"Fool's Gold" makes its debut

  • http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2016/jan/12/bill-self-kus-early-3-pointers-fools-gold/?sports

    It’s back.

    “It was fool’s gold. We were up 13-9 and hadn’t thrown it inside but once,” KU coach Bill Self said.

    This makes it apparent that shooting and making the 3 is psychologically, in Self’s mind, damaging to other aspects of how the players play. Followed up with 50-50 balls that was a problem.

    Wonder where we go from here?

  • @Bwag It was stupid then, it is stupid now, it will always be stupid. We’ve had two versions of this from Self 1) making shots is Fool’s Gold because then you won’t play defense (as if a coach can’t coach defense properly and motivate his team properly if his team is making shots), and 2) that somehow making shots is a bad thing for the offense (of course, when it’s been a good thing for the offense all season).

    All this is – all it is – is Bill Self projecting blame for the loss and projecting blame away from himself. In reality, this loss means nothing so long as we don’t enter a game this unprepared again.

    Fool’s Gold, with this team, is believing it can score consistently inside. Same as last season. It’s why we had to go to OT to beat OU. We stopped shooting three pointers – our admitted strength.

    So we need to throw the ball inside. Sure.

    Bill Self said yesterday before the game he doesn’t even know who to play inside:

    “I do think there’s certain things from a depth situation that has made it difficult because a lot of times we don’t know who to play. I know that sounds like a lot of coaches should know. I don’t think that’s necessarily true. A lot of times we play based on scouting report. I haven’t done that in many years,” Self said. “Against West Virginia, it could be best ball-handling bigs for obvious reasons. Against a low-post threat it could be your heaviest big who is the best low-post presence. Against a pick and pop big guy it could be your most agile, best perimeter-defending big guys. It’s nice to have some options we can run people out there. It’d be better if you had one guy who could do it all. Certainly in our situation we’ve kind of done it by committee in that other big spot (next to Perry Ellis).”

  • I can only hope that bad ball does not come back for the rest of this season.

  • @HighEliteMajor agreed. Just more excuses from Self blaming everything on the players, as if he is totally helpless from the sideline

  • @Bwag Well, it seems these two big problems have manifested themselves in a very predictable way. Great. Has to make you wonder where we go from here. I’m sorry, but I’m not content to sit back and hope for a Big 12 title at best. This team is good enough to win a national championship. It seems that Self may be putting us right back in the same precarious position he did last year.

  • Well now we have sacrificed a loss while continuing to go with experience. Will that change anything?

  • @cragarhawk I’m not sure that going with experience was the problem. Too many bad passes and fouling cost us the game.

  • @DinarHawk completely understand your position on that. And yes. You could be right. Problem is. We will never know. How would the team look last night or at this point in the season or in late march/early April… What would Bragg, Diallo, and Mich look like now if they’d had more minutes. More development up to this point. Unanswerable speculation no doubt.

  • The reporter really set that comment up. I don’t think it really means anything about the future of the 3 this season.

  • @benshawks08 you are right.

  • @HighEliteMajor Regarding the futility of trying to score inside… We made exactly 10 2 pt shots the entire game. Ellis had 7 of them. The rest of the team combined, including the vaunted C5 had exactly 3. One each by Mick and Lucas, each of which weren’t created buckets, but rather uncontested loose ball freebies. One by Mason. That’s it. And, this against a team that is not big inside and plays 3 small guys. Sure, Williams has bulk, but he’s not that tall and doesn’t elevate. Holton isn’t any bigger than Ellis.

    The ONLY way we will be able to score inside with any kind of consistency is by spreading the floor and hitting some outside shots. We may not hit them, but we have much better chance of scoring from longer range than close-in - at least when we are simply throwing it down low or driving without looking to dish against a packed in defense.

    We got an early lead in part by hitting three early 3pt’ers, and then, as you note, mostly stopped shooting them. Took something like 8 3 pt’ers from the 5 minute mark until the last 2-3 minutes, when we launched 6 and hit 4 of them when it was too late to matter.

    But, as bad as we were offensively, my own view is that the biggest problem was our defensive scheming, but that’s for another thread…

  • @Bwag

    I had a hard time swallowing that.

    Maybe… just maybe… Self’s game plan was to go inside for another game of BAD BALL. Maybe that was known ahead of the game, and our players sort of revolted on the court?

    Something was obviously bothering Frank and Wayne.

    So it is back to BAD BALL, and a .500 record from here on out in B12 ball and another early exit in March.

    The connection with them playing slow and relating it to shooting 3s is absolutely a joke. No one is buying that. No one.

    Sorry I missed most of the game, but I don’t think I missed anything.

    We were up 13-9 and we hadn’t failed yet by working the ball inside to whom?

    We were winning at one of the toughest venues in the nation and we needed to change what we were doing?

    Well… congratulations! We succeeded and changed from our winning way.

    I really think Self wanted a grind game, and he was willing to take an “L” to get what he wanted. If we had continued to win with the trey it would have sort of glossed over a lesson Self wanted them to learn.

    The fans who don’t care about our B12 conference streak and only about March should rejoice. Here is a sacrifice game. Toughening. Maybe we can blow another half dozen of these before March so we can really get tough! Hope we still make the tournament.

  • @drgnslayr Perry was having success in the paint. Couldn’t get it to him.

  • @drgnslayr

    We didn’t run a single lick of offense in the first half. The press successfully put our offense in scramble mode. We’d have on average 17-18 seconds left after painfully getting the ball up the court. At that point it was just every man for himself, and everyone but Perry was digging a deeper hole.

    Even when we had the lead for that short time, we we already playing at a level that we were going to lose from. Graham had the ball stollen from him on a rebound- carter got a layup. Selden got a steal then immediately handed the ball back within 3 dribbles. We missed another 50/50 ball that gave WVU a scoring play. So while we made some 3’s early, 1 was a lucky pull up by Graham, guarded.

    When we took 3’s they were rushed, and they were negative plays. Svi wasn’t even coming close from 3 and he was wide open while rushing all of his shots. He was so ineffective last night. Everyone was playing for themselves, zero continuity. Nobody wanted to take the ball at someone and make them foul, which was exactly what Paige and Williams did all night- they had 29 FT attempts between them.

  • @BeddieKU23

    Thanks for the explanation.

    So we never established an effective PACE.

    What did we need to do? Slow it down or speed it up?

    It definitely sounds like we were timid.

    It sounds like our 3s were taken out of desperation… not as real opportunities.

    Sounds like instead of practicing against 8 guys… we need to practice on maybe 6 guys but focus on how to attack under pressure. Practicing against 8 is just to see if you can not turn the ball over. You can’t practice real attacking against 8 guys.

  • @drgnslayr KU threw over the press a few times but they still beat us down the floor negating any run outs by our guards.

    No easy buckets for KU.

    Speaking of pace, they sped up our guards minds. Instead of playing our game and controlling the ball, we let them in our heads and turned it over. Not taking care of the ball but worried about it and trying to do to much, almost like a wide receiver turning and running before they catch te ball, our guards were thinking about the turnovers before the D got there and well that resulted in a dysfunctional offense and way to many turnovers.

    As for the perimeter D it was absent. They played Spanish Bull Fighter D. Ole!! They must of had flashbacks to having Joel Embiid back there protecting the rim or something.

  • Banned


    I was afraid of this would happen. I’m not sure coach can turn the corner on this issue. It’s to bad because I think this team can be really special. Yet I’m afraid coach is coaching nervously, and that means he sticking to what he trusts. Pounding the ball inside and playing certain players.

    I would expect a big dose of the Lucas and Traylor show, from here on out. Even though it’s obvious to the average fan that Lucas and Traylor hurt KU’s offense flow.

  • @drgnslayr

    Correct we never established a pace for our own team to play at. West Virginia imposed their own because their effort was better than ours. Their aggressiveness bothered us on both sides of the floor, especially when KU was on offense. Simple passes were made into rocket science.

    Mason mentally fell apart. You’ve seen it before, when Frank thinks its the world against him, he puts his head down gets out of control and makes bad plays. He was in that zone, he deserved to sit but there was no other option. Graham was in foul trouble. Vick isn’t trusted making a paper bag at this point to Self. Wayne was benched for turnovers. Svi was exposed, Greene wasn’t any better. It’s hard to quantify just how poorly they came prepared to battle.

    It started with Frank, it spread to Wayne, it spread to Greene, it spread to Graham and so on. I mean on more than one occasion, I counted 3- we threw the ball into the stands with not a single KU player even there to receive the pass. Talk about complete mental breakdowns from our upperclassmen. This game was lost at guard play and completely thrown away from coaching and scheming.

    They were so much faster to the ball- that relates to effort that I mentioned already. They wanted it more, they were at home feeling disrespected that KU was #1 and they used it like Wichita St used it last year in the tournament. It was all effort and the will to. WVU didn’t shoot the ball well, heck they built just as many brick houses as KU did, but they found other ways to torture us by getting to the FT line and forcing turnovers that led to points.

    We saw the peaks, we’ve now seen the lows these past 2 games. It was time for this team to be humbled and if this isn’t the point where the coaching and the players get a positive reaction from the loss it can go down as the day the season died.

  • @HighEliteMajor Regarding the “red pill or blue pill”, I’ve realized that on some issues I’m red, and on other issues I’m blue. Does that mean I’m “in the middle”? Which…on the color chart, halfway between Red and Blue is…purple. Does this mean I have to swallow the purple pill?? Say it aint so!!!

  • I am not opposed to throwing the ball inside.

    However, we have no real efficient back to the basket scorer. Perry is playing his best ball, and it has come primarily by facing up on the offensive end.

    If we want Perry to post more, we need to go to Bragg, Mickelson and Diallo with Perry more often. Since teams won’t cover Lucas and Traylor when they are away from the basket, Perry can’t post when he plays with them because the paint is simply too crowded.

    Self is at a crossroads. He can either throw the ball inside, but to do that he can’t play his veterans with Ellis, or he can play his vets and play outside in. Those are the only two viable options.

  • @BeddieKU23 At least, at this point in the season, these Jhawks have plenty of opportunity for redemption.

  • The context of fools gold last night is accurate. Basically Self was saying that KU was settling for 3’s without running any offense (accurate) and there wasn’t a ton of effort going after loose balls (also accurate) and KU got lucky and made some shots. Selden’s first 3 was a good look, but the next 2 were bad shots that weren’t high % looks.

    I will also say that Self made a really bad substitution when he brought in Greene for Graham and KU had a backcourt lineup of Mason, Selden, and Greene and that’s when the turnovers really started escalating and KU never recovered. KU needed two ball handlers on the floor at all times which meant some combination of 2/3 if Mason, Graham, and Svi on the floorat all times. This was also a game that best suited for Mickelson to play big minutes. Self’s biggest chunk of the blame for last night is his substitution patterns. The timid play on defense and the glass is on the players because that was just a flat out lack of effort on the players part. The players let early adversity impact their effort and that’s not going to be a fun practice for them because of the effort.

    We’ll have to wait and see what happens against TCU with how KU runs their offense to see if he does start reverting back to bad ball.

  • @ralster

    Correct and I hope that statement isn’t taken as I’m saying the season is over. But 1 game can become the ball barer for specific things that happen during a year. This could certainly be that point, but I’m going to have faith that our guys will respond to being humbled. They are kids, we all have to remember that even 21-22 year old veterans are still going to make mistakes. Last night was a bounty of them.

    I would hope Saturday at home will give these guys a chance to get back to the championship team they are. We know Self won’t let these guys let 1 game shake everything that’s been built.

  • Another thing that reappeared last night was Bill’s “I got nuthin” face from the second half of the Wichita State game.

  • @KUinLA I noticed that too. Hasn’t done his best coaching last few years. Maybe he is thinking about the NBA. His effort was equally as poor as the players.

  • @DinarHawk I don’t think the NBA is thinking about him. I haven’t heard his name mentioned about an NBA job in 4 or 5 years.

  • @DCHawker I noticed that stat too. I didn’t get to watch the game (thankfully) so I looked at all of the mindblowing stats, and saw 20 made FG’s of which 10 were 3’s. That’s a draw dropping number.

  • @BeddieKU23 Agree with you. I think these guys are a prideful bunch, so I hope this isn’t some negative turning point. And even though they didn’t execute well, the upperclassmen + Devonte all know the exact reasons for the loss. They aren’t newbies.

    One way sentinel games (season turns south) can happen, is that game by the right opponent totally exposes some inherent weaknesses in a team, and then subsequent teams do the same thing, which then either causes the target team to lose more games…or they somehow adjust. See for KU, we are not a “glaring weakness exposed” type of team. Leave the debate of C5-by-committee behind for a moment, and I’d say KU lost because of “too many errors, not enough aggression-as-A-team”–> irrespective of who was in the lineup.

    So in a nutshell, I’m saying the only thing exposed by WVU was KU’s lack of mental readiness. We definitely were “mentally tough enough” for OU (incl Lucas and Traylor), but clearly not tough enough for WVU in this game.

  • @ralster

    Many great points.

    There was one glaring weakness last night and that was protecting the rim. Hunter does what he can, Mari has his moments where his athletic ability helps but other than that our only other rim protection is buried on the bench. If there’s one thing opposing coaches watch, its get to the rim no matter what and force our defenders to make plays or fouls. I think tape will show that could be a flaw to expose in the future.

    Oklahoma St plays some sort of soft press don’t they? We really handled that well last year in Stillwater what’s the chances we do the same thing on the road against them? I don’t know how anyone could answer that with a flat “No” after watching what we saw last night. If a opposing team doesn’t press but playing KU and decides well what if we throw this wrinkle into the game, and KU hasn’t game-planned for that scenario.

    The wound is open, it hurts right now and us fans will need to see much a better team come focused on Saturday and in the coming weeks. Our play got us where we were but we can ill afford another vulnerable game.

  • @DinarHawk Quite frankly, at this point, any NBA team that hired Bill Self would be making a bad hire. He has proven that he is a very unimaginative coach unwilling to go away from the tried and true. Basketball has gone in a new direction and it seems to be leaving guys like Self behind.

    I want to make one thing clear here. I think Bill Self is a great coach. A phenomenal coach. But for everyone that wants to put him in the same sentence with Wooden because of his conference streak I say, Bill is just not there. He has to make that big adjustment where he goes away from his traditional way of thinking. Coach K did it last year. Wooden did it at UCLA. Can Self do it at KU?

  • @benshawks08 Hope not.

  • @MoonwalkMafia Sadly, I just do not see it with him. I have been saying that he needs to do some self reflections, but it appears as though he has only slightly adjusted. He can do it. He has the intelligence to do it. Otherwise, we will only get a final four every four or five years, maybe a championship every ten to fifteen years. Considering how good many of his teams have been and all the talent and experience they had, those numbers, imo, are too low, unless some think the 2010 and 2011 teams weren’t any good.

  • Now that I’ve watched the start of the game and one-eyed the rest of it last night, I don’t get the fools gold comment. While true, we missed some 3’s that were either open, hurried or not so great attempts, I re-watched many passed up attempts (partly because of oncoming pressure) and drives past the onrushing D into a swarm of WV bodies in the paint.

    Seldon tried to go 1 on 4 in this very scenario and was called for a charge. Sorry, if there is 1 on 4, others are open. Most natural toss off would have been to Traylor standing at the elbow of Seldon’s side of the court (versus PE at the other elbow).

    Question is, why didn’t Seldon pass in that situation?

    1. Just because
    2. JT not a great option

    Personally, I think it was 1 in this instance, but if the overall efficiency numbers reflect impact of player combinations (Jesse’s post of some advanced +/- stats particularly related to combo’s around Perry/C5) wonder what some other combinations mightshow.

  • @DinarHawk it’s a sad sad situation!! Sadly I don’t see him doing any Self reflection.😟 sorry you are so sad!

  • @Bwag bingo!

  • @Crimsonorblue22 We missed lots of open shots. I can’t attribute that to having made some early. What I was noting, and now some have pointed out, number of inside baskets was miniscule. Guess we give credit to WV for such a swarming defense all over the court. They challenged everything.

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