Let the Double Speak Continue...

  • Self confirms Lucas had a good week of practice, but The Big Red Dog gets promoted ahead of him. Its interesting to, because on a per minute basis, Cliff is not outpacing Lucas large amounts. except scoring. Scoring is taking on greater importance to Self, it seems.

    Self confirms Svi had a good week of practice, but Greene starts. Greene’s defense looks pretty awful still, but he is playing hard and he exploded out of position at the end of the Utah game and those explosive plays imprint on Self like nothing else other than Cin saying, “Take out the trash. I don’t care if the house is 23,000 square feet, or not.”

    Self confirms Oubre had a good week of practice and the light is going on, but the OAD draft choice still isn’t good enough to start…at any position, even after part time starter Devonte Graham goes down, even after Selden’s explosiveness seems to implode more each week, even after Self brandished Evan and Jam Tray as perimeter backups. Self explains Oubre’s slow start by saying they have been asking him to do things at guard he had not done in high school. Like play 4?

    Self confirms Perry is the team’s go to guy, because he can shoot the face up jumper from outside AND drive the ball, despite calling Perry making 3-3 outside the first half against Utah Fool’s Gold. One potentially valid inference is that what he means is that Perry is the team’s Fool’s Gold Go to Guy. Another potentially valid inference is that Self is just doing fool’s gold comments.

    Most interesting signal–sort of the basketball equivalent of SETI picking up a string of radio waves from deep space that might be a sign of intelligent life, but then usually turns out not to be–is that Self said some player named Hunter Mickelson had a good week of practice and was shooting it well. This is coincident with Self apparently conceding the team is NOT going to keep preparing to be a penetrate and pitch team with Devonte out, and is instead going to become a pass and shoot team. Inference: Hunter may have been thawed out of cryogenic status, and given some love, because Self has decided this Fool’s gold stuff from the 4 may be just what this team needs more of. Perry starts and gives fools gold for five minutes, then Hunter does fools gold for 3, then back to Perry who does fools gold for another 5, then back to Hunter and so on through the half. Fool’s gold requires fresh legs, you know. Its harder to make fool’s gold on tired legs than on fresh legs. And notice that Jamari Traylor is not really a fool’s gold kind 4 with fresh legs, or not. So what we could be seeing here is the beginning of a much more offensively sane approach to the game that will no doubt please @HighEliteMajor, if it were to happen. Perry and Hunter do the fool’s gold stuff at the 4. Clifford and Lucas do the incredible hulk schtick at the 5 with the Fool’s gold room created from Perry and Hunter stretching things from the high post, while Selden, Greene and Svi rotate on the wings, letting Selden to alternate between PG played at a walking pace, to give Frank his rest, and Selden sitting to give Selden a rest. This dog might hunt.

    Whither Jam Tray? Ah, here is the part that may send @HighEliteMajor immediately back to Infarction Junction: Jam Tray may really swing 2-3-4-5 as a defensive jack of all trades.

    @HighEliteMajor shouts: yeeeeeeaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh, I am Oedipus, where is mom’s broach. Its time to put my eyes out!

    The Jam Tray can explode out of position with the best of them.

    The Jam Tray guardeth.

    Why not let the Jam Tray guardeth for a speciality and leave aside his offense for the time being.

    If 6-7 Bobby Wilkerson on Indiana’s 76 undefeated team could lock down from the 2 any position on the perimeter, maybe the Jam Tray can too, whenever he is not being required to backup the 4-5 for defensive purposes.

    Maybe the Jam Tray will never toucheth the ball as a ball handling combo.

    Maybe the Jam Tray will just locketh down and keep it from sticking on the other end.

    Maybe he will even receiveth some lobbeths.





    Or maybe not.

    Self threw the last cryogenically frozen Jayhawk, AWIII, some road salt occasionally, only to leave him in the deep freeze and send him packing to Buffetsville.

    Double speak.

    Part biblical.

    Part present day vernacular.

    Even a little of Greek antiquity.

    Let the double speak continue.


  • @jaybate-1.0 Very nice. Self just thinks out loud. Gets out over his skis, so to speak. It’s hard to know what to take seriously. In the same day, he made the useless point that Evan Manning had a good week of practice, but said that he would only be used in an emergency. Perhaps next week we’ll get an update on Pollard, and be reminded that he won’t play unless the entire program collapses.

    I refuse, though, to get into the Traylor should/could/might play PG/initiate the offense/pass to the wing/drive to the basket/start at the top of the key/help an old lady across the street discussion.

    Ok. But I have a new drum to bang … start Oubre. It’s going to happen. It’s inevitable. We know it. The minute Greene moved into the lineup for Svi, it was over. Just get on with it. I say by UNLV.

    Truth be told, a completely bad ass lineup would be Mason, Selden, Greene, Oubre, and Ellis. Or the preseason speculation of Selden at point now being a forced reality – Selden, Svi, Greene, Oubre, and Ellis. Playing small. I’m not foolish enough to think that will ever happen, but isn’t this about the time of the year where he broke White out as the pick and pop 4 vs. Belmont in 2012-13? 15 points and cloud of dust? Never to be seen or heard from again? Fool’s gold, to be sure.

    But that isn’t an identity for coach Self. And we can’t really expect that. Outside of the box is one thing. Outside of the planet earth is another.

    I’m interested in where we’re going – here’s why: In the famous preseason press conference, Self said it was important for his team to have its identity established by conference play. I’m not sure we do have an identity yet. Certainly not offensively. We know what it is, but it’s an anti-Self identity. We have four games to go until conference. Four wins, by the way, whether we play inside-out, outside-in, or upside down. We are that good.

    I am very encouraged by the Self’s cryptic comments about the offense. The guy desperately wants to play through the post. It’s like a comfortable sweatshirt, or a Brady Morningstar – it just feels right.

    But in Self’s world, thinking outside the box might just be embracing the jumper. The normal world for many is not the Bill Self world of offense. Could he embrace a world that focuses on perimeter play, and a resulting world where post play is a mere consequence?

    A team would be foolish not to score at the rim when it can. So we’ll do that against the lesser teams. But what we are looking for, distinctly, are halves of basketball where we aren’t rotating the ball endlessly (and sometimes mindlessly) looking to get to the third side to dump it into Ellis. The real fool’s gold this season, against big, long, athletic dudes. We are searching for that identity. It is right before us. We have perhaps the best perimeter team we have had in the Bill Self era. And a perimeter team can take advantage of opportunities inside perhaps easier than a pound it to the post team can.

    I would just say this to Self: Do not try and bend the spoon. That’s impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth – There is no spoon.

  • @HighEliteMajor


    Laughing so hard tears are running down my face.


  • If I could muster that much wind, I’d double speak too. Interesting points though. How much will we see Svi & will we ever see Mick? As per coach dbl speak, I’d mildly say we have an identity crisis. Someone needs to take ownership for this mess. Wayne is the tough guy by default, but I wouldn’t be shocked if Little Mr Bulldog takes the reins. He’s damn sue the most fearless rebounder I’ve seen all season. You guys know my MO, if it ain’t a Boxer, then my money’s got to be on the Bulldog!! The most adequate description of the breed is … Relentless!

    RCKH !!

  • @HighEliteMajor I think the lineup that Self (and alot of us…well, me anyway) envisioned from the start was Mason, Selden, Oubre, Ellis, Alexander. The most overall talented guys on the team. Ok…Svi should be in that conversation, but he is young.

  • @jaybate-1.0

    I can see Self retiring some day and we’ll see him on the World Poker Tour. The guy can talk some serious snit.

    He’s had Bam-Bam running the show from the top of the key, Wayne playing in the post, and everyone else scrambled on an ouija board. I feel like I better bring a bucket of change to the next carnival to the fortune teller machine just to know if Evan is our next starting PG!

    I feel like all the crazy chatter might involve a couple of things:

    1. Self is sick of hearing about board rats and basketball gurus calling him to the mat on everything from starting lineups to mock drafts.

    2. Self is running a bit scared before B12 conf play kicks in, and we may not have the fastest ponies in the race.

    I can’t ever recall Bill sending out so many mixed messages before.

  • @Hawk8086

    But that starting team, which seems like the one in harmony with the stars, would have only one credible trey shooter–Mason at .50 on low attempts, two wings cold at treys and icy at overall shooting percentage, and there in lies the rub. Selden is at .367 from trey and an icy .342 overall. And Oubre is only.375 on low trey attempts and an icy .348 overall.

    Perhaps Self believed when he signed Oubre that Oubre could learn to shoot the trey this season. I even recall Oubre talking about how he was working all summer long on his trey to get ready to play the three position. But it apparently has not happened for Kelly yet.

    Curiously, Self has continued to talk about how the light is just about to go on for Kelly. Kelly appears to be getting more comfortable in his minutes on the floor.

    But I increasingly suspect that what has kept Kelly off the floor is what has recently kept Svi off the floor: a low percentage trey gun and an overall inefficiency scoring.

    Self took a big gamble that Svi was in a slump. But Svi shot .286 from trey and .333 overall. Self finally just could not afford Svi any more once Svi’s weakness defending ball screens got exposed. Self can use him as a sub, because Svi protects decently, but until Svi goes on a hot streak and figures out how to defend a ball screen, it appears Self just cannot use him.

    (Note: why Svi is having so much trouble shooting is a bit of a mystery except that we saw some sign of it in his summer play overseas. I wonder if perhaps he got injured overseas and it has carried into this season. He will probably get untracked though.)

    Self also has not been able to afford Kelly either. Kelly is shooting.375 from trey on low attempts, but as I said above, only .348 overall. Plus he has made a lot mistakes.

    Self is starting the only guy that makes sense now–Greene, who is shooting a scorching .462 from trey and .457 overall.

    And Self is FINALLY letting Perry shoot the trey, though I recall his stats are only .267 right now on KU’s stat site.

    And Self at least made a possible allusion to thawing Hunter Mickelson out and letting him do at the 4 what Perry is trying recently–some outside shooting.

    Self seems determined to keep The Big Red Dog and Lucas rotating on the low block full time. Perry’s days pounding it in on the low blocks against L&As seem done. Any team that is 6-8 or less at the 4, Perry will go down low and spin for his points. But >6-8 and its out to the top of the free throw circle for some Threes for The Designer. and maybe Hunter in relief.

  • @jaybate-1.0


    Are there rules that disallow one player from playing on the shoulders of another player?

    We may not have one player that is a legitimate 5, but we have a great “combo post player” in Frank riding the shoulders of Cliff!

  • @drgnslayr

    Was it you that said that Self was hand wringing about how short they were inside at the start of the season?

    Is he perhaps still worried?

    But I think a rotation of Cliff and Lucas on the low block, with Perry and Hunter squeezing the trey ball 4-6 times a game combined, plus Greene bombing from trey, plus Frank popping the occasional trey, will open up the backside and baseline action for Selden.

    The future maybe Selden and the Cliff/Landen committee to learn to play with each other along the baseline while the others rain it from three.

  • @drgnslayr

    I doubt he cares about board rats.

    If he does, then he is doomed, because the PetroShoeCo-agency-summergame complex couldn’t give a hoot about us.

    But he is probably getting skittish about the recruiting gurus shagging him, because they do apparently spin some mock draft illusions that make it harder for him to close on a prospects.

    My guess is Hunter is being mentioned again, because some OAD big Self was hoping for has just flushed KU, which means Hunter will have be made use of next year.

  • @drgnslayr

    Self appears in a bind.

    He says his go to guy is Perry, because Perry can shoot the face up J from outside, and drive it; that appears Self’s formula for a stretch 4 which Self has said is probably the toughest kind of player to guard in D1.

    But there is one problem: Perry is shooting .267 from trey on low attempts.

    Hunter may have a crack in the door at the 4, if he can make set shot treys at .400. But that seems a long shot–pun intended.

  • Here is how I read Self. He is always in motion.

    Sometimes he tells you things straight up. Sometimes he jokes. Sometimes he gives the AW SHUCKS line. Sometimes he shares his frustrations as well as compliments. These can be aimed at his athletes, other athletes, coaches, administrators, fans, journalists, etc., etc. etc.

    Most of us have been an armature athlete & maybe volunteer coach, but as a guy who ran several sales and marketing departments in the private sector I used all the above and sometimes smoke and mirrors just to keep people guessing. Sometimes you’d rather saysomething silly than trash out at a guy with a stupid question or vent on someone who is trying to get a rise out of you. I think Self has a good set of options he uses.

  • Just one thing: Self said Manning would play point. When? Just before a week of practice without games.

    Who has played point in practice for a week, on the second team previously led by Devonte? Manning.

    Maybe sometimes Self talks about practice (where the team spends a lot more time than games), whereas we think he’s only talking about games?

    I also think it’s decent of Self to praise players for practicing well during a “get better” week, even if it doesn’t translate to minutes in games. These guys are contributing!

    I met the father of a Roy walkon a few years ago: the guy gave 6 hours a day to the team, every day, without expecting anything back. If he wanted to get taped before a game, he had to show up an hour before everybody else so they’d have time for him.

  • @ParisHawk

    Great points.

    And I believe Evan can play some.

    Every team evolves into needing certain things. Look at Devonte’s role: he wasn’t shooting many treys at all. He was helping and gluing and sharing ball handling. Evan could probably do all those in a pinch. On ball defense seems where he might run into some trouble, because of how fast and rough things get.

    But never bet against a Manning.

    And the contribution the walk ons make seem extraordinary in the time, work and focus they bring daily, plus studying, with slim chance of breaking through.

    I always remember the big red head some years ago that also was getting his architecture degree. What an awesome person he appeared to be!!!

  • @JayhawkRock78 said:

    Here is how I read Self. He is always in motion.

    Sometimes he tells you things straight up. Sometimes he jokes. Sometimes he gives the AW SHUCKS line. Sometimes he shares his frustrations as well as compliments. These can be aimed at his athletes, other athletes, coaches, administrators, fans, journalists, etc., etc. etc.

    as a guy who ran several sales and marketing departments in the private sector I used all the above and sometimes smoke and mirrors just to keep people guessing. Sometimes you’d rather saysomething silly than trash out at a guy with a stupid question or vent on someone who is trying to get a rise out of you. I think Self has a good set of options he uses.

  • Man O Man, you guys are really ON today. Self infers that Ellis is his FOOLS GOLD GO TO GUY; Self just THINKS OUT LOUD…GETS OUT OVER HIS SKIS, SO TO SPEAK; Self is ALWAYS IN MOTION. Damn, that is really good stuff! SMOKE and MIRRORS, just to keep people guessing. I’m left laughing probably all morning, spitting bananas from my cereal spoon.

  • Regarding Manning and Mickelson this p.m. Five minutes combined? Four?

  • Greene, Svi and Oubre on the floor together? Now THAT would be an interesting combo…esp. if one of them wields a hot hand.

  • I had another thought … Self wants to “manufacture” points. Whatever happened to posting up a perimeter guy? Self has brought that up in the past, thinking out loud. That’s a pretty standard way to take capitalize on MUAs. But again, he went all last season with Wiggins on the roster and didn’t post him up once.

    On Manning, Self said he’s “emergency” only. Heck, Self couldn’t put Manning in last week – remember his statement: “But when we’re playing well, don’t sub; playing badly you can’t put him in that situation." So he talked himself out of playing Manning just that easily.

    “Emergency” is really foul trouble or injury. The good news is that Mason has the lowest foul rate per minute of the 10 players that have played substantial minutes.

    In the kusports.com article today, I was glad to see Svi’s name now mentioned in the PG discussion. For my money, I’d rather give Svi the minutes that might otherwise go to Evan Manning just to see.

    The issue is always ball handling – that’s where we’re deficient w/o Mason or Graham. I have no idea how Manning would stack up in a high pressure game, or if he could deliver the ball under pressure. Last season, Selden struggled with both. Don’t know how Svi stacks up in that situation yet, either.

    I asked @Jesse-Newell yesterday about Svi, and he said Self had said that Svi is thinking too much now, and thus putting him in the PG spot might not be the best move. At some point, though, he will stop thinking too much. And if Graham’s out for the season, I think Svi’s the best option.

  • @drgnslayr HA! Thats hilarious!

  • @jaybate-1.0 Perry shot the trey pretty good last year. Granted it was in a small sample size. But I think Perry’s numbers from 3 will get better. I can feel it.

  • @Lulufulu

    I will put it this way.

    We need Perry to be a 40% trey dinger so badly that I am joining a Jewish Temple, a Catholic parish, and a Baptist Church with a pond, so that I can pray for it on Saturday morning, go to mass Saturday night, and get dunked Sunday morning in hopes of persuading the almighty to give The Designer a triple blessing.

  • @ParisHawk

    “Maybe sometimes Self talks about practice (where the team spends a lot more time than games), whereas we think he’s only talking about games?”

    Never thought of it that way… creative perspective!

  • @HighEliteMajor Last season it was the red pill - blue pill post. Now the spoon. Morpheus? Neo? One half of the Wachowski brothers?

  • @jaybate-1.0 said:

    I always remember the big red head some years ago that also was getting his architecture degree. What an awesome person he appeared to be!!!

    Matt Kleinman

  • @icthawkfan316 This is my opportunity … you got me on the “your” - “you’re” thing a few weeks ago — do you mean Kleinmann? Ball’s in your court.

    The spoon thing just seemed to fit as Self’s comments twist us in all directions, yet we have no idea what he really means most of the time; and perhaps neither does he.

  • @icthawkfan316 Kleinmann is my favorite walk on. I got the feeling (thanks to some good pieces on kusports) that his practice contributions pretending to be the upcoming opposing big were critical to our championship run.

  • A 7 foot red head guy, who obviously makes a strong visual impression, named “small man”.

  • @jaybate-1.0 HA! I fully agree Jaybate. Especially if we want to sweep Texas and/or Iowa State this year. We need Perry’s trey gun. Would you accept 38%, 37.5%? Maybe you should also consider joining a Buddhist or Hindu temple to cover all the spiritual bases. 😉

  • @HighEliteMajor Exactly. Now that I had my wish of starting Alexander granted I will now move all of my wishes over to the PG spot. That wish is that Manning never sees the floor. When you have Svi and Selden who are future NBA guards as options for taking the ball up the floor when Mason is out it is a no brainer. PG is the very last position on the court where you can afford to have a walk on. I don’t buy the “coaches son” or “he’s looked great in practice” stuff. Remember what UNC looked like without a PG in 2012? No way we beat that team if they are fully stacked. Roy should have probably just played Harrison Barnes at PG and gambled with that. Instead they played their Evan Manning type and came up short.

    God I love that we always beat Roy’s UNC teams. What a win for us even with their starting PG out.

  • @joeloveshawks When making wishes for the PG spot, my first and foremost wish is that Graham makes a full & speedy recovery.

  • I would love to see Mickelson get some playing time. I think he can knock down the jumper from the free throw line, rebound and block a few shots. I think he is capable of running up and down the court. I think we have enough guards, we need to give the big man a chance and see what he can do. If Hunter can rebound, get up and down the court and block/alter shots I’m sold. Being able to knock down the free throw line jumper would be a plus.

  • @HighEliteMajor Drat! Caught on a proper name. Oh the humanity!

    And yeah, the spoon thing fits. I was just wondering if maybe you watch the games in digital rain looking code.

  • Last year Ellis had the team’s highest 3-pt shooting percentage at 0.471. Granted he did not have a lot of attempts but when he did, he shot well; he has hit some clutch 3s this year and I would think his current percentage will only go up.

    The game has not yet slowed down for Svi and hence the thinking too much comment. He seems to have high basketball IQ and in time he will get used to the speed of the American game. As far as his 3-pt percentage, yes, he does have a good technique and form and seems to get in good position to take the shots but the shots are really not falling. If you look at his record prior to KU, his 3-pt shooting has been wildly inconsistent and probably averages to 0.300, not necessarily bad but I would not consider him a 3 point shooter, at least not in the same class as Greene or Frankamp that have a proven prior record. It is possible and maybe even likely that in the future his 3-pt shooting will improve but at this time, I would not rely on it.

  • @icthawkfan316 Absolutely. I should have included that!

  • @KansasComet Got your wish KC!

  • @KansasComet — changing his handle to, @KansasProphet.

  • And talking about treys, let’s not forget our two big 3pt assassins who shot an amazing 100% in their four years at KU 🙂


    “I wanted to shoot one. I think the fans wanted me to. I got a lot of Tweets from fans about shooting a three. My friends back home said, ‘Go ahead and shoot it. You’ll make it,’’’ said Withey, who swished a straight-on three with 5:18 left in the first half of Monday’s 79-42 rout of Texas Tech.

    He flashed a three-point sign to the fans after hitting the bucket that gave KU a commanding 32-12 lead.

    “I knew it was going in. I was ready,” Withey said of being prepared to celebrate. “Before the game, Elijah (Johnson) said he’d get me open to shoot one. I asked him, ‘How should I celebrate?’ It was brought up that’s the way I should do it,” Withey added.

    “He had no choice,” Johnson said of Withey trying a three. “I told him that I was going to drag his man, and as soon as he bit I pitched it back to him. As soon as I turned around I saw Jeff celebrating already.”

    Withey can’t wait to joke about his three with a former KU big man, also known for hitting the only three-point try of his career on his own Senior Night. Zany Scot Pollard, who like Withey is from California, hit a three in the Jayhawks’ Senior Night victory over Kansas State on Feb. 22, 1997, in Allen.

    “I heard Scot bragging about that. Not any more,” Withey said with a smile. “I might have to go for the all-time percentage record,” Withey added. “Me and Scot are tied at 100 percent. If I go 2-for-2, I beat him.”

  • @approxinfinity I think Mickelson can be a difference maker. Thanks! I appreciated the way Hunter ran the floor, rebounded, and even hit a short jumper. I guess I did get my wish, wow!

  • @HighEliteMajor Many thanks. Looks like Self is using all the weapons he has available. I don’t know how you shrink this group to 8 players, just too much talent, which is never a bad thing. I think we have enough talent that when a player or two are struggling, it’s “next man up” without a major drop off in talent. I guess we are at least 10 deep as well?

  • @KansasComet

    Coach Self has indicated several time in the past that he normally likes to have a rotation of 7 or 8 players; he is not the only coach that feels this way, I have heard other coaches state the same thing. However, earlier this year Coach Self indicated that because of the available talent, he might extend the rotation to 9 or 10 players. Looks like he is doing just that.

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