Embiid, Wiggins and 3 Place Holders Beat TTech

  • There was a reason Self brought Embiid back against Texas Tech. It wasn’t to use Texas Tech as a warm up game for Texas, as I at first thought. As JNew pointed out on the blog, Tech was ranked 69th by KENPOM. To put that in perspective, Colorado is ranked 60th. No, Self brought Embiid back, because he realized this KU team had zip chance of beating TTech without the Mighty Joel.

    And don’t let Wiggins getting the last bucket fool you. Andrew had to have Joel to win the game. Joel was 6-7 FG and 6-8 FT and had 8 reebs. Compare that with Wigs’ 5-10 FG and 6-8 FT 6 reebs.

    The other three starters were pitiful. Just awful. They were worse than awful. They were tediously bad.

    Dishonor roll:

    Tharpe–1-7FG, 1-5 3pt, 2Asst, 4 TOs,

    Selden–2-8FG, 2-4 3pt, 1 asst, 0 steals.

    Ellis–0-3 FG, 1 Reeb, 1 asst, 1 TO.

    When these three came off the floor they were taken straight to a de-lousing station.

    KU shot 28.6% from trey.

    KU was +3 on TOs.

    Did I say KU sucked?

    Self did not just send the team out flat.

    He sent the team out concave.

    Wiggins, who won the game down the stretch for KU, was nothing short of de-phenomenal until the last three minutes.

    For long stretches of the game it was like the 4 starters and the bench were in effect saying, “Thank god Joel is back, we were getting tired of having to play hard to win games. Let’s just stand around and let him do it tonight.”

    Even after one gives credit to TTech for playing a sound basketball game with a solid starting five, 3/5s of KU sucked the entire game, and 4/5s sucked for 37 minutes of it.

    KU’s bench did not suck. It was merely uninspired.

    How a team wins a game with 6 assists is beyond me, but how a team wins a game with 3/5ths of the team seeming to play on a ventilator, doubly unfathomable.

    This team has taken winning to a new low.

    But if a team were to be judged by finding a way to win a game it did not deserve to win, well, this would have to be judged the best team in KU history.


  • Wow. That’s laying it on the line JB. Certainly we didn’t play well. I walked away from the TV wondering how we just won. The first thought is…luck. I also was amazed at some of the shots that Tech took and made as the shot clock was winding down. It seemed to be their night. I’ll take it.

  • Oh so true. Tharpe made me want to eviscerate myself in the final 2 min. Ellis was as absent from this game as he was present from the TCU game.

    Let’s also give Tubby a little credit. He does know how to coach and got a lot out of a club that is not nearly as talented.

    I know it looked like we didn’t deserve to win this, but that team was playing over its ceiling and the officials were oscillating between this universe and some other universe where blocks and player control fouls are reversed.

  • Jaybate, I always think I am walking on sacred ground when I respond to you and a few other “royalty buckets names” out of the gate when you post. None the less I will expose my bear neck and give my 2 cents.

    I agree we were flat and the TT team has been rising- the old nothing to lose we are on the run and they shot 3’s like never before- the only chance they had if KU was also flat which we were.

    I am so happy we finished with a W. Period. Short and sweet, I will retire and read up on there’s thoughts in the AM.

  • This game had me to the point where I got up from the computer and got something to eat, washed dishes, visited with my wife and took the dogs out for awhile. Sat back down at about the 2 minute mark and thankfully I got a text from ESPN with the final score while the stream still had the game at about the 20-30 second mark. Sure hope the team has more fire on Saturday.

  • @jaybate 1.0 It is true that most of the team played horribly. However, I disagree with your assessment of the game that Wiggins had. Tonight was probably the most aggressive I have seen him this year in attacking the paint. Typically, he takes too many jumpers and threes, but tonight he was playing to his real strength and that is driving into the paint.

    I really don’t know what is going on with Tharpe, but he played about as poorly as he could possibly play. I do not agree at all with the assessment that we can not get to the Final Four with Tharpe as the point guard. He can play good enough defense. He can make good decisions. He can take care of the ball. The problem is that he does not do this on a consistent basis. A common characteristic of his bad games is that he does not move the ball. For some reason, he is content to dribble around the perimeter and then throw up a shot. Inconsistency is unfortunately a characteristic of this team. That of course was the case tonight.

    However, haven’t most of Bill Self’s teams in the past 7 or 8 years been at least somewhat inconsistent? For example, think back to the '10 team that was arguably the best team that year along with Kentucky. They were capable of playing at such a high level, yet frequently played with low energy and a lack of focus. Same thing with the '11 team. I have heard all sorts of reasons as to why they lost but no one seems to acknowledge the real reason they lost: they didn’t want to win more than VCU. It was blatantly obvious on the defensive end, especially when VCU was left on the perimeter wide open.

    To me, the problem with this team is not talent, or skill, or lack of knowledge of how to play basketball at the Division 1 level. It is simply a lack of energy that has been consistently displayed by the Bill Self teams of the past several years. Here is what I mean: Tharpe is a better ball handler than what he showed tonight. Texas Tech is not that good of team to force that many turnovers. There is also no excuse for giving up that many offensive rebounds. I am not sure what Self is telling them, but it obviously isn’t doing the job because Tech should never outrebound them. Ever. I was hoping to see them play with good energy on defense for two halves, but that didn’t happen. I am still excited that they played with so much passion and effort defensively on Saturday, even though it was just against TCU. To me, it proves that they are indeed capable of playing Bill Self defense, despite what others have thought.

    I am hoping that eventually they will understand the importance of playing good defense and rebounding the ball because I can almost guarantee that there will be a game like the one tonight where it is a slow, grind it out game where every play is vital to winning. Hopefully they will begin to understand that effort problems, not skill problems, are what is keeping them from Dallas.

  • I understand that some players did not have the games we would have liked them to have. The kids played their hearts out and tried their best and to call it a “dishonor roll” is going too far.

  • Looking at the line scores, either 3 of 5 starters did not play their hearts out, or those three starters were less talented than the guys they were matched up with.

    Well there are two other possibilities: “playing through” injuries and “personal stuff.” But since Self reputedly never plays anyone with a serious injury, we know this time of year all on both teams are “nicked up” and so that’s a wash that cannot explain the poor line scores of the three players. And similarly everyone is going through personal stuff on both teams, so that too is a wash and probably does not explain the poor line scores.

    So one is left with either:

    a.) failure to play heart out; or

    b.) less talent than opponent.

    Regarding talent, Selden and Ellis were 5-star recruits and Selden is considered a possible OAD. I don’t recall either player’s match-up on TTECH having been a 5-star recruit, or possible OAD, so that suggests LESSER talent was PROBABLY not the trigger in Ellis’ and Selden’s cases.

    In Tharpe’s case, he was a 3-star recruit and a bit shorter than his match up, so maybe Naa was helplessly determined by insufficient talent alone to make 2 assists and 4 TOs, but were TTECH’s guards really that much more talented than Naa that they locked him down, while he played his heart out?

    So: hearts being played out seems an unpersuasive argument, unless these three players labor with acutely undersized hearts and I just don’t find any empirical evidence for that.

    No, it appears 3 of 5 starters did not bring their A games to Lubbock, or their B games.

    But to be a mensch I will agree “dis-honor roll” is inaccurate.

    “Didn’t Play Their Hearts Out Roll” seems more accurate.

    But they got the W and that was what they went to Lubbock for.

    So may be all is well and it can be chalked up to coincidence of three of five guys having off nights the same night.

  • @DinarHawk: yours is a thoughtful and thought provoking post.

    Inconsistency happens. 😃

    Consider Texas and ISU’s play this conference season.

    But your insightful question is: does it happen to Self’s teams more?

    I used to think it did, because of a self-fulfilling prophecy in Self’s philosophy that players play 1/3 good games, 1/3 average games and 1/3 bad games.

    I still think it does and that it is a core driver why Self’s teams show more inconsistency than another exceptional coach like John Wooden’s teams did.

    But I think something not unexpected has occurred.

    Self’s phenomenal success the last ten years has lead many if not most coaches in the Big 12 to adopt this part of his philosophy and, as a result, we may be witnessing a normalizing of Selfian inconsistency. I suspect we are seeing more teams manifest this inconsistency.

    Understand this inconsistency appears to have two probable drivers though.

    First, there is the self fulfilling prophecy of assuming the 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 distribution of good, average and bad games.

    Second, there is his apparent assumption that teams cannot be geeked up for two games in 3, or 4 days. Self appears to “geek” his teams up for the tougher opponent in a two game set and to send his teams out flat for the weaker one. This leads to more “planned” and more “extreme” inconsistency.

    Self is in effect trying to bias his good performances higher and trying to bias those good performances to come against the better opponents, while biasing his worst performances to come against lesser opponents.

    This squeezes more Ws out of a given amount of talent, when other teams are coached to be consistent every game.

    It remains to be seen how Self will do, as others copy his approach.

    Will he evolve a counter measure to his own approach?

  • @jaybate 1.0 What I do know is this; That was one ugly ugly game that Embiid and Wigs saved us on. Both of them together had 37 and 12 which was more than half of KU’s production, or lack there of. But we won a freekin grind out muddy ugly game, something we couldn’t do early in the season. Coach probly doesn’t even need to get his guys geeked up for Texas on Saturday. They owe them a bigtime punch in the nose for the last game. If we tie up with Texas on Saturday then we will most likely have wrapped up at least a share of the conference title for the 10th straight season! Unprecedented in this era of CMB.

  • My issue was the use of the term “dishonor.”

    Definition of dishonor:

    dis·hon·or [dis-on-er] noun

    1. lack or loss of honor; disgraceful or dishonest character or conduct.

    2. disgrace; ignominy; shame: His arrest brought dishonor to his family.

    3. an indignity; insult: to do someone a dishonor.

    4. a cause of shame or disgrace: He is a dishonor to his family.

    5. Commerce . failure or refusal of the drawee or intended acceptor of a bill of exchange or note to accept it or, if it is accepted, to pay and retire it.

    Now, does anyone think that the players that did not have good games fall into any of these categories? I absolutely do not think so.

  • This is a great thread to highlight that each of us 'Hawk fans/alums “see” different things with our ‘mind’s eye’ when we are judging & evaluating our beloved 'Hawks.

    I thought for the most part, Selden, who had a lackluster statline, dedicated himself to defense (on Dusty Hannahs), who didnt go off like Heslip/Forte on us. Selden hit a couple of key BIG threes.

    I thought our defense was pretty active, and I literally saw several of our players trying to “jump” passing routes. The biggest headache was the late shot clock buckets, or the daggum offensive rebounds going to TxTech.

    What most posts have NOT talked about enough is how Tubby Smith coached his players well enough to have them switch their defense in the last 10sec of our shot clock…all those things conspired to make it a close grinder, keeping KU out of offensive rhythm. I havent seen a team switch defense by-design like that–> very impressive move! We were lucky to pull this out.

    Credit Self and Wiggins with the aggressive “drive it” philosophy, as the foul discrepancy REALLY kept us in it, and took key TubbyTechies off the floor for key minutes.

    Selfball is designed to win grinder type games, but this team really doesnt have the experience to do it…so us pulling this one out was a true learning experience.

    I begrudgingly thank the Cyclones for adding an “L” to Texas.

    Also notice how Greene hurt us a bit by a missed 3 and a end-of-half turnover, didnt even get a shot att up.

    Notice how AW3 came in and was a neutral (didnt help us, but didnt score or steal either). Mason was a neutral. Tharpe, bless his heart was a net-negative. Couple of very, very Tyshawn-esque gift turnovers late in the game. I always said Tharpe “took notes” from Tyshawn, but I always meant about the “goodTyshawn”.

    I’ll take the W…and on that loose ball, you saw KU guys wanted it more, as WiggyBaby was right there. I’m not going to dishonor my guys, as they are simply too young for me to hang my hopes on any sort of consistency–from any of 'em, really, other than Tharpe…and I’ve said enough about Tharpe’s D lately to decide its best to just support him & hope for better games out of everybody.

    RCJH. Good posts by jaybate & everybody!

  • @ralster do you see Greene getting more chances? Last night blunders and his behavior problem, worries me. I really want to see more of him.

  • @jaybate 1.0

    Ground and pound, JB! You laid it down… especially with the comment about how most of the team went on break because Joel was back. As I said a few days ago, we should have left him out of this game, too. Make the rest of the guys fight for this win.

    The season is too short… not enough games to teach these kids lessons.

  • @JayHawkFanToo I see your point, and agree with it…but I also know jaybate’s style, and his use of “dishonor” here is simply a ‘picturesque’ attention-getter for discussion, and to help make his point. Some writing styles “overstate” the case in order to highlight a point.

    Summary: 3 of our 5 starters had lackluster play & statlines. I dont think Jaybate was disrespecting the players, if we allow for ‘colorful diction’. The de-lousing visual was just too funny (to me)! Another example is his colorful descriptor of Tharpe as “short-legged”. Or Releford as “long-necked” (putting an asterisk by Releford’s 6’5 height). Or calling Tyshawn a “whippet” (extremely fast, ultra-thin). That’s just funny stuff.

    One final thought: Each of these players has a higher ceiling, regarding stats and potential…huge upside actually. That may be why Jaybate is calling attention to them. He may not spend the time to do so with a plateaued player, right? We all want more consistency & production, but that is a challenge with a team so young, coupled with Self’s experienced-coach-observation of the Rule of 1/3rds over the years.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 Well, I only saw the 1-2min at the end of the 1st half for Greene. But at least he did get in the game. AW3 also got to play 1-2 min, I believe.

    I personally believe Self is breaking new territory with this 11deep roster. Its just crazy to have 5 usable bigs, and all the guards. And he plays 'em. Unlike 2011 MorrisHawks, where we all griped that BradyplayswhileEJridespine…as we went down to UNI and VCU, the camera panned the KU bench-of-athletes who never played or contributed…

    So I’m willing to see Self work this out. I think he is still learning about the guys, like an e-x-t-e-n-d-e-d non-conf season, to judge the most reliable lineup. And, finally, due to the extreme youth, there may be NO reliable lineup, as 3 of 5 starters proved…

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  • @ralster if in the tournament our pt guards are playing like they did last pm, can you think of another option? My son and I were kicking that around last pm. Selden is TO prone. Mason seems to be getting less time. Naadir has had many great games, hoping they can figure that out!

  • There was some good back-and-forth discussion late last night on REHawk’s thread “Mr. Ellis, meet Mr. Smith”. The debate was whether this was a good win or a “low” win as Jaybate posted. Honestly, after years of reading Jaybate post about how Self will vary how he “amps” his teams from contest to contest, I was surprised to see him so down on the team.

    Some observations:

    1. Tharpe’s defense…does it even need to be discussed anymore? He does try, as Reid Gettys pointed out last night when he broke through a double screen to blow up one of Tech’s set plays. But those instances were few & far between. Combine that with his two late game turnovers and he hurt us more than anybody last night. At this point, if he doesn’t get hot from 3 in a game, then we’re just hoping to manage the net negative we take at that position. That being said…Mason with only 6 minutes?

    2. Wiggins - Very aggressive. Definitely makes plays at the end of close games. I think at this point there isn’t any doubt who our go-to guy is, or at least should be. Two plays last night that warrant some attention: first, some posters have been waiting for him to dive for a ball. I don’t know that it was technically a dive, but he did go to the floor for a loose ball. Is that enough to placate the nay-sayers? Second, on a drive in the second half he got knocked down and slid across the baseline. Did anyone notice how three of his fellow Jayhawks rushed to him? My first thought was that maybe this was in response to the Marcus Smart incident, that they saw their teammate heading closer to the opposition fan base and immediately wanted to get him out of there. There were no Tech players around him, and the rate that his teammates came to his aid just seemed out of the ordinary. At any rate, there was also some discussion on what Wiggins’ teammates think of him because he doesn’t look to pass off his drives. I don’t think there’s any doubt his teammates like him and respect him.

    3. Perry’s struggles last night were a real head scratcher. This should have been a game he dominated. Tech didn’t have the bruising front line that gives Ellis problems sometimes. And against zones…well Self made the comparison to Julian Wright after the TCU game. How when opposing teams went zone Julian’s eyes would get real big and he could really dominate, and how Perry had a lot of that in his game. Granted Tech did a great job switching from M2M, to one zone to another. Also, the only thing I can attribute it to is foul trouble. It’s not the first time I’ve posted how Perry gets completely out of rhythm and is a non-factor in a game he has foul trouble.

    4. Embiid - Self said going in he’d like for him to play 25 minutes. He ended up with 32. A positive sign? He said he felt about 90%, but if that was the case that 10% was noticeable. He did have a veru good, efficient game, but wasn’t the game-changer down low that he can be at times. And he was thrown to the floor a couple of times last night. Anxious to see how he fares in the rematch with Ridley & the Longhorns.

    5. Black/Traylor - another solid performance from these guys off the bench. Such a luxury having great post depth. Love watching Jamari’s offensive game evolve. He’s not the natural that Embiid is, thus he isn’t absorbing the game at an astronomical rate, but just imagine if this guy would have been playing hoops at an earlier age.

  • @ralster

    I believe I am overprotective when someone questions our players hearts. Although I don’t know the players personally, I believe that we have not only great payers but also great individuals as well. and I don’t like when a label, hyperbole notwithstanding is attached to them. Enough said.

    As far as the 1/3 rule, I am more inclined to the “rule” Fran Fraschllla stated that goes something like this:

    Every season a team will have 5 games when it plays out of their minds and will win almost regardless of who the opponent is. It will also have 5 games when it plays poorly and will likely lose; the rest of the games the team will play to its average/mean. The key to a good season is to win those games when you play poorly.

    Last night was good example of winning a game when you play poorly. A harbinger of good thing to come, perhaps?

    I believe that teams tend to play to their mean the majority of the time. Now, we tend to see some games KU plays as being below that, but in reality they are closer to the mean than we realize. For all the talent KU has, it is also a very green team with 3 starting freshmen. Yes, the ceiling is high and when they are clicking on all cylinders, they are a sight to behold, but certainly this is not the mean for this team at this time. As the season move on, obviously the mean moves up and hopefully by tournament time it is high enough to overcome poor individual performances.

    KU is one of those rare, lucky teams where losing any one player would not necessarily doom the season. I have watched a few Kentucky games and if Randle were to get injured, the team’s overall performance would decrease dramatically. For all the superstars they have, they are heavily dependent on one player.

  • @icthawkfan316

    “Perry’s struggles last night were a real head scratcher. This should have been a game he dominated. Tech didn’t have the bruising front line that gives Ellis problems sometimes. And against zones…well Self made the comparison to Julian Wright after the TCU game. How when opposing teams went zone Julian’s eyes would get real big and he could really dominate, and how Perry had a lot of that in his game. Granted Tech did a great job switching from M2M, to one zone to another. Also, the only thing I can attribute it to is foul trouble. It’s not the first time I’ve posted how Perry gets completely out of rhythm and is a non-factor in a game he has foul trouble.”

    I think you put it all into perspective in this one paragraph (concerning Perry’s play). You answered your own question… your own head scratch.

    Perry seems to be a player who flows in and out of harmony. It’s his rhythm (or lack there of).

    When he gets going out of the blocks early, he seems to feel the rhythm, and he relaxes more and lets his body play the game on instincts. He looks much faster because there is no pause in his game. He is very explosive because he makes his moves the very split second he receives the ball.

    When Perry is out of rhythm he makes it a head game. When that happens all of his motions are on hold until decisions are made in his head. Then he looks slow and lethargic. He then has other issues that start piling on. It is all a head game at this point and he’s been self-conditioned to realize that the game isn’t going well for him. He instantly loses confidence, and it just piles on top as another complication for his brain to deal with on the court.

    This is just my opinion… but I’d bet the farm on it as being the reason why one game he is on and the next he if completely off.

    I doubt there is much anyone can do for him to help him… he has to come to the realization of what is going on in his head and body and he has to learn to make proactive adjustments to prevent staying off rhythm.

    When Perry gets off rhythm, and his brain starts to short circuit his actions, he needs to override that relay by hard-wiring around his brain. Cut his brain off from participation. Both him and Tharpe need to practice zen. They both need a zen moment in the locker room before each game where they go to the same place (in their minds) and they find wholeness. And from that place they can install the game plans. Perfect execution, total confidence… all visualized before they hit the floor. Their rhythm is in place, and they go out and start every game on the right foot.

    Notice how many times Tharpe starts games with a TO. Uh… wasn’t it Tharpe who made the TO on our first possession last night?

    If Tharpe and Ellis would come through the tunnel in the right state of mind, we won’t lose another game this year! Yes… we will run the table, including March Madness!

  • Here’s Perry’s starts after his 20 point games this year: Duke 24 and 9, then Iona 21 and 7, then Towson 10 and 4

    New Mexico 21 and 9, then GTown 5 and 2

    Toledo 21 and 11, then SDState 4 and 5

    OK 22 and 11, KST 12 and 5

    IA St 20 and 6, Tex 11 and 2

    TCU 32 and 8, TTech 4 and 2

    On the other hand by looking at his ‘poor’ games, less than 10 points, he only followed that up once by another poor game. 4 times he followed single digit scoring games with 20 or more points in the next.

  • @drgnslayr

    A few years back, while doing work for the DoD I had the privilege of briefly witnessing part of the SEAL team training at Coronado in Southern California. What impressed me the most was how much they emphasize training and how they are told over and over that once in action, they need to “trust their training.” No time to think in real situations,

    I think you have it right when you say that when Perry plays head games, i.e.thinks too much. The split second he wastes is the difference between having an easy shot or having his shot blocked. Maybe he need to think less and just…trust his training. When he does that he is explosive and unstoppable, when he does not…not so much.

  • @JayHawkFanToo you can see that on D too, he doesn’t react, then it’s to late.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    Here are a couple of good links on what I’m talking about… zen…

    The Russians did a study several decades ago on this. It is called “creative visualization.”

    This is what Ellis and Tharpe need to do!


    And here is an over-simplified description on how to do it:


  • @jaybate 1.0 and @ everyone else. KU has very nearly always had problems in February with losing close games or not playing to the best of their abilities. Look at the 08 season when they lost 3 of 7 and last season when they lost 3 in a row. Im certain there are other seasons where February has been particularly harsh on these guys. They will be fine by March, I just hope they don’t lose too many more games because of seeding for selection sunday.

  • @JayHawkFanToo I share your sentiment about our players being great individuals, as that is what Self recruits–and I greatly respect your sticking up for players, as honestly, that is the reason I started posting on kusports back in 2007–to defend what I saw Self trying to build. By now, everybody knows Self is a guiding-father-type, sometimes loving, sometimes harsh. But his themes are consistent. So it is up to the players’ own timelines & learning curve to improve & produce (as expected at K.A.N.S.A.S.). Some fans have patience, some have less patience.

    As you said, I dont like disparaging remarks, especially the truly insulting variety being made on our guys–not by opposing fans, and not by our own fanbase. At times I have been VERY salty in response to those types of posts, over the years, over on kusports…Some of the heat sufferred by EJ, Tyshawn, Sherron, Twins, etc… is warranted, but the personal insults are not acceptable. Its no different than Jeff Orr TxTech fan, calling Marcus Smart a piece of ----. Not acceptable. I thought Smart was hurting his team with his poor decisions on court, and bad publicity with flopping, but I will defend even that player from personal insults from a grown man (who “has never worn a jock strap” as D.Vitale put it). Honestly, some of Smart’s behavior is the non-checks/balances not being provided by his coach, Travis Ford.

    To me, comments made about players specifically by name, are all about the tone and context. Jaybate doesnt intend insult to our guys. His tone and delivery are usually amusing attention-getting phrases to catch a reader’s attention. This pasttime of cussin’&discussin’ our Jayhawks is also a creative-writing outlet for some, as it obviously is for jaybate, and many of us like his analogies taking us outside of the box, so to speak. And jaybate isnt one of those fans that, just because they love ku ball, feel they can say personally insulting things about our own guys. If you want to see truly un-informed posts, blasting on ku players, try kusports under the football articles…or look at some posts after the Michigan, VCU, UNI losses. People cant handle the half of sports that IS losing a game.

    Again, thank you for defending our players…as a KU alum, I really like and support the “family” atmosphere that Self has fostered. Win or lose, I will ALWAYS stand behind our guys (as people are well aware, considering all my defense of Twins, TRob, EJ, Sherron, Tyshawn, etc., and lately, having to defend Wiggins, too.). I always say that the players will carry a season-ending loss with them forever, way more poignantly than any of us ever could. Theirs is an exclusive club with 100% highs, and 100% lows, with all the aches, pains, & sweat in between.

  • @Lulufulu85

    I agree… we often run into problems in February. There is a reason for that. We typically have plenty of talented, experienced players that have come close to reaching their playing ceilings. We usually play well early in the year, and we make some gains over Christmas break. But sometime in February, our opponents often catch up to us in execution. At this time we are usually facing teams for the second time. They have us scouted and they put lots of energy into a game plan to beat us. Their energy can be directed just on us.

    But this year, we have such a young team… very far away from reaching their ceiling. So we should be making big improvements all through the season. We shouldn’t be dipping in February… we should be improving all year.

  • @drgnslayr

    I think what I am trying to say is simpler than that. Do all your thinking, ask all your questions, perfect your technique at practice and not at game time; if you are doing it at game time the results are likely not going to be positive.

    I am a fan of John Wooden (the coach) and this was written about him…

    “Those who were close students of Coach Wooden’s can tell you that he was famous for a peculiar coaching tendency: he rarely called timeouts. It might be tempting to dismiss this as a coincidence since his teams were often so dominant, but this simple explanation would deprive others of an important lesson. Coach Wooden rarely called timeouts because he believed that his job was to teach his players how to prepare, then to prepare them thoroughly for every game. Once the game started, he largely left it to his disciplined army of athletes to figure things out for themselves, often times even when they found themselves in a spot of bother.”

    This is what I am talking about. Perry needs to “do his thinking” during practice, and at game time, turn on the beast mode, trust his training and dominate like he has show he is capable of doing.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    I’m a big fan of Wooden, too.

    He was all about prep.

    He started every year by showing players how to put their shoes and socks on. Players would laugh and think it was stupid. But the lessons continued… and intensified… until they weren’t laughing any longer. Wooden was the master of preparation and detail. He then shifted accountability to the players, where it should be.

    He was once asked why he spent time showing them how to put their shoes and socks on and he said, “I just wanted to be complete. To teach every aspect I knew that could help my players become their best. And surprisingly, many didn’t know the right way to put on their socks and shoes!”

    I’m sure he had it down to a science. And he never had a player trip on a shoelace.

  • @drgnslayr That sounds like Lombardi’s " Gentlemen, this is a football. " speech.

    You just can’t emphasize the basics too much.

  • Bill Self has the most wins of any coach in the last 5 years (178-33) and the best winning percentage. Bill Self has the 2nd most wins of any coach in the last 10 years (320-65), only behind John Calipari (324-70), but has a better win percentage than Calipari. He’s won or shared 9 straight regular season titles, and 6 of the last 9 conference tournaments. National Championship in 2008, National Championship appearance in 2012. Multiple coach of the year awards, and a bunch of other stuff that I’m probably forgetting. I’m sure you’re all familiar with these numbers. The point that I’m making is that I don’t care if Kansas’ play is inconsistent from game to game as long Kansas keeps winning at the rate that they have been since HCBS arrived.

  • @KirkIsMyHinrich Good point ! We KU fans have been seriously spoiled the last 25+ years and I personally tend to forget that - oh yeah, we own college basketball (lol).

    Especially after that last game, thank you for pointing out what an outstanding program we really have.

  • @bskeet I was at Johnny’s Tavern watching the game and when Tharpe made that second boneheaded turnover, the entire bar collectively lost their s$@!. It’s like the light switch to his brain suddenly turned off and he forgot how to handle a basketball. Kinda reminds me of Space Jam when all the players lost thier abilities and couldn’t do anything with the rock.

  • @jaybate 1.0 The assumption that teams play 1/3 good, 1/3 average and 1/3 bad games is probably a pretty accurate observation of human/team nature.

    Regarding Self’s “geeking” strategy: My opinion is that the Blue Blood Programs do need to selectively “geek” their players. It’s really a corollary to the 1/3,1/3, 1/3 theory of human/team nature mentioned above. We just cannot operate at peak performance every time out. When you are playing league teams you are familiar with that are not as talented, a coach has to know which games to geek his players. Self is a master at it.

    As for other Big 12 coaches copying Self’s “geeking” strategy–Other teams may benefit from selective geeking when they play each other. But KU is every league opponent’s Final Four every time we play. They are naturally geeked every time they play KU, especially when they play KU at home. Therefore, KU should never really be impacted by any other Big 12 coach copying Self’s geeking strategy.

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