Archive for Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Chalmers rebounds

Freshman learns from Arizona game

November 23, 2005


— Mario Chalmers did not take a leisurely dip in the ocean or stroll on the beach after his seven-turnover performance against Arizona on Monday at the Maui Invitational.

Kansas University's freshman point guard went to work at the team hotel, watching film while trying to learn from the bad experience, which proved costly in the Jayhawks' 12-point loss.

"I stayed in the hotel and replayed the game in my mind, what happened," said Chalmers.

He bounced back Tuesday, collecting 11 points and two assists against one turnover in 16 minutes in the Jayhawks' 65-64, second-round loss to Arkansas.

"I watched tape last night, how I lost my dribble. I felt the two crucial turnovers (down stretch) were my fault, the main reason we lost the game, and I had to learn from it."

Chalmers, who had six points against Arizona, had several highlight-film plays against Arkansas.

In the first half, he hit back-to-back threes, giving KU a 31-27 lead. In the second half, he hit an acrobatic driving layup and iced a three, erasing a 41-40 deficit.

"It does give me a lot of confidence," Chalmers said of the Arkansas game. "Big-time players can handle pressure."

KU coach Bill Self has been unhappy the way the Jayhawks have been handling defensive pressure. KU had 27 turnovers against Arizona and 16 versus Arkansas.

"We have too many unforced errors. It's an adventure handling the ball," Self said. "It seems like we gave 'em so many points by careless turnovers. Hopefully it's just youth. It's really frustrating.

"Regardless of age, you have to be able to take care of the ball, and that's something we don't do very well at all. We have too many careless plays, give them free points. If you turn it over and they have to take it out of bounds, they have to get the defense set. I guarantee you we lead this tournament in turnovers directly leading to baskets. That was a big factor today. We didn't make Arkansas go against our half-court defense like we should."

Regardless, Self can't bench his rookies.

"If we are going to play them," Self said, "they have got to grow up fast."

Brandon Rush, who had three turnovers in 33 minutes to go with his 20 points, has been baffled by all the bobbles.

"I am pretty surprised," the freshman said. "We worked on it at practice, a lot of dribbling drills, passing drills, 2-on-1 drills. We've got to get better at it."

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