Night Hawks Waiting for Another Title

  • Nighthawks99B.jpg

    Not for rebroadcast, reproduction, re-transmission or re-distribution in any form. Not intended for commercial exploitation of any kind.

  • @jaybate 1.0 Killer!!!

  • @jaybate 1.0 Ed Hopper must be smiling!

  • @jaybate 1.0 Perhaps the guy with his back to us is Scott Drew, not even striving to stay incognito. Just thirsty for attachment to THE WAIT.

  • I hope so. Hopper is a hero of mine and IMHO the greatest painter America produced in the 20th Century, even allowing for America’s other manifold and towering accomplishments in the various genres of regionalist, modernist abstraction, and post modern. It was a great century of American art and Hopper always spoke most deeply of all to me. I could not resist humorously and affectionately fusing these two things I love so much in a paintograph: Hopper and The Legacy of KU basketball. It gets at the idea that it can be lonely waiting for something, being a fan, even when one is amongst many other fans. It is a shared loneliness this waiting. But better than not waiting together, as the darkened realm beyond the cold, but brightly lit diner makes clear by juxtaposition. Oh, yes, and Hopper’s ironic and existential undertones remain, also.

    Rock Chalk!!!

  • jb, maybe you could contact Hopper’s heirs for licensing rights to print your photoshop on 100,000 fleece or velour 60" blankets to be sold at the bookstore or some trendy Country Club Plaza vendor. Turn the proceeds into airline tickets and lodgings, to lure home every living ex-Jayhawk hoopster for an early fall or midsummer halcyon occasion at The Phog. First 5,000 spectating fans to consist of school-aged kids on crimson and blue track to become lifelong Jayhawk savants.

  • @jaybate 1.0 Great, great point about “the idea that it can be lonely waiting for something, even when one is amongst many other fans”. This is exactly why some KU fans really spill a lot of inner angst about a player or a KU loss, as their deep expectations carry a lot of pressure, and some just dont reconcile negative setbacks with those lofty expectations very well. I’ve always posted at-large comments hoping it would trigger something better in those that need to hear it: Get analytical after the loss. Watch the game on the dvr a 2nd time. What plays didnt we make? That we normally DO make? Or: It was more than just EJ at the end of Michigan…it was a team fail. Same team built a big lead on Michigan. Tape doesnt lie, as Self says.

    And I would continue to say, analytically, that every aspect of Self’s playstyle philosophy is chosen because of how each aspect simply stacks the statistical odds of KU-success during a game (if we do certain things). Things like getting extra possessions (steals, rebounds), good (high%) shot selection (which is why we will never be an outside-in team), stiff defense (make it hard for opponent to get high% shots of his own), defend whole shot clock (makes rushed shot att even less% by opponent), and 50/50 ball hustle (gets us extra possessions). ALL THESE THINGS ADD UP BY GAME’S END. This is Selfball’s basics. The complexity is the elegant but devastating screens we run to free up a player for an easy shot or dunk, so there are many half-court plays to run that set such up. The other development is something Self added to appease the KU Roy-ball lovers: transition ball. His twist is that stiff defense or snagging a rebound can be outlet passed to feed a transition break (“good defense+rbnds can feed transition breaks”). Everyone loves transition ball highlight-reel plays. And those are high% looks, that put heavy pressure on defenders, often forcing a foul on an opponent. Turnovers, of course, un-do everything you are trying to do, as it took away your chance, and gives a freebie to the opponent (elemental), but at least you see why the “quick hook” unless he has no choice, or if a player has earned PT and is allowed to play thru mistakes. He handles each player individually in this regard.

    So, understanding what Self’s grand masterplan is (which is really the details buried in EACH and EVERY possession, all game long), can help analyze a loss: what DIDNT we do that caused the loss. Self has this down to a science, and we fans should also. Thus we can forego the tantrum-like overreactions of some fans, for the more knowledgeable, analytical approach that I wish more royalty program fans would follow…especially educated alumni of such programs, especially us here at KU.


  • @REHawk, thanks for the good idea and positive thought, but I never mix business and love and I love my Jayhawks and Edward Hopper. This is all recreational and has to stay that way. Same with my posts. Sometimes alias suggest I ought to collect them, but that would be entirely contrary to my purpose of contributing them to a KU basketball online community. The game’s the thing. But it sure as heck would be easy for someone else to contact the Hopper heirs for a good cause and do their own rendering in order to try to raise money for a good cause. Rock Chalk!

  • @ralster Have always agreed with your at-large comment postings, especially about EJ; that’s what I have always thought was useful to do for all the players Self asks to play out of position–Mario at the 2, Russell at the 1, Brady at the 3, EJ at the point, Jamari at the 5, and now Perry at the 4. These guys that get heavily criticized for short comings in performance that track directly to playing out of position, need respect and understanding, rather than scorn and criticism of inadequacy. I mean think about Jamari Traylor, at a true 6-6, or 6-7, having to play backup 5 to a footer before this! Now, Jamari gets to play a 4, and he is slowly growing into the position, rather than just endlessly having the fact that he lacked the basic equipment to play the 5 exposed when he played.

    I never get down on Josh Selby, because he was a PG that played out of position at the 3!!! I mean the guy was by definition about the team. He didn’t ask to be born poor. He didnt get to pick who his mom befriended when he was young. He didn’t get to pick that his mom and her advisor apparently early on picked Bruce Pearl, as he and UTenn were imploding. At least they picked right once, and chose KU as a safe port in the storm. If Josh needed to go to the L to put food on the table and get mom a roof, what is wrong with that? Heck yes, Selby could have probably had a better pro career had he stayed at KU another season, or two, but he sacrificed for his family, whether it was the wise thing, or not. Sacrificing for your family by definition makes you an above average guy, whether or not it turns out to have been the wisest choice in the end. I know I don’t recall another point guard that played out of position at the 3 for D1 blue blood. And yet Selby endlessly got grief for unfulfilled expectations.

    Same with Brady. The guy was a natural born 6-3 2 guard with a 40% trey gun and a very, very sound defender, so sound that until his last season, he almost always took the toughest opposing perimeter player. He typically guarded guys 2-4 inches taller than himself. And yet fans endlessly said if this guy weren’t playing the 3 KU would be so much better. Nuts. The point was that he was playing out of position and sacrificing for the team, because the team DIDN’T HAVE A 3 THAT WAS MENTALLY DEVELOPED ENOUGH TO PERFORM AT A HIGH LEVEL. And then Brady plays backup 2, back up 1, and backup 3, so that KU could better back up and absorb the TOs made by the guys Self put ahead of him at 1, 2, and 3 has last two seasons? And people want to complain about a guy that absolutely would have been better off parked at the 2, and shooting 40% treys, and guarding other 2s.

    How did people dump on EJ, Brady and Josh just to name three for most of their careers? Its always been incomprehensible to me. Sure, people hyper ventilate after a big loss, but what has always amazed me is that so many keep it up through thick and thin for entire seasons, for entire careers.

    Andrew Wiggins isn’t playing out of position. He just got over hyped and miscast. He didn’t ask his brain trust to enable the over-hyping and miscasting. He was just a kid playing the game and letting his brain trust do what it thought best. He came out of high school early, maybe too early. Maybe that was his choice, but that decision has never been a precise one. And at least he chose a right way program. But Andrew Wiggins has never been started out of position by Self for a season the way Mario, Russell, Brady, EJ and now Perry have been for multiple seasons. What would happen to Andrew Wiggins’s fan response, if he not only had to put up with falling short of hyper-hype, but also had to play out of position at point guard, or center? It would be even more brutal than what he has had to put up with.

    I love KU fans and how knowledgeable they are. But if I could wave a wand and change one thing it would be to make them more grateful to the players that play out of position–to be more tolerant of their shortcomings when they do. Self would not play these guys out of position, if he did not think that doing so was the only way to get the most out of the team.

    Rock Chalk!

  • @jaybate 1.0 Nice - under 2008 go ahead and put up the 20__ in anticipation.

  • This is great JB. I like your taste, lady (red hair) in red.

  • @jaybate 1.0

    Nice work! You did Hopper justice!

  • Thanks to everyone for indulging my flight of fancy.

    Now back to hoops. 🙂

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