Hawks Beat Sooners: Ice Sensitively Dependent Title

  • Well, not exactly iced it, but if conference round robbins were sensitively dependent on initial conditions, and they probably are because they are characterized by some chaos and emergent complexity, then KU stealing an away win against the Sooners, means KU is likely to sweep the Sooners back in Larrytown. In turn, this means that KU can play for splits with Baylor, OSU, and ISU and likely as not seal at least a share of the title; this assumes that chaos and complexity in a distribution of talent favoring KU, will work over the long haul of a round robbin to trigger all but one of Baylor, OSU, and ISU into splits with each other too, leaving KU, and perhaps one other of the four dominant teams, with the only sweeps of one of the four dominant teams in the conference.

    Thus, KU established the initial conditions required for a share of a title. 🙂

    Next comes the part where I get egg on my face and JNewell gets bragging rights.

    JNew expectation: KU by five and a high scoring game.

    Outcome: KU by 7 and a high scoring game.

    The man deserves big time quantitative strokes.

    I on the other hand deserve ridicule and scorn.

    I predicted KU by 15 and OU being held to the high 60s. Their ends the reign of my reliable forecasting and so I humbly pass the torch to the new King Quant. But don’t tell him I said so. 🙂

    As a further note of self humiliation, I wrote that Wiggins would have a monster game tonight. Boy, was I ever completely off on that one. Wiggins was a primer on ineffectiveness.

    My run down:

    Selden: Wayne had a break out, funk ending game and strangely did not look very good doing it. Weirdest combination I have seen in a while. I saw Selden take and miss a trey in the first half with such awful mechanics that I guess I became a prisoner of that experience and saw him through a negative lens, despite in fact an exemplary game on his part. The numbers don’t lie about him: 50% from trey and about the same from the floor. Whew! Hot. Also only two TOs. Hooray for Wayne. Fortunately I have not been beating the drums for Wayne to be pushed onto the pine. Those that have been seeking pine time for Selden need to go to confession and be absolved. 🙂

    Ellis: Oh, my god is this getting predictable, or what? Put Perry on a 6-7 guy with a 6-7 partner, and Perry will hang 22/11 every time. Perry is a monster against small bigs. If only everyone started 6-7 bigs. Still, the important thing about Perry was he was out there hustling from the start.

    Wiggins: Wow! Did Lebron ever have this many unimpressive games in a row? Jordan? Even Dominique Wilkins? I will stop there. Fouled up. Mrs. Wiggins, please talk to your son. An OAD year is a terrible thing to waste.

    Tharpe: Tharpe does not look like a tough nut, but he is one on the inside at least. He fell about as low as a point guard could fall against SDSU that first half. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong and then some things that could not go wrong went wrong, too. He sucked more than a pleicostomas on aquarium glass; then tonight vs. OU he was a picture of offensive efficiency. His defense was typically spotty. But Congratulations! Nothing runs like a Naadir.

    Embiid: he wasn’t very productive after several good performances. He’s a freshman, so what else is new. Foul troubles? Check. TOs? Check. 1 lousy block against a bunch of guys short enough to have trouble touching the top of his head? Check. But the big guy was efficient offensively and and got six caroms on an off night, so, Bill, keep building around him.

    Traylor: too many TOs.

    Frankamp: got in and did something good at point. Made a trey, something about as rare among our perimeter backups as a visit by Haley’s Comet. Congratulations Conner. Note: Self started him at point the second half for reasons as inexplicable as why basketball is not the most popular game on the planet already.

    Mason: Frank was caught in the 2s: 2 TOs, 2 PFs, and 2 points. Frank seems to struggle against lesser guards. Self seems to be learning the counter intuitive lesson and only plays him a lot against good guards. Just more weirdness on KU’s weirdest team ever (you read that here first).

    Black: Tarick proved that he simply should not suit up when the other team starts a front line of 6-7. There is something about holding towering advantage over someone that paralyses Tarick.

    Greene: 1 assist and 1 foul and lots of goose eggs in five minutes. Let’s just say that for whatever reason, Brannen Greene is not burning up the nets yet.

    Wesley: Justin got a look to keep Landen Lucas from getting the big head, I guess?

    White: Self let White know in no uncertain terms that his four minutes the last game were nothing to write home about.

    Lucas: Landen was, shall we say, given a night off to avoid him pulling a muscle chasing dwarves.

    Take Away 1: KU got a win by resorting to its early successful formula: generally lousy defense, letting one guy run wild, mild disruption, letting greater height win the rebounding battle with a plus ten (and without blocking out, too), getting fewer strips, and generally making a 50% shooting night a close game.

    Take Away 2: KU did not improve tonight; they just shot well and got more rebounds by being taller.

    Take Away 3: This team is becoming defined by its ability to find infinitely varied ways to keep games close. It wins close. It loses close. It keeps otherwise terrible drubbings close. It takes its own hot shooting nights and find ways to keep it close. This team will do whatever it takes to keep a game close. It will shoot as poorly and rebound as little as it has to against SDSU, but then ramp up its disruption stat to get a close loss. It will catch fire shooting and then play piss poor defense to win close. There is almost nothing this team will not do to keep a game close.

    Note to Cin: This process is not nearly as enjoyable as Bill suggested it could be. 🙂

    P.S.: They stole a win on the road. By definition that is a great accomplishment despite not getting better. Put another way, perhaps they have found a way to win without getting better.

    P.P.S.: Maybe Self has finally even turned the idea of getting better upside down. He seems to have developed a team that can keep finding ways to win as it gets worse.

    P.P.P.S.: Seriously, even on just a normally warm shooting night, KU would have lost this game. On the other hand, they would almost certainly have found a way to keep it a close loss. They might have played better FT defense, or what have you.

    P.P.P.P.S: I am not sure how KU can win without pressure defense and disruption and with an underachieving facsimile of Kenny Gregory rather than the next Lebron, but let’s face facts here–KU is 10-4 and 1-0 in the conference. Bill Self seems to have found a way to win with a team that does absolutely nothing well on a consistent basis, but be inconsistent. In fact, this may become Self’s most extraordinary coaching accomplishment yet. Now Bill is so good that he can find a way to win playing consistently inconsistent, dare I say, badly om infinitely varying ways. We are yet again through the basketball looking glass here with Bill Self. I doubted he could do it again to me after ten years. He is a remarkable man; that much is for certain.

    Rock Chalk!

  • @jaybate I’m your biggest fan but I feel like we got better tonite. If nothing else but the confidence category.

    “Nothing runs like a Naadir” -Classic!

    “KU’s weirdest team ever” -Absolutely! (you read my agreement here first)

  • @VailHawk Maybe we got better at not getting better? 🙂

    Seriously, you are probably right, but I am too boggled by the last two games to see it yet.

  • KU’s weirdest team ever

    @VailHawk I’m thinking that, years in the future, I will be referring to this year as “The Experiment”.

  • I’m glad to have seen the intensity in Wayne, Perry and Naadir. The bench was engaged the whole game and Coach Self gave encouragement for the hussle when plays occurred. Our staying out in front kept the crowd from becoming a factor. The amount of fouls by us is something that will have to be worked on. Our points in the paint were 20-0 at the half and we totally outrebounded them 36-22. Conner gave us a lift with that first 3 but then he was left WIDE open and if he would have missed, he would have never come back in.

    Tarik = 3 fouls in 5 mins of pt. 😞

                               1st Half         2nd Half        Game Totals

    TOTAL FG%: 18-28 .643 11-25 .440 29-53 .547

    3-Pt. FG%: 4-9 .444 4-7 .571 8-16 .500

    F Throw %: 10-13 .769 14-17 .824 24-30 .800

    Deadball rebounds: 4

  • @jaybate 1.0 jb, you hit the nail squarely re Black. That guy is a real puzzle. I wonder why Lucas stayed on the pine last night…

  • @REHawk guessing OU’s smaller lineup?

  • Jaybate, I have a question for you. I’m not nearly as basketball savvy as many of our posters.

    Could a major part of the weirdness of this team, malaise if you will accept this term, be because Andrew Wiggins is getting away with play that would normally send a freshman Jayhawk to the bench? I seem to get the vibe that he is pulling his effort right out of the Xavier Henry playbook. To me it appears that Andrew is playing at 3/4th speed, and is either bored or disconnected. I look back at the recruiting outcome for Wiggins. If Bill Self is to be believed, he didn’t even know Wiggins was committing to Kansas until Wiggins made his low key public announcement. Does that not seem odd?

    If Bill Self were to bench him for an entire game, do you think it would have any lighting the competitive fire effect on Mr. Wiggins? How would the “team” respond?

  • @Chris1955

    Wigging is doing well on defense but on offense his progress has been slow. I believe it might have to do with his personality and no wanting to look like a prima donna ball hog, with the net result that he is way too deferential to other players at times when he should be more assertive and take over games. A couple of his turnover were something you could expect from a freshman playing his first or second college game, but not from a player of his stature 14 games into the season.

    Maybe like Sampson, cutting his hair has sapped his strength; maybe he needs to grow it back.

  • @JayHawkFanToo - " Prima Donna Ball Hog " - that’s EXACTLY what he needs to be. On the court. He can be all shy and cuddly and sweet off the court.

  • @Chris1955 – “Could a major part of the weirdness of this team, malaise if you will accept this term, be because Andrew Wiggins is getting away with play that would normally send a freshman Jayhawk to the bench?”

    Good question.

    Short answer, it could be. But your observation is not unique. I’ve been trying pay attention to how Wiggins’ handles things over the past handful of games.

    I would sit his ass on the bench, to be honest.

    Call it “Wiggins Rules.”

  • jb Great post and I am still smiling.

    Regarding the point on Conner starting the 2nd half, I was also surprised and at first thought that Tharpe was injured. However Bill Self clarified that he had made the decision during half time for two reasons - 1) Conner had finished the 1st half playing very well 2) He did not want Tharpe to pick up the 4th foul early in the 2nd half. I guess he knew that his team will be keeping the game close and wanted to have Tharpe available to close it out.

  • @HighEliteMajor I agree. I kept asking myself why is Wiggins still playing after his 3rd TO. Not only his play was mediocre his body language was not very good.

    Is Bill Self having double standard here? Is Wiggins getting away from treatment that other Freshmen get? Is this having chemistry issues? A lot of questions.

  • @AsadZ Jimmy Johnson, former Dallas Cowboys coach, freely admitted that he had different rules for his stars as opposed to the average player. I think that makes sense in the pros. But not in college.

    There have been more than a handful of times where I was shaking my head that Wiggins stayed in the game after boneheaded plays, and then loafing afterward. It’s just an interesting dynamic right now. Seems like Self is ok with it.

    Can you imagine Wiggins diving for a ball like Selden did? Hopefully we’ll see that.

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