• I have watched 6 games now in the Madness.

    KU was more banged up and gimpy than any other team I have watched in the Madness. It was the same story last season. It was the same story the year before with EJ’s team. It was the same story the season before THAT!

    This is no longer a run of bad luck.

    This is incorrect training and perhaps the teaching of a high-wear-and-tear style of play.


    It creates a lot of drama. We get to talk about how tough and courageous our guys are. I get to invent metaphors like Basketball’s Merrill’s Marauders.

    But what we really need for March Madness is a team full of reasonably healthy players. Period!

    And while I am bitching and complaining, Bill and Andrea need to stop crafting and re-crafting body morphologies for players.

    Jeff Withey comes in a reasonably healthy, but soft guy. He goes through at least three different weight distribution schemes: strengthen what weight he has; then make him gain weight down low; then lean him up down low and add some on top; and then just lean him up and let him play wiry.

    Cole Aldrich they blew up so much that his knees obviously couldn’t carry the below the waist weight he carried his last season.

    Jamari Traylor looks like an absolute stud for two seasons; then by the end of this season he looks like he’s been to Jenny Craig.

    Landen Lucas comes in like a long and slender and play him one season that way; then they inflate him like a Pillsbury doughboy. What’s he going to look like next season.

    Come up with a flipping plan for these guys that is right for them and stick with it. Develop who they are, not who they could be. This whole $6 Million dollar man experiment in reconstructive weight training is waisting a lot of time with redistributing weight around experimentally, then that way, then back this way, is a waste of development time. Each playing weight these guys play at enables a certain kind of play and a certain kind of cardio-pulmonary conditioning. We need these guys working on skill sets for the same weight and same conditioning.

    Better yet, recruit guys with the body morphologies you want coming in and then focus entirely on their cardio-pulmonary efficiencies.

    I wouldn’t be quite so down on this issue, except for the fact that I am tired of watching our guys always moving around at about 3/4 function, while other teams are playing balls to the walls with 100 percent function.

    It was pathetic watching Kelly Oubre’s decline in pop and function over the season with that big white gob of cotton candy wrap on his right leg.

    It was pathetic watching Frank Mason never get well.

    It was pathetic watching Perry Ellis limping around on twisted knee never recovering from it, and then having to play with his nose sticking out the back of his head.

    We need to start recruiting guys with body morphologies tough enough to take what is being dished out in D1 the last 4 years.

    Our guys are incredibly athletic, but too many of them just can’t take the wear and tear of even a 35 game season, much less the Madness.

    You don’t use thoroughbreads for draught horses.

    STOP IT!

    GET SOME DRAUGHT HORSES that can stand the loads they are being asked to pull.


  • @jaybate-1.0 The 08 team didnt have this problem, to my knowledge. The 12 team? They were so short on players who could play, Im certain they didnt want to risk them being “nicked up” at the end of March.

  • @Lulufulu

    People forget that the 2012 runner up team had the following injuries.

    Travis Releford was in a boot.

    EJ was suffering the residual effects of an unreported shoulder separation (@dragnslayr called that one right).

    Tyson played on a scoped knee the entire season.

    The team only had 6 credible players and one of those was Conner Teahan.

    Regarding 2008…

    Kaun was playing on two knees requiring surgery. He literally could not clear the floor much of the time.

    Rush was playing on a not fully rehabilitated knee (ACL surgery).

    Rush’s back up was injured and missed the March Madness.

    Sherron Collins injured his knee during that season and was playing on it in March Madness. It was the injury that would over time increasingly hinder Collins legendary high school explosiveness until his senior season when he was basically not remotely the same player that came to KU.

    It used to be you would have a season with injuries, them fewer injuries for a few seasons. Repeat.

    During Self’s tenure, injuries are always an issue–often a big issue.

  • @jaybate-1.0 I have been wondering this the last couple of years as well. I love Hudy and what she does but when I see pictures of guys training the way they do, I always wonder if that is putting so much stress on their body in conjunction with bball training that their bodies start to break down. Selden’s knees being the most recent example. Just speculation on my part.

  • The main one that comes to my mind is Selden

  • I tend to think that we notice the nicks and bruises more with KU because we follow KU. Most of us know if one of our guys sneezes differently than normal.

    But you have a point. It does seem like we’re dealing with stuff like this a lot, particularly recently. We tend to hear about these injuries many times after the fact. I always take it with a grain of salt. Mainly because I don’t care if a guy is hurt or not. If he can play, play. If he can’t, then don’t. And also because they seem to come across to me as veiled excuses. When you have Svi and Hunter as the last two guys on the bench, the excuses ring a touch hollow.

    @Hawk8086 I believe we are searching for any reasonable explanation, aren’t we?

    @FarSideHawk I’ve wondered that too. But the back story I’ve heard … mainly because I have a friend who knows the team doctor real well … is that Hudy is terrific.

  • @HighEliteMajor Yes. We are.

  • Seriously? This is BY FAR the least of Ku’s problems. If you guys ran into Hudy in person–say, in the small appliance isle at Target like I did recently–you’d probably pee down your legs. (and she’s not big at all as she appears on TV). Embiid has been back in Lawrence to work with her, so I think that probably says it all.

    Aldrich’s knees naturally bend backward, so he would have been doomed if not for Hudy. Withey wouldn’t have sniffed the NBA if not for Hudy. The Morrii couldn’t even dunk the ball their freshman year. In 11-12, we were one serious injury away from being a bottom dweller in the B12, and two Hudy iron men (Tyshawn and TRob) carried that team to the national championship game.

    ALSO… Keep in mind, it took 3-4 years for her to build those guys up. So, if anything, there just hasn’t been time for her to mold these young guys. GREENE. Looking at you in particular, pencil legs.

  • @DanR and arms! Maybe he shouldn’t be late either.

  • @jaybate-1.0

    I’ve had some questions about our training, too.

    I am under the opinion every players comes in and gets assessed as to what their goals should be, and then a custom training program is designed (and monitored) to make sure they hit their goal.

    We have been told that Andrea is also supposed to focus on keeping our guys healthy.

    I’m not sure it works to train a guy to increase his athleticism and strength, while helping him cut down on injuries. When you learn to go harder, you put additional stress on your body.

    I know weight plays into this big time. All the pounding on the court… you want to do it without carrying unneeded fat.

    Like I mentioned in my thread on strength and conditioning… I had mixed results with my extensive weight training program, but I don’t think it is fair to compare the technology from 30+ years ago to today.

    I do like some of the newer training gear. It’s great for working on fast-twitch explosive power. But does that become a positive in preventing injuries? I’m not so sure about that.

    I think the biggest part of players staying healthy has to do with fitness IQ and basketball IQ. Lots of players take big gambles on a loss ball or rebound. You can never prevent all the injuries… but you can limit them. It does seem like we have been burdened with lots of injuries the last few years, but as @HighEliteMajor said… maybe we just notice it more since we are focused on Jayhawk basketball.

  • @DanR

    I don’t want to get rid of Hudy. I want her to get on the stick and fix the problem NOW! It’s killing us.

  • @jaybate-1.0 What can she fix to keep guys from rolling on their teammate’s knees?

    The best thing a trainer can do is give the guys the mental confidence in their bodies to just go ALL OUT 100% of the time + the best possible physical preparation to carry out that quest.

    With Selden, I don’t think she’s succeeding in either case, but her record is pretty remarkable otherwise. She has that whole statistical analysis study going on, so maybe she’ll publish a paper explaining her mistakes.

  • Back in the 70’s we were lifting all out in the off season 3 days a week.

    During the season, we might lift heavy two days and light one day.

    And during peak times it was one moderate session for a week or two.

    As for a championship week it was VERY light -easy and fast- once , maybe twice a week at best. The way I remember it going with a full lifting workout would keep whatever strength you had with just one workout per week.

  • @JayhawkRock78 sent u a track update in chat

  • I think we could use more help in teaching our guys Basketball IQ… and probably Life IQ.

    Older players or coaches that used to play can watch current players and give them a lot of advice about all aspects of the game, and part of that is knowing how to take care of yourself. Playing wild, frenetic ball might get you a few more rebounds, but also might put you out for the year. I’m not saying to play cautious, or inhibited… just play smart.

    For example… in most cases, if you do your work on boxing out you don’t need to shoot in, going airborne and coming down on another player’s foot, blowing out your ankle. Play smart and get your 10 rpg.

    Even doing everything right, there will always be risk. But it helps to play with fundamentals, learn to increase your court awareness, and listen to old wise players and play with high basketball IQ. If you do that and build your body the right way you will limit your risk. That is about as good as it gets!

  • @jaybate-1.0 Ah yah, good point. totally forgot about all that stuff.

  • Maybe what we really need is a sports psychologist who (once an athlete’s injury is medically 100%) gets the mental “trust” back up to speed. I’m thinking about Rush, EJ, Ellis…

    The other aspect a sports psychologist could help with is analyzing and getting guys to their competitive “fiery” place more reliably. So much of basketball is about confidence. Here, Ellis, EJ, and at times Wayne Selden could have used help in “finding” their inner alpha dog. Kids like Sherron, Mason, Tyshawn did not need help staying in alpha mode.

  • @ralster are we sure we don’t have one?

  • @Crimsonorblue22 Not sure actually. Others would say that’s too touchy-feely and “you just have to put in the reps of even playing a certain way mentally, until it becomes 2nd nature…” (old ball coach angle…).

  • @ralster Self, for sure, needed some psychological help after these last 2 seasons. Need some sturdy big guys! Reliable too!

  • Whatever Hudy does with players during the summer is going to be disrupted by the summer tournament and unlimited practice time. Interesting that Hudy publishes a pic of Svi, who is to my knowledge the only returning player who will not participate in the tournament.

  • I have noted before that we seem to have a lot of players who develop stress fractures. Don’t know if it’s more than the norm across the college basketball spectrum.

    I also noticed that Travis Releford seemed to regress by his senior year in terms of agility. Maybe too much time in the weight room?

  • @ralster Repost from a few weeks ago–

    Interesting conversation on Dan Patrick’s radio show the other day about Penny Hardaway and Derrick Rose that might be relevant. Discussing Derrick Rose post-recovery–how he’s become a ‘jump shooter’ and doesn’t go hard to the bucket nearly as much. Penny said he totally relates, because after his injury, he never trusted his leg to go hard into traffic and just instinctually pulled up all the time. Wasn’t long after that, he was out of the league.

  • I’ve given the whole training scheme a LOT of thought - at least two minutes.

    I was a reasonably good athlete in my day. I was never injured, not once. I attribute it to getting very little sleep, drinking a lot - LOT ( I can’t stress LOT enough) of beer, and smoking an occasional doobie.

    The training atmosphere is key too. There always was Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith or Kiss (hey - they rocked!) blaring in the background.

    I can’t remember if there was any actual weight lifting or stretching or anything like that going on…mostly we just played whatever sport it was depending on the time of year. Playing basketball seemed to get us in pretty good shape for playing basketball.

    (note - all fiction - wait - no - it’s the truth…)

  • @nuleafjhawk Heck, leaf, you were “playing” probably 24/7. Absolutely no time on the clock, back then, for your body to break down to injury. But how about now? Betcha you are a bit like my feisty redhaired younger sis. She never worried about skin cancers, 'cause, shucks, she kept her body tanned 52 weeks of the year. Then about age 60 she started a longlasting series of treatments with a kindly bright-eyed dermatologist whose practice absolutely flourishes with an array of former 24/7 tanning specimens.

  • @nuleafjhawk She smokes, too.

  • @nuleafjhawk

    Science is a search for explanations that fit and techniques that work.

    I will be a volunteer subject for testing your hypothesis. 😎

  • @REHawk The dermatologist smokes? 🚬


    Funny though, in our teens and early 20’s, myself and a couple of my (future) sister in laws used to place bets on who could get the better tan. We’d slather up in baby oil, crisco - I don’t remember what all God-awful concoctions we put our bodies through.

    By the way - I ALWAYS won.

    Now I have my own little kindly, bright-eyed dermatologist making good money off of me (literally).

    She doesn’t smoke though.

  • @nuleafjhawk I thought he meant his sister. I used the crisco too.

  • @drgnslayr

    One of your best, most insightful and potentially helpful takes and you’ve had a lot.


  • @ralster

    Totally on board with using an effective sports psychologist!

    Buy cheaper carpet for the new housing and hire two!

    Coaches, however, should see them too.

    Coaches and trainers are traditionally the single biggest obstacles for sports psychologists, or so I have heard. It has to do with coaches wanting to control team psychology and individual button pushing and not knowing how to collaborate with a sports psychologist. And trainers are reputedly often ignorant of the therapeutic process and reputedly sometimes undermine sports psychologists to coaches and players.

    Self, because of his psch background, and brilliance at maneuvering players in and out of comfort zones, could revolutionize mental fitness as he has physical fitness with Hudy, but he apparently has not yet found a way to collaborate…and he should.

    Sports psychology is a great way to get better.

    If adidas’ sponsorship cannot leverage us into more OADs, it can at least lever us into top sports psychologists.

    The key for a coach is to see what a good child psychologist does for a teenager, which is only a small part about venting and talking about myths of the childhood past and largely about developing specific approaches to situations that work!

    Go Bill go!!!

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