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Archive for Saturday, March 10, 2012

If foe looks good, Kansas doesn’t

March 10, 2012

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Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self

Kansas coach Bill Self talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 81-72 loss to Baylor on March 9, 2012.

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU players Tyshawn Taylor and Jeff Withey

KU players Tyshawn Taylor and Jeff Withey talk to reporters following the Jayhawks' 81-72 loss to Baylor on March 9, 2012.

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

BU's Scott Drew, Perry Jones III, Quincy Acy and Pierre Jackson

Baylor coach Scott Drew and players Perry Jones III, Quincy Acy and Pierre Jackson talk to reporters following the Bears' 81-72 victory over Kansas on March 9, 2012.

KU vs. Baylor

Box score

Nothing about the way the teams looked sharing the Sprint Center court made it seem as if the guys who lost were the ones who won the conference and the guys who won were seeded fourth after finishing four games out of first place during an 18-game schedule.

Baylor, with a deeper bench and superior deep shooters, took it to Kansas, 81-72, in front of a pro-KU crowd Friday night in Sprint Center to advance to today’s title game against Missouri.

The question after Friday’s Baylor game became not, “How did that happen?” rather, “How did Kansas finish four games ahead of Baylor playing the same schedule?” And: “How did the Bears lose twice to KU by a combined margin of 32 points?”

And that’s how it will go for Kansas in March if it shows up in a big building and brings with it an approach that screams, “We’ll do what we do. You do what you do. We’ll count ’em up at the end and see who’s better.”

Several teams in the country bring more talented players onto the practice floor on a daily basis than Kansas. Not many compete as consistently hard as the Jayhawks. Take away that advantage, and KU’s not one of the first teams that comes to mind when talking about threats to win the national championship.

“If we can’t make other teams play bad, then we’re not going to advance very far in the NCAA Tournament,” ninth-year Kansas coach Bill Self said after his team came up flatter than Jack “Smack” Harry’s buzz cut. “And we certainly didn’t make Baylor play poorly at all.”

Not this time. In Lawrence and Waco, Kansas kept big man Perry Jones III from getting near the hoop and barely allowed shooter Brady Heslip to catch the ball, much less shoot it. In those blowouts, Kansas played to the scouting report prepared by coaches, intimidated Baylor with physical play and kept the Bears in retreat mode.

Baylor coach Scott Drew, primarily a zone man since using a 2-3 defense out of the blue in knocking Kansas out of the Big 12 tournament three years ago, had a surprise in store again for Kansas and used a man-to-man defense for the entire game.

That didn’t explain why Kansas left its identity in the locker room for this one. It didn’t explain why Kansas defenders didn’t make it difficult for the Bears to get good shots.

“The thing that was most disappointing to me, I thought we played a style that is just good enough to get your butt beat,” Self said. “Average energy. Let them pass it wherever they want to. Never dictate a tempo defensively. Crappy traps on the post. Couldn’t remember scouting report.”

The scouting report on Heslip is not a complicated one. He’s not as quick as most Big 12 guards, not as strong, not as versatile. He’s a long-range shooter. Deny him from catching the ball, and don’t leave him alone to help elsewhere.

In the first two KU-Baylor games, Elijah Johnson was on him much of the time. In two games, Heslip was able to get off four three-pointers and made one. On Friday, he made four of six with Travis Releford on him most of the time. Kansas had battled back from a 14-point deficit to take a two-point lead when Heslip’s three-pointer with 9:07 put Baylor up, 59-58.

The Bears never trailed again, and it was two more daggers from Heslip, with 2:06 and 1:18, that cut the deepest. After one of them, on which Releford left him to help out, team leader Tyshawn Taylor, who didn’t have any trouble remembering the scouting report, gave Releford an earful.

“The whole deal on Heslip is the most we’re ever going to leave him is to bluff at the ball and get back to him,” Self said. “We made two critical mistakes. Critical. But you can’t just put it on Travis, because maybe if we got through the back screen — I’ve got to watch the tape — maybe if we got through the back screen quicker on the back-screen/fade-screen play they ran, maybe we could have released and got to the shooter quicker. I don’t know. I’ll have to watch the tape. But that definitely went against the scouting report.”

What did Baylor do to get him so open?

“I guess ran back screens and had us help a little bit and that gave him space,” Releford said. “We gave him space we shouldn’t have given him.”

Self has made a nice living on getting quick players to play rugged defense. He knows there is no secret to what makes this team click and what makes it vulnerable.

“We gotta guard,” Self said. “We don’t guard. Let’s just call it like it is. We don’t guard. This has to be a team that makes other people play poorly.”

Comments

Steve Miller 2 years, 6 months ago

Not many compete as consistently hard as the Jayhawks. I would have to disagree with that statement, this is their problem, consistency.. You never know who's gonna show up some of the time, most of the time you do, but it's those other times that let you down !! Thisi s a prevailing chacteristic of Billy boy, it's proven time and time again, choke at any given moment.. and usually when it counts.

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theotherphogg 2 years, 6 months ago

Give me a break, Dude. Seems to me the prevailing characteristic since Bill arrived is to win the league every year, win the tournament most years, then make a push in The Big Dance. I guess which one of those counts the most is a matter of opinion. Last I checked, yesterday's loss doesn't mean a thing.....

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vegieman 2 years, 6 months ago

That's true dudedog 12. Mr. T Rob did not show up to play, he showed up to prove to the whole world he is the best b-ball player that has ever and will be in the history of the game. Those Bears plucked his tail feathers and sent him to the bench pouting while wearing the rest of the team to a frazzle. When Mr. Bigshot came back to play, he was the only one refreshed after his long 15-minute nap from fantasy land.

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tobe789 2 years, 6 months ago

I see signs of the Morris Twins in Mr. T-ROB. Hopefully he gets his sh#t together before they get to the tournament.

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Steve Jacob 2 years, 6 months ago

Sky is not falling, Baylor is a heck of a team that, KU will not face a better team until the elite 8 game (if they get there). But guarding the three is a problem, and KU's three point shooting outside of Allen Fieldhouse is a concern.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 6 months ago

" Kansas had battled back from a 14-point deficit to take a two-point lead when Heslip’s three-pointer with 9:07 put Baylor up, 59-58."

Just previous to that shot, a Baylor player (Jones?) traveled so obviously I couldn't believe it wasn't called. Might not have made a difference the in final outcome, but it could also have been a turning point that went the other direction.

Regardless, teams that depend on 3-pointers too heavily will find it hard to win six in a row in the tournament.

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Armen Kurdian 2 years, 6 months ago

Baylor beat us on 3-point shots...what were we, 2 of 12? KU playing its strong inside game is unbeatable if the other team can't make three-pointers. But depth could beat us too. It will be very hard to get into the Final Four, but I don't see us getting beaten by a crappy team this year. We'll get to the sweet 16, everything after that would be anyone's guess.

If just either Elijah or Connor in every game were able to knock down threes consistently, we'll go deep.

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bballwizard 2 years, 6 months ago

He is right, we don't have enough talent to win it all or get to the final four. We can but Johnson and Tehan (Mr I cant hit a three away from Allen field house) have to start playing in the big games consistently. Those guys do not play consistently at all. so hopefully they will bring in the NCAAs

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jjinks 2 years, 6 months ago

It seems whenever they have a blowout game in any tournament, look out next game, no energy. It should be the opposite. I just can't understand it.

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jumpin_catfish 2 years, 6 months ago

Bench depth will be Kansas' eventual downfall this season.

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Jayhawk1958 2 years, 6 months ago

Duh. We knew that coming into the season. Regardless, they have already overachieved so anything else is gravy.

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SnakeFist 2 years, 6 months ago

This is a good lesson. KU had been relying too much on the Tebow strategy, i.e., play poorly and get behind early and then pray you can make up a big deficit in the final minutes. It works for awhile if you're lucky, but eventually statistics catch up with you.

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vegieman 2 years, 6 months ago

I have no doubt KU could have won this game, one problem. (Attitude) Mr. T. Robinson came out with his hyper inflated attitude, going to show the world he is the best b-ball player ever in the history of the game. The Bears simply plucked the tail feathers out of that little Hawk and sent him to the bench licking his wounds. After his halftime attitude adjustment he started playing humble ball with the team, by that time the team was worn to a frazzle and the Bears prevailed. I hope Mr. Rob can learn a lesson while eating his humble pie and letting his team and fans down. "Pride goes before the fall".

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tailg8prty 2 years, 6 months ago

Judging by your name, you haven't had your limit of the Jayhawks. Why else would you be commenting on them?

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Jayhawk1958 2 years, 6 months ago

The most critical moment was during our run Teahan missed that 3. Makes that and I think we roll.

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tailg8prty 2 years, 6 months ago

We were outplayed and out talented last night. I don't want to gripe too much because if you would've said that we would be in contention for a #1 seed at the beginning of the season, I would've said you were crazy. The obvious is that if Trob or TT have just a so so game then we are doomed. There just isn't any offensive consistency, from the other players, to overcome so so nights by those guys. Throw in poor outside shooting and we don't have a prayer. I can't believe they shot as well as they did the day before. I should've known we would come crashing back down last night. They made two 3's and the one was an ugly, way off the mark, banker by TT. I still expect us to make it out of next weekend but after that its just gravy. I will try and not be disappointed but that won't happen. These guys did an amazing job winning the conference and, for me, making it to the second weekend or further would be icing.

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Bradley Sitz 2 years, 6 months ago

This season, Missouri's four guards, English, Denmon, Dixon and P Pressey have made 380 of 465 FTs (.817%). KU's guards (Taylor,Johnson, Releford and Teahan) have made 230 of 330 (.697%). That is 150 points! IN 1022 minutes Johnson has shot only 37 FT (made 27 .739%) and Teahan has shot just 29 (made 25 -.862%). The only guard showing any motivation to drive to the basket is Taylor. He has gotten to the line more than any of the eight players 177 FTs. the problem is he only made 122 (.689%). Teahan and Johnson just standing alround on the perimeter is killing the offense. If KU is not fast breaking, the half court offense stagnates. The last few games Withey seems passive and lost. And, Robinson seems to have become a very selfish player. The ball no longer comes back out. Some senior laden mid-major is going to take this team apart, and it will be ugly!

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Gregory Newman 2 years, 6 months ago

great great great assessment i thought that i was the only one? The problem is those two guard assistant coaches. How can we see it and they don't make the application? Danny is the only one of the assistants that is really helping BS.

Now for Robinson the ball is not coming back out because thats by design from from BS asking him to be more aggressive. If the guards would move to the open area on the floor going toward him instead of away after they make the pass thats open uncontested jumpers or a quick lob back

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JustNoticed 2 years, 6 months ago

I apologize to the Jayhawk Nation. It's all my fault. As soon as I start noticing the basketball team, which only happens in March, they soon lose. I try to stay away but the love and excitement just oozes into me and I become a fan during March's fair weather. Then boom, the dagger is thrust into my avian pretense. Rock Chalk, Jayhawk, or whatever.

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jonas_opines 2 years, 6 months ago

No, sorry, it's my fault. I was flying back to KC from my new home in Wilmington, while wearing my KU hat. I got delayed in Atlanta for 2 hours and stopped to get something to eat. About two minutes after I sat down in the food court the guy at the counter came and found me, and handed me my wallet, which had slipped out of my pocket when I was paying. He said that he saw it was a Kansas ID, and knew it had to be mine because of my Jayhawk hat. I used up all the good Jayhawk Karma yesterday. I apologize.

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TexAzAg 2 years, 6 months ago

Lots of whining on this thread.

Maybe ku can convince the NCAA to move the next 6 games to the p-hog? Chickenhawks have as close to a home court advantage in KC, without playing on campus, and whine, whine, whine about shooting and officiating.

Bailer, as much as I hate to say anything positive about those gangsters played a better game and won TK said it well, Chickenhawks better play better/tougher, or, seeds won't matter.

Or, maybe ku draws a 'B' team and it's an early exit regardless of seed?

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Gregory Newman 2 years, 6 months ago

I keep saying the problem is EJ and REL not forcing shooters to play defense. They have to dribble drive for mid-range jumpers which takes away the freshness of the legs of shooters. They are just as fast as TT plus bigger and can jump to the moon.

That 3 point shooting crap is stupid for either leave that up to Teahan. If folks would look back to 88 and 08 champs its because of the dribble drive of the guards and knowing where and when to find that spot for uncontested 7-14 jumpers. Guard play is drive draw dish or shoot.

Right now offensively we are solidly playing with two players T-Rob and TT. To live on three pointers like EJ is doing is equivilent to playing horse. BS told EJ to get where he saw when he recruited him "the mid-range" If he does it? It could be lob city to T-Rob and Withey.

REL needs to bend his knees and punch on the gas with pull-up jumpers or blast in with dunks. The ability is there he plays scared. This team has the ability to be like that 90"s Las Vegas team that won it. BS once said EJ is soft but got *&%$#@

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FanFan 2 years, 6 months ago

Well, MU certainly proved that KC is a MU town, and that MU owns the Sprint Center. MU made it look too easy. Oh well.

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