PG situation???? MHO

  • I’m going to take a shot at this pg situation the way I see it IMHO. I’m only going to consider Frank and CF because I just don’t know enough about Graham, so he may be great and make me look like a fool with this post. (of course I may look like one anyway :)) I think most people think that Frank will get the start, but I’m not so sure. I keep going back to the last two games and the play of both CF and Frank and way that played out.

    Last years team was a team of a bunch of nice guys. In high school, CF didn’t appear to be a nice guy on the court. He played with the swagger that he was going to Kansas after high school and his opponents were going to work at the factory across town. Then once arriving in Lawrence, he was on a team with a bunch of ultra hyped, high flyers with crazy athletic ability that he would never have. Thus, making him just a shooter and another nice guy teammate to fit in and not a scorer and facilitator. Well, if you’re the best on the floor you have swagger, if not, you better have a chip on your shoulder. I think last year was about HCBS building a chip on his shoulder.

    I think that chip finally showed up in that Eastern Kentucky game. He started to show some flashes of HIS game. His first basket that game came on a play where he had the ball on the perimeter, head faked or ball faked (can’t remember), got his defender to overcommit took two dribbles into the lane and knocked down an open 10 footer. In the next game against Stanford, he did it again but this time he drew Wiggs defender into the lane. He came to a jump stop ready to drop off the wide open backdoor to Wiggs, and Wiggs just stood out on the perimeter and didn’t realize the play. Then we see on the last made basket when he knocked down the three after sitting almost the whole half. Self called time out and going to bench CF didn’t make any eye contact with him and coach tapped him on the back of the head going by. I think there was a BIG chip on his shoulder then, and if not, there should’ve been.

    Fast forward to a couple weeks ago, Self says that he screwed up and should have play Frank more last season. What? That’s not what everyone was saying right after the Stanford game. So…more chip building, maybe? Or has he regressed back into “nice guy role player” this summer?

    Frank, aka, Frank the tank is really not a tank at all. And I don’t buy all the Sherron comparisons. Yeah, they are both fearless and close to the same height but that’s about it. Frank simply doesn’t have the girth in the shoulders and hips that Sherron had. This comes into play on those drives into the lane. Sherron was a bowling ball and when he made contact, the defender moved and he finished the play. When Frank makes contact, Frank moves, and the shot is altered resulting in a miss.

    Now Frank is fast, very fast. I think of him more like Tyshawn than Sherron, but Tyshawn’s got about 4 inches on him to help with finishes at the hoop. So…IMHO Frank needs to develop a mid range game of floaters and jump shots and learn to use change of speed on drives to the hoop; in addition to long range shooting and passing. I give Frank a pass on the lack on dishes last year because, as we see in the example with CF, they were playing with other player who couldn’t recognize the play anyway. That should change this year with more experience and hopefully, more leadership from those two making sure teammate recognize the play.

    So we see the strengths and weaknesses in both and I’m hoping both made improvements during the summer. Which ever one improved the most should get the nod. If neither improved, well, HCBS is in a bit of a pickle. If both improved, well then, coach got some weapons ready to go!

    The big question comes down to effectiveness. Who’s going to be the most effective in the lineups. (more on this later) I guess the point is, Frank doesn’t need to be the next Sherron, he needs to be the first Frank Mason! And CF doesn’t need to be a “nice guy teammate”, he needs to be Conner “Flippin’” Frankamp and play like he’s the best player on the floor even if he’s not. Let’s just hope these guys have the freedom to be the players they are supposed to be.

    Ok guys, here it is, tear it apart. But be gentle. 😉 Give me your thoughts!

  • @jayhawkbychoice nice work. Frank Masons best game was against Duke, and I agree he needs to work on floaters and midrange and doesn’t have the size or ups to take it to the hole with contact. His passing game improved through the year but not by leaps and bounds. And maybe if Self realized how much he needed the trey gun that he didn’t develop last year, Frankamp gets early opportunities.

  • If Frank can make the easy plays, he is so fast he has to start.

    But can he?

    Self will be finding out right away.

    If Frank can make the easy plays, then Self gets to stretch the spandex with Selden and Greene, or Selden and Svi, or Seldon and The Designer.

    Conner lets Self play a non trifectate at one wing and still stretch the spandex. The non trifectate would probably be Oubre.

    How important is starting Oubre to keep the OADs coming?

    I just don’t know.

    Self has tended to start all of his OADs, even if he felt they needed 20 mpg of back up.

    Can’t say about Davonte, but Self said Davonte made the team a whole lot better the moment he signed.

    I would say we are going to get early looks at all three to see if each can make the easy plays and to see how well the unit that each plays with does when the live rounds are being fired.

    Then he chooses and one becomes a little seen commodity waiting for an injury, or screw up by one of the other two.

  • @jaybate-1.0 IMO Frank has the edge in ball handling but Conner seemed to have better court vision seeing plays, recognizing defenses, & moves unfold on the floor. Plus CF has a gun or the touch to rack up points by the boxcar load. We’ll see them all often & early but by the time UK rolls around, Bill will likely choose his leader. If Frank can keep his eyes & head up & take care of the rock when he drives, I believe He’ll get the nod to drive the bus. But I agree also that CF plays within the skillset & swag that got him to KU, he has at least a 50-50 shot. Graham should push them both but HCBS is so set in his ways, I wouldn’t even call him a dark horse. Self didn’t hand the reins to Frank very often once conf began even as inconsistent & tentative as Tharpe became when he was hounded with heavy def pressure.

  • @jayhawkbychoice

    Nice analysis but there is one factor that equalizes Sherron and Frank and it is the way fouls were and are called. The way Sherron played, I believe you called it bowling ball, would draw a foul on him immediately even when the decks is stacked in favor of the offensive player; he would be one of the few offensive players that would not benefit from the new rules… Frank needs only to penetrate and make contact and the defender is called for the foul. I posted before that if defensive wizards RussRob, Mario, Travis, Brandon and others that executed the vaunted Self defense, played with the same rules. they would foul out in the first half, which makes Wiggins defensive prowess that much better, since he was a superior defensive player despite the new foul rules.

    I do believe that Frank has the inside track on the PG position and Conner best chance is to play the off-guard much like Jeff Bosche played and was very successful. I like Frankamp a lot and I believe he has solid fundamentals, a good feel for the game, a potentially outstanding three gun (that we have not yet seen) and a great work ethic; however what he lacks (so far) is the physicality/athleticism that other players have and can be a liability on defense. I am hopeful that over the Summer he has worked on this aspect and will show up a much improved physically and with more confidence given his performance on the last couple of games of the season.

    Like you and most others, I don’t know much about Graham since he was late riser in the rankings and there is not as much scouting information on him as we would expect… The usual highlight YouTube videos are not good indicators as they only show the beter and not the boneheaded plays or overall game. I am hoping he will be a pleasant surprise.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    I see what you’re saying about drawing fouls. But we saw last year, as the season went on the refs got back to calling fouls based on TV timeouts and game length, unless it was a situation they had to blow the whistle. Another point that I failed to make about the Sherron/Frank comparison was that Sherron was wide enough to create space with just his body. Frank and CF should work on creating space much the way @jaybate-1.0 described yesterday when talking about Svi. That’s what happened in the example I gave about CF hitting the wide open 10 footer. His defender was in turn and burn mode and had to stop or he would’ve run over CF. When a defender runs over the back of the pg in the lane it will get the call every time. When there is a meet at the rim collision, there’s room for reasonable doubt. 😉

    Honestly, I think scoring won’t be as important as IQ and leadership abilities to be a “coach on floor type” because I think overall team IQ will still be lacking. They both need to improve on that because, if they can’t do what is needed to make themselves effective, how can they facilitate the rest of the team being effective? I don’t care who gets the nod, as long as they get the job done.

  • @jaybate-1.0 Interesting. I never thought about the OAD roller coaster being a factor in who sits up front. Of course there has been much debate about who starts at the other positions also.

    “Can’t say about Davonte, but Self said Davonte made the team a whole lot better the moment he signed.” Truth? “Coach speak”? Or more chip building for the other two?

  • Coach speak seems the tendency.

  • I’d like to take this opportunity to say that I agree with @JayHawkFanToo’s post today. Doesn’t happen very often (insert smily face).

    We just don’t know about Graham. That’s the hard part. But I do want to “mark” Self’s comments from when Graham and Svi signed. Both times, it was “instant” or “immediate” impact. If both beat out their competition, it will give increased credibility to those comments in the future. As of now, I think its all bluster.

    But let me toss something out that is an alternative thought – Self really isn’t a Conner Frankamp fan at PG.

    Here’s why I speculate - CF rarely played last season. Then only when he appeared to be the only option. Self likes athletic guys running the show. He put up with TT’s obvious issues. Mason was ahead of CF from the get go last season, even though CF was more highly rated. Mason has garnered positive comments from Self during this off season. Self brought in Graham, giving us the instant impact message. CF is a methodical point guard – my term. Others may disagree. But he is a spot dribbler. When he brings the ball up, he goes spot to spot to spot – a lot of tail dribbling. I cannot fathom that Self likes this. No coach really does. And which of our two point guards offer a more consistent style of play … from what I’ve understood on Graham, he isn’t methodical. So Graham and Mason offer that consistency. If Self values that consistency, which is an item pointed out by posters here before, that could be a deciding factor.

    This is just speculation, and a possible scenario. If CF is truly more of the Boschee type player as @JayHawkFanToo suggests, he might be the one struggling for playing time this season. There will be a “loser” in this point guard battle.

  • Banned

    I just don’t see CF getting the nod at PG. That’s not to say he won’t get some spot duty at the position. However keep in mind HCBS wasted no time going after Graham when he reopened his recruitment. There is a reason for that. Besides that I’m not sure the PG position fits CF’s skill set or game. Don’t get me wrong he takes care of the ball, and his more willing to pass the ball to the open man. However that’s just it, a PG is a play maker. They get the ball moving, they get into the lane, they make something happen. Conner seems more of a steady player that can calm the game when it’s getting crazy. The Kid that comes of the bench and ignites a fire when the offense is stagnant.

  • Speaking of point guards …everyone meet Carlton Bragg. I am thinking we found our new TROB (Me likey):

  • @KUSTEVE jethro, “me likey” is so you! Couldn’t get the video.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 LOL. I really like this kid. He doesn’t have the body of TRob yet, but give the kid some time with Hudy, and she’ll toughen him up. Love his driving skills, and his 3 point abilities.

  • Thanks @HighEliteMajor , for your response. I have enjoyed your knowledge of the game for quite some time. It’s an honor.

    I agree with both you and @DoubleDD in your assessment of CF play last year being steady and methodical. But, I don’t think that is a reflection of what he can bring to the table. One question is why is that all he brought to the table? Confidence issues? Freedom to go make the play? Playing with inexperienced players and not having the leadership role or skills to get the others on the same page? The other question is whether or not he can fix those issues, and whether or not HCBS will let him play the way he played in high school and with the U17 USA squad? Like you said HEM, he appeared to be the only option for HCBS the last two games of the season. What has changed since then? Hopefully a lot! 😉

    With Frank, he needs an improved trey gun (which I think we will see out of both of them), more dishes on the drive (if the other players have their heads on straight), and some sort of mid range game. Because going to rim to be rejected or altered or hoping to be bailed out by a whistle just won’t cut it.

    Also, Self has talked about multiple ball handlers on the floor at the same time. So secure the rebound and get down the floor. This works to CF’s advantage, I think, because it allows CF to get lost on the wing as all the high flyers go rushing by, sucking in the defense, where he can shoot the open, quick trey. But again, it questions, will his 3% be up where it needs to be? (I think it will) And, will HCBS allow this type of play?

    Also defense will be key, particularly, post pass defense from our guards to help keep our bigs out of foul trouble. Frank has the edge here but both need to improve.

    Also, we’re going to need more rebounding from our guards too. Wiggs and Embiid are gone, and we can’t afford to give opponents extra possessions on long rebounds. In the summer camp videos, CF seemed to have a knack for knowing when to rebound and when to leak out for the outlet pass.

    Either way I think we will be better at the guard spot this year than last. Even Tharpe looked good when playing with more experienced player around him. Not so good last year. Which ever one can be a “floor general” should get the nod, IMHO.

    Snatching up Graham quickly I think was a reflection of the lack of '15 pg prospects and injury insurance more than anything. But I could be wrong!

  • @jayhawkbychoice

    Hey… thanks for starting a thread!

    “The big question comes down to effectiveness. Who’s going to be the most effective in the lineups. (more on this later) I guess the point is, Frank doesn’t need to be the next Sherron, he needs to be the first Frank Mason! And CF doesn’t need to be a “nice guy teammate”, he needs to be Conner “Flippin’” Frankamp and play like he’s the best player on the floor even if he’s not. Let’s just hope these guys have the freedom to be the players they are supposed to be.”

    I like this paragraph… a lot!

    I think that sums it all up at PG this year. Self will run all 3 at point in practice, and one will stand out as developing the best team chemistry. He’ll also look at who plays the best defense because we have to do a better job of stopping the drives and defending the long ball this year. I don’t care what anyone says… a big part of our success this year will relate to our ability to keep Cliff on the floor (out of foul trouble). If our guards easily let their guy penetrate it will be up to Cliff to stop them, and you can count on a couple of extra fouls every game because our perimeter guys didn’t hold their own. This is huge!!! I believe this is the key to our entire season! Cliff may end up being the best post player Self has had at Kansas for running the hi/lo… but he’ll have to stay more than one year to earn that!

    I don’t quite relate to your view on Mason and Sherron. I (also) don’t see Mason as another Sherron… I see him more like a Phil Pressey (from our beloved Mizzou) but with a much thicker, stronger body. He definitely hasn’t figured out how to use his body on his finishes… but that was last year, his freshman year. I’m expecting him to transfer his game from HS to D1 this year. That means… knowing how to finish and use his body to create spacing… knowing how to see more of the floor and be a better team player… learn to defend better and stop his man from penetrating… etc.

    But who knows? We all put our hopes and expectations in these guys to make a big jump over the summer. Some do and some don’t.

    I feel positive that Frankamp has up’d his game over the summer. He just needs more time playing with D1 players. He has had a summer of “pick-up” games going against D1 and NBA players. He’s the kind of guy that finds ways to be successful. He is learning how to play at this level and we will see him play a bigger role this year. I’m sure of that.

    Self has said some things that are interesting. I think he wants to get back to the mindset he had in '08, where he had 3 top notch perimeter guards to mix and match (at the 1 and 2). This time, he has at least 4 and maybe 5 if you put Svi out there at the 2. I think maybe only Mason is fixed as a 1… and I think the rest can be 1 or 2. I expect Self to mix these guys up out there to help throw off our competition and to try to find the right combination to be effective on a per game basis. That’s pretty much what he did in '08. The last few years, he froze guys in one slot, and I think it limited what they could do and kept them in ruts for longer periods. All the guys we have now can handle the ball and bring it up the court. They are all capable around the perimeter and some can drive.

    A long time ago I posted that NBA website that shows players graphical shot charts for the entire year. We need that for D1. Some guys have their sweet spot where they are deadly, but if they slide over 5 feet they can’t hit the broad side of a barn. It’s just the way it goes with shooters. And the guys who like to drive, sometimes do it much better from a specific angle on the court. Some can drive off the dribble while others need to come off a screen.

    We should all be pumped to see this team in action this year! We have so much talent and depth in most areas, and players with strong skill sets to do specific things well. I have to go back to '08 to find a Self team that can compare with talent at the guard position (1 and 2). So many areas where we have been horrible the past few years should improve vastly. We should have fewer TOs and we should create more with our d. How many of our pile of losses last year were largely created from having too many TOs?

    @KUSTEVE - thanks for the link! Gotta love Bragg’s attitude! He has plenty of pride and drive. Sometimes all it takes is one guy like that to impact an entire team and drive them to the big prize.

  • @drgnslayr Thanks for the up vote! That really means something coming from the leading up vote getter! 🙂 I’ve always enjoyed your insight and wisdom of the game over the last couple of years that I have been following all you guys.

    Agreed, keeping Cliff on the floor and effective is huge! The PG situation is probably my 3rd highest concern. My second is post play, particularly, post defense. I think our guard play will be better at stopping penetration. But what happens when we run into a 7 footer who is just money with a baby hook from 5 feet, like Stanford last year. The '08 squad had Kahn off the bench to help with that situation. Can Landon or Hunter fill that role this year? Can our guards help with entry pass pressure? I hope so, because all it takes is one mismatch like that in March to send you packing. In '08, I was confident we would beat UNC because we had 16 fouls and 4 big bodies to throw at Psycho T. Now I know he wasn’t a 7 footer, but I think it makes my point.

    Great post, thank you!

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Again, who plays PG depends on who plays 3, assuming Selden is a given.

    Why did Naa have to play so much last season? Because NOBODY could stretch the spandex and Naa could at least be a credible threat from trey on the nights when he was not too spent from auto-photography.

    Why did Frank see less and less PG time? It wasn’t just that he didn’t finish at the rim. It was that he never became a credible threat from trey and Self had NOBODY else to stretch the Spandex.

    This spandex stretching shooting weighs heavy on an Okie Ballers mind, because without spandex stretching shooting, an Okie Baller’s beloved hi-lo high percentage inside boogie is always in danger of being stymied.

    And without an inside game, then opponents start crowding the three and one’s W&L statement is essentially reduced to double digit loses from over reliance on the low 2 point J in between game.

    So the amount of time that Conner plays PG depends largely on the following:

    1.) Can Conner alternatives make the easy plays;

    2.) Can Conner alternatives stretch the spandex;

    3.) Can who plays the 3 stretch the spandex.

    IF Frank and Davonte can’t make the easy plays, THEN GOTO some new hi-lo improvisation built on tail dribbling, even though you are quite right that Self prefers speed balling at the PG, ELSE NEXT.

    IF Frank and Davonte can make the easy plays AND stretch the Spandex, THEN Conner only sees PG PT at the end to shoot FTs, and PT at the 2 when Self can go small and needs Spandex Stretching from the 2, ELSE NEXT.

    IF Frank and Davonte make the easy plays, but they cannot stretch the Spandex, and if neither Oubre, nor Greene can stretch the spandex at 38-42%, THEN Conner becomes the starter at PG, and maybe even Svi moving into the mix and you will witness a clinic in tail dribbling hi lo offense innovation unprecedented in Self’s tenure, until Svi can get accustomed to D1 muscle ball and combine forward dribbling with long balling from the PG.

    So much of what happens at PG depends on Greene and Oubre at the 3. Can either make the easy plays AND shoot 40% from 3?

    If you yearn to see Frank and Davonte, and dread tail dribbling, then you have to kneel and buff the rosary for either Greene, or Oubre, to make the easy plays and trifectate at 40%.

    Unless they do, this season has a lot of Conner and Svi at point written all over it.

    My underlying assumption, of course, is that Selden can get his trey balling up to 38% with a lot of 3pt attempts.

    However, if Selden turns out not to have gotten his explosiveness back, which I suspect is a 50/50 proposition, then his trey ball percentage will at most be 35-36% and that will put even more pressure on Self to play a spandex stretcher at point guard, even if he can’t dribble forward a lick.

    This situation is a study in linkages among positions, which is my favorite subject of analysis in basketball. A team is a tapestry of abilities woven for optimum net benefit and elegance of performance. Pull the string here, something changes there. Change the color of the string, or its tensile strength, or its elasticity, here, and something else changes there. If your 3 can’t shoot the trey here, then your 3 position guy has to shoot it there. And so on.

  • @jaybate-1.0 Another good post!

    I guess I just assume all the tailing dribbling wasn’t a true reflection of CF’s game. More a product of the lack of team chemistry and experience and probably self confidence. Many times all of our PG’s forward dribbled into right into trouble, and for CF that meant a quick hook and he knew it. It wasn’t until the last couple of games that the chip got heavy enough for him to show some glimpses of what he can do when he has the confidence and the ok from HCBS to attack. One attack resulted in a open 10 footer, great confidence builder. Another attack resulted in a missed opportunity at an open back door dunk, because Wiggs hadn’t seen that play all year and wasn’t expecting it. So back to the tail dribbling. But I’ll digress.

  • @jayhawkbychoice – Personally, I would have been fine with just Mason and CF. I do agree with your thoughts on CF. He didn’t really show everything he probably had to offer, which I think was due to typical freshman sphincter tightening. It’s something Self has a knack for inspiring, but it is part of his plan. Tear 'em down to build 'em up I think @drgnslayr said at one time.

    CF was the best option at the end of last season because of his steady hand. Conservative, consistent, didn’t turn the ball over … but didn’t dish, either. Assist to TO was great, but there just weren’t many of either.

    Frank’s three point shooting improved, and he was much more under control. His game was on a significant uptick at the end of last season.

    But as @jaybate-1.0 said, Graham was snagged likely because the 2015 PG crop wasn’t a sure thing. That’s an excellent observation. Survival of the fittest as we move forward.

    I know at @jaybate-1.0 believes that the PG will be determined by the three spot. I’m not convinced of that (I would point out that @jaybate-1.0’s analysis is terrific – good stuff). I am more likely to believe that Self will choose the point guard that he thinks is simply the best player. Simple, yes. But I have never believed Self is beholden to three point shooting as most of us (correctly, I might add) think he should be. But I think that goes to @jaybate-1.0’s point #2 … can Conner alternatives hit the three? If Mason can hit the 3, he’s the guy. Not because Self will use it as a deciding factor, but because it’s another straw on the camel’s back. He has “it” … and a three point shot seals it.

    And let’s not forget, Mason worked on his shooting in the off season, moving the ball to his fingers as opposed to his palm … in a more standard triangle form. This will pay dividends, I am quite sure. I will be shocked if the three point shooting doesn’t go up by 5% at least. Another item is that he places the ball a touch to the side, much like Larry Bird did. A touch unconventional.

    But as @jaybate-1.0, said, if Mason and Graham can’t make plays, or play out of control ala Mason in the first half of last season, then CF wins by default. I am not sold on the idea (like Jeff Goodman and Biancardi are) that Graham will come in and be the man. I think that perspective is borne from minds that don’t know KU hoops (and Self) like we do. I think Graham will play like a freshman in Self’s systems usually do. A thirty something rated guy – a guy that will really be ready next season. That’s why I think it’s either Mason or CF. They have the scars from their freshman initiation.

    @jaybate-1.0’s analysis is very interesting to me … the theory of CF as the PG, things slow down, hi-lo the go to, all goes contrary to what Self suggested as the m.o. this season. He wants them to play faster.

    But then again, Self says a lot of things.

    By the way, I don’t see Svi at point, here, ever. Never ever. Watching him play, he doesn’t seem to have that look at all. Kind of like Ellis at the three. I just don’t see it in his game.

    Great thread.

  • @HighEliteMajor one thing we all seem to be forgetting- defense! Conner was almost as bad as Tharpe. Don’t you think Self will take that into consideration?

  • @Crimsonorblue22 Good point. I do think Mason did an adequate job, and I wasn’t horrified by CF as I was with Tharpe. A big difference between CF and Tharpe on D – effort. There were times when watch replays of the games, that Tharpe was just pathetic when it came to effort. The WVU game convinced me that he was toast. Kind of the Randy Moss thing … would take plays off, but more regularly. I never saw that with CF.

    And your citation of defense may be the factor we’re not considering with Graham. Heck, you know me, though … play zone.

    Good point.

  • @HighEliteMajor Thanks for the assist. I expect both to be improved, and that bodes well for the team. You can take it to the bank that Frank has been working on his shot. He has been talking about that all summer, I know this for a fact. So fingers crossed!

    Agree with you on Svi playing point. I’m not old enough to remember Magic playing point at 6-8, plus I’m from Missouri. I’ll believe it when I see it. 🙂

    Point guard play is my 3rd highest concern for this team. Post play is my 2nd. I mentioned it a little in a post above responding to @drgnslayr. I’m going to start a new thread about that later. Please leave some thoughts on that when I get it posted. My number one concern has to do with coaching and I especially want your insight on that.

  • Hey @Crimsonorblue22, I know your defense comment was directed to HEM but I’d like to respond also if you’ll hear me.

    Mason, for sure, has a leg up on defense, but he got beat off the dribble too just like everyone else. And also some closeout issues on trey shooters. I will concede the fact that I don’t know how much he was asked to help out on defensive schemes and that’s what got him out of position on his man a few times.

    As far as CF, I don’t think he was as bad as everyone suggest. And I base that on the K-state game when Spradling started hitting a few shots, after moving through screens in the lane, and CF came off the bench and guarded him for about a 5 min stretch. Spradling touched the ball every possession but couldn’t get a shot off. When CF was replaced (I can’t remember whether it was Naa or Mason) the next possession Spradling hit an open 3 because whoever it was didn’t keep up through the screens.

    Almost every team we face will have someone like that for CF to guard. I seriously doubt any of our guards will be able to shut down one of the Harrison twins with Kensucky. And they all will probably struggle with guys like Foster of K-state and the Texas kid.

    Mason should be better at ball pressure and pressuring the entry pass which, if you saw my post above, I think will be important this year IMHO. Just food for thought.

  • @jayhawkbychoice can’t remember for sure which game, but Conner in 2 possessions, fouled a 2 pt shooter, then a 3 pt shooter, 7 pts scored on him. Needless to say, he went out, never to see floor again. I think it was against Baylor, not positive. I felt for him.

  • Let me start by saying that I like Frankamp and he is one of may favorite players, so my comments are not meant as a put down but as a build up of where his strengths are.

    Frankamp is a serviceable PG, he is not an elite PG. To get to the promised land you need an elite PG and Frankamp is not it. Frankamp can play PG reasonably well, mostly because he is a smart and steady and with good fundamentals he can overcome his physical limitations…up to a point. He can play PG for stretches but if he ends up being the starting PG then we have big problems.

    Frankamp is a superior 3 point shooter; a team with National Title aspirations needs a steady 3 point shooter and he can be it. He is similar in this respect to Jeff Boschee who could also play PG but his main job was to be the outside threat the kept defenses honest. and he became a critical component of some of the better KU teams. In my opinion, the question about Frankamp is whether he can create his own shot or do plays need to be designed to get him open and take advantage of his sniper skills; either way, Coach Self needs to take advantage of his skill and find him more playing time.

    Of course I could be completely wrong and he ends up being the next Stephen Curry.

  • @jayhawkbychoice

    “But what happens when we run into a 7 footer who is just money with a baby hook from 5 feet, like Stanford last year.”

    That is going to happen sometimes. Even with a footer it can be impossible to stop another footer who is allowed to get the ball deep in the post. The best bet is to fight hard for real estate and prevent the interior pass into the low post. Sometimes that is easier said than done.

    The thing we really need to watch out for (with a small post team) is rebound margins. We can’t give up the glass! We usually have strong rebounding teams and we need to maintain that or… for whatever gains we make in the steals department we turn around and give it away on the boards. The game of basketball is largely about who owns the most possessions.

    There is no reason why we have to give away anything on the glass this year. Cliff is a big body and he’ll have to use his body for rebounding position and then hustle for the ball. I keep referring to Charles Barkley because he was only 6’6" and led the league in rebounds. It is a cop out to use the lack of size as a crutch excuse for dropping rebound stats.

    Perry really needs to step up this year and become a leader for this team. He won’t need to do it verbally… he needs to lead with his play. This is Perry’s time and he needs to own it! The guy has been pumping Hudy weights long enough. It is time he leaves the ethereal designer world and start mashing bodies. He might as well do it now because if he hopes to play professional basketball anywhere (US or abroad) he’ll be expected to mix it up!

  • I think Self wishing he played Mason more, has to do with giving Mason more of Naadir’s mpg.

    I will politely differ regarding the physicality of Mason (190#), when compared to ‘most-effective-wt Sherron’ (200#), compared to CF (160-165#). What should be obvious is giving up 30# as a guard now playing Div.1, not wichita h.s. I get that slightly-built or short guys have crafty, quick-release ways of scoring, & CF is exactly such a (prolific) scorer, in h.s. (Sherron & Keiton Page…&Frank…could get physical, if needed). WWIzzoD to CF running point? Muscle-bump & knock him around, is what.

    Who was the better 3gunner cold off the bench all season last year? Brannen Greene. CF got those same 3 looks cold, off bench, but statistically was the worst 3gunner on the team (24%, prior to Stanford game). Frank was 28% trey, with a slight improvement trend…he was equally dismal until about Jan-Feb.

    Im ok with a PG competition, as it makes everyone better. But its still Self’s team, and he knows some games degenerate into physical grinder games. Mental fortitude also needed, something Naa & EJ both lacked consistency of…in the PG role, specifically. Tyshawn most definitely had it, as did Sherron & RussRob & Chalmers.

    As an aside, I want to see what Selden has, when he has the ball in HIS hands. KY starts 2 x 6’6 guards…look what they did to a small-pg competent wsu team, when it mattered most.

    Size matters, when it gets rough, and it will.

  • @HighEliteMajor Agree with your point above about coachspeak/bluster. Self simply being wise to not give away the farm, for both external and internal reasons.

    Davonte Graham, from his own description of himself (even after he signed w/ku) + his mixtape, makes me think he is a true combo–> forever conflicted about how aggressively to drive/score/or dish. He could be another Tyshawn, or another RussRob. Lets see what his on-court mentality & court awareness/intelligence actually is.

    Lost in the angst of a season-ending Tourney bounce is that Mason made many would-be assists that Ellis and Traylor squandered. If they cashed in, Mason has 5-7 more assists, we win, and CF never sees the floor. Mason, i thought, did his part, but the finishers didnt finish.

    Maybe Mason should have kept the ball & tried to “Duke 'em”, by bringing out his MSGarden persona? (Im joking, of course…as allowing a PG to go rogue-TTaylor-mode is never Self’s primary choice, but always remains a definite second choice/adjustment move, if “thats the only way to generate offense”.) Just for discussion, yes, Im joking because things werent totally ‘broke’ until BigBlack fouled out, and then who’s to know if antiDukeFrank woulda made any difference?

  • @drgnslayr Buried in your post was an absolute gem, which is the quintessential driving philosophy behind Bill Self’s entire system: “game of basketball comes down to who owns the most possessions” (as you discussed the t.o. margin & rbd margin).

    High%looks/always inside-out (best chance on our possessions). Win rebounds (xtra possessions, less for opp), limit turnovers (quick hook, as this is usually our own error…learn!), aggressive D (get t.o.'s, force opp into low% attempts).

    We see how rigidly Self wont deviate from this play-the-percentages philosophy. Of course, each particular season’s team has its strengths & weaknesses of personnel & execution of all said details. We know what Self’s performance target goals are…we just dont know how competent in all phases each KU squad will actually get by March?? For example, last year’s ku team was one of the worst ku teams in the entire Self era, especially defensively. Self’s proven system and past teams have already set the bar.

  • @drgnslayr It’s kind of funny we end up talking about bigs on the guard thread and guards on the bigs threads. I guess it really is a team game! 🙂

    Agreed on fight for real estate, also the guards will need to pressure the entry pass wide to get said footer off his spot. It’s just that guy from Stanford (I’m really not sure if he was a footer, but you know what I mean) was exactly the kind of guy that Kahn would’ve bother just enough to be ineffective, if only we had a Kahn last year! 😉

    I mentioned before about our guards helping with long rebounds. Those types of plays never seem to go our way. Especially when we have a player or two “nicked up” and playing good D for 35 seconds on bad wheels, just to do it again for another 35, against team that are trying to shorten the game. (mid-major tournament games) I noticed in the camp games this summer our guards seemed to have knack for knowing when to stay home and rebound and when to leak out for the outlet pass. This will be key if we really up the tempo this year. Mario was the last guy we had that had that knack, and he still does today in the pros.

    Spot on with Perry!

  • @jayhawkbychoice if only we had Embiid!

  • @Crimsonorblue22 Oh yes, Embiid would’ve made that guy ineffective on both ends of the floor! And probably would’ve fouled him out halfway through the second half!

    In case you guys haven’t noticed, 😉 I’m hoping Lucus or Hunter can fill that role that Kahn and even Cole filled in 08. You don’t need that guy all the time but when you need it, it’s priceless!

  • Mason and Frankamp should have played the entire year last year. Tharpe was a mid major talent, on a top 10 team. He was in the way. Mason and Frankamp were outstanding as Freshmen. With a little more seasoning, who knows what they could have done in March and April. One team last went to the Championship game, not because they were good, but because they hung around, and one player on their team nailed clutch 3’s against WSU, Louisville, Michigan, and Wisconsin. The young man can shoot, but more importantly, he was given the green light to shoot, and guess what, he was a Freshman. Didn’t mention the school’s name because we all know it, and most don’t care for it. Anyway, my point is we had to Freshmen studs that weren’t given the opportunity to show wha they can do… You must have leaders at the point and two guard positions. Now that Tharpe has moved on, I believe we will return to our winning ways.

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