Jay Wright's Magic Elixir

  • jaywright.jpg

    What is Jay’s secret formula?

    I finally got around to watching the Villanova/Creighton game. Villanova looks like they are already prepared to play in the Final Four. Wow! Very skilled players with basketball IQ and all hustling around playing as a team.

    After watching this game I watched our TCU game again. The contrast between the games was quite noticeable. I know we didn’t put much energy into that game, but I wasn’t expecting it to contrast that much. Maybe Bill should take his team into the video room and do the same. A little reality check just as we get into Big 12 play.

    Meanwhile, Jay just keeps truckin’ on -

    Villanova’s Jay Wright reflects on year of celebration

    While the media likes to vision him on the sidelines in the NBA -

    Report: Phoenix Suns begin NBA’s pursuit of Jay Wright

    What will we have to do this year to prevent becoming just another one of Villanova’s accolades this coming March as they drive for back-to-back titles?

  • Good question. I’m not too familiar with their team and don’t remember much of them from last year, but do they have a lot of senior leadership? Not that I think KU is lacking in that department at all with our mix.

    I love this year’s team and love the blend of senior leadership and young talent. If we don’t make the final four this year, I’ll be dumbfounded.

    I’ve always wondered if there’s an element of toughness instilled on the east coast that’s not instilled in the western states. It’s rare that any team west of the Mississippi will cut down the nets. Obviously there are less schools on the west coast, and talent generally heads east for more media exposure. But it’s still enough to make me wonder if it’s a question of toughness, both physical and mental.

  • All these years I thought Jay Wright was a lightweight. His coaching skills didn’t match his expensive wardrobe. And then I watched him outcoach Bill Self, maybe twice. (I don’t remember the Atlantis game too well, I just thought was an upset) Now count me as impressed. National titles against the stalwarts he faced last year move him to the elite of college coaches. He beat at least two #1’s on the way to the ring. Maybe 3 if UNC was #1 at some point last year.

  • @drgnslayr

    I also watched the Nova/Creighton game. They executed well on double teams and use the pump-fake better than any team in the country (Jenkins lives by it).They rely so much on Josh Hart heroics that at some point he’s bound to be human.

    I did think the outcome was decided by 2 plays on both sides when it was a 1 possession game. Hart made a turnaround jumper where he just ran into a defender and made enough space to jump over him, and a Brunson jumper that was made, a highly contested shot as well.

    On the other end Creighton shot 3’s instead of looking to get to the hoop and our old nemesis Marcus Foster was up to his old ways again clanking outside shots. I thought Creighton’s decision making cost them the chance of the upset as their defense played well for most of this contest.

    Nova looks like a well-oiled machine again. Hard to notice much of a drop off from their championship squad outside of a big man that scores.

  • @chriz

    I believe they have 3 key players that are seniors.

    You pose an interesting question about toughness being regional.

    I need some time to digest that… but right off the bat, I feel like we should consider this as a conference comparison more than a geographic issue.

    Everyone in our league has Kansas as their target. But has it hurt the competitiveness of our conference by winning 12 straight conference titles? I know when we play a conference opponent and they are ahead at the end of the game, they feel inspired to close the game out for the win. But what about games like the TCU game? Did they really have the needed confidence to win that game after falling behind by just a few points?

    I felt like the TCU game was decided early in the second half when we maintained a slim lead. Being up by 4 or 5 points almost seemed like it put it in the bag for us. Why would I have that feeling? On the road, up by 4… I should have needed a diaper in this game.

    I never felt like TCU believed they could win. Not really.

    Doesn’t that not only hurt them but also hurts us?

    Maybe this idea that our dominance has negatively influenced the rest of our league’s confidence is something we need to dig deeper into? Doesn’t that explain a few things… like… why our conference maintains a high RPI but doesn’t do well in March? Maybe our conference play hits a plateau far before March, and in doing so prevents our conference teams from properly preparing for March?

  • @drgnslayr thank you for making this thread. I will post my thoughts later today when I have more time.

  • @wissox yes they began the season #1

  • @BeddieKU23

    “Nova looks like a well-oiled machine again. Hard to notice much of a drop off from their championship squad outside of a big man that scores.”

    They may actually be a better team than last year’s, come March. That is frightening!

  • @wissox Jay Wright has outcoached Self on at least 3 occasions. During the 2004-05 season when KU was playing about as well as possible, #2 in the country, still undefeated at 14-0 in late January, and KU makes the trek out to Philly and Villanova blasted KU by 21 points. I believe Bill Self is only 1-3 against Jay Wright at KU with that lone win coming in the 2008 NCAA tournament.

    It may just be a case of Wright having Self’s number in a similar way Tom Izzo seems to have Self’s number.

  • @drgnslayr I’m not sure they will be better - that run last year was historical and I’m not sure they have the potential to improve on it. I think they will probably equal it in some fashion though, no doubt

  • @BeddieKU23 I don’t think it’s fair to compare the energy level of Villanova playing at against a top 10 team to how KU looked against TCU. That was a marquee game for Villanova and one they likely had circled as a key win to give themselves a better shot at winning the Big East just like we have the games in Waco and Morgantown circled as key games for KU to win to boost the odds of winning #13.

    A more comparable game would be their Big East opener a couple of nights before against DePaul. Villanova only won that one by 3 and trailed for quite a bit in that game. If that had been the only game somebody watched of Villanova, there’s no way anybody thinks they’re the #1 team or a real title threat, just like KU didn’t look like a title threat against TCU, but we all know that both KU and Villanova are both on the shortlist of teams people expect to see win the title this year along with Kentucky, UNC, UCLA, and Louisville.

  • @HawkChamp

    I think they have more talent this year, and 3 key seniors.

    Comparing them to last year and this time of the season, they seem more polished now.

    But time will tell…

    Yeah… kind of hard to think they might actually be better this year.

  • @Texas-Hawk-10

    You are right… at least, I hope so.

    I panicked when putting the games side-by-side.

    I should do that but instead of using our TCU game maybe the Duke game. At least to compare energy levels.

    Did you see their game with DePaul? Please tell me they looked like poo!

  • @Texas-Hawk-10 I think the comparison in these two games is also unfair because we have had our rotation, and practices, unsettled for the past few games by missing first Bragg and now Doke. It will take a few games to get it sorted out. Hasn’t Villanova been pretty stable since the beginning?

  • @drgnslayr Nova looked terrible in that game. That was an ugly game in which Nova was outrebounded, turned the ball over 14 times and was 8-26 from 3. It was also a one possession game for basically the final 10 minutes. Nova won because of the home whistle. Nova shot 26 FT’s (18-26) to DePaul’s 6-7 from from the FT line. That was the difference in the game.

  • @Texas-Hawk-10

    Thanks for the info.

    How do you see Nova in March this year?

    Who do you think will be the biggest threats in the big dance?

  • @drgnslayr Nova will be just fine come tournament time. Personally, I think there’s 6 legitimate title contenders right now. Kansas, Villanova, UNC, UCLA, Kentucky, and Louisville. 5 of those 6 have title winning coaches and I think UCLA has been the best team overall this season in spite of their loss to Oregon last week.

  • FWIW, here are the rankings according to some of the more popular computer sites. Some of the ranking are hard to understand and obviously use a lot more data that that shown. I have always been partial to Massey…

    Ken Pomeroy


  • Jeff Sagarin


  • Kenneth Massey


  • @drgnslayr

    Wright has learned the current secret to winning rings in the March Carney: play as a team, hope Duke doesn’t get a long stack, and get mail in the EST.

    Wright and Nova will be unbeatable, if Coach K does not return and U.K. gets upset despite getting a Carney whistle.

    Wright and Nova and Roman Catholicism and an EST zip code are money in the bank for CBS.

    No one but Nova, U.K. and UConn has a chance otherwise, unless Trump and Likud make a move on CBS and even then Penn would probably just be subbed for Nova!

    Everything is written…in the Carney.

  • @jaybate-1.0

    You really think Roman Catholicism has that much power?

  • @jaybate-1.0

    Youz gigglen my tenders.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    I was just thinking of viewing audience market share, rather than institutional power. Roman Catholicism has a solid market share of the Bo-Wash Corridor cities and burbs plus south Florida. In other words they are a major market share in the dominant time zone–EST–Americans of Italian, Irish, Polish, Puerto Rican, Cuban descent. And Catholics in the French part of Louisiana and the hispanics in Tayhoss give Catholicism a good CSt foot print to. What other relatively allied audience group can give you that much core audience? And folks always underestimate how many good Catholics are African Americans. All totalled, that Catholic TV market will hunt. Hold them and that’s maybe better than pulling strong with the Balkanized Protestants and Fundies from Virginia down through the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida. Hillary got enough of these Catholic folks to win the popular vote by several millions. She was stupid in a lot of ways, but not in picking Tim Kaine. Trump wasn’t sucking up to Christy and Giuliani just for mob support. He could not let all the Catholic votes go to Kaine and still win. He had to have some to to go along with his Pence fundies and alt righters, and conservative Protestants. You can’t go wrong appealing to Catholicism, so long as doing so doesn’t cost you something else crucial. All audiences have to be assembled today, because the nation has been sliced and diced and fragmented from 35 years of divide and conquer politics and the creation of 2000 channels and the internet. You build an audience by finding a core group and then adding pieces. Both Clinton AND Trump had to do the same thing: identity politics. They were just appealing to differing identies. So does CBS and the NCAA for March. If they don’t build an audience piece by piece during the season, the audience is too fragmented to survive the negative effects of early round losing to build to a big event. Package a Catholic team to appeal to a large core in the EST and brand it as you go; then as the Carney operators said, “We have a winnuh!” If you could be sure Nova would win, then you could afford to brand them and even to let KU play in the Finals. “We have a winnuh!”

    This isn’t exactly new news. Catholics have long been a way to market in sports and politics. But they are hardly the only way. There are different ways to build an audience, same as skinning cats.

    There’s tournament engineering and audience engineering. Heck, there’s probably quite a lot of memetic engineering going in both, as well as in sport and politics more broadly.

    The nerds didn’t take over. The engineers did. It’s just that nerds were a sizable share of engineers. My new mantra is: EVERYTHING THAT CAN BE ENGINEERED WILL BE ENGINEERED. But I digress.

    Back to Catholic influence in the bidness of sport.

    Note that gaming is much more complex than one casino in Vegas with an influential betting line. In the EST the Irish and Italian cultures reputedly like to bet and Irish and Italian organizations reputedly handle a goodly share of the action. So in the EST, gaming has a very Catholic connection. Not an insidious one. Just a cultural connection.

    But since you asked about the “power” of Roman Catholicism, let me answer that query this way. First, I’m a fan of Roman Catholicism, same as most religions, even though I’m a Protestant. So I’m not picking on them. I have no trouble talking about the religio-cultural tendencies of Catholics, Episcopalians, Jews, Muslims, Shinto Buddhists, Hindus, aetheists, etc. Since the Vatican accepted Temporal powers from Charlemagne, it grew into one of the largest economic entities on the planet by the Middle Ages. They have operated directly, or indirectly, seemingly forever the oldest central bank–The Bank of Italy, and since 1209 the oldest continuously operating stock market in the world in Bologna. They probably own more gold located just on the ceilings of their cathedrals than most of the nation states of the world own in their vaults, to say nothing of the Vatican’s reputedly sizable bullion holdings and investment portfolios. The Vatican has partnered in business for some periods with most of the great empires of the West since the first millennium. The Vatican, whatever else it is, is a bidness–a corporate bidness. It kind of wrote the conceptual book on incorporation. The Vatican allied with the Habsburg silver and gold fortune in the 1400-1600s to mobilize its own Christendom, stymied by Eurasian obstructionism, to find a sea route to China and to colonize and then mint gold in South America as the world’s first reserve currency for trade with China. They started the modern university and own and operate lots of them around the world. They own probably the largest private hospital chain in the USA. And so on. They are huge by any measure of wealth, revenue and market share. There are about 1.2 Billion Roman Catholics in the world; that puts them in a league with China, but smaller than the Crown of Great Britain’s 2.2 Billion subjects. The Crown is the biggest dog on the block. Period. And let’s not get into the Vatican’s more recent political alliances. Suffice it to say that gold, investing, and the time value of money have been and continue to be good to the Vatican. And today they appear influential enough in USA to populate half the Supreme Court justices with only 28% of the USA population. The Vatican and the Crown of Great Britain modeled as a business entitity off the Vatican, are arguably the two richest and most influential essentially private transnational economic entities on the planet. So: yes, the Vatican is quite powerful as an economic entity with that big 1.2 Billion population of tithers to boot. Heck, the rate of growth in Christian’s, mosthly Roman Catholics, in China grows about 7% per year and totalled 10 million in 1980 and now 100 million in 2015! Heck yes Roman Catholicism is economically powerful. It isn’t a political power, per se, so much as a giant multinational corporation with its own central bank. The Rockefellers, Morgans, Mellons, Schiffs, and Warburgs have theirs too. And the Rothschilds largely control them and the Crown of GB, so it’s not like they are absolutely top of the heap, but they’re making ends meet okay. And they tend to hang in longer than families. And getting richer all the time. Not in a way to be feared IMHO, unless you fear the Crown of Great Britain, and the owners of the Fed, but rather just the way it is. Check this interesting link out for Catholicism in China. http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/why-is-christianity-growing-so-quickly-in-mainland-china-57545/

    Hope this helps clarify what I was getting at.

  • @jaybate-1.0


    No question the Catholic Church is the largest single denomination in the country; however, its political influence is limited. The only Catholic president, John Kennedy, was elected over 50 years ago and we have not had another since then.

  • @drgnslayr Dude, I know 'Nova is really good, final four good. But, I really feel that they wont repeat. Someone will beat them.

    Duke? Nah

    Kentucky? Nah

    US? Maybe, if as you said, Coach Self gives them a little reality check.

    Baylor? Nah

    Oregon? Maybe

    UCLA? Nah

    Mid Major team, a Killer B team, sneaky good, catches 'Nova on an off night when they are scorching the nets? Maybe.

    Cant think of anyone else at the moment.

    Im just not sold on ANY one repeating in this age of college ball.

    Florida did it, but that was before the OAD era, the rule changes, etc.

  • @jaybate-1.0 Dude, Dook is currently in the middle of a Nine Inch Nails reminiscent Downward Spiral. They aint winning Shiite this year. Even IF they some how pull everything together by March, they will be behind the learning curve. Its almost poetic justice. Its Karma.

  • @jaybate-1.0 That largest private hospital chain you mentioned. That wouldnt be HCA by chance would it?

    Way off topic here. Sorry Peeps but I cant let this one go.

    Anyone even thinking of going to an HCA hospital, dont. They are a for profit organization. Basically that means they say they care about patient safety, standard of care but they really dont mean it. They care about staying in the black, net gains, making money.

    Sure, all hospitals for profit or not care about making money. No one wants to lose money, its bad business. BUT, what ever area you live in, do your self a favor. Go look up the US News and World report list of the best hospitals. I Guarantee you that ZERO HCA hospitals are on that top performing list.

    Ive even worked at an HCA hospital and at KU hospital and I can say with absolute certainty that the difference is night and day. Zero BSing.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    The Roman Catholic Church apparently learned from the assassination of John F. Kennedy what many other ascendant subgroups have learned in our country’s history. They learned that the Presidency is sometimes the last office you want one of your subgroup to occupy, when attempting to build up legal-political power and influence in USA. They got ahead of themselves, or perhaps they did not, but one of the more ambitious members of their flock, Joseph Kennedy, did. Their wealth, power and political influence appears much greater now than in 1960, in large part because of the massive influx of immigration that has greatly favored their market share. Oh, and half of the Supreme Court justices are Roman Catholics. Let that sink in for awhile.

  • @jaybate-1.0

    How is that working out for them? The Court has ruled mostly against what the Catholic Church supports.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    It will work quite well I suspect. I know neither the Roman Catholic Church, nor the US-Israel lobby are announcing that they want fewer seats on the bench, so that the Supreme Court can be more representative of the population at large. 😃 Seriously, the Vatican is just as complicated of a multi national organization as any. It has a long history of having schisms within it that lead it make alliances with seemingly unlikely allies in order to root out some of the internal problems that plague it, before moving forward with its longer term agenda.

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