Early, Early Starting line-ups for next year.

  • Who do like to start?

    I wouldn’t put much faith in getting anyone else. Brown has said nothing, Mack is down to Texas, KU & Georgia. Greek kid is a pipe-dream. Regardless the only possible way a shakeup would happen for me is if Brown signed. Here goes…

    PG- Mason SG- Selden SF- Svi PF- Ellis C- Diallo

    First off the bench PG- Graham

    Role Players SF- Greene PF- Bragg C- Lucas

    Reserves Traylor Mickelson

    I think Svi wins the SF battle because of his defense & improved game now til fall. Summer games would have been ideal but what can you do. Greene is going to be behind unless he gets cleared in August.

    You start Diallo from day 1 because he’s night and day an upgrade to Lucas. Lucas can keep developing with backup minutes and not be relied upon like the end of last year. Yes a freshman is our best hope at the 5.

    Graham 1st player off the bench, allows you to bring in a 2nd ball-handler if he doesn’t sub Mason. If you start both you would have no PG sub for either.

    Anybody else differ?

  • If the No. 3 recruit in the country this year couldn’t displace Lucas/Traylor, I’m not sure we can count on the 2 freshman bigs this year to do it. I sure hope so, because we need an upgrade in size (Traylor) and athleticism (Lucas) at the 5. Diallo does both, being taller than Traylor, and more athletic than Lucas. He doesn’t look like he has “motor” problems, but to think there won’t be an adjustment period knowing Self’s history would be foolish.

    I think day 1 Lucas or Traylor starts at the 5 to hopefully be displaced by late December. I also assume with Greene, if he is cleared to play Self plays him. Again, history shows Self brings youngins along slowly but does not hesitate to play players the minute the Dr. says go. Mason, Selden, and Ellis are locks.

  • @benshawks08 pretty sure if diallo has a hi bb IQ, he will start. W/out throwing a kid under the bus, some have no former coaching. I’ll leave it at that!

  • @benshawks08

    Diallo will get a jump start on the adjustment period starting soon with the practices and exhibition games for Korea. Same with Bragg, they will get accustomed to Self’s practices earlier than any bigs in the Self Era. That does bode well for them going into the fall. Cliff didn’t bring effort all the time, something Diallo will not have a problem doing.

    As far as Greene, missing the summer is the biggest issue and because of that Svi will get a lot of reps that he won’t.

  • @BeddieKU23 Bragg had a really good coach!

  • Capture.PNG

  • @benshawks08 Diallo is raw just like Big Cliff is/was. But Diallo is ranked where he is primarily for his defense and effort. Cliff had a rep being a bully down low (which didn’t translate as well as it could have) and an athlete. Diallo has more of what Self traditionally values in a starter, though.

  • @benshawks08 “If the No. 3 recruit in the country this year couldn’t displace Lucas/Traylor, I’m not sure we can count on the 2 freshman bigs this year to do it. I sure hope so, because we need an upgrade in size (Traylor) and athleticism (Lucas) at the 5.”

    You read my mind. There are a handful of things that really worry me about Self, and this is one.

    No one will ever tell me that Self was right in playing Traylor over Cliff. Cliff was just better. Cliff gave us a better chance to win. I won’t debate that.

    What irritated Self were things that Cliff did … out of position, slow to the ball at times, screwing up running the offense, etc. Irritations.

    With all of that, Cliff was still better than Traylor.

    That’s my concern. Self lets irritations overshadow the big picture. I’m not saying that they are little things, or he shouldn’t be irritated … but a big picture analysis of “Are we better with Cliff or with Traylor?”

    That question is unequivocally answered in favor of Cliff.

    Like others have said though, Diallo appears different than Cliff. But I didn’t suspect Cliff would be scolded for motor issues at this time last season.

    Here is Cliff’s ESPN scouting report. No way that this would lead one to conclude his failures that occurred in Self’s eyes. Again, I’m not saying they weren’t legitimate at all. It’s just that we can’t truly predict Diallo won’t face the same issues. Look at the last line under “strengths.”


    Alexander is a big mobile post that is a terror on the glass. He snatches everything that comes off in his area with force and is not afraid to put his body on his opponent. He also was active and blocked shots in and out of his area. Alexander did a great job with screen and roll situations as well. He set wide screens and rolled hard to the rim which he dunked when he received the pocket pass. He also showed a nice hook over his left shoulder. Alexander ran the floor and played with good urgency at all times.


    Alexander must continue to work to stay in shape so consistent work on strength and conditioning is a must. He must also build his back to the basket moves and learn to face and hit the jumper to about 15 feet and his game goes to the next level.

    Bottom Line:

    This big fella is in the argument for best player/prospect in the country. Big, strong and athletic, Alexander is productive every time he steps on the court. Some of the athletic plays he makes dunking the ball and blocking shots are not seen from any other player in high school currently.

  • @HighEliteMajor This gives me a chance to ask something that has bothered me for the past few days. When is enough enough? How many bad shots should Self allow a good three point shooter to crank up before taking him out? How many times does an athletic big get to wander about as if they didn’t know what to do, before they are pulled?

    How is a shooter to get better if they are allowed 3 or 5 or 7 bad shots in a half? How do they tell the difference between good and bad? If the big is consistently out of position, how do they know what the correct position is? If a coach treats a half-assed effort the same as a great effort, what has the kid learned?

    What have the other kids on the team learned? Why should someone hustle if not hustling gets you the same thing? Why was Cliff going to magically improve if he didn’t really have to do so to get time on the court?

    You have stated a multitude of times that Self hurt the KU basketball team by playing people like Brady and Jamari. Why did he do that? Is he just a poor judge of talent? Stupid? Stubborn? Ah, stubborn. That is obviously the answer. Maybe the powers to be within the athletic department (actually the people who donate the money to make it run) should have someone lay a 2x4 upside of his head and knock some sense in and stubbornness out rather than paying him $5 mil a year.

    Actually a broader question is why is college basketball populated by so many coaches who are unable to beat someone with the obvious inadequacies of Self? I guess the world is going to hell in a hand basket.

  • @sfbahawk I’ll be happy to address your multiple questions. But answer me one first – Was Kansas better with Cliff Alexander in the game, or Jamari Traylor, in 2014-15?

  • @HighEliteMajor

    The ESPN scouting report for Cliff is for Cliff playing in HS, not against McDonald’s selections but against kids that worked at McDonald’s. Sure. he was bigger and stronger than 99.99% of HS players but in Division I, just about every player is big and strong.

    He just was not physically ready for college ball and his endurance was just not there and it did not look like he was a gym rat like many others.; also, his BBall IQ was lower than the average first year player and did not seem to improve as the seaon went on.

    I know you don’t like Jamari, but there is no question, in my opinion, that he has at times played very well for KU. You don’t believe he is Division one caliber player and yet…there he is playing for an elite program. In my opinion, and I would think that of several other forum members, Jamari was a more valuable player than Cliff was.; in many ways and based on the hype, Cliff was underwhelming, underperformed and the end of the season was a disappointment. In my opinion, and it is just that, Jamari was more physically fit than Cliff and it has served him well.

    Here is a little treat for you…



    I know, let’s just agree to disagree on this issue, at least we both agree that the 7’ Greek would be great for KU.

  • @JayHawkFanToo How would you explain the stark difference in numbers and production while in the game?

    I want the Greek Freak. And Traylor’s biceps.

  • @BeddieKU23 Your starting 5 looks like a reasonable assumption. But, I have to believe, based on history, that Traylor gets a fair amount of playing time. That leaves one of the other guys with not many minutes. Is that Bragg for awhile? Is that Lucas? I don’t think Self will play 10…although he may posture as if he will at first.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    You can use stats to justify any thing…what is it the Will Rogers said? In that case, how many point did the other team scored when Cliff was out of position? Do we have the +/- stat like we have for the NBA?

    Like I said, we will not agree on this issue, why continue it?

  • Diallo is a work horse. His energy level is off the charts. He is picking up the game of basketball very quickly… much like JoJo did.

  • @JayHawkFanToo I don’t know, I don’t recall directing any post on this thread to you. You have injected your thoughts, so I replied. Don’t continue it if you choose.

    Your response is illusory. You have no idea how many points Cliff gave up being out of position. I have stats on my side. And there is no bending them to try to make a point. They are what they are. You are talking about items outside of stats. Tell me how many points Traylor gave up because of his poor defense, because he can’t rebound, and because he gets pushed around underneath? Again, you don’t know.

    Now, if you have substance, I’m interested. You mentioned conditioning. That’s substantive. But this goes back to what I’d said above … no matter what Cliff’s faults, or subjective misgivings, he routinely outperformed Traylor even if he wasn’t as conditioned as you claim. Same with basketball IQ. He was significantly better, and it was quite apparent that we were better with Cliff on the floor.

    That can certainly co-exist with the likely fact that Cliff failed at some subtle things Self required to stay on the floor, some likely related to basketball IQ and hustle/motor.

  • @HighEliteMajor I’d say that the team was probably better with Cliff in the game rather than Jamari for 10 to 15 minutes over the course of the season. I think the problem was that you extrapolated the few minutes that Cliff looked good over what would be the season. Unfortunately for the team and Cliff those were rather spotty minutes.

    If Cliff would have done this and if Cliff would have done that he would have been better. But he didn’t do those things. Self knew what he could get from Jamari. He never knew from one time to the next what he could get from Cliff. If you want to blame Self, blame him for recruiting Cliff and not for not playing him as much as you think he should have.

  • @Hawk8086

    I think the Diallo signing pushes Traylor to the 4th spot vying with Lucas. Whatever opinion we have of Traylor we know one thing he is undersized to play any of our front-court positions. I just can’t see Self playing him 15-20 minutes again while being limited by size & limited offense. Traylor couldn’t out-rebound Frank Mason. Let that one sink in for a second. Self was very upset with his rebounding. Diallo & Bragg will rebound the ball better. I think using Traylor a few minutes here and few minutes there will directly benefit him from showing his weaknesses over a long stretch of time.

  • I love what Self tells these recruits. They know exactly what to expect when they sign. Diallo said, he was going to KU and will ‘earn’ playing time. Hey…there’s a word you don’t hear from coaches anymore, go figure. He tells Brown, he’ll have to work hard and if you don’t like hard work, don’t come to KU? Self is a little too honest with recruits, but there’s no misunderstanding and they can’t say anything about Self’s recruiting style.

    Also, Self ALWAYS rewards those players that stay with him and give him four years. Unlike Calipari, who would bench any player to play his next OAD. Someone challenged my comments about Poythress. He was hurt very early and never got a chance to play. So, to say that he’s no good, is not too fair just because he sat due to his injury. The poster also said that Poythress would be in the NBA if he’s any good. His injury was pretty threatening and if he wasn’t any good, Calipari wouldn’t have recruited him in the first place. But, I guarantee you if Calipari lands Brown by some miracle, Brown would play over Poythress. Forget his talent and huge experience, Calipari has to play his featured OAD at all costs. Again, I hope players and their parents are seeing this stupid recruiting by Calipari.

  • I’ll be honest, I trust Traylor’s experience in most situations and he knows Self’s system. He will play over Diallo more than you think. Diallo is respecting Self and there will be a curve. Diallo will have to learn fast if he expects to play, and as most have said, by mid season, he should be primed.

    I think Lucas and even Mick will play over Diallo at times too. Again, they know the system and how to execute Self’s plays. Self’s system is not some ‘fly by night’ system that you come in and play. Diallo will have to learn SO much and understand the details behind Self’s system for Bigs. We all know Embiid got it really fast.

  • @JayHawkFanToo Traylor has some ‘guns, guns, guns.’ Can you imagine if he opened a ‘can of whoop a$$’ on that purple kitty retard fan? But again, a great example of Traylor’s experience and maturity that you want in difficult situations. If that was say Alex…what would he have done? Yikes.

  • @truehawk93

    You attribute the absence of retaliation to Traylor’s maturity…I hope that was part of it, but it sure helped that the dumb@$$ was already at mid-court by the time Traylor figured out what was going on!

    If the kid had stayed for a staring contest after the body check, it could have gotten ugly real quickly. And I wouldn’t have blamed Traylor at all.

  • @truehawk93

    I think Traylor will play, I just don’t think he deserves 20 minutes or to start. It just wasn’t effective enough over the season or consistent enough. 2 years ago when he was with his bash brother Black it worked out so much better because they both brought energy, toughness off the bench. That’s the role Traylor needs to be relegated back to. Mari has great energy but over the course of playing a lot of minutes he looked tired, worn out, and noticeably injured sometimes. I trust him in the system and he was a good passer in the zone for lobs and such. But he was a poor screener, shooter, etc and always has been. I know Self likes to value his experienced players but when he obviously recruits over him its tough to see him not being out back to role player.

    I just don’t think Self signed 2 McDonald’s All-American’s at his position to sit them. Especially with them both getting practices in May/June and games in July (except Diallo) is going to greatly benefit them learning the system. Instead of learning Self’s plays in October, they get to learn in June. From all accounts it sounds like Diallo learns and applies things at a fast rate like Embiid did. Certainly gives the chance to "get It’ quicker than bigs in the past but we won’t know until we see it.

  • I don’t know…If it’s me putting together the line up, I’m definitely Playing Drgnslyr for the bruising, Jaybate for the creating, KonkeyDong for the assisting, Kansas Comet for the motivating, Dylans for defending, & HEM for the coaching.

    Approx is keeping stats.

    Crimson is our cheerleader.

    Brooks is our water boy.

    The rest of us will backseat manage, and armchair quarterback from the stands.

  • The other thing historically to remember is that even Joel didn’t start right off the bat and he ended up the third pick in the draft, injured! I just don’t think Diallo will start day one even if he is as good as we think he might be. If he is, what is most likely is that he will get a few random starts in November and lock it down by December. That is how Self works. Start with seniority, give the youngins a shot, reevaluate. If the freshman plays well in his starting ops, let it ride. If he struggles (quick fouls are not something we have even mentioned yet!) he sits.

    I don’t think there is any way Diallo won’t end up playing more than Cliff. I think Self feels burned enough by that whole debacle that he will demand more out of his blue chipper, just not right off the bat.

    The other intriguing question is will Bragg be able to displace Traylor or Lucas? He is a less touted recruit and it often seems like Self does not differentiate between 4 and 5 unless a significant height difference exists. And Diallo and Bragg at 6’9 are not a significant height difference from Perry and Jamari’s reported “6’8” (ha!). Obviously Perry will play but I’ve seen some people assuming Bragg will be the first big off the bench and I doubt that. Juniors and Seniors play unless a OAD takes their time and is Bragg OAD? I really haven’t seen enough on him to know but from what I’ve read people think no.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    It took me a long time to figure out Self and why Cliff rode the pine. But I did finally get it.

    Even though Cliff’s numbers were better than BamBam… he was too easy to beat on defense. Teams figured out easily how Cliff couldn’t make a pick switch. Cliff was the weak point of any defense we had on the floor and the problem with that, and in this extreme case, was that Cliff’s breakdowns cost us a lot more than 2 points. His breakdowns start costing our entire defense to fail because the momentum shifts to our opponents and our entire defense slumps after a few of those breakdowns. Cliff had to be put in for brief stints and then pulled… short periods to try to mask his defensive deficiencies because every team (and their dog) would quickly start to exploit Cliff’s horrible defense. He is easily the worst defender we ever put on the floor in the Self era. Yes… he could block some shots. But he could never speed his mind up to D1.

    I really like the big guy… but I see him in Europe soon. If he can’t calculate and execute a defensive switch, he won’t even earn bench time on any NBA team. NBA teams don’t waste a second when they see an easy exploitation, and that describes Cliff’s defense to a T!

    Diallo is a complete 180 degrees from being like Cliff. Big time motor and his prowess is defense first. He should be plugged into Self’s starting lineup immediately or after just a few games, if he needs it to pick up to the speed, but I doubt he needs even a few games. And we need him to pickup as much experience as possible early in order to fully utilize him by March.

  • @benshawks08 i think we will have some killer combos in that group, depending on who we matchup w/game to game. Jmo, but I think we have some higher bb IQ, then what we’ve had lately.

  • @benshawks08

    I think Bragg will see a lot of time because he can score the basketball. Other than Perry that has been the biggest issue with the leftover bigs we have. Bragg can shoot the 3 as well as any guard we got. He is a gifted offensive player. I do worry that defensively he will be behind because effort might be something Self will have to push from him. He’s a wildcard until we see him in the flow of the offense. We should see a bunch of what he might able to do this summer. He’s certainly as talented a big as we’ve brought in, the hype just isn’t there with him. That’s great, we might get 2 maybe 3 really good years from him that way.

    I think if Self wants to win and I’m sure he doesn’t want to repeat the last 2 years, you ride Diallo from the start because defensively he’s going to change everything for this team. We got beat up inside a lot of games and when he’s in the game he’s going to have that Withey type of impact. We all thought Cliff would play bigger than 6’8, well Diallo definitely plays bigger than 6’9. I certainly don’t fault anyone who looks back at prior experience with Self and his bigs but this guy is really a talented player that is better off just playing from the start.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 I certainly hope so. I’m always just real reluctant to give incoming freshman too much credit based on games against 15-17 year olds. We got exactly what we wanted and needed with this class. And I could not be more thrilled. But I’m not expecting either of these two to be the next Wiggins and give us 17 a game. 17 Minutes maybe. I guess I’m just a debbie downer trying to do some hype management! I’d rather be pleasantly surprised than disappointed. I hope we give these kids a chance to be successful at what they are good at and not complain about how good we thought they were supposed to be.

  • @drgnslayr Let’s assume that you are right.

    But how freaking bad is Traylor? Traylor is perhaps the worst post defender/rebounder (combo) who receives significant minutes I’ve ever seen at Kansas. He gets pushed around, he’s slow to react to penetration, fails to rotate with regularity, his lateral movement is average at best, he gets scored over regularly, and I would argue that he is many times out of position – the look down at the floor he gives shaking his head that we regularly see. I can’t recall ever seeing Traylor stop anyone in the post. I can’t recall Traylor blocking the shot of a post player he was defending vs. coming in as a second defender or on a driving player (if so, it’s very rare).

    Traylor is just a poor player.

    Now, I contrast that to Lucas. Lucas does appear to do a number of things that Traylor doesn’t. Lucas improved from 2013-14 to 2014-15. Traylor didn’t. And Lucas is more skilled.

    Traylor is an incredible athlete.

    But what is completely apparent – and I doubt you would deny this – with few exceptions, Kansas was worse with Traylor in the game this past season. That’s my impression from watching every minute, of every game (less a few ESPN overflow minutes from games before us).

  • @truehawk93

    I am the poster that made the comment about Poythress. I did not say or imply he is not good, he is …at the college level but maybe marginal as NBA prospect. He has been in the program a long time and will be playing as a senior and my point was…how many players at UK have gone to the NBA as seniors since Calipari has been there? I can’t think of one. Seems to me that all the NBA level players usually leave after 1 or 2 years and occasionally will stay a third year (Willie Cauley-Stein, who wanted to work his way to lottery pick); injury notwithstanding, it looks like Poythress NBA potential is limited and it would not surprise me Brown (if he goes to UK) playing ahead of him. His injury happened in his junior year and obviously he was not good enough to go to the League after his first or 2nd year at UK. Draft Express has him going at #52 in the 2016 draft, that is 8 spaces ahead of not being drafted, so there is no question that UK can use another SF and any top player at that position, such as Jaylen Brown, would likely start ahead of him.

    Again, I am not saying that Poythress is not a good player; he is playing for an elite program so he obviously is; however, his NBA potential is at this time is borderline at best, and when you consider the talent Calipari has had at UK, he obviously feels he can do better than Poythress…fair or not, that seems to be the message he is sending That’s all, that is my story and I am sticking to it

  • @BeddieKU23 I fully agree that this should be the starting lineup.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing Graham start as well if Svi is not up to speed by the start of the season. We could start Wayne at the 3 if that was the case.

    Perry is obvious. Mason is obvious.

    Diallo will start from day 1. I don’t think that is an issue like Cliff was last year. Wiggins and Selden started from day 1. So did BMac (I know he was a redshirt but still). Self is not against playing Freshman if they are ready to play and Diallo is going to be ready. He is 100% effort and that will win him a spot along with his incredible athleticism.


  • @Blown I think Brooks spikes the water.

  • @JayHawkFanToo You have a very short window to enter the NBA and when it’s closed or shut, it’s really hard to get it back open.

  • @truehawk93

    If you have the talent, the NBA will keep the door open for you. Look at all the Euro players coming to the NBA a lot later than the average college player. Ricky Rubio was drafted in 2009 and did not make it to the Wolves until 2011.

  • @joeloveshawks

    I fight back and forth between that situation of Graham starting. It presents a lot of advantages having 2 PG’s on the floor. The only thing I wonder about is how sub’s would be utilized. I can’t say I would trust our other 3 guards to be left in the position to run the offense. Do you sub Mason first or Graham and play 1 during sub rotations then bring the other out and play the traditional PG SG combo. I think we will see plenty of the 2 guard offense. I’m sure matchups might favor that happening a lot. I do think Selden will step up this year and make it easier to trust the traditional lineup.

  • @BeddieKU23 I really like the idea of Graham off the bench and Svi starting. Bringing Graham in can change the pace if he comes in for Selden, or he can seamlessly take Mason’s place. As you note, I would want one in the game at all times (Mason or Graham). But by mid-season, I bet we get pretty comfortable with Svi with the ball.

  • My personal opinion on this: We have a nine man rotation. I know Self would prefer to have eight but there are just too many good players on this team.

    PG: Frank

    SG: Devonté

    3G: Wayne

    PF: Perry

    PF: Diallo

    Key reserves: Greene Svee Traylor Lucas

    I am going to boldly predict that Bragg doesn’t Crack the rotation but has a breakout year as a soph. It happened with Aldrich who was as highly recruited as carlton.

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