Get Ready For the Riverboat Gambler...

  • Our next game will be a tough test. We face the #1 post scorer in college basketball, Caleb Swanigan, and we’ve proven our low post defense is lacking.

    Get ready for the Riverboat Gambler. Coach Self is about to make a play in this hand. He is going to raise the stakes and no one knows if he is bluffing or not. Might he hold two aces in the hole?


    Dwight Coleby is looking like one of our hidden aces. He came through HUGE today! He did more than hold his own… he may have given us the best post defense for the game! Surely, he will continue to get some minutes. Every week going by just makes him a better player because he is starting to get his “hop” back!


    Yes… rub your eyes! We could see Doke back this year! We’ve already seen him dunk the ball in practice… but we don’t need him for his offense. We need his defense and his ability to give us 5 free extra fouls!

    I’d like some conformation on this… I am under the opinion that some protective wear can be used, but it must first be found acceptable by the NCAA.

    In the very least… I am expecting Doke’s name to be mentioned this week, if for no other reason than to be part of a bluff.

    I don’t foresee needing Doke for any other games except this one. Swanigan’s size is mostly about his girth.

    Are we ready to be shocked when Bill mentions Doke’s name this week?

  • Doke will not be back for any tournament play this year. Not sure how serious you were being though.

  • @BShark

    I’m as serious as any player sitting at the poker table. Am I bluffing?

  • @drgnslayr


  • @drgnslayr I would be shocked!

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    Me, too!

  • Double team Swanigan, and let Josh, Frank, and Devonte, and Vick outrun Purdue.

  • Bill already said to the press 2 weeks ago there is zero chance Doke Will play, so either he is the worst poker player and has revealed his hand. Or he is the best bluffer of all time.

  • @Fightsongwriter I bout died when doke dunked in warmups

  • @Crimsonorblue22 Wonder what bill said about it. Sounds like a 17 year old kid not doing what the doctor ordered.

  • @drgnslayr Doke did a one handed dunk with his right hand which is his non injured hand/wrist. Doke is not playing in this tournament.

  • @ralster We’re not out running this Purdue team that’s averaging 80 ppg. This isn’t a standard Purdue team that grinds out wins. This Purdue team is 9th nationally in 3FG% and has taken more 3’s than KU. Doubling Swanigan and kicking out for an open 3 has been a large part of their offense this year.

    Purdue has 5 guys that play big minutes that shoot over 40% from 3. This is a dangerous game for KU because Purdue is really good against one of KU’s biggest weaknesses.

  • @Fightsongwriter he was there, he let him

  • @Texas-Hawk-10 what about our transition, can they run?

  • Frank can take on Swanigan I bet. He wasn’t afraid of Bridges - didn’t back down.


  • @Crimsonorblue22

    Where KU needs to abuse them is their lack of quickness on D. Probably going to be a high scoring game. I think KU will win by 1 or 2 possessions.

  • @RockChalkinTexas I posted link to this. Awesome pic! I’ll delete mine

  • @Crimsonorblue22 They’re not the fastest team, but you don’t average 80 ppg playing slow either.

  • @RockChalkinTexas Not about the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog!

  • @Crimsonorblue22 Sorry didn’t see.

  • @BShark

    As long as we rebound… we should be using our primary and secondary breaks.

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    Amen to that!

  • Doubt Doke could make it up and down the floor 5 times.

    Purdue worries me. Has since seeing them put in our bracket.

  • I was anticipating Purdue in our bracket before the end of the regular season. I thought they would be a 2 or 3 seed.

    They must be the highest #4. We would have to play them at some point. Might as well be on Thursday, when the team will be able to prepare for a short week.

  • We have a huge advantage in the back-court over Purdue. HUGE

  • @drgnslayr

    First, pure, uncut 'slayr!

    Next, I’ll take two cards and raise.

    Self has been saving him.

    Doke starts vs. Purdue and double doubles!

    Now, who’s bluffing?

    I’m not worried about Swanigan per se, even without Doke. We see super players go off regularly against us, but we guard the rest. I’m worried about:

    1.) painter being smart enough to use his two bigs to run scissors and force Josh into switching onto Swanigan; then Swanigan fouling Josh up;

    2.) Painter fouling up Landen too by the continual inside play;

    3.) Purdue roughness softening us up for second game next week;

    1. getting fouled up; and

    5.) getting fouled up.

    Painter will not be too proud, or too faint-hearted to play from behind for 30 minutes, if necessary to foul up Josh or Landen.

    If Painter does this and KU’s run of 40% trey balling runs into a small rim, its curtains. PERIOD.

    No matter how terrific our guards are.

    There are two ways to beat KU.

    Huggie showed one way, but Purdue isn’t a pressing team.

    The other way is to foul KU up at 4, or 5.

  • @BeddieKU23

    This will come down to -

    KU Back Court vs PURDUE Front Court

    As we all know… back court play typically wins in March.

    I don’t think we have to run Doke in order to win. Unless… we don’t take control of the back court. If we let them play their speed… if we let them feed the post with ease… and if our perimeter defense plays mushy… yes… we will lose!

    This IS the classic game… Back Court vs Front Court! If your guards play disruptor and make it hard for Purdue to feed the post… and we get them sped up on our pace… and we run some open court offense when we can… I don’t see how Purdue has a chance. They shouldn’t have a chance. Their only chance is if we give it to them!

    And our secret weapon should be our “3 Amigos” driving the ball right at Swanigan to collect his fouls! We put Swanigan in foul trouble and kiss this game over!

  • The key for KU is to make Swanigan work, but to prevent his kickouts. Swanigan can go for 35 and Purdue won’t beat us if we neutralize the rest of their shooters.

    If Swanigan goes for 25, has 8 assists and they make 12 threes, they will absolutely beat us.

    We have to be content with Swanigan doing his damage. Make him shoot over high hands. Lucas is big enough to bother Swanigan’s shots if he just stays big inside. We don’t want to put him on the line a bunch, but we don’t want him shooting 65% from the field, either.

    More than anything, though, we cannot allow Purdue to play two big men at once. We have to run them off the floor when they try to play Swanigan and Haas together. Limit Haas to less than 15 minutes. He’s their third leading scorer, but if they can’t play Swanigan and Haas together, that’s a huge benefit to KU.

    This may be the game that we need that Josh Jackson game, the 25 point, 14 board, 7 assist, 3 block, 2 steal performance that he has been holding in his back pocket all year. This may be that game where Jackson needs to dial that one up to overwhelm Purdue by being, without a doubt, the best player in the country.

  • Took a look at Purdues schedule. Not super impressive. Losses to Iowa, Nebraska, Villanova, Michigan (twice), Louisville, and Minnesota. Granted 5 tournament teams in there, but there were home losses in there to Nova, Minnesota and some pretty bad road losses to Iowa and Nebraska. Their best win is probably Wisconsin, a home game, and ISU this weekend. That doesn’t mean they’re not a good team, I do think they were the best team in the Big1G, but they’re definitely beatable.

    They’re good at shooting, 40% on 3’s and 76% FT’s. They have a fairly deep bench too, including 2013 Michigan sniper Spike Albrecht. You might remember his really good 1st half against Louisville in the title game that year. But he really isn’t a major player for them at all.

    So somehow a team with this great height managed to lose 7 games, so there’s something missing with them. They look scary good when you watch them play, but then they lose. It will be an upset should they pull this off, not an all time shocker however, just a surprise.

  • @drgnslayr This is not the typical low scoring, grind it out Purdue basketball team. This team likes up tempo (they average 80 ppg, 35th nationally) and they can shoot the 3 almost as well as KU (Purdue is 9th in 3FG%).

    The key for KU is to keep Purdue from lighting up the perimeter because that’s how KU will lose. Let Lucas and Coleby bang with Swanigan and let whatever happens there happen. KU cannot let Purdue shoot lights out from deep if they want to win.

  • @drgnslayr

    I don’t see how Purdue has a chance. They shouldn’t have a chance. Their only chance is if we give it to them!

    Classic line!

    KU is the better team, we just have that way and we’ll be playing for a chance for the Final 4. This team will score on Purdue, Purdue is about to face the best offensive team its faced all year and nothing about their defense is fearsome. Purdue is a solid matchup but its a very winnable game is how I’m looking at it. Given that Self has 4 days to prepare for them is even more of an advantage. I’m confident and looking forward to this game.

  • @jaybate-1.0 then if that happens, we should go zone to protect Josh and Landen. Coleby would need to be huge.

  • I honestly don’t care if Biggie goes for 40 and 20, as long as we don’t let Matthias and Vince and Carson Edwards have big games. There is a reason multiple big guys have had career games and we still win - we didn’t allow others to have a career night also.

  • @Texas-Hawk-10

    I think we are a MUCH faster team than Purdue. Their speed is only relative to their conference, which is not a particularly fast conference.

    We were able to speed up MSU yesterday and it worked like a charm, especially down the stretch.

    And if Purdue wants to run 2 bigs… we need to make them pay.

    It is important on how we think about this game. If we think, “their size is going to be a problem” then it will be.

    But if we think, “we have to take advantage of our speed over their size” then we will win, probably by a large amount.

    Also… if we scrap for rebounds like we did against MSU, we will be fine. We out-rebounded them by quite a bit and Landen had 11 boards.

    Defensive rebounds should lead to more run outs.

  • @HawkChamp

    That’s true… but we’ve never faced anyone near the skill level of Swanigan. And if Purdue can get out in front with Swanigan, they will go to him almost every play.

    This will be a funny game. We are actually playing a “Self team!” The MSU version of a hi/lo.

    We better take Swanigan serious… this is the way we used to play and Self has a trophy cabinet full of victories with this style!

    If we can’t stop any part of Swanigan, then we have to play a game focused on out-scoring them and just hope we get hot from trey.

  • We don’t hit shots against Purdue, we are toast. Simple as that, in my opinion. They stay big, they out-rebound us handily. Not going to get many second chance opportunities.

    For some reason, they went small against Iowa St. If they do that again, I like our chances there, too.

  • @drgnslayr I think many get intimidated by size. Look at their games against Iowa State and Vermont - both were close games. You are absolutely right - they will have a pretty big problem with how to guard our perimeter players. Let Biggie get his double double. BUT we have to guard the three and have a good amount of ball pressure to disrupt their half court offense. We need to do what ISU did in the second half during their huge comeback - speed up the game, spread Purdue out, and make Biggie guard someone. If Painter wants to put he and Haas in at the same time, then Biggie will have to guard Josh. That is a monster matchup advantage for us.

    I think this is the one game where we will definitely need to play zone when they have both big guys in. It keeps our guys out of foul trouble and would probably limit their easy points at the basket.

  • @drgnslayr thats true. Biggie is really, really good, but he isnt Karl Anthony Towns or Anthony Davis. He is just an ok defender and he does miss shots occasionally. I am more concerned with how our guys play. If we run, limit turnovers, defend the three and make some shots, I like our chances to play in the regional final.

  • @Blown I think they went small because Haas and Swanigan cant keep up with guards. Burton went off the second half when Swanigan was on him.

  • @HawkChamp

    He isn’t the defender like Towns or Davis. But he may be the best of the 3 on offense.

    I hope we don’t have to resort to a zone. Won’t be good news if we have to.

    I’d like to see our guards defend well and cause a disruption and speed them up. That is our best option. Don’t let them set in their offense. Keep a constant pressure on the ball. That is key. When their PG is holding the ball at the top of the key, put pressure on him. Don’t let him slow down the tempo and set up Swanigan in the post.

    Really… we just have to impose our game onto them instead of other way around. I do think it helps that we have a “home game” for this because it should help us control tempo.

  • Diving into some stats about Purdue.

    Obviously Swanigan is important in limiting.

    Rebounding is another key. Purdue is 27-1 in the last 2 years in games it out-rebounds the opponent.

    The 3rd key- force Purdue into tough perimeter shots. Why? Take their 3 starters for instance.

    Dakota Mathias - 61% of his made baskets are from 3-pointers

    PJ Thompson- 62% of his made baskets are from 3-pointers

    Ryan Cline- 80% of his made baskets are from 3-pointers

    KU struggles against the 3, have all year. Not sure we’ll be able to limit them if they want to chuck them and they will, its proven to be a vital part of their offense much like KU uses the 3. We’ll have to hope they make less then normal…

  • @drgnslayr

    I don’t agree on comparing Swanigan to Towns or Davis, he is not in the same league. Towns and Anthony had a lot of scorers around them so it was not their primary roles to score. Both were #1 picks and have you seen them in the NBA? Town and Davis pretty much score at will and both are both candidates for POY and future Hall of Famers where Swanigan is projected to be a late first round pick and will end up as a journeyman in the NBA.

  • @BeddieKU23 or just cover their shooters

  • @HawkChamp

    They have 6 of them, pretty impossible to expect to cover them all. But guys could play to the scouting report and know that these 3 in particular are not going to take/make many 2 point shots in a game. I’m sure Self and company will notice and plan for their action. Up to the guys to bring the effort on defense

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