...the Jayhawks went from a eight-point lead to a 13-point loss in just more than 15 minutes.
“We didn’t show much composure when it got hot,” KU coach Bill Self said. “That was disappointing.”
…KU was killed by second-half turnovers. The Jayhawks gave it away 10 times in the second half against ISU’s passive defense, which included four giveaways from point guard Frank Mason.
“We came out the second half and didn't execute as well,” Mason said. “I had too many turnovers. I don't think I did a good job of getting my teammates easy shots.”
The Jayhawks also went cold from the floor, making 10 of 25 shots after halftime. That included an 0-for-6 effort from 3.
Kansas had one last gasp, scoring five straight and twice closing to four, thanks to six of Perry Ellis’ 23 points. But here’s where lack of poise once again became a factor.
“If we could have just puttered around with the ball, throw it to Perry and let Perry go…” Self said. “Then when things started going south we lost all our defensive energy too.”
This after a terrific start. In the first half, the ball moved, looks were open and shots fell. After playing in quicksand early in recent games, the Jayhawks were sharp early. Ellis got inside for early, Brannen Greene swished a pair of three-pointers. The guards were active.
It added up to a 43-36 halftime lead that ended with an exclamation point when Graham blocked a Morris shot, got the ball to Ellis, who fed Frank Mason for a layup at the buzzer. The Jayhawks had quieted the Hilton Coliseum crowd and bounced to the locker room at the break.
Kansas hit 58 percent in the first half, making 5 of 11 from beyond the arc, and Iowa State, the Big 12’s top shooting team, was a chilly 41.2 percent.
…“I had too many turnovers, and I don’t think I did a good job of getting my teammates easy shots,” Mason said. “We didn’t stick to the game plan on the defensive end. On both ends, I think we did a bad job.”
Self wasn’t going to let Mason wear all of it. Although he didn’t mention him by name, Self flashed a scowl after a quick-trigger Selden three-point attempt in the first half.
“I think it’s very demoralizing when you leave a timeout saying you’re going to run a play, and then the play is broken off and the guy just cranks up a three,” Self said. “If we wanted him to shoot a three with 25 left on the clock we would have told him to do that as opposed to doing something different and crank up a bad shot.
Self was asked if he felt maybe his guys ran out of gas in a second half in which ISU rolled, 49-29, in its victory.
“Well, they may have gotten tired. When the game is going tough like that, it’s hard to put those guys in who have never been in that situation when the game is on the line,” Self said.
Apparently, a Big 12 point of emphasis is costing Georges Niang turnovers. The Cyclone big man has been whistled for multiple travelling violations the previous two games.
Prohm said he heard there was an email drawing attention to the moving feet.
“One of the refs said the other day,” Prohm said, “that’s why there were so many called, but I think he travelled (tonight).”
Niang had three turnovers against the Jayhawks and seven against TCU last Saturday.
Call it a win-win opportunity for fans of education and the Kansas Jayhawks.
To raise funds for Newspapers In Education and give four loyal readers the opportunity to witness two of college basketball’s pre-eminent programs, The Topeka Capital-Journal and CJOnline.com are pleased to announce a pair of ticket promotions for Saturday’s 6 p.m. showdown between No. 4 Kansas and No. 20 Kentucky at Allen Fieldhouse.
The newspaper will give away two free tickets through a Facebook contest ( http://cjon.co/20pHdwa ) and make two more tickets available for purchase at StubHub.com as a fundraiser for its NIE program. All four seats to the much-anticipated game are located in Section T, Row 5 of Allen Fieldhouse — only a few feet from James Naismith Court.
Now, in the midst of a fourth straight season without Missouri on the schedule, Self might be softening a little bit, saying the freeze out is not “permanent,” and mentioning that he’s “good friends” with Missouri coach Kim Anderson.
“I would say it’s probably in our court as much as anything, on who needs to make the next move,” Self told SEC Country during a Monday teleconference. “Missouri made a choice to do what they did that was best for them over time, and since then, we’ve made a choice, basically, to end the series. I’m not saying it’s permanent by any stretch, but for the time being, and I think that’s a decision that was made that everybody on board — including the administrators on our campus — is totally fine with and wanted.”
…Self said another Final Four run — not its border rivalry — is on the Jayhawks’ minds at the moment.
“I don’t know exactly where it’s at,” he said. “We have not discussed that in months what our changes would be or what we wanted to do with it. I know we play a remarkable schedule each year and they probably do, too, and I’m real good friends with Kim Anderson, and it’s nothing personal with any of us. It’s just the situation that everybody’s allowed to do what they feel like is best, and at this point in time, it just hasn’t fit to what we want to do.”
Big 12/College News
The challenge will likely dominate basketball coverage this weekend, highlighted by games such as No. 14 Iowa State at No. 5 Texas A&M, No. 20 Kentucky at No. 4 Kansas and No. 1 Oklahoma at LSU. ESPN will televise “College GameDay” live from Lawrence.
Still, Big 12 coaches are reluctant to endorse the new format, because of its timing. Even Ford followed his complimentary statement with a caveat.
“I don’t know how much more publicity you need, especially in this league,” Ford said. “We get plenty of exposure.”
Kansas coach Bill Self said he would rather play the games earlier.
“I don’t like the disruption of league play,” Self said, “and I think the majority of our coaches would agree. But it will be great exposure for our league. Every team in both leagues is going to get major exposure on ESPN throughout the entire day, which is great for our league.
“The advantages would probably outweigh the negatives, even though I know no one likes to step out of conference.”
The argument for playing the challenge now is simple. College football is over and the NFL is on break until the Super Bowl. What better time than now to showcase basketball?
Texas coach Shaka Smart said it will be nice to root for the other teams in the Big 12 for a change.
“Hopefully,” he said, “we all do really well.”
The argument against is also clear. It takes attention away from the conference race and throws a wild card into the mix. A game against Texas A&M or Kentucky figures to be more taxing than a game against Auburn or Georgia. Road trips are harder than home games. The Big 12’s double round-robin schedule is the same for everyone, but this weekend is not.
This week we caught up with DeSoto (Texas) center Marques Bolden, a five-star recruit that was recently named to the Jordan Brand Classic and McDonald’s All American Game.
THE MOVE: Drop-Step Left-Handed Hook
THE EXECUTION: “Most people don’t guard it because I’m right handed. It doesn’t matter what side I post up on, I’ll catch it, take one dribble to the right and come back left for a left handed hook.”
THE SELL: “Nobody stops that!”
Recruiting Calendar (updated for 2016)
Late Night in the Phog
Bill Self Camp KU Alumni games
60 Years of AFH Celebration
Legends of the Phog game
2011-12 Final Border War
KC Prep Invitational
and more, now on YouTube