Jan 17 Headlines: The World According to Tharpe

  • Nadiir Tharpe

    ###Back in coach’s good graces, Naadir Tharpe ‘having fun’ at KU###

    After getting benched for stretches during KU’s two-game losing streak against Colorado and Florida, the KU junior point guard had his confidence shaken, and his coach could tell.

    “I think he probably needed to know that I liked him, to be real candid,” KU coach Bill Self said. “I love the kid.

    ####Junior guard embraces leadership role after benching####

    Mired in a slump that cost him his starting job, Kansas University junior point guard Naadir Tharpe decided it was time for a one-on-one sit-down session with coach Bill Self.

    “I didn’t go in there and talk anything about starting. It was more about the team and how things were going with us, what I needed to do more to help him (Self) out and how he could help me out,” added the 5-11, 170-pounder from Worcester, Mass. “Me as a player and him as head coach … we look at each other the whole time throughout the game, so we had to get a much better understanding for each other.

    ####Keegan: Smart’s remarks likely to backfire####

    When athletes and coaches speak, they are ever mindful that opponents listen, ready to twist every syllable to their advantage. That leaves the rest of us trying to interpret the speakers’ true feelings.

    ####Bill Self press conference notes: Jan. 16####

    FULL AUDIO CLIPS: Bill Self | Andrew Wiggins | Wayne Selden Jr.

    #####OUR DAILY THREADS:#####

  • “I think he probably needed to know that I liked him, to be real candid,” KU coach Bill Self said. “I love the kid. He knows that. But I got kind of frustrated with him, and he knew that."

    Toughening box.

  • Flips and comments by Smart are irrelevant.

    All that matters is he is a great 6-3 point guard that beat KU one time, and would have beaten KU twice, had not Self resorted to some XTReme Cheap Shotting Lite with KY to throw the sapling Smart off his game.

    Smart will be ready and Smart and Ford will pre-empt Self with an XTReme Cheap Shot Lite of their own.

    The early cheap shot psychological warfare should be well scripted. Wiggins for sure will taste one. Embiid, too.

    OSU’s fans may have given up when Cobbins went out, but Travis Fiesta and Smart have been prepping for this game for a year.

    I just hope no one gets hurt.

  • “We had a chance to win that game, and we didn’t do it,” Self said. “And he did do a backflip, and I watched it on tape. I thought it was beautiful form. I thought he tucked just at the right time and got full extension. I thought it was very impressive.”

    I don’t think Bill Self is too worried about a backflip.

  • The team has to be careful to not play two games at once. Last years game is dead and gone, but we are still talking about it and the backflip.

    Part of Iowa St problem, imho, was that they tried to play two games at once, instead of focusing on the one that was actually in the present. Continuing to play the game from the past (last years gutwrencher to EJ and the gang ) lead to their worst shooting night of the season.

    “Never let the success or failure of your last pitch affect the success of your next one.”–Nolan Ryan

  • @jaybate - I can see the “XTReme Cheap Shot” taking place on Embiid… another attempt to get him to retaliate and suffer the consequences.

    Loved the write-up on Tharpe, and how he goes around juicing up the troops before each game now.

    @Blown - Great point, and excellent quote!

  • @wissoxfan83 This quote from Self (a gymnastic judge’s view of The Backflip) elicited my Friday morning smile. His wry wit sometimes approaches the level of Yogi B’s.

  • @bskeet, forgot to mention the stellar title and homage to John Irving.

    Let’s just hope KU isn’t guilty of “Setting Free the Bears.”

  • @Blown Nice Nolan Ryan quote. Wiggins in particular must adhere to that maxim throughout his career. I am very cognizant and respectful of the manner in which Andrew has elevated his play in gradations. His progress lies on a more subtle curve than that of Joel’s. As they each keep reaching toward their current ceilings, devoted Jayhawk fans are in for special treats. Andrew has been very patient in dealing not only with the humongous expectations of media and fandom, but also with his own gametime development at this new level of play. He seems not to be rattled out of form by all the early Parker/Randle/Smart kudos and comparisons. So that now he approaches moments when he steps near the brink of leaping away from other contenders for NCAA limelights. And, of course, Joel’s footsteps occasionally lurk and lurch right along, in sync.

  • I’ve become curious about the @jaybate comment that Adidas doesn’t want both Embiid and Wiggins to declare in the same year. If Wiggins keeps lifting his game, and Embiid returns… good shot for Wiggins to go #1 in the draft. And an excellent chance for Embiid next year.

    Hard to turn away from these “conspiracy theories” when considering the amount of money involved. I know these “amateur athletes” aren’t allowed agency during college, but who is to say it takes agency to sign a shoe contract to go in effect once an athlete leaves college. Would that be illegal under NCAA rules? I don’t see how they could uphold something like that in a court of law.

  • @drgnslayr No matter what Jay Bilas says about Embiid looking into “what other great big men say to do” I still can’t imagine he will stay…or Wiggins for that matter.

    I may be speaking out of turn here as I have never seen the Embiid or Wiggins family bank statements but I always think it is funny when people say that they don’t need the money and that they are comfortable due to their families. They may not be in the dire situation that B Mac was in but are they really in a spot where a guaranteed signing bonus of millions of dollars does not look attractive and nearly impossible to pass up? With these two kids we are not talking about possible lottery picks…we are talking about the current #1 and #2 player on Chad Ford’s draft picks.

  • @bskeet nice post!

  • The backflip is over. It is in the past and not worth mentioning. Winning the game would have taken care of that. No matter how much the media and fans try to hype it up as a rematch, it is not. Last year is gone. It is not coming back. This year Wiggins appears to be on Smart’s mind. I don’t know whether that’s good or bad? To me, it simply does not matter. Looking forward to this matchup. Andrew Wiggins is a must have for this year’s team. Come tournament time, he will be a difference maker. We are loaded with playmakers on the bench. This team has a chance to be special.

  • @KansasComet But here is what is posted on NBC Sports this morning. Only problem is they say the flip occurred in STILLWATER and not on our home court. Geez.

    GAME OF THE WEEKEND: No. 9 Oklahoma State at No. 15 Kansas, 4:00 p.m. EST

    Rob Dauster Jan 17, 2014, 9:30 AM EST

    This is going to be a doozy. Let’s start with the obvious: Oklahoma State and Kansas are the two best teams in the Big 12. And while the preseason luster of Marcus Smart vs. Andrew Wiggins (who, at the time, were considered the two favorites to win National Player of the Year) has faded a bit, there is still a bit of animosity there. Marcus Smart called out this year’s freshmen class in the preseason. He also infamously did a back-flip after the Pokes knocked off Kansas in Stillwater last year. Add in the intrigue of Bill Self being a graduate of Oklahoma State and, well, you have your pick of storylines heading into this one.

    The basketball should be just as intriguing, although I think that Oklahoma State is going to have some trouble with Kansas for one reason: Joel Embiid. He may actually have the highest ceiling of any prospect in this draft class, and as a 7-footer with a low-post game, he is going to give an Oklahoma State team lacking in post front court depth problems. Travis Ford is really going to feel the loss of Michael Cobbins on Saturday.

  • @drgnslayr-I vividly forsee OSU trying to get JE in Xtreme foul trouble asap. We have to play craftier than Smart, who is great at initiating contact on the drive & if our guards don’t cut him off, JE must virtually let him finish or it’ll be a short (re: their coach) game for the Big Lion Hunter. Brown too can be rampant for 25-30 pts, & Forte is similar to Heslip in that when he’s hot, he’s really blistering. Offensively we should be able to have our way in the paint & Jo & Perry must stay on the floor together, but defensively, perimeter play is paramount. Smart will likely get his even if from the line, but if we shut down kick outs & 3 balls, we leave the gym 4 & 0 in conf, & as the conductor punching tickets for the hack, and the back seats legitimately up for grabs.

  • OSU better be careful trying to xtreme cheapshot. They have no depth at all. If I were Self, I would play into that and EVERY SINGLE POSSESSION would go inside first. Perry and JoJo will carve them up, and it won’t even be close. Factor in BruiseBrothers Tarik & Jamari and that is even more of a hurting on their post players.

    Wiggins & Selden are the only players than can D up on Smart, so they should focus on D and let the offense flow through the paint.

    If this turns into a pee pee match between Wiggins and Smart, then it is playing right into Okie States hands. The game isn’t about who is the best NBA prospect, it is about who has the better team on Saturday.

  • @Blown love the bruise bros! Agree about the Wiggins on Smart. Pretty sure Self will see to that! Do you think we’ll see Self play any zone? Triangle and 2?

  • HEM and Kip McSmithers…I went and read yesterdays “confessional posts” and wanted to follow up:

    HEM, I’m sorry to disappoint you that only 1/3 of my college credits came from KU–for the time being. But my blood is crimson and blue, and everybody hated me for it in Manhattan. My earliest memories are of me sitting with my grandparents on April 4, 1988, my 5th birthday. I bet you can guess what we were doing? From there, I went to create memories on the playground such as screaming to myself “Adonis Jordan for ttthhhhreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee” Who cares I skipped a couple of teams there 🙂 My uncle was a barber on mass and used to cut a lot of the players hairs so my familiarity and love grew even more, and have fortunately been able to remain close since then.

    Regarding Missouri: I was preparing my son, Jack for his first spelling bee the other day. My wife was going through the warm-up words with him when I said, why are you giving him the warm-ups, he’s beyond that? Her response was classic:

    “I don’t know, we didn’t have spelling bees in Missouri.” I replied: of course they didn’t 🙂

    KIP–I am not Sheahon, but I did meet him right before I moved to Mexico in 2004. I put my 76 CJ 5 up for sale, and he wanted to test drive it. We spent some time driving it around the Flint Hills with the top down. Apparently 4k was too much for his KSU Assistant AD salary. Or maybe I overpriced it to be sure I had it when I returned from El Sur.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 I thought about the zone for a quick second, too. But the best way to beat the zone is to have a penetrating guard, and a good three shooter to kick out too. Ok St has both of those, and another great 3 shooter in Forte. I expect to see Self stick to his M2M, and I think he has the size and personnel to do it this year, unlike last year. Last year Smart beasted our guards. Selden & Wiggins will not let that happen.

  • @RockChalkinTexas East coast bias doesn’t just exist with ESPN. NBC in my opinion is notorius for not being aware of anything west of the Appalachians. Tune into their hockey telecasts and see who’s playing for proof.

  • @KansasComet

    OSU won the first game in Lawrence, yes, the one with the flip, last year. KU won the second game in Stillwater in double overtime and thus exacted revenge for the loss in Lawrence.

    I believe a lot of fans are under the impression that the “flip” game in Lawrence is the most recent, it is not.

  • @drgnslayr, I want to take a second and address your use of the term “conspiracy theorizing” to characterize my post.

    For what its worth, I avoid conspiracy theorizing like the plague. And if what I write sounds like conspiracy theorizing in either connotative, or denotative meanings of the term, then I want to make clear that I have no intent to express, or imply, a conspiracy theory.

    In fact, I sometimes try to poke fun at conspiracy theories in my writing.

    The connotative meaning of conspiracy theory is that it is an already proven explanation of a conspiracy, either legal, or illegal. If a conspiracy theory were already proven you would not be wondering about it and I would not be exploring it hypothetically.

    The denotative meaning of a conspiracy theory is all negative. It refers to some nut asserting something covert and illegal is going on without throughly verifiable facts to support the claim. I am not suggesting anything illegal is going on. And I am not suggesting a conspiracy is going on. I most certainly have no interest touching conspiracy theory with this denotation with a ten foot pole.

    To reiterate, from what I can see as a layman, I don’t think anything illegal, or covert, is going on with shoe companies in sports, though being a layman, I am not sure that I would recognize subtle kinds of illegal behavior were it in fact going on.

    There appear to me to be lots of things that firms do that they do not explain to the public; that does not mean they are illegally conspiring, or that they are engaging in conspiracy of any kind.

    I cannot see how Adidas wanting (hypothetically speaking) Wigs and Embiid to come out different years, or the same year from a marketing stand point, could possibly be viewed as illegal conspiracy. But again, I am a layman in that regard and so make no claims to knowing such things. Note: I am not saying what Adidas wants. I am not saying they have any influence in fact over these players decisions. I am hypothesizing only that it might be better for Adidas if they came out in series, rather than simultaneously, from a marketing strategy.

    I am analyzing the possible role of shoecos from the point of view of producer oligopoly, firm incentives, and strategy, not from conspiracy–legal, or illegal.

    And again I don’t know what would be legal, or illegal, in these regards and so I have no interest in trying to analyze from a legal perspective.

    Next, I don’t wish to say what Adidas actually wants in this regard, because I don’t know.

    What I am trying to do is hypothesize an explanation about what might make sense from Adidas angle, given certain hypothetical assumptions about Adidas possible situation?

    Adidas may have no situation like what I am hypothesizing. I don’t know.

    I have no idea what Adidas is actually doing and have no reason to think they would be doing anything wrong.

    I mean this to be about as far from either connotative, or denotative notions of conspiracy theorizing as I can make it.

    Rock Chalk!

  • This will be a great game. I think the Pokies have guaranteed themselves our best shot. Wiggins is not a guy you want to try to motivate, or challenge if you happen to be the other team, imo. Just a hunch on my part, but I think he has his best game tomorrow. My final score prediction: KU 74 Okie St 61.

  • Little off topic but not worth a new post.

    Walking around during lunch in Austin today with my 9 Straight Big12 Conference Champs t-shirt, came upon a group of 6 from ISU decked out in their Cyclones gear. They play UT tomorrow. 5 of them sneered at me and only one told me “Good Game.” 🙂

    I think the Longhorns have a good chance to beat ISU as long as Coach Barnes doesn’t screw up taking the hot players out (which he always seems to do).

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