You all were right, Cliff is a starter.

  • Except for the first two plays, Cliff was great. Self had he and Jamari in the game together. The inside game was much better during the second half.image.jpg

  • Games are always happier when Tyler plays. Another twenty game win season.

  • Phase 3 of HCBS’ 2014/15 Team Construction. Phase 1 was getting ready for KO, done. Phase 2 was getting ready for CA, done with some delays. Phase 3 started today! RCJH!

  • Best three point game of the year. All open looks except for the one Brannen hit, but he gets his shot offso fast.


  • Then again, i doubt it has been delayed much. Phase 1 is Non Con, Phase 2 1st Halve of Big 12, Phase 3 2nd Halve of Big 12. I hope there will be a Phase 4 for the Big Dance. It is pretty clear now with regards to HCBS’ plan.

  • @wrwlumpy And he had 4 blocks, all in 20 minutes.

  • Besides him hitting the front row in the first minute twice I thought he played pretty well. Better than Traylor would have done in his place. 4 blocks were nice, putbacks, and dunks are exactly what we need from him.

    Maybe Self say Newell’s post, or the turnovers have finally pissed Self off enough with Mari. Either way the best chance for this team is more minutes, productive at that from Cliff. Hopefully his defense can keep him in the game…

  • Every team has flaws, we have ours, and remember this was Tech, but yes, I do think we got better as a team.image.jpg

  • Who said this team doesn’t have a rim-protector?

  • image.jpg

  • You don’t bank on making 50% of threes. That is fool’s gold.

    But this team doesn’t have to do that. This is a good shooting team, though, so you can expect to make 38%-44% of threes. There is enough shooting talent here to do that on a regular basis, as evidenced by the fact the team is shooting in that range on the season.

    The final step is to use that shooting to get to the rim, especially for Wayne and Kelly. The threes should open up some driving lanes to get into the lane. Now that Cliff is in the lineup, we can use those drives for passes, like the one Wayne left for Cliff for the dunk in the second half.

  • @justanotherfan Frank and Devonte both had nice passes to Ellis and Cliff. They had their men sealed. Refreshing!

  • I thought it was good that Self left Cliff in after those two terrible passes. It was clear he was a little jittery, but instead of sitting him, Self let him play through it.

  • From Matt Tait:


  • @Crimsonorblue22 I also saw a moment where Lucas did a Thomas Robinson - like seal to get a great pass at the middle of the paint and assist on an easy play. Cliff can rebound, Jamari has energy in a big body, Lucas can seal his man, but not one can do all three. There will always be a green light for an open shooter behind the line, but the most open of those shots start when the ball at least gets inside to the free throw line with a collapse and dish to a three point shot. I know what Self is talking about it the second half when we were swinging the ball just to get an open three. I give Brannen credit, he gets his shot off fast and is ready to shoot and score even when he is guarded. I love our three point ability and hope we’re on every game, but, when it is not there, defense and set plays will have to make it happen. I like the fact that Cliff and Lucas were going for the outlet to get some transitions that finish in a dunk. Fans and Coaches can all live with the transition game.

  • @wrwlumpy agree! Wished Lucas would have thrown that down!

  • Self needs to can the term “fools gold.”

    Treating the 3-pt shot like it’s just rolling the dice puts a negative tint on what they are, and doesn’t help our cause.

    Just consider them to be extended midrange shots that give us an extra point.

    Is it possible we can have an off night from 3? Sure it is. Is it also possible we can have an off night in the low post? Not only is the answer “yes” we’ve already proven that to be true.

    The road to success is often taking the path of least resistance, and in this case, with such a young team, we need all the help we can get.

    Whether Self wants it to be the identity of this team or not… the identity moving forward is “perimeter shooting team.” He can’t force us into being a low post team. Every one of us in here knows that. He can’t even force us to get a higher FG% from low post. At least, not in the typical Self hi/lo “back to the basket” method. Pursuing that as an identity to this team is definitely not taking the path of least resistance. This is where Self separates himself from NBA coaches (and the Mayor). He does put himself in the style of Coach Pop… but there is one difference… Coach Pop is surrounded by veteran NBA talent. Guys who will be the first to admit that they had to buy in to his system DECADES ago!

    This team has their best shot moving forward if we do a few things now:

    1. Define our identity. Our identity relates to the skills we have. It appears we are a “perimeter shooting team.”

    2. Embrace our identity. Build structure around who we are. Build offense to maximize our effectiveness from the perimeter. Sometimes that even means scoring inside! The more structure we build around a perimeter game, the better chance we have of opening up shooters for the long ball. When our guys are open from 3, we have our best chance of finding success with the long ball.

    3. Develop leadership. My guess is we need Frank to step up a bit more in this role. Key is communication. This is stuff to be determined in a team meeting, preferably only with the players and no coaches. Frank is an alpha-dog in other areas, like scoring… it’s time he put his alpha-dog skills into keeping his troops in line.

    4. Focus on energy. We need to focus on bringing high levels of consistent energy for 40 minutes in every game.

    These are 4 simplified goals to strive for. If we KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) we can achieve this and be the best team moving forward and peak at the end. We shouldn’t focus too hard on the little things. Focus on the big prize and the little things will follow.

    This team has mega potential if we get away from some of the flavors of traditional “Self ball” and just play to our strengths!

  • @drgnslayr Capture.PNG

    Once again, what is wrong with Coaches statement?

  • @wrwlumpy

    I understand it from a defensive perspective. Make easy 3s then coast on defense. Self worries about that.

    It is our defense that needs to play hard all the time. We aren’t always going to make the 3. We don’t have to. If our defense is shutting down our competition, then we don’t have to be red hot from 3 all the time.

    Our post game will open up if we continue to work on the perimeter game. And we should be working on getting more offensive rebounds (and putbacks).

    We are ALWAYS kind of relying on guys hitting shots, wherever they take place on the floor.

    3s give us an extra point. I’d rather hit 10 of 40 from 3 than hit 10 of 40 from the post… any day of the week!

    I’m not discounting that we should get more post baskets. That first half last night was horrible for us in the low post. Just let it come naturally by playing towards our strength. If the perimeter is our strength… play towards it and let our post play come more gradual and organic.

    It truly is about thinking “inwards out” or “outwards in.”

    What is wrong with being a perimeter driven team? We’ve had lots of post driven teams that were a dud in March.

    Going cold is going cold… that can happen and we can lose any game from anywhere on the floor. But why wouldn’t we play towards our strength?

  • @wrwlumpy

    The way for us to score in the low post is off a guard driving. Penetrate and feed. It’s how McKay scores for ISU. Pretty effective skinny guy in the post because they just don’t count on him for “back to the basket” offense.

    Our guards need more motion. Either driving the ball and feeding, or moving on the perimeter to get open off of screens, or moving to create the right spacing. Make sure the ball doesn’t stick, and attack. Anytime the 3pt shot is wide open we need to take it. Bull hockey that it is “fools gold” because we get 3 points compared to 2. The points are in our favor because we have to shoot a much lower percentage to equal post shots. And since our team is a good perimeter shooting team… we should take the shot ALL THE TIME when it is wide open. Including Perry!

    But we also take the drive. Frank and Devonte are capable here. Sometimes Wayne and Kelly. And also Perry. Teams are putting their perimeter players out high to stop the 3. The lanes are wide open! The guys need to take those lanes sometimes and either shoot or feed.

    We’ve never had this opportunity to this level before… where we can truly spread a defense. I just don’t get Self. This is what offensive-minded coaches DREAM about! Spread the defense and attack! He is used to sagging defenses and having uber skilled post players work through double teams to score. If you have choices on recruiting… we should build for some of both, perimeter and post. Right now we are weighted towards perimeter. So we make use of our strength, and let it help open up the post for what we can score in the post… Cliff on slams and Perry in motion. And let’s not forget Kelly scoring in the low post.

    As long as we can develop offense where our perimeter guys are wide open on catch and shoots… we shouldn’t worry too much about cold shooting. It is going to happen sometimes from where we play.

    I think what Self is most worried about is we get easy 3pt baskets so we stop playing defense. Sound familiar? Think about the OU game. Things came too easy and we relaxed on d. Then we lost our hotness and OU quickly caught us.

    I’ll challenge Self on the offensive side of the ball. He is clearly not an offensive-minded coach. But on the defensive side, he knows exactly what he is talking about. He’s won 10 consecutive titles and he did that mostly with defense.

  • @wrwlumpy

    I think Self and I have a different philosophy in the way we look at basketball.

    It is clear to everyone that “Self ball” really is about just playing tough defense. If you play tough defense, you will win almost every game. He’s right. This is his philosophy. He sees himself as a teacher of his philosophy. And it has worked pretty well, at least for B12 conference play!

    I believe I think a bit more like NBA coaches. They think strictly by opportunism. They like to create mismatches and play towards the percentages. They adopt their team identity to the strengths of their players. That is playing “opportunistic basketball.”

    I would go 100% with Self ball if he was playing in an opportunity like Coach Pop has in SA… a team he can build over many years and hold on to his players, often for decades. That allows him all the time he needs to teach strict philosophy, and to forge a winning team strictly out of philosophy.

    If Self could lock down this current team to a decade of ball, he would get his hi/lo worked out and get some efficiency out of these guys. But he doesn’t have that option. He doesn’t have the right players that can quickly embrace his style. This is a situation where he needs to play towards “opportunistic basketball” and play to his strengths.

    The season will be over before we know it. We already have played 2/3s (or so) of the season. We aren’t going to have colossal changes in style. It says plenty that we have had to go this long in the year without a team identity! Why is that? Because the team says one thing and Self says something else!

    It is really time he jumped totally on board with this team and let them play out who they are. Gosh… had he come along sooner to this reality, we might still have Frankamp on this team. I have a feeling I know why he left and it had more to do than just lack of PT.

    I think we can still become a very effective scoring team in the low post if we do it as a side effect from being a killer perimeter shooting team.

  • @wrwlumpy

    Sorry if I’ve worn out your eyeballs today!

    This is my last point. I’m just trying to express the difference I have with Coach Self… who (btw) I have the up most respect for everything he has done.

    We play Baylor on Saturday in AFH.

    If Self could choose any outcome he would like it would be: A low-scoring, grind-out game where our defense showed up for 40 minutes of basketball. Our offense sputtered, so we had to rely on our defense, and they came through. We only shot 29% from the field, 15% from 3, but we won by 18… 49 - 31.

    If I could choose any outcome, it would be different. I would love to see our guys put 40 minutes of basketball together on both sides of the ball. I’d like to see our defensive hustle inspire our offense, and vice-versa. I would like to see periods in the game where one side of the ball wasn’t working well, but the other side stayed tough and helped us keep a safe margin. I’d like to see that happen on both sides of the ball. Last… I’d like to see this team put their high tops on the throat of Baylor and never look back. I’d like to see us blow them out and give all our bench good PT minutes because we are going to need all of those guys in March. I’d like to see a score of 89 - 52.

    Self’s perfect game would be about him teaching defense. And afterwards, he could let his guys know… “see… we don’t shoot well and we still win!”

    My after-game comments would be… “see… we focus on our strengths and even our weaknesses go away because our energy level goes up everywhere. We had bad moments but we didn’t let one side of the ball negatively impact the other side. And we carried good energy from one side of the ball over to the other side.”

  • @drgnslayr You have been prolific today. Keep letting them fly! I particularly liked this last post. The idea that Self really wants them to be really good at one thing, DEFENSE. We can talk all day about 4 out 1 in, back to the basket, motion, ball screens, driving lanes, etc. As fans, we like offense. It was what wins games. If you score more points you win.

    Self would be bored with the ongoings of this site because he cares most about D. He cares about moving your feet, active hands, proper positions, applying pressure, blocking out, rebounding (defensively), guarding ball screens, trapping inbounds plays, playing to the scouting report, etc.

    For him it seems offense is often an extension of defense. I always seem to feel if we can get to 65 we will win the game these days. That is not very many points!! For Self offense is the teams opportunity to control the ball. Move it around, take up time, and try to find the BEST shot. If it goes in fine, if it doesn’t no big deal, we get it back and try again.

    Self’s philosophy when you KISS is to first force the most difficult shot you can for the other team (guarded jumpers) and take the easiest shot you can on offense (uncontested lay ups).

    So occasional spurts in transition are good because they get easy baskets and come off of good defensive play. What we never see is pulling the ball out of the net and running to get an open three early. Self knows that it is easier to get open looks from the outside so feels the team can do this any time. So why not spend at least 20 seconds trying to get the easier open lay-up. In the past this has come from ball movement and positioning more so than straight back to the basket play.

    Perry has moves to get himself open in the post so we always try that, but he can’t finish strong so unless he really shakes a guy he passes it back out. Cliff can finish strong but doesn’t have the moves to get free.

    Cliff is so used to high school where he was bigger, faster, and stronger that he didn’t need to be open to score. He has the body to seal off the lane and get easy dunks he just hasn’t figured out the positioning and timing to make it work for him. But he really has no post moves. We’ve seen him try a couple of hooks but even those are shaky. He still doesn’t use his body to protect the ball (or his face as Jaybate pointed out a long time ago). The only way to learn the timing of this offense is repetition.

    And while people may say that he should therefore be getting more minutes, we just couldn’t afford to let Cliff go practice for 25 minutes against Iowa State, Oklahoma, etc.

    So when we have a lead or are playing a team we should/could beat easily, he gets the reps and we work the ball trying to get him the uncontested finish near the rim.

    Self is a teacher. It is why we saw some hesitancy to jump on the OAD merry go round. It is why he favors his more experience players who have had time to learn and develop. It is why he is a college coach and not in the NBA. There have been opportunities which he has not pursued. He takes every chance he can to say how happy he is at Kansas. He gets great players and strives to make them better. That is his goal. Winning is the result, not the goal. That is why win or lose he talks about “playing well,” doing it, “the right way.”

    Yes there are other ways to do it. But his players signed with him to learn a certain way. If that is not what they wanted, most of our players would have been welcomed with open arms at many other schools who do it differently. Transfers are frequent when players realize what it takes to play that “right way.”

    He wants to win, that is clear. But what he really wants is to grow, and his players to get better.

  • @drgnslayr Connor Frankamp was asked to leave the team, but this was not publicized directly by Self. The only hint I will give, is that same issue reared itself not even 4 weeks after he was back in Wichita. We shall see if Gregg Marshall will put up with that nonsense. The other significant factor was that Frankamp’s dad was putting pressure on Self, and that is just something you do. Not. Do. Nobody learned anything from the Carl Henry saga (who had to be banned from the practice gym and from the KU sideline), or from the Andrew White transfer. The “Dads” don’t run this team. Sheahon Zenger does not run this team.

    We need to stop talking about Connor Frankamp, I am sick of it. I play ball with some Wichita kids who have known Frankamp since kindergarten, he dreamed of being a Jayhawk since he was 5, and NO, you don’t transfer away when Mason was pre-soph unproven, and Tharpe got booted. Unfortunately due to the very direct actions of Conner (& his dad), he also got himself booted off the team.

    His 15min are just about over…unless he got the msg after his post-KU, big-mistake in Wichita in January…only time will tell. I don’t wish ill on the poor kid, but his downward spiral and loss of his boyhood dream is ALL his own doing. Yeah, and now reconcile this public statement from his dad: “Connor’s dream is to play in the NBA”. How?

    Unfortunately, people refuse to acknowledge the sinister side of Bill Self: its like an old-school headmaster/disciplinarian philosophy --> you make a “horrible example” out of some kid who keeps screwing up: JRGiddens, CJGile, likely CJHenry, Naadir Tharpe, and Conner Frankamp. Every time is sends a serious, serious message to the rest of the roster. All of a sudden, the ornery BGreene-types take heed…or the less-foresight guys like Jamari. Watch Self do this again in 2 or 3 years. But also remember that kid brought it on himself. No horse schitt at this royalty program. Not under this Cowboy.

  • @benshawks08

    Lots of super points in your post.

    None more spot on than “Self is a teacher.”

    I think he’s having to learn to change many things because of the change in college basketball. Most of the talented players don’t stay 4 or 5 years. Remember just a few years back when he liked to keep many guys for 5 years? That works perfect in his style of coaching… “Self ball.” But it really doesn’t totally transfer over into the current state of “revolving door” basketball.

    He does have a lot in common with Coach Pop. But unfortunately, the world he is in doesn’t allow him to have players for a decade and longer.

    I believe in more of the NBA-style coaching of playing to your current strengths instead of playing off your diehard philosophy because Kansas basketball doesn’t get to see a lot of its stars for 4 or 5 years. We have to play using strategies to help us win NOW!

    I wouldn’t trade Self for any other coach in basketball… but I do have to admit that I’m getting a real man crush on the Mayor. I see that guy lifting to some major heights sooner rather than later. His next step is to be able to recruit athletes one star higher. If he is able to pull that off I think we can expect to see them do more than compete with us. I do think it will require ISU proving to Self that offense is important before Self is all in on some of this stuff.

    Self is tough, stubborn and has learned from many great people and coaches. He isn’t quick to jump on trends and changing. We can’t forget that what we are asking him to change is a big part of what brought him to greatness. This isn’t the first time fans and sportswriters have questioned his philosophy, or the philosophy of his mentors.

    I like this read on him:

    Kansas basketball: The man Bill Self Jr. inherited his toughness from will present his son at hall induction

  • @ralster

    Interesting read on Frankamp. I don’t have any inside track on anything with this team, or in Frankamp’s corner. I met him briefly once and what stuck out most to me was how small he was.

    It did seem like his dad was too involved. Prodding fathers need to take note. Coaches can’t be “coached” by every players’ dad. Let’s see… one head coach and 15 assistant coaches? Not going to work.

    I threw that in there because I wondered if Frankamp’s unhappiness was maybe part about PT, but more about Self philosophy towards post scoring and not the 3. In that area… it looks like a train wreck.

  • @ralster had heard about some ongoing problems, it’s a sad deal. Hopefully he can turn it around. I do not miss him.

  • On a positive note, it is just stunningly incredible how solid a player Frank Mason has become, especially his almost impeccable 3pt shot selection (very timely), which has also yielded a 3% between 45-50%. Man, that is simply crazy good. And Greene and Selden seem to be in a bragging-rights contest, which has been good for the KU scoreboard. Nice lesson at OkieState to not take the foot off the throat.

    Another great development is Brannen Greene’s defensive improvement. He had 1 blowby that the announcers at Tech commented on, other than that he’s been much-improved of late. He’s listening.

    And lastly, my main man Selden is coming out of that shooting slump, sort of…still a bit puzzled about his 2pt %. BigWayne needs to go watch film of MJ or DWade in finishing off that close to the rim.
    Major kudos to Wayne for his team-first play, ever since he got to KU. Exemplary.

  • If Wayne doesn’t improve his 2pt %, I’m going to have to change my screen name to KUbunnies and either use that recent whimpering-face Selden pix as the avatar, or a pix of Rush+Chalmers in the Elite8 game vs UCLA…

  • @ralster

    I think I know what you are saying about Frankamp, I was made aware of some inside info by another member who shall remain anonymous and I will not disclose the nature of the issue either. I hope Conner can get his act together and put together at least a decent college career; the NBA seems like a pretty tall order right now.

  • @ralster

    I agree on Selden’s 2 point shots; however, he seems to have a knack for hitting 3-point shots at the perfect time, either to stop an opponent’s rally or to start one of our own.

  • @JayHawkFanToo Yes, as the guy who knew Frankamp directly said: “Self didn’t publicize the real reason, as he didn’t want to hurt a kid’s future”. I also wish CF has a good college career and maybe can earn some pro money someday, somewhere.

    To Self’s credit, while it is abundantly clear why exactly Naadir got kicked off the team, Self did not say it publicly. Although Naadir, who actually came back to KU to try to finish his degree, recently did admit to some news agency that it was “coach’s decision”. And in hindsight, we now see that the story about Naadir’s daughter and/or pro-ball or playing close to home, was all various face-saving statements to try to limit poor Naadir’s embarrassing situation. I wish him well, too, and kudos to him for trying to finish his degree.

  • @ralster

    Coach Self is and always has been a class act and cares deeply about his players . It is time to close the book on Frankamp at KU. Had not heard about Tharpe coming back but I hope he is able to finish his degree and hopefully put his diploma to good use. I know McLemore has been taking summer classes and I really hope he also get his degree, although he seems pretty well set in the NBA; he does a lot of community service in Sacramento and is well liked there.

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