If you were KU MBB coach...

  • After reading some good insightful posts from members here, I finally decided to join the forum. Here goes my first post: Like some of you, I am dying to see KU play in FF and gets another shot to win it all this year. I agree with some posts here, that we’re not going to go deeper if we count on last year’s team members. I was so thrilled when we signed Diallo & Bragg. They are so talented. But they haven’t really wowed us in their limited minutes this far. Coach thinks they are not ‘ready’. He proved his point vs UC-I. If we see other talented freshmen in the same pool as ours, most of them are starters from the beginning already. I understand coach Self has his own way and agenda with top recruits vs seniors. Now, I’m curious if you were KU MBB head coach, what would you do to help develop these talented players so they get the minutes they’ve been itching for? What kind of plays would you design to expose their strengths and abilities so the team gets the most out of them? vs Zone? vs Man-to-Man? Thanks!

  • @pa_grape


    I have been impressed with both guys shooting and scoring skills. Diallo particularly has a nice b2b baseline turnaround j. I would feed him low block more but he hasn’t yet mastered getting and holding that spot. Brag gets the spot but struggles holding it. But offense isn’t what limits their minutes.

    For both players: more help defense drills and hypnosis.

    Self Defense funnels guys to the middle for help. This frees KU wings to deny baseline. Apparently lots of bigs learn to play defenses where defenders are taught to funnel baseline. This means young KU BIGS haVe to stop expecting baseline drives and start expecting play being funneled to the middle, where they are already guarding a post.

    I think simple hypnosis to help them break the habit of thinking help baseline first would help.

    Then lots of virtual reality reps on Occulus Rift gaming the choice of when and where to help middle. USing VR software could greatly accelerate the reps of the help choice. Same with the hedge defense choice high. With high VR reps real practice time would be about executing, not breaking bad habits with negative correction.

    The quickest way on the floor is better D.

  • I know a lot of other schools throw their freshman out there and let them play right away and through their growing pains.

    The question is is it out of recruiting the next high level freshman or is it out of necessity?

    Do they not have three other upper classmen that play the same position?

    Do they have to play them due to graduation or injury? Or are they seeing what their young guys can do?

    Would Skal be playing at Kansas this year if he were here and not Diallo? Would Disllo be playing at Kentucky if he was there?

    I mean Calipari tried to play Skal and had to bench him. The coach who believes every freshman should play it seems.

    So I will ask this as well. Who as a coach is better at player development historically. Self or Cslipari?

  • @pa_grape Good to have you join the crew.

    Interestingly, I am incredibly content with our offense this season. I have always been a big fan of the high low, just never a big fan of the emphasis and over-emphasis at times (even with skilled back to the basket scorers) on the post feed. This season seems nearly flawless from my perspective.

    Self has added in a couple double screen, “go through the door”, plays that we’ve seen.

    For the young guys, it would be nice to run a few plays directly for them to get them in the flow. That’s something I haven’t seen Self do recently. Perhaps a back screen for Diallo, or for a pick and pop for Bragg. Get them in the flow.

    You ask, what to do to develop them? Personally, I think the only way either of these guys makes the climb to toward their respective ceilings is to get quality game experience. You have identified it correctly … nearly all of the comparable recruits are getting big minutes elsewhere from the 2015 class.

    There is a partial reason for that. Those coaches see the value of playing time. It’s really an indisputable element of development.

  • @pa_grape Good first post!

    If I were the coach…

    I would hire KUBucketeers to be my staff. In fact I’d have them monitor KUBuckets during the game to get insights.

    I wouldn’t be driving a Honda with 170,000 miles on it.

    I’d schedule Missouri

    I’d thank Bruce Weber for taking the job at Kstate

    I’d offer to help coach the football team

    I’d recruit 6’11" Nick Rakocevic from Illinois. He’s a baller. Saw him in person last week.

    I’d upgrade to High Def, and maybe get a bigger TV than my 32" screen.

    I’d free the three to the tune of about 30 a game with the understanding of the effective 3 pt. % stat.

    I’d shoot hoops at midnight on the AFHS floor by myself, or a few close friends.

    I’d say screw Adidas’ hideous NCAA tournament unis they break out every year.

    I’d move all of the student seating to the sections closest to the floor. Surround the court with students instead of the donors who are paying my salary. This would create an unbeatable home court advantage.

    I’d recruit Eastern Europe more.

    I’d recruit no more than 1 OAD and focus on the 10-30 ranked kids who are more likely to stick around Lawrence.

    I’d ask Bobby Knight how he won three rings with only 1 player who’s made it big.

    I’d ask Izzo how to get to the final weekend consistently as he has.

    I’d hire Nick and Kirk as soon as they retire.

    I’d sneak into the rules of basketball wing of AFH and adopt NCAA baseball rules for players which makes players three year players at least if they decide to play college ball.

    I wouldn’t be answering this question!!

  • @HighEliteMajor

    But our guys aren’t getting benched like Skal.

    I’m getting a t-shirt made:

    Don’t go to Kentucky!

    Cal will bench your ass!!!

  • @pa_grape

    Welcome aboard! Always great to hear from another Jayhawk perspective!

    Personally… I think our coaching has been spot on this year, and I am one to usually question our coaching.


    “I wouldn’t be driving a Honda with 170,000 miles on it.”

    No reason to sell the Honda. It may go for 300k or so… enjoy the ride!

    “I’d ask Bobby Knight how he won three rings with only 1 player who’s made it big.”

    Knight required the same intensity to the game from his players as he projected on them. Sometimes he may have gone over the top, but you will never read about a player who wanted to play for Knight to experience a “chill” situation.

    Knight understood ALL aspects of the game, from scrappy defense to the nuances involved on offense. I’m sure the first thing he would do at Kansas is teach our guys what a shot fake is. Actually… it seems like some of our guys are FINALLY starting to use fakes.

  • @drgnslayr I know a lot of folks don’t like Bob Knight, but I’ve always thought if I were a coach, I’d be like him. No nonsense, doesn’t treat the players like they were little sissy-girl ballerinas, no surprises. You knew where he was coming from.

  • @nuleafjhawk @drgnslayr I had a funny experience a few years ago. I was new to South Louisiana and the Bulls were coming to town, so I asked my students if they new if it was easy to get tickets to Hornets games. One of them said his uncle is one of their coaches. I asked rather incredulously who it was, and he said Keith Smart. I was amazed that this inner city kid was Keith Smarts nephew. I asked him if he ever talked to his uncle about the shot in 1987 and the kid had no clue! He didn’t know his uncle had made one of the NCAA’s most famous shots!

  • @wissoxfan83 I don’t know what you teach in a classroom environment, but hopefully that day you were teaching “NCAA’s most famous shots!” and filled him in!

  • @curmudgeonjhwk Geography teacher, so it made sense, plus it happened in New Orleans!

  • @wissoxfan83 Geography…a subject I truly love. We’ll have to chat sometime about why there are so many “borders” & so few “State Lines”…one of my pet peeves left over from Geography class as a 3rd grader.

  • @jaybate-1.0 said:

    The quickest way on the floor is better D.

    I’ll admit I ain’t the brightest light on the tree when it comes to bb knowledge, but I love the game from a simple fan standpoint. At least the high school and college level versions. But the last sentence in @jaybate-1.0 's post is the key. HCBS loves his D. And if you can’t play D when you have your moment on the hardwood, it will be a short moment. BG is the perfect example. He can change the game in a blink of an eye with his 3, but if he can’t stick with his man who then retaliates with a 3, what’s been accomplished? He got lost several times against UCI on D.

    @pa_grape Welcome aboard. Hope you show up and chat with us during the games. A few of us even chat during Royals games in the General Discussion arena if you’re so inclined.

  • @brooksmd And one of us will show up and talk about White Sox games too! It’s ok, I talk to myself a lot!

  • @wissoxfan83 We’ll support you with your Wisconsin thing, but you’re pushing it with the ChiSox. Besides I think the northsiders are in the running to be the team to beat next year. They are loading up all barrels.

  • Banned


    Welcome aboard. Glad to have ya.

    I couldn’t be the Head Coach at KU. I would get too emotional and ruin the greatest college basketball program ever. It would be like me walking around an art gallery only suddenly to find my head or arm sticking through a Mona Lisa type painting.

    No it’s better that I stand at a distance and just lob my arm chair points of view as if I know what I’m talking about. It’s safer that way.

    🏠 ⬅ :bowtie:

  • @wissoxfan83 I think he had a fair amount of talent. If you want to say Thomas was the only one to make it big…fine. But the 76 team had talent. Buckner and May were good NBA players and Benson was solid. Wilkerson played in the league. I believe Abernathy and Green played briefly. But no question Knight got the most of whatever talent he had.

  • @Hawk8086 True, obviously, I guess I meant that if you look at three championships that he won there, besides Isiah, there’s no household names on any of those teams. He did have NBA players no doubt. I don’t know if anyone has ever won a NCAA championship without NBA talent.

  • @wissoxfan83 True

  • Thanks everyone. @jaybate-1.0 I didn’t realize until you guys mentioned how D is a big factor here. Using VR is a very great idea. I did notice these guys tend to help baseline - but I also did notice other players didn’t do good D allowing baseline move from opponent. Greene, Svi, and Graham, I think.

    @HighEliteMajor mentioned ‘get them in the flow’ by screen & pick n pop - I really like this but I haven’t seen this play drawn for them. These guys sure can fly.

    Season is getting real now. B12 games starts. Things will only get tougher. I really hope our freshmen understands to do whatever it takes to win minutes and shine. Otherwise, it’s a waste of talents in a full season.

  • @pa_grape

    Some of our guys don’t defend the baseline correctly. Over the years, refs just made it a well-accepted practice to not call certain fouls along the baseline. Most defenders know that… so when someone drives the baseline, defenders use their feet to force them out of bounds, pretty much eliminating real baseline offense.

    This has been one of my pet peeves for more than a decade. I’m one of those fans that absolutely LOVED baseline offense. It was a huge part of my own game and I used my physicality to avoid getting pushed (fouled) out of bounds.

    I’ve always wondered if this was a ploy by refs to reduce their work load along the baseline. Baseline offense has largely died out because of refs allowing defensive contact (fouling).

    At least we still use the backdoor alley-oop. But that isn’t what I’m talking about. I’m talking about hard-nosed offense run down the line by players like Charles Barkley and Kelly Tripucka. These guys were tough and couldn’t be stopped on the baseline. Tripucka’s dad was NFL Pro-Bowler, Frank Tripucka, and sometimes Kelly mistook the NBA for the NFL. I remember him wearing a mouth guard at Notre Dame and the announcers were talking about how rough Notre Dame played, when I was snickering… knowing it was because it was Kelly. Back then, guys typically didn’t wear mouth guards.

    It would be great if you could tell us more about yourself. What made you a Kansas fan? Alumni? Experiences?

  • @drgnslayr - I’m an alumnus, KU grad - used to live just a couple blocks of the football field. Used to play a lot of bball at Robinson. Still playing with my church mates. I love this sport and it is my escape from pains. I am coaching kids, too.

  • @pa_grape

    So it won’t be a slip if one of us calls you “coach” sometime!

    I know I am prying here… but can you tell us when you attended KU? It is great when we get alumni members to share stories from their days on campus. Please feel free to share any of those experiences.

  • @DoubleDD but… You are funny!!

  • @curmudgeonjhwk I’d like to hear about that too!

  • @nuleafjhawk my boys would love to play for him.

  • @pa_grape Is PA Pennsylvania? I have lots of family in the Pittsburgh area.

  • @wissoxfan83 are they named Grape? Happy new year!

  • @pa_grape Welcome aboard. I never know what to make of what Bill does, but I’m looking at the bottom line so far, and it looks real good. I would think he would want to play both Diallo and Bragg at every opportunity … every 15 point lead, put 'em in. Maybe it’s simply team chemistry, team pecking order …i really don’t know. Is it he’s wanting to have those two back next year??? If they did both come back, we would be the runaway favorites for the national championship next year.

  • @KUSTEVE I don’t mind to see another year of Diallo & Bragg playing for us! I want to see coach Self - as @HighEliteMajor said - draw plays for them, use their strengths.

  • @brooksmd Self is definitely a D first coach - largely because defense travels and you can usually count on it. But he hasn’t exactly been consistent about who actually plays solid D and who gets playing time. The past two years, Perry has been a poor defender, Jamari, as well. Selden actually gets beat too frequently by faster wings. Each of them has improved on the defensive end, but Self was all too willing to overlook their shortcomings on the defensive end, apparently because he believed they compensated in other areas.

  • @DCHawker, @brooksmd - good point and observation. I agree those guys have improved on the D. I want to see more points scored off of our D. Often times, I see we score pts out of fastbreaks, but other times I see the team struggle finishing at the rim. I hope they’ll improve on that end, too.

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