Archive for Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Elijah Johnson regrets travel call

Anthony Davis (23) left, forces Elijah Johnson into a traveling foul late in the second-half of KU's 67-59 loss to Kentucky in the championship game Monday, April 2, 2012.

Anthony Davis (23) left, forces Elijah Johnson into a traveling foul late in the second-half of KU's 67-59 loss to Kentucky in the championship game Monday, April 2, 2012.

April 3, 2012


Elijah Johnson and Tyshawn Taylor post-game interviews

Elijah Johnson and Tyshawn Taylor talk about KU's loss to Kentucky and the KU team they love. Enlarge video

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Kentucky coach John Calipari and players

Kentucky coach John Calipari and players Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Doron Lamb, Anthony Davis, Terrence Jones and Darius Miller talk to reporters following the Wildcats' 67-59 victory over Kansas on April 2, 2012, in the national championship game in New Orleans.

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Bill Self, Tyshawn Taylor and Thomas Robinson

Kansas coach Bill Self, guard Tyshawn Taylor and forward Thomas Robinson talk to reporters following the Jayhawks' 67-59 loss to Kentucky on April 2, 2012, in the national championship game in New Orleans.

KU vs. Kentucky

Box score

— Elijah Johnson’s biggest regret was the shot he made.

With a white towel draped around his shoulders and tears in his eyes, the Kansas University junior guard shook his head when describing the three-pointer he put up with KU down six and 23 seconds left.

The one that didn’t count after he was whistled for a travel.

“I actually made that shot, too,” Johnson said after KU’s 67-59 loss to Kentucky in the national title game. “That was big. That was going to be the big shot, man.”

Instead of cutting the lead to three, Johnson watched later as a pair of Doron Lamb free throws put the game away with 17 seconds left.

Johnson’s three was a play that he said he wouldn’t take back.

When he received the pass, he started to go up for a three-pointer, only to see Kentucky’s 6-foot-10 Anthony Davis rushing at him.

As Johnson started to leave the ground, he tried to put the ball down to dribble it.

After bouncing it, he stepped back and swished the three, only to be interrupted by a whistle.

“I personally think it hurts so bad when you think a call like that isn’t the right call, or something small like that ... I definitely think that the ref, he had to make a decision,” Johnson said. “If he believed that I traveled, then it’s his ballgame. But just to be in that situation, I felt like I reacted to it perfectly. And to come up short, that just hurts.”

Johnson was asked about the play again later by another reporter.

“I want to see that play so bad, but the referee did a good job,” Johnson said. “No disrespect to the referee. He had to make a call, and he made the one he thought was best. I just didn’t feel like it was a travel.

“But I don’t know. I was a part of the play. I didn’t get to watch it like you all did.”

When time ran out on KU, Johnson became emotional on the court.

“I felt like somebody stomped me in my chest,” Johnson said between sniffles. “I couldn’t breathe. It killed me, man. It killed me.”

Still, Johnson said he was proud of his teammates for battling back. KU trailed by 15 with just 5:44 to go before closing within five with 1:37 left.

“At the end of the game, I looked at Cal (Kentucky coach John Calipari), and he was sitting on the sideline, and he looked nice and comfortable,” Johnson said. “And I kind of smiled at him. And he smiled back at me, because I knew that was our time to make him as uncomfortable as he had been the whole game.”


Tyson Travis 6 years ago

Jesse~ Ref: the photo caption, traveling isn't a foul, it's a technical violation or turnover, much like palming or a backcourt violation. Fouls are tallied against players or coaches, Elijah could have done this all night until HCBS yanked him and talked it over. I will admit I learned something about basketball on this play, I thought it was only traveling if you shuffled or moved your feet while they were on the floor.

iamtiv 6 years ago

He definitely traveled. I said it out loud before the whistle even blew. I love my guys but that one was pretty clear. He would've practically had to have had the ball bounce on the court before he landed from his jump in order for it not to be a travel. Had he done that, he would've had another Wildcat in his grill before he could've cued it up again and he would've had to pass it off right then. It was a great defensive play, and Kentucky made them all night with ease. Too many lottery picks to beat.

rgh 6 years ago

No need to apologize for the travel. Heck the shot would have probably been blocked and the hustle and effort throughout the season trumps one turnover. It wasn't the end of the world and hope you come back and be a part of a championship next year.

Sparko 6 years ago

He did land before the dribble. I DVR'd it at the time and re-watched it. (Thanks CBS for blowing that too). It was a remarkable play--only EJ could jump high enough to make that even possible.

Sparko 6 years ago

OOps he dribbled before he landed and with back-spin. I am exhausted like all Jayhawk fans forced to watch such a late tip-off. . .

Andrew Reeves 6 years ago

It would be a violation either way. You can't just pass it to yourself if someone's going up to block your shot. Would that be a double dribble?

rgh 6 years ago

Since he did not bounce the ball yet, it was just a simple travel. Dispersant got it right that you cannot make a pass to yourself which is technically what happened. Rock Chalk Jayhawk and get ready for next year. We'll be great! Whithey will only get stronger and with Travis, Elijia, Young, Jamaari, Ben, Naadir, etc. coming back, we'll be just fine along with the new recruits. Remember we got put in a hole early in the season and made the championship game. We'll be set right off the bat next year.

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