VIDEO: Coach Self post-game locker room remarks, forever to be known as the "Go take a leak" speech
Seth Davis (@SethDavisHoops)
3/24/12 12:29 AM
I fully expect @TheBigLead to have Bill Self's "you guys gotta go take a leak" video up by tomorrow morning. That was TV history.
Withey has a better block rate than Anthony Davis. People know this, right?
Thomas Robinson set the Kansas season record with his 26th double-double. He had 18 points and 15 rebounds. Drew Gooden had 25 double-doubles for the Jayhawks in 2002.
Robinson also moved into second place on the KU single-season rebound list with 429, passing Gooden, who had 423 in 2002. Wilt Chamberlain set the record with 510 in 1957.
VOTE for TRob Naismith POY online AND TEXT "VOTE" to 34763
Brady Morningstar (@bmstar12)
3/24/12 12:15 AM
we give ourselves an opportunity every year.. what more can I say.
Brett Ballard (@brettballard3)
3/24/12 12:12 AM
Elite 8! #rockchalk
Keef Morris (@Keefmorris)
3/23/12 11:58 PM
#jayhawknation elite 8 let's get this next one.....
Julian Wright (@take1_4theteam)
3/24/12 12:09 AM
Great win Jayhawks! Almost had a heart attack tho lol.. All you gotta do is win and advance, that's all that matters! #kubball
Champions Classic (@championclassic)
3/23/12 11:49 PM
Can someone send us a new set if fingernails? We chewed all of ours off watching the last min of Kansas! What a finish. Congrats Jayhawks!
Seth Davis (@SethDavisHoops)
3/23/12 11:49 PM
If Tyshawn Taylor had been merely bad Kansas would have won by ten.
Marcus Morris (@MookMorris2)
3/23/12 11:49 PM
Elite 8 let's go!!!!
Big 12 Conference (@Big12Conference)
3/24/12 12:02 AM
This is the 8th time the #Big12 has advanced multiple teams to the MBB #ELITE8. The league has had one team rep in 10 of the last 11 years.
Kansas Jayhawks (@KUAthletics)
3/24/12 12:17 AM
The #Jayhawks will take on North Carolina in the Elite 8 this Sunday at 4:05 p.m. (CT). #kubball
Nick Collison (@nickcollison4)
3/24/12 12:44 AM
Jayhawks have had an incredible year.Overachieved the whole time. Coach Self &staff have done a great job & the guys have really stepped up
Nick Collison (@nickcollison4)
3/24/12 12:45 AM
Congratulations on the win. Lets get this one Sunday. Rock chalk
mario chalmers @mchalmers15
Heard my jayhawks won. Congrats fellas. Now let's take care of UNC like we did in 08. Rock chalk jayhawk
The Kansas team that everyone tagged as Bill Self's worst is turning out to be one of his best. Or at least one of his toughest.
For the second consecutive game, the Jayhawks found a way to grind out a win against double-digit seed despite struggling mightily on the offensive end. Kansas shot just 37.5 percent from the field against NC State, the No. 11 seed in the Midwest Region. The Wolfpack, though, made just 28.6 percent of its shots against Kansas, which advances to play No. 1 seed North Carolina on Sunday at 5:05 p.m. ET at the Edward Jones Dome.
"I wish it had been a triple-double, but 10 blocks feels great," Withey said. "I’m glad my play helped us win the game."
Said guard Elijah Johnson: "He might have only touched 10, but he altered probably 20."
St Louis PD
Inside the KU locker room, Thomas Robinson said he had a sour taste in his mouth. Instead of talking about his 10 blocks (just one shy of Shaq's NCAA tourney record), Jeff Withey answered questions about his teammates’ inability to make outside shots. As fans spilled into the St. Louis streets to celebrate, Elijah Johnson slumped in an Edwards Jones Dome chair and stared at the ground.
“We’ve got to do something,” Johnson said. “The way we’re playing ... we’ve got to fix it.”
Winning isn’t supposed to feel like this -- and at most schools, it doesn’t.
Things, however, are different at Kansas, where, fair or not, seasons aren’t viewed as a success unless the team reaches the Final Four. The Jayhawks have the talent to get there, but they realize they won’t unless their performance takes a dramatic turn in Sunday’s tilt with North Carolina.
“I don’t know what the problem is,” guard Conner Teahan said. “We’re not playing our best basketball.”
Less than a week after shooting just 33.9 percent in a 63-60 victory over Purdue, Kansas made just 37.5 percent of its shots Friday against an 11th-seeded NC State squad that barely made the NCAA tournament.
KU outscored the Wolfpack 44-22 down low, but once they stepped away from the blocks, the Jayhawks couldn’t have hit dirt if they fell off a camel. Kansas made just two of its 22 shots outside the paint, a stat that still had Self and his players baffled nearly an hour after the final horn.
“We couldn’t throw it in the ocean,” Self said. “We couldn’t make free throws, all those things. If anything we’ll spin this into a positive. Two shots outside the paint and we still won? That’s unbelievable.”
…Disappointing as they’ve been on offense, these Jayhawks have hardly resembled the KU teams of the past that played scared and tightened up against inferior teams in the NCAA tournament. No one can question the Jayhawks’ effort or toughness in any of their first three games.
Especially on the defensive end.
NC State connected on just 28.4 percent of its field goal attempts Friday. Kansas may have scored just two baskets in the final 7 minutes, 10 seconds, but it also made a handful of key defensive stops in the game’s waning moments to thwart NC State’s comeback attempt.
Kansas led by as many as 10 points in the second half.
“You can say what you want about our offense,” Robinson said. “But defensively, we’ve been great. When nobody scores, we can’t lose.”
…Even though Kansas wasn’t as efficient as Self would’ve liked on Friday, he said he wasn’t leaving the Edward Jones Dome discouraged. Instead he focused on the bigger picture. Five months ago, analysts predicted this year’s team would be Self’s worst at Kansas. The Jayhawks lost four starters from a 35-win squad and appeared to be destined for a rebuilding year.
Yet here the Jayhawks are -- 30-6, Big 12 champions for the eighth straight season and in the Elite Eight for the second consecutive year.
“It’s a great opportunity,” Self said. “If you’d have told us before the season that we’d have a chance on Sunday afternoon to play to go to the Final Four, we would’ve all said, 'Wow!' That’s how I feel. Considering what we lost and how far this team has come ... we’re one game away.”
ESPN Jason King
It's the bluest of the bluebloods in a Sunday showdown for the Final Four.
"They're a great team, great coach, great program," Robinson said. "It's two great programs and when we do meet, I'm pretty sure it's going to go down as a big one."
When it finally ended, Thomas Robinson took a deep breath and the Kansas basketball fans waved their wheat and Craig Sager asked Bill Self questions while wearing another ridiculous suit.
The Jayhawks are moving on, somehow, and that’s not only the most important thing but also the second- and third-most important things. Survive and advance, they say, and any college basketball team able to do that three times in a row in the NCAA Tournament can be proud.
But the question right now — the one the Jayhawks will be answering from reporters today and against North Carolina for a spot in the Final Four on Sunday — is how much longer can it be proud playing like this?
…They’re getting by on guts and defense and toughness, three critical strengths that have helped define them all season. For all its talent, Carolina has struggled against top defenses and KU is one of the nation’s best. These are all good signs.
But the Jayhawks will also have to play much cleaner than this for it to matter.
KC Star Mellinger
Jeff Withey was gassed, heaving and huffing as he jogged downcourt midway through the second half on Friday night. He looked toward the bench, tugging his jersey as junior Kevin Young prepared to enter the game. Finally, rest.
Only Young wasn’t coming for him. He was checking in to give Thomas Robinson a quick blow, and Withey would have to wait a few more possessions for his breather.
No time to sit. Not when Withey, a junior center, was playing the best defensive game of his career. Not with Kansas in a slugfest with No. 11 seed North Carolina State.
In a game where a bucket or an extra possession might mean the difference between victory and the season’s end, Withey stood up when it mattered most, finishing with eight points and 10 blocks as Kansas gutted out an 60-57 victory over North Carolina State inside the Edward Jones Dome.
“We’d probably be talking about a loss right now without Jeff,” Kansas senior Conner Teahan said.
Withey’s 10 blocks were one short of the NCAA Tournament record, set by Shaquille O’Neal. But the biggest defensive play came in the final seconds, with Kansas protecting a 58-57 lead. North Carolina State’s Scott Wood had clanged a three-pointer off the rim, and the ball had ended up in the hands of C.J. Leslie, the Wolfpack’s leading scorer.
He headed straight for the basket, jumping toward the rim. Only Withey recovered, meeting Leslie and Thomas Robinson near the bottom of the backboard and denying Leslie with 18 seconds left.
“Everybody was kind of scrambling,” Withey said. “I don’t remember much.”
When Self met the media before a Tuesday practice at Allen Fieldhouse, Self suggested that Withey would finally be freed from a two-game tournament fog.
The attendance was 23,964, the smallest to see Kansas in the Edward Jones Dome, including the 2002 and 2004 NCAA appearances.
Faces in the crowd: Former KU guard Ryan Robertson, regional sales director for Goldman Sachs in St. Louis, attended, as did his brother, Troy, KU’s official NCAA host for the Midwest Regional. Also on hand were former KU coach Larry Brown; former KU assistant Tim Jankovich, head coach at Illinois State; former KU guard Jeremy Case, assistant coach at SE Missouri State; former KU guard Terry Nooner, assistant women’s coach at Southern Illinois; KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little and her husband, Shade; former KU guard Stephen Vinson; former KU guard T.J. Whatley; former KU guard Sherron Collins; and ex-KU forward Jeff Graves.
Graves, by the way, played for Erie of the NBA Developmental League, but left the squad in December because of an ankle sprain. He said he’d be back in Lawrence this summer completing work on his college degree.
Withey watched as one North Carolina State player after another dribbled into the lane with the idea of making a shot. After a while, it was probably all he could do to keep from laughing.
“Really, you’re coming in here again,’’ the 7-foot Withey must have been saying. “OK, if you say so.’’
North Carolina State was rejected more than a telephone solicitor. Withey, barely able to get from one end of the court together at times because of the heavy minutes he played, nonetheless found ways to get his long arms and big hands on 10 Wolfpack shots, changing at least as many others.
N.C. State never stopped attacking the rim. But Withey never stopped protecting it, either. And largely because of his impenetrable defense, the Jayhawks are moving on to the Elite Eight.
“That’s what I do is block shots,’’ an ashen Withey said after the game.
And he’s happy to have another chance to swat Sunday against North Carolina in a game that will decide which team reaches the Final Four. Yes, we’re headed for the second matchup between Williams, who coached for 15 years at Kansas before leaving for Carolina nine years ago, and Bill Self, who replaced Williams and beat Roy in their only meeting, the national semifinal game in 2008.
But before we get to much more about the coaches who will butt heads Sunday, it’s worth discussing the game the player whose head rises highest in almost every game he plays..
Withey has been a shot-blocking machine all season, averaging just more than three per game. But he had his third block just four minutes in against a North Carolina State team that obviously felt like it could pound the ball inside and do some damage.
That approach never changed, even as Withey summoned his inner Bill Russell. There’s not as much glamour in blocking shots as there used to be; perhaps Withey helped the art with his performance Friday.
It is an art, requiring timing, toughness and size. And Withey has them all, especially size.
While Kansas continued to struggle with its shooting, Withey did his best to keep North Carolina State from shooting. Or at least from getting many shots in a position to go in.
He had nine blocks against Long Beach State and Kansas State, but it seemed like he got a hand on almost every shot the Wolfpack was able to get near the basket.
He was particularly good trailing in transition and timing his jump to tip the ball as it left the hand of a North Carolina State player.
Withey played a season-high 33 minutes against an athletic North Carolina State front line. Kansas needed every second of his performance.
He went to the bench late in the second half breathing heavily and constantly wiping his head with a towel. His face looked like he had just seen a ghost.
Didn’t matter. Self waved Withey back in after just a minute or two on the bench and Withey went right back to doing what he does best — clogging the middle and owning the basket.
It was a memorable performance because of a skill that doesn’t get recognized as much as it should. If just a couple of those shots that Withey sent back go on, we’re not talking about a KU-North Carolina dream matchup Sunday. We’re talking instead of the bus the Jayhawks ride in back to Lawrence.
Wichita Eagle Bob Lutz
At the first practice of the year, Bill Self gathered his players and told them, in no uncertain terms, the type of team they needed to be.
Gone were the Morris twins, Tyrel Reed and Brady Morningstar. Gone was the depth and offensive firepower that defined Self’s previous teams. In their place stepped a group light on experience and, in some cases, on weapons.
So Self told his guys on that first day they would have to be a team content with winning ugly and winning because of their defense.
Now, more than five months later, Self’s words look prophetic after the Jayhawks slugged their way past North Carolina State 60-57 and advanced to Sunday’s Elite Eight against North Carolina.
“The guys take pride in not being picture perfect,” Self said. “The guys take pride in winning ugly. We finally convinced them it’s OK. It’s cool to do that, to win a muddy game.”
During the past three months, North Carolina State’s men’s basketball team has faced the two teams left standing in the Midwest Regional of this year’s NCAA Tournament a combined four times.
That kind of makes the Wolfpack players well suited to break down Sunday’s Elite Eight showdown between top-seeded North Carolina and second-seeded Kansas, which knocked off N.C. State, 60-57, Friday at Edward Jones Dome.
“It’s pretty much just gonna be a battle,” junior center DeShawn Painter said of the KU-UNC game. “Kansas’ front line is big. North Carolina’s front line is big. So it’s gonna be a match-up of big guys in the paint.”
…Some, such as Painter, believe North Carolina has too much firepower for Kansas, which typically plays just seven guys.
“I think Carolina has the upper hand,” Painter said. “They’re just deeper. If Thomas Robinson and the other big kid (KU center Jeff Withey) get into foul trouble, it could be tough for them.”
…Asked why Marshall’s presence would be so important, N.C. State guard Alex Johnson pointed to the way KU guards Tyshawn Taylor and Elijah Johnson controlled the pace of play despite not playing their best games statistically. The N.C. State reserve said he also was impressed with the way the Tar Heels fought off an upset-minded Ohio squad, but did not seem so sure that the same type of effort would be enough to knock off Kansas.
“They did a good job out here tonight, playing against Ohio,” Alex Johnson said of North Carolina. “But Kansas is a whole different breed than Ohio.”
Friday’s loss was close on the scoreboard mostly because of a late N.C. State surge. Otherwise, Kansas held NCSU at arm’s length for most of the second half.
“They’re both two tough teams,” Johnson said. “I don’t think either one is tougher than the other. I think Kansas’ guards are a little better, especially if North Carolina has to play without Kendall Marshall. But it’ll be a good game.”
North Carolina sophomore Reggie Bullock was playing defense near Ohio’s bench with somewhere around 12 minutes left in regulation when he overheard a Bobcats assistant coach say it: “They can’t win without Kendall Marshall.”
And boy, that made him mad.
“That just got to me, for someone to say that my team can’t fight, can’t win without our starting point guard,’’ said Bullock, usually one of the most mild-mannered members of the team. “That lit a fire under me.”
And he took it out on the Bobcats, right when the Tar Heels needed it the most.
With Marshall (UNC’s Cousy Award finalist) on the bench in a suit because of a fractured wrist, and top scorer Harrison Barnes struggling to make just about anything, it was Bullock’s blaze -- from beyond the 3-point line and on the boards -- that helped push top-seeded UNC to a 73-65 overtime victory.
Bullock scored 12 of his 17 points after his accidental eavesdrop. As a result, the guard who missed the entire NCAA tournament last season because of knee surgery will be playing Sunday in the Midwest Regional final. The Tar Heels will play Kansas at the Edward Jones Dome.
“I think Reggie really grew up as a player tonight,’’ said Marshall, who declined to discuss the state of his fractured right wrist after the game. “People take it for granted, but he didn’t play in the NCAA tournament last year. This is his first time going through this. And … to have the [guts] to take those big shots and knock them down, that’s big-time. One of his downfalls is how unselfish he is. But he was huge for us tonight.”
North Carolina point guard Kendall Marshall said it was difficult watching from the bench as his team beat Ohio 73-65 on Friday. With his surgically repaired right wrist in a splint, he even had to be careful if he clapped.
"I had to pull back a couple of times, but I got a good fist-pump with my left hand going,'' he said. "That was my go-to a couple of times after a big play."
The sophomore, who fractured his wrist Sunday, would not talk about the state of his injury after the game, saying he wanted to concentrate on his team's victory. Meanwhile, coach Roy Williams said after the game that he has "no idea" if the Cousy Award finalist will be able to play in the NCAA Midwest Region finals on Sunday. The top-seeded Tar Heels will face No. 2 seed Kansas.
Asked if the player was able to do anything in the shootaround before the game, Williams said: "No."
"And I would love to give you guys an answer, but I really can't,'' he continued. "I have no idea. He is much better. And he's gotten off some of the medication and he's much better. He brushed his teeth today. He didn't jump down and do 10 one-handed pushups, which I told him he was going to have to do before I would let him play.
"Is there a chance he would play Sunday? There's a better chance he would play Sunday than it was today. I really didn't ever expect him to play today, but Oral Roberts University, they said expect a miracle, so I guess I was hoping for a miracle type of thing.
"But we tried to prepare all week that he was not going to play and that's what we'll try to prepare for for Sunday. But if he can play, needless to say, I would take him."
By the end of regulation, Barnes had missed 13 of 15 shots from every imaginable spot on the floor. Now toss in a couple of travels and a charge or two just for laughs, and this was one really bad night. Whenever he hoisted up the next shot, half the building groaned (the Carolina blue half) and the other celebrated (that would be the Ohio cheering section).
But now, here it was in the tense opening moments of overtime in Carolina’s 73-65 victory, and guess who had the ball in his hands and turned into pure money?
"Ninety-nine percent of players that have the game like Harrison had and they think, ‘It’s just not my night, I’m going to stop shooting and change my game,’ " said UNC’s injured point guard, Kendall Marshall. "Harrison is that 1 percent who thinks, ‘Give me the ball, coach.’ "
St Louis PD
There was no such thing as a casual conversation with Ian Naismith, at least in volume.
When the grandson of basketball inventor James Naismith wanted to discuss something about the game that bothered him, usually sportsmanship related, Ian would dig in his heels, his voice rising as he spoke.
“I’m no wallflower,” Naismith would say. “I’m going to tell you what I think.”
Earlier this week, the most vocal link to basketball’s origin died while riding a train from Massachusetts to New York. Ian Naismith was found unconscious as the train pulled into Penn Station, according to The Republican of Springfield, Mass., which first reported his death. He was 73.
Naismith maintained a connection to Kansas that his grandfather started when he was hired by KU in 1898.
Proof of the bond could one day reside in Lawrence.
KC Star Preview: KU WBB vs Tenn
Early in Bonnie Henrickson’s tenure at Kansas, she searched for a difference maker. She needed a program changer, someone to help her restore the KU women’s basketball team to prominence.
Henrickson found what she was looking for in the form of a 5-foot-1 eighth-grader playing AAU ball in the small town of Tahlequah, Okla. Henrickson saw something special in this whirling, spinning, darting ball handler and wouldn’t take her eyes off Angel Goodrich until she came to Kansas.
Goodrich, a fourth-year junior, has grown to all of 5-4, and her indefatigable spirit and scrappy play have carried Kansas to its first NCAA Tournament since 2000 and its first Sweet 16 since 1998.
And with an upset of second-seeded Tennessee on Saturday morning, 11th-seeded Kansas would make its first appearance in the Elite Eight ever.
“She came to Kansas to elevate a program, and it’s been fun for me to watch her be able to do that,” Henrickson said of Goodrich. “I told her it was an opportunity to be program-shaper and have a chance to play in the Big 12 Conference, the best league in the country, which is enticing to a lot of players, and gave her the reigns to run the program at the point-guard position.”
That faith in Goodrich made her the most important recruit, perhaps even more so than Olathe East’s Danielle McCray (2006-10) in Henrickson’s eight seasons at Kansas.
While McCray was an eventual first-round pick in the WNBA draft, she never played in an NCAA Tournament game. Goodrich has taken over this tournament. She scored 20 points with five assists and two steals in 39 minutes in the Jayhawks’ first-round win over No. 6 seed Nebraska and 27 points with six assists and two steals in 40 minutes in the second-round upset of No. 3 seed Delaware.
“It’s who she’s always wanted to be, and it’s who I’ve always thought she could be,” Henrickson said of Goodrich’s first two NCAA games. “It’s nice that a lot of people got to watch her play in those games.”
To reach this stage, Goodrich has had to overcome some devastating injuries.
One person who wasn’t surprised by Goodrich’s superb outing was her high school coach Bill Nobles.
“It was like I was grading film back when she played here,” said Nobles, whose Sequoyah teams won three straight state championships and went 107-7 during Goodrich’s time in Tahlequah.
“You just go, ‘wow!’”
Clearly things haven’t changed too much for Goodrich. She is still a consistent playmaker and can torch opponents at the drop of a hat.
Perhaps, though, the biggest boost Goodrich has received is finally being healthy. With two good knees now, she’s finally able to showcase her skills, which Henrickson says she gets to see on a daily basis.
“Once she’s been healthy,” Henrickson said, “people are getting to see her play the way we get to see her play every day.”
Nobles knew that once Goodrich healed up, she’d be a force to be reckoned with.