Blog: 3 reasons one KU basketball player is 'criminally underrated'

  • You guys always seem to enjoy a good discussion piece

  • @Jesse-Newell and then there’s defense! I agree w/all the other offensive stats.

  • Love a Newell article. Good stuff. Write one a day until the start of the season. I double dog dare you. I think we’ll see the best Perry yet this year. I have no doubts that he will improve on both ends of the court. I think the game will slow down for him, and he will be our leading scorer, and one of our go-to guys during crunch time. Heck, he might even try a headfake or two.

  • I can’t say I’m shocked to see Perry’s offensive number being that high. Offensively I feel he’s great. He needs to be more assertive but we always have players (Ben, Andrew) that aren’t. Defensively is where I worry about him. He’s a 'tweener that can’t muscle low post 4s and he’s too slow for stretch 4s. Looking at him he looks as strong as an ox but he sure doesn’t play like it. He really needs to be more aggressive against big 4s and not be afraid to mix it up with some wide bodies. And he needs to work on his lateral quickness for smaller 4s like Ejim and Niang that killed him.

  • I’ve always felt this way - when PE is on the court we have a better chance of winning than when he’s not.

    PLUS - I love his slacks. They don’t wrinkle easily and they have a nice little stretchy piece that allows me that extra piece of cherry pie…

  • Perry is a fundamentally solid player on offense and this article proves it. On defense he is behind but from I have read , looks like he has improved quite a bit in the off-season. At the Media day, Alexander indicated that Perry is much faster than he is and that he cannot keep up with him. If his defense has indeed improved and caught up with his offense, then we will have real treat.

  • @Jesse-Newell

    Sweet Red iBarber and Ring iLardner!!! It wouldn’t be hoops season without the Emperor of Electrons, the Potentate of Packet Switching, the King of Connectivity, and the White Rook of Real Timing…JNEW setting’em up!!!

    Put some atomic balm on your keyboard, because I’m coming to type at you on the first Live Blog of this season.

    By god, I’ve had everything go wrong with every body part I got including the one all women say I think with, and I’ve been pacing myself to try to mend, but when you power up the Live Blog for the first time this season and strap a nipple on a Heineken for Haskins to nurse on, I’m throwing off the Phallus Boot, and the Holter Monitor, and the myriad meat staples I am heir to, and the meds are going down the WC, and I’m playin’ through one more season even if I die at the keyboard doin’ it!!!

    Yeeeeeee hawwwwwww, good to hear from JNEW!!!

    Now, about The Designer…

    Those are mighty fine numbers and I am as a grateful as a healthcare worker in an Ebola zone for a haz mat suit to have The Designer.

    And we all know The Designer has savant scoring thing down pat.


    Ask this pattering papob of positivism–John Peptobismol, er, Gasaway, if he would parse these numbers, er index them if you will, fer Designer vs. guys his size and Designer vs. Blue Meanies.

    I have always been in awe of The Designer’s savant scoring abilities against guys his own size and smaller (and even some guys bigger) that play in a gentlemanly. Against those guys, The Designer has been absolutely unstoppable.

    But what I worry about is that either The Designer disappears against the Blue Meanies, or Self simply chooses not to play through The Designer on the days he is up against Blue Meanies.

    Blue Meanies are bad-posteriored dudes that are long and strong and play rougher than kick boxers on steroids and Cape Girardeau Sudafed.

    Is this the season that my beloved Designer is going to learn the TRob Love Tap, the airborne forearm smash to the throat, so that these Blue Meanies will finally leave him alone to score at will every game?

  • @Jesse-Newell - Welcome back!

    Count me in the boat that wishes Perry’s defense was as good as his offense!

    He has a new year ahead, clean slate… hope he has a tougher attitude to play more aggressive ball.

  • The only knocks on Ellis from my end are defensively, that he disappears here and there offensively, and that he’s a finesse player.

    But every player has flaws, and things we can knock. The defensive issues really compromise this team, though. If he doesn’t improve there, Self will have him on the bench like he did last season in stretches.

  • Nice article about the Admiral.

  • Wow, Jaybate. That was an epic response.

  • @Jesse-Newell

    What up, JNew?

    Have you and your Cap Men finessed your ways into the best seats in the house, so you can give us the feel of the game in real time without having to squint?

    We need you guys in the thick of it to maximize the clicks!!!

  • @Jesse-Newell We’re not asking for much. We’re simply asking you to go through a somewhat similar experience as KU went through in “bootcamp”, except it would be like “Writers Bootcamp”. Just one tinsy, weensy article a day is all your adoring fan base is askin for. AND, you’ll get to write a whole bunch more of these:

    Wow, Jaybate. That was an epic response.

  • @jaybate-1.0 Wow, you really stepped it up a notch on that one. The lead in was amazing and left me shaking my head in wonderment. Now where’s my 🍻

  • @brooksmd The Maestro, if you will. He should have a column.

  • I wonder if we could get Adidas to sponsor Jesse writing stories on our site?

    I would certainly consider buying some Adidas stuff if they did.

  • Enjoyable article. Year 3 is usually the year for “Self” coached big men. (Pun intended). Perry is definitely more of an asset than a liability. Could be the MVP of this year’s team.

  • @jaybate-1.0 Think we’ll be on the baseline this year. Should be able to report the aroma of the sweat.


    Writers Boot Camp!

    You’re rollin’ thunder today!

    (JNew and KHaskins with burr cuts on top and ink stained digital camouflage fatigues being hustled through paces by R. Lee Ermey in the loge area behind where the media sits at AFH, while the KU team is barfing into buckets down on the field house floor between windsprints. Suddenly Ermey calls the gasping writers in boot camp to fall in and present lap tops. Newell stands at attention with his lap top in present arms position for inspection. Ermey ignores the laptop a moment and gets in Newell’s face.)

    Ermey: Private Newell, did someone tell you that you and Private Haskins could communicate with civilians?

    Newell: No, sergeant, we just do the best we can.

    Ermey: Well, your best isn’t good enough, Private Newell. @KUSTEVE over here in the digital peanut gallery thinks you aren’t putting out enough. He thinks you’re tighter than a vestal virgin in a Venice shrink wrap, Private Newell. Are you tighter than a vestal virgin in a Venice shrink wrap, Private Newell.

    (Newell hesitates.)

    Newell: No, sir, Sergeant. I don’t think so.

    Ermey: Don’t even try to think, Private, because you are not up the challenge. And don’t sir me, Private Newell, because I am a Sergeant. I work for my pay. I make journalists out of wet nursing diarists named Sommerset, do you read me Private Newell?

    Newell: Yes, Sergeant!

    Ermey: @KUSTEVE here thinks you are not giving him enough ocular stimulation, if you catch my drift. He thinks you are not writing one long story every day to keep him reading his virtual rifle with the plasma screen and not oiling his analog gun that wiser men than me have called a one-eyed trouser mouse! Do you catch my drift, Private?

    Newell: Sergeant, the private does not quite catch the Sergeant’s drift.

    (Haskins standing next to Newell snickers. Ermey moves squarely in front of Haskins.)

    Ermey: Does Private Tub of Lard have something to say to the Sergeant?

    Haskins: No, Sergeant.

    Ermey: Wipe that Bushmills Soaked Smile off your ugly face before I take Private Newell’s lap top and use it to drive your swollen red nose out the back of your empty Irish head, you got that Private?

    Haskins: Yes, Sergeant.

    (Ermey moves back in front of Newell.)

    Ermey: Did you think I was done with you, Private Live Blog? Don’t answer that, because I’m NOT done with you. @KUSTEVE wants ocular stimulation, because his woman is tired of coming home and finding him oiling his gun and leaving nothing left for her to do but read bodice-ripping romance novels. Do you understand me Private Live Blog?

    Newell: Yes, I believe I do, Sergeant. Bodice-ripping romance novels.

    Ermey: You BELIEVE? BELIEVE? Do I look like the great god in heaven to you standing here in my cleanly pressed shirt, pant and DI hat, Private? Don’t answer that. I am your drill instructor, you empty headed imitation of Max Falkenstein! I’m not god, you idiot! God could save you from what you are, but I cannot. I can only remake you into a razor edged typing fanatic hell bent on bringing games alive to board rats sitting at home naked with their love dolls and cans of multi weight motor oil in the twilight of afternoon games you cover for them because they are not influential enough to get good seats. Do you understand me Private Backspace Key? I am not your god, though I may seem like it to you. I am your Sergeant sent here by your Uncle Sam and his United States Writer’s Corp to save you from the cliches and writers block and dead line butterflies that soft, civilian writers succumb to like Bruce Weber kneeling before Bill Self at a chicken dinner in Oskaloosa.

    And so on. 🙂

    (Note: all fiction. No malice. Apologies to the marvelous Ermey. Forgot to add that Newell and Haskins rule. This was all in good fun for @KUSTEVE .)

  • @Jesse-Newell

    Awesome. I hate it when they put you guys too far away from the action at some of these venues.

  • @jaybate-1.0 Walking away, shaking my head in total wonderment. Amazing. Absolutely freaking amazing.

  • @brooksmd

    Once in awhile, I can still go get a basket. 🙂

    But mostly I’m in the cheap seats watching and learning.

  • @KUSTEVE Here’s my daily contribution … it’s as nerdy as you’d guess.

  • @jaybate-1.0 LMAO… i don’t care who you are, that’s funny!



  • @jaybate-1.0 And @Jesse-Newell Deserve mad ShoeCo $$$$!!!

  • @Jesse-Newell said:

    Here’s my daily contribution

    Love the interview! Hope you can do this again maybe mid-season and right before the tourney.

    RE Perry Ellis: Shhhhhhh! He’s our secret weapon hidden in plain site! (seriously – awesome analysis!)

  • @Jesse-Newell Interview with Pomeroy…great stuff! Pomeroy sounds like he’s sold a few cars back in the day, or was it vacuum cleaners?

  • @VailHawk

    Whew! Thought aliens had locked you in a green tractor beam or something. Been awhile since you posted. Get ready. Ichabods approach!

  • @Jesse-Newell I had poor sound, so looking for buds to listen, but stellar hook up journalistically. It’s like getting a physicist to blog about CERN top notch!!!

    Now that I think about it, why not look around and see if there is a quant guy at KU, or a finite element analysis guy in engineering, and interview him about sports QA. What could be the next level of QA?

    Box. Outside. Think.

    U da man.

  • @Jesse-Newell

    Awesome link! I thought it was interesting that he points out the “pot luck” aspect… sometimes guys are just hot and sometimes their cold from the perimeter.

    I’m sure that is the case, but I’m also guessing more factors will be plugged into statistical analysis every year going forward.

    Here’s one I’d like to know:

    Is there a relationship between a guard’s height and what shooting % he gives up from the perimeter? The sample size is huge, so the conclusions should be statistically sound. Answering this one question will have a big impact on how coaches think moving forward. I know it seems like an obvious answer for many, but we all know where blind assumptions lead…

    Gather other stats around the height factor. Do tall guards give up fewer outside shots? More steals?

    Then focus on outliers. What commonalities do these players have in common, especially relating to performance results.

    Then… what about comparing differing varieties of zones and M2M defenses.

  • @drgnslayr

    First, I really like your idea of sifting out false heuristics about role of, say, height in basketball.

    But in your example of height of guards and its effect, or lack there of on outside shooting of opponents, I might adjust the question just a bit.

    Remember, in statistical research, the question determines the answer you get, while compliance with inferential modeling assumptions determines its “useful” accuracy and precision (i.e., confidence it means what it says). So: always spend as much time on structuring the question as needed to avoid accepting an answer that does not really get at the crucial dynamic driving an event.

    If you ask: do standing height and opponent shooting percentage correlate, or have a high r^2 and degree of fit between model and data with a tolerable error factor ; that is a very good question that needs just a bit of unpacking.

    Independent variables (Xs) in stepwise regression:

    standing height

    vertical jump

    Dependent variables (Ys):

    3pt attempts

    3pt makes

    I would want to run it three ways:

    1.) influence of standing height and vertical jump on 3pt attempts;

    2.) influence of vertical jump and vertical jump on 3pt makes; and

    3.) influence of standing height and vertical jump on 3pt attempts and 3pt makes.

    Let the model figure out the rank order of significance of height and jump in reducing attempts and makes.

    (No doubt a lot of coaches have had their quantitative geeks do this sort of thing from time to time, but as data sets get increasingly large and accessible, insights to be inferred from them may get more interesting, accurate and precise, or robust if you just want one geek word.)

    Being a left hander, I would like to see all these basketball stats indexed for the left handed/right handedness of the players involved. I have always wondered about cognitive and strategic implications of handedness on effectiveness of, say defenders, on shooters, of defensive rebounders on offensive rebounders, on whether a left handed defender is more apt to foul a right handed ball handler, or more apt to foul a right handed ball handler and so on. By cognitive, I mean the left brain dominant (righties), right brain dominant (lefties) contribution to outcomes. Does handedness trigger more fouling, or less fouling versus an opponent with the same handiness, or different handedness? By strategic, I mean does the actual external strength of a strong left hand trigger greater or lesser fouling and scoring against an opponent with a strong left hand, or strong right hand. Not surprisingly, the cognitive and strategic variables would be tough to unpack, but they would be very informative if they could be unpacked. Does handedness matter in basketball? If so, does it matter at the cognitive level, or strategic-spatial level, or both, or neither? Imagine how much knowing these answers empirically might shape who you match up with who and which substitute you bring.

    But let me get back to your question.

    You would have to be meticulous in your error factor analysis regarding multicollinearity about the variables of standing height and vertical jump, but you could learn a lot in a very fitting analysis that would help you get beyond blind assumptions without resorting to any advanced statistical modeling that would confuse laymen, and cause statisticians to get stochastic hard-ons about the flaws of this or that arcane model.

    And of course, if you actually wanted to make decisions to beat people, you would keep all of this a secret and build up some rather elaborate defensive systems modeling to incorporate some of the rudimentary findings of the above.

    The future of quantitative modeling (probably already the present in a rudimentary way) will be treating, opposing defenses and offenses as systems in interplay.

    There are a several ways of thinking about this stuff.

    You can be car/airplane engineer and think of your defense as a design being stressed by an offensive environment in a game space. You conceive of your defense as a machine and analyze its breaking points in the offensive environment in finite element analysis.

    You can model it as colliding weather systems in which the collision involves inertial form and motion releasing energy trying to deform to perpetuate motion and the other storm system doing the same in a dance that quickly evolves into nonlinear complexity at the frontiers of contact and but retains more inertial form and motion in an accordion effect as one recedes from the frontiers of contact.

    You can model it as an ecology, where neither side is destroying the other, both teams form a kind of dynamic Fuller tensegrity–a mobile, if you will in which inputs in one, or many places, project forces through out the tensegrity, that feed back through the tensegrity (i.e., action pushing the mobile out of static equilibrium and into reactive motion up to a limit after which the correction ripples back through the mobile).

    I can assure you @drgnslayr that KenPom’s valuable contributions to organizing and probabilistically analyzing college basketball remains in the static infancy of what is quantitatively feasible, were Uncle Sam to decide that basketball were essential to national security and that Rand, MIT and Raytheon ought to get involved. 🙂

    In fact, you have given me a marvelous idea for a science fiction short story set in the future when killing power in ALL weapons has become so amplified that all weapons, even pocket knives, have become, like nukes, too terrible and globally threatening to use, and so the private oligarchies of the world ask their defense think tanks and militaries to devise an alternative to war that all countries can agree on as a binding means of settling XTReme disputes and of keeping the ordinary peoples of the world scared into compliance with. They decide on a war game called “total basketball.” Anyone that does not comply with the outcome triggers global thermonuclear war; this makes the outcomes binding and the commitment to playing to win total. One can do absolutely anything within the Naismith rules of the game to win. Defense budgets spiral into research into how to prepare private oligarchy sponsored teams. Basketball is picked precisely because it is non contact and so the sport most likely to not threaten the operational integrity of deployed systems in the game in unpredictable ways. This minimizes unpredictable accidental system failures that might catapault the world into global thermonuclear/CBW annihilation from participants pulling out of compliance. Genetic engineering, training, diet, shoes made of any material conceivable, clothing the same, invisibility clothing, microwave mind control technology, offensive and defensive systems analyses, cybernetic augmentations, coaches brains augmented/replaced by quantum computing, cyberwarfare measures and counter measures, are all applied in TOTAL BASKETBALL. The budget for the American private oligarchy team is exactly the same as the current Pentagon budget. All current military infrastructure, man power and resources are redirected onto TOTAL BASKETBALL.

    Fuggedabout the $6M man. Steve Austin was chump change. We’re talking about a team of $6Trillion dollar men.

    If we can just survive the asymtotic convergence of primitive instincts with infinite killing power of human weapons.

    “Gentlemen…We have the technology. We have the capability to build the world’s first bionic baller. Joe X will be that man. Better than he was before. Longer, stronger, faster.” -adapted to “Total Basketball” from Oscar Goldman’s brilliant lead in to “The Six Million Dollar Man.”

  • My daily assignment … plus I figured you guys would like this photo. _0MG5582.jpg

  • Newell, you’re the best. Keep feeding us - we love it!

  • Wow… that looks like it’s just in time for a ceremony… like the 60th Anniversary?

    I expect to see this hanging in the Fieldhouse for the rest of my life.

  • @Jesse-Newell Nice pix of da Man. Once he gets a 2nd NC, I feel he may be a goner to the NBA, for a different type of professional challenge.

  • @Jesse-Newell

    It is a fine portrait of the man in the sense of capturing his handsomeness, meticulousness, and thoughtfulness about the game.

    What I worry about, however, is that the lighting suggests a man of light grown somber and caught in darkness.

    There is not a hint of the impish sparkle that once flashed out of so many pictures of him.

    I hope he is okay.

  • @Jesse-Newell

    Dig the photo… especially how Bill is in focus, but the ball isn’t. I’m guessing your daily assignment was to focus on the man, more so than the game.

  • @jaybate-1.0

    I’ve always wanted to connect the dots between Mayan Mesoamerican ball, modern basketball, and a futuristic game that will meld Meso and modern basketball together to form a futuristic lethal game, with the game results falling back in line with Meso ball and the losers would be decapitated.

    I’ve walked through this ball court and I could feel a weird energy when standing where all these ball players played (and died).

    That was the first time I understood what a close friend once told me, “it isn’t a sport unless you can die from playing it.”


    SOURCE: Wiki

    Notice the ring on the wall. The ball had to pass through it. Strange similarities to modern basketball.

Log in to reply