Be Honest

  • Banned

    Ah the dead period of finals week. Man oh man.

    OK so we got sometime to be normal fans again for a week. You know to breath in out like most normal people. To wear normal clothes and not those good luck shirts, shorts, socks, hats (and for some that underwear)(really? 🙂 )and so on. That apparel that should’ve been dropped in the trash can years ago. 😉

    No more playing! Here’s the question? So what do think of this years KU team? Be honest. Do you have doubts, or concerns? Is this team what you thought it was? Do you think this is another ho-hum season, or is it dripping with potential? Can they repeat as Big12 champions? Can they win it all?

    It’s a free for all. Just be honest. And for you Jayhawks fans that just sit back and read the wonderful comments and Info I want to hear from you too. If you ever post this is the time. I want to hear it all.

    Myself??? I think this KU team has great potential. However I’m perplexed with this team, and HCBS. I’m not sure why? I guess maybe this KU team is in all aspects is the underdog. Not something I’m used too. I look at this team and, think hay their going to be great. Yet I can’t shake this feeling like they are the underdog. That they are no longer the team to beat. Is this that special season?

    This team got beaten badly in their one loss, but it doesn’t seem to phase them? They play with a borderline cockiness, a attitude, and I love it. I don’t know where this team is going to take us but sign me up for the ride. 😃

  • Hey Tits (double d).

    My quick thoughts below.

    Let’s all bury the ax that KY shoved down our throats. We can without a doubt say the world about Kentucky talent but they have proved a couple of weak spots themselves. They can go stagnant offensively and note the defense that does create problems for them. Not pressuring the ball 35feet from the basket. They can break that down easily with their guards and its lob city. A shell type of defense around the perimeter of the paint is choice here with guards helping in and out. Force the 3, they aren’t spexial there.

    Enough of John Cali mari’s NBA team.

    Let’s talk Jayhawks baby!! Let’s just enjoy the ride. We will no doubt be the toughest team in the B12. Love what Bill kept telling the team during timeouts of GTown game “I don’t whose gonna take this team but it’ll be the toughest team”. He’s going to build mentality that will keep us in every game from here on out (minus maybe the game in Austin; on road etc…)

    Hell of a little stretch here. Look at the top 10 and ask what team we couldn’t go wire to wire with in 6-8 weeks. We can straight up defend when we were on and defending is what Bill teaches best and is what you can get night in night out regardless of offense. Offense I hope is what starts to click (signs are there) and we all see a team that looks capable is a 1-2 seed and a shot to make a deep run.

    Love this team!!

  • Banned

    @Family-Hawk No tits dude, but I do have a set of balls. LOL

    You’re right though lets enjoy the ride. 🙂

  • Haha. Sounded good.

  • I shared my thoughts in the aftermath of the Kentucky game in my post “I’m done”. Obviously I’m not done! I am enjoying this team more than last years version for sure, 72-40 notwithstanding. One thing I’m a little excited about, and it involves next year more than this year is this: Even though there’s signs we’re meshing as a team, I don’t see anyone rising into the OAD, or even leaving early discussion. Which means, we don’t lose any significant pieces, unless Perry goes which I have a hunch he’ll stick around.

  • Banned


    I totally agree on Perry. Everything I’ve read on him and his up bringing says education. How refreshing that a kid can get an education and not feel the pressure to chase the money so his mom and extended family can reap the rewards.

  • @DoubleDD Good post. I think we have all seen things from KU this season that make us excited and scared at the same time. Biggest problem IMO is youth. We only have 2 juniors getting meaningful minutes, well 3 if you count redshirt soph Lucas. Youth is our achilles again this season. They can win the big 12 again and they can make a deep run in the NCAAs but it depends on how quickly all that youth can get consistent and “get” what Self is trying to teach them. Oh, and if Self can allow them to play to their strengths and not force them to play to what they are not.

    PS. Die hard Jayhawk fan here, not going to bail on them if they dont win any titles this season.

  • Banned


    I could never bail on the Jayhawks. It’s not apart of my functioning brain, or what’s left of It. 🙂

  • Good point with youth. Time for a Jayhawk “youth” team to break thru and notch a F4 spot! Question is when will we just flat go with it? Time for Xander to start. Lucas will be the hungrier one from the bench.

  • This team scares me. It is unusual for me to be scared when talking about the Jayhawks because I am naturally optimistic to a fault when it comes to KU. This leads to a bigger heartbreak when the NCAA tourney rolls around or football in general. But this year, I am just not confident.

    The first reason is because this team lacks something to hang their hat on. I realize that they have buckled down on defense numerous times, but without a shot blocker in the middle, I fret that a speedy guard like Texas’ Taylor will break us down without the insurance policy of an Embiid, Withey, or Aldrich. And although Mason is as quick as they come, that doesn’t account for switches on the perimeter. My optimistic side tries to persuade me and says, “Hey, when was the last time we didn’t have a true shot blocker? 2008! We will be fine”. But the sensible shows that 3 absolute defensive studs on the perimeter in Robinson, Chalmers, and Rush. Not to mention the bulldog in Sherron. Again, I really like Mason and his defensive prowess, he just does not have the type of defensive experience the 08 team had.

    The second reason, is similar to the first. We do not have a 5. Period. Again, my crimson red and blue goggles come on and I tell myself “Bill self doesn’t need a center. His 4s and 5s are interchangeable. KU can be just as efficient on offense with two 4s”. But this would mean we have another reliable post player outside of Ellis. Again, that is something that we just don’t have this year. Alexander may develop a move to score over bigger defenders. But right now, I personally cannot see that happening this year. He will get his points from dunks and layups.

    The final reason is Selden. His jump shot is improved and is a good overall player that I love having. But he is not the explosive scorer that I thought he was. I don’t know if he ever had the one foot explosion in the lane, or if he lost it with knee issues, but it’s not there. His points are coming off of jump shots and wide open drives. He isn’t the play maker that I hoped he would be this season.

    But all is not lost on this team. I have to say something good because it is not in my nature to assume doomsday, especially this early in the season. The hawks have something I have not seen at KU yet, the X factors this year will be two long, pure shooters on the wing in Svi and Greene. I am very high on the potential of always having at least one in the game. Since they are shooters, they will go silent some games, but other games, give us wins single handily because one or both got hot. And if, now that’s a big IF, they can play solid defense, having size on the perimeter that can shoot is only something 2 or 3 other teams have in the country.

    Despite my negative Nancy comments, I still think KU will win the Big 12. Mark it down. ISU is to reliant on the three, OU has talent but not enough to compete against the big dogs day in and day out, West Virginia doesn’t have the post play, and UT won’t be able to use their size as much because we have already faced Kentucky and have seen it before. On top of that, no one can match the wing play of Selden, Greene, and Svi throughout league play. KU has to many scorers, to much toughness, and to well coached to beat KU in an 18 game season. It will be stressful and close and at times question if KU can pull it out again. But the Jayhawks will either be champions or co champions when it’s all said and done. Rock Chalk!

  • As far as record goes, 8-1 is a good as we could have hoped at this point. With a schedule just a few pegs short of last years brutal stretch its amazing how we’ve gotten this far with just 1 loss.

    Everyone else around the country has played their local YMCA club or the 1-9 club that’s going to finish last in their conference. KU finally gets a breather Saturday but that’s also a game we could take too lightly with Finals week.

    I do have doubts, concerns. I’m sure theirs only a handful of teams in the country without a whole lot of doubt at this point. I’d say Kentucky, Duke, Wisconsin, Arizona, & Gonzaga are the only programs not having to make major improvement before the end of the year to still make it far in March. I’ll hold out on Louisville until they face UK at home before I say much on them because they have played nobody other than Ohio St. Virginia & Villanova are also very good teams but I’ll wait til conference play to believe them.

    In our own Conference I’d say we are in the discussion for top team so far. Texas & Iowa St. are the obvious true contenders. I haven’t been as impressed with Oklahoma as I thought I would be. West Virginia, TCU, Oklahoma St have been aided by softer than marsh-mellow schedules.

    Individually I’m really disappointed with Selden’s offense. I’m concerned on just how Raw Cliff is offensively. His defense has also been less than stellar so far. I’m also concerned how slow it took Oubre to get adjusted to the system but his production is definitely on the up-swing from last 3 games. I have been impressed with how Mason has developed, he’s the single reason why we are 8-1 . Without his consistent effort on both ends, we would not be where we are.

    As a team we play much better D than last year. We are shooting better from the FT line, and lately our outside shooting has been much better. We know how to win close “muddy” “toughness” games which is a huge plus.

    My biggest concerns are offensively we just aren’t there yet. We have struggled mightily like no other KU team I have seen. We also turn the ball over too much and at an alarmingly consistent rate. And we don’t know how to keep big leads against good teams. That could really bite us in the tush come Tourney Time.

    Until Conf. play hits and I see how we respond in league play I’d say our ceiling for the Tournament is 2nd round or Sweet 16. I think the things we do wrong and could potentially still be doing wrong will hurt us the most like they do on most early exits. Remember this is the 11th youngest team in the country. We have players with experience but many that could be starting or playing big minutes without any. I think if we were to make it to Sweet 16 and further, our lack of size or lack of established post presence to go with Ellis will hinder us the most. And of course if we are not able to establish a consistent offensive approach will just not cut it.

    I hope for Self to keep making adjustments to maximize his teams talents. This isn’t his normal big overpowering inside/out team. This is a tough, young squad with lots of pieces that need the right placement. Hopefully he can develop Kelly & Cliff to where he has to play them starter minutes and hopefully Graham is healthy and comes back playing the way he was.

  • I think we are too young, and not tall enough. Texas scares me and I will be at the game in Austin where I think they will lose. I also expect a loss at ISU. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone else upsets us too. OU is good. I’m just hoping UT and ISU get upset here or there too. If the big 12 is beating each other up it helps us win the conference. I don’t see us getting to the elite 8 unless we start playing consistently.

    I think NEXT year is the year for another title run.

    But I will pull for them thick and thin.

  • @JayhawkRock78 I agree with all of your points except the “KU is young” argument. I know we occasionally say that Bill Self’s system is very complex and difficult to learn right away but I just don’t see why other teams have a lot of success with freshman and sophomores. UK is a machine this year and play freshman and sophomores. Duke looks better than they have in years and their best player is a freshman and just put up 20 and 20. Hell, even KU last year was “young” but our best two players were freshman and put up big numbers. Beasley, Durant, Melo, D. Rose…the list goes on of teams that have relied heavily on star freshman and done just fine. I don’t think it is an age thing. Cliff and Kelly came in just as highly acclaimed as Stanley Johnson and Okafor, etc. and are simply not having the same kind of year. Maybe they will eventually but I don’t blame their age and I also don’t blame the system. I just think some kids are not as NCAA ready as they were assumed to be.

    Totally agree that we are too small and will likely lose at ISU and UT. Also agree that the Big 12 will beat up on each other and that KU will be right there at the end of the year for another chance at at Big 12 title.

  • @joeloveshawks You make a good point about youth on other teams and last year’s youth.

    I think of Graham(now injured) & Svi, Alexander and Kelly. Lucas and Green are older but have very little experience. Alexander is doing good things and Kelly could show up. I should have said with this many newbies we lack experience playing at this level (NCAA).

    But Mason is solid (just a few too many TT plays) and Selden and Perry obviously have the experience.

    So you’ve helped my outlook a bit-thanks.

  • I would describe this team as a work in progress with a lot of growing pains and a huge upside, How well they end up depends heavily on how well they can compensate for the lack of height inside.

  • @JayHawkFanToo I think that sums it up perfectly.

  • This is a pack of junkyard dogs who happened to stumble on a basketball court. Gritty, tough as nails, no displays, no noise, pure business. They don’t shoot particularly well, they don’t rebound all that good, and they turn over the ball at an alarming rate. At times, they look like they could fall apart at anytime. Then, something happens. There’s a real tough wire running through the core that drives these guys to be a little tougher than the other guys. There’s a certain quiet swagger that doesn’t worry about the situation or the score - they just get it done. Teams like this play relaxed. Teams like this hit their free throws. Teams like this find ways to win games other teams would lose.

  • Banned


    Yea this team has a swagger I haven’t seen this for quite some time in a KU team. Last years team seemed to be searching for greatness. This year’s team doesn’t care about greatness they just want to kick your ass. 🙂

  • @DoubleDD There’s no satire (for once!) in my response to your statement that “This year’s team doesn’t care about greatness they just want to kick your ass.”
    It’s really interesting to me that we (fans) can have so many different takes on the same team. I just don’t get that at all. This seem very cautious and …nervous to me. Teams that just want to kick booty don’t blow 21 point leads. They build that lead to 40. They put the hammer down and take no prisoners and all kinds of other good cliches.

    I will give them this much - they’re not giving up. I know they’re very young and (DIV-1) inexperienced and they’re still coming out with " W "’'s and I’m not complaining about that. I just wish they’d get focused. Play Angr…whoops. Stop. The #11, PlayAngry team just about got spanked AT HOME last night by an unranked Alabama team, so we’ll disregard that comment…

  • @nuleafjhawk yes please!

  • I don’t view this squad as tougher than nails; but these kids are plenty tough. The thing which really stands out, individually they are blessed with a variety of talent, yet they have funneled their egos into team play. They are listening to their coach…even tho at times I am certain they are finding him hard to read. I don’t see them winning the league outright. Am not by any means a wealthy man, but would wager $100 that KU will earn no more than a share of the title. Too much parity in the league this year. And too much of a chance that Bill Self won’t adapt to his team’s strengths at crucial moments. He’s a stubborn coach. His tenacious hold on form and style have served him wonderfully, other than in post-season competition. This season he appears to be sitting atop a very different set of explosives. And the conference appears ready to rush his capacity to offer change-ups. If these kids can play patiently, gravitating toward the hot hand(s) in all particular occasions, we are in for a thrilling roller coaster conference season. If one of our starters again goes 0 for 11 without prime focus on sharing the leather, we are bound for failure against the likes of Iowa State or the Longhorns.

  • I like this team. a lot! They have all kinds of potential.

    I find it refreshing that we don’t have a big shot blocker in the middle, ready to correct all the horrible perimeter defense. It’s refreshing to not have that luxury and have to be more resourceful on defense. It has worked. Our defensive stats are pretty good and can stand to improve more as our young guys learn more. I’d like to see us keep the pressure on. We do well when we use pressure. It seems to energize the team on both sides of the ball. I think this is the first time since '08 we’ve had a team that can even impact the pace of the game. It has been a pure joy to see us apply pressure and speed up opposing teams in their offense. There is a lot more potential in that area, and we’ve just sort of experimented with pressure.

    One of my bigger disappointments was losing Conner. And I bet he has second thoughts now, too, since it is obvious he would have played a role moving forward. He had the potential to be a great shooter, but I think I was focused in more on his ability to use his head. He showed us some of that potential last year in March.

    I’ve been impressed with Perry so far. He has definitely stepped up and is showing up to a lot more games this year than last. Perry is a quiet guy, so he leads through his play, and he is a big reason why we only have one loss.

    Frank is what I expected from him. A bullish mole who can drive at will. He has improved considerably over last year, but still has a ways to go and that was shown (big time) in our loss to UK. He has ice water running through his veins and he isn’t afraid to take over in a tight ball game. That’s what you want from your PG.

    Cliff is totally undeveloped. He’s great on an offensive rebound put back, or a lob backdoor, but he has almost nothing when fed the ball with his back to the basket. I was expecting more, and that shoots a hole in Self’s hi/lo system. I’m actually sort of happy for that. I want to see us transform our offense into more than hi/lo.

    Kelly is coming on. We will see a big lift in his game in January. I have little doubt of that. He’ll improve the most over Christmas break.

    Wayne is the guy I worry about. He’s the guy that hasn’t really found his game yet this year. I already posted why I think that is. He needs to stay a 2, spend all of his time at the 2, in practice and in games. He’s a guy who needs to be given just a few areas to focus on, or he gets frayed. We have experienced a frayed Wayne, where he has picked up all the chatter that he needs to lead the team, do this and do that, be able to play PG, the 3 and 4, maybe even the 5. Nonsense. The guy is a 2, period. If we leave him alone and drop all the other silly expectations, communicate to him simple expectations, he will perform and he will perform extremely well!

    Brannen has definitely picked up his game. To be honest, he’s just now knocked off the rust since coming to Lawrence. He was never given enough game minutes to keep from rusting. He’s a guy that will give some production if used right and given some minutes.

    I like this year. I like that we don’t have a big shot blocker and we don’t have the killer power forward capable of back to the basket offense. This pushes Self to think outside the box, and he needs that. His game was growing stale. He was able to produce a high % of wins based on his structure and the guys he recruited that fit his structure. But it wasn’t the right formula for March. He needs to be able to bring other weapons to the fight. This is a year where he may become the “most improved” performer on this team.

    I’d like to see him replace one of his assistant coaches for a guy who brings offense to the table. I know it makes him cringe… but he is leaving too many points in the locker room by not adjusting to the times. And that will help recruiting substantially.


  • @drgnslayr

    You summarized Alexanders situation nicely. He has the physical tools to be a well above average player; however, his technical skill are severely lacking. A freshman Nick Collison would run circles around him. No doubt that his athleticism allowed him to dominate in HS, but at Division I level, all players are superior and it is tougher to compete against McDonald All-Americans than it is against kids that work at McDonald. I am sure the coaching staff is working with him in improving the fundamentals, and once they catch up with the physical side, he will be indeed a superior player.

  • Banned


    I totally agree. Sometimes these kids are used to win high school games instead of being developed to play at the next level. The same case could be made going from college to the NBA. Sometimes it’s just about winning.

    The thing about Cliff is you can see the makings. He shows no fear just lacks the tools (the know how to execute). That is something HCBS and the coaching staff needs to unlock, and teach. If and when he figures it out, Oh my. The kid is going to be nasty.

    A killer instinct isn’t something that can be taught, you either have or you don’t. I have no doubt Cliff has it. 🙂

  • Banned


    I hated to see Conner go too. In fact I was a little upset. 😞 However the College game is what it is. Maybe Conner seen the light in all those practices, or maybe HCBS was just to honest with him about playing time? I don’t know. However I noticed he wasted no time in getting out.

    I do know this I’ll be watching to see how he progresses. 🙂 I hope this doesn’t make me a shocker fan.

  • @DoubleDD on Conner, he had his chances. He was a HUGE liability on D. He walked up the ball, passed across the top of the key… That’s about it. If he couldn’t hit his shot, he didn’t have much value. JMO Shockers play aggressive D, where will he fit in? He quit, he wasn’t let go.

  • Banned


    Yea I agree, but I was hoping. I love Kansas kids playing for KU. 😞

  • @DoubleDD I do too! I love guys that bust their rear playing D more!

  • A lot of good comments here and not much else can be said. I think if we all look back over the past few years there have been teams at this time of the year we were making similar comments about. Even with Wigs and JoJo last year we had doubts. The only thing that really bothers me is the loss of Graham. Otherwise, I see another young team with the fight and ability that only needs to grab hold of HCBS’s plan and go with it. And no matter what, to take the conference title you still have to go through Lawrence. To the poster’s I haven’t seen before, welcome aboard. (beer)

  • @Crimsonorblue22 What are you doing up so late? (beer)

  • @brooksmd I’m a night owl. Trying to get ready for Christmas! Up early too, not a good sleeper. You?

  • @Crimsonorblue22 Same. I usually close my eyes about 2 and re-open between 630 and 7. Of course I steal a few z’s once or twice during the day since I’m retired and my wife still works. Usually those moments during the day result in a keyboard imprint on my forehead. But I do make sure dishes and laundry are done, and dust and vacuum.

  • @brooksmd great husband!

  • @Crimsonorblue22 Try to be. Pay not so good, but bennies are fun.

  • @DoubleDD Be Honest. Always. I like this team, just like I do every Kansas Jayhawk Team. I appreciate the fact that the pressure is off this year’s team and they could possibly fly under the radar. I wish we had a little more height. One 7 footer would have been nice. I think this team can have a successful year. I like that this year’s team has players that are not afraid to step up and take the big shot. Since we are being totally honest, that has not always been the case.

    It has never been “win or else” with me. I don’t like late game meltdowns, but that’s the way it goes sometimes. I have to take the bad with the good. We were not the best team in 1988, but we were Champions. We were the best team in 1997, but we didn’t win it all. I like to state my business and move on. Losses that end the season hurt, but it is not a permanent hurt. I respect that fact that other teams want to win as bad as we do. It’s not our birthright to go to the Final Four every season. I appreciate every win, and try to move on quickly after a loss. The Program does not die with a loss. Kansas is one of the few schools where losses are celebrated with court rushing from our opponents, and we don’t even have to be ranked in the top 10 for that to happen. Kansas is where basketball stops and ends with me. Proud to be a Jayhawk!

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