Basketball thoughts

  • Our KU team this year is very young and still inexperienced. They are still “soft” in areas they would never be normally. Releford telling them they are Soft defensively, not going after 50/50’s and all that. I agree. Most, if not all of us agree. They have a long road ahead of them to reach those goals of toughness and killer instinct that every team in the Self era has had before them. I hope that Releford’s words spark them, make them mad, get them going. They need that extra spark this year, from a former player and excellent defensive presence that is Travis Releford. I love it when former players come into the locker room to chat with the current team. It has got to be humbling on some level for the current ones to hear that from the alums.
    To switch gears a little bit, I took a peek at Kenpom just now and much to my surprise KU has a top 15 ranked defense and offense. It seems they are making progress because it wasn’t long ago, when they were outside the top 20 in one or both of them. We cant really say it is because they have played a couple of easy games either. If you look at the top 20 teams in Kenpom right now. KU’s Strength of Schedule is way way better than any of them. The next best one against KU’s is literally double what KU’s is. In order for KU to climb up the rankings once again they absolutely need to cut down on the TO’s and fouls which should happen as they get more and more used to the rule changes. They also need to get a chip on their shoulder, they need to get pissed that Travis called them soft, they need to dive after lose balls and rack up the floor burns. Im not a betting man by habit but I will wager that the conference play will bring out the best in these guys. They don’t want to be the ones who let the streak go.
    RIght now, I cant say for sure if they will win the conference and go far in the NCAA’s. But I sure as hell hope they will. They have the tools and the talent to do it.

  • @Lulufulu85 Here’s a link to Releford’s interview on 580 Sportstalk about his new book (I haven’t listened to it yet – can’t right now)

  • @approxinfinity Thanks for posting this interview with Travis Releford.

    Listening to Travis talk reminded me of something about Perry Ellis. I have seen Perry interviewed a few time after a game and , as much as I respect his basketball skills, his skill at verbal communication is low. Especially for someone who was valedictatorian of his senior class. As a graduate of the Speech Communications program at KU, I hope there is a speech coach as good as Coach Hudy to help him improve his verbal skills.

    And another thought along this line. I have also seen and heard Tarik Black interviewed and have been quite impressed by his presence and communication skills. Many posters question Tarik’s value on the court (and I can’t disagree) but I think he brings great intangible strengths to the locker room. Tarik is what young athletes should (and do, I think) aspire to be–a confident person who knows his strengths and his place in the world.

    We should recognize and praise personal qualities that contribute to a high-quality and well rounded person, not just skills on the court. Does a leader have to play to lead? I would say no. As much as I like sports and think it can contribute greatly to a person’s life, it is only one part of a multi-faceted personality. Sports ability will inevitably decline over time but self-confidence and a sense of self-worth can last a lifetime.

    One of my concerns about one-and-done players is that they miss the opportunity and time to develop themselves in early adult life. Staying in school for several years gives a player a chance to develop into a person like Tarik Black. Perhaps that growth and development can be done as a professional athlete, but I think it would be much harder.

  • " They also need to get a chip on their shoulder, they need to get pissed that Travis called them soft, they need to dive after lose balls and rack up the floor burns."


  • @Lulufulu85 - regarding diving for loose balls (and hustle in general). I love Bill Self. I may even have a man-crush on him, but for a guy known for his toughness his teams here have been comparatively soft. Of course we’ve had some tough guys. Some very tough guys, but cumulatively his teams haven’t hustled like Roy’s teams. I’m not a Roy fanatic ( thoroughly enjoyed Texas beating them last night ) but for some reason it seemed like every single kid on his team was being doctored for torn up elbows, knees and chins. I want our guys to be known for that - out hustle everyone.

    And learn to shoot free throws.

  • @nuleafjhawk . While I agree with you that this year’s team does not seem to have the same “urgency” as teams from past years, perhaps a result of the perceived self awareness of their collective talent; however, as hard as I try, I cannot think of a player in the last few years that di not play hard and hustled after balls. Maybe you can tell me who you think in previous years was soft?

  • @JayHawkFanToo - not trying to knock individual players, it just seems to me that, collectively, Self’s teams don’t dive after loose balls the way some of our “old” teams did. Shoot, Jerod Haase even wrote a book about it (hustle) - " Floor Burns " if somehow nobody has heard of it before.

  • @Careful You Perry is painfully shy, but I have to believe by doing so many of these interviews, they’re going to help!

  • @nuleafjhawk - I hear you, loud and clear!

    CS should give an individual award (trophy) to the player who received the biggest scar during the year. It has been known to motivate players and helps set the tone, especially to players staying more than one year in the program. The only rule is the scar can’t be made intentional. It has to come from a legit hustle play.

    Imagine being an old guy and showing your kid that little trophy in your cabinet… “BIGGEST SCAR - 1979”

  • Fellow Jayhawks,

    I am coming in from out of town for the Georgetown game and I am really pumped! I haven’t been to a game in 2 years. AFH is a truly special place. 3 years ago I went to the Michigan game and hadn’t been to a game in many, many years. It didn’t exactly bring tears to my eyes to be there, but it came close. I have GA seats. Question: How early do I need to get to Allen to get a decent GA seat (decent view, not too high up)? Any advice would be welcome.

  • @nuleafjhawk . Jerrod Hasse wrote the book about his personal experience and the tittle doe not necessarily reflect the entire team attitude. He did dive for balls more that anyone else and played at full speed all the time. I remember the Big 8 title game against Missouri when Jason Sutherland, the dirtiest player I have ever seen, put a football style tackle on Hasse and send him flying under the scorer’s table.

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