Oh Perry, Where Art Thou?

  • There is a good story about Perry’s recent troubles fresh off the press today:


    Matt points to our troubles nailing 3s making it harder for Perry to establish his low post position.

    i don’t really buy it, at least, as a single directional blame. Let’s look at our last game with Florida as an example. We actually shot well from 3, nailing 42.1% of our treys. And if you review the game again, you’ll notice Wiggins played a big part of our success from 3, going 4 for 9. None of his shots were right on the line, he was back a ways… because Florida was not sunk down on Perry. Florida’s guards played both high and middle, putting pressure on the ball or closing the passing lanes, trying to create TOs (which they did) and make it hard for our perimeter players to do anything except turn the ball over.

    Perry produced a whopping 4 points and 4 rebs in 24-minutes of floor time. Not exactly something to write home about. There were two reasons for Perry’s poor performance; first, Perry, second, our perimeter players.

    Perry’s play was the main reason for his lack of production. Perry performed well early in the year, when teams played soft defense. Everyone we play now scouts us and they now know to make Perry earn his position in the post. Perry isn’t fighting for his position. It’s right there available… the same space available to Julius Randle… but Perry isn’t fighting for it (Julius is). So without an open Perry in the post, passing it in is risky for another TO.

    Second… our perimeter players were only focused on the pressure they were receiving… and not looking to pass well to make the defense pay for all that high pressure. They were busy turning the ball over on the perimeter, so they weren’t exactly full of confidence to throw it into the post to a guy who wasn’t totally open.

    We can blame Perry’s poor performance on the perimeter… like Matt does. Or we can blame Perry for our perimeter’s poor performance (too). I’d tend to go for the later here because Perry never gave it chance in the Florida game. He never created the opportunity for a safe interior pass. Had he done that, and if our guards started feeding him (and he scored from it) Perry would have helped defeat the high pressure put on our guards which helped force all the TOs. So in essence, Perry is as responsible as anyone on the team for creating all those TOs.

    Let’s look at how teams are starting to play Kentucky. Remember Randle’s game against MSU? He chewed them up. So teams are realizing they can’t run their guards too far out, and if the ball feeds into Randle, they have to help out on the front side, too. So Randle is starting to feel the heat, and putting up less stats, while Kentucky’s guards are starting to burn the nets from 3. Defenses can’t protect both. It’s one or the other… or somewhere in between where limited opportunities exist all over the court.

    So all of this negative attention pouncing on our team, much of it going to our freshmen and to our PGs… more should be going to our post, and to one of our only experienced players, Perry Ellis. By reversing the way sports media keeps telling us to look at it, we see that responsibility must be shared by the entire team. Our post play impacts our perimeter play, and our perimeter play impacts our post play.

    What we should be taking from all of this is that basketball is a team sport. Everyone has to be held accountable because when a player performers poorly at his position, the other positions are impacted, too, with more pressure going towards them. Zone defenses are all about shifting defense to cover areas on the floor in an attempt to put more pressure on the areas where the biggest threats are. So if we can’t hit a 3, the zone sags to put more pressure on the post, and we have to prove ourselves from the perimeter to get them to bring the pressure back on top. It also works the same way in reverse… if we can’t score from the post, the perimeter defense is allowed to pressure up high.

    Villanova exposed us by putting heavy pressure out (up top) on our guards. Part of the reason why we didn’t make them pay for that came from our post players not working harder to receive the ball and score from it. The same thing happened against Florida.

    I’m not letting our perimeter players off the hook. With the new rule enforcement they should easily be able to punish any teams for putting on heavy pressure. The should be able to drive out of any pressure and often force a foul call. They should have used their feet to attack the seams of the zone, either by creating a driving or passing lane (if they have the ball) or creating a passing lane to receive the ball (if they don’t have the ball). Our guys played flat footed and also let the ball stick. All the traps worked great because of that reason. And our guards had difficulty passing on the perimeter, so feeding the post to someone who hasn’t sealed their man from the path of the ball, would almost guarantee another TO.

    Everyone on this team deserves the credit for failing the system… including Perry! These losses fall on every player!

    I’m hopeful this was discussed in the team meeting… and why Perry spoke out about it being helpful. Their only hope of coming together as a team is to realize that everyone together is responsible for their failures (and success)!

    Question: Where Art Thou, Bill Self’s infamous hi/lo?

    Rock Chalk!

  • Totally agree drgn. The best way to attack a zone is to ATTACK THE ZONE!!! Either drive the gaps or pass to a post in a gap. The high post was wide open against UF but we never had anyone flashing there. If you get it to the high post then the zone will collapse to guard leaving someone open. Guards spot up for threes and low post get as low as you can go! That effectively results in the high-low but against a zone. Lastly, I’d love to see Andrew cut from the backside like he did earlier in the year. I’m definitely not a coach but I could imagine HCBS in the huddle say (very calmly) “Guys when you pass it it to the right and the ball sticks and you’re scared and tentative and feel like falling out of bounds, how bout Andrew cut to an open area maybe near the free throw line and then you step through the pressure and pass it to Andrew and then he can score, cool? Jayhawks on three 1, 2, 3 JAYHAWKS!”

  • Drgn can I be Assistant Head Wig of Wiggymania?

  • Of course, @ValiHawk !

    Fall to one knee and repeat after me (while I layeth our Jayhawk sword on thee head):

    “I shall remain loyal to our King Wig, Sir Andrew Wiggins, for as long as thee shall thrive in the leagueth called “college basketball” and beyond to the N-eth B and A-eth!”

  • Perry only took a few shots in the Florida game. Sometimes hard to tell whether it is due to the guards not getting it to him or Perry not working to get in position. Based on Perry sitting so much in the 2nd half, it would appear that Drgn’s point about Perry not getting position is likely a big part of the reason that he didn’t get many looks. Otherwise, he would have played more down the stretch.

  • This is the greatest thread of all time, where’s the participation?!?!

  • Agreed Drgn. Both those games, it looked like the ball was being held for a half second too long before the next pass, or lack there of. One question I have to add is this; does C.S. have the coaching chops to bring his youngest team to date up to high elite speed by tourney time? He has had tough challenges so far but this may be his greatest.

  • Just read the article and while valid, I thought that it didn’t address one particular point which is his style of play. Perry Ellis is much more of a finesse player than a banger down low. Many times last year he would disappear for stretches against tough teams that challenged his layups and put backs. I thought I saw more of that type of play against Florida. Not only do we need him to be more aggressive attacking but we need him attacking the basket with strength whether in shooting or rebounding.

    Off topic - something else I have noticed this year is that our bigs don’t seem to be as sure handed in grabbing rebounds. Many times we are not in position to get them but even when we are, we seem to bobble the ball instead of locking it down which gives our opponents an open door to contest it further. I have seen this with Black, Ellis, Traylor and Embiid. Hope it is something they are working on.

  • @drgnslayr - Awesome thread.

    I think you’re exactly right. Perry’s play is the main reason for his lack of production. There are other contributors to what we’ve seen, but Ellis is the main reason Ellis hasn’t been at the top of his game.

    Perry needs to work hard for position, demand the ball, handle the ball when he receives it, pass out of double teams, and take the ball to the hoop with authority. But even more than that, he can’t play second fiddle to Wiggins. And he can’t play second fiddle to Embiid. Ellis has to play like he’s “the man.”

    I see that @VailHawk was wondering about participation on the thread – 8 hours ago. Some of us do sleep from time to time!

  • HEM I hear ya. Sleep is wonderful, but we had some Midwesterners over for euchre and hearts last night!

  • @drgnslayr I may be wrong about this but my recollection of the Florida game is more about our turn-overs. How many times did we lose possession without even putting up a shot in the first half? Way too many!!

    Floriday picked up our ball handlers in back court and pressed them far beyond the three point line. For some reason, KU didn’t attack early in the shot clock (i.e., by getting it down court before the defense got set).

    There is plenty of room for improvement, for sure.

  • "Perry needs to work hard for position, demand the ball, handle the ball when he receives it, pass out of double teams, and take the ball to the hoop with authority. But even more than that, he can’t play second fiddle to Wiggins. And he can’t play second fiddle to Embiid. Ellis has to play like he’s “the man.” "

    @HighEliteMajor - I hope you are coaching somewhere… it would be a pity if you aren’t sharing your basketball wisdom with young players somewhere.

    @Careful you - That’s right… too many TOs, and I’m blaming Perry for his participation of a dysfunctional offense. Florida’s perimeter players playing way out from the basketball means their post is open for 1-on-1 or 2-on-2 offense. We all know Perry has the moves to rack up a sensational FG% within the post. If he had fought for position, it would have created another outlet for our guards, and would have reduced TOs… especially after we burn them a few times with Perry… then they would be forced to mush down in the zone.

    For many of those games where we couldn’t hit a 3… we were usually contested on the perimeter. We should have been playing typical Selfball, and been feeding the post. Where is the famous Bill Self hi/lo? And none of those teams had big post players. In fact… the original strategy of Villanova was a desperate attempt to keep the ball out of the post, where our bigs could go to work, scoring and drawing fouls. Wright had no idea it would work, and you can bet no one was shocked more than him that it actually worked! Now the word is out to play a mix of zones and put pressure on our perimter… why?.. because Perry is slacking off in the post!

    With Perry playing soft in the post and not fighting for position on the court and sealing his man away from the interior pass, our interior offense becomes nil while perimeter defenders keep putting more pressure on our guards, forcing more TOs and not allowing us to get into any real offensive set.

    Our guards are playing poorly, or they would realize they can take advantage of the high pressure and draw fouls… but Perry is the big reason we aren’t running an effective offensive set and why our guards are being pressured into TOs. Most of our TOs happen once we cross half court.

    Perry’s NBA stock is dropping rapidly. If he can’t man up playing college ball, how is he going to do it in the No Boys Allowed league? Someone mentioned his game is finesse… all good 4s have finesse moves, but they also use muscle to create their opportunities by establishing position, which creates an opportunity for the feed into the post.

    I kind of think Perry is starting to think he is a 3… or maybe he thinks he can jump to the 3 in the NBA. That is very unlikely. His scoring skills are in the post, and he has great skill. He just needs to play more aggressively and use his strength to create opportunities. I was so pumped to read about him in the off-season… and how he added on muscle.

    Hard to say what Perry’s goals are. Is he hoping to jump to the league after this year? Or does he know he wants to stay? If he wants to make the jump then he certainly hasn’t been playing the right basketball ever since the Bahamas.

    If I was Perry I would be putting all my energy into playing aggressive basketball this year and go for the draft. He has no guarantee of minutes next year, and Alexander will show everyone (fans and scouts) what a top player looks like at the 4. This is Perry’s year to shine… the 4 spot is all his…

    He better slap on his headphones and listen to a little Eminem…

    “Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity, to seize everything you ever wanted, one moment, would you capture it or just let it slip?”

    I know I’m being theatrical… but I can’t think of a better way to nail it than this!

  • @drgnslayr loved this read. Patient well developed points and examples. Fun stuff. Perry needs to go hard the whole possession even if the initial option doesn’t go to him. Don’t just run the play and play the position. Be the play and be the position. Perry has to internalize what it means to be the 4. Post like a 4, bang like a 4. Though I think he should be a 3 in the league I don’t think there will be a good time for him to play it for us this year or next .

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