Sunday, March 22, 2015

Shockers end KU’s season in Round of 32

Wichita State guard Fred VanVleet (23) celebrates after hitting a 3-point-basket to give the Shockers a 3-point lead before half-time in the Jayhawks' third-round NCAA Tournament game against Wichita State Sunday, March 22, 2015 at the CenturyLink Center, Omaha, Neb.

Wichita State guard Fred VanVleet (23) celebrates after hitting a 3-point-basket to give the Shockers a 3-point lead before half-time in the Jayhawks' third-round NCAA Tournament game against Wichita State Sunday, March 22, 2015 at the CenturyLink Center, Omaha, Neb.


— Despite a slow start that saw No. 2 seed Kansas play with the lead for the first 15 minutes of the first half, the seventh-seeded Wichita State Shockers got hot when it counted and ran over the Jayhawks, 78-65 on Sunday at CenturyLink Center.

WSU junior Evan Wessel, who gave up inches and pounds to his former high school teammate Perry Ellis, knocked in 4 of 6 three-point shots and grabbed 8 rebounds to, at worst, make a wash out of the battle that many believed was KU's biggest advantage heading into the game.

Wessel finished with 12 points to Ellis' 17, but nearly every one of his three-pointers came at a huge time. The unexpected offensive output from their undersized four man sparked a ton of confidence in the rest of the WSU lineup, which drained 10 of 20 three-pointers overall and jumped out to a double-digit lead early in the second half and never looked back.

Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Self, Ellis and Graham explain what went wrong in season-ending loss to WSU

Minutes after Kansas University's basketball season ended Sunday in Omaha, Jayhawks coach Bill Self, as well as players Perry Ellis and Devonté Graham, answer questions from the media about how Wichita State knocked them out of the NCAA Tournament.

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Box score

Ron Baker (12 points) and Fred VanVleet (17) were both good but not great, and Wichita State's supporting cast went toe-to-toe with a deeper and bigger KU squad to pull out the victory. Tekele Cotton led the Shockers with 19 points.

Devonté Graham helped lead KU (27-9) with 17 points and Frank Mason III added 16 points and 6 rebounds before fouling out with just under three minutes to play.

Wichita State (30-4) moves on to play No. 3 seed Notre Dame in the Sweet 16 next week in Cleveland.

Here’s a quick look back at some of the action:

• The game turned when: Wichita State dug deep defensively when Kansas had a chance to go up by 10 late in the first half. A Landen Lucas hook in the post hit the back iron and Wessel hit a three-pointer on the other end. Instead of KU going up 26-16, Wichita State cut the lead to 24-19. That sparked a 13-2 WSU run that closed the half and gave the Shockers a three-point lead — and a huge emotional edge — at halftime.

• Offensive highlight: Outside of a couple of jumpers and nice put-backs, there really weren't any offensive highlights for Kansas, which struggled offensively most of the afternoon.

• Defensive highlight: Lucas continued to be an effective defender in the paint, both in terms of body position and altering shots. On one drive by VanVleet in the first half, Lucas used his body control to avoid the foul and still had enough sense to reach out and block the short shot off the backboard and into his own hands.

• Key stat: Three-point shooting. The Shockers made 10 of 20 from downtown and looked comfortable and in rhythm with just about every one of them. KU, meanwhile, made just 6 of 21 from behind the arc and looked nothing like the hot-shooting team that rolled over New Mexico State in the first round on Friday.

• Up next: For the second year in a row, the Jayhawks bow out of the tournament without advancing past the first weekend. KU finishes the season 27-9 and, as is the case just about every year no matter when the season ends, will head into the offseason wondering who will leave, who will be back and how Bill Self will reload.

More news and notes from Kansas vs. Wichita State in the NCAA Tournament

By the Numbers: Wichita State knocks out Kansas

By the Numbers: Wichita State knocks out Kansas


Ethan Schmidt 7 years, 3 months ago

That's how you know the real classy fans. Because the first thing I would do when my team beats someone is go to their web site and post trash talk. Get a life!

Michael Lorraine 7 years, 3 months ago

I second that. Bill has a .710 winning percentage in the tournament. 7 sweet 16’s, 5 elite 8’s, 2 final four’s and a national title. If you want to do the research you can probably find some coaches over the last 12 years with a better record but it’s a short list. It’s a tough, unforgiving tournament that is littered with top seeds who get knocked out early every year. See Baylor, Villanova, Virginia and Iowa State.

Allin Herring 7 years, 3 months ago

You can add this to your stats. In the Bill Self era we have lost in the 1st weekend 5 times now in 12 years or 42% of the time. Bill is now tied with Roy in this wonderful stat! At least we make the dance but this is getting really old. Maybe we need to lower the pedestal Bill is on.

Micky Baker 7 years, 3 months ago

Since Bill Self has been here... If you really want to go there:

Elite 8 - 2003

We have been to the Elite 8 Once - 2007

National Championship - 2008

Sweet 16 - 2009

Elite 8 - 2011

National Runner Up - 2012

Elite 8 - 2013

11 Straight Regular Season Conference Championships

and all you got is we've lost 4 times in the first weekend to justify your argument that Bill Self is bad for KU?

Duke lost in the first weekend a few times too and Roy Williams at UNC and Izzo at Michigan State. And Kentucky didn't even make the tournament two years ago. But KU, out of these teams, I believe is the only one to be in the NCAA tourney every year Bill Self has been head coach at Kansas.

Got any rebuttals for that?

Scott Waryan 7 years, 3 months ago

Yes Micky I do its easy 1 National title that's all Self has given us. The regular season doesn't matter get it through your head. Izzo, coach K and Roy are better coaches then self. Self's problem is that he can't adjust at all come March. KU keeps losing to lesser teams year after year. Just wish one year Self could have his team ready to play, its getting very trusting as a fan. National Championships mean everything in this sport. I see Uconn with 3 this decade and KU has one. Which one would you rather have?

Walter Bridges 7 years, 3 months ago

Bill Self Coach Of the Year during regular-season.

Walter Bridges 7 years, 3 months ago

So is it lack of skill, lack of self-confidence or lack of and on the court leader?

Walter Bridges 7 years, 3 months ago

I'm just glad this season is over.. Hopefully Self can land a few of the remaining prospects with more heart and inner toughness.

Yonatan Negash 7 years, 3 months ago

My thoughts exactly, glad this season is over. Majority of the season was a total grind. Ready to take a little mental break from all of this.

Mike Crosbie 7 years, 3 months ago

AND get players who aren't looking ahead to the NBA after one year. For now I just hope WSU doesn't put up billboards all over the state like they did in 1981 !! Rock Chalk Forever !!

Michael Lorraine 7 years, 3 months ago

Oh let em. It's only the biggest win in their entire history.

Shane Johnston 7 years, 3 months ago

Recruiting is not the answer to this team's problems. And how do you recruit heart and toughness? That was the reputation of Kelly, Wayne, Cliff. Hard to say Self isn't already looking for those things.

In some ways, I agree with you about being happy the season is over. We started the year getting blown out by Kentucky. We end it by dropping one to WSU. It's hard to envision a pair of losses that were more deflating. In between those losses we drop one in Manhattan and lose 2 of three to ISU. We played at least four halves- Florida, Temple, ISU, Oklahoma- where we look utterly helpless. This was a team that could be very difficult to watch.

Walter Bridges 7 years, 3 months ago

You risk everything by using logic here...

Brian Wilson 7 years, 3 months ago

Recruiting is part of the problem. Perry is not a power forward. Why we recruited him at the position is beyond me. But he is our best player and he might be leaving. We shall see. But we need a cente to go along with Bragg.I hope it's Zimmerman.

Mark Lindrud 7 years, 3 months ago

I heard from a good source that Zimmerman is expected to go to UNLV. Maybe Self can change his mind, but it is supposed to be a done deal to stay in Las Vegas.

Travis Betz 7 years, 3 months ago

Maybe it's a lack of heart, toughness, and desire

Bville Hawk 7 years, 3 months ago

How this team ever won the conference is beyond me. Shameful performance all the way around. Terrible game plan by the coaching staff, terrible execution by the players. We were out-hustled and out-fought and out-prepared. Everyone shares in this embarrassing defeat.

Kudos to the Shockers, though. They competed hard and smart and earned this victory.

John Strayer 7 years, 3 months ago

An Iowa State comeback against OU gave KU the regular season title...had OU won that game they would have been tied with KU and would have won the conference outright with the victory against KU on the last game of the regular season. This KU squad coasted since early February...and I would argue didn't improve over the course of the season.

Tom Jones 7 years, 3 months ago

No, they would have tied us.

Math is hard.

Tyler Capone 7 years, 3 months ago

Wayne Selden and Brannen Greene both seemed to just take up space a lot of time this year. Why does Greene even play? Can't play defense AT ALL, has no offense besides a 3 point shot, and to he honest his 3 point shot isn't even good

Cody Riedy 7 years, 3 months ago

Let's just hope that Svi and Graham make the same jump that Mason did from freshman to sophomore year. If they do, Svi, Graham, and Mason will be our starting guards and Selden can be a good 6th man and Greene can either decide he wants to get better or he can just be a 3 point specialist who gets inconsistent minutes.

Cody Riedy 7 years, 3 months ago

I think Wichita State is simply a better team right now. As of today, who's better Van Fleet or Mason? Van Fleet. Baker or Selden? Baker. Cotton or Oubre? Cotton. That leaves Ellis as the only starter on our team who was clearly better than the guy across from him, oh, except for the fact that that guy, Wessel, grabbed 9 rebounds and was 4-6 from three point range.

Yonatan Negash 7 years, 3 months ago

Cody - I agree with you on P. Ellis, we're fortunate to have him. He's played great all season. Wish we can get hims some help, really think we need a center that can take some of that pressure off of Perry.

Brian Wilson 7 years, 3 months ago

True Ellis is the best player we have. But he can't play power forward. He is too small and can't play against the bigger power forwards.

Michael Lorraine 7 years, 3 months ago

Disappointing but no shame in losing to a better team.

Shane Johnston 7 years, 3 months ago

WSU was the better team today, but you can't convince me that if these two teams play ten times, KU doesn't win AT LEAST 6 times.

The offense was stagnant today. I don't care that Kelly scored 9 points. He simply refused to move without the basketball. Credit to Coach Self for adapting to this team and trying to spread the floor on offense, but it was clear that this team was never comfortable. It's unfair to the players to simply say, "spread the floor and drive." Wayne and Kelly are not explosive enough off the dribble to excel in that offense. And it's unfair to Frank and Devonte to have the pressure of initiating such a large portion of the offense. Brannen needs to be running off screens constantly - like Dedric Willoughby at Iowa State when Jarod Haase was here. Brannen is too good of a shooter to stand as much as he does without the ball.

Van Fleet or Mason? Mason, and it's not even close. His turnovers hurt today, but he played Van Fleet even and this was a game he played closer to his floor than his ceiling. As a team, we defended ball screens horribly, but that is not on Frank and Devonte.

Mike Barnhart 7 years, 3 months ago

Passive leaders! No Tarik Black, Travis Relford, Brady Morningstar or Thomas Robinson type competitors on this team. Those qualities are either passed from class to class or beaten into them by the head coach.

It's time for Coach Self to either recruit some tough-guys or bring back the football pads and bloody socks!! He's got to be tired of this weak crap!

Gary Tollefson 7 years, 3 months ago

Weak Crap ! When you sell an item to someone else, it's nothing more than a transfer of enthusiasm. What you have. you want the other guy to get, be it a soda pop, or a Corvette, but the guy selling has to be enthusiastic about what he's got for sale to be successful, or the sale falls through. Same way with coaching, every coach that coached in this Dance, had the enthusiasm that it takes to win, Roy was screaming and shouting, Izzo was on fire for his team, and the Georgia State coach was absolutely a picture of perfection, but not once did we see any evidence of enthusiasm from the Kansas bench. So what if the guys were playing poorly, the coach still has to be enthusiastic in his reactions, so that the " Kids " will catch it and want to win. Otherwise, you settle for " Weak Crap "

Michael Leiker 7 years, 3 months ago

Your right in the fact that this coaching staff is comfortable, very comfortable. Zenger needs to put a boot in it.

Michael Leiker 7 years, 3 months ago

Your right in the fact that this coaching staff is comfortable, very comfortable. Zenger needs to put a boot in it.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 3 months ago

Bill Self was plenty fired up on the bench, none of the players were though. I commented throughout the second half that KU's body language was terrible all game and nobody on the team was doing anything to try and fire the players up. A coach can only do so much, at a certain point the players have start being accountable to each other and take charge of firing each other up, but KU hasn't had those players since Tyshawn and T-Rob. This year's team was quite a bit more talented than that one, but that team was tougher, more heart, didn't hang their heads when they got down in the tournament like this one.

Shane Johnston 7 years, 3 months ago

Frank and Devonte were fired up throughout. Were we watching the same game? It seemed as though everyone else really struggled to find a successful frame of mind. Perry was forcing things in the first half, and it took him too long to settle in. Landon missed at least one chip shot long, so so you could say he was too amped up as well. Wayne and Kelly never seemed comfortable, and Kelly, in particular, seemed detached throughout the entire the second half. I would agree with you about Brannen as well, but I usually feel that way about Brannen. Kelly and Wayne seemed out of character.

Allin Herring 7 years, 3 months ago

Besides Perry and Frank this team has no talent. Quit recruiting One and Doners with little to no talent (but a lot of "potential") and get some real BB players like WSU or Butler

Micky Baker 7 years, 3 months ago

No talent besides Perry and Frank? You post very little all season, and then come and post that?

Shane Johnston 7 years, 3 months ago

I couldn't agree more with Micky, here. There are ways forward for this team, but the idea that the answer is to become like WSU or Butler is laughable.

Micky Baker 7 years, 3 months ago

Hmmm... So after Bill's success since he's been here, now you're throwing him under the bus because you think he's not "enthusiastic"?

I think it's because our guys don't know the whole offense. At the very beginning of the season, we had only 25% of the offense available because of all the newcomers. We were one of the youngest teams. We lost four guys from a year ago and one from this year with the NCAA boondoggle. Can't we at least try to be rational?

Justin Daniel 7 years, 3 months ago

let's look at the team KU could have put on the floor with KANSAS high school kids

Willie Cauley Stein Ron Baker Buddy Hield Lurawis Narin Perry Ellis

Instead we sign players like Wayne Selden, Cliff Alexander, and Brannen Greene who don't play with any heart.

Erin Carter 7 years, 3 months ago

Somebody told me once the reason that Bill Self didn't recruit guys like Baker or Cauley-Stein was because they weren't the kind of guys that would fill up the stands. Bet they don't think that in Wichita or over in Kentucky now do they???

Bville Hawk 7 years, 3 months ago

I find that hard to believe. Bill Self only wants to win (like all coaches).

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 3 months ago

Baker was a very late bloomer and only a 2 star coming out of HS and would've been a recruit that Self got roasted for by giving him a scholarship. WCS played on an AAU team that's coached by a guy that hates KU and there were also plenty of red flags around WCS in HS about his work ethic and character. He was a high 4 star recruit out of HS but he was also a gamble and one that paid off for Calipari. No guarantee that happens if he stayed local.

Cody Riedy 7 years, 3 months ago

That makes absolutely no sense to me. I'd be willing to wager every dollar I have that Self has never said to himself one time while recruiting at KU probably even back Oral Roberts, "Gee, but will fans still come to the games if this guy is playing?"

William Weissbeck 7 years, 3 months ago

Baker was too short coming out of HS. Van Fleet signed with WSU before the KU staff noticed him. Cauley-Stein was not high on the AAU circuit nor apparently in Kansas. WSU, nor any Big 12 school sought him. Not sure how UK found him. Remember, Self thought that Embid would be a project his first year and off the NBA radar. I'm more concerned that Self as a former guard is not all that good at identifying guard talent. The school that is really missing out on its talent though is Illinois.

Micky Baker 7 years, 3 months ago

If it was just Baker at Wichita State, no it wouldn't happen. Same with Cauley-Stein if they had just Cauley-Stein. No way they're even in the tournament if that's all they have.

Micky Baker 7 years, 3 months ago

Yeah, because Kentucky doesn't recruit one and dones huh?

Bville Hawk 7 years, 3 months ago

Your point is valid, although Buddy Hield is from the Bahamas.

Erin Carter 7 years, 3 months ago

Just out of many Kansas kids has Bill Self recruited over his tenure at KU??

Gary Tollefson 7 years, 3 months ago

When the home grown Kansas boys are overlooked for greener grass, it really hurts when they do come back and bite you on the butt. What a great team that would have made......Willie Cauley Stein, Ron Baker, Buddy Hield, Lurawis Narin, Perry Ellis.

Brian Wilson 7 years, 3 months ago

And soon to be Shocker, Connor Frankamp. Gone for whine, but he played with passion. He should have been given the point as his position to lose to open the season but instead BS had heard enough. I don't blame him but CF may end up being better than everyone here thinks.

Cody Riedy 7 years, 3 months ago

One more thought: let's appreciate what Graham did today. Somebody in the live chat said his performance was shades of Frankamp last year. What a joke. Frankamp can't do half of what Graham can do. Graham put up 17 points, 3 asst to 1 TO and and had 5 steals - 5 Steals, that's probably more than Greene's season total. Ellis did what he could along the way, but mostly Mason carried us in the first half and Graham was the closest thing to carrying us in the second half.

Matt Spitzli 7 years, 3 months ago

Cody Riedy got it right. WSU was a better team. I don't care what the seeds say; a win would have been a mild upset in my book.

The only frustrating thing about this team is the same as last year: our defense sucks. I don't know what KenPom says, but the eye test says we give up way too many open shots and don't get enough steals or blocks. And I can't explain it--we have athletes, we have a supposedly good defensive coach....

Tyler Capone 7 years, 3 months ago

great point on Graham. Seemed like him and Nason were the only ones who even cared. Oubre said all these things leading up to this game, and at the end of the game he gets beat to a loose ball that he basically walked to? Great effort KO...good luck in the NBA

Allin Herring 7 years, 3 months ago

Yea another one of Bill's one and Doners with average talent

Luke Kading 7 years, 3 months ago

No shooters, not fundamentally sound, relatively short and soft interior, terrible defense, in particular the inability to keep a perimeter player in front of them, and I think a lack of real leadership. I love em, but my goodness this was the most frustrating team to watch. Seems like every 50 50 ball went to Wichita St. At this point I honestly don't care who goes and who stays. Nobody on this roster is irreplaceable. Wayne Selden was an absolute no show this game as well as most of the season. Brannen Greene all of the sudden started to suck at the one thing he does well. Perry Ellis is a nice player and tough to know how much his knee hampered him, but I think we've seen all we can get out of him. Oubre is overrated in my opinion. Could look really good one game and disappear the next. I've never seen a team be so out of control on drives to the hoop. You can see Selden getting stripped about 3 steps before it happens.

Nobody should be that surprised by what happened today. Kansas was over seeded and Wichita St was vastly underseeded. The only thing that could be surprising is the inability of Kansas to at least compete in the second half. At this point, I'm just hoping for good recruits who actually live up to the hype and maybe that a guy like Svi makes a big stride from this year to next year. Honestly, I think we've seen what everyone else has to offer and it's not overly impressive. I would like to think Alexander would make a big stride too but what are the chances he comes back?

Robert Brock 7 years, 3 months ago

We'll said, Bruh.

Message: keep recruiting !!!

James Donnell 7 years, 3 months ago

Totally agree with your comments and will add my two bits. The only thing I feel good about in thinking about next year is having Mason and Graham, and Svi. I am not sure what Ellis will do--he is certainly solid but is not a player who can carry the team. We badly need two big guys who can step in and contribute immediately. Hopefully Svi is the wing we need. Oubre was good at times. Aside from those names, we have guys who can play bit parts, nothing more. Maybe Selden will leave--could be better for the team chemistry. Who didn't think he would have a monster year? Wow. What a disappointment. Greene is another major disappointment. Lucas and Traylor are playing only because we don't have anyone else. Limited minutes off the bench would be one thing.

This was the most frustrating KU team to watch in recent memory. And today was a low. Hats off to WSU. They took our guys to school. They made us look bad many times. They were obviously well coached. They knew where to go on the court and how to find their teammates. They were clearly a much better team. Anyone else notice during the course of the year (and today) that the other team could often get a good look or an open three by good ball movement and positioning, and we rarely did.

If we don't get some ready to play recruits, next year may be very similar. I think we may have great guard play but beyond that, a lot of questions.

Michael Lorraine 7 years, 3 months ago

This team might be the perfect example of how important chemistry is. The talent is there but as a team they never quite came together.

Bville Hawk 7 years, 3 months ago

Matt, with all due respect, I think the game turned when the Jayhawks left their hearts in the locker room at halftime.

Tyson Ailshie 7 years, 3 months ago

What an inconceivably deplorable effort from a basketball team that had more talent, yet went down in flames to a vastly inferior but scrappy team just like last year and 09-10. It really blows my mind. We should have dominated WSU. We should have dominated Stanford and UNI and Bradley and Bucknell and even Michigan. I really don't understand how this continues to happen in the Bill Self era, but it shouldn't. Look at Kentucky making history and leading in overall wins large in the margin. That should be Kansas in my view. Or look at Duke. Contenders virtually every year. We haven't done anything since 2012 in the tournament. Bye Kelly Oubre Jr. Thanks for your one year mandatory service. And Brannen Greene and Wayne Selden can go too. Don't need them. Let's just hope we can bag a few more top recruits.

Cody Riedy 7 years, 3 months ago

As much as it pains me to admit, Kentucky is in the midst of a historical run and unheard of collections of talent on a single team. I don't think its realistic to expect KU or even Kentucky itself to continually field a team of 10 nba draft picks. But looking at a more earthly standard Duke: Ok. Since Self has taken over at KU, not counting this year since the tournament is still going:

Ku has been to 7 sweet 16s, Duke 7. Ku has been to 4 elite 8s, Duke 3. KU has been to 2 Final Fours, Duke 2. KU has played in 2 national title games and won 1; Duke played in and won 1.

So KU has been to the same sweet 16s and final fours, but more elite 8s and more title games. Duke has lost in the round of 64 three times during that period. SO KU should be like KU, not Duke.

Allin Herring 7 years, 3 months ago

Ah in the Bill Self era we have lost in the 1st weekend 5 times now in 12 years or 42% of the time. Bill is now tied with Roy in this wonderful stat! At least we make the dance but this is getting really old. Maybe we need to lower the pedestal Bill is on.

Cody Riedy 7 years, 3 months ago

Yep, two first round flops in Self's 2nd and 3rd season. But since then: Elite 8, National Title, Sweet 16, Round of 32, Elite 8, National Title Game, Sweet 16, Round of 32, Round of 32. All of these years on end with no success. It's been THREE years since we've played in a national title game now! Geez, our program is going to crap.

I wonder if Duke fans question coach K because because in the previous three years he's lost to Lehigh and Mercer in the first round. And Rick Pitino? Clearly he can't coach since his teams lost to Cal and Morehead state in the first round in 2010 and 2011. And Calapari? His team lost in the first round of the NIT just the season before last! Maybe Coach K, Calipari, and Pitino are good enough for some programs, but just like Self, they wouldn't be good enough for ours. Why is it so hard for us to hire the next John Wooden and win 10 national titles in a row?

Michael Lorraine 7 years, 3 months ago

We could do that. Or, we could realign our expectations so they are more realistic.

Cody Riedy 7 years, 3 months ago

In my opinion, since Self has been at KU, there are only three programs, ignoring Kentucky's current run, that have been consistently as good or better than KU: North Carolina because of their tournament success making several deep runs and winning two titles and UConn because they've won 3 titles, though they've also missed the tournament altogether a couple of times and Florida because they've won 2 titles and made several deep runs as well, though they missed the tournament two years in a row and now this year. Duke is actually a tad behind. Louisville too and Michigan State too. UNC and Duke are still playing, so they could put more distance or even up the small gap this year.

Thomas John 7 years, 3 months ago

I agree with you Tyson, see my comments.

Tyler Capone 7 years, 3 months ago

2 things a Kansas team needs the most: 1. Great point guard play 2. a center who is actually a center and can alter shots

Robert Brock 7 years, 3 months ago

  1. A shooting guard. Selden was AWOL. Again.

  2. A small forward. Oubre contributed little. He won't be back.

Coach needs to keep recruiting. Not much left out there (too late).

Shane Johnston 7 years, 3 months ago


  1. This team is set at point guard. Frank has given this team exactly what it needs all year. It's not his fault that this team regularly struggled to score the ball, especially from the wings. As a whole, we have to be a better passing team. Everyone will be better off if the ball moves more. The one real loss about Conner leaving was ball movement. I liked the way we played this year SO much better with both Frank and Devonte on the floor together.

  2. The lack of a true center is overblown. We challenged shots at the rim better as the season progressed. I could argue that we did it adequately today despite some lapses. When we didn't, it was not because we didn't have the players to do so - it was because we decided to play small.

Micky Baker 7 years, 3 months ago

Or we turned our backs while someone was driving to the hole and just let them go in uncontested. Did we throw this game?

Walter Bridges 7 years, 3 months ago

Shane, I don't think we saw the same game yesterday. We need a shooting guard who can actually score and we certainly need a center that can stop letting the other team drive the ball into the paint whenever they want.

We went 8-6 to end the season so I don't know how you can say we challenged shots better as the season progressed. If anything, our play regressed.

Shane Johnston 7 years, 3 months ago

I replied to Tyler's post, so I'm not sure why you're harping to me about the shooting guard. We agree that this team needed reliable scoring from its wings.

Your last paragraph is all over the place, so I don't really know how to respond. Yes, we finished the season 8-6. Are you attributing that entirely to shot blocking? Saying that "our play regressed" is not specific. No disagreement from me there, though missed time and streaky shooting are a better explanation.

I don't mind when people say that the team lacked a center. The type of center you reference would be nice, but that center is not necessarily going to defend ball screens well or prevent guards from getting into the paint in the first place. Having that center would not have affected the WSU game very much, and - given Kentucky - would not have moved the needle much for us in terms of our title odds. The tendency of some fans to say "if only we had a Withey, or Aldrich, or Embiid..." fails to accept full responsibility for the team's shortcomings and accept this team for what it is. This is still a talented group. A two seed. A conference winner. A team that rarely played close to its ceiling.

Ben Simonett 7 years, 3 months ago

Why are people so surprised by this outcome. This year team is the epitome of what happens to a program when you miss on the recruiting trail 3 straight seasons.

The classes that should be this teams juniors and senior leadership were just aweful.

Nothing you can do but grind through the talent dip until the pipeline gets reloaded

Andy Tweedy 7 years, 3 months ago

How exactly did Self miss on recruiting? Ellis, McDonald's AA, Greene 4-star, Seldon, McDonald's AA, Embiid, lottery pick, Wiggins, McDonald's AA and 1st pick in the draft, Kelly Ombre and Cliff Alexander, McDonald's AA and Alexander Naismith POY. Svi, Ukrainian National Team. They certainly aren't perfect but "miss on the recruiting trail" is a tad harsh!

Ben Simonett 7 years, 3 months ago

2010 class (would be red shirt seniors if still in the program): PG Josh Selby (1) SG Royce Woolridge (120)

2011 class(would be seniors if still in the program)" SG Ben McLemore (34) PG Naadir Tharpe (92) PF Jamari Traylor (141) PF Braeden Anderson SF Mervyn Lindsay

2012 class(juniors if still in the program): PF Perry Ellis (24) SF Andrew White (51) SG Anrio Adams (98) PF Zach Peters (137) C Landen Lucas

over that 3 year stretch self brought in 12 players, 7 of which left the program, and not for the NBA

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 3 months ago

2011 is the season that screwed up the balance of the classes. Self didn't anticipate the twins leaving for whatever reason and didn't plan to fill their spots. After they unexpectedly declared, Self was left scrambling to find whoever he could to fill those spots and ended up with subpar players for KU and is still recovering from that season. If Self prepares for the Morris twins leaving, KU is likely in much better shape today than they are now.

Walter Bridges 7 years, 3 months ago

Good post and good job of backing up your post.

Robert Brown 7 years, 3 months ago

First off, this is a very young team. It appears we will lose two players, though I believe Oubre could use another year. One thing about players under Bill Self- they get better the longer they stay. We could use some from court strength.

With almost everyone coming back, maybe they will have some resolve to improve performance next year.

Bville Hawk 7 years, 3 months ago

Much as I'd like him to stay another year I can't see Kelly sticking around unless his draft status changes considerably. Right now 3 of the NBA mock drafts have him in the #8-#11 first round, so he is more than likely gone (and you can't fault him so don't even start!).

Cliff and Perry, by the way, are listed as mid 2nd rounders.

Jim Pendleton 7 years, 3 months ago

Can't argue a lot with what I have read so far. First and foremost, this is 100% a team loss. I say that a lot most of the time anyway, but after the first 15 min, it didn't seem to matter who did or didn't do things. WSU made seemingly every play, and I'm not sure we ever had a run of more than two scores in the 2nd half.

Despite the two bad non-con losses, things looked pretty good most of the first three and a half months this year. A few of the conference losses could have been wins, but there were a couple fortunate wins also. However, just the way the past month or so went, this was just one of those years that you thought if they play like Texas on the road or Baylor in Big 12 Tourney, that they could do some damage in post season. However, there were games that left you shaking your head thinking they could lose about any game also. Was hopeful of getting past this weekend, but it wasn't meant to be.

All things considered, we aren't that far away. Don't think any of these guys should go pro, but one or two probably will. Guessing Cliff is gone regardless, but we'll see. As always, recruiting will be key going forward. We will always need aggressive scorers, but the biggest things the current team needs to work on is rebounding (although I thought this was better the last couple weeks) and finishing around the basket. It constantly blows my mind how many layups & short shots this team continues to miss game after game, and it's not just one or two, they all seem to have this problem.

Good number of positives this year with another conference title. Yes that isn't the end all be all, but like it or not, it is an important part of the process each year. We definitely need everyone to step it up next year to another level. Rock Chalk!!

Don Papst 7 years, 3 months ago

What a sad and pathetic performance. I will not say that I knew we were going to lose with 6-7 minutes left in the first half, but I sure had a strong feeling. When we were up 24-16, and for most of the half, it just seemed like we were waiting for WSU to catch up. Made a few bets that I did not want to win. And catch up they did and we were never in the game again. Better shooting, better D, and more want to, will win most every game.

Seldon and Greene made it seem like we were playing 4 against 5. No points, I rebound, in 43 minutes. What a waste!!!! I sure hope Coach over recruits. Maybe if they ride the bench next year, they will get their butts in gear, if they even can.

Guess I should not bitch about a 27 win season. Several hundred teams would love that kind of season. I am just spoiled. It makes me sick to see us play like this when everyone knows we are much better. Hoping for better results next year. ROCK CHALK!!!

Shane Johnston 7 years, 3 months ago

It will be interesting to see how Self schedules for next year. Two straight years with the nation's toughest schedule and we have entered the tournament banged up and arguably, lacking confidence. It's tough to sit through 9 losses. It would be nice to see a lighter schedule.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 3 months ago

KU is playing in Maui next year in a pretty weak field overall for Maui. Duke will be the Champions Classic opponent, I don't know who we end up with in the Big 12/SEC Challenge, I suspect either Kentucky or Arkansas. I believe we play San Diego State in San Diego and possibly Georgetown in Lawrence. I don't think the schedule will be as difficult as the last 2 years, but still a challenging schedule.

Randy Williams 7 years, 3 months ago

It bugs me that many "fans" of Kansas are surprised and upset that the team did not go farther in the tournament. They were a good team this year, but not a great team. No senior leadership and experience - which was obvious from the jump. C'mon now. Who, watching this team in November and December, would have predicted that they would win the league Championship? HCBS worked hard with our young talented team and they went as far as they did, even though they didn't gel consistently. Meanwhile we can look forward with confidence. Frank Mason is now a first rate point guard, and he(Sr) and Davonte(So) are going to be a great backcourt next year. Perry(Sr.) will be back, as will Lucas(Jr), Selden(Jr), Greene(Jr), Traylor(Sr) and Mickelson(Sr). I hope and believe Svi(So) will be back as well. As for Oubre(So) and Alexander(So)?... They should come back to further develop their skills, but the NBA option for freshmen is becoming weird. Besides I get the feeling that Alexander's family has left him without any other option but to leave for the pros. I agree it was a frustrating year for fans, but that's what we are right? Thank heavens we have a first tier coaching staff who can put on their man-pants every day to make our team the best it can be. And how good were we this year? According to kenpom, KU was 37th in adj.O, Wichita was 15th. On D, KU was 10th, Wichita 12th. Overall the Jayhawks were ranked as the 13th best team, and Wichita 10th. We done good. Rock Chalk!!!

Cory McCart 7 years, 3 months ago

remember, frank will only be a junior. (sorry, hadn't refreshed)


Randy Williams 7 years, 3 months ago

Thanks for reading. He played like a Jr. this year. ;-) R

Dwight Murray 7 years, 3 months ago

Maybe Kentucky might point to the error of your message? I don't see a lack of confidence/leadership or perhaps ability. I do see a different coach and His ability.

Randy Williams 7 years, 3 months ago

The only thing Kentucky teaches me is that if your program and coaching is geared to OADs, and you attract enough of them, you may just win it all. - May! Coach Cal is a great coach but I like the one we have. I think OADs are bad for the college game. Let the pros set up their own Development League and sign them out of high school. I don't blame the players, or the coaches, though.

David Atchley 7 years, 3 months ago

KU wasn't outplayed...they were simply out-coached. This was the least prepared and at half time, least adjusted team possibly in the tournament. The Bill Self Apologists can say all they want, this was a pathetic display of lack of preparation, lack of coaching throughout the entire game. The most laughable came when it was apparent that no KU player was going to be given instructions to defend the 3 point shot...and when WSU continued to pour them in...the coaching solution was go to a 2-3 zone...I still am in stitches at that decision!

Tyson Ailshie 7 years, 3 months ago

Bill Self really had a great opportunity to shut people up, especially Marshall and Co. about not scheduling WSU. Now, with this pathetic showing, he made their case for them. Two edged sword now. If he doesn't start scheduling them, he looks scared because they beat us handily. If he starts scheduling them, they'll beat us handily. Now, either way, KU loses. Way to go coach! I'm sorry, but you HAVE TO win games like these. There are really NO excuses. Especially when you, a. take a hard line stance against scheduling the other instate team, b. have a recruiting advantage. This is a deep dark stain now on Kansas basketball. I'm just sorry I had to see it. Maybe next time we get an opportunity to back up our words with actions, we'll actually do it.

Reggie Flenory 7 years, 3 months ago

how does Wayne Selden go scoreless the whole game for my money he has to earn a starting spot next season Devonte Graham and Frank Mason played like warriors today but got no help from the front court Kansas needs to go all in on thon maker because if we don't improve up upfront can expect a similar result next season

Michael Leiker 7 years, 3 months ago

Would Ron Baker have come to KU as an invited walk on if there was a spot for him that was not being held for a coaches son? A question I'd love to have someone ask him after his career at WSU is over.

Michael Leiker 7 years, 3 months ago

Well if his kid and Manning's kid weren't riding the pine maybe he'd have been working harder at it.

Luke Kading 7 years, 3 months ago

Call me a Bill Self apologist if you want, but when you have basically no perimeter players capable of keeping their man in front of them and you get down by 13 and nothing is working, you have to try to change something up. It's not because Self thought they couldn't shoot, it's because he knew he has a terrible defensive team and he was grasping at straws.

Thomas John 7 years, 3 months ago

We can easily complain about the referees in this game or whatever, however what I saw was a overrated team getting outplayed and outcoached again in the NCAA Tournament. What I would like to point out to everyone is the list of teams that have beaten KU in the NCAA's and were all lower seeded:

Wichita State in New Orleans back in 1981 Texas El-Paso (Roy Williams) Rhode Island (Roy Williams) Bucknell (Bill Self) Bradley Northern Iowa Virginia Commonwealth Michigan Stanford Wichita State

Does anyone notice a pattern here? This can't all be about the players on the floor, the coach needs to also be responsible.

Jim Pendleton 7 years, 3 months ago

Just an FYI, Wichita State was the higher seed in 1981.

Suzi Marshall 7 years, 3 months ago

Self needs to sign smarter players, who have fire in their belly.

This year's team showed classic symphony of team ADD. All season long they demonstrated the inability to hold their concentration. Very rarely did we play a complete game....UT in Austin and New Mexico St. Watching this team was a painful experience, even for the most ardent Hawk fans.

Thank goodness we were able to win the Big 12 but I can't see anyway we can win again with this group, unless Svi and Graham play major minutes and we recruit a couple of high quality Big. Selden and Greene have had two years to demonstrate their skills and have collectively shown less than a handful of quality game.

I'd like to see next year's rotation come along something like:

  1. Mason/Graham
  2. Graham/New guy
  3. Mykailiuk/Ellis
  4. Ellis/Bragg
  5. New guy/Lucas

Sorry to say it, but Selden, Greene, and Traylor have more than shown they are not prime time players.

Micky Baker 7 years, 3 months ago

Selden, Greene, and Traylor are going to be here next year, or their scholarships won't be available. If we get a guy like Brown and force Selden to earn the spot, I bet Selden steps it up. If we get Zimmerman along with Bragg and Brown, then Traylor will feed of having that rim protector. Plus we'll have Mickelson here next season too.

Selden may be better a role player, at least to start the season. Make him hungry to play. Greene just needs to take the blinders off, meaning he needs to shape up his attitude and be open to being coached.

Brian Wilson 7 years, 3 months ago

Suzi, I have to disagree. I love Ellis but he is no Power Forward. He no play needs to be move to small forward and we need to play big.
Mason Svi Ellis Bragg Zimmerman, Maker, Rabb or Swannigan, Diallo, etc...

Suzi Marshall 7 years, 3 months ago

I agree with you but Ellis is a "comfort" guy. He has not played the 3 in college and would probably take a loooonnnnnggggg time to get comfortable with it.

Of the group you cited, we have a 50/50 shot with ISU to sign Diallo. No way we get Zimmerman (UNLV or AZ), Rabb (Cal) or the others. I doubt Maker will ever play college ball because of his academic situation. Self needs to look over the transfer pool for our big, otherwise it's all on Lucas.

Joe Ross 7 years, 3 months ago

Anatomy of a Tournament Loss:

  1. Decreased talent level compared to other years. Yes, we need multiyear players. Absolutely cant get by without them. But a Jahlil Okafor, Tyus Jones, or Karl Towns would surely have helped the cause this year. Kelly Oubre was one of the stars on this year's team and he acquitted himself well. But there are bigger OADs out there who would have had even greater impact.

  2. Players don't play with sound fundamentals. We have relied on talent over fundamentals, but when the talent level is low, the lack of basic skills (passing, moving without the ball, sound defense, and so on) really show through.

  3. Players don't play with urgency. Mindset has to be coached. Nowhere is the lack of mental discipline more apparent than when we have surrendered huge runs to other teams: either digging big holes for ourselves or forfeiting big leads. We need to play with energy and gusto. Play "angry" as it were. Dunk like you wanna tear the rim off the backboard. Hustle after loose balls as if youre down 2 points in the last minute of the game. Hate losing more than you love winning.

  4. Speaking of mindset, we can't just recruit "nice guys". We need a few players like Jeff Graves on the roster every year. Rabidity is contagious. The Image of the program is important. But not as important as winning.

  5. Speaking of recruiting, height wouldn't hurt. We miss some rim protectors on the defensive end and some trees in the paint on the offensive end.

Joe Ross 7 years, 3 months ago

Points 6-10 wont post. Will add later.

Shane Johnston 7 years, 3 months ago

.#2 great point. I think you hit on some of the main aspects that hurt us, at least in this game.

.#3. I disagree. 'Play angry'? We are not Wichita State, and we don't need to borrow their slogan. At Kansas, we don't need a mantra to tell us to "come ready to play." If anything, we need a mantra to "play for 40 minutes." And our talent level is not "low." Our talent level should never be an excuse in second round of the NCAA tournament.

If anything, we played with too much urgency. In the first half, Kelly missed great looks that would have gone a long way to blowing the game open. Perry was forcing the issue. Landon was also sped up. Traylor missed a dunk. We couldn't convert inside. We showed up to play this game. In the second half, the issue was thinking we could win the game by pounding the ball into the floor. Frank and Devonte tried their hardest, but we needed a collective sense of urgency. We needed ball movement, and we never had five guys on the same page.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 3 months ago

I agree with some of your points, disagree with others.

I sort of agree with 1. I think it depends on the specific year you're talking about when making that comparison.

I disagree with 2 to an extent. I think that's more a product of the youth on the team. Most of these kids were so dominant in HS that they didn't have to have sound fundamentals to excel and it takes time to learn those fundamentals.

I disagree with the sense of urgency needing to be coached. We saw Self try and do that repeatedly this year with no results. This is where the lack of leadership on this team has hurt KU the most the past 3 years. Nobody encourages others after a mistake, nobody takes over the huddle when an opponent was on a run, nobody is barking out orders other than the actual play call, this team just simply lacks an alpha dog.

I do agree with 4 and 5.

Titus Canby 7 years, 3 months ago

Does anyone know if Stankem the monkey is still around? We need it for next season.

Jonathan Unruh 7 years, 3 months ago

Why did Mickelson get a few minutes? . His shot blocking could have sparked some offense. We never posted on the block. Lucus has 2 or 3 off rebounds and never went back up. Oubre needs 2 more years. Sick of the one and dones.

Tony Bandle 7 years, 3 months ago

Everyone take a deep breath, get a good nights sleep and wake up tomorrow thinking about next season.

1] They went 27-9, winning 75% of their games with the youngest team in the NCAA playing the toughest schedule.

2] They won their 11th Conference Title in the toughest rated conference in the NCAA. [ My explanation for the poor playoff showings is 21 games in conference and tourney whereby they beat the hell out of each other].

3] Undefeated [again] at Allen.

4] Conner and Naadir left team and Cliff was forced off by NCAA plus no real big man in the middle.

5] Frank, Devonte and Svi give us hope for an improved backline for next season.

6] Won 27 games despite the fact that not once did they play to their potential for an entire game.

7] Of the 9 losses, one play here or there and they could have won 6 of them!!

8] Carlton Bragg in the fold with three more schollies[Frankamps, Alexanders and Oubres] available for recruiting - if Kelly comes back, so much the better.

The bottm line is 67 teams face a night like's just a matter of timing.


Suzi Marshall 7 years, 3 months ago

Watching this year's team was like going to the dentist for a tooth extraction without anesthetics. I'm super happy we won the Big 12 but what a struggle.

Janet Olin 7 years, 3 months ago

As a fan since 1968, I can't remember a team more frustrating to watch. Still trying to avoid screaming and ripping out my hair. What I don't want to hear from any KU player Ever is that the other team 'wanted it more'. In a tourney game no less, really?!?

A. J. Daggett 7 years, 3 months ago

Well said Tony! Jayhawk fans need to stop whining and appreciate we have one of the best programs in the nation. I was happy when Bill Self took this job and I hope he stays until he decides to retire.

Russ McCaig 7 years, 3 months ago

I cannot relax... I live just outside of Wichita, am a DIE HARD KU fan. I have degrees from both KU and WSU. I have season tix to AFH with a 2 hour drive and not Koch Arena which is 25 min out my door.
For a time, well into the future...I will have to live with all the banter (that has already started), all of the signs, tshirts, etc. I am pissed....

Peter Dinh 7 years, 3 months ago

To be honest I didn't care if we lost this is the worst Bill Self squad I've seen and next year should be great

Micky Baker 7 years, 3 months ago

Hey, why don't we just shut down KU basketball. If this is that big of a disaster, just do away with it.

I really don't get how fans can be so pretentious to believe that it's worth more to them than it is to the players.

Michael Leiker 7 years, 3 months ago

Lots of times it is a bigger deal to the fans than it is to the players...not saying that's healthy, but it's reality.

Micky Baker 7 years, 3 months ago

It is true that some fans see it that way, but I think it's pretentious that any fan would think it's more important to them than it is the players.

Paul Meyer 7 years, 3 months ago

Bottom line is we're spoiled. KU Basketball has been absolutely incredible since Larry Brown restored our program. Shoot, I remember when we lost to the Shocker's back in '81. We also have an incredible coach in Bill Self who does so much more behind the scenes than we could imagine by being a diplomat for KU and all the shenanigans of recruiting and dealing with player's concerns. That aside, this is the first year when I have questioned some of his X's and O's. We had a 17 pt lead against Iowa State, we almost lost a game when we had a 20 pt lead, and we had an 8 point lead this game. Franschilla alluded to this so many times this year when commenting on our games... our offense became predictable and our opponents were able to capitalize on this fact. It might be smart for Coach Self to look at what Brad Stevens did at Butler and how some of these younger coaches (Marshall, Miller, Hoiberg) are adjusting their game plans. Signing off until next year. Rock Chalk!

Ben Simonett 7 years, 3 months ago

Anyone else not think it's a coincidence the front court players haven't progressed year over year since Danny Manning left the program?

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 3 months ago

First off, a little perspective. How many programs out there would consider going 27-9, winning an outright regular season conference title, reaching the conference tournament title game, and being a 2 seed in the NCAA tournament a bad season? You can count on one hand the number of programs that statement applies to.

Second thing, I don't think there's a single KSU fan in the state of Kansas right now which further goes to show their inferiority complex towards KU and reinforce that they really do care more about KU failing than their own school succeeding.

Now onto the offseason, KU will lose between 1 and 4 players this offseason. I'm not going to 100% rule out Cliff coming back next year until he either declares for the draft of the NCAA makes an official ruling on the matter, that said I really don't see him coming back next year even though he knew he needed to and was planning on it before the investigation. Kelly Oubre is a lottery pick and will be gone barring a Brandon Rush type situation. I could also see Hunter Mickelson take advantage of the graduate transfer rule and head somewhere he could get some good playing time. I believe Brannen Greene has already been suspended twice for making poor decisions off the court and I wouldn't be surprised if the next one he makes is the last one at KU so if he does something stupid during the offseason, it wouldn't shock me if Self dismisses him.

As far as recruiting, KU's biggest needs are a leader and a rim protector. Self needs to be looking at graduate transfers from low and mid majors who were great leaders on their team and do what he can to get them to Lawrence because this team is in desperate need for a leader because KU doesn't have one. It should be obvious why a rim protector is necessary given the guard play on defense this year. Beyond those two needs, go after the best players available.

I really hope Devonte Graham starts next year because he and Mason need to be out on the court more together. Use Selden off the bench to give them a break and use Greene, Svi, or a newcomer at the 3. I know people want to see Perry at the 3 at KU, but it's not going to happen his senior year if it hasn't happened his first 3 years.

Dwight Murray 7 years, 3 months ago

Do you really want both of those guys to not guard, to drive and try to score in with the big boys, to do III;s goofy jump pass(more accurately called "throw it away"?

Tyler Capone 7 years, 3 months ago

^ bingo. We saw T Rob and Withey get way better as they got older when Manning was here. So whats Traylor doing? He's almost the same player he was when he first got here

James Clark 7 years, 3 months ago

We have great coaches and good players on this team and please remember when you were 17-20 years old. when you are at this age their are still lots of growing to do. So give them time and just enjoy the game. I think we all should be grad that Self has stay with KU for this long and hope he stays for many more years.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 3 months ago

Well that just happened.

Nice season, it was a shame to go 8-6 to end it.

Am very interested in how recruiting turns out. There are some very good players left, some transfers out there too. I think we are going to have 3 more open spots. A SG, F and F/C would be on my wish list. Hoping we fill out every open scholarship this year, this team needs some help at numerous positions right now.

I would also like to add a Big man coach with a recognizable name to my wish list. I would like to see us return as a destination for developing talented 6'9 or taller players.

Short off season with the 2015 World University Games in Korea July 3-14th. In 100 days or so we are back at it. Will be interesting what kind of team Coach puts together for this rare event. Looking forward to it. They are 14 hours ahead of us there, going to make for some interesting overnight basketball.

Wishing all a good Spring!

Jim Pendleton 7 years, 3 months ago

Hearing a number of comments about us being overseeded as a two. I have actually thought that this year and last. I have often said that the RPI is not always a good indicator of how good or bad a team is. There are a lot of good teams in the smaller & mid major leagues out there, but no one wants to play these them. Hence their RPI is not strong, so how do you really know how good or bad they are?

Perhaps it is also an indictment of how good the college game is at the moment, much as it pains me to say that. What does it say about a team who has nine losses last year & eight this year going into the tourney, and is a two seed? We had teams in '99 & '00 that had nine losses going in to the tourney, and they were a six seed and an eight seed respectively. The eye test might tell you the last two years were better than those teams, but how do you really know that?

Next question is who else should have been there as the last two in our place? Maybe Notre Dame, maybe Maryland (lost yesterday also). All the other three seeds were other Big 12 teams who were good, but have as many if not more losses than we did. Other than OU, those team lost early also.

The RPI should get less consideration than it does in this process. It's one thing to play a strong schedule, and don't get me wrong, I enjoy seeing us play a great schedule every year. But if you want a high seed, you need to win most of those games, and beat the teams you are supposed to beat. It is being proven every year that several mid major schools are not only good, they are winning games in March, and should be seeded more on what they have accomplished on the court, rather than what league they come from.

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