Unreal - The Power of Self.

  • Ok, I’ll keep it short and sweet. The game tonight … the comeback … the win … is all because of one thing – coach Self and his emphasis on toughness. Tough teams find ways to win. This sort of stuff is taught. No Cliff. No Ellis. Down 18 or whatever. Can’t hit a three. Can’t do anything. Did we do anything good tonight?

    We did something real well – we played tough. And that, my friends, is solely because of one dude: Coach Self. Did @jaybate-1.0 say “bad ball?” This is why Self preaches toughness. This was the game.

    That was just a win. Didn’t matter how. Wasn’t pretty. Heck, did we ever seem in any sort of rhythm? For the life of me, I can’t even figure out how we scored. I can’t figure out how we got the ball across half court.

    In the first half, in five straight possession, a guy would make a play that displeased Self and he yanked them each time. It was the classic quick hook. It was that kind of night.

    Selden and the press don’t mix. Oubre fouls out. Guys limping. Greene can’t do his thing. And we’re playing Lucas and Traylor. I have no idea how we won.

    But I think I know exactly why we won.

    That was fun.

  • So I guess Coach Self knows what he is doing? I am glad he is our coach! All games matter and the Conference Championship is very important! Each player on the court tonight showed why Coach Self recruited them to Kansas!

  • @HighEliteMajor FT% last 2 games: Tx 81.3% and WV 79.1% on a drive and get fouled strategy apparently (at least that seemed the case against Tx). I think Jesse called that WV fouling was a good bet for tonight.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Oh, yes, it was waaaaaaaaaaaaay fun.

  • @HighEliteMajor Don’t forget Hunter. He had some valuable minutes also.

  • @HighEliteMajor Nice post HEM. +100

  • @HighEliteMajor Where is the real HEM, and who the hell are you?!.. Great observation on the toughness of Coach and how he IMPOSES that on his teams. This team lacks a lot of things, but I has an abundance of toughness. A quality that is essential in competition

  • How the heck did we win that one?!?! I’m watching OT replay now.

    Is it just me or does Jevon Carter look like Calvin Rayford?!?!

  • @brooksmd Hunter’s performance was especially nice. That was the scrawny kid I remember from his freshman year at UArk. Mobile and disruptive. Limited offensively, but helping his team create offense from D. He is still a foul machine (although a couple of those were really sketchy calls), but he definitely made his presence known tonight. Hope we get to see more of that before the season closes out. I still think, in the long run, it’d probably be in his best interest to grad transfer if he can, but I’m not going to give up on him totally.

  • @jaybate-1.0 If we had a sarcasm font, you just found it.

  • @HighEliteMajor So glad to see that you seem to be enjoying the Journey. Great post. The was the grittiest game I’ve ever seen. Both teams had Triage Corpsmen on the bench taking care of the wounded. To watch Jamari who has been less than average this year play like he did - Even, Simon, the announcer that I respect, said, “I’ve never seen Traylor play this good, Ever!” Then the “Ice water in his veins,” Freshman calmly hit the two free throws to tie, then, Lucas performs a circus act to block the last shot and get knocked flat on his tail bone. BEAUTIFUL!!!

  • @HighEliteMajor OK, I guess it was fun. I’m positive my life is being shortened by these close games. In the end, do you suppose I’ll vote that it was worth it? Oh, yes! RCJH.

  • This Team can do no worse than 9 losses this season. One better than last year. I sure hope the final losses are no more than 7. RCJH!

  • What we have gone through this year thus far is unreal:

    1. The Game at Champion Classic

    2. Point Guard Play no longer an issue

    3. Svi seems to be readied for College basketball

    4. The Game at the East Coast

    5. Oubre emerged as B12 started

    6. Conference and Top 25 Leading 3 Point shooting %

    7. Texas disappeared

    8. ISU hot on the heel, WVU hot on the heel, OU hot on the heel

    9. Cliff started at the turning point of B12 games and disappeared quickly

    10. Ellis took charge after WVU

    11. Teams started to guard our 3 Point threats

    12. ISU won and put itself and WVU out of the race

    13. TODAY!

    Please feel free to add. I am dizzy! RCJH!

  • That game last night did show what Self coached teams are capable of. A friend of mine texted me with about 10 minutes left in regulation and said he thought that this was the worst team at KU in 20 years. While I disagree (1999,2000 were pretty lean times), at that point in the game I was having trouble thinking of something to shoot back at him.

    Remember when Self brought this style to KU? Remember how there was such a backlash from fans and players that the Roy Williams way of playing basketball was gone? No longer did KU try to outscore the other team. It was no longer pretty. I remember watching games coached by Roy where I just knew they weren’t going to win 10 minutes into the game. One of those was the beat down that Self put on KU in the Sweet 16, in 2001 if I remember correctly. If Roy’s stuff wasn’t working, then they had no chance, because the toughness just wasn’t there.

    Aside from a handful of games during the Self era, I just don’t feel that way anymore. Toughness, and playing hard can mask a lot of problems, not all the time, but most. Self is stubborn, and he has his failings, but the toughness he brings to his teams is unbelievable.

  • Yes, it’s all about the effort. Compare the 2 halves. In the 1st half we had 11 rebounds, 11 turnovers. 2nd half 18 rebounds, 5 turnovers. WVU killed is on the boards the first half, but each team had 18 in the second half. We tied! With these 2 teams, and this suite of players last night, I’ll take a tie in rebounds. Those 2 metrics just show how we finally stepped up the effort, and effort wins game when all you have is bad and ugly.

  • @HighEliteMajor I couldnt agree more HEM-that was fun as all hell. That’s exactly the kind of game that has kept me a mega fan all these years. There shouldn’t have been a snowball’s chance we win that game-BUT WE DID !!! And more guys got battle tested with prime time minutes & the trial by fire that forges their futures & legacy here at Kansas. The whiners are still gonna whine, & the nat media will always blow the other conf horns more, but 11 STRAIGHT in this day & age is very special & the toughness factor is the only way this keeps happening.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    “That was fun.”

    Unless you forgot to take your high blood pressure medicine! Ha!

    The new motto for this team is: “Show Me Tough!”

    Outside of the '08 NCAA Championship game… oh yeah… and the great Mizzou comeback in our own building… this win must rank up there with the best for Self.

    The team showed grit, scratched and clawed back into the game, and they finished the job.

    Traylor finally figured out he can drive the ball when around the FT line and score.

    Frank realized he can get fouled and hit FTs.

    Hunter… where you been, son?

    So Self keeps hammering on them until sometime in the NCAA tournament, then decides to unleash some 3-ball offense… Does he?

    Or does he just see how far these guys can go strictly on grit.

    What he has to teach them now is how to play tough when the points are coming easy off the 3-ball. They play tough when pushed by opponents (and Self)… can they play tough when getting easy points?

    Once again… thanks, Huggy Bear, for bringing the toughness test to our league! He has done more for the B12 than anyone else. Definitely, he will be a HOF’er one day.

  • @drgnslayr If only we had Pitino too!

  • @HighEliteMajor Deep in his heart, Bill Self loves games with no rhythm that turn into wars of attrition. He’s ok when the playbook goes out the window and it’s balls to the walls, because…toughness.

    Self should’ve written the book, not Jay Bilas. Maybe he still will.

  • @ajvan

    Jay Bilas wrote a book about toughness? That sissy?

  • @drgnslayr He talks about his book all the time on twitter. And yeah, it is pretty laughable.

  • @ajvan

    Talks about it on Twitter? Now that is a tough marketing approach!

    So maybe I don’t expect him to bring his book to inner cities for book signings. He could sure impress some of those kids with his toughness.


  • @drgnslayr LOL. Mostly he RTs favorable comments about it…when he’s not photo-bombing cheerleaders or taking selfies with his Duke-blue suede Nikes.

    Toughness. Bilas knows it like I know caviar and champagne.

  • @ajvan

    Hahaha… Yeah, I’d like to read about his tough career in the NBA. He must have learned lots of toughness in his tryout with the Mavs.

  • @ajvan yeah! I think of toughness like Ben Mac and Mari Traylor, growing up w/out dads and living in cars in Chicago. Not much could compare!

  • I didn’t get the pundits name on the radio this a.m. but he said, Self, this year, could have coached 5 other Big 12 teams to the Conference Championship. Easily.

  • @wrwlumpy It took me about three seconds to think that through and nod my head in agreement.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 B-Mac, Traylor, exactly! Overcoming adversity and refusing to quit. @drgnslayr I can’t wait for Self to write his own book on the topic so Bilas’ can fade into obscurity. Of course, there’s gotta be a place for white collar toughness too…but Bilas is not that place.

  • Hopefully it’ll be years before HCBS has the time to sit down and write his book on “toughness”.

  • Self deftly uses a combination of his Duke-killers (Jamari+Frank), his FL-killer (Wayne), 2 frosh (Graham+Oubre), and 2 starving 6’10 bigs (Landon+Hunter).

    EPIC WIN. I honestly, truly thought we were going to lose at home. Not because I dont have faith, but because I was already putting myself into analytical mode…as the 4min mark went by, then the 3min mark…then the 2min mark…(and wvu still with 6pt lead, still hitting open 3s). But then that gauntlet of this season allowed this team to find some toughness.

    This one’s going on a dvd, folks!

    Regarding Bilas: Best commenter in natl media. Take his commentary like a coach’s comments: do as I say, not as I did. Clearly, going to a pvt university, being 6’8, yet not having junkyard dog in him as a player might have been true 25yrs ago…but lets CREDIT him for LEARNING by watching great bball coaches & tough, nasty players. Maybe he’s learned something from Izzo, Self, etc?? Maybe his book is for the people not coming from hard/rough backgrounds. I hope his book gives the “less rough upbringing”/“3car garage household” kids something to think about. Lets thank Bilas for helping people appreciate Self more…


  • We 11ove Bi11 Se11f…!!

  • @ralster Reminds me of that one poster a student had last night.


    Straight (seasons of)


    Nuff said

  • Eleven Straight (Seasons of) perfection Nuff said.

    Didn’t like the perfection piece much but still a nice sign.

  • Of course @HighEliteMajor loves Self. But someone has to be the antithesis to the Bill Self is God brigade. Even if he takes it a bit far sometimes 🙂

  • What a fun game. I think Hunter is our Cole this year. He is the one that can surprise people in the tournament. The guy that comes off the bench and the other team is like, “why does this guy get 2 minutes a game?” He will pick and pop some poor team to death and we will all cheer and say, “SEE I TOLD YOU SO!!” He will have 4 blocks, 4 steals, 7 rebounds, and 13 points and we will all hope, “maybe we can be good inside next year!”

    If he plays like that for the rest of the season, Cliff comes back, Bragg is any good at all, and Ellis gets healthy, it will be a very crowded back court! (Why am I talking about next year the day after that amazing game? I have problems.)

  • Maybe we can put to rest that the game is passing Self by? Toughness transcends time. Being tough will always mask some of the flaws in a team. Has Self made mistakes this year? Of course. But hopefully we all know in the depth of our Rock Chalk Spirit that the game is exactly where Self wants it and he is the best coach for us.

  • @JhawkAlum said:

    Toughness transcends time. Being tough will always mask some of the flaws in a team.

    Toughness is fools gold!

    hah… just kidding.

  • Mickelson’s game reminded me of the one he had earlier this year against Lafayette where he was the spark that turned that game into a route. Games like that and how he played against WVU have me wondering why he hasn’t played more.

    We clearly can use him for defense, yes he fouls a lot but he also can block shots which is something we desperately need. He has shown he can finish around the hoop which is another issue some have (Lucas). At this point the more PT he gets is better for us going forward especially if the Cliff situation goes south or doesn’t get resolved anytime soon. I hope he continues to get 10-15 minutes a game and see what he can do.

  • @BeddieKU23 Mick was the glue guy that turned that WVU track meet around. Yes his defense & hustle elevated everyone’s game just at the precise time for the comeback. Was like they all fed off of his energy & started refusing to loose like him. Most likely we can start lookin for this again Sat cause Perry is out at least till the BG12 tournament at the Sprint Center. Mick deserves a ton of credit for that clinch as do others. Self TEAMS always display this characteristic-not every game, but they ALWAYS have it. That’s why it’s called a team & that’s why he’s “da man.”

  • @BeddieKU23 I agree. Hunter looks like if he got big minutes he would foul less. It is hard to play once every 10 games and be expected to play great defense. If for some reason Cliff isn’t back this year it will be nice to know that Hunter is no slouch.

    Speaking of Cliff…any word? I have not read anything further. It would be nice to get him back for at least a game in the Big 12 before the Big Dance.

  • r.PNG

  • @benshawks08 said:

    Why am I talking about next year the day after that amazing game? I have problems

    I have the same problem, but it’s kind of a nice one to have. It typically comes at the end of the season after falling short of a FF appearance. But it came early this year for me. Yes I really like watching this team grow up before my eyes, they’ve played some amazing games - and I firmly believe there’s more to come this season. But I just don’t see them going the distance once we get on unfriendly courts (and nearly everyone likes to root for the underdog, so it gets pretty unfriendly out there).

    On the other hand, I look at this group coming back next season, nearly intact, Big Dance battle tested, tough, having absorbed more of Self’s system, and simply knowing each others styles and playing habits more, and I think “Good lord we are going to do some major damage next year.”

    It’s not going to be pretty for other teams to play a team like we are going to have. Yes a lot can happen, and sports are a fickle thing, I know this. But I still can’t shake the image of this juggernaut, a machine of toughness and athleticism and team-oriented young men, having fun while destroying everything in their path with rains of treys, smothering defense, big bodies crashing the boards and even a decent BB IQ (by today’s standards anyways).

    So I’ll hope for the best this year and cheer them as I do every year, but @benshawks08, I’m with you, even after a game like we played this week and with the B12 tourney and the Dance dreams ahead, a piece of me is just chomping at the bit for the start of next season.

  • @wrwlumpy Good post, lumpy. I have said for weeks that Self could take that Texas squad, add Ellis, and compete toe to toe with Calipari for the national title. But yeah, he could probably have won our league coaching a handful of the other Big 12 teams this season. I don’t know what kind of promises Myles Turner exacted from Rick Barnes during the recruiting process, but if he had come to Kansas and molded himself to SelfBall, he’d probably be wearing a championship ring rather than struggling desperately in a program which might be headed to the postseason NIT. What we witnessed Tuesday night was an entire group of Self’s puzzle pieces coming together to complete a very unusual but fantastically intricate piece of work. The Guy can win, ugly or no.

  • @Jyhwk_InTigrtwn

    Next year is going to be tough in the B12. ISU and Texas… I’m trying not to think about it yet. I just hope Kelly returns. We really need him to.

    And I hope we land a footer. Zim, to be exact.

  • @drgnslayr If Kelly does not get word that he is at least 90% assured to be a top 10 or 11 pick in the June lottery, I hope he will make the decision to return. Would be sad for Kansas faithful, not getting the opportunity to watch him develop. However, if the assurance is there, we know he is gone. Regarding next season, Bill Self looks to be loaded with experienced players; so the league will again face a solid KU threat. Texas will probably still have nice guy Rick Barnes at the helm; Longhorns loaded with talented pieces, mercurial in wins and losses. Hoiberg? Ouch!

  • @REHawk

    Even when he wasn’t playing at the beginning of the year his stock never waivered. He’s been around the 8-12 range since the season began basically.

    His play lately has done nothing to suggest he won’t be drafted in that area. He’s even got a chance to go higher once he gets into workouts and shows off his wingspan, size for the position. It’s wishful thinking to hope he comes back, but I think most of us understand that he’s in a position to go Lottery and you don’t pass that kind of money up.

  • @Blown said:

    Eleven Straight (Seasons of) perfection Nuff said.

    Didn’t like the perfection piece much but still a nice sign.

    Thanks. Tried to FF through the game on dvr hoping to see it so I could get the last piece of the puzzle. Agree the Perfection is a bit of a stretch for this season, but for eleven seasons it applies. Besides, another word starting with “P” to fill in the blank would be hard to come up with.

  • Wish I had seen this post yesterday, but somehow I’d missed it.

    Here’s the part of the game that was beautiful to me. 2nd half defense. No one seems to notice defense very much except the blocked shots. But, WVU scored 19 points after scorching our D in the first half. (they added a dimes worth more in the OT) Much of that was because they couldn’t even get shots off because of steals and other TO’s. It was amazing how many empty trips the mteers had.

    Obviously that D was toughness that you mentioned. It wasn’t offense. We never had a flow. It was gutting it out on D which led to some breakout hoops and a lot of FT’s and a more than a few Higgy hissy fits.

  • @wissoxfan83 and much better rebounding!

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