Texas Tech Win: The Death Of Feed The Post

  • Kansas is now 15 games into the season, and perhaps we can officially declare the concept of “feed the post” dead and buried.

    Upon first glance, a benign home game against Texas Tech might not be the best contest to draw any real conclusions from. But it might be a bit more indicative of the direction of this team than might appear so at first glance.

    Texas Tech came into the game as a relatively stout squad inside, with a couple of shot blockers. As a team, TT ranked 45th in block percentage.

    In past seasons, that stat would not cause coach Self the least amount of pause. As coach Self has said before, we will “run out stuff.” After the UK game, Self said, “This game plan crap that everybody talks about; this isn’t football,” Self said. “We play to our strengths, and you don’t just change offenses because the other team is tall."

    Well, as we’ve seen, Self has changed. And Self accepted our change even against Texas Tech. This game is perhaps the best evidence of our transformation.

    Perry Ellis, who has been the focus of our post feeding efforts, scored no points in the post. After the Utah game, Self made reference to Ellis’ outside scoring as “fool’s gold.” Now, it’s the real deal. It may not be gold, but it’s at least a secondary precious metal – copper, perhaps. And you can make just as much money off of copper as you can gold. It’s all how the market’s moving. Right, now gold is on the decline and copper futures are on the rise. At least this season.

    Ellis scored today on three, three point shots, a 17 foot jumper, a 14 foot jumper, and a pair of free throws. 15 points, all buckets from outside. Dave Armstrong referenced that Ellis was “settling” for outside shots. Armstrong doesn’t know the 2014-15 Jayhawks. This is Perry Ellis. And we can win with this Perry Ellis. We – you, me, the entire Jayhawk nation, and most importantly, coach Self – must embrace this Perry Ellis. That appears to be happening across the board.

    Another indication that “feed the post” is dead was Cliff’s scoring today. Cliff had 3 lob dunks (two from Graham, one from Selden), hit an 18 foot jumper and 14 foot jumper, and scored our only true post feed basket of the day on a sweet little jump hook from eight feet midway through the second half.

    None of our other post players scored on post feeds. So two points from the post feed – that’s it. And Kansas scored 86 points. Let me repeat that – we scored two points from post feeds and scored 86 points.

    Kansas accomplished this by attacking the rim off the dribble, and by hitting jump shots. Coach Self has wisely turned up the dial on the offense, looking to speed up the pace a bit, to “manufacture” more points. A little more pressure, loosening rules on the secondary break, get it and go. Getting to the hoop will be critical. In an even more critical area, the Jayhawks were a wonderful 11-22 from three point range (that includes one made in walk-on time – see, I didn’t say “scrub time” ). In the first half when Kansas blew the game open, excluding free throws, Kansas scored on two layups, five dunks (on the break, in-bounds plays, attacking the rim, and lobs), four three pointers, and four two point jumpers from 15 ft or further.

    What we did not see today was Self forcing Kansas to feed the post. Not even in the second half. This is a huge change from what we saw against Utah. In the first half against Utah, we gunned our way from outside to a 20 pt lead in the first half. The second half was much different. We methodically tried to feed the post, the game slowed down, and Utah completely erased the deficit. Self was clearly irritated after the game.

    But today, we saw none of what we saw in the second half against Utah. No attempts to create an identity inside. No force feeding an attack destined for failure. We played loose, we played our game – the entire game.

    If Self is willing to concede that Kansas has to play outside-in to beat Texas Tech, is there any turning back? If Self didn’t force his squad to work on pounding the ball inside during the second half, when we had a cushy, comfortable lead, is there any turning back?

    The death of “feed the post” is complete. Outside-in has taken hold. Outside-in is here to stay.

    The question now is, can Self adapt his zone offense to this clear and obvious team identity?

  • Devonte and Frank got into the lane and dished to the open man with all kinds of incredible passes to someone wide open. With this rhythm the shots were falling. The most amazing thing about this game were the steals by everyone and the dunks - DUNKS. Yes, this was a Freshman dominated TT team, but having Devonte back and looking as good as he did, with the assist and the rebounds - once again a guard led the team in rebounds. I’m happy and optimistic about the Big 12 race.


  • I hope that HCBS will quit trying to make this team play inside-out. It is just not who they are. They will not win number 11 pounding the ball inside. I agree with you HEM and others that playing outside-in and playing fast is the key to a deep run in March and a winnable rematch with Kentucky in the championship.

    On a side note, Texas is having their predicted mid season collapse earlier than expected, and Oklahoma lost at home to K State. It really helps us out when the other contenders beat each other up.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    PHOF–Not a thing to add except MBMAP. Frozen rope.

  • @HighEliteMajor I certainly that’s true and that Self doesn’t relapse in a moment of weakness. I will add that This game also saw the return of frentic pressure defense. I think Devonte’s return had a lot to do with that. To conserve Frank’s energy, I think Self had eased up on the on-ball pressure. With Devonte back, the dogs were unleashed and we benefitted on the offensive end as well.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Well, I guess I have one more thing to add.

    A friend of mine in Lawrence told me tonight that he heard Self interviewed (didn’t say where) recently and Self said that a few weeks ago he assessed the team and the season and decided that none of what they were doing was working. Self supposedly said he decided to junk everything they had been working on and go clean sheet of paper. Self also supposedly said that the last few weeks we actually have no idea who we are or what we are doing. We are just trying stuff, whatever we can think of.

    I think they are making some progress. 🙂

    It appears to me that tactics are becoming strategy.

    And that’s the Marine Corp way.

  • @jaybate-1.0 you don’t mean he interviewed, like for a job?

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    No, supposedly Self was being interviewed by some media.

    I was in a noisy crowd when I was speaking to this acquaintance and I could possibly have misunderstood him, but that’s what I believe he told me.

  • As nice a win as this one was, It was against Texas Tech., the weakest team in the conference and the game was at AFH. The real test will be against OSU next Tuesday, a team that was getting lots of love in all the sports shows today; it would not surprise me to see them in the top 25 in the next poll.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    And Travis kind of has Self’s number lately, in terms of being able to play Self tough.

  • @HighEliteMajor Thanks for your use of “walk-on time” instead of “&%$@))>.”

  • @JayHawkFanToo but TT only lost to Texas, at Texas, by 9. So let’s move on, osu. Who guards the little, always a thorn in our side, Forte! Nash looked good, and as always, got a T!! Last year was pretty testy at our house. They got in our huddle. A couple of T’s, lots of flops! Can’t wait!!

  • Anyone notice that Billy Donovan picked up 6-10 Shuyler Rimmer off Stanford, and so now has SIX transfers on the roster for next year, plus two highly ranked freshman bigs coming in? Saw it on ESPN. Couldn’t tell if the six transfers are all becoming eligible next season, or not, but it sounded like it. I don’t recall an elite program taking on 6 transfers at once, if that in fact is the case. Pretty amazing.

    Shuyler Rimmer (Stanford), [John] Egbunu, Dorian Finney-Smith (Virginia Tech), Eli Carter (Rutgers), Jon Horford (Michigan) and Alex Murphy (Duke)." http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/12132167/schuyler-rimmer-joins-florida-gators-month-leaving-stanford-cardinal

  • @jaybate-1.0 if they haven’t graduated, don’t they have to sit, Andrew white. Fred gets lots of transfers too.

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    Yes, but Fred is trying to build a program. Donovan’s been a fairly impressive recruiter and had his program pretty high for quite some time.

  • @jaybate-1.0

    Florida had a bunch of seniors last season and when they graduated, the team was suddenly pretty thin. A couple of years go KU lost fifth year players Releford, Young and Withey plus senior EJ and it has been very young since then.

  • Feed The Post is Dead; Long Live Man-to-Man Pressure D

  • @jaybate-1.0 If Self threw out his plans, it’s going to be a much different matchup with Travis Ford, who I think famously remarked once that “we don’t let Kansas run their sh-- (stuff)”

    Well, good luck Travis with your game planning. Kansas doesn’t have any “stuff” for you to plan against… At least, nothing like what you’ve seen in the past.

  • @bskeet

    For sure. I think opponents have no clue what KU’s tendencies are right now, so they are scheming for what Self did the last game, and self is changing game to game.

    Against UNLV KU shot treys. Against Baylor the bigs attacked. Against Tech Perry shot treys and other bigs attacked.


  • @jaybate-1.0 It’s like a box of chocolates= you never know what you’re gonna get. Momma always said " Shoot the trey, Jayhawks"…

  • @jaybate-1.0 Do you know if there is software existing today that can monitor body movement on a basketball court and translate it into useful data?

  • Nice Post HEM–Though I agree with the post, I found it interesting that Self brought Mickelson & Lucas in to get some ‘work’ in. Maybe that was his way of being courteous to Tubby without telling the team to slow down.

    What I was most impressed with about yesterdays game was that the team stepped on the pedal and continued to step on their throat. As far as I can recall, it has been a while that Kansas built an early advantage and didn’t let off and play to the opponent in the second half. That is a great character trait for a team to have if they can build on it.

  • @Blown said:

    @jaybate-1.0 Do you know if there is software existing today that can monitor body movement on a basketball court and translate it into useful data?


  • @twocoach said:


    Thanks, as it were, I’m decades behind an invention. One of these days I’ll be on the front end of one!!

  • Even though this victory WAS against perhaps the weakest team in our league, the Jayhawk Nation celebrates joyfully at the manner in which Self allowed his squad to play. Rightly so, as this change-up has been a long time coming. Just imagine the relief and joy felt by the likes of Perry Ellis who has so often been throttled by opponents who have figured how to stop his post moves as the season progresses, a season deplete of a talented tall post player to work alongside him. The criticism heaped upon him recently should more justly be shared by the coaching staff. I figure that we might be premature in claiming that Self’s customary “feed the post” approach is dead and buried. The Guy has built an amazing career and record, holding true and steadfast to what has worked so effectively well over 80% of gametimes while at KU. Man, is he ever pulling at his deeprooted molars this season!!! Looping them with 200 pound test monofilament tied to a Mac truck! Now it is obvious that he is capable of pitching some major change-ups depending upon time, place, action. Perhaps we will see a less predictable Bill Self when the mid-majors arrive to throw their practiced curve balls in late March. This was a fun win for most everyone concerned with Jayhawk Basketball. Here’s hoping the Guy was able to sleep well…

  • @Blown said:

    @twocoach said:


    Thanks, as it were, I’m decades behind an invention. One of these days I’ll be on the front end of one!!

    I only know of it because I happened to catch a recap of an interview with Mark Cuban on the radio driving to the KU game yesterday. XM Radio is a glorious thing when it’s a three hour drive to the game!

  • @Crimsonorblue22 It will be a completely different feel with Marcus Smart and Markel Brown gone. They are a 2 man team. Forte and Nash. Both guys can score a lot of points but I think it will be hard as they are both going to be the entire focus of the KU defense. I am not brimming with confidence because we beat Texas Tech…I just don’t think OSU is very good. They don’t play great D and if Nash or Forte get in foul trouble it is going to be a very long day for them. I see KU winning this game by 15.

  • Congratulations Christian Garrett nice bucket! Long time coming. I am pretty sure about what he dreamed about last night and for years to come!

  • @twocoach

    Thx. Very amazing.

  • Return of the lob! Love that Self is adapting. I mean, if the strategy he had working was doing him wonders for 10 years +, I understand why it would be hard to change his game plan. We have some pretty darn athletic dudes with great basketball instincts, but the first half of the season they didn’t show that basketball IQ. Guys are looking more comfortable, you could see it when they starting running the ball more. Why is it KU looks so uncomfortable in half court offense sometimes (and has for years, not just this year).

    Was great to see us give another team a thomping, going to appreciate these games so much more now that they’re not as regular.

    PS- Maybe we should try pack line defense a la UVA? 🙂 (Shameless, but I live in Charlottesville…)

  • Great win, great to see Garrett get his first points and the reaction on the bench was priceless. Now its time to get ready for a real game which should be a good test for us to get to 3-0.

    A few notes from the game yesterday.

    Graham is the missing link. I didn’t think we would see him do that well in his first game but I think most of us have to be pleased how well he did. He makes this team that much better having him available. Just totally changed the dynamic of this team. I’m excited to see what he can do going forward.

    Ellis Ellis Ellis. What are you doing near the hoop. Remember the play in the first half wide open slip to the basket off a screen, what does he do panic go up half halfheartedly and missed badly. No foul drawn, no points, nothing. At the least, he should have gone up strong and gotten 2 FT’s. He’s scared in their its almost like a 6’4 guard the way he is shying away from even trying to play tuff down low. If he’s going to hit perimeter shots that’s fine, but he’s proven to be inconsistent this year in doing that. It also has him 15-20 feet away from the basket with no offensive rebounder so its feast or famine. I’ll believe this “fools gold” outside shooting from him if he does this against Oklahoma St.

    Great games from Cliff, Jamari, & Oubre. Mason as well, without Frank this would be a bad season.

    Hard to believe Lucas was starting for us earlier in the year. At the end of the first half he gave some of the worst minutes I’ve seen from a KU player in years. Man I expected him to be better than he is. That missed dunk/layup I couldn’t help but laugh a little bit.

  • @jaybate-1.0 Waayyy off topic but it was and is literally frozen rope here in Vermont. a few nights ago it was -15 plus windchill and its still barely in the teens here.

    Ok, back to topic @DinarHawk I think @HighEliteMajor is right. They played basically the easiest team in the big 12 and they didnt just pound it inside. I didnt see hardly any hi lo action being run. There were a ton of drives into the post for feeds in the post or kick outs to shooters.

    IMHO they were Practicing what they will need to do against the brutal schedule coming up in order to get some big W’s. They are going to need all that practicing. As we have seen so far, Anybody can beat Anybody. No game is a gimme, from here on. TCU and TxTech are still 0 fer but Kstate, who also was 0 fer just beat a very good OU team. And Okie state just beat Texas. As I said, its going to be a dog fight unto the breach of Big 12 play. Now that CS has apparently realized this teams strengths, truly, and seems to be scheming his game plan fluidly, from team to team. They are going to be hard, hard, to beat. Perry NEEDS to keep picking and popping for treys and needs to keep getting his quick post spin moves for And ones. WIth Devonte’ back and Mason being Mason, we are back at the top of the conference race once again. If we can get thru January protecting our home court advantage and steal a couple W’s on the road, I really like our chances to bring home #11. And, I really like our chances to make a longer run in the NCAAs.

  • @jaybate-1.0 Coach took a year to get to your idea about Perry- move him to the 3. And, we see the results. Nice call, Nostradamus.

  • @HighEliteMajor First offensive set of the game for KU was the double screen back door lob to Kelly—& finish with the flush !! Now THAT’S what I was talking about last week.

  • From those highlights, I was fortunate enough to be on hand yesterday to witness Christian Garret’s first official career field goal. Kid’s been in the program for 4 years, originally invited to help attract Deandre Daniels. It was a really nice moment, not just to see a walk on score, but one who’s been waiting so long to make it happen.

  • @brooksmd - Yes, that was for you.

    @jaybate-1.0 - That is progress. But here’s Self’s quote from yesterday about Perry - “He can be more active. Making threes is good. It’s not what will win us games in tough games on the road. He will have to get a basket down tight. But we know he has the talent to do so. Today was a good step, the lid came off,”

    Self wants it. He dreams about it. Throw it inside, get the easy bucket. I’m sure he waxes philosophical about the angles that TRob got back in the day. It may happen from time to time, and it may happen frequently against certain opponents, but getting that basket down tight is the path of most resistance this season.

    Self’s quote from yesterday, once again, incorrectly demeans or at least diminishes Ellis’ contributions. He wants more from a guy that can’t give it. I think it is completely unfair to Ellis. Accept the guy, exploit his positives.

    I say that, but in reality, this is what has occurred recently (but for Baylor, related to our zone attack). Ellis has been able to exploit his advantages. .

    But here’s another thing. Self is dead wrong in his statement. Can Ellis making threes win us tough games on the road? Of course it can. It’s as simple as math. A three from the top is worth more than the easy basket near the hoop. If Ellis is drilling threes, we’re scoring. It stretches the defense, as well.

    Self, though, was more likely referring to the reliability of that type of scoring. He’s just saying “Fool’s Gold”, but in a different way. Is he right regarding the reliability that I am assuming? Perhaps. But he continues to reference and wish for something that just isn’t there. When you have a team that makes 65% of its shots at the rim, the math makes sense. We just don’t have that. And we can’t wish it to be true.

    Perhaps I should stop worrying so much about Self’s words. Yesterday spoke volumes in my opinion. Self didn’t force the inside-out dogma in the second half. But there is a chance of a reversion to prior form, much like the recurrence of cancer. There’s never a good time for that type of news. That chance is always there.

    The most likely timing of the reversion is after a loss or two, where our perimeter scoring slumps (which is certainly likely here and there). I can envision Self making it a big post game issue. How we aren’t scoring inside, and we can’t win the conference on the perimeter. And that the loss in question is the perfect example.

    Here’s hoping Self can realize that we will lose, and we will lose a few games because we don’t shoot it well. But that’s not different than prior seasons. The missed shots in question will simply be from a bit further distance than Self’s used to, or comfortable with. Heck, we’ve lost games when Withey, or TRob, or Marcus, or Markieff, or Cole, couldn’t get the ball in the hoop inside.

    The reality is that Self has little choice but to play the game he’s uncomfortable with. And Self wants to win. That comforts me that despite any talk, we are down a path of no return. .

    My real concern lies now with our stagnant zone offense. Opposing coaches should be scheming to slow KU down like Baylor did.

  • @Blown That is a great point about the team not letting up in the second half. I also think that Self permitting the guys to keep playing their game was big part of it, too. Players and coach get great credit. .

    @globaljaybird The lob was a nice start. I also think it’s really interesting to watch how good we are in out of bounds situations under the hoop. Self makes a point of trying to score in those situations, as opposed to just getting the ball in.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Another one of your monumental observations! Thanks for always bringing quality to this blog!

    Self has changed.

    We do still feed the post, but in a different way.

    We seem to be abandoning the “back to the basket” feeds, and instead look for different ways to feed the post which offers more advantage to the strengths of our post players.

    Here are our post player strengths:

    1. Cliff - lob… lob… and more lobs… Whether it comes off of backdoor screens, or he is just hanging out by the rim. Lob the ball to Cliff and let him slam it down. It seems, even against some lengthy teams, we can expect to get 3-5 easy baskets this way every game. It also energizes the entire team, and definitely lifts the step of Cliff!

    2. Perry - give him the ball in midrange. Giving Perry the ball in midrange (just not so low in the post) gives Perry room to negotiate his moves. And Perry does have the discipline to throw the ball out to the perimeter when he doesn’t feel he has the advantage to score.

    3. BamBam - JamTray seems to have adapted the best to Bill’s new philosophy of feeding the post to their best advantage. He is given the ball usually in midrange while facing the basket or at an angle. Often times, he is in motion when receiving the pass. Jamari knows he scores best off of movement, because his foot speed is his advantage in the post… and his body size gives him a natural buffer for scoring space. He just has to keep his body between the defender and the ball, and use the backboard when scoring on either side of the rim.

    4. Landen - Landen represents our only real back to the basket scorer. His effectiveness is marginal, but he still can play some of Bill’s traditional hi/lo offense.

    Perry can also score every bit as well as BamBam in motion. He is slower to pick this up than BamBam. Probably because he has a lifetime of repetitions working in other ways. Perry has to work in 1000s if not millions of reps before he feels comfortable with a move. Still… I think between now and March, Perry will take on some of the lessons BamBam is handing out on how to score in the lane and then we’ll have two post slashers!

    I like that… “POST SLASHERS!” When was the last time we used that term when talking about Kansas basketball?

  • @BucknellJayhawk3 There are a helluvalot worse places to live. My bro passed & we laid him to rest just outside Charlottesville a few years back. Exceptionally pretty countryside. He was career Navy, CIA, DOD Pentagon, & final 5 yrs Charlottesville Technology Center. 2 of his kids are UVA grads & one ODU & the other Wm & Mary. One of his son in laws retired early in 2014 from 22 yr career in SEALS. Historically & aesthetically, one of my most fav places in the entire US. Brother Gene & his travels is actually where I took my handle from-globaljaybird. RCJH & HOOYAH !!

  • Your bother sounded like an amaing guy…

  • @marshhawk My most humble appreciation for your thoughts. He truly was a really neat & funny guy. He enlisted at 17 in 1956 without grad HS. Got GED in Navy & became electronics technician serving on subs in the South Pacific during the cold war. Married an island girl & traveled the world for decades working in surveillance before settling his family in Fredericksburg & Charlottesville. His hobby was restoring grandfather clocks & old pocket watches, & his most fav restoration was his 1939 Ford Woody PU-the year he was born. He had been under contract for several years at the Tech Ctr in Charlottesville & fully retired a month before 9-11 when he got his 1st SS check. Called him that night & he was liquored up & major pissed. Said Joe called his daughter at 11:00am & told her he was deploying at 2:oopm. He lived a very full & fruitful life. We all still miss him a lot. I email his daughter almost daily & her hubby is now safe & sound & retired out of the SEALS. They are in Norfolk & all the others kids are from SC up to DC. That’s somewhat surprising as not one of the four were born stateside.

  • @globaljaybird Not too strange. Growing up overseas can make a person long to settle down stateside. Settling in the DC area still provides a taste of the global culture. You run into other people who have traveled the world. You stay abreast of politics by proximity. The greater world still feels like it is not so far away outside your window.

    You still have your passport. But you’re home.

  • @approxinfinity You got that right. Eighteen years as a Navy brat, my own 20 years with the AF and people question why travel doesn’t excite me. We bought our current house in 2004 and it’s the longest I’ve ever lived under one roof and the last one I intend to live under.


    My name is Forrest Gump. People call me Forrest Gump.


    Thx. Once in a blue moon I get something right. 😄

  • I can’t think of any other weekend in college basketball with so many ranked teams getting beat. Duke, Wisconsin, Arizona, Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia, Louisville, Ohio State, ODU.

  • @jaybate-1.0 Really? Sure sounds like old ET Conley to me…goes like, “I Can Be Had But I Can’t Be Bought !!”

  • @jaybate-1.0 …“And I can be bad if I don’t get caught”…

  • I like how KU used Perry in this game. Stepping him out away from the basket not only helps him because he isn’t worried about getting his shot blocked, but it also opens up the driving lanes for our guards. I think that really opened the offense up because we essentially always were kicking the ball out to a shooter, whether it was Perry for a face up jumper (or a three), or one of our bigger wings. Long live the drive and kick.

    Post ups are actually one of the least efficient offensive options. Unless you have an amazingly dominant post scorer (think in his prime Shaq) throwing into the post isn’t all that efficient. The very best post scorer will shoot 65% from the field on post ups (i.e. not including pick and rolls, lobs, etc.). They may net other scoring opportunities on kick outs to shooters off double teams. However, because many post players aren’t great passers, those kick out opportunities don’t necessarily lead to assists. And of course, if a post player isn’t a good FT shooter, they can always be fouled.

    Drive and kick is much more efficient. The driver is usually a guard, and that leads to generally better FT shooting. Most drivers are also better passers, leading to more pinpoint passing leading to open shots. And of course, if you collapse the defense, there’s always an interior player hanging around the basket for an easy dump off for a dunk.

    It looks like KU is starting to embrace this efficiency, especially since they have enough shooters and drivers to really make things interesting.

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