February 5: News Headlines Digest

  • Also see our Daily Threads, February 5, and the News Digest for Yesterday, February 4, as well as Daily Threads for Yesterday, February 4


    ##Newell: Naadir Tharpe leads KU basketball to 69-52 victory over Baylor##

    WACO, Texas — After stepping off the podium and through a side door, Kansas coach Bill Self found himself face to face with Baylor coach Scott Drew.

    In a narrow, cinderblock-lined hallway just outside Baylor’s basketball weight room, the Bears coach offered a handshake and a smile.

    ###** Embiid ‘Strongly Considering’ Return To Kansas**###

    Kansas 7-footer Joel Embiid told ESPN that he is far from a lock to leave college after this season, and is “strongly considering” returning for his sophomore campaign.

    ###Dodd: Kansas beats Baylor 69-52###

    WACO, Texas — He had gone scoreless for 19 minutes, 59 seconds, another lost first half for Kansas freshman Andrew Wiggins.

    Maybe it was Baylor’s zone, or Kansas’ desire to play inside-out. Maybe it was just a general hangover after the eighth-ranked Jayhawks’ first Big 12 loss on Saturday at Texas.

    ###Tait: Kansas defeats Baylor, 69-52###

    KU junior Naadir Tharpe followed up one of his worst games (on Saturday at Texas) with one of his best.

    Behind 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting from Tharpe, Kansas bounced back from its loss at Texas with a 69-52 victory in Waco, Texas.

    ####Marcus Smart: “not only one flopping”####

    Video of Wiggins half court shot

    Also see our Daily Threads, February 5, and the News Digest for Yesterday, February 4, as well as Daily Threads for Yesterday, February 4

  • From NBC Sports. Guess no one proof read this before posting it. Headline is a mess! “Leds?” And we are No. 6???

    Naadir Tharpe leds No. 6 Kansas to a win at Baylor

    Rob Dauster

    Feb 4, 2014, 9:39 PM EST

    Baylor had their chance to knock off No. 8 Kansas on Tuesday night.

    Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid, the two superstars on the Kansas roster, did not score in the first half until Wiggins his a halfcourt shot at the buzzer. They finished a combined 5-for-19 from the floor. Wiggins had 14 points, seven boards, five assists, three steals and two blocks on the night, which is ridiculous when you consider that he played pretty poorly outside of a seven or eight minute stretch in the second half.

    Embiid? He had five points, four fouls and three turnovers.

    In other words, the Jayhawks were primed for an upset, and Baylor could do nothing about it, shooting 29.1% from the floor in a 69-52 loss. Take away Brady Heslip’s 4-for-5 start from three in the first 10 minutes, and Baylor shot 12-for-50 from the field.

    That ain’t good.

    And it puts them in an even bigger hole when it comes to the NCAA tournament.

    Baylor is 14-8 on the season and 2-7 in league play. But they beat Colorado and Kentucky in non-conference play and the Big 12 has enough good teams that the Bears are still going to have plenty of chances to land the wins they need to win to go dancing. I’m just not convinced that they can get there, not when their zone is about as effective as using a coffee filter as a coffee mug and half of the roster has apparently already checked out.

    As far as Kansas is concerned, this game was just another example of the growth of Naadir Tharpe. He had 22 points on 9-for-13 shooting and handed out four assists with just two turnovers, hitting a number of big shots in the process. He’s come up huge in a lot of big games this season, and it’s certainly a comforting sign for Bill Self that he can count on Tharpe to play like this on the nights that his best players are off.

  • @approxinfinity

    Random thoughts on the game and Jayhawks life in general.

    Slow start concerned me, but Baylor’s ineptitude paired with our strength led to the easy win.

    Bill’s halftime speech must have included some words on protecting the ball because we only turned it over 5 times.

    Naadir Tharpe’s name hasn’t been talked about much as a pro. I haven’t heard it anyways. But how many times has he been the best player on the floor for us while the future lottery picks have struggled?

    Tarik Black is growing on me. Until about a month ago I wanted to return him to Memphis.

    Wiggins can turn a blank in the score column to double digits very quickly.

    Ellis disappeared after his great start to the game.

    We urge Joel to strongly consider returning to Kansas. He’s not ready. He’s a chump. He’s soft. He’s weak. He’s only played ball for three years. He’ll get chewed up by guys with funny European names Eurostepping past him. He’ll have to sit bored on benches. He’ll probably have to sweep the floor. And Milwaukee is the odds on favorite to win the lottery meaning you’ll go there. You think Kansas is cold in winter Joel? Try Milwaukee, I have, I know. Stay in school, get an education, hang out with those pretty coeds who will idolize you. Oh, and win national championships in Kansas.

    Wiggins three at the end of the half was a game changer, maybe.

    Self’s comment on running more plays like that was memorable.

    Near the end of the half we had almost as many turnovers as missed shots.

    On Jesse’s live chat of the game he started out early saying this was Self’s worst defensive team, and we all agreed. On Jesse’s story above, he writes how it turned into KU’s best defensive effort of the season. I agree. We stymied them after their hot start.

    We could win the whole shebang this year or we could lose on the first weekend. This team is hard to tell.

  • Good bounce back win on the road. Ellis was great early and Tharpe was great throughout. Among Naadir’s desirable qualities is a knack for knowing when he needs to take over the game and carry the team. In at least three games this year we lose if it isn’t for his shooting. I also wonder if Coach Self and Coach Drew had the names Heslip and Tharpe at the top of their gameplans prior to the tip. Doubtful.


    Embiid. Something is not right with him. Knee? Freshman wall? Both? Neither?

    Selden, Wiggins and Embiid combining for 3 points in the first half, and a lucky three at that.

    Our starters on the court with a 16-point lead under three minutes to go. I don’t get the reasoning there, especially in light of recent injuries.

    One other thing: why didn’t Baylor start fouling to extend the game at the end? I know they were down 12 or 14 with 2 minutes to play and chances were slim, but they didn’t even try. They quit. I guess I shouldn’t care if the opposition lays down, but for whatever reason that bothered me.

  • @wissoxfan83 " He’s a chump. He’s soft. He’s weak. "

    Yeah, that may be a tiny bit harsh.






    Strongly agree that he ( and Wiggins ) needs to come back next year. No way is either one ready for the NBA. But, if they want to get paid to sit on the bench and cheerlead while waiting for the " potential " to develop, so be it.

  • @nuleafjhawk I agree, most of all he’s had the crap beat out of him this past month! Besides the physical beat down, it’s hard for us to figure what they’re going to call on him, imagine how a raw 7 footer is feeling?

  • @nuleafjhawk

    I want Joel to read that so we get him back for another year! I don’t really believe what I wrote.

    He does read Kubuckets, right?

  • @wissoxfan83 I’m sure!!!

  • How many teams have 4/5 starters that have gone off for 20+ points in a game on multiple occassions? And the 5th starter JoJo has come within a bucket of 20 pts multiple occasions. This team is so balanced. I only wish they could be as good of thieves as that core from 2005_2008. In 5-6 they averaged 10 steals and 9 the other 2 seasons. Maybe that is what projects killer instinct more than anything…

  • Pretty high praise from Jimmy Dykes last nigth that Naadir is Self’s best scoring point guard since he’s been at Kansas (even if he did through Chalmers name out there as a PG). Better than Sherron? Better than senior year Tyshawn? Hmm…I need more of a sample size to crown him that over those two guys. I don’t think he’ll ever be as good of a scorer via the drive as those two were. He is probably a better jump shooter than both. Definitely better than Tyshawn. Collins could put together some monster games from behind the arc; I remember a back-and-forth 3-point shooting contest between him and Willie Warren down in Norman one year on the Big Monday stage.

    Regardless, it says quite a bit if a solid basketball guy like Dykes is ready to dole out that kind of praise. It also makes it all the more crazy that Naadir lost his starting role for a couple of early season games, and that he can apparently still get in coaches dog house enough to sit most of a half. Just confirms what a lot of people have already said, and that Naadir is the most important piece to this team’s success.

  • @wissoxfan83 Oh! Gotcha.

    (By the way, thank you for editing my post to the Marcus Smart article yesterday - I’m not too " techy ".)

  • @wissoxfan83

    CRAP - told you I wasn’t too “techy”. I need to thank @Wishawk for editing that. Sorry to both of you for being a knucklehead.

  • @nuleafjhawk lots of knuckleheads on here, maybe even me! I’m not techy either, so need all the help I can get!

  • @tis4tim I honestly think Embiid is pretty hurt. He just does not look like the explosive freak athlete he was before the collision during the TCU game. Obviously I hope that I am wrong but he just looks like he is laboring a bit and struggling to plant and not getting much on his shot that looked really pure just a couple of games ago. Also, he was really late to his spot last night multiple times on D which lead to his foul trouble. I would love to see a blowout or 2 down the stretch where we barely need to use him so he is healthy or close to it by the time we have our first round game. As we all know he is pretty scary when he is 100%.

  • @tis4tim Regarding the starters still in with a 16pt lead…My thought is that we absolutely needed the W, and any team with a “Heslip” or a “Forte” on it needs to keep what’s working out there on the floor. In as quick as 2 possessions (40seconds), Baylor or OkieState is capable of hitting 2 3s, and making it a 10pt game with 2:20min to go, then comes all the fouling/FT line thing. Self played this one as we knew he would do to Mr. Scott Drew: foot on the throat till the very end.

    Baylor actually unravelled the last 60sec or so. Stick a fork in their season. Maybe they can defend their NIT title. Their bigbeef player named Gathers, with the priceless scowl --> He must have smelled the air inside the Ferile Center…

  • @joeloveshawks And he has fallen down hard on his knees the last 2 games. Just when he probably thinks things are progressing, he takes a hard fall and his knee swells up again. After the Texas game he had a huge bag of ice wrapped around his knee when they were headed to the bus.

  • @RockChalkinTexas when he fell after his and 1, he didn’t seem to be in any pain. He was “shooting it up” w/the fans. I thought he fell hard and was watching for his reaction, holding my breath!

  • http://kansan.com/sports/2014/02/04/tarik-black-steps-up-in-joel-embiids-place/

    We were talking about being a finesse team, nice to have the grid and grind father on our team! Nice article for Tarik.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 Right and he did that here in Austin too but still had to have ice.

  • Baylor is not a good offensive team and our good defense statistically last night had nothing to do with KU stopping them as much as they missed shots. They don’t have anyone who can create shots and KU was able to hedge on a lot of screens yesterday knowing that they didn’t have players who can hurt them.

    When Baylor came down the court were you worried about anyone other than Heslip finding time to shoot a 3? 3 days ago Texas got whatever they wanted against KU, although just a subpar game all around was a big part of the Texas loss.

    When Tharpe is having a hot shooting night we can expect to win almost every time because his impact on the rest of the game skyrockets. Great effort from him off his bad Texas game.

    Interested to see how we do in Allen against WVU. Henderson and Harris are shooters that have hurt us all year. Staten has improved a lot and gets in the lane a whole bunch. Will we see Waco Tharpe or Texas Tharpe? Big advantage inside for KU, I’m sure half of West Virginia’s shots will be 3’s.

  • @RockChalkinTexas Ice is par for the course! Ice baths!

  • @ralster

    “Regarding the starters still in with a 16pt lead…”

    That was the right thing to do. To keep on the gas, instead of possibly leaving Waco with a small-margin victory.

    Also, by keeping in starters, it gave them clear possession of this game. The owned it, and they posted a decent beat down on Baylor in Waco!

    This team needs confidence, and it starts with our starters!

    They have to be held accountable, and the first step with that is to make them own it!

  • @drgnslayr I totally agree. Good win and partially because we won it big. That is something we need to have happen more often.

    The starters are really taking turns having big games. Ellis and Tharpe showed up last night and the 3 Freshman looked bad and we still win big on the road. It is exciting to think how good we could be if 4 of the 5 starters have quality games at the same time.

  • @joeloveshawks

    I don’t agree.

    Wigging had 14 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assist, 3 steals, 2 blocks, 0 turnovers and 1 foul. I would call that pretty darn good game.

    Selden did not have as good a scoring game as he has lately but he still finished with 4 points, 3, rebound, 5 assists. 1 turnover and 1 foul and played superb defense against Haslip, which is what he was asked to do. Again not great but pretty decent stats.

    Embiid had a sub-par game and played only 17 minutes because of foul trouble and still managed 5 point , 7 rebounds and 1 block.

    Again, not great performances but I don’t believe they “looked bad” either.

  • @JayHawkFanToo You are right. Good points.

  • Can’t base “good games” on offensive stats alone. Nice to see they are learning how to effect the game when their shots not falling. Love some D!

  • @icthawkfan316 That had caught my attention as well and I am glad that you have brought it up. I agree with your assessment that TT was a better scorer and Tharpe is a better shooter. Also, TT was a much better defender, simply due to his size although Naa has gotten much better.

    Mid way through last year I did not believe that Naa would survive at KU, too many TOs and lack of confidence, he was in HCBS dog house big time. But what a turnaround by him, hats off to Tharpe for his accomplishments.

  • @icthawkfan316 Just read below from Jesse Newell:

    Naadir Tharpe has failed to put up 0.90 points per possession in just four games this season. In each of those four contests (Villanova, Florida, San Diego State, Texas), KU lost the game

  • This may perhaps be a little off topic, but I was reading the comments section on the story that Jeff Goodman did on Embiid possibly staying for his sophomore year and was reminded again about how uneducated those casual sports fans are. They simply cannot mentally comprehend the advantages that Embiid would have of staying another year and physically getting his body ready for the long NBA seasons. There is a reason that it is referred to as the No Boys Allowed league. While there are a couple possible disadvantages to staying, an intelligent analyst of NBA prospects would tell you that it would not be a bad idea to stay another year and get physically and mentally ready. As Jimmy Dykes said last night, its OK to not be ready for the NBA. Just come back another year, and hone your skills and build more muscle.

  • @nuleafjhawk

    I want Joel to read that so we get him back for another year! I don’t really believe what I wrote.

    He does read Kubuckets, right?

    But of course! Anything less will be uncivilized! :o

  • @drgnslayr Agreed about the “right thing to do” (leaving starters in to finish off Baylor). But on a totally different note, listening to announcers talk about Baylor’s almost lost season now, I cant help but feel sorry for the Baylor players. They tried really hard at Lawrence, but got beat, then we dust em in their own gym. They realize they cannot be elite. I simply ask this at large: does anyone know inside details of Scot Drew’s coaching style? What is his motivational angle? Does he come from a God/faith angle (like Turner Gill did)? He doesnt seem to be a fiery head coach like Self is… It could be that Baylor players are “nice” kids, too…but are inconsistently motivated. I mean, if God didnt help you beat the Jayhawks, then what/whom/how is KU to be beaten? Apparently only when KU gives a C-rated, phone-it-in version like we did vs. Baylor in the BigXII Tourney 2yrs ago. And this season, Baylor got beat 4 straight times IN Waco: TubbyTechies, Huggineers, Self’s BabyHawks, etc…

    I dont feel too bad for Baylor fans. I saw those monkeys mimicking Embiid’s double handed “count the bucket” gesture at the end of the game. That’s pathetic: go ahead and make fun of an international kid with different mannerisms, when he just finished kicking your team’s butt in your own gym. Nice disconnect by Baylor fans. Fan fail =Faylor. Thanks for putting substance in my nickname for Baylor. Maybe your bigs could learn from Embiid’s effort level? Or is that supposed to be a coached attribute?

    Its not that Baylor doesnt have talent…so what is it???

  • @ralster I know a guy that played at valpo when Scott drew was an assistant and he had nothing but positive things to say about him. I wanted to ask him why he couldn’t coach but I chickened out!

  • @ralster Scott D is the only HC I have seen come to a game with prepared notes. You can see him going over the notes and talking to his assistants about the notes. He must be inept at coaching during the games so he has to rely on the notes.

  • @ralster

    Really nice post!

    I don’t know the ins and outs of Drew’s coaching philosophy. I did read that he is really popular with his players. Barnes is really popular with his players, too.

    I sort of put those two in the same boat. It feels like Barnes is a bit more capable however. Coaches that are really nice and popular with their players usually don’t make the best coaches.

    We often get critical about Self screaming too much at his players, but he gets results. To some level coaches need to scream at players. If nothing else it proves they care just by their intensity.

    I only had one softy type coach that everyone liked and he sucked! Coaches have to be intense… I’ve recently seen Drew show more intensity on the sidelines… maybe he is feeling the heat.

    You know they have a renewed spirit for sports success at Baylor! They seem to be doing pretty well in most of their programs.

    We’ve all put Drew in the same Calipari boat a long time ago… Rolex watches as gifts, etc. But maybe Drew is just a soft guy who knows how to befriend players.

    I’m guessing in my post… He definitely doesn’t seem like a capable coach. All that talent and he really doesn’t have much to show for it!

  • @drgnslayr does it seem like Self has not been yelling near as much as in the past years? I think he’s hanging the carrot out there more this year. Handling these frosh a little differently?

  • I think it has to due with freshmen with so much raw talent and lack of experience. How much quicker do they have to learn the program right out of high school rather than be a part of the system?

    Just think how much time last years squad were in our program learning to play behind other starters. I think he is smart to take it easy on them, rather than act like they’ve had years to learn without being in the spotlight.

  • Off topic, some ks state fans were saying they were hoping Texas beat them this weekend in order to keep us from getting our 10th.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 LOL seriously?? That is twisted desperation.

  • @bskeet I have a kstate “friend” who admits he hates KU more than he loves kstate! Some serious problems!

  • When you are not part of the equation ( as in a run at the title) it isn’t a surprise see short sighted fans think this way. Such fans were never competitors. If a coach ever told his players, “we can’t win the title so let’s lay down and make sure our rival doesn’t.” He isn’t worthy of being a coach IMHO.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 Wow, that can’t be healthy at all. Seriously he needs to figure out he is giving An advisory free rent in his head. If he is aware of that, maybe he can let some of it go and get back to a positive outlook about his team that exceeds negative feelings about something else.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 I felt pretty close to that way about Misswho - Can’t say that I hated them more than I love KU, but I got every bit as much satisfaction out of a Mizzery loss as I did a KU win.

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