KUAD Box Score, Recap, Quotes, Notes, Video
LJW Video and Audio pressers and post-game interviews
ESPN Recap, Video
KC Star Photos
I kno my KU boys better win tonight. This is a must win game. Get y'all minds right and take it to em. Rock chalk Jayhawks
2/11/13, 1:42 PM
FWIW: Multiple NBA scouts have told me the only guys they'd even consider for the top spot are Anthony Bennett, Ben McLemore & Nerlens Noel.
2/11/13, 5:16 PM
Go! Fight! Win....Jayhawks! Back on track tonight! Rock Chalk!#kubball #jayhawknation
2/11/13, 8:08 PM
It's game time boys. Lets go KU. We need this one
2/11/13, 8:14 PM
Mountaineer fans check out Allen Fieldhouse on Big Monday.. great atmosphere.. students - how we need our student section all the time
2/11/13, 8:44 PM
Video during commercial break wishes McLemore a happy 20th birthday and compares him to Teen Wolf, who had some real game.
2/11/13, 8:50 PM
Yall woke up a monster#ku
2/11/13, 8:54 PM
Danny Manning in the house - but more importantly, so is @JeffGraves42 - no 2003 Final Four if not for Big Gravy.
2/11/13, 9:08 PM
Great first half. Game far from over tho. We need the same effort and efficiency in the 2nd half. Proud of my young boys so far
2/11/13, 9:39 PM
I see u big fella!!!!!
2/11/13, 9:52 PM
Punishing the Wild Cats
2/11/13, 10:10 PM
You can go Sharpie on Kansas. Jayhawks--and especially their fans--did their work tonight.
2/11/13, 10:17 PM
Good win for my fellas tonight. Way to bounce back. Happy bday to my young boy@Humb1e_Hungry23. Enjoy it wit that 30 ball homie
2/12/13, 12:02 AM
I had to pull out the @Trobinson0 (trob) after that dunk. S/O big homie
@JeffWithey it looked nice im proud man lol !! I jumped out the bed
Great win by men's BB team. And YES, the rest of you did your job! Well done! Congrats to all! Rock Chalk!
I sincerely appreciate KU students. That is one rocking student section. Fantastic atmosphere. You should be proud. Decibel meter got up to 120 in Allen Field House unofficially. That is almost jet engine loud. Fans were huge boost to struggling
Happy Birthday BMac!
They gathered around him after the game, friends and TV cameras and loving strangers. McLemore is a star, and the sooner he understands that the sooner his Kansas basketball team can save its season.
“HAPPY BIRTHDAY” they sang, and turning 20 is as good a time as any to show what KU looks like at its best.
An NBA team will spend a very high draft pick and millions of dollars for him to do this in a different uniform next year. Nights like this — 30 points in a virtuoso performance with his teammates’ confidence admittedly rocked — will be what the people here talk about when he’s dunking on TNT broadcasts. But for now, he is KU’s treasure.
No. 14 Kansas beat down No. 10 K-State 83-62 in what amounted to a nationally televised therapy session for a freaked-out fan base, and you could see a lot of this coming. The people here screamed and they chanted and they screamed and they made a million signs and they also screamed. Man, this was loud. A frantic kind of loud, too.
Their signs said things like “WE SHALL OVERCOME” and “WE STILL BELIEVE,” all because of a three-game losing streak. They’ve won 103 of their last 105 here now. Their coping mechanisms are a bit rusty, you know.
KC Star Mellinger
McLemore’s teammates call him “Young Sav” — short for savage — and the name, of course, comes packed with a little bit of humor. McLemore can be a savage, they say, the most ruthless player on the court. But in those other moments, when McLemore is smiling and deferring, and being the people-pleasing little bro, it can be hard to imagine him as “Young Sav”.
On this night, the savage came out.
The Jayhawks also got a key spark from sophomore guard Naadir Tharpe, who finished with seven points and eight assists, looking like the point guard that the Jayhawks have so badly needed during their three-game skid.
And when McLemore is playing like this, and Tharpe is playing like a wiz-kid point guard, and the Jayhawks are playing their usual brand of stifling defense, the 16,300 fans at Allen Fieldhouse can breathe a long cathartic sigh of relief and celebrate a night with a different kind of chant:
“This is our state, this is our state.”
“The Fieldhouse,” Withey said. “There’s nothing like it, that’s for sure.”
Kansas University’s students stuck around to serenade birthday-boy Ben McLemore as he conducted an ESPN interview after exploding for 30 points in the Jayhawks’ 83-62 slump-busting victory over rival Kansas State on Monday night in Allen Fieldhouse.
“Happy Birthday to Ben, Happy Birthday to you,” the students sang as the 20-year-old freshman guard headed through the northwest tunnel to the winner’s locker room with a big smile on his face.
Not only was he thrilled to score 30 off 9-of-13 shooting (6-of-10 from three) and 6-of-6 free throwing, but elated the squad snapped its three-game losing streak and avoided losing four in a row for the first time since the 1988-89 season.
“I mean it was great coming back home to Allen Fieldhouse,” McLemore said after he became the first freshman in KU history to score 30 or more points in two conference games. He had a career-high 33 versus Iowa State.
“It was great having fun with my teammates. My teammates got me in a zone especially Naadir (Tharpe, eight assists, one turnover, seven points) finding me on the wing. Last week was a bad week for us. This was great,” added McLemore, who credited assistant coach Kurtis Townsend for “telling me to start on the defensive end. It’s all I focused on ... defense.”
Kansas University senior center Jeff Withey, who broke the KU and Big 12 single-season record for blocked shots a year ago, on Monday surpassed Greg Ostertag as leading shot blocker in school history.
Withey, a 7-foot, 235-pounder from San Diego who entered the KU-K-State game tied with Ostertag (258 blocks) swatted five shots in KU’s 83-62 victory over Kansas State in Allen Fieldhouse.
Withey set the record at the 16:28 mark of the first half by rejecting a Thomas Gipson shot in the paint.
“It feels good. I’m not satisfied obviously,” Withey said. “I want to break the conference record, too. It’s cool, but I still have some work to do.”
He needs one block to tie Texas’ Chris Mihm (264 blocks) as the league’s all-time human eraser.
Withey scored 17 points. He had a vicious dunk on a play in which he nailed KSU’s Jordan Henriquez in the face with his left elbow.
“It felt great. Jamari (Traylor) gave me a perfect pass. I went up and dunked it,” Withey said. “It was awesome and gave us more momentum (61-43 lead).”
Last season senior center Jeff Withey bloodied his lip in a game and gave a vicious stare.
From there the picture circled around the Internet eventually being coined the “Withey Face.”
With 12:39 remaining in the second half, the signature Withey face made another appearance in Kansas’ 83-62 victory over Kansas state in the biggest win of the series since Feb. 2007.
The seven-foot center grabbed a pass in the lane from freshman Jamari Traylor and stuffed the ball straight over Kansas State’s Jordan Henriquez. This time Henriquez was the one who ended up with the blood on his jersey and a bloodied nose.
When the play was over and the foul was called Withey flexed his lanky frame and screamed with emotion as the adrenaline rushed through his veins.
Behind him the student section fanned Withey with extended arms, all the students flashing a “W” for Withey as the cool air rushed onto the court.
“Jamari gave me a perfect pass and went up and dunked it. It was awesome it gave us some momentum and it was just a monkey off my back,” Withey said.
The other major accomplishment for Withey was breaking the all-time Kansas blocks record previously held by Greg Ostertag.
“It feels good,” Withey said. “I’m not satisfied obviously. I want to break the conference record too. It’s cool, but I still have some work to do.”
The Wildcats debuted new Nike hooded warmups before the game. But the purple-and-white jackets weren’t a hit with players. After falling behind by 18 in the first half all but two players ditched them and returned to the court wearing their traditional black warmups.
Maybe things would have been different without early fouls. Maybe not. The Wildcats weren’t interested in the hypothetical.
“You can’t have excuses,” Weber said. “That is part of basketball. Ben was in foul trouble in our place and we didn’t take advantage of it … Here, they went and took advantage of the opportunity.”
Kansas State drew within 58-43 with 14:04 left, but Withey snuffed out the comeback.
The reigning Big 12 defensive player of the year swatted away a shot by McGruder and, moments later, threw down a massive dunk over Jordan Henriquez - a fellow 7-footer - before finishing off the three-point play. Withey then rejected McGruder at the other end, and Travis Releford had the putback that restored the Jayhawks' 20-point lead at 63-43 with 11:59 to go.
The Jayhawks put the game on cruise control down the stretch, giving Weber - who once followed Self as the man in charge at Illinois - his third loss in three tries against Kansas, and the Wildcats their sixth straight defeat in Lawrence.
Talk about things getting back to normal.
''First of all, losing three in a row is not - I understand it's not forgivable. It's a terrible, terrible deal. But what we're going through is what 99 percent of teams in America go through,'' Self said. ''There's only 1 percent that doesn't go through this kind of stretch. And we're spoiled because it's been a long time since we went through one of these stretches.''
The final month of the regular season figures to be wild, but one thing became clear Monday night: The eight-time defending champs won’t go quietly.
Just ask Kansas State, the team that entered Allen Fieldhouse alone in first place and left with a splitting headache, ears ringing from an 83-62 KU knockout.
“I think when we play well, this is what our team is,” coach Bill Self said.
…As a result, Bruce Weber’s first Allen Fieldhouse experience was like so many endured by Bob Huggins, Frank Martin, Jim Wooldridge and Tom Asbury. KU started rolling, the 3-pointers started dropping, and suddenly the slump was history.
…The best expression of KU’s dominance came midway through the second half, when Withey threw down a vicious dunk that sent Jordan Henriquez to the bench, bloodied and saddled with a foul on the play. KU led 61-43 at that point, and the final 10 minutes were basically rubbing it in. McLemore canned a 3-pointer with 46 seconds remaining to reach the 30-point plateau, and chants of “This is our state” echoed from the stands.
KU can make that claim after sweeping the regular-season series from K-State and beating the Wildcats for the 46th time in 49 games. The Big 12 is still up for grabs, but after Monday, the defending champ looks alive and well.
“It's going to be more difficult to win the league than it ever has been with where we still have to go and the games that we have remaining,” Self said, “but we're in the game.”
What’s that? You expected a game? A big game? A colossal showdown?
Nah. The No. 10 Wildcats were ranked higher than the No. 14 Jayhawks for the first time since 1982 when playing at KU. Yet K-State was never in it. KU rolled, 83-62.
At the outset, the sellout crowd provided the lift Kansas has been missing. It went bonkers, stayed bonkers and left bonkers. There were reports of bricks buckling as far away as Aggieville.
“They definitely helped us get pumped up, even though we were ready for this game,’’ said senior center Jeff Withey. “The Fieldhouse helped us, though.’’
Certainly the Jayhawks complied with their fans’ noisy wishes — playing with the skill, precision and confidence they lacked during their three-game losing streak.
“We went out there and gave it our all,’’ said freshman Ben McLemore after pouring in 30 points. “It started on the defensive end. We got stops and played Kansas ball.’’
…Want a timeline? Consider McLemore celebrated his 20th birthday on Monday. Over that time K-State has won twice in Allen Fieldhouse — once when Benny Mac turned 1 and, I don’t think, could dunk yet.
In the 18 victories KU has managed in the last 19 matchups with K-State at home, the average margin was 16.5 points.
There is a positive worth noting for the Cats. They still reside in first place in the Big 12. They just happen to be tied with the Jayhawks.
“I told em’ we win the rest of our games, we still win the league,’’ Weber said. “That’s tough, but that’s the way we’ve got to approach it.’’
Inspired by a home crowd eager to rouse the Jayhawks from their funk, Kansas roared to a 47-29 lead at halftime. The Jayhawks shook off their recent offensive struggles and shot a blistering 59 percent from the field, with McLemore going 5-for-6 and scoring 17 points in the first half.
The Jayhawks also got a boost from sophomore point guard Naadir Tharpe, who had six first-half assists with starter Elijah Johnson in foul trouble. Tharpe finished with seven points and eight assists.
"That's the best half of basketball he's played since he's been here," Self said. "He was absolutely terrific, and we needed him to be."
Senior Elijah Johnson was limited to 12 first-half minutes because he picked up two fouls, and Tharpe responded by playing the half of his life at both ends of the court. In 14 first-half minutes, Tharpe had six of his eight assists, didn’t turn it over and scored all seven of his points.
Tharpe put extraordinary pressure on the defense, sending passes in all directions. He whipped one-handed bounce passes to Kevin Young in the post. He also collapsed the defense with drives to the paint punctuated by his passes to an open McLemore on the wing or corner.
Despite surrendering about a half-foot to him, Tharpe played exceptional first-half defense on K-State’s leading scorer, Rodney McGruder, who scored 18 of his 20 points in the second half.
The second half didn’t go as well for Tharpe, but by then, the game was well in hand after KU took a 47-29 lead into the break.
“I just tried to create for my teammates,” Tharpe said. “Coach has been on me, nagging me about getting in the lane and finding people and Kevin was available a lot of times, so that was someone I was finding as well as Ben, who was knocking down shots.”
As they dressed up, he was busy dressing them down. The kid looked them in the eye — his teammates, his brothers — and scolded them. Of all the tricks Naadir Tharpe pulled out of his hat Monday night, that last one in the Kansas locker room might've been the most impressive of all.
"You know, everybody was real excited; everybody was excited, jumping around, dancing," the Jayhawks' sophomore point guard told FOX Sports after helping No. 14 Kansas crush No. 10 Kansas State, 83-62. "But I told them, ‘Don't get excited, because this is one game that we just played. We still have to go on the road to win games. And we still haven't got what we needed yet.'"
…"I don't have a problem with it," the senior replied. "So if Naadir is doing that at the ‘1,' or if I need to go to the ‘1' — (Monday), when he got a little winded, and you saw I came back and got the ‘1' — I'm willing to do that. Whatever we've got to do to win, man, I don't care what it is. I really don't care what it is."
Even if that means playing the off-guard?
"I don't care what it is. I'll play the ‘2.' I don't care what it is. Whatever we've got to do to win, I'm down for it."
Which is good, because despite the lopsided score and all those Kansas fans backing away from the ledge, the Big 12 title doesn't run through Lawrence. Not yet, anyway. Technically, it runs through Stillwater.
Of all the teams in the Big 12's high-rent district, it's the Cowboys (17-5, 7-3) who have arguably the kindest final kick, with three of their four tilts against the rest of the contenders at home. KU's last lap, on paper, is trickier, thanks to those aforementioned treks to Oklahoma State, Iowa State and Baylor. If the Jayhawks claw their way back to a ninth straight Big 12 title, they'll have to do it the hard way.
That was a glimpse of just how good this group can be when it call comes together.
But there are also plenty of red flags that should keep Jayhawk fans from getting too high after this win.
For starters, Johnson is still playing poorly. He was 1-6 from the field with three assists and four turnovers in 28 minutes despite playing the majority of his time on the floor at the off-guard spot. The 27 minutes that Tharpe played were the most he’s logged since the season-opener. And after a terrific start to the game, Tharpe looked fairly normal in the second half. He missed his last five shots and had just two assists and a turnover in the final 20 minutes.
Ben McLemore scored those 30 points on 13 shots, the majority of which were in transition or on catch-and-shoot threes. He’s still an uber-efficiency piece within a system, go a true go-to player that can create his own shots in isolation. The Jayhawks still have some serious depth issues, as Tharpe is really the only non-starter ready to contribute major minutes.
All those inherent issues that Kansas had at the start of the season? All the problems that were magnified as the Jayhawks played three consecutive games without confidence and with the toughness of a lily pad?
They are still there.
Kansas is still the same team they were in November and the same team they were in January and the same team they were against TCU.
Kansas State caught the Jayhawks at the wrong time. They won’t be this good every night.
But this should be enough to prove to anyone thinking that Kansas was somehow no longer the best team in the Big 12 that this is Bill Self’s conference to lose.
As for star senior Rodney McGruder, who led KSU with 20 points, including 17 in the second half, he said walking away from Allen Fieldhouse without having tasted success was not something that would bother him — yet.
“You just gotta get over it,” he said. “It's not something you can dwell on. That's something I can dwell on when my career's over.”
Energy, even when it’s negative, has a powerful effect. Once one player starts sagging, it can make the whole team can look lost.
“I never realized how big of an effect it is,” senior guard Elijah Johnson said. “When Ben saw me smiling, he smiles harder. When Travis sees me feeling confident, he feels more confident. That domino effect is something that people should really pay attention to. It shouldn’t be underestimated.”
There was never a reason to say Kansas is back or that the Jayhawks had vanished. There was just a down spell — something this program hadn’t seen in a long time.
There’s also no reason to start printing Big 12 championship t-shirts now that the Jayhawks are back in a tie for first place in the conference. This victory was only one in a season that has a long way to go, which is exactly what K-State’s Shane Southwell was telling his teammates on the bench as time expired.
“Keep your head up,” Southwell repeated over and over. “It’s just one game.”
LJW Ratings: Mclemore edges out Withey, Tharpe
USA Today: Jayhawks end skid with impressive rout