Looking Ahead- Trap Games

  • It’s been a little over 24 hrs since that Epic game. Now its time to turn our focus to the next 2 games or the next 12 days away from Allen Fieldhouse.

    2 Road games against Texas Tech & West Virginia. Tech game is late Saturday tip, West Virginia we avoided the Big Monday road game and is a Tuesday tip.

    I’ve hinted that going 2-0 and being #1 would put a even bigger target on our backs going into these 2 games. Folks, we can easily lose both of these even though we have a huge talent edge in both.

    Lubbock has been problematic to high ranked KU teams in the past. The Red Raiders are playing much better than expected. They do have a game tonight against ISU so maybe the Cyclones bring them down to earth. Tubby has them playing much better than in past years. Honestly it would take a huge step back for KU to lose but it can happen.

    4 of our starters are gased right now and getting 48 hours rest. After such a physically emotional game its going to be hard to ask these kids to be amped to play T-Tech. Luckily Self is a master at Big 12 road games so hopefully he uses all the depth he has and finds the right balance to scrap out a victory. This is one of the must win Road Games if we follow the narrative that KU will hold serve at home throughout conference play.

    The other game with West Virginia also poses a major threat. Morgantown is a tough place to play. Last year was a debacle losing on a last second shot and Perry missing the layup for the win. 2 years ago Wiggins had his Alpha Dog game but nobody else showed up and Devin Williams made jump shots like Buddy Hield. So we are 0-2 in recent memory.

    I’ve watched a good bit of West Virginia. They are not as good as last year although their record says they might be. They hack, they pressure, they rebound all at a high rate.

    The game against Kansas St was an ugly affair. I was impressed with Jaysean Paige who’s stepped up his game and is their top perimeter threat to me. It’s more about his driving ability to the hoop than his 3-ball ability where he leads the team as well. Miles & Carter are both guys that can get buckets quickly, they are not shy about chucking. They have guys that can step up to the occasion because its KU and play out of their mind.

    This is the most likely trap game because of the style of play. KU has done a marvelous job of holding onto the ball. Having 2 PG’s hopefully neutralizes their press but we won’t know for sure until we see it. Virginia was a team that fell in a deep hole early but steadily wore out West Virginia and ended up beating them badly in the end. I feel that is something similar KU will have to do, weather the early storm and get into our own tempo. Their defense is poor once you beat the press and all the hacking and physical play. Expect plenty of missed calls, expect the officiating to be inconsistent. FT’s will be important in this one on the road.

    What does everyone think. I’m certainly not predicting we lose, but the opportunity is there for either of these games to be a “trap game”.

  • @BeddieKU23 KU’s ball handling / movement is so much better than it was the two previous season that the WVU game doesn’t have me all that worried. Those last two seasons, when a team would break out the full court press against Kansas, the Jayhawks looked pretty damn bad against it, and even when they got to scheme against the press, such as when WVU was coming up on the schedule, it didn’t go well. I haven’t tallied the results or anything, but this year, it seems like when a team tries to surprise KU with the press it has led to easy buckets for KU. They win in Morgantown is my prediction.

    TT on the other hand, since it will be the first game after the big game against the Sooners, and Self has had his share of trouble playing in Lubbock, I see as the tougher game. Just call it a hunch because I have nothing else to base that assumption on.

  • @BeddieKU23 The WV game bothers me.

    Sure KU can win it, but I thought that two years ago and only Wiggins stepped off the plane to play.

    So hopefully this team stays focused for the next 7 days. Get some rest and relaxation and healing as well on these road trips.

    WV might have the best home court advantage in the conference, due to the travel by other teams. Yes it works against them when they travel west as well. But on a short turn around like what KU will be dealing with WV definitely had a huge advantage.

  • @BeddieKU23 Any road game worries me although we’re better equipped than the past few years. OSU is always a tough place to play, as is Texas, although the injury to their big hurts them a lot.

  • @Mikey-P

    Love the confidence. I really hope we win in Morgantown, its a big game with how the conference games have played out so far.

    Everything is always better at home, its the road that makes demons out of teams. And that’s the only thing that really worries me about these next 2 games. We should handle the press with the way our team plays 2 PG’s and the level of play is better overall than the last 2 years.

  • Tech will get beat up by ISU. They will have a small crowd for that game and they will get beat or wear themselves out winning or staying close. KU is a different story. everyone shows up when KU is in town and the New Arena will have all the students back for a KU party. Unfortunately for the Tech fans, ISU got there first and we will have fully recovered by Saturday night.

    WVU will be a different story. WVU just beat VT that just knocked off #4 Virginia. Huggie always has a team and the Hillbillies will be out in force to yell with their gun toting mascot. The big four will remember last year. With their superstar graduated, C-5 will take care of Goggle Eye. It will be close, but it will be a win that will put us in the driver’s seat for #12.

  • @wrwlumpy it won’t be hard to motivate our guys from the wv game last year, coach Self too! Then there’s the bounty on Self. Wondering who will draw Williams? Rock Chalk, soon to be 4-0.

  • @wrwlumpy Tech worries me. They have played us tough there and are improved. They looked good against Texas (at least the parts of the game that I saw). You always worry about an emotional let down…although Self’s history of handling that part of the equation has been good. We should, in theory, be more equipped to handle WVU’s press with our 2 good guards. It is still a tough place to play and we always get everyone’s best shot (at least energy and crowd noise wise) on the road. On a related note, I couldn’t help but notice TCU’s spiffy new floor when they played this weekend. There was hardly anyone there, though. Freakin place will be full when we visit, no doubt.

  • Quick poll.

    Which crowd/fan base will chant “overrated” the earlier in the next two games?

    Saying if they get a lead somewhere in the games.

  • @wrwlumpy Only problem or mis statement on what you said was- - -they will have a small crowd, to which that’s incorrect they are playing that game at Ames so it will be sold out, but like you’ll I think Iowa State will pretty much handle them, just have to be prepared no matter who we play it’s their game of the year, beat the evil empire you know? ROCK CHAL ALL DAY LONG BABY

  • Your right about the location. More travel for them, ISU is still pissed about OU and will take it out on Tech. Conference play is so much fun and after Big Monday, Ellis and the experienced will talk to the Freshmen about going on the road in the Big 12.

  • @Hawk8086 - - - Ummm have you seen Texas play this year? other then the UNC game they look terrible. I have the Longhorn network being the basketball junkie that I am, they look bad, I watch the K-State game last night with them, last night like so many of their games this year looks like they really struggle to score, a lot of 1 on 1 play other then Taylor, and sometimes Felix- - -ummm not much especially without Ridley, so not really THAT impressed with Tech beating them, but still have to avoid let down cause as we all know on any given night ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY

  • @JRyman wv

  • @JRyman Tech. They have a longer shared history with the KU program, and likely hate the Jayhawks more.

  • Texas Tech is 9-0 at home and their only loss is to #16 Utah, they have played 3 games at neutral locations (2-1) and have yet to play a true road game. Al their wins have been fairly comfortable and the more recent one mostly by double digits, although the competition has been relatively weak. Their best wins is no doubt the one over Texas, although I am not sure how strong Texas really is since they barely beat KSU at home yesterday

    I believe the ISU game on the road will be heavy dose of reality for them. If they win at ISU then they are a contender, if they keep it close, they will be dangerous but more likley ISU wins by double digits at home.

  • The key to winning the conference is actually pretty simple.

    Hold serve at home. You have to do this. You can’t give away home games. That’s why Monday was so huge for KU. They couldn’t lose at home to OU with the trip to Norman still on the slate.

    Win on the road against the bottom 3 - this year likely Tech, TCU and KSU.

    Win at least two of the remaining road games. Win three and you probably win the league by yourself at 15-3. Win two and you’re 14-4 and may share the title.

    Any home loss has to be made up against the top of the conference on the road. That’s not the easiest path to a title.

  • @justanotherfan

    Nice breakdown, I’d add Oklahoma St as one of the bottom 3 this year the way they are playing and without Forte. But we all know Self’s struggles in that arena, they are well documented. Still its a game on paper we should be able to handle our business.

    None of our remaining home games pose a real threat other than Senior Night against ISU which could be the championship deciding game.

    West Virginia has done itself favors by winning 2 games on the road so far with a slight chance of holding serve against KU at home.

  • @jayballer54 I have seen Texas play. Probably thinking about the UNC win. Yes…it was way too much Taylor 1 on 1. But, they still have talent…yes…KSU almost beat them in Austin. (Although KSU is much better than most expected…despite the 2 road loses). Tech played Utah tough, other than that, they haven’t played much of anyone.

  • @BeddieKU23 Yes…I think KSU will be tougher to beat (in theory) than OSU this year. I think they will be tough at home this year.

  • @Hawk8086 think we’ll have a chip going to ksu? I don’t think I’d be very nice!😡

  • Great post! I could definitely see us losing both of these games. I got into an argument earlier with a friend because she thinks if they are still drained on Saturday it means they aren’t man enough. I tried explaining that Monday was an emotionally exhausting game and may have a hangover effect even with 5 days in between. I eventually had to change subjects lol

  • @Crimsonorblue22 Probably. But those purple clad bobbing back and forth fans (that drives me crazy) will be out in force and loud…the chance to knock us off is the highlight of their year.

  • @HawkInMizery I’m going w/your friend!😉

  • @Crimsonorblue22 lol it happens all the time though. It shouldn’t but it does unfortunately.

  • Have our Tech struggles dried up since Billy G is gone or have there been up and downs still with Tubbs at the helm?

    Tech played ISU relatively tightly, though not enough to cause sweat.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 said:

    @Hawk8086 think we’ll have a chip going to ksu? I don’t think I’d be very nice!😡

    What KU needs to do in this game is build up a big enough lead so that Jamari can come in in garbage time, and do what EJ did to ISU, to the Cats. Hell, dunk on em twice if possible, and spike the ball on the court at the final horn. After taking that hip check during the storm from that nozzle last season, Jamari deserves every chance he can to shit all over those fans (within the boundaries of the game).

    The downside to that game is you know that KSU will have to beef up secure-i-tay for the game, and if they somehow miracle their collective ass to a win, the only thing we hear from then on is how KU griping about the cluster from last season ruined the “good natured fun” for the KSU fans and students. Short of having a player miss games or a coach hospitalized behind this stupidity, loser fan bases like KSU and ISU will continue to shrug off responsibility for their actions, deflect blame, and bitch and moan to whoever gives them a soapbox.

    TL;DR - If you are not a part of the team, you don’t belong on the court at any point before, during, or after a game, unless you were invited there by the people running the show. You step onto the hardwood when you shouldn’t, don’t be surprised about some harsh consequences.

    @Bwag said in Looking Ahead- Trap Games:

    Have our Tech struggles dried up since Billy G is gone or have there been up and downs still with Tubbs at the helm?

    Tech played ISU relatively tightly, though not enough to cause sweat.

    KU is 5-0 in the last five, and 9-1 in the last ten against TTU, so whatever woes the Jayhawks incur on Saturday, are due to the improvement of the Red Raiders, or the let-down form Kansas. Don’t think a lot of history plays into this anymore.

  • @BeddieKU23

    Tubby’s ball line defense is designed to take away ball movement toward the rim. By doing that, it indirectlyimpedes the in-out of high low by making it tough to go in. It is designed to turn the area 15 feet and in into a rock and a hard place. It is designed to require you to make treys and cut your second shots. In short, it is designed to make a team shooting less than its Trey average to lose. Since KU has shot nearly 50 % treys for two games, and is due to cool, TTech stands for trouble tech.

    TTech will muscle our bigs. TTech is the weaker of our two in four days opponents.

    So: Self will try to play a lot of Svi and Greene outside and Bragg and Diallo inside, if the score permits, to be fresh for WVU.

    But this is a must win, so he will play the starters as much as needed.

    Though Diallo will experience a level roughness less new to him in Lubbock, having tasted 6 minutes of OU, TTech Ball Line is totally new to him and TTECH will bang more than OU. If Diallo can keep his poise, his length and hops could help KU go over the top of the Ball Line some. TTech will try to make a half court game. KU wants a slow tempo that doesn’t exhaust it for WVU’s running game in two days. But KU will try to squirt into some transition for some easy buckets to keep TTech from completely muddying it up. Diallo could really help with quick, long outlet passes. He needs a taste of muscle in Lubbock to be of use in the transition-muscle time to come in Morgantown.

    Right now, what is keeping Jamari on the floor is his combination of smooth hedge defense for the perimeter guys, his ability to run the OFFENCE in all modes, his occasional drives and his comfort with the speed and violence. Watch Diallo. The more he does these things well, while rebounding and blocking and dunking, which he already can do, the more he will play. Jamari now knows what Tyrel Reed said so well of perimeter play. There’s really just a 3-4 things you have to do well. If you can do them, he plays you. But doing such things at D1 speeds and violence levels with coaches scheming against your weaknesses is easier said than done.

    Landen is playing for much the same reasons, but he rebounds some. The other thing about Landen is he is after all these years now getting a sense of when he can score in close and when he can’t. It makes him some one ok to pass to. He won’t take the bunny that he can’t make. He takes those he can reverse the rim on. All modest leapers have to learn this art. He is much better. He is a case of a big being taught a jump hook that wasn’t him instead of letting him learn to score garbage style reversing baseline. No coaches are perfect, but the KU coaches never give up on you, if you never give up on them. Sooner or later they will recognize something you can do.

  • @BeddieKU23 Yep, trap games. Its inevitable that KU will lose at some point. No way they run the table this season with the conference being even tougher this year. I think we win on saturday and get beat by WVU

  • @Lulufulu

    KU will indeed lose at some time during conference play but it will not at Texas Tech. If I had to guess I would say in order of probability OU, WVU, ISU and KSU. There is no way in God’s green earth that we lose at OSU without Forte playing for them.

  • A trap game in the Big 12 this year?

    That would be like walking through a minefield - blindfolded.

    Any team that shows up un-prepared for a Big 12 game this season is going to be in for a long night.

  • From ESPN


  • @justanotherfan

    You are right on with how to win the conference.

    But let’s hope our opponents still go by “the road to the championship goes thru Lawrence.”

    Let them focus on winning in Lawrence… this is close to “fool’s gold.”

    Then they let up sometimes on their home court and also on the road against the bottom teams.

    All they have to do is win in Lawrence… hahahehe…

  • Looking forward to seeing this team on the road.

    It is easy to show poise at home… not so easy on the road.

  • @wrwlumpy Alex I’ll Take Perry Ellis on the block for $1000 please.

  • @wrwlumpy

    Texas Tech averages 76 ppg and most of that was against inferior competition; the 2 games they played against ranked teams they lost. My question is why/how does ESPN think that a team that averages 76 ppg against weak competition is going to score 84 against the #1 ranked team and a very good defensive team like KU?

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    Wait a sec… wasn’t TT at home the game ISU lost last year that put them out of the conference race?

    Oh yeah… we aren’t ISU.

  • @drgnslayr

    To beat KU they would have to slow the game a lot and have a game in the 60s, like they did a couple of years ago (they still lost); a game in the 80s favors KU. Who writes this predictions for ESPN?

  • We should all know that being #1 we are on upset alert for the rest of the year on the road. I’m sure the idiots that want clicks on ESPN will even try to say we have to worry about such and such coming to Allen Fieldhouse and winning.

    Texas Tech is going to try and make this a slow played out game. Tubby has done this in the past knowing his squad can’t compete with Kansas in a track meet. It’s their only hope is to slow the game to a half-court brawl, make enough outside shots, limits KU’s transition and 3’s and pray!

  • @BeddieKU23

    Exactly. KU won 64-63 (if I remember correctly) a couple of years ago. There is no way Texas Tech wants to make this a game in the 80s.

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