It doesn't have to be one way, or the other here, does it?

  • I don’t think it’s fair to conflate analysis and hard truth with pessimism. I’m not accusing anyone in particular of doing this, I just think it’s human nature to read harsh criticism of something or someone your care for, and react defensively to it. I know from experience, cuz I do it all the time.

    I love this site because I can come here to read posts from people that know way more about hoop than I do, and get the truth, or at least some very keen analysis. Having access to this knowledge and insight has allowed me to watch Jayhawk games with a much better understanding of what is happening on the hardwood, and what might happen in future games.

    On the flip side, I don’t think it’s fair to accuse anyone that might be defensive over harsh criticism as being guilty of “blind homerism”. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, and believe that they know where flaws with the team exist, and that they have faith they will be worked out on time, they just might not want to hear about it.

    It would be a damn shame if this website became a bastion for one sided discussion, which I do not think it is in danger of becoming.

    For anyone that might see our team’s future as bleak for the 2016 season, I liken the WVU game to a turning point in my personal fandom of the team. This turning point was the away game at Gallagher - Iba in 2008. To me, and I am sure for the rest of us, our hopes for KU hoops that year was National Champs or bust. The team was just stacked, and I expected them to win every game they played. I knew the game at UT would be tough because they were a legit opponent, and I knew some shenanigans would happen in Craphatten due to the Michael Beasly hype. However, I was apoplectic after the OSU game. I couldn’t believe KU lost, as the Jayhawks out talented OSU in hoops like Daniel Day Lewis out talents Tommy Wiseau at acting. I logged online and wrote all sorts of vitriol about the coaching staff and the players after the game was over, under an anonymous screen name back when ESPN let you do that. I was ready to give up cheering for the team after I felt disrespected by their effort.

    On April 7th, 2008, I realized what a true moron I was for being so fickle.

    I think that WVU loss can be tantamount to the loss at OSU in 2008. If KU can fix some of the problems that have been accurately addressed on this site, there is no reason not to believe the sky is the limit. The team has two choices right now, to stay the same and lose almost every road game or neutral court game to championship caliber opponents, or to get better and collect the inevitable hardware that a team this talented should collect.

  • @Mikey-P Wow! Great post. Spot on about the way these things tend to work. I’m one of the continuously positive people and really appreciate the defense of all the sides of the dice represented here (way more than just two). I hope this is like OSU but I think it’s still a bit early for that. If their were a players only meeting after this one, the benefits wouldn’t last. They still have some “stuff” to go through before they become the team they need to be!

  • @Mikey-P

    I’m an “old school” guy.

    I am very frustrated right now with this team. But the roots of my frustration are planted in the times we live in. What used to work has largely been shot in the head because of PC persuasion to soften every aspect of life so no one on the planet is offended any longer. That is where my identity rubs with mainstream today.

    It is never my goal to offend people. From my old school experiences… if coaches are worried about offending people, they have no idea how to coach in the intangible areas of coaching that goes beyond the Xs and Os. That is where I feel we are today.

    Self can’t help it. He has to follow the rules of PC. I understand that. I wish we could have an unrestricted Self coaching this team. I’ve met him on several occasions, and I can feel his energy… and deep down he is old school and I bet he would love to say some of the things I am about to say to these guys. They have it coming. It is for their own good.

    Struggle is the key for humans to advance themselves. If you have children, notice how quickly they mature right after an illness. Humans need to be pushed, and sometimes they need to face adversities to lift them to a higher place. Sometimes they need to bring into question who they are and what path they are on. I’ve never heard anyone seriously contemplate these things until they are in dire straits.

    I was fortunate to have experienced some great coaches. One coach, we remain great friends still today… over 30 years after we played our last game together. He would take a bullet for me, and I would do the same for him. He remains my main mentor. His success came from getting players out of their comfort zone. When you do that, they suddenly are like clay and can get easily shaped into something better.

    Kansas basketball has only one opponent… Kansas basketball. None of our players will ever truly get beat by another player. The loss will come from within… when they gave up and conceded.

    Last night… this team gave up. They conceded in the middle of the game. You could see it. You could feel it. We beat ourselves. We have to hold ourselves accountable.

    How do you change that? There is no way to limp into change. We need to take it away from ethereal concepts and kick some people on their backside. Bring them back to earth. Question who they are. Challenge them on a human level… in this case… challenge them to step into manhood.

    This is what they need. All those PC people need to go away. They have ruined enough… with concepts like removing scores from kid’s sports and giving the same trophy to all the kids.

  • @drgnslayr the sissification of America - all by design. Sad to see.

  • I wonder if any of our players can change a flat tire?

  • @drgnslayr Or walk 5 miles to and from school. Uphill. Both ways. In the snow. Barefoot.

  • @nuleafjhawk said:

    @drgnslayr Or walk 5 miles to and from school. Uphill. Both ways. In the snow. Barefoot.

    The answer to that we already know. It’s NO! They had to call campus police yesterday to get help with their bus to get to the arena.

  • @drgnslayr have you watched the whole game?

  • @Crimsonorblue22 I know he didn’t watch “The Voice”. It wasn’t on…

  • @Mikey-P Good post dude. I havent read anything negative yet cuz well i havent read anything. I think everyone needs to keep in mind that KU was not going to run the table this season in the Big 12. The conference is soooo tough this year. Arguably the best in the nation. KU got beat by a very very good team coached by Huggie at their place. Surely KU could have showed up to play last night and gotten the job done but they didnt. Will it happen again? Dunno. Dont particularly want it to and Im sure our boys dont want it to either.
    I think Coach and the team needed this loss. Its a personality builder. Now they know with absolute certainty that they need to bring their A game every night. Also hopefully there will be rectification in our line up with our bigs.
    C5 has been a big point of contention for quite some time. It was working, very well I might add. But, Huggie exposed its weaknesses. Now Coach has to fix them. And fix them he will. KU is still posed to have a stellar season this year. I think they will.

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    Unfortunately, I didn’t. Only caught the last 10 minutes. Very glad my wife missed the game. Saved my ears from hearing the “p-word” a million times.

    I saw plenty in that 10 minutes.

    Like I said… I’m not upset over losing. I’m upset because of what I witnessed.

    I hope we don’t lose every game from here on out… but that wouldn’t end my world. I’m sick of watching a bunch of pansies wearing Kansas gear.

    I thought Self was going to call a time-out with 5 minutes left and hand out hankies for a group cry.

  • @drgnslayr It seems we totally agree in “old school” philosophy. Work ethic. No free lunch.

    Regarding Coach Self being able to coach “unrestricted”–> I’ve met the man also…I actually do believe he is pretty unrestricted. He does the fatherly-supportive thing that kids and parents can truly see is genuine…which then allows him some leeway for the red-faced moments courtside. The boys already know he cares for them, but also cares for winning. He has enough coaching cred for almost all 18-22yr olds not-named-BrannenGreene to not argue with him.

    I am sure that Bill Self the person, has just about the right amount of filter on what could be touchy for today’s youth. In that Beyond the Phog book, he used a Midwestern expression in practice one day, and Russell Robinson from Bronx, NY took it entirely differently, as same phrase in NYC you evidently do not say to people, and had his shirt off, trying to go at Self. But I think that is an aberration, as he obviously relates well to the kids and recruits. That same book also reveals that Self absolutely unloaded verbally on the Henry bros, in front of a full lockerroom, regarding the strife and demands from Carl Henry, who was evidently heavily pressuring Self about how/when to play his sons.

    One thing that binds the players and coaches together, and also crosses generational lines, is that most of these kids are very competitive, just like Bill Self the Competitor is a very intense dude, always has been. They’ve been coached before, now being coached by one of the best. They get that. That is a powerful connection, and an easy segue to teacher/student.

    One of his most disarming qualities is when the red-faced guy isn’t necessary, there’s always a wisecrack around the corner, and that easygoing Okla charm most people can relate to. (PressConf Self, I’ll call that).

    Granted, nobody’s charm, wit, or knowledge will penetrate every skull out there, so occasionally there will be a kid that gets crossways with Self…which is something they’ll have to learn, you just don’t do.

    Sorry to ramble, but while the overpowering paternalism of Bobby Knight’s persona just wont fly in today’s society, I think Self is pretty true to his beliefs & values and pretty effective & blunt in getting his point across.

    (Now if we grown adults/armchair QBs agree/disagree with Self’s basketball philosophy or not is a whole different discussion entirely, actually several discussions…best seen on…)

  • @drgnslayr “Pansies” wasn’t the “P” word that came to my mind…😊

  • @Mikey-P Great post! No it doesn’t have to be polarized. The richness of discussion angles make this a coveted read, when trying to digest our team’s performance game to game.

    One thing I try to remember is that most people’s own personalities and experiences color their own perceptions and analysis of this team. That is a richly variable experience to observe. So I try to take it all in, in a big-pix manner.

    Sometimes the persuasiveness adds to my own analytical take. Other times I stick to my guns.

    Regarding the 08Champs, Self’s best team, and the most experienced, and best defensively as well–very balanced overall. Realize I “get” to hold them up on a pinnacle. And they went thru 2 other 1-seeds to earn the prize. No easy path! But realize they almost lost to Davidson, and they should have lost to Memphis, other than Rose/CDR’s missed FT’s. But they still needed to complete the comeback, so they have solidly earned their lore.

    If that 52% OU guy had hit his FT, we’d have 2 conf losses, be 3rd in the conf, and imagine where our players’ psyche’s would be now. I try to remember that Fate plays a part as well, and not much you can do about that variable.

  • @ralster

    Great post. You may know him better than I. I only know him in brief social settings. I have been able to ask a few questions and have small conversation. But nothing too deep.

    He definitely rubs me the right way! And I see his appreciation of old school.

    But when I read about things like BG questioning his minutes in front of the team… old school probably wouldn’t have been a temporary suspension. Old school might have been a coach grabbing the kid by the chest and backing him into the corner and shouting so hard and so close to his face that they start sharing DNA. No need for a suspension. In fact… maybe reward the kid for deciding not to quit after being emotionally (and physically) backed into a corner.

    I was one of those kids that would get into trouble with coaches. But it didn’t take long for them to break me of all my independent thoughts and join the team consciousness. There just is no greater thing than when people come together and execute as one. You often hear about this in the military… the ultimate “gameday” situation. And so many of these guys later in their lives… they won’t miss the violent nature of war, but they miss their brotherhood connections. And the more struggles they faced together, the closer they came together. Usually the guys that couldn’t get along at first end up being the closest guys later.

    Today’s goals are to avoid struggle. Why would anyone want to learn how to change a flat tire?

  • @nuleafjhawk

    Or my wife’s mind…

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