ISU and the Risk of More Inside Out

  • I just looked at ISU’s roster and it looks like we are destined for another bout of inside out, unless, unless, unless ISU is cold.

    But ISU has two solid trey ballers and if they are taking the Fred-preferred 25 treys/game and hitting their usual percentage, Self is going to face another nerve wracking decision.

    Will he play nostalgic inside out, let his short bigs keep trying to get the hang of B2B ball, and enjoy himself, but maybe take an L?

    Or will Bill turn his band of wannabe inside outers into a craven bunch of iron pyriters shooting…drum roll please…throat gulp please…25 treys!!!

    OMG! Fred could push Bill completely out of his comfort zone.

    What the hell! What if Fred were to tell his guys to hoist 30 treys!!!

    KU better keep an oxygen bottle and a pair of paddles on the bench for Bill.

    He could infarct at 25 or above!!!

    This game vs. ISU could become labelled the Bramlage Bildungsroman!

    This could be a right of passage about trey balling not just for Bill, but for all of us.

    Fred has to want to beat Bill very badly in Ames.

    Fred has to hang a W, or die trying, at a home game against a potential title team like KU, if Fred wants his team to have a prayer of getting a title.

    Fred has pulled a lot of shennanigans on Bill in their previous meetings. He has played four and even five out offenses at different times. He has shot nearly unfathomable to Bill numbers of treys.

    But because Bill has always had what this season seems in retrospect to have been epic standing height, Bill has never had to really walk over the event horizon and into the black hole of three balling that Fred has tempted him with in the past.

    But this year?

    Bill has the same standing height inside as Fred.

    And Fred has some tall trey gunners that Bill cannot be absolutely certain his perimeter defenders can lock down.

    This time…gulp…Bill may have to play it the way Fred wants.

    This time…gulp…Bill may have to wave good bye to the land of inside out and the land of less than 25 trey attempts per game, and say hello to the 3 point event horizon.

    The three point event horizon is where you have to go, when they are shooting treys well.

    The three point event horizon is equal to the same number of treys they take.

    And like all theorized event horizons, to even approach it is to fall into the black hole.

    And the black hole of treys is not something you can just climb back out of. Once you fall in you have to go flying like Keir Dullea in 2001: A Space Odyssey through what you hope amounts to a time inverting, space imploding, worm hole that releases you into another part of the basketball universe if you are lucky.

    Weird things would be normal there.

    Perry Ellis might be an aggressive maniac taking 20 treys himself.

    Brannen Greene might cease to have any wild hairs and instead quote Goethe as his shots swish upwards through the rim and net instead of downwards.

    Frank Mason 3.0 might be Frank Mason .3333 and he might make only the other half of 50% looking like a negative exposure of himself.

    Wayne might be able to dunk.

    Jamari Traylor might actually have a deadly jump shot from 30 feet out though he might only be an infant in swaddling cloth.

    Kelly Oubre’s hair might be a short flat top and he might have no tats.

    Bill Self could become a fetus twirling in space with a pull back shot of KU winning another title.

    Anything is possible.

    Narrative breaks down.

    The theme to 2001 plays backwards.

  • I’ve had a good chuckle at many a post on this site, but this one may be the funniest most creative one ive read 😃

    Im actually visualizing HCBS as a floating space fetus replete with booming oddesy soundtrack … Awesome and freaky at the same time

  • @jaybate-1.0

    Fred is more likely to need the paddles since he already has a pacemaker in his chest…just sayin’…

  • @marshhawk

    Thx. I keep swinging for the fences and its good to hear I got some good comic wood on the ball. 🙂

  • Well, imho, one thing is for certain. Jayhawk Nation is bound to see more of “inside-out” offense this season. It represents standard tried and true Bill Self Basketball, and as much as we think we would like to see it shelved until midApril, no way does it hit the basement storage bin. Bill is expanding his parameters, stretching principles, toying with different horizons. Beneath the veneer, he is dyed in the wool “feed the post” guru, sublimated mastery tucked away in the closet for the moment, but rip rarin’ to spring free. I figure that he feels bound to show all of us how his system can function, even in a season with no footer, and harboring a dynamic but slowly developing future paint patroller now recognized as MR. FLEX. If Bill is reading the occasional obituaries to his inside-out game, he must be snickering from the corners of a cold merciless grin.

  • @REHawk

    You explain Self insightfully, as only a fellow coach could.

    But the truth is that all of the inside out stuff is just what he runs till the other team starts to separate; then he pulls both posts out high, puts Kelly on the Point Guard’s right wing, and lets them start micro-bursting treys till he gets separation.

    He reminds me of Tom Osborne pounding the eye back off tackle behind a big bull full back every game against weak opponents all season long until he runs into a really good opponent and suddenly everything is options and passes.

    I guess the reason it makes sense is because it forces other teams to prepare for both. They have to stop Bill’s I-backs. If they can do that, then he goes option and pass.

    Remember, Self is an Okie and the football mind set actually underlies basketball, too, in the culture he was raised in.

    No Kansan would ever have told Zack Peters to play football his senior year. NEVER. EVER!

    Self most definitely views basketball as a form of football.

    He even uses football jargon to describe basketball plays. EJ used to be good at pitching forward. Players have to put a body on someone They have to man-up. They appear to be taught use their forearms like football players. Self recruits broad shouldered guys. Big frames he can hang muscle on. From the waste up many KU basketball players are brawny like football players.

    But here is the thing that Self cannot escape; he can’t beat a good big team inside out. And he appears to know it.

    And the problem he faces is that his guys are not learning how to win ugly from outside. They are not getting enough reps. They are wasting too many games playing inside out. And when it comes time to face a couple of good big teams consecutively in the tournament the team is not going to be used to playing consecutive games outside in. They are not going to be in good enough outside shooting condition to score outside in two games in three days.

    Outside in is like every other scheme you play. If you are going to have to play it against the best you face, then you have to make it who you are. It has to be what you live and die with.

    Self is being too clever by half this time in my opinion, but then he has been before and proved me wrong.

    I believe I know exactly what he is doing.

    And probably so does every other coach on the planet that watches him with far more experience and insight than I possess.

    Self is apparently seeing KU has the same standing height inside as all the other Big 12 teams except Texas. Self is apparently thinking the whole conference has gone short inside this season, so he can probably play inside out with most of them. And he is apparently thinking that Myles down at Texas is so skinny that he can be manhandled, and KU will play outside in that game, if necessary, and pick up at least a split against UT’s height.

    Self knows now, after OU got exposed, that he can win this conference with 2 losses now. All he has to do is not let Kruger fool him, then rough Myles up on Texas both games and get a split and Self has another title.

    I really don’t think Fred has the horses this season. He has two good trey ballers and then a bunch of muscle defenders; that’s it. He has a team destined for splits in conference. One game his trey ballers will shoot 40% on 25 treys and win. One game they will shoot 32% on 25 treys and lose. This is what Self doesn’t like about outside in as a daily staple. Self is going to let out all the stops in Ames, because if he can steal one there, and he probably can, then he might win this thing with only one loss.

    Self is probably not even thinking about the Madness.

    I was thinking about it until I looked at the standing height on 8 of the top ten teams currently. Nope. You don’t make “who we are” an inside out team, if you are planning on facing those teams in March. Those teams require us to be an outside in team.

    But the team Self is crafting is apparently solely being crafted to win a conference title inside out.

    I suspect he doesn’t believe the team has a snow ball’s chance in hell in March and so he is not crafting a team that can win in March.

    If he really cared about March this season, as I said, he would be playing every game outside in against every conceivable kind of team in every conceivable kind of 2 games in three day situations, so that his team would be ready to play that way in March.

    But I really don’t think Self believes the team is good enough inside to make a serious run in the tournament.

    But again, because of how short the entire conference is inside, he knows this title streak is totally feasible to continue.

    So that’s “who we are” in Self’s scheming this season.

    This team is a conference title team–probably nothing more; one that needs, like last season’s team–to be put out of its misery as soon as possible, so he can get on with recruiting enough standing height to compete with eight of the top ten teams this season. He probably suspects the 8-10 deep OAD stack is the future, not an anomaly.

    Self probably knows exactly what he is doing in the realm of grand strategy.

    He has just had to revise strategy and tactics lately to find something that works for the players between now and the end of conference play.

  • @jaybate-1.0 This last post of yours is a concerning perspective. I"ve thought about this since the game Tuesday. Why would a presumably smart, and logical man, continue to focus on a style of play that is so obviously doomed to ultimate failure with this team?

    If what you say is true – if Self is conceding, focusing on the conference title, knowing this team can’t win in March – then he should be fired. I don’t want him as my coach. Period.

    But I don’t think I believe that he is conceding that yet.

    But that goes to your point – “If he really cared about March this season, as I said, he would be playing every game outside in against every conceivable kind of team in every conceivable kind of 2 games in three day situations, so that his team would be ready to play that way in March.”

    That’s completely logical.

    I have not heard one person argue that inside-out is a feasible way to play with this team. I’ve perused various sites, read articles from guys who post on KU basketball. I haven’t seen one defense of this approach.

    The evidence is overwhelming. Self just said the following after the OSU game regarding Perry Ellis: “I don’t know if I am going to say turnovers are the reason he’s laboring a little bit. I think he’s basically just laboring some. We played through him quite a bit. He wasn’t aggressive."

    What fool plays through Perry Ellis with the evidence in front of you? I say that more big picture. I understood that perhaps against OSU it was reasonable to think that we might be able to score inside.

    But we couldn’t. We know that now. Self knows that now. Not even against OSU where Michael Cobbins is the rim protector. We couldn’t.

    @jaybate-1.0’s point is very important. If we can agree that the inside-out approach is not going to take this team anywhere in March, why not perfect the “identity” that will have a better chance to carry you in March?

    Self said that he felt it was important to have an “identity” – my fear is that Self has blinders on and there is only one acceptable identity. Self single-handedly lost the Stanford game. I’ve had a lot of debates on KU basketball, but that’s one I’m confident that I won by a knockout. Will his single-mindedness cost us another opportunity for a run at the final four?

    I’m still optimistic. I really am. The Baylor offensive debacles was related to our zone offense. OSU might have been scheming for that game. In the interim, we had a beautiful offensive game against Texas Tech where we scored 86 points, yet had only one “feed the post” basket the entire game.

    Self has to see that, right? ISU may tell us a lot.

  • @jaybate-1.0

    Our strategy in this game should be pretty straight forward:

    1. defensive pressure. Guys making good screen switches and guarding the perimeter… some special attention to Niang

    2. limit TOs. This game will be won by possessions. And if they steal the ball and score in the open court, it neutralizes all that good defense we need to be playing.

    3. rebound, rebound, rebound. We have to crash the boards and at least match their rebounding. Like I said above, this game will be won by possessions.

    I’m willing to turn my head and discount bad offensive play this game as long as we do the three things above because this is the best method to win this game.

    It should be a typical Self “grind game.”

    This will be a test on the toughness of this team. ISU just lost to Baylor. They aren’t going to want to lose two in a row, especially at home. I can see this getting very emotional and rough. Hope our guys play as tough as they look.

  • @jaybate-1.0 I tend to frame most of my Jayhawk Hoops Thinking and Posting only along lines of Big 12 play. Especially at this stage of a Div. 1 hoops season, I wear blinders regarding post-league play. That was my approach to coaching, and that is the way I succeeded…and lost! I never lost a conference title, but, admittedly, ill-prepared my kids for state championship competition. My feeling was: Win the league; anything beyond is gravy. I still tend to feel that way, although I recognize that such thinking is diametrically opposed to that of most posters on this site, esp. High Elite Major. I do take pride and feel a sense of glory in post-season wins, but tend to see the big tournament as a crapshoot. I’d rather win the league title, then lose in 2nd round of the Tournament, than lose the Big 12 cup and advance to the Final Four. Heresy? HA! I think you might have touched deep truth regarding Bill’s thinking regarding the eventual outcomes for his current squad. I see him already thinking ahead. And, yeah, as much as I am opposed to the accumulation and loading of One-and Doners, he probably has decided to buy into the Kentucky/Duke flow. Sad, I feel. But must be done in order to compete successfully with such programs. Maybe a few Perry Ellises and Jeff Witheys can be offered and retained; but much more emphasis on fetching talent from among best 15 Rivals players to set foot on the planet annually. Kids already pencilled in to future lotteries. Stack em up at least five or six deep. But, Man O Man, how does Bill Self adjust his coaching to so many superathletes who will barely find time to read beyond page 10 of his playbook before they fly off and away? Can Bill adjust to frenetic life without a supporting bundle of third and fourth year knowledgeable and experienced players??? Can he continue to win…at his current 83+% pace? Does the Jayhawk Nation really give much of a damn, so long as KU advances yearly to the Final Four? Well, I ramble. Enough…for now.

  • @drgnslayr This more than any game we’ve played so far in conference play will really test our defensive numbers. We haven’t allowed anyone to score more than 60 points on us so far, and I think if we can even hold ISU under 70 we will be in good shape. I hope I’m wrong but I don’t think this team can score consistently enough to win a high score 90+ point shootout.

  • This team absolutely can win in March. There is Elite Eight/ Final Four talent on this squad. But this team can’t win in March in the way that the 2012 team won in March, or the way that the 2008 team won the title.

    No, this team can only win in March if they embrace the fact that they must ride the talents of Kelly Oubre, Frank Mason, Wayne Selden, Svi and Brannen Greene much moreso than the talents of Perry Ellis and the inside attack.

    Perry is not Darrell Arthur, a future NBA player in the post. He’s not Thomas Robinson, or even Jeff Withey. He’s a very good basketball player, but its unfair to try to make him into those guys when that is simply not him.

    KU found something by letting Perry pop out and become a face up shooter. It would be a shame to let that go because we are playing a team that doesn’t have as much size, especially when the identity of this team is more truly realized when the wings are attacking and Perry is getting shots off those attacks than going with Perry posting and hoping the wings get shots off that.

    This team is an attacking, slashing, wing oriented team. If that embrace that, they can go deep into March. If they do not, they will lose in the Round of 32 again.

  • @justanotherfan That was a great post. This team does have the ability to get it done.

  • @REHawk This member of Jayhawk Nation does care a LOT about the future, if indeed the program evolves into a OAD factory. Im sure everyone here has pondered how that would change our passion and devotion to Jayhawk basketball… It really eats at me because it’s not just wins for me. it’s the whole amalgam, the history, the vibe, the attachment to the players and watching them grow. (Im happy actually that Wayne looks more and more like a 4-year guy ) All the former players seem SO connected for life to KU, which speaks to the magic. The cabinet of Dr calipari at UK is nothing more than an nakedly obvious NBA prep center that happens to housed at a well known university… Whats so magical about that?? If thats the future for KU, then i hope i can adjust and still love it .

  • @REHawk


  • @drgnslayr

    PHOF for cutting to the essence of a game strategy. Thanks.

  • @REHawk

    Excellent post. Coach Self has always maintained, and many (if not most) of us agree, that winning the conference is the best way to prepare for the NCAA and getting a good seed. The conference this year is particularly good. The latest Bracketology has the Big 12 with 7 teams (70%) and no other conference comes even close; furthermore, 6 of the 7 teams have a seed of 6 or better and KU is now #2 seed. That is power any way you look at it and the best way to prepare for March.

    BTW, IMHO I believe most posters in this forum agree with you.

  • What great posts and a great Big 12 race this is shaping up to be. Baylor holding on to win vs ISU was large at this point in the season. The pressure to win Saturday night now sits squarely on the Cyclones. KU with a win becomes the front-runner similar to last year. A loss and we are still in the thick of the race.

    Going 2-3 at ISU, Baylor, OU, Texas and WV gives KU a very likely upper hand in winning 11 in a row.-we already have 1 in the bag. All contenders must take care of business at KSU, at OSU and at TCU-not an easy task. KU has a very good chance of taking care of wins at home. It is so early but with a RPI rating of the Big 12-4 losses could easily mean a championship or co-champ to keep the streak alive.

    This conference is tough and so is Bill Self’s team. I have not seen this toughness in a few years. Self teams that have done well are tough, grind out games on the road and play great defense. Since the break, this team has improved dramatically on the defensive end holding UNLV to 40%, Baylor to 35% at home and OSU in the low 30s.

    I agree with REhawk-the conference titles are more important than March to me as a fan. National champs require great teams and some luck. This team could make a deep run if Cliff continues to improve but next year we could be in the title discussion.

  • @marshhawk

    The knife cuts both ways.

    We want really talented guys that fulfill their potential, but if they do, they are gone quickly.

    Wayne may very well end up being a four year guy, but if he does, that’s another two years after this one of people wishing that Wayne was more consistent, and more aggressive, and that he did more, and wondering why he didn’t step up in certain games. If Wayne is a four year player, that’s great from a “getting to know him” perspective, but it’s a downer because that probably means that he didn’t ever reach the potential that we all thought he had when he arrived.

    Some of the happiest moments I have had as a sports fan and a KU basketball fan in particular have been watching guys reach their potential.

    One of the most disappointing players at KU was Eric Chenowith, who actually built a pretty solid career at KU as a part time big man. But most KU fans that you talk to remember Chenowith as a huge bust because he was supposed to be so much more.

    To some extent, I would say Kenny Gregory fits into that mold. Billy Thomas, on the other hand, is pretty fondly remembered by most KU fans. Gregory was always the better player, but Thomas is perceived to have reached his potential, and therefore his memory ages better.

    Seeing Thomas Robinson grow into what he did in three years was awesome. I wouldn’t have wanted him to not grow into the player he did when he did, because it was much more fun to see him develop into a lottery pick and leave after three years.

    I want to see guys come, reach their potential and move on into their adult lives, whether that takes one year (Wiggins) or five (Releford).

    I’m somewhat sad that it feels like Perry has taken a step back this year. For all of my criticism of him, I think he’s a tremendous player and overall person, at least from all of the reports I hear since I don’t know him personally. I would much rather see Perry having a season where he’s averaging 15 and 8 and is on the short list for the Wooden award. But that’s not the case.

    I’m happy that Kelly is starting to break out. Does that mean he will probably be gone at the end of this season? Yes, but that’s better than seeing a kid with that kind of talent languishing and struggling to put it all together.

    That’s the thing I want for every player, ultimately. I want to see them put it all together. For a guy like Christian Garrett, that means getting a couple of buckets at the Fieldhouse that he can tell his grandkids about. For Kelly Oubre, that means being a lottery pick. For Perry Ellis, that means being a fourth year star - not starter, STAR.

  • From what I can see, most of the one and done players, if they could have a do over would stay in school 3 years. Thankful that Danny and Paul were here for more than one year!

  • Nick and Kirk stayed for a fourth and went on to have long careers in the NBA. Both could retire soon and It would sure be nice to have a big man Like Nick come back and coach our Big Men. Nick was the modern day Kevin McHale and could make a big difference in coaching and in recruiting. Kirk will probably be a coach in the NBA where he mentored so many Newbies. The Wizards brought him in to DC just to show John Wall how things are done.

  • @justanotherfan Ditto on Robinson… And yes the essence of what makes watching this team so fulfilling for me (and probably everyone else) over the years is the players like him who had such a great arc. and yes kinda tough to see the not-so- great arcs too, but “potential” is a harsh mistress- just ask Wiggins who was a bery good player who could never match his expectations Another way of thinking about it is to make a list of your alltime favorite (favorite not best) KU players you’ve watched (i have only been religiously watching for 17 years ) - for my list there is no OAD even cracking the top 20. Easily my least favorite was Selby.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    We are far, far, far out to sea now.

    IMHO, there are things Self is dealing with here beyond this season and this team that would already have shattered lesser men than Self–The SHOEWARS, specifically.

    For this reason, I am willing to see Bill’s way as valid, even though you and I are advocating another path base on a different goal–a ring.

    The point here is that Bill and Rick are NOT coaching on a level playing field.

    When Self coaches in the Big 12, he is coaching against 8 other programs that are not being stacked. And he is coaching against a 9th program, Texas, that may, or may not be, joining the stacked list.

    The Big 12 is a conference of non stacks.

    Self is trying to win that, because that is a realistic goal.

    Self proved in 2012 that he can take a non stacked team to the Finals if he has one rim protector, a good PG, and a draft choice 4. But even when he did that, he came up against a Nike stack in the Finals and lost.

    Rings are increasingly unfeasible right now, unless you are a healthy Nike, or adidas stack. I know UConn squeezed through the filter last season, and persons say they weren’t stacked, but they lucked out, because Embiid got injured, Stumpy can’t coach a lick even with a stack, and Noels did not come back, so NIke-UK just didn’t have enough experience to finish even though stacked.

    I read your post first, and I read @REHawk’s post second.

    Clearly my logic and sense of fight is on your side.

    But @REHawk is speaking from the philosophical point of view of a coach that has had to think of the best interests of young men and a program, and so I not only respect his POV on this, but also have thought it through carefully.

    The bottom line is this: a coach’s job is to read the situation of a season and do the best he can for his young men and his program, but always do so given the realities of the situation.

    Leaders can and should aspire to and inspire to greatness for it is important for young men to learn that greatness is not limited only to those that have all the advantages.

    At the same time, leaders should teach their young men the nature of reality and what greatness involves, and that reality’s unfairness is as real and in need of acknowledging, as is reality’s opportunities for greatness.

    If I understand @REHawk’s POV, and what I believe is Self’s POV, this season’s philosophy, and may be all season’s philosophies, goes something like this.

    A coach can give a great deal to a group of young men by showing them that hard work at individual and team improvement, sacrifice of self to team, and learning to release of competitive greatness are things that are within our reasonable grasp to achieve in a conference season. Winning a conference title and achieving a good record, are important and lasting distinctions of accomplishment that cannot be taken away from an individual, or a team of individuals, any more than a ring can be taken from them. The ring is the greatest achievement of all. But the odds of its achievement are very small, unless one has all of the pieces and three every game MUA at 3 of 5 positions, and even then risks of injuries, bad calls, and off nights, make a ring a risk with very long odds. Specifically the rough odds are 1 in 64, or something less with a high seed, starting in March. But the odds of winning the Big 12 are 1 in 10, and with KU’s level of talent and coaching, probably something less. Thus for a coach like Self, or @REHawk, it seems unwise not to focus on winning the conference, since it is something lasting and real that their young men can carry with them the rest of their lives with considerable probability, and given that winning it does more to put them in position to get a high seed in the post season, which is greatest gift of winning of all that he could give them.

    But each season, a leader must look at what is feasible. Some times the best we can probably be is a conference champ. Some times the best we can probably be is conference champ and a national champ.

    So: given that Bill apparently thinks the surest way to a conference title, is to be able to play both inside out and outside in, he is continuing to labor on getting his guys so they can play inside out in a conference, where they are not really smaller than 8 of their 9 opponents.

    In turn, if they learn to play this way, and if Self can work his usual coaching magic and find a way to finesse Barnes one out of two, Self can do his best to give his young men the best they can hope for, given their level of talent: a conference title and a seed high enough that if they were to tap deeply enough into their own abilities, and get some luck, they MIGHT make a run.

    But if they don’t, that is alright, too. They don’t really have talent comparable to 8 of the top ten teams currently, because of SHOEWARs. That is not their fault. And it probably is not Self’s fault. It is probably the fault of the NCAA and Nike and adidas and KU, and in a short time, Louisville, are odd elite programs out.

    I know you can probably tell that I am struggling defending the position of Self and @REHawk; that it is not where my heart lies.

    My heart lies always with the daring enterprise outside the box. It is who I am. So: I am not a coach of young men for a reason. A coach of young men–at least honorable ones like Self and @REHawk --has to think of things like trade-offs about how much he probably can give his young men to take away for all their hard work, rather than just the long shot of winning it all and being a champion for the rest of their lives.

    Leadership is full of such uneasy trade-offs, where leaders must subordinate their ideals, morals, intense ambitions and furious competitiveness to the greater good of those they lead and the country they are pledged to deliver through peril to live to fight another day.

    Lincoln compromised virtually every value he held in an attempt to prevent the Crown of Great Britain, the Habsburgs, and France from dividing and conquering both USA and Mexico, simultaneously. People still do not honor him for what he really did. They misunderstand what he was up against and what he did. Little people pick out his flaws and his prejudices. Little people reduce the greatness of what he did to single issues, like slavery, or winning a war, or railroads, or greenbacks. What he did was deliver for an entire people, even as his own base was trying to use him to highjack control, and his opposition was trying to succeed from the Union, the greatest, the only worthy thing about America–government of the people, by the people and for the people, so that such government should not perish from this earth, as it was surely on the verge of doing, and as it again is in peril of doing.

    Our Presidents have always had to make some of the most horrific choices between what they ideally wanted for America and what was then feasible to deliver the country from its immediate predicament–one that usually what had been created by a long process before they came to office.

    Our presidents are elected by narrower, and narrower private oligarchies, but they must still, if they are to be more than lackeys, act in the interest of the greatest good they can perceive and achieve for all the people; that they often cannot achieve much is often the product of the complexity of the context such a leader must operate in. The only ones we should loath are those that decline to do the best for the most when such was feasible.

    Lincoln had to have known that the moment he printed greenbacks to take financing the Civil War out of the hands of the Bank of England, which was then not only financing both the North and South against each other, but also financing the European great powers conquest of Mexico, so as to both divide and conquer USA, but also to make sure that neither faction of the USA would ally with Mexico to control an interocean canal through central America, that he would surely be assassinated as soon as the moment were right. And yet Lincoln did it, because he apparently knew that despite the complexity of the forces at play, and the hateful greed of great fortunes pursuing trade route monopolies and the inhumane viciousness of sunk costs in slavery, a moment had improbably presented itself to cement the existence of USA for at least another half century, if only he were willing to risk his own life for every American then and for all peoples after that might one day escape the darkness of non-representational orders controlling representational governments because USA did not perish from this earth.

    Leadership can be lonely.

    I believe there is much more at stake here than the 2014-2015 season.

    I believe that at another time, under different circumstances, Self might act differently than he is.

    You and I know that the most logical way, probably the only way, for this team to win a ring is to play outside in all season long, master it, and hope to get hot and stay hot six games in March.

    I suspect Bill Self understands this too.

    But I suspect Bill Self, as @REHawk has eloquently and without sugar coating stated, understands the logic of what we are both saying, and has other obligations to discharge as well.

    He has to think of more than one great daring enterprise.

    He has to think of what is the best he can do for these players now this season and for the continuity of KU basketball within the context of SHOEWARS.

    Perhaps a conference title IS the only lasting accomplishment that seems probably within these young men’s talents to grasp and achieve and so attribute the accomplishment to more than just lady luck.

    And if they win the conference title, then their chance of lady luck smiling on them just grew significantly greater due to the tournament seeding process.

    And winning a conference title would be at least some kind of accomplishment supporting the bridging of the program into the coming transition into the OAD/TAD recruiting waters.

    But damn, I sure would like to see this team play outside in for this season.

    But damn, I’m not the coach.

  • I know that I have often referred to the Big Tournament as a crapshoot; and am fairly certain that some of our best posters disagree with that simple estimate. Actually, I refer mostly to the Elite 8, Final 4, Title games. I, too, will be very unhappy to see us lose the opening round; even the second game. After that, I see it as a toss-up. Almost like flipping a coin…though not quite. I do hope (and somehow TRUST) that this squad and coaching staff will develop winning ways outside the customary Bill Self Parameters. Has already been a stretch, but slashing and outside shooting has paid heady dividends. I await Cliff Alexander’s soon to be meteoric rise to 28 minute prominence!

  • @wrwlumpy

    I have mentioned on several occasion that I would love to see Collison come back and coach the bigs. He is one of my favorite Jayhawk players of all time and he is getting near the end of his career in the NBA.

  • @JayHawkFanToo I happily concur with both you guys re the Collison thing. If the guy has the ability to recruit, what a CATCH that would be!

  • @jaybate-1.0 Man, did you ever capture the essence of what I was feebly trying to say in a nutshell!!! Thanks for helping me to SEE what I have for a longtime FELT! For 3 years or so I have wrangled more than somewhat with HEM; although I certainly bow to his superior knowledge and understanding of this game. I admire his posts and cannot begin to approach or even fully comprehend the depth of his Xs/Os delineations. You two guys and a handful of other posters almost daily present some marvelous hoops posts. I am more of a FEEL guy, a RELATIONSHIPS type of poster. I do appreciate your steady feedback and acknowledgements, jb. All in all, isn’t this a splendid season to follow Bill Self and current Jayhawk Basketball? The KU Hoops Universe seems occasionally to be spinning almost counter to anything we have witnessed in the past 12 years.

  • @jaybate-1.0 Every so often when I read your post I forget that you’re talking about basketball. I’m sure, at one time in your life you were some kind of teacher similar to the Priest that taught at Rockhurst college where I picked up some credits so that I could be a teacher. He taught macro-economics but always explained his theories using the Chicago Cubs to deliniate his positions. You have become my “Father Dudenhoffer” of basketball. The Lincoln paragraph was a direct reference to Self using Lucas in the second half instead of Cliff. It was obvious.

  • @wrwlumpy “Father Dudenhoffer of Jayhawk Basketball…” Ah, nice. Many of us will not forget to refer back to that nomenclature!

  • @wrwlumpy

    Ah, suren’ it twas, sir.

    And you were already bein’ my own Fatter Dudenhoffer with your collages, sir, quite a bit more than I to you, I should say.

    Suren’ ya were, suren’ ya were!

    Perhaps you’ll be forming your graphical duden shortly, too, sir.

    I shall look upon it with delight and fancy in the showin’ and not tellin’ it will do.

    And the little people, sir, they surely must be enlivenin’ your door.

  • The key to winning this game is scoring more than they will. I know cliche but its true in this game.

    They score 80 points a game, KU scores 71. Although competition in their last 4 games has brought down their avg’s considerably we will have to score. We cannot have a bad night offensively and expect to walk away with their fans crying again.

    If I had to pick one guy we need to shutdown to win its Naz Long. He has become a key part of their offense and with 43 of his 63 made baskets 3’s yeah we need to be on him like we are trying to steal his wallet. They make 10 3’s at home they will win, unless we have some heroism effort from someone.

    Hopefully we come out early hitting shots and find a way to stop their spread offense.

  • @BeddieKU23

    ISU is averaging 70 points in conference play and in the last 3 games (2-1) they have out scored their conference opponents by a total of 3 points (2 OSU, 2 WVU, -1 BU). KU has averaged 69 points and outscored its 3 conference opponents by 42 points ( BU 1, TTU 31, OSU 10).

    Defense-wise, in conference play ISU has allowed 69 ppg and KU has allowed 55 ppg.

    Both teams beat OSU at home, ISU by 2 and KU by 10.

    Both played Baylor away, KU won by one ISU lost by 1

    P.S. Playing TTU skews the stats in KU’s favor.

  • @BeddieKU23

    It depends. 🙂

    If ISU shoots 25 or more treys, and is shooting its average or better, KU will have to shoot treys a nearly equivalent number and percentage of treys, and hold ISU to 5-8 fewer shot attempts to win the game. It can do this with stripping, blocks, alters and rebounding on the defensive end, coupled with protecting it on the offensive end and an edge in offensive rebounding.

    If ISU shoots a poor percentage on its treys, then Self can afford to muddy it up, stay inside out looking for the inside trey, and shoot less than 15 treys outside, rebound mightily on both ends and grind out a W.

    What Self does depends largely on the first five trey attempts by ISU.

    Increasingly, this is how it is with every game.

    Self has to be forced into matching 3ptas.

    He won’t do it willingly.

  • Quite the thread.

  • @JayhawkRock78

    Yes, my thoughts, exactly. 🙂

  • I think Iowa St will come out on fire. This will be our most hostile environment we will play in all year. Other than the Georgetown game, we haven’t been good on the road. It will probably take the best game of the year from KU to pull it out. Since Fred has made this series relevant again its taken a whole new life as evidence by the Gameday crew in town.

    I thought before conference play started that we would lose. The 3-0 start has changed my view some and Baylor pulling it out against them last night has given me more optimism but I won’t be devastated if we drop this game.

    Conference stats seem to show we have a good chance. I’m thinking we need Mason, or Oubre to hit for 20 pts and Selden & Ellis to do better than 3-15.

  • @drgnslayr I think we’ll make 20 3 pointers against the Clones. Our offense has been waiting for a cherry cheese cake match up like the Clones. I think we brutalize them, and their punk fan base…


    Wow! 20 trey makes! You are feeling strong today!!!

    I would love it!!!


    I got tons of man love for one Jethro Jayhawk fan! I’m a believer. Sign me up for 20 3 pointers.

    I see the outcome of this year as a contest. Not so much between us and other teams. I see this as a contest from within our own team.

    I put some players on one side… the tough side… Frank, Kelly, Cliff, Devonte, BamBam…

    And I put some players on the other side… the side that often plays soft… Perry, Wayne, sometimes Brannen, Svi and Landen.

    I view the outcome of this year as a battle of wills. Which side will win over move support from the other side?

    I’ve been on a lot of teams. And it only takes one or two guys being soft to ruin a team.

  • @drgnslayr

    You must have been flipping great fun to play with. Wish I had at least gotten to be on your pick up team a few times. It must have been a gas.

  • @jaybate-1.0 Yeah, but what if you got picked on the other team? No fun at all…

  • @ParisHawk

    Before I played some on the playground that’s what I would have thought for sure, but after? Oh, no, it would have been even more fun playing against him. I just would have lost without someone as good on my team. 😄

  • I’m thinking some of the inside out play in the OSU game was to try to keep from having a hot game from outside when we didn’t need it. @jaybate-1.0 always talks about shooting back to averages and wouldn’t it be nice to have those averages on the way up on the road at ISU. We shot 3-12 last game after scorching Tech with 11-22. Self couldn’t afford to let the guys go nuts from deep for a second game in a row and then most certainly be due for an off game from outside. Outside shooting is so streaky and unpredictable. Even really really good 3% teams will have the occasional 3-15 or 5-20 game. And it is very tough to win such a game.

    We are better than OSU and had a great plan to wear out Forte by throwing length, then speed, then length, then more speed at him. He could barely walk out of that gym in the end. He wasn’t hurt, he was tired… We simply didn’t need an outside in game against those short cowboys so why not gamble and try to save up for another hot shooting night at Hilton. I think Self might think he can beat this law of averages stuff. Let the team shoot bad from 3 on an inside out night when you can afford it to let them get hot on a night when we need it.

    Every shooter knows that shooting gets easier after the first make. After Kelly made his first, did we go back to him? What about Wayne? Frank shot 5 but only made the last one (not 100% sure on that but it was definitely late!)! This might give even more insight into Greene’s 3 minutes. His first shot was for the team a terrible shot. Selfish, hot doggin, and instigating. Don’t want to nail one right in the face of their best shooter to light even more of a fire under him. BUT, it was a confident shot. Leave Greene in that game and no doubt he makes 3 or 4 shooting with that kind of confidence. So… sit him and piss him off for 37 minutes to hopefully let him loose against the Cyclones.

    Jaybate is calling Perry going off this game, I say Greene has another 5 trey, 20 pt night! Go Brennan Go!!!

  • @jaybate-1.0 @REHawk @drgnslayr @etc. I wish my students cared as much about KU basketball as I do (or basketball period here in Texas) so that I could make them read some of these posts. It would be nice to show them what real analysis, complex inferences, and great writing looks like when done for fun! Keep it coming everybody!

  • @KUSTEVE Unfortunately, we’ll be lucky to attempt 20 three pointers Saturday.

  • @benshawks08

    Heck yeah! To both posts.

    FWIW, students, like adults, can taste the difference between the authentic and the inauthentic. The whole society can; that’s why so much money has to be spent on PR and propaganda to ensure “right thinking.”

    But students need the perspective of teachers like you to learn how to read first on and then between the lines in order to take good care of themselves.

    We are just a bunch of board rats. You are the real deal!

    Rock Chalk to you for teaching them HOW to READ, not just look at the words.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    U R right of course. Rome was not built in a day.

    But dobber up, sir! TGIF!

    We need you at full force!!!

  • @REHawk

    " My feeling was: Win the league; anything beyond is gravy."

    " I do take pride and feel a sense of glory in post-season wins, but tend to see the big tournament as a crapshoot"

    “he probably has decided to buy into the Kentucky/Duke flow.”

    Excellent post!

    I definitely came from your side of the fence. Over time, I’ve balanced out with plenty of HEMs views on March.

    I think a blend of you and HEM makes the right approach.

    Accepting March as only “gravy” creates lots of issues today. Expectations come at college basketball programs from many directions… fans… media… donors… and last (but not least) recruits. There is no way we can stay in a bubble and only focus on conference play. If we do that, we eventually get eaten away by the growing cancer surrounding our failing March performances.

    Flipping sides now… but if we don’t focus on Big 12 play we lose a big chunk of our real reputation for being a powerhouse and letting it all ride on the “crap shoot” in March. Conference play is our opportunity to really show our dominance (and land high seeds in March). And it is our Big 12 play (with Self) that has lifted Kansas back as one of the top blue bloods again, more than our NC in '08.

    Flipping sides now… however… if we hadn’t won back with Danny and back in '08, we also wouldn’t be accepted with the same “elitism” we are viewed now.

    What I’m getting at is the need for balance. Really… conference and March are both important! We need to fight hard enough in conference not only to win our conference, but to create a margin where we can develop more of our bench for March and also to try other strategies that can help us in March. We can’t really sacrifice our standings in the conference to focus on March. That’s why it is crucial we build a margin in Big 12 standings and also in games. First things first, and winning conference is first!

  • @jaybate-1.0

    “You must have been flipping great fun to play with”

    Not always. The issues with other players on the team is a huge factor with every team. Sometimes, in my case, it lead to physical fights in locker rooms and parking lots. Sometimes that helped because it allowed players to vent out everything and later come together in a bar over drinks. The guys I fought with most usually turned out being my best friends. At least they had the balls to stand up and fight! This is one way for players to bond as a team. But it doesn’t always work. Some guys never get away from the “one upsmanship.” Some players hold deep inner resentment.

    All the inner workings end up being expressed out on the court during a season. Always.

    I see a lot of great things with this team. I do sense a lot of team emotion. These guys defend each other. These guys support each other. The bond is there. I haven’t seen this bond since TRob’s last season.

    No one on this team is selfish. They are all willing to give up their own stats or PT for another guy that can help win games.

    There is a lot of desire to win with these guys. That’s why we tend to win the close games. And that’s why we really stink when we lose. Turns out it is the will of the team that determines our outcomes… as it should be!

    The key now is to get the team to focus on the next game. Then the game after that. etc. Be prepared for every game. Play them one at a time. Build momentum over time… organically.

  • @drgnslayr

    The NCAA tournament is really a crap-shoot; I am as loyal KU fan as there is but KU winning in '88 was a fluke. On the other hand, there were other years when it should have won and it did not.

    If you shoot pool, you know that players that concentrate on the 9 ball seldom win. Yo have to play the ball at hand and position yourself for the next one, always keeping you eye on the 9 ball, until you get to the 9 ball. If you start concentrating only on the 9 ball you will miss the ball at hand and never get to the 9 ball; this is what all the top players do.

    We can extend the analogy to basketball and you play to win the game at hand and then the conference, which in turn will prepare you for the tournament and get you a high seed. Remember when UK was concentrating on the tournament and taking the regular season for granted? They ended up losing to Bobby MO in the first round of the frigging NIT. Nothing prepares you better for the tournament than a good run in your own conference. A few weeks ago Pick Pitino stated that the only reason the tournament is single elimination is to give EVERY team a chance (basically, a crap-shoot); if the format is changed to a best of X, then only the elite teams would have shot. Look at it, last year UConn was not even a top 20 team with 26-8 overall record and 12-6 conference record and with a good run in March ended up winning the title…who would have predicted it. If you don’t win your own conference, how can you expect to win the national title?

  • @drgnslayr

    Been there. Done that! 🙂

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