Time to Swing Perry 3/4

  • Is it time to swing Perry Ellis 3/4?

    One big objective of coaching is to get your best players on the floor, even if they have to play out of position to do so.

    Perry Ellis looks strong against small 4s and weak against big ones. He can guard and hedge, but he cannot bang on either end. He is not getting taller. He is already cut and buff. It’s no knock on Perry to say it may be time to play our longer and/or stronger bigs against big 4s and move Perry’s gift for scoring to a wing, when opposing 4s get bruisingly big, or long.

    We can afford to swing Perry outside some, because Jo and Tarick and Jamari seem to be getting the hang of scoring some, Jamari can chase and Landen can keep us long.

    Perry swinging to a wing also helps solve our defense, scoring and depth problems on the perimeter. Wiggins can easily swing 2/3 and play 2 when Perry is at the 3. Selden keeps playing the minutes he plays at 2. We just slide Wiggins to 2 instead of bringing the crapshoot committee of Greene/White/Frankamp, or super shrinking with Naa and Mason at 2 and 1.

    I am ready to take a chance on Perry’s J with his Adidas at the trey stripe and the defense collapsed on Joel and Tarick for 10-20 mpg. At the Designer’s height, he could, like Wiggins, practically take set shots some of the time on open looks.

    Further, 6-8 Wiggins, 6-8 Ellis, 6-9 Black, and 7-0 Embiid could zone and glass vac phenomenally well with Tharpe or Mason at point. And with this line up on offense, Wiggins and Ellis could take turns posting their wing men up and make 2s with a FT–the new 3 under the new rules.

    Defenses will quickly get fouled up trying to deal with this team, then swing Perry back to 4 and it’s off to the races.

  • Interesting thought. I think I like it. My initial concern would be fouls. Most games, we have a least one or two “bigs” sitting some of the first half with 2 early fouls. It’s mostly been Tarik, but JoJo and Jamari have also had their own foul issues. In limited minutes, Perry has done well to avoid foul troubles. But with stricter enforcement of hand check rules, I’m wondering if Perry at the 3 might expose him to foul troubles as well as he tries to guard typically faster players looking to drive.

    Perhaps “PE at the 3” is something to employ late 1st half or 2nd as we see how the foul situation plays out. Additionally, in limited minutes Lucas has looked like a player - so we might have more depth with our big men than many of us thought preseason.

    An additional concern would be having one less sharp shooter on the floor. With a small sample size, PE has shown that he can hit the three. But most of us wouldn’t pick him for a 3 point shooting contest. With @highelitemajor 's well-documented concerns regarding our 3 pt deficiencies, this lineup could exacerbate, not alleviate, that problem. That’s less floor time for Selden, Greene, White, and/or Connor. Granted, as a group they’ve been anything but impressive from 3 land. But Selden’s hit some recently, and I have to think that turns around for another 1-2 of them too (right?!)

    Don’t mean to dump all over your suggestion. As a said, I actually like it and think we should look to employ it intermittently during a game. Just not sure I would start with “PE at the 3.”

  • @jaybate I’m not sold that his foot speed is there on D to hang with opposing 3s in man. I guess it depends on how much zone we will be running with Perry at 3.

    @jaydocmd right on. Was an advocate for Perry at 3 earlier in season but mostly I think it’s for his benefit at this point. I would guess perry’s motivation to play the 3 would be extremely high though.

  • @approxinfinity I agree with both of your points there, particularly the point about shooting. I think Perry would cause an offensive clog because I am not sure that he is a serious catch and shoot threat from three on the wing. I have seen him hit threes from the top of the key, but not the wing or baseline, which is where he would get the majority of touches if he was playing the 3 spot.

    @jaybate 1.0 Playing Perry at the 3 may not get our best 5 on the floor at the same time. Our best 4 players are (in order of talent) Wiggins, Embiid, Selden, Ellis. We can play that group together without moving anybody away from their natural position, as long as we put a PG with them. I think Naadir has demonstrated recently that he is up to that task. Unless you are off the belief that another big (Lucas, Black, Traylor) is going to be our 5th best player every night, I’m not sure much is gained by moving Perry to the perimeter, where he may not be as effective because of where he will get the majority of his touches.

    The other question, which @approxinfinity touched on, is how much this would compromise our D. I haven’t seen Perry defend the perimeter for extended minutes. In one or two minute stretches, he does fine. Whether he could match up there legitimately for 5-7 minutes when a player knows that Perry has to face them up possession after possession is a concern.

  • Ah, should Perry play the 3?

    That is not an uncommon plea.

    Perry has an array of skills, there is a lot to see.

    But repeat after me … Perry is not a 3.

    Never has been, never will be.

    For you see, a 3 is not a 3 simply because you or me wants him to be.

    All 4s want to be a 3, believing that such a move might set them free.

    But a 3 is only a 3 when he can guard a 3, hit a 3, flow like a 3, and slash like a 3.

    That, my friends, defines a 3 … well, at least according to me.

    Merry Christmas to all!

  • The post moves Perry has makes him a good fit to play the 4 in college. He does have range and needs to develop it, because if he wants to play in the NBA, his likely position will be the 3 and not the 4, much like Marcus Morris. I am afraid he does not have the build to play the 4 in the NBA.

  • I don’t think Perry can guard adequately at the 3. He can create his shot in the lane and around the basket. I don’t know if he can create his own shot at the 3. Plus, I agree that trying to do so would send someone to the bench…probably Selden or Wiggins, so we would not be able to play him there for long.

  • @JayDocMD: your concerns are why Perry plays where he does, not doubt. But Self has to be struck by Perry’s inability to finish strong under physical challenge, or to stay on spots against physically strong players. Really, watching Perry play against any guys, short or tall, that are powerfully built and willing to get physical, shows that he is a finesse scorer. On a good night, he can score a lot of points, usually outscore his man, but he does not dominate. And when they really start doubling and roughing him up, he isn’t strong enough yet to take people up with him. Up to now the much more strict foul calling has really favored Perry. But in any game, where the refs allowed physical play in the paint–losses to Nova, Georgetown, Colorado, and Florida, even in his fine performance win the New Mexico wins, he was finessing points, not establishing position and taking bodies with hm to the iron. And he while his help defense is good for his partner inside, and his hedging is good and getting better, he really doesn’t pick up blow byes and stop them very well. And this is no knock on Perry Ellis at all. Andrew Wiggins would be having the exact same kinds of problems as Perry, if he and not Perry were being asked to play out of position at the 4. Perry would really have to add 20 pounds to become the kind of physical force KU requires inside to go with long bigs like Embiid and Landen. Or he would have to become as explosive out of his position as Jamari is, at the same weight. I also think board rats are underrating Perry’s foot speed and over estimating that you have to be able to play the three like Wiggins, Releford and Rush played it. Self can string the bow many ways to accommodate many different kinds of threes. Morningstar played it like a nimble guard. Perry can’t do that. But recall that Ratso Izzo has often played threes that have Perry’s kind of heft and foot speed and that have been much worse shooters than Perry. Perry most definitely could play the three, if Self could put a long help defender at the two, like Selden, or Wiggins, to sag to him and a lightening fast PG like Mason that could switch with him on certain kinds of screens. Contrary to majority view, Perry most definitely could play the 3 in college. Self would just have to string the bow more the way Izzo does for his big, strong 3s. And Perry would be an overpoweringly strong 3 right now against almost all other college 3s. And whenever Perry ran into a 3 that really gave his defense trouble, well, then, voila, Self can switch to zone, or round up the usual green wing suspects, and rotate Perry back to the 4. Oppposing teams would probably not view Perry’s trey shooting potential with more doubt than the usual green suspects Self is shuttling in an out with out success. Frankly, they would have to worry more about Perry’s trey, just as they have to worry about AWigs trey. A 6-8 wing can really relax and concentrate on his stroke against most D1 wings that are 6-4 to 6-6. Perry would be much more relaxed and having to jump much less hard and high to get his shot off at the trey stripe than any of the usual green suspects Self is now using. Now, all of what I am saying hinges not so much on Perry, who is a proven commodity as a D1 player already, but on the CONTINUED development of Embiid AND Black. And the jury will be out for at least another game on Black. He could easily sink back into two quick fouls and sit. But Self did not mention the prospect of playing Embiid and Black together just to blow smoke. Self has said if Embiid continues to improve that he is going to be playing 30mpg. And all signs are that Self views Embiid as a scoring threat just as much as a defender and shot blocker. Self clearly gets that for Wiggins and Selden to ever really get untracked, he has to have a pair of bigs that can keep scoring even when the defenses sag and the forearm smashes and shoving get hot and heavy. Scorers through thick and thin in the paint are what force defenses to sag and so open up the likes of Wiggins and Selden to cut their hearts out outside both on open looks and on slashes to iron. So: if Embiid and Black stay untracked, Perry becomes very feasible to swing some at the 3. I can’t even imagine how much damage AWigs and Perry could cause on opposite wings, shooting open set shots from the stripe, and every third or fourth possession overloading a side with Embiid and Black, bring the back side wing–either Perry, or Wiggins, down on the low block, a quick reversal, voila, a 6-8 wing shooting five footers over 6-4 to 6-5 wings. The game would be over in six minutes, or the other team’s wings would be fouled up, or both. Self has to do something like this, or he has to ride out Perry’s weakness against strong bigs, and put either Greene, or AWIII in the corner, a la Jabbar and Lefty Lynn Shackleford once up on a time in a game long, long ago, and let Greene, or White, shoot treys from the corner until the cows come home. Self has to do one or the other with a big man like Embiid. One or the other. If you’re footer is going to be one of your scorers inside, then he’s got to kick it out when doubled and tripled to a wing, who’s got to whip it to the corner and let it fly. Its like a law of the basketball universe. Self wants desperately to find a wing gunner like Ben was last year. But he’s not going to find it in this bunch. Ben was a rare, rare shooter. Frankly, if Self were to go ahead and take the corner shooting plunge as Wooden did once upon a time, a plunge that the conservative in Self every wants desperately to avoid, AW3 is this team’s Lefty Lynn Shackleford. AW3 is not an emotional shooter like Greene. He is a machine shooter. Same way every time. He is a spot shooter. Give him the corner and tell him to practice it for a month and he will shoot 50% from that spot by late January. Greene is the imitation Ben Mac for gunning on the wing, but he isn’t far enough along mentally and physically this season to shoot it like Ben Mac after he had taken a freshman season to practice. Conner? Reputedly the best shooter of the bunch. But Conner is too short to consistently get the corner shot off. So Conner prevails, only if Self insists on wing shooting, AW3 proves a little too mechanical to get the looks off curls on the wings, and Greene is to flightily and inconsistent. Whatever, as I’ve said on JNew’s game blog a time or two already, Self has some very difficult decisions to make during the period that was formerly known as “the week of getting better.” It is now more like “the two weeks of getting better.” Go to the corner with AW3, or swing Perry 3/4, or hope Greene, or Conner finally figure out the back up 2 guard spot and start shooting the rock like Tyrel did his junior season (46%). Self is a prisoner of his own experience. He wants Greene, or Conner, or maybe White3 to be his Tyrel. He thinks it is not too much to ask. Tyrel didn’t have lightening feet. Tyrel was bulked out yet his junior season. Tyrell wasn’t as tall as Greene and White. And he wasn’t as quick as Conner. Self is at this moment standing beside his fireplace on Christmas eve and hoping that Santa brings him his new Tyrel. I just don’t know if it can happen that way this season. My hunch is that he’s got to go with AW3,the machine in the corner, or he’s got to swing Perry at the 3-4 to really make this team the best it can be. But then Self almost always sees some angle I don’t. 🙂

  • @jaybate 1.0 Why didn’t he ever do that with TROB and the Morii? Starting those three would’ve caused earthquakes. The intimidation factor of that front line would’ve been a sight to see. I think Coach could try that lineup if Wigs or Selden need a break, or get into foul trouble. Perry can hit the jumper from the foul line, and be a better offensive weapon. I’m all for it.

  • @jaybate 1.0 Recall last year there was much discussion on the old board about PE at the 3. Some of us agreed & some discerned, but it is really obvious that Perry still has trouble against physical 4’s, although not as much as when a freshman. While Selden is undoubtedly a stud, I think that defenses are bagging down more with him on the floor as he is a more accomplished finisher than 3 ball shooter. It would be more exciting offensively to see Wigs at the 2 & Ellis at the 3, when Nadir can find these guys filling the lanes. Perry is PDG from 15 & Wigs can knock down the long ball, so if Bill wants to play through the footer and rotate for the kickout, then just do it. I’ve also been one who’s advocated Greene getting some of Seldens min also because he has to be respected as a shooter, as a finisher, & IMO is a better ball handler than Wayne. Versus bangers like Nova & Gtown, Brannen may not be enough or as much of a stallion as Wayne, so mix & match on specific matchups. But make no mistake, Greene can flat out ball, & may have a ceiling like B Rush or even higher.

  • @globaljaybird: copy and paste on Brannen. He has the goods, but its late December and conference is soon to start. If he wants to separate from AW3 and Conner he needs to do it pretty quick. I’m not sure Self can keep throwing Greene, White and Frankamp against the wall hoping one sticks during conference. If he has to fish or cut bait, swinging Perry may be the safest option he has. Great to read you, as always.

  • @KUSTEVE: He talked about it often with Marcus, but barely tried it. Marcus easily could have, but Self never had anyone better at the four than these guys were. Besides lack of better 4, I think the reason he never did it with any of those guys was that each of them were, by the time they were in the rotation, strong enough and bad enough to take guys up with them, when they weren’t forearm smashing them. 🙂

  • @Hawk8086: that is the $64M question–could he guard a 3. From zone he could easily do it. In M2M, he would have to get a lot of practice reps during "the time of getting better"between now and the conference opener to have a chance of doing it adequately. But I think everyone is underrating Perry’s athleticism. The guy has to be a helluva an athlete to survive this long playing out of position at the 4. I think he is one of those guys that could do pretty much whatever you asked, if you gave him the time to work through it.

  • @globaljaybird I too am looking forward to seeing more minutes from Greene. Once he cuts down on the mental errors and learns how to properly react after making a legit mistake, he’ll play a ton of minutes. As long as Brannen keeps his chin up and ears open he’ll get a ton of minutes at some point. By his junior year he will be an absolute stud, but KU needs more production from him now!

  • @justanotherfan–You are right about the best four. But my point is that when it is time for Selden to take a blow, and go to his backup, which is better: going to one among the young, inexperience Greene/White/Frankamp, or swinging Perry for those minutes. I’m talking about finding ways to keep Perry on the floor for 35-38 minutes by giving him some easier minutes (a rest from banging) at the 3.

  • Perry stated coming out of high school that he wanted to play the three. Perry is most likely a three in the nba not a four. However as someone sated (more eloquently than myself using JuJu Wright as an example) Bill will play him at the four because that is what is best for KU.

    If Perry can play 35 minutes at the four he’s worth more to KU that playing any minutes at the three. That scenario would put the better 3 (Wiggins) out of position or on the bench. Therefore the positive of having Ellis on the floor is neutralized by the removal of a better option at the 3 (or a better 3-4 combo)

  • I think we may have more chance seeing Perry at 3 if we have Turner (or Embiid in my dreams) as 5, Alexander as 4 next year. Otherwise Perry will be counted on as a 4. And I don’t see much chance seeing Perry at 3 this year since Wiggins and Selden start at 3 and 2. When either needs a blow, Perry will too. And with a deep bench of 2 and 3s, there is little reason to slide Perry to 3, especially Perry’s replacements is either Traylor or Lucas.

  • @jaybate 1.0 Once again, welcome back man. Good to have you.
    Personally, I think that’s a brilliant idea.
    Huge and long team, deadly scoring capabilities, killer D capabilities.
    Whats the down side? Coach Has to try this line up. And besides Perry will be a 3 man in the League anyways. It would be a disservice to him if he didn’t get a chance to build his outside skills more before going to the next level.

  • @jaybate 1.0 jb, it frightens me more than somewhat to think of Perry or any of our guys playing more than 35 minutes. I think that Self has too much talent on the bench to gamble on exhaustion-type injuries to our top players, game in and out. For some time now I have hoped to see Greene settle in to determined and focused play within the framework of Self-ball. The guy is a raging stallion who just hasn’t yet settled in to manageable competitive minutes. A huge IF, I know, but IF Brannen comes around sooner than later, the Perry shift is probably not to be, but for, perhaps, late minutes in each half, as someone suggested. I enjoyed your posting, and think the occasional switch would be in Perry’s best interest, if not the squad’s. Would indeed pose a challenging change-up in certain matchups…

  • As an afterthought regarding Greene’s adaptation to “Self-ball,” this has been a stressful and sometimes confusing early season for all of our players and coaches, what with so many new faces on the practice courts. Sef-ball, 2013-14 style, is gradually developing and mutating. The New Mexico and Georgetown contests would seem to indicate that Self and his minions are beginning to figure it all out, with pieces of the puzzle falling into place. If Black and Embiid can avoid early fouling, then O MY! With those two rocks on the court, the Perry switch might occasionally work dynamically.

  • Just a thought: Can Oubre play the #2? Turner, Alexander, Perry, Oubre, Naadir next year. That would be a big, gnarly crew.

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