C5 Hangs 27/20, Makes Wooden Award List
KU’s great composite center, C5, as his fans are starting to call him, thundered onto the national stage with 27 points and 20 rebounds!
Bill Self minced no words.
“He’s the best center in my time at Kansas,” said Self. “And we’ve had some good ones.”
C5 without Diallo 14/14
Is Bragg included in that?
I think this game showed how tough Self’s job really is this year. Every one of those players bring something the others don’t. This was a great game to let everyone get some minutes.
But what happens when Lucas comes back?
There will be games where a McDAA’s foul-rate need to be managed, and Lucas can give 2-3min per half.
Sometimes having Lucas in there is a purely physical role of “muddying up” the paint game, “enforcing” the idea nothing is coming easy in the paint, and making them earn it from the FT line. Lucas would be the “artillery” that softens up the opposing bigs for the skill guys like Ellis and Bragg to finish. So for Lucas, it is certainly NOT about stats, as he very rarely produces a double-digit game. Get a few rbds and body-them-up IS Landon Lucas’ role.
If you want scoring, look to Ellis, Bragg, Diallo, Hunter…in that order.
Jamari is an X-factor. Much more athletic than Lucas.
Yes, CBragg inclusive. I have debated inclusion and exclusion, but he seems to do more than spell Perry, so I include him in C5.
@ralster Lucas will be a good matchup w/Ridley.
Yes, I doubt Self will ever shorten the C5 appreciably give the two in three, and three in 5 or 6, or 3 in 3 nature of the season all the way to Madness. I just don’t think Self will ever give up the advantage of playing a bunch of guys against the lesser of two opponents in three days, to be able to give big minutes to 3 guys that match up best against the best opponent. We will see different players offering certain kinds of skills playing more against certain teams and others playing more against others. Diallo may be more frequently apart of the mix, IF he PROTECTS and DOESN’T foul. But once the good opposing coaches get footage of him to scheme against, it won’t be long before Diallo goes through an “extended funk” (i.e., 2-3 weeks of learning to overcome the weaknesses good defensive coaches have found in his game). Self will be able to mask this funk by frequently moving him in an out of the line-up and playing away from his revealed weaknesses for a few minutes at a time, because Self has so many big men to rotate. Some will even think Diallo is NOT having a funk, because of Self’s management of the situation. And they will demand Diallo play more. But if Diallo were to play more, he would his “extended funk” due to opposing coaches having found his weaknesses would grow rapidly more apparent.
The really good news is that because of our big man depth, Self won’t have to choose between playing him exposed, or sitting him. He will get to keep plugging him into situations and keep him doing some good things and giving him opportunities to work on his holes. Doing this all season will almost certainly mean that by March, Diallo’s holes will mostly be filled, even if he doesn’t have that money move down on offense. The money move will come in the off season if he decides to stick around.
The better, longer and stronger the opposing centers get, the more Landen will be in the mix at the 5. Why? Because we don’t have any great centers on our team that are up to the challenge of both guarding a top footer straight up, being a scoring threat and being able to lock that top footer up and being able to pull down 12-15 boards without taking most of them from Frank and Perry, rather than from the top footer.
This situation is a lot like 2008 with Shady, Jackson and Kaun.
On paper, there was no reason to play Kaun more than 5-10 mpg tops.
But the better, bigger and longer opposing centers got, the more Kaun got to play. Why?
Because at a certain point, unless Self has a top center to counter the opposing team’s top center, it makes the most sense to cut mistakes to the bone, concentrate entirely on guarding and banging their top post man, and getting rebounds and scoring out of the other four positions on the floor.
This is why relying too heavily on Diallo too soon, or at all, would be such a slippery slope.
Depend heavily on Diallo and the team will come to require that contribution of his even against the top centers.
But looking at Diallo, there just isn’t much reason to think that he could get all the put backs and dunks he did against Loyola against a Top 5 or Top 10 team that is long and strong at the post.
No one is talking about it right now, but Diallo is pretty slender and has not reliable outside stroke. So he is one lock down big man defender away from contained, or exposed. And you know when he gets contained for the first time in his life, he is going to get frustrated and the fouls and TOs will spike.
Diallo is kind of like Shady with a big motor, but without the offensive moves, or outside shooting touch. But my favorite comparison so far is Julian. Now, Jules was a tremendous athlete also, and could go off and have huge games against some teams (beasting thy name was Julian), but he could also meet his match and require Brandon Rush to come running. Why? Because even in college it was obvious Julian had no touch. So it all came down to whether Julian could outrun and out jump guys. If he could, then it was off to the races. If not, then it was: “Brandon, Mario, I can hold my own, but its up to you to save the team’s butt tonight.” It is great to have talents like Julian and Cheick, but one has to be careful not to expect them to be an every game MUA, because they won’t be. A post man has to get up in Joel Embiid’s league to not HAVE to have an outside and midrange touch.
There are going to be games when the muscle comes hot and heavy and one or both of the opposing bigs can get up, and can lock down. At that moment, Diallo will still be a good player we want in our mix, but he will not be able to go 6-8 and 13/6–not even close. At that point, all that will matter will having a near footer like Landen to go out and lean and body the opponent’s 5 as many minutes as Landen can possibly give. Cheick will be a nice change of pace, but remember how when push came to shove, when the opposing team had to be knocked out of its comfort zone, Kaun–the man with no knees–the man who could not clear the floor much of the time–was the guy to come in and rattle some fillings in opposing bigs floating across the lane, or setting up on spots they had no right to set up on. Boom!!! Big Boned Kaun to the rescue. Landen may not be as big boned as Kaun, and so he may not be quite as effective in bodying and making opposing players necks snap as they are bucked off spots, but Landen is the best bet we have for this job. And its a job that never goes out of style, regardless of how they call the games. When play inside becomes about who gets the spots, rather than about who jumps highest, as games invariably do against top flight opposing bigs, your guy that can lean on them and body with them is the guy that has to play.
I missed last nights game, so I still haven’t seen Diallo guard the post. Maybe he can do it. But what I read and heard seemed all about athleticism and explosiveness, not about leaning, bodying and bucking long and strongs off spots.
I say we add Frank to the committee at 5. He can rebound with any of them! (even if he can’t clear the rim in the second half)
And think about it. When he body’s a big where does his shoulder naturally end up? He may not be snapping necks but could double em over pretty easy! He surely isn’t scared! Send him in!
@jaybate-1.0 Priceless gem of a post regarding the varied perceptions fans may have of Diallo, depending on how much Self plays him (allowing him to get exposed and gameplanned against).
It would then breed analytical pontification between those who’d argue that a small amt of spectacular-Diallo isn’t as good as a large amount of slightly above-avg Diallo. With the usual argument being that the larger dose of Diallo, eventhough of slightly above-avg production, would be greater than 1 Lucas, or greater than 1 Lucas + 1 Jamari.
@jaybate-1.0 your phrase “cut mistakes to the bone”, very appropriate. But when discussing “mistakes” and Landon Lucas…I am shuddering with memories of the MichSt game. Now there were many KU shortcomings in that game, but point blank misses, 2 ft airballs off the glass, after a nice Devonte hi-low feed, and just plain ole hands-O-stone will be lasting memories of Lucas vs MichSt. He can look really good, like double-double good vs Div2 teams like 6’6ht & smaller Chaminade.
Its actually painful to think of 6’10 Sullinger (frosh or soph) vs senior 6’10 Lucas. Or 6’9 TRob vs 6’10 Lucas.
@ralster especially how TRob got after Sullinger. If he came at Lucas that way TRob might scare Landon off the court.
@JRyman In fairness to Sully (close friend of TRob), Jared had a hurt back, and didn’t even play in their AFH December matchup that same season.
But then when they did face off, Self must have seen enough gamefilm of Sully to realize he couldn’t pass out of a doubleteam very well…so KU duly doubled him in the post and it led to a few turnovers and KU run outs. But I also saw Sully being the last guy plodding down the court, so I think his back may not have been 100%. Aaron Craft’s brain-fart at the end of that game at the FT line was priceless. I’ll take Elijah Johnson 50 times over Mr. Craft-All-World-PG. And EJ’s strength wasn’t even as PG (it was 2G-quiet-assassin). Hey Craft may have been a “good” PG, but against KU, he was made to look like a flustered, blushing toddler repeatedly. A step slower, and definitely overmatched vs KU’s lead guards (pick any). The most quizzical I saw Craft look, was against Tyshawn Taylor…like ‘what exactly am I supposed to do with this guy?’
@ralster Aaron Craft would foul out in 7 mins of game clock this season. His ability to play D was souly based on his hand checks on guys hips keeping them from turning the corner.
I spoke with a college coach that coached against him his sophomore year. He said before the game at a few timeouts and at halftime he reminded the officials his D was illegal. He was upset because Craft didn’t foul out and still had three steals. He also said when he did get beat he had a lot of help in the paint to bail me out so he could over reach on D whe he wasn’t hand checking. To hear this coach talk about it would make you laugh.
But yes back to his free throw blunder. Hahahahahahaha still makes me chuckle because his basketball IQ was so great according to everyone that worked at ESPN.
It reminds me a lot of 2008 as well jaybate.
I agree it really depends on who we are playing, which of our bigs get more time.
I really appreciate having two veteran, system guys, like Lucas and Traylor. Sure it would of been nice if we had one of them go beastmode come junior year like some previous project bigmen, but we do have Diallo and Bragg and Hunter as well.
We can play a lot of different ways with who we have in the front and back court.
@jaybate-1.0 IF. Boy oh boy do I hope its IF. But, I have to say that I would not hold any grudge against him if he did bail. Personally I think Cheick is very smart and if he thinks he needs to develop more to get a higher pick then he does that at KU.
Would it surprise you to know that Lucas is the only KU players this season with a double-double? 13 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 0 fouls in 17 minutes against Chaminade…yes, it was against Chaminade but no one else has come close to it in any game…
@JayHawkFanToo did he get more minutes?
Next game against UCLA he [played 13 minutes and ended up with 4 points and 5 rebounds. He did not play last night; I missed most of the game so I did no hear if he was injured or why he did not play…
@JayHawkFanToo I meant the chaminade game. Did he get more than others bigs?
Here you go…
@JayHawkFanToo He was injured. Big toe injury.He should be fine.
@JayHawkFanToo hmmmm a lil more.