Looking back at Ben McLemore's banked three-pointer against Iowa State last year

01/29/2014 6:49 PM

01/29/2014 6:49 PM

There were 8.4 seconds on the clock, and Bill Self called for the play named Chop.

In the end, when the situation is most dire, when the wreckage is nearly unsalvageable, Self always calls

Chop

.

This was no different. It was last year January, a Wednesday night in Allen Fieldhouse, and Kansas trailed Iowa State by three points in the final moments of regulation. Kansas was 8.4 seconds away from losing its first Big 12 opener in more than two decades. And so the Jayhawks went to the familiar script of Chop, the same play

Mario Chalmers had once made famous

against Memphis.

A dribble handoff. A ball screen. A fade screen on the other side of the court. If you ask Kansas players why Chop almost always seems to deliver in the final seconds, theyll usually say the same thing: Options.

Theres nothing magical about that action, said Brett Ballard, a former Jayhawks player who worked on the KU staff before taking an assistant coaching job under Danny Manning at Tulsa. I think its good action, but that dribble handoff kind of catches people off guard a little bit, and then if you dont switch it, you can get hung up on that screen. And that allows that shooter to get free.

In the final seconds against Iowa State, Naadir Tharpe pushed the ball down the floor, flipping the ball to Elijah Johnson, who used a ball screen from Jeff Withey. On the other side of the court, Travis Releford was carefully setting up to spring Ben McLemore on a fade screen.