Let's Bragg about Bragg for a minute

  • Had to get my 1 pun out…

    I know this was a glorified scrimmage but let’s take a minute to praise the Freshman Big Man for having the best game of all the Hawks last night.

    Energy, hustle, rebounding, scoring around the basket all against those giants of Pittsburgh St. The end part was a joke but seriously Bragg was the last big off the bench & had earned the 2nd half start by the time the 2nd 20 had started.

    He won’t be the last big off the bench going forward, Self will learn to trust him, he has to he’s just too talented

  • Bragg is going to be very good, lots of energy, loves to play you can see it, saw him in the post game, smiles from ear to ear, contagious smile, already love the way he gets after it, passed the ball nice, goes to the boards, can score, again it was an exhibition, but don’t think that is going to be ab issue we can sure use him

  • @BeddieKU23 How about Hunter? 6 boards 4 blocks and 10 pts! All of that in just 13 minutes! Bragg was really good too!

  • @Statmachine

    How about Hunter? … Bragg was really good too!

    The difference is Bragg was allowed to continue being good. Hunter was allowed to continue warming the bench.

    There are two expressions I am really beginning to hate: "Fool’s Gold’ and “Energy”.

    By the way, I just had a bad year-end review. My boss claimed that according to all available measures I didn’t meet my objectives. What’s more, my department was less productive when I was there than when my replacement was there. What a bunch of BS: I brought energy!!!

  • @ParisHawk did you watch the game? Wings were awful, offensive and defense. Self said after the game the ones that did best, Mason, Devonte, Perry at 3, Bragg, Hunter and Mari at 5. I agree w/him. He was trying a lot of combos. BG looked worse than last year. Disappointed in Svi, Wayne’s ankle must be bothering. Mari came down on a Pitts foot. I guess ll went to dressing room for an ankle.

  • @Statmachine

    He was good offensively. He can block shots but he was facing a bunch of 6’6’s out there. I thought his defensive awareness wasn’t good, I didn’t think any of the bigs did a good job defending the post or negating drives to the hoop. Still the same issue from last year & without Diallo will be magnified when we play much better and bigger bigs.

  • @ParisHawk So you don’t like that “energy” thing, huh? Can’t imagine why not.

    See, Bragg played “with energy” last night and apparently has been. So did Mickelson. Hustling all over the floor. What we know is that you have to have something else besides energy. It was nice to see that Bragg and Mickelson did just that.

    But getting right to it -

    1. The Good: Bragg, Ellis, and Mickelson. All three looked outstanding. Mickelson blocked four shots, altered a few. The only thing standing in the way of Mickelson making a big contribution is Self. Bragg was everything we thought he would be. He’s ready now. He needs to be allowed to play through mistakes because the package we have under the tree come March far exceeds his pedestrian competition. Ellis looked quicker to me. Maybe that wasn’t true. But what’s interesting in that, Bragg looked quicker. Diallo, or no Diallo, this team will be fine if these three guys get the lion’s share of the post minutes.

    2. The Bad: Brannen Greene’s defense and mobility. Greene literally looked like a statue. I just struggle to see what he brings other than three point shooting, which is not valued much around these parts.

    3. The Ugly: Selden and Svi. This was the most disappointing part of the game to me. Neither player ever got in a rhythm. Selden was a shell of what we saw at the WUG. I guess we can blame the ankle. Without Selden making a leap, things get dicey for this team. Svi was out of sorts the entire time. Not sure what to make of it. I’ve touted the fact that (I think) we have the best group of perimeter players in the country. That did not appear to be the case against the might Pitt St. Gorillas. Svi looked worse last night than his initial games last season.

    But it is just one game, and just an exhibition at that.

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    The wings were horrible, as we joked about last night BG couldn’t guard my grandma. He looks very rusty and it shows with him missing the entire off-season. I do expect him to get much better but last night was not that game. I’m not going to give up on him yet.

    But I think besides Bragg’s play, as a team played how poorly Self said we were practicing. I don’t remember us looking that bad in previous years when we’ve had a stacked team. maybe some others can chime in on that

  • @BeddieKU23 agree! Defense was terrible, w/wings.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Spot on assessment. I think from now until Tuesday & until next Friday Self will get these guys to buy in a little more. We really didn’t play like we wanted to beat them by 50, team was just going through the motions a lot of the game. We know Self will dial them in & get on them for the poor play.

    Svi & Greene just looked very rusty. Svi looks so active on defense until his man beat him, then he just gave up. And his shot was not even close. I think we need to take almost everything in the context that it was the first game & the team had been practicing terrible.

    If Bragg brings that kind of game on a consistent basis he has to start with Ellis.

  • Ellis-Bragg-Mickelson/Mason-Selden-Graham. Right now those are the 6 stalwarts. We know that Traylor will play; and, if cleared, Diallo most likely will earn major minutes. There are Self’s eight players. Other aspirants had best step up sooner than later if they hope to earn court time. When Selden is healthy he appears to be a rock. When seriously “nicked up” his game turns to loose sand. His superior play in S. Korea was no fluke. To his own apparent detriment, Greene is a stubborn guy who chose the wrong program. Svi, a very real puzzle. Vick has the speed to emerge. Gotta be an unusual torment to Bill Self, spending administrative hours which disrupt his coaching on game day.

  • @Statmachine My favorite line was “He threw it off the back of a Gorilla.” That made me laugh

  • Yesterday was just a tune up. I think there were a lot of things Coach Self can build on or correct and that’s good but there isn’t enough information to solidify who will earn big minutes or call out an 8 man rotation after 1 exhibition game. I am thinking the same thing every one else is thinking too BUT I wouldn’t be surprised at all if something changes between now and MSU?

  • Bragg looks like the best player on the team. Most upside of anyone who played last night. I expect ups and downs from any freshman though. Now let’s see Diallo to know what we really have.

  • I didn’t catch any of the game. I’m thrilled that Bragg looked great. Sounds like he has a pretty nice set of tools.

    Landen Lucas started? Did I read that correctly?

  • I think that we already know what we have with our back court and I think we are SOLID there. If it turns out that Bragg can contribute at the same level as last night we are going to be better than I thought! If Diallo gets cleared WATCH OUT!

  • @Statmachine Have any of your insiders provided any shareable feedback about any of yesterday’s events?

  • @joeloveshawks said:

    I didn’t catch any of the game. I’m thrilled that Bragg looked great. Sounds like he has a pretty nice set of tools.

    Landen Lucas started? Did I read that correctly?

    Yes, started the game but found a seat in a couple of minutes because of two quick fouls.

    Bragg started the second half in his place.

  • random musings…

    Graham- mason combo looks very very good - they will learn not to pick up open court fouls as season gets going hopefully. Mason is our alpha.

    Bragg played like his Pre-college ranking said he should… great BB IQ, strength, hustle and touch- I’m optimistic we get the expected two years out of him although the better he plays, the higher is NBA stock will rise sadly

    of the three amigos, (or Stooges depending on your outlook…Hunter/Jam/Lucas), Hunter played with good BB IQ and made the most of his 13 minutes. a few hesitations under the rim rather than strong to the hoop, but he is picking up where he left off from the WUG. Self will have to play him more because he has no choice currently. SIT (Statistically Inferior Traylor) I thought played well considering he has the lowest BB IQ of the three - 9 points, 2 OR, 2 A, 2S and only 1 To - his achilles heel is the TO- Athleticism is why he’s getting minutes - his back-rim missed breakaway dunk is no surprise, but remember his athleticism got him in position to even make that play in the first place. Lucas… just a bad bad out of synch game. sigh

    wayne - some good assists and rebounding, but letting guys blow by you?? that to me was the worst part of him last night.

    SVI - defense will keep you in the floor… not looking like a turnstile and letting guys go through-by you - sigh

    perry being Perry - good scoring down low, always good with smaller teams, rebounding, and TO’s - hopefully his defense will improve as the season gets going, but you-get-what-you-get-and-don’t get-upset with our senior

    LaG - like like like him - going to fun to watch

    Brannen… (see SVI)

    team box-out drills over and over and over… and over

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  • In a game like this, it is hard to really get anything meaningful.

    KU’s bigs should dominate a game like this. They are facing a smaller team. They should have no problem blocking shots, grabbing rebounds and otherwise dominating the paint. Pitt State is undersized compared to what KU will see for most of the season.

    The disappointing thing was how the wings looked. Our perimeter guys have to be better. I understand why Frank and Devonte play so much, but they can’t both play 30+ minutes every night, or they will both be worn down by March. We need better wing play so that Frank and Devonte can drop to 27-28 minutes a night each.

  • @Statmachine

    You know their hot buttons, so follow your gut and don’t do anything that violates their trust.

    Maybe keep it simple and open ended to see where they lead you…"what were your thoughts & observations?

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  • @Statmachine that’s awesome. No reason to bash a kid. Most guys who play at that age are harder on themselves antsy way. Need to be built back up and supported.

    Keep it up

  • @Statmachine I

    Well done, indeed.

  • @Statmachine Svi is trying so hard! Wish we knew what those meetings were about. Thinking it’s an appeal? Self seemed very frustrated! Who wouldn’t be? Missed all the team preps.

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  • @Crimsonorblue22

    I’d still like to know why Coach Self is involved anyway. The fact that this isn’t a normal thing that happens suggest to me that there is some serious issues with the whole situation

  • In regards to Brannen, let’s not forget that he’s coming off hip surgery and missed boot camp. His conditioning is probably way behind and his flexibility is probably worse than it’s ever been.

  • @Texas-Hawk-10 how long do u give him?😉

  • smile.png This was Braggs face after Coach Self told him he missed 3 open lay ups! I don’t know if he ever gets down on himself? During his interview after the game he was grinning from ear to ear last night!

  • @Crimsonorblue22 said:

    @Texas-Hawk-10 how long do u give him?😉

    I’d go mid December, let him get his legs back and get comfortable with himself and the repair job.

    After that, then who knows, hopefully there is no scar tissue or any hiccups in the recovery.

  • A few things to keep in mind.

    It was the first games of he season for this team and a meaningless exhibition game at that, so nothing much can be inferred from the minutes given to the different players.

    Bragg played very well but the best KU player was undoubtedly Perry Ellis; even the Pitt. State coach and several players commented that he is leaner and more athletic this year and likely will have a great season.

    I am sure that by now Coach Self knows what Michelson can do but he is trying to evaluate the other players and this is why they played more minutes than he disd nothing to worry there.

    Biggest disappointment was Svi. The build up in the off -season pointed to a much improved player but from the comments I read, that new and improved Svi did not show up. Hopefully we will see improvement in the next few games.

    Selden had a blah game and we can guess that it is due to his ongoing injury. A lot of season ahead to evaluate his game. From the WUG we know that a healthy Selden can dominate.

    Greene is a one trick pony that would win each and every 3-point contest but has trouble scoring when covered and his defense, no doubt hampered as a result of his surgery and long inactive period, has regressed…if that is possible. I am sure he could be useful in specific situations but he is big liability in defense, something that Coach Self loathes.

    Last, does any one remember any KU team playing well the first game of the season, whether exhibition or not? I don’t. I seem to remember that the first game is always a helter-skelter type of affair. I am not worried at this time and would like to think that the team will continue to improve,

  • @BeddieKU23 speaking of your gma, there is a granny league in Lawrence. Maybe BG could work on his D there?? Jk!!

  • @ParisHawk


    I hope you were being facetious about your boss.

    If not, you need to fire your boss, unless you are playing for a pension and just winding it down.

    I am going to go out on a limb here and say that America has the worst bosses of any advanced economy in the world, and maybe the worse bosses than most of the emerging economies.

    Its not just “management,” that sucks.

    Most top level management has always been horrible in America. Henry Ford and Steve Jobs and even Bill Gates were the exceptions, never the rules. Top level management has always been focused on accounting results and financial maneuver and stock structures and not on the process of making good products. Most top level management wouldn’t know how to make a good product, or even recognize a good product, if their jobs depended on it, which they don’t.

    What once made America superior to its economic competitors was what once made America’s military superior to its enemies: Great Sergeant Majors, Great Gunnies, Great Chief Warrant Officers, and highly motivated not to fail young college graduates in the captain through two Louie ranks of the officers.

    American once upon a time had a labor force that included mid and low level bosses that understood how to do things, and so understood what could and could not be done well. This labor force of low level bosses was marginalized by accounting controls and profits through financial arbitrage rather than through making and selling good products at a profit.

    America was once a nation that depended on getting things done for its successes and prosperity. It won economic competitions. It won wars.

    Now it intentionally sets out NOT to win wars. It just sets out to not lose them and convulse the opponent into something that can be denied to everyone.

    Likewise in business, Ford and GM do not set out to beat Toyota, or Volkswagen. They set out to survive with them in an oligopoly. There is not incentive for victory, nor any ethic for victory, in American business any longer.

    The last thing Ford, or GM, want to do is build a product good enough that it runs Volkswagen, or Nissan, or Honda, or Mercedes, out of business. They want to build stuff just good enough to keep them all in business, so that they get to keep spreading the risk of the unexpected and the costs of supporting parts suppliers spread around, so they can keep their bottom lines where they want them.

    You boss should be talking to you about how well you did what you did, and studying the good things you did to show you how to spread the good you did to improve your short comings in other aspects.

    We don’t learn from our mistakes nearly as much as we generalize from our successes.

    Good bosses understand this.

    Good coaches do too.

  • I think it is easy to walk away from this game and say… “hey… this is the same team we had last year but minus Kelly and Cliff!”

    I have to admit… I was feeling that way through most of it. Perry looked a bit quicker and perhaps a bit stronger.

    Hunter looked better than last year at this time.

    Otherwise… the big difference would be Carlton! He definitely did shine and gives us hope regardless of the Cheick outcome.

    Unless he gets hurt, we are going to see Carlton get lots of PT this year. I’m psyched for that! I know this was a nothing game, but he sure didn’t play like a freshman last night.

    The other stuff I posted above Carlton is just a feeling. Too soon to infer anything about this team. This is always the time of year when fans easily make assumptions only later to be proven wrong.

    It will be interesting to see them next week. You have to be prepared for the possibility that they might even look worse next week! I know… a week of practice should help, but often at this point it just makes them play stiffer.

  • @Statmachine Yeah, yeah, I know that I am premature in “calling out an 8 man rotation” at this stage. And yeah, I concur with you that SVI possesses boundless upside which should soon kick into 3rd gear. I probably shot off my early Nov. predictions a bit too soon. There are substantial minutes to be earned by Svi, Greene, Vick, Lucas, esp. if Diallo does not clear. Those 4 had best zero in on determination and maximum practice effort these next few weeks. I’m already sold on Mickelson and Rabb. Ellis, Mason, Graham and Selden look to be the sealed deal. Traylor’s energy and effort, coupled with 5th year experience, will get him playing time unless tendencies toward injury dictate otherwise. At this stage, I would say that of the 4 maybes, Svi and Vick stand a better chance at minutes than Greene and Lucas. Greene will glean intermittent opportunity to shoot some 3s; Lucas, to fetch rebounds. (So, I suppose that my premature predictions hardly have been put to sleep…)

  • @BeddieKU23 Yay! We got to see our first game of the season for KU! I know its a pre season warm up but it still counts to me. Im psyched for this season big time.

    Aside from Ellis, I thought Bragg and Hunter were our best players. I loved it when they were both out there together. Great tandem!

    Our guard play sucked i thought. But, Im going to rewatch the game right now on espn replay just for fun and see what I missed before.

    That Pitt State team is gonna be good this year. They really gave KU all it could handle for the first 15 min or so.

  • @REHawk Until Svi starts hitting in games 2 names will come to my mind when he misses a three. Luke Axtell and Jeremy Case were two people who could supposedly drill 3 after 3 in practice and nada in games. Hopefully he can do things in games to back up the praise being heaped on him both here and by HCBS.

  • @Lulufulu

    I think we made Pitt St look better than they are, but they definitely look to have a team that will do well at their level.

    Notice how most of us have praised the bigs for their performance but the real strength of this team is supposed to be its back-court. Really shows how poorly we did play on the perimeter. And the bigs will always look better playing against smaller non athletic players.

  • Perspective… we need to keep perspective here.

    Pitt States tallest player was what? 6’7"?

    Our post looked good against a very short team.

    Our guards seemed to just match their guards. We shot poorly from 3, too.

    Our defense was consistently beat on the extended passes… stretching our defense beyond what they could handle.

    I know this game doesn’t mean much. It’s too early, and we have to rebuild chemistry every year.

    But I think it showed us how important Wayne Selden is to this team. Maybe he didn’t show up because he is hampered with a bad ankle. Maybe. I’m guessing that is why he made the decision to not push his game.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 we need more protection, w/wings.

  • @drgnslayr only thing I can think of is that adjusting to the new rules. But then again I can’t justify that by not moving your feet!

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