Big 12 action on Saturday.

  • 5 games on tap. As important as it is for KU to win in Iowa St, the rest of the league can effectively help us out as well. Here are matchups.

    Baylor- K-St TCU-Texas Tech WVU- Texas Oklahoma St- Oklahoma Kansas- Iowa St

    If Baylor and Texas win, and KU wins, we will have a +2 game advantage already. You would have a logjam of 3-2 teams. While we never will really root for others in the conference this is a best case scenario that both Kansas St and West Virginia lose. If West Virginia does win, its still beneficial that it gives Texas its 3rd loss.


  • West Virginia is the most dangerous of the group.

    I see K-State as a non-factor because they will fall back once the schedule toughens a bit. The win against OU is a good one, but their other wins are close victories at Bramlage against TCU and Texas Tech. It’s very possible K-State could go from 3-1 to 3-6 by the end of this month because their next five games are vs. Baylor, @ Iowa State, vs. Oklahoma State, vs. West Virginia, @ Kansas. If they win even three of those games, I’m willing to re-evaluate, but my guess is this is where they fall back. I would predict K-State will only win 4 more games the rest of the regular season.

    A 2 game lead at this point would be huge for KU, but the bigger issue is getting separation from Iowa State, Texas and West Virginia. Those are the dangerous teams as far as winning the conference is concerned, so those are the ones to worry about. Baylor, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma will all win some games, but I don’t think they are going to win the conference (although I think they all go dancing).

  • @BeddieKU23

    Click here for link…

    Time to beat up on each other…We’ll see what some of these guys are really made of now. I also think WVU is the real McCoy & UT loses at home. If they go down 3 in conf it could be the beginning of the end for IMO the greatest squanderer of talent in the BG12, Rick Barnes.

  • @BeddieKU23

    This all falls into my theory of how we win #11.

    All we have to do is win the games we are supposed to win, and fight hard in the other games, which will create a few “unexpected” wins.

    I can easily see the B12 producing a winner with 4 losses. But I don’t, because if we do the right things, we shouldn’t lose 4 games. The most we should lose is 3.

    We take care of business at home. We take care of business away at the worst teams. And we fight hard in away games with the elite teams from our league.

    Kansas is the only team that knows how to win on the road in this league. That’s why we have 10 straight titles. All these “elite” teams will blow it many times. Texas will tend to be a better team in the second half. Hopefully by then they already have 4 losses… then, later on, they end up doing us a favor by knocking down teams (besides Kansas) with fewer losses.

    I break this season down into sections. We won the first section by going 3-0. We’ve started section #2… a tough section against 3 of the top teams in our league, two of those games away. We need to win 2 of 3 here to solidify a margin at the top.

    Breaking down the season in 3-game sections is a good way to inner-weave enthusiasm. It ties the performance of one game to the next with a degree of focus.

    I know we see periods where our offense is out to lunch and that totally frustrates fans. Fans want to see their team having good offense. But Self has it right. Winning our conference is about defense, because you have the opportunity to play good defense every night. It is easier to export good defense on the road more than good offense. It’s hard to go into someone’s gym and get hot. The usual way to do that is have offense warm up because of the defensive side playing so well and creating TOs and motivating the offense.

    I see us grinding out several games on the road. It’s the Self way. Not always pretty, but we get more than our share of road wins. We are the ONLY Big 12 team that knows how to win on the road. All our opponents think it is about them winning in AFH… a very tough place for opponents to win. They should first focus on holding court. Stop us from coming in and leaving with a “w.”

    Last… we need to stay healthy. It seems like we have lots of depth on the perimeter, but really we don’t. Our perimeter depth is guys that can come in off the bench to give positive minutes. But we would be in trouble if we lost someone like Kelly or Frank. No one can come in and make up the difference when playing all those minutes.

  • @drgnslayr said:

    It seems like we have lots of depth on the perimeter, but really we don’t.

    Bingo! At the beginning of the season, Self always talks about wanting “separation”. He knows that it’s better to have 7 really good players than any number of OK players.

    Where is our separation now? Cliff, Perry, Jamari and Frank, Kelly, Devonte, Wayne. Others can contribute but not really replace.

    Name the last guy you want to see injured and you name our MVP.

    Now name the guy of those 7 who could most easily be replaced: now that Devonte is back, isn’t it Wayne??

  • West Virginia does look scary but Texas could easily beat them at home. I don’t think they are anywhere as bad as they have played recently. Remember WVU is full of freshman and first year players, at some point these road games have to affect them.

    If WVU wins and goes to 4-1 and we lose now we are back to tied. If Kansas St holds serve at home they are 4-1 as well.

  • If we had been asked to come up with the best possible conference scenario for KU after a few games in, could we have been able to come up with a better scenario than what we have now? I can’t think of any…

  • @ParisHawk

    “Now name the guy of those 7 who could most easily be replaced: now that Devonte is back, isn’t it Wayne??”

    Unfortunately, right now the answer is yes.

    I hope it isn’t Wayne later on.

    I hope he finds out how to tap into what EJ did in Ames and learns to carry that swagger through the rest of the season! Gosh… Wayne leaves so much of his game in the locker room! If he can defeat his mental issues, by himself he can completely flip this team into being a real killer! The game is wide open for him! He has really outstanding opportunities with our offense and with the skills of the rest of our players.

    Imagine if he developed some swagger? Started connecting more on 3s (he has been improving) and then realizes how to maintain his control on drives. He gets out of control on his drives. He needs to realize that being an effective driver is to operate in spurts. Put all his energy into a fast first step when the time is right and he has the driving angle. Then, at the right moment slow down. The defender can not make up the ground and get into position. This is the time when he should be regaining his control so he can execute the finish of his drive. There are many possible outcomes at the end of his drive; finish at the rim, pull up jumper, dish to an open player in the post or on the perimeter. But he gets too wound up on his drives. He’s out of control at the wrong moment… towards the end of his drive. Then he has to be bailed out of his situation; force a shot, or be stuck in the air without a good outlet to pass to.

    I remember when TT learned this lesson. He would always get in trouble on his drives until he hooked up with Lucas and he taught him how to maintain control. That sure made a difference… it was a huge part in leading us to the NC game!

  • @drgnslayr We saw that he can go off and have an EJ type game for at least 15 minutes in the second half of the Florida game. If we could bring that intensity for 30-35 mins tomorrow. There is no one on ISU that could stop him. He look damn near unguardable and willed us back into that game along with 16.3k faithful at AFH. He has all the talent in the world and has some aggression but he needs to get all the way turned up. Maybe he could benefit from a punch in the mouth too.

  • @drgnslayr Good post. What are the 3 games you think we lose? I think ISU tomorrow personally. At WVU? At UT? OSU is going to be pretty tough at their place as will OU. Even KSU is always more difficult than it should be.

  • I think we beat WV because we have Devonte back. WV plays the 40 minutes of Hell defense with a full court press on every play. We will practice 7 on 5 for the full court stuff. I didn’t realize how long Devonte’s arms are. He can throw over the top during a full court press. There should be plenty of dunks during that game. Tomorrow, we just have to follow the scouting reports on defense and play Niang straight up. He is having a year like Perry is. Both have been broken down minutely and both have scouting reports that take away their signature moves. Perry’s spin move and Niang’s up and under move. Defense will win on the road.

  • @joeloveshawks I think we may lose tomorrow if we lack aggressiveness and I see us losing @ WVU. I think we stomp a mud hole in the Kitties and lose @ Texas. and possibly OSU though I see that as being less likely than @ UT .

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