• spartan-statue-1.jpg

    I confess, I posed for this statue. Ratso Izzo and Bill Self meet again. Don’t let it be Valentine’s Day. The man hit 6 three’s against Marquette.


  • @wrwlumpy

    Cool to know what you look like! Thanks for the updates on our next opponent keep em comin!

  • MSU is going to be tough. Valentine has improved his shooting the last couple of year. Forbes, the transfer, is a very good shooter. Trice has always been a good shooter. 3 guys that can fill it up. Dawson is an excellent athlete, obviously. The rest of their guys, I think, are either good solid players or good role players. Not quite the talent up front that they have had in recent years (although Costello was state player of the year his Sr. year). Of course…there is Izzo. Their big advantage, in my opinion, is that they are more experienced, and therefore, further along than we are this early in the season.

  • This is Izzo’s least talented team we will have faced in at least the past 3-4 meetings. They don’t have a dominate post player unless you consider Dawson to be one. He’s more a tweener to me that Ellis or Traylor will have to try and limit. Forbes, Trice, and Valentine and the freshman Clark have shown so far that they rely on the 3 ball for most their offense. Let’s take a look at these stats so far:

    Clark: 20 made FG’s 11/20 from 3. Trice: 37 made FG’s 17/39 from 3. Valentine 30 made FG’s 16 of 37 from 3. Forbes 18 made FG’s 13 of 32 from 3.

    Of the 105 made baskets these 4 have 54% have been 3 pointers. To say that this is the biggest way to winning this game is an understatement. If we can’t force them to miss 3’s or keep them from making 8-10 then we stand a very good chance of losing because its simple they rely on the 3 ball for a big part of their offense so far. Now KU has shot the 3 ball much better in Orlando so maybe we can match 3 for 3 but it’s not how we usually win games.

    Their front court isn’t talented enough to punish us and that’s our advantage in this game. If Ellis can go off for 20 or so and we have solid contributions from others we will be ok. Izzo’s squad this year seems to be ahead offensively then defensively so that can be something we exploit if we run our stuff.

    I do believe KU has come to this tourney playing much better, more together, and a much more hungry team that wants to prove something and a win against Michigan St would be a huge confidence boost. I said 3 point shooting would be the biggest key but if we can control the boards, make our FT’s and limit the stupid turnovers I can see us pulling out a 6-8 point victory. It should be a great game and I’m excited to see how we react on the big stage again.

  • Ha! Now we got 2 PLATOONS to throw at those GreenMeanies!

    FreeMasons: (Mason, Selden, Svi, Ellis, Lucas)

    Crusaders: (Graham, Greene, Oubre, Traylor, Alexander)

  • Banned

    @ralster I was thinking the same thing about 2 platoons.

    Now if we can get Hem to give Oubre a little love. 🙂

  • One thing that we’ll have to deal with is MSU’s three point shooting. As a team, they are over 42%. They shoot appx. 22.5 per game, which is nearly 7 more three pointers per game than we shoot per game (15.7).

    But the other thing that is interesting in this matchup is that MSU is a smallish team. Both of their four men (Dawson and Clark) are 6’6". Costello is 6’9" and starts, about 20 mpg; Costello (6’9" ) and Wollenman (6’7" ) off the bench at about 15 mpg and 8 mpg. But the 6’9" guys aren’t on the court together. Dawson didn’t start last game. Don’t know why. But he’s their best post player.

    Seems like another game where Ellis could come up big.

  • I do think Oubre will be fine. Put him in the Selden or Ellis category of MickeyDs that need some time to assimilate Self ball. Arthur same boat as a frosh. Not everybody will be a Sherron or Wiggins.

    Self is always trying to build the best-of-both worlds, taking MickeyD level (or close) talent & crafting/coachin-up pretty-but-tough teams that can transition-ball, or win a grinder-type game. You can get “headband long-athletics” (think Bruce Pearl’s playground style TN teams), or coached-up unknown football bodies (think Izzo’s MSU)…

    I like Bill’s approach of trying to do it all with the usually good personalities/ranked athletes that he always seems to find.

    So my longwinded point is: Oubre is exactly the type of smart, athletically gifted kid we love at KU, he just needs more time. Like a lot of the MickeyDs Self gets. And Self expects & cultivates a tough mindset that differs from the typical UNC powderpuff blue McDAA’s expectations…When our own fanbase starts echoing our coach & calling last yr’s team as the “softest”, you know the expectation is now a part of the KU fabric that Self is ‘weaving’…(no pun intended, & to digress totally: I saw Kruger’s OU running the weave the other day).

    As usual, judge Self’s team at end-Dec., end-Feb, and at end-XII-tourney. Hope the boys stay healthy.


  • On a totally unrelated note, especially after watching BigCliff go off on natl TV…I do miss Tarik Black. What an all around great kid…wish he could have come to Self first instead of to Pastner, but I understand his love of hometown Memphis. Cliff may have a higher ceiling. And we only got teased by Joel Embiid (imagine him at 265 Hudization instead of 245…)

  • @ralster I love Tarik too, great role model! He had 11 pts and 9 rebounds last night. And… Only 2 fouls!

  • @ralster

    No question that Tarik had some personality/chemistry issues at Memphis and he came to KU and an environment that was very compatible with his personality.Their loss our gain.

  • @ralster

    I agree on Oubre. Some players have a harder time adapting to college play, but the talented ones eventually get it and prosper. Darrel Artur comes to mind, he started slow, picked up speed, made all-conference rookie team and by the end of his second year he was an all-conference first team outstanding college player and gone to the NBA. I can see Oubre having a similar career.

  • @JayHawkFanToo I could never figure how Tarik could have chemistry problems or anyone w/him!

  • @Crimsonorblue22 I hope Tarik knows how much he touched KU fans and that we consider him all ours despite only being at KU one year. And if the role of a player in the league doesn’t work out for him I would love to see him get his feet wet at coaching as an assistant at KU.

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    We don’t know everything that transpired at Memphis but he had a reputation of having a bad attitude, even walking out of practice. Maybe a little growing up on his part and a change of scene did him some…or actually a lot of good.

  • @JayHawkFanToo I just can’t imagine that!! Don’t doubt you though.

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    There were a bunch of stories at the time; this is the fist one I came across…


  • @JayHawkFanToo If you read his interviews from last year, he experienced a lot of growth coming to Lawrence. I like to think it was a far better atmosphere.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 Was apparent at the time that Black was unhappy with the team’s performance & younger, newer guys not approaching their jobs as seriously as they should, while he, a co captain was busting his hump & leaving it all on the floor every time out. If the true validity of problems that Black had were with an authoritative figure, professor, coach, etc; Bill would never have allowed him in the locker room with freshman class like Wigs, Embid, or Selden. Recruiting classes like that don’t grow on trees. Pastner’s entire team had chemistry issues & without Tarik & his self discipline to have a degree before using up his eligibility & a work ethic that plainly earned him a coveted position in the NBA, had a bunch of guys who were clearly not ready for the responsibilities of attending class, working at the task of improving like he (Tarik) felt they should, or being part of a real team sharing all of the good, bad, & ugly that go with it. Some of the guys Pastner had were kids that only wanted to chase skirts & be rock stars & we know how Self has dealt with guys of that demeanor in the past. Tarik Black was & is not one of those young men & he’d never have set foot on the Hill if he were. Also Black may have had issues with the Memphis staff about how their lack of oversight was affecting his team’s performance & I call it “his team” because he invested wholeheartedly everything he had while he was there. He was a real jewel & is obvious now what he truly brought to the table. IMO guys like Tarik are just as valuable as the Embids & Wiggins are too. He was a huge glue guy that you absolutely must have to win a championship at any & all levels. Think most of the rats here understand how vital a man like this is in your locker room & on the floor & leading by example, and would be thrilled to have a man with these attributes & skills here every single season.

  • @globaljaybird thanks!!

  • @wrwlumpy my favorite play from last year!

  • @Crimsonorblue22 This game looking like a typical BG10 grinder. We’re leaving far too many points on the table missing FT’s & bunnies.

  • @globaljaybird I’d like us to hit a few more 3’s and a lot more free throws!! Greene’s stupid TO took him out, grade school mistake. We need him to shoot!

  • @Crimsonorblue22 We can beat them inside with an occasional kick out for a 3, but in a long ball contest I’m apprehensive we are too streaky. That was an NBA triple for SVI at the end of the half. He has game savvy like a sophomore or junior already & just turned 17 recently. Is as good a talent as we have on the squad right now. Fluid movement left or right, quick square feet on defense & will be the most consistent passer until others find their wings & fly. And Cliff ain’t far behind either. JMO

  • @wrwlumpy loved watching the bench go off like that for the monster dunk.

  • What we saw from Michigan State is what happens to a power program without elite talent. Michigan State will be good as long as Izzo is there because Izzo will get a lot out of whatever talent he happens to have.

    However, as we have seen over the last 4-5 years, Sparty is not strong enough come March because of their lack of elite talent. I looked into a mirror yesterday and saw what the future of KU basketball could be if we stay away from OAD talent. Unless the rules change, this is what it will take to be at the top of the college basketball world.

  • @justanotherfan Izzo is great at coaching up guys for real, but I thought he sorta got caught with his britches down inside of 2 minutes with the timeouts he still had remaining. How often have we seen the same thing happen to Bill? Sometimes I think coaches get caught up in the heat of the moment on a gut feeling & in turn give all of us second guessers lots to comment about afterwards. It happened to me years ago too so I realize how easy it is to appear that you’re making conscious, wrong, decisions. When it happens in a tourney is always magnified with all eyes upon you. JMO Was this Bill’s first 8 game tournament championship since at KU?

  • @globaljaybird

    I am not certain what you mean by " I thought he sorta got caught with his britches down inside of 2 minutes with the timeouts he still had remaining."

    The game was at a furious pace where they were getting layups over and over. Yes some of them had heat from a KU player right there, but many of them were just faced paced layup attempts. They were getting open looks. Why call a time out and stop that?

  • @Kong Everyone may have diff opinions but down 3 with at least 2 TO’s is a good time to call plays try & draw penetration fouls or get open looks from 3. Clearly extending the time was the most critical component for a comeback IMO, but to each his own is great conversation… Under 30 in change is imperative to not waste clock & is really the nail on the head.

  • @globaljaybird

    I understand that if you are struggling to get looks. But they really weren’t. When they did struggle, he called a timeout (even if he did wait too long, imo).

    He had an experienced team that was getting good looks routinely. I guess he felt 2 or 3 of those had to fall and all would be right with the world. Plus calling a time out wasn’t going to get him a better look than a layup.

    Looking back on it, you might be right, but I can certainly understand the decision not to call one during that frenzy.

    After that frenzy, they did struggle to get a look as we tightened the D a bit and he did call a TO, but it was after 10-15 seconds had run off the clock and things were pretty much sealed at that point.

  • I should have listened to an old boss of mine. She said, “Never sell with Blah Blah, when a simple Blah will do.”

    Reading my post I apparently work in the Department of Redundancy Department!

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