Post Game Talk & Happy Holidays to All!!



  • First off, I want to wish everyone on this board a Happy Holidays. This is a special place to visit and talk daily about KU and for that, I hope everyone gets to spend time with family and loved one’s this upcoming weekend. You all make this place so much fun.

    I know some may have missed the game last night due to the ridiculous cable packages that put this game on CBS sports. I was lucky I picked up the sports package just before Football Season rolled on and was able to see the game.

    Short synopsis- 1st half -good, 2nd half -less than good.

    UNLV is probably one of the 30 worst D-1 schools this year. Just don’t have the talent or development to say otherwise. A team that was torn apart by departures, coaching changes etc. KU should have won by 30-40 points but we left the bright lights with a 71-53 win. A 22 point lead at half got scary close to becoming a before Holiday meltdown (we’ve had those in the past). Then Svi made some shots and made everything fine again. What a season Svi is having and I couldn’t be happier for him.

    I’ll be honest I went to bed a bit angry with how the 2nd half unfolded. I thought the guys mailed it in for a good portion of the half. UNLV was getting good shots and made them. Energy level was down and some of our best players were not performing.

    Today is a new day though and after reading and thinking things through, I’m not going to take much from this game. First true road experience, First game without Doke and finally guys looking forward to seeing their families made this game forgetful after halftime.

    We have plenty of time to prepare for the Big-12 opener against TCU on the road. Traveling to UNLV gave some of our young guys (Jackson, Vick, Bragg) valuable experience for that game. Plenty of game film for Self to use in practices next week where the effort will have to pick up a good amount to leave TCU with a victory.

    I don’t think anyone should be too upset about the game if you have some doubts after last night. We can park this game in the “average” category and still left with a 18 point win.

    Lucas & Bragg rebounded well. Their offense was forgetful though. Loved their efforts on the glass. Lucas set some hard screens last night, an underrated quality for him.

    Jackson & Svi carried the offense. Dynamic kids at 6’8 they cannot be stopped if they are playing at a high level. Jackson does about 4-5 things a game that just jump off the chart. His effort level in the 1st half was awesome. Svi is continuing to evolve in the offense both Outside/Inside. If he to be aggressive to the hoop he makes this team dangerous in the absence of a real post presence.

    Mason & Graham were disappointing, especially Devonte who didn’t seem engaged in the game at all after the first minute. Mason looked banged up on at least 2 different plays. Come on Frank! Not going to worry about them but they definitely didn’t bring their A game’s last night. Mason did have 1 incredible left-handed layup on the break though. Amazes me how good he is at the rim sometimes.

    Thoughts?



  • Mason and Josh are the two clear cut best players on the team. So far to me, it’s not super close. Then you have the other guards Vick, Svi and Graham who are all capable of great games, but aren’t as efficient night in and night out.

    Lucas and Bragg are pretty close to the same player, at least statistically. I think long term Bragg can be better of course. I’m never expecting much out of our bigs, but outside of rebounding they were pretty close to invisible last night, except Bragg and Lucas both had an inexplicable miss at the rim.

    I would expect the team to be focused for TCU.



  • @BeddieKU23 You are right, LL is really great screening (Sasha similarity)… The alley oop tomahawk dunk by Josh was set up by a great screen by Landon off a side inbound pass from JJ to Frank back to JJ. Self gets more easy baskets on those than anyone. Svi was terrific also. Graham and Frank down some on offense but both were pretty good on defense (strong effort) especially in the first half.

    Merry Christmas!



  • @BeddieKU23 Mailing it in certainly describes the 2nd half. I can rationalize by saying they are young, they were clearly superior to UNLV and they were thinking about leaving for their respective homes. Boy, Devonte was off from the jump. After reflecting on Dokes injury and the effect on the team… We still have 7 good or very good players. Coleby is a decent 8th man and Lightfoot, though inexperienced can fill in as needed…and should get better as the year goes by. Josh can dominate all by himself. We can beat anyone with those 7-8 guys. The lack of depth up front could lose us a game or two. More importantly…it could be the difference in one specific game in the Dance…but won’t necessarily be the case. We can win with the 7 regulars we have plus the other 2 when necessary…lots of teams have.



  • @BShark

    Definitely we have a pecking order of sorts. Svi is fast approaching for 3rd though when he plays like he did last night.

    I have no doubts this team will be focused for TCU. I don’t think KU has ever lost a Big-12 opener. Is that correct?



  • I thought Jackson was great. A joy to watch. Yes, he still makes mistakes on defense and some of his missed shots are groaners, but wow, what a talent we have on our team. He’s a blessing.

    Svi continues to impress me and I thought Vick’s defense last night was great. When UNLV had a steal and a breakaway lay up in the second half, Vick took an arc path away from the dribbler all with the intent of blocking the lay up at the rim. Instead of trailing the dribbler, Vick went to the rim and made a great block. Impressive it was.

    But, there were some of negatives too: Bragg is completely missing on offense; he only took 3 shots in 15 minutes. And Devonte either took the game off or had one of his worst shooting nights. Lucas had some opportunities, but only took 3 shots, making one. Three shots in 27 minutes isn’t nearly enough. And it was against inexperienced opponents. Oh, and we’re still terrible at FTs. Still.

    Merry Christmas to all. I enjoy your comments and always look forward to the next game. RCJH



  • @Hawk8086

    If we lose a game or 2 because of our posts then I’ll worry. This isn’t a perfect team but our 5 guards are on another level from the rest of the country. Self has embraced letting his guards do everything and the focus is off production from the posts. Bragg & Lucas are who they are. We’ll get flashes. I just hope their rebounding is consistent because that’s the biggest gift they can give us. 18 rebounds from those guys is a big deal.

    We have some matchups coming up like Baylor or Kentucky that will present the biggest obstacles for our roster makeup. The rest of the Big-12 doesn’t have a big that pisses in a pot.



  • I am going to say something potentially off the wall here.

    At the end of the season, Josh Jackson and Svi will be the two best players on this basketball team. Those two will be the Batman and Robin that lead us in March, a 1-2 punch that, combined with a very experienced backcourt tandem, will be hard to stop.

    JJ and Svi provide so much at the collegiate level due to the lack of elite level big men throughout the country. As a result, playing a couple of 6-8 perimeter players lots of minutes doesn’t hurt you, especially since JJ is a monster on the glass on both ends. We literally lose nothing by playing small against all but maybe a couple of teams (UNC, Duke if healthy, maybe Kentucky).

    Losing Azuibuke definitely hurts, because he gave us some muscle and athleticism that we don’t have in a single package now. But we are still a nightmare matchup and won’t confront many teams that can deal with our size, athleticism and talent on the perimeter.

    I hope Coach Self uses conference season to prepare for March, because this team can position itself to go all the way.



  • I think our guys felt bummed over losing Doke. Their usual optimism and excitement wasn’t there.

    I hope he finds a way to encourage his teammates. Doke can still be the difference maker with this team in March.



  • There was a not so great football movie in the '90s (might’ve been necessary roughness) where a fumble prone player is forced to carry around a football to classes. His teammates try to strip the ball at various times forcing him to do pushups or the like if he drops the ball.

    This needs to happen with Bragg. I’ve never seen such weak hands. Butterfingers have a stronger grip. If he could hold on to the ball and catch the ball as well as Udoka, Bragg would be a much more usable player.

    Hudy work on those mitts!



  • I’d say at crunch time our freethrow shooting is more of a potential danger than Lucas/Bragg offense. If those two players can just continue to post 18 rebounds between them, we should be able to stay in the game with just about anyone. Our five perimeter players are a marvel. Of course, there is always the threat of sudden setbacks to injury, esp. to Frank, the way he attacks the paint. Those 34 minute exertions are bound to exact a toll.



  • @REHawk

    Very good point about the FT’s. Mason was 4-10, yikes! And yes Bragg has not found sticky balm that works yet for those mits



  • Jackson is slipping on Lunardi’s big board due to a 25% 3 ball and 55% freethrowing. Time to work on the free throw stroke. Josh is the one who needs to make free throws so he can stay aggressive late in the game. KU loses a free throw shooting contest with the freshmen on the floor.



  • @BeddieKU23 I am more worried about one matchup in the Dance that gets us. We’ll still win as many, or almost as many as we would without Doke…the question is will it get us in the tournament.



  • @REHawk Yes, excellent point about the FTs. Josh needs to be better…50-60% and you become a liability at the end of a close game. Frank…just an off night. But one off night at the FT line from one guy can cost you a game, as we all know. Worrisome for sure.



  • KU players: You don’t gain anything by vigorously spinning the ball in your hands as you are preparing to shoot a FT. Where in the hell does that come from? Jackson grabs the backside of the ball and spins the hell out of it, then takes his stance to shoot the FT. Spinning the ball is an unnecessary action that is more likely to be counter-productive. I notice no one dribbles before a FT anymore.

    Every KU player by now should have a productive repetition that is followed for every FT attempt. Balance, controlled breathing, looking at the back of the rim, and shooting with a lot of arc are the key factors . I’m not even a fan of placing one foot behind the other, but if it works and improves confidence and balance, maybe it’s helpful to some players.

    Is our poor FT shooting a coaching issue or just our players not caring enough?



  • @stoptheflop Bend the knees! Get some flex in the body!



  • It has only happened twice during the Bill Self era, a loss right before the Christmas break, but they have both been memorable enough to bring up the subject every year at this time. There is a sigh of relief when we win and the kids and coaches can enjoy being with their families. “home sick” is a real thing. Both losses were to Temple. one in AFH and the other disaster in the Philly snow, losing by 25 points. We went on to having a great season. Last night we learned that Josh Jackson is a lot like George Brett. Sparky Anderson said, “He could wake up on Christmas Morning and still hit 300.” Frank and Devonte were good but they miss their families back east. I feel sorry for Doke and hope he has somewhere to be this Christmas with his injury. There were no smiles from him while on the bench. It must feel strange for the coaches and Tyler to be the only ones on the plane home as the others leave McCarren International airport to join their families for a few day. Whether we as fans hate going 8 days with no basketball, we too need to be with our families as we all get ready for TCU and Big 12 Basketball. Rock Chalk and Merry Christmas.



  • @stoptheflop

    For Josh, I think the problem is a low release point. Josh has a very short shooting stroke. On his jump shot, he alleviates that flat shot because he elevates so well. However, on his FT, his shot can go a little flat. He needs to extend his arm a little bit more on his follow through to get a more consistent shooting stroke at the line.

    This team shoots the ball well enough that FTs shouldn’t be this big of an issue, but they are. Taking some time at practice to actually concentrate on them may help, but the bigger story is to just focus in game, take some deep breaths and put them away.



  • @justanotherfan I don’t think that’s off the wall at all. You’ve as much, if not more BB savvy than anyone on this site. Plus, I hope like Hell you’re right. What you’ve observed & posted about JJ’s shot mechanics are a friggin swish if there ever was one… JMO



  • Brannen would shoot his free throws as soon as he was handed the ball. It was like he couldn’t wait to have the free point added to his total. No thoughts just shooting.



  • @dylans Brannen had a lot of problems on and off the court as we all know but I would say he is probably one of the best FT shooters ever at KU. It is probably the one thing in his arsenal that this years team misses the most.



  • @joeloveshawks Exactly. I don’t want the whole package, just the stroke.



  • @Hawk8086 said:

    @BeddieKU23 Mailing it in certainly describes the 2nd half. I can rationalize by saying they are young, they were clearly superior to UNLV and they were thinking about leaving for their respective homes. Boy, Devonte was off from the jump. After reflecting on Dokes injury and the effect on the team… We still have 7 good or very good players. Coleby is a decent 8th man and Lightfoot, though inexperienced can fill in as needed…and should get better as the year goes by. Josh can dominate all by himself. We can beat anyone with those 7-8 guys. The lack of depth up front could lose us a game or two. More importantly…it could be the difference in one specific game in the Dance…but won’t necessarily be the case. We can win with the 7 regulars we have plus the other 2 when necessary…lots of teams have.

    Yeah we made a title game with 6 guys (that run was crazy) so there is always hope.

    @BeddieKU23 said:

    @BShark

    Definitely we have a pecking order of sorts. Svi is fast approaching for 3rd though when he plays like he did last night.

    I have no doubts this team will be focused for TCU. I don’t think KU has ever lost a Big-12 opener. Is that correct?

    Yeah, I just want to see it consistently from Svi. And some might think well Josh has only been here a fraction of a year but the difference is he has been consistently good the entire time from the moment we have seen him. Whereas Svi has had good games before (esp against bad teams) and then went back to inconsistent play.



  • @dylans said:

    Brannen would shoot his free throws as soon as he was handed the ball. It was like he couldn’t wait to have the free point added to his total. No thoughts just shooting.

    You nailed it. Thinking about the shot can be detrimental to making it. I recall reading an article about golf many years ago. Scientists found that professional golfers had almost zero beta activity in the brain during a shot, which is the wave form created when in an excited or agitated state. It’s the state we are typically in during the day, but during play these guys were able to move to an alpha or more quiet state, which enhanced their ability to perform under pressure.

    I also recall reading an article about the Chinese Olympic Diving team and even U.S. great, Greg Louganis, who discussed that more than half of their training was mental imagery and mental preparation. Only a small percentage of their training was doing any actually diving. They had rehearsed the results so often in their minds that they were able to perform flawlessly when they had to.

    Perhaps biofeedback training is what these guys need to literally learn to quiet their minds on the line. I would wager if we hooked up an EEG to these guys during a freebie the electrical activity in their brains would be off the charts.



  • @dylans I think it has much more to do with the will of the player rather than the strength of the player.



  • Athletes are arguably one of the more superstitious groups in society today. If they wear a pair of socks and win, they will no t wash them while they continue to win and so on. Likewise, they all seem to have very specific routines they do before shooting a free throw or going to bat or kicking a field goal. As others have mentioned, KU players have specific things they do before shooting free throws, they will spin the ball, squeeze it, bounce three time or what have you since they have been following the same routine their entire sports playing lives. What they don’t realize is that hose routines are not helping them at all and they should really swap them for something else…anything else, but as we all know. convincing players to change styles, most of the time is easier said than done.



  • Missed free throws by Frank seem to be a result of over thinking, IMO. Carlton only having three shots is not acceptable - no excuse for not running pick and rolls with him all game to get open shots. As I mentioned before, he is rolling right into traffic in the paint. Perry never did that but always looked to roll outside the three point line which is much tougher to guard. Very disappointed that he is still doing the same unproductive things offensively. Frank and Devonte can NEVER shoot that poorly against Big 12 competition and expect to win - that was an eyesore.



  • Remember when Rusty Griswold wanted to get into the casino with a fake ID?

    Capture.PNG



  • @wrwlumpy

    That is got to be the worst fake ID I have seen in a long time. LOL.



  • 02e5491eafeff48c9401ec1cd585840f.jpg Happy holidays to everyone. I was wrapping millions of presents during the game, so i wasnt on. I thought we came out good and JJ really looked great in the first half. But we dont look good when we arent hitting shots. We had to of missed 15 bunnies, which will hurt here as the comp steps up. Nice to see LL get after the glass. I’m still worried about our lack of post scoring and FTs, those two things need to improve for us to go anywhere in march.



  • @kjayhawks my name on any of those presents?🎅



  • I’m seeing the worst thing about Udoka’s injury as affecting what kind of player he can be come next year. He is guaranteed to come back, now he’ll have a hell of a lot less experience and practice than he could have had. Really hurts his sophomore ceiling, imho.

    Free throws appear to the the achilles heel of this team. Could likely overcome some tough games in March with the inferior post play, but not when they are giving up this many points at the line as well.

    Happy Holidays to All.


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