IS SMALL BALL SHORT FOR “WE DONT HAVE A FLIPPING POST MAN?”
jaybate 1.0 last edited by jaybate 1.0
I don’t hear ANY debate from the small ballers saying that KU would be better off sitting Azuibuke, or that Philly would be better off sitting Joel Embiid.
Is small ball only the future in a Disney-esque small, small world?
I thought small ball was argued to be the future, because, well, because trey balling and highly mobile small bigs had changed everything but the way we think.
Would some of the small ball devotees step forward and argue the case for Azuibuke and Embiid playing less, so the superiority of small ball can properly reassert itself?
Anyone who proclaims the death of the big man is way off base. Small ball is not the future. It’s just one way to win. It is as I have advocated for over what is now a number of years – it is a method to adapt to your talent.
But the key component of small ball, the three point shot, is not something that is limited to small ball. In fact, it is a key component to a post based offense. It has to be (except in a rare case of exceptional, dominant post talent).
I think we are on the verge of offensive perfection in 2018-19. Small ball is not perfection. But the hi/lo as Bill Self used to run with a disdain for threes, is not perfection, either.
In my mind, when talent permits, the hi/lo with a higher rate of threes, coupled with the feed the post, inside out action, is perfection. I was an advocate of a significantly higher rate of threes within Self’s system, inside/out, because I liked the offensive diversity. It was interesting the outright anger at the suggestion that Self was way too limited and dogmatic – suggesting (horror of horrors) that Self might be wrong. It’s almost worth a chuckle now. We’re in a different world. Now, we simply enjoy the fruits of our discussions. Adapting to talent. Self has of course matched his offense the past two seasons to his offensive strength – perimeter players. This season and last, there is a strong argument that we have/had the best perimeter in the country. Self transformed and evolved from what he arrogantly thought was the only real way to play offense. That’s all you can hope. Self had a right to be arrogant. He was/is a top 5 coach. His arrogance (doing it his way) got him to where he was. But he showed that he’s an even better coach by doing what we’ve seen the past two seasons, despite his prior success doing it solely his way (and largely the same way).
Next season, we will not be close to the best perimeter in the nation. Even if Vick stays. The big men return in 2018-19.
Small ball is an adaptation. Real basketball, the best basketball, is played conventionally, with two post players. But to achieve offensive perfection, again, in my opinion, is the strong and purposeful implementation of a three point game. Three point baskets HAVE to be a co-equal focus. Three point shooting is now a must except in the most extreme of circumstances of post talent .
If Self regresses and actively works to limit the three point game, I sure hope it’s only in reaction to a very poor shooting team. Out of necessity. Necessity for Self used to mean shooting threes in high volume – only when needed. The game now requires the three point game. If he regresses, he’ll be making a big mistake. I don’t anticipate that.
You can play a non-small ball game and shoot 22-23 threes a game. You can pound the post, and make your post game more effective by shooting a higher volume of threes.
Self now has a beautiful small ball offense. One that as you watch, you simply enjoy. It’s not one you sit and second guess, or walk away puzzled. You know it the perfect “fit” for this team.
I doubt it’s the fit next season. Of all that will occur next season, the thing that I am the most intrigued about is what offensive look Self rolls out. Here’s hoping for the return of the Self hi/lo with a bigger slice of inside/out, three point action. We can only hope.
kjayhawks last edited by
Having a true center is still very important to both college and NBA teams. I’d say that big men will always be part of the game but the PF position is dyeing especially in the NBA. They want the Draymond Green type that stretches the defense out to the 3 point line.
Beautifully clear and nuanced take. Thanks. I get it.
Your point is also well taken. Self has said a number of times over the years that a stretch 4 is the hardest player to guard in D1. It makes sense that it might be, or become that way in the NBA, too.
BucknellJayhawk3 last edited by
Highest percentage shots are always those shot by the bigs, therefore Hi/Lo will never go away.
However, if high percentage shots were the only king in town then we would see more teams playing 3 or even 4 forwards!
Small ball started not because of the lack of quality post players but with the evolution of the Center position. The original small ball team was not Golden State (who perfected it) but the Miami Heat that played Mario, Wade, Allen, LeBron and Bosch. Years earlier, Bosch would have been called a Center but he was listed as a PF that could go outside and hit the 3 and it is what now is called the stretch PF which is the new trend.
Some teams do not even list a Center anymore and the PFs take on that role playing inside but also stepping outside and shooting the 3. The era of the big plodding, dominant Centers that played close to the basket and never stepped outside such as Shaq, Ewing, Olajuwon, Jabbar and even Duncan is quickly dissapearing. Player that would have been considered Centers such as Pau Gasol and Kevin Love are now considered Stretch PFs that can hit the 3. Even dominant players that are still considered dominant Centers such as Embiid and Mark Gasol are fast and capable of hitting from outside. PFs still play inside but also shoot like SFs from the outside.
For example, take the first game box score from last night between Cleveland and Atlanta, only one player is listed as Center, Plumlee for the Hawks, played and only for 4 minutes. This trend is now moving to college and the bigger players prefer to be called Forwards rather than Centers and are learning to play faster and hit from the outside since it gives them an edge moving to the NBA.
The success of small ball, originally with Miami, and now with several NBA teams including Golden State, Cleveland and several others is spreading and is the future; many of the traditional Centers are now coming from Europe rather than a College. Big men are still here and will always be, it is the role they play that is evolving.
@JayHawkFanToo Nice summation there. Four nice paragraphs of solid hoops education.
I would offer that small ball did begin at KU because of the lack of quality post players. It was spurred forward by an overwhelming depth of terrific perimeter players. I don’t think Self would have modified his approach if he had a Withey/Aldrich/Doke like center and an effective true power forward like Simien, TRob, etc. In fact, even when he did have guys that could stretch out, we heard a lot of complaining/irritation from Self when the did stretch, so to speak, too often for his liking. I recall a number, but the rant about Marcus Morris was classic when he got a little “shot happy” from outside.
The best, most consistent way to score is close to the hoop. It always will be. But the three point shot is a close second. Both based on percentages.
We can certainly play more conventionally with a true center like Doke, and have a stretch 4 that is wildly effective in the hi/lo. In fact, it is the perfect match.
@HighEliteMajor I disagree there. I think Villanova and Jay Wright are the ones who proliferated the concept over a decade ago in college basketball and first came to prominence in 2006 (elite eight). Teams have proved time and again, such as in 2011, 2014 and 2016, that titles can be won by teams with only one or two forwards. The key is for the guards to make life difficult for opposing bigs by pressuring the perimeter and making entries into the post arduous. Villanova was superb at this against us and Carolina. I mean, they beat a team with multiple NBA level bigs and only had one real forward in Ochefu. Good shooting and rebounding are the two other keys to win a title with a small team. Even if we only have Dok and Mitch, I will believe that getting to San Antonio is a real possibility, with Silvio being gravy.
BeddieKU23 last edited by
We definitely have the components of a Nova type team this year.
I think we are already starting to see what year 2 of an perimeter oriented offense looks like under Self and to date the results look very promising.
justanotherfan last edited by
Small ball is really the revolution of the PF position, as @kjayhawks correctly points out.
When you have two interior type players, its easier to double team big to big and clog the lane, reducing the passing and driving angles. With one solo post player and four players stretching the floor, a dominant type 5 man is hard to stop. You can look at how much space some of the younger big guys operate with when there are four shooters.
A really good example of this from several years back is the Orlando Magic under Stan Van Gundy, with a young Dwight Howard in the middle. They spaced the floor with shooters - Hedo Turkoglu and Rashard Lewis played the majority of the minutes at the forward spots (top two players in minutes on those teams). In fact, the year they went to the finals, of the top 10 minutes played guys, Howard and Tony Battie were the only true post guys. Everyone else was a perimeter player - point guards Jameer Nelson, Anthony Johnson and Rafer Alston (two of whom often played together in the backcourt), plus wings Turkoglu, Lewis, Mikeal Pietrus, Courtney Lee, JJ Redick (all of whom shot at least 35% from three).
Obviously, it helped that both Turkoglu and Lewis were 6-9 or 6-10, so Orlando was never really small, but they played almost exclusively on the perimeter, with Howard able to work alone in the post. Howard led the team in scoring and rebounding, tossing up a 20/14, while Orlando’s shooters bombed away from three - hitting 817 threes at a 38% clip! That was good for second in the league (only 6 behind the Knicks, who hit 823, but at a 36% clip). Orlando was 6th in 3pt percentage, and no other team in the top half of the league made more than 660 threes! Volume and efficiency.
That team was built the way you would imagine a modern basketball team. A dominant interior player, a ball handler and lots of wings that could shoot and defend.
HighEliteMajor last edited by
@BeddieKU23 Agreed there. We need the Darryl Reynolds type player to make that complete. As of now, that’s Lightfoot. We need an upgrade that is big enough to defend down low when Doke gets major foul issues, or is tired. DeSousa would be a very nice add (assuming he’s competent in that role).
@HawkChamp Curious, what is that you disagree about?
On Nova of 2016, remember that Daniel Ochefu was really a center. He was nearly 7 foot, never shot a three, and was really a close to the basket player. Nova also had Reynolds, who at 6’9" permitted Nova to match up better when necessary. Kris Jenkins was 6’6" and a big dude, who could guard in the post.
I personally think that playing small, with 4 mobile players, is more of defensive issue for conventional teams than anything.
There is no doubt that 4 guard teams can win and do. Heck, I’ve advocated that for KU when talent calls for it. I’m a major proponent. But I’ll take the more conventional team if I’ve got those players (and I would prefer that). The fact is that the inability to guard the post is the most dangerous defensive liability.
BeddieKU23 last edited by
I would just assume as the season goes on that guy might be Marcus. I’m just astonished how well he defends everything at this point. His IQ on making life difficult for offensive players just seems so out of place for a freshman.
I think Lightfoot’s defense other then blocking some shots is still a big liability from what I’ve seen so far. I hope he continues to work on his defensive awareness and becomes more cognitive of his responsibilities especially on switches and attacking ball screens.
We know Preston isn’t a Reynolds type.
We have no clue what Cunliffe will do but at 6’6 and a heck of an athlete maybe he’s useful. His rebound numbers were pretty good at ASU before his departure.
De Sousa would be the perfect candidate for the “garbage guy”. Big body but we have no idea how quickly he will handle joining the team midstream.
I come back to Marcus. Wish we had 5 of him on defense
The Jr. Morrii KU team (‘11 I think) would feast on this 4-1 team.
Last year it worked defensively because of Josh. This year it’s working because KU hasn’t played a team with two talented bigs yet. The offense of this years 4-1 is beautiful, but a hi-low offense with two dominate bigs is more consistently good. The off shooting nights can and will doom you in a guard oriented offense. Just as having an ineffective post game can kill a 4-1 also (sorry Lando).
KU really needs Desousa or Preston on the team 2nd semester. The ability to play 2 big bodies (Desousa and Dok) would be nice. The ability to play two talented bigs (Preston and Dok) would be nice. The ability to go fast (Preston and Lightfoot) would be nice. The matchup issues Preston and Desousa would present would be nice. Watching the other coach try to game plan for that…would be nice!
@jaybate-1.0 Can we break through with 1 real big in Doke? Or is not having two great bigs our Van Allen Belt that prevents a Final Four? I think not. I think Coach Self adapts his play style to the roster he has. Perry was tried as a hi-lo back to the basket scorer, and got eaten alive, so they turned him into an away from the basket scorer. If we have two great bigs, I imagine Coach will run hi-lo.
@dylans right just like how Carolina’s four legit bigs feasted on Nova in the title game. Oh wait…
@BeddieKU23 agreed. Marcus will be that if no desousa.
@HighEliteMajor I think Ochefu is actually closer to 6’9 and I don’t remember Nova ever really playing Ochefu and Reynolds together against Carolina. It was mostly 4-1. Nova didn’t have more size than we do. Their lineup was roughly 6’3, 6’3, 6’4, 6’6 and 6’9. We have 6’2, 6’3, 6’5, 6’8, and 7’0. All the talk was how Carolina would destroy Nova inside, yet it didn’t even come close to being a reality because their guards played so well on the ball (see their game against OU and Buddy Hield). DeSousa seems to be the perfect type of player we need to fill that Reynolds role of a tough, hard nosed rebounder and defender. Any points we get are icing on the cake.
I disagreed about the origins of small ball in the college game.
@HawkChamp Ok … I was only commenting on the origins of small ball with Self. Meaning how it came about here.
I just checked. Ochefu was listed at 6’11". Of course, he could really be 6’6".
@HighEliteMajor Oh sorry I misunderstood what you meant as the origins. My mistake
drgnslayr last edited by drgnslayr
Except for some rare situations, I think “big ball” is largely dead.
Just because a team has maybe 3 players 6’10"+ on the court, doesn’t mean they play “big ball.”
Billy Preston is the perfect example. “Big” only fits him because of his height. Everything else about him is “small.” He can handle the ball (small ball). He can quickly learn to become a very good passer (small ball). He has a good perimeter shot (small ball). He has a good motor with plenty of speed (small ball). He’s pretty good in the open court (small ball).
Svi is another example. Svi is a “guard?” 6’8"? Isn’t that the size of many post players? Let’s see… that’s 3 inches taller than “Chab” (Charles Barkley). Barkley won NBA rebounding crowns.
Really… look anywhere in basketball. The goal is to have as much height possible that can play effective “small ball.”
“Big ball” means “low post ball.” Big ball also means sacrificing team weapons; speed… ball handling… passing… even endurance by playing bigger, slower players who are there to pursue a low post game.
“Small ball” focuses on horizontal spacing. “Big ball” focuses on vertical spacing (rebounding and shooting OVER defenders).
The day of big ball really started it’s end when teams and coaches started focusing on trey ball. And the way to be effective at trey is to spread the defense. It’s about using the entire court area on offense. It’s about focusing on horizontal spacing advantages. THAT is “small ball!”
@HawkChamp Ok … I was only commenting on the origins of small ball with Self. Meaning how it came about here.
I just checked. Ochefu was listed at 6’11". Of course, he could really be 6’6".
At KU he would be listed as 7’-1".
jaybate 1.0 last edited by jaybate 1.0
I think you are onto something with Self improvising with Perry. It is among the many things he does so well. Until could be’s become realities, Self has Doke and Mitch. Let’s think on what his options are that he must be churning through, shall we?
My premise with Self is that he favors schemes that enable the team to be “who we are” regardless of who is playing.
Part of who we are is always “ALWAYS play take what they give us.”
Part of who we are is always “try WHENEVER POSSIBLE to play it any way they want.”
These first two are GIVENS. He recruits minds and bodies that are flexible enough coming in to be coached up to be able to do the first two. Thus, schemes have to enable us to do the first two.
But there is one more element of “who we are” and this varies season to season based on the players he has to work with.
- This part of who we are is what we seasonally emphasize, as our strengths, and what we mask, as our weaknesses.
Who can we be this season with only Doke and Mitch?
“Fast twitch speed” and its exploitation has to be our cornerstone. What is meant by “fast twitch speed”? My dad used to call it water bug speed; i.e., players that can go 0-60 and change directions not just rapidly, but in the blink of an eye. Examples are Devonte, LaGerald, and Malik. Svi is pretty fast, too, he just looks a step slow against these guys. Put these guys in perspective. Vick is as twitchy fast as Tyshawn Taylor, maybe faster, and Tyshawn was the fastest I ever saw. Devonte and Malik are just a hair slower. Garrett is maybe a hair behind Devonte and Malik and he’s 6-7, or something. Thus the primary objective of any scheme has to be put these guys in position to out accelerate opponents. To this end, Self has clearly studied the offense of Calipari’s 2012 champion UK and done yet another of his remodeling-the 3-2/4-1 jobs even on what was done by last season’s Jayhawk team. Fans are noticing a difference in speed both because this group is faster, and Self has them turning more right angles and fewer 45s. He has these guys running routes fast but then cornering and accelerating in ways we did not see last season. Yes its the same combination of inward and outward weaving, but watch how they are running more outward weaves which gets the defender floating outward and so maximizes the advantage of our guys right angle accelerations back toward the basket. This went over my head the first few times I watched KU. I couldn’t understand why they were running so many outward weaves, but the more twitchy fast you are the more advantage your cornering and acceleration have over an outward floating defender, when one of your guys break to the iron. And the outward weave stretches the defense outward increasingly so things get less and less congested for the driver. Its diabolical, but something counter intuitive you get to do with twitchy speed. And if they don’t float out with your weave? Well, it just so happens that Devonte, Vick, Malik and Svi are all deadly from trey. Pow!
All of the above is a long way of saying this team has to play twitchy fast in transition and in half court.
Twitchy fast perimeter play means bigs have to have good straight line speed in transition to get a rebounding spot for the quick shots and they need to be able to be mobile in half court play because in weaves the lull of the back and forth is going to be interrupted unexpectedly by a lightening strike. Bigs have to be able to react suddenly to get to fitting right rebounding spot. Mitch and Doke can pick’em up and put’em down in transition. No problem there in series substitution. In half court, Twitchy fast offense–the perimeter’s strength–does not favor Doke as much as would slow predictable offense. My hypothesis is his rebounding numbers are modest for his size, because of his inability to react quickly to get to the right rebounding position, not because he is slow–he isn’t–but because the perimeter guys are a bunch of Tyshawns.
Self has two options: a.) slow the perimeter down, or b.) rely on the non shooting perimeter guys to water bug to the iron to grab the caroms Doke can’t get to in a timely fashion. Self clearly favors option b. And against lesser teams we can get away with board crashing because it looks like our water bugs can get back on defense at light speed also. It seemed more problematic against UK. Thus our strength is twitchy fast offense off outward weaving. This requires some board crashing, which in turn requires our guys to use their blinding speed to get back on defense, not just for offense. Time and opponents will tell how well we can do this. But it seems like it will hunt most of the time. And so most of the time, when they over play our perimeter outside, we turn and burn and dish to Doke and make’em pay. Then shoot their lights out from trifectaville if they sag.
This brings us to Mitch, which was my real reason for going through all of the above as prologue.
Mitch has a surprising advantage over Doke. He is likely much quicker at reading and reacting to the quick shooting. Mitch is also able to step out and pop the 15-19 footer. Now these are not an even trade for losing Doke’s incredible length, still significant weight, and strength. Doke is a bona fide gravitational force when on the floor. He can NEVER be treated as just another guy to guard…EVER. If his arm goes up in a call for the ball, the opponent has to stop it from getting to him, or suffer the consequences of either letting him dunk, or running up its own team foul total.
But Mitch is still a serious problem playing back to basket on a spot. He can be knocked off most spots. And he is not tall enough to be a serious b2b threat against the tournament grade bigs we are likely to encounter during the March Carney.
What to do?
Remember Perry Ellis? He suffered much the same constraint set. Not quite big enough. Not quite strong enough. But excellent end to end speed and decent quickness. This sounds a lot like Mitch Lightfoot. Let’s call Mitch a poor man’s Perry Ellis, because Mitch seems to lack Perry’s three point gun (so far), and maybe some of his athleticism (maybe). Mitch has two edges on Perry though. Mitch has decent sized mitts. And Mitch has a knack for blocks.
So: what can we learn from Perry Ellis to apply to Mitch Lightfoot?
Play him face to the basket.
Drive him occassionally.
Let him take and make the 15-20 footer.
AND break him to the basket and let him catch and dunk. He has the hands for it.
No, Mitch is not supposed to get 15 FGAs per game, as Perry got and deserved maybe more.
But when Mitch is in the game for Doke, Mitch floats out to 15-20 feet and plays it from there. He crashes boards from there. He drives it from there. He shoots it from there. He ball screens from there.
Mitch is used as a single high post a la John Wooden’s several guys at long goddamn last.
The perimeter guys keep doing that twitchy fast voodoo that they do so well.
Thus, KU plays 20 minutes of twitchy fast low post.
And 20 minutes of twitchy fast high post.
Cunliffe comes in at semester and greatest the depth outside to play this way for 40 minutes a game outside.
One or two of Sosinski and DeSouza enable cutting Mitch’s high post minutes to ten on certain nights.
And if Preston makes it back, he plugs into the backup for Doke and when he is in, KU goes flying circus.
But the key here is that with a worst case scenario of only one of Socinski and DeSouza, this Doke low and Mitch high rotation hunts, if Self can stretch and flex his imagination to a stretch 5 when Mitch is in.
@jaybate-1.0 I was flat shocked how good Mitch looked recently. It was such a quantum leap from what he had done before, it made me believe he could really be a contributing factor. The Perry comparison is absolutely perfect.
Yep, improvement. He is a late “maturer” for sure. By the end of this season he may even be able to grow whiskers.
Now, we have to see what he can do against some blue meanies inside. Syraxcuse is a perfect test to see if he can keep from getting mugged inside.
If he does get mugged, its not the end of the the world. I always remember Cole Aldrich getting mugged by MSU that first season he started. It looked like it might be a very ugly year for him. But he was tougher than a boiled owl. Now its time to find out if Mitch is.
Mitch may not be able to avoid getting mugged till second semester, or maybe even next year. But he is going to get a shot at big boy minutes very shortly and he could easily wind up playing with a hockey mask for a month or two. But he seems like a feisty devil and that is a prerequisite.
Go, Mitch, Go!!!
@jaybate-1.0 I agree tomorrow will be a good gauge for where he is.
To me, Mitch has the feel of a guy who will really come up big down the stretch in some key games. He has a bit of a competitive attitude and he grew up loving KU basketball. That’s the type of attitude and devotion you just can’t buy. I like his game and I think he has the potential to go far this year. His shot blocking is really good given his size. Not to mention he’s good at spraying in those outside jumpers.
@HawkChamp Jayhawkfantoo was all over this, and the Billy suspension accelerated the learning curve. I don’t think he is a Jamari, either. His defense sure needs work, but he is coming along much faster than I ever thought was possible. I think he is going to be a real asset to the team.
@jaybate-1.0 BTW, I was hoping you would comment on the Van Allen belt. I figured only you would get that.
Good synopsis, but I want us all to remember that he barely played against UK. His solid performances have all been against D2 or mid majors and that just does not indicate what he can, or will, do against majors with blue meanies, and against elites with draft choices in the paint. I’m not knocking Mitch. I’m being realistic about him. He has a helluva a long way to go–at least one broken nose, and a couple throw downs–before we can have confidence even in his ability to stay on the floor with blue meanies. Clearly Self thought he was not ready even for UK’s sushi frosh. That is a big yellow caution flag. At the same time, Self was right to not throw him to the dogs against UK and now that he’s got a little taste of action, now IS the right time to see what he can take inside against big, eastern zoning team with a history of fairly aggressive play and a coach that takes no prisoners, when he can get away with it. Boeheim has always been a tough out for Self, perhaps only behind Ratso Izzo and Coach K in degree of coaching difficulty for Self. If Self uses Mitch against Syracuse, we’ll know Self is serious about Mitch. If not, if Self goes to a small ball lineup with Svi and Garrett at the 4 and 5, then we know Mitch is just going to get 20mpg in games against mid majors and .500 and under majors, so as to rest Doke as much as possible during the easy games and the 2 in 3 stretches.
This call isn’t up to you or me. Self will tell us the score on Mitch against Syracuse.
Lightfoot is 3rd in the conference in blocked shots with 14 which is 5 more than Doke has and playing only limited minutes.
Stats fattened on cupcakes are just that.
@JayHawkFanToo I think JB has a point. Mitch has accrued his stats vs pretend opponents. Against UK he had one positive stat – a steal. And Self didn’t have the confidence to play him more than 6 minutes.
You have correctly pointed out in the past that “when” stats are accrued should be considered, such as at the end of a blow out.
However, playing well is playing well, and Mitch has played well in stretches. And comparisons to other KU players now is fine as they’ve all played the same opponents. But we do know better players handle better opponents better. The sample size is too limited on Mitch, for now.
As a note, Mitch has an acceptable PER of 16.9. But that is the lowest of all regulars by 3 full points. And he’s reached that acceptable 16.9 again, against “cupcakes.”
Is he a good player?
We play 5 teams in our next 6 non-con games from big conferences. That’s a great point to assess everyone.
When I see Mitch play…Perry does not come to my mind. I think Perry is way quicker than Mitch. Just an overall better athlete. I don’t think Mitch will ever have anything close to Perry’s offensive game. I realize nobody is saying that Mitch will be as productive as Perry. I just think they are such completely different players that I don’t think of one when I see the other. That said, I think Mitch will be a good, solid contributor.
HighEliteMajor last edited by
@HawkChamp I would also say this quite confidently – to your point on Perry’s offensive game – Perry was much more skilled. And basketball, at the end of the day, is a game of skill. I am very interested in seeing how Mitch progresses.
He will never be Perry. I don’t think anyone was saying that. The point was how will he be utilized, and the stretch 4 comes to mind. Look up in the KU dictionary the term “stretch 4”, and there’s a picture of Perry. So, the comparison is not Perry vs. mitch, but stretch 4 to stretch 4. Mitch is not a back to the basket scorer. He has a penchant for leaving his feet, and going for the block at the slightest twitch. He routinely leaves his man open in the paint to go for blocks. No doubt he has a long way to go. BUT, that first half against Oakland gives me hope that he is developing into a real rotation guy. No doubt when the competition gets better, the lack of athleticism will show up, and hopefully, he’ll learn to play smarter to overcome that disadvantage. Still, he is miles further along than what he showed last year, with a quantum leap the last several games. Truthfully, I wouldn’t have given a plug nickel for what I saw last year, and the first few games this year …so my enthusiasm comes from watching him improve.
Thx for the assist. Thats it.
Exactly. Mitch was not a five star recruit. Mitch did not start as a freshman. The only connection between Mitch and Perry is that Self might try Mitch as a face-to-basket player the way Perry was finally tried. I might have used Traylor too, when Traylor was asked to drive the lane from out front and shoot the 15-18 footer. “Stretch” and “face-to-basket” are the operant ideas.
The defense has made his usual clarifying and persuasive summation for the jury. The jury will now deliberate!
The UK game was early in the season and Lightfoot was light in experience at the time. Now, he has played a lot more minutes and if KU was to play UK again I am sure Lightfoot would play a lot more minutes than on the first game.
The next few games will show what he can d,o now that he seems to have Coach Self’s confidence.
Perry was a technically sound and skilled player with a high Basketball IQ, more so than Lightfoot but I would not consider him to be a superior athlete, average at best, but he maximized it by playing smart. The scouting report on Lightfoot were that he was a superior athlete; he really has to be well above average to block shots at his height.
You are wrong about Coach Self’s confidence in Mitch determining how Mitch will do. Mitch’s ability, skill, poise and aggressiveness will determine how Mitch does. As usual if @JayHawkFanToo can’t…and so on and so forth.
Is that the correct rhetorical style?
@JayHawkFanToo You make a valid point about Mitch blocking shots. But I think that Perry was not quicker and a better jumper than a lot of people gave him credit for. The times I saw him play in person…I thought he was pretty darn quick for a guy his size.