• Is it just me or does the off season get longer every year? It has been especially poignant this season for me, simply because I am not in Kansas any more. I am surrounded with new things and to have a taste of something familiar is very welcome indeed. College Basketball. It is what I look forward to most each fall/winter season.
    ESPN has a bit on the game today. For the life of me, I cannot figure out how to Embiid the link. HA! http://espn.go.com/ncb/preview?gameId=400585668

    Link to ESPN story…

    I would like to provide my own commentary on the article. Basically it starts out with Coach Self comparing this team to the 08 team in terms of depth. Which is a good comparison. However, I think that a comparison to the 07 team is much more believable. Experience is something we still dont have a lot of. Traylor & Ellis are our 2 upperclass men that will see extended minutes from last year. I hope Self uses Mickelson. We need his rim protection and his experience. For all intents, he is a junior, correct? Selden & Greene are our 2 sophs from last year. Selden Should provide some leadership as well as some more offense! I also really hope he stays healthy. No more quilts for Selden!
    The article did make one grievous error. Chalmers was indeed a big part of the team but they failed to mention Russ and Sherron! For shame! Those two + Sherron were the best back court that year. This year we have Mason and Devonte’. I am interested to see how those two handle PG duties this year. But by no means are they equal to 08. Again, 07 would be a more apt comparison. I really see Frank as Sherron light. Guy is a stud and fearless on the court. If he can keep his TOs down and his assists up, he will be good. I really think, over all that KU will be tougher this year. I am thinking 6-8 losses with an elite 8 finish. Then watch out next year!

  • I hope for more than an elite 8 run but its all good! Next year will be really good also! UK just landed 2 guys in the ESPN top 20 which HCBS was not recruiting… I was glad to see that because it may push the ones we are recruiting our direction if they were a UK lean! Next year could be really special if we land 3-4 top 20 guys and return most of our roster!

  • @Statmachine I saw that, they have the #1 class again for next year, with the #2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 12, 14 and 18th ranked players.

    What if his platoon rotation doesn’t work this year? Will he even have enough seats on the bench for these guys?

  • @JRyman I only see 3 recruits on the ESPN recruiting board? the #1 pg, #5 center, and #12 sg by position in the country.

  • @Statmachine You are right, my bad, it read: Elite-level players still considering Kentucky include Jaylen Brown (No. 2), Malik Newman (No. 3), Ivan Rabb (No. 5), Cheick Diallo (No. 7), Caleb Swanigan (No. 8 ), Stephen Zimmerman (No. 10), Brandon Ingram (No. 12), Antonio Blakeney (No. 14) and Carlton Bragg (No. 18 ).

    How many elite guys can he have and still make happy? Where will they transfer too when they realize they won’t be on the floor getting PT?

  • @Lulufulu “** I am not in Kansas any more.”**

    For the love of God - please go to any basketball game in Vermont and hold up a sign that says that.

  • @nuleafjhawk @Lulufulu or one that reads “Allen Field House, East Coast” as you wear your KU gear.

  • In this OAD era, experience, while helpful, is a bit overrated I’d say. A KU team this young 15 years ago would not have been able to defend their conference crown. Ask Roy about that as he seemed to have some young teams that came up short in the league.

  • @nuleafjhawk Omg that is so funny! I think I will do that some time!

  • @JRyman And that one too! Hilarious!

  • Interesting that the ESPN story indicates that Mario Chalmers was the PG on the '08 team. The real PGs on the '08 teams were RussRob and Collins and Chalmers played mostly SG; he was turnover machine when playing PG.

  • Well the 'Hawks won… by 10 in AFH.

    How do we evaluate what we saw… and what we didn’t see (Oubre), fouls in the second half?

  • I was unable to see the exhibition games, so this was my first look at the team. The 5 that started the 2nd half seemed to be the most effective. Svi showed he has all the tools. Cliff also. Graham, Svi, and Cliff will all clearly get better as the year progresses. Graham obviously was impressive. Oubre played 4 mins in the first half, none in the 2nd. He looked very unhappy as he headed to the hand shake line. Even given how the other guys looked, I’m surprised he didn’t get more minutes.

  • Devonte changes our team. And, at certain times tonight, Frank reminded us why it needed to be changed.

  • Oubre either is injured or up to his eyeballs in the Bill Self Toughening Box. Whichever, I hope he maintains the patience and cool to come forth. No doubt whatsoever that the kid possesses amazing talent and potential. His 4 minutes are a bold indicator that he is not yet ready. The only other explanation is that Self is holding him back in order to mess with John Cal’s game plan. I don’t buy into that one little bit.

  • @KUSTEVE Frank IS who he is. I predict that most games fans will grind their molars over his slashes into the tall trees. With experience, he will come to temper such inclinations…or become more proficient either at finishing or drawing fouls. His makeup is not dissimilar to that of Sherron Collins.

  • @REHawk Sherron had the ability to be clutch. Frank seems to falls apart at the slightest hint of pressure. The turnover with a minute left? That was straight out of Eastern Kentucky. Frank doesn’t play smart at times, doesn’t look to set his teammates up, and forces all kinds of shots up. 4 Turnovers in 24 minutes. Not good. That’s the bad, and he drives me crazy. The good is, he is an excellent defender, his perimeter shot is getting better and better, and I have no doubt he is giving every ounce of energy he has to help us win. So, I grumped when Sherron had bad games when he was a senior, Tyshawn for all but half a year of his career, EJ’s senior year, Naadir…oh did I complain about Naadir, and now Frank. Maybe i’m just grumpy…lol.

  • @REHawk I think Oubre’s status is dictated by two things. First, Svi is better. Second, and perhaps most importantly, I bet he’s not grasping the system right now. Self mentioned that certain guys are behind. He’s likely one of them. But how does Oubre surpass our two ball handlers (Mason/Graham), Selden, and Svi? Is his peak the 5th perimeter guy?

    @KUSTEVE You’re not grumpy. Just scarred. But be patient with Frank. He’s intense defensively. He just needs to realize that he’s not as much of a scorer as he thinks he is. And he needs to realize that his assists, and driving and dishing, will create more scoring. Heck, TT never really figured that out. TT’s shots just started going in.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Spot on about Mason. In HS he was the textbook definition of a volume shooter and he is still having trouble making the transition. He is a lot better than he was last year, when he would start chucking away with 25 seconds left on the clock and to Coach Self’s consternation. He needs to study RussRob, who also came in with a reputation of a scorer, but after settling down, he became one of the steadier PGs ever at KU and a fundamental piece of the '08 Championship team.

  • What’s up everybody? First post since this summer. Missed the exhibition games and just finished watching the UCSB game this morning.

    First off, I find it…odd I guess would be the best way to describe it, how the freshmen I expected big things from were Alexander & Oubre (our first two recruits), and so far Svi & Graham appear to be more firmly entrenched in the rotation. One game so far, I know. But just from everything I’ve read from practices & the exhibition games. Again, just strange to me.

    Cliff I think finds his way into the starting line-up eventually, but Oubre’s situation looks far more bleak. As others have illustrated, Graham & Mason are fixtures because of their position/ball handling. Selden is a lock also. So he’s fighting Svi & Greene for the last bits of meaningful minutes. My expectation was that he’d have the upper hand on the younger Svi, and that his projected toughness & defensive prowess would be enough to overtake Greene. So far, Svi looks to be the superior talent, and that’s without his outside shot falling yet. If that starts to happen, it’s not even close. So he’s left to battle it out with Greene.

    I have mixed feelings about our PG situation. On the one hand, I’m not sold on Mason being the caliber of player that can lead us to a Final 4 or championship, not just this year but down the road as well. In all honesty, I had hoped that what we saw in the NCAA tournament last season might have signaled a shift within Self’s pecking order and that Frankamp had overtaken Mason in his eyes. Obviously that wasn’t the case, and now CF is gone. I’ve seen posters compare Mason to Sherron, or to Tyshawn. The problem is he isn’t as talented as either of those players. Sherron was a blue chip PG coming out of HS. And Tyshawn had blazing speed and length. Mason is not the shooter Sherron was, and doesn’t have the same physical gifts Tyshawn had, yet he has that scoring PG mentality like both of them. To me, that’s a detriment to the team.

    On the other hand, at the end of the day I’d still take Mason over Tharpe. Just not being a black hole on the defensive end of the floor alone makes him an upgrade. And we have Graham, who (again, after one game) looks like the genuine article. I think ideally Mason moves to the back-up PG role a la Sherron in '07-'08. Best coming off the bench, being a spark plug. For that to happen, Graham will have to continue to play at a high level.

    Anyway, just a couple of random observations after one game.

  • @icthawkfan316 Welcome back … so you are actually going to participate now? We can count on you?

    You mentioned Mason. Did you see how some of the guys we missed on did? Look at Cat Barber’s line from the other night. Awesome. Kasey Hill not so much. Chris Jones and Demetrius Jackson, pretty good.

    Give Mason 10 games. See where he sits. If he isn’t the answer, Graham certainly appears to be the real deal. He could settle into the role. If Mason isn’t the answer, then Svi might displace Mason as a starter later. But I agree completely on the score first thing. We need drive, dish, create … then take the bucket if it’s available.

  • @HighEliteMajor said:

    so you are actually going to participate now? We can count on you?

    Haha…of course! I do this every year. Usually I’m back a bit sooner, but during the “off-season” I always go dark. Only so many times I can see posters list their starting line-ups, ya know?

  • If Oubre’s legs allow (and none of us appear to know if he might actually be enduring injury) I look to see him play significant minutes in tonight’s Kentucky matchup. That said, I think HEM is probably right on in his belief that Svi is adjusting much more quickly to the Bill Self style, and is a rarer gem than anyone had predicted at this stage of his young hoops life.

    Agree. This Kentucky game is the big stage. Oubre will get his chance. Hopefully he is our lefty secret weapon.

  • @REHawk Ah man, I hacked up your post earlier; thought I was replying. My fault!

  • ROck Chalk you guys! Lets get a big Win tonight!

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