AUDIO: KU-Texas highlights with Bob Davis and Greg Gurley
VIDEO: CBS interviews Coach Self and BG postgame
VIDEO: CBS postgame wrap
|College Hoop Hits||
KUAD: Postgame box score, recap
AUDIO: KU-Texas highlights with Bob Davis and Greg Gurley
VIDEO: CBS interviews Coach Self and BG postgame
VIDEO: CBS postgame wrap
KUAD: Kansas vs Texas Pregame Notes
1/23/15, 10:45 AM
As of last night, 26 NBA scouts were scheduled to attend Texas-Kansas on Saturday. Huge opportunities for Oubre, Alexander, Taylor, Turner.
CBS VIDEO: Preview Kansas vs Texas
It looks as if KU’s players and coaches will meet with President Obama sometime Thursday on his visit to KU.
‘I’m excited about that. He is a big basketball fan,” Townsend said of Obama. “I got to know his brother-in-law, Craig Robinson (former Oregon State coach) over the years. What a great guy he is. He’s doing some commenting (on broadcasts) now.
“It would be nice to get back there (Washington, D.C.) while he’s still there,” Townsend added of the Jayhawks winning it all and visiting Obama in the White House as a national title team. “We’ll see what happens. He’s picked us a couple times to win it all. He probably feels we let him down. It will be fun (to talk to him). I know our guys are really excited.”
Noted soph Brannen Greene: “I’m excited about it. From what coach said talking to us in pre-game we’ll probably get to sneak in and meet him. We are all excited. Everybody wants to see the president. It will be fun.”
Bill Self spent Saturday in a down-to-the-final-buzzer game that Kansas ultimately lost against a top-20 team inside Hilton Coliseum, a building Iowa State's Fred Hoiberg, the victor on that night, told me Sunday was as loud as he's ever heard it. Just a draining experience for the visitors, I'm certain. Roughly 48 hours later, Self was in another down-to-the-final buzzer game against another top-20 team inside Allen Fieldhouse, where his Jayhawks took a 20-point lead and then blew a 20-point lead before recording a win over Oklahoma during which Self punched the scorer's table three times and broke it.
Next up for Kansas?
A road game at No. 17 Texas!
Such is life in the Big 12 this season -- and not just for KU.
This is life for everybody.
Seven of the Big 12's 10 members are currently ranked in the Top 25 (and one), eight of the 10 have been ranked in the AP poll at one time or another, and nine of the 10 have at least received votes. Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia, Kansas, Iowa State, Baylor and Oklahoma State are all in the top 25 of both the KenPom and Sagarin ratings, and CBSSports.com's Jerry Palm now has seven Big 12 schools projected to make the 2015 NCAA Tournament.
Armed with this information, I asked Self a simple question.
Is coaching in this league fun and exciting -- or just plain exhausting?
…Simply put, it's almost impossible to go a week in the Big 12 without playing a ranked opponent, which is obviously challenging and undeniably rare. For the purposes of context, understand that Kentucky and Gonzaga have no more scheduled games against currently ranked opponents, Arizona won't play another until Feb. 28, Villanova doesn't play another until Feb. 16, and Virginia will end up going 21 days -- from Jan. 10 to Jan. 31 -- between games against currently ranked opponents. That's light work, relatively speaking.
"I think what's a little surprising is that we'd have this many good teams," Self said. "[The Big 12 has] been good in the past. But it's better now because of the depth of the league."
Every game creates its own identity, but Monday offered some of the wildest swings you’ll see.
Kansas led by 19 at halftime. According to the victory probability chart devised by analyst Ken Pomeroy, the Jayhawks had a 92.3 percent chance of winning the game.
…Once the Jayhawks cooled off, Oklahoma roared back. KU missed nine of its next 11 threes, and with 11:02 remaining, the Sooners had caught up, 56-56. OU’s fourth straight three-pointer tied the game.
A 19-point deficit erased in 8:58! Incredible.
The Sooners led 69-65 with 4:56 remaining, and according to the same Pomeroy chart, Oklahoma now had a 75.3 percent chance to win.
Here, Kansas had its best defensive possessions of the game. The Sooners missed seven of their last eight shots, often forcing rushed, off-balanced attempts.
“The basket got thimble-sized for us the first 15 minutes of the second half, and looked like a big water tub for them,” Self said.
In order to understand Alexander’s proclivity for collecting offensive rebounds, The Chalkboard re-watched Monday’s game and charted Alexander’s seven offensive rebounds. Some were simply the result of a fortunate bounce or carom, and some showcased his long wingspan, but the fact Alexander finished with seven perhaps says something about his physical tools (his hands and strength) AND his ability to be in the right place.
Here are Alexander’s seven offensive rebounds, including two key offensive boards during the final minutes.
…By our quick count, Alexander’s seven offensive rebounds led directly to eight second-chance points, which, if you’re paying attention, came in a seven-point KU victory. For the season, Alexander has collected 13 percent of available offensive rebounds, which would be the best for a Kansas player since Kevin Young (13.2) in 2012-13.
Perhaps Kansas could have found a way to win Monday without Alexander imparting all this motion on the offensive glass, but in one very simple way, he proved to be the difference.
Since Big 12 play began, Cliff Alexander ranks third in the conference in defensive rebounding percentage, fourth in offensive rebounding percentage and fifth in block percentage.
Not even five minutes into the first half against No. 19 Oklahoma, Kansas freshman guard Kelly Oubre is roaring to the crowd and flexing his biceps.
He had to roar. He had to flex. He had to do something because just forcing a ball out of bounds, like he did, wouldn’t make highlight reels. Except this was about Oubre’s hustle, not the turnover he created.
Oubre knocked the ball loose from OU’s Isaiah Cousins and dove for it twice before forcing Cousins to throw it out of bounds after he beat him to the ball.
This was one possession in No. 11 Kansas’ 85-78 victory over the Sooners on Monday at Allen Fieldhouse. This is one example of a player who is starting to find his way, and one reason his coach is finally letting him.
“When you play with energy and that kind of stuff, it camouflages all of your sins,” KU coach Bill Self said. “Kelly is playing that way.”
There were other examples of that energy on Monday — Oubre finished with team-high 19 points, 9 rebounds and 2 steals — but none were more significant than his hustle to a loose ball, and not just because KU point guard Frank Mason knocked down a 3-pointer after Oubre’s steal.
It mattered because of what Oubre did before the steal, committing a flagrant foul on Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield.
This was the type of play that would’ve gotten Oubre benched earlier in the year. A bad foul against a great team. But earlier in the year, Oubre was a different player, and Self was a different coach.
Oklahoma didn’t lose this game. Kansas won it.
Afterward, Self did a nice job of explaining how this thriller was different from other wild swings.
“I think in the Florida game we started off miserably and flipped it in a positive way,” Self said. “Utah, we were miserable in the second half and almost couldn’t get it back. ... I don’t think we played as bad tonight in the second half. I thought we missed shots and I thought they played really well.”
And then KU played really well, winning the final 3:28, 16-7. The most crucial bucket came when Oubre missed a free throw and Cliff Alexander pulled it out of a sky crowded by long Oklahoma arms and fired a pass out to Frank Mason at the top of the key. Mason quickly swung it it to Greene on the right wing for a three-pointer that put Kansas up two points. KU never trailed again.
It triggered a string of memorable plays. Right after the big offensive rebound, Alexander sold a charge without overselling it. Frank Mason hit a pull-up jumper from the right elbow to push the lead to four points.
Greene was late recovering to his man and Cousins burned him for a three that cut the margin to one point. Mason sucked the defense to him in the lane and dished to Alexander for a dunk. Three-point lead. The left-handed Oubre drove right — he’s getting better all the time and is tough to guard — and made a bucket that put Kansas up 79-74 with 1:18 left. Oubre went coast-to-coast for another bucket.
At that point in the game, the crowd, not sapped of its energy by the ridiculous manufactured, pre-game noise, generated the volume on its own, not having to worry about competing with loudspeakers that really do need to be unplugged.
It was a wildly entertaining three-game series in one night, a 40-minute whirlwind that in some ways recalled KU’s Final Four victory vs. North Carolina on the way to the national title in 2008.
Kansas University freshman guard Kelly Oubre Jr., says he wasn’t surprised to see a school-record nine three-pointers swish in the first half of Monday’s 85-78 victory over Oklahoma in Allen Fieldhouse.
“We had a bunch of guys step up and make shots and show what kind of shooters they are,” Oubre said of himself, Devonté Graham and Brannen Greene, who hit two apiece and Perry Ellis, Frank Mason III and Wayne Selden Jr., who each hit one as the Jayhawks raced to a 51-32 halftime lead.
KU actually hit eight straight threes for the first time in the 12-year Bill Self era. Most threes in a row in KU history is nine in 1994 at North Carolina State. The nine overall threes in 13 attempts tied the nine KU hit in the first half in 2010 at Nebraska; nine in the second half against Hofstra in 2009 and nine in the first half in 1994 at N.C. State.
“At the beginning of the game, we had in the back of our mind we went to Ames and didn’t come out as successful as we wanted to,” Oubre said of Saturday’s 86-81 loss at Iowa State in which KU hit nine of 23 threes. “So we wanted to come out from the jump and do things better than we did at Iowa State.”
…Oubre, who averages 8.6 points and 4.7 rebounds a game, has kept a good demeanor all season, assistant coach Kurtis Townsend said on Monday’s Hawk Talk radio show.
“The greatest thing ... when Kelly was not playing early, his attitude never changed. He came to practice and wanted to show you he could play better and play on the defensive end,” Townsend said. “If you want something given to you, this isn’t the place to come. Coach (Self) will hold your feet to the fire and make sure you do it the right way. Kelly listened. He could have sulked and had a bad attitude. If you watched him, he was waving the towel and cheering for the guys at Disney (Orlando Classic) when he wasn’t playing. He was happy we won the championship no matter how much he played. Good things happen to kids who have that attitude,” Townsend added.
Cohorts through Kansas ties, North Carolina's Roy Williams and Wake Forest's Danny Manning are now ACC counterparts.
The Demon Deacons (9-9, 1-4 ACC) host the 15th-ranked Tar Heels (14-4, 4-1) on Wednesday night, and Manning's transition from standout player to successful coach comes as no surprise to Williams. He took over the Jayhawks' program in 1988, after Manning carried Kansas to an improbable national title, and worked in Lawrence, Kansas, throughout Manning's pro career.
Manning retired from the NBA and joined the Jayhawks' staff in 2003, when Bill Self replaced the departed Williams.
"Danny lived in Lawrence in the offseason and played a lot of pickup with my teams at Kansas," Williams said. "Everybody also talked about the best pickup games were when Danny was in town because he was such a leader. He got them to play instead of spending all their time arguing or taking breaks. What they did was played and worked on their games.
"He was a great leader for all the players that I had during the 16 years I was there."
The new plane — purchased with a gift from KU Endowment — has been delivered to KU and already has taken its first trips, KU confirmed this week.
The Cessna Citation CJ4 carries seven passengers, university spokeswoman Erinn Barcomb-Peterson said. She said it arrived, fully painted, on Dec. 23.
The new business jet replaces a 1997 Cessna Citation Bravo, which was traded in, Barcomb-Peterson said.
KU Endowment agreed to provide KU with a grant not to exceed $8.1 million to buy the new plane, the Journal-World reported in November. KU did not provide an exact purchase price this week.
In addition to the business jet, KU owns a share in a second plane. KU Endowment funded the purchases, and KU pays ongoing expenses.
The planes are used for KU Medical Center’s medical outreach program serving rural Kansas, administrator travel and KU Athletics recruiting trips.
The new plane evokes school spirit. It’s painted with a crimson and blue swoosh and a Jayhawk on the tail. The Federal Aviation Administration registration number ends in “4KU.”
VOTE for Coach Self: Infinite Coaches’ Charity Challenge
“Pay Heed. The game you love began here. Respect those who came before you. Make their legacy your own. Because destiny favors the dedicated. And rings don’t replace work. In this game you don’t get what you want. You get what you earn. We are Kansas. Together we rise. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!
Big 12 / College News