Ten Random thoughts on Siena

    1. Add an N and Siena is also a color and a car.

    2. I’m officially concerned about our 3 point offense and 3 point defense.

    3. I’m not as concerned about FT’s. Bill Self will fix it.

    4. After playing in far flung places it was nice to see us on a court with a friendly bird in the middle.

    5. I think we’re still adjusting to the loss of Perry Ellis.

    6. No one fills a stat sheet in such an ugly way as Landen Lucas. 6 pts, 5 boards, 5 blocks, 2 fouls.

    7. LaGerald is the most exciting Vick since Michael. He’s averaging almost 10 a game which is quite a bit higher than I expected out of him this year. I just hope he stays away from the dogs.

    8. JJ’s 3 point percentage (.400) is surprising in many ways. It’s the high on the team, we didn’t expect him to be a great 3 baller, and it’s higher than his FT percentage (.375). Like Duke, he showed some flashes last night but we will need him to not just have flashes of brilliance.

    9. Bragg is our only big averaging over 10 points a game. It’s still early, but interior scoring must improve…I think…but

    10. We all knew it coming in, but our guard play has lived up to billing (except for the 3 percentage). Enjoy the season folks. It’s going to be a fun season watching them.

  • @wissox

    You’ve nailed the big issues.

  • @Bwag 1st time for everything!

  • Landen Lucas is doing fine and will be an important contributor to this team. Opposing teams, especially Indiana are collapsing on him every time he gets the ball. I remember a point in the Indiana game when Landen got the ball in the paint and was surrounded by four Hoosiers. He looked like a man trapped in a well. When our guards start hitting some 3’s and defenses are forced to focus on other KU players on offense, Landen will get his 10-12 points and 10 rebounds. Our guards have open 3’s all the time, but aren’t converting yet. Right now, the defensive schemes are focusing on Landen like defenses did last year with Perry.

    Our 3 point defense is the same approach we’ve seen in year’s past: defend from inside the 3 point line and see if the other team hits their shots. No one chased Wright until the middle of the second half. We just let him launch uncontested 3’s until he got too tired to hit them. I guess that’s a defensive strategy. Siena has a really nice team, with the outside/inside play of Wright and Ogunyemi. This was a good game for us; a win we may learn from.

  • @wissox I think our 3 pt shooting will improve. I said before it’s nice to win w/out relying on it. Coach in no way is discouraging it. It might take awhile to figure the officiating. Total fouls was down last pm? We need Josh out there. He’ll settle in. Vick and Svi doing a nice job too! Bragg was much better, can’t imagine him playing NBA yet, based on toughness and immaturity. Doke needs minutes. Did you see him sprint the floor, wish he could have got the ball!

  • @wissox Great points. I am not worried about 3 pt shooting though. Mason, Graham, Svi, Vick…they are all at least above average 3 pt shooters…I think they will show that.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 Thanks to the AD I was watching the game on a miniature screen on my laptop with the chat on the other half. I didn’t see anyone sprinting because I could barely see anyone!

  • @wissox

    1- A mini-van, actually.

    2-I’ve been concerned with our 3 point defense for 13 years…lol. If you’re going to give something up, you want it to beyond the perimeter is the theory. It drives me crazy how we allow 3 point shooters to go crazy on us. The 3 point shooting will correct itself- last year we hit everything in sight the first half of the year from 3, and then tailed off the 2nd half. We also had 10 additional games preseason, and were much further along as a team at this point last year.

    1. I hope he does.

    2. RCJHGKU.

    3. Agreed. No way we lose to IU if the designer is on the court. But he’s not, and we have to adjust. CB HAS to step up his defense in order for us to cut down the nets, imo. I think he’ll get there, and if does, we repeat our victory over Dook for all the marbles.

    4. Lando is frustrated, which is a good place to be your senior year. It means he’s motivated, and won’t stop until he gets back to where he was at last year. He will be fine.

    5. He is a scintillating player, imo. Love watching him operate…just wait until he gets locked and loaded from the 3…BG who?

    6. I think he is scratching the surface, but he is so immature, and his brain is getting in the way of being more effective. The maudlin reactions to the foul calls simply makes the refs more likely to call you for another one, imo. The ball slapping was almost inexcusable…c’mon, man…don’t look bush league…act like you’ve been there before. Wayne and Perry were the most stoic guys to ever play for us, and they could’ve flipped out many times, but their restraint exuded class, imo. Ok, no one flip out on me because I called out our superstar.

    7. I think Bragg is a 10 ppg guy this year, and I think Lando will eventually average 10. What I want to see are some putbacks. If Kudoka can ever learn to play without fouling, it’s pretty much a done deal when he gets the ball in low.

    10.Spectacular wealth of riches. Devonte hasn’t even gotten started yet. JJ is going to become more and more dominant as he relaxes ( and stays out of foul trouble), and Frank is the best player in the country.

  • @KUSTEVE Nice job. On 9, if Lando and Bragg average 10 we’ll have 5 starters averaging 10 because the three guards will too. That’s balance! Vick is almost at 10. Is it possible to have 6 average 10 a game? Not sure if that’s ever been done.

  • @stoptheflop

    I can be hard on Landen… but I agree… he is going to be fine. I finally saw some fire in his play last night. I think he needs some of these easier games to build his confidence again. And maybe he’s been playing on a bad wheel that is healing up.

    The 5 blocks was important. Showed he was focused on the game. He still had some issues rebounding. I kind of wonder if he has small hands for a big man? He seems to have trouble sometimes clamping down on those rebounds and loose balls.

    I do see signs of him “coming to.”

    I know we have Doke now competing for minutes. But Landen needs to realize that he is absolutely VITAL to the success of this team! We won’t be going anywhere without Landen.

    As he gets back into form, I think a big part of what he will improve on is less fouling. We have to have less fouling in the post. This could really become our weakness and then teams will attack us there.

  • As long as Landen doesn’t try to score with his back to the basket or take long jump shots he doesn’t really hurt the team.

  • @BShark

    I guarantee you that Self wants Landen to score with his back to the basket. He just needs to be more selective and also learn that he needs to draw multiple defenders in then kick it out for a wide open trey.

    Don’t ever expect a Self team to not focus on low post scoring, and some of that has to come from back to the basket moves.

  • He can’t though. When he seals off his guy and there isn’t help at the rim that’s when Lucas can score. I feel like he tried to do too much at times, he just needs to play within himself and he will be fine. Usually he is pretty good about that.

    Pic unrelated mitch.jpg

  • Oh and I don’t recall if I already mentioned this but I really was not a fan of Lucas and Doke in there at the same time. Not enough skill imo.

  • What’s up with Doke only playing 7 minutes. Prior to the game, I opined that 40 minutes was about right, or until he fouled out. That was before I saw how competitive Siena proved to be. But, Doke needs to play lots of minutes, foul when it doesn’t matter so much and make mistakes, but learn, learn, learn. Coach Self is going to need the big guy to win some games down the road. Put him in for heaven’s sake. Play the big guy, would ya.

  • @wissox 3pt% isn’t an issue yet. All of these guys have historically better percentages and the law of averages will bring us back. Hell, lets save all of our makes for conference and tourney season. I hope we go into conference play only shooting 25% because then we are due to hit about 45% the rest of the season.

  • @Kcmatt7 that’s exactly what North Carolina and Villanova did last year. Both were not great shooting teams until the tournament.

  • @wissox I’d say LL played okay, not great but I like the 5 blocks forsure. My main issue going forward is as you say 3 point defense and keeping opposing guards outta the lane. I’m not worried about our 3s on offense just yet, I think we will break out and shoot the lights out with in the next few games. I think the same issue of not having a low post scorer hurt last year and will again this year. I know Perry is being missed and rightfully so he was a 4 year player but I didn’t really see him as a low post scorer, got most of his from the Ft line, jumpers and dribble drive from the top of the key, etc. Since Joel has been gone IMO we haven’t had that guy down to throw it in to and make the defense pay.

  • @kjayhawks I think Carlton and Udoka can do it, but they need more touches down there to work on it before March rolls around. Also disappointed that Self didn’t play Udoka more - I know he didn’t go after a rebound, but only playing him seven minutes is not helping us for March.

  • @wissox said:

    @Bwag 1st time for everything!

    That wissox83 guy was holding you back.

  • @stoptheflop I know. I was totally wondering why Buike wasnt in the game mid way thru the second half

  • @Hawk8086 We know that about Graham and Mason, who unfortunately are already relied upon for ball handling and lot s of defensive pressure. And anyone else is a question mark, including Svi.

    I hope our defense improves most of all. That way we don’t have to rely on the three when March comes around and you play two in three days.

  • @wissox Here is another thought. A bit off topic but sort of relevant.

    Our record is tied for last in the Big 12 BUT,

    I just browsed the records of our fellow schools in the Big 12. Noone had a game won against anybody without a directional state university except for Baylors win over Oregon and FGCU.

    Noone except KU had two games versus top 10 opponents.

    We kind of jumped right into the fire here, in terms of elite level competition this early. We came away 1-1 in those games, which Im happy about.

    Our young Freshies got some big time testing.

    I hope Coach Self lets them play through mistakes a bit more, Especially Doke. If he misses a defensive switch or gets fouled up, take him out and use it as a teaching moment. Put him back in at first opportunity and let him learn In Game!

    7 minutes last night against a mid major team is not acceptable to me.

  • Thought this was a nice quote from the Siena coach

    “I did an interview before the game and said Lagerald Vick was my favorite player. That’s my kind of guy. He does a lot of dirty work. Unfortunately I was correct. Looks like you (KU) are going to have another run at the national championship."

    Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/sports/college/big-12/university-of-kansas/article115831288.html#storylink=cpy

  • I missed that Doke didn’t go after a rebound. I know fully understand why he only played 7 minutes. Rebounding has been a point of emphasis so far, if you don’t do it you sit. Now let’s see how Doke responds; I predict a double digit rebounding effort next time out.

  • @dylans Doke needs playing time, not bench time. Yell at him a bit, then put him back in and then yell at him again when he screws up on the floor. He’s going to make many mistakes, but will learn from making them on the court, not sitting on the bench. Put the big guy in until he fouls out, would ya. We are going to need him in February and March. RCJH

  • I suspect that Bill is taking on his alignments 2 steps at a time, trying to uplift Bragg and Lucas first, then dealing with Doke’s current and future play. The one thing that Coach won’t allow is lack of effort. Udoka, if smart and determined, will grow from the benching and lack of minutes. No way will potential like his go unrewarded as the season moves forward. That kid is the best big man to come to Lawrence since JoJo. (emphasis on KID)

  • I called that this game would be a letdown. There was some good things and plenty of ammo for Self to work with. With the schedule the way it is this there was no way we were going to play our best game in the home opener. Seina is a quality team that should win its conference.

    I was very encouraged with Bragg’s play. Very aggressive rebounding the ball, He’s our most reliable scorer (and only) hope in the paint. We should continue to get him the ball where he can do damage. Scouts will be impressed on how he played.

    I thought Vick played really well, also had key rebounds and picked his spots well. If he can add a reliable outside shot over the year he’s going to be drafted next year. I’m really amazed on how effortless he jumps in the air. Doesn’t seem like he’s trying, has crazy athleticism.

    I thought Josh played well, but the dumb fouls have to stop. The 2 offensive fouls were bad calls, the 1st the guy flopped and ran into him (not an offensive foul at any level). We are starting to see his game changing talent though. He plays defense, he anticipates passes as well as Devonte. He has some moves nobody else has. If he can stay on the court he’s the key to the entire season.

    Honestly I’m done defending Landen Lucas. Why we think its good offense throwing him the ball down low is beyond my comprehension level. Just don’t do it. He did have some nice timely blocks and rebounded okay but offensively- he’s offensive to watch. Coach called him out, I am too. STEP UP. That is all.

    3 point shooting and FT shooting are major weaknesses right now. Tired legs, hopefully that will start to even out as the guys get more rest and get better. It can’t get any worse can it?

  • The three point shooting really can’t get worse. Missing lots of wide open looks.

    As for Lucas the problem is Self is going to run his offense for better or for worse so when Lucas is in the game he will be getting the ball in the post. The issue against Siena is he tried to force it/do too much. Lucas of all kids. When he plays within himself he is fine.

  • @BShark

    Agree he does well when he does what is expected of him. I just don’t believe we can reach the level we want with him consistently playing the way he does. 4 guards with Bragg or if Doke can become reliable are honestly our best lineups

  • Totally agree. There is a reason Vick played 32 minutes. If Josh can stay out of foul trouble he will play 30+ as well. Self went a little overboard on Doke considering he pretty much didn’t play again after not getting one particular rebound.

  • @BShark

    I think what got Doke benched was the 3 their 5 made on him where Doke was totally lost. Reminded me of Cliff his freshman year. Doke is a good play against Centers without range. He is just so raw around the edges right now

  • Vick & Josh are so long and athletic that they can play guys taller which gives this team lots of interchangeable options on defense. Nova has thrived with guys like those that can guard above their pay grade

  • @BeddieKU23 said:


    I think what got Doke benched was the 3 their 5 made on him where Doke was totally lost. Reminded me of Cliff his freshman year. Doke is a good play against Centers without range. He is just so raw around the edges right now

    That’s fair. He is way too unpolished to be able to do much against stretch 5s.

    @BeddieKU23 said:

    Vick & Josh are so long and athletic that they can play guys taller which gives this team lots of interchangeable options on defense. Nova has thrived with guys like those that can guard above their pay grade

    Yeah it goes against what Self believes in but it’s the best thing for this team right now.

  • @BShark

    Yeah it goes against what Self believes in but it’s the best thing for this team right now.

    Couldn’t have said it better.

  • @stoptheflop I suspect there was a major lesson taught not amenable to an ordinary tongue lashing: You don’t play lackadaisically at KU. If you decide not to try, please sit this one out. No “gimmees” for even second tier opponents.

    I had an English teacher throw my theme in the trash when I commented while turning it in that it wasn’t very good. She asked why she should waste her time if I wasn’t going to try? I took it out and told her I had tried but was having trouble getting it on paper. She reluctantly accepted it, but man was I scared straight.

    First lesson, try hard. Second, don’t denigrate your own effort! Lesson One led to getting nine straight As or A+'s for the rest of my assignments. Lesson Two – well, sometimes I have been able to keep my mouth shut…

  • @BeddieKU23 So let a Siena center score on Doke, that’s how he’s going to learn what to expect and how to defend D1 centers. Benching him against Siena was a mistake.

  • @stoptheflop

    I see your point but its not how Self does things. He expects you to understand scouting report and do your job.

    We are seeing the highs and lows of Doke. Their is no question he will have games that he looks very good and others where he’s still learning. The Seina game was one where he made mistakes and got benched

  • I think we all want Doke to play. A lot of us in fact probably disagree with Self’s approach to the situation. However it will not change.

  • @stoptheflop Argue with Self.

    “I think it’ll do us some good,” Self said of the victory, calling it more of a must-win game for Kansas than it probably was for Duke. “For the first time we won a game when we shot it like crap — 2-of-17 from three, 9-of-19 from the (free throw) line — but they don’t get transition points and we controlled the glass. It’s not that complicated.”

    Don’t get back, don’t rebound- Don’t play. Do both and play plenty. How fast will they learn?

  • @BShark You mean Coach Self doesn’t read and implement my posts immediately ? Bummer. Do you have his cell number? He probably wants my input. Honestly, my opinions really only matter to me; not even my wife pays any attention to them.

  • @stoptheflop Self is waiting for this season’s HEM posts before switching to any other Board Rat.

  • If a poster here could be head coach for one game, who would you vote for? What coaching changes would we see? Just for fun now, no serious criticism intended.

  • @BeddieKU23 Tired legs is our reason for poor shooting? Tired legs from what? We’ve played 3 games. They’re in college, in other words, they’re young elite athletes. I agree with most posters that say our shooters will come around.

    @stoptheflop Not touching that one of who here should coach for one game! Except, I’ve officially removed my name from consideration!

  • @wissox I actually think that would be interesting to see how an intelligent poster would do. I obviously don’t think anyone here would do as well as Self, but I think some here would be more open to trying something a little different and experimenting more.

  • @wissox How can a KU fan not be concerned about FTs? When we watch the Warriors play an NBA game and someone clanks a couple my wife usually asks me if the played for Kansas

  • @sfbahawk Did she go to Syracuse by any chance?

  • @wissox

    But there not machines either.

    Shooting will improve but Mason/Graham are tired, they have played almost an entire half more then the next closest guy (vick)

  • @sfbahawk I said I’m not concerned because I think Bill will fix it.

  • Did anyone else noticed that Lucas went back to his old, short hair style?

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