Dec 14 Game Day: Tharpe to start against UNM

  • tharpe

    ###Better play at point guard critical for KU, Self says### ** KU coach wants junior Tharpe to assume leadership role**

    *CJ Online - * Bill Self is looking for a court leader, and to him, junior point guard Naadir Tharpe is his team’s top candidate.

    “For us to have a really good year this year, Naadir’s got to step up. There’s no other way around it,” the KU coach said. “And I believe he will. He’s in a little bit of a funk right now, but he’s going to get out of it.”

    ####UNM wary of bounce-back game from KU####

    KU Sports - It should be interesting to see how perennial basketball powerhouse Kansas University reacts tonight as it tries to shake a slump that has accounted for three losses in four games.

    Naadir to start: Self told the Journal-World that junior point guard Naadir Tharpe would return to the starting lineup after coming off the bench the past two games. Freshman Frank Mason will return to his role as a key reserve. Other starters will be sophomore Perry Ellis, plus freshmen Wayne Selden, Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid.

  • My initial thought on this was that going back to Tharpe is mistake.

    Prior to Atlantis, I suggested that Self had to make rotation decisions. My humble suggestions were: 1) start Embiid, 2) make Black the first big off the bench, 3) choose between Greene and White for the rotation, 4) sit Frankamp, and 5) start Mason over Tharpe if Self thought Mason made us the better team.

    Going to Mason was a gutsy move by Self. When Mason took the job, one possibility we discussed was that Self was trying to motivate Tharpe. I didn’t believe that. I still don’t believe that now.

    Self saw in Mason what we saw. He compared him to Chalmers, he said we played faster and more aggressively with Mason. Lots of praise. He said that Mason was our best performer as well.

    That doesn’t change with two games. Tharpe did not handle the pressure any better or worse than Mason, and Tharpe’s a junior.

    Though I was initially puzzled by the move to go back to Tharpe, I’m not as puzzled now. Self cited the need for Tharpe’s leadership. Obviously, @JayDocMD was reading Self’s mind in his leadership post earlier in the week. He pinpointed Tharpe as the only viable candidate for leadership. I had posted my thought that a leader has to play. He can’t be on the bench. Tharpe could lead as the sixth man.

    Perhaps Self sees the better opportunity for leadership from Tharpe as a starter, and the “starter” thing as secondary to the need for leadership. So even if Mason may warrant it, filling the leadership vacuum trumps other considerations.

    As an aside, when Self hedged on the starting lineup Thursday, I thought that Self would start Tharpe over Selden. That seemed to fit.

    If Tharpe does ramp it up, what an interesting comparison it will be to last season when Tharpe got the ultimatum from Self and almost lost his job to Adams. Tharpe turned a corner. Will be interesting to see if Tharpe turns another corner.

    Finally, I still think that the most important thing Self can do right now is play Brannen Greene 12-15 minutes per game. Hopefully Tuesday was an indication that the “choice” on the 5th perimeter guy has been made. Keep him in the flow, show confidence in him, let him play through a mistake or two. Let him get the confidence to gun some threes. They may not all go in early, but we’re playing for March, right?

  • I think going back to Tharpe is the right move. He is a Junior and must lead this team along with Perry through his play on the court. Starting Mason may have been a little bit of a quick decision by Self but he is still trying to learn about this team as well. In the long run I think it is more beneficial to get Tharpe into the leadership role and back to the way he was playing at the end of last year than it is to expect Mason to take over as a Freshmen.

    The players need to talk on the court, when there is a dead play or after a foul call, etc. I would like to see them huddle up, talk, arms around each other, in close discussing strategy…this would make me much more comfortable about the closeness of the team. Every team we have lost too did the things I mentioned above and were in each others faces pumping each other up…we need that.

    I think Greene has won the battle for the rest of the minutes and I believe he will do great.

  • I agree that starting Tharpe is the right move. I asked for that in an earlier thread. We need a leader and it is easier to do that as a starter than a sixth man, in my opinion. Mason can still get all of the minutes that Self thinks he deserves off the bench. While Mason has made more plays…both have made their share of mistakes…just like almost everyone else.

  • Said this on WHB radio … Mason has a higher ceiling and is probably a better player, but Tharpe is a better fit on this team. Shots need to go to Wiggins, Ellis and Embiid in that order, and while he’s on the court, Mason has been hogging a lot of possessions. Tharpe more of a natural fit to be a ball-mover/role player on a team that really needs one.

  • Along those lines @Jesse Newell, the same thing that makes Frank a less desirable starting option for this particular team (not a distribute-first PG) makes him an ideal 6th man. Which in a way takes us back to the Sherron comparisons. Mason creates his own shot and can be instant offense - a desirable trait to have coming off the bench if our starters stagnate and need a spark off the bench.

  • I like Tharpe starting over Mason. I like watching Joel’s spectacular blocked shots. I like that my HS soccer team won today, must be the coaching. I like that Self may be learning that filling a team with a bunch of OAD’s may not be the KU way. (I realize with a bunch of spots open this year he may have had not choice). I like that my wife got me a DVR for Christmas so I can go to a Christmas party tonight and watch the KU game as many times as I want and that I get to skip the commercials and watch the game in an hour. I like Wiggins’ game, he’s gonna be alright. I like that my secondary hoops love Wisconsin is ranked 4th. I like that we have the most knowledgeable fans in the country. I like that Jaybate is probably reading this. I like Approx for setting this up.

  • I’m riding with Tharpe till we start conference play. Agreed that Mason has a higher ceiling and I love what he bring to the team, but Tharpe is in the perfect place with his experience to lead the team and run the offense.

    He does however need to step up into that role and be a rock for the freshmen to look to when things get tough. I will give him one small pass though. This is a new and young team that he is running and Tharpe spent 2 years playing with Self ball veterans. Last year when he had the most exposure to running the point he had Travis, EJ, KY, Withey and even Ben had a half year under his belt. They knew when to be where. I really think that even though Tharpe is “THE” experienced player one the team, he entered new ground this year like everyone else. Things he took for granted last year he just can’t do this year.

    I hope it all comes together Naa…we need you!

  • @wissoxfan83 thanks dude! Glad your badgers are rolling! Maybe this is the year I should get a dvr given the foul rules. Didn’t even think of it til you said so.

    Along the lines of your post I like @bskeet for posting the dailies taking one for the team and @drgnslayr for posting another original for us to sink our teeth into.

    And I like that jaybate is reading this too. Like our Jayhawk Kenobi.

  • @approxinfinity, even in a ‘bad’ season by our standards there’s lots to look forward to.

  • Live blog is up for you guys who want to join …

  • I just realized this setup is pretty darn good, too! Jesse’s blog is great and this board has the most knowledgeable hoop fans anywhere. And JB will be back soon once he finishes his covert opps assignment. I was REALLY bummed about facebookgate but it seems all is well this Chtistmas season!

  • @VailHawk - " All good things must come to an end. "

    " Then @approxinfinity will come up with something better ! "

  • I like the fantastic insights that so many on this site bring forward every day. I like Jesse Newell connecting us all to the live blog for games.

    I like the passion of my fellow Jayhawk fans!

    And I like the fact that this is connecting to the various sites as a sort of “one-stop” for all my KU hoops news.

    @approxinfinity deserves all the credit for providing such an amazing nest into which the former KU Sports intelligentsia could land.

Log in to reply