Extra Pass Makes Selden Crucial and Other Things

  • JNew’s story about Embiid and doubling has triggered some opining.

    How much doubling KU sees depends a lot on whether Embiid is good to go, or a gimp being used as an early decoy.

    If Lucas/Black play a lot of 5, ISU is quite likely NOT to double either, until one of them proves a threat in the paint.

    Perry often needs doubling, whe he plays against slow wide bodies, or guys his size and strength. It is the stronger guys just a little taller than he is, that give him fits. If I recall correctly, ISU’s guys gave Perry some problems without doubling him, but don’t hold me to this.

    So: let’s focus on Joel now. What if Joel can play and play 95% of normal? The double then becomes an every possession experience and the wings–Wayne Selden and Andrew Wiggins–become the guys that most often receive the passes out of the doubles, despite the pass to the 4 being the most desirable pass out of the double, as I will explain later.

    After two impressive offensive games a while back, Selden has been muted since. The causes are probably varied. Possible nagging understated injury. Self wanting to develop Embiid rapidly after Selden proved he could do it when called on. Some need to focus on defense against Brown and Smart. Then last game Self trying inflate Wiggins numbers against a chump team for a variety of reasons not crucial to go into here.

    But for whatever reason, Selden has been baking pop tarts, even though his 50/50 ball hustle has been inspiring. A big game is needed out of him on both ends. ISU can give KU fits for three reasons. They make our bigs hedge defend away from the hoop. They run L&S (long and strong) guards that stress our reliance on Tharpe, Mason and Frankamp. Clearly both ISU tendencies deny KU strengths and/or exploit weaknesses. And when ISU doubles our bigs on offense, it denies KU its core offensive game…unless KU makes 'em pay, as Self says.

    Note Self said, “Certainly the best way to handle it [the double] would be to be able to make passes out of it THEN MAKE THE EXTRA PASS, and knock down shots…”

    It is not enough to pass out of the double and shoot, because the defense always over shifts to deny the pass out of the double, the KU player that catches the pass out of the double is usually covered. It is the pass after the pass out of the double that finds an inevitably open man. And that man has to “knock 'em down” in order to “make 'em pay,” and so stop doubling.

    Selden is often going to be the wing man passed to out of the double. So: Selden has to be ready to muscle and explode away from his defender to receive the pass out of the double, then make the quick, accurate pass to the wide open man. If Selden cannot make this play, either because of green-ness, or nagging injury, Self will quickly have to default to either putting Tharpe, Frankamp, or Greene on the wing for Selden. Putting Tharpe or Frankamp on the wing, means going small against some L&S ISU guards–a recipe for problems. Greene, or White would be the ideal guys for the job, but could either of them deal with the kind of pressure ISU puts on without becoming pop tart factories? I suspect Self, if the lead permits,will go to either Greene, or White early to test that option. If either guy makes a quick mistake, then Self will probably just tough it out the rest of the game milking what minutes he can out of Selden, and depending mostly on Tharpe on the wing. In turn, this means a whole lot of weight could ride on Frank Mason’s shoulders tonight.

    Selden being physically sound and able to bring his A game means a ton. Selden is strong enough to explode away are receive the pass out. Selden is long enough to “see” the open man. And when he is the open man, when playing well, he is enough of a threat off the catch and shoot, or dribble and drive to “make 'em pay” for doubling inside. But Selden seems a question mark going into the game, because of his muted offense of late, and because of his pop-tarting.

    Wiggins on the other wing is needed in much the same way that Wiggins is. I don’t dwell on Wiggins, because he has been protecting better lately and finding his make some space and shoot game.

    For what its worth, we could definitely see Andrew returning to the low blocks for some stretches, if Lucas gets overwhelmed in the heat of battle. And there is going to be some serious heat in this battle. Bottom line, ISU HAS TO WIN IN LAWRENCE, OR ISU IS A BEST A CONFERENCE RUNNER UP. Thus, The Mayor of Ames will pull out all the stops tonight. His guys will be sky high. He will show lots of wrinkles early and late. There will be forearm and head plays. There might even be some stiff screens and stiff doubles. Players that do not wear cups may wish to consider wearing one tonight.

    Now, let’s get back to the “other” pass out of the double on the big man.

    One of obvious, but largely uncommented on reasons for running the Hi-Lo offense is to keep an opponent from concentrating force on a single post. To master the obvious, there are two posts in the hi-lo. And these two posts, in order to make it worth having two, are supposed to learn to play together so that when ever one is doubled the other is potentially uncovered, or partially covered by someone much shorter. If hi-lo bigs won’t play together, if they won’t perform together like Fred and Ginger beginning a begun, like Michael and Janet angered in the space ship, like Abbot and Costello doing “who’s on first?” (which is to say like a well-oiled twosome) then there really is no point to playing hi-lo at all.

    The very best pass out out of the double for a low post man to make, if the other team doubles with their power forward, is to KU’s other post man at the high post near the free throw line.

    Why? Because it is a quick short pass to someone in credible scoring position. He can jump shoot a FT without a dribble, because he is taller than whomever helps on him. He can dribble and dunk, for the same reason. Or he can a dish immediately to someone wide open.

    The next best pass out of a double is also to the high post, but it requires a screen be set on the high post’s man. When the high post comes off this screen, whether the high post is starting at the free throw line, or set up on the low block opposite the double, the low post passes to a great athlete breaking to the iron often without a defender on him, and at the very least being trailed by someone to small to get up and stop him.

    But sweet as this play is, it can sometimes be harder to make the pass for an inexperienced low post man like Joel.

    Cat skinning and countering doubling of post men can be done myriad ways.

    But you do need a sharp tool to do it.

    Self has said many times that Joel is an amazingly quick learner, a sponge he has said.

    My hunch is that if Joel is good to go physically, this could be the game where Joel exhibits his speedy learning and the Mayor of Ames is going to have to find other responses doubling to try to stay in the game with KU.

    It is going to be a very, very tough game. KU’s players do not yet know quite how tough it is going to be. This is truly their first came against a cornered D1 animal that knows it will shoot a whole lot better percentage than it did the last time.

    But if we handle the doubles in the post, it hits two birds with one stone.

    We make 'em pay and so eventually they stop the pressure.

    By making the passes to make 'em pay, we avoid the TOs they convert to points.

    Point production up.

    Shooting percentage up.

    TOs down.

    As the carny hustler calls, when the ring hangs on the bottle neck: We have a winnuh!

  • @jaybate 1.0 Reading your posts has helped with my quiet nervousness I have for tonight’s game. You are right…ISU is on life support as far as the conf. race goes and it is a must win. BTW, Baylor has been declared DOA.

    I would kindly add that our home crowd advantage is going to hopefully rattle the Cyclones like they haven’t yet experienced this year. That’s a plus for us too!

    Rock Chalk!

  • Capture.PNG

    Marcus Smart Wiki page. This cracked me up.

  • “It is going to be a very, very tough game. KU’s players do not yet know quite how tough it is going to be. This is truly their first came against a cornered D1 animal that knows it will shoot a whole lot better percentage than it did the last time.”

    My thoughts too. Last year, ISU played better against us at the Phog than they did in Ames. ISU won’t miss 21 three pointers this time.

  • @wrwlumpy

    That was a joke, It is funny because it is true - Dr. Sheldon Cooper

  • My call on what it is going to take to win tonight:

    1. Wiggins - He’s been playing better on away games… averaging 20+… It is time he puts in a dominant game at home.

    2. Selden - Needs to guard against TOs and make ISU pay for double-teams

    3. Embiid - ditto

    4. Ellis - Are you ready to play tough?

    5. Tharpe - Feel free to have another game like you had in Ames!

    This game could go in various directions. I see the obvious strategy of Hoiberg trying to win the foul war… meaning… we need to be prepared to see Marcus Smart-like basketball from all 5 positions.

    Why don’t we just flip this into our advantage? Why don’t we play the foul war to our favor and go after specific ISU players via isolations and drives?

    Our perimeter players have to fight through screens and stop the 3. Embiid needs to stay out of foul trouble. Ellis needs to show up.

    This is a pivotal game… not only for B12 standings. It’s a good test to see if we can execute at will and close out a game with solid play. I’m wanting to see a 14+ point victory to build my hopes for winning in Austin on Saturday.

    I see possibilities of a surprise hero tonight… maybe Lucas… maybe Traylor!

    @jaybate has it right… ISU HAS TO WIN! They need this win not only to hang around in B12 standings, but also to have a big time win for March seedings. Also, The Mayor needs momentum for his program. His sizzle has been reduced to a simmer.

  • @drgnslayr

    Nicely done. I think Ellis will do fine; his shots were not falling in the last game so he concentrated on rebounding and did that very well.

    As you said, getting the hot players in foul trouble is one way to go about it. Just have Tharpe and Mason and Selden and Green drive constantly against Kane, Ejim and Niang and 8 out of 10 times they will get a foul. If Kane is in foul trouble early, ISU will fold like cheap suit.Kane is the key player for ISU followed by Ejim and Niang which can be trouble, since they are tall players that can extend the defense and hit the three. If KU can control these 3 players, it should win easily by double figures.

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