Advertisement

Posts tagged with Ku

Big man takes top spot for KU against TCU

Kansas center Jeff Withey smiles with the rest of the starters during a break in action in the second half on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas center Jeff Withey smiles with the rest of the starters during a break in action in the second half on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

1. Jeff Withey: After getting taken out of his game by TCU in Fort Worth (12 points, six field-goal attempts), Withey responded by taking over for stretches Saturday. The senior posted a team-high 18 points on 7-for-12 shooting, adding six rebounds and three blocks to go with two turnovers in 26 minutes. A huge defensive challenge awaits Withey, as his ball-screen defense will be tested Monday against Iowa State.

2. Ben McLemore: McLemore said afterwards that he liked his 360 and windmill dunks better, but his one-handed posterization of a TCU player at the end of the half should still earn a spot in SportsCenter's Top Ten. The freshman scored 14 points, making four of 10 field goals, two of six threes and four of four free throws. He also had three assists and two steals with no turnovers.

3. Kevin Young: After the game, KU coach Bill Self said Young was approaching Tyshawn Taylor territory, becoming a player who makes hard plays look easy and easy plays look hard. Young's energy was terrific in the first half, though, and he finished with six points on 3-for-4 shooting with eight rebounds in 22 minutes. Defensively, he added two blocks and two steals.

4. Travis Releford: Has KU ever had a better finisher in transition? It's hard to think of one the way Releford has played this season. The senior provided a typical "Releford" line: 12 points, 4-for-5 shooting, one assist and one steal to go with two turnovers in 30 minutes.

5. Perry Ellis: Scored on an array of post moves and provides KU with its best scoring threat off the bench. The freshman notched 12 points on 5-for-8 shooting with four rebounds and no turnovers in 15 productive minutes.

6. Elijah Johnson: Played well on a day when a lot of his teammates also played well. Johnson had seven points on 2-for-5 shooting with four assists, two steals and just one turnover in 29 minutes. The senior now has just four turnovers in his last three games.

7. Jamari Traylor: Showed a nice turn-around jumper in making his only field-goal attempt. The freshman still turns it over too much, but he does try hard. Traylor also came away with two steals in his 12 minutes.

8. Naadir Tharpe: Tharpe's shooting slump continued Saturday. He missed all four of his field goals and now has made just 31 percent of his twos (15 of 48) and 19 percent of his threes (nine of 48) in Big 12 play. Tharpe did make both of his free throws and added four assists to go with two turnovers in 17 minutes.

9. Rio Adams: Had a steal and a missed shot in his one minute.

10. Justin Wesley: Had two rebounds and a turnover in three minutes.

11. Andrew White III: Went 0-for-2 from the floor and 1-for-2 from the free throw line with a turnover in seven minutes.

KUsports.com Season Standings
1. Jeff Withey (217 points)
2. Ben McLemore (208 points)
3. Travis Releford (199 points)
4. Kevin Young (159 points)
5. Elijah Johnson (143 points)
6. Naadir Tharpe (136 points)
7. Perry Ellis (114 points)
8. Jamari Traylor (92 points)
9. Andrew White III (43 points)
10. Rio Adams (28 points)
11. Justin Wesley (17 points)

Big 12 Standings
1. Jeff Withey (126 points)
2. Ben McLemore (119 points)
3. Travis Releford (113 points)
4. Kevin Young (100 points)
5. Naadir Tharpe (75 points)
6. Elijah Johnson (68 points)
7. Perry Ellis (62 points)
8. Jamari Traylor (51 points)
9. Andrew White III (20 points)
10. Rio Adams (13 points)
11. Justin Wesley (10 points)

Reply

Travis Releford comes through with crucial plays late for KU

Kansas guard Travis Releford pulls up for a bucket past Oklahoma State guard Markel Brown during the first half on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013 at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

Kansas guard Travis Releford pulls up for a bucket past Oklahoma State guard Markel Brown during the first half on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013 at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Oklahoma. by Nick Krug

1. Travis Releford: The senior made so many big plays it's almost hard to remember them all. Taking a charge to pick up Marcus Smart's fifth foul was huge. His defense on Markel Brown on the game's final possession was important, too. Then his hustle play to save the ball from going out of bounds to run out the final seconds secured the win. Releford also put on a layup clinic early, posting a team-high 18 points on 7-for-10 shooting with six rebounds, an assist, steal and three turnovers in 48 minutes.

2. Jeff Withey: Offensive rebounds weren't a factor for Oklahoma State in this game, and Withey was a big reason for that, as the senior notched 12 defensive rebounds while playing through foul trouble. Withey also was clutch at the free throw line, making 11 of 14 to finish with 17 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks to go with just one turnover in 39 minutes.

3. Elijah Johnson: Some back-and-forth jawing with OSU's players seemed to fire Johnson up, and on a night when KU's offense was sluggish, the Jayhawks needed all of the points he provided. Johnson made Smart look silly on a couple of moves to the rim, finishing with 10 points on 5-for-9 shooting with a steal and two turnovers in 32 minutes. Johnson fouled out on a questionable call late in regulation after 32 minutes, and KU missed him after that.

4. Kevin Young: The senior made some poor decisions in half-court sets, but he still managed to get excellent rebounding production in limited minutes (11 rebounds, 27 minutes). The senior posted eight points on 4-for-9 shooting and had a crucial steal, but he also had four turnovers.

5. Naadir Tharpe: As the only ball-handler still eligible to play for KU, Tharpe made a floater with 18 seconds left in double-overtime that KU coach Bill Self called "the biggest play of his life." With the game-winner, Tharpe finished 2-for-11 from the floor with four points. He missed all six of his three-pointers and had three assists to go with four turnovers in 31 minutes.

6. Jamari Traylor: Gave KU some great defensive minutes while Withey was in foul trouble and was especially sound with his ball-screen defense. The freshman scored four points, made one of two field goals and both of his free throws and added four rebounds in 17 minutes.

7. Ben McLemore: When KU needed a play in the overtimes, McLemore was nowhere to be found. Self gave the dreaded, "He wasn't plugged in" quote after the game, but at some point, the freshman has to work harder to create for himself. After going 0-for-8 in the first half, McLemore finished with seven points on 3-for-12 shooting. He did add six rebounds and two steals to go with one turnover in a game-high 49 minutes.

8. Perry Ellis: Had two rebounds, a turnover, and two bad fouls in seven minutes.

KUsports.com Season Standings
1. Jeff Withey (207 points)
2. Ben McLemore (199 points)
3. Travis Releford (192 points)
4. Kevin Young (151 points)
5. Elijah Johnson (138 points)
6. Naadir Tharpe (133 points)
7. Perry Ellis (108 points)
8. Jamari Traylor (88 points)
9. Andrew White III (43 points)
10. Rio Adams (26 points)
11. Justin Wesley (16 points)

Big 12 Standings
1. Jeff Withey (116 points)
2. Ben McLemore (110 points)
3. Travis Releford (106 points)
4. Kevin Young (92 points)
5. Naadir Tharpe (72 points)
6. Elijah Johnson (63 points)
7. Perry Ellis (56 points)
8. Jamari Traylor (47 points)
9. Andrew White III (20 points)
10. Rio Adams (11 points)
11. Justin Wesley (9 points)

Reply

Thanks to complete stat line, Jeff Withey takes top honor

Kansas center Jeff Withey soars in for a dunk over the Texas defense during the second half on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas center Jeff Withey soars in for a dunk over the Texas defense during the second half on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

1. Jeff Withey: Filled up the stat sheet with 15 points (5-for-11 shooting), 11 rebounds, four steals and two blocks. His four steals matched a season high for KU this year, as Travis Releford and Kevin Young both had accomplished the same feat once. Withey made five of seven free throws and had just one turnover in his 29 productive minutes.

2. Travis Releford: The senior got KU's offense rolling with a pair of three-pointers early and, as we've come to expect, produced an efficient line offensively. Releford tied the team-high with 15 points on 5-for-7 shooting, which included 4-for-5 accuracy from three-point range. The small forward added five rebounds, three assists and no turnovers in 31 minutes.

3. Ben McLemore: Had the highlight of the night, completing a 360 dunk with 4:11 left to cap KU's win. The freshman posted 13 points (4-for-9 shooting) with six rebounds and three assists to go with two turnovers.

4. Elijah Johnson: His best game in a long time. The senior guard appeared to have some of his confidence return, as he was much more fearless with drives and finished better at the rim because of it. Johnson was 4-for-4 on layups (he was only 51 percent on close shots coming in), and that helped him produce a 12-point effort on 5-for-10 shooting. The senior added four assists and a steal to go with just one turnover — his lowest turnover total since the American game on Dec. 29, 2012.

5. Naadir Tharpe: Played well, but his minutes were limited because of Johnson's production. The sophomore posted two points (1-for-3 shooting) with three assists, two steals and no turnovers in 15 minutes. Tharpe's passing has become much better in the past few games, as he's creating easy looks with dribble penetration and dropoff passes.

6. Kevin Young: A good energy game for Young was ruined by his inability to make close shots. The senior was just 2-for-7 on layups, but he still hustled his way to seven rebounds (four offensive) in 28 minutes. Young posted six points (3-for-8 shooting) with two assists, two steals and two turnovers.

7. Perry Ellis: Five points, two rebounds and 3-for-4 free throw shooting from Ellis, who appeared to struggle most when he was in at the same time as Jamari Traylor.

8. Jamari Traylor: The freshman displayed a nice spin move into a left-handed hook shot, but he made too many mistakes during his limited time (nine minutes). Traylor made his only shot but posted three turnovers.

9. Andrew White III: Missed a three-pointer (looked like maybe he was fouled?) and had a turnover in four minutes.

10. Justin Wesley: Had two fouls in four minutes.

11. Rio Adams: Checked in late in the first half, promptly turned it over in the back-court, was yanked and didn't play the rest of the game.

KUsports.com Season Standings
1. Jeff Withey (198 points)
2. Ben McLemore (195 points)
3. Travis Releford (182 points)
4. Kevin Young (144 points)
5. Elijah Johnson (130 points)
6. Naadir Tharpe (127 points)
7. Perry Ellis (105 points)
8. Jamari Traylor (83 points)
9. Andrew White III (43 points)
10. Rio Adams (26 points)
11. Justin Wesley (16 points)

Big 12 Standings
1. Jeff Withey (107 points)
2. Ben McLemore (106 points)
3. Travis Releford (96 points)
4. Kevin Young (85 points)
5. Naadir Tharpe (66 points)
6. Elijah Johnson (55 points)
7. Perry Ellis (53 points)
8. Jamari Traylor (42 points)
9. Andrew White III (20 points)
10. Rio Adams (11 points)
11. Justin Wesley (9 points)

Reply

Hot-shooting McLemore edges out Withey, Tharpe for top spot

Kansas guard Ben McLemore puts up a three over Kansas State guard Rodney McGruder during the first half on Monday, Feb. 11, 2013.

Kansas guard Ben McLemore puts up a three over Kansas State guard Rodney McGruder during the first half on Monday, Feb. 11, 2013. by Nick Krug

1. Ben McLemore: Kansas coach Bill Self said afterwards that McLemore was more aggressive both shooting and penetrating, and the freshman's line was impressive because of it. McLemore scored 30 points on just 13 field-goal attempts, going 9-for-13 from the floor and 6-for-10 from three. He added seven rebounds and a team-high three steals to go with three turnovers.

2. Jeff Withey: Withey's best moment came after an emphatic slam, as he yelled to the air before tugging at his jersey in a Superman-like pose. The fans went nuts, as they hadn't seen that kind of fire from Withey in his last few games. The senior posted 17 points (5-for-10 shooting) to go with 10 rebounds while adding five blocks to set a new KU career record. Withey added two steals and had no turnovers in 30 minutes.

3. Naadir Tharpe: Self called Tharpe's first half the best half of his career. Not only was the sophomore making great plays off the dribble to post seven first-half points with six assists and no turnovers, he also stuck to KSU's Rodney McGruder defensively to keep him from open shots. Tharpe's second half wasn't as good, but his final total of seven points on 3-for-9 shooting with eight assists, one turnover and one steal in 27 minutes is the best line KU has gotten from a point guard in weeks.

4. Kevin Young: Had a knack for finding the open spaces around the basket to get layups. When he did have some room off the dribble, Young also made the right decision most of the time, pulling up for short jumpers or passing back out when an opening wasn't available. The senior finished with 13 points on 6-for-9 shooting and also had a huge impact on the boards, grabbing nine rebounds (eight defensive) in his 29 minutes. Young also had two assists, a block and steal to go with a turnover.

5. Travis Releford: Looked much more comfortable in a wide-open game. His best move was an old-man drop-step on Will Spradling in transition, with the senior twirling around the KSU guard for a layup with a foul. Releford had 10 points on 4-for-8 shooting with two assists and one turnover. He was limited to 22 minutes because of first-half foul trouble.

6. Jamari Traylor: Missed all three of his field goals, but he also gave KU a couple extra possessions, pulling down three rebounds (two offensive). He had one point and one assist with no turnovers in 12 minutes.

7. Perry Ellis: One rebound, one steal and one turnover in six minutes. The freshman played just one minute in the second half.

8. Andrew White III: Won the coin toss to take eighth over Justin Wesley. Played one minute without recording a statistic.

9. Justin Wesley: Lost the coin toss. Part of the trillion club with one minute and nine other zeroes on his stat line.

10. Elijah Johnson: Once again was a negative-value player for KU. Johnson scored five points on 1-for-6 shooting (0-for-4 from three) and now has shot over 50 percent in just one of KU's 24 games this season. The senior added two rebounds and three assists to go with a team-high four turnovers. His starting spot should be in jeopardy, especially with Tharpe's strong effort Monday.

11. Rio Adams: Didn't play well in a five-minute audition for future minutes. He had a steal and played decent on-ball defense, but he also committed a foul and had two turnovers.

KUsports.com Season Standings
1. Jeff Withey (188 points)
2. Ben McLemore (187 points)
3. Travis Releford (173 points)
4. Kevin Young (139 points)
5. Elijah Johnson (123 points)
6. Naadir Tharpe (121 points)
7. Perry Ellis (101 points)
8. Jamari Traylor (80 points)
9. Andrew White III (41 points)
10. Rio Adams (26 points)
11. Justin Wesley (15 points)

Big 12 Standings
1. Ben McLemore (98 points)
2. Jeff Withey (97 points)
3. Travis Releford (87 points)
4. Kevin Young (80 points)
5. Naadir Tharpe (60 points)
6. Perry Ellis (49 points)
7. Elijah Johnson (47 points)
8. Jamari Traylor (39 points)
9. Andrew White III (18 points)
10. Rio Adams (11 points)
11. Justin Wesley (8 points)

Reply

Ben McLemore gives top performance in loss

1. Ben McLemore: The freshman finished with an efficient line, posting 15 points on 6-for-10 shooting (2-for-6 from three). Opponents seem to have picked up on his weaknesses, though, covering him up on the perimeter to force him to drive. McLemore added three rebounds, three assists and a steal to go with two turnovers.

2. Jeff Withey: Didn't appear to be his springy self defensively, as Withey challenged few of OU's shots at the rim. The senior still was KU's best option inside, posting 14 points on 5-for-8 shooting, and came away with three of KU's five steals. Here's a stat for you: In KU's 10 Big 12 games, Withey has more steals (12) than Elijah Johnson (11) and Ben McLemore (10) and double the steals of Naadir Tharpe (5). Withey had six rebounds but also posted a season-high five turnovers.

3. Kevin Young: Young provided the Jayhawks with energy and is a much more valuable player when he makes his layups. The senior went 4-for-5 on layups/dunks against OU and finished with eight points on 4-for-7 shooting overall. He added five rebounds and a steal with no turnovers, but he was limited to 18 minutes with foul trouble.

4. Naadir Tharpe: Tharpe gave KU hope just before the end of the first half, putting in a pair of shots to cut OU's lead from eight to four. He finished with seven points on 3-for-5 shooting (1-for-2 from three) with two assists and one turnover in 22 minutes. If KU coach Bill Self wants to make a change in the starting lineup, this is where he should start.

5. Travis Releford: Releford has gone from one of KU's most consistent players to one of its least consistent in recent games. He let OU's Steven Pledger wiggle free too often in the first half and missed crucial free throws, including one that would have tied the game at 60 with 4:13 left. Releford contributed eight points on 3-for-7 shooting (1-for-2 from three) while making just one of four free throws. Serving as a post defender in KU's Triangle-and-2 setup, Releford notched a season-high nine rebounds to go with one assist and two turnovers.

6. Elijah Johnson: What should Self do? Johnson's play is leaving the coach few other options other than to try something — anything — to get better production from the point-guard spot. This wasn't as bad as the TCU performance for Johnson, but it was another stinker in a conference season full of them. Johnson scored 10 points on 3-for-11 shooting (2-for-6 from three). He continues to struggle with layups, as he was 0-for-2 Saturday, with both of them coming in the final 1:15. Johnson added four assists to go with three turnovers.

7. Perry Ellis: He played aggressively, with his hard-charging drives drawing enough attention to allow KU to get opportunities for offensive rebounds on the weak side. He also came through with a pair of hustle plays to steal KU a pair of extra possessions. Like Johnson, though, he couldn't convert on his layups. Ellis was 0-for-4 overall, 0-for-3 on layups and ended with two points and two rebounds in eight minutes.

8. Jamari Traylor: Made one of his two shots and missed the front end of a 1-and-1 in seven minutes.

9. Justin Wesley: Had two rebounds in four minutes.

KUsports.com Season Standings
1. Jeff Withey (179 points)
2. Ben McLemore (177 points)
3. Travis Releford (167 points)
4. Kevin Young (132 points)
5. Elijah Johnson (122 points)
6. Naadir Tharpe (113 points)
7. Perry Ellis (97 points)
8. Jamari Traylor (75 points)
9. Andrew White III (38 points)
10. Rio Adams (26 points)
11. Justin Wesley (13 points)

Big 12 Standings
T1. Jeff Withey (88 points)
T1. Ben McLemore (88 points)
3. Travis Releford (81 points)
4. Kevin Young (73 points)
5. Naadir Tharpe (52 points)
6. Elijah Johnson (46 points)
7. Perry Ellis (45 points)
8. Jamari Traylor (34 points)
9. Andrew White III (15 points)
10. Rio Adams (11 points)
11. Justin Wesley (6 points)

Reply

Jeff Withey tops ratings against TCU

1. Jeff Withey: The senior had a hard time getting shots up against TCU's physical post players, but he still was easily KU's best performer. Withey posted 12 points on 4-for-6 shooting from the floor and 4-for-5 shooting from the free throw line. He also added eight rebounds and three blocks to go with two turnovers in 33 minutes.

2. Ben McLemore: After lifting KU out of so many scoring droughts this season, McLemore couldn't bail out the Jayhawks in the first half, scoring two points on 0-for-6 shooting. McLemore bounced back with a solid second half, ending with a team-high 15 points (6-for-16 shooting), though he still missed all six of his three-point tries. He also had nine rebounds, three assists and one block to go with a team-high-tying three turnovers.

3. Kevin Young: KU coach Bill Self said Kevin Young's benching in favor of Perry Ellis didn't affect the outcome — a point I disagree with. Young had a favorable matchup against TCU but only played 14 minutes, with Self many times choosing to play small with two guards that combined to go 5-for-27 from the floor. Young was productive during the time he was in, posting six points (2-for-7 shooting) with nine rebounds, which included four offensive boards. He also added a steal with no turnovers.

4. Travis Releford: The senior was burned on the defensive end by Garlon Green, who scored a game-high 20 points, and was a no-show on the offensive end, attempting just one field goal. Through all that, he still ranks fourth because everyone else stunk worse than he did. Releford added six rebounds and four assists to go with one turnover before he fouled out after 36 minutes.

5. Jamari Traylor: Scored KU's first and only basket in the game's first 12 minutes. That basically was his entire line. The freshman played seven minutes, scoring two points with one rebound and two fouls.

6. Naadir Tharpe: The good news? He hit all six of his free throw attempts, which pushed his point total to 11 points. The bad news? The sophomore was just 2-for-15 from the floor and 1-for-6 from three-point range, which included crucial misses late in the second half when KU still was within striking distance. Though Tharpe's confidence is admirable, his decision-making has to be questioned if those quick-trigger shots early in the shot clock aren't falling. Tharpe posted two assists and two turnovers in 25 minutes.

7. Perry Ellis: Started for the first time since the Michigan State game because Self wanted to shake things up. Ellis did almost nothing in his 10 minutes, picking up a rebound and missing one field goal.

8. Rio Adams: A member of the 3 trillion club; he played three minutes with no other statistics. That put him ahead of three other Jayhawk scholarship players.

9. Justin Wesley: Had a rebound, a foul and a turnover in three minutes.

10. Elijah Johnson: Self had to know his critical comments about Johnson after the Oklahoma State game was going to force him in one of two directions: Either the guard was going to be fired up to prove his coach wrong, or he was going to play like a guy whose confidence had been shaken. Obviously, Self made the wrong call after Saturday's loss, as Johnson is playing with hesitation and shooting like a player with a bad case of the yips. Johnson was 3-for-12 from the floor and 2-for-8 from three, once again missing too many open jumpers while also failing to convert those opportunities he had at the rim. He had eight points, three assists, one block and tied a team-high with three turnovers before he fouled out after playing 31 minutes.

11. Andrew White III: Missed a three-pointer, airballed a three-pointer, posted a turnover and had three fouls in his two minutes.

KUsports.com Season Standings
1. Jeff Withey (170 points)
2. Ben McLemore (167 points)
3. Travis Releford (161 points)
4. Kevin Young (124 points)
5. Elijah Johnson (117 points)
6. Naadir Tharpe (106 points)
7. Perry Ellis (93 points)
8. Jamari Traylor (72 points)
9. Andrew White III (38 points)
10. Rio Adams (26 points)
11. Justin Wesley (11 points)

Big 12 Standings
1. Jeff Withey (79 points)
2. Ben McLemore (78 points)
3. Travis Releford (75 points)
4. Kevin Young (65 points)
5. Naadir Tharpe (45 points)
T6. Elijah Johnson (41 points)
T6. Perry Ellis (41 points)
8. Jamari Traylor (31 points)
9. Andrew White III (15 points)
10. Rio Adams (11 points)
11. Justin Wesley (4 points)

Reply

Ben McLemore tops ratings against Cowboys

1. Ben McLemore: Took over the game for stretches offensively to help KU erase a 14-point, first-half deficit. His three-pointer with 15:16 left in the second half gave KU a 46-45 lead and was the first of seven straight points for the freshman. McLemore finished with 23 points on 9-for-17 shooting with 3-for-6 accuracy from three-point range. He also added five rebounds while tying a season-high with four turnovers in 33 minutes.

2. Kevin Young: As he often does, Young provided KU with a surge of energy in the first half, slamming in a poorly thrown lob by Naadir Tharpe to get the crowd going and force an OSU timeout. Young tied a career-high with four steals while also posting an efficient line: 12 points, 3-for-5 shooting, 6-for-8 free throw shooting with seven rebounds and just one turnover in 24 minutes.

3. Travis Releford: His second-half defense was part of the reason OSU's Markel Brown didn't score 50 points instead of 28. Releford had three steals and three assists with no turnovers. His eight points came on 2-for-5 shooting, though he did make both of his three-point attempts. It was the first time in 17 games that Releford failed to score in double figures.

4. Jeff Withey: It wasn't a typical Jeff Withey performance, especially with as much as KU has relied on him defensively this year. The senior posted 11 points (4-for-8 shooting) and made all three of his free throws, but he didn't seem to have as much defensive impact against an athletic OSU team. The senior added eight rebounds, one assist and three blocks to go with four turnovers in 30 minutes.

5. Andrew White III: White III played only one minute, but man he did a lot in that time. He hit a deep three, picked up a steal, was fouled twice and hit three of four free throws to finish with six points. KU coach Bill Self hinted after the game that he should be playing the freshman more, but unfortunately for Self, White isn't a ball-handler, which is what his team needs most right now.

6. Naadir Tharpe: The sophomore made some shots to bail out KU when it was running poor offense in the second half. Tharpe scored eight points on 3-for-7 shooting (2-for-4 from three) with four assists and one turnover. Self wasn't happy with any of his guards' defense, though, and that's an area where Tharpe still needs improvement.

7. Jamari Traylor: Performed well during limited playing time. The freshman missed his only field goal, but in eight minutes, he grabbed five rebounds (three offensive) with a block and a steal. He didn't appear to be overmatched athletically against OSU's talented players.

8. Perry Ellis: Played a better first half than second half. With Self giving Withey one final breather around the seven-minute mark, the freshman had a horrible stretch, failing to grab two defensive rebounds while also picking up a foul. Self was forced to go back to Withey probably a minute quicker than he wanted to. Ellis missed all three of his field goals but still contributed four points (4-for-6 free throw shooting) to go with six rebounds in 13 minutes.

9. Elijah Johnson: After the game, Self said this about Johnson: "We were definitely a better team with him over there sitting down next to us and putting somebody else in the game." Just last week, Self defended Johnson, saying he was doing a good job based on KU's record. Self has reversed course now, as the above quote appears to be a pretty clear challenge to the senior. Johnson posted eight points on 3-for-14 shooting, making one of seven threes. He also had six assists to go with four turnovers and was beaten badly on the boards by OSU's Marcus Smart (eight offensive rebounds).

KUsports.com Season Standings
1. Jeff Withey (160 points)
2. Ben McLemore (158 points)
3. Travis Releford (154 points)
T4. Elijah Johnson (116 points)
T4. Kevin Young (116 points)
6. Naadir Tharpe (101 points)
7. Perry Ellis (89 points)
8. Jamari Traylor (66 points)
9. Andrew White III (38 points)
10. Rio Adams (23 points)
11. Justin Wesley (9 points)

Big 12 Standings
T1. Jeff Withey (69 points)
T1. Ben McLemore (69 points)
3. Travis Releford (68 points)
4. Kevin Young (57 points)
T5. Elijah Johnson (40 points)
T5. Naadir Tharpe (40 points)
7. Perry Ellis (37 points)
8. Jamari Traylor (25 points)
9. Andrew White III (15 points)
10. Rio Adams (8 points)
11. Justin Wesley (2 points)

Reply

Travis Releford impresses Bill Self, takes top honor

Kansas guard Travis Releford (24) attempts a steal from West Virginia's Eron Harris (10) in the Jayhawks' game against the Mountaineers on Monday night in Morgantown, W.Va.

Kansas guard Travis Releford (24) attempts a steal from West Virginia's Eron Harris (10) in the Jayhawks' game against the Mountaineers on Monday night in Morgantown, W.Va. by Mike Yoder

1. Travis Releford: Afterwards, Kansas coach Bill Self called Releford "by far our best player." The senior once again posted an efficient offensive line, tying the team lead with 15 points on 7-for-9 shooting. Self also complimented Releford's defense afterwards, as he held WVU's Eron Harris (11.3 ppg in Big 12 play) to two points on 0-for-5 field-goal shooting. The senior had a pair of crucial plays down the stretch too, hitting a big three from the corner to give KU some breathing room and also pulling down the final defensive rebound of the game following a Jeff Withey block. Releford added four rebounds, two assists and two steals to go with three turnovers in 38 minutes. He now has scored in double figures in 17 straight games.

2. Jeff Withey: A close second behind Releford, the big man had a great shooting night from the floor, making six of eight shots to go with seven rebounds and four blocks. He also came through on WVU's final possession, blocking a pair of shots to make sure the Mountaineers didn't make it a one-possession game. Withey's only struggles came at the free throw line, where he was just 3-for-7. Still a solid night for the senior, who posted an assist and steal to go and two turnovers while avoiding foul trouble in 31 minutes.

3. Ben McLemore: Had two bad turnovers at the end of the first half to let West Virginia back in it and also took himself out of the game early with two quick fouls. Still, you look up and the freshman scores 13 points (3-for-7 shooting, 1-for-3 from three) while also providing the Jayhawks their best free throw shooter (6-for-8). McLemore had four rebounds, one assist and one steal to go with three turnovers in 25 minutes.

4. Elijah Johnson: The senior went 2-for-4 from the floor and 1-for-2 from three to finish with five points while also notching five assists. He had a bad turnover at the end of the first half to let WVU cut the lead to 38-30, but Johnson also was more active defensively, coming away with three steals and five defensive rebounds in 34 minutes.

5. Kevin Young: Self was frustrated with Young for a play late when he tried to make a left-handed pass to the corner while falling out of bounds (the coach said Young should have just shot it), but the senior helped keep a good offensive rebounding team in WVU from getting second chances. Young had seven rebounds (five defensive) and seven points in 32 minutes, adding in an assist and steal with two turnovers.

6. Perry Ellis: Played well in limited action. The freshman scored on a spin move in the first half when KU's offense was going stale, finishing with four points in 11 minutes. Ellis now has posted no turnovers in seven of his last nine games.

7. Naadir Tharpe: Self didn't like Tharpe's defense after the game, saying at one point, the man he was guarding scored eight straight points. The sophomore also took an ill-advised three in the second half during a time when KU would have been better suited to run its offense. Still, Tharpe was robbed of a basket (and also picked up his third foul) on a bad charge call by the officials when he did a nice job of attacking the defense. The point guard finished with no points on 0-for-2 shooting with two rebounds, two assists and a turnover in 15 minutes.

8. Rio Adams: Part of the 2 trillion club: no statistics in two minutes of playing time. 9. Andrew White III: You're probably not getting good bench production if two guys fall below a player in the 2 trillion club. White's shot was off Monday night, as he airballed an open three and finished 0-for-2 from the floor and just 1-for-4 from the free throw line. He also had a turnover, but one positive was that he pulled down four rebounds in six minutes.

10. Jamari Traylor: Had three fouls, one rebound and a turnover in six minutes before getting pulled.

KUsports.com Season Standings
1. Jeff Withey (153 points)
2. Ben McLemore (148 points)
3. Travis Releford (146 points)
4. Elijah Johnson (114 points)
5. Kevin Young (109 points)
6. Naadir Tharpe (96 points)
7. Perry Ellis (86 points)
8. Jamari Traylor (62 points)
9. Andrew White III (32 points)
10. Rio Adams (23 points)
11. Justin Wesley (9 points)

Big 12 Standings
1. Jeff Withey (62 points)
2. Travis Releford (60 points)
3. Ben McLemore (59 points)
4. Kevin Young (48 points)
5. Elijah Johnson (38 points)
6. Naadir Tharpe (35 points)
7. Perry Ellis (34 points)
8. Jamari Traylor (21 points)
9. Andrew White III (9 points)
10. Rio Adams (8 points)
11. Justin Wesley (2 points)

Reply

Jeff Withey’s defense shuts down red-hot Romero Osby

Kansas center Jeff Withey extends to defend against a shot from Oklahoma forward Romero Osby during the first half on Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas center Jeff Withey extends to defend against a shot from Oklahoma forward Romero Osby during the first half on Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

1. Jeff Withey: The senior center remains as the team's most valuable player because of his impact on the defensive end. Oklahoma's Romero Osby hadn't shot worse than 50 percent in any of his last 10 games. Against Withey, Osby was 4-for-16 from the floor, mustering just 12 points despite attempting the most shots he's taken this season. Withey also was impressive in help defense, contributing four blocks to go with three steals. Offensively, Withey posted 13 points on 6-for-11 shooting with nine rebounds in 34 minutes.

2. Ben McLemore: I'm not in the camp that McLemore needs to shot more shots just to shoot more shots. If he can see the rim from the three-point line, though, he might want to consider firing way. McLemore showed off his ultra-quick release in the second half, making three of four treys before finishing with a game-high 18 points on 5-for-10 shooting (3-for-5 from three overall). The freshman has now made 46 percent of his three-pointers this year (36 of 79) yet isn't even the team leader in long-range attempts (Elijah Johnson, 81).

3. Travis Releford: Followed a rough first half with a solid second half and was KU's best distributor. He also was part of the cavalry that bothered OU sharpshooter Steven Pledger (10 points, 4-for-8 shooting) on the defensive end. Releford filled up his stat line, posting 10 points, five rebounds, five assists, a block and a steal to go with three turnovers.

4. Kevin Young: Another game that Young didn't always look great but still managed to give KU solid statistical production. He continues to be an underrated rebounder, as he pulled down five caroms in just 21 minutes. He also had six points (3-for-7 shooting) and three steals to go with two turnovers.

5. Perry Ellis: Like Young, Ellis was a big factor on the glass in his limited time, pulling down five rebounds in 14 minutes. He also made a strong move, working through contact to put in a short jumper over a bigger defender. Ellis had two points on 1-for-2 shooting with a block and no turnovers. In 276 minutes this year, Ellis has turned it over just 11 times.

6. Naadir Tharpe: After finding himself deep in coach Bill Self's doghouse following some out-of-control drives in the first half, Tharpe bounced back with an impressive six minutes in the second half. His second-half numbers: eight points, 1-for-2 shooting, 1-for-1 three-point shooting, 5-for-6 free throw shooting, two assists, no turnovers. His final total was eight points on 1-for-5 shooting, but his free throw and assist contributions (four assists to two turnovers) make that number more a little easier to overlook.

7. Elijah Johnson: Had two horrible decisions against Oklahoma's second-half press, with Self saying afterwards that holding the ball above one's head when being trapped is a mistake that a senior point guard should not make. With his four turnovers Saturday, Johnson now has led the Jayhawks in turnovers in five of their last seven games. He hit a crucial three late and finished with eight points, but 3-for-8 from the floor and 2-for-6 from three still isn't an efficient line. Johnson tied for third on the team with just two assists in 26 minutes and also hurt his team by picking up two cheap fouls in the first half, which forced Self to use his bench for extended minutes.

8. Jamari Traylor: Lots of positives, only one negative for the freshman. Traylor made his only field goal, posted two points and had three rebounds and a block in 10 minutes. The lowlight was his free throw shooting, as neither of his two attempts were particularly close.

9. Rio Adams: When he first stepped on the court, Adams had one great defensive possession, sticking to his man while forcing a tough jumper that missed badly. After that, though, he committed a foul after getting beaten on a drive and missed his only shot in three minutes.

KUsports.com Season Standings
1. Jeff Withey (144 points)
2. Ben McLemore (140 points)
3. Travis Releford (136 points)
4. Elijah Johnson (107 points)
5. Kevin Young (103 points)
6. Naadir Tharpe (92 points)
7. Perry Ellis (81 points)
8. Jamari Traylor (61 points)
9. Andrew White III (30 points)
10. Rio Adams (21 points)
11. Justin Wesley (9 points)

Big 12 Standings
1. Jeff Withey (53 points)
2. Ben McLemore (51 points)
3. Travis Releford (50 points)
4. Kevin Young (42 points)
T5. Naadir Tharpe (31 points)
T5. Elijah Johnson (31 points)
7. Perry Ellis (29 points)
8. Jamari Traylor (20 points)
9. Andrew White III (7 points)
10. Rio Adams (5 points)
11. Justin Wesley (2 points)

Reply

Travis Releford gives complete effort in win over Kansas State

1. Travis Releford: Kansas coach Bill Self said afterwards that Releford had one of his best games as a Jayhawk. The senior darted through numerous screens to chase down Kansas State leading scorer Rodney McGruder, holding him to 13 points on 4-for-12 shooting. Releford also was his normal efficient self on the offensive end, making five of six shots (and two of three three-pointers) to lead KU with 12 points to go with three assists, one steal and no turnovers.

2. Jeff Withey: Playing with the flu, Withey hit what Self called the game's biggest shot, putting in a jump-hook over the top of Kansas State's Jordan Henriquez to push KU's advantage late in the second half. Withey also was the biggest reason KSU had one of its worst games on the offensive glass, pulling down seven defensive rebounds. Withey posted a double-double with 11 points on 3-for-6 shooting with 10 rebounds.

3. Ben McLemore: Though he sat out most of the first half with two fouls, McLemore took over a stretch in the second half, lifting KU with a three-pointer an a long two off scramble plays. McLemore finished with 11 points, five rebounds, two blocks and a steal to go with three turnovers.

4. Perry Ellis: Ellis helped save KU in the first half when Withey picked up two fouls. The freshman was aggressive in scrums and efficient with his shot, going 3-for-4 from the floor for eight points with four rebounds in 18 minutes. The only negative for him was the free throw line, where he made just two of six shots.

5. Naadir Tharpe: Hit the game's two biggest free throws, making both ends of a one-and-one with 22 seconds left to extend the Jayhawks' lead to five points. Though Tharpe made just two of seven field goals and missed all four of his three-point tries, he posted two assists against just one turnover with a steal in 18 minutes.

6. Kevin Young: Though his line was ugly, Young made two important plays. One was an offensive rebound around Shane Southwell, which led to a McLemore three, and the other was a stickback before the first-half buzzer that pushed KU's lead to four. Young missed too many bunnies, making just one of six field goals to end with three points, six rebounds, two assists and one turnover in 30 minutes.

7. Elijah Johnson: Though Johnson hit the game-clinching free throw with 3 seconds left, his struggles continue. The senior point guard had five of his team's 13 turnovers, which makes 25 turnovers in his last six games; in three of his last six games, he's had five turnovers or more. Johnson's shooting didn't help his line either, as he attempted a team-high 10 field goals while making just three (which included 1-for-3 accuracy from three-point range). Johnson added four rebounds, four assists and two steals in 35 minutes.

8. Rio Adams: Won the Gary Bedore coin flip to take eighth place. Played two minutes with no other stats.

9. Jamari Traylor: Lost the Gary Bedore coin flip to take ninth place. Played two minutes with no other stats.

KUsports.com Season Standings
1. Jeff Withey (134 points)
2. Ben McLemore (131 points)
3. Travis Releford (128 points)
4. Elijah Johnson (103 points)
5. Kevin Young (96 points)
6. Naadir Tharpe (87 points)
7. Perry Ellis (75 points)
8. Jamari Traylor (58 points)
9. Andrew White III (30 points)
10. Rio Adams (19 points)
11. Justin Wesley (9 points)

Reply

1 2 3 ...4