Someone talk me off the cliff!

  • I am naturally optimistic when it comes to KU. Last year, I saw a final four team. The year before that, I saw an elite 8 team and maybe final four. Even in football, I look at every year like they could put something together and get a few wins.

    But this team is different. During the Big 12, I tried not to worry about tourney time until we locked up the league. Now since that’s accomplished, I have been able to reflect on the year and attempt to look into the future. And what I see isn’t too bright.

    I have said in the past that I see an elite 8 but I officially retract that statement.

    We all have seen and wrote about the glaring holes in this team. Lack of shot blockers, back to the basket scoring, slump with shooting, Self not willing to make adjustments, rebounding, and the rest. But that isn’t what worries me.

    In the past, I have been able to look at the weaknesses and counter with a strength. But honestly, what is their strength? 3 point shooting? Toughness? Furthermore, the scariest aspect of this team is maybe the fact that I have very rarely been proud of a game they have played. One of the best games I was happy to watch was against OU when they lost! Other than 2 or 3 games, I have always left the game wanting more. And that is something I am unfamiliar with.

    What is the saving grace of this team that won’t equal a 2nd round loss? Today just added to the list of games that I am unhappy with regardless of the final. Someone, please bring light and turn me back to a “half-full” kind of guy!

  • @JhawkAlum I’m going to have to watch what I think, because evidently you can read my mind.

    It’s been one of the most frustrating seasons I can ever remember.

    Hopefully we’ll finish strong. Big emphasis on “hopefully”.

  • @JhawkAlum key word of the day, subs!!! Not to shabby for as lil minutes some of them have played. Svi has improved, Lucas too. Mari can score. Oubre, not picked as the frosh of the year, carried us! Need Perry healthy and a miracle for Cliff!

  • Really? Granted TCU isn’t the top half of the psuedo Big 12, but they are still a good team and like other teams who face Kansas they always seem to play up. Now for our side of the ball, Perry on the bench with Cliff. Selden with a bad ankle. Considering we had to rely on bench bigs who saw little regular season pt having to step up to fill the holes and rec center or Topeka YMCA refs who want their presence on the court noticed I’m more happy with the outcome than I am with the new uni’s. Even HCBS said considering what he had to work with he was happy. And Perry should be back tomorrow night. I wouldn’t play him, but that’s just my opinion. And you weren’t happy with the win over WVU?

  • @brooksmd perfect brooks! Cheers from me! Bud stallworth says this is best coaching job from self.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 oubre is smooth even on interviews!

  • As long as our three ball isn’t going down our story is “Survive and Advance” . If we go up against a hot shooting three pointing team in a game that plays decent defense start worrying.

  • Self talked some in his post game interviews about poor shooting, comparing it to 12 team, nc state game. I’m sure they will post it, listen to it.

  • @JhawkAlum

    BAD BALL is very, very hard to love.

    It is hard to trust new things until they are proven.

    BAD BALL is not proven yet.

    But it is incredibly successful already.

    No other offense would have won any of the games the last two weeks that have been played.

    We are doing SUPER considering what we are up against right now.

    In the era of 9-10 OAD elite basketball, we are playing without one of our three measly OADs and we are playing without our lone 5-star, and we are conference champs and have already won the first round of our conference tourney in one of the toughest conferences, after playing the toughest schedule in the country.

    Life is grand.

    But to get to be a dominant, not just dangerous fighting force, we have to get our stretch 4 back at full speed.

    Our guys are just waaaaaaay tougher than most other teams.

    There is nothing tougher in a Madness than a team playing a different way and its shooters getting hot at the right time for a six game stretch.

    We are approaching a six game stretch of poor shooting.

    We are now in perfect position statistically to be the tournament team that shoots above its average for six games.

    We have to get Perry back.

    The Basketball Merrill’s Marauders are going to Myitkyina with or without him, but without Perry they would require and improbable number of upsets of other teams in their region to get to the Final Four.

    But with Perry back, this team only needs the normal number of upsets and lucky breaks that any champion gets to make a 6 game run.

    It is going to get much much tougher.

    It is going to seem much more hopeless than it does now.

    But until we are beaten, this is now a very dangerous team. It is used to playing against impossible adversity.

    It has normalized a level of adversity that most other teams in the tournament–especially the apparent Nike Stacks–have not even faced once yet.

    On to Myitkyina.

  • The thing is, you thought last year’s team was a Final Four team because it was a Final Four team. If we get by Stanford who knows what could’ve happened last year. We get Embiid back and we would’ve played Dayton…

    This year, this team is just not very good. Did you watch the game today? This is why (in the eyes of the media) Bill Self was the best coach in the Big 12 this year. We are hobbling into the tournament hurt, depleted, and ICE COLD. This team is in a bad way, and I’ll be the first to say it, I see no way we get by Baylor tomorrow. Even if we do, who could we play in the finals that you think we have a chance against?

    Your pessimism is not misplaced. It’s right where it should be. And that’s ok. We have high expectations at KU. It’s what we’re all about, but the fact is, the last two years have been slapped together products. KU has a very nice core going forward, but it will be on Self to find the other pieces that make it all work. Since he has clearly proven that he isn’t willing to adjust his strategy, he better go out and find the pieces he needs in order to play HIS style.

    “Enjoy the ride.”

  • @JhawkAlum My opinion, Toughness. That and More Toughness. Those guys wont back down from anyone again. Also, Coach Self absolutely has adjusted. See @jaybate-1.0 s posts on “BAD BALL”

    KU can absolutely get to the elite 8 this year. It all depends on match ups, luck and some hot shooting from our boys, Yes I think the lid will come off the bucket soon.

  • @brooksmd Of course I loved the WVU game! That is one of the few. But even that Game, they played one of the worst games of the season, then played outstanding and believable the last 10 minutes. I could throw in game in Austin and Waco of games I came away believing we are on the up kick.

    TCU is better but they are not a “good” team by any means.

    @jaybate-1.0 I sure hope you’re right brother! If KU goes deep by playing “bad ball” and everything you say comes reality, you will be forever known as the “Rock Chalk Oracle” to me.

    @lulufulu I see the toughness, but can a team go to an elite 8 or final 4 on toughness alone? I sure hope they can!

  • @JhawkAlum the 2012 team absolutely did. Sure we had Trob and Tyshawn, but this years team bears a striking resemblance to that team as far as toughness goes. No we dont have a TRob but we have pieced together a front court out of Lucas, Mickelson and Traylor. We also have 2 point guards that are waaaaay better than Tyshawn and Elijah. As @jaybate-1.0 said earlier, we get Perry back and he is good? Everyone else better watch out. Cuz KU is comin and they wont take prisoners. He is also right about the majority of it hinging on Perry’s return and how healed up he is.

  • UT up on the clowns by 11 at half. The clowns went 9 mins. w/o scoring. Shut their fans up. 😵

  • @RockChalkinTexas I guess u r for Texas? I am, just dislike ISU more!! There will be a lot of tickets tmrw if they go home.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 Hell yes. I want ISU to go home tonight. We can beat a tired UT team after 2 hard fought games. I do NOT want all the Hoiberg gushing and kissing ass.

  • @RockChalkinTexas perfectly said!!! I know holly sure likes him!!

  • @RockChalkinTexas So far I picked 3 out of 4 right. TCU over Kstate, Tx over Tech, BU over WVU, But I picked ISU over Tx… looks like Im 4 for 4!

    I had picked Baylor beating us tomorrow and OU beating ISU.
    Then OU beating Baylor for the tourney title.

    I hope Im wrong. ISU and Baylor are both really playing well. We Need Perry! We Need our trey guns back!

  • Anyone know who’s announcing our game tmrw? I can handle our uni’s better than those guys!!! I’m surprised nobody asked the players or self if they liked them. I’m sure they would b respectful, it is money!! I think they only have to wear them once. Warmup tshirts were cool!

  • Brannen Greene has not made a 3 pt shot since coming out the TCU@KU game shaking his hand like he jammed fingers. Just an observation.

  • @Blown I heard he did jam one awhile back. Have no clue though if it’s right. No tape?

  • @RockChalkinTexas holy crap ISU!!

  • Texas chocked that game away. Typical Barnes. Call a damn timeout and draw up a last second shot. Tractor Tech got lucky

  • @jhawkintexas Felix should have never shot that!

  • @JhawkAlum After the Temple game I infamously posted “I’m Done” but didn’t really mean it.

    I haven’t warmed up to this team too much since then. I can’t remember the last KU blowout. Part of that is the strength of the league, but part of that is the weakness of our Big 12 champs to not win going away.

    Today did nothing to assuage my fears of a quick exit from the tourney. I know we’re playing shorthanded. I trust it will get better with Perry tomorrow assuming he’s playing, but goodness, Baylor is tough inside so it really doesn’t get easier.

    Oh, and those uniforms are embarrassingly ugly!

  • NCAA tourney:

    Match ups (luck of the draw)

    Injuries (who can play and who cannot)

    Luck (how does the ball bounce)

    Voila tout!

  • @JhawkAlum As others have said, I think we can hang our hat on toughness on this team. It seems like we have won a lot of those “muddy” games. This was one. No offensive flow whatsoever. Sloppy execution. We played just well enough to win. Man…I hold my breath when Brannen does anything…he scares the heck out of me. Really, no one played well except obviously Oubre. And Lucas. There is reason to worry that it won’t be enough against Baylor…but there is also reason to believe that we will find a way to win…with or without Perry. Heck we took OU to the wire on their home court in front of a full house…that is good enough to allow me to keep the faith.

  • @jhawkintexas awesome ring! Did u just change that?

  • Speaking of the Cliff…This NCAA “investigation” is a three ring circus. It’s bullsh*t. REINSTATE ALEX. This is a conspiracy pure and simple. NCAA should be ashamed of themselves.

  • I actually think if the NCAA ever sees the document they are wanting to see… It will mean bad news for us.

  • @JhawkAlum 7 out of 10 teams in the last decade that won it all also won their conference tournament; that doesn’t mean that we, with our current injuries, should be caring about the conference tournament at all. 3 teams in recent years did not win their conference tournament. UNC, 2009, Kentucky 2012, UConn 2014.

    2011 UConn lost 7 of their final 11 regular season games before winning their conference tournament and winning it all.

    If anything Bill consistently cares too much about every game (Big 12 champ #11) to have us in optimum shape for the Dance.

    I like winning the conference. This year, it was particularly sweet. But I’m okay with giving the bench extended minutes and letting the chips fall as they may. Wins in the conference tournament are icing on the cake. I’ll take this win, the way we earned it, and getting the bench warmed up is a great thing.

  • I had to think about how to answer this one…

    I feel like this team could beat any team out there. At times this season, it seemed like we had everything we need to match up with the best teams and take them down. Without Alexander, that is diminished a bit, but still this team has strength at every position and just looks like it ought to be able to handle anyone. The ceiling is high and they have learned fast.

    On the other hand, it also looks like this team could be beaten by anyone - especially lately. They appear to play only to their adversary’s level and the victories seem so shaky and fragile.

    *Has this team gotten worse in the last month, or has the defense against them gotten better? *

    We are 7-4 since Feb 2. There are 1 pt, 2pt, 5pt and 7pt losses in that group. The narrowest victory is 5 points (twice). That’s what we’ve done lately. Now that’s against some good teams, but still… What do we make of that?

    I want to believe this team can go far (Elite 8 or +), but here are the three things that I think are most critical in order for that to happen:

    1. Ellis needs to come back soon and needs to be at 100% – physically and mentally – when he comes back.
    2. The team needs to get it’s 3pt mojo back. Remember when the only players we didn’t want to shoot a three were Jamari and Cliff? Everyone else had a green light the size of the sun because we knew it was going to swish. It’s time to be that team again and become tone deaf to the words “fools gold”.
    3. Alexander needs to be cleared and come back as a hungry contributor as he was before the investigation.

    It’s a lot to ask, but I think we’re headed for a disappointing ending without ALL three of these things.

  • @JhawkAlum

    Funny how nobody has really tried to take you off the edge. I think part of it is that we all understand that this version of a basketball team is just not that good. Not that good to the standard we are accustomed to, and not that good to watch right now.

    We are playing down to the competition, and have completely abandoned any offense that involves shooting a jumpshot. We might as well re-name bad ball “ugly I can’t watch ball”. Oubre flat out saved our butts yesterday. You would think with Ellis out, Mason would assume a scoring role, nope he was trying to go 5 on 1 again. 7 point lead at halftime, you knew that was “fools gold” lost it in 45 seconds. For the life of me if we had another Shooting Guard option you relegate Selden to the bench. Those turnovers were like watching a High School game. If I’m Self I’m recruiting over him with Newman you just can’t rely on his extreme Jekyll and Hyde routine. Greene, well what can you say its hard to imagine he was shooting 50% from 3 the way the last few weeks have gone 1-17 last 7 games.

    The good is that hopefully Ellis plays today and restores some order to this ugly ball we’ve been playing. Lucas has really played the best ball of his career since given the minutes. Oubre might have taken the snub for Big 12 Freshman of the Year as he attacked fearlessly in that hackfest of a game. When was the last time someone shot 19 FT attempts for KU.

    What can we do about it? We can just pray that somehow we find a way to make shots and play good enough Defense to steal wins…

  • @cragarhawk It’s not a matter of finding or seeing a document, it’s a matter of when can they get something typed up that makes it look like it didn’t come from the NCAA.

  • Someone who holds the documents that would maybe help Cliff become eligible again is doing this to spite Cliff for not choosing the U of I. That’s my conspiracy theory and i’m sticking to it! That person is probably is in Chicago. Dirty politics is the Illinois way and this is just another example of it.

  • Once again, I’m not focused on other programs or comparing the KU players and programs with others, BUT, I still can’t believe this is an isolated issue. This can’t be a legitimate investigation. KU is not the only program with this issue. Cliff Alexander can’t be the only player that’s had a family member, however defined, attempt to barrow money? And even if they did barrow money WTH does Cliff have to do or benefit from it. My guess he’s just the victim of NCAA politics and someone’s terrible agenda.

    I remember when Anthony Davis had a little stink about an impropriety. If I remember correctly, it was roughly something about his dad taking some kind of financial benefit? I understand WWW was involved and that may have influenced AD to UK? However, it was swept under the carpet and once again ol’ Calipari and his program goes unscathed or even impacted as KU and Cliff. Oh, btw, don’t forget they won the NC, which is great. I’m happy to see a program win. But, even after the “so-called” routine investigation, nothing was found and they won the NC without issues? PLEEEZE. This is not hate or envy either. This is about a program winning cleanly without any unnecessary help or influence. The sad thing is, this is happening ALL over D1 bball and the NCAA is turning a blind eye.

    Now, some how, and some way, we have Alex’s ridiculous issue. I was waiting and pretty much resolved until I heard the latest and how the NCAA is dragging it’s feet. What’s the problem? Get your damn docs, review the stupid thing and make a stupid ruling already. This isn’t fair to KU, Alex, or the entire NCAA bball program. Someone is deliberately stalling and causing this mess to escalate. Alex and KU are suffering. Once again, thank you to the NCAA for being such a stellar organization and protecting programs and players. Great job and keep up the corrupt work…jokes all.


    Leave it to Gary Parrish to defend it all and to put a nice spin on it.


    Not the most reputable looking write-up, but a great question all the same and it will never be answered.


    Come on, you can’t tell me something can’t be found.

    Hey Cliff have your family member DENY EVERYTHING. Let’s follow the UK way of dealing with these matters. It seems to work well for UK and Calipari.

    “The rumors/sources that have Davis choosing Kentucky are also alleging that the commitment cost $200,000. Davis Sr. has flat out denied everything.”

  • @bskeet Cliff won’t be back. His family is not going to meet with the NCAA, or provide them with the rope to hang him with ( copy of the loan agreement,etc). Cliff’s statement is simply posturing - he doesn’t know anything, never received the documents, etc. They’re going to simply run out the clock until the NBA draft. I’m 100% certain this was the back up plan in case anybody caught wind of it.

  • @truehawk93

    Good post, but I ask this question. Why do you believe the NCAA would give Kentucky the benefit of the doubt like it appears they did with Davis? Do you really think, (and we all hate Kentucky here, but I’m trying to be as objective as possible as someone who sees the need to get Cliff back) that the NCAA would do UK favors like that?

    I’m not sure I do. They seem to be anal in the way they protect their image and don’t let anyone slide. Surely UNC, Syracuse, and Penn St. and OSU in football among others would be brands they’d want to protect If they’re trying to protect their most valuable programs.

    This is why I believe the conspiracy is like I stated a few posts above yours. Someone who knows something could end this Cliff thing one way or the other, right now, and isn’t to spite Cliff.

    I should say I feel for kids in Cliff’s situation. I mean goodness, the kid is a freshman in college being thrust into a very adult world right now. His head must be spinning. I suppose I had some maturity when I was a freshman, but I look back and feel like I was totally ill equipped to handle adult like problems like he is facing right now. It really sucks for Cliff most of all. We’re selfish, we want him now, but imagine how a freshman in college feels seeing his face on the front page of on line sports web pages with the insinuation that he’s a cheater. I guess it comes with the territory.

  • @bskeet This team has gotten much worse over the past month. The record shows it. And our play shows it. This team doesn’t pass the numbers/box score test, and it doesn’t pass the eye test.

    Today we’ll be playing against Baylor’s zone. If anything creates the need for some three point shooting, it is Baylor’s zone. Self will approach this game differently from an offensive stand point, so we may see some more effort from outside.

    It’s a bad matchup for us right now, the way we’re playing, that is for sure.

  • @wissoxfan83 Great point and no…I don’t think it’s a total conspiracy against KU, but it is odd how it’s being addressed. We’ve all discussed the Cam Newton allegations, but he didn’t sit one game.

    I brought up AD’s situation, and he didn’t sit one game, did he? Now, KU chose to sit Alex until this thing was resolved. However, NCAA isn’t thinking of the player at all. You’re right, they are looking to protect themselves, NOW. KU and Alex are simply a pawn in their little game. Maybe my problem is how they are picking and choosing their battles. I don’t see any consistency with all programs and it’s interesting why now? Why KU? and mostly why Alex?

    I’m not even going to defend if this is true then yes, the violation needs to be punished. Either KU and Alex are just really dumb at addressing these issues with the NCAA or other programs are just way better at addressing them than KU. Funny, the good programs get punished while the guilty seems to go unpunsihed.

    BTW, this isn’t about hating UK at all. I think highly of their program. They just have the most smoke. I certainly have nothing against the players at all. This completely out of their control for the most part.

  • @JhawkAlum

    I would rather have ten OAD/TADs, and have Coach Self coasting on Good Ball.

    But ONLY Coach Self is currently good enough and flexible enough to keep juggling the pieces in the midst of the injuries, talent asymmetries and high jinks of the SHOECO-AGENCY complex and win 25 games, lose only 7, win an 11 th conference title outright, and have forged a new way of playing and STILL be in position to launch a credible campaign for dark horse national championship.

  • @HighEliteMajor @KUSTEVE – thanks. I value both of your points. Of course, both confirm my worst fears… and now I’m on the cliff along with @JhawkAlum and the rest of you!

  • @JhawkAlum

    I like Jaybate’s comment… “BAD BALL is very, very hard to love.”

    It fits for Kansas fans. It fits if you look back at our history since Larry Brown.

    Larry brought us a National Championship, and over his stay in Lawrence, never lacked offensive punch.

    Then came Roy. Roy liked the up-tempo, and he was off to the races.

    Bill came to town, and he brought a different philosophy with him: defense… more… DEFENSIVE TOUGHNESS!

    What we are seeing right now is Bill playing “BILLY BALL.”

    I think we all need to change the vernacular away from “BAD BALL” on to “BILLY BALL.”

    Why it looks different is that we just don’t quite have the fire power on offense. We usually had enough offense to dilute Bill’s real strategy… “BILLY BALL.” In other words… DEFENSIVE TOUGHNESS.

    Personally… I was a bit amazed that we won this game. TCU continues to play better ball all the time, and they’ve had two previous games with us to know how to play us best.

    Lots of pluses going on for us:

    1. Kelly’s play is just sick! He’s able to take over a game now. I like how he takes over a game more than who he replaced… Wigs.

    2. Landen played a great game. We are finally starting to cash in on his excellent fundamental post skills.

    3. Hunter is figuring out his game and making his presence known.

    Then think about adding in Perry, and healthier Wayne? A very long shot of Cliff. Then… maybe, just maybe we start banging down some 3s.

    If the pieces come together the right way, this team can beat anyone, including Kentucky. That is a big “if” but there are always “ifs” in March with every team. One team usually resolves their “ifs” and wins it all.

    Resolving our “ifs” with my “wants:”

    I want to see all our guys playing the same toughness and assertiveness when Perry returns. Kelly needs to continue to drive to the hole like he did last night. That will always be there for him. Landen is capable to help us every game. Jamari just needs to stay within his limitations and play a bit smarter… like avoiding the dumb fouls.

    I want to see us start adding in offensive wrinkles to free up the 3 and start getting our perimeter swagger back.

    I want us to keep the same scrappy attitude once we start getting easy points again.

    I want to see Wayne step up and play with assertiveness but also intelligence. Attack the basket, but remain in control. Reduce TOs, too.

  • @jaybate-1.0 I’m simply amazed at the manner in which Self continues to maneuver this squad into position to win games. That late game adjustment to Ziegler yesterday serves as fine tribute to Bill’s chess playing skills. His pushing and pulling players into and out of his lineups appears to be simply fantastic. Here I sit, five weeks removed from my initial posting of fears regarding Frank’s heavy burden of minutes, and Self still has the kid churning relentlessly. Finally, I am close to the point wherein I can just sit back and enjoy the ride. My native skepticism has been booted to the pine…alongside woeful Cliff. Expectations still run low, but I won’t be surprised one little bit if this team staggers into the Elite 8.

  • Perspective… we need perspective.

    My wife blew me away a few years ago with her “70-Rule.” She used to say… “When Kansas scores 70s point or more, they win, under 70, they lose.”

    This current team is doing a pretty darn good job of keeping our opponents far below the 70-line.

    We just need enough baskets to win. And we have the tools that can come together and get 70 points every night… even though we are playing good “BILLY BALL” right now and usually don’t need that many points to win. On average, we give up 64.9 ppg. That is a pretty good number when considering we played the toughest schedule in the country. And we did it without a shot blocker.

    Played the toughest schedule in the country, without the big post presence and with one of the younger teams in the nation and we only lost 7 games!

    I think it is great that Jayhawk fans might not have the same expectations they usually have. Let the guys play “sleeper” and see what happens.

    Speaking of “sleeper”… gheez… how much of a sleeper are we when we are even a sleeper amongst our fan base!!!

  • @JhawkAlum By the way, Alum, that is a mighty fine title for this thread!

  • @KUSTEVE I don’t see a reason to “run out the clock”. What is there to gain? If he is/was aware of whatever impropriety then admit to it and get on with life. Take your OAD attitude and leave. If they are stonewalling for whatever reason, all it is doing is hurting the chances for KU to recruit another big. And if that is the case, I will never consider Cliff a “once a Jayhawk, always a Jayhawk.”

  • @jaybate-1.0 Question … what Big 12 team has less talent than Kansas? Second question … what national teams other than UK, Duke, and Arizona arguably have more talent than Kansas?

    The point of my questions are that Self isn’t doing anything that amazing, is he, with our talent level – on a year to year basis – in conference?

    What I find amazing is how we match up in the non-con, and the overall level of consistency. The lack of the head scratching year. But it seems to me that from a roster standpoint, our roster is always the best roster of talent in the Big 12 – again why I look at other conferences where certain years talent levels might compete with us, like MSU, Ohio St., Duke, UNC, Louisville, UConn, Arizona, Florida, Syracuse. We never have a talent disadvantage, do we?

  • @wissoxfan83

    “The NCAA is so mad at Kentucky, it’s going to give Cleveland State two more years’ probation.” - Jerry Tarkanian

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Good question.

    Now that we lack Perry and Cliff, and Jamari plays on one leg, and Selden has never recovered from his knee, and Frank’s and Brannen’s wheels are so hobbled they cannot jump shoot effectively I would argue that everyone but TCU and TTECH have as much or more talent than we do.

    Kelly is our only edge and his right knee is still sharply limiting him.

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