Deja Vu All Over Again -- Red Pill Anyone?

  • This is not a pleasant discussion. This discussion does require one to be objective. From time to time I’ve asked of folks to “Free your mind.” If you come to this discussion with a mind that is not free enough to consider possibilities beyond coach Self’s basketball world, then log off now. This is not for you. If you have a propensity for citing conference championships as the gospel, then you simply don’t get it. Take the escape hatch now. If, however, you would like to challenge yourself, read further. Critique. Analyze. Postulate. Free your mind.

    1. What We Witnessed: Folks, this was a disaster. WSU’s defensive scheme was better, their offensive scheme was better, and their players were clearly more inspired. This was a knock-out. It’s very disappointing to me. Last season, I felt very strongly that Self was outcoached by Johnny Dawkins. Dawkins shut down Wiggins with an active strategy to do so, and used his team’s height to contest our looks at the rim. What was most disappointing was our failure to adjust our attack. This season was a little different. What we saw vs. WSU was what we have seen since we we 21-4. It was more endemic than the issues last season. But in a complete white wash, Gregg Marshall outcoached Bill Self. Marshall was even ahead on the Soviet judge’s scorecard when Self’s head hit the canvas.

    2. Our NCAA Reality: The fact is, in 12 NCAA tournaments, Kansas has underachieved by 10 seeding lines under coach Self. I graded it out by seeds. If you have a 1 seed, Final Four. 2 seed, Elite Eight. 3 or 4 seed, Sweet 16. Bonus point for getting to the title game. Two points for winning the title. 2004 +1; 2005 -2; 2006 -2; 2007 -1; 2008 +2; 2009 even; 2010 -3; 2011 -1; 2012 +2; 2013 -2; 2014 -2; and 2015 -2. Total = -10. That is reality. You can’t dress that up. March has not been kind. March doesn’t lie, the ultimate judge and jury on the path the greatness.

    3. Bad Ball: We left Lubbock after thrashing Texas Tech by 20+ on the road 20-4. We returned to AFH, beat Baylor’s zone using our zone offense, and stood 21-4. Self adjusted our zone offense in that game, moving to an even man front against Baylor’s odd man front zone. Again, 21-4. Then it happened. Everything changed. @jaybate-1.0 coined the term, “bad ball.” Our offense changed from an offense that searched out the post feed and shot nearly 18 three pointers a game, to a drive, drive, and drive some more approach. Self preached that we needed to get the ball to the basket, and score inside. This was just a different way to score inside. Drawing fouls was a large part of the theory. Muck up the game, make it ugly, draw fouls, get to the line, and win by attrition.

    4. Bad Ball An Unequivocal Failure: Simply compare pre-bad ball to post-bad ball. The numbers don’t lie. Most importantly, Kansas was 21-4 pre-bad ball. Kansas was 6-5 post bad ball. Bad ball did not win the conference. Bad ball nearly lost it. Pre-bad ball had Kansas standing at 10-2 in conference. Bad ball had us at 3-3 in conference. And we know bad ball didn’t win the Big 12 tourney. And we know bad ball didn’t get us out of the second round of the NCAA tourney. In conference games before bad ball, we were +9.5 in margin of victory. After bad ball began, we were just +2.5 (which includes both the NMSU and WSU blowouts). The worst part about “Bad Ball” is not the drive it to the hoop approach. I never had any argument with that – the search to score inside. The flaw, the fatal flaw, was the abandonment of our three point game and our jump shooting. Self called this group the best shooting team he has had at Kansas. Yet he pushed that to the back of the bus. This shift was an unequivocal failure. Not only did Self’s change in offensive strategy not improve our offense, it made our offense … and our team … worse. There is no denying that now. Self’s move away from the status quo made our offense worse, led to less team success, and sent our season into the toilet. Self flat out blew it. Our offensive efficiency went into the tank. Our points per possession went south. We were lost. We had no offensive rhythm. And basketball season is over. Yes, Marshall outcoached Self … but this result was over a month in the making. It wasn’t a one game strategy failure like Stanford.

    5. Lost Without The Post Feed: This is perhaps the biggest takeaway from this season – Bill Self struggles as an offensive coach without the post feed. Bill Self’s lack of offensive acumen was clearly exposed this season. He is a one trick pony. When the post feed was removed from his offense, he floundered. No one can dispute that. It’s one of two things. Either Self just isn’t a very good offensive mind, or Self is just entrenched in the offensive dogma he preaches. I believe it is a chunk of both. And this is his fatal flaw. But we’ve seen our offense struggle for years, even with the post feed in high gear. Is this surprising? Heck, some football coaches are better defensively than offensively. That applies to basketball too. Self’s aversion to the three point shot is famous and this limits his world view, so to speak, of basketball offense. We talk about it. Local sport reporters talk about it. National commentators talk about it. John Gasaway on ESPN, just before the WSU game, said, “Who will make the 3s this time around? Likely not Kansas. Self’s aversion to the 3-point shot is relative and not absolute (he’s no Roy Williams or Larry Brown), but it is also well-documented and above all consistent.” This aversion to the three pointer will continue to keep Kansas from reaching it’s offensive peak, even when we can feed the post with impunity. And it destroyed this team’s chances this season. We need a new offensive coordinator. A director of offensive operations for Self to rely upon.

    6. Post Feed Futility Obvious Early: At a very, very early stage in this season, many of us identified that the post feed with this team was futile. UK was a horrific foreshadowing. Without doubt, it was by the Utah game. We had witnessed Brannen Greene win Kansas the Georgetown game. Then, against Utah, we had our best half of basketball, ravaging the Utes from outside in the first half. Self mocked Ellis’ outside efforts at halftime, first uttering the Fool’s Gold baloney. In the second half, we were horrible. Self clearly mandated that we pound the post for much of the second half – I documented our possession here after the game. We barely hang on and won a game where we had built a 20 point lead at home (Sprint Center). What was obvious was that we had no real ability to score against long and athletic players. Perry was overmatched. Cliff lacked any go to move. Traylor and Lucas were simply underskilled. I reiterate – this was obvious. And it was posted about regularly. This was not a secret. We could not reliably score inside. I took some gruff for suggesting that Self was delusional in this pursuit. Nothing has changed. Just more evidence. It took coach Self until after the TT game on February 10 to finally abandon it as our go to offensive focus. Oddly, the pound the post approach permitted our excellent three point shooting to shine to a great degree. Not to the degree it could have, to be sure, but as we’ve seen, much better than the alternative.

    7. Self Is Right And The Three Point Shot: My position on this is regularly misconstrued. My sole reason to believe that we should increase our three point attempts to 20-25 per game was because we couldn’t score efficiently inside. I spoke of “this Kansas team”, being sure not to include other groups. Now, I have and always will believe that the post feed is the best offensive weapon when you can score effectively in that manner. But when you score inside regularly, that creates a more difficult argument. No doubt that coach Self is right, though. It’s better to have reliable scoring near the bucket. But that does not have to be to the exclusion of the next best offensive weapon, the three point shot. And three point shooting, actually, can be reliable. Much thanks to @tundrahok. We had discussion on game day about three point attempts. And actually, as he pointed out, our three point shooting percentage increased the more we shot them. It was not a weapon of diminishing returns for this Kansas team. Really, it’s just a reasonable part of a balanced offensive attack. Look at WSU. Did that look like a team that lived and died by the three (a phrase no one has endorsed)? They only shot 20, and made 10. That was just a part of their attack. As we recognized way early in the season, it was necessary for this team to achieve its offensive peak to capitalize on the three point shot. And that was the discussion – how could this team maximize its offensive output? Self refused to capitalize on our teams’ greatest weapon, which was perimeter shooting. A massive failure.

    8. What Self Should Have Done: This is really very simple. I said this early on – simply continue with your high/low offense. Embrace the three point shot. Work hard to scheme to get open three point looks from the high/low. That type of attack, premised on outside shooting, would then open up the inside for easier post feed scores. Self’s decision to increase our efforts to drive the ball, instead of post feeds, might not have been necessary. But it certainly could have been part of a two pronged attack. Drive and shoot the three point shot. We saw that with WSU. And folks, all it would have required were some tweaks to our current offense. Work in some rule variations in our motion offense that could have been “add ons” in practice. What is amazing is that our normal offense does create three point looks. Using Perry at the high post to drive, but also as a pick and pop four – not difficult. Remember Andrew White in that role vs. Belmont in 2012? But the bottom line is that Self could have, and should have, embraced the perimeter game and should have embraced his shooters. Create looks as part of your normal offense. The key is being balanced, and shading your offense to your strengths. Folks argued against too much reliance on the three. But we ended up being too reliant on the drive. This made things easy on opposing coaches. The fact is, Self simply did not want to do that. And logic had nothing to do with it. Nothing.

    9. NCAA Reality, Just For Fun: Here is reality on three point attempts - In 2014, Wisconsin made the Final Four shooting 21 three pointers per game during the tourney. Florida shot 16 per game during the tourney, also getting to the Final Four. And, of course, UConn shot 19 threes per game during the tourney, on its way to winning the national title. During the season, Wisconsin shot 20.7 threes per game and UConn shot 18.52 threes per game. Florida shot 17.74. In 2013, Michigan shot 21 per game in the tourney on its way to beating KU and getting to the title game. Michigan shot 19.71 per game for the season. Wichita St. shot 20 per game on the way to the Final Four during the tourney, and 19.61 per game that season. Syracuse, who also made the Final Four (whose threes were down a bit in the tourney), shot 17.42 per game for the season. Louisville shot 15 per game during the tourney, significantly higher than our rate in our bad ball stretch. They also shot 17.27 per game during the season.

    10. Three Point Reality: The reality is that there are multiple ways to skin a cat. Three point shooting is not a panacea. There is no perfect answer. UK has the horses, they are pounding it inside … scoring at a miraculous 69.3% at the rim. But they shoot just as many threes as Kansas does (and we score at about 55% – er, scored). Villanova shot a bunch of threes and got eliminated. Virginia shot very few this season and got eliminated. Again, there is no perfect answer. But I do know that having a disdain for the three pointer limits your possibilities, and thus limits the possibilities for your team. You are closing off a portion of the game that can be exploited, particularly when your team can’t play the way you want it to play. This was the reality of the 2014-15 Kansas Jayhawks.

    11. Kansas Offense Vs. WSU: Eleven possessions into the first half, Self dabbled with a four out/one in scheme, and used that scheme much of the second half. However, our four out/one in scheme was really no offense at all. The four out/one in scheme was little more than the weave. Compare to WSU’s four out/one in. Our guys would stand around and drive to the hoop. Occasional outside shots. There was nothing within the scheme to get open shots, was there? What we saw was a scheme that did not put players in positions to get open shots. They literally had to create their own looks. If you have any doubt, go back and watch the second half. Here is the key question to ask yourself, “what did coach Self do to put our players in a position to succeed offensively?” Our offense was little more than playground ball – hand off, look for a lane to drive. The offense we ran was a flat out joke. It’s something that can work in bursts. And it has worked at times this season. But the problem is that opposing coaches see the simplicity, and have prepared for it. Wichita St. likely plagiarized the ISU defense. It is the best tool in sports – note to Self, you can plagiarize. Anyway, WSU did what ISU did against our weave. They simple contracted and shut off driving lanes. One trick pony. Easy. Their defense dominated us. We were live and die by the drive, right? And Self did nothing to enhance the four out/one in look – nothing. This was a complete failure. It was as if we spent no practice time trying to improve that limited offense and WSU embarrassed us. We looked like a 6th grade rec team out there offensively. Again, simply embarrassing.

    12. Scheming To Create Success: I’ve mentioned this numerous times. This is a coach’s job. Scheme to create success. And in this manner, coach Self has wildly failed on the offensive end. Where does this come from? I go back to Self’s quote after the UK game. I felt that it was very telling. Self said, “This game plan crap that everybody talks about; this isn’t football. We play to our strengths, and you don’t just change offenses because the other team is tall.” This is at the very heart of Self weakness, his failing. Self doesn’t change, he won’t change. And we saw it all in vivid HD this season. Self’s view of his teams “strengths” is warped. What he meant to say instead of strengths was, “We play the way we play …” And this is it. We play the way Self wants to play, not the way that capitalizes on his players’ strengths.

    13. Scheming to Success II: Ok then, what do I mean here? It means to put your team in the best position to be successful. It’s a coach’s main job. Create conditions where the players you have at hand can succeed. This is again, where the rubber meets the road. There is a wide, diverse, and deep basketball world out there. Bill Self’s offensive world is very thin and limited. We saw WSU on Sunday … a team whose coach schemed directly to take advantage of their strengths. And pay close attention here – that team is a lot like ours. Very much like ours. Strong perimeter players, not a dominating post presence. Did you see what WSU did? During this season, I’ve tried to explain this, I’ve tried to map out examples, I’ve tried to reference game sequence. Just re-watch WSU vs. Kansas. Res ipsa loquitur – the facts speak for themselves. That is the exact offense that this team should have been running this season. But our coach failed us. Coach Self refused to scheme to success. I would say that he failed to recognize this before the season, but I don’t know. I think it caught him off guard, how futile we were inside. But here’s what I do know – I (we) recognized this very early on. Bill Self could have easily incorporated elements of WSU’s offense into our high/low – elements to scheme to our strengths. Personally, I think he could have flat switched offenses. But short of that, the tweaks and adjustments would have been easy, if Self was committed to doing so. There are other examples of offenses that are dynamic, that would fit our personnel. Gonzaga is another one. Many, many in the basketball universe.

    14. WSU Offense: I mentioned this above – did WSU look like a live/die by the three team? Guys, that phrase is silly … unless you’re VMI. And I ain’t talking VMI. We’re talking basketball. WSU is not a live/die by the three team. Of course not. They only shot 20 and beat us by 16 points. They scored in a lot of different ways. It was a decisive ass kicking. The three point shot was a large part of their offense, but just a part of a balanced attack. Their offense took a team that was less talented, and put them in position to beat a more talented team by 16. That’s coaching. Are there any converts here? Are there any of you that didn’t believe early, but now believe in this alternative offensive theory? Wichita St. attacked. WSU used the pick and roll. WSU pushed the action with ball screens. WSU created open looks for its three point shooters. And with a small lineup, WSU was able to get looks inside. WSU inverted. WSU did not play tentative on offense. See, the difference is that WSU’s offense was an actual offense. It was a motion offense with multiple options, multiple angles, and multiple goals. Compare that to what you saw from Kansas Sunday. It is literally night and day.

    15. High/Low: Of course, Self’s real offense is the high/low. That’s what we’ve always run. We couldn’t even utilize an effective high/low attack against a midget lineup? We could not get our post players any easy looks inside against undersized opponents? The high/low, though, is a terrific offense. So what went wrong? It’s quite simple. We didn’t have the personnel to do what coach Self wanted done within his offense. We haven’t been able to do that all season. And the simple fact of the matter is that Self’s refusal to adjust his scheme, in recognition of this unassailable fact – an obvious fact that so many saw well before Christmas – destroyed this season. Self was slow to react. When he did react, he made the wrong decision. And that lies solely on Coach Self’s doorstep.

    Unfortunately, we had this little Red Pill, Blue Pill discussion last season, at about this time. Just for fun, give it another read and then ask yourself, “what has changed?” Certainly not our NCAA resume.

  • @HighEliteMajor said:

    Bad Ball An Unequivocal Failure:

    Bad Ball carried KU to a conference title and 26 wins and a two seed with the weakest big men KU has ever had. 26 wins is the same number Cole Aldrich and Sherron Collins achieved their first seasons starting without the '08 ring team as relatively young playersm though probably not so young as this team.

    A early, limited version of BAD BALL carried UConn to the title.

    Fred adopted BAD BALL and it carried ISU past us in the B12 Conference tourney championship and into March Madness with juco transfers.

    An XTReme BAD BALL carried Wichita State to the Sweet 16 and beat us.

    To the contrary, BAD BALL is here to stay, I fear.

    BAD BALL will grow increasingly prevalent.

    BAD BALL will dominate all small ballers (like WSU) that can shoot 35%, or higher, from trey in BAD BALL sets.

    BAD BALL migrate down into the high schools, where there are more small players capable of driving it than there are trey ballers and play above the rim types. As a result, players will increasingly come out of high schools trained to play bad ball and drivers will become the new staple of all non OAD recruiting.

    And this trend will likely continue until a coach has the huevos and the shooters to ramp up to 100% trey attempts per game where trey balling can finally become accurate enough, and its droughts short enough, that one no longer has to worry about off shooting nights from trey. Instead one shoots through the trey slump in a single half and comes out hot the second half. Think about it. When KU shoots 15 3ptas per game, it rarely takes more than 5 games before the shooting slump ends. 5 games x 15 treys/game is 75 trey attempts. That means that a 100 percent trey ball shooting team can get out of a slump in 1 to 1.25 games at the most. And 5 game shooting slumps at 15 per game rarely happen more than once a season. So: this means that if you shoot 100% trey attempts, you are likely only to lose one game a season due to the mother of all trey balling slumps. That is incredible… Losing one game a season to bad shooting? And the rest of the games your PPP is off the charts.

    But until then, I just don’t see this BAD BALL thing going away any time soon.

    Hope it does, but I just don’t see it, so long as there is increasing asymmetry in talent.

    Regardless, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post as usual…

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Thoughtful, articulate and unfortunately right on the money. HEM, thank you for the education. My basketball IQ has doubled in the last couple years bc of you and so many others on this site.

    Bill Self is a great ambassador for KU. He brought us a title in 08 that we absolutely needed and deserved after so many seasons we should have won it all (97 & 03, etc). However, he isn’t infallable.

    Couple questions:

    1. Why do three point shooters come to Kansas? Every year we hear how great guys are at the 3. Jeremy Case was allegedly Ray Allen in practice. And most don’t see the court presumably bc of poor defense.

    2. Why do guys transfer? I’m not opposed to guys that transfer bc they know they’re not good enough. But I have a hunch a few have transferred bc they realized they didn’t fit Self’s mold. AWIII and CF come to mind. Both have defensive limitations, but both could shoot the lights out when given the chance.

    3. How much do we miss Joe Dooley? Wasn’t he with Self since ORU? Losing his experience & mind and replacing it with Snacks might not be working out.

    4. Offensive coordinator BRILLIANT!!! Bill Belichick knows how to coach. I’m a die hard Chefs fan but I recognize his brilliance. He knows football but also delegates as all great leaders do. So either Self doesn’t have qualified assistants or he’s not letting them do their jobs. It makes too much sense to hire an offensive coordinator to help broaden/tweek our offense. The 2nd half against WSU was awful. No motion and no effort to try anything different.

    5. Lastly, I’m not in favor of replacing Self and I don’t thing @HighEliteMajor or any rational human is, either. However, we all should recognize he can step up his game and evolve as a coach. His core philosophies are solid. Just be open to broadening his offensive schemes, make adjustments to fit his talent and win 2 or 3 national titles in the next 10-15 years. Does anyone think this is unrealistic at Kansas?

  • @VailHawk I miss Dooley. But I also miss having upperclassmen. Having everyone leave in 2012 devastated the ecosystem.

  • @approxinfinity

    Agreed. And Self would most definitely agree with you. When he has his type of guys with 2-4 years in his system then you win the 2008 national championship. But I’m worried that w/out a change to the OAD system OR w/out a change in his offensive philosophy we won’t be going back to F4’s and winning titles.

  • @jaybate-1.0

    You’ve been typing for a while, this next one’s gonna be a doozy!


  • @HighEliteMajor said:

    We didn’t have the personnel to do what coach Self wanted done within his offense.

    The High Low.

    There is something to this, but I’m coming at it at a slightly different angle.

    You are clearly correct that he lacked the front court personnel to play High Low offense the way it was conceived to be played and the way it always has been played until this seasons.

    Self tried to find a way to adapt the High Low to a BAD BALL offensive scheme that relied on perimeter drivers and attacking face to the basket from all five posiitions.

    I, of course, think he was much more successful and innovative in this undertaking than you do.

    And I think he stuck with the high low offense this season in order to get this group used to playing it and thinking about playing it for continuity for next season when Self expects to have some more capable big men to go with his current bunch of front court players. I think he viewed this season as a development year. What he has done is developed in a group of front court players the ability to play the high low offense as mobile big man attack platforms, i.e., as face to the back attackers. My guess is that what he is hoping to do is add at least a pair of big men next season that can be trained to play conventional back to the basket high low basketball. What he will then have is a back court able to attack teams EITHER WAY. I realize that to you, who reasons that BAD BALL is a failed approach, this would not seem a sensible thing to do. But to Self, and to little ol’ me, who think that playing BAD BALL is a very, very effective way of attacking teams, being able to play BAD BALL b2b, or f2b, any time circumstances suggests either, this is going to be a very heady mixture of options for next season.

    So: where is our overlap and agreement that I was alluding to.

    If Self had not been trying to build continuity for next season by sticking with the high low despite front court personnel that did not seem suited to it, then I think he should have found another offense to run that did fit his personnel better. And when I look at this past season’s personnel, what I think would have worked exceptionally well was Tex Winter’s Triangle Offense that could have incorporated two of our perimeter players and Perry at various points around the perimeter with a variety of action involving the three players in the triangle at any given time. The triangle just keeps flipping around the court perimeter to involve two more perimeter players and Perry each flip. This would have put all of the offense in the triangle action and would have kept all the offense involved with our best offensive players, and would have allowed the inside player to focus utterly on rebounding and nothing else.

    I suppose others could come up with other offense.

    I would be very interested to read about what offense you would have liked to have seen this team run instead of the high low formations of 1-2-2, 1-3-1, 1-4 and 4-1 that Self improvised as formations for the High Low. I suspect you will have some very interesting ones.

    Lastly, I think you may be underestimating the impact that injuries and suspensions this season would have had on any offensive and shooting schemes any of us might have preferred over what Self in fact used. I am still of the opinion that BAD BALL played through the High Low Offensive formations that Self devised was the best way to bridge our way through the injuries and the suspensions.

    But it is the off season now and you have started us off with a thought provoking bang!


  • @jaybate-1.0 One thing people haven’t brought up much is the inability of the guards and sf to feed the post. Admittedly Landen Lucas could use stronger hands and he did miss a number of bunnies. On the other hand he is very good at getting post position and sealing his man. None of that means anything unless someone can deliver the ball.

    That ability requires experience for most players who are not John Wall types. Although his name is a dirty word to HEM, Brady was very good at this and it is one of the things that kept him on the floor. That only happened when he was a junior and a senior.

    One of the things that you pointed to is continuity. Everyone moans and groans that we should have more 3-4 year players. That is what most of the good teams with the exception of UK have. If you’re going to drastically change from year to year then you might as well have OADs. TRob, the twins, Cole were hardly world beaters when they walked in the door. As they gained experience in general and with Self’s offense in particular they became good or great. The loss of JoJo after one year was a greater loss than Markief leaving with Marcus. It left the pantry bare in the middle.

    Self has tweaked his approach to take into account what people can do. Anyone who says differently has never seen Andrew Wiggins play for KU. He was given a green light to do what Self has allowed very few if any others to do. Svi is another example of someone who Self played early on who he did not pull because of missed 3s. He obviously thought that what he saw in practice would carry over to games. When it didn’t the experiment stopped.

    What Self has not done is change his basic offensive philosophy. He is continually developing a program and not a one year team.

    What bothers me the most about these type of discussions is the lack of people with the courage of their convictions. Bill Self can’t do this. Bill Self can’t do that. Bill Self can’t do the other thing. And most importantly Bill Self doesn’t listen to ME. He isn’t god but he either sucks or he doesn’t. If you believe that he can no longer cut it then call for him to be fired. We could then talk about people who would want to be the coach of KU.

  • @sfbahawk said:

    What bothers me the most about these type of discussions is the lack of people with the courage of their convictions… If you believe that he can no longer cut it then call for him to be fired. We could then talk about people who would want to be the coach of KU.

    What bothers me is people not letting others discuss what they want to discuss.

    You are jumping to the conclusion that if HEM is correct then Self should be fired, or at least saying that he would jump to that conclusion if he had any courage.

    Why jump to conclusions? Why not discuss the issues raised first? Did Socrates lack courage when he asked others to define their terms and argue their points logically?

    If you think HEM is a cowardly Monday morning coach and can no longer cut it on this board, then call for him to be banned. We could then talk about people who would want to join this board in his place. See: what’s the difference with what you said?

  • I wonder whether the team, at some level, shared HEM’s misgivings. Did that look like a team on the same page with its coach? Why did Self have to scream “What are you doing?” at the beginning of the last game of the season?

    Maybe this team lacked confidence in Self’s offense, or felt Self’s lack of confidence.

    “Identity” = mutual trust.

    I know you, you know me: one thing I can tell you is we got to shoot threes - with apologies to John Lennon…

  • @HighEliteMajor said:

    nothing within the scheme to get open shots

    The look on Bill’s face on the sideline late in the game reminded me of the picture I saw in the dictionary when I looked up “I got nuthin.”

  • @HighEliteMajor I don’t understand the nuances of basketball as you and some of the other posters do, but some ramblings below anyway…

    My concern is not our offense, which has always looked simplistic to my untrained eye. I’ve just accepted that now. That’s not going to change.
    However, what I don’t understand is that Coach prides himself on defense and toughness, yet every single upset that we’ve had has come down to just lack of energy and relentless defense. We always seem to come out flat and that doesn’t jive with the “tough” and “defense first” identity that Coach preaches. What gives?

    WSU played manic defense. They were all over our guys and in their faces whether in the post or on the perimeter. We more often than not left their guys open.

    Getting an offensive genius on the staff would help, but so will getting the team ready for each and every game is needed. Coach is usually nonchalant in public about any “extra motivation” schtick, which is understandable, but I hope he uses every single ammunition to get the team to play with an edge.

  • @FarSideHawk great point on that. Thats my biggest concern right now. Why are we always having to discuss “motors” or “from an energy standpoint”? I dont understand that at all. I dont feel like at this level that effort or intensity should ever even have to be discussed. The trouble is with most of our losses this year and. In prior years. You can go straight there first. Honestly, the last game we lost where i felt the team just got beat on a night when their intensity was good was the @ OU game and then before that. The @ ISU game. And im saying 40 minutes intense. As it should be

  • @cragarhawk Agreed. I hate losing like everyone but I really hate when the post loss comments include “we didn’t come to play tonight”. How are our guys not up for every single game, especially an NCAA tournament game? The 2011 loss to VCU certainly seemed to be due to a team who was looking past a far inferior squad. The 2013 team lost after a total meltdown so I am not sure that they didn’t come to play. That team seemed to always show up. 2014 certainly looked unexcited to play Stanford and this year the WSU loss seems to come partially down to effort.

    In the post game I heard Ron Baker say “this is my biggest win ever at WSU”. Van Vleet said “I am so excited I don’t even know how to feel”. Hard to believe any of our guys would have that sentiment had we won the game.

    Is this lack of effort in huge games coach Self? Is it the players? To me it seems like a mix. When you look back at the 07 team, the 08 team, the Sherron teams, the 2012 team…they seemed to bring it. It has really been the last couple of years that I can really see the “we just didn’t have it tonight” excuses. Probably 50/50 blame. Self and the players.

    All really great posts above.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Great post as always, the passion I see in your writing is 2nd to none on here. You really push the envelope of thinking but right now all of us fans need something to grasp and understand what has happened yet again.

    A few comments while I’m at it:

    1. 3 tell-tale games. If you look at things from the beginning of the year 3 games told us everything you needed to know about how the season would end. The UK deflate game (no pun to the patriots fiasco), the almost blown Utah game, and the Temple debacle. I could include the near loss @ home to OU, or the OSU 2nd half retreat but I think those 3 games defined what was wrong with KU basketball. The reasons? Well who would have ever thought that KU would be blown out twice in one season. A fluke 20 point loss is bound to happen sometimes but 2 in one season alerted us in all the wrong ways. The Utah game showed the Jekyll & Hyde of the team to hold a lead. We would go on to do this in almost every single game. We just weren’t built to win games like good teams were supposed to.

    2. Off-court turmoil. You have to think that ever since Wiggins & Embiid went pro that things spiraled south. First Andrew White transferred for more playing time. The picture fiasco with Tharpe forces him to transfer either willingly or unwillingly. Now we are down 4 players. The plus side was getting Graham and Svi but still roster turnover was +3 counting Black.

    Then the summer hits and Alexander gets hurt, Svi decides to play internationally so both were behind in individual skill development with the program.

    The fall hits and bam Conner decides to transfer right before the season. At some point the attrition is going to affect the team. Self could have gotten other players had he known what would happen. A Buddy Hield or a Ron Baker wanted to play for KU but that didn’t happen Self was busy recruiting others.

    Then in-season we get slapped with the Cliff Alexander show. One we still have no answer(s) to and likely won’t have for a while. Not having Cliff altered our post rotation and forced both Lucas & Mari into roles they just weren’t comfortable with. They tried valiantly but at some point skill development and talent lost out.

    Then our best player arguably sprains his knee conveniently right before tournament time. His mental barrier is forced to deal with an injury for the first time in his career. His game just never came around to 100% pre injury. 2nd year in a row our most important player jolted post-season success.

    1. No backup plan for Embiid leaving. When Embiid went pro it wasn’t as if that was some secret. He showed early in the season he had a chance to be 1 and done. Self and co should have started recruiting for safety. Black was a 1 year loner so you knew you were at least losing 1 big. Why didn’t we get another big with Alexander? Self constantly said Hunter wasn’t a true 5, Cliff wasn’t a true 5, Mari certainly a borderline 4. We either really struck out hard in recruiting or we just plainly put all our eggs into Embiid returning for Sophomore year. In the end it wouldn’t have mattered he got hurt in the summer and wouldn’t have played regardless where he was NBA or College.

    2. What off-season turmoil will we have this year? I’m praying that most of this team stays together because we can’t afford another year with 3-4 players leaving the system. We can absorb Cliff leaving because we have Bragg. A slightly bigger and more offensively skilled Big who can play outside/inside. We cannot replace Oubre’s skill, length, defense if he leaves unless we win the Jaylen Brown sweepstakes. A lot of people have said Greene could transfer but here’s hoping he matures and sticks it out with KU. Selden and Ellis are 2nd round to undrafted players at this point so why leave now? Ellis can finish in the top 10 in KU scoring history and possibly lead this team to greater heights next year. Selden can work on everything and a 3 year starter would be better than nothing.

    3. What recruits/transfers do we get? Do we get a Center? We are only after 1 at the moment. Do we hit the transfer market for a Senior like Black with 1 year left? Would we use Diallo at the 5? Can we land either Brown or Newman? Either would improve our offense tremendously. We should use all of our scholarships because we will lose Senior’s next year regardless. Self needs to have a big Spring.

    It’s clear to me that a snowball effect of things happened which have now ended the KU season. It’s amazing we were even able to win another conference championship with this much distraction.

  • Cliff Notes to HEM’s sentiment: “BAD BILL” (!!)

  • What I want to know is this:

    Was Zenger in Self’s office yesterday with his finger in his face, or was it just business as usual?

    Is everyone (besides us posters) ok with KU being mediocre? I mean a LOT of programs would be happy with 9 or 10 losses, a Conference Title (or 11) and a trip to the NCAA’s. I’m not.

    If I’m Self’s boss, I’m giving him a lot of hints, tips and ideas to win at least 4 games when he gets to the tournament or maybe he ought to re-think the way he does things. Or where he does them.

    Earlier in the season, I would have prefaced this post with a “this is not a Self bashing”. Now, you can take it however you like.

  • Man, do you guys sleep? Anyway, the discussion is off to a good start here. Great points.

    @Vailhawk - Your questions/discussion points are good ones. If I am a dad of a top three point shooting HS player, Kansas is not the place. CF, Brannen Greene, Andrew White, Jeremy Case (a blast from the past) were not fits here. And fit is what this is all about in my opinion. It isn’t valued. And yes, I think that is why they transfer. Reality sets in. I think Brannen Greene is still a big risk to transfer for just that reason. I just don’t know on Dooley, though. What I have always wondered about on the KU staff is whether they are “yes men.” Meaning, is there any critical thinking and devil’s advocacy, or is it, “we’re implementing coach’s stuff.” I don’t know. The offensive coordinator thing hit me this past weekend. A coach in the tourney mentioned a staff member as the offensive coordinator, and I know many coaches delegate the authority over aspects of the game. Seems to make sense.

    @approxinfinity - And you hit the next big discussion point – OADs. And @VailHawk followed up. I have purposefully been silent on the OAD thing all season. Waiting, watching. I see what Duke is doing now. Don’t know the final result. I definitely have an opinion after the past two seasons, and will address that in a more comprehensive post. Great point.

    @jaybate-1.0 I appreciate your insight. I would challenge you a bit though – Bad ball did not win us the conference, did it? Our shift in offensive focus occurred when we were 10-2 in conference. We went 3-3 thereafter. Perhaps, though, I’m not grasping the full breadth of your bad ball definition. Wichita St. playing bad ball? WSU ran a sophisticated offensive scheme premised on pick/roll, inside screens, inversion, and drive and drop (with shooters in specific hot spots). They isolated their post man to take advantage of perimeter overplays. It doesn’t get much better than that. That as being bad ball doesn’t compute with me. They played tough, aggressive defense … but they collapsed to prevent penetration. I’m curious as to what makes this bad ball – is the bad ball tent bigger than I’m assuming?

    @sfbahawk - The inability to feed the post is a nice observation. During one of our games this season, the color guy mentioned that Self had said that we were poor in the post entry game. I appreciate that you associate me with Brady. I really do. But I also appreciate his post feeding ability. I also saw excellent post feeds from EJ and Releford, but no doubt Brady was the best. But who is the best on this team? Without a doubt, it is Svi. He was excellent at this aspect, but of course found the bench. A good post feed is necessary – I do think, though, that our inability to do something after receiving the ball was more the issue. I do agree that Self gave Wiggins the green light pretty much all of the time – Wiggins Rules. He also let Wiggins loaf up and down the court. And he also let Wiggins make mistakes that others wouldn’t get away with. Now, he did bench Wiggins here and there, but it was rare.

    On Self and your “courage of their convictions” statement, about Self and simply saying he should be fired – I appreciate @ParisHawk’s follow-up. I will also say this: The same inclination that folks have to defend coach Self is the same inclination many have in resisting any suggestion that he be fired - He’s one of us. He’s like a brother. You don’t cast a family member into the street over a perceived failing, or a difference in opinion. I can assure you beyond any doubt that if I felt Self should be fired, I’d say it. Rather, I think that Self is who he is. The challenge is making this team fit Self’s image. I talked a lot in the preseason about this. If Self is inflexible, so be it. But he better get guys that match his system then. No middle ground.

    @ParisHawk - I have really wondered. The players comments show no hint of discontent or issues. But as we found with Selden’s comments in the preseason about last season’s team, sometimes we just don’t have confirmation until later. When Self yells, “what are you doing”, my first thought is why? And the answer is frustration. Many of his reactions are out of frustration. He gets angry. It’s how he substitutes sometimes, though I think he’s moderated a bit there. I wonder about Selden. What is going on there? Is there some disconnect? It will be interesting to see how the roster plays out.

    @FarSideHawk @cragarhawk @joeloveshawks - Effort, intensity, energy, motors – or playing with the “chip” as @drgnslayr has emphasized. Who wanted that game more? Heck, one of our players commented about that after the game. That absolutely baffles me. Look, this a very much on the players. I get that. But Quinn Snyder infamously said, “You can’t coach effort.” A comical statement. Of course you can. It’s right there on the job description. There is little doubt to me that coach Self tries to coach effort. It’s a great quality. I just wonder, back to @ParisHawk’s point, could Self have lost this team mentally? Could they have checked-out, disconnected? Boy, I just don’t know.

    @BeddieKU23 - Thanks. I really like the idea of pinpointing tell-tale games. Looking back, for me, it was the Temple game that you mentioned. In all of the years watching KU hoops, was there ever a more baffling game? Just blown out by a team that ended up not making the tourney. The Jekyll & Hyde thing, I personally think that it was the struggle for the identity of this team. Bill Self, in my humble opinion, tried to make this team something it wasn’t; and worse, wouldn’t let the team be what it was. Bad analogy maybe, but if your son is gay, he’s gay. You may not like it. You may get him a subscription to Playboy. But the dude is gay. I put that in bold because I wish I would have said that in my main post. Anyway, it’s very hard to change who you are. And in my little mind, this team was a perimeter team. No doubt.

    @nuleafhawk @ralster - Points well taken. I tend to think that Self is Zenger’s boss, but I 'could be mistaken …

  • A bit presumptious to say “no backup plan” to Embiid (or Markieff & Selby) turning pro.

    I will say the OAD type player that actually leaves after Yr1 is simply not good for our system, because his replacement gets to start learning the system from ground zero–we never get to even a 50-70% “toolkit” with those guys. You can even easily say Wiggy, Xavier, Embiid would be better in Year2…so Yr1 is a limited-ceiling Lose-Lose (if you consider our system’ & players’ potential).

    Face it: Self runs a midmajor-type developmental /fundamentals-based playstyle. Critical mass on execution & reliable execution comes thru experience & physicality–2 HUGE reasons underclassmen rosters suffer in this system.

    My analogy of Self’s modus operandi is he wants a MichSt-mentality, but stocked with better ranked athletes than Izzo gets. MichSt people have embraced who Izzo is, nobody is calling out for him to change his spots, are they?

    My corrollary to HEMs red/blue is to consider the MichSt upset of Virginia: does your mind’s eye focus on Va’s stagnant offense, OR do you see the locked-in, masterful D played x 40min by MichSt?

    Man, there’s a ton of performance data on Self’s various teams (& the corresponding eye test of each ku team) that we should know what works best for us. For the usual team identity Self is always trying to forge. Its not a competent Self product, yet…All we saw was flashes & halves of games, but rarely a complete game. Last year was worse.

    There shouldnt be anything painful about this, unless HEM & KUinLA’s nicely articulated attempts to caricaturize the KU coach makes you uncomfortable, eh?

    Sucks to lose, but the reality is all of us KU people have seen enough games this season to know in your heart & mind that losing to wsu was a typical B-version outing of this year’s squad. Lack of poise is a powerful phrase that plays out on BOTH ends. Everybody in the nation saw who wsu maintain poise, and KU lose theirs. You saw it. You’ll see it again. Its just part of the psychology of basketball.

    My advice: wait, wait, and wait some more until a given Self roster reaches that aggregate critical mass of experience, mindset, & physicality–none of those can be rushed.

    And wait for junkyard dog/alpha types of top50 athletes to re-populate our post-positions. Imagine if we could put Mason or Sherron’s mindset into a 6’9 or 6’10+ guy? We need more Arthurs, TRobs, MorrisTwins, Coles.

    The OADs + plateaued developmental types arent helping our playstyle. Not every kid will pan out.

    I’ll agree with HEM regarding getting 11–>50-70ranked guys, as he’s astutely analyzed what is best suited to this system. But now we trash the system, instead of easily recognizing the current team’s several issues needing improvement?

    Cliff Alexander, if he somehow, someway returns is exactly the mentality we need in the post, imagine him in Yr2 or Yr3–he will be way more than Darnell Jackson, & thats part of my big pix point. Calling a FROSH a “bust” in Self’s system almost seems oxymoronic, as if that fan may not understand our system (bless their heart…). This isnt KY West.

    Why is it such a foreign concept that your KU frosh & sophs couldnt cash the full amt of the “toughness” cheques that Self is always writing, & earning his win% with over the years? It could be disrespectful to what the 08 and '12 teams achieved in this same system.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Your right, Self did try and make this a team that he just couldn’t get to do what he wanted. Instead of molding with them, he molded them how he wanted it. That’s the price we for him, he’s an exceptional coach but never will be perfect. At some point he’s got to have the players who can go out and do it regardless. A poor 2pt% team, the most blocked team in the country, average at best passing team they all are factors that this team couldn’t do better.

    The Temple game was plain scary. We didn’t even compete. They were a good team though and should have made the tourney. Being from the east I saw a handful of their games to see if the KU game was a fluke. I thought they passed the eye test for making the field.

    You could say that about the Kentucky game as well. Later on we find out that the early season trip for UK was probably a benefit to them in being more prepared. But to beat us by 30 on the national stage was just disgusting. We weren’t the only blue-blood to feel their wrath (UCLA got it worse).

  • @ralster To add on to what you said about the big man types. I feel like Perry is finally starting to take on that aggressive nature. Even with a bum knee and maybe a broken nose he put up 17 and 9. He finished the season very strong. We said a bit of the same last year but the mentality of it sure seems different.

    I also think that Devonte is going to be HUGE for us as time goes on. If we had a rim protector and he could gamble every once and a while we would have 6 more points a game on the havoc he could create. He has such great anticipation and seems to come up with steals sometimes off of nothing. Think if that was part of the defensive scheme. If he knew he could pressure out and have help on a back cut…

    @HighEliteMajor I agree about Self possibly “losing” this team as far as their mentality. The “what are you doing?” quote stood out to me as well. And didn’t he even finish the quote, “all you want to do is shoot threes! That’s soft!” I’m pretty sure that is how Jesse recounted it. Clearly the players had an idea of how they wanted to play and the coach had a different idea.

    However, I don’t think offense was necessarily the biggest issue against WSU. I think 49 second half points was the problem. Our defense seemed to focus on FVV and Baker as it should, but WSU has shown all year that they are not JUST a two man team. We simply left guys open. In most Bill Self coached games the team that can get to 65 or 70 wins unless it’s a team that really pushes the pace like ISU or OU. WSU did not push the pace. They didn’t take a bunch of quick shots. They did what we used to do. Move the ball, the open man takes the shot. And their “open man” usually didn’t have a guy within three feet of him.

    Offense was a big problem for this team this year, but defense in the second half is what lost the game. Our 39 points in the second half was actually a pretty good half offensively. I will admit I haven’t looked at PPP for the second half so I could be way off about the pace. It didn’t seem fast though.

  • @ralster

    Was their a backup plan to Embiid?

    Was Self the only guy in the world that didn’t know he was gone by January? Our backup graduated… Lucas was left… Cliff simply wasn’t big enough or skilled enough to hold down the position. He didn’t even make it through the entire year. Hunter not a true 5 either and could barely get minutes only after Cliffgate went on.

  • @HighEliteMajor I think you’re being a bit hard on Self. We all agree that Coach K is a good coach, but by the way you tallied things up in point #2 Coach K is at -13 from '04 to '14. So Self has outperformed K. I don’t have time to look up others succes rates. Roy was -10 in his first 11 years also.

    I wish Self wasn’t so bull headed at times and more flexible, but as Landon Lucas put it the team would do better if they just did what coach asked of them instead of doing what they think is best. Experience will make this team better, I just don’t know what the ceiling will be if Coach Self can’t sign a 7 footer for next season.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    I am absolutely serious with this… do you coach ball somewhere?

    My son is 19 months old and all the kid does is play basketball. I haven’t pushed it on him but I have provided him with balls and a mini goal. He stuffs the ball like Daryl Dawkins on his goal set at 3-ft. He grows at least one size in shoes every month and is in the 99% on both height and weight. His doctor said his minimum height will be 6’6". If he wants ball, I want to provide everything possible for his development.

  • @nuleafjhawk Zenger has a coaching background, and should recognize “loss of poise” when it was so easily evident. Or, he may ask Self why we “missed” on 2 KS kids in Willie CauleyStein and Ron Baker, lol…(both would have been great system players for Self).

    Another idea: We mighta/coulda used 6 or 8 pts & 2-4 blocks from Cliff (along with his 3-4 frosh fouls), but we get shafted by fate yet again.

    Question: Is it any sort of mitigating factor to pluck an athletic 6’8, 240lb dude out of the paint from an already struggling-in-the-post Self team? I’d say it was. I’d say we labored that much harder. And I think we have a close knit squad, & who knows the team psyche “hit” that Cliff’s stupid/greedy mom unwittingly landed on her son, his team, & his coach. Light bulbs do go “on”, and who’s to know how much better Cliff coulda become by the wsu game? I say even an avg game from Cliff impacts that game. He’s no Okafor, but against wsu’s 2 x 6’7 guys, he could have had impact.

    Zenger pointing a finger at Self is nice dramatic mental imagery, but that would reek of some mid-mgr accountant type reaction, whom Self would have to sit down & show game tape to Zenger to “clue him in”…

    But dont we recall seeing Zenger at almost every KU game??? Man, he sits within eeaassyy earshot of Self & the KU bench & huddle–> gotta believe he saw guys not executing what Self was telling them timeout after timeout. Give Zenger more credit for recognizing this team’s weaknesses. So easily evident…

  • @cragarhawk said:

    @FarSideHawk great point on that. Thats my biggest concern right now. Why are we always having to discuss “motors” or “from an energy standpoint”? I dont understand that at all. I dont feel like at this level that effort or intensity should ever even have to be discussed. The trouble is with most of our losses this year and. In prior years. You can go straight there first. Honestly, the last game we lost where i felt the team just got beat on a night when their intensity was good was the @ OU game and then before that. The @ ISU game. And im saying 40 minutes intense. As it should be

    I wonder if part (not all) of the motivational problem lies with pampered HS stars. I just see too many presumed OADs getting NBA-itis late in the season and losing focus on the current season. It’s hard to teach motivation and effort, that’s something you have to want.

  • @BeddieKU23 The unsaid part of my idea was that how could there be a backup plan to Embiid? Heck, that poor kid is still hurt in the NBA right now. There is NO backup plan, cannot go sign a big $$ free agent like in the NFL. We can curse our luck or fate regarding Embiid & now Cliff, but that’s it. “Next man up”'s developmental timeline may OR may not give us a ready-to-go player to step up. Duke take a big, big hit if Okafor went down. Embiid was almost that kind of special-- imagine he + Tarik going at Stanford. Speaking of Tarik Black, originally a top50 recruit, he fit the mold perfectly for a Self bigman…imagine that kid at KU x 4yrs! Which means he’d have been alongside Thomas Robinson & Withey for the '12 F4 run…(now that’s a painful thought!). Peace, RCJH

  • @ralster

    I guess your right. It just seemed that the perfect storm of events has taken place in a years time that has left KU very thin in developed players at the 5 spot. I forgot the Myles Turner saga that would have softened the blow of Embiid. But I wasn’t impressed with him, yeah he can block shots and make a turnaround jumper but he did little else IMO. And we were the runner-ups for Okafor & Jones package so I guess we did after all recruit for the event Embiid left I just forgot and so much has happened since that it slipped the ol mind.

    I would have loved to have had Black 4 years. I think 4 years in the system would have advanced his skill further. He was an absolute brute even if he fouled every 4 seconds.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    “This is really very simple. I said this early on – simply continue with your high/low offense. Embrace the three point shot. Work hard to scheme to get open three point looks from the high/low. That type of attack, premised on outside shooting, would then open up the inside for easier post feed scores. Self’s decision to increase our efforts to drive the ball, instead of post feeds, might not have been necessary. But it certainly could have been part of a two pronged attack. Drive and shoot the three point shot. We saw that with WSU. And folks, all it would have required were some tweaks to our current offense. Work in some rule variations in our motion offense that could have been “add ons” in practice. What is amazing is that our normal offense does create three point looks. Using Perry at the high post to drive, but also as a pick and pop four – not difficult.”

    I was expecting to see Self unleash this offense in the tournament. I really had my hopes up.

    This is very very basic motion offense. To take a post player on one side (near the baseline) and cut him diagonally to the paint and feed him the ball and have him attack around the center of the paint. Perry is very capable of scoring in this area. This always draws in guards and then you have a feeding frenzy with two shooters properly positioned on the trey line for easy feed spot ups. Brannen Greene should be scoring 15 to 18 a game, even in a limited role.

    Where we really goof is at the 2. I love Wayne Selden… but we don’t really know how to use him or he doesn’t know how to drive it with Self ball. He isn’t the best ball handler and when he drives, he reminds me of Wigs in his year as a Jayhawk. Has anyone been watching Wigs in the league? He’s a different player. Because he isn’t asked to take the ball and force a drive through 5 tightly-packed defenders. I think Wayne had the same instructions Wigs was given. I hope Wayne gets a real shot at the next level. He won’t be forced into playing bad structured offense any longer.

    The 2 position is called the “Shooting Guard.” Nothing wrong with a driving guard at the 2… but there is a reason why that position is called “Shooting Guard.” One of the basic roles of that position is to be proficient at hitting 3s. We had perhaps the very best 3-pt shooting 2 in the nation collecting splinters in his ass for most of the season. I’m not sure if it was because Brannen played soft defense, or Self just didn’t want to emphasize the trey. Maybe it was both.

    Had we built offense around feeding Brannen his 3, not only would he have remained proficient at his spot up, I’m pretty sure he would have developed more esteem and capability to score off the dribble. Now you are talking about a volume scorer. Self doesn’t seem to support volume scoring unless it is in the low post.

    Self’s game is defense, not offense. I’m certain he believes that developing too much offense will always end up sacrificing some defense. I used to think that way. I don’t think that way now. I think playing proficient ball on either side of the ball should help the other side by offering overall momentum. How many times have we watched teams make a good defensive play and follow it up with aggressive offense? Right… it’s called “going on a run.” But momentum is something taught. It wants to come natural… but to maximize momentum coaches have to teach it. We need to teach our guys to clap and talk to each other… bounce up and down and swing arms up and down. If it isn’t happening naturally, then you really need to teach your guys to show enthusiasm. Did anyone see Kansas with enthusiasm on Sunday? I thought it looked like our guys just attended a funeral.

    I can literally tear through every bit of our team. I don’t want to just pile on to Self. But he needs to be held accountable. Our players do, too, but I really didn’t see our guys personally underachieving out there. I thought they did the best with the teaching they were given. The problems I see are ALL coaching. I don’t know that I just want to blame Self. I’m not in the Athletic Department. I’m just saying there needs to be changes happening somewhere and the results need to be positive and showing up in March!

    I hope we see some proactive moves in the off-season. Otherwise… we are back to being reactive in the middle of next season.

  • @BeddieKU23 I think Self would have been able to do a lot more with Turner than Barnes did. 1. KU desperately needed a shot blocker inside while TX already had 3. 2. Turner would have been one of the few players who could score b2b type buckets. If he could have learned to seal and score with angles (which Self teaches better than Barnes) he could have been at least a 10 pts 7 rbs 2 blk a game kinda guy. I was impressed with Turner, but not the way he was used. I completely forgot about the fact that we just missed him too!

  • @ralster

    " Speaking of Tarik Black, originally a top50 recruit, he fit the mold perfectly for a Self bigman…imagine that kid at KU x 4yrs!"

    I understand your post. There wasn’t anyone out there that could exactly replace JoJo. Myles would have been nice and better than nothing.

    But we out-spend all D1 teams in the nation in recruiting! I see several teams with big men that do a good job. Maybe these guys weren’t top 10 recruits. But they at least hold down the fort. We still had a scholarship to give last year, actually 2 because we added Svi late. We wasted a slot on this team. We can look at it all like it was a last second loss of Myles… but we should have already scored a backup. There must be at least 50 reasonable big 5s in D1 out there. How do other teams land 5s when they spend a lot less on recruiting and aren’t even a blue blood?

    Look at our assistant coaches. None of those guys are sitting on the bench because they are known as great developers. All those guys have a job because they are supposed to be big recruiters. So how can we ever be without at least a decent 5? There is no excuse. If this was a business, I’d be firing a lot of people for such failure.

    Tar was a great catch… but the only reason we got him was on a fluke. Same with Mickelson.

    Think about it. We are one of the best bball programs in America. Great resources. Reputation for putting guys in the league. Previously, had a reputation for developing bigs. Largest recruiting budget in America. One of the best strength and conditioning programs. And we are waiting in late spring to possibly sign our only real 5? That is pathetic.

    I’m not saying we don’t continue to go for the elite 5 players. I’m just saying we should have already signed a backup. Kentucky only has 3 backup 5s (and still signed the elite 5).

    There is some monumental recruiting underachieving going on here.

  • @HighEliteMajor Im on #7 and I have a question. Are we going to get a different assistant head coach any time soon? I agree, I think we need someone better. I have no data to support this opinion but I think we have taken a dip offensively since Manning left.

  • @HighEliteMajor Frank Mason had a pretty good game but, WSU’s PG had just as impressive a stat line and he didnt foul out of the game. Is that part of how WSU inverted? By posting their guards?

  • @benshawks08

    I had forgotten as well until I went back and looked at the Top 100 and remembered we were after the 2 top fish and missed both. We might have gotten more production out of him you never know. I didn’t see a consistent motor in him which I think hindered his overall production at Texas. I thought he settled too much for the pretty shot instead of trying to bang it inside with his size. But he’s mimicked his game after Durant in some ways so a true b2b game is probably something he’ll learn in the NBA.

    I guess the silver lining is that Lucas got time to develop. If Self and assistants can work magic with his post game and get him stronger he can be a serviceable big. Unless Self gets a 5star big he’s going to start Lucas he loves that kid.

    Last 8 games for Lucas with 20+ minutes a game yielded 6.4 pt’s 7.3 rb’s 1.1 blk’s per game. Another summer of development and with Hudy and your talking the possibility he could average around a double/double.

  • @jaybate-1.0 Solid point here. We are going to have most, if not all of our same guys back next season and possibly the next one after that. Coach Self knows this and just maybe he is thinking to the future. I mean, I hope he is. I agree with @HighEliteMajor that Coach Self got his ass kicked vs WSU. He didnt make hardly any adjustments in game to give us a better shot at winning. Why would he do that? Why would he be so single minded and stubborn? Why would he basically toss a game in which a sweet 16 was at stake? It makes no sense to me at all.

  • @drgnslayr “Where we really goof is at the 2. I love Wayne Selden…”

    If all the eggs are in one basket, this is what happens when one is not hard boiled.

    How many time do we hear the saying “Good guard” play wins in March? DG was just a freshman but I am so appalled with Waynes def footwork that to me, it simply was worth the tradeoff to play Graham. At least he can shoot & handle the rock & not make worse decisions when driving the paint .He’s an athletic wonder for sure, but did I cover most of, if not all Wayne’s failures? Going forward I think we’re set well with FM & DG, but deficiency at the 5 will be glaring again next year without a complete metamorphosis from LL, HM. or a polished blue chip big. How many of those turn up as freshmen? Not very many IMO. So we may not see much difference in the team unless. Don’t get me wrong, this was a great season like last. Another BG 12 Championship is damn high on this list, but another premature loss in March again has me wanting more, more, more… And on a personal note it is my opinion that Bill should replace Mr Snacks with a coach that is proficient in offensive X’s & O’s & not one who forgets to inform the boss when he gets a traffic summons for carrying a hundred foot spool of rope in the trunk, OR another dose of the munchies. No malice, JMO.

  • Ok, different concept here, alluding to past points HEM has made regarding “square pegs/round holes”. Why is Self wrong to expect his players to conform to his tested/proven mold? I mean for this to be a philosophical point, but I guarantee it played out in real life. I mean he recruited these kids-- they FULLY knew what they were getting, & Self’s expectations! How about holding the players responsible for their performance? Self= the teacher, what grade would he assign each of these college kids?

    Regarding the “what are you doing?!” quote from a pissed off Self in the timeout–> OMG, are we really going to react to that as if its “the last straw” by abusive Bobby Knight? If someone is saying that quote shows some “disconnect” between coach & team, then I’d say you’re exactly right, but what kind of damn coach would let 18-19 yr olds decide their own way??? Man, thats 180deg backwards! Kids proved their way is soft & got themselves & their fans a big fat L.

    Players are recruited to play the coach’s way. Maverick players better learn what works in a given system, or ride pine, or transfer out & go elsewhere. This is NOT Micah Downs/JRGiddens/Padgett redux–those kids didnt want to play Self’s way, they hurt their teams by not contributing. Langford & Simien resisted Self, years later Langford publiclly told Jayhawk nation that his team were “wrong to fight Self. He was correct”. Humph! Young men and their learning processes…!

    It almost smacks of “desperate to throw darts” when we start taking heated coach sideline soundbites and try to spin beyond Self’s coaching moment context. Did anyone see the Laettner 30-for-30 piece? Laettner does another of his patented bonehead behaviors, and Krzyzewski asks if he’s “lost your mind?” & “what are you doing?” Sheesh, was that ‘symbolic of coach disconnect’, or a coach being The Coach in a needed moment?

    Hey, Self, Roy, Izzo, K, none are perfect, all have flaws, but since WHEN do any of these guys let their players “decide” how our playstyle should be? And its just insulting all around to say top coaches dont adjust to their personnel…you give Hoiberg or Self or Izzo that Okafor kid, they’ll use him. They arent dummies. Greene rode pine because he’s stubborn, Machiavellian type…but his postgame comments were beautifully put, calm, and 100% echoed Self’s. He said he loved his team, loved this year, but they know they have work to do to out-execute the opponent. My hopes for BG skyrocketed at that moment.

    People want to say Self “lost” his team simply need to see The Bruce Webber Experience.

    Print a glossy of Bill Self & print it BIG, tack it to wall, because I know its easy to throw darts at someone/something…but that is ignoring the reality of the specific issues THIS team has to address in the offseason.

    Why cannot people make the easy connection between the last 2 KU teams being the youngest teams Self has ever had, & the cant-trust-em season long rollercoaster quality of play we saw BOTH seasons–do we smell the common denominator? And what would past Self players say about these last 2yrs teams? Well, the current ku players have spoken, and they completely agreed with their coach. There is no disconnect, NOR can there allowed to be one.

  • @Lulufulu No, wsu did not invert their guards. KU’s truly awful ball screen D allowed uncontested open-look 3s. They beat us with elements of our own offense. KU turnovers a factor also.

  • @ralster " How about holding the players responsible for their performance? Self= the teacher, what grade would he assign each of these college kids?

    People want to say Self “lost” his team simply need to see The Bruce Webber Experience.

    Print a glossy of Bill Self & print it BIG, tack it to wall, because I know its easy to throw darts at someone/something…but that is ignoring the reality of the specific issues THIS team has to address in the offseason."

    PHOF !! "

  • @ParisHawk said:

    I know you, you know me: one thing I can tell you is we got to shoot threes

    That’s pretty good 🙂

  • @Lulufulu

    I agree that Self and his team got their asses kicked and one of their noses smashed.

    I disagree that there was much Self could do about it after the nose was smashed.

    The team was pulling away after the asymmetric foul calling.

    No matter what one concludes speculatively about the motivation of the elbow smash of Perry Ellis by Fred VanVleet, the result of the elbow smash of Perry Ellis was to sideline our best player, and a player they could not guard very well, and sent him to the locker room at the moment KU was starting recover from the absurdly one sided foul calling to start the game to pull away from WSU.

    Now, put yourself in in Self’s position on the bench at that moment.

    The team’s scheme was BAD BALL.

    BAD BALL tries to attack from the guards and wings while running the stuff. It usually samples a couple treys early to see if anyone is hitting. If that doesn’t work, Bad Ball tries to attack from the bigs pulled out. If that doesn’t work Bad Ball spreads it to four corners and attacks from the point guard. If that doesn’t work, Bad Ball stays spread, and starts attacking from the stretch 4. Self tries to proceed through this cascade one before the 10 minute mark to see which options work the best against what the opponent is taking away defensively, and then the second ten minutes of the half, focuses in on what worked best and begins to attack that way.

    Self probably noticed by that time that Selden, for whatever reason was just not a factor. Self was proceeding through the cascade,when Ellis got the elbow smash that sent him to the locker room. He appeared at the point ready to try to play through Perry, having found the early options of the cascade working some, Selden being a no show, and the sample treys not falling.

    Out goes Perry.

    Who does he turn to?

    If I recall correctly he defaulted to Oubre at that time, but Oubre was getting man handled by Cotton every time he got a touch. Kelly was completely out of his comfort zone.

    If I recall correctly, Self next went to Frank to drive it, and also to try a trey or two.

    Frank did okay for awhile, then tired, then Self brought Devonte to try to get something out of the two where Selden was a walking 0 place holder.

    Devonte gave some spark on defense, but Devonte could not hit the broad side of a barn from 3, then was erratic inside also. WSU plays high contact, lane jumping defense and they are very good at it. The point of driving on them is to eliminate the passing offense they like to lane jump on.

    So: its back to Frank, with a brief test of Landen inside. But Landen is completely overwhelmed with the intensity of the contact and double teaming and instead of turning to the rim to try to draw contact on his shots he does running jump hooks away from the pressure and neither hits anything, nor gets fouled.

    He also gives Brannen a try and Brannen makes nothing from trey.

    He goes back to Oubre, who is in the early stages of going 3-9.

    Self realizes they cannot win the half without Perry, and when Perry gets back he realizes that Perry is woozy and has a tender nose and blocked sinuses from the swelling and the bloody noses. Playing through Perry more than intermittently is not going to happen. He is not mentally sharp, he will be playing to keep his nose from getting smashed again, and his cardiovascular will suck because of the obstructed breathing.

    Self decides that to play it close to the vest the rest of the half to keep the game from getting away from them the first half. He starts going inside to Perry and driving Frank and using Devonte, when Frank begins to tire. The idea is to foul them up, keep the possessions low, guard hard, and hope to go into half even or a little down, then regroup at half time, get Perry rested, maybe figure out some action for Wayne, hope Frank’s right leg holds up, and come back out after halftime, brace for the onslaught of energy and contact by WSU, kind of rope-a-dope, then try to shoot the trey, and play through Perry to get a lead that can be defended.

    They didn’t hit the treys.

    Perry did okay for awhile, but was never well enough to go on a one man tear.

    Wayne went to absolute zero.

    Oubre wound up being horse whipped by Cotton, until Kelly was like a tall, skinny AAU player from the suburbs on a Rucker League game in Bed Stuy. Kelly was out of his depth in the hard knock game.

    Self threw one legged Traylor into the game at times, but this game Traylor could barely even clear the floor, so while he could guard a bit, and shove enough to get 5 boards in seven minutes, he was in no position to stop any of WSU’s short, brawny, Rico Gathers style bigs. Traylor, who is not a stick, looked like one out there.

    Self saw the way his strongest bigs were being mauled and shoved around, so Self decided that putting Mickelson in, while it might buy a block or two, would probably buy Mikelson a night in the hospital, if he actually did get a block.

    This was a very, very, very serious and tough WSU basketball team that was going to take no prisoners the entire game.

    If an opponent does not come at WSU the same way, the opponent is in grave danger of cracking eventually; this is what happened.

    Why didn’t Self retaliate for the elbow smash the first half to keep WSU from getting so bold?

    The answer to that is not pretty, but it is increasingly obvious to me.

    Remember that Tom Izzo is one of the toughest customers that ever walked the side lines, and really knows no limits to the rough stuff he will pull when he has the kind of players to play that way. Well, when Izzo has not had those kinds of players, Izzo has not played that way. Same with Bob Huggins. He will pull almost anything when he has the players that can take it when its dished back. But not when not.

    KU’s players, while they are incredibly willing to suffer and persevere just are not physically and capable of playing thug ball. And to take them into a thug ball contest is not only to take them into a contest they cannot win, but into a contest they are going to get hurt very badly trying to play.

    There is a difference between going out and persevering through adversity and being able to fight it out in an alley.

    KU’s players are too young and slight for alley fighting basketball, and alley fighting was exactly where WSU was trying to push the contest every chance it could. It was what they were good at and trained to play. It was not what KU was good at and not trained to play. I misread the team late in the season about that because of their incredible heroism playing through injuries and suspensions, etc.

    It is not a knock on them to say they are not capable of alley fighting ball. It is just a fact.

    Maybe next season, with some more maturity and some more muscle added on, they will be. But this season? It would have been a crime to send them into that kind of a contest.

    So: once again, I think Self made the right choice in the moment, even though I doubted it in the moment and briefly afterwards.

    Now, why didn’t Self just start shooting treys?

    Because the team shot 29% from trey on 21 attempts. I guaranty you that if the team has shot even 37% he would have let them hoist 30.

    So: what else was there to do?

    He could have told them to get out on the break, but in the second half look at his troops. Perry couldn’t breath through his nose and he was hardly at his athletic best with a sore knee and a punchy brain. Frank’s right leg went dead sometime in the second half. Wayne was a no-show. Devonte and Brannen could run, but no one else could. And both struggled with handling the ball that day.

    The only thing he did not try that I thought Self should have tried was Hunter, but would Hunter have made the difference? Probably not.

    So: down the stretch Self slowed it down enough that Perry could do what little he could do in his condition, because by then almost no one else was a threat against the intense and physical defense being applied.

    Sometimes you get cornered in a blind alley when you are outnumbered.

    It just happens.

    And when it does, you can struggle and fight, and take some with you, but in the end you are going to get the shizz beaten out of you.

    And that is what seemed to happen in that game.

    I don’t think Self could have done much else.

    I don’t think there was much else to do.

  • @jaybate-1.0 Good summary-the meal vs sandwich theory. HM may not have made any diff but I was disappointed Bill didn’t get him minutes in the first half & primed for the remaining 20 min with Perry’s bell ringer. Also one cannot disregard the tough, 3rd leg crotch shot that FM received from the double screen. He was simply not the same afterwards.

  • @HighEliteMajor and @jaybate-1.0 have engendered an epic and fascinating discussion throughout the season and continuing into the post-mortem about offensive schemes and whether HCBS has taken full advantage of the strengths of the players on this particular edition of the Jayhawks. I would posit that whether it’s the H/L or some variation of 4 out, 1 in - dribble drive - or Bad Ball, you have to have players that can execute the scheme.

    Frankly, I go back and forth as to whether this is one of Self’s best or worst coaching jobs. The reason I say that is based on what I thought we had in terms of talent coming in. I certainly expected a lot more - a real shot at a FF and even a NC. Based on what we (or at least I) observed throughout the year in terms of what players demonstrated in game situations, both individually and collectively, I’m not sure I understand how we managed to get #11, a #2 seed, and 27 wins against the schedule we played - seems like smoke and mirrors. I actually thought Self demonstrated more flexibility - that’s not necessarily saying a whole lot - than in past years.

    The preseason optimistic scenario was based on the the assumption that Ellis was going to be more of a go-to, consistent 18 ppg scorer, that Selden would significantly increase his production and become the second go-to guy, scoring in the 15 ppg territory, that Mason would improve over his 1st year and become more of a true PG (and, he would have a solid back-up in Graham), that Alexander and Oubre would live up to their OAD hype, that Svi would be a bit of an X-factor (based on the skills he showed in Europe), that Greene would step up and split the 3 with Oubre and be the designated sharpshooter, and that Hunter would be a Withey-lite providing some rim protection (based off Ark numbers), with he and Landon providing solid minutes while Alexander developed.

    How many of those expectations were met? Ellis was matching his by the end of the season - but not consistently before that - until he tweaked his knee. Selden - um, no. Mason, absolutely, with a big caveat, which I will touch upon in a moment. Alexander - #2 big to Okafor coming in - night and day difference between the two in basic skill sets. Oubre showed flashes, but needs more experience (which he will probably have to get at the next level), and ultimately didn’t produce at the level of other 2-3s coming in, e.g. Winslow, Booker, Williams. Greene turned out to be one-dimensional. Svi and Hunter? Speaking for myself, I liked what I saw of them when the were on the floor, obviously not often, and wish Self would have played them more, but we don’t seem them in practice every day. Lucas was very solid; he’s just limited. Graham, I think, met or exceeded expectations and I look for much more from him in the next couple of years.

    It ultimately comes down to the players, and both individually and collectively, there are some real skill deficiencies that revealed themselves that I would argue made it challenging to find a scheme that could work consistently, esp. against a good defense/opposing coach. I really don’t mean to come down on the kids - some of this is due to the AAU culture, who they played against in HS v. in D-1, etc. And, I think they are good kids, I’m glad they chose Kansas, and hopefully, those who will stick around will benefit from the summer tour and get better with more experience.

    Having said that, collectively, we didn’t have anyone who could finish at the rim, esp. against L&As, but really against any type of interior presence. No one. We are the most blocked team in the country. We don’t have a very good passing team, which both H/L in terms of entry passes and dribble penetration and kick-out demand as @sfbahawk pointed out. Svi and Graham are probably the two best passers - but they weren’t our starters. Are/were we a really good shooting team, esp. from 3pt range? Our numbers were really good early in the season, not so much as they year went on. Scheming? Fool’s Gold? Tired legs? Defenses adjusting? Reversion to the mean? I don’t really know. What I can say is that I’m personally comfortable with Greene taking any 3p shot when he is spotting up and wide open (and, when his head is in the game). I’m comfortable with Mason taking a wide open 3 when he is leaning into the shot. I’m generally comfortable with Graham taking an open three. Although he had a hot streak in the middle of the season, I don’t think Selden is a shooter from range (3 for his last 26 by the way). Oubre - can make them, but I don’t have a high degree of confidence. Unfortunately, I don’t have a high degree of confidence in any of them shooting a deep 3 coming off a screen at the top of the key or on the wing a la a Ron Baker, or making a contested 3. Does anyone else?

    That’s on offense. On defense, collectively, we have some height, wingspan, speed but not great amounts of any of them. We don’t block out well. Footwork across the board is generally poor - don’t keep low center of gravity or slide well. We reach a lot, picking up cheap fouls. We too often get beat off the dribble. We don’t generate many TOs, at least leading to easy buckets.

    Breaking them down individually:

    Ellis - he can shoot from 15-18ft and has superior post moves, but he really needs space and he just isn’t particularly effective against L&As. He is most effective when he facing a 4 that he can take off the dribble from outside the lane, or can post against a not-too-big and the lane isn’t clogged. To his credit, his defense has improved considerably, but that’s going from poor to adequate.

    Selden - an enigma. Numbers essentially the same as a year ago across the board, albeit with more volatility from game to game. He had a strong 5 game stretch in the middle of the season, 2 really good B12 tourney games, and was key in the FLA game - but was mostly a non-factor or worse in the other 28 games. Basically, he’s giving you Morningstar/Reed types of numbers, albeit with more TOs and less consistency. But, they weren’t McDs and projected lottery picks coming in. He can’t dribble in traffic, he doesn’t have any semblance of a left hand, and appears to be clueless when driving into the paint. Some have posted that he is great defender on the ball - he is not. When focused, his size can be a problem for other 2s or 3s and he can shut them down. But, quicker players blow by him and he too often gives up on those plays. And, he doesn’t rebound.

    Mason - love him. He’s a bulldog and fighter and so on. He was our best/most consistent player during the year (that a 100+ ranked player was says volumes). He improved significantly from last year. BUT, he came in as scoring guard and has yet to fully develop as a PG. The hallmark of being a good PG is making your teammates better - distributing the ball effectively and finding the open guy. Those aren’t his attributes, at least as yet. The WSU game was emblematic. Early on, he was able to blow by VanVleet and get some layups. WSU adjusted and collapsed back into the paint. Rather than penetrating and kicking to now open wings, he kept driving into the teeth of the defense with predictable results. He also doesn’t run a break well - too often taking it all the way himself rather than dishing or laying off to a trailer. He is also has a bad tendency to pick up his dribble in bad spots, esp. a long way from the basket. He is a gamer, however, and hopefully will continue to improve. But, I think next year the better move would be make DG the PG, and shift Mason to the 2.

    Oubre - our best two way player, but still very raw. Really quick hop allowing him to get a lot of put backs, including on his own missed shot. Hasn’t really learned how to elevate or adjust when driving to the basket in traffic, however. Streaky outside shooter. Solid defender with long wingspan. With another year to two, he could be special player - but it seems likely that he has played his last game as a Jayhawk.

    Alexander - what a disappointment, in so many ways. Feel bad for the kid how things have played out. But, he doesn’t yet have a college game skill set, and certainly not NBA.

    Greene - not withstanding the long dry spell, he clearly has a NBA caliber stroke from three. Of course, the problem is that he is one-dimensional - he can’t dribble or create his own shot. And, you never know where his head is at. And, he is a liability on defense. Will he commit to getting better in all facets of the game; can he? Will he be around next year to find out?

    Traylor - got to love Jamari and his passion, but it isn’t always well directed. He can do some things effectively in stretches, but you don’t want him handling the ball too much or shooting from outside 6ft. He really is a poor positional defender and doesn’t rebound well. He should be the guy that comes in at the 4 to give you 8-12 minutes of high energy play - he should not be getting anything close to starter minutes.

    Lucas - most fundamentally solid of the bigs and he really stepped up given the Alexander situation. But, let’s be real - he is limited. He’s undersized (definitely not 6’10’), not very quick, has no verticality, and has really weak hands. Can Hudy get him another inch of hop and stronger hands? But, if he’s playing more than back-up minutes at the 5, we have bigger problems.

    Hunter and Svi - who really knows?

    Graham - was set back by the early injury, played like a freshman at times, and isn’t going to be an elite guard like a Jones or Ulis, but by the end of the year, I think he was one of our three best players, and I have high hopes/expectations for the future. He can penetrate, he can shoot some, and he defends well - by far the best at creating TOs. I think our offense, whatever it was we were trying to run at the time, was more effective when he and Mason were in the game together.

    So, I come back to my basic premise. You have to have the players to be able to execute a scheme - and to actually do so. Painfully obvious from the get go that we couldn’t run H/L as in the past or score at the rim. Spread the floor and free the 3 or play Bad Ball. I don’t think we had the right combination of players to do that effectively, either, at least on a consistent basis or when facing good defenses or coaches who are capable of scheming against us (which was clearly not the case with New Mexico State…).

    So, I think Self was constantly adjusting throughout the year to find something that could work night in and night out. While I have my own frustrations with his style and tendencies - the quick yank, riding certain ponies way too long, not taking full advantage of depth - with the benefit of hindsight and given the issues noted above, I think a good case can be made that the did get about as much out of this team as he could.

    We are spoiled, of course, and that’s not good enough. Others have posted about recruiting to fit the system, the risks of going the OAD route, merits of certain assistant coaches, who we end up with next year, and so on. All good stuff, but beyond this post to discuss further (for now anyway).


  • @ralster @Lulufulu - I’m running with work today but saw the inversion item … yes, WSU does invert their guards/wings by flashing and posting up. What I saw a number of times was Cotton, Baker, and/or Wessel flash across mid to upper lane, or go to the block for a quick look, and then, move out. They did this regularly all season. They don’t invert their post players. We posted up Selden once the entire season (vs. OSU). I do not recall another time where we even attempted to post up perimeter player.

  • @jaybate-1.0 Hmmmm, fascinating. No doubt the treys werent falling for KU that night. I sincerely hope that bloody nose Perry got was not on purpose. It didnt look like it was on purpose. Would WSU’s coach purposely tell his player to bash in Perry’s face, risking concussion and other more serious injury? Would he stoop that low? That would just be some low thuggish Cincinnati type stuff there.

    Completely off topic, On the fair to decent chance that WSU plays Kensucky in the elite 8, I hope they do that very thing. Im actually going to hope WSU makes it to that game. I think they have a good chance to beat the Irish to win a match up with UK. Then thug ball it like mad, like they did against KU. Man, I would like to see that. Even if they dont win, they can hurt those younger less experienced UK players, making a loss in the final four even more likely for UK.
    My end game here now that KU is out, is to see Kensucky get beat. They must not go 40-0

  • @HighEliteMajor Wish you could get in Coach Self’s ear about not being so GD stubborn. After the game, I thought to myself, “Did he just get out coached?” I guess we know the answer. Self is a great coach, is a future hall of fame coach. But, does he have to learn to be more fluid with his in game adjustments? Can he learn to? I mean, here we have one of the best active coaches in the game and he gets his rear end handed to him by a mid major!? Again!? He has a greater than 80% win-loss record and his tourney record has got to be near .500. I mean, its just ridiculous. He has won the Big 12 eleven times in a row and most likely will get his 12th, which is a great accomplishment btw, but he gets bounced twice in a row after the first game of the tourney. What the hell? I mean, if this isnt a wake up call for Coach Self to learn to be more like Bruce Lee in his in game strategies, then I don’t know.

  • @ParisHawk Why jump to the conclusion that anyone should be banned if they call for the coach to be fired? What do think that posters on sites dedicated to teams with 6 and 20 seasons do? They think that the coach is unable to win and they call for a new coach. When we get 10 point lists after 8 point lists after 6 point lists pointing out how a coach should change most of what he does including his assistants then what is wrong with calling for a new coach.

    People can discuss anything that you want within the bounds of propriety . Based upon my post why did you jump to the conclusion that I was referring to HEM? I replied to Slayr and my main point dealt with the need for continuity. However, if a coach has to change his basic philosophy to win and he maintains that philosophy then why would you want him as the coach?

    Lastly, what did my post have to do with the definition of terms? This isn’t high school debate where the side that defines the terms usually wins. What is so illogical about the position that if you think that a person cannot do his job he should be let go?

  • @DCHawker

    Way to dig into the issue!!!

  • @ralster Thanks for mentioning Izzo. “What are doing?” was exactly the question he asked one of his starters during the Virginia game when they took a bad shot shortly into the shot clock. What a horrid motivator.

  • @DCHawker

    “Some have posted that he is great defender on the ball - he is not.”

    Thank you very much. When he backpedals against the driver he is constantly switching his forward foot depending on which hand the driver is using & plays in way too tight. Here’s where the hand checks are important but to only measure the distance to step in should he pick up the dribble. Wayne plays so close in, that when the driver gets past his front foot, zip…he’s gone & Selden’s beat. Time after time after time I marveled at his worst case scenario for on ball defense. You must at least try to keep feet squared & body dead in front of the driver. When the guy dribbles off a hip Wayne is simply lost. And it negates any quickness he may have & makes def switches a fact of life. He thens swats in the breeze as his guy goes by & the only way he can recover is to foul. That’s def BB 101 & it’s supposed to be 300 level for a Jr next year. Barring a near miracle, he is likely our starter again next year at the 2. DG’s ball defense already has surpassed him & without the occasional freak athletic block, dive for a loose ball, or flush, would likely be getting more pine time than he already does, or should I say he deserves. Of course this is JMO.

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