Sunday, January 17, 2016

‘Svi’ relished visit from parents

Kansas guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (10) floats in for a bucket over TCU forward Karviar Shepherd (32) and guard Michael Williams (2) during the second half, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (10) floats in for a bucket over TCU forward Karviar Shepherd (32) and guard Michael Williams (2) during the second half, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Kansas University sophomore guard Svi Mykhailiuk wasn’t able to return to his birthplace of Cherkasy, Ukraine, to see loved ones during the Jayhawks’ short three-day holiday break in late December.

So home came to him recently, in the form of his mom, Inna, and dad, Iurri, who were in town for KU’s victories over UC Irvine, Baylor and Oklahoma.

“They stayed three home games, two weeks. It was pretty cool. I hadn’t seen them in a long time. I was really happy,” Mykhailiuk said after scoring seven points with two assists, two rebounds, two turnovers and a steal in Saturday’s 70-63 home victory over TCU in Allen Fieldhouse.

“We had a really good time. They don’t know the language that well. I think they are getting better. They’ve been here one time (before), so it’s not that hard for them,” Mykhailiuk added.

KU coach Bill Self enjoyed his meetings with the Mykhailiuks — sometimes with, sometimes without interpreters.

“Iurri speaks very broken English, and mom speaks no English, basically. When I saw them one day, they walked up, and it was like, ‘Congratulations,’ or whatever they said. It was in the middle of the day. I hadn’t done anything. I was walking down the hallway,” he added laughing.

“We saw them walking downtown twice. They talked about how great the weather was, balmy. It was 28. Iurri said it was minus-20 in Ukraine.

“I know it was great for Svi to see them. He’s an 18-year-old kid. He’s still the youngest on our team. Think about not getting to see your parents much. Of course, with technology now we can talk to ’em every day. It was good to have them here.

“They love it,” Self added of mom and dad watching Svi play ball. “That was Svi’s life over there. He trained all the time. They loved ball.”

The 6-foot-8 Mykhailiuk, who averages 6.2 ppg for the Jayhawks (15-2, 4-1), had a highlight-reel play in Saturday’s game. He raced coast to coast to complete a dazzling layup that gave the Jayhawks a 69-52 lead at 2:24.

“I was driving the ball. I saw the player turn and reach. I did a spin and laid it in,” Mykhailiuk said. “It was a pretty fun game. We always have fun when we’re playing. But the last two games (a win over TCU and a loss at West Virginia) have not been real good. We need to regroup, try harder in practice and games.”

TCU dominated the final two minutes, actually slicing that gap from 17 to the final margin of seven.

“We didn’t play very well on defense at all,” Mykhailiuk said of the last two games. “We need to work harder in practice, focus in on our jobs, help our teammates, have great effort and energy and come up to the next game at Oklahoma State (6 p.m. Tuesday in Stillwater) and try to win.

“I think the key is defense every game — defense, rebound and run the floor. If we play defense, we’ll have more breaks, easy possessions, more layups,” he added.

Self has not been pleased with the energy of late.

“We talked a lot about that, not from a punishment standpoint, but what was wrong at West Virginia from an energy level,” Self said. “They could have won the game, and we could have played very well. We didn’t give it a good chance because I thought our energy level was so low.

“I thought today was very similar (vs. TCU). We didn’t give anything for the crowd to get excited about, for the most part. It hurts when you basically miss six straight free throws — front ends and two-shot fouls. You have a chance to get some separation and have some things going. We kind of keep the other team in it. TCU didn’t quit. They didn’t go away. We had a chance to crack the game open. We never could get it done.”

He had more to say about lack of energy.

“I don’t think our guys played with a lack of effort. Our guys played with lack of energy,” Self said. “When you play with a lack of energy, sometimes you look slow. Energy is contagious. When you play with energy, you are always half a step quicker. You are always explosive. You are lighter on your feet. A lot of guys try real hard, but if you don’t have that bounce and that energy, you never look quite as quick as you do if you turn it up from an energy standpoint, and enthusiasm is a big part of that.”


Chris Shaw 6 years, 4 months ago

I love it! The weather was nice at a balmy 28 degrees. Coming from -20 degree weather it's all a matter of perspective.

Bryce Landon 6 years, 4 months ago

Self can coach execution, but no coach - not Self, Izzo, Krzyzewski - can coach energy.

Gotta bring energy to Stillwater. We've been upset down there many times in the Self era. They're no good this year at 9-8, but with KU coming to town, they'll definitely aim for that signature win against us.

Kent Richardson 6 years, 4 months ago

They gave great effort in bedlam just because and isn't Coach and his spousal unit being alums always a factor?

Michael Lorraine 6 years, 4 months ago

The WVU game supports your theory but I think energy or whatever you want to call can be coached.

RJ King 6 years, 4 months ago

Love him or hate him, but Harbaugh with the 49-ers is a good example.

Kent Richardson 6 years, 4 months ago

It's 9 degrees in the Ozarks this morning. Lol

From what Svi is saying I think he has perspective. It's all about "we," He is so matter of fact I can see him becoming the Sveet Assassin with no tense up screaming after laying a kill shot on them but just moving the sight over to the next victim and .... Gee sir, I wanted to fight but they kept going to sleep. Shrug.

By they way, I do not advocate violence and that makes me a hypocrite, this is just for fun. :),

Mike Greer 6 years, 4 months ago

They need to be energized for the OSU game, the pokes gave OU a close game regardless of the 9 & 8 overall record. When your the conference champs year after year, you get to ware a jersey with a bulls eye on the back, you are everyone's season saving game if they can pull off the win.

Svi, Bragg, and Diallo all had a good showing vs TCU, they need to bring that "A" game to Stillwater Tuesday. Unfortunately, other than Ellis (and he was off against TCU), the 5 starters haven't been shooting very well since the Oklahoma triple OT win. I was exhausted just watching that game, maybe that's the lack of energy.

Harlan Hobbs 6 years, 4 months ago

You are absolutely right Bryce. Energy and effort come from within. We simply must have it in Stillwater, because OU has already won there, and WVU probably will as well. If we don't "hold serve" so to speak, we will have a hard time making it up.

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