Would You Rather Play Bad Ball and Go Deep, or Good Ball and Exit Early?



  • Self is that man up on the wall.

    The one we want up on the wall.

    The one we need up on the wall.

    What should Self do this season, if Diallo can’t score out of the paint, or if a season ending injury to Diallo renders the inside game the same as last season, only with Bragg being able to hit a few 15 foot Js in relief, but not really being ready to start and play 20-30 mpg?

    Should Self go back to Bad Ball?

    Let’s get very existential and hypothetical here

    Let me pose some questions that everyone hopes will not have to be answered.

    Would you rather Self play Bad Ball and win a conference title, or play good ball and lose a conference title?

    Would you rather Self play Bad Ball and go deep, or play Good Ball and go out early?

    Would you rather Self play Bad Ball and win a ring, or play Good Ball and exit early?

    How important is it to board rats that Self never play Bad Ball again?



  • @jaybate-1.0 said:

    Would you rather Self play Bad Ball and win a ring, or play Good Ball and exit early?

    This is the only one of the questions that really matters and anyone who chooses anything other than the ring has seriously messed up priorities. KU is a program that is ultimately measured by what happens in March/April. I will take 6/7 of the ugliest wins imaginable in March/April if it means hanging another banner in the north end of Allen Fieldhouse over the most aesthetically beautiful basketball anybody has ever seen ever if it doesn’t end with a national title.



  • @jaybate-1.0 Well. Uh. Going deep is always better than exiting early…



  • I would rather the team played well and went deep. I think James T. Kirk pioneered this move at the Starfleet Academy by changing the frame up of the test question. I forget the name of the strategy. It was the something Maneuver.



  • @jaybate-1.0

    If KU plays bad ball this year there will be no Conference tournament Championship. There will be no deep run into the tournament, no winning a national Championship. KU got lucky to even win the conference championship last year playing bad ball towards the end of the season, and finished with a huge thud in the tournament.

    Playing Bad Ball isn’t the mark of a champion or greatness. It’s not heart or desire. It’s not something that should be praised and hailed. Playing bad means you and your team sucks so you muddy up the game.

    If KU plays Bad Ball this year then HCBS needs to be evaluated as a recruiter and HC. This team is ripe for greatness. It has every thing you need to win a championship… It has talent, speed, heart, strength, passion, and it’s deep.

    If KU plays Bad Ball this year HCBS has failed has a HC.



  • @DoubleDD

    You are telling me how it WILL be this year, when no one can know such things. Bad Ball salvaged a conference title, when everything went south. It even won us a game in the Madness, and took us as far in the Madness under adversity, as Good Ball has some years under healthy circumstances.

    I on the other hand am just asking hypothetically, but plausibly, what if Self read the battle field and correctly assessed that the team’s best chance to win a ring were to play Bad Ball? Would you rather go out early, or win a ring? Or even just go deep rather than go out early?

    Self has already proven Bad Ball can salvage a title run when a team has lost much of its fire power and has no inside game.

    Bo Ryan proved what it can do with a few talented players.

    Imagine what it might do with as much talent and experience as most think KU will have this season!

    Would you really want Self NOT to play BAD BALL if that were the way he thought the team had the best chance to win the ring?

    Would you rather lose a ring and play Good Ball?



  • @DoubleDD P.S.: what I am saying here is you sound a bit like the British complaining about George Washington’s guerrilla tactics, or Westmoreland about Ho Chi Minh.

    Would you rather win, or would you rather things didn’t change.

    I wish the refs would call it fairly and recruiting asymmetries favored KU, but things have changed and we have to adapt or die, before we can start tipping the rules back our way.



  • @jaybate-1.0 I would answer as follows – would I be fine with “bad ball” if it meant a national title? Sure. Easy. Would I be fine with “bad ball” if it meant a conference title. No. Not a chance. The national title is all I care about.

    Your premise assumes that Bad Ball is the only answer. I’m not sure when that would be the case.

    I also think that your premise is incredibly flawed. You presume that Bad Ball brought us something positive last season. You presume that Bad Ball “salvage(ed) a title run.”

    In fact, it truth – Kansas won the conference title in spite of Bad Ball. Bad Ball nearly destroyed our conference season, and it destroyed our hopes of a deep March run. It also produced one of the most embarrassing Kansas losses in recent memory – getting blown out by the team (WSU) we won’t play.

    In what will go down as one of the absolute worst decisions in Self’s tenure as Kansas’ head coach, Self changed our offensive approach after the game at Texas Tech.

    Self took a team that was functioning well offensively, a team that had really found an identity, and he tore its heart out.

    The numbers do not lie. Self by word and by deed attacked and dismantled what had led Kansas to 21-4 record. This is undeniable. We were an “outside in” team by Self’s own admission. We were nailing three pointers and solid rate. This went against Self’s dogmatic philosophy. Self was not able to accept that his way, was not the only way. So acted much like a child would – he took his ball and went home. He shut down the outside shooting game in favor of Bad Ball.

    But whatever the reason, it was a horrible decision. It was horrible decision then, it is a horrible decision in retrospect.

    We saw Bill Self implement a pathetically simple approach (the perpetual weave) that would make a high school coach cringe. And thus against teams like ISU and WSU, teams with good coaches and solid personnel, we were exposed.

    Following our home game vs. Baylor (vs. a zone defense), Bad Ball led us to a 5-4 record to finish in conference play. 10-2 conference record before, 5-4 conference record after (including Big 12 tourney). Spin doctors can do what they want with that, but the numbers don’t lie.

    Bad Ball also led us to a 2nd round loss to Wichita St. The WSU game was one of the most embarrassing losses in Self’s tenure and put an explanation point on the futility of the Bad Ball experiment.

    Meanwhile, we watched other teams play the sort of game that fit our personnel – all while making much deeper runs in the NCAA tournament. We saw another coach in particular, Tom Izzo, discard his conservative system and embrace the sort of game that fit his team’s strengths.

    Bad Ball? Please. If we are making the assumption that Bad Ball gets us a national title? Sure. Heck, I’d wear a red dress and dance the watusi for a national title. But the chances of Bad Ball giving us a national tile and the red dress/watusi thing coming to fruition are equally remote.

    Reality says --> Play with a real offensive scheme. Play with your (Self’s) offensive scheme. But be flexible. Permit that scheme to highlight the players’ individual skills.

    That’s the mistake he made last season. He made a wholesale switch. Our offense was dumbed down. Our skills were not highlighted.

    The most important thing to note: Now is the time for Self to plan for the failure of his high-low – for example, a lack of back to the basket scoring. Not in February. Now. What is a competent fall back?

    I would suggest that Self’s experience in the WUGs has given him his answer. Since he “learned a lot”, we can be hopeful. My hope on the “learned a lot” thing is that he has learned that there really is more than one way to skin a cat, and that he really believes it now.

    How about approaching offense as if there is a 24 second clock? That would be a good start.



  • @HighEliteMajor

    I am posing hypotheticals here and some premises that are not at all far fetched. I am not assuming these premises are the only ones possible. It is everyone else that is assuming away Bad Ball’s value and that is a very reductive way of thinking about our offensive strategy for the coming season.

    What I am assuming is follows.

    I assume that Bad Ball is never the only option.

    I assume Bad Ball is one of many options, at least after Self borrowed drive ball from Bo Ryan at UW and then extrapolated it to its logical extreme, as near total reliance on impact-space-shrinking BAD BALL.

    I am inferring from last season that the results of Bad Ball can really only be rationally interpreted with high probability one of two ways.

    The first way–the most conservative assessment–is that Bad Ball was at least as effective as any other option then feasible; i.e., it resulted in a best of all possible outcome under the horrendous injury and talent deficit circumstances. It resulted in a .500 stretch at the end of the season that salvaged the title, won two games in the conference tournament and won at least the first game in the Madness with a team:

    a.) lacking a credible low block presence the entire season; b.) a team decimated by injuries by the start of the late .500 stretch to the point that its best player (Ellis) was reduced to a punching bag with a charley horse (after being highly productive for a short stretch of playing Bad Ball in good health);

    c.) its best trey baller on the wing (Greene) was playing operable and growing increasingly ineffectual from trey (or doing anything else for that matter);

    d.) its best wing (Selden) could neither create at the rim, nor make open looks at the trey stripe reliably regardless of how KU attacked all season long (and he certainly did no worse playing Bad Ball than he had playing the various approaches Self had tried earlier in the season);

    e.) the team’s first perimeter backup–Graham–was injured down the stretch and saw his trey balling and play in general falter;

    f.) the team’s projected phenom on the perimeter–Svi–imploded into uselessness early and despite intermittent trials never recovered to be able even to fight over a pick;

    g.) its second best player–Frank Mason–had played so many minutes, because of all the injuries to other players, that his explosiveness was leaving him and he could only really go hard for short stretches of games; and

    h.) the probability of Frank slumping from trey down the stretch was rising with each game down the stretch, because he had not yet had his trey shooting slump all season.

    The 500 stretch–it was kind of miraculous that BAD BALL yielded even a .500 stretch down the horrors of the injury jungle that took the team completely off the Burma Road and into passage overland by way of the jungle.

    But my common sense, and my analytics, lead me to argue that BAD BALL was not just a wash with other possible paths Self might have taken, but an absolutely brilliant strategic improvisation to the most difficult injury circumstances and talent deficits Self has ever faced. And thinking this brings me to the other way of thinking about BAD BALL last season.

    Let me restate the above.

    The second and more probable interpretation is of course that BAD BALL by going .500 resulted in a vastly superior result to what would have happened with ANY other approach; that it salvaged a title, won two conference tourney games, and won one game and that no other offensive approach would have yielded half as good of a result.

    Self could not call in Nic Moore and Julian Debose.

    Self could not turn Wayne Selden around apparently in time for him to create at will and make everything okay under any system he tried.

    Self could not depend on Svi’s trey, because Svi could not stay with his own shadow over a pick.

    Self did not have Mr. Keep the Ball Alive and score 12 garbage points without turnovers in Mickelson last season. When he put Mickelson in Mickelson always looked kind of good, but then his TOs and post guarding hurt more than he helped and he was not doing all the good things he did over in Korea. And he got a few looks under both the early style of play and the late style of play. Mickelson just wasn’t ready for whatever reason.

    Jamari injured his leg to the point he couldn’t even do his one trick–exploding out of position on defense.

    Lucas? Lucas was like a cadaver in the post most of the season regardless of whatever approach Self tried early or late.

    Which brings us to Oubre. Oubre was a shell of himself down the .500 stretch. Self could have played clear out the side for Kelly every trip and Kelly would not have been able to do much more than he did. He had a bum wheel all season that got better briefly in the middle third and then reduce him to a decoy down the .500 stretch.

    So: Self had Mason going good all season, Ellis finally finding his ass with both hands in the mid to late conference season, and Greene improving to the middle of the season and then playing operable the second half of the season and deteriorating steadily.

    So: Self then had Mason and Ellis. But then Ellis got injured and was basically a shell of himself during the .500 stretch.

    So: Self then had Mason.

    And Frank had the lingerie and all the signs of wear and tear and gimpy knees from too many minutes played. And Frank played in bursts. And a betting man that plays probabilities had to be betting that Frank was going to slump sooner or later in the season from trey.

    Now, I ask you: what offense could possibly have done half as well as BAD BALL did?

    Maybe the Knight/Coach K motion offense, but that takes players a long time to learn and really only thrives with effective big men. Oh, and Self has never coached our guys to play that actually reasonably complicated offense a day in their lives before this season.

    How about the Dribble Drive? Well, hmmm, wasn’t that in effect what Self had the team doing? Putting on the deck every chance they got from all positions and driving it? And he had them doing it without having to junk the High Low formations and team them new formations and new reads, right?

    Hey, what if Self had just stayed in the High Low Formations as he did, and he had listened to you and I urge him to spike the 3ptas?

    Welllllll, down the stretch he would have had exactly one good trey baller (Mason) inching ever closer to a slump that was not either operable, or on a slow heal from a blown wheel, or concussed, or what have you.

    Does anyone seriously think that green lighting operable Brannen Greene, or cotton candy knee Oubre, or leg injured Devonte, or exhausted Frank Mason, or Svi in a season long slump with no D, to salvage the season with trey balling was a remotely sensible strategy that would have won at more than a .250 rate?

    I mean last season you and I could indulge ourselves in the statistical advantage of spiking the trey, when we did not know that Greene was operable, that Devonte was going to get injured, that Selden was NEVER going to come around in the season, that Oubre was NEVER going to heal during the season.

    But Self knew.

    Self was on the wall, as you said.

    Self made the hard decision, as you said.

    And he miraculously won .500 down a stretch that most coaches would have goose egged by trying to stay with the same old same old, or panicking and turning the injured trey ballers loose.

    Self went waaaaaay outside the envelope and bought a .500 stretch that no other strategy I can think of could probably have achieved.

    And the scary thing to those that don’t like BAD BALL is this: if BAD BALL can win at .500 in that situation, it can probably kick as and take names later with everyone healthy and a couple of new big man adds that might actually be able to score if Frank drives and dishes to them.

    With everyone healthy, and with the talent we have, I would really like to see Self spike the 3ptas to 25-30 per game, but really I would like to see all possessions start with a 3pta and then try other things on the rebound. It is so statistically sound it is goofy not to play it that way.

    But even I will not rule out the possibility that BAD BALL might win at a higher percentage than any other approach out their with a full deck of talent in good health.

    BAD BALL may be to this generation of the game what Dean’s Four Corner’s Offense was to the late 1970s. Everyone hated Dean’s Four Corners Offense that started as a stall and then became an actual offense, whenever opponents tried to stall on UNC. Dean’s four corners force a rules change to a shot clock and even then it still worked frequently. And Dean had the greatest talent of his time year after year for several seasons.

    Good Lord!

    If Self were to break out of the recruiting asymmetry and finally start getting the amount of talent that his expertise and W&L statement and ring suggest he SHOULD be getting, and he plays BAD BALL with the BEST TALENT out there, he might well go undefeated for several seasons.

    It is a wicked, ugly thing to do to the game of basketball as surely as was Dean’s Four Corners, but the rules permit it and it went .500 with a bunch of injured guys and modest talents that shouldn’t have done better than .250 down the stretch.

    The ugly, hated offensive strategies that get discovered occasionally are like vampires. They keep coming back to haunt the game until they finally prevail and the game changes the rules to stop them.



  • @HighEliteMajor

    I agree. We have very little chance of winning a NC playing Bad Ball.

    I define Bad Ball as only coming to play one side of the ball - defense. I agree with Self in the importance of defense. I don’t agree with making defense such a focus that we discount offense.

    Teams that really play ball, do so on both sides of the ball. Offense and defense should have a synergistic relationship; both able to create energy for the other side when making big plays. That is what successful teams do.

    I’m definitely a “Bill Self man” and not a “Roy Williams man.” I never want to trade defense for offense. But why would anyone ever think that is what has to happen? As I said above… both sides of the ball FEED each other!

    Getting Bill to change is like pulling teeth. He won’t even use some zone, even when losing (except on rare occasion). I don’t see him getting away from the hi/lo even if we get stuck with a team without a player taller than 6’6". That poor 6’6" player would become famous in the NCAA stat book for having more shots blocked in a single season than anyone in history.

    But really… the only thing we have to complain about is not winning a NC since 2008. Not many teams around with so little to complain about. And though Bill doesn’t change much, even when the ship is sinking, we do seem to get the maximum out of our M2M and hi/lo because he refuses to abandon it. But I do wonder if we mixed it up more would we get more out of the M2M and hi/lo because teams would have to prepare for more than that to play us?



  • @drgnslayr

    I am no where near able to say with confidence that BAD BALL cannot win a ring.

    Put a top 15 draft choice point guard out front, and a draft choice 5 and a draft choice 3, and adequate glue and reserves, and have them healthy and playing Bad Ball, and I would bet on them as a high probability champion.

    It is a relentless offense.

    It is grueling for defenses to guard.

    It is VERY offensive to the eye, but it is also attack minded and highly efficient.

    And almost 100 percent X axis oriented.

    NBA Fred realized how effective it was and copied it in the middle of the season last year. He used it at least half the time down the stretch.

    Once great players are harnessed to BAD BALL, I suspect it will be damned near unstoppable for awhile.

    Defenses always catch up eventually, but it will be very, very, VERY tough to control any game against a BAD BALL team with a Top 15 draft choice point guard. Maybe impossible.

    Imagine Derek Rose playing BAD BALL for a season.

    Cal and Memphis probably would have beaten our great 08 team with BAD BALL.

    It is such an edge in the fouling department.

    I hate it, but it is fabulously sound strategically and tactically.



  • P.S.: its only weakness is how much effort your top three players have to expend and how much contact they have to take when attacking to shrink impact space and draw fouls on every shot attempt.

    But heck, every system has pluses and minuses.



  • @jaybate-1.0 Im for winning the conference, winning a ring, dont care much how he does it this season. 12 in a row would be legendary. 12 in a row plus an NC ring would cement him into the HOF, right next to Iba and Smith and Wooden et al.



  • @jaybate-1.0

    Of course any true Jayhawk fan would take a win any way the they can. However the truth of the matter is playing Bad Ball means your team sucks. It means you can compete with the opposing team, It means you’re being out coached, It means you can’t stop the other team from kicking your tail. It means you have no players to run a real system. If you play bad ball all year it means no championships and no celebrating. I’ve seen enough of it to understand what it is.

    Bad Ball is like that boxer that keeps wrapping up the other fighter because he’s kicking his ass. By the way Bad didn’t win a conference championship last year. In fact it damn near cost KU the streak. I find nothing to be proud of the way KU finished the season last year.

    Even the great George Washington wouldn’t run such a plan of action… To risky and could cost to many lives.

    Bad Ball is keeping the ball game close with the hope that you can pull it out in the end. Well as we found out last year. KU didn’t always pull it out in the end. 😞

    I say be gone with bad ball.



  • @jaybate-1.0

    And one more thing you’re like one of those first generals the Old Abe had to let go or fire. As he needed a man of war with a real plan.



  • @jaybate-1.0

    I look at Bad Ball like I look at teams that don’t play d but have great offense. These strategies can win games… but much harder to win a championship. Not impossible… just more difficult.



  • @jaybate-1.0 I was thinking about how our team was built: this is essentially the most NBA style of team Bill has ever had. And, I am interested to see if he realizes it/what he does with it.

    These are obviously not perfect comparisons**

    • A scoring PG. Mason = Kyrie, Curry, CP3, Lillard, Westbrook.
    • True Stretch 4. Perry = Love, Bosh, Draymond. This has to be a weapon we use this year to open the lane for Wayne, Frank and Devonte.
    • A couple of uber athletes on the wing. Selden and Svi. = LeBron, Paul George, Durant. Obviously to a lesser extent, but the impact provided is similar.
    • Sharshooter(s) (Hopefully Greene isn’t lonely) = Danny Greene, J.R. Smith. Always a time and a place for a big 3 ball to shift momentum.
    • Platoon style 5s that each offer a unique skillset to be utilized at certain times and with certain matchups. (Mozgov and Thompson. Or Bogut, Ezili, Speights.

    Because of this, bad ball can take a backseat this year and allow us to push the tempo and really have a much more free flowing offense. We should be able to open the lane and really see what Perry, Wayne and Frank can do. I can feel a bit of a switch coming from Self, as it needs to before he makes his inevitable NBA jump.



  • @DoubleDD

    Funny, I have always fancied myself more Grant or Sherman than Rosecrans or McClelland.

    I rather enjoy burning things in my path, staying engaged with an enemy, and keeping him uncertain which way I will go next–Savannah, or Mobile, before going for the jugular in Savannah, when he is absolutely helpless to stop me.

    But then I see myself as a peaceful type, too.

    😉



  • @DoubleDD said:

    Bad Ball is keeping the ball game close with the hope that you can pull it out in the end. Well as we found out last year. KU didn’t always pull it out in the end.

    I say be gone with bad ball.

    By this criterion, we have to do away with all the ways Bill has played it, except the 2008 way, because KU has never gotten it done any of the other ways any of the other years. 🙂

    No, I think I will stick with Bill’s version of Dean’s, Larry’s and Eddie’s development of Henry’s High Low, thank you very much.

    You can throw the baby out with the bath water if you want, but I will carry on with evolution by a contemporary genius any day.



  • @Kcmatt7

    I agree that this team “could” have a lot of weapons and the experience to make wise use of them, too, if…

    Diallo can be a credible post defender, rebounder, and low block scoring threat against D1 bigs game in and game out. And if he can play Lottery pick bigs in the tournament to a wash in those categories, then the team has a chance to play for a ring.

    But the odds of Diallo being able to do all these things as a freshman at his size are pretty slim.

    It would mean Diallo would be way better than Danny Manning was as a freshman. Very, very, VERY big mountain for Diallo to climb. Not impossible, but improbable.

    And if Diallo can defend and rebound up to these standards, but still not be a credible low block scoring threat, then this team would be sharply better defensively and on the glass than last season, but offensively the team would be pretty much back to where it was last season, only hopefully healthier on the perimeter, if…Greene heals, and the plague of injuries finally ceases after the last few seasons of playing operables.

    If Diallo can’t score on the low block and if injuries come in flurries again, Bad Ball may well have to be resorted to.

    But even in a best case scenario, Self has to wonder what Bad Ball might do with better players fully healthy played by a more experienced team with more talent in the paint on both ends.

    Such a team could be very fierce at Bad Ball.

    It will be interesting to see how Self plays it.



  • @jaybate-1.0

    Look at the hi/lo like it is the B-52. A utility bomber that has been around long past it’s critics and has been updated several times to accomplish different purposes. This year it will get new engines again… with the speed up of the time clock. This is a plane with great bones and was (and is) only limited by the imagination of the engineers on what it can still do.

    But at some point we might consider jumping to a modern aircraft because the advantage is gone from completing another overhaul versus utilizing a modern aircraft.

    defense-b52.jpg



  • @jaybate-1.0 I very much so disagree with you. You are saying that a lot of our season depends on Diallo scoring in the low block. I would say that is not what we need Diallo to do. We need him to play rim to rim in transition. We need him to be able to alter shots and stop people from driving the lane. And, we need him to catch easy oops. That is it. Because if we need something else we have another big to give it to us!

    Hunter: Can score and space the lane with a nice midrange jumper. Can rebound. Can be a spark on offense when Diallo is giving us nothing.

    Lando: Can push smaller defenders around with ease. Will be times when we see easy lobs to him this year. Can rebound and D-up with larger bigs that push Diallo and Hunter around.

    Bill needs to be able to recognize when it will be appropriate to play each player. While each one of them may be flawed individually, those 3 together create serious problems and mismatches at the 5.



  • @jaybate-1.0

    Even the 300 Spartans or so didn’t run into the madness and their timely death. No they stayed together and stayed true to what they were, and how they fought. You see the sheer numbers met nothing to them. It was the precision of the style of fighting on the battle field that allowed them to make their mark on history.

    Bad Ball is to abandon who you are even if you cut your teeth on the great High/Low or Muscle Ball. There is nothing ugly about the high/low when it’s run right with the right people. It’s like a puncher throwing body shot after body shot setting up the knock out punch. In fact it’s quite beautiful to watch.

    Bad Ball is none of these. Every time I watch a team play Bad Ball I feel the game of basketball takes a step backwards.



  • @drgnslayr

    It is interesting you use fixed technologies as a metaphor. Airplanes are designed, retrofitted with a few new subsystems and used until they are obsolete and then mothballed and scrapped.

    I view the Multiple Offense as much more like the expressed doctrine and strategy of the Marine Corp.

    Doctrine and strategy just keep being amended, or erased and rewritten to fit the technology, battlefield and opponent. But the Marine Corp just keeps coming in as teams and embracing tactics as strategy. It is what keeps them surviving until they can figure out the tactics that can become the new strategy to finish enemies off. It never gets old.

    There is nothing to throw away except maybe the weapons and gear from the last war that needs to be replaced with new gear and weapons. So sometimes Self throws away the three point play, and sometimes Self throws away scoring on the low block, and sometimes Self throws away all perimeter action, and sometimes he goes back to perimeter action. If he hasn’t got a single big man that can rebound, he rebounds with his perimeter. If he had great inside rebounding he schemes shots that produce short rebounds. If he has no centers that can walk and chew gum, then he designs a post committee that doesn’t walk and chew gum. His flexibility is stunning. Where the notion that he is not flexible arose is hard to explain. I think it has to do with Self seeing clearly what his teams can and cannot do, and what they must be able to do, and what it does not matter that they cannot do, and stubbornly persisting in finding ways to enable them at what they can and must do to be winners, which they tend to turn out to be. Self’s teams always wins SOMETHING; that’s the difference between Self’s teams and other coaches’ teams these days. Other coaches, if the Petro gods bless them, win with a few more with stacks. One or two coaches actually are a little better at certain things than Self. But only Self’s teams win SOMETHING EVERY year.

    The Marine Corp’s team philosophy and doctrine of flexible response and tactics becoming strategy never seem to age to me, or to them, or to their enemies, that mostly end up wishing they were the Marine Corps allies.

    Self philosophy is play it any way they want via the flexible response doctrine of Multiple-Offense that morphs to take the many forms of High-Low aka the Carolina Passing aka the Four Flat, aka the 4 out one in, and so on. The opponent match-ups determine the tactics and over the course of a game the tactics become the strategy.

    It never gets old.

    No other active coach has kept winning at his rate for the last 11 seasons without stacks.

    No other coach has won more rings without more seasons of superior material.

    Self’s offensive schemes vary more year to year than any of the other ring winning coaches that I can think of, because the Multiple Offense is so flexible that he can vary it more that Knight’s motion offense, or Cal’s Dribble Drive.

    Calhoun embraced Self Ball at UConn and won a couple rings with the Multiple Offense, Ollie won one, Self won one, Roy won two with a variation of it–it is actually doing well.

    The only offenses giving it a serious run are the Knight Motion Offense that Consonants runs that Capel could not make run at OU, Pitino’s offense, which I have never investigated, and the Judd Heathcote oddity that Izzo continues.

    I suppose if Bob Huggins ever finds a way back on to the recruiting gravy train and gets some guys that can not only guard but shoot, then his father’s idiosyncratic old offense might have some feasibility, too.

    The Dribble Drive is already petering out. Cal has proven that it squanders talent. Even those apparently stacking the talent with Cal appear no longer to believe in it and Cal, or at least are starting to hedge their bets. They appear to be diversifying to LSU and Cal, among other places. I don’t know what Johnny Jones runs yet, but if I recall correctly he was influenced by Pitino. Cuonzo plays a variety of Okie Ball filtered through Haskin’s disciple Nolan Richardson that is frankly VERY close to Self Ball.

    And if we are honest, Fred was running a 4 out 1 in variation of the high low, and when the going got tough, last season, he copied BAD BALL lock, stock and ugly barrel.

    No, I have to say we have state of the art right now.

    We have Picasso and he has a really big flipping palate and everyone is trying to paint like him, regardless of what offense they run.

    And our Picasso is morphing through phases faster than most of us can keep up with.

    Only genius is able to invent BAD BALL the second half of a season, then shift to Four Flat, and Four Out One WITH NO ACTION, only a couple of months later, and win a conference title on the one hand, and a WUG championship on the other–both times without most of the players he was supposed to need even to be competitive available much of the time in both seasons.

    Its like a hat trick with only one hat.

    Magic baby.

    Pure Houdini.


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