Thursday, February 11, 2016

Jayhawks, Sooners ready for rematch

Kansas forward Landen Lucas (33) gets up to defend against a shot from West Virginia guard Tarik Phillip (12) during the first half, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Landen Lucas (33) gets up to defend against a shot from West Virginia guard Tarik Phillip (12) during the first half, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Back on Jan. 4, the No. 1 team in the Associated Press basketball poll (Kansas University) outlasted the No. 1 team in USA Today’s coaches poll (Oklahoma), 109-106, in three overtimes in Allen Fieldhouse.

On Saturday, the sequel in Norman will match the now No. 3-ranked Sooners (20-3, 8-3) against the No. 6-rated Jayhawks (19-4, 8-3) at 1:30 p.m. in Noble Center.

“It’s going to be awesome. It’s going to be fun,” KU junior forward Landen Lucas said after his 16-rebound, nine-point outing helped the Jayhawks down West Virginia, 75-65, on Tuesday in Allen and force a three-way tie for first in the Big 12. West Virginia had entered the contest a game ahead of KU and OU.

“We’ve got our competitive juices flowing,” Lucas added. “We’re ready to bring it to them. We’ll be ready to play. We have a new hunger about us that I think we’ll bring down there. They are a great team. It’s going to be a competitive environment, and we’re looking forward to it.”

Oklahoma edged Texas, 63-60, on Monday in Norman, as an early-week tuneup to the KU game. Texas is just a game back in the standings at 7-4.

“We watched it. That was a great game, too,” Self said of the OU-Texas contest. “I certainly hope it’s another classic (Saturday). I’d like it to be a different type game. I’d like for it to be a grind-it-out game. I think that would probably benefit our chances some instead of making it a H-O-R-S-E contest like it was last time. We’re going to try real hard and compete, but we’re going against a team that’s as good as anyone in the country, obviously.”

The Jayhawks are coming off a win over No. 10-ranked West Virginia, in which Lucas helped hold West Virginia forward Devin Williams to 14 points off 4-of-10 shooting, with nine rebounds.

“With Landen, the biggest thing is him going after the ball,” said KU junior guard Wayne Selden Jr., who scored 11 points with two assists, two rebounds and two turnovers in 26 minutes versus the Mountaineers. “Not a lot of people in the country can go after the ball like him and rebound the ball and guard Devin. Landen did a great job tonight. It’s hard for those young guys (Cheick Diallo, Carlton Bragg Jr.) to really get in that situation. They are going to come along. We have a lot of faith in them. Carlton (one minute) and Cheick (two minutes), they can be the best on our team, especially at March time. Landen is doing what needs to be done to be that 5 guy, be that presence down low,” Selden added.

Lucas said he was fired up trying to stop the 6-9, 255-pound Williams.

“Guys like him and Rico (Gathers, Baylor) ... I always enjoy those challenges,” Lucas said. “We were talking a little back and forth. That gets you going, too. Those are the games I enjoy playing in.

“He’s a big guy,” Lucas added, “but I’ve gone against some pretty big guys in my time here. Just a couple years ago we had Tarik Black (Lakers) here, and he’s pretty big, too. I’m used to that kind of competition.”

Lucas had four blocks versus West Virginia. He entered the game with five all season.

“He (Self) has been on me about at least going for blocks. I don’t have to get it every time, but it changes shots if you go and contest them,” Lucas said. “I went and contested a couple shots and was able to get my hand on a couple of them. Moving forward, hopefully I can duplicate that as much as possible.”

“Landen was fabulous,” Self said. “I’m so happy for him. He was absolutely terrific.”

He’s OK: KU’s Selden was coughing a bit during his postgame interview on the Jayhawk Radio Network on Tuesday.

“I’m feeling better. I’m still getting my wind back. (It’s) not all the way there,” Selden said. “I’m trying to get better. I’ll be fine by Saturday. I’ll do whatever it takes. We’re excited. They are a terrific team. We’re ready to go down there and compete.”

Ellis on Wooden list: KU forward Perry Ellis has been named to the Wooden Award late-season Top 20 list, the Los Angeles Athletic Club announced Wednesday. Other Big 12 players on the list: Buddy Hield, Oklahoma; Georges Niang, Iowa State. KU fans have a chance to vote for Ellis for the award at


Gary Amble 6 years, 9 months ago

Diallo and Bragg were good enough to combine for 3 minutes Tuesday night but they could be our best players come March? Unless someone waves a magic wand I don't see those two logging serious minutes 18 days from now.

Jay Scott 6 years, 9 months ago

Isn't it awesome to have so many capable players that these excellent freshmen can't even crack the lineup?

David Kemp 6 years, 9 months ago

Yes but I will hold judgement on Lucas til I see btb performances.

James Smith 6 years, 9 months ago

Yep probably we will see an early exit in March again because the lack of experience. Great coaching job by BS!!

Jay Scott 6 years, 9 months ago

James! Great to have you back!

Lack of Experience.....

Mason - Junior

Graham - Sophomore

Selden- Junior

Greene - Junior

Ellis - Senior

Traylor - RedShirt Senior

Lucas - Junior

The primary rotation lacks experience?

Comical (but typical) Chicken Little stupidity.

Jared Reeves 6 years, 9 months ago

I think James was referring to the lack of experience of our Freshmen (not getting enough minutes).

Jay Scott 6 years, 9 months ago

Jared. James was whining that his personal preferred way of coaching the team wasn't being adhered to.

No more, no less.

It was stupid. Be a smart fella and separate yourself from the kind of idiocy James propagates.

Jared Reeves 6 years, 9 months ago

Jay, I didn't say I agreed or disagreed with James. I was simply stating that you may have missed the point he was making and was trying to clarify.

Micky Baker 6 years, 9 months ago

That is not the point James was making.

James Smith 6 years, 9 months ago

Typical Psycho Jay missing the point again. Thank God you didn't play the racist card again. Have you moved out of your mom's basement yet?

Greg Ledom 6 years, 9 months ago

Two likes, is this what brilliance looks like...........Jesus H.........

Benz Junque 6 years, 9 months ago

If we lose in March it won't be because of our 6th or 7th best players in Bragg and Diallo. Our March success depends on the player of our 4 best players in Ellis, Mason, Selden and Graham. If they play well it will not matter if Bragg or Diallo ever see the court. If they don't it will not matter if Bragg and Diallo combine for 20 and 10.

Robert Brock 6 years, 9 months ago

Bragg is a good passer out of the high post and he can play the pick-and pop. Right now, he is a bit to thin and weak to play on the low block and not able to defend and rebound. He will be ready to start next year.

Diallo is athletic but completely basketball illiterate. He still looks clueless on offense and defense. Looks like a natural in the D League.

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 9 months ago

Sounds like Self wants to turn the OU game into an old fashion 'dog fight.' Dog fight or horse fight, the Hawks are capable of both. If we play like our home BU, away SDSU, home KSU, home WVA or first half UCLA...we will beat anyone. Those are all games we shot the ball well, which makes HORSE the better format. I can't think of many dog fights we have won...perhaps WVA with Lucas getting the 16 rebs was more of a mixed fight outcome.

Matt Dimeo 6 years, 9 months ago

People who hated on LL all season don't know basketball very well. He's been one of our most consistent players all year.

James Smith 6 years, 9 months ago

Yeah his fumbling balls around the hoop and wow that 8 to 15 foot shot are amazing. Sad when we break the press and he has the ball 10 feet from the bucket and won't attack because he can't or when he has the ball in the high post and the guy guarding him just sags back into the lane to help cover Ellis. Awesome stuff!

Jared Reeves 6 years, 9 months ago

Lucas clearly has pluses and minuses. However, if he can repeat the performance against WVU, I don't have a problem sitting Diallo and Bragg.

Jay Scott 6 years, 9 months ago

Well said.

The OU game may present a different lineup opportunity. Their "bigs" are not that big and are quicker. Lattin is much more of a Traylor type player. Both he and Spangler are lightweights and 6'8/6'9. McNeace is 6'10 but skinny. Bragg might get more minutes.

Jared Reeves 6 years, 9 months ago

Against a less physical line-up it should create more opportunities for guys other than Lucas. But, if memory serves me correctly, Lucas played down the stretch last time against OU.

Jay Scott 6 years, 9 months ago

He played 25 mins had 8 rebs and 5 points. Only one foul. Another solid outing..or so it seems until ....Lattin and Spangler had 14 and 18 rebs. Quicker might be better. I'd like to see a little more Traylor and Bragg.

Jared Reeves 6 years, 9 months ago

Jay, I don't disagree at all. I was simply highlighting the fact that Self may go with Lucas despite how we feel. Ultimately, it will probably come down to whoever is playing the best that night; but I agree that Traylor and Bragg match up better on paper.

Aaron Paisley 6 years, 9 months ago

Lucas played 25 out of 55 minutes the first match up and did grab 8 rebounds. Spangler did grab 18 boards and Lattin 14 boards. Spangle also play 51 minutes and Lattin played 46 minutes in that game. Landen played about 1/2 the minutes those two did and produced at about the same rate they did on the glass. So yes, it was a solid outing by Landen unless you don't think Spangler or Latting had solid games that day either.

Jay Scott 6 years, 9 months ago

Lucas got about one rebound per minute for every two that Spangler and Lattin combined got. He doesn't guard them both at once obviously but, given that he doesn't leave the basket, that's not outstanding..

Overall Kansas won the rebounding battle...

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 9 months ago

Agree Jared, esp. w/Lucas coming back for his final year. And Jay, you deserve some credit for backing Lucas long before many (including myself) of us.

Guess Self knew what he was doing. I still think Bragg and Diallo needed more playing time this year and I hope both come back. Pretty sure Bragg returns, hopefully Diallo doesn't get lured away by some agent who is only looking out for himself.

Micky Baker 6 years, 9 months ago

Again, you only post when you have something to bitch about. You never post otherwise that I have seen.

Dale Rogers 6 years, 9 months ago

Yes, Matt, that's one of the problems with taking these comments too seriously. They're full of wannabe's who can't or they'd be paid the big bucks to coach instead of paying to get in to see a game.

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 9 months ago

Really Matt? You sound very much like some Johnny-come-lately as if you knew all along that Lucas would progress as much as he has.

Prove me wrong: Show me any comment that you made backing Lucas at any time before the West Virginia game. Bet you can't....and no - using one of your other profiles doesn't count.

Benz Junque 6 years, 9 months ago

Let's not get carried away. There have been plenty of games where Lucas was actively terrible and some where he has been great.

Lucas had a great game and I hope he has many more.

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 9 months ago

I go w/how his play is trending. Not so great at OU, esp with OU getting so many offensive rebounds but overall his trend is steadily improving.

Harlan Hobbs 6 years, 9 months ago

James, I think you need to find another hobby. Your analysis couldn't be further from the truth. I'll take Bill Self's decisions over yours any day.

James Smith 6 years, 9 months ago

It is amazing how many names Jay goes by on this funny!

RJ King 6 years, 9 months ago

James - you need to brush up on your "Know Your Posters" game. It's pretty obvious HH and Jay are not the same person. Their MO's are completely different. The common denominator is you.

Jay Scott 6 years, 9 months ago

What's funny is that despite how obvious that is and how absurd James' comment, it got 3 "likes"..., And James rants about others using multiple ID's...

James Smith 6 years, 9 months ago

That should be a clue to RJ which could be another Jay. Psycho Jay has so many. The likes should be hints that many are tired of you petty games.

Jay Scott 6 years, 9 months ago

It's always awesome to have James demonstrate the intellectual capacity and emotional stability of a Chicken Little.

James Smith 6 years, 9 months ago

At least I am not wiping BS's Azz for him like you psycho Jay!!

James Smith 6 years, 9 months ago

So predictable response as well...Thanks! I believe that you have used this tactic over 25 times now.

Jay Scott 6 years, 9 months ago

Nat a "tactic". I am truly glad to see someone embody the kind of intellectual and emotional trainwreck it takes to be a Chicken Little. I hope you keep posting the kind of stuff you do. It goes a long way to illustrating how someone who wants Bill Self fired must have a screw loose. Thanks again.

James Smith 6 years, 9 months ago

Glad you are happy with out great success every Tournament. You know what you are a "SETTLER"!! Enjoy.

Barry Weiss 6 years, 9 months ago

I like the way we have looked on defense two games in a row. The full court press has really picked up our intensity. Great job Coach Self and Jayhawks!

Jared Reeves 6 years, 9 months ago

I also like how Self has used the press to start games, and rev up the players. Seems like it has worked well so far.

RJ King 6 years, 9 months ago

Mason and Ellis have nearly twice the free-throw attempts as the next group (Selden, Graham and Lucas). Whether is H-O-R-S-E or grind-it-out, all of our guys need to (if they can't pass out of a double-team) just go up strong (and not put the ball on the floor down low).

Yes, Frank and Wayne sometimes drive when they should pass or back out. But I would guess for each of those mistakes, there were other instances where they drew a foul. We need to be aggressive and use it to our advantage.

Besides getting to the bonus quicker, an opposing big on the bench or backing off opens up our offense. Does our team underestimate the significance of opponent foul trouble?

I wonder how, or if, the scouting report addresses this. It's not likely a part of the game plan, but Mason appears to use the strategy during games. I'd love to see us play stronger down low (overall - not just talking about WVU) and draw more fouls.

Bryce Landon 6 years, 9 months ago

This is a MUST-WIN game. You don't think West Virginia is going to crap its pants at home against lowly Texas Christian, do you? If we want to stay in at least a tie for first place, we have to win this game!

Jay Scott 6 years, 9 months ago

The Big12 season doesn't actually end this weekend.

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 9 months ago

If we lose - the season is still far from over but it does take our fate - at least temporarily - out of our hands.

Solid odds on WVU and OU losing again but for me personally, I'd rather WE control our destiny.

Rae Bricil 6 years, 9 months ago

Bryce -Agreed. If KU loses this game there is a high probability that they end up with 5 losses for the B12. That combined with the fact that OU (and possibly WVU) would probably end up with 4 losses . Lots of games left and I am sure it will be an interesting finish.

Jay Scott 6 years, 9 months ago

What is this based on? KU, OU and WVU all play 4 of the 6 top teams. You feel confident that Both OU and WVU will win out? Vegas would LOVE to hear from you.

Rae Bricil 6 years, 9 months ago

I don't feel confident either will win out. That is why i said 4 losses instead of 3. Do a little research before you criticize and make juvenile comments like "Vegas would LOVE to hear from you" and why the need to capitalize LOVE? Are you screaming it as if it is some form of humor or wit?

If OU beats KU their two toughest games left are at WVU and at Texas. I don't think they will lose both of those but if they do. They would have 5Ls

As for WVU. If they were to beat OU then their next toughest two games would be at Texas and at home vs ISU. I doubt they lose both of those so they would end up with 4 losses.

These were just predictions based on record. You don't have to take everyone's comment so personally especially since mine was addressed to another person.

Jay Scott 6 years, 9 months ago

You're glossing over a date with Baylor for both teams.

Your crystal ball prediction assumes that WVU an OU would lose one, but Kansas couldn't win out?

How ever you slice it, it's foolish to predict with any certainty how 4 or 5..or 6 teams will fare in the 7 that each has remaining.

Vegas makes it's billions on people that believe they can predict with such accuracy...... I didn't take it personally. I pointed out that it was stupid. I was more diplomatic the first time.

Rae Bricil 6 years, 9 months ago

Foolish to make predictions? This is what blogs are for genius--to discuss likelihoods and possibilities--I am not talking about the future in absolutes.

I said it was more unlikely that KU doesn't win out bc of their previous road record. Their stellar performances at WVU, OSU and ISU ( I know you like to point out they played great the first half but i cant remember the last time i saw the game called at half time) don't offer the best of hope and out of the 3 top teams KU's road is the toughest. Add on to it they haven't won in KSU the last two years there is an added degree of difficulty.

So no i am not saying they wont win out, just highly unlikely (hope i am wrong), and that this loss would be a bigger set back in the race than a loss to any other remaining opponent.

Jay Scott 6 years, 9 months ago

I'm sorry for getting you so riled up. Your predictions made no sense. I should have just expected that and ignored the comment.

Steve Macy 6 years, 9 months ago

I have read this site for a while, the only thing I can figure out is that Coach Self is an idiot, or you are kissing up. Then if you do critique him fairly, you are a chicken little. Is that about right?

I have been around for quite a long time, I graduated ahead of DV, even at Heights. Having said that, Coach Self is loathe to play bigs until they can handle the position, defense and offense. The exceptions such as Embiid are few and far between. The game against WV, the freshmen were being pushed around and backed down into the lane. It made sense to give Lucas a chance, the game against OU might be different.

The love affair that some have with Hunter is curious, an Arkansas cast off? Out of control often, although a great off the ball defender.

Joe never hit in game 57, all streaks end, is this the year? I don't know, but it has been fun and there is always next year, maybe start a new streak.

Jay Scott 6 years, 9 months ago

Fair critique alone won't qualify one as a Chicken Little. Dishonesty and/or ignorance and persistence are also required.

Remember, the sky was never actually falling.

Stephen Koontz 6 years, 9 months ago

Better get Greene in this one. Also, throw it to him once in a while.

Stephen Koontz 6 years, 9 months ago

Graham Min 32.2, PPG 10.7, APG 3.8, FG% .446, FT% .706, 3P% .426

Greene Min 13.5, PPG 6.7, APG 0.8, FG% .600, FT% .833, 3P% .558

oh and RPG Graham 3.0 Greene 2,2

Jay Scott 6 years, 9 months ago

They don't play the same position. Why not throw Lucas in for comparison too?

Stephen Koontz 6 years, 9 months ago

You are right they don't play the same position. We don't need two point guards on the floor at the same time with so so offensive skills and definitely so so defensive skills. Both point guards get blown by off the dribble. Watch Graham standing around and hopping around. As far as Lucas, I'm glad you asked. With good defensive skills and rebounding skills from him we need a shooter on the floor besides Ellis. Of course some of those rebounds come easy when Ellis is double and triple teamed.

Micky Baker 6 years, 9 months ago

So you don't get it. If Greene is the 2, his turnover rate would increase,his rebound rate would decrease, and his steal rate wouldn't improve.

Stephen Koontz 6 years, 9 months ago

You dont get it. Missing the whole point. A number 2 is not a point guard. And that is what we have with Mason and Graham. Need a point guard, two wings, and two post players. We don't need two players in the point position driving and throwing up shots that don't go down and with little fouls called. Let's go out and get that Big 12 Championship again and bow out early in the tourney. What we are playing won't get far in the tournament. Maybe it will at AFH and maybe the Big 12.

Benz Junque 6 years, 9 months ago

Have you not watched GREENE play defense?!? He's worse than Graham by a mile.

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 9 months ago

Yeah...having two point guards on the floor at the same time is clearly not working.

Kurt Eskilson 6 years, 9 months ago

And then there's defense to consider as well.

Stephen Koontz 6 years, 9 months ago

both point guard defensive skills are mid major at best

Michael Lorraine 6 years, 9 months ago

I just hope we don't mail it in on Saturday. A loss is one thing but a non-competitive loss that resembles our earlier road woes would be a real setback.

Benz Junque 6 years, 9 months ago

I just want to see KU compete hard from beginning to end. Win or lose, lay it all out there and make it look like this is a win you really wanted to get. Hopefully a tough game against a team KU had to battle at all times in West Virginia was the perfect warm up for this game @OU.

Mike Crosbie 6 years, 9 months ago

Last year I thought 4 road losses would win the conference... Yet we lost 5 on the road and still won. Someone said it ain't over till its over...lots of games to go...

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