Dec 10 Game Day: KU vs Florida

  • photo ###Self says team emotionally ok ahead of Florida game###

    *CJ Online - *As of Monday morning, Kansas coach Bill Self had held only one short practice session with his team following its 75-72 road loss to Colorado.

    ####Last Kansas-Florida meeting a doozy####

    KU Sports - It has been seven years since Bill Self’s Kansas Jayhawks and Billy Donovan’s Florida Gators thrilled the college basketball world in the finals of the Las Vegas Invitational.

    ####ESPN: Bigger problems: Kansas or Kentucky?####

    Andy Katz and Seth Greenberg wonder which powerhouse team might be more flawed this season

    Jayhawks drop out of top 10 in new AP poll

    Kansas University’s men’s basketball team dropped out of the top 10, down to No. 13, in the latest AP Top 25, released Monday.

  • Let’s stop this trend of losing because of a late three-pointer.

    Michigan, Villanova, Colorado… Enough already.

    Let’s stop creating heroes for our opponents.

  • So why is Black listed as a starter in the CJ article? Why not Joel?

  • Oh no, the sky is falling…KU dropped from top 10. This will change soon.

  • @RockChalkinTexas - Because Black’s still starting. We’ve all generally operated under the assumption that starting, playing time, being in at the end of the game … all of that stuff is earned with coach Self.

    Odd, but I think the discussion Self apparently had with Kelly Oubre that was well publicized fits with what is going on here with Black. Oubre was (apparently) told that if he’d come to KU, he take Wiggins’ spot in the lineup. Sounded like at least a quasi-guarantee.

    Tarik Black has been an unmitigated disaster. Whatever the reason or circumstance, Black was supposed to be a rock in this lineup. Protect Ellis. Bring physicality. Rebound. Give us good minutes. Let Embiid develop. Remember all of the talk that Embiid might never start this season?

    He has been none of that, and worse. He has been a fouling machine. I can only remember one Black foul where I thought it was a bad call (and I don’t recall the game). But nothing stands out. Even when he’s played, he’s been just ok. He’s shown some flashes, but just a few.

    The discussion on Black is just reality. That reality can change tonight. It’s not “trash Tarik Black.” It is what it is. And it’s exactly what Memphis fans said when we took him in. And it’s exactly what the stats told us before he arrived.

    Two rationales for Black continuing to start:

    1. Self provided a guarantee to Black that if he would come to KU, he would have a starting spot. The competition was fierce in the spring to sign Black – a lesson in supply and demand. Hard to imagine it was for the entire season; maybe for a certain amount of games, or through the break. Don’t know.

    2. Self sees Black starting as being immaterial. He lets Black come in, do his foul thing, and brings Embiid in. Perhaps seeking to protect Embiid from those early fouls.

    If it was option 2, Self might have alluded to that. He hasn’t. Further, Embiid can foul as easily in the second 5 minutes of the game as the first 5 minutes.

    To me, it’s pretty clear that Black got a guarantee of some sort. In listening to the press conferences, no one has asked coach Self that question. There is no doubt Embiid should be starting over Black. That can’t even debated.

    Heck, I think there is a good argument to start Traylor over Black; and even Lucas over Black right now.

  • Beat Florida. This would be a good win on the road. I think we have a great chance. I’d like Florida healthy though.

  • I’m ok with Black starting for the next few games, until Embiid improves his fouling rate as well.
    Him coming off the bench has been providing a nice spark and keeps some of the pressure off of him as well. Plus he is playing majority of the minutes anyway.

    The hope is that Embiid continues to progress at this rate and by conference season, he is playing 30+minutes without foul trouble.

    Speaking of fouling, and in reference to another post about Zone defense, does anyone know if any of the “Self-style defense oriented” teams (Michigan St., Louisville, other Big10 teams) have adapted to different strategy/philosophy this season?

  • @HighEliteMajor - I’d like to challenge your criticism of Black… I’d like to… and if I can think of a way to do it, I will… but I just can’t make a case defending Black. I know his teammates like him and he’s been like a leader to the freshmen.

    I thought his leadership was a good thing… but not sure anymore. Some of his fouling tendencies have bled over into Embiid’s game. He works with Embiid in practice… that one tendency Black has where he puts just a little body on the shooter at the end and it does nothing to stop him from scoring but guarantees a whistle has become his trademark foul. That’s a foul that drives me crazy because it is easily avoidable and just requires staying focused on the game. Now I’m seeing JoJo do it, too. It’s a big man foul that is old school. Years back… before the rules junk, big guys would get away with the really small contact because refs considered them clumsy and in enough foul trouble anyways. It was just a psychological move to let the shooter know he’s close to getting hit with a big body. Most of those fouls have been cleaned up over the past 10 years and now they are a guarantee call. It’s like watching “retro ball” from the past (every time he does that).

    Maybe Black will come on strong eventually. If he does, I know the entire team would respond along with him. But can he? He did have that one nice start. Was that the Towson game? And it seemed like it helped motivate the rest of the team.

    I like Black… and I hope he gets it together… for himself and for his team. I’m sure he wants to do well and I know he cares about this team. That’s a good start… now he has to learn how to execute.

    @FarSideHawk - I think Izzo has partially backed down from some of his typical pressure defense. At least, that’s what I saw in their game against Kentucky. They could have pinched down on Randle. Izzo already knew that he could reduce Randle’s impact by sinking in a guard to attack Randle’s move in the post. He basically let it go the entire game.

    I commented in here about it. How Izzo eased off of Kentucky. He did. I’m still not sure if that was to prevent fouling… or to not show Kentucky how they’ll beat them in March. I tend to think the later, because leaving his post players isolated on Randle brought foul trouble, too.

  • Why I believe this I do not really know, but I believe that we’ll win with relative ease. KU is a more talented team than Florida, and I think there’s some embarassment over the two losses and dud against UTep.

    @HEM, do you comment on Yahoo? Someone does who uses the same profile pic you do.

  • Florida is in a world of hurt… we should beat them. But sometimes teams react well from injury and put up a big fight.

    I’m thinking we come out fast, build a nice lead… and we either hold on for a tight win or we blow it at the end. We might have foul troubles again.

    Or maybe they come out hot and we have to fight back. That would be awesome if we fell behind by 15 or so and could come back in win one. It would be another good lesson, and one where we didn’t have to suffer another L.

    As you can see, I’m glowing with confidence!

  • Keegen wrote a nice article about the last FL-Kan meeting in 2006. It was an exciting game to be sure defeating the defending NC’s.
    I still have trouble wrapping my mind around the idea that Florida won back to backs in the 2000’s. Billy D is a really good coach who played at the final four with little known Providence.
    Keegen points out all the future pros who played in that game. In general Florida’s guys have done better than KU’s, but we all know that by now. So it raises a question. How much does a college coach care about how his guys do in the pro’s?

  • @drgnslayr : Scottie Wilbekin and Kasey Hill will both play tonight. Is there someone else that is hurt for Florida?

    Good article out of Florida on their side of the preview. GatorZone Article

  • @wissoxfan83 … nope, that’s not me. I tried to trademark the avatar but ran into the obvious problems with that …

  • @drgnslayr - Man, I like Black too. I was never sold on him coming in and being an impact player. I was sold on him being protection, so to speak, for Ellis … big dude, physical. Memphis fans cautioned us. Of course, we as Jayhawks fans figured it was something Pastner was doing wrong … Black didn’t even start his junior year at Memphis. As I posted at the time of the signing on some other website, that should tell us something. But I’m surprised at his ineffectiveness thus far, notwithstanding the foul situation.

    I don’t think Black goes to the scrap heap. But I do think that coming off the bench for him is worth a try. Some guys just do better in that role. Don’t know if it would help. But given the results now, I think bringing Black off the bench is certainly worth a try.

  • @Kip_McSmithers - Yeah, I saw that. Doesn’t mean they can go at 100%. Like I said, sometimes players bring their best games when they are banged up. It must trigger some survival instincts.

    Odds Shark had Kansas as 8-point favorites, but have since lost favor and it looks like we are 2 to 2.5 pt underdogs. I’m guessing it is because Florida has their guards back.

    Florida is small this year. Because of the foul rules, maybe that is an advantage, but we should be able to score in the post. It seems like Self is making all of these pre-conference games mere lessons (more than doing whatever it takes to win), so I’m not counting on us coming in with a strategy to penetrate and/or feed the post… a strategy that would normally be obvious against a match-up like Florida.

    I’ve said it all year… for us we have to look at every game as a battle of who wins the foul war. If we don’t push most of our opponents into foul trouble, they will push us into foul trouble. Our best offense in the foul war is to put them in foul trouble first. Florida is not loaded with depth. This is not a typical Billy Donovan team. He missed out on several recent recruits and it is showing it with this team. But I’d never count Donovan out of a game. He is a fierce competitor and he is as cagy as they come!

    Can’t wait to see the game… if for not other reason to have the opportunity to watch Self vs Donovan.

    If this was March, I’d put my money on Self… because he would be playing this strictly for the win. But I’m not sure since it is December and he’s in school with a bunch of rookies. He may make them do something unconventional just to prove a point or to test them out and see how they respond. I’m not saying Self doesn’t want to win… but I’m saying he is looking at this more as a valuable lesson opportunity. That’s what Izzo always does before January… and his teams always end up playing over their talent level.

    School is in session!

  • @HighEliteMajor - Once again… you nailed it. I never saw Black as a starter when he signed with us. I just thought (naturally) he would be a backup to Embiid, and he would be an “enforcer” in the post. I expected he would be an option for us, especially when facing some beefy post match-ups.

    Because of Black’s experience, he seems to get a pass for starting… something we always question about CS. But… as an upperclassman we should expect good execution. He has been a solid rebounder. But we have to have more out of him because his over/under is showing he is not helping the team enough.

    In some ways I think he gives Perry a free pass to loaf. Perry is another guy I’m coming down hard on because he can dominate at will… so when he isn’t dominating, it is an issue of will. I guess I should look at it in the positive and say that if Perry keeps disappearing on this team, we are guaranteed to have him for another year, because his NBA stock will drop (big time) and this coming year will be a loaded draft.

    As I see it today, it looks like Embiid and Wiggins will be our only early departures to the league this year. That could change. If Perry starts playing “relentless ball” he’ll be up there in the first round. No post player in college has as good of moves as Perry… and it is reflected in his FG%.

  • If it was option 2, Self might have alluded to that. He hasn’t. Further, Embiid can foul as easily in the second 5 minutes of the game as the first 5 minutes.

    HEM, you are a coach–as am I, though I coach baseball. I liken this to the “closer”

    Do you bring your closer in the 6th or 7th, when you know he is only good for two innings at the most?

    Coach has said the last four minutes of the game are the most important. That’s when close games are won or lost.

  • Didn’t Embiid start 2nd half at co?

  • Prather is avg 19.1 pts pg, so if both guards returning at once are the odds buster, I’d still be more concerned about the senior. And Self in his own admission hates to lose more than he likes to win, yet he will undoubtedly get some learning moments from wins also-it’s high time for a quality road win now. Won’t get easier Sat either with New Mexico big Cameron Barstow putting up numbers like these; 19.8 points, 7.1 boards and 2.8 assists. We’ll need Traylor & Black both to protect Joel at Sprint, maybe even Lucas.

  • Hopefully real weapons are not required…we’ve yet to determine one without a night stick.

  • Wilbekin brings senior experience and he’s a glue guy they have to have. Last year he lead Florida in assists… 174… fifth-best in Florida history!

    He’s the guy that turned the odds against us.

    This should be a good test game for us… putting us in the underdog role against a battered Florida team that lacks depth and size.

    How will we play as underdogs? The last time we were underdogs was Duke… right?

    I’m expecting us to play amped-up basketball. I’ve been wrong before… I’ve been wrong enough to know it is a wise bet for me to keep my money in my pocket and not with Vegas!

  • I don’t think starting Black is a bad thing. He was supposed to bring some physical toughness to a young team. Unfortunately, this year you can’t really be that physical, especially early in games, or they will call it. But that is what Black is (or at least was) being asked to do.

    It could be that Self continues to start him because he is doing what Self is asking him to do. That’s not something that any of us would know unless we are at practice. Black isn’t a scorer. He’s a rebounder/defender/enforcer. Would I like to see him foul less? Of course. But we have enough depth to weather that storm regardless.

    My greater concern lies with the four best players on this team - Wiggins, Selden, Ellis and Embiid. Embiid played well in the first half against CU, then disappeared. Wiggins no showed the first half, then exploded. Selden was basically a non factor. Ellis shot well from the field, but did not attempt a single FT. That should never happen for a player with his skill. Between Ellis and Selden, there was 1 FT attempt. That is, given the way the games are being called, absolutely absurd. If KU’s top players don’t start attacking the core of the defense, this is going to be a very frustrating season. Frustrating because the talent and skill are obvious, but they will never fulfill the promise if they aren’t much, much more aggressive.

  • @HighEliteMajor - I think you nicely summarize several points I have been making about Black ever since he announced he was coming to KU.

    It is said that those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it. If we look at Tarik’s stint at Memphis, we are seeing the logical progression, or maybe we should call it regression, in his development. Whatever upside he had has been greatly diminished by the new foul rules. As I mentioned before, I believe he is starting now so the refs can get their ticky-tack fouls (designed to set the tone of the game) out of the way, and the game has settled some. Also, whatever assurances he was given about starting likely will go away once conference play starts.

    At this point, Tarik is a 3 quick fouls, a couple of rebound and points and 5 minutes of playing time type of player. Frankly, I like Traylor’s motor and upside a lot more and I would prefer to see Lucas get more playing time at center, where he can contribute, not only now but also in future years; no such upside with Tarik.

  • HEM, Tarik Black will be okay. His production is not what you would expect for a starter. Better two quick fouls on Black, than two quick fouls on Embiid. What are your current feelings on Lucas? I have said all along that he can play, he just got caught up in a numbers game.

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  • @HighEliteMajor et al.

    I like all points made and understand about Black. It was a reaction to having read the CJ article very early this morning.

    I guess I was contemplating more like…

    Why wouldn’t Coach let Joel start in his “hometown” arena since he is so loved there and have some positive energy on our side in a hostile environment?

  • Keegen wrote a nice article

    Whoa, whoa, whoa. I’m gonna have to stop you right there. I’ll keep it civil and all, but I read that article as well, and was quickly reminded of why I don’t read Keegan articles. The first 4 paragraphs (half of the article) was a disjointed mishmash of his thoughts and anecdotes that really had nothing to do with KU vs Florida. I enjoy the memory of that game and the players involved. I just wish Corporal Keegan hadn’t commandeered the recollection with his classic blather.

  • @JayDocMD - I think you are being too hard on Keegan, He is not a reporter that writes about the facts of the story and nothing more or even an analyst; Keegan is an opinion writer/columnist and as such, he does just that, he comments on the story.

    I found his background information about the game in Vegas entertaining and the parts about the boatload of players in that game that ended up in the NBA informative. Again, Keegan is not a reporter, he s an opinion writer.

  • @Blown: No, agree on the closer thing in baseball. But I’m just not so sure that it’s a good analogy here. I agree, play your best players in crunch time. But I basically think that you play your best players, but also you play players so that your team is at peak efficiency. So you need subs so that guys aren’t dead; and you need subs that may offer different things. But with Embiid, he should start and play as much as possible given conditioning and game situation. Man, I don’t think it’s close.

    @KansasComet, @globaljaybird, @JayHawkFanToo, and others that have mentioned Lucas - I would agree that he looked serviceable, and has looked like he could give serviceable minutes. If you were to make me choose right now, I guess I’d choose Lucas. But I really am non-committal there. I do think Black should be given a try off the bench first.

    @drgnslayr - Interesting bringing up Perry being given a free pass to loaf. Jimmy Johnson always said he treated his stars differently than his marginal players … meaning it wasn’t the same rules for everyone. I agree with that philosophy at the pro level. Not at the college level. I’ve seen Wiggins loafing too. And as we know, the quick hook applies more to those that are marginal rotation guys. It’s always been that way.

  • He is the Sports Editor and should be capable of reporting and analyzing. To me, he (unsuccessfully) attempts to wax poetic and all too often there’s not enough meat on the bone. But to each his own @JayHawkFanToo.

  • In case anyone is bored and wants to watch the full FLA - KU game from '07. Was one of my favorite games in recent memory…

  • “Florida is in a world of hurt…”

    “How so @drgnslayr? They reportedly get Scottie Wilbekin and Kasey Hill back for tonight’s game. They are still missing Chris Walker, but this team will be as close to full strength as they have been in a month.”

    I know both are back, but let’s see if they can go at 100%. We know what having banged up guards can do…

    And Keegan… well… he’s Keegan… I’ve always imagined him wearing a pith helmet and leading an African safari with the Marx Brothers. I don’t mean that to be an attack on Keeg… He’s just out there. And most of his work should be evaluated by his high school English teacher. However… when you least expect it he comes through with a dandy piece. I like him because of his inconsistency. It shows his personal side. He’s definitely not a robot.

    I know as I’ve aged that my likes and dislikes have often changed… especially when judging people. When I was younger I was often hypersensitive about people, and if someone got off on the wrong foot with me then I would throw him/her off a verbal cliff. As I’ve aged (and have my moments of not being the sharpest knife in the drawer), I’ve loosened my standards and let things go. It has helped me develop a subtle side of humor, and I learn to laugh at small things. It helps alleviate the obvious reality of aging… And I tend to go on and on and on… imagine that?!

  • Looks like Embiid gets the start tonight.

  • @HighEliteMajor - to be honest, the only players I’ve seen NOT loaf (at times) are Mason and Embiid.

    That’s a big part of why I like those guys so much! …and also why I put those two guys as our biggest difference makers come March!

  • You know, that is an excellent point about Keegan, Mr. Drgnslayr. He is silly as hell sometimes, makes obnoxious references to out-dated pop-culture, has run-on sentences that make no sense, and often rambles off-topic to end his pieces, but there is something endearing about the guy. Perhaps it is his unpredictability. Bedore on the other hand actually recycles headlines from previous years and seems to mail it in half the time. It is almost as if he just takes old articles, changes the names and stats and re-submits them. At least Keegan mixes it up and takes some risks. Gotta give him that!

  • @KoolKeithFreeze – five measly posts? Need to hear from you more often …

    And @JayDocMD with the news on Embiid, and @RockChalkinTexas with the perfect logic on why it’s tonight.

    Let’s cross our fingers that Black is a new man off the bench. That’s what I’m most hopeful for.

  • @drgnslayr-Sorry bud, but your post yesterday stated as follows below in response to my point #2 that these guys just do not appear to play hard as we’re accustomed to for any unknown or for whatever reasons-loafing is effing off & making others or the group, team, platoon, whomever, liable to the consequences of such, period.

    “I don’t know about the kids not playing hard because they think they are going pro in a few months. That always comes up in conversation when talking about OADs. I remember it coming up constantly with X. I didn’t buy into it, and it turned out he went on the hardwoods for more balls than anyone else. He did back down from some finishes at the rim, and who could blame him. The only time I saw him back down was on a contested finish, then he would just play it safe and score the basket.”

    Again, makes not a lick of diff slayr, if it’s lazy, there is no valid excuse. Sick,tired, hungry, hurt, stupid, challenged-many virtual passes for many things in life, but NO excuse for less than maximum effort due to laziness, in work, family, or life. JMO

  • Live blog is up for those interested … Had quite a few in recent games, which has made it fun.

  • The “other” blog says the fans are jumping all over our players: “overrated”, “you suck”, etc. Wiggins getting the full treatment.

  • @globaljaybird - You are right. I just don’t understand any of these kids and what it takes to get them to hustle. I never stepped on a court in my life where I didn’t lay my guts out 100%. I’ve never left a court where I had anything left. I did it because I LOVED to play… and I HATED to lose! I played just as hard in front of a crowd as I did at the Y playing lunchball. I could care less about the venue, if I had a good night’s sleep, or if I was already banged up. The only difference in my case is I never had a big $$ carrot dangling on a string in front of my nose because I wasn’t at that skill level. Maybe that makes guys play cautious.

    I don’t believe I ever would have played cautious… even if I had to stay healthy to land a big contract. I just didn’t have an OFF button… or a CRUISE button. And I’ll never understand guys that do. I know I never lost to anyone who didn’t come ready to play.

    I just don’t get it…

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