Archive for Sunday, April 7, 2013

Letter: Coach’s error

April 7, 2013


To the editor:

As Journal-World sports writers routinely point out, basketball turnovers can result in a game being lost, as can Kansas University’s coaching staff. However, senior Elijah Johnson has been noted for his turnovers and questionable, if not flagrant, intentional fouls.

With his mistake-prone reputation well known, KU’s loss to Michigan rests on the shoulders of coach Bill Self. Most basketball-savvy coaches undoubtedly know that when a star player needs only two or three blocked shots to surpass Tim Duncan’s record, they would not have inserted an error-prone player in a game and especially at a time when a 14- or 15-point lead was being squandered away, not to mention time being a factor. Hence, coach Self should have called time out when Elijah could not move the ball over the half-court line.

It was also coach Self who negated Jeff Withey’s opportunity of achieving a one-of-a-kind national record, for it was he who had the potential to block shots throughout the game with Perry Ellis and Ben McLemore both hurtling the ball into the net, not Elijah Johnson.

Thus, Jeff Withey, even while sitting a long stretch on the bench was inexcusably denied the chance to set a national blocking record, not to mention helping to cut down the “Sweet Sixteen” nets.

Furthermore, the 2012-13 team was not about seniors; it involved ALL players, but especially those who, notwithstanding referee goofs, held their mistakes in check and restricted taunting antics to the locker room,


08Champs 5 years, 2 months ago

As you may discern from my username, I, a bit of a KU basketball fan. I'm sorry, however, that I began my Sunday morning with your letter. Many of us watched sadly as Michigan went on to defeat Florida and Syracuse, thinking how spectacular it would have been to have our Jayhawks playing in Atlanta. But instead of moving on, and like a true fan, feeling grateful for another deep season and hopeful that good fortune comes to those seniors that sacrificed so much for our entertainment, you choose to belittle a young man barely in his 20s, and a coaching staff that is one of the best to honor the sport, the school, and our State. You are entitled to your opinion of course, but your need to publicly display its ill will for as many to see is more reflective of your character than your insight of the game, players and staff.

Rock Chalk

windjammer 5 years, 2 months ago

You are one sad grandma. What makes you such a know it all? Get off Elijah's case. He gave four years of his life to this team. I wish him the best in whatever he may do with the rest of his life. Every post you make is a cheap shot.

webmocker 5 years, 2 months ago

...grandma says: "One has to wonder with the 'odds' of KU losing in those final minutes; with the lead they had, if either Elijah threw the game purposely ( On the take ) or Bill Self was?!"

Dancing the libel line, grandma. Also, well, what Thumper said in Bambi.

08Champs 5 years, 2 months ago

On the take? That's the best you've got? What amount of money does Bill need that would have him throwing a game, seriously? We're all disappointed, but no need to go the conspiracy theory route.

UneasyRider 5 years, 2 months ago

Would like the letter writers to post their own experience and coaching record. Then we could all compare that with Bill Self's playing and coaching background and record. Further, wish grandma would document exactly why she accuses anyone of throwing a game.

rtwngr 5 years, 2 months ago

Well, I'm undefeated from my couch too. Bill Self is jakes with me. Top notch program. Consistent winner. Always has great talent. He graduates players that want an education. You two yahoos wouldn't know a free throw from Gatorade cup.

Abdu Omar 5 years, 2 months ago

I think that the truth of it is that EJ came through last year and elevated KU to the final game. Self was sure that EJ would come through again, but sadly he didn't. So Self took a chance on an experienced player that could have hit a three and won the game. I think EJ is having some problems that Self wasn't aware of. I would never think that Self or anyone else would throw a game for a few dollars. Their future is at stake here and EJ has lost his on one bone headed play after another. He is a good kid, but he lost it a few times.

Terry Sexton 5 years, 2 months ago

Thankfully, our guard's name isn't Elijah Chestnut or grandma might've stroked out.

friendlyjhawk 5 years, 2 months ago

Don't like the way the writers said it but Self is the coach/teacher and ultimately responsible for the way the team he coaches plays. EJ was not the leader that some other players in his position have been. A public letter like this one isn't necessary since this community is full of arm chair coaches and second guessers. LJW will publish any piece of inflamatory junk to fill its pages.

Joe Hyde 5 years, 2 months ago

That tournament loss to Michigan was not Elijah Johnson's fault, or anybody else's fault. Every player we had on the floor that game missed a few shots, or a free throw, or committed a turnover, a foul, some mental mistake. Things like that happen every game to every player, yet still KU almost won that game.

A painful loss for us, to be sure. But consider: KU went deeper into the tournament than the other Big 12 conference teams. And KU got beat fair and square, in overtime, by a Michigan team that's playing for the championship Monday night. So the loss to Michigan wasn't one of those deals where KU got beat by a bunch of chumps who were just lucky enough to have a good night. Michigan's good.

I'm very grateful for the exciting wins this season. Many of those wins would never have happened if not for Elijah Johnson's excellent play. His coming here was a blessing to KU.

JayhawkFan1985 5 years, 2 months ago

John and Jean,

I feel sorry for both of you. You must really have pathetic lives. Try seeking some joy for a change rather than criticizing 20 year old college students and a coach that has continued to bring us one of the nation's premier basketball programs.

bballwizard 5 years, 2 months ago

Coach makes 5 million a year and he accepts no responsibility. He needed to accept some responsibility and he did not.

Trumbull 5 years, 2 months ago

I believe KU played it like they should have. They were basically using up the clock when they had a10 point lead with about three minutes to play. 9 times out of 10 KU wins that game. Unfortunately, a lot of things went right for Michigan, and a lot went wrong for KU.

KU is a great program with excellent coaches and staff. EJ was filling in at point guard this season and is really a better 2 guard or small forward. Under the circumstances I tip my hat to him.

msezdsit 5 years, 2 months ago

Withey was exhausted and Elijah was a 2 guard playing the point. I have enough of a memory to remember how Johnson played in last years tournament as a 2 guard and he was probably the #1 reason we got to the last game. I am always amused at the whiners who can't pick themselves up and go on. Why, some of them are so consumed that they have to write lte's. pathetic letter

bendover61 5 years, 2 months ago

You don't have to be an engineer to know that the Hyatt in Kansas City had a problem, you don't have to be a meteorologist to know that it is raining, you don't have to be a basketball coach to know to foul when up by 3 with seconds left.

08Champs 5 years, 2 months ago

You probably don't tell the guy at the bar he's drinking too much, or your neighbor that they're raising their kids wrong, but you'll publicly call out and humiliate a kid on a basketball team. I'm sorry, I just don't see the point. Go talk to the coach at the Salty Iguana and let him know what a screw up you think he is, but leave the kids alone.

windjammer 5 years, 2 months ago

Well said but you will never get a hardhead to understand.

Trumbull 5 years, 2 months ago

You probably don't put sand in your tire, you probably don't put sugar in your tea and you.......... oops, not sure where I am going with this

Thinking_Out_Loud 5 years, 2 months ago

You don't tug on Superman's cape. You don't spit into the wind. You don't pull the mask of the old Lone Ranger...oops. Wrong thread. Never mind.

jayhawkjohn71 5 years, 2 months ago

Withey was on the bench for a reason. When you are playing to win and advance who cares about a national blocking record? Regarding Johnson, yes, he blew the game in the last 10 seconds by over driving the rim. Only Johnson knows why he missed the opportunity for an open layup. KU should quit relying on combo guards and instead use a true point guard. Hopefully next season Tharpe will develop into a lethal pt. guard. Congrats on another stellar season and I look forward to watching a lot of young talent next season!

Armen Kurdian 5 years, 2 months ago

I think we all know what happened, and arguing about it now on this forum is pointless. It's not only the best team that wins, it's the team that makes the fewest mistakes in March. Even great coaches and players make mistakes. Yeah, I'm dying inside...could have been an all Kansas final. I could have also sold all my stocks before October 2008.

Abdu Omar 5 years, 2 months ago

When you lose by two points, is it the last 3 point shot missed or the first one that loses the game? I haven't been able to tell. Can you tell me that those missed by others didn't matter it was only the last shot?

Bob Forer 5 years, 2 months ago

The writer is sadly mistaken on many points, but one in particular. Kansas Basketball is a team sport, and while individual honors are nice, I am sure that any Jayhawk player would relinquish any such honor in a New York minute for a chance to be playing with his team for the national championship.

jayhawklawrence 5 years, 2 months ago

Sometimes a good friend is a friend because of what they don't say and I think EJ does not deserve some of the things that have been said.

The greatest memory for me will be that Iowa State game.

He gave us plenty of great memories.

jonas_opines 5 years, 2 months ago

In the tournament, every team chokes in the end but one. This was definitely a year that we needed to celebrate all of our wins as they happened, because you could never look too far ahead. But just because Michigan beat us then went on to the Final games doesn't mean anything for us. We'd have still had to beat Florida, and still had to beat Syracuse. Neither of those teams would be easy outs. I didn't see this as our year, so to speak, with the problems we demonstrated during the season. But we had a good run, won our conference again, beat our closest rival, and there were some great moments.

Some folk seem to think that we should be winning championships as frequently that speeding tickets wipe off our driving records, which is unutterably foolish.

webmocker 5 years, 2 months ago

This LTE is not only mean spirited, it's incredibly poorly written.

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