Chemistry versus Talent

  • This has seemed to become a major topic on this board.

    Play the most talented guys or play within the team aspect of the game have have great chemistry on the court?

    There have been many many times Kansas has lost games to inferior talented teams, be it the regular season or in the tournament. In the tournament, one of the reasons, that teams like VCU, UNI, WSU have beaten Kansas besides “their super bowl” is they had better chemistry.

    It wasn’t about their players trying to increase their draft stock or drop in the draft rankings. They played as teams and they all had great chemistry.

    Talent, Kansas has also lost to much greater talented teams as well. Kentucky, for instance. Anthony Davis was heads and shoulders above anyone KU had on the floor that night.

    It’s not just Kansas this happens too. Kentucky lost last year to Wisconsin. I’ll ask, which team had better team chemistry and which team had better talent?

    When you combine the two, it becomes deadly. Kansas in '08. Duke in 1991.

    Don’t think for a moment that Diallo and Bragg shouldn’t get PT, But they must earn the trust of their teammates not only in game times, but in practice. BG is in that moment at times too, at the end of the first half the other night he made a bad pass and the ball went OB. On the in bounds play he was open, but Frank looked him off for a second, then only had LL to go to and well that wasn’t pretty. It’s trust. It’s chemistry.

    Hard work pays off in sports, coaches see it and reward it. Unless they don’t have depth, then they go with what they got.

  • @JRyman - Good reference to '08 team. I remember almost everybody on the court always contributed - no matter who. Jackson got oops, Sasha stuffing on everyone. I think it also depends on the leader on the court - you mentioned Frank already - and court vision of each player. Perry tends to kick the ball back to the top of the key instead of passing it to his open peer just a few feets away inside left alone because his defender double team Perry. '08 team would’ve made a swish and a dunk easily. Chemistry definitely will beat talents in the end.

  • @JRyman

    Good post!

    This is why I argue that we are not the same team we were last year.

    All our veteran players are a year older. They have bonded much better than last year, too.

    I’m not always going to pick experience over talent. I wouldn’t stick Anthony Davis on the bench, because even an unpolished Davis was better than the alternatives. Cheick is just too rough and doesn’t have what it takes yet to win more minutes. But he will soon enough. He hasn’t put up enough stats to pose the same argument that was here last year when Cliff wasn’t getting minutes when he probably should have.

    Now B12 starts… If I was a gambling man I would bet that Cheick starts receiving more minutes sometime around our home game with TCU. I’m just guessing that to be around the time the “light bulb” goes off with Cheick. The first thing he has to learn is how to guard without hacking. Carlton has a ways to go on his defense, too. Improving his D is his road to more minutes. Cheick needs everything… offensive moves, personal defensive knowledge, knowing our offense and defense from a team perspective (plays and chemistry). The NCAA really did hold him back and hurt him substantially.

  • Chemistry is always a great discussion.

    Help me here though … why is it most talented vs. most chemistry?

    The two are not mutually exclusive. It just seems like we are all now we’re searching for answers as to why Self isn’t playing the freshmen. It’s hard to reconcile unless you really like Jamari Traylor, or you really think Bill Self doing things differently than other coaches do in handling top talent makes sense.

    Don’t get me wrong. I’m a big believer in chemistry. I just think that more playing time helps develop chemistry. Chemistry doesn’t just happen. Development includes the player, and teammates, working together.

    When you cite the teams above that have knocked us off, I’m curious, why did we lose each one of those games? Add in Stanford. I don’t think it’s anything miraculous with any of the teams you named, or Stanford. We play our game. We play roughly to our talent level, and we win.

    Could it have anything to do with our personnel decisions, game planning and failing to make adjustments on our end?

    And back to chemistry … what has Bragg done on the court that even hints at there being a chemistry gap?

  • It has to be a combination of the two. With recent Kentucky teams, they were absolutely the most talented teams, but the Harrison twins were chemistry killers for them. Wisconsin had great chemistry, but they had a lot of talent as well with Kaminsky and Dekker. Frank Kaminsky was NPOY last year so they weren’t hurting for talent. That 2012 Kentucky team had great chemistry as well so they didn’t do it on talent alone. 2008 KU set a record at the time with 6 players drafted off that team.

    This year’s KU team has a lot of chemistry with one another, as do OU and ISU, none of the three have the elite level talent that Kentucky or Duke have. Kentucky and Duke have “A” level talent, I would consider KU, OU, and ISU to have “B” level talent. Kentucky and Duke also have average at best team chemistry at this point while the 3 Big 12 teams have all been together for multiple seasons now and that chemistry balances out the talent deficit the Big 12 teams have in regards to Kentucky and Duke.

    Chemistry is absolutely import and can mask talent deficiencies, but only to a certain extent. We’re not going to see some Southland Conference team with inferior talent play together for 4 years and ve a national title contender. SFA for example is a Southland team that’s been good for awhile bow abd they’re chemistry is a big part of that. You stick them in a major conference as is and they’re middle of the pack at best.

    The extreme would be the Kentucky team that lost in the 1st round of the NIT. That team was ridiculously talented, even after Noel got injured, but their team chemistry was absolutely non existent that year.

    If you force me to pick one over the other, I will take chemistry all day every day because chemistry masks a lack talent better than talent masks a lack of chemistry. At the end of the day, you have to have a combination of the two to be able to win a title.

  • @HighEliteMajor Chemistry is also built on trust. You ssid chemistry doesn’t just happen. So there has to be a sense of trust built in practice to carry over to the real game itself.

    I brought it up in another thread that even Cal tried to throw Skal out there and now he’s benched. I mean Cal benching heralded freshman is almost unheard of. But why did he bench him if he is such a great talent? I haven’t watched any KY ball so I can’t say it was chemistry or not but I do know he wasn’t getting it done.

    I think that Diallo and Skal both succeeded in HS due to their size and speed. The college game is faster than they are and guys are bigger than who they played against. Anthony Davis struggled his rookie year in the NBA u ntil he got to the weight room and matured physically.

    As to why only these two? Cause why not make it a choice and a discussion point?

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