Thursday, February 4, 2016

Board game: Self dismayed by rebounding effort

Kansas forward Landen Lucas (33) battles for position with Kansas State forward Stephen Hurt (41) during the first half on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Landen Lucas (33) battles for position with Kansas State forward Stephen Hurt (41) during the first half on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Kansas University’s basketball team had more assists, steals, blocks and shot a greater percentage from both the field and the free throw line, while committing fewer turnovers than rival Kansas State in Wednesday’s 77-59 victory in Allen Fieldhouse.

Yet the Wildcats’ dominance in one category — rebounding — prevented coach Bill Self from enjoying his squad’s 18th victory in 22 tries and sixth Big 12 victory in nine outings.

Kansas State dominated the glass, 36-21.

KU’s previous low rebound total this season was 31 three times — in wins over Harvard and Holy Cross and a loss to Oklahoma State.

“I hope so. We’ve usually been pretty good,” Self said Thursday, asked if it was just one off night in a long season. “Obviously K-State was more aggressive and quicker and definitely more competitive for 50/50 balls. Our big guys didn’t do anything to play physical, but our guards didn’t help them either. It was a total team lack of effort rebounding.”

KU has been outrebounded just five times all season — in losses to Michigan State, West Virginia and Oklahoma State and wins over Harvard and San Diego State.

“We outrebound Kentucky by 11 (in Saturday’s 90-84 overtime win) then get outrebounded by 15. Obviously K-State was just better than us on the glass. We weren’t as turned up as we should be,” Self said.

“It’s something we’ve got to address and keep working on and understand why certain things happen. There’s always stuff for us to work on. That was an obvious weakness last night,” he added.

Landen Lucas led KU with six boards in 25 minutes. Perry Ellis had five and Jamari Traylor four. K-State’s Stephen Hurt had 11 boards, Justin Edwards six and Wesley Iwundu five.

“Once again our 3-man gets no rebounds and doesn’t do anything from a physical standpoint to create anything. Our bigs didn’t rebound. It’s frustrating. The best rebounders are the ones who want the ball. We didn’t go after the ball tough at all,” Self said.

Self doesn’t suspend Greene: The only thing that bothered Self more than rebounding Wednesday was Brannen Greene’s unsportsmanlike behavior at the end of the game. Greene finished a meaningless dunk with time still on the clock as players for both teams were walking over to the hand-shake line.

“We handled it in-house,” Self said Thursday, indicating Greene, “was not suspended or anything.”

Mickelson update: KU senior forward Hunter Mickelson, who has not played in the last four games, remains hobbled by a high ankle sprain.

“He practiced today. We only went 45 minutes. He did go some but he is not 100 percent,” Self said.

Time to get fired up: KU sophomore guard Devonté Graham said he hopes the Jayhawks have finally learned a lesson about bringing energy from the opening tip. K-State led by nine points midway through the first half.

“I don’t know the reason behind that,” Graham said of slow starts. We can’t do that. We’ve got to come out and understand everybody is coming at our heads. We are a target. We’ve got to start playing like it.”


Mike Riches 6 years, 3 months ago

Can we please stop referring to K-State as our rival? We are 45-5 against them in our last 50 games. That is not a rivalry.

In my book, Mizzou will always be our archrival, even if we don't play them again for another 20 years. Maybe we have some mini-rivalries with ISU or OU, teams that we have battled with in recent years. But K-State, in basketball, they're more like a cute little sister that you get upset with once in awhile...not a rival.

Glen Miller 6 years, 3 months ago

We don't play Mizzou anymore.... it's time for all the whiners to move along from it. Kansas State is now our rival, lopsided record or not. To have a rival, you actually have to play them. I'm not sure why you people don't understand this concept?

Tom Jones 6 years, 3 months ago

I agree with this, but we can go a long way to smashing the myth by winning in the Octagon of Dumb, which we haven't done the last two years.

Freddie Garza 6 years, 3 months ago

I would say that Iowa State is probably our main rival at this point, though it's not nearly as heated a rivalry as we had with Mizzou. K-State is just a rivalry because we share the same state. KU typically owns them in basketball, they typically own KU in football (heck, who doesn't?!).

Dale Rogers 6 years, 3 months ago

Even if we still played Missouri they'd not be much of a "rival" right now in those terms (referencing the record against KSU). I recently saw an article pointing out Missouri is one of the worst teams in Division 1.

Missouri was frequently a team of dirty players. Punks. And their fans often were as bad. There have been stories published about some of their antics and their attempts to disrupt our team, outside of the game. They're probably still out there if you'd like to do a little research.

K-State is our in-state rival and will always be so no matter the record. And you may have forgotten we have lost to KSU three consecutive teams on their floor. The rivalry remains and each of us really want to beat the other, especially on the opponent's floor.

Bryce Landon 6 years, 3 months ago

No, we've only lost two in row in Manhattan. Lose this year and then it will be three in a row.

Bryce Landon 6 years, 3 months ago

Can you tell me where this article is about Missouri being one of the worst teams in D1?

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 3 months ago

At least this isn't another article about Greene's dunk before the buzzer.

John Randall 6 years, 3 months ago

nice of to bring that up and keep the stink around another day

Yonatan Negash 6 years, 3 months ago

Glad to hear Devonté is finally getting it. Yes, teams are gunning for you, it's always been that way and always will

Not surprised Brannen Greene is not bein suspended. The whole issue with the "meaningless dunk" should've been handled in house from the start.

We have bigger issues to focus on rather than a meaningless dunk. Frankly, no one paid attention to the dunk until the coach made his public statements by blasting his player.

As I see, it was a great way to deflect attention away from how bad KU is playing.

Jerry Walker 6 years, 3 months ago

I'm not so sure that he gets it.

It's like a broken record...they all say that after a poor effort...and not much changes.

Tom Jones 6 years, 3 months ago

Not true. Anyone who was at the game or watching on TV paid attention. KU doesn't roll like that.

Tom Jones 6 years, 3 months ago

I should have been clearer. Anyone who was at the game or watching on TV and was still paying attention paid attention. ;)

A large portion of those watching in person (and on TV) had left the building or were gathering their things to do so or had turned off the TV.

Self made the "story" bigger than it would have been for sure, though. And Greene should have apologized for it right away.

John Pritchett 6 years, 3 months ago

I was watching the game, saw the dunk and didn't think anything of it because I thought time had expired. It never looked like a showboat dunk to me. It looked like a guy playing with a ball in a gym. I think it's been blown way out of proportion. I remember when EJ dunked at ISU. That was totally different. There was intent there. Greene looked to me like he was just not paying attention, and thought the clock had expired. What made it a big story was Coach's reaction.

Bill Kackley 6 years, 3 months ago

Not true that no one paid attention to the dunk until the coach said something about it. Many of us watching on TV said what a bush thing to do.

Don Burgundy 6 years, 3 months ago

Self is baffling me right now. He says he wants better rebounding, when statistically, Traylor is our worst rebounder/defender of our big guys. Yet he plays him before Diallo and Mickelson. UK shot 72% on twos against KU last Saturday and K-State 50%. The common trend in this is that Traylor played majority of the second half, while Diallo and Bragg rode the bench. Our ceiling is a second round exit if Traylor is playing majority of the minutes. Self has been doing this for two years now with Traylor and it's extremely frustrating.

Jared Reeves 6 years, 3 months ago

Don, you are 100% correct. The numbers don't lie. Self appears to be biased in favor of physical big men for the 5 slot, regardless of their contribution to offense/defense/rebounding.

Jay Scott 6 years, 3 months ago

"the numbers don't lie".........."appears"

Another absolute, engraved in stone fact. Or at least an opinion......

Someone's patterning their integrity after Hillary.

Jared Reeves 6 years, 3 months ago


Two different sentences can be referring to two different things. "Numbers" is referring to rebounding, and are engraved in stone. Whether Self is biased is a matter of opinion. Not hard to understand.

Someone's patterning their logic after Donald Trump (and their personal attacks).

Jay Scott 6 years, 3 months ago

Let's shorten this. You're going to whine and make absurd dishonest comments regardless, like Hillary. It's a fair label. It's predictable that you would reply with the Trump insult and then complain about insults. News flash. The vast majority of American agree that Hillary is dishonest. They're not all Trump people.

It's not really that challenging or rewarding to keep showing how willing you are to use half truths and disingenuous questions to argue your way out your absurd comments.

Ty Mar 6 years, 3 months ago

Jay would make a good storm trooper. Loyal to a fault.

Tom Jones 6 years, 3 months ago

Maybe just leave the political snarks out of sports discussion boards?

Bville Hawk 6 years, 3 months ago

The 5 position is key to this team having any kind of real success. With Lucas and Traylor we aren't getting rebounds, scoring, or shot blocking. Bill needs to put his eggs in Diallo's basket (with Mickelson relieving him). Diallo has by far the most upside, he just needs experience. He needs to start getting it this Saturday 24-30 minutes per game (barring foul trouble).

Jay Scott 6 years, 3 months ago

What exactly is it that Diallo does better?

Remember. Winning MVP in a High School pickup game isn't really a college basketball skill.

Bville Hawk 6 years, 3 months ago

Shot blocker or alterer. Mid range jumper. Can beat his man down the court most posessions. A big who can run the floor is a great asset. Anyone remember Richard Scott? The guy would score 15 points a game just off secondary break opportunities. Richard wasn't a 5 but he beat his man down the floor and was great at getting an angle in the low block.

I agree Diallo is a defensive liability, but he's not going to learn sitting on the bench or going against our other 5's in practice because our other 5's don't have any "O" to their game.

Aaron Paisley 6 years, 3 months ago

It ain't fhe 5 that's the biggest key, it's Mason. KU's downturn in play halpebed the same time Mason's did.

John Strayer 6 years, 3 months ago

Yet...without 'Mari...KU doesn't score 4 points in the last seconds of the first half. Dude just creates plays sometimes. I remember when he first came...his rankings weren't special...but he was labeled an energy guy. So that's what he does. KU just seems better when he's on the floor bringing effort. As far as the Freshman...I've watched them...both are really green on the defensive side. They both get pushed around. So if they can score 10-15 points, what does that matter if they give up 10-15 pts on D.

Michael Leiker 6 years, 3 months ago

I just posted the below, then read your post and it's funny, I agree with you too...Mari is a tough guy to peg.

Michael Leiker 6 years, 3 months ago

It's sad that it's gotten to this point with Traylor but your right, Self's loyalty to a senior who has given his all to KU is misplaced. He's just lost out there. Blew my mind that Bragg didn't play in the 2nd half. Traylor seems like he's mentally checked out as well, just finishing the career up.

Jay Scott 6 years, 3 months ago

Traylor is a unique player.

He's as good as anyone in the country as a late game stopper. He's a decent inside presence that can handle guards on switches and defend the perimeter. He's a solid free throw shooter. He's experienced. He'll get those minutes.

He's a great energy guy to throw in for a few minutes here and there. Add that up and you get 14 mins a game.

For all the discussion of Traylor, he plays 14 mins a game this year on average. Only 3 or four more than Diallo or Bragg. That's isn't likely to change because he does a great job of what he does. Should he play 20? Likely not. Should he play 10? If Bragg or Diallo proved they were better, he would. But he's still the best choice at crunch time with the lead.

John Randall 6 years, 3 months ago

Michael, you sound too eager to disparage a man who still gives his all (which is pretty good at lot of the time). Not starting 'Mari any more makes him more available to use as a spur in the butt for other bigs who have real tendencies to get lackadaisical.

Jay Scott 6 years, 3 months ago

He played 25 vs UK but 13 vs KSU. Traylor plays 13.9 per game. Not "the majority" of the game.

Yonatan Negash 6 years, 3 months ago

The best explanation I can give you is that Traylor may just have a great relationship with Bill.

Aaron Paisley 6 years, 3 months ago

Don, Traylor is playing fewer minutes in Big 12 play than he did in nonconference.

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 3 months ago

It's not just about getting the 50/50 balls, it's also about letting opponents get to our 99/01 balls. It's about blocking out and effort.

Two rebounding examples of 99/01 balls we gave ORebs to KSU:

1) 19:15 2H - Hurt misses on a 3ball. Rebound comes down in the midst of ALL 5 KU players. Everybody stands around. Mason does not block out Brown who gets the OReb for KSU.

2) 10:09 2H - Hurt again misses a 3 ball from the same spot as above example. Ball comes down between the Selden, Graham, Selden KUS players. Lucas does a great job blocking Wade off the boards. Selden turns and does a quarter-effort to block Edwards off the boards. Graham does not move his feet to get in better rebounding position when the ball comes off the rim..instead reaches for the DReb. Edwards, who went around Selden gets the OReb and scores for KSU.

Two examples of KSU's 13 OREBS (we had 2 ORebs) where we gave a horrible effort. There are far more examples than the above thought the game. These are examples why so many fans are sick of the effort these guys are giving since the OU game.

A lot of people express grief over Lucas' PT but the guy is a heady player who knows how to work and execute the basics. Someday Lucas will be a great coach because he understands how to play the game.

Bville Hawk 6 years, 3 months ago

Graham is especially bad at standing and watching when it comes to rebounding. A couple games ago (OSU?) his man shot a 3 from the top of the key, Devonte turned to watch- the rebound came off long, straight back and bounced at the free throw line to his man (the shooter) who proceeded down the lane and made a short floater.

Bill seems to tolerate errors like this from Graham, but is quick to pull Mickelson, Diallo, Vick. He seems to have a little more patience with Bragg, but not a lot.

Bville Hawk 6 years, 3 months ago

While I'm venting, why does Bill allow our guards to essentially walk the ball up the floor after the other team score?. And why don't we ever attack the other teams press? The easiest time to score in basketball is BEFORE the defense is set. Watch UNC, they score several times a game just by pushing the ball up the floor after a made basket. If there is nothing there they just back it out.

Benny Armstrong 6 years, 3 months ago

Couldn't agree more with this comment. I want to see our guards push the ball up the court the entire game because it does two things... 1) it allows for the opportunity to score quickly against a defense that isn't completely set, and 2) gives us time to run offense with 25-27 seconds versus 20-22 which often results in a forced bad shot. Too often I watch Frank/Devonte walk the ball up the court, run the weave around the arc and look for a drive/corner 3, or we pass it around the arc trying to look for a post entry pass against a set defense. Imagine how much better our high low game might look if we pushed it up the court quickly and our bigs were already there posted and driving their guy up the lane ready to receive a pass not having to worry about help defense coming from the weak side?

Not saying we need to start chucking shots as soon as the ball crosses half court, but some visible sense urgency would go a long way to helping us I believe. The only justification I can see for the slower tempo is to try and prevent us from wearing down our guards over the course of the game/season. If that's the case, then we should maybe consider going back to one guard with two wings so we can platoon this with Frank and Devonte.

Ida Blankenship 6 years, 3 months ago

The best rebounding I've ever seen was in the '08 semi-final against UNC. They wore themselves out after the first half and lights were dimmed for the first part of the second half, but eventually came back. Granted, there was unchartered energy befitting a final four and not sure of the actual stats but if I remember correctly, the announcers mentioned UNC retrieved only one REB that first half. Let's do that again.

Robert Brock 6 years, 3 months ago

K-State brought all the energy to the game. If they had ANY talent, they would have won.

Jay Scott 6 years, 3 months ago

They won by 18 at home. What's home court worth at Allen West? It's not an 18 point swing. If they play as well, they win again. They can play better. Can KSU?

Rae Bricil 6 years, 3 months ago

KSU can definitely play better. They were within two in the second half and had a couple of tough calls go against them

Overall it is tough call--as this is the same team that lost to OSU by 19 pts--you just don't know what you are going to get at the moment. KU has the superior talent but as we have seen this talent does not always translate to W's on the B12 road.

So has Ellis never won in AFHW? If so, and he does lose his last game there, he would be the first player in a long time to have never won in Manhattan.

Jay Scott 6 years, 3 months ago

It's a long way off... Svi might look like Gordon Heyward by then. Who knows what Bragg and Diallo are playing like? KU can get a lot better. KSU, a little better.

If the Big12 title is within reach I can't see the Jayhawks losing.

Rae Bricil 6 years, 3 months ago

Agreed. KU can get a lot better. Being at the game, their flashes of great play were amazing. For example, I think they scored 7 points in the first 7 minutes and then all of sudden seemed focused and put up 10 points in a minute. Don't recall the exact numbers, but the point is if they could have more focus and energy for longer durations they could be great. It is impossible to maintain that level the whole game but it seems they currently have this focus, effort and determination for very limited segments.

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 3 months ago

Simply no doubt KU can improve by their play far above the the best KSU can hope to achieve. I can see us finishing conference play strong and peak in the NCAA.

Rae Bricil 6 years, 3 months ago

Robert I see your point and agree. I was impressed by the effort KSU gave.

I view the game similar to Self views the shot—a shot is not defined by the outcome. I view the game the same way and am sure will be mocked for this point. I really didn’t care who won the OU v KU game. I am glad that KU won but was extremely impressed at the way KU competed and the effort they gave. It was as if both teams deserved to win. On the other hand, the way KU has been playing lately (with a lack of effort) regardless of winning and losing is bad and painful to watch.

Harlan Hobbs 6 years, 3 months ago

Agreed, Jay. That goes for all of your entries today.

Jay Scott 6 years, 3 months ago

With the high number of shots being taken from outside the 3 point line, and the long rebounds they create, guards are becoming more important in rebounding.

That's why I'd like to see Svi get 30 mins per game and less of the two point guard set. He handles the ball well, creates matchup challenges and his length can only help on the glass. Svi is going to be essential down the road against teams with 6'7-6'9 SG/SF. A starting lineup of Mason, Selden and Svi with Graham off the bench and each of those 4 playing ~30 mins is a solution to a lot of issues.

David Kemp 6 years, 3 months ago

I like it. It is definitely worth a shot. We need to find something that works.

Bill Keebler 6 years, 3 months ago

Something that works right now is Mason on the bench. Both runs against KSU happened with him on the bench. For what ever reason he is playing totally out of control. Driving down the lane hurling your body thru the air while throwing the ball towards the goal in hopes of a foul and if really lucky the ball goes in is not a sound basketball play. Instead he's laying flat on his back under the basket and it's 5 on 4 the other direction. Let him sit until he gets his head on straight.

Jay Scott 6 years, 3 months ago

There's a better chance of you giving birth tomorrow than Mason sitting. Just sayin.

John Randall 6 years, 3 months ago

Mason is rather obviously playing through some physical liabilities the last 5 or 6 games. Left to his own tendencies to punish himself even more, it won't just go away. The poor guy needs some relief from the 35-38 min/game routine.

Ryan Zimmerman 6 years, 3 months ago

Tough road schedule to end the season will kill us. I don't see how OU doesn't pull off the Big 12 Title

Here's who we have left and prediction at TCU W home against WVU W at OU L home against OKST W at KSU W at Baylor L home against Tech W at Texas L home against ISU W*

Final Big 12 standings Oklahoma 16-3 (loses on road to either UT or WV). Kansas 12-6

Bryce Landon 6 years, 3 months ago

Unless OU is playing an extra league game I don't know about, they can't finish 16-3. The best they can do is finish 16-2.

Bryce Landon 6 years, 3 months ago

"We handled it in-house."

Uh, no you didn't, Coach. You ripped him with a four-letter bomb on state-wide radio, then you made a big deal of apologizing for it in the post-game presser. That doesn't sound like "handling it in-house" to me.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.