Maui Invitational 2011
November 21, 2011 by staff
“If anything, we were humbled,” KU coach Bill Self said, reflecting on the likes of freshmen Brandon Rush, Mario Chalmers and Julian Wright and sophomores Russell Robinson and Sasha Kaun losing to Arizona (61-49) and Arkansas (65-64) before downing Div. II Chaminade (102-54) in KU’s last trip to paradise.
“That wasn’t a bad thing with that team,” Self added of the taming of a squad that wound up winning the Big 12 regular-season and postseason tournament titles and finished 25-8 after a first-round loss to Bradley in the NCAA Touranment.
“This is a different team,” Self noted. “Our nonconference schedule is so tough, we need to certainly play well out here and come away from here believing we’re closer to becoming a team, which is probably my goal for this trip as much as anything.”
The Jayhawks (1-1), who meet Georgetown (2-0) in a first-round Maui Invite clash at 11 p.m. today in Lahaina Civic Center, aren’t as young as in 2005. They’re just as inexperienced in terms of playing time, however.
“I don’t know if it was a great trip last time,” Self said. “I’m certainly hopeful this is more fun. I know it’s not as much fun playing those 8 and 9 a.m. (losers bracket) games. We need to make sure we play well against Georgetown so we play in the evening.”
The winner of today’s game will meet either UCLA or Chaminade at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday. Losers meet at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Today’s first-round games on the other side of the bracket pit Michigan vs. Memphis and Duke vs. Tennessee.
The championship game is 9 p.m. Wednesday, following consolation battles at 1:30, 4 and 6:30 p.m.
“For us to win this, we’ve got to beat a really good team and a couple other nationally ranked teams,” Self said, well aware half the field (KU, Duke, Memphis, Michigan) is ranked in the AP poll.
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