Winning Big with Iron Pyrite, Designer Efficiency, and the Committee of the 5, While Re-Learning Cupcakes Are a Terrible Thing to Waste a Hot Night On

  • Are 57.7% on 26 treys hot enough and frequent enough for all you shoot from the hip and win with the three types?

    Is Perry scoring 16 points in 20 minutes on 5-7 from the field and 6-6 from the line good enough for the efficiency freaks?

    How about the Committee of the Five (Lucas, Traylor, Mickelson) combining for 18 points, 17 rebounds and 3 blocks? Does that give pivot junkies postal pride? Would you be floating kite high about now if Cole, Kieff, Jeff, or Joel had a game like that, even against a cupcake?

    Okay, okay, I have now filled the milk pitcher to the brim.

    Alas, I would be remiss if I did not add to nature’s most perfect food a small floater–some waste matter if you will–in the milk pitcher–for the coach-aka @REHawk,–for his amusement and angst==for it is he who has rightly noted that I occasionally can portray the positive and negative tails of distributions in short order: our fine players have accomplished a terrible beauty. They have shot 57.7% from trifectaville–against a cupcake–the game BEFORE a game with a nationally ranked team–a team of hard nose thug ballers–a team coached by a Jud Heathcote disciple–a team coached by and an admittedly great thug ball coach–one Ratso Izzo. Our fine KU players have wasted a great shooting night on, well, on the University of Northern Colorado–aka the Greely Cupcakes–coached by a Tad Boyle disciple–and so among our distant hereditory family. Our boys did this, when they might instead have used this 57.7% mixture fuel-air trey bomb of a shooting clinic to hammer one of the vilest enemies of our right way realm in the next game. Such is the unpredictability of trey balling that has lead our erstwhile Head Coach, William Self, on more than a few occasions, to question the merit of this means of scoring–to speak of fools gold–of iron pyrite.

    What our fine players did was tantamount to USA dropping its last working nuke on ISIL, before going to war with Russia and China for control of the Trans Eurasian Super Corridor and the Texas Tea and NG under the Karim Basin that Jimmah Baker and the Petroleo Clubbers appear so desirous of getting hold of that they are apparently running ALL Republican candidates for President so they can be sure to call the shots on Pennsylvania Avenue once again and ply a little regime change action on Moscow one day soon, while the rest of us get our hair mussed with a whole potpourri of top secret weapons we don’t even know the nature of yet. But I digress.

    Heaven help us if KU’s hard wood snipers shoot back to their average against Ratso.

    I can just bet that the minute Ratso’s graduate assistant showed him the KU-UNorCol box score, well, Ratso broke out into that big rodent-y grin of his, you know, the slit eyed, and teeth like densely packed, calcified, double edged safety razor blades stacked on end between thin lips stretched and exposing teeth ready to gnash and tear at a mythical bird.

    Let us hope the boys have been working out in their helmets and shoulder pads and mouth pieces to get ready for MSU, which most certainly has been.

    Let’s also hope they wait a game to shoot back to their averages.

    Rock Chalk!!!

  • @jaybate-1.0

    I’m in favor of duplicating those #'s against MSU and proving fools gold false!!!

  • @jaybate-1.0 Eighty odd hours out and cursing the Zinger for my not yet being allowed to recline with popcorn and beer to view this year’s edition of Mighty Jayhawks, I’d settle for 40% pyrite vs. SuperRat and Co. The Committee of Five will no doubt be in for a bruising. Gotta play a 25 second clock vs. the Spartans, keep their elbows at 160 degree extension, tongues to toes. Bill worked some good combinations out of his 10 man lineup last night, even gave Vick a taste of AFH excitement. Will probably need every ounce of that experience and energy to earn a Big W Tuesday night. ROCK CHALK!

  • We’ll know on Tuesday what this team is made of.

    I thought JamTray looked good last night. I know the competition wasn’t there… but maybe it helps his confidence and he starts playing at a higher level.

    He actually becomes a solid offensive weapon by driving the ball and either finishing at or near the rim or passing out for an assist.

  • @REHawk Kinda tempers the passion a bit when a guy can’t even see the product he loves. This is a case of absence makes the heart forget.

    If you can, watch the games on I’ve been watching them about 10 minutes after they finish on live tv. Only way I can watch my beloved Hawks.

    She-man Zenger needs to drive the 6 1/2 hours out here and see why we can’t just show up for every game. Or realize that Time Warner isn’t even an option.

  • @dylans I feel your pain, let KU know is my only advice. My parents and sister actually talked to him by phone. The deal is the best for the school(puke). At least you will get to see tues’s game. I’d complain anytime you have a chance!

  • @jaybate-1.0 What if they call the game as tight as they did last night? All of Izzo’s thugs will foul out before the first half and we’ll win it going away anyways. Even with back to average trey shooting and even with Designer Efficiency albeit low scoring.

    The rule changes they are implementing full force now really dont support Izzo’s way of thug ball. I just dont see how, if MSU continues to play that way, they can keep from foul trouble every single game.

    59 fouls last night?? If MSU sends Frank and Devonte and Perry and Lucas and Mick and Svi and Bragg to the line 4 times each, thats a huge cushion!!

  • @drgnslayr And Traylor actually rebounded last night!! It was amazing!!

  • Why are we calling MSU thugs?

  • Interesting…last night ESPN had the headline “Kentucky destroys Albany.” Today the headline has been changed to “Kentucky beat Albany” and there is a long article “is Kentucky overrated?” you really can’t make this stuff up…

    Some interesting scores…

    ISU barely beats Colorado - ISU might not be a contender in the conference?

    Wisconsin loses to Western Illinois - The fairy tale is over.

    Texas loses to Washington - Welcome to the big leagues Shaka…only Big 12 losing team on opening night; not a good way to start the season.

    NC State loses to William and Mary 85-86 - WTF?

    UK unimpressive beating Albany by 12, outscores Albany by 2 points in second half.

    LSU beats McNeese State by 11 - should have been by 30 or 40 if you read all the hype about Ben Simmons which ESPN has anointed the “Face of basketball.” They were outscored in the second half. Not impressed…

  • @JayHawkFanToo LSU is missing their starting point guard. I watched Simmons last week in person. Very impressed. But they lack a strong inside game so that’s going to hurt them.

  • @dylans I use a Chrome add on that hides your location and seems to thwart the blackout.

  • @REHawk My workaround is to run a free VPN app on my phone or computer which allows me to access ESPN3 live. I picked up an adaptor cable so I can tie to the tv and watch in big screen hi-def.

    Inconvenient but it works.

  • @Bwag

    Unfortunately in my area you have to sign in to ESPN3 through the ISP and it is blocked at that level so there is no way round it… 😞

  • @JayHawkFanToo my friend in ks watched the 2nd half on espn 3. Heard others saw it then too. Guess dble check? Only 2nd half

  • @JayHawkFanToo For sure, the other top teams weren’t exactly great last night other than maybe UNC. Ku is definitely in a position to make a run this year as long as they keep focusing on getting better.

  • @ajvan said:

    @REHawk My workaround is to run a free VPN app on my phone or computer which allows me to access ESPN3 live. I picked up an adaptor cable so I can tie to the tv and watch in big screen hi-def.

    Inconvenient but it works.

    Which app do you use?

  • @Crimsonorblue22 said:

    @dylans The deal is the best for the school(puke).

    I don’t know that it will be long term. It looks like a payday today, but at what long term cost? My dollars aren’t much, but we are legion…

  • @wissoxfan83

    I can’t speak for others, but I sometimes use the term thug ball as a colorful colloquialism referring to the use of unnecessary, sometimes egregiously so, physical contact as intimidation in pursuit of competitive advantage that over time tends to drag others down into to playing more this way, and so over time contributes to the degradation of the non contact virtues of the game; NOT as a criminal allegation.

    I also sometimes use it to characterize a coach that reputedly has his players wear football helmets and shoulder pads in practice to start the season, and reputedly once in awhile afterwards, most seasons, apparently to try to encourage them toward playing the game rougher.

    I also use it to characterize a coach that appears to coach teams that over the years tend to use unnecessary physical contact early and first in games in order to set the tone of the game as a physical match up.

    I also use thug ballers to refer to the intentional exploiting of a tendency of some referees reputed “let’em play” philosophy and reputed willingness to swallow their whistles at times during games, and especially during the NCAA tournament.

    I also use it to describe teams that over time anecdotally appear to win more during years when the refs are letting’em play than in years when refs are tightening up the way the game is called.

    I also sometimes use the term butcher ballers, XTReme Muscle Ballers, bang ballers, etc.

    Use of egregiously unnecessary contact in pursuit of competitive advantage appears to coarsen the game and appears to lead to unnecessary violence and unnecessary injuries stemming from that apparently unnecessary contact and apparently unnecessary violence.

    Characterizing a coach and team as thug ballers, etc., usually hinges in my usage on my anecdotal perception over a period of time, usually a few seasons, of tendency, degree, frequency of observable use (note: I suspect we cannot always see from a television camera’s vantage point when it is and is not being done), and frequency of appearance of initiating such style of play in a game, rather than frequency of appearance of reacting to it.

    Hope that helps you understand the meaning and use of the term in regards to Tom Izzo and MSU, and may be even encourages you to support cleaning up the game so athleticism and skill can determine who wins games, rather than thug ball strategy and tactics.

    Rock Chalk!

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    Always good to see Texas lose, of course.

    And Shaka taking an L to start with, well, it does not burnish his rep.

    But in Maxwell’s defense, Agent 99, he was opening up with a real team in Washington, rather than the University of Northern Colorado. Washington is probably decent this season under Lorenzo Romar, as it has been in recent years. Am I right to assume it was University of Washington up Seattle way, and not Washington University of St. Louis? 🙂

  • @Lulufulu

    A tightly called game/season has tended to put Izzo and MSU at a disadvantage in terms of wins and losses during the Izzo era.

    Ratso appears to tend not to do as well during periods, when attempts are being made to clean up the game.

    It is the same for Roy, in periods when “let’em play” is prevailing. Let’em play means the thug ballers get to use uneccessary, often egregious, physical contact to achieve competitive advantage. The great athleticism and skill that Roy tends to recruit is hand cuffed by bang ball that goes uncalled for 40 minutes, or for a season.

    Roy thrives during the clean up eras.

    Ratso thrives during the Let’em play eras.

    Self, probably consciously, has evolved a style of play I call play it any way they want, which means KU is neither a Thug Ball team, or a Speed Ball team. Self recruits guys that are not the best thug ballers, nor are they the best race horses. Rather, they are the rare breed that with a lot of work have the unusual characters and temperaments to be able to play both ways. This means that Self’s teams thrive in the transitions years between the extremes IMHO.

    All three approaches have strengths and vulnerabilities.

    And all three approaches have stretches of seasons wherein their style is not the most conducive to winning big, unless they have wildly superior talent.

  • @drgnslayr

    I suspected Jam Tray had it in him to look better than last season, when he was injured, and last summer, when he was also reputedly injured.

    I suspect the offensive end of the floor is where he will appear the most improved, so long as he remains healthy. Why? Because two seasons ago, when not injured, he began to show the ability to drive the lane a few times. Next, because last season, when not injured, he began to show the ability to sink a 17 footer a few times. All a player with Jam Tray’s athleticism needs on offense is a drive move and a credible 17 footer and he becomes a credible offensive threat that players have to guard, but not too tight.

    Offense, IMHO, is skills that a lot of time and work tend to develop to adequacy.

    Defense is something that requires desire, and also requires a lot of concentration on top of the physicality and athleticism needed. Desire is innate. Concentration can evolve from neural nets growing together. It can also be improved in modest increments with practice and a sports psychologist. Concentration only improves by small increments with practice and a sports psychologist. The big leaps in concentration come from maturing and natural brain development. I grew skeptical about Jam Trays’ capacity for significant improvement, because by a junior season one would expect that big leap in neural net grow in to have occurred already. But there are always outliers. We can keep our fingers crossed that his have grown in over the last six months and he is now a lean, mean defensive machine.

    Rebounding is the rub. I’ve just never seen it “grow in.” But that doesn’t mean it can’t. There are always anomalies. And Self has bet right a whole lotta times on terrible looking young players “maturing” into very good mature players. Its is one of Self’s great strengths as a coach.

    Thus there are a lot of ifs with Traylor entering his last season that don’t make me want to bet on him, but Traylor has one big thing in his advantage. He has one of the smartest coaches around regarding maturation believing and betting the farm on him developing with maturity.

    Go, Jam, go!!!

  • @dylans Free Unlimited VPN by Betternet.

  • @REHawk said:

    Gotta play a 25 second clock vs. the Spartans, keep their elbows at 160 degree extension, tongues to toes.

    That’s a very interesting approach to beating MSU. It makes sense, of course, though I wouldn’t have thought of it.

    The question is will Self show up as usual wanting to play it anyway they want?

    His tendency is clearly to play it anyway they want.

    This MSU game will go a long way to telling us how weak, or strong, he expects his front court become.

    If he thinks its weak, and not able to be developed into a dominant front court, I think he will shift gears and do what you say.

    But if he thinks this bunch can be manned up and developed into a toe to toe type front court, then I think we will see play it anyway they want.

  • On the fouling issue, in its first game MSU fouled 14 times vs. the opponents’ 25.

    Ku fouled 24 times vs. the opponents’ 35.

    So far MSU has been able to adjust to the new rules at least as well as we have.

  • @jaybate-1.0

    I just questioned it as Izzo does run a clean program but with his Detroit and Flint connection attracts talent that some people characterize as thugs. I don’t like that term to use for people as we sometimes will call someone a thug without even knowing them.

    I figured you’d write what you wrote which is fine by me.

  • @ajvan Thanks lots for your suggestions and details of how-to. I am a computer retard…and use an old dumb flip phone. But I do have access to fairly fast internet service. So I will challenge grandson to set up the free VPN so that wife and I are not left in the dark on a few game nights. Fortunately, the large majority of our games are televised on the big networks this season. We have been purchasing ESPN Full Court to view the creampuff games. However, discovered at 4 pm yesterday that Full Court has gone belly up and is not available this season. Thanks again.

  • @jaybate-1.0 said:


    Always good to see Texas lose, of course.

    And Shaka taking an L to start with, well, it does not burnish his rep.

    But in Maxwell’s defense, Agent 99, he was opening up with a real team in Washington, rather than the University of Northern Colorado. Washington is probably decent this season under Lorenzo Romar, as it has been in recent years. Am I right to assume it was University of Washington up Seattle way, and not Washington University of St. Louis? 🙂

    Good points. I am curious because I have struggled with my opinion of Maxwell (love it) as a coach. He is also at a disadvantage because he doesn’t t have a roster of guys he recruited. Do you think he will be able to adapt or can he only win with the havoc style of play? Which would mean he might struggle until he is able to recruit his type of player.? Thoughts, JB.? Or anyone else.?

  • @REHawk Sure thing, put your grandson to work!

  • @Hawk8086

    I only watched about 10 - 15minutes of the Texas vs Washington game. But Shaka was running Some zone defense that didn’t have many gimmicks…fouls had been significant.

    If he runs that against KU we could absolutely light up the score board both from the perimeter and by spreading the court and working the hi-low or dribble drive…

    When texas made their run on offense he used tempo to speed up the pace, and they had several coast to coast drives to the lane that put them on the line. He also spread the court from the half court set and let Taylor and Felix drive the lane.

    Ibeh fouled out fairly early in the second half. Ridley had his moments, but I felt for the guy…his tail was dragging.

    The rest breaks he took while playing zone defense saved his bacon …not sure he could play up tempo offense, half court press defense in the back court on the inbound and man-to -man in the half court set.

    But by the time we play him he’ll probably be in the best shape of his life.

  • And while I despise Mushberger and Fran can rub me the wrong way when play ISU or Oklahoma…thank goodness we don’t have to listen to Bill Walton every nite. That was torture!

  • @SoftballDad2011 I always felt Walton hated KU!

  • I think Walton is very intelligent and that he certainly knows the game. But his vocal tone, extreme west coast bias and spontaneous digression toward completely random thoughts are too much for me.

  • @jaybate-1.0 Makes me thing we have an advantage over MSU this early in the season. KU is so so deep and talented this season. KU should win on tuesday but they wont drop a century on MSU. It’ll be a test of each teams’ meddle and a game of attrition. Close game of attrition if KU can’t can the trey at their normal stellar levels or rebound against a bigger team.

  • @Hawk8086

    I actually think he might do pretty well in time, if the alumni don’t turn on him hoping for a Billy Bob, or a Darrell, or a Deke, that is more marketable in the great state of Tayhoss.

    Shaka’s problem is not that he is named Shaka. His problem is that he is from Madison, WI and Kenyon College, and not really the ethnic Southerner the Billy Bobs and Darrells and Dekes think they are getting from Clemson, Florida and Virginia Common Wealth.

    When the Texans discover that the mothership university of their great state of Tayhorse is a northerner, well, there is going to be a period of learning to live together, isn’t there.

    When Shaka was an assistant at Clemson and Florida, he could have been from Pluto for all the fans cared.

    And when he was a head coach at VCU, well, VCU basketball is not really a product critically important to the state at large. Wisconsinite Tony Bennett bears that cross right now in Virginia coaching the Cavs and he is doing pretty darned well there. So: it can be done by a northerner in the South. Heck, Dean Smith proved it long ago. But there is a distinct cultural difference between Tony Bennett and the Deaner, vs. Shaka, and again it has nothing to do with ethnicity, or names. It has to do with real culture–where you grew up.

    Tony was raised in Clintonsville and Green Bay and Stevens Point Wisconsin. Dean in Emporia.

    Shaka was raised in Mad Town.

    Tony went to UW-Green Bay.

    Shaka went to Kenyon.

    Um, Tony is much closer culturally to Virginia end to end than Shaka was to Virginia, or Shaka is to Texas end to end.

    As I said this difference didn’t matter much at VCU, because the entire state’s self esteem does not hinge on what VCU does, the way Texas esteem hinges on UT. Texans want to see themselves in their head coaches at Texas as surely as Kansans want to see themselves in their head coaches at Kansas. This is serious business at both places, Texas and Kansas. Both schools constitute the 900 pound political economic gorillas in each of their states.

    Rick Barnes, even though he never got to the promised land, was a guy Texans could see themselves through and identify with, as surely as Kansans can see themselves in Bill Self and identify with him. It doesn’t make any difference what part of the state of Kansas Kansans come from, even Kansans that detest KU, Kansans of all sizes, shapes, colors, and ethnicities get the Edmond Kid. They understand what the mannerisms are and what the ticks and vernaculars are. They look in his eyes and they see someone who has seen the world through the midwestern lens, regardless who his parents were and what side of the tracks he lived on. The Edmond Kid is an Okie, and there are some differences of dialect alright, but Kansans and Okies can understand each other. They both get the oil and gas. They both get the wheat and airplanes. They both get Big Ag. They both get east west differences within their states. They get the grain elevators in the west and the crisp but not overwhelming skylines of a few cities from the center to the east. They get each others jokes. Their populist uprisings coincided as did their Main Street politics. There are differences over football, but the differences are tolerable, because they both love their hoops. And its humid as hell in both places.

    Shaka sooner or later has to be a guy Texans can look in the eyes of and see a guy they understand–a guy living their myth, not someone else’s.

    It is not impossible for Shaka to be understood. I knew several grad students born and raised in mid sized Wisconsin towns that went to Austin and taught at UT and made it their homes and were accepted finally. Some even flourished. Texas is as eclectic a culture as there is in USA these last 20 years. Texans acccept outsiders easily, if they bring the Texas vision to the table. It is a virtue of theirs. But they have to be able to find something in the immigrants eyes that says this immigrant has got the stuff of a Texan, the ambition of a Texan, the desire to do something different and exceptional as a Texan. They don’t want a Californian that wants to be a Californian in Texas. They don’t even want Texans that don’t want to be Texans.

    Shaka doesn’t have to make them love him. He has to make them see a Texan in the making–a potential fellow Texan. They don’t love Michael Dell. They respect him as one who did what a Texan ought to do. They never loved Darrell Royal really. They respected that Okie Darrell did what a Texan ought to do in football. For doing it they paid him their highest honor. The hung his name on the stadium. And so made him the Texas equivalent of a Saint.

    They finally lost faith in Rick Barnes, because Southern though he was, he just finally lost his Texas sized ambition to land a Durant and put it to KU and win a ring.

    Down at TTech, or TAM, or Baylor, it doesn’t matter so much what they see in your eyes, because the prestige and self esteem of Texas are not riding on those schools. Only pieces of such things are riding on those schools. But at Texas, well, Texans may laugh and be boisterously irreverent about the problems of Texas football, or basketball, but underneath there is a high seriousness about that school and its role in carrying Texas’ heritage that cannot be underestimated. The oil men didn’t endow it with oil reserves to exceed Harvard just for the hell of it once upon a time. The eyes of Texas really are upon it.

    I like to see most persons succeed. The only ones that I don’t like to see succeed are jerks. Shaka I don’t view as a jerk, so much as an ambitious bright kid from Madison trying to make it in the greatest game ever invented. Ambition is good in Texas, if it comes in a flavor that Texans like the taste of. Shaka might make it, but not if he can’t win some conference titles of the kind he didn’t win at modest VCU.

    He is a long shot and I sure as hell don’t want him succeeding at our expense.

    But he has a slim chance.

    I have my bones to pick with Texas.

    But on the whole I like Texans that want to act like Texans and do the great things Texans aspire to do.

    I love some of their boats and boat builders.

    I like that they keep my car running and lubricated.

    But I can do without the beedy eyed ones that just want to score another trillion by knocking over another tin pot dictator the CIA installed for them 20 years before so they can step in and form the Trade Bank of Whererever and secure loans from their friends made to the new gubmint at exorbitant interest rates collateralized by that oil under whereever.

    Y’all see what I’m sayin’?

  • @Lulufulu

    KU is deep.

    But the jury is still out for me on how talented we are.

    I just don’t see a team rotating Landen Lucas, Jamari Traylor and Hunter Mickelson as fielding an elite caliber of talent in the paint.

    We remain in my eyes a team with a lot of guns on the perimeter with a coach that doesn’t much like playing through a lot of guns on the perimeter that has more experience than it did last year and so far is healthier than last year.

    Good health could prove to be the most important recruit from this off season.

    And I am bullish on Bragg, too, I just think he is going to have be brought along pretty slowly to keep him from being badly injured.

    Sending Bragg out for 30 minutes, maybe even 20 minutes is kind of like sending Cole Aldrich out against MSU that first season that Cole started. Starting Cole against MSU was like asking Tom Izzo to have one of his mugs punch Cole’s nose out the back of his head. There are just some head coaches that you don’t tempt with a freshman, or a newbie to starting, early in the season.

    Self had no choice but to start Cole against MSU that first season Cole started.

    But he has a choice with Bragg this season and I believe he will expose Bragg to Tom Izzo only 10-15 minutes at most. If I were Self I would actually think about not allowing Bragg to play at all against MSU. People really don’t appreciate how ruthless Tom Izzo is. Gregg Marshall aspires to be as ruthless as Tom Izzo; that’s how ruthless Tom Izzo is.

    You put a slender, gifted freshman that is not cut from the intimidator’s cloth to begin with out on a floor to try to beat Izzo, or Marsha, and you will soon have a freshman unable to breath through his nose.

    Playing a gentle freshman against Izzo is like sticking you chin out at Muhammad Ali and closing your eyes. He’s going to hit you there and hurt you. And you aren’t going to get up for awhile. And when you do you are going to wish you had not stuck your chin out and closed your eyes.

    I hope Bragg doesn’t play at all. He is too potentially good to expose to an almost certain punking by MSU. Protecting him one game won’t appreciably delay his development. He needs several games at D1 speeds and levels of violence against lesser teams to get ready before he is ready to go up against Izzo Ball.

    If he does play, he is talented enough that he will come in and make some plays once things slow down for him against MSU, and then making those plays will lead to the punking.

    This is one time I would advise: just say no to the temptation, Bill.

    Bill, you know you are not going to be able to help getting into a grinder with Tom.

    He tweaks your manhood every time you play him, and no matter what kind of talent you have and no matter what kind of strategy would work better, you always get in to a test of basketball macho with him, because he remains the only guy that can beat you when he has less talent than you. He has your number, Bill, and pushes your buttons. So: you are going to go in and its going to default into a grinder if you are able to keep it anywhere near close. And when you bring Bragg in, he is going to punk him just as part of pushing your buttons.

    Play knock down drag out if you must, Bill.

    But don’t let him injure Bragg for the first half of the season; that would be really stupid.

    Be smart, Bill. Don’t throw Bragg to the dogs before he is ready.

    This isn’t some normal college coach with a conscience.

    This is Ratso Izzo with your number.

    If you want to be macho with Ratso, do it with all your other battle hardened types.

  • @jaybate-1.0 Yeah, I agree with our front court lacking in the talent department and the need to protect Bragg. But, would playing him against MSU be any different than the punishment he took in Korea against older and bigger players and him with an operable nose? Bragg is tough. I think Coach Self plays him but limits his minutes like you say to around 15ish.

    We have Izzos ## too. So far in the Champions classic I believe we are 3-0 against them or maybe 2-1.

  • @Lulufulu This will only be the 2nd time we have played them in the Champions classic. They won last time and also beat us in the sweet 16 in 2009.

  • @jaybate-1.0 A team rotating Lucas, Traylor and Mickelson will not be elite in the paint. You are correct.

    Self needs to end this three plus season Traylor charade and simply give the rotation spot to Mickelson. A three man post rotation of Ellis, Mickelson, and Bragg. Share 70 minutes between the three. And give the balance to Lucas or Traylor. That can be elite. That can play to the level we need for a national championship. That can allow us to reach our ceiling. The Lucas/Traylor signings have been an utter failures to this point, in light of the post talent available on the recruiting trail, and Self’s reliance on the tandem continues to hamstring us.

    Traylor does not look better than last season. Look at his first three games. Much of the same. Then look at the WUG. The same (or worse). There is no trend changers. There was no injury holding him back this summer or last season, at least no more than stuff every player and team deals with.

    And don’t be fooled by anomalies – In our first game last season vs. UCSB, Traylor had a season high 10 rebounds, then 7 rebounds against UK. He began the season on fire on the boards last season. We know where it ended. In a two game stretch against Utah and Lafayette, he scored 11 and 13 points, and had 7 rebounds against Lafayette. These are outliers, my friends.

    The first three games, two of them exhibitions, have shown us that Traylor is the same player. He’s still out of position on the boards, still not blocking out, he has no new offensive “move” – he has the same stuff as last season.

    The key here is to watch as the games accrue. If we have 16-18 minutes, 2-3 rebounds, 5 points, and no discernible game changing on defense, this is the same guy. Unfortunately, until we get 8-10 games under our belts, it will be hard to tell.

    Mickelson hustles just as much as Traylor supposedly does, and plays just as hard as Traylor supposedly does, and with just as much supposed energy.

    When asked why Traylor plays so much despite not rebounding and scoring, Self said “just energy.” That’s pretty telling. But when you see Ellis, Bragg, and Mickelson, it’s obvious the energy thing is a myth – meaning, those three guys play hard. Just as hard as Traylor.

    The only way Traylor makes a net positive impact on this team is if he suddenly changes – as three seasons, the WUG, and three games thus far have been a net negative. But we should not have to cross our collective fingers.

    Mickelson offers more to this team over the course of a full season. And I don’t think it’s close.

    And I think at this stage already, there is still no one that would take me up on my challenge – would you rather have Traylor for the rest the season, or Bragg? No one has piped up and said Traylor.

  • @HighEliteMajor I still dont understand why Traylor is starting and not Mickelson. We are going to need his length and rebounding and shot blocking against MSU.

  • @jaybate-1.0 Im with you 100% (as usual) Jamari is a Jayhawk, and we all know he will see a decent amount of court time this year unless he is injured or goes into a serious downward turn. He has put his time in to the program, bought into Self’s vision, he has worked hard, so all i can do is root hard for him, loudly applaud his good moments, and try and hope his shortcomings are outweighed by them. I feel that way about Hunter and Lucas as well. Why spend a lot of mental negative energy on constantly bemoaning why we didnt get so-and- so bigs instead of who we have now, and how theoretically that would make us a more viable ncaa champion? These are our guys, and Self is our couch, and i am thrilled that the season is upon us 🙂

  • @HighEliteMajor

    The heart of what apparently drives you crazy. Jamari. From jesse Newell’s 11-12-15 cjonline article:

    "Self’s favorite play from last season isn’t a game-winning shot; instead, it’s a hustle play from Jamari Traylor where he rose quickly from the baseline after taking a spill against Texas, sprinted to midcourt and snagged a loose ball.

    “The best play I’ve seen since I’ve been at Kansas,” Self said afterward."

    Think about that for a minute. Certainly no reason to think Self is being hyperbolic. He truly MEANS that. And He has certainly seen some great performances , individual plays, and awe-inspiring moments in his time here.

    So if im reading your arguments right, (a big if !) Self is to blame, not Jamari. What Self values in a player and what he values as a philosophy of how the sport should be approached is embodied in large part by a guy like Jamari. And we can also assume His recent statement of “by junior year, you either get it or you don’t” means that to Self, Jamari “gets it”, otherwise he would have told Jamari a good while ago that he may want to transfer because his playing time will dissappear. You have often pointed out your critisicms of Self’s strategic game style philosophy of hi- low, fool’s gold, etc, which is the kind of discourse that makes fan sites like this thrive, (it doubtlessly happens everywhere where you have passionate fans) but now you can add Self’s notion of what he values Very highly in an athlete’s approach to how to play the game to your list of critisicms. Self is who you are angry with, not Jamari.
    ("Anger"may not be the right word here, but sometimes it kinda feels like you are. There is a sense (by me at least) that your jamari posts and comments are laced lately with a vindictiveness )

  • @HighEliteMajor can certainly defend himself, but I will say that if he is criticizing anyone I think it is Self. Traylor is not choosing to play less well than Mickelson, but Self is choosing to play Traylor when he could be playing Mickelson.

    By the way, Self would never tell Traylor or Lucas to transfer because they have redshirted, so transferring would mean losing a year of eligibility. Self has never forced the transfer of a former redshirt.

  • @wissoxfan83 The use of “thug-ball” is a long-standing slightly pejorative descriptor of Tom Izzo’s style of ball. Because his teams have played that way for over a decade and a half, and also because the Big10 is generally more physical, and their refs allow more than in other conferences…the nickname has stuck around despite Izzo’s entire roster changing multiple times over the last 15 years, …SO, the word “thug” is not being directed at any 1 player, thus no offense need be taken.

    For example, many people have said very similar of Huggins’ style (“Huggo-Muggo”), equating it also with thug ball, as you get “mugged” on the way to the basket…

    I think its all hilarious. Of course I had a KY fan lamenting that Self’s KU teams are NO different. I have no problem with KU teams being “tougher” than we were under Roy. We are not pushovers…unless we show up without our defensive intensity…

  • @jaybate-1.0 Oh, I wouldn’t worry about our guys’ shooting. Maybe having BGreene, Devonte, Frank, and Svi…and having to face HoibergBall…has taught Self that the 3ball could be in HIS hip pocket this season, instead of our opponents.

    The other thing to have faith in: BGreene and Svi, both have a “closet full of balls”, that old expression meaning that nothing will stop them from shooting it.

    4 HUGE factors in Self’s favor:

    1. 2 A-rated guards, experienced.
    2. An effin PLATOON of BIGS, most of whom experienced, and the frosh 6’9 McDAA is gifted enough to start for most Div1 teams.
    3. A whole six-gun full of shooters. (Frank, Devonte, Svi, BG, Selden, Perry) --> there will be 3 such shooters on the floor at all times. That is a helluva way to spread the floor. Fred Hoiberg would be smiling…or left the BigXII in envy…
    4. Depth + experience. That ultimate combination finally is here…the stars have aligned!

  • @ralster

    Depth + experience.

    This gets back to jaybate’s question about comparing this team to 2008.

    This year’s team may have as much talent and experience as the NC team, but spread among more players.

    That means less talent on the floor at any one time, and less “net” talent if some folks never leave the bench during serious minutes.

    That is why jaybate asked to compare the top 7 players only.

    Do you really think this year’s 9th man will play a significant role during games this season?

  • I never worry about shooting, dear @Ralster.

    I instead “grow aware in a probabilistic sense” about the timing of it causing shoot backs to average to occur against good teams, like, say, MSU.

    We might shoot quite well against MSU. These hot streaks, like slumps, often come in runs.

    But over the course of a season, have enough hot shooting games against cup cakes and it guarantees you will have cold shooting ones against an equivalent number of very good teams.

    Most things average out over the course of a season, unless you cut short the activity BEFORE the averaging out occurs, as Self did, when he opted out of the long ball from January on, after the long hot run the first third, or half, of the season.

    Its just the law of averages and the clanking closed of the cell door on long ball accuracy a la “Law and Order” that concerns me.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    “ISU barely beats Colorado - ISU might not be a contender in the conference?”

    Perhaps the B12 is overrated again!?

    My guess… yes… it is overrated again. It is Kansas, and then a giant step down.

    The other teams deserve more credit AFTER they prove themselves.

  • @drgnslayr

    I don’'t think so. ISU might not contend for the title but it will be up there, so will OU and WV and Baylor and Texas, Most conferences have a few good teams and a bunch of also runs, the Big 2 has bunch of good teams and a few also runs.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    I’m just playing “wait and see” with the rest of the B12. I hope we can be a Final Four team this year… and it would be great if another B12 made it, too.

    It is too early to tell on these teams… but I just don’t see Texas or ISU being a deep run team in March, for many reasons, one being they’re adapting to new coaches.

    OU… just don’t see it. I have a lot of respect for Lon… but I’m doubtful they will have enough pieces to contend.

    WVU… good, and possibly the sleeper team. Huggy Bear is the real deal.

    Baylor… Baylor? Drew just can’t seem to maximize the play out of all that talent.

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