All good things must come to an end.

  • So now that we got our once in a lifetime opportunity to see our Hawks play this summer, and we got to watch them will their way to a Gold medal. (Seriously how awesome has this summer been?) We now must move on to what lies ahead.

    This season has HUGE implications, and our players should be extremely motivated! Fist and foremost, we still have the streak to keep alive! And we have a very solid Iowa State team, along with Buddy Hield and an always competitive WV ready to take us on. Now, I may be one of the few that is truly amazed by the streak. It is proof that Self, while he may not be the best coach in the Nation, sure as hell is the most consistent. And we have been spoiled since he has been here. Seriously, a “down year” for us was a #2 seed in the Tourney.

    On top of that, we have been the butt of the joke for the major programs after losing early in the tourney lately. And its best time we stick it to everyone. The players and Self should have a chip on their shoulders right now, and it doesn’t come off until another banner is hung in AFH.

    Finally, now that we have a had a sneak preview I think it is time for the serious debates over who starts, and how minutes should be distributed. So, I guess I’ll kick us off!

    Starting 5:

    • Mason- 28 minutes regular season. 38 Post season. The heart and soul of our team. But, we need to cut his minutes down. He clearly wore out late in the season and then just lost confidence. We play Saturday and have quick Turnarounds to Mondays nearly every week. He needs a few extra minutes off.
    • Svi- 25 minutes regular season. 22 Minutes Post season. While we are in for what looks to be a special year, I don’t think a NC happens without him being a legit threat.
    • Selden- 28 minutes. Regular Season. 33 minutes Post Season. He is going to be our leader this season. But, like I said, we have enough talent and we need to keep our guys fresh all season. You saw Wayne become MUCH less effective around the rim when his legs went dead. And that was his biggest asset during the WUG.
    • Perry - 28 minutes Regular Season. 30 Minutes Post Season. He is Perry. We know what he is going to be and yet, I think thats a good thing. You need that consistency from someone in the post.
    • Hunter- 16 minutes Regular Season. 22 Minutes Post Season. I just think that sometimes you start the guys that gel best together. And the confidence the players had in Hunter by the end of the WUG was great. You saw all of them click together. For that reason alone I don’t think you see Diallo start.


    • Devonte- 25 Regular Season. 22 Post Season. He is going to be huge this year and allow us to be versatile. He can sub in for any of the other 3 starters at any given moment. He will be on the floor in late game situations for sure as well.

    • Greene - 12 Regular Season. 3 Post Season. With an injury, his improvement should be minimal. So, you can expect the same out of him.

    • Vick - 3 Regular Season. 0 Post Season. He is still a freshmen. He is skilled enough to come in and give us a spark when needed, but there is still a pecking order.

    • Bragg - 5 Regular Season. 5 Post Season. I like what he offers. But I just think I’ll like it a lot better next season.

    • Diallo- 24 regular Season. 28 Post Season. He needs to be a force.

    • Lando- 5 Regular Season. 2 Post Season. If he know his role he could be productive in key moments for us.

    • Traylor- 5 Regular Season. 3 Post Season. He’s maxed out his potential it seems.


    • I know that a lot of people have/want Devonte to start. I just think he provides us with the most versatility off of the bench.
    • I like Hunter to start ALL SEASON. Why? Simply for gelling purposes with our older players. It could allow us to get off to a good start, and then BAM we hit you with Diallo running 1000 mph end to end to really stomp on your throats!!!
    • Finally, we have too many bigs that minutes are going to be spare. Yet, we could use this to our advantage. It could allow us to run and push tempo more and use an almost Hockey like substitution system. Just play as hard as you can for 4-6 minutes at a time and then we can get you a breather.

  • Not a bad analysis, I do think certain guys will get more minutes like Mason, Selden & Ellis. They will all be close to 30 or above. Where the minutes are fluid and you have reflected that is who starts at SG assuming Selden will slide to the 3 & who starts and backs up the 5.

    The new million dollar question is with Selden playing the 3 and thriving in Korea will Self keep that going and slide Graham in or play the more traditional line-up with Svi. Those 2 could be interchangeable, small ball or go big whichever is working better. There are pro’s to each scenario and I will leave it up to coach to figure it out.

    The battle at the 5 has now become an interesting story-line as well. Hunter played so well, surprised even his coach that you have to think he earned himself a rotation spot. I think he’s the new backup 5 to Diallo. Everything Self has said points to Diallo starting from day 1. Usually Self isn’t this coy about a freshman but he’s all but said the spot is his. That was before Hunter had such a great tournament so things could change.

    Bragg will be much better in the regular season and expect to see him backup Ellis as the season goes on. Vick is offensively gifted, no wonder he blew up this spring in AAU. Great potential with him…

  • @Kcmatt7 In my opinion, there is no way Svi starts ahead of Devonte at any point in the season, and there’s no way Hunter starts ahead of Diallo after the first 10 games.

  • @KUSTEVE I share your opinion.

  • @BeddieKU23

    I wonder what Self found most-pleasing about Hunter’s play in WUG? Was it the fact that he gives us a real offensive weapon at the 5? Gosh, he even nailed a couple of jumpers around the FT line… Or was it his tough defense against some guys 5+ inches taller than him? Or was it his rebounding prowess, especially his ability to snag offensive rebounds and get the put backs?

    I hope he was impressed with ALL those areas… he should be!

  • @Lulufulu I share your opinion of KUSTEVE’s opinion.

    If Graham is 100 percent healed, I know we’re going to see a lot of Mason + Graham out there at the same time. Which is fine if they can both shoot about 40% from 3pt range. To me though, those two guys offer about the same arsenal, so I’d much rather see Svi. Not many guards in the conference that match up against him.

    Never thought I’d see Bill Self comfortable with two little guards. I was screaming for him to put Vick in for Nic Moore at the end of the gold medal game, and he stayed with Nic Moore all the way (which ultimately payed off with Nic getting that steal to seal the game)

  • Hunter played well in the WUGs, but was that level of play good enough to get us to a national championship? I don’t know… but I’m still hoping by tournament time Diallo is better than Hunter/Lucas/Traylor.

  • @DanR

    I agree, that we need Diallo stepping up and becoming a real force. The key is to keep Hunter getting enough minutes to keep his game moving forward.

    As the season progresses, we may see less of Jamari and more of Hunter for minutes off the bench.

    Hunter is putting pressure on Jamari for his minutes… and Jamari needs the pressure applied. It seems he has hit a rut on his progress and he is running out of time before he has to leave lalaland to go make a living dribbling a basketball.

  • @DanR Hunter/Mickelson? Jk

  • @Crimsonorblue22 fixed! (meant Hunter/Lucas/Traylor)

  • @DanR I know!! Was kidding you!

  • @drgnslayr

    Hopefully everything that you listed. The extended minutes definitely gave Hunter confidence and he performed well. For the first time I think Self trusted him to be on the floor and just play. He still fouls a lot but he sure was active around the rim. The putbacks, the ability to alter shots and rebound those are all things we hope Diallo brings to the table. If we have a 2nd big capable of that its only going to help. He also showed he could hit a mid-range jumper which is a nice addition. Self always said he could shoot.

  • In my opinion Graham is the best of the outside shooters at creating his own shot, and although Selden has improved dramatically he is still a spot shooter and a clutch one at that and his penetration and scoring at the rim has improved dramatically.and now he can routinely do it as opposed to last season. I see Graham getting substantial minutes once he is back to full health. I will have to see how much Svi has progressed over the summer compared to the other players. Looks like Selden now has a lock on the 3 position and if Graham starts at the 2 then Svi can still get substantial playing time backing the 2 and 3; he is versatile enough to do both. The question is: has he improved enough to get substantial minutes at either position either as a backup or even a starter?

    Another fact that makes me think about the bigs rotation is Coach Self playing Lucas most of the critical second half against Germany even when Mickelson was not in foul trouble. It seems that Lucas matched up better with the German players than Mickeslon did and he responded by having his best game of the tournament, in which case we might see Mickelson and Lucas swapping time at the 5 depending on the opponent. Diallo is obviously the big unknown and can end up starting and getting the lion’s share of minutes or sharing time with other other two.

    Also, let’s not count Bragg out of getting substantial minutes. He is a very good shooter and you can see his confidence and form when he shoots free throws. If he can score consistently from the outside, he can be the stereotypical “stretch 4” that is now so popular, even more so than Ellis.

  • The thing that Lucas seemed to learn at WUG was his need to bang if he wants to see the floor. He has been the best of the bigs for sealing his man and getting open for the post feed. His problem has been that he then misses the bunnies that result. He went harder to the basket and is more willing to accept being hit. He also seems to have more confidence. He has also become proficient in not being stripped of the ball after getting a rebound. He is a far cry from TRob in that respect but he has progressed.

    Hunter is a better offensive threat than Landen, especially on the offensive boards where he showed a good progression in his timing of tips. He is a better shot blocker but mostly off of the ball. He showed little proclivity as a rim protector in the sense of someone who can stop a penetrating driver. He also seems to have a good increase in his confidence level. He is not afraid to put up a shot up to about 15 ft.

    The tournament has had a very positive affect on the confidence of both of these players. How they compare to Diallo is still to be determined, but I am more confident now about their position than I was before Korea.

  • @sfbahawk

    “The thing that Lucas seemed to learn at WUG was his need to bang if he wants to see the floor.”

    I think he first had to learn to keep his emotions in check. He had lots of problems early in this tournament with the contact. He’d get pushed out and when he tried to hold his own he’d get whistled for a foul. You could see the frustration building and finally he shoved a guy. The last thing we needed was players fighting. Not a good representation for the USA. I think Self held him down to few minutes after that so he could collect himself.

    Self knew that Landen will be one of the pieces we need to improve this coming year and WUG was a great opportunity for him to bang bodies in the paint and survive the whistle. So he was bound to eventually be brought back on the floor for more experience.

    Landen finally came to his senses and then started being more productive. I’m certain he is one of our guys that improved substantially from this experience.

    I think ALL of our guys grew from this, and the results will be visible this coming season!

  • @drgnslayr he needs to toughen up! Kinda whiney.

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    Agreed. This had to help some though…

  • @drgnslayr or self will put his rear on bench

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    I like Landen… but most of the time he looks like he just woke up from a nap. Seems like he should be considerably stronger by now with years of Hudy. He should be able to hold his own and also have some swagger. He is probably the most fundamental post player we have. But his legs are like jello and he gets pushed around easily. He also needs to develop more offense. Kind of seems he isn’t developing fast enough.

  • @drgnslayr speaking of


    Saying good bye and thanks!

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    Cool! Hey… I don’t want to bag on him now. They all deserve a lot of credit, for a job well done! Time to party! It will be time to push these guys before you know it.

    I hope Landen goes right into some heavy leg strengthening. Time for him to get motivated with his game!

  • @drgnslayr

    Lucas had a very good game against Germany…so there is hope for him. Maybe he needs to trade mass for muscle to gain strength and explosiveness but I am sure Hudy has already done as much as she can, and if he has not changed by now, it is probably genes and it will not change before the season. There is always next season…

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    Right. Genes are perhaps the biggest factor, or at least, one of them.

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