I have to do a better job of helping Naadir and Elijah; but Elijah is my guy. He is my guy; we have the best chance to win with Elijah in the game. ... That is the horse we are going to ride. I believe that will be best for our team.
2/4/13 Coach Bill Self
2/25/13, 10:22 PM
This game over... Iowa State plays #Zero defense... Elijah is turnt up
https://twitter.com/tootall2knoso1 (Jordan Henriquez)
2/25/13, 10:23 PM
Iowa st fans salty right now lol
2/25/13, 10:23 PM
What's all this talk about elijah johnson you jayhawk fans speak of ?
2/25/13, 10:32 PM
EJ got ppl crying
2/25/13, 10:32 PM
Elijah Johnson could run for mayor in Lawrence and would win easily.
2/25/13, 10:33 PM
The good news for Kansas fans is that the Jayhawks just stole a win at ISU. The bad news is they have to stop hating Elijah Johnson now
2/25/13, 10:41 PM
Yes he does!!!! #RCJH RT @jdawg918 As Darnell Jackson would say EJ gots big cajones
2/25/13, 10:41 PM
Way to go Jayhawks! ....that's MR. Johnson...
2/25/13, 10:41 PM
Lodge put in workkkk tonight tho!
2/25/13, 10:41 PM
S/O to my #jayhawks great game way to fight #KUCMB
2/25/13, 10:46 PM
Big Lodge I know y'all saw him "SHINNING BRIGHT LIKE DIAMOND"
2/25/13, 10:47 PM
Big lodge shut it down tonight, good win for the team ! #KUCMB
2/25/13, 10:51 PM
I said before, I'll say it again. I have complete faith in my POINT GUARD. #biglodge
2/25/13, 11:08 PM
Great game for Elijah tonight. Big time performance! #RockChalk
2/25/13, 11:12 PM
Baby Hoiberg is going to have Elijah Johnson nightmares well into his mid-twenties. #kubball pic.twitter.com/KAhdy3ASRe
2/25/13, 11:16 PM
Elijah.. That's too Strong.... Wayyyy Too Strong
Man that was fun. My boy big lodge is cold blooded. #beastmode #biglodge
Good Thing About People Hating, It's Never Too Late to change it. Nobody Deserved it more than Lodge, 39pts.. 500 W's for coach too
Elijah Johnson scored 39 points, the most by a @KU_Hoops player in the past 17 seasons (it was Paul Pierce with 34 in 1997)
2/25/13, 10:36 PM
Congratulations to @CoachBillSelf on his 500th career win! #kubball pic.twitter.com/4OH4dzWMIp
2/25/13, 10:34 PM
Congrats to Coach Self aka the best coach in the country on his 500th win!!!
2/25/13, 10:34 PM
Congrats to my coach on the 500 #kubball
2/25/13, 10:36 PM
Congrats to coach on win #500 ! #RockChalk
Congrats to my pops to on getting his 500th win. #bigtime
2/25/13, 10:23 PM
Meantime Kansas has 100 points. Is that legal this season?
This season, Iowa State has the 1st and 3rd most points ever scored vs. a Bill Self-KU team, and Clones lost both.
2/25/13, 10:26 PM
More resilient than great, this #Kansas team en route to earning second impressive road win in a week. A No. 1 seed still very possible.
For those wondering about this photo After Self TV interview, that fan charged at Self, got shoulder-to-shoulder. Policeman pushed him back.
KUAD Box Score, Recap, Quotes, Notes, Video
LJW Video and Audio pressers and post-game interviews
ESPN Recap, Video
KC Star Photos
LJW Photos Game
The game was less than three minutes old, but coach Bill Self was already fuming, or at least he appeared to be. Senior point guard Elijah Johnson had just been called for a defensive foul, but Self wanted a travel.
“Are you kidding me?” Self screamed at the officials. The rest of what he said was harder to decipher, but it was enough to warrant him a technical foul.
“I told (official) Mark Whitehead afterwards, I said ‘You know I tried to get that,’ and he said he knew,” Self said. “It was too early in the game to get upset. I thought that was the best thing to show our team that we came to fight.”
…“I won’t remember 400 or 300 or 200 or 100, but I guarantee I’ll always remember this one,” Self said. “This was a good one.”
Big time game KU... The growth by the seniors is great to see... For those that jumped off the wagon a few weeks ago... Stay off!! #RCJH
2/26/13, 4:38 AM
It's Official we are back on campus safe Tweeps talk to y'all Saturday!! #KUCMB
2/26/13, 4:42 AM
Made it back to Lawrence safe, feels good to back.
Iowa State fans who attended the game were emotionally bruised by the unnecessary slam. They booed and threw cups.
Those who saw the play on TV demanded atonement through the Twitter-sphere.
That's fair. But it's not right to end the conversation about emotions and feelings there.
What about the feelings of a young man who had been told by his own coach that he wasn't good enough to run his program a few weeks ago?
What about the veteran who had to read tweets about his apparent inadequacy? What about the guy who heard the whispers -- and screams -- from fans who wanted a new point guard?
That guy did not cry. He did not whine. He did not blame. He did not quit, even when Bill Self told reporters, "We don't have a point guard," following a loss to Oklahoma State earlier this month.
Johnson expressed his emotions through that dunk and the mosh pit that ensued on the KU sideline. He'd been redeemed in a game that allowed Kansas to maintain its first-place tie in the Big 12 with Kansas State.
This season, Johnson has faced as much doubt and scrutiny as any player in the country. His naysayers suggest Kansas can make a serious run in March as long as Johnson doesn't screw things up (3.0 turnovers per game).
A point guard, like any player, can handle that criticism. It's expected.
He needs to know, however, that he's trusted. And trust is what Johnson seemed to lack within the Kansas program as the Jayhawks suffered three consecutive losses earlier this month. Then, Monday happened.
"Me and Coach had a conversation, a personal conversation, a locker-room kind of conversation, it just happened to happen during the game," Johnson said. "I feel like that kind of sent some fire through my body. My teammates saw me responding. It felt good for [Travis Releford and Jeff Withey] to walk up to me and tell me no matter what they're riding with me, they're playing with me whether I'm playing as bad as I can or I'm playing like I played tonight. To hear that right after having that kind of conversation with Coach, it just did something to me, and I didn't look back."
We trust you. Now lead.
That's all Johnson needed to know.
With his team aching for buckets and losing its poise within the tremors produced at Hilton Coliseum, Johnson's swagger returned.
It was overtime on Monday night. And the Jayhawks led by four points with 54 seconds left. And the fact they were still playing defied proper description. They had trailed by five with 45 left in regulation, then four with 23 seconds left. There had been a fury of late three-pointers, and some panicky defense, and a mad scramble under the basket that produced a controversial call and two game-tying free throws.
But that had only set up this, a prayer from the fingertips of Elijah Johnson, another miracle against Iowa State. All season long, Johnson had been the guy immune to such luck.
“He’s had such an up-and-down senior year,” Kansas coach Bill Self would say.
But here was the shot, spinning through the air, swishing through the bucket in the final minute of overtime. The Jayhawks now led by seven, a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. On a cold night in Iowa, in a place known for its hometown magic, the Jayhawks survived in overtime.
Kansas 108, Iowa State 96.
Johnson, a senior guard, finished with 39 points, the most ever by a Kansas player in the Big 12 era. And Self earned his 500th victory in the most thrilling and Self-ian way possible. Against all odds, on the opponent’s court, with boos and debris raining down as Johnson got a police escort back to the locker room.
“It’s great to win no matter what,” Self said, standing outside the Jayhawks’ locker room. “But it’s always better to win if you have to go through some crap and show some toughness to do it.”
…When it was over, and Johnson arrived at the post-game press conference, he cited two conversations on Monday as defining moments. The first came early in the day with Kansas trainer Bill Cowgill. Johnson, who had arthroscopic knee surgery last summer, has struggled to regain some of his old athleticism and bounce this season. Much of the problem, Johnson concedes, has been mental.
It’s taken him some time to realize that he had the knee injury — but he doesn’t anymore.
“Most people cater (to) you and baby you through that,” Johnson said. “And right now, he’s just telling me to ‘man up.’”
The second conversation came in the opening minutes of Monday’s game, when the Jayhawks fell behind 14-7 and Self thought Johnson needed a push.
“I thought he made a couple of bone-head plays early,” Self said, “and I know I went to him and got onto him, and he said ‘Coach, next play. That’s what you always say. Forget it.’
“And I said, whoa-whoa-whoa, I’ll forget it when I finish talking about the last play. That was our way of me getting him to be stubborn and me getting him to be competitive.”
Johnson regretted his fast-break dunk in the final seconds with the Jayhawks already up by 10 points.
“I want to apologize to the head coach of Iowa State for that last play of the game,” Johnson said. “I shouldn’t have dunked that ball. And right now, I’m feeling that. I should have dribbled that ball out. I just got caught up in the moment. I saw an open basket and I attacked it. I kind of got tunnel vision, and I guess it was rubbing off that whole end of the game.
Self said Johnson probably should have dribbled out the clock as well, but he didn’t think it marred what was a classic game.
“It wasn’t right,” Self said. “But it shouldn’t take away from him being an unbelievably classy kid.”
It wasn’t just Johnson, though; he had help from many of his seniors, especially Travis Releofrd, who kept the team together when the front court struggled through foul trouble.
“He kept us in the game,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “We didn’t have a lot going, and Travis made two or three big plays and shots. He’s a winner and competitor. Our seniors stepped up big.”
Releford finished the game with 19 points, but it was his smooth stroke from long range that helped his team prevail. He finished five of nine from 3-point range.
The third senior to step up for the Jayhawks was senior Kevin Young, who, like on many recent occasions, gave the Jayhawks a spark out of the gate. He led the Jayhawks in scoring and rebounding for much of the first half.
The last senior with major contributions for the night was senior Jeff Withey, who was battered and bruised and eventually fouled out the game — but not before he collected another double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
ESPN Video: EJ postgame interview w/Myron Medcalf
At issue was a block or charge call that wasn't made when Elijah Johnson drove inside as Kansas trailed 90-88 with five seconds remaining. Iowa State's Georges Niang appeared to have his feet set, but no call was made as Johnson made contact with Niang.
Instead, Niang was called for a hold when Johnson's shot missed and the ball came loose on the floor. Johnson went to the free-throw line and made the two free throws to force overtime.
Monday's officials were Tom O'Neill, Mark Whitehead and Bert Smith.
Curtis Shaw, a former longtime official and now the league's coordinator, watched Kansas' win. Shaw wouldn't say whether the officials made the right call at the end of regulation.
"We will handle the situation and approach the teams appropriately," said Shaw. "We review every play and take the appropriate action."
Under normal reviews, Shaw will look at the position of the officials, where they are when they make calls. He said there are plenty of tough calls to make during a game and officials aren't perfect. Calls are missed, no calls occur and this happens at different times of the game, even when a team doesn't have time to recover.
When asked what kind of accountability could occur for officials, Shaw said that because officials are independent contractors, the way the conference handles any kind of disciplinary action if warranted is through future assignments.
2/26/13, 5:24 AM
Of course the third and fourth fouls on Withey were pretty bad too, so I guess it evens out. Huge confidence boost for Elijah Johnson.
Johnson had the most points of any KU player in a Big 12 Conference game in history. His 39 points were most by any KU player overall since Terry Brown had 42 against North Carolina State on Jan. 5, 1991.
…Johnson, in one of the most amazing clutch performances in KU history, actually scored 25 of KU’s last 36 points — all those points coming after ISU grabbed a 79-72 lead with 5:17 left.
He hit two free throws — the second following a timeout designed to ice him — with 4.9 seconds left. Those free throws tied the game at 90 and forced overtime after a last-second 40-footer by Korie Lucious missed.
“I didn’t pay it any mind,” Johnson said of ISU coach Fred Hoiberg calling time to shake him.
Johnson also tossed in a deep three as the shot clock expired with :59 left, increasing a 100-96 lead to 103-96.
“I begged for the ball,” Johnson said.
Perhaps Johnson’s only blunder of the night was dunking in the final seconds instead of letting the clock run out. ISU fans threw objects at the Jayhawks as they exited the court.
“It was wrong,” Self said, “(but) Elijah apologized. I said something to Fred and the media. I wasn’t very happy about it, but nobody can say that last play took away from the game and our seniors.”
Self likened an athlete’s body to a race car, saying, “You just get off a little bit, and it can throw the whole engine off or how it runs. This morning his knee was bothering him, and he’s had some stomach issues. Finally, Cowgill got into him, ‘I don’t want to hear that crap. You’re not hurt. You’re not hurt. Quit making excuses. You’re not hurt.’ And I think was probably good for him to hear that.”
“It takes a little push to go a long ways sometimes,” Johnson said. “I feel that little push taking me real far right now.”
Self pushed him early in the game during a break in the action by lighting him up in a manner that usually takes place behind closed doors. Looking back on the moment after the game, Johnson said the coach did it on purpose and pushed just the right buttons.
KU’s comeback not only put the Jayhawks in good position to win a ninth consecutive Big 12 title, it ended Iowa State’s homecourt winning streak at 22 games, and it showed Kansas is capable of winning games played at any pace.
What Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg is doing with his team isn’t a great deal different from what Big 12 football coaches have been doing for years to the delight of audiences across the Great Plains.
Hoiberg floods the basketball court with long-range shooters, who have quick triggers and no conscience. He makes the opposing defense cover so much more territory, and it makes for such an entertaining brand of basketball to watch.
Hoiberg’s Cyclones have inverted the game of basketball, turned into an outside-in Fan Fest. When the Cyclones play at home, they feed on their boisterous fans, led by an especially vibrant student section. The fans feed on the excitement of watching the long arc of shots raining in from every angle, every man.
It’s such a stark, welcome contrast to the way so many games are played in this season of historically low scores.
LJW Ratings: Elijah takes over
"They kick it back out and hit a shot, then come back down and hit another one and I thought we defended it pretty well," said ISU coach Fred Hoiberg. "I thought Georges stepped in there and made a good play at the end, but it didn't go our way. Then it gets to be a little bit of a scrum and another tough call. Then they hit the two and we go into overtime.
"Can't fault our effort. Our guys went out and fought hard for 45 minutes, played this team two times to overtime, top-five team in the country. Unfortunate that we walk away with zero wins against them."
Johnson led Kansas with an extraterrestrial closing 4:34 of the game, scoring 17 of the last 21 points in regulation for the Jayhawks — including 10 in the extra period — giving him an even 30 in in the second half and overtime and 39 on the night.
"He was unbelievable," said KU coach Bill Self. "He was the best guard and the best player in the country tonight. I've had some guys get 30 before, but I've never had a guy get 30 in a half."
Monday's game resembled that of a heavyweight prize fight with both teams exchanging blows the entire ballgame. The Cyclones (19-9, 9-6 Big 12) had the game at hand, but then let the game slip through their fingers after they held an 87-82 lead with only 40 seconds left in the game.
After the game, Niang was asked whether he thought they had the game at hand after his 3-pointer gave them a five-point lead in the waning parts of the game.
"With the way this season's gone — no," Niang said. "But I thought we had a good chance to win it — especially at the end — but a call is a call. We're men here and we're going to move on and I promise you one thing, we're going to come back even harder the next day."
Then, Johnson canned back-to-back 3-pointers to bring it to 89-88, leading to Korie Lucious' making one of two free throws and Johnson then tying the game and sending it to overtime.
Iowa State broke the school record with 17 3-pointers, shooting 48 percent in regulation before missing all six in the extra period. On the other end, Kansas made 13 of their 25 shots from behind the arc as well, getting five from Travis Releford and six from Johnson.
Niang, who came into the game averaging 11.4 points per game and shooting better than 53 percent from the field, made only three of his 17 shots, still finding a way to score 15 points, making three 3s and all six of his free throws. Niang did "facilitate" as Hoiberg put it, dishing out seven assists with no turnovers.
"He had a couple of those that went in and out, and I think he showed you the type of kid he is not being afraid to step up and knock down that big one that put us up five with 40 seconds left," Hoiberg said. "I thought he stepped up; even though he didn't shoot the ball great, he made plays for his teammates all game long."
Iowa State now has three games left and three games to improve their NCAA tournament resume before the Big 12 tournament. The stretch begins on the road against Oklahoma on Saturday, sitting at fourth in the conference in front of Iowa State.
Iowa State Daily
It happened again on Big Monday at Hilton Coliseum, five weeks after they played an extra-session thriller at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kansas.
The result was the same, too, sixth-ranked Kansas owning the extra five minutes to the tune of 18-6, this time for a 108-96 overtime victory against a Cyclone outfit that led by five points with 44.5 seconds left in regulation.
Iowa State led 87-82, then fell victim to Elijah Johnson, who took the game over with Kansas' next eight points.
The final two were free throws with 4.9 seconds to play, and they came as the result of a frantic exchange underneath the basket that left a raucous 14,376-fan sellout up in arms.
Johnson drove into the lane and collided with the Cyclones' George Niang. Much to the Hilton faithful's chagrin, no charge was called, and the gripes were compounded when Niang was whistled for a foul as he and Johnson scrambled for the ball on the ground.
"I can't get too much into that call," Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg said.
What's inarguable, however, is that this contest was another Big 12 Conference classic.
There were 18 lead changes during a game in which Johnson scored 30 of his 39 points after halftime — and 10 in the overtime.
From start to finish, Monday night was another classic Bill Self coaching job. Two minutes and six seconds into the game, the arena was rocking and Self was hopping mad. A ref called what seemed like a pretty normal foul on Johnson. Self exploded. He got in the ref’s face, screaming like a maniac and seeming to lose control. He was called for a technical foul.
Dumb move by an overemotional coach?
No. Self knew exactly what he was doing.
As Iowa State’s Korie Lucious shot the subsequent free throws, the Iowa State student section razzed Self. “Somebody’s angry!” one student yelled. Self looked over at the student section, caught the kid’s eye — and winked at him.
As always, Bill Self knew exactly what he was doing.
“I told (referee) Mark Whitehead afterwards, ‘I tried to get that,’ ” Self said. “It was too early in the game to get upset. I hadn’t had (a technical) in like three years. I thought that was the best thing to show our team that we came to fight.”
In a game where Iowa State put up three after three — perhaps it’s no coincidence that the Cyclones’ coach, Fred Hoiberg, led the NBA in 3-point percentage his last year in the league — Self’s team kept fighting back. Redshirt freshman sensation Ben McLemore disappeared for much of the night, not making a shot until there were only two minutes left in the first half and ending with only seven points. But in typical Self fashion, it was the seniors who shined.
We’re in an age of the one-and-dones, when players jump to the NBA as soon as they get a chance, and when the huge talents rarely fully develop under their college coach. But Self’s signature is having juniors and seniors — guys like Thomas Robinson or Mario Chalmers or the Morris twins — who carry the team. That happened again on Monday. Senior Kevin Young dropped 13 points and added nine rebounds. Senior Jeff Withey had 13 points and 10 boards. Senior Travis Releford had 19 points, including five 3-pointers, many of them at clutch moments.
But the biggest senior of all was Johnson. The shooting guard has been forced to play point guard for much of this season, and has been publicly called out by Self for his inconsistent games. On this night, he played like a man possessed.
…As for Self? He’s looking at another 1 or 2 seed in the NCAA tournament. He’s had enormous success at every stop in his career — lifting Oral Roberts from the dead, taking Tulsa to its first Elite Eight in school history, putting together the Illinois team that went to a national title game under Self’s successor, winning a national championship at Kansas in 2008 and nearly winning another last year. He’s won every award a coach could ever win. The amazing part? He’s only 50, and has a long, long way to go.
After the game, Self didn’t want to be bothered by talk of 500 wins or his legacy. He’s too young for that. And he’s too focused on the next game. Win No. 500 meant something because it took this season’s team one win closer to March. And that is exactly what makes a great coach a legendary coach, and perhaps someday one of the greatest coaches of all time.
KC Star: Self's 500 victories by the numbers
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UDK: A look back at Self's 500 victories
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Big 12/College News
By winning, Kansas remained tied with Kansas State atop the standing at 12-3, but this was the Jayhawks’ most losable remaining game. Nobody else had won at Hilton Coliseum this year, and the Cyclones had rolled up 22 straight in one of the nation’s loudest buildings, one that may have been as edgy as it had ever been.
...The Jayhawks are playing to extend one of the college basketball’s remarkable streaks. By winning their next two at home against Texas Tech and West Virginia, Kansas will go to Baylor on the season’s final day with an opportunity to finishing no worse than tied for first.
That’s if Kansas State can keep up. The Wildcats travel to Baylor, get TCU at Bramlage and tip off at Oklahoma State about 31/2 hours earlier than Kansas-Baylor.
…There was a time when most seasons unfolded like this, with KU and K-State scoreboard watching every game.
That period lasted for decades, starting just after World War II. The Big Seven lasted 11 years, and a Kansas team won eight titles.
When Oklahoma State joined in 1958 to make it the Big Eight, the Sunflower dominance grew even more profound. Over the next 20 seasons, the Jayhawks or Wildcats finished first 16 times. These were the days of Tex Winter and Ted Owens, of Jo Jo White and Mike Evans.
No national championship banner was raised in that stretch, but each program advanced to the Final Four twice. The rivalry was so evenly matched that when the teams were invited to the 1988 Midwest Regional it marked the 18th NCAA Tournament for both programs. KU’s edges were the 1952 NCAA title and Wilt Chamberlain’s stay.
But the separation would soon begin and widen. It started with the Jayhawks’ triumph over the Wildcats in Pontiac, Mich., that vaulted them into the Final Four.
Kansas joined the short list of consistently highly ranked programs, and the Wildcats largely fell into dormancy.
Now, they’re on the final lap with history at stake. Kansas and the conference streak, K-State seeking its first conference crown since 1977, and three games to settle the issue.
The tie-breaker would go to KU because of the season sweep. If there’s deadlock with more than two, the teams are slotted by round robin standing. If Oklahoma State beat K-State to create a three-team tie, Kansas would emerge as the conference tournament’s top seed because of a 3-1 record against the other two.
Other riches to consider for a strong finish among the top three contenders: favorable NCAA Tournament seed and a short trip to the Sprint Center to open postseason play.
“There’s still a long way to go,” Self said.
Karl Hess leads with 79 games worked, Higgins at 75, Valentine at 71
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Grid, a weekly magazine in Chicago, noticed that the best public high schools for basketball in Chicago—a city where high school basketball gets foldout sections in newspapers and crowds pack the stands for big match-ups—wear a lot of Nike gear. Gridcorrectly assumed that most of those schools lack the budget flexibility to buy the apparel themselves, and zeroed in on Simeon, whose phenom Jabari Parker recently committed to Duke, and which has been a force in Chicago hoops from Ben Wilson's ill-fated tenure in '80s to Derrick Rose's happier one in the mid-aughts. It turns out Nike has its tendrils pretty deep in Simeon basketball:
The young star has been obligated to wear Nike gear on court since his sophomore year, when [Simeon head coach Robert] Smith signed a four-year contract with the Oregon-based shoemaker. The contract, obtained by Grid through a Freedom of Information Act request, provides players at Simeon, a public high school, with new Nike shoes and apparel worth about $26,000 per year. And it has resulted in more than $1 million worth of exposure for Nike, mostly thanks to Parker's rarefied status.
The contract also offers a rare glimpse into the world of unregulated deals between public schools and sports marketers. Sponsorship deals like Simeon's have become common for top-tier high-school athletic programs - but public schools without blue-chip talent get little or no corporate largesse. Apparel-makers and other companies cut deals with individual schools without the involvement of Chicago Public Schools, allowing sponsors to lavishly underwrite some schools and ignore others. The district lets individual schools sign sponsorship deals and doesn't track the contracts, according to a spokesman. Nike and other companies won't disclose how much they spend or which schools they do business with. Nike's contract contains a confidentiality clause prohibiting Simeon staff from discussing the deal's terms.