Florida Gators

  • Now we play them in the Phogg. KU is much better than last year’s team at this juncture. While watching the last minute of this game I realize that Greene is not bothered by a concussion, he is just playing like he did last year. The kid needs a handle. Switch Embid and Wiggins with Svi and Cliff - better this year. Wayne is much better on defense this year and not so much on offense. Self has gone back to Defense, and has made this team a much tougher bunch. The ball is not sticking on the perimeter like last year thanks to the absence of Tharpe and the addition of Svi and Frank. Watch the last minute of the game to see why Greene is still the same.

    Add five more points because of the Phogg.

  • @wrwlumpy I’m confused, switching wigs and Embiid for Svi and Cliff is an improvement? 1 and 3 draft picks? Great defender and awesome rim protector? This team as a whole is playing much better D, but IMO, Perry has stepped it up and a huge upgrade in our pt guards.

  • @wrwlumpy I have been very high on Brannen Greene from the getgo; but my enthusiasm for him now begins to wane. As Svi’s game improves, and Oubre slowly but surely becomes a factor, Brannen looks to become the odd man out by mid-league season. I have watched that Spartan game 3 times, backing up several plays on the remote. Greene’s impulses are still a shade “off” for a talented player with a year and a half in the system. HEM has suggested that the Watch is Now On in terms of a Brannen Greene transfer. If both Oubre and Svi should return next season, or if one of them returns and Self recruits a top 10 wing player, I think Brannen Greene is gone.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 I think the reason the team D as a whole is better than last year is that the guards are not relying on a rim protector that KU has had the past three to five years. They have to play team D and not get blown by and hope for a shot to get blocked.

    Plus with Seldon and Svi’s D, I think it has had a carry over on the other guys to work just as hard, play as hard.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 I’m saying only at this juncture, this early in the season. No one was better in the country than Wiggins at West Virginia or Embid at home against Texas.

  • I never cross The Coach, i.e., @REHawk, because by definition he knows more ball in one of his hang nails than I know in the entirety of my body and soul and memory trunk.

    But sometimes I move to the side and whisper, “Yes, Coach, but you know how reliable your first impressions have always been.”


    What I am thinking here involves a wee bit of hair splitting, which when moving even slightly counter to @REHawk and @HighEliteMajor is always strongly advised.

    Greene’s neural nets were way behind last season; i.e., his neural nets were still young and largely unconnected.

    Greene’s neural nets have grown together some, but he still has a ways to go, at least to play fluidly and make consistently good choices.

    But he HAS improved and shows it whenever he is not put under a lot of stress.

    What has happened of late is that he became just good enough to perform sufficiently well to help us in the Rider and UTenn games, where he was not stressed by the opponent, or the opponent’s coach scheming against him.

    Alas, in the MSU game, Ratso Izzo had some feeds of the new and improved Brannen, saw that the improvement was only partial, and schemed against him; this stressed Brannen beyond his comfort zone. Brannen reverted to bad habits, as we all do when stressed.

    Brannen needs the rest of this season to cement his good habits, just as Travis and EJ and Tyrel did their sophomore seasons, when they showed limited improvements intermixed with backslides.

    Old habits die hard, right?

    Anyway, Ratso Izzo, one of the most cunning of D1 coaches at finding weaknesses in players and at devising schemes that in effect stick a needle deep into the medullas of opposing players and pop their bubbles of confidence, popped Brannen’s bubble but good, at least that is my assessment. Brannen was vulnerable to the popping also, because he is an excitable guy who got a little overamped to start with; then when he felt himself stifled by Ratso’s scheming, he popped like a Double Bubble bubble inflated by a truck tire pump.


    There is a bit more to the issue of Brannen’s future than just playing through the growing in of neural nets.

    There are a couple OAD recruits in the mist and, as Brady Morningstar learned, a guy like Xavier can come in and marginalize even the best preceding year’s performance mere mortals are capable of putting on.

    For Brannen to stay at KU, he has to be willing to do what Brady did. He has to be willing to become a 15-20mpg backup rotation guy next season, if Self signs an OAD, or a Fratello/Hill (FH) Euro guy.

    And then he has to remember what Brady confronted after he played so well that he stole 20mpg from Xavier once season. Self went out and signed the No.1 player in the country at PG, Josh Selby, and moved him to the 3, so Brady had to play behind him, too, his last season. It was brutal what Self put Brady through, but that guy had more resiliency than flubber!

    The question is: does Brannen?

    I still believe that Brannen with the neural nets fully grown in is capable of having a Travis Releford kind of season tipped slightly in the direction of BenMac’s gun, but without the defensive lock down ability of either of those two. His neural net development could complete next season, or the following. Travis need three seasons to really burn them all in and quit being a wild hair. Self gave him a redshirt because he loved his muscular potential to be a lock down guy. Self has not given Brannen the same luxury, maybe because Self has now gotten confident he can drag in at least one perimeter OAD/TAD type each season. Also, Self has Kelly Oubre, another neural-nets-in-progress type with a reputedly higher ceiling hanging around in limbo.

    I hate to say this but what this Brannen vs. Kelly thing really comes down to is:

    1. Jaylon Brown;

    2. a mystery FH signing; and

    3. which recruiting connection is more important to Self–Brannen’s high school/AAU affiliation, or Kelly’s?

    If Self signs Jaylon, or an FH Euro on the perimeter, then Brannen is in worse than Brady country; i.e., he will be backing someone backing someone up.

    If Self doesn’t, and Kelly stays, then he is in Brady country. He will play 20 MPG backup, because in college what he does (gun the trey and be long on D) is more important than what Kelly does (dunk lobs and lock down), but OADs have to play 20 mpg to keep the OAD valve open.

    If Kelly goes and Self signs an OAD, or an FH Euro, then Brannen has to be a 20mpg backup, because, well, because, OADs and FH guys gotta play sooner or later in a season, or that valve gets turned off for more.

    Increasingly, the heuristic for whether a freshman/sophomore plays is this:

    a.) if the neural nets are grown in, and OAD, then play;

    b.) if neural nets not grown in, and OAD, and important recruiting valve, 15-20 mpg to keep the valve open;

    c.) if neural nets not grown in, and OAD, and unimportant recruiting valve; then sit;

    d.) if neural nets grown in and not OAD, and important recruiting valve; then 15-20 mpg backup;

    e.) if neural nets grown in, or not grown in and not OAD, and not important recruiting valve; transfer waiting to happen pending signing of next OAD, or non OAD with important recruiting valve.

    The point here is that if you are not from a recruiting valve that Self wants to keep open, your chances of getting starting PT are XTRemely slim, and your chances of becoming an OAF, or a 2AF, or a 3AF, are XTRemely high.

    All young high school players that want to play for Self should transfer as soon as possible to a high school and an AAU team that is considered a necessary recruiting valve to maintain.

    Conner Frankamp, even with all his limitations, would either be starting, or a 20 MPG rotation backup, on this team, were he to have come from, say, Brewster Academy, or any other program like that.

    Coming from a high school that produces few D1 recruits, ensures you will be marginalized by any equal, or even slightly inferior player from a recruiting valve program that needs to be maintained.

    The only way that I can rationalize Naadir Tharpe having started even one season at a D1 Elite program is that he came from a basketball hot bed.

    I know Self was very hot on Brannen Greene when he signed him. It seemed to mean a lot that Brannen came from what seemed a fecund new recruiting region for KU–Georgia.

    A significant amount of Brannen’s future probably depends on whether that Georgia recruiting connection has evolved into something as important as the recruiting connection in Vegas that has produced EJ and Kelly.

    At least that’s how it seems from the outside looking in.

    Wouldn’t some insider info be great? Fly on the wall stuff?

    But of course if one were an insider, one would perhaps not be willing to speculate about such things.

  • Win the FT battle, win the Rebound battle, and shoot over 30% for 3pt line.

    That’s what this KU team needs to do to win Friday.

    Well that and solid D, but that’s a given.

  • @wrwlumpy

    Florida has lost several senior and a lot of experience and it is not nearly as good as it was last year. KU has more experience than it did last year when it started 4 freshmen, is playing much better defense and the game is at the Cathedral of Basketball. Advantage KU.

  • @wrwlumpy Agreed, AFH is good for 5.

  • @JRyman Keys to victory!! However we seem to be up and down at the FT line. I can’t remember a recent KU team shooting as bad from the line as we have been lately. Mari got a huge confidence boost though after HCBS left him in and he sank those 2 clutch FTs to help close out the MSU game.

  • @REHawk

    Interesting post on Brannen.

    I’m like many in here and I really like Brannen. Definitely in his fan base.

    What I really noticed last year was his stance issue. He played the game too upright and needed to bend his knees. For a while this year I felt like he was bending his body more, not playing so stiff. To me, this has been his biggest issue and it has killed his “response time” on the floor.

    Curious if you noticed this with him?

    He doesn’t seem to have a lot of leg strength. Very thin legs and a bit disproportionate to his upper body.

    I’ve felt he didn’t engage enough physicality into the game last year. But I noticed some improvement this year. He definitely could earn more minutes by playing more physical (without fouling)… going after balls, rebounding, tougher defense… all the things Self loves to see.

    Brannen has earned minutes. It really is up to him to make the most of it, not to showcase himself but to be a good team player and help the team wherever possible. If he can use his minutes to positively impact a game for Kansas, he will continue to hold his current minutes and maybe pick up more minutes. That is where he needs to focus.

    Svi plays with a big tool box. No one else on the team has the tools he has.

    Kelly is just a different player. He has more athleticism and appears to be a stronger player. If he figures out a reasonable amount of Self ball he will surely earn more minutes soon. We need Kelly to snag rebounds and defend the rim. If he picks that up he’ll get a lot of minutes when we go into conference play. We’ll need strong rebounding, and there are several bigs we will be combating this year with our small post.

  • No one replaces Jojo and wigs. We are more mature this year and playing more as a team. That’s why we are better. What I wouldn’t give to get Joel back… We’d be unstoppable and yes, better than kentucky. Self has out recruited calipari 2 years running now. Svi and Devonte weren’t ranked. Both would be 5s maybe devonte a high 4. Svi would be a top 5.

  • The way that this years team can be competitive against Duke, UK, and Arizona is to play high pressure defense and make 8 to 10 threes a game. It is possible to make it to the final four without a seven foot rim protector. The title team didn’t have a dominant rim protector but played tremendous team defense, probably the best team defense of the last ten years.

  • @drgnslayr Greene really needs to not pass it to the guy on the other team that is standing at the top of the key between greene and his teammate. That guy has arms and can move! That pass drives me nuts!

  • test

  • @DinarHawk

    I’m on board with your post.

    Just look at last year’s winner… UCONN. Their most dominant post player was Deandre. Seriously?!

    Their victory over the tall Kentucky team didn’t surprise me. This year Kentucky is even bigger. So it will take a team even tougher on defense, especially on the perimeter to disrupt the flow.

    But it can be done.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 said:

    @wrwlumpy I’m confused, switching wigs and Embiid for Svi and Cliff is an improvement? 1 and 3 draft picks? Great defender and awesome rim protector? This team as a whole is playing much better D, but IMO, Perry has stepped it up and a huge upgrade in our pt guards.

    We discussed this “answer” more speculatively before the season. I felt strongly that we’d be better this season. The jury is still out on that. We don’t know what the rest of the season will bring. But I feel very good about.

    The fact is, we’re better now than we were at this point last season. Look at how much better we look right now, vs. last season’s complete discombobulation in the first semester. Self has said that you can’t replace a 1st and 3rd round pick, and that our guys aren’t to that level. He knows better.

    My view has been the square peg, round hole thing. I isolate two major factors -

    1. Finesse players with a non-finesse coach.

    2. Lack of team chemistry.

    1. Finesse players with a non-finesse coach.

    While Wiggins was a good on ball defender, and Embiid was a good rim protector, the team dynamic was that of a finesse team (with a non-finesse coach).

    We had a clear defensive liability – our supposed leader (Tharpe). We were finesse personnel wise. Wiggins was finesse. Embiid largely finesse. Ellis 100% finesse (see some differences this season). Tharpe 100% finesse.

    This “finesse” crew overwhelmed Self’s system. We couldn’t play good defense the way Self wanted it played. That caused the whole deal to collapse.

    1. Lack of team chemistry.

    Before the season, Selden made a very telling comment after the team-building sessions with the Marines. Selden said, "It really built continuity and togetherness that we didn’t have last year.

    Chemistry. You can have talent, but if it isn’t working together, it won’t work.

    There are two important elements that affected team chemistry:

    a. Lack of team leader/Mistaken reliance on Tharpe.

    Sometimes, as time goes by, the harshness of criticism softens. With Tharpe, I think it becomes more severe. Self continually referenced that he needed Tharpe to be the leader. It was a mistake. Tharpe was a time and time again, Tharpe failed the test. His on court performance deteriorated. Tharpe and Self were like oil and water. It seemed the more that Self barked at Tharpe, the worse it got. Most telling to me was that Tharpe went through two Novembers to remember (or forget) where he pouted, and wasn’t sure if Self liked him. This was the guy that was to lead a young team, and it was a fatal flaw to team chemistry. He was pouting poison – so much so, Self ran him off before his senior season. He had to.

    b. Wiggins the ball hog

    The title is inflammatory. But this has more to it than that. Self, I think, implored Wiggins to shoot at will, to drive, to be the man. In hindsight, Wiggins was not the player Self hoped he would be. He wasn’t the second coming of Lebron. Wiggins wasn’t ready for that at 18, Wiggins was the quintessential “volume scorer.” I think that Wiggins’ role, cast upon him by Self, had a significant negative impact on the team. **It was premature – Wiggins wasn’t ready for that role as a freshman. ** We commented on players standing around watching Wiggins. I personally noticed multiple and constant examples of Wiggins refusing to pass to open teammates, even posted a few pictures. I don’t want to be too dramatic, but Wiggins flat refusal to pass and his flat refusal to make his teammates better destroyed our chances last season. I never saw anyone dispute that – the counter response was that Self wanted it that way. Regardless, I think it helped kill any chance at chemistry. I said it last season – our team would have been better off without Wiggins. “Team” would have prevailed over individual.

    That’s why I think this version, despite not having the 1st and 3rd NBA picks, is better. Without the next Lebron James and without the ultimate rim protector – somehow we’re better. It really isn’t that surprising.

    And guys, here’s the biggest point – if we are better without the 1st and 3rd NBA pick, i.e., better talent – can’t we be better with non-OADs vs. OADs? Yes, we can.

  • @HighEliteMajor One thing for sure we’re playing a hell of a lot more unselfish. Sure hope Bill hasn’t implored Wayne to be “da man” this year. But the way he kept jacking up shots vs MSU makes me wonder. Different guy, but the same wrong mantra.

  • This will be a very entertaining team to watch. They will improve, and with improvements will come great team play.

    I agree with HEM on how much Wigs hurt us last year. I don’t blame Wigs for that. I blame Self. Wigs started out as more of a passer and got blasted for not being an alpha-dog… which to many means being a gunner. By the time Wigs ended his short Kansas career, he was pretty much a gunner.

    I don’t think Wigs was instructed to look to pass the ball. Whatever… we can dispute that back and forth because none of us know.

    But I think after a while, the Pavlovian complex took hold. Wigs wasn’t passing the ball so guys started standing around and just played spectator whenever Wigs had the ball. Gosh… sometimes I wanted to throw the guys a bag of popcorn! I’m still not sure Wigs would have ever passed it. But the spectacle it created made Kansas look really bad. Gone was the reputation for Kansas (and Self) being focused on team play. Assist numbers shrunk.

    Look at our assist numbers now. The guys are doing a pretty good job on the pass, even though we are driving the ball more than some years.

    There is a lot of positives going for this team. We just need some patience.

    @globaljaybird - I hear you on Wayne. I hope Bill hasn’t been pressuring him to shoot. If this continues, Wayne’s vision of an NBA career will be shattered. If he plays like he played in the MSU game this entire season he better learn a foreign language. His shots looked forced. Bill needs to back off of him and just let Wayne figure it out for himself. Wayne just has to put good energy into a game to at least contribute something. His shot will come around, if it isn’t forced. He’s too good a player to play like this.

  • @drgnslayr probably Wigs fault that Wayne can’t hit!!

  • It’s just amazing to me that even though Wiggins and Embiid–lottery picks and 15-year NBA stars if they stay healthy–struggled at times last year, people expect the next crop of OAD’s to be as productive. Those two were as good as it will ever get other than some physical anomaly like the Unibrow or Wilt… or maybe a Svi! Really, the reason we’re better this year is because we don’t have to rely on five new starters and three new backups.

    Oubre and Alexander are going to be just fine. They’re good, but they’re not nearly in the same league as Wigs and Embiid from last season. Cliff is playing within his comfort zone. Oubre hasn’t yet found his zone yet, but he will. I was glad to see Oubre leading the cheering on the bench though against MSU. I hope they both stay two years because the team would be a killer next year.

    Greene… I don’t know. He’s a smart kid and a good student. I’m not giving up, but I’m still kind of skeptical of him ever putting it together. If I’d had my druthers, we’d still have Conner and Greene would be headed to Wichita or Georgia Tech.

  • I have given considerable thought to my above declaration that Greene will transfer in May if Svi and Oubre return; or if one of them stays and Self brings in a Top 10 wing player. If one of those two scenarios does occur, Brannen might best pull a red shirt, a la Releford or Little. I like the kid abundantly, and concur with his coach that he will become one heck of a fine contributor before leaving college. The Oubre thing is very intriguing at this juncture. The kid looks happy on the bench. Perhaps it is true that he and his father have placed their trust almost completely in the hands of this KU coaching and training staff to guide Kelly toward skills, physique and competence…regardless of how long it takes. I view K. Oubre as starpower lurking in the wings. Obviously not yet comfortable with Bill Self Basketball, but when he “gets it,” O MY! Does not bode well for Brannen’s minutes this season, perhaps next. However, after next season Brannen Greene could be THE MAN at the 3 position (for 2 seasons if the cards fall opportunistically). Tightrope walking for Greene and Oubre right now. PATIENCE in demand, howsoever grim and tedious.

  • @jaybate-1.0 Yeah, Yeah, jb, I get the drift re your analysis of some of my “first impressions”! I enjoyed your post here; think you hit lotsa nails squarely on the head. If we as posters are to pay allegiance toward maintaining enthusiasm for the 3, 4, 5 year Jayhawk players, then Brannen Greene represents a dandy example of a player who deserves our commitment to patience. Hell, if he does indeed stay five seasons, most all posters will remember how to spell his names.

  • @HighEliteMajor The problem was giving the new kids the keys to the car. Like you said, they weren’t ready for it, and they wrapped the car around a telephone pole. Which is why Cliff isn’t starting, why Kelly is pulling 6 minutes a game, and partly why Devonte’s minutes are limited. Svi is in a different category because he isn’t a freshman, although he’s a freshman. I think Coach is doing a much better job ( so far) of dealing with the OAD issue than he did last year, so I hold out hope we can continue to land top recruits without sacrificing the core elements that make this team the Jayhawks. What I saw against MSU was the Jayhawks - I’m still not sure what I saw last year, but we didn’t look like the Jayhawks.

    My hope is we can blend in the OADs, so we don’t have to rely on the Naadir Tharpes. Naadir is the poster child of the Peter Principle.

  • @KUSTEVE seriously, jethro, you didn’t see a team last year? The team I watched won the big 12. I blame most of the problem on not having upperclassmen leaders last year. There’s no doubt in my mind, a healthy Embiid was a longer season! I love the D the guys are playing this year, but they are just better than the overall team D last year. The worse D last year was by the upperclassmen .

  • @Crimsonorblue22 said:

    @drgnslayr Greene really needs to not pass it to the guy on the other team that is standing at the top of the key between greene and his teammate. That guy has arms and can move! That pass drives me nuts!

    He wasn’t the only one in that Michigan St game that did that, there were 4 or 5 passes at the top of the key there were soft and got stolen. Seldon had one and I think Graham had one too.

    But yeah strong passes, quick passes, no sticky hands, move the ball by passing unless you are going to drive the lane then dribble.

  • @JRyman

    “But yeah strong passes, quick passes, no sticky hands, move the ball by passing unless you are going to drive the lane then dribble.”

    I see the dilemma our guys are in sometimes.

    They are being told to move the ball, don’t let the ball stick. Good advice. But in order for that to be successful there has to be equal responsibility with the players receiving the ball. That is where we often fail most, and no one mentions it. The blame always goes to the passer. This has always been a flaw with Kansas basketball and a big part of why we (historically) have too many TOs.

    The receiver first needs to make sure there is enough space in a passing lane to receive the ball. That means movement, fakes, doing whatever is needed to create the space. Usually it takes CONSTANT ENERGY!

    The second thing is the receiver has to anticipate the pass. They should react sooner than the defender.

    The third thing is the receiver has to be aware of defenders going for the ball.

    The fourth thing is the receiver needs to aggressively go for the ball. It won’t be often that the receiver will be called for the foul on a collision. The foul usually goes to the defender, especially if the receiver got a good jump on the ball.

    The dilemma comes when the passer doesn’t really have anyone to pass it to but he is instructed to not let the ball stick. So the passer has a dilemma… pass the ball but no one is open. That often creates a conflict within the head of the passer and that’s usually when you see guys passing soft and pretty much right to the defender. Ever wonder why you see that happen? The mechanical process of throwing the pass is interrupted by the conflict within the head of the passer. Sometimes they are just trying to stop the body while in the motion of passing, often creating comical mistakes and the ball might just go anywhere, and usually very slowly. Other times, the entire process is smooth but slow, because the conflict was there for a while in the passer’s head, but it didn’t get resolved so the motion continues at a slow “cautious” speed.

    Anyone who has played much ball has faced this dilemma once in a while. But at Kansas, we aren’t teaching enough responsibility with the receivers to help prevent more of it from happening.

  • Should be a good test vs a Billy Donovan coached team. I’d like to see how this year’s team handles the 1-3-1 and traps that Billy will throw at Bill. Hate to say it this way, but no Wilbiken + no Tharpe = KU win. Mason VERY likely will be the best guard on the floor, and I hereby retract my statements about Ellis being “soft”…his new aggressiveness is just what Self new we needed.

    See, Self wont let a top30 guy play below expectations (see Selden explode momentarily…), and his magic is when his ‘developmental track’ guys play big in games (once ready). The trick with max extraction from the top30 guys is to have them for 2-3 yrs. Same applies to any top30 guys, such as Kentucky’s, too…if you ever wondered what Calipari’s team would look like if guys came back for another year, you are seeing it now, by happenstance with this years’ KY.

    Stated another way, if the NBA made it a 2AD rule, the top recruiters’ teams would be that much more stacked, and would be monster Div.1 products.

  • We will see tonight if we continue to show we are a better team than last year. Tourney win was very nice rebound from UK debacle. It’s always nice to play back in Allen, lately it seems we have spent too much time away from home.

    .com Said practice wasn’t that good yesterday. Usually not a good recipe for game day although I’ve pointed out this Florida isn’t the same as the last 3-4 years. Eli Carter a starting guard is unlikely to play tonight as well leaving them with 8 scholly players. We should wear them out in the 2nd half

  • @Crimsonorblue22 I didn’t see hard nosed, tough defense. I saw the worst passing team I can remember. I saw the worst ball handling I can remember. I saw a team that couldn’t handle the slightest pressure, with or without Embiid. In short, it wasn’t a typical Jayhawk team. Never said I didn’t see a team - just not a Jayhawk team I have grown accustomed to seeing.

  • @drgnslayr Agreed.

    If you ever watched Creighton play last year Doug Mcdermott never stood still if he didn’t have the ball. He was always creating for his teammates and himself. They all made great passes, because he saw passing lanes and got to the right places to make it look easy.

    Brady Morningstar was a very underrated passer, he would hit guys coming off of screens, always had to be ready to catch it if he had the ball. He was quick and knew what he wanted to do with the ball.

    Anytime you come off a screen, or off a pick and roll you should have your hands up ready to catch it. Even if the ball isn’t coming to you, you get defenders trying to jump the passing lane and then you have the back door cut available.

    As you said the you have to know the defender wants to get to the ball as well. step into the pass, step into the catch.

    The other thing I saw that KU missed vs MIchSt was the cross court pass. Sheldon would have it on one side and Green would be open or Svi on the other side and the whole D was in the paint or towards the ball. A strong two handed over head pass can get that ball over there quickly and make for an easy three.

    We used to have to practice coming down the court and all three perimeter players had to swing the ball back and forth, this while the D guys knew it, so you had to pass quick hard and know where your guy was going to be. Once you got in the game, it was slower and easier to do.

  • I also have the DVR set to record the UK/TU game right before our tip off. If Texas loses by 32 then Basketball is broken.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    I believe a lot of problems with defense last year can be attributed to the implementation of the new contact rules that penalized teams that payed hard nosed defense, such as KU, more heavily than it did teams that concentrate on offense.

    FWIW, I don’t believe I would ever characterize Wiggins as a ball hog; just my opinion and obviously we disagree. BTW, Wiggins was named Rookie Player of the Month in the NBA.

  • The talking heads at ESPN Daily Word take on the game:

    "1. Florida’s first true road game comes at Phog Allen Fieldhouse. How can the Gators stay in the game?

    Andy Katz: Make shots. Florida’s defense wasn’t the issue in the Bahamas. But the Gators couldn’t shoot. If Michael Frazier II gets hot, then the Gators have a chance. They need someone to be a shot maker.

    Eamonn Brennan: I don’t want to say they can’t, because Kansas has shown plenty of flaws of its own this season. The good news for Florida is the Jayhawks aren’t forcing any turnovers so far this season – which was among the Gators’ issues in their three losses thus far. The bad news is Kansas is pretty good at disallowing good looks at the rim, and the Gators have shot just 29.5 percent from 3 and 44.1 percent from 2. It would take a totally different performance for Florida to leave Lawrence with a win.

    C.L. Brown: The only time the Gators started 3-3 under Billy Donovan was his first year in Gainesville. Their confidence has taken a beating, but staying poised is the only way they have a chance of winning in Phog Allen. Florida will need point guard Kasey Hill to assert some serious leadership in that environment."

    The key will be not letting Frazier get off. Gators will struggle to score if he isn’t hitting from deep. Overplay Frazier and make other guys step up - I don’t think they will.

    Legit observation about our lack of creating turnovers, however. We don’t anticipate well. Ties into the point that @drgnslayr made re lack of fundamentals on the offensive side. OADs and McDs are all long on talent, but woefully short on basic basketball fundamentals. Key reason that talent doesn’t always win out.

  • @JayHawkFanToo I had brought up the rules thing in another post, related to perhaps why our D struggled a bit. So I agree there. Good point. Everyone played by the same rules though – I think it affected us a bit more because of the inherent physicality in the style Self teaches.

    I attribute most of the ball hogging to Self directing him to be the man, etc., and not to Wiggins. But how many times could the guy drive and simply ignore open teammates? If Ebola is an epidemic, Wiggins failing to pass the ball was a pandemic – it affected everybody, and everything.

  • Fyi, two guys – Kasey Hill and Chris Walker – were high on our list. Both went to Florida. Interesting to assess their performances.

    We’ll smoke Florida tonight, 10-12 point win.

  • The Big 12-SEC series so far is looking good for the conference, cumulative record in parenthesis:

    • Texax Tech beats Auburn (1-0)
    • LSU beats WVU in hearth breaker (1-1)
    • Baylor beats Vanderbilt (2-1)
    • ISU trounces Arkansas (3-1)
    • TCU smacks Ole Miss; TCU is much, much improved (4-1)


    • Kentucky - Texas (at UK). UK favorite by 13, but if Texas bigs can neutralize UK size advantage I see it in single digits (4-2)
    • Florida -KU (at KU). Florida missing its four seniors and nowhere near the team they were last year. Vegas line is KU by 7-1/2 but I see KU by double digits when you factor AFH and payback. (5-2)
    • Missouri - Oklahoma (at OU). Line is 13-1/2 and I believe it will be close to that. (6-2)


    • Oklahoma State - South Carolina (at USC). Line started as a pick and now is OSU by3 and it will close to that when you consider game location (7-2)
    • Kansas State - Tennessee (at UT). Line started as a pick and now is UT by 2. When you factor the home advantgae, this game is truly a pick. A good game by Foster and KSU gets the win. I will predict KSU wins. (8-2)

    I really don’t see any scenario where the Big 12 loses the series, it is more of a question of how badly they beat the SEC. While a 8-2 final result is possible, the two games tomorrow could go either way, so most likely is 7-3 and worst and most unlikely outcome is 6-4.

  • @DanR Glad to see I am not the only one who believes that Kelly will get his mojo. I read this article last week and was glad to see that Gary Parrish (CBS Sports) addressed it and even more impressed with the response by Kelly! Rock Chalk!

    Kelly Oubre has a world of talent, but it might take awhile before he can flourish with Kansas.

    LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – When I caught up with Kelly Oubre on Thursday he was getting ready to board the team bus idling in the parking lot here at the HP Field House, Beats By Dre headphones on his ears, a welcoming-smile on his face.

    And I wasn’t expecting that, frankly.

    The welcoming-smile kind of surprised me.

    Because, let’s be honest, when you’re projected as a future lottery pick but currently buried on Kansas’ bench, the last thing you’d want to do, I’d imagine, is talk to me (or somebody like me) about a transition from high school to college that’s not going smoothly, especially after you just scored two points in four minutes of a 76-60 win over Rhode Island.

    Only four players are ahead of Oubre on DraftExpress.com’s big board.

    But nine different Jayhawks played more minutes than him on Thanksgiving.

    And considering this was the second time in four outings he’s played just four minutes, and because he’s only averaging nine minutes per game, I assumed Oubre would be quiet or defensive or … I don’t know … something less than welcoming. But he wasn’t any of those things. Kelly Oubre was totally cool – perhaps because, though I might be the first columnist to pull him aside and ask what’s up, I’m hardly the first person to ask what’s up.

    "Yeah, I’ve gotten that a lot lately … because, you know, I’ve never been in a situation like this," Oubre said. "I’ve always been at the top. But just keeping my confidence 100 is all I can do right now, and I’m just going to continue to do what coach needs me to do."

    There are bigger stories in college basketball – stories about how Big East schools already own quality wins over North Carolina, Michigan, VCU, Florida and Oklahoma, stories about how Kentucky’s size in the frontcourt is proving overwhelming for everybody, stories about how Duke looks like a composed and veteran team even though Mike Krzyzewski is starting three freshmen. But a more fascinating story, at least to me, is unfolding this weekend at the Disney Wide World of Sports Complex, and it centers on a freshman who is, for the first time in his life, dealing with on-the-court adversity.


    Sure, Kelly Oubre has dealt with that before.

    He was born in New Orleans and lived there until fourth grade, when he relocated to the Houston area after Hurricane Katrina wrecked his hometown. That, by definition, is off-the-court adversity. But basketball has always been simple, relatively speaking. And Oubre’s unique combination of size and athleticism helped him become a McDonald’s All-American, earn a spot on a USA Basketball roster, and finish his high school career ranked No. 8 in the Class of 2014, according to 247 Sports.

    Consequently, most figured Oubre would start on the wing as a freshman at Kansas, just like Andrew Wiggins did last season. And he might still, someday. But that wasn’t the case Thursday. And it almost certainly won’t be the case Friday or Sunday. Which, again, has produced a rare situation at Kansas, one where a lottery projection is 10th on his own team in minutes per game, and fourth among freshmen on his own team in minutes per game.

    That’s wild and surprising.

    It’s something I asked Bill Self to address.

    “Mario Chalmers didn’t play till Christmas [of his freshman year], Julian Wright didn’t play till Christmas, Joel [Embiid] didn’t start until like the eighth game of the season,” Self said. "So there’s a process everybody has to go through, and we have a couple of guys – obviously Kelly but also Cliff [Alexander] – who are going through it.

    “They’re going to be terrific players,” Self added. “But they’re not terrific players yet.”

    This, by the way, is the only thing Self concerns himself with.

    He doesn’t care about recruiting rankings or mock drafts, and he actually thinks they do more harm than good because, he believes, “they put unfair expectations” on prospects like Oubre and Alexander, the latter of whom is another projected lottery pick averaging just 16.3 minutes per game. All Self does each year is assemble a roster, develop it and, every single game, use the players he thinks best give him a chance to win that particular game, and it’s hard to argue with his strategy given that he’s won 10 straight Big 12 titles.

    Still, I’d be lying if I said it’s not strange to watch Oubre wear warmups all game, and Oubre would be lying if he said this is how he expected to spend November. Because it’s not. He expected to play and wants to play. He’s not sure what to make of this. But everybody – from Self to his assistants to KU’s other players – insisted, both publicly and privately, that Oubre is handling things well, and that, if nothing else, is a good sign.

    “Kelly has a great attitude,” said fellow freshman Devonte Graham, who is averaging twice as many minutes per game as Oubre. “When you’re a top player in the country, like he was coming out of high school, you just expect to come in and have a great year when you get to college, and it’s not going great for him right now. But his attitude is amazing. And when he gets out of this little slump, he’s going to be one of the best players on the team.”

    Oubre nodded at this hypothetical.

    Yes, he knows people are wondering about him, and, absolutely, he understands why. But he promised he hasn’t lost sight of the larger picture, and he swore he’s simply embracing the process while still planning to be what everybody predicted he’d be.

    #“Once I get the hang of everything, it’s over,” Oubre said. “I know I’m going to be great.”#

  • Causing turnovers is something I see Devonte doing. I hope his shoulder is ok so he can get his long arms into the passing lanes. Frank, Svi and Wayne will take care of Frasier tonight.

  • @wrwlumpy @RockChalkinTexas - Let me join in. I think Oubre will get going, too. I think he can become a solid part of the rotation. I hope Self plays the kid, lets him get acclimated. Then Self will have to decide the minutes allocation. But Oubre needs to get some PT to determine his later role.

  • Tonight’s game, which do you think will happen?

    1. Oubre plays less than 10 minutes
    2. Oubre plays 10 minutes
    3. Oubre plays more than 10 minutes

    I will take option 3; I am an optimist. 😏

  • @JayHawkFanToo I would choose 1. I think he gets his minutes increase after the Utah game.

  • I’m calling it now! Oubre breaks out and has his coming out party tonight! He’s so good it’s only a matter of time!

  • Foul trouble or made baskets when he gets into the game are probably the only way 3. happens.

    It would be nice if Oubre got some confidence seeing the ball go in the hoop, or being disruptive on Defense.

  • Anyone know if Cliff is starting tonight? It would make sense.

  • @hawkster88 said:

    Anyone know if Cliff is starting tonight? It would make sense.

    Same starting line up as last 3 games.

  • Apparently when they watched the game film from last years Disaster in Florida, they took it as well we might as well have an “encore” disaster. Truly don’t understand this team, could be worst loss at home in forever

  • @BeddieKU23

    This is a worse half than the second half against UK.

    No defense whatsoever; Florida is wide open all the time. If KU continues to play this way, it will be lucky to finish in the top half of the conference.

    The women’s volley ball game is more exiting.

  • @JayHawkFanToo did they win?

  • The women’s volley ball team just lost to Arkansas Little Rock. This is shaping out to be a historically bad day for KU sports. Maybe the Basketball team will wake up and show up in the second half.

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