Huge crowd for scrimmage; Wiggins scores 21.

  • Link to KU Sports here

  • Someone did mention Landon Lucas; didn’t Self describe him as a “load” last year? (link) – I’m definitely excited to see what he can do. He could be our UNC-Aldrich this year.

  • Wonder if anybody played defense…

    A three sentence article by Gary Bedore. Bravo, Gary! Something tells me the staff could’ve handled this one. : )

  • Enjoyed being able to watch the highlights of the scrimmage. Certainly not the level of defense we all expect to see going forward, but fun to watch.

  • Self’s post-scrimmage comments worth a second or third listen. Sounds as tho AW3 will be on the court this season. At this juncture, Coach says Greene is struggling more than other newcomers at practices, but that he is beginning to “get it.”

  • Grand reporting. Hopefully someone that frequents this site went and can offer more than three sentences.

  • I didn’t realize Wiggins scored 21. I was trying to guess while walking back from scrimmage, and figured about 14. What impressed me most was his defense, particularly at the beginning of the day. Oh, and if you blink, you’ll miss him finding his way to the rim.

    I had pegged Ellis as the leading scorer this morning, and to me at least - he’s still the most likely candidate to lead the team in scoring this season.

    Selden did a lot of little things but was more quiet than expected. He did have the highlight of the day though: Wiggins had the ball on a 2-on-1 fast break and gave Wayne a nice oop.

    Andrew White III was the most pleasant surprise for me. He had a couple nice steals->dunks, a couple of putbacks, and just made plays.

    I thought it was interesting that the first (of three) scrimmage(s) featured the Starting Five, along with White and Traylor, against the rest of the team. Given that, and the way he played in Late Night & this morning…I’ve gotta think he’s earned PT this year rather than a RS.

    Nothing too unexpected from Frank or Connor - both looked liked they moved well with the ball. Frank had a couple nice pick & rolls where he found Ellis late. Connor hit 2 of 3 threes, I believe. Brannen Greene was okay, but nothing to write home about.

    Another mild surprise for me was Hunter Mickelson. He played like he belonged. Had a couple nice buckets and a block, seemed to move around okay & I think will really bring something to the table next season–or at least more than people might expect.

    JoJo is raw, but not for long. I could see him having some issues with foul trouble this year. Got whistled a few times, and had one possibly ill-advised hard-ish foul by coming up from behind Greene on a fast break. Brannen hit the deck and limped off to the sideline & didn’t return.

    Who else? Naa and Tarik held their own. Looked good but nothing out of the ordinary…

    That’s about all I’ve got. It was nice to see the crowd go nuts when Okafor entered the gym.

  • Listening to Self’s comment, it does sound like AW3 and Traylor are part of the “6 or 7” that will play a lot. No real surprise. Experience counts.

  • I was at the scrimmage as well. It was a bit hard to gauge much, other than the rotation. Tharpe, Selden, Wiggins, Ellis, Black starting; Traylor, White, Embiid, with Mason getting some minutes when Tharpe might be out.

    Self said post-game that Tharpe is the clear starter. Tharpe looked ok.

    A few observations: White looked pretty good, more confident. Played pretty good D. it’s apparent Self has him ahead of Frankamp/Greene. Frankamp is very small, looked smaller than Tharpe. And didn’t appear “quick.” Mason looks better than Tharpe did when Tharpe was a freshman. Perfect developmental guy. Brannen Greene will be a player. He’s long, athletic, but he’s playing like the proverbial freshman … appears to be thinking a lot. I thought Lucas looked better than Traylor near the basket. But with the post guys, Lucas seems completely out of the mix. Traylor seems marginally better. On Mickelson, he did look fine … line drive outside shot though. I could see an incredible post rotation by January as Embiid gets confident … Black looks the part. Could see him getting a few silly fouls on screens. He moves a lot. Embiid looks good and clueless all together. As for Ellis, he relies a lot on the pivot and shot fake down low. A taller post player that holds his ground and closes on the pivot will make it very difficult for him; but Ellis did make a couple of nice passes when he got stuck. Looks like he is continuing the upward trend from late last season.

    I guess the Greene was the guy that I came away thinking that once he gets it, watch out. And Frankamp was the guy I’m wondering how he will fit in.

    Great to be at Allen.

  • HEM, I would have to agree with about everything you said. From my vantage point, it looked as if Perry was the overall best player on the court at this point in time. The only thing that really amazed me about Wiggins was his explosiveness. I can’t recall witnessing anybody elevate to the rim as fast as he can. His jump shot is strange, but they were dropping for him.

    Black is a beast. I don’t remember Kansas having a guy as ripped as him. Thomas was ripped too, but still this guy has 20 lbs on him.

    I was surprised to read that Frankamp was 2/3, I didn’t see him get off more than one shot. Before reading your comment, I was thinking he looked like he had clodhoppers on today.

    I agree with you on Greene as well, he looks like he’s got everything White has, but just not quite up to speed yet.

    And I thought Jamari & Lucas left a lot to be desired on the offensive end as far as working down low. Can’t really add much esle…

  • Well, the good thing is I don’t think we need a lot offensively from Traylor or Lucas. Whomever plays (sounds like Traylor) we need: defense, rebounding, ball movement, hit the open lay up when it’s there . We have plenty of other scorers. I’m very jealous of those of you that could be there. Probably should have scheduled a quick trip home to see the practice.

  • HEM, could you please expand on “ok” for Tharpe?

    Anyone there have thoughts on Selden?

  • Just listened to the Post Game from Self “core 5, 6, or 7 and a few other guys battling it out” So I take that as Greene, Frankamp, & Mason will emerge as another primary guard, and Lucas & Mari for the last part of the big rotation. I"m assuming a 4 man big rotation again anyway…

  • My thoughts on Selden is that he is a beast. He moves great without the ball, he hustles–I can see him picking up a ton of offensive boards this year. He looks to be a good finisher around the rim. He is also the only one I can see that has the ‘step on the throat’ mentality too.

    On Tharpe, I’d agree was okay. He just wasn’t up to much today. Lots of dribbling and passing and just staying within himself. I didn’t see him do anything great defensively, nor create much for himself or do anything extraordinary to create for anybody else.

    Frank Mason appeared to be aggressive in wanting to put the rock down and get to the rim, but that also lead to some silly turnovers, and “sherron among the trees” scenarios as well.

  • Thanks for the player by player breakdown!

  • I’m a little nervous about the lack stand-out PG play … but it was just a scrimmage.

    Does anyone think that Selden will not be the one covering Smart?

  • For those keeping score “we” are “beating” LJW 16 comments to 8. Both not very impressive but not terrible for a Saturday night. Especially for this sight being in existence for two days!

  • …site…

  • JD … Blown kind of expressed my opinion. Tharpe was kind of just there. Stayed conservative. Didn’t press the action. Hit a three. I actually expected a little more aggressiveness there. But all that is not a negative. Assist to TO ratio is a big deal. Tharpe just needs to avoid getting TT-itis … thinking that he’s the lead dog. Mason was clearly more aggressive deeper into the scrimmage. He is a pure point guard and looks the part. And yes, i think Selden will be on Smart … no “beasting” this season.

    On Selden, I can see why everyone’s excited. He is just an explosive, solid athlete. Moves great on D (though he seemed to guard Frankamp quite a bit … he looked massive next to Frankamp).

    If I had to suggest a redshirt after watching the scrimmage today, without a doubt, it would be Frankamp. Mason looked better at the point, more sure. And Greene could fill the shooter off the bench role if White or someone else is injured or falters.

    But CF is a 4 year guy. Lots of PT ahead of him.

  • I think that Tharpe will make his share of mistakes this year…maybe more than his share. I also believe that he will do a decent job of penetrating and creating shots for the bigs / slashers. Also he has shown the ability to hit the 3 when they lay off of him (although inconsistently). He is a work in progress…no doubt. I can relate to the concern about not showing star power at the PG, but with the talent around him, hopefully he won’t have to demonstrate star power…just effective PG play.

  • @highelitemajor Thanks for the follow-up, HEM.

    Glad to hear AW3 is impressing.

    I think based on what everyone is saying that the online speculation of a CF redshirt will intensify. Really, someone either should do that or transfer. There’s simply seven guards for five spots. And CF has the combined skills of PG and 3-ball shooting to earn major minutes down the road. As has been said so many times, redshirting is a sign of trust by HCBS, not a lack thereof.

    If CF is worrying about not making it at KU…then forget about the NBA (which is his stated goal). I think his best bet, being a short, slow-ish white guy (a minority in the NBA), is to practice with/against the best (at KU) and compete on the biggest stage (also while at KU). Not to harp on Selby, but hype, athleticism and impatience has got him to China (though I hope/doubt he’s washed up at 21).

    Any chance of Wesley beating out Traylor or Lucas for the 4th Big spot? Regardless, can’t wait to see him fight for the tip off on Senior Night. Of course, there’re 30 more games before then. Ten more days to Pitt St.!

  • Hello KU fans, finally made it here. Good to have a site where you don’t have to sell your soul to post. The last poster at the LJW site, please turn off the servers and lock the joint.

  • As far as PG play… Will Tharpe of 13/14 and Mason be better than EJ and Tharpe of 12/13??? Better hope so (though the scorers around them may/should be better this year)!

  • I think that Tharpe will be better than EJ just for the fact the there is less pressure on Tharpe to be “the guy.” This year we have so many scoring options that Tharpe will not be pressured as much to score and be the go to guy as EJ was. He just has to run the offense, limit turn overs and distribute the ball. I think he will do a great job at that.

    As for Frank…well, he will surely have his turn overs being a freshman. However, if he just focuses on running the offense and distributing the ball so that offense doesn’t stick…I think he will be successful too.

  • Tharpe has the huge advantage over EJ in that Tharpe knows his role and always has. EJ was bounced around and had role identity/ transition issues.

  • Agreed. Thought a lot about EJ over the last year, and how Self’s psychology just didn’t work with him. I think for EJ, maybe more so than others that have come through the system, what would have worked better is a longer leash when he was an underclassman and a shorter leash once he was supposed to know the ropes. He had no business being out there in the Michigan game after a few really boneheaded mistakes.

    I feel like because this was antithetical to how Self handled everyone else, he was not going to make an exception, for several reasons, including that it would undermine the perception that you earn your minutes, Self’s trust, and your right to make a few mistakes, by staying and working hard. But in EJ’s case, this just didn’t work out in that game. It was perhaps exacerbated by the fact that he loved EJ, and probably because of his extremely short leash with EJ early on, was overcompensating by leaving him out there on the biggest stage when he was clearly not thinking straight.

    It remains to be seen with Tharpe getting handed the keys, but I think that Self has gotten a pure PG backup in Mason as well, and possibly had a philosophy shift from recruiting combo guards, with no true PGs, after last year’s outcome, so that at least at that position, he can have a short leash with anyone.

  • I made it to the scrimmage and I agree with pretty much everyone’s thoughts.

    I actually thought Greene looked better than some are suggesting. I was surprised/pleased to see how much he was asked to handle the ball. There was one moment, however, early in the shot clock when Greene didn’t pass the ball to Black, who was in the post. Black had great position and I’m not sure Green even looked at him. Black SCREAMED at him. I also noticed that nobody seemed too concerned when he got knocked to the ground a couple of times. I hope I was looking too much into those incidents and that it isn’t a personality problem, or something. You can tell he has an assassin’s mentality and could be very valuable.

    From my observations it looks like Mason will be the primary backup to Tharpe. Looks like Frankcamp will play in spots this year… end of the half, when KU is struggling to score, foul trouble… The most promising thing I saw about Frankamp was how tightly guarded he was the entire time. And when he did finally have some space to shoot, he did. And made 2/3.

    I was very critical of AWIII last season. And it looked like the same AWIII through the first period of the scrimmage, but then he made a jump shot and continued to make the next 3 or 4. He was arguably the most assertive player on the court. Which is good when he’s making shots… not so much when he isn’t…

    Perry was Perry. I hope he gets better at finishing at the rim. He missed a lot of shots in the paint, but got some put backs as well. He was very aggressive. I imagine he will be the leading scorer most games.

    Jamari was Jamari. Played mostly within himself.

    Wiggins was good, but definitely no Messiah. He made some mistakes and didn’t appear to be playing with as much effort as some others. He had some lapses on defense where he lost his man. Which is kind of sad considering he was guarding Niko Roberts and Tyler Self a lot of the time… Still, you can tell the guy is very good. If/when he completely buys-in on defense…

    Overall, I was pleased. The starters looked very good in the first period. It’s gotta be difficult to score when the other team knows exactly what to expect. And the blue team (first period) had no problem scoring.

  • For the first time in my 65 years I was on the front row. I was excited to see that the starting blue team was the obvious starting 5. Tharpe, Wiggins, Selden, Elllis and Black. The score at one time was 25 to 2. Wiggin’s puts his hands on his hips and looks tired between timeouts and whistles, action starts, and he makes it look so easy. 21 pts. in 3 quarters seems not as good as he can be. With that said, Nikko and Evan have learned how to steal the ball from any big man who dares to take it below their shoulders. I see only 8 players getting any time and Andrew White is clearly leading Greene to back up Wiggins. At times, Selden ran the point. I can see why Self loves him. The only startling thing that came about was when Self yelled at the ref to stop the game so he could yell at Conner. The starting 5 are bigger, faster and more talented than any KU team I’ve ever seen. I can also see Self’s plan working. It was a pleasure to see who wants it and who gets it. There will not be too much of a drop off when White and Traylor come in the game. Mason is definitely our backup at point. Wiggins second jump will make everyone think that Drew Gooden is back in the building. One other thing, when the ball goes up the most ferocious battle for rebounds will shock anyone who witnesses it.

  • How’d you do the avatar?

  • Lumpy, Could you make out what Self was correcting with Conner?

  • Click on your name/avatar at the top. This will take you to your home page. Click edit on the top (smallish lettering). Under your avatar is the link to edit.

  • Coaached called a play and Conner was running the wrong one. It was a bit weird to change what seemed like a late night kind of get-together and have it turn into a real practice. Conner took it in stride and ran the proper play afterwards. Tyler, Nikko and Evan have learned a few tricks from their parents at stealing the ball from big men. Each looked great on defense and too small on offense.

  • I really enjoyed the scrimmage, it was such a laid-back atmosphere, without any hype, but with a ton of fans watching. I don’t think it really comes close to simulating the hype and fanfare of Late Night or a real game, but it is still valuable for the guys to play in front of a bunch of people. I, too, thought it very interesting how Self stayed on the court and stopped the game play a few times to coach these young guys up. I was a little too far away to hear what he was actually saying, but on the opening tip, for example, he had them redo it and was getting on guys about specifically where to place their feet in relation to the opponent’s. Such a minute attention to detail. Anyways, I agree with all of the above, for the most part. I think AWIII looks really good right now, mainly because he seems to “get it” as far as playing very hard and hustling non-stop. I don’t think Self can afford to redshirt one of the few guys that is leading by example in the motor department. In fact, it feels like AWIII redshirted last year. He keeps reminding me of a junior year Releford, though I know their games are disimilar. The other thing I am very curious about is stupidmichael’s thoughts (and the similar thread on that mentions Greene seeming like a bit of an outcast within the group. Not being helped up by the other guys and getting yelled at a bit by Black. There was another time when he moved out of the way of a pass from (I think) Jamari and there was an awkward moment where Jamari just stared at him like he was super annoyed. There is definitely something off with the chemistry of Greene and the rest of the gang, but it may just be him fighting for minutes and refusing a redshirt. I agree with others that Conner is probably the best redshirt candidate. He needs some muscle and lateral quickness. Not sure how he is going to guard anyone at this point. Lastly, I can understand why some people (Goodman) think Wiggins doesn’t try very hard and looks a bit lazy, taking plays off. It’s something about his body language and the way he moves. He just looks SOOOO relaxed all the time. And he may just be one of those guys that makes it look too easy. I’ve always thought Paul Pierce looks like he’s in cruise control when he’s playing. Never over-exerting himself, never super emotional, never jumps higher than he needs to to finish a play. Wiggins, of course, jumps out of the gym almost every play, so it is not a very good comparison, but something about his body language and overall demeanor on the court just appears to be a bit lackadaisical.

  • The more I think about it, and the more I read from other users, the more I think Wiggins’ relative lack of effort is/was from a lack of understanding/experience in Self’s system. I think he was thinking too much on offense, but there were also times he lost his man on defense.

    Still, the guy led the team in scoring and he didn’t seem to force anything. As fans who have bought into the hype, we expect him to drive and dominate every time he touches the ball. I think a lot of our collective perception of Wiggins ‘not trying all of the time’ is an unfair consequence of the hype-machine. Given our recent experience with top-rated players (Selby, Henry), we’ve also created pressure for ourselves, as fans. There is a stigma about KU and HCBS that the top-of-the-top-recruits routinely underachieve under him. More than anything, I think we want to prove this perceived trend wrong this year 🙂

  • Not sure if I articulated it correctly above, but I agree. He may just be one of those guys who makes it look so easy that it seems he’s not trying very hard, even when he is. He just floats around and moves so smoothly. He also seems to be very good-natured, always smiling, laughing with his teammates between plays. I can’t wait until someone pisses him off in a game and he turns on beast mode and just punishes them. Have yet to see any inkling of that other than the Youtube highlight reel where he responds to underrated chants. I want to see it in a Big XII game. I just hope he is able to develop a chip on his shoulder and some killer instinct. Sometimes it seems like these uber-talented guys with incredible natural athleticism (ie Ben Mac, Xavier, even Rush early on) that are predicted to go high in the draft before they play any college ball are too laid back and don’t exhibit the kind of maniacal competitiveness that I would like to see.

  • Just wanted to say thank you to the guys who set up this site. Great idea in the wake of the Face Book nonsense on Kusports. This site helps fill a large void.

  • I like the mobility of Embiid.

    I also like Mason’s quickness. Those are two impressive things.

    I think Wiggins’ athleticism makes it look like he’s not trying because he has that “easy athleticism.” He jumps high without trying to jump high. He runs fast without trying to run fast. Every time I watch Wiggins his athleticism stands out to me more than anything else. He’s just crazy athletic.

  • I miss you guys!

  • Welcome home.

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