In the World of Tempo Setters, the Tempo Follower Is King

  • Bill Self came to the WUG at an apparent disadvantage.

    No inside game.

    Some of his best players not allowed to play.

    And then injuries robbed him of still more talent.

    But Bill held one ace up his sleeve.

    The world’s coaches had never coached against a guy that lets the other team set tempo.

    They had never come up against the Tumbleweed Buddhist from sub-tropical Edmond, Oklahoma.

    They had never watched their teams appear to win until the last ten minutes and then watch them lose looking as if they had dominated their opponent.

    They had not yet seen what happens, when one comes up against the son of Oklahoma public school educators tutored by Paul Hansen, lectured to on core strategy by Hank Iba, allowed to watch Lawrence Brown draw up plays on the spot and teach the Carolina Passing Offense, shown the basketball world through the eyes of one of the early African American coaches—Leonard Hamilton-- in D1, and initiated into the 70-point take-what-they-give-us priesthood of Father Edward Sutton.

    They had not seen their manly drives to dominate opponents lead them into being out-maneuvered and beaten.

    They had not walked off the court muttering, “How did he DO that!!!”

    Don’t feel bad, WUG coaches.

    It happens .82 percent of the time in NCAA Division 1 College Basketball.

    It happens whether he has the best players, or not.

    Again and again it happens.

    They enter confident in knowing what they are supposed to do.

    They know they have a game plan to execute, a tempo to impose.

    They expect their opponent to try to stop them from running their game plan.

    But instead are confronted by a team willing to play it any way they want.

    Willing to play at any tempo they set.

    And after their own game plan and tempo are mirrored and they find themselves unable to win by playing the way they had planned, they find they coach loosing his confidence and 'adjusting" their game plan, telling them to do something other than that which he had promised them would work. And that is the beginning of the end.

    They exit doubting themselves, because they have just played at exactly the tempo they like and set–a tempo they usually win at when they oppose it.

    They exit having just lost.

    And they really haven’t a clue how it happened.

    Go, Bill, go!!!

  • @jaybate-1.0 Just ask Roy!

  • @jaybate-1.0 Good stuff jb, good stuff !

  • Great summation! We’ve seen the deliberate half court offense, we’ve seen the give-it-to-Langford/Sherron/Tyshawn/Mason-to-go-get-a-bucket, and we’ve always seen and heard about Self’s yearning for competent D to disrupt the opponent and hoping it feeds transition breaks…after all, his recruiting, be it top30 players, or top70 under-radar-finds like Tyshawn, Frank, Devonte…all are transition-capable athletes.

    Its truly a playstyle and system that can run any-which-way-u-want, once stocked with enough experienced guys, with the right personalities (caveats we learned from Stanford and WSU gamefilm). It doesn’t guarantee a W, as the MorrisHawks found out.

    But it IS one of the highest, almost ridiculous win-percentages ever seen in NCAA basketball. I think this Okie is on to something…the “high percentage” aspect is the common thread underpinning everything he does. And if a team executes enough of (interpret that to mean the MAJORITY of) the high percentage stuff, we win. Maddeningly simple.

  • @jaybate-1.0 Coach Self giving Hunter some major props after the Serbia game. Has to be a hint about Hunt’s minutes and performance for the next season if he keeps it up.
    It seems as though we have our Senior 5 man AND we have our stud 3 man in Selden. Diallo backs up Mickelson to start the season and BG backs up Selden at the 3.
    Perry and Bragg spell eachother. Devonte, Mason, Svi and Vick form our killer back court.

    This team can run and gun or grind it out with anyone in Div 1 if they bring home Gold.

  • @ralster Im going to keep saying we will break 30 wins this season because I truly believe that will happen. No reason it shouldn’t!

  • Self must have been a psychology major at OSU.

    He seems to be so nonchalant most of the time… during games. Sometimes you have to look over at him on the bench closely to see if he is still awake.

    Yeah… he appears to let opponents do what they want to. He seems to make his own team run repetitive offensive sets that a blind mule (in the dark) can anticipate. Sometimes, it seems like he is intentionally trying to blow games.

    But Self knows that only the last few minutes of the game (typically) count. It is the FINAL score that determines the winner. He just has to get his guys to finish well to win a bunch of games. And it only takes a few minutes to turn all the optimism our opponents have into deep depressing pessimism… because they all know our record. We win games! So when we are down by 6 with a minute and change left… and then suddenly we turn up the intensity and get a quick 3, our opponents are falling into a deep psychological “black hole.”

    I would pay money to take a psychology course from Self.

    “Bringing BAD BALL to WUG!”

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