February 11: News Headlines Digest

  • Also see our Daily Threads, February 11, and the News Digest for Yesterday, February 10, as well as Daily Threads for Yesterday, February 10

    2nd-half shot chart

    ** Newell: Story of the game: This 2nd-half shot chart from KSU. ** ** Baseline circles are layups **

    ##Dodd: Frenzy to get KU to overtime ends in extra five minutes##

    In the final minutes of the second half, Kansas guard Naadir Tharpe jammed his hands together and looked at his teammates. Bramlage Coliseum was coming in waves, all around them.

    “Don’t break down!” Tharpe yelled, his voiced swallowed by an avalanche of noise. “Don’t break down.”

    ###Newell: Defense lets KU basketball down in 85-82 overtime loss to Kansas State###

    MANHATTAN — There isn’t much doubt this is one of the most talented teams Kansas coach Bill Self has assembled during his 11 seasons in Lawrence.

    But following Monday’s 85-82 overtime loss to Kansas State at Bramlage Coliseum, a huge question still remains: Will this team ever guard like the others?


    ####CJOnline Live Blog####

    Also see our Daily Threads, February 11, and the News Digest for Yesterday, February 10, as well as Daily Threads for Yesterday, February 10

  • @approxinfinity so depressing, Jamari! Come on. Saw post game after WV and he even said coach said be good! So come on Jamari!

  • While this loss was disappointing given that they fought back to tie it, there were many times in the first half that missed opportunities gave way to easy baskets for KSU. Our missed FT’s (23-34) again come back to bite us in the end. We really never rebounded and don’t know how many points they ended up with in the paint.

    Even though we only had 11 total TO’s, most of them were ones that gave KSU momentum and the game turned in their favor each time. Not singling out Brannen because he did get 3 steals and hustle to help get us back in it, but his TO was a big turnaround for them. Frank’s 6 minutes, no points, no rebounds, 1 assist, 3 fouls (one a technical) and 1 TO was the most glaring to me in the box score.

    Never heard what it was that Jamari did but his not being in the game really hurt his team and I hope that he and the others have learned whatever lesson Coach was sending about his “inappropriate behavior” (as was mentioned by Muffberger). Lucky that Tarik did not reinjure his ankle to the point where he couldn’t come back in to contribute because Jojo certainly needs time to get himself healthy.

    And again we ask, where the he doublehockeysticks was AWIII?

  • Had to Bob Davis the game last night en route to ioway. I probably turned the radio on and off 60 times. Had to take a trip to Dallas the week of the Texas loss. Telling bossman no more travel during game weeks.

    Is there much to talk about on this one? Almost pulled it off shooting 10% trifecta and a depleted front line.

    Looking forward to reading ya’lls analytics.

  • A few post-game thoughts -

    1. Embiid’s prior knee injury has clearly carried over. It was a pretty violent deal. Self played it way down at the time. But Embiid hasn’t been the same since. Anyone that has been around leg injuries knows that it can impact the back. Whether it’s a broken ankle or a pulled hamstring, the way you alter your stride and how you compensate for it can impact the back. Embiid’s back deal didn’t seem to relate to that, but we don’t know. I like Self’s suggestion to let him rest. Personally, letting him rest immediately after the knee injury was my preference as I mentioned at the time (but that was just an opinion without all of the information). This is probably the most concerning thing right now. If Embiid is limited, we are not a top 10 team.

    2. Self showed guts last night going with a different lineup late, and it paid off. Brannen Greene is a play maker, but did make a crucial turnover in overtime. He obviously had the big put back, steal, and basket that fueled our charge to overtime. I just want to continue to see more of him on the floor. When I have talked in the past about playing time that gets guys ready for March, we saw CF and Greene get exactly that last night. On that note, I have applaud Self for really giving Greene a defined role. Sometimes the minutes aren’t there, but he knows his role and it shows in his performance.

    3. The shot chart above demonstrates what we saw – we couldn’t stop anyone at the rim. Ellis has some terrific qualities, but defense near the rim certainly isn’t one of them.

    4. This fastbreak thing is really bothering me now. Last night we converted just a few. There were times when I didn’t understand why we weren’t pushing the ball when the opportunity was obvious. Frankamp , when he’s at the point, it’s basically walk the ball up the court. And Tharpe is as cautious as a cat on the edge of a bathtub.

    5. This loss is not a big deal. We will lose at least 3 in conference play … we have at OSU and at WVU that seem like possible losses now. Perhaps we steal one of those.

    6. It is very encouraging to see Black’s turnaround.

    7. Two things I am waiting to see – First, Andrew Wiggins dive on the floor; and second, Andrew Wiggins actually passing to an open man when he drives to the basket. On the second item, literally three KSU players attempted to collapse on him when he drove. The guy just ignores setting his teammates up for baskets. All he really does is rely on a whistle. It’s mid-February and he still can’t finish with any consistency.

  • I would like to see Wiggins pass out when he drives in more as well. But I’m liking how he is starting to playing a little more through contact and not shy away from it. Seems like the guy just works on one thing at a time until he gets it, then moves on.

  • Disappointing loss. I really thought we’d come out smoking after sort of going through the motions against WVU. The most disappointing thing is that KSU gave us chance after chance to seize control of the game and we simply didn’t or couldn’t.

    I realize we are young and that development is rarely 100% linear; fits and starts, peaks and valleys should be expected. However, I did not anticipate the level of regression I’ve witnessed over the past three games. And while defense or lack thereof seems to be one of the catalysts of our slack play it doesn’t account for 11 missed free throws, 2-16 from beyond the arc, and a perplexing inability to put shots in from inside a foot. The fact that many on the boards in-game were blaming Traylor for this loss is unfair considering our shooting woes.

    Yes, we were missing key front line pieces and Traylor’s ill-timed benching didn’t help but KSU looked like a MASH unit the entire second half and we still couldn’t gain any traction. They were hurt, in foul trouble, sucking wind and about to go into overtime and we didn’t capitalize.

    This team is more than capable to make a run come March or flame-out early. I don’t want to predict what will happen, but the last few games have definitely given me reason for concern. Here’s hoping we pull it together soon.

  • @Blown Working on his NBA substitution pattern? What do you mean?

    As an aside not directed at you Blown: When Bill plays 9 guys we (KU fans) say he needs to trim the roster down to a core group of players so they can get the most experience and chemistry playing together. That depth isn’t very important in the tournament due to all the tv timeouts.

    When Bill plays 6-7 guys we complain that Bill isn’t developing his bench and is running off talent. What if someone gets hurt in a 7 man lineup? Then we complain that the bench wasn’t developed.

    This year there is an incredible amount of talent sitting on the bench. Frankamp, Greene, and White all deserve minutes, but who do you take them from. Who’s development should be slowed to help bench depth? Selden? Wiggins, he’s gone next year anyway?

    Self went with Mason early because he is the only aggressive guard KU has. Unfortunately, Frank is not a good shot and misses 2 out of 3 layups, on average.

    I still have high hopes for this team if KU gets their rim protector back healthy. If Embiid can’t play at a high level KU continues to give up uncontested layups and is bounced in the second round of the tournament. If Embiid plays at a high level the final four is within reach. If Tharpe learns how to play D, Wiggins gets aggressive all the right times, everyone gets healthy, and Ellis rebounds and plays D well; KU will be National Champs. That’s a lot of if’s.

    At this point in time I’d have to say next year looks like the year to go to Vegas and put money on the 'Hawks to win it all. There just isn’t enough experience and leadership to go with the talent on this season’s team. That could change, but my hopes of cutting down the nets are diminishing as fast as KU’s chances of a 1 seed.

  • They were hurt, in foul trouble, sucking wind and about to go into overtime and we didn’t capitalize.

    @tis4tim Yep. Very disappointing.

    I’ve seen different comments that have said KSU had more energy than us, blah, blah, blah. Bottom line, K-State isn’t a very good team. I just don’t see it. The reason the game was tied at half is because K-State played badly in the first half and we played worse. In the second half, our defense was atrocious. Tharpe is a liability on the defensive end, and we just couldn’t get stops. We made a garbage offense look like an offensive juggernaut. I never thought I’d see the day where Will Spradling would be draining spot up threes like Ray Allen. Absolutely gut wrenching.

    Thought Greene played pretty well. It was nice to see him create some shots, which is something I think has been his problem this year. But that turnover in OT was absolutely devastating.

    If Embiid is hurt, sit him. He does us no good if he’s hurt and continues to play when we have three players that can fill his role for now (especially with TCU and TT coming up).

    This loss isn’t the end of the world, sure. But we could easily get 2-3 more before the tournament. With every loss, no matter how good or bad the other team is, our chance at a good seed fades. It’s too bad because when we were given a 1 seed by many of the “experts” it was a double-edged sword because it meant that we couldn’t lose another game with the teams in front of us. Arizona, Syracuse, WSU, SDSU, and maybe Florida are all significantly ahead of us by virtue of the fact the their conferences are terrible. WSU and SDSU could easily finish conference play undefeated, and Arizona and Syracuse may have 1-2 losses by tourney time. Now we’re in the position where every loss, no matter how good or bad the opposing team, gets us further and further from a 2 seed. I will say this though, we get a 2 seed with WSU as the 1, that may be just as good or better than a 1.

    Don’t know what to say. I’m still pissed off. I hate losing to K-State.

  • As everyone has said, this loss is disappointing. However, I think that some need to lower their expectations of this team due to the fact that it is such a young team. Remember, it took several years worth of chemistry and experience for the national championship team to develop. That was definitely a hungry team. They were tough, battle tested, and had seen everything. They had experienced disappointing losses, such as the one last night, and used them as motivation.

    The point that I have been trying to make is that this current team is not hungry like the '08 team was and not as tough and gritty as the '12 team was. Both of those teams had much more experience than this team does. Sometimes you have to have these losses to motivate you. Contrary to what many on here say, you can get to the Final Four and be a 3 or 4 seed. I cite last year as a perfect example. Wichita State, Michigan, and Syracuse were all lower seeded teams but yet made the Final Four.

    Just like Danny and the Miracles, losing can have a powerful motivating effect on a team, to the point where they just dont want to lose anymore. And all of a sudden, they play with more energy defensively. They rebound better. They attack the basket more. Wiggins is starting to show this more and more. I cant remember if there was even a time in the second half and overtime when K State kept him out of the lane. After the last two games, he has solidified himself, at least to me, as this teams Kemba Walker. Im just not sure why it took him over half the season to figure this out.

    Overall, everyone just needs to enjoy the ride and lower the expectations for this team, like in 2012. Even if this team gets a 2 or 3 seed, there is no doubt that they still can make a deep run. But in order to do that, they must be motivated to win every game and bring maximum energy and effort. There can be no sense of entitlement. Hopefully, the K State fans rushing the court will push them to not let this happen again.

  • Just lost a long post so heres the cliff notes version.

    With no healthy Embiid KU has no rim protector.

    No rim protector = 11 made layups for KSU in the second half.

    No rim protector = 2nd round loss

    Healthy Embiid = good shot at final four

    Agressive Wiggins + healthy Embiid + Tharpe playing D + Ellis rebound and playing D = National Champs

  • @DinarHawk I fully agree that we can make a run and will probably get a 2-3 seed. Maybe even a 4 depending on how many more games we lose and who we lose to.

    The thing that I love about the tournament is exactly your point. Last year an 8 seed and two 4 seeds make the Final Four. Those teams just got hot at the right time. Michigan and Syracuse last year were both up and down but played their best ball in the tournament and like us had a ton of talent. Hopefully that will be the case with us this year and hopefully we will be healthy by then…especially Jo Jo.

    After last night I assume we are out of the discussion for a 1 seed unless we win out and get a ton of help such as WSU losing, Zona, Cuse, Florida all losing, etc. My gut says we get a 3 seed. I know there is a ton of season left but my assumption is we lose another game or 2 and that a 3 will be fitting.

  • @DinarHawk – “some need to lower expectations …”

    I have to challenge that a bit.

    Why did we bring in Andrew Wiggins? Why would we bring in such a complete and utter distraction? A guy that folks don’t even ask if he’s considering staying another year? A guy that has one foot out the door before he gets here?

    The only reason is to win a national title. Not a “deep run.” To win a national title. Otherwise, it just isn’t worth it.

    If I am to lower expectations, then I want no part of the Andrew Wiggins of the world. If I am to lower expectations, then I would rather play Andrew White and Brannen Greene and watch them develop – instead of the “for sure” OAD who has to be prodded to be aggressive. I can handle every “fault” I could expand upon with Wiggins if he were staying. But he’s not.

    So, my expectations are a national title. Period. It’s not too much to ask. All we’ve heard is Wiggins this, and Wiggins that. His non-performance is a story.

    When you say “enjoy the ride” – I can enjoy the ride like the 2011-12 season that you mentioned. The lower expectations.

    But when you bring in an Andrew Wiggins and all that goes along with it, there is no ride enjoying going on for me.

    We can still win the title, and I suspect as I did back when the season started that it has much more to do with Joel Embiid than Andrew Wiggins. But the title is my only measure of satisfaction this season.

    And @DinarHawk – thanks for providing the me the fuel there to get that off my chest.

  • @HighEliteMajor-Swish. Looks as if you just connected on 7 straight three’s. I understand your criticism is meant to be constructive & couldn’t agree more, especially about Greene, Joel, & Coach Self’s master-plan adjustments. I posted over the weekend that I thought Perry lacked the quickness at times to play D, but Franny did say he played the entire game till fouling out. That just makes the perspective about Wilt playing every minute of every game during the 72 (?) season more mind boggling. Oh, I forgot that Wilt actually missed 8 minutes of ONE game that year because he was thrown out by the refs. I don’t intend this mean spirited either, but some of these young, chippy, prima donnas need to take a damn long, hard, look at that stat & legacy, then take a gander in the mirror. I also am optimistic that some of coach’s disciplinary tactics will garner huge rewards further down the road. JMO

  • 7 man lineup vs 9 man lineup.

    We (KU fans) would like to see Greene, Frankamp, Lucas, and White III play. If Bill played everyone the minutes would be split up pretty thin. So with a nine man lineup you develop depth and your bench. IF injuries or foul trouble happen in the tournament you have depth to compensate. IF a starter is cold you can put in a shooter.

    With a 7 man lineup you develop good conditioning, chemistry, and everyone who plays gets a ton of game time experience. In the tournament there are so many tv timeouts that depth doesn’t matter that much. I know it’s countered some of the depth that Roy’s teams had. They would run you into the dirt in the regular season, but with a few extra minutes to suck air during timeouts the opponents overcame the depth disadvantage.

    Personally I’d like to see a 7-8 man lineup. It means 5 guys are playing at an exceptionally high level and only need breathers. I’d hate to see KU go 10 deep because it means no one has separated themselves as being dominant and the core group will not be properly developed in time for the tournament.

  • @HighEliteMajor Love these points. When you bring in the #2 recruiting class in the country and the #1 overall recruit and you have 3 McD’s All Americans in the starting lineup you have to have high expectations. I for one am tired of us hanging our hat on our Big 12 title streak. It is a fantastic streak and we should be really proud of it but I would much rather go to Final 4’s and cut down nets. We have the talent. We just need the will to win and I hope that we can get that between now and mid March.

  • @HighEliteMajor No problem! I would like to touch on a couple of points that you made.

    You say that because of Wiggins, you expect a national title. That is the type of expectation that I am talking about. Every season we expect so much and many times do not get it. I expected a Final Four in '10, '11, and '13. Each of those teams was in a position to get there and win the title. What I am saying is that disappointments almost always accompany expectations, though there are exceptions.

    I am glad that you are not one of the doom and gloom people that says that the Sweet Sixteen is this team’s ceiling. That is wrong. The championship is this team’s ceiling. It is really just a matter of this team getting hot and understanding how to play better defense. Like joeloveshawks said above, Syracuse and Michigan got hot at the right time. No one thought that Wichita State would go to Atlanta last year either.

    It is not a bad thing to expect a national title. I agree with you on that. But you have to know that titles are extremely tough to come by. For me, it just seems like whenever I lower my expectations for the tournament, there is less disappointment.

  • @DinarHawk He’s saying that because of the investment in Wiggins he wants a national title. Not because of him he’s expecting one.

    If you’re not looking for anything more than a nice couple of games in the tournament, you might as well develop guys that want the ball, that want to score and win games against a team like K-State. Wiggins’ minutes could go to any number of players. Might even force Tharpe to be more aggressive. You could see that when Tharpe wanted a shot last night, he created it like a surgeon. Navigated to the open spot on the floor and drilled the shot. When he’s just looking to be a complement to Wiggins, he’s not doing enough. It’s one thing if Wiggins is hot and can’t miss to look for him, but when we needed points, Tharpe needs to be the leader that he is.

    And @joeloveshawks is exactly right. The Big 12 streak is great, but I’d trade any of them for a couple Final Fours or a couple national championships.

  • @HighEliteMajor HEM, please don’t go off kickin’ at any gameside chairs over Wiggins’ slow response to calls for assertiveness. He is an 18 year old kid who bears lots of focus flaws to his game. Granted, he possesses extraordinary potential someday to rise to NBA All-Star success, what with his comparative freakish athletic skills. But, as we have witnessed from early on, his mental focus appears to demand constant proddings. Emotional intensity erupts only in long drawn out fits and starts. He has evolved into a very deep challenge for the coaching staff, and I don’t now foresee a quick personal turnaround regarding those flaws. Even so, he is the best 3-man the league has to offer, game in and out, a very rare feat for a freshman. Very gradually he makes adjustments on the learning curve. I concur with your criticism of his inclinations not to pass off to teammates when he lunges into traffic in the paint. Hopefully, by tournament time he will have added that adjustment to his physical game. For such a highly touted, highly skilled and physically blessed individual, he is a slow work in progress regarding upward development toward the complete player. You think we would really be a better squad with Greene or White playing that position for major minutes?

  • @DinarHawk Right on – the sweet 16 is not this team’s peak. This team can win a national championship. A nice little six game run, a little luck in avoiding a physical team kind of match-up, etc.

    @MoonwalkMafia – Correct on the clarification. What I like best about your comments is that Tharpe needs to shoot. Not be secondary. Not defer. But shoot. Really impressive is his development of that aspect of his game.

    @REHawk - No, I’m not saying we would be better now with Greene or White playing. I don’t know. But chemistry is an interesting animal. So is a dead-eye three point shooter. Wiggins has significant attributes, but I don’t dismiss the possibility that we might actually be better come March if it were a White/Greene rotation at the 3 vs. Wiggins. But I don’t think that to be true necessarily. I am perfectly happy with Wiggins, but for the OAD status. Freshmen need to develop. Wiggins included. We just have this closing window as it relates to KU hoops. That I don’t like.

  • I overreact at times, so here’s my overreaction to last night. We are Kentucky. We have stockpiled a bunch of draft picks who are using us to get to the NBA. I’m tired of Wiggins. I’m tired of Selden. I’m not tired of Embiid because he’s the only one of our supposed OAD’s who has actually looked like he is trying to help this team win instead of trying to impress the scouts in the audience.

    Again, I overreact at times, ask my wife! so this is my overreaction from last night.

  • Why is HEM reply to me show up looking as if I posted it. I’m confused. Having to access from small mobile device lately so maybe I’m not seeing everything. But it looks like Hem posted from Blown to Blown.

    HEM. I just have gotten a sense this year that self is way more fluid with his lineup substitution than I have noticed in the past. It reminds me of the NBA when coaches exploit match ups more than sticking to same 5

  • Btw I actually enjoy the expanded line up and felt certain we woukd gas ksu in the last 10 minutes due to our depth. Didn’t happen.

    Losing to ksu is always a good litmus test of where my heart has always been.

  • @Blown I think that looks like dylans who replied … not me; I see what you’re saying.

  • @HighEliteMajor Speaking of Greene/White sharing the 3 position vs. Wiggins, is it again time for boardrats to express verbal wonderment regarding AW3’s benchtime? Perhaps, as Self has proclaimed, it is just a matter of a numbers game for our abundance of bench talent. But Self usually goes with experience vs. the newbies, other things being nearly equal. Maybe White did not recover from the hip pointer (groin injury?) fast enough to latch onto minutes back in the sub lineup before Greene and Frankamp began to show promise?

  • @REHawk but, conners been out too???

  • I’m blown away as to how accurate high elite major and jAYBATE were on their injury assessment before Self admitted it. Tried concealing it to prevent s slide in draft status? See Nerlens Noel for proof the injury wouldn’t have mattered. Playing him injured compounded the issue.

    Brannen is a thief. 3 steals in limited time. Love it. We need him. Playing like this

  • @Blown What does everyone think about Jo Jo’s knee? Is this really something that can be rested? Is he just banged up or is this basically an injury where he will play at 70% for the rest of the year? I unfortunately think he is truly hurt and won’t be the same this season. Certainly not trying to be pessimistic. Just a realist.

  • @joeloveshawks the fact that his injury has lead to less production and even worse: another related injury it’s at least 4 weeks before he is back to normal. Pure speculation on my part. When I sprained my knee it affected me for 9 months before I was 100% I didn’t have the rehab and resources he will have though. He has clearly lost 15-20 percent of his quickness. This is not the time for Jamari to be getting benched. We win last night if he plays.

  • When is the last time a defending big 12 champ or any conference champ for that matter stormed the court the following season? Probably never.

  • @Blown

    “When is the last time a defending big 12 champ or any conference champ for that matter stormed the court the following season? Probably never.”

    Well… to be honest, they were looking for football goal posts to rip out.

    How about standing on the table?

    You would have thought they won the Super Bowl. And to be honest… that was their entire season right there. They could make a real charge in the NIT.

  • @HighEliteMajor Good points…but I say “lower expectations” NOT because we have a ton of talent (#1 recruit, 3 McD’s, yada, yada)…but because of how they are ACTUALLY playing. Do you see the piss poor defense that I do? We lost this game that KSU was trying to give us on a platter (by allowing it to even get to OT), simply because we couldnt stop Will eff-ing Spradling (cough, cough!) from shooting 3s, or from making assists to a surprise bench bigman for easy layups. We even let that Spradling drive for a layup. If you ever wanted to see a B-version of BStar, look at Spradling --> but then the joke turns on KU since we let a guy like that make clutch play after clutch play. My god, I have watched KU-KSU games and this was the LONE game we allow Spradling to look like a star.

    NO, we wont make the Elite8 or Final4 if we play D like this. Recurring theme. Not Bill Self basketball. Where is that FG% defense number at? Yep, well over 40%. It matters. Self’s philosophy (that caused all those W’s) is absolutely predicated on making the opponent shoot rushed or bad shots. If we cant do that, please lower expectations. Just keeping my analytical eyes open.

    Honestly, I’d consider starting Frankamp over Tharpe, as Frankamp has shown defensive INSTINCTS every single time he gets some minutes. And god help the opponents if he gets his 3gun going. Very, very disappointed in Tharpe’s D. PG’s penetrating have so many options, and if they get by Tharpe, our whole team D is placed in imminent jeopardy. Good way to get our bigs in foul trouble as they try to come help on Tharpe’s open floodgates. (HEM, I’m not nitpicking your expectations personally, since I share(d) them also, but just pointing out this team’s HUGE recurring flaw. It will surely fell us. That’s the reality of Selfball–the devil is in the execution, not the conceptual construct (which is almost perfect)). Again, we got rollercoaster babyHawks trying to consistently execute, and a lackluster jr. guard.

  • @ralster totally agree! One of my favorite moments from last year was EJ dribbling thru Spradlings legs. We made him look like an all star last pm! I’m a firm believer that playing d is from your heart!

  • We now know what life with our perimeter defense (this year) and no rim protector is like. Lots of points for the opposition in the paint. KStates defense on us reminded me of how we usually are against other teams. Not this year. If Embiid gets healthy, and everything gels, we have a chance for a NC. The loss itself was no big deal. Young team, tough environment…it happens. 4 losses still probably wins the league out right, 5 probably ties. But I haven’t looked at everyone else’s schedule recently. As HEM, I think, said some time ago, each loss brings us further from a number 1 seed. I’m seeing a 2 or maybe a 3 seed. I’m hopeful, but I’m just not feeling a NC run here with this team. Feels like we’re too young. Kentucky 2 years ago was an exception, I think. I hope I’m wrong…

  • A couple of other thoughts… That pick and roll play that KState ran time after time late in the game was driving me crazy…we couldn’t stop it. After the comeback and Black’s bucket to start the OT, I really felt like we had the momentum and were going to be alright. But…we couldn’t stop them…not one single time in OT. Brannen’s TO, Perry and Wiggins each going 1 for 2 at the foul line…and we were basically done because we couldn’t stop them.

  • @Hawk8086 how long does it to figure that dang simple pick n roll? Drove me nuts!

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