The March To (And Through) KC
After a well played first weekend, we look forward to our second four team tourney - Marching to KC:
1. Self Over Izzo: A couple of reporters observed Self calmer than normal during the game. Here’s a quote from Self, “It’s a hard game to coach because nobody is listening to me. Shooting too fast. I was a fun, fast paced game.” That’s awesome. There is zero doubt that he is coaching differently, and that his change in approach is well calculated. Great coaches do that.
2. Scott Drew: Apparently Scott Drew (a regular punching bag here) visited KU locker room and wished the Hawks good luck. Thought that was pretty cool. Also cool was the UC Davis players after our first game, and the well wishes from the MSU team. Izzo is a great guy, great coach. There is also a neat story on Tom Crean that Jay Bilas posted, where he bought food for and gave a bible to a struggling couple. My guess is that with many of these guys, the view we have is far from the truth. But with some, they may be as bad or worse than some assume.
3. Dwight Coleby: Terrific decision by Self to use Coleby over Bragg. I entered the tourney hoping he’d channel his inner Jeff Graves. He’s not at that level. But he could be exactly what we need. And critical to a title run. He seems to be exactly what Carlton Bragg is not. Coleby could be a much needed fouler Thursday vs. Purdue. Remember Justin Wesley? Enters, immediate foul. Just as if the refs knew they could even up the fouls and Self would be quiet about it. When Coleby came in today I was sure that his first defensive possession would be a foul. He held his ground, held his arms straight up – no foul. A sign the refs see him as a real player. That’s good. He does have fouls to give, though.
4. Purdue: Remember KU/MU, 2012? We could not play Withey and TRob together. Why? Because MU had Kim English at the 4. We could not guard him with Withey or TRob. It forced us to play small. Swanigan is a beast. But he’s one guy. Purdue is pretty stout. But who isn’t this time of the year? Odd I mentioned 2012 – a key Teahan three helped us squeak past the Boilermakers that tourney. Purdue is a good team. We’ll have to be on our game. But we’ll march on.
5. Nova: All those Villanova faithful are just polishing their nice, shiny ring from last season. The early exit this season is meaningless. I’m sure they don’t care. Much like we didn’t care much that the Royals missed the playoffs last season. The luster is still there. Nova has immortality with the national title. It does mean that much – and more.
6. Bad Officiating: No accountability is my biggest gripe. The ultimate old boys’ network. Lots of back scratching going on. From an inexplicable no charge call in the UNC/Ark game that turned the tide, to the ridiculous no goal-tending call in the NW/Gonzaga game (followed by the technical), to latent inconsistency within the same half of the same game. It’s not that they are bad, so much, it’s that they don’t pay for their incompetence like other professions. They just keep getting work.
7. Underwood: My first impression is that he’s pretty ungrateful. Did he get rejected on a raise request? Is the AD hard to work with – the same AD that game him a power 5 job? I don’t know. All I know is that OSU is a better job than Illinois. That much I’m quite sure of.
8. Bill Self Leaving?: Hear me out here – Tyler graduating, unprecedented turmoil with the press, etc., never know about the behind the scenes stuff with the administration, possible NBA jobs opening up come summer, no players that he has a major emotional attachment to (Graham would only have a year left), weak recruiting class – and – and – a national title? I know it’s not likely (Self leaving), but this could be a testy summer even if there is no national title. If there is another national title, Self will go down as KU’s greatest coach. And if he left after a second title, I would not be shocked. And no one even mentions OSU anymore. Odd.
9. Oregon/Michigan: Who’s worried? I’m not. Good programs. Good teams. No sleeping on those programs – no UNI or VCU there. At AFH “EAST”. Like our region now? We decide our fate. We’re not going to get beat by a comparable team, like our loss to Villanova. But if we play Oregon, isn’t that Nike vs. Adidas – ugh. I’ll leave that prognostication to @jaybate-1.0. Regardless, Oregon isn’t as good as KU. And neither is Michigan. One will be our elite 8 victim.
10. Roy: Can’t help but look ahead to Phoenix. Could the basketball gods so bless us with another Self vs. Roy match-up? Roy’s a great guy. In the NCAA selection show, the team was at his house. There was a stained-glass window with a Jayhawk. He’s still a Jayhawk. Wish we didn’t have to eliminate him again, if it comes to that.
11. OAD: The OAD stench is sweet. The OAD distractions are minimal. And the concern about an OAD shutting it down late to protect against injury, and ensure millions? Not Josh Jackson. The best OAD there ever was. Reggie Miller, I think, uttered the daunting comparison Friday – Dr. J. Dr. JJ? This is the kind of player that can lead us to a title.
12. Lucas’ Baby Hook: The one move that every post player should practice and perfect – check that – every player. Never know when that baby hook will come in handy. It’s been a long time comin’ Landen, but it sure looks good. Left or right, the guy has a go to move. How many times does he score on Swanigan?
13. A Mission vs. Swanigan; Draw fouls. If I were drawing up the game plan, I’d look to create some circumstances to isolate Swanigan and draw a few fouls. Perhaps using that Lucas baby hook as bait. Or Coleby looking to get a shot into Swanigan’s arm. Or see if you can bait Swanigan into a compromising position on the perimeter. You don’t want such a mission to distract from winning and scoring, but is Purdue even a game without Swanigan? It is worth a possession or two to target Swanigan.
14. Big 12: Our best three teams are in the Sweet 16. To gain national respect, we need two FF teams and a national title. I know that’s not fair, and I know all these metric and non-con games create discussion points, but we need to follow up OU’s FF appearance with more. We’ve lacked in March accomplishments. The only way to shut people up is to win.
15. MVC: I’ve seen much discussion of the disrespect for mid-majors, the MVC, WSU, etc. I refer back to a common theme – win. At some point, for mid-majors to have some credibility, they need to win a national title. Butler came close. The big schools win the titles, and it’s a relatively small club. However, like most, I was a bit puzzled by the seeding. Is Gonzaga a mid-major, right? I’d say so (though they’ve been good for a long time). Not one final four.
A sweet 16 trip, landing in the Sprint Center. Couldn’t have drawn it up better. I have never been more confident in coach Self. Beating Izzo, and permitting his team to step on MSU’s throat the way his team is best suited and constructed to step on it? That continues to be a beautiful thing.
I went an entire post without mentioning Frank Mason. So there – FRANK MASON. Best point guard in KU history.
From the couch it looks like Coleby should be coming off the bench ahead of Bragg. Several of us noted tonight that maybe the legal issue/pot issue has really thrown him off. Next year hopefully he becomes the guy we want him to become.
Nova has perfected the early exit. Still unsure how they pulled it off last year except they were hot. Happy Badger here nonetheless.
Officiating all year has been really poor. Big10 fans been griping all year. Yesterday UW seemed to be getting short shrifted until about 6 minutes left, then suddenly, the refs normalized and voila, Badgers are still dancing.
May be the Illinois upbringing in me, but I’d like to know why you said OSU is the better job. I’d say differently of course, but Brad’s got a lot of work to do to restore that program, and by a lot of work, I mean he needs to wear his kevlar vest and get to the homes and streets of Chicago and get those kids to come to Champlain.
You’re right, Big 12, your table is ready. Seize the day.
@wissox just history alone would elevate the OSU job in my opinion. The recruiting grounds maybe for Illinois is really the only upside I could see. And that’s really still a maybe. Well. That and of course the $…
@HighEliteMajor terrific stuff. Agree almost completely. However, even though I may have those same thoughts… Bite your tongue on Self leaving 👅
@wissox yeah, I doubt he would leave for OSU if he hasnt already. He has had numerous chances over the years and has decided against it.
Drew seems fine to me. Never been too keen on his coaching chops, though the last couple years or so I’ve been a little more impressed by him. He actually changed defenses in their first game, turned the game around.
Agree on Purdue. If they play big, Swanigan or their 7 footer has to guard Josh. Less than ideal for them on D.
Definitely no penalty for officiating poorly. These NCAA games seem to go on forever, with all the reviews.
With Self, I’ll be worried if Pops retires + we win the title. Could be a perfect storm. I don’t think he downgrades to Okie Lite, even with it being his alma mater. I hope Self is at KU for 10+ more years though.
The path looks good. Given the choice, I’d probably want to play Oregon, just given how dangerous Michigan is offensively.
I’ve been impressed with Josh all year. The anti-thesis of most oads.
I mentioned this about Swanigan in another thread. Suffice to say I agree. Try to abuse him on D with quicker players. Get him in foul trouble and that limits his minutes and therefore ability to play on the other end of the court, where he is extremely dangerous.
WSU’s seeding was crap, but so was their schedule. They played a really tough game against UK today.
Just agree with sooooooo much above. Thanks for getting it said with pith.
Quick drawing from the hip…
Good read on Self’s comment. He keeps changing enough to keep winning 84% for his KU tenure.
Drew is a total enigma to me. Don’t doubt his sportsmanship. Doubt what he gets out of his team. But then he’s in the 16, so I have to shut up about Drew.
Bragg is always thinking about playing basketball. Coleby just plays. Sometimes Bragg does something good despite thinking. Some times Coleby does something good just playing. As a first sub in the paint, on a team full of JSOC assassin scorers, more often what the team needs is Coleby just playing; i.e., bumping and guarding and reaching as high as he can (jumping seems beyond hope yet). But Bragg gave the team just what it needed against UCD. So: despite my being ecstatic for Coleby for getting a tournament moment and getting us through a potentially serious jam with Josh and Landen getting a little fouled up, I’m still thinking the key here is that these two guys are the ever inventive Self inventing the composite backup.
Purdue IMHO is our worst nightmare for a first round game in the weekend of the Sweet 18/Elite Eight. They are brawny inside like MSU was, and they’ve got experience and a few decent shooters outside. Strangely, I see Purdue as an acid test. We have to not just beat them, but find a way to conserve the energy budget doing it, AND not get too banged up. If we have to leave it all on the floor vs. Purdue, I don’t see how we can win the second game. So: we need a hot hand to help avoid needing to grind with them and be drug into the same kind of smash mouth Izzo gave us.
NOVA? What can I say? All the Buckies on this team WILL go to basketball heaven for correcting the basketball gods’ mistake last season–Nova winning a ring under Jay Wrong. ON WISCONSIN!
Bad Officiating I have already posted about at length.
Brad Underwood going to Illinois proves Brad thought he had zero chance to challenge Self in the B12, and he sees a possibility of Izzo retiring. Underwood would rather compete with Painter than Self; that’s how I read that. He ain’t going to Champaign-Urbana because they pioneered net browsing.
Self has to be thinking about retiring. His big decision is does he want to help Tyler start a college coaching career, or a pro coaching career. I have no strong feel for which he will think is best for Tyler, but its quite possible that Self has dodged the recruiting bullet for so long now that he will want Tyler be a pro coach instead. I hope Self stays at KU, because I so thoroughly enjoy watching him come up with the next innovation each season. It has been like getting a post doc in being a KU fan watching him innovate in all the different ways he has innovated. He has completely transformed the college game. Not just a few teams play the way KU plays and run the stuff KU runs. They ALL run at least some pieces of what he has brought to the game. Its amazing! So I would like him to stay to keep inventing new stuff. But he may not have anymore new ideas. You never know. Only he knows for sure.
Oregon/Michigan? No feeling either way. I think the UM coach plays a kind of ball that is tough for Okie Ball to handle. But its always a little spooky when two Okie Ballers meet and try to let each other set tempos. I think we can get past either one.
Roy? Roy is going to be very, very, very tough for anyone to beat now that MJ signed the shoe deal that made Easygate go away. Roy is on a mission to avenge the stain on his Sear’s Baby Blue synthetic blazer. He wants to win so badly he would keep coaching in a convulsion. Roy is the guy with all the talent this season. His team is loaded!!! But they are still a little soft by today’s standards. Their length concerns me greatly…even more than UK’s. I am praying someone upsets Roy, frankly.
I’m glad someone connected JJ to Dr. J. At the same age they ARE quite similar though the Dr. had a less funky form on his jumper. But Josh is now doing incredibly things almost routinely. He’s getting scary good.
Big Luke turns out to be a strangely good fit for this bunch of JSOC assassins. He’s like the big man on the team carrying the ammunition and some of the high explosives for the assassins. And yet he’s developed some big man territoriality. He has been banged around a lot this season and seen a lot of length. I don’t worry about him, and more often than not good things happen when he at least touches the ball inside on a possession.
Drawing fouls–it all depends on the whistle. Odds are it will be asymmetric against KU, as usual. So drawing fouls is risky business. its going to be very tempting to Purdue, or someone, to put one of our starters out of the game the hard way. Do it and you win. Fail to and you lose. Gregg Marshall understood that a couple years ago and he was apparently the kind of guy that had players that understood too. I hope it doesn’t happen, but…Izzo could have won today if he had taken the black pill. Remember: the red vs. blue was an oversimplification. Its really red vs. blue vs. black. Ask any neocon, and they will laugh about the red or blue pill choice. its the black pill that is the real temptation.
B12–COPY AND PASTE.
MVC–COPY AND PASTE
Really enjoyed that post, thanks!
@HighEliteMajor OSU had their shot at Coach, He turned them down before when they pretty much OR Boone Pickens pretty much tod him to write a figure - -open checkbook. - - Coach says ummmmm NOPE, I think as far as the NBA he isn’t going to any NBA - -IF he were to go anywhere it would be his alma mater - -and he already turned them down - - I don’t think we have to worry about any of that in the near future. - -ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY
@HighEliteMajor Good stuff as usual buddy. I would like to say that I don’t believe anyone on here has question Scott Drew as a person, we give him jazz for never really getting to the next step but he’s made Baylor a fixture in the NCAAs. MVC has gone down hill since Creighton left WSU won every game but 1 and averaged over a 20 point win that’s on them for not moving. They had a good non conference schedule just didn’t win the big games like Louisville, Michigan State and Okie state.
It is always a challenge to beat Izzo in March. I liked how we pulled away. Very impressive.
Scott has shown me a lot over the last few years. I’m slowly warming up to him. I’ve always put him in the same light as Calipari, but recently I see he is a much higher quality human. And he actually has shown abilities to develop players, something Cal can’t do and has to just recruit enough talent to win.
I think Dwight is a much better player than Justin was. We are definitely going to need him… most likely right away against Purdue.
If we don’t play this right, Purdue could be our toughest game for the entire tournament… meaning… if we don’t play this right, we lose. Just about every big man we have faced this year had his best game of the year against us. Now… that player is Swanigan. And they have another super tall guy, too. What I noticed about Purdue, and what has brought them this far, is their ability to execute their isos. If we don’t limit Swanigan, we will just have to hope he has a bad game. The way to play him is to drive our guards right at him and use shot fakes to get him to foul us. That shouldn’t be that tough to do, but we rarely have these strategies.
It is so hard to repeat. Everyone puts a target on your back, you have no real incentive anymore (compared to everyone else), and the pressure is unreal because you are expected to make it back to the Final Four. I watched lots of Nova ball this year, and they were a good team. Just lost to the same momentum that helped them win last year.
The officiating has down right sucked. I’m not just screaming about the bad calls against my bracket teams. Duke still got their help but it wasn’t enough for Duke to have an 8 on 5 advantage.
I really wanted Underwood to stick it out. Hope they don’t try to bring back Ford! That guy was horrible!
I just don’t see it. Bill has been at KU long enough to establish his HOFr reputation. He is in line to become one of the all-time great college coaches. He would risk it all by leaving. I just don’t see it. I see it being more likely that he keeps Tyler around to work him into coaching.
I’m more concerned with Michigan. Beilein is capable and knows how to play us. Plus… Michigan has been really hot for the past month. Oregon shouldn’t be a threat.
I feel no sympathy for giving UNC a complete beat down.
Dr. J Jackson… I like that. And if he keeps scooping the ball like that, he will earn the title! Man… is he a player, or what?
Yes, Landen’s hook has arrived! And he’s solid from both sides. I see him being effective after we get a few fouls on Caleb. This really has to be the plan… to get him in foul trouble!
Yes… as stated above.
I can see it… Two B12 teams in the FF and winning it all! Maybe we have another B12 final? (B8 - OU vs KU)
I wanted to see WSU vs Gonzaga. I feel that WSU would have kicked their arses. It just isn’t fair to always put WSU against UK.
Nice summary. I have comments on two items.
I fully agree with your take on Underwood. I find it highly disrespectful to the school to tender his resignation after taking another job and without giving the school a chance to negotiate.
I am not sure how much of an advantage us to be near Chicago. It did not do Weber or Groce much good.
About Coach Self leaving…I just don’t see it happening. A few years ago, his foundation donated $2M for the Rec, Center next to the new Rock Chalk Park in West Lawrence. You don’t give out that much money unless you are planning to stay for a long time. He could have left before and he did not do it and I don’t see him starting a new legacy all over again at another school. KU, UK, Duke and UNC are at the top of the prestige list in college basketball and there is no way he does what would be a lateral move at this stage in his career. The NBA? Maybe, but I am not sure he has the type of personality of a NBA coach. I bet he stays at KU and completes one of the better if not the best coaching record in college basketball.
#8. I sure hope not. I don’t trust Zenger to get the next hire right.
Kansas has beat Duke, Kentucky,& Mich State in one year. Chance to beat another blue blood if things go well.
@JayHawkFanToo ad problems! Osu is not happy w/him
@HighEliteMajor “The only way to shut people up is to win.”
Regarding Underwood: I checked out some articles online, and OkieState faithful are ripping into Holder, the OSU AD. Apparently Gundy has a contract extension he wont sign, as he’s upset at the proposed deal. Something turned OFF Underwood. OSU folks see the pattern of problems with their own AD. They also mentioned this AD gave Travis Ford a 10yr deal back in 2009, which was a problem for a long time. Mike Gundy supposedly looked at the Baylor football job, and he is an OSU alum. Underwood so pissed, he didnt even give Holder a chance to negotiate.
Self casts a long shadow over OSU. You’d have to be a Sutton or other strong enough “name” to create your own shadow at OSU. Underwood could have been that guy, but his tolerance for the AD, very likely is the issue. From what all I’ve read so far…
Regarding Scot Drew: Why is the consensus amongst his own peers (fellow coaches) that he is a snake? The interviewed several (anonymously), and it was one of the most scathing things I’ve read. Lots of knives sticking out of Drew’s back. Coaching etiquette is to not badmouth fellow coaches, but Drew got NO such courtesy. They also think his religious schtick is simply or partly playing Baylor’s fiddle.
I will say Scot Drew has some really good assistant coaches. Who is that one older guy on the Baylor bench?
In a nutshell: other coaches QUESTION the means by which Drew has recruited all the string of high profile athletes. Of course he’ll make Baylor respectable again, and get accolades for “resurrecting” their program, if he’s able to bring such athletes.
The bottom line from other coaches: disingenious.
Again sold lead off post.
It was nice to get a win over Izzo. I think Self will be personally pleased he could best one of the coaches he respects the most. Izzo & Self are so similar in what they do and the difference to me in the game was the experience factor KU had.
I know that coach believes Bragg is the “X Factor” on this team but we’ve seen overwhelming evidence to suggest otherwise. Dwight Coleby gets it, he knows what he’s supposed to do. I think his size and long arms are what we need off the bench. I’m getting tired of watching Bragg be ineffective on both sides of the floor but given the roster situation he has to play.
Purdue is tough, we have to limit the 3 point shooting of Mathias, Thompson, Edwards. In a perfect situation we would get Swanigan in foul trouble because without him it does seem like they are a bunch of lost puppies. If Swanigan has a big game as he usually does, rebounding and shooting will be the difference for KU. I believe Purdue is 27-1 since last year when out-rebounding opponents.
Man oh man the officiating is starting to become a national problem now. How does a ref miss the foul on Devonte Graham at the end of the half in the UC Davis game. Was he thinking this was football? I still can’t figure out how there wasn’t a call in the Joel Berry drive- I’d like to know where in the rule book that’s a “play on”.
Michigan worries me a little because their offense is similar to Iowa St. When you can spread a team out at all 5 positions its tough. Wagner is playing out of his mind and is a similar mismatch issue that Swanigan presents.
Lucas going left has become $. He did show going right was effective as well. He’s best when he only has to make one move and score. We saw a few times yesterday that he was limited creating his own shot if he wasn’t in deep enough to score. He’s really starting to remind of Ochefu of Nova. High % shooter on touches, rebounds, defends. Just what KU needs. Ochefu during Nova’s run averaged 11 & 7. Lucas right now is average 11 & 11 through 2 games.
Frank Mason is one bad man. Best guard I’ve seen in a KU uniform.
And what about the 2nd half from Josh Jackson. The step-back 3 over his best friend Bridges. The demoralizing dunk at the end. Crazy talent, we need four more games like that from him.
This entire thread is a beautiful read.
I am in awe of Lucas, who just keeps on raising an inch at a time his floor and his ceiling.
One detail on his great go to move: against MSU he generally shot right away, which avoids the double team, but also doesn’t give the other team a chance to foul. He does draw fouls in other ways.
To me, drawing fouls is the most important statistic that is not measured. Its true impact is hard to quantify. Imagine giving Swanigan his second foul early in the first half and making him sit several minutes: could be the most important play of the half.
@cragarhawk I didn’t clarify my opinion on the U of I job, but there’s great fan support there. You won’t see many empty seats at a game there like you do in Stoolwater other than when KU plays them.
While we worry about guarding Swanigan…probably Josh…when they play their 2 big guys…they have to guard Josh. Probably Swanigan? Or does he guard Svi? Who wins that one on one battle? Can Josh play their best player to a draw? Or nearly so?
Will be very interesting.
Tyler is the next AD at Kansas.
I’d love to see Tyler and hell Landen Lucas stay on as grad assistants. No idea what Landen’s career goals are, but he’s a smart kid.
Think it has a lot to do with how he, allegedly, recruits.
Landen has a pro career ahead of him… for sure. Don’t know about the NBA. though I’m sure he will try to make it onto the big stage.
Landen has great potential for playing abroad. His fundamentals are going to pay off big. I’m sure he can play in Europe and other places and do very well. Heck… he could make a lot of money coaching abroad, too.
Let’s also not forget that Landen grew up abroad. He is used to living in other countries. That is huge when playing abroad. So many players go and just can’t cut being in other cultures and away from home.
Landen is by all account smart, personable and likeable and seems to understand the game well; remember last year players chose him as the big with whom they wanted to play. I can see a coaching career as a possibility.
Drew has an issue from his past concerning recruiting. He came to Baylor and we all know the Baylor administration lacked credibility… so we all wonder if he recruited fairly, especially since he was able to land so much talent and bring it to a school not known as a basketball powerhouse.
But if we look deeper in recent years. we will find that Baylor is building a reputation for being more than a questionable school.
Drew has done a pretty good job recently at developing players that were not 5-star recruits.
Drew has shown a lot of heart for his players, too.
I used to be outrageously hard on Drew. But I’ve opened my mind on him to see him in a different light (recently).
I used to compare Drew to Calipari. I compare them today… and I like Drew a helluva lot more than I can bear Calipari.
Calipari still does very tacky recruiting practices… literally drafting hiphop stars, NBA players and a complete circus of players to go recruiting for him. I still can’t believe the NCAA won’t investigate some of these practices. I recall just a few years ago when the NCAA got involved with fans who built recruiting pages trying to lure in recruits. Much of that was smacked down… yet Calipari has a team of all of these people recruiting for him… meeting with recruits, etc.
What I’m getting at… Drew is human. He has a heart. He cares about his players and he works his butt off to make them better. He isn’t just a recruiter now. He has lifted his coaching abilities, too. I’ve heard him speak over the years… in the beginning at Baylor, he sounded like he was on the same rookie level as Calipari. He doesn’t sound that way now. He works on his knowledge to be the best coach he can be. This is the opinion I’ve started absorbing about Drew.
Calipari? I still can’t see past all of his obnoxious, used car lot behavior. If he changed… I’d be happy to come on here and tout that, too, just like I’m doing for Drew!
Interesting that coach Self possibly leaving was brought up in this thread. Didn’t see that coming.
I don’t see that happening AT ALL. Something bad would have to happen at Kansas to make him even think about leaving. It would have to be a big disagreement with the school, some sort of scandal maybe… Or a medical issue. but he is God at KU.
NBA ?? Please. NEVER happen. He does not need another dime in his life, he is not ego driven like some other coache$, and babysitting bored primadonna millionaire head cases in the 82 reg-season-games schlepathon that is the National Boring Association is just the absolute WORST fit for who Coach Self is and what He lives for. You see him get emotional on senior night?? THATS what he lives for- teaching, shaping and molding young men’s lives. He has arguably the best coaching job in all of D1 and he knows it- believe me. He is 55 and his best coaching years are ahead of him, and he’s just getting started
Yeah… we have to stay focused on the advantages we have in some of these mismatches more than the disadvantages.
If they want to run two big then we need to go at them for fouls and to tire them out. Keep the pace moving… substitute a lot, including using Dwight for real minutes.
Contrary to what many traditional basketball enthusiasts think… mismatches often appear like the big man has the advantage (and probably does as long as the other player/coach buy into it).
Josh can go all over the floor and can help his team. Swanigan has to stay in the post to do his team some good. So what happens when Josh sits on the trey line waiting to nail treys? Will Swanigan go after him? And how? Josh can run circles around him.
What we have to realize is we can take Swanigan out of this game EASILY (with foul trouble) by bringing guards into his space and using shot fakes to get him to commit. Heck… just have our guards body into him on their shots and that will usually draw fouls because refs have never been fair to the bigger defender concerning foul calls.
I hope we take a proactive plan into this game. If we can draw fouls on Swanigan, Purdue is toast! If we think of the game like this… we just go after him from the opening tip and within a few minutes, we already take a huge advantage in this game. Stick two fouls on Swanigan by the 15-minute mark of the first half? Force Purdue to bench him until the second half? Then Swanigan is out of his game, even if he comes back the second half. And of course, we will go right after him then, too. And what can he do? The only thing he can do to play it smart is to become less aggressive, on both sides of the floor.
MESSAGE TO LANDEN LUCAS: Do the right thing… and sell the call to the refs. No one wants you to pull phony flops. Just be willing to go backwards on certain contact and get the calls! Part of why you haven’t been properly respected by refs this year is because you play every game with ZERO theatrics! Selling calls is part of the game.
Just one call can make the difference of becoming a National Champion or not.