Showing posts with label Bill Self. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bill Self. Show all posts

Monday, March 18, 2013

Kansas Wins Big 12 Tournament, Earns One Seed In NCAA Tournament

The Kansas Jayhawks made it clear who the best team in the Big 12 was this season, hammering Kansas State in the finals of the Big 12 tournament 70-54. KU was rewarded for its dominating Big 12 tournament with a one seed in the South region of the NCAA Tournament.

The third meeting this season between the two rivals got off to a slow start, as both teams struggled offensively in the first half. KU was able to build a 24-16 halftime lead, however K-State cut the lead to three early in the second half. The Jayhawks answered with a 12-3 run, essentially putting the game away midway through the second half.

Jeff Withey led Kansas with 17 points and 9 rebounds, and the Jayhawks continued to get strong play from freshman Perry Ellis, who chipped in 12 points. Kansas State star Rodney McGruder scored 18 points, however much of that came when KU had built its insurmountable lead in the second half.

Kansas’ dominance over Kansas State and the Big 12 has been shocking. The Jayhawks have defeated the Wildcats 47 times in the teams’ last 50 meetings, including 11 straight times in the Big 12 tournament. Kansas also improved to 9-1 in Big 12 Tournament Title games and won its sixth Big 12 Tournament title under Bill Self.

After winning the Big 12 tournament in dominating fashion, Kansas was rewarded with the second overall seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Jayhawks will face Western Kentucky Friday night in the Sprint Center in Kansas City. If Kansas advances, it will play the winner of North Carolina and Villanova on Sunday. The Jayhawks were given a tough bracket, as Georgetown, Florida and Michigan are also in the South region.

KCMB Kansas City News, official kc news site with breaking stories on The Kansas City Royals, Chiefs, charity events, the 2012 MLB All Star Game, weather, sports, MU, KU, ufo sightings, dui checkpoints, Kansas City neighborhoods, nightlife, concerts, the Sprint Center, the Power and Light District and current Kansas City news articles.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Kansas Storms Back To Beat Iowa State In Overtime

The Kansas Jayhawks moved closer to a ninth consecutive Big 12 title with a thrilling 108-96 win over Iowa State in Ames last night. The victory was Bill Self’s 500th career win, and the Jayhawks now have three winnable games remaining on their regular season schedule.

Elijah Johnson, who has been criticized all season for some poor play, had one of the most legendary performances in Kansas history. The senior scored a career-high 39 points, including eight in the final 29 seconds of regulation and 12 in overtime. Travis Releford added 19 efficient points, and Jeff Withey was a force in the paint to help Kansas keep pace with the red-hot Cyclones in the first half.

Iowa State nearly pulled off the win by hitting an insane 17 three pointers – a school record. The Cyclones’ 22-game home winning streak was snapped when Iowa State went cold in overtime as Johnson continued to score at will for the Jayhawks.

The Iowa State fans proceeded to throw plastic megaphones and concessions at the Kansas players after the game, due to Johnson dunking the ball with only a few seconds remaining on the clock. Johnson and Self both apologized for the dunk after the game.

Kansas has now passed the two toughest games it had on the backend of its schedule – on the road against Oklahoma State and Iowa State. Kansas hosts West Virginia and Texas Tech in its next two games, and the Mountaineers and Red Raiders are two of the weakest teams in the conference. The Jayhawks finish the season on the road against Baylor, who has been inconsistent all season. Kansas State, currently tied with Kansas in first, still has to travel to Stillwater to face Oklahoma State and also plays Baylor on the road. The road wins over OSU and ISU have put Kansas in a great position to once again win a Big 12 championship and earn a high seed for the NCAA tournament.

KCMB Kansas City News, official kc news site with breaking stories on The Kansas City Royals, Chiefs, charity events, the 2012 MLB All Star Game, weather, sports, MU, KU, ufo sightings, dui checkpoints, Kansas City neighborhoods, nightlife, concerts, the Sprint Center, the Power and Light District and current Kansas City news articles.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

TCU Shocks Kansas In Biggest Upset Of The Year

It will go down as the biggest upset this season in college basketball and the worst loss a Bill Self Kansas team has ever suffered. Last night, the Kansas Jayhawks were shockingly upset by TCU in Fort Worth, 62-55.

After a rare loss at home to Oklahoma State, most thought that Kansas would come out fired up against TCU. It didn’t happen, as the Jayhawks only scored an embarrassing 13 points in the first half. The Jayhawks only shot 30 percent from the field, including a horrific 3 of 22 from beyond the arc. Efficient scorers Jeff Withey and Travis Releford didn’t get many shots, while reserve point guard Naadir Tharpe attempted 15. Worst of all, struggling point guard Elijah Johnson continued to play terrible basketball, once again missing shots while turning the ball over at will.

To sum this loss up as “shocking” would be putting it too lightly. In terms of RPI, this was the biggest upset in the last 20 years of college basketball. The Jayhawks, who have knocked off top teams like Ohio State and Kansas State on the road, looked outclassed from the beginning against TCU. With two straight losses, it may be panic time in Lawrence if the Jayhawks can’t get out of their funk.

The loss also had a huge impact on the league race, as the Big 12 is now wide open. Kansas and Kansas State are tied for first, while suddenly red-hot Oklahoma State sits only one game behind. The Jayhawks will need to regroup quickly, as they have two tough games coming up – a road contest against Oklahoma and home against KSU. If Kansas can win these two games, it will once again be in the driver’s seat for a ninth straight Big 12 title. However, after last night, that is looking like a slim possibility.

KCMB Kansas City News, official kc news site with breaking stories on The Kansas City Royals, Chiefs, charity events, the 2012 MLB All Star Game, weather, sports, MU, KU, ufo sightings, dui checkpoints, Kansas City neighborhoods, nightlife, concerts, the Sprint Center, the Power and Light District and current Kansas City news articles.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Kansas - TCU Preview

For only the second time this season, the Kansas Jayhawks will be looking to rebound from a loss. TCU may provide the perfect opportunity for KU to right the ship, as the Horned Frogs are winless in conference play. Tonight’s game will begin at 8:00 p.m.

Kansas has struggled offensively over the past month, and the poor play finally caught up to them on Saturday. Against Oklahoma State, the Jayhawks shot only 41 percent and committed 16 turnovers. Much of the focus has been on Elijah Johnson’s struggles, and rightfully so – the senior has 19 turnovers in KU’s past five games while shooting a dismal 24 percent from the floor.

Self has said that he will stick with Johnson at point guard, and KU fans have to remain optimistic that the senior point guard will regain the form he displayed in last year’s NCAA championship game run. While Johnson figures things out, the Jayhawks will continue to rely on freshman sensation Ben McLemore for scoring. McLemore is now averaging 16.4 ppg and has become a consistent force for Kansas, while Jeff Withey and Travis Releford have also been consistent.

TCU has struggled to adjust to the Big 12, and hasn’t been very competitive in league play this season. The Horned Frogs are averaging only 49 points and shooting 35 percent in league play, and shot only 33 percent from the floor while getting blown out on Saturday at Texas. Despite Kansas’ offensive struggles, the Jayhawks still boast one of the top defenses in the country. If the Horned Frogs want to keep this one close, they’ll need some early shots to fall.

This game on paper has all the makings of a blowout, but Kansas has played down against inferior opponents several times this season already. Still, the Jayhawks are too talented for TCU, and Kansas should be able to get rid of the bad taste in their mouth from Saturday’s loss fairly quickly.

KCMB Kansas City News, official kc news site with breaking stories on The Kansas City Royals, Chiefs, charity events, the 2012 MLB All Star Game, weather, sports, MU, KU, ufo sightings, dui checkpoints, Kansas City neighborhoods, nightlife, concerts, the Sprint Center, the Power and Light District and current Kansas City news articles.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Elijah Johnson Continues To Struggle For Kansas

Kansas’ 85-80 loss to Oklahoma State on Saturday seemed shocking to many, given how dominant the Jayhawks have been at home for the last several years and Kansas’ high ranking in the polls. However, the Jayhawks had been asking to be upset for months, narrowly escaping several inferior teams before Saturday. The problem in Lawrence all starts at point guard, as Elijah Johnson continues to struggle for KU.

Johnson nearly single-handedly lost the game for Kansas on Saturday. The senior shot 3 of 14 from the floor and committed four costly turnovers in the second half that led to easy transition buckets for the Cowboys.  The Jayhawks had a four point lead late in the second half, and good point guard play would have allowed KU to put the game away. Instead, Johnson handed it to OSU on a silver platter.

Johnson has 19 turnovers against 19 assists in his last five games, while also shooting a poor percentage from the floor. After excelling as a shooting guard late last season next to Tyshawn Taylor, Johnson simply hasn’t looked comfortable playing the point this year.

The problem for Kansas is a lack of depth – Naadir Tharpe is the only other player capable of playing the point, and the young guard has struggled with consistency this season. Tharpe hit some big shots for KU on Saturday, but he is best used as a change-of-pace of the bench. A Tharpe-Johnson backcourt also presents problems for Bill Self, because it means he has to sit either Ben McLemore or Travis Releford, both who are playing at an extremely high level for Kansas.

Self has said that he will stick by Johnson, and really he doesn’t have any other choice. Kansas fans will continue to hope and pray the senior figures it out and plays at a higher level. The Jayhawks have all the pieces to win a ninth straight Big 12 title and make another deep NCAA tournament run. However, if Johnson continues to play poorly, KU could be in trouble.

KCMB Kansas City News, official kc news site with breaking stories on The Kansas City Royals, Chiefs, charity events, the 2012 MLB All Star Game, weather, sports, MU, KU, ufo sightings, dui checkpoints, Kansas City neighborhoods, nightlife, concerts, the Sprint Center, the Power and Light District and current Kansas City news articles.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Bill Self Booed Off the Field at 2012 Celebrity Softball Game

Everything was as it should have been on Sunday night at the K for the 2012 Celebrity Softball Game. The only standing ovation of the entire night was when George Brett came to the plate for his turn at bat. The King of Kauffman Stadium got the ovation that he deserved and it was an honor to be present to witness Brett take his batting stance once again. In an opposite reaction, Bill Self, head coach of the KU Jayhawks, was practically booed off of the field. Why Bill Self was even in the game is a mystery as he is certainly no celebrity, but the crowd really let him have it when his name was announced, and they continued to boo him down to the ground EVERY time he came to bat. He tried to kind of smile it off, but it must have been quite humiliating to be booed so viciously by a sold out Kauffman Stadium that night, but he had no business being out there in the first place, so justice was swiftly served by the true blue Kansas City Royals fans. Other players such as former MVP and World Champion Steve Garvey, got literally no reaction at all, dead air! Other celebrities who received silent welcomes were model Chrissy Teigen, and the lackluster Haley Reinhart from the insidious American Idol, who got absolutely no reaction at all. For some reason they also stacked both of these incompetent girls on the American League's side, and the only girl on the National League's team was a professional softball player Jennie Finch - now how is that fair? Oh well, it was all in good fun, and a lot of fun we had.

Our seats are directly behind home plate, and it was great to see such a magnificent selection of baseball heroes march past us as they took the plate, swung the bat and even played tricks on each other. At one point in the game while pitching against Dave Winfield, several players came to the mound and continued to pour Gatorade all over the ball before they pitched it. The 2012 Celebrity Softball game was a high scoring affair with a lot of home runs and a lot of hideous base running.

George Brett at bat 2012 Celebrity Softball Game
It will probably be the last time the fans at Kauffman Stadium will see George Brett take his famous left handed stance in the batter's box, and we were honored to be a part of the event. George Brett will likely never be surpassed as the greatest Kansas City Royals player that has ever lived. Brett even took the mound towards the middle of the game for the American League, which was great. Perhaps the crowd at Kauffman Stadium should have withheld their boos when Bill Self came to bat because it got his "feathers" all ruffled up (haha) and he went and hit a home run over the little fence that they had put up in the short outfield.

The night ended with a spectacular fireworks display and it was a perfect ending to a wonderful night. Stay tuned to KCMB News online as we will be posting a video of Bill Self getting booed after the game airs tonight on ESPN at 9pm.

Bill Self gets booed by 37,000 fans at Kauffman Stadium in the 2012 Celebrity Softball Game by Kansas City News, official kc news site with breaking stories on The Kansas City Royals, Chiefs, charity events, the 2012 MLB All Star Game, weather, sports, MU, KU, ufo sightings, dui checkpoints, Kansas City neighborhoods, nightlife, concerts, the Sprint Center, the Power and Light District and current Kansas City news articles.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sizing up Bill Self's Successes and Failures

Being a KU fan, I have nothing but respect and admiration for Bill Self. I am grateful that he is the coach of my alma mater and wouldn't trade him for any other coach in America. However, last year's loss to Northern Iowa still stings. This year's tournament could go a long way in shaping Self's present legacy.

Self's success can be hard to define. Apart from his first season, KU has won at least a share of the Big 12 title every year he has been coach, and pretty much dominated the league. However, during that span Self's teams have made only one Final 4, where they beat North Carolina and later Memphis to win the national title.

It is still early, but how do we look at Self? A good coach who, apart from one magical run, always falls short? This criticism seems unfair. Self's teams are almost always one of the tops seeds in the NCAA tournament, and no team is going to crash the Final 4 every year. As a result, KU has been given a "choker" label mostly due to its regular season dominance. However, the tournament results have been a little disappointing. Taking away the national title run, here is how the Jayhawks have done in the tournament:

2004 - 4 seed, Elite 8
2005 - 3 seed, first round
2006 - 4 seed, first round
2007 - 1 seed, Elite 8
2009 - 3 seed, Sweet 16
2010 - 1 seed, second round

The 2004 and 2009 seasons were viewed as successful runs, given that KU had little to no expectations in terms of competing for a championship. While the early exits seem often, lets not forget that every great coach is going to take his lumps. While Roy Williams never lost in the first round in his tenure as KU's coach, his teams lost in the second round five times during his 14 seasons, including three straight from 1998-2000. However, Williams' teams made four Final Fours in his tenure, despite failing to win a national title.

The counter argument to defending Self can be found in Michigan State's Tom Izzo. In Izzo's 15 seasons coaching the Spartans, his teams have six Final 4 appearances. However, like Self, he has one national title.

Does it matter how many times you make a deep run if you ultimately fall short of winning it all? Dean Smith, regarded as one of the greatest coaches in NCAA history, made 11 Final 4's during his 36 year tenure as North Carolina's head coach. His team won the national title twice. A deep run in this year's tournament would help erase some of the bad memories of early exits for KU fans, as necessary or unnecessary as that may be.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Bill Self Named AP Big 12 Coach of the Year

For the second time in the past four seasons, Bill Self's Kansas Jayhawks were not picked to win the Big 12 in the preseason polls. Both times, KU posted a 14-2 Big 12 record and won the conference outright, and the latest Big 12 title has won Bill Self another AP Big 12 coach of the year award.

Apart from winning a national title in 2008, Self's teams have often come up short in the NCAA Tournament. However, his regular season success at KU is rediculous: KU has now won at least a share of seven straight league titles. Self's teams have a huge advantage at home in legendary Allen Fieldhouse (where the team recently won 69 straight home games), but it is the Jayhawks road success that really seperates KU. In Selthe past seven seasons, Kansas has gone 7-1 on the road in conference play three times (no other team has done it once), and has a 43-13 road record overall. That mark is better than any other Big 12 team's home record except for Texas. Any average coach and average team can be good at home - just look at Missouri this season. It takes a special team and a special coach to consistently win on the road, and that is why Self is once again recognized as the league's best.

The only knock on Self is that he has only been to one Final 4 (where his team did win it all), and that his teams often bow out early in the NCAA Tournament. I think most fans need to give him time to bring in some more serious hardware, and appreciate the league dominance we have seen recently. As long as Self is at KU, no one should pick against the Jayhawks winning the league. It will just make winning awards like these even easier.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

KU Wins Seventh Straight Big 12 Title

In the year that KState was supposed to win the Big 12 and many "experts" picked KU to finish as low as fourth, at least a share of the Big 12 title is heading to Lawrence once again. The Jayhawks now have back to back to back to back to back to back to back league titles, a ridiculous streak that no one else in the nation seems to notice.

To win another piece of hardware for its crowded trophy case, KU had to go through a tough, tournament bound Texas A&M team coached by former KU player Mark Turgeon. It wasn't always pretty, but the Jayhawks finally wore down the Aggies 64-51. It was senior night in Lawrence, as KU said goodbye to Tyrel Reed, Brady Morningstar and Mario Little and possibly the Morris twins as well. KU has now won 28 straight senior nights.

Another interesting fact: KU's Bill Self only has seven home losses in his tenure as KU head coach. For at least until next season, Self has seven consecutive league titles and only seven home losses: something no other coach in recent basketball history has come close to duplicating. How has this not gotten more national attention? If Duke or UNC had done anything close to this, we would see a montage hailing Coach K before every Big Monday game for the next two years. Just look at last night - KU wins a seventh straight title and the front page of features an article about the UNC - Florida State game (yawn).

Think if any team in college football won its league more than 3-4 years in a row. It'd be all over the news. KU does it seven straight times with a national title during its streak and hardly anyone raises an eyebrow. One problem is the nature of basketball - the regular season doesn't mean a whole lot when everything is settled with a crazy single-elimination tournament. Bill Self has now captured three league titles when his team wasn't the preseason favorite, and officially owns the Big 12 (usually one of the toughest college basketball conferences). Its time for ESPN and other media outlets to stop its love affair with the east coast teams and give KU the respect it has earned.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Kansas State Beats Texas, KU Now First in Big 12

Kansas State wrapped up a spot in the NCAA Tournament and officially turned around its season with a 75-70 win over the Texas Longhorns. The Wildcats were left for dead after a 1-4 start to conference play, but have salvaged its once heralded season with an impressive five game winning streak. The win moves KState to 9-6 in league play, 21-9 overall and fourth in the Big 12 standings. Now the question isn't whether KState will make the NCAA tournament, but how good of a seed it can secure.

Texas has now lost three of its last four, watching its strangle hold on the Big 12 division evaporate into thin air in two short weeks. The Longhorns have a history of late season collapses under Rick Barnes, and it looks like once again a talented Texas team is struggling at the worst possible time. Also, I think it is now safe to say that KState officially owns Texas. Despite the Longhorns success in both football and basketball, it seems that every year the Wildcats upset them, at home or on the road. Forget Oklahoma and Texas A&M, its time for Texas fans to worry about KState, especially since the two teams will play more often in the new Big 12.

During the chaos that is the Big 12, Kansas has quietly continued to hammer inferior teams, despite various injuries and suspensions. When the smoke from the last two weeks cleared, it was the Jayhawks who once again found themselves on top of the Big 12 standings. KU has a tough remaining schedule, but a win tomorrow night against Texas A&M would give KU at least a share of its seventh consecutive Big 12 title. Seven in a row. How has this not gotten more media attention? If Duke or UNC had accomplished more than three, I guarantee ESPN would have a montage on it running before every college basketball game. Bill Self has his team in position to add to what has already been a rediculous decade for KU basketball, thanks to a little help from its in-state rival.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Reason for Tyshawn Taylor Suspension KU

"I was a bad kid"
Why Was Tyshawn Taylor Suspended?  Most Likely for Skipping Classes...
by Kansas City News

Though Bill Self did not reveal the reason for suspending junior guard Tyshawn Taylor, speculation revolves around Taylor's skipping classes.  KU fans don't seem to be too concerned about the suspension, and many fan sites claim that they are happy to see Josh Selby get more minutes anyway, siting that Taylor doesn't shoot when he is open.  (If the link confuses you, wait until Dave Chappelle [as Prince] yells "Shoot the J!  Shoot it!" during the basketball scene.)

Bill Self's statement today read “Although we are disappointed in Tyshawn, he will remain a member of our team and practice with our team until he is reinstated for competition.”

It is obviously nothing serious and it is likely that Tyshawn will return to play very soon.  When interviewed before the game vs. Oklahoma State tonight Taylor simply said "I was a bad kid".  Tyshawn Taylor was dressed in plain clothes on the sidelines at tonight's game and seemed to be laughing and joking around and cheering his team on, so that would indicate even further that his suspension is not that serious.

If the reason for his suspension really is for skipping classes, I am guessing that they are keeping that a secret to protect the integrity of the University and the other players involved in KU athletics.  Although most people know that many of the athletes at the big universities are not exactly there to study, the University of Kansas certainly doesn't want to become known for these types of athletes.

As I'm finishing this up KU is running away with the game and the score is currently 45 to 26.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Kansas Owns Missouri...Again

This was the season the Kansas Jayhawks were vulnerable. KU had lost the legendary Sherron Collins, the talented Cole Aldrich and Xavier Henry, and was finally ripe for the picking in the Big 12. Well, that is if you listened to K-State and Missouri fans all summer and fall.

Kansas beat Missouri 103-86 last night in another lopsided Border War, proving yet again that KU will always be better than Missouri, and that its rivals to the east are not coming into the Phog and walking out with anything short of a blowout loss. In the year that KU was finally supposed to be vulnerable, both Kansas State and Missouri have gotten absolutely destroyed by the Hawks in Lawrence. Kansas' offense has been unstoppable in Big 12 play, mixing a deadly down low game with the Morris twins with steady outside shooting and guard play. Even more so, the Jayhawks are the deepest team in the country, consistently getting huge contributions from its bench.

After listening to KState and Mizzou fans talk trash all season long, the two humiliating defeats feel extra good this season. It gets hard to take pleasure in beating teams you take down year after year, in a league you win every season, so anything that makes the wins more fun is welcomed by KU fans. When Bill Self wins coach of the year again this season, maybe the other local schools will finally get it. Until then, let Mizzou and KState fans keep talking. KU doesn't need to, its dominance over its rivals says enough.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

KU Embarrasses KState in Lawrence

On the day the state of Kansas turned 150, it seemed fitting that KU and KState would battle in Lawrence with ESPN's College Game Day in town. Before the season started, this looked like a potential top 10 or even top 5 matchup. However, KState has not lived up to its lofty preseason ranking, which took a lot of hype out of the Sunflower Showdown.

KState had no answer for the Jayhawks, getting absolutely manhandled by KU, 90-66. KU jumped out to a 15-2 lead and never looked back, relying on its superior post play to turn the game into a layup line. KState couldn't buy a basket, and never got within striking distance. Just two days after burying his mother, Thomas Robinson had a monster game, scoring 17 points and grabbing nine rebounds in an inspired effort to help lead the Jayhawks.

KU was one week off losing its ridiculous 69 home court winning streak at the hands of Texas, and looked inspired, focused and hungry. The Jayhawks were distracted against the Longhorns (the team found out about Lisa Robinson's passing the night before the game), and fell apart against a dangerous Texas squad. The win on saturday was a reminder that the Big 12 title still runs through Lawrence, and that KU will once again be a factor in league play and beyond.

For KState, the loss seemed fitting given how the season has gone. The Wildcats were picked to win the Big 12 and found themselves at third in the preseason top 25 poll. KState has now dropped five Big 12 games and seems headed for the NIT at best. Leadership problems, a stagnant offense and a tough Big 12 have lead to KState's nosedive. Frank Martin has failed to build a program like Bill Self or Mike Anderson at Missouri, and with no high-impact recruits and next year's tougher Big 12 schedule, the future looks cloudy at the moment in Manhattan.


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