Archive for Friday, November 30, 2012

Beaver fever: Self searching for answers on D after close win over Oregon State

Kansas head coach Bill Self puts his head in his hands after a Jayhawk turnover turned into a bucket for Oregon State during the second half on Friday, Nov. 30, 2012 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri.

Kansas head coach Bill Self puts his head in his hands after a Jayhawk turnover turned into a bucket for Oregon State during the second half on Friday, Nov. 30, 2012 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri.

November 30, 2012


Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self talks after win over Oregon State

Kansas coach Bill Self talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 84-78 victory over Oregon State on Nov. 30, 2012.

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Travis Releford and Ben McLemore

Kansas guards Travis Releford and Ben McLemore talk to reporters following the Jayhawks' 84-78 victory over Oregon State on Nov. 30, 2012.

Box score

KU vs. OSU

— A few more points here and there and Oregon State basketball coach Craig Robinson would have received a congratulatory call from the White House late Friday night.

Unranked and unheralded Oregon State, which hasn’t beaten a Top 10 team on the road in 36 years, threw a scare into Kansas University’s No. 10-rated Jayhawks before falling, 84-78, before 18,789 quiet fans in Sprint Center.

The Beavers of the Pac-12, who are coached by President Barack Obama’s brother-in-law, shredded KU’s defense in cutting a 14-point deficit to zero the first half and a 13-point deficit to three with under a minute to play in the game.

“It all comes down to this. They guard the guy with the ball better than we guard their guy with the ball. We couldn’t guard No. 3 period,” KU coach Bill Self said of guard Ahmad Starks, who scored 25 points off 9-of-20 shooting, 7-of-13 from three.

“That’s something that obviously has to improve, or we’ll have to change how we play. We’ll have to start playing some zone or whatnot,” added Self.

Zone? Yes ... you read right. He said zone.

KU’s 10th-year coach, who is a disciple of man-to-man defense, was left to ponder putting his Jayhawks in a 2-3 zone after a game in which KU hit 60 percent of its shots, yet only won by six points.

“We didn’t guard the ball,” Self said. “They didn’t score off their actions. They scored off us not being able to guard the ball, which is pretty important. We can’t blame it on our offense. We got the ball where we wanted it to go, we just didn’t do any good at stopping them.”

Elijah Johnson, who has been battling a knee injury the past couple weeks, had nine assists, four turnovers and six points in 28 minutes.

“You saw tonight. He got whipped,” Self said. “I hate to say that. The point guard on their team gets 25. Ours gets six. That’s not all on him. Different guys were guarding him.

“That’s what’s frustrating. I don’t know where we go from there yet,” added Self, who tried Naadir Tharpe (no points, two turnovers, one assist, eight minutes), Rio Adams (two points, one assist, one turnover, four minutes) and walk-on Evan Manning (no stats in two minutes) at the backup point position.

“We’ll try to figure a way to put us in a situation where the other team doesn’t feel so comfortable right now. He (Johnson) is doing some nice things, but he is not making plays on either end. That is frustrating. We are used to having some guys back there that can make some plays.”

On Friday, KU, which received 15 points the first half from Ben McLemore (he finished with 21), was bailed out by senior Travis Releford, who scored 20 points, 16 the final half.

He had four points in a 9-0 run that upped a 48-44 lead to 57-44. Then, when that lead had been cut to 64-61 (with 9 minutes left), Releford converted a bucket and assist in an 8-0 surge that again opened the lead to 72-61.

“He didn’t do anything in the first half,” Self said of Releford, who finished with seven rebounds and five assists to go with his 20 points. “We were almost playing four against five. I got onto him about it the second half. He drove the ball hard. That’s the thing with Travis. If he drives it, something good will usually happen. He drove it in transition. He also drove it in halfcourt. We got a lot of easy baskets because he was aggressive. That was good to see.”

Releford, a Kansas City native who was MVP of the recent CBE Classic in Sprint Center, said Self indeed got him going.

“Coach challenged me at halftime,” Releford said. “(He challenged) all the guards saying how we hadn’t been attacking the paint, stuff we’d been working on the past week. I noticed that, so I figured I should probably put pressure on the defense to help the team. It opened up for me.”

KU, which had a 33-19 lead evaporate at 37-37 the first half and a 57-44 lead drop to 80-77, didn’t put this one away until McLemore cashed two free throws with :13.9 left, upping the Jayhawks’ 80-77 lead to 82-77.

KU held off the Beavers, whose last road win over a Top 10 team was against No. 6 Washington on Jan. 17, 1976.

“They could have come back and won that game,” Releford said. “We had the lead and we could have closed the game. It could have went either way.”

KU will next meet Colorado at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8 in Allen Fieldhouse.


mae 5 years, 4 months ago

Early on I thought Elijah was a team leader. Then Tharpe said he was. Rio never said so, but the guy seems like a bigger stronger Sherron.

deec 5 years, 4 months ago

Unfortunate wording in the headline...

jonas_opines 5 years, 4 months ago

Sometimes Beavers just don't like taking a true pounding.

drillsgt 5 years, 4 months ago

Elijah Johnson is the problem on both sides of the ball..maybe bench him for a game or a few games..he is trying to prove he's better than tyshawn ..and that's not great either..maybe free drinks at Brothers is the problem...

smithy 5 years, 4 months ago

Don't think Elijah is the real problem with this team because nobody is playing KU basketball on a regular, game in and game out basis. Our defense is absolutely horrible and we do not shoot the 3 like other teams do. Why is it that year after year we hear about the "shooters" Self has recruited only to be disappointed when they actually get on the court. Frankly, we are over rated and it is sometimes hard to watch us play. Where we go from here is a great question and Coach Self better come up with answers very quickly. I have one obvious observation.......we are missing Danny Manning as nobody is developing the big's like Danny did.

Clara Westphal 5 years, 4 months ago

KU is missing Danny Manning. Withey seems absolutely lost without a coach who can help him.

Why is KU playing so many games at the Sprint? That is not right. The team needs to play at Allen Fieldhouse.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 4 months ago

The first two were part of the CBE tournament (and the first two games of that tournament were in Lawrence) and the third game was the annual KC game.

jonas_opines 5 years, 4 months ago

"Withey seems absolutely lost without a coach who can help him."

You mean, other than the triple double? Second one in school history? Having more blocks per game than most teams?

Terry Sexton 5 years, 4 months ago

I dunno who you been watching, westcl, but it ain't Withey. He's the tall guy in the middle, looks like Luke Axtell with skills.

weeslicket 5 years, 4 months ago

really hard to watch the ku backcourt last night (exceptions were mclemore and releford). does coach have a rule that players off the bench (white, adams, tharp) should throw up shots the first time they touch the ball? also, can ku make an entry pass that's not an alley-oop to mclemore?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 4 months ago

The problem for this team is that last year's role players have to be the leaders, at least 4 freshmen need to be major contributors, and only one of them seems up to the task right now. I expect to continue to see flashes of brilliance from this very talented group, along with a good deal of inconsistency and losses to teams they shouldn't lose to. But by the end of the season, I also expect that there will be a solid 9-player rotation that will be very hard to beat.

jonas_opines 5 years, 4 months ago

The OSU game could get pretty ugly. It will be right around the same time of year that we got shellacked by Arizona back in 2009, too. Same reason, really, bunch of inexperienced role players and freshmen after a big loss of the prior year's talent. I also recall that fans at that time were screaming about how we were NIT-bound for sure.

Kontum1972 5 years, 4 months ago

the team suffers from Beaver Fever.....that wasn't an unfortunate's true.....salt-peter in the bacon might curb put that in the bacon when your in basic training in the military....that is the truth....

weeslicket 5 years, 4 months ago

this is a very talented team, whose players have not yet embodied their roles. if this team figures that stuff (i.e., entry passes, floor spacing, angles, stationary picks, boxing out , the chest pass, the bounce pass, what's a good shot, what's a really good shot, control the ball, turnovers kill you, made free throws help you, defend the guy with the ball first, etc.) out., then they will have a real shot at ( ).

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