@HighEliteMajor - In Honor Of Your Persistent Sense Of Reality!

  • Here is what I like most about HEM… he posts what he believes, even if it isn’t popular to a biased fan base.

    “I know that pains some, but do you really think we would have won even half our league titles if UConn, Syracuse, Georgetown, Villanova, Marquette, and Pittsburgh would been in our conference during that period of time?”

    I’m torn on this one. The real discussion was would you rather have UCONN’s season outcomes during the Bill Self years or the outcomes of Kansas? Translated: Would you rather have UCONN’s success in March or Kansas’ success a bit in March but mostly during conference play?

    These questions have bled the discussion into the strength of conferences. HEM’s question above smacked me in the forehead like stepping on my garden rake. In the process of bruising my forehead (and ego) my crimson/blue spectacles fell to the ground. Through HEM’s persistent pursuit of persuasion, I have finally come around to see the light (partially).

    The following link displays a broad picture of how the Big 12 compares to other power conferences. Hold on to your seat… the results don’t seem to mesh well with our recent conference SOS and RPI from many sports talking heads… however, these stats show us all hardcore outcomes. The facts are the facts. Never has it been more apparent that the Big 12 is truly a “football conference” and not so much a “basketball conference.”

    Those durn reality stats…

    There are too many indicators here to avoid what HEM is selling.

    So I feel a little bit shorter today. And it is mounting some displeasure in me… not for Kansas basketball… but for B12 basketball! I know what the problem is. When your school (OSU) requires that your basketball coach plead with students to attend games, there is problems with the popularity of your sport within your school. When this situation plays out in many schools in your conference… you have an issue with your conference.

    I have managed to tape up my crimson/blue specs and have put them back on. I still value our conference championship streak highly… perhaps up there with UCONN’s March success because as long as we keep winning our conference, we will receive plenty of air play while UCONN has to keep winning NCs to be recognized. For that reason alone, I’m sticking to our conference streak. But… ask me again a year or two after we have lost our conference streak. I believe that will be the time to replay these blogs and start over!

    I’m looking through Kansas eyeglasses again but I’m not seeing anything positive about the Big 12.

    Now I’m thinking… just how much has the Big 12 cost Kansas basketball? How many great recruits did we lose because they didn’t want to play in the Big 12? I used to think our biggest negative was just being in the Midwest… a long way from the coast… a long way from both water and mega sports press. I’m rethinking that position and I don’t think our location is a negative… I believe our negative is being in the Big 12!

    Take all of this into consideration and it just makes Bill Self appear a brighter star! No, we may not have the strongest basketball league in the country, but Kansas has the same hills to climb as all the rest of the teams in our league have, and we’ve managed to own this league for a decade!

    Under Self, would we have owned the Big East the last 10 years if that was our conference? Upon first glance, it really seems the answer is “no”… however… who is to say what talent Self would have been able to recruit all those years when his team was playing in a “basketball conference” instead of a “football conference?” And wouldn’t we have built tougher teams if they had to go win in all those Big East venues?

    My glasses are working fine again. I’ve managed to put the garden rake away in a safe place, and I feel like I’ve recovered from my head injury. I realize I am still looking through crimson/blue lenses… but I’m not ready to concede that Self couldn’t win 10 in a row in the Big East. It isn’t fair to criticize his ability to win conference titles because the Big 12 doesn’t match up well with the Big East. I do feel comfortable in stating that I think Self would have built better teams had Kansas been in the Big East all of Self’s years at Kansas. And if he built better teams, good chance we would show a better record in March!

    I’ve managed to shift the issue more on to the Big 12. Just how much does the Big 12 hamper Kansas basketball?

    When my glasses were off I also thought of another question… Just how much does Kansas football hamper the Big 12?

    All of this should point us into a smarter direction. Shouldn’t Kansas be in a “basketball conference” and not in a “football conference?” It seems like we are forcing something that just isn’t there and we’ll continue to pay a price for staying where we are.

  • Thanks for the link slayr! Interesting read.

    Wasn’t too long ago that I had posted a thread regarding how good the Big 12 really was. My position has always been based on the lack of tournament success. No final four teams during the 10-year conference winning streak. Very few legitimate NC contenders aside from KU teams. Your link certainly highlighted the dismall tournament record of the league. And now I see things like how the number of NBA draft picks our conference has produced is dwarfed by other conferences and it just reaffirms my belief that the Big 12 is mediocre at best in relation to the other power conferences, and in many ways is vastly inferior.

    The staunch supporters of the league will point to kenpom stats to support their belief that the Big 12 has been good.

    the Big 12 was good ya’ll

    Others downplay the tournament, saying that a single-elimination tournament isn’t a good measuring stick of the level of competition within a conference. That Final Fours and National Championships are more about getting hot or lucky than how good teams are. That it is not a good judge and rarely reveals who the truly best team in college basketball was over the course of 4 months or so.

    My response to those dismissing the tournament…I will acknowledge that a modicum of luck and getting hot can certainly play a part, but you also have to have talent to advance. If the Big 12 was equally as talented as other conferences, shouldn’t the law of averages have evened things out a little bit over the 15 year stretch provided in that link? Shouldn’t the conference have had their fair share of teams get “lucky” or “hot”, assuming they possessed the requisite talent? Sure you can point to examples of teams not being the best or even in the conversation for the best teams in the country that have gotten hot and advanced to the Final Four or won a NC, but over such a large sample size should we really see such a gap? I mean, sample size is essentially the argument of those who believe the conference is good - that the tournament is too small of a sample size but the season has many more games to expose how good teams really are. So in this sense, seeing the trend over so many years, can we not acknowledge the failings of the conference on such a large scale?

  • I took a minute to look at Mata, Roy, Cal, Patino, and Self. They have all had their success only difference is most of them had a NIT appearance and most of them had multiple early exits. We all have great coaches and programs and I have thoroughly enjoyed watching KU win over 300 games over the last 10 years! None of these other coaches were able to deliver that to their rabid fan base!

  • @Statmachine Very well stated! Thanks. As we all know the NIT is the Gold Standard! NIT is a stain that is not easily removed from your resume. I will take 10 straight Conference Championships, and the fact that most teams don’t want to play KU home and home. Longest tournament appearance streak is not too shabby either. Comparisons to Conferences with over 12 teams are not good comparisons.

    Finally, I can fully understand the right for everyone to have an opinion. I have mine as well, and I stand by it. Upsets happen all the time in competitions. I have read about the UNI game as a major upset, when it really wasn’t . UNI was the best team in the Missouri Valley that year, nearly 30 wins and only 3 or 4 losses. They were mis-seeded. I would have love to have played them in the Sweet 16 or beyond. It didn’t happen. We lost, it hurt, but that’s why I watch the tournament, knowing that there is a chance we could lose. It’s not underachieving, it’s competition against other D-1 schools. I know Arkansas fans that are still upset to this day about the game in 1991 when the 3-Seed KU team upset 1-Seed Arkansas in the tournament. On paper, we had know chance. Arkansas was loaded, but I thought we had a puncher’s chance, and we succeeded. We advanced to the Title Game by beating Dean Smith 1-Seed UNC team. Another 1-Seed that was quite upset that year. We lost to 2-Seed Duke in the title game. A Duke team that had gotten blown out by 30 in the Championship the year before. I cherish that season. We didn’t win it all, but we put up one heck of a fight!

    To answer a desperate question from a previous post. You damn right I would take my 0-30 Kansas Jayhawks over a 40-0 UConn team. I don’t even like UConn. I am a Jayhawk supporter for life! As I have said before, “Babies have made babies since the last time Kansas had a horrible season”. In my humble opinion, true fans are with their team in good times and in bad times. Championships are great and they are to be earned and appreciated.

  • @KansasComet You do realize that the discussion point is the resume, not taking UConn over KU. It’s what they have done, not who they are. It never seems like your responses address that. In fact, they ignore it.

    Simply because you might think another team’s resume is better than your own team’s resume is not heresy.

    So UNI over KU was not a “major upset”? But KU over Arkansas was an “upset.” UNI wasn’t mis-seeded. They were a 9, that’s a good seed. And of course they lost to a 5 seed in their next game by 7 points. It was a huge upset. We were a #1 seed with the coveted conference title under out belt, 30 plus wins.

    I’m curious, does anything upset you? Does it upset you when coach Self obviously fails to make a needed adjustment in a tourney game – with our season riding on it? And our season is over? Or is it all just “ok” because it’s KU? I am interested.

    And if you are critical, does that mean you are not a “true fan”? What does being “with their team in … bad times” mean?

  • @HighEliteMajor First and foremost “You do realize?” Not cool! Okay? If you want to talk hoops we can do that. You have an opinion, and I have one as well. We are on the same page on some issues and on others we will probably never be on the same page. That’s cool.

    Now you ask, does anything upset me? Yes, disrespect does upset me. As far as the Jayhawks go of course. I will lay it all out for your, since you asked. No holes barred: I loved Coach Roy Williams, but I thought the majority of his teams were not physical enough. Thought we were much better than Syracuse in 2003. We should have stomped Maryland in 2002 and not allowed them to comeback. The 1991 team was one of my favorites. The 1992 team that lost to UTEP one of my biggest disappointments. I was much younger, and I was probably upset for nearly a month. 1994, I thought we had no chance, but we still put up a good fight. 1996, 1997, 1998, I thought we would win the whole thing. It hurt each year. I really appreciate Final Four runs. They are hard to come by. Every year, a top 2 team goes home early. It’s a fact. What I love about our program is that we seem to always punch a ticket to the dance. If you have a ticket to the dance, then you have a chance. The Michigan game in 2013 was horrible, because I thought it was over at one point, and then we self destructed, not just one player. Yes, I get upset at losses, but I have a cornerbacks mentality and I look forward to the next play (season).

    The top seed in the MVC will probably never get a 9 seed again. I stand by the fact that when we win games we were supposed to lose, and the Arkansas game is a perfect example, then everything is okay. But when we lose to a team we are supposed to beat then its the end of the world to some. I believe in Karma in sports.

    Am I critical ? Yes. I don’t believe Young, Stewart, Brady, Reed, or Teahan were KU major minute worthy. I don’t think any would be recruited today by Coach Self. I like them all as role players, but not for major minutes. I believe it set back KU Basketball a few years. As did the recruitment of players such as Downs, and Giles that had zero chance to work out. We are just now coming out of that fog, (no pun intended) and things are starting to shape up for our program.

    Has Coach Self’s coaching lead to losses in the tournament? I can’t say one way or the other. Starting to lean toward yes, when I read that he said he should have played Frank more last season. My opinion is that Tharpe was getting absolutely killed by Mason and Frankamp in practice, and it affected his play in games.

    Being critical and badgering the team the entire year are two different things. Fairweather fans is what it means.

    Hope I answered your questions? We are what our record says we are and nothing more.

  • @KansasComet There we go … that’s the good stuff.

    Look, I think one can be critical, challenge Self’s thought process, critique his decisions and strategy, and analyze his lineups. I think one can express displeasure with situations, games, and other team matters. I And that doesn’t make one less of a fan. Actually, I’d suggest that it’s passion.

    When I post here, one thing I enjoy most is the different thought processes and how the posts here challenge everything. The discussion and debate shape my opinions. And my opinions change all the time based on what I read, watch, and observe. Part of getting to perhaps the “right” approach or to the “answer” is the debate.

    No disrespect intended, but I was interested in getting beyond many of your “everything about KU is great” posts. You are obviously very passionate, and I admire your loyalty. However, I’m interested in what you’re critical of.

    I’d love to hear more.

  • @KansasComet

    I think HEM pushed your button a bit… and I don’t like seeing people get upset in here, but you wrote a humdinger of a reply! If that is what it takes to get you to write like that, then let me be the next in line to try and yank your chain! Good post, my friend!

    We all have to accept that this is a blog for Kansas fans. And what I like about this blog is everyone really is a Kansas fan! So far we have avoided trolls and we are all the better.

    But everyone sees Kansas basketball through their own eyes. Some are going to be more critical than others. However, I feel like everyone in here speaks with the desire to express themselves and help expose a cumulative view of our team through so many unique visions.

    KansasComet… you can view HEM as a cynic… a pessimist… someone who “badgers the team the entire year.” Or you can realize that a part of his personality is to try and fix things. The first part of accomplishing that is to point to what needs to be fixed. It wouldn’t surprise me if HEM has had a career where he fixes things.

    HEM has been fixing me for a long long time! I am one of those fans that gets waaaay tooo sucked into the possibilities, and my imagination gets the best of me, and I’m looking through glasses so darkened with crimson/blue that I can’t see anything else because I’ve been blinded! HEM has helped me keep my feet on the ground and look at other aspects of the game that I haven’t paid well enough attention to.

    HEM isn’t the only one in here who has done that for me. I’d say, at one time or another, just about everyone in here has smacked me back to reality before! That is just one more reason why I started this thread… to acknowledge HEM for helping open my eyes on several things. Most of what I posted above is new ideas in my own head. I wouldn’t have found those ideas without HEM.

    We all gain from struggle. We need to embrace all the feelings here… the ideas… the perspectives… There is good, bad, positive, negative… but it is all good! It takes everything to find the right balance and to keep from flying away like a Jayhawk in Lala-land!

  • Banned

    I don’t get you guys? One topic already got shutdown over this subject. Let me make this simple for you guys. If you love and think the Big 12 is a great basketball conference then you’re a homer. For you that think that KU winning 10 conferences is nothing and has no value. What are they supposed to do? Lose? You play the games and the conference that is in front of you. If you guys think KU should be in a different conference then lets talk, but they’re not. So quit complaining about the Big 12.

    You that point to UConn to prove your point merely prove the fact the winning a NCAA championship in Basketball takes some luck. As the last two Championships UConn won, they were far from a dominant team. They got hot and lucky at the same time. For instant take the last two teams that UConn won a championship with and let them play a 7 game series with KU. Still think UConn wins? Maybe somebody should call HCBS and tell him, hey bud winning conferences championships don’t mean nothing. So by all means go up to Ames and get run off the court, or let the Wildcats just stomp you and rush the floor, and by all means head down to Texas and just get manhandled because conference championships don’t mean nothing coach. Really?

    Want the truth the reality is March Madness is the worst way to crown a champion, yet is the most entertaining. Meaning anybody can win it.

    By the way I’m a KU and Big 12 homer. Love the conference. If the Big 12 crumbles and KU goes somewhere else I’ll love that conference too. Doesn’t mean I don’t know basketball.

  • @HighEliteMajor I am not an everything is great about KU type. Not even close. Trust me, my phone rings off the hook from all over the world anytime Kansas loses. I used to get upset after every loss. I was probably not fun to be around in the early 90’s after losses, let alone tournament losses. I am able to let it go a lot easier now. I have my favorites on the team. I have an opinion about who should play, and who(m) I trust in crunch time.

    After the season ends. I usually go on a nice long vacation, enjoy life, decompress, and get ready for another season. I can’t help but show faith in something that I enjoy.

    I enjoy our back and forth. It’s not like it’s anything new.

  • @drgnslayr excellent post. We have been this way for years. Always entertaining. More to come. The season has not even started yet.

  • Anyone who wouldn’t trade 10 Conference titles for 3 National titles is just plain nuts. Or just a small town guy who should never leave the city limits.

  • @drgnslayr Thanks … really appreciate your post. Nice of you to say. As I’d mentioned, my opinion is continually getting shaped – in large part by your posts, and the others here as well. You’re right. All is good when talking Jayhawks. When Sept. 1 gets here, we can sniff the opening tip.

    @KansasComet Funny you mention the 90s. In 1997, KU lost to AZ, Chiefs lost to Denver. I swore that would never become that deeply invested in my teams again. It lasted for while. My wife had to talk me off a bridge after the 2002 Maryland loss … And yes, I enjoy the back and forth. I’m kind of interested in your CF/Mason vs. Tharpe take there. Care to expand on that?

    @DoubleDD For what it’s worth, I had mentioned that we’re spoiled with conference titles. Meaning winning them makes them seem less worthy. Personally, I admit to that. Winning them is better than losing them. But also remember that perhaps the focus on the conference title can distract or limit the prep for the NCAA tourney. Here’s an example - Self just admitted that he should have played Mason more at the point last season. Do you think he stuck with Tharpe because he thought Tharpe gave us the best chance to win immediately? And that playing Mason could have caused greater risk of a loss? See, that has been my point with Self for years. He sticks with what is comfortable to win the current game, and does not perhaps play the guys that need to develop to reach a higher peak of team performance. Self clearly saw Tharpe imploding, but trotted him out there against Stanford. Thus, focusing on the conference – win no matter what – could (and I think has) impact(ed) us later. Of course, the competing interest of getting a #1 seed, which is a better path to the NCAA title is predicated on winning. Clearly not a black and white issue.

    @KUinLA – no comment.

  • Let’s face it… we are all getting giddy waiting for opening tip-off. It has become such an issue for me that I’m diving into MLB now instead of waiting until October (like I usually do). Football? Bring it on! I’d watch frogs fight for a fly right now!

    @KUinLA … I’d trade 10 Conference titles for a tip-off tonight! 🙂

    Is there anything stopping us from forming a website to promote the Big 12? What if we made something that was compelling, driven by our sports lust, and creating something that would build enthusiasm for our conference?

    It feels like we do have a fan enthusiasm issue with our conference.

    What if we created something that would take off like the Ice Bucket Challenge? We don’t have to raise money with it but just draw energy towards the Big 12.

  • Down here in the land of Friday night lights (Texas) bBall is only an afterthought for most the population. On top of that the radio and TV station adds are cramming SEC network down our throats every day thanks to the A&M traitors. They even have big billboards in Austin near the UT campus that say “This is SEC country.” What a bunch of d*cks.

  • @KUinLA … I’d trade 10 Conference titles for a tip-off tonight! 🙂

    Well said!

  • @JayhawkRock78 My dad lives just outside of Austin. I was there in July and about peed myself when I saw one of those billboards!!

  • @JayhawkRock78 I forgot - do they take those billboards down during basketball season??

  • Banned

    @HighEliteMajor I do think HCBS stayed with Tharpe two long. However I’m not sure it had anything to do with Conference or National implications. It seems to me that HCBS is just that kind of coach. To stick with a player giving them every chance to succeed. Well his starters anyways.

    Maybe I’m wrong or overlooking something here. I know there is always exceptions to the rule. Yet I do believe HCBS does indeed put the best players on the court from game to game. That every time KU steps on the floor they try to win that game regardless of Conference or National implications.

    I understand the concept of going with a player to give that player some seasoning and giving the team a better chance to win down the road (tournament time). Sacrificing today for tomorrow if you will, but n HCBS defense how many teams can role out their bench and have a top 25 team? It’s more like next man up.

    To be honest with you one of my biggest grips with HCBS is that I feel he yanks the bench players to quickly. To me this hurts our tournament chances. For one the player feels they can’t make a mistake, and two such player never really gets a chance to overcome his fears or his mistakes. Which is where I believe confidence comes from.

    Now if you’re saying that maybe HCBS stays with a player to long when the obvious choice is an upcoming bench player, then I guess a point can be made. However don’t forget HCBS had no problem swapping Embiid for Black in the starting lineup.

    Having a conversation about HCBS and what he does and should do as a coach is a very valid topic. One that I more than happy to listen to and even engage in, if I feel that I have something to offer. However all this talk about trading 10 conferences championships for 3 NC, or trading KU’s success for UConn’s is just child play and wishful thinking. That’s like wishing in one hand and crapping in the other. Wander which one will fill up first?

  • @DoubleDD

    “That’s like wishing in one hand and crapping in the other. Wander which one will fill up first?”

    I got to remember that one!

    It is hard to be overly critical on Bill because of his record. But… I do think some of our bench guys need more minutes during the year, and sprinkled throughout the year. Take a player like Greene. He didn’t get enough minutes towards the end of the year and I doubt he could knock the rust off in March to be a weapon when we need him most. Guys can’t just sit all year and then perform to a high standard.

    That says a lot about Conner. He did step up with very little PT behind him. My guess is that he is an absolute workhorse 24/7/365, so he acquires very little rust!

    I agree with you that bench guys get pulled too easily. Because of that reason, they play tight and too conservative. It is hard to break them out of that mindset and really contribute. Funny… Self always talks about the guys needing to just play and not over-think the game, but as long as he keeps an “iron hook” over on the side, pulling players for any mistake, then he can expect the guys to over-think the game.

    This gets into one of the few areas where I have a real beef with Bill.

  • @HighEliteMajor Mason/Frankamp vs Tharpe. With Tharpe starting last year. I am assuming he went up against Mason/Frankamp quite a bit in practice. Tharpe was not exactly known for his defense. Guarding Frankamp in practice must have been a nightmare. Frankamp is a deadly shooter, and in my opinion, there is no way Tharpe locked him down in practice. Taking numerous jump shots in one’s face can wear you down mentally. Switch him to Mason, and it might have been even worse? Mason is a blur. No way Tharpe was able to keep up with him in practice. Mason is relentless and not afraid to get in the lane. Also has a decent set shot, and plays with no fear. So, one guard that rarely misses, and the other guard plays with no fear, is much faster, and can get to the rack a lot better. That’s a lot for Tharpe to handle on a daily basis. Over the course of the season, that had to wear him down mentally and physically. By tournament time, he was a shell of himself. Just my opinion, but I don’t think I am too far off.

  • Banned

    OK let me say I’m sorry in advance of this post (I’ve been drinking), yet I have to get something off my chest here. (Hope I don’t kill the thread)

    Some of you KU fans have said that you would trade KU’s 10 consecutive conference championships for UConn’s recent success. Still some of you have even took it a step further and mocked those KU fans that were happy with 10 consecutive conference championships and the Big 12. You talked about how the Big 12 sucks as a basketball conference and all these others conferences where better. You said look at UConn, and wouldn’t you want to be like UConn? Wouldn’t your trade the last ten years for UConn’s success?

    Not me I don’t want UConn’s trophies. I want what ever the Jayhawks give me. Sure I want to win championships, but championships don’t define the Jayhawks for me. To me the Jayhawks are like the creator and the guardian of the game basketball. Jayhawk History can’t be denied. We have the inventor of the game as our first coach, and we have the father or inventor of Coaching as the name of the place the Jayhawks play their games. The Jayhawks have a coaching tree that reaches further and in more directions than even Kevin Bacon in his plethora of movies (that one is kind of close 🙂 ). We had a US president comment on our Rock chalk chant. Sure there has been great disappointment but that has been great success also.

    When I argue with UK fans, and UNC fans, and UCLA fans, and Hoosier fans, Duke fans, about who is the greatest of all time. They argue the number of wins, and championships, and final 4 appearances and so on. I sit there quietly and let them make their case, and then I ask them one simple question. Who has done more to advance the game? Who has giving more to the game of basketball? There is always a silence, then the question comes what do you mean? Then I pounce. What great coaches have you created? What average players did you make great? What contribution have you made to the game of basketball?

    My friends KU is more than just winning championships. KU has always giving more to the game than it has taken. ( a tear is coming from my eye) KU is basketball. Without KU who knows what basketball would be today.

    For you that are still not convinced I promise you that UConn would give up half their championships right now to be in a power five conference. You might say KU is lucky to be in a power conference, but I promise you the Big 10 will take KU in a new York minute. Now why? Because of the Jayhawks on the hard floor and their contribution to the game we all love. Everybody and anybody will sit down and watch a KU game.

  • @DoubleDD

    “My friends KU is more than just winning championships. KU has always giving more to the game than it has taken. ( a tear is coming from my eye) KU is basketball. Without KU who knows what basketball would be today.”

    It just doesn’t get any better than this!

    No other entity on the planet has done more for basketball than Kansas!

    And no other school has done more for Big 12 basketball than Kansas!

    But the link I gave above shows a broad view of conferences. It is more than National Championships. I like the Big 12 but I’d like to like the Big 12 more!

    There are some good things going on in our conference. The Mayor deserves the most credit for lifting another program to new heights. ISU fans do not have the heritage we have, but they are becoming pretty FANatical and are quickly making ISU into a real basketball school.

    I’d do anything to get all our Oklahoma and Texas schools as excited about basketball as we are here at Kansas! Yes… eventually it would bring us a few more losses. However our conference would be stronger and we’d start competing at a higher level as a conference. We have all the tools in our conference to compete with all other conferences in basketball. We just don’t have the fan commitment at many of these schools like it needs to be.

    It seems that we could do something to build conference enthusiasm. It isn’t going to come from our conference heads. These are the folks who didn’t target schools like Louisville and Florida State for our conference and instead went for West Virginia and TCU. I don’t want to get into that now… we have to make the best of what we have.

    Back in my day, schools built momentum and rivalries by students often doing negative things to other schools. I’m sure that would still work, but it seems like we could all keep this positive and make it more of a competition between schools and who can build the most enthusiasm in their own school. We should be able to design something smart that creates an easy, fun way to get excited about your own team. We don’t have this problem at Kansas… but if we could help build our own conference, we would have as much to gain from it as all our other schools.

  • @drgnslayr and @HighEliteMajor

    This has been a stellar thread recognizing the need for self-criticism of The Legacy and of what kinds of valuable seed crops it yields. Thanks to both of you for brightening my day today, and on many others previously.

    You have in combination provoked this one seed in me.

    Wooden didn’t win many titles and he won no rings his first 10-15 years at UCLA when the PAC 8 had more than its share of fine coaches.

    Then when most of those coaches stepped aside, Wooden came into his own and won both a bunch of titles and a bunch of rings.

    About half way into Wooden’s run, Ralph Miller and a coach at USC began to give him fits, but still he prevailed and kept winning titles and rings.

    What does this case study of only one “n” suggest?

    It suggests that when a coach is young, it is good for him to be exposed to some top opposing coaches to force his development.

    It also suggests that once he reaches a certain stage of development, he doesn’t need to meet great coaches and teams during conference play to beat great coaches and great teams in post season play.

    And finally, it suggests that once a coach gets on a roll during a period of weak coaches and teams in his conference, he probably benefits some from having to face some top coaches and teams again later on so that he does not grow stale in his development.

    Self’s early years at KU there were some pretty serious opposing coaches and good teams in the Big 12. Sampson’s OU teams and Barnes UT teams and Knight’s TTech teams and so on. The middle third saw Self dueling guys like Billy and then Turg at A&M, and Mike Anderson at MU, where he had the experience advantage. During the first two thirds, the Big 12 had Durant, the big guy at OU, the great A&M guard, and so on. I think talent was good both first and second thirds, but the coaching level dropped off the second third. The last third we have seen an influx of coaches that are a good challenge for Self in Kruger and Hoiberg, and even Travis Ford, but the talent level has fallen way off.

    So: I think Self after the first few seasons of being seriously challenged by opposing coaches, has been able to out coach a lot of lesser talents and not been so challenged of late. Circumstances of recruiting have created the challenges Self has had to master. Opposing coaches until Kruger and Hoiberg have not challenged him and made him grow as much as might have been ideal.

    But when you look around the country and look at the particular top coaches, Self really only has a few of guys that can give him fits when Self has the better talent: Izzo and Coach K. Probably Pitino could outmaneuver him, but there haven’t been enough encounters to say. Hoiberg, as many headaches as he has caused, has not really been able to beat Self when Self’s teams were healthy. I figured Huggins would hurt Self, but Self has outmaneuvered Hugs most times.

    My first point here is this: I believe the Big 12 has been a pretty tough bunch based on its non conference regular season performance over the last decade. But it has more ups and downs in talent than the conferences located in the high population areas (EST conferences). But the up and down talent has prevented it from performing consistently well in post season, where talent has to be at a high level across a team for it to do well. And the more the OAD phenomenon becomes the norm, the tougher this becomes on a low population conference subject to more volatile swings in talent level. The quick departure of OADs compounds Big 12 talent swings due to small population base.

    My second point is: you don’t have to be from a consistently powerful basketball conference to win big and go deep in the NCAA, if you are an experienced coach at the top of his form that early on learned from competing against good quality coaches. Wooden dominated. Self has dominated. Rupp dominated against admitted chumps. Calipari comes from a basketball conference-the SEC–that is very up and down, and pretty down the last few years, and Cal is dominating his conference and going deep more often than not in the NCAA tourney.

    My third and final point is this: Self is just entering the gravy years of his head coaching career. These are the years when he is flat out going to be more knowledgeable than most of the opposing coaches he will face in the tournament. As terrific as he has been so far, his best years should be ahead of him. The next five to eight years are his time, if he does not burn out, or decide that he has enough money and just wants to coast till Tyler is out of school. He doesn’t seem that kind of guy. He seems hungry to me. He seems through the midlife ringer. He seems a guy that knows its now or never. Great coaches at this time of life often do amazing things. Self could be one of them.

    Rock Chalk!

  • @jaybate-1.0 lets hope you’re right. I enjoyed the reasoned optimism. Fun read.

  • @approxinfinity

    Thanks. Anytime.

  • So, in a nutshell, the Big 12 sucks. In fact, it sucks so bad, they can’t even get twelve teams to join the conference named The Big 12. rotflmfao

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  • @KUinLA @KUinLA I’m curious. Why so tart? So what seems to be so apparently unappealing to you with someone of a different opinion? And just so you may be aware in case you’re confused, a lot of “small town guys” have actually been much further around the proverbial (world) outhouse looking for the handle than many up or downtowners have been on a plane. And most don’t feel the need to scathe or mug someone else just because they’re diff. Also, neither frequent or intermittent 15-20 sec trips to the moon don’t gain much mileage either. For additional relevance the Big 12 doesn’t want to split the current revenue with more than 10 schools unless they are the additions they prefer to upgrade the total package which really makes quite sound financial sense. As always, JMO.

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