• MEMO

    TO: Board Rats

    FROM: Director, BIA

    SUBJECT: Seeding Assessment and Analysis of NMSU


    NMSU is an interesting opponent for KU, but not because KU supposedly got an unexpectedly “tough seeding,” which I don’t think they did.

    Tough? Maybe, but this is probably easier than Stanford last season.

    Unexpected? NOT…AT…ALL!

    (Hypothesis: Ratings are down. Talent stacking is up. Thus, two things are more imperative than ever. First, three, preferably four EST teams need to make it to Final Four for good ratings. Second, at least two of the talent stacks need to make it to the Final Four for good branding of draft choices. Note: in this hypothesis, nothing illegal is being hypothesized to occur. This is a business. Seeding rules and protocol are not laws. Some big organizations have to make their monthly nuts. The more audience declines, the more pressure there will be make sure the biggest audiences possible are achieved. Under those circumstances, it is ALWAYS best for KU not to make it. End of hypothesis.)

    If you feel pretty skeptical about the hypothesis, ask yourself: what is the most talented team in the last 40 years, an undefeated team, a team of 10 reputed draft choices, a team from a conference called the SouthEAST Conference, a team from the Eastern Standard Time zone, doing in the Midwest Regional in Omaha, NE,when its the only flipping undefeated team in the Eastern Standard Time Zone and East Region? Why isn’t Duke, or Wisconsin, in the Midwest Region? What the flip is this about, if it is not about maximizing the certainty that adidas KU and adidas Indiana and other media undesirables exit BEFORE the Final Four. How ever reality is actually unreeling before out eyes, it at least appears that anyone the NCAA, Big Media, Big Shoe and Big Gaming probably wouldn’t want in the Final Four get exiled, er, seeded, to the Midwest bracket to be eliminated for certain by the most talented team in 40 years. Think it as the NCAA’s version of a Stalinist purge. It also appears a testament to how little faith this oligarchy of college basketball appears to have in Coach K’s 9 OAD/TAD draft choice stack that an apparently clearly inferior (to Kentucky) Duke was kept in the East Bracket and given essentially four practice games to get to the Final Four. The powers that were didn’t apparently think Dook could get out of a region with Self and KU and WSU and Indiana and they were perhaps right, at least, if that were what they thought. So: hypothesis: the oligarchy apparently sent Kentucky to do the job they apparently doubted Duke could do.

    I told everyone this march to a ring was going to be tough–part of one long slog. I didn’t say completely unfair, but I will hypothesize that now too. It is going to involve beating an apparently stacked deck and an apparent dealer with an apparent agenda that does not apparently involve KU’s welfare, as it does, say, Duke’s. Kentucky could win either place with similar probability. Posited another way, there is nothing fair about war, and now there is nothing fair about college basketball seeding in the NCAA tournament. You come from the wrong brand? You come from the wrong size media market? You come from the wrong time zone? You don’t have the right agent relationships? Welcome to college basketball’s Burma Road. Off, off, off,off, off, waaaaay off, Broadway it is.

    Hypothesis continued: KU is not playing opponents in this tournament; KU is playing the basketball oligarchy. You want to go on to win this thing? You don’t even get to use the Burma Road. The Burma Road is controlled by the basketball oligarchy and its given to Duke and Kentucky and its well paved. You want to win this thing? You’ve got to go through the Burma jungle first.

    Well, ya know what, powers that are? KU is already a bunch of battle hardened jungle fighters trained for this kind of asymmetric basketball warfare. Basketball’s Merrill’s Marauders are catching a few winks, eating what’s left of their air dropped rations, then strapping them up and lacing them on, plugging in their mouth pieces, putting on their flack jackets, and they are going back on the march into the jungle through the mountains where they are the better fighters.

    They are marching to Myitkyina again.

    And the first hamlet in the Burma basketball jungle (note Burma today is called Myannamar if I recall correctly) with enemy in it has a desert fighting outfit from Las Cruces called the New Mexico State Aggies, and while its too bad for them, they are no match for KU in the jungle.

    Out in the pre conference world, a dark age of asymmetry ago, where New Mexico State didn’t even play a very strong schedule, they were barely .500. WSU, New Mexico, and Baylor were their strongest opponents and they lost decisively to all of them. NMSU did go on a winning streak in their weak WAC conference, or they would not be in the tourney at all.

    Analyze THIS,Paul Vitti!

    Like the Marauders, NMSU tries to win games at the FT line. Like KU, they don’t fare well out on the road, where home whistles are hard on FTAs, but they are 2-0 on neutral courts. Overall, liike KU, they get way more FTAs than opponents and make them just slightly less often than KU, but only slightly. They also double the blocks of opponents, win the strip stat, and slightly win the TO stat. They are +6 rebounding, where as KU is +4.

    THE ESSENSE OF VICTORY: NMSU is a team with two heads: 6-8 trey baller Remi Barry and 6-9 230 Pascal Siadam. While NMSU scoring is spread around, cut the heads off these two generating a combined 26 ppg, and the body dies. Fail to, and you’ve got problems. Under normal conditions, this would be an easy task for the Marauders. Oubre’s wing span strangles Barry’s trifectation and Perry Ellis shuts off Siakam, while still scoring on the other end. Oubre can do the job, but Ellis’ knee makes handling Siakam chore, especially when Siakam gets the ball on the blocks and scores at .577 efficiency—the stuff Bill Self’s dream are made of…next season. So: the game distills to two things. Can Perry pull Siakam away from the basket with Perry’s three and drive Siakam into foul trouble on offense, before Siakam gets Perry into foul trouble trying to stop Siakam on the low blocks at the other end. The other crucial issue is: can KU get to the line more than NMSU and get NMSU fouled up, or will NMSU do it to KU?

    Both teams like a low possession game. NMSU likes an even lower possession game than the Marauders do.

    Frankly, both teams NEED a low possession game to keep enough fuel in the tank to ensure beating their next opponent, either WSU, or Indiana.

    This is going to be match up between old style stay on the spots grind ball by NMSU seniors trying to win the old disruptions stats the old way versus the Marauders BAD BAL, where the Marauders try to disrupt the other team’s flow by crowding their impact space, and by use of mobile big man attack platforms, and spread-drive-kick sets, rather than trying to dominate the disruption stats. The Marauders will try to get out to a lead and then defend the lead, same as usual. Then repeat. To do this, they will employ intermittent bursts of up tempo to get leads to then slow down and drive it and disrupt their flow. The Marauders should be able to run their big men and beat NMSU’s big men down the floor during these bursts, so look for Jamari and even Hunter to run the floor in short bursts the first half for some easy baskets. But remember, the bursts of quick tempo are strictly bursts to get small leads to defend. KU could run NMSU out of the gym, if there were no second game. They key is bursts of speed, then conserve, conserve, conserve, until the lead is spent, then repeat. If KU is making shots, and FTs, then NMSU could be the best first opponent KU could have hoped for, because, despite NMSU’s height and weight, KU should be able to have a low possession game be ready to fly against their second opponent.


    INSIDE LENGTH: They stay taller in the paint starting and subbing than KU. They are four deep 6-9 to 6-10. INSIDE WEIGHT: They start a bruiser in 268 6-10 Nephawe, but he only plays 26 minutes. Their other big, Siakam is not shrinking violet at 6-9 and 230. OUTSIDE LENGTH: They start shorter than KU. They start 6-0 to 6-2 at one and two, with a 6-8 three, then sub longer at guard, and shorter at 3. Devonte will see a lot of minutes this game if Wayne struggles with the short guards. Brannen and Svi should both get significant minutes, because of their length, backing up Kelly smothering 6-8 trey baller Remi Barry. OUTSIDE WEIGHT: They start lighter and not as strong as KU, but they are quick. They get lighter as they sub. TEMPO: As noted above, they like an even lower possession game than KU, which may force KU to try to speed them up some, since NMSU cannot be made to play much slower. Still, if KU is not hitting and has to resort to the drive most of the game, this could easily turn into a game in the 50s. TREY BALLING: They don’t shoot as many treys as KU, but part of that is because they player lower possession games. Unlike KU recently, they always take more treys than their opponents. FGAs: Like KU, they average significantly fewer FGAs than opponents.but they average nearly the same trey percentage. Where KU has several near 40% trey shooters, they have two—6-0 Ian Baker and 6-8 Remi Baker. FTAs/FT%: FTs are the spine of each team’s offense. Shooting way more FTAs than the opponent are when each team is most likely to win. Clearly, something has to give here. KU’s driving game works partially because it uses 3, and up to 5 players, to drive on an opponent’s weakest match ups. NMSU is very big and strong inside, but not very mobile. It is very short and quick outside. KU could very well resort to considerable bursts of one big and four smalls to pull at least one of NMSU’s slow bigs out to cover. The moment NMSU does that, however, KU will then drive on NSMU’s remaining big and fouls will ensue.Though unpopular with fans, this BAD BALL Offense Self has created is a wicked problem for a team like NMSU, especially when KU can get a few treys to fall the first five minutes of the game, so the opponent honors the trey stripe the next five to ten minutes of driving and occasional transitioning. REBOUNDING: KU is likely to lose the rebounding battle, unless it can foul up NMSU, but KU has proven in Bad Ball that it can be down +5 and still win. PROTECTION: the team that wins the protection stat will probably win this low possession game, because low possession games magnify the importance of each possession and of each turn over and strip. One TO in a 80 possession game is less significant than 1 TO in a 50 possession. 1/80 < 1/50 COACHING: Marlin Menzies is a Rick Pitino disciple. That means he knows his stuff and knows how to attack weakness and defend strength, and apply pressure create TOs. If KU can win the protection stat, shoot and make more FTs, pick up some transitions with its big wings and short bigs running the floor, plus get on the glass at least within -5,Mensizes is right, he won’t outcoach Self. But if KU’s young Marauders get goosey about their first NCAA game, and turn it over, Menzies is good enough to keep up with any coach including Self. Menzies is doing the right things with the players he has. That is always dangerous, unless we play well.

    CONCLUSION: the Marauders are going to be playing the winner of the WSU-Indiana game.

    ((Note: Information in the preceding BIA Intel Estimate is for official board rat use only. Any intentional or accidental dissemination of the analysis beyond official KUBuckets board rats will trigger disavowal of any awareness of its existence. Omertà baby! And beat NMSU!)

  • Maybe they want to eliminate the Adidas schools because of the hideous band around the middle uniforms that Adidas is dressing them in.

  • @wissoxfan83

    I never thought of that!

    Brand managing might have something to do with it to!!!


  • @jaybate-1.0

    This shows why you’re the BIA Director…keeping our focus on the task at hand!

    I keep thinking about IU and WSU. My wife graduated from IU so it’s always fun to beat them…but I REALLY want to wipe the floor with the Wheat Shockers!!!

  • @VailHawk

    " I REALLY want to wipe the floor with the Wheat Shockers!!!"


    Now that’s what I’m talking about!

  • I want to play Lil Tommy Crean and his hoosiers. We have a good history against him in the dance if you remember 2003.

    Beating a team 70-30 half way through the 2nd half in a final four game against Dwayne Wade still just blows me away. I’ve watched enough of Crean’s coaching in the Big10 to know that Bill Self will have him crying for his momma by halftime of that game as well… unless his prolific three point shooters just fire away.

  • @wissoxfan83

    Crean and self will be VERY interesting.

    And isn’t it fascinating how Crean’s recruiting juggernaut at IU dried up at almost the same time UK and Duke hit the overdrive stack? I wonder what happened there?

  • @jaybate-1.0

    I think the fact Crean can’t coach impacted his recruiting. His record against Bo and Izzo is woeful and lately, if you want to win in the Big1G, those are the ones you’ve got to beat.

  • @drgnslayr

    I always pictured you with a barbed wire tattoo on your biceps

  • @VailHawk

    I’m screaming! 🙂

  • @drgnslayr

    Is that a beeper on your belt?

  • @VailHawk

    Hey… I’m not a drug dealer! No… it’s one of those all-in-one pliers tool.

    My side work is dentistry!

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