Oubre Mystery: NO MYSTERY AT ALL

  • Is it a mystery why Conner Frankamp left KU?


    The obvious answers are Frank Mason and Devonte Graham.

    They are as good, or better than Frankamp, and come from recruiting regions that are more important to keep the tap open to, than is Frankamp’s high school.


    No mystery at all.

    So why the heck are people mystified by Kelly Oubre struggling at KU?

    Talented as Oubre appears to be, at the 3 spot, Oubre is stuck behind 6-8 Svi, a 17 year old near wunderkind from Ukraine, with a trey and good ball handling skills and sound defense. And Svi has played against better competition than Oubre has faced the last year or two.

    And Oubre hasn’t got a trey gun.

    And Oubre is taking longer to learn the offense that Svi.

    And Svi is playing out of flipping position at the 3; that’s how flipping good Svi is right now.

    Svi has a high ceiling, but not quite as high as Oubre’s IMHO.

    But Svi has a high foundation–about twice as high as Oubre’s right now.

    So Oubre is beaten out at the position he was groomed and branded to be the next Andrew Wiggins at, by someone better than he is now, and likely to be better than he is at the end of the season, because there is no reason to think that Oubre is instantly going to discover how to pot the triceratop.

    Self tried to head this situation that he apparently saw coming quite aways off, when he tried to talk Oubre into becoming a 4.

    Alas, Oubre apparently could not learn the 4 any faster than he can learn the 3, and at the 4 he has to match third year man Perry Ellis’ scoring and defense and low TOs and quiet man, hard working ethos. No hope there from and AAU savant from Vegas.

    That left Oubre at the 2. NOPE. Selden is there and though Selden can’t get untracked offensively, Wayne can handle the ball some, can guard a lot, and protect; this leaves Oubre an OAD out in the cold.

    Oubre does not seem to be a PG, or a center type, and in any case the Big Red Dog and Lucas are manning the post.

    People need to cut Oubre a whole bunch of slack including Kelly himself.

    This situation is really no worse than what happened to BenMac, when he was probably the best player on the team as a freshman and had to sit because of academic issues.

    No one went to pieces and started impugning BenMac for sitting a season.

    No one should impugn Oubre for sitting a season (if he in fact does).

    There is no shame in getting beat out by the kind of talent that is beating him out.

    There is no indication here that Oubre is a bad actor.

    He just needs a season to get a slot to fit into.

    His only problem is that as I have been saying since he was signed, he hasn’t got a trey gun, and L&As without trey guns are extremely vulnerable to being displaced by lesser physical talents that can drain the trey. It is the nature of the game in the three point era. Period.

    So: national media yaks, wake up and smell the basketball coffee.

    Kelly will be a terrific basketball player.

    He just got caught in the numbers, like Conner and AWIII, and others have.

    And he may yet break out and dominate, if someone gets injured, or if his game comes together.

    None of this would have be happening right now, had he put in the hours on his trey that it needed.

    So put in the hours.

    And watch him go off like BenMac as a freshman.

    Remember how good BenMac made himself that year he sat out.

    And how good he made our starting team by smoking them in practice every day and making sure their heads never got too big?

    Go, Kelly, go!

    You are a helluva player that got caught up in the numbers briefly.

    Nothing more.

    One injury, a 40% trey, now, or a few departures next season, and you are the hub of the team.

    Rock Chalk!

  • Great post. Spot on analysis of why he isn’t playing. The eye test tells you he belongs out on the court, so it’s probably a matter of not being good enough defensively or not knowing the offense well enough. But it’s just a matter of time before it clicks and he busts out of his shell, ala Perry Ellis 2/3 the way into his Frosh year. Hang in there young fella!

  • I posted this on another thread - more appropriate here. Oubre’s lack of minutes and involvement is historic for a top recruit, per Jeff Goodman.

    From Jeff Goodman today at ESPN:

    Elite frosh Oubre, Pinson invisible so far

    No elite recruit over the past decade has struggled to get minutes (and produce) out of the gates as much as Kansas freshman Kelly Oubre. However, he has company in fellow frosh Theo Pinson of North Carolina, who was ranked 10th in the freshman class (Oubre was 11th, but he moves up to 10th since Emmanuel Mudiay went to China).

    Oubre has scored just 13 points in his first six games at Kansas and has been on the court for a total of 50 minutes thus far. Pinson has scored 16 points, but has been on the court for 94 minutes.

    Here are the fewest minutes and points, along with the most minutes and points for a Top 10 recruit through his first six games. It includes the past nine seasons since the Class of 2005 was allowed to go to the NBA out of high school.


    1.Kelly Oubre, Kansas – 50

    2.John Henson, North Carolina – 62

    3.Tyler Zeller, North Carolina – 72* (broke his wrist after second game)

    4.Dakari Johnson, Kentucky – 73

    5.Mason Plumlee, Duke – 81 (missed the first six games of season with a broken wrist)

    6.Nolan Smith, Duke – 92

    7.Theo Pinson, North Carolina – 94

    8.Jordan Hamilton, Texas – 99

    9.Grant Jerrett, Arizona – 99

    10.James Michael McAdoo, North Carolina – 101


    1.Kelly Oubre, Kansas – 13

    2.Theo Pinson, North Carolina – 16

    3.John Henson, North Carolina – 18

    4.Dakari Johnson, Kentucky – 30

    5.Cameron Ridley, Texas – 30

    6.Nolan Smith, Duke – 31

    7.Mason Plumlee, Duke – 32

    8.Tyler Zeller, North Carolina – 32*

    9.Grant Jerrett, Arizona – 33

    10.Kyle Anderson, UCLA – 34

    Another item of note - Oubre’s minutes are just more than 1/2 of Pinson, who is not getting much action.

    Oubre is caught up in numbers here. More precisely, he’s caught up in numbers (“briefly”, as @jaybate said) because other players are better now. The “now” being the operative phrase.

    However, I remain curious as to how he overtakes Selden or Svi. It seems that overtaking Selden is a non-starter as Self prefers experience, and has always preferred Selden. And Svi is going to improve too. Greene’s minutes are Oubre’s immediate target.

    The question becomes whether Oubre is likely to be a better player than Greene this season? If not, then Self needs to stick with Greene in his role.

    There are some pretty good players on the list above, guys that ended up playing a lot.

  • @HighEliteMajor Interesting statistics. All those guys are either in the NBA or headed there. Oubre seems to be in good company.

    Do you think Oubre should be playing more at this point? It’s not like he hasn’t stunk it up for about 48 of the 50 minutes he’s been on the floor.

  • @DanR The one thing I heard Dickie V say during the MichSt game was that at Kansas you have to earn your playing time. We’ve all thought that here and there on the boards, but to me it sounded like Vitale asked Self why he wasn’t playing and got that answer. Maybe I’m wrong, but I lean that way, you have to earn it, be it a high flyer scorer, rebounder extremist or defender of the ball.

  • We all seem to have become an extension of Coach Self vicariously. Many complain that coach doesn’t let those who need playing time - play. Many times his answer has been “I just want the best five on the court.” a big lead can quickly be gone in todays NCAA div 1. I want Greene to be the big scorer that he was in high school, same for Kelly, but against MSU I wanted Greene out of the game after 2 minutes. We KU fans on this site and the 16,3000 who are at every game understand why someone is or is not playing. When Perry found his MoJo after barely getting off the bench as a Freshman and making the All Big 12 Tournament team, we had a new hero. He is very smart and knew that being yelled at in practice was not for humiliation purposes but to steel him for what was ahead. I don’t care if he’s quiet as long as he scores and plays defense and attacks every game like he learned his Freshman year. Some can’t cut it early, but like many greats who have come before, bench time at KU is the rule until you get to the point where you are trusted to be on the court. We cheer for the walk-ons at the end of the game for the role they play. They know they aren’t starters but what they do for the team in practice earns them cheers when they occasionally make a basket. For the ones that are on scholarship, the reality of their deficiencies despite what assets they have might kill the minutes they are allowed. Such was the case with Conner. Frank is about his same height, but keeps the other PG out of the lane and smothers them on the trey line. I hope Conner finds the 30 points per game like he had in high school, He was one of my favorite players while he was here, but KU is defense, without it, you are a liability.

  • @DanR Back in the EJ days, I very much felt that Self should identify who he thought his best players were and play those guys to get them more experience; all so they’d be ready for March. If it ended up costing us a game or two along the way, then so be it. That is a bit inconsistent with the value of a #1 seed in the NCAA tourney, and the high percentage of champions that result.

    But I still think you identify your most talented guys, and you play them. Experience and reps in real game situations, under fire, is typically the best way to shorten the learning curve. “Pressure makes diamonds”, someone once said.

    That said, there is a minimal level of competence with “system” that needs to be achieved so the whole thing doesn’t get screwed up.

    Assuming a minimal level of competence has been achieved. I’d play Oubre15-17 per game off the bench over Greene IF and only IF Self thinks he will give us a better chance to win the title in March, than Greene would. Then, if Oubre improves, he might over take Svi, and their roles might reverse a bit (I doubt that, but it could).

    If Oubre completely flops in that role after a number of games, Self could reassess. Greene needs the PT too, but he has a year under his belt and could slide in easier than Oubre, if Oubre been the one sitting and then Geene flopped.

    As an underlying philosophy, I’d just want to identify the best grouping of players that would give us the best title chance, and get them the most experience and reps. The more that happens, the more Self could expand the playbook and get more creative if necessary.

    All that said, I would have done exactly as Self did to win vs. MSU. Play your best guys. If you’re in a tourney, win it.

  • The risk of not playing Oubre is that his confidence is now completely shaken. Watching him this weekend he was not aggressive at all offensively. He wasn’t looking to score or even to create scoring opportunities. He wasn’t attacking the glass for rebounds. He was just out there trying to figure out how not to screw up.

    That is not a good place for a player to be.

    Oubre can play. On pure talent, he is one of KU’s 5 best players. As I surmised in the preseason, 4 of KU’s best 6 players may be their wings - Selden, Svi, Greene and Oubre. This is where Self needs to get a little bit creative in finding them minutes and getting away from the 3 perimeter, 2 big lineups. Basketball is a five man game and you need to find a way to play 5 of your best guys as often as possible. Kelly isn’t playing well right now, but you can’t lose him for the rest of the year because there will come a game in March where you need a player with that kind of talent and we will all want Kelly to be able to answer that bell.

  • @HighEliteMajor said:

    That is a bit inconsistent with the value of a #1 seed in the NCAA tourney, and the high percentage of champions that result.

    It’s not inconsistent with the value of a #1 seed because a #1 seed has no real value. You’d have to reseed a #1 seed to something ridiculous like a #7 before you’d significantly affect the probability of the #1 reaching the FF or winning the title. If Self won’t take losses in order to preserve seeding, he’s on a fool’s errand.

  • I think the focus shouldn’t be on Kelly not playing.

    I think the focus should be on how to use Svi. The kid has game. He’s really a 2… but his height says 3… though he sees the court like a PG should.

    Self has mentioned all year that Wayne could be played anything from 1 to 4. That was a huge mistake. Wayne needs to stay a 2.

    Kelly needs to stay a 3.

    Frank is a PG.

    And Svi? Svi should play some of 1 through 3. He definitely needs to get some grooming at 1. He’s our big guard answer if we want to play big ball with teams like Kentucky. Wayne isn’t a PG.

    Svi should be used as an enhancement player for this team. Instead… he’s been used to unsettle players. I have no doubt that he was a big part of why Conner left. And now he’s giving grief to Kelly, even though Kelly shouldn’t be starting yet or playing much until he gets on track with Self ball.

    It’s still too early to tell. But I hope, by conference play, Self figures it out. If Kelly’s game comes along, I’d like to see him start at the 3, and Wayne at the 2, and Frank at PG (or maybe Devonte). And then I’d like to see our 6th man be Svi. And I’d like to see Svi get about 28 minutes a game, subbing in anywhere from PG to 3.

    Then we are using Svi as a team enhancement, and he’ll just be unsettling to other teams!

  • I just built a scenario that totally cut out Brannen. Yikes!

    So maybe give Svi a few less minutes… say 20. Build Brannen into about a 15 minute player.

    Svi may end up being a better player than Brannen, but we need to keep feeding Brannen minutes so he is game ready by March. One problem last year was Brannen didn’t get enough minutes during conference and he wasn’t game ready in March. We can’t waste away talented depth this year. We need to make sure all our talented guys are getting some minutes.

    Good depth needs to be one of our weapons this year, especially since height won’t be one of them!

  • @drgnslayr

    As I have been saying for 2-3 weeks now, Svi and Greene are the key to this becoming an exceptional team. Both have to be effective D1 basketball players. This team will win, or lose, on their three point shooting. Both have to be able to be in the games on both wings at least 10-20 mpg, and preferably more (even though the minutes will have to come from either Selden, for this team to reach its potential. Svi is already able. Self is trying to fake his way through this with just Svi, and he’s hoping that Selden learns to shoot the trey by January. Great if Selden can learn it. But if not, Greene is the man, even though he is a very scary prospect. He is so wild and inconsistent on defense–like he sometimes just doesn’t have the neural net connections yet. Mercurial. The obvious solution for him is to start doing transcendental meditation to calm him and even him out and integrate both hemispheres of his brain. If Greene started TM now, he would be grooved in three weeks, but no body really gets the athletic applications of TM yet. One way or another, Self has to get another trey gun on the other wing.

    This has to be a transcept team to optimize and beat the long and strongs. No rocket science here. If you are short, you have to be able to for them outside to guard the 2, 3 and 4 positions, or you are toast. This KU team can play other ways and look great against the short teams, but against UK, UA, and likely Florida and Tayhoss, you’ve got to be able to pull that perimeter out, and pull one post man out to have a good chance of winning. It has to be an outside-in team to get the most out of the talent we have.

    The only way Oubre can substantially change this situation for the better, and so play without hurting the team, as he did against UK, is if he learns to shoot the trey at 38%, so his probably vastly better defense (at least by season’s end) than Brannen’s defense, can off set Brannen’s better gun.


    It can pretend to be an inside-out team, but it will be wasting its shot clock doing it against UK, Florida and UA. And maybe against Texas, too.

    IT HAS TO HAVE 40% TREY SHOOTERS ON THE WINGS, even if only to bring in after Selden defends till he is tired.

    Selden has to find the range, or Greene has to learn some D and take some of his minutes, or this team will be limited to looking good against short teams like MSU.

    This is a transcept team, if ever there were one.


    If Perry cannot do it, then Self may have to move Svi to 4, which frankly is what he should have done the moment CF left, and moved Devonte to one wing. But Self, and perhaps wisely, decided to gamble on Selden learning to gun it from trey the next three months. Self must have known Devonte was too frail to survive uninjured very long. And he must have looked at Brannen and said the neural nets might grow together during this season, as they did with Travis Releford and EJ late in their sophomore seasons, but they could just as easily not grow in till next summer. So: Self is letting it all ride on Selden.

    Selden is the Self Defender that MIGHT learn to shoot the trey and turn this into a beautiful transcept team playing outside-in.

    Until then, this is the KU Marines scrambling, improvising, and toughing out every game never sure of what the hell may happen.

    I would bet the house on Greene.

    Self would bet the house on Selden.

    Sooner or later you’ve got to bet the house on someone and someone has to come through.

    Otherwise you crap out.

    Go, Wayne, go.

    But my money is still on Brannen.

    With Svi and Brannen on both wings, you’ve got a team that UK, UA, Florida, and Texas all will have fits trying to defend.

    Add Perry smoking it at 40% 3-5 attempts per game and you have the ingredients of Wooden’s great 32-0 ring team.

    Mason is this team’s Walt Hazzard–a hard nose, street wise guy.

    The rest of the pieces are there if a couple of shooters come through.

    The only wild card in all of this is Hunter Mickelson. Hunter must not be expected to get well this season. But if he did, that could tip the balance to a longer team inside and that could change things a whole bunch.

  • @drgnslayr I think you have to start your best players and so far this year Svi is one of our best players and certainly the best option to start at the 3 spot. Oubre is obviously really struggling. Greene is a fantastic shooter but still a one dimensional player. Svi is a better defender, passer and ball handler than the the other options. He should start. As should Cliff. I know that Bill says that Lucas is good at starting as it gives Cliff the opportunity to come into the game with less anxiety and less chance of picking up early fouls but let’s be honest…that is temporary. He is going to be in the starting 5 very soon.

  • @drgnslayr

    I have thought a good deal about moving Svi to 4 with Perry/Cliff at 5.

    Selden and Greene at 2 and 3.

    Mason at one.

    If Selden could ever get his act together, and gun the trey, which Self seems to be hoping for late in the season, this lineup could be killer for stretches.

    But bottom line, the team isn’t a very good trey shooting team, despite what Self says, and despite this little up tick in trey percentage.

    To beat big teams, KU needs to shoot twice as many treys at it is shooting and when it does, its percentage is going to plummet.

    Unless, Wayne learns to gun it, or Green learns to guard.

  • @konkeydong - check out the numbers. Before last season, I believe it was 18 of the last 25 tourney champs were number 1 seeds.

    On Oubre, new Chad Ford mock prominently features a picture of Oubre and Alexander with a bi-line that reads, “Kelly Oubre and Cliff Alexander have both seen their NBA draft stock fall since the start of the year.”

    Alexander at #12, Oubre at #13.


  • @HighEliteMajor said:

    check out the numbers. Before last season, I believe it was 18 of the last 25 tourney champs were number 1 seeds.

    I’m familiar with the numbers. But it’s the logic that concerns me. It’s usually raining when lots of people are carrying umbrellas, but none of us believes that a mass of people holding umbrellas will cause it to rain (I hope). #1 seeds to win more often, but that’s an affect of the best teams usually earning a #1 seed, not an affect that having that seeding has on those specific teams. In other words, you can take any #1 seed and put them at any other seeding in the tournament and expect to get about the same outcomes on average. That comes because talent and consistency are ultimately what drives wins in any competition. If Loisville 2013, UK 2012, Duke 2010, UNC 2009, or KU 2008 were each seeded as #5s instead of #1s, their odds of winning it all don’t change beyond the statistical margin of error for predicting such a thing. Thus, a statistician would understand that to mean having a #1 seed doesn’t produce any effect.

    Florida’s '06 title is a perfect example of this. Computers had them at #1 all year long, pretty much. They received a #3 seed and weren’t significantly hindered in pursuit of that championship. The next year, they were a #1 and did the same thing. The only difference between the years when the number, not the underlying talent, and that’s all that matters. If Self is sacrificing needed development in order to maintain seeding, he’s falling into that same trap of thinking umbrellas cause rain.

  • @konkeyDong I think your logic is off by just a bit … what you ignore is the easier path for a #1 seed, at least initially. Because of that easier path, the likelihood of winning it all has to increase. If the bracket is chalk, #1 seeds get a team in the 60s, and then a team presumably no better than #32 in the first weekend.

    Said another way, would your rather face Boston U and the #32 team, or #14 seed, then a #6 seed in the first weekend (as a #3 seed). The path affects success. In your example, let’s say Florida in 2007 is the best team, but got a #4 seed. They then would have to likely face the #1 seed in the Sweet 16. Surely their chances of losing go up vs. being the #1 seed and playing a true #4.

    Other than that, I understand what you’re saying and agree. I think there is value to getting a #1 seed though, and that goes beyond just being a better team.

  • @HighEliteMajor and @konkeyDong

    One of you is talking about seeding error putting a superior team in an inferior bracket position that it was nonetheless good enough to overcome; this has to do with the probability of a superb team being able to overcome the handicap of an unfavorable seed. Clearly, the better a superb team is the greater its probability of overcoming an unfavorable seed. But that does not tell us about the efficacy of seeding bias clearing the path for the good teams to face each other near the end of the tournament.

    The other is talking about probabilities given accurate seeding; i.e., a 1 seed tends to have an easier path to the title given accurate seeding. The purpose of the seeding is to maximize the probability that better teams will survive and get to play each other in the Final Four. Clearly, the tendencies of highly seeded teams to go far and win the tournament indicate that the bias of seeding works, though imperfectly. The imperfection (inefficiency) is attributable to the fact that seeding cannot take three major, often decisive factors into account. First, those seeding the tournament do not take into account position by position match-ups that can and do counteract the statistical tendencies of any teams that face each other. Second, those seeding the tournament do appear to favor seeding that leads to early games between teams that would be good draws; i.e., they let the desire for crowd pleasing water down the biasing effect of seeding based purely on excellence. Third, those seeding the tournament cannot account for injury and sicknesses that occur AFTER the seeding. Frankly, if these three factors were accounted for, I suspect 9 years out of ten the Number 1 seeds of the four regions would reach the final like clockwork. But I don’t see those three factors ever being accurately accounted for in seeding.

  • It is very interesting to read all the theories regarding some of the players with as little information as we have.

    As you know. most practices are closed to the public and only occasionally NBA scouts will be allowed, but the public at large it is not. Sometimes Williams Fund contributors will be given tours of the facilities (I was lucky to be the guest of one several years back) and as part of that tour, you watch practice for a few minutes, and can get a better idea of the height and heft of the players, that’s all.

    On the Court:

    • We don’t know how a player is doing in practice, Coach Self knows.
    • We don’t know how a player is doing physically, injuries and such. Coach Self knows.
    • We don’t know how well a player understands the system. Coach Self knows.
    • We don’t know how well a player is developing his technical skills. Coach Self knows.
    • We don’t know how a players plays with or complements other other players. Coach Self knows.
    • We don’t know how well a player get along with other players and the coaching staff. Coach Self knows.
    • We don’t know how a player follows direction while in the game. Coach Self knows.

    Off the Court:

    • We don’t know if a player has missed a class since we don’t have access to the program monitors. Coach Self knows.
    • We don’t know if the student/athlete is doing homework. Coach Self knows.
    • We don’t know if the student/athlete doing well or poorly in class… Coach Self knows.
    • We don’t know if the student/athlete is missing tutoring sessions… Coach Self knows.
    • We don’t know if the student is following curfew rules. Coach Self knows.
    • We don’t know if the student/athlete is doing his off-court conditioning. Coach Self knows.
    • We don’t know if the student/athlete is following the dietary programs set up for him. Coach Self knows.
    • We don’t know if the student/athlete is having personal problems. Coach Self knows.
    • We don’t know if the student/athlete is having family issues. Coach Self knows.
    • We don’t know when the student/athlete has a BM…Coach Self probably knows…:)

    All the items above are just a small list of what factors in who plays and how much playing time he gets. So, what do we really know?

    • We know how many minutes per game a player gets.
    • We know how well he performs while on the courts…and opinions vary quite a bit on this subject.
    • We see some body language for the player and the coach on the sidelines.
    • We hear what Coach Self wants us to hear during press conferences and radio shows.
    • We see the occasional social media posts.

    That is basically it and with this information we second guess, make wild conjectures and pretend we know more, not only about player management and development but even game strategy than (arguably) the most successful college basketball coach in the last decade. Pretty presumptuous on our part, wouldn’t you agree? We all do it and I do it myself, although I always try to give Coach Self the benefit of the doubt since, as shown above, he has a hell of a lot more information that I do.This is just my opinion and I am sure some fellow posters will tell me I am all wrong.

  • This post is deleted!

  • @jaybate-1.0 What are the chances of everyone returning next season and getting no top 15 recruits? Will Oubre declare next spring even if he doesn’t break the rotation? I hope he is smart enough not to do that. Will Cliff declare next spring? I think he does but there is a chance that he won’t. Will Selden declare next spring? I really really really hope he does not. Does Perry declare after this season? I never really considered it until this time. I think he wants his degree more though.

  • One thing that needs to be considered in the Tournament is match ups and luck. There is no question that some less talented teams are bad match ups against what most reasonable people would say is a more talented team, such as Stanford was for KU last tournament, particularly with Embiid out.

    Luck also plays a big part; a hot team might knock a high seed and we see it happen every year. Rick Pitino pretty much said that on ESPN indicating that the current format gives lower seed a chance since it is one game elimination. He also said that if the system would change to a series format, talent would prevail every time. I believe that in a series format, even a best of three, KU perhaps does not win in '88, but wins at least 3-4 more titles in years where one bad game doomed a superior team.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    “That is basically it and with this information we second guess, make wild conjectures and pretend we know more, not only about player management and development but even game strategy than (arguably) the most successful college basketball coach in the last decade. Pretty presumptuous on our part, wouldn’t you agree? We all do it and I do it myself, although I always try to give Coach Self the benefit of the doubt since, as shown above, he has a hell of a lot more information that I do.This is just my opinion and I am sure some fellow posters will tell me I am all wrong.”

    That entire post you put up gives us all things to think about, and we are all making wild conjectures. That’s why coaches like to steer players away from forums like ours. We can make convincing arguments based on tiny bits of true facts… that doesn’t mean those arguments are sound, and they definitely aren’t based on the facts coaches are blessed with.

    We all throw out our two cents… and that is what this forum is about. It’s pure fan-tasy.

    But I think it is good to post what you posted, now and then, so posters stay grounded in the truth, which is… we are all making wild conjectures!

  • @drgnslayr one really nice thing about most of us, we don’t bash our players. That’s a big deal to me! Another blog was talking so bad about Mari’s play, they were saying he needs to sit on the end of bench by Tyler Self, and worse. We see the bad stuff, were not stupid, but we always try to be positive.

  • @JayHawkFanToo You make good points about how we guess about things. I wouldn’t call them all wild conjectures…but I get your point. As previously replied…that is part of the fun. One thing you pointed out that I have mentioned, and always think about is that we don’t see what goes on in practice. As an example, I assumed (again to your point) that Oubre had played well in practice prior to the UK game. We’ll never know for sure.

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    I think we have to know the difference between “constructive criticism” and “bashing.”

    I really like every guy on our team. I see potential in all our players. It isn’t fair for any of us to bash players. All our guys came to Kansas because they believed in Kansas, Self and crew. We should embrace that fact.

  • @Lulufulu

    Sorry I missed your q’s. There is a good chance everyone stays. Nike’s three stacks–UK and UA and Duke–seem to have the top 15 slots taken, so there is no branding advantarge to having adidas guys go early. As there was last year.

    There are two big recruiting Q’s.

    Who will the rim protector recruit be?

    Who will the Fratello/Hill recruit be from Eurasia?

    Zimmerman was Self’s goal for a footer.

    Fratello/Hill brought Svi.

    My hunch is that Hunter transfers to make room for Zimmerman.

    And Brannen transfers to make room for a Fratello/Hill guy with lots of consonants.

    Self and adidas seem headed toward rosters of 4 OAD/TADs and 2 Euros plus fillers.

  • @jaybate-1.0 I wonder whether Hunter can transfer. He has already transferred once so his redshirt year is behind him.

    If he transfers after his junior year, he won’t be able to play his senior year but his eligibility clock continues to tick, so he will never play.

    I suppose he could play somewhere else next year if he graduates this spring, assuming that option is open to players who have already transferred once.

  • @jaybate-1.0 Not sure on Hunter or what he will do. I feel bad but he obviously knew he was coming to “Big Man U” when he transferred and that playing time was not going to be free.

    I can’t imagine Greene transfers. Am I the only person who day dreams about Greene as a 4 year player who goes down as one of KU’s most prolific 3 point shooters?!?! I know that the perimeter is loaded but he and Svi are the only 2 in the bunch who can really shoot.

  • @HighEliteMajor Very interesting stats. Typically I think that Jeff Goodman is a buffoon but these are good stats to see.

    My question when looking at these minutes and points is…do we think too highly of a kid who is ranked top 10 coming out of high school? What about top 20 or top 30? We tend to think that a top 10 kid is going to come in a dominate early or at least play huge minutes and have an impact. Is there really that big of a difference between the #10 player in high school and the #25? EJ was the #24 recruit in the country and I certainly don’t remember worrying this much about him waiting 2 years to play. The Morris Twins were top 30. T Rob was top 30. Hell, Jeff Withey was top 40 and it took him a very long time and multiple schools to figure it all out. All of these guys sat the bench for years and developed. Are we simply unwilling as fans to wait for Oubre to develop because he was not supposed to need developing? He was supposed to be NCAA ready from day one. I admit that his ranking has blurred my vision but it has also reminded me that these high school rankings are not a perfect science. They are helpful but the #10 guy is sometimes Kelly Oubre and the #120 guy is sometimes Trey Burke. You have to be patient with both.

  • @jaybate - I am in 100% agreement on playing outside-in. In fact, Self said in an October press conference that he wants his team to develop an identity during the season that works in March (referencing why we don’t press during the regular season). It would thus seem that focusing on an outside-in game now, can give us our identity – and it is that identity that gives us our only hope of a national title this season. If Ellis could function vs. bigger post guys and score, I might think otherwise.

    I would really like to see us shoot 20 threes each game (and of course, make at least 8 ). I just don’t see this team having the ultimate success (NC) unless we bury a high number of threes per game.

    Regarding Hunter, You get 5 years to play 4. He burned the redshirt. He has already played in his 3rd season, in this his 4th year. However, if he graduates, I believe he could transfer like Tarik Black without penalty.

    @joeloveshawks - I agree … expectations are high. But in the OAD era, that’s life. Self correctly says it’s not fair, but it’s the process he’s embraced. Even with Oubre’s historic non-contribution, he’s still on the lottery fringe in Chad Ford’s recent mock. Crazy.

    Oubre seems like the perfect 2 year player. Thing is, we don’t know what he’ll think if he struggles for minutes here after one season. We don’t know his mindset, impatience, exasperation, etc. We can speculate. I do like that he seems to have a well grounded dad, at least from his initial comments when Oubre signed. But you never know how a dad changes his view if he thinks his son has been wronged. Add that to his role given other returning players.

    The thing about Goodman’s report that struck me most is the names of the other players – most all had pretty productive careers, right?

  • I think we all need to sit back and wait on Kelly.

    He’ll come around and he’ll be a factor come B12 play. He may not have the outside touch Svi has (but who does?), but he has the physicality to go get rebounds, and also to probably d-up some in the paint… areas where Svi is weak.

    Come B12 play, Self’s game shifts to possessions. He knows we have to win the battle for possessions. Rebounds, suddenly, become very very important.

    And what about recruiting? Self just spoke about how if an elite player doesn’t get his minutes other recruiters can get nasty with their attitudes. He doesn’t want that. We don’t want to lose out on more 5-star recruits because Kelly sits on the bench. Self is hot on the trails of Jaylen Brown… we can’t easily land him if Kelly is still here or in the way of Brown’s minutes. I won’t go as far as saying Kelly will be in the draft, but I think Self has played this thinking either Kelly or Wayne will leave for the draft, making a spot open for Jaylen. I know Self is hot for Jaylen.

    Kelly is being pushed now to step up to D1 and Self ball. I’m betting he’ll be a different player after Christmas, when they get a lot more practice time. He’s also adjusting to college academics. This all fits into the play for Jaylen. Kelly arrives to KU and a long ways from playing D1 basketball, and by March he becomes a gladiator. Anyone remember JoJo? I kind of recall him sitting for a while, too.

  • I was at the first game last year. You could tell right away that Embiid was a special talent. There have only been two players I’ve seen play that I thought had a similiar ceiling Wiggins and Peirce.

    As far as what HCBS is doing The longest active streaks in the polls Duke (140) and Kansas (108). Syracuse dropped out last week after being ranked in 80 consecutive polls.

    Consistancy. Unfortunately this consistancy has elevated our expectations. I remember under the previous coach, years that being ranked uncertain. Winning a game in the tournament was a goal. Now it’s win it all or cry about it. I’m quite proud of what our guys accomplish on the court. If they finish 2nd this season it’ll go down as a championship in my mind, because no team is better than Kentucky. If UK looses it’s a fluke or because Calipari is the worst coach in America. That kind of talent should win NBA games.

  • @drgnslayr Exactly … patience. Oubre could be a superstar.

    Yea, Embiid sat quite a bit in the first game, but was big minutes after that. He just took some time to get in the starting lineup.

    Wouldn’t you rather have Oubre back, than have Jaylen Brown? I would. No doubt. 100%.

    The Jaylen Brown thing will push Greene out the door. Even if Oubre turns pro, I think Greene would be concerned for PT in his junior season (a year he should be starting). Bringing in a consensus top 3 pick in the 2016 draft would kind of do that, I think.

  • @ParisHawk

    Its a very good question. I didn’t know the answer, when I posted and still don’t.

    I just figure where there’s a will there’s a way.

    Hunter could always play a season in D-II without sitting. He might graduate early a la Tarik. He might just enjoy being a useful practice player and get his degree. He might have a lower back injury that changed his expectations from being a rotation player to being a bench warmer, until his back heals. Hard to say.

    The only things we know are:

    a.) he is long player NOT in the rotation on a team that desperately needs length;

    b.) he is not from a recruiting hot bed, so the staff has no incentive to play him to reinforce long term recruiting connections; and

    c.) he has conspicuously not succeeded in beefing up.

    The failure to beef up, plus his inability to bend down on defense, suggests he has been fighting some kind of lower back issue that has prevented him from becoming Hudy-ized to the point that he is at least not part of the plan this season.

    Recalling two things brings what has happened to Hunter into some focus.

    First, Self said early when he laid the ground work for rationalizing why Hunter would not be playing that Hunter was really a long 4, not a 5. He could block shots but was not a strong rebounder.

    Second, Embiid was once supposed to be the anchor of this team.

    A healthy Hunter would have been a nice complement, if only in a 10-20mpg capacity to Embiid with trey gunners like AWIII and Conner on the wings. Embiid completely altered what could be used at other positions.

    But Embiid left and Hunter’s back got stiff, and Hunter was not bulked up and so, even if healthy, he lacked the muscle to complement Perry.

    Next season a footer is likely to appear. Maybe Zimmerman. Zimmerman, or someone like him, will need a muscular 4, not a long skinny 4 with a stiff back.

    So: Hunter is odd man out, unless an injury, or a recruiting failure coupled with several jumps, or transfers occur.

    Whether he leaves, or becomes a walk-on, or were forced back into the rotation by unforeseen circumstances, depends on what the recruiting cat drags in and who leaves, and who gets injured.

    But then isn’t that the way it always is. 🙂

  • @jaybate-1.0 said:


    I have thought a good deal about moving Svi to 4 with Perry/Cliff at 5.

    Selden and Greene at 2 and 3.

    Mason at one.

    If Selden could ever get his act together, and gun the trey, which Self seems to be hoping for late in the season, this lineup could be killer for stretches.

    But bottom line, the team isn’t a very good trey shooting team, despite what Self says, and despite this little up tick in trey percentage.

    To beat big teams, KU needs to shoot twice as many treys at it is shooting and when it does, its percentage is going to plummet.

    Unless, Wayne learns to gun it, or Green learns to guard.

    First time poster, long time message board addict, came over from TOS. Greetings!

    I am concerned that Selden wasn’t brought in to be a shooter but since his explosiveness is either missing or was never really there, they’re making the best of it by working on his shot. Hopefully Oubre doesn’t fall into the same category. I was envisioning him as more of a Tyshawn type with a better shot and less prone to turnovers. Obviously, they don’t play the same position, but in terms of getting to the hoop, I was hoping we’d see that from either him or Wayne.

  • @pimpjuice not sure what’s going on w/Wayne, but I feel strongly we will see Oubre breaking out like you thought! Hopefully before Christmas!

  • If Hunter graduates this school year, he would not be graduating early; he is already a senior so he would be graduating on schedule albeit with one year of eligibility left which would allow him to play immediately at another school. Tarik graduated in 3 years so he did graduate early.

    As far as bulking up…Hunter indicated that Anderson asked him to bulk up and his stats went down all across at the heavier weight. It is true that a bigger heft will allow you to occupy more real estate and give you and additional edge in rebounding; however, rebounding is all about position and that is an area where Mickelson is very deficient. While having length helps rebounding, being in the right place is a lot more important; look at Rajon Rondo, he is one of the shorter players in his team but he is the second rebounder at 7.7 rpg, second only to Sullinger who is at 8.5 rpg. BTW, I have likened Mason to Rondo in this regard. In short, bulking up did not help Mickelson get more rebounds and negatively affected the one good part of his game.

    Mickelson is not a good rebounder, scorer or overall defensive player; what he does best is block shots and that was what his off-season conditioning was supposed to improve and it did, since he apparently gained 6 inches in his vertical jump. How much he plays depends on what Coach Self determines the team needs most; if it is blocking shots and protecting the rim then he will get playing time but apparently Coach Self feels that he needs more scoring and particularly rebounding. so Lucas gets the nod. In comparison, Aldrich and Withey were great rim protectors but they could also rebound, score and draw fouls, things that Mickelson does not do.

    Link to Mickelson numbers.

  • @pimpjuice

    Welcome to you.

    Self really likes Wayne Selden’s defensive game, with or without explosion; that is the conclusion I have come to.

    Self played Selden with a bad knee last season; that apparently proved to Self that Selden was/is reliable steel one can build a defense on.

    One lock down defender on the perimeter guaranties you a shot at winning in Self’s book, if you teach your other players to help inside and out. One lock down defender on the perimeter means you enter each game knowing you can neutralize the other team’s perimeter strength, or eliminate it. It means you get to focus everyone else on helping inside. It means you force the opponents lesser perimeter players to beat you, which they can rarely do.

    Brandon Rush was the ultimate perimeter lock down.

    That Mario Chalmers and RR were tremendous defenders made that '08 team perhaps the greatest college defense without a super center in the history of the game.

    Travis Releford was a close second to BRush. And EJ with good knees would have been another.

    So: even though KU needs to have two trey ballers on the floor to make a short team a champion, settling for lock down Selden guaranties Self a way to hang around and beat most teams other than UK, UA, Florida, and Texas.

    Self appears pragmatic about such things. He will play for all the marbles if he has all the pieces, but he will simply play for most of the marbles if he only has most of the pieces.

    Regarding Oubre and Selden and getting to the basket, it is increasingly clear that in today’s game, getting to the rim is an activity for slick ball handling guards, not high ceilinged wings.

    Think about Andrew Wiggins. He was perhaps the most athletic freshman D1 has ever seen. He could and did get to the rim a few games. But once he proved he could do it at will, then the logical counter tactic was to beat the piss out of him and floor him. And once they started it at least appeared that his handlers did not want to see him get injured doing the get to the rim thing and so he did not retaliate and he did not tend to keep going to the rim once the other team committed to violence. This in turn encouraged other teams to use violence to keep him from going to the rim.

    My hypothesis is: any game at all, against any opponent last season, Wigs could have gone to the rim for 40 points, maybe 60, if he could have been protected from injury. But he could not be protected. So he only did it once or twice to make sure the NBA GMs and coaches knew he could.

    The irony is this: the more able a great wing player is able to get to the rim in D1, the more it forces opponents to hurt him, and the more this forces his handlers and shoecos to say don’t go to the rim.

    So: we don’t really know if Selden can or can’t get to the rim, though it appears his knee injury has limited his explosiveness. And in the case of Oubre, he hasn’t got a trey, and he has similar monstrous athleticism to Wigs, but we can’t say if his foundation seems quite as high as Wigs was. But even if it were, and even if Selden had his explosiveness back, both guys would be such high draft choice projections that we can hypothesize that neither one’s handlers and shoecos would encourage them to go to the rim for more than a few games a season in the interest of minimizing injury risk.

    This is a very long way of saying that they may not be going to the rim this season because of limitations, but I doubt we will ever see them go to the rim very much even if they are completely sound and properly foundationed in the future.

    Notice that UK’s phenomenal talents take almost no risks. I just watched UA’s nearly as deeply stacked talents play and they took almost zero risks.

    Once you are dealing with highly valuable players in D1, I hypothesize that a risk/return matrix is always functioning. The risks they take tend to have commensurate returns. Shooting Js and uncontested dunking is how you get through a D1 season without an injury on the offensive end. On the defensive end, short slides and straight up jumping when others are jumping are how you stay healthy. Long sliding, which is required for good defense, eventually creates wear and tear and injury to ligaments and tendons. And aerial ballet work, i.e., jumping way forward and way side to side, sharply increases risk of coming down wrong and injuring knees.

    Frankly, I think the real reason teams press less and less, and why KU presses way less than a short team needs to, is because pressing risks injury.

    My guess is that the powers that be have basically decided that consistent pressing with OADs/TADs is NOT okay. Pressing once in a great while, when behind, or to change tempo a few possessions each game is allowed.

    Pressing with super athletes against lesser athletes is a no brainer, unless the word is out that you are not supposed to.

    At least that is my hypothetical thinking on the subject so far.

    Again, welcome to the board.

  • A freshman is not producing after 6 games. This shouldn’t be news. Freshmen don’t produce. Kelly is a victim of a overhyped culture, enabled by the internet, that makes us all experts on what a kid is expected to do in college, and when he doesn’t we all wonder why.

    I hope Kelly turns into a 4 year player and leads us to a championship his senior year. I doubt he’ll stay 4 years. The hype machine will either tell him he needs to go pro because he has that potential, or the machine will do, as it has done here, (see @HighEliteMajor above for the post from ESPN insider that shows Kelly is the worst of the heralded recruits) and ruin the kid because now he knows he’s a bust. None of the hype will tell him to be patient and learn to play the system and play the team game and stick around. I hope he figures it out anyways.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    “The Jaylen Brown thing will push Greene out the door. Even if Oubre turns pro, I think Greene would be concerned for PT in his junior season (a year he should be starting). Bringing in a consensus top 3 pick in the 2016 draft would kind of do that, I think.”

    I think Self is going to have to take one from Calipari on this. How to manage too many talented players. It’s hard to say we don’t want Brown to come to Kansas… real hard.

    I think one of Greene’s issues is his strength. He either isn’t very strong, or he just plays meek ball. As someone in here posted… the Sir Charles Barkley saying goes… “the meek may inherit the earth, but they won’t get the ball from me!”

    Teams should take the feel of the coach. Self likes physicality. Greene’s lack of physicality has held him back in the Self system. I do think he’s been playing with more physicality this year. I hope he keeps that up! Perry definitely has.

  • One thing a lot of folks are forgetting is that the moment a player enters the rotation, opposing coaches start scheming against his weaknesses and so those players always look good briefly and then appear ham strung for another few games while they learn how to escape the scheming.

    Some players are fast at escaping the scheming and others are not.

    Greene has just entered the rotation, once CF bailed out, and looked good enough after a couple games to begin to scheme to stop. So: Greene now looks suddenly awkward and dorky again. This too shall pass. 🙂

  • Did someone say something about BMac? Find “Mclemore slam” on their videos here.


  • https://mobile.twitter.com/BenMcLemore/status/540154889779703808/photos

    Ben not only makes Jayhawks proud on the court, but he’s so involved w/charities.

  • From this morning’s press conference • With KU’s non-conference schedule, there are numerous quality opponents. It is harder to get guys minutes if they’re figuring out who they are and if they can play. Self knows Oubre can play. He hasn’t had much of an opportunity to play through mistakes. He just needs to go and make something good happen for himself. … Not thinking too much is possible, because he has a good enough understanding. Self would rather a guy play with reckless abandon and screw up than play slower because he’s thinking too much. You can’t play to “not screw up.”

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    McLemore is finally starting to come alive; his defense has always been good and it is what has kept him in the starting lineup but his offense is now clicking and we are seeing the new and improved McLemore.

    On the other hand, I understand that his tattoos tell a story but I can’t say I care or understand the allure of tattoos myself…to each his own, I guess… 🙂

  • Hypothesis: there is a positive correlation between the number of tats/player and tatted players per team and how deep teams go in Madness. 😄😞

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