New thinking on the O side of the ball

  • KU BB is here and we can rejoice with enthusiastic support. Here is an early summary of our team and coaching:

    • O has evolved! As Coach put it, we are trying to score off the dribble and not just he pass. Hallelujah! The old high-low is a great offense for a slow, methodical team of 3-4 year front line average talented players who know the offense and can pass but not run or dribble. It gets us the shot “in tight”, with angles and good ball movement. But it also clogs the lane and exposes our weakness against length, year after year. The only way to compensate is dribble-drive to shot or pass (kick out). We have to be able to beat teams off the bounce to win against elite competition. Period. And in years past, we have not been able to do it.

    All of our starting five this year can do it: Frank, Devonte, Wayne, Perry and Jamari are all good at driving the basketball to the rim off the dribble. Our O has evolved a little and we are shooting more threes and trying to score off the bounce. GOOD! (Thanks to Aaron Miles in large part…). We are running more. Good! We are relying a little less on Coach’s “stuff” (set plays) and a little more on the innate athleticism of our elite players. Good! Go make a play, boys, early in the season so that at tourney time we are used to it.

    D - we are switching much more than past years, at least early season. We have the personnel to do it. This is also why Hunter and Landon do not play as much as Jamari: D, ability to slide, quickness to switch onto a smaller and quicker opponent. This is also why Svi will get more minutes than Brannen.

    Cheick will add huge D presence in the paint and rim protection and rebounding…he will make the biggest difference as a defensive stopper, just what we need! He will also help us keep a high level of speed up and down the court. Run, Cheick, run!!! Coach: Do NOT slow the game down to set up on O and D. Force the action on both ends. More possessions, we have the horses to run and press and attack and be aggressive for 40 minutes.

    We have tried a little pressing too, full court and trapping half court. Not enough. We should do more. Push our players to exert maximum energy on D - we have a very deep bench, no worries.

    Force the action, Coach! My prediction is that this team will be an elite defensive unit - team defense - by year end. We still need a stopper in the front court. LeGerald is still a year away…

    Rebounding: Look for this team to improve considerably as Cheick plays more minutes over the next couple of months. He will pull down some boards which will make the average KU fan jump our of his chair. He will go get the ball unlike anyone else can on this year’s team (think T-Rob).

    Our guards are great rebounders in spite of small size: Frank and Devonte have a nose for the ball off the rim and Wayne can do it if he is focused (not yet in his nature). We can board better on the O end and we will.

    Passing - better than last year and an area which will improve vastly over the course of this season. Carlton is a great passer. We are not a good passing team yet, but this part of our game will get much better in a month or two. Our guard play will improve as distributors a lot by conference play.

    Intangibles: excellent. We are tough, solid, fearless and have an edge. Self teams are like our head coach, they are determined and highly competitive.

    Easily another 30 win season (maybe 35?), another big 12 championship for sure, and for the hungry KU fans, if everyone stays healthy, a Final Four guaranteed! Rock Chalk!

  • @jayhawk-007 like all the positives and a great analyses as well.

    Looking forward to the ride this season that’s for sure.

  • Agree and great post.

    Is MSU game behind us figuratively speaking?

  • @jayhawk-007 Solid post! We are already an elite offensive and defensive team, without Diallo. Kenpom has us ranked 8 and 5 respectively. We havent had that much balance on both ends since 08 to be quite honest.

    Passing hasnt been this good since a few years either.

  • @Bwag If we rematch with MSU in the post season, we’d destroy them.

  • I thought in the Vandy game we were running what basically looked like a dribble-drive offense.

    Notice how our assists percentages dropped.

    This could be step 1 into building a new offense.

    I know we have all been on Self and him sticking to his guns on the hi/lo… but can anyone really question his overall basketball intelligence? He may have been stubborn for change. But he does have a great mind for the game.

    There were some things that happened in the Vandy game that made me think he used that game to study and further tweak and develop a new offense.

    Part of this development is with the players themselves. Self can draw up a dribble drive offense… but it takes the guys actually being aggressive and driving the ball for it to work.

    Another problem I had with the old hi/lo… it cut out offensive aggressiveness. It was all about quick passing to catch teams not responding quick enough. Our guys just stood in position, whipping the ball around. That not only has extreme limitations on the offensive side of the ball… it also gets the guys out of an aggressive mindset, including on defense.

    We need to push aggressiveness on offense… create scoring opportunities and get fouled 50 times a game and make a living on the line. Time to work on FT%!

  • I have been watching a lot of college basketball the entire week and every analyst at one time or another indicated that the best two front lines are Gonzaga and Vanderbilt, both with more than one capable legitimate 7 footer; KU actually outrebounded Vanderbilt 39 to 32 and 8 to 6 in ORs…not bad for a team that some claim cannot rebound.

  • The main thing about the hi-lo is that it clogs the lane, no where to drive…if you look at more modern offensive schemes, and NBA play, it is all about spreading the floor and creating favorable match ups.

  • Let me repeat. I feel sorry for all of the poster’s who said they will never watch the Jayhawks again after the MSU game. Bye.

  • @wrwlumpy that happened?? Thats stupid.

  • Great post. I have the same level of excitement as you do about this team this year. One major advantage is the vast amount of experience we’ll bring to the table this year. These past two years, we’ve had to rely on too many freshmen to try and carry us - which won’t be the case with 4 starters with multiple years experience this year. Excited to see more dribble/drive, and less hi-lo, and our shooting beyond the perimeter shows we truly have the makings of something very special.

  • @Lulufulu I would love to rematch MSU this week!

  • @jayhawk-007 said:

    As Coach put it, we are trying to score off the dribble and not just he pass.

    Scoring off the dribble is a crucial part of BAD BALL that we relied so heavily on the last half of last season, and exclusively down the stretch, and that folks grew so to dislike.

    I cannot tell if board rats are learning to love the whip (Bad Ball familiarity), or if our players are much less injured and so playing BAD BALL much better, and with more options, and so BAD BALL looks better to board rats. But its BAD BALL for sure.

    Perhaps it has to do with Self alternating between GOOD BALL and BAD BALL, which he did not do last season. And Self is starting out with GOOD BALL, quick trigger offense from Korea, to build the lead and then shifting to BAD BALL, or the High Low, or some of both, to defend the leads with. Build a lead. Defend a lead. Build a lead. Defend a lead. This never changes with Self. Only how he does it changes.

    Whatever, I have seen the high low passing offense, and GOOD BALL (what was run in Korea so successfully) and BAD BALL (scoring off the dribble with driving for short threes and more pull ups on the drives now that we are more healthy and can make them) all on extensive display. Any team that prepares for us has to be prepared for all three.

  • The “good ball” / “bad ball” framework is only a reference within the context that we choose to give to it. Sometimes, our excellent blog posters get caught up in their own terminology and then all their analysis is made through this lens, to promote the framework, almost like a brand.

    I do not think the head coach or the players or the fans outside this site are thinking in these terms. I am certainly not and am confused why we would want to discuss the offensive scheme we are using by fitting it into these terms, “bad ball/good ball.”

    My opinion is that we are opening up the offense a little bit, flexing the hi-lo to include more individual play off the bounce, not the catch.

    Driving the ball early and often is the key, and not just passing it around the perimeter, inside - out, looking as a first option to always feed the post.

    We must be able to score off the dribble-drive by shooting and passing. And we have to do it against length (like Vandy and MSU). We need to practice it during the season to run it effectively in Feb/March.

    I think we want to be in constant attack mode on both sides of the ball, with our impressive depth and elite athletes and upperclassman experience. We will make open threes (drive & kick out) and get tons of points in transition (primary and secondary break) and put backs off misses.

    This is SMART ball, taking advantage of the up-tempo rhythm and truly elite talent we have, by not playing a half court, deliberate game.

    Push the action, unclog the lane, ATTACK ball. Get the bigs out of the lane from time to time! Space the floor. Exploit match-ups. Show 'em how to do it Mr Miles!

    Drive the lane and get a shot up or get fouled or kick out. Make free throws, and open threes, play typical Self D, rebound and get the 50-50 balls.

    Sub often and deeply, more than 7-8 players, 9-10 players. Constant pressure on both sides of the ball. Play fast and play fun and free.

    We do not need to run “stuff” on O to win, and it might even slow us down and make it harder against elite competition.

    This will be a special season, and it is off to a great start. MSU and Vandy are both elite teams, and we are too. Expect higher scores and more fast break points. By year end, we will be making points off D transition too.

    Rock Chalk!

  • @jayhawk-007 Excellent post. This team, if they run smart ball on offense, will have a chance to play for the championship in April.

  • @drgnslayr I normally agree with much of what you write; but I disagree about the how dropping the assists percentage is good by being a step to building a new offense and that whipping the ball around the outside is bad and stifles the offense.

    Everything that the Golden State Warriors do is not perfect, but they have been used by yourself and others as an example of good offense. The Warriors currently lead the league in assists at almost 30 per game. With the exception of Steph Curry and sometimes Klay Thompson most of their three point offense is the result of assists and people taking positions on the court that maximize their individual shooting ability. Harrison Barnes and now Brandon Rush spend a lot of time in the corners. Draymond Green shoots most of his shots from the elbow extended and the top of the key. Andre Iguodala takes most of his shots from the side. They pass the ball from side to side and over the top constantly and frequently will make the extra pass within the last 3 seconds of the shot clock. And horror of horrors they run a 3 man weave at the top of the key a couple of times a game.

    I doubt that anyone would characterize their offense as being less than aggressive.

  • @sfbahawk

    I might have misstated my point.

    I like having a big pile of assists. But I also want to see guys AGGRESSIVELY fight on offense, and part of that is to take it to the hole. Once a player dribbles the ball before scoring, the assist is gone.

    I believe 100% in team offense. But not to the point where players stop playing aggressive. Players should not DISAPPEAR!

    The key to victory is points. More points come from shooting a higher percentage. Assists tell a story about team play where guys are feeding open shooters. That is great! But a healthy balance of driving the ball to get guys open is also great. And eventually, it should balance out with high assists.

  • @jaybate-1.0 I like having so many cards in our deck as to not be so predictable what we can put down. Not just Hi-lo, not just Bad Ball or South Korea ball. All three and probly tweaks of all three in random order, circumstances, etc. Maximizing KU’s odds of maximizing their offensive production.

    The National Championship Cheick is in the mail already.

  • @Lulufulu

    You r getting me geeked up!

  • @jaybate-1.0 Here’s another geek, Kenpom, has KU ranked 10 on Offense. KU hasnt been ranked in the top 10 on offense since '11. 5 years!! Now, if they can maintain that or improve on it by adding Diallo to the mix, finally, then by March we should be title contenders. I hope sleeper contenders. I dont want KU to have a huge target on their chest. Id rather Duke and UK be the outright favorites to begin with then KU comes in a surprises everyone like they did in 08 by beating both UNC and Memphis 1 seeds.

  • @Lulufulu KU didn’t “surprise” people that much in 2008. We were a 1 seed too: all 4 1 seeds made it to San Antonio that year.

    We did surprise UNC a bit though…

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