Kansas Switches To A Platoon System



  • John Calipari may not be the most-liked coach in college basketball. But you have to give him credit for trying new things.

    His platoon system, to some degree, appears to be working. It may not put his best team on the floor to win for the majority of minutes, but it establishes a message to future recruits; Kentucky will be playing 10 players in key minutes. The system seems to work because none of the players seem to mind only getting to play half a game each. They seem to have bought in to the idea that all of their McD’s deserve minutes, so they are willing to share.

    Kansas does not have the overall depth that Kentucky has. But Kansas has more guards than minutes, so Bill Self will have to figure out what to do with his perimeter. In past years, Self had a cut off line on his roster. Players were either “in the minutes” or “out.” It doesn’t appear to be a system that works this year. The numbers just don’t add up, and it seems unlikely that Self can just bench a highly-sought recruit for the entire year. That would definitely tarnish his future recruiting efforts because future recruits would see Kansas as a risky proposition for playing time.

    It seems Kansas does have a problem similar to Kentucky, though only on the perimeter.

    This should be a good problem to have. We’ve seen Kansas squander depth before by not giving gifted players enough minutes during the year, and then needing that depth in March but not having it because those players collected too much rust over the past months to 'knock it off" during tournament time.

    Will Bill use a platoon system for his perimeter players?

    Or will Bill issue playing time based on recent practice efforts?

    Or will Bill simply bench some of his talent, and hope he doesn’t pay an ultimate price down the road?

    Being an American, through-and-through, I value the concept of competition. Competition forces guys to step up and produce. Produce or sit. But watching Kentucky’s “socialized platoon system” has challenged my views. It seems like Calipari has convinced his players to “buy in” to his platoon system. In doing so, his players seem to be united even closer as a team. It still doesn’t mean guys aren’t competing, including for extra minutes, but it has largely removed a lot of the pressure of playing in a system that is “all or nothing.” The system based on pure competition can actually divide players and create team issues. We just experienced a taste of that when we lost Kansas basketball diehard, Conner Frankamp. And Conner would have earned some key minutes this year.

    Using Kentucky as the experiment, it seems that players like to feel a certain level of consistency. They want to know they will be a part of every game, a key part, and they are okay if their minutes shift a few plus or minus depending on their recent efforts in practice. The pressure has been reduced, so the focus is basketball, with a looser feel, but still very competitive.

    These ideas are still new. We will all see how Kentucky’s season progresses with the platoon system. Rest assured, for the most part, Calipari will keep this system all year. He has made the commitment to his players, and they have embraced it… so far!

    Kansas can not afford to lose another player to transfer, especially coming from a highly-touted player. That is not the message we need to send to recruits considering Kansas. This would quickly send us back to lower recruits, back when our recruiting pitch involved words about how tough it was to get into the starting lineup at Kansas.



  • @drgnslayr I just caught your tag line - I remember going to the bathroom one Friday night at the Wheel, and one poor guy was laying on the bathroom floor passed out. On the floor at the Wheel. On a Friday night. His clothing had absorbed a large portion of the spillage on the floor. Yeah buddy…lol. That’s one of those bad visuals that sticks with you.

    I have no clue how Bill is going to make it all work. I am almost speechless over Oubre, who I had touted uncontrollably anywhere I could. Do we play Oubre, even if playing him hurts us?



  • @drgnslayr Agreed. But, I don’t want to give Cal any bit of credit for how he is running the team this year. It happened because more than a couple of his guys on last years team should have declared but didn’t. Hence the need for the platoon system. Once those guys bail this spring, and they will, then will they have the talent and depth to keep it going? Probly not. Should Coach Self do something similar with his depth in the backcourt? So far, he seems to be doing just that. Not exactly the same way. But most of the games so far have included 10 players. The video of his press conference today, he even hinted at giving Oubre more minutes later on as he starts to play instead of think. With Greene and Svi being his best shooters and in Svi’s case, one of his best defenders, he wont be able to bench one guy in favor of another. I dont think so anyways. It seems like he has even accepted the necessity to change how this team plays. They dont seem to be running as much hi-lo offense that usually is a main staple of Coach Self teams.
    So far, Coach Self deserves credit for thinking outside his comfort zone. I hope they continue to go 9 or 10 deep for many reasons. Best one being the recruiting edge they need to keep grasping at, and being able to put more pressure on the ball during defense.



  • @Lulufulu “not exactly” key phrase! No way can you call it p word! self is playing match ups, the hot hand, defensive guys, rebounding guys, hustling, guys that know where to go, etc! He’s blessed w/talented guys that he can go to, when someone else is not up to par.



  • Timely topic. Bill showed his cards vs. MSU.

    The platoon deal, in my opinion, will not work at UK. Why? Doug Gottlieb referred to the real discussion among college insiders and coaches – players becoming unhappy with their minutes and their role. I think you’ll see some discontent there. As Gottlieb said, winning does not cure everything with many high tier guys. I also think, come tourney time, the platoon vanishes for competitive reasons.

    I don’t think Self would ever do the platoon thing. System guy. Dogmatic. Doesn’t change. Won’t change. In his DNA.

    Self has to decide whether he’s an OAD coach, or not. I think he has decided that he is. Therefore, if Self is concerned about the OAD pipeline, the sacrificial lamb will be non-OAD Brannen Greene. Oubre overtakes Greene, whether merit, or not. The Oubre thing is major, major recruiting ammo.

    If he doesn’t, then we know Self is really playing based on merit. Of course, if he plays Oubre, then that may be merit too. But if not, I think we know for sure that the OAD thing isn’t influencing it at all.



  • @HighEliteMajor

    I don’t believe I would quite call Coach Self a OAD coach; he starts only 1 freshman, so… maybe a hybrid?



  • @JayHawkFanToo Your hybrid comment is probably correct, but the pendulum has swung much closer to OAD. I think what I mean is that his recruiting targets seem to be more focused on that group. He’s clearly in with both feet. No disputing that.

    He did start Selden, Wiggins, and Embiid last season, two thought to be OADs Selden/Wiggins, and one (Embiid) who many seemed to understand how good he was – we saw that immediately when he played, and Pitino said KU might have the first and second picks in the draft after Wiggins’ commit. But I don’t know if Self knew he’d be an OAD in Oct/2013 when he committed.

    Further, he signed two presumed OADs for this season.

    With all of that, your “hybrid” comment is probably most appropriate, but it is different than it was – when he signed X and Selby.



  • @HighEliteMajor

    …on the other hand, Wiggins, Embiid and Selden would have started even if they were 4 year players, right?



  • @JayHawkFanToo You are correct. Thanks for making one of my points meaningless, then.



  • @HighEliteMajor OAD is not for everybody. There is too much pressure to excell immediately on young Freshmen and the culprits are mostly the media and fans. There have been many Freshman that actually want to attend college and learn the game of basketball at the Collegiate level and then proceed on to the professional level. Oubre will develop at his own pace. He is extremely talented and it will not be at anyone’s expense. Oubre was never a OAD, he was highly rated. Again, the media and fans tag these kids and it is unfair. He is an extremely confident player that is not afraid of the big moments. He just needs time. After all, it is his Freshman year in College.



  • @KansasComet

    In many cases, most of the pressure comes from relatives eager to get a piece of the student-athlete earnings. In Oubre’s case, I understand his parents told coach Self that Kelly is not necessarily a OAD and to do whatever is necessary to develop him as a player.



  • @JayHawkFanToo just have this feeling, Oubre’s dad is good w/Self bringing Kelly along.



  • @JayHawkFanToo Thanks, I agree relatives add to the unnecessary pressure placed on young student athletes.



  • I’m starting to believe the OAD craze is really a failure. Yea it creates a lot of hype and gives all those with a soap box to stand on, to speak of the great things to come. Just like an snake oil physician.

    Now hear me out. Just look at UK. Yea they’ve made 3 final fours, won a championship against our beloved Jayhawks. They also didn’t even make the tournament one year, lost in two final fours when they were clearly the best team, and they wouldn’t have won that lone championship if there would have been a few more minutes on the clock. KU clearly had there number coming down the stretch.

    Don’t get me wrong I’m not trying to down on UK’s recent success with the OAD’s. Even though I just did. 🙂 However what I’m trying to say, is that a level expectation comes with these OAD’s that they rarely ever live up to.

    That’s why I wouldn’t be surprised to see the NBA owners and the players union push for at least a TAD’s requirement. These kids aren’t just ready to make that leap.

    I believe HCBS is going about it the right way. A mix of OAD’s and 3 to 4 year players, even though the success hasn’t really been there so far. 😞



  • @KUSTEVE

    “I remember going to the bathroom one Friday night at the Wheel, and one poor guy was laying on the bathroom floor passed out.”

    I hope this vision doesn’t go back to the '70s… if so, it could have been me or one of my friends. That was a wild time period and I can tell stories from every spot in that place, and also outside. I recall one cold night, really cold, and one of my friends passed out on the steps into the wheel and barfed so much the entire steps were covered, and frozen. It took lots of big pots of hot water to wash it down and lots of salt to prevent from freezing over. Needless to say, my friend had a temporary ban at The Wheel. Even though we were all friends with the staff, we all went through little moments of banishment, and we deserved what we got.

    @HighEliteMajor

    I think time will tell at Kentucky. I know Calipari’s dream is to sign this much talent every single year. This year he is selling his concept as a permanent one… he’s selling to top recruits that they don’t need the quantity of minutes on the floor… they need quality minutes. And their practices against other top talent is the best thing to get them ready for the league. He wants to keep the NBA-style combine. It’s all part of what Calipari is trying to develop; the best place for the top elite talent to come on their way to the NBA. And if they win another title this year, he is showing that Kentucky has the best chance for playing for a NC every single year. I’d say he is very successfully obtaining his vision.

    I’m sitting on the fence with OADs. I like to see players develop over 4 years (and sometimes 5). But I like to have a realistic possibility of winning another NC soon. I’m feeling the frustration of not winning it since '08. And I see what team is in the FF almost every year now… UK.

    I’m frustrated that we have all these guys who are just below the top tier, and as soon as their stock rises a little, they book to the league, too. I think that is what bothers me the most about having a non-OAD plan. Right when we finally start getting our money’s worth out of the lessor guys, they book to the league, too. Imagine if players like TRob and the twins had stuck around for 4 years?

    The entire subject is so friggin’ complicated. I have my opinions, but I also trust Self’s vision to do what he thinks is best for Kansas… whatever that vision is. I know he would like to sign more OADs than he currently is signing. We are now actively recruiting about every top guy and his dog, but we only land a few. Seems we are just waiting for the luxury apartments to help kick in a higher % of top recruits.



  • @drgnslayr how long does the ncaa and nba allow college basketball to go on like this? If cal continues to get all the mcd’s. I just can’t imagine all highly recruited guys, and their parents, want them to play half a game. Do we need to wait and see if playing half a game pans out to a successful nba career?



  • @Crimsonorblue22

    Adam Silver made a promise to end the rule creating OADs. I believe most of the “experts” still think it will take a couple more years until change comes.

    I know this is part of the problem. But it isn’t all of the problem. Let’s say players have to stay 2 years in college. The college game will elevate because the top tier talent has 2 years in college. But I think that will only mean instead of just Kentucky being the holder of so much talent, it will widen to a few more teams, like Kansas. We will benefit from it. That doesn’t really fix things, it just dilutes the problems, and broadens the base of talent a bit.

    My issue is with the discrepancy between those top tier players and the rest of the herd. It doesn’t add up in my books. I know these kids get more exposure to better coaches and get into some better game experience before entering college, but it still doesn’t add up.

    I think the biggest problem falls on the shoulders of the 4 year players. Every year there are a ton of those guys out there, but few are competing with the talent of the young studs. My guess is they aren’t putting in the work and focus. That was my theme on the video games post. Calipari’s concept of a revolving door team shouldn’t be working. Every year he should be beat by a team that hit it right with the majority of their players being seniors and it shouldn’t matter if Calipari snags the top 9 prospects. Those guys should be getting schooled by older players. That is the way it used to be.

    I just don’t think the 4 year guys are advancing their games far enough to own college basketball. That is why the young guys are the focus of all the attention, and earning their way into the FF for several years now.

    When I look at our team, and I see guys that don’t seem to know the very basics of the game… like head and ball fakes… I wonder just what do they know? When we were smoked by Kentucky, at halftime even the announcers were screaming for Kansas to use FAKES. That was friggin’ pathetic. FAKES are something guys should start using in junior high, and over the years they should be able to sell a fake to anyone, especially when players are overplaying the shot. All the Kentucky guys were jumping all over the place the second one of our guys put the ball up over his shoulders. That was pathetic, and I could barely stomach watching such absurd basketball! I’m an old man and I could have fouled out most of that Kentucky team by myself. I’m not bragging, I’m saying that to make my point about the absurdity. Listening to the announcers at halftime just rubbed salt into my wounds.

    I think young players today focus all their energy on silly eye candy. They practice silly looking dunks with one hand behind their head, instead of working on a good ball/ head fake. That’s what I’m thinking. The basics of the game are boring to kids. They all want to just soak up the glory of an aesthetic dunk instead of working for hours on dribbling skills or learning how to hedge on defense, or learning how to block out on the boards. None of that stuff is glorious enough for these kids to spend energy on. Too bad. It is the kind of thing that will keep most of these kids from every making a dime in basketball. And it is these skills that could make a Kansas “David” team knock the snit out of a Kentucky “Goliath” team.

    Svi is a breath of fresh air. Finally a guy who seems to know the BASICS! And because of that he is already being touted as perhaps the future best player in the Bill Self era! I’d like to have a few more Svi players on this team!



  • @drgnslayr That was 1979, as I recall…hope it wasn’t you…lol.

    Forgot to mention that the Shlockers got beat last night. Booyah!



  • @KUSTEVE

    By a team we play on the 13th. We will be battle tested by Conference play, that is for sure.



  • @KUSTEVE

    WSU was way behind and went on a 14-1 run to take a 2 point lead before Utah scored to send the game into overtime. A no-foul call when Baker was smacked on the head while scoring in OT probably was the difference. Whether we like it or not, WSU is a solid team.



  • @JayHawkFanToo

    I caught that game. I thought the refs were one-sided, especially in the first half, towards the Utes. They were barely whistled for a foul while WSU racked up double-digit fouls.

    I catch most of WSUs games and they didn’t look like themselves. I thought VanVleet’s skin color was green. They all looked like they were suffering from altitude sickness. I just checked Salt Lake City and it is an elevation of 4,226 ft. Not really that high, but maybe it makes a difference in a fast paced game. Or maybe the arena sits on a mountain. Whatever the case, those kids looked sick. Makes me wonder what we will face in Utah. That 7-footer Austrian was pretty dominant.

    I think most people in here now realize the Shockers are legit. I just think many in here don’t care for either the team, fans, coach or all of above. I’m indifferent, but I like to watch good ball and the Shocks typically provide an exciting game to watch.



  • @drgnslayr

    12 total fouls called on Utah and they include the 2 they had give in the last minute since WSU was not in the bonus.



  • @drgnslayr

    Your idea of the older players dominating would work if incremental improvement were always guaranteed. If, for example, we could assume that a player would make an x degree improvement each year that he was in school, it would be fair to assume that a team of four year players would always be better than a team led by freshmen.

    But incremental improvement is not guaranteed. Let’s think of it like a video game. On most video games, players are rated at a certain number. Let’s say for instance that freshman Perry Ellis was a true talent of 78 when compared to other college players. As a TT 78, he had some good games, but struggled at other times. He returns as a sophomore and is a TT 84 - he’s improved quite a bit. Still some down games, but most definitely some strong games. So he returns again. This year though, how much better is Perry than last year’s version? 86? 87?He’s better, but only slightly so. And taking it further, how much better will he be? Does he top out at 88?

    Now, take a guy like Anthony Davis. He probably entered college as an 87 or 88 on day 1, and was probably over 90 by the time his freshman year was over. In this exercise, senior Perry Ellis might not ever be as good as Anthony Davis was when he walked onto campus in Lexington.

    And that’s the best explanation in a nutshell. For the most elite players (because that’s what we are dealing with in OADs) their ability is already higher than most players will ever achieve.

    Look at an example closer to home. Ben McLemore and Travis Releford played at KU together for a year, plus an additional half year of practice. McLemore was, based on what a lot of people said in practice, often the best perimeter player they had. Even against a 5 year athletic wing like Releford, McLemore was pretty clearly better very early on in his career, and was far and away better by the time he started playing in games as a sophomore. If improvement worked the way your post surmises, Releford should have been schooling McLemore, but the truth is that McLemore is just a better basketball player than Releford ever will be.

    If Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Ben McLemore, Andre Drummond, Bradley Beal, Cody Zeller and Michael Carter-Williams were all still in college, they would absolutely be dominating. Same for Nerlens Noel, Shabazz Muhammad, Anthony Bennett, Gary Harris, Andrew Wiggins, Julius Randle, James Young, Jabari Parker, Aaron Gordon and a healthy Joel Embiid. But those guys aren’t still in college. The vacuum that is left by them is filled by younger elite talent, not more experienced, less talented players.

    Think of it this way. Michael Jordan was an exceptional player at UNC as a freshman. The only difference between then and now was that James Worthy was a junior, and Sam Perkins was a sophomore. Let’s say that the OAD idea existed then. At the very least, that means that Worthy and his 15.6 ppg would have been playing somewhere in the NBA. Perkins may not have been in Chapel Hill, either.

    But Jordan would have had a bigger role as a freshman if not for the fact that James Worthy was still there as a junior. Worthy, Perkins and Jordan were the only players that averaged double figures on that team (15.6, 14.3 and 13.5 respectively). Jordan actually took the most shots on the team that year. Worthy’s 350 shots would not have gone to Matt Doherty or Jimmy Black (the only other players that took even 100 shots on the season for UNC. Those shots would have gone to Jordan and Perkins, pushing their averages up from 13-14 points into the 17-18 range. Jimmy Black would not have been taking shots from Michael Jordan, even if Michael Jordan was just a freshman.

    The difference is that the elite talent is, for the most part, freshmen and sophomores now, versus being juniors and seniors 20-30 years ago.

    As for the NBA issue, Adam Silver cannot make that change unilaterally. He has to do it in the next collective bargaining agreement. The CBA is set to expire in 2021, but could be renegotiated in 2017. Don’t expect any changes before then unless NBA owners are willing to give the players a pretty sweet deal to come to the table earlier than they otherwise would have to.



  • @JayHawkFanToo such as playing on the road! Sorry Gregg!😆



  • @justanotherfan

    I agree with your post. But what your post leaves out is team play. When teams have several seniors that have played together for 4 years, that is a monstrous advantage. At least… it should be!

    Yeah, I can imagine if Anthony Davis stayed 4 years in college. Talk about dominance… wow! He’s recently been on a blitz in the NBA.

    “Your idea of the older players dominating would work if incremental improvement were always guaranteed.”

    There never has been a guarantee… but I think, back in the old days, we experienced a lot of improvement with the older guys. For one, they were more pliable with the concept of “team basketball.” And it is a pity more of these 4-year players aren’t improving at a better clip. They have a zillion more developmental tools than we had in the ice age.

    Svi is a throw back to my era. All the guys I ever played with pretty much had his moves. He does have an exceptional rotation on his shot, and I give him the most credit for that. But his floor moves, seeing the game, anticipating the ball, using fakes… that was all status quo. It has been a complete joy to watch him move on the court!

    I’m ready for the complete throw back guy. I’m waiting for the next Larry Bird to enroll at a college somewhere. Reasonable athlete, but not great. Not a huge vertical, a bit slow on his first step. Nothing looking right compared to the freakish athletes of today… but… a guy averaging 28 ppg and dominating everyone in D1! Where is this player?



  • @drgnslayr said:

    @justanotherfan

    Svi is a throw back to my era. All the guys I ever played with pretty much had his moves. He does have an exceptional rotation on his shot, and I give him the most credit for that. But his floor moves, seeing the game, anticipating the ball, using fakes… that was all status quo. It has been a complete joy to watch him move on the court!

    I’m ready for the complete throw back guy. I’m waiting for the next Larry Bird to enroll at a college somewhere. Reasonable athlete, but not great. Not a huge vertical, a bit slow on his first step. Nothing looking right compared to the freakish athletes of today… but… a guy averaging 28 ppg and dominating everyone in D1! Where is this player?

    You’re on the money here, Slayr

    Svi’s development has a lot to do with the Euro system and the differences in how European players are developed vs. US players.

    In the US, players are always grouped according to age or grade. The thinking is that all players of the same age or grade should be developed at the same pace. That is not the European approach. In Europe, players are grouped by skill. If you have an exceptionally skilled 12 year old, he doesn’t dominate 12 year olds, he plays with other kids of comparable skill. Svi has developed his game by playing against guys that forced him to round out his game with pump fakes, using either hand, etc. because he wasn’t so far and away better than his competition. That’s the best way to develop.

    In Europe, that type of grouping starts very early, as soon as 10 or 11 in some cases. In the US, we don’t start grouping by skill until the later part of high school. But that is after bad habits have already crept in.

    Take a guy like Shaquille O’Neal, one of the greatest players of all time. When he was 13, he was already 6-8. When he was 11, he was well over 6 feet tall and could nearly dunk. Part of the reason that Shaq didn’t develop a true jump hook and other interior moves until he was in the NBA was because all through junior high, high school and even college, he was able to just overpower most any opponent. He admits himself that he just overwhelmed most guys on his physical abilities until he got into the NBA.

    But what if 13 year old Shaq, rather than dunking on 5-10 7th and 8th graders, had been playing against guys of comparable ability? Now he has to learn how to utilize post moves rather than pure power to get shots. He has to learn much earlier how to pass both facing the basket and with his back to the basket. Maybe he develops his ball handling ability more.

    Yeah, that would have meant that Shaq probably would have started playing on his HS varsity when he was 12 or 13, but his development would have exploded as a result.

    Not only that, his teammates would have developed as well. Without having Shaq behind them to basically cover up any defensive mistakes, they would have been forced to become more sound. Offensively, they would have learned to work without the mountain in the middle drawing double and triple teams, meaning they would learn to create offense around a team system rather than just dumping the ball inside and watching the overmatched opponent send help from all directions.

    Or think about a guy like Carmelo Anthony. Everyone always says that Carmelo is a selfish, me-first scorer. But think about being 12 year old Carmelo Anthony on your U12 AAU team. You’re the best player by far. You have the ability to see action before it happens, meaning you see your teammates breaking open before they even know they are breaking open. How many times do you pass the ball on that cut and see a teammate mishandle it or boot it out of bounds because they weren’t ready before you determine that the team is better off if you just keep the ball and do your thing? Only when Carmelo has been surrounded by lots of high caliber talent (Team USA, mostly) have we seen him play the way I believe he would play if he had similarly skilled teammates. Otherwise, Carmelo turns into a ball stopping isolation force - basically 12 year old Carmelo wishing his U12 teammates saw the game as well as he does. That’s where the team game falls off. The very best players need to play with elite teammates so that they can play a team game rather than going 1 on the world against overmatched opponents.

    I think you undersell Larry Bird’s talent. Bird wasn’t an athletic freak by any means, but he was an above average athlete. You can’t get to the NBA as a below average athlete. By NBA standards he was a below average athlete, but those standards would still make him a tremendous athlete at any other level. And what he lacked in speed he made up for with quickness (deceptively quick, with a killer shot release) and otherworldly body control. If you watch old Bird games, you will see someone that could square for his shot in any situation. Athleticism is more than jumping high and running fast. Body control is a huge part of that and Bird had that in spades.



  • @justanotherfan

    Right on about Bird. I was comparing his level of athleticism to guys playing in the league.

    I’ve had the good fortune of catching Bird live, court side, during his college days at ISU, and once in the pros.

    I liked what you said about Bird being able to square up to the goal. He had that ability. And he would do it while fading away (his money maker) and also he would lean in and draw fouls (while often hitting the shot).

    The guy had “double focus”… the ability to see the goal to hit his shot while seeing where his opposition was and making sure he had just enough space to get his shot off.

    I wish Bird would do educational videos to teach these guys how to play. If he did, I think he could raise the skill level back in the game in areas that are being forgotten. The focus today is just on body size and athleticism. So if you are tall enough, have a long enough reach, with some very basic abilities, you have a career somewhere.

    I think a lot of people think Bird wouldn’t be effective today, because the athletes are a bit quicker and a lot of them have longer arms. Nonsense. Bird would even be a more dominant player today because he would bring skills that are becoming rare. If Kansas had a young Bird going into that Kentucky game he would have probably fouled out many Wildcats and they would have been forced to back off going for every smoke.



  • @justanotherfan Really solid post. Bird was tremendous & played with so many other players at his skill level on the Celtics. He could simply do it all-back to the rack, spot, square & shoot, no-look pass-the complete repertoire. Anticipation is one important aspect that separates so many great hoops legends, from solid ones. Rebounders also. Some may call it court vision, but whatever it is, the great ones overflow with it. Your comments about Carmelo & Shaq were stated quite clearly & I enjoyed reading your analysis. You too @drgnslyr-Both of you guys keep up the great copy.



  • Theres a play by Bird when he makes a behind the back pass off the tribble with his right hand, he’s on the right side of the lane when he does this. Not sure who was running the floor, but he hit them in stride for a layup.

    He was doing an interview a few years back and they showed that clip and called it dazzle dazzle for Bird. He responded that it was the right pass to get the guy the ball in the right place on the court. If he picks it up he misses the guy, if he throws a front word pass it gets tipped. He wasn’t showing off, he was making the right play.

    Boston was so well coached back then, just ask the Pistons about that inbounds play that went for a layup off the steal.



  • Bird was as much magician as ball player.

    It’s called “sleight of hand” and Bird extended that to “sleight of body”… his head, eyes, arms, ball, direction… he used everything to sell the illusion. The illusion was usually to create space to shoot or pass. Sometimes the illusion was to draw contact and a foul.

    I can’t think of a player today I can make any kind of comparison to Bird. I can’t believe young guys who really really want to get to the next level aren’t studying Bird’s toolbox, and working on their execution. I’m thinking young Svi might be the only guy in the country who would consider studying Bird to improve his game. Svi could do it. And Svi could be (one day) immortalized into the NBA HOF.



  • @drgnslayr Dirk would be the closest I’ve seen to Bird. He could dribble, back you down, shoot over you, make a pass, create his own shot or drive by you in his prime.



  • @drgnslayr

    Another thing that Bird could do better than any other player is to move without the ball and be at the right place and at the right time to either shoot, pass or collect a rebound, a skill that is grossly underestimated. and he was the master of it.



  • @JayHawkFanToo

    Excellent point!

    Hey, look… Bragg is now sizzling to go to a school offering a platoon system -

    “That (Kentucky) platoon system, oh I love it,” Bragg told the Herald-Leader. “It gives everyone a chance to show what they have. They play hard. I’d definitely like that,” he added of playing in one of two UK platoons.

    Bill Self on hand for prep Newman’s show

    I will be surprised if Calipari drops the platoon system after this year. He introduced it like it was a gimmick because he had so much talent that deserved to play. But all you have to do is follow his tag line. He’s setting this up to be permanent. The side chatter was just to cover his bases if it collapses.

    How likely is it that Calipari will lose 9 McDs AA from this team? That, in itself, would dilute the draft. No… a minimum of 3 will be returning. And how many has he already signed for next year? 2 or 3? So he’s already up to 5 or 6. Anyone think he is done recruiting for next year? He’s just begun. Most of his signings will come in the spring. He’ll be back to at least 9 top tier players. He would like to possess at least 10.

    Unless there is a meltdown on the platoon, it is here to stay, and he already has preps sold on it. They are sold to come to college for a year or two, and not have all the pressure of having to produce, and maybe less chance of an injury. Practice with the best. Play every game in front of an abundance of NBA scouts. Kentucky combine. Nationally prominent games, like the biggest college basketball rivalry; UK vs UL.

    We are already copying their dorm suites. How much more will we be copying? Kansas combine? Self said he doesn’t like it and prefers open practices to scouts. Will we have a choice? Do we really want to have to face 9 to 10 McDs AAs every year at Kentucky with our 3 or 4? Seems we are forced to play “follow the leader.”



  • @drgnslayr you confuse me! I thought you wanted to “compete” w/kent-icky?



  • @Crimsonorblue22

    I am confused… therefore, I am confusing!

    I’m in a state of disbelief. That the game I grew up loving has turned into a circus show, and is being orchestrated by a guy with greasy hair.

    He is setting the direction, for many to follow. We are following.

    It bothers me. So I vent it out with confusing statements. I also feel disparate.

    Later today I will post Drake’s schedule and when he arrives in Lawrence.

    ~ sigh ~



  • @drgnslayr

    Drake? I think we should get Diddy instead…he just kicked Drake’s behind…

    Read story…



  • @JayHawkFanToo

    So maybe we recruit Diddy. Then schedule home and home with Kentucky. We can put up a portable boxing ring at halftime on center court for the Diddy/Drake rematch.

    We’ll draw all the rappers in attendance, driving ticket prices through the roof for this special event.

    Kansas and Kentucky will share the Top 50 prospects for the coming years because we put the Diddy/Drake rematch series under contract for 5 years.

    Filmed at 11…


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