Will Traylor meet the Jeff Hawkins, Christian Moody, Justin Wesley, and Tarik Black fate?

  • Jeff Hawkins, Christian Moody, Justin Wesley, and Tarik Black all found them selves on the bench when better players were ready to step in. I know I have posted that I think this SHOULD happen but I think Coach Self will bench a more talented player with a higher ceiling because he values the time and effort Traylor has put in while at KU. Black started out with more minutes and then had to watch Embiid play a lot of minutes after Embiid got the hang of things. He sat on the bench and watched Embiid gobble up the minutes BUT Coach Self didn’t have a 5 year relationship with him either. So the question in my mind is what 4 bigs get the majority of the minutes?

  • @Statmachine

    WITHOUT Cheick: I look at it like… Perry, and everyone else. That might sound a bit cold. But we’ll be relying most on Perry to keep our post stat line above water. If this is the case, we might as well give some good experience minutes to Carlton. We might even see his game improve considerably during the season and perhaps he can make vital contributions in March. Hunter, Jamari and Landen all have their strengths and weaknesses. They’ll rotate in depending on match-ups, etc.

    WITH Cheick: Perry and Cheick… then everyone else. Same scenario but competing for less minutes.

    I think the only thing we can forecast accurately would be that Perry gets his minutes. Eventually (hopefully), Cheick will get his minutes, too. Everyone else depends on what happens between now and then, and how the season plays out.

    Looking at Hunter, Jamari and Landen… it looks like Hunter made a big jump up from last year because a “light bulb” went off in his head and he started to execute “Self ball.” I’m doubtful Jamari or Landen make the kind of jump we saw in Hunter. And who is to say that he can’t make another jump up in his game? Now that he “gets it” maybe we are just at the beginning of experiencing him show that he “gets it!”

  • @drgnslayr

    Even if Cheick is available early, he is pretty raw and not nearly the savant Embiid is/was so I believe that Hunter will get the minutes going in and Cheick might get more playing time as the season develops and depending on how well he adapts.

  • @Statmachine

    Agree with @drgnslayr that Perry is the only reliable scoring threat in the high-low post that we have AGAIN this season.

    Agree with @JayHawkFanToo that Cheick would be limited as a scorer on the slim chance that he were cleared.

    But I cannot help some guarded optimism about Traylor and Lucas that I will likely regret mentioning here a month or two from now.

    My optimism about Traylor sources from a brief spurt of improvement in his play about mid season before his injury last year that reduced him to a one-legged stiff down the stretch.

    My optimism about Lucas sources from a stretch of solid play slightly later than Traylor’s brief spurt that was alas similarly blotted out by injury down the stretch.

    Logic suggests that all the years of work put in by these players plus a little luck from the injury god ought yield some credible committee play from this tandem of players.

    But then each time I get this little inkling of hope I recall how ineptly the two played in Korea and my hope turns to hand wringing fear that the 5 position may be upside down even before the ship sails.

    Yes, Mickelson looks like he ought to be a credible post man for one half of a committee’s 40 minutes at the 5. Whether Mick should start, or relieve, I confess I haven’t a clue about yet. But its that other 20 minutes that someone has to staff even to make a committee at the 5 credible that gives me the hee-bee jee-bees.

    I really don’t have a good hunch of how this will go.

    What I have are Hunter, Bragg, and two cancelling logics about Lucas and Traylor:

    a.) a senior and a junior with a lot of experience ought to be able to be a credible sub committee for 20 minutes in a committee at the 5, because they have showed brief flashes of getting it last season; and

    b.) for the most part, they played like chumps in Korea and so it is unlikely they will be better in D1.

    Bragg is clearly Self’s devout prayer in the paint for at least 20 mpg. Bragg is the guy inside the genie bottle that Self is polishing compulsively and doing incantations about in hopes of Bragg coming along faster than anyone should reasonably expect. Self is often like this when confronted with very daunting prospects; i.e., no experienced starting talent at a crucial position. Self is rightly famous for telling his '08 players down in regulation against Memphis to believe. But he doesn’t just tell players that. He tells himself that, too…when he has no logical probability of an adequately talented and experienced player to look forward to at a position. He told himself to believe about Joel Embiid, after it became clear that Wiggins was not willing to take the physical abuse necessary that would come from putting the team on his back. Self saw that the team was going no where without being on someone’s back, so Self put the team on Joel Embiid’s back and probably went home and told Cin something like, baby, we gotta believe in Joel.

    It doesnt always work out as magically well as it did in the '08 finals, or in the instance of Joel Embiid. Some times it goes south, like it did Self’s first season at KU when he tried to put the team on the back of that freshman big man he inherited from Roy that very shortly imploded, and then transferred to Louisville and Pitino.

    Self knows that freshman, even the best ones, are potential exploding cigars. But once again, Self has no real choice, if Diallo doesn’t clear. Self will have to hold Bragg in reserve for a month, or so, playing him in situations that don’t ruin his confidence, and pray Mick can be a starter and Traylor and Lucas can committee the back up, at least that month or so, before giving Bragg a shot sooner or later against some team without much presence in the paint and see if Bragg can keep from imploding. Bragg has the length and the athleticism this team, especially Perry, needs in the paint. But Self knows that Bragg is a sushi 4, not an experienced 5, and thats why Self is probably going home every night right now and telling Cin: baby, we gotta believe about Bragg. Self has a fresh and bitter memory about what happened when he relied heavily on Perry Ellis his freshman season. No amount of minutes and pep talks could get Perry to handle the blue meanies. It was a terrible thing to put a young man through. But Self has almost no choice yet again. Cin, baby, you can hear him say palming his forehead over dinner. we just gotta believe about Carlton.

    And so do we.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    He may not be the savant Embiid was, but I think he will compensate for that with his motor. The kid really stays active the entire time he is on the floor, and that alone will build him a respectable stat line.

    We better have him on the floor most of the time early, so we can improve his skills as much as possible by March. Chances are high that he will be OAD (even though he won’t be ready to go pro), so we better maximize our return on him for the few months he will be in Lawrence.

  • @jaybate-1.0 I like how you talked yourself out of Traylor and Lucas making significant improvement … your mind trumped the heart.

    If Traylor could bump his rebound rate to .26 per minute, that would be a big deal. That gets him into acceptable range. And that’s why Lucas is a better option than Traylor. Gotta rebound the ball in the post. Lucas is not usually a liability on the floor. He just doesn’t excel. With Traylor, the rebounding is so bad it is a big liability. That’s different than Lucas.

    With Mickelson, he showed at the WUGs that he brings something to the table. He’s just better; he can change shots, he scraps for the ball, he finds ways to rebound, he’s a better scorer than the other two, he gets up and down the floor, and he can pass in the post.

    It would be an absolute travesty if Self regularly plays either Lucas or Traylor over Mickelson. In situations? Sure. But not beyond that.

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  • @Statmachine sounds like a mature team.

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