Time For Self To Kill C5

  • The time is coming for the choices to be made. C5 is nice, it gives us something to talk about, but to reach the national title, we need cohesion and chemistry. It needs to die … soon. Without that, we’ll continue to be a patchwork of inconsistency down low, which will hold this team back from reaching its peak. Self needs to decide, and needs to make the right decision.

    1. C5 Seepage: I realize that it is quite compelling to add together stats and extrapolate that we are exacting a certain amount of production, thus concluding that the platoon at the 5 is acceptable and perhaps warranted. I noted my objection to that concept early on and still believe that it is extremely flawed. What we are now getting at the 5 spot is significant underproduction. But more importantly, we are creating one position on the floor that opposing coaches are not fearful of. Coach Self has marginalized the 5 spot. It’s not so important as to whether it is the “5” per se, or another 4 spot (4A) – it’s our second post spot. I know there are folks that strongly defend Self’s decisions with the 5 spot. But I’m hoping that we can all – me included – break from our predisposed positions for a moment. This is not a consideration related to an individual player. It’s not Diallo vs. Traylor, or Lucas vs. Mickelson. The concept I’d like you to consider is seepage (or opportunity cost). The thought that when you seek to play the “hot hand” or the “match-up”, you will inevitably lose production. You lose the possibility that the player may play well when he’s actually on the bench. You lose the natural tendency for certain players to get comfortable during the game, and perform. Seepage. You take out Hunter Mickelson, for example, play him only 5, minutes, and you don’t know what you’ve lost by not having him in the game. By the same token, you take out Cheick Diallo after 3 minutes on the floor, what has that gained you? It is not only gaining nothing, it starts transforming into a negative.

    2. Adrienne says, “You can’t win!”: In Rocky 4, Adrienne yelled down the stairs to Rocky, “You can’t win!” And as Rocky said, Adrienne always speaks the truth. This team cannot win the national championship with a C5, “platoon” concept. As circumstantial proof, I’d ask anyone to find another example of a team that played a 6 man post rotation and won the national championship. History is a good indicator of what it takes to win a national title. This concept, historically, has no precedent. I’m interested in some proof otherwise. I believe there are examples of teams that win with lower ranked post players – UConn, Louisville. But a massive platoon? Now when I say, “you can’t win” doing this, I do understand that someone has to plow the road for the first time. I just don’t like the odds given what we’ve seen historically – seems unprecedented.

    3. Why Reduce Rotation?: Why is it that each season, Self says he wants to settle on 7-8 guys in the rotation? Why do most coaches tighten the rotation? The normal process we see is a wider rotation in the non-con, then near the end of non-con a bit of a tightening, then as the season moves into mid to late January, the rotation is formed. It has to do with a very important concept – assigning each player his or her role, and permitting the team to gain cohesiveness and develop chemistry. Basketball is a team sport, and for optimum functioning, requires each separate unit to understand the operation of the other separate unit. Team becomes stronger than the individual. We are now compromised in that regard.

    4. Cohesiveness and Chemistry: By continually trying to find the hot hand, or the best match, you sacrifice team cohesiveness and chemistry. You sacrifice valuable time that the team has on the floor, in game situations together, to build chemistry and trust. Let me give you an example. Last night, Mason drove into the lane off a screen from Bragg. Mason thought Bragg would pinch to the hoop and tried a blind wrap around pass. This was intercepted by a TT player that collapsed. My first thought was chemistry. Not because anyone completely screwed up (though I would suggest that a shallow pinch by Bragg would have put him in position to receive the pass), but because it looked like they weren’t on the same page. They didn’t know what the other was thinking. Mason didn’t know where Bragg would be, and Bragg didn’t conceptualize Mason’s next move. I have seem many of these moments throughout the year, and of course all of it can’t be chalked up to chemistry. I remember in 2008, and forgive me for my lack of specificity, but there was a sequence on the break where Chalmers threw a lob to Russell Robinson. They showed the reply. I didn’t even see them make eye contact. There was traffic. It was amazing. My point is – and I believe it is unassailable – that the more players play together, the better chance that they will develop chemistry and cohesiveness. With 5 post players vying for 50 minutes of play, it is a continuous patchwork of uncertainty, contrasted against the more seamless consistency of established roles and minutes.

    5. Changing Identity: I think we can all agree that of our five post players opposite of Ellis, all 5 have different qualities and games. Think about that and how it relates to chemistry and cohesiveness. When Self has Mickelson in the game, we are much different in the post than we are with Lucas in the game. Much different players. And how does Bragg contrast with Diallo? Or Diallo with Traylor? Or Traylor with Lucas? Varying levels of skills, varying levels of system knowledge, and a many times, a much different flow on the court. Here’s one big example: I’d really like to see our rate (# of attempts) of three point shots and transition baskets with Lucas in the game. It really seems to me that our three point rate decreases. It does seem like we play slower. Why might that occur? First, Lucas only plays the block, Second, he’s relatively immobile. Third, nobody really has to guard him in that he has a very limited offensive skill set. Fourth, he is slow up and down the floor. It seems quite clear that with all of this erratic rotation of post players, the night in, night out, banquet of minutes, that our team identity is compromised by this uncertainty. Each player offers different skills and positives/negatives.

    6. Purposeless Starter/Subs: How silly is it to start Mickelson and play him for just 5 minutes in the entire game? That seems ridiculous. Why even bother starting him? Likewise, why sub guys in – Diallo, Bragg, whoever – for 3-5 minutes in a game? That seems like a complete waste of time. Let’s use the Diallo example. I saw Diallo NOT take a stupid shot. He didn’t shoot the 16 foot turnaround shot when he had the chance. He moved the ball. He hustled. Yet Self pulled him after Self just got upset that TT scored, and it wasn’t an error by Diallo at all. An opposing guard penetrated, Diallo contested, and the ball went in the hoop – a result that has befallen Traylor, Lucas and Ellis hundreds of times. To pull Diallo as a result was senseless. It’s poor coaching. It’s dumb coaching. It was done because Self was mad his team gave up a basket. That’s coaching without a plan (unless the plan, “I’m going to yank a player when I get upset irrespective of what that player did right or wrong.” Cheick Diallo learns nothing from it but only gains understandable frustration. Anyone would be frustrated. I’ve never been a fan of the quick hook on mistakes, but I’m even less of fan – and will call it what it is, dumb – when the hook involves emotions unrelated to the player himself.

    7. Match-Ups Way Overrated: I love scheming. I think it’s a coach’s main job. Scout and game-plan to beat your opponent. However, there is a very rare occasion where a coach would not play one of his chosen starters solely because of a match-up. We’ve seen one – when MU played small and we couldn’t keep TRob and Withey on the court. But vs. UNC in the 2013 tourney, they played small and we came out conventional in the second half and blew them out. Playing match-ups is over thinking. It all comes back to playing the best player – in this case, whoever Self believes to be the best player. Who can explain when an inferior pitcher beats a top 10 ERA guy? Who can explain when a no-name receiver beats a shut-down corner for a TD? The point is that you never know how the game breaks. By playing Lucas, for example, you’ll never know if Mick or Diallo will block that shot, run the floor, and get a dunk – a play that could change an entire game. But when you remove players with short bursts of minutes you eliminate their ability to get comfortable, and you simply may never see their best minutes of the game.

    8. Options Could Be Self’s Undoing: I firmly believe that too many options are a potential downfall for this team. I think that Self feels uncomfortable, to a large degree, with every post player other than Perry Ellis. As in life, you generally reap what you sow, but that’s another issue. But when you feel that you have five possible players to play 50 minutes of basketball (opposite of Ellis’ 30 minutes per game), in an odd sense, it’s akin to the age old phrase, “jack of all trades, master of none.” By trying to match-up with opponents, by trying to play the hot hand, you are a slave to situational judgment. You can’t become “excellent” in any one area in that fluctuating 5 spot because there is no chance for excellence. Excellence is achieved over time. And by making those decisions situationally, you jeopardize the team’s ability to gel and function at optimal efficiency because there is no consistency.

    9. Make Your Choice - February 1: Pick and play your starters in the post (Ellis + 1). Pick and play your chosen subs (2 subs). Eliminate the bottom two from any playing time except in emergency. Bill Self needs to make his decision on his chosen post players within the next couple of weeks. If he doesn’t, I think it will greatly compromise our ability to reach our ceiling, even more than his failure to play the best talent in non-con. It will threaten the ability of the team to play with cohesion and chemistry moving forward. Bill Self needs to make his choice and go with it. This will lead to a better overall result because you won’t have the “seepage.” The team will have a better chance for cohesion and chemistry, and the opportunity to gel. Players will have more content minds, in that they will know and expect to function in their roles. Competition for roles is terrific, but there is a point in time where that becomes a significantly decreasing proposition. We’re getting to that point. We have seen the cohesion form quite easily on the perimeter. Now it needs to move to the post. Self said the rotation would tighten and not everyone would play. That was three games ago. Everyone has continued to play.

    10. Make The Choices With Our Strengths In Mind: Bill Self commented a number of days ago that he would be fine with more turnovers from Frank Mason and Devonte Graham, because it would demonstrate that they were playing more aggressively. I have mentioned this before when discussing my preferred offensive style and why turnovers aren’t that big of a deal when you get more possessions. Anyway, my point is that Self’s thought process should apply to his post players. Not the turnovers, necessarily, but the aggressiveness and what that aggressiveness brings you. Sometimes mistakes get made. Sometimes a guy that gives a big plus in one area, might be a negative in another area. When you go with a guy who doesn’t give you much you are playing conservative, playing scared. You might think you’re playing smart, but in the end, you play right into an inferior opponents game plan. Right now, would you rather game plan a against the known or the unknown?

    11. The Choices – It’s Really That Easy: This seems incredibly easy to me. The better players still are Diallo, Bragg and Mickelson, despite all of the rancor for Traylor and Lucas. Personally, I don’t understand what some folks are watching and considering to be “good” play. The fact is, those guys have been pedestrian. And Traylor’s numbers continue to regress (his PER is at its season low). Every minute that they play, is another minute of lost cohesion and development. Let me give you an example of what I see with Lucas - When I watch Landen Lucas play, I see an anchor – not in the sense of a guy that is a “rock of consistency” – but a guy that holds this team back from playing to its ceiling, a player that holds this team back from playing fast and from playing aggressively on offense. A guy that can’t score unless it is literally given to him. He can guard moderately skilled players in the post, but folks with any skill are too much for him (see Odiase from TT). When we reach the NCAA tournament, there is a good chance that we’ll be overmatched down low in some significant games. The net production is all that matters, beating the other team on points per possession, and thus I think it is pretty obvious that we need to move to a player that optimizes our efficiency playing with pace, playing aggressively, and shooting three pointers. Everything we do should be geared toward playing to that group of strengths. Because of our power offensively, we have much more room for error defensively. This team has proven that it is good enough defensively that playing to our strengths offensively will overcome any missteps – and that the better bet is on our offensive prowess as opposed to micro managing match ups, or going with a guy that might not screw up as much. This team will not win that national championship with Landen Lucas playing the primary minutes at the 5 spot, just like it won’t win it with Jamari Traylor getting that time. Both players offer a consistent level of performance that is below what is needed to win the title this season.

    Self needs to make the tough choices, the choices with vision, the BOLD choices. It’s how championships are won. We can rely on our security blankets, but come March, bold wins. Whatever Self’s choice, it’s better that it be made sooner than later. And we can all forgive him if we stand around with 11 conference rings in a row, but we’re playing on the first Saturday in April in Houston.

    **I know I blacked out last week… Very busy work week, two relatives dealing with health issues, anniversary, etc. Haven’t got caught up on all the threads, but had some time to put this together yesterday.

  • We were afraid SI or The Sporting News had grabbed you.

  • @HighEliteMajor Wow. Back with a vengeance. I think Self is hoping that, at least, Bragg and Diallo, prove that they are the guys…he has said so…but, as you point out, playing Diallo 3 min. (or whatever) is a strange way to go about it. I don’t get the starting Mick thing, and then not seeing the court again. I think he’s trying to give them all a shot at this point…although in a lot of cases in small doses. At this point it looks like Bragg has a higher probability of getting there than Diallo …but time will tell. While I understand your point about Traylor and Lucas not being the guys who are going to help us win a NC playing a lot of minutes, I think you undervalue some of the things they have done. (Traylor driving to the hoop and getting points when nobody else is doing anything, the 2 blocks…2 examples). I also think that other things come in to play that we don’t see. Out of position, not executing the play that was called, etc. when it comes to Bragg and Diallo. Also…as has been mentioned…we don’t see what goes on in practice. Just my thoughts as we all try to figure out the method to Self’s madness…

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Glad you came out of the clouds. Awesome analysis as always…

    #6. I have held back commenting on this because honestly we are winning games.

    I really haven’t understand how in every game since Hunter has started he’s sat the bench more than he’s played. Am I wrong? What’s the point in starting the guy if you don’t respect him enough to put him back in and play the minutes he’s earned by starting. Baffling.

    Diallo we’ve seen for the past few games understand that he doesn’t help the team shooting 15ft jumpers even if they go in, its a net-negative play for what his strengths are. On the play he was yanked I didn’t get it either but I believe it was Mason who barked at him taking the ball out of bounds at Diallo for giving up that bucket. Either it truly was Diallo’s fault in some way or he was punished for the end result. Regardless you wasted another day at the office for Diallo by not bringing him back into the game in the first half when every big was in foul trouble/or struggling badly. Then you just let him put his street clothes back on the entire 2nd half where the outcome of the game was again decided due to our guard play.

    If he’s trying to sabotage his prized recruit from leaving for the NBA he’s doing a great job.

    If he wants to strike out on recruiting Bolden as recent rumors point to Cliff’s/Bragg/Diallo situation impacting his decision he’s doing everything possible there as well.

    And guard play comes to my most important point. I don’t believe the C5 is going to cost us games. At least to this point in time, we can’t blame the C5 or coach because its working. We are #1 and 14-1.

    I’ve mentioned this a few times before, we win or die with our guards. They hit the tough shots to win against Tech, they willed us a win against OU + Perry. They will be the reason we win the whole thing or not. Maybe it just works playing 10-11 guys and having the revolving door at the 5 or as you said 4A. History says otherwise but this year in College Basketball having depth is so important. The problem with our depth is that none of them have separated themselves. Self doesn’t even know who to sub in at the 15 minute mark. Sometimes its Lucas, sometimes its Bragg. Except Bragg is 1 mistake away from a 20 minute nap. Diallo is basically one breathe away from putting his warm-ups back on. Either us fans are missing it, or Coach is.

    I have to ask, Are we being too critical about making a rotation and sticking with it? I fully understand the dynamics of having cohesion and chemistry. We have that in our guards in spades. But what if the dysfunction of this system is actually what’s keeping us good good. The best team in the nation good. What if the matchup play is what’s keeping us alive, like Lucas against Harvard or other similar decisions coach has made based on the gameplay and the matchup of our opponent.

    I also don’t think we’d like the outcome of a crunch in minutes. Diallo wouldn’t play. Bragg wouldn’t play in tight games unless foul trouble forced Self’s hand. You’d be stuck right where we don’t want- Mari & Lucas clogging the floor. I think that’s exactly the outcome we would get. At least with Bragg & Diallo getting some PT how-ever how little, its 10-12 minutes less of the others on the court which is the result we’ve lobbied for all year.

    How do you win if the numbers crunch is almost certain to cut out the guys you want to play.

  • http://cjonline.com/blog-post/jesse-newell/2016-01-11/who-best-player-put-next-perry-ellis-you-decide

    Jesse’s post about the C5.

    I found this the most important part of the whole blog. Jeff Haley is the guy who provides Jesse with the stats.

    Haley note: KU opponents shoot only 37 percent on 2s when Hunter Mickelson plays, compared to about 45 percent when he sits. That is a big deal. That difference is worth about seven points per 100 possessions. The defense when Mickelson has played has forced fewer turnovers and given up a somewhat higher 3-pointer percentage, but those are likely sample-size flukes. And even if they weren’t, they have nothing to do with him.

    Who’s got Bill Self’s phone #. How could you sit Hunter knowing his impact is really something that can make a difference.

  • Welcome back. We were getting obituaries ready. By the way, this 5’7" white boy might be able to join the C5

  • I think the whole Mickelson issue is he does not appear “tough”. That is one thing Self preach’s on, being tough on the court. I think Self is aware of this tendency of his hence Hunter starts as he is the best overall player currently. But then gut instinct kicks in during the game and he puts a “tough guy” on the floor. I am not saying Hunter is not tough, just that he has that reputation/appearance.

    I am with HEM on this one, you have to know what every player on the floor with you is likely to do in the varying circumstances, what they are thinking, how high they can jump, and how fast they can turn and burn. I’d like to see Perry and Hunter start (currently) with Bragg and Diallo subbing for them. Give Lucas and Traylor a few minutes here and there when a little extra muscle is called for or fouls become a problem. I would be tickled if Bragg or Diallo either one can take the starting spot from Hunter because the upside there is tremendous. However if they are not in the game more than they are now this is not going to happen this year.

    Nothing against Traylor and Lucas they both have made substantial contributions to the team. However there are a couple of ‘vettes’ sitting in the garage and it is shame they are not getting some miles put on them!

  • Normally… I am right there with you on this one. We are settling into conference play, and not nailing down rotation is typically a sign of disaster. Self knows this. Hey… he is the guy FAMOUS for putting great talent on ice the entire year! Probably hurt our recruiting, too.

    I don’t think Self CAN limit the rotation as of now. Too many factors preventing it.

    Many reasons why:

    1. None of our bigs have proven they can stay in a game for 20 minutes without getting into severe foul trouble. This alone makes it absolutely necessary to keep all our 5s off ice and in the oven, hot and ready to play. The closest guy to staying out of foul trouble may be Jamari.

    2. Cheick and Carlton aren’t ready. Well… I actually think Carlton is ready to start taking a few additional minutes. What most people don’t understand is this changes EVERYTHING with our team! So… if we bump Carlton into a starting role with lots of minutes he has to practice with our starting lineup. That means… all our practices slow down while he is targeted with help to keep up. The only reason we are as “team developed” as we are today is because we run most practices with experienced 5s in place.

    3. As good as Hunter is in some areas, he is weak in other areas. He fouls way too much for a guy with his skills but his defensive numbers look impressive. How can we run him more minutes if he can’t stop fouling?

    4. From what I am seeing… Cheick isn’t going to be the big difference maker in the post this year. He is just way too rough. He is starting to get a few offensive moves together, but his team defense and team offense is a big goose egg. Tom Keegan actually had one of his better articles on Cheick the past days explaining why he wasn’t ready and he was spot on. I’m starting to think our post bump this year will probably come just from Carlton.

    5. I’m not sure we can rush this process. I know it is already late to decide. But who do we put on ice for the rest of the year? Essentially… that is what we are doing. You take any of these guys and stop giving them any minutes for several weeks and they collect too much rust to be put in again (in vital minutes).

    6. C5 stats are decent. Haven’t we had the C5 stats posted in here and aren’t they holding their own right now? I do grant you that it may not be something sustainable all the way from now through March. But… will we suffer more right now cutting guys out for the deep freeze or keep the C5 intact?

    7. We need to be careful tweaking down right now. We are tweaking in several areas. If we tweak too much at the same time, it becomes impossible to evaluate any of the tweaks because they are interrelated. This is a common situation in developing almost anything… whether it be basketball teams or software. Make limited tweaks and study the results on those before making more tweaks. I think there are other tweaks I consider more important at this particular time.

    I don’t feel ready to ice down any of our guys at the 5 right now. And I have to admit, if I was going to ice down anyone, it would be Cheick. He is, by far, the guy that has to come the furthest distance to actually help this team. I don’t think we can do that… especially if we ever want to recruit the top tier talent again.

    Self is going to have to give Cheick a few minutes here and there… if for no other reason than to show the world Cheick isn’t ready for more minutes. And the second Cheick plays and produces enough to separate himself, he will instantly grab more PT.

    BTW: Without Jamari, we would have at least one conference loss, Oklahoma. No way in hell we are winning that game without Jamari. He made most of the defensive big plays that heavily impacted momentum. I am like most people in here… awaiting the day that Cheick takes minutes from Jamari. It appears that won’t happen this year. And from my conversations with other basketball wizards (who do not wear crimson/blue glasses) they see Cheick as a “work in progress” that will go far beyond this season. One of those people I highly respect said look for Cheick to play 3 years at Kansas! The hype was way too high on Cheick. More and more he looks like a freshman TRob. TRob stayed 3 years.

  • @BeddieKU23 The entire @Jesse-Newell post is amazing. The “Net” is highlighted here. As referenced in my post, the key to winning is winning the points per possession battle when it comes right down to it. Great breakdown by @Jesse-Newell.

    Here’s KU’s numbers – per possession:

    KU OFFENSIVELY, by possession, when Perry Ellis paired with:

    -Cheick Diallo: 1.44

    -Carlton Bragg: 1.38

    -Hunter Mickelson: 1.34

    -Landen Lucas: 1.22

    -Jamari Traylor: 1.05

    KU DEFENSIVELY, by possession, when Perry Ellis paired with:

    -Cheick Diallo: 0.74

    -Hunter Mickelson: 0.81

    -Carlton Bragg: 0.85

    -Jamari Traylor: 0.89

    -Landen Lucas: 0.94

    Sure bursts some Lucas/Traylor bubbles there. Kansas is at its worst offensively when Traylor or Lucas is paired with Ellis AND Kansas is at its worst defensively when Traylor or Lucas is paired with Ellis.

    What’s interesting is we can analyze what we see on the court. We can suggest that some guy (Traylor) might defend better. But over 15 games, the fact is, when he is paired with Ellis the NET results are worse than Mick, Bragg, or Lucas – both offensively and defensively.

    Jamari Traylor has a 12.7 PER. Our offense functions far worse when Traylor is paired with Elllis than when Traylor is paired with any other post player. This is the season where Traylor was supposedly better. Right.

    No surprise there for some. For the others, well … we know.

    And these stats really demonstrate what the eye test tells me – Lucas’ impact on our defense is a negative.

    Take all of that, and then ask yourself – what our best chance to win a national title? Bragg and Diallo improving, or sticking with the low talent players?

    And don’t for a minute think that we don’t beat OU if Lucas AND Traylor both missed the game entirely. Heck, we would have been better off playing small (with BG in the game) than having either on the floor. The NET production is all that matters.

  • Playing C5 requires perfection, in a way.

    In order to get the maximum amount of production from C5, Coach Self must play each member of C5 an optimal number of minutes to get the positives while not playing them so much that they make negative plays.

    The problem is, Bill Self cannot see the future. There is no way to know who is going to play well that night and whether that missed jump shot is the sign of a bad night or if it’s the only miss in a 5-6 night from the field.

    Because you don’t know that, you have to default to the best players because it is more likely that, over the long term, the best players will make the most net positive plays.

    There was an old saying I heard years ago - winning in November is about not making mistakes. Winning in March is about making plays. We need to have our playmakers - Ellis, along with Bragg and Cheick, with Mickelson contributing - in March, even if they might make a few mistakes.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Do you have a link to Jesse’s post?

    I’d like to check it out. I didn’t realize Cheick’s numbers show that well… but… he hasn’t really played long enough to make these numbers stick. Maybe he should receive more minutes to try to see if they will stick.

    I’m doubtful those numbers will work out over any length of time, unless Cheick shows us a complete turn around. He makes major blunders on almost every single play he is out there. Glaring. Really… glaring.

    For example, I think it was the TT game. He was along the baseline and fed Selden (I think) and then ran away from the basket. Selden was driving (I think it was Selden) and made the natural pass back to a Diallo who wasn’t there to take the ball and score with a finish at the rim. He wasn’t there! He doesn’t have team chemistry yet or the knowledge to know how to take advantage of situations.

    Imagine we put Cheick in the starting lineup right now.

    That means… our practice sessions basically come to a complete STOP because everything we practice we have to stop and WALK Cheick through it. This means… we basically STOP our entire offensive development just to include Cheick.

    Cheick still doesn’t know how to play without fouling. So whatever we do. whatever investment we make in him (read sentence above) it is only going to help us a couple minutes a game… the amount of time it takes him to get into foul trouble.

    I think Self wants to move Cheick into more minutes when it becomes the closest thing to being a “seamless transition.” If he does it now, we could easily be going on a losing streak. Bad for winning B12 #12, bad for March seedings, bad for team because who is to say they will get their mojo back. And Self would come under extreme, major criticism. The slight criticism he is getting now for not playing Cheick is only a tiny bit compared to what will happen if we see him make a change that throws us into a downward spiral. The risk/reward just isn’t there yet.

    But… maybe things change over the next couple weeks. I don’t know.

    All I know is what I see and read from others. And I talk to some smart basketball people outside of Kansas. No one I know thinks Cheick is anywhere ready to become an OAD or start for Kansas.

  • @BeddieKU23 I can aswer your question as to why Mickelson is sitting the bench more then playing, Saturday perfect example 3 fouls in like 5 minutes, on top of not holding ground, what good is he on the floor with 3 fouls if he can’t stay aggressive for being afraid of picking up a 4th in the 1st five minutes of a contest.Your not going to see me complain about the player rotation from a guy that is like 197 -9 since he has been at KU in Allen, the guy who has won 11 straight conference titles and the NATIONAL Championship, and has like an 83-84 % winning pct, the fastest coach to win 300 games while coaching at Ku,it’s sure EASY to second guess from the comfort of your home, wouldn’t it be awesome for any of the doubters to tell Coach have a seat, let you take his salary and let Coach Self and the rest of us sit back and see just how well you would do with your coaching ability and theories. I think I’ll stick behind the proven one and not question as to why he is doing what he does, the results are there right in front of you, but hey any and all like I have said before all you got to do is hop in your car take your idea’s to the KU athletic dept, and tell them to let you take over and fire Self, I be real interested to see how well that pans out for ya. ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY

  • @HighEliteMajor

    We are well into B12 play.

    Since when has Self waited this long to lock down his rotation?

    There is a reason for it. He hasn’t excluded Cheick from future minutes yet because he must sense his development will come along enough for him to make an impact this year.

    Cheick may pass Jesse’s stat line, but he sure doesn’t pass my eye test. Not yet, anyways. He hasn’t played long enough to make his stats stick. He should more positively impact a game if he is only getting a few minutes. He never even has to catch a second wind! And by the time teams start to adjust to his different play, he is being pulled out of the game, often because he is starting to foul.

    Morgantown is not the time to give him more minutes. We need every opportunity to come out of there with a win.

    But we have some nice home games coming up against the less-than-cream teams. Those are perfect opportunities to really give him some big minutes and see how he impacts the team. If he can manage to stay in without fouling.

    I bet he is improving a lot every single week. I’m guessing he won’t be the same player one month from now and he is right now. I hope he makes enough gains to really make a difference on this team. But I am skeptical. I hope he proves me wrong! I hope…

  • I do not care what the numbers say, Cheick Diallo is currently the worst post player KU has. The one stat that Newell doesn’t include that would be invaluable is how many minutes these guys actually play alongside Perry. I would assume Cheick and Bragg are the lowest because Bragg usually subs for Ellis and Diallo seems to play alongside Bragg and Traylor the most. People can keep saying that Diallo deserves more minutes, but the kid has no clue what he’s doing on the court at this point and that should be plain as day to anyone out there.

    Those numbers also don’t do anything to disprove what we know about the roles of Lucas, Mick, and Traylor. Lucas is put in to get rebounds when KU is getting the butts handed to them on the glass like OU started doing in the second half. Mickelson is the best offensive minded guy of the bunch, but he is a pansy and gets outmuscled for position regularly. How many rebounds did OU steal from him in that game? Traylor is the defensive guy and is athletic enough to guard on the perimeter and not be the mismatch on switches that Lucas and Mickelson are.

    Bragg’s game is still too one dimensional on offense (mid range jumper) and he gets dominated against physical teams because he is a bean pole with no muscle mass yet. Diallo is clueless on both ends of the floor right now. He’s selfish when he gets the ball jacking up terrible shots, he’s frequently out of position on the offensive glass. On defense, he has zero help defense skills right now and he puts himself too far under the basket to get rebounds at this point.

    The argument isn’t the ceiling of Bragg and Diallo because there’s nobody that believes their ceilings are lower than the other 3 posts. The argument is CURRENT ABILITY LEVEL and Diallo is nowhere near the other guys right now. Bragg is improving, but the consistency of his play just isn’t there yet and that’s what’s holding him back now and more minutes will not make him a more consistent player.

    None of the strengths of the C5 are so great that they mask their deficiencies effectively enough to make any of them worthy of major minutes. Traylor plays the most at 15, Lucas is at 13, Bragg is at 11 (mostly for Ellis at this point who averages 29 mpg), Mickelson is at 10 mpg, and Diallo at 9 mpg.

    Self’s strategy at this point is putting his best offensive big (Mickleson) out there to start the game to build an early lead, then give Diallo some minutes to apply what he’s been doing in practice into game situations, and then go to Traylor and Lucas to ice the game by providing defense and rebounding. There will be games here and there where someone gets hot or KU is so desperate for that skill (like rebounding against OU) that the C5 will be tightened significantly for a particular game, but for the most part it will be a position filled by committee the rest of the year because none of the players have the CURRENT ability level to play 25+ mpg without getting completely exposed on their weaknesses.

    If Self does what HEM is suggesting by dumping the C5 for a C2, KU will get completely exposed at that position. We all know each guy has a major hole(s) in their game that anchor that spot, playing them all under 15 mpg minimizes their deficiencies and maximizes what they’re good at and if one of them happens to catch fire in a game, then they can play more minutes in that individual game, and then go back to the committee the next game.

    The C5 isn’t about KU playing off of opposing teams weaknesses by playing a certain big, it’s about Self limiting the ability of the opposing team to exploit KU’s weakness at the 5 by being able to throw different players that have different abilities and skill sets at opponents.

    Which KU would be easier to defend, a KU that plays Mickelson and Diallo exclusively at the 5 with Bragg exclusively subbing for Ellis or a KU that plays Mickelson, Diallo, Traylor, and Lucas at the 5 with Ellis, Bragg, and Traylor at the 4? I know if I was an opposing coach, I would salivate at the prospects of KU having no defensive prowess at the rim with no rebounding over having to prepare for guys that collectively are competent at everything on both ends of the floor.

    This isn’t a case of KU being desperate to find scoring at the 5 and not having it like last season when Cliff’s lack of development killed KU’s offense. Even if Bragg or Diallo were to emerge tomorrow, they would still be at best be the 4th or 5th scoring option for KU behind Ellis, Selden, and Mason with Graham being the only guy they would conceivably jump in the priority of need of scoring from that spot.

  • @wrwlumpy Lumpy, is that you?

  • @jayballer54 Easy there. Quite frankly, your response to @BeddieKU23 lacks any real contemplation. I get the emotional reaction. But if you get offended by discussion, and you get offended by challenging Self’s decisions, my threads aren’t the right place for you. No one asks that you agree. But I am very interested in why you disagree. We all know the Bill Self resume. It’s a foundational piece of knowledge we all know. With that, why is @BeddieKU23 (or others) wrong?

    Self has two final fours in his entire coaching career which requires only 4 wins in a row. He’s won 11 conference titles with big in-season winning streaks. Simple numbers tell me that he’s a much better regular season coach, than post season.

    The issue of playing pedestrian players now vs. looking to the future, seems a connected topic.

    And you have selected but one isolated example on Mickelson. But, of course, you know that. The numbers here, my friend, don’t lie. Look at the entire season. Over an entire season, the body of work, Mickelson is better than Lucas and Traylor. And the reality is, KU is at its worst both offensively and defensively when Traylor or Lucas is one the floor with Ellis compared to the other three post choices. That all seems fairly interesting to me.

    I know we all loved that OU/KU game. But how about winning in regulation? Winning that game was great. But not that great. It is simply looking for ways to get better.

    I challenge anyone – please point to and tell me ONE offensive move made by Jamari Traylor to score a basket this season, but for a few drives to his right from the free throw line (his only move, by the way). And with Lucas, in all of his minutes, how many times has he scored with the ball on the block? Easily less than five. Easy. How about ONE 8 footer? Traylor – how many 8 footers? Just call me interested.

    @drgnslayr The link is in @BeddieKU23 post above.

    When is the “right time?” It’s like having children. Is there ever a good time? There is always risk. I do think Self can limit the rotation now. I think it is really quite easy. Just pretend that Traylor and Lucas do not exist. He did it last season with Mick and Svi. And see how it goes for a couple of weeks. My view, but you have to see the risk/reward with foresight. You say the risk/reward isn’t there yet. i don’t understand that. Why not? Make it a plan to increase Diallo’s minutes then. 10 next game no matter what. 12 the next. 14 the next. 18 the next game at ISU. Then 20 (in the UK game). And let’s see. It is flat silly to sit this kid 50 of 55 minutes vs. OU and to play him, what, 3 minutes against Texas Tech.

    The more he plays Lucas and Traylor, the more this team is locked in to playing with Lucas and Traylor. And that is a low ceiling.

    Do you see us winning the national title with Lucas and Traylor as the #2 and #3 minutes guys in the post? That is the crunch question, isn’t it?


    @BeddieKU23 You said, “#6. I have held back commenting on this because honestly we are winning games.” – understood. But the best time to discuss is when we are winning. That way, there is no tinge of irritation or irrationality due to a singular defeat. Good points above.

    And your comment about Bolden – I assume you saw where Bolden wants a place where he can play now. Common refrain. And with a senior Landen Lucas and Dwight Coleby, doesn’t look good. I’d trade Lucas and Coleby right now for Bolden and a Justin Wesley clone. Or I’d trade all four for Tyler Davis, but I digress.

  • @Texas-Hawk-10

    I like your explanation better than mine! Great job!

    Another point… with our current C5… how do teams scout our 5? Which 5? And how do they make a plan to attack our 5 if they don’t know which one will get the minutes?

    Scouting is huge. In our league, it helps tighten up league play and makes our conference race very very interesting.

    And in March… I think scouting is the key to winning out. Doesn’t get talked about enough. We often lose to lower teams. I give them credit less for hitting a big shot at the buzzer and more for knowing how to play us for 40 minutes.

    Our C5 offers vagueness… a potential strength never realized in typical analysis!

  • @Texas-Hawk-10 Well stated. Personally I think #6 is a bit too far out there for a pilgrim to speak. Stats cant’ gauge heart/chemistry like @Crimsonorblue22 says & I believe Carlton or Chieck will only get there after they’ve been under the gun for awhile, But I don’t think Self will sacrifice a loss on the road to get them more minutes. Like slayr speculates-they should get more min at home vs some lesser opponents, but not on the road risking defeat.

  • @HighEliteMajor said:

    History is a good indicator of what it takes to win a national title.

    A Few History Defying Rings:

    • UCLA winning with no starter over 6-4

    • Texas Western winning with all African American starting five.

    • UConn winning without a single OAD in the OAD stack era.

    • Michigan winning a ring with Fisher after firing Frieder before the start of March Madness.

    Self needs to make The Bold Choice

    I am always for the right choice, not the bold one. But if you want bold, then staying with C5 is the ONLY bold choice Self can make at the 5. A five man rotation at the five is unprecedented in my recollection. Reducing the rotation, be it right, or wrong, is the safe play flowing from conventional wisdom.

    I think until someone finds a way to beat C5, C5 stays.

    But Self is once again ahead of most on this issue.

    Self has committed to C5 the first half and C2 or C3 the second.

    It is maddeningly cunning.

    He makes the opposing coach prepare for all five, then after a half Self commits to 2 or 3, and the 2 or 3 they handle least well!

    My guess?

    Other coaches begin copying him ASAP!

  • @HighEliteMajor

    " It is flat silly to sit this kid 50 of 55 minutes vs. OU and to play him, what, 3 minutes against Texas Tech."

    I agree… he should get a few more minutes just to make sure he stays hungry for more. Helps keep him interested while gaining little bits of real game experience.

    I just don’t see him getting major minutes in big games within the next week or so… and maybe not all season. He will have to make a huge update to his game to warrant that.

    We (I see ‘we’ because it definitely includes me) all are very quick to make major changes in hopes to find big gains. It just doesn’t work that way on Self’s level. He’s paid millions of dollars and can’t afford to have a major dip in his popularity. His popularity is largely tied to his winning success. If he gambles away wins, he gambles away his popularity. If he loses his popularity his job changes completely. Then he goes from a premiere coach to an average coach that no one cares if he is thrown under the bus. When he makes a big move, especially during league play, he better feel confident in the results. That is what I mean by “risk/reward.” It just isn’t there yet with Cheick because he completely fails the eye test.

    And the results can be devastating. If anything happens now and KU goes on a losing streak… fans will be looking for a reason and a person to flog. That is just the way it is in sports. Self isn’t going to give them that reason. We already know from last year. He was warned a million times on some of that BAD BALL stuff and he didn’t react. He played it through and we accepted mediocrity. It wasn’t a great situation, but it is unlikely anything was going to save that season. We just didn’t have all the right pieces and with too much inexperience.

    Devonte Graham is a huge part of our success this year. Everyone is focusing on Frank and Wayne… but Devonte is playing some pretty good ball sometimes and when he plays well we kick ass. No one can steal balls on this team like Devonte can, and he cashes them in at the other end.

  • @drgnslayr How do you scout …

    #1 “Guys, when Lucas or Traylor are in, their defender goes level 5 help (or whatever the team says to designate help levels – the highest rate).” Why would any team respect either player with the ball? This allows opposing defenders that guard either one to impact our other players (such as Ellis, which might explain a little the offensive per possession discrepancies)

    #2 “When Lucas or Traylor are on the floor, play loose with zero close out outside of 8 feet.” This is self explanatory. Would you ever close out on either guy shooting?

    More numbers:

    To put the above numbers into perspective, we score 37% more points with Diallo paired with Ellis than Traylor, 31% more with Bragg/Ellis than Traylor/Ellis, and 27% more with Mick/Ellis than Traylor/Ellis.

    On defense, we give up 21.4% less points per possession with Diallo/Ellis, 13.8% less with Mick/Ellis, and 9.5% less with Bragg/Ellis vs. our supposed best post defender, Landen Lucas.

  • @jaybate-1.0 “I think until someone finds a way to beat C5, C5 stays.”

    Would you be happy if it was Mark Turgeon that figured out how to beat C5 in the Elite 8 with Diamond Stone? Or LSU with Ben Simmons in the Sweet 16? Or whatever?

    Project – look into the future – what do you see?

    My crystal ball sees one thing for certain. Lucas and Traylor playing exactly the way they play now.

    I will also acknowledge that we could shock the world and win the title playing C5. I’m not liking the odds. You?

  • @HighEliteMajor

    I just don’t think Cheick has enough minutes with Perry to make any numbers stick.

    His play on the court is just downright painful to watch. It goes way beyond “eye test.”

    But the good news is that he is improving rapidly. Will it be enough for this season? I really don’t know.

    I think, as of today, there is a 95% chance Cheick will wear a Kansas uniform next year. He will be a monster from Day 1 next year.

    You know… if we were just a mediocre team this year I would be a lot more open to making big changes right now. But we are a pretty good team with great potential this spring, with or without Cheick. That makes me react more conservative now. We have plenty to lose by taking big risks now.

  • Did anyone actually watch the last ten-ish minutes of the Tech game?

    Definitely slower pace with Lucas in, but I’d say we played more under control with Lucas in the game than with either Bragg or Diallo (and definitely without Greene flying around).

    The quarter of the game where you WIN, net production doesn’t matter.

    Tied 44-44. What did Lucas do?

    10:03 Lucas post layup

    8:52 Lucas screen for Mason made 3

    8:31 Lucas boxout, fouled on defensive rebound

    8:10 Lucas screen on Svi missed 3

    6:02 Lucas assist on Selden jam

    5:04 Lucas screen for Mason made 3

    3:20 Lucas bounce pass to SVI who missed the dunk, made 1 FT

    2:25 Lucas screen for Selden’s made 3

    1:42 Lucas ssist/lob for Ellis jam

    On Devonte’s layup at 1:08 Lucas screened Selden’s guy and Selden would have had an easy dunk if Devonte needed to dish of the ball. By that point the game was won.

    Lucas got scored on a couple times in the 2-4 minute range, but other than that, I understand why Self is comfortable with Lucas out there. He knows exactly where he’s supposed to be.

    Until Diallo figures that out, it’s going to be Lucas.

  • @drgnslayr Fyi, Jason King has posted last week he thought, regardless, that Diallo was gone after the season.

    And I guess I disagree a bit on the eye test. I just see developing freshman.

    Did you see vs. TT when he didn’t shoot when he got the ball, when he passed it around crisply?

    I am very interested in your opinion. You are very articulate in your defense of C5.

    Do you see us winning the national title with Lucas and Traylor as the #2 and #3 minutes guys in the post? That is the crunch question, isn’t it?

    @Texas-Hawk-10 i don’t suggest dumping C5 for C2. What I suggest is sitting Traylor and never playing him (save a last minutes switching D on the perimeter). He’s easily the worst player. Going a four man post rotation of Ellis, Diallo, Bragg, and Mick. Using Lucas as perhaps a 5 minute guy here and there.

    Do we appreciate the concept of opportunity cost, chemistry, cohesiveness, style of play – any of that?

    It is just such a simplistic statement to say " … and if one of them happens to catch fire in a game, then they can play more minutes in that individual game, and then go back to the committee the next game."

    Kansas, C5 – jack of all trades, master of none. A patchwork quilt that has a high risk of being pulled apart at the seams.

  • @HighEliteMajor How much does Diallo play at the time? Something around 5-8 minutes. No problem with extrapolating that. What is the minimum number of minutes that Diallo has to play to make your conclustion meaningful. How about 1, if not that 2. Admit it, you have no data to give any approximation of what he would do with 25 minutes. Not to be too picky but what does “despite all of the rancor for Traylor or Lucas” mean? You do know what rancor means? Obviously not.

  • @HighEliteMajor Hey, now that you’re back, how did coach do against OU? What things would you have done differently?

  • @BeddieKU23 What you quoted from Haley’s note “but those are likely sample-size flukes. And even if they weren’t, they have nothing to do with him.” invokes that same problem that I pointed out about HEM’s analysis. There is no data quoted by anyone to show that Hunter (or Diallo) that has enough sample size to be relevant. I would like to see Hunter and Diallo play more myself, but that case is not made by any numbers I have seen.

  • @Bwag No, I could dunk as a Senior at 6’4", but I too started with a volleyball.

  • Play Mickelson more…if he is able to get comfortable and quit feeling he needs to make world saving moves that lead to fouls, he stabilizes by not needing a world saving move in his limited playing time. Heck, sit him if he gets in to Foul trouble, just like was done with Selden when he does. That opens up opportunities on the back end for depth.

    Continue to get the Bragg and Diallo time as they grow. Use substitutions to coach on the bench and send them back in for their allottment as the light in their eyes grows.

    Spot minutes for Traylor/Lucas. They are a safety blanket and a wet one at that despite what your eyes tell you. Lucas is at .38 Rb/min versus Hunters .3/min. Over 10-11 minutes of playing time, that gets Lucas one more rebound than Hunter. In that 10 minute of playing time, Hunter will on average blow out the rest of the stat lines which includes Blocks, (.13 HM v .01 LL / .06 JT), Steals nearly twice the rate for Hunter than LL and JT, fewer turnovers again half the rate as LL/JT).

    Hunter is the most efficient of our bigs (EFF .71/min v CD - .65, LL - .63, CB- .56 and our worst overall efficient player in the C5 JT-.48 -not quite twice as bad as HM but nearing).


    at the 5: Start - Mickelson / Sub - Diallo at the 4: Start - Perry / Sub - Bragg

    Little mix and match at will with back stop of LL at the 5/ JT at the 4.

    And welcome back @HighEliteMajor…hope all in the family are doing well now.

  • @wrwlumpy I can touch the net.

  • @DanR I agree about Landon, especially at crunch time. He has 4 other guys that can score-he needs a big that knows his role , rebounds, sets proper screens, & understands the correct placement on the floor. The last of which, Carlton or Chieck are too overwhelmed to yet comprehend.

  • @globaljaybird Except he barely rebounds at a better rate than Mickelson. 1 more rebound for every 10-11 minutes of playing time. Hardly impactful when you consider, in those 10-11 minutes, Mickelson will have maybe blocked a shot, gotten a steal and/or an assist, and had a fewer turnover.

    Maybe with a little more consistent time on the floor, we won’t be in that close game because as stats seem to indicate, overall efficiency on Offense and Defense are greater. Don’t let it become a game. Substitute as necessary, like we do when Selden gets 2-3 fouls, bringing in our least efficient players only as extreme backstop/extreme match-up players.

  • @HighEliteMajor If Traylor is removed from the picture, it is a C2 or C3 because Carlton Bragg is not part of the 5. He subs almost exclusively for Ellis which puts him at the 4 and not part of the C5 which should really be called the C4 because it’s 4 guys manning the low post spot.

    In wedding ceremonies, one of the common things you see is the pastor talking about how 3 strands of rope are stronger than 2. You see this metaphor used a lot for team building as well. This metaphor also applies to the low post position for KU. The collective 4 guys that man that position are better as 4 strands of rope than removing one and making it 3 strands.

    If you only play Traylor in end game situations, he hasn’t gotten into the flow of the game, isn’t adjusted to how the refs call the game, isn’t adjusted to how the opposing team is playing and will look horrible. None of those guys have shown they’re good enough to play 10-15 minutes over the years, this year they’re all playing 10-15 minutes and KU is playing much better this year than at any point in the past two seasons.

    If you start playing ANY of the post guys except for Ellis over 15 minutes on a consistent basis, they get exposed significantly and that’s exactly what will happen if the current post rotation is shortened on a permanent basis.

    KU does not win a national title by shortening the post rotation and exposing a significant weakness even more than it already is.

  • @HighEliteMajor you have NO CLUE. I can very easily see us winning the national title very easily with EXACTLY the way the C-5 is right now, thanks. Like Texas Hawk says right now at this point Cheick is our worst option possible,you want to put him in to say we ll he needs playing time? you earn playing time by how you show in practice, are you there in practice. I do believe has a better feel about how you think or anyone else think Cheick is doing. Whats silly is if the kid is not cutting it in practice time why the hell you going to reward him in game time? You know what though? that’s whats great about America you have freedom of expression, freedom of speech, and if you don’t like my responses to your posts then buddy I don’t know what to tell you. Just as you tell me maybe your threads aren’t for me- - -well you see maybe my responses aren’t for your just keep scrolling when you see my response, problem solved. you got your opinion which is you right as well as I’ve got the right to my opinion so thanks for your feed back have a great night ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY

  • @HighEliteMajor I’m loving the odds thanks for asking

  • @sfbahawk don’t question what he says, he doesn’t like that, it’s best you just try an fit in lol, don’t rock the boat lol. ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY

  • This post is deleted!

  • Banned

    I never can understand why persons want to shorten the bench? The excuse is always the same well it’s always been done this way.

    Well College Basketball is changing by leaps and bounds. What worked yesteryear may not work in today’s game.

    I mean why go with a short bench when you don’t have too? Is the answer cohesion? Hogwash these kids play with and against each every day. You want to destroy cohesion and team chemistry then start sitting kids and tell them were not going to play you unless we just absolutely have too. Then we expect you to play like you could be starter. Huh?

    KU just won a tough road game and coach went to the bench early and often. Could the margin of victory have been bigger sure. Just like Selden could’ve not started out shooting o for 5 or 6 from three land. Bottom line KU won and they didn’t have to kill the starters to do it.

    I don’t know about you but I’m tired of heading into conference play with a worn out and injured team. I say Coach play the Inglorious Bastards and play Svi and Greene has much as you can. Besides I’m becoming a solid believer that KU plays best when you give coach many options pushing him to think outside the box.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    "You are very articulate in your defense of C5.

    Do you see us winning the national title with Lucas and Traylor as the #2 and #3 minutes guys in the post? That is the crunch question, isn’t it?"

    I always appreciate your posts. You have great basketball instincts and insights. And I am careful not to go over the top being too critical on your concepts because dang if you won’t prove me wrong!!!

    I mean this with all sincerity… you are one of the few people I know I would trust my kids with your coaching. I know you would build great fundamentals in them.

    I respect that you push harder for change than anyone in here, and you back it up with well-thought posts.

    I am just going with Self on this one (so far) because I can’t attend practices and get to know the guys. I believe Self is trying to take the best path for pushing Cheick into the most development. Maybe that means starving him of PT minutes to build his appetite to develop quicker. He should have a sense of urgency. I don’t know that much about his culture from Mali. But I have had a pretty good taste of several African countries and having a sense of urgency isn’t usually a common personal trait. This is not a race thing. From what I understand Cheick is one constant energy flow with lots of hustle. But right now… it is 8:30pm. Is he in a gym somewhere working on his game until midnight? That is what it is going to take to give him D1 game this season.

    There is gray area in coaching… but not that often. I am thinking Self’s current decision to limit his minutes is pretty obvious to Self. And we don’t have enough things to support Cheick getting big minutes right now. That could change quickly. And it depends only on Cheick. He needs to be studying plays, watching tape, work on his strength, work on his post moves, dribbling, passing, rebounding… setting screens. Pretty much the entire game of basketball started for him just a few weeks ago. Everything he did before that was either very little real technique, or techniques that build bad habits that have to change now.

    I don’t think any of us can really comprehend the learning curve he must perform at to really be an asset to Kansas basketball THIS YEAR! This goes way beyond his extremely high potential. Repetition, repetition, repetition… Work… work… work…

    Keep up the push. I’m not convinced yet, but I am at least starting to think about it more.

    I am okay with Cheick getting a few more minutes. But he needs to reduce his fouling and mucking up both sides of the ball.

  • He looks for reasons to play Jamari and LL, and he looks for reasons to not play Hunter, Diallo, and Bragg. I definitely think Jamari is up there in the team hierarchy as a 5th year senior. He is probably used by Self as an example to the younger players of hard work and defense translating to minutes. If he didn’t play Jamari, all those speeches he made recognizing Jamari for everything he has overcome to the young guys would look a little silly. Self hates being beat on the boards, and he puts in LL when he thinks he needs size. He doesn’t need Hunter’s scoring ability, and he considers LL a better rebounder. He doesn’t play Diallo and Bragg because they aren’t part of the team hierarchy - thy’re still outsiders…rookies that have to prove themselves…AND we’re in the hunt for a national title, and he simply won’t take losses to develop these guys.

    I’m like dragonslayer on this - it’s hard for me to question the results …number 1 in the nation should give you lots of leeway to run the team as you see fit. That doesn’t mean HEM is wrong- the numbers are pretty clear. But teams aren’t always about numbers. There are pecking orders formed on every team, and I think Jamari and LL are higher on the team pecking order than their numbers show. Just my opinion- I have no empirical proof, so please take it as such.

  • @KUSTEVE that and those two are still struggling to be fluid on both ends of the floor.

    As others have correctly stated, when don’t need 20-30 points per game from the 5 position. What do we need then? Defense, rebounding, and fundamentals. I mentioned it before but I think everyone needs to go back again and watch the Duke 2010 title team. Not a single player on that team that was even remotely as talented as Jahil Okafor back to the basket. Yes I know Zoubeck and Thomas were top 100 recruits as well as the two Plumlees, but none of them were skilled offensively. What they did have is chemistry, hustle, and could rebound well.

    HEM, here is the only team to platoon the five spot and win the title. Duke had four guys, we have five guys. So with all due respect, we can win a title IF C5 shows toughness and resilience.

    Like Self said on HawkTalk the other night, I too am not willing to sacrifice losses for the possibility that Bragg and/or Cheick improve. We can theorize till the cows come home, but the truth is we have no clue if they will improve this year enough to play 25 - 30 minutes a game.

  • @MoonwalkMafia Oh I won’t turn this site into any kind of a contest,. But I also won’t try and just blend in and say yo daddy too, just because I may disagree and don’t stroke someone’s back because I differ on thoughts, then I don’t know what to tell you, I will continue to express and I will say this anyone like it OR if you don’t that’s really not my problem. Once again this is what’s great about America I have the right to voice my opinion freedom of expression no matter how you might think I choose to express it thanks. Their is one VERY HUGE problem here and it gets really really really old, get really really sick and tired of hearing a bunch of arm chair coaches, that think Self is not Coaching correctly, the Answer is simple really simple. Where were all the arm chair coaches from in here when the University had the Coaching vacany? People here think they HAVE THE RIGHT ANSWERS so why are you working where your working IF you are instead of not being the head coach at the University, I mean this get ssooooooooo old, listening to people same thing, while he just continues to win doing it HIS WAY, hmmmm so whats wrong with that picture? Just don’t get it, he is coaching wrong, subbing the wrong way, playing the wrong players BUT yet he continues to win, dam I don’t get that. why is that? I know people think oh we should be winning National championship every 2 or 3 yrs, listen up, it just doesn’t work that way, other teams have something to say about that. Teams that get on a roll, play well for what 3 weekends? Injuries play a part, one bad game and your season is over partner. You wanna talk about how he loses to medicore teams in the tourney, early exits, again injury plays a part, you think these other teams are just gonna lay down when we play them in the tourney? Oh well your Ku your surpose to win, her let us get out of your way, you name the score. Again you got the answers right? then go tell Coach how to run the team- - -I’m sure he would be really happy to listen, hell ya who wouldn’t want to win the Championship every year or every other year, but I got news for ya, you have fans bitching at Coack K at Duke, you got fans bitching at Calipari, it’s not just here. Why? because I don’t try and color what all the people say in here a rosy picture all the time, but you know what? I’m going to continue to post, I’m going to continue to respond, bottom line you don’t like what I have to say just ignore it and move to the next response and I’ll continue to sleep just fine. simple as that, sorry If I don’t agree with everything anyone says here but changing- - - that’s not happening, I will continue to post what I think- - just don’t respond to it simple enough, just gets really old hearing people think they have the perfect solution, comes off like you can do sooooo much better, give me a break. ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY

  • @drgnslayr Thanks as always. I really enjoy this topic. The main reason I enjoy it is because there two very distinct points of view and while we can do our best to speculate, we will never really know for sure. The fact is we are winning. And believe me, I don’t take that lightly.

    The best defense for the C5 concept to me is that Self doesn’t believe that any of the five players are really worthy. So it’s a conglomeration by default. That has legs to me. Heck, as @DoubleDD and @jaybate-1.0 noted, so what if it’s never really been done this way. This might end up being better for Kansas.

    I was careful in my post at the top to make an argument for deciding on post players, and leaving my opinion until the end. Eliminate my opinion and it could very well be an argument for going with Traylor and Mickelson.

    @Texas-Hawk-10 Actually, I’m using C5 as @jaybate-1.0 has. Those 5 players. And I’m sure you saw Bragg start the half and play with Ellis for a good chunk vs. TT. Why do you think Bragg would get exposed, for example? What would be exposed? A nice jump shot, activity, skill? You might be surprised at what you see with Bragg at 20 minutes for a few games in a row. You seem pretty sure of yourself on sticking with C5 the entire season. Can you cite me one NCAA tourney winner that has done it this way? I couldn’t find one. I guess our 5 guys are so bad we can’t play them any significant minutes. Who does that reflect on?

    @sfbahawk Yes, on the use of rancor, I should have said “irrespective of” as opposed to “despite all of.” Thanks for the notation. And I do agree with you that stats are always subject to sample size issues. The two times Diallo played over 15 minutes, he had double digit points. But until you see it, you are correct, you’ll never know (referring to your 25 minute deal). I would also suggest that you have no data to show that Diallo wouldn’t do better if given more time a game. While I have two games where he played very well playing over 15 minutes. That all said, we do know what we get from Lucas/Traylor at relatively high minute rates. And it ain’t good.

    @DanR THANK YOU – One of the points of my initial post was to do my best to avoid offering an opinion until the last numbered paragraph. You mention sticking with Lucas. Ok – that’s part of my point. If Lucas is the man, then let’s go with Lucas. Again, not my preference, but would we be better operating off who we are instead of hoping Diallo at some point meets Self standards? Your notes on Lucas are terrific info. If we just go with Lucas as the man at the 5, wouldn’t that present a better chance to play our best with Lucas at the 5 in March?

    To your “comfortable” comment, Fran Fraschilla referenced the experienced guys today as a “comfortable pair (of) sneakers” to coach Self, and supported Self’s decision on this. He definitely likes Bragg over Diallo.

    Question: Do you want KU to play slower and more under control? Is that better with this team?

    @wrwlumpy - Alright, what would I have done differently vs. OU? In hindsight, nothing, we won. If we moved back in time, during the game, I would have 1) Focused more on the three point shot in the 2nd half and OT, vs. drive ball, 2) Would have called timeouts and schemed plays to win at the end of the regulation and OT periods, 3) Applied pressure just as Dick Vitale suggested at the end of the 3rd OT, caused some time to run off, and fouled (and if I wasn’t going to foul, I would have done everything possible to instruct my guys to guard vs. what we saw from Selden, getting pushed back inside three point range and Ellis slapping at the ball on a three point shot), 4) I would have found Diallo 15 minutes, and 5) Would have gone small to begin the 2nd or 3rd overtime with Greene instead of Lucas or would have swung in fresh legs (Svi, Greene, Bragg) for the start of the 2nd or 3rd OT to see if we could get an advantage. But again, when we win, all decisions are basically justified for that particular game – the discussion is what are the best decisions moving forward if presented similar options.

    @Bwag Thanks … I’ve got an elderly parent who is post-surgery, and my wife’s grandmother (who is 92) is in her last days. Most everyone has been there.

    Your rotation is my rotation as well. You’re exactly right … more consistent time on the floor. Mitch Kupchak, the Lakers GM, bemoaned the fact that Kobe was continuing to play big minutes. Why? He said it was impacting the ability to develop the younger players because of the minutes Kobe played.

    @KUSTEVE - your first sentence seems eminently correct.

    @DinarHawk - Zoubek and the two Plumlees were opposite Singlar. Thomas played the 3 spot, was the starter there. But Zoubek + Plumlees, next to Singlar. We just need to trim two guys off our rotation now. If you look at the NCAA final game box score, as an example, you’ll see that coach K played Zoubek 31 minutes, Singlar 40, and Miles and Mason combined for 12 minutes. In the national semis, Miles played 13 minutes. Mason 8. Zoubeck was 27 minutes. But if you go back farther, the minutes are more what you suggest – the Plumlees combined for 39 minutes in the Elite Eight.

    Really, though, I believe Duke had a 4 man post rotation – exactly what I am suggesting. They had Zoubeck, Singlar, Plumlee, and Plumlee.

  • @Texas-Hawk-10 Your paragraph beginning with “Self’s strategy” is THE BEST explanation of why Self is doing what he is with the C5 mpg allotments.

    The only problem with going to a 4-man rotation, is that whichever 5th and 6th guy you bench, you lose something x 2. All 5 guys are different.

    My gentle counterpoint to @HighEliteMajor 's excellent discussion points are that eventhough we are chopping-up the experience gathering by 3 of the C5–> my point is that it is still slowing building up as a mass of experience, en mass. The other point is that this is only game experience, because you know the whole roster is running our stuff hot and heavy in practice.

    My 3rd point is that the “constant” is the other 4 starters. They are also judges. They also know if that 5th guy is out of position, or didn’t rotate over on backside help, etc…Or even subtle stuff that most TV fans wont appreciate, like arriving late for a screen, thus screwing up the timing of popping open BG or somebody trying to come off a screen for that 1/2 second window to get a shot off…Notice how even the announcers noticed how Lucas “set a great screen”, which popped open Selden’s dagger 3 late game against OU.

    Hey, I have been guilty of blasting Lucas a bit after his MichSt outing, but he can make positive plays…here and there. Same applies to Traylor, but in different settings.

    One point of frustration and anger I have is fans lumping Traylor together with Lucas–> they are not the same player. Even if statistical production is almost the same, they are NOT some computer/cyber-generated player. Each is different. Let me voice my gut feeling differently: Traylor plays his ass off with his limited offensive repertoire, while Lucas could play harder, & faster.

    Frankly, maybe Self limits the mpg of each of the C5 simply to limit the “bad”. Leave a kid in too long, and he gets exposed or exploited…

  • @jaybate-1.0 Your sentence is a true gem: “(Self) makes the opposing coach prepare for all 5, then after a half Self commits to 2 or 3, and the 2 or 3 they handle LEAST well!”

    What a way to “disrupt the opponent” before the game has even started…(I saw a VERY puzzled, shellshocked, or rock-shock-&-awe face from Scot Drew of Faylor during their obligatory beatin in AFH, and watch Self put the final nail in Travis Ford’s coffin, as this year’s new wrinkles + The C-Five Platoon will simply be too much for Ford to handle…)

  • @HighEliteMajor actually, after re watching part of Duke vs Butler again, it appears Thomas started at the 4 with Singlar at the 3. The three guards, Smith, Scheyer, and Singlar, really carried the load offensively for that team.

  • @DinarHawk said:

    @HighEliteMajor actually, after re watching part of Duke vs Butler again, it appears Thomas started at the 4 with Singlar at the 3. The three guards, Smith, Scheyer, and Singlar, really carried the load offensively for that team.

    Question for ya… after watching the Duke - Butler game, did it appear Zoubeck was getting away with every damn thing? My memory tells me the officials would absolutely not call fouls on that kid, and he was mauling anyone in a black jersey, but I might be wrong.

  • @Mikey-P yeah, he did get away with stuff the whole tournament, but the principle still holds true that this year’s team needs toughness, rebounding, and making the simple play at the 5 position, just like that Duke team.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    I happen to completely agree with you surprise, surprise!

    I also appreciate your tone on this thread…and good grammar.

    One thing none of us has is a crystal ball.

    I’m in favor of giving 20 minutes each to Mick & Bragg right away. And Diallo can get 10-15. Without a crystal ball, the only way to know what they can do is to play them real minutes.

    We ALREADY KNOW what we’re gonna get from LL and JT. And if we win the national championship with these guys playing major minutes I’ll be sooooooo happy!!! As all Kansas fans will be.

    But if we under achieve, again and fall short of at least a F4 w/ LL and JT playing major minutes then I believe most reasonable fans will always wonder what could have been…

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