Diallo and Bragg = NC Next Season?

  • Dear Cheick,

    Study Bragg.

    Best regards, Bate 1.0

    Is there a thin man camp? A camp that teaches centers thin as sewing needles how to fight for spots? If there is not, then Carlton Bragg needs to open one; that guy was banging out there against OSU’s planted Douglas Firs the second half. I liked it. I like Bragg finally. He showed he belonged with our bunch of overachieving hard noses. I liked seeing him run the length of the floor and run into a guy on Bragg’s spot and try to knock him off it. It reminded me of how offensive basketball ought to be played inside. THAT’S MY SPOT!!! often he rattled his own fillings, but he took the fight to his opponent . This is crucial to sport. It was like they showed him tape of Kevin Young. It is not the width of the post in a flight, it is the width of the fight in a post. There is motor, and there is fight. Fight is effective motor. It is directed energy.

    Diallo is doing everything but fighting effectively, for spots, for rebounds, for what have you. He has great potential. But he needs to learn the difference between swarming and owning real estate inside. Once he learns that, Composite 5.5 will have what it needs from them both and C5.5 can move to the 20/20 plateau, maybe the 25/20. At that level, KU can play through Wayne’s volatility. Landen and Hunter have less ability, but they now both understand the landlord mentality big men need. Traylor needs better sense of it. Bragg seems to be acquiring it. Diallo is next.

    With Cheick and Bragg collecting rent by the end of this year and maybe next year, a ring could be in our grasp this year and next.

  • Unfortunately I think a ring this seasons means we lose at least one and maybe both plus Selden.

    I will say I think Wayne is starting to figure it out. He seems to be shouldering the emotional leadership role on this team (maybe sharing some with Graham).

    My favorite moment from the OSU game was after Tinkle hit that three right in front of the KU bench. It was over Bragg and Wayne went nuts on the bench. A few minutes later Wayne was on Tinkle and he did not get a shot. Add that to the absolute carrying he did of the offense in that first half and the 19 second half minutes and we’ve got ourselves a leader. A guy with a chip on his shoulder from being called overhyped. A guy with emotion. With hops. Who dunks. And tries to dunk even when he can’t. A guy who will pull others aside and say no more of this, follow me! I think Wayne’s days of volatility are over. Even when his trey shooting comes back to earth.

  • Banned


    Why does Selden’s 3 ball have to come back to earth? And everybody acts like I’m doom and gloom.

  • @DoubleDD Because 60% from 3 for a season is an unrealistic expectation.

  • I think Bragg becomes vital to our success. At some point, Diallo makes his presence felt as well. We’re on a two year title run at least … we will win at least one, if not two national championships.

  • Banned


    An neither is winning 11 conference championships, yet KU has done it.

    It must a bummer to sit there and watch a KU game fully believing that Selden is going to miss, because the so called law of averages say he must. I kind of like the idea of believing every time he lets it fly it’s going in.

    But hey that’s just me. 😲

  • If Selden shoots 5.5 threes over his next 20 games (which is his current rate) and shoots 41% on those attempts, his total season percentage after 29 games would be 46.8%. That just happens to be the exact percentage Mario Chalmers shot his senior seasons. That might be coming back to earth, but coming back to earth would have a very soft landing. Seems plausible. On the other hand, for player shooting over 100 threes in a season, that’s about as good as it has been on 3s since Self took over.

  • @DoubleDD Coming back to earth is not the same as expecting him to miss. See HEM’s comments above…that’s more of what I was thinking.

  • @HighEliteMajor Mario entered the draft his junior year ?

  • At this stage, I admire Bragg’s inclinations. Those 3 consecutive assists were stellar. That GP2 dunk over Diallo will turn into a most motivating lesson in the development of an earnest young player. Granted, Svi got in the way of a possible Diallo block. I envision Cheick’s determination never to allow a brassy guard’s ever doing that to him again without determined physical payback. He really needs 2 years of Hudyization. That drag-assed pair of Emmert and Luck have deeply throttled Cheick’s progress.

  • @REHawk You sound like Bob Davis… “SWISH” !!

  • @REHawk Svi! See the dang ball!

  • @globaljaybird Correct … the 46.8% was from his junior season. Thanks

  • Carlton turns 20 today. Oh to be young again! 24.jpg

  • Banned


    It’s ok my friend I was just pulling your chain a little.

  • @jaybate-1.0 You said, “I like Bragg finally.”

    My only question is, affectionately of course, what took you so long? We’re a big tent so all are welcome.

    I think the two things I appreciate most about Bragg are his nose for the ball and his overall skill set. As he gets more comfortable, the skills will continue to show through. A guy like this that plays hard with a top shelf skill package – seems like a player Self might have a hard time keeping on the bench.

    Like Diallo, the more he plays, the more he’ll improve.

    And you are damn right. Diallo and Bragg make a national title a very real possibility.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Skinny big men, like most players, come in two flavors.

    Resourceful fighters that can find ways to compete until they get stronger.

    And not very resourceful guys that are going to have to take a year or more to get stronger, because they are not resourceful fighters.

    Kevin Young was the poster child for skinny, bigs that are resourceful fighters.

    Justin Wesley was the poster child for those that are not.

    Neither guy was blessed with much offensive skill, nor did they acquire much through hard work.

    But Kevin Young was a resourceful fighter that learned how to play skinny.

    Justin Wesley never did and instead tried to get bigger and stronger. But after all of Justins strength work, he was not resourceful enough to learn how to play strong either.

    When you lack offensive skills, and hard work fails to acquire them, you have to become resourceful at playing at whatever size you happen to be.

    Jeff Withey was a poster child for resourceful fighters among footers. He possessed little offensive skill, and acquired little with his years of hard work. And in the beginning he was not a resourceful fighter either. So they put a bunch of weight on him that appeared to do him more harm than good, and then let him thin back down, and all of the years of scrimmaging against talented bigs and playing overseas, and having his neural nets grow together finally let him discover how to be a resourceful fighter at 7 feet. He found ways to play skinny that worked, once the coaches took off the blinders of what they wanted to transform him into.

    Dennis Rodman was a resourceful fighter. He came out of small college ball in Oklahoma with not much more than hops and a motor. At 6-7, and skinny, he hardly seemed a candidate for becoming one of the NBA’s great defenders and rebounders. But he was, as I said, a resourceful fighter, who became a more and more resourceful fighter as his career went on. He kept finding ways to play skinny, and then he muscled up and found ways to play muscled up. He never acquired the offensive skills that could have made him one of the all time great players of the NBA, but he became one of the all time great resourceful fighters–guys that could find ways to play with their unimposing morphology at every level of the game against players either bigger, stronger, and/or more skilled than themselves in many ways.

    These are, frankly, the most inspiring players in the game to me–much more remarkable than even Big Russ, or Wilt, or Jabbar, or Magic, or Walton, or Bird, or Michael, or Lebron, or Curry.

    Bill Bridges and Dennis Rodman seem (to me anyway) far more improbable and mysterious as successes at every level of the game, and for many different coaches, than any of the super stars.

    So: why was I slow to jump on the Bragg Bandwagon?

    What I saw in Korea made him seem just another talented and skilled big man that would have to wait two years to get big enough and strong enough to capitalizes on those considerable skills, that would then let him get to the NBA. There is nothing wrong with this kind of player. I recognized immediately in Korea that he had a good future, but I saw no sign of a resourceful fighter over there, of someone that could find ways to play and win at his present level of development.

    Then the first couple of games of this season, when he scored some and rebounded some, and got everyone else lubricated, I just saw what I saw in Korea fattening up on easy match ups Self had found for him. I saw energy, but no fight; skills, but no fight. I saw no sign of a skinny player that could learn to play skinny when the blue meanies started in on him.

    But in the Oregon State game, I saw him a few times in the second half running the length of the floor defense to offense, and adjusting his angle of approach on the defender on the block and explode into him and give him an elbow point to get onto the block himself. That play there revealed a working brain of a skinny resourceful fighter. He was no longer trying to play post the way he had learned in high school, and he was not settling for learning the techniques of the KU coaches. He was instead getting competitive in the moment and looking for SOMEWAY, ANYWAY to get on that spot. Resourceful fighters have to learn how to find the unfair advantage. It is a mind set. It makes you someone persons hate to play against, because you are always doing annoying things to get the edge you need.

    The great of edge of playground players once upon a time was that maker-take playground ball confronted one with endless numbers of guys that maybe couldn’t play a lick in many ways, but were resourceful fighters (they and their teams could never hold court otherwise).

    But resourceful fighters have come from New Mexico (Bill Bridges) and rural Oklahoma (Dennis Rodman), not just the playgrounds of big cities.

    Wrapped up inside the talent of the superstars is usually a resourceful fighter, also.

    I might even go so far as to say that one of the requirements of great superstars is that in addition to having all the talent they possess, which most of them say a number of lessers also have, they have lurking within them a resourceful fighter. I could go down the list of greats and describe it in everyone of them sooner or later in their careers.

    One of my favorite examples is none other the Big Russ. Big Russ after some unchallenged years at the top ran into arguably the greatest player in the history of the game: Wilt Chamberlain. Head to head, Wilt beat Big Russ almost every time they met. But Big Russ was a resourceful fighter. Most slender 6-9 centers that ran into Wilt Chamberlain were soon reduced to hamburger. But Big Russ found a way to beat Wilt by playing through his teammates. And make no mistake about it. The Boston Celtics without Big Russ would never have beaten ANY of Wilts teams. People always find this hard to understand. Why was Big Russ instrumental to beating Wilt and his teams if Big Russ was a 6-9 lightweight that Wilt could usually man handle when he wanted to? The Celtics must have won because of the Jones Boys, and Nelly, and Howell, and Hondo, and so on. NO! The Celtics won because Big Russ forced Wilt to play all five of the Celtics, not just Bill’s other four against Wilt’s other four. Big Russ fought a superior player, in Wilt, as surely as Bridges and Rodman fought superior forwards, but Big Russ could orchestrate his team into a 5 on 1 battle to beat Wilt. Wilt never scored at will on the Celtics because of the way Big Russ played Wilt. People focus waaaaaay to much on Big Russ’s supporting cast being better than most of Wilt’s supporting casts. But it was not until Wilt had been schooled by Big Russ and his supporting casts many years, that Wilt himself became a resourceful fighter, too; that was when you began to see Wilt be able to orchestrate his team and give it whatever it needed, plus orchestrate what it needed. Big Russ was not just a great basketball player, he was a resourceful fighter who met one of the greatest challenges any resourceful fighter ever met–Wilt Chamberlain.

    As you can see, I place XTRemely High Value on being a resourceful fighter. At the edge of the competitive envelope it is always the competitive edge that means the most and tends to decide who is the champion and who is the runner up among closely matched teams.

    Wooden valued competitive greatness above all else.

    I believe that term circumscribes the resourceful fighter.

    What the Marines came to teach our Jayhawks last season was about how one becomes a resourceful fighter, or at least how to recognize who is a resourceful fighter.

    Now, several of our players, regardless of their levels of talent, either are, or have become resourceful fighters–players that find ways to play skinny, or short, or awkwardly, or what have you.

    In a battle, you don’t get to choose what skills you would like to have and which weapons you would like to have. You have to fight resourcefully with whatever is at hand. You have to be able to recognize which skills and weapons you possess that might be used to turn the battle to your advantage.

    All the talent and all the weapons in the world won’t win a battle, if the opponent has a match for each of them, and it comes down to resourcefulness in their application.

    When I saw Carlton Bragg start not only to fight and claw to get on that block, but to alter his angle of approach and to find ways to knock a guy seemingly to0 big for him to knock off that spot, I said, we’ve got a resourceful fighter on our hands, regardless of him being mylar in adidas, and this is the kind of man that the Marines are only looking for a few of, to take real estate from those that would stop the greatest experiment in republican government in human history. I saw a guy who is willing to move beyond his skills, and his talents, and find ways to win against guys that it doesn’t seem like he ought to be able to stay on the floor with, because he is too damned skinny and weak.

    That’s what won me over.

    Rock Chalk!

  • @jaybate-1.0

    I’ve never questioned Bragg’s attitude. I think he brings a great, positive attitude to the game. He has a solid skill set and potential upside, too.

    He is just a bit raw. He needs to take a page from the BG development book… lower his center of gravity. HS ball just isn’t competitive enough to require guys bending knees, widening stances and challenge each other by ability to properly leverage their weight and strength.

    He isn’t going to take 3 years to learn that like BG has taken. Bragg came to Kansas, mentally an open book, a sponge to fill with knowledge. No concept of “fools gold” ideas that a good perimeter shot will trump having to master the rest of the game…

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