Archive for Saturday, March 30, 2013

Notebook: Michigan’s Mitch McGary on low blow: ‘It was intentional’

Kansas players Kevin Young (40) and Elijah Johnson collapse over Michigan forward Mitch McGary during the first half on Friday, March 29, 2013 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Kansas players Kevin Young (40) and Elijah Johnson collapse over Michigan forward Mitch McGary during the first half on Friday, March 29, 2013 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

March 30, 2013


Box score


Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self talks after loss to Michigan

Kansas coach Bill Self talks after his team's 87-85 overtime loss to Michigan on March 29, 2013.

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Travis Releford, Jeff Withey

Kansas seniors Travis Releford and Jeff Withey talk briefly on the podium following the Jayhawks' 87-85 overtime loss to Michigan on March 29, 2013.

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Michigan coach John Beilein, Trey Burke, Mitch McGary and Tim Hardaway Jr.

Michigan coach John Beilein and playersTrey Burke, Mitch McGary and Tim Hardaway Jr. talk to reporters following the Wolverines' 87-85 overtime victory over Kansas on March 29, 2013.

— Michigan’s Mitch McGary was a bit surprised to get whacked in the groin area by Kansas’ Elijah Johnson in the opening moments of Friday’s overtime victory over the Jayhawks.

“I didn’t know Elijah played like that. I don’t know him or anything. I was just setting a screen for Trey (Burke) and he came up and whacked me right in the crotch. He used his fist. He dropped me,” McGary said of what was deemed a flagrant one foul.

“I was in the fetal position. I was waiting for him to blow the whistle and they did. I was like, ‘Check the monitor.’ And they were like, ‘He was just cutting for a screen.’ And I was like, ‘No, check the monitor.’ It was intentional.”

Johnson said it was not intentional.

As far as coach Bill Self’s take: “I didn’t see it, but obviously the official said he did it, so he did it. The film doesn’t lie. That’s not how we play. And that was not smart at all. And then he has a bad second foul and a charge (playing three minutes total the first half), when all he had to do was stop and shoot it. The third foul he plays for 15 seconds and gets that one. We played pretty well the first half considering our starting point guard didn’t play at all. The second half he did some good things making shots. I know he wishes he had a couple of those possessions back.”

KU coach Bill Self on Ben McLemore’s decision whether to turn pro or return to KU for a sophomore season; most mock drafts believe McLemore will turn pro and be taken in the top three: “We’ll talk about it,” Self said. “We made the decision a long time ago to wait until after the season to talk about it. It’s after the season now, but there’s nothing to be spoken about this weekend. I’ll support whatever direction he and his family want to go. He needs to explore. He needs to look into doing what would be potentially great for his family. If it’s the right time he needs to go. If not he should stay. We’ll discuss it,” he added not sure when any decision would be announced either way.

Former KU standout Paul Pierce of the Boston Celtics had a pair of twitter posts about the Jayhawks on Friday:

Predicting big things for Ben McLemore tonight in a Jayhawks win #rallycry

Our most significant opportunities will be found in times of greatest difficulty. Rock Chalk Jayhawk

• Several members of KU’s basketball Pep Band are part of the KU Wind Ensemble that performed a world premiere of a new symphony Tuesday night at Carnegie Hall in New York. The ensemble boarded a bus in New York shortly after the performance and arrived Wednesday night in Lawrence. The group flew from KC International to Dallas on Thursday. Then, after playing for the Jayhawks this weekend, they will return to Lawrence to perform the Midwestern premiere of the symphony Tuesday night at the Lied Center.

Here are the musicians who made both whirlwind trips: Marina Hague, Philip Kaul, Colin Lohrenz, Stephen Meiller, Michael Solomon and Amber Thoennes.

The future: KU loses seniors Elijah Johnson, Travis Releford, Jeff Withey and Kevin Young to graduation. The Jayhawks will be bringing in a five-player recruiting class of 2013: No. 25 Brannen Greene, 6-7 small forward, Tift County High, Tifton, Ga.; No. 26 Wayne Selden, 6-5 shooting guard, Tilton (N.H.) School; No. 31 Conner Frankamp, 6-0, combo guard, Wichita North; No. 37-ranked Joel Embiid, 7-0 center, Rock School, Gainesville, Fla.; and No. 134 Frank Mason, 5-11 point guard, Massanutten Military Academy, Woodstock, Va. KU has one schlolarship left to give, two if, as expected, Ben McLemore heads to the NBA. And more if anybody elects to transfer.

KU is still in the running for No. 1 ranked Andrew Wiggins, 6-7 forward from Huntington (W.Va.) Prep, who is considering KU, Kentucky, North Carolina and Florida State.


lvlndhawk 5 years, 2 months ago

If the refs had just called the flagrant 2 that EJ deserved, we would have won the game 'cause he wouldn't have been around to give it away later!

Calvin Mabry 5 years, 2 months ago

When the foul happened I thought the MU guy was faking it. I couldn't believe any KU player would do that to an opposing player. But after watching the thousand reruns of it while the commentators all spewed their venom I have to admit it didn't look good. This is a loss that will never completely heal and all I can say now is that I'm really happy to see Johnson leave KU. I hope Coach Self lands someone(other than Tharpe) he can depend on to play smart basketball and a player we can be proud of at point guard. Great season Jayhawks. Rock Chalk.

jayhawkjohn71 5 years, 2 months ago

I will not miss Johnson! Our TO's this past season were unbelievable! How ironic that he ended the game and his career with a missed layup opportunity and then an erratic pass.

westjocohawk 5 years, 2 months ago

Total embarrassment Self should gave benched him for the rest of the game he could have sent a strong message that there are more important things in life than a basketball game.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 2 months ago

Johnson was merely doing what nearly every college player is instructed to do in fighting off a pick, which is to meet hard contact with hard contact. The flagrant 1 call was the right call, as the contact was excessive, but in my viewing of the "groin shot," it's just as likely that McGary took a flop as it was that Johnson's shot, which wasn't a fist, and seemed a bit high of the target, was intentional. That said, Johnson was out of control on that play, and that's inexcusable.

Otherwise, if Johnson had made that last free throw he took, hardly anyone would be pissing and moaning right now, and would instead be looking forward to tomorrow's game.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 2 months ago

Shoulda been two Kansas teams in NC game, but Go Shockers!!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 2 months ago

"Sure it was intentional of Johnson's cheap shot."

Believe whatever you want in your own mind, but if there was intention of a low blow, it was in Johnson's head, not yours, and you ain't in Johnson's head nearly as much as you'd like to think you are.

Sure, we all think KU should have won the game, but bagging on Johnson because he is a "thug" doesn't change the fact that this game is to a large extent about luck, whether it's the way the refs call the close ones, or whether hail marys from 27' drop at the right time (and KU has been at the opposite sides of that event on many occasions.)

BTW, without Johnson, the team likely wouldn't have made it as far as they did this year, and almost certainly wouldn't have made it to the NC game last year. College players are still kids, and ya gotta take the bad with the good, even if they do play for KU.

windjammer 5 years, 2 months ago

I doubt EJ will miss you know it all Grandma.

sully97 5 years, 2 months ago

Only Elijah knows if it was intentional. If so, he has some reflecting to do because that's not who we are or how we should win. Otherwise, I think he gave everything he had for us. Thank you for all your hard work Elijah. You gave us your all and I don't doubt for a second that you played with all your heart. Games like that will happen. We can't expect to be at the top every year. It was a hard loss but an amazing season! Thanks to all of you!

bad_dog 5 years, 2 months ago

You might have some credibility if either McGary had been unable to continue or Johnson had a history of dirty play; or you saw money change hands. Other than that, I'm not buying it and you just look like a troll.

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