Counter Factual Silver Linings: Shooting Better Would Have Given KU the W; Cutting TOs Would Have Helped Too
Okay, this is an attempt to see clearly through a dark glass.
To see what might have been within reasonable expectations for our team.
KU shot 25% from trey and 50% from the FT stripe.
What if KU had shot 50% from trey and 75% from the charity stripe?
Instead of 5 of 20 from trey, KU would have been 10 of 20 from trey; that’s 5 more treys, or 15 more points.
Instead of 4 for 8 from the FT line, KU would have been 6 for 8, or 2 more points.
Ooooookay, that would have summed to 17 more points.
Instead of KU down 74-65, the final score would have been KU up 82-74.
That was easy.
Next, if KU had protected more like a team starting FOUR guards, and cut its TOs from 13 to say, 7, well, KU could have gotten six more shots and probably have made 3. That’s at least 6 points right there, and that would have meant KU could have missed two more treys than I just calculated for them above. That is significant, because it indicates that just by playing with more poise allowing more protection, KU could have shot around 40%–well within its reasonable range–and dispatched the Huskies comfortably.
Alas, KU did not play with poise.
And KU did have one of those 25% nights from trey its going to have every once in awhile.
One thing is clear, even if folks don’t buy my observation that this team has a chemistry problem and a perhaps a point guard battling some injury tweak he appeared to receive in the Syracuse game preceding this unfortunate game vs. the Huskies, this young, shorthanded team most definitely needs to find more poise when the going gets tough and the shots aren’t falling.
A second thing is clear, also. Teams that depend mostly on perimeter scoring LOSE, when the perimeter shooters have an off-night. So: unless this team can find some players to play and score inside, when the shots aren’t falling, we should expect this team to lose at any moment and take every victory as decent shooting night.
Until this team develops a well rounded and resourceful approach to winning games when things are not goings its way, expectations of a deep runs are, well, kind of naive.
What hurts outside shooting is playing tight, which often occurs when you are favored. That is why I think this team would be better served as a two or three seed this year. Lower expectations and less pressure will help some of those shots to fall. Oklahoma was a primarily offensive team yet they got hot in the S16 and E8 after getting a two seed, losing seven games during the year including a loss in the big 12 tourney semifinal. Basically, ended the year on a dry spell but had two good shooting games late in the tourney.
With a jump shot reliant team, that is all you can hope for.
I have never missed a shot from being tight, have you? It’s always my mechanics, or the defender denying me a comfortable stroke at a desirable spot.
Not arguing. Just never missed a shot from tightness. Had quite a few blocked though.
Shooting is subject a normal distribution around ones own average, too. 1/3 hot, 1/3 cold, 1/3 in between.
@jaybate-1-0 Nice post. I’ll fixate on one item. Wouldn’t we always win if we shot better? I’m not a big believer in analyzing wins based largely on shooting, because there are many variables, including the defense played by the opponent. Blaming shooting is the easy way out. It removes any accountability. Good teams overcome aspects of the game that are not optimal by adjusting and overwhelming. Particularly against average opponents. Good teams, as Self has preached, can fall back on their defense, as well.
Lots of things last night.
The item that stuck out to me most was the disappearance of Devonte Graham. This was a game crying for those 12 assists.
Second most on the “stick out” scale was, again, the utter lack of production from Malik Newman. I’m struggling with even saying he’s a good player. Newman’s PER is now at 16.4, lowest of the 7 regulars. Last night was just really concerning to me watching Newman. It’s too early to panic. But it’s a negative trend worth watching.
I was watching Virginia Tech the other night in their only (?) loss, and was struck by how much improvisation the players seemed required to do on the simple things. When a player flashes in the key, the entry pass would sometimes be at his side or feet. And I thought about KU then, and how the pass is always exactly where it needs to be. And that was a comforting thought, but also a troubling one.
First of all, the pass was often not exactly where it needed to be to Vick last night. Often it was at his feet, costing him a half second to adjust. The passes at the end of the game to get the ball inbounds were horrendous as well. The lob to Doke at the end of the game was off. And beyond errant passes, the pass sometimes didn’t ever happen. The plan to get it to LaGerald has no secondary action. The execution was poor, and the ball was sticky : stuck in a slow motion car crash.
So this leads me to my second point… was I dillusional about Kansas passing game? No! When we execute, our passes are always EXACTLY where they need to be. Players move to where they are supposed to be. Everything is calculated and coordinated, like a beautiful wooden automaton, a coordinated factory scene where all the workers are turning their cranks in time.
But what happens when something blocks one of those gears that are all connected to main crank?
I don’t think Vick was tight. He just lacked confidence in his shot. The automaton was relying on him, he was one gear of the drive train, and the gear was jammed. Vick simply was not comfortable with that shot last night. It just wasn’t going to happen, and there was no improvisation, and everything broke down with it.
That being said, I don’t think it’s a bad loss for our kids. a. they’re a good team and b. there’s plenty of fuel for practice here.
So if the goal was not necessarily to come out with a W but primarily to get better, then I’m ok with last night. Better now than March.
@jaybate-1.0 Stellar analysis as usual. I posed this question on another thread. I’ll do it here.
MIght there be a possibility that Coach did not prepare them as best he can on purpose? Sent them out flat on purpose? Not purposely losing the game but purposely using this game as a teaching point for everyone. He even owned the fact that he didn’t prepare them properly for this game.
As I posted on another thread, while Vick led in scoring, he missed a lot of close shots that he should have made. He was 12-23 overall and 0-2 from 3 which translates to 12-21 from well inside the paint. If he scores another 4 or 5 baskets, the zone probably collapses and Devonte has 4 or 5 more assists.
KU just does not shoot well at the Sprint Center.
How many times did they come down on offense and nobody found them? Spotted right up for a 3, too many times. Drove right to rim, nobody picked them up. We are in trouble if this all we have!
@Crimsonorblue22 The sky isn’t falling. I already checked, and it’s still there.
Here’s an idea : back up 2 feet, and make a shot. Quit driving into defenders, and shoot the damn ball. How many threes did I see where DG or Svi would drive up to the defender, and try to shoot over them? And why did we move Vick off the top of the key, and move him down into the double team area near the paint? Bad playing, and bad coaching, imo. I’m not freaking out over it- we always look terrible when we lose. i just hate losing to an inferior team because we didn’t play as smart as they did. I am convinced that Cunliffe being thrust into a prime role as a freshman was not something he was ready for. I think him coming in and getting 10 minutes+ will help us, and help him too. Newman is like part EJ, Selden, and Tyshawn all rolled into one player. I’ve never seen a guard hit the underside of the backboard on a fast break more than a time or two in my life, and it seems like that is Newman’s signature shot. He does it once or twice a game, it seems. I think getting Billy Preston on the court will help. James the bruiser would help, too. Same with deSousa. Ok, I feel better now.
The best thing I can say about Newman right now is usually he just disappears.
(Note: later in this post I go into speculative psychology and team chemistry mode. If you don’t like that sort of speculation, don’t even bother to read and respond to this post, because you will just be making it more likely to be found in a search. This is all about the touchy feely, alchemical side of sport, about fitting round pegs with square pegs and not driving either of them into holes that don’t fit them, but some how gluing them together into components of a team that work well together. It is about art, not science, or engineering. It is about finding what makes teams come together and about stopping what blows them apart.)
Let’s put it this way. This game against the Huskies was the front end of a 2 in 4 and going in appeared to be much the weaker opponent to many board rats here (excluding me). Assuming Self viewed it the same way several board rats here did, then given Self’s historical tendency to send the team out flat for the lesser opponent and save the amp and the most strategic preparation for the better opponent in such two game sets, it would appear almost a certainty that he sent them out flat, but not necessarily unprepared, for Washington.
My guess is that his thinking went like this: we prepared extensively for Syracuse and what we did worked exceptionally well against Syracuse. Washington is coached by Boeheim’s long time assistant, Hopkins, and in his first season as Washington Husky HC, our game tapes indicate he is running essentially the same defense and offense this season at Washington that Syracuse has run that we prepared extensively for. Therefore, Self apparently reasoned, Washington is so-so on talent, and so we can focus our preparations for the second opponent of the two game series and rely on our Syracuse preparation for Washington. We will just supply the players scouts on player tendencies and not waste a lot of practice time on new strategy and wrinkles for the Husky’s.
Self probably guessed that Boeheim would provide Hopkins a detailed scout of KU, but figured that given the Husky’s so-so talent, KU could probably make half time adjustments to whatever new and effective wrinkles the Husky’s showed on their offense the first half, and that they would likely stick to their 2-3 regardless. Further, Self probably figured that the Husky’s best scorer, David Crisp, was someone that Devonte was ideally suited to defend effectively. In turn, Self was also likely anticipating Devonte to have an off-shooting game after 2 30 point outings. Self probably also had insider knowledge of Devonte’s progress on the injury tweak of Devonte during the Syracuse game. As a result, Self apparently decided to route the scoring through LaCobra to the tune of 20+FGAs, so Devonte could focus himself on guarding Crisp and not have to try to score much with whatever kind of injury he may have had. So: Self reasoned, if Devonte focuses on guarding Crisp, and LaCobra just wears them out inside, either Malik, or Svi, surely will be ready for a break out game, and KU would be able to handle whatever problems the Husky’s posed because of Boeheim’s scout passed to Hopkins.
But the best laid plans of mice and Hall of Famers can go astray. Some of what Self anticipated, went pretty much as anticipated. Devonte was 1 of 8 from the field, so holding his FGAs down was smart. Devonte could not lock down Crisp, but he did contain him pretty well. And LaCobra was just endlessly able to get open and make 2 pointers about 50% of the time, which is really pretty darned good considering he was 6-4 and having to shoot 8-10 footers over and around true bigs. LaCobra really did his job superbly the first half, and even the first 5 minutes or so of the second half. But then his legs got a little wobbly and he was missing a few of those 8-10 footers. Of course he would not still have been having to try to take and make those shots, if either Malik had had his head in the game, or Svi had not been cold as ice. Malik and Svi frankly stunk up the floor against the Husky’s. Had either guy produced decently, LaCobra either would have been getting wide open looks he could take all the way to the iron, or he would not have had to be shootings as much as he did. But Malik and Svi just stank.
Worst of all, though, was that Malik’s and Svi’s barely betrayed chemistry problems in the Syracuse game emerged as stark lack of being able to collaborate with each other. It was embarrassing to watch. What I noted as a hunch vs. Syracuse appeared actually worse than I thought vs. Washington. For the head in the sand types, let me try to put this into phrasing that will let them deal with this constructively, rather than in reactionary mode. Let’s forget about whether Malik and Svi like each other, hate each other, or are indifferent to each other. Whatever their feelings about each other, they play like shit together. They don’t appear to communicate well with each other. They don’t appear to help each other. Svi feeds Malik, but Malik doesn’t say thank you. Malik would apparently rather make one of the stupidest charges on a drive I have ever seen, rather than make an obvious short dish to a WIDE OPEN Svi ready for an easy layup.
Now, again, let us leave aside entirely whether these guys like each other, or not, because some dry-washers here are worried about what some one else might find in an internet search. What is indisputable at this point of the season is that these guys do NOT play well together, do not do most of the things that teammates do for each other, and the team’s effectiveness is significantly diminished by it. On a night like the Syracuse game, where everyone but Malik is playing pretty well and Devonte is having a career night, and Syracuse was shooting and playing poorly, this poor interplay between Malik and Svi did not trigger an L. But on a night where KU is not amped up, Devonte is sputtering offensively, KU is shooting poorly, and the opponent is having a good night, well, then because these two guys cannot play together worth a shit (regardless of how they “feel” about each other), then KU basically gets humiliated and, worst of all, basically rolls over and quits the last 3-5 minutes of a loss.
I am harping on Malik and Svi, because it is OBVIOUS (to me at least) that their inability to play effectively TOGETHER is undermining the hell out of team effectiveness against decent competition. Neither guy is really dogging it individually. They are both working up a sweat. They are both doing a few good things individually, and making a few good plays with other teammates, but there are only 5 KU players on the floor at a time and they tend to be two of them. That is 2/5s of the team!!! And Malik was supposed to be this terrific talent that was going to be a key impact player, while Svi was supposed to finally become the impact player he seemed on the verge of being last season. This is one of those times, when someone like Tyshawn, or TRob, or Marcus Morris, or Sherron Collins, or Frank Mason, or Mario Chalmers, or Wayne Simien, or Cole Aldrich–SOME really strong personality on the team would take these two guys somewhere for beers and burgers, and lay down the law to them–shake them the hell awake and, if that did not work, would call a team meeting and make clear that KU basketball players play like Boot Camp graduates that walk the talk of Sempre Fi, when the going gets tough, or they are gone.
Right now Malik and Svi appear to me to be standing between this team even having a chance to solve its truly long term critical problem of what to do about the power outage in the paint.
If Malik and Svi cannot square this away and quick, then it is not going to matter if Preston comes back, or Sosinski gets comfortable and fits in, or that DeSousa figures out how to raise his entrance exam scores and brings a big body for backing up Azuibuke. At this point it won’t even matter if Mitch Lightfoot continues to develop some and were to become an adequate post back up, which there remains a slim chance of him doing. The guy showed some positives in this game, against some decent, not good, competition, despite not really being productive still.
Marcus Garrett? I have never seen a guy look so hapless and still produce some line score impact. So: looks can be deceiving. Garrett replaced the sulking Malik the second half, who clearly wanted to be chosen to play the role Vick played and get the FGAs that were assigned to Vick. Let’s put it this way. Not only can Malik not play effectively with Svi, but he went into a childlike funk about not getting the role that LaCobra got. He sulked so much that he could not help guard Matisse whatever his name was, and stop him from sinking KU, and he could not make shots until it the game was out of reach at the end.
I know. I know. I am really getting down on Malik. But he appears deserving. All the troubles he is apparently causing are unnecessary. They are things he could simply snap his fingers, change his mind, and they would disappear. We are not talking about a shooting slump, or an injury, or being asked too play out of position, at least I don’t think he’s injured. If he were injured, it must really be a bad one, because it is screwing with his floor game, and his defense and his helping in a big, BIG way. Self has never put a guy like this in a starting lineup before during his tenure at KU. He has never put up with a guy like this. He sent Malik a big memo in the form sashimi Marcus Garrett the second half; that’s for sure. The old Bill Self, the Bill Self that used to be able to get enough scholarship athletes before the apparent embargo, not to have to put up with these kinds of horse manure head issues, for more than a few minutes of a game (and run them after a season), THAT Bill Self surfaced during half the second. That Bill Self indicated that he would rather watch Marcus Garrett, a guy that couldn’t make trey if his life depended on it, play shooting forward than the GREAT MALIK NEWMAN. Talk about swinging a baseball bat at a clueless player to try to get him to come outside of his inner world!!! Self apparently ate an L to try to “woke” Malik.
But I am going to cut Malik just a little slack here. I am going to mention that he can’t clear the floor more than a couple inches right now. I never watched feeds of him during his illustrious season at Mississippi State. I don’t recall if he could ever get up or not. But in the Washington game, I could have filled up the space between Malik’s tennis shoes and the shellac on most of his shots and lay ups and attempts to get a hand in someone’s face with, oh, let me think, uh, yes, with a fingernail file laid flat! Where did this guys springs go? Shit, I can still jump higher than that and I’m having trouble going up and down stairs now.
But I am not letting Svi out of this mess without some blame either. Svi is along with Devonte the old man of this team. Svi is a worldly man. Svi is from a war torn country where people’s lives are in peril most every day–a place where bad persons on all sides have been given budgets to destabilize the hell out of Eurasia’s version of Kansas–the bread basket of Eurasia. Svi knows how tough the world is and how much allies have to lend a helping hand to those in need. Svi knows, or should know, that you don’t always get to pick and choose who you work with. Some times the enemy of my enemy HAS to be made my friend. And that there are young men developing awkwardly that need an older brother’s steadying guidance and that being an older brother is often a thankless task (Just ask mine). Svi has some growing up he has to do to be that older brother. He has some manning up he has to do. He has to figure out a way to make it work with Malik, until Self can figure out how to re-wire Malik, or cryo-ice him in a season, when that might mean rotating Marcus Garret and Clay Young. OMG!!! Svi, baby, you’ve gotta become a major big brother to Malik. Devonte is apparently trying to be his friend and apparently its not really addressing the problem. Someone has to take him under this wing knowing full well that he might (prolly will) fight it every step of the way. Svi, man, you just cannot do that cold Ukainian look over the shoulder thing with this apparently emotional and presently frustrated little brother. You’ve got to get past your differences and find the magic button in Malik that even the master himself, Bill Self cannot find yet. Svi, this is on you, because life isn’t fair and you are the senior that learned how to fit in last season and so know what it takes to fit in. If not you, then who? LaCobra? That guy appears to be using all his CPU just trying to stay not TOO weird and trying not to crack from Self basically telling him he has to do everything on the team EXCEPT point guard, whenever Self gets a wild notion that something else might work. LaCobra is maxed out, Svi. LaCobra is running with a full current load in his copper cable. Devonte? Devonte is busy playing 40 and trying to run a team that is literally a bunch of unconnected nodes right now, and being told by Self to go out and score 30 points a game until Self can figure out how to wire the nodes together. No, I don’t think Devonte is quite the cat for the job. And speaking as a one time unreachable, myself, there is no assistant coach on the face of the earth that will ever reach Malik. Not. Going. To. Hap.
I know Malik is not new to the team. Been around one season waiting to get eligible. I get the impression that the guys on the team know that he can ball. I suspect he even has some good friends not he team already, but that they are not the big brother types–the older guys–the guys that he doesn’t necessarily impress with his trey gun. Someone like you. Someone that is just as competitive as he is.
We need you two to be trying to beat other teams and not beat each other. Now, its true that if this goes on it will eventually end in one or the other of you winning and the other basically being useless to the team. The trouble with that is that this team is so short handed that it needs both of you, not just one of you. Hence, the old coaching reliable of pitting guys against each other and letting one beat the other doesn’t solve this team’s problem. The only solution here is BOTH you guys becoming good and for that to happen both of you have to become the best, most helpful teammates that ever lived to love another teammate.
Malik appears to need a big brother. Malik may even need a friend more than a big brother. You may need one or the other two, but you are older, and have been around longer, so I’m casting you in the big brother role. I can’t be sure about this, of course. I 'm speccing from outside in. But its apparent even to a layman like me that you guys are not exactly carbon cultural copies that are the most likely candidates for bosom buddy pals, but…drum roll please…that’s what has to happen for this team to succeed. This is what many players before you at KU have had to do, maybe not in this short-handed a circumstance, but Self’s teams are nothing if not cornerstoned on helping teammates, on making things better for them, on loving them and getting loved back. It is the real secret of the 13 titles. You have to reach down to the deepest level inside yourself and find the common ground between a kid from Ukraine and a kid from somewhere USA and you have to make Malik feel like not just somebody likes, but YOU like him. Malik appears like Sally Fields before she won her Oscar for Norma Rae. Gifted, but professionally insecure. Malik isn’t playing like a guy that feels like someone really likes him; that his teammates really want to hang with him and trust him to make the pass to win the game (frankly, because so far he appears often unwilling to), or make the shot to win the game (which he can easily do with his shooting gifts). Malik still does not appear to understand why things did not go right in Mississippi. I don’t either, but it doesn’t matter that I don’t, because I’m just a board rat. But it matters that Malik appears to still be searching for who he is as a player, at least within this KU team. The guy flat looks like an NBA player, if ever a player could look such. But book covers and looks aren’t enough in this world. The insides have to equal the outsides. Malik’s parents probably thought Bill Self was the guy to help their son realize his potential, to help him make the inside fit the outside. Well, Malik’s parents were smart, and right to try Self, and if Self can find someone to bond with Malik on some deep, teammate kind of level, then Self can then coach this guy up. It is about mutual respect leading to actual love of one another.
But Self cannot be his big brother, his friend, his pal. And right now no one else on this team seems to be able to connect with him either in the way this team and him seem to need to this outsider looking in. So: Svi, its up to you. May I suggest an all day and all night drive to South Padre Island, or a longer drive to San Diego, and a dip in the Gulf, or the Pacific, and then a drive back. It worked for me once. There is nothing like a road trip with two guys at that age to build a bond. I suspect Self might look the other way once. He likes this streak. He likes it a lot. But he like you both more than the streak. He wants you both to succeed. Its how coaches are. It puffs them up when you do, and causes them to clear wakes when its clear you won’t.
Lincoln said something pertinent here. Have I not vanquished a foe by making of him a good friend?
He was having some trouble with Seward and Stanton that was getting in the way of him saving the Union.
Think about that.
SEE COMMENTS IN CAPS BRACKETED.
@jaybate-1-0 Nice post.[BACK AT YOU.] I’ll fixate on one item. Wouldn’t we always win if we shot better? [IT HELPS FOR SURE, BUT SOME NIGHTS WE SHOOT WELL AND STILL GET BEATEN BY SOMEONE THAT SHOOTS BETTER, AND SOME NIGHTS WE SHOOT SO-S0 AND STILL GET A WIN BY DOING OTHER THINGS MUCH BETTER THAN THE OPPONENT. SO: I AGREE THAT ONE SHOULD NEVER BE REDUCTIVE AND IGNORE WHEN THERE ARE MORE DECISIVE FACTORS, BUT AT THE SAME TIME ONE SHOULD NOT BE DOCTRINAIRE AND SAY SHOOTING IS NEVER A VARIABLE TO ISOLATE AS THE PRIMARY CAUSE, OR NOT THE PRIMARY CAUSE.]I’m not a big believer in analyzing wins based largely on shooting, because there are many variables, including the defense played by the opponent. Blaming shooting is the easy way out. It removes any accountability. Good teams overcome aspects of the game that are not optimal by adjusting and overwhelming. Particularly against average opponents. Good teams, as Self has preached, can fall back on their defense, as well.
Lots of things last night.
The item that stuck out to me most was the disappearance of Devonte Graham. This was a game crying for those 12 assists. [YES, AND THERE ARE MANY WAYS TO TRY TO EXPLAIN GRAHAM’S DISAPPEARANCE. I AM ALWAYS PRONE TO CONSIDERING INJURY WHEN I SEE GUYS TWEAK SOMETHING SUBSTANTIALLY IN A PRIOR GAME AND THEN SEE THEM DISAPPEAR. INJURY IS NOT THE ONLY REASON. IT IS IN THIS CASE ONE OF THEM. ANOTHER REASON IS DEVONTE WAS FIGHTING THE LAW OF AVERAGES AND AFTER TWO 30 POINT, NEAR FULL MONTY 40 MINUTE PERFORMANCES WHERE HE DID EVERYTHING BUT REFINISH THE WOOD FLOOR, HE HAD A LET DOWN. DEVONTE HAS ALWAYS BEEN A MORE EMOTIONAL PLAYER WITH PEAKS AND VALLEYS THAN SAY SOMEONE LIKE FRANK MASON. THE PEAKS ARE PART OF WHAT MAKE HIM SO SPECIAL. THE VALLEYS ARE WHAT MAKE HIM THE KIND OF PLAYER YOU HAVE TO HAVE PLAN B PLAYERS TO TAKE UP THE SLACK FOR HIM. BUT THERE IS ANOTHER POSSIBLE DRIVE THAT I HAD NOT CONSIDERED. I AGREE THAT A TOP PG SHOULD DISH ASSISTS, WHEN HE CANNOT MAKE BUCKETS AND DEVONTE DIDN’T COMPENSATE A LOT THAT WAY. BUT WHAT IF IT WAS KIND OF AN ACCOUNTING PROBLEM? WHAT IF DEVONTE WAS MAKING THE RIGHT PASSES THAT JUST WEREN’T GETTING CREDITED WITH ASSISTS, AS PERHAPS THEY DESERVED TO BE. WHEN DEVONTE PASSED IT TO VICK, AND VICK TURNED AND DROVE IT FOR A FLOATER FROM 8 FEET, DID DEVONTE GET THE ASSIST HE EFFECTIVELY DESERVED? MAYBE HE WASN’T BEING CREDITED WITH THOSE DRIVES BY VICK, BUT I FELT THAT HE WAS GETTING THE BALL TO VICK AT THE RIGHT PLACE AND GETTING AN “EFFECTIVE ASSIST” JUST THE SAME.]
Second most on the “stick out” scale was, again, the utter lack of production from Malik Newman. I’m struggling with even saying he’s a good player. Newman’s PER is now at 16.4, lowest of the 7 regulars. Last night was just really concerning to me watching Newman. It’s too early to panic. But it’s a negative trend worth watching. [SEE ANOTHER POST OF MINE TODAY ABOUT MALIK AND SVI. I AM VERY CONCERNED ABOUT THEM BOTH. I MAY BE COMPLETELY MISPERCEIVING THINGS, BUT FROM A FAN’S REMOTE PERSPECTIVE, IT JUST LOOKS LIKE THEY ARE NOT PLAYING WELL TOGETHER. I HAVE NOT FOCUSED AS MUCH ON MALIK’S INTERPLAY WITH DEVONTE AND VICK, SO I CANNOT SAY MALIK IS STRUGGLING WITH EVERYONE, BUT SOMETHING JUST DOES NOT FEEL RIGHT BETWEEN MALIK AND SVI. I ALSO NOTICED THAT MALIK WAS JUST NOT CLEARING THE FLOOR MUCH AT ALL VERSUS WASHINGTON. I HAVEN’T NOTICED HIM TAKING ON SO LITTLE AIR PREVIOUSLY, SO MAY BE HE HAD A LITTLE LEG INJURY, OR SOMETHING VS. THE HUSKIES. WHATEVER, I AM GLAD YOU POSTED THAT P.E.R., SO THAT HIS PROBLEMS HAVE SOME QUANTIFICATION OF THEIR DEGREE. IF NEWMAN TURNS INTO A FAILED TRANSFER, THIS KU TEAM IS FACING A PERFECT STORM. IF NEWMAN IS JUST ANOTHER D1 PLAYER AND NOT SOMETHING SPECIAL, THEN THE APPARENT EMBARGO HAS FINALLY WON THIS SEASON. I AM STILL HOLDING OUT HOPE FOR MALIK. I BELIEVE HE IS STILL TRYING TO FIND A WAY TO FIT IN TO THIS TEAM THAT IS NOT CONSTRAINED BY THE IDEA THAT HE HAS TO BE THE NUMBER TWO OR THREE SCORER EACH NIGHT TO BE HAPPY. HE HAS TO PLAY WELL, REGARDLESS OF HOW MUCH HE SCORES. HE HAS TO BE EFFICIENT OFFENSIVELY AND GUARD AND STRIP AND REBOUND AS WELL AS SCORE. I BELIEVE HE WILL DO ALL OF THESE THINGS EVENTUALLY, BUT HE FIRST HAS TO FIND HAPPINESS IN BEING A GREAT TEAMMATE, BECAUSE THAT IS THE ONLY WAY TO SURVIVE UNDER SELF.
Yours and HEM’s were the most informative posts for me to read today, so far. Thx.
I don’t think Self viewed this as a game he was willing to lose going in. I think the way the game unfolded with KU shooting 25%, Self just did not appear to have a lot of moves up his sleeve he could make, since he had probably focused most preparation on the opponent after Washington. Let me clarify. He could have made the moves, but I don’t think his team would have been able to execute them. He always knows the 1000 page play book.The question always is how many pages of it has a team mastered. This team is pretty raw and its usually good shooting makes us tend to overlook that.
Self appeared to make a choice at a certain point. He decided that there were too many things wrong to fix them all and get a win, so he decided to try to snap Malik out of whatever kind of issues he is dealing with in hopes of getting him clicking for the next game. So: he sat him and gave his minutes at shooting forward to a guy that can’t shoot. Subtle message to Malik.
Self’s expressions and body language appeared to indicate he is truly concerned both about where the team is and where it can reasonably go. A long season exposes all the flaws of any team. This team totally lacks a big 4 man. It lacks a credible back up at the 5. With Svi having to play the short 4, it frankly has little depth on the perimeter. With Malik unable to perform efficiently so far, it has insufficient depth on the perimeter. With Marcus Garrett unable to drain the trey, he is not an effective substitute to a team that is trying to be a perimeter scoring team and that has so little depth inside that it cannot really seriously try to score inside until the last ten minutes of the game, because it has to protect Azuibuke, its only credible big, from fouls.
Self is in the worst position he has ever been in at KU, regardless of the rankings, and regardless of the good outside shooting.
And on top of everything else, there is a big cloud hanging over the team, and perhaps the coaching staff, because of an investigation in to Preston for a car that seemingly would be over one way, or the other, by now, if the investigation were not leading into more problems.
Self did not look like himself last night. I am not talking about how he coached. He just did not look as healthy as usual, and yet I saw no signs of sickness. He looked uneasy and like he was not sure what the heck to do next–not because he didn’t know his stuff, but because he didn’t have enough options. This is strange for the man who has always seen the next doorway that no one else did. Last night, Self looked like a man who had looked for the next doorway and didn’t find it and frankly doubted that he would. Most unlike him.
Something seems to be weighing heavily on him. His best post recruit in some times is under investigation for a car. I reckon they weigh down a coach’s mood after it had dragged on awhile.
Hope I’m wrong.
But that’s how it looked to lil ole me.
I have been doing a lot of analysis above. It probably gives the impression that I am in grave doubt about the future of the team. I am NOT yet in grave doubt.
I think Malik can find his way, but it may take till February.
I think Malik and Svi can come together.
I do not think Devonte’s injury is likely to last long.
I think Udoka is developing and by February could be a very good center.
Svi will get untracked.
Lightfoot made some progress last night that did not show up in his line score.
Marcus Garrett made some progress that showed up in his line score even though it did not look impressive.
Vick is still doing a lot of marvelous things, and it is no knock on him that he has more to learn. Many talk about wanting to give guys PT to develop them. Well, that sure as hell is going on with Vick. If he keeps learning a piece of the game each game or two, by February, he is going to be a monster. And we really haven’t seen him open up form outside the way I believe he can.
Sosinski’s appeared to have suited up for the game, and that is a big step. I was dreaming to hope Self would put him in. We may not even see Sosinski until after “the week of getting” better at semester break. Sosinski’s role, if any, will be during the 2 in 3 sets during conference season. The important thing is that he is another piece in position.
Preston is the big “IF” that has to be resolved for this team to really move ahead. The coaches cannot really commit to any strategic direction until they know when and how much, if any, Preston will play.
11.De Sousa improving on entrance exams appears a long shot, but it all depends on whether he has taken prep courses for the exams or not. If he can take a prep course for the exam, it could bump his score. But if he has already taken a prep course, and it didn’t bump his exam score enough, well, it will likely take a year of school filling holes in his academic abilities to improve it.
The team was very highly rated. It lost a game to a major on an off shooting night. That has happened quite a few times during Self’s tenure. The only thing I’m really worried about is the way the team seemed to give up late in the game. Everything else can be fixed with work and a little luck. But teams either have heart, or they don’t. Hope we don’t see any more of that demoralization, even if we lose several straight.
Get after them, team. You guys are still very talented and just have to find out how to play together more effectively. Rock Chalk!
@jaybate-1.0 was Devonte hurt on Saturday too? Lol I got a good chuckle out of that one.
You are right about Malik however. I see a lot of potential with him. His only problem is between his ears. He can figure it out IMO.
A guy scores 30 points twice in a row and barely shows up offensively against an unranked major and you don’t suspect injury? Incredible.
Malik can’t jump two inches off the floor and you don’t suspect injury? Incredible.
Any guy out there that suddenly dons lingerie on the legs, or the elbow, likely is hurting like a sonnuvabitch and isn’t going to shoot the ball nearly as well. Shooting requires follow through. Have you tried to follow through with a hyper extended elbow? Shooting requires being able to set your feet from a dead run and explode up 30 to 40 inches. A guy comes out so gimpy he has to wear more lingerie than he’s been wearing for awhile, and you doubt this sort of injury could cramp his performance? Incredible.
Injury is a part of the game. All of these guys are getting injured all the time. Self expects them all to play through. But he apparently grasps that guys playing through don’t maintain optimal effectiveness.
Holy cow, were you one of those persons that thought players shouldn’t be given water, because it toughened them up to play without it? Incredible.
Sports is about making human bodies and minds perform skilled activities at high levels of effectiveness. Even minor injuries dampen effectiveness. And athletes learn quickly to mask injury as much as possible to keep the opponent from trying to exploit it. But while you can try not to limp, you can’t pretend to be able to plant your feet and be explosive as one is when uninjured.
You like to make excuses for poor play don’t you?
So was the whole team hurt against Oregon, UNI, VCU and Nova?
You imply you read my mind, but you are wrong so often about what I think it appears you can’t. You have to be right more often than randomly for me to take u seriously. Don’t you want me to take you even a little seriously?
Of course we appeared to have injuries against Oregon that hampered our ability to win the game. Do you seriously doubt that? Incredible.
Injuries are part of the game. You have to play through them, but they significantly influence outcomes of any game I’ve ever played in or watched.
You believe in some kind of decisive voodoo of tightness, but not in sprained ankles, or blisters, or stress reactions, or shin splints, broken fingers, or hyper extensions, or flu, etc. INCREDIBLE.
Hey, excuses aren’t real. Tightness might be an excuse. A bone spur really limits one’s ability to jump shoot accurately.
Before my twisted ankle, I could jump high enough to avoid getting blocked, but after I’ve not been able to get my shots off for 10 games in a row against defenders that were shorter and less springy than those I faced when I didn’t have a sprain. Your inference? I’m tight!!!
@jaybate-1-0 What were our injuries vs. Oregon?
By the way, I love the Newman/Svi stuff. It is this little thread in the sweater that is getting pulled, but we don’t really know what if anything will happen, or if it is nothing at all.
@jaybate-1-0 What were our injuries vs. Oregon?
By the way, I love the Newman/Svi stuff. It is this little thread in the sweater that is getting pulled, but we don’t really know what if anything will happen, or if it is nothing at all.
I recall Frank was injured against Oregon, or was it Devonte?
And when KU lost to WSU Perry was flat out koo-koo for half the game or more.
And against Stanford Embiid was just out.
And so on.
Re: Newman/Svi it will be interesting to watch for sure. Those Marcus Garrett minutes add to the drama. Self wanted more production from Malik, but he may also have beeen watching to see if Svi were being rejected more broadly than just what appeared to be Malik’s tude.
@jaybate-1.0 any links to articles about Frank’s “injury”?
No, and that’s normal, since Self has a long history of non reporting and under reporting injuries.
You recall the term “nicked up” right? 😀
@jaybate-1.0 oh ok so no proof again. Carry on everyone.
I consider my game observations as reliable primary, if anecdotally collected evidence. I am old school. I am sceptical of QA, because I was trained in QA and learned how few persons know their butts from first base regarding assumptions, methodologies, sampling techniques, and so on. I am also skeptical of coaches and public figures being truthful, when being so does not serve their purposes to be truthful.
You are an odd duck. You “believe” in tightness, but not in primary observation. I prefer primary observation and inference to belief, for analytics.
You also over-use the sarcasm font a little, but that’s ok.
One more thing: I’m just trying to understand KU basketball through interactive discourse and shared insights. You are wasting your time and mine trying to win this discussion. You can’t beat me, or win, because I’m not playing a competitive game with you.
Relax and enjoy the medium.
If I’m not helping you understand more, don’t waste your time with me. Find someone else that you can learn something from.
Rest assured that I will tend to be relying heavily on my primary observations and those of others in exploring issues of KU hoops and seeking to square them with QA when possible. I will waste little time worrying about beliefs and depending on coaches press quotes (or lack the rod) about issues they would be foolish to be candid about.
I thought we were missing several key pieces in this game.
Leadership - Devonte should have stepped up more. Doesn’t mean he had to just score. But he didn’t play aggressive and then as the game wore on it seemed too late for him to show leadership.
Svi - From these two zone games a definite pattern has become visible. Svi seems to have a big problem with zones like the 2-3.
Doke - Doke is just so so green. He’s young and lacks experience. It is great to see his heart on display. It is obvious he has plenty of heart and desire. Just needs lots of PT to gain experience.
Pace - Ha… just when I touted how we now have the ability to control pace, we come out and give up the pace to a totally inferior team. There were a few moments, like when we pressed a bit, where we could see Washington start to speed up and we immediately cut their lead away. Then… we reverted to the slow pace again, and gave the lead back.
Soft - We played like a roll of Charmin. At least with Charmin, you can wipe your backside! Washington got the 50/50 balls, held their own with rebounding, and had enough motion on offense to get wide open looks. Our offense reminded me of some bad years of hi/lo where all our perimeter players just stood on their trey spots and passed the ball quickly hoping that, by itself, would open up the spacing. Where were the drives? Where? Strictly tossing the ball into Vick every time and then become spectators on the trey line will not win many games!
@drgnslayr 6 billy preston
For anyone new to the community, the above is absolutely USDA PRIME CUT SLAYR!!!
“Soft - We played like a roll of Charmin.”
OMG! Best line of the season so far!!!
And you WOKE me with that insight about Svi vs zones. I hadn’t seen it tell you said it straight! I’ve never seen an outside shooter with more trouble against zones than man2man, but this is him to a T!!!
So what is this about with Svi?
School me. This is something I haven’t seen before. But u r absolutely right on.
We shot like crap against UK as well but actually made an effort to defend someone while also rebounding the ball. Your effort has to be good day in and out, shooting comes and goes. “If you want look at how hard a team plays look at the rebounds” - Bill Self. Now we were only out rebounded bye 3 but gave 10 offensive rebounds, 2 of which lead to 3s. The defensive effort can be summarized bye the first play of the second half when Washington buries a 3 while we have no one headed for a close out and just watch. Darn he made it, guess we should do again.