Early team musings from Bill Self.

  • Most of you have probably seen this already but here it is again anyways.

    Taking a stroll: Self said he took a long walk Sunday, prior to the Ice Bucket Challenge. During his stroll, he pondered the makeup of his 12th KU team.

    “I know I’m going to like our speed. I know I’m going to like our hungriness. I think I’m going to like our aggressiveness,” he said. “The only thing that will be different with this team is, we’re used to having size. Our standing height is by far the smallest it’s been in a long time.

    “But we also won a national championship (in 2008) starting two 6-8 guys (Darrell Arthur, Darnell Jackson), but we had 6-11 (Sasha Kaun) off the bench. We won a lot of games when Wayne (Simien, 6-9) and Christian (Moody, 6-8) were our two big guys. But still that hasn’t been the way we’ve been successful of late. So we’re going to have to adjust and do some things defensively I think will benefit our personnel and maybe some things offensively to open the court more to allow our guards maybe to post more.”

    I think it exciting and interesting how Coach feels about this team so early in the season. He is saying positives about their aggressiveness, hungriness and speed. The latter being not so much of a surprise but to show such fortitude this early says good things to me about the 14-15 season. All those guys coming back knew they underachieved last year and they got to " nut up or shut up this season" Quote from Woody Harrelson in Zombieland. They are smaller this year but they will all be fast and they will all be hungrier on defense this season. They learned the hard way last season. You dont play great D and learn how to be a wolf pack, your not going far in the dance. The 2008 team was an absolute wolf pack on defense. If this years guys can aim for that level, they will be much much tougher to beat.
    Can we just start the season already? I Need my college basketball!!

  • @Lulufulu85 aggressive, hungry and speed… 3 of my favorite bb team traits! Can’t wait!

  • @Lulufulu85

    Thanks for leading the charge!

    So did we miss out when Myles Turner decided to stay home?

    On paper… yes. In reality… who knows? I like Self coming right out and putting an identity stamp on this team as “a quick, hungry, aggressive team without a big man.” He sounds like he is already putting his foot down on his perimeter players that they will have to step up and play defense this year. No more coasting perimeter defense.

    Had we landed Turner it would have been “business as usual.” Why would this team’s perimeter guys have to step up if our last several perimeter guys didn’t? And Turner would just be a skinny freshman… so he wouldn’t be leading the nation in blocked shots and (most likely) he would need to!

    This year we hit the reset button… finally! I’m not complaining about our teams from the past few years, but in some ways I am unsatisfied and critical. Part of Self’s fame relates to defense, and our perimeter defense just hasn’t been cutting it!

    I think it has been a while since Self has had a team where all the guys truly “bought in” to his philosophy. I have a feeling that this team will be that team!

    With this team, every player will have to be responsible (and accountable) for their actions. Their mistakes will not only stick out, but will cost this team dearly. This year, there is no National shot-blocking demon behind everyone to erase their mistakes.

    I think our perimeter minutes this year will be awarded to those who are eager to defend. And the same goes for our interior minutes, too.

  • Lucas is 6-10; this sounds like Self is not counting on his standing height.

    So: TRANSPOSED from KU units to English units, we are looking at a front line something like…

    Ellis, 6-7 Traylor, 6-6 Alexander, 6-7 Greene, 6-7


    Self may be bringing Svi in to play some 4!!!

    What I am really jazzed about, though, is that this could be Self’s chance to dip into John Wooden’s bag of tricks; this could become Self’s great short team!

    Self set the precedent for borrowing from Wooden with Self’s superb Tulsa team that went deep.

    But he is going to have to do some different things on both ends.

    If anyone can fit these pieces together, it is Bill Self.

    I’m amped for tip off!!!


  • On a related story…

    Bizarre recruiting: Former Oregon signee Ray Kasongo, who was not offered a scholarship by KU after his visit in July, apparently won’t be headed to College of Southern Idaho after all. According to Zagsblog.com, Kasongo’s bags made it to the Boise, Idaho, airport last weekend, but he did not. A source said Kasongo was intercepted by someone at the Denver airport and taken elsewhere. “After several hours of panic and alerting authorities, we did hear that he switched planes in Denver and flew to a different location. We are thankful that he is safe but disappointed in his reckless choice. We only want people who really want to be at CSI, and apparently he doesn’t want to be. We wish Ray Kasongo the best in his future,” Southern Idaho coach Jared Phay told Zagsblog. It’s unknown where Kasongo will elect to play ball.

    Wasn’t he supposed to be a shoo-in at Indiana? I am glad KU passed on him. I don’t believe we have heard the entire story and there is something very weird about this player and his adviser.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    I think Kasongo thought too much about Kasongo. As a player who would have signed in late, and a guy with lots of athleticism but not matching talent, he was in no position to storm into a program and make demands on playing time or styles of play.

    It sounds like what he did promise was to disrupt a team’s focus away from the big prize and on to him and his drama.

    I’m pretty sure if the kid had his head on right he would have been a Jayhawk. Self would have loved to sign another big body and if he didn’t show promise after one year, he would be looking to transfer.

  • @jaybate-1.0 I am ok with our lack of height this year. I know that we had Sasha coming of of the bench in 2008 but for the most part that was a pretty small team in the post and things worked out ok. Hey, look at UCONN last year. That team did not start anyone over 6’9 and their two starting guards were both as small as they come at an elite level.

    Jamari and Cliff can play bigger than they are and Lucas and Mickelson are nice big bodies to have coming off of the bench. As Coach Self points out our perimeter is going to have to be the strength of our team this year. Wouldn’t most of you say the last team we had that was stacked on the perimeter was 2008?

  • What if Ray Kasongo were intercepted at the airport by KU coaches and were to surface in Lawrence in a day or two? 🙂

  • @jaybate-1.0 would be to crazy! I heard he went off w/gf and showed up today, or yesterday???

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