Bill Self Says No To Point Guards?



  • Discussion points here over the last few months have included detailed discussions regarding point guards, lead guards, combo guards – all sorts of guards. @ralster, @drgnslayr and others brought up multiple points in that discussion.

    Now this from Rustin Dodd today:

    "Bill Self on his PGs: ‘I don’t want to play a point guard anymore … I want to play, you play three guards and whoever gets it brings it’.”

    To be sure, this has not been the case the last number of seasons.

    Just recently, in the fall of 2012, Self made a point of finding a “point guard” by name. He pursued multiple guys, settling for Frank Mason.

    In February/2013, he dropped the “we don’t have a point guard” slam on EJ following the Ok. St. loss at home.

    Over that last few months, much as been made of our poor point guard play. It has been identified, dissected, etc. Self even commented on how Tharpe was not a true point guard, and has used the term “point guard” multiple times.

    But, of course, he said this of Devonte Graham: “He may be as talented a lead guard as we’ve had in a while, probably since Sherron (Collins) from an overall talent standpoint,” Self said of the 6-foot-2 Brewster Academy player, who is ranked No. 36 in the recruiting Class of 2014 by Rivals.com. He has a presence on the floor. We think he has great intangibles. He is quick, can do a lot of things. He can score the ball. He is probably more a lead guard than a true point guard, which is fine because the best teams we’ve ever had, we’ve played without a true point guard. We played with two or three lead guards. He’s probably a cross between Russell (Robinson) and Mario (Chalmers) from a size standpoint and length and athletic ability,” Self said.

    I posted on @icthawkfan316’s Battle for Scholarships thread that I had heard Self in an interview discussing “lead guards.” He did seem to differentiate between the terms.

    He said our best teams were when we had 2-3 “lead” guards, and he was referring to Robinson, Collins, Chalmers. He seemed to put that somewhere between a point guard and a combo guard.

    He referred to being able to get more ball handling in the game with the group we have now – which was before signing Mykhailiuk.

    So, now, with Self’s comment today – if he really wants guards that can handle the ball in the game, and wants whoever “gets it brings it”, how can that really happen? Brannen Greene isn’t bringing it, right? Or Kelly Oubre? If you remember, Self commented during the 2012-13 season that a reason AW3 didn’t get in the game was ball handling – he explained that having non-ball handlers already in the rotation (McLemore and Releford) made that difficult.

    This works only if the guy who gets it can bring it. The three guys that have solid on ball skills – Mason, CF and presumably Graham; a fourth could be Mykhailiuk.

    Can Selden, Oubre, and/or Greene “bring it”? Doesn’t this further signal that either Greene or Oubre will be left out of the main rotation (quite sure Oubre won’t be, so likely Greene)?

    I just wonder if Self’s comment really means anything.



  • @HighEliteMajor

    It seems to mean that Bill Self is frustrated at not being able to sign top point guards.

    Once he signs a top point guard, he will want to play a point guard instead of three lead guards.

    :-)



  • Which do you think is the bigger contributor to our PG woes:

    1. Challenges recruiting top Point Guards

    2. Challenges coaching Point Guards

    3. Coaching limitations; Self excels at coaching a very specific type of PG



  • @bskeet #1



  • Lead guard: A guard that will demand the ball in times of crisis. A guard that will bail out teammates with a timely pass, rebound, put-back, or KUBucket in the lane or from deep while demonstrating confidence and composure. The best two examples of that, were Collins and Chalmers playing together. The 39 Elijah dropped on ISU is another example. Tharpe’s problem was, he played this way about 25% of the time. That just will not get it done.

    I think Greene will play this year. With AWIII it appears to be case of buyers remorse. Have no idea why? I thought he was an excellent player.



  • I don’t even know what a point guard means anymore. Everytime I think we have recruited a point guard, he converts into something else by Summer.

    I thought EJ was a point guard when we recruited him. He turned out to be Combo.

    I thought Tharpe was the return to the old Roy-type point guards (ala Miles and Vaughn), pass-first PG. Then it turned out he wasn’t.

    I thought Frank Mason was the ball-handling maestro PG. He apparently is Combo.

    Now I thought we had Graham as the PG, but turns out he is ‘lead guard’ - whatever that means.

    I’m confused!



  • A true point guard is a coach on the floor. Self doesn’t want to give up any power - therefore we have no point guards.

    A little sour? Yeah - it’s 5:34 in the morning. But I still think it’s true.



  • Let’s not forget that Self already had the “3 combo guard” philosophy at Illinois: we bought that when we hired him, and it worked in 2008. Even Deron Williams was a “combo guard” for Self.

    Haven’t we been complaining about slowly inbounding to the same guy instead of whoever’s available pushing the ball up the floor?

    We need more transition offense: this may help.



  • More double talk from Self. At times, with all the lead guard, combo guard, point guard stuff, I’m not sure Self can keep it straight:

    He said this today at kusports: “What we got was more of the (KU) needs than even getting the big kid from Texas (Myles Turner),” Self said. “He (Turner, UT) is going to be a terrific player, but I felt if we could get an unbelievable shooter and true point guard I think that would probably offset maybe not having so much standing height inside.”

    The true point guard reference is of course to Graham.

    This in direct conflict with the statement I quoted above from Self regarding Graham:

    He is probably more a lead guard than a true point guard, which is fine because the best teams we’ve ever had, we’ve played without a true point guard.

    All any of this really means, in my opinion, is that he is more comfortable when he has more than one guy that can handle the ball like a point guard in the game at the same time. That’s all. He likes having more than on ball handler available – he only had EJ in the game with no other option, or Tharpe. It’s why he like playing EJ/Tharpe together, or Tharpe/Mason.

    This all bodes well for the true ball handlers when it comes to playing time.

    And @ParisHawk, you are right, it could speed things up – the key though is do they stand around and wait for the designated person to throw the ball in.



  • "I want Wayne (Selden) to be able to play point guard; I want Frank (Mason); I want Conner (Frankamp); I want Devonté; I want Svee (Mykhailiuk) when he gets here. I want all these guys to be able to bring it so we are playing a bunch of combo guards that can all play point as opposed to just playing a point guard. Up ’til the last five to seven minutes (when you need what he called a ‘closer’) I hope we have three point guards out there at once or at least the appearance of three.”–BILL

    TRANSLATION:

    1. Wayne is going to be the point guard no matter where he happens to be and no matter who brings the ball up the floor every time, or not.

    2. Wayne is going to be the closer, when ever KU is behind, and whoever can protect and shoot FTs best is going to close when KU is ahead.(Recall Tyrel and Brady were sometimes called on to close games because they could protect and make FTs.)

    3. Bill is praying GRAHAM can play some point, when Wayne is resting on or off the floor, because there will be match ups that call for more height than 5-9 Mason and 5-11 Conner (non KU inches).

    4. Everyone else is going to take turns dribbling up court, penetrating and taking 3s, whenever Wayne néeds on-court rest.

    5. Those that hope for Oubre and Alexander to start and lead the team as freshmen the way Wiggins and Embiid did should be chastened by Bill’s early comments. Each will likely be committee members at their positions, perhaps not starters, and likely TADs. Self says Oubre and Alexander have to acquire “footwork”; this is how he talks, when both guys are going to have to acquire new basic skills on both ends to guard and score against D1 players. Oubre must lack a credible trey to make his prowess on the drive feasible to exploit. Alexander must not have credible back to basket offense to free him up to dunk. Self said neither guy knows how to play “the way we play.”

    6. Inference: among other things, Bill watched Bo and Wisconsin and said that’s what I want outside!!! Three drivers that also “make” the trey. And with my athletic horses inside we can do it better if…

    7. I can just find a second rim protector to committee with Mickelson, who must be a wee bit foul prone. Hence, the search to replace Turner’s rejection probably goes on in war torn Central Asia and increasingly edgy Eastern Europe. Will Bob Hill, or some other pair of KU sympathetic eyes be able to interest a rim protector into getting out of harm’s way the way Svee did? If so, buy Final Four ticks. If not, hope Lucas has worked on his timing and ups.



  • @jaybate 1.0 Bo’s team looked like what we had in 2008. I think I too would rather have the Wisconsin style than even Uconn’s. It also reminded me of what playing for Self more than one year can accomplish. Even without Wiggins, I doubt that AWIII would have become a faster ball handler. Self wants a guard that resembles Bill Self at OSU.



  • @HighEliteMajor

    "“Bill Self on his PGs: ‘I don’t want to play a point guard anymore … I want to play, you play three guards and whoever gets it brings it’.””

    I read that and almost defecated in my chair.

    Maybe Self just worded it wrong.

    He contradicted himself later with…

    "Up ’til the last five to seven minutes (when you need what he called a ‘closer’) "

    Hey… I agree that all of our perimeter players should be able to handle the ball well and bring the ball up court. Even Oubre and anyone else at the 3.

    But… where does the leadership come from?

    UCONN won this past year with leadership at the point… and they have always won NCs with a leader at the point. To diffuse the position creates a total disregard for leadership.

    What this is telling me is that none of these guys capable to play point is a"balls to the wall" leader.

    And yes, we did win in '08 without a definite leader at point… but it took OT to beat a team that had a real leader with a totally inferior team.

    We had everything right with the '08 team and we still got the breaks (luck) to win it all.

    I’m not bashing Self on this one. He’s sending out a message that he doesn’t see a hardcore leader in this bunch so he is spreading out the assignment of point. That is the right strategy in this case.

    It is tough to win in March with a freshman PG. And I’m a fan of Mason and Frankamp, but neither of those guys will be premiere PGs (at least, so far)… enough to give us an edge in March.

    “I just wonder if Self’s comment really means anything.”

    You may have summed it all up with that comment. It is summer… a long time before fall tip-off. Maybe that comment is meant to motivate his perimeter guys by saying… “hey, the position is really open. Show the right leadership skills (and playing skills) and the job is yours!”

    It seems he is saying that none of our perimeter guys are sticking out (100%) to take the job… though it was encouraging to hear him say that Devonté may be the most-prepared of the freshmen coming in.

    “All any of this really means, in my opinion, is that he is more comfortable when he has more than one guy that can handle the ball like a point guard in the game at the same time.”

    True dat! And look at all the failure we have had at point in March over the past several years. We need more than one guy who can handle the ball in the game at a time, but also just have at least a few guys who can run the point if our current starting point is playing bad. We didn’t have an answer to replace EJ two years ago. We didn’t have an answer to replace Tharpe this past year. By the time we counted on Conner to fill his shoes it was too late. Conner needed a ton more PT during the year to really fulfill that role in March.

    There is a whole lot more we can read into this if we want to read it in… maybe Self is finally thinking with more of a NBA head and realizing he has options at point (and on the perimeter) this year and he will better look for match-up advantages. We’ll get a true test early on with the Kentucky game. They will be bringing perhaps the biggest college team in D1 history. How we going to tackle that? We can try to run our biggest lineup and battle head-to-head on the size strategy, or we can go small and try to beat them with speed. I’m betting we will have to try both strategies and maybe go back and forth during the game. Run big size on them first, and have our guys play physical, then when UK tires, run small and run them off the court.

    I think everyone in here can agree on this one… that Self needs to focus more on game-to-game match-up issues.



  • I think, just my opinion, Self doesn’t want to tip his hand w/his kids. Didn’t someone say they thought graham wasn’t working out? In a week, Self could determine that? I think Self is tired of all the TO’s from 1-3 guys!



  • @Crimsonorblue22 If someone said that about Graham, it wasn’t BMac. He had some good praise for him on the article over at kusports



  • @icthawkfan316 I think some poster thought that after Self said he didn’t want a pt guard. I certainly have high hopes for Graham!



  • @Crimsonorblue22 Me too. As much as I like CF & Mason, I think this guy is perhaps the answer to our PG woes. I know, maybe too much optimism over a guy who hasn’t played a college game yet, but I really think he could be the whole package - defense, ball handling, passing, shooting, quickness…fingers crossed.



  • @icthawkfan316 are you following scrimmage on KU sports?



  • @Crimsonorblue22 I hadn’t checked it in awhile. I see there’s some updates there now. Thanks!



  • I think we are over-analyzing soundbites. Self’s comments are merely a conceptual framework; big-pix statements about multiple competent ball-handlers in the game at the same time, and the use of “lead” guard are just NOT different from what he said back in 2006-7. And that played out in the 08Champ run. And on that Sherron steal+trey vs. Memphis, notice that Sherron + Chalmers + Russell were in the game at the same time. Crunch time. 2 guys who were ice-vein closers: Chalmers + Sherron. BOTH DELIVERED. How uncanny is that? Harder to guard when we have multiple threats, not only from ball handling standpoint, but also from a scoring standpoint.

    Then Self mentions that in crunchtime, last few minutes, he needs a go-to guy. He said this when Langford played, and identified him as the go-to guy. You want the ball in your best player’s hands, ANY coach knows that. Please recall in 2008, the talk was that “KU has no go-to guy”, yet Rush and Chalmers were busy taking big shot after big shot. (remember the epic games vs. Kevin Durant?).

    Spin it another way, and say that what RussRob did is create a 4headed monster: he made everyone better by his timing and assists (and his D, which set up easy transition highlights). Created 4 guys in double figures almost nightly… Roy Williams beautiful quote to ponder about RussRob: “the most important 7ppg in college bball”. Roy was right. Aaron Miles did the same things that RussRob did.

    My behind-the-scenes “spin” is that maybe Self now has several ball-handling guards that he has to keep happy, even after being forced to make an example of Naadir by dismissing him. He just set the “acceptable level of guard play and defense” bar higher by dismissing the lead guard who was not leading by example. This includes off court discipline reinforcement in 1 fell swoop. Sorry, Naadir, I hope you land on your feet…

    We know Self likes big, capable guards. Why cant Wayne Selden be the next Marcus Smart (lead guard duty) or DWade type? Honestly, the Connor Frankamp signing still baffles me, other than for insurance, as we all know toooo well that some guards may pan out, some may ‘plateau’, to use a kinder term. Now let’s put it more blunt: it takes adequate length to defend, as well as close-out speed. Frank is short, but Frank is quick. Naads was short, but was not quick. Franny is short, and its unknown if he’s quick (little data). Naads caused a negative domino effect, getting bigs not named Embiid into foul trouble. Or exposing lack of team D, as penetrations blowing by Naads now had the option to finish or dish–exactly what KU was busy doing to opponents for 6-7yrs.



  • Frankly, the guards need to work on their skillset like there is no tomorrow, learn the offense, learn D, learn their new teammates to develop some chemistry…and let Self plug-n-play them. I’m not sure what we have (yet) in Connor Frankamp. If he gets some notion he wants to transfer, he’d be going downwards (Div2, where Im sure he’ll shine). If his improvement doesnt result in improved shooting and mpg, he should consider redshirting.

    “Recruiting” is a peculiar topic, as you know you’ll never get everybody you target. And lets say you do get the #1PG (Selby)…there are no guarantees what fate may cause thereafter. Or how the career of a #4 PG, 5star top25 guy may go (EJ). Or, look at Louisville and UConn…or our own Tyshawn–> lower ranked guys who kept developing far beyond their initial rankings. Agree with HEM that a higher ranking enhances the chances that a kid will pan out as an impact player. Sherron and Chalmers (both MickeyDs) are great positive examples. Selby would be a negative example, but all he had to do was return for Yr2, and people would have been singing his praises, and he might have gone lotto. The ESPN guys wont let go of a fact that a kid was the #1 rated PG. All Selby had to do was play 25-28mpg as a healthy player. The rest would have taken care of itself, as his talent would have been evident. But no one told him he needed to show a consistent trend with that talent. Same thing goes for EJ: all he had to do sr. yr was ‘play angry’ and show 5-6 30+pt games, or at least 10 games 20+pts, and he would have been seen as delivering on his 5star talent and NBA level hops.

    To me, recruiting Devonte Graham was a step in the right direction. And I dont mind Frank Mason, as he is fast, strong, physical, fearless, and has quick feet on D. He can be the ‘project’ Self diamond-in-the-rough, as was Tyshawn. You see how Naadir (with hindsight now) fell short of those qualities. I agree that Anrio Adams, physically, could have been another diamond-with-low-ranking…but, see, his problem was between the ears. Didnt pan out. Same issue with Tyrone Appleton, off court issues.



  • Another thought is Self maybe watching some NBA (says he loves watching the games), and seeing everyone from Chalmers/Cole to Wade to LBJ “bring the ball up” has maybe got Self tantalized a bit…especially considering the NBA has a shorter possession clock, and now the NCAA is talking about experimenting with shortening it. Self wants to be ready. Just an idea. Just as facing Marcus Smart who beat KU in AFH with hustle, physicality, and all-round play. That had to make an impression on Self.



  • Self’s use of the word “closer” (crunchtime finisher), could apply to any player capable of taking over, not just a PG/lead/combo guard.



  • Key point: God love him, but Bill Self simply cannot stop himself from recruiting scorers. He was that himself to an extent (dropped 20+ on KU in AFH personally, I think), he likes that “threat from every position”, and tries to built it into his teams. It appears he thinks he can teach better ball-handling and defense and running the offense. And he succeeds to varying degrees. Now couple the proper aggressive mentality, and you have the recipe for a Bill Self recruit actually becoming successful under Self. The physicality he requires is part mental, and part physical development under Andrea Hudy (“Huditioning”…). Why on earth would Bill Self be interested in Connor Frankamp? Because that 5’11" wafer showed he could score almost at will at the high school level. So Self is seeing how far he can develop the other needed traits in the kid. We shall all see if they both succeed.

    If you listen to Graham, he gives equal verbiage about himself as “create opportunity for others” as well as “scoring”. Devonte Graham is a combo guard, who will be expected to do it all. McLemore said he does a good job defensively already. Thats great news from BMac!



  • @ralster

    “especially considering the NBA has a shorter possession clock, and now the NCAA is talking about experimenting with shortening it. Self wants to be ready.”

    Bingo!



  • @wrwlumpy

    “I doubt that AWIII would have become a faster ball handler. Self wants a guard that resembles Bill Self at OSU.”

    Hadn’t thought of it quite this way, but now that you write it your explanation seems to make the most sense of any I have read about the AWIII’s departure.



  • @drgnslayr

    “But… where does the leadership come from?”

    Good question. Answer this coming season: Selden.

    Wayne better get a good saddle pad. The team is going to be on his back from the first tip off. I don’t foresee as much scoring coming out of the paint, as in past years, unless: a) Perry has learned to muscle against the long and strongs; and b) unless Alexander has more back to the basket game than his highlight videos suggest. Maybe Micklelson, or Traylor, or Lucas will surprise us though. But I really think this coming year’s paint points are going to have to come off Wisconsin style drive-and-dishes and stick backs, rather than an inside out game, where our bigs can score back to basket. This scoring weakness in the paint won’t show up till we play some good non conference teams with blue meanies inside. Hope I’m wrong, but as I believe you have pointed out on occasion we’ve got the scoring in the Ellis chassis and the motors and explosiveness in the Traylor/Alexander chassises, but what we need is the scoring, explosiveness and motor in the same chassis.



  • As far as recruiting guards…I think Self is fine with his recruits fulfilling his all-around requirements. That could be 5’10 Sherron or Mason…or that could be 6’3 Brady or Reed or Tyshawn. Or 6’1 Chalmers and RussRob. Its all in how they play. Other than being a smart scorer, I cannot visualize what type of player Self was to the “eye-test” as I didnt watch college bball back then…I’m guessing he was a bit more fiery than Brady…maybe more like a ‘combo’ of Tyrel Reed and Aaron Craft? I’ll have to go check for YouTube video of Self at OkieState, if there is any…cant believe I havent tried to do that yet!



  • @ralster

    I always remember Reed distilling what a perimeter guy had to do to play in the rotation: guard, protect, feed the post, hit the open trey.

    What distinguished the '08 triumvirate of RR, Chalmers, and Sherron was that they could do all the basic requirements for perimeter rotation minutes, PLUS they could all put it on the deck and go to iron. Thus, when Self needed a lot of attack from the perimeter to foul up teams, He could come with RR, Chalmers and Sherron, and all hell broke loose. And, while Brandon was not strong on the drive with his left hand, he could on occasion slash with his right by over powering his opponent with his strength and then go suborbital at the iron. Those were four full time threats in addition to being sound perimeter players in all of the basic requirements. KU has never had four perimeter players since that were both sound in the basics AND full time deck threats. My hunch is that what Self was trying to say in his Eisenhower-ese about his happiness with signing Devonte and Svee is that Self, at least, believes adding Devonte and Svee to Selden, Mason, Frankamp, and Greene, ought to yield by late in the season at least 4 players sound in the basics and able to put it on the deck, and that that is Wild Bill’s idea of threat nirvana on the perimeter.

    I can’t say I am very confident that it will, but a board rat loses most of the time betting against Self’s expectations.

    And if one just considers the variety in perimeter players Self has it is pretty clear that, if he coaches them up, and gets them at least sound in the basic requirements by, say, January, there is almost no perimeter matchup that KU will come up against that Self will not have several ways to try to exploit a weakness.



  • @jaybate 1.0 Your perfect example of the 08 triumvirate, brings to mind the other time we had 3 guys capable of all of the requirements: 2012RunnerUp squad with Tyshawn, Elijah, and Travis. Travis could score in the paint, hit the 3, and defend. And he was scrappy. Same for EJ. Same for Tyshawn. That’s 3 on the floor at most times. See how far experienced, all-round guards can take us? BMac was not the slasher that Tyshawn was. Nor the ball handler. Look what happened to lone EJ. This is Self’s point as well, driven home yet again. So he says now the same things he said back in 06-07, when explaining his recruits and playstyle requirements. Only now, they have more meaning–as the msg was poignantly driven home again for any of those that forgot what and why Self said what he did back 8yrs ago. He was right, wasnt he?



  • I don’t know as much as you all do, but I’ve been wondering if he’s telling us the truth… at least as much as he can. He wants a true floor leader and he wants combos who can be the floor leader. To an outsider, it sounds a bit like doublespeak.

    But in some ways, it could be in Bill Self’s interest to not have a traditional “point guard” that is a singular leader on the floor because it’s actually a ‘single point of failure’. In other words, a true point guard invites the other team to ‘cut off the head’ and slay the dragon-- the defense keys on that guard and disrupts that one position and the offense falls into chaos.

    So perhaps this is why he favors combos and wants multiple players that can bring the ball up the floor and handle it. That said, he still needs a floor leader, but not one that the team is all-dependent upon.

    The ambiguity might be by design.



  • @bskeet nice point-ha!



  • @bskeet Let me simplify Self’s idea: He wants multiple floor leaders, ball handlers, and scorers. Think of the 08 Champs with Chalmers+RussRob+Sherron. That’s exactly what he wants to duplicate. The rankings, the toughness, the defensive competence, the decision-making, and the leadership.

    Always think of the 08Champs, as that was Self’s best team, all his own high-level recruiting + yrs of coaching them up…all rolled into 1 experienced team. Bill Self ball at its finest. Bill Self AGAIN just used the 08guys as a benchmark–he is telling you exactly what he wants. He wants to duplicate the 08 team’s strengths.

    I dont think there is any double talk at all. He’s wanted competence in all areas, even excellence if at all possible.



  • @ralster

    You know, i thought about including the '12 trio of TT, EJ and Travis, because if they had all been healthy for most of the season they would have more than qualified. But my recollection was that EJ had knee problems the second half of the season, and Trav was in boot much of the season, so they really didn’t get to do what they were capable of doing. I think we probably agree that if EJ and Trav had been healthy, we would in all probability be talking about Self’s second ring team. They almost came back and beat UK with two of three perimeter players playing crippled and little depth anywhere. A healthy EJ with his pop and a healthy Travis with his trey gun clicking, plus all that experience and maturity, plus a 4 that pulled in rebounds like a black hole sucks in matter, and stretched defenses, too, plus a 7 foot rim protector that left AD 1-10 equaled second ring.

    P.S.: Something folks forget about Trav is that when he was healthy his senior season he shot >40% from trey. I will always believe that had he not played on a bum wheel that finally put him in a boot his junior season, Trav would have drained at or near 40% for that '12 team. Same for EJ. He made a lot of big treys late in the season, despite the bad wheel. But if he had been healthy his gun from trey, combined with Trav at 40% from trey, would easily have overcome Tyshawn’s late season trey slump. It was a great team inspite of everything. But the fact was, if it had stayed healthy it would have been a team for the ages. Despite my recognition of the greatness of the '08 team, the '12 team is my favorite of all of Self’s teams, and perhaps my favorite KU team of all time, even though they came up a game shy. I have a hunch that Self, though he lives in what happened, not what could have been, harbors a deep, deep, deep respect and love for that '12 team.



  • Reading everyone’s posts, which I will say is high quality stuff (as usual), I can honestly say I don’t know what to make of it.

    Self really will play the guys he thinks gives him the best opportunity to win. We (I) may disagree with his selections.

    Look at 2012-13 – very limited ball handling. EJ pretty good, others not so much until Tharpe was in. But it was his best lineup.

    If ball handlers, though, don’t measure up to other guys, then he’ll go with one ball handler.

    It’s having your cake and eating it too. If on balance the best players can also handle the ball, that is what he prefers.

    When he says “point guard”, maybe he just means having just that one guy out there. I like that explanation. Again, I am vexed, flummoxed, confused.



  • @HighEliteMajor I just hate when I am flummoxed!



  • When creative minds start expressing ambiguities, it is usually because their inquiries into the essences of their fields is taking them near the ambiguity that lies at the center of most human inquiry. Quantum theory ultimately took Erwin Schrodinger and other mathematicians and physicists to the knowledge reality itself is a variety of probability functions that actually exist based on how we interact with them. The cat really is both alive and dead. The locality assumption does not hold in all realms. And before that light was discovered to be both waves and particles. Bart Kosko showed A and Not A could exist simultaneously. There really are a billion or more exoplanets like earth in the Milky Way. Simultaneity of opposites happens. We cannot tell if this is because of how our minds work, or because the world works this way, or both, but we know it to be true because measurement with high confidence verifies the initial thought experiments and calculations.

    Self is just facing up to logical implications of the simultaneity of guard play in the structure and dynamics of the game that he, as a young man early accepted intuitively, then fled from to eliminate the contradiction, and has now re-embraced the ambiguity, with the profound humility that comes of admitting the deep contradictions of life, because the measurable contradictions would not go away.

    We are talking here about Schroedinger’s Guards. In one circumstance they are point guards, while in another lead guards. And what determines it is not us but them. But the real unsettling truth is they are both simultaneously.



  • HA–> Let all this smoke & confusion be a fog for opposing coaches trying to figure out Self’s coming roster! Beware of the Phog! (Self just created a battleship-smokescreen amt of fog with his statements. I bet he is grinning bigtime. Especially after watching the camp game video…)

    RCJH



  • God help the opponent if Frank Mason can shoot a combined 45-50% FG percentage this coming season. Reports on kusports were that Frank has added the mid-range pullup J, and hit 2 threes, without hesitating. Coupled with much better decisions on when to go allSherron & penetrate, vs when to pick & pop…This is good. Notice that Frank’s BLUE squad beat the RED squad by double-digits. Guess who the PG’s were for BLUE? Mason + Selden. Selden even quoted as saying: “I’ve been working on my ballhandling, so I can assume more of a leadership role this year.” And he was very effective at it in the scrimmage. A press observer said Selden looked like a “pro” playing against boys. Interesting because the Red opponent had McLemore, Aldrich, Frankamp…

    Greene, of course, led all scorers. And Traylor dribble-drop stepped around Cole 4 times, each time finishing at the rim with a dunk or a hook. He also hit a 14ft face up jumper.

    These guys are hungry, driven, and pissed off about last year. BOTH Greene and Selden called last year’s team “SOFT”. Both said they wanted to show the new kids ‘what Kansas bball was all about’, and wanted to give Self the type of team that he used to have in years past.

    I like the sound of all of this.



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  • @ralster

    Now you’ve really got me amped! Selden on the bounce. Greene and Selden talking toughness! Jam Tray putting the strawberry slam on Cole!!! Mason making Js!!! Players calling last year’s team soft!

    REAL SELF BALL AGAIN!!!

    Now I have reason to live another year!!!

    YEEEEEEE HAAAAAWWWWWW!!!



  • Following up on @ralster and @jaybate’s comments, from the “words mean something” category –

    “We are a tough group. Last year to be honest, we weren’t tough. We were soft,” Selden said of a 25-10 team that won the Big 12 title and went 1-1 in the NCAAs.

    This may be the single most important development heading into next season. Tharpe and Wiggins are gone. They are the only “softer” players that departed. But add them to finesse guy Ellis, and you had 3 of your 5 starters that weren’t, shall we say, physical.

    And I wonder, if Greene’s play in camp and practice demonstrates that he is the best option at the 3, does Self bring top 10 recruit Oubre off the bench? Or does he start Oubre because he is a top 10 guy?



  • @ralster Very glad to hear that these guys look hungry. Selden, Mason and Traylor are certainly gritty and tough kids and Greene and Oubre seem to similarly wired.

    I really like the idea of Selden sharing some of the PG duties with Mason / CF / Graham / Svee…or whoever ends up getting those minutes. I know we need a guy late in the game who feels comfortable bringing the ball up the court but it may not be a bad thing if that person is Selden. Deandre Kane did not exactly look like the prototypical guy to bring up the ball for ISU last year but it worked out ok.



  • @joeloveshawks I just can’t get in my head that Selden can “bring up the ball”. Afraid to say point now! I hope he can, just based on his passing and handles last year, can’t see it. I think he has a great chance at being one of the best sg’s, as long as he’s healthy. I hope he proves me wrong!



  • Selden had some really good no-look passes and assists last year. But he knows his handles/dribbling needs to get a lot better for the next level, as did McLemore’s. His high-school highlight mixtape showed not only the dunk-fest, but also several no-look or timely-assist passes to teammates. Selden has a knack for passing, and is a 6’5 “QB”–> his passing angles will be different than those of a 5’10 guard. Give. Wayne. Selden. The. Ball.

    It would be like having our own “good” Marcus Smart. Now you all also saw who was the Man, and who was the Flop…when “last year’s” Smart faced froshSelden head to head. I like betting on Wayne Selden.

    Now I got visions of Wayne Selden taking his 220lb hops on a Tyshawn-like penetration to the rim–> No contortions needed. If he can pull off playing PG, he will go NBA top5 pick. Watch big Wayne deliver!!!



  • @ralster can you imagine if Smart picked us over Ford? I bet he wishes he could do it over! He sure wouldn’t be famous for flopping. And maybe forte joins him. Is forte still there? Gotta say I will miss heslip and smart. The osu game at AFH was an exciting one!



  • @Crimsonorblue22 No maybe about it - Smart and Forte were a package deal, no matter where they went. I think they both would have looked good in Crimson and Blue. And Smart most likely wouldn’t have acted the fool under Coach Self.



  • @nuleafjhawk smart picked the coach he could control! Pretty sure the Fortes wanted KU. Interesting to see what happens to osu. Need them to be great!



  • @Crimsonorblue22

    To the best of my recollection, KU did not offer to Forte and that doomed any chance of getting Smart. I have to admit that OSU has had really good luck of late with who I call the smurfs on steroids, Keiton Page first and then Phil Forte.



  • @JayHawkFanToo I heard that too. Those 2 smurfs, killed us! Heslip did too.



  • @Crimsonorblue22 Agree to disagree. I think Wayne will be a huge part of the offense including bringing up the ball on occasion when Mason or CF don’t. This is Wayne’s team.


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