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Archive for Saturday, November 6, 2004

Self not discouraged by poor shooting at scrimmage

November 6, 2004

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Kansas University's cold-shooting men's basketball team hit just three of 22 three-point shots during Friday's scrimmage at Allen Fieldhouse.

"We shot it miserably," KU coach Bill Self said.

That's OK, because earlier in the week his Jayhawks converted 22 of 40 threes in a similar intrasquad game, which consisted of three 10-minute sessions.

"We'd settle for somewhere in the middle," Self quipped of three-point marksmanship in KU games, which begin at 7 p.m. Sunday in a home exhibition against Emporia State. "We just didn't shoot it well. Our defense was actually better today than the other scrimmage."

Self and 50 or so early arrivals for today's Kansas coaches clinic watched with interest Friday as the senior-laden KU Blue Team scored 14 unanswered points in the final three minutes to shake the White Team, 47-36.

Wayne Simien scored eight of his 16 points in the burst, while C.J. Giles had four points, including a hard slam off a pinpoint pass from fellow freshman Darnell Jackson.

Other members of the Blues included Aaron Miles, who led a dizzying fast break during the 14-0 run, plus Michael Lee, Keith Langford and J.R. Giddens.

The White Team, which led 36-33 with just three minutes to play, consisted of Christian Moody, Sasha Kaun, Nick Bahe, Russell Robinson, Alex Galindo, Jeff Hawkins and Matt Kleinmann.

"I think that this team will always be a pretty good spurt team this year," Self said. "You can just be having an average day, which is what happened, then have a 10-0 spurt or something like that.

"I think that's the sign of a good team, to not play great and still put together three to four good minutes. That could be the difference in winning and losing."

Langford, who hit one three and had six points slashing to the goal, was happy the Blue team went on its late run.

"I remember being a freshman, me, Aaron, Wayne and Michael were all on the second team," Langford said. "We'd come out with that spark because we were all excited we were together. We wanted to prove ourselves, but obviously there comes the experience.

"The older guys may not play as well, but have the experience to know when it's time -- make sure we get the box outs, smart things the younger guys might not pick up on immediately."

The Jayhawks hope to win this season on nights the shots aren't dropping.

"You are going to have days like that," Langford said. "As long as we continue to take shots that are within the offense, under control, within the flow of the game."

Self cited the spirited play of Langford, Russell Robinson, who had a three pointer and two driving layups, and Sasha Kaun, who hit the boards hard and had eight points in 20 minutes. The teams mixed and matched bodies for the final 10-minutes. "We practiced an hour before we started today," Self said, noting the team was a bit tired after another rugged week of practice.

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Clinic numbers: Self said about 350 high school, small college and juco coaches would attend the clinic. Last year's clinic drew more than 500 coaches.

"Two reasons," Self said of the number decline. "Last year was our first year and it was the Nebraska football game. We got a ton of coaches from Nebraska to come down because they get a football ticket with admission. That might have something to do with it," he added with a grin.

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Niang questionable: Junior Moulaye Niang is questionable Sunday because of a high ankle sprain. Stephen Vinson and Jeremy Case, who have groin pulls, will not play. Matt Kleinmann (red-shirt) also will not play.

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Simien, Langford on list: KU's Langford and Simien are two of 50 candidates for the Naismith Trophy, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Friday. Oklahoma State's Joey Graham and John Lucas and Oklahoma's Kevin Bookout were the other Big 12 Conference players on the top 50 list.

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Full Court agreement reached: ESPN and the Big 12 have reached an agreement that will allow non-network telecasts of games to air on pay services like ESPN's Full Court. It's expected all of KU's games, except for the exhibitions, now will be televised this season for out-of-state and area fans. The exhibitions are televised locally on the Jayhawk network.

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Hornets lose Friday: Emporia State fell to Gonzaga, 114-86, on Friday in Spokane, Wash. Jay Miller had 17 for the Hornets.

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