In every way possible, No. 3 Kansas looked overrated in taking an 86-67 beating in Gallagher-Iba, where the volume was high and the attendance low.
The building wasn’t even close to full. Many no doubt stayed away figuring it wouldn’t be much of a contest. They couldn’t have been more right and more wrong about that. It was a mismatch, all right, but one those who stayed away would have enjoyed so thoroughly.
“We are struggling right now. We are laboring. We are not playing well as a unit. We are not playing well individually. We are inconsistent,” Self said, adding, “We are so spoiled here. We have not had very many games like this over the years, but we’ve had ’em. Mature guys understand it’s one game and bounce back. It is disheartening at the moment, but we’ll find out how tough we are.
“I’ve always questioned whether or not this team from a mental standpoint was tough enough to fight through some stuff. To be honest, we haven’t shown that we are, but we aren’t going to go anywhere if we don’t show that we are. If there’s anything positive out of this is we’ll find out who we really are. I know we’re capable of being much better.”
At the end of the first start of Cheick Diallo's college career Tuesday night, two things were already plainly clear.
You can see why Kansas fans clamor for the McDonald's All-American to receive more playing time. You can also see why Kansas coach Bill Self is reluctant to trust him.
Diallo showed occasional glimpses of promise during third-ranked Kansas' head-scratching 86-67 loss at previously struggling Oklahoma State, but the 6-foot-9 freshman also looked lost on numerous possessions as well. He finished with four points and two rebounds in 13 minutes, often displaying the athleticism and activity that make him an NBA prospect but not the grasp of Kansas' system he needs to earn more than sporadic minutes.
There was one first-half possession in which Diallo left his man to attempt to block a shot he had no chance of reaching and as a result wound up surrendering an offensive rebound. There was another in which he got switched onto Jawun Evans on a pick and roll and the Oklahoma State guard blew by him like he wasn't even there. There was a third in which he lost sight of his man for so long that it resulted in a wide-open top of the key 3-pointer.
Diallo also drew the anger of his teammates when several times he failed to execute one of Kansas' most basic plays.
…If the game slows down for Diallo, he can be a critical piece for Kansas. At the same time, he often hurts the Jayhawks more than he helps these days, which explains why he hadn't played double-digit minutes in any of his six previous games prior to Saturday against TCU.
How Self approaches Diallo's playing time in the coming weeks might come down to whether he values Kansas' streak of Big 12 titles more than he does giving the Jayhawks their best chance to win a national championship this spring.
If Self wants to put his team into position to win now, maybe playing Diallo sparingly is still the right option. If he wants to give his team the best chance to win in March and April, Diallo probably needs more rope to learn on the fly and play through his mistakes.
One of the recurring questions that always seems to pop up on my twitter feed these days involves Cheick Diallo.
More specifically, how come Kansas can’t — or won’t — find a way to get their top ten freshman more involved.
The answer I always give: Diallo just doesn’t quite know what he’s doing yet. Look, if the only thing that he had to do on a basketball court was to protect the rim on defense, crash the offensive glass and rim-run in transition, he’d be the best freshman in the Big 12 this side of Chris Paul Jawun Evans. The athleticism, the physical tools, the effort. It’s all there. There were times last season where it didn’t look like Cliff Alexander was trying. I don’t think you can say that about Diallo.
He just doesn’t know yet where he’s supposed to be or what he’s supposed to do.
NBC Sports on Diallo with vids
“I think about everything that could go wrong with us,” KU coach Bill Self said, “went wrong.”
KU, worried about the potential driving ability of OSU guard Jawun Evans, helped off frequently and watched as the Cowboys came through with an 11-for-21 effort from 3-point range. Coming in, OSU was just below NCAA average in 3-point accuracy at 34 percent.
“I thought they made some hard shots,” Self said. “You look at the stats and stuff like that, they shot the ball a lot better than they had been.”
KU’s guards once again looked slow defensively. The Cowboys, who entered as the Big 12’s second-least efficient offense in conference play, posted 1.311 points per possession — the second-best mark against KU in Self’s 448 games as coach.
Kansas University junior guard Brannen Greene did not dress for the Jayhawks’ 86-67 Tuesday loss at Oklahoma State.
“He hit knees yesterday (at practice with another player). It was not his hip, nothing to do with that,” KU coach Bill Self said.
“He bumped knees yesterday, I mean bad,” the coach added. “To the point he could barely walk. He was a little better today. Doctors said no way he could be effective tonight.”
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Big 12/College News
The return, which the conference provided Thursday in response to a request from USA TODAY Sports, also shows that SEC had $527.4 million in total revenue for a fiscal year that ended Aug. 31, 2015. That was the first fiscal year in which the conference began receiving money from the formation of the SEC Network and from the new College Football Playoff.
The total revenue figure is more than 60% greater than the SEC reported for a fiscal year ending Aug. 31, 2014.
The conference announced last spring that it would be distributing about $455.8 million to its 14 member schools — or about $31.2 million per school.
In its fiscal year ending Aug. 31, 2009, the SEC reported total revenue of just under $150 million.
As another comparison to the SEC’s new revenue total, it is more than half of the $906 million that the NCAA reported on its most recently available tax return — which covered a fiscal year ending Aug. 31, 2014.
Overall, the SEC ended its 2015 fiscal year with a $17.2 million annual revenue surplus. That is the conference's greatest surplus since its 2008 fiscal year, when it had a $7.6 million surplus, and likely is its greatest single-year surplus.
College athletics conferences are set up as non-profit organizations. Because of IRS rules about how non-profits must report compensation of their most highly paid employees, those pay figures must cover the most recently completed calendar year. Other expenses and revenues are reported based on the organization's fiscal year.
On its new tax returns, the SEC reported $311.8 million in television and radio rights fees -- a nearly 50% increase over the $210.4 million it reported for its 2014 fiscal year.
The conference also had enormous growth in its revenue from postseason events, reporting $162.8
million in such revenue on its new return, compared to $98.6 million during its 2014 fiscal year. That's a 65% increase.
Big 12 Composite Schedule & Results
KU has one recruiting target on the East team: Udoka Azubuike, 6-11, Potter’s House Christian, Jacksonville, Florida.
KU targets on the West team: Jarrett Allen, 6-10, Stephens Episcopal, Austin, Texas; Marques Bolden, 6-10, DeSoto (Texas) High and Josh Jackson, 6-7, Prolific Prep, Napa, California.
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