KUAD Box Score, Recap, Quotes, Notes, Video
LJW Video and Audio pressers and post-game interviews
ESPN Recap, Video
KC Star Photos
The night had dragged on, pushing toward midnight on the East Coast, and Kansas had fought off West Virginia for the better part of the second half. Now, Ben McLemore had scored six straight points, and the Jayhawks led by six, and Releford slipped open one more time.
The release was pure and the shot rippled through the net, and maybe — just maybe — Kansas finally had enough breathing room to escape WVU Coliseum with an 18-game winning streak and its Big 12 lead intact. Was Monday’s 61-56 victory pretty? No. Satisfying? Yes.
“We’re gonna have bad games,” Releford said. “And out of all those bad games, we gotta win them. And the key to winning the Big 12 is winning on the road.
“So, ugly or not … ”
…It was partly the environment, partly Kansas’ own mistakes, and partly the fact McLemore picked up two early fouls. Still, West Virginia, 9-11 and 2-5, looked like a vintage Huggins squad as it turned the game into a 40-minute foul-fest.
“You look across America,” Self said. “There’s a lot of teams out there that would give anything to be 5-0 on the road … hardly anybody in America’s done that. We shouldn’t make any excuses for winning games away from home.”
So maybe Kansas wasn’t exactly playing with the weight of the No. 1 ranking in the latest USA Today/coaches poll. According to senior center Jeff Withey, most of KU’s players didn’t even realize the Jayhawks were ranked No. 1 in the poll until a reporter brought it up after Monday’s game. The Jayhawks, apparently, had seen their No. 2 ranking in The Associated Press poll and moved on.
“I thought we were No. 2,” Withey said. “Obviously, I didn’t even know. So there’s not much of a reaction.”
...Kansas sported all-blue, alternate jerseys on Monday that, predictably, caused a bit of a stir. The numbers and names were hard to see, and the immediate reaction in social-media circles swung toward the negative. The players, however, gave them a thumbs up.
“We liked them a lot,” Withey said. “I don’t know if we’re gonna be wearing them too often, but they were pretty cool.”
...West Virginia coach Bob Huggins dropped to 0-5 in his career against the Jayhawks.
The Mountaineers carried an .807 winning percentage in WVU Coliseum against opponents visiting for the first time.
In his sixth season as West Virginia coach, Bob Huggins had won eight games against top-10 opponents, a footnote that became extra relevant after the Jayhawks climbed Monday to No. 1 in the coaches poll and No. 2 in the Associated Press poll.
Also, Huggins has a clause in his West Virginia contract that provides him a $25,000 performance bonus for beating Kansas, even though the Big Monday matchup was the first meeting ever between the two teams.
Turned out, the Jayhawks overcame both Huggy’s reputation and his dry ink, overcoming 16 turnovers and 16 missed free throws to trip West Virginia, 61-56.
Artistic it was not.
“Our guard play has got to get better,” KU coach Bill Self said. “Teams that pressure us and get after us, we’ve turned it over here.
“I thought we did some good things, but we made some bonehead plays and didn’t take care of the ball. We’re better than that. If you make your free throws, it turns out, at least visually, to be a much better game.”
…The uniforms, with names and numbers that were hard to distinguish, even including matching blue shoes.
“We don’t have to burn ‘em since we won, but I don’t know if we’ll wear ‘em again,” Self said.
Internet is super slow over here, but my boys are looking nice! #RockChalk
Kansas uniforms inspired by Regis Philbin's Who Wants to be a Millionaire wardrobe.
Just filed Tuesday's new bracket. Kansas No. 1 overall after holding off West Virginia. Slightly better profile than Michigan for that spot.
Withey scored 13 points the first half in his new duds, helping KU to a 38-30 halftime advantage. He also had two of his game-high four blocks in the last 24 seconds, single-handedly making sure West Virginia didn’t cut into KU’s narrow 61-56 margin.
“My teammates did a good job getting me the ball early,” said Withey, who had 10 points as KU jumped to a 22-7 lead. “We didn’t want them to score late. Their guards decided the first time all game really to go inside, and I was able to get a couple blocks.”
Withey missed four of seven free throws on a night KU made 18 of 34.
“My free throws ... I’ve got to work on them more,” Withey said. “I don’t know if I’m rushing it or what. I’ve got to get in the gym and shoot 200 free throws and get it right.”
…Self singled out Releford, who had 15 points off 7-of-9 shooting.
“Travis was terrific the whole game,” Self said. “He guards their leading scorer in Big 12 play, he gets a goose egg from the field, and he (Travis) scores 15 points on eight shots. So he was by far our best player.”
Releford held Eron Harris to two points off 0-for-5 shooting in 25 minutes.
“But we’ve got to be a lot tougher and do some things. But, hey, if you go 22 of 34 if you just shoot your free throws awful, we’re still going to win by 10 or 12. And we would have taken that before the game. We just didn’t shoot them awful tonight,” Self said.
…Andrew White III, who is from Chester, Va., played six minutes in front of about 15 family members, including Andrew White I and II. He missed two shots and three of four free throws but had four boards.
The students gathered early and were ready to put on their game face for national television, keeping with the “Stripe the Coliseum” theme for the evening they had a blue section between two gold sections.
If Kansas were going to win this one, it would not be the students’ fault as they were ready to rock ‘n roll, some shirtless, some dressed in the zaniest of costumes including Batman and Batgirl, some with blown up pictures not only of basketball coach Bob Huggins head, player Deniz Kilicli’s head, but also of football coach Dana Holgorsen’s.
The town was not quite as excited about the game as the students, tickets being offered on line for $2 just hours before the game.
Kansas had been promoted to No. 1 in the nation in the coaches’ poll earlier in the day, sitting second in the AP poll, making them the kind of basketball royalty that qualified to have Brent Musberger,Fran Fraschilla and Holly Rowe be assigned the Big Monday announcing chores by ESPN.
…Murray’s play carried over into the second half as he hit WVU’s first basket, his second 3 of the night, and then made a steal as the crowd became more jacked up, helped no end by the return of the “YMCA” during the first time out and a fan holding aloft a sign that read:
I STILL HATE PITT
Considering how dismal a season this one has become for Huggins’ Mountaineers, now 9-11 and losers of four in a row and five of six, the latest game between the two is of far less interest than was the first, for it came at a time when Huggins actually thought he had a shot at taking down a national title.
Self was a young coach then, one who had begun his career at Oral Roberts and won but 55 of 109 games before moving on to Tulsa, where he was in the process of building a winner and a reputation.
Huggins was at Cincinnati and had an overpowering team that rolled over nearly everything in its way, right up until its best player, Kenyon Martin, suffered a broken leg on March 9, 2000.
At the time, Huggins was under some fire in Cincinnati, for he had lost in the second round of the NCAA Tournament three consecutive times, the second of which came about in 1998 when Jarrod West made his miracle shot at the buzzer to beat Huggins and his Bearcats.
With Martin out, the NCAA seeding committee dropped UC to a No. 2 seed, something Huggins protested vehemently about, claiming the committee showed his team “a lack of respect,” but in the end the move proved justified as Self’s Tulsa team, a No. 7 seed, eliminated the Martin-less Bearcats, 69-61, in Nashville.
Could Self and Tulsa have beaten Cincinnati with Martin there?
Huggins would never admit so and could point to his team shooting just 35 percent from the field with 19 of 54 baskets made, but also being outrebounded, 44-39, without the muscular, athletic All-American.
"We obviously had to change a lot of things without Kenyon, but I thought we could advance," Huggins said. "Give Tulsa a lot of credit. That's a very balanced, well-coached team."
Little did Huggins know that midway through the 2013 season he still would be trying to figure out a way to beat Self.
In his postgame comments, Self lamented the 16 points his team left on the free-throw line, and how it was minus-seven in turnover margin.
But what if red-hot freshman Eron Harris doesn't go 0-for-5 for WVU? What if he makes one or two of his four shots from beyond the arc? What if Deniz Kilicli had shown any semblance of being a reliable player on either end of the court?
What if WVU had a little more "wow" ... instead of 15 very good minutes sandwiched by frustration?
West Virginia head basketball coach Bob Huggins has berated his team all season for its inability to compete.
The Mountaineers managed to finally do that Monday night against No. 1 Kansas at the WVU Coliseum but still couldn’t pick up the all-important win, as WVU dropped its sixth game in its last eight contests, falling 61-56 to the Jayhawks in the first-ever meeting between the two schools.
Junior center Aaric Murray led all scorers with 17 points to go along with seven rebounds, two steals and two blocks in 27 minutes off the bench for WVU, while sophomore point guard Juwan Staten returned to the starting lineup with 10 points of his own for the Mountaineers, but it still wasn’t enough.
"I guess we just lost our focus and stopped running our plays," Murray said after the game.
…Monday’s recorded attendance of 12,402 marked the best crowd at a home WVU game this year.
Kansas came out of a timeout with 23 seconds left, and Johnson took the ball past halfcourt, killed clock with his dribble and started to make his move with about eight seconds left. Then something made him think it was a good idea to throw a one-handed pass off the dribble to the right wing.
Jabarie Hinds had no trouble picking it off and taking it all the way in for a buzzer-beating layup as KU coach Bill Self put his hands to the sides of his head and counted to 10.
And so it goes for a Kansas basketball team ranked second in the nation, behind only Michigan in the Associated Press poll. The Jayhawks (19-1) pushed their national-best winning streak to 18 games with a 61-56 victory Monday night at West Virginia. But it’s a streak fraught with moments such as Johnson’s blunder to end the half. The Jayhawks keep winning, but make it so much more stressful than it would be if they didn’t make so many sloppy plays on the perimeter.
Hearing later that freshman Andrew White III wasn’t exactly where he was supposed to be didn’t make Johnson’s turnover any easier to stomach. It looked as if Johnson didn’t believe he could get around his man. He didn’t look like the confident player who made so many big shots in big games last March.
What happened on the play that prevented Kansas from taking a double-digit lead into halftime?
“Elijah just made a bad play,” Self said. “The whole play was for him to drive it. The lane was open. Andrew didn’t relocate right, and we just threw it to them for a layup. That happened two or three times in the first half. We’ve got to do better with that. You can’t close halves out like that. The worse you can be is be up by 10, the worst, when you’re playing for one shot and to do that is ridiculous. We’ve got to get better in that area.”
LJW Rankings: Releford takes top honor
“Kansas is good,” Huggins said. “It’s not like they’re one of those teams that plays nobody in the preseason and gets ranked. They play people in the preseason. Bill (Self) does a great job. They’re playing three fifth-year seniors. They’re playing a sophomore (red-shirt freshman Ben McLemore) that played with them in practice every day (of second semester), wasn’t allowed to participate, but practiced with them, and from what I hear may be a top-five pick in the draft.
“You’ve got a guy who can really coach, and then you’ve got all that experience. They’ve got the best of both worlds. They’ve got experience, and then they have youthful enthusiasm. Sometimes when you have fifth-year guys, it gets a little, you know, mundane, when you do the same thing all the time. When you have an influx of youth, it kind of rejuvenates them. So I think they’ve got a great combination.”
Huggins, who is a graduate of West Virginia, sensed no big-time buzz around the game against No. 1/2 KU.
“Honestly, there hasn’t been the kind of hoopla you’d think there would be around town. The paper sure didn’t blow it up today as being a huge, huge, game,” Huggins said. “I’m sure we have a lot to do with it with our play.”
There was a “stripe the coliseum” promotion for the KU-West Virginia game. Fans were asked to wear either gold or blue depending on where their seats were located. A detailed map of the arena was available prior to the game on the university website so the fans could coordinate.
SI Seth Davis Q&A with Coach Self
What have you learned since you took over the job in 2003 about yourself and the program?
"You have to embrace the expectations. That's something I've learned. I think I've learned that the best players don't necessarily make the best teams, but you can't win the biggest games without good players. Having guys that understand their roles and buying in and understanding who the best players are on the court is a pretty fun way to play. We've had so many guys that have been great players for us that have come in and understood their role that the first-rounders need to get their touches, but they got better. When those guys left, they were ready to take over.''
What does the Big 12 regular-season title streak of eight straight mean to you?
"It's something we talk about every day. We end every huddle saying 'Big 12 champs.' It's something that we start to engrave in their mind even though some people here take it for granted. Whenever you're the best team in a really competitive league, you're going to play for the highest stakes. I've always said why be concerned about being the best team in the country if you can't be the best team within the league you're trying to win and compete for. I want to be the best. But I always think there are stages. For us to be the best in the country we have to be the best in this league.''
What makes Phog Allen the best home court in the country?
"There are other places that get amped up for a game and sell out. But the thing about here is that it doesn't make any difference if we're playing Texas, Oklahoma State, Kentucky, Ohio State, American, Belmont or Richmond. You're going to have the exact same number of people at the game. The consistency of their participation is unequal to anywhere I've seen night in and night out.''
What would be your next move and who would you lean on for advice?
"If we're ever going to move again, which I certainly don't see, want or anticipate because we love it here, I would lean on my dad and my wife. And then maybe some experts in the field. I haven't looked at another situation seriously since I've been here. A lot was made of the Oklahoma State situation five years ago, but that was one that the timing was not right and I don't see the timing being right any time in the near future.''
What about the NBA?
" I don't feel it. I can't say never because there have been a lot of people tell me that it would be an unbelievable situation to get into, and coaches yearn for that, but I think I've got a better job than a lot of guys in the league.''
Andy Katz Q&A with Coach Self
Don't panic. Baylor shows up at No. 1 here simply because they've already played both their games against TCU. Kansas will get to play two of those as well, and will presumably get to ride the same statistical booster rocket.
On paper KU's unusually one-dimensional, and by "unusually" I mean by Jayhawk standards. The success they've achieved thus far in Big 12 play is largely attributable to the fact that conference opponents are making just 38 percent of their twos. (Now why would that be?) That, plus a big surplus in attempted free throws, has propelled Kansas to a 7-0 start.
Off paper we know something closer to the truth. Bill Self may have the nation's best defensive player in Jeff Withey, and he definitely has a lottery pick-to-be in Ben McLemore. Most coaches would take that foundation gladly.
McLemore has been so good so fast I'm not sure we've had the proper "Hey wait a minute, this is amazing" moment yet. He's hitting 54 percent of his twos and 46 percent of his threes, and he's doing it as a freshman who's the featured scorer for a team that expects to win the national championship. The standard expectation with elite freshmen is that they get even better as the season progresses. If that expectation is fulfilled with this freshman on this team with this defense, mercy.
Michigan is a slightly better offensive team than Kansas, but the Jayhawks are better on defense and on the glass. Because of Withey, the Jayhawks have had a knack for inducing opponents to settle for 3-pointers, but when the Wolverines take a 3 it hardly can be considered settling. They shoot 40.8 percent from behind the arc as a team.
I think Michigan's A-game is better than Kansas' A-game. Although the Jayhawks are pretty good at getting opponents to play their B-minus game, I do think Michigan would be a little bit more likely to win this matchup, should we get to see it.
…Six schools could kill the NCAA, and by that I mean "end its existence forever." Kill it. Those six schools are Kansas, Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina, Indiana and UCLA.
And it probably wouldn't take all six.
The NCAA gets approximately 90 percent of its revenue from television rights fees. According to the NCAA, it got $680 million of its total $777 million in revenue from the NCAA tournament rights agreement with CBS and Turner. That's 87.5 percent. And that's not including the money it makes from the championship events themselves, the overwhelming majority of which comes from the NCAA Tournament.
This is a commonly misunderstood relationship. Major-college football is not paying the NCAA's bills at all. The NCAA owes much of its power and, indeed, much of its very existence, to the popularity of its men's basketball tournament.
So can you imagine what would happen to the NCAA tournament if Kansas, Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina, Indiana and UCLA decided they were going to do their own thing? You think the nation is getting all fired up to see Northern Iowa "upset" San Diego State? You think anybody is going to take Gonzaga's national title seriously when Duke and Kentucky are playing each other the same weekend?
You think other schools wouldn't want to go play in the thing that has all the bluebloods in it? It wouldn't be five years before the NCAA tournament was the NIT (which used to be the NCAA tournament, if that makes sense).
We have a lot in common with Holly Durst and Blake Julian. A love for roller derby, an appreciation for Chris Harrison's innovative hair care, and an addiction to tanning. But guys? Apparently these two are into something called "sports," and they recently hit up University of Kansas for a Jayhawks basketball game!
We're not sure how basketball works (unless shirts and skins are involved), but Holly and Blake are all about getting into the team spirit. "Rock chalk Jayhawk! #GoKu" Holly tweeted along with an adorable photo of her and Blake cheesin' for the camera.
Turns out "rock chalk Jayhawk" is some kind of epic siren cry for people who are into Kansas-style basket ball, which makes sense considering that Blake went to University of Kansas (and then University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry). Way to root for the home team, you two!
VOTE for Ben
VOTE FOR COACH SELF (West Region, Sean Miller currently leading)
VOTE for KU Student Section
VOTE for Kansas players, team, and moment in NCAA 75th Anniversary of March Madness (Vote for Wilt, Clyde, Danny, 51-52 Kansas, Mario's Miracle)
Kansas 2012-13 MBB Schedule
Kansas 2012-13 WBB Schedule
Big 12/College News
Wichita Eagle Big 12 Report
Bowlsby confirmed to CBSSports.com that the league is in the exploratory stage about an alliance with the ACC and perhaps some other leagues. That could involve a scheduling agreement, marketing, anything to enrich both conferences.
“I think he is doing something that is very smart,” said a person with knowledge of the process. “He's looking at a way to enhance the value of the Big 12 without having split his money up any further.”
In other words, no expansion. Such an arrangement might quash speculation about Clemson and Florida State eventually coming to the Big 12. It's still a debate whether those schools add value to the Big 12. And the discussion doesn't start unless, say, Jim Delany raids the ACC again.
…A scheduling alliance helps both leagues. Miami and Florida State available to the Big 12. Oklahoma and Texas matriculating through the ACC. Remember, the ACC already has Notre Dame. This might be what Bowlsby meant by being “proactive” in expansion.
The ACC and Big 12 both make about the same amount per year in TV revenue -- $19.8 million for the Big 12, $19.5 million for the ACC. (That is strictly TV revenue and does not include other payouts.)
“Bob doesn't want to expand, doesn't believe in it,” said a source. “Doesn't believe it's good for the student-athlete.”
Bowlsby has basically said that publicly, but the decision might not be his. If Delany gets that itchy trigger finger, there might be a decision to be made. But if you're partners, then a midnight raid from the Big Ten becomes less likely. There's strength in numbers. Those numbers start with “$”.
Instead of expansion, “I'd go the other way,” said an industry source, “really own the fact that they're (Big 12) 10 teams, they're the only true conference champion, the annual tour [conference schedule] doesn't skip a town.”
A big donor for the University of Kentucky athletics is in trouble with the federal government after being accused of making his money by running a pyramid scheme.
The Lexington offices of Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing, where Paul Orberson is president, were raided Monday by the Federal Trade Commission and the office of Kentucky's Attorney General.
…While members know him as their president, Orberson is also known around Kentucky for his donations to University of Kentucky athletics. Conway's office says Orberson donated $100,000 for Coach John Calipari's Hoops for Haiti. He also has an office named for him at the Nutter Field House on UK's campus after donating $1.6 million for the expansion.
"I'm aware Mr. Orberson's been a donor to UK Athletics. I don't foresee, I don't want to rule anything in or out, but I don't foresee going and taking away back the football offices at the Nutter center or anything like that."
Conway does say he and the FTC are going to do everything they can to recover the money lost through the company and get it back to those who thought they were signing up to do legitimate marketing.
North Carolina says it is resuming its men's basketball series with Kentucky.
UNC said Monday that the two schools will play next season in Chapel Hill. They played for 12 straight seasons but did not meet this year.
Tar Heels coach Roy Williams calls it "a great series for both schools and our fans as well as college basketball fans period.''
North Carolina will host the Wildcats on Dec. 14, and will return the trip to Lexington in 2014-15. UNC leads the series 22-13 and has won six of the past nine.
The Big East conference is looking to add another school and may sign a TV package that includes multiple networks, commissioner Mike Aresco said Monday.
…Aresco dismissed talk that the Big East might reconsider its postseason ban for Connecticut's men's basketball team, allowing the Huskies play in this year's Big East tournament.
UConn was barred from the postseason by the NCAA due to previous low Academic Progress Rate scores, and the Big East followed suit. School officials have been lobbying against the ban, noting the team has improved those scores and no current players were involved in the previous problems.
"They've got a terrific APR now, they're doing much better," Aresco said. "This is just one of those things. It happened, and it's something they're going to have to get through."
Big 12 Composite Schedule & Results
RPI and SOS Team Comparison Calculator
Just 11 days after suffering a mild concussion and 12 stitches, North senior Conner Frankamp will return to the lineup tonight, after missing the last two games. Frankamp was injured in a 67-63 overtime battle with 3A power Scott City in the Dodge City Tournament of Champions second round semifinal.
Nike brass on same page as me that Joel Embiid will b n draft after couple years @ Kansas
Senior center Joel Embiid has been invited to play in the 2103 Jordan Brand All-Star game April 13th in NYC. Congratulations Joel!
Thirty of the top prep school basketball teams in the country, and beyond, highlight the 15th annual National Prep School Invitational scheduled for the Murray Center at Rhode Island College from Thursday-Sunday.
The featured talent ranges from the traditional powers of the New England Prep
School Athletic Conference to as far away as the Canarias Basketball Academy of the Canary Islands. Among the top prospects scheduled to appear are seniors Noah Vonleh (of New Hampton (N.H.) Prep, headed to Indiana), Tilton's Wayne Selden (signed with Kansas); and Portsmouth's Andrew Chrabascz (Cushing Academy, signed with Butler); juniors Chris McCullough (verbal to Syracuse), Kaleb Joseph (Cushing) and Goodluck Okonoboh (Wilbraham Monson).
…This past year's NBA Draft featured seven NPSI alumni with four in the Top 15: South
Kent's Dion Waiters (Syracuse), Brewster Academy's Thomas Robinson (Kansas); St. Thomas More's Andre Drummond (Connecticut) and South Kent's Maurice Harkless (St. John's).
Boys Basketball: Tyus Jones Scores 35, Apple Valley Beats Prior Lake
It was a joy to watch Rashad Vaughn score like he did when he had 35 points even though he took 34 shots to do it, against Apple Valley in the Timberwolves Shootout. Jones was as consistent as a player can be in the Eagles’ 81-67 win over Prior Lake last Friday in the South Suburban Conference. Jones finished with 35 points, shooting 15-of-21 from the field. He also had seven assists. The timing was nice with Michigan State coach Tom Izzo at the game. The school is one of Jones’s final eight on his college list.
Apple Valley is 14-1 on the season and is 8-0 in conference play.
My 2012 KU Alumni games, 2011-12 Border War, Legends of the Phog, KC Prep Invitational, & Jayhawk Invitational Videos, Late Night in the Phog, and more now on YouTube