Mitch is the Key?



  • As KU fans we are quite blessed. Every year our beloved Jayhawks are ranked in the top 10 and mostly top 5 of the preseason rankings. Just like leaves turning colors and falling from their host tree. KU is perceived a final four team. Oh KU may not bring in the star studded classes like Kentucky or Duke but Coach gets what he wants. It’s good to be a Jayhawk fan.

    Yet this year is different, or is it? After last years near miss trip to the final four to the eventual champions Villanova. The players, program, Coach and the fans are pretty pumped for this year. Sure losing and replacing like Selden, and Ellis is no easy task, yet neither were really superstars. Besides Coach always gets what he needs in recruiting. Steps in Josh and Doka. Josh a superstar that plays like a junkyard dog, and Doka a towering man child that loves to block and dunk.

    Except for blip in the Indiana game, everything seemed primed and ready for the long march to another conference championship, and possibly a brass ring. Sadly as it happens in sports injuries can change the course of destiny of a team. KU’s big bad Doka was injured and is now lost for the season. Leaving behind more questions than answers.

    Talk and perception has already begun to change. For sure KU is still the favorite to win the Big 12 conference. Yet with the loss of Doka it appears that West Virginia and Baylor have picked up ground on KU, or at the very least have moved into the conversation as legit teams to upset KU"s conference winning streak. KU is still the favorite among most to win the Big 12 conference again. Yet is it because they have the best team this year?, or is it because you have to pick KU until someone knocks them off?

    Again KU is a favorite to make the tournament and make a run. However some are starting to whisper their doubts that KU can make a deep run or make the final 4 without a true rim protector that Doka was.

    Myself I have a problem with all this. First losing Doka hurts, but lets be honest us KU fans really didn’t know what we had with Doka. Lets not forget at the beginning of the year the consensus was that Doka would be hard pressed to get any serious playing time as he would be in foul trouble. I’m not sure many thought or dreamed he would be a starter as quickly as he did?

    Losing Doka really hurts because we all got see what he could become. We got a taste of what was to become. It’s like sugar on top, or getting your cake and eating it too. Doka was a surprise and just added fuel to an already highly rated and star studded team with big expectations. With Doka coming along so quickly it confirmed KU fans perceptions. That this was a KU team truly of destiny.

    So what has truly changed? Nothing. KU is still the star studded team with high expectations it had before Doka. Nothing has changed.

    Besides we have Coach manning the clipboard and calling the shots. Sure he hasn’t won as many championships as we think he should of. Yet lets not forget we are the fan base lucky enough to be in the conversation year after year.

    Sometimes in life it’s about the next man up. It’s not always about us and what we think, or feel. I mean after all we all experts right ??? :satisfied:

    Enters Mitch Lightfoot. Oh listen to the arguments right now. He’s to light, needs to gain some weight. He’s a project player, he’ll be good as a junior. He’ll foul to much (like Doka was supposed to do). Well you know what Coach recruited this kid for a reason. He seen something in Mitch that coach said I want this kid. Sure Coach would rather take his time and bring Mitch along slowly. However as life circumstances change. The one thing that doesn’t change is Coach seen something in Mitch to give a place on his team, in his program.

    I have know doubt that Mitch can never be Doka. Yet maybe Mitch can be Mitch, or like the Diallo we never got to see. All I’m saying is go easy on the kid. Give him a chance. Lets not break this kid before he ever really gets a chance. Who knows what could happen. Next year we could be talking about how sic our front court will be with Mitch and Doka?

    Just a couple of pennies I found today.



  • @DoubleDD

    I agree with you. I have had Mitch as my surprise player since before the season started. Much like Perry before him, after many tentative games, one game the switch will turn on and we will really enjoy watching him from there on…at least this is what I am hoping for…



  • Mitch is the 9th most important person on this years team. 10 if we include Doke who’s now out.

    The key in March will be seeing just how good Josh Jackson is on the big stage. If he’s the guy we’ve all seen so far he’s the key to the season.



  • @BeddieKU23

    I don’t know?

    It’s kind of hard to play with just two post players the whole conference season and tournament.

    We kind of need Mitch, if at best he eats minutes.

    I know Josh can go into the post and play, but man even junkyard dogs can get worn out.



  • From Chevy Chase’s Las Vegas Vacation

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  • @DoubleDD

    We should hope that get some good minutes out of Mitch whenever his number is called.

    How many good minutes we get out of him is unknown?

    Mitch has yet to really play because Self doesn’t trust him to not make mistakes. He said this much this week. Coleby if healthy would probably be the 3rd big because of his experience edge. If we can get 5-8 minutes a game from both these guys and their minutes are productive, I say that’s a win-win for everyone.



  • @BeddieKU23

    Maybe you’ve already this, but I thought I post it anyways for those that haven’t read yet.

    Is Mitch the man?

    I like Coleby too, but thought is it takes at least two year to make a full recovery from Coleby’s injury.



  • @DoubleDD

    I did get a chance to read it. I have high hopes for Lightfoot but I also know his best basketball is far away, meaning not this season. We will play Jackson & Svi in that 4 spot as much as game flow and fouls will let us. If Lightfoot did step up he would give us another great option to go to when we need to steal some minutes. Maybe he’ll help us over the next few months then I’m thinking he will. Sometimes all it takes is an opportunity. He got 6 minutes against UNLV, we’ll see how many he gets on the road against a team with size like TCU has.

    I also like Coleby, the Georgia game showed that he can play against Power 5 talent. I’m hoping these last few weeks have allowed him to get healthier if that is possible. Your right, he’s probably not going to be 100% until next fall. Whatever we can get out of him this season is a bonus



  • Josh is the hare. Mitch is the tortoise. Let’s see who finishes the race in first. Which Jayhawk will put up bigger numbers over their career? It will be Mitch by a long shot. Okay… he has 4 years to do it versus Josh’s single season. But the end results will make a big statement on how valuable Mitch is to Kansas basketball.

    Now Mitch gets thrown into the limelight, earlier than planned or projected. He is bound to make the most of it and the very least we will get out of his situation this year is the productive fruits in the years to follow.

    Mitch is a big keeper. He represents the glue we need, especially since we seem to be bringing in more short term players.

    Mitch has so many qualities that will help us; high basketball IQ, poise, athletic talent, hustle, and more. He will be earning some important minutes this year. Will he help us more than hurt us? I believe he will help us. And I won’t be shocked if he helps us considerably. We are not expecting him to contribute much this year, so when he does contribute, it is well appreciated. He may need to build his body into something bigger, stronger and faster. He will. But the gifts he has now is enough to help us perhaps when we least expect it. Hustle is the great equalizer, and Mitch has plenty of hustle. Combine that with his basketball IQ and what we have here is a player that finds ways to contribute.

    Mitch needs to identify his role on this year’s team. What should that role be? What should be his calling card? Hustle… Bring lots of energy into the game. Wear down opponents. Snag 50/50 balls. Rebound. Defend. Screen. Attract floor burns.

    In some ways, Mitch actually fits into our rotation better than Doke did. Doke represents the opposite from the other 4 players he was playing with on the court. Doke was the muscle. The weight. The size. The post defender. Mitch just looks like another guard on the floor. Light, fast and agile. Mitch has the potential to help us maintain a higher pace. That is something we shouldn’t disregard as meaningless.

    I spent the last days watching a lot of our old game tapes. Doke glows with potential. But in all reality, we don’t know how much of that potential was going to come this year. He has so many areas of his game that needs to be brought up just to prevent him from hurting us; free throw shooting, fouling, scoring, passing, getting up and down the court. I feel sure young Mitch, now given some of those minutes, can maintain good enough fundamentals to not hurt us as much as Doke would. But the $64,000 question; can Mitch HELP us like Doke would? I think when you balance both the good with the bad, Mitch has every bit the possibility of equaling the net effect Doke would have.

    Don’t get me wrong… Mitch will never be Doke. And sometimes we will need plenty of girth on a match up. We just won’t have it this year in these situations. But won’t we have advantages going our way at most of the other positions on the floor? Will we be so disadvantaged because we don’t have an advantage in this one area?

    We should make some changes now that Doke is gone. We should consider some game tweaks to compensate for a less physical post presence. When we face a team with a strong post player that is dominant, we should take the ball right at him and challenge him. Get him in foul trouble. if we can’t do it with 4 gifted driving guards, then when the heck would we ever be able to do it?

    We need to stay focused on a glass half full instead of half empty. Losing Doke was painful… mostly because he has worked his tail off to get in condition to contribute this year. He wanted a productive year sooo sooo badly. But we must now roll with the punches and deliver a knock out. For all the potential we lost in Doke we may make up for in other ways. Stay positive, my Jayhawk friends!

    I remember this broken record from the past. How in the heck were we ever going to compensate for losing Archie Marshall?



  • @drgnslayr said:

    In some ways, Mitch actually fits into our rotation better than Doke did. Doke represents the opposite from the other 4 players he was playing with on the court. Doke was the muscle. The weight. The size. The post defender. Mitch just looks like another guard on the floor. Light, fast and agile. Mitch has the potential to help us maintain a higher pace. That is something we shouldn’t disregard as meaningless

    I like the way your thinking. Great point.



  • @drgnslayr said:

    I remember this broken record from the past. How in the heck were we ever going to compensate for losing Archie Marshall?

    Didn’t we tap the football team that year for Clint?



  • One more bigman injury, offcourt trouble, or extended period of poor play (and I’m really hoping none of those occur) and we’ll be seeing more of Mitch than many expected. Hope he’s ready when his number is called. I have a feeling he will be.

    mitch.JPG



  • For fun, question for the people who follow football closely. Are there any people on the football team who could help our frontcourt?



  • @StLJhawk said:

    mitch.JPG

    Love these tweets. Always a place or two like this on the team for kids with this kind of work ethic.


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