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Thursday, January 8, 2015

Good instincts, great coaching led to Oubre’s big defensive play vs. Baylor

Kansas guard Kelly Oubre Jr. (12) swats at an inbound pass to force a turnover by Baylor with seconds remaining in regulation on Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2014 at Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas.

Kansas guard Kelly Oubre Jr. (12) swats at an inbound pass to force a turnover by Baylor with seconds remaining in regulation on Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2014 at Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas.

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Bill Self discusses KU's 1-0 start in Big 12 play

Kansas University men's basketball coach Bill Self discusses KU's 1-0 start in Big 12 play, which came via a 56-55 win at Baylor.

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Brannen Greene & Wayne Selden break down KU's wild win at Baylor

Brannen Greene & Wayne Selden break down KU's wild win at Baylor

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KANSAS 56, BAYLOR 55

Box score

— From the midway point of the first half right to the frantic final few seconds, Wednesday's 56-55 Kansas University basketball victory over Baylor at the Ferrell Center carried the feeling of a game that could come down to a single play or two.

And none of the plays that shaped the outcome of KU's big win in its Big 12 opener were more important or memorable than the defensive gem made by freshman Kelly Oubre Jr. as the Bears attempted to inbound the ball under their own basket, trailing by one with 10 seconds remaining.

Long after the lights had gone off and the fans had gone home, Oubre remembered the play vividly.

“Chery, he had a great game, he led his team, and I just knew that he was gonna have the ball in his hands,” said Oubre of Baylor guard Kenny Chery, who led all scorers with 25 points in a game-high 35 minutes. “I knew that something was gonna happen for him on that last play.”

Credit KU coach Bill Self with an assist for Oubre's knowledge.

“Coach said (Chery) was gonna throw it inbounds and they were gonna set a down screen for him to come off for the three, so we kind of anticipated that,” Oubre recalled. “We didn't switch so I had to help on Cliff's man and just kind of knew where he was gonna be and used my reactions.”

Those reactions led to a bang-bang play that won't soon be forgotten in Lawrence. As Chery struggled to find somewhere to go with the ball and the official's five-second count continued to climb, the 6-foot-7 Oubre and his 7-foot-2 wingspan leaned right and then back left to obstruct Chery's view. Knowing he had to get the ball in before being whistled for a turnover, Chery leaned as far right as he could and tried to flip a quick pass over Oubre's arm. It didn't work. Oubre got a piece of the pass and then knocked the ball off of Chery and out of bounds.

“I just kind of anticipated where he was gonna throw it and I just used my length and just got the deflection.”

The official immediately ruled that it was KU's ball and Oubre walked into the deep corner of the court and roared with approval over his big play. Moments later, the referees met at the scorer's table to review the play on the TV monitors but Oubre was not too worried.

“I already knew it was off him,” he said. “But it (was) their home court so I felt like something could've changed it.”

Nothing did. Brannen Greene hit a couple of clutch free throws. And the Jayhawks (12-2 overall, 1-0 Big 12) escaped with a one-point victory and got their quest for consecutive conference title No. 11 off to a great start.

Next up, KU will play Texas Tech at 2 p.m. Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse.


More news and notes from Kansas at Baylor


By the Numbers: Kansas wins 56-55 at Baylor

By the Numbers: Kansas wins 56-55 at Baylor

Comments

Suzi Marshall 7 years, 5 months ago

Geezzz Oubre is an exciting player to watch. Watching him play last night gave me somewhat the same feeling of watching Jordan on a rare poor shooing night, i.e. 3-16. Jordan never had a bad game and on those poor shooting nights always super excelled in defense, rebounding, and creating havoc for opponents.

Oubre has the same kind of disruptive ability to make significant contributions even when shooting poorly.

After being so close to string together NC over the past 30 years, it feels like Self is on the verge of sensational accomplishments, especially when the "extras" (apartments and DeBruce Center) come online.

Greg Lux 7 years, 5 months ago

Just one comment. Greene hit 2 free-throws then we pass it to Mason on the next inbound play ( with Greene in the game ). WHY? Why didn't we run another play for Greene to get the ball. We are lucky to have won this game. Nothing against Mason but when you have a guy shooting 100% from the free-throw line " GET HIM THE BALL".

James Scott 7 years, 5 months ago

IIRC- they doubled Greene on the in bounds play (no man on the ball). That's why Mason came to the ball. He's 85%- I have no issues with him taking those shots. He just missed one. We weren't lucky. BU is still coached by Drew. I knew even on a miss that KU would win.

Len Shaffer 7 years, 5 months ago

Actually, James, I would argue that we were DARN lucky. If the Baylor player (I forget who it was) had been more aware of how much time was left on the clock, he could have had a wide-open five-foot shot to win the game. That was a real defensive breakdown there.

On the other hand, I suppose you could argue that the lack of focus on the clock was partly a reflection of Drew's lack of coaching, so that perhaps had something to do with it too. Nevertheless, it was a pretty lucky way to end the game.

BTW, just to make it even more fun for me, my recording ended three seconds after the game ended, because I had stupidly forgotten to add the extra time that I usally do. Man would I have been frustrated if I had missed that ending! But as it was, it made for an awfully fun finish.

Ryan Gee 7 years, 5 months ago

No, check the replay when he caught the ball there was .4 on the clock and he was beyond the three point line. A little more than a five-foot shot. That is why that wasn't being guarded. I will agree we were lucky they are not well coached though.

James Scott 7 years, 5 months ago

Yeah- that's what I was thinking too. There was around .9 on the clock when the one kid passed it to the kid who was a few feet behind three point line. Would have taken an immediate shot right there on the run to win it. To me- that would have made for a lucky BU win.

Steve Zimmerman 7 years, 5 months ago

Oubre is a great defender. But whoever thinks he's a top-10 NBA draft, sorry, that's just so wrong. He's too slow to shoot. He doesn't have a good form of shooting yet. His shots can be easily swatted because the way he holds the ball. He doesn't have a jumper move yet. His dribble skill is still lacking. He's a candidate for another year at KU!!!

James Scott 7 years, 5 months ago

Self was crucified for this, but I agree with his assessment of mock drafts. Especially when a kid is showing up in a mock draft and he hasn't graduated high school yet. It makes a kid feel like they have failed if they aren't one-and-done and that is not the case.

Bottom line- the NCAA needs to work with the NBA on allowing kids to enter the NBA after high school or two-year minimum if they step on campus. The problem there is the NBA instituted the rule to save them from themselves. They were making too many bad bets on HS players. To me, that's on the competence of the NBA scouts and GMs.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 5 months ago

Oubre is absolutely a top 10 talent. All of the flaws you just named in Oubre's game are correctable more easily in the NBA than in college because Oubre can hire a personal shooting coach and spend as much time as he wants working on his shot with help. Kelly has 3 huge traits going for him that are not teachable. He got length (7-2 wingspan), great instincts, and he doesn't have to be told to play his hardest. I would absolutely take Oubre in the top 10 and possibly top 5 in the draft depending on the team and their needs.

Tom Jones 7 years, 5 months ago

NBA drafts on potential, unfortunately, and Kelly's is through the roof.

Tom Jones 7 years, 5 months ago

One and...kaput?

Or just right finger, wrong hand? ;)

Suzi Marshall 7 years, 5 months ago

nice pick-up. I was actually thinking of the ...K... for out.

Adam James 7 years, 5 months ago

Anyone else shouting at their TV throughout the game and wondering why we didn't attack the zone from the short corner/baseline area? This concerns me if another team plays zone as we don't seem to be a great passing team. Traylor was effective from the free throw line throughout the 2nd half, but it seemed to me that when Perry or anyone else was in the high post that Baylor would take a guard and sit them right behind him and we had nothing in the high post to break down the zone. It was noted at one time during the broadcast that KU only made one pass inside the 3pt arc during several possessions. Anyone have thoughts as to why we did not attack from the short corner?

Erich Hartmann 7 years, 5 months ago

experience. Traylor is the most experienced, as should be Perry...but Perry is timid. Traylor is fearless. Traylor just goes. Perry has to think about it. Being tentative causes one to lose the element of surprise and quickness. Ellis isnt slow, but he just concedes the split-second advantage sometimes. Traylor, simply attacks, and now has built up experience at his own mental speed of play, so his net positive plays have improved. You still will see a bang-bang quick player like Traylor do some bonehead decisions (no one reads everything perfectly...), as did Tyshawn, but if they get better with the decisions, and are a net-positive...well then they helped, and thats all we can ask. Self doesnt want timid or tentative players either, especially in the trigger (scoring) roles.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 5 months ago

KU did do that. Perry Ellis got rejected basically every time he did that because he doesn't have a floater and he doesn't go to the rim with purpose. KU just wasn't effective from that position because they had nobody playing down there to go for some ally oops.

Joe Joseph 7 years, 5 months ago

Good point Aaron. I think that's lost on some folks. KU tried to attack at times in the first half, they just were really bad at it.

Erich Hartmann 7 years, 5 months ago

Kelly Oubre IS a joy to watch. The light bulb went on for him a few weeks ago. If we can credit Calipari with anything, it is that national pressure of taking a bunch of newbies into the Final4, that maybe has Self stirring his own pot to see how he can make himself get frosh readier for conf. play and March, than he has in the past. Usually freshman under Self had been sparks off the bench (think frosh Sherron), but rarely in starring roles as freshman, other then Rush. Xavier Henry was a great kid, and we certainly force-fed him his touches, so he was able to put up enough stats to get drafted high. Wiggins was legit, best defender on the team. Embiid was a gift out of nowhere, who also sadly disappeared to the NBA (but if you are lotto, you go. Period. See mistake by Marcus Smart.)

The biggest thing that will determine if a kid stays or goes, is their lotto status--not if we think they are actually ready or not. We didnt think Xavier, Embiid, McLemore, or even Wiggins were necessarily ready, but if they were lotto, they go. They can get that degree later, like Cole or MJ or McLemore is working on.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 5 months ago

The Oubre play reminded me so much of the Frank Mason stop against Oklahoma State last season when he he took the ball out of someone's hand (don't remember if it was Smart) as they were going up for a shot to preserve the win in that one.

I can't wait for Graham to come back at 100% because a defensive back court of Mason, Graham, and Oubre will cause a lot of problems for a lot of teams down the stretch.

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