Next Up: ISU (15), 16-4 Big 12 6-2, RPI 15

  • Starters MIN PPG REB Ht Wt Key 3P Threats (%)

    Niang JR 29.6 14.8 5.3 6-8 230 (38.5%)

    Hogue SR 27.1 11.0 5.0 6-6 220 (45.8%)

    Morris SO 33.3 10.8 3.7 6-2 170

    Dejean-Jones SR 27.1 12.2 5.8 6-6 210

    Long JR 28.7 12.7 3.2 6-4 210 (41.1%)

    Key Reserves

    McKay JR 22.2 10.1 5.4 6-9 215

    Nader JR 15.9 5.8 3.2 6-6 230

    Thomas SO 16.7 5.2 2.1 6-4 195

    Since our last meeting, McKay has improved the most on the roster.

  • @Shanghai_RCJH Good grief I’ve been dying for this game since the lousy loss in Ames.

  • @Shanghai_RCJH

    “Since our last meeting, McKay has improved the most on the roster.”

    Yes. McKay is definitely coming along. He is very active and dangerous. They definitely have a new weapon, and that is scary.

    But if we move our feet quickly, we will neutralize their offense and we should control this game.

    I don’t see us losing this game. I’m more afraid of WVU. They represent a totally different approach than we have seen this year.

  • @drgnslayr I’ve been saying the same thing, slayer. WVU will help us to get ready for the tourney like few other teams in the conference. Hopefully, they will pick up a loss or two before we have to play them.

  • How to beat ISU? There are surely a number of ways. Here’s what I think is the best way to beat ISU: Play small.

    What lineup to start against ISU? Mason, Graham, Greene, Oubre, Ellis.

    Remember what happened in Ames? Self switched to a small lineup with 2:20 left. Why? Because we needed to score. Instead of leaving the better scoring lineup to the final few minutes, hoping to scramble and pull out a game, use it from the start. It was effective when used. Even better, such a lineup would necessitate use of the four out, one in scheme that has been very effective when used by Kansas this season.

    Self used the four out, one in scheme near the end of the OU game and it was magic. It turned at 71-69 deficit, into a victory in the final 3:40. In that instance, Self used Ellis as the four man on the perimeter. My preference to playing smaller is matching up better with ISU – meaning Oubre playing the four spot might be preferable to having Cliff or Jamari on the floor. But either way, four out, one in is the way to take ISU’s game to ISU.

    Last season, we attacked ISU inside. They couldn’t match up. Embiid had his breakout game. This season, we saw that ISU was able to defend us effectively inside in the first game. It makes no sense to rely upon that again. Being ineffective inside against ISU is nothing more than a validation of what we already know. It’s not a negative. Could Cliff playing change that dynamic? Maybe. But I think Cliff would benefit in that instance from a spread out floor, and some isolation down low.

    But a small lineup is the best to attack ISU. We have superior athletes, We have better shooters. We have better scorers. Man for man, we are better.

    If we don’t play a small lineup, we’ll be dealing with the same issues as last game when our big guys had difficulty guarding out on the floor. Cliff isn’t a good match with any of ISU’s starters. The one thing we know is that Hoiberg will attempt to exploit his advantages.

    In the last game, Selden was beaten down the court multiple times in transition. And in one situation, he simply stood on the wing near his man while the man with the ball scored on a lay-up. As a team, we can’t let that happen again.

    Playing Graham over Selden will help us in our transition offense, as well, simply because Graham is better in transition. He’s quicker and he’s a better ball handler. He scores better at the rim. He’s a better distributor. This would help Mason. We made our best run against ISU the last time with Graham in the game.

    And, like a broken record, Greene needs to shoot threes. Against ISU last time – here’s what I said after that game: “Finally, in a game where three point marksmanship would have been a big help, Brannen Greene was irrelevant again. The best three point shooter gets no attempts.”

    This cannot happen on a normal day, much less against ISU. In a game like this, Greene needs to shoot multiple threes. Guys need to have the green light.

    I’m guessing that we could likely beat ISU playing our normal game. But why not pound them into submission? Why not play to our strength in the perfect match-up to get our most skilled players on the field? Nothing like a tidy little 88-72 thumping to remind ISU who the big dog really is.

  • @drgnslayr I am also more afraid of WVU. Although, it seems they are just as mercurial as KU is. Didnt they lose to Texas Tech or TCU? Anyways, KU plays them at AFH first and there is a pretty good chance our game with them at their house will decide the outcome of who will be the regular conference champ.

  • Who defends McKay is the question. This is why we probably need Jamari on the floor. I wonder if Self will ask Kelly to play big at all. Two of Jamari, Kelly, Perry should do it.

    I could also see a Mason, Graham, Oubre, Jamari, Cliff lineup when Perry is not in use. We will need Cliff’s offensive production to replace Perry’s. And Jamari will be our transition D stopper.

    Assuming this goes well, we’ll need Greene and Selden to keep our guards fresh. If the above strategy doesn’t go well, then we’ll just need to outscore ISU with 3’s from Greene and Selden.

  • @HighEliteMajor Did you hear Coach Self say “We are not an inside out team” in his post game interview? Gives me hope that they will play small quite a bit more against ISU tomorrow. However, we know Coach, and he is a stickler for consistency in his line ups. He will start his normal 5 guys. Should he? Probly not, but he will anyways.
    One last question. Yesterday during the KSU game, did you or anyone see KU play a few half court sets of 4 out and Perry at the elbow, or almost being at the trey line? I thought I saw it and I wanted to see what everyone else thinks. One was a drive and score from Ellis and the other was a kick out to Wayne or Greene for an open 3.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    I’m with you on going small. Graham needs to start. Not sure if I’d use Greene over BamBam or not. It all depends which guy wants to run his butt off and prevent them from having easy run out points.

    This is the same strategy we need against WVU. We need speed, ball movement and ball handling. I’m definitely trying to keep supporting Wayne… but he is just not the match up person we need in either of these games. Doesn’t mean he won’t be vital in both games. We don’t know if Devonte will maintain his poise or not, but he is worth the shot!

    We really shouldn’t have trouble smashing down ISU in AFH. We better come ready to run. We do that we will win.

  • @betterfireE McKay isn’t starting … When McKay is in, we can match that. When McKay is in, I tend to think we’re better off anyway.

    @Lulufulu – yea, saw that quote. I slept well last night. On the 4 out deal vs. KSU, @jaybate-1.0 caught that on the live blog. Seems to fit Ellis’ game to a T.

    @drgnslayr WVU presents an interesting challenge. Last season, I have nightmares of Staten blowing past Tharpe. WVU presses hard on D. That’s a game where the Graham/Mason combo should be front and center.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    “That’s a game where the Graham/Mason combo should be front and center.”


  • As I have said before, I am not too worried about WVU and I think that the Mason/Graham combo will routinely break the press and our bigs will have a field day inside, much like Texas did.

    ISU on the other hand is a bad match up for KU. They play fast and they all can hit from outside, which necessary stretches the defense and leaves the inside vulnerable, particularly with slower defenders like Alexander. A high scoring game with little defense favors ISU; a defense oriented, lower scoring game favors KU.

    I would not mind seeing a lineup of Mason and Graham at guards, Selden, Oubre and Greene splitting time at the 3 and 4 and Perry playing inside. Traylor would come in when McKay is in the game as he would be a good match in speed and strength. This is seven man rotation that can get tired, so other players can come in as needed when ISU rests their core players. All of ISU’s 5 starters average over 27 minutes per game and they also have 5 other players that average close to 15 minutes. Bench production will be critical.

  • @JayHawkFanToo KU can run and gun with ISU, especially in AFH. Plus, “we owe them one” Its revenge time.

  • @Lulufulu

    KU tried that in Ames and did not work out well…but then, KU was not supposed to be able to run against OU in '88 and look how well it turned out in the title game… 🙂

  • @HighEliteMajor Your logic about the small lineup makes sense. But we know Self is not going to change up his starting lineup. We may see that lineup that you suggested quite a bit (at least we hope). You’re right…who is Cliff going to guard? I always worry about such things. Then I remember…the reverse is also true. Who on ISU is going to guard Cliff? If he plays his game, the Big Dog could dominate. More likely, he will be taken out because his man has burned him and we see something that resembles the lineup you suggested. Should be interesting to see how it plays out.

  • @Lulufulu

    Self pulled out this formation the first game after the ISU loss. Its Fred Ball. He has been running it in various situations. So far he as tried starting out in the formation, tried waiting till the first substitution at 5 minutes in, tried waiting to ten minutes in, and tried starting the second half with it, and tried waiting 5 minutes into the second half.

    I have also seen him start out in a three out and 2 on the lower blocks formation and have both posts run out to two feet beyond the elbows, with the usual perimeter three creating a 1-4 with no one low. And I have seen them start out in this 1-4. And I have seen them start out in the 1-4 and then fall back into 3-2 on the lower blocks. And I have seen them start out 1-4 and only drop one to the lower block and be in traditional high low formation.

    It may not be readily apparent to board rats, but Self is showing opponents a ton of formations and shifts of formation BEFORE any action is run. The objective is to impair recognition of what we are about to run.

    Once Self acknowleged secretly, apparently after the ISU loss, that KU is not strong enough inside to play inside out consistently; that KU is an outside in team; that will be playing mostly outside in to build leads, and then a mixture of inside out and outside in to defend leads, masking and compensating for what we were doing became paramount. (Note: he acknowledged this openly in a short hand after the KSU game, when he admitted we were more of an outside in team and so had to attack with Perry from outside. If we attack the inside with Perry starting from outside, as what I have called a MBMAP, you are not letting them over guard the perimeter, but at the same time acknowledging that B2B scoring the low blocks is often not in our ability set.)

    The problem that Self is addressing with all of this masking is once you admit to yourself that you cannot play inside out consistently, then the opponent knows this, too, and how do you keep him from overplaying your outside shooting, and driving your trey attempts 2-3 deeper with the concomitant 5-10% drop in trey accuracy with each foot farther out that you shoot the trey?

    One thing you can do to keep the defense honest is to attack the rim from outside with your bigs on cuts and on drives to iron.

    Self prefers passing and dribble-driving to move, collapse and expand defenses (both man and zone) to create the space for shots, rather than running action, which he apparently thinks tends to create congestion, especially when run against good defensive teams one eventually faces sooner or later. It is sound logic, and it generally works, when your guys learn how to do it. But it is a headier game to play it Self’s way, because the passer has to read the positions of the defense and make not just any pass, but THE pass that forces desirable deformation of the defense, and that varies moment to moment. So: you need players that can read the positioning of opponents and anticipate the effects of a pass in a second, or two. (Note: many new players lack this knack and take awhile to develop it. Devonte Graham stands out as a freshman, because he just seems to intuit where the ball can and should go next. Brady Morningstar could do it his first season. EJ and Travis could not. Oubre took awhile, but has gotten it down. Cliff still seems to be struggling a lot not so much with the logical pass, but with where to move to to receive a pass that deforms the defense in a way favorable for him to make a play.)

    What frustrates fans so much is when Self’s Carolina passing offense, which is really what the high-low that Self runs actually is, bogs down into just the ball being whipped around the perimeter. No open shots are being created.

    Note: originally the “high-low” was a 3 out, 2 in, passing offense with two rotating postmen developed by Iba for the '64 Olympic team to be easily learned in a hurry. Brown, who was Iba’s point guard on that Olympic team, saw the two brilliant innovations of relying on passing and driving/cutting instead of timed screening action to create space for shots, and the idea of two rotating post men instead of one, and took it to Dean Smith. Dean, who had been running Bruce Drake’s timed Oklahoma Shuffle that Dean had learned from the head coach at Airforce, where he assisted, agreed with LB that Iba had come up with a better mouse trap. Brown became Smith’s assistant. Smith and Brown added more emphasis on the passing and dribble driving, eliminated the weaves Iba had kept using, and added pieces of action from the Oklahoma Shuffle that could be called when a quick, predictable open shot was needed, and renamed it from High-Low to the Carolina Passing Offense.

    Dean and LB loved this offense, because with two good rebounding post men you could release three on fast break most possessions, and this fed into Smith’s connection to Phog Allen’s legacy predilection for fast breaking. Smith and Brown also liked it because the initial 3 out 2 in formation could unexpectedly be efficiently expanded into what would become Smith’s Four Corner offense, a slightly collapsed version of which Self has started showing frequently the last three games any time the lead hits 10-15 in the second half. Brown particularly liked the four corner to let the guard drive. Smith and Brown also liked the 3 out 2 in (some call it 1-2-2) and the four corner, because the absence of a timed, set offense of running through a series of running actions did not have to be switched on and off for a coach to improvise plays in the huddle–something Brown became famous for doing. Players always went to the same places on the floor, and so Brown drew up the plays for those guys to run out of those positions.

    What Self runs is the Carolina Passing Offense, with some weaves reinjected, and a gazillion collected situation specific action/plays that can be called when the passing offense is not creating the open looks, and momentum changing basket is needed NOW.

    And he is running it whether it is 4 out 1 in, or 5 out, or 3-2, or 1-2-2, and he is running it whether he is playing inside out, or outside in. Once you understand the difference between an untimed passing offense and a timed set offense, then you understand how this can be so. You can play an untimed passing game out of any formation and you can approach deforming defenses inside out or outside in.

    Note: I believe Self actually struggled a bit with the inversion of outside in. It is one of those mental flexibility things that is sometimes easier to make if you don’t know enough. We are all prisoners of our experience and the expectations and assumptions they build into us. View the world from an outside in POV long enough and it seems that that is the only way the Carolina Passing game can work. But the real underlying elegance and beauty of Iba’s absolutely brilliant paradigm shift in offense is that it fits well with the reality that offensive motion and defensive reaction are kind of like a gas in a volume. They can be expanded and condensed, as well as being condensed and expanded. To wit, you can compress a defense by inside to threaten an inside trey, that then creates an open shot outside. But inversely, you can expand things by going outside to threaten a trey, and then attacking through the expansion cracks for an inside trey. And you can mask the formations you do it in, so the opponent is not quite sure what the hell you are going to do before you do it.

    Again, what frustrates fans watching the offense is how much standing around occurs sometimes and how much the ball seems to just loop around the perimeter without creating open shots. Inside out is the way you traditionally play the Carolina Passing Offense aka the High Low to try to deform the defense (collapsing it inward with a pass into the post) so that when the ball comes out of the post and reverse ASAP around the perimeter an open look occurs without a screen needing t be set.

    When things aren’t working, all the standing around looks bad.

    But when things are working with deformation, then quick passes to an open look, the standing around is a great energy saver over the course of a game. Passing on offense saves energy for for impact play, for a scoring drive, for transition, and most of all for DEFENSE.


    The more you run the passing game, the more energy you save for jump shooting, driving and dunking, getting out on the break, getting back on defense, and GUARDING HARD ON DEFENSE.

    The more action your run involving multiple players constantly running, running, running, screening, screening, cutting, moving, moving, moving, the less energy you have left to do the important things that actually GET YOU POINTS and DENY THEM POINTS.

    But when things aren’t working, fans (me included sometimes) shout, why don’t you run some action, set some screens, run some ball screens, run some elaborate 3 to 5 player coordinated, timed plays that GET SOMEONE OPEN!!!

    Running set plays is very appealing to fans. It is a very simple, linear and mechanistic approach to the game. 1 runs to 2 and sets a screen. 2 shuffles around 1 and runs across the lane and back picks the high post 4. The high post 4 scrapes his man off the back pick and takes a feed in the lane from the wing 3. The high post 4 puts it on the deck and draws the defender guarding the low post 5. The driving high post 4 lobs it up to the rim to the open low post 5 who dunks it. A nice linear sequence of events. Simple to drawn up. Simple to think about. Simple to understand.

    But it leads to congestion inside. Everyone is moving and expending energy. Timing is required. If you do it often enough opponents scheme against it and disrupt the timing and it doesn’t work. The extremes of the set offense are the Oklahoma Shuffle and the Princeton. Disrupt-ability is why the Princeton Offense has finally fallen into disfavor. It relied too much on timing and though it was improvised into some options that made it less predictable, the bottom line was that if you just stayed with your man, fought through the screens and kept bumping everyone everywhere on the floor every chance you got, sooner or later the timing was going to get screwed up and either a shot was not going to open up, or the clock was going to run out, and the offense was not conducive to solo impact plays.

    The Carolina Passing Offense/High Low and the Dribble Drive and the Triple Post are popular today, because because in a high contact game, they are least vulnerable to disruption of timing. They are flexible. They are episodic offenses, picaresque, if you are familiar with the literary term. The ball is moving around the floor in search of a situation to exploit. Each situation, or episode is a little attempted attack with a short menu of options of what to do depending on how the defense reacts. When the attack cannot work, the ball just moves on. There is no resetting anything.

    The dribble drive differs in principle from the Carolina Passing offense only in that it moves the ball around the floor searching for a situation in which to ball screen and create space off the dribble, which simultaneously deforms the defense, or can when things are working.

    In contrast, the Carolina Passing Offense/High Low only resorts to ball screening and actions, when the passing game isn’t deforming the defense enough to get open looks. And even after the action plays, it tries to go back to the passing game.

        • EOF (another little Fortran allusion, at least if I recall correctly. It is an idiosyncracy of mine to recall Fortran in a post ever season or two. In the digital age, it is kind of like making an allusion in Latin. :-))

  • JB, I recall reading your explanation on Self’s In/Out strategy to win games that is now better understood and defended by other coaches. Without a doubt, this strategy got us a lot of Ws. That said, now the game has been elevated with other coaches catching on, and I wonder if muscle and height are enough anymore. I go back to UConn & Louisville that didn’t have KU’s height & muscle, but had one hell of point guard with Brain and/or Will Power. Brain Power + Will Power we need from our guards (as stated above) + muscle + height. Will Power is one variable that can cover team’s deficiency, but Brain Power can win us important games (ie NC). We had/have athletic guards, but not sure about their Brain Power (ie - super athletic players with academic challenges would impede one’s growth & development in reaching his ceiling). So, here’s my request. Would you please analyze our Brain & Will Power of our players? I’m very interested because right now, I’m going with a gut in placing my bet with Mason and his Will Power because I can see his WP, but am not an expert to assess his BP (Brain Power > basketball IQ). As mentioned before, when I saw Mason’s eyes last year, I saw something that lacked in others particularly Nadir. There were times Nadir’s eyes/eye lids were half closed during games, and wondered what was wrong with him. Looking forward to your analysis! Thanks JB.

  • @HighEliteMajor What if Hoiberg schemes against Ellis and Mason early, is that something to worry about? Although at TCU was more of calling the game tight by the refs, it did unsettled us. Maybe Hoiberg will see something in that.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    “They play fast and they all can hit from outside,”

    I agree with you… but it will be hard for them to have the speed advantage on us in AFH. They have to be faster than us to win this game. It’s an uphill battle for them.

    We know we can’t give away our home court advantage.

  • I have a real wild plan. Let’s get back on defense and NOT let them run us out of our own house. They killed us in transition. They ran us into the ground in Ames.

    My plan…GET BACK ON DEFENSE and move the feet.

  • @Shanghai_RCJH With our group, I’m not too worried about other teams attempting to take away certain guys. I think Oubre, Greene, Graham, Selden, and Cliff are all capable of picking it up offensively if ISU would key on Mason/Ellis. We’ve really got some diverse scoring options.

    The guy I think could/should have a big game is Oubre. His three point shot has been a bit slow lately, and he was ill vs. TCU.

    With regard to Ellis, clearly, he’s our best scorer of the post players. But he still struggles back to the basket (like he did vs. ISU last time). Using Ellis like Self has recently, getting him away from the basket and attacking. That’s our best bet.

    If I’m Hoiberg, though, I would really look to slide guys to stop Mason on his drives to the hoop. Make Mason dish, which is not his strong suit. But no, I’m not worried at all. Self went with Graham for the stretch in the 2nd half vs. ISU when we made our run. Graham’s a different player. Good to have both of those two in the bag. I’d like to see them together … a lot … in this game.

    I really think this game is all about what we choose to do, and how we choose to attack.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Agreed on Oubre. He was like the 6th man in Ames for a while as he missed a lot of shots early that he can usually make. He’s in a mini slump, 6-18 from the field 0-7 from 3 in his last 3 games. He was 5-15 and 0-3 from 3 in the first matchup. As a team we missed 43 shots, that’s a crazy amount of shots to miss and lose by 5. If him and Ellis show up with good games we should win handily.

  • @HighEliteMajor thanks. Outside in will be the way to go to win this game. If we look at our 3 point %, we are ranked 30th in the country with only 4 other Top 25 teams ranked in the top 30 in 3 point shooting(N. Dame, Utah, Gonzaga, and Indiana). That suggests our outside game is elite, at least I think it is. RCJH!

  • I’m slightly worried about Mason’s health. Watching the KSU game there were several times where he just did not look like himself, especially on defense. One time in particular someone went right by him and he just stood there and tried to poke it away from behind. Are the minutes finally catching up to him? Was he told to take it easy once we had the lead? Did he just decide to take it easy? We need Mason, BAD! I’m concerned.

  • @drgnslayr ONE more YES would have made it believable…

  • @benshawks08 I thought he looked tired, but then he finished strong-free throws! I thought coach was trying to get him thru his shooting slump, who knows?

  • @benshawks08 and @nuleafjhawk

    I am worried about Mason’s minutes, plus the wear and tear. Remember, he played through some ankle issues while Graham was out, so he is probably not going to be anywhere near 100% the rest of the way. That could also explain his shooting slump as his legs may be a bit more worn right now. We really need to find a way to give him a couple 22 minute games so he can get refreshed.

  • @justanotherfan

    “I am worried about Mason’s minutes, plus the wear and tear.”

    I think it would be nice if we didn’t have to rely on his scoring every night. Those drive finishes are where he picks up his scrapes and bruises.

    I’d like to see Brannen, Devonte and Wayne be held a bit more responsible for filling out the stat sheet. And then just sometimes we count on Frank, when we really need it. That would usually be away games. Frank doesn’t get spooked playing in away games. And it is usually the treys start missing away because the guys aren’t used to that court (and for other reasons).

  • @drgnslayr unless they are trapping

  • @drgnslayr

    But Frank’s style is slashing. As someone who had that same style, I know that he can’t just turn that off and stay on the perimeter. It’s against his basketball personality. Less minutes would make it easier because then he’s not up on his feet having to work defensively, etc. He’s going to keep going to the basket because that’s how he has played since he was probably 9 or 10 years old.

  • Frank had his worst passing game I thought saturday. A few times he threw to nobody and Self wasn’t happy and took him out. It looked like one of those games for him and some shots that usually go in like the open 3’s just weren’t falling. You could say that was his first “off game” since the beginning of the season and luckily we did enough with everyone else to win comfortably. I think he will rebound tonight and we will need.

    Side not, hopefully Greene gets about 20 minutes. The way he has shot the ball and tried harder on D is unavoidable for more minutes. Avg. 11pts last 4 in 17 minutes a game while making 10 3’s. You have to give him floor time for those kind of numbers.

  • @justanotherfan

    True… but if some of these other guys could also create just a bit for themselves, Frank wouldn’t be stuck so often as the shot clock runs down, forcing him to drive. By that time, the defense knows what is going to happen and they are ready for Frank to drive.

    I’m not talking about a major change of who Frank is. Currently, Frank is okay with not leading in scoring. Often he is sort of “elected” as our primary scorer because when others should be taking the lead, they all take a step backwards, leaving Frank to do it.

    Kind of like the old military cliche… asking for one guy to volunteer, and everyone except one guy steps backwards. Frank is never going to be a guy that steps backwards and everyone on this team knows it.

    We may have had more skilled PGs in our history before Frank… but I can’t think of a single one that was any tougher than Frank! Frank is fearless and ferocious!

    “3-F” Frank… Fearless, Ferocious, Frank!

  • @drgnslayr

    Absolutely agree that Frank never backs down. That’s what I really love about his game. He will not shy away from the moment. That’s also why he needs the rest because Frank will naturally take on the extra burden. We need to get a couple blowouts so he can rest and not take on the extra load because if he’s out there, that’s what he will do because that’s just how he is.

  • @drgnslayr Frank is quickly becoming one of my all time favorite Jayhawks. Fearless is the perfect word for him. I am so excited he is 5’11 not 6’2 so we can watch him progress all four years. He has grown so much from the ridiculously fast, out of control, fireplug we saw last year. This is his team without a doubt. They all look to him. They all rush to help him up after every drive. They look to him when things get bad. The know it is because of him when things go well. I don’t remember who it was but a poster in here said Frank might be the best dribbler we have ever had. I think that is true and he is only a sophomore! He dribbles right through presses. He gets into the lane at will. His finishing is better. He is driving and dishing a little more. I can’t say enough great things about him.

    But he looked tired last game. And he seems to be wearing down. Graham has been good but he needs to step up so Frank can have a break. Frank is cringing every time he has to drag his butt off the ground after getting pounded at the rim. And for the first time on Saturday I saw his defense start to noticeably suffer. If we have any chance of going far in the tournament, it will be on the back of Frank Mason the Third. We need to realize this now and start protecting our most prized commodity. Yes Frank is a tough SOB who can play 35 minutes every game. But wouldn’t he be better later in the season if every once in a while he only had to play 25? Tonight isn’t the night to rest so I guess it’s more of the same for our ferocious Frank. Love the 3f’s by the way!

  • @benshawks08 My fear is still his shin. Self has always made his players play through nagging injuries rather than giving very limited minutes for a couple games or sitting out one completely. (Reed his senior year, Langford his senior year, Selden last year, Selby, Traylor this season, Elijah is junior year, and probably many more we haven’t heard about.) Granted,he probably leaves the decision up to the players, and they want to play. But I would rather not have someone for two games then have them play the rest of the season 75%.

    And now we have ironman Frank starting to show signs of wear and tear. I would take my chances on dropping a couple games in the league to have a 100% Mason. I know every player has some nagging stuff by the end of the season, but I would like to prevent it as much as possible.

  • @benshawks08

    Mason’s fatigue is a very valid point, At 33.2 MPG, he is playing more that what I think Self would like, which I assume is 28-30 MPG and it is twice as many MPG than he played last year. It is amazing how much difference even a couple of minutes per game can make. In the NBA, they carefully monitor and limit playing time for injured/recovering/older players and they will not go over those limits. The Lakers tried it with Kobe and he still ended up in trouble. Some teams, will also periodically rest their key players for games at the time to prevent fatigue; granted the NBA season is considerably longer but the players are also pros and much better conditioned than college players.

    I had hoped that may be Mason would have been able to play 20-25 minutes against TCU and KSU but ended up playing 35 and 33 minutes in those games. Look like as much as Davonte has progressed, Coach Self is just not quite ready to hand him the keys to the team for extend periods and relies on Frank heavily. I am not sure when Mason can have some time off since the conference continues to be tough.

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