Could 11-deep rotation be ground-breaking News??

  • I’m sure everyone has noticed, but Self is still playing way deeper than 7 or 8 guys, and its not just mop-up minutes in 20pt blowouts, which actually are rarer due to better NCAA parity.

    True, the less-trustworthy newbies don’t see much playing time in crunchtime, but they did help the starters “get there” with fresher legs.

    I don’t know if Self has actually turned a new ‘leaf’ philosophically about tightening the rotation, or maybe this is all happenstance because he has so many guys that are experienced returnees, that they all can contribute to their own skillset abilities.

    What I like about the C5 (committee-at-center) is that each guy brings different everything–keeps the opponent off balance. For example, Lucas isn’t going to power-drive to the bucket like Ellis or TRob or Marcus…but Jamari can, even though he missed his attempt at it (badly) against TxTech. I personally liked that aggressive pressure. Been waiting for him to try that in the right situation. Eventhough he missed it, it took attention off Ellis, because ‘here’s another guy that is doing that’…

    We shall see how it plays out. Maybe we get a bit of next-level defense by having more fresher bodies to throw at em, as well as a bit fresher starter’s legs by game’s end? By-products of depth.

    Even Frank Mason took 3 days to recover from the OU clash, by his own quote. Depth helps. I actually want to see if Self has progressed from the days of “5star EJ rides pine”…but depth also depends on just how playable it is. Each player needs to be a net ‘positive’ in live play, or he shouldn’t play. This year, we’ve got more…

  • You really should post more @ralster I enjoy your perspective. And value your insight.

  • @ralster Last night 11 guys played in a game where there were no mop-up minutes, and 9 guys played double-digit minutes. One who didn’t reach double-digit minutes was a starter (Mick). You’re right, this year seems pretty different.

    We seem to have 4 main guys, and 7 important role players whose relative effectiveness is situational. Self has a ton of flexibility in what he can do, which is a wonderful luxury. The new pattern seems to be shortening the bench in the second half of the game, not the second half of the season. Try a bunch of combinations first half to see what works best that particular night with that particular opponent, and then go with the most effective combinations the second half. Pretty nice situation to be in.

  • @tundrahok Yes, and as I posted on the other thread…our depth showed. Svi and Greene coming in and hitting 2 for 3 from 3 when Wayne and Devonte had off games. Our big guys getting in foul trouble wasn’t even an issue…we have guys to bring in.

  • @Hawk8086 Yep, our C5 gets 25 fouls per game. Plenty of freedom to bang.

    Interesting how fouls went down when we started playing better second half. C5 got 9 fouls first half and only 1 second half. Lucas alone had 3 fouls in 3 minutes first half, but 0 fouls in 9 minutes second half.

  • @ralster This is refreshing is it not? I think he just trusts this group more & has so much confidence in his understanding of what they will provide. IMO he has as much if not more skill & abilities in this group than ever before & not only gave Bragg some damn good minutes last night, but Chieck a few also. Looks like he is feeling Diallo out to me which is great It appears he’s finally taking advantage of depth assets that I can’t recall seeing very often since the days of Roy. More than once last night he swapped 3 players at one time & that just isn’t Bills M.O. Also maybe it is an tweak/adjustment to the rule changes on calling TO’s, but whatever it is, I think it’s definitely working to our superiority. & making not only us board rats think more, but the opponent coaches & players as well. Case in point: during a critical possession under about a minute, Tubby resets his defense/guys in a zone hoping to out fox us. Jaybirds blink a couple times then recognize & stay extremely calm & collected garnering their poise & expedient ball movement then, LL sets what Self called a “perfect screen” & Wayne calmly nails a 3 from the corner for the dagger with a capitol “D” & 1 sec on the shot clock. Self’s trusting these guys more & more & their confidence in themselves is bubbling over the top. And honestly I haven’t seen much of that from a Self team since 2012 or maybe even 2008.

  • @ralster

    As you mentioned the C5 players bring different skill sets that Coach Self has been using well. For example, against OU, most of the damage was coming from the outside and Mickelson plays best close to the basket and when he steps out he either fouls or gets caught out of position; Traylor is a lot more mobile than Hunter and can stretch the defense out much better than him… Against teams that have more traditional back to the basket players, I suspect Mickeslon will see more playing time.

    Last night, Tech’s huge center Odiase started going outside and hitting long, awkward jumpers which made it necessary to use a player that could step outside on defense and Traylor is the better suited player to do this… Bragg played more than expected and Diallo still has the proverbial deer in the headlights look; I am still waiting for the switch to click in but right now it appears to be set firmly on off…which is too bad since he is the last piece needed to make this team truly superior.

  • @ralster

    I’m not sure the minute distribution yesterday was planned ahead of time. We are very fortunate to have the depth we have because most of our post players had foul problems in the first half.

    Was that by accident? Or was that by design?

    I heard Self a few months ago say something to the effect of… “Hey, we have 5 guys we can stick at the 5-spot. That is 25 fouls we can give in the paint.”

    I don’t know if we are making long-term plans to run 5 guys all the time at the 5, but just the realization that we may not be losing out by mixing it up a lot certainly gives us advantages that no other team has.

    For example… going into this game, Self knew we needed to control the boards. TT isn’t the best rebounding team in the country, and this was one area of the game we could focus on and control, and through owning the boards we own the possession battle. Kansas owning the possession battle is a very very hard team to beat, even if our trey shooting goes south to the Caribbean on vacation.

    So if we want to own the rebounds, we have to be aggressive, and with playing aggressive in the low post, we are bound to foul more. And maybe Self is okay with that. I think he was applauding all our low post scraps to get rebounds, even if it means we fouled often along the way. The idea is to keep the scrappy drive for rebounds, and over time learn to foul less while doing it.

    This is THE KEY for us to stay close to OU in our game in Norman. Rebounding and defending their transition offense has the potential for helping us leave Norman with a win.

    If all of this is true… Self is doing a magnificent job of using his depth. Finally… using the entire bench to leverage us to victory!

    I think our last hurdle to success is learning to control the pace of games better. No one in our league has anything near the depth we have (inside and outside). So why not adjust the speed of the game to take advantage? Why not push harder and use our depth more, even on the perimeter? No more walking the ball up to start our possessions. Keep the intensity high as much as possible.

    We should beat OU at their own game… transition offense. If you look at our game with OU… often they would go on runs by getting quick transition baskets, many from 3. If we were pushing harder back, and trying to do the same thing, we should be able to eliminate their advantage of transition offense. And since we have more depth, we should actually win that battle because OU won’t be able to rest while defending us. These guys have unique conditioning. They operate in spurts. Short spurts. They push on offense, and they get some of their wind back on the defensive side… if we let them. Take that away from them and then suddenly they can’t hit a basket any longer because they are exhausted on the offensive side of the ball.

  • @globaljaybird Perfectly put. Regarding the “perfect screen” set by Lucas…made me chuckle to read that phrase…because, boy!, its required a TON of practice and umpteen fouls in past attempts…he finally got it right… 🙂

  • @drgnslayr Hey, I went to the Carribbean on vacation–but I did not see KU’s 3% on holiday…(chuckle) Seems to be in the firm grasp/steady hands of Mason, Graham, Selden, Greene, and Ellis this season. I believe it is for real, as a team. 1 guy goes cold in a single game, you keep running the offense…and even go back to him (like Selden’s dagger3). These guys are just too good. Its like having 3 Brandon Rush’s (if Mr. Rush would kindly allow me to make him a noun), although not quite Rushian-defense…(if Mr. Rush would kindly allow me to make him an “adjective” or “adverb” depending on your contextual use of ‘defense’)…

  • @ralster

    No doubt, our trey shooting is for real. That still doesn’t mean it will win us every game.

    What counts in March… as a winning strategy… is to increase the margin for error in securing victories. We have to be able to count on more than trey shooting to win games.

    Treys didn’t win us that game yesterday. Rebounding did. We won the boards by 16! That is 16 extra possessions we had as a buffer, which is a good thing because we had 6 more TOs than the Raiders.

  • @drgnslayr said:

    @ralster .

    Treys didn’t win us that game yesterday. Rebounding did.

    Not denying the rebounding was critical…total shots were =. FT’s and 3-pt’ers were the difference on the scoreboard.

    FT’s us in high 80’s and TTU under 50%, while critical in this outcome, is not a recipe for long-term success.

    That leaves 3 point shot as the difference in the game. As “poorly” as we shot them, those are what gave us the buffer to cruise on to victory.

  • @Bwag

    The real glaring statistic is rebounding (in this game).

    I feel 1000% sure that had we been equal in rebounding, we would have lost that game.

  • Banned

    I know the recent win wasn’t pretty, but I was so happy to see Coach go to the bench early and often.

    The one thing I’ve always thought hurt KU in it’s post season play, is Coach not using the bench enough through the regular season. The Big 12 is hard to win and you can burn up your starters trying to win the conference title.

    It would seem Coach is even passing my own expectations. Playing Svi and Greene at the same time is just pure genius.

    Get you tickets KU fans because I think Coach and KU are about to take us on a special ride.

  • @drgnslayr You won’t get an argument from me there…That goes to the needed possessions, but the 3-ball is what offensively was the difference (and the mentioned FT % disparity, which is not as controllable).

  • @Bwag

    Yes… I focused more on possessions… and you focused more on what happened on our possessions. It all adds up to us taking one in Lubbock!

  • Yes, cannot underscore getting double-digit rbds from Mason (& Ellis). Just like Spangler going a little quiet for a good stretch in the KU-OU game, or just getting outpositioned just enough times for it to make a difference for KU. All the little things matter, and if ALL of the statistical categories are focused on and practiced on, then it adds up to the Man’s win %.

    Easy to see why KU wins, but very hard to duplicate that by other teams. Or even by ourselves with constantly cycling rosters. WSU is a good example of meeting the bar in several statistical categories until this year (TBD), Marshall teaches the same principles that Self does.

    The flip-side of this is that continuity of excellence must be passed down from upperclassmen to the frosh…and that system almost broke down with Naadir Tharpe not quite passing the torch from EJ/Tyshawn. You wonder how drastic a step it was for Self to boot Naadir off the team, and hearing him explain it first-hand, it seemed the on-court & in-practice leadership by Naadir was sorely lacking (Self gave practice play example of bad advice by Naadir)–Self said candidly “Mason was supposed to be this good his frosh year, but was affected by Naadir”. Its almost like Self dismissed Naadir due to basketball system breakdown almost more than he dismissed him for the improprietous selfie with the drunk blonde 37y/o school RN…It’s taken 2 years to get guard-play back to superlative levels. Self had to make a drastic culture-change, and Naads paid the price, so that the program does not…Having to re-teach all the basics that he did to RussRob, Chalmers, Sherron…Excellence cultivated & sown, once again.

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