Monday, January 21, 2013
Kansas' key defensive switch
By Joe Kaiser
Tom Keegan of KUSports.com pointed out on Sunday a late-game decision by Kansas coach Bill Self that helped lead the Jayhawks to a come-from-behind win over Texas.
Self inserted sophomore point guard Naadir Tharpe in the game in place of senior forward Kevin Young with KU down 4 points and just over six minutes to go.
"The move made Kansas nine inches shorter and 10 times better for the stretch run," Keegan wrote, adding that after a Sheldon McClellan basket the undersized Jayhawks' lineup of Tharpe, Elijah Johnson, Ben McLemore, Travis Releford and Jeff Withey outscored the Longhorns 17-6 the rest of the way.
This is just the latest example of why Self is one of the very best coaches around. He has a great feel for his team, and also the confidence to make bold moves like the "four-guard lineup" with the game on the line.
“We usually do it in late-game situations whenever we’re ahead to get our best free-throw shooters and ballhandlers in the game,” Self said of the lineup. “Nothing else was working. It was a muddy track all day. There was no rhythm, so I thought we might as well try it.”