• It’s the the post men and the injuries.

  • Well… When are we all gonna stop pretending anyone has a shot at beating UK. Anyone other then Tom Izzo that is. No offense @wissoxfan83. Cause i Iike the badgers’ game. But… Hats off to MSU and coach Izzo. Theres no question in my mind that no one else in the business consistently delivers as much with so little. I certainly wish whatever it is that makes them overachieve or surpass everyones expectations in march came in a bottle that we could give to our team sometimes.

  • @cragarhawk Well, it seems as if Notre Dame had a pretty good shot.

  • @cragarhawk

    I’m not offended because it’s just sports! I think UW has the best chance to beat them. But I also picked UK to win it all so I’m not real confident that it will happen. But…3 teams have taken them down to the last shot so it’s possible. At this point anyone, please, even coach consonants! beat UK!

  • @nuleafjhawk im sure it appeared that way to the overwhelming majority. However, I never really felt like UK was gonna lose that game. I think Wisconsin will look the same til,the last few seconds. And i think if its a UK/Duke final that will go the same way. The Only way i feel like anyone really has a shot to control the game enough to possibly win it. Is if Izzo is coaching that team… Sorry. Just appears that way to me. The man seems to me to end up doing something special with his group consistently More often than not. JMO

  • @jaybate-1.0 Are you trying to prove or suggest that threes don’t matter? Or is it just a “matter of fact” thing?

    Anyway, some thoughts:

    First, though, neither team runs the same “sets”. Maybe a few set plays … I didn’t notice. But KU’s base offense isn’t the same as either team. And I didn’t see the perpetual weave. What are you referring to?

    Second, on three pointers, MSU won today and shot 23 three pointers. Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Duke, Gonzaga, Louisville, Michigan St., all playing this weekend shoot more threes for the seeason. Michigan State shot a gaudy 19.55 per game this season (including today). UK shot about the same. Only Arizona shot lees than us for the season – 14.01.

    We shot 15.61. But more importantly, we shot just over 12 per game after the switch in strategy to finish the season.

    The point is that Self inexplicably decreased the number of threes we normally shoot per game while having no inside presence near AZ or UK.

    Here’s a quote from Tom Izzo Friday, before his sweet 16 game: “There’s a lot of different ways to win. I think a lot of coaches have done it different ways. One of the biggest ways is you’d better adjust to the talent you have and play somewhat within your own system because you don’t want to change everything.”

    Go look at Izzo’s teams. In 2012 and 2013, their three point attempts were 534 and 523. In 2014 and 2015? 766 and 743.

    Self refuses to take advantage of the second most potent weapon in basketball. And this season, he actually decreased it from our normal totals.

    Here is what you do … If you don’t have the post men, you adjust and do something different. In a KC Star article this week, it was reported that Self had reservations about his post scoring before the season. We all saw it within a few games. You play to your strengths. Self has even said that. Self refused to do it, though. We weren’t even running offense in the second half vs. WSU. Heck, we were 21-4. Then “bad ball.” 6-5. Ugh.

  • @HighEliteMajor ya. But the badball improved our team defense… So much so that we actually allowed 49 pt halves in 2 of our last 3 games.

    But hey. If thats not enough to make the preacher cuss. Dont look now but 23-11 Michigan State is in the final four. While we seem to continue to underachieve with superior talent. No worries though. Coach Self got to play it his way and we marched to myitkitna or whatever the hell.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    7 out f 10 driving possessions UL runs identical driving action.

    9 out of 10 driving possessions MSU runs identical driving actions.


    All teams offenses hAve converged on driving action and drive out of identical sets.

    Izzo,like Self, only runs his old stuf for brief stretches early, or when he is trying to defend a lead.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Bad Ball got us to 6-5 with injuries and suspensions.

    We clearly would have been 3-8 playing relying on Trey balling, and given the slump and leg injuries on shooters maybe 2-9.

    Bad Ball was the only way to 6-5.

    No doubt.

  • izzo, Pitino, Fred, Bo, and everyone have adopted drive ball with 15-20 treys. Our desire for outside in Trey ball has been kissed off by the best coaches.

  • @jaybate-1.0 okay. Im extremely cranky right now. I admit that. Quit smoking after 17 years of a 2 pack a day habit on the 12th. Cold turkey. Hardest thing ive ever done and still struggling. So my apologies for sounding like a #%&!+ right now. But how on earth is it clear that we would be 3-8. To me its every bit as much “clear” speculation that we’d be 3-8 as it is that we’d be 10-1 using schemes within our existing offense to shoot 25 3s per game. And if you wanna cite the slump. Thats not overly valid. Because perhaps taking more shots may have ended the slump sooner. Again. Nothing is clear in my opinion. And its all speculation. But i do appreciate your insight and optimistic positivity for certain.

  • @jaybate-1.0

    I am most amazed that even Pitino has changed over to drive ball.

    Really I think Bo Ryan is the origin of drive ball. Self borrowed it thinking he had the trey shooters to play it and figured out that open look Trey shooters are worthless in drive ball; that Bo had drivers that could shoot the trey, and Self had to switch over.

    Self had to commit to the drive, but he lacked Bo’s stretch 5–all he had was a stretch 4.

    It works way better with a stretch 5.

  • @cragarhawk

    Hang in you can do it.

    It’s clear because the slump happened.

    You rely on the trey in a trey slump with lousy rebounding front court and you die.

  • @jaybate-1.0

    Bo added a twist by always having a big around who could shoot the three. Have the guards drive and kick to the big at the line. It’s worked best these last two years because UW has three bigs who can make them.

  • @cragarhawk great job! Hang in there!!

  • @cragarhawk No question that Izzo is the best tournament coach in recent history. He is doing it with an experienced team. He has good, but not great players. Dawson was very highly regarded. Valentine…highly regarded. Trice…under the radar. He picked up Forbes after he played at Cleveland State. Costello was player of the year in Michigan…but is a good role player. They beat a UVA squad that struggled a bit the last part of the season. OU couldn’t quite beat them. A good OT performance today. A classic Izzo run…but I think their run ends against Duke.

  • @cragarhawk - Understand @jaybate-1.0 and I are on different ends of this. I respect his view. But I believe it ignores the strong weight of the evidence. It is speculative. Perhaps just as speculative as if we said we would have been 10-1, like you said. What we do know is that we were 6-5 after going 21-4. We see other teams shooting threes as part of their schemes (and there is a big difference between 15 and 20 threes. A big difference). In the three “bad ball” games before Cliff’s suspension, we went 1-2. But I think Cliff was marginalized anyway – he played only 10 minutes vs. KSU in his last game.

    Here are your final four teams – MSU 19.55 threes per game; Duke 19.21 threes per game; Wisconsin 19.78 threes per game; Kentucky 15.18 threes per game.

    Kansas? 15.61 threes per game. After “bad ball”, again, just over 12. Seriously, is this even a debate? My view is simply incorporating the threes more strongly, shooting that 19 per game number perhaps (or more because of your interior inferiority) – but not just haphazardly. But scheming to get the looks. There is a big difference.

    Wisconsin, Duke, and MSU run offenses that get three point looks. That is part of their strategy. It’s not an inconvenience, it’s not the enemy, it’s not a second thought. It is part of their core offensive strategy.

    No one will ever convince me that if Self adapted his high low to embrace the three, scheme within his normal offense for the three, that we finish 6-5 or worse. No way. No way I’m convinced that we couldn’t beat WSU or Notre Dame playing that way. No way. Notre Dame should have beaten UK with one real big guy … who wasn’t any taller than Lucas or Mickelson, and was ranked #97.

    We lost a big, big opportunity this season. I sure hope coach Self isn’t sitting there thinking he got the best he could have out of this group.

  • @jaybate-1.0 You have me utterly confused … I just read your trey ball post “just for HEM”. Where do you stand on this? I must be missing a nuance or distinction somewhere.

    Are you saying that you do need to shoot the three … like these other guys; and are you also saying Self made the right choice cutting the threes and going bad ball with low rate of threes?

  • @HighEliteMajor Izzo was interviewed right after the first half, When asked what they could improve on he said we shot too many threes. Shot them too quick too.

  • @sfbahawk You do understand – just checking – that Izzo’s comment doesn’t disparage the three? Teams that shoot a good number of threes shoot them too often from time to time. Remember, I don’t think we or anyone should just shoot threes. If you can score inside, do it. Be sure to scheme to get open looks from three as part of your offense.

    I say that all because it seems that folks like to make points to me about three point shooting when coaches say things about limiting threes, as if that somehow counters any points I’ve made (not saying that’s what you did – just a discussion point).

    Actually, my point right now is look at MSU, Duke and Wisconsin. Different offenses. Each of which find a way to shoot 19 threes as part of a diverse overall scheme to score the basketball. As simplistic as it can get – why can’t we do that?

  • @HighEliteMajor Do you really think that Izzo schemes to shoot threes more than Self. They take the same types of threes we do: when they are open with the occasional forced three that usually does not go in. Someone suggested that we should keep cranking them even if cold since we might break out of a slump sooner. Is there any evidence that Izzo might contemplate that strategy for more than milliseconds?

    Duke offense leans toward the three much more than does Self. There is no question there. However they won today by going inside. Jones got a couple blocked but kept going.

  • @Hawk8086 As much as I hate to keep harping on it. I would never count out an Izzo coached team in march. I dont think you ever see the best they are capable of until the last game they play. Which. Admittedly isnt always enough to win. So perhaps youre right and Duke will end their run. But i would again ask. If you had a choice(and really we dont. Its just speculation) would you rather be the unknown overachiever(like 2012) or the world beating underperformer(2010)? I have to agree with @HighEliteMajor. Coach Self cant be feeling he got the best out of this group

  • @sfbahawk Goodness … yes. Absolutely. You do not shoot 19+ per game and not scheme to get those looks. Further, a big part of this too – the freedom to shoot them. Not all the bitching and complaining about the shots. That doesn’t mean a bad shot doesn’t get scolded, just not the clear disdain for it.

    Again, perhaps you miss the point. You say Duke won by going inside, to which I say two things, 1) Sure, and 2) So what? That is not to be disrespectful, but again, it seems as though you say that to disparage the three. Teams that shoot the three do win by going inside. But that means nothing.

    But actually, Duke went 8/19 from three. So that kind of takes care of that, even if that’s not the point. I kind of thought Winslow’s three with 2:50 left to stretch the lead to 9 was the dagger, as good old Verne said.

    Threes and going inside can work together. They have to. They do. It’s best that way. And Inside-Out is the best way to play, no doubt.

  • @sfbahawk ive never suggested we just keep “cranking them” to break out of a slump or any other reason… I merely said shooting more within the flow of our offense. Scheming for good open looks may have broken us out of the slump sooner. To me that makes mathematical sense. But again neither myself nor @HighEliteMajor has ever suggested that just jacking 3s with no scheme or plan or within our existing offense was playing to this teams strength

  • @HighEliteMajor that 3 by Winslow was the dagger to me also. It was also fairly well guarded I thought. Sometimes its just a great player making a clutch shot when it matters most. I still think we have more than one guy like that right here at home

  • And this all is not black and white … shoot “X” number of threes. It’s about scheme, and freedom to shoot, and game situation/opponent. You could shoot 7 and win. Or 24. Just go through Duke and Wisconsin’s box scores. I have. I haven’t gone through MSU’s in detail yet. It’s quite interesting.

    Personally, I just can’t stand the “don’t shoot them” mentality that overtook this team after Fool’s Gold was uttered. That’s just plain shortsighted. If coach Self would just free his mind a bit … see coach K and Izzo … we’ll have a better, more diverse offense.

  • Banned


    You said----We clearly would have been 3-8 playing relying on Trey balling, and given the slump and leg injuries on shooters maybe 2-9.

    Come on that is like saying if I wouldn’t have drank more after we went to the whole BAD BAll scheme KU would of finished undefeated, and made the Final 4

    Look all I know is one game KU hits lights out from three and the next I don’t even think they took a three? Bad Ball was born that day, and the season went into the crapper.

  • @DoubleDD

    Alas, it is not.

    Bad Ball produced the 6-5 result it did under a specific set of conditions. Those condtitions have to be the assumptions for alternative scenarios hypothesized, or there is no validity to considering the alternative scenarios for counter factual inference.

    Not to worry. Forgetting to maintain relevant conditions in alternative scenarios plagues a lot of counter factual inference aka what-if modelling.

  • Banned


    Come on Jaybate? You’re not just injecting a point, but merely hypothesizing a certain outcome to prove you point.

    I believe in the senses mode of things. If it looks like crap then, it is likely to be crap, if it feels like crap then it is likely to be crap, and if it smells like crap well then you have a @#%$.

    You point to Cliff as the need to play bad ball. Well lets be real Cliff was spending a lot of time on the bench before his suspension. As the college game was to quick for him, and really had no effect on KU shooting 10 threes or 20. You also point to the Ellis injury. Yes losing a player like Ellis is huge and a change it needed. However you can never convince me that going away from your strength as the best path.

    That’s a lot like a lot of these self help books teaching people to focus on there weakness, when the facts are the most successful people focused on their strengths.

  • @DoubleDD

    Not at all.

    I’m just working with the then existing conditions…

    If we had not slumped from three point range, I would be working with those conditions and in that case I would be arguing that we would have probably had a much better record than 6-5 by BAD BALL.

    What board rats seem not to acknowledge is the Self moves in the directions that he does in part because of circumstances.

    Why did Self have the team shooting so much from trey during the mid part of the season? Why didn’t he just jump straight to BAD BALL?

    Because he had to find a way to bridge from failing at trying to play his traditional high low offense with back 2 basket in the front court to figuring out another way for his front court guys to learn to attack the basket. He apparently knew what he wanted to the bigs to change over to–mobile big man attack platforms. But when he had them do it they weren’t very good at it either for awhile. He knew he had some good trey ballers because he had recruited them. He had to piece his way through the transition to Bad Ball. He had nothing left to use to piece with at that point, so he started letting his guys fire 20-25 treys per game, while the front court guys tried to learn to play efficiently as MBMAPs… He was lucky. The hot shooting trey balling lasted for several weeks and so that bought him the time for his bigs to learn to play face to basket from lots of different formations. And just about the time the hot shooing began to go cold he was in position to shift the bulk of the offensive attack over MBMAPs and perimeter driving. He got a free ride of another two weeks while teams kept guarding KU as if it were a good trey balling team instead of one mired in long slump, and once suffering tired legs and leg injuries, no longer a very good trey balling bunch at all.

    Really, Self did one of his three best coaching jobs this season. He turned what should have been a disasterous season, likely the kind of …500 season that most other top coaches have fallen to once every ten years, into a 26-9 season, a title and 2 seed.

    Self could hardly have helped Cliff blowing up and getting suspended. And he even milked quite a bit out of Cliff, a guy who literally could not concentrate enough to keep from making the MOST extraordinary bone head plays, and who could not keep from fouling.

    Perry broke out beautifully as a stretch 4, before wrenching his knee and getting his nose pushed out the back of his head with a cheap shot.

    Kelly had great stretch before the big white wraps on the knee signalled his steady decline in pop.

    Frank played marvelously and vindicated Self’s faith in him entirely.

    Devonte did darned well for a freshman with a modest rank and playing for a team that was so messed up that it played not one, but three styles of play during his first season. Not many freshman guards could have performed as well as he did under those circumstances.

    Wayne was the only heart breaker, because he could never sustain the flashes he showed. But he did play all season and guard all season and there was a stretch late in the season when this KU team played some of the best defense I have seen in Self’s 11 years.

    Svi folded, but at 17 and half a world from home, well, really not all that surprising.

    The front court was might frustrating, because it just didn’t seem long enough, heavy enough, or talented enough, to play any kind of conventional ball. But truth be told, they were good enough for a record as good as Cole and Sherron’s first season starting together, even though they couldn’t stretch it to a Sweet 16.

    I am very proud of the team even though it ended on a sour note against a thugging WSU.

    And, yes, there is no doubt in my mind that our record would have been much worse that 6-5 had we tried to just rely on the trey ball in the midst of a long slump.

    Rock Chalk!

  • Banned


    Ok Jaybate-1.0 I’ll give you some props. You make a strong argument but, but, I’m not sure I can totally agree.

    First why do board rats think three pointing shooting is lucky? I would be willing to bet that KU guards take hundreds of three point shots a day. Always practicing, honing the shot. Not trying to push back on you to hard here. Yet you come across like KU’s three pointing was just a hot streak? An anomaly or some addicted gambler riding a hot streak. Yet I just watched a lot of basketball this weekend where the three not only was used heavily, but in some cases kept games close and even won the game.

    I’m not saying lets forget the High/Low, as I believe balance. Yet I think HCBS needs to do a better job of playing to his teams strengths. He said himself this was most likely the best shooting team he’s ever had.

    Tell you what forget pounding the ball inside or shooting the three for a second. Why didn’t HCBS just take advantage of the mid range jump shot? I don’t have the stats to back up what I’m about to say but this KU seemed pretty good at taking that shot. I’m even willing to bet they shot better from midrange than three and down under the basket combined.

    Anyways love the banter

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Sorry about the confusion.

    I am saying you (and I) are right about the decisive importance of the trey ball.

    But I am saying that Izzo proves you can play it pretty much the way Self plays it with scores in the 60s and 15 3ptas and make it to the Final Four.

    Or you can cut loose and shoot a lot of treys.

    But what ever you do, you have to MAKE a good percentage of what you take. My heuristic standard is still 40% average.

    The farther you go in the Madness the more difficult it is to win without MAKING the treys you take.

    And the farther you go in the Madness, especially at the Elite 8, drive ball won’t foul up an opponent enough to win games at the foul line, because: a.) refs are swallowing whistles; and b.) teams are too deep to get fouled up.

    So: all of these factors point to a crucial dependence on trey ball MAKING, regardless of what total number of treys you attempt.

    Everyone of these coaches has some number of trey ball attempts they find optimal.

    Everyone of these coaches has proven they can go deep at various levels of trey ball attempts.

    But to go deep, they have to MAKE a healthy percentage of what they make.

    They can count on one game in which and opponent sucks at trey making, and so that one game they can suck at trey making too.

    But most of the games, teams of this quality are making a good percentage of their treys, or they are losing and going home.

    Over the course of the off season then, you and I and others have to sort through this and re-attack the issue of how many is the optimal number of 3ptas.

    I am still of the opinion that if you have a bunch of good trey ballers, 75-80% of possessions should be 3ptas on the first shot of the possession to really optimize trey balling by raising the number of 3ptas so high that you shoot through slumps in single games, never 4-5 games. But you need two good rebounders.

    On the other hand, if you are going to play drive ball, all your drivers have to be able to shoot the trey AND drive and I suspect something like 50% of possessions should start with a 3pta to confront the defense with a 50/50 drive/trey situation, so the defender can never gamble drive or a trey.

    Hope this helps.

  • @DoubleDD

    I don’t think 3pt shooting is luck, or fool’s gold.

    I think 3pt shooting is just prone to runs of better and runs of worse shooting, like all kinds of shooting are.

    We have a long run of missing few bunnies, then we have game where we miss a bunch of bunnies.

    The thing about shooting close to the basket is that your bad runs seem to be shorter, and if you have decent front court players, your average FG% inside is tends to run higher that 3pta shooting percentages do.

    There is something about shooting 3pt shots that seems to have longer runs hitting and missing, than shooting close in to the basket two point shots.

    Also, shooting inside, assuming you have good front court players, you tend to be able to keep making a good percentage inside as you tire, and as injuries accrue.

    3ot shooting percentage seems to decline as the game wears on and legs get more tired. And with injuries.

    But there is also the argument that there is some point at which you increase the frequency of3ptas you make percentage increases significantly simply from repetitions.

    Now to the mid range J. I have to say I am very prejudiced against it, so I may not be able to make as good of a case as some other s could.

    But my take is this:

    Outside the trey stripe 100% of the time you have a chance to make 3 points with one shot.

    Driving into guys near the rim triggers a significant possibility for a 2 point basket at a high percentage and a foul and free throw.

    At the mid range you can either only get 2 possible points, or you can drive into your defender and try to draw a foul, but its farther out than a drive inside and so you are likely to make a smaller percentage from mid range while driving into someone than you would driving into someone inside. And you have to drive into someone to get a chance of a 2 point basket and a foul.

    But here is why I am such a “radical” thinker (relatively speaking) about this 3pt shooting stuff. Getting teams fouled up is only probable to occur against teams lacking quality depth. And since you can probably find other ways to beat such teams, why scheme your team to be able to foul up shallow teams, when the real problem is the team with quality depth IMHO.

    Note: clearly Self does not agree with me. He argues that the farther you go the shorter the bench is, so foul up their starters, but I say the quality depth is still too good to make fouling the starters up worth the effort.

    What I argue is that if you shoot vastly more treys, 50% 3ptas in on approach, and 80% 3ptas in another offensive scheme, the points produced will ramp up so much that it creates a bigger lead than getting them fouled up would trigger.

    All for now. But we have an entire off season to sort through this.

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