• @Jesse-Newell said he has to improve his fg% at rim and he has no other significant flaws. His rim rate will sparkle with next year’s bigs to dish to. Go, Frank, go!!!

  • @jaybate-1.0 I asked @Jesse-Newell to check out Sherron vs Mason. Wonder if he is? At any rate, I am glad to see that post. Frank is a stud.

  • @Lulufulu

    Absolutely. And a PG has to have at least one 5 that is a serious offensive threat to dish to, or opponents will just ride him all the way to the rim; that is what happened to Frank this past season. He made some bad decisions his freshman season, because he was learning the position. But this past season, when he started getting the hang of it, he made good decisions. The problem was that a lot of times other teams knew he had to keep it on the way to the iron.

    Our front court could be VERY strong if we make the adds of Bragg, Diallo and Thorne to go with Lucas, Traylor and Hunter. Why? First, Lucas, Traylor and Hunter are going to start out blooded AND get significantly better. They now know what the real world of D1 is like. And they will have practiced BAD BALL moves for a year, instead of be learning them in the middle of a grueling season.

    I am very excited about Lucas. He is our classic 3-5 year big man project and after last season, he can now do everything we need a big man to do but one thing: be a threat within 10 feet to score on anyone, even a footer. Prezemek Karnowski of Gonzaga shows one of two things Lucas CAN learn this off season to make him a real force. Self needs to devise some offense around a passing center and have Landen become that passing center. Mark Few has revealed a huge weakness in current defenses relying on rim protectors. Everyone thinks the only way around a rim protector is to go small and pull your center out to three point land, but Few has PROVEN there is another way to skin the rim protecting cat and that is with passing out of the post to cutters, instead of just stupid kicks to three. Self should love this, but Lucas has to be able to pass behind the back, hook pass, and bounce pass to make it work. Anyone can learn to do this. The passing center is the next big counter to the footer rim protector. No rim protector can stand straight up like Withey, Caulley-Stein et al, or explode like Towns and others, when they are trying to guard a passing center. All the coaches in the 1950s that had to face the then new footer phenomenon–Iba’s Bob Kurland, DePaul’s Tom Gola, Allen’s Lovellette, leaned that the way around a long 5 that guards the rim is with passing he is forced to guard. Turning Jamari Traylor into a back to the basket, passing center, would help Traylor a lot, when he is not outside being a driving post, too. Basically, anyone that cannot shoot the J, or the hook reliably, has to become a threat as a passing center. Any one that watched Prezemek Kanowski knows how it is done. Passing can be taught and learned. And you don’t have to be a huge shooting threat for it to be effective. All you have to do is be able to “see the floor.”

    Next, Lucas is one jump hook, or turn around fadeaway bank shot jumper a la Wilt (note: this is so simple and exploits his long slide over his modest springs that this is what I would have him work on) away from being a legitimate force in the paint. He can guard the post. He started to show signs of being a 10 rpg in 30 minutes guy last season. He is now beginning to understand big man territoriality. I would rather he became a tree balling, stretch 5, but I don’t see that he has the natural touch for that. But the turn around fade away bank shot from the low block is HARD to block, AND it always pulls the 5 out of rebounding position, because any miss always caroms to the side opposite the shot taken. It is guarantied to take the rim protector out of the stick back play, especially if Landen will use his looking legs to slide waaaaaaay out and fall away as he takes it, the way Wilt did. All and Harp supposedly taught that shot to Wilt because at 7 feet it was unblockable, but also because it saved his leg strength for jumping for on defense. A sliding fadeaway jumper is the next great thing to be revived from the old days, as Self has revived the weave. It is THE shot for for X-axis basketball. If the rim protector comes out to block it, and he will have to, then Landen dishes to a cutter timed to approach the basket as he makes his fadeaway move. And even if he cannot get the shot, or the cutter, he has his dribble and can just step out, whip it to a guard that drives it and the rim protector is out of position. And this leaves Landen’s energy for defense. A game of doing this to a rim protector and he will be toast down the stretch. I frankly cannot believe Self did not try this last season, except I didn’t think of it until now myself. Last season was just phenomenally complicated by injuries. Every time Self thought of something, the person would get injured the next game.

    Next, we have Traylor, whom everyone is so discouraged about. Jamari most certainly is not a starting grade 5. But let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water. He started to come on as a driving post the minute Bad Ball was shifted to, but almost instantly he was badly injured and played entirely without his only real strength–his explosiveness. He will get his explosiveness back because it did not appear to be knee, or ankle problem, but rather a him problem, and those often restore. With his explosiveness back, he gives us a perfect matchup for the teams that go short on us, and occasionally when we want to go short on a wide body by making him chase. And after seeing Jamari show signs of being able to put it on the deck from outside, we have reason to expect he will be able do develop at least one little offensive move off a block in the off season. One little jump hook, or drop step and reverse under the basket and dunk with his explosiveness back.

    Next we have the mystery man–Hunter Mickelson–the guy everyone knows can play, but doesn’t get to play. Self has to see what we see. The kid can play. The kid could have played last season. Something is going on with Hunter and Self. God only knows what. I posited that he was going to lose out overtime to any body we had that was his equal that was from a big recruiting market and I think that’s obviously true. Unless you are a great player, you exactly what Self needs one season, you cannot play for Self and KU, because who plays is used to recruit next season’s players. It is not fair, but its how it is. Whatever else Frankamp have done that we know nothing about, we can be pretty confident that he left because he was for sure going to be passed over for guys coming from better recruiting markets. Perry Ellis would never have had a prayer of being our star player had Self been able to attract any OAD, or even 5 star fours from big recruiting markets. It is the law of the jungle. Self played Tyrel and Brady and he learned his lesson. You can play and develop guys and they can take you to 30 wins, but if they don’t make more players come into replace them, they are just not an expense you can afford in recruiting. Conner was never going to beat Devonte even with a better gun and more experience, and equal everything else. Wasn’t going to happen. Devonte came from an academy that Self wants to keep the door open on. So did Naa. When Self starts out behind the Nike Stack eight ball with a small pool of adidas conveyor belt players, he HAS to play the nonaligned guys from academies and big recruiting markets or wither on the vine and die. Conner was lucky to have a dad who understood the game and got him the heck out of the situation he was in. Conner may or may not have been as good as Devonte. It did not matter one whit. He had to be waaaaay better to beat him out. So: back to Hunter. He is in the same boat, as Conner. It never mattered a whit that he was as good as Jamari and Landen and early on before Perry learned to like contact, as Perry. You don’t play unless you are way better, when you come from podunk Arkansas that might not produce another recruit this century. That was why Mike Anderson unloaded him. Self only took him, because he knew he might come up short handed and needed a practice player that could block his starters from big recruiting markets, IMHO. Still, Hunter IS there. He CAN play. And he IS good insurance against injury to one of our big recruiting market bigs. And he WILL push these underachieving, self inflated, naive, freshman bigs coming in. So: Hunter IS important and a strength to this front court, even if he does sit in cryogenic ice every game.

    Perry, I am not going to spend much time on. He is what he is: a 3 playing the 4, who learned to play stretch 4, pot the triceratop and drive it. He can’t rebound against anyone his size or bigger, but he can guard pretty much anyone he will face at the 4. I want them to sign Jaylen Brown, but if they don’t, I would like to see Perry move to 3, but that would be like asking Self to give up sure for maybe from his replacement. Probably not going to happen. The odds are against Perry going pro, but the odds are for him delaying committing, as long as he can to reduce the odds of Self signing someone that can beat him out. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not knocking Perry for doing it. All bets are off regarding recruiting in D1. Its every man for himself, during recruiting season. Once the team is formed, then you go back to team first. But in the off season? Fornicate the team. I am the ONLY team that counts in the off season. That is how the coach recruits. That is how the OADs make decisions. That is how a 5 start like Perry, who played hurt, and got his nose driven out the back of his head, should do it. All is fair in love, war and recruiting decisions. Team starts AFTER October 15, not before. Capice? It may not be pretty. But that is how it is until someone takes D1 back to four year rides and baseball’s rules on entering the draft.

    So those are the guys returning. Not the kind of group on their own you would want to go to war with next season. But now think about the incomings. And there will be incomings. People’s briefs and boxers are in a wad, because fans don’t like waiting to find out who we are going to get. But imagine if you are a Nike Stack fan right now. You have waaaaaay more suspense about next season than a KU fan does. Think about it. if you are UK, or UA, you’ve got mediocrities coaching and if you don’t get 7 OADs you are treading you know what in a latrine. Things are better at Duke and MSU, because you’ve at least guys that can coach their ways out of a paper bag with non OADs. But still, your coaches have caved to the system and so they are apparently no longer driving their own recruiting. Their coaches apparently have no more idea who they are going to be given than you or I do. This is the weakness in the stacking system. The more schools you add as stacks, the more the risk of conflict and jealously enters into the apparently centralized distribution system of talent. We only really need two guys. We are almost certain to get two, because we have an oral on one. And even if Diallo and Thorne were to go to Stack schools., then Self would smile and dial Fratello and Hill and order a Euro lug, at least that would be my guess. But the probability is Diallo and Thorne come.

    @konkeyDong has given the low down on Diallo. He makes us a LOT better if he comes. And we have the returning guys to buy him some 20 minute games early to adjust to speeds. Diallo gives us the athletic aggressiveness we need. Put him with Perry and he lets Perry be Perry. Put him with Jamari and we have guys exploding out of position all over the floor. Put him with Landen, if Landen has become a passer with one move, and we become devastating inside and tough to score on on the other, and capable of 20 rpg from our bigs any game. Put him with Bragg and we are long and lean. Put him with Thorne and we are just plain mean.

    Thorne is obviously not a Tarik grad player IMHO. But what I like about him so much is his ability complement Perry, or, and this is really juicy, pair with Landen and watch the two of them shove and body the twin footer teams we meet.

    So: all in all I am pretty jazzed about the prospects for next season’s front court.

    We are not going to have a totally dominant 5 in front court next season, but it appears we are going to have a front court that can match up and play pretty much anyway they want to with anyone, and that will buy our very experienced back court and wings to operate at a high level of efficiency.

    I am psyched.

  • @jaybate-1.0 An addendum regarding Diallo: Put him with Selden and half of those missed bunnies will flip back into the nest!

  • @jaybate-1.0 …and I am high on the acquisition of Jaylen Brown, too. We desperately need a 3 man who can put the ball on the floor in traffic. (or a 2 man when Wayne rides the pine)

  • @REHawk

    Coach, you are soooooooooo right on target about Diallo enabling Selden. So many people that have not coached get caught up in what players bring to a position, and overlook what players bring to other positions too. Similarly, when fans assess a team after the season, they too often attribute the failings of the team to the players with sub par stats without taking into account whether the sub par stats were attributable to the player, or to some other player he had to play with.

    We can look around most of the team and expect ripple effect improvements in player’s stats IF we can sign the right guys in the paint. And those right guys signed for the paint are NOT necessarily the death knell to our returning players minutes either. Our returning bigs may play less, but they will play better, too, because of the adds.

    Injuries are far harder for a person like me to anticipate the impact of the following season. I really only know that knees and ankles can reduce explosiveness that never restores. I have no clue about a hip flexor, or back stuff, or all the myriad things that can go wrong.

    Jamari’s near complete loss of explosiveness the last two months worries me the most, because he depends the most on explosiveness. I sure hope he can get his explosiveness back, because with it he can still contribute a lot off the bench.

    You and me both worry about Frank already. Don’t want to see him wind up like Sherron with too little elasticity left to go up. Short guys can play on the X-axis, but they need the threat of up to be most effective on the X-axis.

  • @REHawk

    Regarding Jaylen, we need him for all the reasons you mention.

    And we need him because the ShoeCo-Agent complex mules seem to have taken away our supply of Big Man U junk we used to mainline as if there were no end to it. I know, bad choice of metaphor for young persons. Okay, they have taken away our bit torrent feed of Big Man U data packets that we used to download as if there were no tomorrow. 🙂

    Jaylen to me represents KU’s new image.

    KU = 3 Man U.

    The only great one we have missed lately is Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and it cost us a ring for sure.

    Really, we have to add Jaylen to stay 3 Man U.

    Rock Chalk!

  • @jaybate-1.0 An interesting take: “3 Man U.” It DOES appear that Self thinks along those lines, as he has acquired some terrific 3 recruits. Heck, he even recruited a 3 to play the 4!

  • @REHawk


  • @jaybate-1.0

    Love that… “3 Man U!”

    What will be the bi-line… “Voted #1 by swingers around the world!” uh… er… wait a minute…

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