Don't be so Defensive



  • A part of KU nation seems to be up in arms with KU first two wins of the Big 12 conference. Some even have gone as far to scream the sky is falling, While others just mock and laugh. Either way there is a believe that KU is in big trouble, and it is growing. Allow me to try to calm the waters, or at the very least inject some reality to the situation.

    Lets agree that KU’s defense isn’t what it should be. Yet instead of saying it just sucks, lets try to understand why? In KU’s first two conference wins the defense has looked average if subpar at best. So I ask the question how much is it KU just sucking playing defense and how much is it the foes that KU has played? Lets be honest Kstate isn’t the bottom dwellers they usually are. If you actually look at their stats there not a bad shooting team. I know they didn’t play a tough noncon, yet if you think their a lucky team shooting the basketball you’re mistaken. TCU is coached by a man that dominated the old Big East when it was in it’s heyday. He also did this at a school like Pit. Don’t think that TCU would be better? Come on think about it However at the end of the day the truth is KU isn’t playing defense like they did at beginning of the year and previous years. So the question remains why?

    It is interesting that the subject of defense was never a topic in the early part of this KU season. So what has changed? Is it because KU played a bunch of scrubs in the noncom? Does anyone really believe that? So what changed? It would appear to me that the injury of Doka has affected KU’s defense prowess. So the reality is KU has went from having a rim protector to not having one. I’m not a genius like @jaybate-1.0 or @HighEliteMajor when it comes to this game of basketball, yet I’m smart enough to understand that basketball players play a different type of game when they have a rim protector and when they don’t. It’s not rocket science. So what am I saying? Maybe us KU fans need to ease or temper our madness over KU not playing the type of defense we are used to seeing. Remember these are kids and not pros. They need an adjustment period. They’ve only played like three games since Doka went down and ended his season.

    KU has always been one of the best defensive teams in the country. When Roy left and Self entered the culture and the way KU plays the game of basketball changed. Where Roy liked to outrun foes, Coach likes to lock them down and pound them. If you follow Coach’s career, you find and think defense. No matter the school or the players Coach not only coached but breathed defense. The logic is in the truth. Since Coach has been at KU they have been a great defensive. Year after year players come and go yet Coach’s teams play defense. It’s just a fact.

    In closing and with my finally defense of this team. Coach has said this is his most athletic team he as ever had, and today in a interview he said this team could be the best defense team he has ever had. Yes this year’s team. By all means read between the lines if you wish, but I’m taking what Coach said and running with it.

    Bottom line if you think that Coach is going to sit back and roll out this type of defense, then you really don’t know Coach.



  • I posted in another thread that I’m glad Self has called out the defense. It’s his ploy to get more from this group. He can’t complain about the scoring because this team can put up 90 and still feel like we left points off the board, that’s scary to think. I’m concerned the defense will lead to a loss soon but it’s inevitable we will drop a game in conference. There is no shortage of losable games coming up on the road. The defense seems to be the leaky wheel that will have to have some changes brought to it. Maybe this team even zones like we did against Georgia to get a win. Honestly there should be more options then just man because we may not have the depth to keep forcing these guys to play man defense…



  • Donald Rumsfeld famously said… you go to war with the army you have. At this point, KU’s army seems better suited for offense than defense and with the bigs situation, Coach Self understands that offense will be key. Having said that, Coach Self has always put a premium on defense and there is no way that he abandons this philosophy. The team is capable of playing superior defense, remember the second half of the Davidson game? So, I believe that once Coach Self lays out the priorities, the team will get back to playing good defense and superior offense. I pity KSU, KU will be looking forward all season to silencing squeaky once and for all…in Manhattan.



  • @JayHawkFanToo

    I pity KSU, KU will be looking forward all season to silencing squeaky once and for all…in Manhattan.

    Going to a rowdy game with how the first one ended. Emotions will be high against KU. Reminds me of last year’s OU game and KU came out in Norman and played huge



  • @BeddieKU23

    I think you hit on a very interesting point of playing zone. I know one thing Coach will have this team playing solid defense before this year is over. Whether man or zone.



  • @JayHawkFanToo It also came out later that Rumsfeld himself was the one responsible for fielding a half-ass army, and one that was ill-equipped. I listened to his early press conferences 15+yrs ago, sounded like he knew what he was talking about, in his no-bull manner and all…but he short-changed our troops. Period. There’s no excuse for fielding a small, poorly equipped force if we call ourselves a “superpower”.

    To take the analogy back to KU basketball: I personally dont think these multiyear players have any excuse whatsoever for not being able to meet the defensive bar set by several preceding KU teams. If Josh Jackson can defend right out of the box, then he’s just put half the roster to shame.



  • @ralster

    Wow dude? Last time I checked Iraq was under control when Bush/Rumsfeld was running things. In comes Obama and now Isis controls most of Iraq what gives? Yep its Dem thing.



  • @ralster US troops have never been well trained or prepared for guerrilla warfare tactics. It’s why Vietnam was a disaster and why Iraq and Afghanistan dragged on for so long.



  • I would argue that we don’t know really how good this team is offensively either having not really faced a stellar defensive team. Such as Villanova perhaps… Probably won’t really know until we face west Virginia who seems to be atleast so far, quite tough defensively. Maximizing the number of possessions seems to be part of the strategy thus far. Which makes sense to me. More possession of hopefully shooting a higher percentage equals outscoring. However. When ya start factoring in alot of turnovers and offensive RBS for the opponent it makes for the close game. In which you need to be able to string together stops defensively. And of course that is the issue were facing right at the moment. Everyone knows Self will have the team playing as close to their ceiling as possible on both ends when it matters. The question is going to be whether that ceiling is high enough to go anywhere. Eye test right now, No. Give it a month it may look different. Prepare yourself though and don’t be surprised. If the men don’t do it on their own. Look for Self to short change the offense substantially to get what he wants from this group. He won’t be afraid to take away their weapons if they don’t learn quickly to do it his way.



  • @ralster

    I respectfully disagree. The military force was neither small nor ill equipped. The problem was the limitations imposed on them by politicians and lawyers.

    Military people will tell you that their jobs is to inflict as many casualties and destroy as much enemy equipment as possible with as little loss on our side as possible. Unfortunately this no longer possible when politicians and lawyers are making combat decisions instead of the generals that were trained to make them.

    The only groups that have little interference (because if their secrecy and sensitivity) are the Navy Seals and other Black Ops groups and see how successful they can be when allowed to operate as designed and without interference.



  • @JayHawkFanToo @ralster

    Has any country figured out how to effectively win a war against an insurgency willing to martyr its members and supported by external forces/governments? Especially when the war is waged in an occupied country, the host government is not stable and is virtually hostile, and the occupiers are unwilling to utilize massive secret police operations, summary executions, and terror tactics themselves to root out and suppress sympathizers?

    Our forces were equipped and trained for fighting a war over territory but not against a foe unwilling to respect civilians or to preserve the lives of its own “troops.” I don’t think a freedom-loving democracy can win such a war.



  • Aw man, I can understand why those two posting “geniouses” are staying off this thread. However, if one of them in particular rises from a deep sleep, he’s liable to post a diatribe longer than the first six chapters of the King James Bible, concerning military/hoops issues!



  • @Texas-Hawk-10 said:

    US troops have never been well trained or prepared for guerrilla warfare tactics. It’s why Vietnam was a disaster and why Iraq and Afghanistan dragged on for so long.

    Much of my family has served, including my father and his 5 brothers. There has always been military discussions at our dinner table.

    You are correct. Our general forces are structured for the old, traditional military theatre. Just look at our massive military budget and how money is spent on conventional war. If we appropriated more funds to contemporary situations we would be well served.

    Also, what most civilians don’t realize is how much goodwill our military does around the world. We perform the development of all kinds of civil improvements around the world, from building fresh water facilities to aiding in vaccinations and helping secure situations and rescue efforts. This goes on every single day and has so for decades.



  • @DoubleDD

    I think our biggest issue on this team is maintaining intensity. This team already knows how to play good defense, including some of the best defense I have seen in a Jayhawk uniform for a long, long time. This is largely a structural issue, which I address below, as it relates to leadership.

    I feel like our offense has grown stagnant, just like our defense. But it is being masked by the fact that we have so many killer offensive weapons that often masks poor offensive play by being able to hit tough, guarded shots.

    Making tough shots and scoring without overly hustling truly is “fool’s gold.” It is ENABLING our guys to play lazy basketball. Gosh, in that KSU game I can’t count the number of times I saw our player WATCHING the game instead of PLAYING the game. Just because they didn’t have the ball didn’t mean they should take the play off and just watch. Go back to your DVRs and watch it again. I’ve seen the KSU game 4 times now, and have watched the last 4 or 5 games at least 3 times. This has been a process where we have migrated into playing with less intensity.

    We may need to lose a game or two to wake up. I hope not. We definitely need something proving to these guys that their current intensity level just isn’t cutting it. They are starting to talk the talk, but walking the walk is what counts.

    This is the time when our experienced players need to step forward and lead. I’ve been skeptical about Frank staying at point for this very reason. He isn’t verbal or expressive, but we need a leader to step forward and push the guys along. Ryan did it for Nova last year and that was the difference for them. Josh is magnificent. But he is a freshman and I look at him more like a catalyst than a leader.

    I’m sticking to my original idea that Devonte is the key to this team going far in March, and maybe winning another Big 12 championship. He has the experience, intelligence, social skills and respect from his players to lead this team. This is THE FATAL FLAW with this team moving forward. He needs to be given the keys to this team and the responsibility of leading them. If we give him that ownership he will quickly become a completely different player, and hence we will have a completely different team. As it stands now, Devonte is being totally under-utilized. He may be our most-gifted player and for the most part, he hasn’t been showing us what he can do.



  • @drgnslayr

    Until Devonte is healed, he can’t be more than gimpy glue.



  • @DoubleDD

    I know that he won’t play Zone, and I seem to bring it up every year. I don’t like Zone Defense but it can be effective in situations and it should be on the table if these guys don’t feel like manning up. I’d hate to see us play 40 minutes in a game of man defense and clearly see it struggling without going to the bag of tricks.



  • @BeddieKU23

    Well I kind of like the idea, but agree that Coach most likely won’t play such a defense. Yet I think it could save on energy and fouls…

    After all this team is a little short handed in the post. Unless Mitch can step up.



  • @DoubleDD

    Good thing you mentioned the fouls and energy thing. That is another big issue we have on the horizon without the depth to give our guards a rest.


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