• It is always a tough loss in the Little Apple because, to be quite frankly, it rarely occurs!

    I was not overly-optimistic about walking out of the Octagon with a win this time because we count on too much production from freshmen.

    My biggest surprise, and winner of the FLOOR BURN AWARD for this game was Brannen Greene. Brannen put up some impressive numbers and he did it all in just 15 minutes of game action. He went for 10 points, 5 rebounds (3 on offense), and 3 steals.

    What really caught my attention was his slam dunk put back in the final seconds and key steal and score. That quick series of actions not only brought us within range on the score, it also gave us valuable momentum and put spark in our entire team.

    Andrew Wiggins stole the credit for forcing overtime with his rebound score to tie the game, but it was Brannen’s previous effort that created this opportunity… very much like what Sherron Collins did in the NCAA Championship game, by stealing and scoring, bringing the game in reach for Mario Chalmers to force overtime.

    Kudos to Tharpe for forcing the action at the end with several scoring drives. He should have stuck with that aggression in overtime.

    This game was lost on the long ball. The Kitties were 8-15 (53.3%) from 3, while we were a paltry 3-17 (17.6%). Our play was stiff… typical for freshmen playing in a hostile environment.

    Conference Season Tally:

    Wayne Selden 4

    Joel Embiid 3

    Perry Ellis 2

    Andrew Wiggins 2

    Naadir Tharpe 2

    Tarik Black 2

    Frank Mason 1

    Brannen Greene 1

  • @drgnslayr the only positive take I have from last pm, is Brannen Greene! Lots of thoughts, but none are positive.

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    It is hard to see positives in that game… no doubt.

    It was a strange game. It seems that something happened before and during that game with Self. He seemed to be out to prove a point… to levy some discipline.

    This was a game about cracking the whip. I felt like Self had given up early in this one, and he was more shocked than anyone to see us come back and put it into OT.

    I’m think Self had gone off on the guys before the game… and during the game… and probably after the game.

    I just don’t know how this team responds to various kinds of stimulation. We discussed it before… the carrot… the bullwhip…

    Self looks totally frustrated. Sometimes he looks defeated. I can’t recall ever seeing him look defeated.

    I think it is time for Cindy Self to send another text message to Bill… or even better… maybe she should forward the text to the entire team. Something about taking some ownership. Something about personal and team pride. Something about maintaining optimism and confidence.

    This is something where women often see things that men don’t. Call it intuition… or maybe she is just extremely knowledgeable about basketball… or about people… maybe all of the above!

    We need a higher force to come in and straighten things out…


  • @drgnslayr

    Yes, Green had a good game, but his unforced, careless turnover in OT was an absolute killer; maybe enough to name someone else? Brannen has so much potential…

    By the way, what’s the deal with Tharpe? He is passing wide open threes and settling for paint floaters over a forest of bigs; not a good trade.

  • @JayHawkFanToo we wouldn’t have even been in OT w/out him! Who would you pick?

  • @drgnslayr I have been Wiggins loudest cheerleader, but I’m losing faith. I see his potential, but tell me what you think… What will he be doing in the NBA next year?

  • @Crimsonorblue22 Riding the Pine.

  • @nuleafjhawk will this make him happy?($)

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    Gosh… I don’t know. I don’t really feel like I should be the one who comes down too hard on Wiggins because he is miles ahead of my maturity at 18. I know many people who were more mature than I and I think they could get down on him more than me.

    I don’t think he is ready for the NBA… same with Embiid. Both of these guys are sticks… sticks playing muscle can go really wrong!

    Both of these guys would be in D-league for a while. With all the talent in this draft, I think teams might hesitate and look for players who are more ready for the league… Randle is ready. Parker… could use some strengthening, but he has so many polished scoring tools…

    More of these players need to stick it out an extra year in college. What a waste… if Embiid and Wiggins leave then they go into a vacuum for a while in D-league while they try to get themselves ready for prime time.

    I’m in the group that thinks D-league doesn’t have much development to offer players.

    Wiggins needs to stay another year… and next summer he needs to go see John Lucas… same thing TT did leading up to his senior year… where he finally raised his shooting % and finished a heck of a lot more drives in the paint.

    Wiggins’ offense is too sped up. TT was the same way before Lucas got a hold of him and taught him to slow down just a touch and gain control of himself. Then learn a few tricks for creating scoring space. That’s what it is all about… not how fast a guy can run to the rim.

    I kind of wonder if all these OADs are paying close attention on what NBA teams are positioned where in this draft. I’m sure the OADs of today are more fixed on where they will go. It is another variable in the decision-making process. Along with the general overall strength of the draft.

    I’m guessing we lose one of Embiid or Wiggins… probably Wiggins.

    I know Embiid is banged up… but I also wonder if he is holding back a bit (deep down in his subconscious) to reduce the limelight on him to make it an easier decision to return to KU next year.

    As of today… my own opinion on who stays who leaves:

    % chance of staying

    Wiggins - 10%

    Embiid - 90%

    Selden - 90%

    Ellis - 100%

  • @drgnslayr I don’t want to come down on any of them. I heard Wiggins say in some interview that he had no idea how hard college ball would be. Realizing that, does that mean he understands what that next level will be? Is it failure for him and his parents to NOT go?

  • Wiggins has what I call the “Perry Ellis Freshman Syndrome.”

    Last year, when Perry was a freshman, he was without a doubt one of the more technically sound players we ever had; his moves in offense were textbook perfect.

    At the beginning of the season he would use his offensive moves, fake out the defensive player and smartly play the ball off the backboard; the only problem was that his shot were always a few inches off. I am not sure if it was depth perception playing in a large arena as compared to a HS basketball court, or the heft of the backboard and rim themselves, again as compare to HS, but he was consistently inches off.

    Then, towards the end of the season and particularly in the Big 12 Tournament all the pieces fell into place and his shots became accurate and started to fall and he became, and has continued to be, one of our more consistent players.

    Wiggins is exactly the same way. He has the agility, speed and moves to get consistently to the rim, but his shot seems to be consistently off by a few inches, and instead of getting the basket and one, he just gets the free throws. I am very confident that one of these day, hopefully soon, every thing will click into place and he will be deadly finishing at the rim…just like Perry did.

  • @drgnslayr While watching a number of things were frustrating, including the threes they were hitting and the ones we missed. But, I was surprised by the box score when I check it today- a lot more disparity than I remember seeing.

  • @JayhawkRock78

    “I was surprised by the box score when I check it today- a lot more disparity than I remember seeing.”

    Me, too… I had no idea of the level of disparity.

    I don’t think we fix that by just playing certain players. Greene and Frankamp are quality shooters of the long ball… but we aren’t creating the right motion (or spacing) in our offense to make them really wide open. They get just enough pressure on their shots that they can’t be dead eyes.

    We need someone penetrating and then pitching it out for open 3s. Or, in the least, we need plays designed to send our shooters through the post for a group screen and come out the other side for the shot.

    We need something to give them plenty of room for their shots.

  • In regards to Wiggins, Embiid, & others coming back for another year, I don’t think there’s any doubt from a physical standpoint that almost every 18-19 year old kid could benefit from another year of college. However, I was reading an article on Grantland yesterday on the Marcus Smart situation, and it talks about how much money he possibly lost by coming back for another year. From the article:

    “a player who would have been a top-three pick last year and who may not crack the top 10 now. He’ll be competing against mostly unknown guys with limitless upside — Zach LaVine, Dante Exum, Aaron Gordon, Andrew Wiggins — while scouts have seen enough of Smart this year to notice all his limits. He may not have a clear position, he may not be a great shooter or a great athlete, and you can insert your own knock from whatever happened Saturday. None of it mattered last year.”

    Much of that has nothing to do with Shovegate. It’s like Jay Bilas says (paraphrasing): some guys need to leave before they’re found out.

    The article also references Mitch McGary from Michigan & James McAdoo from UNC as examples of guys who passed on the lottery and it has cost them. There are surely other examples that escape me at the moment, but bottom line is - bypassing the lottery is most definitely a risk.

    I’ve seen some people come on the message boards and talk about how Embiid’s family isn’t poor or Wiggins’ family isn’t poor so they can afford to come back to school. But there is a difference between not being poor and risking life-changing money. Cole Aldrich & Ben McLemore leaving to provide immediate relief for their families was certainly understandable. But who are we as fans to tell these kids to pass up millions, regardless of whether their families are in dire need of it?

    The other thing that I often wonder is regarding Embiid’s injury situation. Could he be looking at his injury in one hand, his lofty draft position in the other, and wondering if it is worth coming back and risking that happen again. What if he comes back and gets injured next year? If that happens, it’s well within reason that the Greg Oden comparisons could set in. 7-footer with a history of leg problems. And GMs don’t have a lot of basketball history to draw upon from Embiid to say this won’t be commonplace. I even wonder if Wiggins isn’t looking at Embiid and being so close to the situation isn’t thinking the same thing - should he bolt before an injury has a chance to diminish his earning potential.

    I do think the thing Embiid should draw from the Greg Oden scenario is that he should let his body physically mature before sacrificing it to the beasts in the NBA, but personally I can’t fault anybody for trying to make themselves a good living. Selfishly, we’d all love for these guys to stick around for as long as possible. But if they decide the time is right for them, I will thank them for their service and wish them the best.

  • @icthawkfan316

    Really nice post!

    If Embiid is hurt for long, maybe his injury drops his spot in the draft. It is starting to look like he carries more risk than initially thought.

    He became such a quick media phenom this year. But media doesn’t write the checks at the next level.

    I think Marcus Smart did blow it. He should have left last year because he was ready… or at least, as ready as he was going to become from playing D1 ball.

    I’m not sure how much this hurts Marcus at the next level… the fan push. The NBA had many of it’s best rating years when there were certain bad boy teams around… like Detroit. The NBA does need drama. And the NFL does, too. The Sherman incident has done nothing but raise his value. He’s a celeb now.

    I just look at these guys and how frail they are… and imagine them facing 100 games next year against bigger, stronger players. And they won’t be protected by all the extra whistles blown this year.

    I keep advising these guys stick around… but I only advise that if they’ll go spend the summer working their tail off in the weight room. Take advantage of Hudy while they have her. Build the body so it will stand a better chance in the bruiser wars in the league.

    I don’t know… you make a point about “life-changing money.” I think that gets into personal philosophy. I haven’t seen many really do well with that kind of money. It seems to be a part of the natural process to be forced to survive… at least a little. Most people with the big bucks aren’t happy. Everyone is angling for their money and their life is abstract. Is it a worthy goal?

    I say that and then tonight I saw something on the tube about Dikembe Mutombo building a hospital in his native Congo. His hospital has saved thousands of lives and his life sounds truly fulfilled!

    Going or staying… there seems to be plenty of risks with either decision!

  • Enjoyed both posts. What do you think if the kid doesn’t want to go, doesn’t need the money, but could go top 3? Does coach talk them in to it?

  • @drgnslayr YES! When Brannen did that I was thinking DejaVu with Sherron in the title game! That was awesome to see again. Way to go Brannen! Keep it up!

  • @drgnslayr I have been reading all season, but I am just now trying to get the hang of posting. I reminds me of when I first learned email. It was easier to reply than to generate something new.

    I went to KU when the last glaciers were receding, and I emerged with a degree in biology and education. I am trying to imagine the following scenario:

    The high school teaching scouts come to me after my freshman year and tell me that I am ready for the big time now. I might benefit from staying to get my degree, but if I come out now, I will make millions. I might not see much actual teaching time, but I will be set for life and I can help my family. I believe that I might have gone in a heartbeat. Certainly, preparing to be the best teacher I could be was a more worthy goal for my life. I love biology and I love teaching, but it wouldn’t have been an easy decision to make. Unfortunately (or, perhaps, fortunately) no one gives teachers that choice.

  • @lincase the key might be, " not seeing much actual teaching time" ???

  • Where is AW3? He’s vanished or banished. What is going? This is a bit strange indeed. I really think Self is working the team much like he tried to do when we lost the Twins. Self didn’t think Kief would jump. He admitted later after they jumped that he expected Kief to come back. I don’t see him making the same mistake. He will make this work. I really think he anticipates most of this squad back. Black is definitely gone for obvious reasons. Embiid is likely coming back with each passing day. Most are coming back. I really wouldn’t be too shocked if Wiggins had a change of mind since his game has pretty much struggled. He’s too competitve not to reconsider.
    Now, back to my original thought. It’s nothing personal, but I think AW3 is gone for reasons we’ve all mentioned. He’s a great kid and good player, but he’s the odd man out. Black and AW3 would open spots for Oubre and Alex. Lastly, Embiid stays (and he will), Turner commits elsewhere. Again, Wiggins coming back at this point is 50/50. His mom and dad may be in his head at this point, especially his dad. He doesn’t need money, he needs development. His dad is a former NBA player too. It just makes too much sense. I don’t care what Wiggins said prior to the season, minds change. If the kid is smart, and he is, he’ll stay one more year. Now…queue all the pundits and comments about him staying versus him going pro…Go-

    If I’m right, omg…how nasty we will be next year. It’s almost too sick to fathom.

  • @lincase If you were at KU when the last glaciers were receding, consider yourself blessed. That’s when our basketball players all stayed four years.

  • @drgnslayr Maybe Smart can get a bunch of piercings and rainbow colored hair and be the next Dennis Rodman. I wonder if he’s ever been to North Korea?

  • @lincase

    Awesome! Please keep posting! We need fresh opinions.

    “I went to KU when the last glaciers were receding…”

    So we are from the same generation!

    I remember my first “Beatle cut.”

  • @nuleafjhawk

    Good one!

  • @drgnslayr speaking of the Beatles, did you watch the special Sunday?

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    No… but I have my DVR set for tonight… it is being rebroadcast at 7:30!

    I’ll squeeze it in between hoops!

  • @drgnslayr it was awesome!!!

  • Nice thread, guys. The only comment I want to make about floor burns is that I cannot recall Wiggins hitting the Deck one time this year. Can you?

  • @Blown

    He has been there on multiple occasions…

  • @Blown In the Kstate game he was on the floor at half court and it went out of bounds on them. He was right there.

  • @Blown I only remember Wiggins on the floor once or twice this year, but many times he could’ve been… Maybe my expectations are still too high. I know there are times he is putting forth effort, but do to his athleticism he appears to be loafing.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 lol. I admit there were some years when that would have been a distinct advantage !

  • whoops, sorry…I didn’t see the KSU or Texas game.

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