How's this season going to end?

  • Difficult to conjecture at this point I understand. I feel a lot better now than I did back before Christmas when I said I quit on the team.

    Reasons we’ll go far.

    Kelly Oubre has obviously become the player we expected based on preseason hype. He wasn’t that player before Christmas.

    Perry Ellis seems to be figuring out his changing role on the team.

    Coach Self finally began reading the posts at KUBuckets, and probably even checks in with @Jesse-Newell during halftime to see what we’re saying. This has led to the inside out strategy being utilized with increasing effectiveness.

    Reasons we won’t. The long range arsenal can go kaput at odd times and if it does at the wrong time we’ll lose to another Temple type team.

    Injuries. Cliff’s back, Graham’s toe, etc…

    We’re not big enough.

    We’re too young.

    I’d like to think we’ve got this figured out enough that a first weekend exit is not going to happen. I’d like to hope that we can get to the Regional final. I’d like to dream that we’ll survive til the last night of the season and cut the nets down.

  • @wissoxfan83 as coach said, he looks at his team and sees 8 starters, nice problem to have!!

  • I commented earlier that we could not put two good halves together. We’ve been much better in recent games. I just hope that trend continues. It would mean a #2 seed which should land us in Omaha, the closest venue available.

    The second weekend in March doesn’t really offer any friendly options. I hope we travel well and support the team-I truly believe it helps us.

  • I think it ends in a loss. I think we can win a national championship, but I think that is a low possibility.

    I would think with an elite 8 I wouldn’t feel like we underachieved. I’d be disappointed, but it wouldn’t be one of the tournament failures that we point to like VCU, UNI, etc.

    I would be happy with a Final 4.

    As @wissoxfan83 said, relying heavily on 3s can lead to early exits (Duke knows all about this), and even if Cliff progresses enough to give us another legit 25+ mpg post presence, I still see us being outed by a bigger team should we go cold from the outside. Something that might play into that is that it seems teams struggle shooting from the outside due to the cavernous shooting backgrounds of the larger venues where games are held at as you go deeper into the tournament.

    I don’t think we’ll get bounced out too early, simple because for the first time in a few seasons we have exceptional guard play, particularly at the PG spot. We’re also very deep on the perimeter, so we can afford a bad night from one or two of our starters (Selden and/or Oubre) and replace them with quality back-ups (Greene and/or Graham).

    So I guess I’d say sweet 16 should be our basement, ground floor of an elite 8, top floor of a Final 4, with an outside shot to hit our ceiling and win a national championship.

  • @icthawkfan316

    That’s about where I was thinking too, although I look at the teams around us in the rankings and like to think that we could handle them and make the final four.

  • @wissoxfan83 Dreamin’s good sox-go for it. Even us old guys still need to do it. Keeps us younger & motivated. Guess when I’m too old for that, the race may finally be run. Thats Bullshit, theres still gas in the tank! RCJK & FF bound !!

  • Banned

    I marvel at threads like this one.

    Winning the championship is just as much luck as it is, players, and coaching. It really is. How many times has the favorite or the best team won it all? Was Florida the last favorite to win it all?

    Well I’ll go on a limb. If this KU team continues to grow and gets better, and can find a few breaks. Then sit back and enjoy the ride, because a trip to the championship game will be in the order.

  • @DoubleDD Other than the bracket draw itself, teams create their own luck by the way they are able to take advantage of their draw IMO

  • Banned


    That’s not really the luck I’m talking about, but yea I get your point.

  • @DoubleDD

    I would say UK in 2012?

  • @wissoxfan83

    First, I completely misread the season early on. I predicted 8-10 losses this season early on and even up to mid December. I have broken down my likely error to four origins.

    1.) I underestimated Frank Mason sharply.

    2.) I underestimated Oubre’s ability to shoot the trey enough to underestimate his ability to impact on the dribble.

    3.) I overestimated how long the Big 12 would be.

    4.) before the season started, I had not thought through the inside out/outside in game sufficiently and was too focused on our short comings for the inside out game.

    Mason has been nothing short of sterling in his play since the UK fiasco. He has risen to every challenge. Even the Temple beat down was not attributable to Mason. Mason has been a rock. He just exudes steadiness, which is absolutely not the way he played, or appeared last season. He plays much bigger than he is. His rebounding is practically unprecedented for a point guard. He plays nearly mistake free at times. His scoring has been steady and efficient since the UK game. And his conditioning is awesome. This 3 in 6 stretch at 35mpg was impressive for a point guard.

    Oubre seemed hurt early, then it took awhile for him to fit in, then he went fiery hot from trey his first few games being a contributor, which bought him another few weeks of scouting reports that said respect his trey. If people respect his trey, he is deadly on the move. And while he has cooled substantially, his trey is at least a 36-38% type for the season, which is good enough for his athleticism, especially with the other firepower KU has.

    Standing height seemed to me a big challenge not only for pre conference, but in the B12, because I didn’t take the time to scan the rosters. But the Big 12 is amazingly short this season. Texas and WVU are the only teams with much height at all and Texas plays short with its height. In a short conference, KU is plenty tall. Further, I think the Big 12 is way overrated this season. It seems to have lots of good players, but to be really lacking in marquis players–in NBA draft choices.

    Add them up and KU has 3 losses instead of the 6-8 I figured we would have by now.

    The wheels could still come off, but it just does not seem likely.

    In fact for the last two weeks or so, I have been predicting them to win out.

    I got the sweats about the 3 in 6, but the moment Self long benched TCU and KSU, I felt we had those three in the bag.

    i now have the sweats about WVU, because they probably should have a split with Huggie’s guys. But if we can handle the press, which we ought to be able to do with some work, given our bounty of ball handlers this season, I think we’ll sweep WVU.

    After that, we’ll have a tough rematch with Baylor and Texas at home, but then we’re home.

    Win out, Jayhawks, win out!

  • @jaybate-1.0 Don’t forget at Oklahoma. I believe Self’s statement after that game was, “those cats can score!” I think we lose 2 more between the ones you listed and the game I just mentioned. I simply can’t agree more about Mason. What a stud! Anyone see this coming from him last year? We all saw the speed, agility, and toughness, but this? The calmness of his game just blows me away when comparing him to last year.

    I agree the Big 12 is probably a little overblown this year. It really is just a bunch of pretty decent teams who racked up a lot of non-con wins. K-States early play should have been evidence of that. Once again the only real championship contender has risen to the top. If we lose more than 2 more the rest of the way, we probably aren’t good enough to win 6 in a row in March. But we are a shooting team this year which means even if we stumble, if we get hot at the right time, look out!

  • @jaybate-1.0

    “Trust thySELF: every heart vibrates to that iron string." from** SELF**-Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson

    You underestimate thySELF at your own risk - JayHawkFanToo.

  • @icthawkfan316 Agree on a much bigger team giving us potential problems in the NCAA. Especially during an off shooting night. That said, we have been the much bigger team so many times when we have lost…so who knows.

    The comment about Cliff is interesting. I have noticed a lot of posts on here about “when Cliff progresses…when Cliff stays out of foul trouble…when Cliff figures it out…etc.”. I have been a loud supporter of Cliff and really wish he would get more minutes but part of me is starting to think that with only 9 games left on the schedule what we have seen with Cliff is what we are going to get. A very talented freshman who can block shots and put down incredible alley oops and a pretty good rebounder. But I don’t think he is going to develop into a shooter this year. I don’t think he is going to start fouling less. I don’t think he is going to have an Oubre like change where all of the sudden he is the best player on our team.

    My point is that I think we can go to a Final 4. I really do. But Cliff and how he is playing won’t be the reason we do or don’t. Is he the best option for a big man off of the bench? Absolutely and I hope that his minutes only continue to increase but I don’t expect to see a huge leap in his numbers this year. Our run to a Final 4 will hinge on the play of our perimeter far more than Cliff.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    I think Louisville in 2013 was the #1 overall seed. I could be wrong, but I think they were.

    I think this season ends with a tough loss in the Elite Eight. I think we can go further than we have the last couple of years, but I don’t think we win it all.

    For one, I think Kentucky is winning it all, and I don’t think there is really much anybody can do about it. UK is so good defensively that it just puts them head and shoulders above everyone else.

    Two, I think KU is very even with a lot of teams, but that parity means that the S16 game will be very tough and so will the E8 game and the national semifinal. Between KU, Arizona, Duke, Virginia, Gonzaga, Villanova, Wisconsin and Louisville, only 7 of those teams could even possibly make it to the E8 (assuming UK is the other team). Add in teams like Iowa State, West Virginia, Notre Dame, Utah, Michigan State, Wichita State and Maryland, plus a couple of surprises (maybe SDSU or Temple) and its pretty clear that there are plenty of teams that have the E8 in their sights. Plus, any slip ups by KU and they end up with a 3 seed instead of a 2, which could mean playing a team like SMU or VCU in the Round of 32.

    Just a tough overall path. And let’s not forget that you want to avoid being in the region with UK because getting by the Cats will be a huge task.

  • @joeloveshawks I think you’re spot on in your assessment of Cliff. He’s not going to learn a bunch of back-to-the basket moves that transform him into Wayne Simien this season. He’s not going to develop a face-up jumper he can hit consistently. Those things will only come with many reps during the off-season.

    That being said, he can still improve this season. The game could still slow down for him and situations become familiar enough to him to where he is simply reacting rather than thinking. This is what is preventing him from playing more minutes. This is what is causing him to foul with such frequency. Remember TRob his freshman year? Kind of the same thing.

    Now TRob didn’t really start figuring it out until his sophomore season, but he was also playing less than half as much as Cliff is. TRob was the 4th big, behind Cole and both Morris twins. He averaged 7.2 mpg. Cliff is averaging 18.5 mpg, which puts him at 3rd among the bigs. So Cliff is getting substantially more on the job training, and my hope is that it does finally “click” for him. His scoring might not go up all that much, but that’s not all that big of a deal to me.

    I’ve said all along that Cliff is the only player that can be paired with Perry to make Perry better. Perry needs a true low post presence alongside him in the post to optimize his game. Perry can’t be placed on the low blocks all game long. Traylor is not a low-block player. Lucas lacks the skill to draw enough attention down low. Cliff is the only one who can take up space in the post and allow Perry the freedom to play the type of game that maximizes his abilities. Cliff can do the dirty work down low - defend and rebound - so that it doesn’t fall on Perry and take its toll on him. And Cliff must be accounted for down low by the defense, because while he may not have a lot of scoring moves or shooting range, he can get the ball and power to the hoop. No one else on this team can do that regularly. This is the main reason why I feel that Cliff “figuring it out” and being able to be depended on to play more minutes is the key to this season. Not because of the direct benefits Cliff offers, but because of the ancillary benefit of getting the most out of Perry. Like Self says, when he’s on Perry is our best player. A consistent, productive Cliff would help him be “on” more often, imo.

    This is to say nothing of the fact that I think it is pretty unlikely that any team can win 6 games in March without at least one legit low-post guy. Cliff is that guy. No one else can be. Consider how he played against Texas, then try to imagine winning that game without him. Against Texas’ big front line. Now flash forward to the tournament and say we run into someone with that size. Like Stanford last year. Or Kentucky.

    The perimeter play is solid. I don’t worry about that, even when figuring in a poor shooting night. So I disagree that our perimeter play is what a Final 4 run will hinge on. I would say that our perimeter play is the foundation from which such a run can be built on. But hinge on? I think it much more hinges on us needing a solid performance in the post and whether anyone can deliver one. We know Cliff is capable - again, the Texas game. Now, can he do it in March? Will he be able to play well enough to give him 25-30 minutes?

    It’s questions like these that make me wish there were bigger teams in the Big 12 for Cliff to cut his teeth against.

  • @justanotherfan

    The four top ranked teams in both polls before the tournaments were:

    • 1 - Gonzaga
    • 2 - Duke
    • 3 - Indiana
    • 4 - Louisville

    I seem to remember that Duke ended up being the top raked team by the NCAA for bracket purposes that year…but it could have been one of the others, although I doubt if it would be the #4 ranked team.

  • I sweat these last 5 road games and especially WVU. WVU plays an entire game like ISU played the last five minutes. I read some Guru’s Tweet that if you can get the ball across half court, you can beat WVU. I see where Coach puts a tall ball handler to catch the in bound pass, like Perry or Kelly who can turn and throw over the top to the middle of the court. If we can do that it will be dunk city. Making free throws down this final stretch will be key. We’ve proven most people wrong already so lets get to the Final Four and hope that the boys want to get back at Kentucky like they wanted to against ISU.

  • It’s all about the match ups in the tourney.

  • @wissoxfan83 First, never give up on the Jayhawks. Your a KU fan, you should know better. But I have to take ownership of the fact I said that KU wasnt a sweet 16 team at one point. Now I believe a sweet 16 finish is very well within our grasp. And, I would be cool with that. I think thats respectable especially if KU wins the big 12 tourney on top of it.

    Second, its outside in that is working so well for them right now, not inside out. ALthough I did see a couple sets played inside out during the ISU game, just to keep Freddy on his toes about what KU was going to run.
    I just hope we can win the conference right now. Im not to worried about the big tourney yet.

  • @Lulufulu I never gave up. My post, I think it was after the Kentucky game was titled “I Quit”. I outlined all of the reasons I quit. At the end I wrote, “See you all next game!” No, I’m too invested in this crazy fandom to ever give up!

  • As the season is playing out, I’m seeing some really good characteristics… number one being that this team is winning a lot of tough games.

    I’m starting to believe we will at least show well enough to get to the Sweet 16 and beyond that anything is possible!

    I think it will take a really good team playing well to beat us in March. I don’t see the flukey upset coming from a Mo Valley team this year!

  • @benshawks08

    Self has been feeling his way along this season. He has effectively admitted it a couple of times now.

    But at the same time once each season for the last two and this one–basically since he began his midlife crisis and passed through it–he has repeated this for whomever would listen. To paraphrase: I used to spend way too much time on things that did not matter to winning. I am focusing more and more on what matters.

    This has been the voice of a gregarious control freak overwhelmed with the search through minutia trying to explain early exits and concluding that a search for elegance is the only answer.

    The search for elegance is always what separates the clones of their teachers from the self actualized.

    This is the sign of a great mind begining a voyage of discovering the final level in his profession.

    Achieve elegance in your thinking and your living and you can deal with the complexity of anything.

    Self has reduced the game to creating leads and defending them.

    Its why there are so many close games.

    Its why occassionally there games that he crafts big leads all the way to the end.

    Teams that can score a bushel in a hurry require one to keep building a lead to within 3-5 minutes of the end.

    Teams that cannot score in bushels require only a 10-15 point lead that can be defended the rest of the game, always with ten to go, often from half time and sometimes the last ten minutes of the first half.

    For our Magister Ludi, teams that cannot score are games to practice defending the lead against teams that can score.

    Self has refined the game.

    The reason he was up so late working on the game plan for ISU was the game was vital to win. He was not building a complicated plan at all. He was up late trying to build and elegant game plan, one that involved putting Fred in a straight jacket of no running ASAP.

    Self knew the inside out would not produce points. He did not care about building a lead. He was putting Fred in the straight jacket of no running. Once the jacket was on Fred, from then on it was just a matter of building a lead with trey balling and using a lot of bench to keep the trey baller’s legs fresh for the second half.

    The reason he was up late was because he had to anticipate different ways to slip the straight jacket on Fred. Each way Fred might have started the game had to be considered, so the straight jacket could be slipped on and fit properly.

    The three balling is what you do once the strait jacket is on. It is a defensive straight jacket. But just as defense starts offense, offense starts defense; this the part Self always leaves out intentionally. You never give away your secrets as a magician.





    Plug into the elegant circularity elegantly and you are Magister Ludi.

    How do you win?

    By leading at the end.

    How do you do you lead at the end?

    By building a lead before the end.

    How do you build a lead?

    By shooting a higher PPP than the opponent.

    How do you build a higher PPP?

    By taking more open and more productive shots?

    By making the other team take less open, less productive shots.

    How big of a lead do you need?

    The smallest amount that can shrink to a one point lead in the remaining possessions when you stretch out the length of possession, shoot the worst you reasonably will, and they shoot the best they probably will.

    Basketball is not about winning big.

    It is not about being the best you can be.

    It is about working to get just enough better that you can win by 1 against anyone you will play.

    All that matters is winning by one point.

    A greater winnning margin is wasteful–and waste is inelegant. It means you did not properly defend the lead by spending the lead and reducing possessions.

    A one point win is the greatest elegance.

    As Self said early this season what difference does it make if you beat some one 100 to 80, or 70-50.

    He was pointing to what the game was beginning to mean to mean to him.

    Scoring margin is all that matters.

    The least scoring margin is the most elegant, if you managed the game to achieve it.

    This is the elegance that Bill Self is moving toward.

    Bigger scoring margins are insurance.

    But how much insurance does one need?

    Just enough.

    So while a 1 point winning margin is perfect elegance, it does not account for insurance risk. A five point lead against average teams is plenty. Against great trey shooting teams you may want a 10 or 15 point policy.

    Its all risk managemen

    If you have studied insurance risk and investment analysis and project feasibility, Self’s quest for elegance fits, makes perfect sense.

    Look at the rules of the game. You get a win, or a loss, whether you win by 100, or by 10, or lose by 10, or a hundred.

    You get a win, or a loss, whether the score is in 20s, 50s, 70s, or 90s.

    Self says he used to think to much about things that weren’t apart of winning.

    Notice, he no longer talks about put your boot down on someone’s neck and finishing them off.

    He has stopped thinking about that because you get a W, whether you step down on their necks, or not.

    All that matters now is bringing energy, aggressiveness, skill, and intelligence. These are what build leads. These are what defend leads.

    Self has gone back to the roots of the game.

    I already noted earlier in the season that he had gone back to Allen to dust of "you don’t beat opponents, you play to help them beat themselves.’ That is elegance.

    But he has gone back to Iba for building leads and defending leads, and making all decisions be about getting the minimum lead needed to defend for a 1 point win wih 4 insurance points.

    The bigger the lead you build and the sooner you can start shortening the game–start defending that lead.

    But it works at the beginning too. The longer you can stay even with an opponent stretching out early possessions and making him stretch his early possessions out, the shorter the game is, and the shorter the game is, then the less lead you need to build, and the less time you have to defend it.

    Basketball exists spatially on X ,Y and Z axes as @drgnslayr says. X is end to end. Y is up and down. Z is side to side. These are the 3 dimensions of space. Most coaches coach on those axes. They draw up neat Xs and Os to play out on these axes. They are the visible dimensions. Fred Hoiberg is very good scheming on these axes. As @drgnslayr notes, Fred is doing something brilliant there, something Self is studying and learning from. He is introducing a professional style of motion and use of space on the X , Y and Z axes. It was a new thing to Self from the moment Fred got to Ames. But now Self has largely learned how to guard it, and learned how to use it in his offense.

    But Fred is getting an education from Self and Fred is struggling with it. Fred is a spatial guy, like Self used to be–before the quest for elegance took Self onto the T-axis–time.

    The T-axis is time.

    A game has 40 minutes of back and forth through space.

    The time is filled with possessions.

    The number of possessions of a game are an accordion of time you can scheme on as a coach.

    Self shrinks that front end of the game. He builds a lead. He shrinks the back end of the game.

    Sometimes builds the lead at the start, then defends it for the first half, then builds it the second half, then defends it. Some time he waits the whole game, then builds it and defends it 3 minutes.

    He wins because while everyone else is scheming the spatial part of the game, which Self is scheming within too, Self is scheming on a dimension that only a few of them think is important, and then only at the end of games, and among those, only a few really get the strategic and tactical implications of the accordion effect.

    Why don’t they get it yet?

    Because they are trying to beat people bad; that’s why.

    They are playing the game as if a win by 20 points was worth more than a win by 1 point.

    When you think this way, you always compress the accordion to try to get as many points as you can, not the fewest you need.

    Many games Self is scheming on the T axis of time almost by himself.

    About the only thing opposing coaches think about time is time outs, TV timeouts, and time to go down the stretch–the last five minutes.

    Self is playing every minute of every game as if it were an accordion effect.

    Fred knows Self is doing this. Fred knows it works. Fred has only beaten Self once, if I recall correctly, and it was at home.

    Fred wants to learn what Self is doing–this accordion thing on the T-axis, from opening tip off to the last second of the game. But Fred is all into space. And Self is pulling him out of space and into time, and time in Fred’s experience of basketball is something you try to cram more and more action into, even as you are spreading it out in space. You spread it out to score more.

    But Self doesn’t want to score more.

    Self wants to score just enough.

    Its a spooky concept that Iba apparently thoroughly figured out. He may have even been the first to really work through it.

    And Fred is having as much trouble with that concept as Self had buying into outside in–into spreading it out first to attack.

    Something great is happening in the synergy of Bill and Fred.

    But right now, Self is way ahead on the T axis and caught up on the X and Y.

    What has this long meditation to do with OU?

    Kruger is an Okie Baller.

    If anyone can get directly clued into to what Self is up to its Kruger.

    Kruger is smart–as smart as Self in most ways–even wilier in a few. Jack Hartman had a fabulous intellect for scheming guys open, for shaking them loose. Find old tapes of what he did with Walt Frazier. Later tapes of what he did with Mike Evans. Different strokes but all master strokes. Kruger learned that from him.

    You’re right, OU is possible loss.

    But Self has selected his players, and trained his players and taught his players to play on the T axis, because, quite frankly, his bigs aren’t very good near the basket on the X, Y, or Z axes. So: he has borrowed form Fred and moved his bigs out to where they are good at some things in the X, Y, and Z space–outside in.

    But the real game that Self and his players are playing is played on the T axis. And the team’s accordion is played according to a criterion of elegance.

    Shrink the game, build a lead, defend a lead by shrinking the rest of the game. Buy just enough insurance.

    If Self can pull Kruger out of space and into time the way he pulled Fred, hang another W.

    Win out, Jayhawks, win out!!!

  • I think we lose 2 of the road games left (more likely WVU and OU). We can lose one more for sure, I think, and still win our 11th. We need to win at either OSU or KSU, not slip at Tech or at home and we’ve got it. I see a #2 seed in the works. We’re all hoping for a final four, but I see, more likely, an elite 8. This team is a year from peaking (of course depending on who leaves). But, who knows. We don’t know how much better the team will get and what type of matchup we get in the tourney.

  • @Hawk8086 are you watching WV now? They look nothing like the caliber of teams we faced. But, any given day!

  • @Crimsonorblue22 You are right…not tonight. But, for most of the year…they have looked pretty tough. Plus…we play there on Big Monday…everybody is gunning for us. We get everybody’s best shot…at least emotionally…when we play in a hyped road game.

  • @Hawk8086 goggle guy from WV is sitting out sick, too.

    I totally see that and it makes me think about the monologue Yoda had with Luke in Empire, about the force being around and apart of everything. Basketball IS the best sport. Shall we start calling you Jedi Master Jaybate?

  • @Hawk8086 another thought, notice how empty the gym is? AFH would not let the Jayhawks down last night, just crazy how great the fans are!

  • @Hawk8086 looks like they are doing much better!!

  • @Crimsonorblue22 I hadn’t noticed as I only watched a little when I saw OU was pounding them. The concept of playing at home in a less than full arena is foreign to us.

  • @Lulufulu

    Well, I feel 900 years old sometimes!!!😄

    And I’ve got an old Barbour waxed cotton coat with a hood that I could pretend in.

    But no, I better stick with just plain old jaybate 1.0. 😇

  • @Lulufulu Powerful Jedi is Jaybate…POWERFUL Jedi.

  • Many have mentioned This team possibly or probably recieving a 2 seed for the dance. I must say that although its premature at the moment. If this team does in fact win the big12. Especially outright. With the best schedule in the nation. And number 1 rpi. And in the number 1 rpi conference. It will be a travesty in my honest opinion to not recieve a 1 seed.

  • @cragarhawk Well thought out. The older I get the more I sandbag.

    Bobby Knight made a statement years ago that stuck with me.

    2 normally still has to go through # 1. (Or a team that beat them).

    Still-# 1 has an easier schedule than # 2.

  • @cragarhawk I see your point, and I agree it will be a travesty. Part of the problem is we don’t have the marquee wins, or at least the perceived marquee wins, like a lot of other programs in contention for #1 seeds have. Consider the following teams resumes:

    • Kentucky. Obviously the crushing victory over us (as you say, the #1 RPI team). Undefeated. No-brainer.

    • Duke. Wins over Wisconsin, Louisville, and previously unbeaten Virginia. Oh, and all those wins were on the road! Resume building games remaining include Notre Dame and 2 games against UNC.

    Unless Duke finishes with I’d say…3 or more losses than we do (currently both teams have 3), I’d say they’re a lock along with Kentucky. So that leaves 2 left. Other teams vying for consideration

    • Arizona. Wins against Gonzaga and Utah. Only real resume builder left on schedule is return trip to Utah.

    • Virginia. Wins against VCU, UNC, Maryland. Can still improve resume with 2 games against Louisville.

    • Gonzaga. Weakest of the teams in consideration. No wins against the top 20 RPI. No remaining games against ranked teams. Thank goodness for the loss to Arizona or we might have another Wichita St on our hands - an undefeated team waltzing into the tourney without having played anybody and gifted a #1 seed.

    • Villanova. Win over VCU. Nothing great left on their schedule (away games at Georgetown and Butler).

    • Wisconsin. Another weak resume. Biggest RPI wins are neutral site wins over Georgetown and Oklahoma back in November. Bad loss against Rutgers.

    And here’s our resume:

    • Top 20 RPI wins over Utah, Georgetown, ISU, and Baylor. Two games against WVU on schedule, along with OU and and Baylor. No wins against the RPI top 10.

    I think the committee will give a #1 seed to either Gonzaga or Arizona and stick them out west. That leaves one remaining #1 seed. Right now I think it’s Virginia’s to lose, with one loss and games against Louisville plus the ACC tourney where they could draw top 20 RPI opponents Duke, Louisville, UNC, and Maryland.

    What hurt us is both Michigan St. and Florida having down years. Obviously it didn’t hurt us too much; we are still the #1 team in the RPI. But those wins don’t carry the same luster as they do a lot of other years.

    I think if geography was not a factor, we’d be in consideration for the fourth #1 seed. But since it probably is I think we can take the west’s #1 seed out of consideration. Which is fine with me. The last thing I’d want is a repeat of '07, where we were the #1 seed out west and UCLA was the #2 seed, and we essentially played a road game in the elite 8 against the Bruins.

  • @jaybate-1.0 Ok. I see you referenced Phog Allen and Iba again now that I finally made it through your whole post 😉 Did you put more thought into which influence Coach Self has taken from more? Or do you think he has taken from both equally?
    I ask because coaching styles are a completely new train of thought for me.

  • We’re fans, but we are also a bunch of worry warts. I predicted 14-4, and I probably shot too low. So, we win conference, and pull down a 1 seed. We make it to the national championship game, where we beat 'Tucky. I keep hearing how we should be terrified of size, but we beat several large teams already. And we have guards that penetrate, and dish that open that middle right up. We have long range bombers that make the big’ens have to stretch. We look more and more like 2008 every game, imho. The best part is getting almost the whole team back next year. Not bad for a OAD school, eh?

  • @jaybate-1.0 A one point win may be elegant, but I’ll take a 20 point win every time–much easier on my heart and blood pressure. I’m sure some of those one point wins have taken years off my life (not as much as losses have). I expect at the end, I will vote that it has been worth it.

  • We clearly have the team to make it as far as we want to go.

    We have the Point Guard this year that is vital for leadership, scoring, passing, and controlling the game.

    We have shooters galore all over the court.

    We have depth, and players we can plug in when we need to.

    We may lack the inside game but 3 points is more than 2.

    We may lack the senior leadership, but we have guys with tournament experience.

    We have a hall of fame in waiting coach with a National Championship and countless experience in games.

    So what’s in the way of winning it all? Besides the team itself just a little Luck, Matchups, where we play, injuries, momentum. But that’s nothing right? We will know more down the road just how this season is going to end.

  • @icthawkfan316 I appreciate your time in this. Thats a very insightful and informative post. You make excellent points. Only 4 spots to give. And maybe too many teams to choose from. Plus the geography issue that I had not considered an issue. Which we all know is an issue in fact. Another thing to consider is that perhaps the B12 is not all that good afterall. A terrific league this year it most definitely is. But how does it really stack up vs the other top leagues/top teams?? Perhaps its just a very equal league of several teams that are top 10-25 caliber? That maybe arent quite ready to play with the top 1-10. This is a very real possibility and I’d say if you trust the “eye test” its most likely close to reality. So I say. Heres hoping that the final 10 to 12 games of this regular Season prepare this team to make that next step. To be able to play with and beat the top 5 teams in the nation.

  • @icthawkfan316

    I like your summary of teams. I agree obviously with Kentucky already sown up the #1 seed. Duke in my opinion, has as well, although there’s lots of basketball left. What is definitely intriguing are the other 2 #1 seeds.

    Of course, I favor the Badgers. Their bad loss to Rutgers was tainted somewhat by Frank Kaminsky missing that game and point guard Jackson broke his ankle in the second half of that game. They failed miserably down the stretch after that happened. But they have been playing beautiful basketball since then. Their D isn’t quite up to its’ normal stout self, but their offense has been amazing. Scores in the 80’s and even 90’s last night show that they have a lot of offensive firepower inside and out. They really could enter the dance with 2 or 3 losses. Not many teams with a record like that are denied #1 seeds.

    Virginia has it much tougher but passed a nice test on the road against UNC. They are really a good team.

    Of course if our team can maintain it’s current success, they will have a decent shot at having 4 losses maximum entering the tournament as well. Again, like UW, tough to keep a 4 loss team from the dance.

    Gonzaga, supposedly really good this year, but that weak schedule.

    @BeddieKU23, good post. Those are giving me hope that we can end this season on a positive note.

  • @wissoxfan83 I like the Badgers. To me they are probably one of the top 4 teams in the country. They definitely pass the eye test. My only question is will they have a resume befitting of a #1 seed, especially with so many teams currently bunched up around them. Their biggest RPI wins are Oklahoma (RPI #18 ) and Georgetown (RPI #20), and we’ve beaten both of those teams. They do have one more resume builder on their schedule at Maryland, but that’s it for top 25 RPI games (Iowa & Ohio St. are currently ranked in the polls, but Iowa’s RPI is 51 and Ohio St. is 35).

    The Badgers have been hurt by a down Big 10 this year. Michigan & Michigan St. are both nowhere near the marquee names on the schedule they have been in recent years. Same with Indiana. Even Ohio St. has dropped down a notch from the top-10 team they were just a couple years ago.

    Of course they could very well win out, which with 2 losses it would be difficult to deny them. But Arizona only has two losses and Gonzaga with one loss will probably be the #1 and #2 seeds out west, Virginia with one loss can probably afford another and still be in the driver’s seat. And of course…us with only 3 losses but the #1 RPI and #1 SOS.

    So it will probably come down to how those 3 teams finish out the season.

  • @icthawkfan316 Great post 316. We are now projected as a #1 by several hopeful bracketeer wannabees but to me a 2 or 3 is most likely. We’ll most likely get another L or 2 before the dance & the anti climactic conf tournament is almost always where we pick up one the day before the pairings. That’s not good timing either. The draws are the secret ingredient to the mix as we all know, as are locations as well & I’m OK with a lower seed long as were not playing in someone’s backyard like your reference to UCLA in 07.

    Matchup wise I have to believe that there are several teams with “skiers” (we called bad boys Ski Cats as a kid) that are major potential hazards for our undersized 3 ball, 4 out & one in, rebound challenged, rim-less protected Jayhawks. That reference would not be an allusion to the slopes in the neighborhood of @vailhawk, but the brigades of a Gonzaga with a 7’-0" Karnow-“ski”. Or an Arizona with our sorely missed target Tarczew-“ski”. Or a Wisconsin with a deadly 3 ballin tree named Kamin-“ski.” I don’t mean to sound like Dick the Downer here, but getting lost again in a forest BEFORE we play UK again is my personal greatest apprehension going forward. It’s just that I’ve not forgotten that major ass-whuppin we got from those ridge-runnin baldknobbers from down South.A couple of soft handed bigs (real paint playin bigs) may well have us counting fouls on our toes (nah were Kansas not Kentucky), maybe even before the 2nd half. As HEM has pointed out, Landon is serviceable as a foul backup, but I believe as he does, that our O & D shortcomings in the frontcourt are our Achilles. Not meaning to be so long winded, but thought I’d throw in my nickels’ worth on a quite interesting topic. With all the spin we put out on buckets, can be difficult to maintain in the forefront of thought, one at a time, one at a time…

  • @Lulufulu

    Getting to it, but having to go back over a lot of histories to distill it reliably. havent forgotten you. Been through 40-50 coaches dating back to 1900 and sifted lots of irrelevant stuff for occasional nuggets. i know the answer generally but trying to find what I don’t know I don’t know takes time.

  • @cragarhawk

    It depend how you define the league as being good or not that good. Look at the other leagues and you will see that in leagues such as the ACC, PAC12 and Big 10, after the top few teams the rest are not that good. Here is a list of the conferences with teams with RPI in the to 50;

    • A10 - 4 out of 14 - 29%
    • ACC - 5 out of 15 - 33%
    • Big 12 - 7 out of 10 - 70%
    • Big East 7 out of 10 - 70%
    • Big 10 - 5 out of 14 - 36%
    • MVC - 2 out of 10 - 20%
    • Mountain West - 3 out of 11 - 27%
    • PAC 12 - 3 out of 12 - 25%
    • SEC - 6 out of 14 - 43%
    • West Costs - 1 out of 10 - 10%

    No question that the Big 12 is from top to bottom the toughest league with 9 out of 10 teams having received top 25 votes, 8 have been ranked in the top 25 and currently 6 teams are ranked in the top 25. There are no nights off in the Big 12 and any team can beat any other team.

  • @cragarhawk I 100% agree with you. The problem is that UK is going to be a 1 seed. At the moment it looks like Gonzaga is going to be a 1 seed as they don’t play a ranked team for the rest of the year. I truly hate that a team who plays Gonzaga’s schedule is even up for a 1 seed but the committee has given them one before so I won’t be surprised if it happens again.

    Let’s just say that UK and Gonzaga both go undefeated from here on out. They are 2 of the 1’s. Now you have 2 spots. Wisconsin is certainly looking like a #1. The Big 10 is pretty weak and there may only be 1-2 losses on the rest of their schedule.

    Arizona, like Wisconsin plays in a weak conference. If they don’t lose in a pretty big upset they may run the table or worst case for them 1-2 more losses.

    Does the winner of the ACC not get a 1? Hell, Duke will probably get a 1 seed even if they don’t win the ACC. Between Notre Dame, Virginia and Duke it is hard to believe none of those teams get a #1 if they win the ACC.

    So, I think even though the Big 12 is being billed as “the toughest conference” in the country, I feel that we are going to have to win almost every game for the rest of the year. Maybe drop 1 or 2 games and hope that other teams in the running also lose games.

    The fact that UK, Gonzaga, Zona and Wisconsin all have relatively easy schedules for the rest of the year does not help us in any way.

  • @jaybate-1.0 Ok Jaybate, no problem man.

  • @jaybate-1.0

    “X is end to end. Y is up and down. Z is side to side.”

    Z represents the successful pathway of the ball going through the goal. It is also the successful pathway of shot blocking angles to the ball… and angles on rebounds coming off the rim. And passes being stolen. Dribbles being disrupted.

    Z represents the execution of the game. The ball is the center point and creating a graphical pathway. Players can still be attached to the ball as it travels through pathways, or it may be released, in a shot, in a pass, in a throw down…

    X is the horizontal pathways of players.

    Y is the vertical pathways of players.

    Discovering weaknesses and strengths. Plotting points, analyzing potential strategies of executing the Z.

    Sticking the ball in the hole!

    The art of combining chess, physics and Naismith.

  • @drgnslayr Beauty personified in a game invented by a genius.
    I also like @jaybate-1.0 's T axis theory.

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