Thinking longterm, Self benches Alexander in second half

  • This is the title of Tom Keegan’s article: *Thinking longterm, Self benches Alexander in second half * published right after the game.

    Nice effort to cover for HCBS, and stay positive, but I say, nonsense.

    Coach : Play the Big Red Dog NOW (even if is not playing good D). His motor is plenty good and if your rotation is designed “give us the best chance to win”, then Alexander the Great is by far the best option. Unless he is hurt, limiting his minutes in this way is a very poor decision at this point in the season.

    Coach : stop being so damn stubborn and pig-headed about young players not doing exactly what you want them to do, in the way you want them to do it.

    Cliff is by far our best rebounder and post player. He has a nice touch on his jumper inside 15 feet and his improvement will come through playing more minutes. He needs more game time, not less. What is going on?

  • @jayhawk-007 I thought the same thing til I watched post game. What coach was saying was that Cliff wasn’t playing hard or hustling-no motor. He didn’t make any attempt to breAk down on d or close out or get in any kind of defensive stance. I get it. Lucas, clearly not as talented, was busting himself and playing as hard as he could. Self said in order for Cliff to play good he needs to play w/motor. Tough point to learn!

  • @Crimsonorblue22 Lucas is not as talented is a very polite way of saying it. Unfortunately even when Lucas plays hard he puts up 0 points, 0 boards, 3 TO’s (more if you count just mishandling the ball when he had an open layup) and 4 fouls in 20 minutes of play.

  • @joeloveshawks

    The biggest miss from his statline, 3 transition dunks by McKay while being guarded by Lucas. Absolute killers

  • @BeddieKU23 Exactly, and that’s what I don’t get about Alexander’s benching for the same reason. At least Cliff gave 6 points and 6 boards. In the first half, in effect a double double.

    Let’s hope it serves as a motivator. We need the team gelling in March more than we do now.

  • Blog on the topic. I’ve been one of Alexander’s biggest supporters, but after going back to the tape, I can see Self’s beef.

  • @Jesse-Newell have you also seen BG’s attitude problems?

  • From Matt Tait KU Sports.


  • @Jesse-Newell

    Good timing, i just finished reading your article! I think Alexander won’t dog it on defense any more this season and should play plenty of minutes.

  • @jayhawk-007 One thing sticks out from last night. Cliff was out on the perimeter and couldn’t keep Niang and Long from drilling three pointers right in his face.

  • Great he benched a freshman for poor play but stuck with a sophomore and junior for just as poor of play. Self you make NO SENSE. NOBODY played defense last night. Those defensive plays by Cliff are bad but your gonna tell me he was the only one responsible is incorrect. You can put the tape on Selden all night and watch how many times a 3 pointer was made on him or a blow by for points at the hoop. Great you single out one player, instead of everyone. You did nothing as a coach to switch up a defense that wasn’t doing much. We had some good steals for runs out and our press looked effective for the minute we used it.

    I always support our coach but last night he was wrong and he took a loss because of it.

  • @Jesse-Newell

    That is an excellent review that illustrates why Alexander sat most of the second half. Has Alexander hit the proverbial freshman wall?

  • Why is Cliff wearing a rib protector??

  • @Kip_McSmithers I noticed that, back spasms?

  • @JayHawkFanToo He’s been fine stats-wise. Just think this is what Self does with certain guys. We always talk about how one of his best assets as a coach is that he gets talented guys to play hard for him. These tactics are one way he’s able to do that.

  • @Jesse-Newell

    I was referring more to the condition related freshman wall where younger players (more often than not, bigs), physically crash because at this level they get pushed around by other players where in HS they were the ones doing the manhandling; Cliff typically guards players bigger than he is. Yesterday, it looked like he was getting caught off position because he was late to his assignment and did not have the speed or reaction time to get in position to defend. Hopefully he catches his second wind and finishes the season strong.

  • @Jesse-Newell I have to concur about the lack of effort or a sense of urgency in his defensive performance last night. And if he & any other JHawks were unaware of the ISU guys skills to nail 3’s, they were probably the only ones on Earth that didn’t know. I refuse to believe this was not addressed by the scouting report.

    My main b*#ch with our defense is our consistent lack of vertical arms or hands in the face when spotting on shooters & the poor footwork fundamentals in our defensive on ball matchups. If as a defender if you’ve one foot noticeably in front of the other, all the offensive man has to do to beat you is get over or past your front foot. Plain & simple fundamentals. I continually saw poor footwork & damn few slides from anyone but Frank or Devonte last night-as usual. Wayne, Perry, JT, every damn one was playing the Ole" BS swatting & waving at their guy blowing past & looked a complete step slower…which they were Hey, I played a lot when a kid, I boxed until I was mid 20’s so I’m fully aware of what arm weariness can make you display or the absence thereof. But some guys like Forte can hit even when you’re in their pocket, but reality not that many can when you contest in their face. Every game I’ve ever watched, no matter the teams, I see this fundamental ignored over & over. Is all about 2 things-physical conditioning/reps and desire. Yeah, some guys like Lucas or Mick may not have the foot speed of others, but BG, KO, Cliff-I ain’t buyin’ it. If these guys can’t find a way to get motivated & stay in their opponents headlights, I’m all for some form of carrot/playing time/PT punishment/steps or combination of all to the get dead asses up to speed, OAD’s, TAD’s or walk-ons. Attitude adjustments should all be treated the same. One guy effs up-you all gotta pay the piper. JMO

  • Good discussion by all.

    Is the issue with Cliff really lack of effort? Cliff is a competitor and wants to play well and win. He has lots of energy but not necessarily the knowledge/skill/ingrained reflex to go hard on D (or in practice) all the time, every possession.

    We love Coach Self and always have his back. Of course, if Cliff is slacking or dogging it on D, let him ride the pine. But maybe he was he just out of position and confused/lack of concentration on D, rather than laziness or lack of effort?

    With more minutes, gradually moving from 15-20 to 25-30 min/game, Cliff’s play will improve on both ends of the floor, and all aspects of the game (especially D and passing).

    He seems to be a fine young man with a good attitude, but maybe a poor work ethic b/c he has always been so dominant and physically superior.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with his motor, he is a high energy guy (lots of highlight moments already - remember “the dunk”!) Only injury or fouls should keep him on the pine for an entire half in a game like the one we lost yesterday.

    Lastly, Cliff is a phenomenal rebounder and our best (only) low post player whi can make a difference - more minutes for Cliff starting tomorrow!!!

  • @Kip_McSmithers said:

    Why is Cliff wearing a rib protector??

    He’s been wearing it all year. Lucas too. Jamari once in a while I think.

    Kind of wussy, IMO.

  • @DanR maybe after what happened to Embiids back last year, they are trying to keep it from happening to the rest of the guys. Just a guess!

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