Previewing The Jayhawks

#11 NC State vs. #2 Kansas

Friday March 23, 10:17pm – St. Louis, MO

TBS – Marv Albert, Steve Kerr

All time series record – Kansas leads 10-1

 The Pack meets the Kansas Jayhawks this Friday night at 10:17pm. The winner advances to meet the winner of North Carolina/Ohio U. in the Midwest Regional Final on Sunday. The Jayhawks’ path to St. Louis includes wins over Detroit (65-50) and Purdue (63-60).

 Jayhawks Frontcourt

 The Jayhawks are anchored by Player of the Year candidate, Thomas Robinson (#0, Jr, F). The 6’10”, 237lb Robinson is a force inside, scoring 17.7ppg and pulling down 11.8rpg. He had a slow night scoring, yet still posted a double-double in the round of 32 against Purdue (11pts, 13rebs).

 Jeff Withey (#5, Jr, C) is a 7 footer who scores and rebounds well (9.1ppg, 6.2rpg). When he’s in the game he forces teams to alter their inside game just due to his defensive presence around the paint. He averages 3.3 blocks per game. In very limited duty against Purdue he scored 4pts, pulled down 2 rebs, and blocked 2 shots.

 Kevin Young (#40, Jr, F) usually plays 10-15 mins per game, averaging 3.6ppg and 2.8rpg. Against Purdue he pulled down 7 rebounds (5 offensive) in only 13 minutes of playing time.

Jayhawks Backcourt

 The backcourt duo of Tyshawn Taylor (#10, Sr, G) and Elijah Johnson (#15, Jr, G) complement one another very well. Taylor is a smooth scorer (16.9ppg) who is always a legitimate big time threat from anywhere on the floor (49.2%), including 3pt. Land (41.6%). He dishes out 4.7apg, but is also more likely to turn the ball over. Johnson dishes out 3.7apg and pulls in 3.1rpg, while also averaging in double figures for scoring (10ppg, 42.6%). He is not as big a 3pt threat as Taylor (33.3%), but he’s not a guy to be left alone either.

 Travis Releford (#24, Jr, G) averages 8.4ppg, 4.3rpg and 1.9apg. Connor Teahan (#2, Sr, G) adds 5.9ppg.


 Kansas likes to attack offensively both inside and outside. Spreading to Robinson down low, or to Taylor on the perimeter, allows either player to create. When Kansas’ offense is flowing, both players are very involved. Elijah Johnson is as vital to making the Jayhawks offense go as anyone.  He isn’t as flashy as Taylor, but he takes much better care of the ball.  Generally he isn’t the offensive centerpiece, but he stepped up big against Purdue, scoring 18 points. In KU’s two NCAA tournament games, Johnson has 33pts, 8rebs, 5assts and 3 steals.

 The Wolfpack’s chances for advancing will hinge on the ability to play defense without fouling. Howell must slow Robinson down and keep him off the glass, keeping his second looks limited. CJ Williams will have to find a way to slow down Tyshawn Taylor from the outside, while also trying to deny him the ball on cuts near the basket. Lorenzo Brown will need to keep a defensive eye on Elijah Johnson, not conceding anything easy to him.

 The Jayhawks like to play a three guard lineup, but that does not mean they are small on the defensive end. Their guards go 6’3” (Taylor), 6’4” (Johnson) and 6’6”x2 (Releford and Teahan). They are also big on the inside anytime Robinson is in the game (6’10”), but they can go very big by inserting Withey (7’0”). As a team, their quickness is below average.

 KU’s perimeter defense is often suspect. Scott Wood, Alex Johnson and CJ Williams need to test it early and often. When Painter comes in he must get good mid-range looks and knock them down as he did against Georgetown. Lorenzo Brown must continue to draw the defense to himself, creating for himself or dishing to teammates when he’s doubled.

 The Jayhawks are no deeper than we are. Fouls could be key. I think it would behoove us to try and take it at Robinson and see if we can’t get a couple quick whistles on him. If not, both Howell and Leslie are going to need to understand their limits around the basket. Before the day is over, we may need Thomas DeThaey’s fouls.

 Rebounding and limiting KU’s second chance buckets is going to be extremely important. We need to clean up their misses and utilize our better speed and get out and get some easy transition buckets.


 The Pack will spread it around. KU will make things difficult at times, but when all is said and done the Jayhawks will be unable to cover all of the Pack’s threats and the Wolfpack will find a way to advance.

 78-75 in OT, Wolfpack advances.

Quick and irrelevant facts

 -In 1986, after losing to Kansas in the elite eight, Jim Valvano gave his own take on the Jayhawk chant, “Rock, Chalk, Jayhawk.” During a late timeout, Valvano explained, he knew we were in trouble when he heard Chris Washburn ask what the chant meant. He knew we were REALLY in trouble when Charles Shackleford began explaining it to him.

 -KU was founded on February 20, 1863. It has a total enrollment of approximately 30K.

 -Jayhawk is short for “Jayhawker”, which has a historical origination. While the actual origin is unclear, it was used to describe bands of militant thugs pre-civil war, especially near the Missouri/Kansas border. Exciting, huh? How the red-headed chicken with the fabulous shoes came from that, I do not know.

 -Notable alumni include former US Senate Majority Leader, Bob Dole; the velvet voice, Bill Kurtis of A&E fame; comic actor extraordinaire, Paul Rudd; and Mr. 20K himself, Wilt “The Stilt” Chamberlain.

About Wufpacker

A 2nd generation alumnus and raised since birth to be irrationally dedicated to all things NC State. Class of '88 and '92.

11-12 Basketball General

14 Responses to Previewing The Jayhawks

  1. NYPack 03/22/2012 at 11:52 PM #

    Appreciate your final score. Why mess with a good thing? Go Pack

  2. xphoenix87 03/23/2012 at 12:40 AM #

    I think turnovers are going to be the big key in this game. That’s the one glaring hole in Taylor’s game, and we’re at our best in the open court. If we can turn them over a decent amount, it could really tip the game in our favor.

  3. MrPlywood 03/23/2012 at 1:16 AM #

    If the game is called like most I saw tonight, there shouldn’t be any foul trouble. There was more un-whistled reaching and slapping than you’d see at an out of control frat party.

  4. Avid109 03/23/2012 at 5:36 AM #

    I agree with xphoenix87. If we can get some turnovers and turn them into quick transition baskets, that could be the difference in this game.

    We owe UNC-Lawrence.

  5. wolfonthehill 03/23/2012 at 6:12 AM #

    We still have John Tesh.

  6. Gene 03/23/2012 at 6:36 AM #

    Don’t forget to claim to Zach Galifianakis

  7. Hawkeye Whitney 03/23/2012 at 7:59 AM #

    Avoid foul trouble and we win. Get into foul trouble, and Painter and AJ better have the game of their lives. I think it is as simple as that.

    Was shocked to read the Greensboro News & Record sports section today. Another day of the Wolfpack being treated much more prominently that the Holes. Huge above the fold picture of our team at practice yesterday. Ed Hardin opinion piece that said it appears we are catching the blues and speculated that we will be ranked above them next year. Positive article on Calvin, and reprint of yesterday’s Fayetteville Observer article on Howell. It’s like I’m living in the bizarro world.

  8. Hungwolf 03/23/2012 at 8:01 AM #

    Wood disappears in games verses ranked teams. Zo will need to hit some outside shots as well as Williams and Alex Johnson if Wood does not rid himself of those big game cement shoes, we cannot afford to let them pack the lane on Leslie.

    “I can’t, I just can’t root for Carolina.” Mrs. Sloan Great article in Charlotte Observer today. She still a big Wolfpack fan! So many us can related to how she feels and you got to love her honesty!

  9. GAWolf 03/23/2012 at 8:05 AM #

    I think three things need to happen for us to win this game:

    1) Calvin and Rich need to avoid foul trouble.

    2) Scott Wood needs to hit at least 4 three pointers.

    3) We need to shoot at about 80% from the stripe.

    We watched those three things against Georgetown and they proved to hold true. If we can accomplish these three relatively small things, the rest of the game should fall into place and be close at the end.

    What can put us over the top is to win the rebounding battle, but to accomplish that number 1 will absolutely have to be true. Bench production can then be as expected as opposed to needing monster games from those guys.

  10. 4in12 03/23/2012 at 8:26 AM #

    Both teams will be trying to draw fouls and both teams have a short bench. The team that commits the fewest fouls wins.

  11. vtpackfan 03/23/2012 at 8:29 AM #

    Defense is only as good as cleaning the glass. We’ve been strong at that lately, so good that oftentimes its two red jerseys contending for the ball.
    Do that, make a clean outlet and run. There is no size advantage when Kansas has Guards defending the rim and their bigs trailing the lanes.
    In 83 we let Houston and maybe the best shot blocker since Bill Russell know that track meets are tough as Hell when its stacked in sprint events.

    BTW- wasn’t another alum of KU some chain smoker bball coach who wound up on tobacco road. Seem to remember something about his effigagy being hung at one time, something John Brown wouldn’t have even done.

  12. Wulfpack 03/23/2012 at 9:11 AM #

    Don’t know if any of you have seen the ESPN documentary “The Street Stops Here”, but it chronicles a season for legendary high school coach Bob Hurley, Sr. at Saint Anthony’s in New Jersey. It is just an awesome piece and really lets you in to just how great of a person he is, and the challenges of what some of our nation’s disadvantaged youth face. Anyways, Tyshawn Taylor was Hurley’s star when the film was shot. I have been casually following Taylor’s career since I saw the piece. Hurley must be credited with much of Tayor’s success. With all that said, I hope his college career ends tonight!

  13. JohnGalt78 03/23/2012 at 11:10 AM #

    Austin Rivers going pro……cool!

  14. ncsu1987 03/23/2012 at 11:35 AM #

    “The team that commits the fewest fouls wins.”

    So what this really means is, if we get an ACC crew, we might as well not play the game. Tendencies.

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