this blows!

  • As i sat there and saw the first half of a terrible championship game, kept on thinking how we would have easily beat either of these 2 teams. So far, i was able to dissociate myself from our loss to Oregon and not let it get to me. but seeing the game last night, can’t help but see how we lost our golden chance. KU shit its bed when it mattered.

    I really thought this was our year- i haven’t felt like that ever…even in 2008 i didn’t think we would win it all and we did…but this year was it. We were playing the elite 8 in our backyard and had a guaranteed ticket to the final 4 but Instead the BIG 12 screwed us over again.

    KU was supposed to be battle tested. We had enough close come from behind victories against “good teams”, but we choked and why? this wasn’t on Self, he employed the same game plan he as all season and it worked for him all season, so why not? Again, the problem here is the vastly overrated big 12. Self’s game plan worked perfectly against Big 12 teams, but outside of that, it wasn’t.

    BIG 12 sucks. KU needs to leave the BIG 12. while we are in the BIG 12, we will continue to extend the meaningless streak and will not win a championship.

  • @elpoyo Lucas, Colby, and Bragg on the bench get eaten alive by either of those teams last night. Aside from Collins not a lot of skill but we had even less down low.

  • Drugs: why do we take them?

  • @elpoyo I dont agree that the Big 12 is why we lost. Our depth at post is the most logical answer. Look at the ACC and the WCC. 8 out of 9 out in the ACC in first weekend of tourney. And WCC is a conference we question the strength of every year. Did that hurt Gonzaga or UNC?

  • The Big 12 certainly wasn’t guarding KU during the Oregon game and forcing us to shoot 35% from the field. Come on now: if a team shoots 35%, 21/60 and 20%, 5/25 from 3, it just isn’t going to win an Elite Eight game. Oregon shot 51% from the field on 29/57 and 44% from 3, 11/25. Let’s acknowledge our guys had a poor shooting night and just move on. This is what happens in a one and done tournament. I didn’t even think our poor shooting was attributable to good defense. It just wasn’t our night. I do think Josh’s early fouls contributed to our lack of offensive rhythm. Oregon played well; Ku didn’t.

    And oh yea, I like the streak.

  • Fire the Big-12!

  • @BShark Better living thru chemistry. But some are just fried…

  • @stoptheflop said:

    The Big 12 certainly wasn’t guarding KU during the Oregon game…

    Yeah, the defense in the Big 12 is so much easier that Jevon Carter of WVU only won the NABC defensive player of the year award. Good post!

    @elpoyo thinks the Big 12 is a pushover. 'Tain’t so!

  • @elpoyo you were watching a different game than I was.

  • @elpoyo

    I totally agree with your post until the very end. I don’t think the Big 12 is where our problems exist.

    Gonzaga was just a few points away from winning a NC last night and they showed they were up to fighting the perennial blue blood UNC.

    Gonzaga is in the WCC. What is the WCC? A toilet? Well… at least it is an easy conference to figure out what the letters mean. Beyond that, it’s another Missouri Valley Conference (or was, before WSU’s exit).

    I do think there are issues with the Big 12, too.

    The Big 12 has some darn good ball and competition. The Big 12 does well to build up it’s RPI every year by smashing other conference teams with ease.

    The only issue the Big 12 has is doing well in March. KU is the only team that stands a chance in March except for the occasional team, like OU last year.

    Why is that?

    I think it relates to not enough big media games throughout the year. Go out east. All those teams seem to get more national media coverage. Good chance our guys get “camera shy” come March. This could explain why Big 12 teams come up short in March.

    I’ve never bought the story that our conference plays too physical throughout the year so our teams are worn out in March. Nonsense. The Big 10 plays much rougher basketball and usually has a closer league throughout their conference play. It doesn’t seem to bother them in March.

    It is good we have these conversations… and thanks, @elpoyo for pinpointing the discussion in this area.

    Next… let’s pinpoint our issues with winning Elite 8 games!

  • Kansas would not have beat UNC in my opinion. Too much interior presence. Too deep. Whistles would have gone against us.

    Obviously a hot shooting night can take anyone down, so I won’t say it wasn’t possible.

  • I think the Big 12 suffers from one major issue - the schools in this conference other than KU often suffer from a good coaching not having elite players, or elite players not having a good coach.

    Huggins is a good coach. WVU has good players, but not any elite ones. That hurts come tourney time. Last year Lon Kruger had a lottery pick. He rode that team to the Final Four. This year he has nothing. We all see what happened.

    Jamie Dixon is a good coach. He’s at TCU. No NBA talent there.

    Hoiberg was a good coach at ISU. Can anyone think of any lottery picks that he had?

    Part of that is that the Big 12 conference footprint doesn’t have a ton of basketball talent aside from Texas. There’s just not a lot to draw from as far as local NBA caliber talent.

    That makes it really difficult come March. The Big 12 has lots of really good college teams, but you have to raise the talent level to match that on the coaching side of things (the Big 12 has, top to bottom, probably the most coaching talent of any league). Who has the most talent in the Big 12 consistently? KU of course. Is there any surprise we dominate the league? We have the most talent and generally speaking, that is a huge difference.

    Let’s look at the three major games (McDs, Jordan Brand and Nike Hoops Summit) and check the rosters to see how many are committed to Big 12 schools:

    McDs - 2, Billy Preston (Kansas) and Trae Young (Oklahoma).

    Jordan - 2, Preston and Matt Coleman (Texas).

    Nike - 1, Lindell Wigginton (Iowa State).

    Think about that for a second. Out of the players considered elite, the Big 12 has four (4!!!) that are committed to play in the conference.

    Flip over to the ESPN 100 recruiting. Let’s look at the top 50 players.

    Zero top 10 recruits heading to the Big 12 so far, although 4 top 10 players are still uncommitted.

    2 top 20 recruits coming to Kansas (Preston) and Oklahoma (Young).

    Coleman (ranked 27) heading to Texas.

    Wigginton (ranked 42) going to ISU.

    That’s it for the top 50.

    Here’s the rest of the hundred - 58 (Terrance Lewis to ISU), 61 (Marcus Garrett to Kansas), 66 (Jericho Sims to Texas), 68 (Zach Dawson to Oklahoma State), 74 (Royce Hamm to Texas), 89 (Derek Culver to West Virginia).

    10 players in the top 100 are heading to the Big 12, with two each to KU and Iowa State, three to Texas and one each to Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and West Virginia.

    The SEC has 20 top 100 guys going to 9 different conference schools.

    Pac-12 has landed 18 going to 9 of their schools.

    The ACC has 16 going to 9 schools.

    Even the Big 10 has 12 going to 8 schools.

    6 schools in the Big 12 split 10 top 100 guys. That means nearly half of the conference is missing any top 100 talent. Three quarters of the Pac 12 has top 100 talent. The SEC, ACC and Big 10 are all bigger, but they have 8 or 9 schools getting top 100 talent, which means the top of their conferences boast more talent (although the Big 10 is pretty thin talentwise, but we saw what happened to that conference in the regular season).

    Simply put, the Big 12 isn’t getting enough talent into the conference, particularly at Oklahoma, Iowa State and Baylor, 3 schools that have done well enough recently enough to compete for recruits. You can’t expect to compete at an elite level if you lack elite talent. Just ask the Big 10, the conference most comparable to the Big 12 in terms of incoming talent, about how that’s working out.

  • KU overachieved this year after Doke went down. Bill did an amazing job using what he had. And I think he took a giant step forward as a coach this season that we will see come to light next year when we have depth.

    I like to compare Bill to Roy. Because they are both All-Time greats and have now coached at KU basically as long as each other.


    To me this shows that HCBS has been better than Roy Williams while he was at KU. Bill has a better winning percentage. Bill is 7-2 in the Sweet 16 vs. Roy’s 5-4. Bill is 1/2 in NC championship games. Roy is 0-2. Roy didn’t win his first NC until he was in his 17th season as a head coach and 55 years old. And now he has won 3 in 11 seasons. Bill can do the same.

  • @justanotherfan Great post. The numbers breakdown is enlightening.

    The map below provides some more info explaining East Coast team’ trcruiting advantage, specifically UNC and Duke. They are within 600 miles of half the country’s population, and if you add 20 you get Orlando, if you go up to 700 miles miles you add Boston, Detroit, and Tampa, then another 100 gets you Chicago, St Louis, Memphis and much of the northern Mami-Ft Lauderdale metroplex.


    That population is one that Roy wrote off when he was at KU? If true, he was an even better recruiter than we realized, but the combo of that population with his recruiting ability goes far to explain his success (as it does with Coach K, only 7 miles away).

    Contrast it with KU’s 600 mile radius. Add a few miles you include Houston, NOrleans, and Detroit, and even 200 more still doesn’t get to either Cleveland or Atlanta.


    It isn’t just the distance. Those miles translate into a lot less exposure comparatively in the much more densely populated East.

  • @justanotherfan I think you hit the nail. The other concept I also believe in is the no rebuild year. When was the last time our team “rebuilt”? Never, right? We had Cliff in the middle. Fail. We had Diallo. Fail. We had Doke. Fail. So, we stick in Landen Lucas to give us a semblance of a front line. And Coach does such a great job in placing Lando in a position to do well, we forget he is actually a 3 star recruit who can’t score. Then he runs into a Jordan Bell, and gets his clock cleaned. Now, in Lando’s defense, he probably maximized his abilities the 2nd best on the whole team behind Frank, as he gave us two really good years. But, he is still a 3 star guy living in a 5 star world. If Doke doesn’t go out for the year, we win the national championship.

    If there was another way that could allow us to mask our hole in the middle, we might’ve made it to that championship game. I’m not an x and o guy by any means, so I’ll leave that to smarter people on here to sort that out. But the NCAA stacked our bracket with the tallest teams ( other than FSU ) in the tournament. Simply put, the tall teams made it - those with limited front lines didn’t. So, we had an amazing coaching job that led us to the 2nd spot in the whole tourney going in. Take the case of Nerlens Noel getting injured. Tucky fell apart. WE got out the duct tape, installed Landen, and proceeded to play all kinds of non-4 people at the 4, from Svi, to JJ, to a lost and bewildered Carlton Bragg, and won a 13th straight Big 12 title by 4 games, and 3 games in the tournament…without a front line. We don’t rebuild. We don’t end up in the NIT. But, our warts are hidden so well by a hall of fame coach, we end up getting exposed against the wrong match up.

  • Give Bell 2 fouls one at the 17:40 mark and another at the 17:23 mark and don’t give any to Jackson and we win the game. They were allowed to hack, and we weren’t. We got frustrated and the shots didn’t fall. It was just like playing Michigan State in year’s past. Bell could have just as easily been in foul trouble for shoves in the back and straight up hacking. We could have beat any team in the tournament, but we didn’t. All it takes is one bad game or one bad break and you go home. Look at the Northwestern/Gonzaga game. Zags win by a player sticking his hand through the underside of the basket to goal tend and all I heard last night was how great they were. They should have went home early, but that’s just the way it goes. It takes skill, heart, and luck to win this thing.

  • @mayjay Interesting, but I’m not sure that it is dispositive of much. Since Roy went to UNC and Bill arrived at KU, Roy has had 16 players go in the 1st round of the NBA draft (and 4 of those were inherited) - Bill has had 14 go in the 1st round.

    And how many of the UNC 1st rounders have been NBA All-Stars? Exactly zero. How many have been real impact players - Ty Lawson? Maybe Brice Johnson will be. That’s it. While Jayhawks in the Self era haven’t lit up the NBA, Chalmers, the Morii, McLemore, Wiggins and Embid have had or will have better NBA careers than the UNC guys. And, I think our JJ will have more of an impact than their JJ.

    So, while it might well be the case that Roy is able to get more depth of talent at UNC because of a bigger, closer recruiting base, it doesn’t appear that he is getting much more if any of the top-tier talent - which makes his 3 titles there all the more remarkable…

  • @elpoyo got us talking without taking potshots back at him! Good for you sir! I’ve thought this for years. While Self’s guys are playing pro ball, and sticking with teams, they’re not tearing it up. Of course some day Wiggins and JJ and Embiid may be perennial all stars, and maybe Frank tears it up in the league too much to everyone’s surprise. But in general I think one reason why Bill Self hasn’t been able to deliver us to the promised land is because he hasn’t had top shelf talent. He’s a top shelf coach who gets guys to play to the top of their ability, but that ability just hasn’t been enough.

    I’ve seen several of these ‘too early rankings but here’s ours anyways’ and we’re right near the top in most of them. So there’s some optimism for next year!

  • @BShark said:

    Drugs: why do we take them?

    Just classic.

  • @Kcmatt7 said:

    KU overachieved this year after Doke went down. Bill did an amazing job using what he had. And I think he took a giant step forward as a coach this season that we will see come to light next year when we have depth.

    Of course, Self could have won a national title with this team. He could have. But as constructed, it was a terrific coaching job after losing Udoka. You are right on point. As I had mentioned a while back, perhaps his best coaching job – and he certainly took that big step forward as a coach.

    I am convinced that UNC is the best team in the country. The best team did win the NC this season.

  • @elpoyo To your point, I personally would love to see KU go to the Big 10.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Your input, as always, is vastly riveting. In the future, when I want your thoughts on my posts, I’ll ask. I wouldn’t expect it to happen though.

  • Home and home, I don’t think anybody is beating the Big XII. I would love to see a Conference series where the teams play home and home back to back Saturday’s. That would be a true series and settle this thing. Most teams don’t want to travel to places like Baylor, ISU, TCU, KSU, Texas Tech, OU, and OSU. Those fans get fired up for big games. Imagine the intensity and the build up? Would love to see KU vs Duke or UNC home and home on consecutive weekends.

  • The Big 12 does not “suck” overall, but athletically, it wasn’t great this year. Maybe WVU was the closest to Oregon that KU played athletically in the conference this year, and it required a miracle to split with WVU.

  • KU played F4 caliber teams. In fact, I thought WVU, ISU, and BU were every bit as good as Oregon. Baylor is every bit as long and athletic. They didn’t have the coaching. ISU and WVU proved they could beat KU. ISU beat KU in the Phog and broke the winning streak.

  • @BShark Instead of responding as you did, consider the fact that I thought your post was actually very funny. Perhaps a perfect one liner.

  • @Blown

    Hard to say how a UNC vs KU game would turn out. I suspect it could be quite a bit different each time they played this game.

    It is hard to predict how many fouls will be called in a game… but if we were in that game on Monday and all those fouls were being called in the post, we would have been in real trouble.

    I’ve read many things out there since the game… mostly people complaining about all the foul calls. I think both teams committed 22 fouls each. But heck… I saw a lot of calls they missed, especially in the low post.

    It was a war in the low post. I don’t know what we could have done against Gonzaga and their monster post guys, let alone facing UNC’s bigs. But then… I didn’t know how we were going to get past Purdue, and we did.

    My guess on a UNC matchup? I’m going with the optimistic view… that we would play like we did in the first 3 games of the tourney… running away with it and scoring over 100! UNC wasn’t a tremendous defensive team especially from the perimeter. If we torch the nets on them, it becomes a blow-out. If we are just warm, we still win by a safe margin. If we are cold, we have the potential for a grind-out game that we win (or lose).

    The real problem we had this year was defense. This was not a typical Bill Self team. For as exciting as it was to watch our offense when running on a roll it was equally frustrating to watch our defense give away points.

  • @justanotherfan @mayjay

    Very insightful posts! Well done!

  • @HighEliteMajor

    I wasn’t convinced UNC was the best team this year until they won the NC. Gonzaga turned out to be a lot tougher out than I gave them credit for being… UNC did everything they had to do to win. THAT is execution! And ol’ Roy pulled a few coaching tricks to help achieve the outcome. I was convinced!

    I watched a lot of ACC ball this year… usually because it was the only decent game on. Their conference played too soft. That is why only one team was able to advance far in March. And often, UNC looked soft. I never really thought they could pull it off… but they did! And they did so by “manning up” and playing a physical game! That was impressive even though the game ended up being a game of BAD BALL.

  • @elpoyo Did you see the pregame interview Kevin Harlan had with Dana Altman, which was then aired sometime after the Oreg-KU game: Altmans gameplan, after studying all the made-3s of KU on the shot clipboard of KUs games against MichSt and Purdue, was to make our shooters take their attempts from a foot or two deeper, thus altering our percentage. He also said Mason would get his 20, so their focus would be on “taking away” Devonte Graham, and making Svi take deeper looks (alter his % too).

    At the end of the Oreg-KU game, Devonte Graham had ZERO points.

    Of course, Oreg hit how many shot-clock buzzer beaters, and KU was busy fighting amongst itself for rbds. Josh’s 2 quick fouls killed one of our most dynamic players (in YEARS) for the whole 1st half.

    If only Frank had stayed selfish and poured in 12-15pts in the 2nd half, instead of only scoring 4 while trying to get teammates involved, we would have had a tie game.

    Still want to blame the Big12? WVU came within a few plays of beating Gone-zaga also. And we know Baylor only pretends. TCU just won the NIT, in addition to beating our ass.

    But in the Tourney, it isnt about the Big12. I rooted for Huggins/WVU, but not Baylor. I rooted for KSU, but not for IowaSt. I have my own dislikes.

    But make no mistake, KU is squarely to blame for laying that stinky egg. Self has been catching pure hell in KC area talk radio for getting “outcoached” by Dana Altman. Keep throwing it in to Lucas, just 1 more time to see what happens. Turned off Frank, to feed his dead teammates instead. It should have been dribble-drive city by Frank and Josh. Again, another 8pts by Frank, and its a different game.

    But, truth is, this KU team was FLAWED in the post, and we all know it. Stop hiding from that fact. I texted my fellow KU alum bro-in-law during the UNC-Oreg game this: Meeks > > > Lucas.

    Blunt version: KU didnt deserve to advance after that display of shizz…by everybody not named Frank or Josh.

  • The amazing thing about UNC’s win, is that they climbed the mountain a 2nd time to get to the NC game again, and won it with a gritty performance, ugly game, that I didnt think Roy teams were capable of doing. I thought Justin Jackson took the most god-awful 3attempts Ive seen in forever (rushed and off-balance, why Justin?). Their bacon was saved by their PG, Berry. The only one who hit 3s. 4-26 from 3, and all 4 were Berry’s. On 2 bum ankles, even.

    I kept thinking of what FM3 might have done, if given a shot in such a game. I like to think he’s better than Berry, even…but Fate said no.

    I’m happy for Roy. Look at his team: No all stars. They do have slightly better athletes than Gonzaga.

    Gonzaga doesnt do much for me. Few is great, sure, nice story, but no cigar. Oregon doesnt do much for me either, other than totally and completely showing KU Nation how our team was flawed in the post.

    Blame Fate for ligament tear in our 7ft, 270 lb McDAA. Blame whatever for another 6’10 soph McDAA from Cleveland not progressing as he was expected to, in replacing Perry Ellis. Blame fate for slowing down Coleby’s performance due to knee injury last year.

    At the end of the day there is nothing but Fate to blame for Frank not being given a chance at the Final Four. Not his fault.

  • @ralster said:

    by everybody not named Frank or Josh

    Svi played to his avg altho he got no rebs. 2 steals, plus he deflected a few passes. No TOs. I thought he was the only player in the first half who played with energy and some smarts.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    I thought a bit about the intent last night. I just should have asked and of course I’m not going to tell you what you meant. My mistake.

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