Crystal Ball Observations....

  • doke.jpg

    Where would we be today if we still had Doke?

    What would be the outcome in March with him versus without him?

  • @drgnslayr

    That’s one of the best!

    Who knows where we would be. Would Lucas be playing this good of ball without Doke subbing for him?

    The analytics peeps say our defense would probably be better, Doke’s rim protection probably would keep our efficiency higher then it is currently.

    Certainly could have used him for Kentucky & Baylor will all those athletes we’ll see. I think that’s where we miss him the most.

  • @BeddieKU23 Doke is a better blocker, but Lucas is a better defender otherwise (positioning help defense etc…).

  • @Barney

    I agree Lucas plays better defense overall but Doke was the x-factor for us as far as rim protection/altering shots at the rim. Would teams score as easy at the rim with his element of talent on the floor?

  • KU would be better with Doke, no question. LL would have been starting by now anyway though.

  • I think we could be a better team come March, but I’m not certain of it.

    I’m a huge Doke fan… I’ve been hot on his game ever since he was in HS. But in this particular situation, I’m not sure how much help he would give us this year.

    Let’s put away the thoughts of all those blocks and stuffs for a second.

    Let’s think about his FT shooting, his fouls, his miscues and his lack of integration with his teammates.

    Was he too far behind to become a big positive for us this year?

    How would he impact tempo?

    Target for “hack a Shaq?”

    Accruing lots of fouls helping push our opponents into the double bonus sooner?

    Kicking us back to a 3-guard offense?

    Refocus back to the hi/lo?

    Team development falls behind because Doke is behind?

    Landen still lost because of the haze over PT at the 5?

    I know that sounds like Negative Ned. But those are all real questions that require more than a crystal ball.

    I’m actually looking at this with a glass half full. I’m assuming we are a better team because of the struggle we faced losing him.

    And Doke will be here next year and ready to plug in to dominate!

  • @drgnslayr All good questions, but is it a coincidence that our defensive efficiency rating has deteriorated significantly since he has been out? Perhaps - could be a function of the quality of opponents. Definitely limitations and negatives - wouldn’t want him in close, late game situations, but the fact is that he was our only rim protector and shot alteror in the post. Still has more blocks than LL in 1/3 the minutes. More than twice as many as Bragg in half the minutes.

    Bottom line is that I would sure like to have had him available for 10-15 minutes a game to eat up fouls (and so LL is not so tentative) and for certain match-ups. But, I agree that offense runs a lot better with LL…

  • @DCHawker we are not CONSISTENTLY better or worse without him defensively. This team was not looking like a juggernaut defensively when he wasnt hurt for whatever reason. We are still in a good position without him. While it is nice to discuss hypotheticals and what ifs, there is no use in saying we would be much better. Who knows how much he would have played anyway and would Landen have been able to get back to where he was?

  • @DCHawker

    I ponder both sides of this subject and go back and forth.

    Sure, I’d like to have more depth in the post, especially a monster like Doke.

    But the other side of me thinks we are in a better position without him. When I just reread what I posted above… those are a lot of issues that would impact our year.

    I will ponder this throughout the remaining season.

    I know one thing… I’m thrilled to know he will be back next year and he will be in a better position to help us more.

  • We might be 18-1, well 18-2 now, but maybe not! Don’t know if he makes much difference last night.

  • @drgnslayr I think he definitely does makes that much of a difference. By the end of the season he would have been a monster. Plus, teams would have had to start doubling him. Look how well we have started to feed the lob into LL. Imagine Doke being the one running guys up the lane now. Last night we had Lightfoot in the middle of the 2-3 zone. Imagine Doke out there instead for all of those minutes.

    Doke by the time March rolled around would have been a completely different player than he was at the beginning of the season. The offense would have figured out how to play with him in there and he would have learned how to keep the offense moving. He got better on defense every game we watched and by now woulr be shutting the opponents center completely out of the game.

    Doke was an X factor. He was the piece that gave us the wiggle room we needed. We could go 2 posts against a big team. Now we can’t. LL could play more aggressively. Now he can’t. And we had the biggest player on the floor at all times so no matter what you threw at us in the post, we could have handled it. Now, we obviously can’t do that. We miss Doke very very much.

  • @Kcmatt7

    I don’t see the offense in Doke yet. He just had dunking, and his FT shooting is light years away. He wasn’t going to shoot well at the line this year…no way. He has zero form, and what he was doing changed literally every time he took a FT. Shooting FTs requires developing a regiment, lots of practice repetition, developing muscle memory, etc. There are plenty of players that never develop the touch, no guarantees on Doke, even if he works his tail off. Wilt couldn’t shoot a FT if his life depended on it.

    If I am an opposing coach, I wouldn’t see the need to double down on Doke. I would just instruct my post guys to foul him if he gets the ball at the rim. That foul probably wouldn’t even cost them a point. Since our offense ranks high and creates probably over a point per possession, it would be wise to sucker us into feeding the post so they can hack him.

    I think Doke would have improved… but I am yet to imagine him being a difference-maker. He is a mile and a doughnut from being a JoJo.

    Let’s see what he does next year… after another year of Jayhawk basketball. I don’t want to be over-critical on Doke… he has enormous potential and just needs the time to develop.

    But note that we will have to make sacrifices to play Doke’s game. He has brought his weight down a lot, but he still wasn’t conditioned well enough to go more than a few minutes at a time. Will that improve? Hard to say. His genetics holds the cards (issues like lung capacity). I’m pretty sure we will have to go to a very slow game if we want to build our team around Doke. That even effects guard recruitment for a few years. Do you know any 5-star guards that want to play a slow game?

  • @drgnslayr He would definitely be a benefit offensively over our current post production.

    Look at his stats per 40 compared to the other two guys who get PT. I’ll even use Landen’s conference per 40 stats for his benefit.


    • PPG: 15.5 on 9 shots. Efficiency of 1.72 points per shot
    • 8 FTA per game
    • 13 mpg


    • PPG: 16.1 on 13 shots. Efficiency of 1.24 points per shot
    • 4.4 FTA per game
    • 15 mpg


    • PPG: 13 on 8.2 shots. Efficiency of 1.58 points per shot
    • 3.8 FTA per game
    • 23 mpg

    On top of that, Udoka blocks 4 more shots per 40 minutes and alters many more shots which lead to runouts and fast break points. He gets opponents in foul trouble. Putting opponents in foul trouble is a huge offensive plus. It can take a rim protector right out of the game.

    Even if you argue that Landen is more effective, replacing Bragg’s minutes with Udoka would be a HUGE net positive for this team. Both offensively and defensively.

    I don’t know what guard wouldn’t want to play with a monster on the blocks. A guy that can get blocks and hit them on an outlet pass down the floor for an easy dunk. Or he runs a guy up the lane for an easy stat stuffing assist. And I don’t see him being the reason we have to play slow. Look at how UNC runs Meeks up and down the floor. Doke could easily do the same for spurts. Can he play 25 mpg? Probably not. But 15-20 he can play at a fast pace. Doke would be a game changer for this team. I’m not saying they can’t win without him because they clearly can. But with him. holy cow.

  • @Kcmatt7 Stats for 40 minutes for Udoka are meaningless. He couldn’t stay on the floor for 20 minutes both because of his shape and his penchant for fouling. Comparing him to Meeks at UNC at this stage of his career also proves nothing. Meeks was also a big man who came in huge and out of shape. It has taken him 3 years to get into the shape needed to play big minutes in Roy’s offense.

    Doke is a freshman with little high school experience. He could block shots and make dunks and that was about it. The think we miss most about him right now is 5 additional fouls to give and some dunks that get the crowd excited. You have to remember, however, that the 5 fouls are nice but they also come at the price of the other team getting free throws and a large part of those would cost 2 shots.

    You might also remember that Doke played in the early part of the schedule. Coaches weren’t scheming against him then as they would be in the conference if he were to perform as you think. This is almost a repeat of two years ago when Cliff was going to be the savior even when he was wandering about trying to figure out where he should be.

    Doke will probably be very good in another year. The biggest loss is the experience that he is not getting even in a limited role.

  • @Kcmatt7

    Well stated.

    Hey… I’m not a happy camper that we lost Doke. My real point is that there are pluses and minuses with having him around this year.

    Would we still be playing a 3-guard offense if Doke was still playing? Good chance of it.

    But I have to be fair… hard to say if we are better with a 4-1 or a 3-2? Many of us feel like we are better as a 4-1, but can’t necessarily prove it.

    I give Bill a lot of credit for making the right choices. He is very well paid to do that, and his record is outstanding.

    I’m just putting a line of thought out there. I definitely am glad we have Doke and look forward to seeing him grow into his role next year!

  • Said it before and will say it again because I like to see myself type. The loss of Doke this year is minimal when comparing it to what it’s going to cost us next year. as some of have mentioned he would have not likely beaten LL out. But he will basically be starting all over this summer and fall learning the offensive sets.

  • @Blown so he can’t observe and try to learn the sets by being at practice? Hmmm…

  • @HawkChamp I watched Nolan Ryan throw strikes with curves and fastballs all the time. Does that mean I could go out to the mound and replicate it ?

  • @Blown said:

    @HawkChamp I watched Nolan Ryan throw strikes with curves and fastballs all the time. Does that mean I could go out to the mound and replicate it ?

    Cute! But if you were an injured pitcher watching Ryan, you could have learned a hell of a lot. Mechanics, pacing, pitch selection, placement, deportment, who to challenge, situational awareness…

  • @mayjay @Blown

    I think you are both half right. While a newbie pitched could learn about the various techniques by watching, it might not do him much good until he actually throws the ball and even then, he might never master it even with lots of practice.

  • @mayjay Don’t forget to factor in that Dok is new to the game of basketball, and is only 17 years old. It’s not like he has a lifetime of development under his belt and needs to just watch sets to memorize them and run them effectively.

    As you, and any other athlete knows, one of the most important pieces of performance is developing muscle memory through repetition. No matter how much you visualize something, it can only take you so far.

  • @sfbahawk The 40 mpg is only to show production at a comparable minute. Would you like me to make the stats 20 mpg? The Numbers will quite literally come out half. And the efficiency stat will be the exact same. The real number is how efficient of a scorer Udoka is. And he is by far the most efficient scorer out of all of our posts.

    And Kennedy Meeks is a phenomenal example. He played 16 mpg as a freshmen. All we would have asked Doke to do. Meeks also came on late in the year and had several big games that won games for UNC that same season.

  • @drgnslayr I think we would have played plenty of 4 guard still. Hard to run the 3-2 when you only have 3 posts and all of them are foul prone.

    And there are games that we would rather go 3-2, don’t you think? We don’t have that option really now…

    I definitely don’t think I’m as basketball savvy as many of you. So I could be way off by thinking Doke would have been a huge difference maker. But with how big of a disappointment Bragg has been, I can’t help but think that Doke would be a game changer.

  • @Blown you are right! No matter how much you watch practice or film, it’s not the same as physically going thru it. Reps. Even practice is not as good as real games. At least he gets to travel and experience the road environment. Huge loss to the team! I think he was much faster in small spurts getting down the court!

  • @Blown I agree that it cannot improve his physical talent as well as participating. I was just pointing out the huge chance for development of his bb IQ while observing. Not ideal, but far more helpful to him than to a neophyte watching and trying to do it!

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