Self on a teleconference with the Big 12 said "Elijah is my guy. He’s my guy. We have the best [chance to win] with Elijah in the game."you're probaby right (SM15 and Boo) and Coach probably will start him but I'd keep him from the starting lineup and see if he can play with a little more passion & focus off of the bench. We need to develop another option at PG (besides Tharpe). White or Adams may not be ready yet but we can't take too many more performances from EJ like we've been getting. He may be working his butt off at practice but when that effort doesn't translate to the games then a good coach needs to consider options B and C.
Self on a teleconference with the Big 12 said "Elijah is my guy. He’s my guy. We have the best [chance to win] with Elijah in the game."
"EJ is going to start, but that doesn't mean there won't be extensive run by several of our bench players, and I like the Aaron Miles comparison somewhat...but Tharpe is a decent shooter...at least from what I've seen of him. It would be bad logic IMO to sit your Senior point after ONE Loss...and TwoCoach I thought you were the guy preaching patience?"
I am not talking a permanent or even extended benching, but someone needs to rattle EJ's cage. I don't know if he is freaked out that he is being looked to for some grown up leadership, if he is simply not equiped to handle the PG position, or what his problem is. I don't think the PG position is the problem because last year we were saying that Self should put EJ at PG and move Taylor off the ball because those were their better positions. Maybe we all just suck at being armchair colleg basketball analysts!
"there is a fine line between instilling humility and breaking the confidence of a player, and its not like EJ has been some mouth-popper or problematic off or on-court with his behavior. He has just been in a funk and is somewhat unsuited for being a PG in Self's System."
Self has tried everything BUT benching him. He has tried him off the ball, on the ball, he has probably tried to encourage him and tried to enrage him. It's time for Johnson to clear the fog and step up and do what he is capable of. Like I said, people were saying last year that he was BETTER suited to be a PG vs. a SG in Self's system. Maybe the kid is just a flake that isn't suited to be the guy that everyone counts on to do what is expected of him?
When you take a step back and look at the plus/minus for EJ, the Okie State game is the ONLY game all year where he has had a net minus.
Compare that to SEVEN games last year where Tyshawn Taylor was a net minus for KU as the PG.
"Behind BMac he is probably our most gifted player. No way he sits in the manner you speak of."
Talent is just another description for "not as good as he will eventually be". At what point are we going to stop talking about what a gifted athlete EJ is? He is halfway through his SENIOR YEAR. He has played 119 games in a KU uniform. It is officially PAST time to start transitioning from TALENTED to GOOD.
Like I said, sit him for all or parts of ONE GAME against TCU, who happens to be the worst Big 6 conference team in America. Our bench should be able to beat them. What else is there to do? Hope that after 119 games he'll decide to get a clue? gifted players who are seniors with 119 games of experience don't make the kind of bonehead mistakes that EJ is currently making. GIFTED doesn't win games, GOOD win games. EJ is not GOOD right now. He has it in him, but he doesn't seem to have a clue how to get to it. Sometimes it takes a swift kick in the a$$ to make an 18+ year old reflect on where they are and what they need to do.
Have we been saying these things about EJ since he was a freshmen? Gifted, talented, atheletic. I think almost everyone that watches KU knows that EJ is no slouch. He was a top 30 recruit coming into here. Unfortunately some players never improve enough after high school. I think some services and even coaches had EJ rated higher than Brandaon Knight coming out of HS. If not rated higher, he was evaluated as having more up side. Could EJ be a player who maxxed out early? I can't hardly believe that, but we have seen players enter here, and leave so much better than when they arrived its not even a debate. EJ really never has climbed that hill and reached the peak.
I would agree with those who think he should sit more this game. I thought the Stats that 2coach has posted are interesting. I would have thought from a viewers standpoint that this team has flourished more with Tharpe on the floor versus EJ. Being fair, I think EJ's TO's are more magnified than others, just like some of TT's were last year. We see them more and are more amped to critisize. Wow, its funny but for parts of TT's career we were calling for EJ to get more PT!
I agree to a point that this team is more talented, but losing TT and TRob was more than just losing talent, we lost leadership. We lost go to players in the crunch. We lost a some toughness on the court. Some of those things are not replaced by talent alone.
Now we need a solid win. A solid win where our play is better overall. TCU is going to bring whatever they have to the fullest. For Trent Johnson, this is a big game for him and his program in its early stages. I expect to see them give there best effort. If we are still mulling over our loss, it will be a grinder of a game no matter what they are rated.