Ready For Some New High/Low Offensive Wrinkles?



  • This past week, coach Self made this rather incredible comment:

    “I probably changed too much last year. We became an inside-out team, and then obviously the last half of the season we were an outside-in-type team. We still wanted to play through our bigs, but not like we have in the past. I don’t think we ran near as good of offense last year, so hopefully personnel will allow us to do some different type things. We were thin up front last year from a production standpoint."

    Thought I might take a stab at breaking this down.

    -Concession that “Bad Ball” Was A Mistake: I believe that Self is flat out conceding that the “change” that occurred after the Texas Tech game was a mistake, albeit a bit backhanded in its delivery. This is Self’s way of recognizing that the post Texas Tech “offense” was a disaster. He’s right. It was bad offense. And this was the biggest change of last season. The drive it, drive it drive it, outside-in attack that was the biggest deviation we’ve ever seen offensively under Self. It was perhaps the worst offense we’ve run in the recent past. The weave, the emphasis on driving the ball over and over, and the lack of true, diverse motion gave us a 6-5 record to finish the season. I’m confident that Self sees this error.

    -Change Was The Error: Self changed his approach after Texas Tech and “Bad Ball” thus was born. But his admission of an error was because of a deviation from his system, not because he didn’t try something other than Bad Ball. His mistake, in his mind, was changing at all - deviating from his system. This is an important distinction. Admittedly, it’s not what I was looking for this off season. His blown gasket was because he was horrified by the direction of his offense. Horrified by what many of us want. Horrified by any hint of “outside-in.” Bill Self loves his system, and loves inside-out.

    -Bad Ball’s Ineffectiveness Obvious: And look, this was obvious once we began to see the results. There is no doubt that we were worse offensively the last 11 games than the prior games. The statistics don’t lie. We can say it was needed, or that Self knows what’s best, or whatever … but it was worse offense. We were worse. And I do think that Self regrets it – he “changed too much.”

    -Type Of Change A Different Issue: My comments about Bad Ball have been that we would have been better offensively just doing what we had been doing, rather than switching to “Bad Ball”, which was all pre-Cliff (eligibility) and Ellis (injury) issues. Of course, I felt that we should have made a different sort of change, a different direction. That’s a separate discussion.

    -Outside-In Before Texas Tech: Self recognized that we had evolved into more of an outside-in team before the Texas Tech game. He said very clearly on January 31, 2015, that we were not an “inside-out” team. We were an outside-in team. And that’s what he meant by “half of the season.” Heck, we talked about it here. We were and outside-in team the minute we dominated the first half playing that way against Utah, and when we yacked up the lead playing inside-out the second half of that game. Our most effective offense was when we were gunning from the outside, and those looks were not derived from an “inside-out” approach. Self knew this. We all saw it. But he didn’t like it. And he will never accept it.

    -This Means Self Believed Pre-TT Offense Poor As Well: Because we were playing outside-in before Texas Tech, it also seems clear to me that Self believed our offense before the TT meltdown was poor. Not just that he wanted to play a different way, but that he felt the offense itself was bad. The comment above by Self is further evidence to me that he really did blow a gasket after Texas Tech. We kind of knew that anyway. It was not just that we were shooting threes at a high rate (too high for Self’s liking), it was because Self felt that our entire offensive approach was poor. Like it or not, that means we won’t see that again.

    -Could Self Be Even More Rigid Offensively?: On the surface, it would seem that Self will become even more rigid. The comments seem to indicate that change is the enemy – but I don’t think so. I do think that that the days of the four out/one in weave appear to be dead. Good riddance. That was a 3-5 minute offense. It had no complexity. It was thrown together. It was easily defended when schemed against. It was not an offense that could sustain a game (as we saw). With the right personnel – and we had the right personnel – a four out/one in system can be tremendous. What we ran was not a system. It was a simplistic, mid-season improvisation.

    -But This Is Really Good News: I analogize this to my discussion on man to man teams playing zone. Sure, you have to practice it. And practice it a lot. That’s one challenge. But your coach also needs to know how to coach it. Great coaches may not be good zone defense coaches. Self coaching a four out/one in offensive scheme focused on an outside-in approach is not Self’s strength. We know his strength. It’s the high/low. It’s what he knows. Even more importantly, it’s what he believes in. Kansas will be better with Self coaching and teaching what he knows. The high/low is the greatest offensive basketball scheme ever devised. There are enumerable options. And if you can play inside-out, and you can score at the rim, it seems pretty obvious to me that playing inside-out is the better choice. My only gripe was with our personnel and the mismatch with the inside-out attack Self was running. While an initial interpretation could be that Self won’t change anything, I think there is a good chance that we’ll see some new wrinkles. Actually, I expect it. The change we should expect will come within his system.

    -New Wrinkles In The High/Low: The change will come within Self’s system. That I am now quite sure of. New wrinkles and adjustments within the system. Here’s why – nothing could have been more disturbing to Self than seeing his team’s inability to score inside. I wonder if he was able to sleep after some games. We’ll see some changes within his scheme to find scoring opportunities beyond our standard fare inside. I can’t imagine that Self could watch last season’s inside futility and not dedicate himself to modifications within his system to help mitigate those issues. I can’t imagine that he won’t be proactive, to ensure that such failures inside don’t occur at such a high rate.

    -What Could We See?: I’ve thought about this a lot since we signed Diallo. Ellis and Diallo are both mobile. I expect that a new wrinkle could be some elevator action for the bigs – elevator plays are ones where there are two screeners and the offensive player goes between the screeners. We run a set play with one of those looks against a zone for the PG on penetration. This is a great option for mobile bigs and would seem to fit Diallo to a T. This seems like a simple add to our motion offense (as opposed to a set play) when our three moves wing to wing, in concert with the other big. Another option could be more vigorous movement between the high and the low. In our offense, there’s not a lot of exchange between the two positions – meaning if you start high or low, you stay high or low for the possession. Where it makes the most sense is creating entry pass opportunities for a long and athletic guy like Diallo who can make plays on the move. We struggled feeding the post. This is a contrast to the static post feed. It typically has to be well timed and means that the high/low guys may move out on the floor more often. Again, this seems to fit Diallo perfectly. We’ve tried it sporadically, but neither Lucas nor Ellis were able to make the reception reliably. Having Svi on the wing, and perhaps more Graham (both of whom are adept passers in this type of action), will help as well. Another off shoot of this is more emphasis on the pick and roll. Again, not big changes, just doing more things that create the easy baskets that Self craves. Finally, I think we’ll see more pick and pop action. Bragg, like Ellis, has the ability to shoot from outside. I think Self will be more accepting of this if we are able to get easy baskets inside, and if those opportunities flow from the inside, such as Diallo or the low post kicking it out after the post opportunity has passed. We’ve obviously done this in the past. I think we could just see more of it. Imagine the possibilities with Bragg and Ellis, rotating more between the high and the low, both able to hit the 15 footer? If we are scoring more easy baskets, I sense that Self will be more receptive to our post guys stretching the floor as we’ve done in the past.

    -Three Point Shooting Will Increase: The three point shooting rate has declined in each of the last four seasons. Oddly, I expect it to increase substantially next season – within the high/low, inside-out scheme. Self is averse to the three pointer being the focus of the offense. Self is not averse to it being part of the offensive system. If we are in an offensive system that Self is comfortable with (getting a reasonable number of easy baskets inside), I do think that Self will utilize our three point game more often – perhaps to the level it was used pre-Bad Ball. Again, as long as we’re getting the requisite number of easy baskets, I think Self will tolerate the three to a higher degree. With our shooters, this could lead to a more explosive attack. But the three will never be our lead weapon.

    Interested in others’ thoughts on these topics. One thing I can’t imagine is that Self will endure the offensive tug of war we saw last season. I don’t think we’ll ever see that again. And I don’t think Self will simply move into 2015-16 without some adjustments. Creating some new wrinkles within his system, to get more looks inside, seems like the reasonable approach. This makes the most sense to me.



  • @HighEliteMajor

    Listen to Self in the off season at your risk.

    In past off seasons he has talked about pressing and running the triangle and shooting the trey more than ever before! 😄

    By his deeds shall he be known.

    BAD BALL!



  • @jaybate-1.0

    I understand you’re love of the BAD BALL, but there is no reason to play it this year. None. HCBS has exactly what he needs to run his patented High/Low. In fact he may have gotten more than he expected with Bragg and Diallo.

    With what KU has returning and the addition of Bragg and Diallo. I just don’t see this team scarping for wins. It will be more of what we are used to. KU damn near knocking somebody out in the first 10 minutes and then just kind of grinding out and eventually coasting to a win.



  • @jaybate-1.0 “Listen to Self in the off season at your risk.” Ah-Ha! I offer a hearty second to that declaration. Mr. Sly Willie Self, dancing the fandango. (I just ran that expression by my spouse who warns that I should look it up before setting it to print. But, per usual, I am bulling onward with something which just sounds appropriate.) I doubt that Huggy or The Mayor will spend time analyzing such off season chatter from the Sunflower State. Maybe that newbie down in Austin will scratch his pate and spend a few mealtime hours in the attempt to digest and swallow. Essentially, I think that HEM is right in that Bill will stay true to his inside-out roots, perhaps with the addition of a few wrinkles. I tend to think he is counting on a healthier Lucas to man up, fill that 5 spot for 20 minutes. Recruiting focus leaning more toward a significant acquisition on the perimeter, “…not necessarily a OAD or TAD.”



  • @DoubleDD

    It’s not love. I don’t even like it. But…

    Everyone was copying Bad Ball down the stretch. It is not talent limitation driven. It is referee driven. Drive ball is here until the refs change.



  • Coach Self’s record at KU:

    Overall: 352–78 (.821)

    Conference: 164–36 (.820)

    11 Conference Titles in a row and one second place (his very first year) in 12 years.

    Last 10 years: 10 tournaments, six Sweet 16s, and two Final Fours while winning one championship and 24 games.

    Can anyone name a major program coach with a better record? Until then, I could not care less if he plays Snow White and the 7 dwarfs, as long as he continues to win…who really cares? Nothing succeeds like success.

    Why second guess what he did, does or he will do; he has proven time and again that he can deliver, let him do his job and enjoy the results.



  • Coach should have much more flexibility running his Hi/Low offense this year. Diallo & Bragg bring a lot of dimensions to this team. The question will be how quickly can they adjust to the demands of his system. But if Self uses them correctly in the system then we should benefit greatly from their additions. Bragg is more pick and pop until he grasps the college game. Diallo you probably want to screen & roll him a lot and keep him close to the basket because he’s a magnet going after the ball. I don’t see any reason to drag Diallo away from the basket at any point other than to set up an attack that will lead him 2 feet from the basket.

    I sure hope that “dream weave” goes away. Just ugly offense that even 7th 8th graders could guard. It was effective in some games, especially when it came out of no where but when its scouted there was no chance that it could keep getting results. We used to wrinkle that offense in with set screens for shooters but I didn’t seem to notice those wrinkles last year. It didn’t seem to be effective in spacing either…

    And it looks like we will still add a wing either by Vick, Eubanks and unlikely Mack to our deep back court. Self will truly have a roster of riches at that point to which he can scheme for this season with. Honestly I didn’t take much from his comments that he shouldn’t have already known during the season. The story on Lucas shed light to the amount of injuries he had including a surgery. Hopefully he’s back in the weight room soon which is my biggest goal for him this year. How much did his plethora of injuries cost him last year? Regardless he tried hard, he may never be the talent we need down low but at some point you would think 4 seasons in that a step up can happen.



  • @HighEliteMajor Spot on post! Will be interesting to see what he does with the new pieces (coupled with 2 healthy returnees-- a MickeyD, and a top30 kid).

    Part of the problem in the 6-5 final stretch was Perry and BGreene both hurt, and both roughly only producing 50%. So our best scoring big, and our biggest outside threat (maybe in all of Self’s 11yrs) are both hampered during our most critical part of the season. Running the hi-low, either you score inside or you kick it out–> that’s 2 glaring holes on both ends of a Self-team, at the same time. BG>>>Wessel for example, but not the final 1/3 of the season. It played out to some other team’s advantage, making KU the butt of early-out jokes, and that same fan-angst all over again.

    My new motivational buzz-phrase: there’s only so much 1 Mason can do…



  • Outside of Embiid, who was the last big who was a major contributor his first year?

    • Marcus started coming on midway through his sophomore year, Markieff later

    • Cole impacted exactly one game his freshman year

    • Withey: one game I believe

    • TRob: nada

    • I suppose Arthur and Wright were significant players right away, but Julian was a passer and Arthur a shooter.

    • Oh yeah, Kevin Young!

    Start from fall 2007 and compare all freshman bigs: Cliff is probably well above average.

    If we accept that Embiid was the exception, not the rule, how can we expect not one but two new guys to solve our problems? Replace them with any two recent freshmen except Embiid, and it’s obvious how optimistic that expectation is.

    Whether a guy is an OAD or not, his first year is still his first year.



  • I also agree with @jaybate-1.0 's angle: The DriveDriveDrive Plan is partly a development of what the referees have forced into becoming an advantage, along with the still-evolving charge rule tweaks…and Self getting personnel like Sherron & Tyshawn (those 2, along with Calipari’s top10 attacking guards expanded Billy Self’s horizons…), and has continued to be an option with new attack-dogs named Mason and Graham. We actually lamented the lack of aggressive guard play during the Michigan-ended season, when neither EJ or Naadir could find the cojones to attack consistently.



  • @ParisHawk I like your point, but all we can do is speculate. The fact that Cliff was about to become a serviceable big (I believe he might have had his Oubre-lightbulb-moment if he had stayed eligible…) must be looked at with his top10 ranking. Notice Arthur and Wright were also MickeyDs. On any other team, a 6’11 MickeyD like Cole would have played a lot as a frosh, but @ParisHawk is right about first-year system players needing to assimilate a LOT to become productive…or to use the tyshawnism of “overall net-positive” (despite the inevitable gaffes…).

    If anything, having 2 x 6’9 top20 MickeyD bigs coming in at once, not only gives opposing coaches a headache to gameplan for, but if you only “expect” about 50% of solid bigman contribution out of each–> you still added 1 solid bigman (50%+50% committee) to the EllisJamariLucasHunter workforce.

    Which brings up another point: Ellis a MickeyD. Jesus, if we cannot get solid post play with 3 McD post players + 3 other developmental upperclassmen midmajor-formula bigs, I’ll pull my hair out. That’s 6 guys to do Self’s work. This isn’t a crap system, when it works. And half the guys that have staffed it well in the post were developmental guys like DJax, Kaun, Withey (& can add Twins, TRob).



  • Since @HighEliteMajor 's original post is about the System, what we have now is danger level critical for opponents: 6 bigs in your backyard + Mason and Graham breaking your front door down + a dynamic mix of wings: BG (top30, killah-shootah) + Selden (cleverly masked DWade impersonator & better 3gun than DWade already) + Svi (5star, best ballhandler of the 3, maybe best all’round wing, but another “secret” ).

    The problem is playing time. If you only count 4 bigs + 3 wings + 2 PGs, that’s 9 deep. Give Lucas and Hunter mpg and its an 11 man force. I don’t want to use the word ‘platoon’, so maybe since we are about to “seal up #12”, I’ll call them Seal Team 12. 🙂



  • @ParisHawk

    You make very valid points about first year bigs. The norm has been that Self bigs take at least a year to grasp the system before the light-bulb comes on. If Cliff had stayed and been eligible its hard to imagine he wouldn’t have corrected a majority of the issues he had. He probably would have gained a great deal of skill in the off-season and been a key member but we will never know. He wasn’t ready but we didn’t have much of an alternative. So we rinse and repeat the cycle again with 2 new bigs with completely different skill sets.

    I’m not going to bias my opinion of Diallo or Bragg based on the past though. I think this year we will see Diallo have a similar impact that Embiid did. From an effort standpoint alone, he’s already ahead of most freshman. That will accelerate a lot of his coaching and effort is something Coach always prides his players on. The skill within the system will have to be taught, and who knows if he will learn it quick enough.

    What’s the alternative to Diallo…Lucas? Mickelson? Short Traylor? In the past our freshman bigs have been stuck behind talented kids with years in the system so they had no choice but to learn by waiting. Even Embiid had to learn initially from Tarik Black, but there’s no NBA player sitting in Diallo’s way. We really don’t have a choice this year, its all in Diallo or nothing. I don’t think we will be disappointed, defensively he could be a game changer and offensively he will do enough to earn his keep.

    Bragg has the more traditional approach waiting for him. Learn from Ellis and make the most of the minutes you do get. We will like his outside game, it will allow a lot more offensive flexibility in the post. We won’t need Bragg to be a star from day 1 but hopeful he will learn to be a serviceable backup like Graham was last year for Mason in his first year.

    We might all be over-hyping these freshman but we won’t know until we see it in action. And we won’t have to wait long either, Bragg will be in action In June-July & I’m sure we will get updates about Diallo’s progress as well. I would tend to be optimistic that we see a positive impact from both.



  • @BeddieKU23 big difference in cheick and Cliff, energy, motor, and aggressiveness!



  • @jaybate-1.0

    ““Listen to Self in the off season at your risk.””

    Hence, my definition of Self… “the Riverboat Gambler!” I never pay too close attention to Self in the off-season, and before big games. All of his comments are coded and done for a specific purpose, like to mislead competition, or to possibly recruit a specific player, yada yada. This is a part of coaching and he is good at it! Praise be, to the Riverboat Gambler!

    Here is what I’m see for this coming year…

    I’m seeing Self run the hi/lo better than any year he’s ever run it!. The twins were capable… TRob and Withey… capable… but the new duo of Ellis and Diallo should be phenomenal! I know Cheick is only a freshman, but look at his role… He is the counter to Ellis, not another Ellis.

    This will be Perry’s big year. No holding back. He’ll be attacking the basket. He’ll be attacking the 3-pt line. He’ll be attacking midrange. Perry will lift his scoring numbers. And Cheick… he is the counter to Perry. He will be the high-energy guy. He will be the guy that is either fighting for position on the offensive glass, or making a late cut when Perry has the ball somewhere around the paint. Perry is a pretty good passer when a guy is wide open. How are teams going to double Perry? How? And leave the new monster in town, Cheick, open under the rim?

    I think what can help Self run his hi/lo the most is all the wrinkles he has added the last couple years, especially last year. Jamari and Perry scored best while catching the ball in motion, instead of standing flat-footed with their backs to the basket. This wrinkle should stay in the hi/lo. It may take a while before Cheick becomes a legitimate back to the basket scorer, but he can surely score well while in motion. And with his big time motor, he’ll create a lot of opportunities to score while in motion. The only thing I’m left wondering is how well of a passer Cheick is? I bet he’ll be good by March!



  • @ralster

    There is always a chance that a player doesn’t pan out. That all the glitz and glory are just sliver and gold sprinkles to dress up a player that merely fits the mold of greatness, yet is nothing more than an average to good player.

    The difference here is with any kid there is a certain amount of talent, or they wouldn’t be recruited in the first place. Unless you don’t believe in HCBS ability to identify talent? Then Bragg and Diallo bring something to the table that KU is in need of or hence HCBS wouldn’t recruit them.

    To often last year Ellis was left on an island all to himself. Ellis is a great talent but he’s not the kind of talent that can body check guys into the stands and can dunk on three guys. He needs space, he needs the offense to flow, and mostly he needs another big to draw some attention off him. We seen the results last year with Traylor, Lucas, and Hunter. All fine players, good hustle guys, and glue guys. However they don’t bring that offense prowess that Ellis needs.

    Enters Bragg and Diallo. This changes everything. This would be like the Chiefs saying we are weak at Wide Receiver and actually drafting one. KU had an eye sore. We all seen it. KU’s play in the paint was most likely the worst in HCBS tenure. Well that all changes now. No Bragg or Diallo don’t bring instant success, but it changes the dynamics of the team. HCBS can be himself again. HCBS if anything has enough fresh bodies to play down load that he can sit any player that isn’t playing to his expectation.

    I’ve found that people or persons in their comfort zone often do better than those that aren’t. (with some exceptions of course). HCBS will be in his comfort zone, his wheel house, and that alone will make a difference how this team plays next year. Bringing in Bragg and Diallo not adds pure talent but a real depth to Big Man U.

    I would expect HCBS has learned something the last two years that will indeed change how he coaches and recruits. One he’s not going to stray to far from his high/low system. He cut his teeth on it and it’s what he knows. However he understands the game is changing, and that he’ll need to change too or be left behind. So I would expect some hybrid of his high/low system. I think I heard and read more about tweaking or adding knew wrinkles from HCBS this last few months than all the years he’s been here combined.



  • BTW: I didn’t even mention what Bragg might bring to the table and the hi/lo! Not sure what he contributes his freshman year, but anything he contributes is icing on the cake!



  • @DoubleDD Agree totally. I’d also add the ‘developmental’ guys have to get better, too. They have knowledge of system, Hudization, and are still getting coached-up. I expect a bit more out of “those” guys (LL, HM, JT).



  • I think Cliff was hurt last year as well. Can you imagine practicing and fighting for position all year with the four bigs we had. When I played the game practice was always more of a challenge than the the games especially when I was an underclassmen. I think I read or heard this once last year that Larry Brown and Self have a philosophy that if your have problems the best way to approach it is more, practice, practice, then more practice. When you put that with Two games each with the conference teams and the tough non-conference schedules not the mention the big 12 tournament we’ve had the last two years, it seems to me that we are just completely banged up by March. Again, I’m a little concerned about the summer practicing, exhibition and World Games. It just seems like a team that can make it to March without injuries they have the best chance of final four participation. That’s where a think the argument of winning the Big 12 at all cost and then treating the NCAA tournament as an aside if we have anything left gets its fair share of attention on this board. The platoon game keeps kid from injuries because the kids are not exhausted at the end of games. In the Big 12 the games are a battle to the end so the chances of getting hurt are greater. I,m not advocating the platoon system but I do think we cannot be deep enough at all positions. It seems to me that depth is the only answer to winning both the Big 12 and the tournament. I think we could have went further last year if we would have had a deeper bench mainly Hunter, and Svi. I think they should have played more based on the injuries we are finding out about now.



  • BTW: If Cliff doesn’t get a guaranteed contract… might he play with us at WUG this summer?



  • @drgnslayr hmmm, good question, the ncaa is done w/us? Or are they out of options?



  • I can’t wait for the first time Diallo snatches down a board, and heaves it 70 feet to Frank for the wide open layup. Or when he runs the court and flushes a Selden “bunny miss”. I also can’t wait for Frank and Devonte to violently pressure the ball, or drift into the passing lanes knowing they have help at the rim …“run, run like the wind”. I can’t wait for teams to clog the middle, and Greene, Bragg, Frank, and Devonte scorch them from the 3 because Diallo can pass. I can’t wait for a guard to get past our perimeter battalion, only to be greeted with a faceful of ball from Diallo or Bragg. I think HEM is absolutely right about the post presence opening up the 3 ball. But I think it goes even deeper than that - Bill’s teams have always been great half court defenders traditionally. What made us so elite in 2008 was our team’s ability to turn the opponents over. My gosh, how many runouts did BRUSH, Mario, Sherron, and RussRob get that year? Yes, an offense that is getting wide open looks beyond the 3 will be really nice, but give me a suffocating defense that is getting easy baskets to go along with it. That way if the 3 ball isn’t dropping, we’re still fine as frog hair.



  • @drgnslayr

    The WUG are not NCAA sponsored so I don’t think they have a say in who plays. If Wiggins takes a Summer class, I believe he would be eligible and so would Embiid…no way their teams let them play though. Technically, Coach Self could invite players from other schools since the team represents the Country not the school, not that he would do that.



  • I really hope @jaybate-1.0 is wrong on bad ball. I think he is. But I want to make sure we’re talking the same thing here. Bad ball was abandoning the post feed to a large degree. Bad ball was a very low rate of threes. And Bad Ball was utilization to a large extent of the “dream weave” as @DoubleDD called it. Bad Ball is also outside-in … driving to create offense from the outside.

    That is different than attacking on the drive as part of the high/low, as we have always done. I fully expect us to drive the basketball, as Chalmers did, as Sherron did, as TT did, as EJ did. That is part of Self’s overarching philosophy. But the post feed and then creating outside offense by attacking inside is the scheme.

    @jaybate-1.0 is exactly right though … Self’s words many times mean nothing.

    His statement here seems to have more teeth though. Mainly because we all saw it. We ran bad offense. He knows it. And of course, I may just be gullible.

    But I think circumstances make this more than mere chatter.

    It makes sense that Self will recommit himself to running the high/low, and I think he’s kicking himself a little bit for abandoning it. I like that. I also think he’s kicking himself for allowing us to be more outside-in last season. I don’t like that. No one disputes that our strengths were on the perimeter. But that isn’t the manner in which Self wants our team to play.

    It is and will be inside-out.

    Self tried to create inside opportunities by the drive it (bad ball) philosophy. When he talks of not running good offense, I think it is really hard to interpret that as a vote of confidence for bad ball. It was bad offense. Does anyone dispute that? Again, not whether it was the right decision, but whether the offense itself was just bad?

    We’re back to the high/low. Book it.



  • @HighEliteMajor

    I still think Self realizes that had he tried to play the trey ball you and I wanted him to do, or play inside out b2b the way he likes to play the Carolina Passing Offense aka the High Low Passing Offense, that he would have finished waaaaaaaaaay worse than slightly above .500 and almost certainly would have lost the title, because of all the injuries that drove him out of his comfort zone and into not merely emulating parts of Bo Ryan Ball situationally, but going the full megillah and extending it into a 24/7/40 system of shrinking impact space, disruption end to end without stealing and blocking, plus the more conventional aspects of Bo’s offense (the drive ball portions) that he appropriated that fall under the rubric of drive ball.

    The dead give away that BAD BALL is here to stay is the success that so many teams had driving the ball throughout the tournament and the way UK and, most amazingly of all, Duke finally had to resort to drive ball to survive and advance, whenever the going got tough.

    BAD BALL is drive ball gone systematic 24/7/40.

    BAD BALL is drive ball on steroids and microwave mind control.

    BAD BALL is like a bad dream that just keeps recurring. 🙂

    Only the referees can save us from BAD BALL.

    I mean when Mr. NBA Outside-In Fred Holberg operating on about 3/4 heart capacity even resorts to BAD BALL to win down the stretch, the situation is now beyond reversing.



  • @drgnslayr

    Tough to say because if you factor in 30 minutes min for Ellis and assume Diallo starts off with 25 minutes at least you would have to say Bragg is lucky to get 10-15 minutes a game.

    What will be interesting is that Self can use Bragg as a backup to Ellis, you bring in a more athletic, longer, post with legitimate 3 point ability. I think defensively Bragg will struggle early as most do but I expect his contribution to be noticeable as the season goes by. The best thing for Bragg was Ellis coming back so that he could learn from him, and get enough PT to set him up for a big Soph campaign.



  • @jaybate-1.0

    Well if you explain Bad Ball that way then it’s always been here. At least in my life time. There has always been times in a game where the offense just can’t run their stuff with any success. Sometimes the passing is flat, to many mismatches on the court, and mostly the defense just flat out turns up the volume.

    However I Digress 🙂

    As @HighEliteMajor stated he fully expects as I do that HCBS will still at times put the ball in the hands of Mason and say take it to the rack. However with the addition of Bragg and Diallo, plus all the returning players I would expect this KU team to look more like the HCBS’s teams of the past. Looking for fast breaks, passing the ball around the perimeter, testing the driving lanes, but always looking for that entry pass into the post first.

    If I fully understand your interruption of Bad Ball correctly. HCBS won’t have to rely on Bad Ball to run his offense. He will have a veteran team with plenty of bodies to fill in at key spots. Not to say he won’t use it from time to time as for the reasons I stated early, but he will in no way be in a position like Duke and UK this upcoming year. With so many new faces that Bad Ball is really the only offense they can run with any success. Relying on pure talent to rule the day.

    HCBS will be in his wheel house again, what he knows best. HCBS has at times looked average as a head coach here lately, especially last year. I believe he got caught up in the whole OAD craze. Can’t really blame him, but I think the light came on for him last year. What makes HCBS great is his ability to take advantage of teams, to starve the opposing teams best players with limited touches, and most of all to enforce his will, his system of offense on the opponent.

    Bad Ball may never go away, but it will be a distance memory and something that is used far and between in KU land. I can’t speak for UK and Duke though. 😉



  • I can see some TT-going to the hole w/TRob cleaning them up, w/cheick cleaning up this year. Mason doing the TT.



  • @KUSTEVE Good post. Well, I cant wait for Selden to not miss those bunnies…



  • If Diallo can stay out of foul trouble and, right from the getgo, bring the energy of sophomore TRob or transfer Kevin Young, then we are in for some very exciting games of Jayhawk Basketball this season. I have watched and rewatched this spring’s Jordan Brand Classic and McDee’s games. Diallo bears the boundless expenditures of those two former Kansas players. Seems almost sad to think that his joyful enthusiasm will soon be harnessed to Patterned Systems Basketball. The results of that process will undoubtedly lead to more notches in his future wins column; but I hope he can take the court with that same undaunted bounce and winged flight which I witnessed in those recent schoolboy highlights. For another former foreign soccer palyer who is still relatively new to the sport of hoops, his flow was absolutely mesmerizing.



  • @REHawk I couldn’t agree more. Diallo is a great learner and understands the game. If he buys completely into Self’s system, he’s going to be nasty. I also agree that he’s going to provide KU with a much needed motor. He can set the pace of a game. If he plays up to his potential and excels, there will be some great games.



  • @Crimsonorblue22 Nothing against Cliff, but I think it’s best KU, Self, and Cliff part ways altogether. I just don’t think we need any stink created from his unfortunate drama to follow KU around everywhere. We need to let him go and give that stink some time to fade away.



  • @truehawk93

    I agree. Given the choice, I much rather have Kevin Young than Cliff Alexander; that is a no brainer for me…


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