University of Kansas

Self’s postgame speech praised K-State: ‘They outplayed us. They stuck together.’

Bill Self on the Jayhawks loss at K-State

Kansas Jayhawks head coach Bill Self talks about the 74-67 loss to the Kansas State Wildcats on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019, and the outlook for the Big 12 Conference race.
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Kansas Jayhawks head coach Bill Self talks about the 74-67 loss to the Kansas State Wildcats on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019, and the outlook for the Big 12 Conference race.

Bill Self delivered a short, direct message to Kansas’ basketball players after the Jayhawks’ latest road setback — a sloppy 74-67 defeat to rival Kansas State on Tuesday night at Bramlage Coliseum.

“What’d he say? He said those guys played hard tonight. They outplayed us. They stuck together out there and came up with the win,” KU sophomore guard Charlie Moore revealed after the Jayhawks, who committed 23 turnovers to K-State’s 12, suffered their sixth setback in seven true road games.

Self, KU’s 16th-year coach, bristled when asked by a media member if he sensed the Jayhawks were ready to embrace a “one game at a time” mentality for upcoming games — starting with Saturday’s 11 a.m., home game against Oklahoma State. Junior forward Dedric Lawson had mentioned the idea in a short postgame interview session after scoring 18 points while playing 40 minutes versus KSU.

“I talked to them for three minutes. I didn’t sense anything,” Self said. “I don’t think there was any discussion about, ‘Yeah guys, one game at a time.’ It wasn’t like that (in locker room). It was, ‘Hey we got our (butt) kicked now we’ve just got to take it one game at a time.’ That was the extent of that conversation.”

If there was one positive to be taken from Kansas’ latest road loss, it might be the emergence of a 2-3 zone defense that proved effective in the first half. KU erased a nine-point deficit after going to the zone and led by three points at halftime. KSU fared better against the zone early in the second stanza, and the Jayhawks returning to man-to-man.

“It’s a zone we probably practiced 10 minutes this month or last month,” Self said. “We thought we could play it. We played it here last year (at Bramlage) and it helped us a lot (in 70-56 KU victory). I thought our activity level was good. They missed some shots but for the most part they didn’t get many good shots in that stretch the last 10 minutes of the first half. They scored four, six points the last 10 minutes (four points on 1-of-14 shooting). We should have been up by more than three if a team goes that long without scoring, but our offense was so poor, we couldn’t take advantage of it like we needed to,” Self added.

The Jayhawks scored in the 60s for the sixth time this season. KU is 1-5 in those games. The Jayhawks’ 23 turnovers were second-most in a game this season. The Jayhawks had 24 in a loss at Iowa State.

“They ate us up pretty good for 40 minutes as far as pressuring us, getting open one pass away,” Self said. “We were never even remotely comfortable. It’s a credit to them and probably our inexperience as well.”

Lawson on Robertson list

Lawson on Wednesday was named one of 12 players to the Oscar Robertson Trophy midseason watch list, the U.S. Basketball Writers Association announced. The award goes to college basketball’s player of the year.

Others on the list: Jarrett Culver, Texas Tech; RJ Barrett, Duke; Carson Edwards, Purdue; Rui Hachimura, Gonzaga; Ethan Happ, Wisconsin; Markus Howard, Marquette; De’Andre Hunter, Virginia; Ja Morant, Murray State; Grant Williams, Tennessee; Zion Williamson, Duke and Cassius Winston, Michigan State.

Svi shipped to Pistons

The Detroit Pistons on Tuesday night acquired former KU guard Svi Mykhailiuk and a 2021 second-round pick from the Los Angeles Lakers for Reggie Bullock. The 6-foot-8 Mykhailiuk was drafted 47th overall by the Lakers in the 2018 NBA Draft. He’s averaged 3.3 points, 0.9 rebounds and 0.8 assists in 10.8 minutes per game (39 games). He had a career-high 12 points on Dec. 15 versus Charlotte.

“Bullock is on the final year of his contract, at $2.5 million this year and he will become an unrestricted free agent in the summer. As their best three-point shooter and a coveted wing on the open market, the Pistons believed that they wouldn’t be able to re-sign him. Bullock, 27, could project to get a new deal for four years and between $40 million and $48 million wherever he signs,” writes Rod Beard of the Detroit News in discussing the trade.

“The Pistons helped their salary cap situation, by shaving about $1 million from their payroll this year and getting a wing in Mykhailiuk they can develop on a very reasonable rookie contract. That move pulled them to about $1.5 million below the luxury-tax line and the Thon Maker deal (recent trade) adds another $1 million. Mykhailiuk is slated to make $1.4 million next season and has a team option for $1.7 million in 2020-21. Finances aren’t the sole reason for making the trade, but getting a young player and a pick — the Pistons had traded all their second-round picks between 2020 and ’23 — gives them some value back.”

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Gary Bedore covers all aspects of Kansas basketball for The Star — the current team as well as former players and coaches and recruiting. He attended KU and was born and raised in Chicago, as well as Lisle, Ill.