Road games and blue bloods

  • Soooo, looking at basketball schedules of the blue bloods, and for this purpose, blue bloods are KU, duh, UK, Duke, UNC, What’s wrong with these teams that they’re afraid to play in a true road environment. Gonna throw in Villanova since they’re defending champs and UConn because of their frequent championships in the last decade.

    Other than the mandated Big12-SEC game where we play on the road, we’re only playing one true out of conference road game at UNLV, just before Christmas. Sure, we go on the road for some neutral site things.

    Duke 1 road game besides conference games and neutral sites, also at UNLV December 10.

    Kentucky 1 road game at Louisville, besides all the other neutrals. They actually have a stout schedule with some really good non-conf matchups in neutral sites.

    UNC actually has 3, kudos to Roy! At Tulane Nov. 11, (I just might have to travel down to NOLA to watch that game) I can’t figure out why they’re playing at Tulane. At Hawaii which is a sort of warmup for the Maui, and at Indiana, part of the ACC-Big1G thingy.

    Villanova.1 true road game at Purdue.

    UConn At Loyola Marymount and at Ohio State.

    I’m not sure why we shy away from true road games. It didn’t used to be that way. When I attended KU in the 80’s, Kentucky, Duke, Louisville all came to AFH, and we went to NCS, ST. Johns, and others during those years.

    Let me ask you this, what’s the last non-conference game at AFH that you got excited about? Kentucky of course last year was anticipated but we played them because we had to, not because we wanted to. Some tough teams have come in I guess, San Diego St, Temple to name a few. But we haven’t had a just because we wanted to home game against a really tough team I think since Arizona about 8 years ago I’d guess.

    Now, when have we had a true road game against a really good team not in our conference? We played at Florida, got our tails kicked but I think that was also because we had to play them as part of the challenge series.

    I’m not sure if there’s a correlation between playing a tough road schedule and winning it all. Duke has always scheduled this way and of course has some rings. It’s very satisfying to go on the road to win against tough teams and I imagine it can’t hurt too much to try to see us play more of these true road games.

  • @wissoxfan83

    The last big one I remember was when we went to Ohio St and kicked their butt in 12-13.

    Florida came to town a few years ago, although they weren’t the elite Florida teams of the past.

    With the SEC Challenge & Champions Classic, makes it hard to schedule true road games or get big named teams to come to AFH with our overwhelming home-court advantage. We have to factor in that KU needs to schedule 1 game in the Sprint Center a year and make enough money off home games. The pool of games is small and with how games are booked years in advance its difficult to know what teams will be good 2-3-4 years from now.

  • Also 18 conference games eliminates 2 non-con games that they used to have. The home gate is valuable to the whole city as well! I’d like to see more quality road opponents to prepare for adversity in the tourney. This may be a recipe for more losses and a lower seed that also creates adversity in the tourney though.

    Whatever the schedule; I’ll watch and cheer for the good guys!

  • It’s a good thing we didn’t have to play at ORU back in 2006.

  • @wissoxfan83 Fascinating. You have a great point there. I never really thought about it much.

  • @wissoxfan83 Money money money.

    The teams get paid to go play in these neutral site events. Probably close to what they would make having a home game and all without the logistical hassle. And, I would argue they make significantly more money because in today’s world, it is almost impossible to schedule a non con game without it being a home and home. At least with good programs. So, while one year you get to host a great team and make good revenue off of it, the next you give one up. And because you give one up you lost that revenue that season.

    Instead, you both agree to help sell out a massive arena for crazy priced tickets and both schools make more money than a traditional home and home series.

  • @Kcmatt7

    Bingo, KU will benefit more from the Champions Classic then playing a road game at “x” school.

    Seems as long as the SEC/Big-12 Challege is going on we might get a home/away series against UK. So a perennial game against UK, + Duke or Michigan St plus the rest of the schedule is still going to be better than 95% of all other teams schedules. Factor in any non-conference tournaments and KU will away play a schedule that will challenge them.

  • There isn’t any team in America that has played a tougher schedule than KU since 2013. I remember watching Kentucky come into the Phog back in the day, back when we were in the Big 8 conference. Back before they had events like the Champions Classic, back before there were a zillion pre-conference tournaments, before Maui, before the great Alaska Shootout, etc. And yet, last year we host the same Kentucky team we hosted in 1979. Of course, having the toughest schedule in all of college basketball for 3 + years running should be factored in on any discussion concerning scheduling. In the past 3 years, there have been as many as 5 B12 teams ranked at the same time, and we have home and home with everyone in the conference. Our schedule isn’t a cupcake conference schedule like Roy and UNC play, where they played their first 8 conference games against unranked opponents, and they only had 5 games total against ranked teams out of 18 conference games in the big, bad ACC.

  • @wissoxfan83

    I believe there is a lot to schedules and they are becoming even more important for schools like Kansas.

    We are one of the top elite programs so that fact alone changes some areas of scheduling. We have the ability to draw big crowds, so that is an opportunity in itself. It makes more sense financially to play tough teams on a large neutral site versus in their home arenas. And when it is built into a mini-tourney or something, it creates the opportunity to help with branding, both the tournament we play in and for Kansas.

    I believe the Champions Classic has helped Kansas sit firmly in that top elite spot. It is a framework that builds status because of the quality of the teams playing in it. They are all helping their brand, while helping the Classic, It is like a high-society private club. Obviously, the Classic isn’t the only reason why we have moved into that top elite spot.

    Really, over just the past 5 years or so, Kansas has stepped into that top elite slot. Things are changing for us and that means in all areas, including how and who we schedule.

    Bill Self deserves a lot of credit for helping us bump up that final notch. Now we need to sustain our altitude and continue to push even higher.

  • @KUSTEVE Really? I was looking at the bracket from last year. Half of the elite 8 was teams from the ACC! That sounds pretty tough to me. Granted the bottom half of their league is pretty weak. I do like that our league has stayed small enough to allow for the home and home with every league team.

    In my opinion, even 12-14 team leagues could play a home and home. Obviously it cuts back into their non conference cupcake schedule, but who cares? If I’m a season ticket holder I want to see games against good conference foes, or even bad ones, more than games against Youngstown St, Oakland, TAMCorpus Christie, etc. I think it’s an insult to season ticket holders to make them pay for games where they’re likely to give away their tickets because we’ll beat the snot out of those teams.

    As for the other arguments, I get it, but if I’m coach, I’ll wait til the laughter stops, but if I’m coach, I’m scheduling in a way that is best for my team to prepare for March. Since March is neutral site games, maybe tough neutral site games is the way to go. But since half the league is in tough away games, maybe we need to prepare for that as well by playing a couple more decent true road games. Our league road record is less than stellar in recent years and that’s at least partially due, IN MY OPINION, to not having to play in tough road environments before conference play begins. I’m sorry, but playing at UNLV is not a tough road environment!

  • @wissoxfan83 @KUSTEVE “Really? I was looking at the bracket from last year. Half of the elite 8 was teams from the ACC! That sounds pretty tough to me. Granted the bottom half of their league is pretty weak.”

    Really. The discussion started with you complaining about "bluebloods " ( KU ) not playing tough games on the road, and you used UNC as the example of a team playing a “tough” road nc schedule. I pointed out what an easy, cupcake conference schedule UNC actually played during the year. Using NCAA results doesn’t change the facts .It does open up another can of worms concerning the strength of regions in the NCAA tourney.

  • @wissoxfan83 I think some times we play too tough of a schedule as for mentioned Dukes. I think we always play good Non Con games at home from UK last year to GT and MSU (home and road) in selfs first few years to some good road games: SDSU, Michigan, Ohio state, Temple, Villanova, Florida, UK, Cal, UCLA all road games under self that are off the top of my head. Our SOS is usually top ten been #1 for like 3 straight years not sure why we are in the conversation of not playing road games.

  • @KUSTEVE I was simply responding to your claim that the ACC is a cupcake league. I don’t believe it is. That’s all. I actually was looking at this years schedule and UNC goes on the road 3 times. In my mind that’s acceptable. In my mind it’s all about being ready to win in March and I just wonder if we’re shortchanging ourselves or not.

    @kjayhawks Thanks for answering my original question. When was our last tough true road game that wasn’t part of a predetermined ‘challenge’ or ‘classic’ or whatever.

  • @wissoxfan83 im not sure that it matters a true road game is a true road game but not sure offically

  • @wissoxfan83

    Dude, obviously you did not get the memo. Scheduling is all bout money and RPI.

    Coach Self explained before how KU has an individual that does the scheduling and it is all geared up to increasing the RPI in order to get a better seeding in the NCAA and he has done a remarkable job. He also explained how much more KU makes by playing at home versus playing a true away game. At home each basketball game nets the program at least $600k while a road game cost the school money since it has to pay all of it expenses and gets no revenue. Games in places such as Hawaii cost the school a lot of money but they derive benefits such as exposure and recruiting advantages. Games in neutral site pay money but not nearly as much as as home game. KU pays smaller schools to come play at AFH, and for smaller programs such as Washburn, Fort Hayes and Pittsburgh it is a huge boost to their meager budgets; the teams not only get to play in the Cathedral of Basketball but leave with a nice check to boot.

    In short KU makes a lot of money playing at home and loses money playing on the road. Calipari has stated numerous times that he wants to play elite programs if not at Rupp then at Neutral site such Indianapolis where he gets a big check and does not risk having his team lose at home. and break his streak.

  • @wissoxfan83 That’s not what I said.I never said the league was cupcake- just their scheduling. They have a staggered schedule which means they’re playing the top teams only once, other than Dook. So, in UNC’s 18 game conference schedule, they played 5 games against ranked opponents- while we played 10 games against ranked opponents.

  • @JayHawkFanToo so part of our scheduling is done to get money. I understand that we have to have money. Scheduling for rpi I get kind of. Are we scheduling so we are best prepared for March? Maybe but maybe not. Our March results say to me that we aren’t ready for the tourney especially in relation to our seed.

  • @wissoxfan83 One other thing I forgot to mention is that the ACC has the ACC/B10 challenge which probably accounts for most of their true road games and UNC Tulane really lol lets go play at Kansas Wesleyan. I personally don’t think its that we aren’t prepared I think some of the big issues are luck of the draw and injuries have been killer to us prior to last year. People forget that Duke lost in the first round to Lehigh in 2012 and Mercer in 2014.

  • Our fairly recent March results says to me that we are playing a very tough 5 month schedule, one which has fostered injuries that have affected our losses. Bill Self, mentor of an Adidas program, has been forced to play his five league starters too many minutes. Finally, this season’s team talent might allow for less 34+ minutes of action for many of our starters. Lucas might be the exception, as his backups do not appear to be at full physical recovery, or are not experienced college players.

  • @REHawk add in a long summer schedule, last year.

  • @REHawk I agreed besides the part about LL possibly getting 34 plus minutes no way a guy his size gets that many.

  • Why did you leave out our Big12/ SEC road game? If you included it for UNC, why no t KU and Duke? I realize it’s not till late Jan, but still a non-con road game.

  • @wissoxfan83


    Among your best posts.

    I don’t know enough to compare conferences.

    But you bring out the corrosiveness to the game of placing profit from it higher than playing the game itself.

    A sport where we never play home and home with the best is not a sport to find out who is best at all, but rather a contrivance for maximizing gate receipts and minimizing losses for national ranking.

    Not playing good teams on the road is just one side of the same greedy coin (and cowardly urge) that makes Elite teams fill their home games with cupcakes.

    It’s disgraceful.

    I just cannot thank you enough for calling this to attention.

    I’m sick of engineered elections, engineered tournaments, and engineered home and away pre conference schedules.

  • @ZIG I mentioned it for UNC because I screwed up. It doesn’t change my basic theory that they have 3 real road games, plus the Indiana game.

    @jaybate-1.0 I live for PHOF’s. I figured you’d see beak to beak on this one and award it to me! Greed might be the key word in all of this. I don’t think teams like ours gain much at all by playing cupcakes. The only cupcake I don’t mind is the first game of the tourney when we play a cupcake unless their name begins with B.

    @kjayhawks. I tried to leave those out of the true road games category because they’re ‘forced’ on us by some TV network. For money.

    @REHawk If what you say is true, then depth is a problem with us. Other than the Wiggins year when we lost Joel, were injuries a problem other than the usual bumps and bruises? I mean every team gets those. And last year we were not injured come tourney time @Crimsonorblue22 were we?

    I personally don’t see a problem with guys playing 34-35 minutes a game. They’re young, energetic, elite athletes. I watched with pride my freshman in HS daughter play a full varsity soccer match 80 minutes, no TO’s, no subbing, then stay on the field for 60 more minutes in the JV match. 140 minutes in one night! Wilt famously played one NBA season for all but five minutes of one game. Never fouled out, never was subbed in for. If an elite athlete can’t handle two 40 minute games in one week for 4-5 months out of the year then, well, they’re not elite.

  • And speaking of Wilt, since this isn’t worth a new topic. Some NHL player scored 4 goals in his debut the other night. The sports talk guy I was listening to compared his performance with other amazing first game performances.

    Wilt’s topped the cake. 43 points and 28 rebounds! First game as a pro. The man was a freak!

  • @wissoxfan83 Selden was always injured. Mason was gimpy two years ago. Greene had knee surgery a couple of years ago too. Embiid was a BIG loss 3 years ago. KU generally has good health, but sometimes we fans don’t know the extent of the injuries until after the season if ever.

    But overall KU basketball has had very good luck in the health department.

  • @dylans a definite credit to Hudy.

  • @wissoxfan83 we did lose to the winner. Seeding stunk last year. Wayne had knee surgery after season, Perry had hernia surgery. Perry played on a very serious knee injury suffered during the wv game at home the year before. Got hit in the face during the wsu game. But, you are right, everyone gets worn down. We also played in the wug games the summer before. Remember the KU basketball program has to pull a lot of weight💰 For the athletic department. I wouldn’t call it greed. I don’t think playing all minutes of a game 2x a week has anything to do w/being an elite basketball player. I doubt if your daughter is putting her body thru anything similar to what a d1 bb player does, do you? Think Frank, for instance.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 Seeding stunk or we lost to a hot team because you can’t have both. I was glad when I saw Villanova on the bracket. They usually suck in the tourney. I thought we’d had a pretty easy path to the FF.

  • @wissoxfan83 IMO they should have been top 2 seed. Doesn’t matter now.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 had they not crapped the bed against Seton Hall in the big east tournament they would have been a one seed. Yet Nova fans think their team was on another level the entire year. I watched that game - they let Hall’s best player beat them. They definitely just got hot in the tourney.

  • @wissoxfan83

    “Are we scheduling so we are best prepared for March?”

    That gets tricky. When we schedule games we don’t know how good our opponent will be. Teams are always one injury away from near collapse.

    And we tend to look at March results through a very narrow vision… only based on winning it all.

    We have a solid chance in March this year. If we win it all, who will question Self’s March record then? Don’t we already have the longest March tourney streak for getting in?

    I’m not defending our losses. We should never lose! But realistically… look at our program today, compare it to 5 years ago. Are we making gains in our program as a whole? I don’t think we were in that very top elite program status, perhaps even 5 years ago. Yes, Kansas has always been elite… but at the very top of the basketball world?

    I think a lot is happening in the next 5 years. That is when we will finally get a true reading on conference strengths. I don’t feel like these supernova super conferences are going to look good. How can they. They are an abortion of structure. They have been pimped out only to attempt to make more money. Beyond that… they stink and their entire conference season play doesn’t mean diddly! They are playing for nothing. They prove nothing in their entire year of conference play. Scheduling is the only thing that counts in those conferences.

    I read a comment on the KUSports site this morning. Someone barking about Kansas needing to jump quickly to the Big 10. No way! That move would only happen if they change the Big 10 to a super conference of 16 teams. F that! The Kansas basketball program would melt into the wallpaper within a few years.

    We need to nurture what we have in our conference. A conference that determines a REAL conference champion! And I don’t want to hear anyone say that our conference streak doesn’t mean anything. It is our conference streak that has given us an advantage on all other elite programs in the country! It is our conference streak combined with everything else that has put us on that very top shelf of elite teams.

    Kansas has everything to lose by becoming desperate and reaching for straws. We need to look in a mirror and appreciate who we are and where we are!

  • @Crimsonorblue22 They surprised me for sure. And what they did to Oklahoma? Wow. That was the biggest beatdown in the final four since we smacked UNC in 08 and Marquette in 03.

  • @wissoxfan83 interesting it was only about a 13 or 14 point game 13 minutes to go in the second half. I think ou just gave up or something.

  • @wissoxfan83

    KU is positioning itself to improve its RPI so it can have a better seeding… Better seeding = playing lower ranked teams…at least in theory. Having a better seed does not mean you are going to do well or poorly in the tournament, it simply means that you will be playing lower seeds early which roughly translates to weaker teams. Sometimes, the NCAA grossly under-seeds teams and a high seed ends up playing a stronger team than it should, such as #2 KU playing a grossly under-seeded #7 Wichita which should really have been no lower than #4 seed. S#&t happens

  • The tournament is all bout matchups and luck. You have to have favorable matchups which are not necessarily reflected in the seeding. #10 Stanford was a bad match up for #2 KU, particularly since Embiid was out. You also have to have a lot of luck and the right combination wins. Based on how good the teams were, KU had no business winning it all in '88 any more than UConn did a couple of years ago or many other teams over the years. KU and UConn had the perfect storm of good matchups and a lot of luck and won the tournament. in '08, KU had a great team but needed Mario’s miracle to win the game the same way that Villanova needed a highly unlikely. desperation shot at the end of the game to win the tournament in '16.

  • The point of the thread (imo) is…how can we do better in the tournament? We all know we will playing in the toughest bracket, so we have to come loaded for bear. I also think as great as a shooting team as we were last year, one poor shooting game can derail a great season, like the Nova game. So, I like JB’s idea of playing some hi-lo to get close shots in those high pressure games where every possession is a grind. I also like the fact our team will be taller and more athletic, which should lead to more runouts, and a whole bunch more rebounds. Was the Nova loss a statement of our team’s poise which could be solved by more road games? I don’t believe that. You don’t win 17 in a row by not showing great poise. But, I think the team’s limitations from last year showed up, and bit us at the wrong time. We were simply too reliant on jump shots to score, and although LL helped immensely on the boards, we weren’t dominant down low. We didn’t have a game changing bench guy that could come in and spark the offense ( except for occasional Svi and Jamari sightings). We didn’t have the size we could bring in to spell our bigs, which is why we were playing a 6’6 guy at the post at times last year. We’re much deeper than last year in every way, and the upgrade from BG to LV is going to be huge, imo. We’re on the right track to be playing for the title this year.

  • @KUSTEVE mirrors my thinking

  • Michigan state

    Gavin Schilling has suffered a right knee injury which will require surgery. A timetable for his return is yet to be determined.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    Clearly scheduling cannot be entirely about RPI, or an elite team would likely schedule 6 elite opponents home AND away so as to assure its opponents generate RPI’s also.

    Nor can it be entirely about the gate at home or one would schedule ALL home games.

    Apparently there are tradeoffs between quality of opponent, margin of victory, and where the margin is biggest (road, home, and neutral) that encourage playing tough opponents on neutral sites, where cash splits can be 50/50?

    Clearly risk of loss rises with quality of opponent, and you’d rather lose on the road than at home to keep the fans reinforced for coming to AFH.

    It’s a fascinating system that seems to generate inflated RPIs for those that aptly game the system, as the elites seem to do.

  • @KUSTEVE said:

    We all know we will playing in the toughest bracket

    Here’s the difference between me and many posters. I try not to, although I do fall into this thinking sometimes, but I try not to play the NCAA’s against us card. I don’t buy the tournament engineering theory too much. Maybe I’m naive. But you’re right the point is how can we do better in the tourney. For that, I still maintain we go on the road a couple more times, preferably here to Baton Rouge!

  • Don’t forget we go to places based on recruiting hot beds too!

  • @Crimsonorblue22 Yes, like Baton Rouge. Come on coach, come to Baton Rouge to the so called deaf dome! Javonte Smart, stud junior here in town. Come to Baton Rouge!!

  • @wissoxfan83 said:

    Here’s the difference between me and many posters. I try not to, although I do fall into this thinking sometimes, but I try not to play the NCAA’s against us card. I don’t buy the tournament engineering theory too much.

    I know you don’t. You also don’t believe in Josh Jackson, or that we’ll be as good as last year. There’s a lot of things you don’t believe in.

  • @wissoxfan83 I didn’t before they paired us with WSU in 2014, which was BS we shouldn’t have got a 2 seed with Cliff not playing, Perry and Seldon hurt. They had no reason to be less than a 4 seed let alone a 7. I also didn’t like the UNI pairing they lost 2 games all year and was ranked 20th I believe but had a 9 seed. But yet Gonzaga gets a one seed in 2013 with worse RPI and SOS then the before mentioned teams. They do match ups that think will get viewers after the first weekend like UK and Indiana last year and the 3 times we have played UNC.

  • I’ve been disappointed with too many of our OADs. So I just need Josh to make me a believer. Last years team was very good. Losing Perry, Wayne, & BG (that was a joke) is a lot of points and toughness to replace. So I am just a wee bit less optimistic. I am still optimistic!

  • @wissoxfan83 I would agree for the most part that the OAD hasn’t been all that positive for us when you at how far we went in the NCAAs and how good they actually were. Henry has decent as a player but we lost in the second round not all on him of coarse tho, Selby was ok but was suspended by the NCAA and had a stress fracture that wouldn’t go away so hard to judge him, but we did make the elite 8 which is as good as we have done with a OAD (he barely was drafted and is a ghost now should’ve stayed). Wigs and Joel team had a high ceiling but Joel was hurt and Wigs was inconsistent this team also lost in the second round. Next you have Cliff and KO which I liked both of there potential but we got beat again in the second round, I actually was shocked KO went in the first round think he could grow to a solid player but should have stayed. Last year we really didn’t have a OAD that mattered with Diallo hardly playing but he we did make the elite 8. Its obvious Bill Selfs best teams have been upper class heavy with 08 and 12 honorable mention 04,07, 11 (OAD) and 16 (technically OAD).

  • @KUSTEVE Oh I’m a Doubting Thomas type believer. Show me the nail holes in the hand and I’ll believe. I’m a fanatic, but not a blind fanatic. So if Josh Jackson is what most people think he’ll be, then sure, I’ll believe. You really can’t begrudge me because I want to see results first, can you?

    Last year was a very special team which got KO’d by the national champs. We were top ranked half of the season, were the most talked about team all season. It’s kind of tough to top last season right now, unless of course we play on the final weekend, are highly ranked all year, etc. This time you’ve put words in my mouth, because I’ll send you a Cajun food gift pack if you can find where I wrote I don’t believe we’ll be as good as last year. We can be mind you, but let’s see how it plays out.

  • @jaybate-1.0 well obviously it isn’t completely about RPI.

    It is about getting the best RPI, while making the most money, while getting young players experience, while playing games midseason that allow for recruiting coastal cities, and playing teams that allow you to rest some players for the conference grind.

    Scheduling is an art.

  • As far as the bracket goes: you have to beat the 6 teams in front of you. If you are the best you can win all games inspite of venue, refs, and opponent. Villinova didn’t exactly have a cake walk either.

    Tough brackets can become easy brackets when Duke loses to Lehigh. Or the rare case of MSU bowing out early. It stinks when you have to play an under seeded team while being overseeded yourself. However, if you are truly the best you will over come these obstacles and more as if pre-ordained. You can even come back from a seemly insurmountable deficit in the final 2 minutes (helps to have 4 awesome guards) with a little Miracle.

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