From a Reign of Error to a Reign of Terror: KU Gnaws Beavers in Half

  • Leaving aside being dominated like dogs in obedience training for the first 20 minutes, When a big, slow OSU shot a positively KU 75% from Trey, and KU struggled making shots everywhere, KU played brilliantly…for the last 20 minutes.

    Self apparently decided to let the team take its lumps the first with the plain vanilla variations of MO2.0, so that he could come with the adjustments after half when Tinks could not adjust mid game. We saw The team sequence futilely through first quick trigger Trey ball (aka GOOD BALL), which OSU gummed up, then the high low passing OFFENCE, which OSU banged up, and then Bad Ball. Bad Ball stemmed the tide briefly but then OSU pulled away again and KU went into the lockers -10 in need of smelling salts. Instead one has to infer that the players were ordered to bend over, while Self drew plays on there posteriors with a weed eater. The plays involved lots of criss cross screens by the bigs in the paint and lots of baseline action. It all worked well with KU’s sudden hot hand. In the end, KU protected and disrupted better than OSU, and the second half unleashed a reign of terror that would have made the CIA proud. Possession after possession OSU players went down, got eye gouged, tripped, elbowed in a counter terror ballet that paid back some of the rough stuff OSU dealt out the first half. Frankly KU dished out like a bunch of stealth ninjas.

    Most played well the second half. Wayne was the most glamorous, because of some treys, Frank was the man who imposed the will to win, Perry continued his very slow restoration process, but it was Composite 5.5, or should I say C 5.4 (since Jam Tray only played 2 minutes) at the post that continued his march to March with all conference numbers and steadiness. C5.5, or C5.4 quietly racked up yet ANOTHER double-double (17/13). The hydra heads of Hunter and Carlton were most active and productive. Cheick hit a temporary ceiling the height of his foundation, but will get better against more mobile teams.

    A good win that taught our guys they can come from behind…with a weed eater.

  • Forgive my lateness to the discussion, just read some of Wayne’s comments this am about the halftime conversations, which he said weren’t really about X’s and O’s, but more about “fixing” things that we were doing wrong, and playing to the scouting report. Wayne himself told the team these things.

    First, I love the leadership from Wayne. And secondly, that fouled dunk att would have been TWICE as nasty as GP2’s. But the main takeaway is that decision-making coupled with aggressive play and pressure is what turned the game. Coupled with Frank, Wayne, and Devonte’s relentless attack pressure getting the opponent fouled up. You put 3 or 4 fouls on an opponent and see how aggressive he remains, if he’s still even on the floor. That is a key Bill Self-muddy-u-up with the details type of attrition.

    I also think the 3-by-committee idea has now clarified to show that BG can be gameplanned out, and giving some no-namer a blowby to the bucket…will still keep BG on the sidelines. He couldn’t be trusted to guard in the 2nd half. So the 3-wing belongs to BigWSelden. He’s earned it. We just cant believe we have a new Wayne Selden. Hey, if Selden was this good as a frosh, or last year, he would be in the NBA already.

    Selden (Jr year version > Ben McLemore).

    Hunter and Bragg bring the most versatility and scoring vs. passing decision making out of the bigs we have.

    Intelligent Aggression should be the operating plan for this team. Mason, Selden, Graham play like frickin MEN. Bragg is tough. Hunter has been underutilized.

  • @jaybate-1.0 – you are right, you can’t overvalue coming from behind. The calmness and confidence that can create mentally for a player. That then puts them in a better position to simply play the game. As @ralster mentioned, decision-making. If a player mentally is not distracted by the big picture (the score, being behind), all that can flow much more easily. A freer mind = a better player. I agree, this comeback was important that way. We withstood a team that played very well in the first half, when we weren’t playing well. We did the same a bit in the first half against Vanderbilt. And, of course, uh, Harvard (but let’s forget that one). Frank was the engine, as you pointed out – the will to win. I am confident we can bank on that, night in, and night out, from that guy. Truly our most important player.

    But Wayne Selden? Wayne freaking Selden. I still am amazed by the complete transformation in his jump shot from year one. Coach Self should show video of Wayne then and now to recruits. Just give it a little time.

  • Confidence + reps + experience + healthy knee + lotto-necessitating “crunchtime” = the NewSelden.

  • @jaybate-1.0 I agree they got schooled in the first half but there were absolutely more than a few superior plays on both ends during the first half by KU. Heck, their first two defensive possessions resulted in a shot clock violation and a late clock rushed shot for a miss. Selden kept us in it with his WUG like play. But then yah, half time came, Coach Self took out his frustrations and amped the team up for a huge second half. This team aint got no shortness of tough in them. No shortage of toughness. Whatever. lol Second half was a thing of beauty but I still maintain KU didnt play that badly in the first half, they just got out played by OSU and had a few no calls by the refs.

    Oh yah, and I am loving how Bragg is coming along. Skilled at passing and getting better. Can block out for boards on both ends. Can score and block shots. Kinda reminds me of Shady, minus a few lbs

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Its funny. Selden came to KU with the rep of a guy that could shoot. He was big and strong and athletic for his age, and so his shooting got lumped in with the rest, whereas some guys get labeled early as shooters. But Wayne had the rep of being able to shoot.

    But he never showed it.

    Recalling that he played injured all of his first season and much of the rest of his time, I am inclined to think his shooting much have suffered from the injuries, as @ralster suggested in response to your post.

    But even attributing some of this improvement to healing from his injury, there also seems to be a significant improvement in his form and mechanics.

    I have to say I don’t recall such a transformation, if he keeps shooting it this well.

    His form now looks like a very natural shooter. He is also showing great range, too. He is not always glued to the trey stripe when he triggers.

    Hope someone surfaces with some scoop on this process.

  • @ralster

    Yes, I was prematurely optimistic about BG’s development, after his first game back. Silly me. BG still needs to develop more mental consistency. He needs to learn how to attain the edge he needs on a regular basis.

    Between Selden and Greene, KU has two of the most variable performers I have seen on a basketball team.

    Amazingly good when good. Inexplicably bad when bad.

  • @jaybate-1.0

    IMHO, BG’s main problem is between the ears.

  • @jaybate-1.0 Do you think that Selden’s improved mechanics result from outside consultation or could it possibly be due to someone at KU? Although most of the conversation here revolves around Self; mentions of the assistants involve firing most if not all and hiring people who can recruit and develop. What say you?

  • @jaybate-1.0 Hey, but I am always hopeful that BG can become the serviceable 3wing we need him to be. Coming in off the bench, his fresh legs simply have GOT to be able to play D. We already know he can come off the bench and hit the 3 dead-cold. His D and lackadaisical play is solely the reason he cant stay on the floor. Every single time on the floor he does something negative along with something positive. Cant trade buckets or else we are no better than Roy’s transition-only ball.

    But I still have hope for BG. He’s only about 60% into his college career. I know he has been trying…

  • @sfbahawk

    I think our staff is tops right now both as recruiters and coaches.

    As recruiters almost no new young guys could recruit successfully against the apparent shoe embargo, unless KU shifted brands. Our staff is getting their share of the adidas leans and they have long and deep channels in the remnants of the old high school feeder system young guys wouldn’t have. Young guys would never have gotten Frank or Devonte here; that hinged on old contacts.

    Regarding staff coaching shooting, our staff has coached some fine shooters, and we are a fine shooting team this season, so at the very least they know how to keep good shooters out of glitches. Wooden altered almost every players mechanics and limited them to spots they could make a certain percentage from. Our coaches seem less rigid. It works for me.

    Re: Wayne’s form–I’d have to go back and look at tape of his shot in HS to be sure, but it looks like he has worked with a video machine and a coach. Can’t say who. He has always varied his mechanics from the waist up too much in the past, which he no longer does on good or bad nights; that’s usually coaching, or working with a teammate that’s a maniac at reps. Maybe Svi? Frank or Brannen could also have clued him to stop varying mechanics so much. It would take about this much time together to trust teammates enough to learn from them. Finally, Hudy might have finally zoomed in on the right combo of muscles to strengthen to keep him from needing to compensate fatigue with varying mechanics. Arm Strength is vital to the long ball.

  • @jaybate-1.0 With both Selden and Mason, I recall Townsend as being the one working with both of them between their freshmen and sophomore seasons. Selden getting his shot off the front/top of his head, that pull back thing; and with Mason getting the ball off the palm of his hand hand and into his fingertips more. With Selden, the change from year 1 to 2 was obvious from a form perspective. The benefits are showing now and showed last season, as well. With Mason, I recall seeing some photos of him shooting last season and the ball still seemed to be on the palm of the hand. Not sure it matters since his shooting really did improve. My recollection is Townsend.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Frank was definitely the engine and he played with composure. There are a lot of times when the team isn’t playing good and its because Frank loses his composure and tries to do too much by himself. I saw him making plays but plays that were within the flow of how the game was going. We can go through this team and find plenty of candidates for most important player, but in the end Mason is the heartbeat to this squad. Love that kid.

    The NewSelden as we are calling it is a lot of fun to watch. The transformation he’s made in his confidence and the shot making ability he is showing is amazing. This is the guy you give the ball to in a NCAA tourney game down 1 with 15 seconds to go and let him make a play. He’s showing range on his jump shot that is hard to guard for, even in the scouting report he’s a knock down shooter whether open or not.

  • That 2nd half by Devonte. That was what I’ve been waiting to see. That’s the Devonte I know. Just a tremendous competitor. We’ve seen signs and flashes so far, but that was the real deal in the 2nd half. You stack that Good Frank on top of Good Devonte on top of the good Selden and the good Perry, add some good Hunter, Bragg, and Diallo…you’ve got a recipe for a national championship.

  • @KUSTEVE This had to hurt! What a dirty play/player.



    If we can find away to bottle up all that goodness for March let me know!

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