BG, Meet Kyle Korver

  • Korver is your size.

    He played at Creighton.

    He averaged 45% from trey in four college seasons and made 48% one season.

    But the NBA is where he really learned to ding it!

    In 13 NBA seasons, he has only made less than 40% from trey two seasons.

    He had arguably the best NBA trey % for a season (53.6%) though he only played 55 games. This was the basketball equivalent of batting .400.

    He has had other NBA seasons where he made 49 and 47 percent.

    He has averaged making 43.2% percent of his NBA treys for his career.

    Ray Allen is the greatest NBA trey baller of all time, who is a well rounded player.

    But Kyle Korver is the greatest three point percentage guy on binges. Period.

    The 53.6% is an INSANE make-rate from trey!!!

    It means that for 55 games, on an effective shooting percentage basis, one NBA season he was asc good as going inside to a footer!

    And this is a guy who is NOT a great athlete.

    BG, seize the moment.

    The trey gun is the unfair advantage.

    Take it.

  • Exactly who I thought his pro comparison was too.

  • @jaybate-1.0 Kyle Korver was also the big fish in the small pond of the Missouri Valley. Same deal with McDermott more recently. Those guys were the best players in inferior leagues and got the full attention of scouts and national media.

    Brannen Greene is a small fish in the big pond of power conference basketball. Because of that, he’s buried on the bench without much hope of ever starting at KU. Had BG gone the mid major route, he.probably would be more of a known commodity in college basketball and have a better shot at the NBA. BG chose KU though and can’t get off the bench so are going to assume he isn’t good enough for the NBA if he can’t crack KU’s starting line up.

  • @Texas-Hawk-10

    It sure could work out that way.

    But Self was playing BG operable, and he doesn’t usually do that without giving someone a position the following season to try to see what they can do healthy.

    Thus, it could work out that BG gets a chance to be more like a Glenn Rice. A big trey fish in a big pond that goes to the L and has a fine career.

  • @jaybate-1.0 I obviously would love to see him develop into a Kyle Korver type player, but if he does I’d be surprised. I’d love to see him be a Kyle Korver type player this season, like he was for about half of last season. It’s a fun thing to watch when he’s on.

  • @jaybate-1.0 Glen Rice was not a one dimensional player though. He is the all time scoring leader at Michigan and you don’t do that by being a one trick pony. Glen Rice was also a multi time All-NBA player and again, that doesn’t happen by being a one trick pony.

  • @Texas-Hawk-10

    I am curious why you view Brannen as a one trick pony?

    He seems to pass the ball with snap.

    He runs the floor extremely well for his size.

    He seems an intense competitor.

    Prior to his injury, he was coming around in his floor game. He attacked the basket some early.

    He did not really regress to being one dimensional until his injury, which is quite normal during an operable injury.

    Brandon’s only major problem prior to, and during, his injury was the same thing that Travis Releford and Elijah Johnson and some other freshman have struggled with their first, and sometimes seconds seasons: wild hair syndrome.

    Wild hair syndrome is where you cannot adjust your game to the flow of the game. You make wild, impulsive choices. You over commit. You pass wildly. It all has to do with incomplete neural net development in a young mind.

    All a coach can do is keep trying the player to see if the neural net development has reached a level where the player’s mind is sufficiently developed to make controlled use of the player’s athletic abilities.

    This invariably happens. Some take longer, and some shorter. But they all eventually come around.

    BG will come around. His wild hair syndrome appeared to be lessoning during last season. But the progress that usually accompanies that reduction was diminished by him playing operable much of the season.

    If BG recovers most of his athleticism, I expect him to be quite a player this season.

    If he doesn’t, then I would expect him to take a medical red shirt and become quite a player the following season.

    Wild hair syndrome has mostly to do with late maturity.

  • I’m betting that if Brannen comes out shooting a dependable 46-50% trey ball this season (or next), Bill Self will fall victim to several demonstrable occasions of WILD HAIR SYNDROME.

  • @REHawk

    Which leads to…

    If BG does come out and hits, let’s say, 45% from trey (consistent all year, injury-free)… does Self pull us off the trey line and force it inside again? With or without Diallo?

    Someone in here needs to refresh my memory… when Self did that last year, was it right at the time BG suffered his hidden injury? Did Self know what was going on and mask it with one of his typical “Riverboat Gambler” comments about fool’s gold?

  • @drgnslayr


    That’s what I’ve been trying to tell board rats, since the minute we learned BG played operable.

    I suspected it during the season, when BG looked so pale and sick for a few weeks. But then BG’s color restored and so then I was fooled a bit by his continued awkwardness. I thought, well, maybe everyone was right and BG just was a very limited athlete.

    But nooooooooo, as John Belushi used to say.

    BG was operable and as usual Self cloaked it to keep opponents guarding him outside, while first drive ball was embraced and then all out XTReme BAD BALL was resorted to.

    Think about it.

    BG was operable for most of the second half of the season.

    Wayne grew increasingly inconsistent and never found the range on his trey ball, for whatever reason, and you can bet it was a hairy condition, whatever it was, since we saw the real Wayne in Hyundailand.

    The Designer, who had become a stretch 5 40 percenter, got injured big time. Suddenly no trey gun.

    That left THE RIVERBOAT GAMBLER with Frank Mason as his lone trey launcher and Frank was needed at the point 38 minutes in regulation and 43 in an OT game, because…

    Devonte, and this is something everyone forgets, was not well down the stretch of the regular season. Something “nicked him up”, or he entered a slump.

    And I am not even mentioning the Crimean Kid going over the event horizon the three point black hole a month into the season and never recovering once it became apparent he could not stay with his own shadow over a pick.

    Everything is a cascade in basketball teams. One injury, or failure to bloom, has effects down stream the rest of the season.

    At the time the Crimean Kid did not bloom, everyone thought, oh, well, we’ve got Frank, Wayne and Devonte to rotate at the 1 and 2. No problema.


    Once Svi was out of the picture, it meant Wayne HAD to play regardless of how awful his offense became, because he was the only one that could guard an All League, or better guy with some length.

    And when Wayne’s brain went China Syndrome, and probably as a result of yet another injury that Self has chosen never to reveal in order to protect Wayne’s draft potential downstream, and Devonte hit some kind of ceiling plus got “nicked up,” well, then failure of Svi to bloom bit us in the glutes big time.

    BAD BALL was the only logical move last season, and we are just lucky as hell that THE GENIUS was able to invent BAD BALL on the fly, when all the bets were already laid down, and there were no more cards to draw, or we would NOT have won another conference title. And had we not won another conference title, we might well have ended up with such a low seed that we would have gone out the first round.

    See, I keep telling everyone: if Self had tried to play anything but BAD BALL with the hand he was fanning thin air at the end of last season with, he wouldn’t have gone .500 down the stretch. He most likely would have gone .250, or something like that.

    THE GENIUS stared down the barrel of doom.

    And Self bluffed outside and drove inside.

    And he kept driving.

    Until a name had to be invented for how ugly–but effective–it got.


  • @jaybate-1.0 I think you are incorrect. When Self went to “bad ball”, look at our three point shooting numbers. So, all of a sudden, Self is going to magically know that we have a degraded ability to make threes? No way. Self changed the offense which led to our three point shooting demise. The three point shooting demise did not occur before “bad ball”, and there was no indication that our three point shooting would go south.

    Self destroyed our season, and his change led directly to our most embarrassing loss in many years to WSU. We just need to admit it, instead of trying to make excuses for him, least of all calling him a genius. The genius got spanked by the WSU coach everyone makes crude remarks about.

    On Greene, Greene’s dad said Greene didn’t tell anyone of his supposed injury. I say supposed because I believe that it was a preexisting condition where pain increased, and nothing traumatic really occurred. But nonetheless, Greene’s dad said Greene kept it from the coaches. The coaches have never said they knew about it, least of all when the bad ball switch was made.

    And, of course, Ellis got hurt after the change to bad ball. I kind of doubt Self looked in his crystal ball and saw that, too.

    Further, it is just silly to reference Graham and being “nicked.”

    His team was 21-4. That’s the “barrel of doom”?

    To show the folly of your argument, you say, " See, I keep telling everyone: if Self had tried to play anything but BAD BALL with the hand he was fanning thin air at the end of last season with, he wouldn’t have gone .500 down the stretch. He most likely would have gone .250, or something like that."

    It is entertaining now that the argument is that we would have only won 25% of our games after starting 21-4, without bad ball. That is surely a response to the arguments I have made noting the inescapable win/loss record after bad ball was put in place, in comparison to the shiny 21-4 mark before. You know, that objective evidence.

    Saying we would have won 25% of our games is creating a narrative. It is something that is needed to keep the argument afloat. Without that, it crumbles. To convince one that Self had to play bad ball, one must believe the result would have been much worse without it. Thus the narrative.

    When in our history under Self have we played to a .250 winning percentage over 15 games? Never.

    Self just made a mistake. He miscalculated.

    Maybe, if the three point slump wouldn’t have hit, bad ball would have succeeded. We don’t know.

    But the extreme nature of the change was odd. Sure, we’re 21-4, I’ll completely change our offense, cut the three point attempts by nearly 50%, and destroy the established identity and character of our team. All because I have a crystal ball.

    If he had a crystal ball, it would have shown him his second straight exit the first weekend of the tourney.

    I appreciate the discussion. The key here is that we avoid making the mistakes of the past.

  • @jaybate-1.0

    Wow… lots of info in your post. Good job!

    “THE GENIUS stared down the barrel of doom.”

    I can kind of believe this scenario, and kind of can’t. I always base my perception of Self’s desperation by how he plays defense. He tends to hate leaving his M2M even when we are getting clubbed to death. Pretty much all of basketball history has shown that flipping defenses CAN work. It forces the opposing offense into dealing with something different, and for no other reason it can work just because they couldn’t adapt equally to the efficiency they had already established. I will never understand Self on this one! I tend to agree with his focus on M2M, but he should be shifting over to temporary zones often just to see the impact and then be OPPORTUNISTIC and stick with what works. Even short stints of zone can help bounce offenses off their rhythm even when going back to facing the M2M again.

    I think Self is a great coach, and we are truly lucky to have him. But I also think he leaves a lot of potential on the table by not being more OPPORTUNISTIC in the way he thinks. He is extremely rigid in his thought process. It usually shows up in our losses… because we watch the same “grind it out” strategy after it already proved not to helping us win.

    I think “desperation” should show itself through the coach trying different tactics to spurn a change in the outcome. I don’t see that very often at Kansas and with Self. He will “grind it out” and accept the outcome.

    Flipping to BAD BALL was change. It was mostly one big strategic change that was a big part of us going 500. Could our results have been worse? Yes… as you stated, perhaps his strategy lifted us from a path of 250 we were on. Maybe.

    But also… think of it this way… think of it through the eyes of an OPPORTUNIST. Wouldn’t an OPPORTUNIST run with BAD BALL but then also continue to put wrinkles in that strategy? Did we always have to “dud out” from trey after that? Couldn’t we have run better offense, more high ball screens and screens off the ball to open up 3s to lift our percentages again and get back some mojo? Why does our change always have to be so stark? Everything is either BLACK or WHITE? What about GRAY, where the real opportunities are… where the defense CONSTANTLY has to adjust to a changing offense being thrown at them.

    And our post scoring sucked in BAD BALL. Also consider that the percentages are weighted by only the possibility of scoring 2 points instead of 3. Maybe we could have created BAD BALL focusing on tough defense, but also keeping some OPPORTUNISM left in our offense? Did we really have to TANK our offense for the rest of the season to reap the rewards of BAD BALL? That strategy gave us the results we could expect. 500 ball. Decent defense bundled with stinking offense. Half good and half bad. 500 ball. If we were the purple kitties, I would say that was a good strategy. Since we are one of the elite programs… NO! We should expect more and we should have a strategy for more than 500 ball.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    “I appreciate the discussion. The key here is that we avoid making the mistakes of the past.”

    Amen to that! I really hate that we continue having to turn to Einstein and his quote about insanity… but we often fall into that cliche.

    On one hand, we have one of the most-winning programs over the last decade, but we also have often been a big dud in March. It has gone on long enough to see a trend. If we want to break that trend, we need to install some changes. It might be as little as changing a coaching attitude. It might be more than that. To some degree, we have to run some risk in doing so.

    Greatness isn’t defined by reaching a high plateau. Greatness is defined by reaching a high plateau and relentlessly carrying on to climb higher. We need to continue to climb and not rest on being satisfied at our current plateau. Also, staying on the same plateau eventually means falling lower because our competition continues to climb higher, passing us.

    I would like to see this question asked to Self EVERY SINGLE YEAR -

    “Coach… what changes will you try this year to advance the program further than where it was last year?” (hint: What path will we take to climb past our current plateau?)

  • @HighEliteMajor m

    I know you feel you have a strong case here, but do you see the high improbability that Self even could wreck a team of allegedly good try ballers confidence in their shooting for an entire season by questioning their ability to shoot the Trey and win? It seems almost statistically insignificant, and the entirety of your argument rests precariously on that premise. Could Self really wreck an entire team’s confidence in shooting the Trey ball, and then even if he could, why in the world would he want to do it? Frankly, it doesn’t make sense unless you argue Self became temporarily crazy. But there is no evidence of such a break with reality.

    What we see instead is evidence of injuries and player performance problems tracking back to early in the season converging with worsening injuries and fatigue that by the time of mid season made sustaining the good record by the early approach largely unsustainable.

    You also have to largely ignore the accruing late season injuries to make your hypothesis credible, whereas my hypothesis includes them. This is suspect and precisely why I posited my alternative hypothesis.

    When I look at what you imply would have happened if Self had not played Bad Ball you seem to be largely ignoring the reality of the teams capabilities by the end. There is no logic or evidence that your counterfactual that things would have gone much better by not playing Bad Ball should be expected. And Self’s Bad Ball did in fact enable his massively degraded team limp into a title and a first round win. It seems a brilliant and successful maneuver to me at a time when other options included shooting more treys without a single credible Trey threat other than Mason by that point of the season, or play b2b with no ability to do that, or run the floor with a bunch of injured, worn down guys and no good rebounders to start the breaks.

    You have put yourself in a real box here, unless you ignore/minimize the injuries, which I am not letting you do by posing my alternative hypothesis.

    And Self needed no crystal ball at all from mid season on to know his outside shooting was going to be as weak as it turned out to be. He just needed the inside skinny on his guys physical conditions, likely minutes the second half, allow for the usual injuries that occur, and then look at the law of averages based on how hot his guys had been on the front nine.

    I think maybe you have become to invested in Self wrecking his own team with one sentence and it’s making you feel an I gotcha coach moment.

    Include the injuries.

    BG really did have operation. Self really does say he had a mild concussion. And then start including the rest of the injuries and wear and tear. It all adds up.

  • You watch Kyle Korver this season for the Hawks and Korver didn’t even have a light. If he caught on the perimeter, he was shooting. Korver took 600 shots last year. Three quarters (449) were threes. And that’s from the NBA line. BG has that range.

    The question is whether that is part of the game plan. Korver’s effectiveness from three was such because he was shooting whenever he felt he had a shot. His teammates knew he would shoot whenever he had a shot, so they looked to get him shots. Heck, when you can get 1.47 points per attempt, you have to do it. A Kyle Korver three was basically the best shot in basketball other than a 3 on 1 break.

    That’s the value of the three ball, and BG can bring that value. He also has the ability to put it on the floor, but more than anything, he should make himself the most feared, most deadly accurate shooter in the country. BG can make KU unguardable. You cannot cover KU if you can’t leave BG to help on the post or the drive.

    Korver was so amazing last year with the amount of gravity he created offensively. His defender had to guard him even if the rest of the defense was breaking down because giving Korver an open look from three was worse than surrendering a dunk.

  • @justanotherfan

    And last season was FAR from his NBA season best of 54% from Trey.

    Basketball coaching remains bogged down in pre Trey think.

    The way to win in the NBA is to comb the world for Trey ballers and normalize having a team of 45-54% Trey shooters at positions 2-4, a footer at the 5, and a fine point guard.

    And every possession starts with a Trey 3 seconds after crossing mid court.

  • @jaybate-1.0 I guess I ask, “what injuries”?

    I have no issue with Greene’s progressive hip deal. My position is that it is flat baloney that it caused his three point shooting to tank as it did. But beyond that, no one on our team – Graham, Oubre, Selden, Mason – had anything of substance. Nothing that would cause them to fall off the cliff. Further, the nicks and bruises, or whatever they were, were nothing more than what other teams deal with or that KU has dealt with each season.

    And I don’t think Self wrecked his team with one sentence. Self saying “fool’s gold” to the media is not what troubles me. It’s what happens behind the scenes. It’s the disdain for the three, the change in philosophy, the link between Self’s statements regarding the three and success in the tourney, and then what we saw on the court. We can logically connect the dots as to how this was approached, based on what we heard from Self all season.

    So no, I don’t buy that one sentence wrecked the season. It’s the wholesale transformation from a three point shooting team to a “drive it” team, and Self clouding the shooters’ minds with doubt related to shooting. No free minds. He attacked the very foundation of the team’s offensive character.

    Also, remember the three game stretch in 2013? Where Self threw EJ under the bus after the OSU loss at home? We then lost at TCU in a complete meltdown?

    Think about that. Think about the power of a coach’s words and actions related to his team.

    I have posited that the otherwise inexplicable loss at TCU was a direct result of Self’s actions/reactions after OSU. On that topic, I really got no disagreement from posters on this site. Why is it then not reasonable that the actions/reactions by Self post-Texas Tech and with his change in offensive approach, led to the three point shooting tanking almost immediately?

    Again, I’m not saying Self “wanted” to wreck the offense. He didn’t intend to. But it happened, didn’t it?

    I mean, wasn’t the offense horrible – I mean horrific – after bad ball took hold? Can’t deny that.

    Your position is that it was all he could do, and that he made the right decision. But the foundation of your argument is not that it worked, but that it would have been worse without bad ball. I personally (and respectfully) think that your speculation is more remote than mine, given the evidence we have.

    In any case, regardless of whether there was cause or effect, we do know, as fact, that our offense was much worse after “bad ball.” We can dress it up, we can try to find excuses, but that is fact. Numbers don’t lie.

    And there is strong evidence that we would have been better NOT playing bad ball. It occurred in the first 25 games (21-4). When we didn’t play bad ball. That’s the best evidence we have for the 2014-15 Jayhawks. Further, we have Self’s own words – that team was the “best shooting team” he has ever had at Kansas. Yet his offense diverted away from that admitted strength at a point in time when they were 21-4. The man is a genius.

    Maybe he is at time. But he just made a mistake last season. That’s all.

  • @justanotherfan I question his ability to put it on the floor, especially when he looks down at his feet to find they are out of bounds. I also think he’s afraid to mix it up underneath. He did take a hard blow to head and neck during Washburn game(?) I really hope he’s healed, plays some D, stays out of trouble and displays a better attitude on the bench. He should have no excuses if the surgery corrected his problems.

  • @justanotherfan

    P.S,: Korver is taken as an anomaly much as Hank Luisetti once was. But all skills improve with reps over time. What confuses people is the stochastic runs and variance that enables a Korver to shoot 41 one season one season then 42 .,then 44 then 54, then fall back to 40 or whatever and so on. Keep letting Korver, or any good shooter, shoot through the runs and variances and the long term trend will be up unless injury or refs alter the stochastic context. Players can and will shoot better than Korver in time. The power of the three is in its nascent stage. Shooters have not yet started the steep improvement that will occur once the system starts heavily selecting toward them from early to late in careers. There is a significant probability that shooting can be brain mapped and individuals with legacy burn patterns can be identified systematically all over the worl and trained to shoot much better than today’s players. And that is just one path of many for improving the breed.

  • We shall see how AW3 does this season in a much different environment and starting for a school vs KU. He wouldn’t have started this year at KU either. I thought he was just a spot up shooter too.

  • @Statmachine had the hot links this past weekend, really good🔥🔥 thx for the idea!

  • @jaybate-1.0

    The scary thing is, Stephen Curry already does.

    In his first six seasons in the NBA, Korver never shot better than 43%. He shot the following:







    This is what Curry has done through six seasons:







    Those are some seriously scary numbers given that jumpshooters seem to improve through their late 20’s as they learn how to work off screens to get better looks.

    Reggie Miller’s first six seasons never saw him shoot 42% from three, followed by five consecutive seasons between 41% and 43%. Ray Allen’s best two percentage seasons were as a 35 and 36 year old, when he shot around 45%. Korver’s last six seasons have been the best of his career, never dipping below 41%, all the way up to the insane 53% you mentioned earlier.

    To put it simply, Curry may be the man to break the 55% barrier as he nears his age 28 and 29 seasons in a few years.

  • @drgnslayr

    People some time confuse me calling Self a genius with him being infallible. Genius actually makes MORE mistakes faster than ordinary folks. The problem genius faces is ordinary persons needs to reduce complexity to make inferences and draw conclusions about the actions of genius acting in response to complexity without needing to reduce nearly as much.

    @HighEliteMajor is reducing injury context massively in order even to posit a hypothesis in a gotcha condition.

    You are saying, well, yes, Self can be strategically flexible but tactically stubborn, and so that is why he is not winning higher than 82% of his games and getting more rings. But you are reducing that what he is doing is already winning 82 percent and 1 ring and 11 titles and that there would be cost to pursue the benefits of increased tactical flexibility you value. There would be costs and benefits to him to do what you suggest. There is no strategic free lunch… Wooden was nearly completely inflexible in strategy and tactics. He did not even believe adapting at all to what other teams did. Wooden won ten rings. Self is like Jim Carey in The Mask compared to Wooden in terms of game adjustments.

    HEM faces many difficulties with his hypothesis, but how ever he adapts it, he will sooner or later be faced with cost-benefit analysis of doing it other than Self did it. So will you.

    I once did cost-benefit analysis for a living in the evaluation of possible future strategies and tactics and logistics. It is an acquired skill that few can do without being educated, trained and abused with high stakes and overwork into doing. Even the best CEOs and generals surprisingly often aren’t good at it. Their strength is finding ONE scenario they know will work and organizing like hell and inspiring and demanding great execution while controlling the crucial details and delegating what is best delegated. Considering multiple scenarios and sorting for the best scenario can tax their patience; this is so especially when there is no winning move–just lesser of evils. This is why there are feasibility analysts. They consider what those driven to succeed cannot bear to think about.

    There is a forensic form of all of this that is exceedingly painful, too. Counterfactual inference.

    What might be the net benefit of not doing what was done and acting differently?

    Contrary to popular notions, past mistakes are not repeated because of insanity, but because of pain and boredom avoidance. People don’t want to think through the net benefit trade offs when there is no glory and feasible success assured by doing so. They suck and cost shift instead. They live in denial.

    People like to think there is a fix to every bad outcome, but often no better option was feasible.

    It’s a hard world sometimes.

    Husband Kimmell, it turns out, probably acted brilliantly in the run up to Pearl Harbor. Did almost everything right. And it was especially right if he figured he was not going to get the Intel he would require to avoid surprise attack. By keeping all but his carriers in the harbor, they could be repaired rather than lost at sea. By keeping the carriers without huge fleets at sea they became undetectable to the Japanese. Had he kept the fleet at sea ready for battle the entire fleet probably would have been found and sunk. The only reason he is not lauded was A scapegoat was needed in those days.

    Self averted total disaster last season with an ugly choice that probably couldn’t have lead to a better outcome, but avoided a lot of worse ones. You have to be a hard man to do it. Self is a hard one.

    He won a title and a game in March with zip at the end, then got murdered by a guy he probably detests.

    I just dont think any alternative approach could have accomplished even that.

    But I am always open to hear the path with the better net benefit.

  • @jaybate-1.0 Let me ask you this question – If you were Bill Self, standing there following the TT win, would you do things differently than coach Self did, with what you now know? Meaning, in hindsight, would you take a different path?

  • @HighEliteMajor

    You keep asking what injuries, as if last years injuries and wear and tear were not among the most extensive during Self’s KU tenure. You keep not acknowledging that Wayne and Svi never showed consistently good three point shooting at any stretch last season.

    The injuries and wear and tear to the high minute perimeter shooters were observable during the season and/or documented afterwords. Wayne demonstrated that he could not make the three consistently under any strategy of attack. Svi tried spot up three-point shooting on and off for the entire season under all forms of attack and failed. Devonte Graham could not stay fresh enough to keep his three-point shot accurate, or even play 35 to 40 minutes per game the last month.

    There was no alternative offensive scheme that would have worked without effective three-point shooters, or effective b2b players.

    And it just does not seem credible that Bill Self, or any other coach, could intentionally, or accidentally , destroy a team’s three-point shooting ability for all, or half a season, by switching offenses. I do not recall another coach accidentally, or intentionally doing such a thing for half the season for all of the season. Likewise, I do not recall a coach accidentally, or intentionally, destroying a team’s above average natural rebounding ability for all, or half a season. Nor do I recall a coach accidentally, or intentionally, destroying a team’s above average ability to pass the ball for all of the season, or half a season. It just doesn’t happen.

    Coaches can help teams reach their potential, or fail to help them reach their potential. But I have never heard of a coach destroying a team’s potential.

    Injury, wear and tear, and individual player developmental impediments are something observed often. Coaches accidentally, or intentionally, destroying team’s’ potentials is far less frequently observed. These factors seem so much more plausible as drivers of the teams’ second semester limitations, than coach self accidentally, or intentionally, destroying the team’s potential, that it is hard even to take your hypothesis as within the range of the probable.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Now that I know BG was operable and concussed, and that Svi wasn’t a serious option, and Wayne was going to be an unfocused underachiever, things Self could probably have seen up close, yes, his choices make more sense to me.

  • @jaybate-1.0 Selden an unfocused underachiever? Goodness. Do you think something could have affected a guy who was having a pretty good year?

    -Wayne Selden before “Fool’s Gold” and switch to “Bad Ball”: 43 for 100, 43% from three.

    -Wayne Selden after “Fool’s Gold” and switch to “Bad Ball”: 3 for 26, 11.5% from three.

    So Greene goes from over 50% to below 15%.

    Selden goes from 43% to 11.5%.

    I always wonder why other teams don’t have the same wear and tear we do?

    My question is whether you would, in hindsight, do what Self did?

    But how could anyone now suggest that we should have switched to bad ball over what we were doing so successfully, now that we know the result?

    Right now, wouldn’t it be most prudent to say that we should have kept doing what we were doing? Given what we know now?

    So you don’t believe that a coach can affect the collective psyche of a team? Don’t you always refer to Self amping or not amping his teams? What is that?

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Greene apparently fell from 50 to 15, because a hip injury, concussion, and an as yet undisclosed change in pigmentation for perhaps three weeks in February converged with shooting back to average and rendered him highly inaccurate, or was it Self’s voodoo phrase and being asked to drive the ball?

    Selden’s shooting fell from 43 to 11, because he shot back to his average and became so unfocused he could hardly dribble the ball without turning it over, or was it Self’s voodoo phrase and being asked to drive the ball?

    Svi’s shooting became inaccurate all season, because he was 17, from a war zone half a world away, barely spoke English, never guarded over picks at the level of athleticism and violence of American D1, or was it Self’s voodoo phrase and being asked to drive the ball?

    Perry’s shooting became inaccurate down the stretch, because he shot back to his average, had a severe injury that kept him out of games, and became the target of opposing team’s defensive schemes, or because of Self’s voodoo phrase and being asked to drive?

    And we could pose similar questions for Devonte could we not?

    Frank? Well, he was the only anomaly, the only guy who Self’s voodoo phrase and being asked to drive could not accidentally, or on purpose, wreck, right? Well, even Frank cooled some down the stretch–shot back to his average some and suffered obvious leg weariness from a lot of high minute efforts. Or was Self’s voodoo phrase and dat old devil being asked to drive the real culprit again?

    I am going to go out on a limb here.

    Does playing Self defense an entire season put a lot of wear and tear on players legs late in the season that can fatigue their shooting legs more than team’s that don’t play at this level of defensive intensity, and lead to more episodes and runs of bad shooting late in seasons, or is it Self’s voodoo phrase and dat ol’ Debble being asked to drive that cause it?


    This voodoo phraseology and being asked to drive the ball–it is very big medicine, bwana.

  • @justanotherfan

    Great point.

    And Curry is doing what he is doing at something of a height disadvantage.

    Think what will be feasible, when someone comes along with Curries abilities in a taller, stronger chassis!

  • @HighEliteMajor said:

    So you don’t believe that a coach can affect the collective psyche of a team? Don’t you always refer to Self amping or not amping his teams? What is that?

    I do think a coach can amp his team for a game and let them come out flat situationally for a game, when it is in his team’s strategic interest for him to do so, but that sharply differs from a coach destroying a team’s potential three point shooting for half a season, when it would not be in their interest to have it destroyed.

    If coaches could make team’s avoid slumps and shoot great all season, why I reckon they would all do it all the time. I would.

    But they can’t, so they don’t.

    Attributing too much power and influence to Self, or any coach, is as problematic as attributing too little.

  • @jaybate-1.0 If you think a coach can amp for “a game”, then he must be able to amp for two games. And let them come out flat for two games. Or more.

    Again, I think you focus on a strawman – I have never said that he did it on purpose. Ever. You said, why would he do it, essentially, “when it would not be in their interest to have it destroyed.”

    I have never suggested or implied that it was intentional. It was an unintended consequence. That’s all I’ve suggested.

    The poor three point shooting was not half a season. We shot excellent as a team for 25 games. We then fell off a cliff for 11 games when bad ball began, when three point attempts dropped precipitously, when the new scheme took hold. I just don’t understand why it’s so hard to admit that coaches can induce slumps or poor performance. Once in a slump, it is sometimes difficult to get out of it. The slump creates more slump, and more pressure. Heck, how much did the media talk about the sudden and unexplained drop in our three point shooting?

    That’s really all I’ve suggested.

    You also said, “If coaches could make team’s avoid slumps and shoot great all season, why I reckon they would all do it all the time. I would.”

    Ok. You are absolutely right. But not sure what that has to do with unintentionally causing a slump by word and deed.

  • @jaybate-1.0

    “You are saying, well, yes, Self can be strategically flexible but tactically stubborn, and so that is why he is not winning higher than 82% of his games and getting more rings. But you are reducing that what he is doing is already winning 82 percent and 1 ring and 11 titles and that there would be cost to pursue the benefits of increased tactical flexibility you value. There would be costs and benefits to him to do what you suggest. There is no strategic free lunch… Wooden was nearly completely inflexible in strategy and tactics. He did not even believe adapting at all to what other teams did. Wooden won ten rings. Self is like Jim Carey in The Mask compared to Wooden in terms of game adjustments.”

    That is why I mentioned “risk” in my statement. The risk may encompass losing more games and dropping the 82% down in order to be better prepared for March. I say this with a “maybe.” I think many of us in here appreciate Izzo and how he seems to prefer losing plenty of games throughout the year to toughen up his troops and to keep their rankings lowered so they aren’t bogged down with sports media frenzy… flying well below radar.

    My only objection to this is if we put our conference streak in jeopardy. I’m one of those who really appreciate this streak and I absolutely HATE losing to any B12 teams. But I also HATE losing in March.

    What I don’t really care much about is pre-conference play. I care, but not as much. To me, the season really starts when we play our first conference game.

    Here is one area that I believe we need to improve… we need to keep more of our bench “in the loop” during the year so we can take full advantage of our depth in March. Burying someone like Svi in deep freeze all year does not prepare him for March. We need only look back a few months to see what happens when you have bench guys ready to play in March. Freshman Grayson Allen won the NC for Duke… not Okafor.

    But in order to do this we have to give up some vital minutes to some of our bench for seasoning during the year. There is some risk involved with that.

  • @drgnslayr Agree 100%. Another advantage of more minutes for the bench guys is fewer minutes for the starters so they are less worn down in March.

    I would thaw out the bench guys in pre-conference AND during the Big 12 Tournament - except if losing early would cost us a 1 seed.

    If memory serves, there was a time when Self started the seasons with 11-12 man rotations, then gradually reduced to 8-9. That was when he was transitioning from Roy’s recruits to his own. Since then, he seems to have tightened his early-season rotations a bit.

    He did give Connor just enough minutes to contribute in March: that worked for one half.

  • @ParisHawk

    Coach Self and just about every other “name” coach I have heard on the subject always indicate that by NCAA time they like to play 7-8 player,s and if you look at the stats for the top programs, this tends to be the case…except for UK last year and the squid has already stated he will not platoon again.

    Another thing that is not being considered is that by the second half of the conference, most other teams know that all they had to do is guard KU shooter close since most KU shooters are spot up shooter and players like Greene do not shoot well with someone on their grill.

    Also, some number that are mentioned, such as Mason attempts going from 2.7 to 2.4 per game, really? that computes to 3 less attempts over 10 games and if he shoots 0.33 that is 3 points total over 10 games…really irrelevant.

    I would be curious to see how 3 point shooting percentage for other team changes toward the end of the season, due to offense fatigue and teams becaming more competent/savvy on defense. Is KU the only team whose 3 point percentage went down or is it really a trend? I have no answer to this question or time to research it.

  • @HighEliteMajor said:

    Again, I think you focus on a strawman – I have never said that he did it on purpose.

    Not a straw argument and not trying to claim you are saying it was intentional.

    I am trying to make categorically clear its high improbability under ANY CONDITION; that it could probably not happen intentionally, or accidentally, as a result of Coach Self’s, or any coaches’ actions, except as part of some impossible to foresee chaotic effect of a butterfly wing flapping and causing a hurricane elsewhere 6 months from now.

    That clarified, a key issue here is your remark: we shot excellently 25 games and poorly the last 11, and your inference that because the slump and BAD BALL closely coincided BAD BALL is the trigger.

    Correlation is NOT necessarily causation.

    And this is the essence.

    Correlation is reason to look for causation, but not to assume it.

    Since the team had shot outside well for 25 games, it was due, statistically speaking, for a slump, of one duration or another; this Self and his statisticians would easily have foreseen. What to do?

    Injuries and wear and tear and developmental impediments were probably assessed, as I have outlined above in this thread.

    The injuries to rebounders that weren’t even effective rebounders before injuries were noted. There would be few rebounds.

    The probability of an outside shooting slump was forecast as high and so taking and missing treys made little sense.

    A decision was probably made to take the UW drive ball sets they had been adding to their repertoire much of the season, as many teams had been, and resort to an XTReme form of it that we saw and I have explained and named BAD BALL; i.e., UW drive ball with much less Trey shooting. Collapse the defensive space everywhere and drive for a bucket and a foul.

    Stats were probably calculated of how many 2 and a FT plays had to be created to replace the treys not taken in order to avoid the likely impending and injury and fatigue exacerbated slump and compensate for treys not taken. A few treys were to still be taken to test if the slump were in effect, and to keep opponents stretched.

    Or self accidentally destroyed everything unintentionally out of reactionary stubbornness, is your hypothesis suggests.

    Though very improbable, your hypothesis is not utterly impossible. However, though not absolutely certain, my hypothesis appears considerably more probable, if only because it is data inclusive regarding injuries other if only because it is data inclusive regarding injuries other time., where in tear, and developmental impediments. and given Self’s historical predilection in minimizing downside risks to expected phenomena.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    I may have misstated myself. I don’t have a problem with a 7-8 man rotation. But that doesn’t mean we can’t throw in some deeper bench for 3 or 4 minutes here and there to help keep the rust off. Part of that rust comes from guys sitting on the bench that know they won’t be going in, so they aren’t paying as close attention. And they may not be working quite as hard in practice because they realize their role is nothing more than bench warmer. Giving guys just a few minutes throughout the season helps keep them stay up to speed. A carrot is always there in front of their noses. And they tend to have better attitudes.

    I also feel like, in most situations, we are able to maintain more team spirit because most everyone is involved DIRECTLY with our outcomes.

    I’m not for us installing a platoon system or anything similar. I just think it is a shame we waste much of our depth every year. Their play may not help against another top seed… but when we play a much lower seed (where we usually lose), these guys might just offer us up the spark we need as well as give our top guys some needed rest before we play a tougher game in a few days. Our elite players may have a problem getting up for a game against a much lower seed, but our reserves just want to see floor time, and now they will see floor time in March!

    I also think @ParisHawk has a solid point about resting our key players. If we exploit Frank like we did last year, there will be no NC in March. He won’t have the legs to lead that kind of charge needed to win it all. That was a monstrous strategical blunder last year… using up Frank’s legs and not having him rested enough for March. The blame will always be pointed at him being “nicked up.” Bologna. Frank was “used up.”

  • @jaybate-1.0 Well, I won’t convince you. I just think it is utterly preposterous that “Self and his statisticians” looked into their collective crystal balls, decided the three point shooting would slump, and thus switched the offense premised on this premonition.

    I agree. Correlation is not causation. But what we have is significant circumstantial evidence. With your argument, there is not circumstantial evidence. There is nothing that connects the dots. I have hard numbers. I have the scheme change. I have the timing. I have the (nearly) universally unchallenged belief that Self mandated fewer three pointers (that remains unchallenged because we saw it happen). I have Self’s words to the media (and not just Fool’s Gold).

    Again, I’m sorry, but when you look at the actual evidence, I simply believe my suggestion is much more probable and supported by what we see. Thus our line of demarcation. It is what it is. You usually convince me on most discussions, as your powers of persuasion usually trump mine – and I recognize that. But on this one, not so much.

    But I do really like your statement – that you suggest I that claim Self made the change to bad ball out of “reactionary stubbornness.” I agree completely. I think that is exactly what it was. I’d toss the word “dogmatic” in there if I could get it to fit. He did it because he believed that bad ball was a better, more reliable way to win moving forward with the 2014-15 Jayhawks.

    He was just wrong. I felt that way at the time, and it plainly didn’t improve our offense (in hindsight). In fact, our offensive production decreased.

    But there I go again …

    You may have the last word if you would like to.

  • @drgnslayr Totally agree that minutes are a big deal. I was curious about minutes that our PG’s have to play. According to different internet sites Frank played 33.5 minutes per game last year…Chalmers played 30 per game in 2008, Sherron played 33 per game in 2010 and TT played 33.5 per game in 2012.

    All pretty similar numbers. You could certainly argue that Sherron was totally burned out by the time March rolled around in 2010. But why was he and not TT at the same amount of minutes? Is it just an excuse we like to use because we lost to Northern Iowa one of these years and in the other we played for a National Title? I don’t know the answer but I know to me less minutes seems like a good thing - see Chalmers in 2008.

  • @joeloveshawks

    Good post and questions!

    I’m not sure what to believe on Frank’s actual minutes played last year. It is easy to distort the situation by just looking at one round number. For example, maybe Frank was limited on minutes in the pre-conference games. It seems like he played a lot more during conference play. And then there was the Devonte injury.

    There are other issues at play, too. Frank likes to drive hard to the basket. I really appreciate that in him… however… count how many times he goes down in a game? He makes me wince several times every single game because he hits the deck hard. I think Sherron is the closest comparison to style of play, and all of this is part of the equation.

    Ultimately… Frank didn’t pass the “eye test” towards the end of last season. He clearly wasn’t “fresh.” Every player is unique and deals with a unique season. Coaches have to be aware of what they are seeing and take appropriate actions. Frank was continually pushed into heavy minutes even after he was showing his cumulative fatigue. “Cumulative fatigue” shows up throughout a game, not just the end.

    Coaches often use a PT minutes number, just as a barometer, and to use as their standard. But down the stretch, PT decisions need to be impacted heavily by the “eye test.”

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Preposterous then is highly subjective.

    All you have to do to convince me is include everything my hypothesis includes that your hypothesis excludes, then explain why a slump would not have been anticipated down the stretch after the combination of a 25 game hot streak of shooting, and the accrued injuries, wear and tear, and developmental impediments, down the stretch, and outline a more productive offense for a team that lacked accurate Trey balling from Greene, Selden, Graham, Ellis and Svi, and any b2b offense or rebounding from injured Lucas, Traylor, and Ellis, plus ineligible Cliff!

    What offense could have possibly come close to being as productive as Bad Ball was with the deficiencies noted?

    I can’t think of one, and because of my abiding respect for you, I have spent some time going down the list of known offenses to find one that would make your case, so I could rationally support you as I so enjoy doing. But I could not find one that yielded net advantage, unless I disregarded data and ignored actual outcomes.

    Things would have gone worse, not better, under every scenario I have considered.

  • @jaybate-1.0

    It has taken me a while to digest BAD BALL.

    At this point, today, I feel the following. But tomorrow, I may feel different about it and change my mind because it still seems foreign to me in the first place.

    I know situations changed during the year, and there must have been a timing issue of WHEN Self flipped the switch. My biggest gripe is that we did this at the end of the year… when we strictly needed results and not lessons in toughness, etc.

    I look at BAD BALL as a tactic we probably should have deployed early in the year, and then have time to bring the offense around and be more effective on offense while still carrying a chip on defense. That would have worked.

    The problem I see in last year is that we created an “Izzo learning moment” at the end of the year, when Izzo will be the first one to tell you that his hard lessons come EARLY in the year so there is time to reap the actual reward later on!

    Players get hot, players slump. Things going on around them can impact the direction they are going. Imagine we hit our trey slump early and had to learn to fight harder to win… like by playing much tougher defense. Even if we just get to 500 ball playing like that, we know we can win even on our worst offensive days. Then imagine we have 20 games left to fix our offense? I would think that the longer the season went on, the better our offense would play because it was performing far lower than our typical standard.

  • @joeloveshawks Regarding the 33+ minutes of Collins and TT, I would assume that body structure (and weight distribution) worked adversely against Sherron, much more so than against TT in the second semesters of their senior campaigns. I tend to view athletes from the perspective of a longtime distance runner and coach of runners. Sherron’s determination on the basketball court punished his thicker and more muscular body immensely. Tyshawn was built to run and run and run.

  • …and run and run and hide from his coach, probably, whenever he could manage to get out of sight of the general.

  • @drgnslayr

    I believe we are in the same page. Most coaches will play a 7-8 m,an rotation the majority of the game but other players will also get playing time when games are well at hand or because of injury or foul problems… Coach Self has rested players for extended periods of time towards the end of the season before.

    Also, a deep bench helps not only at game time but also during practice when the starters play against quality competition which helps all players. Coaches will tell you that you can never have enough players for practice and even student assistants are drafted to he[p; having quality players in your deep bench is a luxury that very few team have.

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