Michigan State defeats Kansas, 79-73

  • 9 p.m., Nov. 17, 2015
  • United Center, Chicago, IL

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Jayhawks can’t stop Denzel Valentine, fall to Michigan State

Kansas players Brannen Greene, left, Carlton Bragg Jr., Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk and Landen Lucas watch from the bench as Michigan State widens its lead late in the second half, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015 at United Center in Chicago.

Kansas players Brannen Greene, left, Carlton Bragg Jr., Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk and Landen Lucas watch from the bench as Michigan State widens its lead late in the second half, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015 at United Center in Chicago.


Chicago — Prior to Tuesday night, it had been 36 years since a player recorded a triple-double against Kansas University’s basketball team.

Suffice it to say the Jayhawks and their fans — shocked beyond belief after Michigan State’s Denzel Valentine went for 29 points, 12 rebounds, and 12 assists in a 79-73 Spartans victory — are certainly hoping it’s another four decades before they see one again.

“We couldn’t get stops (and) Valentine put their team on their back” KU coach Bill Self lamented after the (1-1) Jayhawks squandered a 13-point lead against (2-0) MSU, and Valentine, whose triple-double was only the second versus KU in the storied history of the Jayhawk program. Magic Johnson, also of Michigan State, had 12 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds in an MSU win in 1979 in East Lansing, Michigan.

“Give him credit. I always thought he was a good player. I think tonight he proved to everybody he’s an exceptional player. I thought he totally controlled the game late. He was great, but we contributed to him being great. We didn’t play very smart,” Self added.

Valentine scored 21 points in the second half as MSU erased a six-point halftime deficit.

“It’s a disappointing loss. We had the game,” Self said. “We have to recover from it. I am leaving here pretty (ticked) off because I don’t think our guys, me, everybody involved in our program did as good a job as we could. If we did I think we could have pulled this one, off.”

The Jayhawks missed a batch of gimmes inside on a night the Spartans outshot KU, 46.7 percent to 34.8.

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Bill Self tries to make sense of Champions Classic loss to Michigan State

Bill Self tries to make sense of KU's Champions Classic loss to Michigan State

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“It’s the same story as last year. We can’t get the ball in any tighter,” Self said of inside feeds. “Guys double clutching. We got the ball in to six inches sometimes and several times came out with nothing, some air-balls. We’ve got to improve there.

“The only thing we did good offensively,” Self added, “is we made our free throws (24 of 30) but missed every front end down the stretch.”

Wayne Selden Jr., who scored 12 points — Perry Ellis led KU with 21 — was assigned to Valentine much of the night.

“He’s a good player. The high pick and roll was bothering us,” Selden said. “We didn’t play good defense on it.”

Noted Ellis: “He’s a good player. Give him credit. He played a great game and facilitated his team well.”

Sparked by Frank Mason III’s five points, KU used a 7-2 spurt to lead, 56-48, at 13:20. But MSU didn’t quit, hitting big bucket after big bucket. The Spartans made nine of 21 threes to KU’s three of 15. MSU burned KU for 44 second-half points in outscoring KU, 44-32.

“They got us by 10 in rebounding (45-35) but we didn’t do a bad job on the glass,” Self said. “We just didn’t finish down the stretch and didn’t guard them like we did the first 30 minutes of the game. Then Valentine took over. He was just great tonight. We did good things to take control the first 33 minutes. They made a ton of plays late to take the game over.”

KU actually led, 71-70, off a Selden three with 1:51 to play, but Valentine responded with a driving hook shot at 1:29, and following a three by Matt McQuaid, MSU led 75-71 and had pretty much stolen the game at :56.

“We had breakdowns defensively and were undisciplined at times,” Selden said. To be honest, I’m not too worried about our team now. We know we’ve got to make stops. Everything is correctable that we messed up on. We have an older team. We are to the point we can fix it, not let one turn into two.”

— See what people were saying about the game during’s live coverage

More news and notes from Kansas vs. Michigan State

By the Numbers: Michigan State 79, Kansas 73

By the Numbers: Michigan State 79, Kansas 73


Steve Zimmerman 6 years, 8 months ago

Denzel is a real deal. He won't shine in NBA like Wiggins, but he's very valuable to MSU. It's really fun to watch him on the floor, but not tonight.

Darwin Dandy 6 years, 8 months ago

He definitely is but with the right team I do believe he could shine like Wiggins because of his versatility

Aaron Paisley 6 years, 8 months ago

Valentine is going to be a really good NBA point guard. I'd say by his 3rd or 4th season, Valentine will be a top 10 maybe even top 5 PG. He's got basically the same game as Russell Westbrook and will be a walking triple double in the NBA.

Steve Zimmerman 6 years, 8 months ago

Deron Williams type, yes. but Westbrook.. I don't think so. Valentine does not have a grip like West. Val can dribble, shoot and has vision, but he lacks of tenacity and balling skills West possesses.

Darwin Dandy 6 years, 8 months ago

Speed and athleticism is the only difference between the two

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 8 months ago

You say that like speed and athleticism is no big deal Darwin... If you were being sarcastic then my apologies in advance.

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 8 months ago

I think the only thing no one has remarked upon is that Denzel is a senior. He has certainly used his time well at Michigan State and has developed into a possible lottery pick. Izzo always goes after a McDonald's All-American but by far, it's his ability to develop players that keeps him near the top of anyone's coaching list.

Steve Zimmerman 6 years, 8 months ago

Amen to that Mr. Rowlanski. Izzo knows how to beat just about anybody. He's a smart coach. He is all about how to read the other coaches' style of plays. Coach Self, on the other hand, is always by the book. He will always be known as a fan of hi-low offensive style. Any guards under coach Self will never ever develop as an elite guard.

Michael Sillman 6 years, 8 months ago

We've certainly learned not to anticipate a season based on our performance in the Championship Classic but as Selden observed, there is plenty to fix.

First of all, we should learn from Valentine's performance. Not only did he score but he dished 12 assists while collapsing our defense.

Mason and Graham relapsed back to the Kentucky game of last year when they kept trying to score over the trees. Kick that ball back out to a three point shooter like Valentine did when the layup was not there. I didn't see any of our guards do that once tonight.

Secondly, why not get Mickelson in there to block or at least alter Valentine's shots. Traylor and Lucas just don't have the post presence of Mickelson. Frankly, I would also play Bragg as many minutes as possible early to get ready for league and March. We already know what we have in Traylor and Lucas.

Finally, I hope that Self takes a page from Beaty's Earn It philosophy. The only absolute starters that I saw out there tonight were Mason and Ellis. All of the other spots should be up for grabs.

Jonathan Unruh 6 years, 8 months ago

Hunter needs more PT. He was so good this summer.

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 8 months ago

Hunter has logged a total of 8 min. in two games so far this year. Inexplicable.

Max Ledom 6 years, 8 months ago

I would be fine with Lucas seeing less minutes. Why is HUNTER not playing?? He has shown he can play. I don't know what Bill has against him.

Darwin Dandy 6 years, 8 months ago

Definitely agree here Lucas misses too many layups that I know hunter wouldn't miss

Michael Bennett 6 years, 8 months ago

That was easily the most frustrating thing about that game for me: seeing Hunter on the bench when other bigs weren't playing well on either end.

Jay Scott 6 years, 8 months ago

Graham was awful. Can this experiment where Mason and Graham monopolize the ball together and shoot 20% come to an end.... Two hours of watching them ignore outside shooters and go 1 on 3 over and over was torture.

You'd think with two point guards on the floor that feeding scorers would be easy.....

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 8 months ago

Selden didn't add much out on the wing either. And I agree w/Max - Lucas was terrible. Where was Michelson? Outplayed and outcoached. Plus UK added another top big - #6 Edrice "Bam" Adebayo.

Rodney Crain 6 years, 8 months ago

Marius I guess we are still waiting for everyone to fill their rosters before a recruit "has to" come to KU since there is no place else to go. Sounds silly but thats the way it looks now.

Gregor Southard 6 years, 8 months ago

Does anyone else think that Self became stubborn after the '08 Championship? He used to make changes and adapt his game. The last several years, it's been "I'm playing the guys I favor whether they deserve to play or not." I doubt anyone wasn't wondering why Mickelson, who should be starting, only played about 4 minutes. And how does Lucas play over Bragg, or Graham over Svi? There's more, but I've got to get to work.

Joe Joseph 6 years, 8 months ago

He is stubborn, but he's also earned the right to be stubborn by winning better than 80% of his games while at KU. I am beginning to wonder, however, if some of his coaching philosophies are becoming a bit dated. Especially the last 2-3 years.

He definitely has "his guys." For whatever reason, Jamari has been his guy for a long while. I'm sure Jamari is a fine person, who has had some moments on the basketball court. There's just very little reason why he should be playing more than spot minutes on this roster. Although, Diallo would probably be eating up a bunch of Jamari's minutes if he were eligible.

Chris Shaw 6 years, 8 months ago

Just annoyed by this loss. I'm not mad, just really really annoyed at this loss. Just another example of KU not being able to finish a game on the National spotlight outside of conference.

I was actually encouraged at the way Greene and Svi looked on the court because I think they are moving well. Svi looks like he was "pressing" a little. I don't know what it is, but something doesn't fit or doesn't look right with Selden, Greene, and Svi. The combinations based on the minutes played last night just weren't meshing.

It's gonna be interesting to see what happens with Selden, Greene, and Svi when 1 of Graham and Mason aren't in the game. It's quite the logjam with those 3 and I'm afraid 1 of them is gonna be on the outside looking in towards the end of the season. I'm still mystified by the fact that Greene, Svi, and Selden are only able to pull down a combined 2 rebounds for the entire game? 2 rebounds between 3 guys in 48 minutes of play and they are 6'5", 6'8", AND 6'8"? 2 REBOUNDS!!!!!!

I was actually encouraged by Selden at the WUG's and I'm trying to give him benefit of the doubt because he's an upperclass Junior now, but he looks like he did the previous two years. Slow, not explosive, not able to get around anybody on the perimeter, not able to finish at the rim, and just another example of not making an impact against "Better Athletes" on the court.

Selden's shot has improved and I will give him that, but he is gonna have to impact the game more in some way and in some manner. Right now, he's a 6'5" 220/225 lb glorified spot up shooter. Gonna have to bring more than that Mr. Selden.

For me, the question marks the rest of the season are pretty simple.

1) How is Self gonna incorporate his better players into this lineup and find "Roles" for Svi and Greene? Right now, I'm concerned at the combinations and the manner in which those two guys fit with this squad. What is their role and will either one buy into it?

2) We saw Izzo use some Frosh I've never heard of down the stretch in McQuaid and he came up big with 2 big 3's, and a timely block shot that went off Mason in a crucial part of the game.

Is Self gonna bring Bragg along slowly and then leave us all wondering why Bragg still hasn't "Gotten it" come conference play?

Bragg needs minutes. Svi and Greene or whichever guy Self is gonna use need minutes. Self went away from all 3 of those guys in the second half of this game. A half where KU was outscored 44-32.

If Diallo gets cleared...Bragg and Diallo need their minutes. At this point, I will be gladly to accept and sacrifice a couple more losses if it means Bragg and Diallo get the experience to feel comfortable for February and March run!

Free Diallo!!!!! The only smart thing Vitale has said in the last 10 years.

Kevin Jenkins 6 years, 8 months ago

Remember the hype on Selden a few years ago? And how many assist did our guards make? Self needs to remember we have a good bench. If it's not working, (our starting guards) try something else. Like everyone says, use Michelson, use Suvi use somebody else than who he played. Maybe Self needs to go back to school or listen to another coach. What I watched even a Sofa coach could help. Let's see how much tape he watched from this catastrophe and appl y it to the next game

Mike Barnhart 6 years, 8 months ago

Landon Lucas, God love him, he's got all the grace and poise of Eric Chenoweth. Let's face it, if he's on the floor, we've got a lot of big dudes in foul trouble. We really need Diallo!

Rob Bedford III 6 years, 8 months ago

Lucas is horrible. He has been at KU for thirteen years now and still can not make a shot near the basket.

James Smith 6 years, 8 months ago

Fire Bill Self!!

This graphic said it all last night…

2016 Recruiting 1 Duke 4 top 100 2 Kentucky 4 top 100 3 Michigan St 4 top 100 NR Kansas 1 top 100

Who would want to play for Self?? He is probably the worst bench coach in the game and why we can win the Big 12 and can’t win in the Tournament.

How does a coach play one player 35 plus minutes who can’t score and leaves 3-point shooters wide open?

How does a coach not realize that Valentine was taking over in the second half and do nothing to deny him the ball? He was able to do anything he wanted all night.

How does a coach let Costello play 25 minutes with 3 or 4 fouls?

How does a coach justify playing someone 18 minutes to shoot 1 shot?

How come every year our teams can’t defend the 3?

Poor Coaching – Bill Self Must Go!! Jayhawks deserve better!

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 8 months ago

A post whose only purpose is to bring out incendiary comments. I hope everyone sees this for what it is...

Dan Mangan 6 years, 8 months ago

Bill Self is a hall of fame caliber coach. Who would you replace him with?

Allin Herring 6 years, 8 months ago

Joe the Plumber He can not win big games. Besides winning in 2008 he failed to make it past the first weekend over 50% of the time. He is not flexible with defenses. he can not win in the Champions Classic against the elite teams in the country (1-5). He allows us to play Kentucky in the a month into the conference schedule. Enough!

Tom Jones 6 years, 8 months ago

Nothing like an early season loss to bring out the trolls....

James Smith 6 years, 8 months ago

Hall of fame coach because he plays more than half of his games at the Phog. One NCAA title and many more disappointments. There are better coaches out there that can do better. Wake up Dan!! Seriously you are happy with last night and can't see that Self is a poor bench coach??

How can you not be pissed seeing Izzo laughing with his players last night?

Jeff Foster 6 years, 8 months ago

Losing sucks. It's game two. Keep the faith. Rock Chalk! #freediallo

James Smith 6 years, 8 months ago

Marius - A man happy with Mediocrity and can't handle hearing the truth!

David Robinett 6 years, 8 months ago

Once again, we are champions of the "We Dey Bitch" Classic.

Jim Stauffer 6 years, 8 months ago

While common sense says not to fire Bill Self, it also recognizes Kentucky and Duke especially and also MSU and others have elevated their game to meet competition while Kansas continues to believe it is a blue blood while consistently losing to all the others who are verified blue bloods.

Last night's game reminded me how much I am spending to watch what is advertised as a high level product while in reality it is a product that can 11 times in a row beat the Big 12 and really nothing more.

Why does this team rave about the competition their depth brings to the table and then play Landon Lucas over Hunter Mickelson. Why not bench Devonte last night when he could not hit the broad side of a barn and try something different. I think most fans who have watched our team for the last several years knew with 8 mins left we would lose that game.

I don't know the answer, but the question is, "Why are we in the Champions Classic with these three when we can't beat any of them when it really matters?"

Chris Shaw 6 years, 8 months ago

Kentucky would have crushed KU last night. It could be an ugly January night in the Phog if Self doesn't figure out something with his lineup and this roster when Kentucky comes to town.

Darwin Dandy 6 years, 8 months ago

The only person you can put in for Graham is maybe Svi because no one else can handle the ball decent on our bench but Lucas has to be benched. No question asked.

Rodney Crain 6 years, 8 months ago

To your last question Jim, I think the answer is in the chart about recruiting they showed and the comments about it. Duke, KY, MSU, 1,2,3 in recruiting for next year. Each with multiple players committed in the Top 20. KU - not ranked. Player #99 a life time fan and local talent, our only player.

That is the most telling issue with our team and possibly next years team.

We are not competitive with the other 3 schools. I feel bad for Self in almost every game for the last few years. When we are struggling he looks down his bench for a spark and there just isn't one.

I like Traylor, but he is not a starter for a top team. Wayne disappears in big games. Our 5 is ghost whoever is playing. Our guards are good but they cannot play against taller more talented guards. Ellis ran away from Valentine as he was driving the lane when he was in perfect position to help the guard that was beat. Our Senior leader ran away. This was right in the middle of their huge run at the end of game. Effort or not it does look like we do not belong in that elite group. We cannot rest on our past to compete in the present. All I hear is excuses when a experienced team chokes like that on national tv.

Since we have everything to offer a top recruit (including starting/PT) and no one has taken us up on an offer you have to wonder what is not attractive about playing for KU? if all the waiting till the spring to sign players is starting to show how thin we are really.

No panic here, no fall is skying, I have been saying this during the summer. Something is off with our program.

Brett McCabe 6 years, 8 months ago

Rodney, your statement that something seems to be off with the program is fair, and I believe accurate. It's not just one thing, it's a grouping of multiple things. Repetitive eligibility issues, sub-par OAD results, under-performance in the tourney, the unreported DUI, being dominated by WSU, etc.

I still do believe that this team has all that it needs to go deep in the tourney, with or without Diallo. One loss doesn't change that - in fact - I hope that it is a wake-up call.

But, we seem to be a step behind right now. Perhaps it's just a lull - many programs ebb and flow, even great ones.

Joe Joseph 6 years, 8 months ago

I'd add to that list that Self still adheres to playing inside-out when, right now, this roster clearly would benefit from playing outside-in.

Neither Greene nor Svi attempted a three last night. How is that possible? KU's bigs lack the length (Ellis, Traylor), skill (Traylor), or savvy (Lucas, Mickelson, Traylor) to be effective in the post against tough competition. Since Traylor, Lucas, and Mickelson lack a mid-range game all they really do is clog up the lane and make it more difficult for the likes of Mason and Graham to penetrate.

I just feel like Bill's brand of basketball isn't best for this roster. And hasn't been for a few years now.

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 8 months ago

Bob Howland has SIX top 100 recruits at Miss ST. I don't know why Self has fallen in love w/AODs. They certainly haven't performed when it counted. Two of them didn't even finish the season (Embiid - Alexander) and it doesn't look like Diallo will even play.

There is something definitely off RC and I believe it starts with recruiting. Firing Bill Self is not the answer and I'm surprised anyone would agree with James Smith. If you fire Self then the first question is who do you replace him with? Maybe Mark Turgeon? Manning? I really don't know. I wish HCBS would go back to the developing talent instead of renting it for one year. If things don't break right for Kansas with the remaining players, I can see our program taking a step backwards.

James Smith 6 years, 8 months ago

Funny stuff Marius...there are people who agree with me. You were probably 20ish when Roy left and was going OMG who are we going to get to replace him. There are better coaches out there. Mark Few would have been a great choice but we were not ready. Keep your man love for him and he will lead us to more years of early departures in the tournament.

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 8 months ago

Good God I wish you were right about the age thing. Man love? Okay,I'll take that in a good way - is there one? I was 30 when Roy took over. Saw them in Miami in 89. They lost. No OMG experience when he left, Kansas can always lure away top coaches and they did. As you can see in my post, I'm far from satisfied. This season along with next year's recruiting class may be the beginning to the end of the HCBS regime. If that happens then maybe I will start thinking it's time for him to go but now when I say it's not time for a coaching change there are many more people who would agree with me.

Rodney Crain 6 years, 8 months ago

Marius I agree, here is one for you, Penn State has 3 top 100 players signed.

You are right fire Bill Self is just short sighted and not an option. He needs some help with recruiting. We need a change there. It is obvious to me that we have lost something with the asst. coaches that have left.

We are clearly not on the same level as the other 3 schools in the classic. In the past and last night. An experienced team choking, with all the extra practice, the time in Korea. I said it months ago, this team is the same one that limped through the last 15 games last season. They are not loaded and they do not really deserve to be in that event until they start being competitive.

Benz Junque 6 years, 8 months ago

The shock wasn't that Valentine played so well. He's an All American candidate. The shock was how terrible the Jayhawks were. Ellis was the only player on the floor for KU that looked like he has improved since the bitter end of last season. The rest of the key contributors all looked like the same old Jayhawks.

Craig Alexander 6 years, 8 months ago

That is the only bright spot was that I saw a quicker and improved Ellis. Don't understand why we couldn't close out last night. I thought a seasoned/veteran team was supposed to not melt in crunch time?

Rodney Crain 6 years, 8 months ago

100% agree Benz

I hope Diallo is eligible to play against KY.

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 8 months ago

I'd say it's pretty clear that without Diallo, another Conference Championship may be as far as this team goes. It's far too early to get panicked but I'd say that overall, KU basketball has been trending downwards the last three seasons or so.

Ryan Patti 6 years, 8 months ago

This Jayhawks team is very talented, that doesn't concern me. What concerns me is the effort and effort is essential in putting teams away late in games. I feel like now we need Diallo because this team we currently have on the floor is very similar to last year's. If you want it more than we do, 9 times out of 10 you're going to take the game away from us. We need Diallo if we want to hang #4 in the fieldhouse because no big man moves down the court like he does and attacks the glass. There won't be any second chance opportunities for our opponent when he is on the floor and no inside shot will come easy. I just want to see more desire out of the guys on the floor because right now we just have to deal with Diallo on the sideline...

Brett McCabe 6 years, 8 months ago

If you are right, and I think that it's a little early to know, it's a sad statement. A veteran team, if anything, should be able to show effort, and should know how to close-out games.

Edward Daub 6 years, 8 months ago

From the ESPN Box Score (can't find the LJW version) on Minutes Played:

On the Perimeter - Graham (38) , Mason (34) , Selden (27) , Svi Myk (12), Greene (9)

Conclusion - Greene was probably injured

On the Blocks - Ellis (34) , Traylor (18), Lucas (14), Bragg (11), Hunt Mick (3)

Conclusion - Hunter barely broke a sweat

The Head Coach Bill Self controls playing time (last time I checked)

Justin Kruse 6 years, 8 months ago

Get the ball inside to Perry, and get Hunter in there to help him out. Graham was out of control and made some really poor decisions, and how many times did he flop to the floor. I'm thinking maybe have Selden start and sit the second half until he decides to show up for both.

It's only one game but the way we lost is what's so frustrating. We should have had a double digit lead going into halftime.

Casey Olson 6 years, 8 months ago

This isn't intended to be a "the sky is falling" comment because I really do believe that this team will be very good. I have watched too many games like this one and the poster above who said we all knew how it was going to end is spot on. I think Bill Self is a very good teacher, recruiter and he has represented this university with class, but I do not think he is a good in-game coach. I have watched time after time, a single player absolutely crush us and I guess it seems like Bill just sticks to his initial plan. Tom Izzo's teams repeatedly over-achieve. When is the last time KU over-achieved? 88? I have a hard time saying we need a different coach but I honestly believe there are much better coaches out there and I think at KU, recruiting will take care of itself.

Joe Joseph 6 years, 8 months ago

KU was a win against Baylor in the Big XII tournament from being the fourth #1 seed in the 2012 tournament.

I'm tired of people trying to claim KU overachieved that season. Not even close. Thomas Robinson was the runner-up POY and the #2 pick in the NBA draft. Jeff Withey was the Big XII defensive player of the year. Tyshawn Taylor was a third-team all-american and had one of the best conference seasons a PG has ever had at KU.

Was the 2012 roster deep? No. There was talent, however, where it counted. And it was experienced talent at that!

Tom Jones 6 years, 8 months ago

I don't think you or Casey understand what the word "overachieved" means.

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 8 months ago

To be fair Joe, how did any of the players you listed do in the NBA? HCBS got the best out of these players. I believe 2011 – '12 was Self's best year as a coach at KU. Since then,, we've pretty much underperformed in the NCAA tourney.

Mike Mills 6 years, 8 months ago

IMO: Bill Self was outcoached again by Tom Izzo lastnight. However, Izzo is arguably the best college coach in the game. Not insinuating Bill is a horrible coach like some here because he's actually pretty good but would say in these high pressure situations isn't the best at making in-game adjustments.

IMO: The guys didn't shoot horrible just because they stunk it up lastnight but also because MSU is a great defensive team! Trademark of all Izzo's teams and they out worked them even though they were smaller and less athletic. Don't know if they'll play a better defensive team for the rest of the season. KU was trying to get shots for Greene but MSU closed out good so nothing was open. If KU is going to be successful they have to get Greene shots. Absolutely have to. Best shooter on the team.

IMO: Lucas is NOT the answer and Traylor isn't a starter. Less mins for Lucas and Traylor needs to come off the bench. Start Hunter and increase his mins until hopefully Diallo is cleared. Bill has been doing this for a lot longer and more experienced than most of us and maybe is seeing something we don't but besides being a decent rebounder can't agree/understand giving Lucas extended mins.

IMO: Gotta go with Selden even though he didn't play great lastnight. Contrary to some people on here Svi isn't ready to take his mins. The pressure bothered him lastnight and he was getting a little sped up. Maybe later but not now.

IMO: Bill needs to pull the reigns in on Graham a bit. In two games he's shooting 20% from the field. Not saying he tells him to not shoot but he has to be pass first.

Darwin Dandy 6 years, 8 months ago

Couldn't agree more. Well put together statements. But I do think Graham should come in with the second unit in my mind and Svi or Greene should start

Mike Tackett 6 years, 8 months ago

Only 8 blocks for MSU, seemed more like 10-12. How many shots did we miss from 3 feet and in? This is the same old thing from the last two years. Can't stay in front of anybody. No rim protection. Blowing bunnies. Guards rocketing into the paint to fail. Same old, same old.

Craig Alexander 6 years, 8 months ago

KU blew an 11 point lead and it wasn't just Valentine but his energy and play made all the others with him play better. Our guards were in a panic and didn't seem composed at all. Normally Mason takes over and pulls us through with Ellis but last night they crumbled. I'm wondering if Self put too much pressure on them instead of letting the players make plays like he said he would do this year. No reason why we should be 1-1 right now at all. Not only do we need Diallo but like others have mentioned before, where was Hunter?? Give Bragg some more minutes to hit long jumpers too. Such a frustrating loss to watch when we were in control for about 33 minutes. Something has got to give.

Gene Jackson 6 years, 8 months ago

Free Greene! He was in the game. He was covered like a blanket. Surely there is a way to free Greene, our best shooter. Field goal stats for Greene were 0-0. Free Greene!

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 8 months ago

Until we have an interior player who needs to be double teamed it will be difficult for Greene to find the space needed to get off a sound shot.

David McNickle 6 years, 8 months ago

It's only one game and personally I think Izzo is the best coach in the NCAA. He puts the ball in hands of his best player for the last 10 minutes of the game on every possession and that one guy finds a way to beat us. Minus Ellis, there is no scoring threat on the inside. MSU was without two of their inside guys last night and Ellis was the only viable threat. I'd like to see Mickelson play a little more. Lucas is good for three fouls, a rebound, and multiple misses from point blank range in small amount of PT. Traylor is a come off the bench energy guy. Don't know what happened in the second half where Bragg didn't play much, if any, but at least he popped up to the free throw line to make a couple of buckets. Graham shouldn't start, Mason looked like he was trying to win the game on his own, Selden continues to be the biggest(shrug of shoulders) player I can remember KU having. Even if he doesn't score, the drives to the lane results in (a) a lowering the shoulder foul/charge, (b) a back turned to the basket walk, or (c) a missed layup. Just find their best player and shut him down or at least don't let him beat you by himself. Make a couple of threes. What it boils down to is, Self doesn't have the guard play to finish a game and he doesn't have the Aldrich, Whithey, and the Embid to protect the lane when our guards get beat. The second point might be of greater concern considering the way the games are being officiated this year. 11 in a row is impressive. During that 11, how many conference opponents have made it to a FInal Four?

Nick Willets 6 years, 8 months ago

One of the most frustrating games I can remember. Went to sleep pissed, woke up pissed. Complete giveaway of a game we should have closed out several times. I didn't like our substitutions throughout the game and our late game adjustments were not nearly good enough. Bad coaching, bad play from most of the players as well. Very early on in the season to get upset, but this game was absolutely brutal to lose. Unacceptable.

Bradly Moore 6 years, 8 months ago

Do you want to know what makes me mad. Records against the perceived Top 10 college basketball teams. Kentucky 6-22 North Carolina 5-6 Duke 3-7 UCLA 7-10 Michigan State 5-7 Syracuse 2-3 Indiana 6-7 Louisville 6-5 Arizona 8-4 UConn 2-0

Combined record 50-71 41% winning pct.
I am so tired of losing on the big stage. Why do the Hawks have so much trouble when the spotlight is the brightest? Let's face facts, our basketball team has always pummels the competition in a weak conference, and fades when the pressure is on. KU would only have one national title if it weren't for two COMPLETE miracles!! Why is this happening! Someone please explain it. This is killing me

Jaston Archie 6 years, 8 months ago

I personally think Self should be let go because he is obviously too stubborn to make any changes to his offensive philosophy which means no elite guard will come to KU and the offense will continue to disappoint. For those who think the mere idea of firing Self is absurd should at least AT LEAST welcome more criticism and tough questions. It's time for the Kansas media and fanbase to stop treating him like Mao Zedong and untouchable just bc Mario Chalmers hit a shot at the buzzer. I think Self feels godly bc he is responsible for one-third (or one-fifth) of KU's national championships, but frankly that was ages ago and I would trade half of those Big 12 titles for one more national title. It's time to send a message to Self that these past years have been awful and and it's time to produce

Kent Richardson 6 years, 8 months ago

Reality check. We are a jump shooting team that will live and die by that. Slow ball movement resulted in guarded threes all night. Like Okie State a few years ago without the defense.

Reality check. Even our quickness didn't result in transition buckets.

Selden has not developed all that much. Svi and Graham are limited. Really the team as a whole is limited.

Disjointed defense coverage and help. MSU did what they wanted and only failed in the first half due to poor shooting.

Games against OU, WVU, ISU and BU will all be toss ups. Whoever will win the conference again does not necessarily go through Lawrence this year.

I see us playing as most other teams dictate because we aren't complete enough to do otherwise. We will be spectacular sometimes and frustrating others.

I hope I am wrong but I wasn't last night.

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 8 months ago

Not sure that's possible. Will next years class be worse than 2010's?

James Smith 6 years, 8 months ago

Now that I have had time to think about my post earlier and seeing what others have written, it is nice to know that I was not too off the wall. Bill Self is the main man and needs to be held accountable for his poor decisions.

Question to everyone…we sit here every year after losing games that we should win and we continue to blame the players or make other excuses. Why are people so afraid to point the finger at Bill Self and call him out.

Yes he has won 11 Big 12 Championships and has won a lot of games but during games like this and during the tournament we are not playing over half our games at the Phog. Why does he continue to do the same thing year after year. Self needs to make better decisions and bench some players and let Bragg, Mickelson, Greene and Svi play. If we are going to lose I would rather lose with those who look like they want to play hard.

Again with our front line Costello should have fouled out with over 10 mins to go or should have sat on the bench with 4 fouls for a long time. Graham was useless and chucked up a 1 for 9 night. Self needs to know how and teach his team how to stop a team that has one player taking over a game.

Bottom line is that we continue to lose games like this because we have a coach who cannot make good decisions.

Edward Daub 6 years, 8 months ago

Why are we afraid to criticize Bill Self? First reason is that Oklahoma State (and T. Boone Pickens) would hire him in a New York minute. Second reason is that he has a track record of regular season success and a NCAA Title (which gives you lifetime credibility , just ask Jim Boeheim). Third reason is realistically who can we hire that would be better than Self? Turgeon? Manning? Calimari?

James Smith 6 years, 8 months ago

Yes Daub it is nice to have options once you get fired. I agree let's let Self stay until he dies and we will have 20-plus more conference championships and maybe 20 more wins in the tournament. That is always fun to watch every year. Sorry as a Jayhawker I can't settle. Keep drinking the Kool-Aid!

Hey did you see the news UK just picked up another quality recruit!

Edward Daub 6 years, 8 months ago

Yes Smith you are right that UK is leading the pack again.! Actually, I am a big fan of John Calipari but there is no way he leaves UK for KU at this point. Maybe we can hire Bob Huggins away from WVU? Huggy Bear switched to a full court press style last year, played 11-12 guys, wore down the opposition! I would love to see Bill Self try that style of play, but it isn't going to happen. Bill is already working on pairing down the rotation from 11-12 players to 8-9 players.

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 8 months ago

Wait..Why would we want Calipari? Two Final 4 teams that later had their seasons revoked by the NCAA. Calipari has ONE NCAA title. If you want a new coach - fine- but find the right coach for KU.

Damian Glaze 6 years, 8 months ago

One thing that frustrated me is that it was apparent that Valentine made 95% of his plays (scoring and passing) going to his right. The coaches and players never picked up on that and adjusted appropriately. I don't think Valentine made one shot when he went to his left. He had a great night but we didn't do a thing to make him adjust. So Frustrating.

The right amount of minutes for Devonte is about 15-20. He is and (was last night) a momentum killer. Both times when we built up the double digit lead he shot 2-3 dumb, quick shots. You can see it when we get those leads he wants to be the guy to put the dagger in their back with his shooting. The problem is he pretty much never makes that shot. In turn what we get is a run by the other team. If Bill wants to continue to value him as a point guard he is going to have to set goals for him that include a minimum of 6 assists per game. I would prefer to see Svi get half of Devonte's minutes if 38 is what Bill wants to give him.

Pathetic loss. And like many have said, I could have predicted the outcome a few minutes into the second half. It's more of the same and amazing how we have learned to lose the same exact way year after year. My expectations have dropped tremendously. Sweet 16 and done.

Ben Simonett 6 years, 8 months ago

Look at the bright side folks, the streak of terrible recruiting classes Self and staff strung together from '10 - '12 have almost completely filtered through the program. Just have to make it through this season and we'll finally be rid of the underwhelming traylor and mikelson. Perry will genuinely be missed but with all 3 of them gone at least self will be forced to try something new in the front court.

Bud Stagg 6 years, 8 months ago

I think it was a poorly played game by KU. I also think that in the past 5 or 6 years, HCBS has allowed it to happen in one of the early games. I think he hangs the cocky, know it all kids out to dry and allows them to be embarrassed. It gives them incentive to learn and try harder. Last year's loss to Kentucky for example, the year before to Villanova and a few others. He doesn't want to lose, but I think he doesn't coach as hard so that he can prove a point.

It's not about winning every game, it's about winning the last one.

Jaston Archie 6 years, 8 months ago

Unfortunately the last one is usually the first round of the NCAA tourney

James Smith 6 years, 8 months ago

My standout moment for Graham was when he was covering a 3 point shooter in the corner and when the ball was shot he took off down the court thinking that we had the rebound and then the left open player got the ball and shot a 3 pointer at a crucial time in the game. Then to see Graham looking at the bench with a "WTF" look and expression. He continues to make poor decisions but gets 38 minutes?? Free Svi and Greene. Once Vick is back these three should take over half of Graham's minutes.

Josh Galler 6 years, 8 months ago

seriously yes Self made errors on this game as the coach, but fire him? On what grounds? average 29 wins a year, 11 championships in conferences in a row, continue the 27 years in a row to NCAA's streak alive, and I can go on,. Yes 5 first or 2nd round losses ( I don't count first 4 as a round) are bad, but come on March madness is a crap shoot Look at Roy, look at coach K even as we well as Cal he had his team in the NIT just a short time ago. He is not leaving unless these things occur (1)He leaves for a new job (2)He has health issues (3)He is retiring (4) Legal issues or (5)two or 3 losing seasons in a row (1) maybe (2)hope not (3) 10-15 years most likely (4) unless he becomes stupid (5) at this rate unlikely I bet these are the same people who say keep him after a good win or the same people last 2014 Royals month of May want Yost to be fired and now praise him to stay after this WS win

James Smith 6 years, 8 months ago

Josh are you held accountable for what you do at your job? Self is not and again if he did not play over half of his wins at the Phog his record would suck. Wake up! Glad that it does not bother you to see Izzo LAUGHING with his players at you!! He out coached Self and Self thinks that he is untouchable because of people like you that are happy winning at home. Enjoy!

Allin Herring 6 years, 8 months ago

Well it has been a year since I attended last years butt stomping in the Champion Classic in Indy and what has changed since then? Well for one we scored 41 points in the 1st half beating last years 40 points for the whole game! And that friends is about it.

I now can see that why we won the University Games is because we played teams that could not win in even the Atlantic 10 conference. One other reason we won is because Graham did not play at all, which we can now see was to our advantage. Self needs to stop this experiement right now! He is shooting 4 -20 for the season (20%) please NO MORE of this guy! Frank Mason.... not much change here! Frank needs to learn it is drive and dish not drive and Miss! SVI.... the only thing I can see that has changed is his age. Still not playing defense and has not found a shot yet Lucas....He still does not finish at the rim! But at least his clanks are softer than last year.! Selden....Well for all his "talent" he still can not take over a game (except against University Games level of talent) and was 3-12 last night Traylor....Nice guy and the coach likes him and he does hustle but he is NOT a starter on an elite level basketball team. Hunter Mickelson...torn them up in the University games but played 3 minutes last night so not improvement there. I guess we learned nothing in the games about him! Brannen Greene....shot 6-6 in the previous game (5-5 from 3) and he was allowed to take NO shots from the field in this game! I repeat NO Shots!!! He should have been playing all of Svi's minutes! .Finally Perry Ellis....our only bright light!! Still is showing improvement and hit for 21 points but our guards would not get him the ball when we need it! It has got to be Frustrating for Perry to be playing with the other four guys we have. Coach Self....Well NO improvement here!! He continues to be inflexible and will not make any changes in our defense when it was plain we had no guards who could keep up with Valentine! He can not win in the Champions Classic against the the elite level of teams we have to play (1-5) and we need to get out of the schedule! He can not win big games. Besides winning in 2008 he failed to make it past the first weekend over 50% of the time. And the most scary thing of all, he is no longer able to recruit the elite level of player we need to be competitive!. We pick up Diallo a top 7 player at the last minute only because all the other elite programs could see the issues and dropped him like a hot potato but Self could get none of the elite players and so we got Diallo as a last resort! And finally he schedules Kentucky after the conference season starts and what a butt whipping that is going to be!! This season is just going to be an instant replay of last year except there are 4 other top 25 teams in the Big 12 that are continuing to improve! Which is the word we can not use. I hate to say it but maybe it is time for a change?

James Smith 6 years, 8 months ago

Wow good to see someone else that has removed the "Self" blinders! Just wish that you would have not used the "maybe" word. It is time!!

Casey Olson 6 years, 8 months ago

I forgot how angry they can make me. Still can't finish a big game. The last 2 times they have are literally referred to as "Miracles." They have been very successful and it's hard to argue with the resume but at what point do we start expecting more success in March and fewer meltdowns finishing big games? People get so angry about this topic but are you really satisfied with the results over the past 5 seasons? I bet Duke and Kentucky fans are. Why shouldn't that be demanded at KU?

Jack Hoff 6 years, 8 months ago

This is unbelievable how much you people overreact to one game. Reading these comments, one would think KU just got murdered by a NAIA team, when in fact all they did was lose to a Final Four team with a Hall of Fame coach. Granted it is disappointing, but not totally worth firing a national championship winning coach over. Mason and Lucas make the front end of their free throws, Perry hits a wide open elbow jumper and Landon makes a couple open layups and everyone is singing a different tune to the outcome. R-E-L-A-X. The team will be fine! Everyone could have done better last night, and undeniably Self shares a lot of the blame but it's the second game of the year. I remember seeing before the game people posting, a loss wouldn't be so bad because it would allow them to get a reality check and find their areas of improvement. Well what happened to that? Chances are they weren't gonna go undefeated anyway, so if your gonna lose, lose early to a Final Four team. They were the better team without question, just harbored with mental mistakes. Bill Self isn't an idiot, he'll get it taken care of. Everybody calm the hell down. Jesus.. Bunch of idiots.

James Smith 6 years, 8 months ago

Enjoy exiting in the 1st or 2nd round again and again. We don't play the tournament in the Phog. Wake up and glad that you like seeing Izzo and his players laugh at you!! You are the Idiot. 11 big 12 Championships and 1 title. Calamri is kicking our ass! Glad you are happy!

James Smith 6 years, 8 months ago

Was going to say that you don't know Jack S#%t but seems like you do!

Brandon Dey 6 years, 8 months ago

Let me know when you pull your head out of the sand Jack. Your whole post is off. Got a lot of ifs = excuses in there. If this and this and this happen we could have won. Seriously? Then you say losing early to a MSU team that was behind and barely hanging on most of the game was good? Who ever said they were going undefeated? A experienced, with lots of summer practice team choked. Mental mistakes they looked lost out there . They got out rebounded by a smaller, injuried team. They were up 11 and lost by 6, a 17 point turn around to end the game. Come on Jack quit making excuses. That was a terrible loss. No harm in blowing off some steam when your team lays an egg like that on national tv. It's foolish for you to defend an effort like that. Why don't you calm down?

Allin Herring 6 years, 8 months ago

With the exception of Perry Ellis this team has not improved a bit! Last years was the Worst KU Basketball team in the past 25 years and this one is even worse. Let get rid of our Mary Poppins attitude and admit we have some real issues!

Jack Hoff 6 years, 8 months ago

One loss to Michigan St. in game two doesn't mean Self and company forgot how to play and coach basketball. Duke lost in Back to back NCAA tourneys and Cal was in the NIT not too long ago. KU beat Duke only 2 years ago and was matched up against an all time great team in Kentucky only 3 years ago in the national championship game. The program is just fine. Good Lord. Since everyone love Cal and K so much, then become Duke and Kentucky fans and stop posting rubbish on here because the team lost to a talented well coached basketball team early in the season. Way to early to tell the direction they are heading. Come January, and we see the same issues, then you talk. For now chill out.

Rock Klein 6 years, 8 months ago

I overheard Coach Self going over our offense in the locker room before the Michigan St. game.
He said play #1 would be for Frank to drive the lane 1 on 5 and try to get to the rim.
Play #2 would be for Wayne to lower his head like a fullback, plow to the rim, and throw the ball in the air. Play #3 would be for Devonte to drive the lane 1 on 5 and try to get to the rim. And finally play #4 would be for team to try something daring, and actually throw a pass into Perry and watch to see if he can power in for a basket.

We ran our offense to perfection. I don't know what everyone is complaining about!!!

Clark Groseth 6 years, 8 months ago

OMG, The sky is falling, the sky is falling!

John Kelley 6 years, 8 months ago

Yes relax Accept Defeat Gracefully. Looking forward to another early round exit from the NCAA Tournament.

James Smith 6 years, 8 months ago

To Clark, JD and Michael buckle up and enjoy your short ride into March.

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