Archive for Friday, December 3, 2010

Jayhawks lucky to survive off night

December 3, 2010


Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self

Kansas coach Bill Self talks to reporters following KU's 77-76 victory over UCLA on Dec. 2, 2010.

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

UCLA coach Ben Howland questions last-second call against his team

UCLA coach Ben Howland questions the last-second call against his team following KU's 77-76 victory over UCLA on Dec. 2, 2010.


UCLA head basketball coach Ben Howland discussed the Bruins' 77-76 loss to Kansas Thursday, Dec. 2, 2010 at Allen Fieldhouse. Howland said a foul called at the end of the game was a "really really poor way to end a game on a call."

The “L” in the standings comes after the “W,” not before it. There is no “LW” to track lucky wins. Otherwise, Thursday night’s could have gone under that column for a Kansas University basketball team that stayed undefeated by the slimmest of margins, 77-76, against UCLA.

Kansas survived atypical bone-headed shot selection and a porous interior defense and was carried to the finish line by a whistle nobody would have pleaded for had it never sounded.

Asked if his team had just scored a lucky win, KU coach Bill Self said, “Oh yeah, they outplayed us. We were fortunate. I haven’t seen the play yet. Mario (Little) said he did get fouled at the end, but that was fortunate.”

Luck had nothing to do with Tyshawn Taylor playing a brilliant game, particularly late when he repeatedly took his man to the hoop to bring his team back from a deficit. But despite wild support from the Allen Fieldhouse crowd, this was a night the Jayhawks seemed off kilter, even from the free-throw line, where they made just 16 of 30.

UCLA came in with a wise game plan, pounding it in to behemoth freshman center Joshua Smith, who got both Morris twins into foul trouble and contributed his first double-double with 17 points and 13 rebounds, eight on the offensive glass.

After multiple blowout victories, Self bemoaned his post players’ failure to play defense before their men caught the ball. He knew that wasn’t going to cut it against more talented big men. The 305-pound Smith, who has lost 30 pounds and still could stand to drop that many more, knows how to throw his weight around and has soft hands but a strong will.

“I don’t know if there are a lot of guys like Josh, but if I was coaching against us, I would attack our bigs every possession,” Self said. “Everybody can see it. It doesn’t take a guy who studies a ton of tape to know after watching one game to just throw it to your big guys because our big guys don’t guard very well. We’ve got to get a lot better at that.”

Thomas Robinson remains raw defensively, and Marcus and Markieff Morris tend to foul too frequently after failing to deny entry passes. Josh Selby will help this team in a lot of areas, but he can’t make Robinson and the twins defend the post better.

Self’s voice will be heard loudly and clearly in practice because the three players whose defense the coach called out after the game are extremely eager to please, and they hate to lose.

Self was perplexed with his team’s play, particularly so when addressing the shot selection of Little, who came off the bench firing away early in the shot clock. The coach said he even was told by his assistant coaches that pregame warumps were lousy.

The homecourt advantage Kansas has playing in the Fieldhouse means the team doesn’t always have to be sharp to come out on top. Self didn’t struggle to identify the MVP for the Jayhawks in this attractively flawed game that pushed their homecourt winning streak to 64 games.

“The crowd won the game for us,” the coach said. “We certainly appreciate that.”

The crowd and a quick-trigger whistle with seven-tenths of a second remaining.


TopJayhawk 7 years, 5 months ago

The new AD is in town. Saw him at the game tonight. Kevin Pritchard is the new AD Yea. No coincidence here, I hope.

JimmyJoeBob 7 years, 5 months ago

He has lost his scoring ability bu Brady made some big steals at the end of the game.

Gregory Newman 7 years, 5 months ago

You made an excellent assessment for a woman I have to clap my hands. I understand The coach's assessment of the Bigs but he is killing his guards but not teaching the mid-range game. We have the fastest group of guards in the country but they are playing looking over their shoulder. He needs to take an account that there is coaching on the other side. Defenses are pushing the guards further from the basket to keep the ball from going inside because they know he doesn't like the dribble drive. Thats why you see those bad cross court passes or turnovers up top. He needs to quit micro-managing and let them play. Butler has the exact same plays as KU but they are allowed to play athletic. As you can see Reed is fast. Brady is fast he's just timid.

newmedia 7 years, 5 months ago

Probably don't get that call away from Lawrence. However, good win so let's just move on to the next one. This team like so many of the great ones in the past look like they are starting to believe they can't be beat. Someone will "hand them their hat's" by about 15 points one of these nights, maybe get their attention, and then they will go on to win about 20 or so in a row.

Rock On Hawks!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 5 months ago

You mean the one not called when they fouled Reid just prior to the foul against Little? (and that was clearly a good call.)

labmonkey 7 years, 5 months ago

Okay LJworld.... no more ads with sound. That is annoying.

amesn 7 years, 5 months ago

Actually Brady is one of our better perimeter defenders..but his time in the starting line-up could be ticking away..

Richard Payton 7 years, 5 months ago

I would have thrown a cup also! Some say that should have been a no call at the end of the game and went to overtime. Others I've heard say it was a foul and the official should call it everytime even when it affects outcome of games. I didn't see the foul but I'm one of a few people in Lawrence that prefers football over basketball.

Mark Thompson 7 years, 5 months ago

Regarding Morningstar, he's a big reason why KU won the game - quick hands, smart playing. It has taken me several years to come around and be in his corner, but starter-worthy or not, he's a solid player, especially in tight games.

My issue is this love-fest that so many have with Taylor. "Brilliant game"???? I saw a lack of defensive hustle (didn't try to save the ball going out of bounds), a stupid pass over the top to nobody, and luck that he wasn't called for a hack toward the end of the game. Yes, he makes driving layups through traffic, but honestly can someone explain to me why he seems to get a free pass?

gudpoynt 7 years, 5 months ago

Taylor did have 5 steals last night and 13 on the season. His assist to turnover ratio so far is about 2.4, which is better than I had expected. His decisions at the point and his defense need to mature a bit more, but he's come along way.

And I agree about Brady. It's his decisions with the ball and his defense that give him the starting position over Releford, Johnson, and Little. He's been kind of quiet behind the arc so far this season, but everybody knows he can contribute there if needed.

Tom Wilson 7 years, 5 months ago

KU was favored to win this game by 14 points. Ironically, KU missed 14 free throws (out of 30 attempts). If they would have made even half of those misses, the blown call at the end would have received "0" attention. At that rate, KU will not make the Sweet 16. When 2 good teams meet, the game is typically decided during the last 2 minutes of the the free throw line. 53% just won't cut it. Do the Jayhawks practice free throws or do they practice "one upmanship" showing off fancy jump shots? The inbound play (to Reed) with 18 seconds on the clock had no "plan B" (i.e., now that you have inbounded the ball, what do you do?). Reed's decision to throw the ball waist high across the paint was not a good one ...led to Honeycutt's 3-pointer. Sorry, but I have to blame coach Self for the poor (or lack of) plan on that play. Again, you are in the "red zone" (final 2 minutes) of a basketball game. This is where coaching skills are magnified. Not very impressive.

EarthaKitt 7 years, 5 months ago

But enough about sports -- that lead was QUITE A STRETCH Mr. Keegan. Technical foul on you.

notajayhawk 7 years, 5 months ago

Lucky? I don't know if that's the right word. I don't think it was a good call. But you have to be in position to BE lucky or it doesn't make a lot of difference. You have to give Little credit for this alertness and effort in going for the ball and getting the shot off after the strip. If it was luck, he made his own luck. Good players do that.

gudpoynt 7 years, 5 months ago

Exactly. Little deserves credit for 1) handling the would-be Morris turnover, 2) having the body control and clock awareness to withstand contact and get an off-balance shot off so quickly, and 3) putting his team in the lead on the 1st opportunity when the team as a whole was shooting abysmally from the stripe.

volunteer 7 years, 5 months ago

One of the twins was quoted a few days ago as saying it was nearly impossible to lose in the Fieldhouse. Coach might want to address that mindset.

windjammer 7 years, 5 months ago

Whats wrong with confidence like that?

acg 7 years, 5 months ago

How can you think Morningstar should be taken out of starting lineup? That kid is on fire. He's agile, quick and smart. It doesn't matter that he's a bit smaller. His play makes up for it. KU may have had an off night but they still won. I, personally, love games like that. Nail biters that are down to the wire. I love it when they trade the lead back and forth and you can see the guys playing with everything they got. When you find yourself standing in your living room, all tense, jumping up and down and yelling at the screen. It's more entertaining than when they beat some poor team by double the points. I always feel bad for the other team when that happens.

Brian Conrad 7 years, 5 months ago

we need smart players at end of close games. Brady AND Reed need to bring veteran decision making and poise to the team at the end . Twins are great but so many poor decisions 3 pointers with nobody around to rebound a miss. fouls, charges, poor shot clock play. show off your 3 pointers in blowouts , leave them to Reed on close games. after all this said ... you guys the best recruiting trip and duo in KU history.. even better than Aaron Miles & Lee and X & C J. Listen and learn from Self and it will pay big dividends

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