Bill Self Offensive Philosophy 2015-2025

  • Fellow bored rats. HCBS has finally acquiesced to playing Outside-In & Four Out, One In much to our liking! Not to say we helped forge his thinking (although I assume he has Snacks skim read all of @HighEliteMajor & @jaybate-1.0’s posts) bc he’s a genius and probably scripted this after the Stanford game…but I digress.

    What will his coaching look like for the next ten years?

    1. If we recruit better bigs, will he go back to Hi-Low Inside Out muscle ball?

    2. Will he open up the floor Four Out, One In and Free the Three!?!?

    3. Will the officiating force his hand? (shout out to MO3)

    4. Will ShoeCo send more OAD’s our way if we play a certain way?

    5. Based on answers above, how many NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS can we expect?

  • @VailHawk

    It is a fun thought… thinking that the Kansas coaching brain trust comes to KUbuckets for advice.

    But in reality…

    I don’t have a clue what motivates Self or what attracts his attention, especially around his recent changes in strategy. But I have some ideas.

    I believe the Mayor has had the biggest influence on Self recently. ISU has stepped up and challenged Kansas and is definitely a formidable opponent and is able to do it without recruiting a stable of 5-star recruits.

    I think Coach Pop at SA is also someone Self focuses on.

    Self is realizing that the game has changed since he started coaching. He has always definitely fit into the typical college coach definition… teach rigid structure… teach your philosophy.

    The Mayor has a different approach. It is directly out of the NBA playbook. Do what you have to do to win! It is as simple (and complex) as that.

    Self is no slouch on winning. He has been one of the most successful coaches in college basketball. But the game is changing, and Kansas basketball is changing in a big way. We are no longer focused on the four to five year players. We are focused more on the one to two year players. It is hard to get a return on teaching philosophy to players for only one or two years.

    I hope what we are seeing is a permanent change in Kansas basketball. I’m not saying we should never again focus on post scoring. But to have the mindset that we will play to our strengths (whatever they are) is a completely different philosophy than what Self has had. This gives us a chameleon identity instead of just one identity.

    I’m curious what could be next? Might we finally start focusing just a little bit less energy on team defense and offense and start pushing players to be individually responsible (like the NBA)? This is at the base of the Mayor’s strategy. That’s why you see every one of his players capable of taking someone in a one-on-one play to the hole or to a spot on the floor. His strategy is to open up the offense, spread the defense, isolate players so they can attack. We are still a long ways away from this kind of game. Our strategy last night was to spread the defense, but we still relied on mostly hitting the set shot. Every one of Fred’s guys can drive to the hole with success.

    The Mayor is one heck of a coach. He has made a bigger impact over anyone else in recent history. He has been able to translate the pro game to college. No one else has been able to really do it. Fred has. It is hard to imagine what he could do if he starts landing a few OADs and TADs. He should be able to do it eventually. At some point he is going to get some of these kids to realize that he has the right step between HS and the NBA. And he does!

    Now imagine an open-minded Self?! Imagine a guy who is able to adopt more of a NBA strategy at an elite program? Imagine what we can do with that?

    So we are taking the positive recruiting techniques from Calipari (build luxury living suites, top tier talent practicing every day against top tier talent), then apply the Mayor’s game (teach individual responsibilities within a team concept, spread the floor, create isolations and scoring space, no rigidity).

    And do all of this at a blue blood like Kansas!

    Here is our monstrous edge over Calipari and his dribble drive. The Mayor’s offense is light years ahead of the dribble drive… it is more like a supercharged version of the Princeton offense. Another real positive… this is effective offense that new players can adopt and execute in little time!

    There is a huge flaw in Self’s recent strategy. He’s going after OAD talent and then trying to force them into rigid, philosophical college basketball. It just doesn’t maximize the use of those players. Look at Wigs. He was pinned into a rigid structure that trapped him into double teams and collapsed defenses. Look at Wigs now! Imagine if we could have had this Wigs at Kansas? Truth is, we could have! He hasn’t improved so much in this short time, he is actually battling against tougher competition. But he has been set free! He is in the league, and the league is just about winning. Individual players have individual responsibilities. You either step up or you are out. A player can’t hide behind a team concept. The game is opened up and you are expected to score in your match up!

    It’s time we be the real next step for these kids and give them some NBA-style game now. I’m sick and tired of babysitting players. Letting them float in a team concept. Reminds me of communism.

  • Banned

    Interesting conversation. Just for the record I’m all for KU running a little more of the 4 and 1 type of offense. For one thing I believe we do have the pieces to run it well.

    However I’m not all for the helter skelter type of game it can bring. 4 and 1 breeds the run and gun philosophy. I’m trying to remember the last running team that actually cut down the nets? Not sure I like that.

  • @drgnslayr I also think a big reason for Wiggins’s success in the NBA is the defensive 3 seconds or whatever the rule is that keeps bigs from hanging out under the rim. Our biggest problem last year was with zones and as you pointed out, sagging defenses. They just packed it in and didn’t give him any room to operate. His only option was that step back jumper which is a low percentage shot when it is the only choice. We also did not have (or utilize) the shooting we have this year. I agree that Self is progressing and this is probably one of his best coaching jobs yet. I don’t know that we can blame philosophy 100% for the “freeing” of Wiggins. The games are different. Though like you said, the Mayor, is proving maybe not as different as we thought.

    I like the team concept stuff though. I like the idea that you never know who will beat you on this team. I like the open man takes the shot philosophy. I love how when we have seen zone this year, we moved the ball and got open looks. I do wonder if this is what sometimes hurts us in March though. You see teams like Uconn go through with guys making tough guarded shots. Our guys (except Wayne and sometimes Frank) never even take guarded shots.

    There is certainly a level of control Self would have to give up in order to more fully adopt that system. You notice Hoiberg’s calm demeanor and you rarely see him chastising players for taking bad shots. Compare that to Self’s sideline tirades and quick hooks and you have some of your “playing free” without changing a single x or o. I think with that though you start accepting some lax defense with that overall philosophy. That may be a stretch. But it feels that way.

  • Great questions… What a year!! Which engender a few more questions for me:

    Are we in the midst of witnessing possibly Self’s greatest coaching effort? Has a Kansas team ever had this ridiculously hard a schedule? This far into league play, is the Big Red Dog looking less and less like a probable OAD?

    And… Slightly of topic… How far back would one have to look to find a team more under pressure to win it all than this year’s kentucky team? Anything less than a ncaa championship would be an abject failure for them

  • @Bosthawk

    “Has a Kansas team ever had this ridiculously hard a schedule?”

    Although the 85-86 team played a few cupcakes, they also had a killer schedule. They played National Champion Louisville twice that regular season and beat them both times. They played Duke, which lost to Lousville in the championship, and of course again in the NC game. They played North Carolina State whom we played twice, beating them in the regional final also, and Kentucky, a regional finalist, and Washington (in the dance that year), and Memphis, also danced, Arkansas, WIchita St. (@nuleafjhawk), Pepperdine (in the dance that year).

    To sum up, that’s 8 tournament teams besides our league games which wasn’t that tough besides ISU which played in the sweet 16, whom we played three times by the way. We played 4 of the 7 elite 8 teams in the regular season. (we couldn’t play ourselves). We played three regular season games against the national finalists, winning two of those games.

    That is what I call a ridiculously difficult schedule, but that’s what most powerhouses did back then. Maybe they didn’t have an RPI back then because if they did, they wouldn’t be saying this years team is playing a schedule of historical proportions.

  • @Bosthawk Cliff is puzzling, didn’t match up well w/this game. Heard his back has been bothering him. I thought he would be further along. He still has plenty of time.

  • @wissoxfan83 lol - thanks for the shoutout! Honestly, I should explain my WSU position.

    I was in “Nawlins” in …'81 when WSU outplayed us in the Midwest Regionals. (not to mention Darnell Valentine missing at least 127 layups). They had a GREAT team that year - they had my respect.

    I didn’t pay much attention to them for the next 30 years. Just cuz. But in 2012-2013, after we were out of the tournament, I rooted for them all the way. Really rooted for them. I was disappointed when they lost in the Final Four.

    THEN - the next season blew it for me. Forever. The whole “undefeated in the marshmallow cupcake sissy-girl, goldilocks ballerina” league put a bad taste in my mouth. Half of the high school teams in this area could have done the same thing.

    The final straw was greaseball Marshall flapping his stupid lips about how scared the Chickenhawks were to play Wichita State. Puh-leeze.

    So, it’s really Marshall I can’t stand. But since he’s the coach of WSU, I have to dislike them too. Hopefully he’ll move on to a conference with some real teams in it, get the living crap beat out of him on a regular basis, and we’ll never have to hear about him again.

    Then I can root for WSU again. When they’re not playing us.

  • @nuleafjhawk I’m w/you!! Still wondering what he’ll do w/CF.

  • @nuleafjhawk Little harsh ? Nah. But with Bills acceptance of the NBA style could this lead him to beckon for a team of Durants & Westbrooks in the next year or so? Makes me ponder the thought for sure. Just sayin…

  • @Bosthawk

    KU’s non-con schedule was the toughest in the country and the conference schedule is even tougher. How many teams can say that of their first 9 conference games, 6 were against ranked teams and still ended up with 8-1 record? Pretty impressive.

  • The seat is warming up in OKC & CBB may go to a 30 sec shot clock soon also. That could all but kill the Hilo, JMO

  • @benshawks08

    Really great post! Right on about the personality differences between the Mayor and Self.

    I think the Mayor’s brand of offense is remarkably similar to NBA offense… depending on the team. Teams run different stuff to take advantage of their players.

    College basketball is completely stiff everywhere but ISU. Look at how crazy wild they built their fan base since the Mayor has returned? A big part of it is about winning… but part of it is their style. Their games are actually FUN to watch! Their offensive stuff looks different every play. They play what I would call a “full motion offense.” It’s Princeton on steroids.

    On one possession you’ll see three guys in motion, choreographed… with another guy slashing and being hit with the ball on the run. He’s already into his move to the basket. If you want to get a guy to drive the ball, start off by hitting him in stride! Did we ever do that with Wigs? We gave him the ball on the perimeter and made him start from zero. Totally stiff basketball. And painful to watch!

    On the next possession ISU will have everyone stand still, and it’s a play where Niang is going to do his thing, regardless of how many guys help out. Why it works is because of stuff they ran before. They already have the defense spread apart.

    They combine a philosophy of “take what the defense gives” with “create opportunities with motion and isolations.”

    The cool thing about basketball is that there are no secrets. DVR a game and start studying. It’s all there. Fred isn’t running nuclear science.

    Imagine what we could do with an offense like this with the level of talent we are able to recruit? Imagine we had run that with Wigs?

  • @globaljaybird

    Scott Brooks is very safe in OKC. The Thunder have had a lot of injuries this season and still managed to be at .500. Durant missed 26 of 48 games and Westbrooke 14 of 28; the only player to have played in all 48 games is Ibaka. Brooks is well liked and respected in OKC and I just don’t see him not staying there.

    On a related note, the Thunder signed Collison to a new 2 year contract. So…he won’t be coaching at KU anytime soon…:(

  • @JayHawkFanToo great deal for Collison, heard a writer criticized the thunder for the contract and KD covered his back!

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    Collison is the ultimate team player and mentor to the younger ones. Lazy writers that have never played teams sports would not know what Collison brings to the table; obviously the team and his teammates do.

  • @VailHawk I really believe that if KU finishes with a sweet 16 exit this year that most if not all of our guys return next season + Bragg and they get to the Final Four the NEXT season and possibly win it. Can they repeat a year or two later? I honestly dont know what our roster will look like so I have no clue.

  • @JayHawkFanToo If CBB goes to a shot clock then Bill’s standby hilo O may be a thing of the past.

  • @globaljaybird

    I don’t believe the NCAA would go lower than 30 seconds, definitely not 24 seconds like the NBA. So it is really not much of change. I would prefer to leave the game as is and not switch to the no-defense, NBA-like game.

  • I feel sure that it is just a matter of time before we are down to 30 seconds. They are already fretting about the flatness of the game and record low scoring.

  • @JayHawkFanToo Teams that use even a moderate measure of press can delay entry to the backcourt between 5 & 10 secs & that is enough to rush any set offense, hi lo or not. Ball reversal is the real key to any set, so take 5 for the entry & another 5 for the shot clock & now it’s 20. IMO it has the potential to speed up the game profoundly. This is what the 2AA wants (more flow supposedly) & it parallels the NBA. Undoubtedly some mega rich owner is willing to tempt Bill & if the college game is going to be a mirror of it, I won’t be surprised to see several younger guys break ranks & go for the gusto. Who at Butler thought Brad Stevens would do it? Bill’s no pup anymore so if he ever wants to try that challenge, his clock is ticking. Pretty big difference between say, 45 & 55. I hope his stock in Rogaine is paying off well cause he’s noticeably thinner than he was in 08. Just a thought.

  • @drgnslayr IMO is a matter of time slayr. Has the real potential to change the strategies of the game as we know & have learned it for decades. Won’t be complicated-its not now. But possibly quite more simplified, or dumbed down as some rats refer to it. Is only 5 on 5 so is not really what I’d refer to as rocket science anyway

  • Who does the shorter clock benefit more, offense or defense?

    You could say that a shorter clock forces a faster tempo game with more possessions so advantage offense. On the other hand, the defense needs to hold the other team for a shorter period of time so advantage defense?

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