My biggest concern for this season??? The Joe Dooley Factor

  • My biggest concern for this season is with the coaching staff. Last year was Bill Self’s worst TEAM since being at KU. I know everything goes back to the head coach, but I don’t think it was all his fault. I mean, you have assistant coaches for a reason. Right?

    The offensive schemes seemed way simplified. The defensive schemes seemed way simplified. The playbook seemed very thin. Lack of in-game adjustments. Lack of “wrinkles” to help the team in situations. Some individuals got better as the season went on, but the team as a whole didn’t seem to get any better.

    I know we were young and inexperienced, but we’ve had other young and inexperienced team that showed improvement as the season went on. @jaybate-1.0 has posted about the “low foundation-high ceiling” guys and that is key, but I think there is another factor to consider when talking about a team. Could the players just not “get it”? Lack of preparation by the coaches? Lack of quality scouting from the coaches? Lack of in-game suggestions from the assistants? The inability to “coach them up”?

    I like many, feared the loss of Danny Manning, but we’ve seemed to have weathered that well. And I point to the development of our bigs like Traylor. He has shown improvement every time he gets on the floor.

    I fear what we are missing is Joe Dooley, and what I call the “Joe Dooley factor” I remember reading or hearing somewhere Mario mentioning how important Dooley was in his development here at KU. To me. the key word here is development. RussRob, Mario, BRush, Sherron, TT, Reed, Bstar, EJ, TRele all developed each year here with Dooley. IMHO, nobody developed like that last year over the course of the season.

    The “Joe Dooley factor”? Well…the guy never smiled, never celebrated, had a scowl almost the whole time. He was always talking to Self on the sideline in games. He would watch players on the floor like he was burning a hole through them. He was constantly burning a hole through the score board, then the clip board, then the score board, then back to the clip board. Always working. He always had things to say to the players during timeouts and they listened intently, not staring off in the crowd.

    I feel like Self and Dooley were like Batman and Robin, The Lone Ranger and Tonto, etc. I feel like he and Self could play good cop-bad cop to develop a player. One to get their attention and the other to teach, either way didn’t matter. I’m not a Joe Dooley or coaching expert.(and won’t ever claim to be) I’m not sure what intangibles he brought to the coaching staff, but there must have been something.

    @HighEliteMajor has posted a lot about Self not ever changing. IMO, he really hasn’t ever had to MOST of the time, until this last year. At least introducing new wrinkles from time to time was enough for us, and the ability to “coach’em up”.

    There probably is a lot more to these coaching issues that I just can’t put a finger on yet, and the solutions may be even harder to find. However, I got faith in HCBS’s ability to coach up players, and hopefully his coaches!

    So… what do you think? Am I way off base here?

    Are we missing the “Joe Dooley factor”?

    Will the current coaching staff be able to pick up the slack?

    Will the playbook expand this year?

    Will execution be better?

    Will play like we actually had a scouting report before hand, instead of making it up as we go?

    I hope so! It’s time to “pick up the pace, and I don’t mean picante” 😉

  • Dooley was the QA guy and a guard relationship guy. It seemed like Snacks and others replaced the relationships. What was not replaced was the analysis of tendencies–ours and theirs.

    Self is a genius if he knows what to adapt to and change from. QA is the great edge in identifying such things. Dooley ran the numbers before games and at half time. Dooley found the weaknesses. Self created the exploits. Dooley probably created some too. But there were many games where there were no weaknesses found before, or at half of games.

    Self also had inexperience and an absurdly tough schedule converge with injuries and the loss of Dooley. It was, if you will, a perfect storm and Self still won a conference title. Any other coach except maybe Pitino would have fallen to an NIT, or .500.

    Be the above as it may, four things killed last season:

    1.) Embiid’s injury;

    2.) Selden’s injury;

    3.) Wiggins protecting the merchandise most games; and

    4.) Tharpe’s cracking under the pressure.

    Self found many, many fixes and had the audacity to put the team on Embiid’s back to compensate for the next Lebron protecting the merchandise.

    Self’s brilliant early innovations to de-emphasize pressure defense and steals in pursuit of denying 3-PT plays inside and out and focusing on holding down FG% foremost, while winning by maximizing inside FG plus FT style 3pt plays became copied by most coaches by March.

    Self’s faced a perfect storm that washed away his chance for a ring season.

    But this season will be a much bigger challenge because he lacks MUA at almost every position most games against good teams. He has to know this. Last season misfortune bit him, but this season he is going to be facing beating people without sharply better players.

    OAD inflation has set in every where. The Harrison’s, Julius Randle and Aaron Gordon and Wiggins proved most OADs can’t win rings. Experience still has to be blended in in most cases.

    Selfs OADs–Oubre and Alexander–will not flat out overwhelm any other Top 20 team. Not gonna happen. Thus, they are at most complements to the returning players and among those there is not one every game MUA among them, unless Selden’s explosiveness is 100% restored and so far it appears it is not. Thus, this KU team will be lucky to lose less than 10 games again, unless Svi turns out to be a super freak, which his FIBA play suggested he was not.

    It will take great “team” play for this bunch to win 30.

    But Self is at the right stage to coax it, if he has solved the QA problem and the team stays healthy.

  • @jayhawkbychoice

    I think you are on to something pretty important here. Last year we seemed to rely on athleticism and the schemes were few and far between. I also observed that last season was by far our youngest team both on the bench and on the floor. Coincidence?

    The new staff has been able to recruit, and the results of that effort is very visible. But less visible is their impact in the locker room, on the bench, etc. The staff is obviously vital to the success. We all know that extends beyond the assistants to Hudy, the film crew, and so on. But the Assistants are in a pivotal position. They can bring in fresh vision, fresh ideas and can influence the culture and chemistry of the team. Or not.

    It will be interesting to see if Self is a developer of coaches as well as players. If so, he would be a true master. The richness of the plays may be a key indicator of both the staff and players’ maturation. That is, the type of game we try to execute and not just whether we execute.

  • @jayhawkbychoice

    The main playbook is still the same. How much of it is used depends almost uniquely on the basketball IQ of the players available and not the coaching staff. You have to assume that all member of the coaching staff at KU are more than capable of understanding Coach Self’s entire playbook; however, the same cannot be said of all the players.

    If you look a the the better teams during Coach Self’s tenure, you will see that one thing they had in common was experience and high basketball IQ. With the advent of the one and done players at KU, it has become more difficult to implement the entire playbook and it has been simplified, some would say dumbed down, quite a bit so the younger/newer, less experienced players could execute the game plan. Keep in mind that last season KU lost 3-5th year seniors, 1 senior and 1 second year sophomore…that is a sh_t load of experience and the entire starting team, and the replacement were 6 freshmen who most got considerable playing time including 3 starters…that is a sh_t load of inexperience and perhaps the biggest swing in experience in as far as I can remember. This is the reason why the playbook was simplified

    In my opinion, Coach Dooley has been ably replaced at KU and the overall level of coaching, as dictated by the supreme leader, Coach Self, remains the same or maybe even improved.

  • I agree with @jaybate-1.0

    "Be the above as it may, four things killed last season:

    1.) Embiid’s injury;

    2.) Selden’s injury;

    3.) Wiggins protecting the merchandise most games; and

    4.) Tharpe’s cracking under the pressure."

    The only thing I would add to that is the fact that this team was so young. It might have even been the youngest team in college ball last year. I’m sure someone in here can verify or correct me on that.

    Even having just a bit more experience on last year’s team could have meant all the difference in the world. Even just one senior that had spent his 4 or 5 years at Kansas. Black was helpful, but he was a newbie, too.

    I’ve seen it so many times before. A team full of young bloods lose their composure and the coach calls a timeout. The players huddle up and their faces look like they’ve just experienced a gruesome car crash. When the coach stops talking (screaming), the players would then all directly look at the one starting senior for more guidance. We didn’t have that senior. If we had, we may have only lost half the games we lost and made it to the Elite Eight or even the Final Four.

    Naadir was a major disappointment. He just did not possess the personality traits needed to run a team. Even though he is small, he should try to make a living now at the 2, because he doesn’t show the leadership characteristics needed to run a team. I’m not trying to slam Naa… I wish him the best!


    If KU had made it past the sweet 16, elite 8, Final 4 would any of this hogwash be talked about. I bet not. We lost because with-out Jojo we were just not the same team chemisrty wise, and talent wise.

    Questioning the coaching, come on. Losing Manning and Dooley is the attrition of the game. Assistance’s on great teams eventually always go somewhere else and get the chance to be the leader. You can’t replace them with the same, Howard and Roberts are fine coaches who will only get better with what they do.

  • @BeddieKU23

    Welcome. And always remember: one man’s over analysis is another man’s under analysis.

    And vice versa.

    And versa vice.


  • When Ted Owens was on the hot seat we fired Miranda and the other coach whose name escapes me. That bought Owens a few more years. I don’t know if Owens threw them under the bus, or the AD was micro managing but what I took from that is AD’s watch the entire staff.

  • @JayhawkRock78

    Ted Owens coached in a time where ADS had all the power and coaches followed instructions. Nowadays, big time coaches like Self wield an inordinate amount of power and ADs will not mess with coaches at that level. Look what happened to Al “Coach Williams crushed me like dove” Bohl.

  • @jayhawkbychoice Interesting, because I wondered the same thing. My final conclusion was I was trying to make sense of a year that we’ve never seen, and might not see again. First off, I don’t remember a year where we didn’t return at least one starter from the year before. We had two (2) players who actually played minutes the year before - one had a quantum leap (Perry), and the other had an epic collapse (Naadir). Dooley couldn’t save Naadir anymore than Naadir could save Naadir.

    Jaybate mentioned all the injuries, which kept us from gaining momentum throughout the year. Under a similar set of circumstances (Noel gets hurt), Coach Squid and the Mildcats ended up losing in the first round of the NIT. We essentially had 7 freshmen in our rotation ( Embiid, Wigs, Selden, CF, Mason, Greene,and Lucas). 5 of which are back to provide valuable support we simply didn’t have last year.

    I think we get a large upgrade with Oubre> Wigs. Oubre is everything we wanted Wigs to be. He is tough, gritty, has a nice shot, and isn’t going to be scoring 4 points when we need him the most. Cliffie> Embiid. Cliffie will be more valuable than Embiid simply because he’ll play every game, and get better as he goes along. Perry> Perry. Perry will have his coming out party- a star is born. Selden>Selden.Wayne will be better, health permitting, and we have that dude named Greene, who is going to be a star for us in the next two years. Anyone> Naadir. I personally am torn over who I think I want to play point - I love CF, and like a kid at a wishing well, I’m hoping Frank gains some basketball IQ. I really hope that Graham surprises all of us, and takes that job. My point is - this is a better team than last year. Now, does that translate to Final Four material? Not sure about that - but I don’t think we will see the collapse at the end of the year, like we saw last year.

  • Sorry guys, for some reason I couldn’t post at work today, so I’m late to my own thread. 🙂

    @bskeet Agreed! But…we’ve had young teams before, like 05-06, and the players got noticeably better as the season went on individually and as a team. We didn’t see that this year with maybe the exception of Embiid and Traylor. Perry made a jump during the off season. My take is that the perimeter players didn’t make any improvement as the season progressed. I just hate using youth and inexperience as an excuse.

  • @JayHawkFanToo You said,

    “The main playbook is still the same. How much of it is used depends almost uniquely on the basketball IQ of the players available and not the coaching staff. You have to assume that all member of the coaching staff at KU are more than capable of understanding Coach Self’s entire playbook; however, the same cannot be said of all the players.”

    Exactly, however it’s the coaches job to teach the players the fundamentals and IQ needed to execute said plays and adjustments.

    One of the worst things I noticed was the fact that our wings couldn’t feed the post accurately and on time when the ball was reversed (a staple of our offense). It got so bad that Naa would bring the ball up the court (because no one else could), then they had to run the weave just to get Naa on the wing to feed the post. Ridiculous!

    I think the 05-06 squad (full of young players and Moody) would have beat the socks off these guys. Maybe not the first game of the year but for sure by the end.

  • @BeddieKU23

    ???“hogwash” ???

    Yes, we would be talking about this even if we would have made the Final 4. @HighEliteMajor talked all season long about the lack of in-game adjustments and how the players weren’t improving as the season progressed. (sorry HEM if I’m putting words in your mouth) If we were talking about these obvious issues before the season was half way over, then yes we would still be talking about them now.

    Sir, you proved my point in your last sentence,

    “You can’t replace them with the same, Howard and Roberts are fine coaches who will only get better with what they do”

    That’s my point, they HAVE to get better at what THEY do, or better yet, what KU basketball does. And, Joe Dooley was great at what he did. The playbook was dumbed down MORE as the season went on, not the other way around. Scheming was thrown out the window to the point that we were relying on Mason to drive and kick (which Perry and Traylor couldn’t finish), Black to show some heart and toughness, and the shooting of an undeveloped CF. Now that’s not KU basketball, and I’m sure HCBS would agree.

  • @jaybate-1.0 Thanks, friend!

  • @KUSTEVE Good post!

    But… 🙂

    quantum leap (Perry) Yeah…ok, but in year 3, with HCBS, Perry better play some D!

    Agreed, nobody could save Naa from Naa. But Naa got a lot better from the beginning of his soph. year to the end of his soph. year, before the meltdown. That’s my point, we didn’t see last years freshman improve throughout the season as we did with Naa the year before.

    Injuries, well, Embiid’s hurt us for sure but his play was really a bandaid for the other issues. Seldon’s injuries happened before the season ever started so I don’t think that should factor into a discussion about lack of in-season or in-game coaching, except the fact that it’s being used as an excuse instead of something that we overcame through player development and scheming.

    I don’t think our players are dumb by any means, I’m just not sure they were being taught very well. But if people want to say that our new players just don’t have the IQ that our other teams have had, then I ask you, who recruited those players? Not Joe Dooley! 🙂


    I find your analysis very persuasive, even though it runs contrary to what I have argued elsewhere.

    Elsewhere I have said this team is in for a very tough season, because going in it appears to lack even one every game MUA type player. This can be a huge problem for a Self team, because Self Ball likes to get the rock in the hand of an impact player and let him “make plays.” It follows that it needs impact players that can a make plays against any one they face.

    But your assessment is very persuasive, as I said, and perhaps I have been underestimating Oubre. Perhaps he can be that kind of player for us.

    Alexander seems like he could be a very good player, but at his height, he just seems like one of those guys that plays extremely well for much of a season only to run into a footer that shuts him down at the Big Dance.

    Selden could be our every game MUA, if his explosiveness were to return, but the feeds this off season that I have seen do not look like he still has the explosiveness to no-step jump and rock the joint.

    And I had my hopes up for Svi until I saw his feeds at FIBA.

    Maybe Perry Ellis can be the guy, but the way I saw him wilt against the blue meanies last season with a season under his belt does not make me confident.

    Still, I agree with you that this team may very well have some advantages over last year’s team.

    And I hope you are right that these pieces will fit together and producer a fine season.

    But I sense a shortage of every game MUA talent.

    And that worries me, when KU fans have such high hopes of fighting it out on even terms with the elite programs each year.

  • @jayhawkbychoice

    You posted:

    I don’t think our players are dumb by any means, I’m just not sure they were being taught very well. But if people want to say that our new players just don’t have the IQ that our other teams have had, then I ask you, who recruited those players? Not Joe Dooley!

    I don’t believe our players are dumb, I did not say or imply that, in fact when referring to simplifying the play book I said: “it has become more difficult to implement the entire playbook and it has been simplified, some would say dumbed down, quite a bit.” Others have used the term dumb down, I prefer not to use it precisely because it invites misinterpretation.

    I wrote “How much of it is used depends almost uniquely on the basketball IQ of the players available and not the coaching staff.” Again, I very specifically talked about “basketball IQ” and not “IQ” per se. There is a big difference between these two terms. The second refers to a measurement of intelligence and the first refers to the knowledge of the game of basketball that is acquired by studying the game and being taught the proper techniques and strategy of the game by competent coaches. You do not acquire “basketball IQ” overnight or by playing playground basketball. Most coaches will tell you they spend a lot of time at the beginning of the season teaching players the proper way to play team basketball and weaning them from all the bad habits acquired playing in non-organized basketball or poor coaching. Some players, particularly those whose parents are coaches tent to have a much higher basketball IQ by virtue of being exposed to good coaching from an early age. Players like Collison, Hinrich, Reid, Ellis and Frankamp, to name a few, seem to be better prepared for the college level game. Other players, even those that are extremely gifted, such as Sherron Collins, come in very raw, full of bad habits and takes the best part of a season to get them to play the game the right way. In High School they can get away with it based solely in their superior athleticism and inferior competition, but in college the level is much higher and they are competing against equally talented players and raw athleticism alone will not do.

    It is a well know fact that Coach Self’s play book is more complicated than most and it takes a long time to learn to play it effectively. This is the reason why veteran teams with players that have had more than one season to learn it tend to execute the system better, As I indicated, and with KU having accepted the one and done approach, it is only logical that the system needs to be simpler since you no longer have the luxury and/or assurance that your better players will stay longer than one season and have the time to master the playbook. Again “IQ” and “basketball IQ” are two different concepts as colloquially used. It is possible, make that very likely, that people with very high “IQ” that do not care for sports, actually would have a very low “Basketball IQ” due to their lack of interest and exposure to the game.

    Last. some players drop into your lap at the last minute, like Svi, Tarik and Graham, but most are recruited for several year prior to selecting and joining the program. Coach Dooley has been gone for only one year, so it is very likely that every player at KU was either directly or indirectly recruited by him at one time or another. The replacement coaches are every bit as competent and most of them teach only specific positions or specific parts of the game plan; Coach Self teaches the overall strategy and that has not changed. The reason some players seem lost when compared to previous teams is because they have not had enough time to learn the system.; some will never learn. Had Josh Selby, for example, stayed one extra year, I am convinced he would have been a lottery pick and would now be balling in the NBA; instead he left before he was ready and now he is playing in China(???) or can you imagine how much better prepared Ben McLemore would be, had he stayed an extra year? Again,. this is not rocket science; it is the same process every student goes through in college. The first couple of years you learn the basic stuff and in the later years you learn the more advanced material that you will actually use in your chosen field.

    Just my opinion and I could be wrong.

  • @jaybate-1.0 I am trying to help myself believe, too…lol. i know we won’t play the most difficult schedule in the past 20 years of college basketball this year, although our schedule will be very tough. I know the difference in mentality between Wigs and Oubre will be 180 degrees, which is flat huge, imo. Here is the pull quote from the LeBron James Skills Academy about Oubre:

    *****3) Arizona’s Stanley Johnson and Kansas’ Kelly Oubre are ready to produce immediately on the offensive end.

    Johnson and Oubre were the lone freshmen playing amongst the college players, and their abilities on the offensive end are what stood out. Johnson proved to be a difficult matchup at the camp, especially when it came to his ability to put the ball on the floor and get to the rim through contact. As for Oubre, he was very good at slashing to the basket and finding solid looks himself. While there’s still work to be done for both players, they have the tools needed to be primary scoring options in their respective systems.*****

    Worst case: we get a guy who doesn’t have the talent of Wigs, but leaves it all on the floor every game.

  • Last years team was soft. The players said so, coaching said so, and their record reflected it. I think it begins with HCBS coddling his outstanding recruiting haul. It all started with shortening boot camp to 1 week. There was a different mind set and the players and coaches settled for mediocre. I think HCBS and staff learned from last year and we all know boot camp has been returned to the normal 2 weeks.

  • @KUSTEVE “Worst case: we get a guy who doesn’t have the talent of Wigs, but leaves it all on the floor every game.” Damn great quote, It’s going on the proper thread as we speak !!

    You have delivered some exponentially precise & legitimate observations. I’m so pumped to get this thing started am clicking on the dvr for an archive now!

    Talent wise we don’t yet know how if this team trumps last. So here is one way to try to answer that question. However, I will begin by adding that Oubre, Cliff & Svi would likely start for 95% of D 1 schools. Greene, Selden, Conner & Ellis as well. But swag wise this team will blow 3 freshman, Perry, & Tharpe out of the water from day one. Many games last year I just shook my head thinking why we appeared so flippin lethargic. Is it coddling, is it desire, is it inexperience, is it the one week boot camp & lack of conditioning, are we really that talented, is it coaching changes-WTH? And no one should dis allow the schedule we had either, with the particular stretch of about one entire month of away games. Clearly their confidence level was not as in years past when conf season finally rolled around. Another point I’d like to mention is that I’m not so damn certain we get the 10 in a row title if OSU doesn’t virtually implode. Smart, no Cobbins, no real coach (hee hee). Hey the stars were just aligned for that one IMO, & thank you very much, we’ll take it.

    Is a fact, Snacks ain’t Joe D. But Norm’s not Danny either, & we hardly missed a beat when Manning left. All of the factors most of us have mentioned are absolutely contributors. But I also think like jayhawkfantoo, the lions share is squarely on the players. Hey I’ve dropped a dime on Bill for some losses & faults through the years when we’ve had large leads late in the game-Misery, Michigan, & in all fairness, he is the flippin boss. But I think many will agree if we have half a dozen or so guys on this team that, and I quote, “leave it on the floor every game”, we are destined to be copiously more competitive over the long haul, and I’m thinkin at least Elite 8 or Final Four, with BG 12 # 11 in the books.

    16 days to LATE NIGHT !! ROCK CHALK !!

  • @jayhawkbychoice

    “Perry better play some D!”

    Maybe we over-analyze… but one thing is for sure… we will not have the kind of year we are capable of having if Perry doesn’t start stepping up and playing defense. He is easily the worst post defender we have had in the Self era. And since he is our most-experienced starter, he will set the tone for how the rest of the team plays. He may not want to be a leader… well… circumstances have changed and he is forced into this role. It is the best situation for Perry, to force him out of his comfort zone.

    He just has to become a more physical player with a more physical attitude. It goes against his “designer” grain, but he better think now if he wants a potential NBA career or not because he isn’t going to learn to play physical ball after Kansas. This is his shot to change who he is and perform at a higher level.

  • @globaljaybird I appreciate the kind words. If our litmus test is “do we match up with Kentucky”, the answer is going to be no. No one else in college bb matches up with them, either. Heck, there are more than a few pro teams that would find it hard to match up with them. Still, the Mildcats managed to get beat by UCONN, so there is truly more than one way to skin a Cat. A few observations I’d like to add :

    • We weren’t tough last year. Remember what JellyBelly (Ridley) did to us in Austin last year? Against Embiid? I know, Embiid was playing hurt in that game.But, it’s not like he had the body to keep Tubby McGursky off the blocks if he had been 100%. Do we honestly feel like Cliffie is going to be that much worse? I certainly don’t. As for extending bootcamp from 1 to 2 weeks, me likey.

    • Perry Ellis and defense. I know, I know, I know. I wish God had made his arms about 4 inches longer. At least he isn’t nicknamed Tyrannosaurus Rex, like Julius Randle. Reports have come in that Perry worked on his defense over the break, so we can hope his improvements in his game include a head fake or two, and better defense.

  • @KUSTEVE I don’t know about you, but I think Mikelson & possibly Lucas get some of Ellis’ minutes if he’s not considerably improved on D. We know Traylor will get some at the 4/5, but we all know his ceiling may also be imminent. IMO depending on how the refs call the games this year, with Cliff a newbie & all, Perry has got to step up or somebody will be in the rear view mirror for extended duty. Likely it will be by committee at first, but we know, albeit somewhat painfully, Self likes to have his rotation set as early as he can. Like slayr said Perry has to be a leader this year-will it be vocally or by example? Either way it’s primetime to step up or aside. For all the spin of playing small, that’s not what Bill likes & is only a viable option on very few occasions. Necessity is the mother of invention, but Bill is a creature of habit playing the hi lo, so it’s time for guys to demand of themselves, much improved production at the 4/5 spots & that begins on the defensive end.

  • @KUSTEVE I also dig that avatar. Jethro’s real life Dad, Max Baer Sr, was one time Heavyweight Champion of the World & also had a brother that fought professionally. Max Sr is rated #22 on Ring Magazine’s list of 100 greatest punchers of all time. Pretty damn good pedigree if I may say so.

  • @globaljaybird When I saw Mickelson’s vertical jump had increased 6 inches under Hudy, I quit worrying about our “lack of a rim protector”. You have a Div 1 shotblocker who gains 6 inches in the air - Holy cow. I think he becomes essential to us. I like the meat and bones aspect of Cliffie. The dude is w-i-d-e. Jamari certainly needed to work on his defense, which I hope he did over the summer. Love that kid. And our guy Perry. Perry doesn’t seem to pick things up quickly - it seems to take him awhile to process everything. But once he does get it, he has it down pat. It took him almost his entire freshmen year to contribute, but once he did begin to contribute, he has never looked back. Maybe becoming a better defender is simply the next progression. At least, that’s my hope…

  • @globaljaybird “I also dig that avatar. Jethro’s real life Dad, Max Baer Sr, was one time Heavyweight Champion of the World & also had a brother that fought professionally. Max Sr is rated #22 on Ring Magazine’s list of 100 greatest punchers of all time. Pretty damn good pedigree if I may say so.”

    LOL. Love Jethro. Specifically his math skills…

  • @KUSTEVE image.jpg Remember what we did to Ridley at home?

  • After watching the bodyslam on Joel, he had this coming. Just about my favorite moment of the season.

  • This post is deleted!

  • @JayhawkRock78 image.jpg And then this happened. My favorite too!

  • Thought I was getting pretty good at adding pics! Guess not!

  • @Crimsonorblue22 I had forgotten that. BOO-YAH!!! BTW, did you like my nickname for Ridley …“Tubby McGursky”?

  • @JayhawkRock78

    I know pictures can deceive because they freeze but one of many moments in time, but there is something about that picture of Snacks, Joel and Andrew that gets at the essential difference between Joel and Andrew. It is in their facial expressions…in their eyes. Joel looks like he would tear the back end out of a rhino. The other looks like he would complain about the rhino.

    It is going to be so interesting to see how these two young men fare in the NBA. Joel’s knee may prevent us from ever seeing him at his best. But if his knee heels, it is going to be interesting, as I said, how each young man does.

  • @jaybate-1.0 I think you thinketh to much! They were going crazy and having so much fun!! Embiid was probably especially happy due to his throw down in Texas!

  • Banned

    Ok I’m jumping in.

    Couple of things here. One KU was a very (and I mean very young team) last year. Two KU had a very key injury with Embiid. Coaching can fix that. 😞

    Last but not least KU played a killer schedule last year.

    Hope is not lost though. As KU only lost two player last year to the league. Meaning this team is a year older and shouldn’t have to depend on OAD’s to save the day. Not to say Oubre and The thunder Alexander won’t be studs, it’s just the game shouldn’t hang in the balance and on their shoulders.

    In my opinion this upcoming KU team has the right balance of incoming and returning players. Meaning the newbies can struggle a little and not cost KU victories.

    Gentleman no coach is perfect. HCBS has his flaws. (not giving bench players a little more time on the floor). However as the old saying goes I trust in Self. I believe somebody had spoken about HCBS coming into his own. I believe this might be the season.

  • Gosh… did that really happen just 6 months ago? Seems like a loooong timeeee agooooo!

  • @DoubleDD Good post! Agreed.

    “Couple of things here. One KU was a very (and I mean very young team) last year. Two KU had a very key injury with Embiid. Coaching can fix that.”

    Exactly, coaching should have fixed that. They knew we were going to be without Embiid for the tournament.

  • @jayhawkbychoice Tarik came really close to filling in for Embiid, if it wasn’t for a really bad call, he might have pulled it off! Ellis and Traylor just had really bad games! Wiggs too!

  • I really hate using the Embiid injury as an excuse. It may be a reason, but not an excuse. And for everybody that want’s to give the coaching staff a pass on not being ready for Stanford (already knowing that Embiid wasn’t going to play) I ask this, what if Embiid had really been a 2-3 year project like he was thought to be? Would we have lost 15 games? There should have been a backup plan. Maybe not a good enough plan to win a championship, but enough to get out of the second round.

    My big beef is lack of player development within the season. Another example being Wiggs spin move in the lane. He had an awesome spin move, and halfway through the conference season, everyone knew it. I remember screaming at my TV, after Wiggs spun in the lane and had the ball stripped for the 15th time, “can’t somebody on that coaching staff spend about an hour with him and come up with another move, at least one, just to mix it up!” 🙂 And as others have said, Perry is the worst post defender HCBS has ever had. But I digress.

    Bill Self said last year that for x-mas he wanted: health, toughness, and a little outside shooting. He got none of it. Some of that is fate, some the players fault, some the coaching staffs fault. So, the x-mas list should be the same this year and lets hope that he’s been good this year!

    Interesting stuff, one and all. I guess from this last week we could probably all agree that to win a title this year we just need to be better. Better guard play. Better post play (especially defense). Better coaching. We’re hearing good stuff about Mason this summer, good stuff about Perry, and I think the fact that boot camp is back to 2 weeks is a good sign for the coaching decisions. Sounds like a National Championship year to me, at least until it’s not!

  • @Crimsonorblue22 Yeah he came really close. It was a real positive thing to see him play with such heart his last game. I will always hold him in high regard for the effort he showed.

    It’s was just a sad end to a season where we all had such high hopes. KU’s best recruiting class, the number 1 and number 3 draft picks, the best head coach in basketball and like I said in an earlier post; “we were relying on Mason to drive and kick (which Perry and Traylor couldn’t finish), Black to show some heart and toughness, and the shooting of an undeveloped CF. Now that’s not KU basketball, and I’m sure HCBS would agree.”

    I know I probably sound to critical and have unreal expectations, but hey, I’m a Jayhawk fan, one of many of the best fans in the world!

    Oh, one more thing, it’s Constitution Day! Maybe I should have put this on my last post, but oh well, I think it fits with this discussion we’re having. A quote from Thomas Jefferson:

    “Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear.”

    I will always question with boldness everything as long as our seasons end in disappointment.

    Rock Chalk!

  • @jayhawkbychoice so, do you think coach didn’t develop CF? I just get really tired of fans bagging on wigs! Outstanding rep for KU, scoring records, played great defense( who else did?) played team ball, and got to the FT line. I saw his TO’s. I really think some of our fans want him to bomb.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    That you sayeth I thinketh too much maketh thou not the firsteth alias, or person, to have saideth that to me. 🙂

  • @jaybate-1.0 that was me! I thinketh!

  • @Crimsonorblue22 Well, on CF, I don’t think he was ever developed enough to be effective with the team with what skills he had to offer. He certainly didn’t get the minutes that Naa and Mason got. And with more minutes during the course of the season he may have developed better chemistry with the starters. I cited a couple of examples in my PG thread. IMHO, and I don’t claim to be an expert, CF had some kind of confidence issues in playing or at least attempting to play HIS game when on the floor, until the last two games of the year. (which I described in detail on the PG thread) Now I don’t know if this lack of confidence issue was coach induced or self afflicted by CF himself, however, I think the coach could have done more to help him through that whether it be through “freedom to go make a play” or let him play through some mistakes, or run some set plays to free him up so he could “see the ball go in”, etc. Maybe coach had him in a toughing box of some sort, I don’t know. I do believe that player development is a two-way street, both player and coach share some responsibility in that. And for whatever reason CF didn’t seem to be as good as he should’ve been, at PG or 2 guard. The point of my post above is that it couldn’t have been the coaches game plan to use CF, Black, Mason, and Traylor to march through the tournament, after a season of relying on Embiid, Wigs, Perry, and Selden. So something must have went wrong in the game plan the last two games.

    On Wigs, I wasn’t trying to bag on Wigs. All those things you mentioned that he did was great. He’s a good kid and I hope he does great things in the L. Again my frustration was with the coaching staff. Someone should have helped him develop another move to compliment his spin move, because it was always just a matter of time before other teams and coaches took that move away. In fact in a larger scope, the coaches should have prepared the team for the time when other coaches would eventually take him out of the game, like they did towards the end of the season. Relying on one guy, no matter how good he is seldom works, and that’s on the coaching staff one way or another.

    I’m not sure if I’m very good at this posting and getting my thoughts together and points made, but if you look at my 3 threads on my concerns for this season it all fits together. Fixing the problems we had last year, what we added for this year, and what needs to be done better by all of the above. Hopefully that equation adds up to a championship. I don’t think I have all the answers, but if the right questions don’t get asked then solutions are never found. I’m just offering my take to both the right questions and the right answers.

    Great conversation! Thanks for engaging with me. Believe me, I learn more from being wrong and taking in what all you guys say. I can’t wait to see how next season plays out.

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    Yes, yes, I was laughing so hard while I was typing I hit the wrong ampersand alias. 🙂

  • @jayhawkbychoice

    'I really hate using the Embiid injury as an excuse. It may be a reason, but not an excuse. And for everybody that want’s to give the coaching staff a pass on not being ready for Stanford (already knowing that Embiid wasn’t going to play) I ask this, what if Embiid had really been a 2-3 year project like he was thought to be? Would we have lost 15 games?"

    First… Embiid WAS a 2-3 year project. He wasn’t ready to go to the league, but the hypemonster took over and he’s gone. Funny… his family didn’t need money and he claimed to not be chasing it, but he didn’t hesitate to jump WAY TOO EARLY!

    Imagine an Embiid that was really ready to go the league?

    I thought the injury was a poor excuse to go early. He will be at a much higher risk now in the league. And if he gets off on the wrong foot, he’ll have troubles in the league, being traded every week to another team. Then, he isn’t settling in to a team, loses valuable esteem, and won’t meet up to his salary demands. Pile on top of that another injury. Let’s say he goes down this year. He will then have “injures easily” as part of his rep.

    If his family was starving then I could see why he would take the NBA bait too soon.

    Still… your post is solid, and we were not prepared for Stanford. This team was too soft. And we didn’t have a leader who would step up, especially when we were down.

    Would we have lost that game if we had Russell Robinson or Mario Chalmers at point?

    I’m not trying to deflect the coaching responsibilities… but could Naa have been coached differently to become another Robinson or Chalmers? It didn’t seem like Naa was “getting it.”

  • Banned

    @jayhawkbychoice it’s alright to analysis a situation and come to some conclusions. However keep in mind some things are just what they are.

    Could a better game plan be had in the Stanford game? Sure, but it’s easy to come to that conclusion looking back after time as passed. It’s the old we could’ve of done this or done that point of view. However in the heat of the moment things aren’t so clear.

    I also want to say that you don’t coach an Embiiid type player. You either have one or you don’t. No amount of coaching is going to replace just the mere presence of Embiid stepping on the court. His size, wing span, athletic ability changes the whole game, and that’s with him not even touching the ball. This is not coaching it’s just a reality.

    Now we both could make a case that HCBS could do more or less in how he coaches. We are fans and it is quite easy to nitpick and see things that are only obvious to us. I for one think HCBS doesn’t lean on his bench as much as he should. However I don’t walk in his shoes and all I can say is the guy is quite accomplished and successful. Think of it like this. If HCBS would’ve could’ve of knocked off UK in that championship game. He would be considered the best HC in the game hands down. Throw in another Championship some were and they would be building statues and putting his name with the great Wizard of Westwood.

    My friend the line between being really good and greatness is always moving. Almost to the point I guy needs a little luck to get over it. Either way very few in this world even get to see that line, however HCBS has seen that line and that line flirts with HCBS it wants him. Say what you want about HCBS but remember this he’s knocking on the door of greatness.

  • I hope we are kept abreast on that study in Hudy’s department where they are examining performance issues going into March. I believe we will find ways to help them max out in March.

    If we do that, then everything points to other areas of preparation that need to change to have better outcomes in March.

    I do think certain aspects will be hard to overcome. Anyone playing for Kansas will have super high expectations put on their shoulders… if not from the Jayhawk Nation, it will still exist from the rafters of AFH. You look up and see all that history, all those great names, and you BETTER feel the pressure to perform!

    Then look at a school like Stanford. Can’t those guys just come out loose and play? They aren’t expected to win anything.

    We need to find a way to address this aspect because it isn’t going away anytime soon. I believe it is even becoming more intense as we bring in all that top shelf talent that brings media along with them.

    Everyone is watching… and I mean EVERYONE!

  • @drgnslayr I’m pretty sure Stanford expected to win that game! They exploited what we didn’t have, Embiid!

  • @DoubleDD

    Very nicely done. No amount of coaching can replace a player like Embiid; You can abate the consequences some or a lot, but you cannot replace him unless you have an equally capable player on the bench.

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