What might HM playing in tandem with Perry signify

  • @highEliteMajor asked what HM and Perry playing together might imply?

    It’s too soon to conclude, but not too soon to hypothesize some possibilities.

    Hypothesis 1: This could have been Self picking a weak opponent to give HM a showcase game to help make him be marketable in transfer. AWIII Redeux. This occurred to me first, because what little I could see HM did not seem very joyful, and his and Self’s body languages did not seem very warm and fuzzy. But I couldn’t see much. Maybe others saw more. Also he might not be able to transfer with eligibility remaining any where but D2.

    Hypothesis 2: HM suddenly rejoins development mix, because maybe an OAD big prospect just declined. Recall AWIII seemed to go in the deep freeze, when Oubre loomed as a Wigs replacement. Maybe if Oubre had gone elsewhere AWIII would have been thawed out? Maybe analogous situation with HM?

    Hypothesis 3: Self is testing a specific outside-in scheme on weak opponent. Double high post with HM and Perry, with Oubre at 3 and Selden at 2. The idea is use double high post shooting/driving threats to draw bigs out high to open driving corridors for Oubre and Selden as Wings, when the double high posts are not shooting or driving… This would be borrowing from Hoiberg and adapting it to high low. Brilliant. It is a way of using abilities of Oubre and HM, too, more fittingly than conventional high low.

    Hypothesis: 4: HM is finally healthy from a never announced ailment. Self picked weak inside team to break him in on.

    Too soon to tell which one, or combination fits best.

    Fascinating anomaly; that’s for sure.

    Hope it turns out to be a positive for HM whatever is going on.

    He sure seems to be trying like heck.

    Rock Chalk HM!!!

  • @jaybate-1.0 It looked like to me HM was playing angry. Once you watch Landen play, and then watch HM, I could see why he’s angry. I hope your hypothesis #3 turns out to be true, because that kid can score and defend, and needs to get regular minutes every game.

  • I have not researched Landon’s stats specifically, but his progress seems flat. Surprisingly, he has won lots of starting opportunities, esp. at this stage of season when most of us figured that Cliff would have stepped up. Will be interesting to watch that 5 position mix between now and league play. Hunter certainly adds new energy to the mix. Bill Self has juggled his lineup so often that it poses a serious quandary for any opponent, figuring how to defend and control the Jayhawks.

  • @jaybate-1.0 Thanks for tackling the topic.

    The question that puzzles me is “why?” Why has Mickelson been completely shut out this season? No one saw this coming. Sure, we could have predicted he might be the 5th post guy. But his separation, in a negative sense, from the rest of the team in general has been remarkable.

    Here’s what I had said back in early October in summary of Self’s preseason discussion of Hunter – 2:25 of the video link text:

    Mickelson: This was odd. He said very clearly that Mickelson was a “prototypical 4”, and that he’s a face up guy. He seemed to make it clear that playing Mickelson and Ellis together wouldn’t work because Ellis needed a guy who could be the primary rebounder and guard in the post – again, inferring Mickelson couldn’t do that. He said he’d have to do some more things to compete for playing time. But he also complimented his shot blocking.

    I think Self saw Mickelson as a certain type of player, and determined that he would not fit with Ellis in an inside/out scheme. He saw the other bigs as better compliments.

    I really am glad we have a game on Monday, a quick turnaround. We may have our answer pretty quickly.

    It appears to me that Self may be recognizing that Lucas, unfortunately, is playing exactly to his non-ranking. This may not be his year. He has two seasons left, so he could develop more. I’m not that optimistic.

    But back to Mickelson. Another reason I think hypothetical #3 is the answer, is Traylor’s skill set. Self has spoken positively about Traylor’s ability to drive the basketball. That skill set fits hypothetical #3. Lucas is just not a scorer on the block. Hunter is the next option.

    Here’s the quote from yesterday. I know I may be reading too much into it. But it is significantly different that the quotes after last weekends game.

    Self said: "We need Perry to score. In games where it’s a struggle to score, we’ve got to have somebody to throw it to. Perry will be that guy.”

    See how that is different? It’s not “first option”, or “inside-out”, or “we’re not getting it inside” – it’s “In games where it’s a struggle to score, we’ve got to have somebody to throw it to.”

    Two things. First, that implies scoring inside with Ellis is not the first option. It’s the back-up plan. A fall back if we can’t get it done in other ways. Second, the focus on Ellis implies there isn’t another real option for reliable scoring inside. Both support hypothesis 3.

    I’m cautiously optimistic. But I feel these “giddy” feelings again, last felt when I actually saw Svi play and realized the dude is the real deal. I have to relax here. Self could pull the rug out anytime. But I’m seeing and hearing a change.

    Hunter Mickelson playing was the biggest sign. It was the biggest flip-flop from the first nine games. It is the best evidence. Why does Mickelson suddenly appear? Why did Self make a point before the game of commenting on how well Mickelson practiced? One reading could be that it signals a seismic shift. That makes the most sense, when adding everything up, including Self’s preseason comments about Mickelson.

    Could it be that Self looked at the Utah game, much as we did (and assessed the offensive struggles in general), and with a week off, said “I want the first half against Utah, not the second half”?

    If Lucas is anything but the 5th big Monday, I’ll have to reassess. But I’m sensing a shift …

  • You guys are better at the Xs and Os than I am. But Mickelson sure seems to bring some additional low post scoring. He’s taller than Cliff and Perry and more mobile and better offensively than Lucas. It’s like suddenly we now have ANOTHER weapon. Although…Lafayette ain’t Texas.

  • @Hawk8086

    Against Texas KU is going to need every big it can muster. Texas is big and talented and they will be a load.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Why 9 games in against a team with a weak interior presence, when Lucas supposedly had a good week of practice?

    It’s a darned good question. I haven’t got a good answer yet.

    Hunter looks awfully skinny and pale though.

  • Why I try not to get excited over players’ breakout games.

    Yes, like all of you I’ve wondered about Hunter and his lack of playing time. In a month if Hunter is still having games like this, then I’m excited, primarily because it’s helping our team.

    Lafayette, as you’ve also pointed out, is probably as bad of a team as we’ll see all year. Hunter didn’t break out in the holiday tourney, or in the last week against GT or Utah. Maybe, you’d say, he didn’t have the chance to break out.

    I’ve seen too many breakout games lead to a giant letdown. Josh Selby comes to mind. I want to say it was against UCLA in which he starred. Worthy opponent indeed, but we waited, heck are still waiting, for him to do it again.

    So go out and prove it wasn’t a fluke Hunter. Tonight. Against a worthy opponent.

    Kelly, while we’re on the topic, you just had a breakout game. You were supposed to have a breakout game against UCSB based on your credentials at least. Let’s see another 20 pointer tonight.

    Wayne, you’ve had some breakout games. More please.

  • @jaybate-1.0 Giant Opie has always been skinny and pale. He also was featured in the movie Road Trip.


  • @wissoxfan83

    I don’t believe Lafayette is as bad a team as you think they are. They are one of the best shooting teams in college basketball, perhaps the best KU will play all season, and ranked #11 in FG% and #2 in 3-point FG%. KU is ranked #212 in FG% and #34 in 3-point FG%.

  • @JayHawkFanToo But we are talking mainly about offensive numbers and their defense is quite poor. Wherever you got those numbers see what their defensive stats were.

  • @wissoxfan83

    I said they were one of the better “shooting” teams. While the FG% can be argued, most 3 point shots are taken when the shooter is open and rarely blocked, so you can compare numbers across the board, because either you make the shot or you don’t.

    Against KU, which can be considered a much better than average defensive team they shot 47.3% from the field or slightly lower than their season average of 50.3%, and 46.2% from 3 which is higher than their season average of 42.9%.; these are the highest percentages any team has shot against KU this year. In comparison UK shot 43.2% and 33.1%, not even close to what Lafayette shot. The second highest FG% is Tennessee at 44.4% and the second highest 3 point FG% is Rhode Island at 41.2%. You can see why Lafayette is a superior shooting team. These are not subjective opinions, these are actual numbers.

  • I have always thought that comparisons of shooting percentages would greatly benefit from weighting the shooting percentages of relative teams for their oppositions. I reckon KENPOM does something like this, but I have never looked to compare. A team that plays ten KU level defenses will have one 3pt shooting percentage and overall shooting percentage, and the same team playing 10 ordinary defensive teams would have another pair of shooting percentages, likely much higher.

  • @wrwlumpy

    Lump, you have weirded me out completely. And THAT takes some doing. 🙂

  • @wrwlumpy @jaybate-1.0 I can’t hardly come to this thread because of that picture now …

  • According to KenPom, Lafayette adjusted offense is 25 and adjusted defense is 320. Their opponent’s defense is 105 which means Lafayette is playing teams whose defense is in the top 30% and this is why their offense is ranked so high (15). On the other hand, their opponent’s offense is ranked 85 or or top 25%; but their own defense is 320 or bottom 10%.

    In short, a team with a very good offense and a very bad defense…they should be in the NBA.

  • That’s very good to know about Lafayette. Thanks for looking that up. Appreciate it.

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