Musical Chairs....

  • After reading Tom Keegan’s article this morning… it made me wonder…

    Column: KU guard Graham big key to success

    So Self has been sending out media messages about “playing small” with Devonte and Frank playing together a lot this year.

    Makes me wonder what players will land in what chairs?

    First… it definitely sends the message that Wayne will be a 3 this year… and Self implied it himself in this article. I believe most of us thought this was coming, and most of us like the idea.

    Second… if Devonte and Frank fill the PG and 2 spot… where will Svi play? Or… will he play? Will he share PT at the 2 and the 3? He really seems to be a 2 and not a 3… especially when looking ahead at the next level.

    When running Frank and Devonte together… how much of a distinction exists between the PG and 2 positions? Obviously, one guy will “run the squad.” Who will that be? We’ve sort of taken for granted that Frank will be our “designated PG”… but might he be pushed over into the “designated 2” so Devonte can start trying to improve the offense from the PG (and leadership) role?

    I do believe, regardless of the chairs our guys sit in this year… we will need to redefine the PG and 2 spot and officially change their names to DPG (designated point guard) and D2 or DSG (designated shooting guard).

    Will Self be attempting to adapt the PG and SG into “right” and “left” perimeter positions? Sort of like some of our variants of the hi/lo where we have two low post players, a right and a left.

    From all of this, my main concern and questions concern Svi.

    UPDATE: Looks like Devonte will get more (or most) of the DPG minutes -

  • @drgnslayr Excellent topic heading into the season.

    I agree. Selden is the 3. Set … in … stone.

    On item 2, do not concern yourself on Svi. There are 120 perimeter minutes. Svi, in my opinion, will be the first perimeter player off the bench. He’ll come in for Mason or Graham. Then Graham or Mason, whoever went out, will be subbed in for the other PG, leaving Svi on the floor. So perhaps in the first 14 minutes, Graham/Mason are together for 6 minutes. Graham goes out. Svi in. Graham reenters at the 10 minute mark for Mason. Mason back in at the 14 minute mark for Svi.

    Both PGs get 10 of 14 minutes in the game. Svi gets 8 of 14. At that rate, Mason and Graham would play 28.5 minutes per game, and Svi appx. 23.

    Just a rough example.

    Svi could also get time subbing for Selden at the three spot. Or Svi could play well and gain favor in a game over one of the PGs. Or there could be a defensive match up that favors Svi vs. a smaller PG.

    One thing I think we know – Self has talked about playing small before. I think he sees the benefits clearly post-WUG. He’ll do it. But when he needs size, he’ll go that route.

    Could Greene and Selden being in the game at the same time chip away at some minutes for Svi? Sure. That could develop.

    Quite frankly, I more question where Greene’s minutes will come from. But his three ball stroke may demand more PT, or it could … never mind. I won’t go there.

    On who runs the PG, I think it will largely be interchangeable, but I think Mason could benefit as a scorer some from being the 2. I’m not too sure how that will play out.

  • Said it before, but Svi might be exploiting matchups and posting up if he’s 6"8" at 2 or 3.

  • Really makes me wonder about floor position.

    Typically, the PG and 2 aren’t positioned “right” and “left.” PG is usually more centered and might go to either side for various reasons.

    I can see a “right” and “left” being advantageous, and I can see it failing to offer good execution of some plays.

    Or perhaps Devonte or Frank really does play PG and runs the show from the top and we just say we run a 2 PG offense. Or they flip back and forth, even while both being in the game at the same time.

    All players are different. Some players really don’t do well to move around in different spots. They may lack some of the skill or comfort in switching. IMHO, we had that as one of the issues with EJ.

    After Svi gets polished up and strengthened… he seems to be a guy that could play several positions well. Good overall skill level and basketball IQ.


    So you think Self has been “Mayor-ized?” 😉 I’m not holding my breath waiting to see us start exploiting individual player strengths on offense. Wish we would do it and run offense to exploit our individual advantages more.

  • @drgnslayr no. I trust him.

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    Heck… we haven’t had this much age and experience on our team since 2012. You would think that we could actually develop more offense now since we don’t have to spend so much of the team practices on the basics. Guess it depends on our freshmen… how fast they learn and how much we will rely on them.

    @Statmachine mentioned an idea that we might get more development out of players because of the new apartments. I hope he is right and I believe there will be some gain there, if for no other reason than convenience for guys to go put in more side work.

  • @drgnslayr Svi will be a 2/3 this year. Self doesn’t doesn’t give a crap what a player’s projected NBA position is because that doesn’t always help KU out. Wiggins and Oubre played the 3, Marcus Morris played the 4, and so on.

    Svi’s primary job is going to be to spell Mason and Graham this year, and probably Selden until Greene is 100% so Svi could see a lot of minutes this year early on. Greene likely spells Selden when he becomes 100%. Lagerald Vick is going to be the odd man out once Self tightens the rotation up.

  • @Texas-Hawk-10

    " Self doesn’t doesn’t give a crap what a player’s projected NBA position is…"

    Might that be relevant to some of our recruiting hiccups? I know if I was an elite recruit, I would get it written in blood that I would develop at that school in my most-likely NBA position.

    I do agree with you… Self doesn’t seem to care about a player’s projected NBA position.

    I know I’m the odd one in my thoughts about BG. I just don’t see him as a 3. He doesn’t have the handles or tenacity for the position. But maybe in just a reserve role…

  • There are only 9 spots in a Bill Self rotation, so there are nine seats for when the music stops:

    1. Ball Handler
    2. Ball Handler
    3. Starting Wing
    4. Bench Wing/Ball Handler
    5. Foul Trouble Wing
    6. Big Man
    7. Big Man
    8. Bench Big Man
    9. Foul Trouble Big Man

    We already know that spots 1 and 2 are taken by Frank Mason and Devonte Graham. We also know that 3 is Wayne Selden and 6 is Perry Ellis. So our dance card looks like this now:

    1. Frank Mason
    2. Devonte Graham
    3. Wayne Selden
    4. Bench Wing/ Ball Handler
    5. Foul Trouble Wing
    6. Perry Ellis
    7. Big Man
    8. Bench Big Man
    9. Foul Trouble Big Man

    If Cheick is eligible, he’s 7. Bragg is too talented not to make him 8. Svi is too talented not to get time as well, so he’s 4.

    And now we have this:

    1. Frank Mason
    2. Devonte Graham
    3. Wayne Selden
    4. Svi
    5. Foul Trouble Wing
    6. Perry Ellis
    7. Cheick Diallo
    8. Carlton Bragg
    9. Foul Trouble Big Man

    The seven guys that will play every night are Mason, Graham, Selden, Svi, Ellis, Diallo, and Bragg. The last Wing spot is a race between Greene and Vick. The last Big Man spot is a race between Mickelson and Traylor. Now, obviously there is the issue of Diallo’s eligibility. If he isn’t available, then everyone moves up a spot and your bigs rotation is Ellis, Bragg, Mickelson and Traylor. Unfortunately, I think Landon Lucas is on the outside looking in with just about every scenario.

    On the perimeter, it’s Greene or Vick. You could have Greene’s shooting, or Vick’s unique combination of defense, slashing and ball handling. Thing is, Vick is probably a year away from truly putting all of those pieces together, so I think this is Greene’s job once he is 100%.

    So the final rotation:

    1. Mason
    2. Graham
    3. Selden
    4. Svi
    5. Greene
    6. Ellis
    7. Diallo
    8. Bragg
    9. Traylor

  • @justanotherfan Great breakdown. Sub Mickelson in for Traylor in our final rotation, and we have ourselves a deal.

  • @justanotherfan

    Bravo! Very cleaver method of working your rotation. I really liked how you started by tagging each slot with an abbreviated description.

  • @drgnslayr I dont see BG as a 2 in the big leagues, also due to lack handles and tenacity.

  • @Texas-Hawk-10 Wigs swings from SG to SF for the 'Wolves. So, Coach Self wasnt that far off with him but generally speaking. Yah I agree. Marcus and Markieff, Perry, even Chalmers spent time at SF and more at SG.

  • @Texas-Hawk-10 Greene likely spells Selden when he gets to 100% … only if Svi doesnt show he is the better defender and ball handler while putting up similar shooting percentages.

  • @justanotherfan Mickelson is a better all around post man than Traylor, He gets 9.

  • @justanotherfan Wow, we are going to be good if we can put nine men on the floor!

  • @justanotherfan

    I like it except…

    Self may want to build a two PG team, as in 2008, but he hasn’t got 3 PGs this time for a two PG rotation, unless Svi is the third one. Is he?

    What Self has material for is a 1 pg offense two deep. He can play 2pg offense until an injury to Mason, or Graham.

    Self never schemes “who we are” unless he thinks he can sustain it 40 minutes with reserves.

    He can’t sustain a two point guard offense unless Svi is a PG. Is he?

    Self also has never started a freshman big AND rotated one as first big reserve that I recall, unless it was Marcus and Kieff and Kieff was Horrible that first year…

    Thus, either Mick, Traylor, or Lucas is in.

    Self is readying people for Bragg maybe not playing a lot.

    Self is readying people for Diallo not to play at all.

    People are underestimating Lucas’ rebounding and how weak the team is at rebounding. If Big Luke doesn’t play quite a bit, KU might not win many rebound stats and that is a recipe for 20-24 wins even with all the talent and experience.

    I actually think Mick, Luke and Jam will committe the 5 and Bragg will backup Ellis. If Bragg develops well, he could also force one of the committe to pine.

    Diallo is a wild card that pushes one of the committee to pine, ID Diallo were cleared. But the 5 is going to be a committee for sure.

  • On the topic of Diallo. Who thinks he will get cleared by first game?

    Who thinks he gets cleared mid season?

    Who thinks he doesnt get cleared?

    Personally, I think he gets cleared at the very least by mid season. Just in time for us to devour sweet revenge against UK on Jan 30th. I say that because I read on B/R very recently that most NBA scouts think Skal wont get cleared at all, like no effing way at all. And that would make me especially happy. Although, its not Skal’s fault so theres that. And, Id rather play Kensuckit with everyone cleared, that way they cant moan and groan when we kick their Arse’s back to banjo land.

  • @Lulufulu Self likes 5 men rotations at the 1-3 spots. Greene is likely the 5th man once tge rotation gets tightened up because Self will play everyone early on. Svi ends up subbing for Mason and Graham because those two can’t play 40 minutes a game.

    @jaybate-1.0 Svi doesn’t have PG caliber handles, but his handles are good enough to be the secondary ball handler for stretches while Mason or Graham are on the bench. Svi could get 17-20 minutes per game exclusively subbing for those 2 guys. Odds are we’ll almost never see a KU line up except for garbage time minutes that doesn’t include 2 of those 3 guys on the floor at the same time.

  • @Lulufulu

    I don’t see BG in the NBA, period. I like him a lot, but he’s pretty easy to see without crimson/blue glasses on and he simply doesn’t have near enough game to make that jump. It would help his stock a great deal if he could learn to score off the dribble and work on his footwork enough to create his own shot. That could at least get him a look from scouts.

    He could shoot 100 for 100 from trey in one spot and that simply doesn’t mean anything. NBA isn’t a game of H_O_R_S_E.

    I’m going to be the guy who goes down hard on BG this year for developing more game. He has been living in “fool’s gold land” if he thinks his shot alone will earn him PT.

  • @drgnslayr Thank you on BG. He’s an elite shooter, but you have to have some kind of secondary skill to make it to the NBA or be the big fish in the small pond and get noticed nationally like some the guys from Creighton and Gonzaga have over the years. BG doesn’t fit either category. He is strictly a one dimensional player at this point and because he’s in on a team where he’s the 4th/5th person in the rotation at the 1-3 spots, he doesn’t get the opportunity to torch players. Had he ended up at some mid major, he probably is a 15-20 point scorer and on NBA radars, but because he’s buried at the bottom of KU’s rotation, he’s not on NBA radars and his professional future lies outside of the US.

  • @Texas-Hawk-10 So, Bill Self is wrong? I cannot fathom that. See Self’s comment on Greene and the NBA. Self had made a comment during the 13-14 season in that regard as well.

  • @Texas-Hawk-10

    I would disagree that BG is not on NBA radars. I think he very much is on their radars, but I think his performance has not been enough to get him to move up. BG is in a position to get invited to an NBA camp and probably play on a summer team after he graduates because NBA people are aware of his skillset. He will get workout invites and that type of thing. He likely will not be drafted, but he will have an opportunity to make a team.

    The NBA is changing. If BG can hit corner threes and be an average wing defender, he will find a spot on an NBA bench. The NBA looks for three types of players - stars, rotation role players and end of the bench reserves. BG isn’t going to be a star in the league, but he can be effective as a shooter if he improves his defense to an average level.

  • @HighEliteMajor Wouldn’t be the first time he’s been wrong now would it?

    @justanotherfan When has Greene ever shown the ability to even be an average defender?

  • @HighEliteMajor

    It has taken me all this time to digest Self’s “fool’s gold” comment. I still view it as an overall negative to the team and to the direction we were on last year.

    But I didn’t sit in on practices.

    I believe Self specifically targeted that comment to BG. I believe Self is frustrated with BG because BG hasn’t focused enough on developing his skill set around his perimeter shooting.

    Out of everything Self has ever done, it has been the “fool’s gold” comment that has stuck on me as perhaps his biggest mistake. Maybe I was wrong and I really am not ready to “out-coach the coach.”

    If BG polishes up the rest of his game, he could have a shot in the NBA. But until then, he’s just one of the best players of H_O_R_S_E on the planet.

    Doing all the non-glamorous parts of the game well (everything except shooting the ball) is partly about skills and hugely about attitude.

    My warning to all in here (stating again)… I’m adopting BG as my son who needs discipline this year. I’m not going to give him a break. Anything sugar-coating his current state of play isn’t going to help motivate him to give his best shot at his NBA dream.

  • @drgnslayr For a moment as I was reading this I thought it was written by HEM. That’s why I shed a tear that even the most deep seated curmudgeon had changed his mind about BG and the “Fools Gold” comment. Welcome back from the dark side Slayer.

  • @Texas-Hawk-10

    He has not. However, he is a good enough athlete that he has the tools to be at least average. With work, I believe that he could be average, maybe even slightly better. And once he gets out of college, he has a real world incentive (an NBA paycheck) to make sure he becomes an average or better defender.

    Greene has a better chance to be an NBA player than Perry Ellis because BG has an NBA position. Perry is the far superior college player, but has no pro position. Greene will never be an NBA star, but he can get a job as a 9th man. I think that’s a role he could slide right into because he hasn’t played a ton of minutes in college. He is a role player now, he would be a role player in the NBA.

  • @justanotherfan Career 9th men in college don’t play in the NBA. Brannen Greene has not shiwn the desire or effort to want to get better at anything so why should we expect anything to change now in his 3rd year? If Bill Self tightens up to 8 like he does most years, Greene’s SOL on playing time this year.

  • @Texas-Hawk-10

    Typically I would agree with you, because most 9th men in college have zero NBA caliber skills. Brannen Greene is an exception because he has one NBA caliber skill. The uniqueness of his NBA caliber skill is that Greene has the ability not just to be an above average perimeter shooter in the NBA, but to be an elite level one. That matters.

    Darion Atkins (University of Virginia) never played more than 16 minutes a game until he was a senior. As a senior he averaged just 7.6 ppg and just 6 rpg. He’s currently getting a shot with the Knicks. He’s got the potential to be an elite level defender. NBA people are hoping he develops a solid shooting touch. He’s basically the opposite of BG, with NBA people hoping he can become a player similar to Draymond Greene as a multipositional defensive wiz and matchup nightmare.

    Greene is 6-7, athletic and a tremendous shooter. That will get him more than a passing glance from NBA people. Greene will get his chance. He may not capitalize on it, but he will get the chance.

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