So What's Your Opinion? Did KU and UT Leave It All on the Court for 40 Minutes? Or Did They Conserve?
Or did the two coaches and teams kind of pace themselves for their upcoming games?
Texas plays OU in Austin on Monday night.
KU plays WVU on Tuesday night in Morgantown.
Both teams had an incentive to conserve.
But did they?
79-67 with 60 and 59 FGAs is one of those tweener games IMHO. Not a low possession game for sure. But at the same time, for two teams that showed several times that they had guys that could really get up and down the floor, there were several major muddied up stretches of the game. So: it wasn’t a high possession game either. Neither team just kept pushing it the whole game. It didn’t wind up 98-90.
It kind of felt to me like they each played half of a half at a pretty intense level, and conserved the other half.
All in all the pace appeared very good for KU. Not so fast as to be tiring. And not so intense as to prevent Self from squeezing out 22 minutes to Bragg and Lightfoot to keep Josh and Landen at 30 and 32 minutes, rather than having to gut it out to 38, or 40.
Frank and Devonte were cut all the way back from 38-40 to 34-36, which at this point, probably seems like a light scrimmage to them.
It will be interesting to see how everyone holds up energy wise in Morgantown against the press. Its not 2 in 3, but its not really 2 in a full 4. since there is a travel day involved that is kind of a tweener effect.
One would expect to see three point shooting percentage suffer if the legs tire in Morgantown.
But even if legs don’t tire, KU shot 48% from trey on 23 treys and even broke 70 percent from the FT line, and so there is significant risk of shooting back to age. I haven’t checked. Usually WVU can’t shoot the trey, so maybe it won’t matter if we cool down to the mid thirties from Trey.
What we don’t want, however, is a convergence of shooting back to average and tired legs making it even worse.
Really, though the only lead lining to these silver 18-1 clouds today, despite some stretches of ugly play, was our FG shooting inside the trey stripe. Net out the trey makes and attempts and you see 17 of 37 inside the stripe for 36.1%. Now, I know there are fouls to think about effecting that, but 36.1% is mighty low for short shooting.
If we are a bunch of Ice-Hand Isaacs from trey and have the same struggle scoring inside, we’ll probably lose. Period. Unless…
Self can find a defensive wrinkle the venerable Huggie Bear has not thought about in his long career.
But we are going to definitely need to put on our defensive hats in Morgantown. Too often I focus too much on managing the press. One has to do that. But doing that without handcuffing the Mountaineers on defense leaves us at the mercy of the 3 point gods.
@jaybate-1.0 we should have legs enough for Tuesday. Today was not exactly a barnburner and hopefully Landen will be better.
I don’t think we really played with great energy or effort outside of the first few minutes. We got up 19-4 with about 15 to go and was out played other than a few spurts the rest of the way IMO. Silly turnovers like crazy and messing up easy lob plays time after time. I think this team takes more possessions off than in the past on both ends, maybe it’s because we have a such a short bench.
@kjayhawks could be saving their energy for when they really need it. Our defensive energy for certain stretches was terrific
@jaybate-1.0 We played 20 minutes today. Maybe it was three dimensional chess, but that other 20 minutes that we took off, man oh man.
Maybe it was three dimensional chess,
Agree that those bursts of defensive energy were very good signs. A few weeks back he tried a few times to see if they could win it on the defensive end without many wrinkles, and they foundered and he had to bail them out. Today, he didn’t really have to bail them out, because of some of those defensive bursts they found within themselves… That I think is a real positive for moving forward.
I think you’re right about the taking off possessions. But I also think it may be attributable some to Self working on trying to get the team to the point of finding its own ways to win, rather than always relying on his wrinkles to bail them out. We have to remember that while Frank, Devonte and Landen have been through this crucible Self puts teams through each season; i.e., finding ways to win a game without the coach’s help, Svi, Vick and Josh have not been. It makes it a bit of a jerky jerky process bringing 2-3 guys up to this level, while also trying to keep winning games. But it does seem like Frank and Devonte actually sometimes kind of slack off just a hair to try to make Svi, Vick and J0sh ramp it up a little to compensate. Its hard to prove things like this, because great coaches don’t reveal their deepest secrets about how they build teams. Maybe they don’t even fully understand what they are doing themselves. But this is most definitely how Self’s teams progress through seasons and this team just happens to be a little more this way than most. Self usually peaks them some time in mid December, so the team knows just how good it can be and what being good is; then Self seems to break the team back down again and work on chinks in the armor, and say, "See, I have shown you what I can do when help you, but I won’t always be able to help you out there at certain decisive moments. Its at those times that you have to figure out how to win games without me. Then he takes them through this kind of ugly, funky period and lets them find their ways; then he finally says at some point: we’re ready, let’s go get’tem with everything we’ve got. And Self returns to creating wrinkles and giving them every kind of edge he can and they begin to feel ten feet tall.
Texas Hawk 10
I think what KU did today is what Self would like to do every game. Build an early, and be able to allow the team to play a slower tempo and blow teams out. I know we’d all like to see KU win every game by 20+ and have Tyler Self and the rest of the EoB guys a few minutes a game, but that’s not going to happen with this team.
Self is going to have to rest guys by having KU go on short spurts like 8-0, 10-2 or something similar instead of the 20-5 type runs we’re accustomed to. It takes less energy for these short spurts and this team is good enough offensively to keep opponents at arms length without losing. It’s basically the same philosophy Self used in 2012 when KY and Teahan were the bench and KU won a bunch of close games.
So basically, I think Self is buying rest by getting KU up into a 12-15 lead range, then take some possessions off and let teams get back to within 4-5 points, rinse, and repeat.
@Texas-Hawk-10 I think your analysis is accurate.
Was able to watch today’s game from a few rows up from court. Very easily able to read body language. Did not appear to be a max effort performance. Seemed to coast. Mason had a small sized brace on his knee that was hard to see under the white tights. Lucas appeared gased all games and I am fairly certain his wrist isn’t right.
@Blown Landen was very sick, Bill said
@jaybate-1.0 Really good stuff. Where the hell is Vick? Vick needs more minutes.
U lucky devil. Thx for the report from the front!!!
He’ll get them in Morgantown, if he can deal with the heat and beat. It’s going to get tough.
Self is moving more and more to shortening games, as he did with 2012 Finals team.
The technique goes back a long way in basketball. You break the game up in 5 minute chunks and try to beat a team for 5 minutes, then muddy it up for 5. Repeat. My old high school coach used to call it “squirt and dirt.”
Short bench = short game.
@jaybate-1.0 exactly. The ultimate test will be the next two weeks. Really brutal schedule, but still possible to clear.
@jaybate-1.0 Very Lucky–this was also a treat for our 5/9/12 year olds!
@Texas-Hawk-10 at 49-53 when the guys were bringing the ball up the court, Self said “hey, hey guys, you are going to have to play now, okay” Seemed awfully strange at the time, especially because wasn’t saying it stressfully or with anger. Just a matter of fact “hey guys” Your analysis paired with that makes a lot of sense.