Some team stats through 8 games

  • 3rd in points per game in Conference- 22nd national

    2nd in shooting % in conference- 5th national

    tied for 1st in 3pt %, really improved that # lately- 17th nationally

    worst FT shooting team in the conference- believe there are only 11 teams worse in all of D-1. Yikes

    3rd in the conference in rebounding- 61st nationally

    2nd in assists per game conference- 16th nationally

    Surprisingly 3rd in Blocks in conference- 34th nationally playing mostly 4 guard lineup…

    KenPom has us 8th nationally in Adjusted Offense, 6th in Adjust Defense.

    So far so good.

  • Found the fouling stat.

    KU is 67th in fouling.

    West Virginia is 265th in the country in fouls (having played 1 less game).

    You think officiating isn’t consistent? yeah look no further than the team that fouls you a minimum of 2-3 times per possession is at the bottom of D-1 in fouls.

    In Allen Fieldhouse- average 18 fouls a game.

    Neutral Court- average 23 fouls a game

    So are we getting the home ref at home?

  • I like stats. They paint a picture of our strengths-shooting, passing, defense, and our weakness, FT’s, fouls (tainted a bit by the Indiana and Duke games) and rebounding (kind of). Take the anomaly game of Indiana away and our defense stats are probably closer to 1.

  • @BeddieKU23

    These stats suggest that KU can play the 4 guard lineup and compete quite well. They aren’t getting blown away on the glass and they protect the rim well, in large part due to the fact that Jackson is so athletic he can man the 4 with no real fall off in production on the glass or defensively.

    Unless the interior players step up, it’s time to just roll with the 4 guard lineup. It creates favorable mismatches for us on the offensive end (good luck to any power forward chasing around Josh, Svi or Vick) while not compromising us defensively because we have the size and skill to hold our own.

  • I looked at the FT % as I wanted to see if my sense of which players were driving that % matched up with the stats. Josh is the biggest single contributor (as I suspected) as he has taken the 2nd most, but is hitting only 56%. Doke has taken only 15, but is an atrocious 33%. Lighfoot and Young, whom we shouldn’t have to rely on, are 0-8. Coleby 2-6. Those 14 attempts don’t affect the % that much, obviously…about 4% Everyone else is OK…not great, but OK. So if Josh steps up like we know he can (and he has improved lately), and Doke improves to respectable, …also maybe Coleby, depending on how much he plays…we should be at least OK .

  • Not quite a “team” stat, but a good one nonetheless… when we beat UMKC tomorrow night, Bill Self will get his 6ooth career win (8 more KU wins and he’ll be at 400 wins at one school). Not bad for a guy who’s only 53. We are lucky to have not just a smart, winning coach, but a class act as well.

    Good article with more details here:

  • @BeddieKU23 Played tougher opponents in those neutral court games. Good talent makes you foul more. Look at the Stanford game. We fouled a ton because they had competitive talent.

  • @Kcmatt7

    Travis drew 17 fouls from our bigs while being whistled for only 2 fouls…what’s wrong with that picture? Travis is good but not THAT good.

  • Is Self on the refs to watch our bigs more closely just to frustrate them? Is he doing it to check himself so that he has to play 4 guards? Or are our bigs just that bad of defenders/offenders (they get a bunch of offensive fouls while posting up)? This is a strange situation.

    We have 3 legit bigs, colby is a fourth and lightfoot sometimes plays. That is 5 bodies to play at the 4/5 with most of the minutes going to 3. But these guys just can;t stay on the floor! It’s baffling. Not that we should really mind, considering how well our 4 guard line up is working.

  • @JayHawkFanToo How many fouls Travis had called on him is irrelevant.

    We are a perimeter oriented team so less opportunities for him to foul. None of our bigs have back to the basket post moves so they are also very easy to defend without fouling.

    You can even look historically at Travis. He doesn’t foul. His previous stats show that. He also doesn’t attempt to block shots, as he hasn’t blocked a single one all season. All he does is get in good position and force offensively challenged posts to shoot over him. He has adjusted to the game. Maybe our bigs need to take a few notes…

  • @justanotherfan

    The one issue with running a 4-guard offense all year is that we will have to play Frank and Devonte a ton of minutes. I would hate to see us worn out in February… just before the March Dance.

    At this time, it is best we keep developing our bigs, and they have so much potential to improve. Once we get more production from the post, it will also help free up our perimeter shot. But in order to develop we will have to show more patience.

    I am expecting a gigantic leap in play happening over our Christmas break. Bill’s strategy for Big 12 play is to fly out of the blocks to a lead. This works well, and should really work well this year since we not only have some a great team of guys, we have plenty of experience in the key positions.

    When March comes, we will do whatever we have to do to win. If our bigs are dogging out, we will go to a 4-guard offense. In the meantime, we need our guards to have limited minutes and save those legs for later.

    Also… so often… when a player plays most of the minutes of a game he increases the chances of an injury. Playing tired always helps put players in riskier situations.

  • @BeddieKU23

    Huggins is all over the refs.

    Not sure if the ft situation will get much better. Josh and Doke are two of the most likely players on our roster to get fouled (along with Frank) and they are both so bad at it.

  • @BShark landEn too!

  • @drgnslayr

    I agree that we need to manage Frank and Devonte’s minutes better. Heaven knows I have beaten that drum for the last couple of seasons. With 5 guys, we can do that pretty well without over-extending any one guy (plus having the option of playing two traditional big men sometimes).

    The key is to make sure that Svi and Vick are both playing at least 25 minutes a game. That’s a workload that both those guys can handle without breaking down. Josh can handle 30 or so, which should be able to bring Frank and Devonte both into the low 30s per game.

    The way this team is built, there’s no way to play Frank and Devonte in the high 20’s without having Carlton step forward as a 25 mpg player. You can get 20 mpg from Udoka, 20 from Lucas (hopefully, once he is healthy), 15 from Coleby. That’s 55 minutes right there. If Carlton can handle 25 minutes, that’s 80 minutes and we are back to playing a more traditional set.

    But if Carlton continues to play soft and Lucas struggles, then it’s Udoka 20, Coleby 10, Lucas 10 and Bragg 10. That’s 50 minutes and we need 150 from the remaining five, which is 30 minutes a game each. That’s a huge difference.

  • @justanotherfan on Franks minutes…

    It sure seems to make sense to limit Franks minutes to me too.

    But then there’s this little voice in my head that says, "He’s a senior, he loves the game, he’s in great shape, he’s tough as nails, he’s our general on the floor, he wants to build up his stats, he has played basketball hours and hours and hours every day of his young life (okay, maybe not getting punched and elbowed for 35 minutes)… why not let him play to his heart’s content in the last 20 games or so of his college career? Will he really wear down to the point of being noticeably less effective come March if he plays 30+ minutes?

    I totally get the whole idea of conservation of valuable resources and the pounding Division I ball puts on a body. But I ask of better basketball historians than me - didn’t guys in the old days play lots of minutes in lots of games for 4 years? Is the game really that much more violent and/or are the players today not as strong? I really don’t know. It just seems like Frank just wants to play long and hard,

  • I’m with Ralster on the minutes dangers with Frank and Devonte. Self sometimes sells wolf tickets regarding such issues as the minutes thing. Just as he does re injuries to his players. Stands to reason that every extra minute, esp. TIRED MINUTE, that a player is on the floor, more chance for injury. When our two fine guards play more than 33 or 34 minutes, I catch myself hanging tight to the arms of my cozy old recliner.

  • The minutes discussion is a good one. We’ve obviously seen what has happened to Frank in the past when he plays too many minutes. He is a senior though and is our leading scorer so how much you can really limit a talent like him is difficult.

    Self talked about the 4 guard lineup and how if KU is forced to use it more then the traditional lineup that limiting Frank’s minutes from say 35 to 32 will be impossible. Self wants to desperately rely on the traditional lineup for many reasons but we all know he’s smart enough to see that this particular lineup and style is benefiting his team.

    I see no reason to sugar coat that the best lineup for KU is to ride its 4 guard lineup as far as it goes. The ceiling for the traditional lineup is just not good enough. The posts are just so far behind our guards its not even a discussion.

    I do hope that our posts will improve so we’ll have style flexibility. 4 guard lineup is 1a & going big is 1b. That all depends on Carlton Bragg’s effort. His defense has been poor, he’s fouling a lot and taking himself out of the game. I didn’t think effort would have been his issue but I guess we just automatically assumed he was ready. Once Bragg learns to play hard consistently we’ll see better results. He’s the hope for Frank playing less minutes. We can’t play Doke & Lucas together or Doke/Coleby so its all on Bragg to bring consistency to the 4 spot.

    But I have a hard time believing what’s best for this team is taking Vick out of the starting lineup. He fights for lose balls, he rebounds, he doesn’t foul at a high rate and he can make perimeter shots. Vick has intangibles that Bragg doesn’t have right now. And Vick is only going to get better as this season goes on. Vick is the now, Bragg might still be another year away.

  • @StLJhawk

    Each of the last two years, Frank has been banged up going into the tournament. Everyone gets nicks and bumps through the season, but the wear and tear really adds up when you play a heavy minute load. This is especially true when you also have demanding practices. Remember the now legendary “practice” rant from Allen Iverson? There were a couple of issues going with that - one non-basketball related (the death and subsequent murder trial of a close friend that had begun just days before) - and one basketball related.

    For the non-basketball issue, here’s what Iverson said about his friend during that same interview (rarely played in the clips) - “I’m upset for one reason: 'Cause I’m in here. I lost. I lost my best friend. I lost him, and I lost this year. Everything is just going downhill for me, as far as just that. You know, as far as my life. And then I’m dealing with this. … My best friend is dead. Dead. And we lost. And this is what I have to go through for the rest of the summer until the season is all over again.”

    For the basketball issue, at the time Iverson was averaging over 40 minutes per game and basically was the Sixers entire offensive gameplan. For him, given that usage, non game days were for letting his body recover so that he could go 100 mph the next night in the game.

    It’s been mocked for a while, but that mix of things - the death of a friend and the murder trial having just started, added to the end of the season and the mental and physical fatigue that goes with leading the league in minutes (almost 44 per game as an undersized 2 guard), led to the rant.

    Getting back on topic as it relates to Frank, the fatigue is real. Guys wear down physically and mentally when they don’t get a break. NBA guys are pros and they wear down throughout the season. Notice how guys will often slump in February or March, or miss a handful of games in the middle of the season with a pretty pedestrian injury. Often, that’s just needing a mental or physical break to recover.

    That’s the challenge for Self. Figure out a way to give Frank and Devonte both enough break that come March, the six games that matter most have the team functioning at the highest possible level.

  • I think we will see some differences between now and January.

    Coach has the Christmas break to sort things out.

    He is aware of the minutes issue with our guards, especially Frank.

    Because of his aggression to the rim, Frank is our biggest risk player for getting worn down or injured by March.

    Frank did ease up last year on some of his finishes to protect his body. It seems like his elbows have been perhaps his spots of biggest concern.

    One option is to limit Frank’s aggression so he can go 38 mpg. Do we really want to do that? Frank is in his prime on finishing at the rim. He is unstoppable, and the only real comparison on our team when saying “unstoppable” is Josh and his mid-range or rim shots.

    What we need to realize is that changing lineups has a definite impact on the pace of the game. What Coach needs to do is determine what pace is best for our efficiency. Determining that will largely help decide how to parse PT minutes.

    Right now, our bigs aren’t keeping up with the pace of the game, even when we go with two bigs on the court. This will largely be dealt with over Christmas break. This is an obvious situation when you see things like Udoka fouling 30 feet from the basket. He gets spun up and makes a freshman mistake. Even 5th-year senior Landen is vulnerable to mistakes from being spun up. Carlton often looks lost out there.

    I think the team synergy needs some tweaking. There are some imbalances and sometimes small changes can have a huge impact on results. Once we get our bigs plugged in our play is going to explode! I don’t think Coach was expecting some of these issues to have to deal with, but it was hard to assume our guards were going to be so frenetic right from the getgo.

    I do like (for a change) having our perimeter guys carrying the load. This is completely different than the situation of “fool’s gold” where Bill didn’t want to rely on trey shooting, even though we had BG.

    Compare these two teams. Our opponents knew that a guy like BG could be conquered easily by just contesting his spot up shot and we weren’t enough of a driving threat to force the isolations and sagging defense that opens up the trey line.

    Just look at our recent games and how open our treys have been. As long as we can create that, I don’t see Bill calling it “fool’s gold” again. He has been wanting us to increase the speed of our pace for many years now. Running a two PG offense is a huge help, and then add in Josh to the equation and possibly a 4th guard on the floor.

  • I think one of the bigger issue with our bigs is forcing them to produce from their backs to the basket.

    NONE of our bigs are true back to the basket players.

    I think this is an area where we are messing with fool’s gold. We waste so much effort and focus on developing them for that, but what we get from all that effort doesn’t pay off like it should. I just don’t see any of these guys becoming great at that part of the game.

    And why do we need them to do that? It works so much better to have these guys receiving the ball WHILE IN MOTION!

    We learned how Jamari could be very effective in the post, by darting him around a screen while IN MOTION catching the ball and basically finishing a layup.

    We do need all our bigs to quickly learn the post “gimme” scoring shot… which is to be on either side of the goal, a few feet out, and use the backboard to bank the shot. It is a high percentage shot and is almost impossible to defend because they use their bodies and the angulation on the shot to protect the ball.

    Beyond that, I would have my bigs in constant motion on offense. Setting high ball screens, setting run-through screens in the low and middle post areas. Pick and rolls, pick and pops, post players passing to post players, backdoor alley oops, darting through the post on curls. There is endless stuff they can run and score on, but they require MOTION.

    I do believe that conditioning is a bit of an issue in our post. I don’t think our post guys are showing enough energy to stay in constant motion. Their energy level is a huge part of what has been causing problems. Many of their fouls are from being out of position, not moving their feet well enough.

    I have the feeling like we will be pushed into a 4-guard offense often this year. It won’t strictly be because of foul problems from our bigs. Until they can keep up with the pace our guards want to run, they will be lagging behind, and issues like fouling will be there, but also bringing us stagnant play.

  • @drgnslayr

    I don’t think we want Frank going less than 100%. That’s what makes him so good. Frank has one speed. ludicrous.jpg

  • @drgnslayr said:

    I think one of the bigger issue with our bigs is forcing them to produce from their backs to the basket.

    NONE of our bigs are true back to the basket players.

    I think this is an area where we are messing with fool’s gold. We waste so much effort and focus on developing them for that, but what we get from all that effort doesn’t pay off like it should. I just don’t see any of these guys becoming great at that part of the game.

    Self gonna Self.

  • @drgnslayr Well this year in particular, what you are saying makes a lot of sense to do. Our bigs have no business trying to score unless they are wide open or it’s an easy layup. If we need to develop a rotation where we are rotating fresh bigs in every 3 or 4 minutes and having them move non-stop to tire out a defender, we should.

    I do wish we had a guy with some back to the basket ability though. We have been blessed with a ton of post depth, and been able to play back to the basket to pick up fouls on the opponents best big guys. It has nothing to do with scoring in reality, just forcing physical play and contact with the other teams post players. Then you get to take advantage of teams that can’t compete with our depth.

    Think about some of the post players Bill has been able to stack.

    All-American Cole (Jr), Very good Morris x 2 (So) , and Energy T-Rob (Fr) . You had 3 studs and then a 4th guy that was basically Jamari Traylor at the time.

    Jackson, Kaun, Arthur, Cole. I mean we all know what happened there…

    All - American Moriss X 2 (Jr), T-Rob (So), Withey (So)

    The one time Bill was really short-handed and still played B2B effectively was with All-American T-Rob, Withey and KY. But when you have a NPOY and a footer, you can do that.

    Bill, the master of subtle adjustments that the average fan can’t notice needs to come up with something to force other teams bigs into foul trouble. This is my suggestion. Since our bigs are so bad at back to the basket offense, you can defend without fouling them all day long. What we need to do is develop the nastiest screening frontcourt. With Doke and Lucas, we should be setting some hard football type screens for our guards. Make other teams guards fear them and force other teams bigs to hedge HARD on screens and get blocking fouls or easy layups. Getting other teams bigs in foul trouble will only make our 4 guard more effective. If JJ or Svi only have to guard a space eater with no offensive skill, we can be much more aggressive with our perimeter defense. And then we feast. But it still starts with getting the other teams bigs in foul trouble and at the very least, not playing near as aggressively as they should be.

    Edit: Add Coleby to that list of linebackers we should have blowing up opposing guards. We have the bodies to do it for sure…

  • @drgnslayr Self addressed the minutes factor during a presser this week. He would like to play Frank 30-32 minutes but if he has to go with 4 guards for long periods there is no way. If played the whole game, there are 160 minutes to divide between 5 players which is 32 minutes per.

    One thing he talked at length about is holding down minutes of activity outside of the games. They currently do not go through scouting reports on the court. That is done with everyone sitting. He also mentioned cutting down on some reps in practice. His point was that the number of minutes played in a game is not the only factor determining if players get run down.

  • @BeddieKU23 Idk how much id worry about FTs at this point because of guys like Clay Young (0-3), Coleby(2-6) and Lightfoot (0-5) are killing the percentage quite a bit 104 for 174 with them for 59.7% and just removing these guys we are 102 for 160 we are respectable at 63.75%. That and Doka’s 5 for 15 at 33%, just about every one else in the rotation is shooting better than 56% besides Svi at 50% but he’s only shot 2.

  • @kjayhawks

    I do worry about Doke’s FT %. He is a guy that could become such a weapon by March, but if he can’t hit FTs we could be drawn into games of hack-a-shaq.

    He really is starting at zero from the line. Really completely undeveloped shot form, sort of like someone who has never played the game and then asked to shoot a FT. I’m guessing here… but I don’t know if we can get him beyond mid-60s %. Maybe even less. What % would it take for other teams to intentionally foul him every play? I believe the strategy against Doke now is to never give him an easy basket by fouling him hard.

    I see the rest of our guys settling down at the line.

    There is a good chance that our FT shooting is being negatively impacted by our increased game speed.

    We have a long ways to go, and I see better days ahead for us on the line.


    Really enjoyed your read!


    Makes sense. My biggest fear is injuries because of fatigued players.

  • @drgnslayr weren’t tired tonight!

  • @Kcmatt7 Good stuff Matt.

  • @justanotherfan I often have thought that our guys are bushed or peak too early-in conference, & are completely exhausted by the time the BIG 12 tournament is over. But I get that. The conf Championship is important to Self as the NC Yet in order to have both his machine has to be a little finer tuned when March & April arrive. This years’ stable looks more pristine that any we’ve seen since 2008 IMO. Barring catastrophic injury (ies) , the depth of our run this year will depend on the level of play we get from our frontcourt. And looking past conf this year is not what anyone should be doing because Baylor has some good vets AND height, and you can’t teach height. They’ll likely be a tough nut to crack this year in Wacko… JMO

  • @StLJhawk That’s a good way of looking at it. I’ve been on the limit his minutes train thinking of March and injuries. I hadn’t considered it from the senior stand point. Thanks for changing my opinion!

  • I went back and looked at Frank’s stats the last 10 games of the last two years and there was a pretty decent dropoff overall in his production last year, but too much the year before. (you can check them out for yourself here)

    I’m still torn on the issue. It so makes sense to save the wear and tear on him as much as possible. But then again, if your best player says “put me in coach, I’m fine, I want this, and this is my time to shine” AND he produces for you…

    Tough call.

  • @StLJhawk

    The key is in games like last night. We basically ambushed UMKC to start the second half. From the 16:20 mark in the second half until the 12:17 mark, KU outscored UMKC 18-0 to make a 22 point lead a 40 point lead. So with 12 minutes left and the margin at 40, it’s time to start really thinking about getting Frank, Devonte and Josh out of the game so they can get some rest. No need to put those miles on them unnecessarily. This is exactly the situation you want. Big lead expanded to the point of no return. There’s almost no way UMKC can come back from down 40 with 12 minutes left no matter who Self puts into the game.

    So how many minutes did they play? Graham played 25 (not bad). Jackson played 28 (a little on the high side). Mason played 31, which is way too many considering that the game was absolutely over after 28 minutes.Mason played 17 first half minutes, which is fine, but his second half total should have been closer to 10.

    Are those 4 minutes going to destroy Frank? Of course not. But that was one game where he could have gotten some rest. Davidson is possibly another. Other than that, Frank is going to be playing 33+ minutes every night. This was one of the last chances Self will have to give Frank a break on a game night barring foul trouble.

    I would have liked to see Self utilize that opportunity because the Big 12 is going to be a grind this year. I don’t see any easy games on the slate because nobody is really bad, and the one non-con game in the schedule is on the road at Kentucky, one of the best 5-6 teams in the country. Chances to take it easy are basically gone. We have Nebraska, Davidson and at UNLV left before conference season starts. This was one of the last breathers this team will get.

  • Last night was a night for stat padding. Not sure if it really tells you anything at all about our team although ranked Creighton had a hard time with the same UMKC team.

    I’m not an x’s and o’s guy so I can’t really analyze the game from that standpoint. But, UMKC’s defense was absolutely porous. Good 3 point shooting like we had opens up the middle and man, the last 10 minutes felt like shoot and make a 3, then have a wide open layup, then shoot a 3, wash, rinse repeat.

    In other words, UMKC’s defense was so poor we didn’t really learn much last night I’m afraid. The last time I saw defense that poor was at the NBA all star game. The last time I saw defense that poor was in the battle of New Orleans. The last time I saw defense that poor was well, just across campus at the football stadium.

  • @justanotherfan

    Well…yes and no. No question that Frank could have sat the entire game and KU still wins by 30+; however, there will be less and less chances for Frank to go off for 30 points as the competition will be considerably stiffer than UMKC; the worst team in the Big 12 Conferences would win comfortably against UMKC. Mason is in the discussion for POY and having a 30 point game helps quite a bit; he is also playing for a future in the NBA and performances like this help his stock. In short, no, I don’t believe he played too many minutes in view of the future implications.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    I agree that Mason having a 30 point game helps his POY chances because his overall numbers will get a boost. That game probably adds an extra half point to his scoring average for the season, which may put him a little higher in people’s minds. I think that is definitely a bonus and I hope Frank has a chance to win a POY award at the end of the season.

    I do not think it will help his NBA stock. Most NBA scouts evaluate games on two criteria. First, they consider competition. Second, they consider production. UMKC was without one of their two best players. They have no real NBA prospects on their roster. They are a fringe NCAA tournament team and their defense is not known for being particularly stout. If Frank had gone for say 50, that would raise some eyebrows, but going for 30 against an averagish team not known for its defense won’t move the needle for NBA scouts. It’s likely that no one off that UMKC team will even get a training camp invitation, so anything less than an otherworldly scoring performance won’t get much notice.

    The only thing that scouts will notice is that Frank had no turnovers, but that’s something that he could have accomplished in less minutes just as easily.

  • @BeddieKU23 Yep, looking very good. We just need to shore up our Free bee shooting and quit fouling! Oh, and a tiny bit more post production and we’ll be sitting at the top again in 3 months.

  • To bad we didn’t keep falling down stats, Frank’s improved!

  • @justanotherfan Frank has averaged less than 30 minutes in wins vs UNCA, Siena and UMKC. I’m good with that he needs to get some minutes to get better playing with Doke and JJ. I’m gonna say this not to anyone particular but hot shooting remedies a lot on the court. The best stat to me was rebounds we had more than double theirs, you don’t see that often. UMKC has the ability to stay in games with their 3 point shooting, KU had too many guys just go nuts from the outside and you cant get in their face or they can drive bye you.

  • @justanotherfan

    NBA scout track everything including how a player performs against good and poor competition. Many players tend to slack off when playing weak competition and Frank showed he does not take day off; scout like this. Frank does not fit the physical stereotype of the NBA PG so he will need all the help he can get to be considered, regardless of how good he is in college; games like the one against UMKC with near perfect numbers do help.

  • @justanotherfan I love our 4 guard line up and its extremely refreshing to see Self letting team take the 3s. My only concern is the extra wear & tear on our guards as this line up does not allow enough rest for Graham and Mason. Can they play 35+ minutes throughout the brutal B12 stretch and into March Madness.

    I think we do need some extended PT from our traditional line up and for that to happen our Bigs have to step it up.

  • @drgnslayr I have the same concern regarding extended minutes for Mason and Graham. They need more rest.

Log in to reply