Jayhawk Post Fiasco

  • This is the only “Jayhawk Post Fiasco” I see in our future…


    I know… I know… our current post play is pretty much giving us ZILCH!

    Every player we have over 6’8" is in Self’s doghouse. Boo-hoo!

    Do they belong there? Yes… they do. They do because this is one of those excellent situations where players battle through struggle. And when good players battle through struggle, they improve at a high rate. What is happening now isn’t going to hurt us later, it is going to help us.

    Stop listening to people like Fran Fraschilla, who secretly has a problem with Kansas basketball anyways. He is basically declaring us now DEAD in March, our season results are already decided.

    Thanks, Fran, for adding fuel to an arsonist’s fire. Keep piling on the firewood… you are helping build our chip.

    For once… KU Basketball needs to take a page from KU Football; “Through the struggle, stay poised!”

    There is a lot going on relating to this subject that needs to be brought to light.

    Coach Self isn’t making life easy for our big men. Why should he accommodate mediocrity? That isn’t why he earns a 7-figure salary every year. Coach has all his bigs in his “toughening box” because he is doing everything in his power to turn our post play into one of our strengths by March. Believe it or not, and feel free to quote me on this 3 months from now… Coach is preparing for March RIGHT NOW, and a big part of our upcoming March success (hopefully) will be from the quality play of our post guys. Yes… they are going from ZERO to 200 mph between now and March. Wait and see.

    This all starts with Landen Lucas. Our post play psyche is all on his shoulders. Our younger players look to Landen for guidance. And though it looks like Landen is preparing to give up, quite the opposite will be his reality. What is coming for Landen is RAZOR-SHARP FOCUS! That is all he needs. He needs to be in the game, and not overthink it while knowing what to do, when and where.

    This has already started as a strange season. It feels like the “asterisk season” we all talked about a couple of years ago when refs blew their whistles (usually just for the heck of it) to establish the “Jay Bilas Game of ZERO Contact.” We know what happened that year. The NCAA came under fan pressure to let the game take place and be decided by the players, not the refs. We are back to square one again. This time, the marketing money wonks will not be denied their wishes. The game is going to be called “tighter” whether we like it or not, even if it means the NCAA Championship Game in April has 62 fouls called in it.

    Landen, and all our bigs, are struggling to succeed against conflicting currents. On one side is Coach Self… the motivator pushing our guys to lose some skin in every game and on every loose ball. On the other side is the officiating, which has been given an agenda this year to call the game “tighter”… and from that we see outrageous contradictions and inconsistencies playing out in every game. All of those calls are tampering down our big men from hustling. Every time they move a finger, the whistle blasts them as guilty.

    You can bet the ranch that over our big developmental period around Christmas, our bigs will be focusing on how to play full speed against a whistle that isn’t about fairness, but about an agenda to “improve the game” for marketing purposes.

    I bet Landen feels like dog poop right now. He is in the doghouse at the start of his glory senior campaign. Not exactly what he was expecting a few months ago. Coach saw this coming. This is what is behind his comments about playing 4 guards.

    I wonder just how many reps Landen has put in with Andrea Hudy throughout his 5 years at Kansas? Thousands? More like tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands. He has gone from being a twinkie in the post to a man who can fight for position. He got punished for that last night on that ridiculous call where he was establishing position in the paint. If the game was under my control, I would FIRE that ref for making such a ridiculous “statement call.” So Landen worked his butt off for 5 years to build strength, and now has strength and he is being punished for it.

    There is only ONE MESSAGE going forward. And that message comes from KU Football:

    “Hang in there, guys! Put your nose to the grindstone and continue the hard work and be unphased by the negative frenzy circus around you now. This will pass, along with the poor game results. Everything is looking up, STAY FOCUSED AND CONQUER!”

  • Excellent post slyr. This team clearly has one limitation - our big guys. All of them need to figure out how to play without fouling. Carlton needs to figure out his role.

    I don’t often say this, but there is little distinction amongst the top 25 teams. North Carolina, Nova and Kentucky you could say are at the top, but it looks like everyone else is kind of even - could be a 2011 type tournament. We can definitely have a good shot at a final four if we have good production from our front court.

  • Nice post. We’ll be all right even if the progress looks painful right now

  • How do people forget how to play basketball? I understand offensive slumps, but rebounds and defense are hustle and willpower right?

  • Landen and Bragg will get better when the refs get tired of blowing their whistles.

    I honestly don’t understand the NCAA emphasis’ every season that never lasts all the way through a season. It changes nothing and honestly ruins the game for the early part of the season. All it does is remind NBA fans why they don’t like CBB. What makes basketball great is it’s ability to be High Scoring and Fast paced. Those two things make it a great sport. The constant foul calling ruins the game.

  • @Kcmatt7

    I have studied this some… and it is marketing people pulling the trigger. The idea is to actually speed up the game with more scoring by reducing the contact (code for reducing the guarding space between defender and offender).

    They aren’t going to stop until they make D1 look like all those stupid all star games where no one plays defense. And notice how the crowds flock to those ridiculous concepts… (sarcasm)

  • @drgnslayr Just pisses me off so much. CBB is such a pure sport. Something you don’t just become a fan of. It is something you are born a fan of. And I just wish the damn rule makers would realize that. Don’t touch CBB. It is so great because of all of the different styles you can play. UVA plays lock down D. Wisconsin bores you to death. UNC runs you to death. WVU and Louisville put so much pressure on you, you’d think you were being questioned by the FBI. KSU loses. MSU plays football against you. Syracuse does their zone thang. Duke has that “we play white guys that everyone hates” thing. UConn wins championships with bad ball and an absolutely on fire upperclassmen PG. Nova has ran a tough 4 guard lineup many years under Wright. And typical KU (minus this year), we throw 2 NBA picks at you down low and throw lob after lob.

    That is what makes CBB so great. It’s about the identities that teams own. And I friggen love it.

  • @Kcmatt7

    Really enjoyed your read, and your take on it all.

    Just look how fast college has been scrambled with conference moving. What a nightmare. And look at all those magical rivalries, pissed down the drain like a cheap beer.

    Problem is… they are willing to throw it all away at the chance of making a bit more cash now. In the long run, most of these moves will devastate college sports.

    There are only so many sports dollars out there. Humans can only watch so much… no more than 24 hours in one day. We have reached a saturation point because almost all sports continues to extend seasons longer. They find ways to throw in a few extra games… preseason… tournaments… etc etc etc.

    And we have “filler sports” like arena football… extreme sports… It is just never going to stop. It reminds me of how TV has exploded. Thousands of cable channels and a market diced into dust. Market share? What the heck is that nowadays?

    TV even threatens our democracy. 24-hour news channels, specified by party affiliation. Between that and internet news, the old-school newspaper is almost extinct. And with the division of news being diced into dust it has pretty much ended investigative journalism. And without “real news” our way of life is at risk.

    “Too much of a good thing…”

  • The toughening box and injuries explain most of why the officiating is having such a devastating early effect on our bigs and why other team’s bigs not injured are scoring and rebounding despite getting fouled up, too.

    But I want to add one more trigger.

    The lingering influence of Jeff Withey has finally receded and players AND coaches seem to have forgotten what the great savant of block and alter taught.

    1.) Don’t leave your feet when they drive at you. Extend arms fully and arch your shoulders back. Don’t reach toward the shooter.

    2.) When you leave your feet, jump straight up and reach straight up. Don’t move into the shooter or reach toward the shooter.

    3.) Block the shot a foot away and above the shooter.

    4.) as you come across the lane, wait to commit to block a shot until the driver leaves his feet, so you know he can no longer change directions and jump into you.

    Such varied players as TRob, Tarrick Black, Hunter Michelson and Jamari Traylor each learned these lessons from Jeff, or the knowledge left behind, despite having to jump more explosively to make up for their shorter heights.

    Jeff understood that altering was more important than blocking, because you can alter more shots than you can block. He understood you can alter shots simply with footwork, position, and extension at the right moment. And altering, like blocking, occurs about 1-2 feet from and 6-12 inches above a shooter’s release; not at the point of release.

    This season KU’s bigs are trying to block shots the way kids in my neighborhood used to do it. They are blocking at point of release. Duh! They would have been fouling under the old rules, too.

    Time to get out the old footage of Jeff.

    Jeff got so good they let him block some at point of release, because he arched his back and created the illusion of leaning back from the charging driver. But before he did that, he had learned to block and alter without being in the shooter’s immediate space. And well above the point of release.

  • @jaybate-1.0 Yep, good idea. Get out tape of Withey and Cole. Both of them were savant blockers/alterers of shots.

  • @Lulufulu

    Forgot Cole.

    Most definitely Cole.

  • @jaybate-1.0 Yeah, cuz who has the blocks record at KU? Withey. Who had it before him? Cole.

  • " Coach saw this coming. This is what is behind his comments about playing 4 guards."

    Did he see it coming… or did he help lay the groundwork to put in question our post right from the getgo in order to challenge our bigs to make bigger leaps forward?

    It was clear that we would get quality play from our guards this year, but an unknown from our bigs. Did Coach plot to challenge our bigs from Day 1 in order to push them right into the toughening box so he could push them into advancing their game quicker?

  • @drgnslayr

    I want to add that I am REALLY impressed by how high up the guy in the Titleist hat wears his underwear. Most guys would have have shown some plumber’s butt in that position. Props to the man in the ultra high high rise briefs!

  • @jaybate-1.0

    Is rain in the forecast?

  • @drgnslayr I think he saw the talent and had to figure a way to get them on the court.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 that’s what we have been wanting from Coach. Learning on the court trumps learning on the bench. That is why we have non conference schedule with some easier games for the freshman to get up to speed. Will hopefully pay huge dividends in March.

  • @Kcmatt7 amen

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