Is that All There Is, Is that All There Is?

  • “Is that all there is, is that all there is If that’s all there is my friends, then let’s keep dancing Let’s break out the booze and have a ball If that’s all there is” –music and lyrics by Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller, definitive cover by Peggy Lee

    @KansasComet indicated a day or so ago that the recruiting was not over, and while he got me juiced by saying so, I am starting to wonder if the signings may not be over.

    It seems so quiet.

    And after taking some small satisfaction in UK losing out on reputedly 5 recruits it has gone hard after in the late going, the bottom line is that UK is still going to have quite a stack going into next season. Without putting too fine a point on it, UK, even after an “off” recruiting year in which @konkeyDong speculates that days of 10 stacks at UK have broken, I am coming back to earth and noting that KU is going to have 1 reputed borderline OAD (Diallo), 1 four or five star recruit (Bragg), and one former OAD turned into a 3AD (Selden), 1 fourth year five star (Ellis), and a one time reputed foreign phenom that did not make the transition very well (Svi).

    Compare this with UK on an “off” season: 2 OADs, 2 four star TAD type recruits, and however many TADs and 3ADs, like Tyler, Dakari and Pothyress, and so on return. It seems fair to say UK after an “off” recruiting season will have more total draft choices than it had when it won the ring in 2012, plus a lot more than KU has as usual.

    At worst, UK is a 6-7 stack, maybe even an 8 stack.

    Did I say it was an “off” recruiting season for UK?

    What was it Mark Twain said? Reports of my death are premature.

    Reports of the UK talent vampire having a stake driven through its heart appear premature.

    I hardly think the stacking hypothesis should consider itself in retreat with UK having "only 6-8 draft choices.

    It was not a repeat of last season for sure, but all is not yet well in NCAA recruiting down around the Cumberland Mountains.

    And the mysterious last minute, out of the blue signing of true OAD Jaylen Brown by Nike-Cal and Nike-Cuonzo is sufficiently anomalous to trigger me into a wait and see period of reflection and analysis to understand the meanings there.

    One notices that Nike-Cuonzo, in his second season at Cal, now has OAD Brown and OAD-to-2AD Rabb to go along with some 4 stars signings, especially that conspicuous one out of Oklahoma City named Tyler Jolly, plus footer Kingley Okoruh, plus footer Cameron Rooks, plus a wad of lesser talent.

    Notice that Nike-Cuonzo, descended from the Gene Keady Okie Baller school, was .598 at Missouri State, then .606 at UTenn, and then .545 at Cal, and so is .594 overall.

    Does anyone else find it striking that monster talent Jaylen Brown of Marietta GA took it all in for a full recruiting season and after reputedly saying he planned to play for an adidas program because of his long term relationships with adidas, at the last moment concluded more or less that when you are a pro type player it really doesn’t matter where you go for a year; that you could go to University of Alaska for a season, and that when it all comes down to it he just loved Nike-Cal and Nike-Cuonzo?

    Well, I noticed @DoubleDD did and @konkeyDong said he did not foresee it. But I mean did anyone in the professional sporting media and the recruiting experts with budgets to look into such things notice it and write a piece that interviewed Brown about it and so explained it understandably?

    Somehow I am not ready to infer much about the Brown signing with Nike-Cuonzo.

    I am in wait and see mode.

    I do notice that Mr. .594 without a ring or a confernce title Nike-Cuonzo has two footers, plus OADs Rabb and Brown and Mr. .82 with 11 titles and one ring adidas Bill does not.

    Now I know that Bill has been very generous to a number of Okie Baller coaches over the years, but even I cannot believe that Coach Self said, oh, what the heck, let’s make sure ol Cuonzo gets off to a good start in Berkeley–let’s send him Brown and Rabb to go with the footers, so he can bring Okie ball to the Pac 12.

    There is a fault line under the UC campus.

    it will be interesting to see whether it moves or not.

    In the end, I am left to put on my old Peggy Lee down load and break out the booze.

  • @jaybate-1.0

    It is amazing to see what UK signs in what is now considered an “off year.”

    They should be formidable next year… but unless a freshman or two step up into a leadership role, it will come down to experience. That Kentucky 2012 team seemed to have the right mix of some experienced talented players, like Lamb and Jones, and even a senior in Darius Miller. Mesh those guys with the uber-talented Davis, and stars Kidd-Gilchrist, Teague. That team didn’t have the platoon system. Really had just 6 or 7 top talent guys. They were able to run with a core and develop some chemistry. That made them dangerous.

    I am not that familiar with the upcoming Kentucky team, and they are still recruiting. But they don’t seem to have another Davis in the works. But they might build some chemistry because Calipari failed at over-recruiting this year.

    Got to label them as dangerous. And maybe now they will carry a bit of a chip.

  • @jaybate-1.0

    I thought I’d die… but I didn’t…

    Thanks for reminding us that Cuonzo Martin, to date, has not appeared to be a very good coach. And he wasn’t pulling a haul like this at Tennessee… more like one 5-star a year (Stokes in 2012… Hubbs in 2013). Tennessee was a Nike school… So question, is Nike trying to stack a Cal team (UCLA is adidas) and LSU (Mississippi State is adidas) because they are targetting those areas of the country?

    Has this already been addressed? I don’t recall if anyone pointed out that Kentucky, while having brand recognition, isn’t really the ideal location for a basketball Mecca from a marketing perspective.

  • @drgnslayr maybe we will see some coaching? Some possible tape watching😉

  • UK still has the second ranked class and only Duke has better recruiting class… UK still has plenty of talent, maybe not enough to platoon but enough to field a very competitive team. Now, if Skal Labissiere is ineligible, then they will need to start worrying.

  • @jaybate-1.0 The Cuonzo Thing certainly does baffle the likes of me. Those footers and 2 top ten recruits did not commit to Cal B because of the solid reputation of a winning Cuonzo Martin. More likely, it is the academics which lured them to sunny Cal B? I just rewatched last month’s Jordan-Brand Classic. Announcers were braying about the influence of shoe companies on the current state of USA collegiate hoops. What you, jb-1.0, have alluded to for years regarding Big Shoe Influence has now become common chatter among the flies which surround and buzz the cow patties of NCAA Sports. You are indeed a visionary deluxe.

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    Yeah… maybe he realizes he could lose a game here or there this year?

  • My belief is that this recruiting season was a moderate failure. Given our targets, Self’s stated needs and wants, it’s a moderate failure at this point. Part of recruiting is planning for the future. We have Bragg. That is it.

    After next season, right now, we have Bragg and Lucas in the post. Two players, and one is not of starter quality.

    On the perimeter, it is likely we’ll have Mason, Graham, and Greene back. Selden and Svi are question marks.

    However, if we landed, for example, Papagiannis, that would transform in my eyes the view of this class. Having a third legitimate post player for the next season is crucial. Another possibility is a skilled transfer that will be eligible for 2016-17. Not sure we’re in on any that fit that bill.

    What we absolutely don’t need are late signings like Traylor or Lucas in the post. We don’t need that.

    So maybe that isn’t all there is right now. News seems pretty scant on Papagiannis.

    On the perimeter, it seems like Tevin Mack or bust. But he would be a nice player to add to the mix. His hesitation would seem obvious. If our entire 5 man perimeter rotation returned for 2016-17, he’d be sitting two straight seasons.

    If we didn’t get Mack, it would seem wise to sign a perimeter “body” if we could. Unranked. Emergency only.

  • @HighEliteMajor What would be the point of recruiting a perimeter body? I’m sure we could reload on the perimeter with someone top 50 next year.

    Come on Greek Freak. Be our legit footer!

  • @HighEliteMajor

    I agree with your post. Not sure I would call it “moderate failure” instead going with “moderate success” (glass half empty / half full concept).

    Papagiannis sounds like a great addition. It sounds like he could give us some quality minutes this coming year and then be our big post presence in the future.

    I have been saying for quite some time now that we need to be preparing for two years down the road, when we lose a big chunk of our depth. It would be great that one of our experienced players is a footer in the post.

    What I like about Papagiannis is that he can also be additional help for this coming season. Hard to say how this coming season will go, but on paper it looks like we could contend for a NC. If that is the case, guys we sign now should not only be long-term projects, but should also have something to contribute right now. Papagiannis seems to fit that description.

    I really want us to add at least one guy who will be here more than a year and have a great possibility of developing into championship-quality talent.

  • @approxinfinity Insurance only. We only have 5 true perimeter players at the moment. Suppose Greene’s recovery is slow, or something goes wrong there? Then we’re down to 4 on the perimeter. What happens then if we get an injury? Again, just insurance against catastrophe. And we can still reload if needed the next recruiting season. Ellis possibly being able to flex to the 3 from time to time could mitigate the need, but I would bet on Ellis anywhere but in the post.

    Say we sign the Greek Freak, and a insurance perimeter guy. That’s our allotment of scholarships (13). The only problem with that is if something would fall in our laps in the late summer.

    We lose Ellis, Traylor, Diallo, and Mickelson … we could use three on post players, then one on a perimeter guy, or two and two. If we feared losing any perimeter guys, then we should over recruit and try to get another one (and if we get boxed on scholarships, it’s survival of the fittest).

    @drgnslayr “moderate failure” solely given our targets, future needs, and based on what Self has said – Self has said we need another perimeter guy. We don’t have one so far. If we land Mack, we go to successful in my book because we have filled a stated need and he’s a multi-year guy. If we add the Greek Freak with Mack, I’d say it was stellar. But I probably value Mack and Papagiannis too much. Both seem to be nice adds from a program perspective.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    “Suppose Greene’s recovery is slow, or something goes wrong there?”

    What about giving Greene a medical redshirt (if he is willing, but probably is)? That would give us one more guy staggered away from the graduating class 2 years from now. I know many think he is our answer at the 3, but I don’t see him being an effective 3 this coming year unless he makes a miraculous recovery and shows more ability to drive the hole and have more offensive diversity and defensive intensity.

    And if we do recruit a big guard/small forward still this year and is someone that can step in and give good minutes this coming year, it seems to really make good sense to RS Greene. Greene is one of those guys we all see the potential in but appears to be a slow developer. I’d like to see him put on more strength and become more aggressive.

    I think we will see a lot less redshirting in our program moving forward because we are focused on OADs instead of development.

    I’m with you on us having a stellar recruiting year if we now land the Greek Freak and Mack. Spot on!

  • @drgnslayr I’m fine with a redshirt for Greene. But I’m in the camp that doesn’t think Greene fits our system. He is a significantly below average driver of the basketball, and poor finishing at the hoop. Defense perhaps passable. But those faults don’t cut it at Kansas. His skill set is shooting the ball, and obviously shooting from three … which isn’t valued at Kansas as it is most other places. He is a very worthy starter, if the three pointer was given its true value here. But it’s not. Jamari Traylor took more shots than Brannen Greene did. Inexplicable. Any system that does that is flawed. Period.

    I’m fine with a redshirt if it helps him more fit Self’s system. I’m not optimistic on that, though. Greene isn’t going to change that much. If Greene is truly going to reach his peak production, Self needs to be the one to adapt to him. And that doesn’t take much. Just a little flexibility. Greene could be a massive weapon if used properly.

    But the redshirt discussion goes back to the need for another perimeter guy. No way he could do that without something else at the 5th perimeter rotation spot.

  • I repeat. Brannen Greene and Bill Self are a mismatch. Right now we will have 4 and 1/2 perimeter players, at best.

  • @HighEliteMajor I don’t think Greene as a 3pt shooter is a mismatch for Self’s system at all. I know Self doesn’t value the 3 ball as much as you do, but everything you’ve said about Greene’s offensive game was also true of BMac’s, and he set a freshmen scoring record in his lone playing season at KU (I know you could also run lob plays for him, but that’s about the only real difference). The problem for Greene is that Self values defense more than 3pt shooting, and that’s an area where BMac wasn’t lacking. If Greene could show value on the defensive end, I have little doubt that he’d get more of the elevator plays, screen and curls, and flare screens and other shooting orchestration Self was willing to do to get BMac his. Until that happens, though, Self will see Greene as just a shooter, and if you’re a shooter on a Self team, it’s produce or dog pound because you’re not going to make up misses with extra possessions.

  • @HighEliteMajor There’s that word again, that concept of flexibility. I hope Coach Self takes the requisite time to grasp that concept and use it to his advantage. Can he though? Is he capable of getting everything he can out of what he has for a roster, not what he wants for one?
    Watching him coach at KU for the past 12 years says to me that he wont be able to.
    Oh, I have no doubt that KU will be a very good team next season. But the most important issue is that he defines insanity by doggedly preaching an offense and defense that does not fit quite so well with what he has available the past 2 or 3 seasons. Square peg, round hole…opening the door before you turn the knob type of stuff here.
    Roster be damned, Coach just needs to work better and more efficiently with what he has. Of course this is pure opinion here. It just seems like he is too attached to the methods that got him a title and a national runner up. He needs to expand and adjust better for the future because what Adidas is laying down for KU is not going to equal the teams of 08 and 12.

  • @REHawk

    Thx for the good thoughts.

    First Big Shoe.

    Next Big Agent? 🙂

    There is a long legacy between talent and agents across all professions that act in fields that drift wholly, or partly into the “entertainment” bidness.

    The agent industry, and its interfacing alter ego, PR/advertising are reputedly pretty slick in the music business and the movie industry. Some have kind of unsavory reputations. But every profession has some members with unsavory reputations.

    I would like to learn something about the agent-PR complex. I haven’t read any books focused on it yet. Maybe some on can fill me on some good ones.

    The agent-PR complex is in the business of image management and marketing. To do that effectively, the agent-PR complex has to deal not only with the business of celebrities (client’s professional work contracts, plus client’s endorsement deals), but also their peccadilloes. These are areas that unfortunately occasionally involve the less savory aspects of life from time to time. Players are human just like musicians, movie stars and leading political figures. They make mistakes that have to be managed to minimize the damage to their careers.

    Consider the agent-PR complex’s jobs of negotiating professional work contracts and endorsement deals. They occur in a world of entertainment. The world of entertainment, though it seems rather glamorous to us today, because it has invested heavily in sprucing up its image, has a long seedy legacy tracking back to the old notion of "show folk” over many centuries. Show folk ranged from traveling acting troops, to musicians, to magicians, to carnival performers, to circus performers. I reckon they all grew out of a tradition of magical, pretend entertainment for poor folk, or for a few at the high end in the king’s court. The show folk brought not only entertainment, but knowledge of the outside world and some vices to the locals where they performed.

    Overtime agents and talent agencies and booking agencies emerged to find and channel talent to those producing the magic shows, plays, musicals, bands, etc. Entertainment for many centuries was a small time, carney-like business with so-so margins from the gate that had always had to involve itself in sideline activities to make ends meet. As cities grew in size venues like theaters and opera houses grew in size and proliferated. Celebrities began to be a phenomenon. But it was later with the industrial age and now the digital age that it became highly profitable to be a star in some realms (e.g., movies, recorded music and/or large venue rock and orchestral concerts, TV, internet).

    Sports are a fascinating subset of entertainment. Even in classical antiquity, sports could draw huge crowds (e.g., the Coliseum and Circus Maximus in Rome) and become spectacles in huge stadia. But modern sports, including basketball, began to attract large stadia crowds in the industrial age and then huge remote viewerships through radio, then TV and now the internet. So: sports, like basketball have always had an entertainment component, but modern media and modern public relations and advertising have elevated the entertainment aspects of sports.

    Interestingly, there is another side of early entertainment that is often not discussed that adds some to its shady legacy: intelligence gathering. Entertainers have long been a group of persons engaged in an activity that traveled around the interior of states, and across state boundaries with very little state regulation. Further, entertainment has always had a sizeable component of illusionists by training. Actors and magicians are performers that create illusions to entertain people. They were traditionally very transient. They traditionally not only played roles on stage, but also tended to create new, more marketable identities for themselves off stage. This tolerance for illusion in the entertainment industry has long ago made it okay for persons to change their names, to reinvent their pasts, and so on. The tradition continues to this day.

    This group of “show folk” often with largely untraceable pasts and often moving fairly freely among regions and among states where formal officials of governments and corporations may not be able to move freely, and where formal intelligence operatives may not be able to operate, has long been an ideal supply of potential informants for intelligence organizations to recruit from. Its been that way for many centuries. Harry Houdini, the great magician who was invited to put on shows all over the world, was reputedly an informant from time to time for American and British intelligence. John Wilkes Booth was reputedly one of many “show folk” used as informants during the US Civil War by both sides long before he reputedly decided to assassinate Abraham Lincoln in Ford’s Theater as part of a sizable conspiracy. And magicians of course attract their share of occult types into the profession of magicians and certain of these occult types in the long history of entertainment have also straddled the worlds of the occult and intelligence.

    Certain categories of performance in entertainment have also reputedly attracted intelligence organizations. Mesmerizing people grew out of the occult and out of entertainment. Mesmerizing became hypnosis. Hypnosis was an early form of mind control—a skillful, controlled planting of suggestions. Also hypnosis could relax a subject into being willing to reveal things about themselves that they might not reveal without hypnosis. Skillful hypnotists and magicians could create illusions and extract information from their subjects. Same with fortune tellers. Fortune telling is another facet of the occult and of early entertainment. Fortune tellers could bring subjects into dramatic seances and elicit all kinds of information from them in seances that could not be gotten other ways. And those in the intelligence rackets have long recruited informants and spies from these fields precisely because of their potential access to information from certain persons.

    My point here is that the entertainment field ranges from "show folk” that are legitimate performing artists, to con artists and everywhere in between. And across this spectrum from time to time intelligence organizations make appeals for assistance in gathering intelligence that entertainers from time to time comply with. Throw in the occasional spy posing as an occult shaman that also performs and you get an idea of the wide, occasionally bizarre range of entertainers that agents and PR firms have to deal with.

    As a result, agents, PR types and booking organizations, quite literally have been for a long, long, looooooong time involved representing not only the nice conventional artist craftsmen in the entertainment bidness, but also the con artists, occult weirdoes, and spooks, too. Thus it should not surprise that perhaps a few agents and agencies could themselves become partially, or completely, drawn into these unconventional activities.

    Now, if you fast forward to the present day, when show folk have become admired, even worshipped entertainers and artists and producers and distributors in a vastly profitable complex of entertainment industries, and when their value as product endorsers (i.e. merchandize movers) has sky rocketed along with their stardom and cultural esteem, you can see that agencies and PR firms have moved up town right along with these former show folk in their outward trappings and in the amounts of monies they make from doing their age old jobs and taking their age old cuts.

    But somethings never change in the entertainment business.

    Work contracts have to be negotiated.

    Clients images have to managed and marketed.

    Their peccadilloes that occasionally surface in the eyes of the law, or tabloid dumpster searchers, have to be “handled.”

    And, though I have no specific proof to point to, right now, by extrapolating past to present, it seems reasonable to suspect that given the vast range and access to upper levels of society that many entertainers achieve, that some act as informants and spooks from time to time for the intel world.

    And of course we know in the current age of full spectrum dominance that all branches of the military ARE budgeted funds to pay for the production of movie, TV and internet content that some how serves the interests of those particular branches of our military, which have as their purpose the maintenance of our national security. This at least suggests that the entertainment industry may be more involved with the military and intelligence worlds now than at any other time in our history save maybe during World War II.

    And if the enterntainment industry is more involved than ever in this sort of national security related content production, then we can assume that lots of talent and their agents and PR representatives are in on this gravy train, too.

    All of which brings me to my hypothesis that there is a PetroShoeCo-Agent complex that has for probably a wide variety of legacy and emerging reasons gotten itself involved in recruiting for the greatest game ever invented.

    The agent element of the complex has so far been covered in a rather sketchy way. We don’t really have recent indications of agents being anything but honorable professionals helping young men negotiate employment contracts and endorsement deals. At the same time, I don’t recall any recent investigative reporting of what they do for high school, college and professional basketball players and how they do it. As a fan, the world of agents and agent runners remains not very transparent.

    As I have mentioned a time or two before, it would be nice if some professional sports journalists would dig in to the world of sports agents and public relations persons for basketball players and give fans an understanding of what is going on.

    I wonder if agents that handle basketball players are some of the same agents that handle rock stars, or movie stars, or what have you.

    Or are they separate segment of professional agents that only handle athletes.

    Some of the agents and PR firms and talent booking firms that handle rock musicians and movie stars are reputedly stellar folks. But others have reputedly had some rather unsavory connections.

    So: hey, pro sports journalists, how about a few new books on sports agents and public relations firms serving basketball players? Show us what they do and how they do it and if they are keeping their noses clean, or not.

    Rock Chalk!

  • @HighEliteMajor

    If Greene was a better defender, I think he would fit the mold of our system better. We’ve had guys in the past who’s only weapon was the 3 ball but they could defend the way Self wanted them too so they were so valuable to the system. His Basketball IQ still needs work and that can come with maturity. Self has really had to get on him like he did Tyshawn Taylor and others.

    Will the surgery help? I’m sure it will have an effect but the surgery also stops any progress he can make towards his game in the off-season. I don’t think Greene will take a red-shirt because we do need his shooting. I admire that he didn’t transfer out after lots of speculation from fans he might, and this injury really dampers what could have or could be the light-bulb season for him.

    After Greene’s NBA Jam month or so of shooting the 3 ended, teams started playing him tighter from the perimeter. They also knew that this was the worst 2pt shooting team in the Self era so they could afford to play Greene tight because of our horrible shooting inside the arc. I doubt this team can replicate that woeful shooting so if Greene spaces the floor with defenses guarding him closely then we could benefit from him being on the floor. Especially if our other guards (Selden & Graham) take a step up.

  • I don’t see the Brannen Greene isssue as to whether Bill Self CAN adjust his system. I think it is more a thing THAT HE DOES NOT WISH TO ADJUST. At least, not ADJUST in a major way, and for the sake of steady 3 pt. wishful dreams. We have witnessed incremental changes (adjustments, if you will) in Self’s recruiting philosophy and sometimes in his February and March offenses and defenses, usually based on player injury or availability. But in the big scope, he has won those 11 consecutive league titles and a few others by adhering to the system which elevated his winning percentage to such a remarkable level. Ralster has offered us unique insight into the intense manner in which Bill Self and Co. have studied league opponents, esp. the most recently competitive Fred Hoiberg who walked away this season with 2 victories in the 3 meetings of Jayhawks and Cyclones. Within context of the 9 league opponents for whom Self has to prepare for 2 or 3 meetings per season, his winning percentage has been superb. In the broader spectrum, post season Jayhawk play has been mercurial. His system has been studied meticulously…and too often has fallen to defeat by post season opponents who are on a roll; ironically, often by mid major powers whose lineups are filled with 3 and 4-year players. It might be concluded that Kansas Basketball under Bill Self is highly successful in something of a provincial manner, hanging its hat on traditional developmental escalations. This OAD business has thrown something of a monkey wrench into the manner in which Bill Self best operates. We fans clamor for recruitment of One and Dones; but OADs function counter to the Self System. And, back to my starting point, the 3 pt. game does not bode well in Self’s coaching philosophy, at least in a regular game to game offense. Is somewhat amazing that he brought Greene and Frankamp to Lawrence at the same time he had Andrew White, another heralded 3 pt. shooter. Two of those three came to see the writing on the wall. The third, Greene, apparently comes from unbending stock. He has chosen to stay the course, and his father declares that there will be no red shirt. Personally, I think it is a giant gamble on Greene’s part to stay in Lawrence. Perhaps a lesser gamble on the part of Bill Self to invest game minutes in Brannen, whose 15 minutes in the sun back in early league play this season was about as good as it is ever going to be, both for him and the Jayhawks.

  • @REHawk

    The coach weigheth in.

  • I agree with @HighEliteMajor that Greene isn’t a fit in the Self system. That is the reason why he doesn’t see the floor enough. And @Lulufulu has a point about Self not being flexible enough with Greene by valuing the 3-ball enough.

    But what is Greene’s responsibility to be flexible enough to learn the Self system? Coaches can bend slightly for players, but they can’t be flexible for their complete roster. There has to be a system in place and players carry the brunt of responsibility to meet the system requirements.

    Greene breaks many rules, including team rules that get him suspended for a game (for whatever reason). He simply doesn’t produce enough of a return on the floor when he is out there, even with his 3-ball. Even his 3-ball melted after teams started playing out a bit further on him. He isn’t putting enough energy in the game to up his value. It was said in the middle of the season, but if he gets minutes and he doesn’t produce points off the 3 then he needs to sit down. True. Why? Because he doesn’t produce for the team in other ways.

    Will Greene change? That is impossible to answer but there are indications he is moving towards change. He did change some this past year already. I recall him getting a concussion, a black eye, and smashing his fingers. He is starting to put more energy into the game and mixing it up. Even his dad thinks the challenge he has with Self is good for him. He’s right. He is after what all of us are after; Greene improving.

    I’m not sold on Greene having a competitive year this coming year because he won’t be dribbling a ball in the off-season. He’ll get behind and spend most of the year trying to catch up. This is where we need to talk about development. This is where a redshirt can help a kid by giving him one more year to mature in college. Greene could use it. He should be taken off the focus of producing for the team this year on the court and take his focus off the court. Building a better body is key. He’s always needed work with his stance on the court, and that is a vital component for a player to get the maximum out of his game while playing. I wonder if his hip has always been part of that reason? He needs to work on his game. He needs to become more of a scoring threat than just a spot up shooter. He has to be able to create his own scoring, too. Off the dribble. And he needs to be alert on defense and stop having mental lapses. He needs to lift his energy enough to where he is doing more than just reacting to the game. He needs to be proactive at times. Learn to push intensity.

    Redshirting the right way involves commitment by both coach and player. Stretching out a player’s career with an extra year costs a team opportunity cost of one recruiting spot in that extra year. The player needs to appreciate the opportunity given them and commit to making it his hardest working year for personal growth. And that player needs a commitment from the coaches to still give them focus even though they won’t receive PT in that year.

    I’d like to see Greene focus on a player out there to model his game after. I believe a great match for him would be a guy with the same name; Danny Green for San Antonio. He is a 3-pt bomber and he’s also not the most physical player in the league. But he plays smart basketball, he has to fight to earn his shots and he does, and he finds ways to offer more to his team than just the 3-ball. He is a small forward and not so different in build from Greene. Imagine if Kansas had a player with the skill set of Danny Green? Maybe Self and coaches would start putting more time into creating offense for him (since it becomes obvious he will be earning key PT)?

    I think there is hope Greene can adapt and grow his game to fit better in Self’s system. Other players did. Withey did. A big part of it is basketball IQ and Greene needs to stop falling asleep on the court for minutes at a time. Part of that is just expending the right energy level at all times. Better focus would help him accomplish this.

    In my book, he is worthy of a redshirt and if he falls behind this year like I think he will, then we won’t be giving up his shooting weapon. But I could be wrong, and maybe he improves by playing with less pain. We’ll see.

  • I think we might all be underselling Greene’s stock as a player. He has his weaknesses we all know what they are and he’s had trouble with his maturity. But he is a big time shooter and when he was making shots on the regular KU fans weren’t the only one’s noticing. Announcer’s were calling his the best shooter in the country, that’s a lofty praise for a kid who was coming off the bench.

    He had almost as many double digit scoring games as Wayne Selden had in half the minutes per game. And Wayne is a guy many (myself included) think will take a big step up this year. An underrated skill of his was he could come in the game and hit shots right off the bench. Not many can be good at that without game flow. He’s almost automatic at the FT line, with starters minutes its conceivable that he gets a lot more attempts especially late in games.

    Obviously the biggest issue is he’ll miss the entire summer to improve but if this surgery truly benefits him I’m optimistic he will still help this team. Maybe his role again is 15 minutes a game and let Svi start because his all around game may be better for the team.

  • @BeddieKU23 Love these points. The guy is like a 90% FT shooter and when open and “healthy” he is a crazy 3 point shooter. Automatic in a few games last year.

    I don’t see how a 6’8 guy who can shoot 3’s like he can doesn’t turn into a big time contributor this year or next. I know the off-season surgery is a problem but I am convinced he will be a piece of the puzzle this year. Look at Heslip for Baylor. The guy is 6 inches shorter than B Greene and also played zero defense yet every time we played Baylor while he was there he went nuts. Why can’t Greene do that? Run 7 or 8 plays for him a game. That should be 2 or 3 3 pointers and then his 90% FT percentage. He should average 8-10 points a game as the 7 or 8 man in the rotation.

  • @joeloveshawks heslip like forte really worked to get open too. BG is a also a decent rebounder, hopefully the hip surgery will fix his D too. Just a shame he can’t do the world games and xtra practices.

  • @BeddieKU23

    Greene is perhaps the best 3 point shooter we have had at KU; his form is text book and you could use videos of him to instruct other players on how to shoot. If college BBall was a 3 point shooting contest, he would win.

    However, his main weakness is not his defense; he was playing better at the end of the season and getting defensive rebounds. His main weakness is his inability to create his own shot and his inability to make shots when covered tightly. If you recall, he was shooting lights out and then team started to guard him closer and his shooting touch went away. Say what you will about ISU but all the shooters there can create their own shots; yes, there are games when they are no hitting their shots but in general they do not heavily depend on being fully isolated without any one guarding them to take and make shots. At this time Greene doe not fit on any team’s scheme. Contrarily to what other people believe that the way a game plan develops depends uniquely on KU, the opposing teams have a say in the matter and they also have competent coaching staffs and players and they have figured out that if you guard Greene close he will not be effective. Why would coach Self play a one-dimensional player that opposing team have figured out how to neutralize?

    Maybe his injury prevented him from getting open and having a quicker release, but the best thing he can do in the off season is to learn to get open on his own and learn to shoot when guarded. If he can master these two thing and with the picture perfect delivery he has, he could then be a big weapon.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    Shot creation is a complicated issue. It is a combination of a player’s abilities, health and skills, plus the teammates he is operating with and the offensive role the coach assigns.

    I am increasingly leery of doubting BG’s ability to create his own shots.

    First, because he was injured and his ability to create shots inside or out, but certainly outside, was sharply degraded by an operable injury that not only wrecked his mechanics but obviously in retrospect hampered his ability to get loose.

    Second, because his perimeter teammates who were all hot early began to slump and the defenses increasingly over shifted to stop him, not realizing how hampered his shooting was. Give BG the kind of shooters around him that UW-Madison perimeter shooters had and Greene would be able to get loose much easier. There would be less help defense being played on him, etc.

    Third, it is pretty clear in retrospect that Brannen was increasingly being used as a decoy outside, by Self. He was not supposed to create shots, but rather stay outside and stretch defenses. Self knew BG could not create shots with a tear in his hip, or at least with what ever degree of injury he played with, with or without Self knowing what the exact nature of the injury was.

    Frankly, the more I reflect on how well BG was dribbling down the stretch of the season, when I doubted his ability to dribble under control at the start of the season, and when I factor in his 6-7 height and how degraded his mobility was much of the season, OMG! he is just going to be able to create his shot at will if he heals 100% and has matured neural nets. I mean the guy can shoot over a lot of defenders at the 3 in D1 without a lot of action. When Self devises some good actions for him, and he is healed up, he is probably going to become a draft choice.

  • @jaybate-1.0 sounds good!

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    Interesting, creating his own shot is something he hasn’t really shown yet. But do we really need him to? The 2 point jump shot is statistically the worst shot in basketball. He excels at 3’s and can hit the jumper when he gets the chance. I wouldn’t want to sacrifice his marksmanship from 3 for him to create contested jumpers. I don’t think Greene is going to show a transformed driving game in College, at least. Maybe at the next level if he’s good enough to get there. I could be wrong but he seems more likely to become a better player by focusing on his defense, BBIQ, and other area’s than becoming a create your own shot kind of guy. A guy like him can be a Kyle Korver in the league but he must learn to become a better all around player first. I think his chance of sticking in the league is obviously his shooting from 3 and everything else after that.

    I think Self’s system will limit his create your own shot mentality just like it limits everyone else’s personal creativity. If its not in the flow of the game you get yanked whether it goes in or not. Greene could be one of those RJ Hunter type’s where you have to give him the freedom to miss a bunch to gain the overall impact of him. That’s the player that immediately I see Greene’s game in with more polish…

  • @BeddieKU23 and @jaybate-1.0

    Beddie, I think you missed my point. I did not mean create a 2-point shot, I meant create his own 3-point shot; no sense in him wasting his skill taking 2 pointers when he is so deadly from long range, provide he is wide open with no one guarding him.

    Greene just does not know how to get behind a screen and take a shot with a player 2 feet in front of him. He has been most successful when he is isolated either at he corner of at the top of the key, but now opposing teams do not let him unguarded and, as long as they have a defensive player within 3-4 feet from him, he is not effective. Look at players like JJ Redick or Stephen Curry…or just about any effective long range shooter… and how they use screens, they either get behind the screen to receive a pass and immediately shoot or dribble behind the screening player and shoot over the screen; this is what I mean by creating his own shot rather than going to the corner or top of the key, hope the defense shifts away from him and then receiving a pass while wide open and the taking the shot…defenses are wise to that and he does not get that many of those looks anymore.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    Right on the mark!

    After teams started guarding him closer outside his point production fell dramatically, as well as his FG% because he still tried to force some shots. We say he “forced some shots” because he missed!

    Someone really needs to tell him he has to do more than be a spot up shooter. There is no room in the league for guys like him, not even room on the floor at Kansas as soon as defenders take another step out.

    And what are we talking about anyways? BG replacing Selden? Ain’t gonna happen. BG needs to pickup some replacement minutes for Selden at the 2 but he needs to be zoning in at the 3. We need more than a 3-pt bomber at the 3. We need a guy that can also take it to the rim, or at least, score from about anywhere on the floor. That requires moving with the ball and scoring… something Greene doesn’t have the mechanics down on yet. But no reason why he can’t advance his game with some work.

  • @drgnslayr Yeah, Brannen has to grow up. He acts like a kid off the court which makes you wonder about his ability to focus and learn on the court. Its pure lack of maturity that keeps Brannen from reaching his peak, at least on his side of things.

  • @drgnslayr and @JayHawkFanToo,

    Question 1: how could his point production not have started falling because with a torn labrum in his hip?

    Question 2: how could his point production not have started falling when Self began to use him as a decoy, while the team began to play heavily through Perry Ellis?

    Qutestion3: how could his point production not have fallen when Self cut back to ten 3ptas per game?

    My point of course is that while all young players that begin to produce then get scouted and schemed against to take away their games, most young players take a few weeks or a month to work through the problem and resume effectiveness.

    BG may have lost some scoring productivity for a few weeks or a month, because of the increased defensive attentions of opponents, but there really is no reason to thing that his long term decline in productivity was related to that. The much more probable drivers of the long term decline were the answers to Questions 1-3.

    And it is for this reason that I am expecting him to have a very good season, if he can heal up, get his pop back, and be ready to rip by December 15.

  • @approxinfinity (Way up at the top) Tennessee was Adidas during Cuonzo Martin. They just switched to Nike this past year.

    I suppose that supports the shoe theory… Cuonzo hauls in better players with the right shoes… and a better school in a better location.

  • @DanR Thanks for the correction. The basketball-shoe complex will never be mainstream news, unfortunately. What would be the highest profile media that could highlight the issue that isn’t beholden to shoeco money?

  • @DanR

    Thanks for the heads up.

    It is interesting, isn’t it?

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