Putting a square peg in a round hole

  • Banned

    Being an old man I look back on my life and marvel at how much things and places have changed. What was cutting edge became obsolete. What was cool became lame. No matter how much we want things to stay the same. Change is always around the corner. Maybe it’s a product of capitalism or maybe it’s just a product of our society. Either way to sustain success or grab the brass ring one needs to change, or be left behind.

    While some have questioned HCBS’s coaching abilities? I’ve spent most of this year being silent and in some occasions defended him. However after watching the WV game I can no longer be silent.

    I’m so frustrated with this team, and HCBS. For the life of me I can’t find the rhyme or reason to the method at which this team plays. I’ve watched just about every game this year. I see the talent, the ability. It just blows my mind why this team can’t put it together. Don’t get me wrong KU has won a lot of games this year, and are mostly likely are going to win or at least share another conference championship. However the reality is this team is underachieving.

    So who do we blame? The players? or The HCBS? A HC creates the game plan and the players carry out the game plan. However what if the players can’t carry out the game plan? Is it not the HC’s responsibility to play to the strength of his team? Instead of trying to force a square peg into a round hole?

    HCBS is a great coach, in fact he’s one of he best. He has cut his teeth on playing inside. He has buttered his bread with a strong inside game. Boys and girls playing inside has made him a great coach and sure Hall of Famer. However I’m afraid if he doesn’t change and adapt his plan, the game will indeed pass him by.

    How many times have we watched KU come out and pound the ball inside only to watch Ellis miss 3 of 4 shots and have a couple turnovers? How many times have we watched KU overcome a deficit with outside shooting only to have HCBS demand they go back inside? I fully understand that having an inside game is key to any real success. However I think HCBS is overlooking the fact that unlike previous years, this years team has no interior passing. That’s it right there. In previous years KU always had somebody that could score and someone that could do the little things. Like passing, rebounding, and blocking shots. KU doesn’t have it this year. Not all is lost though. This KU team can shoot the three ball like none I’ve ever seen. They don’t take hurried threes, and when they do take threes they are good shots. If HCBS wants to bench a player for not playing defense, hustling, or not rebounding then I’m all in. However if one of KU’s snipers takes a set three to early in the shot clock a trip to the bench is uncalled for. KU shoots threes this year. It’s what they are good at coach.

    A new era of basketball is coming to the forefront. It means change. Some old thinking will need to be forgotten or at the very least tweaked. I still have I hopes for HCBS but he’s reached the crossroads of his coaching career. He’ll either cling to what got him here or he will adapt. Either way change will come. With the OAD era in full force, the player that sticks around for 3 or 4 years are gone. What worked in the yesteryear won’t work today.

    Failure and losing is apart of anything we do in life. However if I’m going to lose I rather lose doing what we do best, than trying to do something I’m not good at.

  • @DoubleDD said:

    I’m so frustrated with this team, and HCBS. For the life of me I can’t find the rhyme or reason to the method at which this team plays.

    Welcome to the team, brother.

  • @DoubleDD

    I’m glad you posted what you did. You’ve come on board to publicly question some of the coaching going on this year. That is really what makes this site roll. If we all just come on here and pat the kids and coaches on the back, there is no real need to come here every day.

    Everyone posting in here is hardcore Kansas basketball. That’s what I really appreciate about the group we have. We don’t all agree with each other, and that is what gives this site a heartbeat.

    I’m one of those posters that is fast to criticize coaches and players. I’ll admit that. But I do see both sides of the coin, and I remain a huge Bill Self fan. You raise points that I think most of the posters in here are raising… basically boiling down to Self adapting his game to meet the times.

    I think there is a lot more involved in changing coaching philosophy than we all consider. It’s been almost 40 years since I had the privilege of sitting in on a Kansas basketball practice. It was back in the 70s and practices were not nearly as guarded. However, today, I do try to keep an eye on what goes on in and around Kansas basketball.

    Here are some things I think we need to consider when focusing on coaching philosophy change:

    1. Bill Self does a lot more than coach practices and games. Bill spends a crazy amount of time on fundraising and other programs directly and indirectly related to the university. When he’s not out fundraising, he is probably out recruiting. The same can be said for his assistant coaches. They spend a lot of time recruiting and working on things that don’t directly translate on the court.

    2. Our assistant coaches are not skilled in player coaching. In order to make some of the changes we really need to change, we need better player development. I don’t really see any of our assistant coaches being quality developmental coaches. Danny Manning was the last guy on our bench that really understood player development.

    3. Bill Self is no spring chicken. Yes, that’s right… he is no longer in his youth. As people age, they tend to put a heavy weight on the knowledge that brought them the success they have. Clearly, Bill is not an easy sell for living on the perimeter or feeling the need to invest in more motivational practices. He is largely the product of his youthful experiences in Oklahoma, where he learned about tough defense.

    4. We’ve got one of the younger teams in America. This is 2 years in a row. We are all frustrated with their inconsistent play because we are used to seeing teams run by juniors and seniors. We don’t have a single senior out there. It’s hard to know how difficult it is to teach young players to execute.

    I’m no spring chicken myself. And because of that reason, I’m actually surprised how much Self has changed with the game. At his age, he’s never going to become a chameleon like Calipari. Calipari is a chameleon that changes colors by the second to accommodate the latest trends and thinking of HS recruits. It does work for him. He has to rely on that because traditional coaching attributes are not his strength. But that isn’t what Self is. And I don’t think we want someone like that anyways.

    I’m frustrated as all heck, too. And I want to post a bunch of stuff with video showing areas I have a deep, deep problem with. However… I’m still amazed we have only lost 5 games this year. Reminding everyone again… we are still very very young.

    What I would like to know, is why we haven’t gone after a few juco players or other transfers? We shouldn’t ever do this again. This all started a couple of years ago when we lost everyone to either the draft or graduation. If we ever get out of whack again like that then Self should prioritize getting some experienced transfers in here to alleviate the lack of experience and youth issue.

    BTW: I have the game recording on another computer right now and I just looked over at the game. With 13 minutes left in the game, Frank just took a wide open 3 and hit nothing but the bottom of the net. Self didn’t mind because Frank was wide open, and there was probably 28 seconds left on the shot clock.

  • Banned


    There was a time when teams had one sniper that usually came off the bench. When he was hot it was game over. When he wasn’t? Well then you were in a dog fight.

    However the game has changed. KU has 4 to 5 players that can hit the three with ice in their veins. How you only take 10 to 15 shots from three land when your strength is taking that shot is beyond on me?

    Don’t get me wrong I totally understand the importance of having an inside game. Yet you’ve watched all the games I have. How many times did we force the ball inside when the ball should have been passed out to a wide open KU sniper standing in three land?

    I’m getting tired of watching Ellis trying to score over 3 players in the paint with no success.

    HCBS’s motto is three’s should come in the flow of the game, but I say with this year’s team points in the paint should come in the flow of the game. Just my two cents.

  • Disclaimer: Self makes mistakes. I believe he is making some mistakes with this team.

    BUT lets not go crazy and think a Final Four or National Championship can’t be accomplished with Self’s High-Low game. We have a tendency to be spoiled and fickle as fans. Before UK started the season, a lot of people laughed at coach Cal when he said he was going to platoon. Then after he had success 3 games into the season, we were calling for Self to do the same thing.

    When he wasn’t getting the talent of OADs, we thought Self lost his recruiting touch. But when he got them, we hated the constant turnover and the lack of toughness to our team. And the list goes on and on.

    Lets not forget, before Embiid’s injury, we were set to make another final four run. The year before, we GAVE the game away to Michigan (which made it to the national championship). The year before that, we lost in the NC. And the year before that, VCU broke our hearts in the elite eight.

    And now here we are. Is Self to blame for some of it? Of course. Is the game passing by Self? Most definitely not. With the right players, Self’s traditional offense is still very effective. Again, this year he has not adapted like he should have. But Self is still the right coach for us.

    I have sworn off talking about UK awhile ago, and I have kept true to my promise. Lets keep in mind that we don’t need to be UK. We are freaking Kansas, a true blue blood, and a constant national powerhouse. When we constantly compare us to them, we exude a little-brother syndrome and we are too good for that!

    Come of my KU brothers and sisters. Let us not be so fickle and keep in the mind the past 5 years and not get overwhelmed to point of questioning everything Self has accomplished AND will continue to accomplish

  • Banned


    Only one problem my friend. HCBS’s classic high low takes time to learn. It’s not like it used to be. Years past we recruit a big and he rides the bench his freshman year only getting a few minutes here and there. All the while learning the system. Today these kids are starting as freshman. It’s to much for them to learn in such a short time.

    Not only that even you would agree with me that this year’s team strength is out behind the three point line. I’m not saying we should abandon the inside game but man this team should be chucking up threes at least 20 to 25 a game. Just saying.

  • @drgnslayr Very good analysis. I think we should be discussing what we could do on the perimeter to give our mad bombers more time and room to launch.

  • @DoubleDD Well, he either will or he wont adjust. We have zero say in how Self coaches his team, however frustrating it might be to watch.

    Barring any unforeseen circumstances, KU should at least share the conference crown this year. Im holding out hope that he hasnt put a restraining harness on his teams trey shooting. Im hoping that he saves that particular trick for when opposing teams least expect it. You know, slight of hand type ish.

  • @DoubleDD All system’s take time to learn. You want to go to an open offense chucking up 20-25 threes/game? Great. Only problem is the other team has a say so in the matter. Sure we could throw up shots with a hand in our face every time, but then I suspect we would be shooting a significantly lower percentage and wouldn’t all be convinced that our strength was outside shooting. Instead you have to create an actual offense to get players open. To create space. To screen. Actions. Movement. Still getting players in rebounding position. Etc.

    This is the crux of my defense of Self sticking with the hi-lo offense. You cannot simply scrap everything you’ve been doing in years past for something different. Personnel changes and it is true you should play to your strengths, but doing so within the same offense is the way it has to happen. I argued the same point last year when some fans were clamoring for a switch to a zone defense. If you aren’t teaching the same things year in, year out, then you have no consistency. The foundation of your team, the 3 and 4 year players (or the high basketball IQ 2 year players) would not be nearly as effective if one year you’re teaching one thing then the next year you’re teaching something else.

    Last year we were more equipped to play inside-out. We had Embiid, and even Black was better than our bench options this year. Also, our outside shooting was not great. Greene couldn’t be trusted to see the court, so he doesn’t even factor in. Selden had very poor mechanics and wasn’t near the weapon he is this year from beyond the arc. Wiggins was mediocre at best, shooting 34%. Mason was below average. Etc. So we can agree that last year we were more geared to the inside-out, hi-lo game, right? So fast-forward to this year and the personnel has changed. No Embiid or Black, and Cliff is producing as most freshman have under Self. But Greene has improved enough on defense to see major minutes, Selden & Mason have improved their shots. Oubre is an upgrade over Wiggins in terms of three-point shooting. Clearly the strength of this team is in its outside shooting. Not many would debate that. However, who’s to say if we changed the offense the results would be the same? Suddenly you have second year players Greene, Selden, & Mason discarding much of what they learned as freshman in lieu of starting over with a new offensive scheme. Does this new learning curve afford Selden the time to focus on re-tooling his shot? For Greene to find a comfort zone within the offense enough that he can improve his defense to the level of serviceable? Would Mason be as successful running the team or would he in essence be a freshman PG, and therefore would he still have the confidence to shoot with such success? I doubt it.

    And then what happens next year if we recruit the necessary pieces to once again effectively run a hi-lo offense? Do we switch again, therefore creating even more inconsistency with the players’ performance?

    I’m not saying there aren’t some tweaks that could be made to maximize our outside shooting. We’re seeing Self do some things. Not as many as some would like, but give it time. Could be this young team is similar to the '05-'06 team: a young team full of freshmen and sophomores. A team that looked lost early in the Maui invitational and lost in the first round to Bradley. A team that would go on to win the national championship in 2 years. Sometimes patience, focusing on the big picture, and staying the course is the right play, even if the rewards yielded are not immediate.

  • @icthawkfan316 nicely put!


    " I think we should be discussing what we could do on the perimeter to give our mad bombers more time and room to launch."

    This is what it is all about. Right there.

    If Self just gives everyone a total green light from the perimeter he will end up proving his point… that it is nothing but “fools gold.”

    But if he develops offense trying to spread the floor and open up the right spacing for easy catch-and-shoot opportunities, there is nothing “fools gold” about that.

    Some of the second half, when we were performing pretty well against WVU, we had them spread out. We did hit a few 3s, but they were giving up the middle. Its hard to turn that down, and we can’t. If we don’t take what they give us it is an uphill battle to hit the 3s being guarded.

    The real problem was the guy the announcers kept giving total credit to. Jamari. I love me some BamBam… but he is not the guy to run the post attack from a spread defense. First… he can’t hit anything midrange. Second… he isn’t really a good ball handler and often charges. Third, sometimes he plays sped up and turns the ball over with bad passes and mistakes. He actually played fairly well in this one. Only turning it over a few times. But he isn’t our salvation in this offense.

    Self has said all year that we may have periods of playing small. Well when the heck is that day coming? It should have been last night. Running 4 perimeter players and Perry is a killer offensive combination. And if another one of our bigs isn’t contributing hugely to defense or rebounding, why the heck don’t we play to our strength? (which then is offense)

    This, once again, points to the difference between college coaches and NBA. NBA you play to your opportunities. To your strength. Every guy on the floor has to be productive in his role or he gets pulled. And if you start changing guys out you run a different strategy and different sets.

    Remember just a few months ago when Self was talking about using Wayne at the 4? That now seems like a lifetime ago.

  • It seems like we need a huge revamp of everything.

    It seems we need to go get a new platoon of assistant coaches. Pick guys that aren’t interested in becoming head coaches. That’s a different kind of job… head coach is like the general contractor. Problem is, we aren’t hiring sub contractors to do the dirty work… we are hiring guys who are general contractor wannabees.

    Build a real development team and let recruiting take care of itself. It will. Instead… we just look for assistants that might have some connection in a few parts of the country. I don’t really see our strategy being very different from Calipari’s. Not really. This isn’t the coaching staff with Danny Manning.

    This is what I see as the right way forward.

    I don’t think we can expect lots of changes without the right mechanisms in place.

    We get “Self ball” because it took Self lots of energy just to get his crew to help him establish “Self ball.”

    I think Self is sort of forced into the stiffness he has.

    We need to reboot the program if we really want to see change. And that is a gamble. Now… you are talking about a sales job to the AD and others to make it happen, and it isn’t without risk.

  • If you want to see a glaring weakness in Kansas basketball… look no further than Buddy Hield. How could we miss on that guy? Seriously? I can see him being a top 5 lottery pick. Many claim he is the best offensive college player today.

    We missed on him because our coaching is defensive-minded top heavy. Beyond that… offensively… we’ve had our biggest luck in the post, and much of that had to do with Manning. I can’t believe we had a shot at Buddy, even Self came to check him out, and he didn’t see enough potential. That totally blows my mind. Forget that he was the 88th ranked pick by Rivals. He played at Sunrise Christian Academy… they don’t get any love from east cost sports media.

  • Cough… cough… I believe we are the youngest team in our conference, yet we have a one-game lead and have played the most-consistent basketball in our conference.

    Cough… cough… cough…

  • @drgnslayr " our coaching is defensive-minded top heavy. "

    Coach may want to put a teensy bit more emphasis on the offensive side of things. I’m fairly confident that the team who scores the most points wins. ☝

  • Banned


    You’re living a dream half this team isn’t going to be around in two or three years. I want to believe what you’re preaching but come on you know as well as I do Oubre is gone Cliff is gone, Selden is most likely done. This is the new world we live in. There is no time to teach a complicated high low offense. You make your case thinking these players will be back for another year. My friend we are in the one and done.

    Now if HCBS wants to stop recruiting OAD’s and instead recruit players that aren’t good enough to leave after one year, then talk to me. I’m all ears. However if we are going to over recruit the players we already have. Then the game plan should change every year to the talent we have. Just saying.

  • everything-is-awesome-6.png

  • Looks like a lot of us are in full meltdown mode. I get it, You mix in a lot of things from Monday’s game and it frustratingly maddening. I choose not to immediately respond on here because I knew I wouldn’t say 1 good thing had I. I’ve had over a day to think about the game, it’s still painfully pissing me off more so than any loss we’ve had this year.

    We had the game up 5 with 3 minutes, down one 30 seconds later, maybe even less. Story of the season how we can let one basket escalate to many but in this case just 2 from the same guy unguarded. Oubre took the freshman route on a double screen and payed for it. Next play nobody decided Carter was worth guarding and he made us pay again. Scrap to a 1 point lead only to have Lucas miss a 1 and 1. I prayed he would make it, FT % said he wouldn’t and I was painfully right.

    The last sequence of the game isn’t what lost us the game but its the one we remember. Yes it was a travel, yes Perry missed an easy layup which in motion like he was, is a hard shot to make. Had that been Oubre I’m sure he slams it home instead of Wiggins finger rolling it. Had Ellis made it he’s a hero that masked another poor effort on the road. We played well 2nd half and I’d say 6-7 minutes of the first half got better.

    We got outcoached in the first 5 minutes, and if you want to blame Self for the way we played the last 8 seconds I’m not going to argue. I think the players in the situation messed defensively like Ellis, and Selden who fell down on a banana and took himself out of the play.

    The defensive rebounding was the most troublesome. Sometimes WVU got 4 cracks at it. I don’t know %'s but I’m sure its pretty high that 2nd, 3rd, 4th chance points are scored at a high rate because of defensive breakdowns. It seemed like Carter got every lose ball. The game was won on toughness and rebounding.

    Yes the ref’s flat out sucked. They missed a shot clock violation, a travel that wins the game, numerous offensive fouls called on KU players passing the ball. I couldn’t count how many times players were hacked dribbling out of the press that I thought the rule book was just thrown out completely. But we can’t complain about the ref’s can we? I believe we have the right too, they dictate pace of game and how little or how much teams can get away with.

    The facts of this game are that we are not a good road team. Does that translate to not being a good neutral court team? I think it does translate more than being a good home team. We don’t bring the edge, the energy, the aggressiveness, the focus whatever you want to say on the road. In the homely confides of Allen Fieldhouse everything looks better. The past 10 teams though have made winning on the road what always separates KU from the rest of the conference. This years squad is a good team, 21-5 is awesome but we are an average at best team away from home. That’s the Achilles heal above all else. That’s how we go home early in the Tournament even though we are guaranteed to be a high seed.

    The bright side of things if you can find them, is that Perry Ellis is playing his best basketball. When you need your best offensive player to step up he’s starting to show that. Can we ride that the rest of the way? We’ve gotten way more productive minutes from Lucas than we would have thought a month ago. He helped win the Baylor game, he had some good moments Monday. Oubre hit shots on the road for what seemed like the first time all year. 2 big games in a row from him. Mason hit some huge buckets for us but could have really sealed with that drive or an assist but he’s still wired to score first. The next evolution of Mason’s game is when he drives he has to made contact with the shot blocker to draw the foul. We still hold a 1 game lead and if Oklahoma St holds serve tonight at home we can all rest a little bit easier knowing the 2 game cushion is there.

  • @DoubleDD Selden done? Now who’s dreaming?

    Of course Oubre is most likely gone. I’d say Cliff is 50-50. We’ll have both Mason & Graham for all 4 years of their eligibility. Greene isn’t going anywhere. Selden is sticking around at least another year. Perry is back next year. Lucas back. Svi back. Bragg (not a projected OAD) coming in.

    You try and paint a picture like we’re Kentucky, but we’re not. The core of this team will return next year.

    Also, you keep trying to characterize the hi-lo offense as “complex”, yet assume that an offense designed to maximize three-point looks can just be thrown together on the fly and easily picked up. Do you have any evidence of this vast discrepancy between the the learning curves of the two systems? Has anyone heard it said that one is “complex” whereas the other would be easy enough to learn? You’re just assuming those things to fit your narrative. Just saying.

  • @DoubleDD I’m buying what you’re selling. The OAD’s are here to stay.

    HAHAHAHAHAHA - I crack myself up.

    Anyway - that’s the main reason that I don’t get so crazy upset anymore ( for all my whining and crying on here, it’s NOTHING compared to how I used to be). I can’t get to “know” any of the players, there’s no cohesiveness on the team, it’s just getting to the point where I’m about to give up on college ball altogether.

  • Dribble/Drive is an offense for OAD’s that do not need any coach. It is throwing the ball on the floor and saying, “You Are Supposedly the Most Elite - Play Ball.” I prefer not to go the way of a Kentucky that has taken the Joy and Heart out of basketball.

  • @wrwlumpy Not like Kentucky is a high-scoring team either–averaging 73.3 points per game compared to 71.8 ppg for KU.

  • @wrwlumpy I would caution you to not discount the coaching involved at UK. Actually, Calipari is a masterful coach. He is in the same league as coach K, Boeheim, Pitino, Self, Williams, Izzo, and the other top guys. Look at what he did with UK last season. Heck, in the title game, they were on the verge of getting blown out and he shifted to a zone defense, which got them back in the game.

    But more to your point, a “dribble-drive” offense is not simply throwing the ball on the floor and saying “play ball.” It certainly isn’t the way Kentucky plays. It is ball rotation, creating angles and gaps, and screening. And like most offenses, it’s about spacing.

    A key element (usually) is that the post man/men will set up on the opposite side of the ball initially. Some do it differently.

    A dribble-drive offense is truly an outside-in attack, wherein the focus is on the perimeter player and the slash to the hoop. If you want to get really perimeter oriented, there are some cool dribble drive offenses vs. man defenses that are a five out, none in set.

    But it is, of course, just another motion offense with rules. Those rules, depending upon the coach, can be strict or loose.

    So I think that’s really the key. Is a coach loose with his rules, to exploit the talents of his players? Or is a coach strict with his rules, so as to rely upon the system for the success? And there is a range in between. You can win both ways.

    But a dribble drive offense IS an offense. It’s not playground ball – and certainly not the way UK does it.

    Not to be contrary, here, but how has UK taken the “Joy and Heart” out of basketball? Isn’t that comment really about Calipari out recruiting everyone else? And then coaching his talent to a high level?

    I don’t like him either. But it’s more of an irrational distaste (I have to admit). He’s the enemy. We want the national title. He’s got the best team, and has taken UK to a higher level in the past few seasons.

  • @HighEliteMajor masterful coach makes me think of losing the NIT, in the first round!

  • @icthawkfan316 You said in response to @DoubleDD , “Also, you keep trying to characterize the hi-lo offense as “complex”, yet assume that an offense designed to maximize three-point looks can just be thrown together on the fly and easily picked up.”

    One thing I would say is that within our current high/low system, I think there are many really simple tweaks that we could use to actively scheme to get three point looks. I’ve mentioned a few of those before. One, for example, is simply a rolling double ball screen on the wing. High post ball screens the wing, with the point guard following with a screen. Might get the right look a third of the time.

    But this leaves our offense in the same alignment if it fails.

    Another would be a non-ball screen by the point guard to the wing after the post entry, so the wing could get free for the kick out from the post.

    Of note, how many kick-out threes have we seen this season? Meaning, from the post out directly to the shooter? Not many.

  • We are a soft team lead by a soft forward and very young players. You all mentioned Danny Manning but I think we got our toughness from the fella that went to Florida to coach. Can’t recall his name but he was another player development coach but gave us a degree of toughness. This would not have happened with Thomas, or the twins on the floor.

    Did anyone see all the screen moving from WV players, they were moving all over the place. At one point I commented to by wife that the screening guy had moved back and forth in an area of about 10 feet trying to hold of Mason from guarding Staten.

    Bill is our coach and he will get us where we need to go as well as anyone in the country but man we just got beat up and did not fight back. We are a very soft team.

  • @KU-Flyer Dooley?

  • Banned


    Whose comparing us to Kentucky? I know it wasn’t me. I guess you missed the memo where kids are going after one year. How there being drafted on potential and not so much what they do on the court. It’s not just a Kentucky thing.

    You know it’s kind of ironic you and a few others are always talking about how weak the Big 12 is and conference championships don’t really mean anything in the grand scheme of things. Yet your more than willing to preach about staying the course. What gives? Or do you just like to argue? I figured somebody like you who is a bit of a fan of the NBA would understand the point I’m making. Guess not.

    I have to be honest you put me on the defense here, as you chastise me for assuming some of my points. However aren’t you doing the same thing? I assume the high/low is hard to learn because I’ve yet to really see a freshman or even transfer come in and just pick up the HCBS High/Low system. Just something I’ve seen. Yet again I assume players will leave if giving the chance, as I have watched players that really wanted to stay in college pick up and leave like they had no choice. I don’t need some stat sheet to tell me this. It’s called watching and observing.

    You assume the core of this team will back in a couple years. Ok but will it really matter? Are you assuming that Cliff will be back? are you assuming that Bragg will just pick up the HCBS High/low with ease? Is Ellis finally going to figure out how to score over three guys in the paint? Are you saying you see a team that can cut down the nets in March? You know my friend your making assumptions too.

    Now if I thought it was easy to come up with a game plan I wouldn’t be sitting on a couch watching games just like you. However you can’t tell me that this KU can’t shoot the three ball and there is no reason why we shouldn’t take a few more shoots for three land. That’s just common sense. Also I never called for the end of the High/Low or HCBS’s head. Maybe you should read what I guy says before you pounce. Just saying.

  • @wrwlumpy

    “Dribble/Drive is an offense for OAD’s that do not need any coach. It is throwing the ball on the floor and saying, “You Are Supposedly the Most Elite - Play Ball.” I prefer not to go the way of a Kentucky that has taken the Joy and Heart out of basketball.”

    Man… I about pee’d myself after reading this… BRAVO!

    Dribble-drive can best be described as “cop out” offense. When you have a bunch of guys that just won’t play team offense, throw in the dribble drive and stand back. Get a guy or two out there who can drive and hope they can salvage some offense. It is often used in the NBA because there are guys who are capable of taking over offense by themselves. And if they keep shuffling lineups, it can be hard to establish team offense. It’s one of those things where they just look at the game from the point of view of opportunism… not art or theory. If you have a guy like a DWade (when he was in his prime)… you look at the stats and you see that your best option for much of the game may be to let him take over. No teaching theory here… just playing to statistics… something college basketball NEVER does.

    The offense I like is similar to what the Mayor runs… a hybrid, turbocharged Princeton. Motion offense… with lots of driving and passing. Mixed. Floor spacing. Picks and backdoor cuts. Attacking match up advantages. Clearing out for isolations.

  • @DoubleDD OK, let me address some of your points/questions:

    • You say “whose comparing us to Kentucky?” I am characterizing your panic about needing to change the offense because we won’t have players in the system long enough to learn it as assuming we’re like Kentucky with such drastic turnover. No, you never say “we’re just like Kentucky with all these players leaving”, and yes good players are being drafted on potential all over, not just at UK. But UK is the only school I know of that has such a problem with it that they lose such a large core of their players every year they’d need to simplify their offense. We don’t need to do that, because we typically have a foundation of players with one or two potential OAD pieces that we don’t need “offense for dummies”.

    • “I never called for the end of the high/low offense”. No, you just say there’s no time to learn it, and that if he doesn’t change the game will pass coach Self by. I guess I just assumed that meant you were calling for a new offensive scheme that is easier to learn for all these OADs. Perhaps you should clarify for me what you are meaning. If you are not calling for the end of the high/low offense, what are you suggesting? That we keep doing it despite your assertion it takes too long to learn?

    • “Will it really matter?”, regarding whether this team’s core will be back. Of course it matters. This goes back to what I was saying about not overhauling the offense every year. Again, maybe an overhaul wasn’t what you were suggesting when you stated that the hi-lo is too hard to learn and the game is passing Self by. But if you were suggesting at least a moderate change in our offensive approach, then I would argue against that and I would argue that yes having the core of this team back for the next year or two is very important. You can re-read a lot of my previous post for the main points, but something I’d like to point out is that you are only mentioning post players - Cliff, Bragg, Ellis. In addition to what I’ve already stated about the virtue of staying the course with a consistent offensive approach, I would add that the offense is not simply ran by the post players. The perimeter players have roles as well, and that is more key to my point about not having players constantly re-learning a new offense. “Are you saying you see a team that can cut down the nets in March?” Absolutely. This year? Probably not, but that has more to do with UK being so loaded and us not having a rim protector. But as I alluded to in my reference to the '05-'06 team, it is set up with enough pieces that I can definitely see it in a year or two.

    • “Are you assuming Cliff will be back?” I’ve addressed that already (for the guy who accuses me of not reading what he wrote). I speculate that it’s 50-50.

    • “However you can’t tell me that this KU can’t shoot the three ball and there is no reason why we shouldn’t take a few more shoots for three land. That’s just common sense.” Absolutely. I have said as much in my posts (“clearly the strength of this team is in its outside shooting” and “I’m not saying there aren’t some tweaks that could be made to maximize our outside shooting” are direct quotes from my original post to you on this thread). So we’re in agreement there, right? Where we’re apart is in your characterization of the offense as too hard to learn. Again, you’ll have to clarify that statement, because one can logically infer that you do not think that is the offense we should be running, based on current personnel. And my original point to you is that you have to maintain a consistent base offense year-in, year-out and only make small modifications to fit your personnel, not wholesale changes.

    (and to clarify, I’m not saying the offense isn’t “hard” to learn. I’m simply saying that other systems at elite D-1 programs are difficult to learn as well, and that we shouldn’t be going from one scheme to another every year because that would yield worse results and even more inconsistent performances).

  • @HighEliteMajor I agree. In fact, in my original post to DoubleDD I had said “'m not saying there aren’t some tweaks that could be made to maximize our outside shooting. We’re seeing Self do some things. Not as many as some would like, but give it time.”

    So I’m in full agreement there are things we can be doing. My point was that if one argues (as DoubleDD has) that the hi-lo offense is too complex that there isn’t time to learn it then you are in essence advocating a completely different offensive scheme. I disagree. Keep the hi-lo (despite it’s apparent complexity) but have some of the things you suggest and others incorporated to maximize outside shooting, when your personnel dictates it’s prudent.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 This from the “just sayin” category – blind resumes:

    Coach A: Elite 8 in 2010, Final Four in 2011, National Title in 2012, NIT 2013, and Title game 2014.

    Coach B: 2nd round in 2010, Elite 8 in 2011, Title game in 2012, Sweet 16 in 2013, and 2nd round in 2014.

    Choose the more masterful one.

  • @HighEliteMajor Hmm…who could those coaches be? Good thing it’s a “blind” resume 🙂

  • “Blind resumes” is pretty generous! As if we don’t know who those two are. The biggest thing that stands out to me in both resumes is NIT 2013. I know injuries and youth had a lot to do with that, but does Self underachieve in the tournament or maybe, just maybe, does he overachieve in Regular season. To me, 3 1/2 months of quality basketball is more masterful than 2-6 games in 3 weeks. I know we differ on this opinion greatly and this won’t change your mind.

    Pro basketball has series for a reason. One basketball game can be very unrepresentative of who is the best team, but seven is harder to fake. I apply that same thought process to the tournament vs. conference season.

  • Several mentioned Lucas and I have to say he really stepped it up in the Baylor game. I was very happy that he had a breakout game like that. And he had some good minutes for us against WV as well. Hopefully he can continue to get those minutes and make the best of them.

  • Banned


    I guess I’m the dumb one? I guess all the articles I read about how the game is changing with the influx of OAD’s is well just fabricated? Huh? All those interviews with HC’s even HCBS saying that they have to dummy down the game plan are bogus too? Huh? It must have been my imagination watching post players come to KU only to struggle in HCBS system. Wonder Why? Can’t be because the system is hard to learn or anything.

    I focus on the post players because HCBS’s system focuses on post players. Or am I wrong on that one too? geez

    So you think or make an assumption that KU isn’t good enough to win the title this year because UK is just so good? Yet you have no problem grandstanding and predict a title run in a couple of years. When you really don’t know what KU’s lineup will look like. Also I’m pretty sure UK isn’t just going to fall off a cliff in a couple years. Here is where you and I are different as fans. You’re thinking about two years from now. OK fine, but I think this KU team can win it this year if HCBS would starting tapping into the real strength of this team.

    Also I have no panic dude. I’m sorry that my point of view goes against everything you stand for, but it’s not like I’m in panic or scared mode. I’m just doing what any good fan would do and talk about the team I root for.

    I fully understand where you’re coming from. You’re a system guy. Keep doing the same thing even if you don’t have the right pieces to run it, and never ever change it to get better performance. You’re an extreme person, I get it.

    Hell yea I think HCBS should change the high/low at least for this year. He is wasting the best offense KU has. But hey lets keep throwing it down low, because it worked so well in previous years. News flash it’s not working this year. That’s not an assumption or an opinion. You’re stat guy look it up.

    Oh and by the way I read all you’re posts. I always do.

  • Ok, semi-blind resume.

    @icthawkfan316 I guess I am a little biased in favor of the high/low scheme … after the discussion this season, I bet no one saw that comin’. But I love the scheme. It’s portable, and pliable.

    However, my personal opinion is that Self’s implementation is inflexible, unnecessarily devalues the three point shot, failing to fully embrace the #powerofthree, so to speak. I guess a better way of saying it is that it is just too hyper-focused on the post feed. The three (which is really the perimeter shooting) can be embraced within the system, and that’s been my sole issue this entire season.

    Seriously, if the Fool’s Gold mentality could just change a bit, just embrace the perimeter game when appropriate with his personnel, and then happily (not grudgingly) exploit it, we’d write about something else.

    I respect his opinion on what wins. He needs the right personnel. He needs that big dude that can score inside. The match up advantage.

    It’s like throwing a dude on the mound that throws 88, who relies on his change, and asking him to be a strike out pitcher because “that’s what we do.” Ellis is the guy that throws 88. Let him pitch to contact and he’ll get ground ball after ground ball.

    @DoubleDD said, “Hell yea I think HCBS should change the high/low at least for this year. He is wasting the best offense KU has.”

    The operable phrase is “for this year.” That is the discussion. Adjust to your personnel. Exploit your talent. Give yourself the better chance to win.

  • Banned

    Thought maybe you guys would like this.

    Offense 101

  • @DoubleDD - pretty funny. Read this in your link, “Systems have their advantages. The continuity from year to year means only a few new players have to learn it each year and, due to experience, the returning players are better at it. The coach, in running it year after year, gets better at making in game adjustments. The negative is that the system doesn’t always fit the personnel. Players that are mismatched for the system won’t play to their potential and will find it very difficult to fit in. Systems are great but unless you have an established feeder system or you can recruit players that allow you to choose the ones that are best suited for your system, the system becomes very difficult to continue.”

    And there you have it.

  • @icthawkfan316

    Spot on.

  • @HighEliteMajor From the excerpt you quoted, I would agree with the negatives. But really, how bad have the negatives been, when compared with the positives? We win the Big 12 every year. No I don’t think it’s the resume sparkler some hang their hat on, but it’s also not anything to sneeze at. We’re regularly a top 1 or 2 seed in the NCAA tournament. We’ve had some successes in the dance, some disappointments.

    I guess where I come out on this is that I try to take a realistic approach to things. We’re not going to win a NCAA championship every year. We have three in our history. Three. Even when we’ve had the best team we haven’t always won it. With Self, with Roy. Whoever. Winning it all is hard. And because it is hard, a big picture approach must be taken. Some years are not going to be our year, or at the very least we must acknowledge the chances are against it.

    With this in mind I’ll ask this: what’s the better play? To continue to develop the players who are going to be in the system more than one year. To, as the article states, maintain consistency with the system to maximize the talents of the returning players. To develop the multi-year players and potentially pick up a OAD (or hopefully a TAD) that might be skilled enough to put you over the top. OR…to cater to the whims of the one or two OADs on your roster?

    Obviously I believe in the former. Not rigidly without any adjustments, but a consistent approach year-in, year-out. Another poster is a fan of saying how frequent roster turnover dictates you should potentially change things on a yearly basis. To me, that’s the exact reason why you don’t change. You don’t know what you’re going to have year to year, so why un-track the positive of developing the players you do have (which is the majority of the roster, btw) by going back-and-forth?

  • @DoubleDD Your tone is completely non-constructive to having a debate. It started with the very glib “just saying” (I know you’re “just saying” it…I just got through reading it in your post!) And I didn’t know anybody had to be “the dumb one”; why can’t two fans have differing view points? Obviously you think one of us is…

    I originally posted a very respectful response to your post, outlining why I disagreed and a bit of my philosophy. I’ve re-read it multiple times to ensure there were no personal attacks or condescending remarks. It seemed fine. To that I was told I was living in a dream.

    The following posts have been dripping with snide remarks about “missing the memo”, how I “preach”, how I just like to argue, that you “guess not” that I don’t understand your point. And on and on and on.

    I don’t care if we agree. There are a few on this site who I always read because I find their posts interesting and engaging, but I don’t always agree with their points of view. I believe I have demonstrated the ability to have a healthy debate with multiple posters while maintaining a level of civility. Maybe you and I are just not able to do so.

    So I guess if you’re interested in having a respectful conversation between fans then feel free to respond again. Otherwise it’s not hard to ignore each other.

  • Banned


    “Another poster is a fan of saying how frequent roster turnover dictates you should potentially change things on a yearly basis. To me, that’s the exact reason why you don’t change.”

    I assume you’re speaking of me? ')

    Let me try a different approach with you. Instead of the you said, I said game we’ve been playing. I want to ask you a few questions, of course followed with a few points I have.

    I believe its safe to say you’re a firm believer in playing one system as it helps with the evolution of the team concept and the program as a whole?

    So lets say you have exactly what you want. A team of 3 to 4 year players, playing the HCBS High/Low system. Lets pick a year and a team. How about 2011/12? You had everything you wanted. That was a great team, loved them guys. They played with heart and I was completely broken up when they lost. However the reality of that typical high/low HCBS team got beat by a for more talented team whose coach that tailored his game plan to fit his team.

    Now weren’t you one those that said winning conferences championships wasn’t really that important? I believe you said it really means nothing as the Big 12 far is inferior to other conferences? That tournament success and winning championships is the true measuring stick? Please if I’m wrong please by all means let me know.

    Now you can say hey we could’ve had better talent at this position or that position, but that is the flaw in you theory. If the talent was any better they wouldn’t be there for 3 to 4 years. Welcome to the one and done world. Last year KU lost their two best players who spent there whole freshman year learning the High/low system, and there gone. Again this year will most likely lose Oubre and yes even big Cliff. Again spending a whole year of teaching the high/low to kids that will be gone. Never really tapping into their true talent. That my friend is sad.

    You see it’s not about snide remarks, it’s more about you’re a hard one to pin down. As you say one thing and believe another. And you’re about depicting what one says and play avoidance when some returns the favor. I’ve been nice sir just as nice as you.

  • What maybe we should focus on, and this general concept was just mentioned during the Louisville-Syracuse game (regarding Boeheim’s and Pitino’s sustained excellence): is recruiting to one’s system. I think Self does do that so he can continue to staff his hi-lo philosophy…but has been hurt my these early semi-surprise departures. I can think of Markieff and Embiid as guys we “almost” had penciled in for their next seasons. Again, I cannot imagine us with Embiid still with us, but that is a pointless discussion, other than saying what sort of in+out balance it would have given Self, which is where his system thrives the most (keep opponent guessing). This year, the opponent can easily gameplan the trey-bomb, so the development of “opportunistic” inside looks must continue. That IowaSt PF gets a fair amount of his paint pts with opportunistic looks. I don’t think Self is blind or inflexible enough to see that he can use his season avg3% as a feint to draw the defense, to open the inside. Opposing coaches see that 3% now, so Im sure its part of their anti-KU prep.

    Also, this is a bit strange to cuss/discuss the entire system after a loss that the kids broke down defensively and BLEW a 10pt lead? Why do we go “macro” when the problem in that WVa loss was the 2 open-look 3s late, along with a late turnover by KU and a couple of late FT misses? Sure the refs may have blown a call. But KU boyz-in-uniform blew the lead. You let a poor 3shooting team get 2 late desperately-needed open 3 looks in their own gym, during a comeback? We gave them momentum and energy. We gave them… Emphasis on “we gave”. (Meanwhile, some of KU nation is discussing the hi-lo with intense vigor…).

    My only point about the hi-lo is maybe Self needs to adjust his recruiting philosophy to guys that can execute it. The TrueGold, though is a kid like Okafor or Embiid, who maybe can competently execute as a frosh. But who can predict the whimsical picks that top recruits make when they pick from their final school picks. Self wont win all those battles. Nor will Coach K. Nor will Calipari. They gotta work with what they get. Its still college ball, still have to teach kids your system, just like Boeheim wont stop teaching his zone, and Hoiberg will keep recruiting to his system, etc…

    Team got deficiencies? Every team does, to a degree. Remember what we thought about the '12RunnerUp team’s final four chances during the preseason, and with no bench…? Down the stretch that team executed, and in their final loss (NC), they simply did not. Too many missed shots.

  • @DoubleDD Well, I’ll respond to a few of your questions. To your first question, yes I think having one consistent system is beneficial. For consistency with returning players. The majority of our roster will most likely never be OADs. Even if players are TADs, I think teaching them the same system for two years is better than teaching them one their freshman year and another their sophomore year.

    Not sure what the next question is. Pick a team of my choosing playing the hi-lo and…? What’s the question?

    And I don’t understand this statement at all: “However the reality of that typical high/low HCBS team got beat by a for more talented team whose coach that tailored his game plan to fit his team.” So, you’re saying we got beat by a far more talented team? What’s your point? That the hi-lo can’t win it all? Well we won it in '08, and made it to the championship game in '12 with no bench and narrowly lost to a more talented team…

    Again, maybe I’m not getting where you were going with that. Next question…

    I have not said that winning the Big 12 “means nothing.” But you are right that I don’t believe it is as great as some other fans do, and I don’t believe the Big 12 is typically a strong basketball conference (this year it’s pretty decent, but historically not a lot of powerhouses). I do believe that most of what I would like the program to focus on is working to win the NCAA tournament. To view the season as a campaign to the tournament and to take measures to increase success in March, even if that means sacrificing regular season games.

    Not sure that I have ever said “we could’ve had better talent at this position or that position” and what that has to do with whatever “theory” is your referencing. I will point out a flaw in your logic here: you say we spent a whole year teaching the high/low to kids that will be gone, never tapping into their true talent. However, two of the four kids you are using in your example were post players (two best players from last year Wiggins and Embiid, Embiid obviously being a post player, and Kelly and Cliff, with Cliff obviously being a post player). How is a system designed to focus on post players not tapping into their true talent?

    Lastly, you’ve been nice? Again, it’s not hard to ignore each other. Hope you got the answers you were looking for.

  • Banned


    Not really sure how you think I’ve been mean in my responses? I’m just dishing out like you are.

    Kind of funny I haven’t said you’ve been unfair, yet with your every post you act like I have no ideal what I’m talking about and that I’m wasting your time. Yet you seem upset with everything I post. I don’t get it? I’ve neither called you names or attacked your character as a person. I’ve spent this entire post trying to build my case and you have spent you’re whole time trying to pass off my theory as lunacy.

    Many times I’ve said or alluded to that we need to have an inside game to sustain any real great success. However after watching HCBS’s High/low system all these years I’ve drawn the conclusion that it doesn’t favor the outside game. As HCBS said himself 3’s should come in the flow of the game. So I’m not to far off in my thinking. Not to mention I’m not alone in my thinking.

    So one last question as one KU fan to another. Am I so wrong to think that HCBS should change or at least tweak his High/low scheme? Especially in light of the team we have this year can really shoot the three? In a nut shell that’s all I’m saying.

    P.S If you want to ignore me then that’s your choice. Me personally I rather enjoyed the lively debate.

  • Banned


    I think you raise a great point. If you’re going to run a certain system than just recruit to your system. Even it means passing on some OAD’s. Problem is I think as a fan base and a blueblood school I’m not sure KU can pass on the OAD’s I believe we are all in on the craze.

  • @DoubleDD I think it works both ways, recruits wouldn’t come here if they didn’t think they could play in Selfs system.

  • Banned


    Yea but I would raise the question. A lot of the OAD’s are going to blue blood schools. Is it just a fad among kids? You know it’s cool to go to that school or that school. I never been a OAD ok maybe have lol but I wonder how much they look at the style and system when choosing a school?

  • As a general point: the OADs may like the bigger schools, as it meets the “name school” perception requirement, if that matters (prestige cred), there usually is a well-known/respected coaching staff, and foremost: they’ll get a lot of national exposure with nationwide TV games. (lol, its how you “take” your highschool mixtape production video, to the ESPN Top10 highlight reel…).

    If pure playing time was the only consideration, then OADs could go to a mid-major, be the instant Man, and put up a nightly double-double. But they’d be toiling in a low-mkt TV audience. For a kid like Mudiay, he ultimately chose foreign $ over low-market SMU (even over HOFer Larry Brown). Kids like Wiggins were simply polite and gracious enough to play-the-game, say all the right things, etc…

    So how far can we get with OAD’s? Well, its a crapshoot. Sure KY won a NC (but that team had some returning talent), but then they NIT’d. Then they went to the NC game again. Now, Calipari has half a roster of NCgame/Final4 vets (returning talent)…so lets see how far they get. 26-0 is real nice, but their toughest 3 games of the season will be the Elite8 + Final4. Somebody will be equipped & battle-tested to give them a real game, and maybe a gauntlet of 3 such games in a row, making those final 3 games for KY a true “OAD” (one loss and u done) tourney.

    Meanwhile, BSPN is milking the UNC-Duke game for all its worth…

Log in to reply