ASSUMING THAT HEM IS WRONG AND THE SEASON ISN'T REALLY OVER...
What if, just somehow, KU were to live up to their current seeding. Do any of you see us getting past any of these 7 teams to get to the Final Four? HEM talking about the end of the season has me thinking that he is comparing it to Buddy Holly, Richie Vallens and the Big Bopper.
From CBS Sports
If we play tough we can beat any of those teams, including Kentucky.
We beat Texas, a team second in height only to Kentucky, and we beat them twice.
After Saturday, do you think we have the same fear of Kentucky we had back in November? Self got it through our guys’ heads that they can win even if 14 of their shots are blocked. Guess what? Kentucky only blocked 11 of our shots.
With the right toughness we can beat anyone! We can win being blocked 14 times, shooting 12.5% from 3, and 36% from 2. We can out-rebound a team full of trees, and almost match the team that leads the nation in blocks.
That is what we take away from that Texas game. Belief.
Kentucky was supposed to be the team of destiny last year. All that talent… playing good at the end… huge size advantage… and beaten by a team who brought toughness.
Toughness trumps all other aspects of the game.
Question is… are we now going to build off what we did yesterday, or revert back to a bunch of guys that don’t believe?
I believe the new Perry is here to stay. He is ready to lead this team. He will do it his way… leading by example. Expect to see some of his blood in the coming weeks. He’s ready. And he has his troops around him ready to reinforce the message.
That is my belief moving forward. I’ll be surprised if they don’t win out in league. Even OU on the road. It will already be over before that game but Kansas will have something to prove. Not to their fans or coaches… to themselves. If they believe now they can be the next Danny and the Miracles.
If everything fell into place, KU could beat any of them in a perfect storm-of course they will only have to play three of them in this tourney.
But as good as Perry has been playing as of late, I think our. Inconsistency will catch up with us the second round.
I would LOVE to be proved wrong, especially since I live in Houston and plan to get tickets if they make it here.
I don’t think we’ve seen KU hit on all cylinders yet, so who knows who we could beat. Definitely can beat any of the #2s.
I’m still expecting an ice cold night or a “fab five Chris Webber moment” for Kentucky either in the SEC tourney, or–better yet–sometime in the NCAA tournament, possibly against whatever 8-9 team they face in the second game.
@wrwlumpy Great clip from that CBS Sports article. Perfect. Cast that in bronze and send it to people, including several people on this board, who say that Bill Self is not such a good coach. Bill Self is a great coach.
It is disappointing when we lose in the first weekend of the NCAA tournament–yet it happens and I can deal with that because it is part of playing the game. The memory of losing during the first weekend creates the drama of ‘survive and advance’ which makes advancing to the round of 16 Sweet. KU basketball has excelled at being Sweet for the past 25 years. I feel fairly Sweet just thinking about that success so each Sweet 16 team is a great success for me.
Making it to the Final Four is amazing. I’m thankful that I follow a team that has given us the steady joy of Final Fours in our life. If you are over 40 years old and have been a KU fan for life then you have enjoyed fantastic, elite, sweetness as a college basketball fan that should last you for this life, yet Kansas basketball just keeps giving.
The regular conference championships have a special place in my heart. I enjoy Big XII basketball and I was a Big 8 fan too. I grew up in the suburbs of Kansas City, I was generally a sports junky, yet college basketball was well respected, well covered in the media, and there were lots of people around me who were enthusiastic about the college game. I played a lot of ball in leagues, in pickup, and I have a 1 hour academic credit from the University of Kansas in the subject “Basketball”. Growing up with the Missouri rivalry and the tournament being played downtown, I get juiced for Big XII conference play each year. Following the team in non-conference as we prepare for conference play is the main way I follow the game for the first few months. Then in January the serious business begins. The fact that Bill Self is on the brink of guiding Kansas to our 11th straight conference crown is incredible. I love it. It is an outstanding achievement. I agree with all that is being said in that CBS article so thanks for posting it.
Both tournaments are bonus games. Bonus trophies are handed out. Yes, I do indeed get a wild juiced euphoria for a Final Four run and NCAA Championships are simply another kind of sports viewing experience that is a special kind of wonderful.
The test of a team for me is still the conference slate. It is so good that we play a true home and home series against each team in the conference. The Big XII conference season is not over. I want KU to keep winning. I’ve enjoyed this conference season for all of its story lines and the cliff hangers. The Streak seems like it just might go to 11. To even write that last line with two games left seems like a surprise considering the outlook after the road loss at West Virginia. Perry has elevated his game, other teams have had there tough go of it in the Big XII too, and this young team is 40 minutes away from celebrating a great team accomplishment.
@drgnslayr I’m in complete agreement with you about Kensucky. What I saw when we played them and since then, our guys thought they couldn’t complete against the footers - they kinda gave up with hands up - earlier in the season. All I wanted from this team was the swag that says “come on, we can take you”, and learn/train how to win. Teams with footers have lost the battles as we know, didn’t UConn & L-Ville, the recent champs have won without footers and OADs? So it can be done, but seeing Perry and others with their heads down, I was hopeful but dubious. Only if these guys knew they could, and once realized, how much do they want it? First BELIEVE they can, then use God given brain & skill to figure out how (well that’d fall on Self)! As human, we all need to believe in ourselves in life as we chart the unknown (like aging), when doubt sets in, it is our family/friends who pick us up. Believing oneself is harder for 18-22s because they are so young and without experience to build on. Some have it while some take longer, so like you I’m waiting to see which way this team will go (Perry & Mason are on board). It was VERY frustrating to watch Perry doubting himself after Kensucky. Remember how he gave up? Now, he’s learned how to win, will he say “hey Kensucky, it’s payback time!” Now, what about the rest?
@KJD I don’t think HEM, Jesse Newell, or anyone else is saying Self is not a good–or even great–coach. But, unless you think that Traylor, Lucas, Alexander (?), and Mickelson can perform adequately for four straight games, there’s no way the Hawks make it to the FF. Unless they play outside in, i think they’ll have to be lucky to make it past the second round.
Gentlemen and Ladies Hem isn’t saying HCBS isn’t a great coach. Come on guys He’s merely pointing to the fact this KU team isn’t playing to it’s strength. The (((Three point shot))). Many times Hem has said he favors HCBS’s High/low system. He just feels like I do we are leaving our best weapon in the darkness of a high/low system.
Arizona is beatable no rhyme to their scheme.
Duke is beatable as they rely on a big time freshmen. One bad game they go home.
Villanova is beatable as they still like the three when their real strength is down low.
Gonzaga is beatable because they haven’t really been tested. Played no one.
Virginia is beatable but scary. They play mad defense.
Wisconsin is beatable because they can’t really handle a back court that is quick.
UK is crazy and scary awesome. However if HCBS would be willing to let his snipers shoot instead of pounding inside all game. Yes KU can beat them, however only if the snipers are given the green light. Go inside against UK and you lose. Period.
I know being a fan means we always think our team is going to win, but I don’t think there’s a chance our team beats Kentucky. Anyone else on that list, fair game, let’s see what happens.
@wrwlumpy It is funny how it all works. Usually the team that makes the finals does not have nearly as tough of a run as they think. Last year if we win the games we “should” have we end up playing Florida in the Elite 8 and play two very low seeds on the way to that game. Let’s say for fun we upset Florida. We then play UCONN. Another very low seed. Let’s say for fun again we beat them. We then play UK. A very low seed. My point is you never know who you are going to see and very often the bracket “opens up”. This of course means nothing as we know as the Cinderella team is never an easy out either.
There are so many Star players that go unnoticed in the smaller conferences. Mid Majors that have Senior laden ball clubs become very scary. Conference championships for those games, where only the winner gets to go to the dance, makes watching those games more exciting than which Big Ten team drops to a 5 seed in a second round Conference game.
The first three games of the Big 12 tourney will be more difficult than the first three games of the NCAAs . Our first game should be Texas. Then we would play either Iowa St, WVU, or Baylor in the semis, and possibly OU in the championship game. I think we can beat any of the teams ranked ahead of us in the polls, including Tucky. These close, grind em out games are designed to get us ready for the tourney. Would anyone have thought we could beat Texas by making 1 (3) pointer, and having 14 shots blocked after watching our game against Tucky?
Someone please tell me why I should have any hope we could beat Kentucky.
@Wigs2 There is plenty of way that KU can reach the Final Four without the 5 spot giving a whole lot more than they are giving right now. You say ‘lucky’ to get through the second round. Why even talk about luck at this point when you don’t even know the bracket and the match ups? It is plenty about the match-ups in the NCAA tournament. Grinding out some fortunate match-ups in the first weekend --as in no one in our first weekend having the length and depth that Stanford had up front–and some hot shooting in the second weekend could get KU to the Final Four without the help of Lady Luck.
My point is that judging any team through a Final Four lens if February and early March, an obsession for some, takes away from the conference campaign that is in my opinion a much more important test for each team each year. Actually I find people projecting tournament out comes in the middle of February to be cool and dull commentary because the conference race itself is so hot and exciting–not that the people themselves are dull, it just isn’t so interesting to me.
“Someone please tell me why I should have any hope we could beat Kentucky.”
First… I think it is best that most of our fan base not believe it is possible. It is best that our guys have to carry this chip by themselves. It gives us a better chance when no one believe we can win. That is the exact formula used against Kansas in March. Look at all those teams that have beat us because no one gave them a chance.
It’s a game. There is always a chance.
I’m still not certain Kentucky is any better than they were last year. They lost a couple of key components from last year’s team who were there “go to” guys on offense. They are starting to play a bit better offense, but they have the liability of playing in a horrible conference.
Let’s not forget that they have been taken to OT by Ole’ Miss (a real powerhouse team) and 2OT by TAM (if still in the B12, would have finished in a race with TCU).
What makes Kentucky “unbeatable” is that few teams believe they can beat them. Kentucky still has bad offense. They have improved some… but they still don’t have the offense it should take in March. Their defense is good, even great when the teams they play start giving up.
Does anyone in here really see us as losing by 32 this time?
This really is ONLY about toughness. UCONN was not even a great team last year and they beat them.
The test with Kentucky is… DO YOU BELIEVE?
Bring more energy… come in with any of several strategies that can win… execute.
Like I said above… we had 14 shots blocked and beat Texas. UK doesn’t have a guy like Taylor to create 2/3s of their points.
If we do as I said in the paragraph above I’d go so far as to say we SHOULD beat UK!
If we attack Kentucky the right way we will win on the FT line, similar to how we won against UT. UK is a bit taller, and more skilled… but they will be playing all jacked up and they will be ready to be hackmonsters.
Spend a couple of days in practice. Work on penetration. Work on some fade away shots and shots using the body to shield the ball (see Niang, the guy who can barely jump over a phone book). Last… work on a few shot fakes. Practice FTs. Throw in some plays to open up some 3s. Just do things a little bit smarter than our first game with them. Kentucky hasn’t changed since we’ve played them last. We know their game. We, on the other hand, have changed. And a charged up Perry and Kelly with a team of sharpshooters, and a Frank playing under control presents a completely different game scenario than round 1.
Toughness wins National Championships! Kentucky is tall… and skilled. But they have had a cupcake schedule… no opportunity to build toughness. It would be the greatest Jayhawk moment ever to take them down!
At this point… the Cliff incident can actually play to our benefit.
Yes, we give a post guy. A post guy that had only the dunk for offense and fouled constantly on defense. With him gone, it puts the pressure on all of our post guys to step up. I am betting the chip they carry is worth having Cliff be missed.
Cliff being gone is like losing Archie Marshall… He will be sitting on the sidelines in street clothes and every time his team mates look over and see him, they have someone to play for.
I remember the Jayhawk Nation when we lost Marshall… it was a definite that our season was over then, too.
There are only two teams in that list that I’d be scared to see in KU’s bracket: UK and UV. We can beat Duke or Nova on a good day. UV might be more vulnerable to upset because they play at such a slow pace (although neither of the other teams has had a really huge run since Duke’s 2010 title), but in terms of actually winning head to head, it would be a gargantuan task. Still, all of those teams but two, Nova and UVA, have bigger post players, at least one footer, and/or more depth down low.
Honestly, HEM’s doomsaying about the end of the season has kind of fallen on deaf ears with me, but not because I disagree with his analysis, necessarily (although I think he undervalues the good interior scorers that we do have in Perry, Oubre, and Cliff), but I think he’s actually being overly optimistic about our chances in the dance. Even if we do shoot lights out from deep, we still have real issues with TO rate (and what Self team hasn’t), guarding quick perimeter players, handling pressure/the press, rim protection, and we’re Jekyll and Hide in terms of keeping opponents off the offensive glass. And that doesn’t even begin to address the chemistry and leadership issues that we’ve seen lately. This team doesn’t scream built for March to me.
Then again, it is the dance and anything can happen. Nearly everything that I said in the above paragraph can be said of last year’s UConn team, but they still got to #4 before us. This year, it would take a miracle for us to cut down the nets, but it wouldn’t be the first one in Kansas history either.
I try to recall last year and compare to what we are at now. Last year, at 22-7, we lost Embiid and we have PG issue and also Wigs did not always bring his A game. This year, we “lost” Cliff at 22-6, we don’t have a PG issue, we have Ellis bringing his A games lately. Both years, Jamari is about the same, Seldon is not much an upgrade.
Therefore, position to position, I think we are better with Mason at 1 and better with Devonte as his backup. Don’t think Mason’s handle was better than Devonte now.
We still have Seldon at the 2. Slight upgrade.
At the 3, we have Oubre and Greene. Are they better than Wigs combined? This is a big question.
At the 4, we still have Ellis. A much improved Ellis.
Without Embiid and without Cliff, we have Jamari. Even at the 5.
So, looking at the above, I like the prospect of the current team better than the prospect of last year team as much was built around Embiid off late. I personally think we can do better than last year. RCJH!
I think Lucas has moved past Jamari.
@wrwlumpy Jamari is a knife. Landen is a spoon. You’ll be happy to have each one in different situations.
@wrwlumpy Landon has grown a quarter of an inch since January.
And Perry is a fork. Good analogy.
@drgnslayr I don’t know if Perry IS a fork, but I know we’d be forked without him.
@Wigs2 - “I don’t think HEM, Jesse Newell, or anyone else is saying Self is not a good–or even great–coach.”
@DoubleDD - “Gentlemen and Ladies Hem isn’t saying HCBS isn’t a great coach. Come on guys He’s merely pointing to the fact this KU team isn’t playing to it’s strength. The (((Three point shot))). Many times Hem has said he favors HCBS’s High/low system.”
Perfect. I appreciate very much the accurate summaries.
@HighEliteMajor A couple of questions for you: We all know that without Embiid was a bad thing last year. Is without Cliff a bad thing this year?
What is the game plan ahead without Cliff? What would HCBS do to adjust his Hi/Low game?
@Shanghai_RCJH Actually, I think @jaybate-1.0 has diagnosed the game plan. Its ugly. It ain’t pretty. We have seen it the last four games. Self’s adjustment to the high/low is a lot of Perry at the top. Lucas playing more than Traylor, so we have Lucas down low (an area Traylor can’t handle).
@Wigs2 @HighEliteMajor There have definitely been comments on this board this year questioning the ability of Coach Self as a coach. I never said HEM or Jesse Newell so there was a big assumption in Wigs2 comment that I was specifically calling out those two individuals which I left alone earlier. Frankly, I don’t read Jesse so much these days because I like the coverage here–I like the fan flavor. I feel like writing some more to clarify and develop this conversation since HEM jumped in with his comment too.
If coach Self is great, which I think he is, I’m much more interested in considering his decision making process and analyzing what the motivations may be, contemplating how they are playing out now and over the course of a long season. Since HEM’s posts are a conversation point here I’ll use him as example: I do not read all that is written by HEM, though I do enjoy going through many of his posts, and my less than full understanding of HEM is that he has his opinion of what he would like to see out of the team so he goes to great lengths in articulating his viewpoint of what he would like to see happen. From my way of watching the game and following KU I see HEM’s commentary as a kind of insight from what he is seeing in the team and I like reading about what other people are seeing. Nothing against HEM, I’m just way more interested in Bill Self’s actual approach to the game and what happens in games. Seems like HEM likes that too and regularly makes lists of observations. (I also enjoy the humor on this site a great deal too and the general enthusiasm for Jayhawks).
I do remember a theme on this board back in January taking Bill Self to task for being less than innovative. There has been serious speculation and accusation that Bill Self is not innovative which debilitates the potential of the team: he falls back on old habits, won’t play zone, has destroyed the quality of the team play due to too many 1 and done’s being recruited, Bill Self’s high/low is too complicated for 1 and done’s to thrive, we don’t have the talent to run the high/low this year so run something else (like more action for the three which seems to be a big demand this year)…sometimes those comments, from a variety of people, verge on questioning his basic ability to guide this team at the the highest level: basically questioning his coaching choices at a very fundamental level. I’m all for questions and speculation. It’s interesting. Sometimes though the questioning has verged into an area where I wonder if people recognize that they are following the work of one of the great coaches roaming the sidelines today. Coach Self has a real opportunity to be considered one of the greatest coaches of all time and he is doing it his way–and I love that I get to follow my favorite team being coached through Bill Self’s way of coaching.
@Jesse-Newell Would it be bad journalism etiquette to just ask him the question, point blank?
“Bill, it seems like the team strength is shooting the three pointer, yet you continue to force it inside. Can you talk about why it doesn’t seem that the team is playing to it’s strength this year.”
And don’t settle for “because it’s fool’s gold.”
Use your strong statistical analysis. But I bet you want to stay on Self’s good side
"Bill, in past years you’ve taken crap from the KU fan base for not playing zone, so you recently played zone for two possessions in one game.
This year, you’re taking crap for not running plays to create open 3 point looks. Does that mean that next year you’ll run two of those plays?"
Teams can’t scout us come tournament time. We are capable of adjusting our game to any situation. And yes. We can even go big with our ELM street lineup in the paint, that’s Ellis, Lucas, and Mickelson. We have options. We can block shots, we can survive getting our shot blocked. We can rebound, we can run, we can guard, we can get in the passing lanes, and we can shoot. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, 11 Time Big XII Champs!
Right now… Perry puts the fork into our competition when they are done!
@drgnslayr Rock Solid!
@DoubleDD Interesting take. I think that KU would have trouble with all the Nike stacks ie; Arizona, UK, Duke. Wisconsin is scary bcuz they have loads of experience, tough team. Virginia, I ditto what you said. Nova? I just cant stand Jay Wright so Im completely biased against them. They wont even make it to the sweet 16. Gonzaga? Same, but I dont hate them. They just havent played anybody tough and it will cost them later this month. I hope against hope that UK overlooks a very tough and battle tested mid major team and gets beat in the second round or so, anywhere before the Final Four. I hate them the way Gollum hates the Hobbits and wish they lose a game in such tragic fashion. They dont deserve to win out this season. Cheaters.