• Its who we are.

    The fault is not in our Self, but in ourselves.




    As any good therapist will tell you, change of ingrained behavior patterns is difficult.

    And persons handsomely rewarded for such behavior patterns to the level of the Golden .800 find change especially difficult.

    88-46, despite it being vs. a cupcake, is a kind of reward that feels as good to coaches as to fans.

    Outbounding someone 44 to 25 after spending last season getting turned into front court effeminates for much of a season feels fabulously good. Have a Havana Stogie with the end properly scissored off and lit good.

    Franken Five, the new Frankenstein’s monster of Division 1 Hoops 2015-16 season, terrorized James Naismith Court for 22 points and 20 rebounds, finally reaching the 20/20 plateau that I have been suggesting was the next mile stone within reach of The Monster.

    As with the original Frankenstein’s Monster, our Monster is misunderstood and under appreciated for his manifold virtues and capabilities in unfamiliar form.

    Franken Five dominates games almost without anyone even noticing. Imagine if Joel Embiid had scored 22 points and grabbed 20 rebounds! Board rats would have been beside themselves saying, here could be the best KU center developing since Wilt Chamberlain, or Danny Manning, or, well, at least since Raef LaFrentz.

    But does anyone lavish love on the Franken Five other than the old blind @jaybate 1.0 that offers The Monster one of his very own Havana’s and welcomes him to the table of great KU centers?


    Franken Five is ignored.

    Franken Five is ridiculed.

    Franken Five is reduced to two players next March.

    Franken Five is hounded from game to game, or ignored as a freak that will soon pass from our sights.

    Franken Five is even displaced into a position player that does not really exist; that has been replaced by a wished for 3-point shooting dominated team–a team of who we wish to be–not of who we are.

    Poor, poor, poor Franken Five.

    The Monster only wants to be loved in a cruelly indifferent world that seemingly can neither love, nor understand The Monster.

    Woe, woe, woe, if Franken Five.

    And yet, The Monster plays on…seemingly determined to be accepted for what he is.

    Go, Franken Five, go!!!

  • Franken Five played pretty well but how many minutes did it take for that 22 and 20? He was so good at one point it was almost like there were 2 of him on the court at once next to Ellis!

  • @jaybate-1.0

    What are your thoughts on Diallo? It looks like Bragg is leaps and bounds ahead of Diallo who seem lost at times on the court. He has that crazy athleticism and a motor that will not quit but, save a dramatic improvement in basketball IQ, looks like Diallo should stay 2 years.

  • Walked in from a late night, sat down to catch up on buckets with Young Frankenstein playing in the background and I came across this post first as Igor was raising the platform. Too strange!!


  • @JayHawkFanToo

    I’m with you. Looks like 2 year project.

    Diallo is now in the hell of D1 coaches getting more and more tape of his weaknesses and it’s getting harder and harder to do what little he could do initially.

    That said, green guys with freakish athleticism usually look better against good teams than cupcakes, because good teams impose an order on a game that freakish athleticism can anticipate and react to., whereas cupcakakes cannot impose enough order for the great with freakish athleticism to feed off of, and green players are too unskilled and inexperienced to impose order themselves. Thus Inexperience with big talent tends to play to its competition some.

    Bragg is green with less athleticism but lots more skill, so he can impose some order on the cupcake with his skill and look pretty good. Conversely, facing a good team, he may not show as well, because he doesn’t have the freakish athleticism, or experience to offset the order imposed by the good team.

    Bottom line is neither green guy seems up to the challenge of being a 30 minute man and cornerstone, because of strength issues, both guys will as their experience accrues, increasingly improve this strange Composite 5 quite a lot.

  • @Blown

    Now that IS a funny coincidence.

  • Cheick is going to have to compromise. Shed some of his balls out athleticism for crafty savvy. I recommend that he spend Christmas days studying film of the great Div. 1 block artists. Perhaps very best move for coaching staff to make at this juncture: securing and offering instructive film for Cheick to study. I’m betting that he will arrive at film room more than 15 minutes early.

  • @jaybate-1.0 Your Franken Five, Composite Five – heck, maybe even Jackson Five – I have a thought.

    You have combined the stats of five players who combined to play 59 minutes. Perry played 24 minutes. To at least roughly account for the time played when Perry wasn’t on the floor, it would seem reasonable to do a minutes calculation there. Meaning, the true composite 5 should get the benefit of 16 minutes when Perry wasn’t on the floor when one of them was playing the four spot.

    So I divided the stats by 56 minutes, which is the difference between Ellis and the 80 total post minutes; multiplied times 40.

    The composite 5 over 40 minutes would be 15.7 points and 15 rebounds for the Montana game.

    You’ve brought up Embiid. In 2014-15, we had Embiid, Black, and Traylor that covered the 5 spot opposite of Ellis 27 minutes.

    In 52.7 minutes per game, that composite 5 average 21.7 points and 16.1 rebounds for the season.

    Over 40 minutes, the 2013-14 composite 5 averaged 16.47 points and 12.22 rebounds.

    Over 40 minutes, the 2015-16 composite 5 is averaging 15.40 points and 12.29 rebounds.

    So this I think supports @jaybate-1.0’s point. Our composite 5 this season compares well with our five spot in 2013-14, when we had two NBA players contributing there (Embiid and Black).

    When I considered in 2013-14 that Embiid always played the five spot, and factored Black and Traylor off the balance of the minutes, the totals were 17.08 points and 12.66 rebounds. So that increased it a bit. (also, as a note, I didn’t factor in Lucas’ minutes in 2013-14 as they were very low).

    For 2015-16, we really can’t do that given how everyone moves around. I guess Lucas and Mick never play together and are always the five on the floor. But maybe I’m just too lazy to try to figure that out.

    Now, we are shooting team first. That won’t change. We don’t have the back to the basket post feed dude, and we’re the best shooting team ever under Self, according to Self.

    Our 16 three pointers vs. Montana and Oregon State is absolutely fine when we’re averaging 19.5 for the season per game. We won by 40 something last night, and 16 vs. OSU. Pace is really our first priority.

    The key will be what happens in a tough game at AFH vs. OU, or on the road at OSU, or KSU? Will Self’s butt pucker? Will he script an attack down the stretch that requires the post feed as the first option?

    Until that test comes, we truly won’t know. But 19.5 three point attempts per game is perhaps the “Goldilocks Zone.” A few less on some nights, a few more on others.

  • @JayHawkFanToo @jaybate-1.0

    I asked @Jesse-Newell this very same question on twitter not long ago. He says Diallo is gone after this year. Even though I still think Cheick should stay and develop more at KU, I tend to trust Jesse’s opinions. He knows his stuff.

  • @Lulufulu

    Things change quickly. I personally don’t think Diallo is a lottery pick right now and his weaknesses are being exposed big time. He is not alone; Labissiere is also playing very poorly (see my other post) and he is playing himself out of the lottery. The center from Utah Poeltl is playing great , much better than Skal And Diallo and I would call him the best big not named Simmons.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    I would agree right now that Diallo isn’t a lottery pick. When I think of Lottery picks I think of players who are ready to play immediately and he’s not one of them. I just think with his situation (where he’s come from and what he’s had to deal with to get here) if a big payday is waiting, he’s going…

    The good thing is there is still a lot of season left for him to progress and with all his faults he’s still doing okay. 7pts 3bs 1 blk in limited minutes is all he can do unless he gets more time.

    Pueltl is a good player, very smooth. Much improved from his freshman year.

  • Self has opened up the 3. This is great news.

    But the key word here is “opened up”.

    He is letting them play with pace and freedom that allows for Greene to pass across court on a 4 on 4 break to Svi and shoot the trey gun.

    He lets all 5 guards take a 3 on a screen if they go under.

    They now have the freedom to rise up and shoot over a good close out. Even if it’s only the second or third pass of the possession!

    All of that is great. The guards now can fire away without worrying about getting the quick hook because they missed a shot.

    But I feel the grumbling will start again when we realize that Self isn’t creating for the 3 anymore this year than he has in the past. We saw a play ran for Seldon coming off a T.O. But That isn’t unusual for Self.

    With this style of play, a talented team can easily hold our attempts to the 8-12 if they focus on shutting down the long ball. If they hedge hard on screens, don’t double team the post, and don’t get sucked in on drives, that will shut down 80% of our attempts and forcing us to score in the paint.

    It I saw an opposing coach, I would do just that. Make Perry score 35 on Iso and shut down the 3 ball. Sure, Mason will get fouled and put up points. But I wouldn’t let KU get hot.

    Self might have opened up the 3 ball but he still isn’t a believer to intentionally create open shots in the flow of the game.

  • @JhawkAlum said:

    With this style of play, a talented team can easily hold our attempts to the 8-12 if they focus on shutting down the long ball. If they hedge hard on screens, don’t double team the post, and don’t get sucked in on drives, that will shut down 80% of our attempts and forcing us to score in the paint.

    Bingo! You have nutshelled it.

    Self plays take what they give us.

    What KU does in any given game depends mostly (entirely?) on what the opponent has the talent to take away.

    This is why when Self talks to media he always discusses offensive changes as what we probably ought to do, not what we WILL do.

    Self can read a shot chart. He knows we OUGHT to shoot all threes with our outside shooting depth, but he knows opponents will take it away eventually by forcing our guys to shoot treys 2-4 feet farther out. At that point he has to choose: run action to get the look near the stripe, or take what they give us inside. He runs the weave some, but mostly he goes inside.

    Any team with the talent to guard the Trey stripe and play our bigs straight up will do so, and we will suddenly be in a grinder.

    KU only runs when it’s there. It only takes the Trey when it’s there. when there’s nothing there, KU grinds: either inside out with post feeds; or outside in with Bad Ball.

    This is so predictable we could call it a differential diagnosis.

    Wooden always took what he wanted.

    Self always takes what they give us.

    Both coaches once in a great while surprised important opponents by shifting gears, but shifting was rare.

    Both ways work. If Self got a Jabbar and a Walton, he would be seasoned enough to hang banners consistently.

    The beauty of a Jabbar/Walton is the opponent can’t stop a Wooden from taking what he wants, and they can’t take the inside away from a Self without giving outside!

  • Post Script:

    Look where our guys pull up in transition to squeeze the quick Trey. It’s always 1.0-2.0 feet from the Trey stripe. Even in transition, all you have to do is beat them to that spot and you will strangle off our Trey game AND our transition game. A talented defensive team will take away every one of KU’s transition treys, then Self will take the two on the drive, or run the offense.

  • @jaybate-1.0 They cant beat them to the trey line all the time. KU has 6 guys that can all knock it down from there. Im certain teams will try to take that away from us. They either will or they wont, there is no try. If they do and opens things up for us inside where our Frankenfive will make them pay.

  • @jaybate-1.0 I hope it will be a “pick your poisen” kind of deal. But I fear they we will be forced to watch Lucas play his back to basket when they take away the long ball.

    And then the comments will be Self went back to his old style or he “puckerd” when in reality, he didn’t do anything different.

    He may have loosened the grip on players shooting, but there’s still no outside action to free the 3.

  • Anyone notice the best back to the basket score of the game? Right out of halftime Selden posts and scores easily. This guy might have some big games in big 12 play when it comes time to ride a hot hand. He’s starting to figure out how to score from everywhere and is bringing energy on the defensive side. Love, love, love him at the three this year!

  • @Lulufulu

    JNew knows best…

    As an aside, I can’t believe those cheap bastards at CJONLINE can’t get him a decent platform for the live blog. We have an award winning Kansas sports journalist sitting on the sideline! It’s sickening. God will not permit this to happen.

  • @jaybate-1.0

    He can always join the chat here… 🙂

  • @JayHawkFanToo Guessing he can’t while he’s on the clock at a game?

  • @Bwag

    At the game if he is taking notes for the post-game story, the chat transcript would be as good as any set of notes; not all that different than having the chat hosted by his newspaper. If he does not travel and he is watching the game at home on his own time, he can do whatever he wants.

Log in to reply