• Despite just horrible shooting from Selden & Dawson, the rest came with an “A” game. If not for his defense, Wayne would be seeing some real pine time with his terribly poor shot selections. Maybe Frank should be sharing the MVP with Perry, as his distributions were as quick as the US govt can print money. Great seeing these guys bang out a BG10 type of match this early in the season. Yeah MSU shot poorly in the 2nd half. but give our defense AND Wayne some love too. When it was timeto get the stops, we performed. Clearly Cliff & SVI were stars today also. I’m as excited going forward as I was disappointed after the loss to UK. At this point they’re in a class alone right now, but we may get to see them again this spring. I’m much more optimistic now than 10 days ago. RCJHGOKU !!

  • @globaljaybird Rock chalk! Never mention that loss again😜

  • @globaljaybird how about my man, our man, Jamari, hitting big free throws? Hope he gained some confidence, Self sure is giving him some chances. Most KU posters were dying w/him in at the end.

    • Svi - Welcome to the starting line up. Great on offense but better on defense today.
    • Welcome back Mari. Fantastic job.
    • Perry got all the defensive attention the second quarter so Svi and Frank Took over.
    • Self told Dickie V. that Wayne is our best defender. He is. At least he hit his free throws.
    • Lucas and his red shirt has paid off. Great foot work and he got all the garbage points.
    • Frank could easily have been MVP of the tournament. He will not back down.
    • Cliff is still an explosion and the best rebounder at his height I’ve seen at KU.
    • Kelly did not hurt us and gave Svi a rest.
    • Greene had a bad day. If you can’t play defense, you’ll have to sit. I’m sure he knows that he didn’t do well and will come back with a great next game like Traylor did. The defense now is better than last year. It was exciting to watch in the second half.

  • Jamari’s shots were HUGE. And the D was phenominal the last minute. Regarding Svi–this is what a mediocre game from him is going to look like. He is a lot better than he showed tonight. He’d even say he missed a few he normally won’t. It’s just a matter of getting these guys comfortable. We’ve got so much talent, and they are starting to buy into the un-selfish play. I think the best of all is that we have seen nothing from Oubre yet, and I promise he’s a top 5 recruit. He will dazzle, as will the rest of our solid freshmen class.

  • Just a terrific game. Tough battle against a typical Izzo team. And we have to hand it to coach Self. He did a great job personnel-wise to win this game. You just saw a 6 man rotation. This was a big win. Not a time for gratuitous playing time.

    1. Point Guard: As @globaljaybird mentioned, Mason was tremendous. Are we feeling better about out PG situation yet? I am. Mason’s defense was outstanding. Just go back and watch the guy. It was a pleasure to see how hard he worked. One other thing … Mason seems in amazing shape. Is he ever tired? And Graham seems like an excellent back up.

    2. Selden: On the defensive theme, did you see him shut Valentine’s ass out in the second half? Super effort. Always in his face. I saw Svi on him, too. Both did a nice job. I mentioned this a while back … but Selden’s shot was changed in the off season. They stopped him from pulling it back over his head, now more out front; better form. So I wouldn’t panic on his shot right now. Even so, the 0-10 was ugly. Just couldn’t finish either. We’re 5-1 and Selden is not playing near his potential. It will get much better.

    3. Traylor/Alexander: Self sat Alexander after his third foul with 5+ minutes left. I wondered why he would sit him with just three fouls. I still don’t get it. Traylor did hit the two clutch free throws, but he isn’t near the player Cliff is. Cliff was a force on defense. But we won. Coach Self made the right call because it led to a win. I just don’t understand it at all.

    4. Svi/Greene/Oubre: Love this saga. I sensed some not so pleasant body language from Greene on the bench. Sitting back, looking disinterested when everyone else was sitting up. It was when Oubre was in. Greene had a bad turnover and didn’t do much. But it was more than Oubre did. I just shake my head at how good Svi is at his age. Makes some mistakes. Works his tail off on defense. 3 of 6 from three is more like it. His ability to score will just keep arcing upward.

    5. Team Defense: Just outstanding. I wish there was something to isolate as something to be critical about. When I say “team defense”, that’s what I mean. It was a team effort. How nice is it when opposing PGs don’t get easy penetration. That is perhaps the most critical difference from last season. We can always get better, but what a contrast to last season. Cliff makes guys think twice before driving. And I have to hand it to Ellis. There were two times on D when I actually said, “Way to go Perry.” One where he forced Dawson across the lane.

    6. Only Criticism (kind of): My only criticism was when we were up in the second half, we had some pretty bad possessions. Some bad shots when we could have easily gotten the lead to double digits. But what am I thinking? Who cares? This was a terrific win, great team basketball. Last season at this time I was lamenting/whining about Self not having the team prepared. And I was right. This season, I would say that Self has this team impeccably prepared. And I’m right again. We handled the press this weekend, we destroyed a zone defense, we played a tough it out game against a tough team, and we executed at all crucial times.

    Great weekend.

  • @hawkster88 great points! Izzo was an a-hole in post game! He said a dead man can make lay ups. Also said we self defended our own lay ups. Not very professional!

  • @HighEliteMajor still whining about last season AND patting yourself on the back about it?👋 no horse pic this time! Jk! I think coach doesn’t fully trust Cliff in a tight situation. Just a guess. He said they knew they were going to foul 31, he almost substituted, but decided to stick w/Mari.

  • I thought our defensive effort was the best of the season. Our offense is still a work in progress, beyond Perry and Frank. Nice, solid Bill Self style win.

  • That was the type of game you would expect between KU and MSU. Great, Great, win. I was also questioning why Jamari was in at the end. Glad he was in to make those 2 FT though. Probably because of his experience. Worked out nicely. While Oubre may not have done much…I don’t think he did anything negative. I think Greene will continue to be inconsistent…opening the door for Oubre. Great team defense in the last minute.

  • @HighEliteMajor The bad shots down the stretch had me tied up in knots. Fortunately our team defense bailed us out.

  • Well, it’s a quality, gutty win against a tough team that we haven’t had a lot of success against, so can’t really complain, but it is also difficult to get too ginned up about it. MSU went ice-cold the second half - some of that certainly attributable to better perimeter defense, esp. on Valentine, but the Spartans also missed a couple of lay-ups and chippies around the basket. Half court defense was solid overall, but O our transition defense was atrocious (got beat down the court half a dozen times), which shouldn’t be the case given our supposed speed, and we too often get beat off the dribble with fairly easy penetration into the lane (a recurring theme in the first 6 games). Other than Mason and maybe Svi, we don’t slide well. Selden is a solid defender on most 2s and 3s, but quicker guards and SFs give him trouble. I just don’t see the same effort and intensity as with some past teams.

    Mason - @globaljaybird I agree. Mason was the most valuable player the past two games. Still not a natural distributor, but I’ll take his ball skills and defense and ability to get into the lane.

    Ellis - solid, but mostly disappeared in the second half (give MSU some credit for adjustments) and its hard to overlook 3-7 from the foul line in a tight game.

    Selden - while solid on the defensive end, he was a major liability on the offensive end. Not just the missed shots, but poor shot selection and inability to finish at the rim. No spring or explosiveness - have to wonder if the knee is still a problem. Fascinating that Self leaves him almost the entire game notwithstanding the mistakes and he seemed tired - clearly shows his lack of confidence in Oubre and Brannen.

    Svi - has clearly separated himself from other wing players with overall game - will only get better and hopefully his outside shot will fall with more frequency. Would like to see him drive to to the hole more.

    Alexander/Traylor/Lucas - As with others, surprised to see Jamari in at the end of the game - even more surprised (pleasantly) to see him calmly hit the 2 FTs. Clutch. Don’t quite share the love for Alexander this game - he had trouble finishing; hopefully it won’t be an on-going issue against size/length. Very disappointed that Lucas didn’t get more PT as he was very effective - 6 points and 3 rebounds in his 8 minutes - which projects to a pretty solid slash line over a game.

    Brannen/Oubre - would love to see some consistency with the former and progress with the latter - if not not, when???

  • What a game, one that at halftime I wasn’t sure we could win because of the “little things”. The out of bounds miscue’s and lack of getting back on D after missed shots was killing us. Plus the ref’s were not so kind to us on shots inside the paint. They clearly missed a half dozen hacks by sparty’s.

    After halftime though, we saw great team play. Sparty missed plenty of 3’s to help us chip at the lead and build that 5-7 pt lead we had for a while. Jamari after being as bad as you can be was great with those free throw’s. We might have had different outcome had he missed.

    Defense was tremendous, rebounding was great +8 in that regard. I thought we were vintage Self team in tight situation. Just a great, satisfying win that we needed against a marque program and Izzo.

    I’ve been highly critical of our play but if we can bring this type of effort and team play every game we will be tuff to beat going forward. Is their any question that Mason can run this team, and we can settle on that subject

  • @HighEliteMajor

    A couple of point about Mason. I mentioned after the Tennessee game that he as son Rajon Rondo in him insofar as he is able to get in good position for rebounds and sure enough, he had 10 today. The one thing that he needs to learn is that when he is on fast break with an opposing player on him and a trailer teammate, he needs to pass the ball to the trailer for the uncontested layup instead of taking it to the hoop himself. This is basketball 101 but something difficult to wean from a player with a shooter/scorer mentality; he is making progress but he is not quite there yet.

    The other thing I mentioned before the beginning of the season is that Coach Self relaxed tough defensive play last season to accommodate the new players and that he would not make that mistake again. It is nice to see the team back to playing Self-ball, i.e. tough defense.

    I am starting to wonder if Green has a little Bipolar disorder, he seems to be way up for some games and way down for others and his concentration seems to vary as well. Oubre is still a mystery and I really think there is more to it that we don’t know yet.

    Does anyone have better spin moves that Perry Ellis? He is becoming more assertive and his game, particularly on offense is solid. and dependable.

    Nice to see Coach Self out coach Izzo at the end of the game; Izzo used to have Coach Self’s number for a while and I am sure Coach Self is glad to have this win under his belt.

  • Does anyone know the All-Tournament team? I know Perry is the MVP. Frank’s double-double and his play throughout these four days left no doubt that KU FINALLY has a point guard. His rebounds come with him above rim most of the time.

  • ap184411053505.jpg

  • @JayHawkFanToo Agreed on Mason on the fastbreak. He’ll get better. On the fast break where he left it for Oubre or Alexander … not sure who, he really would have been better served to move the ball to the middle. He would have then had a great angle for a bounce pass to Selden who was out front.

    But I don’t think he “relaxed tough defensive play last season” by choice. You think he relaxed things defensively? I’ve never gotten that sense. I think the silly rule change/interpretation last season jacked us up to a large degree. Self was critical of it after a few weeks saying that he wasn’t sure how we could play good defense the way they were calling it. I think that contributed to it.

    I said this last season – you have four of your starting five basically being finesse players (maybe 3 1/2 – Embiid wasn’t totally finesse), and a coach preaching toughness, that doesn’t fit. Square peg, round hole. Much different dynamic now led by Mason out front.

    Your comment on Ellis is what I was thinking too … we’re seeing more aggressiveness. He wants to score. But I get greedy. I can’t wait until Ellis and Alexander get working together, and we see some good post to post passing (like Jackson and Arthur had going).

    @DCHawker Glad you brought up Lucas. 8 minutes, 6 points, 3 boards. He has some nice post moves. Really, just one … a nice drop step. But he does get rebounds and doesn’t hurt us. Nice security blanket we have there when needed.

    But I question your reference to a lack of “effort and intensity” on defense. All teams will get beat on penetration a few times. It’s limiting those occurrences. I guess I see some pretty good effort out there.

  • What I found to be most-fascinating about this game was the last few seconds. We were up by 3 and Self ran the in-bounds play to Bam-Bam. He’s only a 63% FT shooter.

    I think Self is trying to boost his confidence. Luckily Bam-Bam knocked down both FTs to ice the game!

    Frank is starting to realize that he must put his body between the defender and the ball, if he hopes to get up his shot in the post area. The other thing he has to do is use the backboard right… once he gets the ball to the backboard it is goal tending if they touch it.

    Extreme kudos to Frank for crashing the boards, and proving, once again, that height is over-rated! If he continues to go 30+ minutes a game I expect he’ll average at least 5+ rpg. Funny… Frank has become our rebounding “equalizer” for our missing height!

    There is no one in the country that can stop Frank from driving. No one. He’s starting to do a better job with his drives… starting to see more and set up better scoring situations.

    We didn’t always execute well… but I like what I see of our offense. It looked like a mix of a 1-3-1 and 2-1-2 set where we try to work the high post (FT line). We mix our motion from both pass and drive. This is so much more interesting than the old hi-lo.

    I think we are going to have a very effective offense this year, with a higher % of taken (and made) 3-ptrs.

    Svi is like a breath of fresh air! He hasn’t exactly been scorching the nets… but when was the last time we had a guy who knew how to use a shot fake? His first half buzzer beater was beautiful, and what you expect to see from shooters in the league (or on their way). He’s going to help teach Brannen to become a better shooter. I think Svi is helping all our guys see more of the court. That’s what happens when you have a guy who sees more… he helps the guys he practices with see more, too.

    I’m not sure why Landen didn’t get more minutes. We complain about our lack of height, and we have an effective 6’10" post player on the bench for most of the game. I’m guessing he’s in the middle of some “Self toughening.” Hard to believe, since he has more fundamentals than everyone else on the team.

  • I am not smart enough to determine the impact of defense on a teams shooting. Michigan St., and to a lesser extent, us, missed a lot of close in shots. Was our defense that good, which I’d like to believe, or was MSU’s shooting that bad? I mean some of the misses were layup bricks. They were the equivalent of airballs on layups. They were what my shot would look like if I was on a fast break with Cliff chasing me down from behind and I knew I had to get it airborne before he could catch me. Great defense KU, (crappy shooting MSU!).

    I missed the first 10 minutes of the game which is when we must have made our FT’s because it didn’t seem like we made any since then except for Jamari’s clutch FT’s at the end.

    Good win, good tournament, good season shaping up.

  • @drgnslayr said, “Frank is starting to realize that he must put his body between the defender and the ball, if he hopes to get up his shot in the post area. The other thing he has to do is use the backboard right… once he gets the ball to the backboard it is goal tending if they touch it.”

    Great point. The other day, he went the opposite side to lay it in. That was awesome. On your topic, full speed is not always the best answer. When out front on a break, with a bigger guy trailing, a good tactic is to slow up to get the the defender on his back, and then accelerate and extend to the hoop to create some space. That’s a way to use the body as you suggest. It also can allow pass options to catch up, Whatever it is, your point on using his body is a good one. It is an art. But when you have 5’11" vs. 6’9", it’s hard no matter what. Draw the defense, drive to pass.

  • @HighEliteMajor My reference to lack of effort and intensity is relative to some prior year’s teams - which I attribute in part to the general tendency of OADs and MAAs to put much emphasis on defensive fundamentals, e.g., low center of gravity and lateral quickness and understanding team defense principles. With specific reference to this game was the unacceptable number of times we got beat down the court - and not just on steals and breakaways. That is lack of effort/desire, pure and simple. Also, in both this game and the previous ones, if you go back and look at a game replay, you should note that there is too frequent “lackadaisical-ness” in switching back after a hedge and closing down passing lanes. Both last and this year’s teams get very few steals and easy basket transition opportunities - hallmarks of both Roy’s and Bill’s teams in the past.

  • @drgnslayr Do you think Self ran the in-bounds play for Traylor, or do you think they just threw the ball into him not anticipating Sparty fouling? I was thinking it was the latter.

    Loving Mason on the boards! He did cost us a possession once he was so honed in on grabbing a board he knocked it out of one of our post player’s hands and it went out of bounds, but still…loved it.

    You say you liked what you saw from our offense, I’m not as sold. It looked like it was Ellis or bust for a lot of the game. If they couldn’t get it to Perry or if he wasn’t in the game, it was pretty bad. Mason would do what he could, but it’s obvious that we’re not dynamic enough in the post without Ellis to run high post offense, and with Wayne struggling it really hampers the rest of the perimeter threats.

    Yeah, 6 pts on 3-3 shooting and 3 rebs for Lucas in 8 minutes…I don’t understand him not seeing more action either.

    And yes, Svi is awesome to watch!

    EDIT: Just saw from @Crimsonorblue22 's earlier post that Self said he knew they were going to foul but decided to leave him in, so I guess that answers that. So good for Jamari and the confidence building I guess!

  • @icthawkfan316 I thought beyond Frank, Svi, and Perry, our offense struggled. Lots of rushed clunkers from 25+ feet. Izzo’s team has something to do with that. We shot a putrid 37% as a team, 21% from beyond 3. The defenses of both teams are ahead of their offenses, so it was a typical Big Ten wrestling match. And we won the game - we out poised the more experienced team.

  • @KUSTEVE Posted on @lumpy’s thread during the game that SVI displays 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 & still the most consistent passer I’ve seen. Drilled that NBA 3 with a tick on the clock at half-monster shot entering the break. May have ensured a kindler/gentler Bill at half. Ugh, maybe? But Frank kicked ass today too, plain & simple fought over-not under most all screens & that is bulldog tough if there ever was. 10 huge boards for a guard & an undersized one at that. MSU was beatin & bangin & we beat em at their own game. Even Rascal dug Frank today - If I had 3 thumbs they’d all be up !!

  • @icthawkfan316 If Self believed they were going to foul (they could have chosen to play defense and get one last chance for a tie) then it makes sense to have Traylor in there. I would rather have him at the line than Alexander. He has proven to be effective at the line (though has had periods of “coldness” there). Although Ideally, you would want either Selden or Mason to handle the ball and shoot the FTs.

  • @DCHawker I just don’t us not getting back down court as an issue, based on my recollection. It didn’t stand out. I’m not recalling seeing anything inordinately out of whack. But I may have overlooked it. Curious as to others’ observations there.

    But I am not seeing anything near a “lack of effort/desire” with this team, that you cite, in any phase of the game.

    Actually, I’m seeing a lot of effort/desire. This seems to be a positive trait for this team.

  • @Hawk8086 Actually, why not sub in Brannen Greene for Traylor? At that point, having a post defender is not important. He could always sub Traylor back in for D if needed. If Self thought they were going to foul Traylor, Traylor should not have been on the court offensively. It worked out. But I sure hope he thinks about subbing in Greene in that situation next time. Greene is dead eye from the line and a good guy to have on the floor in that situation. Better ball handler than Traylor, too.

  • As others have mentioned, Mason was great this weekend. I was skeptical heading into the tournament, my feeling being he was too much of a gunner. I actually was hoping for Graham to take over the starting role soon. I thought Mason might be more suited for a “spark” role off the bench, a la Sherron his first two seasons. No more. Assuming this is the Mason we see the rest of the season, I’m in. Just awesome to see. Such a relief to not have to resign ourselves to mediocre-at-best (emphasis on the at-best) PG play!

    Speaking of Graham, has there been any further comment on his shoulder injury? I just expected him to play more the last two games, but 7 min against Tennessee and then 5 minutes today. Even with Mason playing as well as he did, surely he could have taken a few minutes from Selden today if he was fully healthy.

    Wayne, Wayne, Wayne. Ugh. Don’t get me wrong, the defense is good. But I keep waiting for his scoring to come around. I thought this was going to be Selden’s team, but it can’t be without him carrying more of the scoring load. And honestly, I wonder if this team needs that for it to truly forge its identity.

    What more can be said about Svi? What a find for Self late in the recruiting period.

    Perry played great this tournament. I could do without him taking so many 3s. The real test will be once he faces a frontline with taller players again. He did show increased aggressiveness.

    Already stated how I too am puzzled with Lucas not getting more minutes.

    We can probably hold off on annointing Alexander star status (as many were ready to do after the Tennessee game). Good presence on defense, and his offense will continue to improve.

    Greene was disappointing, but Oubre couldn’t capitalize and gain any ground on him.

    Most interesting thing to me is the limited rotation. Especially in a 3 games in 4 days situation, I expected our depth to really play a factor. But I guess the positive to take away from that is that our top tier guys must be in incredible shape to play 30+ minutes and maintain effectiveness.

  • This was a typical KU/MSU game. Hard fought, often messy.

    Perry had a very solid game. I am totally confused by those three three pointers he took. Early in the possession. Strange. I gave up a long time ago hoping for strong finishes around the rim. That just isn’t his game. He is and always will be a much more finesse player. I was glad to see a couple mid range shots from him and he made them. That helped keep the spacing underneath open.

    Svi hit a couple of threes, but mostly just played a very solid game all around. Really like him.

    I also like Graham. I know the numbers show poorly for him, but I think a lot of that is that he is putting time in with the second string often. His off the ball defense is very solid. I think he will come around and when he does, we will have two very solid PGs to lead a talented squad.

    Oubre. What a head scratcher. Prior to the year, he was on the chart for first round picks. I would imagine, he is long off that list now. I am guessing he is still getting used to the speed of the game at this level. Self’s comment about him going to be good now, but even better at the next level gives me faith, but I sure would like to see it sooner rather than later.

    MSU missed a lot of shots in the second half. Part of that was die to our defense and I think part of that was just their own internal pressure to try to come back. Either way, it was a good way to see our Jayhawks fight and scrape out a win.

    A solid enjoyable win.

  • @globaljaybird Everyone keeps brimming over with surprize for Svi’s skill in the game so far. I feel the same way. But, should we be surprised guys? The kid played for the Ukrainian National team and played in the Fiba World Cup over the summer against NBA Pros! Svi has more game experience against big time competition than any of our younger players. Now that he is seeming to get a grip on how the college game is played, his shot is falling and he has a great eye for passing and he is definitely one of our top perimeter defenders. Svi is shaping up to be a stud. A stud who happens to look like the young Ensign Chekov from the first reboot of Star Trek.

  • @icthawkfan316 I thought Lucas looked like he favoring one leg to me. He seemed gimpy to me, so I think he hasn’t fully recovered from the stress fracture yet.

  • @wrwlumpy just heard that Frank made it, not sure it was posted on here yet.

  • @Lulufulu Upvote for the Chekov reference.

  • @Lulufulu just think how much stronger he will get w/off season wkouts!

  • @KUSTEVE Ya know, it’s looked to me as Landon doesn’t have nearly the hops he had last year. Stress fractures can be killers for anyone, especially big men that jump & hammer their lower extremities. But 100% agree that Self has to give Landon more minutes so he’s game ready vs trees. Cliff is only about Perry’s height & a guy like Kaminsky just can have their own way with a guy that short.

  • @HighEliteMajor pretty sure they wouldn’t have fouled Greene!

  • @icthawkfan316 graham got 2 pretty quick fouls in the first half. Not sure about his shoulder. He was really hurting after that hit and I was shocked he came back. I was hoping he would also come in to spell Wayne.

  • @drgnslayr

    "There is no one in the country that can stop Frank from driving."

    UK did a good job by blocking his shots and Texas and even Oklahoma are going to do the same. I saw most of the U Conn-Texas game and Texas has some serious length that can actually play and hit from the outside. I am waiting to see how the front line of Texas does against Kentucky.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 Ok then, leave your best free throw shooter on the bench. Your comment doesn’t make sense. The point is that you can try to get it to Greene; or, by default, you have a poor free throw shooter (Traylor) on the bench. It also makes it more difficult for them to stop the ball from going to Mason, which they did. It is common-place to take out poor free throw shooters late.

    In fact, I just read that Self was getting ready to put Greene in, but changed his mind.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Coach self indicated on a couple of occasions that they simplified the system greatly last year, he also indicated that the team did not perform defensively like he would have liked and part of it was due to the changes. As you know, Coach Self’s system starts with solid, tough defense and the offense starts with defensive stops, at least that is his preferred approach. I think that part of the problem with defense was the new rules of contact, and the way they were enforced affected teams that emphasize and play tough defense, like KU, a lot more than it did the ones that play mostly offense, since the rules were “tweaked” to favor offenses and higher scoring. Now that he has had a chance to adapt to the changes, we are seeing a much improved defense compared to last year’s.

  • @HighEliteMajor I know. I just meant there’s no way they would have fouled Greene. I agree about having the best throwers out there. Just glad coach had faith and happy for Mari! Coach must have been really upset w/Greene or figured he would screw something up again. Beats me!

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Maybe Coach Self did not trust Greene handling the ball in that situation. Keep in mind that Greene had 2 TOs in 6 minutes, in comparison, Mason and Selden had 3 a piece but each played 36 minutes; Traylor had no TOs in 15 minutes. I get the impression that Coach Self knew today was not Brannen’s day.

  • @JayHawkFanToo the rule interpretations killed us, but worse was Tharpe and Ellis on D. And then throw in the absense of Embiid!

  • @JayHawkFanToo Maybe. This from -

    Asked if he felt pressure, Traylor, who had an abysmal semifinal against Tennessee, said: “No, because in the time out, coach was going to sub Brannen (Greene) in for me. He was like, ‘Brannen get in.’ He was like, ‘You know what? Mari stay in. You are going to make the free throws. You are going to knock ‘em down.’ I’m happy he trusted me and I’m glad I came through,” Traylor added.

  • @icthawkfan316

    “You say you liked what you saw from our offense, I’m not as sold. It looked like it was Ellis or bust for a lot of the game. If they couldn’t get it to Perry or if he wasn’t in the game, it was pretty bad. Mason would do what he could, but it’s obvious that we’re not dynamic enough in the post without Ellis to run high post offense, and with Wayne struggling it really hampers the rest of the perimeter threats.”

    There are things I’m not thrilled about… mostly… that our #2 guy on offense (Wayne) is yet to show up this year. I’m totally puzzled on Wayne. His game was way off today. Most of his shots were ill-advised. I’m thinking his confidence is off. If he hopes to go to the league next year he certainly isn’t starting the year off right. It will be a lot tougher for him to earn confidence at the next level.

    What I liked was the structure of our offense. Hey… we just beat MSU and we didn’t have a great stat line. But we did generate just enough offense to win.

    Now imagine running this offense with an upbeat Wayne… hitting shots from 3 and penetrating. And a few more shots from others, like Svi.

    I’ll be surprised if this team ends the year NOT hitting a higher % from 3 than in recent years. We’ve got several capable shooters, but also, this offense favors the shooters more than our past hi/lo “pass fast enough to create spacing” type offense. The offense we are running now has the capability of pulling defenders far out of position, giving our shooters more space. More space should equal better shooting %.

    Perry is the key guy to make this work. He has to continue to become a threat all over the offensive floor. That will help create opportunities for all our guys. Throw in Frank’s drive and feed, long ball shooting from Svi and Brannen… post scoring with Cliff… Yes, I think we have a lot to cheer for.

    And we have a defense that is starting to apply pressure. I think I have to go back to '08 as the last time we had a perimeter defense capable of pressuring the ball.

    It is important that we keep improving every week and we have good fortune of few or no injuries.

    @JayHawkFanToo -

    “UK did a good job by blocking his shots and Texas and even Oklahoma are going to do the same.”

    UK did a horrible job of stopping Frank from driving. They did a great job of blocking his shots. The key is for Frank to pass off on his drives and only take the shot when he can get it over the defense. Texas lost their PG, and Frank will be able to drive by their stubby PG with ease. Set your DVR for next Friday… Kentucky vs Texas This should be a good game to analyze Texas. I caught their win against UCONN and they already showed quite a bit of capability. I was amazed at how much muscle Myles Turner has already put on. He used to be a skinny boy. Not any longer! I guess they give those guys steroid-fed longhorn meat for din-din!

    The key is to create off the drive, not gun it off the drive. Driving guards tear down defensive structure, opening shooters up.

    @Crimsonorblue22 -

    “the rule interpretations killed us, but worse was Tharpe and Ellis on D. And then throw in the absense of Embiid!”

    Oh so true! We also could have played better defense all around, but Tharpe and Ellis were atrocious. Self later said he coached it wrong. He kept telling guys not to foul, so they just backed off the pressure.

    This current team is already a better defending team then what we took into March last year (after losing Embiid).

    The big warning going off in my head is Wayne. His game has all but vanished.

    I’m going to make a stab at what I think is wrong with Wayne. My guess is Wayne is a bit of a slow learner. Self has definitely changed up his offense this year and I think Wayne is almost as off-track as Kelly is.

    I hope that is the issue, and I hope both of these guys play about 500% better after their Christmas break, when these guys practice a lot longer.

  • @drgnslayr

    I think you missed my point or more likely, I did not do a good job expressing what I meant. My point was why stop Mason’s penetration when he was not passing and he was met at the basket by a seven footer that blocked his shot? The idea of penetration by the PG is to either score if he is open or draw the defense in and kick it to the outside where there will be at least one player open. Mason drove to the basket, drew a crowd and still tried to score…we all know what that turned out.

    Now, if he can do the same thing against Texas, that is penetrate, draw the defense in and then pass the ball to the open man, then we will have something; however, if he tries to score over the trees the result will be similar to the UK game…Texas is really, really long and talented.

  • @drgnslayr I’ve thought that too, but just couldn’t say it.

  • @HighEliteMajor we knew that.

  • @HighEliteMajor said:

    @Crimsonorblue22 Ok then, leave your best free throw shooter on the bench. Your comment doesn’t make sense. The point is that you can try to get it to Greene; or, by default, you have a poor free throw shooter (Traylor) on the bench. It also makes it more difficult for them to stop the ball from going to Mason, which they did. It is common-place to take out poor free throw shooters late.

    In fact, I just read that Self was getting ready to put Greene in, but changed his mind.

    Well HEM, since I like to pick bones with you so often, let me take this opportunity to say, I agree with you completely and emphatically. Playing Traylor late made no sense to begin with (Alexander is a better shot blocker, better post defender, less turnover prone, and a better free throw shooter), and keeping him in there to hit 1 and 1 free throws when you’re up by only 3 is straight playing with fire. I’m glad it worked out and in some ways I’m glad that Self was willing to show that much confidence in Traylor (especially after the egg he laid the previous game), but I really wouldn’t want to see him do it again. Ever.

  • @konkeyDong I think when Self heard MSU shouting “Foul 31!”, it became a toughness / manhood issue. It was an identity-building moment.

    And a “F*** you, Izzo” moment.

    Now it’s time for Jamari to lead the team in floor burns this week in practice.

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