January 21 Comparison.... This Team vs Last Year's Team

  • This is a great time to open up the conversation.

    Let’s compare this team with last year’s team and let’s make sure to focus on where both teams were at as of January 21.

    I recall JoJo starting to make big waves, Andrew trying to find himself, and we didn’t really know what to expect out of Tharpe.

    Please go into details. Match-up players, and have at it! Kelly vs Andrew?! Insane to think about!

    Can’t wait to read your responses!

  • Well by this time last year we had just finished off a win over #24 Baylor, our fourth straight win over a ranked conference opponent, and fifth straight conference win. We had been through a tough non-con with 4 losses all to decent teams. We had a BIG win early over Duke. We were all lamenting our lack luster defense. Jesse was posting steal updates constantly reminding us that we couldn’t guard on the ball, or get in the passing lanes. HEM was complaining about lack of offensive flow as it was mostly throw it in to Joel or Perry or stand around and watch Wiggins. Sometimes, Wayne or Tharpe would get hot from 3 and have some big scoring games.

    1: Tharpe v Mason Tharpe had some great scoring games but never could “cut the head off,” a phrase held over from Tyshawn’s time that was repeated many times by self. But Tharpe was inconsistent. On one or two games, off several. Jaybate commented often about his short legs leading to shortcomings on the defensive end. The team is searching for a leader hoping Wiggins will be THE guy.

    Mason so far this year has been the opposite. He is the model of consistency. He hasn’t gone for 25-30 or 5-5 from 3 but has been solid. His on the ball D is tough and aggressive making the opposing point guard make difficult passes that have lead to more steals (not necessarily by Frank). The team is a reflection of Franks tenacity. Turnovers are down. Many, including Self, have said that Frank is by far our most valuable player and this seems to be his team.
    ADVANTAGE: Mason

    Selden v. Selden This is a tough one because not too much has changed. 13-14 Selden, I think, had just had that huge hustle play vs Baylor. He’d had a couple of 20 pt games vs Oklahoma and KSU that had us thinking he could be the key. Turnovers were an occasional problem, and his defense was sometimes questioned.

    14-15 Selden has had some good hustle plays but Kelly seems to have taken that role from him. His scoring has been down somewhat. His 3pt% is up and he has become more consistent defensively. ADVANTAGE: None

    Wiggins v. Oubre Wiggins was starting to turn it on by this point. He had some big games. He was considered our “lockdown defender” on the perimeter. His athleticism was never questioned but his toughness and heart were still at times up for debate. Jaybate was already beginning to wonder about 1/2Wig or 2/3 Wiggy implying he was saving something for the future and playing not to get hurt. We all had the Duke game in the back of our minds hoping he would shine brightest on the biggest stage and go FULL ANDREW WIGGINS come March. He brought a circus to every game of people heaping unrealistic expectations on him and the team.

    Oubre struggled early, but has come on recently. His on the ball defense and quick hands and hustle have lead to more transition play and infectious “pace” with the whole team. His 3pt% is better than Wiggins, he takes better shots, and nobody watches him to see what he’ll do next. He makes better decisions because he is allowed to not be THE GUY we all wanted AW to be.
    ADVANTAGE: Oubre (in no way am I saying Kelly is now or will be a better basketball player than Andrew who is currently showing he will be just fine, but Oubre is better for the team)

    To be continued…

  • @benshawks08 Nice comparison and right on target, too

  • Perry v. Perry 13-14 Perry was in pretty good form. With Wiggins being the focus, and Joel drawing so much attention, Perry was able to be the “silent assassin.” He excels at this role. Some of his tendencies to struggle with length and athleticism were coming to light, but he was a legit post option next to Embiid. You could throw it in to Perry and he could score. His rebounding was somewhat lacking but Joel cleaned up so well in there it didn’t really matter. He had shown some flashes of some trifecticating ability but wasn’t really reliable out there.

    14-15 Perry has clearly been in a funk but is starting to come out of it. He has clearly worked on his shot and is up to almost 40% from three with increased looks. Recently he has been rebounding better with a few games with 7 or more. He has almost lost all back to the basket ability as everyone knows when he is going to spin. He gets blocked against taller players and everyone, including Perry, knows it. He had some confidence issues but could be showing more promise with the 4 our 1 in approach. He has been part of the weave and is driving more as well.
    ADVANTAGE: None (this was a tough call. I can’t decide which Perry I like/dislike more!)

    Embiid v. Traylor Embiid was really coming into his own at this point. He had taking the starting job without a doubt. His inside presence was huge for the team. All the lack of defense was erased by his height and shot blocking. He had great feet on offense. He was making better decisions and drawing all sorts of double teams that opened stuff up for other players (particularly Ellis). He was supposed to be a project but it was starting to be clear he wouldn’t last that long at KU. He was the real heart of the team and THE guy they all looked to. He was becoming the emotional center of the team.

    Traylor has had some good moments this year. He has at times been our best energy guy. He has had some struggles as well, turning the ball over, taking bad shots, etc. As HEM has said, he really just isn’t a starter at a High Major program, especially and Elite school like Kansas.
    ADVANTAGE: Embiid

  • @benshawks08

    Both posts are solid!

    How do you compare JoJo with Cliff?

  • @benshawks08 I like the analysis.

    Here’s mine.

    • Tharpe < Mason : Mason is a better and more consistent player. Tharpe (9.5 pts per game @ 1/21/14) had his moments and then he had moments. Last year we needed someone that would drive the ball and take charge and nobody showed up for this role. Mason (12.5 pts per game this year) as a backup last year showed more balls/hustle/heart/whatever you want to call it than most of the superstar starting guards on last years team. As a distributor Tharpe had a better A/T ratio. At this point last season he was averaging 5.7A/2.1T per. Mason is at 4.2A/2.2T. Does Frank get penalized for playing on a worse shooting team?? Last years team shot 49% total and this year we are at a lowly 43%. Did Tharpe benefit from KU taking higher % shots vs our 3slinging team we have now??

    • Selden > Selden : I take Selden last year because with a year under his belt you’d expect better results with a year under his belt. Last years stats are as follows FG% 43.7. Points: 9.8. Assists: 2.4. TOs: 2.3 3pt%: 37.7. This year he’s at 8.9Pts, 34.6% FG, 3.3A, 1.8T and dropped the 3% to 34.8%. Only thing he’s doing better is taking care of the ball.

    • Wiggins < Oubre : This is the toughest choice. Not sure you can go wrong with either pick. Wiggins filled up the bucket with a lot of 2s while KO is more reliable beyond the arc. D wise Wiggins is better but Kelly isn’t light years behind him. If you need a slasher you pick Wigs, you need a gunner you pick KO. Draw??

    • Perry or Perry : Just like the Selden debate. A year old but is he a year better?? He’s better deep but less effective closer to the basket. Is this the Joel effect in play like @benshawks08 stated? Probably so. Our options at the 5 this year aren’t as lethal as Joel and Black when he shined so the Designer draws more attention which decreases his effectiveness in the paint. Perry needs Cliff to dominate so he can regain his back to the basket mojo.

    • Embiid > Traylor : Do I need to explain myself here? No offense to Traylor but anyone picking JT over JE is nuts or has the last name Drew.

  • @Kip_McSmithers

    I’m definitely favoring Kelly over Andrew… and I was the Head Wig of Wiggymania!

    Kelly doesn’t bring all the media baggage. And Kelly represents just another option. Andrew was representing THE option. I think we play more as a team now. Guys don’t just stand around when the pass goes to Kelly.

    I like Kelly’s energy more, too. Andrew was about Andrew. He wanted to be a team player, but his world forced his focus on himself. Kelly is definitely a team guy. He makes a good basket and his hands flop up and down to get the crowd and his teammates excited. He is definitely a better cheerleader for the cause.

    Defensively. Andrew was a better lock-down defender. But Kelly has better movement and an attack on the ball, hence his ability to create TOs… that advantage goes to Kelly, perhaps enough to make the defense a wash between these great players.

  • @benshawks08 Agreed with your 1 thru 3. Mason over Tharpe, Selden is pretty much a draw but he has more experience this year, so slight edge to him this year, Wigs vs Oubre? Tough call for me to be honest. Wigs broke the freshmen scoring record, the single game scoring record and the free throws made/ attempted record if Im not mistaken. Although he had tendencies to not play well during stretches. We havent seen that disappearing act from Oubre since he has been starting. Dude’s got the fastest feet and hands on the team and we haven’t seen someone at KU so adept at picking the other teams pocket since Chalmers and RussRob. Oubre is tough as nails and that gives him the edge IMO.

  • @benshawks08 Perry last years team was better this far into it. no question but it was from who he had around him. Wigs and Beed and Selden that made him better. JoJO vs Traylor isnt even close Jojo vs Cliff. two completely different bigs with their own set of strengths. I say draw.

  • Our guard play cost us multiple games last year, so we are far ahead of last year, even with Selden’s struggles. Our interior doesn’t have the manpower we had last year, but I have high hopes for Cliffie. Last year’s Frank, and this year’s Frank are night and day. Selden looks worse than last year, simply because he is trying to do more, and the change in shooting approach has got him thinking too much. Perry is crying over losing Embiid and Black, but is learning to score without their help. Greene looks 1,000% better. We didn’t have Graham around, but he’s the best pure PG we’ve had in a long while. Jamari looks like Jamari- I don’t see any growth in his game( sorry, crimson). We are a young, immature team that has no clue how good we are. We blow leads ( like last year), we have times where we play simply abysmally, and we have times we look just like 2008 or 2012. Our defense looks championship caliber, then we get our ass kicked by transition buckets all night against the Clones. We’re a mixed bag…a box of chocolates- you never know what you’re going to get. Every game is a roller coaster ride of great, combined with suck. I am not even contemplating what Saturday’s game will be like, or how it will go. We could win by double digits, or we could get bullied off the court. I can’t wait until this team finally hits a peak, with everything in place, and begins to play complete games with poise, confidence, tough nosed defense, with creative offense. All the parts are there -let’s fit them together, and fire this baby up!

  • The last thing I wanted to compare was the bench: 13-14 Traylor, Black, Mason, Greene, Frankamp, White: This gets tricky because many here have argued that the bench was good just not properly used. My perspective is Perry and JoJo were so much better than Traylor and Black at their positions that too much time for them just wasn’t going to happen. Black had some good games and brought some leadership. Jamari pretty much was what he is, a serviceable 4th big man. The backcourt of guards again just couldn’t stay on the court long enough to make an impact except for Mason. Even Frank was always 100 mph often out of control last year.

    14-15 Alexander, Lucas, Greene, Graham (that’s pretty much it at this point but you could add Svi and Mickleson): Cliff is huge off the bench. He hasn’t been quiet good enough yet to take the starting spot like Joel demanded last year, though that is questionable. Lucas shouldn’t really be relied upon for anything. But Greene and Graham and maybe Svi are the huge improvement. This is why I think Conner leaving was so good for this team. Not having another player demanding playing time has allowed Self to truly develop some depth. Greene is downright dangerous off the bench (sometimes both good and bad!). Devonte is so solid a back up as a freshman it is crazy. He is better than Frank was last year. Now, more was asked of Frank as a back up last year than of Graham this year but so far the production is better.
    ADVANTAGE: 14-15 by a mile.

    Overall, I really like this team much better than last year. We were SOOOOOO young last year and so soft that it was pretty clear without Joel we were not going to make it far in the tournament. We are still young this year but we are certainly more mature and way tougher. The pieces last year were individually better in many instances but the cohesion and full picture are much stronger this season.

  • Coach, better this year than last. It would have been tough to sit Wiggins in the Toughening box.

  • @drgnslayr Comparing Embiid and Cliff I would still go with Embiid. He was so tall, so smart, and so smooth. Now, I do believe we are “tougher” with Cliff, but the skills just aren’t really comparable. We may never have any prospects as good as Wiggins and Embiid again and they were on the same team!! Too bad we didn’t have any experienced bench to give them some pressure and some help.

  • @benshawks08

    Good replies. You need to post more often in here!

    I’m on board with your posts.

    Last comparison:

    Self vs Self

    @wrwlumpy - I take that as a + for Self this year over last? It is kind of hard to compare situations. Wigs brought such monster media baggage with him. That had to impact how Self treated him over any other player. When Wigs farted, it was broadcast coast-to-coast, America-to-China… Booooom! 🙂

  • Self v Self 13-14 Self was handling so much off the court with Wiggins and Embiid being such top prospects. Expectations were through the roof, and like I mentioned above, we simply didn’t have quality depth. I know many thought White should have had more of a chance and Self wasted the talent on the bench. IMHO, I never saw much out of White. He was a slow footed defender and while we all thought he should be a dead eye shooter, he never really was. Conner was too slow with the ball to beat out Frank for back up minutes (thank god he didn’t!). So I don’t think we can blame Self for squandering depth. I think were Self struggled last year was how to utilize the amazing gifts of Andrew Wiggins while helping the team. We saw some Iso which led to standing around. We saw some posting from Andrew but not enough to let him get a good feel for it. So for me Self did about as good as he could with the youth he had.

    14-15 Self has been on top of his game. I didn’t think I would say that this season after Temple, but I think letting these boys get whooped was good for them. These guys hate to lose so much more than last year, so a couple of stompings has done the job of getting there attention. I feel like Self has been very strategic in his bringing along of both Kelly and Cliff. Hustle is not the issue it was last year. And many have broken down his evolution on offense. He seems to be trying more things this year, giving his team more options. You hear him talking about how coachable his players are this year. He is having more fun (did you see the post OU talk?). The team is having more fun, playing tougher. However, his job is somewhat easier than last with quality depth at every position, and a true leader on the court with Frank.
    ADVANTAGE: 14-15 Self but only by a little. He was dealt a great hand last year but it had so many pitfalls that made it tough.

  • Self vs. Self:

    He had this season with the flipping Marines coming to talk to the team.

    This has been the hardest year ever for me to keep up with him–to figure out what the heck he has been trying to do. This is the most complex, sophisticated job of coaching he’s ever done at KU.

    He won me over when he decided to make this team learn and run as much offense as a veteran team. Clifford has suffered the most because of this choice, but The Big Red Dog is finally starting not to look like a second semester Ph.d. student paralyzed with information overload. He is going to be a load when his brain throws off the circuit breaker and resumes firing normally.

    Self won me over hitting the sign vs. OU. I wanted him to hit that sign. I liked every hit. No man can coach on this complicated a level without getting deeply frustrated. He has had find more interim fixes and wait for more late blooms, and see more early blooms die, and has had to make do with more guys that weren’t anywhere near ready than any other two years combined. This years incomers make Wiggins and Embiid last season seem like ten year NBA veterans about game savvy.

    But god do I love this team NOW!!!

  • @drgnslayr Wishful thinking Bill vs the REAL BILL. Wishful thinking Bill anointed Naadir as our most important player, not realizing he had elevated the weakest link. That whole gig came down with a THUD with the multiple benchings of Tharpe in the NCAA tourney. Wishful think Bill dutifully ran Tharpe out there, electing to let Connor and poppa stew on the bench all year. Last year, there was a quick hook ( hyuk for Vonnegut readers) that was sudden bench grabbing time for errant passes, almost any 3 point shot, and sleeping on defense. Last year, we anointed 3 freshmen to start, no questions asked.

    REAL BILL is realizing we can’t score inside like we used to, so the three ball is now in play.

    REAL BILL is making the freshmen EARN their minutes, which is a refreshing change. We have actually had tryouts this year, for the most part.

    REAL BILL teaches defense, and this year’s team has responded better than last year’s version…so far!

    I think Coach was caught up last year in having to be “nice” because he couldn’t afford to alienate Wigs. He appears to be more like himself in his coaching than he was last year.

    i think this year’s Bill is the real Bill- the coach we’ve watched for a decade.

  • Really nice round of posts. Tough were needed, but not just on the attack. Lots of good material and insight into this team and the pros and cons of last year with the #1 and #3 draft picks.

    I miss both of those guys… but I’m glad the media circus has picked up tent and is now setup in Lexington and Durham. Let those guys deal with the daily soap operas and frenzies. Lose a game and it’s the end of the world. If Calipari drops a game this year they’ll have his head on a block.

    Self can afford to be Self this year, without mainstream scrutiny (I mean… east coast scrutiny).

    We may be an untypical Jayhawk team, but at least it feels like we have some of our identity back. I know the focus is on becoming a team full of top preps. Does any of us really think those deluxe dorms are being built for 3 and 4-star players? Ha… They might as well put a revolving door on the dorms.

    The smart elite college coach of the future will have the ability to recruit big name talent and keep most of them staying for two years. That’s the key… two years! And another key is to go for the best short PG out there, because a guy like that will never go at the top of the lottery. We are blessed to have 4 years of Frank, and also 4 years of Devonte! I believe we are all realizing how key these guys are going to be in our future. Frank is easily our most solid player and he’s only a sophomore!

    I think Self is on the right track. I think the first move was just to start landing higher elites. From there he can focus more on specific talent and attitudes to get the right top tier guys here, along with a mix of players staying longer and some staying 4 years who receive big time PT.

    Fans vs Fans

    I think Kansas fans have improved this year. I think many were a bit delusional last year, but we all learned some lessons having to deal with the media circus and the final result in March. Fans are more grounded again and starting to wise up on x-axis. Self is coming around on that, too. Miami whipping up on Duke in Cameron and breaking their home court streak should be a huge wake up to those who don’t get it yet (even though the UCONN victory over monster Kentucky for the NC should have already done it). Have a couple of guards, 1 and 2, with legs and you have a team that can beat anyone if they are willing to play defense and attack on offense.

    I don’t want to beat up on any players from this team… but our '08 NC team was driven by Mario, RRob, and Sherron… 3 quick guards that could deal the pressure!

    We should stop focusing on our lack of post presences and start focusing on having our 1 and 2 guards playing like Miami or last year’s UCONN. That’s where our opportunities are, and it doesn’t really get any better than that! We could bring down a Kentucky, just like UCONN if we can understand that nothing (and I mean NOTHING) beats high ball pressure! This isn’t the NBA… it’s a bunch of kids playing medium basketball with largely unrefined skills. Attack at the head and the biggest of beasts will fall!

    Kentucky is prime for a beat down! Yes… Kentucky!

  • Banned

    Last year’s team would seem more talented but I like this year’s team better. If I was a betting man, which I am 😉 I would bet on this years team all day.

    Seeing Oubre diving across the floor says it all for me. This year’s team wants it., they just ((ain’t)) figured it out yet. Last year’s team seemed timid and to have a bit of a entitlement complex. I would never mean any harm against Wiggins, but I felt that a lot of times he played not to get hurt. Oubre may not be the talent of Wiggins, but I’m not sure Wiggins has the same passion as Oubre.

    The only wild card in this scenario would be Embiid. I really think this kid can do Hall of fame stuff. Only problem can he stay healthy. I’m not sure this years team would have any answer for him. However with the much improved point guard play this year. I’m not sure Embiid could turn the tide.

    I guess the real answer is that last year’s team never hit their ceiling and this years team still has a chance.

  • What I would really like to see Self do:

    Maybe not focus on a backcourt press. Instead… let’s focus on high ball traps! Let teams bring the ball up to half court. Now they can’t go backwards. Once they cross the line they can be trapped. Have a couple of guards (like Mason and Graham) pushing heavy traps. This all keys towards our new defensive monster… yes… Kelly! If we do this Kelly may just break the NCAA record for single season steals!

    This is a strategy that has to be practiced over and over. Everyone plays a key role, not just our 1 and 2 guards. Our bigs have to play tight… it’s called “ball denial” defense, even though they are part of a zone trap scheme. The key to this strategy is everyone plays tight. In a trap it creates an opening for one player, and that player should be the guy furthest from the ball. You force the long ball throws. A player like Kelly, with his instincts and long arms, is the guy that will run down long balls, and he’ll leave a bit of space from his man, but ready to pounce on the steals.

    The 1 and 2 has to have lightning speed, and be ready for the open court run out at all times. We play a bit more like “Roy ball.”

    We might as well do it. We don’t have the traditional shot blocker to play typical Self M2M half court basketball.

    A turbo-fused defense like this is a better fit with the type of team we have. But it takes commitment and practice. Lots of practice. No one, and I mean no one, is expecting us to try something like this. The rest of our league isn’t ready for this.

    If this is done right, we may never have to really fall back into our standard M2M or zone defense. If we can continue to attack the ball out top. The idea is to keep the ball from entering the center (top of the key or down the lane). You are always trying to push the ball out towards the edges, where the court lines help play the trap.

    This is a great way to get steals, and maybe even more important, to speed teams up and keep them out of sync and not running their offense. No coach in college basketball is prepared to fight this properly.

    I remember we received a taste of this in Nassau against Villanova. Self’s statement after the game was “we had no rhythm!” True… Villanova had a lot to do with that!

    We were doing some of this early on and creating problems for people. I wish Self would trust that we can make this work now, especially with Kelly coming on!

  • @drgnslayr said:

    The smart elite college coach of the future will have the ability to recruit big name talent and keep most of them staying for two years. That’s the key… two years!

    A much talked about rule change might guarantee 2 years. What do the elite college coaches of the future focus on then?

  • @drgnslayr I love high pressure defense. Trap the crap out of them.

  • @icthawkfan316

    “A much talked about rule change might guarantee 2 years. What do the elite college coaches of the future focus on then?”

    Getting them to stay 3 years! Or how about staying 4 and getting a diploma?

    Look at a player like Kelly. He might jump after one year. He won’t be ready for several years.


    “I love high pressure defense. Trap the crap out of them.”

    Remember about a month ago? When we were running traps, stealing balls and disrupting other team’s offenses?

    It seems that we could do a much better job now with Kelly getting major minutes and hustling on defense. Devonte is showing signs of fading toe pain and moving better. Don’t we have the right personnel to do this?

    Perhaps this is the right strategy in Austin. Disrupt their offense and force some steals. We might get a few more run outs.

    Probably the biggest factor is you ramp up the speed of our defense. Keep the guys moving at a faster pace. Keep the energy alive! We play great when our guys have energy. This might have worked in Ames, too.

  • @drgnslayr I agree it could work in Austin. I’m not so sure about Ames. The biggest problem in Iowa was that they were scoring before we could set up any kind of D. If one guy can’t get back, surely two couldn’t to trap!

    The biggest issue with the trapping style defense is if a team breaks it, it is easy buckets a lot of the time. And Bill Self hates nothing more than an uncontested shot! He HATES it when guys are open. You can see it on his face every time we try something like this that doesn’t work. He immediately forgets all the steals and the pace and everything else. He yanks whoever was supposed to be guarding that guy off the floor and goes back to man to man. I think Self thinks trapping is soft. why should it take two guys to guard one? Just shut him down yourself and take the ball away from him! I think that is his gut. Obviously his brain knows better and does try stuff like trapping ball screens and other things to mess up the other teams offensive flow but I don’t think deep down he feels that is the way to play.

    What I would like to see more on defense is simply more mixing it up. Remember in 08 all the crap/junk defenses we threw at everybody. Box and 1, Triangle and 2, at one point I think we played a 2 man zone with 3 m2m. It was crazy. It drove teams nuts! It even drove announcers crazy as they couldn’t figure it out! I imagine there is such a level of sophistication in these types of D’s that just isn’t possible with mostly freshman and sophomores. Self talked about those teams (the top D in the country for several years) as being so tuned in on D. They looked at their defensive stats first. They didn’t just help, they helped the helper. I think we can get back there with some stability at guard with Frank and Devonte over the next few years. I hope we can because to me that was fun to watch.

  • @benshawks08

    Great idea of mixing up the Ds!

    Yeah, it wouldn’t have worked in Ames if we weren’t getting back. That’s why I’m thinking it might have worked, because if we had come in ready to use it, perhaps our guys would have been more energized and not given up all the easy run outs. When they have a week of working on full court pressure, they know they have to go into action immediately after a made basket. This might have helped prevent the run outs. I’m saying “maybe.” I believe running this stuff helps keep the guys motivated and in motion. When they run nothing, then they don’t stay motivated to get into position after a made basket, and they start jogging back on defense.

    Part of what makes the full court pressure work is your post players need to get back and also stick close enough to the opposition to deny the ball. That was a big part of our problem with ISU. They weren’t edging up on ISU players so it allowed for the long passes and easy 1-on-1 or 2-on-2 situations.

  • I also think our offense had something to do with our transition troubles. It seemed anytime Frank drove and scored, or drove and dished for a score it was a quick 2 or 3 the other way. I assume the normal transition stopping concept is that the point guard is the first one back or is pressuring the inbound pass. With Frank out of commission after his basket (usually falling down or out of bounds) that primary option wasn’t available. This is where I think Wayne and Kelly should take some blame for the poor transition D. If Mason is driving someone else has to rotate to get back and/or the bigs need to put pressure on the inbound pass just to give him a chance to get back. I guess you are right! It’s kind of counter intuitive but full court pressure could have prevented some of our troubles since they would already be in the right side of the court to play it.

  • @drgnslayr Great post. It is almost hard to say it but I agree. Oubre is better for our team as a whole than Wiggs was last year. Wiggins may have had more highlight dunks and was a better defender but honestly I like Kelly more and the intensity that he brings. Wiggins is having an incredible rookie season in the NBA which sort of clouds my vision but when I truly think back on what he brought last year and what Kelly brings this year…I choose Kelly. Can’t believe I am saying this as the first 5 games of the year I didn’t know if Oubre was going to see the floor.

  • @drgnslayr

    You say “Andrew was about Andrew. He wanted to be a team player, but his world forced his focus on himself.” I wonder if he was in a no win situation with us fans. We yelled at our TV when Wigs wouldn’t take over. But when he did put up his shots, we didn’t like the offense that stood around and watched him. We said he was all about himself when he put up 20 shots but crucified him on the Stanford game for playing team ball and taking what the defense gave him.

    Wiggins had his faults. I am not making him out to be perfect. But Wiggins could not win unless he went 12-15 with 8 assists.

  • @JhawkAlum True that on the no win situation. It was great for the University to get all the attention and I don’t think that part is still over. His doing so well in the pros can only help Self. He is a future (maybe sooner rather than later) all star. He did what he had to do and I don’t blame him for it. He was simply too valuable to let bang in the paint both to the team and for his future. I love Oubre’s (and Mason’s) all out hustle but think how much it would have cost for Wiggins to get injured. How many millions of dollars did he save by occasionally avoiding contact or settling for jumpers. It will be great to have a true star in the NBA who can talk favorably about his time at Kansas. Wiggins seems like a great kid and in no way do I (even though I agree about preferring Kelly on my team right now) take anything away from the great things Andrew had done and will continue to do.

  • @JhawkAlum

    Exactly right and you explained it better than I did. We were a big part of Andrew’s situation. He could never make us fans happy, so we just added on to the pressure for him every game. We expected him to finish strong at the rim and slam it down right through defenders. He should have hit a higher % of 3s, he should have done this and he should have done that…

    It’s easier for all of us to accept Kelly for what he is. He came with some hype, but nothing like Andrew and his SI cover. Kelly has the freedom to make a few mistakes and not get smacked down by media and fans. I’m glad for him, and I’m glad for our team and us fans. We all benefit by having the bar set at a reasonable height.


    In transition defense EVERYONE takes responsibility. A driving PG has a big disadvantage in getting back, but there are 4 other guys that should be able to stop a transition finish at the rim. If there is anything a driving guard can do it is usually try to prevent a bullet in-bounds pass and then run back and try to prevent secondary break baskets.

    ISU opened up the court. We could have also paid them back on their transitions by turning around and running transitions back. Sometimes they would have 3 or 4 guys run all the way through their rim while we had 3 or 4 guys still at half court.

    It all illustrates our low energy, which also explains why we didn’t make it to the FT line.

    I agree that we’ll receive a benefit from Andrew far into the future. We may also receive benefits in the future from Kelly, too… only time will tell. Gosh… that has played out recently with Durant and his impact on keeping Myles Turner a Longhorn. Not sure it was what made his decision, but it certainly helped. Myles idle is Kevin Durant.

  • @JhawkAlum I wasn’t asking Andrew to hit 50 a night- just pass the ball when you’re tripled teamed.

  • @KUSTEVE " great combined with suck" LOL! Totally.

  • @benshawks08 Man, Ive said it before and I’ll say it again. Coach will bring a championship trophy back to Lawrence during Mason and Devonte’s tenure in Lawrence, if we get the right group of guys around them. I think we are close.

  • @KUSTEVE So were you content with his Stanford performance? That D was ran specifically to take away Andrew and his shot attempts showed. If you were fine with him taking what the defense gave him, and passing when he was guarded and a packed lane, then we are on the same team. But if you got frustrated with him because he didn’t take over, well it might appear a bit hypocritical.

  • @JhawkAlum I don’t understand what you mean. Here is my last post:

    KUSTEVE: @JhawkAlum I wasn’t asking Andrew to hit 50 a night- just pass the ball when you’re tripled teamed.


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