true that “big-time” players make “big-time” plays at “big-time” moments.

I think Perry Ellis has been given a gift… How he chooses to respond to this gift will be character building. This may have happened at the most opportune time for Perry and the Jayhawks. Rock Chalk!!

Joseph Bullock 7 years, 5 months ago

Thanks, and great post, yourself, Dirk Andrews! I figured I would get back on here this evening, to see how many insecure, thin skinned, "Fair Weather Fans", I pissed off! But I probably would not have given them the satisfaction of responding to them anyway, so I guess they might be a tad bit embarrassed about how they childishly over reacted (especially with so many people criticizing, the criticizers)! Did that make sense? LOL Anyway, I sold my tickets to the TCU game on Saturday, but now I think I will get a ticket, and wear my #34 Jersey, in support of Perry! Rock Chalk, Ellis Hawk!

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