Archive for Saturday, February 2, 2013

Bill Self questions team’s toughness, desire following home loss to OSU

Kansas head coach Bill Self walks off the court following the Jayhawks' 85-80 loss to Oklahoma State on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas head coach Bill Self walks off the court following the Jayhawks' 85-80 loss to Oklahoma State on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.

February 2, 2013


Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self talks after loss to Oklahoma State

Kansas coach Bill Self talks after his team's 85-80 loss to Oklahoma State on Feb. 2, 2013.

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Kevin Young, Jeff Withey and Ben McLemore

Kansas players Kevin Young, Jeff Withey and Ben McLemore talk after the Jayhawks' 85-80 loss to Oklahoma State on Feb. 2, 2013, at Allen Fieldhouse.

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

OSU coach Travis Ford

Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford talks to reporters following his team's 85-80 victory over Kansas on Feb. 2, 2013.

Box score


Bill Self didn’t flip out watching Oklahoma State freshman Marcus Smart perform a backflip after the rarest of rarities — a Kansas University basketball loss in Allen Fieldhouse.

Self instead got in line to shake hands with all the Cowboy players and coaches, while pondering all the reasons for Saturday's 85-80 defeat — KU’s first home setback in 34 games, second in the past 104 and just the eighth in the 10-year Self era.

“I’m disappointed because I hate to lose our homecourt streak, but we have been living on borrowed time the last three weeks,” said KU coach Self, whose Jayhawks needed overtime to beat Iowa State in Allen on Jan. 9 after barely surviving Temple on Jan. 6, and also squeaked by with recent road wins over Texas (five points), Kansas State (four) and West Virginia (five).

“We have been getting unbelievably poor play from some individuals and we have got to do a better job teaching them. We are better than what we played today, but today the best team did win the game,” Self added.

Oklahoma State, which used a 19-3 run to steal a 26-12 lead in the first half, was able to overcome a 66-62 deficit in the final 5:22, thanks to some big-time offensive rebounds and some huge KU turnovers.

“We are just so frustrated with the toughness. Let’s just call it like it is ... we are mentally tough in some ways, but physically this is our softest group of all time,” Self said of the No. 2-ranked Jayhawks, who fell to 19-2 overall and 7-1 in the league; OSU improved to 15-5, 5-3.

“We have never had a team like this. We get by and fake it sometimes, but we aren’t real thick and we aren’t real strong. Not to compete at game-point though, is beyond belief, and I’m sure this was an embarrassment — the way they kicked our (butt) in a late-game situation — to everybody that has played here because we didn’t compete when we needed to compete.”

KU did show some moxie in the final minute ... up until the final possession.

Thanks to six points from Andrew White III, the Jayhawks saw an eight-point deficit (77-69 at 1:01) dip to 80-78 with 24.6 ticks remaining. An Elijah Johnson layup at 18.8 seconds, which followed a Smart free throw, had KU down, 81-80. Two free throws by Phil Forte made it 83-80 at 7.9 seconds.

That’s when Johnson turned down what Self deemed an open three pointer and had the ball stolen by Smart, who dished to Forte for a last-second layup that turned the fieldhouse into a morgue.

“Losing at home is bad. We don’t lose at home often,” said KU freshman Ben McLemore, who scored 23 points, including nine in an 11-2 run that turned a 45-39 deficit into a 50-47 KU lead with 12:27 left.

“I think this loss really got to him (Johnson). Being a senior and losing at home ... I think it definitely kind of hurt him,” McLemore added.

Backup point guard Naadir Tharpe (eight points, four assists, one turnover) defended Johnson, who had eight points off 3-of-14 shooting (1-of-7 threes) with six assists and four turnovers.

“That (last possession) didn’t do anything about changing the game. The game was on their side from the start because of the way they came out (in grabbing 14-point lead). They threw the first punch,” Tharpe said. “That last play by Elijah didn’t do anything to turn out (decide) the game. We’ve done this a couple times already, come out lackadaisical to start. I try to tell the team, ‘We are not going to be able to have every miracle game, fellas. We have to figure a way to start stepping on people’s throats right away.’ That’s not what we did tonight.”

KU may have lost this one shortly after Kevin Young hit two free throws to give the Jayhawks a 68-67 lead at 3:19. An 10-1 OSU run ensued, highlighted by a Le’Bryan Nash jumper with one second left on the shot clock, a Smart putback of a missed free throw by Markel Brown (28 points), another Smart putback of a Michael Cobbins miss, a pair of Smart free throws after a Johnson miss and two more Smart free throws after Johnson made just one of two. After all that, OSU led 77-69 at 1:01.

“We were awful and they were good,” Self said. “They were tougher than us. They beat us to loose balls and they just kicked our (butt) on the glass in the second half (20-12). We didn’t compete for loose balls and felt sorry for ourselves and acted like little babies.

“At least when we put Andrew (White III) in there at the end, he got us six points in a minute. Nobody else on the team was doing that. We definitely need to tweak some things. When you are winning it kind of camouflages some things. I’ve known all along that we haven’t played as well as what our record indicated that we were.

“The game today was a primary example of a team coming out and getting comfortable. Oklahoma State hadn’t won on the road in a long time (0-4 this season). They came out and got comfortable and they wanted to beat us so bad. We didn’t have the same desire to play them.”

OSU, which led, 40-34, at halftime was led by Brown, who exploded for 22 of his 28 the first half. Smart finished with 25.

“We didn’t have an answer for Brown,” Self said, “and Marcus Smart beasted our little guards in the second half.”

Though Self loves OSU’s talent — he recruited Nash and Smart heavily — a lot of this loss, he said, was on the home team.

“The thing about it is we play so slow. We play with no pace offensively. We don’t put any pressure on anybody defensively. I wish we could play without guards to be honest with you, but that would be kind of an ugly game if you have five big guys playing out there at all times,” Self said. "But we have got to do something. We are better than what we played today and we will get it back.

"With this league race, all we did was invite everybody right back into it. It’s a joke what we did today. Hopefully we can regroup. It’s not panic mode or anything like that, but I know our staff feels the same.”

KU, which holds a one-game lead over Kansas State (6-2), will next meet TCU at 8 p.m. Wednesday in Fort Worth.


Number_1_Grandma 2 years, 9 months ago

How about questioning coach Self with having Elijah Johnson in the game at the last? His lack of shooting, excessive turnovers and poor defense all season shouldn't have Elijah starting next game, if coach Self is the great coach we believe him to be.

You want toughness coach, try playing Traylor more. He's tougher than Withey, Young, Ellis and Releford put together. Sit Johnson and start Thorpe. Bring in Traylor if Young doesn't play tough from the get-go. This will at least send a message to seniors, "You want to play, you got to earn it. No free rides at KU because you are a senior".

rgh 2 years, 9 months ago

Traylor is tough, but can't jump, shoot, or play defense. He's tough but slow and little skill. He'll get there but he's not there yet.

jizbam 2 years, 9 months ago

Let me make sure I understand: KU loses a game to OSU, and you think that's because Bill Self likes OSU better?

288–54 overall record at KU, 8 straight Big 12 titles, and a national championship, and you think his loyalties still lie with OSU?

Nice logic. You and the two idiots who liked your post are uninvited from celebrating any KU victories henceforth.

Enjoy the extra free time you have been granted. You no longer have to watch KU games, or listen to radio broadcasts, or watch highlights. You are now free to pursue woodworking, stamp collecting, or any other non-KU related hobbies you choose. Just don't watch the Jayhawks -- the rest of us don't want you as a fan anymore.

rgh 2 years, 9 months ago

Quit making sense. Lawrenceguy40 doesn't want to hear someone being realistic. I agree with you that we don't need him as a KU fan. He can move to Stillwater and follow the Cowboys and Cowgirls. Enjoy those great games down there.

Jayhawk_4_Life 2 years, 9 months ago

You have absolutely no idea what you're talking about.

rgh 2 years, 9 months ago

You have to be joking right? NCAA title, runner up last year, winning year after year while Oklahoma State goes through coach after coach. Why don't you move to Craphattan and enjoy watching the Mildcats?

Kookamooka 2 years, 9 months ago

That was a strategic loss. Self knows what he is doing. He needed a loss to set the team up in a particular direction. He picked OK at home. Fine. The AP rankings effect seats and future teams played in tourneys. Why would he want to stay number 1?

fiala 2 years, 9 months ago

I don't know that this was a strategic loss but it was one that was needed. The team needed something to light that fire, and continuing to win by narrow margins wasn't doing that. The team goes through something like this every season, so hopefully the loss will do the trick.

handlon 2 years, 9 months ago

I do agree with Grandma's post. Coach Self has had plenty of games early in the season when the bench players such as Traylor and White could have gotten more playing time in order to develop their confidence as in game players. It seemed ridiculous to me that the game was on White's shoulders yesterday when he is rarely given a chance to play. And Traylor could be a tough player were he given the chance to play more as the season developed. Now I think he has no confidence. You can't simulate actual game playing time in practice. This is Self's weakness, wasting players who languish on the bench and it is why recruits don't choose Kansas because it is clear that many wont play here. Remember Russel Robinson.

rgh 2 years, 9 months ago

Check the early game stats when those guys were getting time. That's when he uses those games to settle on a solid rotation for league play which is what he's done year in and year out with great success.

rgh 2 years, 9 months ago

You really don't expect him to play 10 guys a night do you? Traylor has been given the chance in practice last year and all of November and December. Self knows what he's doing, hence the NCAA title in '08 and runner up last year. You have no clue what it's like to coach college kids and win 8 straight Big XII titles. Did you want White in at the end for needed 3's or Young? Glad Self doesn't have the weakness to listen to nonsense like yours and Grandma's.

Armen Kurdian 2 years, 9 months ago

Besides the fact that Venus was in partial opposition to Neptune, we lost because it was cold outside. That and the recent budget negotiations created a hostile environment in the Field House. But the real reason was that we were just tired of winning, and had planned on losing from the get-go.

In fact the team was high-fiving their loss in the locker room after the game. Also, Markel Brown send our team Godiva chocolates laced with laxative before the game. Odd that we ate the all even though Markel sent them with a note that said, "Oh by the way, these chocolates are full of laxatives."

I would now like to claim the post of most. ignorant. post. ever, thank you.

Mandie Eutsler 2 years, 9 months ago

Who in their right mind would criticize arguably the best coach in college basketball? You really can't win them all. You just can't. Coach Self averages something like 3-4 losses per season! I can think of hundreds of schools who would trade us places! Questioning the decision to put AWIII in with a minute remaining? Duh, down by 8 with a minute to go, you put in your best shooters. It almost paid off. Those of you with short term memory loss, Elijah has experience that 9 freshmen lack, that's why he was still in the game. This was supposed to be another rebuilding year and I for one am pretty happy with it. The coaching staff is one of the best in the nation and we'll have another trophy this year. Don't panic...

drillsgt 2 years, 9 months ago

Why play Johnson?...I am tired of his turnovers, air balls,and his crap attitude on the Lawrence nite scene....maybe if sat at the end of the bench and watched the team play..he would be humbled

rgh 2 years, 9 months ago

Seriously folks who would want coaching the Jayhawks? Frank Martin, Frank Haith, John Calipari, Thad Matta or Bill Self? Think about it. There are three elite coaches year after year and that's Self, Izzo, and K and that's not dissing Roy either. The only true disappointing thing this year is that our seniors aren't taking things to heart except maybe Travis or Kevin who are both over achievers on every level who want to win.

Scott Tichenor 2 years, 9 months ago

A defeat is going to help this team for the long haul. What matters is us doing well in the NCAA. A loss in early February will not be high on anyone's mind if they advance to the Final Four. If they don't, then they didn't deserve this rating in the first place.

It's a game.

entrenador 2 years, 9 months ago

Billy Donavon is not elite? Calipari is not elite? Roy Williams is not elite. (Not to mention Brad Stevens.) Self is the real deal, but I'll keep Billy and y'all keep Bill, and I'll enjoy watching KU fans conjecture that Self wanted to lose to OSU, needed a loss, or doesn't want to be #1. Saying that Self, Izzo, and K are the "three elite coaches year after year" and omitting Billy and Roy is right up there with the claims to which I alluded.

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