KU Shoots Horribly, Loses Battle of Benches and the 5 by Committee Can't Get'ter Done but the March to Myitkina Continues

  • Bad shooting nights occur and this was one for KU. 39% over all and 15% from trey. We caught the rare fair whistle on the road and made FTs, or this would have been a blow out.

    Our usually productive guards–Frank, Wayne, and Devonte–were horrendous. They combined for 5-18. They combined for 7 turnovers; that’s a lot from your best ball handlers. Wayne played particularly poorly all over the floor.

    And yet if we had shot decently, we would have walked away with the game. We were +9 on the glass, plus 4 on strips, even on blocks and we only made one more turnover. We even were +3 on total FGAs. You are supposed to win games with those kinds of edges.

    Two Okie Ballers played it the old fashioned way. Not an eyelash worth of differences in the approaches to the game. Keep it in the 70s. And shoot 13 (KU) to 14 (KSU) 3ptas.

    The only real difference was this: Bruce Weber played this way because he had to. He has no good outside shooters. Bill Self played this way because he wanted to. He has the trey shooters that would have let him not play this way. More about this later.

    Next the benches. Take ours. PLEASE!!!

    KSU Bench: 30 KU Bench: 14

    No sense piling on futher. The numbers speak for themselves.

    And then there was the “Committee to Animate the 5” aka Cliff, Jam Tray, and Landen.

    5 Rebounds Ciff 4 LL: 2 JT: 2 Total 8

    5 Points: Cliff 0 LL 2 JT 1 Total: 3

    5 Assists Cliff 0 LL 1 JT 0 Total 1

    5 Fouls Cliff 4 LL 2 JM 1 Total 7

    So, our composite big man had 3 points, 8 boards, 1 assist, and 7 fouls.

    It is arguable that it would have been better to have played 4 on 5, than to have played 5 on 5 with our composite big man.

    We outscored them 38 to 32 in the paint.

    But we lost.

    And we were beaten by a not very good team.

    And we brought a knife to a knife fight.

    And because we have no credible center, we brought a pocket knife to a bowie knife fight.

    We had a machete called three point shooting in a scabbard. Its edge was dull from lack of use and so we only pulled it 13 times and made only 2.

    It was a very long way to come for the JarHead Jayhawks to come to crap out.

    The team has lost its focus. in mid February.

    It has forgtten what it has learned.

    And it has spent so much time working on inside out attack the trey gun has rusted and won’t fire.

    They are tied for the lead in the B12.

    If they hole out from here, they are assured of a tie for the title.

    But can they?

    If the trey gun is rusted, or they are in a slump, likely they might not hole out.

    But bottom line on this game is the shot horribly and lost by seven to a not very good team.

    Next game they should shoot back to their average and win.

    Next couple of games probably.

    The game may not matter that much, if its just a bump in the road from bad shooting.

    But it matters a lot of the team has lost its way.

    But this team has always bounced back.

    It should bounce back from this one also.

    I told people a few days ago.

    The Marauders of Frank Merrill were going to go through more horror, before they got to Myitkina.

    This was one of those horrors.

    They got ambushed on a jungle trail on the way to Myitkina.

    But there is no stopping.

    They must march on now.

    They must catch up on their rest as they march.

    The next meeting with the enemy is a week away.


    They can take some breaks.

    But on they march.

    Then West Virginia.

    Then Oklahoma.

    A brutal three games.

    They are way out in enemy territory.

    No reserves and no more supplies.

    No more help.

    And it doesn’t matter now whether it should have been done this way or not.

    It was done this way.

    Now it is march on.

    No more nothing but fighting.

    And Myitkina.

    No one wants to be them now.

    They are alone.

    The going just got tough.

    And its going to get tougher.

  • Banned


    I always love your takes read them like an addiction, but we lost this game because our game plan was to pound it inside from the tip off until the final whistle was blown. Every opposing team knows this, even though our strength is shooting the three.

    @jaybate 1.0 I’m seeing red. There is no reason, no explanation why we lost this game.

  • I got the sense that Bill thought he could grind this out in the hi/lo, get some reps in those sets and pull it off against a far inferior opponent.

    He definitely bet on the fart and lost on this one.

  • @jaybate-1.0 Ah, the voice of reason. A couple of great posts on this and the other thread. I appreciate it, because I am still in my pacing and muttering mode from last night.

    I think we will hold serve at home, but I am very doubtful about going to Oklahoma and winning.

    As far as back to the basket goes (and I am really not an analyst, so correct me if I’m wrong), I think Iowa State might well win the conference this year without a classic “back to the basket” guy. Sometimes they play with all 5 players outside.

  • Perry shoots 62.5% (10/16); remainder of team, 30% (12/40). BOOM! Frank is running out of gas…or perhaps just played his worst game of the season. Kudos to Weber for his defensive sets and change-ups. Mr. Iba, have you failed us?

  • Frank, Devonte, Wayne=8assists, 7 turnovers. BOOM!

  • Cliff, Jamari, Landon=BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

  • We lost this game because three times we had nice little leads and then, I guess because of our youth, we decided to get fancy. The 8 point lead in the 2nd half was followed by about 10 attempts to make Sportscenter (10 is an exaggeration, but you get my point). Some of those will make the Not Top 10. We built our leads by execution and blew our leads by lack of execution.

    I’m pissed, ticked, upset, disgruntled, exasperated, flabbergasted, and …? And that’s just at KState fans for acting like idiots after the game.

  • @wissoxfan83

    we got that steal and then Ellis doinked a jam. Ball goes out of bounds… We inbounds and throw it away and there went the lead. From there it was a 37-22 run… Pathetic was the only word you missed

  • @wissoxfan83 Just imagine how Jamari feels, after getting blindsided by that purple piss ant?

  • Frank’s worst game of the year. I think the crowd unnerved the team- we played to survive- not to win. The good news is we only play 1 more true road game, as we have sucked on the road.

  • @KUSTEVE bad news it’s ou

  • @Crimsonorblue22 well, maybe losing the big 12 will actually motivate this team in the tourney. i’d rather take a loss at ou than a loss in our 2nd game in the tourney, like last year.

  • @wissoxfan83, At least you didn’t have Harry Belafonte ringing in your head the whole time as I did.

    “6-point … 7-point … 8-point … CHOKE! Big lead come and me give it right back”


  • @tis4tim Upvote for the logo. Loved the movie. Daylight come, and Grapes rush the court…

  • @KUSTEVE You are extremely glass half full this morning! This team is going nowhere in the tourney this year.

  • @nuleafjhawk Next time, turn off the Voice and watch the game. I couldn’t believe it when you posted that.

  • @KUSTEVE Dude - my blood pressure this morning was 124 / 74. If I had watched the game - you could add a 1 in front of both numbers.

  • @nuleafjhawk I have 8 heart stents - this is an excuse-free zone…i hold my breath everytime i go thru a metal detector.

    BTW, i love the Voice, and the first hour was great!!!

    ( all in jest,btw)

  • I figured I’d have something to say this morning. I don’t.

  • @HighEliteMajor Dammit, HEM. I count on you to talk me off the ledge…

  • @jaybate-1.0 Yes, we didn’t shoot well (wouldn’t go so far as horribly, as we’ve had much worse shooting games), the bench didn’t perform, and the Tri-5 delivered a big fat zero buckets, but I would submit that the reason we lost was because of another failure on the defensive end.

    We gave up 70 points (39 in the 2nd half on 55% shooting) to a team that had not broken 60! in 7 of its past 8 games - and failed to reach half a century twice. We could not get stops down the stretch - but that has been an issue throughout the year.

    As noted in various posts in various threads, HCBS is first and foremost a defensive coach. Until last year, over the previous 8 years, KU’s worst defensive efficiency rating was 11th (1,1,3,3,5,9,11). Last year we were 31st (even with a rim protector and a defensive stopper). This year we are 30th in DER.

    We can commiserate all we want to about shortcomings on the offensive end, but it strikes me that the principal problem with the youth movement and OAD/TADs is on the defensive end. HCBS used to have the luxury in the pre-OAD recruiting days to force guys to ride the bench unless they committed on the defensive end.

    Defense gets (at best) short shrift in HS and AAU. Basic principles of boxing out, keeping a low center for gravity, help defense, clogging the passing lanes, et cetera aren’t taught. In past years, Self and staff taught defense - and with teams with upperclassmen learned to play it. And, it enabled many of those ugly wins the coach likes, even when the shots aren’t falling. Now, when the shots aren’t falling, the wins don’t come as easily and the losses more frequently.

  • @KUSTEVE 8 heart stents? Really? God bless you.

    For me, it’s better to not watch a game like that. It’s like watching your favorite actor in a really terrible movie. You don’t have to watch - you can get up and leave the theatre!!

    I know it makes me sound like a fair weather fan, but I’ve only been doing this the past couple of years. For 45 years (0r so) before that, I watched every second of every game. There’s been a whole lot more good ones than bad ones, but here lately it’s just no fun for me to watch that kind of …stuff.

  • I KNEW I should have DVR’d the game and waited on the outcome but my daughter wanted to watch it live.

    That’s it! I am not watching this team play live again. In 2015’ if they ain’t winning, I ain’t watching.

  • @KUSTEVE Thanks. I thought the film was good too, though replacing the punctuation marks with real eyes bothered me at first. Also, I have a tough time adjusting to voice-overs because I hear the characters differently in my head after reading the books hundreds of times since I was a kid. Still, I think Herge would have been pleased with Spielberg’s adaptation.

    Oh yeah, and I like KU basketball. lol.!

  • To coach Self (in my best Rick Pitino impression): Bill, Wayne Simien is not going to walk through that door. Cole Aldrich is not going to walk through that door. Thomas Robinson is not going to walk through that door.

    This team is not going to win inside, and forcing it to do so is confusing not only their offensive identity but sapping their energy out on the defensive end as well.

    I don’t think the coach is listening to me. Barring a change of heart for coach Self, this team’s ceiling is Sweet Sixteen, floor is the first game. And it is closer to the floor than to the ceiling at this point.

  • This was a case of Perry playing extremely well - probably at the top of his game - and nobody coming alongside him.

    Perry isn’t the type of guy that’s going to toss up a 35/15 game (few will, honestly), so even when he plays great, and make no mistake, Perry was great last night, he’s going to need some guys to come alongside him. It looked for a bit in the second half like Kelly was trying to be that guy, but he didn’t really get his three ball going last night (just 2 attempts).

    I think Frank is bothered by a nagging injury of some sort. He doesn’t seem to have the same explosion. If that’s the case, all of those minutes in the middle of the season could be coming back to haunt us now.

  • @DCHawker

    You are both efficient and accurate.

    I wrote another post on another thread in response to a sound response by @DoubleDD and @KUinLA that indicated the defense was a significant problem also. I attributed the defense failure to the decision to begin attacking with the guards in the second half to try to turn it into a FT contest on the road, which is always a tricky proposition, because of the difficulty in getting a favorable enough whistle to off set the wear and tear on the guards. Self got the FTs he wanted and those FTs are what kept us in the game as long as we were in it. But the cost of the FTs was energy sapping driving by Frank, Devonte, and Wayne. And so when it came to the last 10 minutes, our perimeter guys had spent their reserves trying to score the hard way, and could not stay with KU’s perimeter guys down the stretch. KSU made some shots on the open looks. Just a few treys, but more than we could counter with. They could a lead late the way we like to, then they defended (milked it) and overguarded the trey stripe on us and we could never get back in it.

    Again, Weber just used Self’s strategy on us and his guys played harder and longer than our guys did on defense.

  • @jaybate-1.0 said:

    Again, Weber just used Self’s strategy on us and his guys played harder and longer than our guys did on defense.

    Agreed. The way the KSU guys were denying our 3-pt. shooters in the first half I told myself they would be gassed midway through the second half. It didn’t happen. They did a fine job last night and sometimes, as painful as it is, you just have to tip your cap.

    Your reply to @DoubleDD in the aftermath last night was a great read BTW.

  • @jaybate-1.0 You may very well be right with regard to the lack of stops at the end of this game. I was primarily focused on more structural defensive shortcomings of this year’s Jayhawks - and arguably last year’s, as well. I guess my main point is that our offensive shortcomings are in some respects are less critical than our defensive shortcomings. The true hallmark of Self ball is less the Hi-Lo than making it very difficult for the other team to score. That’s where we’ve lost our way, and I’m at a loss as to how we find our way back. Although UK may be an exception because of extraordinary size, but great team defense takes time to learn and implement - and that’s where we’re lacking - TEAM defense.

  • I read these posts and try to make a sense of the loss in general but all I can think about is a team full of blue bloods and a million dollar coach and not just one of the best programs in the country but the best program losing to lesser prospects and a supposedly lesser coach.

    The only conclusion I can draw from this is:

    We are young and have two freshmen OAD prospects that have no focus. How do you coach focus. Having experienced players must trump OAD’s and youth. We do not have experienced and tough bench players to practice with. We act like the other team is going to give it to us. When we say Weber can’t recruit does that mean he can’t recruit OAD’s or can’t recruit experience. It seems that Bill likes clean haircuts and clean cut tweeners but he calls them studs. I don’t see any studs. . If I was a coach how would I solve the problem of the other team playing harder and longer than our guys as has happened at WV, IS, KSU, OK. games.

    I played some basketball in high school but was actually a very good football player (although I enjoyed playing basketball better) and our coach did not just teach us to be tough but made us tough, the kind of tough that Huggie and Martin understand. You have to practice tough. But it has to be drilled into the player for several years and I’m not sure we have that kind of time in the OAD world. Tough players don’t care about the crowd or where they are playing they just mean business all the time.

    Now our basketball coach use to tell us if I see you acknowledge the crowd I will put you on the bench. If you get all happy because you made a good play and not thinking about your next move you will ride the pine as the only thing we will be happy about here is a win. The joy comes in the winning all the rest of the time you will be playing to win regardless if you are ahead or behind. I will make the adjustment to control the game not you and I don’t care if we are 20 points ahead in the last 2 minutes of the game.

    Just me rambling, I’m an old grey hair as well.

  • @KU-Flyer I’m an old gray hair, as well - and more so after these past few games.

  • Ditto. Grey and I suppose white is coming of what’s left.

  • @KU-Flyer Can’t fix the problems of the team, but I sure know the solution to “old gray hair”. Found it a few years ago and have not had a gray day since. Comes in a bottle–highly recommended.

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