Alright I'll be the bad guy



  • Look the OU slash KU game was the greatest. One that won’t be forgotten for a long time. Espn is happy, the Big 12 is happy, and college basketball fans in general are happy. Yet should KU fans be happy? Yes we should that was a hard fought game and KU was indeed the hunted in that game and they stood their ground. Yes KU faithful the Big 12 regular season conference championship still runs through KU land. All is good or is it?

    No I’m not worried about OU or any other team. I worried about Coach. The first half Coach was playing the new found style of play. Coach was going to the bench, KU was pushing the pace, shooting the 3 ball and well just playing like they have been. Yet in the later part of the second half Coach decided to tighten the reins. There was no more going to the bench? Coach for his reasons decides to run with Traylor and Lucas. Hey I’m not against playing those kids, they’ve paid their dues.

    Yet I noticed something. When Coach decided to run with Traylor and Lucas the open 3’s disappeared and bad ball appeared. No longer were treys on the menu. I’m not sure but it was at this moment when Coach decided to run with Traylor and Lucas that OU started playing their best defense. All of the sudden the open 3 dried up as Lon had his boys just sit on the trey line, and double teamed Ellis in the paint. Thank God Coach countered with getting Ellis the ball at the top of the key before the double team could come. Allowing Ellis to do some driving.

    It was indeed a great game and I don’t blame Coach for doing what he did. KU won and we fans are indeed quite happy. Yet should we be? Did Lon and OU expose a truth about KU and Coach? When the game is tight will coach give up on the new found offense scheme and go back to Bad Ball?

    I don’t know? I just noticed when Coach went with Traylor and Lucas strictly the trey ball disappeared.



  • @DoubleDD I don’t necessarily think the threes disappeared, but rather we were looking to drive and dish, like Mason driving in the lane and passing to Graham for a tying three in the second OT. The second half and overtimes were basically a half court game, and I was actually excited that they had that sort of success playing a slow grind it out game. That to me is the most positive aspect of the game.



  • @DoubleDD Like I said on another thread, transition and perimeter defense was the reason why we didn’t go up double digits at half.

    Vitale mentioned during the first ten minutes how well we were getting back on defense and forcing OU to play in the half court, but then got very careless about covering shooters in transition.

    Second, since OU is just as good as us from 3, you have to cover their shooters better, even when Hield drives into the lane. Except for one three, all of Woodard’s threes were open jumpers. Hield will get his, but you have to force Cousins and Woodard to make individual plays and play one on one defense with them.

    In my opinion, guarding perimeter shooters and forcing them into a tough guarded shot is the improvement. Not the rotation, not playing Diallo more (though it would be nice if the light bulb goes on this season) and not subbing more. And it’s not like the defense was bad, but when facing an elite shooting team, you can’t just collapse into the paint to stop penetration and hope the open shooter misses. Strong individual defense stops both.

    Fortunately for us, KU and OU are the two best trey balling teams in the country outside of St Marys. The only top 25 teams that I have seen that could pose the same problem like OU are UNC, Maryland somewhat, and Villanova, though Vill is streaky.



  • After this many years, all should realize that Coach is first, last and always a defensive coach. Greene was good against Baylor, not so much Svi. He and Svi both hit a three but we’re clearly playing Matador defense. Hunter is the better offensive player but was getting Pushed around inside and had the ball taken away from him twice on rebound attempts. As pretty as this game was, it was still a muscle game. Hence defense and muscle = JT and Lucas. Seth Greenberg said yesterday that both KU and OU have four great players but that no one in the country has five. Our C-5 gives us a better defensive option than most.



  • @DoubleDD Exactly. He reduce the C5 to C2 and the offense stalled from the rate at which we had been playing at 1.02 points per possesession, our lowest rate in 7 games (if I quote JN’s stats correctly.

    Landen Lucas was terrible in the first half, short minutes. He was better in the 2nd as OU got more tired, but like you, I think we payed a price on offense production thereby keeping the game closer than it needed to be.

    Outcomes great. Loved seeing the players leave it all out there on the floor and they all did. Was probably the greatest regular season game. We won by 3. Could have easily gone the other way.



  • @wrwlumpy As Bob Davis says"SWIIISH"! You nailed it from half court lump. Woodard & Hield combined for a friggin insane, count em, 73 of OU’s total points & Bill slowed down the game deliberately to try & keep the ball outta their hands, & someone right in their jock straps. Frank was all over Buddy like rust on an old Datsun & he still torched us like acetylene. And even though I’ve said some negative things about these 2 guys in the recent past, I think WE ALL have to stand up for Mari & LL cause they both came up huge when it counted-Whether it was blocks, rebounds, tap outs, FT’s, they were an enormous contingent in an absolute war of attrition that had some really filthy/dirty aspects. Mick never will be & Bragg & Diallo aren’t up to that level of physicality yet, however I think Chieck would be the first one of the 3 to volunteer for the trenches. IMO CHIECK is really the telltale factor as to how far we go this March & our ability to maneuver through the brackets. He is the one big along with Perry that can alter the inside game like none of the others can. Perry simply has to get more help for us to have a deep run. And if I was a betting man, I’d wager we see increasingly more of him going forward testing the waters vs some of the lesser conf teams ahead, because of his ability to play above the rim. block & alter shots, & rebound with that ridiculous 8 foot wingspan. Right now I’d say he’s the biggest hole card we have. And truth be known…I really have played a couple of hands of poker in my day. RCJH men, this team just got a whole lot better & it’s just the first week of 2016 !!



  • @globaljaybird 💃💪



  • @globaljaybird

    Slowing the game down will never keep the ball out of the hands of good guards. They handle the ball anyway, so they will have the ball by default. Self slowed the game down because he still fears the shootouts, even though this team is designed to win shootouts. This team is decidedly not designed to win a slugfest. We don’t have enough good power players to win that type of game.

    We have gotten burned the last couple years by Iowa State because Self tried to force a muscle game rather than playing up and down. Lucas and Traylor are good as a change of pace, but the bulk of the minutes should go to the big guys that can play the style that favors our best four players (Mason, Ellis, Selden and now Devonte Graham). Everything should be built around playing through those four guys. That means getting up and down, spreading the floor, etc.



  • @justanotherfan and getting rebounds and setting picks and playing defense, all of the dirty things that have to be done for the others to get the ball and be open.



  • @wrwlumpy

    There’s a concept in basketball called gravity. It is basically an offensive player’s pull to keep defenders close to them. Brannen Greene has gravity because he’s an incredible shooter. He spaces the floor because if he is outside the three point line and there are no defenders around, you might as well just put the points on the board and run to the other end.

    Landen Lucas has no gravity. We saw on Monday against OU that they did not guard him. Lon Kruger actively strategized to leave Lucas open, even near the basket, recovering to him only when he had the ball. That meant that Lucas’ man (Lattin for most of that time) was standing in the middle of the lane, clogging it for any drives. After Spangler picked up his fourth foul and Lattin (OU’s top shot blocker) had to switch to Perry, a player with some gravity, KU’s possessions went as follows:

    1. 1-2 FT from Devonte Graham on penetration
    2. 2-2 FT from Perry Ellis inside
    3. 2-2 FT from Graham on penetration
    4. Missed jumper from Mason
    5. Layup from Selden
    6. Missed jumper from Mason

    After that was the turnovers and FTs that ultimately ended the game. After Lattin had to move from the middle of the lane, KU got 7 points in 6 possessions, and the only time they didn’t score was when they didn’t get into the lane.

    Lucas, and to a similar extent, Traylor, simply do not have gravity. They may set good screens and get rebounds, etc., but they do not pose enough offensive threat to merit being guarded. I could not believe that OU didn’t guard Lucas even when he was underneath the basket!

    Diallo and Bragg and Mickelson can do those same little things, but they can also do big things like make jump shots that force defensive guys to do something other than camp in the lane and block shots.



  • @DoubleDD I think part of the reason he did that is because it was a long game. Driving and getting a close bucket is easier than rising up from beyond the arc if you have dead legs. If you’re in close you don’t need to put much on your shot. See Wayne’s missed 3 at the end of the first OT as evidence. I think he hits that shot earlier in the game but he didn’t have much on it i.e. tired legs.



  • @justanotherfan those three all have to either catch said ball or hold on to it though before they are offensive threats.



  • @justanotherfan I couldn’t agree with you more about guard play. You’re right if you’re speaking of a guy moving into position to handle the ball, but Buddy, as good as he is, was the primary reason to get the defense set, and again you’re correct that Woodard, who is pretty good, kept raining in shots. But the defensive efforts of Frank thoroughly disrupted a dog tired Hield at the end & that conclusion was the difference in a W & L. So if it’s 1 or 100, & we get the win, that’s what matters. And in reference to LL being unguarded, I wouldn’t exactly say Lattin was much of an offensive threat either so my thought is that matchup was in Landen’s favor with experience, size & toughness. Lattin has hops but looked like he would have a rough time hitting the ocean with a shot. Perry stayed with Spangler fairly well, at least in the 2nd half so slowing down is really a misnomer in that all you really need allow is to halfway get a defense set & nothing more. We did just enough & I’m not as up to date on strategies as some of you are, but after a win like that I would feel waaaaaay off base criticizing HCBS like some guys do. Also I want to make clear that I am not insinuating you fall in that category because your posts are always respectful, insightful, thought provoking, and most importantly incredibly knowledgeable. IMO you happen to be one of the very best contributors we have on this board-period.



  • @globaljaybird

    I appreciate the kind words. I always try to show respect on here because we are all fans - no point in pulling this community into the gutter like so many other message boards. I post here so frequently because of the respect that is shown by so many posters on here.

    I agree that Lattin isn’t a huge offensive threat. However, the big difference between Lattin and Lucas is that Lattin is more athletic/ eIxplosive. Twice in OT Lattin caught the ball and in one motion made a move to the basket to get a layup off a pass. Lucas always has to catch and gather. He cannot catch and finish. That’s why he has no gravity. The catch and gather process gives time to recover for the defense.

    I don’t want it to sound like I don’t like either Lucas or Traylor, as hard as I am on both on this board. They are both better players than I ever was, and both have shown incredible dedication and hard work to get to where they are now. They are both great stories and I look forward to what they will do as ambassadors for the program after graduation. I just see their on court limitations, too.



  • IMG_KUvsWVU_sp_030315_rs_2_1_PJ48DPPA_L110130760.jpg



  • @justanotherfan Outstanding …love the concept of gravity. I’ve been trying to figure out what I was watching when LL is out at top of the key, wandering around to set picks that accomplish nothing most of the time. I don’t notice it as much with JT, but did recognize it in one of the last 2 games.

    I’ll be watching this closer in the future, but it does explain the loss of productivity as we are left trying to create against a more condensed defense.



  • @Bwag There is more productivity when Perry, Hunter, and Bragg set screens, as they can shoot very well from the outside.



  • @DoubleDD -

    " Did Lon and OU expose a truth about KU and Coach? When the game is tight will coach give up on the new found offense scheme and go back to Bad Ball?"

    I don’t know either, but getting some rebounds definitely slowed down transition a time or two. So I guess next time we lose, hopefully 2 more months away at least, we may need to revisit a conversation. Whatever someone wants to call it by name, it’s good enough for the girls I go with…Like 197-9 at AFH for the past 13 years…12 conf titles, 2 FF’s & 1 NC? Many of us were around for some lean years in the 60’s & 70’s & haven’t forgotten what it was like to lose to Jack Hartman & Cotton Fitsimmons. So yeah, that’s certainly an inculpable & quite exemplary record for this old Jaybird. As always JMO.





  • @globaljaybird

    For me I’m torn. How do you question a Coach as successful as HCBS? I’m trying real hard as fan not to be so critical of Coach and what decisions he makes.

    Yet I am a faithful fan and have dropped big bucks just to watch KU play a meaningless game. It scares or bothers me that when the tough get going Coach went back to bad ball. I’m not a coach nor a genius of the game of basketball. Yet I’ve seen enough of Bad Ball to know it’s not a good thing. Maybe you had the means to record that game. If you did go back and watch the end of the second half and the overtimes. When Coach went with Traylor and Lucas the dynamics of the game completely changed. It wasn’t that KU wasn’t shooting the trey balls, it was the trey ball was no longer open. I’m not an advocate of just chucking three’s. This is why I love KU shooters as they really don’t take bad shots.

    To me Coach sacrificed offense for defense. Which that is fine as it did work. Yet I don’t feel this approach will work for a full season. I know a lot of KU fans love these knock out drag out ball games, yet the truth is these types of games hurt KU long term. I guess I would feel differently if the Big 12 actually showed in the tournament. Yet from the results it’s not that way. KU is in a rock in a hard place Their trying to win another conference championship and play for a national championship…

    OU and Lon kind of proves my point. They dragged Coach into a muscle game when Coach should’ve stuck to his gun and played to his teams real strength. “depth”. My personal opinion Coach and KU played right into Lon and OU’s hands. They wanted this type of game where just one missed or made shot decides the game.

    You see if OU and Lon win the Big 12 conference and bow out early in the tournament then their season will be considered a success. KU and Coach can’t say the same. Don’t get me wrong I’m all for KU and coach trying to win the Big 12 conference. Yet what good does it do if at the end season and Gram, Lucas, and Selden are beat up and worn out going into the tourney?

    I see a lot of KU fans on here believing and voicing that Daillo and Bragg aren’t ready. Maybe they are right. Yet I’ve also seen them do some things that Lucas and Traylor can only dream about doing. Now don’t get me wrong I’m not demanding that Lucas and Traylor be exiled to the pine never to be heard from again. They have paid their dues and they should play. They’re experience and leadership should demand that. Yet they should not be depended on just to win games. It worked this time. Yet try this again in our rematch with OU on their floor, and KU will get blown out.

    Coach needs to play the Inglorious Bastards period.



  • @globaljaybird said:

    IMO CHIECK is really the telltale factor as to how far we go this March

    Fascinating observation, given that Chieck didn’t play much in this game, but I had the same feeling on Tuesday after reflecting on the game.

    But I don’t know why I have that gut feeling.

    LL, Mari and Mick have the kind of mix of experience and athleticism we would typically want for the Post-by-committee duty. I like Bragg as well – he’s had some nice moments and had more time to learn the system.

    I guess the difference is Chieck is our only player with elite length… and it just feels like you need a solid lengthy player to get into April.



  • @bskeet The main thing is that teams like OU and ISU love to submarine people. Like Jamari, Embiid, etc.



  • @Bwag

    I can’t take too much credit for the concept. I read about it while reading an article on Kyle Korver and how he opens up the offense for his teammates simply because he cannot be left alone. Basically, the article identified Korver as a near elite offensive player because, even though he isn’t a high scorer or elite passer, his presence on the floor means you either cannot help with his man or you give up three points. He basically assists without touching the ball by screwing up defensive rotations because you just can’t leave him under any circumstance.

    Korver pretty much removes a link in the defensive chain because his guy can’t rotate. That allows his other teammates to penetrate with one less defender to account for, or work in the post without the threat that Korver’s guy will help.

    This is why I want to see Brannen Greene get more PT. Greene is a college Korver. As of right now, Greene is 15-24 from three. Anybody that has spent more than 30 seconds around basketball in their life knows that is insane. Greene stretches the floor in ways that defenses just aren’t comfortable with. I think his volume of good shots will remain consistent because most college teams won’t change their rotations to account for a non-star player, even though Greene getting 3 or 4 open looks at threes could absolutely alter any game. But Greene’s gravity is valuable.

    Similarly, Bragg and Mickelson are both very capable out to 17 feet. That opens things up for Perry inside. KU has the chance to be an elite offensive team this year, with a solid defense. You can win a national title if you are elite on one end and solid on the other. KU doesn’t have an elite level defense this year. They lack the shot blocking to have that type of team. They can be very solid, but not elite. But they have all the pieces to be elite offensively if they put the right 5 man units on the floor. They scored efficiently against a good OU defense even playing 4 on 5 for many possessions. Just imagine what they could have done with a 5th guy.

    There was a play that was easy to overlook in the game that summarized gravity. Perry got the ball into the middle of the paint and drew the defense. He dumped it to Carlton on the right block and Carlton went up and scored in one motion. It was almost exactly the same as the play in the 2nd OT where Landon got fouled after catching a pass from Perry. The difference was that Carlton was able to catch and finish in one motion because he was unguarded, while Landon had to catch, take a dribble and then go up, allowing the D to recover. Now imagine that play where the defense has a big shot blocker inside. Carlton still scores. Landon get his shot blocked (no foul). We lose two points. Maybe that’s a possession we can’t afford to lose down the road.



  • @DoubleDD

    I think you raise a valid point worth a discussion. Great job, bad guy! 😉

    First… Self has changed his perspective some what (this year) but he hasn’t tossed out all aspects of his past, and he shouldn’t. If he came into this season with a horrible winning percentage then maybe he should.

    Going towards “bad ball” isn’t just a Self thing. Coaches and players often look for more interior scoring in the 2nd half because it is typical that treys get harder to make as the game progresses because players get tired, and defenders who were burned from the trey line in the first half are more likely to step out further in the second half trying to apply more pressure.

    This is why I thought we would win at halftime (and win big). We were behind, but all we had to do is slightly win the second half against a team that lives and dies from trey.

    I did really think we were going to smoke OU in the second half. It wasn’t like we didn’t play well the second half, but I was surprised that OU could continue keeping up with us for 40 minutes. They impressed me with their sustained tenacity. This was the 4th OU game I watched this year.

    Hats off to Lon, too. He is a great coach and I’m thrilled he is in our league!

    Back to Bill… I do think he is playing this right. He has set a different bar for guys like Cheick and Carlton to clear before getting much second half play. That needs to be there.

    For the most part, D1 is a 20-minute game. You will never hear a coach say that because he still needs his guys fighting through the first half. But the second half is what determines who wins the game. Some coaches really focus on winning the last few minutes. It is called “closing out.”

    You want to develop the mentality of your team to fight hard all game, but to really step up to a higher level in the second half, continually intensifying as the game winds to the conclusion.

    I guarantee you that Cheick and Carlton are getting a great education on the game of basketball this year. They are playing well enough to win PT minutes in games, particularly in the first half, and they know they have to come up a bit more to be trusted in the second half and at the end (in close games).

    This is excellent coaching. The next step is to get these guys a few more minutes and then to start trusting them in the second half. And last, to trust them at the end of a game.



  • @justanotherfan hope you take this as kidding, but when you say gravity and BG I think of the times he fell down against OU. Guy totally could do anything on him. The worst though was at the end when BG tripped and fell and took LL, and I believe Perry w/him. That was when Wayne took it down and scored. That’s my gravity and BG.



  • @justanotherfan thanks and appreciate the additional explication of the concept and the application to playing time and personnel.

    It’s facinating to me to start to look at the game not for just what you see happen, but for the things that you don’t see…I’ve tried capture this with the concept of opportunity cost from economics. I’ve read Bastiat’s essay “What is seen and what is not seen” and to me it has application to basketball where there is limited amount of playing time that can be utilized.

    1.1 In the economic sphere an act, a habit, an institution, a law produces not only one effect, but a series of effects. Of these effects, the first alone is immediate; it appears simultaneously with its cause; it is seen. The other effects emerge only subsequently; they are not seen; we are fortunate if we foresee them.

    1.2 There is only one difference between a bad economist and a good one: the bad economist confines himself to the visible effect; the good economist takes into account both the effect that can be seen and those effects that must be foreseen.

    1.3 Yet this difference is tremendous; for it almost always happens that when the immediate consequence is favorable, the later consequences are disastrous, and vice versa. Whence it follows that the bad economist pursues a small present good that will be followed by a great evil to come, while the good economist pursues a great good to come, at the risk of a small present evil.

    Put these comments into player personnel and playing time decisions. Interesting concepts to consider. In your explanation of Kyle Korver, he may not score lots because of the adjustment opponents make to him, but that opens up offense for his teammates. I think we see just the opposite occur when we play our less offensively talented folks in the post…it clogs up the game for others who could score more efficiently even when the O-challenged C gets some points.

    Your comments about Bragg v Lucas are instructive.

    Realize some assume that we wouldn’t win without the play of the lesser talent in the short term putting the long term at risk (ie. #1 seeding). Others argue that the long term (NC) is at risk by not developing the higher ceiling players. Makes for lots of back and forth.

    Again, thanks for the great posts!



  • Lon Kruger didn’t expose anything. Bill Self is Bill Self and he went to his comfort zone in crunch time. He’s done it dozens of times in the past and will continue to do so in the future.



  • @justanotherfan

    “Lucas always has to catch and gather. He cannot catch and finish. That’s why he has no gravity.”

    Very well put and worth repeating!

    Nothing against Landen… but this is something no one can challenge and it would do Landen good to read this (and practice the quick finish).



  • @drgnslayr More like catch & put the damn ball on the floor which negates any height or quickness advantages he has at the point of impact. Is really tough habit to break. Running all the steps in AFH helped Withey break some … Ouch!



  • @Texas-Hawk-10

    Maybe he didn’t maybe he did? All I know is Coach didn’t go to his bench, and that played right into OU’s and Lon’s wish list.



  • @DoubleDD

    As long as we win, I don’t care whose wish list we play we play into…



  • @JayHawkFanToo

    KU plays that way in Oklahoma and KU won’t be winning.



  • @DoubleDD

    Why not? If the exact game is played at OU, would the result logically be exactly the same? 🙂



  • @JayHawkFanToo

    You can’t win all games with heart. KU has heart but so does OU, and they will have the home court advantage.




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