Greene and The Fool's Gold Follies

  • On a couple of other threads, the Fool’s Gold discussion has again been engaged. I felt compelled a few months ago to dive into this topic again when it seemed many were simply accepting Greene’s hip injury as the reason for his slump. I avoided it … but not today.

    It has now been somewhat accepted that Greene’s alleged hip injury was the culprit for his travails.

    I say “baloney.”

    The evidence says that 1) Greene’s hip issue was a long standing issue for a number of years and 2) that his alleged injury was not traumatic or significant, rather, the symptoms progressively got worse.

    Bill Self made the Fool’s Gold comment after the Texas Tech game on February 10. This was not just a comment, this was an attack on the entire concept of three point shooting leading this team’s offense. It was this dramatic because Self changed the entire offense after this comment. It was words backed up by deed.

    Before the Fool’s Gold comment, Brannen Greene was 34 for 65 from three point range (52.3%).

    After the Fool’s Gold comment, Brannen Greene was 6 of 34 from three point range (17.6%).

    “There was a period of time he was the best shooter in the country,” Self said of this past campaign. “He had a minor concussion, and he didn’t hit a shot three weeks after that.”

    Huh? That’s right, Self blamed a “minor concussion”, quoted in an article about the hip surgery.

    However, Greene’s dad had a different version – "I noticed he wasn’t getting any lift on his shot. It was flatter than normal at times. It wasn’t the same repeating motion,” Jeff said. “He was trying to keep his condition from everybody, me, the staff, the trainers.”

    Really? So nobody else knew. Nobody else could tell any change? His dad is full of it. If Greene wasn’t getting any lift, no one notices? If he can’t get lift on his shot due to his hip, I guarantee you he can’t jump the same, pivot the same, slide the same, defend the same, or function the same, etc. The action of lift on one’s shot is not a cause/effect that stands in a vacuum.

    Think about this – Greene was said to have had a torn labrum that affected his shooting. Yet nobody knew? That is not plausible.

    Self says he had a minor concussion and blamed his three point drop off on that. Yet he missed no games because of a concussion. But that is different than blaming the hip. Why would Self take the effort to blame a minor concussion in an article commenting on his hip?

    Greene’s dad says he had a hip injury that Greene didn’t tell anybody about - not the coaches, trainers, or him. Greene’s dad blames the three point drop off on that. However, with this supposed “hip injury”, Self kept playing Greene. And very importantly, Self apparently didn’t notice any change in his jump shot nor his movements on the court in games or in practice.

    In March, an article on KU’s three point shooting dearth noted, “Greene got the ball on the left wing and rose for the shot. His body was squared to the rim, his jump on balance, and the ball flying toward the rim with a shooter’s backspin. It missed, of course, but when Greene went back on defense his coach yelled for his attention. ‘Keep shooting,’ Self said, and he winked.”

    So why wouldn’t Self, of all people, notice something supposedly changed with his shot? Did the staff look at tape? Did the medical staff in practice and in games simply not notice anything then? Correct, they didn’t. They didn’t notice anything because there wasn’t anything to notice. When this came out in April, I still had some games DVR’d. I challenge anyone to find an example of Greene not getting lift on his shots – not just one example, but a succession. I went back and looked at four games. He had a couple flat shots, but the rest looked great. It is flat out nonsense.

    To me, the comments by Greene’s dad smack of revisionist history. They appear to be a way to explain away his son’s horrible shooting. Something a dad might say. I don’t think he noticed anything out of the ordinary. Greene’s dad did what any parent would do – search for answers and over-analyze.

    A big question too: Is it believable that Greene could engage in all other basketball related activity with a torn labrum and that the condition would go wholly unnoticed? Meaning, defending, rebounding, jumping, sliding, pivoting, running – you name it.

    Actually, it is quite believable.

    Look at the symptoms of a torn hip labrum. A torn hip labrum can present no symptoms. There is a progression … pain to more severe pain with locking of the hip. Of course, there can be a traumatic tearing of the labrum with significant symptoms. But we know that this did not occur because of what we saw on the court. No doubt. But one can have torn labrum with no symptoms. As such, one could have a torn labrum with mild symptoms.

    My point is this: We cannot logically say that Greene hurt his hip and thus he was plunged into a horrific slump. There is no rational way to conclude that he would have such a dramatic drop off. There was no significant trauma. His court movements prove that. The fact that he supposedly hid this injury from the staff prove it as well. But there was a dramatic change in performance at one particular point in time – when the Fool’s Gold comment was made and the offense changed (significantly decreasing the reliance on three point shooting). If this “injury” happened near the beginning of the slump, this was at best minor in nature.

    Either he had significant symptoms that would be readily noticeable to others, or not. If he did, then we’d all notice. Or surely the coaching staff and medical staff would notice in games or practice. If he didn’t have significant symptoms, then, well, why would his shooting drop off so dramatically?

    Here’s what Self said at time of the surgery: “It (hip) hurts, but that’s not the problem. The problem is it’s continuing to get worse,” Self said.“He’s had it (bone spurs) for years, and they’ve decided to get it corrected. He’ll be pain-free.”

    Of Greene, his dad said, "He said he hurt it but it wasn’t as painful but keeps getting worse,”

    Of course, this is what is dad said also, "“Genetically when you are 7-years-old you start to form that ball socket. The ball socket was a tiny bit bigger than they felt it should be, so they shaved it down a bit. He had no bone spurs. It went well. He is in recovery in a good amount of pain. Give it a day and the pain should subside.”

    Do you see what is being said? Both Greene’s dad and coach Self agree that Greene had a longstanding condition that got repaired. Something he’s had “for years.” Self’s comment clearly makes it appear that is was something other than a traumatic injury. And by the way, I don’t worry a lot about the the contradiction between the two on “bone spurs.”

    And, of course, Self blamed Greene’s poor shooting on a “minor concussion”, not the hip. Clearly, Self downplayed the hip issue as it related to performance. If not, he would not have pulled the “minor concussion” out of thin air when discussing the hip surgery.

    Further, it is important to remember that Greene’s hip deal supposedly got progressively worse as the season went on. Both Self and Greene’s dad said so. But Greene’s dad also says that he got hit “in a game” and that he got hit “in practice.” I guess one or the other. It doesn’t matter. What matters is whether he had symptoms, and the progression of those symptoms.

    This directly contradicts the idea that his performance fell off a cliff due to a traumatic hip injury. Logic says otherwise. He had no outward manifestations that anyone saw, including the medical staff at Kansas. He continued to play all aspects of the game. He continued to practice. And no one noted any injury? That spells minor symptoms at best.

    Self’s comment supports that – the problem was that it was “continuing to get worse.” This comment was made in April. Greene’s comment, via his dad, supports that.

    If Greene had a “torn labrum” with significant symptoms, it would have been incredibly obvious to coaches, teammates, fans and most of all, the medical staff. Greene apparently was able to function on all levels without anyone knowing or even suspecting. Why is that?

    It’s because it wasn’t causing him significant distress. That’s all. Nothing spectacular. It hurt a little, then progressed to hurting a lot in April. Makes sense.

    But my issue is the attempt at the lame excuses. His dad attempting to create an excuse for his poor shooting. Self referring to a “minor concussion.” Fans, including some here, simply buying the B.S. that is being served without really challenging the story.

    That same article that noted Greene’s shot form stated, “Shooting is best done with clear minds.” Yes it is. No doubt. It’s why Kansas has struggled with the three ball for years.

    And, of course, we have the best circumstantial evidence of all – the entire team (not just Greene) went into a three point shooting slump after 1) the Fool’s Gold comment, and after 2) the change in our offense scheme (bad ball) – which occurred in concert with the Fool’s Gold comment.

    This wasn’t just a Greene issue. It as a team issue. It was a team issue because the leader – coach Self – changed the very dynamic of the team. He trivialized a certain aspect of the game. He told the players they couldn’t win relying on the three. He actively limited the amount of three point shots that could be taken. He changed everything.

    Sam Mellinger noted that, “It is a bizarre and concerning turn for a flawed team whose strengths, in theory, include three-point shooting.”

    It was bizarre. Perfect word. Completely bizarre. Inexplicable, perhaps – if there wasn’t an explanation.

    Kansas was one of the best three point shooting teams in the nation. Greene was perhaps the best three point shooter in the nation. Then it went to hell.

    There is only one person with that amount of influence and control of KU hoops to make that happen. Bill Self. Only one person that could affect the entire psyche of the team. Everything we saw on the court fits that narrative. We know the stats, we know that three point attempts plunged, we saw what Self paraded onto the court as an “offense.”

    Bill Self changed the entire offensive culture of this team in one dramatic swoop. That’s why the three point shooting of Brannen Greene and the rest of the team tanked.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Solid post.

    I guess I still wonder why Self focused away from the trey. Why?

    I don’t believe he would intentionally use a change in strategy to hurt us… so why?

    Could it be that he knew BG and others were merely taking advantage of spot up shooting opportunities, and that those would dry up as our reputation climbed as being trey capable? Could be.

    None of us know what he tells his team in private. Maybe he challenged them to prove they could hit treys even guarded. Perhaps if they proved that it would no longer be “fool’s gold.”

    I really don’t get it. I thought Self would play his hand as a “Riverboat Gambler” and boast about our trey shooting, intentionally trying to draw teams out to guard, and THEN have them feed the post. Heck, even Perry without the double-team can score often in the low post. Maybe his “Riverboat hand” was to discredit the trey, hoping other teams would listen to him and not start guarding it.

    I do think some of the fall off on the trey % has to do with the opposition starting to challenge it. Wayne might be our best trey shooter when contested. None are really proficient at hitting guarded treys.

    Perhaps it is a combination of Self discrediting the shot AND opposition challenging it more. So… then the shots were tougher to hit while the esteem was falling at the same time. That would explain such a HUGE drop in %s.

    Clearly… we screwed up our trey shooting after that comment. People can question if the comment hurt the shot or not, but the results can’t be challenged. Those are hard statistics. Sometimes there is no good explanation for teams going hot or cold beyond just being a continuum of tries that may be slightly impacted by the most recent results, helping with confidence and helping trend (in both directions).

  • @HighEliteMajor

    You are throwing down a challenge here worth throwing down. It has challenged me to rethink my argument that the hip injury alone triggered Greene’s shooting slump. And I agree any explanation needs to explain the team’s shooting slump

    So: first, I have to analyse your hypothesis.

    The essence of your argument, as I understand it, is this:

    1.) Greene’s injury was not decisive to his shooting slump because his shooting slump was not highly correlated with his tough to recognize injury and Self–a keen observer–blamed it on a mild concussion instead of his hip problem; and

    2.) Self’s questioning of his team’s ability to win with shooting unnerved Brannen Greene and his team and triggered both Greene’s slump and a team wide slump.

    Regarding 1, I could reasonably imagine how Greene could get hot early on with a deteriorating hip injury that was causing mild, but not yet severe pain, but then with the combination of wear and tear by mid season and some acute tweaking could simultaneously begin to cool off from his hot streak, and plummet nonlinearly into an acute, enduring slump that was a convergence of cooling off and acute hip pain. And I could see this correlating rather highly with Greene’s observed slump.

    But in the interest of data inclusiveness, we need to fit Greene’s “mild concussion” noted by Self as the primary driver into this explanation, as you rightly point out.

    If one assumes that Greene got hot early, then began to feel the converging effects of natural cooling AND nonlinearly intensifying hip pain, then adding a “mild concussion” to the mix might reasonably be expected to compound the effect and send Greene into an abject, enduring slump, which was what in fact occurred.

    But I am not quite done with Self’s pronouncement of a “mild concussion” being the primary driver of his slump, as you have wisely called our attentions to.

    History teaches us Self using “mild concussion” can mean many things. It appears to mean anything from a mild brain injury to a severe one. Zack Peters had a concussion that Self appeared to expect Peters to come back and play from that same season. If I recall correctly, Peters was then shortly thereafter diagnosed with a severe head injury that eventually forced him to leave the team, then the university, then the game, and after a brief time away, to an aborted attempt at a comeback at Arizona. Zack Peters was “nicked up” at one point. Perry Ellis was knocked silly in the WSU game at the end of the season. He went to the locker room. He came back out and at least appeared to be playing with some kind of brain trauma beyond just a nose injury. But it was never announced that he was suffering even a mild concussion. We know from neuroscience research that even mild blows to the head cause some injury to the brain. For comparison, Perry Ellis suffered an acute blow to the head vs. WSU and mild concussion was not even mentioned, as I recall. My point here is that Self is not a doctor, and he has strategic considerations doctors do not have, and he has in the past evidenced what appears a rather subjective interpretation of the effects of head injury. I certainly do not mean to suggest that he plays fast and loose with players’ health, but rather that while probably being very careful of their health and respectful of the medical experts within the locker room, Self has also to think about his public statements in terms of what the mean for playing the next opponent.

    The above brings me to doubt the accuracy of some of Self’s public and subjective characterizations of brain injuries like the one Brannen Greene may have sustained. I am not saying he over stated, or understated it, or hit it right on the head. What I am saying is that if Brannen Greene had a long standing hip injury that were growing more acute as the season went on, and if Self were concealing that injury from opponents for strategic advantage, as could make sense for him to do, and as would not be unprecedented in his past masking of short term, or even operable injuries, it appears plausible to me that Self might well have pointed to a “mild concussion” as the true culprit of Greene’s slump, even if it weren’t the whole explanation. Why? Because opponents would have reason to expect that Brannen Greene would get over a “mild con concussion” much sooner than an operable hip injury. In turn, opponents would be much more likely to keep guarding Greene outside with a “mild concussion,” than with an operably hip injury.

    But if Greene really did get his bell severely wrung–much more severely than what “mild concussion” might suggest, well, then we are into territory of a convergence of severe concussion and an operable hip injury that could interplay in a way that Greene’s shooting percentage from outside would plummet much as it did.

    But of course this leaves the team 3-point slump to be reckoned with, too.

    To reiterate, if I understand your hypothesis, you are suggesting that Self’s zeal to develop an inside scoring game lead him to either purposefully, or accidentally, impugn his teams shooting abilities to such a degree that he created such acute doubt in them that their trey balling became a self-fulfilling prophecy of what Self had asserted.

    Here is a problem with what you are positing that I think is incumbent upon you, who proposes the hypothesis, to explain in its defense.

    Why would Self need to sabotage his team’s three point shooting with doubting language in order to get them to work on driving the ball from all five positions?

    And why wouldn’t he have simply corrected himself as soon as he saw evidence of his pronouncement becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy?

    Why couldn’t he just come into the locker room and say, “Boys, we are a great trey balling team, and having developed our trey balling to a high level, we are now going to work on driving the ball from all five positions for a month or two. We are going to de-emphasize the trey balling for awhile, and work on driving the ball to the rack from all five positions to make up for our limitations in our back to the basket game. We’ve got great athletes in Jamari, Lucas, and Cliff and so I believe they are apt to be more productive off the drive than back to basket. And once we get this driving game down, well, then we will be collapsing defenses with our driving and then be able to shift gears and blow them apart with our great three point shooting.”

    Heck, Self might even have told the team something like, " And I am going to feed the media a line that we aren’t going to keep shooting the trey ball, because its fool’s gold with a team like you guys; that we aren’t a very good trey balling team after all. And then when we come up against an opponent that we need an edge on, we will surprise them by going to the trey ball with a bunch of terrific shooters. [big warm Self smile] Hey, you guys are the best outside shooting team I have ever had. I want to keep the element of surprise on our side. Okay?"

    Wouldn’t that have been a whole lot easier and a whole lot less risky than telling his guys they really weren’t very good shooters and meaning it, if they were healthy enough to shoot the trey well, and if he really thought they were one of his best trey balling teams?

    Where I am headed with this is: I think Greene really was suffering from both a bum hip and a concussion. And given the apparent acute, unreported color change I witnessed in him for a couple of weeks late in the season, he may also have been suffering one of those dietary problems that comes from these high tech diets they put the players on, or some kind of jaundice, or what have you.

    And the team?

    Well, We know that Wayne lost his confidence trying to be the leader of a team that was increasingly marching to Mason’s beat. And we have reason to wonder about Wayne’s lack of pop and intermittent bouts of no-focus.

    And along the way Graham got hurt.

    And Perry got hurt.

    And Cliff became a player one could hardly build around both for his sketchy performances and because of loan baggage.

    And Lucas and Traylor got hurt inside, so for quite some time there was no one inside to rebound a missed trey and keep possessions from being one shot possessions only.

    And so on.

    And don’t forget that the team truly was hotter than a firecracker for quite a long stretch of the season and that teams individuals and teams sooner or later go through slumps after getting incredibly hot.

    So: I am back to the idea that Self did not design this slump, nor probably even accidentally trigger it.

    I am back to thinking that he was reading the hand writing on the wall.

    Greene probably wasn’t going to get out of his slump because of operable injuries and a concussion that may well have been much worse than reported.

    God only knows what was wrong inside Wayne’s brain case from before the season started. He wasn’t going to become a 40%.

    Graham played well but was wearing down as a freshman from the D1 grind and then got “nicked up.” No 40%er there.

    Svi imploded almost immediately. No 40% there and even when he found the range it would be useless because he couldn’t guard over a pick.

    Mason? Self had put a saddle on him and ridden him, and knew he was going to have to ride him all the way. Therefore from the moment he made the decision to ride Mason, he knew Mason would likely burn out from wear and tear and stress sooner or later the second half of the season. So: though he was a 40%er as a 2 man, as a 1 man with a saddle on his back he was bound to lose his legs over the second half of the season.

    Perry was the only guy he could likely count on to endure a season of wear and tear in D1, if Self could get Perry untracked. He did and Self moved the saddle onto Perry. Alas, Perry went down to injury. No 40%er there down the stretch.

    Self had to have been able to forecast the second half of the season from the first half.

    Had the team been in a slump the first half of the season, he might have said, “Hey, sooner or later we are going to get hot now.” He might have stuck with the trey balling game on a big fat gamble.

    But when the team had had its hot streak the first half of the season, Self had to have known the writing was on the wall. Accruing injuries and wear and tear of playing guys big minutes was going to converge with this team’s inevitable shooting slump at the worst possible time for trying to win another title, or go deep in the Madness.

    So: Self made the tough call–the unpopular call–the truth so many could not handle.

    He said, “Yea, I know, we could have been a great trey balling team, but the injuries and the probable timing of the hot and cold streaks, have just made being a trey balling team unfeasible. Maybe next years. Now its time to face facts. And these guys are going to find it very difficult to face these facts without some cold water in the face. This is a one way street once we start down it, and the sooner we start down it the more time and so the more chance we have to adapt for the stretch run.”

    At least that’s what I come to, until your next set of eye openers.

    Note: I want to make absolutely clear that I am not saying you are wrong here, or even trying to refute you. I am trying to pose an alternative hypothesis that I think might also fit, so that you can then get on with the business of elaborating your case.

    What I really think is going on here is that because two hypotheses can fit the facts you have perspicaciously brought to all of our attention that we may be missing still more facts in this peculiar story involving Brannen Greene, Self and Brannen’s dad. And for what its worth, that peculiar loss of color during that one stretch the last month or so of the season, which neither of our hypotheses adequately accounts for, might be one anomaly to switch on our, or other’s, thinking caps.

    Rock Chalk!

  • The only thing that concerns me about any of this is that Greene actually recovers from his apparently fake summer surgery for his minor “injury” to contribute this year. I’m not going to sort through the tape, but there were clearly shots that Brannon took where he was not squared up or favored one side. People commented about it during game chats.

    Why would anyone ever believe what a coach says about a player’s health during the season? What’d you expect him to say: “Hey, Niang, it’s his left hip, and it’s really sore, so don’t bump him or drive that side.” ?

  • @DanR great pt! I’m just hoping we see huge improvements on his defensive movements. I cussed him more than anyone about not getting his butt down! I really think it was his hip. Sure haven’t heard much about his progress. I’m also sure Hippa laws apply to student athletes too, you think?

  • @DanR So I’m clear here, I’m not saying it was a fake injury at all. I’m just saying that it was a condition that progressed as far as pain, just like Self said and like Greene’s dad said (quoting his son). Further, there are clear statements that he had surgery for a condition that he’s had “for years.” I’m interested if you could show me any link to a “chat” where folks were saying he favored one side.

    @jaybate-1.0 @drgnslayr My belief is not that Self intentionally caused harm to the team. My belief, and I believe it is supported by the evidence, is that Self went off on the team and its reliance on three point shooting. I think he had finally reached his breaking point. That is because he believed that three point shooting was not a reliable way to succeed. We had heard Self make snide remarks about three point shooting – remember, he referred off-handed to “fool’s gold” in a half time interview during the Utah game, related to Perry Ellis.

    Of course, simply saying “fool’s gold” didn’t cause a slump. I believe it was more than that. I believe that behind the scenes, Self was very vehement and vocal with the team regarding what he’s said in the media – that you can’t rely on three point shooting, that the team has to take a different path, and that the team was going to take a different path. Thus, the change in offensive approach (bad ball).

    I don’t think Self set out to throw the team into a slump, but that a slump resulted.

    I know some poo-poo this. How could a coach cause a slump? Anyone that has been involved in sports knows this can happen. Whether it be a coach that tries to tinker with a hitter too much in baseball, or gets him thinking too much. The mental part of sports is crucial. And slumps, in large part, are mental. Does anyone who has played disagree with that?

    I cited the “free mind” thing when it comes to shooting. I think that the evidence we see, meaning Self’s statements and the precipitous decrease in our three point attempts, provides great support for the idea that Self mandated a decrease in three point shooting reliance.

    Was their a change in the “free mind” thing?

    You have a team that we all pretty much agreed was, offensively, led by three point shooting. It was really its identity. It was the best shooting team Self had at Kansas, according to Self. Then you tell them that won’t do it, you mandate a decrease in three point shooting attempts, and you then change the offensive approach on a dime – and the net result is what we saw. A team-wide slump.

    It is odd, the timing, right? If Self had nothing to do with causing the slump, then it just magically hit at the precise time when he made the comments, changed the offense, and (obviously) mandated lower three point attempts.

    Ain’t just a coincidence. Not when you have a team-wide blackout.

    Either you believe, or you don’t.

    If you don’t believe, ask yourself whether a coach can inspire a slump, in any sport? Can a coach by his words and actions negatively affect a team’s performance?

    Think of it this way, if a coach gives a pregame speech and fires up his team properly, can that help? If a coach demeans the team, tells them they are worthless, tells them that their opponent is superior, that he knows because he’s the coach – and he’s never seen a more worthless group of players than is sitting in front of him – can that negatively affect a team, the team dynamic, and the team’s performance?

    The latter is an extreme example, but all we’re talking about is whether a coach can affect performance by word and deed.

    This situation matches up too perfectly.

    But of course, we’ll never really know.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    “Self was very vehement and vocal with the team regarding what he’s said in the media – that you can’t rely on three point shooting, that the team has to take a different path, and that the team was going to take a different path.”

    This is right on… and what really ticked me off how Self handled this. We all know he believes you can’t rely on 3-pt shooting… and that may be true… just like you can’t rely on post scoring either. Eventually, you will face the big footer (or in the case of Kentucky… footerSSS) who will shut down your post scoring, so do you just say “f-it” and still continue to feed the post and get smoked? I guess in our case the answer is “yes.” When Kentucky smoked us we followed the same game plan all game, which did nothing but build Kentucky’s blocked shot stat line. That was embarrassing, and unnecessary.

    Truth is… all teams can’t rely on just one thing. Being one-dimensional usually ends teams’ run in March. What teams have to RELY on is being OPPORTUNISTIC and taking what the defense gives. Teams that have the broadest range of threats has the best chance of advancing in March, because they overcome all the unique resistance thrown at them by teams they haven’t faced during their season.

    Moving forward, it will be very very hard for us to win in March without 3-pt shooting, just as it will be every bit as hard if we don’t get any post scoring. Most teams will take a hit in the mouth for the first half and adjust their defense in the second half to try to fight back. This is where one-dimensional teams get crushed. This is often the way Kansas loses, because we don’t adjust to what the defense gives. Sometimes it is friggin’ embarrassing, especially when we get smoked by the MoValley teams, etc. It is like watching a train wreck in slow motion. At halftime, you can already sense the loss and you know it will take a friggin’ miracle to pull off the victory against a lower-seeded team.

    Kind of reminds me of the frustration I used to have with the KC Chiefs and Marvelous Marv Levy. I would be driving through western Kansas, listening to the Chiefs games, and I would call 99% of their plays before the snap. Let’s see… off-tackle… off-tackle… off-tackle. There was no way for them to win in the playoffs.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    I would agree that behind the scenes Self might have should I say “frightened” this team into shooting less from the perimeter. If anything he certainly wanted them to be a more aggressive team driving to the basket. We never found that perfect balance & where guys were in their development clearly showed we should have kept going with what worked.

    I believe it was him that said around tournament time that you can’t win games in the tourney without a good post game or 2 point scoring team. Again instilling his belief that jamming the ball inside without the proper guys was still the best way to win. But we’ve seen time and time again how the 3 point shot becomes the equalizer in such match-ups. Duke had the combination of guys who could chuck 3’s and have a post game.

    The Free Mind thing I believe has merit. This summer we saw how well a team could play minus some of its best talent when you just let them play with minimal structure.

    Do you think Self learned a lot this summer seeing just how well we played this way? Because the WUG didn’t have the importance of the regular season everything was more lax & free-willed. I would say we have 3 legit guys who can get their own shot whenever they want. How can you not let those guys run this team regardless of offensive scheme. And all 3 that I’m talking about (Mason, Selden, Ellis) are outside-inside players first.

  • Before Perry got hurt last year, we found out that getting him the ball on the outside with a chance to create against a big was what had him in front for POY. If they don’t come out to guard him, he will take the unguarded three. If Diallo is here, a smorgasbord of offense will be unleashed from all of the Big 3. Mason is the Boss, but Selden and Ellis will be the scorers. Perry and Wayne are happy, very happy to let Frank stir the drink. Fool’s Gold was last year, let’s please be done with it and the conspiracy theories of who was lying and who sabotaged our team.

  • @wrwlumpy you are exactly right. Our best ball was the lil change Self made w/Perry before LL landed on him.

  • @wrwlumpy You said, “Before Perry got hurt last year, we found out that getting him the ball on the outside with a chance to create against a big was what had him in front for POY. If they don’t come out to guard him, he will take the unguarded three.”

    Ok, but do you see what you are saying?

    It’s true.

    However, that’s exactly what Self said was “fool’s gold” – he said it after Ellis played outside in and torched Utah in the first half. Self said that at halftime.

    @Crimsonorblue22 Your comment here is very insightful. Ellis, in fact, had his best games post TTU. Against Baylor, we won – but they played zone, so that is somewhat of a difficult one to analyze. Ellis then scored 19, 23, 24 and 28 in succession, under bad ball, before his injury. No doubt, Ellis was better.

    However, we lost 2 of 4. Our team was not better. Our overall offense was not better.

    So there is no doubt that Ellis was better. But our team was not better. Bad ball didn’t improve our offense.

  • @HighEliteMajor said:

    I’m interested if you could show me any link to a “chat” where folks were saying he favored one side.

    Game chats don’t seem to be searchable, but here’s a CJ article Jesse Newell wrote earlier this summer and he refers back to Greene talking about his hip himself, back in early March.

    QUOTE: “My hip’s hurting, and when I go to jump, it just feels … I don’t know. I know how I shoot,” Greene told The Capital-Journal on March 12 after an 0-for-3 long-range effort against TCU. “I know how my shot feels. I don’t feel like my legs are really getting into it. But that’s no excuse.”

  • The March thing is when it kind of hit our collective consciousness (and we didn’t know surgery was in the offing when he mentioned hip paid then). But I just don’t recall anything near or even close to after his slump hit.

    I believe if you say that folks saw it earlier. I just never saw it, or noticed it. I sometimes read through the kubuckets chats post game, and I sometimes do the CJ online one. Really the first I heard or considered injury was when this hip deal came out.

  • @HighEliteMajor BTW, I’m not dismissing the idea that Self’s “fools gold” comment was directed at his players (Greene in particular). But, I imagine what he screams right into their faces during practice and the locker room has a lot more impact than two words he said casually in a press conference.

    Keep in mind too, with Greene, Self is dealing with a hard-headed, very intelligent kid with about 1o times the self-confidence most kids have. He’s been suspended for 2.5 games so far as a Jayhawk including the OU game on March 7 during his slump. So, in addition to a physical injury serious enough to require surgery, it seems like Greene might have had some stuff going on in his head other than the fool’s gold comment.

    I don’t think we can put together a true picture based on what is said publicly, but Bill Self not wanting to bomb 25 three attempts per game is not some kind of big secret.

  • @DanR Exactly … I think that it was the behind the scenes stuff that impacted them. Fool’s gold was public. In private, I think it was much more pointed and likely more animated. But it was with that theme.

  • @HighEliteMajor During your watching and participating in sports has it been your observation that players do more of what a coach doesn’t want than they do what he does want? Supposedly the “fools gold” comment caused Brannen Greene to shoot very poorly (which he did hitting at 17% after TTU ) and yet he shot 3 pointers at a clip of 3.09 per game after TTU and 2.7 per game up to and including that game. Bill Self told him in an animated fashion that the team was supposed to drive the ball more and yet he shot 3s at an increased rate. Has it also been your experience watching Bill Self that players who don’t do what he wants get playing time? In fact, he averaged 14 minutes per game before and after the remark.

    If the team felt that the coach didn’t want 3 point attempts, why did Frank Mason make 2.8 attempts per game before the remark and 2.5 attempts after? That would be hardly what a team leader does. Wayne was the only significant 3 point shooter whose attempts declined a lot. He went from 4.`6 attempts per game when he was shooting at 43% to 2.16 attempts when he was shooting 11%. Of course that couldn’t have anything to do with a player with less than the largest self confidence realizing that he is not helping to win games shooting like that.

    If Bill Self hates 3 point shots, why did he have Svi shooting 3.08 attempts per game for 32% until after the Kent State game when his playing time dropped like a stone? I suppose that if he had hit 43% he would have still imitated an assistant coach for the rest of the year.

  • @HighEliteMajor I wasn’t implying that Self in practice was screaming at Greene to stop taking shots. I honestly can’t think of very many bad/quick shots Greene took all year. If anything, based on his offensive philosophy history, in practice Self was probably trying to make sure the players knew they still needed to have a successful inside presence and not “depend” on those 3 pt shots falling every time… and without Alexander, and then Perry getting hurt, it made those shots tougher.

    The most obvious factor in Greene’s slump was the hip injury. Hopefully, the surgery corrected that problem. The other two known potential factors–1) Bill Self head games and 2) whatever off-court behavior caused Greene’s suspensions–we really are just guessing about.

    @sfbahawk made a great point that 3pt attempts actually went UP after the comment. I didn’t realize that. Soooo… what are we arguing about again?

  • These are all good thoughts about more threes and opening up the offense and not inhibiting the creative play on the offensive end of the court. Certainly we need to be a little more free and loose and run less stuff, and attack the basket earlier in the shot clock, so that in March the play makers are used to making plays, and not waiting for the “system” to create a play.

    However, there are some very big misperceptions in thinking there is a single cause-effect in such a complex sport with so many variables: The main cause of shooting less well from the three as the season wears on is injuries, tired legs, better defenses, tougher competition and more pressure in the shooter.

    If we had had JoJo two years ago and the Big Red Dog last year, both healthy and peaking at the end of the season and tourney time, it would have been an entirely different year at the end of the season AND the team’s three point shooting percentage would have been a few points higher. But we could run a few more players for our shooters and play a little looser, no doubt.

    You guys are WAY overthinking the “fools’ gold” comment and its impact. The bigger issue on offense is our lack of spreading the floor and its corollary clogging the lane: there is no where to drive to shoot or pitch to the open three.

    Here is the message: let the boys turn it loose driving to the basket and jacking the three earlier in the clock and on the first and secondary break. We now have supeior talent and we need to play GREAT team D but be a little more selfish and individualistic on O.

    In this aspect, I do agree that our wonderful and talented and very smart head coach might be a little stuck in his early successful philosophy: how to win with inferior or the same talent level.

    He is learning and is getting better in his offensive philosophy but IF there is a weakness in the KU BB program in the Self years, it is our lack of individual creativity and alpha dog training during the regular season on O…

    I believe we will see more ‘attack the basket’ with Frank as the lead dog, and play at a much faster pace with Cheick as the fastest big man in the history of the program. We will not turn into ISU, nor should we, but we could shoot a few more threes and make a higher percentage if our bigs stay healthy and we unclog the lane.

  • @sfbahawk First, go back and read this.

    Second, read go back and read this.

    Now, to your discussion.

    1. You are correct on Greene’s attempts.

    2. You reference Mason makes, not attempts. You do not note Mason’s attempts. His attempts went down from 2.83 to 2.54 per game. I don’t know why you’d refer to Greene and Selden’s attempts, but Mason’s makes.

    3. You are correct that Selden’s attempts decreased.

    4. You ignore the most important stat, which proves the coach’s edict. Our team’s three point attempts dropped by nearly 4 per game, and nearly 4.5 excluding the pre-bad ball game vs. Baylor. In the 24 games through Texas Tech, we shot 16.91 three pointers per game. After, it was 13 per game. The 13 per game also included 18 against Baylor just after the TTU game, but before “bad ball” was implemented (Baylor played zone that game). If we exclude Baylor, that is 12.54 per game. Then we shot 21 vs. WSU in our last game trying desperately to come back. The number of threes per game including those two games were 18, 11, 10, 13, 8, 15, 15, 8, 12, 12, 13, and 21.

    This is easy.

    @DanR Uh, no, on attempts. Three point attempts dropped like a rock. Again, and I keep repeating myself – why is it so hard for some to recognize that Self mandated fewer three point attempts? The evidence is indisputable. Who denies this?

    @jayhawk 007 - Don’t focus on the comment. Focus on what the comment led to. The meaning of the comment. It led to a wholesale change in offensive philosophy.

  • @HighEliteMajor - you said: It led to a wholesale change in offensive philosophy.

    I do not think Coach Self’s philosophy on O has changed at all, during last season or at any time since he has been our head coach. I do not think he had one philosophy and we won our games first half of the year and then changed the philosophy and we lost our games after that.

    Not last year or at any time during his tenure. The whole point is the conservative highly team oriented approach on O, the Hi-Lo schemes, inside-out, pass it around the perimeter, play very deliberate systematic offense has its limits, especially at tourney time.

    I do think his philosophy needs to evolve on the offensive end and shooting more threes is a small part of that evolution. We need a better offensive mind or more input from the outside. The Hi-Lo needs an upgrade and we need to UNCLOG THE LANE.

  • @jayhawk-007 My choice of the word “philosophy” was poor.

    I should have said scheme. We clearly changed scheme, i.e., what has been termed “bad ball” (by either @drgnslayr or @jaybate-1.0).

    Your talk of evolving is right on point. And I think we will see that. All the fabled hi/low needs is tweaks. Great point.

    Heck, Izzo evolved. Self can too.

  • Agreed. Good points.

    Coach is so creative and GREAT on out of bounds plays and he should be able to introduce some new schemes to fit his players a little better on O.

  • Let me supplement my main post above:

    -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, @sfbahawk – you noted that Wayne had a significant decrease in attempts after the switch to bad ball. Who in their right mind would tell a guy shooting 43% from three to shoot fewer threes?

    Your comment on Selden makes no sense. In 8 of 12 games following the Fool’s Gold comment/switch to bad ball, he shot 2 or fewer three point attempts. This is pretty definitive. The guy was gunning at 43% with 4.6 attempts per game. Then he got shut down. Who does that?

  • @HighEliteMajor I enjoyed those links back to past threads that I ignored. Seriously, what is your point now, and how does it matter?

    Can you wrap this issue up in a nutshell and express it in a simple sentence or a question without amending it to counter someone’s stats about another player? Jaybate valiantly tried to figure it out, but now I honestly I have no idea whether we’re talking about Greene’s injury, Self being a deceitful saboteur, Selden tanking like a chunk of lead, or you just don’t like the way Self manages to get a #1 seed in the tourney 40+% of the time since he’s been here.

    Help me out!

  • @HighEliteMajor I appreciate that you are trying to make a point and that sometimes reading things the way you want might make this easier. My statement was “why did Frank Mason make 2.8 attempts per game”. He made 2.8 attempts per game, not as you misread it 2.8 makes per game. To make an attempt is NOT the same as to make a basket!

    My reference to Selden was to make the point that of the major shooters of 3 pointers he was the only one who made sufficiently fewer attempts. If I remember correctly (and I do) many posters were calling for Wayne to be replaced by somebody, anybody in fact. It is not as if he took fewer attempts while maintaining his shooting percentage. My explanation for fewer attempts due to concern for his misses is every bit as plausible as is yours that everyone on the team was frightened by Self. You also seem to forget that although Wayne improved his 3 point shooting by 4% he did do from a not too impressive 32,8% the previous year in which he hit 42 out of 128 attempts. Could he have foretold the future about the “fools gold” comment by shooting so poorly? He improved from 2014 to 2015 and will hopefully do as much or better in that regard this year.

    As you state the team attempts dropped by 4 per game. 1.8 of these fewer attempts can be attributed to Wayne. It is a bit strange that you want to exclude the attempts in the Baylor game to make the average worse. If the team felt demeaned (from your previous post) by “fools gold”, why did that not happen in the game immediately following the remark? By the way, I do not buy into the bad ball argument to anything approaching the extent that jaybate does.

    You have still not explained why Brannen Greene, the best shooter on the team, took more 3 point shots after the remark than before and why did Bill Self give him as many minutes after as before. As @DanR pointed out, he is a young man with no lack of confidence. BG was the main driver for your remarks up until my post. I agree with @jayhawk 007 that way too much has been made about the comment.

    I reread your past posts. I wasn’t impressed then and I am less so now.

  • Can we sign a petition for the end of the dribble weave??

    Has to be the most played out useless waste of time I’ve ever seen on the offensive end. In the past it helped us win games, but now everyone and their mother knows we use it.

    If Self’s philosophy or scheme changes I’m crossing my fingers we don’t see that play in the arsenal this year.

  • @sfbahawk Ok, your phrasing was confusing – making attempts then means an attempt. When you could have just referred to it as an attempt. Got it.

    So to your point, you said: “If the team felt that the coach didn’t want 3 point attempts, why did Frank Mason make 2.8 attempts per game before the remark and 2.5 attempts after?”

    Uh, the attempts went down.

    The team attempts went down by nearly 25%. This is of course the important stat for anyone willing to consider the argument. But when you’re not willing to consider it, you avoid the most telling stat.

    On Greene, my initial thought is that he was pressing, trying to get out of the slump. Further, that’s really about all he could do in bad ball (shoot the three), since the emphasis was on driving and he clearly can’t do that. When he tried, he was pretty bad at it. But that’s my best explanation.

    And, of course, I’ve never said Self mandated no threes. He clearly mandated fewer threes, and less reliance on them.

    I exclude Baylor because they played zone and we played our zone offense. I know this is hard for you to follow, but again, it is the approach, it is what is done in practice, it is the change in scheme. That would not have occurred until the game after Baylor. Again, I know this whole basketball thing is hard for you to digest, but give it a try. When a coach preps for an opponent, he game plans for that opponent. So, there was no “bad ball.” That started the game after Baylor.

    You said “I reread your past posts. I wasn’t impressed then and I am less so now.”

    That’s nothing more than being a jackass for no reason, and it unfortunately dictated the tone of my post. My citation to my prior posts was to offer context to my opinion now, and to provide posts that had much more information.

    I will ask you, though, point me to another end of the season breakdown that was more detailed that I have offered for discussion on this site (referring to my links above)? Remember, it is offered for discussion.

  • @DanR It may not matter to you, so why are you participating? If the thread is distasteful or causes you distress, why engage in the debate?

    From my perspective – and I only posted this thread because of the other discussion on Greene – the fraud that Greene’s injury caused his three point shooting to fall off a cliff was relevant. It had become an accepted fact, when, in fact, the evidence indicates that it is untrue.

    That had not yet been mentioned.

    Again, if you or whomever here doesn’t like it – or more what it is and always is – folks don’t like it when implicates coach Self, well, tough. Bill Self isn’t perfect. Bill Self took a team that was 21-4 and drove our season – our season – into the ground. He made the decision to cut back on the three pointers on a team that was functioning quite well, to switch to a God awful offensive scheme (bad ball), and change the entire complexion of a team that was winning. That’s the issue.

    This is what troubles folks. Bill Self. Genius. Blew it. Then, post fact, folks try to create this silly scenario that he had to do it. That Bill Self, genius, foresaw that massive three point shooting slump; and because that innate foresight, he cut the threes in advance of that slump and put in an offense that really wasn’t much of an offense – the perpetual weave, as @BeddieKU23 noted.

    Again, do we simply forget that our coach had our team wildly unprepared? That we had no real offense? That he chose that path mid season? All after having them exquisitely prepared and 21-4? Who changes that?

    We know why Self changed what we were doing. It was because it didn’t fit his little version of what successful and proper offense should be. Meanwhile, we watch coaches and teams that did adapt and change – shooting threes at the rate we shot pre bad ball (Michigan St.) – find their way to a Final Four.

    The fact is, Self just made a mistake. A very human mistake. He miscalculated. That’s all I"ve ever said. I take the position that Self is human. I take the position that Self is not a genius with an all knowing crystal ball. This was just a big miscalculation on his part. And the fraud that Greene’s hip was causing him to immediately miss everything he shot further masked that reality. You know, great coaches can make mistakes. They can make big ones.

    So what, in the final analysis, is more important to discuss than that?

  • My hope is Diallo clears and advances his offense quickly. If he does that, great chance we have the horses to run effective offense, both outside/in and in/outside.

    Then I hope we find a balance of hitting a solid % from trey, while also hitting a high % from the low post and mid range.

    I hope through this success that Self sees how important BOTH areas are on the floor and no longer tries to artificially slow the flow of one or the other, and the opposing defense partially dictates that because we become a team of OPPORTUNISTS.

    If I was to look at one area of ISU ball that I’m envious of, it is their ability to become OPPORTUNISTIC and succeed at what defenses give.

    I wish we could contract The Mayor for a day just to teach attitude… NBA attitude.

  • @HighEliteMajor On Greene’s slump, I’m not convinced that it was in no way injury-related.

    I was wondering, is it possible to know when in the shot clock we took our 3 point attempts before and after the Self comment?

    Imagine Self saying in the locker room: “3 pointers as the first option is fool’s gold. Try to go inside first, and when that doesn’t work then it’s OK to shoot”.

    So shooting becomes thoughtful and not instinctive, and shots have to be taken in a hurry. Frank’s attempts go up because he has the ball in his hands at the end of long possessions.

    Did anyone get that impression last year?

    Maybe Self was trying to have his cake and eat it too, and would up with pie - in his face…

  • @ParisHawk Great, great point – “So shooting becomes thoughtful and not instinctive, and shots have to be taken in a hurry.”

    I don’t have access to that info on when in the shot clock they were taken. This goes directly to the “free minds” concept. Shooters are best with free minds. When that is clouded, their shooting can be affected because they are thinking about it. Marginalizing three pointers meant removing them as the first option, or second option. Moving them to a less important position. That’s what bad ball did.

    We still shot threes. Just not as many. Self didn’t say “don’t ever shoot threes.” But rather, most likely, let’s do this first, then this second, and maybe this third. In our 21-4 stretch, we shot a lot of early threes. There were times they were raining down. Self accepted it then, though it was not his preference.

    Great point.

  • @drgnslayr

    I have modest offensive projections for Diallo. I think anything close to the 7-10 ppg. area is an upgrade over last year. I expect he’ll be a decent FT shooter (he has good touch) & his % at the rim should be high because he’s athletic & will take almost all his shots in close range.

    I expect he’ll block a lot of shots & be a good rebounder. Somewhere in the 7bs & 2 blocks pg area. He’ll likely foul a lot early until the game slows down defensively, at that point I expect he’ll be a dominant defender as he has been his whole career.

    Some stats that won’t show up that I think are critical in assessing Diallo will be: Shots altered, 50/50 balls & the pace he might force our guys to play having a gazelle like big on the floor. Self has already alluded to the pace factor that he brings to this team. I expect he’ll alter a lot of shots like Withey did, & I expect he will win his fair share of 50/50 balls. Maybe I’m being too zealous in some projections but I just find it hard to believe this kid isn’t the stud big we all think he is.

  • @HighEliteMajor You are totally correct. English for some people can be confusing and I guess that you fall into that category. Prior to the second TTU game Frank made 68 attempts at a 3 point shot (follow this closely) in 24 games for an average of 2.833 attempts per game. After that game he shot 30 3 pointers in 11 games for an average of 2.72 attempts per game. If frank had shot at the same rate after TTU as he did before he would have taken 2.833 times 11 shots for a whopping total of 31.16 3 pointers attempted.That is slightly more than 1 shot over 11 games. Do you think that the number makes your case stronger? Really?

    As I pointed out Wayne made 1.8 of the teams fewer attempts per game. Your reason for his doing that is no more plausible than is mine. Bill Self may indeed have mandated fewer 3 pointers per game. We will never know unless someone writes a book or does an interview about the subject. His mandating, however, has never been your chief concern. You have based most, if not all, of your points on the subject of the “fools gold” remark at the press conference. This supposedly demeaned the team’s accomplishments thus far in the season and lowered their morale to the point where it affected their shooting. Why the sudden change of tactics? Is the job of arm chair psychologist becoming too difficult.

    As for my being a jackass, I humbly apologize. I truly did not understand your drive to maintain exclusivity here for that label. What is very easy to follow is that you believe that no one (and this includes Bill Self) knows as much about basketball as do you.

  • Okay… I’m jumping into the jackass pool! 😉 I have no doubts about earning that title for myself, especially since it has been reinforced several times in my life by people I respect labeling me as a mule.

    We can all use statistics to support our point of view. Usually, the numbers can be massaged to support opposing views. So I’m not going to use them to make my point here.

    From my experiences of playing for several decades, I will only state my own opinion on the “fools gold” comment.

    I can only see it as negatively impacting the players that take 3s. I know it would negatively impact my production of 3s and I’m not over-sensitive on anything. I am King Jackass! I know it would make me think too much while playing in real time. This game is a game requiring players to play by instincts, not over-thinking. I am certain my 3-pt % would drop like a lead balloon if my coach announced to the world that my 3-pt shot was “fools gold.” And I am only putting it in the context of the basketball world I played in… a heck of a lot smaller world than KU basketball!

    I’ve suddenly renewed my fan vigor for MLB play (thank you, Royals!). I notice how managers stick up for their guys, even when their guys are clearly wrong… ESPECIALLY when their guys are clearly wrong! If a player gets thrown out of a game, the manager is not far behind. The key to all of this is that players need to feel like their coaches GOT THEIR BACKS!

    To me, just my perspective, it felt like Self threw his trey shooters under the bus. I don’t know how to see it in any other way. I think that was one of the few times where he didn’t filter his comments like he usually does. I bet he would filter that comment out now if he could go backwards. He could have been a lot smarter on how he impacts his players to play differently then to denigrate part of their game… and treys are an important part of the game!

    That is just my 2 cents. There may be a stat out there that runs counter to my comment. If so, so be it. I’m just stating what I feel about this.

    Calling out “fool’s gold” on an action by a player or players infers that those players are fools. It infers that their actions are driven by the shiny gold prize they perceive it to offer. And, or course, the “fools” part attaches possession via use of a denigrating descriptor.

    I’m glad no coach I ever played for called me a “fool” (just a Jackass! 😉 )

  • @drgnslayr You, my friend, have played the game. You’ve been coached. And you understand that a coach, by word and deed, can impact his players.

    What entertains me is the same people that will give credit to Self for his coaching, won’t recognize that his approach could backfire sometimes.

    I cited Self’s EJ blowup after the OSU loss at home in 2013. Crickets. Folks that oppose my theory here gloss over that. I have not heard anyone dispute what I said at the time – that Self’s uncharacteristic trashing of EJ led directly to a team being mentally not ready to play against TCU, and thus and inexplicable loss. If one admits that Self’s actions and words helped lead to that loss, then my theory here has undeniable legs.

    Of course it has legs. Anyone – and I mean anyone – who has played or coached this game knows that a coach can impact positively and negatively. As I pointed out to @jaybate-1.0, he has a long standing position Self amps his team, or lets them come out flat. Same thing.

    Could my theory be wrong? Sure. But to me, the only other explanation is a horrific and perhaps unprecedented coincidence. I’ve never seen a team’s shooting tank like that. But then again, I’ve never seen a coach do what Self did with 7 regular season games left. The reason I discount the coincidence is how vehement Self was about NOT relying on threes. The fact that the three was point of his upset. Then the new scheme. And the stark change in our three point fortunes. Dots connected. 100% for sure? Of course not. Confident? Sure.

    But, of course, some simply want to deny that it’s even possible – enter @sfbahawk.

    @sfbahawk Again, and I know that this is continuing to be difficult, but the team’s three point attempts dropped nearly 25%. That’s evidence. I don’t think anyone, perhaps other than you, believes that Self did not mandate scaling back the three pointers. Just one person’s performance is not sufficient evidence. It is just a piece of the puzzle. The entire puzzle is the entire team.

    By the way, Mason’s attempts went down from 2.83 to 2.54. There were 12 games. But whatever.

    The fact that Wayne’s attempts went down 1.8 per game is notable, and nice. A portion of the whole. He was shooting 43% before, and crap after, right? But absolutely no connection.

    It is pretty funny that you mention the tired line that I think I know more about basketball than Bill Self. It always interesting how analysis, critique, and challenging a thought process degrades to that with some on this site (and in the past, on the other site). It’s a simple minded response, of which I’m happy to expect from you. When I suggest another theory that might challenge you, feel free to accuse me of what you’d like. Others – one in particular – has flown that non-substantive banner for quite a while.

    It demonstrates just a touch of ignorance when you can’t even consider the hypothesis to be true. When you shut it down without even a hint of possibility. And it’s interesting that no one really challenges the psychological impact a coach can have on his team – see the TCU debacle. But no way. Devaluing the very character of the team, changing an offense approach midseason, mandating fewer shots from three thus getting in their heads, could not lead to a slump. Nope. Just doesn’t work that way.

    Tell me this. When a hitter in baseball is hot, why don’t players talk about the streak? Is it because the don’t want to jink it? Or is that really getting the hitter thinking about his success, which might impact his future performance?

    That analogy might be over your head. I don’t know.

    It is amazing to me that this is just outright dismissed.

    The theory is that Bill Self made a tactical mistake that simply evidences that he is not perfect, and that mistake is analyzed largely in hindsight. And that is interpreted as suggesting that one (me) thinks he knows more about basketball than Self.

    I can’t help you there. It makes you feel better to think that, I assume.

    I will conclude this topic … you may have the last word if you choose.

  • I know (for sure) that I could not do as good a job as Self does at running this team. I would take his 82% winning percentage and would be lucky to win 50% of the time. Self is a great coach and I’m glad we have him!

    But Self is like the rest of mankind, and he makes mistakes now and then. I think he just put his foot in his mouth on the “fools gold.” If he doesn’t feel like he did and he liked the results of focusing on low post scoring after that, then there is a great chance he will use the “fools gold” statement again this year, right after we have a game where we hoist up a truckload of 3s.

    Anyone want to place a bet on that one? I’m willing to bet he doesn’t mention the term “fools gold” again (unless he tries to reverse the meaning). And I will accept that as his acknowledgment of putting his foot in his mouth.

    Self may be living down his “fools gold” statement for the rest of his career. How will we ever land another top trey shooter when competing recruiters will show their interpretation of Self’s “fools gold” and how Kansas doesn’t emphasize treys. How do we defeat that blunder negatively impacting recruiting as we move forward?

    I think Self should come out and address his comment. Clearly state that Kansas will use any and all weapons to win a game. Defend the trey! Let people everywhere know that “fools gold” was just a term he blurted out to fit a precise situation and it has nothing to do with how he sets his game strategy. blah blah blah…

    Like I said above… it deserves repeating… How are we going to recruit the next superstar trey shooter? How?

Log in to reply