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Archive for Saturday, March 9, 2013

Bear-ly worth celebrating: KU blown out by Baylor but ties for Big 12 crown

Elijah Johnson (15) leaves the court as Baylor fans surround Baylor players at half court after KU's 81-58 loss to the Baylor Bears Saturday in Waco.

Elijah Johnson (15) leaves the court as Baylor fans surround Baylor players at half court after KU's 81-58 loss to the Baylor Bears Saturday in Waco.

March 9, 2013

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Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self talks after loss to Baylor

Kansas coach Bill Self talks after his team's 81-58 loss to Baylor on March 9, 2013.

Box score

KU-BU

— There was no dancing, no high-fiving, no hugging, no hoisting of the Big 12 championship trophy in Kansas University’s basketball locker room on Saturday night in Ferrell Center.

“It doesn’t feel like we won it at all, really,” KU senior center Jeff Withey said after the Jayhawks’ 81-58 blowout loss at Baylor.

“We tied with Kansas State (for league crown). It’s cool to win nine in a row, but it just stinks to lose.”

All the celebrating took place on the court, where the home team’s students were invited by BU coach Scott Drew. He grabbed a microphone and asked the students to join his (18-13, 9-9) players, who may have claimed an NCAA Tournament berth by beating the No. 4-ranked (26-5, 14-4) Jayhawks.

KU’s players, meanwhile, were left to wonder what the heck happened just hours after Kansas State lost to Oklahoma State — a loss that guaranteed KU a share of its ninth straight conference crown no matter the outcome of Saturday’s BU game.

“I didn’t watch it, but had people text me. They said K-State (also 14-4) lost to Oklahoma State,” Withey said. “I don’t think it affected us. If anything it should have given us more energy to play harder (knowing a win would give KU the undisputed crown).

“We were talking in the locker room beforehand. Maybe we thought it was ours already. Baylor didn’t (and) beat us up,” Withey added.

The Bears handed the Jayhawks their second-worst loss in the 10-year Bill Self era. Texas beat KU by 25 points (80-55) on Feb. 25, 2006, in Austin, Texas.

“I went in and told my team, ‘Hey, bad job, but congratulations,’ one of those deals,” Self said. “I’m happy we got a ninth. I will never apologize for winning a league championship. It’s not entirely the way we scripted it, which is obvious.”

BU’s Cory Jefferson, who had never hit a three in his career, went 3-for-3 from three and scored 25 points with seven rebounds and three blocks. Guard Pierre Jackson hit 11 of 13 shots, good for 28 points with 10 assists and six rebounds. He was four boards shy of a triple double.

“They were terrific. They totally dominated the game,” Self said, adding “hell no” with a laugh when asked if he thought Jefferson could shoot that well.

Self said he didn’t think the Jayhawks relaxed just because they knew they’d claim at least a tie for the league title no matter what happened against Baylor.

“I would think it’d play to our favor,” Self said. “I’d like to blame it on that. I can’t blame it on that. We have played with our backs to the wall (since three-game losing streak). We had the golden opportunity and didn’t jump through the hoop.

“If K-State would have won today, this would have been the pressure of an NCAA Tournament game. You’d have to win to get a piece of it. It would have put us in a one-and-done mindset. We didn’t have that as much. It seems to me it’d be easier to play.

“I’m not Joe Lunardi (of bracketology fame) ... Baylor needed this game. They got it. They deserve to be in the tournament. I think this will put them in the field.”

KU, which was led by Ben McLemore’s 23 points, actually had a chance to win this one down the stretch. The Jayhawks cut a 17-point deficit to six (61-55 at 6:21), courtesy of an 11-0 run (Perry Ellis six points, McLemore five).

Little did anybody know BU would dominate the rest of the game, finishing with 20 points to KU’s three.

“When we cut it to six, I still thought we were still climbing a pretty steep hill,” Self said. “We were in the game, we just had to get stops. Isaiah Austin made a great left-handed hook shot (to start game-ending run). It was a pro move. We gave them four points right after that with our offense. We had a chance to get back in it multiple times and didn’t take advantage. They made plays. They had two players play about as well as any two have played against us in a long time on the same team.”

Asked what happened after KU cut it to six, Withey noted: “Every time we did something good, they did something better. It’s all defense.”

BU hit 57.7 percent of its shots to KU’s 37.5 percent. Both teams hit six threes, KU in 19 attempts and Baylor in 12. Freshman Ellis finished with 12 points, while Elijah Johnson had 10 and Withey eight for KU.

“I’m not happy,” Self said. “I’m a lot happier than I would be if it was different and we finished second. Now we have a chance to go to Kansas City (for Big 12 tournament) and see who the best team is basically.”

KU, as the No. 1 seed in the Big 12 Tournament, will play at 2 p.m. Thursday against the winner of Wednesday’s game between Texas Tech and West Virginia. If KU wins, it would play in the 6:30 p.m. semifinals Friday against either Oklahoma or Iowa State. The finals are 5 p.m. Saturday.

Comments

Steve Jacob 1 year, 9 months ago

This year, pretty much every great team has that one game of the road that they have no chance of winning, and this was it.

riverdrifter 1 year, 9 months ago

Yep. HCBS is not gonna throw his hands in the air and declare the season lost. His team goes on from here.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 1 year, 9 months ago

It is very simple. The future NBA stars (?) are looking out for themsleves. No injuries, no slip-ups, no problems. What else do you not understand??

brett conrad 1 year, 9 months ago

Seniors worst game combined,if they play that bad again its one and done, all 4 stunk tonight

Jerry Collins 1 year, 9 months ago

I'm confused. What is it about Ben McLemore that makes everybody think he is a sure fire Pro pick? He's a good player but I'd be surprised if he is picked before the 3rd round and see no guaranteed contract. I think he would be better off with 1 or 2 more years to prove his worth. My first game watching the Jayhawks was the 1957 triple OT against North Carolina, so I have been a faithful follower for 56 years and always wished the best for any Jayhawk after school. I guess I'm missing something.

webmocker 1 year, 9 months ago

Grandma says: "For our graduating seniors? I hope you got an education at KU because you all will need it to join the "work force" instead of NBA."

IMHO it is very likely that Withey will play professional basketball in Europe, D-League, or the NBA, most likely the latter. And I wouldn't rule out the other three for Europe.

Jim Tebow 1 year, 9 months ago

I was following your thought until "I'd be surprised if he is picked before the 3rd round and see no guaranteed contract". 1. 2nd round doesn't offer guaranteed contracts as well 2. THERE IS NO 3RD ROUND. The NBA draft only has 2 rounds. 3. Get ready to be surprised, because he is projected a top 3 pick by literally every analyst/expert

Robert Rauktis 1 year, 9 months ago

Many draft picks are usually about potential...which means they ain't done it yet, according to Bear Bryant. The pros finish them on their time and paycheck. Like the stock market, it's usually about projection. In fact, staying around can exhibit flaws which are as yet inapparent in next year's greatest thing.

Matthew Herbert 1 year, 9 months ago

Your insight is wonderful....except that the 3rd rd doesn't exist. Any other words of wisdom?

xyz243 1 year, 9 months ago

is this serious? picked before the non existent 3rd round? good call on that, he doesn't have a good amount of draft projections having him as the first pick in the FIRST round or anything...

Fourdcs 1 year, 9 months ago

WARNING: NEGATIVE COMMENTS. What a disappointing game - even more so than the loss to TCU. March Madness is here, a chance to secure the Big 12 outright, a #1 seed in the tournament.....Do not call this a "wake-up" call, we had that several weeks ago. Experts said KU is peaking at the right time - well a landslide occurred. So much for Senior experience. K. Y. & Trav should have stayed home and went to Perkin's for pancakes. I would have thrown everyone's shoes out of the bus - they were sticking to the floor. Did anyone count how many drives to the basket Baylor made? Everyone seemed to be standing around watching the game - I hope they enjoyed it more than I did.

There, I've said it, got it off my chest, vented - I feel better. On to the Big 12 tourney - Go Hawks.

FlintlockRifle 1 year, 9 months ago

How many turnovers did "Little Ben' have?? Billy did you take notes on how you were out coached just before half??Sorry guys you have had some moments, but don't think you will go far this year, but I'm just and old fan., please prove me wrong.

3up3down 1 year, 9 months ago

This team was not prepared mentally to play yesterday. IT showed. Baylor came with the mind set of "not in our house," and we came in flat. 60% of our load was carried by the freshman. Where was the senior leadership? S - O - F - T. Hope we don't see a team whose name starts with "B" or we will be home after one game.

handlon 1 year, 9 months ago

I think Withy didn't play defense because he was worried about fouling and thus was ineffective . So Coach should have put in Traylor during the first half, he may have been able to play tougher at that point than Withy. Also, the basketball Gods were shining on Baylor. Hard to beat that.

JS82 1 year, 9 months ago

If the opposition has a good quick guard who can score and play defense we are in trouble. Elijah cannot move fast enough offensively or defensively to make a difference.The Big 12 is down this year and we struggled to tie for the conference title. I think Self has done a great job to get these guys where they are but the Big 12 Tournament and the NCAA Tournament look like uphill battles for this team to me.

JHawkInLA 1 year, 9 months ago

KU should be fine in the post season. Baylor just played a great game. Which one was Brittney Griner?

Fred Whitehead Jr. 1 year, 9 months ago

All this talk of the NBA just verifies the sickening truth about the state of college sports.

All that is left now is the sikening thud of going out in the second or third game (again).

Splatt!!

rgh 1 year, 9 months ago

Baylor outplayed us and thankful K-State allowed us to back into a 9th straight, but come on Scott (Drew). Taking to the mic to invite the students on the court to celebrate beating KU? Wow. Kind of classless like taking your team off the court a couple years back in Lawrence during out lineups. Hey Weber, you owe us for getting your trophy by the way.

CHEEZIT 1 year, 9 months ago

Hey he lost a game where his team had the ball with 1 second left and the score tied he's no genius. He just had a couple players play way over their heads in spite of his coaching!!!

Sunshine39 1 year, 9 months ago

Watch out for Baylor in the tourney! They're hungry. They whopped both K-State and KU this season.

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