Why Self Said FTs Probably Won the BU Game and Some Implications

  • Self said FTs probably decided the game. Why?

    First, KU achieved its apparent defensive objectives. It took away the rim game by guarding hard inside the arc and fouling shots taken there, especially off offensive rebounds, while at the same time giving short jumpers to a team that did not shoot those short jumpers very well. Essentially, KU took away one of BU’s two strengths–inside scoring.

    BU’s other strength, trey shooting first went red hot the first half, then cold the second half to shoot back to its usual still decent trey average by end of the game.

    Taken together, though KU really held down BU’s inside scoring and forced BU into unproductive short jump shooting, KU’s strategy did not work well enough to offset BU’s great trey shooting.

    To win by only ten, KU still had to make 89% of 29 FTs, and BU had to make only 45% of 20, even with KU’s own high shooting percentages inside itself.

    Without the great edge in FTAs and FT%, KU’s defensive strategy and high inside shooting percentages would probably not have produced a W. This is why Self said FTs probably determined the outcome.

    So: Why did KU get such a big edge in FTAs and FT%? Was that all just luck?


    Self stacked the FT deck and here is how.

    Defensively, KU concentrated fouling on BU’s bigs–BU’s worst FT shooters. This biased BU’s FT% down.

    Offensively, KU, especially the second half, concentrated the attack through Wiggins and Perry, two good FT shooters adroit at drawing fouls.

    In short, after KU accomplished its defensive strategy and only led by one, Self turned the game into a FT contest between two of our good FT shooters versus some of BU’s worst.

    KU won the FT shooting contest.

    And the game.


    KU did not win the non FT shooting part of the game and that should worry Self a great deal for coming games.

    BU showed KU is very vulnerable to good 3pt shooting coupled with strong offensive rebounding at a 64 possession pace.

    Okie State showed KU is very vulnerable to a 2-2-1 zone press that exposes weak ball handling and slows KU’s hurry up the court style.

    Shortly, opposing coaches will combine these exploits. And KU may not make 89% of FTAs and the opponents may make 65-70%.

    KU is definitely in the drivers seat after only five games, because of who they beat and where they beat them.

    But Self is right to compare this to the early inngs of a baseball game.

    KU has revealed some definite holes that other coaches will scheme to exploit.

    Unless KU can get better.

    And Self can keep pulling brilliant counter measures.

    Historically KU has and historically Self has been able to.

    But basketball happens in the present.

    Go Bill, go!!!

  • a·droit əˈdroit/ adjective 1. clever or skillful in using the hands or mind. “he was adroit at tax avoidance” synonyms: skillful, adept, dexterous, deft, nimble, able, capable, skilled, expert, masterly, masterful, master, practiced, handy, polished, slick, proficient, accomplished, gifted, talented; More antonyms: inept, clumsy

    Thx JB!

  • @jaybate 1.0 Every team is vulnerable to hot three point shooting. Look what Creighton did to Villanova on Saturday. There’s a certain threshold where, if a team hits that number of threes, you probably can’t beat them, no matter how well you play in other aspects of the game. I haven’t nailed it down specifically, but I think the number is between 15 and 17 for a regulation game. Simply put, 45 points on just 15 possessions in a college game is too many to give up and still have a strong likelihood of winning.

    I’ve seen lots of teams hit 10-12 threes in a game and still get beaten. Once you pass the 15 mark, it’s really tough because most games don’t have enough possessions to make up that deficit. Look at this game in particular. Baylor was outscored at the FT line by 17. Rebounds were almost even (Baylor +2). Turnovers were even. KU shot 57% to Baylor’s 39%. Those numbers would seem to indicate that KU won this game by at least 15 points, probably 20+. Except Baylor hit 13 threes. Not enough to win, but enough to make what should have been a blowout a pretty decent game.

    KU probably was a little lucky that Austin (71% FT shooter on the year) went 0-3 and Chery and Heslip (86% and 72%) went a combined 2-4. The strategy of fouling Jefferson and Gathers was definitely smart, as those two are roughly a 60% FT shooter.

  • @jaybate 1.0 Hey, jb, please forgive me for adding slayr’s addition to your artwork for my avatar. Seemed fitting. Thnx again for your time, innovation, and courtesy.

  • And Blown, many thnx for your advice regarding my changing the avatar. Took me 24 hours to figure it all out, but the deed is done. Now I am not so anonymous.

  • @justanotherfan -

    Am I the only one that thought Villanova received a bit of karma payback for hitting that game-winning prayer shot against us? I couldn’t help but snicker at their complete beat down from Creighton. I just hope we don’t run into any team shooting like that!

  • @drgnslayr Not shooting like Creighton for sure! Texas has some fire power and happy that they beat the kittycats last night. UT’s bigs have experience and Ridley gave it good to Gipson all last nght. If Iowa State fixes their issues or the rematch with OSU has Smart hitting his, you never know.

    I emailed a professor at Villanova who used to work here with me with a simple “Ouch” to pay him back for his email to me after the Bahamas. Karma is a … 🙂

  • REHawk, no problem. I’m sorry I didn’t explain it better so it could have taken you less time to complete.

    Slayr-as soon as a team beats Kansas, I want them to go undefeated for the remainder of the season to bolster KU’s SOS. But, I also like a little Karma once in a while, too!

  • @drgnslayr I enjoyed the Creighton win, both because it was Villanova, and also because I have several friends that are Creighton alums. But you can’t beat a team that shoots 21-35 from three. 60% on 30+ threes is an absolute death sentence. I was absolutely amazed at that display.

  • @justanotherfan First, I really like your contemplation about the reasonable threshold for too many made treys allowed.

    Second, while any team is vulnerable to a hot trey shooting team, it seems that: a) some teams are better at guarding the trey than others; and b) some times teams have to make triage choices between guarding the trey stripe and guarding the inside. It seems to me that Tharpe and Mason are not likely to be great trey defenders, because of their heights, and Selden probably has not recently been a great trey defender because of what appear to be some knee problems. I mention this because it appeared to me that Bill Self opted for trying to overplay and deny the inside scoring of Baylor and doing so put extra pressure on Selden, Tharpe and Mason trying to guard that stripe. If I were correct in this, then it would be reasonable to infer that Self’s strategy was in part responsible for the eventual trey percentage for the game, and the hot hand was responsible for it being so extremely high the first half and the cold hand were responsible for the lowness the second half. What I am trying to say is that Self could have committed more heavily to defending the trey stripe and the average of the first and second halves would have been lower overall. But he instead decided to take away Baylor’s inside game, because doing so not only took away the high percentage first shots inside, but also Baylor’s strength at offensive rebounding and sticking back missed treys. Self saw through Baylor’s dependence on initial inside shots, plus stick backs on trey shooting and elected (gambled) on taking away the short shots and stick backs in hopes that the less well defended trey shooting would not kill him. Alas, KU, though it lowered Baylor’s inside scoring significantly could not lower it enough to offset Baylor’s trey scoring in what turned out just and average trey shooting percentage for the entire game for Baylor. Thus, to reiterate, Self had to resort the second half to the tactic of fouling their bad foul shooters inside, and keeping the ball our good foul shooters hands to win a FT shooting contest, since he could not win the FG/trey shooting contest. This was a classic cast of good tactics saving a foiled strategy.

    It reminds me of what George Patton once said: good tactics can save bad strategy, but good strategy cannot save bad tactics. 🙂

  • @REHawk I want what you want. Call the avatar slayr and I contributed to a collaborative product of connectivity–a connected art work not attributable solely to anyone. EyeJazz, if you can pardon the pun. Visual improvisation. That’s cool. And innovative. At the same time, I confess to not being sure what it means to make my simple free throw circle into a gas pump, but perhaps on some level it ties into shoes and uniforms being made of petroleum based products these days. Whatever, I like the neo-Post Modern aesthetics that result. 🙂

    Hmm, one more thing. It might be cool to get slayr to give it just a bit of a downward squish of compression to introduce a bit of top down baroque into the Neo-Post Modern motif and maybe a touch more ornamentation on top. Ornamentation and compression might add something the form language. 🙂

  • link

    Trying to get better: Posting a link to the panorama view prior to Ok St Game.

    Edit: Struggling, found the same problem as RockChalk

    Next Step: keep trying


    Edt: Problem Solved!! Issue: trying to title the link by placing “Panorama Photo” within the parenthesis to the link)–@approx Why did it not work when I tried titling it w/ quotations inside the ( )

    P.S. I am the one in the blue shirt standing up.

  • @Blown Had an 404 Not Found Error on your link.

    I didn’t get to post after the OSU game but LOVED LOVED LOVED the crimson and blue sections. Looked really cool on TV.

  • @RockChalkinTexas I liked it too and envisioned it getting more more complex in imagery over time. Only thing I did not like was that on my tube, anyway, the crimson appeared a red with too much pink in it. At first glance, I even thought it might be orange. I would like a bolder red to be used. Picky, picky, picky. As Dr. Zeuss said: only Yinks like pink ink. 🙂

  • Since I saw the boxscore after the game, I have been thinking about your precise statement about us not winning the non-free throw shooting part of the game.

    What I tend to see in each KU win is that a particular part of the game might be concerning. Turnovers, free throw shooting, three point shooting, defense, handling the press, handling the zone, etc.

    But one common thread is that they are winning now.

    Good teams win. We’re getting good.

  • @jaybate 1.0 I know you asked on Jesse’s blog what was up with all the orange behind the bench and recall that you thought they were all HCBS’s relatives!!

    I found David Booth in the panaroma link that Blown posted. He has great seats.

    Front row, in the second seat over from the aisle, right before Greg Gurley/Bob Davis. He can probably sit wherever he wants to. 🙂

  • @RockChalkinTexas That is his Seat. He sits in that one when he is in town.

  • @Blown Repeat after me.

    This is my seat. There are many like it, but this is mine. My seat is my best friend. It is my life. I must master cheering as I must master my life.

    My seat, without me, is useless. Without my seat, I am useless. I must fire my cheers true. I must yell louder than my enemy who is trying to out yell me. I must out cheer him before he out cheers me. I will…

  • @dylans Yes, Sir. I Understand and I Will Obey, Sir.

  • @HighEliteMajor, well said, especially regarding Self, where he is always playing a variation of 70 point take what they give us. He will play at 80-90 if that is what it takes to find the exploit in the opponent, or 50-60. He is looking for edges and will sacrifice anything for a more optimal trade off.

    Except playing zone half court and 2-2-1 full court. 🙂

    I suppose exceptions prove rules. 🙂

    But the reasons I remarked on it specifically, were:

    1. there are better coaches that are going to have similar talent that are likely not going to let him turn it into a FT shooting contest;

    2. until Selden’s knees get better, this team could have trouble guarding the trey stripe and so win the floor game.

    Won’t it be ironic if in the end, it is Greene’s length as a defender that finally forces Self to gravitate more fully to Greene, than Greene’s length as a shooter? 🙂

  • @jaybate 1.0 Greene has the length and the motor. If the game can slow down for him by late Feb. I think he will be a terrific contributor as we zoom into Tournament Time. Ten to 12 minutes per game now might pay huge dividends by Madness.

  • @Blown Found KY sitting right behind KU’s bench (right behind the Gatorade) in his Superman T-shirt. His 'fro looks good! Aaron Rodgers is in the row right behind him down 3. Found Charlie Weis too. Too bad the team is not there for this.

  • @REHawk So hope you are right, Coach.

  • @jaybate 1.0 Yes, it would be ironic.

    And as you may know, I am a huge fan of the 3/4 2-2-1 press, full court 1-2-1-1 press, and 1-3-1 half court trap. I firmly believe that you could play variations regularly throughout the game, and play little to no man defense, and win titles in the game today.

    But Self is the coach, and he plays man to man period. Not an area I’m bank on him reconsidering.

    He did tease us a few years ago when he ran some 3/4 court stuff after Christmas, then ditched it. It was too good to be true.

  • Ok, I have to get this off my chest: if I hear one more Shocker whine that no one will play them, I’m going to puke. NO ONE MAKES YOU PLAY IN THAT RINKY DINK LEAGUE, WSU. Creighton got the message - they went to the Big East. They played the 4th ranked team in the nation in a conference game this week. What was WSU doing? Playing Indiana State, while their coach whined to anybody that would listen that everyone was “afraid to play them”. It’s real easy - join the Big East, Shockers.

  • @dylans Good night ladies. Hit it, sweatheart.

  • @Hawk8086 Ahhh!. Sweetheart.

  • @jaybate 1.0 Great discussion. We did see that Self put his BEST perimeter defender, Wiggins, on Heslip. As you said, height can be a factor in defense, but I think it still largely depends on the matchup and the defender in question. 6’3 Tyshawn got burned a fair amount by the trey, while 6’3 BStar did not. The 08 Champs got burned fairly regularly also, with 2 6’2 guards, and a 5’10 Sherron. Tharpe did chase Forte all over the place, only getting elevator-door-screened off for Forte’s wide open corner 3 late in that game. Wiggins is 6’8, so we could kiss Heslip and his Faylor team sayonara, finally. Speaking of Japanese, your quote from Patton is approp: Good strategy cannot overcome bad tactics, as while it was sound to lure the 3 remaining US flattops to battle at Midway for destruction, the tactical failures in that battle by the Japanese are now part of history. A more interesting conundrum for WW2 students is the German strategy to attack Russia–> no amount of brilliant tactical execution seemed to be enough to defeat Stalin.

    I thought Self’s strategy to change up our offense and defense vs. forlorn Scot Drufus, executed well-enough by this current gaggle of babyHawks, made sure Drew got NO sleep that night. 5-0 baby! RCJH!

  • @Hawk8086 😉 Gotta love FMJ

  • Didn’t realize Sen Harry Reid is a KU fan. He’s sitting right above the 6 on the scoreboard clock over the tunnel by the band. Even if he was a fan it wouldn’t change my opinion of the little weasel. (beer)

  • @ralster…Enemy at the Gates is a great movie if you haven’t seen it. Russian sniper Vassili Zaitsev during the battle for Stalingrad. (beer)

  • @ralster When analyzing which defenders affect which offensive strategies the best, height is only one factor.

    For example, let’s look at Heslip’s game. He’s a catch and shoot guy. He can put it on the floor, but that is not his preferred method of destruction. He wants to run off screens, catch and fire. For a guy like Heslip, size will present a problem, because he needs those screens to create that much more space if he’s going to get a good look over a lengthy defender like Wiggins. On the other hand, take a guy like Pierre Jackson from Baylor last year. A guy like Wiggins would not necessarily be as good a matchup on someone like him, because while Wiggins’ size would bother him, he would be looking to catch off those screens and drive. A player like Frank Mason would probably be a better matchup on a player with Pierre Jackson’s skill set and preferences.

    Taking your discussion of Tyshawn and Brady - Tyshawn was a very good “on-ball” defender. Brady was a good “off-ball” defender. Brady struggled against slashers, but did very well against catch and shoot guys where his primary job was to deny the ball and crash screens. Tyshawn was much better on ball, and defending the pick and roll. Part of this was because of their differing skill sets. To be a good on ball defender, you have to have quickness and athleticism first and foremost. Tyshawn had that. Just being smart and reviewing the scouting report won’t help you on ball if you don’t have the speed and agility to stay in front of a guy. Where that film study pays off is in defending off the ball, where you can “play the play” (i.e. over commit to the side where the play will go, thereby denying the initial action). You can do that off the ball because the guy without the ball can’t hurt you as much as long as your overplay doesn’t give him a free lane to the basket. Playing the play on the ball will get you embarrassed.

    Notice that when we played certain teams during that era (K-State comes to mind) Brady never guarded Pullen or Clemente for extended stretches. Self understood that he was better off putting Brady on a shooter as opposed to a scorer.

  • @HighEliteMajor-HCBS will still occasionally run the junk box & one or the triangle & two vs lesser teams with only one or two hotshots, but basically you’re dead right about the m2m and his stubbornness to make adjustments from it.

  • @brooksmd Haha, yes…I’ve seen it, classic movie. Ed Harris was pretty good in it also, and I am making my own K98 “sniper” rifle with a Zeiss scope to be one heckuva wall-decoration…Pearl Harbor was a good movie too, as the P40 chase scene was fun, as was the Kate Beckinsale eye-candy. Best WW2 movie of all time, so far, has to be Saving Pvt. Ryan. The only, and I mean only technical inaccuracy was using doctored-up Russian T-34 tank chassis to represent German Tiger tanks.

    I think, tying this “battle” talk back to Jaybate’s point about strategy and tactics…is that if either one is incorrect, it may lead to exaggerated casualties…which is never good.


  • @ralster I am a big believer every high school senior should watch Private Ryan before they graduate.

  • @ralster…We have several people who come out to the range I work at and shoot 91/30’s. Agreed with Pvt Ryan and will toss in Band of Brothers from tv. I might also add, anyone who comes to Nawlin’s, do yourself a favor and visit the WWII museum.

  • @brooksmd-I just watched the “Great Escape” late the other night for about the 25th time. Also I, once every year or two, will watch “Bridge On the River Kwai.” Some of these other war flicks like “We Were Soldiers” or “Black Hawk Down”, seem to have a little more personal relevance to myself & relatives, but to me, many of these are on comparison to the “Godfather” flicks that I enjoy every time I get to see them. “Apocalypse Now” is another I can see repeatedly every year or 2, & I’ve read many of these books, which IMO, are most always even better. In the last 5 years I’ve read most all of the SEALS books published & enjoy them immensely. At times I can almost smell the damn fuel & powder. Occasionally I step out to the back 40 & pop a few caps just for the hell of it. I did just that the day we lost to VCU a couple years back! You can find most all of them on amazon quite reasonable. Two of my all time favs are “Lone Survivor” & “SEAL of Honor.” You can’t go wrong with either of those if you really like a good book in the Winter time.

  • @brooksmd-Like someone else said a few days back, if Reid was to win the rat race, he’s still a friggin rat!

  • @globaljaybird – You’ve hit on a key point with me. I know there is some embellishment to all movies, but I’m more into the one’s that portray an actual event. I bought and read Lone Survivor after I first saw Marcus Luttrell do an interview. Now looking for an opportunity to see the movie. Can’t say enough about spec ops guys. My last assignment with the AF was at Hurlburt Fld, FL, which is the home of the 1st SOW. Those guys need wheelbarrows to carry their cahones. Hurlburt is also where the Doolittle raiders practiced carrier take-offs.

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