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Tuff loss for my youngins #KUCMB but trust they know how to bounce back #teamfoe taught em that ! #rockchalk
The young boys will bounce back! Like coach says never let one turn into two #KUCMB
Oklahoma State wins at Phog Allen for the first time in 24 years, 85-80. Pokes will undoubtedly dance this year and save Travis Ford's job.
First of all, the Cowboys are a good, if underachieving, team. And let’s be honest, KU has been over-ranked for a while now.
As I watched Markel Brown’s first-half shooting display and Smart take over in the second half, I wondered how OSU had lost five games.
The answer: Before Saturday, Oklahoma State had been abysmal on the road, 0-5.
To finally win one away from Stillwater, and to do it at Kansas of all places, was reason for, well, back flips.
“I had done them in high school after we won back-to-back state championships,” said Smart, who played at Marcus High in Flower Mound, Texas. “I just had so much energy and we were so excited and ecstatic about the victory, so it was just kind of second nature to do the flips.”
Oklahoma State came out firing behind junior guard Markel Brown, who had 22 first-half points.
And when he slowed down in the second half, Smart took over with 15 of his 25 points.
KU, which had been allowing 58.7 points per game, gave up 85. Oklahoma State pushed the Jayhawks around some, especially in the second half.
“They have great personnel,” Self said of the Cowboys (15-5, 5-3 Big 12). “Let’s face it, we haven’t played well in three weeks, or consistently well. And when you don’t play well, you’ve got to defend and rebound and we didn’t do either one of those worth a crap today. We got what we deserved. The better team won.”
…While Self was pointed in some of his remarks about Johnson, he made it clear the loss was a team thing.
“Elijah’s confidence probably got stung a little today,” Self said. “But it’s OK if you play bad once in a while. But as a group, when you’re getting your butt kicked and not fighting back, that’s what bothers me more than anything else.”
The Jayhawks, Self said, lost sight of who they are. Being who they are, a team so reliant on defense and rebounding, isn’t always fun. Up and down basketball is fun. Scoring is fun. Making shots is fun.
But losing isn’t.
“We have less of a margin for error than any team I’ve had since I’ve been here,” Self said.
Wichita Eagle Lutz
The stunned crowd at Allen Fieldhouse will be happy to say it first: It was the point guard play from both Johnson and Naadir Tharpe that ultimately led to the Jayhawks’ demise.
Johnson finished with eight points on 3-for-14 shooting with four key turnovers.
“It wasn’t the freakin’ offense, God almighty,” Self said. “It was terrible ball handling.”
Even the Jayhawks guards know it, too, as Johnson wasn’t available to reporters after the game, and Tharpe was left willing to explain what went wrong.
“It does start with the point guards,” Tharpe said. “The team follows the person who’s in charge and that’s usually the point guard.”
While there were certainly other aspects of the game — rebounding in particular — that contributed to KU’s loss, the lack of leadership from a point guard in the game’s final five minutes was the difference between KU winning its 34th straight game at home and the winning streak reset at zero.
Self said it much more simply: “We don’t have a point guard.”
Teammates showed support for Johnson afterward. Kevin Young said he told Johnson to “keep his head up. We all made mistakes that would have changed the game.”
But Self wasn’t as compassionate.
“It’s sad,” Self said of substituting on Johnson’s mistakes. “But we needed something, and we were definitely a better team with him over there sitting down next to us.”
Point guard isn’t Johnson’s natural position, and results from the transition had been acceptable until recently. So what if he wasn’t Tyshawn Taylor, Sherron Collins, Mario Chalmers or Aaron Miles? Kansas was winning.
And the Jayhawks knew the deal coming into the season. The three returning starters from last season’s national title finalists were glue guys, not leading players. Slide Johnson to point, let Jeff Withey and Travis Releford do their defensive thing, add a great talent in Ben McLemore and this thing could work. And mostly it has.
…Also different from past years: often there is no second ball handler on the floor. McLemore and Releford aren’t those guys.
So, Self must manage the position better, tweak things to limit the damage as much as possible. It’s a given this team isn’t going to score much — Saturday ended a streak of six straight games when Kansas scored fewer than 70 points. Such a stretch hasn’t happened since the 1975-76 season.
Of all the aspects of Johnson’s rough day (3-for-14 overall shooting, 1-for-7 from three, six assists and four turnovers), the final play ate at his coach the most.
“I thought they’d foul and they didn’t foul,” Self said. “They backed off and Elijah had a wide-open three. All he had to do was bounce it and shoot it. He tried to go past him and crossed over right in front of a guy. I mean, I had no idea where he was going, but certainly not a good play. We had a shot. They backed off.”
Nobody made more big shots for Kansas in its improbable run to the NCAA title game last season than Johnson. That was when Tyshawn Taylor, too quick for any one man to guard, broke down the defense and created opportunities for others. Filling Taylor’s role has made for a tougher challenge for Johnson, who in the past seven games has as many turnovers (24) as assists.
Self the general manager has made life tougher this season on Self the coach than in most years.
“We don’t have a point guard,” Self said. “We’re playing with two guards, which is OK, a lot of people have to do that.”
“Poise,” Self said. “Understanding of the game, getting us into rhythm. We’re really not doing much of anything on either end. I mean, it was bad defense too. It’s disappointing because we’re better than what we played. The thing about our team is, and it’s not hard to see if you watch it, we’ve only got one ballhandler in the game. Travis (Releford) and Ben (McLemore) are recipients of other people’s ballhandling. They’re not guys who go do it themselves. And when you put them in positions to be your play-makers or be the guy who controls the ball, and that’s not who we are. That’s not how you can run good offense and look good.”
When Kansas climbs back from big deficits, such as Saturday and in the Big 12 opener in Allen Fieldhouse, it seems McLemore finds a way to get more shots up, so for him and teammates to bring some of that urgency to all game situations can’t hurt. But it all starts with the primary ballhandler.
Dad explained the love for KU in the Forte household in Flower Mound, Texas.
“Philip as a kid ... I took him ... we saw Kansas lose in the (NCAA) championship game against Syracuse. I took him to New Orleans. He was in third grade,” Forte said of KU’s loss in the 2003 national title game. “I took him to California when we lost to UCLA out there in the Sweet 16 (Elite Eight, 2007). Of course he was there when (Mario) Chalmers hit it and they won it (vs. Memphis in 2008 title game in San Antonio). I think Philip was in eighth grade.
“Of course this was a dream of his,” he added of playing in Allen. “When KU would lose, he’d cry. For him to come in here today ... KU’s program is incredible. They have a great team.”
The ex-Jayhawk football standout said he’s looking forward to following not only his son but his alma mater the rest of the season.
“They’ll be fine, absolutely,” Phil Sr. said of 19-2 KU. “I wish we didn’t have to play them again (Feb. 20 in Stillwater).”
Rare feat: Oklahoma State’s Travis Ford pulled off a rarity. He now has won in Allen as a player (at Missouri) and as a coach.
Don’t get Tyshawn Taylor wrong.
The Hoboken native knows that he’s living the high life right now as a member of the Brooklyn Nets.
“I’m definitely living the dream,” said Taylor, the former St. Anthony standout and University of Kansas All-American. “It’s been my dream for as long as I can remember. It’s a thrill for me to be in the NBA. I know the percentages. I know there aren’t a lot of guys who get the chance that I’m getting right now. It’s an unreal feeling.”
But the rookie Taylor doesn’t have the best of all worlds, because his playing time with the surging Nets, perhaps the most improved team in the NBA, has been very limited.
In fact, Taylor has played in just 21 games and seen a total of 91 minutes of action, scoring 33 points.
“I’m a competitor,” Taylor said. “I want to play. I know I’m confident enough to play. It’s just part of the business.”
The Nets have an All-Star franchise player in Deron Williams to start at point guard and they have a quality veteran in C.J. Watson to back Williams up.
It leaves Taylor with seeing time in blowouts – either wins or losses – and not much else.
“I just have to wait my turn and be patient,” Taylor said. “It’s definitely a lot easier said than done.”
…P.J. Carlesimo, who took over the Nets’ head coaching duties in December and has turned around the Nets’ fortunes, winning 13 of 17 games, thinks that Taylor just needs to play.
“He obviously learned a lot during his St. Anthony days and Kansas days,” Carlesimo said. “You can’t learn from better people than Bob Hurley on the high school level and Bill Self on the college level, so has a great basketball background. You can’t imagine someone getting a better pedigree than those two coaches. But with us, it’s been hard to put that into use. He’s been practicing with us, watching the league and learning. And it has been a great learning experience for him. But he just doesn’t get a chance to play. It’s not an easy thing for any player to sit on the bench.”
Four times this season, the Nets have sent Taylor to play for the Springfield Armor in the National Development Basketball League, the minor leagues for the NBA also known as the “D-League.” Taylor has done very well in those games, averaging 26 points per game.
“I like being there to get the competition,” Taylor said. “It’s fun to get out and play, show what I still can do. It’s good for my confidence.”
In fact, Taylor played last Saturday and Sunday for the Armor, scoring 27 and 26 in those two games and was back in Brooklyn Monday night to face the Orlando Magic.
Thomas Robinson says there’s no doubt that Kansas would’ve beaten Kentucky in the NCAA championship game last April in New Orleans had redshirt freshman guard Ben McLemore been eligible.
“Definitely,” Robinson, the rookie out of Kansas averaging 4.9 points and 4.6 rebounds, told SNY.tv before his Sacramento Kings met the Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
“We lost in the last game so that’s pretty much it. He would’ve helped us win it.”
…Asked how his game would translate into the NBA, Robinson said of McLemore:
“Perfect because right now he’s looking outstanding. He’s still in the system. When he gets outside of that system he’s gonna be even more of a problem.”
Robinson says he stays in touch with McLemore and offers advice when needed.
“Yeah, I talk to him a lot,” he said. “He’s pretty much got it handled, so I don’t try to hassle him about it too much. It’s just normal talk.”
Robinson said he will go back to Kansas during the upcoming All-Star break and watch the Jayhawks play Texas Feb. 16; Julius Randle is also supposed to visit then a week after visiting Texas.
Asked if Kansas can win the NCAA championship a year after losing in the title game to Kentucky, Robinson didn’t hesitate.
“Definitely,” Robinson said.
KUAD: Kansas WBB sweeps Sunflower Showdown
Prior to Saturday’s match-up with Kansas State, Kansas University senior forward Carolyn Davis said the Sunflower Showdown would be decided by which team was better able to play to its advantage.
Boy, was she right.
Behind 29 points and nine rebounds from Davis and 19 points from sophomore forward Chelsea Gardner — including 17 of KU’s 29 in the two overtimes — the Jayhawks came away with a huge 89-80, double-overtime road victory at Bramlage Coliseum and swept the Wildcats for the first time since the 2000-01 season.
“That’s what rivalry games are supposed to look like, right?” KU coach Bonnie Henrickson after said the hard-fought victory, KU’s first in Manhattan in its last 12 tries. “This was a big, big, big win for us.”
It might have been unintentional, but Henrickson’s use of the word big pretty much summed up what went right for Kansas — big buckets by their biggest players at big moments.
Never was that more clear than at the start of both overtimes, when Davis and Gardner scored eight straight to open both extra periods. The pound-it-inside mentality was by design, Henrickson said.
…Somewhat lost in the dominating performance by KU’s post players was the three-pointer by Angel Goodrich with 6.9 seconds to play in OT that saved the day. That’s two straight games (and who knows how many for her career?) in which a Goodrich three-pointer allowed the Jayhawks to steal victory in the final five minutes. Goodrich finished with 11 points and five assists. Asia Boyd added 11 points, six rebounds and four assists, and Monica Engelman chipped in a dozen points.
…The victory, which came with sophomore starter Natalie Knight in street clothes because of the torn ACL she suffered Wednesday, pushed KU to 14-6 overall and 5-4 in Big 12 play. KSU dropped to 12-9 and 3-6.
The Jayhawks will play at top-ranked Baylor at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
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Twenty-one games into what had been a mostly miserable season, the Texas Longhorns finally discovered the secret to feeling better about themselves.
The only catch is they don't get to play the worst team in the Big 12 every time they take the court.
But Saturday, though, a visit from last-place TCU provided the perfect pick-me-up. Taking advantage of the least intimidating entry on their schedule, the Longhorns blew out the Horned Frogs 60-43 at the Erwin Center.
The victory — only the second for UT in eight conference games — came three days after the Longhorns hit their lowest point of the year with an 83-57 waxing at No. 18 Kansas State.
Sophomore Angel Rodriguez knocked down a pair of free throws with 5.6 seconds left and senior Sam Grooms' 3-pointer missed at the buzzer, as No. 18/21 Kansas State held on for a 52-50 win over Oklahoma on Saturday at the Lloyd Noble Center.
With the win, K-State (17-4, 6-2 Big 12) kept pace in the Big 12 standings, as the Wildcats now sit alone in second place, one game behind first-place Kansas (19-2, 7-1 Big 12) and one game ahead of Baylor, Iowa State, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, who are all in third place with 5-3 league records. It also allowed the Wildcats to sweep the season series from the Sooners for the first time since 1993 and even its all-time record against one of its all-time great players and former head coach Lon Kruger at 4-4.
No chance he could catch it. As soon as the long-range lob left Jordan Hulls' hands from the right wing, he wanted it back: "I instantly thought, 'turnover'," he said. The alley-oop was so far behind Indiana's Victor Oladipo, who was already closing in on the left block at breakneck speed, that it looked destined to land five rows up in the seats.
But there's a reason Oladipo's name is so often shouted by television announcers as if its proper form was in all caps with an exclamation mark appended: The 6-foot-4 junior guard has the ability to do absurdly athletic things, and here with 7:49 left in the game and the Hoosiers leading top-ranked Michigan 57-53, he leapt and leaned backwards at an absurd angle, spearing the errant lob with an outstretched right arm. Fans behind the basket began to rise, mouths agape, as Oladipo redirected its flight pattern rimward.
Time seemed to slow, and a sold-out Assembly Hall, which was said to have reached 116 decibels -- somewhere between rock concert and chainsaw on the loudness spectrum -- earlier in the game, was about to ... well, there would later be much speculation about what might have happened, had Oladipo not rammed the ball off the front of the iron and sent it ricocheting many stories in the air, while the roar deflated into a collective ohhhhhhhhhh.
Would it have been the end of this 41-year-old building? Would it have given up and collapsed into a heap of rubble after conceding that it could never witness a greater feat? Would I be writing this while huddled beside a bonfire of bleachers and floorboards, trying to pass on the Legend of Victor Oladipo before my laptop battery died? I am happy, for the sake of my warmth, that the Hall still stands, and that all we saw on Saturday night was the Almost Dunk of the Season.
SI Luke Winn
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On Saturday, Tift County was as good as advertised.
Tift won a battle of the top two boys basketball teams in Region 1-6A — and the two teams that have played in the last two Region 1-5A championship games — defeating Valdosta 86-57 in front of a standing-room only crowd at the TCHS gym. The win gives Tift a two-game lead in the region standings.
Tift excelled in nearly every area on Saturday, and walked away with a 29-point win.
The Tift boys are loaded with talent. They have a 6-foot-7 forward who has committed to Kansas (Brannen Greene).
…The game was physical throughout, and tempers flared with 3:09 left in the game, after Valdosta's Jerahn Thomas was fouled by Jackson. A frustrated Thomas shoved Jackson back, and other players from both sides rushed in. The Valdosta and Tift coaches and the three officials quickly sprinted in and tried to separate everyone. Valdosta was assessed two technical fouls, and Greene made all four free throws afterwards.
Greene led all scorers with 27 points.
Valdosta Daily Times
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