The Remaining Big 12 Schedule And Strategy

  • Time to examine our remaining schedule closely.

    We lost a huge opportunity by losing in Ames, because ISU is a team we should beat on any court. Enough said about that.

    Here is our remaining tough away games (in order):


    Oklahoma State

    West Virginia

    Kansas State


    That’s 5 tough away games and there is no way we win #11 if we lose all these games.

    So what is the low hanging fruit in this bunch? KSU and OSU? I wouldn’t take either of those games lightly.

    Where will we win… and why?

    We’ve only played OSU in this bunch so far, so we don’t really know how we will match up against the other 4 teams yet. After last night, as I was afraid of, I think winning at OU will not be impossible, but next to impossible!

    Post your predictions and strategies you believe we should have moving forward.

  • @drgnslayr

    “That’s 5 tough away games and there is no way we win #11 if we lose all these games.”

    So if all those teams defend their home court but not win any more away games, how does the conference stack up? Each one of those teams is capable of having an off night, just as we are and there is no love lost with any of those teams wanting to kick us off the mountain.

  • @RockChalkinTexas

    So do you think the winner of the Big 12 conference will have 6 losses?

    I’ve mentioned before that other teams in this league just don’t know how to win it. But if we lose 6 games I believe another team will stumble in to the crown.

  • @drgnslayr I think our strategy should be what it always is. Win every game at home and steal a few here and there on the road.

    I agree that those are the most difficult games on our schedule. My assumption is we lose at UT, WVU and OU. I think we win at KSU as they are not good and we match up quite well with OSU and I feel we beat them twice. They are a two man team and I see Bill putting together a great defensive game plan for them in Stillwater.

  • @drgnslayr No, was not implying that. I don’t know that I can give a prediction because the schedule is dictating that any given game/week there could be a team knocked off the top. Our having come out 3-0 is huge in my mind. As others said, ISU was figured to be a loss going into it. UT just played TCU for goodness sake but then has 2 top 11 teams back to back. While I hope nothing ever happens to any of the players on any team, injuries could really be critical. Right now I can’t say whether we win or lose at UT. I’ve watched all their games. I WANT KU to win. If KU wins, it is because of Barnes’ bad coaching more than anything, unless we shoot lights out like the first half last night but for 35 mins. OSU is always tough there. WVa will be too and travel comes into play. KSUcks is the 2nd to last conf. game and OU is our last away conf. game. Lots of movement going to take place between now and Feb. 7th when we are at OSU.

  • Of the 5 games listed I think the most important is the Texas game. Without knowing what our Conference record will be like going into the last game with Oklahoma I’m picking this game as the most crucial of the bunch. Think about it we lose to Texas we are now tied with everyone with 2 losses including them.

    We give Texas it’s 3rd loss and likely a 4th @ Iowa St on Monday pretty much eliminates them from contention unless they somehow win out in conference play.

    Of the 5 I think Oklahoma St and West Virginia are the toughest road games remaining. Oklahoma St because they always want to beat Self because of his connection to the school, and West Virginia because the game is 2 days after playing Baylor @ home and flying to the east coast on Big Monday.

    I think the K-St game is the easiest of the 5 because its our rival, we usually own them wherever its played and they are the least talented of the 5.

    Oklahoma game could be for the title, but we won’t know how that’s going to shake out for a while.

  • In any given day, any of the top 8 teams in the conference can beat any other team, home or away, so, defending the home court advantage is critical since any road game can be a defeat…

    After watching the Texas-WVU game, I feel better about playing WVU; once Texas figured out how to beat the full court press, they usually ended up with easy baskets inside. West Virginia reminds me of the UAB team of 2004. coached by Mike Anderson, that beat top seed Kentucky using the 40 minutes of hell strategy that Kentucky was not ready for and could not overcome. In the next game KU with Aaron Miles at PG easily beat the press and KU ended up with easy baskets; Simien ended up with 30 points and KU won 100 -74. This year I feel very confident that with Mason and Graham at the PG, KU should have no problem beating the press and scoring easily, much like Texas did.

    As far as the next 5 away games, I would placed them in this order:



    West Virginia

    Oklahoma State

    Kansas State

    We should not dismiss KSU, they have been underestimated and have been sneaking on teams; their win at OU was impressive.

    Win 3 out of this 5 plus TTU and TCU and hold at home and KU (15-3) most likely wins the conference title; 2 out of 3 (14-4) and either wins or shares the title. any more loses beyond that and the chances become smaller but not unrealistic.

  • @JayHawkFanToo I think Texas will be our toughest challenge too. The 2 games I’ve seen of wv weren’t to impressive-both losses. I haven’t watched them when they were winning, though.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    I like your read on WVU.

    I think Texas is a team that will be next to impossible to beat towards the end of the Big 12 schedule. Glad we get them at their place next! I think our hope in beating them is they are a bit like us and play inconsistent. I’d like to see us try to get some run outs sort of like what ISU did to us. We need to play their size against them and run, run, run.

    Barnes is not the best game coach in our league. He doesn’t do well with halftime adjustments.

    I’ve always respected Kruger’s abilities as a game coach. He really helped his team pull it together at half and he made a few well-timed timeouts. I was impressed with OU. I can easily see them reaching the Sweet 16. They have more capable talent than a team like ISU.

    I hate to crystal ball this, because I stink at predictions and always feel like I’m the jinx factor. But from the games listed, I like our chances best at KSU and WVU. We always get a tough game from OSU in Stillwater, and they are going to be pumped to beat us this year.

    I think we’ll need two victories out of this bunch and a sweep of our home games to win the title outright. It may even matter which two teams we beat.

    We really can’t sleepwalk through any game this year. One flub up on a lower team or a home loss and we have an uphill battle.

    Like I said before, I thought beating ISU at Ames was one of our better shots and helping secure #11. That didn’t happen, so we have to suck it up and earn a win somewhere else.

  • @drgnslayr I really don’t like the looks of any of those games. Losing at Temple, (I know some of you make excuses saying it was just before Christmas and they were distracted by visions of fairies dancing in their heads) showed me that this team is not tough enough to win a whole bunch of the biggest games of the year in other peoples gyms. Now, I know we’ll win a few. Baylor was one example. But then ISU showed us that we can’t assume we’re KU and we’re going to win.

    All of these teams will have the same problems however and we’ll be right there in March to win another league title. I don’t even want to think about what will happen in the dance.

  • I worry about WVU because they will be tough at their place. Texas has so much talent that they will make life difficult. Oklahoma State is tough at Gallagher Iba, but I don’t know that they will win enough games otherwise. We already have a win on OU, and they have ground to make up anyway.

    I would prioritize the games as follows:

    1. vs. Iowa State - must win because they already have a win over us
    2. at Texas - want to stay above the fray.
    3. at West Virginia - could use this win to separate.
    4. at Oklahoma - a sweep here could be huge
    5. at Kansas State - simply because they have the fewest losses currently
    6. at Oklahoma State - we already have the home win on them, so no worries about getting swept.

    I don’t worry so much about K-State because I see them falling back to the pack. They have had a very favorable schedule so far - both TCU and Tech at home (nobody in conference has gotten both opponents at their place) as well as not having played KU, ISU, Texas or West Virginia - probably the four best teams in the league (everyone else has seen at least one of those teams. They have a good win at OU, but they have a loss at Gallagher Iba and three home wins, including two against the bottom of the league. If they are still up there after their next four, (@ ISU, vs. OSU, vs. WVU, @ KU) I will re-evaluate, but I need to see them defend their home floor against a potential title contender like WVU before I move them into the serious discussion.

  • @justanotherfan Hoiberg will wipe the floor with Weber tonight. 🙂

  • Hoiberg beats us with less talent because he forms a game plan to beat us every single time. Self runs his stuff basically the same at everyone, sometimes throwing in tiny changes, but believes you win by keeping to your “identity.”

    That’s why the future will probably see Hoiberg in the pros and Self staying in college. College basketball is about “teaching players philosophy” while the NBA is strictly about winning.

  • @drgnslayr

    Hoiberg is not going to the NBA, he has a heart condition that forced him to move to college.

    Many times, how much talent a teams has or how well they play is not as important as the match up. ISU’s personnel and style of play is a bad match up for KU. While they don’t have very tall players, they don’t have very short players either and the are all realtively tall, athletic and can hit from outside, something KU always seems to have a problem with.

  • I still say we end up 14-4, which will win the Big 12. Losses at UT, OU, and WVU, and winning out at home gets us there.

  • I would take 14-4 right now, but thinking that 13-5 is more likely. As @KUSTEVE suggests, UT, OU and WVU will be tough - more likely Ls than Ws. And, between OSU, KSU and TCU, another one is distinctly possible - or, we slip up once at home (where we haven’t exactly dominated the past few games). Would also bet that 13-5 still wins the title, or no worse than a tie. Just don’t see anyone else winning a majority of road games and holding serve at home…

  • Anybody watching kstate ISU game? Espn2 pretty exciting!

  • @Crimsonorblue22 I am now…lots of commercials…

  • Half, seems like game day. Be prepared, Kentucky and more about the Hoiberg family.

  • @KUSTEVE gag!!

  • @Crimsonorblue22 pretty good game. i keep thinking what the kitties would’ve looked like if angel hadn’t transferred. of course, you can’t blame him for not wanting to be coached by liberace…

  • @KUSTEVE angel might not have developed like he has. How did ISU beat us?? Kstate will be tough!

  • I agree that we probably need to win 1 or 2 of those games. We need to think in terms of winning at OSU and KSU. If we lose at OU, Texas, and WVU, that is 4 losses…that should get us at least a tie. 5 losses might do it also. ISU has won at WVU…but lost at Baylor. So…I look at it that we are even with them.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 I thought our game against the Clones was our worst game of the year. Not because we played the worst, but because we didn’t meet the challenge. you want to be champion? You win in Ames. We can still win it, but I would’ve much rather been 5-0 instead of 4-1 going into austin.

  • @Hawk8086 I think it’s going to be a crazy time, pretty sure one of us will have a heart attack before the end-me!

  • @KUSTEVE Good point and the best take away from that game? We lost by 5 playing "our worst game of the year’ against a very good ISU team, in an extremely hostile environment. I have hope for this team.

    This KU team can beat any team in the B12. If the KU team that played ISU shows up again on the road, they’re toast. I actually believe that ISU game prepared them for these future road games.

    The other B12 teams smell blood. The media is feeding it too. OU comes into the Phog and almost beats KU at home is a little bit to ponder. KU losing a 19 pt half lead and allow a team to take the lead, in the Phog, is unsettling. This team has to play every game like Oubre played against OU. Greene is showing up and he’s got to combine with Oubre’s defense to make an impact. Mason needs to remain consistent. We’ve yet to see Alex have a real breakout game…when? Ellis has got to show up every game and play aggressive like he did in the first half of the OU game. He played like a true McDs AA and leader on the court. He took the team and put them on his back for a moment.

    They need to push the throttle down and not let up until the final buzzer.

  • From Gary Parish - CBS Sports

    The Big 12 is proving to be fun and exhausting for all coaches involved January 20, 2015 11:49 am CT

    Bill Self spent Saturday in a down-to-the-final-buzzer game that Kansas ultimately lost against a top-20 team inside Hilton Coliseum, a building Iowa State’s Fred Hoiberg, the victor on that night, told me Sunday was as loud as he’s ever heard it. Just a draining experience for the visitors, I’m certain. Roughly 48 hours later, Self was in another down-to-the-final buzzer game against another top-20 team inside Allen Fieldhouse, where his Jayhawks took a 20-point lead and then blew a 20-point lead before recording a win over Oklahoma during which Self punched the scorer’s table three times and broke it.

    Next up for Kansas?

    A road game at No. 17 Texas!

    Such is life in the Big 12 this season – and not just for KU.

    This is life for everybody.

    Seven of the Big 12’s 10 members are currently ranked in the Top 25 (and one), eight of the 10 have been ranked in the AP poll at one time or another, and nine of the 10 have at least received votes. Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia, Kansas, Iowa State, Baylor and Oklahoma State are all in the top 25 of both the KenPom and Sagarin ratings, and’s Jerry Palm now has seven Big 12 schools projected to make the 2015 NCAA Tournament.

    Armed with this information, I asked Self a simple question.

    Is coaching in this league fun and exciting – or just plain exhausting?

    “I would say it’s a little bit of all three … or a lot of all three,” Self answered. “You get excited every night to play, and that should be fun. But it does take a toll. I mean, it could wear you out. You know, in most situations I’ve been in, there are certain weeks in leagues, maybe a two-week stretch, that’s key and you can really point to, and then you can maybe catch your breath or whatnot. But there’s no catching your breath [in the Big 12 this season]. Every week is a key week. So I do think it’s going to be pretty exhausting when we go into March. That doesn’t mean the teams will be tired going into the postseason; I’m not saying that at all. But I do think mental toughness will play a huge role in who’s successful.”

    Self has coached 11 years at KU, won at least a share of the Big 12’s past 10 titles and never lost more than four league games. And yet, by his estimation, in this particular season, he – or anybody else, for that matter – might be able to win the Big 12 even with five league losses, which is a testament to the quality and depth of the conference.

    Simply put, it’s almost impossible to go a week in the Big 12 without playing a ranked opponent, which is obviously challenging and undeniably rare. For the purposes of context, understand that Kentucky and Gonzaga have no more scheduled games against currently ranked opponents, Arizona won’t play another until Feb. 28, Villanova doesn’t play another until Feb. 16, and Virginia will end up going 21 days – from Jan. 10 to Jan. 31 – between games against currently ranked opponents. That’s light work, relatively speaking.

    “I think what’s a little surprising is that we’d have this many good teams,” Self said. “[The Big 12 has] been good in the past. But it’s better now because of the depth of the league.”

    Better, sure.

    But also more grueling.

    Which is not to suggest the Big 12 is absolutely the nation’s best basketball league because, frankly, that’s open to debate given how different folks value conferences. I’d pick the Big 12, probably. But a reasonable man could argue the ACC is better because of the power at the top – specifically Virginia, Duke, Notre Dame, Louisville and North Carolina.

    In other words, whatever.

    I’m not here to convince you the Big 12 is the best because, again, reasonable minds can disagree on what “best” actually means. But is the Big 12 the toughest to navigate? Absolutely. And it’s the most fun to watch. And it’s going to have every coach, at some point, punching a scorer’s table or at least wanting to punch a scorer’s table.

    Among those coaches: Baylor’s Scott Drew.

    His Bears have played three straight games that have been decided by either one possession or overtime, and his next three Big 12 games are against Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas. In between, Baylor has a non-league game against something called Huston Tillotson that could not be coming at a more advantageous time.

    The de facto break is scheduled for Wednesday night.

    “I’m looking forward to that one,” Drew said with a laugh. “I’m exhausted.”

  • At this juncture, I think that if our freshmen remain on the upswing, and if Self continues to tighten the reins on Selden, and if we suffer no extended injuries to our curent starters (also Cliff, Brannen, Devonte), we win the league outright at 15-3; or perhaps a tie at 14-4. That thinking involves a trio of significant IFs…but would seem reasonable, based on the strength of the league and Bill Self’s credentials. We lose Frank, Kelly or Cliff to injury for 3 games: YIKES!

  • @truehawk93 I’m not worried about blowing the lead. We weren’t going to hit 60% the whole game. OU already has a double digit win at Texas, has been ranked for some time, and Kruger is a very good coach. Practically every team we play in conference will be older, with way more experience than we have. The good news is we held on- we made the plays down the stretch to win.

    I think we just saw the Cliffie breakout. 13 and 13 is a breakout to me, and I would expect no less going forward. I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t start from here on out.

  • @KUSTEVE I don’t think Cliff will start but he probably will finish. He needs to be up around 25 or more minutes moving forward. And some of that will depend on Traylor and Ellis. I still think Self has a little more trust in them than Alexander. The Big Red Dog’s leash is getting longer though!

  • @benshawks08 remember, Traylor is hurt! Not sure how serious.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    “Hoiberg is not going to the NBA, he has a heart condition that forced him to move to college.”

    Forgot about that. I have to admit after rereading that post I was mostly jamming a dig on Self and his inflexibility.

Log in to reply