Mountain of a comeback: Jayhawks stun West Virginia, move atop Big 12 standings

Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) explodes after a game-tying three-pointer late the second half, Monday, Jan. 15, 2018 at WVU Coliseum in Morgantown, West Virginia.

Morgantown, W.Va. — Of all of the talented teams and insanely skilled players that Kansas basketball coach Bill Self has taken to West Virginia during the past five years, it was a bunch of grinders and scrappers who finally came out of WVU Coliseum with a victory again.

Despite trailing by 16 points in the first half, 13 at the break and still by 12 midway through the second half, the 10th-ranked Jayhawks dug deep and stunned No. 6 West Virginia, 71-66 to move to 15-3 overall and 5-1 in Big 12 play.

But don’t think for a second that Monday’s come-from-behind victory on West Virginia’s home floor quite compares with the epic comeback Kansas staged at Allen Fieldhouse last season to beat the Mountaineers in equally improbable fashion. At least not in senior Devonte’ Graham’s eyes.

“It’s definitely up there,” began Graham, recalling last season’s 14-point comeback win over WVU in the final 2:58 in Lawrence, before interjecting. “Nah. That was one of the best ones. That was two minutes left. We had a whole half to come back in this one.”

And, for a moment at least, it’s the Jayhawks who are now back on top in the Big 12 Conference.

“It means a lot,” said Graham after scoring 16 points and dishing six assists in 40 minutes. “I can’t even describe it. When you don’t win somewhere in your whole career and then you get the last one in here, it’s just huge for us. I’m really excited and just happy for the team. We battled tonight.”

After a first half that featured some of KU’s poorest play of the season, the Jayhawks fixed the mistakes in the second half and turned panic into poise, chaos into confidence and big deficits into tiny leads.

But even those facts did not really matter until the final few minutes.

After trailing 41-28 at the break — and probably feeling like it was a lot worse deficit than that — the Jayhawks opened the second half by trading baskets with the Mountaineers (15-3, 4-2) for the first 11 minutes of the second half. But then, with just under nine minutes to play, Kansas ripped off a 16-4 run that momentarily pulled the Jayhawks even at 59-all before a review of a Esa Ahmad jumper during a timeout actually revealed that WVU still held a 60-59 lead with 3:49 to play.

Didn’t matter.

The Jayhawks, fueled by that run and a series of WVU mistakes, closed the game on a 12-6 run, with seniors Graham and Svi Mykhailiuk (17 points in 37 minutes) teaming with sophomores Malik Newman and Mitch Lightfoot to set the final margin and end KU’s four-game losing streak in Morgantown.

Graham and Mykhailiuk each hit crucial 3-pointers and Newman and Mykhailiuk got to the free-throw line for some big points down the stretch, but Lightfoot’s rebound and putback with 48 seconds to play pushed KU’s lead to 69-66 and proved to be just enough for the Jayhawks to grab the win.

“We had four turnovers in the second half,” said Graham, noting the marked improvement from KU’s nine-turnover first half. “And in the huddle everybody was engaged. We just kept saying, ‘Keep chipping away, keep chipping away.’ And I told the guys that I felt like they had kind of relaxed and taken their foot off the pedal. So we attacked them.”

Related document

Box score: Kansas 71, West Virginia 66 ( .PDF )

KU outscored WVU 43-25 in the second half, shooting 51.9 percent from the floor during the final 20 minutes while limiting the Mountaineers to just 35.7 percent shooting during their forgettable half.

“Five of 27, that’s not all defense,” KU coach Bill Self of West Virginia’s 3-point clip. “That’s them missing some looks, too. But I was really proud of our guys because we won that by guarding.”

There remains, of course, a long way to go in the Big 12 race, but there’s no disputing the fact that Monday’s victory was arguably the biggest of the season for any Big 12 team thus far.

Not only did KU exorcise its Morgantown demons, but it did so by picking up the kind of victory that Self and his players have been dying to grab all season long.

“It’s just one game,” Self said. “But we’re happier that we’re walking out of here with a W than an L. We’ve had some good teams, but they’ve had just as good of teams as we’ve had. It’s hard to win games and it’ll be just as hard to win at our place against them later on as it was tonight.”

As for whether this was the kind of night KU needed to find its missing identity, Self sure sounded like he thought it could be during his closing remarks.

“I don’t know if one game will do it,” he said. “But I certainly think it can be a step. It’s unbelievable. We’ve always thought, in order for us to win, we’ve got to make shots. And I’ve actually thought it too. Tonight that was not the case. So I’ll leave out of here much happier with our performance because the way we did it was the way we need to learn how to do it.”

Added Graham, when asked what message Monday’s victory sent to the rest of the Big 12: “I don’t really care what it tells them. It’s just what we need to know about ourselves, that we play tough and grind and, even when we’re not making shots, if we defend and rebound we can play with anybody anywhere.”


More news and notes from Kansas vs. West Virginia


By the Numbers: Kansas 71, West Virginia 66

By the Numbers: Kansas 71, West Virginia 66

Comments

Blake Phillips

Yet again.... Svi is weak at attacking the rim. Self really needs to teach just about everyone on the team the fundamentals of driving the ball to the basket - making contact and getting to the line. Every player tries to throw it high off the glass and it just doesn't work. Not a single player on our team is good at driving. It's actually pretty pathetic.... seeing as most of our guys are 4 & 5 star players.

10 months, 4 weeks ago

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Steve Zimmerman

Yet again... it's Svi who scores double figures. Hitting 3s during crucial time. Getting steals, giving nightmares with his relentless defense!!

10 months, 4 weeks ago

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Blake Phillips

5-12 and five turnovers. nobody is discreding his defense, ladership or clutch threes. i'm simply stating that Svi is not reliable at driving to the basket. Nor is anyone on our team.... very concerning.

10 months, 4 weeks ago

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Kent Richardson

Correct, Mr. Blake. Like the aggression but finishing on drives is not within most players abilities. Frank, Trae and Derrick Rose are examples. Where are the cutters who can be available for dump off passes? I think we should keep it up until we become more effective with it (i.e.) like not spur of the moment but as a set play with support.

10 months, 4 weeks ago

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DiscGolfer Jason

I know. For crying out loud if /when the players take it to the basket, especially on a dunk, please use TWO HANDS!.

10 months, 4 weeks ago

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Marius Rowlanski

Timely post, Steve. Svi is actually one of the few players who consistently drive the ball inside.

A lot of us were spoiled by Mason's ability to score off the drive even when the opposition bigs were defending down low. I think most of us would have expected Newman to drive consistently to the basket but it hasn't happened yet.

Graham has a different style of playing the point and isn't nearly as effective as Mason was inside the paint but his leadership skills, passing the ball, and timely scoring makes him a Wooden Award finalist halfway through the season.

+19 pretty much sums up your post.

10 months, 4 weeks ago

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Shannon Gustafson

Every player tries to throw it high off the glass except those who first tried to dunk it and got rejected...is that what you meant to say?

We just beat a top 10 team on the road who we haven't beat in their building in 4 years and all you can come up with is to bitch about Svi and our guards and such....unbelievable.

10 months, 4 weeks ago

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Steve Johnson

Svi can get better in those areas but he has gotten better and much more aggressive. Without Svi, this team is bad.

10 months, 4 weeks ago

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DiscGolfer Jason

I can't believe KU won that game, wqith little bench scoring, and yet drop 2 games at home. This is going to be a crazy, nail-biting season.

10 months, 4 weeks ago

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Gerry Butler

Exactly Shannon. we make a awesome come back on the road - -against a team at their place where we haven't won in 4 years - - - a # 6th ranked team in the land - -with probably our least talented team out of all those years - -w get the win and the first words/sentence out of some mouth is - - WE are weak attacking the rim - - OMG. - - GOD give me strength - -the basketball IQ of some are just totally off the charts. - -GREAT WIN

10 months, 4 weeks ago

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Brad Avery

Actually, Svi is pretty good at getting to the hoop. He has learned to use both hands and is good off the bounce. The problem was WVU had Konate who is a shot blocker and the refs allowed him to get away with fouling early on a couple of his blocks. In addition, Dok picked up a phantom technical, which helped keep him on the bench and Konate only had to worry about the rim. What I saw from Svi is that he maintained his aggressiveness and kept driving to the hoop. Eventually, WVU and Konate wore down and KU got some calls and buckets. Unless your name is Lebron James, that's about all anyone can expect.

10 months, 4 weeks ago

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Marius Rowlanski

We just won a game at the venue we have lost the last four and the first post is from a Debbie Downer.

Try to enjoy the game. I was ecstatic after we won.

10 months, 4 weeks ago

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Jim Stauffer

Not sure if most of our guys are actually 4 and 5 star players. Svi, Mitch, Lagerald? Not really sure about Devonte.

10 months, 4 weeks ago

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Mike Hart

Jim, LaGerald was a re-classification. He came to KU after his junior year in high school... graduated early and started college career early.

10 months, 4 weeks ago

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Marius Rowlanski

Every scholarship player on this team is a four-star or better with the exception of Mitch Lightfoot (three-star player ranked 117).

Self has coached several three-star players who later have become starters or solid glue type players.

Releford, Morningstar, Jamari Traylor, Landen Lucas, and Reed come to mind.

10 months, 4 weeks ago

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Craig Carson

Blake..Svi has been here 4 years..if he hasnt learned by bow, he wont suddenly change now..sure he needs to get better, but at this point, he is what he is..

10 months, 4 weeks ago

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Gerry Butler

Lmao, lol -- -dam man thanks for that. It was early when I read this and needed something to get my day started right -- make me laugh THANKS you succeeded at that - made me laugh really hard. - - Really weak? - -hold up wait - - -wait whew ok had to compose myself, WEAK? - -we must off been watching 2 completely different games, the one I saw that even though he got the shot blocked what I saw was SVI attacking the rim - -and attacking with force, Konate just erased it THAT time that's all. - -Didn't stop SVI from driving the ball multiple other times and finishing - was SVI the ONLY KU player that got their shots blocked? - - hell no. - -in previous years you would of NEVER seen SVI even attempt to drive the ball little lone drive it and the attempt was Weak as you want to say. - -Man I swear do you really take the time to think about what the hell your going to say before you peck away at the keyboard, that statement is just lame. - - the rating of a player has NOTHING to do whether the player is good at driving the ball or not - -please explain to me whether it's a 5 star player or a 1 star player how that makes a difference. If it's in your make up your going to drive the ball whether your a 1 star player or a 5 star player dam. Did you happen to hear how much Devonte's free throw attempts have went up since big 12 play began? - you hear that? - -Devonte driving the ball a lot better -SVI is driving the ball not settling for just 3 pt shoots, well thank s for your input this time just try driving it home a little stronger next time you comment ok? - Don't be so weak, you need to learn how to finish lmao

10 months, 4 weeks ago

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Seth Nesmith

Shut up Blake, you're an idiot. Without SVI we don't win. Yes, please keep telling HCBS what he needs to teach. You are the definition of troll.

10 months, 4 weeks ago

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Blake Phillips

oh here we go with bashing someone giving an honest assessment of fundamentals. truth hurts sometimes, Seth.

10 months, 4 weeks ago

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Allan Olson

If you had any idea what you're talking about, someone might think you have a sliver of basketball knowledge.

10 months, 4 weeks ago

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Gerry Butler

ya it really does hurt huh Blake? - -you needing some tissue?

10 months, 4 weeks ago

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Marius Rowlanski

Truth is enlightening. Someone else's *version* of the truth is just that.

10 months, 4 weeks ago

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Tom Jones

Alternative facts...

10 months, 3 weeks ago

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Mike Riches

That was far from perfect, but still a fantastic win. Even though this may not be the most talented team we've seen in recent years, I think it's significant that we're nearly 2/3 through the season and are still perfect on the road! Maybe this team is tougher than they sometimes appear...

10 months, 4 weeks ago

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Allan Olson

Perhaps the best 2nd half 10 minutes of this season. Keep that going and maybe this will be #14. OKIE U lost in Morgantown!!!

10 months, 4 weeks ago

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Steve Zimmerman

Konante played great and all, but c'mon.. can't you guys at kusports.com choose better pictures than Svi getting denied in this article? I can't believe it happens in KU territory. SMH...

10 months, 4 weeks ago

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Mallory Briggans

Great great win. Good job guys !

10 months, 4 weeks ago

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Tony Bandle

Random Thoughts:

1] I would argue the biggest victory in the Big 12 this year was Texas Tech beating Kansas in Allen Field House because it was Kansas and because it was Allen Field House!

2] Well, after the Vikings last second miracle and KU beating WV with this short-handed team. I now believe pigs can fly, there is a Santa Claus and beets tastes good.

3] I had to tape it but I watched it twice ala Suzi Marshall and enjoyed the s##t out of it. [you can do goofy stuff like that when retired and don't need to get up early].

4] Nice seeing Silvio getting his first basket and first rebound in I hope will be the first of many of both for KU in his career.

5] I always enjoy watching Huggy Bear aggravated to the point where his head is about to explode.

6] Top 10, 15-3 and tied for first,.........yep, this team sucks all right!

7] Four teams in the Top Ten.....yep, this conference sucks all right!!

8] It looks like this season's championship is going to be shared. The question is by how many teams?

10 months, 4 weeks ago

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Suzi Marshall

I watched it twice as well, with remote in hand for slo mo, rewinds and stop action! Can not believe how good Azubuike is coming along and the de Sousa moves, complete with super lefty bucket. We are going to be a great March team, with or without Billy. What a great win!

10 months, 4 weeks ago

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Gerry Butler

your right Suzi. - -you sure can see Azubuike's development coming huh? - -Fouling a lot less true sure he fouled out last night but I think this is the 1st game that's happened and in a lot of these games he hasn't even been in serious foul trouble. - getting better and better rebounding the ball - just a huge guy. - -gets pretty good position - -loved it when was watching and Doke diving to the floor for a loose ball - - -SVI diving to the floor for a loose ball such weak players lmao.. - would be huge and help him a lot if he were to come back next year - -but just not sure if he will - -not sure if there is even room if he wanted to

10 months, 4 weeks ago

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Dirk Medema

Tech is definitely the best W of the year - so far.

Nice seeing Silvio period. I think this was his 2nd exhibition game. Next week or so he gets non-con games, and then the conference will be decided 2/6 - 2/24.

Outright. The others will beat each other up when their coaches have nothing more to offer in the last 5 minutes of the game and we have Coach Self & Co.

I would also offer/dispute that this is far from a team of scrappers. This is a team of incredibly gifted 3 point shooters surrounding a man-child who is still figuring out when to jump. One of the most encouraging plays though was when both Dok and Svi dove to the floor and scrummed for the ball. I think WVU even got possession, but that was one of a few plays (Svi dribble the ball out of bounds series) when they finally started to maybe understand what Coach means by being tough. They are too gifted to be scrappers, but that doesn't mean that they can scrap. They'll become really dangerous if they can really learn to be scrappy.

10 months, 4 weeks ago

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Brian Skelly

Well that was the most satisfying game of the year so far. What it means for the rest of the season, who knows. But this rally was fun to watch, considering we looked scared in the 1st half. And despite playing better in the 2nd half, once Graham stole the ball from Carter and picked up his 4th foul it clearly changed the game.

I still think OU and WVU are dangerous as heck. I think theres another 4 teams that are really good, and on some nights, great. I still take pause with this team though after seeing the ASU and Texas Tech games though. Getting it handed to us in AFH just shouldnt happen, and certainly not twice.

But tonight is the first time all year I feel like this team could be special. It could not last of course. But this was big. We were brass tonight. And we haven't been that way to much this year. Let's hope it keeps going.

10 months, 4 weeks ago

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Marius Rowlanski

I also thought it was our best W of the year. Maybe for Texas Tech, winning in Lawrence was their best W but I think beating the #2 ranked team on their home court - where we haven't had much success - tops it.

Hopefully, we will beat TTU on their home court and negate the loss on ours.

10 months, 4 weeks ago

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Tim Orel

Tipped, but WVU was no longer #2. They were #6 for the game last night.

10 months, 3 weeks ago

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Marius Rowlanski

I stand corrected.

10 months, 3 weeks ago

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Dirk Medema

Great way to avoid a court storming.

10 months, 4 weeks ago

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Steve Johnson

Big Dok is the most improved player I have seen in years. Just think how good he will be next year if he comes back. Graham is very good but is not Mason. Vick is hard to figure out and and needs to have a little fun out there. Lightfoot has been good off of the bench and has made an impact and is now becoming reliable. Newman is still struggling and seems to not know what to do or isn't comfortable with Self's style. Garret is as bad a shooter as anyone I have ever seen, He plays huge minutes and his stats are always terrible. Self sees something he likes with this kid and believes in him so thats good enough for me. Gritty victory that can be a huge confidence builder for the team

10 months, 4 weeks ago

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Marius Rowlanski

As I stated above, Graham is a different player and has different skills. They also have a lot in common. They both play on both sides of the court, they are both natural leaders, they are both clutch, and they both can carry this team at times.

Mason had the advantage of having another great ballhandler - Devante Graham - which Devante hasn't had. Newman was supposed to be the other ballhandler but he still hasn't done so consistently.

10 months, 4 weeks ago

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Andy Godwin

I am a realist and did not expect this outcome. The first half pretty much summed up how I expected the game to end. As Bilas kept saying KU should be down by more. But congratulations to this team. Even though they looked terrible in stretches, they really played hard and would not fade. Self's teams always become better during the winter breaks (even though they can't officially practices as much in years past). Defensively they were locked in. Udoka continues to improve and Mitch is playing aggressively on both ends of the court. Even De Sousa made a few positive plays. For those recruits who shy away from KU because of "boot camp", you can see that even when tired, KU players continued to grind. Making the other team play ugly is Self's favorite way to win a game - and for Self that game was a thing of beauty. Way to go Jayhawks.

10 months, 4 weeks ago

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Armen Kurdian

This was definitely WVU's game to lose, and they lost it. We really shouldn't have won, but they got out of sync, and to our credit, we capitalized and never folded.

10 months, 4 weeks ago

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Marius Rowlanski

I disagree. Give Coach Self credit for making adjustments at the halfway mark and also down the wire. I believe that they were out of sync because our coach made the better decisions when it counted the most.

10 months, 4 weeks ago

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Kent Richardson

Our four turnovers in the second half were loss of concentration type lapses.

DeVonte was right when he said they let up a little and this, along with our play and vulnerability displays at home, led to them thinking we are soft or not that good. It's new to not get max effort from every team every night.

Konate showed the attitude of the Mountaineers this year and this along with Harris' hand slap sanction shows Huggins is not completely in control there. I don't know what Udoka did to get the T but Konate earned two with his stare downs or finger wavings.

This conference is deep but not great at this time. WVU is good but not great and same with KU, OU. TCU and TTU. Nationally the NCAA is good but not great. Not Nova, Duke, WSU, MSU or UK. Maybe Colorado wins it all this year.

Clutch wins on the road puts us in control of our own destiny again. Hold home court and we are definitely able to get 14 wins.

Now that this game is over the NCAA can safely act on Billy.

Senior power in the second half.

Udoka is gonna be a complete beast by mid February. Maybe Vick will too.

10 months, 4 weeks ago

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Bryce Landon

There are three areas where Bill Self has struggled to win - Stillwater, Morgantown, and the NCAA Elite Eight.

Last season he finally broke the Stillwater hex.

Last night he broke the Morgantown hex.

Does this mean he will soon break his Elite Eight hex?

10 months, 4 weeks ago

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Craig Carson

technically he did that in 2008 and 2012 when KU made Final Fours..yes he has struggled in the elite 8 in his career, but lets not act like he is Shawn Miller @ Arizona with zero elite 8 success

10 months, 4 weeks ago

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Tim Orel

Or Mizzou, who as a team has zero Elite Eight success. I just love typing that.

10 months, 3 weeks ago

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Barry Weiss

wow! I'm stunned! Currently down in Sayulita, Mexico for my daughter's wedding. Sort of a remote locale, even ESPN does not have basketball down here. Had my daughter text me the score, which she did at half, 41-28, I figured we could not win in that building, and now to wake up to this....AWESOME!!!!! I would rank WV as my favorite team to beat, based on their coach and fans...lol

10 months, 4 weeks ago

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John Fitzgerald

This was a big win for KU and I'm surprised it came with us having a rough night on offense. A few things we should all be encouraged about, 1.) Our defense looked MUCH better this game then it has all year, 2.) Self finally saw the toughness this team has with their grind it out comeback, 3.) De Sousa had a series where he got two rebounds and then made a nice post basket, 4.) Billy is still right there with the team even though his situation keeps on dragging, 5.) Graham and Svi didn't play their best but they made big time shots when it mattered most. I don't think it's wise to talk about us winning the Big 12 just yet as we're not even half way through the conference season, but this game definitely is a HUGE step in that direction. Next step, win all the games we're supposed to win, especially all the games at AFH, and then get a win at OU.

10 months, 4 weeks ago

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Gerry Butler

Your certainly right there. - -WAY to soon about talking about the championship for sure. However this was a HUGE win , even more so on the road. - Coach said if a team can go out steal 4-5 road wins would be big. Well -- we have 3 so far , so headed in a right direction for that for sure. We just have to be able to lock it down at home. - -Can't afford to lose anymore at home , even being at home not going to be easy against WV - - Oklahoma . - Last night these guys showed me something - -actually quite likely for the first time - -they really got down and played some defense, had to love their effort

10 months, 4 weeks ago

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Bryce Landon

I was as surprised as you were. We have been so dependent on our offense for victory that, if the offense is sputtering, we're bound to lose. Yet despite a sputtering offense, we found a way to pull a win out of our ass.

It reminded me of our 2012 NCAA Tournament win over Purdue, when we got crushed in the first half and then spent the entire second half battling back before winning. Purdue led almost the entire game, but we had the lead when it mattered most - at the end of the game. And ultimately we went all the way to the national finals.

10 months, 4 weeks ago

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Thomas Green

Very improbable win and I believe it did show toughness we haven’t seen. Even if not a lot of physical toughness it showed mental toughness. I mean that first half was not good at all. Yet they continued to fight and not give up! Really good stuff and exhausting to watch, can’t even begin to imagine how exhausting to actually play in it. Very gritty performance.

Even though I don’t think Silvio played second half, he was active and did some positive things when he did play and hopefully that will be a big plus moving forward. What a way to learn! RCJ

10 months, 4 weeks ago

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Tevin Brown

I like Marcus G defense but he cannot shoot to save his life like why cant sam just take some of those minutes and please let Sousa play more. Great win thank God graham and svi came back!

10 months, 4 weeks ago

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John Brazelton

Hopefully, Preston is back for the February run.

10 months, 4 weeks ago

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Justin Kruse

Awesome win!

I thought Mitch did really good last night, especially on the put-back, and Silvio looked way better than he did in the K-State game, but what a difference Udoka makes! That's who we need to play through. He's so patient down low, aggressive, and has great moves. Had he not sat most of the first half, I don't think this game would have been that close.

Devonte getting the steal and drawing the 4th foul on Carter was HUGE!

Rock Chalk!

10 months, 4 weeks ago

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Art Jefferson

Turnovers KU 13
PRESS Virginia 16
WAIT A MINUTE! I thought I they were the top team in the B12, and one of the top 5 teams in the nation at forcing turnovers. Someone correct me if I am wrong.
I was also impressed with Silvio this game. Wow! To come out of HS and put right in the press. If you press grapes and give them some time, they become fine wine.

10 months, 4 weeks ago

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Justin Kruse

One more thing..
If I'm remembering correctly, it sounded to me like Bilas was kind of defending Harris for throwing that punch after the Texas Tech game and getting on the Big 12's case for reprimanding him. That was kind of odd to me.

10 months, 4 weeks ago

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Tim Orel

I don't blame him, really. I tried watching the videos and I couldn't tell what happened, but a player has no idea what a fan has in mind when they bump into him. Remember Jamari Traylor at Iowa State? Had TT been able to control the crowd, the punch/whatever would never have been thrown.

Bilas is looking at it from a player's point of view, and for that, I think I agree in this case. It wasn't like he went after a fan off the court, like some other players have done.

10 months, 3 weeks ago

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Buck Bukaty

The title of this posting made me think of this so thought I’d share. Hope you enjoy.

RIP John Denver, but we have a winning alternative.

It’s not Rap or Hip Hop, but Mr. BJ Thomas has us covered in his tune:
“A Mountain Above”
https://randymcneill.com/track/621320...

10 months, 4 weeks ago

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Mike Greer

Even though they were way behind at the half, I thought the defense was actually better than it has been. WVU made a lot of shots that first half, late in the shot clock. Even better defense as the second half progressed and WVU started missing some of those late shots. It looked like we figured out how to keep guys from driving to the hoop at will. Even the commentators talked about WVU talking a lot of jumpers and that cutting into their scoring.

I've stated before I don't enjoy the "press Virginia" style of play and that they foul just about every possession. I also think,after watching this game, as hard as that is on their opponents, it's really hard on the WVU players. This is the second game where they couldn't hold the lead. The press and double teams cause their players to constantly scramble to get back into position. In both losses, they just weren't able to make those adjustments at the end of the game.

You can really see Dok improve and his impact on the game. Silvio played much better than he did vs K State. Mitch continues to improve, but darn he misses some close shots. Marcus has been so wide open, so many times, he is going to have to shoot more. Everyone's scouting report must say no need to guard him, he can't shoot. He's a work in progress and obviously Coach sees something he likes. Sam has not looked comfortable on the floor and missed some assignments and shots, I hope he gets the playing time he needs to improve and feel comfortable with his team. Svi has played much better ball , especially on D. Devonte continues to come through when it's crunch time. Newman is playing better defense and making unselfish choices, glad to see that, his offense will settle in, I'm sure.

10 months, 4 weeks ago

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James Mathews

Our players are all 10’s= EFFORT, TENACIOUS, SMOTHERING D.
With Svi we know his capabilities so when he underperforms it frustratites me.
I notice when he’s very active mostly on D he’s a better scorer and rather than strictly perimeter shooting he’s driving a lot.
10,10,10,10,10’s

10 months, 4 weeks ago

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Craig Carson

Im happy KU got this huge win but now can we focus on getting Preston in uniform..its time..the NCAA has had 2 week to do its own investigation..time to know whats going on

10 months, 4 weeks ago

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Tony Bandle

Billy's situation just has to be more than the car.

There may have been other, non- related impermissables uncovered while the car research was going on. Today is the first day of the new semester. If the NCAA can't render a decision by the end of this week then the only fair thing is do is to let Billy go to Europe, play there till the draft, make some money for his family and get prepared for the G League.

Then, once and for all, Bill will have his roster set and can finalize his rotation and give extra reps to Silvio in practice. By the end of this week Billy Preston may be a full time Jayhawk or he may be gone.

10 months, 4 weeks ago

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Marius Rowlanski

Must be. I find it hard to believe that even the tarnished NCAA could take so long to get to the bottom of this. If it was bought legitimately, there will be a record of the sale and the and the taxes collected.

If the sale wasn't legitimate, it would be missing the above listed information. This is a real shame because Preston might have been the 2nd best player on the team behind Graham. Possibly even better.

10 months, 3 weeks ago

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David Howell

Great win, but at the 10 minute remaining mark I gotta admit I didn't give us a chance. Hopefully HCBS keeps them lined out and their heads don't get to big.

As discussed all of our remaining games are nail-biters (nothing will be easy). Baylor will throw a lot of big boys at the Hawks.

Big shout out to our bench without we couldn't have won. HCBS has to continue to get them quality time and experience on the court for the big dance !

10 months, 4 weeks ago

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Harlan Hobbs

With so many comments, I probably am repeating others, but here goes.

This victory is the epitome of what Kansas basketball is under Coach Self. It is tough-minded, generally disciplined, and usually all out effort.

You don't win 13 consecutive conference titles with talent alone. You have to develop a mind set of champions that creates a huge will to win.

Obviously, there was nothing in the first 30 minutes of the game that gave a foreshadow of a comeback. However, they dug deep and willed themselves to a victory.

I especially liked what Coach Self said in his post game television interview on ESPN. He acknowledged the # of times that KU was "stuffed" going to the basket, but that it didn't bother him. He said the key is to keep battling and not to back off, and he gave credit to his assistant coaches for preaching that to the players.

After each instance, the announcers (especially Jay Bilas) always remarked as to how WVU was "sending a message". Well, KU was also sending a message that they weren't going to back down, and in the end, their tenacity paid off.

What we saw was that WVU is actually a pretty average offensive team and that, unless they get the turnovers from their defense, they are quite beatable. Since KU only had 4 turnovers in the second half, WVU lost their momentum, and KU seized upon it.

In short, Bill Self is simply a coaching genius, both in the category of "X's and O's" and the category of psychological development of his teams. They don't always play their best, but you rarely see them beaten in the last 5-6 minutes of a game.

This is just one game, and the season is long. However, win or lose, KU is blessed to have the leadership and talent from the top on down.

10 months, 3 weeks ago

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Harlan Hobbs

Also, I agree with you, Tony, regarding Billy Preston. If he can't be cleared this week, then perhaps he should be dropped from the team. The last thing we need is to have his presence be a distraction as it was with Cliff Alexander.

I think back to a few years ago when KU left Ames at about this time with their tails between their legs and indecision about who to play at center, Diallo or Landen Lucas. There was a team meeting, and the players told Coach Self that they wanted to go with Landen. With the decision made, KU then began to gel, and they ended up winning to the conference title that looked bleak after the loss at Ames.

10 months, 3 weeks ago

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Marius Rowlanski

Did the NCAA ever make a ruling on Alexander? Or did they just consider it a moot point once he decided to go into the draft?

I would like to know if he would have been eligible to play or if we would have forfeited games by playing him?

10 months, 3 weeks ago

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Yonatan Negash

You'll probably get tired of hearing this but last night's game was critical for the following reasons:

1. KU erased the Texas Tech loss
2. KU erased any doubt they may have had of winning at WV
3. Got to witness the rise of Azubuike. This will be remembered as the game that changed Azubuike's playing career at KU. Wouldn't be surprised if we see Azubuike climb up the NBA mock draft chart in the next week or two

On to the next game, bring on Baylor.

10 months, 3 weeks ago

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Harlan Hobbs

Marius, I would assume that, since Cliff played some games before being held out, the NCAA just dropped the case. KU never forfeited any of the games he played in, but like you, I have never heard a final determination.

10 months, 3 weeks ago

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