• Kelly sick, Bigs in foul trouble, Mason takes over as the only offense. Lucas and Hunter come through big off the bench. Thank God that TCU is the worst free throw shooting team in the Conference. The way we handled the press makes me worried about WVU.


  • This was a survival game - we survived. 6-1 in conference…yeah, buddy…

  • End of first half had Hunter, Lucas And Svi with Devonte and Frank. They were great and kept us in the game. TCU really does have a team ranked third in the nation in defensive shooting %. They were looking like last in free throw shooting.

  • Getting to 6-1 first is a big deal.

    Every road win – yes even TCU and TT – is a good road win in the B12 this year.

    It was indeed UGLY, and yet at the end of the year, it may be considered to be an important part of a BEAUTIFUL collection of rings.

  • I needed those positive comments after watching that game. I thought we turned a corner but with young team, it’s always two steps forward and one step back.

  • Answer me this - You coach a team that is shooting nearly 40% from three point range. You have a stable of excellent shooters. Your team has proven time and time again that it can be an offensive force from outside. Your team has proven time and time again to be underwhelming inside. And Ellis gets in foul trouble.

    How in the world does your team take eight three point attempts in the entire game?

    Your two best three point shooters, Mason and Greene, take no three point shots.

    This is not an accident. This clearly and plainly comes from the bench.

    There is no rational answer.

    The height of the absurdity is working the ball around the perimeter and looking feed the ball inside to the our below average post men (Traylor, Lucas, and Mickelson). If you are a poor shooting team from outside, maybe. But that is not the case.

    This is the type of performance that should cause all of us to seriously doubt our ability to win the national title. I really do want to be optimistic. But this was absolutely inexplicable. It is irrational. We nearly lost to a team we should have easily blown out if we simply play to our strengths.

    Yet our fabulous coach demonstrates once again that he is the biggest threat to this team reaching its potential offensively. When I say fabulous, I mean that. He just can’t get out of his own way as an offensive coach. Dogmatic. Inflexible. Hard headed. And just not very good sometimes. How do you watch Kansas basketball and direct the offense approach we saw tonight?

    Of course, early, it appeared that feed the post was the right approach. But the dynamic changed. The problem is, we didn’t.

    And of course, our guys aren’t prepared to foul before the game tying three point attempt goes up, from Trey Burke range, mind you. Whatever.

    Folks may be happy with a road conference win. I am. When it comes to the conference season, a win is a win.

    But this isn’t about the conference season. Is it?

  • No game this season could better illustrate the importance of Frank Mason to the winning percentage of this team. Without that kid we would be a mediocre squad, no better than tied for the conference lead, more likely sitting alongside Texas or Okie State in the loss column. How many minutes did Frank have to play tonight, valiantly surging toward the basket for scores while his more heralded teammate Wayne Selden kept firing blanks at the rim? If Oubre was really sick, I suppose it is understandable that Selden played much of the final 3 1/2 minutes; but I shuddered that Bill Self felt it necessary to break the bubble of his closing formula in the previous two games. Other than the win, the biggest positive tonight, imho, was the fact that bench players logged lotsa minutes, not overtaxing legs for the wicked Saturday/Monday turnabout. But for Frank. Can Frank Mason hold out w/o injury for two more strenuous contests in the next five days?

  • @HighEliteMajor Wayne hit one three, Brannen was covered like a wet wash cloth, Svi hit a guarded three, Frank had a long two. This is what TCU does best. The only thing that was working was that Frank was able to take Anderson on the dribble. We were without a major long range shooter in Kelly. Self played the hand he had. The players made big mistakes in the full court press. Timeouts filled with Self screaming did not do much tonight. WVU will tell you how good TCU’s defense is. If you were his Assistant coach you would tell him to put Kelly back in the game. Tell this “Not very good” coach to do it differently. Like I said, this would be ugly and people are going to gripe.

  • How Greene was guarded.


  • @wrwlumpy great example!

  • @wrwlumpy Yes, wonderful example. That plainly demonstrates that there was no way Greene could shoot a three pointer tonight. Or Mason. And that Graham shot one.

    Now back to reality.

    We shot a total of ONE three pointer in the second half. That is because of TCU’s defense? To get three pointers, you need to play to shoot three pointers. Plainly, we did not do that.

    Here’s an example - In the last 3:40 against OU, Self switched to a 4 out, 1 in offensive scheme. And we saw the result. Not necessarily three pointers every time, but a spread out floor, and multiple offensive opportunities. Does anyone think that TCU’s immobile big guys could have guarded Perry on the perimeter?

    Look at this game critically. Critique it. How could this team’s offense have functioned better simply utilizing things we’ve seen from KU this season? That will lead you to the answer.

    I go to one play against Utah in the first half. We ran Greene from the baseline to the wing, set a down screen at the short corner to get him an open three look. Did anyone see anything like that tonight?

    When Kansas shoots one three pointer in a half, it’s because coach Self dictates it. It was obvious that our game plan tonight was to pound it inside. Really, I think that is fine vs. TCU. Looked like it was working early. But the Ellis got into foul trouble. And then in the second half, TCU was more active in attacking the post up.

    Shooting three pointers is not something that would diminish the value of driving the ball to the hoop. Clearly, that made sense. How many drives and kick out threes did we get?

    If you’re life was riding on one shot, would you rather bank on Greene or Mason hitting a three, or one of our post players scoring with his back to the basket? There’s your answer.

  • @wrwlumpy And of course, there’s Mason and Graham unguarded on the perimeter. This came from the same gallery where you found your photo. Doesn’t mean much.

    So is anyone really going to say that we couldn’t have gotten three point shots had we wanted to?


  • @HighEliteMajor I see what you are saying about forcing the action inside when we clearly are more of a threat from the outside. But I think you underestimate Coach. I think he knows we win that game going away if we play as we did against UT. I really think a lot of it is Self not wanting to show his hand. I think there is more at play, psychologicly, than you give him credit for. He wants out team to be proficient and feared in more than 1 aspect of the game.

  • TCU is a team that will not allow many 3 point shots period. Look at the number of shots taken and made by the other conference teams:

    • WVU - 3-11 - 27.3%
    • KSU 4-10 - 40%
    • Baylor 1-12 - 8.3%
    • Texas Tech 3-16 - 18.8%
    • Texas 5-13 - 38.5%
    • WVU 6-25 -24%
    • KU 3- 8 - 37.5%

    No question that TCU does not allow a lot of 3s and the ones taken are guarded and the made percentage not good. Maybe we should have hoisted 25 like VWU and make 24%. Considering that KU players were heavily guarded on the perimeter (one picture notwithstanding) and shot 21-44 from 2 (47.7%), seemed like the better option…but then…I am probably wrong since I don’t know nearly as much about coaching as other member(s) of this forum.

  • After watching that game a lack of 3-point shooting is not what came to mind. It felt more like KU got into first half foul trouble and still won the first half while TCU played their better half in the second half which gave us trouble. I like the way KU responded with roughly 10 minutes to go in the game to re-build a lead. Kansas did not close the last 5 minutes particularly great. Greene’s confidence to shoot the ball comes in handy once again.

  • Turning point of the game…Ellis gets his second foul and sits the rest of the half; he was getting inside with ease and had scored all KU point up to that point.

  • Well, well don’t they say; “it took all season to build Rome, but only 4 days to tear it down”.

    Boy that was definitely the “worst win” of the season. You could even argue we played as poorly as our blowout losses. The overall effort was not there, these guys looked gassed. This should have been a 20 point win, we had them in the corner at 23-10 and then decided we didn’t care about leads AGAIN. Self I know is absolutely livid with how good we can play one game and how bad we can play the next. It’s a young team, one that doesn’t fully understand how to keep its foot on go consistently.

    You add in the inconsistently horrible Ref’s to the list for the 3rd road game this season. Is it the goal of these Big 12 ref’s or whatever they call themselves to be against us. I’m not going to get into specifics because the list was too long.

    A win is a win unless as pointed out a win is supposed to mean more positives than negatives. Now we have a few days of Self Hell until we see if being at home will awaken the true team.

  • image.jpg

  • It was ugly for sure. In the 2nd half I turned the DVR on and changed the channel. I checked the score once. Reading the game write up on ESPN I decided to delete the game. The comments here tell me I did the right thing. I so enjoyed the UT game and was pumped. Now I am down again.

  • @HighEliteMajor @wrwlumpy @JayHawkFanToo The answer to the debate is…both viewpoints are correct.

    Look, Coach Self is ALWAYS going to have his offense attempt to get looks inside. It’s the system that has won 10 straight conference titles, 1 national championship, and a ridiculous overall winning percentage in his time in Lawrence. He’s not going to abandon it. I’ve said before when some posters were pining for a zone defense last year, but you can’t overhaul your system year-to-year. If you do, you’re not teaching your core principles to the players that are going to be there 2, 3, and 4 years. You can’t establish a foundation. It would lead to inconsistency and I believe would be an overall detriment. So yeah, coach preaches to pound it inside…even when he doesn’t have the adequate personnel. That isn’t going to go away.

    However, I doubt Coach Self said “no 3s”, or gave a red or yellow light to his shooters. TCU has an excellent defense, and Trent Johnson is, imo, a pretty decent coach. Just like an offense can run sets to give it’s shooters open looks, a defense can scheme to take away a team’s strengths. So if anyone has even remotely scouted KU, they know we lack the personnel to bang inside, but that we have a stable of excellent shooters. So…what do you think teams are going to game plan to stop? Right. Couple that with Ellis playing limited minutes, and an already locked in defense can focus even more on guarding the perimeter.

    I think there is room for frustration, because while we won’t see a system overhaul we could see some tweaks. A play here or there to free shooters. Maybe they did and the plays just got blown up, or weren’t executed properly. I don’t know without re-watching the game (and honestly, does anyone really want to re-watch that game?). Selfs said they played without energy, so perhaps some of the actions they were trying to run were just that ineffective without the same energy. But HEM is right - eight 3-point attempts is too low for this team. However, TCU had something to do with it.

  • I assume that Bill Self did not amp his squad for this contest. Would envision the Big Amp coming Saturday vs. Purple Pride. Self’s ego at stake vs. Weber and in-state rival. If I were grading this TCU contest I would award Frank an “A,” Self a “C+,” Selden and Alexander “Ds.” Maybe Cliff’s sore sternum explains his play. We really missed Oubre, and Perry’s early fouls changed the dynamic. In big picture, a league win is a league win. Onward and Upward!

  • Regarding three point shooting, we had the second lowest total of three point attempts of all of TCU’s opponents this entire season. The only one lower was Grambling, who shot 5 times (and scored only 39 points).

    Can someone provide me a reason NOT to shoot more three pointers? NOT to try to shoot more three pointers? NOT to scheme to shoot more three pointers?

    When you look at the result last night, we certainly in jeopardy of losing. That’s how you lose in the NCAA tournament, refusing to adjust, and watching Stanford advance.

    There are some here who defended Self vs. Stanford in the last few days saying we “missed shots.” Ok, TCU was 15-29 from the free throw line last night. And they lose by three. Or TCU was 2-12 from three, missing a number of open looks. Say they drain two more of those? I don’t subscribe to that logic because of game flow, but I’d like to hear from those that do.

    @JayHawkFanToo mentions that we were getting the ball into Ellis before he got into foul trouble, and his foul trouble was the turning point in the game.

    As I said in my initial post, “Ellis got into foul trouble”. I also cited the absurdity of throwing it into “Traylor/Lucas/Mickelson.” And I said, “Of course, early, it appeared that feed the post was the right approach. But the dynamic changed. The problem is, we didn’t.”

    I appreciate @JayHawkFanToo reiterating my point. The strategy to throw it inside to Ellis looked good early. No doubt. Our first five points. Then, Ellis got into foul trouble.

    But part of the dynamic change was also how TCU defended the post. TCU decided to front our guys more aggressively down low in the second half and collapse on the post feed. Really, they played more aggressively defensively in the post after the first break – perhaps their coach got into them about that. Ellis played 15 minutes in the entire game. After his early 5 point spurt, Ellis finished the rest of the game 1-5 from the field. So this “strategy” does not appear too sound.

    Regardless, the strategy was focused on Ellis. A much different post scorer than Lucas/Traylor/Mickelson. Heck, Cliff only got four shots, not counting his set play lob dunk.

    Someone explain to me the merits of a two part strategy where one part is feed it into Lucas/Traylor/Mickelson down low? Combined, those three scored 12 points in a combined 48 minutes in the game. And Self sits the better player (Alexander) who played only 15 minutes (2 fouls total) – if that was because of effort, I’m fine with sitting him. But that dictates a different game plan.

    The point is that when the dynamic changes, you can’t stick with the same approach when your personnel don’t fit the scheme.

    Can the Green Bay Packers execute the same throws on offense when the weak armed Matt Flynn is in the game vs. the cannon that is Aaron Rodgers?

    Well, Self told us earlier in the year that “This game plan crap that everybody talks about; this isn’t football." Of course, in the same quote, he said “We play to our strengths …”

    Did we play to our strengths last night? When Ellis was in, it looked like we had an advantage early in the first half. That was the only time he had an advantage.

    Turn it around. Say that Mason was shooting 25% from three on the season, Greene and Graham were hurt and not playing, and Oubre sick. Ok, perhaps gunning threes isn’t a better option.

    Point to me one time when we ran a play, or any set, to get a three point shot? Nothing. We can credit TCU all we want, but we did nothing to get those looks. It was clearly not part of our game plan (even though this game plan stuff is “crap” according to Self). Again, this team shoots nearly 40% from three. We have as Self said perhaps the best shooting team at Kansas since he’s been here. Does that add up?

  • @HighEliteMajor I am not that upset about the amount of 3’s we shot. They guarded the 3 well and some games we will shoot a lot. Some we won’t. I have come to terms with that.

    The point you make that I wholeheartedly agree with is why do we feed the post when Mickelson and Lucas are in the game? Or even Jamari for that matter? Lucas and Mickelson should only be in the game to give blows to the starters or if we are in serious foul trouble as we were last night. When they are forced to be in the game I am shocked that we try to run an offense through them. They should simply be bodies on the floor trying to get rebounds from shot attempts by Greene, Mason, Graham, Oubre, etc. The idea that they are going to go back to the basket and score on people in the post is ludicrous. My hate for Lucas being in games continues to grow. I can’t recall a 6’10 guy at KU who has less ability to score when getting the ball in good position on the block. Mickelson can at least shot from outside of 5 feet. I’ll stop tying before I get too upset about Lucas and what he does not bring to the table.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    "How in the world does your team take eight three point attempts in the entire game? "

    It’s the same reason why we shot so few FTs… making the stat line look better down the stretch when they put us on the line to extend the game.

    Throw every single detail about this team out the window except one… ENERGY!

    I’m glad Self knows this. He commented on how bad our energy was.

    I don’t know what fuels this team, but I do know when they are out of fuel and riding on fumes. You would have thought all our guys ran 3 Boston marathons just before tip-off.

    If you squinted your eyes last night, and watched the game as blurry colored blobs, you would see what our offense was. Nothing. Our blue blobs hardly moved on offense. It’s like someone staked our shoes to one spot on the court. TCU’s defense does not deserve credit for shutting down our 3s and offense. It was all entirely self-administered.

    So our guys are not ready to bring energy to every game. That is a big warning sign. Especially with some big games coming our way, like WVU in Morgantown. If we bring the same energy we had last night to Morgantown we will be humiliated every bit as much as the Kentucky and Temple games.

    Our only real saving grace in this game was the fact that TCU stunk so bad.

    Frank, for the most part, played his usual solid. We would have lost by 20 without him. A few other guys contributed some nice plays and effort. Landen and Hunter come most to mind. Brannen could have been more effective if his team would have ran actual offense. You could see his itchy trigger fingers that created a few forced ill-advised shots, but at least he wanted to take control. Brannen isn’t really a big threat of scoring off the dribble. He is the proverbial “catch and shoot” scorer.

  • @drgnslayr - I don’t know. I don’t buy this energy thing. It appears to me that Self uses that now as his go-to rationalization. Sometimes it is true. Sometimes it is not. Sometimes it only applies to a few guys. But not to the entire team. But it sure looked to me like guys were trying and hustling (I have my issues with Traylor’s rebounding effort as I always do, notwithstanding). Oubre was sick, as noted. But other than that, who didn’t play hard?

    You said, “TCU’s defense does not deserve credit for shutting down our 3s and offense. It was all entirely self-administered.”

    Exactly. Look we won. I’m not concerned about that. I’m concerned when our coach makes the conscious choice to play a game like that offensively.

    He was content to play the game we played. That’s what always concerns me.

    And you are exactly right on Greene. He’s not a slasher, He is a shooter. I like Greene. But if he’s not shooting, to be honest, why play him? His shooting is what makes him worthy of big minutes vs. other players – perhaps the only thing. Does anyone disagree?

  • @HighEliteMajor

    I don’t know if you DVR’d this game and also the Texas game… but if you have them on a hard drive and replay minutes of both, side-by-side, you will see a difference. We had plenty of motion in our offense against Texas. We didn’t have that motion against TCU. Guys stood still and watched the ball. They weren’t creating. We couldn’t even free up Brannen for the long ball.

    This is a momentum thing and it works for and against us, and also for and against our opponents. First… everyone in our league would love to hang a loss on us. So when we come out flat, no motion, we just encourage them to play harder. I saw some of that last night.

    We spent some energy last night, but it was in the wrong places.

    All the key signs were there telling us how bad our energy was. We shot few FTs (when you remove the end game intentional fouls). We were killed on the boards, especially giving up offensive rebounds to this small team. We established really no offensive flow because we had no motion. We seemed to lose every 50/50 ball.

    There were spots of high energy… mostly Frank, taking on TCU by himself. BamBam had the very intense defensive play. We sometimes showed defensive energy, often trying to make up ground on a shooter and step up to defend a post shot after they had another offensive rebound.

  • @drgnslayr I agree with everything you just said. That is how I saw the game. Just explain the difference between Fabulous and Not Very good.

  • @wrwlumpy

    The last thing I want to do is stroke these guys for that performance. But a part of greatness is winning the dud games, too. Glad we didn’t fold tent and give one away!

  • We were brain dead last night. Selden made enough bonehead plays to make a lowlight reel. Mason, who once again carried us, plows over a three point shooter while we have a nice lead in the last minute of the game. Maybe he knew they’d miss their FT’s, I don’t know. I just wasn’t impressed with many aspects of that game. But I haven’t been impressed with many aspects of this season either.

    By the way, anyone see that we are #1 on the RPI? I guess we are the best team in the country. The article I read about that talked about our schedule. It described a SOS that is historic in its’ toughness. While I agree we’ve had some tough matchups, I don’t see how it’s possible this is the toughest schedule ever. Yes, we’ve played Kentucky…and lost by a ton. We’ve played some traditionally tough teams that probably won’t play in the dance this year, Florida and MSU. Besides UK our toughest opponent has been Utah, in KC, a virtual home game. Georgetown on the road, tough, but not a ranked team I don’t think. Temple looked like a ranked team, but I don’t think they are. Of course the league offers up challenges, but no top 1o challenges at present. At least we won’t be afraid of anyone in March.

  • @wissoxfan83 Georgetown is #21 and half of the big 12 is ranked.

  • @wissoxfan83

    The foul by Mason was dumb, I understood the intent to close out on Anderson in that situation but it ended badly in a bad foul.

    Mason had a great game but he also missed a 1&1 at the end of the half that could have made it 8 points, and then missed badly on 2 FT’s at the end which gave TCU the last chance to tie. I’m not going to pick at him much because the rest of the game he was great but you expect more from your 2nd best FT shooter than badly missing on 3 attempts. He wasn’t the only bricklayer at the line in our best rendition of “how to blow at double digit lead in 2 minutes” production. Graham clanked his 1&1 and wasn’t even close with it. Even Greene missed one.

    It was clear we didn’t play with any Energy. Lucas brought it for a while, Mason had it most of the game, Traylor had it for a few plays but everyone else was in slo-mo mode. We usually are better at getting 50/50 balls, we basically lost every one of them. Offensive rebounds were just a killer and when you have the refs in your pocket its going to hurt you in some way.

    Foul trouble predicated zero rhythm for this team other than the stint where we built the big lead early. Ellis sat 18 minutes and it showed in the 2nd half as he missed badly on some attempts he usually makes.

    I was yelling at the tv for more 3 point baskets. TCU was basically mugging us on every play in some fashion so its not surprising we didn’t get many looks but I think the min for any game should be 15 for us. We are not a team who can trade 2’s with all game long. We should have been more aware of trying to get up more 3’s.

    Ugly ugly win, it totally takes the wind out of you to watch these type of games. Good thing we are home the next 2 and hopefully can get back to real KU ball

  • @HighEliteMajor You need to call in to Self’s radio show again and ask him this question, something the journalists just won’t do.

  • I am glad that Lucas and Hunter can take credit for helping us, when the Big Dog went back in the dog house and Mari and Perry were riding the pine in foul trouble. They have to be ready when they are called upon. Last night they were. Lucas was active and got to the line where he was great. Mick got some big rebounds, a stuff and a short sweet jumper. Svi was OK until he threw a pass that led a break for TCU.

  • @joeloveshawks Lucas with his big body has good skill to seal his man up the lane and then catch the ball going towards the rim. He’s got the rhythm to finish it too. I like feeding Lucas and he provides a presence to play some classic Self angle offense though not to the extent that his predecessors have shown. Though I don’t think of his role on the team as being the same as most of his predecessors . Last night with our foul trouble shows he is a good talent to keep developing so that we have big man depth which includes feeding him in the post during his game minutes. That’s my feeling and I can see that you feel exactly the opposite. Lucas has a lot of fight too, he makes effort plays, though I don’t see a ton of upside yet other than he is reliable off the bench to give us depth to bang on the glass.

  • I recall two games in 2008. Ugly, we couldn’t score to save our lives, turnovers, brick city, in fact it happened twice in three games, against Davidson, and then against Memphis.

  • The big Russian won the Davidson game.

  • @KJD Good points. Good optimism as well. I honestly need to be more optimistic about Lucas. Even though he is currently not very good who knows…he could be a 4 year guy who ends up having a great senior year.

    I still don’t like us running offense through him. Not yet at least.

  • We won, and that is what matters. We continue to try and get better. We are developing team chemistry. We will be fine.

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