For Those Handwringing about the State of this KU Team...

  • I believe we should not read too much into recent play.

    Self has clearly had his team “working on stuff” in this run of games against the bottom half of the conference

    He has clearly been playing his Magnificient Seven into shape to be only seven, when the chips are down.

    We must wait till KU plays a top half team in a 2 in 3 set.

    And it must be the better team of the two in the 2 in 3 set.

    When we see them go out amped up and with a full set of wrinkles bequeathed by Self, then and only then can we be sure of what the sorcerer of fractured syntax and his team can do.

    Wizards mislead for virtuous ends.

    Devils and demons do it for the love of evil.

    Since he won the first half of this 2 in 3 against OSU, the gambler in him will be tempted to see if he can steal one in Ames with another no-amp performance. Because the next four games, five if you count ISU on the back end, are going to require big time efforts. And we know Self thinks you can’t get teams up for every game in a stretch of big games. He likes to pick and choose where and when he spends his amps.

    Still, what makes most sense is to amp a little for ISU in Ames in order to steal a W early on the road against a top half team; that is Self’s MO in the past.

    Next, he comes home and relies on homecourt advantage to get a no amp win over a troubled Texas team.

    Next, he amps full out in Morgantown to literally steal the conference championship right then and there by stealing a road win against the top challenger.

    No amp for noncon UK game. Let the media get his guys up.

    Baylor at home a big, humongous amp!!!

    Then see if his guys can beat ISU in Allen by themselves with a bunch of wrinkles, but no amp.

    Amp and wrinkles for KSU in Bramlage.

    No amp for TTech in Lubbock but lots of misdirection wrinkles for Huggie to prepare for the next game.

    BIG FAT AMP for WVU in Lawrence.

    Baylor in Waco is going to be Self spurring a very tired horse down the back stretch in hopes it sees a chance to ice the title in Waco, fatigued or not.

    Cantor in giving all the back ups maximum minutes.

    Prepare to win the Conference Tournament.

    Number 1 seed.

    Save the best each weekend for the best opponent, find a way to win with out an amp against the other team.

    Anticipate that the farther KU goes the more likely it is for refs to try to provoke Josh into misbehaving to justify ejecting him in the first half. Self will have to scheme around that.

    Final game: get out quick the first half, then muddy it up figuring the refs will favor the opponent with the whistle, slow slowing it down will make it harder for the refs. Get out quick the second half. repeat. KU needs to enter the last 30 seconds five up, or the refs will give it to the EST team.

    KU gets the championship despite a slew of bad no calls down the stretch, plus an appeal time out with 4 seconds to go to rest the legs of the EST team with possession.

    KU defies the stacked deck.

    4-stars are added to the OADs and 5 stars that Self is not allowed to sign.

    Self takes another four years, but becomes the first coach in NCAA history to beat the recruiting embargo and win with 3-starts.

    Self is given all the OADs and allowed to win ten straight.

    Rock Chalk!

  • Well, in a low fouling game tonight, Josh was hit with a bundle. Can’t remember now, but either the 3rd or 4th of his infractions looked controversial. So, perhaps once again he gets tagged with an unearned penalty. Does seem to be an ongoing situation for Josh. But his determination always to be in the thick of the action might be explanation enough for the steady assault of whistles. He is a very active competitor who might be moving too fast for officials to judge accurately. Was good to see him handle the adversity without earning another Technical. That 5th foul in the closing two minutes might have come at an opportune moment, as it could have saved Josh from being cast in role of the goat if he had been fouled down the stretch…and had come up short at the line. This was certainly one of his worst scoring games, but his assists were marvelous, and he was our leading rebounder. So, on the offensive end he earned his keep. The one sorry 3 pt. shot was a distraction; however, Mason passed injudiciously to him with 2 Cyclones closing in for a trap in the corner, leaving the ball in jeopardy. It appeared that Bill Self reamed Mason as much as he did Josh for that misjudgment.

  • The first foul on Josh was a phantom call (the tripping).

    Unfortunately, that wasn’t the last time they blew a call.

  • @bskeet i think I’ve said that at least twice!😡

  • @Crimsonorblue22 Just catching up on all the threads tonight…

  • @bskeet I wasn’t mad at u!!

  • @Crimsonorblue22 Ah… .Cool…

    Refs =3 blind 🐁

    Refs calls = 😡

  • @bskeet we both just noticed it !

  • @jaybate-1.0 I can’t ever recall Self going with a 7 man rotation and it has me concerned. We have to find a way for one more guy to give us 10 min a game so Frank and Davonte can steal a couple more minutes rest. Your tired horse comment is spot on, and now Frank also has a flat tire, to mix my metaphors. We have banner hanging talent and chemistry, but until we find one more capable body, I fear we will not have banner hanging health.

  • @jaybate-1.0

    “Magnificient Seven”


  • I still think we are waiting to break out coleby🙏🤔

  • @bskeet Agree, I saw that call and said to myself & to my Jayhawk plaque, & to my dog & to my wife ( and to my wife whom never listens by the way) & to my other do - - I says JUMPIN GEE HOSSA FATS what the hell was that BS call, the dam TV didn’t listen to me either, so I promptly took another sip of my beer and settled back down. - -I couldn’t believe that call, I think the guy fell over his own two feet - - - ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY

  • @jayballer54 He tripped on Josh’s stationary right foot. The correct call when the ball handler fell was a travel. It’s weird that Josh continues to draw a couple of incorrect fouls each game. I call it the Josh jinx. It started before he picked up the technical foul calls.

  • Great topic. It does seem logical to not use amps or get the guys “hyped up” for a home game against Texas or Oklahoma State. Most of our games will have to be grind it out style games due to the short bench, just like in 2012, with the occasional up tempo hype up game. No need to use too much energy for this Saturday against Texas then rest up for the trip to Morgantown. That game will be very important because it is followed by Kentucky, and we don’t want to go 0-2.

  • I’m not handwringing about a seven man rotation. I am handwringing about whether Frank’s knee is going to be an issue going forward in a seven man rotation.

    My worry since early in the season was the burden Frank would have to carry, as he has shown signs of wear each season as the season wound down. Frank is a warrior, no doubt, so this isn’t a criticism of him. But the body can only absorb so much punishment without recovery. Frank’s style absorbs (and dishes out) a lot of punishment. He has demonstrated that he is in superior physical condition.

    But your joints don’t care what kind of shape you are in or how strong you are. Joints wear. They just do. And when they wear, they sap your explosiveness. They drain your quickness. Not all at once. No, it’s a slow bleed.

    Frank needs some well timed rest, whether that’s a day of practice each week, or a few minutes of game action here and there. Coach Self needs to get creative on how he can keep his best leader on the floor through April, because if this team is going to get to where it can go, Frank will be leading the charge.

    As for Josh and fouls, Josh is a really difficult player to officiate for a lot of college officials because he is much more gifted both athletically and with basketball IQ than the players they see on an everyday basis. He’s like Wiggins, only shifted into permanent turbo mode. Josh makes plays because of his speed, quickness, balance and coordination that would be fouls for most any other player.

    Take the block last night. How many guys can go get that block without:

    1. jumping on the guys back for a foul
    2. having to wait until the ball came down and committing a goaltending violation
    3. failing to even catch up because they just aren’t fast enough

    85% of D1 players fall into Category 3. They wouldn’t even catch up, so forget about it. 13% are in Category 1. They can elevate to avoid the goaltending, but they aren’t explosive enough to elevate from far enough behind to avoid fouling the shooter.

    The last 2%? Well, most would end up mis-timing their jump and either fouling or goal tending. Probably 98% of that 2% would end up doing that.

    That leaves Josh and maybe a handful of other guys that could actually make that play in that situation. So if you’re a D1 official, there’s maybe 4 or 5 guys in the country in any given year that could make that play. The list of guys at KU, Kentucky, Duke and UNC in the last 25 years that could make that play:

    1. Andrew Wiggins
    2. Josh Jackson
    3. a healthy Joel Embiid (maybe)
    4. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
    5. Anthony Davis (maybe)
    6. Willie Cauley-Stein
    7. Grant Hill
    8. Justise Winslow
    9. Vince Carter

    That’s probably the entire list. Embiid likely would not have had the anticipation and timing to make that play while he was at KU. Davis probably isn’t quite fast enough. The others I’m pretty confident about, but look at that list again. Every single person on that list was a lottery pick!!! College officials just don’t see the kinds of guys that can make those kinds of plays in situations where those types of plays get made, so they call it the way they call it the other 99.999% of the time.

  • @justanotherfan I’ve heard coach say he gives Frank more days off in practice.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 yes they have had less practice time to accommodate for the slim rotation.

  • The 2011-2012 teams was basically a 7 player team, maybe 8 if you consider Wesley’s 8.6 mpg and the next year was not that different with 8th player Traylor averaging 9.6 mpg. Wesley and Traylor played less during the second half of the season (conference) so both were pretty much 7 player teams. Coach Self has always indicated that by conference time he likes to have 7-8 man rotation…nothing really new.

  • @JayHawkFanToo The rotation size isn’t different than usual, the lack of depth is. If a guard goes down, Tyler Self is next guard off the bench. That’s how little depth KU has in back court. Anytime Mason or Graham take a bump or fall, Tyler Self is that close to being a factor this year.

  • @Texas-Hawk-10

    Tyler Self is the new Conner Teahan…😃

  • @Texas-Hawk-10

    In 2011-2012 the depth was freshman Nadir Tharpe and Jordan Juenemann and in 2012-2013 Anrio Adams and Evan Manning…not really that different.

  • There is a Grand Canyon sized chasm between Connor and Tyler. I’d play lightfoot at guard before Tyler, as lovable as he may be.

  • @Fightsongwriter so would Self

  • @Fightsongwriter

    Except we are talking guards and Lightfoot is not a guard; he is my stated breakout player for KU but still not a guard. Vick would play guard in a pinch but he is already part of the 7 man rotation. BTW, Teahan WAS part of the 7 player rotation and not end of the bench depth.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 said:

    I still think we are waiting to break out coleby🙏🤔

    Rumours that he will retire from basketball or politely be shown the door after this season swirling on the Phog.

  • @BShark oh!

  • @JayHawkFanToo Uh, you missed the point there by several miles.

  • @Fightsongwriter

    Nope, you changed the gist of the discussion to fit your argument. We were talking about guard depth beyond the current rotation of 7, not bigs, not wings but guards. I simply indicated that KU has played with shallow guard depth before and cited examples but you instead compared Teahan with Self…of course there is a world of difference between them this why Teahan was starter and Self was at the end of the bench.

    …and yes, I know what you are trying to do by saying that you would play Lightfoot at guard before Self…which you and I know is just silly.

  • @JayHawkFanToo I got what he meant, sounds like he’s not going to argue w/you. Me either😁

  • I’m curious where the injuries really occur. They play at most 120 minutes of basketball in games a week, usually just 80. No one for KU is playing all 40 minutes so more like 70 minutes per week max.

    How many minutes of practice each week? In my experience the good coaches had practices so hard the games were easy by comparison.

    So where does the wear and tear occur? In practice due to the strenous nature (long burn) or in games because of players giving 110% (hard burn)? I don’t know when Frank hurt his knee, but Dok was finished off in practice. How many black eyes did the players sport last year from practice?

    I just don’t know where the true fault lies. I do know if you don’t practice enough in contact sports you definitely will be injured in games. Where is the line?

  • @dylans

    I played something like 25 years of organized basketball, starting in my youth. I continually moved up to a higher level of competitive basketball. I finished a far cry from the level of play KU is at. But I did make considerable gains along the way.

    I suffered one very major injury that ended my play. I had several semi-severe injuries earlier.

    From my experience, the risk of injury grew considerably as I became better conditioned and played at a higher level. So I know the risk of injury is higher as the level of play becomes higher. Even knowing that, I can’t really imagine what our guys go through at that level of play. I feel like we are lucky if we only lose one player per season.

    I think strength and conditioning are important on many levels but is not the panacea. Kind of a double-edged sword. On one hand, getting in better shape helps players from getting tired to the point where injuries become more possible. Strengthening muscles and joints is a huge help preventing joint injuries. To a point.

    But the other edge of the sword is that the improvement in strength and condition also raises their competitive capacity. They are jumping higher and running faster. The hardwoods always remain the hardwoods. With the added athleticism they hit the floor harder and they collide with each other harder.

    To a lesser extent it reminds me of where football has gone. When you have a 400 lb lineman running a 4.4 40 you are going to create problems. The NFL is trying to reduce injuries with more rules, and I’m sure those rules are helping. But they can’t stop what is happening. Watching the game on TV does not really give you an understanding of how hard those guys are hitting. If you are watching the playoffs so far, there have been some insane hits, often to the head. Most of the time those players keep playing and just had their “bell rung.” But there is no way they escape long term consequences. No way.

    The game of football is being outgrown by the level of athleticism developing.

    Basketball is suffering this same situation, but at least the injuries are not so often to the head.

    Here is something where stats would be very helpful. I’d like to know if severe injuries are on the rise in college basketball. Does anyone out there have the numbers?

  • @dylans

    Injuries can occur during either, obviously.

    Freak injuries, like the one that took out Azuibuke, can happen basically anytime just by falling the wrong way, or getting tangled up or whatever.

    Those aren’t the injuries I am concerned about because you can’t do much to prevent that, other than wrap everyone in bubble wrap and not play.

    The one’s I am referencing are the compounding ones. Let’s say Frank bangs knees with Tyler during a drill in practice before the Armed Forces game in Hawaii. So Frank’s knee is sore, but he’s not hurt by any means. He can absolutely play (and should). So he plays three games in 7 days, with a practice between each game, plus a light shoot around thrown in.

    He doesn’t re-injure the knee, but it’s still sore and he has to wrap it up. It gets stiff after flights, and in the morning sometimes, but again, he’s not hurt, so there’s no need to pull him from the lineup.

    Except next is a three games in five days stretch. Knee is holding up, but still sore. Hurts after practice and games sometimes now. Not nearly enough to keep him off the court, but now they are trying to monitor his activity in practice. It’s just sore, after all.

    Another three games in a week stretch, knee starting to feel better. They back off his practice load a bit, so he’s not sore after practice anymore.

    Bangs the knee again right before the Finals break. Not as bad as the first time, but we’re right back to where we were a month ago. The cold weather isn’t helping, as it’s stiff every morning. Not limiting him in games or anything, but it takes a while to get loose. He’s getting more time off in practice, but a lot of that time is spent getting that knee to behave so it doesn’t stiffen up.

    Which brings us to this weekend. Saturday game. Monday game. Knee couldn’t quite get loose on Monday and was flaring up during the game for the first time all season. Thankfully, there’s no other games until Saturday, but Tuesday has that monster trip to Morgantown, where that knee will get a real test.

    Now, I don’t know if that’s what happened at all, but everything I just wrote could have easily happened without Frank ever being too hurt to either play or practice, and showing no signs of any problem until Monday.

    Think of the dozens of times Frank has taken a fall and we have all held our collective breath. Any one of those moments could have been a fall that banged a knee or tweaked an ankle or smacked a hip that was already sore from something that happened several weeks ago. That’s the wear and tear, and it doesn’t get better until after the season.

    You have to manage that, and for a guy with Frank’s style, that means days off in practice, and limiting minutes in games when you can so he doesn’t take a hard fall when you’re up 18 with three minutes to go in a game that was long since decided so he doesn’t re-tweak that ankle, or smack that hip again, or bang that knee one more time.

  • @justanotherfan

    Good points… and don’t all our guys get more used to playing with pains anyways?

    Don’t you wonder just how much pain a guy like Frank has played through without making notice to it?

    Pain is there for a reason. It is a warning sign.

  • @BShark

    It’s certainly possible that could happen with how slow his injury has healed.

    If he did it could make KU attractive for any late signing Bigs (Euro’s, transfers, de-commits).

    I still think Tilmon is one to watch with Illinois 12-7 and likely headed for a 12+ loss season that would put Groce clearly on the hot-seat. Getting any Top 100 big to pair with Preston would really be an ideal situation to end this recruiting cycle.

  • @BShark Why is that? Injury? Ability? or Attitude?

  • @Hawk8086 his attitude looks great on the bench.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 That;s what I thought…

  • @BeddieKU23 said:


    It’s certainly possible that could happen with how slow his injury has healed.

    If he did it could make KU attractive for any late signing Bigs (Euro’s, transfers, de-commits).

    I still think Tilmon is one to watch with Illinois 12-7 and likely headed for a 12+ loss season that would put Groce clearly on the hot-seat. Getting any Top 100 big to pair with Preston would really be an ideal situation to end this recruiting cycle.

    Tilmon did sign though, so that makes it tougher.

    @Hawk8086 said:

    @BShark Why is that? Injury? Ability? or Attitude?

    Some combination I’m sure. I didn’t read much beyond the first few posts about it since it’s just speculation.

  • @jaybate-1.0 said:

    Still, what makes most sense is to amp a little for ISU in Ames in order to steal a W early on the road against a top half team; that is Self’s MO in the past.

    Which he did very specifically by saying Vick and Bragg were gonna win the game for KU.

    Excellent tactics.

    Personally Im not worried about the conference season. KU will, at very least, share it with WVU or Baylor, or both. Im fine with that.

    What I am worried about is KU’s defense. Ranked #30 per kenpom the last time I checked. That is not final four material. Sweet 16, yah sure. But if they dont lock down their defense by late March, well, lets just say Id have a bad feeling about this Chewie.

  • @Fightsongwriter Come on! The 2012 team only had 6 guys! Six! plus Justin Wesley…

  • @Lulufulu Sorry, not correct. 8 guys on that team played in 37 games and averaged 10 min per game ot more. Wesley was not one of them.

  • @jayballer54 Agree… It sure looked like he tripped himself.

    In any case, the refs continue to put a damper on JJ. That call was within the first 2 minutes of the game. Maybe the first minute. That changed the way he could play for the rest of the game (and he still had the amazing block from behind).

  • @Fightsongwriter

    Wrong. Only 7 players averaged in double digits MPG and Jamari averaged 9.6 mpg like I posted above; the next two guards were Anrio Adams and Evan Manning…again, like I posted above since the discussion was about “guard depth” outside the top 7 players. During conference play the main rotation players mpg increased and the bench players mpg decreased…juts like I posted…


  • @JayHawkFanToo Not wrong and @Lulufulu was sort of right. Come on you are grasping at straws. Jamari was the 8th in 12-13 (and the accusation was we only played 6). 9 or 10, or 9.6536217892 for the hair splitters are generally substantive minutes per game. You can have a legit role and play more than mop up. Look at this year, and with Doke out, we only have 7.

    In 11-12 we did, in fact, play 7 + Some noble effort mins by movie Wilt. Makes you wonder what might have been had we had one more able and talented player.

    And by the way, an aside is quite different than a topic change. The aside had to do with assessing Tyler’s ability, not the 7 vs. 8+ debate.

  • Ok this settles it. Keegan just “reported” ( I use that term VERY loosely with him) that a 7 man rotation was enough for Ted to make the F4 in 74. If keegs is saying it’s an ok idea then we can assume it’s not.

    Generally speaking, I want the example to be a team that wins it all not the one that come up short.

  • @Fightsongwriter

    The truth is always a work in progress.

  • Et al,

    I’m not taking sides in this one. I know everyone is disputing a specific season with better memories than mine, but to redirect slightly, a 7, 6, or 5-man rotation could go deep, but the shorter the rotation, the more the team is vulnerable to bad match-ups, fouls, sickness, injury, cold hand, and broken heart.

    So: we are looking at trade offs between a group of players that play the most, because they are the most net productive together most of the time, plus the occasional out of nowhere performance usually needed by a guy who really isn’t a regular rotation guy. Thinking here of Cole against UNC in '08.

    My point is bench depth has two aspects: frequent rotation, infrequent rotation.

    Number in frequent rotation tends to shorten, as competition heightens, because increasingly few of your guys are good enough to keep up with opponents.

    But even so, once in awhile there are situations that require you to go to the bench and ask a guy to rise to the occasion.

    The '08 team was arguably 3 guards, Rush and 3 bigs, for a 7-man rotation down the stretch, regardless of how many played significant rotation minutes in rotation during the first 2/3s of the season.

    But even that 7-man rotation required that one half of one game from one guy to get her done.

    So: you can (and Self does) shorten to 7, or 6, sooner or later, BUT…

    Self without some quality players beyond that 7-6 shortened rotation is almost certainly going to get clipped over 6 games.

    The 2012 second place team was that situation.

    The first six played together the best of any six man team I can recall. They were magnificently complementary.

    But against U.K. they needed one more guy with D1 talent to come to the rescue for even just that first half…someone that could have afforded to get physical with Gilchrist, or the UK PG, and take them out of their comfort zone that first half. Not great play, but passionately aggressive play with enough raw talent to be out there.

    This year’s team increasingly appears shy of that kind of player come March, too.

    Lightfoot or Coleby do not appear capable of delivering a truly disruptive half in a pinch inside against an All American big that KU has to disrupt to win, as Cole did in '08.

    I frankly have no idea how Self has kept winning with Doke out. It’s apparently great guard play, using Josh to run their 4s ragged, Landen guarding and boarding, and some weak teams.

    But what will Self do against a true stretch 6-9 230 pound 4 that can guard Josh inside and out, and has a money move inside?

    The genius seems to have his work cut out for him this year.

  • If KU is 10 deep there is no chemistry. If KU is 7 deep they develop chemistry. Roy’s teams used to be deep and they could run you to death in the regular season by throwing bodies at you and keeping the pace up. However, come tournament time there are sooooooo many tv timeouts the conditioning edge he held is moot. A 7 man lineup will have plenty of energy and will have great chemistry. Fouls are one of KU’s biggest enemies.

  • @jaybate-1.0 You summarized my fear come tourney time. I was glad you mentioned Cole in 2008…we do not have that guy this year…unless Lightfoot or Coleby turns in such a performance in a pinch.

  • @jaybate-1.0 Would Bill Self have the cojones to use both Mitch and Coleby for a spell in March? he might need to. I fully agree with your point about Cole in 08

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