And Now for the Trifecta of 3 in 6

  • Sometimes life is bitter.

    UK beat us down bad. They were a tall, unprecedentedly deep, Nike-stack that had aleady played 7 games BEFORE they met us.

    Temple reduced us to babies. That was REALLY bitter. They were just a good solid Fran Dunphy bunch on a good night.

    But the Jarhead Jayhawks kept their boots on and kept marching, and learning how to fight.

    But along the way they got ambushed in Ames. They got stalemated the first half, and then subjected to a combination of artillery barage and grade school cherry picking. It was VERY bitter.

    But the helmets stayed buckled. And their Gunny, Sergeant Mason, seemed to say, "When you can’t retreat and you are shot at and hit, and shit at and missed, then there is no where to go but forward.

    The gunny kept taking his orders from the C.O on the bench. He kept implementing. He kept steady. Didn’t point fingers Didn’t blame anyone. Kept leading. Kept waiting for the platoon to get it. Kept keeping them alive amidst the shelling and punkings.

    They learned how to march in step, and they learned how to fight dirty inside, and how to pull the lanyard on their four gun battery of 75 Howitzers outside–learned how to fire! fire for effect!!!

    On the march went. After they had learned how to play dirty inside, and how bring the outside artillery, they spent a game or two learning to run KU’s centers end to end–to run the asses off the enemies centers–to beat them to both ends and do damage before the enemy arrived.

    And then, just when they seemed to be ready to tear the ass end out of a rhinoceros, the schedulers threw them a 3 in 6.

    A 3 in 6 is a mini campaign. It is an effort that has to be viewed as coordinated series of interlinked battles. What one does in game 1 has an unescapable cascade effect on games 2 and 3. And so on.

    The Gunny knows this. The C,O. confides in the Gunny in a way he does not in the other players. The Gunny has to walk the line. The Gunny has to manage. He has to know what the weaknesses are, yet not make the platoon focus on them. It all has to seem as simple as one game at a time. The platoon just has to understand that during each game, different match ups will occur, and so different platoon members will be expected to carry out different tasks. But only the Gunny knows how and how much the platoon will sacriiced in some situations, and how much it will be conserved in certain situations. Because the last thing a Gunny needs is a Jarhead Jayhawk thinking to much about the big picture, when it is the task at hand that enables any one to survive long enough for the big picture to matter.

    The Gunny is alone in much of what he knows. And the Gunny knows that the C.O. is not telling him everything either. A campaign means Jarhead Jayhawks operate on a need to know basis. Loose lips during games sink ships. Loose lips during media meetings sink ships. The Jarhead Jayhawks need their ships to get from Game 1, to Game 2. and now to Game 3.

    Game 1 saw everyone play.

    Game 2 saw a long bench.

    At that point the Jarhead Jayhawks are ready go on the offensive, but they have to be careful. While they could have been running on fumes for game 3, had the CO and the Gunny and the platoon failed to manage the fighting for a maximum effort in Game 3, they are not running on full either. They are somewhere in between. The Gunny is likely almost as tired as if the CO and he had not managed the first two games so well. The rest of the players are fresh, and 2-o, largely because the Gunny sacrificed his legs for them.

    The Gunny never rests.

    Game 3 is the best the CO could have hoped for. Its on friendly wood. The crowd will be at full volume. ISU knows KU is gunning for them. ISU knows it is meeting a bunch of Jarhead Jayhawks that are rounding into a team–a fighting force.

    But in the gray area between 3 in 6 fumes and 3 in 6 fresh, lies the twi-light zone of a young, fairly rested team with a tired Gunny.

    This ISU game is the greatest test of Frank Mason’s young life. If he were rested, he would go through them like crap through a goose. But he isn’t.

    Part of the fatigue is his body. But he has been on the ragged edge physically many times. The other part is mental fatigue. Concentrating on leading is taxing. The Gunny is this team’s Sergeant Rock. But even Sergeant Rock has his limits.

    The Gunny has no choice but to press on. Eat right. Stay hydrated. Rest and stretch. Walk among the cock sure platoon and remain the stoic rock that he has been. Not let on how tired he is. Take strength in knowing…

    Fred is gnashing his teeth.

    Fred knew the schedule favored him big time, since ISU only had to play 3 in 9.

    But then Self emptied the bench vs. TCU.

    And then Self long benched KSU.

    And now Self’s green wood will be fresh for at least a half, maybe a whole game, if only the Gunny can focus, play undercontrol, do…his…job.

    Fred is drywashing hands.

    But Fred is a survivor, too.

    Now he is hoping that a bunch of KU guys get sick with whatever Oubre had against TCU.

    Praying really.

    And the Gunny is thinking, it doesn’t matter now. Whoever is sick has to play. There will be week to feel rotten afterwards. And you can be sure that it will be the Gunny’s eyes that make the platoon play, if the whole platoon takes sick. The green wood knows the Gunny played the big minutes the first two games. The green wood knows the Gunny is going to do the same in Game 3. Campaigns build to single decisive battles. Monday night in Allen Field House there will be a decisive battle.

    Fred knows the same thing.

    And Fred has reason to worry.

    Because if KU isn’t fundamentally disadvantaged someway, somehow, Fred knows walking into Allen Field House will be like giving his Cyclones a zinc acid bath.

    Fred needs an edge, because he doesn’t have any guys the equivalent our guys.

    Not his first 5. Not his first 7. Not his first 9. Not his first 10.

    Fred has nothing but two trey guns and a bunch of NBA sets.

    Fred, welcome to zinc acid.

  • Baylor spanks Texas who is now 3-5 in conference and pretty much out of the run for the Championship. Texas is the Al Gore of sports, the team that was going to be the next Conference Champion; so much for that.

    OSU ahead of OU by 7 at the half; the loser will be 4-5 and like Texas, pretty much out of the race. Look like it will come down to KU, ISU and WVU; KU winning Monday would be huge and would go along ways towards winning the Conference.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    “Texas is the Al Gore of sports,”

    PHOF! I love it.

    And they’re the Don Rumsfeld of sports, too!!!

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    What the hell! Let’s be fair and balanced.

    Texas is the whole Tea Party of sports.

    And to include the radical left…

    Texas is the Leon Trotsky of sports.

    Texas is the Norman Thomas of sports.

    Texas is the Sockless Jerry Simpson of sports.

    And to include the Radical independents…

    Texas is the Ross Perot of sports.

    Now, don’t get upset Texans, @JayHawkFanToo and @jaybate 1.o are just having some fun here. No one in Texas would join the Tea Party, or become Trotskyites, or Thomas Socialist Party folks, Simpson Populists, or Perotistas.

    By gosh, Texans are too level headed.

  • So @jaybate-1.0 given that Texas was pretty much a unanimous pick to stop the Kansas streak this year, how much longer are the powers that be gonna stand behind Barnes and his under achieving?

  • One thing from today’s game that we rarely ever talk about … our inbounds plays. Opportunities for free points. Every coach, college, high school, AAU, pee wee, should DVR our games. Plagiarism is legal in basketball. Self always has the best, most aggressive inbounds plays from under the basket. What I like best about them is that they are not always quick hitters. Some take time to develop.

    A few items from today’s game that were positive – 1) Ellis’ work on the board. Ellis is quietly improving his rebounding from last season. It’s not that he dominated the boards, but 12 rebounds was pretty darn solid. 2) Oubre didn’t press it offensively. I never get the sense that Oubre is trying to force his shot. He seemed content today to let other guys score, and hit the boards hard like usual. The best rebounder on the team. 3) We shot three pointers with a lead. Sitting 2/10 from three at the break, I was concerned we’d shut down with a lead. But we did manage 7 threes in the second half, and percentages started to even out with 4 makes. It’s crucial for us to stay aggressive with leads – meaning, continue to play to our strengths.

    Now the real good stuff. Astounding quote – Did anyone see what Self said after the game?

    “Historically we want to play inside-out early, but this is not an inside-out team,” Self said. “So we want to play through Perry as much as we can to work back inside.”

    Damn right it’s not an inside-out team. I never thought this moment would actually arrive. Where coach Self would utter those words. We’ve heard Self in post game interviews, at half time, and in press conferences continually talking about playing inside-out.

    From the man himself, “this is not an inside-out team.” Yes, coach, we know. Now run with it. We’ll gladly follow.

  • @jaybate-1.0

    No, no, no…way too complicated. I was simply referring to AL Gore who was anointed president by the press before the election took place much like Texas was anointed Conference Champion before play started, and more importantly, without checking with KU first.

    Al Gore himself said in one of the late night show…I used to be known as the next president of the US. Did not work out well for him then and it is not working out for Texas now. No need to involve any other politicians.

  • @HighEliteMajor So now that Coach has actually said that he agrees with you, was he really telling the boys not to shoot outside against TCU?

  • @HighEliteMajor I did see that quote and immediately thought of you and what your reaction would be. Monday night there will be no subterfuge or saving of fresh legs. The Alexander situation is getting weird though with Jamari playing better. I think the problem with the TCU game is that we’ve been working and thinking about ISU and preparing for them. This game could take ISU put them in a big catch up position. In the meantime WVU keeps smothering other teams.

  • @brooksmd

    If Edward Lansdale were still alive, and I were Rick Barnes, I would be thinking about retiring and moving out of Texas, but not to New Orleans. 🙂

    UT has a dilemma.

    Football is sucking.

    And basketball is sucking.

    They probably would have fired Barnes had football been going good.

    But while football is bad, Barnes can keep basketball just mediocre enough that UT can concentrate on trying to repair football, without basketball becoming better.

    Texas is a complicated place.

    It produced Lyndon Baines Johnson, Bush I, Bush II, and is about to produced Bush III.

    Seriously, I think Rick is safe until after the Presidential election. Everyone in Texas will sit on their hands about everything until they see whether Jeb can be selected, or not.

    After that, Rick will have to begin to sweat. But maybe he can land another bumper crop of Nike recruits and hang one another year.

    In Rick’s defense, we at KU have seen this season (and last) just how fitful it is getting out of the blocks with a lot of young players needing to make decisive contributions.

    It can be done, as Cal and Self have shown. But it will really run up your bill at Hair Club For Men.

  • Ellis seems to have improved because he is now getting the ball away from the basket with some isolation to do his Perry thing. I was fascinated by his fake spin move that drew Gibson out to face up with him and Perry then continued to outmaneuver the shorter player to score easily. Give him some space instead of a Thomas Robinson Down low feed and he will score or get fouled. Except for Gibson who does not jump, K-State is not big and this is where Perry shines. He and Niang have the same game and now Self is giving him room to be that guy.

  • @wrwlumpy On the not shoot threes vs. TCU thing in the second half, you know, I do think he put some rules out there. I rewatched the game. We turned down some decent opportunities in the second half. Mason had some good opportunities and didn’t shoot. It just seemed pretty obvious that we didn’t do what we normally do from three – again, one attempt is evidence of that. Additional evidence is how Self has handled leads before (Utah, OU after the first 2 minutes of the second half, etc).

    I kind of wonder … just wondering … if he saw what happened in letting TCU back in the game and is maybe rethinking slightly. That’s probably a wishful stretch. But we had literally the same situation. Good three point defense as our opponent, but we shot 7 threes.

    We just have never heard him ever come close to uttering that phrase. Ever. It’s a clearly seminal moment in coach Self-speak.

  • @HighEliteMajor


    “So we want to play through Perry as much as we can to work back inside.”

    What the hell does THAT mean exactly? 🙂

    I think Self is still working through some kinks about how the team is going to play it.

    My interpretation of the above quote goes like this: we are an outside shooting team first, but we are going to pass it to Perry outside because he is a big and that is kind of like passing it inside to a big, only its not. 🙂

    Further, just so everyone doesn’t quit guarding us inside completely, we are going to have Perry catch it outside and then look inside and try to drive it inside once, or twice, before we start micro-bursting treys to build our leads.

    Oh my!!! This is turning into the most amusing season yet!!!

  • @jaybate-1.0 Please don’t throw softballs to those who want to talk politics. I have strong views, but I remember Brian Baldinger saying on national TV, “this Jets team is fired up like the Republican party after a Sarah Palin speech.”

  • @wrwlumpy

    Oh, come on, lump, if it weren’t for soft balls, we would have no balls at all. 🙂

  • @jaybate-1.0 Please don’t question it too much – I need this moment of enjoyment. Just imagining Self actually saying, “we’re not an inside out team.” I have to find the audio. I might make it my ring tone. I’m enjoying it way too much.

    The “driving to the basket” Perry vs. the back to the hoop, feed the post Perry, maybe? It is a thoroughly entertaining season, that is for sure.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Howling!!! Tears rolling down cheeks.

  • @HighEliteMajor said:

    I have to find the audio. I might make it my ring tone.


  • @HighEliteMajor

    It is absolutely fricking amazing to hear him say it; that is for sure.

  • @HighEliteMajor it is pretty obvious, and we all know the truth. You have Bill’s private phone number. Who calls who? Is he friendly?

  • When the rankings come out, you’ll notice that Wichita State has dropped like a prom dress.

  • @wrwlumpy Yeah. A real stumper. WIchita State plays marshmallows, Wichita State wins.

    Wichita State plays a ranked team, Wichita State gets beat.


    By the way - I’m not dogging you - It’s just the first thing I’ve seen today about WSU and - well - I don’t like them.

  • @HighEliteMajor wink I bet everyone here including myself was thinking Coach just made HEM’s day! It made my own day thats for sure.
    You know, it is clear to us and apparently to Coach Self that KU is a trey gunning specialist team the likes of which he has never had. I mean we have 4 guys, FOUR with better than 40% from trey. Perry and Wayne are also shooting a respectable 37ish%.
    SO, with that in mind. I begin to analyze Self’s “not an inside out team” comment. Is it truth? Sure is. Could it also be a subterfuge of some sort directed at ISU and Freddy? You betcha. He knows he only has a day and a half to prep for ISU coming to AFH. Many of you all on here with much better basketball knowledge and experience than I have, have alluded to the fact that Coach Self is a master strategian. ( is that the right word?) Anyways, my point is now Freddy has to wonder to himself," Hey Mr Mayor, how will this next game play out, less than 36 hours before it happens? Will Coach go to his bread and butter inside out game to start off with? Will he put 5 shooters on the floor at one time? Will he use my game against me? Will he play outside in more than 2 min 30 seconds? I have prepped for this game for a few days and now I have to re think my strategy, again.
    What The H#!! is going on here? Add to the fact that we have to spot them 5+ points just for playing in AFH because they are going to be super pissed from the last time we beat them. How about if I just send the real Mayor of Iowa to coach this game and I stay behind to guard the city?

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    “Texas is the Al Gore of sports”

    They invented the game, didn’t they? 🙂


    It will be interesting to see how much the Shocks fall. But that UNI is a tough team and I’m not hoping we draw them in our bracket again!

  • @drgnslayr

    Ken Pomeroy finally dropped WSU about 5 spots but his ranking of the Big 12 teams still sucks…or blows…or both…

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    The way to send him an “I told you so” is for us to win out in March!

    I also hold out hope for the B12 in March… and usually surprised when other teams don’t show better. We really need some conference help in the tourney this year. Many of our teams are piling up B12 losses but will be scary in March. I think OU could really thump some teams by then. Maybe even Texas will pull their heads out and start playing.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    Is KENPOM over, or under, ranking B12 teams from your POV. I haven’t checked his rankings recently.

  • @jaybate-1.0

    See my post on the Kem Pomeroy thread…

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