Dang KU!

  • Thats all I got.

  • Win pretty, win ugly…a win is a win is a win…

  • Stating the obvious…great 1st half. Atrocious 2nd half. Not sure who is the real KU. Probably somewhere in between.

    Positive things were Oubre looked better for the second game in a row. B Greene continues to be incredible from the line…did those free throws even touch the net? Selden was shooting well in the 1st. Perry looked dominant early.

    Plenty of negatives. What is the deal with shooting 20% as a team in an entire half of basketball? How does that happen? Utah is not fing Kentucky. I honestly don’t get it. Many of the shots we missed were wide open or at least poorly contested. Did we build too big of a lead? Svi was sort of a no show. Lucas was terrible. Alexander not much better. Who should start at the 5? The options are not looking that good after a game like today.

    But I agree that a win is a win. Better to blow a 21 point lead and win than the potential other outcome.


  • Glad we got Jamari back. The DVR viewing will be the first half then fast forwarding to watching Jamari and Greene shoot free throws.

  • @wrwlumpy Glad we got that Jamari back. The one we saw more consistently last season. If we’d gotten the Jamari back that we’ve seen all of this season, we probably lose today. With our offense sputtering, his 13 points were huge.

  • We’re all over the place. For 10 minutes in the first half, we looked like a top 5 team. For 18 minutes of the 2nd half, we looked like this year’s version of the Misery Tigers. Frank was great, then he was terrible. Then he hits a big shot. Perry looked amazing, and putrid. It’s like having an entire team of Tyshawn Taylors this year. We won. I don’t care how we got there- we got there. Winner, winner - chicken dinner…

  • Here’s my amateur analysis of the game:

    1. Kind of disappointed in Selden. With the exception of the Florida game, it seems that every time he gets a little momentum going and I expect a Florida-esque performance from him he just takes two steps back. Two games in a row he failed to finish a dunk, leading me to wonder if the knee injury has permanently zapped some of his hops from him. More than anything, I thought he was supposed to ascend to be our lock-down defender, yet he let Delon Wright almost single-handedly make it a close game. At least in other games that he’s struggled in one area (usually his scoring) he’s made up for it in other areas. Yet no rebounds and only 2 assists today (one was real pretty though on that bullet pass to the post).

    2. A mixed bag with Ellis. I was impressed with his defense, and I thought he grabbed a couple of “man’s” rebounds today. His offense carried us early. Then…? Without re-watching, I can’t tell if we just stopped running offense for him or if he just quit looking for his shot or if Utah just did that good of a job containing him, but we can’t go that long without him scoring.

    3. As was mentioned earlier, welcome back Jamari Traylor! And I don’t mean welcome back from the 1-game suspension, but welcome to the '14-'15 season! We don’t win today without that performance.

    4. The evolution of the Oubre/Svi/Greene PT triangle. This will likely intrigue me all season. It keeps moving towards Oubre and away from Svi. Hard to argue with the progress Oubre has shown, and I know Svi played pretty poorly against Georgetown, but a part of me wonders if Svi isn’t going to be buried because Self has done the risk analysis of losing each player and Svi is the less likely to bolt. In short, Self knows that short of Svi returning to Europe, he has Svi for 2 years. If he buries Greene or Oubre, a transfer would be likely. And while Oubre is obviously talented, there’s always the OAD pandering factor that one has to wonder about.

    Specific to this game, if Greene isn’t hitting his 3s, he’s really only valuable as a late game free throw shooter. Which is nice; he was definitely clutch (along with Jamari!). Svi didn’t do much to impress, but didn’t look as lost as he did against Georgetown either. Oubre played well I thought, but not enough to garner a ton of separation from the other two.

    Stay tuned…

    1. Mason. He has his Tyshawn moments. At times he leaves his feet without knowing what he’s going to do with the ball. But I can’t tell you how nice it is to watch the games and NOT see Tharpe at the point! I know that might seem mean-spirited, but it’s night and day. It’s the opposite of being spoiled with Frank - after wanting solid PG play for so long, I never take his competence or effort for granted. I did, however, miss Graham today. Hope he gets healed soon. Love his game too!

    2. Rough game for Cliff, although his rebounds per minute continue to be a big plus. He’ll be fine.

    3. Overall, I thought we should have shot more 3s. As I expect to be the case throughout the year, we struggle against taller front lines. At least today we only struggled to score, whereas they didn’t really punish us on the other end by scoring a bunch with their bigs.

    A week off before a game against Lafayette, with a quick turnaround at Temple. Hopefully a good week of practice will sharpen the fellas up! Rock Chalk!

  • Like I said before, KU will not lose at the free throw line this year. This is the best free throw shooting KU team I have seen in as far as I can remember.

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  • Woah, was hoping for a satisfying win to get me pumped. Game left a bad taste in my mouth. Our offense turns into lets just pass it around the perimeter for a while then someone gets the gumption to run into their bigs and throw up a prayer that gets blocked or rattles hard off the hoop. I know we play the high-low, but man we go through stretches where it doesn’t seem like it’s a strength of ours.

    Was very pleased we got the dubya, of course, Hopefully these guys can get some rest over the next 10 days before the next game, I would imagine we’re pretty beat up. In a way, it’s probably not a bad thing that we had to win ugly with this big break, keep everybody on their toes at practice.

  • Jamari came to play today, wow! What a sensational block! He did not look the least bit distracted. Totally focused on basketball and a joy to watch!

  • @icthawkfan316 Saw your comment about Jamari and scoffed. Then looked at the box score and couldn’t stop myself from saying, “Really???”

    Jamari scored 13 points FG: 4-8 FT: 5-5 REB: 5

    To go with 2 steals and 1 block in 26 minutes. Just like you said, welcome back to the season, Good Mari! That’s a man’s game.

    …I’d also like to pile onto the ‘Lucas played terrible and shouldn’t start’ discussion.

    That is all.

  • @BucknellJayhawk3 Got a game in 7 days, so 10 days might be too much rest!

  • @DanR ah good catch. Whatever they’ve been doing to practice free throws over the last 2 weeks they should do for general offense- ha.

  • Traylor clanking a couple nonchalant layups was the dominant memory I have of him from this game, but he played with some fire in the first half and hit two big freebies at the end.

    Selden… man, what is going on? I swear the 2 spot in Self’s offense is the deadest position. Stand on the wing. Stand in the corner. Stand. Stand. Pass. Stand. Stand.

    I appreciate the occasional threes and twos just inside the line, but the Selden is a beast and he’s rarely in a position to attack the lane. It seems to be by design since whoever is in that spot just floats around out there. I don’t get it.

  • If you had told me before the game started that we would win by 3, I would, of course, have taken it. But, you have to be concerned about the way we keep letting teams come back. We haven’t been able to put them away. But…we are young. We are inconsistent as a result. Alexander disappears, Svi hasn’t re-appeared. I could certainly understand the 5 that Self had in the game at the end. That was the Jamari that we are used to seeing. Energy, defense, rebounding, and scoring when the opportunities are there. I thought Oubre did more good things…continues to progress. Greene did not hit any threes, but he was clutch at the line. He still scares me out there, though. Still kind of stumbles around, loses his man. We are a work in progress. We will get better and that makes me feel pretty good.

  • We are going to miss Devonte’s ball handling and driving abilities. I like all of the qualities of Greene and his height, but unless we find him a spot up three and he is hitting them, his ball handling skills hurt us as well as his defense. Mason will have to play 36 minutes a game. He’ll have to be taken out a minute before a TV timeout to get any kind of a breather. He might be out for a month or the rest of the season. Google “Turf Toe.”

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  • @wrwlumpy Fantastic photo!

  • @wrwlumpy Absolutely. In theory, Selden can fill in for the 4 mins. or so that Mason needs as a breather. If Devonte misses the whole season (which is a possibility) we will likely lose a game or two that we otherwise would not. If Frank gets in foul trouble…we are in trouble. I don’t even want to think about what happens if Frank gets hurt.

  • @Lulufulu That’s all you NEED.

  • @Hawk8086 Graham being out for at least a month and possibly the entire year is pretty devastating. I know we have guys who can fill in for Mason but Graham is the only true PG other than Frank. This was my main concern when CF decided to transfer. He was a good backup plan in case of injuries if nothing else.

    10 days ago I would have said that Svi could step in and play a bit of emergency PG along with Selden but obviously something is up with Svi the last couple of games. Perhaps he has hit “the wall” that is often discussed.

    Luckily with Graham out we do have a lot of options on the perimeter. Between Selden, Oubre, Greene and Svi there are plenty of guys to play and see what fits.

  • Also on the Graham situation…did anyone else read this comment by Self?

    Self said walk-on Evan Manning could be used at the point to go with Wayne Selden Jr. and even forward Jamari Traylor in some situations.

    “I meant to play him today,” Self said of Manning. “But when we’re playing well, don’t sub; playing badly you can’t put him in that situation. We’ve got to have a ball-mover back there.”

    Does that scare the shit out of anyone else? Is this a serious comment by Self or is it just some sort of way to motivate the guys who are actually going to take Graham’s minutes?

  • Did anybody else look at themselves with the 20 point lead and go “this is too good to be true with this team”. I was one of them that thought it would be easier to give up the big lead than sustain it. I wish I wasn’t right, but the fight we showed after getting kicked in the teeth is something this team can hang it heads on for a big positive.

    We basically had the opposite of the Florida game happen to us but the difference was that we actually had the toughness to make shots and FT’s when we needed them most.

    I’ll start with the positives because the way the 2nd half went for 18 minutes was as bad as the Kentucky game or first half of Florida.

    1. Great response by Mari. I remember him doing the same thing last year when he was suspended. Will he regress back to where he was or will this really keep him playing at the level we need him to. FT shooting was clutch at the end. He did miss some point blank shots but who didn’t.

    2. Ellis was on pace for what 60 early and then completely fell off the face of the earth until that huge bucket late. I saw they put their 7 footer’s on him which completely neutralized his advantage he had over their smaller players. It continues to be his biggest weakness that he can’t find a way to play against bigger guys. I will say this though, he had a couple rebounds where I was like wow Perry way to go up. Plays like that show you just how athletic he is sometimes.

    3. Boy Mason sure was clutch. The biggest improvement to his game is his shooting. His %'s are way up from 3, FT’s especially. We may never see him stop getting in the air, or make questionable drives/passes but he’s so much better at both ends of the floor than Tharpe was. If Graham is unable to come back we are going to have to lean on him even more in games.

    4.Toughness. We’ve found ways to win, ways I’m not even sure Self even believes. I heard we are the 11th youngest team in CB. To have a team that believes in itself in the close one’s is a great thing to have. We could be 3-6 if it weren’t for this teams will to win.

    Now on the negative nancy’s.

    1. I’m starting with Selden again because he just continues to disappoint me when I know he’s a much better play then he is being showing on the court. He made shots first half, looked like the 2nd coming of the Florida game was going to happen and then pooof disappeared. His D for the most part was solid on Delon Wright who is clearly an NBA talent. 2nd half he let Wright do a lot of things. He also missed yet another Dunk attempt. He may go his entire career missing dunks he made in HS. I have zero confidence when he takes off for those. The one positive I will say is if he continues to be this inconsistent we will have him for his Jr. season. He’s not even 2nd round material right now and clearly will benefit from staying in school and figuring out how to be consistent game to game.

    2. Self: I have a few comments for our offense. We clearly have no idea what we are doing when teams buckle down on Defense. We don’t Iso Ellis, Oubre, Selden, all guys who could benefit from a 1 on 1 situation. We don’t screen often for 3 point shots for Greene, Svi, Mason. The ball sticks more than any team I can recall. It’s wasted dribble weaves, swinging the ball with questionable passes that lead to 1-2 easy buckets for opponents a game. He needs to go to the drawing board over the Christmas Break and figure out how to play to this teams strengths because this is clearly a different team especially offensively then he’s ever had. We don’t score easy enough over a whole game so he has to figure out how to correct it.

    3. Cliff/Lucas. Combined 21 minutes 1 pt 6 rebounds (all cliff by the way.) I saw Cliff hit the other side of the backboard on a drive attempt against Pueltl. I saw Lucas completely lost on both ends, fumbled great post position went up soft against Pueltl on a great pass that should have been a dunk or 2 FT’s. First game Cliff really didn’t make an impact in some way. Both are just so raw, and have zero offensive go-to moves. Hopefully Cliff gets it together, I’m very disappointed in Lucas of late.

  • @DanR said:

    Stand on the wing. Stand in the corner. Stand. Stand. Pass. Stand. Stand.

    Yes! I kept yelling at the tv in the second half to most of the team "Move your feet! Don’t just stand there, MOVE YOUR FEET!’

    Really wanted a repeat of Georgetown Greenethree, but both his shot and D were not there. But wow, the kid’s a machine at the line… just automatic. It’s soooooo nice (and such a refreshing change) for a KU team to see nearly every FTs drop. With a typical KU team of old, we have 3 more Ls than we do now due to missed FTs…

    Wondered where Svi’s game went to, but happy to see Kelly’s showing up. Never know who is going to carry the load for this team, which is frustrating and fun at the same time.

    And have to echo others… really wanted more than yet another D2 performance from Lucas. He sure looks the part of big D1 player, but sure doesn’t play it well. Self’s post game quote made me laugh, “I will say this about our team … we can screw up a good time about as well as anybody I’ve ever seen,” Definitely wasn’t having a good time talking to Lucas about his poor play… lucas.JPG

  • @BeddieKU23 At this point in the season I am starting to think that all our guys should be back next season. Cliff, Kelly, Wayne, all of them. I agree, they are very clearly a tougher team this year. But, I also agree they are really good at stinking it up. I hope hope hope Coach Self wakes up, realizes he needs to play to this teams strengths. Which are soooo not inside/out at this point. I mean I’ve only been really paying attention to the rules of the game and how it is played since the 07 08 season. I’m not even a pawn in terms of basketball knowledge and even I know this team needs to play more like an Iowa state than a typical KU team.

  • @joeloveshawks Ehhh, Maybe Self meant to play Manning in garbage time minutes off the bench in the second half with his team up by 18 with 3 minutes left. Clearly that did not happen.

  • “I meant to play him today,” Self said of Manning. “But when we’re playing well, don’t sub; playing badly you can’t put him in that situation. We’ve got to have a ball-mover back there.”

    So, if Self doesn’t want to play Evan Manning when we’re on a roll or when things are tight, I’m guessing that basically leaves just the times in the game when Mason needs a good butt chewing.

  • @DanR Or as Self said, he’d really like to play Selden at the 4, but he didn’t know how we’d guard anybody. He talks himself out of his thought many times in the same sentence.

  • @BeddieKU23

    A quick note on Perry. Yes, part of it was having to shoot over a 7 footer, but the main reason is that after his hot start he was doubled teamed the rest of the way. This is from the press conference:

    Kansas junior forward Perry Ellis

    On the nine quick points early in the game then getting doubled teamed the rest:

    “They defintely threw some double teams and stuff. They were a lot more aggressive but all that matters is we came out with the win. That’s all that I am happy about.”

    Keep in mind that KU is still learning the system and it it nit only early in the season, but KU has played 3 home games and 6 games away from AFH. Other than the “touring” teams that travel the country taking beatdowns for a payout, I cannot think of another team that has played so few home games.

  • Are we the only people that think KU does not have length? As far as I am concerned. KU is undersized at the PG, PF and C, and has decent size at the SG and SF. The Utah Coach and players seem to think that we have length and are physical…


    Utah head coach Larry Krystkowiak

    On the differences between the defensive strategy from first half to the second half:

    “We ran some different plays in the second half. I think we had more movement with pick and rolls, and got the ball bouncing a little bit more. We were pretty stagnant in the second half, credited to a lot of their length.”

    On the last play of the game:

    "Well they’re physical. It was the same play we tried running earlier in the game, we needed a three. **

    Utah freshman forward Jakob Poeltl

    On Jamari Traylor’s and Cliff Alexander’s physicality:

    “I feel like I didn’t have many problems with how physical they were. I just wasn’t able to get my shots were I wanted them. Part of it was me, and bad offensive execution by all of us on the team.”

    On playing two Kansas teams, Wichita State and KU:

    "Kansas is a more physical team and Wichita State is more offensively-minded and execute better on defense. They were very disciplined and solid. Kansas has some great individual players that are very strong and physical. "

  • @joeloveshawks

    I think you are taking his comments out of context:

    The comment about Manning was done before the game and I can see where he can go in for few minute to give Mason some rest, but the way the game was going, when either the team was playing so well ( fist half) that you don’t want to disrupt the tempo, or the second half when it became a battle and you cannot throw an unproven player into a game that is becoming very close. Had the game been steadily in the 10 point range, I can see where he could have come in, otherwise Coach Self’s explanation is certainly valid, wouldn’t you agree?

    As far as Jamari playing PG, here is the entire quote by Coach Self:

    On sending the ball more often into the post:

    "A lot of teams don’t play that way. A lot of teams live and die by the jumper, driving it, spreading it; but that’s the way we’ve always played. We’ve got to do some things to create driving lanes and things like that. We don’t have an unbelievable driving team, but Wayne (Selden, Jr.) and Frank (Mason III) should be able to get better. Kelly (Oubre, Jr.) was really good tonight and will be able to help us in that regard. And playing Jamari (Traylor) at the 5, at least he’s always going to be quicker than any 5 man he has. I’ve even thought about making him the backup point guard, I’m being dead serious, if we played him and he initiated the offense, there would be no one that could apply pressure because he could drive around anybody. Not be the point guard that comes up and sets it up, but just bring it in transition and do some things like that. We’ve got to become more creative because it’s going to totally wear Frank down if he has to do everything every possession."

    It is clear that he does not want to use him to bring the ball up court but to position him to initiate the offense at the half court from where he could draw his man way outside and open the middle and then use his quickness to drive to the basket or be unguarded. At least this is how I read it.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    I guess I didn’t notice the double teams as much as the big guys on Ellis. If that was the case then we should have taken better advantage of them when they did. But that would require KU to be a good passing team which we are anything but that.

    A big change I noticed in the 2nd half and the only good comment from Fran Frischilla all day was that Utah’s whole team changed when they were playing offense where their bench was. Defensively they just capitalized on KU’s missed shot after missed shot. I saw Newell’s post on just how bad KU is right now as a 2pt scoring team. Currently something like 300th in the country, Last year we were 7th. Stat wise you have to wonder just how we have won these tight games. We’ve had 32 turnovers in 2 games, and our FG % isn’t any good.

    A win is a win and Self gets paid the big money to figure out what we can do better. Hopefully Oubre continues to see continued increase in minutes. He was very solid yesterday. I like his progression in the last 3.

  • KU Bigs: Ellis: Although I think his spin in the lane is a very nice addition to his game, he needs to learn he cannot do it when the lane is packed. The last couple games he spins into another defender only to get blocked. But the ball fake and turn around baby hook in the lane had me a little giddy. If he could acquire a turn around fade away like Marcus Morris, we are looking at an 18-20 point guy every game. But as of right now, he gets all of his points off of jumpers and baby hooks. His face up game is similar to Marcus Morris’ right now but has a little more bounce.

    Lucas: Everyone has pretty much summed it up in past comments. The guy knows how to get in good position but doesn’t have the ability to take advantage.

    Alexander: If he can learn to get in position like Lucas does, he can get plenty of easy baskets. The baby hook he had in the beginning of year seems a bit like fools gold at the moment. He hasn’t worked on it enough yet to do it on bigger defenders. He needs another year to be semi-consistent with position and hooks and he will be putting up Robinson numbers.

    Traylor: Even though I flinched almost every time he puts the ball on the floor, I do like how he knows where he needs to be and spaces the paint very well.

    Mickelson: I feel bad for the guy. I think he will be on the outside looking in for the rest of his time at KU.

  • @BeddieKU23

    Yes, the number do say something but we have to look at them in context. KU is playing the 4 toughest schedule in Div I. If you look at the top 30 teams (as per Ken Pom) only KU and UNC (#13) have schedules in the top 30. If you expand to the top 60 ranked team, only 2 more (VCU at #15 and Green Bay at #10) have schedules in the top 30. Other than KU and UNC you just don’t see other top teams with tough schedules. KU has now played 3 top-25 teams (2-1) and 6 of the 9 games have been away from the friendly confines of AFH. If KU was playing the #200 schedule in the country, then I ma sure the number would be considerably higher.

    Look at where other conference teams have played (home-neutral-away, vs top 25)

    • TCU 8-2-0, 0-0
    • Baylor 6-2-1, 0-0
    • West Virginia 4-4-1, 1-0
    • Oklahoma State 5-2-2, 0-0
    • Iowa State 5-2-1, 1-0
    • Texas 5-2-2, 1-1
    • Texas Tech 6-0-1, 0-0
    • Oklahoma 3-3-2, 1-1
    • Kansas State 4-3-2, 0-1
    • Kansas 3-5-1, 2-1

    No question that KU has had the toughest schedule.

  • @JayHawkFanToo Why would Self say, “I meant to play him today” before the game?

  • At this point of the year, any win is a win. We can win ugly or lose pretty. I’d rather win ugly. I’m glad we aren’t running teams out of the gym. Then the guys get big heads and hard to coach.

    The Utah game could have easily been a loss. At least we get to chalk up a win, and who knows what we will need for March.

    Most of the developmental coaching happens over Christmas. At least we have that tough UK beat down to keep these guys thinking how much they need to improve.

    There are only 10 or 11 teams younger than us this year. Remember that.

    All these kids are capable of playing a dud game or a star game. I’m sure we will see each one of them do both many times this year. It’s something that goes with the territory: youth. Half the people in here were ready to throw BamBam under the bus, and now he’s the savior of this victory. Be prepared for him to dud out again. And then be prepared for him to be a star again. And he is one of our older players.

  • I think the good news, the silver lining is that none of our potential OAD’s or even TAD’s are making them look really attractive to the NBA draft next June. I know some of them can catch fire, but so far i don’t see it happening.

  • @DanR

    Coach Self indicated in the pre-game interview that Manning might see some playing time because of Grahams’s injury, I seem to recall listening to it in the radio while hurrying home to catch the game. The comment you are referring to was made after the game in reference to what he said before.

    According to KUSports.com he said:

    “I meant to play him today,” Self said of Manning. “But when we’re playing well, don’t sub; playing badly you can’t put him in that situation. We’ve got to have a ball-mover back there.”

    I believe that comment was made court-side right after the game but not during the aftre-the-game press conference. Here is link to the entire press conference and that comment is not there:

    I did not want a YouTube screen to pop so you will have to cut and paste the link. I hope this clears up the confusion.

  • @wissoxfan83 Thats what Im sayin too man. All our boys could be back next season.

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