Archive for Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Loud and clear: UK pulls away, makes statement

Kentucky guard Marquis Teague celebrates a dunk in front of Kansas players Tyshawn Taylor (10) Conner Teahan (2) and teammate Terrence Jones during the second half on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011 at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Kentucky guard Marquis Teague celebrates a dunk in front of Kansas players Tyshawn Taylor (10) Conner Teahan (2) and teammate Terrence Jones during the second half on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011 at Madison Square Garden in New York.

November 16, 2011

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Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self

Kansas coach Bill Self talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 75-65 loss to Kentucky on Nov. 15, 2011.

— The winningest college basketball program of all time looked quite a bit better than No. 2 ... at least on Tuesday night.

Kentucky’s roster full of future NBA millionaires used a 15-2 second-half run (that stretched to 24-7) to bust a halftime tie en route to a 75-65 victory over Kansas University in the nightcap of a Champions Classic doubleheader in Madison Square Garden.

The Wildcats led by as many as 17 points — 54-37 with 10 minutes left — before KU staged a late rally.

“They are so talented one through seven. I really think they’ll be amazing,” KU senior point guard Tyshawn Taylor said.

Playing close to his Hoboken, N.J., home, he scored a game-high 22 points off miserable 3-of-13 shooting. The 6-foot-3 senior, who had five of his shots blocked, did get fouled enough to account for 15 of 17 free-throw shooting.

Backcourt partner Elijah Johnson went 3-of-11 on a night the Jayhawks hit 33.9 percent of their shots to the Wildcats’ 51 percent.

“They are so tall, and they get out and go,” Taylor said. “We competed. We played well at times. We just didn’t take care of the ball (14 turnovers to UK’s 19). It sucks to lose, but it’s a learning experience. It’s not like our season is over.

“I feel like I just lost a championship, but really we’re just two games into the season. We’ll learn from this. Kentucky is young, but we are inexperienced, too.”

KU coach Bill Self thought his No. 12-rated Jayhawks (1-1) were in good position to spring an upset with the score knotted at 28 at halftime.

“I thought we’d win the game at halftime. Our players thought we’d win the game,” Self said, “then they punched us in the mouth. A tie game goes to nine. Playing from behind is not something you want to do against a team like that.”

UK used an 11-0 run to bust a 30-30 tie and grab a 41-30 advantage. The run expanded to 15-2 and 45-32. After the run reached 24-7, the game for all intents was over.

Guard Doron Lamb had 12 of his 17 points in the second half, while guard Marquis Teague had 11 the second 20 minutes. Kentucky hit six of nine threes the second half.

Forward Terrence Jones, Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd Gilchrist had 15, 14 and 12 points respectively.

“I’m not discouraged at all,” Self said. “We put ourselves in position to have a lead at halftime. We didn’t get it (and), we didn’t finish. …

“We tried hard, but we didn’t compete. We didn’t have focus, weren’t disciplined, got flustered, went and did our own thing.”

Of Taylor, Self said, “I thought Tyshawn competed hard. He was a competitive joker out there today. Our offense was so poor, we told ’em to spread it and drive it every time. It’s why he got to the free-throw line so much.”

Of junior Thomas Robinson, who had 12 rebounds and 11 points, Self said: “I didn’t think he handled it (pressure) well at all. It also was the first time he was the hunted instead of the hunter. He relied on doing things himself.”

Robinson said: “I didn’t listen to coach. I didn’t listen to the game plan. I didn’t get in the flow of the offense like I am supposed to. Kentucky has a lot of talent. They’re going to be a good team. It was our first time facing something like that. We will learn from it.”

KU will meet Georgetown at 11 p.m. Central time Monday in Maui.

In the crowd

Former KU players Mario Chalmers, Julian Wright, Cole Aldrich, Russell Robinson, Ryan Robertson and Kevin Pritchard attended, as did comedic actors Paul Rudd (wearing a KU hat) and Jason Sudeikis (sporting a “Rock Chalk Jayhawk” sweatshirt). Former KU AD Lew Perkins and current Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little also were in the Garden, as well as recruit Isaiah Lewis, a junior point guard from Christ the King High. KU has offered Lewis a scholarship. Director Spike Lee and coach Doc Rivers also attended.

This, that

KU junior newcomer Kevin Young played just two minutes. He’s not injured. It was coach’s decision. ... Junior Travis Releford had just four points with five turnovers in 28 minutes. ... Jeff Withey had seven points and six boards. Self said he was impressed with Withey’s game as well as the game of Justin Wesley (five rebounds, five points).

Comments

Armen Kurdian 3 years, 8 months ago

UK definitely had a better killer instinct out there, but I'm not upset about last night, I thought the team played pretty darn well considering their level of experience. Good on Taylor for continuing to attack the basket and draw those fouls. Davis killed us in the paint, that guy is just plain good. We held w/them for awhile, then they just took us out of our offense. I felt around the 12-13 minute mark we needed to hit a couple of threes to open up some space inside, but that didn't happen, and it may not have made much of a difference. This team will be challenged this year. No shame in losing to one of the best teams in the country.

drnater 3 years, 8 months ago

I said it before this game, but it really was a win-win situation. If we won, we knew we beat one of the best teams in the nation. If we lost we knew what we needed to work on. For this being the 2nd game of the season, I thought we did some things well, but also did some things very poorly. Nothing to worry about, its early in the season and we have these games to get better. One of the toughest non-con schedules in the nation, that may mean more losses than we've been spoiled into not having to see lately, but will be much needed. Anybody think Self might break out the football pads this year? lol

nergie 3 years, 8 months ago

Losing is never fun, however it is part of the game. This is going to be an interesting year. Early departures, recruting misses and a tough schedule are a perfect storm for double digit losses. Just hope they can win a couple of the marquee matchups for confidence and help with recruiting.

Last night, I was thinking that this year's team is similar to Carolina and Kentucky last year in that early on both teams struggled, but throughout the year they improved. Not saying young talent is on par with UNC or UK last year, but HCBS and his staff seem to get most out of their players.

Honestly, losing last night on a national stage stinks, but having to suffer through ESPN's gawd awful love fest for Coach K made me want to hurl. We get it, guy is a great coach, and 903 is an amazing accomplishment, but sheesh.

supersonicf111 3 years, 8 months ago

Gees, Jay Bilas the Duke homer was more annoying last night then Dickie V usually is!

I was hoping someone would shove a sock in his mouth!

Wonder if he felt slighted by Coach K since he didn't talk to him after Coach Knight???

CardHawkFan 3 years, 8 months ago

Accurately stated about the fact that their roster is full of NBA millionaires. What are the odds they aren't having to wait on those paychecks...just saying. Is there an over-under line somewhere about how long it will take before these wins are vacated, too? However, we just didn't play well, committed too many turnovers off silly passes. Our success isn't going to lie with Thomas Robinson's ability to take opponents off the dribble. We have got to give him space underneath, which means we need to figure out a way to put the ball in the hoop from away from the basket in order to spread the floor and give him some. Taylor played well and I expect he will continue to do so, but we have to find a way to get contributions on both ends of the floor from players not named Tyshawn or Thomas. Withey performed well, but has to be stronger with the basketball. Nergie, agreed on the Coach K lovefest. I was okay with Jay Bilas, Bob Knight & Co. fawning over him in game one (deservedly so), but for crying out loud, you would have thought Shulman and Vitale were calling a Kentucky-North Carolina game while Duke was waiting in the wings to play the winner. UNC wasn't even in the building and they received more air time than we did. Last I checked, KU was still No. 2 all-time on the wins list and I happen to think we have just as passionate of fans as Kentucky. KLZR has to find a way to get those games streamed on the radio so we don't have to listen to that dribble again. Oh well, you win some and you lose some. Slick Willy will our guys ready. RCJH!

Robert Rauktis 3 years, 8 months ago

Duke Vitale has always prostituted for the North Carolina schools and also Bobby Hurley's dad always gets fill time. He needs JoePa time the way he develops young men. This guy lives on about twenty cliches. You can count on them. He doesn't even need to be watching a current game.

femmefatale 3 years, 8 months ago

I would be forever happy if Kansas never had Vitale commentating again.

halj 3 years, 8 months ago

I think this is the worse game I have seen KU play in years. True we are young. We are also lucky that it wasn't a blowout. Kentucky, obviously, has plenty of talent, but other than blocking shots, thank god they didn't show too much of it. The first five minutes of the second half is supposed to be KU's time too exert maximum pressure. Instead, we looked lost. I guess we can attribute that to youth. I thought Jeff showed a big leap forward from last season. I can't say that I saw that from anyone else. Our guards are still trying to make the big play rather than playing controlled smart basketball. Maybe, they got caught up in the aura of MSG. Kentucky will probably be good if they learn to play as a team..too much me,me for me last night instead of us, us

franklin55 3 years, 8 months ago

Really, CardHawk? KU gets beat, and it's because the other team cheated? I expect better from Kansas fans. Maybe Self should have had a more experienced bunch of juniors and some eligible freshmen. Just saying. Anyway, it looks like KU won't be catching Kentucky any time soon- hope they can stay ahead of UNC.

CardHawkFan 3 years, 8 months ago

I was hoping that people would have caught the sarcastic nature of that portion of my comment, because I am fully aware (at least at this point) that none of that has taken place at UK and shouldn't need to with your tradition. That facts are that Calipari-led programs have been in hot water in the past (if you look at the official record, KU didn't beat anyone in the '08 title game because all of Memphis' games were vacated that year because of the use of ineligible players...same thing happened at UMass when he was there and led them to a Final Four run). But the man can recruit and the man can coach. Agreed on the juniors and freshman, but that's what happens... you break the rules, you shouldn't play and it should not matter how talented you are. Agreed also that it is unlikely that KU will catch Kentucky any time in the near future if at all as long as they sustain their tradition and I am okay with that because Kansas' tradition runs just as deep. Good luck the rest of the season. I am sure we will be seeing you around the block come March.

CardHawkFan 3 years, 8 months ago

I would also be remissed if I didn't mention that I think that Kentucky is a talented team, and that Kansas is working on it. That's why I love college basketball. Playing the games and letting the chips fall where they may!

hollywood4 3 years, 8 months ago

Hey guys as a UK fan I can tell you one thing without a doubt , after watching the game last night KU is in prime position to get a lot better and this early test was not a failure but an incomplete. They had us right where they wanted us in the first half, but costly mistakes and loss of focus cost them in the second half not to mention we caught fire and pure superior talent and depth took over. This is not a rebuilding year for KU and I fully expect them contend for the big 12 title. The upside for this team is very encouraging. Great program with a fanbase second to none.

fabian_zimbabwe 3 years, 8 months ago

Very kind words, sir...much appreciated. Unlike another UK poster on these boards (think "Dr."), your thoughtful comments are both astute and sincerely supportive. You have one helluva team in Lexington, and they clearly gave us a very good early-season test. Best of luck down the road, and maybe (big maybe on our part) we'll meet again come springtime. Cheers!

greenworld 3 years, 8 months ago

After watching the game I noticed a few things that stuck out to me. When we started to get behind and they went on their run. We were one and done on our shots and they owned us on the boards and thats with Withey and Robinson on the court. WOrd to the wise, next time you play a team with big players you we need more than those two guys to rebound. Other than that we looked I thought pretty good at times considering half our dudes out on the court never saw that much playing time or court last yr. One thing we will need from Johnson and Releford is better than 3-10 nights out of each of them or Teahan should be moved to the starting spot as he is the only one other than Tyshawn that was hitting his shots and looked like a pure shooter out there. Dont play people that are not going to go all out if somebody else is. We need shooters that can hit with a high average as we lost Reid and Morningstar that gave us that. The only other thing I remembered is 2-3 times we got tacked or hammered on layups and the refs didnt call anything but they sure called it tight on the Ku guys for some reason. Anyway we will get better over time and I expect probably 6-8 losses this year, if we do better than that than we certainly have overacheived.

Mandie Eutsler 3 years, 8 months ago

despite the rest of the SEC losing their games, unlike Big 12 teams...

Rich Noever 3 years, 8 months ago

:You cheat better than we do. The SEC's motto: If you ain't; cheatin' you ain't competin'. Go slavers!

jonas_opines 3 years, 8 months ago

Can I just take a moment to laugh at the username that you chose to create, on the Lawrence local paper website?

MIke Mallory 3 years, 8 months ago

Thomas, can you please attempt to contest a shot, even while trying to stay out of foul trouble. You do us no good watching your man score without even any effort at all. And can you please not take anymore jump shots off the dribble just to showcase your talents to NBA scouts.

Flap Doodle 3 years, 8 months ago

How soon until football season starts again?

firebird27 3 years, 8 months ago

We can laud the Jayhawk effort, but what I find incredibly irritating is that Calipari could care less that his players earn a college degree. What he is doing is not illegal, but I think unethical given the principles of collegiate athletics. However, the University of Kentucky is also to blame. UK knew what they were getting when hiring Calipari. He is totally indifferent to higher education. But unfortunately, he is not alone.

supersonicf111 3 years, 8 months ago

Unfortunately, coaches get paid to win ballgames, not graduate players.

Hopefully Bill at least stresses to the guys how important it is to finish their degrees, but it ultimately is the player’s responsibility to finish it!

Don Whiteley 3 years, 8 months ago

Make no mistake, the KU players are no different than Kentucky players or any other Div. 1 players. They don't give a tinker's dam about the college they play for, any more than they give other kinds of dams about their team. They are at KU for three purposes and none of them include an education: impress the NBA Scouts, join the one-and-done club, and become millionaires. That's why we continue to lose to little teams who still play with team spirit, like Bucknell, Bradley, and UNI. For my money, NCAA Div. 1 basketball has ceased to exist or function beyond the farm club they have become to the NBA. If you're looking for true college basketball in the 21st century, it's now found in Div. 2.

Rich Noever 3 years, 8 months ago

That is true. Don't forget the AAU, the pimps of college basketball. Hopefully the NCAA and the AAU will collapse under their own corruption

Robert Rauktis 3 years, 8 months ago

You forgot Butler. Definitely not the typical semi-pro club that the rest have become.

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