4-1: End game or Means to End?

  • Is playing 4-1 the way Self hopes to play to win in March (an end game), or is it just a way to buy time for his struggling bigs to develop and then later a technique for him to shorten games for foul prone bigs (means to an end)?

    Lord knows, Coleby isn’t rehabbed yet. Doke, whom Self suggested could foul out anytime, appears a foul-a-minute type, Bragg, said to be in a funk, is either “in development,” or fighting some so far unreported injury or sickness.

    Landen and Lightfoot seem the only two fully functioning bigs presently. But neither one seems likely to control the glass on his own now, or in March, against even a good major, much less a Top Ten team.

    After two exhibitions, logic and performance point to Self buying time now and shortening games later.

  • @jaybate-1.0 Well, looking at the staging one game at a time, our bigs are in for a huge test Friday eve. Unless we can keep a reasonable balance on the stat sheet with that Bryant kid, foul for foul, the 4&1 structure will be on full display after the break. Perhaps it is a case of Self buying time, or Self whimsically selling pregame wolf tickets, or (more likely) a season-long adjustment in coaching philosophy, matching talent to opportunity. Our coach is becoming more flexible on offense. But if the 4&1 looks to be here to stay this season, there had best be some early player determination toward lock-down defense. My take: Bill Self is not wasting practice time with polishing a plan which will not be tried and employed, at least thru November.

  • @REHawk

    Makes sense.

    But I do not see how KU can ever control the boards with any one of our bigs, except against other small ball teams.

    Do you think Self has given up on controlling the rebounding game?

    Or does he think that if we shoot enough treys that most of the rebounds will be long ones gotten by some of our relatively tall perimeter guys?

    I have still never seen a team win a ring without being able to defensive rebound effectively. Even the first UCLA ring team with everyone under 6-5 found a way to defensive rebound effectively.

    Have you seen any signs in the first two exhibition games of how Self intends to get on the defensive glass effectively with only Lucas?

    I know Big Luke has had some fine rebounding games last half of last season, but do you think he is capable of 15-20 rpg against the Top 10 teams that come with two legitimate, even NBA type bigs. I know these NBA type bigs today are 6-9 and not the footers of old, but even these 6-9 future NBA big types are powerful and hugely athletic.

    Landen with a power forward seems like a great fit.

    Landen on his own?

    That seems to be asking an awful lot of the man from Oregon.

  • @jaybate-1.0

    Svi and Jackson are true 6’8" players…that is not bad height and Mason is the best under 6’ rebounder I have seen in a long time.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    Your are right about Mason. He is the best rebounding short PG I have ever seen at KU, maybe EVER. Frank is just amazing.

    And Svi and Jackson, when in together give us ample defensive rebounding height for today’s game against many teams.

    My concern about Josh and Svi goes to them having to guard a 6-8 to 6-9 power forward weighing 245-255.

    Svi is listed 6-8 and 205 and Josh is listed 6-8 and 207. We know from he past that KU appears to have had a habit of inflating guys height and weight a bit. From appearances, and past inflation tendencies, likely as not Svi is 6-7 and 200 (20lbs from Hudy the last couple years) and Josh is 6-7 and 195.

    Both Svi and Josh seem capable rebounders at a conventional 3 position that generates around 4 rpgs from wing rebounding.

    But if they play a wing 4, as Perry did, and have to go inside on the blocks and guard 6-8 240 pounders on up to 6-9, even some 6-10 240-255 pounders, I grow concerned about their weight deficiency, skill, and stamina to defensive rebound inside.

    Perry was close to their height, but Perry spent two full seasons trying to learn how to mix it up with the prison bodies on the blocks learning the hard way his limits at defensive rebounding inside. And Perry had actually played post in high school, if I recall correctly. Svi is a converted point guard and Josh was one of those guys that was so athletic and tall in high school that he apparently played every position at one time or another, but was clearly labeled a perimeter prospect. So: I’m not sure these two mostly perimeter type players have the same kind of capacity to get in and defensive rebound as effectively as Perry did, and there were a couple of years there where Perry would disappear in most aspects of his game including rebounding, when the prison bodies were matched up with him.

    Clearly, the plan initially was to come with Bragg, Coleby, and Doke both as backups for Lucas in 4-1 against small ball teams, and as conventional double posts with Lucas, when the other team came with two big men.

    But Coleby ran into persisting knee problems.

    And Bragg has hit a funk BEFORE the season.

    And Azuibuke is a fouling machine, as in 5 in 8 minutes against a DII team.

    We have the interesting prospect of Mitch Lightfoot doing some pretty good things down low, but he is 6-8 and 210 and so he is not exactly qualified on paper to get in keep guys from backing him down and offensive rebounding over his back either. But at least lightfoot appears to have played the post in high school, so he might, like Perry, after some hard knocks, be able to at least stay on the floor some against the prison bodies.

    Anyway, I see a problem here.

    You’ve got to get rebounds to run.

    If you’re a small ball team, you’ve got to run some.

  • @jaybate-1.0 I don’t think it shows up the next two games. Both teams play a 3 at the PF, so I don’t think we’re going to be exposed right away, thus allowing our guys to come around. Bragg will take some additional time, but at some point, I think he’ll get it, and be a force. Just might take 15+ games for him.

  • Frank is great at rebounding, but remember his man is almost always running back on D.

  • @jaybate-1.0

    Both Jackson and Svi are true 6’-8"; look at the pictures and you will see that they do not have inches added… Also, they are both superior athletes that can outrun, outmaneuver and probably outrebound many if not most PFs… I don’t see a problem at the offensive end but there could be some at the defensive end but the new foul rules might have a bigger influence anyway.

  • Lightfoot is a promising rebounder, I know the comparisons with Kevin Young will get old but I do see a lot of him in Mitch’s game… Still, Self’s comments indicate he’ll mostly get scrap minutes this season barring injured players.

  • Lucas may not be a T-Rob type rebounder, but he showed second half of last year against good competition that he can hold his own on the boards. As long as that and defense are his two focuses and not scoring, he’ll be fine this year. Bragg is the much bigger concern because the 20 lbs. of muscle he put on this offseason as supposed to help his rebounding which was subpar last year.

    Hopefully it is a funk and adjustment to a new role and not him turning into a bust because Bragg busting this year is enough to single handily keep KU from a national title.

  • @Makeshift and foul trouble

  • @Texas-Hawk-10 he needs a few positive plays to get him going. Coach needs to run a few plays for him to get him going. The exhibition games were rough for him, and having a few shots go in would probably help.

  • @Texas-Hawk-10

    I agree and maybe these expectations are weighing heavy on him and messing him up mentally. A couple of good games and he get his confidence back and hopefully he turns into the player we all hope he will be.

  • @Makeshift

    If Bragg’s funk continues, he’s probably got an unreported condition.

    With Doke fouling up quick and Coleby a gimp, get ready LIGHTFOOT!!!

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