Sleeping On Kansas Basketball In 2015-16 Would Be A Huge Mistake


    Kansas should be considered the favorite for the national championship just like the expected 2015-16 elite teams such as the Maryland Terrapins and North Carolina Tar Heels.

  • I don’t think anyone is sleeping on KU this year. Especially when Duke & Kentucky are rebuilding after dream season’s. Kentucky looks even better now that Murray was great in the Pan Am games. When you look at the projected top 20 teams there isn’t a ton of separation even in the top 10.

  • “Bill Self is an elite college basketball coach, Kansas is an elite college basketball school and the 2015-16 Jayhawks are an elite college basketball team. Don’t make the error I almost did, because sleeping on the Jayhawks will be the biggest mistake any person or any team makes next season.”

    I know this may open a can of worms… I am very happy we have our conference streak. It is helping hype Kansas basketball. I’m not discounting NCs… but when you put '08 and '12 (runner-up) with our conference streak, we are the definite powerhouse in the Midwest.

  • As I recall our biggest weakness last year was a lack of an inside game, and please correct me if I’m wrong. I know we’ve added some inside guys, but rookies are always a crapshoot.

    So the question in my mind is did we add enough of an inside presence to support the great talent we have outside the paint?

    Cheick, Hunter, Landen, Carleton, your table is ready.

  • @wissoxfan83

    No doubt, we have a lot riding on Cheick to perform as a freshman.

    And you are right… it is hard to count on freshmen… look at Cliff!

    But Cheick has an insane motor and a desire to go get the ball. He needs a lot of offensive polishing, but we are not counting on him for points so much as for defense and rebounding. Those areas are most about hustle and attitude… two characteristics that he is full of. His big time motor should help him adjust to the quicker speed of D1 versus a guy like Cliff… who was never even considered to be in shape while at Kansas. There was always talk about him needing better conditioning. His game was slo-mo compared to Cheick.

  • @drgnslayr IF I remember correctly Cliff was supposed to have a great motor too… I look at Cheick and Cliff as on the same level especially since they are higher ranked recruits that were defensive specialists. Here are the reports on Cheick and Cliff respectively:

    Cheick (from ESPN): Diallo has a terrific motor. He competes at a high level on both ends of the floor. He rebounds on both ends with two hands at rim level. He runs the floor with extra long strides where he finishes with power. Diallo simply attacks the opponent. He is capable of defending both post positions as well. Diallo is a finisher, rebounder and top notch shot blocker and defender. Call him an eraser or a rim protector, either is appropriate.

    Cliff (from ESPN): Alexander is a big mobile post that is a terror on the glass. He snatches everything that comes off in his area with force and is not afraid to put his body on his opponent. He also was active and blocked shots in and out of his area. Alexander did a great job with screen and roll situations as well. He set wide screens and rolled hard to the rim which he dunked when he received the pocket pass. He also showed a nice hook over his left shoulder. Alexander ran the floor and played with good urgency at all times.

    Both of these guys had strong motors, great rebounders, can defend, but have a limited offensive game. This is just one outlet (one that I don’t always agree with).

    My point is this, I am not relying on Cheick to be the answer to all of our interior problems, I am relying on Cheick, Bragg, (improved) Mickelson, (improved) Perry, Landon and Mari to fix our problems from last year.

  • Alexander’s problem was court awareness. He didn’t know where he was supposed to be on the court when our PG called out plays. When HCBS is calling a set play from the bench and you are to stupid to figure out what play is being called or where to place your self you get to sit and think about it for a while. He was actually just starting to figure it out when everyone found out about his off the court issues. Another year would have done him wonders. All of these kids coming out of high school say the same thing “I didn’t know there was this much more to basketball”. Vick and Bragg said they were learning new stuff daily when they were interviewed just before the WUG.

  • @mihawk

    Concerning the “great motor”… Cliff’s “great motor” related in context to his thick size. He had a great motor for a guy his thickness.

    Cheick is much thinner… with a real basketball player build. No body fat. He can run circles around Cliff.

    Part of Cliff’s low minutes at Kansas related to him getting winded too quickly. Bill wanted to keep him fresh, not only so he could be more effective, but the thought was he would foul less if he wasn’t too winded.

    The word on Cheick is that you can leave him out there for an entire game and he hustles the same in the last 30 seconds of the game as he did in the first 30 seconds. I believe he might even be quicker than TRob… a major accomplishment! I’m talking theory here… players have to prove themselves… same with Cheick.

  • @wissoxfan83

    The inside presence involves both sides of the ball. We all thought Cliff would be a good 2 way player and well he never proved to be that. Whatever the reason, he wasn’t the B2B player we needed nor the defender we needed. He did block shots but his post defense & guarding out to the line were not even average.

    Diallo is a major defensive upgrade, he will block more shots & get more rebounds than any Hawk if he starts. His rim protecting will be something that could easily negate 6-10 pts per game at the rim (blocks + alters). He should be quick enough to guard off ball screens & be a better position defender. He isn’t the B2B player but I think he will be so active that points will come his way. Bragg should be a good backup to Ellis being a stretch the floor athlete who can rebound and get on the floor for loose balls. He’s a huge upgrade to Traylor who is so limited on both sides of the ball. Mickelson’s emergence this summer also gives us a chance to have 3 basically new bigs. We will score more points per game if these 3 can establish roles in the rotation.

    You are right the Freshman could be a crapshoot but I think by committee with Hunter we will see a lot more production.

  • @drgnslayr That is a really good point to make about his size vs motor. Because when he was on the floor he would go hard until he got tired… then he would be sluggish.

    Dont get me wrong, i am VERY excited to see Cheick dress in the crimson and blue. I just hope that he is not a one and done for both KU and Cheick’s sake. He won’t be an impact guy right away in the NBA, but I am probably wrong on that too.

  • Look how tall Svi is! If he can still handle the rock like a guard HOLY COW!!!svi.jpg

  • Anyone know more about Cheick being eligible? When do classes start for the fall?

  • I think he was playing PG for his country’s U16 team 2 years ago. The guy is supposedly 6’8 1/2" today!

  • @clevelandjayhawk KU’s admissions and NCAA Clearinghouse are two separate standards. Diallo already took second session summer school classes so he will be taking classes when fall semester stars next month. His problem is his HS is basically a diploma mill so NCAA is going over all of his classes with a fine tooth comb, but there is no indication that Diallo will be ruled ineligible.

  • Going into the season, the two big unknowns are Diallo and SVI; all the other players are by know pretty well known in respect to what they can or cannot do. If Diallo and Svi perform as we would like them to perform, then KU is a national contender as they represent the last two pieces in the puzzle, particularly Diallo. If they perform below expectation then all bets are off unless some of the other players step up, specially Mickelson and/or Lucas.

  • @BeddieKU23 I think that our inside players as a whole are good enough to get us to the final four. It will be Self’s job to figure out who is on and who is off given the night. I can see Jamari having a couple of double digit scoring games with his improved outside shot and decent driving ability he showed last year.

    Out biggest problem will be back to the basket scoring. Thats where I hope Bragg and Mickelson can help out because Perry just has troubles scoring with his back to the basket over taller guys and good help defenders

  • @Statmachine I don’t know how tall the cute redhead in this picture is…probably not tall at all. But it does get me very excited about the height we can have in certain lineups. At times we may have Diallo / Ellis / Svi / Greene or Selden on the floor at the same time along with a shorter guy like Mason or Graham. That is some serious length from the 2-5 spot.

  • @JayHawkFanToo I was thinking the same thing. The possible production for both those players is very wide-ranging: they could both be great this year or both me very meh for the season. It looks like their performance will determine the ceiling for the team (though you could say the same thing about Selden).

  • Diallo’s ability as a back to basket player will depend on how long it takes him to learn how to seal a guy under the basket on the low block. Post players knowing angles and how to position themselves under the basket is something NBA GM’s have long been complimentary of about KU bigs.

    Most of Diallo’s points in the half court are going to come from the weak side. Back cuts, screens, and offensive rebounds will be how Diallo scores the majority of his points this year along with fast breaks. Learning how and being able to seal a defender in the high-low will make Diallo a very dangerous weapon for KU so hopefully that is something he can pick up by the time conference play starts and make himself a 30 mpg type of player.

  • @Texas-Hawk-10 I’ve seen some posters on other sites compare Diallo to McKay from ISU. I think it will be fun to watch those two go at it twice or maybe 3 times this year.

    I completely agree that Diallo needs to learn his angles in the post. I think if he really works at it he can probably get 2 or 3 buckets just off of sealing and getting a quick entry pass from the wing. A big part of his game too will be his quickness. He should be quicker than most of the 5s that will be guarding him. so i quick drop step as the pass is coming could be his go to move

  • @Statmachine Cool photo! Who is the red head?

  • @Texas-Hawk-10

    Right on the mark! Well done!

  • @Texas-Hawk-10

    I am sure he will pickup some knowledge about the angles from Perry…or at least I hope he does; Ellis is fundamentally solid and one of the better players in college basketball at playing the angles.

  • @mihawk

    I agree we have a team built for a championship run. I’m sure Mari will have a few games where we are glad he was in the lineup but the fact is he’s so inconsistent. Korea didn’t change anything for him and if anything he was losing a lot of minutes to Hunter & Bragg even without Diallo there. I think Mari will be the 5th or 6th big this year, its why Self signed 2 All-Americans Bigs this off-season.

  • @Lulufulu

    I think that’s @Crimsonorblue22 And she’s 6’2"

  • That red-head is good looking for a midget. I can tell she’s not a dwarf given the lack of a battle axe and elves.

  • I don’t know if its Crimsonorblue22 but her real name is Lauren Keller according to her fb.

  • @VailHawk you crazy guy!

  • @BeddieKU23 Totally agree and I hope we are right. If Jamari doesn’t get many minutes this year that is a great thing. Nothing against our Senior Jayhawk but if he isn’t on the floor much it means more talented guys (Diallo, Perry, Bragg, Mickelson) are getting the minutes. Mickelson played himself into the rotation in Korea. No doubt about it. I am personally hoping we see very little of both Jamari and Landen this year with four better options in front of them in the post.

  • @BeddieKU23 he really is. I mean he’s listed at 6’8" and I don’t think he lives up to that. He’s such a tweener. But he’s so athletic and works hard and will give us a good 10 minutes per game off the bench. For his future, if he truly worked hard all year at being a better dribbler, passer, shooter and overall bball IQ, I could see him getting some more minutes later in the year especially when we face a few of the smaller line ups

  • @mihawk

    We all love Mari, and we are always happy to have a 5th year senior. It’s great for our young guys to learn from our 3 senior’s + 4th year Lucas. His value to the team probably is more a leadership & mentoring role for these freshman than expecting him to be the savior on the court. He was by far the worst performer in Korea. I’m not saying that is the premise for the season but when you add in a disappointing Jr season and continue it through these games you have to wonder what can he bring when Self went out and recruited over him with 2 All Americans.

    He is quick, he can pass, and when his motor is in the right place he brings an infectious active attitude to the team. But he’s a terrible shooter, a below average rebounder (that’s being nice), he turns the ball over at a high rate and he’s too small to bang with bigger guys. I’d say 10 minutes is about his max especially with the options we now have. He has to improve or he’s going to sit, cut the turnovers, make the shots close to the rim and rebound the ball better.

  • This team will be a challenge for Bill Self, because this team will ask him to go outside what he likes to do in order to get the most out of them.

    Self likes to play inside out, but this team (like the last two years) is probably more suited to play outside in. I think playing outside in makes Perry a better player because teams can’t pack in their defense if the threat is constant from the perimeter. Diallo should be asked to score on non-post ups (i.e. drive and dish opportunities, offensive rebounds, etc.). He’s not at a point right now where you can just toss the ball in to him on the block and he can score.

    Meanwhile, you have lots of guys that can get buckets from the perimeter, starting with Wayne Selden and Frank Mason. Add in Devonte, Brannen, Svi and LG, and this squad has quite a few perimeter guys that can put the ball in the basket.

    But the wild card is Bragg. Bragg seems to be a big guy that is better offensively when he faces up than he is with his back to the basket. Self can take advantage of this by putting him in the high post and clearing it out underneath to allow him to use his quickness/ athleticism to his advantage. Self has done that with Perry sometimes, but I think Bragg is actually more equipped to do that because he has more guard like skills and movements.

  • ku1.jpg

  • ku2.jpg

  • diallo1.jpg Diallo in a KU jersey!

  • svi.jpg This makes the BIG 5!!!

  • “Sleeping On Kansas Basketball…”

    Yep… might as well hit the snooze button until March as we coast through the B12 to keep the streak alive… and then see if we can stay awake for March Madness…

    😉 😉 😉 😉 😉 😉 😉

  • 50-best-players-college-basketball-2015-2016

    Diallo, Ellis, and Svi made the list! I figured it would have been Wayne, Frank, and Ellis from KU but scouts always drool over ceiling not production.

  • @Statmachine

    Frank Mason is in the list “ADDED AFTER THE LIST WENT UP.”

    This list is a joke. If they choose to call it “The 50 Best Players in College Basketball for 2015-2016” then no incoming player should be in there, at least not in the top 25 or until they have proved they can play at the next levels; maybe a better name should have been…“The 50 Best Potential Prospects in College Basketball for 2015-2016.”

    When Melo Trimble and Tarczewski manes are in the list I knew that the list is flawed. If Tarczewsli was one of the top 50 players, he would not be playing college ball as a Senior, I saw him at the Pan American Games and was glad he did not come to KU, he cannot rebound, defend or score and Few had him playing at the top of the key…and he cannot score away from the basket…what was he thinking? Rico Suave would have been a much better choice and in this list he is ranked below Tarczewski. As far a Trimble, I did not see any thing at the Pan Am games that indicates he will be one of the top 50 players; he might dominate against weaker competition but on the big stage he disappeared. I could go on…but I am sure we all have our own views.

  • @JayHawkFanToo Agreed. These lists are silly. For reference Cliff Alexander was #2 on this list last year. We all know how that turned out.

  • Cliff didn’t pan out last year BUT these lists are what UK bases their whole season on AND how many final 4’s have they been in over the past 4 years? This season assuming Diallo qualifies we have ONE of the best starting 5 in the country AND our bench IS the BEST in the country! We have a HUGE advantage in the Depth department just like UK had last season! The list might not be the most creditable source to gauge how a season will pan out but if this is how UK gauges their season then why not KU?

  • @Statmachine UK is overrated this year, they won’t be top 5 because they have absolutely no quality depth this year and may not even have real 4 this year either if Skal Labissiere doesn’t get cleared. That said, I’d take their tournament results the past 5 years in a heartbeat with 4 Final Four appearances in the past 5 years.

  • More conformation that Wayne is going to be legit next season! He is a counsoler at the AdidasNations camp right now. Him and Heild are going back and forth against each other!

    Elias Sbiet ‏@Elias_NPH · 14h14 hours ago Garden Grove, CA
    Ben Simmons, Wayne Selden, Kyle Wiltjer top performers today. Skill level smooth, good percentages #AdidasNations

    Sports Mancave ‏@SportsManCave · Jul 31
    "We’re really looking forward to the season to come, because we’ve already got off to a pretty good start.” - Wayne Selden

  • We need this guy to show up every night next season!

  • @Statmachine

    That was sweeeeeeet…

  • @Statmachine There was something on twitter saying Heild was outplaying Wayne? I had no idea what it meant. Was this true or no?

  • @Texas-Hawk-10 Speaking of someone not being cleared. When are we gonna get Diallo cleared?? I dont want to go through half the season waiting for the NCAA to make up their friggin minds on this.

  • @Lulufulu in the first 5 min of the game Hield was putting it on Wayne BUT Wayne finnished the game as usual.

  • He had back to back buckets on Hield directly after the tweet your talking about.

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