HOLIDAY LET DOWN



  • We’ve had lots of games over the years where we’ve lost winnable games right before conference began. right at the Holidays. Remember the 20 point debacle at Temple? What about the mind numbing loss to San Diego State a few years back? The first half had all the same elements…the team looked like zombies, blowing a double digit lead, and letting a pretty good mid-major team work them over. Then it changed, the lightbulb came on, the defense was flat dominating, and the game was suddenly over. Clearly. Bye, Felicia. We just ate them alive. And that’s why I think this team can win the national championship. We can change the whole game with our defense. Jack Gibbs joins the Grayson Allen club of big time guards who got their ass kicked playing us.



  • Yes, this game felt like the Davidson game from 2011. They are starting to get some things worked out and we are seeing improvement because of it. Need a strong start to conference in just a couple weeks. I really like how good Frank plays defense. Fox will be the ultimate test for him. Jackson guards Monk?



  • @HawkChamp Josh is certainly quick enough to guard Monk. I imagine we’ll see all three of our guards on him at some point.



  • My take on the Davidson game is Josh Jackson can and is willing to do it all. I’m much happier to have Josh in the line up than I ever was with Wiggins. Josh’s effort is present all the time, whereas Andrew took too many plays off and was/is a one dimensional player. (But, I still love Andrew and the fact that he comes back to Lawrence.) TV announcers, stop right now saying Josh is no Andrew Wiggins. You’re showing your ignorance. Josh’s defense is great to watch and he’s cleaning up on put backs in the offense lane. If I’m choosing a middle school team, I take Josh over Andrew.

    Second, Landen is gaining confidence or whatever was missing earlier in the year. I would start Landen and let Doke watch from the bench until he is needed. Doke is a presence that coach could bring in like a hammer when the opponent is getting to the rim. But, Landen is my go to at the 5.

    Third, Svi has elevated his game and is now a dual threat. I’m really glad Svi got the start over Vick. His Josh/Frank-like drives to the rim gives our offense a fourth or fifth threat that will really help keep teams from cramming the paint or taking away Frank.

    I’m really excited for our team, but Kentucky, Duke and North Carolina are still playing better at the moment. We’ve still got a lot of wood to saw before we match up against the other elites. We need an inside presence: a reason other teams will think twice before driving to the rim. That’s not going to be Landen. It will probably be Josh and Doke with there superior athleticism to our other bigs. Use Doke and Josh as the rim protectors when the opponent is getting to the rim. RCJH



  • @stoptheflop Wiggins was really good, had no problems with him BUT having said that - - Josh is I think by far a more complete player. Scores , Rebounds, his defense is much improves, can really get after it - - not picking up the fouls nearly as fast, and not afraid to dive to the floor for the loose ball. He just has the look and or the approach he will do whatever it takes to help this team the one year he will be here. So many OAD’S just kind of glide through and yes they do take some time off more so on the defensive end then the offensive, but Josh is one of the few where he seems like always more then ready to learn.

    I think this year we have as you say I guess we have lie two Alpha dogs. Frank getting after it, and Josh is a ALPHA. - - -either one of these guys aren’t or won’t be afraid to take THE shot in a critical time. ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY



  • @KUSTEVE

    I honestly thought we played a very good game. Even down 5 in the 2nd half there was no sense of urgency from me. Davidson was making shots they couldn’t sustain and when we had our most athletic lineup on the floor minus Doke we were dominant on defense. They scored 13 points for a good 10+ minute stretch, that is elite defending against a team that runs a lot of cuts, screen action and is active all the time.

    Our 3 point shooting wasn’t there and we still scored 89. We are an offensive juggernaut.

    The road game at UNLV is intriguing but UNLV is so bad it shouldn’t matter. I watched Duke beat them by almost 50, UNLV would need more than a miracle Thursday. It’s good for these guys to have a road game before the conference slate starts against TCU



  • @jayballer54 not really big on comparing players, but wigs was a great defensive player. He was surrounded by rooks. Josh is awesome, period.



  • @BeddieKU23 I agree that we played a good game. Except…the defense in the first half was not good. Way too many uncontested shots. We tightened that up in the 2nd half. I thought we executed good offense the whole game,…couldn’t make any 3 pt shots, though in the first half.



  • @Crimsonorblue22 I too think it’s unnecessary and almost meaningless to compare players. But, the TV announcers do it constantly. My comment was really aimed at the TV announcers, several of whom have said something to the effect “Jackson’s good, but he’s no Wiggins.” I’m liking our Mr. Jackson just fine. Different players with different skills playing with different teammates make comparisons difficult at best. I agree Sir Crimson, comparisons aren’t really helpful or enlightening.



  • @Hawk8086

    Yeah the defense in the first half was all over the place. That can happen a lot in games, we led up a bit after getting a double digit lead. I put most of that on foul trouble. Jackson got dumb fouls, Graham did the same & Doke got a quick 2 when he was making an impact on offense with his size. We were forced to go to alternative lineups that don’t have the same chemistry right now. And anytime KU is forced to play any significant amount of minutes without do-it-all Josh Jackson we see what can happen on both sides of the ball. The more games that go by the more apparent it becomes that Josh Jackson has to get 30 minutes a night.

    I also agree about the offense. We got what wanted besides not making 3’s in the first half. It’s essential we don’t have too many of those games but its good to know that if the outside shot struggles we can still punish defenses in other ways. I was happy overall with how we responded to adversity for the first time in a while. This team will see plenty of it going forward.



  • @stoptheflop they are both outstanding kids! The announcers are clueless! They also had Bragg guilty before the facts,



  • @HawkChamp They have to guard us too!



  • I thought this was an outstanding game for us.

    We do often decide to take these games off right before Christmas… or at least, we don’t come with any intensity and we hand a Christmas gift off to our opponents who come hungry with hopes of going into Christmas on a positive note.

    I like the pattern of coming out big in the second half to really challenge teams. There are only a couple of elite teams in the country that have the athletic conditioning we have. That takes a toll on our opponents, and just when they are feeling tired, we are going into overdrive.

    For a big chunk of the second half, that was easily the best we’ve played all year on the defensive end. Davidson is no slouch. Full of talented foreign players… I would say the highest basketball IQ team we’ve played this year. We always have a hard time beating high IQ teams.

    Our perimeter defense in the second half was amazing. Davidson knows how to set good picks, and we chewed right through them like they weren’t even there.

    Davidson didn’t have a strong post presence, so instead of our post just trying to match Davidson’s our post guys took advantage of the situation, especially on the offensive boards. We still have a long ways to go in post development, but we really needed to see positive results out of our post, and we got that yesterday.

    Landen is starting to settle down in the post, and we are starting to formalize our offense, which is a big help for him because his game is based on fundamentals and that is starting to show now. Doke is improving quickly but the key is staying out of foul trouble and he is now a target for all our opponents to challenge him early to make him a non-factor. I do like the idea of having him come off the bench because it is harder to get him in foul trouble when he starts the game watching it first.

    I’m really impressed with Svi. He is starting to play now like we always thought he was capable of. He is a solid trey threat, but his drives really set him apart. He is also a pretty good rebounder and we really need all the rebounding we can get.

    Josh is exciting to watch, and he has nowhere to go but UP from here on out. No one can stop him and he has a big toolbox… it is all about getting him to think a little more like a volume scorer. When the defense gives it, he needs to take it. We can also run a bit more offense that clears out a side for him. When he drives to the basket, we almost always come away with something good.

    When studying the pace of this game I realized how effective we were at transition offense, scoring off of what is called the “secondary break” but it was actually even beyond that. The key was for us to go right for the score before the defense fully set itself. This is the bread-and-butter especially for Josh and will feed him all year. There is really nothing our opponents can do to stop this except try to get their defense set quicker. We should really take advantage of this in the second half of all games moving forward because it is damn near impossible for tiring teams to set their defense quickly. Josh is seeing this, and he’ll get even more of this as the rest of our team realizes it and at least clears out for him or for Frank (or really any of our guards) during the first few seconds of our offense when started quickly.

    I want to see us push the pace up the court every position, even after an opposing team score with the goal being to score quickly on a drive or wide open trey via the “secondary break.” And, of course, we will be happy to score on the primary break, too. This will help us in so many areas because it forces our opponents to think about their defense while they are on offense. This is the easiest way to help shut down offensive rebounds from our opponents and to make it harder for them to hit the long ball.



  • @BeddieKU23 said:

    Our 3 point shooting wasn’t there and we still scored 89. We are an offensive juggernaut.

    This was a takeaway for me as well. This offense is damn good. It shows why many have opined for a 4 guard line-up.

    @BeddieKU23 said:

    @Hawk8086

    Yeah the defense in the first half was all over the place. That can happen a lot in games, we led up a bit after getting a double digit lead. I put most of that on foul trouble. Jackson got dumb fouls, Graham did the same & Doke got a quick 2 when he was making an impact on offense with his size. We were forced to go to alternative lineups that don’t have the same chemistry right now. And anytime KU is forced to play any significant amount of minutes without do-it-all Josh Jackson we see what can happen on both sides of the ball. The more games that go by the more apparent it becomes that Josh Jackson has to get 30 minutes a night.

    I also agree about the offense. We got what wanted besides not making 3’s in the first half. It’s essential we don’t have too many of those games but its good to know that if the outside shot struggles we can still punish defenses in other ways. I was happy overall with how we responded to adversity for the first time in a while. This team will see plenty of it going forward.

    I was going to post something similar to this before I read the post. The defense is very dependent on having our most athletic players out there and the chemistry of the Mason/Graham/Josh trio can not be denied. Frank and Graham have played together for three years now, and Josh is just a savant.



  • @BShark

    The chemistry you noted between Frank and Devonte is 2nd to none in the country. Add in Josh and you have the 3 best players on the team playing in sync with each other. It helps that Jackson is such a good passer and just has a great basketball IQ out there. Self truly has 3 quarterbacks on the floor most of the time.



  • I don’t see that happening this year. Mainly because we have a lot of experience on this team. That and UNLV is terrible guys, Dook hammered them by 40 in Las Vegas. Our reserves should beat this team no question.



  • @kjayhawks

    Agree, they are truly horrid. I saw parts of the Duke game and um…yikes. I dare say KU could win with a D+ type effort (hopefully the team plays better than that) UNLV has the 2nd worst kenpom rank of a KU opponent to date, only UMKC is ranked worse there.



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  • @Statmachine Merry christmas


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