Will KU's WUG Offense Carry Over to D1? Not a Chance, Baby!

  • Self WILL revert.

    He said he would.

    He said we learned things in Korea playing the short clock, four out style that would make us better individual players, but we still need to be able to play inside; that is what he said.

    The WUG was a totally anomalous situation.

    30 seconds is an eternity, compared to 24.

    There was no home court advantage; this is the opposite of regular season D1.

    And yet everyone got to play on the same courts every game; this is the opposite of post season D1.

    Will Self even try to play some the way they did in WUG?

    Yes, because he always briefly tries to do some of both, when ever confronted with alternatives.

    So: yes, he will start out trying to do both:

    –play through the bigs some trips; and

    –playing the four out perimeter games other trips.

    Neither will go well as well as it did in the WUG, because of the longer clock, the vastly rougher play in the B12, and the adversity of playing on the road.

    To reiterate: in the WUG, all games were on neutral courts where fans were never a factor.

    Self has evolved the style of play he advocates to win consistently at home and steal wins on the road.

    Low trips, few turnovers, and inside treys maximize the home court advantage. They let the crowd do the heavy lifting of disorienting a team into turnovers and bad shooting.

    Low trips, few turnovers and inside treys on the road keep the opposing crowd out of the game and compensate for the unfamiliar rims for KU’s outside shooters.

    .82 is a sacred number in basketball number-ology.

    Dan Brown will one day write a book called “The Self Code.”

    .82 will be the number that keeps popping up mysteriously in front of the protagonist’s search for the hidden meaning of the game.

    All of the folks on this site that shout conspiracy theory every time their attention is called to something that was really nothing but a 900 pound gorilla with a lamp shade on its head will say this number .82 is a part of a paranoid conspiracy invented not by Dan Brown, but by the Basketball Intelligence Agency, that Dan Brown is actually an unpaid agent for, and its off the shelf arm–the COB–the Continuity of Basketball parallel Division 1 located underground out in suburban Maryland somewhere, and COB’s redundant facility under Groom Lake at a Black Installation called Area 51.6666666666.

    “The Self Code”–soon to be a global best seller.

  • @jaybate-1.0

    So… unless the NEW Wayne takes it to the rack… or Cheick comes through with a lot of offense… we’ll be looking at a season of BAD BALL?

  • @drgnslayr

    I think BAD BALL offended Self’s sense of aesthetics–his sense of the beauty of the game.

    He was Dr. Frankenstein creating something monstrous to get through a season that would have driven any other coach in the game today to an implosion season for sure.

    Self did what he had to do.

    Ingenious solutions are not necessarily beautiful solutions. I called Bad Ball by the name I did to call attention to its assault on the beauty of the game, even as it was making the best of a nearly impossible situation.

    But Self (and all geniuses) have to at some point rely on a strong sense of beauty (aesthetics) to keep them from going completely evil with the genius of their strategic and tactical solutions. In science it is called elegance. Bad Ball was only elegant given the awful hand he was dealt. His traditional way of playing, muscular though it has become, is much more elegant and beautiful for a team with a more normal array of options and more normal level of health and talent.

    All of this is a way of saying that he will revert to his traditional brand of High-Low Ball, likely with increased spacing due to the wider lane (I have changed and now think the shorter shot clock is likely going to be irrelevant). He will not revert to BAD BALL except for those short stretches when he decides no on can hit anything, or unless, as you say, Diallo cannot score out of the low post, etc.

    Early on it will be some of both the WUG and the traditional high-low inside attack.

    Ideally, he would like to run both, because it would cause so much trouble for defenses to never be quite sure what they were going to see on each possession.

    But the reality of college players is that they barely seem to be able to master one offense in a season.

    This team might be able to do both, since it is a bit more experienced than recent teams, but it is still green wood compared to his '08 team.

    And did you notice how the team imploded, when he shifted from the four out WUG offense in the last game in the second half and went to Bad Ball? The team just could not make the mental transition at all.

    So: as always, at some point Self will have to choose between his options of how the team defines itself–of “who we are.”

    And for all the reasons I mentioned about D1, I suspect “the man we want on that wall, the man we need on that wall,” will make a rather unpopular decision and revert to his traditional high low game, but not to BAD BALL except situationally.

    He may play a little WUG Ball too situationally, but it will be very intermittently.

    Bill knows BIG.

    If Diallo is as good as everyone says, Self is going to put a saddle on him and leave the fool’s gold for the fools. 🙂

    And we are all going to be crying all season to a .82 or greater W&L statement.

  • @drgnslayr

    I don’t see the new clock making a big difference. According to this link, the two teams with the lowest average number of possession per game are Denver ar 59.4 and American at 59.0; this is a combined 118.4 possession per game or 20.3 second per possession. The two teams with the highest average number of possession per game in Div I are VA Military at 80.1 and NW State at 76.0 or a combined 156.1 possession per game or an average of 15.4 seconds per possession; these are the two extremes and it would be fair to estimate that the average time per possession for all teams is somewhere in the 17-18 second range, so. going from 35 seconds to 30 second will really not make that much of a difference. If I had the time and inclination I could calculate teh standard deviation and I would not be surprised if 98% or more of all possession are under 30 seconds.

  • @JayHawkFanToo This is an interesting analysis, but there is a minor flaw. All plays are not created equal. Most teams will play faster given a good opportunity. A steal for a layup or pressure defense leading to a turnover with a 3 on 1 or a 4 on 2 opportunity will result in shorter plays. This means that the average play time has shortened but the normal offensive time has not. As an example, Virginia will go for an easy basket given the opportunity, but all things being equal they will slow it down and run their offense which may take most of the clock. 30 seconds means that their normal offensive time will be slightly shorter. Things also change during the last 2 to 4 minutes of a game when a team with a reasonable lead will let some of the air out of the ball.

    It is these “normal” offenses and end of game situations where the shorter clock will have an affect. You are correct about 80% of the plays where it will have no direct affect. There is also a small psychological affect when players feel a bit more rushed. This can be seen now when the clock goes under 10 seconds. That is really a lot of time but players frequently don’t think so.

  • @sfbahawk

    This is why I did not attempt to use the actual time of each individual possession but the number of possessions per game which should provide very good approximation of what the average possession time is since it accounts/averages for the short possessions, i.e. turnovers/fast breaks with the longer possessions.

    What is telling is that even when the difference in possession between the team with most and team with the least is 21 possessions per game, the actual difference in time per possession is only 5 seconds.

  • We simply cannot have the same dynamic as last year: too many injuries last season, which are healed (and healing…), and too many new faces on our own roster ever-pushing from behind.

    You cant tell me that adding 6’9 Chieck Diallo, who was the leading scorer in the McDAA game isn’t going to at least give us what Cliff did, if not more. What about 6’9 Bragg. He’s got a face up jumper that we know Lucas does not. Jamari has added the jumper, which I only mention as pure gravy. Hunter Mickelson has proved he was a top50 recruit for a reason, and deserves to play. Ellis is the back-handed beneficiary of my commentary conceptually, as HE is the one getting his personality pushed. I actually saw Perry Ellis cuss out loud, and also being more of a vocal leader than I ever did before during the WUG games.

    We win the WUG gold, but did so with 4 guys sitting out: Svi, Diallo, Green, Graham. That’s a starting 4 on 99% of college teams.

  • Why @jaybate-1.0 Is Correct: All the WUG did is give Self, Mason, Wayne, Ellis another well-rehearsed tool in their bag of options to use in certain situations.

    You cannot logically replace 1 departed McDAA (Cliff) with 2 arriving 6’9 McDAA’s, and not try to play thru the post. And with how desperately “hungry” Lucas, Mickelson, and Traylor are–> they may overachieve, which only helps. To look at it from Lucas, Mickelson, and Traylor’s perspective: they’ve got a hell of a supporting cast…

    Self plays the odds. A .82 master of playing the odds. If you have legitimate post presence threats, that’s always higher percentage play (by approx. 10%) than even NBA’s best 3shooters.
    The fact that Self got Traylor’s FG% for much of 1 season to be highest on the squad at over 60%, tells you where Self’s genius and philosophy lies. Why the heck else would he call the 3 “fools gold” when his own teams routinely run plays and screens to allow open-look 3s? Because its all about p-h-I-l-o-s-o-p-h-y. He wasn’t saying 3 point shots are fools gold, but he meant the philosophy to come down and base your offense on the 3ball first is fools gold. And lookie: it has felled IowaState every time in the Tourney. And even at home in Ames to a lackluster 30’s% FG% KU team.

    Think for a moment about .82. You have to admire the dogged determination to not stray too far from the chuckwagon…this Cowboy knows what he’s doing. But the 1 caveat is that its complicated, not too friendly to frosh, as a system… and also not for the pussy-footin’ types. Gotta be tough.

  • @ralster


    Nothing succeeds like success - Sir Arthur Helps, in Realmah, 1868…and Billy Eugene “Bill” Self, Jr…:)

  • Since @jaybate-1.0 touched on “.82”, which can lead to a discussion of Self and his successes and fails as well, it is worth mentioning that, in my opinion, when you have a tough competitor, like Sherron or Mason or Self as a coach…sometimes you just give them the ball & let them ‘run’ the situation, as they obviously are good at it. In the case of Coach Self and his early exits, I look at it a bit abstractly: he’s a fiery competitor, we all know it. This is his baby. He’s almost always got it figured out, and its up to him and his players to solve (any) issues holding the team back, within the framework of what is possible with a given season’s roster limitations.

    Fiery, competitive guys HATE to lose, and that usually works to their team’s favor.

    Stated another way: Man, I’m not losing any sleep over the Kansas Jayhawks, even if they get bounced out of March Madness. Lose a game, meh… But lose our coach to the NBA or something, then its uh-oh!..(very hard to replace .82…).

Log in to reply