• Thanks to Matt Tait.


  • Captureh.PNG

  • Capturej.PNG

  • Capture.PNG

  • I get the feeling that the starting five will change many times before the end of the season. I’ve never seen more depth at KU. Bragg and Vick will get minutes. So many Bigs! So much talent!

  • Compare the height listings with the above photo.


  • Again, just like before the WUG, Hunter is the one getting the BIg Man praise.

  • Capturel.PNG

  • @wrwlumpy Diallo and Bragg are freshmen. Traylor and Lucas are…well, Traylor and Lucas. Hunter has really gotten better and is very deserved of high praise.

  • @wrwlumpy Im super psyched for this season to start!!

  • I’m excited for the season! The team has three key components for a FF run:

    Experience: Senior leadership like Perry is rare, but rarer still is the opportunity to learn the system and establish team chemistry, as in S. Korea at the WUG.

    Talent: And not just athleticism, Selden, Diallo, Svi, etc… but talent with depth.

    Something to prove: Like, can we get past the second round? That loss to WSU should sting until April… especially for Mr Ellis.

    Experience, Talent and Something to Prove: That’s a good combination.

  • I’m pretty darned excited about the new team components. Vick and Bragg are going to being instant-impact players. People are very much sleeping on those two. Even if nobody else improves from last year, the team is in excellent shape for a run.

  • Nothing terribly exciting from Self’s report.

    The depth question got me thinking about who will be left out if Self uses a rotation less than 10.

    We know Mason, Graham, Selden, Svi, Ellis, Mickelson, Diallo, & Bragg are locks. Of course assuming we have Diallo. That’s 8.

    If the rotation will be 9, we have Greene, Vick, Traylor & Lucas all fighting for 1 spot. I think Greene will be the 9th guy, his shooting can be important. A 4 man post rotation works best & we can always plug Mari/Lucas in when needed.

  • Jesse Newell’s most recent podcast covers a lot of ground. Here’s what I heard him and the other journalists discuss:

    • They think Diallo is going to wait at least 3 weeks to get a decision.

    • Selden hasn’t proved yet he can be consistently good, but playing him at the 3 should make it easier for him to shine.

    • With Diallo KU has depth in the front court. Ellis, Diallo and Bragg will be the first 3 bigs and Hunter, Traylor and Lucas will fight for the 4 and 5 spots.

    • KU is thin at the 1 and 2 spots. Mason and Graham are the only real ball handlers on the team. Vick this year is more a developer than a contributor.

    • KU is crowded at the 3 with Selden, Greene and Svi (for the journalists, Svi is not really a 2).

    • The biggest question mark is who will spell Mason or Graham, and for how many minutes? If they play a lot, not only will they get worn down but the logjam at the 3 will be worse.

    • Based on Self’s comments yesterday, Self is not going to change his offense, his players are just going to have to run it better.

    I’m worried about this “gotta have both Mason and Graham on the floor” thing.

    Think about it: you want them both on the floor most of the time, and at least one of them on the floor all of the time.

    If you want them on the floor together 30 minutes, they can only split 10 minutes of rest between them. That’s 35 minutes a game for each of them.

    I would prefer them to play about 30 minutes each. That means they are on the floor together only 20 minutes. I fear that will be unacceptable to Self, so they will play until they can’t.

  • @ParisHawk

    I’ve raised this question before that I’m apprehensive about starting Graham with Mason for various reasons. The lack of a 3rd ball-handler is a concern, maybe Svi but that’s probably reaching.

    Whatever one starts whether it be Svi or Graham we know we have an advantage, our 6th man is good enough to start at every program in the country.

  • @betterfireE I think you are in for some disappointment. Vick, right now, is our 6th perimeter guy. That is what Svi ended up being last season. How much playing time did he get after Dec. 15? The 5th guy in Self’s perimeter rotation many times gets marginalized. Who is that you think Vick would displace in the presumptive top 5 – Mason, Graham, Selden, Svi, Greene? The only one I see is Greene, if health is an issue.

    Regarding Bragg, I think there is a better hope. But would anyone be surprised if Self plays Ellis, Diallo, Traylor and Lucas ahead of Bragg? Or Mickelson? Not who should play – but who Self chooses to play? I could see us spending much of our time complaining about Bragg’s lack of minutes vs. the low talent upper classmen (Traylor/Lucas).

    I hope you’re right about Bragg. And I hope @BeddieKU23 is right on his rotation projection, particularly in the post.

    @ParisHawk Your comment on Graham and Mason is interesting … this concept, if Self is really wanting big minutes with both on the court, would shorten the perimeter rotation to four. Say Self said he wanted them on the floor for 25 minutes per game together. Say they play 32 minutes each. That leaves just 16 minutes for Svi. Then you have Selden at 30 mpg, leaving 10 for Greene. Interesting.

    @BeddieKU23 I think Svi would be an adequate 3rd PG. Much better than Selden. Not D-1 level with the ball though at the point, for sure. That might be part of the answer here. If Svi can be a decent second ballhandler on the floor (and I think he is), that would allow Self to follow his stated theory, while possibly playing Mason/Graham together appx. 20 min. per game.

  • I was always of the opinion that Svi could handle the rock well. Last year, there was talk that he could end up a PG.

    Maybe the 17 lbs he added will make the difference… but when I think back to last year and the Svi we knew last year, I see a better opportunity for him to be out on the perimeter and handle the rock more than I see playing SF and having to take the ball to the rack.

    With Vick, I think the first thing he should focus on is his defense. He should be able to quickly become a very gifted defender. We all know how that will be in his favor with Self when vying for minutes. I have pretty wild visions of putting a defensive team out there, with Vick and Diallo buzzing around with their super reaches and I see the potential for us to really stunt the oppositions’ offense.

    Greene is a 2. Period. He has never shown near the physicality required to be a 3… at least… not in the KU playbook.

    I don’t think we are thin at all on the perimeter. What is clear to me is that Devonte needs to get some minutes at PG. Frank needs some relief on his minutes and Devonte is the only true PG on this team. He won’t make the switch properly if we keep him at the 2 until his senior year. Bad idea.

  • @wrwlumpy


    In wheel chair basketball, Evan Manning would be as tall as Jam, Mik, and The Designer.

    I count 11 suits. Most I recall in a KU hoops team pic.

    BG has a gut, so we know he is a long way from playing condition.

    What is up with dark suits and light brown shoes among young and poor assistants? Can’t adidas comp some dark ones?

    Devonte is a little stud now.

    Tweets suggest this team will not be depending on the new big men; that they are a year away. Uh-oh. Jam and Lucas will be playing big minutes again.

  • @drgnslayr So you think Greene is a 2? I don’t know, the dude can barely dribble the ball to the basket. For Self, I kind of see him as a stagnant 3. He’s a worse ball handler than Selden. I understand your physicality comment, and you’re correct, but Greene has proven to be a competent rebounder. I guess I struggle with the idea that he should play the 2 at all now – with Self’s preference to ball handling. And that’s really where I’m coming from. It seems to me, that if Self is true to his stated theory, then only Mason, Graham, and Svi should play the 1/2 spots.

    Greene, to me, only really seems to fit at the 3 in Self’s system right now.

    I advocated starting him at the 2 over Selden last season when Selden was floundering – but that came from the perspective of more three gunning. Embracing the three. Winning with that sort of scheme. Greene could easily play the 2 spot with that sort of attack. Not sure anyone on Naismith Drive agrees with me there (at least the one guy that counts doesn’t).

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Good points. I think you described some of the weaknesses in Greene’s game. He does have shortcomings at the 2… but he has a completely different set of shortcomings at the 3. At the 3, he not only has to handle the rock on drives, he has to be able to finish strong at the rim… another weakness for Greene. And I don’t see him defending the 3 spot well at all. I wouldn’t even state he can defend the 2 spot, but at least he brings height out on the perimeter.

    I think we have to use Greene where he is good… as an offensive player from the perimeter. That means limited minutes. I see him more as a “spark” player off the bench that can come in and help stretch defenses out and change a game where our starters aren’t hitting the broad side of a barn.

    Three things stick out at me when I think of BG and his possible minutes this year…

    First… will he really be healed and how far behind will he be and have to catch up? Might he end up a medical red shirt?

    Second… will Svi really live up to the hype that is out about him this year? It seems like they are fighting for the same minutes.

    Third… will 3-pt shots remain “fool’s gold” this year (again) in Self’s book?

    If this was the NBA and a team had a shooter like BG… they would build special plays to free up his shot and would work like hell to master those plays… where BG runs through off-ball screens, etc.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    You could be right about Svi, it will be interesting to see how improved he really is. If he’s good enough to play around 20 minutes a game I think we will be very happy. Anyone handling the ball other than Frank & Devonte is a scary thought though.

    Bragg could definitely be a guy we are yelling about to get on the floor but Self struggles to do so because of his defense. If he’s behind the you know who’s then its going to be hard to not scream at the TV. Hopefully he’s just too talented to leave on the bench, we know his offense is something that could be important in his reserve role.

    Greene I feel will see minutes because of teams are going to play more token pressure & zone because of the reduction in the shot clock. If used correctly & Greene has his shot on again, we will be able to put a lot of pressure on defenses. Self maybe one of the few guys left that truly believes in M2M defense. Half of the Big 12 will be throwing out some kind of gimmick D. In that case Graham is even more important as the other ball-handler.

  • I have my doubts about BG getting lots of minutes this year. First off… he will have to be not only healed but improved (physically) from a year ago.

    His skill-set is very very limited. He has never proven to be a good defender. Can’t handle the rock well, and is limited on shooting only as a spot shooter. It is sort of like the game has to be totally redesigned around his weaknesses in order for him to be effective. Not gonna happen. I wish he would at least learn how to shoot off the dribble and learn some fakes and moves on the dribble. It’s all footwork. BG should go out and get every Steph Curry clip there is on how to use footwork to create scoring space.

    Seriously… we had Wigs and our coaching staff couldn’t even design and execute plays for Wigs… does anyone think things will be different for BG? And BG only has the spot shot. That is a lot harder to build plays around.

    If Svi is everything everyone says he is… then he will almost shoot as well as BG from the perimeter, but has a lot more skills. He has some level of dribbling, shot fakes, etc., to create his own scoring opportunity. He is also more “heads up” in games (court awareness). There is a reason why NBA scouts are keeping an eye on Svi, and not so much on BG.

    I’m not trying to slam BG. I really like him and see some potential… but he has to pull his own weight and it goes far beyond just being able to hit the spot shot.

  • @HighEliteMajor I really think Svi is going to see time at the 2 and the 3. I feel like we will see him able to handle the ball and spell either Frank or Devonte and Wayne. If that happens, if Svi just starts destroying other players out there and his handle takes a major leap forward, he will be in front of Greene for minutes. He could give Frank and Devonte much needed breathers and Wayne too. Of course, this is all pure speculation on my part. Im completely guessing here.

    PS. every article I have read so far, outside of @Jesse-Newell and CJ Online have Wayne playing SG. Their ignorance amuses me.

  • @jaybate-1.0 The Tweets can all go suck it. Bragg and Diallo are going to be hugemontous for KU this season.

  • To me, the biggest unknown is Svi. He is the proverbial "Jacks of all Trades, Master off None."So far he has shown to be adequate to good in all phase of the game but he really is not very good to outstanding in any one area, at least I have yet to see it. His past record indicates that he is a good outside shooter but an outstanding one, if anything, he is streaky but not consistent; I will be curious to see how much he has improved. He can end up being the best player on the team or getting lost in the rotation; I am cautiously optimistic that he will be closer to the first.

    Diallo is pretty raw and he will need quite a bit of “basketball” improvement before he can seriously contribute. I just don’t see him starting until the second half of the season. He is athletic like Embiid but without the uncanny innate “knack” Joel has for the game.

  • @HighEliteMajor Vick may end up replacing no one, but he will still end up being one of our best perimeter defenders to spell Mason/Graham when we don’t absolutely need two A+ ball handlers on the floor. I also think he’ll have a huge effect on practice, just like Diallo. He may not see the floor during the tournament, but he will contribute meaningfully to the team.

    Bragg would work really well as a 3/4 combo. Wonder what lineups we could incorporate with him. He might be the best replacement for Perry because he’s quite adept at dribbling.

    A Diallo/Hunter, Bragg/Ellis, Selden/Svi, Graham/Vick, Mason lineup could do some interesting things.

  • @HighEliteMajor I could see Greene excelling at a stagnant three position with a Hunter/Diallo, Bragg,Greene,Graham,Mason lineup.

    So many people who can move in that lineup.

  • I adhere to my stance that this is the season for a Brannen Greene red shirt. Already suspect of not fitting well with Bill Self Basketball, this is the year that Brannen does not fit well with a 9 player lineup. Maybe, just maybe, an extra season of work on his driving/passing deficiencies will propel him into meaningful minutes his final two seasons. Granted, his 3 ball is lethal, but current deficiencies counterbalance the exciting potential pluses. Big question: could he red shirt and keep his determination on target to improve as a well rounded contributor?

  • @REHawk Strong arguments, but there is one counterargument:

    Suppose this is the year Self finally gets that second NCAA Championship, but he needs just one or two timely 3-pointers from Greene to do it.

    If there is a real possibility that this is a championship year, then why not let Self play with a full deck?

    Maybe Greene would be content with a small role and a chance to create One Big Shining Moment…

    Win the Brady Morningstar award by redshirting the year your team wins the NCAA? No thanks.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    " I could see us spending much of our time complaining about Bragg’s lack of minutes vs. the low talent upper classmen (Traylor/Lucas)."

    I can already see this coming. We might as well start complaining about it now. Why the heck isn’t Bragg getting more minutes?!?! (not being sarcastic)

    Bragg is going to improve at a rate relative to the minutes he gets. It is that simple. He has that much upside… the only thing he really lacks is experience (and the need to be Hudyized).

    I’ve never gotten the term “fools gold” out of my head. I always thought it was one of the few verbal blunders from Self. As I think more about it, I think it was directed at BG (and perhaps others who were starting to attract that mentality). That mentality is: “Hey, I don’t really have to hustle and play defense or do much of anything except hit the trey.”

    From Self’s own words, BG is a fool. He is a fool if he doesn’t bust his butt trying to round out his game and thinks he has a future playing h-o-r-s-e during a game, just standing on spots hitting shots.

    I hope BG has a full recovery and can go 100% this year, but I have to be honest. As much as I like him I will be showing my “love” by bagging on him not rounding out his game.

  • I can’t believe no one has commented on the photo above… trying to estimate real player heights from KU inches.

    I thought Bragg grew a couple of inches and is now 6’11"? Must have been another Jayhawk height fairy tale. Whoever gets to make up that stuff… I’d like to invite them to go fishing with me. It would be great to have a back up on my fish stories!

  • @betterfireE Curious as to why you think Self would play Vick ahead of Svi? Vick looks good, but he doesn’t look that good. I think Vick is going to be a rotation guy next season, but if everyone is back, again, who does he displace. When has Self ever used 6 perimeter players? I think you might be getting sucked in a little on Self’s comment on Vick’s defense. Svi is clearly ahead of Vick. Self mentioned him as in the mix to start. Vick will get minutes early (Self used 6 perimeter guys in the early stages of last season), but then he’ll find the bench barring injury, etc. That’s just seems pretty easy to predict. As @Lulufulu said, Svi will get time at both the 2 and the 3; I think he’s our first guy off the bench, and many games, could get big minutes. Svi could end up being our best player.

    You mention Bragg at the 3/4. I have no doubt that Bragg can play the 3. In fact, he is much better suited for that than Ellis. Seems like a strong ball handler for his size as you mention. Better looking shot (meaning higher and quicker release) vs. Ellis’ slow, low push shot, that would make him better suited for a 3 than Ellis.

    But think about all of the type space spent here by folks talking about Ellis at the 3. I have been very consistent in that Ellis is not a 3. Ellis has not played one minute at the 3 at Kansas. I don’t think we should expect that Bragg will either. Particularly when our perimeter is the best collection of perimeter talent in the nation, without Bragg in that mix.

    With Self’s high/low, the 4 gets multiple opportunities away from the basket. Actually, in certain situations, I could see Bragg and Ellis on the court together. I sure hope Bragg’s minutes aren’t solely predicated on Ellis being on the bench. But last season, think about how many times Self did bench Ellis due to ineffectiveness. Quite a bit.

    I don’t see Ellis suddenly being able to score over long, or tall guys. He has never been able to do that. It will be interesting to see how Bragg fairs in the same situation.

    @REHawk @drgnslayr @ParisHawk – On Greene, he is our one three point assassin. However, if Self isn’t going to 1) give him freedom to gun, and 2) scheme a bit to get him looks, I don’t see that we’ll ever get his full value. If he is not 100%, I would not hesitate to redshirt. But @ParisHawk’s point is very good - if this is a NC year, why go to battle lacking in all of your weapons? And I just don’t think BG will ever be a well rounded player as @drgnslayr has referenced. Watching him clumsily stagger to the hoop on attempted drives just doesn’t get fixed.

    Greene is probably the one player that I am most concerned about. My humble opinion is that his skill set has been grossly mismanaged and underutilized. If I were Greene, or Greene’s dad (who seems to be a level headed guy), I would have had him transfer out of here after last season. I would love to have Greene on my team. From a recruiting standpoint, how do CF and BG (and their parents) not clearly see how they are gross mismatches with Self? That amazes me. BG is a guy that can play in the NBA – a one trick pony whose one trick is gold (no foolin’).

    But from a college standpoint, Greene could be a bonafide star in an appreciative system. Remember when commentators last season were calling him the best shooter in the nation? How do you screw that up?

    The onus is on coach Self.

    And that’s the flip side. Could it be possible that Self tweaks his system to really use Greene? After all, the high/low, inside/out approach can (and does) create a number of step-in looks. Just let the guy shoot.

  • @ParisHawk On a tangent, Brady was never going to get minutes on that '08 team, they were just too deep and talented. He fit his role that year by helping the practice team challenge the first teamers.

  • @ParisHawk I might have to bite my tongue if BG does, indeed, pop off the bench to hit clutch threes in the closing seconds of crucial endings to key contests, esp. Final Four or Championship games. If that does occur I will be the first to bow my head in humble apology, both to Brannen and Buckets contributors. However, at this distance, such vignettes sound like Hollywood glamour. An earnest but not multi-dimensional performer who averages five minutes per game surges off the chilly pine to hit a 3 which wins a national title? In reality, difficult for me to envision. I do admit to being a ceaseless skeptic. Gotta agree with HEM, in that if I were Brannen and family, in May I would have waved Sayonara.

  • That 3 position is just so loaded this season. How to manage minutes for Brannen to stay warm and comfortable when Wayne and Svi are in the mix? Only opportunity: spot insertions. If Brannen should prove to be consistent in coming in cold to display a hot hand, then Hey, Hey!

  • IMHO, Brannen is a lot more well rounded than board rats are giving him credit for.

    The only reason he didn’t look very well rounded last season was he was playing operable.

    If Brannen can beat out Svi for the 2 last season and shoot 40%, while playing operable, Brannen should be able to beat him out this season, too, if Brannen were healthy.

    Svi has to prove he can hit the trey at the 40% rate.

    Brannen has already proven it.

    Svi even has to worry about Vick.

    Vick shot the ball pretty well in Korea.

    Self also said Vick plays pretty good defense; that is a warning to Brannen and Svi, but even bigger to Svi. Sri has to prove he can guard at the D1 level. Brannen already proved he could guard while operable.

    The message is: Play defense, or else. A 40% trey without defense is going to get you a bench role.

    My hunch is the season will play out as follows.

    Svi and Vick get a bunch of minutes early at the 2 to see if either can guard, trifectate, and feed the post early at the D1 level. They get this time, while Brannen plays rehab and catch up in conditioning.

    Brannen should be ready to be the starter by mid season, if he gets his pop back.

    One of the three is going to become Wayne’s back up at the 3. Which one that is depends on how well Brannen heals and how much pop he gets back.

    Brannen at full pop will own the 2.

    Brannen at half pop will back up Wayne at the 3.

    I really doubt Frank and Devonte will start the way so many expect, unless Devonte just blows everyone away, which is possible.

    But I think Devonte’s future is at the point and he will play there 10-15 mpg and then play another 5-10 at the two when match ups call for a shorter 2.

    The team should be two deep at each position if everyone stays healthy.

    1-Frank/Devonte 2-Brannen/Svi 3-Wayne/Vick

    The perimeter.

    I think we will see extensive use of all six, because I don’t think KU is going to be able to score out of the 5 at all, and will also not be able to score out of the 4, when Perry takes his 10 minutes of down time.

    Playing all six guys around 20 minutes per game is a great way to keep the legs fresh on a great bunch of perimeter shooters.

    Perimeter shooters with fresh legs probably add 3-5% to 3pt%; that right there is enough to win most games.

    Self will cut back to 5 instead of six if defense, or injury, or lack of physical strength, becomes a problem.

    I think we are going to see more treys shot than any time in Self’s tenure, and by quite a margin.

    This is going to be the year of the trey ball, if the guys stay healthy.

    There’s no more scoring in the post than there was last season, especially if Diallo is a scout teamer.

  • @jaybate-1.0 So you’re saying Self is redshirting?

    Your 5-6 man perimeter with lots is threes is tempting, and plausible unless Self is head coach.

    I’m all for Brannen having the season you describe.

    You pencil in Devonte for 15-25 minutes per game. If healthy, he will get more.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    “Greene is probably the one player that I am most concerned about. My humble opinion is that his skill set has been grossly mismanaged and underutilized.”

    Yet another reason why I’d like you to coach my kid. You call it straight!"

  • @HighEliteMajor Greene is one of the best pure shooters I have ever seen at any level. His stroke is a thing of beauty. Even with a very crowded perimeter I expect Greene to get shots this year and that plays will be drawn up with him in mind. Even a tough minded Coach Self has to see that 5-6 plays a game for B. Greene means 10 points as he shoots 50% from deep. He is also the best FT shooter on the floor which should get him plenty of minutes late in games even though he can’t dribble.

  • @jaybate-1.0 Doesnt Brannen need to prove he can handle the ball like a 2? And hustle on defense?

  • @jaybate-1.0 I would suggest that you place too much stock in this hip deal (you know that’s my opinion). But let’s just go off what Greene and his dad and Self said – it just got progressively worse from early February on. Let’s go with that narrative.

    Very importantly, Greene, before that time frame, still could not drive the ball to hoop. He still could not really handle the ball. His entire game was shooting the three and various 2 point jump shots. Give him an open lane and you’d get worse results than if literally any other scholarship player had it in that spot. Has the guy ever driven and dunked? His layup percentage going to the hoop has to be horrendous.

    Here’s another reality that was reality before the Greene “injury” – Svi was a better all around player than Greene. Svi’s a better player than Greene now. What was missing – and it was a real big one – were shots going down at a better rate. Every other part of Svi’s game is better than Greene. Svi is simply a better all around player.

    But as @joeloveshawks said, Greene is one of the “best pure shooters” many of us have seen. That can trump all around deficiencies in this game. If Self does use him in a manner that highlights his skills to reasonable degree, watch out.

    My starting five (meaning if offensive skills were used and highlighted vs. strict adherence to system) this season (before Selden’s WUG coming out party) would have been Mason, Svi, Greene, Ellis, Diallo. Further, I would have built a chunk of my offense solely around getting Greene open looks. If you have a three point shooter of that caliber, your entire offense can flow from that center point. And you can still play inside/out, you can still play high/low. Now, I’d still start Greene if he was healthy.

    Don’t get me wrong, though – I don’t think Self should start Greene with this roster composition and his views of offense. This is where I contrast with @jaybate-1.0. Greene as your main 2 in Self’s current system seems unnatural. Using Greene as the three point assassin off the bench, much like the first half of last season, or as the starting 3, seems like the best role in Self’s system.

    And I guess this is a day to disagree with you a little bit, but playing 6 perimeter guys is a non-starter. It will happen early, but then it will go away like it always does. Self will play who he thinks are his best players. The game vs. Germany showed that he has not changed. When his butt puckers, when the situation is tight and tense, he will simply play who he perceives as the best players until they die or foul out. There is great merit in your suggestion, of course, particularly with our talent. But Bill Self is Bill Self, as @ParisHawk said above.

    Also, I don’t think the two ball handler thing is talk. I think the WUGs with our SMU fill-in + Mason cemented that preference.

    Really, it’s this – our team thrived with those two ball handlers on the floor with Selden at the 3. Why screw that up?

    Now, I hope Self has the same linear thinking when it comes to Mickelson vs. Traylor or Lucas.

    @Lulufulu In Self’s system, yes to both points/questions.

    @drgnslayr Thanks … heck, I get my last kid out of high school here in a few years, I might have a little free time to take that on.

  • @HighEliteMajor said:

    When his butt puckers, when the situation is tight and tense, he will simply play who he perceives as the best players until they die or foul out.


  • @Lulufulu and @HighEliteMajor and others,

    Yes, Brannen does have things to prove.

    But I think history backs up that our perimeter players improve their ball handling, and become more trusted by Self to handle the ball, as each season passes in a four year career. People said Travis and Brady and EJ and Tyshawn could not handle the ball their first two seasons. In some cases those players weren’t very good at handling the ball and in other cases their roles were crafted so they weren’t asked to handle the ball, because Self had that covered at other positions.

    Board rats said Perry could never play the three, because he couldn’t handle the ball well enough, or guard shorter guys, or guard 25 feet out. I said he was born to play the three and was played out of position by Self ,because Self always has a bunch of capable perimeter players, but stretch 4s are scarcer than laugh’s at a funeral.

    So: poor Perry of the little hands, long neck, and Buddhist demeanor, got stuck out at the 4 with the blue meanies for two seasons learning to play bang ball on the blocks, so that in seasons 3 and 4 Self could have his stretch 4 that he covets more than Olivia Wilde in a thong.

    You see, guys really do get better, and there was a period last season, when Brannen was doing okay on the ball handling; not great, but good for a sophomore with a wild hair being forced into action young and with a sub par hip needing an op.

    I can only speak anecdotally, but I believe most wild hair players have their biggest season of improvement between sophomore and junior seasons; that is when the neural nets grow in and they become full time D-1 players. They spend that junior season doing the yeoman stuff. They are complete players, and expected to do everything adequately, but they are not cornerstones. Much of the time they are gluing as juniors; then that senior year comes and Self plays through them along with whatever stars happen to be present.

    My fav example is Travis Releford. He was the wild hair poster boy–the player that could do ANYTHING physically, but was operating on about three quarters of mature neural nets. It was not a knock on him that he matured at that rate; this is what so many need to understand about players and about Self 's decisions about who to play and who to make wait a year. Most of the players that he makes wait couldn’t lose the wild hair no matter if he played through them starting in July in grab games and played through them every minute of every practice and every game for the entire season. The neural nets literally aren’t there to be burned in with reps. It is that simple about wild hair players. Some few don’t grow out of it, but most do.

    No one seems to be appreciating what Self is really saying by not tossing Brannen a med red.

    Self is saying Brannen is now beyond the wild hair developmentally and he is a future draft choice and he HAS to play!!! Self is saying 3/4s of Brannen Greene is probably going to be better than 4/4s of anything else he has on the wings this season. Self is saying if Brannen can’t heal, then he’s my best back up wing. And if Brannen can does heal, then he is my best wing outside of Selden, IF Seldon can stay healthy, which history suggests he probably can’t. Selden is already tweaked! Selden has become one of those athletes of incredible potential, like Wayne Simien, that if you ever get even one whole, healthy season out of him you lucky.

    Thus Brannen is absolutely crucial to this team winning another conference title. Conference titles get won with guys that can already get it done. Conference titles are won with guys that can play through. Conference titles are won with guys that can do their primary roles (Brannen’s being shooting treys) against any defender in the conference, and inspite of any kind of a play-through injury. Brannen proved that to Self last season.

    Who thinks LaGerald Vick can make the treys he made in Korea no matter who he plays against in D1 his first season? I don’t. And Self doesn’t, or Brannen would be wearing a med red.

    Who thinks there is a high probability that Wayne Selden will make it through the season without tweaking his knee two more times and ceasing to be able to hit treys and drive it for at least 2 weeks after each tweak? Not me. And not Self either, or Brannen would be wearing a med red.

    Who thinks that Devonte Graham can consistently guard big 2s and big 3s through out this season, should injuries drop one of the wings for a month? Not me and not Self, or Brannen Greene would be wearing a med red.

    The man from Georgia proved he had brass balls packed in red clay and put in a kiln and baked to bricks. With a operable hip and a wild hair, BG did the job from three. My god!!! Self has to be drooling about what BG will do with a full deck of neural nets, and a fully functional hip.

    And here is another reason I expect BG to play a lot unless he cannot regain his pop: Self knows the only reason he needs two ball handlers in the game is if he has rest Frank Mason on the floor, instead of on the bench, because his perimeter is too banged up; i.e., if Selden is tweaked, BG doesn’t regain his pop and Svi’s neural nets need another year of watering and fertilizing.

    This whole notion that you need to ball handlers is ONLY true if you have to keep one of those two on the floor all the time.

    The history of college basketball national champions is rife with one point guard dominated Carolina Passing Game High-Low Offenses. In fact, Dean and Roy almost never relied on keeping two primary ball handlers on the floor at the same time. Eddie didn’t either. Kevin Ollie relied on one for his quick ring. Self has relied on one some years and two others. But the example of 2008 is an anomaly. Self had to keep two ball handlers on the floor that season because, as Self said later, Sherron was probably the first or second best player on the team that season. Sherron had to play somewhere and with two great 6-2 guards in Mario and RR, and Rush at the 3, the only way he could craft a role for 5-11 Sherron was to keep 2 ball handlers on the floor full time and rotate the three based on which of their skills were needed most situationally.

    So: when you look at this year’s KU team, you don’t see three point guards that have to play. What you see is two exceptional point guards and a bunch of 6-5 to 6-7 wings.

    If ever there were a situation where you become a single point guard dominated offense, this ought to be it. Self can rotate Frank and Devonte and never have a drop off for the entire 40 minutes.

    Frank and Devonte can just drive the lane and dish, or go to iron the entire game, if Self wants to play drive and kick.

    Frankly, it would be very odd to play Frank and Devonte in tandem more than situationally against short guards, because of all the wing talent on hand.

    High-Low offenses are very, very happy with one point guard, especially with two shooters on the wings and one that can drive it.

    With Wayne healthy and driving it on one wing to keep them honest for his trey, all that is needed is peak energy point guard (achieved by rotation of Frank and Devonte), and a hellacious trey baller that can guard and feed the post on the other side, plus grab 4-5 rpgs.

  • @jaybate-1.0 Solid Jaybate, very solid. I especially agree with your example of Travis. I hope you are right and I hope BG can pick up his handle and his D, or as you put it," when the neural nets grow in and they become full time D-1 players. BG needs to lose that wild hair. It would definitely open things up for us if Coach could rotate Frank and Devonte at PG. We wont see Frank and Devonte burn out/ wear down towards the end of the season when it counts if BG and Svi can spend productive time at the 2 on both sides of the ball.

    Selden got injured already? when?

Log in to reply