Monthly Archives: February 2011

Notes from Thursday’s Bill Self news conference

Kansas coach Bill Self said junior guard Tyshawn Taylor will likely continue to serve his suspension for an unspecified violation of team rules when the Jayhawks travel to play at Oklahoma on Saturday.

During his weekly press conference on Thursday, Self gave no indication for when Taylor might return, but said that sophomore guard Elijah Johnson will remain in the starting lineup for the Jayhawks’ game against the Sooners.

“Absolutely,” Self said. “He’s going to be starting in the backcourt with Tyrel (Reed) and Brady (Morningstar).”

Johnson scored 15 points on 5-of-6 shooting against Oklahoma State after being forced into the starting lineup following the announcement of Taylor’s suspension on Monday.

When asked how Taylor was handling the situation, Self said he had not communicated much with Taylor during the last few days.

“I don’t want him to handle it too great,” Self said. “He knows he screwed up. And certainly, he knows that’s part of it.”

However, Self did say that if Taylor was to return, he hoped he returned with the proper mind-set to blend back into the rotation.

“Will he be a guy that needs to show everybody what they’ve been missing seeing?” Self wondered. “If he’s that, then we won’t get better.”

Self also said that sophomore forward Thomas Robinson continues to make solid progress as he returns from knee surgery to repair a slight tear in his right meniscus.

Robinson, who had the surgery on February 11, had six points and six rebounds in 10 minutes against Oklahoma State on Monday in his first game back.

Self said Robinson will see more minutes against Oklahoma, but is still being cautious with his recovery.

“Mentally, he’s close to 100 percent (in) believing that he’s healthy and that kind of stuff,” Self  said. “But I’d say kneewise that he’s probably 90 percent.”

Self estimated that it could take another week before Robinson regained the explosiveness he displayed before the injury.

– Rustin Dodd

Tyshawn Taylor suspended from basketball team

Kansas announced this morning that junior basketball player Tyshawn Taylor has been suspended from the team for violating team rules.

“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,” coach Bill Self said in a statement.

Taylor has started 26 of 27 games and is averaging 8.8 points.

Kansas hosts Oklahoma State at 8 tonight on ESPN.

Join the Sunflower Showdown chat at noon Monday

Lots of cases to be made for No. 1

No matter who is ranked No. 1 tomorrow when the polls are released, No. 2 isn’t going to think it’s fair.

If Kansas, currently No. 2, is jumped by No. 3 Texas, then Jayhawks everywhere will say that there was no reason for them to be jumped after blowout wins over No. 19 Missouri and Iowa State (Texas won easily at Oklahoma and held off a late Baylor run on Saturday in Austin).

But it’s not that simple. With Ohio State entrenched at No. 1, voters haven’t had to ask themselves “So who is really the best team in the country right now?” for the last month. A voter isn’t as concerned with who he is ranking No. 2. Kansas has one loss, Texas has three, Pittsburgh has two, so it was natural to slot the Jayhawks in behind the Buckeyes.

Now that Ohio State has lost, and No. 1 is open, there is a potential that many voters will reevaluate. Kansas, Texas, Ohio State and Pittsburgh all have legitimate claims to the spot (but look for the Buckeyes to drop just because it makes things more interesting).

Here’s a look at Kansas and Texas, the most likely occupants of No. 1 tomorrow:

KANSAS

Record: 24-1, 9-1 Big 12

Record vs. current AP top 25: 2-1 (wins over No. 15 Arizona and No. 19 Missouri, loss against No. 3 Texas)

Record vs. RPI top 50: 5-1

Best argument for: The Jayhawks have been as consistent as any team in the country and have dominated of late without Josh Selby and, on Saturday, Thomas Robinson. Kansas hasn’t played the toughest schedule, but it hasn’t lost a game on the road all season.

Best argument against: Kansas lost at home to No. 3 Texas 74-63.

TEXAS

Record: 22-3, 10-0 Big 12

Record vs. current AP top 25: 5-2 (wins over No. 2 Kansas, No. 19 Missouri, No. 20 North Carolina, No. 22 Texas A&M twice, losses against No. 4 Pittsburgh and No. 10 Connecticut)

Record vs. RPI top 50: 8-2

Best argument for: The Longhorns haven’t lost since Jan. 8 and are rated the best defensive team in the country by kenpom.com. Texas is more battle-tested than Kansas and beat the Jayhawks on their home floor.

Best argument against: Texas has the worst loss, by 17 to Southern California, and has three losses total.

Selby expected to play Saturday

Kansas coach Bill Self said Thursday that KU guard Josh Selby is still not 100-percent comfortable with the stress reaction in his right foot but that Selby is expected to play Saturday against Iowa State.

“We’ll know more today,” Self said. “He’s going to practice tonight or this afternoon. We’ll see if we have to limit him at all. We did a light workout yesterday, and he was doing pretty good. It’s to the point that, with a new orthodic that he has received, we’re going to let him go.”

Self said that Selby was playing well before he missed the last two games with the injury.

“He was certainly doing more with the ball,” Self said. “I thought since the Texas game he had been really aggressive, really driving to force help and doing things that were really positive for us. I thought he was playing the best he’s been since he’s been here the three games prior to sitting out.”

Self doesn’t expect Selby to play vs. MU

Kansas coach Bill Self said Monday on the Big 12 coaches teleconference that he will err on the side of caution tonight with injured freshman guard Josh Selby, who missed Saturday’s game with a stress reaction in his right foot.

Selby did not practice on Sunday.

Self said Selby should be back to playing shape soon.

“The doctors are 100 percent confident he’ll be full speed here in a few days,” Self said. “I don’t see any reason to risk it.”

Reed’s playing with injured foot

Turns out, Kansas guard Tyrel Reed’s been playing on a bad left wheel.

“It’s been bothering me for quite a while,” Reed said.

But not in a game, until the Jayhawks’ 88-66 victory at Texas Tech. Reed said the injury to his foot bothered him Wednesday, when he played a season-low 16 minutes and matched a season-low with three points.

“I cut back on his minutes,” Kansas coach Bill Self said.

Self called it a bone bruise on the bottom of the foot. Reed described it as, “a weird injury, they haven’t really known what to do for it.”

The foot started bothering him about a month ago, most of conference season. In that time, Reed has shot 43.6 percent from behind the arc and is averaging 9.9 points — slightly better than his overall averages.

Reed wears a boot when he’s not playing, but he doesn’t plan on missing any time.

“When you’re out there you have to perform no matter what ailment you’ve got,” Reed said. “I can’t let it affect me.

“What’s going to help most is rest, but you can’t rest this time of year. That’s perfectly fine with me. You have to push through it and keep on playing.”

– Blair Kerkhoff, KC Star