• There are days and events that are important in every walk of life. For Christianity, it was certainly the birth of Jesus. For the United States, it might have been the signing of the Constitution. For mankind, maybe it was Neil Armstrong walking on the moon, or perhaps the defeat of Nazi Germany. For some folks, it could be the release of a new Star Wars movie. For others, it might just be a new pair of pants.

    T0day is a day for a large contingent of KU basketball fans to bask in the warmth of beautiful affirmation. Its a day to mark on your calendars.

    Today, December 18, 2015, Bill Self blessed many that post at with some stunning words. Here are the wonderful and glorious words:

    Bill Self - "I do think we need to shoot a higher percentage of threes. I do think we need to play to our strength, which is shooting the basketball."

    Bill Self - "Last year, we kept trying to force it to become something we probably weren’t."

    I apologize if I don’t ooze with humility at the moment. But may I ask a very simple question:

    Isn’t this exactly the foundation of everything I (and others) have been suggesting since the beginning of the 2014-15 season?

    I feel at peace.

  • I saw your twitter post and instantly came here to see if you posted something lol. I wanted to say HOLY CRAP! I am glad it finally sunk in!

  • If you all want to follow me on twitter I will follow you back. Same handle on twitter

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Nirvana time.

    Post Sex smoke.

    Post French meal creme brûlée.

    Heaven after purgatory.

    Amazing what the Golden State Warriors success can do for rationalizing the virtues of shooting the trinity.

    Rock Chalk, Bill!!!

    And way to stick to your six shooter, @HighEliteMajor

  • Aw, come now, guys, you think that man ain’t toying with us???

  • @REHawk Possibly, but he also knows the results from the last two years and may be accepting what this team’s strengths are.

  • @REHawk


    I was just thinking the same thing an hour after my last post!

  • This is my first time posting here. I have been an avid reader. My favorite poster is easily @HighEliteMajor. I told my wife a few weeks ago after the Analysis and Paralysis thread that I have learned more basketball from this man’s posts than I had in my prior 75 years.

    I see @HighEliteMajor’s post here and what Self said is amazing. I know HEM is kidding about walking on the moon and such but Bill Self’s comments were really amazing.

    Really I don’t think @HighEliteMajor should be humble here. This is EXACTLY what he was saying.

    There have been some posters that have really gotten nasty with him. I think that’s because he challenges you to look past the superficial things that we see with Kansas basketball. I think he also make people uncomfortable because they like Bill Self.

    But guess what? I think @HighEliteMajor likes Bill Self too he just doesn’t think he’s always 100% right, he thinks Self is human. I would say he has been consistint in saying things that he likes that Self does and he focuses on the things he thinks are hurting this team.

    Bill Self said that we should focus on our strengths and that we tried to force it to become something we were not last season. I read HEM all last season and that’s what he said.

    Think of it this way I guess. Why didn’t Bill Self realize this last season?

    I’m sorry if I sound like an HEM homer but when someone is right, they are right. And I probably would not have posted if some at this site didn’t really attack him last season for his thoughts.


    By the way I love this site. Best KU talk around. And really like all of the good basketball knowledge here. @drgnslayr is one of my favorites and @ralster also. I cant read everything @jaybate-1.0 does it is much too long sometimes.

    Thanks to all of you for making a retired guy enjoy KU basketball more!!!

  • @MackJayhawk Holy smokes ! You’re an erupting fountain ! Welcome ! Hey, Hem and a few folks go at each other from time to time. Difference of opinion. That’s what the board is for. They’re all great people, though. I guarantee you this - I was ecstatic over our offense the last game, and I know HEM was, too.

  • @HighEliteMajor Do we need to get Bruce Weber to perform a fake funeral on the hi-lo? I think that he will learn a great lesson from all this, and be a better coach for it. Hopefully, it won’t take as long the next time…lol.

  • @KUSTEVE that was funny. I just choked on my beer

  • Banned

    Excuse me I have to go outside and see if the sky is falling.

    No I really think coach learned something at the WUG’s. Though I had my doubts as most of you know after the MSU loss.

    Yet something happened and coach is buying into his team strengths again. KU and coach are going to be hard to beat.

  • @REHawk I wondered too, if it ain’t too good to be true ??

  • @KUSTEVE Not so fast Jethro, it ain’t conference season yet. Maybe we outta wait wait for da proof in da puddin’ as @brooksmd might say…

  • I think @HighEliteMajor is actually Bill Self’s alter ago, and he’s finally started seeing a shrink. 🙂

  • @approxinfinity I heard Dr Melfie has an opening the_sopranos_windows_folder_icon_by_rbusbee-d5orcdv.png

  • @MackJayhawk

    About @jaybate 1.0, me too. Just between you and me, @jaybate 1.0 is someone that is full of himself and goes on too long and needs to be horsewhipped with a treadmill belt from one of Dr. Andrea Hudy’s exercise machines. Everything he writes should be reduced to one word: I don’t know split pea soup from chipotle-spiced shinola. Why, I would rather eat lint from the Ugg boot of an unbathed Antler than read what that long winded alias that writes sentences that go on too long than I would like scuba diving with a sea lion swimming backwards through an ocean current of whale excreta on a sunny El Niño day off an Ensenada up-welling!!!

    Yours truly very, @jaybate 1.0

  • The absolute best thing about these comments is that it truly gives us hope that this Kansas team will be given the opportunity to reach its ceiling. Really, that’s it. It doesn’t guarantee anything. But as @DoubleDD said, “KU and coach are going to be hard to beat.”

    I do want to point out something I’ve said in the past. Self is absolutely right on the best, most reliable way to score – it’s near the basket. If you can have effective back to the basket scoring, that’s the best path. This team, and last season’s team, don’t have that. The recognition now moving forward perhaps about who we are from a strength standpoint and playing to that strength is very important.

    What we have to understand is that there may be nights we might lose because we don’t shoot well. It’s the same as nights we might lose because we miss bunnies, or close shots. That happened even when we did have back to the basket scoring. Heck, TRob had a couple of rough games we lost his final season (shooting percentage wise). It happens.

    @MackJayhawk - Thanks for the kind comments. I know a lot of folks just come here to read. And there have been plenty of times I’ve been wrong – the infamous “no rank Frank” thing. But hey, now he’s my favorite player, and we can all forget that, right? And regarding @jaybate-1.0 – you know, sometimes, it’s an investment when you read. Like a good dividend stock. Reliably good. Gotta invest, though. And the two guys you cite, @drgnslayr and @ralster. Absolutely two of the best. Great perspectives.

    @KUSTEVE Can you imagine coach Self actually coaching, embracing the three? In truth, we’ve been seeing it most of this season I think. Some regression here and there. But largely he’s embraced it. I think the pace this team plays at, and Self seeing that we can score in other ways, has made this a softer landing for him. I have to admit, though, I’m still skeptical a bit – last season, I declared The Death of the Post Feed. And thought Self had accepted it. But I was way premature there. This feels different maybe because Self actually said it.

    @DoubleDD After all, Self did say he “learned a lot” from the WUGs. It was an interesting quote. We will see.

    @approxinfinity Me or Bill Self … seeing a shrink that is? I might need to be medicated if this is all a grand illusion.

    Something we have discussed before was whether Self’s insistence on making this team into something it wasn’t, was “delusional.” @Texas-Hawk-10 posted a thread asking Is Bill Self Insane?

    While we all have engaged in hyperbole here and there to make our point – @Texas-Hawk-10 said, “KU’s personnel is in no way, shape, or form capable of running Bill Self’s system against elite level programs.” That’s just fact. The post feed, as we have seen for years, may truly be dead for this season.

    Has Bill Self admitted to his temporary insanity, at least by the Albert Einstein definition?

    Ah, but now is not the time to ask such questions. I don’t want to poke my right leaning compadre, @JayHawkFanToo – so I will withdraw the question. It is the time to point the ship forward and simply hope that that the Tentative Deal I felt was occurring after the Oregon State game actually holds.

    If Bill Self has accepted the strengths of this team, and will permit it to play to those strengths, it is truly one of the best days in Kansas basketball under coach Self.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    " Has Bill Self admitted to his temporary insanity, at least by the Albert Einstein definition?"

    Probably not. It’s more likely to me that he’s reluctantly relinquished his belief that Perry will out grow playing soft vs bigger 4’s & 5’s. And that Jamari does have the will but not the way, He’s also resigned to the fact that Landen lacks the ability to consistently pass in the lane or finish strong at the rim, and all of his really tough guys are under 6’-5" or inexperienced under classmen that are just making a pit stop on the road to shoe contract Heaven. In my opinion he’s just become a legitimate poker player because now no one in Hell will know what to expect at the table .Let’s just hope his team does & that’s the identity they established in the WUG when they unbelievably delivered home the Gold Medals. I’m not expecting the run & gun of Roy Williams here, but I fully agree if he let’s the supremely gifted athletes do what they do best in a fast paced offense, we very well may land our next NC or at least have a helluva lot more fun trying to fetch that baby back to River City. RCJH !!

  • HighEliteMajor, This is music to my ears

  • Question: what happens on this board when we go 2-8 from three this afternoon because Montana was “taking away the three”? Lol

    I hope the thing that Self realizes is that this team may actually play better defense when they are scoring in bunches. If you check some of our best scoring halves they also are frequently the best defensive halves as well.

    The true lesson is that this team plays well when they play confident and with energy. Making threes helps that. So does playing fast. This is looking like it could be a fun year!

    @HighEliteMajor I am happy for you! Maybe slamming your head against a wall over and over again can work if you just believe! (You did see or hear he followed that quote by inmediately saying we need to score better inside, right?) Fingers crossed for you! And all of us really!

  • The easiest way to score is near the basket, but that’s why it is guarded so closely. Unfortunately for us, KU has not had a guy adept at scoring consistently against that type of defense in the last couple of years.

    The best players on this KU team dot the perimeter. If we play some pace and space ball, we are a title contender. If we pound it inside, Sweet Sixteen is the ceiling.

  • @justanotherfan I have always been under the impression that scoring close is a skill that can be developed. I saw Whithey, Robinson, the Morris twins, and Darnell Jackson get MUCH better at scoring inside even when they have players draped all over them.

    But after the past few seasons, I am starting to lean toward scoring over size is a God given skill. Our bigs seem to miss “bunnies” just as much as when they first came.

    What are your thoughts?

  • Watching the Memphis-OleMiss game last night, the commentators were talking about uber-frosh and how college bball fans should at least see a game or two of such kids, as they truly are phenoms…which segued into talk about how Mike Kryzyewski uses his differently talented rosters, and designs the whole season’s gameplan around the strengths of his roster….

    I’m not dogging on Self here (see avatar), but it is insanely hard to modify a philosophy (hi-low, feed the post) that is proven, with all kinds of stats and an NC ring to back it up. Which is maybe why Self is finally “adapting” to his roster’s strengths. It is hard when you realize your 6’10, 245lb project-big senior (Lucas) is nothing like Markieff Morris or Cole Aldrich. Or that another project big, Traylor, cannot do all that Darnell Jackson did. Jackson ended as a 10ppg scorer, rebounder, enforcer. Starter-level on Self’s best team over the likes of Kaun and Cole. That speaks a lot for Darnell Jackson.

    Maybe Mike Kryzyewski learned his own hard lessons by 9 straight years of no Final-Four appearance, and has learned to adapt, even at this advanced point of his coaching career?

  • Perhaps a discussion of what separates “role players” such as Jamari Traylor, Lucas, Kevin Young, Kaun…from the multi-faceted versatility of “starter level” players (Cole, Morrii, TRobinson, Shady, Jackson, Embiid). Then there’s a couple of tweeners like Withey, Mickelson. (Bragg + Diallo get a frosh pass in this discussion–but each projects as an impact starter…down the line, Bragg sooner than Diallo.)

    My first postulate seems to be recognizing that we get into “trouble” when we put one of the role-players into a starting role. You end up with an inherently limited (flawed) team, that cannot give us the full benefits that the $52mil coach has designed, devised, tested with past teams, etc. Which goes back to my Bill Walsh Theory: The System is proven. Just need the right players to execute it. Now think back to 2013 Jayhawks–we started offensively-limited Withey alongside 6’8, 185lb Kevin Young. And only 1 main ballhandler (EJ), instead of 3 ballhandlers like the 08 Champs, the current roster, or even the 2 main handlers of 2012 (Tyshawn+EJ)…McLemore was even less of a ballhandler than Releford, who was so-so at it. Eventhough Kevin Young played 50lbs tougher (ask Marcus Smart), he still had limitations on his game. He was a compromise, thrust into a starting role. Cant expect the on-court product to stay the same. The tough resilience departed with Tyshawn + TRob’s departure. Not only do we recall the loss to Mich, but we also had the Topeka-Y comments about 2013…from its own coach.

    I’m picking on 2013 roster only to show a 2-axis flawed team is a dangerous one to pin March hopes on. Flawed in the post. Flawed in terms of ballhandling personnel, and the mindset of the ballhandlers even came into play: (EJ and Naadir). And 2013 also suffered noticeably in the defensive category, being the first team that Self complained about, and that trend continued for 2014 and 2015. Offensive flaws. Roster flaws. Defensive flaws, not only individually, but even team-D concepts.

    This year, while there remain starter-level questions in the post. There are NO questions about the perimeter play of Mason, Graham, Selden. The defense is markedly better, although still inconsistent. There is still hope. I do see this year’s roster as very different than last season’s. Even Self seems to have a bigger, contextual view.

  • This years teams strength is the three ball. That both excites and scares me. As HEM pointed out good shooting teams will lose on bad shooting nights, it just happens. So expect a few losses this season when no one can hit a shot (i.e. The first half against OSU is an example, obviously energy was an issue in that game too). It’s exciting to watch and as long as the ball movement is good there will be open shooters who can hit shots.

    My fear is one off night in the tournament and you’re done. That’s all she wrote. And it will be fire Bill Self he messed up another great team by making them shoot threes. They have soooo many bigs why didn’t they pound it inside?

    If the tournament was best of 3 from the sweet sixteen on, this team raining threes would win it. Single elimination is a whole different beast and is very unpredictable unless you can dominate on D and score at will in the paint. Unfortunately Ellis has shown time and again he can’t score against length, so hopefully the threes continue to fall at a high enough clip to allow victory in April.

  • @benshawks08 said:

    With this team’s ability to drive the ball, including Green recently, if a team does try to take the three away, that opens up other scoring opportunities.

  • @dylans Really like your post for some key reasons, as it goes to the very foundations of what Self wants, vs what he actually gets out on the floor in terms of reliability of execution. Personally, I think Bill Self has got to be pulling his hair out (yes, even the high-$ hair plugs aren’t safe…)–> because he has 6 (SIX) “playable” bigs, yet cannot get reliable consistent post production.

    It appears the next logical step would be to do BigsByCommittee, & have the resurgingly-competent guards run intelligently-designed plays that free up a post man for a brief moment to allow a “high % inside look”…but when such plays are run, and a post man is in receipt of the pass, what has happened thereafter has been far short of reliable…Now what does one do??

    Beyond the quiet 10-12pts from Ellis, the unreliability of the other 5 post players as a whole is wildly maddening. Frankly, as a unit, it is a Fail. It is failing the playstyle of what Self built (conceptually) and designed to be inherently reliable, based on percentages. Traylor and Lucas SAT the 2nd half vs OregState for very key reasons, as did Diallo (he’s just plain not ready). It is a partial face-saver to say Traylor with the ankle, or Lucas with the toe. But we saw them play in the 1st half, and this excuse wanes out after another several days have gone by.

    I’m only picking on the post-play, as what has happened to Bill Self’s Hi-Low, has now simply called into question almost everything our system was predicated on, and proven for years, even. This even in Self’s own mind.

    @dylans summed up a general March-predictor very nicely: “be able to score at will in the paint, and play tough D. A cold trey shooting night, you are finished”. It is exactly the explanation why Stanford and WSU bounced us, and partly Michigan in2013. (2012 woulda beat everybody but KY, and that’s how it played out). It simply made me think, what has happened to us (our foundation)? Because the hard truth is, if we had a dominating post-presence, we would be playing inside-out, still…(not because I want that)…because that is THE default high-% look that defines what your coach believes in. His philosophy is not being serviced by the current roster upperclassmen (4 of the 6 bigs). And he’d stick to his hi-low with a dominating post guy, despite Frank’s >50% treys, Devonte’s >40% treys, Selden’s 60% treys, and BG’s superlative 65+% treys.

    My summary: I like the fact Self will open the 3gun musketeers…but I pray he stays on them hard in practice about D concepts, team D, and rebounding…because on a cold-shooting night (which could show up at the worst possible time, ya know…), something other than our 3% has got to save the game…

  • @HighEliteMajor jury is out on that I think (who is a figment of whose imagination :)) . @REhawk is right. This would not be the first time Bill has said something different than what he ends up doing. I want to believe him.

    We will see how many threes we shoot come tournament time.

  • So, right now we are “masking” (covering weaknesses) by goal-focused (pun) play design: elevator screens to free somebody up. Wing player baseline for lob dunk. Use the Sherron/Tyshawn Plan and make Frank & Devonte & Selden drive, drive, drive it. Rebound stick-backs. There are “other” ways to score in the paint. They just are “manufactured” by ways other than throw it in to Cole or Shady or Morris or TRob or Embiid. Transsition runouts following a good defensive or rebounding possession.

    But what happens when a well-coached opponent doesn’t turn the ball over, and they guard BG’s foxhole too close for BG to stick his head out, let alone get a shot off? As happened vs OregState 1st half. As Hah-vard did to us in our own barn (AFH)?

    Some bright coach will say “ok, let’s take away their 3ball, make em beat us in the paint”. They’ve got plenty of scout film on the PerryEllisPortfolio…we’re going to have to mask, defend, misdirection, gimmick, trick-play our way past many, many games this year. You can bet upcoming coaches are digesting the OregSt and Harvard gametape right now, as well as film of KU/MichSt game. At least our coach has some of that Eddie Sutton “grind” in him, hopefully he can impart those into players not named Frank, Devonte, Wayne (as they already have it.)

  • @HighEliteMajor said:

    “since the beginning of the 2014-15 season?”

    A lot longer than that.

  • @KUinLA I have to ask, what are your thoughts on the job Alford is doing with UCLA? He seems to be developing a positive buzz, although the play of his son Bryce seems to be a big variable. After several years of lackluster, I find myself rooting for UCLA to return to prominence, and Alford seems to me to have them trending back to that…?

  • @dylans That is my fear. You see it in the tournament. One bad night from 3 dooms you. ISU has been an example (at least in some of their loses to us). Hopefully our guards can penetrate enough so that on a bad shooting night, they create enough inside to offset the outside misses.

  • @ralster UCLA sure looks a lot better than when we played them. Yes…we deserve some of the credit for that.

  • @JhawkAlum

    Scoring over size requires one of three things:

    1. Superior size
    2. Superior athleticism
    3. Exceptional footwork and craftiness

    Withey was successful because he had size.

    Robinson had athleticism. The Morris twins had athleticism and they were tremendous shooters.

    Perry isn’t the athlete Trob was. He is skilled, but not like the Morris twins and obviously doesn’t have Withey’s size.

    That means he’s depending on his footwork and craftiness. But the problem is that Perry is an average or possibly even a below average passer from the post, so defenders can sit on his moves because they know a shot is going up.

  • @justanotherfan I imagine Perry has been told so many times to be “more aggressive” and to shoot more. That’s why he doesn’t look to pass out of the post, in my opinion.

  • @ralster " It is hard when you realize your 6’10, 245lb project-big senior (Lucas) is nothing like Markieff Morris or Cole Aldrich. Or that another project big, Traylor, cannot do all that Darnell Jackson did. Jackson ended as a 10ppg scorer, rebounder, enforcer. Starter-level on Self’s best team over the likes of Kaun and Cole. That speaks a lot for Darnell Jackson. "

    My head tells me that you’re balls on, perfectly dead right about the talent levels of LL, JamTray vs the likes of the Twins, Cole, & TRob. But my head & heart both proclaim that Danny Manning was the chronicle that fueled the fires of the project guys like DBlock & Withey. whom were both his assignment to acclimate & integrate into a D1 program when they arrived in Lawrence as heralded but clumsy, awkward freshman, then departed as NBA caliber producers. It’s OK if I get hammered for this also, but IMO Perry Ellis could now be a drastically different performer if he was under Danny’s tutelage. Case in point, looka at the stats of a Charles Barkley or a Draymond Green, who were both shorter in height than PE & then shake your head & say WTH-how can that be?? Danny was not just a great player & coach, he was & is a smarter player & coach, and also deserves a ton of credit for the Big man U moniker that many equate with Kansas Basketball during the Bill Self era.

  • @HighEliteMajor Bout darn time!

  • @ralster I honestly haven’t had much time to watch many games, but I have faith in Alford as a coach. It’s just a matter of getting the recruits. Once he starts getting the players, I believe he’ll turn them into perennial top 15 team. I think USC is going to start to be a team to watch also.

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