Coleby on the Hyper Burner, as Self Seeks to Stay the Course Apre Azuibuke

  • Bill Self is a determined man. When he finds a path that works and promises to make a team the best it can be, he does not give up the path just because of a little adversity.

    It is Self’s willingness to persevere against seemingly long odds that triggers the most doubt and criticism of Mr. 600–the nominated Hall of Famer. Self clearly comes from the “what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger” school. Detractors get their diplomas from “path of least resistance” high. Some times, Self shifts paths to the delight of those that like to do the “obviously logical thing.” This essentially involves changing “the way we play.” Exhibit A would be shifting from inside out to outside in. More often Self stays the course and things can get pretty ugly–on the floor, an among fans–before the team learns to adapt, so it can keep being “who we set out to be.”

    The season ending injury to Udoka Azuibuke appears to have delivered Self and fans to one of those moments.

    The path of least resisters already think the choice is clear: the loss of a key big means go from a mix of 4-1 and 3-2 to a mix of 4-1 and 5-0. It’s elementary to them. There aren’t enough qualified bigs to stay the course and rely on a committee of 4 post players swinging between 1 and 2 bigs in the rotation.

    But Self’s quotes so far signal that, while he does not rule that course change out, he thinks the smart move is to continue down the 4-1 and 3-2 path to max out the potential of this roster…

    So get ready for a bumpy stretch. Self made it clear he isn’t changing course on “how we play.” And he doesn’t usually misinform on this issue.

    In turn, Self made clear that Lightfoot, or Coleby, now “have to come through” for us.

    Which brings me to the candidate most likely expected to “come through”: Coleby.

    That 1 minute of PT in an easy UNLV road game for Coleby combined with the epic butt chewing Coleby got, means Coleby with the bailing wire knee is about to find out about what “toughening” and sacrifice for team means.

    Self was clearly sending Coleby an instant text message in one of the last games Self could afford such messaging.

    The message read something like: “Rehab over. Stop. Team and season in dire emergency. Stop. Report to duty NOW. Stop. Play and play effectively even if you have to crawl. Stop.”

    In short, Self made clear to Coleby it his time to sacrifice for team–to discover the difficult comes easy and the impossible takes a little longer.

    And Self put the team on notice that Self is going to put Coleby in the toughening box until they close ranks around Coleby and help him discover the Mario Little meaning of team–the Tyrell Reed meaning of team–the play operable meaning of team.

    I got a new range/oven for our kitchen recently. It’s one of those models with different sized burners. The salesman called the big, honking burner in front the “hyper burner.” Coleby is now on it.

    Lightfoot is next, if Coleby is unable to stand the heat.

    Self sees a path to a title and a ring–to being the best we can be–swinging between 4-1 and 3-2. He sees something less swinging 4-1 and 5-0.

    In this mind set, Coleby and/or Lightfoot have to “come through.”

  • @jaybate-1.0 Fully agree. I mean Ive had my moments where I question what Coach does with his line ups, his rotations, his game planning. But I keep coming back to the 2012 season.

    Are Lando and Bragg equal to Withey and Trob? HELL NO! But they dont have to be. Coach can literally glue the 5 man position together for serviceable stats and minutes with Lando, Bragg and a combo of Coleby and Mitch.

    Our back court, our guards are by far and away better than anything we had in '12. its not close.

    I wasnt able to see the game last night but Im betting that Coach Self gets things glued together just fine for the conference. Coleby will learn that force of will is stronger than the body. You focus laser strong at something and it happens.

    I have the utmost confidence in Self to glue this team together and we will absolutely be under dogs going in the the Madness, but, thats ok. We have been under dogs every single time we have reached the Final Four, the title game. '88, under dogs. '08 underdogs. ( everyone was picking memphis and UNC) 2012, noone picked KU to get that far.

    We can do that again this year. No reason we cant. Lando and Bragg gotta play their butts off. Coleby gotta wrap that knee and pretend its bionic.

  • @Lulufulu

    Landon and Bragg gotta play hard.

    Coleby’s gotta go till he can’t.

    Here we are again.

    Title or no title.

    It comes down to want to and doing what you may wonder if you can do, when you have to.

    Coleby came here to advance himself.

    Now he has to decide what he is willing to do for the team.

    I don’t envy him, but at the same time it is a chance to do something great.

    I remember Mario Little not for what he did the last season, but what he gave the season before. No Mario Little, no run of titles.

    Nothing is fair.

    Nothing is written.

    There isn’t even equitable compensation for the sacrifice.

    It’s still the same old story…

    a fight for love and glory…

    a case of do or die.

  • @jaybate-1.0 With Bill Self,

    The fundamental things apply

    As time goes by.

  • According to ESPN, Udoka is getting another job to pay for his insurance. Or maybe Bill Self is paying him to rehab. I’m not quite sure, based upon the following cryptic passage; I’ll try to find out more details.

    “We all feel bad for Udoka. He has worked so hard and has put himself in a position to have a tremendous impact on this year’s squad,” Self said. “This is a blow to our team, but I know that we will rally around this and Udoka will work hard to insure a full recovery.”


  • @approxinfinity I had to read that twice!🤔

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    Any chance I get to dig on ESPN’s editorialism, however petty… 😊

  • @jaybate-1.0 Will or no, what remains to be seen is if Bragg and Lando can hang with the elite bigs of the like of Duke, UK, Louisville, UNC…etc.

    Im watching the replay of UK/Louisville. Both those teams are final four caliber.

  • @Lulufulu

    Our front court is not Final Four material on its own even with Doke.

    But it is well suited to be Final Four supplemental material with our Final Four grade perimeter players.

    What this means is our Final Four perimeter guys HAVE to play at their peaks in March for this team to get a ring. Period.

    This team’s peak potential was to play like Mike Bibby’s ring team; that is what this team could hope to be.

    The interior guys just have to guard, rebound and not make mistakes.

  • @jaybate-1.0 True dat.

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