February 13: News Headlines Digest

  • also see our Daily Threads, February 13, and the News Digest for Yesterday, February 12, as well as Daily Threads for Yesterday, February 12

    Justin Wesley

    ##** Self says Jamari Traylor will play Saturday**##

    Kansas University red-shirt sophomore forward Jamari Traylor will play in Saturday’s KU-TCU game, coach Bill Self said on Thursday night.

    ##Self: Decision on Joel Embiid’s availability coming Friday##

    Kansas University men’s basketball coach Bill Self said he will likely decide Friday whether freshman center Joel Embiid will play Saturday against TCU.

    “He feels better,” Self said. "You know, he’s had, let’s see, Tuesday, Wednesday and today, Thursday, off, and he feels better.

    ###Tait: A deeper look at KU’s three-point shooting and how it compares to recent years###

    This year’s team has made 132 three-pointers and attempted 368. That averages out to 5.5 makes per game in 15.3 attempts per game. Both numbers are the lowest through 24 games in the past four seasons.

    ####KU senior Wesley: Decrease in playing time doesn’t sour career as Jayhawk####

    “We have five good post guys and the best sixth post guy in the country in Wilt. Wilt doesn’t even get a chance to play for us,” Self joked Tuesday on his “Hawk Talk” radio show.

    “Wilt” is Justin Wesley, KU’s senior basketball power forward/actor, whose big-screen debut — the portrayal of Wilt Chamberlain in the movie “Jayhawkers” — will show Friday through Sunday at Lied Center.

    ####** No Jo Jo?: What an Embiid-less lineup would mean for Kansas**####

    The uncertainty around Embiid’s immediate future started becoming evident Monday night, so naturally members of the national media began to speculate on how KU would adjust to the valuable big man’s absence, if that is indeed how the situation plays out.

    #### Also see our Daily Threads, February 13, and the News Digest for Yesterday, February 12, as well as Daily Threads for Yesterday, February 12

  • ““We have five good post guys and the best sixth post guy in the country in Wilt. Wilt doesn’t even get a chance to play for us,” Self joked Tuesday on his “Hawk Talk” radio show.”

    I caught that on the tube. Does CS realize this radio show is also video on TV? I enjoyed watching him eat chicken salad.

  • From Gary Parrish Top 25 (and one) at CBS Sports. I think he is someone who thinks he knows a lot and a real homer for Duke & UK. He did not drop us from #7 even after the KSU loss and this explains why:

    7 Kansas Overall: 18-6 Conference: 9-2 Previous: 7

    **The Jayhawks have six top-30 RPI wins, eight top-50 wins and zero losses outside of the top 30 even after Monday’s OT loss at Kansas State. **

    He did drop SDSU from 3 to 6 after their loss to Wyoming. He updates his rankings daily based on each night’s games.

  • Tait’s analysis of the 3 ball is interesting to me. I think he looks at our 3 point shooting as a negative, but it actually is a higher percentage than the last two years, we’re just shooting less. And we’re shooting it less because our overall FG% is among the highest in the nation. Why shoot jumpers when we have about 5 guys who can consistently pound it home from point blank range?

    Another interesting number from the last three years. A pretty good shooting percentage from 3 land four years ago, near 40%, resulted in a disappointing finish to the season against VCU when we couldn’t buy a shot from the outside.

    I can’t begin to grasp what it is like to be good enough to play ball on a DI team, let alone at KU. I hope guys like Justin who don’t get a lot of playing time grasp the benefits of a free education for five years. They live a charmed life. Travel to exotic places every year. Adulation from fellow students. I have two in college, one to enter next year. My wife and I didn’t pass on the necessary genes for them to win athletic scholarships unfortunately. So when I hear of a guy like Melvin Watkins from DePaul who drops out of school in his senior year I just shake my head. What a fool, but thanks Justin Wesley for helping make our program great!

  • @wissoxfan83 I posted a while back some stats on three point shooting and winning the NCAA tourney. I don’t have access to the stats right now, but I recall the lowest NCAA tourney winner since 2001 making 5.4 threes per game. At the time I posted before, we were like 4.9 threes per game.

    Another important item is options. If some guys are cold, who can we turn to? And will Self have the confidence to turn to them when needed? It appears that Greene and Frankamp are the options we might need, and it appears that Self does have confidence in them. It also appears that they are being developed in a way that results in both of them being effective, especially the consistent approach with Greene. Emphasis on “appears.” He turned to them vs. KSU with solid results. Would he turn to them in the sweet 16?

  • I’d rather have Embiid who is shooting 62% have the ball down low, than have a perimeter player shoot 36% for three. So why is playing the odds the wrong choice? 3 of 17 doesn’t beat anyone. Take 4 less three and make 2 more layups and it’s a W.

    I will always favor a layup opportunity over a guarded three. If it’s wide open after swinging the ball shoot the three, but don’t shoot three just to get the volume up to satisfy the non-coach critics. Making threes opens up the lane not shooting threes. I could shoot threes all day long and you would be right to sag off and let me shoot away…

    This teams problems start and end on defense. The offense is fun to watch, especially after watching last years terrible offense. McLemore was the only scoring option; not so this season. Wiggins, Selden, Tharpe, Embiid, and Ellis can all light it up.

    I don’t want to be like Duke or any other team that lives and dies by the three. Those teams get bounce early most years, but we tend to remember the good runs.

  • 2011-2012 team was the only team I can recall that had the ability to shoot 10-20% trifect and still possibly win the game. They were really special–Tyshawn & TRob just had amazing will power. Took us all the way to the title game with Ty having not been able to even make threes in a dome. Wasn’t he like 1/27 at one point?

  • Also, I have to admit that watching this freshmen group develop, slightly increases my appreciation for Cal is doing with Freshmen year in and year out. Just slightly, though.

  • KenPom Article

    This article is an interesting read. It did not require me to log in to my kenpom account, so I assume it is free for everybody to read.


    It is February 12, 33 days from the ACC championship game, and the Orange have played five true road games and none of them were particularly scary. In theory the most difficult of the bunch was a game against St. John’s at Madison Square Garden, which might not be considered a particularly hostile venue for New York’s College Team. The other road games were against #70 Miami FL, #104 Wake Forest, #151 Boston College and #209 Virginia Tech.

    If you ask people in the know, I guess they would say that Syracuse is the best team in the country? The Orange are #1 in the polls, but I’m never really sure what that means. I don’t think any writer is free to vote them something other than #1, because none of them are even though Syracuse’s unbeaten record, like Wichita State’s, is clearly schedule-aided.

  • @wissoxfan83 Just one comment that Justin is not getting free education. He is a walk on and his brother Keith L has been paying for his college tuition.

    I agree that just the overall experience of being part of the tradition rich program like KU is priceless, and I am glad that Justin has enjoyed his time at KANSAS. He has always had a good attitude which I really appreciated. I hope that he can make good coin playing Pro ball overseas.

  • @Blown very nice … I never thought of Syracuse as being schedule-aided. Of course, though, simply being undefeated even if the schedule isn’t tip top is very impressive to me.

    Doubtful we get a #1 seed unless there is a huge collapse among others, and I don’t see that. The draw will be a big deal … would you rather have WSU as your #1, or Florida? Easy choice there.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Wichita State has to remain unbeaten to get a #1 seed. Their schedule (regardless of who wants or does not want to play them) is what it is. One loss and their chances of getting a #1 seed are pretty much gone…although Gonzaga with 31-2 record and better schedule got a #1 seed last season, and did not do them much good as they lost in the second round (I guess they call it now third???) to…of all teams…Wichita State. With the current system, anything is possible.

  • I was thinking the same thing. I don’t put a lot of stock into Lunardi, though he really does a pretty good job. But right now, they have us on a 2 line and Florida on the 1. I do not want to play them again. They have an excellent coach, and I don’t think we match up well, mainly because their strength–switching zone defenses–is one of our greatest weaknesses. Not a favorable matchup. I would like to be in WSU bracket for sure.

    Actually, we are now a 3 seed in Wichitas Bracket w/ Michigan as the #2. I’d take that path.

  • @Blown

    There is a site that rates the “bracketologists” based on how close they predict the field and seedings. Lunardi has a huge platform with ESPN but when it comes to predicting the brackets, he is average at best.

    Ranking the Bracketologists…

  • @dylans

    Jesse Newells effective three point percentage speaks to that. A 2 point shooter has to make 9 shots to score 18 points while a three point shooter has to make 6. Assume they both take 12 shots. The two point shooters 75% is the same as three point shooters 50% in terms of output. Now when you put it like you did when the 2 point percentage is nearly double the 3 point percentage then it makes sense to shoot the two.

    @HighEliteMajor I love seeing numbers like that. It’d be interesting to see.

  • @JayHawkFanToo That’s a really interesting article. You’re right, he does have an unbelievable platform, but he’s hardly as accurate as most give him credit for.

    Although, I don’t agree with where we are right now as a 3 seed, I’d take it. Honestly, a 2 seed in the bracket with WSU as the 1 could possibly be better than a 1. When we made it to the NC in 2012, our path to the tourney wasn’t all that hard until the Elite Eight. This team could very well make it to the FF if given a similar path, which is a lot of luck, but nice nonetheless.

  • Anyone seen this yet? Impressive mix tapes of a couple young ballers. Thon Maker a 7’1" Soph. and the video of the little guy a 4’11" 8th grader with mad handles.

    Mixed up expecttions

  • @dylans-Have seen Maker, but not the 8th grade kid. Thon Maker is surely going to be a special player if he get’s the proper coaching.

  • Those mix tapes do set unrealistic standards, but dang it’s fun to get the hype machine rolling along with imaginations.

    @globaljaybird You mean not Scott Drew, right?

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