Mar 8: Post-game Roundup - KU vs West Virginia

  • Wiggins

    ##** All Big-12 Teams Announced**##

    PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Melvin Ejim, Iowa State, F, 6-6, 220, Sr., Toronto, Ontario, Canada

    DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR Joel Embiid, Kansas, C, 7-0, 250, Fr., Yaounde, Cameroon

    NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR DeAndre Kane, Iowa State, G, 6-4, 200, Sr., Pittsburgh, Pa.

    FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR Andrew Wiggins, Kansas, G, 6-8, 200, Fr., Vaughan, Ontario, Canada

    COACH OF THE YEAR Rick Barnes, Texas [Career: 582-298, 27th season; At UT: 380-164, 16th season]

    ###West Virginia unwelcoming to Andrew Wiggins, Jayhawks###

    Fans in the state where Kansas University freshman Andrew Wiggins played high school basketball booed him and/or chanted “USA, USA” in derision pretty much every time the Canadian sensation touched the ball on Saturday at WVU Coliseum.

    ###Newell: The advanced stats All-Big 12 team###

    After examining KenPom, Win Shares and Value Add player-evaluation formulas, I tried my best to come up with the top five players in the conference based simply on what the numbers say. In other words, if you had to pick an all-Big 12 team based only on advanced numbers (and without seeing anyone play), who would you pick?

    ###Tait: Wiggins’ 41 not enough for KU in 92-86 loss at West Virginia###

    On a day when none of his teammates wanted to help him until the final 6 or so minutes of the game, Kansas University freshman Andrew Wiggins did all he could to keep No. 8 Kansas in the game, but the Jayhawks fell short in a 92-86 loss to West Virginia in Morgantown.

    Wiggins’ 41 points were the most by a single player in the Bill Self era at Kansas and marked the second most by a freshman in Big 12 history, behind only Michael Beasley, who once scored 44 for Kansas State.

    ###Naadir Tharpe frustrated with his play; Joel Embiid to be evaluated Sunday###

    A few steps away from the team bus, Naadir Tharpe wasn’t making excuses for his off game following Kansas’ 92-86 loss to West Virginia on Saturday afternoon.

    The junior point guard scored no points on 0-for-3 shooting in 16 minutes. He also was benched by KU coach Bill Self for the final 9:17 of the first half and 4:52 of the second half.

    ####ESPN Boxscore####

    ####KU Sports Live Blog####

    ####CJ Online Blog ####

  • Quick Post Game Thoughts:

    1. Naadir Tharpe: We are now left to wonder how he will really factor into next season’s plans. Self flat out benched him for his horrific defense. I thrashed Tharpe last weekend. So I won’t now. But please, check the play at the 15:25 mark of the second half. Staten went around him with little or no effort, leading to a foul at the rim by Black. I guarantee you that YOU could not guard that play any worse.

    2. Andrew Wiggins: Ho … ly … crap. I take back every bad thing I’ve ever said about presumed OADs. Was there some discussion of “alpha dog?” Wow.

    3. Character: As horrible as it is to be down 27, it is just as impressive that we fought all the way back to 5. I thought when we cut it to 10, and they bumped it back to 17, it was over. But we kept coming.

    4. Conner Frankamp: His defensive play is significantly better than Tharpe. Not even close. He fights hard, contests shots, and sticks with his man. I was very impressed.

    5. Tarik Black: Not surprising. It’s been this way all season. Up, down, all around. Can’t rely upon any level of play, good or bad.

    6. No. 1 Seed: I am so very hopeful that any talk of a #1 seed is done. To be honest, we should be fighting to stay on the #2 line. But that’s ok. A #2 or #3, let’s run with it. I just don’t want to hear #1 seed and “KU” again until next season.

    7. Carmelo Anthony: Did we see Carmelo today?

  • @HighEliteMajor Good observations.

    As I have said time and time again, it is low effort that keeps Tharpe from being a good defender.

    For a team that has trouble focusing normally, it doesnt help when you have already won the conference outright. However, that should be no reason to not have intensity defensively.

    I agree with you HEM - I do not want this team to get a 1 seed. Its too much pressure and this team needs to stay hungry. My hope is that they have been looking towards the tournament and that is why they havent playing well. I can only hope that is the case.

    And yes, Wiggins was Carmelo today. 41 points, 8 rebounds, 5 blocks, 4 steals. That is what everyone has been waiting for.

  • Hem, I echo your thoughts. The 2 good things to come out of this game were Wiggins taking over and us not giving up. I wouldn’t go as far as to say we can’t count on Tharpe next year…but this year is in doubt still. He has to bounce back or we are dead. Very frustrating to see him benched. Mason or Frankamp can’t do it. Both too young and inconsistent. I agree about CF’s defense, but boy he couldn’t do anything offensively. He needs to hit shots to be valuable to us at this point in his young career. That’s what he does. Black was frustrating to watch after the last game. Same old thing. Foul trouble and then not able to get back in rhythm. We need Andrew to continue to try to take over, but the downside of that is everyone stands around and watches him go one on one. We need more than that and I think it is a tough balance sometimes.

  • @Hawk8086 They were already standing around before he took over.

  • Some days you’re the pigeon, some days you’re the statue.

    Today, we had one EAGLE, a couple of pigeons and a whole buncha statues.

  • Andrew Wiggins shutdown a lot of negativity about his game today. What a Herculean effort! There is not a better player in the Big XII. We really missed the Big Fella today. Hopefully, a rematch next week. Not going to bash the ones that didn’t show up today. I am sure they know who they are and/or have been informed by Coach Self by now. Time to rest up and get ready for Thursday and beyond.

  • @nuleafjhawk That’s one way to look at it.

    1. Jaquan Lyle, come on down. It scares me that Self is forced to send messages to his starting PG this late in the season. I’m not sure what we’re looking at now in the NCAAs. Point guard by committee? Is Frankamp going to shock us all and start? The Big 12 Tourney is Self’s chance to decide who his best shot at a stretch run will be.

    2. The alpha dog finally shakes off his “nice” collar and starts growling. This is the Wiggins KU needs to survive and advance.

    3. Agreed. I’d take a #2 in a heartbeat and be fine with a #3.

    4. Don’t think I’d go that far, but if THAT Wiggins shows up in the NCAAs, I’ll revise to an emphatic Yes.

  • Good responses, nice to hear some positives! I’m really bummed, or frustrated about Tharpe. I saw him play great d against Texas, so I KNOW he’s capable! I saw him put the team on his back during the OU game at home. Then I saw him w/numerous unforced TO’s at our loss against OSU. How can you explain it? I know he loves this team and Self. He cares, so how can he look so bad?

    Just wow on Wiggins!!! Please no more smack on him. We are so blessed to have him. I know he hasn’t always showed it, but he’s a kid that’s playing w/all his heart for us! Who will we play Thursday! I’m one bummed fan!

  • @KansasComet Correct, and I did not mean to imply otherwise.

  • @KansasComet Should have added that my concern is that they continue to stand around and watch him take over.

  • @Hawk8086 We are on the same page and on the same mission!

  • @KansasComet You bet!

  • Interesting day in the Conference. Baylor makes their late season push. OSU can’t overcome the Hilton Magic (luck). Looks like we get the rematch with Smart and OSU. If we win, then likely ISU or KSU (I say ISU) and then OU, Tex, or perhaps Baylor. Should be fun. Wish I were going to be there.

  • @HighEliteMajor Quick Post Game Thoughts:

    1. Tharpe was not “feeling it” today, he knew it and Coach Self knew it. I don’t; think we can write him off yet; after all, he has had some very good games.

    2. Agree. Many of us did not think he would score 40 points…and darn it if he didn’t.

    3. I believe they actually got within 4.

    4. Frankamp plays good, disciplined defense (he is a coach’s son after all); however, he must be able to score; he did not do that today.

    5. As I said before, Tarik is consistently inconsistent. Anything you get from him is a bonus but I am not sure we can rely on him to produce consistently.

    6. Many analyst indicated before the game that losing without Embiid dose not necessarily doom KU from #1 seed. A run through the Conference Tournament and we are right back on the conversation. Having said that a #2 seed seems more realistic…

    7. Mr. Wiggins has entered the building!!! Let’s hope he has finally awaken and will be in “beast” mode the rest of the season.

    I had predicted that 14-4 would win the conferences; this is one of those time when I wish I had been proven wrong. This loss stings.

  • @JayHawkFanToo - I have to ask you regarding Tharpe … not “feeling it”? Do you think this type of performance by Tharpe warrants anything other than Self looking to go in another direction?

    My view is that this has to do with effort, and showing up ready to play, and “want to” as coach Roy used to say. He is not a freshman. He is a few games away from being a senior. Three seasons listening to coach Self preach what Tharpe appears to be the complete antithesis of.

    Tharpe may come out and play well, score 16 like he did vs Texas Tech, but his valleys are death. We just needed the guy to come out and be the rock for this team. To be the leader as we were told that he is. Our junior point guard comes out again and lays an egg, and I firmly believe that his lackluster play drove the entire bus into the lake to start this game. If he had come out, shown some moxie, our first half debacle just doesn’t happen. He’s the bus driver, but he’s not “feeling it”? On defense, he doesn’t even commit a foul. Now, his usual fouls are the timid type, reaching out with both hands … he’s usually good for two of those a game. But today, not even a whimper. Try to front with his chest? Nah.

    I don’t know what it is, but he’s fallen off a cliff. He plays a mere 16 minutes because Self determined that we aren’t going to win with him. That is a sad, sad statement on March 8. He just cannot be counted on.

    I will say this – if he can’t be counted on, his continued presence is a detriment, because we expend minutes and practice time on a guy that may not be there when it gets a little rough. Again, he may drop 20 next time. That is completely irrelevant.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    1. This is our only potential to win 6 games in a row… to, first, have Tharpe fail miserably, and then get bull-whipped to the point of him carrying his own chip for the remaining games. I haven’t felt very optimistic lately… but I feel just a bit better today.

    2. Without our trio of potential OADs this year we had ZERO chance of winning the league… and an excellent chance of snapping our 24 year NCAA invite string. That is a lot of pluses you should hang on these OADs! I am thrilled they came to Kansas and helped us keep these strings alive. Anything extra at the tourney is gravy, because it is very unlikely we would have gotten the invitation with some lower freshmen recruits.

    3. We did get it to 4… thanks to our OAD Wiggins!

    4. Conner will be fighting for the spot of starting PG next year. Forget all of Self’s past history letting seniors own the court. And next year his 3pt FG% will skyrocket! And if that happens, Naadir will be a reserve at the 1 and 2.

    5. Someone should have made Tarik read my post about changing his identity away from being a role player and grasp being an IMPACT player!

    6. If we win out, we should still earn a 2-seed. One more loss then we deserve to be a 3-seed. If somehow we are given a 1-seed, I will walk away from college basketball because I’ll know the game is rigged!

    7. Now I’m going to puke! You could have chosen another player!

  • @ajvan

    “Is Frankamp going to shock us all and start?”

    I hope not… just because of the risk it puts him under. He lacks previous PT and that would put him at risk of having a devastatingly horrible tournament. Then he has to live with that dark cloud for the rest of his life!

    Then he would carry a chip on his shoulders for the next 3 years!

    Uh… on second thought… YES, let’s start Conner! It would be great to see any Jayhawk carry a chip, especially our PG!

  • Tonto, Cato, Robin, even Ed McMahon and Barney Fife were all sidekicks. None were in the lead role. Naadir Tharpe needs to decide if he is going to lead or follow. I know he is a much better player than what he demonstrated today. Hopefully, he will pick it up come Thursday.

  • @HighEliteMajor Self’s history suggests that he won’t switch gears in March. There is a reason for that. It is hard to do and, I think, disruptive. Plus, as JB pointed out in one post…he realistically has no where else to go. Mason has not proven that he is it. You could give the other guys more PT at the point in the conference tournament…but that flies in the face of having one leader. I think Self will sink or swim with Tharpe…I don’t think he has a choice. But we will see.

  • On another note, check out the ISU students mocking Smart’s flopping when he is introduced. See the article on Pretty funny.

  • @ajvan 90% agree. The only thing is, if THAT Wiggins shows up and almost nobody else does (like today) it’s another " L ". (I’m not dissin Andrew, he played his heart out - just saying it can’t be a one man show)

    Or if the other team has 3 players scoring 20+ points, or players scoring roughly 3 times, THREE TIMES, their average ppg…

  • @HighEliteMajor “Andrew Wiggins: Ho … ly … crap.”

    My thoughts exactly! Damm that kid is good. Great game from a great player. Clearly deserves to be the Big 12 POY.

    Ditto about defense on Tharpe too, and Ellis for that matter. Tharpe was getting schooled by Staten and Ellis was getting beat by Williams off the dribble and face up shooting over him. wtf.

    I thought Conner did a good job of keeping his man in front of him and making him take tough shots.

    Man, we need a big time L & A point guard.

  • @drgnslayr Hey Man, If that happens and we get a #1 seed, I’ll take it. Gives us a better shot at a title right?

  • I posted this bit earlier, pre game, but it was way down into the threads so it may have gotten missed. 41 Pts from Wiggins! And a whole stat line of awesomeness! tough loss though…smh It is possible that Wigs will beat Ben Macs freshman scoring record this year. So far Andrew has 522 points. If he holds to his season average he will break Ben’s record before we make it to the elite 8, which is one game ahead of where we got infamously bounced last year. I really really hope this happens. Personally for me, an Elite 8 appearance with this very young team, an improvement on last years run, would be satisfying to me. It would be good but not great. A great run, to me, would be a Final Four banner in AFH. A stellar run would be a title game appearance. Despite what some have said, and I have agreed with, I think if we make the elite 8 and improve upon last years run, we have to give some degree of cred to Coach Self for doing that with this season of OAD’s. Is Cal gonna get even close to us this year? Did he do it last year? Nope. His past two teams of OAD’s have been a bunch of prima donna me me me first players. But I digress, for us to make the elite 8, we have to play every game like we did the Texas game at AFH. With balls and with aggression first.

  • @Hawk8086 You’re right; there is no “good” option right now. Self just has to go game by game, and yank Tharpe when needed.

  • @drgnslayr On Carmelo, though, it would heal a bit of the pain if we had our own, wouldn’t it?

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Are you imagining our Wiggins take down Syracuse in the final?


  • @HighEliteMajor Nice post-game thoughts. I guess here’s the thing that is most discouraging for me: we had already seen a couple of chinks in this team. We knew they struggled early in the season against physical front lines. San Diego State was perhaps the best example of this; the first Texas meeting as well. I believed that had at least been partially remedied. We knew this team struggled with turnovers. See games against Florida, Okie St. While the Okie St. game proved we are still susceptible to this, I believed we had partially remedied this as well, in that we were not so vulnerable to being pressed. However, today we lost the game in a completely different fashion. We didn’t turn the ball over an exorbitant amount of times. We did lose the rebound battle, but I wouldn’t say we were manhandled and over-matched inside. Today our defense was awful, which isn’t completely new, but our offense completely went in the tank. If Wiggins hadn’t put the team on his back this would have remained an UGLY loss. Aside from Wiggins, the team shot 36% from the field, 33% from trey, and 54% from the line. In the past we’ve played some horrible defense but survived by simply out-scoring our opponents in a shootout type game. Today, for the first time, we saw a complete breakdown on both ends of the floor.

    Joel will fix some of this. It will allow Black to return to his role. For all the praise everyone was so anxious to heap on him following his performance Wednesday, today reminded us why we cannot lean on him. At all. Whatever we get from him is a bonus. And as excited as I think we both were to see Lucas getting some minutes the last two games, he underwhelmed in both instances.

    As has been discussed at length, today and all season, the point guard position remains the big problem. Tharpe…no need for any further criticism. Mason? I was actually shocked that his line looked as good as it did. I thought he played pretty poorly today. His decision making is awful. Frankamp? You were impressed with his defense, but might we be looking at the reincarnation of Jeremy Case on offense? Remember how everyone would always say how Case was the best three point shooter on the team, but it rarely translated that way in games? If Frankamp can’t make shots, he’s a net negative, especially if he keeps gunning (as was the case today). Like you said, we really don’t have any good options. Sadly I foresaw this LAST year.

    Wondering why, with Selden in foul trouble, we didn’t see a bit more of Greene. I know Self has said his defense is atrocious, so maybe he felt more comfortable with Frankamp & Mason in there with Wiggins.

    I believe we need to come out and win the Big 12 tournament next week to have any hope of building momentum for the big dance.

  • Appears Embiid headed to LA to see specialist

  • @Crimsonorblue22 I just saw this. Doesn’t leave me with a good feeling, either for when he’ll return this season or the likelihood that he returns for next season.

  • @icthawkfan316 let’s stay hopeful!

  • @icthawkfan316 do you have cox cable? Playing the 93 game w/Indiana. Love the way the play, attack and defense.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 No I don’t. '93…that the Calbert Chaney led Indiana team?

  • @icthawkfan316 had to look it up, he was a sr, 92-93.

  • @drgnslayr Ha, the thought of anyone on this team carrying a chip is pretty exciting at this point!

  • @nuleafjhawk Agreed. Wiggins can’t do this alone, he needs at least some solid backup. Ellis didn’t do much today. Selden was hardly better, but he scored a few. Beyond that… Conner played some D. What other positives am I missing? I hate to think of this team as depending soley on Wiggins and Embiid, but that’s what it looks like after today’s game.

  • I thought Self lost the game as much as the players with their first half and early second half performance. It was clear that they were making anything they wanted so why not change defense’s. I’m sick of the we have to play man because that’s KU basketball. His pride get’s in his way in these situations. I don’t care if they haven’t practiced zone, or any change of pace defense, that’s on him for not getting these kids practice time at it. It was awful watching players continually come off screens and knocking down non contested 3 point shots. Or Staten getting to the lane at will. The Ref’s sucked, our effort was even worse for 30 minutes. Missed free throws and rebounding cost us the game in the comeback. Mason, Lucas, Traylor and Wig’s all missed free throws that would have made it closer. WV got a lot of 2nd chance rebounds during the comeback that just proved it wasn’t KU’s day!

  • @BeddieKU23 Could be the case that Bill Self is still holding back on showing his hand until a modified zone is called for in desperate moments vs. a mid-major in the first or second round of the Tournament? My take: Wily BIll ain’t yet walked away in dejection from the card table.

  • @REHawk AGREED! No reason for Self to expose his Tournament “hand” for what amounts to a pride-only type of win vs. WVU. I say that knowing we probably lost the 1-seed at the moment because of that loss. I just dont want to get a 3 seed. We need to stay a 1 or 2 seed.

    Interestingly, I thought Self saying a 1-seed wasnt the most important, and that it was “more about matchups” sort of let his players off-the-intensity-hook PRIOR to the WVU tipoff.

    Of course, if you are a hardcore fan, you are left wondering why our guys wouldnt be “up” for even just a “pride” game? After all, Wiggins sure was.

    And regarding the “its about matchups”…well, if we cant defensively “matchup” with one of the bottom 3 teams in our own conference, what does that mean for the BigDance? Some opponent hanging 50 in 1 half on the Jayhawks in March is NOT A GOOD SIGN. Glaring problem on this year’s team. We’ll see if its THE terminal problem. Hope not.

  • Gotta say I really noticed Mason’s D on Staten, cut off several drives in a row, but of course fouled with 2sec left on the shot clock. At least he has the tools, and he did hit 3-4 treys. Here is why I like Mason better than Tharpe: you dont have to worry about intensity with Mason. You can say he has suspect decision-making, but dont we say that also about Tharpe’s bad games?

  • @ralster I am totally with you that I would strongly prefer being a 2 seed. I suppose that is obvious but the 2 seed really should have a very easy first round game and a #7/10 in the next round. I have no stats to back this up but I feel like 2 seeds simply get to the Sweet 16 more than 3’s.

    We will likely see OSU in the Big 12 and that should be enough to get our guys really fired up. Worst case scenario we lose…do we get a 3 seed?

  • @joeloveshawks Good points. I hope we get Embiid back, as he changes things significantly vs OSU. Of course, even without Embiid, Self may have the guys jacked to the moon after the WVU loss, and it may be a case of ANYBODY we play “after WVU loss” is going to get our A-game…

    I think the problem with 3 and 4 seeds is they “battle” other middling teams, and the fact that a team is a 3seed to begin with, means it has problems that led to 8-10 losses in the first place. So the middle of the brackets are a battle-zone for the imperfects. And basically, as our own squad has proved: KU isnt near-perfect this year either. We can make an opponent look really good, and that is NOT Bill Self ball. We are supposed to “make the other guy ugly”.

    Definitely want a 1 or 2seed, if possible. Committee also doesnt want to see a team finish the season and conf tourney in a weak fashion. Whatever “bubble” a team may be sitting on, will surely get popped if it fails to finish these last games strong. There will be BigXII teams fighting for their MarchMadness lives in the conference tournament.

    If our freshmen think they can simply “turn it on” for the BigDance, they are going to learn a hard lesson. OR, I could be wrong, and the BigXII gauntlet has actually prepared our guys far better than we think + the fact in a OAD tourney, they will be amped “up”. Maybe it all takes care of itself. We do need Embiid’s 12/12/6blks in ANY game. One could argue that he is more of a game changer than Wiggins, especially after Wiggins dropped 41pts in superhuman, statsheet fashion, and we still lost.

  • @ralster I can’t imagine we are in the #1 seed conversation at this point. We have lost 2 of our last 3 and even if we win the Big 12 Tournament I think our 8 losses will be too many. Also I saw that Nova is now a projected #1 and if it comes down to that obviously they beat us head to head.

    I’d love to win the Big 12 or get to the Finals and lock up a 2 seed…hopefully in the Midwest with WSU as the #1. That would be the best thing for KU in my opinion at this point of the season.

  • @joeloveshawks Agreed. We’d have to have some big losses by teams 1-4 to be back in the running for a 1seed. Im hoping we can “hold on” to a 2 seed.

  • Guess I’m curious why we should think Self lost the game, as we saw him burn timeout after timeout early and often to give his input. I suppose we could ultimately always put a loss at the coach’s feet in a “buck stops here” sort of way…but what else can he do other than benching the nonperformer after trying to give him some in-game time to turn his game around? Which he did.

    Problem with this squad is that down by 12 at the half, we let WVU come out and hit us with a 12-1 run…So we are very quickly down 20+. Clearly a young team that doesnt know how to do, or summon up, what it may mentally know it needs to do. So do we have to have a ‘revenge’ game against WVU to show we can execute what Self wanted?

  • @ralster I agree there is no way Self lost this game.

    He didn’t get a T in the second half and I predicted he would by the 14 minute mark. He didn’t throw in the end of the bench for the last 20 minutes and rest his stars. He tried different rotations, he sat guys to coach them on the sidelines so they knew what they did wrong.

    He can’t go out there and make the play for them. They got punched square on the jaw and were out on their feet, but didn’t get knocked out completely. That to me is Coach Self instilling in them to fight and keep fighting.

    Wiggins fought the whole game, Traylor fought a lot in the second half, Frankamp did what he could do. But Tharpe, Mason, Seldon,Green, White, Black, Lucas, non of them showed me they wanted it as bad as Wiggins did yesterday.

    But to put this game on the coaching staff is unfair. they are kids playing a game that didn’t matter in how the Big12 ended, they knew that. Self had to be pissed at half giving up 50. Self had to be pissed by the effort in the second half by more than half the players he put out there. But his coaching did not lose this game.

  • It seems KU is closing out the season similarly to how Michigan did last year. Ranked high (#1) and lost a slew of games down the stretch dropping them to a 3 seed, before going to the national championship game.

    I’d like to see KU play in nine more games.

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