Bill Self and who he's lost to.

  • @wissox said in Bill Self and who he's lost to.:

    @Texas-Hawk-10 Losing to Michigan in 2013 which was semi robbed out of a championship? I’d argue they were better too. Villanova was clearly the better team in 2018, right?

    But, and this I think was true during Roys tenure as well, when you lose to a team that reaches the pinnacle of the sport it’s not necessarily a bad loss. If we kept losing to teams like Bradley and Bucknell then Bill is a March choker.

    Do you think 1997 was a failure? Fantastic team for sure that happened to lose to the national champion. 2003 was more of a failure I think because of the missed FT’s hid the fact that we were clearly better than Carmelo and Syracuse.

    KU was better than Michigan in 2013. KU had a double digit lead with about 2 minutes left and pulled an epic choke job that game.

    1997 was a much bigger failure to me because KU was the best team in the country that year. Syracuse was pretty evenly match with Kansas in 2003 so I don’t view that game as a bad loss in that KU wasn’t a definitively superior team like they were in 1997.

    To me, whatever the team that beats KU does the rest of the tournament isn’t relevant to whether it’s a bad loss or not. The biggest tournament failures of the past 25 years to me in order are 1997, 2010, 2011, 2017, and 2013 in that order because those first 3 were all teams that should’ve won national championships and didn’t

  • @wissox Good thought experiment and data to support it.

    USC looked good last night. We’ll see if they can knock off Goliath.

  • @bskeet At the very least it’s a testament to Bill Self that he’s putting us in position to lose later in the tournament rather than earlier most years.

  • I hate thinking about everyone of these losses. 2016/17 & 2013 sting the worse of the recent ones

  • @BeddieKU23 Maybe it’s because I couldn’t watch 2013 that makes it sting less because I’m sure I’d have been going nuts had I been watching it.

    2016 still gets me when DG was called for a foul for diving after a loose ball. It’s calls like that that make me think there’s just a bias, a general favor of teams from the larger TV markets. It really didn’t guarantee us a win had the call not gone against us, but we basically had no chance after that. And to add insult to injury, one of our guys, Thompson I think was injured in a game, I forget which this year, when someone did a full bellyflop on top of him, and of course no call.

  • A lot of the earlier tournament losses didn’t bother me. The last couple have. Here’s why.

    I knew going into each of the last three losses (Villanova in '18, Auburn in '19 and USC this year) that KU was going to lose that game. I wasn’t even mad at the team afterwards. I knew it would happen, and that’s what bothers me.

    Self has consistently put a lid on the success of the last few teams.

    We knew Doke could not get out and defend against Villanova in '18. Self sat there and watched us get obliterated. We never had a chance. Lost by 16, but trailed by more than 25 at one point.

    We knew Auburn had all of that speed and athleticism. We didn’t adjust. Auburn led by 26 at the half. The final score is irrelevant when you are getting run like that.

    This year, same general result. Another blowout loss to end the season against a team with mobile, athletic big men. I am starting to see a pattern.

    Bill Self still wants to play with a more traditional style of lineup. Even Eastern Washington exploited us with their stretch bigs. USC was a more athletic version of that and they just destroyed us.

    That’s three straight blowout losses to end the season, and there have been ZERO adjustments. I’m not saying that Self should be fired, but we keep doing the same thing and, wouldn’t you know, getting the same results. That’s not on the players.

  • @justanotherfan I agree to a point except Doke was hurt against Auburn and our offense suffered. Still not sure we’d beat them but we don’t know. This year wasn’t our best year but Covid stole our momentum big time. Villanova in 2018, I’ll take your word for it since you are not just another fan, your a fan who knows his stuff.

    But there’s 2020. I really believe that team would have won the championship. They were on a roll. 6 more games is all it took. So if it happens then this year we’re singing a different tune?

  • First… I will state that I’m happy Bill is at Kansas. If you look at where we were when he came and everything he accomplished since arriving… I think he has performed extremely well (though I, like others, wish we captured a few more NCs). Also… he is an excellent representative for Kansas because he knows how to talk in front of the cameras and mics.

    Over the years Bill has improved and grown as a coach. I think that is because he has had to adjust to shortcomings in personnel, etc.

    Here is my more critical view… and I say that knowing Bill will one day retire from college basketball as one of the most-winning coaches in the game.

    DEFENSE - Defense is Bill’s “go to.” “Self ball” is a grind game where we are led by our defense. Most of my problems with defenses at Kansas relates to players not being coached up enough on how to personally contribute to their maximum on defense. Hedging, spacing, weakside help… players lacking enough basketball IQ. Also… how can we be known as a premiere defensive team without developing a press? I find it sinful to not spend time working on an effective press. It can totally change the momentum in a game. It can change the speed of the game. It can force opposing team offenses out of their comfortable sets. It can pep up your team and get them more active. I just don’t see how we can hang “defense” as our identity without being able to put on a good press.

    OFFENSE - I’m not sure what we were running this year. It started as more of a motion dribble-drive but ended as a weak version of a hi-lo. Again… it mostly seems like our guys are not coached up enough with a basketball IQ that can take advantage of what the defense gives. Anytime we get hit by an aggressive defense we fold. We don’t adjust. Our guys should know if a player is in his grill then force the contact and the foul. Or turn the corner on the defender and drive to the rim. At least we are finally starting to see a few guys using shot/ball/drive fakes. I remember a few years ago we would never see that.

    I believe Bill has most of the Jayhawk fanbase trained to believe athleticism wins championship. I’m not against athleticism… but you hang your hat on basketball IQ. Gonzaga has dominated this year NOT with athleticism! Their players play smart. The know the finer parts of the game and they know each other. They make it look so easy! I say this full well knowing that Gonzaga could lose to USC because USC is more athletic AND plays with pretty good basketball IQ. We are always going to be facing some horrible defeats because our guys are mostly just athletes (or not) and not developed ball players and team players.

    MOTIVATION - We’ve had these discussions in here for years. Bill is not a motivator. He is not a cheerleader. This is, by far, our biggest issue and why we get thrashed by teams that come in jacked up. How many times do we have to fight back from deficits, sometimes big deficits, with a weaker opponent but we let them play motivated at a higher level. We should be bringing DEATH to most teams from the opening jump. Kill their spirit and pile on them. Notice how USC outplayed us. They never let off the gas from beginning to end.

    GAME PREPARATION - Bill told us long ago that he does not prepare a game plan against opponents we face. He runs at them with who we are, not changing for another team. So I’m not sure what we are doing in practices leading up to games. Usually time is spent dealing with player match-ups. Is that what we are doing? Are we studying their plays? Do we ever think about how do we attack each team on offense? Exploit match-ups? Exploit weaknesses in their team defense? It seems like none of that happens once games tip off. We just run our normal stuff and if that doesn’t create offense, too bad. We better win it on the defensive end. I think our team this year should have been a pretty decent trey shooting team. But our offense was a disaster and guys always faced contested treys, or received the ball in a bad place so we had no shot continuity. It was painful to watch our offense when this should have been a fun team to watch.

    BAD IDEAS - I still can’t believe someone thought it was a good idea to make Marcus our PG. It basically killed his identity he had proven the year before. He wasn’t a play maker. Period. I know Harris was green and lacked aggression. What if he was boosted up by being our starting PG from the beginning of the season? He started becoming more aggressive at the end of this year, I’m not sure how because he wasn’t really given incentive. How can anyone not notice his ability to make plays, make passes? His ability to apply tough defense and create steals? Even now, we are looking for a PG to replace Marcus and keep Harris on the bench to rot. The focus should be on Harris being our PG next year and pushing him now to beef up and work hard to take on that responsibility next year. The guy will become a phenom if we develop him properly.

  • @wissox said in Bill Self and who he's lost to.:

    @justanotherfan I agree to a point except Doke was hurt against Auburn and our offense suffered. Still not sure we’d beat them but we don’t know. This year wasn’t our best year but Covid stole our momentum big time. Villanova in 2018, I’ll take your word for it since you are not just another fan, your a fan who knows his stuff.

    But there’s 2020. I really believe that team would have won the championship. They were on a roll. 6 more games is all it took. So if it happens then this year we’re singing a different tune?

    This conversation is definitely different with a 2020 Final Four, which I think was likely.

    I don’t think KU should be looking for a new coach, but I do think Self needs to adjust. The game is changing. If Self doesn’t adapt, we are in trouble.

    Self started at KU in the 2003-04 season. At that time, the lineup he played had a PG that was a below average shooter (Miles), a midrange specialist (Langford), an athletic 3 and D guy (Giddens), a post up 4 (Simien) and an intimidating big man (Graves). That lineup was perfect for that time. That lineup is not an Elite Eight/Final Four lineup today.

    Playing only one three point shooter in a lineup now would crush spacing and kill an offense - and that KU offense was elite at the time.

    KU has to change. We just have to. There is no way to win with the types of teams that we played when Self first arrived. The only teams Self has had in the first ten years at KU that would be good now are the 2008 champs (just so overwhelmingly talented up and down the lineup) and the 2007 group (equally as talented, and could have challenged for the title that year had they been healthy).

    The 2011 group would have run into the same types of problems they ran into then - not enough perimeter talent without Selby. 2012 team didn’t have the depth and shooting. Every other team would have been felled by the same issues they had at that time.

    Self has to adjust. He has to get more ballhandlers, more creators and more versatile big men. If he doesn’t, we are either going to have to be so overwhelmingly talented that it doesn’t matter, or we will finish our season the same way (double digit loss) more often than not.

  • @wissox

    2013 is up there with me just because of the late game collapse. We controlled that game for 38 minutes and then pissed down our pants.

    2016 was worse then 13 for that foul call and how tight of a game it was. I’ve probably watched the replay of that foul a hundred times and haven’t seen a foul yet that deserved to be called on DG. Straight robbed. 17 I really thought we were going to win the whole thing and then the Oregon game happened, in the Sprint Center. Man these are tough to relive

  • @drgnslayr

    I think Self is trying to get back to having two guards on the floor. Harris and Thompson are it for guards. They could start next year but what’s behind them? Braun & Agbaji don’t have the skillsets to be guards. Need competition and guys that can compete and earn minutes. That’s why he’s out there aggressively seeking help. They obviously like Harris a good deal because he did get more and more minutes as the season went on, even started a game. The Marcus experiment at PG wasn’t ideal, pretty much how the Elijah Johnson year went. Maybe Self learns from this finally.

  • There’s always a scout report! You hear the players all the time say we followed the scout report, why we won, or the opposite if we lost. Self says going in to the tourney they treat it like a 2 day tourney, prepare for those teams. Each coach does a scout of the teams we could play and they go over them when they know who they are playing. One of the best jobs I thought coach did was the change he put in when we played Baylor the second time last year.

  • @BeddieKU23

    Heck… I’m all in for good guards… I just hope we aren’t headed for a situation where we feel desperate again and start shoving ideas ahead of reality.

    This year was an experiment that went really wrong. I’m not going to get negative on any player we had. They all did what they could (given the circumstances). I don’t think the leadership was there… leadership starts with coaches and works it’s way down. Not sure why things were like this. Covid is a bad excuse. We played most of our games and didn’t have near the problem many teams faced. Perhaps the NCAA investigation was just way too distracting for Self. I can understand that. He’s still my pick to coach us!

  • Maybe some of you young bloods out there can jump into this.

    Is the game changing within the players? Are the coaching ideas of the past not sinking in the same? I think we have all experienced a different energy level with youth today. I’m not speaking badly of it. Just different. Are players harder to reach by the coaches?

  • @drgnslayr Leadership occurs naturally. Bill did his job and got this team schematically in a place to succeed.

    But when there isn’t a talent on the team capable of taking over, there will not be a leader on the basketball court. Everyone knows that the leader in basketball is the guy you want taking the last shot. The guy who you look to get tough buckets when things aren’t going well.

    I don’t care what happens at practice. Or what the person is like off the court. The leader on your team is whoever you want to have the ball with 5 seconds left when you need a bucket.

    We just didn’t have that guy.

  • @Kcmatt7

    It certainly looked like Dave was becoming the guy as the season went on. But I don’t think he’s a sustainable option if he can’t keep himself on the court more then 23 minutes a game. His job this offseason is clear, get in shape to where he can play 27-30 minutes on average and above 30 in big/tight games or this team is going to have to find another identity.

  • @BeddieKU23 A teeny-tiny bit more consistency from him would go a long ways too

  • When I look at the bigs (even with Gethro this year who hardly saw the court) the past two and this next season it seems that there has been a positive recruiting shift. That being said, wouldn’t want another coach.

  • @Kcmatt7 without foul trouble

  • @BShark

    Damn hes out 4 months…

  • 3 months

  • @wissox You restored my faith in Bill. This was very insightful. Thanks.

  • @Fightsongwriter Makes me feel a bit better about Bill Self. Just so many what ifs, just like his predecessor.

  • @Kcmatt7

    Definitely on the “leadership occurs naturally” comment.

    I don’t think your scorer down the stretch is necessarily your leader. I’d say your play maker is usually your leader, whether that player is the scorer or feeding the ball to the scorer. We always called our last second shooter “money” and he got to wear that tag all year.

    The game seems to be different today. In the “good ol’ days” your leader was typically your PG, just like in football your quarterback was your leader. So many responsibilities fell on that role. It started off the court, and the leader would often babysit the troops and helped keep them out of trouble. On the court… the leader needed to read defenses and know how to attack them. The leader was also a play maker in creating easy finishes for other, usually by the pass. The leader was a cheerleader throughout the game. The leader gave out constant chatter. The leader kept the coach’s message alive with the troops. The leader was animated and drew most all of the attention.

    This is why I asked about today’s players. What if a guy comes around that has all of this to offer? Would his teammates follow? I don’t know. We are in such a different time today. The message is so much about equality that it may cast shade on leadership.

    I’d really like someone young, say 18 or 19 comment on this with their perspective of life today. Sometimes I work with youth on projects and it feels different today. I’m not being negative on youth… just trying to figure them out!

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