To Boot Camp or to not Boot Camp. That is the question.

  • Touching off a topic that is bound to gain momentum as the summer progresses and based on how KUSA finishes its final games in the WUGs, I have started to think about the increased potential for injury to our boys in blue.
    Say we win the Gold in the WUGs and say Coach plays Frank and Selden and Perry 35+ minutes to do it. Then should he not consider paring down or eliminating altogether his beloved “boot camp?”
    @Jesse-Newell makes a great point in his pod cast about the risks associated with playing our guys too much and even winning the WUGs, while a great accomplishment, would be all for naught basically, should One More of our guys get injured in the process.
    The mental and physical requirements for recovery would last well into the upcoming season and not just for the potential player injured but for the team as well. KU is really turning it on right now. I mean those guys are so close to forming the kind of chemistry needed to put a team on the court that could achieve something comparable to the '08 and the '12 teams! Its literally right in front of us.
    To see it go down in flames with another major injury to one of our boys is something I would rather not have to deal with.

    My point; I do not think Boot Camp is needed this year, at all. None, zero, zilch, nada, zip, done, gone. Once we win a medal, be it Gold or Silver. Coach needs to let our team rest. He needs to give them some good time off to recover and give Hudy the reins to the teams’ health and fitness regimen during the last weeks leading up to the fall semester and even going into Late Night possibly. Selden is absolutely Killing it right now and Frank is absolutely Sherron 2.0. We need those guys and the rest of the team to play exactly like they are playing right now come March Madness.
    If they cant due to an injury sustained this summer or fatigue built up from this summer that could have been prevented, then this goal that we have to see KU into the final four next spring could end again with an early NCAA exit.

    By no means to I want to see Coach let off the gas and fall short of a medal. But, there has to be a way to do it safely and with minimal risk of injury as possible to our boys.

  • @Lulufulu The last two years in the NCAA, I thought our team looked worn out. The WUG is a pretty grueling affair- you could say this is Boot Camp.

  • @Lulufulu

    Good thread and interesting idea! While not opposed to your idea, I would say this. I think the kids are gonna have 2-3 months off after the wugs.

    I think Self is a creature of habit and he’ll still do a one week boot camp just to get them in cardio shape and continue to bond them as a team. One could argue being in better shape would prevent injuries.

    I just don’t want to see too many bigs get injured forcing Mickelson into action! Jk of course! To clarify my thoughts on our bet from last night. Personally, I think Mick should be in front of jam tray and LL but I bet that Self won’t trust him come league play and he’ll return to the bench.

    The dollar is still coming to Colorado!

  • The NBA plays up to 80 games per season and have to stay in that kind of shape during the off season so depending on when you make the jump to the NBA you have to be ready to play at that level. In the NCAA these kids only play 30 or so games so I cant imagine that its going to take a huge toll on our guys? I used to play from the time I woke up until the street lights came on all summer long and never skipped a beat in fact I NEVER remember being too tired or sore to do it all over again the next day! These guys are young and their bodies can handle this type of conditioning BUT they are playing nearly every day atm. I think they will get rested up after the WUG and then its back to business as usual. They are missing some pieces that they will have to build the same chemistry with for next season so Boot Camp is probably still a viable option.

  • When I joined the Marine Corps I ran 3-5 miles and lifted weights every day of the year. I played pick up most nights or pretty much any competitive sport. I was in the best shape of my life. I may be bias but I believe having the drill instructors back to campus (if they do that again) will only help our guys bond and build more chemistry. I think playing the regular season schedule is not as demanding as playing in the big 12 tournament and then the NCAA tournament. Their going to get tired playing for days straight at the end of the season regardless of how much they play this summer.

  • @Statmachine I think you are exactly right. The entire “wearing down” thing always strikes me as a completely invalid excuse when it comes to young men. Every year that we underachieve in March is because we wore down, or we had injuries, or something other than the real reasons for our failures. In years we do not underachieve, amazingly, after the same grind, we are not worn down. Heck, in 2012, our starters played the most minutes our starters ever had, and we were a few breaks away from a national title.

    @Lulufulu Great topic … and I never think we need boot camp, or anything like it. It’s one of Self’s preferred ways to “team build” a bit. One of the greatest motivators a coach has some times is to get the team to bond together in their distaste for the coach, or with what they are having to do. I personally don’t think it relates at all to whether we are fresh in March. I think Self should do it if he thinks the team building part of it is needed. I really wouldn’t worry about the fatigue thing – that, to me, is more driven by how practices are managed late in the season.

  • During my time in the military the only people that got hurt were the people that did no conditioning outside of the weekly organized physical training our squadron forced upon us (which was week sauce). When it was time to strap on packs and go hike 75 miles in 3 days carrying a hundred lbs of gear the guys that weren’t hitting the gym were the guys that were in the medical truck following the squadron. They should flat out run away from teams in November because of all of the added conditioning and training their getting right now!

  • When we play in the championship classic its going to look like a 1 seed playing a 16 seed in March. KU being the 1 seed.

  • @Statmachine

    Love your stats from the corps and as a child! I wonder what has changed with the training over the years in the corps? I assume diet and weights have evolved?

  • @VailHawk Video games! Too much video games instead of going outside. More technical jobs more processed foods at the chow hall (cafeteria). Just a lot more things to do inside now days to pass time. I remember no computers, no video games, and 1 TV with 5 channels. Now there are 5 channels for cartoons! I will say that the combat training they receive today which is MMA based is far better than the basic warrior training we received when I first joined. Now days a fat guy in the USMC can clean your clock in seconds but if he doesn’t he damn sure cant run from you lol.

  • KU is on espnu right now- replay of the Serbia game…

  • @Lulufulu Boot camp is 100% necessary. These players are going to lose most of the physical conditioning they gained from this tournament pretty quickly. The failures in March the past 2 years have much more to do with injuries (not caused by being too conditioned) and a lack of execution than anything else. These guys need boot camp because the season is a grind.

  • @Lulufulu

    If I understand correctly, the purpose of the booth camp is to help players shed the summer rust and get them started on physical conditioning. Except for Svi and Diallo…and the injured players, of course, and due to the extensive preparation for the WUG, by the time practice begins the team will have little rust and perhaps, a boot-camp-lite is needed, rather than the full job.

    Also keep in mind that the boot camp, as much as it it physically demanding, it is also mentally tough and a time to bond as a team and develop chemistry and more importantly leadership. If I were a betting man, I would guess that Coach Self will have “lighter” version of the camp at the start of practice.

  • Back on September 4, 2008 Draft express posted this: Sherron Collins arrived on campus this fall out of shape and according to head basketball coach Bill Self (via CNN/SI), “a month behind where [he] thought he would be


    I don’t think our guys will arrive on campus this fall a month behind or out of shape!

  • @JayHawkFanToo He will probably have the same old boot camp. No trash cans needed!

  • @Statmachine with all do respect, the type of games they play and the physicality of their games are much different than the pickup games at the park.

    Look at Frank last year. I doubt it was the sprinting that made him worn out, but the bumps and bruises that comes with driving and getting slammed. Or playing D and getting a hard pick set on you.

    The NBA can do it because they don’t go 100% on every possession. It would be impossible to do that for 82 games. You can see the difference when playoff time rolls around. In college, almost every game is played like a playoff game because one loss can have a major impact on seeding.

  • @JhawkAlum I think you way, way overplay the “contact”. There is more significant contact in one football game than these guys get in an entire CBB season combined. I sure hope that Frank wasn’t worn down from bumps and bruises. It sure didn’t seem like Wichita St. was worn down from the same bumps and bruises they surely had when they kicked our ass.

    @Texas-Hawk-10 Did UConn have “boot camp” in 2013-14? Did Duke have “boot camp” in 2014-15? Or Louisville in 2012-13? I ask because I don’t know. But I also ask to point out that there is more than one way to skin a cat. The Self way is definitely not the only way, and definitely not the only way to have a national title winning season.

  • If you talk to Wooden’s players, every practice all season was a boot camp. Never a pause. Every minute of every practice scheduled on 3x5 notecards. A former player said he never stopped to rant, or dress down a player. Nonstop leArning and conditioning. Practice never went longer than an hour and a half. As one of his players said, he crammed more into an hour and a half than any coach taking 3-4 hours. Another said the conditioning never stopped. Another said “those cards, he drove us nuts with those cards!”

    Boot camp happens, because it has never really been about conditioning.

    It is about building esprit d’corps–about building a team foundation of humans willing to sacrifice for each other–about leaving no buddy behind–about learning the difficult comes easy, while the impossible of carrying the least among you takes a little longer.

    Conditioning and timing and toughening and learning and fitting the pieces together are what the next two months are about.

  • @jaybate-1.0 Right on. Conditioning should be an on-going, continuous process.

  • @HighEliteMajor They may not call it boot camp, but all of those programs have some kind of conditioning program to get ready for the season.

  • @Statmachine You know, you are totally right about the NBA players and their lengthy if not gruelling schedule. They are even older and most of them are able to grind it out and even play deep into the finals.
    Our boys are even younger which allows them to heal faster if an injury occurs. Case in point; B Rush coming back from an ACL in 6 months. And on second thought, our guys still in Lawrence cuz of ineligibility or injury still need a chance to bond with this group. Maybe a shortened boot camp would be a good thing.
    Right now, the guys that are playing, they have that cohesion, that bond that brings them closer and allows them to play unselfishly for the good of the whole.
    The guys back home need that too.

  • They’ll have more injuries in the daily pick up games than in any conditioning series. Weight lifting supervised by Hudy and her team and conditioning drills by coach on the floor will make them better in the fourth quarter than any other team. These men are in great condition now, I doubt there will be any barfing this year, especially if Diallo can run the way you say he can.

  • @Texas-Hawk-10 I’m more talking about the run till you puke stuff. You are right, there are conditioning programs at every university. Anyway, Self, I’m sure, will handle it in a way that fits what he’s seeing with the players.

  • @Lulufulu Isn’t “boot camp” normally 2 weeks. I believe HCBS has on occasion shortened it as he saw fit. I feel it’s a necessary evil that does help the team both physically and coming together as a team. And as @wrwlumpy said, they do get hurt in the daily pickup games. Even Bragg got his nose busted in practice.

  • @HighEliteMajor you think so? WSU plays in a lesser league and takes less lumps throughout the season. Going up against a Rico Gathers is much different than the Northern Iowa bigs. Frank was not the same player at the end. Even Self raved about Franks athleticism after getting rest at the beginning of this year.

  • @JhawkAlum Yea, I do think so. When you make that response it sounds to me like you seriously think that WSU beat Kansas because Kansas was beat up. Is that true, or am I misinterpreting?

    I bet Self did reference that about Mason. But everyone, every team, is in the same boat. As it applies equally, it’s a meaningless excuse.

    I think it is absolutely silly to blame our tourney travails or anything else on being beat up, or whatever. How beat up was Duke from the ACC? Or UK from the SEC? Or Wisconsin from the Big Ten? I’m guessing Tyus Jones took as much punishment (if that’s what you want to call it) as Mason did.

  • @HighEliteMajor Many here have done just that…continually pushed & driven to the brink-it either breaks you or makes a complete warrior out of you. Many are called but few are chosen.

  • Also, I differentiate the beat up thing from an injury – Embiid’s injury changed our team.

    Now, did we adjust our approach to Embiid’s absence? Did we do all we could have done knowing we didn’t have Embiid? That’s another question.

  • @HighEliteMajor Every player in Div 1 gets nicked up during the season. They are athletes playing a physical game. Its inevitable and unavoidable. It just seems like KU was even more beat up last year and the year before than they have normally been at seasons end. Maybe its just me.

    The wear and tear on the players during this season will be extended due to the WUGs and Coach Self should absolutely augment his boot camp to help them stay in shape and prevent injuries. Not ride them so hard their knees and ankles and hips break down before March.

    Im betting that he will do just that.

    Biid’s situation was not well managed, we can probly all agree on that. But we are looking forward here, to this next season, which has the potential to be very special indeed.

  • @HighEliteMajor Lombardi often said he thought fear was the greatest motivator-fear of losing their jobs that is…

  • @HighEliteMajor you would be incorrect my friend. WSU simply kicked our butts. I was referring to why WSU didn’t look as tired.

  • I think that the WUG and boot camp are trying to accomplish completely different things.

    I have coached HS football for the past 4 years and every summer we play in a weekend long contact camp. This is for coaches to see what we have, and allow some players to earn some confidence before the season. It is basically the same thing as the WUG has allowed us to do.

    Then, right before the season we have 2-a-days. These are for, as many people pointed out, a team building and mental exercise more than a physical one. 2-a-days started back in the day when players would go home for the summer and come back out of shape. Nowadays, the players have been working out all summer and are in great shape. But, coaches have found out that 2-a-days and boot camps are helpful in building comradery. They build mental preparation, push players beyond limits they thought they could go, practice not letting down the team, and force players to bond.

    Because this team is so deep, and we have such high expectations this season, I would argue that we not only NEED boot camp, but it should be HARDER than it has ever been. With the talent we have, I want our players to be able to push through being tired and beat up and stomp teams into the ground like we should. I want our guards to all be so mentally tough that comparing them to Sherron won’t even do it justice. I want our bigs to be so in tune with each other they have better telepathy than the Morris twins. I want everyone on our team so focused that they can spell Mykhailiuk without even thinking about it. I want this team to have butterflies in the pits of their stomachs right now because they know they are talented enough to put together a historic season.

  • Perry wasn’t worn down, Lucas fell on him. His injury really hurt the team. He was also playing his best before the injury. Then he took the shot to his nose. LL had some kind of tumor he was playing w/. BG had an injury from stretching during wts that effected him. All teams are beat up to some extent, our injuries were freak.

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    Also, KU’s schedule has been tougher than most and playing better competition requires more physical effort. The other thing that is also overlooked is how KU, more so than almost any team in the country, has a gigantic bull’s eye everywhere it plays and teams make a greater than normal effort to beat KU, often playing more physically than they normally do. Remember that every road game is played before that team’s largest home crowd of the season.

  • @Kcmatt7 Undefeated season! Kinda joking.

  • I would like to see us change the theme this year from “Boot Camp” to “Survival Training.”

    Our guys aren’t going to show up with big guts and soft legs this year. So we could help them a lot more by spending a weekend and a few days in nature and tents. Talk about a bonding opportunity…

    Push some physical training on them with their feet on earth instead of just adding more pounding to their joints on paved surfaces or floors.

    Bring in some experts to train them on a progressive sports diet. That will do plenty to help prevent injuries, fatigue and cramps. Put down the Gatorade and start drinking real fruit juices (like watermelon) for electrolytes and low-glycemic load. Proper sports nutrition would be something every bit as equal to helping our team as Hudy is strength and conditioning.

    We could easily be the freshest team every March if we made a few changes in their diets alone.

  • @JayHawkFanToo I agree with you. He wont make them go through a full 2 weeks of boot camp. It’ll be altered just to keep them in shape and give them a bit more bonding time. They have excellent conditioning right now and excellent chemistry right now. Just got to keep the ship moving after the WUGs

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