Did Bill Self go too far?

  • Banned

    First of all let me say I love HCBS and don’t won’t any other Head coach. Having said that I ask this question because the current KU team seems to lack confidence and they don’t look like they are having fun. The talent is there. The heart is there. The depth is there. The skill is there. So why is this team falling so short of expectations?

    So here it is my opinion. I think this out of conference schedule is just crazy, especially for such a young team. I can’t remember a team playing such a strong schedule. I can’t even remember the last time we played a rummy. Even Michigan St who are known for playing anybody anywhere throws in a couple rummies. I know some say you gain nothing from beating the crap of a lesser team, but I disagree. This isn’t the NBA full of pros. These are kids. They need to know the beat the crap out of somebody. They need to now they can dunk on somebody. They need to know the can run on a fast break. They need to know they can keep a team from scoring. They need to know they can rain threes from the outside. Most importantly they need to know they can have fun playing the game they love.

    I maybe wrong in everything that I posted and this team will be hoisting a big championship and NCAA championship (I hope so). However right now this current KU team doesn’t look like they are having fun. It’s almost like they are trying live up to something they never can. I blame the out conference schedule. I’m not sure playing a tournament team every game is what this young team needed. My hope for this team is at some point they become the hunters instead of the hunted. If this team can learn to have fun through this meat grinder of a schedule then I take back every thing I said, because then look out. They’ll be unstoppable.

  • First, this team is overmatched at PG every game against good teams and sometimes against average teams.

    Second, the verdict is in on Perry. He can’t score or rebound against L&A bigs. He is a 3 playing the 4 and it happens every time.

    Third, Wiggins lacks a trey gun and becomes just another leaper against L&As.

    Fourth, Selden is good but can’t take over a game.

    Fifth the front court depth cannot score.

    Sixth, back court depth is non existent so far.

    Seventh, Embiid is not yet savvy at interplay between himself and other bigs.

    Eighth, the tough schedule does not seem to have caused the problems, but rather has exposed them.

    Ninth, it’s better to know what needs fixing.

    Tenth, the team is now very close to getting it.

    Eleventh, even when they get it, it is going to be very tough when the other team has a top notch PG, or a true power forward, and is L&A.

  • @jaybate 1.0 All good points. I would add:

    Twelfth - As hard as Mason played, he didn’t pass to anyone and missed so many of his drives into the lane; he had the t/o on his dribble at the end; then missed the front end of the free throws.

    Thirteenth - The whole team carries this loss. Not one person is responsible.

    Fourteeneth - Did they not know who to defend? At times our guys were out running around the perimeter and no one was back.

    Fifteenth - Joel has got to learn how to get out of double teams. Every team from now on out will do that.

    Sixteenth - Why didn’t Landen play more?

  • @DoubleDD - Agreed that this is a crazy non conference schedule, and as much as I hate to see the losses, it’s got to help them in February and March. That’s the theory anyway.

    The only thing I don’t agree with is the whole " heart " thing. Personally, other than one or two guys, I see a bunch of them looking like they’d just as soon be somewhere else.

    Anywhere else.

  • For the first time this year, for the most part, I’m going to lean toward coaching. I hate to say it, but Self is struggling as a coach with this team. It’s usually about now that his teams are together and winning fairly consistently. We now have 4 loses and not even into conference? They are young. They played a team of mostly experienced juniors and seniors. SDSU looked mostly like a KU team in the Phog. I was confused sometimes because SDSU looked so much like most KU teams. I kept wondering who KU was at times. We keep justifying the schedule and loses to having a better conference season. I see this team losing 2-3 more, maybe even more. I see this team with 6-7 loses, unless they turn a corner. They look a bit confused or lost, or maybe lack confidence. Let’s hope Self is able to utilitze some coaching ability and gets this team on track or it’s going to be a very long conference. This team is going to get beat up in conference, physically. I don’t know what Self was thinking with this non-con schedule. I hope it pays dividends later.

  • @jaybate 1.0 We were way overmatched. This SDSU team answered each run. I agree on Ellis. He’s too soft and I attribute it to a soft Wichita league too. Wiggins isn’t helping his cause much at this point. I hat to say it, but he’s a bit … well…let’s leave it at that for now. Selden is really struggling. No one scored. Have you seen the box scores? Wiggins led KU with 14 points. Front court? They were in the twilgiht zone last night, why? Embiid wasn’t in attack mode at all. He stepped out and really failed to recognize the TRIPLE team they threw at him everytime. I refuse to use the non-con schedule as an excuse. NINTH- What needs fixed? Please tell Self! How close? They don’t look that close to me. PG is the only agreement on this post. Tharpe is a flash and is too inconsistent. Mason is too small and inexperienced. Tharpe is a freakin’ junior…a JUNIOR, WTH is he doing?
    In short, your summary is pointing to a very long and crazy year jaybate.

  • @RockChalkinTexas Mason was the only high point on the team in this game. He missed drives? I saw Ellis miss a crucial FT and then allowed the ball to bounce off his legs…what game were you watching? Agreed…it was a team failure and would go a bit further…how about coaching preparation as well? SDSU and FIsher runs an old style of UNLV type offense. HIs playbook is right out of a Jerry Tarkanian playbook. They reminded me of the Runnin’ Rebels at times. KU can’t defend a playground offense. Self is way too disciplined and his system is too controlled for this team. He needs to let them loose. Wiggins is the only one who tries to play loose. But, it didn’t help much. Embiid has a lot of work to do and the conference is only going to be as difficult. 16th- Very good question, ask Bill Self.

  • Banned

    @jaybate 1.0 Every team has strengths and weaknesses. Every team has some part of their game that can be exploited. That is what makes HCBS so good. His ability to develop a game plan to a mask those deficiencies. Think about it? When was the last time you seen a KU team and said hey they’ve got no weaknesses?

    This team wasn’t ready for the extremely tough schedule they have had to face and will continue to face. I maybe reaching here but I think this team could’ve used a few more rummy’s. I really believe only a seasoned team with senior players could’ve of survived this gauntlet of games. This is why I think BS went to far.

    Maybe in the end you’re right and this team just has to many flaws. If that is the case then maybe we as KU fans need to temper our expectations of this team and just enjoy the game of basketball we so much love.

  • @truehawk93 I watched the same game everyone else did and each poster here has their own perspective. I saw the ball thrown off of Ellis’ abdomen/balls and not bounce off his legs. I don’t let my frustrations about how the game ended to be taken out on other posters. It is a game played by kids and no amount of posting by any of us is going to help or change the way things are done or turn out. I’m sorry you felt the need to be so critical of me.

  • @RockChalkinTexas I’m w/you! In my eyes only, true j-hawk fans don’t call out kids! Of course we see their mistakes, but there is such a thing as constructive criticism. How did Perry do against Duke? Forget? Coach said after the game that Perry wasn’t feeling well yesterday. Not an excuse, just a fact. Reminds me of the OSU fb coach telling the media to leave his young kids alone and criticize him instead.

  • I’m not sure how much ability Self or Zenger has to change a schedule…obviously the more in advance the better. Some of these games were decided upon before we knew what our team was going to look like. Was SDSU, for instance, scheduled a couple of years ago? We agreed to the Bahamas trip before we knew what our team would look like or what the competition would look like. Did we have a choice playing Florida? Was there B12 /SEC/ESPN ramifications bigger than one program? Would it have looked bad, if for instance, we asked to defer the Colorado game for one year? Yes…I understand, we have known for more than a year that we were going to be young this year.

  • I’m going to defend Mason a bit here. We did see him score 14 yesterday, right? He was the best perimeter player yesterday, right? I do understand the focus on his size. But he does guard. He is intense. He’s able to stick with bigger guys pretty well. And he’s just a freshman.

    Was Mason over-matched against Duke? Was he over-matched yesterday? If so, I didn’t see it. He is making far fewer mistakes than Russell Robinson or Tharpe did as a freshman, or TT as a junior.

    We have a special player here … patience.

    @jaybate - Do not believe your own negativity. Refuse to believe it. I promise you that the issues on this team are not as broad as you believe right now. There are technical items to correct. That is mainly a young team learning from its coach. But it is also a coach learning from his team. Self blew it yesterday in prepping these guys for the post double team (more on that tomorrow). That took our post guys out of the game. This team needed more coaching and prep. We saw it vs. Villanova … we got stung hard by the press. Coach is learning his team. He learned more yesterday.

    And I promise you … cross my heart … we get a little outside shooting going from three, and you will see the parting of the Red Sea. It is a magical thing.

    Positivity, my man. This is like a rubik’s cube. A freaking mess … until it isn’t. Just have to know what colors to rotate, and which way.

    I sense Self is still feeling that out.

  • @HighEliteMajor Nice post. I think you’re right about this being a puzzle for Self to solve.

    I’m just worried when the puzzles will stop because it started with Zone defense, then it was the press, now it’s the double-team in the post…

    I’m just hoping we are close to the point where there are no more things the B12 teams can use to flummox us.

  • Banned

    @DoubleDD After rereading this I realized I butchered the English language like no other. I often work late and like to finish off my day or night with a few beers. My apologies.

  • Banned

    @nuleafjhawk No disrespect (as I have respected many of your posts), but I have yet to see this KU team get blown out. Even in the Florida game when it was clear the deck was stacked against them. They didn’t quit, and in the end it was almost a game. In fact if you look back on this young season this year’s KU team is just mere seconds of only having one loss.

    I want to believe this KU team is on the cusp of turning the corner, but they just don’t look like they’re having fun to me. As I said before I think a few rummies would have done this team good. However I’m no BS just some guy posting like he might know.

  • @DoubleDD - Thanks for your response. You’re right, they have made some good (almost) comebacks. They should have never let themselves get down that far, but they have made it close in all of their losses so far.

    There’s just something missing with these guys though. I tend to use the hyperbole route, out of frustration, but in my opinion they really are lacking in emotion and drive. Nothing I can prove of course, it’s just how they look on my television. It’s a fairly decent TV too…

  • @nuleafjhawk leaf, I’ve a big 50" screen, and am seeing much the same performances as you. I sense that we are on the cusp of happier viewing. I like HEM’s rubix cube analogy. Any game, now, the colors and designs will swing into alignment. Gotta hope SOONER than LATER!!

  • Interesting post DD. I think the schedule lines up more with what KU, and most teams in fact, used to do. The non-conf portion was stout. Believe it or not the year Louisville won in '86 KU played them twice in the regular season and beat them twice! My three years on campus I saw blue bloods named Duke, Louisville, Kentucky, to name a few. Some KU students in recent years so no blue bloods in AFH. If we played them they were on neutral floors. Even this year, tough schedule, but the best team to come to AFH thus far? SDState whom I suspect we’d beat in a best of seven 4-2.

    As for the discussion of this team being without heart or character, I kind of agree. It’s hard to quantify such a statement. It’s hard to look at them and say they seem not to care, but that’s just the feeling one gets watching them.

    I’ll go Jaybate on us and rate the players, since I’m a teacher, with a letter grade

    Joel A Perry B+ Wiggins B Tharpe B Selden C-
    Tarik D (without the Georgetown game, an F) Traylor B+ Mason One minute it’s an A, next it’s an F, so I guess a C Not enough work to grade the others.

  • Coach Self will get this figured out. I know we seem to have to lose with every new lesson, but I think we haven’t come close to seeing the best game yet out of this crew. I know Perry is small at the 4, and Naadir is an exceptionally average point guard, but we’ve managed to go far in the tourney with more holes than what we have now. Like the Bachmann-Turner Overdrive song says" You ain’t seen nothing yet". The more this team plays, the better we will get. I would rather this team peak in March than January.

  • @DoubleDD I have to agree with you about the not-having-fun aspect. In the Georgetown game the players faces showed how much fun they were having. The last game was completely different. Of course we were losing to SDSU and nothing was coming easily.

    Some other posters have noted that our losses have been in close games. So I give them credit for playing through adversity. Churchill said When you’re going through Hell, keep going! I hope better times are ahead.

  • @wissoxfan83 pretty harsh to grade kids you don’t know! Is this based on work? Or is it based on your judgement that they don’t care? Maybe you should check their homework too.

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