A Whole New Level (with apologies to jaybate)

  • Last night General Self said to his weary troops: “Men,BAD ball is not working. We are going to have to step it up and take it to another level. It is time to play WORSE ball. If we can just dig deep we can find it within ourselves.” And, lo and behold, WORSE ball got our rag tag little band to eleven straight conference championships. Injured and hurting, they march on.

    Do you suppose that if they ever reach the summit and play WORST ball that the NCAA Championship is attainable?

  • @lincase I think HCBS is reading Jaybate’s stuff! We need Jaybate to describe WORST Ball!

  • @Shanghai_RCJH I have a feeling it’s coming …

  • @lincase

    “Do you suppose that if they ever reach the summit and play WORST ball that the NCAA Championship is attainable?”

    Gosh… you just never know.

    What most people haven’t figured out yet is Huggy plays some intentional BAD BALL, too. It’s part of his lure for opponents. Huggy wants his opponents to get SOME easy break baskets off his press. It lures them into not running real offense. When teams don’t start running real offense early in a game, it is hard for them to flip to it later. We fall into that. We never got our offense on track last night. We started scoring late in the game because WVU players melted down (or fouled out). But it wasn’t set offense. It was one-on-one Frank, etc.

    Can we bring our “melodrama” basketball to March and win with it? Yes. Can we win it ALL with this strategy? Who knows?

    Can we beat Kentucky with BAD BALL? It is possible. If we can drag them through hell for about 35 minutes then flip into another gear for the last 5 minutes. Maybe. Maybe not.

    Never say NO to toughness as a strategy. But could we have mounted a comeback like that against Kentucky? Unlikely.

    Like I said in earlier posts today… can we keep the toughness when we get some softness on offense (hit some 3s)?

    It seems to me that we will need toughness and a game with effective offense to beat Kentucky. Seems that way, but not necessarily.

    Toughness conquers every other aspect of the game.

  • Last night, WVU played their best half of basketball. I have never seen that kind of pressure since the Nolan Richardson days. I knew we would be better in the second half, but I didn’t think we would be able to come back without Perry. Huggy had thrown everything but the kitchen sink at us in the first half and they were spent and a step slower which caused the fouls and their inability to score. The fact that we used our bench to do it was what was amazing. WVU will do well in the tournament going against teams that have not seen them before. We won in overtime without Perry, Kelly and Cliff. Bad Ball or not, last night is why I am glad Dr. Naismith invented this game.

  • @lincase Man, I hope you got permission from @jaybate-1.0 to use his story line.

  • @wrwlumpy Even with their starting back court on the bench there was no noticeable drop off in their pressure and offense. I thought that would be their undoing, but it was almost ours.

  • @brooksmd

    Once one creates the vocabulary for a subject, without trademarking or copyrighting it, it is in the public domain, I reckon. 🙂

    It is one of the beauties of our language still.

  • It’s only bad ball on the offensive end. And last nights comeback was a defensive masterpiece in the 2nd half. We held them to 19 points. That’s what won the game. I think that Self must have reminded them that their two guards were missing (where would we have been if Staten played?) so, you know, just steal the ball from them, turn them over. He said to the bench bigs you’ve been waiting all year, hear’s where we need you. Go out there and win this game for us. And they did.

    And our Free Throw Defense was amazing too!

  • @wissoxfan83 Ah yes. Almost forgot about the “free throw defense” stat.

  • @brooksmd must admit, I didn’t, but I did apologize. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

  • With acknowledgements to @jaybate-1.0 and @lincase and apologies to both and the English language, we’ve graduated from Bad Ball to Badder Ball. A truly remarkable game and season in so many respects, esp. when compared and contrasted to other teams during the Self era.

    Listening to the audio of Self’s post-game comments was truly enlightening - I thought the joy, relief and pride in his voice was palpable - both for the guys and frankly for himself. Even though he doesn’t really need the validation, I expect he took great satisfaction (with a side smirk to all the board rats here, me included) that we could 0-15 on 3 pointers (putting aside causation for that performance) and still pull out a win. Classic Self win ugly.

    And, boy was it fantastically gloriously ugly. Down 18 at home to a good, but not great team missing 2 starters and its best player on senior night. Getting killed on the boards. Getting beat to every loose ball. Hitting nothing from outside. Turning it over with alarming frequency. And, yet, come away with a win.

    As Self noted in his comments, nothing was working on the offensive end, so he just told the boys to attack the rim. Translation - we couldn’t run our stuff. In fact, we can’t run our stuff with this group against teams that know us - and probably not against good teams that don’t. And, the guys know it, so they just go through motions. So, second half let’s forget about running our stuff and just attack the rim. Doesn’t really matter that we can’t finish there - we’ll get to the foul line, wear 'em down and win a war of attrition.

    Indeed, that’s been the recipe the past two games. We got 45 friggin’ percent of our points from the FT line last night - and 38% the game before. Remarkable - is it sustainable? Apart from the frequency of shots, I certainly don’t recall a prior KU team hitting FTs at an 80% clip over 4 games like this - typically FTs have been a problem for us.

    And, the forget about running our stuff tack seems to get the guys in attack mode on the defensive end, as well. 40 points in the 1st half, just 19 the second. “Fun” to watch, but the fun part was after they had pulled it out - really wasn’t particularly enjoyable during the moment and I’m still struggling to understand how it happened - and, to be honest, I didn’t believe it was going to happen until it did. Full props to the guys for continuing to grind.

    I would posit that given what we now know and understand to be the very real limitations of this team at least in terms of fundamental skills and capabilities, both individually and collectively, and that the inability to execute Hi-lo or 4 out-1 in or much of anything else consistently, that this may actually be Self’s best coaching job to date (although I might argue that it is also the worst “coaching-up” job on the part of the entire staff given continued fundamental lapses.


    Mason is tough as nails and our most consistent player over the course of the year, but isn’t really a true PG - although better than last year, he doesn’t have PG instincts and doesn’t distribute the ball well - esp. when penetrating or on fast breaks. There have been countless times on breaks when he should have laid if off to a trailer.

    Perry has really stepped it up recently and is our best pure scorer, but is really only effective when the paint is opened up and he can maneuver against one defender (and who can’t be equally athletic and longer) by driving from the outside or spinning inside.

    Oubre is the most skilled two way player (by far IMO), but is still a bit raw and learning the game - he will only get better - unfortunately, probably not in a Jayhawk uniform.

    Selden is a solid citizen and solid on the ball defender, but doesn’t use his size effectively, can’t finish at the rim, and simply is incapable of dribbling or passing in traffic or against pressure (to think that there was some discussion, including by HCBS at the beginning of the year about him getting minutes at the 1).

    Traylor has made some spectacular “energy” plays, is the emotional guy (for better and worse) and he was a difference maker yesterday, but he is undersized, turns the ball over too much, and can disappear for parts of all of a game - or multiple games.

    Alexander is a big body and is our best rebounder, but doesn’t have a back to the basket game, gets lost on offense, and gets easily beat by mobile big men.

    Greene is the best pure shooter and clutch on FTs, but can’t create his own shot, and, while improved, is still a liability on defense.

    Graham is a solid back-up at PG now and can be very effective at the 2 along with Mason, and will only get better, but is still inexperience and inconsistent - growth hampered somewhat by injury.

    Lucas is the best big fundamentally, but has no verticality and has perhaps the weakest hands of any big ever at Kansas (well, along with Withey early on).

    Svi - who really knows since we’ve not seen much of him since early - clearly great ball IQ and skills, just physically overpowered now.

    Mickleson is mostly an unknown, although he was our best player in the 1st half yesterday (admittedly not a high bar) and showed some skills - would like to see more, actually.

    Collectively, the team doesn’t box out well, doesn’t space well, doesn’t pass well and doesn’t rotate well on defense.

    Notwithstanding, we’re 24-6 against a very challenging schedule, the deepest the B12 has ever been, just clinched #11 and are a near lock to be a 2 seed in the Big Dance. Remarkable stuff. Still not quite sure how we’ve gotten here and less sure how far we can advance in the tourney, but this team seems to be taking on some of the character of the '11-'12 team - they won’t out finesse anyone, but maybe, just maybe, they can Bad/Badder ball their way to another FF…

  • @DCHawker have to add that we got some stops on D too. Better D and better blocking out!

  • @Crimsonorblue22 Wholeheartedly agree. Hallmark of most Self teams has been the ability to clamp down and get stops on multiple consecutive possessions - allowing leads to be protected or extended. Defense was very good in the second half last night, but this team has yet to demonstrate that it can consistently get stops down the stretch - and not giving up 2nd chance points is a big part of that.

  • @DCHawker Must admit I like badder ball!

  • Why do I do it? On the way home tonight, 610 was talking baseball and I like the Royals, but it is March and the Jayhawks clenched the Title last night. I switched to WHB where Keitz and Jack were talking about KU winning the league with the worst team that Bill Self has ever Coached. Then Jack wanted to say that KU only wins at home because the Refs are too intimidated to call a foul on KU. Kevin chimed in that on the last play of regulation, that there were bodies all over the floor and nothing was called. If you have watched the highlights all day, Lucas got a clean block and then had his legs taken out by his own man,(Wayne), and three Jayhawks were on the ground. Jack said that they will be gone in the first round this year, but Bill is a great coach. My Radio then exploded.

  • @wrwlumpy

    God bless you! I forget what it’s like to be around the ignorant angry jealous fans of nearby schools. Keep fighting the good fight and try not to turn those stations on!

  • @VailHawk like places like this


  • @Crimsonorblue22

    Ewwwww motel 6!!!

  • @VailHawk at least they’ll leave the light on for you…

  • @wrwlumpy Makes me think back to what we were told on a Graceland tour decades ago. Elvis was notorious for when something came on TV he didn’t like. He would whip out the pistol & shoot the entire wall bank of televisions dead !!

  • @DCHawker

    " I expect he took great satisfaction (with a side smirk to all the board rats here, me included) that we could 0-15 on 3 pointers (putting aside causation for that performance) and still pull out a win. Classic Self win ugly." PHOF!

  • @wrwlumpy Yeah, ya shoulda’ known better !! The only things a KU guy needs to know about these two idiots is that KK is a KSU swine alum & JH is a misery jackass. Animal husbandry was KK’s major & the jackass Harry didn’t graduate cause he flunked out when he couldn’t even breed pure mules.

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