Does KU pass the eye test so far?

  • I’ve been keeping up with most of College Ball looking at teams that pass the eye test so far. I get it’s early but its never too early to compare KU to others out there and see where we fit so far.

    So far I’ve narrowed it down to 6 teams,

    Michigan St, KU, UNC, Oklahoma, Purdue, & Maryland.

    All have a blend of veterans & young guys that are key to success throughout the whole year. I would consider one of these 6 teams to be the most likely champion at the end of the year, with a bias towards KU cutting down the nets.

    KU certainly hasn’t played its best in a lot of games.

    Michigan St- 2nd half letdown

    Vanderbilt- 1st half

    Loyola- 1st Half

    Harvard- basically from late 1st half on.

    Oregon St. - 1st half

    Are we really the #2 squad in America? I personally believe we are #1 but we have to continue to play up to that level. San Diego St on the road is the next big test right before Christmas. Last year we handled that same situation as poorly as any game in Self’s career. SDSU will not lay over and let us win, they have a great coach and a great home-court advantage. Defense will win that game because SDSU’s a very poor shooting team. We can talk about going in there and shooting lights out but we all know on the road its all about defense.

    What’s everyone’s thoughts so far?

  • @BeddieKU23 I think you nailed it correct on Oklahoma. I’m not sure we even win conf this year unless our consistency improves dramatically. BTW Huggies WV team beat SDSU by 22 in Vegas. We should eek out a close win there as an early Christmas present.

  • The rule changes have had a much deeper effect than I ever expected. It’s like a new game early this season. I haven’t found stats on shooting percentage variance yet, but as I noted previously it seems like teams three point shooting percentages are yoyoing more than previous years. In prior year circumstances, I would say we weren’t close, but this seems some kind of tipping point in dependence on Trey balling. It’s as if there is some kind of Golden State effect. It’s not necessarily a raw increase in 3ptas, but more like the coaches are all embracing Selfs idea of shooting the Trey ball to get leads, and then defending those leads with short treys. This means whoever Trey balls the best percentage is even MORE the best team. The shift that seems to be occurring seems to be happening the year KU has its best outside shooting team. This could mean KU is the best team under new norms. But still too soon for me to say. Gotta see KU go cold and find a way to beat a good team, like MSU; that’s the acid test for me.

  • eyechart.jpg

    I think I need my eyes examined carefully before I make any predictions.

    I’m not even sure if Cheick will make a huge impact this year. But… I’m sure he’ll have a few good games and the media will proclaim him as gone. Another teenager sent to the mens league.

  • @drgnslayr

    Right now with his role it would be a mistake to leave. He won’t play in a game next year off what I’ve seen or lack of what I’ve yet to see. He’d be stuck on a bench or in the D-League. But that’s right now and not March/April where we will know what impact he has made or hasn’t made. But with his upbringing and vast potential, if a team likes him in the lottery he’s not staying… The question will be if his stock slides to bottom half of 1st round where the risk of falling too much will be a question he will have to ask himself.

    The game needs to slow down for him and he needs to learn awareness on both sides of the ball. Immense talent, but clearly isn’t going to be Embiid overnight and isn’t getting the playing time to even show anything.


    Oklahoma is a well oiled machine but we will soon find out what they got. 1st 2 conference games vs Iowa St & @ KU in a 3 day span. Their 3 headed monster of a back-court has played just as well as our 3 headed back-court. Depth is where we win that battle with them.

    A lot of teams have beat San Diego St, like lowly San Diego and surprise of all surprise teams Arkansas Little Rock at 8-0. Otherwise they played Utah tough & beat #14 at the time Cal. West Virginia overwhelmed them with the press. But you can basically throw out everything and focus on it being a road game in a hostile environment right before x-mas where kids tend to lose focus. We’ve played plenty of neutral court games but nothing like we will see in 8 days where the crowd will be mostly Aztecs. It’s their Super-Bowl folks, and with their bad losses a marquee KU win keeps their NCAA tourney hopes alive regardless of how they finish in conference play.

  • @BeddieKU23 I would add Xavier, Nike -D, and Nike-K to the list.

    Recent BIA reports out of Nike World report this:

    Nike D and K will both receive favorable treatment from the rules enforcement committee, along with the Nike approved refs, AND the seeding committee in order so the brand receives maximum television exposure. No 2nd round WSU #7 seeds for D or K. If at all possible, ensure Nike D receives at least two “nearly” home games, preferably in the first few rounds, where Coach Rat needs all the help he can get most years. Ensure instant qualification for all Nike-K players, including ones banned from high school bb for taking illegal benefits. The Squid gets the “skal” ( be careful what you wish for, Mildcat fans. Skal CAN’T BALL).


    Xavier is a good team, had a nice win over their rival over the weekend. They blew out Dayton and quality wins against Michigan & USC. Their next 5 games are a real acid test- home vs Auburn, @ Wake Forest, @ Villanova, vs #18 Butler, @ St. Johns. They have a deep team and this could be Xavier’s best bunch in a long time. I have them just outside right now as I want to see how they do in this 5 game stretch.

    I don’t think either Nike K or Nike D have the teams this year unless they develop chemistry and get much better. They both lost too much to expect them to be competing for a championship. Nike K hasn’t looked anything like a top 10 team since beating Nike D

  • @BeddieKU23

    It appears we want to be the next “revolving door” team… packed full of OADs. That means we need to make sure Cheick is gone after one year.

    Another negative aspect of being a revolving door team. Even when guys clearly aren’t ready, we need to push them out to make room for the next OAD while being able to tout how many OADs we send to the league every year.

    If we “flop” with Cheick and he doesn’t leave and become a lottery pick this coming summer… yikes! It may really pull the rug out from us on Top 50 recruits.

    In some ways, I really want that to happen. Get out of the carnival atmosphere of OAD-land, and start really focusing on basketball again. Be the leaders in REAL player development and be the star program around the country for basketball fans in the know who want real basketball and see us beat carnival barkers like Calipari.

    I believe a team full of experienced 50-100 players that have been properly coached up will spank any team full of OADs. 2012… we almost did it and we had gigantic holes in that team.

  • @drgnslayr I’m starting to wonder if Self is really on the OAD merry-go-round or not. Sure we have had Henry, Selby, Wiggins, Joel, Cliff, Kelly and Ben (kinda). But remember Joel was supposed to be a project. Bill Self said he was the number one pick in year 2 not one. Selby wasn’t ready and should have stayed. The same could be argued for Henry but isn’t a sure thing. Henry, Wiggins, and Ben are really the only true OAD’s we have had and we technically had Ben for two years.

    I believe Cliff would have (or at least should have) stayed if there were not eligibility issues. I’m not exactly sure Kelly was ready for the league either but I guess we could lump him in with Wiggins.

    I think Self’s strategy, whether he chose it or not, has become to get the top talent he can (shoe embargo etc.) and try to get them to stay for multiple seasons. Rush, Chalmers and Wright were all top 15 recruits who could have been considered OAD possibilities since they had NBA size. Arthur was on the fringe at 16 but some thought he could go. Selden was 12.

    Diallo is the rawest OAD we have ever seen! Perhaps Self is trying to game the system. Pretend like he wants all of these OAD’s but then show them they need another year. Convince a few to stay one or two years and you have a LOADED team! It’s working almost as much as it isn’t.

    By my count, and this could be off, we have had 10 or so top 20 recruits that could be thought of as possible OAD’s. Of those 10, 5 actually left after 1 year and 5 stayed 2 or more. The anomalies are Ben and Joel who were ranked in the 30s but soared up the draft boards in their one year playing for KU. Just for context, other 20-40 recruits include: Perry, Frankamp, Greene, the Twins, and maybe a few more that I missed.

  • @BeddieKU23 May believe that we are #1, but MSU clearly deserves to be ranked #1 as of now. Responsible for our only loss, as well as for Louisville and Providence. All ranked. No one else has a profile that’s anywhere close. Best we can say, which is pretty good, is that we beat a team in Vandy that was ranked at the time and UCLA is in some rankings now. And, we should have beaten the top-ranked team…

  • @BeddieKU23

    I am not sure I would have Purdue there. its schedule is ranked 250+ and the good numbers in offense and defense are based on beating up below average teams, other than than Florida and Pitt. Say what you will but I would have UK or Duke there instead…or even ISU, I am not too crazy about UNC either, they have good win over Maryland and a bad loss at Northern Iowa and maybe Texas which is not even ranked.

  • Good string.

    Yes, KU does pass the eye test and our back court is really, really good: Frank, Devonte and Wayne with BG and Svi off the bench are as good or better than any guard combos in the nation.

    We will improve on team D and we can run and pressure all night long. We have shooters and play-makers. We still need one on-the-ball stopper in the group and the best one is still a year away from seeing any court time.

    Our front court is still a work in progress: Perry is a very good college player and very, very consistent but he is not an All-American, and his limitations against length have been well noted. Still, he is all Big 12 and our most consistent scorer and rebounder.

    The combo five could be a winner with Carlton and Cheick as the unknowns (btw, they will both be back next year). If these guys develop rapidly, like we think they will, we will have a deep run in the tourney, for sure.

    I like and trust all our guys: Mick, Jamari and Landon are all good players and are contributing productively as a unit. Each of them brings something to the game and each will help us win a couple of games this year.

    The MSU game was at a very high level - final four type game. One guy took over (remember: 29-12-12 I think it was) so that happens in college sports. We actually played a great game and one player was simply dominant. We do not have that guy this year, so we are vulnerable in late game situations.

    But our trio of guards are fearless and they proved it in KC. No worries.

    Rock Chalk! Another conference title and a Final Four…or bust!

    KU is definitely one of the best teams in the country. We will not lose more than five games all year. We will win the Big 12 again…and

  • Best teams I’ve seen this year in no particular order are Kansas, Michigan St., Maryland, UNC, Oklahoma, and Xavier. I know others have been mentioned like ISU, Purdue, and Providence, but I haven’t seen those teams play yet so I can’t judge them now.

  • We clearly pass the eye test – but the subject of “if” raises it’s head. “If” we continue to play offense the way we’ve been playing it – the style of offense; and “if” Self doesn’t shut that down and move to what he did at the end of last season or require “pound it inside”; and “if” Self sticks with the primary post minutes (75ish of 80) going to Mick/Ellis/Bragg and adding in Diallo – then yes, no doubt, this is a national championship team.

    But you probably knew that was exactly what I’d say.

    Our perimeter group is terrific. Best as a group we’ve ever had at Kansas. Ever.

    Agree on Xavier. I saw them beat USC (DVR’d it … fast forwarded through a little bit of it though). Looked pretty good to me. But I’ve heard analysts talking about them as a top 5 type team.

  • @drgnslayr Love it…Reflexology of the eyes…do we press those sections of our eyes to improve our overall health, especially when we’re going through those moments in a game where we just can’t stand what we’re seeing?

  • Banned


    I don’t know if KU is the best team or not? Yet I know this when KU pushes the pace and plays their game their going to be hard to beat.

    I’ve noticed yet have no facts to back it up. Yet when KU goes to the Midrange jumper they seem to catch fire?

    Has anybody else noticed this?

  • @HighEliteMajor I will ask your opinion on “best perimeter group ever”, and ask if Selden+Mason+Graham+(any 4th bench player) is > than Rush + Chalmers + RussRob + Sherron off the bench…?

    I think I like the potential of the current roster, and it could possibly exceed what the 08 guys did, stat-wise, but BG cant defend, while all 4 of the 08 guys could.

    All this being said, I do think it is very very close. Maybe the only reason I give the crown to the 08 guys is they and their “mix” got it done. The current roster has something to prove, which is fine, if that gives them a chip on their shoulder.

  • The NewSelden’s game travels well on the road…even overseas…

  • …and nothing stops Mason.

  • @ralster said:

    @HighEliteMajor I will ask your opinion on “best perimeter group ever”, and ask if Selden+Mason+Graham+(any 4th bench player) is > than Rush + Chalmers + RussRob + Sherron off the bench…?

    Maybe the difference of opinion comes from numbers: @HighEliteMajor is not limiting himself to 4 perimeter players. Add Rodrick Stewart to your 2008 list and Greene+Svi to his.

    Even then, I have a hard time disagreeing with you because of Rush: very good rebounder from his position, lockdown on-the-ball defender and just tireless. At the end of games, he defended the other team’s money guy without breathing hard.

    If NewSelden can keep up his energy, aggressiveness, health and shooting then maybe…

    Now if you limit the comparison to offense there is a lot to like today.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    Your correct they haven’t played much so far but they have plenty of good games coming up with Butler, Vandy & @ Wiconsin for which to get a better judgement. They looked dominate beating Pitt & Florida- 2 winning teams with average programs this year.

    They are a very deep team, 10 get solid minutes with a lot of size 2 (7 footers) and Swanigan a 5-star recruit playing well both inside and outside. So far they have passed the eye test to me but I’m interested to see how they do against better teams.

  • @jayhawk-007

    The thing with the Michigan St game is Valentine is doing this to everyone so far this year, the player you were referring to as the guy who took over. He’s clearly the front-runner for Player of the Year so far, he’s taken his game to a new level.

    I think Selden has put himself in the running the way he’s played, 60% 3 point shooting, leading scorer. He’s doing some of the things we dreamed about in the summer after the WUG. His play has been stellar, its very rewarding to see him do well in his junior year.


    well put, I’m not sure we want to be the revolving door team, we did sign Lightfoot and we’ve continually signed development players not as highly regarded as some. When we do get the top talent its a one foot out the door thing. The marriage is short, its sweet if you get the returns you hope out of it. I would gladly take another year of Diallo, but the odds are low, he’s come from nothing and how his situation was dealt with I wouldn’t want to be shackled under the NCAA either.

  • @ralster @ParisHawk As I look at our perimeter now, our depth is the asset vs. '08. I think this '15-16 group are better scorers, better shooters, more versatility, and more ability to match up vs. varying opponents. Matching top 4 vs. top 4, that’s the issue. '08 has an advantage with three ball handlers, and Rush and Robinson as plus defenders (with Robinson being 6’3" ). This season, we have five guys, realistically, that could shoot 38% or better from three. In 2008, Collins was ok, and Robinson of course wasn’t much of a shooter or scorer. I would also say that Mason and Graham are strong assist to turnover. Turnovers don’t bother me a lot though when playing aggressive, and with pace, because you might lose 6-8 seconds on the clock and you’ve really lost nothing (you’ve just failed to gain). That was strength of 2008 – pace and easy baskets (lobs – they were the original lob city).

    I’d say our perimeter group this season is more explosive offensively. Defensively? Advantage 2008.

    Top 4 vs. Top 4? Our group has to prove it.

    Edit** I said above Robinson was 6’3" … he was 6’1"

  • Speaking of “eye test,” was our second half press a fluke in that Oregon State matchup, or can we employ such pressure vs. topnotch opponents? Man, was I ever excited to see Bill Self toss that heat into his defensive tactics in the second half comeback!

  • @Bwag

    Not sure… the chart is fun to look at and in the least helped me realize how little I know about the human body.

  • @REHawk

    depends on the opponent. I would say generally no because we will face a lot of top guards in the Big 12 and that could get ugly real quick relying on it.

    But it is a nice tactic to use in shortening the opponents shot clock and their ability to run sets. I would say if we could find a good balance between pressure and taking valuable time off the clock on defense would be more ideal and to our advantage. For example it could be useful when playing TCU who’s got inexperienced guards rather than pressuring Oklahoma that has 3 very good guards.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Keep in mind that RussRob came out of HS as a high scorer and was so frustrated at KU, because he was asked to play a different role, that he almost left. Once he embraced the role he became, in my opinion, the most important piece of the '08 Championship team. He could always score and I remember a few games he had lots of points.

  • @globaljaybird We need some payback motivation with SDState for their beatdown of our wimpy Hawks of several years ago.

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