The Most talented players versus the Best players

  • Banned

    It would seem and uneasiness is settling over KU nation with Coach’s recent quotes about shortening the C5. Flashbacks of last years failed campaign are making fans like me cringe. Some are saying coach is just playing games, yet what if he isn’t?. What if he does really try to run with Lucas, Traylor, and Hunter? Thereby leaving Bragg and Diallo to ride the pine. That my friends is FOOLS GOLD.

    Playing the best players is no doubt a wise thing to do on Coach’s part. After all he gets paid to win, and win he does. Yet long term it would be foolish for Coach to do what he intends to do. Kill the Inglorious Bastards. Lucas and Traylor are fine players. They have paid their dues. They have toiled behind better players for the bulk of their KU careers. They have earned the right to play. However they are not show stoppers, the cats meow or the type of players that can put a team on their back and carry them to victory. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

    Bragg and Diallo are by far the most talented big in on this team. Let me rephrase that they are the most untapped talent on this team. After all the Designer is a pretty talented fellow. However sadly and truthfully they are not quite ready to command the paint as past bigs of KU lore. Yet in the same breath they are the key to any real National Champion aspirations.

    KU and coach have a big dilemma on their hands. As KU has both talented and the best players. Coach is about to make a change that could very well make or break KU’s season. Run with Hunter, Traylor, and Lucas and yea KU will win some games. Yet leaving Bragg and Diallo on the bench will cost them some serious game time and may up costing KU big time in the long term. YES I’M EVEN TALKING TO YOU KU FANS THAT ARE JUST HAPPY WITH THE CONFERENCE WINNING STREAK. Ask yourself this question? Do you think KU can win the Big 12 Conference championship with Traylor and Lucas manning the paint? Think about how tough the Big 12 is this year before you respond.

    My personal beliefs are as followed. To often in our world, or societies patterns are developed. Over time these patterns become some imperial law of the land. As even more time passes people or persons don’t even question why it is, the way is. If by chance someone steps outside that tried and true belief, then we just dismiss it as a nice story or anomaly. We start up the so called common sense, and law averages arguments.

    Why not shoot the three? Why not shoot the midrange jumper? Why not play multiple players. Coach is on the verge of being the next Wizard. He’s at a fork in the road. Will he go right and play it safe? Play the tried and true way of playing the game? or will he go left and step outside the box and go against the folk lore?

    Actually playing to his team strength.

    No coach play the Inglorious Bastards. And history wont have your name written in it, but you sir will write the history.

  • I think Diallo and Bragg will play some. It will depend on matchups and he will have a short leash I am sure because of our experience in the other 3 guys.

  • Interesting you bring this up tonight. My view has been pretty trusting in the coach, he must know what he is doing, that sort of thing. But sure, I’ve wondered why Cliff last year, and Cheick especially this year aren’t playing more.

    Which brings up an article I saw at CBS sports. The guy ranks the college players in terms of draftability. There are way more players he rates than will get drafted. 15o in all. No Frank Mason. No Devonte Graham. No Carlton Bragg. But a whole slew of guys who might fit your heading, the most talented, but not the best players. Now most of them I don’t know, and don’t give a hoot about, but…

    FRANK MASON IS NOT ONE OF THE TOP 150 PLAYERS IN THE COUNTRY? Are you kidding me? Svi’s name is on the list, and there’s not one person in all of college basketball who would say Svi is a better player than Frank. There’s role players from LSU who I’ve seen in person on the list who I wouldn’t give a dime to see play over Frank.

    Here’s the link to the rankings of players if you’re interested.

  • @DoubleDD

    Great take. Not sure which way he will go, but he has always had a huge pair in being willing to go all in on what he decides.

    This is what makes being a fan of KU under Self so thrilling. Every season his creativity takes us into innovations and places we haven’t been, and there is great drama in how he resolves it!

    Rock Chalk!

  • @wissoxfan83 said:


    It’s an outrage. He may well become the next Steve Nash in the NBA, when he can play full speed.

    There is not only an apparent recruiting embargo, there is apparent systematic under recognition of KU players!

    Win the ring and tell the whole petroshoeco-agency complex and their presstitutes to go lubricate themselves!!!

  • @DoubleDD No I dont think we can win #12 with only Traylor and Lucas. Zero chance that happens. If Coach wants a nightly double double out of his bigs, he absolutely HAS to play Bragg and Diallo too. He HAS to. C5 is here to stay. Its silly of Self to entertain thoughts of benching Diallo and Bragg with zero playing time in many of our big 12 games. Its shooting this team in the foot. Its risking losing the conference and getting bounced waaaaay too early in the NCAAs.
    This is a no brainer to me and I am just a fan. Coach Self absolutely has to realize this. I think he is hinting at not playing Diallo and Bragg to keep all the other coaches off guard. At least I hope thats what he is doing.

  • @wissoxfan83

    This has to be the worst draft projection I have seen in a while. He has Selden at #70, Really? I would think that right now Selden is a solid 1st round pick and working his way to lottery; most of the other projection are equally as bad.

  • Am I not hearing the name Mickelson on this thread? This team can go a long way with the experienced C3. If healthy, further than last season. Bill Self is going to work Bragg and Diallo into the lineup when it is prudent and productive to do so. Too much is at stake for him to shut the door on such potential difference makers. Not merely an NCAA Tournament run, but future recruiting of top level talent. From what I have read and seen, he likes those two kids and yearns for them to develop quickly, respond to his coaching. That said, I am just as dead certain that he will not jeopardize a conference win by leaving them on the floor for too many crucial errors. A 12th league title equates with Division 1 Hoops History, not just for Bill Self but for Kansas Basketball, KU Athletics. I readily admit that I am more than somewhat myopic in my craving for league rings. This season’s Big 12 title looks more than customarily up for grabs. For Kansas, the championship looms HUGE.

  • Banned

    Just pleading my case for the Inglorious Bastards

    Coach and fans read:

    Irvine coach Russell Turner said most nights his team, which features Ndiaye as well as 7-foot-2 Ioannis Dimakopoulos and 6-10 Mike Best, has a clear size advantage against its opponents. And while that proved to be true again against Kansas, the Jayhawks had a way to level the playing field.

    “Kansas has more big guys that they can throw at our big guys and that wore us down,” Turner said. “Good strategy for a team that has the kind of depth that Kansas does. Not many have that.”

    Some times paying attention to what an opposing coach’s has to say is worth it’s weight in gold.

    Coach don’t change a damn thing and play the Inglorious Bastards.

  • I don’t agree with our coach that he should begin to tighten the rotation down. We’ve gotten where we are with the long bench and there is no reason to disrupt that if we are winning games.

    Anybody believe we are going to lose games because of playing everyone?

    This team goes as its back-court goes.

    Mason, Graham, Selden, Svi, Greene. Ellis is the rock in the post. It all starts and ends with that core.

    No one in the C-5 has separated themselves. Everyone saw the defensive blunders by our freshman in the 1st half of the Irvine game. Bragg responded in the 2nd half with a nice defensive rotation, Diallo didn’t have a good defensive 1st half. Those are the things that unfortunately will keep him on the bench. He also has to learn how to play with-in the offense. The quick shots even if they go in, are probably not what Self wants to see. He wants to see Diallo playing in the team-game. And sometimes Diallo looks like he’s trying to do too much for himself, to impress his coach or himself whatever it is he’s shown he’s the most “selfish” player when he gets the ball. It’s a big adjustment for him from going from the High School All-Star to just a piece of the pie here at KU.

    Anyways, I don’t think after these 12 games you can make a pecking order and stick with it. The C-5 all has different skills that can be used in any given game.

  • @DoubleDD I hope there is a way to work in all three freshmen more, but I have to say I was damned proud of the way Mick and LL played against the Cal Redwoods. I wasn’t for the C-5 at first, but game after game, I have to admit it’s growing on me. The results have been really astonishing. I still think having two point guards in the game, driving…dishing etc has had a much bigger impact on the team than whoever is manning the 5.

  • It’s one thing to have different goals, and another to share the same goal but differ on the best way to achieve it.

    Sometimes I read that the only worthy goal is the NCAA Championship - Conference titles are “been there, done that.” The NCAAs are “macro”, everything else is “micro”.

    Sometimes it is implied that even the NCAAs are “micro” - the “macro” is getting high-level recruits in following years.

    Most, but not all, who argue for more playing time for Diallo and Bragg base their arguments on the “macro” goals.

    Can’t we all agree that those are not Self’s priorities?

    Sure Self wants to win the NCAAs, but in the meantime he cares about conference titles. Who can deny that?

    I think it would be more fair to analyze Self’s actions in the light of his priorities, not ours. Differing on what goals matter is a valid but different discussion.

  • Let’s not forget what goes on in practice. The young guys, because of their talent, could begin to outplay Lucas, Mick, or Traylor and force Self to play them…which will then, potentially, give them a chance to show what they can do in the games. Of course, based on Self’s history, their margin for error will be less than the more experienced guys. I have often wondered why Self puts one guy in right away in one game and another in the next game. Practice performance plays a big part. I hold out hope for the young guys.

  • @DoubleDD Nice post … “actually playing to his team strength.” I am working really hard to open my mind to the idea that playing 6 bigs in the rotation, playing guys (Lucas/Traylor) who have significant negative history over time, and limiting the PT of NBA level talent who need experience to develop, is actually a good thing. Really …. trying …. hard. Still, this alleged “strength”, I fear, is really a weakness.

    Did anyone see Diamond Stone drop 39 points last night? A guy who had been criticized for his “motor.” I watched him play vs. Georgetown earlier this season, and he didn’t look that great. Turgeon left him in. He let two guys score over/around him. The commentator said he was out of position on a play. and he missed a couple easy shots. But Turg let him get some time (and no, for the reactionary crew, I don’t want Turg as our coach).

    @ParisHawk Where have you heard that the NCAAs are Macro? Who would say such a thing? And “been there done that”? What idiot would say that? I can’t think of one.

    Anyway, I like this perspective you have brought here. It’s a line of thinking that rarely is discussed. The possibility that the NC really isn’t Self’s singular, ultimate goal.

    If the National Championship is not Bill Self’s ultimate goal, seriously, I don’t want him as our coach. But I don’t believe that for one minute. I just think he differs on the best path to that ultimate goal.

    And, look, it’s a very reasonable argument, one I (and others) have mentioned before. Win games now, win the conference, get the number 1 seed and an easier path to the Final Four. Viewing this as a journey with steps along the way. We just don’t have a very good history in that path under Self. One final four as a #1 seed. There’s just evidence that high talent wins, as well. And there’s evidence that low talent doesn’t win. I think our higher talented players can get us all we want this season - wins, conference title, #1 seed, and most importantly, the best chance to win the national title. It is a wonderful debate.

    And you bring up a good point – if getting high-level recruits in following years is the “macro” (which I agree with, but that it would simply follow with my view on macro) – isn’t Self causing his recruiting efforts (your macro) significant harm by his handling of Bragg and Diallo (following Cliff)?

    I would argue that your macro and my macro coalesce quite nicely.

    @BeddieKU23 Can’t you at least whittle down the playing time for some based on what you know now? What you’ve seen so far?

    @REHawk - And Mickelson. No doubt. The internal upgrade to our rotation. On Bragg, do you fear Bragg errors? I think the guy is on the verge of a 15-18 point game if he can just get some big minutes under his belt. I see the point on Diallo errors, but not Bragg. So you suffer from myopia, huh? It is a curable condition. Thankfully.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    After Tuesday’s game I don’t know. I’ve tussled back and forth over who should play and what minutes should be given to some a million times and it seems each game is proving harder and harder to distinguish the best rotation, for the immediate future and for March.

    Was Tuesday just an outlier, playing such an unique team with the size they had. And the sets they ran which included a lot of high picks to draw the defenders out of the lane. Were the defensive struggles for our young bigs in the 1st half from inexperience or not following the scouting report. Was Landon’s surprisingly good game just one of those days, I mean he made a shot over someone close range and had 2-3 dunks, more than he’s had all year. What do we take from that?

    I think that Hunter has clearly earned his spot starting and I couldn’t be happier for him. Nothing he is doing is flashy but he’s brought stability and effort when he’s out there.

    His chemistry with our guards is better than Diallo’s and Bragg’s.

    I think that’s probably a big sign for Self when looking at the whole picture. I made the comment about Diallo being selfish with the ball because he has been. I’ve loved how aggressive Diallo has been when given the chance but I think Self wants him to worry about his defense and court awareness more than jacking up jump shots and regardless of whether they go in or not its not Self Ball. Right now I can see why Diallo is sitting and the only cure for that is the opposite. This kid needs considerable playing time, not the sporadic 10-12 minutes a game. He will not be able to impact the game the way we want a Top 10 HS kid to do if he’s going to be taken out of the game after every mistake.

    Diamond Stone has been playing 20+ minutes a game since the season started. A game like he had last night was 13 games in the works. Bragg or Diallo could have a similar game if they had been getting consistent minutes from the beginning as well but that’s not the case here.

    Right now I’d just stick with rotating everyone, keeping everybody fresh and demanding maximum effort from the guys when their number is called. We will wear teams out if we continue to use the C-5 how its been used so far. It’s potentially a negative to cut minutes, maybe the net positive is everyone getting the 3-4 minutes. You adjust if someone is having a good game like Traylor did against SDSU or Lucas did against Irvine and so on…

  • Good string and good thoughts about how to develop the best team to peak at the right time, end of season. Here are a few thoughts to add to the debate:

    • of course the most important part of the season is the tourney in March and of course the ultimate goal is a NC and of course the fans, the coaches and the players all agree on this

    • however, the NC is not the only thing that matters - sorry - and this type of thinking is modern media hype where everything is about March Madness (back to the shoe conspiracy theory?)

    • KU fans should always be happy and grateful that we win lots of games, especially at home and many conference titles - that string of 11 in a row is rarefied air in any sport at any time so please do not belittle it and make light of the accomplishment which is absolutely remarkable

    • we have slightly underachieved in March and one reason might be because we have not developed the freshman fast enough with more playing time even if they are not the best option night in and night out…maybe but maybe not

    • the last two years would have been VERY different if Jo-Jo and Cliff had played in March, and we would have made it deeper into the tourney (although WSU had a very good team too)

    • now, back to the debate about who plays and how to develop talent: the best TEAM should be playing, not the best players and certainly not the best POTENTIAL players - this is not the NBA training league and the gamble to lose a few close games early on in order to get the freshman minutes which will ultimately pay off in March is a weak argument, at best

    • the Keagan article built on the Self post-game, is not a reflection of the influence of these board rats on this site, as if it were responding to us (come on, guys, get a grip!) but it is a legitimate open debate on the best way to build the best team, which many KU fans are asking

    • I was at the game on Tuesday (lucky to get court side seats) - the first one of the year for me - and was amazed once again at the knowledgeable KU fans who were all posing the same questions in some form or another - how and when do the freshmen post players get going

    • Bottom Line from our Discussions: KU has a great team this year, but not great individual talent (no Wigs, no Jo-Jo…), therefore we need very strong chemistry and team play on both ends of the floor to be at our best, and the team play is far more important than the individual play, especially this year

    • the freshman post players (Carlton and Cheick) are very inconsistent and often out of position and overall a net neutral on the court whereas the upperclassmen (Landon, Hunter and Jamari) are not as talented individually but make the TEAM so much better on a consistent basis ; the move to start Hunter has helped, and the composite 5 is a good strategy

    • playing time will develop the young guys but that first year is very tough to “get it” and unless you are a lottery pick you are not going to make a major contribution to KU or any elite team as a freshman, and sacrificing the team (and wins) to get you there is a poor, low percentage gambit, in my opinion, the freshmen are a long ways from being difference makers on a consistent basis (maybe here and there in spots, with certain match-ups on some nights…)

    • none of our guys are pure NBA talent: they are mostly tweeners who will have a very rough time getting drafted and even making a NBA team (except Perry and maybe Wayne), and yes, undoubtedly the freshman post players have the highest ceiling of anyone on this year’s team but they is still a year or two away

    • our guys are all great college players and our guard play is exceptional - Devonte, Frank and Wayne with BG and Svi off the bench are the best five in the country and Coach Self is using them well (more open offense, more dribble-drive to shoot and kick out, more threes early in the clock, more individual play-making, more pressure D, more rebounding from the guards…)

    • Perry is by far our best option night in and night out, and when he turned it on in the second half (after a pep talk at half time), we were an entirely different team the second half

    • we are playing a freer hi-lo than in the past, more trust in the play-makers, our offensive performance has been really good and consistent, we are running more and playing more aggressively on O which is a wonderful use of this year’s talent, and our D is picking up

    • our rebounding is improving on both ends - we need more from Wayne and BG in this area

    • this is a good passing team - very good ball movement and our big guys are starting to pass better with each game - Play of the Game: Wayne’s forward pass in the air to Devonte to Hunter for the “and one” had the Field House rocking!

    • after Sat and Mon we will have a better idea of how good we really are, but I am predicting another Big 12 title (this is a GOOD thing, guys) and a deep run in the tourney (Final Four is indeed the goal for us to have a GREAT season)

    • Rock Chalk!

  • @BeddieKU23 Actually, Stone was getting less than 20 minutes a game through the first half of the season (although double digit minutes in every game) and, having watched a few of the games, he clearly looked a bit lost - just like a freshman. Only scored in double figures a couple of those games and was often out of position for rebounds (low totals). But, this is the key and I think make yours and @HighEliteMajor points - he was getting real minutes, Turgeon let him play through his mistakes, and he now looks a lot more comfortable - even dominant. Double figures in each of his last 6 games, capped by the 39pt, 12rb performance yesterday. Guys aren’t going to learn and gain experience riding the bench.

  • @jayhawk-007 PHOF!

  • @DCHawker

    Your right he’s averaging around 20 minutes, his last 7 games is averaging almost 24 minutes a game so he’s starting to see more time as he’s getting more comfortable and more valuable to his team. It makes a big difference, Stone has been on the court for more than 1 full game (40+ minutes) than Diallo and Bragg have played combined.

    Diallo and Bragg don’t have that chance unless they completely morph their games up a few notches. They are not going to play through mistakes unless they don’t make them. They either play perfect when they are called upon or they sit. Whether I agree with that method is debatable.

  • @jayhawk-007 Great post … I’ll focus on the item I take a little issue with. Curious, what evidence to you have that the upperclassmen, I’ll focus on Lucas and Traylor, make us better as a team than Bragg and Diallo (I can’t argue about Mick)? We’ve had a number of examples … recall the amount we stretched our lead in a game with Bragg and Diallo both on the floor vs. Harvard. We were up 13-10, and then less than four minutes later we’re up by 14, 30-16? And how did that game move after that point in time, with Lucas in the game? How about when Bragg played significantly vs. Oregon State and other games? How has he held us back?

    I just think that this is a convenient myth – that we play better as a team without the freshmen. Bragg, in particular, has had very good stretches this season. Does anyone not see the talent there just waiting to burst through?

    We can be supportive of coach Self, of course, but then we also need to venture outside of our KU world and see how other players are handled. If an objective review is desired.

    I would add, as if I haven’t before:

    THE NC IS ALL THAT MATTERS. It’s why you play the game. It rights every wrong.

    I’m curious, why is it that those NC banners are all hung in prominence in AFH, and the end of the arena – big, big banners? And why is that conference titles are piled all on to one or two banners? Why do students flood Mass. for NCs and not conference titles? When was the last conference title parade?

    And no one cares that we didn’t win the conference in 1988, correct? Did we win the conference in 1952? And in 2011, do we reflect and say, that’s ok, we won the conference?

    If you could have one and only one thing this season, what would it be? Right, I thought so.

    That’s my NC rant for the day. @jayhawk-007, thanks for being the inspiration.

  • @DoubleDD

    “Do you think KU can win the Big 12 Conference championship with Traylor and Lucas manning the paint?”

    Definitely. What premiere big in our league will beat them? There are no elite 5s in our league.

    I am every bit as hopeful as everyone else in here that Cheick and Carlton will improve enough to earn more minutes. But what will make the winning difference for us this year won’t be post play or guard play… it will be “team play.” And the consistency we bring will come mostly from veteran players. WUG wasn’t just about getting out guys more court time. It was largely about bonding our guys, and I think it was very successful! I put a huge value on our “team” mentality. I think we have an edge over foes like OU because of the bond we have.

    Us fans have been conditioned into “OAD consciousness.” We are focusing too much on potential because we see teams like Duke win it all with freshmen. How many McDs AAs were on their winning team? That is just a sign, then look at REAL potential/talent. Cliff and Jahlil were considered by many to be right at the top together after HS. Seriously? Even if Cliff had no personal issues, he was a million miles away from being the talent of Okafor. Duke wouldn’t have won it with Cliff instead of Jahlil. If we want to maintain an “OAD consciousness” then we better have Nike dump trucks backed up to AFH with 8 or 9 of the REAL top players every year.

    Think back to Self’s tenure at Kansas. Which teams did he take to the FF? Veteran teams or OAD teams? 2012… we didn’t have a single OAD… nor in 2008.

    I don’t want us to become another “Wiggins’ team.” That team was not a close bond of guys. Signing Wiggins was huge, because he will be a great representative for future Kansas basketball… but we paid a price for that. There were different rules for Andrew. No way to develop “team chemistry” when there are different sets of rules applied to different players. All our veteran post players now had to earn their minutes. Hunter, Landen and Jamari… none are elite post players. But we won’t win anything this year without them. These guys not only offer experience ini real game situations, but these are the guys that are developing Cheick and Carlton. These are the guys they face in every practice. If we disrespect them by having other rules for Cheick and Carlton, benching them based strictly on “potential” we will harm our team

    If we want to lodge complaints we shouldn’t be lodging them at Self. Not this time. We should push on our freshmen to up their games enough to separate themselves from the crowd. I’m sure Self wants to win. These guys need to show execution, not potential.

    I’m just as guilty of using my “OAD brain” as anyone else. I see a big time move by Cheick or Carlton and I want to see more. But examine their total minutes played. Someone should post their net contribution numbers on minutes played. We should do that on all our post players to get one more tool to examine who should be getting minutes.

    Our big runs in the UCI game came with veteran players on the floor.

  • Let me play “devil’s advocate” for a second.

    We’ve only lost one game this year, to the #1 team in the country on a nail-biter.

    Self decides to just play for potential. Cheick and Carlton both start and we move Perry to the 3. Then we start losing games… but hey… it is the price we pay to be good in March, right?

    Then, we lose the B12 crown and we make it to the Elite 8 in March.

    How many people will be in Self’s corner then? (that he did the right thing)

    I’ll tell you now… almost no one. Fans will support high-risk moves from coaches, but when those moves don’t work out, those fans go silent and they sit back and watch the coach get barbecued.

    Self didn’t just arrive in Lawrence on a gypsy wagon. He knows fans are going to criticize him regardless of what he does. He knows what his job is. He is going to gamble some… but he knows how valuable “team concept” is. Surely he learned a lot from having Wiggins.

  • Banned


    I would think for the most part you’re spot on. Now I’m not going to start bashing on players. I just believe KU is better when coach plays the C5. I just do. I know it goes against all logic, and any real basketball fan well tell you can’t run that many bigs. Yet I say why not? Why not think outside the box?

    See I think you misunderstand me? I’m not talking about sending Traylor and Lucas to the bench. Why would I? They may not be superstars but they trained like ones, they have practiced against ones, and they played against ones. Their seasoned leadership will be needed this year. No sir I’m talking about playing the Inglorious Bastards. KU has to many reasons not to. It keeps Diallo and Bragg in that growing mode, and rewards Lucas and Traylor for the loyalty to KU.

    Play the Inglorious Bastards and come tournament time KU will be one of the scarcest teams ever going into the tournament. They well have BATTLED TESTED DEPTH. Meaning they’ll be rested, and for once in so long they will be healthy.

    PS Just for the record I disagree that KU can and will win the Big 12 conference with Lucas and Traylor carrying the bulk of paint minutes. Coach tried that at the end of last year. Remember ??? That when KU starting playing Bad Ball.

    Anyway I digress my vote is for playing them all.

  • @HighEliteMajor said:

    @ParisHawk Where have you heard that the NCAAs are Macro? Who would say such a thing? And “been there done that”? What idiot would say that? I can’t think of one.

    I thought you said the NCAAs are “Macro”, meaning an overarching goal. Did you mistype there?

    I used “been there done that” to express the attitude of those who think we’ve had plenty of Conference titles and don’t care that much if we get more.

    Anyway, I like this perspective you have brought here. It’s a line of thinking that rarely is discussed. The possibility that the NC really isn’t Self’s singular, ultimate goal.

    I think the NCAA Championship is Self’s “ultimate” goal but not his singular one. You really see the regular season as a way to prepare the team for March (and get a high seed) - that’s it. Self values the regular season for itself, not just as a means to an end.

    I never said what my personal view is: I value the regular season and the Conference title streak, not just the NCAA tournament.

  • @BeddieKU23 said:

    They are not going to play through mistakes unless they don’t make them.

    Love that sentence!

  • @HighEliteMajor Let’s ask Bragg & Diallo what their opinion is. I have yet to hear what they have to say about this situation. To me, that is very important!

  • @ParisHawk On the first set of quotes … I was kidding around. You missed my attempt at sarcasm. Yes, I have said both items. Your antenna ain’t up that high today, apparently!

    @curmudgeonjhwk Interesting … what member of the media would ask, and what are the chances we can bank on the reliability of the response? They better say, “I just want to work hard and earn my minutes. The main thing here is team success. I just want to do my part, whatever the coach says” …. or something like that.

  • @drgnslayr Speaking of Perry at the 3. We havent seen that in a couple games at least, right? It seems so. I wonder if that was just an experiment from Coach to see how C5 would pan out and to see if Perry could play down a spot. I wonder if Coach will break that out again in big 12 play?

    I was also thinking earlier, comparing KU’s backcourt in 09 to this years team. Specifically Sherron to Frank and Selden.

    Sherron, that was his team for 2 years after 08. He was the toughest baddest guy on the team, full of swagger and confidence. I see that same mentality in Frank and Selden but Im not certain if either one of them is greater than Sherron in that aspect. I do however, think that both Frank and Wayne together can bring that toughness and lockdown mentality.

  • I had assumed that Bragg playing the limited time he did in all the WUG games and how well he did there that it would translate into PT for the early games. He earned Coach’s praise early on but his leash has been short.

  • @DoubleDD

    Okay… thanks for clarifying your position.

    I see your point. I think this gets into that one area where many of us (including myself) have questioned Self in the past for letting his bench rot by reducing the minutes to just a few.

    I’m thinking outside the box with you on this.

    First… what will be most-important as we move forward is match-ups. By keeping our Inglorious Bastards intact we have many options for match-ups with our opposition. Just look at the game with UCI. Hunter and Landen were are best options on the 7’6" guy. Hunter is currently our best shot blocker (when also including fundamentals, when comparing to Cheick). And Landen has the best fundamentals in the low post. Those guys did a reasonable job against what has to be one of the toughest assignments in college basketball.

    Against other opponents, we may be better off with Jamari and giving more minutes to Carlton and Cheick.

    I know Self thinks a lot about team chemistry and guys playing well together. He likes to reduce the rotation so guys get a chance to mesh together. There is a lot to that. When thinking of keeping the Inglorious Bastards together as a group, that is where the challenge comes in. Can all of these guys keep the chemistry at a high level? Currently, Cheick can not. He is behind. But I, like everyone else, think he will start to figure it out soon. He is a real hustler, and guys like that tend to work hard to fix areas of their game. He is already starting to show some offensive signs.

    We need to get out of the blocks fast in B12 play. Ultimately, I’d like to see us at 7-0 going into Ames to face ISU. So we need to be careful how we sub in at the 5 during that stretch. I suspect Self will go pretty conservative during this stretch, but it is anyone’s guess. And he will be reactive to how our 5s will be responding.

  • Key factors to the composite five position this season:

    • Motivation: this group are positive winners on and off the court, no worries about egos

    • Health: playing all five along side Perry (who will stay at the four this season) keeps fresh legs

    • Knowledge: BB IQ is required in some situations (against a zone, for example)

    • Play-Making: we will need one or two of them to step up with a 12-8 game from time to time, but the composite five is a solid double-double every night

    • 😨 against some teams, certain abilities will be required (height, speed, switching…)

    • O: outside shooting will be required in some games, no back-to-basket options available

    • Athleticism: running the floor, getting the loose balls, raw playground ability

    • Chemistry: need to blend in well on both sides of the ball, no weak links

    • Perry Factor: who helps our best player to be at his personal best in each game

    • Other: ???

  • @jayhawk-007

    Thanks for your post. It is quite simply the best overall post i have read here possibly all year. I agree with you completely on all points you made- you have a rational and clear view of the realities of our team, and the big perspective.m

    Our team is playing well, with chemistry and purpose. We are winning games with many players contributing. We have a fun, if not nerve -wracking few months ahead- i cant wait.

    (And if we dont win the national championship, i am DONE with KU ball for life- Self should be fired immediately for his obviously errant recruiting and mis-use of talent (just read this site Bill and perhaps you may learn!!!) and not understanding the big picture… we should drive 10 dump trucks filled with money up to calipari’s house, sign him on as head coach, and dump our adidas sponsorship so that we can be on track to win a NC because it is the ONLY i repeat the ONLY thing that matters for a program like KU. PERIOD.)

    Happy new year !

  • @BeddieKU23 I watched that game, and in all fairness, that weak zone of Penn St should get lots of credit for Stone’s outburst.

  • @jayhawk-007 That’s as good as stuff as I’ve read all year. Just a great post…

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