Basketball Cornucopia; Just In Time For The Holidays
It has been an amazing beginning of our Jayhawk season.
We battled an Indiana team down to the wire, when they were scorching the nets from trey. We never were able to close them out on the long ball, or compete on transitional defense, but we battled them down to overtime., and we take it as a loss, but you could see the potential from that game.
Next was Duke, and we performed considerably better on defense, including closing out the long ball. We took care of the basketball just enough so Duke couldn’t impact the game with transitional offense, in fact, we were able to score on several open court opportunities because of our defense. Our defense and rebounding helped us with our offense, no question about it.
So here we are, approaching the holidays with so many areas to discuss. We really have a basketball cornucopia on our hands.
LANDEN VS THE DOKE
Two big games where Landen didn’t look like our savior from last year. Foul trouble, little rebounding… is he hurt, or is he becoming unmotivated as he watches Doke progress? Or both? I know it is early with only two real games in the book… but this wasn’t what I was expecting from Landen.
I also wasn’t expecting Doke to get 12 rebounds in 15 minutes in the second game of our season. He had a block, though actually, I think he had two. He also changed a few shots.
So do we invest in potential now for March? Or do we polish a team around a 5-yr senior?
FRANK THE TANK
In case you didn’t know… Frank Mason is a man. He has made that clear immediately in this season. That is two big games now where he has carried the point load… and also the load of the team. I don’t know what has clicked inside Frank, but I do know he is in the best conditioning of his life. He is unstoppable. He is capable to go up in the air and fix whatever situation is in front of him to get the ball around a defender or two and kiss it off the glass… creating space between the ball and the defender(s).
I feel like the Duke game was really his first game this year. Even though he scored more points in the Indiana game, it felt like he made a bigger impact versus Duke.
THE JOSH LIGHT WENT ON
Josh is a player. He made that known against Duke. Had the refs not been on some kind of education mission, He would have made an even bigger impact. He needs to keep his emotions under control, but not too much. Most of his visible emotions are a huge benefit to the team.
CARLTON NEEDS TIME
Will Carlton ever be a big rebound guy? I’m not sure. I have my doubts. But does he have to be? Okay… when he is on the floor with Landen, yes he does need to rebound aggressively. Carlton with Landen are worth about 10 rebounds a game. Not really dominated the boards. Doke changes all the numbers. Running Doke and Carlton changes everything. We are heavy on the boards while Carlton is more free to play a finesse game. Those two really make a lovely couple. Doke dominant in the low paint, Carlton extremely skilled in mid range. All we need to do is give him time and hope he doesn’t get too frustrated in the meantime.
Wow! Even though I expected Lagerald to be a key component this year, I wasn’t expecting to see some of these incredibly brilliant flashes from him. How can we tap into that consistently? Run clear-outs for him? I want to see Lagerald driving the ball on an open side of the court.
SVI - BREAK OUT OR FAKE OUT
I don’t know what to think of Svi. Up to this point, I like giving him wide open trey shots, but I really feel his potential is driving the ball.
@drgnslayr thought you were going to have recipes on here!😬
And holiday decorating tips. But, I agree with your basketball insights. It’s going to be a fun, fun year. RCJH
ENTER: Pumpkin chili
@drgnslayr Uh, barf.
What clicked inside frank, I conject, is losing to Nova and getting out played/muscled really, REALLY sucked. You see in his eyes, “Ain’t no one gonna punk me.”
@Fightsongwriter that’s the type of toughness and resolve that I love to see in players. JJ has some of that too, but he gets a little too excited at times to use it effectively; he’ll get better as the season goes along.
@Crimsonorblue22 had some good cranberry salsa at an office party this week.
I think you are right… and Frank made that decision last spring, so he spent his summer totally killing it in the gym.
Frank has never been in this good of shape his entire life. When you put his extra conditioning in with his drive… this is what we get!
@drgnslayr I’m worried about over reliance on him from a mpg perspective. He doesn’t seem to be getting quite the pounding from drive at any cost-fall to the ground game, but we’ll want/need him in March to be fresher.
@Bwag sounds good! Recipe?
I’ve always been concerned with us overplaying his minutes.
I feel just a bit better because I think Frank has gotten smarter on when and where to be aggressive. He doesn’t seem to go down on the hardwoods quite as often as in the past. I worry most about his elbows.
We really need players like Svi to step up. He did play a solid game yesterday. We know Vick will get plenty of minutes, but we need one more guard to capture a lot of minutes. We do feel the loss of BGreene. I don’t think we miss his attitude, but we miss having another guard.
@drgnslayr playing him too much is on Bill. He is the one that has to rest him even if it means a closer game - the other guys will have to step up.
@drgnslayr and better conditioning means (hopefully) less gas depletion in March. Self just has to avoid playing him 35 min a game. With Vick and JJ, hopefully we will get Ferrari Frank in March and not FORD (Failed on race day) Frank.
@drgnslayr I’ve been demanding a limit on Frank’s minutes. I know it’s difficult; we really needed Frank vs. Siena or that game could have been a loss. I see the solution as more playing time for Vick. He is aggressive and making the most of his minutes. Let Vick loose will ya Coach. RCJH
@stoptheflop Vick got 32 minutes Friday.
I am doubtful Frank will ever be rested enough.
Bill and Frank have a very special relationship… they are brothers in many ways. Frank is insanely competitive. Very hard to keep him on the bench, especially when the head coach admires and respects that level of competitive commitment. Frank NEVER wants to come out of a game… NEVER!
I think even Bill’s brain knows Frank needs to rest more. But I also think Bill’s soul wants to give Frank as many minutes as Frank wants. Frank wants 40 minutes a game.
Maybe we should be thankful he gets at least one or two quick blows every game!
@drgnslayr I think you hit the nail on the head with this post. With a guy like HCBS that loves tough competitive players its hard for him to deny them what they want and deserve even if it may be Frank’s detriment in the end.
@drgnslayr Landen is an enigma right now- he didn’t have 3 players swarming him last year because Perry was drawing them out of the post. This year, they just wait for the entry pass, and surround him. I’d like to see more movement from the guys that don’t have the ball when LL gets that entry pass…maybe come up right behind him, LL could flip them the ball, and use LL as a screen. Of course, you’re more well versed on the x and o standpoint than I’ll ever be. Maybe LL is so focused on trying to become a scorer, he is neglecting to make that pass to the open man. With the foot injury, when he gets the ball, it’s taking forever and a day to go up with the ball …he’s slower than he’s ever been, imo. My opinion is…he will be just fine. Maybe his job is to run interference so Bragg can nab 11 boards.
Doke is officially in the toughening box. Blew an assignment…grabbed some bench. Will Coach give the Doke the minutes necessary to develop? I think the answer is absolutely, he will. but Doke has to learn how to play without fouling, or its a moot point. JJ has to learn to not foul as well, but they’re letting him play through his mistakes. In the future, and for our future, we have to have Doke in there for at least 15 minutes every game, imo. LL plays 25 avg a game normally, right? So, its not like we’re taking any time away from Lando. Put him back in, Coach. Let him learn while he’s playing. 7 minutes is no bueno.
I don’t know what has clicked inside Frank
The answer is Andrea Hudy
I think this is part of the “Perry effect.” Perry is gone, so all eyes are focusing responsibilities elsewhere and Frank has picked up the slack.
I don’t know if we are realizing Frank enough for his level of commitment. By starting this season by carrying a bulk of the load, Frank is accepting that he will be “the man” who will have heavy expectations put on him in every game moving forward.
I expect players like Josh will become more dominant as the season progresses. But as of today, this is “Frank’s team.”
And I think we have had an issue in recent years trying to give players a leadership role and have them run with it. Perry led through his consistency (for example). I think I have to go back to Sherron Collins being the last guy that really stood up and allowed a target to be put on him. That guy would take a bullet for any of the guys on his teams.
This team needs leadership. I praise Frank for stepping up and having NO FEAR about being that man!
Frank will be our leader on all things nuts and bolts.
Josh, on the other hand… I see him as our Pastor. He’s our man that brings another level to games and is animated and driven enough to be able to express it to his teammates and raise them to the promised land where he lives.
Yes… Doke has to receive a lot of minutes this year. He really needs to see a lot of minutes in about every game. That is the only way to season him. He needs to be put in the most challenging situations, including games and situations where he may not always be our best option. Give him plenty of those minutes, and he soon will become our best option for ALL situations!
It is pretty hard to keep a guy like him on the bench, especially when we are proven to have rebounding issues with this team.
I agree… that Landen misses having Perry to draw attention away from him. But I see what everyone else is seeing… that Landen is SLOW in the post on his moves (so is Doke). Our guys are bringing the ball down and gathering for an eternity. Hopefully, that is being addressed and worked on. Much of that is about confidence. Some of it is about building more scoring moves and practicing them enough to where there is no long gather in practice.
You mentioned that Landen is having to deal with having 3 players swarm him. Great! I would be more concerned if he didn’t even draw in a double-team and still couldn’t score. If there are 3 guys on Landen, we have 2 of our players wide open. Or, at least, they should be wide open.
So far, in this young season, I see something else as causing the problems for Landen more than missing Perry… WHERE HAS OUR TREY BALL GONE? I think this is the biggest reason for the swarm on Landen. Teams are baiting us into taking treys because so far, we haven’t proven we can hit them.
I think a big part of this is just getting our guys to polish their offense. I’m not too worried yet. It’s a young season and even though most of our guys were here last year, every year is a new challenge. They are still developing an effective pace. They still need to polish their spacing. They aren’t yet seeing where there opportunities really are. And after all of that which they still must learn, they then have to take their education and apply it. This is often the toughest thing to accomplish… the execution. Especially with young players caught up in the moment, but even a challenge for the veteran guys, too.